The One With All The FRIENDS

Hello one and all. Hope your Hump Day is treating you well! What? Today is not hump day? Well gosh darn it, I’m sorry. My Bad. Ooops even.

Joey

As many of you know I was a big fan of the TV show FRIENDS. I saw about 90% of the episodes first run and then of course many times in syndication plus I pull out the DVDs or stream the seasons on Netflix. The first five seasons are amazing and the last five are pretty good too. My favorite all-time episode is titled The One With The Prom Video. Here is a clip from it:

The Clip With The Prom Video

A couple of years ago I went to Amazon.com and looked up FRIENDS + game and found several board games plus a PS2 game that features real clips from the show. The game is called The One with All the Trivia. If you are a fan of the show and have a PS2 I recommend you get it – my purchase cost about $8 which included shipping and I have enjoyed it immensely. It is broken up into categories and the different characters on the show read questions and add responses based on correct or incorrect responses. Major Dork Review gives it two thumbs up!

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Also as a side note, here is one of the Bloggers on Tumblr who posts lots of fun FRIENDS stuff:

Tumblr Unofficial Friends Account

OK so very pro-FRIENDS in the post. You are welcome. Almost Friday!

Make it work…and Peace!

Top Tens

So a long time ago back when Geocities was popular I used to think I was pretty funny and quirky (so much has not changed!), I used to compile Top Ten lists.

Top Ten Lists from a million years ago

So to pay homage to my former self I came up with a Top Ten list of things to throw cold water on D-bags and F-boys. I humbly present the following:

Top Ten Responses (to shut down D-bags who constantly are looking to do nothing but hook-up or exchange body parts). So these are responses for immediately after receiving a d!ck pic:

10. Sure seems like it is cold there.
9. Thanks for putting the camera so close. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at until I noticed the crusties.
8. Can you resend whatever you just sent? My BF deleted whatever it was and then left with his hunting knife and GPS.
7. Thanks for that. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time. No matter how bad things are, you showed me they could always be worse.
6. Cool is that a special app? How did you shrink it down so small?
5. You are hung like a peanut…out of the shell!
4. Did your dog chew on it? Why does it look like that?
3. Almost not enough there to ‘tuck it’ and make it look like you have a vagina. Almost.
2. The one I am looking at, here in person, is much bigger.
1. Take after your mother I see.

Bonus: I just heard about this micro research team on the radio looking for volunteers to test products. It looks like you would be a shoe in.

Hopefully you maybe got a chuckle or two from the above. Have a splendid day!

Peace!!

Sleep

Sometimes in my head when my mind wanders, I turn myself into an animated character. In these episodes I get struck by over-sized sledgehammers, flattened by runaway buses that may or may not be co-driven by Keanu Reeves, decaffeinated by ropes viciously pulled taut on the deck of the Titanic and occasionally disemboweled by random monsters.

SPEED, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, 1994,  TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved..

Some of you may say “HEY! That doesn’t seem normal”. Relax it is just my overactive imagination and none of those things has happened to me (yet) in real life.
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Perhaps the problem is these sequences are dreams that really just want to work themselves out of my subconscious during REM sleep but since I don’t listen to REM while I sleep or really sleep for that matter – the dreams can no longer be patient with me. Who knows?
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But I digress. These things tend to work themselves out. Maybe I will send an email to Conrad Murray asking if he has any Propofol or thoughts on the subject? Teehee Ja’monn!
mj
Have a greater than good-great day!
Garfield
Peace.

Under the overpass…

As I was driving into work this morning on highway 270, I glanced up underneath several overpasses. This behavior is nothing new in my world. I have been doing this, consciously or unconsciously, since I was a kid. For lack of a better term, this compulsion is something I got indirectly from my father. For habitual readers of Ye Ole Blog, you probably have noticed quite a few references to my mother but scant few mentions of the DNA donor who helped produce the human being that exists within my body today. On the topic of ‘dad’ I do not have much positive to share with the world except that he fostered in me my love for baseball and therefore in turn softball. So I choose to focus on more positive facets of my life even if I am mired in a pool of deepening angst at present.

So the genesis of the ‘Overpass Game’ as it has evolved into for me today, came from a hot day back in late summer 1982. I was 10 years old and was making a creamy peanut butter sandwich because I preferred the creamy to the crunchy. As a growing boy of that age, I remember being ravenous all the time – and my wonderful mother will attest to this fact. On that particular day I had already engulfed one peanut butter sandwich and, as fate would have it, went back and was in the process of making a second one at the kitchen table. One naked piece of wheat bread was patiently awaiting a slathering of brown-orange peanut butter. I made one pass and got about halfway around the slice of bread when my father entered the kitchen from the side outside door.

His abrupt appearance startled me and the (peanut) butter knife tumbled from my fingers and landed on the table; sticking to it in fact via the peanut butter adhesive. Back in those days, my father was not known for having a great deal of patience with myself and my brother. This day and moment was no different. He didn’t say anything initially but glared at me as he crossed the room and went out of sight. I hurried and cleaned up the mess and put the knife in the sink but left the bread and peanut butter out. I plopped down in the chair and began to eat my sandwich. About two bites in, my father returned with much stealth behind me, “Why didn’t you put the food away?” he growled.

At this point I froze mid-chew. Now mind you I was only ten but I had learned a few things up to this point in my short little life. One, scooting or sliding on wood floors is an excellent way to get splinters. Two, if it was nice outside I better not be caught indoors watching TV. Three, when directly asked a question by my father, under no circumstances was getting ‘cute’ on your responses advisable.

