Wednesday, May 31, 2006

lyin', racin' and other country song subjects

Tony Stewart is maybe going to run in the next NASCAR race...with a broken shoulder. OK, so let's just throw another little bit of suport behind the lumberyard argument that racing isn't a sport. In fact, let's throw a broken shoulder behind it. I mean, in what other sport can you go into a competition with a broken shoulder? Hell, I think I can even throw golf, curling, bowling and badminton out there in this argument, in that they all require two functioning shoulders. I guess when all you've really done is transform turning left in a high speed billboard into a competitive activity, a broken shoulder isn't that big a deal.

The last few days...since school let out, the youngster's sleeping habits changed drastically. All of a sudden this week, he's sleeping till 11:00. This is a kid who's usually up at the crack of dawn. We limit his time playing with his computer because he'll waste a day on there if left on his own. He needs to get out and do things. So the wife and I discussed it, and she you think he's sneaking up in the middle of the night and playing games? I, the youngster wouldn't do that...would he? We asked him, "What's the deal with sleeping in so late?"

"A growing boy needs his sleep." he said with a grin.

OK, that answer was a little too pat...maybe rehearsed even. So last night I woke up around 4:00, and went back to his room. He's all snuggly in his bed, and I'm thinking...who knows. Then we got up this morning and the first thing the wife says is, "Mystery solved!"

Apparently I wasn't the only one checking on him last night, and she was more successful. He was on the computer at some time in the middle of the night. She didn't look at the clock, so she doesn't know when. She just told him to turn it off and go back to bed. I have a feeling he isn't alone in this. I will be talking to other parents in our neighborhood. In the meantime, I have the power cord from the back of his computer with me...and will for a while.

The title says there will be other country song subjects here...just more lyin'.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Knockin' the Rock

We're talkin' Rolling, not Slippery.

I don't drink a lot. I can buy a six pack of beer and two months later, end up wondering if the last two in the fridge are any good any more. I'm supposed to have a glass of wine every night according to my doctor, to help keep the colesterol down. I drink it occasionally, but far from every night.

That said, when I do buy beer, it's one of two brands. Rolling Rock or Yuengling. I guess it's one of the few footholds left in my house of my Pennsylvania roots, but there it is. I buy those beers pretty much because they are a piece of home, and I like 'em. It has to be both of those though. There are plenty of good beers not from Pennsylvania, but I like the fact that these come from home. Likewise, there are other Pennsylvania beers, like Schmidts and Iron City, but I'm sorry....loyalty will only get you so far. Besides, both of those would require a ton of effort to find here in Florida, and there's a good reason for that.

So now I read where Anheuser-Busch bought Rolling Rock, plans to close down the Latrobe brewery, send half the town to the unemployment line, and make the stuff someplace in Maryland. What the hell is that? Don't they get it? Rat bastards! I know the stuff gets exported, and people overseas won't know or care, but people like me all over this country, if they know (and I'm doing my part to spread the word) are not going to be happy with the folks at Bud. I remember drinking (slightly illegally) green grenade pony bottles in college. I remember the first time I saw Rolling Rock in a store in Florida. It was like old home week. There are people like me all over this country who buy that stuff, sorta because they like the beer but a lot more because of where it comes from and what it means to them. I mean, if you put the stuff in a glass along with 5 similar beers, I doubt I could pick it out. I buy it because it's from home. Now, Budweiser is yanking that rug right out from under me, and lots of other people like me...and we won't be buying Rolling Rock any more. Yes, a boon for the folks at Yuengling (such as it is...remember I don't buy a ton of beer, but some other folks like me do.)

If I were the folks in Latrobe, I'd not let that brewery close. I'd find a way to buy that sucker. So you're not making Rolling Rock any more. Make a new beer and start your own business. If you brew it they will drink. Then, 20 years from now when Anheuser-Bush comes calling with a keg of money to buy you out again...tell 'em to get bent.

the weekend

A weekend wrapped in grilled burgers and prayers for our fallen comrades. I had to explain it all to the youngster, who was suprised it was a holiday weekend. I guess once school lets out, the concept of holidays gets fuzzy, because he has every day off. I gave him pretty much the same explanation you can read here.

Started reading the DaVinci Code, just so I can see for myself what all the hoopla is about. That, and supposedly its a very good book that I had intended to read for a while. Just hadn't made the time.

Played something like golf yesterday. Above all else, it was hot, but besides that, it was pretty much the same old story. I'm inconsistently decent. Played horribly for the front 9 and then...looked like a real golfer on the back. Yeah, looked just enough like a real golfer to give me a ray of hope and make me keep trying. Still, it was just as much about spending some time with of whom I never played with before, but knew pretty well. It was a good time.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day

I said a lot about this last year so instead of repeating myself, I'll just link to what I said then, because other than the babe a day comment, the rest holds true.

Please, everyone who might stroll by this little corner of the internet, remember what this three day weekend really means. Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so you can do things, like be ashamed that Dubya comes from Texas, and complain about people killing babies in the name of womens rights, and travel the country without asking permission, and all the other things we take for granted in the name of freedom. Someone...lots of someones...gave their lives for our ability to do all that and more, and we all owe them.

the thought of the day, and other musings

If you look at the thought of the day (yes, there is something written beneath the babe over there on the right), you'll see a geek test. I'm almost embarassed to say I passed, well within 5 seconds. Is that a bad thing? If anyone doesn't get it and really wants to, let me know.

Played work golf last night, and pretty much sucked. If I could be at all consistent I could be dangerous. The highlight of my evening was two drives...probably the longest straightest things I've hit in my life. I was all proud of myself, until I hit the second shot. Oh, well, maybe one day I'll pull it all together, but in the meantime, as long as I don't take myself or the game too seriously, I'll have a good time with it.

The Onion seems to have marked the event of Barry Bonds matching Babe Ruth's career home run record, as only the Onion can.

There's a commerical on the radio now. It plays a lot on my way to and from work. It's for a bank and they say one out of five Americans have been hit by identity theft. I know you can do a lot of things with numbers, especially if you're a bank and have tons of accountants in your employ, out of five?? Has anybody checked that figure. I know it's a growing issue, and I know we're trying to be careful with it, but I don't think a whole 20% of the American public has had their identity stolen, and that's what the commerical says. They have to be assuming everyone whose name was on some disk that got stolen instantly became a victim or something. That figure just seems an eeensy weesny bit inflated, but I guess as usual, I could be wrong. I look around me and I know a lot of people. I only know one, thankfully only one, that has been smacked with this crime, and he caught it pretty quick. Where are these numbers coming from?

