TBT: 1989

So I watched bits of the seventh game of the World Series last night and for those of you who missed it . . . the Giants won.

Yay . . . I guess.

This is the third time in five years that the Giants have won the World Series.

Who knew?

I certainly didn't.

Honestly, the last time I remember watching a game of the World Series was when the Giants were playing the A's and there was a major earthquake.

I wrote about that yesterday, but it bears mentioning twice.

Especially since half my audience doesn't read the football blog anyway.

Also, watching games on the telly, I learned that they are now keeping track of the pitch count for every pitcher who takes the mound during the game. I'm sure that's an important statistic, but not one I've ever been aware of.

Also, they switch pitchers out a lot.

I don't remember that happening so much in 1989.

I remember a pitcher would be on the mound for like seven or eight innings and then if there was a hint of fatigue, some big scary guy would come out to finish the game.

Closing pitchers always seemed to have the most amazing facial hair.

Anyway, I got all nostalgic about that particular year. The year the A's beat the Giants in the World Series, so I typed 1989 into my brower and hit enter.

Normally if you do that for any particular year the first thing that comes up is websites that list all the interesting things that happened during that year.

But try doing that with 1989 right now and all you'll get is the new Taylor Swift album "1989"

Miss Swift is clearly more interesting right now than the Battle of the Bay, Michael Keaton's Batman, or the piano man insisting that it wasn't actually him that started the fire.

Miss Swift's album title is a reference to the year she was born. Which means she's 25 years old and is now elligible for a reduced premium on her car insurance bills. Of course, that also means she can't mooch off of her parents Health Benefits any longer so it's a bit of a wash.

I turned 13 in 1989. Right in the middle of middle school. I definitely sported a mullet, albums that year I listened to over and over were U2's Joshua Tree and Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting"

It wasn't all fun and games though. I had my first kiss, but was dumped a day later. George Bush Sr. was the new president and I was still 365 days from being able to swim without adult supervision.

So yeah . . . times  were tough.

I wrote my first short story that year. Something about a spooky guy on a train.

The only thing I really remember about that story is that I had the main character in a bar and he ordered a drink "straight-up on the rocks"

I remember my father had to correct me by letting me know that straight up meant without ice, and on the rocks meant with ice. But . . . he continued . . . how would I know that?

How would I know?

In my social studies class the year before we did an informal study of the 1988 election where the teacher had us bring in newsclippings, ads, or articles relating to one candidate or another. at the end of the month (October 1988) the teacher sorted the piles of print between the candidates and ended up with the very specific number that there were 75 articles for Dukakis and 56 articles for Bush.

I don't know why I remember those numbers exactly.

But based on the count, my teacher predicted with reasonable assurance that Dukakis was going to win based on his larger percentage of media attention.

I remember finding that very cynical at the time, even though I didn't really know what cynical meant.

Either way, she was wrong.

I wonder where she is now, and how she feels about Super PACs.

Anyway, 1989 was also the first debut of The Simpsons.

Awe yeah.

Gosh, I remember some kids in my school being slightly shocked that I was able to watch it.

It was that subversive.

Now I let my nine year old play Call of Duty and think nothing of it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that him and his buddies have been sneaking onto their iPads and looking at pictures of naked girls.

We didn't have naked girls back then.

But we did have Peggy Bundy. And that was so much, so much better.

1989 was the year I read Ender's Game. It was the year I started playing guitar. It was the year I got my first mountain bike (A Trek with automatic Shimano gear shifters which was stolen eight months later at my highschool). I didn't smoke, I didn't drink, I played a lot of Tetris, my favorite candy bar was 'Big Hunk' cause it lasted a long time and there was a lot of it.

I was still at that age where mixing sodas in your Super Big Gulp cup was a cool thing to do.

I had a paper route at one point, which lasted exactly one month.

I was not aware that I was responsible for collections and I think I gave up knocking on doors after two or three dog barks and took the $7.49 that I made that month and considered it a lesson learned.

I think that that also began my life long hatred of getting out of bed.

Maybe my sour faced cranky don't you dare touch me attitude before 9:37am isn't because of genetics. Maybe it was getting screwed by the Contra Costa Times.

Some scars never heal.

1989 is kind of hard to pin down. it was pre-Internet, pre-Clinton, pre-Reality TV, pre-Grunge, pre-cellphones, pre-NineEleven, the last little bit of the cold war when we started worrying about the Japanese taking over, but at least another decade before the chinese bought so much of our consumer debt. Everyone was fighting over oil. Go figure.

But a gallon of gas was .97 cents.

A quarter of a century is a long time ago . . . I guess.

I do remember, most of all, the feeling that I was destined for great things. I had no idea what, but I was pretty sure that awesome was bound to happen eventually.

I still feel that way, so I guess 25 years isn't as much a distant past as it is an earlier wave.

With that note, it's an important reminder that the "Wave" was cool at Candlestick in 1989.

It is not cool at AT&T Park now.

For some reason.

The 40ft POST: Garbage Time!

So last night I had the game on . . . and you're thinking  "What?"

Yes, I know there wasn't any football on, but it was game six of the World Series, or as I like to call it "The American and Sometimes Canada Series", and I was interested to see if the Giants were gonna take it or if the Royals were going to push the series to Game 7.

Spoiler Alert: The Giants did not have a good game.

Anyway . . . three things occured to me.

The first was that . . . and you might be shocked to hear me say this . . . the last time I was aware of which teams were playing in the World Series . . . the last time I was reasonably aware that the World Series was even happening . . . 


The A's vs the Giants.

The Loma Prietta Earthquake Series. 

That's a quarter of a century ago, for anyone who cares to do the math. I will not go into details about what also happened that year, but I will point out that that was the year my father was just about the same age as I am now. Whoa.

I obviously haven't been tracking baseball, like at all, but the reason I was marginally interested this time is because whenever NPR starts reporting Ebola or the Middle East, I switch the dial over to ESPN radio. I do this because I wanna listen for any football insights I can glean, maybe get an edge over my other Fantasy Bretheren, and obviously so I can write a better blog.

But since the World Series is going on, that has pretty much overtaken the conversations, so my interested has been piqued . . . so to say. My appetite whetted.

Yet, secondly, I have had nothing but football games drilled into me for the passed twenty weeks, so I also noticed that after every base hit, I was automatically on edge waiting to see if a flag had been thrown.

I will never get over those three TD's called back on Percy Harvin the night I lost what should have been an easy match. It was my own private Guantanamo Bay.

There is a little black and white leprechaun running around in my dreams screaming "Pass Interference . . . Offense . . .  Ten Yard Penalty . . . Repeat Third Down."
Anyway, so I had the game on last night.

And . . . spoiler Alert . . . this was not a close game.

KC basically said "Go ahead, bitch, get complacent about your bull-pen decisions."

So the third thing that occured to me as the Giants were staring down a ten run deficit, was that garbage time really sucks.

For everybody.

Everybody except those few fantasy football owners that needed James Jones to have a big day.

Or the guy that had Cutler loaded up this week. (That guy was me . . . by the way)

But it sucks for everybody else. I mean it even sucks for the winning team. They have to sit there and twiddle fingers until the time runs out. They also have to decide whether or not to keep in their starters and risk injury or toss in their secondaries and risk a closer game.