“I asked you a question” boomed from his mouth a few seconds after I had turned my head to face him. His voice was stern and his facial expression did not look jovial. “I forgot” was the best I couldn’t mumble through a mouthful of thick, sticky peanut butter.

He pointed his finger at the table and chastised my cleanup of the peanut butter mess. He then snatched up the bread and made an exaggerated showing of putting the twist tie back on the plastic of the bread bag. Next without warning, he threw the bread across the room and proceeded to move his face to within inches of mine. His breath was not good but that was the least of my concerns at that point as he started to speak in a very stern and condescending voice. He said that I “was too small and not good enough to play basketball or baseball or any sport professionally so I better focus on learning everything I could learn because I wasn’t going to be there eating his free food forever”.

That moment stretched on for what seemed like a week. But then mercifully, he broke eye contact which relieved a sudden bout of vertigo I was experiencing. He shook his head, made a disgusted sound and stomped out of the kitchen before going back outside with a door slam behind him. My stomach unclenched and my overwhelming hunger had evaporated. I spit out the soggy sandwich and threw the remains in the trash. That night I told mom I was not hungry and went to bed without dinner.

Let me back up a bit. In the early 80’s growing up in ‘the country’ I was either hanging around brother who was what they called mentally retarded (mentally challenged by today’s terminology) or outside hitting a ball or shooting hoops or tossing a football to myself – almost always by myself. During the summer days I would spend easily 4-5 hours tossing a ball up and practice smacking it into the woods only to spend 5-10 minutes looking for my hits each round. Even at ten years old and with a wooden bat, I could still generate some torque and smack a ball a good little ways. So the first part of my father’s peanut butter sandwich tirade was a spit in the face of that dream I had.

Now back to that night and going to bed with an awful feeling in my belly,  I dreamed a weird dream. Honestly I only remember the last fragment of the dream. There was a creek not far from my house and a bridge over it naturally. That summer it had been quite hot and in places the bedrock was not submerged in water which is to say completely dry. In my dream, cars would go over the bridge very fast. I would come out from under it to tell them to slow down or they were going to knock the bridge down because that was where I had to live now.

OK so it is a bizarre little anecdote from my life but from those formative years it stuck. Whenever mom would take me with her into Desoto to go to the store, I would notice the bridges. I would try to see into the crevices underneath of them to see if there was enough room to crawl up under there. Over the years my analytical mind started evaluating the overpasses and the available space underneath for privacy, structural integrity, potential room for a pet and storage, if wind shear would be problematic, potential for flooding, zombie defenses and a host of other checklist items that a person who may be presented with this as a realistic habitation option might consider.

To this day, I have not found a single overpass with the Holy Grail of living conditions but this does not come as much of a shock – especially on the days when the temperatures are Brrrr with a side of Eff’ing Fudge! But I’ll keep on looking…

Have a great Tuesday and my word of the day is ANGST which I looked up at Dictionary.com to verify it was what I thought it was.

Warmth and peace my friends.

Why are we here?

Good morning. If I asked you why you are here I would probably get an answer flavored like: I’m here to read your blog jack-wagon! And that is a great response! Right now, wherever you are stand up and ask: Why am I here? Depending on your present location and amount of people present, this could get pretty amusing or cause some tension if say you are in a high pressure sales pitch with a potential client.
jackwagon
Yesterday I finished watching the short-lived TV series Freaks and Geeks on Netflix circa 1999 depicting high school life near Detroit in the early 1980’s. To boil down the 18 episodes into a Cliff notes blurb without giving away too much as a spoiler in case you would like to watch for yourself: Set in the early 1980’s, we follow two main cliques: one of the Freaks and one of the Geeks. The younger set of all male Geeks goes through the rites of passage as all fledgeling teenagers do. The older set of Freaks in their later teens is tentatively sending out feelers into the adult world. There are all sorts of drug references and stoner stereotypes. In one episode, Nick (the alpha stoner lol) asks the age old question: Why are we here?
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It was a cute little show and I have to admit I was disappointed that there were only 18 episodes. Don’t get me wrong, I was satisfied with those 18 episodes but it would have been fun to see where those characters evolved to over a few seasons. Seeing as the show ran in 1999-2000 I don’t think there is a chance to gather a grass roots movement to have the show revived 16 years later. The show featured many actors before they hit the big time but also some established stars including: Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express), James Franco (Spiderman), Jason Segal (HIMYM), John Francis (Bones), Thomas F. Wilson (Biff – Back to the Future), Ben Stiller (Dodgeball), Shia LeBeouf (Transformers), JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Once Upon A Time, among others), Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) and a handful of others that are barely recognizable from so long ago.

