Friday, September 30, 2005

the whiners are back in force

OK, we won an Emmy. Wooo Hoooo!

A project lots of us worked on resulted in an emmy. TourCast, which is hole by hole presentation software you can get to through the web (but I think it costs money) won the emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for the Enhancement of Original Television Content. Now there's a mouthful, and not exactly a category that'll be highlighted on the television broadcast, but still, we all rocked...which is pretty cool.

The whine....why aren't we all in New York accepting the award? The big wigs are there taking all the credit. One project manager who had a little to do with it got to go. Why didn't we get to go?

Sorry folks, but that's not how it works. The deal you agreed to when you went to work here goes, you do work. We pay you money. It doesn't say anything about, you get to fly to New York on a boondoggle. You didn't come up with the concept. You didn't think about what it would take to make it happen. You were given a piece of work to do which someone had the foresight to think you could handle. Yes, you did a really good job, but so did about 30 other people. No, the company isn't paying for all of us to make that trip. Yes, the choice of who did get to go could be questioned, but that's their choice to make, not ours. They said thank you, paid us what we agreed to work for in a wage, and recognized that we all did a great job, but that's where it ends. Maybe it's a topic come bonus time. Shut up and do what you get paid to do.

I get tired of having to listen to people whining about what everyone else gets to do, or doesn't have to do, or whatever. Your life is what it is, regardless of everyone elses. If there's a better deal for you out there, feel free to go after it. Maybe part of it is I have no great desire to go to New York, but even if I did, it wasn't part of what I signed up for either. Yeah, it would have been very cool to be part of that whole award thing, but I know what I did, and that's enough for me.

the red sox, yankees and mets

Well, the Red Sox have it all laid out in front of them. All they have to do is win at home and the Yankees go away. That's all. Just win at home. I guess if you can't do that, you can stay home in October knowing that the couch is the best place for you, and the bought team goes to the playoffs (OK, the more bought team). If you can win, you go into October knowing you are where you belong as well, but it involves more grass, dirt, leather, and the thrill of the playoffs.

The Mets start their season on Tuesday...the little league Mets, that is. Let's play ball.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Intelligent Design and Harry Potter

I saw on the news where Pennsylvanians are having this huge debate on whether or not Intelligent Design should be taught in schools as a theory of how we all got here. The theory as I understand it, is that there is some intelligent being (perhaps a God?) guiding how we evolve. I'm not sure though, because it wasn't taught in school when I went. Nice to see the people in my home state weighing in. I'm sure it will end up in the courts, where once again, the judiciary will make law instead of leaving that to the legislature as it was originally intended.

Personally, I have no problem with it. I suppose it helps that I believe it (again, as I understand it), but even if I didn't, I want my son exposed to alternative theories that aren't necessarily the convention. I want him to think for himself, and decide for himself what to take and run with. I don't believe in communism. In fact I think the former Soviet Union is a perfect example of it not working, but I still want my son exposed to it. Maybe someday he'll come up with a new economic theory that combines communism with something else that actually works and he'll be the father of some thriving economy. It could happen.

I think the folks who think that it shouldn't (or from what I've seen, can't, at any cost) be taught can be lumped right in with the religious nutbags who think Harry Potter books should be banned. God forbid we expose our children to a boy wizard who uses magic for good and is admired for fighting evil. They'll all be doing spells in their bedrooms after we go to sleep, and becoming pagan witch kids by the time they're 15. I'm pretty sure that's what the religious fanatics are afraid of, because they've said so. I don't know what the un-intelligent design folks are afraid of. Do they expect to come home one day to their son or daughter and friends in their living room in a parade around the couch singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" or something? Is a little more knowledge that much of a dangerous thing?

Everybody, give the kids an ounce of credit please. These are thinking people who don't take everything they hear or see as Gospel (now there's a piece of religion that snuck it's way into everyday language, or at least mine). They know fantasy from reality, and they know theory from fact. Expose them to this and a whole lot more. Selectively sheltering them from things just because they don't fit your world view isn't a good thing, no matter which side of which issue you happen to be on. Besides, anyone who thinks we have that much influence over our kids grossly overestimates our power of persuasion. Believe me. No matter how much I tell the youngster that rap is nothing but a bad attempt at rhyme and can't be considered music, he's not buying it for a second. Actually, that's not true. He is buying it, and with money I gave him.

here come the injuries

OK, it's our turn. The team noted most for the nasty cut block in the NFL arrives this weekend for a game with the Jaguars. Hello Denver! Last year defensive end Paul Spicer was added to their list of casualties and spent the rest of the season on I.R. I'm hoping we get through this weekend without more of the same. Of course it'd be nice to come away with a win, too, but we shall see.

My optimism is tainted a little by two things. One is the apparent, "don't let the offense lose the game for us" conservative philosophy that we were told went away, but keeps showing it's ass. The other is the offensive line. The line was having enough problems before the second half of last weeks game, when two of it's members were injured, and are questionable for this weeks game. Yeah, they'll play, but they aren't 100%, and weren't playing that well even when they were.

I'll be there though, and I'll be hoarse on Monday because of it.

lessons from traffic court

Taken from the local fish wrap.

Lesson 1: Do not watch porn in your car. Apparently someone had porn on the little DVD screen in their vehicle at a stop light. The cop was about three cars back watching the reaction of children in the surrounding cars to what was obviously somone doing the horizontal mambo, though perhaps in more ways than just horizontally, on the screen. The screen in your car should not be confused with the privacy of your own home. It could land you in court.

Lesson 2: If you are going to ask a cop for directions, it's best to do it sober. I don't think I have to explain further.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

you knew it was coming

Yeah, I was all smiles back in June when the Yankees were sliding. I was having fun with the fact that George opens his wallet every year and expects to buy a championship and this year it wasn't working in spectacular fashion..then. Even then though, you knew. You knew, come the end of the season, the Yankees would be there in the thick of things, and now, they are.

It does make it interesting. I suppose it's better than one team running away with it and taking all the drama out, but you knew the team that would make it interesting wasn't going to be the Devil Rays. You know now that next year it won't be the Devil Rays, or the year after, or the year after. Nor will it be the Royals, and that's my biggest beef with Major League Baseball. Some teams have no hope of competing.

