Derek Jeter

•September 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As the sun sets on watching Derek Jeter, you reflect on the time you have watched him play day in and day out, every spring, summer and fall. You are met with happiness in that you have been lucky enough to watch one of the greatest players to have ever lived. You also are happy in knowing that Derek will excel at anything to which he sets his mind. However, you are also saddened…saddened at the thought of coming home after a long day of work and turning on the television and not hearing Bob Sheppard say “Number Two, Derek Jeter, Number Two.”

The range of emotions are overwhelming for many fans, and yet Jeter himself continues to show his true control and restraint as he has for these many years. You are struck at what has happened during The Captain’s time with the Yankees. Being drafted sixth in the 1992 draft and leading a great player and scout to quit after the Astros elected not to draft Jeter was just one of the first stories of Jeter’s presence. As Dick Grotch watched a young seventeen/eighteen year old play, he gave the famous quote when asked if Jeter would go to Michigan or sign and turn pro, Grotch said “the only place Derek Jeter’s going is to Cooperstown.” Jeter played several years in the minors before being called up in 1995, and fittingly, was assigned one of only two single digit uniforms left, at the time, for the Yankees.

I reflect on all the things that have happened in the years since we saw a kid that just seemed to have an aura about him that was so quietly confident, and secure. I remember where I was in 1996 when Mark Lemke popped out to Charlie Hayes in foul territory along third base. Sure, Hayes catching the ball and O’Neill rolling over the top of the dog pile was what people noticed, but I noticed Jeter sprinting over to where Hayes was, and before the catch was made, Jeter threw triumphant arms in the air to celebrate the first World Series for the Yankees since 1978. I remember jumping up and down in my girlfriends basement, immediately leaving to get home to watch the celebration with my sister’s boyfriend, a collegiate baseball player, who just so happened to play shortstop. There was no texting…there was no calling on a cell phone (not unless you wanted to waste valuable minutes on your bag phone), there was no email (unless you wanted to wait the hours for the dial up to work), there was no Twitter, or Instagram, or Facebook. You either watched it in person, listened on the radio, or watched it on television. The raw emotion was exciting…Joe Torre in his first year managing the club, Derek Jeter in his first year as full time shortstop, winning Rookie of the Year. 1996 seems like it was just a moment ago, but also a lifetime ago. We reflect where we were, myself an innocent high schooler that had no idea what the future might hold. But the one consistency was Jeter.

In 1998 when I was graduating high school and thinking about college, I had Jeter. As I started college, I watched Jeter make a backhand stab, jump and throw a rocket to first which left David Wells looking like “how did he do that?”

In 1999 we watched Jeter and the Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves for World Series title three in four years. Then came the epic Subway Series in 2000 when the Yankees mostly embarrassed the Mets. The start of my junior year held much excitement, including the Yankees playing great going into September. Then, a tragic day that all of us will remember. When the devastation of what occurred on September 11th finally subsided, we all had to decide how best to go on with any normalcy. After taking time away, the Yankees and Jeter returned to finish the season. I cannot imagine the difficulty the players, coaches, or fans faced. Despite this unimaginable difficulty, the Yankees found themselves in the World Series against the Diamondbacks. I remember when Jeter became Mr. November. When he hit the ball into the right field stands, you sensed that no matter what happened in the series, everyone was going to be alright. Without a doubt, there would be mourning for months, years and decades to come. However, we all needed something positive, something bright, something that even if only for a moment, made us forget what was happening so frighteningly close to Yankee Stadium. Jeter delivered on that need. The Yankees were not able to win that year, and you certainly sensed that the historic run had reached an end, but one thing was certain, you would see Jeter the next spring.

The next years were a blur…both for me personally as well as the Yankees. The Yankees had devastating losses in the playoffs, closed Yankee Stadium, and watched as Joe Torre and others retired or left, and new players signed were unaware of the tradition of being a Yankee. But Jeter was there…he was always there. There was Jeter as I finished college, as I watched cancer destroy my grandfather, when I became a husband. Jeter was there, diving into stands, slapping a single to right field, or stealing a base. Jeter was with me, when in August 2008, I watched as my marriage disintegrated. Facing this, I found myself wanting to be lost in something, or someone to be exact, that I knew was trustworthy. I turned on my television, and watched as Jeter had three hits against the Red Sox.

