Pup on a bender.

Yep. Iceland again. I have to make a road trip soon. Just spectacular.

So I’m down at my parent’s house yesterday and my mother accidentally let her little poodle Jack out the back door. Jack immediately makes a run for it across the yard, the fields, and into the snake, bobcat and coyote inhabited woods behind their place. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little but believe me when I tell you that Jack would not fare well in the wilderness. Little bro has been raised by my 90-year old parents and would probably be overtaken and eaten by a colony of rabbits or something. Anywho, Jack had vamoosed. Scrammed. Hightailed it for parts unknown. He was gone.

At the time I was standing by the door talking to Mom and The Spark was out in the Jeep, where I’d left him earlier. Mom was a little panic-stricken, so I ran to the Jeep, let Spark out, and yelled, “Spark! Go get Jack!”

Honestly, I have no idea why I did it other than it seemed a good option at the time. I’ve seen Sparky do too many amazing things to doubt him.

At that point The Spark springs out of the Jeep, ears up, and makes a quick inventory of his surroundings. Then he bolts, nose to the ground, zig-zagging across their backyard as I gave chase.

Even with my impressive foot speed I couldn’t keep up, and the last thing I saw was Spark go halfway across the bridge over their lake, make a u-turn, and sprint towards the back part of their property and to the woods beyond.

All I could do was walk briskly towards where Sparky had gone, and for a couple minutes all was quiet. Finally I stopped and listened, but I heard nothing.

And then . . .

In the distance, bursting through the bush, here they came. Jack, with Spark close behind, headed my way. I swear to you that Sparky was herding Jack like a cow or sheep or something. Every time Jack tried to veer off or turn back, Sparky would give him a body bump or an occasional nip to keep him headed in the right direction.

Sparky continued this until Jack was basically corralled directly into my awaiting arms, at which point my flabbergasted mother met me with a leash so she could take Jack back inside.

Of course, my buddy proceeded to receive a ton of attention from both my parents, with ear rubs and plenty of “good boys” all-around. Spark, of course, acted like it was just another day at the office, even though he’d never rescued a poodle in his life.

Sparky, man. He never ceases to amaze me.

Well, good Lord. I guess his heart was in the right place?

Hollywood character actor Dick Elliott. Old people will recognize him.

So yeah, this is the ghost lamp everyone is going all kooky over. It’s in the already spooky town of Salem, Massachusetts. I’ve been to Salem, and although I saw no ghost lamps I’m pretty sure I was haunted by Hollywood character actor Dick Elliott, who grew up there. Anywho, if we didn’t have internet sensations like the Dancing Baby or Keyboard Cat, where would we be really?

PS: Don’t let your grandparents tell you this didn’t happen back in the day. Ask them about Hula Hoops and Coonskin Caps. Oh, and Panty Raids. Those were supposed to be fun.

Ghost Lamp!

Ghost Lamp Close-Up!

Before settling on the Seven Dwarfs we know today, Disney also considered Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful. Is  it me or are these names better? I’d have loved to have seen Chesty and Awful. The mind reels.

A great R&B song from the early 70’s. Great message, and the lead singer is the father of Cuba Gooding, Jr. LOVE it.

(Source)A psychic fatally stabbed himself in the heart while trying to prove his immortality. Clairvoyant Theprit Palee, 25, was performing a folk ritual to honour ancestral spirits when he tried to impress spectators by pressing a sword into his chest in a bid to appear superhuman. But tragedy struck when he accidentally plunged the blade into himself. Horrified onlookers watched on as crowds of rescuers attempted to revive him but he later died at hospital.

Man, tough look for Theprit Palee, huh? There’s nothing worse than killing yourself while trying to prove your immortality. That really blows. Kinda shows you how the ol’ ancestral spirits feel about Theprit, amirite? Yikes. And shouldn’t a psychic have seen this coming? Do your job, psychic.

What? No Sweet Cheezus? Sad really.

Getting Over Losing

Posted: April 25, 2017 in Coaching, Opinion, Sports
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We had a tough loss in our state district tournament a couple months ago, and the other day somebody asked me how long it takes to get over a loss like that. The answer?

Never. You never get over it. Not really.

Ask any coach or player in any sport and they’ll say the same thing, if they’re a true competitor. I remember the very first year I coached, and it was Junior High basketball. We lost a tough game early on, as as I looked back at the team from the front of the bus most of them were quietly chatting, smiling and having casual conversations. However, there were a couple who were sitting by themselves, a serious look on their faces, just staring out the bus windows.