Thursday, May 25, 2006


We got something in the mail the other day, addressed to the parents of the youngster. He was (or is) cordially invited to join the South J'ville Cotillion. I'm sitting there, staring at it, wondering....Cotillion? WTF?!? Who are these people and how the hell did they get the youngster's name?

A day later it made a little more sense. We got an e-mail from one of the parents at his school, who apparently is involved in this thing. This person considered herself extremely lucky to secure invitations for the whole 7th and 8th grade class. OK, I felt a little better about it all. I was sitting there with the invite with visions of stuck up youngsters in tuxedos and ball gowns, and debutantes and a whole lotta shit that just isn't us...or for sure isn't the youngster. At least I knew his whole class was getting invited. Still, I was gotta be kidding. He won't want to go, and I'm certainly not going to force him.

Oh how wrong I was. (See? It does happen.) The youngster, it seems, already knows about all things cotillion, and feels all special that he was invited. It seems last year a few of the kids were invited, went and liked it, and he was hoping he'd get invited too. "You'll let me go, won't you?"

Damn, the youngster's growing up. I'm assuming this picture in my head of stuck up kids leading each other in a box step is a bit outdated. I can't imagine friends of his saying they had a good time at some function where that was the order of the day. I know it's a matter of going to some dances, and I guess he thinks he's ready for all that. I know when I was going into 8th grade, I may have been ready for something like that, but it wasn't making it's presence known in my mailbox, in the form of an invite to the East Steelton Cotillion. I'm also pretty certain that if there had been such an invitation, back in my day, it would have involved tuxedos and more stuffiness that I could handle, and box stepping my bored ass through the evening.

So last night I wrote these people a check, so he can be in Cotillion. It still sounds a bit too fancy for my taste.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

the consequences of free speech..continued

Not that I'm beating a dead horse or anything, but I just wanted to make the point that liberals aren't the only ones who say stupid shit and expect no consequences. Conservatives do it too.

Early in the Clinton years, an Air Force general in an officers club somewhere was bemoaning the fact that he was having difficulty respecting a boss who was a whore mongering, pot smoking liberal with no balls. Two days later he was a retired Air Force general. (In an unrelated but true piece of trivia, I was actually working with the general's son when this happened. We were both working for a computer consulting company in J'ville. He left to go to grad school at Duke. I left for the job I have now.)

Here's the part where I do a Da Vinci Code/Fahrenheit 9/11, and take one kernel of fact and mix in a few unsubstantiated yet believable tidbits, because it makes for a better story....

In the following press conference, Hillary retorted, "Bill does so have balls! I'd show them to you but they're in my other pants...which reminds me, I need to get them out of the hamper before they accidentally go through the wash....again."

I understand later, to remedy the wash situation, she gave them to an intern to track.

...and just so nobody thinks I believe I'm immune, I expect to be held accountable for the stupid shit I say, too. This target on my back is there for a reason. I don't mind being wrong or stupid. I've been both even....more than once. I do, however, like knowing why I'm wrong or feel free to blast away, but make sure there's some thought behind the shotgun.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

style, substance and towels

The wife bought new towels recently. She was re-doing the colors in our bathroom for the bazillionth time and new towels were part of the program.

I went to take a shower and while I was drying off, she asked, "What do you think of the new towels?"

"Well, they're blue."

"Yes, but aren't they nice and soft."

"Well, yeah."

"I like them."

OK, so the wife likes them. They're blue, nice and soft. They feel great. They only have one problem. They aren't very absorbent. When I finish drying off with one of these towels, it's wet, but so am I, and no amount of rubbing my skin in its nice, soft, fluffy blue-ness makes it any better. Therefore, I'm hanging out a bit (yeah, literally, as well) to air dry, if you will, before putting on clothes. This is all because our nice new towels look nice, feel nice, but don't perform the function for which they were created. I'm hoping in time, with repeated washings, whatever is on the surface of these "towels" that seems to repel water wears out and makes them a bit more useful.

This is a humorous story, and it's even true. I'm about ready to ditch the towels. Some people are like that. They know how to look good and they say all the right things to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling, but where the rubber meets the road, they're worthless. It also mirrors my view of a certain political party, so when I get around to ranting about them one day, this post might be linked in reference.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Barbaro, Bernardini and Barbarino

The Preakness...was a hard race to watch. I'm not a big horse racing fan, and I'm sure the fact that I'm not a big gambler plays a part in that, but I usually watch the triple crown races, out of curiosity more than anything. We went to a Kentucy Derby party and watched the first leg there, with Barbaro running away with it. The Preakness, we watched at home. I was grilling dinner, or getting ready to (putting the charcoal and lighter fluid mixture together), when the race was run. I listened to the commentator talking about how Bernardini was getting no respect, to the point where they spelled the horse's name wrong on his stable spot (whatever they call it), and all eyes were on Barbaro. During the race, the announcer talked about Barbaro pulling up, but you didn't really see it with the cameras still on the race. You saw it afterward, in replay after painful replay. That was the hard part to watch. After two takes of that, and wincing with each one, I had to get back to the grill. I learned more about horses and broken legs and blood supplies in the last few days than I ever knew before, and I hope things go well at the vet.

Lonely Hearts, the new John Travolta/James Gandolfini movie, premiered in J'ville this weekend. Vinnie Barbarino, Tony Soprano and friends were in town and it was all over the news. The slightly biased crowd (the movie was filmed in J'ville) loved it. I'll wait till the fall opening, or maybe DVD. Yeah, it is pretty cool that the movie was filmed here though. For you trivia buffs, so was Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Friday, May 19, 2006

contrived controversy

Sometimes I just have to smile.

The movie, The Da Vinci Code has hit the streets, and the media is just itchin' for a fight. You can almost see them salivating, with visions of the religious right railing against Hollywood, and the stories to be written. The only problem is...nobody seems to be railing. The J'ville paper had a story on the front page with a big ol' headline that suggests the clergy is split on whether to say it's "Heresy or Just a Movie". The thing is, when you read the article, there's not a single clergy person suggesting it's heresy. It's just the reporter who's doing that and trying to create a tempest in a teapot that holds nothing but a bit of...well...tea. I'd post a link, but you can't get to it online without registering. It's like they have their verbal cattle prods out, goading people into religious combat, and yet, nobody's biting.

