…he moved out from the shadows and into the pale light of the solitary street lamp. Sunrise was still about an hour away and with the thick blanket of clouds producing a cold drizzle it did not promise to get any brighter anytime soon. Instinctively he blunted a cough with his fist, then dropped the hand back to his side under his armpit which was pressed tightly to his naked chest. In actuality, he was completely naked. With the temperatures what they were and him being devoid of clothes and already being soaked from the mop of his disheveled hair to the bottoms of his numb and filthy feet, he should be at the very least shivering. But he was not. Just a couple of hours ago he was a shaking and incoherent mess but now he was resigned and sadly determined. The severed woman’s arm on his doorstep in collaboration with the three very graphic text messages followed by the hysterical voice-mail from his sister made the pre-dawn hours seem like an eternity of suffering.

He shuffled across the deserted street towards the cul de sac which he knows means dead end. Beyond the circle and the two abandoned houses, there lies a wet weather creek and on the other side another street. There, allegedly, waiting for him should be a car with instructions on what to do next.

The drizzle intensified into stinging drops on the strength of the buffeting cross-wind. His feet were now alternating between stabs of pain with every rock or stick encountered and soothing coolness from the puddling rain entering the myriad of cuts on his shoeless feet.

Distant thunder rumbled and rolled and was answered by a closer volley of more dominant thunder.

The houses ahead were dark and stoic. Neither had a fenced yard and the feeble light did not venture to illuminate any more than the space in between. Beyond was inky blackness with shifting designs that could be the gaping maw of a huge hungry beast. The thought did not deter his progress as he now limped into the opening and out of the light.

This is a story I am working on, one of many actually. But I thought I would tease you to see if you would respond if you care to find out what happens next or if you would like to see the finished story. If so send me a tweet @oohaw94 or send me an email to: scottlatta@gmail.com and I will give you a bit more to the story above!

Have a great day and peace.

November 30th

Hello and good cheer.

Today is the last Monday or day for that matter in November. The year has pretty much flown by. Another Thanksgiving and another Turkey Bowl football game is in the books. No significant injuries to report this year (woo hoo).

November was full of sad reminders that it is important to look around and be grateful for whom you have in your life. A co-worker, that I liked to goof around with at work and on Facebook before his position was outsourced last year, recently was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and was gone within a matter of days afterwards. Also seven years ago this month my softball friend Aaron Dunn was stricken and passed away. My mom’s second husband Ken, who was like a father figure to me, passed away nine years ago this month. It just goes to show that time relentlessly moves forward and you blink and someone you cared about is gone and you blink again and literally it is years later, no matter if it seems like yesterday you were having a conversation with them.


I hope everyone is doing well. Remember, hold tight to who you love because things can be replaced but it’s the people that make the memories that can never be replaced.


Sophomore English

Who is Nathaniel “Natty” Bumppo and why should you care? These are two separate questions. First, Natty Bumppo is a fictional character featured in the Leatherstocking Tales published by James Fenimore Cooper in the early 1800’s. Natty is a white male raised by Christians alongside the Delaware Indians. His character is a fierce warrior and the stories depict some of this adventures with the backdrop being America in the mid 1700’s. He is featured in what some hail as American classics: The Last of the Mohicans and also The Deerslayer. Both of these books have had multiple adaptations made into movies.
So why should you care? Well maybe you don’t is the short answer. lol.

But heading into work this morning and sitting in traffic, feeling like an ant waiting to enter the ant hill, I was listening to Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me courtesy of the Pandora radio app. Understand? If you said yes, I am now concerned about your mental state. If you said no, ah, then  we are getting somewhere. What does Natty Bumppo have to do with Def Leppard? Glad you asked. Sit back and sip a beverage. Here. We. Go.
Bill, let’s hop in this time machine! No way Ted! Yes way!
So if you could peer into the past via a pensieve (see Harry Potter lore), you would see a non-HD memory of me standing in front of Ms. Cobb’s English class in the early spring of 1988. The assignment was to put ourselves in the soft, leather shoes of Natty Bumppo and imagine how our daily life would be different (mid 1700’s versus late 1900’s). Back in 1988 it was hard to imagine a world without small wrist watches, video games, cars, air conditioning, pre-packaged food, underwear with designs on them and TV.
At this point in my high school career, I was about a year from finding my academic groove and my GPA will bear this out. So for this assignment, much to the chagrin of Ms Cobb, I  put a little creative writing in play for my adaptation of Natty Bumppo.
I remember nervously shuffling sideways out of my seat and between the rows of desk from the very back of the class to the front. I stood in front of the chalk board and held a single sheet of notebook paper that contained my handwritten story. As is my nervous twitch, I tend to make a small clicking-smacking noise with my lips when public speaking, generally when I pause or at the end of sentences. So I begin my oral presentation by staring at the paper and not looking up until I am finished because I am petrified.

