Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday...3 Days before Thanksgiving....

I've spent most of my morning cleaning up.  Doing all the little things that I won't have the chance to do until Friday, that most likely being the earliest I could get to it again.  Picking up the living room.  Dishes.  Cleaning the bathroom.

Thanksgiving is Thursday.

Did you know that?


It's a busy week at ye olde grocery shoppe.  One of the two busiest.

Minor aside  I'll be putting four shifts in from 2 PM today until 3:30 PM Thursday.  That'll end up right around 39 or so hours on, with 25 or so hours off in between shifts.  Less than 22, if you count the commute.  Tonight, it's 2-11:30, same tomorrow.  Wednesday, 9am to 7p, and I volunteered for Thursday, so that's a 6:45-3:30 shift there. If you have a higher power you look to, might you put a word in for Tommy?  Off time, especially Tuesday night through Thursday, will be for sleeping, perhaps jamming a sandwich into my face and not much else.

Actually, it's not that bad.  The physical part of it, building displays and running trucks, is done, for the most part.  Upper management usually shows the good sense to leave all the little directives off for this week.  So, it's just the public.

And despite entreaties to the contrary, 90%, if not more, of the public are good folks with good heads on their shoulders.

It's the other 5-10% that can make this week a mental drain.

Here's the tiring thing about the week.  We have a lot of people cooking dinners that they don't really want to cook, eating with people they don't really want to be with, making trips they don't want (and some can't afford) to make.  And it wears on some.  And unfortunately, it comes out sometimes at the people who can't defend themselves.  Those people in my industry.

There are lots of memes that go around, about respecting retail workers, and I agree with the basic sentiment.  I even share some of them, some of the time.  Still, most people aren't jerks.  And the people who aren't jerks?  Generally don't think that they are jerks.

I'm rambling.

Whaddaya gonna do?  Still my blogamathing, despite all efforts by The Enemy.

Too much green tea this morning?


Saturday, November 21, 2015

More Media Bullshit

It would seem that those folks at Scholastic Press decided to throw a little shade.

What the fuck?

This just seems uncalled for.

Somebody isn't around to defend themselves, and suddenly you gotta start putting them in the category of Dumbest Damn Dinosaur.

Look.  I've been over this before.  Again and again.

Stegosaurus is a badass.

Total Badass.

The Baddest Badass.

Do you know many dinosaurs that:

  • co-starred in the TV program Cheers?
  • Hit for a career average of .307 in the Major Leagues?
  • Sing Baritone for their community choir?
  • Created the Bacon Cheeseburger?
  • Bodyslammed Andre the Giant nearly nine years before Hulk Hogan did it at Wrestlemania III?

Yet still we hate.

Weak sauce, Scholastic.

Weak Sauce.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Well, the old blogamathing turns 13 today.

It's not an everyday hobby, like it used to be.  The Facespace and the Twitter and the Letterboxd and the Flamdangled and the Bozzletwan and the Instagram and the Flordnorbit and all the other social media platforms have taken a lot of the steam out of it.

I mean, we're busy.  I'm not made of time, y'all.  All this professional wresting isn't going to watch itself.

So, now when I need to shout an inanity into the sky, like this:

I can use my smart telephone to hurl another witticism into the void!

I can also use my smart telephone to compose blog posts, I reckon, but I think the fight with autocorrect would drive me insane.

Once upon a time, I was attempting to text "I love you" to Shyam, and my fumblethumbs and Swype conspired to write "I love tit."

Which is true, but not the sentiment I was looking to convey at the time.

Anyway.  I still post here three or four times a month.  It doesn't mean I'm not trying to jam french fries into your mind.  I'm just pressed for time.

What I'm trying to say is that in 13 years, I've not learned much, and I'm working even  more like a botard, but I'm still here.  And, Dusty Rhodes willing, I will be for a good long time....

Monday, November 02, 2015

November and whatnot

Wandering back to work off of vacation today.

It's tough.  The second half of the year has been difficult, due to scheduling obligations.  I've been closing a lot more.  Days off usually come after a closing shift, and days off are generally followed by an opening shift.  Not a lot of weekends off.

And we're coming to the hard part of the year.  The next 8 weeks aren't my favorite.  So, head down, and move forward.

Joined another Hysterics at Eric's this  weekend.  Got to see a goodly number of folks.  Made the promise not to be such an anti-social asshole, and go visit a few of these folks.

