Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday II

Yeah, that effort to get the DC sister's pic from Twitter using the Blogspot app was a failure.  Here's that pic plus one from Woodbury.
And this is the pic I wanted to post of 3 for her birthday recognition.  An old fav.
More here tomorrow.


Well, that was pretty much a lost
Saturday for all the teams that the fam follows. Hawks, 'Clones, Sooners, Irish all lose. None by much, but all on the short side. Is it a victory if ND covered? Meh.

There's a decent article in last week's SI about retiring baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. It is a largely complimentary piece about a guy whom I've never considered that great of a chief executive. He's overseen the steroid era, that notorious tie in the All-Star game, and a seemingly diminished position of baseball as "America's pass time". On the other hand, as the SI story points out, the economics of the game are very strong, and both the players and owners are making big money. Even though you have people always be saying that the game is too slow to watch, the later games in the regular season, and the play-off games are great theater.

Baseball terminology continues to thrive in business. Commentators are always being asked what inning it may be in terms of Fed policy easing (most go with the 8th these days), or the stage of the bull market (7th seems popular now), or the growth left in the China economy (few takers on this one). Government litigators of Wall Street bankers may throw a fastball in one situation, or a curve in another, but may also issue a pass in a less-clear case.

Even the football games yesterday had their share of baseball-coined words and phrases. I heard several times of an offensive lineman who "whiffed" on a block, a quarterback who threw a fastball to a receiver, or that same quarterback who swung for the fences by throwing the home run ball. Passes can be picked-off by the defense, an offensive or defensive coordinator can change-up their schemes, or the head coach can go to the bullpen and change quarterbacks.

(As I write this, I am reminded of 3's recitation of the poem comparing baseball played in a park to football played on the gridiron. Still makes me smile, Kiddo!)

Another interesting read in the SI issue was a typically progressively slanted do-gooder article on homeless high school athletes. The article featured several specific cases of individuals for the reader to digest in between providing statistics on the broader societal problem. One of the recurring themes was that sports provide those kids with a safe-haven, an oasis from their other misfortunes. There's oversight, structure, companionship and goal-setting in the sports activities that are largely absent elsewhere in their lives. Makes sense to me.

I am struck with the dichotomy on the far, other side of the sports spectrum where you have coddled athletes who have grown accustomed to the privileges of their stardom. Phony efforts in class, police blotter appearances, and poor displays of citizenship. There is a ripple in the force when the player moves from the dynamic of the game giving to the individual, to that individual taking the benefits and acclaim derived from success on the field. It ain't always pretty.

SI's moralizing continued on the back page column that lamented the lack of honest problem-solving by the country's divergent political interests. The writer heartened back to simpler times (as today's print industry writers like to do...who wants bloggers and TMZ?), when true public servants could go into a room and come out with a decent compromise. (I'm betting those old guys had just as many partisan postures and skeletons in their closets, but I'll give the guy a pass (drink for baseball analogy) on that one.)

But an interesting point he did make was that live sporting events (and live broadcasts of same) do tend to bring people of all persuasions to the game. Fans of any team can come from every walk of life and every political party. While you may have more liberals cheering for Cal Berkley, and more conservatives rooting for Texas, both places have room for all. (I say that with some doubt about Berkley.). Maybe we need to set up the Cotton Bowl for a Red and Blue game ( a la Texas-OU) and lock the politicians inside until they figure a few things out. (We could do it at the Rose Bowl or Yankee Stadium if Dallas was too far to the right. All of those places should be neutral politically.)

Which brings me to my previously expressed belief that I think my liberal/progressive pal Terry O (he doesn't like being categorized...get over it, friend) and I could go into a room and come up with an answer of some sort to a tough question. Of course, we're not trying to get (or keep being) elected to anything.

Too deep of a discussion. Sorry.

Moving on...

With the passing of that last tax filing date, I hope to reestablish some regularity with the blog. I want to get that story done on Daddy, and there are a few other loose ends to close. At times, this thing has become more of an extended Twitter account, and my current life just isn't that interesting. Not that my history and philosophy are all that great either, but the landscape is a bit more diverse.

Thanks for reading. Make it a great week in your neighborhood.


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Friday, October 17, 2014


Thanks to Cousin Carrie. She is Cousin of the Day! Grandpa Horan would be proud of the gathering. Each of you. Thanks to all for honoring the fam.

Enjoying a purchase from Total Wine here in Scottsdale. Not quite up to that Inglenook from Wednesday, but it's a couple of price-points lower on the the scale.

Go Hawks!!!


