Monday, January 23, 2012

and he said, "Why yes, I am Osama bin Laden"

The other day I was booking airfare and noticed a box next to where I'd type my name.  I believe it was called a redress number or something unassuming yet entirely vague.  I would have normally found you a link on Homeland Security's website so you could read about the program in detail, but I hate even going to their website to look for one...kind of creeps me out, like they are looking at me sitting here typing.

I thought, "What's that?  I don't have one, at least I don't know if I do." So feeling a bit left out and equally curious, I clicked on the little explanation icon next to the box.  As it turns out, this is a number is given to passengers who were on some sort of no-fly list or had names the same as folks who were and such - making flying a hassle.

Then it came to me, I thought, "How elated all those OTHER people in the world with the misfortune to be named Osama bin Laden must be now that he is dead."  I mean, can you imagine trying to get of a freakin' airplane with that name?  Hell, you probably couldn't rent a car, a hotel room, get a credit card...the damned Red Box likely wouldn't even rent you a DVD!

If I was one of those people, I'd have been rooting for Team USA all along to smoke that bastard.  I'd be like, "Listen dude, I can't fly, I can't rent movies, they won't even let me have an email account in my name...so, you gotta die!"

No worries now all you other bin Ladens, the one we were after is hopefully wrapped inside a swine carcass and feeding all sorts of little critters at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

bum dogs


Consider the saying, "it's a dog's life."  It doesn't take long to understand what that means - a life of relative ease and luxury.  I mean, most dogs, at least those in the civilized world, enjoy the privileges of being fed, petted, walked, played with and getting to lay around and sleep whenever you want, sometimes in their owner's bed even.

Yesterday, I saw a bum pushing his worldly belongings down the sidewalk of a relatively busy thoroughfare and tied to the shopping cart was a wiry looking dog. It struck me that his "dog life" was not the one for us to consider in the aforementioned saying.


If you've ever smelled a dirty, wet dog then you know that canines can stink...but that odor is nothing compared to the wreak of a nasty old bum - and if you've never had the misfortune to sniff one of those ogres you'll just have to take my word for it.  Bum stank can be worse than a rotting corpse.

No imagine being tied to one of those stinky bastards all day long, every day for the rest of your miserable life.  I almost forgot to mention that a dog's sense of smell is about 100 times better than ours.  That ought to be considered some form of cruelty.  Now consider that you'd likely have the nagging pangs of hunger while having your olfactory senses assaulted.  Hell, the dirty fuck that pulls you around with a shopping cart full of junk can't even feed himself, let alone you.


I think it's time Sarah Mclachlan and her pals at the S.P.C.A. step in and offer up a commercial or two to bring some light to bare on this matter.

So the next time you see a bum dog or hear the saying "It's a dog's life", remember that not all dogs enjoy said dog's life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the FIRST DAY of the rest of my life

It began not wish a resounding roar of trumpeting angels, but rather with the annoying electronic chirp of an alarm clock and a not too subtle smashing of the snooze button.  31 minutes later I was limping across the cold travertine floor, thanks to my aching Achilles tendon and creaky right knee, to find myself cranking on the hot water for my morning shower.

Today is not my birthday, nor is it an outwardly important milestone by anyone's estimation.  It is however the day that I take control.  Control of what is a far more important question.  The answer is, "control of me."

I've learned over time that the greatest obstacle in my life is myself.  Discipline is necessary.

The greater question is how to apply that discipline in such a manner to achieve greater understanding and awareness.  I will utilize disciplinary principles to gain "focus".

My keyword for the year, any maybe beyond, is FOCUS.

What do I want?  What is at the core of my dreams and desires?  Is it to possess a thing or achieve a goal, to reach a level of education and understanding of a particular matter?  This is where the discipline of focus comes into play.  I believe that through a focused examination of the inner desires that possess and drive me that I can better see the true goal and thus achieve it.  And it is through the achievement of these focused objectives that I believe that the truisms of life will reveal themselves.

Now don't go and expect me to shed all my earthly belongings and head for the mountains of Tibet...at least not yet. 

My first goal is physical conditioning.  I must be the fittest that I can be.  Taking care of the vessel will provide me far greater opportunities and de-limit myself.  Furthermore, in theory at least, it should provide me a greater window of time to learn and grow.

And so...I get to running.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

the McRib and a tale of two Buicks

Yesterday, I happened across more than a few things that caught my attention enough so that I took the time to snap a picture.

but before I get to them, I cannot must make mention that the McRib is back!  Get it while you can. Now, onto the fun...

