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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Antici... pation

Dateline:  Lakeville, CT.  

In this Camelot-like environment (if Camelot had a near inexhaustible supply of gin and the world's most therapeutic sauna) The Blogger began to think back upon the last few days and what he had witnessed.   His mind kept returning to that prior Sunday morning, recalling both The Mechanical Engineering Major and The Accounting Major quoting Shakespeare.  Accurately.  How could that be? Had The Blogger still been drunk?  Quite possibly - it wouldn't have been the first time and the prior evening had been long and resplendent with many delights, of which he denied himself none.

Four Days Earlier...
The Batmobile just passed us, Lisa, we must be close to Al's...

If The Content Mountain wouldn't come to Mohammed The Blogger, The Blogger would go to The Content Mountain. Even if that meant accepting The Libertarian's gracious invitation to his clam bake-lobster boil-booze cruise-golforama-billiards marathon. How frightening could it be? Other, more seemingly stable, luminaries would be there.  They would surely protect him from the madness.

As if. 

Thus established the impetus for "The Blogger's Excellent Cape Cod Adventure..."

I don't like being stationary - 
I like the rocky, wavy motions of the sea.
I sit and rot behind these padded walls - 
Hoping one day they'll fall
And set me free.

I used to be a sailor.

During long drives, The Blogger and Bride of Blogger often enjoy the good audiobook.  On this particular occasion, they opted to listen to Nathan Philbrick's "The Last Stand" - a presumably well researched documentation of the events that led up, through and after Custer's battle vs. Lakota Nation at Little Big Horn.  To say that it didn't end well for both General George and ultimately, Sitting Bull, would be an understatement difficult to exaggerate.  

Top 10 Historical Uses of the F-Bomb: #5.  "Where the f*** did all these Indians come from?" (Gen. GA Custer)

But The Blogger did learn many things - principally (1) don't go into battle hammered with subordinates that hate you. And (2) never attack when you're outmanned 10:1 and playing on the opponent's home turf. It also got his mind wandering in other directions, like the recent Indigo Girls concert he'd attended with his patron, R.E. Volk, Esq.  Another song, though not performed, sprung to mind with more than a little relevance:

The Blogger much admired those Indians.  First, they weren't immigrants!  Not that the "we were here first" advantage kept Team USA from laying the proverbial wood to them.

Then there was the wonderful efficiency of their naming methodology.   

  • Crazy Horse. 
  • Little Horse. 
  • Strong Elk. 
  • Younger Bear.  
Brutally descriptive, telegraphic even.

What if Scotchlandia became Scotch Nation (!) and all The Blogger's comrades had tribal names - how cool would that be?  

Some would be easy to predict, like the historically informed Little Waste-y Shit.  Or the mythical Coat Man.  The Blogger's name would be equally straightforward (and fact-based): Drives In Ditches.  

And the volatile Makes No Sense flung his golf weaponry, point blank, at Running Mouth
But the possibilities for the rest of the 'A' Lot tribe could be a fascinating exploration, mixing both insight and behavioral quirks:
  • Bloody Mary Boy
  • Running Mouth 
  • Drinks Too Much
  • Makes No Sense
  • Breaker of Many Winds
  • Putts Like Blacksmith
  • Touches Himself
  • Bad Dancer
  • Sleeps Alone

Knowing the parties involved, the names almost write themselves. 

Exhale.  Get back on topic.  As one evaluates ND's Season 2016, like those speculative tribal names, the team's possibilities are significant.  Beauty... skill... strength of schedule - all in the eye of beholder and perhaps, those that one beholds it with.

Case in point:  ND's offense lost three of it's starting five linemen, including a 1st and 2nd round draft choice; a 1st round game-changing WR plus its other two starters and a 1000 yard rusher - yet the expectation is that it should continue to thrive.

"It's okay, Al, they've all left the Cape. "
The defense will, of course, be watched with a wary eye as it's in rebuilding mode after losing 6/11 of its starters - most notably Butkus Award winner Jaylon Smith.  And most will admit that the 2015 defense wasn't good enough to have to rebuild.

Yet, many an 'expert' are predicting a Top 10 team. Some even going so far to suggest ND to be a strong Playoff contender.

So start preparing those wagers. Bet without regret.

Quote of the Month (maybe the year)

"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked..."
Warren Buffett

This is a metaphor, not a comment on the weekend.  Perhaps about football. Or football wagers.  Or elections. 

Word of the Month

Used in a sentence:   During the halcyon days of summer, before the inevitable injuries and inexplicable plays calls on both the offensive and defensive sides, Young Terry looked forward to the football-related jeremiads of his friends.  While ultimately predictable, they were becoming increasingly insightful and creative.    

What Does 2016 ND Football Success Look Like To You?

Through the oeuvre of Nicholas Cage films:

Which Nic Flick R U?

Why ND Relevant


Raising Arizona

Genius from start to finish. And be honest – you never thought it’d be as terrific as it ended up being.