I, as a Jaguar fan, hope the same thing doesn't happen to the NFL. There are rumblings among the small market teams there about revenue sharing, and a level playing field. So far the owners in the NFL have been pretty smart about it, which is why the league is the strongest one in sports in this country. I hope they stay that way. If they don't, I can see the long term implications being scrawled on the wall. Can you say, "Los Angeles Jaguars?" I hope you can't.

A few months ago I heard this rumor that hockey in all its NHL glory was back. Must've just been a rumor though, because I haven't heard anything else since. Maybe I should venture down to Skate World in downtown J'ville and see if we inadvertently inherited the Rangers or something. (You know, kinda like, "Oh shit Martha, look what someone left on the doorstep.") One of my car pool kids plays hockey there. Maybe I'll ask him if some unusually big kids seem to be out on the ice a lot. I wonder if they'll be televised. Does ESPN have an ESPN4 I wonder if anyone still cares. Maybe in Canada someone does, where it's second only to curling, so they could watch it on ESPN4 when ESPN3 is covering the drama of the national curling championships.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Would you believe...

Don Adams passed away. He gave life to the character Agent 86 in one of the great TV shows from my childhood memory and one of Mel Brooks's better creations (Get Smart), and opposite Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) who was one of my first celeb crushes at the tender age of...I dunno...nine maybe? The other I can remember was Mrs. Emma Peel of the Avengers. Mrs. Peel rocked, but anyway... He is also lesser known as the voice of cartoon crime fighter, Inspector Gadget, and going back farther, Tennessee Tuxedo (sidekick to Chumley the walrus). Black armbands for all my friends in memory of the man who always...missed it by that much. He will be missed by much more.

Can we have a moment in the cone of silence please?

Monday, September 26, 2005

immersed in little league

It's been a baseball weekend. Friday night, baseball practice. Saturday, baseball practice and Sunday, a double header on the other side of town.

We squeezed in church Saturday evening in the Catholic concession to people who claim they can't make it on Sunday. To be honest, we could have, but nobody wanted to get up and moving for the 8:00 a.m. Mass, so we gave in to laziness.

The double header was a slaughter. The good guys have only had three practices together and the bad guys are an all star team that is still together. As 10 year olds, they took the state title. Our coach pretty much knew what was coming, but wanted to give our guys some experience against a really good team. Well, they got it, and then some. 12-0 in the first game, and a more respectable (but still losing effort) 6-4 in the second. In the first game, our guys managed to get a total of three men on base. Two were walks (and the youngster was one of those), so the other team pitched a collective one hitter. We came away a bit demoralized but with eyes wide open. I think the youngster saw it another way though - like, these guys aren't better than me. I can hang with this. We'll see how it plays out, but I think his self confidence is in for a boost this fall.

In another move that just fell in line with the disappointing theme of the day, I took my little headphone radio to the baseball game so I could listen to the Jaguars game. First it took me forever to find the thing, not having used it since at least last spring during the draft (at another baseball game), but then I was stupid enough not to replace the batteries. In the end, that might not have been such a bad thing. The Jaguars tried every way possible to hand the game to the Jets, but the Jets are so bad, neither Chad Pennington or Jay Feidler could handle the snap. A minute and a half left in the first half, I was rewarded with silence.

And now, so are you.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Greatest Game Ever Played

The Disney movie comes out in theaters at the end of the month, but I guess because it has a golf theme, we got a bunch of tickets at work to a preview show. I initially ignored the offer, thinking nobody at home would be all that interested. I mean, it's a golf movie. Then one day the youngster came home from school asking if I'd heard of it, and if we could go when it comes out, so I went back to work in search of tickets.

We went last night. The story is about Francis Ouimet winning the 1913 U.S. Open, and golf aside, the plot is pretty good. There's a lot in there about working yourself up from a poor family to greatness, and overcoming terrible odds, and a shot to the jaw (literally at one point) of upper class people who have everything handed to them and expect that somehow that makes them better than the rest of the world. And of course, the underdog kicks ass, and that always works for me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Houston, we have a problem

Rita. That's probably all I have to say.

This hurricane is cruising through the gulf and just getting bigger and nastier, and taking aim at Galveston, Texas, and Houston right behind it. At least this time people are getting out of the way beforehand, but this is going to be very ugly. Please people, pray for the folks in those towns, and the victims of Katrina that were staying there to avoid the first one. Our gulf coast is getting slammed.

the specialist

There was a movie several years back called The Specialist. It was a Stallone movie, and I think Sharon Stone was in it, and it was about an assassin who was really good at killing people. In the NFL, teams hire specialists. You get a guy because he's a pass rush specialist, or a run stuffing specialist, or a long snapping specialist. Being a specialist means you're really good at that one thing, and sometimes you can make a living at it. Doctors come in specialists, because you have to be really good at brain surgery, or toenail clipping, or whatever it is you do.

Last night there was a plane crash in the vicinity of NAS Jacksonville. An S-3 crashed and tragically, the pilots died and it was all over the news. In the aftermath, one of the local news programs is interviewing this guy and he's playing with toy plane models, and on the bottom of the screen, it shows his name and his title, which read..."Crash Specialist"

I'm thinking, of all the things to be good at, why would anyone pick that? This guy must be pretty good at it, because he's living to tell about it, and on T.V. no less. Two people I don't want to be in this world are this guy, and his insurance agent.

sugar on my tongue

OK, I know the drill. Every generation has it's own version of music and it shocks the generation before. I remember when my mom looked at the Aerosmith album cover and was a little shocked to see "Lord of the Thighs" (I thought she might actually give birth to something of a bovine persuasion), so this is no different, but...

I drive a car pool of kids to school. On the way I give in and we listen to Top 40 radio, because it keeps the peace and after all, it's Top 40 format. It can't be all that bad, can it? Now there's an assumption I wouldn't take and run with anymore, but I guess I'm just getting older. One of those kids is in second grade, so he's maybe? It's slightly disconcerting when this song comes on the radio and he knows every word. Watching this gem from Trick Daddy come out of a seven year old boy's mouth is just....I dunno..strange.

