By definition a preposition is: a word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause – (noun).

The word preposterous which begins with the same six letters is defined as: contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous – (adjective).

For some reason these two words have been going round and round in my head for the last few days. In order to try to exorcise the demons of them, I thought maybe I could placate the mind Gods and get them to leave me alone if I wrote about them. Let’s test the hypothesis.

While growing up and learning in school about prepositions at Grandview, I was taught to associate prepositions with a barn (go figure). The cat was in the barn. The cat was on the barn. The cat sat by the barn. These three examples, as the definition indicates, associate the cat with a proximity or vague relationship with said barn. There are more prepositions: about, at, as before, below, of, near, from, onto, into, and so on and so forth.

So where does the trailer get hitched to the preposterous vehicle? Good question. It probably stems from when I think of certain people and the way they talk one way but then their actions tell a completely different story.

For the most part I am a quiet, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. I tend to let most things roll off; whether they be (real or perceived) slights or incorrect grammar or what have you. However, my mild mannered countenance can quickly be reduced to ash like a row of wigs on Styrofoam heads in the face of a flamethrower. With nearly 4.5 decades of experiences under my belt, I can usually shrug off most people’s malarkey and not let it escalate into a big deal. After all, so many things on daily basis are just piddling into the wind. However, do not do your piddling down my back and try to pass it off as foul smelling, warm rain. I may be foolish quite a bit, but don’t take me for a fool. Being a true friend does not mean always blindly taking someone’s side but to be honest and supportive even when they are wrong or you don’t see eye to eye. True friends will stand up for and standby by their friends but they can also be like ‘dude you are way off base’ or ‘I know this will make you mad but you are wrong and here is why’.

Most people don’t understand how toilet paper weak some ‘friendships’ are. If you don’t believe me, tell someone who you think is your friend that they are wrong about something, even something trivial and see how their demeanor changes. Everyone is so caught up in not upsetting people, even if they are wrong or at fault, that they have no real worth as a friend by acting that way. That may sound harsh but it’s true. Everyone wants to be loved but no one wants the real truth. It’s like the old saying: Everyone wants to go to Heaven…but no one wants to die. I would rather live in a small circle of people who will be honest and true then be thronged by countless people who don’t really know a thing about me or care what I really think because it may conflict with what they think.

This probably sounds a lot like babbling at this point but read between the lines and maybe you can see my point. Perhaps you disagree and that’s fine too. If all the human raced did since the beginning of time was agree with one another, think of all the theories that would’ve died that were in truth – the truth. That world as I recall was flat…

I hope my introduction with prepositions did not turn out to be too preposterous a segway into the deeper philosophical discussion I tried to launch thereafter.

May your Tuesday be significant and filled with un-ominous potential.


Friday the 26th!

So today has been like two Friday the 13th’s minus the appearance of a large, hulking figure dressed in rags wearing a classic style hockey mask wielding a machete…but the day isn’t over yet.

Anywhozit, I hope your Friday has been more pleasant than a proctological exam performed by an agitated man with over-sized hands who can only calm down by singing songs from the Lion King soundtrack, starting with Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

For the American audience, most of you are probably on the threshold of a three day weekend in white collar job circles or looking to sling some beers in other vocations. For the rest of the world who does not celebrate Memorial Day, there are some other holidays being celebrated. In Turkmenistan, on Sunday the 28th they will observe Carpet Day. On that day China celebrates Dragon Boat Festival holiday which could be interesting. Over the next several days Poland, France, Sweden, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua will celebrate Mother’s Day. With this multi-cultural look around the globe, there are some other holidays and celebrations to be noted and perhaps adopted.

If you live in a home that contains some species of bird held in a cage, make sure to feed them. Otherwise, you will just have a bird carcass in a cage. Just saying.

With no more advice or insights to pass along today, I bid you fond farewell for just awhile.


City softball into the Twillight Zone

Greeting, good day and all that funky jazz.

Today is Thursday. The day that follows Wednesday or at least has for the last few thousand years. Last night at Wilmore Park (in St Louis) my softball team played some ball under the league sanction of ASA. Two games were played. Thanks to the evil and literally heartless beast that is I-270, I was seven minutes late arriving for our first game. Our collective opponent was a decently competitively team on par with our team. In the first game, mental and physical errors cost us the game from a win and loss standpoint. In the second game, more miscues and lack of hitting doomed us again. The differences in the scorebook were underscored by the two teams differing approaches.  The other team was taking the games very seriously and treating them like a televised national tournament. My team (including myself), however, was just not all there. I know what my problem was as it relates to how I performed on the field: I do not like arriving late. For me it throws off everything: hitting, pitching, mental assignments et al. So we lost both games and potentially we could have at least split the two games.