Über clever direction meets surprising performances even if one is a bit confused by the overall journey.


 Leaving Las Vegas

By all objective measures a high quality performance.  So why does one now feel so despondent?


 Con Air

At times both awful and awesome, but with enough enjoyable lines (and stuff getting blown up) to distract one from the disappointment of what could’ve been something really special.


  National Treasure

Nowhere near great. But one finds oneself looking back on it more fondly than is justified. 

And if no one’s around... satisfying enough that one’ll watch it when it comes on late at night.


The Wicker Man

You've seen this movie before.  Literally.  And you weren't that impressed the first time.  

You're cognizant that you've entered The Disaster Zone - where career legacies are re-written.  And never for the good.


Ghost Rider

Oh dear Lord.   You feel physically ill just watching this – and knowing it’s not an aberrant 'one off' performance.

and under

 Season of the Witch

We’ve fallen and we're not getting back up.  

How incredibly sad.

What's on The History Channel?

But Hope Springs Eternal!  So for all you close-but-no-cigar 2015 contestants who are sure 2016 is gonna be your year...

Recruiting Update!

  • The good news:  Recruiting, especially for '18, is going really very well.  Yay.
  • The bad news:  It'll still never be good enough for ND Nation.  And really not good enough relative to our key competitive set.  It would seem our ability to cheat at an SEC-level or even tOSU standards, is beyond absymal.  Worse yet, our coach simply does not have the inexplicable charisma of the messianic loon in Ann Arbor.
  • The better news, if only to me: our latest recruit is a 4-star stud at the much needed DL position.  Whose name is Darnell.  Which, if you're from the general Boston area, you'll be pronouncing DAH-nell.  (This is not the first time you've read something here and asked yourself, huh?)
Plus there's another D-lineman still on the line from that northern NJ football powerhouse, nay, juggernaut, Pope John XXIII.  I wonder if he knows his school's history?

Schadenfreude of the Montb 
"Celebrating The Misfortune of Other Teams Since 1956"

 1. Phil Mickelson.   The good news is The Blogger is pretty sure he's over his "Anybody But Phil" phase. Sure, FIGJAM will likely never play four consecutive rounds in a golf Major that well ever again and was the very essence of class and good sportsmanship.  And he does have The Blogger's respect and empathy.  

You can't put a price on that.

The bad news is that unfortunately, in the Trumpian vernacular, he is still a LOSER.  But how could one not root for (and appreciate) the 40 year Swede's performance? Other than a couple 3-putts, he made literally no mistakes.  Somebody had to be The Open's 2nd Place finisher.

2. . NL All-Stars.   Because the Cubs winning the World Series without home field advantage will be so much sweeter.

This Month's "I'm Proud of My Industry" moment

"Oh squatty potty
You fill me with endless joy.
Yet leave me empty...".

Terry's Trolls

I got your Brotherly Love right here...
Who hasn't heard the saying, "Idle hands are The Devil's workshop"?  Of course they are - why do you think The Blogger loves the offseason so much?  

1.  Baylor / Ken Starr.    The irony of Mr. Starr's involvement could at times overwhelm the gravity of the crimes themselves.  So savor the ex-president's lack of understanding of either the situation or basic media relations for another time.   
"I'll show you leadership..."

Instead wrap your mind around the cultural failure of an institution ostensibly established to produce responsible members of society.  

If only David Koresh were still around, he'd be saying "How ya like me now, Waco?"

2.  Johnny Manziel / attorney.  When the rest of the world knows you've hit rock bottom and you don't, you're in trouble.  But when your expensive legal counsel unwittingly texts your defense strategy to the Associated Press (including this gem: "heaven help us if one of the conditions is peeing into a bottle..."), you know your judgment is irreparably impaired. el of 

3.  U. of Georgia.   Arrested in March for an alcohol misdemeanor, a Georgia DL,  Jonathan Ledbetter, had his charges dropped (hello, it's the SEC.). Fast forward 4 months and sadly, he was at it again. Happily, he admitted he's got a problem.  For those counting, a total of 4 Bulldogs have been arrested a combined 8 times since November. Not so optimistically, the team has not admitted they have a problem.   


4.  Denard Robinson.  If he wasn't a Michigan Man, this wouldn't really even be noteworthy, other than in the "Tool - Stupid" category.  Found asleep, in his car, at 4am in the morning would be dubious enough (wouldn't it, Ace).  But when said car is in a pond sinking and ultimately found to NOT be drunk, well that's just... interesting.   The best part is - he didn't want to get out of the car! 
Would you check on Denard while you're down there?

Cop:  "Dude, your car is sinking!"
DR:  "No, I'm good, thanks, just a little tired."
Cop:  "What part of SINKING aren't you grasping?"
DR:  "No, really. I'm comfortable."
Cop:  "Well can we at least get you some water wings?"