The first is what I call, "the tale of two Buicks".  I took the first shot because I thought it so ridiculous...just look at what those people can do to a perfectly good car.  This poor Buick (yup, I looked under the cover) can't even hide in shame because it is all "donked out". Seriously? It's a bit like watching a poor swayback horse being paraded around in bedazzeled saddlery.  Then, about 20 minutes later, I happened to be driving past a house that had not one, but two of these wonderful machines hidden (or partially hidden in the case of this one) under a car cover in the driveway. The second pic is the awe-inspiring (at least to a fan of late 80's muscle) 1986 or 87 Buick Grand National.  These cars have been parked and covered for at least a decade...I've never seen them moved.  I'd sure like to have one in my stable.  Want ot know more, check out the Grand National Registry.



On to the next item du jour. This fella in south Sacramento must've gotten tired of people dumping trash and debris in front of his property, so he made a sign to let people know!  Or, was he really troubled by the state of our public education?  Youz can be da juge...


Just down the street from this guy was a bunch of newer homes.  Nothing big, right?  Three-story home?  Other than the occassional mansion on a hill, you just don't see three stories - I am not sure what to think other than that is a lot of stairs I could fall down and I'm not hanging those Christmas lights or cleaning those gutters. Well, this is south Sac, the lights will get hung once and the gutters never cleaned, no biggie I suppose.


Finally, you know that you're travelling through the ghetto when there is a lemon yellow motorhome parked on the overpass, advertising the for the KING OF CURLS and they do "BRAIDING, WEAVING, LOCKS, CURLS, RELAXERS"...well of course they do - duh.  It is difficult to see, but they also specialize in "BI-CULTURAL HAIR"...huh? Oh, they must mean if you're half Irish and half Swiss, right?  This Freeport Boulevard landmark has been around for ages so their customers must think they're good at what they do, but you've got to check out their website for some good humor.  Go to the photo albums and just scroll on through.


Here are a couple of my favs...as you can see, not only can they fuck up black folks hair, but white folks as well!  What in the hell were you thinkin' white people?












Saturday, October 29, 2011

SPOOKy pumpkin






Here's the spook that haunts my porch...I call it a "Leroy-O-Lantern".

Scarey, huh...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baseball award predictions

Every season, I toss out my predictions for the big baseball awards.  I usually give the pros and cons for each of the contenders in both leagues and even a few longshots and why they might be worthy.  Then back it all up with a slathering of statistics.

Well, due to my seven-day-a-week work schedule as of late, I'm going to cut to the chase...here they are.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

AL


Curtis Granderson, CF
New York Yankees

Simply the biggest impact player in the American League this season.  The "Grandy-man" can...and did, to the tune of a 41 homeruns (2nd in AL to Bautista's 43), 119 runs batted in (1st in AL), a respectable .262 batting average and a very strong .552 slugging percentage.  Some might argue for Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (.344 avg, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 111 runs, .586 slg) or Boston's Adrian Gonzalez (.338 avg, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 108 runs, .548 slg, 213 hits) or possibly even the two-time reigning home run king, Toronto's Juan Bautista (.302 avg, 43 HR, 103 RBI, 105 runs, .608 slg).  And honestly, each of them have a legitimate case, I just happen to believe that Granderson was more impactful...except for maybe his own teammate, Robinson Cano (.302 avg, 28 HR, 118 RBI, 104 runs, .533 slg) who also played a Gold Glove second base.

NL


Matt Kemp, CF
Los Angeles Dodgers

MVP, sure.  Hell, he almost had the elusive Triple Crown, placing third in the batting title.  But along with that .324 average, Kemp smashed 39 homeruns (1st in NL) and knocked in 126 runs (1st in NL). Kemp also added 115 runs scored, a .588 slugging percentage and oh, by the way, swiped 40 bases along the way.  Although the trolley Dodgers were out of the race by mid-season, Kemp's offense kept them going.  Other legitimate contenders include Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (.332 avg, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 109 runs, .597 slg), his teammate, the portly Prince Fielder (.299 avg, 38 HR, 120 RBI) and all-world forever MVP contender St.Louis' Albert Pujols (.299 avg, 37 HR, 99 RBI).