OK now that my web review of the show is out there, back to the question Nick asked all those years ago that so many people (stoned and not stoned) have asked: Why are we here? For me it boils down to touching people. Now I’m not talking about touching people like Bill Cosby did. I want to touch people and have them remember alas Bill not so much. I believe we are here to touch people’s lives and through social media I can touch people whom I may never get the chance to travel to and meet in person.
bill cosby
For those of you who have never stood next to me or seen me in person, I am not a Greek God (more like a Geek God) so my chances of becoming a famous athlete like classic Bruce Jenner was (as opposed to current Bruce Jenner) are non-existent. Probably a better example of something I think to emulate is the current WWE. Somewhere my mom just asked, “Is that those fat men in their underpants jumping around?” Yes mom that is the modern day version of the pinnacle of wrestling entertainment. While most of WWE’s roster could be on the cover of several fitness and weight training magazines, they also feature other less chiseled performers. How do the less ‘beautiful’ people make it in their cut-throat image business? Simple…they can tell a story and make a connection. Whether it be a sadistic villain or the most unlikely underdog, they portray a character and tell their story to touch people’s lives even if it is in such a small and insignificant way.
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The WWE does more than just put on a production, pack up, count the gate revenue and go home. These performers are training and performing about 250-300 days out of the year for the full time stars. The performers in their minimal spare time they have, along with other charitable events, also visit sick kids in the hospital and bring their families memorabilia to forge relationships that they follow for years, thus touching lives. Yes some could argue it is tainted by marketing because let’s face it, if a family with a sick child is touched and impacted by their relationship with one of these stars from TV, guess what? They are going to tell all their friends and extended families. Some of those friends and family who were maybe never into wrestling may give the program a watch to checkout the good Samaritans who are positively impacting their friends lives. I am not saying this is WWE’s plot to gain more viewers but it is a nice side effect of giving back to the community. Take their biggest star, The Rock Dwayne Johnson for example. His social media accounts are followed by millions of fans worldwide. His story and persona are a testament to how someone can go from a decent college football player, failed pro football player to one of the most recognizable people on the planet. He has inspired countless people to pursue their dreams and better themselves. This is fact.
therock
Now before I start busting out some of The Rock’s most famous quotes, let me stop my little red wagon right here. The Rock is known of by literally millions of people. I am known by hundreds of people. Technically Dwayne is my senior by 52 days and has a better tan thanks to his Samoan heritage and can walk into any car dealer and purchase any vehicle he wants and…I am not sure where I was going with this part.

Anywho…for each person it boils down to what they have at their disposal. For some it’s physical gifts (adult entertainment?), some are gifted at speaking (Next up here at the Funny Bone…), some are naturally good at selling things (this car was only driven on Sunday to church by a little old lady), and some people are pretty and charismatic (and the Oscar goes to…) and then there is the rest of us (me included). What can we do for our fifteen minutes of fame? Drive a Ford Bronco on TV while a squadron of police follow? Lead peaceful protests for rights until you are assassinated? Juice up and hit the most home-runs in MLB baseball history? Post an outrageous video and hope it goes viral? Create a virus that affects Mac computers? Engineer a bomb and drive into a building in OKC? Insight a riot that destroys your community? Petition to have your name added to the big book of hurricane names?
hurricane
I prefer to try to be like Michael Jackson and offer my artistry. To steal a line from Genesis and one of their songs: I can’t dance, I can’t sing. So how can I make the correlation to Michael Jackson? Putting aside all the BS child molestation accusations that were mostly trumped up by greedy parents looking for a payday, Michael was a creative freak. Watch his videos and listen to his songs. The man knew how to entertain and tell a story. I can do a pretty creepy Moonwalk dance but I wont. Instead, I will try to tap into my propensity to tell a story. To bring Bill Cosby back in for a second, it is a bit amusing that one of the most revered icons of our lifetime is now having his legacy trashed and burned in the streets while Michael was ostracized during his life and is now able to be viewed for the talent and genius he was. Just goes to show you that you never know someone 100 percent based on what you read.
michael-jacksons-moonwalker
So for my core readers, although you do not number in the thousands or millions I do value each and every one of you and appreciate your feedback and encouragement. In this world of people who are the equivalent of a scratch off lottery ticket (I never win on those) you are my Powerball payout taken with the annuity option.
powerball
OK now that I have loaded you down with pop culture, I will wish you a pleasant Friday.
cena
But before I go I would like to pretend that I have sponsors and offer my thanks. WordPress is a great free blog site that is easy to navigate with stable servers unlike some other free sites. If you are thinking of Blogging (Web-Logging) I would recommend it highly. For the price (free) and functionality – you cannot beat it. Additionally, this week would not have been possible without the taser in my holster and by that I mean my Full Throttle Energy Drink. The 12 oz can has only 160 calories and keeps me going especially on those days when I have hardly slept or just lack the desire to go get’em. It is citrussy delicious and if you are old enough to smoke or vote – you are old enough to enjoy one!
ft wp
Pretanama.

pretanama

TH3 B3ST S3X OF YOUR LIF3

If my mom is reading this, I’m going to ask her to cover her eyes for at least a few paragraphs so this doesn’t feel weird. OK let’s begin…

When someone promises to give you the best sex of your life, how do they know what that is going to entail? Do they have an ice cream bar set up in one corner, a set or two of padded handcuffs, a Pandora station called No Roofies Needed playing seductively, a bed the size of a stretch limo with luxurious sheets and pillows, the air in the room scientifically enhanced to de-emphasize all of your body’s problem areas and enhanced/enlarge all the items that lovers want enhanced and enlarged all the while having a director telling your partner, “I need to feel your desire, it’s just not believable. You need to really commit here! More fans and confetti over here!”

Honestly to each person that scenario is going to warp and morph into something completely opposite of what the next person would ideally want to experience. Some females may want a hunky dude to throw them around like a ragdoll and be completely dominated…some may just want a marathon session with lots of sweating, dirty talk, friction, natural lubrication and ultimately multiple climaxes.

But what pushes that experience to be the best of your life? That’s a pretty bold and cocky (pardon the pun) endeavor. Is it a new and exciting experience? Being in public? Adding a partner? Doing a forbidden act? Toys? Achieving a target number of orgasms? Being videoed? Other technology? Oral? Pain? Anal? Watching porn? Sitting atop the washing machine? Having someone scream the alphabet backwards? Dipping your toes in pudding and body painting your partner?