Pour Some Sugar On Me

I do not remember word-for-word from that reading but I will paraphrase one passage because I thought I was being clever. Natty Bumppo is walking around the wilderness, he is irritated that his shoes are plain and have no emblems on the sides. Perhaps later in his free time, he will make marks on them to make them seem neat. The forest around him is quiet today. Internally, Natty feels like there is music in him. Natty passes a maple tree with a spout coming out of it. The spout has dribbled some sap onto the ground. No one is around. He thinks, pour some sap on me, sticky sweet, from hand to my feet. Maybe the words are not quite right but if he worked on it, it could be a great campfire song…
In the rest of my story, I think Natty encounters a raccoon and chases him while singing the pour some sap on me song. A few classmates found it a bit amusing but overall my teacher was less than impressed and I earned a “C” as a grade for my efforts.

OK let me apologize for the butchered peek into my past. Unfortunately I cannot hear that particular song without that memory association taking place. Hopefully my writing skills and attempts at humor have improved at least a bit over the years to make reading me an enjoyable exercise.
I guess that memory is lodged in my consciousness for two reasons. First, I really do have an aversion to public speaking especially a semi-hostile crowd of peers (#HighSchoolLife). Secondly because I point to that moment in my life as when I took my first real step out of my myself to try to express myself. Perhaps it was a failure but you have to start somewhere right?
Back then (in the 1700’s, 1800’s and 1988) there was no Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, Facebook, MySpace, instant messenger, texting, Instagram or Vines. Who you were in person and who you associated with was who you were to everyone. Based on whatever clothes my mom bought for me and my book bag and assorted school supplies – that’s pretty much what you were judged on. I wasn’t old enough to drive and didn’t play any sports so the angle of their view of who I was as a person was pretty narrow. My best friend Matt was the outgoing music guy who all the girls liked. In contrast, I was the quiet and introverted boy who’s older brother had died less than six months before.

So pull back from the memory pool gasping. The question is – who is your most memorable English teacher? By the way, honorable mention to Mrs Teets and Mrs. Knuckles who also did their part in flavoring my English subject flavoring.
Happy Humping Day — Peace!

Magic Mike XXL


OK sooooo it’s official. I’ve seen both Magic Mike movies. Not sure if this requires a mandatory therapy session or some sort of community service probation or what. Over the weekend, on Saturday to be more precise, is when the sequel was encountered. In my defense, I did not intend to see the second movie in this ‘franchise’. I was being a dutiful boyfriend and designated driver for my girlfriend after she consumed some adult beverages during a get together at a friend’s home.
In part I was being noble and doing a responsible thing in being her driver and also I was there to catch the fights of UFC 193. After the beat down of Ronda Rousey by Holly The Preacher’s Daughter Holm, the lady of the house queued up Magic Mike XXL.
Hmmm. My girlfriend had just opened a fresh beer signalling that she was going to stay at least for a bit. So on rolled the flick. Don’t get me wrong there was not a hint of a plausible plot or a shred Matthew McConaughey’s character from the first movie to be found. That isn’t to say there wasn’t some Oh hey moments. My first one was saying oh hey, isn’t that the guy (character: Tito) from CSI Miami? Yes Adam Rodriguez. Oh wow, isn’t that the guy (character: Ken) from White Collar? Matt Bomer, yes!  Isn’t that the comic dude (character: Tobias)? Yep – Gabriel Iglesias – Fluffy. And of course there is Jada Pinkett Smith – she played a character called Rome but I said she will forever be Fish Mooney to me now from the FOX show Gotham. There were some other moments including Michael Strahan’s appearance but the one that really grabbed me was seeing Stephen Boss. But people who watch the reality talent show So You Think You Can Dance probably know him better as hip hop dancer Twitch!
OK I know this is alot of shame for me to admit in that last paragraph but hold on we are not done. Sitting in a room of ladies and hearing them audibly drool over Joe Manganiello aka Big Dick Richie aka Alcide Herveaux from Bon Temp (True Blood) and Magic Mike aka Channing Tatum or Channum as my girlfriend kept calling him was a bit surreal and a little damaging to my male ego. The rest of the night I referred to myself as Magic Mike XS. I have almost everything that the mid-thirties Channing Tatum has minus the fame, money, body and dancing ability. From here I will relay one of the more humorous bits from the movie (not including Kevin Nash’s dancing scene – his character: Tarzan).