5.  Dan Turner, aka Stanford rapist dad.  It'd be hard to have missed the case of the Stanford woman raped, given it's high profile after the victim wrote the mother of all condemnations of how swimming stud Brock Turner ruined her life.  A pretty amazing piece of writing.   What you might've missed was the lad's dad writing his own prose - about his son, the convicted rapist, having had his life devastated for "20 minutes of action." Apparently, the lad is wracked with worry, fear, anxiety, depression... Huh? 

So much for the son learning about anything about taking accountability.  But the lad get a stern talking to and a very stressful 6 months in jail while... 

6.  Chris Correa. Former St. Louis Cardinal scouting director receives 46 months in prison for hacking into the Astros scouting and analytics database.  No words for how screwed up the juxtaposition of those two sentences are.  

There's no truth to the rumor that Mr. Correa has already received an offer of employment from the New England Patriots upon his parole. 

(Sorry, Al, couldn't resist.)

7.  Ole Miss.   We started w Baylor and seemingly their clear lack of institutional control on the sexual assault front.  While profoundly troubling,  that's just the Big 12 - kindergarten by SEC standards where One Man's Scandal is Another Man's Best-In-Class case study:
  • 28 violations, 13 related to football
    • among the charges
      • fixing 3 ACT tests
      • booster malfeasance 
      • Laremy Tunsill's nationally televised admission of taking money
"I had a bad stomach so I simply let go..."

8.  Adam Lindin Ljungkvist.  Who? Defender for Pershagens SK soccer team in a lower Swedish league, who was given a red card for, um, passing gas during an argument w the ref.   

I think we need to start paying greater attention to Sweden. 

Buddy's Buddy

This time of year, the candidates for this recognition are almost endless, witness the short-list of finalists:

*  Tim Duncan.  The Big Fundamental... 5-time NBA champ, 3-time Finals MVP, 2-time NBA MVP in 19 years - with nothing but athletic excellence, class, humility and blissfully, keeping his opinions / private life to himself.  The latter possibly being his most impressive achievement. 

* Tom Brady.  Thank you bringing closure to what was a stupid witch hunt to begin with.  Yes, the world hates you and your team (and next time tells the Celtics to send your wife when recruiting elite free agents). Yes, Roger Goodell is a smug autocrat with clear daddy issues.  But you were never winning this fight. So thank you for finally recognizing it.  My guess is the 4th SB ring probably took a little sting out of the decision but your country appreciates you nonetheless.

*  D.B. Cooper.  The FBI closes it's case after 45 years.  Sure you're probably dead but hey, you're the stuff of legends! You got away with it! Sorta.

* Al Brunett.  For so magnanimously - some might say recklessly - opening his home to a band of (near) 60 year old miscreants.  But more because of his awesome wife, Diane. Marrying so far above his intellectual / emotional / psychological station, Alvin, you are the marital Ray Guy of our class.  Bravo

* Andrew  Johnston. I typically don't root for British fat guys with the post-Reconstruction Era beard, especially in Major golf.  But you were having too much fun.  And that nickname of "Beef"... 

But understand this: Buddy liked the ladies.  So coupled with the timeliness of Derek Jeter's announcement of his nuptials to a super-model (duh), it's an easy choice to make The Captain this week's choice. Oh to have been his wing man, eh Bud?

Cocktail of The Month

"Match that innovation, Wharton!"

This being British Open week, held in Scotland... 

The representative film was either the choice below or Braveheart (and my book doesn't seem to have a cocktail equivalent for that one, thank God).

Mrs. Stout-fire
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Directed By Chris Columbus

In the film's titular role, Robin Williams plays an actor who specializes in cartoon voice-overs, showcasing all the high energy hilarity that made him one of Hollywood's most beloved stars.  It didn't hurt that he was cast against America's sweetheart, Sally Field, as his divorced wife looking for help around the house (enter Williams in a wig) even if critics largely derided the film as a sappy slog.

Dude putts like a lady... 
Try a drink that's anything but a drag when you dress up stout with a Scottish liqueur accent. Just watch for lipstick on the rim:
  • 1 oz. ginger liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. honey liqueur
  • 3 oz. milk stout beer
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
Pour the liqueurs over ice in a highball glass and top with the beer.  Stir well and add the cayenne pepper.

Serve with a side of, uh, haggis?

Final Thought - I

As many of you may have recently heard, the Blogger family is having a wedding in 2017. 

Woo hoo!  Liberal Irish, a strong military presence, an open bar... all in a concealed carry state. 

What could possibly go wrong? 

So at the Lyle Lovett show this week, when he cranked up this song, the bride-to-be's mother and I were sure we heard A Sign From God:

"The preacher asked her and she said 'I do'
The preacher asked me and she said 'yes he does too'
And the preacher said 'I pronounce you 99 to Life'
Son, she's no lady, she's your wife."

We love you, Ryan - congrats!  And good luck, Paul...

Final Thought - II

This never gets old for me.  Apparently some white men can jump.