I cannot answer that question for 99.9999~ % of the population who are of consenting age. But for me, the best sex of my life is being with someone who I can see myself having sex with for now and another 10,000 times regardless of variation. Rolling over afterwards all sweaty, smiling and content that I do not have to put my pants on in 10 minutes and leave is awesome. Someone I can fall asleep next to and listen to them breathe slowly and whisper to me in the moments afterwards also in uber-enticing. I am not a prude nor am I on par with the Ninja Warrior athletes – but I try 200% for my lady! All I want is the notion of a chance for the act to happen again tomorrow or the next day or the day after. The best sex bonds two people and squashes stress and doubts but it alone cannot be the glue that holds the relationship together.

Now I have nothing against random people hooking up to fill their needs if they cannot find that soul connection with douche nation running rampant everywhere. I just think the best sex happens after two people bare their inner most fears and doubts to one another and can feel naked without being naked. Yes there are countless variations of what a couple of naked humans can do to one another in the pain and pleasure realm, but the most powerful and satisfying sex is when those two people give all of themselves over to the other instead of two people with over-sized parts going fast and furious for 15 minutes, then get dressed and walking away like they just got the #6 combo from the menu at the Taco Bell drive thru.

OK mom you can uncover your eyes now. So the cohesive nature of the above arguments are likely under certain conditions to produce a positive experience that may achieve the desired results.

Bottom line, in my opinion, you cannot have the best sex of your life with someone you do not love or that does not love you. To all the side chicks out there: snap out of your dick-coma and go find your own dude. Life is like all those romantic comedies, if you keep trying you can land someone to love even if you are a dork (like me). Show your partner affection (try not to be smothering) and let them know that they are appreciated and that you find them attractive. From this base you may have a chance to experience the best sex of your life. Everything in life has its pitfalls and chances to fail…but damn-it if you don’t even try you have already failed.

To all: a Happy Peppy Post-Hump Day!

Peace.

Epilogue: As one piece of information pertaining to sex, when doing the 69 position, the female should always be on top. Always! Gravity and geometry will bear me out on this point. That is the only thing I am going to testify to with any certainty.

#ThanksDalton #DoNotTeabagTheOneYouLove #OneNightStandMaybeOKToTeabag

Hygiene!

Hygiene! Hello?
This exclamation was met with a quizzical, perturbed stare. Then the woman whom this was directed towards turned and walked briskly in the opposite direction while furtively looking around.

OK so my bad here. This woman probably feels like I was outing her for some social offense ranging from skipping daily bathing protocol to something of a more overt, ghastly insinuation.

In reality, I thought the woman’s name was Jean and I was trying to say Hi. Perhaps I could have broken up the syllables to be distinctively Hi and Jean or just said Hello Jean! Then she may have been able to flip the embarrassment on to me by saying, “My name is not Jean but hello to you.”

So here-fore to avoid confusion, I say hello human reader! If you not a human but rather an advanced primate or dolphin with a water-proof iPad, I beg your forgiveness and wish a good day to you.

Peace.

A picture is worth…

1000words

Good morning and I hope this blog post find you reading from your beach front cabana with your flip-flops kicked off and your feet resting on soft warm sand. Hold on give me a second…that imagery was like being wrapped in warm blanket in a deep sleep 5 minutes before the alarm goes off to get up for work.
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So this past weekend I played (Sunday only) in the annual Forest Park Snowman softball tourney here in St Louis. The Sunday version was for the men’s only format, the Saturday version was the coed format. I played for the Misfits team. We won three games and lost one before calling it a (very cold) day. At the onset, the temperature was around 10 degrees according to the digital readout on my car’s dashboard. Over the course of the six plus hours I was outside, I think the temperatures may have climbed into the teens once the sun came out but the trade-off was the 10-15 mile per hour winds that gusted and blew bits of snow flakes into a lot of frozen and chapped faces.
snowman
Like the previous weekend I was defensively stationed at first base and was grateful to see minimal activity. The reason I was glad was because the temperatures were a bit warmer on Saturday and the fields were a bit gooey-er. So when the fields re-froze overnight all the shoe indentations formed ruts and ridges and divots that caused a Plinko effect on ground balls. Not only was fielding ground balls a hazard but also trying to run on the infield was treacherous as the shoe print pits everywhere were a good way to roll an ankle.
plinko
Unlike the previous weekend, I was able to keep my feet, hands and main body parts dry.  There were generous fire pits set up around each backstop with good size fires to warm toes, melt molded cleats and thaw frozen fingers. I had some Hot Hands hand warmers in my hoodie pockets that did not activate until sometime on the ride home. By that time in the afternoon I was immensely relieved to be headed for a hot shower.
colder--Stock-Photo
So back to the title of the post:  A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. On this day I took 129 pictures that I uploaded to Facebook to capture the conditions and actions of the day for posterity. So doing some simple math 129 multiplied by 1000 – is 129,000 words approximately that is owed for that album of pictures. In lieu of all those words, I would like to propose a payment (to me) of 10 cents per word owed and call it even. I accept checks, money orders and envelopes full of cash too! I am not unreasonable. We can work out a payment plan if needed!
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Hope your Tuesday is filled with love and smiles and warmth – inside and out.

If I can get the sensation of wanting to puke to leave my person, I intend to drink my Full Throttle Energy Drink to pep up out of my semi-drowsy state.
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Good day and peace.

Pandora Radio

german
Good morning to the whole of Germany! Der Donnerstag ist in meiner Top sieben Lieblings Tagen der Woche !

To my loyal US readers and the outskirts of parts unknown, an equally exuberant good morning! Hope all of you have the convenience of running water and inexpensive gasoline readily available to you as you traverse about today!