As you are reading along I can hear you thinking: well this doesn’t sound too out there. The games themselves were just a typical night of recreational league softball. Somebody wins, somebody loses. Where the weirdness comes into play is here. Coaching third base for the other team was an elderly-ish gentleman not dressed for softball but more business casual attire but a harmless enough looking fellow. In between innings and between the two games, I crossed paths with him a few times and he would make mundane enough comments: Nice inning, not your guys night, good pitching, the team has really been gearing up to play you guys, couple of plays here and there and you guys win, and on and on.

For whatever reason, after the two games were over and the teams were dispersing, this elderly guy and some of his entourage moved over to our side of the field and placed their belongings on our bench. This is the point where things, for me, got weird.

Now keep in mind, I don’t really know this guy. I gave you a vague description of a semi-elderly, tall, thin Caucasian man casually dressed but not casually dressed for a softball game. I do not know his name. During the night we exchanged some benign small talk in passing and I mostly just nodded or gave a non-committal laugh or just answered ‘yep’. As I stated above, part of his group migrated to our bench and he made eye contact with me and said: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?”

Odd request stranger man, so I said, no thanks. He cocked his head to one side and said again: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?” All I could do was make a befuddled face and before I could decline again, he said, “You know, from Alice’s restaurant?” Seeing as I was born in 1972 and the only reference I could come up with was the TV show Alice, where Alice the waitress worked at Mel’s Diner, I asked do you mean Alice from Mel’s Diner?

He laughed. A goofy, crazy old man laugh of someone who cannot believe how stupid the person he is talking to is.

Sensing I was ready to back away slowly, he proceeded to tell me the story of the album and song from Arlo Guthrie from the late 1960’s. Apparently the song was 15-20 minutes long and was a protest song about the Vietnam War. Again, pointing to the bench, he said there is a passage about sitting on a bench with the mean, nasty, ugly people who are mother rapers and father stabbers or mother stabbers and father rapers.

OK timeout. Correct me if I’m wrong but there has to be some reasonable social etiquette involved with trotting out controversial 50 year old war protest lyrics? Even figuratively offering me a seat on the ‘mean and nasty and ugly bench’ seems a bit rude. I play softball, I write blogs, I record a sports podcast and I try to be a decent person to my family, friends and loved ones.

With enough rudimentary information of whatever this guy was trying to figuratively push across the table, I once again respectfully declined a seat on the bench and made my way to the parking lot area. The whole walk through the overgrown grasses I just kept shaking my head. No offense to Arlo Guthrie and his family, but I could’ve gone the entire rest of my existence without knowing about Alice’s Restaurant.

For you curiosity (if you have such), I have Googled and pasted the song in its entirety below. I’m sure there is some sort of YouTube video of the song but I don’t care. In a way Google and YouTube are like Alice’s Restaurant (hopefully with less Mother Raping and Father Stabbing) in as much that “You can get anything you want”.

Peace. (Highly appropriate considering the reference timeframe of the song)
(Song of protest against the Vietnam War draft)
(The Vietnam War lasted 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day – From November 1, 1955 until April 30, 1975)
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (album) – Alice’s Restaurant (1967)

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage. ”

After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
Police officer’s station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car. ”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where this happened here, they got three stop
Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings. ” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to
Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
Kill, kill. ” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “kill, kill, ” and
He started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
One question. Have you ever been arrested? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
Go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
Up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
Pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
Following words:


I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and
Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington. ”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
Study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
Singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
Situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
Situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if
One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
Walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it
For another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
Harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

Flee Markets

No I’m not talking about designated places where people bring their unwanted household items or their mass produced craft projects for sale! It was more of a plea to evacuate unstable financial genres. Flee markets…that could be crashing or are tied to experimental technologies about to exposed! Do it! Do it now! Before it is too late!

OK now that I have the unfounded melodrama out of the way, how are you?

Today is a sleepy hump day…

Narcolepsy – a condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.

For the record, Narcolepsy is 10 letters and represents 38.5% of the letters in the alphabet. In France they call it Narcolepsie but it still only represents 38.5% of the their alphabet too because they replaced the ‘y’ with ‘ie’ at the end, thus making the ‘i’ a substitute for the ‘y’ and the extra ‘e’ a redundant entry.

Right now you are thinking, this is fascinating! I can almost hear it pulsing in the frontal lobe of your brain. And for your convenience, I have pasted below a synopsis of the frontal lobe of the brain as Googled a few seconds ago:

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behavior. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate.

This is usually the part of the post where I mentally say to myself: You seem to be bouncing from one tangent to another. Being aware of this phenomenon doesn’t always lead to a corrective action but at least I know I’m doing it.