*** Spoiler Alert ***
Anyway, Joe Manganiello’s character at the stripper convention peeks out from back stage to see another group of performers. The other group is doing a ‘vampire bit’ taken from the Twilight movie series. Joe’s character returns to the group and mutters “(bleeping) vampire bullsh!t” which is hilarious because I’m sure it is a blatant pilfering of a line he used playing the Alcide character as a werewolf on the HBO show True Blood. I found it amusing. There was one other guy in the movie that I quasi-recognized (he as a singer wearing a hat) and I asked is that Pharrell? Someone said no, that’s so-and-so from some show I didn’t watch. So perhaps I didn’t recognize him but his hat did make me Happy.


Overall I guess it wasn’t a horrible movie but it is what it was supposed to be: a beefcake movie (find a YouTube clip of Cartman from South Park screaming Beefcake) and you get the picture.
So this movie and the 1997 film The Fully Monty featuring Robert Carlyle (some of you know him better as Rumplestiltskin from the TV series Once Upon a Time) have taught me that although the ladies would prefer you to resemble Channum they will settle for what you currently are packaged as – just so long as you can sexy dance. So dudes, get to the choreography and good luck!


Laughs and peace my friends.


On a more somber note I am reading about the attacks in France around Paris.

Back in high school I took four years of French and often spoke to my other classmates about taking a trip to France and the sites we would like to see there. I hope the perpetrators are swiftly caught and the threats eliminated by whatever means necessary.

I cannot even remotely put into words the sadness I feel for those people. In the face of tragedy, I think our humanity is revealed. There are reports that people opened their homes to strangers on the streets to come in to wait out the unrest. Terrorists strive to cause fear and division but ultimately they only succeed in bringing communities and differing people closer together. Evil may land a sucker-punch or two but love, compassion and determination will bring the people back swinging for what they care about.

For my readers there in France, stay safe and please tweet me (@oohaw94) and as always peace.

Rousey vs Holm – MMA / UFC 193

Just a note to all the Ronda Rousey haters about Saturday’s fight:
Lest you forget, she nearly won. Although a zillion people tuned in to watch the main event not everyone who is piling on yesterday and today actually saw the fight. But about midway through the first round, Ronda had The Preacher’s Daughter on the mat and was perhaps a few seconds away from finishing her off. Alas Holly Holm was able to do what Rousey’s competitors previously could not, namely keep her calm and think her way out.
I give Holly Holm a lot of credit. She and her team devised a strategy and they were able to not only survive the first round but clearly fluster the champ.
In my lifetime, with all due respect to Floyd Mayweather, I have really only seem one other competitor with the same cache that Ronda Rousey carries and his name is Iron Mike Tyson. The frenzy that accompanied Rousey is very reminiscent of what Mike Tyson had back in the day – and that was before the marketing buzzsaw of social media.
Inside the octagon or ring, they both command attention and have a charisma and no offense to Holly Holm (or Buster Douglas) but that does not pass down the line like a title belt. Holm may take the title and run with it but I just don’t see her being the same icon that Rousey was/is. Personality, sex appeal and marketability are what project someone onto that other plane of celebrity. Just like in present day WWE (World Wrestling Entertain) there is everyone else and there’s John Cena and before him, it was the Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Undertaker or Triple H or of course, Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant. They are icons and household names that immediately grab attention and send ripples through a live crowd or drive up a pay per view (PPV) buy-rate.
Holly Holm like I said is a tremendous athlete and her accomplishment stands for itself but just listening to her post-win interview and ah shucks demeanor, I think UFC is hoping that rematch between her and Rousey happens sooner rather than later. When it does happen I think we know who their accountants are pulling for to win. Because let’s put ourselves in their shoes and be practical business people for a second, if they rematch and Rousey wins, then the next logical chain re-action would be what? Yes indeed, another down the road rematch. Cha-Ching!
A couple more points then I will let you carry on with your Monday morning as such: every great fighter has an opponent they will eventually lose to – even Floyd Mayweather will get stopped cold by time/age. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Royce Gracie, Brock Lesnar, the fictional Rocky Balboa et al were viewed as great fighters but every one has had a hiccup or a back to the drawing board moment. I think Rousey will be back and regain the championship and some of her glory but no matter what – the haters are gonna hate (Bethe Correia).
The flip-side to the Holly Holm win – is the underdog story. When the announcers were talking pre-match as Holm made her entrance and she proceeded to hop around the ring like a kangaroo on crack, they noted that Holly stated it all starts with a belief in yourself. You have to believe you can win first. Without that you are doomed from the start. So I congratulate her on her historic and shocking win. I only say shocking not because she won but how she dominated the champ. Fighting takes more than just talent, instincts or strength. Those things need to be blended to bring out the best results. Holly and her coaches did that and are reaping the benefits. Well done and bravo.
This has been my MMA recap moment. Just a note there were other matches on the UFC 193 card. The co-main event Women’s Strawweight Title: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valerie Letourneau where the champ defeated Letourneau was far and away the best overall fight on the card. I hope Letourneau’s leg is OK after the incredible abuse she sustained in those five rounds. None of the guy’s matches were really anything to write home or a blog about. It must be hard on the men’s egos in that locker room that their matches are basically after-thoughts and every one of them was utterly forgettable compared to the hype brought and delivered by the women competitors. Time to step up your game gentlemen.
So I acquiesce on this fighting piece by saying, peace.

