Make that joke

Sometimes what a situation needs is a joke. Standing next to the casket and the deceased is smiling. A thought steals across your brain. This guy is smiling because he doesn’t have to deal with Facebook anymore! Bwahaha.

Inappropriate humor is my strong suit. Grossly inappropriate humor at that. I cannot help myself. I think wicked and clever things (at least in my mind). Luckily I have learned to suppress expressing these thoughts aloud or in writing to not offend the overly religious, elderly, ugly, family oriented, short, tall, disabled, racially different, snooty, Hoosiery and easily butt-hurt individuals. Most days the thoughts discarded are enough to make my tongue bleed from biting it lest the evil, evil words be loosed upon humanity. OK truth be told I think a lot of stupid things that make me giggle and most people would just cock their heads sideways and say “Huh?” As long as I am amused, it doesn’t matter what other people think! This is a mantra I have embraced for years. Occasionally a warped soul will endear themselves to me and I will loop them in on something I am thinking to test the waters. If they laugh or high-five me, they are granted access to the inner circle…if they make a face opposite of a smile or stare blankly, I quickly change the subject or flee the vicinity. My friend Mel is one of the few people who have been granted inner circle VIP status. We love pets and value them more than most people. I am always on the lookout for a few good people who know sarcasm and how to practice its dark arts.

So as you traverse the precious few hours remaining in June 2016, I bid you adieu, to you and you and you. The hills are alive with the sound of haters. So maybe TuPac’s ghost will come down from his secret mansion and fart in your mouth while you sleep if you are a non-believer of the sarcasm. This is a powerful religion and all those who embrace it, will be given everlasting entertainment. Can I get an amen or at least some Top Ramen?


Pretty Woman

So what comes to mind when I say Pretty Woman? If you are a bit younger, you may say something like Beyonce or Gisele. If you are in that 20-30 range you may say something like Julia (Fiona) Roberts’ movie. Pushing the age bracket back to 30 plus, you may even say a Van Halen or Roy Orbison song.
Julia Roberts for the record is four years older than myself, which means she was 22 years old when the movie Pretty Woman hit theaters in March 1990. The film cost about $14 million to make and almost made $180 million total (domestic box office). Not a bad return on investment huh? So for the purpose of this piece, I am focusing on the movie Pretty Woman that leverages the song by Mr. Roy Orbison. This movie came out twenty-six years ago. That fact alone is staggering. The movie’s success is also a testament to America’s embracing two things: Being an underdog and also a long shot love story with a purported happy ending.
If you think I am just blowing smoke let me smack you with the facts and by facts I mean bottom line voting dollars that Americans use to cast those votes. According to data from domestic box office only, Pretty Woman was the fourth largest grossing movie of 1990. The top three were: Home Alone ($285M Gross, Cost $15M) , Ghost ($217M Gross, Cost $22M) and Dances with Wolves ($184M Gross, Cost $19M). Then you slot in Pretty Woman at fourth place ($178M Gross, Cost $14M). Of the top four movies, Pretty Woman cost the least amount to make and was only exceeded in ratio of return by Home Alone (19.1 vs 12.7). For the record I have seen all four of these movies.
Now some of you will be poo-pooing this saying things like, well maybe it was a year when no other movies came out. On the contrary, here are some of the titles that were eclipsed by the film featuring Richard Gere, Julia Roberts and Hector Elizondo: Back to the Future III (Michael J Fox), Total Recall (Arnold Schwarzenegger), The Hunt For Red October (Sean Connery), Days of Thunder (Tom Cruise), Die Hard II (Bruce Willis), Kindergarten Cop (Arnold Schwarzenegger), The Godfather Part III (Al Pacino) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Corey Feldman). Back in the day, this was a Who’s Who of A-Listers. For Pretty Woman to dwarf their box office showings is no small feat.
So why the financial history lesson? No reason really, I just heard the original Roy Orbison song on the radio this morning listening to 103.3 which is the oldies station because that was the only station I could find actually playing music and not just talking non-stop. They had a guest DJ in Randy Grim of Stray Rescue of St Louis. He is an amazing dude that I have met during my volunteering stops there. Him and his staff’s dedication to the cause of taking care of these animals and placing them with suitable families is beyond noble in my book. This man is one of my personal heroes. Kudos to The Randy Grim and the other Randy Grim’s of the world.
So if you will step along the path my mind took: Roy Orbison’s song Pretty Woman made me think of my young years and the remake done by the David Lee Roth led Van Halen. From there my mind surfed right to the movie and the story of a naive young girl forced to do what she needed to do to survive in a world where people end up in dumpsters, figuratively and literally. This is a terrific but sad example of where adulting is pushed front and center. When forced to survive or die, the survivors find a way and maybe, just maybe they save someone who needed saving too.
You are here today and maybe just your presence is enough to impact someone around you. We all are dealing with problems: death of a loved one, a broken relationship, work stress, health issues, financial problems, and the list stretches out to the horizon. Find that acorn of your happiness and plant it where you can nurture it.

