The good, bad, and the jerks

Back a long time ago when I used to be a fan of the Green Bay Packers — long before I realized the majority of their championships (11 of them) came in their first 50 years and they haven’t done shit these last 50 — back when they were going through their 25 year drought before they hired Ron Wolf and stopped being a laughing stock, I was asked the question, “Would you rather have a team filled with players who were classy, believed in good sportsmanship but had average skills, or would you want a team filled with assholes who won consistently and took you to the playoffs?”

My response was, I’d prefer the team filled with players I can look up to, who I can be proud of as human beings, and who don’t embarrass me or the team.

I still believe that. Luckily, skill and good sportsmanship aren’t an either/or proposition. There are quality athletes who are also quality human beings.

None of them are playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it would seem.

Until the playoffs, I had never given the Dodgers much thought. The Milwaukee Brewers had played them a few series during the regular season, but none of their players triggered my Asshole Meter.

Not like players on some of the other teams we play, like Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals (who pegs the needle on the Asshole Meter), Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, and Jose Bautista of the Philladephia Phillies, for example.

But now, closely watching the NLCS, I can see upclose how many assholes they really have, not only on the Dodgers team itself, but in the stands, as well.

Manny Machado — Milwaukee was in talks with this guy before the Dodgers acquired him. I did not want him as a Brewer and his play with L.A. is proving that point. He has deliberately tried to take out two of our players while he was running the bases. Twice he tried to injure our shortstop sliding into second, and he kicked the leg of our first baseman as he ran past.

Breaking News: MLB has fined Manny Machado for running into Jesús Aguilar.

Rich Hill — He literally had a temper tantrum in the dugout that would have made any two-year-old proud, kicking and throwing containers of candy because he failed to strike out a batter.

Yasiel Puig — Another hot head who breaks bats over his knee when he strikes out. Someone needs to get him a pacifier STAT.

Clayton Kershaw — OK, I take it back that I didn’t notice any assholes on the Dodgers. Kershaw triggers my Asshole Meter with every pitch. Why? Because he balks every single time. Also, his hair is greasy and his hat is stained with grease. You can’t tell me he isn’t doctoring the ball. But because he’s the great Kershaw, he gets away with it. It was nice to see him crying on the bench after we knocked him out early in game one. I hope we can do the same today.

The Fans — Yes, the fans. When our pitcher injured his ankle and walked off the field their fans did nothing. Nothing. I guess being from the midwest, I found that to be terribly rude. If an opposing player gets injured at Miller Park, we stand, clap and cheer when he is taken off the field to show our support. He may be an opposing player, but we still show that we care and hope he gets better. And seriously. L.A. is still booing Ryan Braun? It’s been ten years. Get over it.

I don’t understand fans who can cheer for assholes, and understand even less those who actually admire these types of players. I can’t condone dirty play, immature outbursts, or downright cheating.

“But you guys have Ryan Braun.” See above. Get over it. It was a decade ago. He’s guilty of making a poor decision, then compounded the situation by lying about it, but that doesn’t make him an asshole. Stupid, sure. But he’s been clean since. He served his punishment. And taking PEDs is a far cry from being a spoiled, entitled, little jerkoff asshole, like Bryce Harper. Braun is a good clubhouse leader, a good representative for baseball and the Brewers within the community, and has even been in the running for the Alberto Clemente Award.

Anyway, the thing is when the Brewers finally do get past the Dodgers, they’ll more than likely face a team filled with even more assholes when they play the Boston Redsox.

The sad thing is the national media, as well as Major League Baseball itself, would prefer a World Series where the L.A. Assholes face off against the Boston Assholes.

Go figure.

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Musical Monday – The Revivalists

This time around I thought I’d feature a modern band instead if my usual obscure bands from the 1970s.

I tend to listen to an alternative rock station more than anything. I mean, yes, I do listen to some “oldies” stations that play various music from the ’70s and ’80s, but to be honest, I like new music, too.

I just roll my eyes when people say, “There is no good music today!” They start sounding like my parents did. “Why can’t you listen to good music, like Benny Goodman or Glen Miller?”