So not to be a negative Nestor but I have a gripe about the Pandora music app for the iPhone. Taking into consideration, yes it is a free app and no I am not complaining about the commercial ads. I understand that is the trade-off for it being free and I readily accept this. What I do take umbrage with is when I select a station, this morning I tried to get Pink (the artist, not the color) but a couple of songs into the flow I got Adele and some Fiona Lewis.
pink
Hold the (smart) phone for a second. I am sure this Fiona Lewis is a very nice person and Adele is noted as being enjoyed by millions of people. However, by selecting the artist Pink for my ‘station’ I was looking for predominantly songs by Pink or artists of her quirkiness (yes, Kesha is OK).

After giving the Thumbs Down icon a tap a few times I was routed into more commercials and then given more non-Pink songs. C’mon now. Pink has a decent library of material and to suggest that they need to water down her ‘station’ with all this wonky material is at the very least annoying. If I wanted to listen to Adele (which I never do) I would’ve searched for the Adele station and promptly drove into a row of mailboxes to make her sound better.
adele
While I am flying off the handle, I have a suggestion for Pandora or another music app that might actually play the requested artist(s). How about once you load the app and select your genre, station, artist, etc – you can put you phone flat, face-up and a hologram of Johnny Knoxville’s face appears. If the song playing is not to your liking, you simply smack Johnny in the face and a new song is queued up. Or if you are going through anger management or have a problem with violence via religious beliefs, etc you can have a hologram of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and you can just poke him in the stomach to change the song. Someone, somewhere is going to pitch this idea to investors and it will happen – mark my words!
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So on down the last furlong of the track, Pandora people (engineers or database managers) please only give me Pink-like artists within my Pink station from now on please?
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Groovy good day to everyone as we are on the cusp of Friday!

Peace.

Car Commercial

So I heard a car commercial where the car dealer said they are good people that sell good cars to good people.

This doesn’t seem that smart from a marketing standpoint. You may be alienating a certain avenue of people. What if some people know they are bad? Then you potentially just lost a sale! Unless that person tries to fool the process and slip through to commandeer one of their good cars for a bad person with potentially bad intentions. This probably gets more into a moral discussion of doing good things and positive intentions but overall could be deemed a gray area. Or what if the person is unawares that they are ‘bad people’ and their bad psyche is awakened in this process? This dealer could be liable for unleashing a prime evil out into the world.

Ohhh this gives me the shivers. Wait. Perhaps it’s just the below freezing temperatures. Yeah, more than likely that is it.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the good car people. On the flip-side, what proof are they willing to put forth that their cars are good? What if in the factory someone died horribly or an evil essence was just passing through and became entrapped in one of their vehicles? Way too many variables for my comfort level here.

In the meantime, I will just stick with my current vehicle and try not to make any moral judgements about it so it does not feel ostracized or get overly righteous. Those cars with big egos can be such a high maintenance headache.

If the universe conspires to where you have to procure a vehicle, be careful and maybe bring your own witch doctor to ensure the juju on four wheels is in alignment with your cosmic path.

Peace!

NFL Rams Re-Relocate to LA…and Mock Jar Jar Binks Interview

St_Louis_Rams2Good day and welcome my special guest from the lesser liked second Star Wars trilogy, Jar Jar Binks.
JarJar
Me: Jar Jar welcome to the show.

Jar Jar: Thanka yous for having me.

Me: So Jar Jar I know you are from a galaxy far far away but what do you think of the NFL owners taking away a second football franchise from the city of St Louis?

Jar Jar: Meesa not sure, but I am pretty sure dat Jar Jar is to blame.

Me: I’m sorry Jar Jar, how is this your fault?

Jar Jar: Well Gungans nosa be good at playing da footsball. Also, the owner-day of da Rams is part Gungan. Heesa not even try to disguise it very much. See dis pickcha. He looksa just lika Captain Tarpals. How wude!

during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on February 8, 2014 in Liverpool, England.

GunganC
Me: You make very good points Jar Jar but I do not blame you for the Rams leaving St Louis. I put the blame on an owner who was greedy and equally jealous of the storied franchise that is the St Louis Cardinals baseball team. Some even say that the St Louis Cardinals have grown so powerful in the baseball universe that they are using the dark side of the force.

Jar Jar: Meesa thinks you are fooling with Jar Jar.
yadithejedi
Me: Perhaps. But you know what really grieves me on this day?

Jar Jar: Whatsa dat?

Me: Getting blind-side spoilers from the new Star Wars movie from a five year old. I know the movie has been out for several weeks but for the most part I have been able to avoid the water cooler talk of peers (even on social media) about plot points. But lo and behold, yesterday in speaking with young Padawan Ayden he blurted out a couple of tidbits from the newest movie as relayed from a classmate. All I could do was shake my head and offer him a beverage to try to change the subject. How do you get mad at a five year old for something that he has no idea what he just did? If he was twenty-five years old, I would have smacked him on the back of head and said, “What’s the matter with you?” in my best Brooklyn accent.
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Jar Jar: Isa hate spoilers. Thisa one time, in a Naboo band camp, Isa was playing some music soso bad thatsa…

Me: Well thanks Jar Jar but I’m afraid that’s all the time I have for today. Please come back sometime in 2099 and we can talk some more.

Jar Jar: Okie day. Bye bye allsa yous out der in cyber readings worlds!

Me: May the force be with most all of yousas, er…you.

Peace.

Rams

My Weekend

Hello…this is NOT American Idol! Oh that feels good to say.
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Get comfortable and check my spelling in case the built in program got lazy or I intentionally protested the official accepted letter pattern of the most common words.