I watched the rest of the season, always tuning in to watch Jeter…who may not have been the best hitter, the best fielder, the fastest, strongest, or most athletic. But, no one could question Jeter and his value to the Yankees. And no one could ever question how much Jeter meant to many others…his consistency, his leadership, his integrity, his confidence. All were outstanding, but also humble. Jeter did not need to degrade his opponents. Jeter did not need to speak negatively. Instead, Jeter took accountability, even when he was not responsible. When the Yankees won the 2009 World Series, I was sitting, watching as always, as the Yankees snuck by the Phillies to win Jeter’s fifth ring. At that moment though, you realized that time was sneaking away. Rivera and Posada were slowing…Pettitte was nearing retirement…the first time. The “Core Four” had only a few more years on the ball field. The one seeming inevitable though, was that Jeter would be there…that somehow, someway, Jeter would find a way. The next few years saw Jeter crush (for any mortal) his 3,000th hit off David Price, eclipse the most games played by a Yankee, tie for the most consecutive seasons with more than 150 hits, and so many other amazing statistics. It also saw him miss games with a calf injury, a dislocated ankle, and a quadricep injury.

This year, it has been tough to watch…not because of Jeter’s performance, because there is not a team in MLB that would not take a forty year old Jeter as their starting shortstop. No no, not performance, but the prospect that time is not only passing Jeter by, it is passing me by as well. As I said, since Jeter broke onto the scene in 1996, I have graduated high school, college, finished my MBA, married and divorced, had great jobs at great companies, completed multiple marathons and several half Ironman’s, welcomed my niece and nephew, and have been blessed by God in so many ways. But for a moment (or longer), you find yourself reflecting on the past. Jeter himself has said that the one thing he would tell young players is to enjoy the time, because it goes so quickly. It is hard to imagine that in all the days I have watched Jeter run out of that dugout, I have experienced others taking their first breaths, loved ones taking their last breaths, injuries, sheer joy, and complete heartbreaks. In all that is completely wrong with this world, Jeter provided something that was right. He showed up, every day, worked harder than anyone else, never made an excuse, never said anything negative about anybody, and did his job. He appreciated his time doing what he loved, and did not take for granted one blessing he had been provided.

You can have your Manziel’s, your Winston’s, or Newton’s. You can have your DeSean Jackson’s, Yasiel Puig’s, or your Papelbon’s. Keep your LeBron’s, your A-Rod’s, and your Kobe’s. I’ll take Jeter every day…just like I have for the last seven thousand days or so. While you watch, insert arrogant player name here, play baseball, basketball, football, or any other sport, I will slowly go to the internet, and watch the Yankees and Jeter. I will watch the quiet confidence, the man that did things the right way, under the spotlight and magnifying glass every day.

I will reminisce…and wonder how twenty years could have possibly went by…but mostly, I will watch Jeter, not for some incredible play (although there are many), but the consistency and calm he always demonstrated. With his retirement, Jeter also retires Bob Sheppard’s voice introducing a player…he retires the last of the single digits for the Yankees, and he retires the hundreds and thousands of memories for all of us that were with him throughout this amazing ride. And for that, all of us are thankful for the consistency…for the calm…and for the history.

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Dr. Peter Marshall “Trial By Fire” Sermon “America Needs A Prophet”

•April 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

America does need a prophet.  This may have been seventy years ago, but let us not forget that then we needed a principle to follow. We certainly need one even more now!!!  This is quoted directly from http://www.americaspartynews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=20565&posts=5

There is also a rare audio of this you can find.

America Needs A Prophet *

By Dr. Peter Marshall (1902- 1949)
Pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
Washington, D.C.

     My text is taken from the first book of Kings, Chapter eighteen and Verse twenty-one. If the Lord be God, then follow Him. But if Baal, then follow him.
     The leaders of ancient Israel (including the king) had come together to make a great decision. It was a national emergency. Elijah the prophet had summoned them to meet on Mt. Carmel to settle no less a question than whom they should worship.
     
William Penn has said that men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants. Here then was a Hebrew prophet facing the very same issue and making his people face it with him. They all knew the history of their nation. How God had led their fathers out of bondage into a new land as pioneers. How His Holy Law had been written into the nation’s Constitution. How The Ten Commandments had become a Bill of Rights and a Declaration of Dependence. But something in the nation’s life had begun to fade. Moral decay had set in. They had begun to love things more than principles. They had become materialists. And materialism had a god – a god of the flesh. And his name was Baal.
     
Now Elijah saw the danger. He saw what would happen to the nation when its moral fiber was weakened. So he summoned the 450 prophets of Baal, the king and the nation’s leaders. It HAD to be either/or. They had to get on one side or the other.
     
You remember the dramatic test – the trial by fire. How on the parched, sun-baked slopes of Carmel, Elijah announced his proposed test. Let sacrifices be laid upon the altar. Let him be god who would send down fire and consume the offerings. And let Baal and his priests have the first inning.
     
Then began the weird, pagan performance. With Elijah jibing at them with pointed sarcasm, “Cry louder why don’t you? Cry louder! He is a god you’re crying to isn’t he? Perhaps he’s gone for a walk. Perchance he’s asleep. Cry louder! Wake him up!”
     
All day long he taunted at them, until hoarse with their shouting, wearied with their paganistic dancing, they were exhausted. Yet no voice spoke. No voice answered.
     