Night Blogging

So this is my first official post using my semi-new MacBook Pro that I acquired on Ebay.


Typing seems fluid and the laptop is not heating up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit and shutting down like my last computer so that is a major plus. Soon I will unleash the computing power upon Amazon to procure some Christmas presents!


Anywho, just checking in. Hope you are enjoying your last handful of hours before Friday the 13th is upon us!

Peace and good night all!


Greetings! Happy Hump Day and Veterans Day!
If there are any service personnel who read my blog I thank you first and foremost for your service and also I humbly thank you for reading my material. Hope you are safe and have a kick butt day!
So as is often the case I found myself amused yesterday. What was I doing? I was getting a haircut. What’s so amusing about that? Did the stylist give me a bad haircut? Or draw blood? No nothing of the sort.
It’s no secret I tend to be value driven (READ: I AM CHEAP) and I use either Great Clips or Super Cuts for my haircut needs. On this day, I opted for Super Cuts because they are near my residence. I swooshed in, making a grand entrance, full of flair and demanded an immediate haircut by their finest stylist. Translation: I opened the door, walked in and since the girl was available I was able to be seen promptly. My stylist’s name was Nikki. I only know this because it was on the receipt afterwards. She did not introduce herself and the handwriting on her business cards was undecipherable. But otherwise a nice girl. She took direction well and worked quickly.
During the 15-20 minutes I was in her chair getting buzzed and clipped, I made some casual conversation.

Me: So have you been doing this long?

Nikki: A little over a year.

Me: Have you ever had anyone ever yell at you?

Nikki: (laughs) No why?

Me: Just curious.

Nikki: Not yell at me no. But there were a few difficult people. One guy was mean. He was a little snotty. Asked me if I was going to finish and blend him out and stuff. Asked me if this was my first time.

Me: I couldn’t do your job. Because I would’ve told that guy: Funny you should say that…
There was some other small talk and I censored myself because some people just don’t find things as funny as I do. Like about 20 seconds into the haircut when she was zipping up the back of my head with the clippers I fought the urge to say: Wait! Wait! You didn’t start yet did you?! But in the interest getting a decent haircut and not alienating my stylist for my own amusement I squelched it. (Or asking: Who’s your favorite customer today?)

All I can say is there is some value in being able to entertain yourself. That is my defense and the defense rests.
Have a terrific day right meow!




So what did the Mizzou football program et al accomplish with their boycott?
Were all the wrongs righted and all racists eliminated from the campus?
Or did they just turn things ugly for a couple of scapegoats and the same shtuff will still be going on with no real changes?