Even fantasy geeks shiver a bit during garbage time. I mean . . . it could be a boon . . . (Cutler) . . . or your guy could get pulled at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Or . . . the worst thing that could ever happen . . . your guy gets injured on a day when he's already had monster stats. I will point out specifically the 2012 year when Belechick left Gronk in when they were so completely far ahead, and Rob got a broken arm, probably ruining their play-offs, and Gronk's 2013.

I had that moment on Sunday when Foster had already gotten his biggest game of the year, the Texans lead wasn't going anywhere, and they didn't put him on ice. Seriously, run Blue, I'm good.

And speaking of good . . .

Of course the big news is the Big Ben game. Okay . . . so yay . . . er whatever. Actually, I'm not that complacent, I really liked Ben this year with all the talk about letting him do his thing and it shows every single time the back office lets that happen. I was drooling over Antonio Brown pre-draft, but he kept getting sniped before I pulled the trigger. And I have a really wierd amount of Steeler fans in my family considering that no one I really know has ever actaully been to Pittsburgh. So yay.

But I think the real fun bit was Monday Night when cuddily little Colt McCoy and a non-complacent Washington defense handed the Cowboys what will likely be the greatest upset of the season.

Sorry Steve.

But these are the games I love to watch cause I love that moment when the tide turns and the underdog gets some wind beneathe their wings. This particular moment was when Murray got stripped of the ball, lost possesion, and then Colt connected with DeSean a play or two later to put the Redskins in the Redzone.

Cool stuff.

Get well Romo.

and speaking of getting well . . .

Actually aside from the foot of one very dissapointing Muscle Hamster, the injury list was pretty light. Romo went down off a viscious hit, but then fought his way out of the locker room and back onto the field (Though, that might have gone down as the dumbest, most reckless, career ending decision ever.)

You don't mess with back injuries . . . trust me.

Rodgers pulled his quad in the middle of game which may have been the reason the Green Bay didn't totally dominate New Orleans, but he still threw for 412 yrds (with no help from Nelson). I actually think it was Ingram who won that game, but we'll get to that in fantasy land.

And Brian Quick is out for the season. Which is both very sad and gonna make the Rams Niners game interesting.

Good news is that players are making their way back into line ups. RGIII, Megatron, possibly Jennings (oh please oh please Jennings), AJ Green is ready to dominate again and we might finally get to see what Clowney can do. The dude has mentioned how much he is dying to hit people, which doesn't sound very nice, but that's his job.

So last week it was the show-down in the desert that I thought was going to be the kicker. And it was. McCoy had 80 yards against the toughest run defense, and Fitzgerald looked like Fitzgerald. Sproles was a non factor, but Maclin was insane, which, I know this sounds wierd, but everytime I watch Foles play, I think that there is no way this guy is a Top 12 QB, and yet every week he throws up some serious stats. I might have to takes notes this week, cause there's a good chance that Yahoo is just making things up.

Anyway, the game I'm most interested in is the Niners vs the Rams.

It seemed like they just played one another and last game I had really expected to see the Niners start to revert to their tried and true Ground and Pound mantra and they did just the opposite. Though I counted at least four receptions in that game that defied physics, especially that one where Kaepernick was nearly horizontal and flicked the ball to Boldin in the end-zone even though there were clearly fifteen defenders between the two. The Safeties and Corner Backs might just as well have been made of smoke.

It lead me to make the comment that when the Niners run, they win (Weeks 4&5). When the Niners don't run, but get lucky, they win (Weeks 1&6). When the Niners don't run, and don't get lucky, they lose . . . hard (Weeks 2,3,& especially 7).

Now, if I was paying attention to such things and had any part in the decision making process, I might consider rolling with the run a bit more. Cause getting lucky isn't exactly easy to practice. You've got a machine in Gore, and THE best back-up in the NFL in Hyde. You've got massive high percentage bodies to throw to in Davis and Boldin and you have a few wide receivers that aren't getting any seperation. How is "Go Long" even in your vocabulary?

The caveot, of course, is that their defense isn't fully back yet. Which means they have to have a high octane offense cause of how burned they're getting in the secondary, so I get it. With Willis, Bowman, and Aldon Smith still hanging with the players wives, I understand how they'd want to try and get down field quicker.

But with Brian Quick out of the picture and Kenny Britt not beating anybody I think we're going to start to see the Niners trying to slow this game down and get ready for a monster playoff bid.

If anything else, we're going to get to see what ever kind of adjustments they've made during the bye.

which leads us to . . . 

Still lovin Carr. I hope hope hope that next year they surround him with a bunch of hungry angry criminally young players next year. He, more than any other quarterback in the league deserves a win.

I think that might be it.

Go Giants.

ForFuns League (4-4) 5th place
ForReals League (5-3) 3rd place

This was a weird week. I fully expected to lose the one I won, and win the one I lost.

See, in my ForFuns Team everyone played great. They didn't play quite as well as my opponent (who had Antonio Brown and Jeremy Maclin.)

But all my guys beat their projections. Except, darn it, Michael Floyd. That was a really painful doughnut. Especially considering that I had LaFell on my bench. (one little switch and I would have won the game.) But that's how this game goes. I don't feel too bad, I may be fifth in the league, but have the top score in overall points by an insane margin, so my chances are good when I make the playoffs.

I was not so sure about my ForReals Team.

I was going up against the number three team and the projections were a dead heat. (I don't know why I even bother looking at that number, it's never close, but I can't help it) If any one part of my team tanked I was not getting the "Double You"

Cutler was my first worry. New England hadn't been dealing a lot of points to opposing QBs and last week he was so terrible that I thought this might be the turning point where I was going to have to treat him like Eli.

At the end of the half he was only at ten points and I couldn't watch anymore so I took my son to the skatepark and skipped sports for an hour listening to a podcast of "This American Life"

But, thanks to garbage time, I got 38 points out of my wayward son and since he is hitting the bye this week, I don't even have to think about him til November.

Foster felt good, did awesome. Golden Tate felt good, did awesome. Nelson felt great, tanked (How exactly does Rodgers throw for 412 yrds and only 20 of those go to Jordy?) Joique felt good, he was okay. And I went for Jace Amaro in the TE spot, cause there weren't a lot of options while Donnel was on Bye, it was a bunt, but it got me on base. And then there was Ingram.

Now Ingram was the first Hype player I ever drafted. The year was 2011, Ingram was a first round draft pick and a Heisman Trophy winning RB. At the time, gosh I was so young, I didn't know about things like avoiding rookie RB's (Sankey), or what exactly an RBBC was and how terrible it is for the fantasy game.

When I finally understood what "The Dreaded RBBC" was, my season was already lost.

Since that time, I have sorta sat quietly and hoped that either Ingram would break out, or he would get traded away to a team that wants to use an RB. But nothing happened, he was called out for being too slow, and then he was injured, but I never gave up that twinkle of hope.

But I've been thinking about the RBBC a lot. Not only as it pertains to the Fake Game, but also what it means in the real game.

I mean, as it pertains to the fake game, it's hands off. You could go crazy trying to decide between Ridley/Vereen, or Bush/Bell, or Jackson/Spiller, Bradshaw/Richardson, Mojo/RunDMC, Johnson/Ivory, Ingram/Thomas, Miller/Moreno.