She put that sugar on my tongue, tongue
Yippie Yippie, Yum Yum
Goodie goodie gum drop
Put me in a tongue lock
Did it till my body went numb, numb
Laid her on her back, back
Turned her round, gave her bottom a smack, smack
She's a woman from the block with the best of weed
But I won't stop till I'm pullin out tracks, tracks
It was lust at first sight
And she couldn't help sayin that she wanted to get with me
And my size was just right
Cuz she wanted a man with a little sec-ur-ity
Said I been around the world twice
And my name ring bells from Atlanta to Sic-i-ly
Said she wanted it all night
So put the bubbles in the tub and Ludacris and me

...and it gets better. Look at the Lil' Kim part. "Lick my tootsie roll", indeed. Watching that come out of a seven year old mouth is like a warped Quiznos commercial with baby Bob.

Then it hit home. Yes, I try to instill a little class and steer the direction of the youngster's taste, but he's his own person and he likes this rap stuff. In fact, he once said, "Dad, there are two kinds of music. Rap and oldies." I know he only said it to get a reaction though. So, we're in the car last night and this Black Eyed Peas song comes on, called "My Humps", and I watch the youngster, singing that one...word for word.

What you gon’ do with all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?
I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.
What you gon’ do with all that ass?
All that ass inside them jeans?
I’m a make, make, make, make you scream
Make you scream,
make you scream.
Cos of my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump.
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps. (Check it out)

I'm guessing we moved past Barney and "I love you, you love me." There is a shread of hope though. My Toad the Wet Sprocket CD got hijacked weeks ago and is still in the walkman thing he carries around daily, so he may come around.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

a big day in the life

I Does the guy write about anything else? Well, I pretty much write about what's happening in my life, and right now, it's being clobbered by little league and the NFL. It's working for me. For you, it might get old. For that, I apologize.

Last night was baseball practice, and the team scrimmaged against another team that practices in their time slot. They alternate with these guys, one gets the field the first hour and the other gets the batting cages, and then they swap. I missed a majority of the scrimmage, because the league is finally getting around to doing background checks on everyone who works with the kids, and last night was one of the few nights people who had the checks completed could get picture IDs that will allow them to step on the field and help, or coach, or whatever. So I spent about an hour in line, waiting to get my mug shot and procuring my badge. (I thought they might let the ax murder thing slide, since it happened in my teens, but I guess that incident with the 17 year old girl a few months back never made it to my record, or they bought my excuse that she said...oooops...never mind.) When I left the scrimmage to walk to the building where the badge process was going on, things didn't look good. We took the field first and I think the other team had pretty much gone through the order with two solid hits and the rest walks. It wasn't pretty. When I returned I was assured that we didn't look all that bad and came back pretty strong. The youngster was playing either second or short most of the time.

Now let me back up by saying the youngster is a small guy in relation to his peers. He's one of the smaller kids on the team and is pretty much a singles hitter. He's fast, and can bunt and hit gappers, but he doesn't hit the home run. In the last inning (the only time I saw him at the plate), he told me he wanted to bunt. I, with help from his coach, talked him out of it. The idea was to practice, not to show a team you'll play twice in the season that you can beat out a bunt. Save that for when we need it. So he got up there to swing, and he did, and he hit a shot...farther than he ever has before. It went over the centerfielder's head and rolled into the fence. The kid had a stand up double easy, but then ruined it by trying to stretch it into a triple. Out at third (although, it was a lousy call. He slid under the tag, but that just may be a dad talking.) Still, he put it out there.

He was still talking about it on the ride to school today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

livin' in the golf world

I am employed by a company whose business revolves around golf. When I started working here, the closest I came to actually playing golf was squadron beer golf outings in the Navy, and computer game golf. I knew the concept, but had never played the game with the objective of keeping score.

It's amazing to me how your employment can change people's perception of you. Yes, I started playing the game once I started working here, but that doesn't mean I became a fanatic. Before that day, nobody so much as mentioned that four letter word around me. All of a sudden, any gift I was given took on a golf motif, and this is from people who know me. I now own a coffee cup shaped like a golf ball. It's round, white, with dimples and a small circle cut out of the top. The strange thing is that it really is round (and if it was half a golf ball, might work, but it's more like 3/4 to 4/5 of a golf ball), and to try to drink out of it, you'd have to turn it almost completely upside down and spill most of the contents all over yourself. Maybe it was supposed to be a cruel joke. I own a door mat that says "A golfer and a normal person live here." I'm waiting for the golfer to move in. Actually, I'm waiting for the normal person to move in, too.

What's prompting this entry is we hired a contract programmer to work for the next two or three months, and I get to "supervise" him. He also happens to be a golf nut, and he's full of questions about the game. I, it seems, am supposed to be the golf trivia wizard. Granted, I know the answers to some of his questions, but some are just bizarre. "John, do you know what the Callaway system of handicapping is? Supposedly there's this quick and dirty way of figuring out your handicap based on one or two rounds of golf. Ever hear of it?" Oh I suppose I could come up with something on the fly just to have fun with him, but no, I'm not the world's resource for golf minutea. Maybe we should invest in a copy of Golf for Dummies.

p.s. We did the google search thing and found this bizarre handicapping thing, so I know now. What good it is, is still beyond me.

not for long

That was fast. Chad Owens, 5'7" punt return guy from Hawaii (where he was a walk on) was drafted in the 6th round by the Jaguars. He's a little guy, but he was considered one of the best return guys in college. He came to camp and just lit it up. He had a great preseason. He did well as a return guy and could run great pass routes. The guy got open and caught the ball. He quickly became a crowd favorite. He beat out David Allen, the old punt return guy, for a job. My son was waiting for the Chad Owens jersey to show up in stores and wanted one for Christmas.

Then, in the last preseason game, he muffed a punt. He was inactive in the first regular season game, but when the team went to Indy, he was there...and he returned punts...sort of. He dropped two and bobbled one, none of which, by sheer dumb luck, resulted in turnovers but none of which resulted in big returns either. He didn't field a single one cleanly, and after those three, he wasn't given a shot at a fourth.