Guess which two players ended up being the best high school players? You guessed it.

Nearly every kid I’ve ever coached has loved to win, but the best players I ever coached hated to lose. There’s a big difference.

I coached in a very successful program early in my coaching career, and we lost in the regional final game. One of our players missed a shot at the buzzer to win the game, and it haunts him to this day. He told me it still crosses his mind more than anyone would imagine.

Back in 1993 I had one of the best teams in Ohio, and at one point we were ranked #2 in the state. We lost a key player a little over halfway through the season, were never quite the same, and ended up losing our very first game of the tournament. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but although it happened over two decades ago I still think about it probably once a week, just going over in my head what I could have done differently.

Trust me, coaches and players are much harder on themselves than any fan could ever be.

That game we lost back in early March? I’ll never watch the game film. Too painful. Same for that game 24-years ago. Won’t watch it, can’t watch it.

Listen, I know some people won’t understand, they’ll say it’s just a game, not life and death, and they’re right. As I’ve said before, ultimately coaching and playing sports is about relationships and not wins and losses.

But that doesn’t make losing any easier. In fact, being close to your players makes it harder.

Losing? We learn to live with it, but we never, ever get over it.

The AdvocateA plan to quietly ban dodgeball and other “target games” from public schools was shelved Tuesday by Louisiana’s top school board.

The sweeping prohibition was in a new set of physical education benchmarks drawn up by nearly two dozen teachers and others.

“Human target games (e.g. dodge ball) and drills that promote aggressive behaviors by attacking and overpowering other humans are not to be permitted,” according to the proposed standards.

Sponsors of the change said they were surprised by the reaction.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be an issue,” Kathy Hill, a member of the committee, said a few hours after the meeting.

First things first:

Secondly, Ms. Kathy Hill can go straight to hell. Dodgeball is the greatest game on earth. I bet little Timmy Hill is one of those kids that stand in the back during the dodgeball game, afraid to get hit, while the real go-getters just try and pummel the crap out of him. I also bet Kathy runs to his defense every time he faces the tiniest bit of adversity. Bravo, Louisiana State School Board. Bravo.

PS- Hey, I’ve told you of my love for dodgeball in the acclaimed blog Dodgeball: A Microcosm of Life. Do yourself a favor and read it, man.

Yep. And as you can read below, you can own a pair for a mere $425. Honestly, what kind of a moron would buy these? Number one, why would you want to wear pretend-dirty jeans and look like a homeless dude? Number two, why would you spend $425 on them? On a related note, people are dumb.

“Meh. Could’ve used a little tabasco sauce.”

Reuters: DNA tests on the carcass of a crocodile shot in Zimbabwe have confirmed that it contains the remains of a missing South African hunter, an investigator has told the BBC.

Scott Van Zyl was killed last week on the banks of the Limpopo river, said Sakkie Louwrens, director of a South-African crime-fighting NGO. He said Mr Van Zyl disappeared during a hunting safari last week.

His death is the latest in a series of fatal crocodile attacks in Zimbabwe.

Mr Louwrens told the BBC that Mr Van Zyl had gone on a hunting trip on the Zimbabwe-South Africa border with a local tracker and a pack of dogs. He said the pair left their vehicle and went in different directions in search of crocodiles.

A search and rescue operation was launched after Mr Van Zyl’s dogs returned to their camp without him.

I can imagine the dog’s conversation after the croc grabbed this guy:

“Well hell, Ernie, looks like that croc ain’t playin’. Think we should try and help?”

“Hell no. Let’s head back to the truck.”

Honestly, I have no sympathy for this guy. Anyone who messes with animals of any kind, wild or not, deserves a good old fashioned mauling. Same for bullfighters, man. I love it when the bull just gores the bejesus out of some dope with a cape.

PS- I’m no expert in the area of hunting dangerous animals but it seems like splitting up would be a bad idea. You know, maybe keep a friend with a gun handy. Just sayin’.

His last song.

So damn good. Listen.

With alt legend and former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg.

My favorite Tom Petty song.

Yesterday was Glen Campbell’s birthday. In addition to being one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived, he was an amazing singer. Before he hit it big later in the 60’s, Campbell played on recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Phil Spector. He even toured with the Beach Boys. After that he had an amazing solo career that included the songs Gentle On My Mind, Galveston, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights. In 2011 he released an album called Ghost on the Canvas that included collaborations with guys like Paul Westerberg (writer of the title track), Jakob Dylan, Chris Isaak, Rick Nielsen and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. Great stuff.