Of course we know now, but we were all just a bunch of Jon Snows in August.

And the obvious reponse is that REAL coaches don't care about your fantasy teams.

They care about winning. They care about things like the "Hot Hands" and "Fresh Legs" and "Limiting Carries"

So this year, I identified the teams that really push the RBBC. I won't go through the list, but it's essentially ten teams

And after watching closely I'm starting to think they're wrong. And wrong by a lot.

See, what an RB needs for a big game is carries (obviously you say) But what he also needs is time. time to read the defenses, time to get warmed up to the flow of the game, and it may sound linguistically counter inutitive, but a rushing attack slows down the game. It's not a sexy as a 59 yard long play, but a good RB with a decent OL can get you 3.5 yrds per carry. That puts you 10.5 yards at the end of the third down. That's a first down . . . just about every time.

Commiting to the run gets you down field. How you handle the Red Zone is a toss up.

But RB's get hurt, so wouldn't rotating them make sense?

Yes, injuries occur often, but it happens a lot more to the guys who are pushing too hard. And no one pushes harder than an RB in an RBBC.

For instance, of the ten teams I picked as RBBC teams, seven of them are dealing with injuries this week. And I'm not even including the Jets because Chris Johnson is useless but not technically hurt.

But aren't they winning games?

Well . . . no . . . only four of them have winning records and Buffalo is the only team without a Top 5 Quarterback.

But what would happen if they just decided to go with a main RB?

Hmm? Well . . . that brings us back to Ingram doesn't it?

The Saints, unsure about rookies Cook and Robinson, and without Sproles, put Ingram into their battle plans this year and he got off to a great start.

But then broke his hand.

Not a season ending break, but the kind of break that says he's not coming back for four weeks, time to waive him and pick-up a backup kicker.

Anyway, when I saw him on the wire, I decided to take a bet. I can't use him for at least three weeks and he's probably not gonna do well that first week back, and if Khiry blows it up, then it's back to the old RBBC and I might as well have gone with a kicker. But he's going against soft defensive lines in Week 8 and Week 9, right when I roll into Bye Week Black Hole, and what if?

What if?

The What If turned into a perfect storm of injuries, soft defense, and a little trust from Coach Peyton.

Now, I'm hoping to see something like that again this Thursday, and I'm hoping to see if they're going to ride his coat-tails into the off-season. And, just because I'm human, I hope he secures a super great contract this year from a run first and ask questions later team.

That would be a lovely Fairy Tale, wouldn't it?

and speaking of Fairy Tales . . . 

Cutler sobers up and gets three TD's to Bennet, Forte and Revis. (Yup, 3TD, Bennet, Forte, And Jefferies, and though he didn't throw a pick-6 to Revies, the Pats Def grabbed a fumble for a TD, so I was pretty close)

Daniel Thomas gets a TD and Miller owners freak. (Nope, but he did get some serious carries)

Carolina beats Seattle (So close, and notice how relevant Jonathon Stewart became.)

In DET vs ATL the annnouncers won't shut up about moving an NFL team to London. (I have no idea since I was geared up for this game happening at 6:30PM and not 6:30AM, so I didn't see a thing)

Harvin goes for 100 yrds and gets in a fight with Vick on the sidelines. (28 rushing, 22 rec, 144 kick-off return) No fist fight with Vick, but, if you recall, I did say it ws only a matter of time before Vick runs for 82 yards, he got 69 on Sunday.

Ingram and Newton have more than 200 yards combined on the ground

Eli Manning has the best game of the year but is only loaded in 3% of FF teams.

Raiders Beat Seattle in Seattle

80 Total points in the New England/Denver Game

Michael Floyd has a comeback game, but only if I bench him for Lafell.

That's it for now boys and girl (Hi mom!), and remember . . .

see a penny, pick it up, and all the day, you'll have ebola.

HTT: How To Skate Park

I feel a little silly saying this, but my son's new thing is skateboarding.

I mentioned it before, in The Most Dangerous Five, but I kinda sorta thought it was going to be one of those 'Try it' one or two times and get bored.

But the skate park has now become THE destination, after homework is finished and before I have to start dinner.

What's really weird is the evolution of this interest.

I mean, like all kids, there was that one christmas where he absolutely had to have a skateboard. he tried it one or two times that January, and then the skateboard got put away in the garage (the black hole of outdoor intentions) and simply wasn't thought about again for years.

Then, three years later and about four weeks ago, his cousin introduced him to a skateboard video game. Which lead to skateboard clips on the YouTubes, which lead to an innate desire to gear up and grind some rails.

Now . . . here is the reason people who wish to live a life of relative sanity should not have children.

If you were to mention, out loud, that movies, video games, and rock music inspire children to make bad decisions, I would laugh in your face and I would call you "Shut Up Tipper" for the rest of your life.


Even if I were to die before you, you would still receive christmas and birthday cards addressed to "Shut Up Tipper"

That's how strongly I feel about such nonsense.

But then I had children.

And I still feel the same way, but I never in a million years would think that a video game would inspire outdoor activity in the heart of a nine-year old. And even if it did, he would quickly learn that skateboarding isn't as easy as it looks and give up after about an hour.

But . . . well . . . no. He's hell bent on learning to jump curbs.

He's going to be an interesting adult.

Anyway, so now the Skate Park is the new thing. And thankfully, such a thing exists. We didn't have those when I was that stupid. Back in my day, when there were 7-Elevens and before the invention of kale, we had to find underground parking lots and empty swimming pools. Now the municipal skate park is located between the library and the indoor soccer field. It's open to the public for free, it's clean, well lit, and there are only a few reasonable rules posted:

Must Wear Protective Gear.
No Skateboarding after sunset.
No Smoking.
No Drinking.
No Koreans.
No Bicycles.
Yes on Prop 8.

What isn't posted, those things that would be most helpful, are skatepark etiquette, how to avoid death, what to expect when your progeny wants to be more like Tony Hawk than the kid you want him to be. You know . . . quiet . . . at the kitchen table . . . eating vegetables.

So for this week's How To Tuesday, pop in those ear buds and crank some Bad Brains to 6.5 and lets dive into a little lesson on Skate Parks:

Rule Number One: Protective Gear.
Find a way to make protective gear cool. Show your kid videos of how the pro-skaters do it. Also, and this is true, let them know that they'll get better faster if they wear elbow and knee pads. You think that's crazy, but the kid who is not afraid of falling down will learn the limits of his coordination easier. Also, ridicule the other kids for not wearing protective gear. We started calling them stupid-heads, which has escalated to jack-asses, and will eventually go as high as fuck-wits.

Even though Calvin gets teased by the neighborhood kids for wearing his helmut, he's a pretty good sport about keeping it on. And when he doesn't wear his knee pads and comes home crying with bloody road rash, I can laugh at him.

Rule Number Two: Pick a Lane.
There are all kinds of kids at all kinds of developmental levels learning tricks or showing off. Since your kid is most likely going to be spending time just learning a basic Ollie, make sure he/she does that off to the side and not right in the middle. There have been a few harrowing moments where I've watched a few older kids bail hard because they didn't want to crash into my nine year old.

