Tuesday, October 31, 2006

babysitting, and the youngster

A few weeks ago, the wife called me at work. She asked what I thought of the youngster doing some babysitting. I thought about it, and didn't see a whole lot wrong with it. As long as it's in the neighborhood and he has all the phone numbers he would need to keep out of trouble...well, sure. Why not? He'd need to take the Red Cross course and...no, what did I think about him doing it that evening? .....................................Oh.

Well, it was a Thursday, and someone in the neighborhood who knows him asked if he could do it, for just a few hours while they went to a school meeting, and he had Friday off...and he really wanted to...and one of his buddies usually does it, but he had something else to do, and they're really in a bind and...

Damn, what a wake up call. Talk about trying to see your baby through other parents' eyes, and..is he ready for this? Watching someone elses kids? You step back and try to be objective about your kid and look at him without the dad glasses on, and yeah, the youngster isn't quite that young anymore. He really is good with kids and when he gets put in the position of being responsible with younger cousins and friends' kids, he does well. So, well, I guess so.

So he did it, and got along really well with the kids, and enjoyed it. When the parents got home, they asked what he charges. He had no idea what to say. He just said whatever they normally gave his buddy would be fine.

One time deal...until last Saturday. Same folks called and wanted him back, from 6 till...whenever they got home. OK, so now we're starting to talk real babysitting. He got home around eleven with $30, and was so stoked. This babysitting thing was getting lucrative.

Sunday morning we went to church. On the way home, we stopped to get some groceries, and saw another woman from the neighborhood that we know from church. She saw the youngster and said, "Hey, I understand you're babysitting now. I could really use you. Do you do weekdays too?"

He looked at me. I looked at him, then her, and just said, "No!" She kind-of said, "Ooooooooooo K then, no weekdays," I guess I overreacted just a bit, but we have a lot of school issues to work out, and weekday babysitting isn't getting in the way. That "No!" probably sounded pretty forceful, even if it was more of a scared "No!" than anything. After we walked away, the youngster said, "Daaaaaaaad" (the three syllable "dad"). "That's money we're talking about." I explained when the grades get a whole lot better, we can discuss the weekday babysitting thing again, but for now, I don't think so.

In the meantime, if he really is going to do some of this on a regular basis....we need to find out how one gets Red Cross certified and becomes a real babysitter...other than saying, "OK, I'll do it."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Who ARE those guys

I can't say I'm unhappy about the Jaguars win over the Eagles, but it is confounding. How does the team that looks so bad against the Texans look that dominating against the Eagles? Does a "get your shit together" wakeup talk mean that much? Even without Leftwich (and all reports to the contrary, he is the better quarterback compared to Garrard) they dominated the Eagles. Maybe that's part of it. They didn't lean on Garrard like they do Leftwich and everyone took their jobs a little more seriously. Whatever it is, it doesn't exactly instill a ton of confidence, even going into a home game against Jeff Fischer and the Tennessee Titans.

All that said, I'm glad we don't play the Eagles often. This was only the third meeting, and while the Jaguars have won all of them, I don't relish those. The Eagles were my team...more or less...growing up in Pennsylvania more than anywhere else, and going to college in Philly. I pulled for them more than any other team, but I wasn't heavily indoctrinated. You can tell, because I pretty much disowned them when they hired Buddy Ryan as their head coach in the 80's. I figured they'd sold their soul to the devil, and I wanted no part of that. I did live in Harrisburg for four years of high school and in Philly for four years of college, but other than that my childhood and adult life was geographically scattered by the military in one shape or another, until about 20 years ago when we settled here...so here really is home. That isn't the case for the rest of my family though...nor college buddies. They stayed there. Most who aren't Steeler fans are big time Eagles fans...including my parents, brother (season ticket holder) and sister and her husband, and my college roommate who now lives in J'ville (but was a season ticket holder not too long ago). The only reason I don't relish Eagles games is I don't like the aftermath. My brother and I talk football, a lot, and after those games...it's not easy. My dad asked me last night, "What happened to the Eagles today?" It's hard pulling out the hammer on your dad, but I did. "Whaddya mean what happened to the Eagles? They played the Jaguars. Doesn't that explain it?" Of course, that was easy to say after the game, but he did open that door. I got a two word e-mail from my brother, which said exactly what you'd expect from a typical Eagles fan..."Eagles SUCK!" I sent a reply, but it was more consoling than anything...and it shouldn't be. I should be talkin' trash, but...he's my brother. I just can't bring myself to do that. I like it better when we can talk and not rub it in each others faces...no matter which way it goes.


