Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What madness this March brings

Let it be known, I have not watched a sticth of college basketball this year.  Not because I didn't want to, but rather life seems to get in the way of leisure activities.

You would think this might stop me from laying down $5 on a pool to pick a bracket.  Of course not.  As a college basketball fan from childhood, filling out a bracket every March seems automatic and a requirement of my life.  I spend a few minutes, honestly no more time than it takes to consume a morning cup of joe, placing my picks.  The amount of time I spend picking teams has a parallel relationship to my success, little time = little success.  However, that does not stop the inverse relationship of frustration, little success = big frustration.  Uttering such lines as "I was going to pick them, but…" or "Why did they win?  <Insert picked team> played like crap!"

The largest amount of my time is spent picking the upset, mostly the 12 seeds.  It is a commonly known fact that the game I pick generally is not the one that has the desired outcome.  Instead of wasting my time trying to find what 9 or greater seed is going to be this years Villanova or Butler, I am doing 2 brackets.  One bracket will have all of my "decent" picks which includes upsets, the other will have mostly higher seeds advancing.  I will update everyone on my success with this strategy.

It is with great hope and desire that I wish our one TV can take a break from Yo Gabba Gabba, Finding Bigfoot, and recorded Chelsea Lately episodes for some basketball.  My wife is not the biggest sports fan in the world, but even she appreciates a decent game.

Let the madness begin!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Let the old man drink

Perhaps I need to come up with a new blog name.  As of now, my focus for this blog falls under random.  Any blog posts that would fall under enthusiasm appear to be at the back of my mind.  I am still a Mariner fan and forever will be, however my life is something I know more about than trying to conjure up ways to make Figgins better or improve our trades.

We took on a second dog at Christmas of last year. My wonderful in-laws provided us a new German Shepherd puppy named Hawk.  Overall, the experience has been good, but challenging at times.  If you know our older dog, Basil, he is a complete couch potato and generally loves everyone and everything.  To date, Hawk and Basil are still working out the kinks in this newly created sibling relationship.

We are taking as many steps to put Hawk in his place, largely do to the fact that adult German Shepherds have staring roles on shows like "Cops" for running down and biting other people.  By far, a GSD, is not a first time owners sort of pet.

Much like his aging sibling (Basil turned 8 on Feb 29th) he loves food.  He is overly excited at chow time, so much so that he can barely contain himself.   Every time after Basil eats, he drinks water and the same goes for Hawk.  However, we want Basil to have dibs on the water bowl, so I make every attempt to make sure that Basil has uninterrupted drinking time.  Hawk seems to get this ritual now. To the point where I only need to do is utter the words "let the old man drink" and he backs away until Basil is done.

Now, if he would stop eating his own poop, we would be in good shape.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A "What does it all mean" stage

The title, a snippet paraphrased from the movie "High Fidelity".

I recently passed yet another mileage marker on the highway of life, 38.  I would like to feel that this is not to the mid-life stage, but reality might be setting.  After just leaving the Porsche dealership (Honey, we should talk when you get home) I have decided to funnel my aging frustrations into humor.

For what I hope will be several long-winded segments of how I am trying to bring humor into everyone's life, one post at a time.  This first entry I will describe my true feelings towards Facebook status updates and how I hope to use this tool.  Followed by some ramblings of how I landed on this project.

Much like a politician on virtually any topic, I go back and forth on my true feelings on Facebook.  As we know, social media is a tool that can be turned into a weapon if used carelessly.  Generally, most status updates contain weather updates, proud parent moments, and lately, how religious one must be to be elected president (didn't realize that was so important, but I digress).  I am announcing with a clear conscious that I will be using my status updates to provide humor. That humor will most likely cast myself as the punch line, to which I don't care.

Many events have unfolded in recent weeks where I have realized I take my life for granted.  I get horribly upset at the smallest interruption to my plan. For example, why the F am I sitting in a traffic jam on 405 at 10:30 in the F'ing morning as I struggle to make an appointment on time.  To help explain this mental shift, let's dissect the phrase "it is what it is."  Bare in mind, this dissection with come at the typing hands of someone who relied upon someone named "Cliff" and the notes that he took on major novels to pass high school English courses.  Some may argue that my writing style is similar to a floundering Amoeba, but again, I digress.

"It is", oh boy the subject of the matter.   For the sake of this argument, we look at my previous example of traffic.  It = traffic.  Is everyone staying with me?  Good. "What".  Are we bringing the subject in for questioning?  Am I going to shine a bright light in the face of my subject while calmly smoking a cigarette towering over my subject with rolled up sleeves and the optional use of suspenders?  "It is", Ah ha! Just when I am going to bring the subject into questioning, I am releasing the subject; the subject is now free to leave.  So, the ageless phrases of “it is what it is” can successful bring a mental shift when in the right frame of mind. Sometimes, I set myself to be angry or upset, no matter what I say or do.

Making more attempts to bring humor back into my life should've been focal point all along.  It was washed away in the wave of reasonability heading out into the sea of life.

Here's to a successful year and many more to come!


Friday, March 02, 2012


That was the grand total, donation total, of about 15,000 sports cards and other random pieces of sport memorabilia that I had collected from about 1986 to 1999.

When I look back on the time investment alone, it is beyond depressing.  I always thought I was doing well by keeping unopened boxes of cards and factory sets. I also put together sets, which accounts for the high amount of singles and it was a bitch to get every card.

I even had fun collecting hard to find sets.  I had a Franz bread set of the 1987 Seahawks.  Do you know how much bread I had to eat to create that near mint set?  I also had a 2.5-inch binder of just Griffey's from 1987 to 1991.  I was full of minor league cards and some ridiculous set of home photos that someone made into a set.  There was one set of Griffey's put out by Pepsi.  I had to drink a lot of 12 packs of Pepsi until I discovered where in the pack the card was stored.  Of course, it also contained his mainstream cards.  And, I know I had every Steve Largent card ever produced.  I would spend hours going to through sports card magazine and order cards from far off places like Columbus, Ohio and Kissimmee, Florida.  Back when you had to wait 2-4 weeks to receive your merchandise.

I would send cards to my favorite players.  I would write a letter (by hand if you can fathom that!) and include a self addressed stamped envelope along with my card of chose.  I had almost all my cards of Steve Largent signed by him, along with Curt Warner and other Seahawks.  I never did perform this act for my favorite Mariner cards.

The departure of my cards is overall, a very sad piece of my life's work, but it does complete a chapter of my youth.  They are these stupid materialistic items that one day were suppose to pay for kids college educations and large homes on waterfront property.  Neither one of those goals will be achieved.  Now, card manufactures appear to be embracing the larger global market and printing less cards.  Driving up the price and demand while keeping the supply within reason.  I appreciate their efforts, but selfishly too little, too late for this guy.

On a bright note, I will no longer feel anchored by a metric ton of cardboard.  Since those cards left, I have felt a bit better about myself.  I should also note that not all cards are gone. I hung onto the 1984 Topps Football set and my non-counterfeit Griffey minor league cards and a few other single rookie cards.

As an aside, I started this blog in December of 2011.  I really do need to get back into blogging.