Oh look, a vague cloud-shape that looks like an indistinguishable grouping of similar clouds! I’m starting to suspect that the seemingly mundane substitution at lunch of cheddar cheese on my burger in place of my normal provolone selection is causing me to spin off kilter. If later I post a softball version of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol…then we may be on to something.

Before I forget, thank you for swooping in to check out my blog. My other outlets of social media madness are:

Etsy: oohaw94
Tumblr: oohaw94
Twitter: oohaw94 & stlsportsstalk
Facebook: scott.latta.7 & sportsstalkers
Podbean: sportsstalkers & scottlatta

There are a couple of others I think but I forget what they are and do not feel like searching my Spam folder for the others presently.

As usual: IM, text, email, Tweet or carrier pigeon me with requests or cat videos or topics.

Have a darn good rest of your day.


It’s just an expression

I’ve heard people say a light bulb went off in their head whenever an epiphany occurred or an idea struck them.

So let’s hit pause for a second.

Have you ever been in a dark room with a light on? As you flip the switch, the light departs (at the speed of light) and you are left with weird after images as your eyes try to adjust to the now present enveloping darkness. I think what they meant was that a light bulb went ‘on’ in their heads. As in something (a concept, process or widget) was brought forth from the murk and obscured-ness of the dark and brought into the ‘light’ for inspection and scrutiny. This makes more sense obviously.

As a request, if possible, can everyone stop saying that a light bulb went off…unless you lose a great idea or concept. Then you can certainly use the “a light bulb went off” expression: I was on the cusp of creating an app that would wipe out childhood obesity but then a light bulb went off…and it was gone with a ‘pop’ sound that an implosion makes.

This has been a silly pointless PSA to everyone who uses expressions without truly validating their application. Like people who misuse “I could care less’ as opposed to the correct version “I couldn’t care less”. Otherwise, for the first one, you are stating that on a tiny sliver of a level you do care at least a teeny weeny bit.

Good luck in your Friday navigations, whether it be online (virtual), in a car, in a plane, on a boat, in an human waste tunnel beneath a prison during your escape or the myriad of other ways you can eclipse distance in your current physical form.

Enjoy your version of the upcoming weekend; consciousness not required.



P.S. Yes I make up words and spellchecker can eat my toenails clippings!


Have you ever been talking to someone and as the conversation winds down and you offer to do a favor or touch base again at a future date, does the other person ever respond with ‘super’?

For me this comes across as incredibly disingenuous. The only people who should be allowed to use ‘super’ in any conversational capacity are stereo-typical valley girls and surfer dudes:

“There’s like a sale down at the mall on flip flops!”
“Really? How super!”

“Dude, gnarly wave action mashing my board!”
“Whoa! Super!”

“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super…man!”

It is no longer in vogue to ‘super-size’ anything for public safety concerns apparently.
Super Mario killed the Wii U.
SuperBad the movie was ten years ago.
Superunknown (album from Soundgarden) was 1994.
Almost no one likes supervisors.
MLB, NHL and NBA have nothing within the framework of their fundamental games referenced as super.
The NFL has the Superbowl…so it is the one exception to the trend of the absence of super things.

Enough of this jazz, have a super wonky smash-tastic day! Okay? Seems phony. Just saying.

Friday is here and that is darn spiffy.


Burden in my hand…

Close your eyes and bow your head
I need a little sympathy
‘Cause fear is strong and love’s for everyone
Who isn’t me
So kill your health and kill yourself
And kill everything you love
And if you live you can fall to pieces
And suffer with my ghost
Just a burden in my hand
Just an anchor on my heart
Just a tumor in my head
And I’m in the dark

A fitting passage today in the wake of news that the leader singer for the grunge band Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, is no more. He was obviously a musician as a solo artist, a leader singer and a collaborator but he was also a husband, a son, a friend and a social conscience. I did not personally know him but many of his songs, even a couple from Audioslave, were jams I liked. His absence going forward will be noticeable. He may not be on par for me personally with Jani Lane (8-11-2011), Robin Williams (8-11-2014) and George Carlin (6-22-2008) but still he was a great artist contributing to my enjoyment of music.

But such is the nature of life. Without fail…it always ends in death, we just don’t know the math in between.

So I leave you with the opening stretch from Chris’s last song from his last set, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s In My Time of Dying:

In my time of dying, I want nobody to mourn
All I want for you to do is take my body home

Well, well, well, so I can die easy [x2]
Jesus, going to make up

Jesus, going to make up my dying bed
Meet me, Jesus, meet me
Meet me in the middle of the air
If my wings should fail me, Lord
Please meet me with another pair

Well, well, well, so I can die easy [x2]
Jesus, going to make up
Instead of a moment of silence for those mentioned above, I am going to observe many moments of Mr. Cornell’s vocal artistry.