Realizing that in 11 days, this blogamathing turns 13.  It's really been just limping along the last three or four years (if not longer).  Thinking of piecing a few bits together, and putting something up in the Kindle store.  See what sticks.....

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It was weird having October baseball that mattered.

I was afraid this was going to be a difficult post to write.  It's been a rough few weeks at work.  I just finished a stretch where I worked 16 out of 17 days, including a 10 days in a row.  I'm worn the hell out, and I didn't want to finish Hell's Olympics by watching the Cubs lose in the playoffs.  I watched most of the game last night, fading in and out on the couch (I know it's the playoffs, but I'd slept like shit the night before, and had been effectively awake since 3 AM).  I watched.  I felt bad for the folks (like Sloth) who'd gone to Wrigley.  Still, even with the loss, I find myself singularly optimistic.

There have been a couple of seasons in the past few that I couldn't have cared any less, when we got to September, let alone October.  Rebuilding is hard.  I had faith, though, seeing not only who was coming up through the minor league system locally (the Cubs' AA team plays about an hour north of here), but seeing changes in how the game was played.  It might sound odd, but little things that always seemed to be the Cubs downfall (a lack of fundamentals on defense, an inability to work counts, a lack of knowledge of the hitter's role in certain situations) were also apparent with the AA club.  What I was seeing through Epstein and Hoyer's draft classes and training philosophies was a couple or three classes of smarter baseball players making their way up to Chicago.  After the Tennessee Smokies had a fun 2013 and 2014, I was thinking 2015 might start to be an interesting year, as guys like Soler, Baez and most definitely Kris Bryant made their way up to Wrigley.

(A minor aside...I got to see Kyle Schwarber early in the season up with the Smokies.  Got to see him smack one of the longest home runs I've ever seen, major or minor league, during batting practice.  It looked like he'd told the batting practice pitcher to give him a little heat.  He hit one that looked like it was hitting the top of its arc as it went over the hill immediately behind the right field fence at Kodak).

After the way they finished the 2014 season, I told people that 2015 would be a year the Cubs made life difficult for a couple teams in the Central.  That said, I had them pegged for a team that would finish somewhere in the 80-85 win corridor.  And I thought 81 wins was a realistic goal.  I had the Cardinals and Pirates figured for the class of the division.

It was a hell of a ride.  For the first time in years, baseball was fun.  Of course, I wish it hadn't finished up the way it did.  The Mets played a tremendous series of baseball when it mattered most.

I could see myself rooting for them in the Series.  Maybe.

While it sucks saying "wait 'til next year" one more time, it doesn't ring as hollow as it has in years past.  There were years (1989...1998) where the Cubs only got there as much from luck as by being good.  There were years where they were very good (1984, 2008), and should have been back years after, only to be hampered by injuries.

Still.  I'm excited for the future.  Let's see Epstein and Hoyer address a few needs.  Maybe throw a World Class Closer on the back end?  Let's have Kyle Schwarber take 20 thousand fly balls in the off season, and let him forget what it's like to be a catcher.  I'm even back on board the Starlin Castro train, if he's willing to stay at second base.  And I'm all in with Joe Maddon.

I'm not the type to say "Watch out for the Cubs, they're going to be World Beaters."  Too much can happen.  (Too much, by the way, kinda hit the Cardinals.  They were good, but they were a team that could have won 110 games this year, guys....)  I will tell you that the Cubs are going to be very good, and possibly for a long time.  And I think the NL Central will be a very interesting place to play.

It's October 22, 2015.  I'm ready for 2016 to be here, already.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cubs Win....

I was working tonight.  Didn't get to see the game.  Got to fist pump a few times in the backroom, as I followed the stats on my phone.

This is a special team.

Don't know if they'll do it, but they've got the talent, and they're loose.

That means a lot, this time of year....

Thursday, October 08, 2015


I can't watch a sports show without a spot from the Native American Rights Fund.  NARF for short.  It's well intentioned, and worth looking into.  Still, I can't see the word "Narf" without thinking of Pinky and the Brain....