The acts of a few closed-minded people should reflect on those people who perpetrate those stereo-types and bigotry, not on others who cannot control free speech and stupid predisposed judgments. Let’s be honest, Mizzou has a reputation as a party school so I’m sure not everyone there is from the Christian Mingle crowd but more towards the Tinder side. Hey, if everyone is allowed to be colored by the minority’s actions then the whole crowd pays the price right? This is nothing more than mob mentality. Is racism dumb and wrong? – no question yes. But guess what? For every group or race – there are people who are going to hate them for being different or having things the others don’t. Unless the whole world dies and there is only one person left – there will always be divisions and inconsequential reasons why certain people don’t like other people.

Here is my rule of thumb: I discriminate against those people who prove themselves to be idiotic douche bags. Also here’s a clue, those types of people span all types of races, social classes and genders.
The situation at Mizzou is no better today than it was a week ago except that the student on his hunger strike can now eat because the figureheads have been removed. But what happens if the poopy-swastika bandit strikes again? Will the new figureheads be called on the carpet before they can even figure out where the best place to eat on campus is? Unless the powers that be invite Big Brother onto the campus by placing video surveillance in every room of all the dorms and to cover every square inch of the campus (I believe this is part of the premise of CBS’s Person Of Interest show) they cannot prevent this type of incident from happening again. Additionally, I am pretty sure most of the student body would be up in arms if such a thing was proposed because it would be an invasion of their privacy (Read: All of the other deviant behavior would be caught as well because let’s face it – this is college and all those crazy things on YouTube have to come from somewhere.)

I get that I am probably coming across as insensitive to the cause here and every one is entitled to their own opinion but ask yourself what really was accomplished? All these social crimes committed and swept under the rug at Mizzou so the blame rises to the top. But what were these outed men supposed to do? Interrogate students based on profiling techniques with a suspect pool of literally thousands? What about the pretty girls who are degrading the ‘geek’ population? Don’t they have the right to be offended as well? What about the young adults that want to be the bench warmers for the math clubs but can’t solve an equation? Isn’t that discriminating against them just because they aren’t smart enough?

Once Mizzou fixes this issue and it can be shipped around the country like an antidote to the plague of racism, maybe it can work on the reverse-racism issue in this country. People of color are allowed to throw out racism many times in inappropriate and flat out false circumstances with zero retribution. Not everything negative that happens is because of race. Sometimes life is just hard. Sometimes it’s a case of wrong place, wrong time. Yes a lot of terrible things in American history have been done for no other reason than it was the white man’s prerogative. But let’s look around at the modern landscape. There are people of color in every imaginable position of society including the highest seat, President of the United States. Is racism alive in the US? Any rational person would be foolish to say it doesn’t exist but in comparison to what it was even just 40-50 years ago, it is not the force it once was. But just like the people who refuse to acknowledge progress and advances in technology because they cling to the old ways things used to be done; the world moves on without them and they are left behind and slowly go extinct.
People who constantly beat the racism drum are the ones doing the most to keep it alive. There are many different tangents that can be followed from the story of Ferguson and the story evolving out of Mizzou. But let’s flip the script on both. If the populous at the University of Missouri as 80% black and 20% white or other and racial slurs were hurled or incidents perpetrated against the situational minority – this would not have been a story one bit. If you take away the violence and destruction from the Ferguson incidents no one outside of Missouri would ever even have heard of Ferguson.

Just to stir the pot a little here on the Mizzou situation, read what follows and just think about it. One of the incidents brought to light about the racism at Mizzou was about a new restroom on campus where someone took feces (poop) and drew a swastika on the wall. It is a symbol for race supremacy no doubt. The perpetrator of this action has not been caught or even identified. So I ask you, what if the person who drew this symbol…was black? Or what if it wasn’t even a student but maybe someone with an ax to grind with the current president who could logically figure out how this would escalate? These scenarios could be farfetched but as of right now the person who did this is unknown.

I was born as a child of the early 70’s – peace and love or whatever. I was never taught racist things. Did I hear racist things? Yes. Racist jokes? Yes. Did I judge so-and-so because of the color of their skin? No that’s just illogical and dumb. Have I judged people based on what I have heard about them? Yes, I think we all do. Have I made assumptions about people that I have never met or heard speak based on ‘facts’ presented? Yes. That is how we as human beings reason. That person stole a car – they are a criminal. That person stole a car in order to get to the hospital to see a loved one who was critically injured. They are a criminal but compassionate. Almost nothing is truly black and white. You just need to get as much information as you can to make up your own mind. Judging an entire race or gender based on the actions of one person or a handful of people is insanity.
Stay sane and appreciate your family and friends as if the lights are out and everyone is every color of love.


