Friday, April 24, 2015

Playoff Hockey Is Fun

I don't normally watch the NHL.  When I tune in during the season the games seem to involve an incessant parade of players to the penalty box and a lot of unnecessary fights.  Why do hockey players fight?  I guess because they can and it's the only team sport that condones the behavior.  Years ago teams would all have a designated goon, sometimes a guy who could barely skate, but whose sole purpose was to mete out physical punishment or exact revenge for a perceived wrong.  It doesn't seem there are as many goons anymore, but there is still a lot of fighting.

All of that changes during the playoffs.  The fights are minimal and usually involve some minor pushing and shoving.  With all that's at stake nobody wants to take penalty minutes that will hand the other team valuable power play chances.  The other noticeable difference is that the refs seem to have swallowed their whistles.   A lot of things that are called penalties during the regular season and serve to slow up play are now ignored.  The result is end to end action that can sometimes go on for many minutes.  That's when hockey becomes exciting.  The pinpoint passes, the individual moves, the set plays; sometimes you forget that these guys are on a pair of narrow blades on a surface of ice.

Since I'm going to watch the playoffs, and don't really have a rooting interest, I need to find a reason to root for a team.  So at playoff time I find the team (or teams) with former Miami players and root for them.  This year it's Dan Boyle and the New York Rangers.  Boyle has been in the league since the late 90's, is nearing the end of his career and already has his name on the Stanley Cup.  I'd like to see him make it twice.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

That's It

By The Big Guy
Former Senior Contributor

Well, it’s been an eventful week. Not that it matters now but if you missed this blog’s post on Monday you have no idea what might be cause for my concern. Since November 11, 2010 over approximately 225 posts at this internet location I have been reasonably cautious about exposing enough details of my life to allow perfect strangers with a beef about something I wrote to show up at my front door. Who needs that? In particular I have made sure that the only pictures of my person were either of obscure body parts or blocked out to the point of being useless for identification. It all worked fine until this past Monday when the morning greeted me with a full color picture of me staring back at me from this very website. Really?

So that’s it. My work here must be done. The restaurant in Boston no longer exists. If I had wanted to go public I’d have gotten myself a damn facebook page. Now I have to contact the witsec folks who are going to be all sorts of pissed. That agreement is over two hundred pages long. Can’t wait to hear where I might be moving now. I’ll have to decide what additional body hair I will grow, whether I can speak with a believable regional accent, learn to walk with a limp and get my tats removed. That’s gonna hurt.

It’s been a pleasure writing for you. Maybe someday I’ll be back but probably not. And as they say in the movies, I’ll see ya when I see ya.

TBG

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hero Of The Week

Army Pfc. Gavin J. Coburn
Age:  20
542nd Transportation Co.
Army Reserve
Died 22 April, 2005
Iraq

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Crazy Lady Next Door

We have a crazy lady living next door.  Peggy, if you're reading this, it's not you.  She's on the other side.  We have a four family apartment building to one side of our house.  For the first 15 years or so that we lived here, all was quiet next door.  Then the building was sold twice in the span of a couple years and the latest landlord is not the best at screening tenants.  About 5 years ago a single woman in one of the upstairs apartments was letting her adult son deal drugs from her apartment.  Cars were pulling in, left idling in their driveway while someone ran upstairs, and then leaving within 2 minutes.  He eventually left, but she ended up ignoring an eviction notice and the fire department knocked down her door before the police could drag her off in cuffs, screaming and kicking all the way.  Then there was the oriental woman in one of the downstairs units who was growing some type of plants under her front window.  Cooking cats too, I think.  One day she just disappeared, leaving an apartment full of furniture.

Two of the apartments have been occupied by stable people for years.  Both are single guys and you wouldn't know they were there if you didn't see them every once in awhile.  Then there is the crazy lady.  She's been there a long time, too.  Not long after she moved in Mrs. Grumpy and I dubbed her "The Crazy Lady" because of some bizarre behavior.  For starters, she will often walk around the neighborhood in a heavy winter coat, hood up and scarf around her neck, and that's on 70 degree days.  More than once I've seen her staring down from her front window when I cut the grass.  Sometimes she'll come or go when I'm out front with the dog and she will just glare at me.

Until yesterday I had never heard her utter a word.  I was out front mid-afternoon with Abby.  As the dog squatted to poop I heard the front door of the apartment building open.  I glanced up and there was the crazy lady, coming off the porch and headed in my direction, her face contorted in a scowl.  Abby spotted her and started barking.  The woman was pointing at me and saying something, but between the barking and the traffic noise, I couldn't make out a word.  I said "What?" and she kept advancing and her lips kept moving, all the while pointing at me or the dog or both of us.  I again said "What?".  She stopped at the edge of our yard before turning and going back to her door, looking over her shoulder a couple times with a scowl.  As I headed back to our front porch I stopped to see what she might do.  Upon reaching the door to her building she reached for the handle, then stopped, turned toward me and just glared.

