B-Musings – Scary Blueberry Pancakes Edition

15 10 2013

“B-Musings”… sharing random blurbiage and ping-pong balls rattling around my dome.  Why?  Because I can, and I have a blog!

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Dead Inside – If someone had told me ten years ago that my favorite television show would be about zombies, I would have snorted derisively. That snort has evolved into a sinister laugh… I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead, and the zombie genre as well!

I’ve never been much a horror fan, with the violence so gratuitous. But what intrigues me about The Walking Dead and the zombie apocalypse genre is that it usually focuses on the victims and how they are reacting and interacting in extreme situations. Yes, there is violence and gore, but it is so over the top you have to laugh – in a “Dan Aykroyd playing Julia Child” sort of way. With characters that are so well realized and outstanding effects, the show is a breakthrough at a time when television has never been so good.

I saw an interview with series creator Robert Kirkman, who asserts that the “walking dead” in the show are actually the survivors, not the zombies. I thought that was brilliant, and it helps me understand my fascination. It’s all about people struggling to live and understand. Cool stuff… that’s why Sundays are “dead” to me.

Speaking of Being Dead Inside – The laundry list of what sickens and appalls me about this world continues to grow. Adrian Peterson played football for the Vikings on Sunday, mere days after his two year-old son was murdered. It boggles the mind that he would do that, or that his family and friends would not counsel him otherwise. God forbid, if something like this happened to me… I would be numb, unable to speak or move. And I’m positive my employers would refuse to even let me work.

I had similar shock and indignation when the Kansas City Chiefs played a game just days after one of their own players murdered his girlfriend, then shot himself at the team training facility – in front of his coaches!

Have we all lost our humanity? Peterson and the Vikings, you should be ashamed.

Dark Days for Philly Sports?  The Phillies are in free fall, and face at least a few seasons of retooling.  The Eagles are lucky to be in a weak division, and also rebuilding. The Flyers are in limbo and the Sixers just plain suck.

My friends, the team to watch in Philly is the Union… young, aggressive and fighting their way into the playoffs. Union manager John Hackworth is the most tenured professional coach in the city, and PPL Park is selling out every match. With average attendance outpacing the Sixers, soccer is now the fourth most popular professional sport in Philadelphia.

It’s time for those on the fence to embrace the beautiful game! Haters? We don’t need you…

Pet Peeve of the Month – People “Liking” their own posts on Facebook. Dorks!

And speaking of dorks…

government-shutdown-heroHow About A Shut “Up”? – I can’t believe I’m going to attempt to add to the enormous, smelly mound of dung that is  “government shutdown” commentary… and where do I start? Certainly, I’m not going to pick a side in this argument because both have an equal share in this mess. Also, I think we are too far gone to make any substantive improvements without a complete overhaul of the system.

Partisan politics is here to stay, folks. When Mr. Smith goes to Washington, he brings the party noose tied tight around his neck and a boatload of owed favors. In a few months he sees that it’s a pretty good gig – lots of money, power and a huge ego boost. So, he wants to stay and to do so he needs money and the backing of his party. What is right – and what makes sense – is replaced by an overwhelming primal need… survival!

Every decision made by a congressman or senator is about being re-elected, not about what is right for his constituency. A prime example is the bullshit legislation passed by the House the other day approving back pay for the 800,000 furloughed government employees affected by the shutdown. Co-sponsored by Virginia Reps. Jim Moran (D) and Frank Wolf (R) , it is clearly an attempt to buy votes in a state that has the most furloughed federal employees. What this actually amounts to is a vacation funded by tax dollars, and if somebody did that for me you’re damn right I’d vote for them!! More than once! I’m not saying that these people will not experience hardships being furloughed. But like any citizen out of work they deserve unemployment compensation, not back pay.

I know it’s not that simple. Of course we should be concerned that 800,000 non-essential government employees will be without income. But shouldn’t we also be concerned about the ridiculous number of positions in the federal government deemed “non-essential”? And what does it say about us that we have allowed this whole situation to spiral out of control?