Good music is out there, still, if you have an open mind and realize musical styles change over time. But if you’re going to be an old fuddy duddy, then I guess you’ll keep listening to the music you grew up with and complain about today’s music.

That said, let me introduce you to The Revivalists. They’re an American rock band out of New Orleans that formed in 2007.

In March 2016, they were named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “10 bands you need to know.”

In September 2016, their song, “Wish I Knew You” reached No. 1 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart and in May of 2017, it reached No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart.

Their sound has often been described as a “Crescent City-rhythm spin on Jam Band Jubilee,” whatever the Hell that means. I just think they’re an extremely talented and fun band.

Here is their most recent song release, “All My Friends,” and the song I immediately fell in love with.

Here is “Wish I Knew You,” which I had heard before, really liked, but until “All My Friends” came out, I hadn’t gone out of my way to find out about the band.

Here’s “It Was a Sin.”

Here’s “Navigate Below.”

Here’s “Criminal.”

I hope you enjoyed listening to the Revivalists. If you want to learn more about them, here is their home page.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Friday roundup

A Friday Haiku

“Insufficient Funds”

The checkout cashier tells me

“Nooooooo!” comes my reply.

Weigh-In Friday

I don’t usually lead off with what my scales says, but I’ll make an exception today. What does the scale say? I don’t know, but the fox says, “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringding!”

Sorry. Try to get that song out of your head now.

Anyway, the scale read — *drumroll* — 196.3 pounds! I think that’s the lowest my weight has been since before my thyroid went wonky and I blew up like the Michelin Man, so mid-90s? (And there is one photo of me from that era. I’m so puffed up, my eyes are squinty. I hope my wife burned it.)

So, yes, I’m happy. I’ve lost 2.5 pounds just since last week. Granted, I’m hangry all the time, but nothing a fun-sized Snickers can’t tame.

I was well over 235 pounds (maybe more, a lot more, I don’t recall) when I started this adventure. It’s taken longer than I would have liked, but I’m finally seeing progress.

I think that deserves an extra apple.

Sculpting

No, it’s not a new ADHD-driven interest. I wouldn’t have the patience for sculpting. Nor was I ever very good artistically using three-dimensional materials.

I’m talking about body sculpting. As the layers of fat fall away, I’m starting to see that underneath the benefit of the exercises I’ve been doing is starting to be revealed.

I do not have six-pack abs yet, but I can see that as the keg disappears, there is a six-pack hiding under there.

Checkout Limbo

I stopped at the store yesterday for a few things, mostly stuff for a cold. You know, chicken soup, orange juice, bacon, the essentials.

All the lines were long. I waited, then it was my turn. She scanned everything, rang it up, and just as I slid my card, the card-reader went blank. Then it flashed on, Remove Your Card. So, I did. Then it said Transaction Canceled and went blank again.

The cashier said, it says you canceled the transaction.

I put up my hands. “Not me. The reader is having problems.”

After several unsuccessful attempts to get it to work, she finally called for help. Another lady came and reset it then left.

We waited. I watched as the reader rebooted. Then it went blank again. I looked at the cashier and shrugged. She said the register didn’t come back up either.

By now, the lady who had helped was swamped behind the service desk. The cashier explained to those waiting that her register was broken.

The guy next in line gets huffy. “Why don’t you move to that register?”

And she explained that register was logged in by someone else, now on break. She can’t just log in. Besides, her cashdrawer is stuck inside this register, which she can’t extract.

All the others waiting in line filtered off to other registers, while Anger Man sat steaming for a minute as if our cashier had magical powers to scan his stuff. Then, throwing up his hands, he stormed off, leaving his shit on the conveyer belt.

She looked at me. “If anyone should be upset, it should he you.”

I said, “What good would that do?”

Which is really strange, because usually I’m the one who explodes in anger when things go wrong.

Finally, the other cashier came off break and my cashier explained what was going on. Cashier2 was nice enough to ring up my purchases while Cashier1 bagged so I could get out faster.

I scanned my card and that’s when I heard the dreaded words: “Insufficient funds.” I would have laughed, because now it felt like a bad sitcom.