Then Elijah went over to an abandoned Jehovah altar, set upon it a sacrifice, and offered his prayer to Jehovah – not ranting or foaming or shouting. And the answer came in fire, which consumed the offering. Then the people looking on cried as they fell on their faces, “The Lord! He is God! The LORD! HE is God!”
     
Now, I suggest to you that America needs a prophet today – a prophet that will set before the nation the essential choices. In the words of that great poet and essayist, J.D. Holland, God give us men – men whom the lust of office does not kill – men whom the spoils of office cannot buy – men who have honor – men who will not lie – men who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking – tall men, sun-ground who live above the fog in public duty and in private thinking.
     
Millions of people in America live in moral fogs. They move in a sort of spiritual twilight. Modified morality; modified dishonesty is the practice of millions more. Surely the time has come for us to be honest about it. If we have thrown away our national heritage. If we no longer believe that this nation was founded under God. If contrary to what is stamped upon our coins, our trust is not in God, but in Baal, LET US SAY SO!
     
Let us at least not be hypocrites. Yes, like the ancient Hebrew nation, America needs a prophet like an Elijah – a prophet who will have the ear of America and will say to her now:

IF THE LORD BE GOD, THEN FOLLOW HIM!

BUT IF BAAL, FOLLOW HIM . . . AND GO TO HELL!

March Madness (Week 1)

•March 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here is where we stand following the first three rounds of the tournament (apologies in advance as virtually all of this was written last night): 