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday II

I'm giving this a go while in-flight to Dallas, where I have a brief layover before hopefully making my connection to PHX. My skill set with this Blogger app is suspect. As is Blogger in basic form. My two previous efforts to recognize 3 for her birthday were both hampered by a combination of poor Internet signals at work, and the out-of-datedness of the Blogger platform.

This trip is kinda for business, but I scheduled it several weeks ago when I read the tea leaves and knew that a get-away after 10/15 was going to be needed for a mental health boost. I have some meetings tomorrow for sure. Maybe some tangential stuff on Saturday.

The hat made the trip, of course. I mean, I am passing through Texas, pardner!

My string of pre-approved TSA boarding passes ended this time. Maybe I'm OK just with Delta. Whatever. Minor inconvenience at MLI. I just have a duffle bag for carry-on...and I swear that the hat makes me friends with the TSA minions. But I think I will look into getting the Full Monty TSA clearance for the future. Taking off the shoes, etc. is just a pain in the posterior.

I feel badly that I haven't been able to do a better job recognizing 3 for her birthday this week. Another example of business getting in the way of my LLYWD mantra. And with her on the road herself this week, we'll just have to do something before year end at a time and place where we are both less-scheduled.

Now on the plane to PHX....

Here's a little factoid from my past: I don't think that I went to a high school football game when I was in high school until my senior year. (Keep in mind that my high school didn't play football...we were way too small.) My HS girlfriend was a cheerleader (of course she was!) at the public school and I would go over to their game towards the end of it to be there to pick her up for whatever there was post-game to do.

The public high was a fierce rival and even though I played baseball with many of those guys in the Summer, during the school year, we didn't pal around much. If my gf wouldn't have been at the game, there's no way I would have gone just to watch. My freshman year at ND would have been the first football season that I was actually invested in a team and went to the games.

ND always had a Friday night pep rally before home games. They were pretty well organized and EVERBODY attended. The band would parade around campus and each residence hall would fall in tow behind the band. The destination back then was the Old Fieldhouse, dirt floor and all. There was a raised balcony at one end with a few rows of stadium-seating where the football team and featured guests would sit, facing the standing throng of students on the dirt floor. (I think maybe I passed on the scene senior year, and maybe even as a junior.) It could get pretty wild.

As for the games, the students at ND always sat in the northwest corner of the stadium, with the St. Mary's girls immediately adjacent. (Ergo the chant, "Go back, go back, go back across the road".). I'm not sure when the end-of-game protocol changed to include the team facing the student body from the field, holding hands, swaying and everyone singing the alma mater before heading for the exits. Who actually knew the words to the alma mater? I wonder if NBC came up with that schstick? Back in my day, it was game over? Let's get back to the tailgating or other post-game party.

Present day, whatever the points are with FSU, it won't be enough. Irish won't cover. (If they don't let the FSU quarterback play, ND would have a chance.)

Just to close, Top Five great memories from 3...not a complete list.

1. Wipe-out on the yellow bike near Mercy Park. Circa 1993-4.
2. Organizing the Christmas play at OLOTR. Circa 2000.
3. Wandering away at the Rapid City mall. Circa 1990.
4. Shelly Cotton.
5. All the great visits...C-town, Boston, NYC, IC, Tahoe.

More from the road tomorrow.


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3 is Daughter of the Day!!!


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Love you, Kiddo.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Hectic day here.

I am remiss in not getting a recognition for 3 up here earlier. My apologies, Kiddo.

3 is Daughter of the Day. Happy Tax Birthday!!


Had to do this from the iPad and had limited pics. Sorry.

You are a star, Dear Daughter. Love.


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Monday, October 13, 2014


Just for the sake of letting my vast readership know that life goes on in the QCA, I'm adding a couple of paragraphs this AM before a big effort here on Columbus Day. 

This is also Birthday Week for 3.  She's had quite the travel schedule lately.  Hope the planes come and go on schedule this week, Kiddo.  For the record, my thirtieth would have been in C-town, riding the train, going to school nights to complete the tax master's, banging out returns at 69 West Washington, and catching a few games at Wrigley.  Interesting times, but for what its worth, the next 10 years were filled with highlights.

I felt a little nostalgic with the Chicago marathon in the news yesterday.  That year that 1 ran it left a strong impression on me.  The Loop was St-Patrick's-Day alive, and weaving through town on my bike was probably the most satisfying of my marathon-following efforts.  Not that we need to do the marathon again, but Chicago has to be an FFF destination one of these times.

Let's give props to 2 for her Home Improvement weekend.  She is Daughter of the Day.  I'm impressed with her expanded skill-sets with the tool-box.

So much I could comment on from the weekend sports scene.  Cards win.  NASCAR fights.  Hawks.  Irish.  'Clones.  But not the time to do so.