I'm certain from her behavior over the years that she's mentally ill, so I don't want to make light of her condition.  I just hope she doesn't own a gun.

Friday, April 17, 2015

What Could Go Wrong?

The Norman Music Festival in Norman, OK is a big deal.  Spread over 3 days and 4 blocks of downtown, the festival features a lot of bands, alcohol, food and fun.  Attendance each year is in the tens of thousands, with many people making it a must see annual event.  The event organizers have specifically banned weapons from this year's festival.  No concealed carry, no open carry.  No weapons allowed.  Which, when you think about the numbers of people and the amount of alcohol consumed, makes good sense.

Well, not to the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.  They have sued the city and the festival organizers because as Don Spencer, VP of the group says "We're sticking up for our rights."  The city says the organizers of the festival have a special event permit allowing them to set their own rules.  The organizers say they are in essence a private business and that as such they can set the rules for their event. 

The whole issue will be decided by a judge.  For his part, Mr. Spencer says he will carry at the festival regardless of what the courts rule.  Proving once again that the gun nuts are not only morons, but while they are always telling everyone else what the Constitution says, they don't believe rules apply to them.  Their logic is totally twisted.  Hold up the Constitution as their validation for doing whatever they like while at the same time defying the orders of lawfully established governments and courts.  They get to decide where they can carry their guns; it's in the Second Amendment.

The event is being held April 23-25, 2015.  I'm sure our Oklahoma correspondent, Bill, will get us a full report.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Founding

By The Big Guy
Senior Contributor

Think abut Boston and what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Sports teams? Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins? Intensely devoted sports fans? The Cheers bar and bar rats like Norm and Cliff from the old TV show? Maybe food icons like baked beans and clam chowder. Perhaps people with strange accents who pronounce that food item chow-dah and say odd things like wicked good. Certainly thinking about Boston brings those things to mind. However, take a visit to Boston and you may feel differently.

We just made our first visit to Boston. There is nothing that lends a new perspective to all that dry stuff I learned in school than being where it actually happened. Walking the Freedom Trail and seeing the Old North Church where hanging one lantern meant the British would attack by land and two if by sea and imagining Paul Revere carrying the message on horseback to gather the Minutemen. Walking aboard the restored battleship USS Constitution or viewing the monument at the top of Bunker Hill makes you grasp the consequence of founding and protecting a new nation conceived in liberty. They weren’t just words on paper. There’s the Old South Meeting House where the decision to protest taxation without representation became the Boston Tea Party. Amazing stuff.

Finally Faneuil Hall, the cradle of liberty, where plans for revolution became actions and where John Adams worked to adapt his Massachusetts constitution into the U.S. Constitution. All this stuff really happened and Boston is the place. A visit will fill in what’s been missing from history for you. Guaranteed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hero Of The Week

Army Spc. Mark W. Melcher
Age:  34
1st Battalion
103rd Armor
Pennsylvania National Guard
Died 15 April, 2006
Taqaddum, Iraq

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

There Are Evil People Out There

You remember Gabby Giffords, the Congresswomen from Arizona who was shot in the head a few years ago while making an appearance in her district.  Since then she and her husband have worked to reform gun control laws.  The right wing haters interpret "gun control" to mean somebody is going to confiscate their guns.  The Giffords' group, Americans For Responsible Solutions, is trying to get people to see that the present system of guns for everybody just isn't working.  They want to close the loopholes in background checks and find a way to stop people with mental problems from obtaining guns.  Both Rep. Giffords and her husband own guns and have no intention of taking guns from anyone.

Recently somebody who is a friend of a friend on Facebook posted an article from Teaparty.org regarding the efforts of Rep. Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly to push gun control.  Here are a couple of the responses to the article:

Michael Menne:  Too bad she survived.  I despise the Progressive, Left, Socialist, Marxist trash.

Boca Cure:  Too bad the shot wasn't a little more to the left.

About 15 people commented in that vein.  How do people become so dogmatic, so entrenched in their beliefs that they lose all sense of compassion?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Hypocrites At Walmart

Pictured above is Rhonda Rousey, an Olympic medalist in judo and the undefeated UFC Bantamweight Women's Champion.  She's also well on her way to an acting career, with parts in two major movies.  She is considered pound-for-pound the #1 women's MMA fighter in the world.

Rousey recently wrote a book, due for release in May, titled My Fight/Your Fight.  It details her going from high school dropout to Olympic stardom and UFC mega-star.  The underlying theme of the book is that with hard work and dedication you can achieve your goals.  In interviews she has voiced her hope that the book will be read by young girls and women who will be inspired to follow their dreams.