However, it's important to note that middle-schoolers are total dickheads and high schoolers are stoned. The middle school kids race around on scooters (not skateboards) and will cut in and around the park with little regard to where everyone else is. None of them wear helmets. Their's will not be a good death. 

The high schoolers will sit in the corners for 20 minutes and then just decide to attempt a ramped kick flip out of nowhere. Tough to predict. But leads us to number three.

Three: Yes . . . there will most likely be a drug deal going on at some point.
There will be a bunch of kids racing around and then suddenly all is quiet and there's that one big kid with frizzy hair that shows up and stands with his back against the fence while everyone recedes to the corners to queue up, passing by the frizzy haired guy, slowing down, stopping, and then zooming back to the corner.

And you're gonna look at that and say to yourself, Oh My God . . . that's like totally a drug deal, and it's like totally happening fifteen feet from my baby boy . . . and Jesus Christ . . . was I that obvious at that age?

And the answer, unfortunately, is yes . . . Yes you were that obvious at that age.

The good thing is is that you . . . yes you . . . look like a narc. Your total lack of cool is a dead giveaway.  The stoners are going to be watching you with suspicion that looks a lot like intimidation, but it's all bravado. Stare 'em down hard and they'll back off quickly. Kids these days are scooter riding bitches.

Number Four: Pick a Soundtrack
I mentioned Bad Brains before, and you can definitely go the classic punk route. Skating is frenetic so speed and recklessness pairs well with The Ramones and Black Flag. You can always tell the dude with Bob Marley on shuffle cause he's the guy that moves more like a figure skater than a hockey player. I prefer the industrial of the early 90's, of which you only need to go out and get Downward Spiral. There is no single industrial album ever made that comes anywhere near it. The genre has been mastered.

Oh, and most importantly, always have some Ted Nugent. It's like a secret handshake.

Rule Five: Stay Hydrated.
Do I need to explain?

Rule Six:

and easily the most important rule.

No matter how much you want to . . . do not get on that board.

you will fall, and you will die.

Yes, you remember how easy it was back when all your joints were well lubed and you only weighed 135.

That's not you now.

You're not that guy any more.

But you're gonna want to get on that board and just maybe take it for just a little trip. Maybe just up and down the sidewalk. Just recapture a moment in time.

Don't do it.

You will fall.

And you will die.

And do you really want another man teaching your son how to play squash, or build furniture, or make the perfect pie crust?

No . . . you do not.

Stay off that board.

And lastly, try to remember that the skate park is not forever. He'll get bored.

Unless he doesn't. But soon enough he's really not going to want you there anyway, cause he's not going to be able to buy drugs while his dad is sitting on a park bench bobbing his head to Nine Inch Nails.

Man . . . you were so cool once.

This May Take a Few Minutes Five

I've already noted that it's Update Season.

The time of year that fall is supposed to rear it's beautiful head, but it doesn't cause I live in the land of perpetual Hot August Nights.

The time of year that people feel the need to start decorating.

The time of year when all of your electronic gadgets get shiny new operating systems.

Now, also, as I mentioned before, I like to stave off updating for a least a month or so so I can wait till all the bugs are worked out.

That is what I like to do.

But unfortunately, once in a while, the shiny new system is designed in such a way as to thwart my attempts at gathering moss and insist I roll with the rest of the stones.

In this particular case, my iPad wasn't syncing with my iMac, so if I tried to make edits on an essay in one room, those edits would not carry over to the other room.

Very frustrating.

But a simple fix.

I just needed to update my junk.

However, I noticed a real suburban problem when I did this.

While everything was updating . . . all of my peripherals were locked up.

Which means I had to do something other than be connected to a computer screen.

That was a little terrifying.

But only at first. While the Pinwheel of Death kept spinning, and the translucent Apple mocked me, and the line "This May Take a Few Minutes . . . " scrolled helplessly on my monitor, I discovered that there was an entire world of adventure that I had only dreamed about.

So, if you ever find yourself, alone at home, with all of your peripherals unable to connect you to the brighter world, here are a few things you can do to keep from going all Gollum in the Misty Mountains.

First: Go Pee.
You have no idea how long this is going to take or where you might find yourself when it all stops; could be the next room, could be on a bus with the ghost of Kerouc. You have no idea.

So it is of the utmost importance that you make yourself comfortable and say goodbye to what is left of that delicious Chocolate Stout you had last night while watching the Broncos whomp on the Chargers.

Second: Open the refrigerator door and stare inside for a while.
Yes . . . I know you're not hungry . . . I mean you just had breakfast like twenty minutes ago . . . but staring at the interior of the fridge is like an emotional reset button for the soul. Deep philosophical questions can arise like "When was the last time I ate yogurt?" and "What sort of man am I that requires so many different bottles of barbecue sauce?"

On this particular Vision Quest, I discovered that there will come a time, very soon no doubt, that I'm going to have to purchase another onion, and that if I want to make this day a complete success, I should really consider replacing the lightbulb that has been burnt out for two months now.

I may not have found 'Meaning' . . . but I did find 'Purpose'

Thirdly: Make some tea.
I just happen to have some delightful Jade Oolong that I'd been saving for the coming of the chill, and seeing the frost on my windows this morning, I knew it was time.

Tea is a marvelous beverage in a briny soothing sorta way. It also takes very particular steps in order to get it just right, and in some case may take up so much of your attention you forget what you were waiting on in the first place and just stare into your boiling water kettle.

Go ahead. Watch that pot.

See if it boils.

Fourth: Wash the seven items of dish-wear that are in the sink
It's bad water wasting etiquette to rinse off such a little load of dishes. Much better to wait until the china is piled high and rock the whole thing after dinner.

But desperate times lead to desperate measures, and you've already gone pee.

In my particular case the load consisted of three forks, two coffee mugs, one apple juice cup, and a spatula I used to flip the frittata.

The water didn't even get hot by the time I was finished.

And lastly, it's important to note that once the update has gone through, you're going to be spending hours resetting settings, updating passwords, picking music artists and book titles, and have to understand that the rest of your day is just gonna be shot while you reorganize your apps.

So lastly . . . consider going outside for like a minute or two.
Breathe the crisp air. Check on your garden. Estimate how many weekends you can get away with before you have to mow the lawn.

You could even check the mail.

You could even check for coupons.

Point is, is if you can't connect to the world, then go out and be a part of it.

The 40ft POST: What Just Happened?

So I look down at the scale Tuesday morning.


Wait . . . what?


Wait . . . that's like 5 pounds heavier than I was on Friday morning.

So I had to think back.

How did that happen?

Oh . . . yeah . . . now I remember. There was that whole food walk on Saturday Night where we ate our fill at five different restaurants over the course of three hours. Then there was the doughnuts Sunday morning, followed by bannana bread, a turkey sandwich, chips and salsa, and glorious glorious beer. Then a reasonable Monday breakfast, followed by a sensible Monday Lunch, followed by two trays of Nachos and more glorious beer.

So if you were to ask me what happened to my diet . . . I guess I could tell you.

Yet, if you were to ask me what the hell happened in Football this week . . . well . . . I'm sorry officer . . . but I have no idea how fast I was going.