Have a drink on me

Have you ever ticked someone off enough to have them throw a drink or food on you?

For me that breaks down into two separate questions. Have I ticked someone (or multiple someones) off enough to throw a meal or a beverage at me? Yes…quite a few times now that I think about it. Has anyone ever actually splashed me with their drink in rage or disgust? No. I’ve had people spill food and drinks on me (once a malt from Crown Candy – what a waste!) but to my knowledge they were not upset with me at those times.

Strange inquiry on my part? Perhaps. I was just listening/watching Pink’s video for Blow Me (One Last Kiss) and she doused a dude with some red drink (wine perhaps?) and it made me think back to the many sitcoms and dramas where a dude enraged a female and she decided he should wear her drink.

In this society of female-male equality it doesn’t seem to go the other way. Guys typically do not get pissed at their date/girlfriend/fiance/spouse and zing a drink in their faces. Now maybe in some non-heterosexual relationships that may not be the case but again the guy is the one wearing something made for sipping or slurping.

Now I’m wondering if a guy has ever had a Slurpee dumped on him and if so, did he experience a ‘brain freeze’ like when you eat ice cream too fast? Yes I sometimes think along a different path than most and often times at the end of that trail I am thinking: How did this train of thought start again?

Hopefully your Hump Day does not involve camel spit (or urine or feces) and a splendid sunset awaits you.



The Lowest Bidder

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day!

It is amusing for me to reflect on ‘water cooler’ conversations amongst friends or co-workers. A co-worker, who has a military service background, was discussing a recent plane crash with another co-worker. He was recalling that for some air drills the pilots would remind their human cargo that the planes they were traveling in were built by the lowest bidder. That simultaneously struck my funny bone and also sent a shiver down my spine. I laughed because somewhere along the line I remember some forgotten movie where a character spoke these exact words. But then the gravity of the truth of that statement was like a bucket of cold water against my unsuspecting back.

This is the world we live in today. Your plane, your car, your phone, you shoes, your pooper-scooper – nearly everything you use or come into contact with is produced by a company that is operating on the cheapest principal. Based on the minimum specifications and the materials needed, everything is factored on lowest cost to be profitable on the back end the quickest. According to the Google machine, the average cost of a 737 commercial airplane is somewhere between $51.5 – $87 million dollars. That is for a single plane. Doing a little rough math, if you figure a plane has 300 seats and you charge $100 per seat (or 100 seats @ $300 each works too), it would take 1,717 trips (using single flight, non-stop for simplicity) at full capacity to pay just for that one airplane at the low end of that cost spectrum. This of course is not taking into consideration: fuel, staff, maintenance on the mechanical parts, wear and tear on the interior, unforeseen damage repair (interior/exterior), inventory, safety accessories, cleaning and inspections et al. Now obviously some airlines charge more and that would factor in the number of trips needed to ‘break even’ on the cost of the plane but you can, in a narrow view, see how the economics play out and the need to minimize costs.

Take a look at your own daily life. If you own a vehicle, chances are you financed it and pushed for the best deal (cheapest in most cases) based on your available finances. In addition to the down payment (if any) and sales tax (if applicable), you now have to contend with a monthly payment, the periodic fuel needed, oil changes, scheduled maintenance (if following the recommended schedule set forth by the vehicle manufacturer), unscheduled maintenance and a plethora of other associated expenses with owning a vehicle (registration, emissions, parking/city permits, etc.). Whether you are looking at a product expense from the viewpoint of a CEO or just as an individual, the cost is just one piece of your financial puzzle. Usually people in an average income position are skewing toward the less expensive bottom line so that it leaves more dollars (or enter your host country’s currency here) for other facets of daily life and/or operating expenses.

Moving from the topic of flying in an airplane that was made by the lowest bidder, the co-workers veered into politics and Trump bashing. I’m not going to validate or rebut any of their arguments about Donald Trump’s alleged sanity but I will take some umbrage with their generalization that ‘people who voted for Trump are ignorant and racist’. Are some of the people who voted for Donald Trump ignorant and racist? Sure. Statistically speaking it’s almost a certainty. But for that measure so are some of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton. These co-workers missed the irony of their statement. In saying what they said about those voters (that they are ignorant and racist), it in turn showed that they were also guilty of at least being ignorant.