Friday, October 27, 2006

it's all about making Me-O happy

Yahoo Sports is reporting that Me-O is pleased with the quarterback change in Dallas, and that's so good to hear. I was having trouble sleeping last night, worrying about his reaction to the announcement.

The word is Byron Leftwich probably won't start for the Jaguars this Sunday. I'm still waiting for Ernest Wilford to weigh in on that posssibility. I hope that doesn't mean yet another sleepless night.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Florida, Georgia and the University of South Alabama

This weekend is Florida/Georgia (or Georgia/Florida, depending on your perspective) weekend in J'ville. It is the weekend of the annual Florida/Georgia football game, otherwise known as the world's largest outdoor cocktail party...and make no mistake, it is a party.

In honor of said game, it has just been declared here in the office, tomorrow, we will have a very casual dress day, where we can wear a shirt from our favorite college team. Well, I have no Florida or Georgia gear, and don't see myself buying any. I don't like either of them that much. I do have a Villanova University sweatshirt. Actually, I have two of those. The problem is, it'll be something like 80° here tomorrow...putting the "sweat" in sweatshirt.

After a little research, I have decided to become a University of South Alabama fan for the day...home of the University of South Alabama.....Jaguars.


an eye for an eye...makes the whole world blind

Danny Rolling, convicted serial killer, was executed by lethal injection last night. The general feeling in these parts we should throw a party and dance in the streets. This...is one of the chinks in my otherwise conservative armor.

Danny Rolling killed at least 5 University of Florida students. There is speculation that he was responsible for more. The guy was a monster, and I won't debate that. I don't, however, think that gives us, as a society, the excuse to commit the same crime against him. Yes, it's financially expedient, because now the taxpayer doesn't pay to keep him alive and vegging in a prison somewhere. Yes, it sends him to the same fate he sent others to. Yes, it might even be a deterrent to others, though that's a hard one to prove. Yes, it also drags us, as a society, down to his monstrous level.

Like I said, this is one chink in my normally conservative outlook. The death penalty is a cornerstone of the conservative platform, and it isn't part of mine. I see it as a contradiction to my belief that God gave us this life we have...and who are we to willingly take it away from someone who really isn't threatening anyone. No he isn't an innocent baby, but he couldn't hurt anybody where he was, and snuffing him out isn't for us to decide. That's God's job.

I know the follow-up question is, well then, what do you propose we do with the Danny Rollings of the world? I'll admit I don't have a good answer for that. I just don't think it's murdering them.

the road to Philadelphia

Ahhh, the City of Brotherly Love. I know the history behind that moniker and yeah, 250 years ago it might have been accurate. Today, you never hear it unless it's dripping with sarcasm, especially when discussing the welcome for visiting teams (and their fans) there to play the Eagles. Lincoln Financial is one of the few (possibly the only) stadiums in the NFL where it's asking for physical harm to come to you if you show up in your team's colors, and those don't involve green...and the fans are actually proud of that. My brother is a season ticket holder, and while he'd never (that I know of) bludgeon anybody for wearing gear from a visiting team, he jokes about what happens to people who do. The police did for a little while, to root out troublemakers...and they stopped because it was too scary. That's how bad it is (and yeah, he jokes about that too).

So...that hostility is what the Jaguars walk into this weekend. The history, short as it is...the Jaguars have played the Eagles twice over the years...both times here and both were Jaguar victories. This is the first trip to Philly...and I'm not hopeful. Nor am I hopeless. After last week in Houston though, I'm not expecting a whole lot. Not only that. Win or lose, there isn't much I can take from this game. Certainly I'd rather see a Jaguar win, but if that happens, given the performances over the last few weeks, what does that tell me about my team? Not a whole lot. It says we can win against a quality opponent on the road, which is good, but it also adds creedence to the weekly question, "Which Jaguars team will show up this week? Is it the team that got stomped on in Houston or the team that creamed the Jets?" That question stays around until we can show some consistency. If we lose, it makes the playoff possibility look..well...bleak, and possibly proves the injuries really have made the difference that won't be overcome. Still, it doesn't rule out the playoffs...not yet. It does say we have no business going deep in them if we get there (unless there is a huge turnaround)....so what's the point?