Walmart, which sells a lot of books online and in their stores, has announced they will not carry Rousey's book.  Their reason is that she is "too violent".  This from a company that sells ammunition in nearly every store and sells firearms in many stores.  Idiots.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Toy

By The Big Guy
Senior Contributor

I previously mentioned we got the little lady a new toy a few weeks back. Allegedly it’s a car but I tell people it’s a computer with four wheels and a gas tank. Like most people, we don’t get a new car very often and it is always incredible to me, especially since we crossed into the twenty-first century, the almost miraculous improvements that show up in automobiles over five or seven or ten years time. We’ve finally put in some serious miles on the vehicle and here’s the report.

I guess I will never drop my car keys on the floor in the front seat again. In fact the keys are gone. It’s a fob and you put your car fob in your pocket and it never needs to leave that location. The doors unlock and open when you pull on the handle. You start the car by pushing a button and off you go. Magic.

Speaking of magic, how about a windshield rain sensor? Just turn it on and forget about it. When the rain starts so do the wipers without you lifting a finger. How the heck does it know? Does it know the difference between water and other liquids? I guess we’ll find out if it ever starts raining orange juice.

Cruise control has sure come a long way. Set it for seventy and hit the highway. If somebody cuts in front of you the car slows down all by itself and backs you off to a safe distance. If you find yourself suddenly closing in on a FedEx triple ganger no need to hit the brakes dismissing your cruise setting. The car automatically senses the shrinking distance and slows your cruising to a safe speed. Hit your blinker and get yourself out from behind the truck and you’ll find yourself immediately accelerating back to your set speed while you remain sitting cross legged in the driver’s seat.

The dang thing knows how far you can get on your tank of gas at any given moment. When you get down to about fifty miles it begins a gentle nudging suggesting you let your GPS find a close by service station. The reminders get closer together and more insistent until, with about ten miles left it calls you a moron and says it hopes you get stranded in a dark alley somewhere for being such an idiot. Very effective.

There’s plenty more to learn and we are hoping to have everything figured out by time we trade in the car ten years from now, particularly the radio…and the headlights.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hero Of The Week

Army Staff Sgt. Kevin D. Davis
Age:  40
G Troop
82nd Cavalry
Oregon Army National Guard
Died 8 April, 2005
Balad, Iraq

Monday, April 6, 2015

Duke Blue Devils...National Champions!!!

Exactly!!!

"If religious freedom is guaranteed in the Constitution then what is the need for these bills as amended? Certainly we know the original intent was to condone discrimination but now what? Both the Indiana and Arkansas bills are pointless."

The above is an excerpt from an email I received from The Big Guy as we were discussing the Religious Freedom bills in Indiana and Arkansas.  In three sentences he neatly summed up the accomplishments of legislative bodies in two states.  Meanwhile, if you own a business in either state, good luck recruiting people from elsewhere to come work for you.  Both states legislatures (and in Indiana, the governor especially) have hurt their states economically.  They have hurt the reputations of their states and their citizens.  Mostly, they have made themselves the laughingstock of the country.  All because they don't like gays.  What a waste of time and money.

By the way, the GoFundMe page for the bigots at Memories Pizza raised $842,592 when donations closed.  Only in America.


**The above excerpt from The Big Guy's email was reprinted without his express permission or consent.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Bigotry Pays...BIG

Ever hear of Walkerton, IN?  Or Memories Pizza in Walkerton?  None of us had until Wednesday.  A local ABC reporter, for unknown reasons, asked the owners of Memories Pizza if they would cater a gay wedding.  They declared, on camera, that they would not since it violated their Christian principles.

The first thing that comes to my mind is in what universe does anyone have their wedding catered by a local pizzeria?  But, it's small town Indiana, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.  It didn't take long for the national media to pick up this story and Memories became the poster child for the bigotry the new Religious Freedom law would create in Indiana.  Twitter and Yelp blew up and most of it wasn't pretty.  On Thursday the owner of Memories closed after saying he had received threats.  That is just crazy and not in any way defensible.  You don't fight hate with hate.

Then Glenn Beck's pseudo network, The Blaze, got hold of the story and you can almost guess the rest.  Christians being attacked for being Christian!!!  The gays are threatening good Christian people!!!  Obama doesn't eat pizza because he's Muslim!!!

Here's the best part.  Dana Loesch, a host of something on this fake network, started a GoFundMe page for Memories Pizza.  At last count good, like minded Christian bigots had contributed over $200K.  Hell, the Board of Grumpy Old Dog has voted to not cater gay weddings either.  You know where to send your check.