How many people in this country, or any country for that matter, have had grandparents or great grandparents? Now of those who have had grandparents and/or great grandparents, how many of you have heard them speak or convey something along racial lines that is just a stereo-type or vulgar with no valid reason? I’m raising my hand. I had grandparents and more than one of them spoke about people of a darker skin tone. They threw out generalizations and used racially derogatory names to describe the darker skinned people. That was them, not me. Were they a bit racist? Honestly I would say so but that doesn’t make me a racist because I have their blood inside me. But these people who call Donald Trump a racist (he may or may not be one) and also say the same about all of his supporters because they support him, pardon me but that is bull hockey. I like baseball and support the product on the field by watching streamed games and going to stadiums but that does not make me a professional baseball player. Heck there are people inside baseball stadiums who do not even like baseball (parents who brought their kids, stadium workers, engineers, security, etc.) but someone somewhere would say that baseball stadiums are full of nothing but baseball fans. If I haven’t mentioned before I hate speaking in absolutes!

Obviously I am using some liberal examples to make my point here but society likes to bully public opinion to win their cause. No one wants to use good old common sense anymore. If you’re not first, you’re last and no one wants to be last. Everyone, no matter how big a loser they are, wants to be a winner. Everything seems to have devolved from having multiple opinions and ideas seen as a good thing, to now there has to be a clear cut right (answer) and everything else is wrong no matter how close it may be to the ‘right’ answer or idea or solution.

Sorry about that. Got up on Ye Old Soapbox and started rabbling to the messes, er…masses. Just a little virtual tap on the shoulder to remind you; whether you are traveling on a train, subway, airplane, taxi/Uber, rickshaw, ski lift or what-have-you…someone probably fashioned it as cheaply as they could afford. And chances are it is in need of or overdue for maintenance. So good luck and may today not be the day that the buck stops with you.

As a side note from your favorite blogger (making a bit of an assumption here), it goes to show that even smart people can be ignorant. Do not pigeon hole people just because they do not think exactly like you do. There was a world leader for Germany in the 1940’s who wanted everyone to think alike and look alike. Aside from being a moustache icon…not too many people speak highly of him today. Keep thinking outside the box and for the love of Pete (Rose I’m assuming) please stop bemoaning the Trump/Clinton election outcome.


Monday do-over needed…but why would you?

At this point I just feel like posting a few dozen memes and then another 40-50 links to cat videos.

I didn’t really want to get up and adult today to begin with after a long weekend of softball (where I honestly kind of sucked) and Monday has kicked me square in the taint a few times already with very pointy shoes from an awkward angle.

Quick without consulting Google: What gets a mustard stain out of a shirt? Anyone?

At V’Stock the other day they had a tray or mood rings. I bet if I would have purchased one and been wearing it today, the color would surface as simmering annoyance. So for the rest of the day I’m just going to sit here, chew my gum, put on a big fake a$$ smile and count down the minutes until midnight like it’s New Year’s Eve because I am so ready for this day to be O-V-E-R and have been since before 9 am this morning.


Turning the Clock Back…


Sometimes to solve a problem or unravel a mystery you need to start at the end and work backwards. With that premise, I have started this post with my traditional ending: Peace.

Now to channel my inner Scooby Doo. The good episodes -not that crap with Scrappy Doo and Scooby Dee- where the gang traveled around the country with unlimited gas money and never stopping to use an ATM. What source or sources did the ‘gang’ draw their funds from? Did any of them have a shellfish allergy? That last question is irrelevant but something that I often wondered about while watching the show and saw no real evidence to the answer. But if I was a betting man, I would have put money on Daphne. Not much, like a dollar.

So back to the mystery. In life there are societal things where across the board legalities are allowed. For example, legal drinking age at 21. Able to vote at age 18. Eligible to drive at 16. Smoking at 18 if desired. Entry into ‘adult’ entertainment venues at 21…I guess for the liquor provision. Cannot own a handgun or purchase ammunition under the age of 18 (CCW in Missouri is age 21). And the list of other restricted can do’s goes on…

Much of this I think is based on high school as a rite of passage. Obviously we do not want kids in the early years of high school showing up in their own car with a Playstation realistic handgun in a holster as they sip some vodka while Joe Camel peeks out from their shirt pocket.  Way too many hormones churning the waves of a spectrum of emotions to trust good judgement for some of the things mentioned above. Heck, there’s “adults” walking around who shouldn’t be trusted with guns, alcohol, vehicles or the power to vote. Just being honest. But the masses have spoken and agree that all you have to do is successfully survive on the planet for 6574 days to get access to smokes, a firearm and the right to choose your preferred idiot to run the country (let’s be honest, anyone running for president is an idiot). And then at day 7666, everything else is yours for the having except government office. For those you need to be at least 25 years old and in the case of the office of president or vice president you need to be 35 (only 30 to be a senator!).

If you are scratching your head trying to figure out where I am heading with the above stipulations and benchmarks, I will tell you.

At what point did things change from being a kid who pretty much couldn’t do anything without getting permission or a ride to go do something to being a full blown adult? Did the history book and the learning about James Madison’s War of 1812 secretly stick a pin in the balloon of childhood? What about getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time with your heart hammering in your chest with excitement and fear? Now it’s telling the little one in the backseat to buckle in so we can go. It’s crazy I tell you…crazy. So many experiences, good and bad, that tempered the person who is now free to do so many things in today’s world, only being bound by imagination and budget (for the most part).