Monday, he's outa here. The team cut him yesterday. The word is they want to sign him to the practice squad, but his dream of being a big time NFL punt return guy and sometimes wide receiver is temporarily derailed.

NFL really does stand for 'not for long'.

Monday, September 19, 2005

hire that man

The Houston Texans fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer. The Jaguars have Carl Smith, but had Chris Palmer in the glory days (if they could be called that) when we ran the table inn 1999 with the exception of the Tennessee Titans, who stomped all over us and went to the Super Bowl. Then he got hired away to be the head coach of the Browns, and granted, sucked in that position. Then Houston hired him when they got the Texans, probably because he and Dom Capers worked together here. Since they'r not doing well offensively this year, I guess he's the sacrificial lamb. I will grant you his track record hasn't been stellar of late. Fired from the head coaching job at Cleveland. Fired as the Offensive Coordinator in Houston. Still, the guy worked magic here before. Maybe he can't be the O.C., since that job is sorta occupied, but couldn't they find a place for him? Quarterbacks coach or something? I know it's not my money I'm spending thinking we should hire another coach, but I think this guy could make a difference.

paper or plastic

I watched the entire Jags/Colts game. I only say that because I feel like I deserve some kind of award. It wasn't an easy game to watch. Our defense did an incredible job on Peyton Manning, but the other side of the ball was terrible. Someone replaced what used to be our offensive line with some very effective turnstiles. Ephriam Salaam and Chris Naeole needed to be asking Freeny and Reagor if they wanted paper or plastic, because the sacks were coming, and in bunches. People are screaming that Byron Leftwich played a bad game, but Leftwich never had a chance. People are upset at the game plan because Matt Jones wasn't used more, but again, there wasn't time to get him the ball. People are upset at Chad Owens for muffing punts, and they should be. The rookie needs some work, but the offensive line needs to get on one page so they aren't so...well...offensive.

The rest of the weekend was baseball in some way shape or form. The Suns won the Southern League Championship (whooo hoooo!) and little league continues on.

Friday, September 16, 2005

welcome to primadonna-land

Well, he made it, as an alternate, which from what I could gather was the best he could have done. They have 12 kids, and 12 is all you can play in a game, so he can practice with the advanced ball team and play if one of them can't make a game. All in all, not bad for a kid who, two years ago, couldn't throw a baseball 10 yards but pass and shoot fairly well in soccer.

I still don't know if he really earned it or it was given to him, because truth be told, he didn't play well tonight. In the end, whatever. He's happy and he'll get more practice, which can only make him better.

I will say this. I saw more primadonna tempers out there than I ever saw in a regular little league team. I couldn't believe it when a kid got all upset because the coach wanted him in the he was too good to play out there. Someone needs to be taken down a peg or three, but nothing was said. I guess that's where it starts.

so it all comes down to tonight

Tonight is the youngster's consolation prize tryout for advanced ball. A big part of me wants him to go out there, kick ass and make the team, as the credits roll over the silhouette of him, and me with my arm around him, basking in the lights shining in from the outfield with Lassie pulling up beside us in a perfect Hollywood ending. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet, and a piece of Americana for us to treasure for the rest of our lives. I guess most of me wants that to happen. A small part of me isn't so sure.

As he realized this week, if he makes it, he'll be at baseball practice every Friday night. Saturday, there's baseball, either practice or games, and Sunday, well, there will be baseball. His whole life will be baseball. If his whole life is baseball, my whole life will also be baseball. I can pretty much kiss the Jaguar season goodbye. I'll catch a little of the games on radio, and I don't know what I'll be doing with our season tickets. As for golf, there will always be December, and I suppose I should just be happy I live where golf is an option in December. Yeah that's the selfish part of me talking.

Then there's the whole point of whether or not he really should be on that team, regardless of whether or not the coach takes him, but I've decided I can't get all wrapped up in that. No matter what, I probably won't ever know the answer to that one (unless he chokes so bad tonight that it's obvious he won't play) so why let it bother me.

In the end, I really want him to give it his best shot, leave it all out on the field and let the chips fall where they may. If he does that and makes it, good for him, and we'll make it through the fall, even without golf. If he does that and doesn't make it, he'll get better, and try again next time. Either way, I hope he tries his best and knows that's what he gave them, so he leaves the tryout with no regrets.

Renee and Kenny

OK, color me oh so not surprised. Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney call it quits after 4 months. I wish these Hollywood people had an ounce of respect for the institution of marriage, or anything that matters. That's a gross generalization, but it sems to happen a lot to those people. They want to tell me how to run my life and who I should vote for, and they can't hold a marriage together for a year. How bizarre is that? I'm not perfect by any stretch, but examples like this make me look pretty good, and I'm not about to tell anyone what they should do.

All I can say is run Katie, run.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

reaching new lows

Because of my round of golf last week, my handicap index has reached a new all time low of 24.2. Woooo hoooooo!

It all has to be taken in with perspective. To a real golfer, that number is embarassingly high. They wouldn't be seen in the same room with it (which explains the giant wooshing sound you just heard as they all left) and would point their finger from afar and laugh. I know they do. I've seen it. Not that it's ever happened to me of course, but I have this friend... That's OK with me. If I was a real golfer, I might do the same, but I'm an occasional golfer wanna-be, so I'm sorta proud of it.

Then there's the other side of the coin. I'm told, by people who actually know, the average golfer never breaks 100 (if they keep an honest score), which would equate to an index over 30, so I'm not doing too bad after all.

no pressure games and double edged swords

Warning: If you keep reading here, it will be my goal to turn you into a Jaguars fan. I will do my best to make you love the little engine that could. Even if you're a rabin fan of some other NFL team, I will strive to make the Jaguars your favorite other team. If I succeed, one day you'll blame me for the fact you're in some sports apparel store checking out the Matt Jones and Chad Owens jerseys. Then I can start negotiating with the team for some commission possibilities.