Busch Softball Classic (formerly Busch-Pepsi Classic)

Good afternoon and Friday for that matter. Thank you for being able to read and choosing to do so here.

Today is the ‘day after’ and I turn my attention to something I have looked forward to doing for about 10 years. As most of you are vaguely aware, I have been playing softball for awhile. Officially I started playing league in 2004 with the Lager Sluggers at Wilmore Park down off of Gravois in the city (St Louis). From there I got to play on a second night with the Sluggers at Lyons Park – also down in the city close to the then Anheuser Busch brewery. I guess it’s InBev or some such these days.
Back then I walked in as an unknown to this group of guys who had known each other for years but over time I gained a measure of acceptance and inclusion. From there I picked up another night playing at Forest Park with a different group of guys (Donkeyland Express). Through my softball play and outgoing persona, I met so many people from all walks of life: lawyers, plumbers, architects, engineers, roofers, accountants, teachers, musicians and countless others. That summer of 2004 led into 2005 and my first exposure going from league play into tournament action (The Buzz).

For those who play league ball, you generally show up in the evening (or Sunday morning for Church League) and play a game or back to back games and you are done for the day. In tournament ball, you show up generally early on Saturday and play. Then sit for an hour or more depending on if you won or lost and that can stretch on all day if you keep winning with the breaks getting longer the more you win until the championship game of course. This scenario can start on Friday or even Thursday if the tourney is a large regional sanctioned event. Besides the mental wait factor with tourney ball, there is also a higher intensity to the games and caliber of player. The weekend tourneys generally cost a few hundred dollars or more to enter. With league, you are only going to play a set number of games and be done. Generally with tournaments, the intensity is ratcheted up and the ball gets hit a lot harder with more frequency.
So now that the basics of softball have been covered, let me bite into the meat of the matter. For almost ten years, I have waited and wanted to play the Busch Pepsi Classic in Little Rock, Arkansas but for a myriad of reasons it has not happened…yet. This year my men’s tourney team called ArchAngels is slated to make the six hour trip to North Little Rock to participate in this huge event. The Busch Pepsi Classic was last officially referred to by that name in 2014. Last year, Pepsi was dropped from the name and now it is simply the Busch Softball Classic. Not sure if this is due to InBev possibly acquiring PepsiCo or something along those lines – but the Busch name is the only name on it now. Personally I think it needs to be the Busch & Busch Lite Softball Classic but I was not consulted.
This huge three day tourney starts on Friday, July 1st and will culminate on Sunday July 3rd. There are four men’s divisions classified by level of play and a women division. The tourney games are distributed across Sherwood Sports Complex (611 Bear Paw Road – Sherwood, AR 72120 Phone #501-835-2154) and Burns Softball Complex (4089-4099 Joe Space Poch Road – North Little Rock, AR 72118 #501-758-3009). This year is the 37th edition of the games and is sanctioned by USSSA (United States Specialty Softball Association). This is a big regional draw getting many teams from states near and far. Last year in the E division of men’s, The Regulators from Missouri won their bracket and the Chickenhawks also from Missouri finished in third place. So it is great competition and a little territorial bragging rights too.
In preparation for this happening I did a little digging. As it turns out, Little Rock is presently the capital of Arkansas although there has been some talks in recent years about shifting the capital to Bentonville. This potential move is fueled by the corporate giant Walmart which houses it’s headquarters in guess where? Yep Bentonville. Stay tuned on that one. The Arkansas state flag has a red back ground and centered in the middle is a blue sideways diamond. Inside the blue diamond border are 25 white stars representing that Arkansas was the 25th state to join the union. Inset inside the blue diamond is a solid white diamond with the word Arkansas in the middle. There are four blue diamonds floating within this inset white diamond that have multiple meanings tied to Spain, France and the Louisiana Purchase. The diamond shape is significant as it represents a nod to the state’s diamond mining operations – which for many years were the only such source of diamonds within the United States. And to wrap things up: State Bird – Northern Mockingbird, State Flower – Apple Blossum and finally State Tree – Pinus Taeda. So with these quick facts at my finger tips I can converse on even footing with the locals whilst not fiercely competing on the dirt diamond playing some ball.
Here is the official link to the site that provides a lot more information on this event that is so much more than a softball tournament. There are other sponsors and the world famous Wounded Warrior team will be there as well. Plus other activities and all with everyone playing to gain a berth into the post season tournaments. Finally this year I will get to be a part of it (fingers crossed) and I cannot wait. Bring on the rest of the country and let’s play some ball!