In 2011 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, and hasn’t performed since 2013. Anyway, Happy Birthday to the great Glen Campbell, an incredible and sometimes forgotten music legend.

Here he is in the late 00’s still sounding great. At the bottom is an even more recent song. Good stuff for real music lovers.

Wichita Lineman

Galveston (unbelievable guitar solo)

By the Time I Get To Phoenix / Galveston

Gentle on My Mind

Finally, here’s “Ghost on a Canvas” written with Westerberg.

Dr. Ruth, whose real name is Ruth Westheimer, was trained as a sniper by the Israeli military. She was also a Holocaust survivor, but you probably know her as a world famous sex therapist. Hell of an interesting life right there.

 

 

Yes, they call them that. Seriously. Promposals. I have no idea when they started but they’re a fairly recent phenomenon, kids asking each other to the prom in various outlandish ways. It just has to be an elaborate spectacle, because doesn’t everything these days? They do it for homecoming too, or as they call it, “HoCo.” Anywho, here are a few examples, along with my grades:

Grade: F. Yes, that’s a tattoo. And yes honey, your moron boyfriend in fact DID take it too far. Good God.

Grade: D+. The only one saving this one is the donuts. Donuts is good.

Grade: D-. Is that a cheese pizza? Just a poor effort all-around.

Grade: D-. Seriously? Votive candles in the driveway? Too easy.

Grade: D-. What is this obsession with food?

Grade: C-. Wait. Are the shoes a gift? I’m confused.

Grade: F–. I’m sure the girl’s parents were thrilled with this stunt. Dude has creepy perv written all over him.

Honestly, I suppose it’s a relatively harmless thing really, provides some fun for the kids and whatnot. Still, why does everything have to be such a production these days? Is it because there’s pressure to top your friends on social media? All flash and glitz, but where’s the substance, man? Sure, you can set off fireworks or have a write your prom invitation in the sky with one of those skywriters, but what happens after all the excitement? At some point you’re going to have to, you know, hold a conversation or something.

Let’s go back to my high school days. My girlfriend Tonya and I are sitting at the Fiesta Drive-In, watching Shriek of the Mutilated (actual movie- look it up) or something. We’re enjoying a tasty pizza and a couple Stroh’s Yoo-hoos when the following conversation ensues:

“Hey, the prom is next Saturday. Wanna go?”

“Sure. Hey, can you run to the concession stand and get me some Hot Tamales?”

Sorta like that.

What can I say? ‘Twas a simpler time.

Cool.

From Invisible Paris: The world’s oldest surviving basketball court can be found in the basement of a building in Paris. But how did Paris come to be the earliest home of a sport invented in America? To find the answer, you need to push open the doors of a YMCA hostel on the Rue Trévise. The recent Heritage Days event gave us the opportunity to discover a little-known location – and a Paris claim to fame  that few people are aware of. Yes, the oldest surviving basketball court in the world really is in Paris, France.

WHAT? C’est absurde! What in the name of Naismith are they spewing at us? I call bullshit! Personal foul! You can’t tell me there’s not an older court in Indiana or Kansas or New York City or somewhere that’s not older. Hey, we invented the game, man, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a bunch of Frenchies lay claim to this. Damn it, Trump, get this straightened out so you can claim your first presidential victory. ‘Murica!

Poles, schmoles.

PS- Best thing France has ever given America?  Pepe Le Pew. Pepe Le Pew is awesome. Thank you and goodnight.

First, the tattoo:

OK, first I thought that was a conch shell, but after reading his comment I realized Anthony Brown had a damn potato chip tattooed on his shoulder. Listen, I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure the century old expression “chip on his shoulder” wasn’t referring to a tasty snack treat.

PS- I actually looked up the expression and although it’s too boring to get into, it does not refer to a potato chip. Oh, and the 189 refers to the # at which he was picked in the draft.

PPS- Is that a Pringle or a Ruffle? Maybe a Lay’s Wavy? I’m so confused.

Beautiful.

Man, that snake scared that bro shitless, amirite? Poor dude leaped like he’d seen a Komodo Dragon, man. Seriously, it was every man for himself there for a second. But seriously, did you see that snake leap through the door? Holy crap, that was a snake on a mission. A mission to kill. On a related note, by the end of the video the original guy at the door was 3-blocks away. He gone.