So yeah, it's kind of a momentum game. We can start something positive and try to sustain it, or we can roll in the snowball we created last week....and make it bigger, going down the wrong hill.


another day with the "shrink"

Well, I guess technically, he's not a "shrink" but to be honest, I don't even know that for sure. The wife and I spent a session with the counselor last night...sans youngster, to discuss ways to help him cope with ADD.

I will admit, the guy has ideas that sound like they could help us, so that's already a plus as far as I'm concerned. I wasn't expecting a whole lot and I'm alreadt better off than I was, I think. I started using one of his ideas this morning. The youngster has an "agenda" book where he's supposed to write all his homework assignments/projects/tests. This is one of the larger breakdowns. He gets home and there's nothing in the "agenda" book...or there is, and he does what's there, but it's not all there so he doesn't do everything he's supposed to do. Starting today, there will be something witten in the book for every class. Even if he has no homework, he will write "no homework". That will at least make him put something in the book and increase the chance that if there really was something to put there...it will get there. The counselor suggested a punishment/reward system for doing this correctly or not. That part is coming. The wife and I have to put some structure to that to make it work, and that will happen over the next few days. I just wanted to start the concept as soon as possible. I didn't want to throw together the punishment/reward system that quickly. That part will take more thought.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"I would like to extend to you an invitation to the pants party."

On the radio on the way to work this moring, I heard Paris 'has anyone seen my ass' Hilton is looking for a New Year's Eve gig. She wants to host New Year's Rockin' Eve or some equivalent. All she wants is $100,000, a private jet to get her to the party and back and a few other various and sundry extras. Paris Hilton? One hundred grand? For what?

I could see hiring her for a party, but the fee would be more like $500, and she needs to provide her own transport and pole...and it's not for New Year's Eve. If you're thinking I'm being cheap at $500, remember, it's Paris Hilton we're talking about. I've seen her Hardee's commercial. Most of the girls working in a gentlemen's club in Anytown USA could command more...and do an infinitely better job...at either party.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ahhh..the signs of fall in Florida

There are plenty of hints. The fact that the car has no license plate and is showroom shiny black are the first you may pick up. The fact that it's a Mustang, and the driver seems to be making every effort to ensure everyone around him is impressed with his ability to accelerate, as he cuts them off in traffic, can be one as well. That, however, has less to do with the temperature drop than it has with someone who wants everyone to know why he's obnoxiously impressed with his purchase.

The real clincher is that Mr. Driver is wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up, and you can visually see the heat rising out of his brand new convertible because dammit, he doesn't care that it's 46° outside. That top is going down!

Monday, October 23, 2006

the Houston game

I don't know what to think. I just know what I saw, and it was ugly. I can't even call it the Jaguar game, because the Jaguars didn't bother to show up.

Is it the injuries coming to take their toll? Is it the fact that we don't have Mike P. and Reggie Hayward anymore this year, and Marcus Stroud was out for the game? That's three huge pieces of the defense. Add to that the fact that we lost Greg Jones early for the season, Matt Jones didn't play and Byron probably shouldn't have. The offense clearly needed something that wasn't there. Some of the names on the backs of jerseys playing yesterday were undrafted free agents who got hired to play special teams. Welcome to the NFL, guys.

Was it arrogance? Friday we have Fred Taylor mouthing off about his contract and how he's not going to keep doing what he's doing for "free". Do game changing fumbles come "free" too? Listen Fred. I'd love to get paid your $2.5 million base before incentives version of "free", and that's to do my job without fucking up quite that huge.

Was it that Houston Texan curse? There is no bottom feeding team that plays the Jaguars harder. Over the life of that franchise, they have yet to have a winning record, but they do against the Jaguars...5 and 4.

I'm not sure what to expect next. I don't know what kind of team we have now. Del Rio wants to write it off as a very bad day at the office, and I'd like to believe him. I can't help thinking though...we've lost a lot of key people, either temporarily or for the rest of the season, and it's showing. People are still using that "playoff" word and as much as I was starting to believe a few weeks ago....you can't use that word and play like we did yesterday.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Mr. Foley and the priest

The whole Congressman Foley thing is sickening, and I'm not looking for excuses just because we apparently share a political viewpoint. There is no excuse for hitting on high school aged kids who are pages in Congress when you're a Congressman. There's a higher standard in those halls, and Foley failed it by a long shot.