Birthday Blog

Hello and welcome.

Of course today is my last birthday this year. I tried looking up the significance of the number 44 and got minimal findings. A few bible references and something to do with numerology but mostly a handful of nada.
So far I’ve gotten about 150 Facebook messages and about a dozen text messages and a few Snaps so that makes me feel a little better. With my personal life in flux, today is more of a reminder of my life’s failures than any sort of celebration. I know that sounds like “Pity party, table for one” but it is what it is today. I can use a couple of mantra’s to help me get through: This too shall pass and water off a duck’s back.

Stealing a passage from a Dokken song, I’ve Found:

I thought despair
Was just part of life
But you showed me differently
Smiling full of life as you said
There’ll be better days
Just like rain we can’t complain
It’s OK
There’ll be better days

And so in a tomorrow yet to arrive, there will be better days or so I hope.

As the last 11 hours of my birthday flow away, I would like to thank every one who checked in on me and gave me well wishes and requested to meet up for a drink.
A few social media notes here: On the Facebook Happy Birthday posts, I have tagged some of them with the place or activity I associate that person with since there are a good majority of the people I know in real life as opposed to just friend of a friend added on Facebook for giggles. Please check out my Twitter and Tumblr accounts if you get extremely bored. Also my podcast exists on Podbean so there’s that too. If you have any comments or requests for a topic, please email me at:
Winding down the work day by listening to some Carlos Mencia to try to lighten the mood. Hope your day is on the upswing.


Put down your cell phone

Hello and if you are reading my blog on your Smart Phone, the title of this post may pose a challenge for you. But I figure the majority of my readers pull up my blog while sitting on their couch, toilet or at a desk. Relaxed with the laptop open and a steaming hot beverage within arm’s length. Click, scroll, giggle, scroll on with an occasional “Oh My Gawd! That is genius!” cast out involuntarily.

So why would I suggest an attack one of the electronic devices bringing my word crafting to life? Let me explain.

Last Friday night, the mythical group known as the Lager Sluggers (softball club) had just finished playing their last game of the session at Fenton Park. The outcome was a loss and the pervading emotion throughout the group was a resounding ‘MEH’. With some spouses and children in attendance, the group numbered around fifteen or sixteen. Standing around a tree about a dozen feet from the backstop, most of the group was staring at an object in their palms.

Back when I made my Lager Slugger’s debut in 2004 this was a common occurrence but the object being stared at was a cold beer can. On Friday night though, the group was mostly mute while they were checking emails, texts, Snaps, instant messages or whatever else was pressing at that moment. It wasn’t like we had played for hours upon hours and every one had to check in to make sure there were no earth shattering events missed in their lives.

Granted a few in the group made some polite conversation but even they were split in their focus on what was being talked about and whatever pictures or words were appearing on that tiny screen.