I can't say I've read the book...yet...or seen the movie. I will probably eventually read the book, but I'm not expecting anything more than a great story, and I think that's the case with most people. The media is looking for ministers and priests worried that their congregational faith will be shaken, but damn's just a story.

The newspaper story is pretty much interviews that are trying to say (but not quite this obviously)...

"Well, whadaya think Father?"

"Not story though."

"Oh c'mon Father, grit your teeth for the camera and look pissed off. Tell me how the film is an abomination."

"Nah, I actually liked the book. I'm looking forward to seeing Tom Hanks."

"Damn, getting nowhere here...How about you, Reverend?"

"I just got off, booking the Paris leg of the Da Vinci Tour..oughta be fun."

"Aren't you worried people will see this thing and leave the church in droves?"

"Nah, I think they're smarter than that."

"What's wrong with you people....why aren't you all pissed off?"

Yeah, sometimes I just have to smile. Maybe somewhere someone really is overreacting to this thing. I haven't seen it though.

schools out for summer!

Actually, for the youngster, it ends next week, but I came across this Alice Cooper interview, and thought it pretty cool. For those of you who didn't know, it's true. Alice Cooper, the billion dollar baby, the killer and clown, is a golf nut.

Besides being an entertaining interview, at the bottom it shows Mr. Cooper uses the same clubs I do. We have the same driver ('cept he has that really cool aldila pink NV shaft in the picture, and I don't), fairway woods ('cept he has a 4, 7 and 9 where I carry a more standard 3 and 5, and I don't do hybrids) and putter. He should have asked me first and I could have pointed him to a nice set of irons. In reality though, Alice has a far better game than I, and his irons clearly don't fall under the "game improvement" category, where mine firmly sit. OK, so they aren't really the same clubs I have, but they're close...sorta...almost.

another little league season in the books

I won't go off about the coaching this season. Those guys did the best they knew how, I suppose, and they were there doing it, which is more than I can say for me. I wish I had the knowledge and time to do all that, but I don't, so I need to let the guys who do, do what they can. Our last season of what is really "little league" ended last night in a flurry of pizza, trophies and mixed emotions.

I just feel like we wasted a season. The youngster learned next to nothing, except where to be to back up someone elses mistakes, which in itself is valuable and will make him a better team player. His love is second base though, and he spent some time there in one, and it was the only one I couldn't get to to watch him play. Frustrating for him, and frustrating for me because it was frustrating for him.

Still, he had more fun than if he didn't play at all, and I suppose that's what matters. He still wants to spend most evenings in the front yard playing catch with me, and I suppose I should be really thankful for that. These days are making memories we're both going to cherish for a lot of years when they don't happen all that often.

If he still wants to play in the fall, he'll be moving a real sized field, and playing against kids a bit older than him...13 to 15 year olds. I watched a game last fall, and saw goatees on that field...goatees on six foot tall kids who looked like they drove themselves there. It'll be interesting.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

winning (almost), which rarely happens for me

Woo Hoooo..we came in third last night.

The one night a week golf from work...I don't know what to call it now, because it used to be called Thursday Night Golf, because it was always played on Thursday night. This year, a sizable chunk of the company can't play on Thursday nights, because they have stuff to do, so we're doing some Wednesdays and some Thursdays, so everybody gets to play.

In any case, the formats vary and last night was a 4 person scramble. I played with 3 guys who are pretty good, so I brought handicap and not much else to the table to start with. I played pretty decent though and managed to contribute more than I thought I would, and we placed third. OK, third out of ten foursomes, so it's not like we really rocked or anything, but it was a good night. The top three teams get gift certificates so in a weirdly rationalized way, I actually came out ahead on the night and got to play golf. If we (meaning I) could only putt, we might have pulled in first.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

because I've been ranting too much

Tonight begins the summer golf season where I work.

Once a week (either Wednesday ot Thursday night)

9 holes starting at 5:30

very nice golf course


Wooooooo Hoooooooo

the emergency room...take 26

I really don't know if it's take 26. I lost count somewhere around 10.

The youngster wants these things called Heeleys. His buddy got them for his birthday. The youngster saw 'em. The youngster wore 'em. He's jonesin' real bad. They're basically shoes with a wide wheel in the heel. They are also the source of our latest in a series of trips to the emergency room.

I came home from work to the youngster moaning on the couch. No, there wasn't some hot young teenage female there with him, so I figured it was an injury related thing. It seems he was wearing his friend's heeleys when someone's dog came out of the house. Big dog, or so I'm told. The youngster freaked and started running down the street. The dog followed, probably in an attempt to lick him to death. The youngster slipped and fell on his wrist..the same one he injured a year ago at a skate park (which was emergency room..take 22 or so). I walked in and asked him what was wrong. He spent the next three minutes in a sympathy pulling, agonized effort to get up and walk ten steps to where I was and tell me he just got home, was wearing the Heeleys, the dog thing, busted his ass and it all hurts, and the wrist is the same one he hurt last year and he heard a pop. Oh joy.

So I packed him and me off to the nearest hospital, conveniently only one exit north on the Interstate. For being out in the middle of nothing, it is nice that someone knew of the youngster and figured plopping a hospital near the middle of nothing could be a profitable venture. We got to the hospital goes into slow motion.

I brought a book, because I've been through the drill before. We checked in at 7:15. The place wasn't terribly busy but there were about five people seen before us. I don't know exactly when we got seen first for the triage part, but it was after 9:00 before they took X-rays. We didn't even have a room to sit in. The youngster got to sit on a cot in the hall. We waited and I read. I watched the two E.R. doctors have a discussion about the one doctor's golf game with someone that could turn into a business opportunity. It was after 10:00 when the doctor, who apparently has game from his earlier conversation, came to see the youngster to tell him he didn't thing he broke anything but wanted to check one more thing (after feeling around his wrist and seeing what hurt and what didn't). It was 10:30 before he came back and assured us nothing was broke and another 15 minutes before the charge nurse came with our paperwork so we could leave. I almost finished the book.