The fact that he had issues with a priest when he was young might make some of it understandable (though I think even that's a stretch), but not excusable. Still the line from the priest is...absurd. There were incidents Foley might perceive as inappropriate, like massaging the boy in the nude. Excuse me? Might? What might? There's no might. I don't even go in my son's room when he's naked. What possible other way is there to perceive that? You're a priest with a naked boy. I don't care what happens after that. It's already inappropriate, and there's no might or perception about it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

off to Houston

What is it about the Houston Texans? Is it the fact that they started with a roster and coaching staff that borrowed heavily from the Jaguars? Is it a matchup thing? What is it about a team that perennially finishes in the bottom of our division that makes them damn near impossible for the Jaguars to beat? They aren't all that bad, as evidenced by close games, and holding leads against good teams. They aren't getting blown out, so it's not like they're Oakland, but everyone else seems to play them, put that 'W' in the box and leave...except us. Against the Jaguars, David Carr looks like he's headed to the pro bowl and we look...stymied. Last year is the first time I can remember that we won both meetings with that team. In 2004, they knocked us out of the playoffs...like a day or two before Christmas....yeah, Merry f'ing Christmas that year. I know for some players, it was a revenge thing. Gary Walker, one of my favorite Jaguars (when he was one) got hung out in the expansion draft and taken by Houston. I don't think he ever forgave Jacksonville, and played like a man possessed in those games. I don't think he's there anymore though...so that shouldn't be a factor. There are still a few ex-Jags on that roster though.

Still, a few guys don't make that big a difference, do they? That team always seems to play us tougher than just about anyone else...and I expect this Sunday to be no different.


still on the fence

One session with the counselor in the books, and he seems to know what he's talking about, but I'm still very skeptical.

He asked a lot of questions and talked about setting up a plan to help modify the youngster's behavior, and help him learn to organize and focus, which are two things he doesn't do well. I feel like it's one of those "you only get out what you put in" situations, so I certainly don't want to be half hearted about it. I want this to work, if it can. I'm just still not too sure it can. Something has to help though. The youngster's report card came home yesterday and it's very far from a thing of beauty. We can't keep rolling down the road we're on now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

to go where no man has gone before....

...or at least in close to a century.

Lou Piniella is taking on the job of managing the Chicago Cubs, and vows to make them a winner.

No offense Lou, but who the hell do you think you are, the second coming of Moses? (I served with Moses. I knew Moses. Moses was a friend of mine. Lou, you're no Moses.) I'm sorry, but parting the Red Sea is looking like child's play next to what you're taking on. I saw you manage in Tampa Bay. This is way over your head, dude. I like the Cubs, and to be honest, I would love to see them raised from mediocrity and into the next World Series, but I would also love to win the lottery, and I see both outcomes as equally probable, even though I don't buy lottery tickets. What makes you think you can succeed where 98 years of managers before you have failed? Who painted the huge 'S' on your chest?

I wish you all the luck in the world, but damn....I thought I was an optimist. You make me look like freakin' eeyore.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

you need to seek professional help

If you've visited this place any length of time, you know the youngster (and because he does, we all do) battles with ADD. Last year I wasn't sure we'd get through 7th grade, and breathed a sigh of relief when we did.

We had a family talk after that, and told the youngster he needs to step up his game in 8th grade. Mom and dad aren't ready to handle another year like last year, constantly checking behind him, and looking at a website provided by teachers to know what's due and when tests are, instead of having him know and inform us. I told him I'm more than willing to help him study, but I want some help knowing when and what. I'd rather he ask me to help study Chapter 3 in Science rather than finding out on a website that there's a test and battling with him to get him to sit down with me and do it. Telling me, "I know the stuff I need to know for the test" and seeing the test come back with an F is more than old. He assured us he was ready to do his part.

The first grading period has now come to a close and report cards come home this week. We're bracing for the worst. We have had progress reports that confirm our fears...we're not doing any better. We talked to him over the last week or two, about homework not done, tests we didn't know about, and he admitted he hasn't been doing much of anything. Last week, the wife called me. Mom-in-law is home with him during the week and three days in a row he came home and said, "I have no homework. I'm going out to play." I called him Thursday and told him, "I don't know what you have for homework, but I know you have something. Even if you don't, you go home and study..science..social studies...anything, but no, you aren't out playing." he gave me all sorts of attitude, but he went home. Found out afterward that he went home, and started working on a project due the next day, that he knew about for three days. He didn't complete it. The teacher told him if he did it over the weekend, he'd get partial credit....so he did it Saturday. We checked it, but he did all the work, and had it done in three hours...and he did a good job with it. Why he couldn't do that on time...I don't know.