It was like hours upon hours of non-stop upsets. (The least of which being my fantasy defense, which we'll get to in a bit). The Jags upset the Browns, the Steelers upset the Texans, the Broncos dropped the hammer on the 49ers, and the Rams edged passed the Seahawks in the most stunning display of "I don't care how good you are, we're not playing to lose"

Hell . . . even the Raiders went down.

Oh . . . no . . . wait . . . that was expected. Though it was nice that the city of Oakland was classy enough not to throw anything more dangerous than ice and coins at the Cardinal's sidelines.

Keepin it real, Oaktown, keepin it real.

Having a tough day also were the Bengals (Shoulda got Sanu rolling much earlier), Kirk Cousins (shoulda spent some time remembering which color jerseys your team was wearing), Jay Cutler (Jesus Jay, don't drink so much on Saturday night), and everyone who benched Eli this week. God it hurts everytime his name is brought up.

I'd note that Fitzpatrick had a tough showing too, but that's his own fault for throwing the ball.

Why are you doing that, Mr Snuffalupagus, why?

I mean the best part about the Texans Offense is that they can literally begin each play by yelling to the other team "Hey . . . we're gonna hand the ball to Arian Foster and he's going to run to the weak side and cut just before he reaches Timmons."

They could do that every single play and still get four yards.

Or . . . they could try to mix it up with a little 'play-action' when they're in their own end-zone and hand the Steelers back to back touch downs in the last 37 seconds of the 2nd quarter.

You know, like the pros do it.

Speaking of Pros

Of course the big news is all about Peyton breaking the all time TD record. Woo hoo or whatever.

I mean, yeah, it's a total big deal.

But . . . you know . . . big deal.

I must say, though, that I'm getting a little tired of the 'old man' talk. The dude is 38. 

I'm 38 and I haven't even gotten started with my life yet. Can you imagine being 38 and realizing that everything you will ever do of note is now passed you? Half of your life you get to spend as a 'has-been' or a 'once-was' or the silent partner in three Papa John's franchises.

At least Nationwide is on his side.

After my first novel is published I do have plans for a micro-brewery, or a sandwich shop, or a burrito shop, or a hotdog stand, or a mix of any of those. My mamma didn't raise no dummy.

Anyway, congrats and all, but I think the bigger news is how Russell Wilson just became the first QB in history to throw for 300 yards and run for and additional 100.

That makes him this week the number one QB and a top 5 RB.

And yet still lost the game.



But ouch.

Now last week I pretty much jinxed my self by parading around like I knew what I was talking about and insisting that the 49er/Broncos game what gonna be hot-shit.

It was more like thin drool or watery vomit.

I mean, yeah, records were broken, but the Niners just folded. It was like they were coming off a short week and playing on the road against a SuperBowl contender and decided to use the same plan as they used against the Rams.

Was it realistic to apply the same tricks against Peyton Manning as you did against Austin Davis?

That question might equally apply to the Seahawks with different results.

Anyway, this week my go to story is gonna be the NFC match-up of Phillie and Arizona.

Two teams. Identical 5-1 records.

Philly needs the win to challenge the Cowboys

Arizona needs to lose to give the Niners a better shot.

Coming off the Bye, with the O-Line back in town, will Philly get Shady into space? How's Sprole's MCL? Can the defense get to Palmer? Can Palmer get to Fitzgerald? Can anyone get to Fitzgerald? Who would win in a REAL cage fight . . . a Cardinal or an Eagle?

Maybe that last one is too obvious.

Well the Buffalo Bills got the lions share of injuries this week with both Jackson and Spiller going down. Spiller breaking his collar bone and most likely out for the season. There's a real good chance that he won't be returning to the Bills next year since his contract is up. If he gets picked up by anyone but the  Raiders, he's gonna be one to watch for next year. Also down went Pierre Thomas and it seems like a ton of nameless Offensive Linemen. 

No one was caught saying or doing anything really stupid, in fact, some suspensions might even be reduced due to good behavior.

That's nice to hear.

I must admit, I'm really enjoying Derek Carr. I mean, yeah, he's really more a game manager at this point, but he's not taking a lot of sacks (hint hint Fitzpatrick) and he's only filling the stat sheat during garbage time, but moving forward (and assuming the Raiders don't go into next season with the oldest team in the league again), if he gets some fresh legs to hand the ball off to, he's really the guy that's gonna push Oakland into their next rebuild. Hopefully I'm still around in 2016 to see it.

Now . . . about them Niners . . . hmmm.

Here's the thing; I don't know if it's just my inexperience, but its seems to me like they're trying to play a game of chess during a UFC cage match.

Watch what happens: The offense goes into the huddle. Then to the line of scrimmage. Then Kaepernick changes the play based on the defensive looks he's getting. Then they get smoonched or they get super lucky. When they get lucky, they win games. When they get smoonched, well, then they look like the Giants . . . all hurt and confused.

Opposing defenses aren't stupid. They can smell indecision the way I can smell bacon.

If they're gonna make it to the playoffs, they have to start dominating the pace. Throw in a few 'No Huddle' series to get the defensive lines on the back of their heels and trust in Kaep to break out when a play breaks down.

And would somebody check the gloves of Vernon Davis. I'm pretty sure he's got bricks in there.

But, well, if I knew what I was takling about, then maybe I should manage my own team.

Speaking of managing my own team . . .

ForFuns League (4-3) 4th place
ForReals League (4-3) 4th place

It's getting exciting up in here and the big dogs are starting to bite.

By now everyone should have a good idea of what their team looks like and are in the process of managing injuries, managing Bye-Weeks, and trying to find some low rank sucker who's willing to trade you a double digit Linebacker for Michael Crabtree.

(I know that's not gonna happen, but a girl's gotta dream)

Last week my ForFuns Team held it together, but just barely (thanks to Forte and Bradshaw), but there were a lot nonsense low scores (Giovanni Bernard, Sanu, and what the eff happened to Brian Cushing?)

In my ForReals Team, a team that did pretty damn good overall, but I still needed 55 points from Foster in order to take the game. (35, not complaining), that was all about Luck.

As in, playing against him, Sammy Watkins, Bradshaw, and freakin Curtis Lofton.

Any Given Sunday.


Now usually I'm in the bottom spot right about now and trying to figure out how I can eek out just one more win. But this time, I'm actually trying to keep my eye on the prize and shoot for the play-offs.

If the early days were about drafting well, and the middle days are all about ninja-ing the waiver wire, then the next three games have to be all about trading and finding that extra 10-15 points.

But trading is really hard. And it's hard not because the mechanics are difficult, it's hard because you're playing with the kind of people that remember statistics for decades.

You make one bad trade, and it will be brought up every year during the draft, Thanksgiving, xmas and your birthday, until you're dead.


Now, I like making trades. It's much better than the drop and pray waivers. Value for value. And Yahoo gives you a medal.

But who to trade and for what?

First, know what you need. (ie: I haven't been quiet about needing line-backers. Anyone who reads these posts or takes a second to look at my team, knows I need Line-backers)

Know what you got. Maybe it's an extra WR, or QB, or TE. Someone you might have been holding onto for a Bye Week (Like I've been holding Kaepernick and Cutler and every week just agonizing over who to use.) I could just pick one and ride that pony and save myself the grief, but because the waiver wire is so filled with upside QB's, I couldn't get much more than a middle of the road kicker for either one of them.