As I unleash my words while in a seated position, just know that I am in a climate controlled environment. The temperature in the room is about 70-ish degrees, I would guess and for the moment there are no stray cold drafts. Which is in stark contrast from my Saturday morning outside in Pevely, Missouri playing some softball amidst the inter-mingled rain and snow.
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Oh yes, I was stupid to the infinite power and agreed to play softball despite the agitated state Mother Nature was in. The temperatures started around 40 degrees and slipped ever colder as the day wore on. The sun didn’t even make a cameo on the day but around 200 people ranging from park workers to spectators to players braved the unpleasantness to enjoy a cherished past-time and also the opportunity to catch up with people they hadn’t seen since last year (yep, that’s a New Year’s joke, sorry-not sorry!)
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I was rostered for the event on one of the two Misfits men’s teams. My team won our first game by one run 15-14. The 14th & 15th runs for my squad came via a home-run from yours truly that made the score 15-11 at the time but held up to be enough at the end. In the second game, we surpassed the time limit of 45 minutes and 7 inning by stretching the game into the 9th inning before losing by two runs. Our band of Misfits had their chance to win the game about five different times but failed – including myself. With two outs in the 8th inning, the bases were loaded and I popped out to the shortstop but my bat went flying over the backstop next to the dugout because my hands were still wet from where I had fallen butt first into a lake behind the turf behind first base where I was playing in the defensive half inning prior. In our third game (yes I was still soaked and freezing), we prevailed by 3-4 runs in seven innings of play. Unfortunately, our tourney day came to an end the very next game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the winning run scored on a play at the plate with one out on a head first slide just under the relay throw to the plate.

Overall, it was a good day considering we won two games and lost one in extra innings and the other in the bottom half of the last inning. With our softball day officially done, I bolted for my car and peeled out of several layers of wet, clumpy clothes and drove home with the heater on HIGH.

After a looooooooong hot shower, we polished off Saturday night (Kristi and I) by hanging out, eating Mexican food at Tequila’s restaurant, then off to Ronnie’s Wehrenberg theater for playing arcade type games (yes she kicked my butt at most of the contests) before we settled in for The Forest in the actual theater itself. Popcorn and beverages were consumed between on-screen spooks. Overall I liked the flick (Kristi did not completely like the ending) but I was OK with how it played out. As an epilogue on the skeeball, there was a modified game called Scat Cat or something of the such. This prompted a Google search for the urban dictionary usage of scat that was both eye opening and revolting.

Sunday was of the lazy under the covers in front of the TV sort. Not much to report and that brings us to today. Cold and Monday. Have I ever told you that I don’t like the cold? I may have mentioned it once (or twice or four hundred times) in passing…but I do not like the cold. Mostly I am just prone to b!tching about it unless I can figure out how to manipulate the Earth and it’s axis to ensure that the climate formerly of Middle America will be a year-round staple of Missouri. I could probably Google how this could be done but until then, I guess I will just have to get a little more colorful in my complaints!

It’s soooooo cold that I saw a squirrel with frozen boogers. OK I got nothing new. Being cold sucks!
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Hope you are enjoying this 11th daily installment of 2016. Aside from saying good-bye to David Bowie and the awful feeling I have for Blair Walsh (of the Minnesota Vikings football team) not too bad a day so far (please don’t take that as a challenge Universe).

Jan 10, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) reacts after missing a field goal attempt against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
To all, have a good day and may The Force be near you unless you are using the bathroom – then it’s best not to ‘force it’.

Peace.

P.S. Here was my Facebook/Twitter thoughts on the $1.3 Billion dollar expected Powerball prize and people’s math skills.

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The Nomad Rams

Hello.
As I am wont to do I am delving into sports and overlaying my opinion – just my opinion mind you – of the situation gripping the region. Forgive me that I do not have unlimited facts and statistics that I will regurgitate like a momma bird feeding her young. Stay with me as I lead you across this swollen muddy river of financial cloak and dagger hi-jinx.
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The (presently) St Louis Rams football ownership, most namely E. Stan Kroenke, has filed a petition to move his football franchise out of St Louis and back to Los Angeles from where it previously resided. This is fact.

The Nomad Rams played in California from 1946 until 1994. Note I said California as the Rams played in Anaheim as well as Los Angeles on their stay out west. The Nomad Rams have also played in Cleveland as their origination point (from 1936-1945). Again just some facts.
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According to published attendance figures over the last 8 years – the Rams have been below 60,000 fans per game (on average) – but ranging from 53,000 up to just under 60,000 during than span. Also according to published attendance figures for the last three years that the Rams were in California, the team averaged less than 50,000 fans per game (1992-1993-1994).

Now I do not have fancy Photoshopped mock ups for football stadiums that take up the entire surface of the moon currently orbiting the Earth, but I do have a little perspective from the BAJ (Below Average Joe) seats. Here goes…
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Do I think the Edward Jones Dome is a nice place to watch a football game? No not really. Is it horrible? No but it’s not all fancy and shiny like most NFL owners (like ferrets) would like. On par with most professional sports venues, the food concessions and team merchandise are grossly over-priced (when you can purchase a small bottle of water for more than the price of a case of bottled water at the supermarket, c’mon.) You walk into the restrooms and there are no holograms of William Shatner directing you where you can shat, or P Diddy’s digital face in the urinal giving you the thumbs-up to pee on him. So I’m sure the stadium is behind the times on that front. The dome itself is kind of shoe-horned into downtown instead of having it’s own big boy room with a walk-in closet (acres upon acres of parking). Overhead the roof does not retract to allow the fresh air to cleanse the smell of stale beer and wafting urine from the premises.

But on the most basic levels, there are seats for fans and a field surface for the team(s) to perform on as is the basic premise of the games. In all fairness, the dome is perfectly capable of housing a cozy warehouse feel or bringing the excitement of a golf expo to life but for today’s NFL experience…let’s be honest it does lag behind the times a bit. Whoa, whoa don’t kill the messenger.