This is just an extension of parties, picnics, work meetings et al. People used to get together and discuss things – with real eye contact and full participation. I don’t remember when we crossed over that threshold of partial participation but I fear it will only get worse.

Just a friendly piece of advice: If you have someone you kind of like (friend, child, spouse, co-worker, etc) in your vicinity, try putting your phone in your pocket, purse, inside your bra or wherever and see if you can engage that other human without having to give in to our touchscreen societal addiction.

Yes I am guilty of this too at times (Go Indians!), however I vow to try to be present and up to the task if another human is ballsy enough to make eye contact, smile and start a legit conversation. I think the odd of this occurring are similar to winning both the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings in the same week.

OK you can pick your Smart Phone back up. Be careful and make sure you are giving plenty of car-lengths in traffic and a one stall barrier in public restrooms.


Hoof Hearted

If you just said the title of this piece aloud in a quiet room filled with people, I thank you.
For those who do not initially get it, say it again. Say it to a friend if need be until you understand.
To lighten the mood, I thought I would go all juvenile and do a poo piece. All but the most snooty people will laugh or chuckle at poo references. Anybody under the age of seven is guaranteed to laugh and smile when you say poo, poop, turd, fart log, brown underwear stripe or stinky floater.
Everyone does it. You eat, you poop. Do not deny it. Most times after you do it, it is a race to get away from it or the lingering aroma that accompanies it. Leave that exhaust fan running and spray something pine tree scented to try to mask that odor of rankness but wooo weee that be strong!
During this pool (swimming) season where there are many, many people sharing public pools and a gross portion of society is hygienically challenged – think about how much bio-hazzard is floating loose in that chlorine filled water mass. Go ahead and submerge…I dare you! Now that I have traumatized you and perhaps grossed you out. Eventually I will have to take a trip down to the restroom here in my office where it perpetually smells like a sh!t Goliath/poop demon has been slain and left to slowly decay.
If you want to see a poop demon imagined, watch the Kevin Smith classic film Dogma featuring Jay and Silent Bob and also the comedic genius that is George Carlin.
Remember you cannot polish a turd! Take these words at face value. Wise words to live by!


LOL and peace.


Basketball, swimming and sunscreen

Good morning and welcome back to my blog.

Last week I was slacking when it came to blogging, podcasting and most things in general. If you were looking for a plethora of new material, I failed you and beg your forgiveness – much like the writer’s of the defunct show, The OC, should’ve begged forgiveness from the fans after season three. Killing off Marissa’s character was short-sighted and ultimately sank the series. Perhaps they should’ve stolen a page from the night-time serial Dallas and had a dream sequence to undo the damage and returned Mischa Barton to the role that made the show compelling. Yes this is my inner female side coming out. Don’t judge me! But hindsight is always 20/20 correct? If you have had lasik performed, perhaps a little better than that.

So as most of you know I am a huge Cleveland Indians fan and once upon a time I was a Cleveland Browns fan (damn you Earnst Byner). Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Ozzie Newsome and the grind it out football that ultimately made John Elway famous in Denver. Never was a Cavaliers fan though (see all-universe legend Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls). Plus the Cavaliers’ uniforms had weird colors. In conjunction with the University of Virginia, where Ralph Sampson went to college, who had the Cavalier as their mascot and they didn’t seem cool or tough. So congratulations to the city of Cleveland for getting their championship but not LeBron. He still has some community service to do for ‘taking his talents to South Beach”. Some times you just have to wonder at people’s thought processes and for me that whole sideshow when he left Cleveland to go to Miami was pompous and rubbed the fact in the city of Cleveland’s collective face unnecessarily. So for me he is not off the hook.