Know who needs what you got . . . and has got what you needs. There are eleven other competitors, surely there is someone who is struggling to find a TE and has been hording RBs.

Know the point differential between what you're getting and what you're giving and what's on the waiver wire.

Like a solid LB  means an extra 5-10 points per week that can't be found on the wire. No one is going to want Michael Crabtree for that because there's WR value all over the place (And if Crab doesn't start gaining some seperation, he's gonna be droppable soon) However, TE's are at a premium and a reliable one is 5-10 points above the average.

RB's are a little more tricky cause they go down so freakin fast and without warning and there is a reason that one guy has been hording them all season long. He's not going to trade with you. Not for all the Antonio Browns in the world.

He secretly hates every position but RB and goes several games with empty slots because he's unwilling to drop Jonathon Stewart.

And what's the best way to trade? (assuming you skip RB guy)

Well, the best way to trade is simply to put it out there. Only three things can happen:

One . . . the other team laughs or ignores you. (That feels weird, you don't wanna feel like you're being a jerk, or stupid) Like early on in the year I offered to trade Kaepernick for Gronk (who was a major injury question mark and was seriously unlikely to put up stats with Brady throwing the way he was). My TE went down and the other team had Brady and not a single back-up QB. Kaep would give the other team 10-20 points better in the weeks ahead, and Gronk would give me an extra 5-10 in a thin market. Obviously, I was betting on the future, but I forgot that anyone who owns both Gronk and Brady isn't likely to give up either of them until mid-november. The trade was ignored. And five weeks later, it's obvious that the trade was skewed in my favor. But who cares now? They're 1-6 and haven't even gotten to the Patriot's Bye week yet.

Now looking back, had they countered, with let's say Cutler for Gronk, they'd be up 50 points, and I'd only be up by 12 points (having gone with Donnel) and down 20 points with an every week load of Kaep. 

Which leads to the second possiblity . . . the counter offer. You throw up a trade and the other team doesn't like it, but they're willing to bargain. This makes trading really fun. A back and forth dialogue until both party feels like they got something good.

And you still get the medal. :)

The last possibility is that the trade goes through, no questions asked. Awesome. Don't look back.

The point I'm making is that trading is a part of the game that should be handled with lots more fun. Try it. It's not crazy or stupid and like the trade I made with my brother last year (I gave him Gordon for Demarco) It sky rocketed him to victory and I got a win out of it (I still ended up in the basement, but a win is a win is a win)

Speaking of crazy/stupid . . . 


Dallas hands the Giants another big Donut (Nope. But a win is a win is a win)

Vick runs for 82 yards (Nope. But when this does happen, and it will, remember that you saw it here first)

Big Ben is sacked 7 times. (Only 3, but there were six shoulda been sacked moments . . . cause . . . you know Big Ben)

Carson Palmer throws for 350yrds. (Nope. Only 250. But what can you expect from a guy when he's getting pelted with ice and nickels?)

Seattle goes to their 2nd string by the 3rd quarter (Hell nope. But they do get to go into week 8 with a very clean clock.)


Cutler sobers up enough to throw three TD's: One to Bennet, One to Forte, and One to Revis.

Daniel Thomas gets a rushing TD and Miller owners seek medical attention.

Harvin goes for 100 yrds, but picks a fight with Vick and loses.

Carolina beats Seattle and Lynch makes the switch to Reeses Pieces.

During the DET/ATL game, commentators spend at least fifteen minutes weighing the pros and cons of a NFL team in London. "Shut Up!" Phil Simms says something like "In order for a team to move to London they'd have to learn how to drive on the left side of the road . . . "

That's all I gots for this week;

Remember, trading is fun, winning is funner, beer and nachos funnest.

(PS: As of this morning I'm back down to 180. The colon is a wonderful thing.) 

HTT: How To Putter

In every day there is a certain amount of deadspace.

The gap between tasks.

The moment when you're trying to remember exactly how much coffee you've already had and you hold up your hand and decide if you system can take another two cups.

The answer to that is "No . . . no you cannot have another two cups of coffee."

Unless there is still some left in the pot.

Then, of course it's a moral imperitive that you don't waste.

But after you've poured that last little bit into your cup, sat down, sipped it, realized it was cold, got up again, microwaved it for thirty seconds, and sat back down, then what?

Then you kind of have to decide if your ready for the next challenge, or if you're gonna need some extra time to putter about until you make that commitment.

Being a housedad/writer/otherstufftoo, one might naturally think that my proclivity for puttering about the house - not getting anything done - would be at like maximum capacity by now. But anyone who knows me - knows me better than that.

It doesn't mean that I don't putter about.

It just means that I putter about differently.

In fact - once my brain began dissecting what is means to putter - I realized that I don't putter as much as I used to when I was being paid an hourly rate to do so.

See, puttering isn't the antithesis of productivity. Puttering can be extremly productive. I get all kinds of things done when I'm puttering.

Puttering, as I would like to define it, is the simple act of doing something else.

Like, I need to write three pieces today as well as send out ten emails, as well as get instructions from my son's teacher regarding tomorrow's field trip. Somewhere in there I have to also make/eat lunch, make/eat dinner, sweep the front walkway and return an old modem to Comcast.

Which is exactly how I found myself doing some light dusting at 9:15 this morning.

See, I was doing something (ie Being Productive), but I wasn't doing any of the things I need to be doing today. Nope, I was doing something else.

I was puttering.

I am a puttering genius, and for this week's How To Tuesday, I'd like to share with you some basic tenents regarding puttering that will not make you a successful person, but will at least buy you one more day.

First and Foremost: If you're not ready to do the thing - whatever that thing may be - then make a list of all the other things you could do too.

Take a good long look at the list and then decide that you really need to do some light pick-up around the house.

My wife can tell how good a writing day I had by how much stuff is piled on the kitchen island and how many dishes are in the sink.

Mountain of Dishes and Frozen Pizza for Dinner = Good Writing Day

Clean island = Bad Writing Day

Mopped Floors and Folded Laundry = Suicide Prevention Hotline

Light pick-up solves two problems: It gives you time to think, and it's a symbolic gesture of freeing your space of clutter. It also moves your body about a bit and gets the blood flowing again.

Next: Maybe it's time for a long trip to the toilet.
The only reason I still have magazine subscriptions is because without articles on reality TV shows and album reviews and interviews with "It" people, one might find themselves getting off the can too quickly and not really experiencing all kinds of uninterupted time.

Some might say that I should really maximize that time by skipping the magazines and upgrading to bringing my smart phone with me, but, I don't know, isn't that just a little gross? And knowing my particulary skillset, I'm super likely to drop my phone in the bowl.

And what if my wife calls and asks what I'm doing?

But anyway, grab a magazine and just sort of space out for a bit. No one is likely to bother you for a while (unless you have the water running or you've flushed more than three times).

Now that you've cleaned the coffee table of Guitar Center Brochures and can walk about again with an empty colon, but aren't quite ready for your big day, take a look back at that list and start considering the mid-range tasks.

Taking our the trash.

Clipping your toe-nails.

Replacing the light bulb in the refrigerator.