The Jaguars have always been an 'under the radar' team, and probably will be for the forseeable future.

Nobody expects much out of them because nobody knows much about them. They're a small market team with small market press, and that makes them the occasionaly 'sexy' pick when someone wants to look knowledgeable without really being so, because nobody will refute you because they know as much about the team as you do.

And so we head to Indianapolis, (or in the Tom Slick world, Apple-less Indian, where they held the Apple-less Indian 500). Nobody expects the Jaguars to win. They're more than a touchdown road dog. If they go to Indy and lose, no big deal. First road loss. The team's 1 and 1. Still plenty of reasons to think they can make the playoffs. No pressure. The sun still shines...tomorrow.


What happens if they win? They can. They've won two of the last three meetings with Indy (OK, yeah, two of the last four, and two of the last five, and two of the last six as well, but I'm trying to make them look good here), and won last year in the dome. The offense really has improved a lot, and I think it's more improved than Indy's defense, but I look at the world through teal colored glasses (and if you look at the current poll on the NFL page at, you'll see I'm in a very small minority, and you're saying 'homer' like it's a bad thing). But let's just say it happens. What then? The local sports talk folks seem to think it'll be monumental. The rest of the world has to sit up and take notice. Only one team has the Colts' number like that, and that's....New England. The best of the least for the last few years. But you go win there two years in a row at their place, and three of the last four overall. What does that say? Do you suddenly become a blip on the radar and people start noticing? Do you see the other side of the double edged sword, and lose that ability to fly under the radar, because now everyone knows you're good. The local sports guys think so, but I'm not so sure. I think the national perception will still be 'fluke', and that's not a bad thing. Maybe if we won the first eight in a row, someone in Bristol would ask the question, "Do you think Jacksonville really has a chance?" I don't expect that to happen though, so the question won't be asked. The longer you can surprise people when you kick their butts the better.

To prove my point, let's say, for a minute, the Jaguars win. (Get off the floor and stop that laughing. I'm telling you. It can happen.) That means someone had to come up big and have a great day. That someone will probably be featured on ESPN's fan poll as one of the big play guys, to be voted on by the "sports nation" for who had the biggest game. The Jaguars guy...will come in last. He always does. This team could win the Super Bowl (maybe...just maybe) and in a national poll for the MVP, the winner would come from the losing team. I don't mind all that. I think it's pretty funny.

and for fun, cuz I know it's not that easy to Google, and even if you do there are misleading answers out there, what was the name of Tom Slick's car? Anybody?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This is downright scary

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammatical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Now, anybody who's spent any amount of time on my blog knows, this is just a tiny overstatement, which only goes to show....

These quiz things are crap, but I'm all about the cool Monty Python and the Holy Grail graphic.

I will do anything for love

I'll start with the apology.

I have this song stuck in my head because of a Dr. Pepper commercial, and now since I'm blogging about it, I'm sure I'll pass on my affliction to at least one other person. To that person, I truly am sorry.

Sunday watching football, this commercial comes on, showing this guy walking down a store aisle with a box of tampons. Then he's checking out and the clerk is holding up the box of tampons for a price check. The music playing is Meat Loaf's I will do anything for love, but I won't do that. It shows a few other scenes I can't remember until he and his girlfriend are on the couch watching TV and she's laying with her head in is lap, and he has a Dr. Pepper. She reaches to take it, and he grabs it back, and leaves. The message being things like buying tampons for my girlfriend are OK, but she had better not take my Dr. Pepper.

OK, cute commercial, but now I can't get that song out of my head.

Not only that, it reminds me of an old comedy act that I saw....probably 15 or 20 years ago. Some stand up guy did a bit about buying tampons. I don't remember it word for word or who it was, but it sorta went like this.

Guys have an issue with going to the store to get tampons for their wives or girlfriends. They ask, and we just cringe. I don't get it. Why do you not want to do that. Seriously, you're in the drug store, you pick them up and...what? If someone sees you, do they really think you're buying them for yourself? The things only have one purpose. All it is really, is a big sign telling everyone who sees you, "I got a woman!" Why else would you be buying them and putting yourself through this? They announce to the world, "I'm getting sex!" though maybe not that night, but still. What could be wrong with that?

The only parts I really remember word for word are the bolded parts. I remember this guy screaming both of those phrases, but the rest of it is contextually there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

spectator sports

I bring this up because it just hit me, while eating lunch.

I love to play golf, but I'm not much on watching it on T.V. Oh I will on occasion, but I don't make a point of watching it like I would a Jaguars game. When the Tour comes to town for the Players Championship, I'll go for one of the practice round days, and one real day. The practice round day is mostly an exercise in autograph hunting for the youngster, and has little to do with watching anyone play though.

My son loves to play baseball, but he's not much on watching it on TV. If we go watch the AA team play in town, he's Mr. Short Attention Span. He'll watch a little of the game, but then he's goofing off with his friends or wanting to visit the souvenier shop. Last year's World Series on T.V., no interest at all.

I wonder what it is about us, that we love playing some sports but not watching them, and others we love to watch but not play. Maybe we'd like to play them all, but watch the ones we're not good enough at to play.

daddy ball

I am emotionally conflicted.

If you read the last few posts, you know I had a confrontation with the powers what be in the youngster's little league organization. They all apologized all over themselves and assured me that they really wanted to bring him back for a second look, but called the wrong number and left a message on someone elses machine. (Not that I didn't believe the story, but I did call the number the coach said he called and it is an existing number.) So he goes back Friday night for another shot.

I'm not sure I buy it. I have a feeling he's getting his second chance at a first impression because I complained about him not being notified that he didn't make it the first time, and that wasn't my intention. If he goes Friday night (and he will) and doesn't make it, then we know he just didn't make it and everythings cool. (I know that doesn't sound right, but let me continue.) If he does make it, the questions abound. Why did he make it? Did he do it because he really is a good little ball player, or did he do it because someone feels the need to appease daddy, the family, or whoever? It's like being a victim of affirmative action. Did I get the job because I really was the best qualified candidate or did I get it because I belong to some minority? I don't want those questions in my or my son's head, and I definitely don't want him on that team if it's just to make me feel all warm and fuzzy. That's daddy ball, and I don't like it when I see others doing it, and I want no part of it. I want him to play with that team. I think it'd be great for his self confidence and help him get better in baseball, but I want him there for the right reasons. Not because someone thinks they need to make daddy happy.