Pervading through Missouri presently are hot and muggy temps which is normal for the months of June, July and August. So the best way to offset those conditions is to be inside in the air conditioning or in a swimming pool (with sunscreen during daylight hours). Fortunately I got to log a few hours in the pool this weekend in place of softball and it was nice to take a break from playing ball. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing ball and competing but when the heat is ratcheted up, the fun factor can dip a little bit. So with a return to ball this week imminent for the days of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – I will be challenged to not drop (dead) from heat exhaustion with the temps expected to peak around 100 degrees later in the week. Wish me luck or send donations to Stray Rescue in lieu of flowers. lol

BTW, my Indians are still clinging to first place in the AL Central Division. I am not sure when time was that they were in first place on my birthday but there is a possibility that could happen this year if they can make it to Thursday! Fingers crossed!

Happy Belated Birthday to my friend Bobby! Thanks for the invite to your pool party. Good times and hope to be invited back for next year’s. I know a good gift is a replacement bottle of Fireball whiskey – the big one!

Stay cool, hydrated and rational. Peace.

Google Images for Giggles

Good afternoon.

From time to time I like to randomly throw some text together and Google the images it brings up. Below are 10 such searches. Enjoy.
Horned rimmed glasses filled
Tears of a building
Rusty old friend
No can, no problem
The state between living and Alaska
Google vs Dogpile dance mix
Sniff that marker until
Hotter than a menopause cougar in the desert
Pointlessness of Snapchat
Rain soaked raccoon driving too fast



From 2:15 AM on…

So what were you doing at 2:15 A.M. Central Standard Time (in the U.S.) this morning? For many of you the answer would include the letter Z repeated a handful of times. What was I doing at 2:15 A.M. this morning? I was lying in my bed being tormented by the artist known as Ed Sheerin.

I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it’s all part of a plan
I’ll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you’ll understand

Not sure how I ticked off the universe this time but apparently I did because portions of his song “Thinking Out Loud” keep playing over and over in my brain as I lay there alternately staring at the wall and the ceiling. I concede the point that yes people can fall in love in mysterious ways. I cry uncle! Make it stop! That borderline whining voice singing verse after verse after verse. Oh the agony!

I know what some of you are going to say: Just take a sleeping agent (Conrad Murray to Michael Jackson: This should do just the trick!) Pardon me I am getting a ghost text from Heath Ledger that says: Prolonged sleep is over-rated. Hmm that’s weird. Didn’t have him saved in my contacts or anything. He must have one of those month to month plans where he is. In truth I have a prescription for some sleep drugs but I really only like to utilize them in extremely dire circumstances because of the way they make me feel and the prolonged effects once I want to be awake again.
So Ed Sheerin and your evil voodoo music, you win this round but I will be ready for you next time. Mercifully it wasn’t Adele or I may have had to resort to chewing on ice cubes wrapped aluminum foil. Don’t ask me how I know this works…it just does.

For the Tuesday inclined, have a positive and limber day! All others, hold on until tomorrow and maybe a pocket-sized moose will hump your elbow. Stranger things! Nothing is impossible!

As a humorous exclamation point on this piece. I get into the car this morning and cue up my Pandora radio app and a Meghan Trainor playlist. The first four songs played were items I had previously given the Thumbs Up OK to keep in rotation. Then Pandora went off the page with some terribly monotonous song that I tapped the Thumbs Down icon to make it go away. Now cue the laugh track. At random it roped in, you probably guessed it, Ed Sheerin. All I could do was shake my head and laugh a little while cruising along 270 in the fast lane. I just felt like a real life googly-eyed emoji. Too funny.

Monday the 13th – Orlando – The Pulse

Good morning and I hope this post find you safe and unaffected by tragedy.

For my worldwide readers, thank you for checking in. For my stateside readers, I’m sure you are aware of the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, Florida over the weekend. Simply stated the shooting was a hate crime. A person who targets a gay club, killing 49 people and injuring another 50 plus people (before being shot dead by the police) is operating with a pretty sick and warped agenda.

As I am composing this post, I am listening to Disturbed’s rendition of Land of Confusion which was previous done by a Phil Collins led Genesis. Just to give it a little perspective.

Why is someone’s sexual preference anyone else’s business? So many people get hung up on their opinions and how things make them feel. Then in turn they project those filters over other people of different races, genders, backgrounds, etc and expect them to conform to their expectations. Here’s a clue: This aint Leave It To Beaverland. The black and white episodes depicting an awkward scenario where everything is worked out within 30 minutes and everyone sits down at the dinner table with that Mr Clean smile, sorry file not found.