I scroll through my Facebook friends, some jog the clock back farther than others, and it is hard to fathom. Clicking on a name and I am that pudgy awkward kid hanging around with my best friend, wondering if his mom really does cut his hair using a soup bowl.  A few slow blinks and the hazy memory dissipates like smoke in the wind. Time waits for no one which is good if you are waiting for something I guess. You don’t have to be too patient to get what you want, just don’t blink or you might miss it.

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Friday the 12th!!!!

Doesn’t quite stab you in the heart with anticipation like the Jason Voorhees movie franchise titles does it?

Now if everyone in the continental United States would send a one-time payment of two dollars to my Paypal account, I could pay off my car, my credit cards, take a vacation, buy a house, furnish it, and dedicate it to becoming a full blown cat lady. But until that occurs I shall quietly go about my business of working by day and softballing by night and weekend. For those of you concerned about my exterior flaking away…be not alarmed; it’s just my sunburn from last weekend taking its normal course. This weekend I shall be more vigilant with the sunscreen and hopefully return to my usual pasty skin appearance.

OK quick question, can you name at least one song by the band Train that features David Hasselhoff in the video? Please write your answer down on a scrap of paper and leave it under my car windshield wiper…or if you are not in the vicinity of my transportation, you can just email, text or IM me with your answer.

While we are on the subject of random things with no real logical stream, did you know the the Fox teen drama The O.C. has been off the air for ten years now? 10! Wow! Perhaps they can do a reunion show since Rachel Bilson’s show (Heart of Dixie) got canned two years ago this month. I know Benjamin McKenzie still is leading the show Gotham as a ‘young James Gordon’ at 38 years old.

Hold the phone. The O.C. went off the air in 2007 and Ryan Atwood was supposedly a high school senior…played by the then 28 year old McKenzie. His on-screen co-star Mischa Barton was closer to her character’s supposed age (17 or 18) as she was 21 then (31 now). His pseudo-brother Seth (Adam Brody) was paddling in that same older, playing much younger, boat at 27 then (37 now) and his love interest Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson from above) was floating in the middle at 25 then (35 now). Just for giggles I’m playing the song California by the band Phantom Planet that was the show’s opening theme for the four seasons the show ran. Was their main hang out the Peach Pit or the Bait Shop? Google says…the Bait Shop. Apparently the Peach Pit was another teen angst show called 90210. In a fight between Dylan McKay and Ryan Atwood who wins? My money is on Ryan Atwood even though Luke Perry, who portrayed Dylan, also had a background in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm where he voiced fan favorite Sub-zero. FINISH HIM!!! Ah the things we never knew. Somewhere John Ratzenberger’s alter ego Cliff Clavin is churning his memory banks for some obscure bit of trivia.

Hopefully you are having a decent time this week and not harboring a zombie-spawning super virus in your body’s immune system. But if you are and like sports, text me and we can do a phone interview before you enter the ‘change’. Better safe than sorry, yes?

Happy Friday!


May 9th 2017 (Tuesday) Maybe Talking About Elevators

So this is the piece I began yesterday until it seemed like I was going to cry like a little baby from very, very uncomfortable pain and discomfort that may be kidney stones. I’m not going to get too graphic but it is not fun. Online research and consulting with the in-house redheaded nurse seemed to confirm the same diagnosis. Most recommendations seem to include ingesting a tanker truck quantity of water. From there the witch doctor remedies vary greatly and in some cases seem to contradict others. One website said drink water and lots of lemon juice. Another said to avoid lemon juice and vitamin C. One site called for Ponytail. So if I get some short horse tail I’m good? Bestiality seems like a steep price to rid the body of its ills but I guess someone tried it with some degree of success. Just makes me wonder what possessed this person or persons to take that ‘logical’ next step? Another called for Dandelion Root. Really? Eating the yellow weeds out of the yard? Really?! Kidney beans…a certain amount of logic there but who sits down with an open can of kidney beans (light or dark) and starts chomping away? One of the top ten or so recommendations was pomegranate juice. Not the watered down pomegranate juice cocktail that’s like 10% juice but the real deal. Of the suggestions found online, I think I will try the water and pomegranate juice along with a call into my physician whom I have not seen in awhile.  Hopefully this passes quickly. Having the sensation of urgently having to pee all the time is distressing to the point of madness.

With that piece of business put to rest, let’s talk about elevators. Anyone who calls themselves a fan of the late George Carlin probably knows his elevator bit about what there is to do in the elevator: The only thing to do in the elevator is to not look at the other people.