So, we get to the crux of this entry. The wife and I both have a benefit from work, where we can see a counselor for X amount off sessions, free. Personally, I don't know about all this. The whole "professional help" thing is foreign to me and I'm not all that keen on it. The few people I know who see therapists, or whatever you want to call them, seem to do it indefinitely, with no real light at the end of the tunnel. It just isn't on my radar screen as an answer to anything. The wife wants to try though....because we need to do something we aren't doing now...anything that might help. I...am willing to try. I figure it can't hurt, and I might actually learn something that could help. She set up appointments, starting this Wednesday. Her initial talk with said counselor sounded encouraging. He said many kids with ADD go through what the youngster is, and if left unchecked, they'll decide nobody can help or understand them and they shut everyone out. Once a kid gets there, he/she is impossible to help. Since we haven't got to that point, we're in a good place. So far, to me, that's a lot of mumbo-jumbo. I hope he proves me wrong. I have to admit, things the wife did in this arena in the past have proven me wrong. She's the one who insisted he might have allergies. I said, no, he's just a normal kid. She was right. She said he might have ADD. I insisted he was a normal boy, being a boy. She had him tested and she was right. She insisted he needed help with reading comprehension and set him up in a Huntington Learning Center. There's one I think I was right on. Well over four thousand dollars later, I think he wasn't much better off and when we pulled him out, they insisted their tests showed he still needed help. That one might be the model for my "no light at the end of the tunnel" doubts. Those people acted like he ought to be in their program for the rest of his life, and we should keep financing that, and squealed like pigs when I told them the money trough wasn't being refilled, and played the guilt card heavily to try to make me reconsider. I'm sure some folks get the results they expect there, but I came out of that experience thinking, "money pit".

We told the youngster last night, and framed it as..we're going to see this person as a family, to see if he can help us do things better, because we aren't getting it right on our own. He, predictably, wasn't happy. He told us we're doing great as parents (like he knows) and he promised to do better at school. Well, that skip in the record has been there for a few years now, and it's not sounding any closer to the truth, yet.

When I tucked him in, he looked at me and said, "Dad, we don't need anybody's help. We can do this by ourselves. We wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't being so stupid about school, would we?" He reached out for a hug...and I just sat there with him, holding him, for a few minutes, and told him I love him.

I found myself trying to defend something I'm skittish about to start with, but I'm trying to present the united front, and told him..."I'm just looking for ways we can do things better, and if this guy can help us do that, I'm all for it. You always tell me I don't understand. Well, I need to understand so we can all work together better..so I know how to help you better. If this guy helps me do that, great. If not, we didn't lose anything trying."

We'll see how it goes.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My grudge...against scary movies

I have never been a big scary movie fan. I've seen a few, but I'm more of a comedy/action/adventure/comedy guy as anyone could see if they click on the profile thing and see my favorites. Saw, isn't in there, and neither is Saw 2.

The youngter has a moth drawn to flame relationship with scary movies. He wants to watch them, until he's watching them, and afterwards, he's hating life. About six monthe ago he got all psyched about seeing The Grudge at a neighbor's house. He came home afterwards about as white as sour cream, and didn't sleep a wink, and therefore neither did the rest of the house. Then there was the Exorcist episode, resulting in more lost sleep. So this week he comes to me and says he wants to see The Grudge 2 Saturday night. I thought it was rated 'R' and used that as a convenient excuse to say "no", but found later that it isn't....so we're back to square one. In the meantime, since I said "no" for a while, he made other plans, and will watch Poltergeist with the same folks who were going to see The Grudge 2 on Saturday night, and maybe catching The Grudge 2 in the theater on Sunday, since he (and therefore I) has Monday off from school. Somehow I know it's coming. Not one, but two nights where none of us are getting any sleep.

again, the Onion proves to be my favorite source of sports news

Where else can you read about George Steinbrenner firing the Detroit Tigers for their disappointing post season performance.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

to hell with the car

...just give me the way cool driver suit.