Every single stupid thing in today’s society is a thousand times more complicated than it was ten or twenty years ago. For example, I went to get my girlfriend some food at the drive thru across the street a couple of days ago. Sitting in the drive thru lane, I realized I did not have my phone with me. Back when I was 16 and began driving, cell phones were the size of a liter bottle of water and cost a small fortune (no texting, no touch screen and no internet on them). Nowadays, Obviously, cell phones are small and sleek and reasonably affordable. The point I am trying to make is I was momentarily freaked out by not having my cell phone. What if the car broke down? What if I was in an accident? What if I needed to check-in on the Swarm app to be registered for a chance at a $1000.00 giveaway? Oh the humanity. What did I do back in the spring of 1989 without a cell phone and an aging car that could go kaput at any second? Well I drove to and fro and when the car did occasionally break down, I would use the phone where I worked or walk to the nearest house to ask to use their phone to call my mom to come get me.

In this day and age of Criminal Minds TV, that thought just makes the skin crawl. That’s why we have Smart phones now. We can leave those people barriers in place and never interact with anyone we do not chose to except via social media profiles.

So back to the shootings in Orlando. This is reported as the worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11. Other mass shootings have occurred in 2012 and 2007 that had a similar amount of fatalities. The government classifies acts of this nature as a terrorist action regardless of the origin of the perpetrators. Remember Timothy McVeigh and the events of April 19, 1995? McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols – along with Michael Fortier – were branded domestic terrorists for their attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Those home based terrorists killed 168 people (including 19 children) for a wayward concept of what they thought was right. Tell me what did those 19 children (not to mention the 149 other people) have to do with the existing government processes and laws these three men were scheming against? Spiderweb that event out to include the families and friends affected by those 168 deaths and I’m sure countless people (who had absolutely nothing to do with the government process) lost something on that day 21 years ago.

Now fast forward to 2016 and The Pulse night club – Orlando’s Latin Hotspot. Forty-nine people killed and fifty-three additional injured – including police personnel required to neutralize the threat. But Scott, the other articles say there were 50 people killed? Those articles are including the man who pulled the trigger starting the bloodshed and death. Police killed the shooter. I think it’s an insult to loop in the shooter’s death with the victims. The shooter was a monster, not a person. He may have been born of woman, but to act in a fashion like this is simply monstrous. And why? Because your archaic beliefs say their way of life is an abomination? Guess what? I think all the corporate company CEO’s who have countless millions (if not billions) of dollars while laying off the workforce who generated that revenue for their companies are greedy a-holes. It doesn’t mean I’m going to go all Jigsaw from the Saw movies on them. Some things in life are hard to accept and swallow but much of being an adult is accepting things you do not like. Did Dr. Martin Luther King pull out an automatic weapon and start blasting every white person he saw for his views of racial equality? Don’t think so. Great men who want to change things do so with their minds and compelling words, not sheer violence. So for this monster to execute these people who were acting in a legal fashion within these here United States, it goes beyond comprehension. The goal of the shooter was to strike a blow against people of a gay lifestyle persuasion? Guess what you dead piece of trash, not everyone in that club was gay.

Here in St Louis there are many gay and lesbian bars and clubs. I know because I have been to a few myself and I am not gay. I may act a bit effeminate and be a bit over-sensitive but I am still heterosexual. The gay clubs are a fun time to people watch and enjoy the ambiance. Gay people are just like every one else. They have jobs and stresses and bills to pay. They play sports and like the same things from the grocery store as ‘straight’ people. They just choose to love a person with the same set of genitalia. I do not understand why religions and such get hung up on that. When a heterosexual couple gets together or friends for that matter – isn’t it always you are supposed to look inside at what’s in the person’s heart? A good union has nothing to do with a penis and a vagina – it’s two people who complete and compliment one another.