Monday, September 12, 2005

the world of little league - you just gotta wonder

What to make of it all. Apparently I stirred up a hornets' nest or something. When I came home there were e-mails galore. I got an apology from the president of the Baseball Association that runs the youngster's league. I got apologies from the commisioner and the guy who runs the entire advanced ball program. I got a phone call from the coach of the team he didn't make, apologizing profusely and trying to get me to understand how there was a mix up (which very well might have happened), and how he tried to call and ask the youngster to come back for a second look, and apparently left a mesage at a wrong number and so on.

Bottom line, they practice Friday night, and he is invited to practice with them and get a second look. If he's good enough and they can find room for him, they'll take him. I'm not sure what to make of it. The youngster wants to try, and I won't stop him, and if he's good enough, I'd like to see him play on that team. I just don't want him there because his daddy made a stink. I don't want to be that kind of dad, and I don't want my son to be the kid who's on the team because he has that kind of dad.

baseball, football and o-feel-ya

We had our first actual baseball practice on Saturday, and I was very much surprised and relieved. We got some talent behind all that modesty at the first meeting. On the flip side, the youngster didn't make the advanced ball team. The coach was supposed to call everyone and let them know but never did. Our clue was Sunday after church, his old coach asked him if he wanted to practice with his team, which is the next age group up, so we went. On the next field over, the advanced team (that he obviously didn't make because he wasn't on the field) was practicing. Nice way to find out. The youngster just stared in disbelief, looked at me and said, "I was one of the better players there." I did sent an e-mail to the baseball commissioner for his league complaining (not about not making the team, but about not being told), and got an immediate response. He agreed with me, and said he'd take it up with the coach. As for whether or not he should be on the team, I honestly don't know, but I do know that there are politics involved dealing with parents of kids who have always played advanced ball. If a boy played last year, he and his parents expect that he'll be playing again this year, and explanations aren't fun. I think displacing one of those kids isn't a matter of being a little bit better. It's a matter of being so obviously better that the coach sees he has to deal with the parents and make the switch. Oh well. Life ain't fair. I told the youngster, all you can do is play your best on the team you do play for, and show those other coaches what they're missing. He seemed OK with that. Last night he was wanting to do sit-ups with the medicine ball again, which we haven't done in weeks (and is far from the most fun way of getting better, but he knows it's helping him get stronger), so I think he'll take the whole episode as a challenge. It's either that or he's taking to heart the words of his coach for lessons who started him on the sit-ups with a medicine ball drill, "Dude, chicks dig the six pack."

College football from my point of view: Rutgers 38 - Villanova 6. That's it. You know you're scraping bottom when you're Rutgers' bitch.

The Jaguars still have trouble getting into the end zone, but they beat the Seahawks, so I'm not complaining too much. (Still, you go +5 in the turnover ratio, you should be blowing someone out.) They did some interesting things with Matt Jones, so it could be a fun season. There were a ton of surprises in yesterday's games, but that's the way it ought to be. Keep it interesting. Next for us is Indy on the road. Nobody will expect much out of the Jaguars....except the Colts. We were the only team to win in Indy last year, and I'm sure they'll be gunning for us. If they'd only believe their press clipping for a week, just for me.

O-feel-ya is on her way to the Carolina coast. I'm so hoping you folks get by with a bit of rain and nothing else.

as a p.s. - I told the youngster I sent that e-mail and that the commissioner agreed with me. Ever the optimist, he asked, "Does that mean I might still get to play advanced?" I had to tell him, "No, I don't think that'll be an option after I said the coach showed a complete lack of class. I don't expect that we're on his good side." In the catching more flies with honey than vinegar vein, I have learned once you piss in someone's corn flakes, you effectively lessen the probability that they want to be your buddy or do you favors.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Here's the pitch, and he takes strike one" or "A man's got to know his limitations"

Vin Scully or Clint Eastwood, take your pick.

We were in TCBY sucking down frozen yogurt last night when I told the youngster of my observations in his little league meeting. Specifically I told him I noticed when everyone asked what position they wanted to play, nobody said anything about pitcher, and that he might have to step up and give it a shot.

I think this is the first time I really noticed that the "smart ass" gene is alive and well and functioning in my offspring. I mean, he's tried before, but this is the first time I think he really succeeded.

He looked at my wife and said, "I couldn't have heard what I just thought I heard, because it almost sounded like dad was funny." (Almost??? Ouch! That one stung just a bit.)

Then he looked at me, and said, "I heard you wrong, didn't I? You didn't really say that I should try to pitch, did you? Dad, I can throw about 40 miles an hour. I'll get killed. I can play third, short and second and maybe first if I have to, and the outfield, but I can't pitch."

There was a time he wanted to be a catcher, but his old coach looked at him and said, "You weigh 70 pounds soaking wet. There's no way I'm sticking you out there blocking the plate. Your mom will kill me." and that was the end of that dream, until he grows a bit.

what they think they say, and what they say

Note: We own a Camry, and this observation relates to my opinion of Camry owners in no way, shape or form. It does, however, speak to advertising people, and who approves those ideas anyway?

Watching the news while getting ready for work this morning, I saw a commercial for the Toyota Camry. It shows a department store full of people and an announcement comes over the P.A. system.

"May I have your attention please. There is a Toyota Camry parked in the tow away zone."

The store empties out.

The implication, I think, is supposed to be that all those people drive Camrys, and it's a very popular car so you, too, should drive a Camry. That's not what it says to me.

What I got from it is, there are that many Camry drivers stupid enough to park in a tow away zone, or think they might have parked in a tow away zone. Do they not understand the concept of a parking lot? If they're stupid enough to park in the tow away zone (or forget that they really parked in the parking lot), how smart can they be in their choice of car? I guess really stupid people drive Camrys.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

...but I'd have to kill you

Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We're bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We're coming in from the north, below their radar.
Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?
Ted Striker: I can't tell you that. It's classified.