My take on the elevator is about the same. Earlier this year I accepted an employment offer and went to work for a new company. This company is on the fifth floor and I ride the elevator at least twice per day (yes I’m lazy). Yes I could take the stairs but after walking from the parking garage’s second level down the stairwell and across the common area in front of the office building, I want that 20 second elevator ride. Where the challenge comes in is entering the elevator and getting to my floor.

Why? What’s the big deal? It’s a nice elevator system and I’ve never had a problem with any of the three elevator cars. What comes into play here is elevator etiquette. If you reach the elevator first, you push the button and wait for those 5-7 seconds while the doors remain open and then with excruciating slowness glide shut. Sometimes there is no one around when you arrive at the elevator and boom-boom-boom it’s done. Enter elevator, hit button, door closes, car ascends or descends, car movement stops and doors open. Ride over, done deal booyeah!

For me, here is where it gets a bit annoying: You arrive at the elevator, hit the button and you hear footfalls or glimpse someone halfway rushing to catch a ride in your car. The doors have already started to close and you need to decide if they are close enough to arrive before the doors close completely or if you should risk putting your hand in between to ‘hold’ the doors. Did you make eye contact? Did they verbally ask ‘someone’ to hold the elevator? Is there room left (if multiple people catch the car at the same time)? How many times do you hold the car for late arrivals wanting to ride up or down? In an empty car scenario, you can gamble a bit if the potential elevator car riders are strangers. You can pretend you don’t hear them approaching and subtly hold the DOOR CLOSE button. Or you can simply hit the button for your destination floor and move to the back corner to give yourself maximum deniability if the approaching person should manage to ‘catch’ the car before the door closes. Oh, sorry didn’t see you there I was on my phone and in my own little world. But secretly I am like, damnit doors why didn’t you close quicker?

I know this seems petty and stupid and I’m not defending myself. But sometimes when you are sitting in the elevator or if you are hurrying to catch the elevator as the doors are closing, that is the universe saying TOO DAMN BAD, BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME! Maybe it’s not that deep. Who knows. But for the most part I think other people get minutely annoyed just the same as me. Whoever gets to the elevator and pushes their button and the designated time lapse occurs, then the elevator should move and everyone else be darned! There will be another one along soon. Maybe you should have been 10 seconds sooner. Ever think about that? Huh? It’s not all about you! Wait, is this an elevator rant or a traffic rant? I momentarily forgot.

I think that is a great place to make a stopping point because I’m once again getting that I have really got to pee sensation and I cannot tell if it’s real or Memorex.

Have a better day than yesterday and we shall meet on the ground floor of some concept real soon.


Topical or not topical

Good day greetings with a wave of webbed fingers as we here in Missouri are adapting and evolving with the existing weather pattern.

As I set out on writing each post I try to mentally categorize the piece as topical or non-topical. When writing about an exotic vegetable or fruit eating experience, that is non-topical because that can be read 365 days per year and it could be relevant information if they (the reader) are considering eating those items. If I am talking about the week’s weather, a winning streak in baseball, the Powerball numbers or the hockey playoffs, those topics tend to skew towards topical in flavor. Because depending on the time of the year, those happenings or circumstances may not overlay onto the reader’s seasonal experience.

If I write about today’s cold and dreary weather here in (Barnhart) on May the 4th (May The Fourth Be With You…for the Star Wars geeks) and my reader comes across the piece in July or August, the reading experience may not keep them engaged until the end. Don’t get me wrong, I do kind of like to timeline my posts here and there so if I go back and read them I can mentally be like, oh yeah I vaguely recall that timeframe. But for every two or three of those I like to construct a piece with some legs that can be read and make my reader see a well thought out point or maybe just something funny and fluffy to brighten their day.

Today I would like to debut an original song, let’s call it The Weather Song as it is just a working title.

Mother Nature, why are you crying your angry tears?
Seems like this happens on the odd numbered years
Traffic’s a bitch and the ground’s all muddy
At least the rain is clear and not all bloody
(3 minute guitar solo)
The grass and trees are getting so very green
Only the rooftop of Queen of Hearts can be seen
So clear your skies and schedule an Uber
Maybe we all wont get tuber…culosis
(2.5 minute xylophone solo)
Your wrath is epic and your wind so blowy
Let’s unclog and get them rivers all flowy
Rain, rain, rain, rain rain, rain, rain
Just go the Hell away, far away, stupid rain!
(1 minute of un-rhythmic humming)
<<<END SONG>>>

Thank you, thank you. It should be up on iTunes sometime this century.

Have a stimulated and amused day my friends.