Total time inside the hospital...three and a half hours, to get one X-ray and find out nothing was wrong. I mean, Jesus, Mary and Marcus Welby, am I the only one who thinks that a bit excessive? (Yeah, the book was Larry the Cable Guy's, so he's influencin' my writing...not a fact to be particularly proud of, but there you have it.) It was daylight when we got there and way past the youngster's bedtime when we left. Was it worth the time and co-pay to get the peace of mind to know nothing's wrong? Sure. Did it really have to take anywhere near that long?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

banning the Dixie Chicks

Let me start with this. I like most music, but for whatever reason, Country has never been my cup of tea. I can listen to it. I can even enjoy it to an extent. If I'm in a music store though, or some store that sells music, I'm not heading for the Country Music section. I have never bought an album, CD or music in any other format for myself that came from the country section. I have bought it for others. Even with Faith Hill and Shania Twain, both of whom are considered "crossover" singers and damn nice looking, I can take a pass. So we have the Dixie Chicks, who the wife likes, and mom-in-law likes, but I never really cared for, before or after the nasty Dubya comments.

Next, let me present the lumberyard theory of crazy Uncle Earl. I may have presented it before under another name, but it always starts with "crazy Uncle" somebody. Earl is just the name de jour. The theory goes like this. Every family has a crazy Uncle Earl. He's the guy (or girl, we're not being that gender specific) that the whole family knows and talks about. He or she does goofy stuff and sometimes stupid stuff, and everyone in the family has their own "crazy uncle Earl" story, which they tell at family gatherings. It's OK to make fun of crazy Uncle Earl when you're talking with family. It's not OK for someone outside the family to make fun of crazy Uncle Earl. If they do, you'll defend crazy Uncle Earl to the death. It's also not OK for family to make fun of crazy Uncle Earl in conversations outside the family. After all, he or she is family. You out there of a more liberal ilk will doubtless have fun with the fact that I'm about to use crazy Uncle Earl in reference to Dubya, but have at it. Consider it my gift to you.

A few years ago, the fat Dixie Chick said something ugly about Dubya while on tour in Europe. I don't know the specifics, and they aren't all that important. I just know that she said something ugly, and her mostly conservative, country music lovin' fan base wasn't impressed. They decided to boycott her and her sisters, or cousins, or friends, or whatever the hell the other not-so-fat Dixie Chicks are in relation to her. They called country music radio stations and asked them not to play Dixie Chicks music if they wanted to keep their fan base. Some of those stations obliged in a move that, lets face facts, was more grounded in economic self-preservation than any kind of political stand.

So, we're going to brunch this past Sunday, which has been a lumberyard Mother's Day tradition for the last several years. The usual suspects were in attendance...the youngster, the wife, the mom-in-law, and me. Let me also throw in that besides being a country music lover, mom-in-law is also liberal, a trait that has led to a few discussions which usually ended in the wife asking me to stop badgering her mom. Therefore I try not to have them anymore. So we're driving to brunch and mom-in-law throws out that the Dixie Chicks are making a comeback.

So I said, "A comeback? I didn't know they went anywhere."

"Oh yeah, they were banned for several years because of that Bush comment."

OK, I held my tongue because I didn't want to verbally body slam mom-in-law into the pavement and piss off the wife on Mother's Day, but now it's two days later, mom-in-law's gone back home and and it's time to rant.

Nobody got freakin' banned, OK? Being banned means someone from the government comes and tells you that you can't sing anywhere anymore. The fact that people don't want to pay someone to sing doesn't make them banned. Nobody wants to pay me to sing, but I'm not banned. The slant that they were banned because of comments made about the president is what I consider stereotypical liberal crap, where people shouldn't be held responsible for their actions and freedom of speech should come with no consequences, and lack of monetary support is synonymous with being banned (yeah, all you folks who get your panties in a wad when its suggested the NEA not give money to some "artist" sinking a picture of the Virgin Mary in a vat of urine, I can lump you in here too). The fat Dixie Chick (I'm sorry I don't know her name. Yes, I know she has one and I'm sorry I don't know it, but it's about as important to what I have to say as her circumference, which is just my way of differentiating her from the other Dixie Chicks, who I understand are noticably not as fat) said something about George Bush that a lot of people disagreed with in a forum (a concert in Europe) that made it all the worse. That's the crazy Uncle Earl theory at work. Criticize your own if you will, but don't do it with strangers. Anyway, people didn't like it and reacted in their own way, which they have every right to do. Nobody banned the Dixie Chicks. They were and are still free to sing or say anything they like. The fact that other people don't want to pay them to do it is another issue. They can all get day jobs and sing or say anything they please, out in a public park somewhere for free. Freedom of speech is alive and well, but supporting someone to exercise that right has never been a guarantee. If your livelihood depends on your popularity, and you say something to sabotage that, nobody is obliged to still like you or give you money. Still, you have every right to say whatever got you in trouble with your fans, just as they have every right to ignore you.

So come on back Dixie Chicks. You were never banned. You're just not subsidized.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Barry Bonds and records and who the hell cares (or...Mean People Suck)

This will probably be the last thing I say about Barry Bonds, but I make no guarantees. I'll also say that I've never met Barry Bonds. I have no first hand experience. Every impression I have of him comes from things I have seen or read in the media. I think that's the case with most people, and a big part of where this entry is going.

I've about had it. I've pretty much given up on one of my favorite means of entertainment when driving around on weekends running errands. I used to listen to people talk sports on the radio. Lately, they've been beating the Barry Bonds/steroids/home run mark(s) issue into the dirt to where, as much dirt as there is, it's been pulverized into dust and there's just not much left.

I listen to people say, "You know he took steroids regardless of the tests." and others defend the guy saying nobody's proven anything. "Leave him alone." The bottom line is Barry Bonds is climbing the career home run hierarchy and nobody cares. People keep asking why nobody cares and many are zooming in on the steriod issue. Then come the apologists, saying he's a great player and nobody's on his bandwagon because he's black. Nobody's gunning for Mark McGuire, and he took steriods, but he's white. That's it. When all else fails and we need something to fall on, play the race card. All I can say is, all you people are missing the mark.