Football is a little like war in the strategy department, and it is an endless source of amusement for me to see the press not get that. Every year they ask the coaches what their game plan is, what they see as their strengths and weaknesses, and every year they get all bent out of shape when they get evasive answers.

Coaches know they have weaknesses, and they have a game plan for how they expect to play the next team on their schedule in an attempt to nullify their weaknesses and exploit those of the opponent, but they aren't going to tell you. You put it on the airwaves and in print and on the internet. You make it that much easier for the opposition to change their strategy to foil yours. Even if it's stuff they can figure out if they put enough time and resources towards it, the idea is not to make it easy for them, and certainly not to give them something they might not have figured out some other way. If they don't have to put their resources toward that, because you've handed them a ton of information on a silver platter, they can use those people elsewhere. The head coach doesn't want that, so his answers are going to be evasive. There is some stuff the fans would love to know, but so would the opponent, so none of us get to know until they see the results. Deal with it.

It's a lot like Wolf Blitzer asking the generals in the Gulf War when and how they will attack Iraq. Just because they won't tell you doesn't mean they don't have a plan. What do you think got Horrendo Reverewear kicked out of Iraq? Showing the world your strategy (or drawing maps in the sand pinpointing your position) on television isn't a good thing. Same deal with football on a much smaller scale. No coach is going to give a reporter specifics on how they will approach Sunday's game, so don't get all huffy and puffy when they don't.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Damn it's wet. O-feel-ya might be seeing my "O" face, but not "O" face like in the movie Office Space. More like the "O" face that goes "O shit!" Come to think of it though, those to faces are probably very similar. I think I'm turning Japanese, but I digress.

Baseball practice got rained out last night. I have a feeling anything outdoors will be rained out through the weekend. The Jaguars/Seahawks game Sunday is looking like it's going to be very muddy. Tropical storm Ophelia is sitting off the coast dumping on the whole east coast of the state. I don't expect much wind, but we will get a lot of rain through the week, no matter what it ends up doing. After seeing Katrina though, I shouldn't complain so I'll stop now.

For baseball, we did have a team meeting in lieu of practice and things are looking grim. The coach asked each kid where he wanted to play. One kid said catcher, one said shortstop, one said second base (the youngster) and one said anywhere (you gotta love those) and everyone else said either outfield or center field. We're hurtin' for pitchers, among other things, but it's going to get crowded in the outfield. We're the Mets this fall, but so far the word 'amazing' isn't coming to mind. We shall see. I know the youngster doesn't see himself as a pitcher, but he may not have a choice if day one was any indication.

I hate politics. I hate when something like Katrina happens and everyone is pointing fingers trying to blame this, that or the other. I don't give a damn whose fault it is. Just fix it! Figure out what happened later and then if we need someone's head on a platter, fine. For now though, just work on making things better. I have no problem with figuring out why we were dysfunctional and fixing the process and ridding ourselves of incompetence. I just think now isn't the time. Do the lessons learned thing after everybody and everything are taken care of, and then if you want to make scapegoats, heap blame and fire people, be my guest.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

labor day and such

I know it hasn't been a quick recovery, but I am glad to see progress in New Orleans. It's long past about time, but I had to smile when I saw them actually pumping water out.

Spent most of the weekend in a celebration of football in one way or another. One of our neighbors had a huge party Saturday. The gay couple, who throw amazing parties, did the honors. They cut a football field perimeter and yard markers into their front yard using a lawn mower (leaving the rest of the grass a little longer) and put goal posts on either end. They had manequins on either side of their driveway dressed in Jaguars cheerleader outfits, and a huge inflatable Jaguars football player by the front door. There was a D.J. and a dance floor shaped and painted like a football field in the back yard. It was pretty cool. One is a huge Jaguars fan. The other isn't a sports fan, but entertained himself and the rest of us by singing a very good rendition of the National Anthem and prancing (and if there were a better descriptive word for it, I'd use it, but 'prancing' fits...not that there's anything wrong with that) around in a tight referee outfit blowing a whistle. Everyone brought food from their favorite NFL team's town (cheesesteaks from Philly, crawfish from New Orleans, Chicago deep dish pizza, etc.), and since we are a neighborhood with a lot of people from different parts of the country, most were represented. Then there were the college games, which were pretty good. I don't really have a favorite college team, but it's fun watching the underdogs smack the supposed powerhouses in the mouth.

Played golf Monday, and I hate when other guys relive their golf rounds in storytelling fashion for me (and then on 16 I hit a four iron that faded right around the big tree and...yawn), so I won't do the same to you. Suffice to say, 92. So close, yet the quest to break 90 continues.

We also got thrown headlong into fall little league season. Tryouts for advanced ball yesterday. First practice tonight. We learned all that Saturday, so it was nice to get a few days notice. The practice is for the recreational league. We don't know if he made the advanced ball team, and since the tryouts got rain delayed, but still happened yesterday, I didn't get to see them because they ran into my tee time. He is very optimistic. My wife is less so. We'll see. Her pessimism stems from the fact that he doesn't hit home runs, and several kids there could. That, and all the kids who showed up could play very well but only 12 of the 16 who showed up will make the team. To be honest, it'll break his heart if he doesn't make it, but I'm wondering if it'll be a good experience for him even if he does. The coach has a reputation for being a first class jerk with little baseball knowledge. So, we'll see. He still hit every pitch thrown to him and he's quick at second base, so he stands a chance. In his own words, "Dad, I was awesome at second!" and that's coming from a kid who's usually his own worst critic.

I missed tryouts, but I'll get to do practice tonight. I'm the first to admit I don't know enough about baseball to coach, but I'm all about helping if a coach wants help (and I'm sure he will). I can shag balls when he's doing infield practice and do soft toss so they can practice hitting mechanics, and I've seen enough of the youngster's lessons that I know what to look for there to give a little advice, so I'm not a complete slug. Just a partial slug.

Friday, September 02, 2005

my government in New Orleans

I'm not a happy camper.