I tried a credit card. That one said, Overlimit. Shit. Third time was a charm, however, and I left with my purchases, feeling a little embarrassed.

Outro

Another weekend is upon us. I hope it’s a good one for you.

I leave you with a song I only just heard this morning, but I really liked it. Made for a good drive in to work.

I hope it brightens your day as well.

Remember: Keep on keepin on. Resist.

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Look up look down run all around

No, those aren’t dance instructions.

I noticed something today as I was out for my long run. OK, it was 5k, long for me, maybe short for you. Perspective.

Anyway, I noticed that if I keep my head up, looking into the distance, I run at a steady pace and my form seems to settle in to a comfortable stride.

If, however, I look down at my feet — which is really my normal way when I walk, looking at my feet. It’s how I’ve always walked. Looking down. — If I do that while running, my pace becomes erratic, my stride becomes less comfortable. It’s like I become hunched over, and I’m falling forward. Sometimes, my pace increases and soon I’m running beyond my cardiovascular capacity, gasping like a fish out of water. Not a lungfish, mind you, they can breathe out of water.

Wouldn’t it be neat to be able to breathe underwater and in the air?

Sorry. I just got back from running and the endorphins are playing havoc with my thoughts.

Anyway, now I have to do my best to keep my head up, look down the road, and concentrate on my stride as I run.

But then, isn’t that how we should go through life? Head up and looking down the road?

Looking down gets you nowhere and you won’t see any upcoming obstacles.

Keep running, my friends. Heads up.

running friend

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Friday Randomizer

A Friday Haiku

Many are broken

Some have cracks, some deeper pain

But they all need love.

Weigh-In Friday

It’s now official, I weigh 198.9 pounds according to my scale. According to it’s biometrics, I’ve lost 0.8% fat since my last weigh-in and gained 0.r% skeletal muscle.

I will not celebrate with cake.

I can do this.

Running

Since end of July, I changed my running schedule. It was somewhat haphazard, but close to three times a week.

Now I still run three days a week, but I run five times. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I run twice. Once in mid-morning and again in mid-afternoon, averaging a total of five miles between those two runs.

The morning one is usually longer, about 5k, while the afternoon run is a fast two miles. And these are outdoor runs, not treadmill runs. Sunday, I set a person best running two miles in 18:43, the first mile in 8:36.

I’m thinking this twice a day run thing, plus limiting my intake to a tuna pouch in a tortilla shell, or sometimes a Starkist chicken pouch (“CHICKEN!” Candace Cameran Bure cracks me up), and two apples between breakfast and dinner has boosted my fat burning metabolism.

I’m also able to fit into pants I haven’t worn since I was in college without looking like a stuffed sausage.

I started this adventure several years ago (ok, more like a score ago) with a bulging 38 pants waist size (although I refused to buy more than one pair, prefering to pretend I fit in all my size 36 pants.

Now I’m down to 34, and at least one pair of 34s are getting very loose on me. I can even fit into a 33 waist.

Which makes me wonder. Below 34, pants are measured incrementally 33, 32, 31, 30, and so on. But once you hit 34, pants sizes jump every even number. 34, 36, 38, 40, 42… Why is that? Do they figure once you reach those sizes, you’re going to continue to expand, so they think it’s easier on the wallet buy new pants every other size?

Adventures in ADHD

I’m sure you’re all dying to know what my latest interest is, right? Well, Ha! You missed it and now I’m between interests, so stay tuned.

It was classic muscle cars. Luckily, we can’t afford a real classic muscle car, like a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, or a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400, or a 1971 AMC Javelin, but I did buy the Hot Wheel/Johnny Lightning versions.

And I’ve been watching Mekum Auto Auctions and drooling, but I can tell my interest has peaked (versus piqued), and is beginning to wane.

Writing

Yeah, OK. *red faced with embarrassment* I haven’t put pen to paper in a while. Sorry. I know. I’ve let everyone down, myself included.

If it’s any consolation, I am still querying my finished urban fantasy.

