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On Mother’s Day

Long-time readers of my humble blog might notice I don’t usually make mention of the above ‘Hallmark holiday’.

Because reasons.

First, my real Mother, the woman who bore me, passed away when I was in the Second Grade, directly because of her addictive personality.  She was ill my entire life with emphysema.  I barely knew her – certainly not enough to bond, or to have fond memories.

My Father loved her immensely.  Her death about killed him.

Subsequently, he met, dated and married the woman who became my stepmother.  She obviously wanted to be with him, but soon after the marriage, it became apparent she had no patience to raise yet another child.  She already had two grown of her own.  And deeply resented my Father’s traveling for business, and being absent because of his addiction to sports – watching, officiating, refereeing, umpiring, baseball, softball, basketball, football and hockey.

And, not to put to fine a point on it – she took her resentment out on me.

So, my relationship with my mothers was lacking at best.  Certainly it colored my future relationships with other women.

But, I am learning.

My ex-wife receives a bouquet of roses every Mother’s Day.  And has for the past twenty-two years.  Not because I wish to rekindle the relationship (we remain friends), but because our daughter Molly is unable to get them for her.

It’s the least I can do.

To all of you who had good moms out there, Good For You!

I wish I had…

Rifleman Babylon?

When I was growing up, there were numerous Westerns on television.  Being raised by TV, I was familiar with most.  One of them was The Rifleman (1958-1963).

The Rifleman, aka Lucas McCain, was played to his macho hilt by Chuck Connors, a 6’5″ athlete (from Wikipedia, in part):

Kevin Joseph Aloysius “Chuck” Connors (April 10, 1921 – November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 12 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).[1]

There was a book, first published in 1965, entitled Hollywood Babylon.  There have been two subsequent printings.  The book went out of it’s way to defame the famous in Hollywood, mentioning the scandals, the rumors, the crime, the ‘dirt’ for which the public was so hungry.  Sal Mineo, Sharon Tate, Jayne Mansfield et al.

I don’t believe Chuck was mentioned in any of them.

The theme of the TV show was almost always (TV violence aside), a lesson which Lucas (a widower) would impart to his young son, Mark.  I remember one particular episode wherein the lecture was (at the end of the show after much gunfighting) regarding people who are differentAnd just because they are different, doesn’t automatically make them BAD.  And how we, as honest human beings should strive to be accepting of such folk.

Of course, I was a kid, so this message went over my head.  When I saw the show again years later, some additional context was added.

An acquaintance, who has been a professional gun writer for many years, happened to see Chuck Connors at a large California gun show.  IN FULL DRAG! – complete with a wig and makeup!  This was a short time before he passed away.

This is not to defame Mr. Connors, but to suggest perhaps he and the TV show writers had a meeting-of-the-minds (?)

There are further rumors regarding Mr. Connors behavior all over the Internet.  As there are with pretty much anyone regarded as ‘famous’.

Just because it says so on the Internet doesn’t make it true! – Abraham Lincoln

I remember sharing this tale with a collections manager @ TMCCC* (my last workplace).  He ran away from me, covering his ears as though he were five years old!  Obviously, I had been messing with a macho hero of his!

Be judicious with whom you share this tale.

*That Major Credit Card Company

Aeronautical Porcine Creatures!

flying-pigYep, pigs must be flying!

I’m actually writing about a sporting event.

(for the new reader, you’ve heard of sports widows?  I’m a sports orphan.  My Dad, if he wasn’t playing, coaching or officiating baseball, basketball, football and hockey, he was watching them!  Being disabled at age 12, my Dad could no longer relate to me.  See?  Sports Orphan.)

Consequently, I occasionally watch Olympic events, but none of the sports listed above.  The last time I watched an entire baseball game was probably with my Dad.  And he passed in 1977.

And certainly have no interest in any foreign sport.

My roommate hails from CHICAGOLAND.  And, while she is not a big sports fan, has loyalty to the region of her birth.  In spite of the fact she has lived in Arizona since 1981.

Which brings me to the whole pigs flying thing.  She wanted to watch Game Seven of the Chicago Cubs/Cleveland Indians World Series last night.

And she didn’t want to watch it alone…

Sigh.

So, I joined her in watching the game.  Turns out, it was a pretty even match-up (except for that Cleveland pitcher who was more of cyborg than man!)

And, we watched the entire game together.  Including the tarping of the field and through the Tenth inning.  All the way to the end.

Congratulations Cubbies!

And hats off to the Indians.  Both sides appeared gentlemanly and gave it their all.

Unlike the players in the political arena.  The game was peppered with thoroughly nasty political commercials.  And reports of vandalism and violence continue.