As you may have guessed if you read any of the entries in this place when I get up on a soapbox (and I tend to do that on occasion), I'm fairly conservative. I figured if I'm doing anything, I'm giving you blue state people a glimpse into the psyche of a red state guy...why I think the way I think. I voted for Mr. Bush, and given the alternative of Mr. Kerry, probably still would. Given the alternative of say, a John McCain, I probably would not. I'm not very pleased with the job Mr. Bush and his administration is doing with respect to this, the biggest natural disaster to hit this country.

In my opinion, my federal government is letting New Orleans down, big time. I understand that this was a disaster bigger than anything anyone thought it could be. I understand that there were plans in place to deal with something like this, and those plans weren't good enough. I understand that at every turn, the worst case scenario seems to have come to fruition. I also understand that we, as a people, tend to think we can control just about anything, and that's a pretty arrogant view.

I also understand that it's been four days since this thing hit New Orleans, and not enough has been done. Note I didn't say a lot hasn't been done. A lot has been done. Enough has not been done. When babies are dying in hospitals in New Orleans, enough hasn't been done. When gangs run the streets raping, robbing, and killing, enough hasn't been done. I don't know what all needs to be done to change that, but I'm not the president. Nor am I running for the job. Nor do I have the resources at his disposal to figure it out. All I know is he and his advisors, and the government in general needs to figure it out yesterday, and get the help there now. I figure half of the people in those gangs are crack addicts in their fourth day of withdrawal, and they have guns. That's a scary thought and a nightmare the poor people in New Orleans are dealing with daily. They need a lot of

Thursday, September 01, 2005

me, and my general world view

Where this is coming from:
There's a comment on my last post that said my "babe a day" sidebar is inconsistent with my other views. That, and I have to get past staring at New Orleans on TV every night and blogging about it, so let's do something that will piss a few people off (or maybe not).

First, let me confess that my views aren't necessarily consistent. I contradict myself all the time when I look at issues from different angles. That may not be fair, but neither is life. I also understand that there's only one person in this world who agrees with everything I say, and that's me. I'm not offended that nobody else does.

Next, I guess the driving force behind most of what I think is the concept of personal responsibility. Everyone makes choices, good or bad, and I've made my share of bad ones and suffered in my own way for them. I'm sure I'll suffer for the ones I make today. Each choice comes with a set of consequences and when you make the choice, you have to be ready to accept the consequences that come with it. If you decide to smoke, you know one consequence is possible lung cancer. When you light that cigarette up, you're accepting that. Don't come back years later and blame the tobacco company for your stupidity. My view on abortion is very way. Johnny and Susie have a choice. They can have sex or they can not have sex. One consequence of that choice if they decide to go for it is the creation of life. As soon as they make that choice, they've accepted that consequence. That's where the choice part starts and stops. You don't later get to choose to kill a baby. That's murder. If you can't accept that consequence, keep everything in your pants/panties. I believe people have the power to do that. I believe that's one of the things that separates us from the monkeys masturbating in their cages at the zoo. I realize the law, not as written by our lawmakers but as interpreted by our law interpreters, disagrees with me, but it's still my view. When, at 15, you choose to drop out of school, you then accept the consequence of low wages for the rest of your life, so weigh that consequence very carefully before you quit, deal drugs and die in a gang war at 19. You make choices. You deal with the consequences of them, and don't blame anyone else.

I believe that we force a certain moral standard on the rest of society every day. If we didn't, nothing would be illegal and we'd have anarchy. If nobody wanted to enforce their moral view that rape, murder, theft, or passing bad checks was wrong, there'd be no law against them. So people who say, "I don't want to force my morality on anyone else." or 'Don't force your morality on me." have no leg to stand on with that statement. Find another leg from another statement.

Next, I believe in the basic goodness of people, and I believe in the potential they have. I don't believe that potential changes because of race, color or creed. I believe if you demand quality from people, they will rise to the occasion and take pride in what they achieve. I believe when you convince people that they aren't good enough, or smart enough, or whatever enough to do something for themselves and they need your help, you cut that empowerment out from under them and they will always expect your help. I believe that's the power the Democratic party has over many of it's constituents, and why affirmative action fails. I believe in a hand up, not a hand out. I don't believe we are entitled to very much beyond life, liberty and the persuit of happiness. I don't think life is fair or equal, and I don't think it's the government's job to try to change that. I think it's the government's job to provide a framework in which all of us can do our best to make our lives what we want. I don't think it's their job to guarantee success in that endeavor. I believe the communist mantra 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need' is a nice pipedream. I believe it's the foundation of the Democratic party. I believe it doesn't work because within the framework of human nature, if all you are going to supply someone is what they need, you will not get the best of their ability, because they have no incentive. I wish people were more altruistic and filled with initiative than that (and I include myself in that bunch) but time has shown me we aren't. The U.S.S.R. collapsed because of that. I don't begrudge rich people their wealth because someone worked hard, made sacrifices and made some difficult choices to get that wealth. It may not be the person spending the money that earned it. So what. If I spend my life working 16 hour days 7 days a week for 50 years so that my grandson doesn't have to work a day in his life, and I succeed, then he shouldn't have to and it's none of your business that he doesn't. That was my choice and my consequence, not yours. I believe class envy is a stupid waste of time. I believe conspiracy theories are too.

I believe freedom isn't free. I believe some people recognize that, and cherish the ideal enough to make sacrifices for the greater good. I believe a lot of those people are in the military, and understand that they are defending the right of people who disagree with them to voice that opinion.

I believe in God, and the power of prayer. I believe the way I have chosen to worship that God works for me, but doesn't necessarily work for everyone. I believe Christians of other denominations or non-denominations, as well as my own, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and most of the other organized religions of the world who recognize a higher power are actually recognizing/honoring/worshipping/begging for help from the same thing I am, in their own way. I choose to call it God. None of our ways is better than any other. They are just different.

I believe "babe a day" more often than not looks damn good, and when I'm at the beach, so do many girls in thong bikinis, and I don't mind looking. I may be 48, but I'm not dead....yet.

and I think that's all I have to say about that, for now.