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Hockey Post

This was originally posted on Ye Olde Facebooke.  A group I follow, called Southern Hockey Problems, which generally laments the treatment of southern hockey fans by the northern folk, shared the following picture:

And I wrote the following:

I like this photo on a few levels.
First, the reminder that unaffiliated minor league hockey will be back soon makes me happy.
Second, that's a picture of long time SPHL journeyman enforcer Dennis Sicard and Knoxville Ice Bears coach Mike Craigen.
Sicard's one of those guys you love to hate. His job, plain and simple, for many years, was to act as a disruption. He's smaller than most of the other players (he's listed at 5'11," a number that I will tell you from having walked next to the man is Bull Shit. He's not even 5'11" on skates...). He runs his mouth. And he fights. A lot. And sometimes, he did it dirty. I had my problems with him, because while I'm not against players dropping gloves from time to time, it seemed to be the only thing Sicard was good for. The picture below, I like, because these two have history on the ice. Sicard, feeling that Craigen had sucker punched him during a game back in Craigen's playing days, shaved Craigen's numbers onto his head, and spent the rest of the season planning on getting even. Which he did. And then some.
I was kinda upset when I'd heard Knoxville had traded for him, to replace their long-time enforcer David Segal. Segal could and did scrap, but he also remained a leader out on the ice. Sicard? A fighter. And last year, Knoxville had guys like Corey Fulton and Brad Pawlowski, who had stepped up into Enforcer rolls. I didn't see that Knoxville needed a body like Sicard, who's entertaining, but ultimately plays a frustrating brand of hockey.
Which isn't to say I wasn't interested. I'm always curious about team dynamics. Especially when you bring a guy like Sicard with so much history on board. Hell, it had only been a couple weeks before that Sicard, taking umbrage to Ice Bears' defenseman Ryan Hill taking perceived liberties with Peoria's line, and wanting to get even for a scrap between two other players earlier on, had dropped the (legit) 6'4" hill like a toilet seat when they dropped gloves. Now, Sicard, with history between he and and Craigen, with history with a number of players on the roster, was now lacing them up along side. I know it's a job, and maybe they can not take that stuff personally. I don't know.
It hit me maybe a couple times in, seeing him play in Knoxville. 1.) He's capable of much, much more than simply fighting. And 2.) His reputation as a fighter and enforcer left of a lot of opposing players (and coaches) underestimating his potential as a goal-scorer.
He's like a wolverine, out there on the ice. He went out there, and played harder than just about everybody lacing them up, all year, after he arrived. He did fight, from time to time. I guess that's unavoidable, when that's your reputation. He got called for penalties that he didn't deserve, which sucked, but then, that's SPHL officiating for you--those guys are clownshoes, and they hold grudges just like players. But he also scored a lot.
The Ice Bears won the league championship last year. I don't think they would have done it, if they'd kept David Segal in his role. That pains me to say. Segal had lost a step or two, age and injuries taking their toll. Sicard stepped into a roll that others weren't (and maybe he himself wasn't) used to him playing. I can tell you that there was a coach and a defense or two that weren't ready for Sicard to be the one bringing the puck down the ice....the guy was a fighter, not a skater....often, they had no answer for him. It was Sicard who scored the goal that sent them to the playoffs.
I don't know that if there was anybody else happier holding up the President's Cup at the end of the Championship game last spring, than Dennis Sicard. He's played several season in the SPHL, with something like 8 or 9 teams in the league (3 or 4 of which are no longer even in operation, as is the carny atmosphere in the league). This was his first championship.
As much as I say I hate painting a story on an athletic competition, I guess I end up loving the drama as much as the next guy. Last season was a cool one. Looking forward to another....

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Blood Moon

We went to watch the Blood Moon.  They have a pontoon raft.  We floated on the lake, and watched the sky.

It was cloudy.  We got excited for a sliver of moon emerging from the mists, only to retreat.

The company was grand.

Best night in weeks, campers.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I'm up to the P's in my alphabetical wander through my movies shelf.  To get you up to speed:  I watch movies as I get ready for work in the morning.  The back bedroom doesn't have a cable line to it, and I haven't got an antenna.  So, I watch movies on that TV, as I'm getting dressed.  I was spending too much time deciding what to watch before I threw in Ghostbusters for the 490th time.  So, I started an alphabetical wander through my collection.

I was doing capsule reviews for a while, and I may restart as a way to make my lazy self write some more.  I slacked off, because slackers slack.  I'm into the P's.  I've been going for about 17 months now.  I figure I won't finish until March 2016, or so.

I'm up to the P's.  There are some good ones in P.  Paranorman, which is an underrated little animated flick from two or three years back.  Parenthood continues to be a favorite, and out of all Ron Howard has done, I'm thinking this might be my favorite flick of his.

Then there's Planes, Trains and Automobiles.  Always a favorite.  Contains some of the best lines ever put onto screen.  And a couple of the funniest visuals to ever come down the pike.

How can you not like that?