Barry Bonds is hitting home runs and nobody cares. It isn't because he's black. It isn't because of steroids. It's because he's an asshole. When this point is brought up, people say, well, Ty Cobb was an asshole, and nobody cared. They have a point, almost. Ty Cobb was playing baseball in a different era. There was no huge conditioning program. Neither the player nor the ball was juiced. There also wasn't an internet. Barry Bonds came along in an era where a lot of factors make it easier to break records. Players are much more athletic and take the game more seriously. Denials aside, the ball is a bit more...ummmm...lively. Legal or not, steriods are also a factor. All these have worked in his favor. There are other things going on though. Information travels at the speed of thought, and spreads quicker than a bird flu rumor, and this is his downfall. Not everyone knew Ty Cobb was a jerk, or the extent to which he was. The world knows every nasty detail about Barry (and if they don't and want to, it's all a click of a mouse away), because he's been that way for a long time to a lot of people, many of them in the media, which only makes his plight worse. There are books dedicated to how Barry Bonds has taken the art of assholiness to levels never before seen. I caught an interview with one author who recounted a story from his Arizona State days, when the coach, in an effort to galvanize his team when Barry was out with an injury, asked them to vote on whether or not he should stay with the team. The move backfired when not a single player voted to keep Barry as a teammate, regardless of his talent. The coach backpeddled and said he was only joking. In the process, the coach also lost the respect of his baseball team.

Barry doesn't like it, but being an asswipe comes with a price. He's free to be what he is, but he's not liking the consequences that come with it. Being that big of a jerk comes with the price that nobody likes him, and nobody cares to watch him excel. Not only that, they're waiting to see him take a fall, because they don't like him, and since he's been that way for so long with most of the media, they are not only right there with the rest of us. They're leading the Barry bashing parade. 99.9% of anything written about him comes with a negative slant, and the other .1% is neutral. This steriod thing comes along, and it really is an issue, but it's a bigger issue for Barry because everyone wants it to be. The huge magnifying glass hits Barry, instead of Jason Giambi or someone else because everyone wants to see him fall on his face, and why? Because he's been such a huge shit. Oh sure, you can point to the fact that he's about to pass Babe Ruth on the home run list, and that's keeping the spotlight on him. What's making sure that spotlight is a bad thing is the media and through them, the fans of the game (yeah, those of us who think the name on the front is more important than the name on the back of the uniform), who he's treated like crap for too many years. Payback's a bitch, Barry. He's not exactly in any mood to repent, either, which only makes it worse. When the guy (a kid in the military about to head for Iraq) in Philly who caught his home run ball found him afterwards and asked him to autograph it, Barry told him to fuck off. Now, that'll build a fan base. That's the way to get an adoring public following you.

You can say there's two sides to every story, and blast me for not presenting the other one, but if anyone can find that other side, feel free to point me in its general direction. I haven't seen it. Maybe I'm not reading, seeing or listening to the right stuff. Please people, point me to any story about Barry's community service, or the charity he founded and supports. Any Barry Bonds "good guy" story at all? Anybody got anything in a selfless act? Helping a little old lady across a road, maybe? Point me to the Habitat for Humanity house with nails driven in by Barry Bonds, please. I'm open to any story about Barry giving anything to a community, other than grief...any kid he influenced without telling him to fuck off. Anything at all for the misunderstood, unheralded, softer side of Mr. Bonds? Anybody?

So when it comes down to it, there's no mystery, is there? What the hell do you expect? Barry can pass Babe Ruth, and maybe he can pass Hank Aaron, but no, he won't have anyone looking up to him, because assholes are well below eye level.

Friday, May 12, 2006

what I'll do for decent pizza

I have a love/hate relationship with the pizza place on my way home. Great stuff but it just takes too long.

Very close to home I now have Pizza Hut and Dominos, but I don't want Pizza Hut or Dominos. I want the good stuff. The good stuff comes from a place about halfway home. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to get there and they usually take 20 minutes to make the pie. That means I call about 10 minutes before I leave and...presto, it's comming out of the oven as I get there. Not bad, but still, you have to remember to call before you plan to leave, or you do some standing around. True, compared to the other options, it's well worth the wait.

So tonight, we're doing pizza, and I even thought to call ahead.

"It'll be 45-50 minutes. Is that OK?"

"NO it's not OK! 20 minutes is bad enough, but this is ridiculous. What are you people doing? Growing the damn tomatoes?"

...and no, that's not what I said, but it's what I was thinking as I said, "Sure."

Still, the only time it's been this bad is Players Championship week. Then, I just bypassed the pizza because it was taking an hour and a half. We went for other options that night, but now....I want the pizza. We don't have a lot of other options at the house and the youngster's having some friends over for dinner, so they pretty much have me over a barrel.

So, how do you kill another 25 minutes? I guess you start by writing a whiney blog entry about having to wait for pizza.

press conference questions

I wanna believe.

I wanna believe Jimmy Smith...with all my heart I wanna believe him. I wanna believe the guy is retiring while he still has knees and can enjoy life, and that's the whole story. I wanna believe the guy who stands out as the longest lasting, most productive Jaguar ever, beat cocaine and will live a long and happy life with his wife and kids. His story is one of the coolest ones I know...drafted by the Cowboys and cut after an appendectomy cost him an entire season, brought in by the Eagles and waived before he played a regular season game, a victim of pre-season cuts, sitting in his living room in Texas when the Jaguars called him to fill out an expansion team roster, because his mom sent some clippings to Tom Coughlin, begging him to give Jimmy a shot...and turning into one of the most prolific pass catchers ever, and the last remaining original Jaguar. People around here ask when we're going to luck out and have one of those Kurt Warner stories, where sombody falls in your lap and becomes a superstar. Wake up folks. We had one of those, and his name is Jimmy Smith.

I will admit though that I have doubts. I have doubts because regardless of what he says about mulling over the decision for months, I haven't seen that, and for me, the decision came out of the blue. I have doubts because I know, one more failed drug test and he would have lost an entire season. I have doubts because we just saw Ricky Williams go through that ordeal in Miami. Lastly, I have doubts because with the first revelation about Jimmy's cocaine use, he vehemently denied it to our collective faces, and I believed him then, and I was fooled. Fool me once, shame on you...

So he has a press conference yesterday and the question was asked, "Does this decision have anything to do with drug use." Jimmy denied it did, and I believe him, but I'm not about to rip the guy who asked the question. The reporter is being villified in J'ville.

"It wasn't the right time for that kind of question."

"If Jimmy was a white guy, you wouldn't have asked him that."

"That's the kind of racist stunt that makes us a one horse town in the nation's eyes."

That's a lot of crap. It wasn't a stunt. It wasn't racist. The question should have been asked. If anyone in Jimmy's shoes retired like he did, with that drug situation hanging over his head, in Chicago, or Boston, or for God's sake, New York, the media would be all over it. If only one reporter asked about it, that'd be the shock. There would be follow-on after follow-on question until the dead horse was beat to a pulp. It has nothing to do with Jimmy Smith's color, or the fact that we live in Jacksonville. It has to do with the timing of his decision, and the circumstances surrounding it, that he put there with his past drug use. If the time was wrong, when would be the right time? There isn't a better time, and the question deserved to be asked. The guy's not stupid. He had to know it was coming and had to be dealt with.