Just when I thought I had seen it all, or a fair majority of it anyway, the PGA Tour goes and sponsors a car on the NASCAR circuit...at least for one race. Don't ask me how all that works, but the article says the car will be painted like that for one race. I didn't know you could rent space on the hood of a car on a race by race basis, but I guess I'm just showing my NASCAR ignorance.

I wonder if they'd let me wear that getup on the course?

Me-O hits the news again

I gotta tell ya, the Onion is quickly becoming my favorite source for sports news.

10/11 (the 9/11 sequel?)

I'm still in some "News of the Weird" place over this whole "Cory Lidle puts a plane in the side of a building" thing. It's tragic. It's bizarre. It's terrible. It's strange how ESPN can spend all night covering it with so little that anyone knows...so they just repeat themselves over and over in some sick death loop. I'd watch something else and come back, only to see the same thing I saw half an hour ago, then watch something else and come back, only to see the same thing I saw half an hour ago, then watch something else and come back, only to see the same thing I saw half an hour ago, then watch something else and come back, only to see the same thing I saw half an hour ago. Then I went to bed.

I noticed the media had no problem releasing his name, but not the others on board, pending notification of next of kin. What? His next of kin don't count? I realize they could release his name earlier because they figured out it was his plane. They probably didn't have the other names that soon. Still, just because you can doesn't mean you should. You could have an ounce of respect for his family.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Truth is stranger than fiction

I think it was Tom Clancy who said, "The difference between fiction and non-fiction is fiction has to make sense."

If this story is indeed true, and some Yankee pitcher planted his plane in the side of a Manhattan high rise right after the Yankees crash and burn in the playoffs...I'm sorry...that's just too surreal.

Yes, it's a sick play on words, but this is just too weird.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hey Nicole Richie

Paris Hilton called. She wants her skank-lebrity look back.

Oh, I see you guys are talking. She'll probably bring that up. I guess my work is done here.

what was that noise? oh, the Jaguars just scored..again, but what was that other noise?

Was that the straw, breaking the camel's back?

Mike Peterson tore a pectoral muscle in the lopsided win against the Jets, and is out for the season. That's the second big loss on the defense, after Reggie Hayward went down in the first game. In fact, it's a bigger loss. Mike P. is the heart and soul of the Jaguars defense. He's the one, in the fourth quarter when the opposing offense is driving for the winning touchdown, that rallies the troops, that busts someone in the face and hits a little harder, and makes everyone else hit a little harder and turns the tide back. Someone will step in and play his position, but I don't know who's going to play his role. This is big, a lot like the Donovan Darius loss last year.

I'm not ready for gloom and doom. I think the Jaguars can still have a damn good season. It's just...Reggie Hayward, Greg Jones, and now Mike P....I don't know how many more hits to the difference makers we can take, and I don't know if this one was the real difference maker for the season. I guess we'll see.

Monday, October 09, 2006

quick hits on a Monday

Me-O is grumbing about losing a game...oh wait, that was news three years ago. Not so much now. The folks in Philly had to be loving that one though.

The Yankees fall to Detroit, and just how sweet is that? In New York, everyone's pointing fingers, and from what I can see so far, it looks like they'll shoot themselves in the foot yet again, by getting rid of one of the things that they have going right...Joe Torre. What's waiting in the wings? With enough money, can George bring Billy Martin back from the dead?

Played tennis with the youngster this weekend. If I'm not careful, that kid's gonna whip me into shape.

Damn, what was that?...oh, the Jaguars just scored....again.

On the really scary front..North Korea is making things go boom. Let's see...cash strapped country with nuclear technology and terrorists with cash, desperate for that technology to wreak havoc on all I hold dear, all living in the same world.

Friday, October 06, 2006

you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose

Yahoo, in it's fantasy games section, has a pro pick 'em game. This isn't full blown fantasy football with picks and trades and calculating points and all that. It's simple. Just pick the winners. It's also perfect for us at work, because we don't have time for all that other fantasy league stuff. Give me five minutes on a Friday, and I'm done with it all. Several of us are in a small league. At the end, the winner gets bragging rights until next year, but that's about it...no trophies...no betting...just for fun stuff. We usually give the winner a Coke, but we have a Coke fountain thing in the kitchen, so that's not costing us anything.