  • I am currently in first place, but Mark is breathing down my throat.  And being that I have Oklahoma State in the title game, I am strongly rooting for San Diego State to ruin everyone’s bracket.  Like a moron, I was hopefully optimistic that KU would play up to standard…I was wrong.  The importance of staying in school could not be more apparent.  Do you hear that Wiggins?  Stay in school!
  • Mark is currently in second with a huge push in Round 3.  No doubt Mark lost some of the precious hair late yesterday as Iowa State narrowly beat North Carolina when Roy Williams forgot how to call timeout.
  • Lynette had an enormous Sunday with Kentucky beating Wichita State, Baylor beating Creighton and several others.  Every time I see Calipari though I think he might as well start throwing dollar bills at his players…when will this guy finally be banned from basketball?  Cheating is bad, but outright cheating?  Come on!!!  His players make more than all of us combined…and no doubt drive a nicer car than me.  Although, let’s be honest, a Prius C go-cart is not exactly high class living…and I would say I am an environmentalist, but I am just cheap…
  • Art is in mourning today…let him be. Villanova put up an effort similar to the Jayhawks and the Boyle Curse continues.  Art, good luck to the Phillies, Flyers, Devon Prep (maybe they will win the Bicentennial League in lacrosse), and Eagles.  I am certain that you are looking at losing records for all…you are starting pitcher opening day, right?
  • Joel has made several strong selections, but is clearly using accountancy skills to better consider the odds going forward.  Unlike many of us, there were little upset picks, but Wichita State certainly hurt.  If anyone is in the market for a nice Wichita State shocker national championship shirt, let me know…I had a couple hundred printed out…unfortunately Wichita is spelled Witchuhtah and the Shocker looks like a deranged piece of wheat, but what do you expect at $1.50 a piece?
  • David is slightly behind Art in the continuous battle that started many years ago…David watches and scrutinizes basketball from Midnight Madness and is often a source of intelligence for coaches, scouts, etc. at the major universities.  Art watches little to no basketball throughout the year and makes picks based on the colors of the teams.  Obviously with two diverging paths like that, David has soundly beat Art in the past.  If you believe any of the above, definitely let me know and the shirts above I will sell you for $50 apiece as they are collector’s items! J
  • Kate continues to make solid selections, but why wouldn’t she…it is short term planning.  She has likely already developed what college basketball will look like in three years, five years, and ten years.  Kate, I will need you to change the control to have Wichita State in the Big 12, KU in the ACC, K-State in the independent conference of agriculture and horticulture, and Missouri playing in the Advanced League of Un-extraordinary Schools that feel too big for their britches.  How did they do against Southern Miss the other night?  Anyone care?  I did not think so.
  • April made some great picks on Thursday and Friday, but the weekend really hurt.  Not to say her bracket is in ruins, but I think the Colosseum may be more intact.  Syracuse, Wichita State, Villanova all in the Final Four with the title game between Wichita State and Syracuse…yikes.  At least she can watch with complete disinterest in who actually wins now!
  • Kevin has lost a bit of his swagger…no doubt being in a country (Bermuda) that plays cricket, soccer, and rugby hurts, but I am sure the knee high socks have definitely caused an impact…unless they are the compression ones that all the kids are wearing these days.  However, Kevin has remembered his win last year and is riding Louisville back to the title game for a second year in a row.  Whenever I think of Rick Pitino and Louisville, I have an insatiable urge to go buy KFC…not because of Louisville, but because Pitino will be rocking the Colonel’s white suit soon.
  • Amy always has Ohio in her heart…maybe it should be removed…the Zips made it into the No One Cares Tournament United Prestige (NOCT UP) and lost to the Girl Scouts of Pot Smoking Colorado in a tough first round matchup.  Amy of course believed that THE Ohio State might show up…but alas, another school from Ohio decided to stop the Buckeyes cold…Dayton’s in Ohio, right?  No idea where…but sounds like a lovely place to visit…for a prison sentence perhaps.
  • Cindy made bold selections with Wichita State losing in the first round as the first ever 16 over a 1 as well as Oklahoma going all the way and winning the title.  Thankfully, she stopped taking her cough syrup and other medicine that was causing the hallucinations because her other three Final Four teams are still alive…including Kentucky, who looks like they are playing to their pay grade…er, potential.
  • Mary has ten of sixteen Sweet 16 teams left, but more importantly, she has the potential to have seven of eight Elite 8 teams left.  If things go her way, she could jump up considerably this week/weekend.  But, if we learned anything this weekend, it is that anything can happen.  Pretty certain if someone would have told me that Duke would lose, but North Dakota State (they are surely the Bison, right?) would be in the Round of 32, or that Stephen F. Austin would be in it, but Ohio State would not, I would have been more shocked to wake up and hear that Cold War has restarted.  If it was the Cold War the first time, is it the Colder War this time?  All joking aside…does no one else notice that Putin’s face has been melted down and wax reapplied?
  • Andrea…oh Andrea…how dearly the departed Duke.  Andrea every year is as consistent as Cathy Smith buying a new car…and picks Duke to win it all.  The heartbreak was so overwhelming that she took the better part of last week off and I saw her recently in the huddle room crying in the fetal position in the corner rocking back and forth mumbling something about Mercer, Mike K., and how this could happen again…not again.  She thankfully has something to cheer her up today…snow!  Who isn’t looking forward to watching it snow…again…in late March?  That’s right, everybody in the nation…that’s who!
  • Melanie is clearly from the Midwest…and quite possibly a secret Kansan.  Not only did she have Wichita State in the Final Four, but also Kansas.  And to top it off, she had Creighton in the Final Four.  The positive is that she does not care because she is on vacation.  Since she is gone, who would like to go shopping at Melanie’s desk?  Just kidding…I have already been over there and taken anything of value! Kidding!!!
  • Megan continues to make picks that have great potential…but also great risks.  Not only did she select a 16 seed to win a play in game and Round 2, but to make it to the Sweet 16!  Amazingly though, she has two of the hottest teams in the tournament (Tennessee and Baylor) advancing and looking good.  Looking good though is definitely in how they are playing, not how they look.  Baylor looks like a psychotic highlighter and Tennessee makes me think I am watching traffic cones play basketball.  Enough with the crazy uniforms…
  • Jacque was taking the same cough syrup that Cindy was taking in picking Oklahoma to make it to the Final Four.  However, like Cindy, she stopped taking it in time to pick Iowa State and Florida to advance to the Final Four.  That is certainly looking more and more like a great possibility.  And her multi-tasking is amazing considering she was taking cough syrup, making these selections, handling her Treasury responsibilities and likely researching her trip to Crimea.  I have heard that hotels are cheap there currently…
  • Ryan regrettably made the same mistake as Andrea…except Kansas made it one game further.  His risk has paid off in the past as the winner two years ago, but Kansas and Duke in the final almost guarantees problems at winning again.  I wonder what Bill Self does the rest of the tournament each year?  Do you think he watches it and roots for Bucknell, Bradley, Stanford, etc?  Or does he go fishing somewhere or shopping for a new tie since he generally has torn the last one in half dealing with eighteen year olds that feel they are the greatest player ever?  Please…you’re not even the best player this year on your team.
  • Katie is as reliable as Tom Izzo making it to the Sweet 16 in selecting one of her alma maters (UCLA) to go far in the tournament.  Granted, she intentionally attended universities that would certainly compete for a national title often in sports, but I have heard she is looking into Kentucky for Sports Management to become an agent so she can take some the salaries the players are receiving from boosters.  She also is looking into going to Louisville for a degree in Golf Course Management so her husband can finally build his own course, and to go to Michigan…wait, that one is definitely not happening…her Notre Dame degree would be revoked.
  • Cathy was really hoping her Wildcats would win this year…and they did!!!  Just not the Wildcats from the middle of nowhere Kansas, but Kentucky.  However, Cathy easily has the most surprising National Title game with Michigan State beating San Diego State.  Not that it is crazy because it could realistically happen and we will all look like fools!  Word has it though that since she left HRB, she has started watching game tape after game tape to really understand how Fisher runs the SDS offense.  Cathy and my alma mater regrettably did not make the tournament this year…not the NCAA tournament, but the NAIA Division II tournament.
  • Risa watches much basketball, but not college men’s, rather Lexi’s team travel all over.  According to Risa, Lexi is near the lead in her bracket challenge, and Risa may have wanted to have Lexi do this one too!  Risa is being punished for not picking her Cornhuskers to even win one game…shame on you Risa!  But let’s be honest…Nebraska basketball? 
  • Tom is struggling…just like I am at staying awake right now.  Duke as national champion was not helpful, but having the other three Final Four teams may pull him out of the cellar yet!  As Forrest Gump said when he decided to stop running “I’m pretty tired…” therefore I bid you adieu for the evening.