Partial Information

Good morning and Happy Friday to one and all.
For fun I like to look at things from a different perspective and see what others see. We could be talking about politics or the latest TMZ scandal or whatever. There are many situations where people weigh in with their thoughts and gut reactions based only on a fraction of the story. So I thought it would be amusing to pose a scenario below and see how it would be perceived. With a bit of prolonged ado…and some more…alright, now in the immortal words of pop/rap star Flo-rida: here we go.
Flo Rida - Whistle Lyrics
Since the MLB baseball season has concluded I thought it would be amusing (too soon?) to focus on the ending of the season for the St Louis Cardinals. For this argument I need the reader to suspend any and all knowledge of this past baseball season. Pretend you are a Cardinals fan (if you presently are not) but you have been stranded on a deserted island since about February. Keep in mind that Cardinals fans tend to be very emotionally rooted to this team and live and die with how the Cardinals do. The Cardinals have a rich tradition of winning baseball and are perpetually in the playoff hunt.


The St Louis Cardinals baseball team, which was beset by injuries, lost their highest paid players on both the pitching side (Wainwright) and the hitting side (Holliday) for a large chunk of the season. But in their absences, the younger, unproven minor leaguers stepped in and made admirable contributions. At the All-Star Break, the team had the best record in all of baseball. Fast forward to the end of the season. Most of the injury issues with the team were resolved but from an offensive standpoint, the team struggled for weeks. To finish out the season the team lost six of their last seven games. In a three game series with the Atlanta Braves, the team was completely shutout losing all three games by scores of 4-0, 6-0 and 2-0. These three wins gave Atlanta their 64th, 65th and 66th wins respectively. Following that ugly series in Atlanta, the Cardinals lost three of four games to the Cubs. After a 4-0 win engineered by wiley veteran John Lackey, the team lost the next three by giving up 20 runs and a whopping 10 home runs. The Cardinals Stephen Piscotty in the series, who started the year in the minor leagues, hit three home runs by himself.
So just based on this end to the season for the Cardinals, after being the best team in baseball at the essential midway point, do you fire the manager Mike Matheny? Three ugly losses to one of the worst teams in baseball (Atlanta) without scoring a run and then follow that up with losing three more to end the season against the hated Chicago Cubs who are young but improving. Did the team quit on their manager? Maybe the organization needs a new voice to get the players to play all the way until the end of the year?
OK so reveal…yes you did choose Coke over Pepsi in this blind taste test! Wait, wrong topic. In the above scenario just based on the slanted information given, you might be inclined to question if firing Mike Matheny was indeed the right choice based on the outcome. Now let’s rope in some more of the facts and see if you change your viewpoint.
The Cardinals were in fact the best team in baseball at the All-Star Break – and likewise at the end of the regular season with 100 wins. The team secured the best record before the final regular season series against Atlanta and essentially treated the series like spring training games. The players got to get some live looks and game action but with nothing on the line except maybe pride, the team went through the motions and no-harm, no-foul on the win-loss results. The Chicago Cubs had a stellar season and behind the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates had the third best record in all of baseball. The Cubs defeated the Pirates in a wildcard game to advance to the Division Series which was best of five format. After the Cardinals looked like the classic Cardinals in game one, playing good defense and pitching flawlessly, the young Cub hitters tee’d off the rest of the way hitting home run after home run – including six in a game three 8-6 Cubs win. Somehow Mike Matheny and Company held the team on course (during the regular season) despite significant injuries to the team’s pitching ace, bullpen setup man, starting first baseman and starting left fielder plus perennial underdog part-time center-fielder Jon Jay was injured and never returned to form. Despite all the obstacles, Matheny kept his team together and on the shoulders of a pitching staff kept the team focused and made the most of the scarce run support to eek out win after win.
So based on the full picture, I would not fire Mike Matheny. In the grand scheme of things, he should probably be manager of the year in the National League for the accomplishments of his team and overcoming key injuries that would have torpedoed just about any other club. Kudos to Mike Matheny and the St Louis Cardinals even though they did bow to the Chicago Cubs. lol
Have a great weekend.