In this day and age of Netflix, steroids and freaky fast delivery from Jimmy Johns – why are so many people stuck in the middles ages of thought? For crying out loud, the Gold Medal winner of the 1976 Olympic decathlon changed from a man into a woman! People have virtual relationships with people whom they have never even physically touched in real life! You can cook a bag of microwave broccoli in four minutes! Cars can park themselves! A reality TV show host is the front runner to be the next president! Something called Sharknado has sequels! Wake up people! This is not the middle ages where people lived to be thirty. If you do not agree with someone else’s life choices (see Jerry Springer) GET THE F##K OVER IT! It is none of your damn business. If it really bothers you so much drink a special batch of grape Kool-Aid laced with Drano and go away and leave everyone else in peace.

This has been my soapbox Monday and I appreciate you sitting through my rant. Your personal life is none of my business unless you ask my advice. Even then I am going to try to talk to you from a place of logic and what ultimately I think will make you happy. Every one have a peaceful day and I hope you have someone to wrap your arms around tonight who loves you without prejudice. Go forth and may the universe protect you today.



Good morning. I hope this day finds you of sound mind and body.

As I like to do from time to time, I wanted to push forward a hot button topic. Not religion, politics or the designated hitter in baseball – but pets. How is that controversial you ask? Animals that are cute, furry (except for hairless cats) and prone to destroying your home  – what’s not to love?

OK here’s the rub…typically people who have children get a little hypersensitive on this topic when I talk about the love shared between a companion animal and their owner. When a pet is introduced into a family and becomes a family member over the years, it can be just as gut-wrenching when that pet comes to the end of their natural life. There is heartbreak and tears. This animal, who was dependent upon their human to take care of them, had their own personality and infiltrated your daily life for years, is suddenly gone. There is a void created and you miss them and all their little quirks. Having a pet is not like having a plant or a stamp collection. These animals interact with you and influence your moods.

Upon completion of stressful days at my unsatisfying job, I come home and my Sadie talks to me. Well, after I turn the bathroom faucet on for her highness to drink, she comes and nuzzles me while purring loudly. If I can be completely transparent, I love that feeling. Her affection and joy at seeing me pushes out the angst and frustration in my heart. My stress level drops to where I do not feel like I will have a stroke at any minute – all without a prescription from a doctor.

People with kids will jump in here and try to trample this sentiment. I am not going to get into a debate about which is greater: kids vs pets. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. People with only pets will understand the unconditional love point I am making above. If you decide to have children, you will love them because of the potential they possess and the rewarding feeling you get from shaping a life. Even though at times you may think yourself crazy for going down that path. Don’t get me wrong, kids can be cute and amazing in their discoveries…but they also possess a lot of challenges and through their ignorance of the world, can crush your heart in many ways. Some people choose to have both pets and children and I commend you for taking on the extra expense and energy needed to love both.

So, for my present argument, I will say that I have loved many pets over the course of my life. From the dogs of my parent’s house to cats and dogs of my married years up to now with just my Sadie, I have tons of great memories. Each and every one of those animals had their own personality and I cried like a baby each time one of them passed away. Each and every day I got to hold those fuzzballs was like a workout for my heart. When you squeeze them and they are purring or licking your face, your heart just melts. You want to protect them and take care of them forever.

For those people who think of pets as just a dirty nuisance, yeah I get it. Cats and dogs track litter and dirt all over the place plus their hair ends up on every darn thing. Stir into the mix that some of them tear stuff up (chew/scratch furniture, knock stuff over, etc) and I can understand how that might try your patience – but if that’s the case, then you probably should be living in a museum or a house with plastic furniture covers anyway. Pets like children make life messy at times but the return on investment for me is well worth it. They take up such a small area of your home but fill such a large portion of the heart. Don’t get me wrong, pets like children can be little a-holes too but overall they are awesome little creatures that have gotten me through some of the darkest times in my head.

This concludes my PSA on owning and loving pets. Stepping back in time to my childhood dog Brandy the golden retriever all the way to present day Sadie the tortoise shell cat – having those animals in the house and in my life made me appreciate their importance in shaping how I evolved as a person and cared for them plus the other humans in my life.

Furball love. Peace.

Amateur Forecast

Hello and welcome to my weather forecast for today.