In today’s world of two-mile wide HD video screens, WiFi hot spots, fantasy football updates by the minute, scrolling video boards, indoor waterfalls, entertainment niches within the greater structure, etc – the dome is just a building by comparison. In my opinion, The Edward Jones Dome is about equal to Wrigley Field without the cool ivy. It’s a place to gather and watch the home team but it’s not for the snooty of heart. And again do not shoot the messenger, today’s’ richie-rich fans are just that: snooty. This is the heart of what the Nomads Rams owner is aiming at; Certainly not embracing his team on every play, like Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones, to win at all costs but to squeeze every last dollar into his Pacific Ocean-sized wallet.

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Here is his relocation proposal to the NFL linked above. Sports writers and financial experts are tearing it to shreds as slander for the city and a great deal of it is based on ‘projections’ and slight of hand facts like a three-card Monte game. But what did you expect from the slick used car salesman (Kroenke) trying to make sure he gets that fat cash bonus if he can talk his way out of the minivan customer (Edward Jones Dome) and upsell them into a Ferrari (Englewood Project)? Each one is technically viable but the later is obviously the sexy choice.
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On the low end, attendance is important. First and foremost, a team in a larger media market (Los Angeles vs St Louis) will automatically generate more revenue. Cut and dry that is simple economics. But from an attendance standpoint, rear-ends in the seats means more parking revenue, more concessions revenue, more merchandise revenue and more activities based revenue.

So if you are putting a poor product on the field, how else do you draw in fans/consumers? Why the venue of course. Hey Bill, the Rams suck but do you want to go tailgate and then watch the 27 TV screens of the other games in the sports bar at the new stadium and also drop by the fan zone? Sure, let’s go! That is not a common conversation with the current Edwards Jones Dome because the place is simply a place to watch the game from your seat with very little in the way of frills.
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Did I mention attendance? Well like any product, the better the product is the more in demand it is. When the Nomad Rams were known as The Greatest Show on Turf giving homage to The Greatest Show on Earth which was a film from 1952 set under the big top of Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus – the team’s home games were well attended. Why? To be honest, because the product was the best in the league at that time. It was flashy and fun to watch, it was the cool place to be – all in the same building that sits there today over a decade later.

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So what has changed? Well the bar has been raised by other markets with newer, cooler stadiums. So it’s, pardon the pun, time to keep up with the Joneses.

Like the stereo-typical family unit of the region, Midwesterns are not usually all that extravagant. Families budget and try to be frugal with an eye for the long-term as opposed to the extravagances and expenses needed for a Top Tier NFL stadium. People of the Midwest tend to be more sensible and of more modest means – which is in total contrast to the West Coast life-style perception. So again how can we as a region compete with Hollywood?
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Stan Kroenke wants a really super nice ‘house’ for his team. Plain and simple, we as a city can offer him a nice ranch-style spread with a fenced yard but what he really wants is something more along the lines of a Beverly Hills mansion with a pool house. It is kind of hard to convince a hungry person to choose a Twizzler sitting next to a perfectly cooked steak with all the fixings (unless your starving person is perhaps a vegan).

The relocation report gives many projections and comparisons based on attractiveness for the three markets vying for relocation: Oakland, St Louis and San Diego. All the data provided…shocker…paints St Louis as the most deserving and desperate in need of the move to LA. Some of the data puts St Louis around 27th or 28th (out of the 32 existing NFL franchises) in attendance and financial indicators and stadium amenities and on and on. So by that reasoning, shouldn’t the league go to those 4-5 teams that are rated below St Louis and give them first dibs on moving to Los Angeles or is the need first system not in play there?
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I think the two main points of the Rams relocation ploy are: uncool stadium and poor (recent) attendance. The latter could be fixed by a coach with a clue and an ownership who is invested in the product as something other than an investment (aka cash cow). Upgrading the first item is on St Louis to provide, which as they say is ‘the cost of doing business’ with the NFL.

The underlying point to be made here is that if a second NFL franchise leaves the city…I would not expect to get another franchise here ever.

Stating as a matter of purely my opinion, I do not think constructing an outdoor football stadium here (whether for dual soccer-football use or not) is a good idea. Why? Because if you are going to break the bank so to speak ‘to build it, so they will come’ then be practical and think big. In the NFL you want to have a nice home stadium and also be attractive to the league as a possible destination for a Superbowl. It’s a status symbol and a huge payday for the region.

Making an outdoor stadium, in St Louis, for an early February date, when the weather is typically cold and nasty – is not an attractive option for the league’s premiere game. Also for those inevitable years when the home team is not on a successful trajectory and it is cold and inclement outside, it is best to provide a controlled atmosphere for the richie-riches to be drawn to bring out their families. Is a family of 4-5 really going to bring their small children out in 10 degree weather to watch a team that is in last place? Let’s just be a little realistic here. True the hardcore fans will still come out, but the fringe fans who do it for more social aspects will not come out to be miserable in the elements or even in good weather without the pacifiers of secondary entertainment. That is harsh…but a fact of today’s society.
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Oh and on the Kroenke Rams relocation report, I give it a C minus. Good use of Microsoft Office products and Photoshopped palm trees but very thin on truth and accuracy. Side note: could Stan be any more jealous of the St Louis Cardinals support and popularity? Somebody needs to cry and pout on the couch for a bit I think.

One analogy that came to mind on this whole situation: E Stan Kroenke is like the spoiled little girl who wants a pony but her parents are middle class. Does she need the pony when she has everything else? No of course not. But she is going to make her parent’s lives a living Hell until they break down and give her what she wants or she will file for emancipation and go live with grandma in California.

Natalie Portman
Have a great week my friends and remember to practice winking in the mirror before trying it in an important meeting later this year.