I’m also mulling over a new character. I want to write about a female protagonist, so ideas are percolating, and I have written a few scenes. Mostly throwaway, because from my perspective, I’m worried they come across as if she were a man who likes wearing frilly things.

I might need a lot of beta readers to help me get her more feminine. Stay tuned.

Outro

I hope everyone has a great weekend. For those in the east facing Hurricane Florence, stay safe.

I leave you with a song for the weekend. Considering how broken I am, the song is apropos.

Keep on keepin’ on. Resist.

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Tin roof rusted

OK, the title is totally random and is neither here nor there regarding today’s topic, which is “Doctors, Height and Weight Charts, and You.” I was just in a B-52s kind of mood.

So, I saw my doctor a few weeks back for my yearly poke and cough.

Well, to be honest, he stopped checking my prostate years ago. I guess the thrill is gone.

When he finished the exam, his verdict was I’m probably his healthiest patient (read: healthiest old guy). My chances of dying from heart disease are slim to none.

He did mention that risk of death from accidents around the house was increasing at my age, however.

I am also his oldest patient still on ADHD medication.

Anyway, we got talking about weight, and I mentioned that his scale is broken, because just that morning I had weighed myself at home and had gotten down to my nemesis weight of 200, but his scale said I was 207.

Sidebar: 200 is my nemesis weight because the last time I dipped below it, I went on a celebratory eating binge and promptly gained seven pounds that I’ve been struggling to lose since.

Sidebar 2: This morning I unofficially weighed in at 199.8. Unofficially, because I didn’t Bluetooth it to my phone scale app, so I have no corroborating proof it happened.

Anyway, he said that 200 pounds for my height was my ideal weight. Say what?

I graduated high school weighing 127 pounds dripping wet. I spent my early 20s hovering around 135, which gradually increased to about 150 (then 170, 180, and then my thyroid blew up and I did as well). So how could 200 be my ideal weight?

So I looked it up. First thing I noticed is the height and weight chart only aplies to people aged 25 to 59. I guess once you hit 60, no one gives a damn what you weigh. And before 25, they themselves don’t care.

The charts are broken up by small frame, medium frame, and large frame. Using their measurement criteria, which is the distance between the two bones in your elbow while doing the Chicken Dance, I figured I was of medium build.

Therefore, according to the weight chart, my ideal weight would be 151 to 166 (depending if we go by my previous height of 5’11” or my incredible shrinking man height of 5’10”).

200 pounds? I’d have to be a large framed man standing over 6’2″!

So, I’m not sure where my doc came up with 200, unless he has a height and weight chart specifically applying to those of us who have reached Level 60 or higher in the game of life.

So, now I have to adjust my goal weight, which has been 185 down to 166. Crap, just when I thought I was close, only 15 pounds to go, life throws in 10 more pounds.

It isn’t fair, I tell ya!

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Trombone Tuesday – Bonerama

Bonerama is a funk rock outfit out of New Orleans that features — you guessed it — Trombones!

They formed in 1998 by trombonists Mark Mullins and Craig Kline, who were also members of Harry Connick Jr’s big band. They added more trombones (currently have three and sometimes they perform as Bonerama Horns), a sousaphone, electric and bass guitar, and drums.

According to their website, Bonerama has performed with many well-known artists such as, REM, Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer of MC5, and OK Go. They’ve appeared on Letterman, HBO, and CNN.

They play a variety from their own original compositions to some pretty sweet covers. They’ve released several albums, including their most recent, Hot Like Fire.

Here’s a sampling of their music. Enjoy.

Let’s start off a Black Sabbath cover – The Wizard:

Here’s another Black Sabbath cover – War Pigs:

Johnny Winter Group cover – Frankenstein:

The Allman Brothers Band cover – Whipping Post:

Led Zepplin cover – When The Levee Breaks (great version, even if you don’t like Led Zep):

Here’s a Led Zepplin Medley (see if you can guess the songs):

Here’s a Bonerama original from their latest album, Hot Like Fire, called, Bad Dog:

If you’d like to listen to more Bonerama, visit their YouTube channel.

Hope you enjoyed today’s #TromboneTuesday

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