I was fooled once. Shame on you Jimmy Smith for that. I believed him yesterday when he was asked the question, and denied he was using drugs. I partially believed him because I want to. I want to believe the guy I cheered so many years won't lie to me twice. If he did, and I was gullible, shame on me. If he didn't, I can live with one of my heroes beating cocaine, and riding off into the sunset. I can even admire him for that, along with his on-the-field accomplishments.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Movin' in on Byron

I have mentioned before that I'm not happy with The Players Championship move to May. In fact, it was one of my first ever entries in this blog last year. I can see all the reasons it makes sense, and yeah...on lots of levels it does. The PGA Tour wants this tournament out from under a bunch of shadows, like the one cast by March Madness, and the one cast by the Masters.

Still, on the selfish side, I don't want the tournament held in May. It's hot here in May, and while that will lead to more eye candy in spaghetti staps and short shorts or skirts, it will also lead to more idiots in a dehydrated drunken, not to mention sunburned, haze (and I hate when I burn like that). The first aid stations are going to see more action than they have in the last ten years combined. Besides that, I'll be out there all day, watching the tournament and dealing with the heat. Yes, I'll still go, and I probably won't complain too much, but I would be far more comfortable sitting out there in March. I guess that's not that big an issue to those making the decisions.

The other issue is...this is the weekend it will be played next year. This is the weekend currently occupied by the Byron Nelson Championship. I don't know what that means for Byron and his tournament next year...which way it slides or where it goes, but it's been this weekend in May for as long as I've watched golf. I can't think those people are all that pleased with the prospect of being shoved to another weekend because the Tour wants to move the Players into their spot. Maybe they just slide back or forward one week, which wouldn't be so bad. Maybe they plop the Players Championship right between Byron Nelson and the Colonial, which becomes a travel nightmare for the players but gives the Dallas area a one week break between tournaments. Who knows? Again, they didn't ask me.

and just that fast..

Jimmy Sniff retires???

The rumor is out there and the Jaguars are neither confirming or denying...#82 has put in his two weeks notice.

If this happens to be the case, I have very mixed emotions. The guy has been a Jaguar since day one of the franchise, and a damn good one. He's probably the luckiest thing to ever happen to the Jaguars, being called at home in his living room for a tryout for an expansion team after being completely out of football, cut by the Eagles and the Cowboys, to go on to become a Pro Bowler. He was the leading reciever last year, as well as just about every year before that. The guy can still play and if he stays, the team will depend on him to do much the same again this year, and I have no doubt he'd come through. He's an all around good guy and I want to still watch him make plays. I want him back, at least one more year. If the rumor is true, Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Cortez guys need to step it up, and now!

Now, can this be a good thing if it's true...maybe. It presents opportunities to Cortez Hankton, Reggie Williams and Matt Jones to take that step. It makes room for Ernest Wilford to grow and maybe gives Chad Owens another chance to shine. There's opportunity in the uncertainty.

There are also questions about the timeliness of the move. Jimmy has had his off field problems with drugs, and awfully suspicious. If he had this move in mind, wouldn't it make sense to say something before the draft, instead of waiting until now? I hope, for his sake, this isn't a move that he had to make because he failed another test. If the rumor is true, I hope it's because he just felt like it was time to go...out on top, instead of doing to J'ville what Brett Favre is doing to Green Bay.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I can feel the intelligence slipping away

The youngster turns thirteen today. I am now the proud father of a teenager.

Hormones and independence swirling in a cloud of wanna-be cool. I know what's coming. I just don't know if I'm at all ready for it. I will become increasingly stupid from here until his last year with the word 'teen' in it ends. It will also be increasingly difficult to be seen with me or acknowlege any association with me. Once the whole teen thing ends, we will gradually get back to about where we are now. That's what I anticipate anyway. I'm planning to combat all that to the best of my ability. Wish me luck.

With a few differences, I said much the same thing thirteen years ago when he first made his way into this world. I was a dad. I knew what was coming (or thought I has a way of changing your expectations) and didn't know if I was ready for it. In some ways, I'm still not sure.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

wakey wakey, hands off snakey

I don't know who first said, "I hate snakes!" Maybe it was Eve, right after she realized she was doing the first All Nude Review on her way out of Eden. I know it wasn't me, and it wasn't Indiana Jones, because I said it before him.

I'll be the first to admit, I'm a snake wimp. I hate snakes and I'm pretty sure they aren't too fond of me. They scare the livin' shit out of me. If I see one, I walk in the opposite direction, quickly. I have been to plenty of seminars, especially when I was in the Navy, about how to treat snakes (mostly leave them alone) and how to tell the difference between the poisonous and non-poisionous ones, so I'm a little educated on the subject. I'm educated enough to know I don't want to get close enough to inspect one for the telltale differences, let alone close enough to do me or it harm.

I know what you're thinking.."and you live in Florida. Oooookaaaayyyyyy." Well, I'm not fond of gators either, and I've had ridiculously close calls with a few of those, but they seem just as scared of me as I am of them, so we coexist better than me and snakes. Snakes just sit there, real still, hoping you don't notice them until you're in striking distance, because they hate you as much as you hate them.

So Sunday I'm grilling some sea bass in the backyard and I notice this thing that looks like a small branch in the yard. I walked up to it to pick it up and throw it out when I's not a branch, so I did what I do. I backed off and left it alone. I called to the wife and pointed it out to her and she said, "Well, kill it."


"Kill it. Get a golf club, or a shovel, or something and kill it."

"You want it dead?"


"Then you kill it. I'm perfectly happy leaving it alone to go wherever it's going."

"I'm not killing it. That's your job."

"Oh no it's not. Snake killer isn't in my job description."

"Well, what if I come out here with the dog when it's dark, or what if the youngster does. You don't want us getting bit do you?"

"No, but I don't want me getting bit either."

Soon it was a moot point, because the snake left the yard, never to be seen again...I hope.

Then came this morning. I'm up before the crack of dawn, walking the dog and I notice something next to the driveway a few houses down from us, and yeah, you guessed it...snake. Maybe the same one. It was about the same size. If I wasn't really awake yet, I certainly was then. I turned me and the dog (a ten pound pomeranian) around and walked in the opposite direction, and casually mentioned it when I got back in the house.