No riots or violence were reported following the World Series.

Maybe there’s a lesson which can be learned from this?

chicago_cubs_2016

PS – The Joe Maddon for President bumper stickers will continue for sale on the sidebar through the election.  Joe is the Cubs manager.  All monies raised are donated to a charity of Joe’s choosing (he does this a lot!)

Kaepernick

Regular readers of GiA know I’m no sports fan.  It’s only when a sports figure does something of note (as with many of the Olympic athletes) or does something onerous (as with some Olympic athletes) that it gets my attention.

This Kaepernick guy apparently refused to stand for the National Anthem at the last game.  And, in spite of the firestorm of controversy reacting to his remaining seated, said he will continue not to stand.  Until things change regarding the oppression of Blacks in the United States.

He’s Black.  His parents are White.  He makes NINETEEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND LIVES IN A MANSION.

What could have happened?  What oppression?

A quick search (on Duck Duck Go) regarding the National Anthem situation made it appear his protest was all about injustice done to Blacks.  BLM stuff.  A subsequent search adding the term ISLAM brought forth stories that Kaepernick converted to Islam during the off season – probably because his girlfriend is a radical Islam radio show personality…

Funny how the more narrow Internet search failed to mention this conversion.  And the ‘news’ outlets in the broader version consisted of bloggers and sketchier news outlets (IOW, NOT CNN, NBC and such.  WND for example).

Which brings me to my point.  Many of the folks leaving comments on the National Anthem story demand that Kaepernick be forced to stand.  As repulsive as his behavior my be, forcing someone to stand in ‘free’ Republic doesn’t sound like an appropriate response to me.

I’m a big believer in free markets.  And voting with one’s feet, TV remotes and wallets.  And via Email and post if necessary.

If you don’t want to support this clown, don’t watch his game, buy his team’s foam fingers or products advertised.  Hit ’em where it hurts.

I LOVE this Republic and her Anthem.  Singing along with my hand over my heart sometimes brings me to tears.

But forcing someone to stand – that smacks of fascism, and certainly doesn’t paint a portrait of the Land Of The Free.

I don’t care what religion he is.  But, it IS interesting that the mainstream media has been soft-pedaling that information.

Hmmm.

I Know – I Said I Wouldn’t Openly Support A Candidate…

I’m not.

My good friend Kevin (of the couple written about in these pages –  Tomi and Kevin) asked I post a link to a candidate’s website.

To sell bumper stickers.  @ $10.00 a pop.

For charity, of course!  Which charity?  Joe’s choice.

The candidate is JOE MADDON.  He is the manager of the ubiquitous Chicago Cubs baseball team!

joe maddon

click on photo link to site

(I know, a political candidate and sports?!  Has Guffaw gone ’round the bend?)

Nope.  I support charities and my friends.  And considering the field of already declared candidates, while I suspect he too may lose, he’s probably a better choice than the front runners.

It was he or the big meteor set to collide with Earth…

Befuddling The Hipster

My good friend Old NFO recently posted about playing board games (as opposed to playing electronic, I suppose?)

Of mention was the at one time ubiquitous Trivial Pursuit™.

And this tweaked a memory of mine.

(BTW – I’m not a big game player.  Was never that skilled at chess, and sports are a loss for me, most of you regular readers know.  Perhaps I’ve just not found the right game…?)

Sometime back in the 80s, Trivial Pursuit appeared on the scene.  Being married at the time, the wife commanded we join with other couples to socialize.  And play games.  Sigh.

And Trivial Pursuit was the name of the game.  (Better than Uno, that’s for certain!)

(I’ve made this statement before)  My mind is a veritable cornucopia of useless crap!  Translation – I know a lot of trivia!)

If memory serves me, we played twice, and we won twice!  Then the other couples stopped playing with us for some reason(?)  🙂

My Achilles heel was always the sports questions, unless there was some kind of historical import – then I knew it.

Fast-forward to working at TMCCC.  Once of my coworkers for a while was a hipster.  Calf length pant-shorts (somehow allowed in the dress code), tattoos on arms and legs.  Visible piercings and ear gauges.

And a nice enough guy.  Just not the sharpest spoon in the drawer.  I think he was high during most of high school.

During some forgettable 4 month period, management created ‘games’ for us to play in our ‘teams’.  To create cohesiveness amongst us.  Even though we still we pitted against each other in the real world!

And one of these games was a daily trivia question from – you guessed it, someone’s defunct Trivial Pursuit set.

And I got a sports question:

Whom (I think it said who) did the Boston Red Sox (jokingly) offer to trade for Mickey Mantle in the 1950’s?