Cheers and peace.

Baseball – as it applies to me

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Guten Morgen – to my readers of German heritage! Also to you if you are not from Germany or residing in a region where German is the primary language.  If any of you are available to teach me your home language, I am all ears for a Facetime call or something.
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As we stand six days into the ‘New Year’, I have baseball on my mind. I think I just sensed dozens of eye-rolls. People near and far just mentally said, “Here we go! Another marvelous flowing piece about the Cleveland Indians and how this could be the year if the stars align and all the rest of the teams in their entirety contract Sars virus and are prohibited from playing their games against the Indians thus giving them a forfeit filled season all the way up through the World Series! Get your 2016 World Series Champions hoodies now!!
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Wait, got caught up in the moment there. Actually this blog doesn’t have anything to do with the awesome but frustrating Cleveland Indians baseball team. In the last few days I received an email from one of the guys I played with on my Mustangs team from last summer. As a few of you may recall, I tried my hand at playing some baseball (Mens 40+ league) in addition to my softball shenanigans. The experiment in my mind was a flop. The Mustangs team lost every game we played. Things bottomed out with about 7-8 games left in the season when we had to forfeit because we only had 6-7 players show up. This happened a couple more times and the team decided to disband/fold.

St Louis Men’s Baseball League

Officially that team ended the season 0 wins and 22 losses. The brother Mustangs team in the 30+ division finished the season with 1 win and 23 losses (I did not play on this team).  As this was my first venture into ‘organized’ baseball since 1982 when I played at the Cedar Hill Khoury League, I didn’t know what to expect but I am fairly certain that the team was not well run. Unlike slow-pitch softball where you can pretty much show up, step on the field and be competitive with just a little muscle memory;  baseball is a whole different animal. On the defensive side, the throw across the diamond or in from the outfield with a smaller ball is a little bit of an easier adjustment (for me). But trying to keep a mental focus as your pitcher walks several batters in a row is often difficult. On the hitting side, looking at pitchers throwing overhand anywhere from 40 miles per hour up to around 70-something miles per hour (at a guess) is a huge adjustment from looking at a larger yellow ball floating in with an arc at about 10 miles per hour. Not to mention if you actually hit the ball the run to first base is longer (90 feet vs 60). In my defense, I started out the first part of the year ‘decent’ which is a relative term. In my first five games I got two hits in seven at-bats. Those stats should say a lot about how the team performed offensively based on seven inning games (or two-hour time limit) and usually 13-14 guys batting each game (I usually batted around 10th or 11th). From that start, my offensive production did a nose-dive with only a couple of games with multiple walks to show for it.
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The experience was not fun. From the coach playing his buddies and making himself pitcher to him not knowing my name almost halfway through the season – it was a repetitive joke that wasn’t funny from the first time heard. Around the halfway mark of the season, we got our jerseys (with our names on the back) so that helped a bit with the coach knowing names but there was no real interest on his part to find out where guys felt most comfortable in the lineup or on the field. I was having little league flashbacks: OK, the first nine guys to run out on the field get to play to start. Not that everything was a total bust. If our pitcher could manage to throw strikes, the defense played OK on balls that could be fielded. But once runners reached base, you could move them all the way to third base within 2-3 pitches as ALL the base-runners stole bases with ease. Not to dog our catcher but everything was working against him. The pitchers struggled to throw strikes and hold the runners close at first and second base. So as soon as the pitcher came set before delivering the ball towards home plate, the base-runners usually were already running towards the next base and our catcher was not Yadi Molina. Even below average speed runners were able to steal a few bases. To my recollection, not one base stealer was caught against our catcher/pitcher battery.
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I am not going to further rehash the disaster that was the Mustangs 40+ baseball team from 2015 as that was in my opinion a sad waste of time and money. Do I think that team was terrible? In comparison to the rest of the teams we played, actually no. We were competitive in about 1/3 of those contests. We just could not make enough contact while trying to hit the baseball and we weren’t exactly facing Nolan Ryan in his prime. But no practices and not playing to your players perceived strengths will undercut whatever positives we may have had going for us.
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So that brings me to the email from a few days ago from Mr Zigler. He like me, was one of the guys the coach didn’t know his name or where he was most comfortable playing. But I guess he felt my pain and thought I had some decent potential from watching me play shortstop, left field, center field, first base and second base.
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Self: What should I do? Try again? Self, are you sleeping? Self, are you ignoring me? Self? Self??!!
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I have a friendly competitive fire inside. When it comes to challenges I like to think I at least give things a shot before giving up (Read: Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I suck at stuff). I felt like at the beginning of the season I was unsure and lacking in confidence on my hitting but my defense was solid (despite a four error game at shortstop one muggy Sauget night).
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I have responded to Mr Zigler’s emails noting I could be a ‘maybe’. The discussion is moot presently until he recruits enough to fill at least a dozen more spots on his new team: the Marauders. After the Mustangs folded,  I was contacted by the league itself to inquire about my payment status with the team (I paid my commitment fees before the season started). Apparently when the Mustangs team folded – the team itself still owed about $1500 to the league. The league official was satisfied with my response (I had my cashed checks as receipts) that I was paid up so my future eligibility should not be affected. If Mr Zigler can rope in enough interested parties and actually get a team together for BP and fielding practice here and there…who knows?

Happy Hump Day and remember to enjoy a Full Throttle Energy Drink!
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Full Throttle Energy keeps me going all day with no crash and has a delightful citrus flavor. It is fat free and packs 200% of the daily recommended allowances of B3, B6 and B12 vitamins! The can says it’s hardworking but it’s easy drinking! Ahhhhh!

Peace.