"There's a damn SNAKE out there!"


"Next to so-and-so's driveway."

"Well, did you kill it?"

"I had me, a leash, and a ten pound dog. What did you want me to do, pound it with the dog? No, I didn't kill it"

"Are you going to go back out and kill it?"

"Hell no! I hate snakes. You want it dead, you kill it."

The rest of the conversation went much like the one before, but in the end, I didn't kill it. When the youngster and I left for car pool, we drove by it slowly and it appeared to already be dead, or at least I could hope. In any case, it was in someone elses yard. Let them kill it if it has to die.

Me? I hate snakes.

Monday, May 08, 2006

rain, rain, come my way

I watched the Wachovia Championship yesterday, and I was sooo envious. I watched Jim Furyk work his way into a playoff and win. I watched Retief Goosen blow it big time, but most of all I watched it rain. I watched guys play golf in short sleeved windbreakers (oooh, so maybe that's what those things are for) and waited expectantly.

The Wachovia Championship is played in North Carolina and it just stands to reason, if it's raining there, the bottom of the front causing the rain ought to be pulling through North Florida any time now, or in the next hour, or overnight, or anything...please.

We've been rain-less for well over two weeks. I don't know how much over, but it's been a long time, and it seems like this week it's finally threatening. I just hope it's not an empty threat.

Friday, May 05, 2006

the lumberyard credit score

I keep seeing these places on the web to get my "free" credit score. First of all, I don't know why it's so important for me to know my credit score. I just need to know I'm paying my bills and, as long as nobody's got my identity, credit will take care of itself. The actual credit score is an irrelevant number that some marketers are trying to convince us all is a vital piece of information we can't live without.

None of those places that offer you your credit score are actually "free" though. They require you to subscribe to some service or stand on your head, or do something you wouldn't be inclined to do unless someone was enticing you with a "free" credit score.

So, as a public service, I present the lumberyard method of determining your credit score. If you get a shitload of junk mail and most of it is people offering you credit cards with low interest rates for the first 10 minutes, before they jack them up, you have a very good credit score. From there the scale just works downward. The less of this junk mail you receive, the worse your credit score. If you get no such junk mail, it's time to worry.

It's that simple.

for the first time on DVD...

I'm a fairly big Star Wars fan. I've seen all the movies in a theater, and when they came out on VHS tape, I bought them. When they came out digitally mastered on VHS, I bought them. When thet came out on DVD, I bought them...usually on the first or second day they were available. The youngster and I have had Star Wars discussions. I genuinely like the movies.

I am not, however, a fanatic. I have never attended a Star Wars convention and I won't get into discussions that involve inconsistencies between the movies or anything quite that detailed. I've never been spotted (in public anyway) dressed like a storm trooper. I just enjoy sitting with a huge tub of popcorn and watching them.

So now, Mr. Lucas says he's releasing...for the first time on DVD..the original Star Wars movies. I know people who (scare me because of this, but) are so stoked about all this and I'm thinking...why? Enough already! Someone has to point out the differences between the original and what I have for me to notice them in the first place. I'm too busy being entertained to analyze the movies. It's in this light that I look at this release of the original movies and yawn. No, I'm not buying yet another version of Star Wars. I'm quite OK with the 'newer, improved' version. Mr. Lucas, you've got my money from seeing the original movie in the theater, buying it on tape, buying it again on tape, and buying it again on DVD. Don't you think it's time to stop milking that cow and move on?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

bits and pieces from the lumberyard sports desk

I think I've made it more than clear that I'm not a Tiger fan, but I can't imagine losing my dad, even though I know the day will come. I truly am sorry for your loss Tiger, even though you truly have no idea who I am. I'm praying for you, and your family.

Although I can't agree with what Suns guard, Raja Bell did, I do agree with what he said about Kobe Bryant. I think Bryant and his attitude represent one of the NBAs biggest disconnects with Joe average fan, and the fact that he and his attitude are being pumped up by the league just makes it all worse.

Red Sox pitcher, J'ville native and all around good guy Jon Papelbon gave up his first run of the season last night. It was a great streak while it lasted big guy. Let's start another stretch just like it.

Randy Mexico, little brother of Ron, heads to Miami to tryout with the Dolphins. Apparently Dolphins head coach, Nick Saban, doesn't have enough off-the-field issues on his plate baby-sitting Ricky 'ganja-mon' Williams. He's asking for more. Granted, young Marcus Vick is a long shot to make the team, but why waste the time and invite trouble in the first place? It's not like you can't see it coming. Randy Mexico + South Beach = I don't even wanna think of the carnage.

The western conference of the NHL turned into Duck Soup last night, as the Mighty Ducks beat Calgary to make it a clean sweep for bottom feeders against top seeds in the conference. I guess that flameout really does make the regular season irrelevant, if it was relevant before this.

In NASCAR...oh I'm sorry, the subject was supposed to be sports.....that's all for now.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

whining comes to a head

Apparently while I was playing golf, something happened in the workplace. I didn't witness it, but one of my favorite whiners blew up.

This is part of the continuing emmy plaque saga. That's where some of us who worked on a project that won an emmy got these nifty plaques while others who had lesser roles did not, and they weren't happy. While I was contending with a jerk and hitting little white balls, somebody made a public display of their displeasure. This led to Monday morning when I got to work and saw I was supposed to meet with my boss's boss (and yes, there are a few bosses above him. I'm not real high on the totem pole) Tuesday afternoon.

He either heard about or witnessed the incident. I don't know exactly what happened, just that it did. He wanted to know if this was an isolated thing, or the straw that broke the camels back, or what the deal was. He just knew morale wasn't all that great and wanted to know what we should do about it, so he and I had a long talk in what was supposed to be a fifteen minute discussion.