Enjoy the games this week and I apologize in advance for anyone I insulted in the process of this update.  My opinions are my own and if there was something offensive…then I hope you realize this is all tongue-in-cheek as I generally make the dumbest picks in the bracket challenge and questionable decisions outside (Prius C, home in Raymore, home in Fairway, that perm I had, the rat tail I had, the green coat, jeans and shoes I bought at the same time, those times I decided to do something and thought “how hard can it be?”, attempting to use cayenne pepper to get rid of my migraines, among others).  Enjoy the week.  Night!

March Madness (Week 2)

•March 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy NCAA Tournament!

 

What a weekend…hard to believe there is still more to be played, but cannot imagine really anyone cares around here…Wisconsin, Florida, UCONN, and Kentucky…big whoop.  I can imagine “A” might be excited, but who else here cares about anyone else?  No one?  No one?  Here are the standings through the Elite Eight: 

  • I am shockingly still in first place!  If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet (to quote Christmas Vacation), I wouldn’t be more surprised.  I will collect the money for the brackets, I believe I said it was $100 a bracket and all goes to first place, right?  Nice $2,000 I made on this…thanks everyone!  Kidding of course!  But go figure…the time I do for bragging rights and this happens.  I plan to take myself somewhere “real nice” for lunch…maybe even splurge for a second Big Mac!
  • Cindy had an absolutely massive weekend!  Not only did she have Michigan and Michigan State winning Friday night, but also Kentucky!  Then Kentucky on to the Final Four!  Way to go…but as we can now confirm you are on Calipari’s payroll, like all of his kids, we will expect you to pay for lunch!!!
  • Mark made a nice jump into the lead after Thursday night…but it crumbled to the ground Friday night, was lit on fire Friday, then was dumped off a cliff today…just to make certain.  Shows how crazy the Madness really is.  If UCONN did not get every possible call, playing in MSG, I cannot imagine what might have happened.  Iowa State was staging a great comeback and looked like they might have momentum, but Napier cried (diaper change was due) and received a few questionable calls. 
  • Lynette was so close as well on Friday night with Kentucky…had she also been on Calipari’s payroll, she could have had a new car and insight into them beating Louisville.  I like how the commentators talk about how long it’s been since Kentucky lost in the tournament…uhhhh, yea, minus the NIT last year!  That’s like saying I have gone undefeated at the Boston Marathon…although the old man with the walker and the tennis balls on bottom is faster than I am and qualified sooner than I have. 
  • Joel had a successful Friday, but the weekend certainly let him down.  Or more importantly…a once again suspicious foul at the end of Michigan State / UCONN let him down.  As has Sprint for their terrible commercials…I am trying to figure out how a German girl, two random guys, a woman, and a hamster (playing the dad) in a fishbowl make good advertising.  Framily?  Friends/Family?  I would definitely make fun of the combination…but…well I am sure some can figure out why I might resist!  Come on Sprint…bring some better advertising!
  • Art confirmed the Boyle curse was in full force last week…ruining the Jayhawks, North Carolina, Villanova, and who knows who else by wearing their sponsored apparel.  Even his oldest son has recognized the curse and had a white t-shirt that Virginia was written on.  Well played A.J.  Good attempt, but as you found out…the Boyle curse requires official apparel.  Speaking of disasters in Philly, with the release of DeSean Jackson, the starting whiteouts are Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, and…ummm…Jason, nope, Brent, nope…well I am sure they will find someone.  Perhaps Terrance Copper is available?  When do the Phillies Fanatics expect to be out of playoff contention?  Tomorrow? Tuesday?
  • Kate was also moving along…Wisconsin making it to the Final Four…but the Badger stops here…see what I did there?  Have you ever seen a bigger group of dorky looking guys than at Wisconsin?  I can imagine them helping me with my computer issues, but not playing in the Final Four.  Good for Bo Ryan…nice to see him make it.  Of course, they may still be cutting down the nets…because that was ‘awkward’ just like Lord Voldemort’s hug of Drago Malfoy at the end of Deathly Hallows (it’s been a long weekend and is currently on…don’t judge me.)
  • Kevin is remaining steady with his selections…just last weekend that hurt him.  We talked about Sprint’s commercials, but who has seen HRB’s most recent?  Pretty sure “Reunited” is literally engrained in my head on repeat, over and over and over again.  ‘Reunited, and it feels so good…reunited cause we understood…there’s one perfect fit…and sugar, this one is it…we both are so excited cause we’re reunited, hey hey!’  You’re welcome for ruining your day. I would have to believe that the rights to a mediocre song by Peaches from sometime during the Black Plague would not cost much…
  • David has fallen behind Art and cannot catch him once Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers bowed out Friday night.  Great defense, but when you shoot a smooth 35% from the field, you are bound to lose.  35% is the chance that another song can replace Reunited above at any point during the day…good luck with that!