Of course, this was also historical, so I knew the answer – Ted Williams!

And tattoo boy was beside himself!  HOW could you possibly know such a thing?  You’re not a sports guy!

I don’t remember what menial award I received for getting the answer correct.  Befuddling the hipster was the best reward.

Things About Which We Have Passion

superbowl_redditExactly!

Most of you know, my Father was sports addict, and as a result (because of my inability to play after the onset of my disability at age 12), I was a sports orphan.

And the culmination of all this for me is I don’t have a passion for most sports.  Watching, playing, appreciating.  Because I can’t play, and because I was saturated with it as a child.

(If YOU love your sports, enjoy!  It’s no problem for me.  But, like religion, please leave it outside my door!)

I oft wondered about the American fetish for the love of team sports – especially baseball, football and basketball.  It’s been explained to me that it has to do with civic pride.  And, of course, friendly bets around the water cooler.

Or the bookie.

Marx says religion is the opiate of the masses.  In this country, the opiate is also sports!  I guess it stops folks from discussing religion and politics(?)

MY passion is the ability to live free.  To make my own choices.  To not be compelled to give to others through the power and force of government.  If I choose to do so, that’s one thing.  At the point of a gun, that’s another.

And, of course, my passion for the love a good woman.

Currently absent.  😦

But that’s for another post…

h/t FB

Is It OVER Yet?

Soccer, aka futbol.

Regular readers know I’m NOT a sports fan.  I have been known, however, to sometimes (glance up from my magazine/smartphone in my chair and) watch AMERICAN football, hockey, baseball, even (shudder) Pro-Am golf (to see Hollywood celebs out of their element).  Usually, this happens because I’m downstairs (away from my own TV) and my roommate has the TV on.

Have you noticed this time the World Cup Soccer matches are not only lasting forever, but have been hyped much more?

What’s THAT about?

Of course, it wasn’t that many years ago that Americans didn’t play soccer.  There were no youth soccer leagues or soccer moms.  It was thought of as something foreign, not part of the American character.  After all, we had real football.

But, money talk$.

And advertisers, knowing many soccer fans have developed in the United States (having been in youth leagues here) or moved here from traditional soccer countries.  And now they drink soda and beer and eat Doritos like other good American sports fans.

My Coke Zero 24-pack now comes emblazoned with a soccer ball on it!  So does my American Belgian Budweiser beer.

And this soccer madness seems to be going on forever.  Longer than the March Madness of basketball that messed up my Hopper’s recordings of shows I wanted to watch!

But now that the Americans lost in sudden death, shouldn’t we resume our regular programming?  And change our packaging back to good ol’ American stuff?

no soccerOn a more serious note, I see soccer as part of this international meddling, like trying to change American jurisprudence to Shariah, and using United Nations rules to govern restrict or eliminate our Constitutional rights.

But, hey, it’s only a game, right?

Dangerous Olympics?

What is the most dangerous sport in the Olympics?

For the uninitiated, the Biathlon involves cross-country skiing, coupled with rifle shooting!

WHAT?  GUNS, and it’s not lethal or damaging?

(stolen from my friend Borepatch)

“Baseball been berry berry good to me!”

chico e(a quote from Chico Escuela – Garrett Morris on SNL)

Most of you know I don’t particularly care for sports.  My father was SPORTS-A-HOLIC, and as such, when he wasn’t watching football, basketball, baseball, softball and hockey he was refereeing/umpiring football, basketball, baseball, softball and hockey (in his off time).

When I became disabled (initially@ age 12) sports were pretty much off the table.  He did try to teach me tennis, however.

After the disability, I became effectively a sports orphan (You’ve heard of sports widows?)

So, the announcement the World Series began Wednesday night last was a big yawn for me.  Fox News did a poll:

Q: The World Series begins Wednesday night. Who will win?

28%   Boston Red Sox

 
30%   St. Louis Cardinals

42%   I don’t care

When I was a kid, the over-emphasized sports thing aside, Baseball -The National Pastime, had fans and followers, even among kids who didn’t really care.  I liked a number of teams, and players.  As my Dad refereed Cactus League games  (Spring training camp games) there was access to famous players.

My Dad even got me an Ernie Banks autographed baseball ! (which I subsequently ruined, not understanding the history or meaning of such a souvenir.)

Hell, I was in grade school, what did I know?

When I saw the Fox News poll, it got me to wondering:  With all the movies, video games, texting, computers, etc., is Baseball still the National Pastime?

Or is it just like so many other things from the mid-Twentieth Century?  A ruined historical souvenir?

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…