As I was getting ready, though, after finishing that flick for probably the 100th time, something hit me:  Much of the movie is dependent on the audience's lack of knowledge concerning geography.

See?  Neal and Del get diverted from Chicago to Wichita because of bad weather.  Now, I get that you might want to stay the night, to see if air traffic gets going again.  But then you're Neal, and you wake up (with Del's hands between two pillows and with your money stolen), and then Del convinces you to go to the train station, since the hope of catching a flight is slim.  Which, of course, is in Stubbville, since you can't ride the train out of Wichita, unless you're a hog, or a cattle.

Which leads to more misadventures, including a busride across Missouri, getting beaten up by a dispatcher and all manner of hilarity.

Don't get me wrong.  It's a great movie.

But it's written with a pre-interstate highway mentality.

We had interstates in 1987.  Even in snowy Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.

That's the thing.  Do people know that Wichita is roughly 700 miles from Chicago?  That's a good haul, but definitely not insurmountable.  I drove from Des Moines to Athens a few years back in right around 13 hours, by myself.  Granted, that was without snow and holiday traffic, but still.  It's doable.

Neal and Del should have gone back to the airport, and rented a car.  They could have split the cost, since they both needed to get to Chicago.  They could have split the driving, so no need to stay at a motel. Even with holiday traffic, they would have been home Wednesday evening, easily.

Hell, they could have rented a car Tuesday night, and driven for a couple or three hours, making Wednesday's drive even less of a beast.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A thought worth saving

Seems appropriate.  Some days, I want to start passing out flannel night shirts and hunting caps.  We've raised a nation of Ignatius Reillys, it seems.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sofa King Something

I have a new couch.

It's a new, old couch.

See, my old couch was falling apart.  Literally.  I was the third owner of that couch, owing to that I don't sit on a couch much, and didn't want to spend money on something I wouldn't use.  You may call it "cheap," and you wouldn't be wrong.  However, I prefer the term "Thrifty Asshole."  But, I did use that couch some, and due to that use, it was falling apart.  And by falling apart, I mean I was becoming wary of sitting down on the thing and not stopping until my butt hit the floor.

Again, I don't use the couch much, I say, this despite sitting on the couch as I write this.

I didn't want to spend money on something I didn't use much.  Especially since Shyam and I are looking at moving in together.  I didn't want to spend money on something I might potentially need to jettison in the somewhat near future.

It so happened that Eric had a couch coming available.

Last night, there was a game of logistical Tetris played as we all tried to mesh and match schedules and vehicles.  It was only the 289th time since my truck was stolen last year that I've missed having a pickup truck.  Had to borrow Dad's.   Had to figure out a way to get my old couch to the dump, which so conveniently for everybody closes at four, according to the recording I got at 4:03 PM.  Because nobody works and everybody is able to get to the dump by 4 PM on a weekday.  Thanks, Obama!

So, what ensued was a trading of vehicles and sofas and sweat and bruised hands (sorry, Eric).  We got the sofas traded.  I sit on it now.

I took the old sofa to the dump today, after it opened.  By the way, I'm thinking banker's ought to be wistful for landfill worker hours.  8-4?  That's sweet!

Instead of taking the couch to the dumpsters, I got to take it all the way back to the pile, complete with bulldozers waiting on my ass to dump the couch onto the pile so he could bulldoze the shit out of it.

While I was there, I looked down, and realized I was stepping on a goodly number of porn DVDs.  I had to wonder if they were dismissed at the landfill with the same moment of sentimentality I had with my sofa?  It wasn't a long moment, but there was a brief moment of " ass has had contact with that thing off and on for 15 years...."

I would be remiss if I didn't note that I did enjoy playing gorilla and heaving a piece of furniture in front of a bulldozer for a man to shove it down a hill, cover it with dirt and leave it so some future archaeologist might dig it out and place it in a museum in the year 2422.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Also?  I'm going to need a new BluRay player.  Mine's got a bunch of tape and landfill dirt in it for some reason.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Two Deaths.

I found out today that my Uncle Johnny passed away.  It wasn't unexpected.  He'd been ailing.  A diagnosis of lung cancer came not long ago.  He had a heart attack a few days back.  It took a heart attack on top of lung cancer to take him out.

I didn't know him well.  In fact, I was thinking about it today, after I found out, and I figure that the number of times he and I actually saw each other in person in my couldn't have numbered much more than a dozen.  It was an issue of proximity, more than anything.  Johnny, his wife Linda and their four daughters lived in Michigan, which isn't ridiculously far away, I know, but is far enough away that it wasn't convenient for every Labor Day or Thanksgiving get together at my Aunt Brenda's house in Kentucky.