Good day friends. What is a friend? In today’s convoluted society that term is virtually meaningless. In the time before social media, a friend was someone who in times of trouble or meaningful events in your life you reached out to (usually via phone) and shared those events and feelings. Don’t get me wrong there were still varying degrees of friends. Your best friend obviously. Your going out friend. Your really bad advice friend. And so on and so forth. It used to be a small circle of people who, right or wrong, had your back.
When you experienced a romantic breakup, they (the true friend) let you vent or cry or whatever you needed to do to cleanse your soul. When you achieved some meaningful goal, they were there first in line to go out and celebrate, smile and laugh with you. Those real friends have seen you at your best and conversely seen you at your lowest but still claim you as friend and diligently pick you up when you need it.
In today’s society, friends are viewed as more of a portfolio. I am so-and-so’s friend. I have so many friends – just look at my profile. Let’s be clear, you may have a lot of acquaintances but they are not real friends. Think I’m wrong? Start talking about your religious views or politics or make fun of their car or their pet or ask to borrow money and see if they are still talking to you tomorrow. Many of these relationships are tissue-paper in a thunderstorm weak and if tested will fail to hold up. Seriously if you don’t believe me – do a little field testing. I think a lot of people would be shocked back to reality and perhaps a little more cautious with what they ‘share’ once they discover the truth for themselves.
Real friends run deep. Real friends know your secrets and you know theirs. Real friends don’t care about your social media posts or if you don’t like the local sports team. Real friends see through your defenses and can tell when you are hurting or holding something back. Real friends can pick up after not talking for a week or more and it just feels natural. There’s an easy flow there that cannot be replicated by “I just met them once and we talked about why Buffalo Wild Wings is over-rated for like twenty minutes”.
This being said I have met and interact with many people mostly through my softball activities. I wouldn’t go as far as to call them friends but I have a ton of friendly acquaintance with potential to perhaps become friends.
But in my world, I call a very small, select few true friends. Nothing against the vast masses on social media whom I chat to, Post for and respond to – most of them are very nice people. But let’s be serious, if your car broke down at 2 am are you calling me for assistance? If you needed a place to stay on a moment’s notice, who would you reach out to? If someone you cared about deeply was suddenly ripped from your life, who would you turn to? These scenarios should probably reveal who in your heart is your rock or pseudo-family outside of real family.
I tend to look at things macro and micro quite a bit. I guess it comes from being forced to entertain myself a lot as a child and deductively trying to work things out. Hopefully, this post didn’t offend anyone lest I lose followers or virtual friends. This is not to say I don’t enjoy meeting new people and learning about them. In my opinion, a vital part of my creative process is constantly being introduced to new people and ideas. This is not to say a casual friendship cannot be developed. But everyone today throws around the term friend far too loosely. If you cannot spell the person’s first name correctly…you are probably not their true friend – just saying. If you have never physically been in the same place together or verbally spoken to them – you might not be real friends (feels like a Jeff Foxworthy moment here). I could be wrong, there are exceptions of course but I think these are the rules more than the exceptions.
To my dear friends and my mom, who is one of my best friends – I thank you; for living this life would not be possible without the light you pour in to offset my self-generating darkness.
For those of you that thought this was going down the Ross, Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe and Rachel path – I sincerely apologize. That would have been a 10-year blog post of funny and endless quotes. But alas not this time.

Careful out there my friends, the world is full of people aimlessly running with scissors and practicing their selfie faces.

Peace and post.

All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day

So in tearing off the pages of my desk calendar and depositing them in the paper recycling bin at work, I noticed yesterday was All Saints Day and today is All Souls Day. Of course I Googled it and here is the combined entry:
All Saints’ Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls’ Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven.
It was interesting reading as I am not overly religious but not against the ideas or ideals in religious beliefs or church ceremonies. I choose not to follow a particular faith but prefer to keep my mind open to all the ideas expressed and absorb those which make the most sense and appeal to me. That may seem weird to other people but it’s a choice, the same as everyone should have. I digress as this is not a soapbox moment, I just found the calendar entries intriguing enough to look them up and see what was referenced.
Hope your Monday is going better than my scenes from the movie Office Space that have been lived out in a conference room today. So, what would you say you do here?
tom smykowski
Peace and may the month of November only be a time barrier until you reach December my friends.