CY YOUNG

AL


Justin Verlander, RHP
Detroit Tigers

Verlander simply ran away with the award this season...New York's C.C. Sabathia had a nice run (19-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.23WHIP, 237.1 IP, 230 K) and Los Angeles of Anaheim's  Jered Weaver was an early season front runner (18-8, 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 235.2 IP, 198 K), but let's be super serious, neither was a contender when all was said and done.  Verlander was simply awesome  in 2011, posting a 24-5 record, 2.40 ERA, and 250 strike outs to win the pitching triple crown.  Add to that a ridiculous 0.92 WHIP and 251 innings pitched and Justin is the only choice.

NL



Clayton Kershaw, LHP
Los Angeles Dodgers

Other than Kemp, the only bright spot in manager Don Mattingly's innagural season with the Boys of Summer.  Kershaw led the NL in wins, going 21-5 and ERA, 2.28.  Add a 0.98 WHIP over 233.1 innings pitched and 248 strike outs (look, over a strike out per inning...) and the young south paw is your man.  Arizona's Ian Kennedy pitched out of his mind (21-4,  2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 222.0 IP, 198 k) and perennial contender Philadelphia's Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35 ERA, 1.04 ERA, 232.2 IP, 220 k) was equally impressive but it's Kershaw's year.

ROOKIE of the YEAR (ROY)


AL



Ivan Nova, RHP
New York Yankees

I know, I'm a bit of a homer for the pinstripers, but Nova was the man, especially down the stretch.  Nova had a superbe 16-4 record, 3.70 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 165.1 IP and 98 strikeouts in his rookie campaign.  The only other contenders were Kansas City's Eric Hosmer (.293 avg, 19 HR, 78 RBI) and the Los Angeles of Anahiem's Mark Trumbo (.254 avg, 29 HR, 87 RBI).


NL



Freddie Freeman, 1B
Atlanta Braves

After falling apart and not making the playoffs, at least the Braves have something to cheer, their rookie firstbaseman Freeman.  He smacked 161 hits for a .282 batting average, smashed 21 balls over the fence and drove in 76 RBI.  The senior curcuit didn't have a lot of super exciting rookie talent over the length of the season

Saturday, October 8, 2011

10K

This year, I've undertaken a monumental task, well, maybe not to some, but to me it has been a game changer.  As I've grown older, my physical well-being has taken a hit.  Age and injuries combined with a sometimes poor attitude and lack of belief in myself lead to sloth.

This past January, I made a concerted effort to change things up, to finally prove to myself that I can be disciplined and in the process become healthier.  To that end the solution is simple, reduce intake, increase output.  I knew that, so do most all of you.  What I needed was the resolve to see it through.  A significant growth in my faith cannot be discounted.  I'll not bore everyone with a sermon because that is not my nature...find what works for you and hang onto that.

Over the last ten months, I've done exactly that...gained the resolve. Have I backslid on occasion, absolutely.  Could I be have worked even harder, done more, and been further along as a result, sure.

I'm not going to preach "diet".  Eat what you want, but be smart and learn to moderate the things that you know can be detrimental to your ultimate goals.  Do I drink alcohol, yup, eat hamburgers and pizza, damn right.  But I make certain to do so in moderation.

The other half of the equation is exercise.  My routine has primarily consisted of running.  Well, at first it was walking, then "jalking" as I called it - a combination of occasionally jogging interspersed with a walk.  Eventually I could jog the entire time.  Over a period of months, I increased both distance and intensity.  Throw in some swimming, exercycle, stair climbers and I find myself here and now.

I've run a couple of 5K races (3.1 miles) and today did my first 10 K race (6.2 miles).  I set up my iPod with a playlist that would take about 52 minutes to complete...my goal was about 52:42, an 8-1/2 minute / mile pace.  I figured that when I heard the first song roll over, I had better be sprinting my ass off toward the finish line.

The first mile went great until I attempted to turn up the volume on my iPod and accidentally turned it "OFF".  I snatched it from my waistband, fiddled with the touchscreen and reset it to the appropriate song.  Only now, the timing was off.  Then, about a half mile later my damn left shoe came untied.  As I stopped to re-tie, I saw half a dozen people pass me.

Shoe tied, iPod squared away, I soldiered on...back and forth with a couple of guys, but in the end put up a killer sprint for the final 200 yards to finish with a time, far better than I'd ever hoped! 8:02 minute / mile pace.  I was able to finish in about the top 20-percentile. Way to go old man...way to go.

Now, I need to prepare for an upcoming half marathon...uhhgh and fuck yeah all at once!