I gave him my take on the plaque thing and a whole lot more. I told him a lot of people are working very hard and not feeling very appreciated for it. The plaques were cool for those of us who got them, but not so cool for those that didn't. Yes, some are more prone to complaining and can be loud about that, but I think that's where it stemmed from but it started long before that. I told him (and I don't think we're very alone in this regard) that we work our asses off and all anybody ever talks about is what we can do to improve, and what we did wrong. Nobody I know in our whole department, not just the part under my boss, felt like they walked away from their last annual review feeling like it was a pat on the back. Everyone came away feeling like...we aren't doing all that great, and this is what we need to do to get better. Nobody ever says we did a great (or even good) job. You walk away's never good enough. If you work all weekend to hit a deadline, nobody ever says, "You busted your ass and got it done. Take Monday off and we'll start fresh on Tuesday." No, Monday morning you're starting on another 10 hour day to get the next thing done, and you're probably already behind. I survive in this environment because I'm confident enough in what I do to know when I did a good job, even if I don't hear it, and if something bothers me, I tell someone and get it resolved before I let it eat at me. Just whining amongst your peers won't get you there.

I told him he needs some rumor control, because people hear wild stories about what other people in this company get or got to do, and there's a lot of "Why do they get to and we don't" stuff going on and half the stories are just that..stories. I sat there for a good hour, but yeah, the last 15 minutes or so were spent more talking golf than work.

Afterwards he thanked me for being honest and made me feel like he liked the input because it helped him see what we need to work on. We'll see if anything comes of it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

big mug o' draft

OK, maybe not that big a mug, but a few tentative reflections...

Marcedes Lewis, tight end, UCLA

OK, I know this is what the experts said we'd do, but I think it's the first time even they have been right. I was definitely wrong, and maybe there are good reasons for that. Maybe there wasn't a linebacker or offensive lineman worthy of the 28th (or 60th) pick in the draft, but I think we needed those far more than another tight end or little guy running back. I don't think the Jaguars offense, such as I've seen it since the last coaching change, has made effective use of a tight end in the passing game. The tight end usually stays in and blocks to keep Leftwich off his back. Now there could be two reasons for that. I'm assuming it's because the line wasn't effective enough to do it without tight end help. Maybe it was because the coaching staff didn't think our tight ends made very good receivers and felt, "Well, if they can't catch the ball, they might as well block." The only problem with that rationale is, you would think if they were being extra blockers, Byron would stay on his feet more. He got hit on more than 'babe a day' to the right over there in a singles bar. Either way, balls haven't been thrown to tight ends in a Jaguars offense with any regularity since the Del Rio era began, so why draft someone who specializes in that arena? I guess we'll see.

The second round pick made some sense if you're thinking Fred Taylor replacement, but he's a small fast running back. We drafted one of those last year. His name is Alvin Pearman and he was doing pretty damn good, but he's no replacement for Fred Taylor either. He is good enough that I didn't think we needed a Pearman clone, but now, we have one.

Finally, round three...a linebacker. Something I think we need, and hopefully he rises to the occasion...and fast.

All that said, I freely admit I know how well these guys will pan out as much as anybody, and that's zip, zilch, nada. Only time will tell.......

Monday, May 01, 2006

nobody's mistaking it for Hollywood

Well, after the very cool member/guest tournament and the draft (and the fact that I haven't blogged since Wednesday), I have all kinds of ideas for things to talk about.

First let me say the tournament thing was fun. We didn't play particularly well, and if we would have played just a little bit better, we could have won the thing (or at least our group in the thing), but oh well. I got some pretty neat stuff out of it...a windbreaker (short sleeved though. what's up with that?), a hat, an umbrella and a money clip (which would be cooler if I had stuff to put in it, and cooler still if it came with stuff to put in it).

We had one match against someone being an asshole. I used to like the guy. We've been out to dinner with him and his wife. They've been at our house and we at theirs. I've blogged about him before. He was the guy in January who made me uncomfortable about the whole subject of gambling on golf. He plays every week now and has gotten pretty good, and it seems to have turned him into a different, very smug person. We met him, and his brother (who was his partner) on the first hole we were to play, and immediately his attitude was condescending. My partner wore the same colored shirt as the staff at the course, so his comment was something like, "After we take you for a few holes in this match, you can clean my clubs." Now, if this was Hollywood, we'd be the Bad News Bears and come back from nowhere to kick his ass, but it's not Hollywood. I let the asshole and his cracks during the match get to me, and played badly...and we lost by two strokes. The world wasn't over though. There were four other matches to play and we had already won one of those. Going into the last match on the last day, the asshole and his brother were in second place in our group of six teams. They were down to another team by one point (or hole, for those of you who know what match play scoring is). The team that was leading was our opponent in that last match. We were in fourth place and thought ourselves pretty much out of contention. We were sooo tempted to just lay down and let them beat the crap out of us, just so the asshole couldn't win the thing, but that wouldn't be right. So we played...and played well. We were helped by the fact that the other team didn't play well, but they hadn't lost a match yet, and here we were beating them...and beating them badly. They were really nice people and despite the fact that we beat them by four holes in a nine hole match, we made friends. So we walked in, handed in the last of our scores only to find....because we beat them so bad, we were leading by one hole, but the asshole hadn't finished yet. If he came out even or worse in his last match, we would have won. If this was Hollywood, he would have spit his match and his jaw would have dropped when he saw that we won, but again, it's not Hollywood. He won by two holes and won our group in the thing. Afterwards, we were eating lunch with the two guys we just beat, talking about whatever and the asshole comes over to our table, looks at me and says something very close to (only because I can't remember the exact quote), "Thank you so much John, for beating the shit out of those two suckers. You're my hero!" It's been a long time since I've been that uncomfortable, and witness to such a complete lack of class. The "suckers" were sitting right there at the table, and really didn't need to hear that, in any way, shape or form, let alone like that. On top of that, there was the gambling issue. You could bet on your team if you wanted to, and most guys there did. We did not. The bet was $200 per team. I've mentioned before that I'm not much on gambling to start with, and not much on gambling on golf. If you saw my game, I think you'd agree that it's not something you put $200 on to win. Anyway, if we would have bet, we played well enough the last day that we would have made a fair amount of money. This doesn't faze me in the least. I'm just as much in favor of taking someone elses money as I am giving mine away. Well, the asshole made a huge deal out of that, and kept harping on it, to the point where my partner just looked at him and said, "Look, John already told you three times that we didn't bet on our team, and we really don't care that we would have won money. Drop it already."

No, it wasn't a Hollywood ending, which is a shame, because he was the only real downer in what was otherwise a very cool three days of golf and fun. If someone would have told me at the start that we would have come in second and that guy would have won, I'd have been O.K. with that. The fact that we came in second still is pretty cool, and the fact that he won isn't that big a deal. It's the way he won and how he acted that's still bothering me a bit....but I'll get over it, and I'll miss the guy the ashole was, before he became the asshole.