Temperatures will fluctuate today. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. There is a 50% chance of precipitation. Cloud cover will be sporadic with intermittent winds swirling from the southeast or northwest at times. Sunrise occurred this morning and we expect there will  be a sunset this evening shortly before dusk. After that you can put the sunscreen away and check out the stars and moon if the cloud cover doesn’t persist.

Check back tomorrow for the same forecast.


Unsportsmanlike Conduct?

Good morning and now this from the sports desk.

…Bottom of the eight inning here at Wolffs Softball Haven. The Score is tied at 14 with a bit of rain falling. A runner on first and one out, here is the pitch…a swing and a drive to left center field…the left center fielder does not even move or turn around as the ball clears the twelve foot fence…HOMERUN! Game over! Team in the field trots in to exchange post game hand-slaps with the victors.
Was this the culmination of an epic series holding vital implications in the universe? Hardly. This was two Monday night coed teams playing on a muggy night in June as part of the normal league batch of games. In the first game of the night, we eeked out a win by a couple of runs and this was their chance to even score so to speak. The opposition actually was in the lead 14-11 until we scored 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie things up and send the contest to extra innings (in slow pitch softball regulation games are usually 7 inning contests).

So why am I bringing this up in my blog? A few reasons actually. First off, the pitcher for the team we were playing is probably one of the worst in the long history of the sport (at throwing strikes). Dude threw maybe a dozen legit strikes (combined) in both games and yet was complaining that a couple of our hitters actually took walks because we didn’t want to rent a step ladder to try and swing at pitches that soared over our heads or landed two feet wide of the plate. To add fuel to the situation, not only was he complaining that we were not helping him out with his terrible pitches, but then when they started winning he started talking some smack (layman’s talk: he was dogging us because his team was winning).
Now I do not care if people want to jib jab back and forth – it’s actually amusing considering we are playing a sport where someone lobs a ball at 15 mph and you can literally wait a few seconds before deciding if you want to swing. Normally I play against people I consider friends or at least people I am acquainted with so there is some teasing and good-natured ribbing. Where things can sometimes fall into a gray area is when you have someone you really do not know who says something that could be considered a taunt or b!tching. I play softball with the notion of having fun plus being competitive but primarily having fun. So activate my competitive nature and mix in a guy I don’t know that well who is kind of talking smack.

Now jump back up to that scenario I described in the bottom of the eight inning. Here is a bit more of the setting: With the rain falling, someone in my team’s dugout said: “Lose one!” and my friend Woody who was umpiring made eye contact and said: ” Time to walk it off, Freak.” And now their pitcher, circles the pitching rubber proclaiming: “This guy hasn’t hit a game winning home run since little league!” To which I replied, “But it still counted!” Cue the pitch and ensuing swing…
I know how this piece sounds…like I’m bragging. But it’s not really the case. Any one who knows me, knows I do not brag about softball. I’m not the guy building himself up to his friends talking about his eight grand-slams that all cleared the fence, the condo across the street and kept going until they got shot down by Maverick from Top Gun. This was more of a shut up and do it for your team kind of piece. I understand the psychology of the sh!t-talking by their pitcher and I honestly do not think there was any malice involved there. A lot of softball is simply doing. Thinking about it only complicates things and often times screws you up. So kudos on a good strategy on his part to try to get me to think about hitting the homerun and potentially botching it. In this scenario I got the swing I needed and everyone was relieved to have conclusion. Men rejoiced. Ladies wept. Beers were lifted in toast. OK so probably none of those last three things happened but the bottom line is we won.
To step things down on the softball topic, I enjoy playing ball and have since I was re-introduced to the sport in 2004. My talent is nothing but grit and instinct. Rarely am I the best player on the field but I give the sport I love all my effort. I tend to focus more on my failures as opposed to the things I did right. For example, in a recent tourney in Rolla, (Missouri), I batted seven times and made one out. That out was in the last inning of our last game and for me it overshadowed everything I did that day. Every time I make an out while batting or have an error fielding…those are the things I have stay with me. Softball is a parallel to life for me. Have fun and do not let those around you down.
Have a great day and may you find something to inspire you today.