Still, he was always cool to me when we did meet.  He had a dry wit, and he had the kind of disposition where he didn't really require you to be in on the jokes.

He was quite kind about the stuff I'd written.  And when I lamented that work was eating up my writing time, he said "if it's important enough, you make the time."

He's right.  Was, and is.

Thanks, Uncle Johnny.  I wish I'd known you better.


Tonight at work, I saw that somebody had posted to my Facebook that Rowdy Roddy Piper had passed away.

I hope you won't think it too maudlin of me that I had to take a minute in the back of the store.

It's one thing to say that Piper was my favorite wrestler.

It's another to think of why.

I was a quiet kid.  Smart enough, but never fully trusting of my verbal skills, at least when it came to one of the most important places--with the other kids.  When it came to any sort of confrontation, I let myself be horribly outclassed, verbally.  I'd stammer, I'd trip on my tongue.  Or I'd just stay silent, fearing the stammering.

I was in awe of Roddy Piper.  Who never seemed to be the most popular guy.  Or the biggest.  Or the toughest.  But he always had something to say.  I admired that.  That complete inability to be cowed into silence.

I still admire that.  I have moments still, where I don't trust myself to speak my mind.  It's bullshit, and I get angry with myself about it.  But it still happens.

Less, though, than when I was growing up.  I'd like to think Hot Rod not being afraid to step up to Hulk Hogan, or Andre the Giant, or Mr. T., had something to do with that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sports Czar

I want to be Sports Czar.

I want to be the final authority on all questions sports.

Used to be, their commissioners were enough.

Now?  I want to be that body to appeal to, when a Commissioner hands down a decision.

All sports would be able to appeal to me.  Professional or Amateur.

For this, I ask only a small stipend.  Roughly $1500 week.

Also, a cloak to wear.  For I don't want people to know my identity.  I'd like a hooded cloak.  So I might be shrouded in mystery.

Also, I want a huge mission control type room where I might watch all these sports.

And I want the right of one arbitrary murder a year.  You piss me off?  I point at you, and say "Dead."  And then government agents would wisk you off and destroy you.  Or, if I'm driving, and some asshole cuts me off?  I call a number, and attack helicopters swoop in and destroy the offending party.

I wouldn't use it often.  Just enough to for it to be effective.  And I'll give some back...if I don't use my arbitrary murder in a calendar year, there are no rollovers.  I don't use it, I lose it.  I would recommend that the year run from birthday to birthday...because that would be a hella cool birthday gift.  It would also make that corridor from Christmas to my birthday a tricky one to navigate, if you're prone to pissing me off, and I haven't used up that murder yet.

Yep.  Sports Czar.  That's me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In which he should stay off the social media until he's had his coffee

I wake up.  I sit there on the edge of the bed.  I look at the text message I received at 2 in the morning from a co-worker.  I then go scrolling through Facebooke.

It turns out, I'd never done the math on the propensity for my friends named Rachel to marry guys named Matt.  I've got three sets of Rachel and Matt among my friends.

Just two of those sets are are on social media, but it was the third that I was getting confused.

One set had a baby.

It was the set is made of my friend Rachel, whom I used to see often, but then stopped seeing as much when I got transferred up to the Loudon, and then we just never hooked back up as often, after that.  She married a fellow named Matt, who's a pretty cool dude.

However, my sleep-addled brain didn't grasp that it was that Rachel, as she posts infrequently on the Facebook.  Without saying too much myself, she didn't mention the pregnancy much due to the personal risks.  I read this, and understood, though in my mind, I had the complete wrong Rachel in mind saying this.  the one I had in mind was one I see somewhat often, if irregularly, as she shops in my store from time to time.  The thought running through my mind:  I had no idea she was pregnant.  She didn't look pregnant.

I got up.  Took a pee.  Made a cup of coffee.

Sat down at my computer, and wanted to read the post again.  I typed in Rachel, and the first that pops up is a friend from my home town, that I went to school and church with.  She had no posts about being pregnant, and I was again confused for a couple seconds.

Anyway.  This long and boring post was made possible by a cup of coffee.  I've sorted my Rachel/Matt combos out.  Congrats to the one with a new daughter.  Congrats to all of them for being married to Matts.  I like to think that somewhere up on the astral plane, there's a chortle about this.