Anything that throws a shroud over what we might refer to as "Avoidance" 

So once you've done a few of those things, it's time to consider the "Time Suckers"

A "Time Sucker" is a thing that you do that does sorta kinda maybe need to be done, but will easily remove an hour from your busy day, and will not cost you much brain currency. Catching up on TV Shows, scrolling through Reddit, leveling up on your latest RPG, anything having to do with sports/literature and motorcycle maintenance. Email, fantasy football, Craigslist. Whatever.

These things aren't in the category of productive, but they will suck a lot of time out of your day and will suddenly force you to get a move on when you notice the time.

Like right now, I'm looking up at the clock on the stove and seeing as how it's almost 10:00, I think I really need to shower.

Cause if I don't shower in the next hour, I'm unlikely to do it today.

Still not as gross as taking your smart phone into the bathroom.

I will forever want at least three seperate actions between touching my iPhone and touching my butthole.

Be that as it may, once you've wasted some time, you are perilously close to forming some bad puttering habits.

Those habits include Snacking, PreLunch Napping, watching anything on the History Channel, and picking at your face in you wife's makeup mirror.

Find yourself doing any of those things and you are starting to seriously fail for the day and need to light a fire under your butt.

Considering brewing another pot of coffee.

Or tea. Tea is good.

If you find that you're just not inspired to really do anything maybe you might as well start doing that thing that you were supposed to be doing all along. It won't make you a better or happier person, but it will get you through til tomorrow.

And isn't that what life is all about?

Top of the Charts

So . . . who are you writing this for?

 . . . the blog?

Oh . . . I thought you might be writing for like a magazine or something.

Nope . . . I try not to write reviews. I . . . well . . . I don't have very good taste.

It's not that you don't have good  taste. It's that . . . well . . . you don't have open taste. I mean, you're like not into hip hop or rap or country or . . . you know . . . stuff that people listen to.

Which is totally true.

I'm not into things that people are into.

For the most part.

I'm not elitist. I'm not set in my ways. I'll listen to a pop radio station much longer than my wife will, but I won't watch 3% of the television she watches. It's almost like you get my attention for three and a half minutes, so don't blow it.

I love a good catchy pop tune far better than the greatest symphonies ever written. Trashy novels (I've read the Twilight Series twice) I claim to know a lot about a lot of things, but I'm just not the person you would turn to to give a good review of something.

Like if you were to ask me who is the better songwriter, Miles Davis or Taylor Swift, I'd say 11 times out of 10, Taylor Swift. Just cause when was the last time you found yourself humming tracks from "Bitch's Brew" while you where doing the dishes?

In that sense, my wife is exactly right. I don't have an open sense of what is good and what is not. I have a very deliberate sense of what I like and what I think is worth my time. And it doesn't always translate.

See, I was thinking about this while skimming through the Top Charts this week. Movies, Albums, Songs, Television, Books, Video Games, and believe it or not, Graphic Novels.

As a person who writes about pop-culture nonsense, I feel it is rather my duty to check in with the Charts and make sure I'm not lost somewhere back in 1997. And I feel pretty good about the results, in that I recognized most of the names (Top Songs and Top Graphic Novels where the only two categories where I must have missed a lot of memos).

Gone Girl is the Top Movie.

My wife wants to see it, but I'm kinda negative about it. Not that it won't be great, it's just that I read the book, love it, highly recommend it, but don't want to share time with those people ever again.

The only movie on the chart that I'd seen was Guardians of The Galaxy (in at #9). But I had seen one, so I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Demille.

I knew five of the Top Albums (but don't own any of them) and there were more familiar names there than anywhere else; Kenny Chesney, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga.

What was interesting is that there was only one Top Ten Album Artist (#10-Meghan Trainor) that was featured on the Top Ten Songs (#1- All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor)

That's something I hadn't thought about. That the album buying demographic is different than the song buying demographic. It's almost become a different market.

I'll have to give that some thought.

(For the record, "All About That Bass" is a modern expose on celebrating the full-figured body-style using the musically inspired concepts of Bass and Treble as metaphorical counterparts to age old debate between heavy versus skinny girls . . .

. . . but it's not very good.)

If you're interested in purchasing songs about full figured women, might I suggest looking up Queen, (Fat Bottom Girls) Spinal Tap (Big Bottom), NOFX (Hot Dog Down A Hallway), and of course, Sir Mixalot (Big Butts). 

The Top Ten Songs, well, they weren't all that interesting. I only recognized three names in the entire list and two of them were Nicki Minaj. Also, aside from some vocals, there wasn't a single acoustically recorded instrument on any of the songs.

Don't think I'm a purist. I'm certainly not one of those, but I think it's safe to agree with an old partner of my dads who said thirty years ago: The day we learn to sample the human voice is the day keyboard players will rule the world.

I actually did see two of the Top Broadcast TV Shows, but they were Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football.

18 Million people tuned in for the premier of The Big Bang Theory.

I was not one of them.

Of the Top Ten video games, I have played earlier versions of six out of the ten. Not too shabby. I haven't played any of the new incarnations because video games are expensive when they're new,

Although, FIFA '15 is ranked #1.

A soccer video game.

I will freely admit that I was a golf junkie (Tiger Woods on the Wii) for several years, but soccer?

Like do you gather all your firends together online and do nothing for two and a half hours?

"Hey bro . . . kick the ball to me . . . then I'll kick it back to you . . . niiiiiiiiice."

I have read two of the authors on the Top Hardcover Fiction list.

Ken Follet, who is good if you like thick month long historical novels with lots of sex and brutal death but without all that character development you might get from Game of Thrones.

and Haruki Murakami, who is just fantastic, every read, as long as you're willing to follow the white rabbit down the hole, and you don't ask too many questions.

I can't really say about the rest.

And I can say nothing about the Top Indie Graphic Novels.

Graphic Novels fall under the catergory of "Things I'm Aware of . . . but . . . well . . . Have Yet to be Moved By."

Other things in that category include Modern Art, Fashion, Leather Interiors, Bollywood, Boys who sing in falsetto (though Glen Hansard got really really close), more than three minutes of Jazz, more than three minutes of Blues, Reality Television (all of it), Anime, EDM, everything on the Disney Channel, and Nicki Menaj.

That's not a conclusive list. Nor is it exclusive. Nor is it finite.

I don't want to go crankily into that goodnight. I'd like to know what is popular and alive in the moment.

You know, maybe this time I didn't find anything that really spoke to me, or anything that I thought was worth sharing, but the Top Charts aren't an essay on pop culture. They're just little snap shots, and in this case, a little snapshot of the last week of September 2014.

I wonder what it will be like when I get to the point where I'm no longer interested in what's going on in the pop culture around me. When I listen to the same five albums and have nothing but a "Meh" response to just about everything else.

It's gonna happen sometime. Someday I'm just gonna drop out of the zeitgeist. Someday I'm not gonna be worth your three and a half minutes, and that will be a sad day.

Unless I retire rich.

I may need to write a song about fat girls for that to happen. Not sure I'm ready to do that.

The Most Dangerous Five

Driving my son to school today, there was a story on the radio about a couple leading the police on a high speed car chase, and it turning out to be a woman in labor and not a bank robber.

Note: The baby is fine, the parents were not arrested, and the morning news has something other than mayhem to report.