  • April made up some ground over the weekend, but not enough…just like the Arizona Wildcats when they were all but handed the game…and what is up with refs making insane calls?  Sure Napier was hit, slightly, but that was an acting job.  A charging call to end the Tennessee / Michigan game?  An offensive pushoff against Zona when the guy was just mauled?  I stopped watching some of the games…namely, because I care more about who is going to win WWE Raw tomorrow night…Hulk Hogan is ba…sorry, couldn’t even get that out without realizing I was not serious.
  • Mary had a good Friday with Michigan State and Michigan, but the “Something Involving Lakes” state seriously disappointed on Sunday.  I’m guessing Michigan has something to do with lakes…Great Lakes, 10,000 Lakes, Ricki Lake, Land O Lakes, whatever.  Speaking of…why is Missouri “Show Me State?”  What are Missourians showing people?  Potholes that you can lie down and live in?  Nope?  Kansas though…that’s where it is at…nothing says awesome like the Sunflower State…I think we should change it to something more cool sounding like the “Alpha Wolf Squadron State” or “Do Anything For Tourism Money State.”  Those have better rings anyway.
  • Amy was undoubtedly rooting for the Dayton Flyers to prevail, but they flew right on out of the tournament.  I did not see or hear, but I am guessing Clark Kellogg made up a word to represent something.  Same guy that calls the basketball a pumpkin…or calling some team high spurtability…whhhaaaaa?  My guess is he wrote down the following to be used this upcoming weekend: Vocifiable, because vociferous doesn’t work; amalgatude (new word for combining attitudes).  Those are all I can think of right now, but rest easy…Clark is working tirelessly at butchering the English language.
  • Andrea still has not recovered from Duke losing last week…not as upset as Roddy White, the NFL player that made a terrible bet on Duke losing to Mercer.  Good that he manned up though and paid the bet for season tickets….wait, he changed his mind and is now only getting him a season ticket for the Bears game?  Nice work Roddy…you are now hated by all those on Twitter.
  • Megan just about pulled off an enormous upset pick with Tennessee over Michigan, which would have earned her ten points, but the refs thought they should call a charging foul in the last few seconds instead…because we would not want the kids to decide the outcome…I say kids like they are young, but since most of them can grow a beard at fourteen better than I can at thirty four makes you wonder.  Seriously, some of these kids look like they are near retiring age…not entering the workforce age.
  • Ryan is still highly interested in the basketball season…not the tournament, but who at KU will be bolting for the NBA.  Seldon is staying, Embiid has not announced, and Wiggins will Monday.  Guessing he is leaving, and perhaps he will learn at the next level, that much like this one, you cannot just walk into a game and expect to beat people.  You may want to do this crazy thing called, watch tape!  Or better yet, watch many many tapes!
  • Katie nearly had an upset pick with her Bruins sneaking past Florida.  How does spring ball look Katie?  Will Goulston actually play?  Quick, who does Chris have winning the Masters?  Odds Tiger Woods plays?  Wins?  Perhaps you can make a birthday wish for this week and it will come true.  Maybe that UCLA and Notre Dame will meet in the National Championship game next year?
  • Tom dug himself out of the cellar with Michigan State winning.  I am certain he is relieved…just like I am that in a short few days I will not have to see Lebron James, Magic Johnson, or Alonzo Mourning trying to sell people on healthcare.  I’m sure the fact that as Reid said, that Americans are too dumb to understand the internet will be resolved with massive advertising and many millions more will be able to sign up.
  • Melanie had an ‘0’fer over the weekend…like she cared, she was likely somewhere at the top of the Smoky Mountains or on her way back down from those country roads…which did not take her home.  For those old enough to remember John Denver…you’re welcome for placing seed #2 of a great song in your head.
  • Jacque had a rough Thursday through Sunday.  Not as rough as the North Korean that had been growing their hair out to have the Chris Evans ‘do from Captain Merica (yes, I intentionally misspelled it because we are embarrassing ourselves with shortening obvious words that should never be shortened).  If you did not hear, Kim Jong Un decided that going forward, every man must have his hair cut…which is a combination of shaved sides, long on top with a center part…I know, the symbol of awesome!
  • Cathy was able to select one game right, but the rest of the weekend was difficult…but it could be worse, you could be a toilet paper tester…and no, I am not making it up.  According to a recent report, White Cloud Ultra 3 Ply (found at WalMart) was the best beating Charmin for being strong, but also soft…for being easy to tear, but also not disintegrating too easily.  Only in America do we have people that do this…what’s the control look like?  And how do you become this tester?  As the joke says, who is not using this?  Do we really need to test it for the best to determine the filet mignon of toilet paper?
  • And finally, taking over the bottom spot is Risa!  No worries though…because we will all melt like snowmen in the next few days because the climate change is going to ruin us…or at least that is what I have heard.  Not to worry though, because Block will ensure that no matter how cold it is outside, it will be like sitting on the sun at Block and if it is too hot outside, e will be able to store meat in our coat closets…because we will certainly be wearing everything in our closet!