The Indians are in on it too, which is fun. They are learning about football and provide a bit of education themselves..watching how they figure out who should beat who, and what kind of advice they'll heed. Currently, I find myself in a tie with one of the Indians. I know, that sounds shameful, and it is. Think about this though. We're both doing better than Sean Salisbury, so what does that say about that imbecile?

Anyway, I can't let the status quo remain. Nor can I let the young Indian better me, so I've spent the greater part of the day dropping hints...about how Chad Pennington is going to shred the Jagaurs defense...and how my young Indian friend should be all over that upset pick. Gawd, I hope I'm wrong.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Go Tigers

Maybe it's my love for the underdog. Maybe it's knowing how far they've come from last year. Maybe it's that I despise George Steinbrenner and his store bought, no heart, all cash Yankees. Maybe it's the fact that the J'ville Suns used to be a Detroit farm team before they switched to the Dodgers. Maybe it's pulling for Jim Leyland, who I hated (but respected) when he managed the Pirates and they were the Braves' nemisis, but now...I'd like to see pull off something huge. Maybe it's all of that put together.

However you frame it, I'd like to see the Tigers put an end to the Yankee season, and going home with a split is a good start. I realize by putting my hat in their corner, I've jinxed Detriot, but I'm pulling for them anyway.

Donovan,dude..what are ya thinkin'?

Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens - the feud continues.

Apparently McNabb sent Owens a text message during his accidental overdose/failed suicide attempt/media attention grab/whatever the hell it was, to tell him he was thinking about him and praying for him. T.O says he never got any such message, and stopped shot of calling McNabb a liar but pretty much insinuated it.

Donny...dude. (I'm putting this here because as we all know, Donovan is just one of the multitude that reads the lumberyard daily.) Why are you going there? Can't you just leave bad enough alone? You can be concerned for the guy if you want, and pray for him if you want, but don't attempt any kind of contact. The best that can happen from that is...absolutely nothing. The worst is...well, what's happening now. Let the whole you and Me-O thing just die. Don't bring him up. Don't talk to him, text message him, tell Me-O jokes, nothing. Accept the fact that you can't win this one. No matter what you do, it's going to blow up in your face like bad Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder. Pray for him if you feel so inclined, but don't tell him, or anybody else. Just let it all go away.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Films About Ghosts

A Lumberyard review/endorsement:

About two months ago I was browsing BMG, my favorite online music store. The youngster wanted a new CD and I looked there first. BMG has two things you need to know. They don't have everything out there, and sometimes that pisses me off. What they do have, it's better to buy in bulk, so you don't go there to buy one CD. You go there prepared to buy three or more, or it's not such a great deal. When you buy quantity, the price per CD goes way down and the shipping is spread across more discs. That isn't the endorsement though, or the review. If I'm endorsing something, I usually don't say it sometimes pisses me off. Like I said, it's a good place to look and, if they have what you want and you want a few titles..go for it.

It was this night though, with the youngster, when we found what he wanted, that I thought...well, let's see if we can make this worthwhile. What else do they have that I might want? Among the things I found was Films About Ghosts: The Best of the Counting Crows. Best of the Counting Crows? Already? I bought one Counting Crows CD sometime in the 90's cuz I loved the Mr. Jones song, and I liked the rest of the CD. I didn't realize there was a volume of material out there suitable for a 'best of' thing. This had one other thing going for it, though. The opening track from Shrek 2, Accidentally in Love, was on it, and I liked that a lot, so I thought, why not. Gotta tell ya...I couldn't be happier with the purchase. This thing has been in the CD changer in the rolling video game since we bought it (the CDs showed up about the same time we bought the car). Others rotate in and out, but this stays. You can find reviews online, but I just wanted to give a big Lumberyard endorsement to this CD. If you like the Counting Crows at all, you'll love this. When I get to Accidentally in Love, and the exuberence of the vocals and "surrender to the strawberry ice cream never ever ender", and...there's just no way you can be in a bad mood after that.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

house poor? not so much

I read this article at lunch, and it's eating at me so I'll do what I always do for therapy...I'll write out what I have to say.