As usual, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please leave me a comment, or check the box that calls me an idiot. What? You can’t find the box? Insert another sinister Halloween laugh… 

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Investment Advice

1 07 2013

17 - 2002 NFC - Buccaneers @ Eagles“If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down.” ~ Gin Blossoms

Simply put, I’m a big sports fan.   Soccer is my passion, but I still love all of my Philly teams – Iggles, Flyboys, Phightins, and even the Sixers.  Well… Maybe not the Sixers.

I’m no expert, but I have a very good knowledge and understanding of major American sports, plus a working ESPN grasp of the not-so-major sports as well.  For example, when the mood strikes I…

  • … sometimes stay up late and watch Australian Rules Football. G’Day!!
  • … had a great time at Parx Derby Day in 2012.
  • … watch college baseball.  Mostly because I like to hear the aluminum bats pinging.
  • … want to learn about cricket.  I see it on Sky Sports (English SportsCenter), and would love to understand the rules.  It’s one of those sports where I say, “Shit… I could do that!”

I still love my Philly teams, but I don’t have that all-consuming fire anymore.  Not so many years ago I was living and dying by game results and playoff wins and losses.  Success gave me satisfaction, but defeats made me moody.  As the years went by, the ups and downs became too extreme.  Everything changed on Sunday, January 19, 2003, when Ronde Barber intercepted Donovan McNabb pass, and ran it back for a 92-yard touchdown interception return to clinch a Super Bowl trip for the Buccaneers.  That precise moment… over 66,000 people at Veterans Stadium and millions of fans watching at home had their hearts broken.  Including me, in my living room, decked out in my Eagles green.

This was definitely our year.  The best Eagles team, destined to win the Super Bowl.  It was a given.  Hmmm… not so much.  I was down for weeks.  F#%&in’ Ronde Barber!!  To this day, I still shudder when I see the video of that play.  But after a few weeks of surliness, I had a realization.  This consuming investment in my beloved sports teams had to stop.  It wasn’t going to get any better, because my team was not going to win every game every year.  I decided then that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t do it anymore.

A similar epiphany happened about 15 years earlier, when I realized that I was not going to be a great golfer.  After a particularly sad chip shot, I threw my club into a tree.  Because obviously, the club was faulty!!  When It came down to earth in two pieces I realized that I might be missing the better part of the golf experience… fun.  I gave up my ambitions of the PGA Tour after that incident.

Today, there are just too many games in sports to sustain meaningful fan support.  NFL owners want the expand the schedule, the Stanley Cup playoffs make the regular season meaningless, and don’t even get me started about the close to 200 hundred games World Series participants could play in one year.  Soccer isn’t immune, with plenty of extra tournaments for club and country.

In soccer, any team can beat any other team, on any day. Whatever the level, top tier versus semipro. That was never more evident than this year, with a giant killing in the FA Cup final. If the unthinkable happens the supporters may cry and curse, but recover quickly… because there is another game coming up fast, and the team needs them.

I love soccer, and regret that I discovered it so late in life.  One of the reasons I’ve embraced the beautiful game is the supporters culture.  I can hear you haters out there, revving up your hooligan stories.  I’ll stipulate that these idiots do exist, but in no greater percentage than in any other sport.

sons-of-benI’m a member of the Sons of Ben, the organization that supports the Philadelphia Union.  I take pride in what the group stands for… support the team.  No matter what.  From the SoB Code of Conduct… “Sons of Ben are in the stadium to support the Union. If you’re here to support the team, you’re welcome in the Sons of Ben. If you’re here to make trouble for yourself or for the fans around you, you aren’t welcome.”  And obey the four rules… Don’t be a Racist.  Don’t Be a Thug.  Don’t Be an Idiot.  DO Support the Team.  Simple as that.  I like it.

Sure, I’m gutted if the Union lose a match.  Or if Manchester United loses.  Or if the USA National team loses.  Or the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies… even the Sixers.  I’m bitching and booing loud, because it’s my right.  But the next day I’m over it.  I’m up and ready, and psyched for the next opportunity to support MY team.  For them, not against them.  It’s my thing.

Because I’m a sports fan.

**** Sons of Ben photo courtesy of SonsofBenMovie.com.  Click on the picture to see a larger version… I’m in the back right corner!  Ronde Barber photo courtesy of Satan and his minions.