Great playing by everyone…I will send a last update with the winner (Me) and the donut queen (Risa) once the results are finalized next Tuesday.  However, if anyone wants to, and I am sure people are dying to, I can put together a Masters draft where we can all select an A, B, C, and D player and then tal…wake up people!!!  Golf is not that boring.  Okay, it is, but it is perfect to take a nap to on Sunday afternoon.  Have a great week!

North Korea vs. South Korea

•March 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here is what I want to believe was the conversation of the North Korea and South Korea commanders:

North Korean: “Take this sucker!  That’s right, I just blew the sh*t out of your water.”

South Korean: “How dare you!  An eye for an eye!  I just wasted your water…jerk.”

North Korean: “Oh no you didn’t!  Time to show your water who is boss!”

South Korean: “Whatevs…we could do this all day long…want to get a super soaker and up the ante?”

North Korean: “No, my mom told me I could not come out to play…make next century.”

2014 Swimming/Biking/Running Goals

•December 31, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As we approach the new year, I wanted to pass along a few goals of mine for 2014.  I plan to run a marathon or two in 2014 as well as do at least one half ironman during the year.

For 2013, I registered (I am sure my watch was dead or I forgot to wear it multiple times) 1,236.37 miles and completed a total of 137 hours, 23 minutes and 26 seconds.

I originally was planning to donate $1 per mile I complete in 2014 and use that to enter a race in 2015 running for a certain charity (if multiple charities, I would have a custom made shirt with the various charities included).  However, I am afraid if I don’t take a month off…or three, I could be near 2,000 miles.  therefore, I think I will put a quarter in for every mile completed running, on the bike, or in the pool. I may change this and add more to ensure proper incentive. Alternatively, I could do a nickel or dime for every minute of activity (as swimming is really hard!!!).

By no means am I trying to pressure anyone, but if someone is interested in donating to a charity based on the number of miles I do or the number of minutes I complete, by all means.  If interested, let me know and I will put together a spreadsheet from Garmin Connect (Garmin Fit), a fantastic website to track workouts (Julie, a shameless plug for Garmin!!!) and at the end of 2014, we can figure out what everyone is working toward for donations, what race I will do for the charity, etc.  Completely get it if you are not interested in participating, but can make this somewhat fun by doing a weekly newsletter or update on my training, etc. and emailing or putting on my blog.

I know many of you are runners, triathletes, etc. and put me to shame in your endeavors.

Everyone have a happy New Year, be safe and I will see you all in 2014!  That sounds odd…and means I am getting old because I just thought about how I remember when Y2K hit, and we were all partying like it was 1999…because it was!!!!

Ethan

What was learned from the Grammy’s

•February 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Here is what I learned from the Grammy’s.  Continue reading below for an exchange with a friend.  If you know me well, the final response will be the most entertaining…

Here are the things I learned from the Grammy’s last night (in no particular order):