The article says that Americans are becoming more house poor, and citing as it's argument, that homeowners in every state but one spent more of their income on a mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities. Well....duh...especially that last one. Utilities have gone through the roof in the last year. I know in the lumberyard house, we're using less than we did last year and paying over twice as much (thank you again, FPL). Then when you look at the one state that's the exception, it makes even more sense...Alaska, home of cheap oil. It's not that we're house poor. We're energy poor, whether it's for the house, the car or the lawn mower. We're getting a huge wake up call, and it has very little to do with the house itself. It has more to do with the lights inside that house.

Somewhere in there it hints that people are willing to pay too much for a house, and housing prices are going up, despite a soft market. I won't argue that houses are cheaper than at the beginning of the decade. Not much is, besides maybe the 99 cent whopper jr. Veggies at the grocery store are more expensive than they were in 2000. That doesn't mean we're veggie poor. Living in a house is costing us more, sure. The biggest culprit isn't housing prices though...it's utilities.

getting morally ridiculous

I heard this on the way to work today (on the radio - large grain of salt required).

A movie theater (I can't remember where), bowing to public pressure (or someone with a twisted sense of humor), has changed the sign on its marquee. It now reads:


is there really any way to understand?

The youngster has come to the age where the answer to many questions is, "You just don't understand." He's thirteen and pushing for his independence and not really wanting the reality of it, then really wanting it and the hormones are surging and, no I don't understand. Neither does he. Neither does anyone else, despite 'expert' claims to the contrary. So goes the confusing world of growing up and becoming a teenager on your way to being an adult.

There's a joke. I can't quite remember how it goes but I have the gist. A genie offers a man one wish. The man asks for a bridge, from San Francisco to Hawaii, so he can road trip there whenever he pleases. The genie balks, telling how impossible that would be. The metals don't exist for that kind of stress and flexibility requirement, and it would totally screw up shipping lanes and maintaining that bridge would be a nightmare and, isn't there something else? The man says, "OK...I want to completely understand women. I want to know what it takes to make my wife happy, all the time. I want to know why she gets upset, but says everything's fine when it isn't, and why she crys when she's happy. I want to know why she can endure amazing hardships, but go off the deep end when she breaks a nail. I want to know everything that goes on in that head of hers." The genie says, "Can we look at that bridge thing again?"

It's with those two concepts that I look at some milk man in Lancaster...my high school backyard, pretty much...executing 5 Amish girls at school. How do you comprehend that? The police and media are looking for a motive, trying to understand why the guy did what he did. The best they can come up with is some revenge thing that happened 20 years ago, that the guy never let go of. How does that happen? How does that translate into...go to an Amish school and execute 5 completely innocent kids? How does that make it all better? any better? anything other than a whole lot worse? I don't think I can come close to grasping that, nor find the words for the tragedy of it all.

I feel like I'm in a joke, saying, "Let's take another crack at that puberty mindset thing."

Monday, October 02, 2006

who were those guys?

....and what's they do with my defense? That certainly didn't look like the Jaguars defense I've come to know and love. I have to give credit to the Redskins. They saw something there (overpursuit, maybe) and exploited it. Hopefully we can fix that mess before the Jets come to town.

I think part of the problem is we're starting to feel the effects of the key guys we've lost already this year. I know this isn't all of it, but we sure missed Reggie Hayward and Greg Jones (both out for the year) yesterday. Both of them could have helped us do things we didn't do....run the ball and stop the run. Matt Jones (groin injury) played, but barely and ineffectively. As a fan, I can hope all that doen't affect the team, but realistically, it has to. One game doesn't a season make, and it's the first one where I was truly frustrated by the team not playing well. Hopefully it's an off game and we get back on track. I'll say this though. Mark Brunell looked a lot better than he did his last season in J'ville three years ago. The man was on fire, and played one hell of a game.

Our guys and the stupid penalties...this didn't lose the game for us (and neither did the inexcusably poor officiating), but damn that's a frustrating thing to watch. Excessive celebrating...personal fouls after the play. Please guys...grow up and stop that shit. In the end though, if you don't play a game that can overcome the stupidities and zebras, you end up in a tie and allow the game to be decided by a coin toss. You guess wrong. You lose.

Besides all that, it was a nice weekend. The youngster was off Friday, so I took the day off too. We got in some tennis (he wore my ass out in a little over an hour) and I played golf on Saturday. Saturday, the weather was picture perfect and it was a great day on the course. My game was...OK. It wasn't a disaster, but it didn't measure up to the day on which it was played. So it goes. I'm not bragging, but I'm not complaining either, by any means.