All for today.  Will jump back on later this week.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014


Just checking in.  Not a lot to report.

Hosting The Winniferous is always an interesting process.  Setting times for walks, other breaks for her to go outside, and having her wandering after me in the house kinda upsets the routine on Maplecrest.  Not necessarily in a bad way, but it sure forces alterations in my little habits.  Pretty sure I was meant to be a hermit.

Yeah, those Cardinals came through again against the Dodgers.  Props to them.  Probably one of the more under-rated sports franchises in the country.  One of the key business decisions that they made three years ago was to not back up the Brinks truck and dump all their money on Albert Pujols, a superstar who had lead the team for a decade.  He went to California who did pay the big ticket.  StL spread the money around, continued to work their minor leagues system, rented a free agent here and there, and, Boom, they stay in the play-offs, year in and year out.

Giving recognition to 3 as Daughter of the Day.  She's spending a lot of time away from NYC on various business trips these days.  It ain't easy working on Wall Street.  This is a shot I took of her on one of my visits to the Big Apple. That being the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, of course.

Gotta say, the blood moon was a letdown.  The full moon at midnight was spectacular.

Had this come through my work email this week.  The Illinois CPA Society has come up with another progressive program to prove its bona fides to the politically correct crowd.  An award for Increasing Diversity?  As a white, Christian, pro-life, heterosexual, veteran, still-tax-paying, National League-believing, Ford Galaxie-owning, conservative, male, I think I qualify.  What a bunch of do-gooding crap.

Hope life is good in your neighborhood.


Sunday, October 05, 2014


Situation normal here with 10 days to go to the filing date.  Progress being made.  Lots of tasks still to do.

We've had a taste of late Fall these last couple of days.  Morning lows in the mid 30's.  No frost.  But those early walks with The Winniferous were made with heavy jackets, gloves and a stocking cap.  The near term has those temps rising so I've left the plants out on my deck for the time being.

NASCAR is in Kansas City today.  The town has had a big week in sports...the Chiefs blew out the Pats on Monday night...the Royals won the wild card game AND the first two games in their series with the Angels.  Looks like a beautiful day down there for the race.

I had College Game Day on here at the office yesterday and on. They were set up in Oxford, Mississippi...home of Ole' Miss.  Ole Miss was hosting Alabama in a big game.  Down the road in Starkville, Mississippi, Mississippi State was hosting Texas A&M in another game of highly ranked teams.  So there was a big storyline about the state of Mississippi.  Leave it to ESPN to bring in Katy Perry as the guest host on the set.

I am only vaguely familiar with this woman.  They've had enough pics on different sites over the years of her in various stages of undress such that I remembered the name.  I couldn't identify one song that she sings if my life depended upon it.

This should be Exhibit #1 to attest that the "E" in ESPN is the most important element of this media giant's DNA.  Entertainment.  The network may emphasize Sports, but with all the efforts made to expand their viewership, no stone is left unturned.

And Katy Perry's interest?  She's a performer.  ESPN offered a stage in front of a big, live audience, and a telecast audience in the millions.  Its the intersection of mutual objectives.

I paid no attention to the chat.  I mean, the show goes on for three freakin' hours.  Its no wonder that they've added fringe pieces to the format.  Why not a personality from pop-culture?  I think the regular announcers knew that the show had left the reservation. (Sorry for that racist reference.)  Exit question:  Do you think that the producers required her to cover up her assets as part of the gig? 

That big win by ND yesterday could be the season's highlight.  They could still lose four games yet this year.  Five if they get a tough opponent in a bowl game.  They have Florida State, Arizona State and USC all on the road.  Northwester and Louisville at home.  Not that I'm a naysayer, but I don't think that they're that good.

Not to be like that annoying elderly citizen talking about what ails them, but my internist has put me on over-the-counter red yeast rice to see if that can bring down my bad cholesterol.  My reading last week was 215.  I guess he had suggested it last Spring after my regular check-up had shown an elevated cholesterol count.  It never registered with me.  I stopped eating chips and gratuitous bread at meals.  Never heard of this supplement before.  It's a Japanese or Chinese remedy that seems to have some history.  We'll see.  I started on it today.  Fries are now off the menu as well.  Boring.

Hats off to my pal Pete for notching his 21st straight month with a 100-mile day on his bike.  He did a tailwind ride yesterday.  The local bike club does a tailwind ride once in the Spring and another time in the Fall.  They bus the riders over to a point against the wind to produce a 100-mile ride coming home.  They must have gone West of Iowa City yesterday as the wind was strong coming out of the northwest.  He was on his bike for less than 5 and a half hours.  That's cookin' with gas.  You da' man, @bcbison!

Enough for today.  Hope its a good week for all.