  1. Gwyneth Paltrow is definitely an Oscar winning actress.  If she can act like she has chemistry with Cee-Lo, who was dressed up as a giant red peacock Muppet, then she should win an Oscar for that performance alone.
  2. Lea Michele, who I did not know who was until last week, should not be ridiculed by mothers for dressing inappropriately because she does not dress any differently than others her age.  She should be ridiculed because she appears to be a greedy, attention demanding snot.  She sang America the Beautiful song at the Super Bowl like she was competing for Gwyneth Paltrow’s award, dressed on not one, but two covers in an attempt to generate some buzz, and essentially took over her presentation last night with Clay Matthews.  She had a conversation with herself before flubbing 90% of the lines. 
  3. Over / Under on the last time Bob Dylan actually spoke comprehensible English?  I am going to go with 1968…prior to heavy drug use.
  4. Hey Diddy, you sound like Mike Tyson with a lisp with your new gold teef…you are too old for that b.s.  Please stop now, and also stop making music.
  5. I was anxiously awaiting Bieber Fever to erupt into a donkey sounding “hee-haw” with that evil strike of puberty.  Instead he embarrassed himself by dancing like Usher…which is embarrassing enough by itself.
  6. Lenny Kravitz is expecting to star in “Mad Max 37  Really Really Beyond Thuderdome” based on the wretched get up he had on.  You are nearly 50 Lenny…nearly 50.
  7. Mick Jagger – kill me now.
  8. LL Cool J and Dr. Dre had an arm wrestling match for the largest dude at the Grammys…I understand Lady Gaga prevailed though because as LL Cool J put it “it is effing crazy.”
  9. Speaking of Lady Gaga, horns, an egg you hatched from and the use of the words queen and drag so closely together…coincidence?  I think not.
  10. John Mayer, you are not Johnny Depp
  11. Esperanza Spaulding made the best speech of the evening in accepting her Best New Artist award.  She was then beaten by thousands of teenagers that could not believe Bieber lost!  Say it ain’t so…
  12. Who in the hell is “Arcade Fire?”  Following their acceptance speech, Eminem lit them on fire and said “I’m just going to sit here and watch you burn.” 
  13. Drake told us the square root of 69 is 8 something…actually it is 8.306623862918074.  Just want to make sure we are entirely accurate!
  14. Rihanna, amazing voice, but I feel like I need a heavy dose of antibiotics when I watch her now.
  15. Jennifer Lopez…I think I just got sick to my stomach thinking about you opening your mouth, and then you did.  Hello Imodium.
  16. Most people would be a little concerned about a felony conviction being delivered the next day, but not Bruno Mars.  He performed in black and white, which is a color he may want to stay familiar with being that I see a nice zebra jumpsuit in his future.
  17. I am a big country music fan, but how in the name of all that is holy does Lady Antebellum win so many awards?  Apparently there are a number of hillbillies on the academy selecting committee. 
  18. I was one of many that likely though Aretha Franklin had passed, based on the opening show performance, but she was sitting at home in Detroit, probably reviewing her new Chrysler 200 that Eminem recommended.
  19. Speaking of wrecks, Christina Aguilera will likely want this year to be over with.  First she has no clue what the words are to the National Anthem…again I repeat, the National Anthem.  Then she face plants during the performance tribute to Aretha Franklin.  Nice work Christina, perhaps there is a “Genie in a Bottle” somewhere that can grant three wishes.
  20. Janelle Monae – KC represented and sounded very good…well done!
  21. Katy Perry had her wedding in the background whilst performing…who is brave enough to bet me that the marriage lasts more than 3 years?
  22. Cathy melted when she heard Jolene played by Norah Jones, Johnny Depp…er John Mayer, and Keith Urban.
  23. Barbara Streisand – I did not see the performance because there was an awesome Oxy Clean commercial on.  But judging from the awkward silence with you and Kris Kristofferson in Album of Year, I would expect the performance to be mediocre.  The way that these corny shows work is there is a list of performers named, then that card you are holding tells you what to say next.  You read it out loud and people gasp or cheer.  Kris and Barbara’s lead to a smattering of applause and looks of “who the hell is Arcade Fire?”
  24. Seth Rogen…keep milking this as long as you can because people will eventually turn to sobriety and realize you are not funny…at all.
  25. And finally, Usher – it is the Grammy’s.  You know, where people are awarded for singing.  Try it, you might surprise yourself.

 ———————————————————————————————-

­Ethan,

 You watched the Grammys???????

 I hope it was to provide some information so that you can carry on a conversation with a potential future girlfriend – because I can think of no other reason why a red blooded American heterosexual male would sit and watch them otherwise.

 Please tell me ESPN was temporarily unavailable….otherwise an intervention may become necessary.

 ———————————————————————————————- A,

I need all the help I can.  So if this could help, then yes.  I have also started watching the Bachelor, Glee, and The Gilmore Girls.  And I am certain K will be responding immediately without something of a serious smarta** tone as well.

Okay, so I watched the Grammy’s, but really this was just fuel for the fire of me making fun of people.

———————————————————————————————-

 Ethan,

Or maybe start a blog….oh wait….already did that.

 My suggestions for enhancing his chances would be:

  • Take a wine tasting class – that way at a potential dinner date the uncomfortable question(s) to the wait staff ” Do you have Mr. Pibb? Do you have PBR?” won’t be asked.
  • Try and remove references to Star War movies during conversations
  • Reduce conversational profanity to a level acceptable by sailors or truck drivers
  • No matter how ridiculous a statement is made by a potential soul mate, feign interest in the topic  and ask a follow up – instead of the usual” That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” retort.
  • Dinner and a movie, which would generally be Applebee’s and “Hall Pass” genre, should be replaced by a homemade meal at the Fairway estate and a showing of Casablanca or Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Hide the Christmas lights and accouterments  and make no mention of the unhealthy obsession with the holidays until the 5th date at least