Tim Raines – 2017 MLB Hall of Fame Inductee (July 30, 2017)

Greetings from the STL – which is airport code for St Louis. As I am want to do from time to time, I like to deviate from the random blog posts (about the weather, softball, pets, new food experiences) and talk about a long standing vice of mine: baseball.

Usually I will break into something Cleveland Indians flavored or touch on the local St Louis Cardinals current play but not today. Today I am calling out some fellow podcasters from The Go Show football podcast. Yes their title says they are football people but they also cover golf, hockey, baseball and shopping cart etiquette. Several weeks ago one of their podcasts featured Dan and JT talking about the baseball induction class for 2017. One of the inductees in this year’s class is retired Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines. The disinterest and disdain was pretty noticeable coming from my earphones as they discussed Mr. Raines pending induction.

Granted not every player enshrined into Cooperstown is a personal favorite of mine, but the majority of those that have a place there have earned their spot. I’m sure a debate could be hashed out about some of the earlier players or others based on statistics that could be considered the worst of the Hall of Famers enshrined. To stand on the shoulders of this argument for a second, there are players alive (and some not) who are deserving but not featured in those hallowed halls. But that is a topic (Pete Rose) for another blog…that I’ve already done.

Focusing on the here and now, let’s give Tim Raines his just due. And yes I firmly stand by the words ‘just due’. Most people in today’s day and age will be asking who was Tim Raines? He wasn’t a Babe Ruth player. He didn’t have countless endorsement deals. He did play most of his career in obscurity (Montreal). But he played a very long time and was a very good player for the better part of two decades. I’m sensing some of you may not be sold. OK let me ask you this: Have you heard of Lou Brock? If you have and you don’t live in St Louis, was he in your opinion a Hall of Famer? Most people who know baseball, locally or abroad, know who Lou Brock is and also validate him as a Hall of Fame caliber baseball player. Incidentally, Lou Brock IS a Hall of Famer. He was inducted in 1985 after spending the beginning of his career with the Chicago Cubs and of course finishing his career in St Louis. Why do I bring up Lou Brock in a piece about Tim Raines? Check the below graphic of comparison stats.


Brock and Raines were similar in their baseball skill sets. Fast left fielders who were mostly known for base stealing. Over their careers, both played more than 2500 games. And if you go column by column, some categories Brock won…and some categories Raines won. I computed a formula based on statistics for a 162-game average (the now standard baseball season) and compared the two players. There were some surprising findings.

Both players averaged about the same amount of runs scored per adjusted 162 game season. Brock averaged about 18 more hits a year, got about two more doubles, one more triple, two less homeruns and drove in eight less runs. Now the tale of the base stealing tape: Brock averaged about 58 steals against Raines 52 – again this is over the course of their careers, not their running primes. Now head to head, Brock averaged getting caught about 19 times a season versus only 9.5 for Raines, or half as much. For their careers their batting averages were nearly identical (Raines .294 – Brock .293). Raines was a much more disciplined hitter amassing 1330 walks against only 966 strikeouts, while Brock struck out 1730 times while only walking 761 times. Each one averaged about three hit by pitches per adjusted year. Brock was an All-star six times against seven selections for Raines. Raines captured a batting title in the 80’s while Brock never did. Raines averaged hitting into nine double plays, while Brock averaged around seven.

Two things surfaced in my research. One was that I realized Raines was a better defender that Brock. In 2502 games, Raines committed only 54 errors. No big deal, he’s an outfielder right? Well, playing in 2616 games, Brock committed 196 errors. The difference there is Brock committed an error on average about every two weeks. Raines on the other hand committed an error about every two months.

The other thing is the base stealing prowess. Lou Brock is revered because of his talent and instincts on the base paths, most notably being able to steal bases and a lot of them. Lou Brock stole 938 bases in his career, a record that was later broken by Ricky Henderson – both the all-time and single season records (118 for Brock). Tim Raines stole 808 bases in his major league career. His 84.7% success rate is number one all-time for players attempting at least 500 steals. Brock’s isn’t bad but he checks in at 75.3%. Brock attempted almost 300 more steals than Raines but only had 130 more stolen bases and was caught more than twice as much as Raines for his career (307 vs 146).

I’m not trying to take anything away from Lou Brock. He was an outstanding player and an icon. All I’m trying to do is have some people show Raines a little bit more respect. In St Louis baseball players and baseball are elevated to almost Demi-God status. In Montreal, you might as well be playing in the Phantom Zone from the Superman movies. Tim Raines might not have been the most personable or marketable guy but he played the game the right way and his longevity and success made him a legit Hall of Famer. Now he gets the HOF ring to go with the rings he garnered with the 1996 and 1998 Yankees for their World Series championships.

Regardless of whether I am in the minority here or not, I tip my proverbial cap to Tim Raines. Well done sir and clear out a space for your 1984 teammate Pete Rose.