But as I listened to the story my thought was, "Wow, that was really stupid, and really dangerous."

The stupid part is that if they had just pulled over, rolled down the window and yelled "My wife is in labor!" There's a 99% chance they could've gotten a police escort to the hospital and legally blown through some red lights, cause . . . I'll tell you a little secret . . . aside from what you've heard everyhwere else . . . for the most part . . . the police are chomping at the bit to do something cool like that. They spend all day with the dregs of humanity (which in my neighborhood is soccer moms and teenagers) and to have the chance to hero it up a bit is that kind of thing they dream about.

The dangerous part is this: Do you know what a police car does during a highspeed chase? It's actually pretty simple. They tail you, up until there is about a hundred feet of empty space in front of you (no pedestrians, few parked cars) and then they accelerate and lightly tap the rear corner of your bumper.

What this does is throw your vehicle into a complete spin out and you crash. And because they usually tap the driverside corner, you end up crashing passenger side first.

Can you imagine the phone call "Hi, mom, you were supposed to be a grandma this morning, but . . . "

A racecar driver can recover from it. But you're no racecar driver. Trust me. I've seen you on the road.

Then it occured to me that there's a good chance that you didn't watch the same Discovery Channel documentary I did years and years ago and you really have no idea how a high speed pursuit is handled.

Maybe you thought that the police just follow you until you run out of gas.

Maybe you thought that you get surrounded by four patrol officers and they all just slow down at the same pace.

Maybe you didn't even consider it until your wife was in labor and screaming at you to drive faster and you were just simply confused as to which higher authority you should be paying attention to at that particular moment.

Good thing you have me.

Which leads my thoughts this morning to dangerous things. Not just anything dangerous. Cause anything can be dangerous, but The Most Dangerous things.

Safety First.

Top Most Dangerous Thing: The Skateboard.
Now I don't have to tell a single mother this. They already know. But boys, well, boys are stupid and anything on wheels (even if its just a piece of plywood) is awesome. I also don't have to tell my buddy Jeremy this, seeing as how he's paid for the Hawaiian vacations of several Orthodontic Surgeons.

But skateboards are cool. And they're alluring. And they look like they're so much fun. And it looks so easy. Just get on and go baby, go.

But here's the thing: A bicycle is designed to get you places. A car is designed to get you places and to pick up girls. A parachute is designed to keep you from hitting the ground at terminal velocity.

Not a skateboard. A skateboard is specifically designed to move away from your center of gravity and force you to hit the ground. It's deepest hope is that you are moving a a good clip before it throws you off. It's chief allies are gravity and sidewalks with deep grooves.

It's a good thing that skateboards don't have to be registered with insurance companies because the premiums would be too high.

Now my first bit of advice is to never get on one ever. Just don't.

My second bit of advice is not to get on one ever. Just don't.

But because your son will someday reach the age of nine, and is going to want one, the only thing you can do is to instill a healthy paranoia when it comes to wearing helmuts, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.

His friends might tease him.

Only sissies wear helmuts.

To which you need to teach him to respond:

Maybe . . . but only fuck-wits don't.

(The F-Bomb is important here. A kid who can dole out that kind of verbal abuse doesn't need sticks and stones.)

Example: I'm at the skatepark with my son and he is covered head-to-toe in protective gear. The first thing he says to me as he looks at all the other kids is "Dad . . . none of the other kids are even wearing helmuts." to which I resond "Because their mothers are ugly and their daddies don't love them . . . and they're stupid peepee heads."

Number Two Most Dangerous Thing: Chicken.
Now . . . I love me some chicken. The Actual White Meat meets all of my food-stuff criteria. It's lean, it's healthy, it's available everywhere, you can do all kinds of unseemly things to it, and it's cheap.

But it's playing with fire.

See, due to the nature of how chicken is processed, there's a 99.9% chance that every bit of chicken you've ever seen, touched, or heard of, has a small amount of killer bacteria in it, that at the very least could make you regret ever being born.

And don't get all huffy about that process. Yes it's terrible, but after hearing you talk about your day job, I'd rather be a chicken.

Now that small amount of bacteria is just fine. There are more dangerous things on your tongue, but, if given just a little bit of space to grow, chicken bacteria multiplies exponentially and becomes a personalized threat in very little time.

It does die when you cook it. So cook it well. But that's not all.

Nope. There is such a thing as cross-contamination. That means anything that touches raw chicken becomes effected as well. Hands, knives, cutting boards. And then anything that touches those things gets infected too.

So if you are going to cook chicken, here are a few simple rules to avoid premature death.

One, do all your cutting of other things ahead of time. Clean all the areas that the chicken is going to be in and or around before openeing the package. Do what you must in order to get the chicken cooking. Then immediately dissinfect every surface, utensil, and body part with anti-bacterial soap and a few spritzes of clorox bleach. Wash all the dishes.

If chicken needs to be defrosted, do it in the microwave for quick results, or a closed tupperwear container in the fridge if you can wait a day. Bad idea to just set it out on the counter (Though I have been super guilty of that one) the reason is that once the temperature of the chicken hops above 40 degrees fahrenheit, the bacteria starts to grow. Two hours later and you might as well try to clean the barrel of a loaded shot gun.

Cook it until it bleeds clear liquid when you poke it with a fork and then cook it for another twenty minutes, just cause.

Eat Safe.

Most Dangerous Thing Part Three: ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
I don't remember not having connectivity. I do remember dial-up, so I am old in some respects, but I don't remember what I used to do with my time before I had access to virtually all of the world's information.

So a life without the internet seems as impossible to me now as a car without cup holders.

And my ISP knows it.

In fact . . . they know eveything about me now.

If they wanted to, they could figure out the time and length at which I get up to go shower ever day, simply by looking at the fifteen to twenty minute gaps in my connectivity between 9:00am and Noon.

I hope the rest of you are like me in that if you haven't showered by noon, you're not gonna for the day.

Your ISP would know the answer to that question.

Anyway, information is one thing. Let's just say that they have all of it. But they can also control how you get to the web, and what you see when you're finally there. And if there is something that they don't like, they have the legal power to slow it down or shut it off.

Example: My ISP is being sued right now for slowing the rate at which Netflix can be streamed. Seriously. They actually made it so that Netflix streamed slower than their own competeing On-Demand content.

And they do that for two reasons: One they can, and two you ain't got no choice.

The ISP I pay for right now is 50 (somethingsomethings per second). The next fastest thing I could run to would be a similar price for 8 (somethingsomethings per second).

That's really not enough to upload football stats in real time. And on any given Sunday, I've got five to eight different perferals all begging for access to my wifi, depending on when the neighbor is home.

(Just so you know, I can see everyone who is accessing my Guest Network, and I'm not gonna be all high and mighty about him using my wifi from time to time considering that I'm stealing HBOGo from my mother.)

So that's why ISPs make my list. They have all the power and you have very little choice.

Which is dangerous.

The Fourth Most Dangerous Thing: Steam Wands
You may not actually know what that is, but every coffee maker in the land is nodding their heads right now. See . . . the steam wand is a small metal tube connected (through a valve) to a high pressure water tank. The barista places the milk for your latte directly below the nozzle of the steam wand, opens the valve and heats up your milk.

It sounds innocuous, but the metal tube is movable and constantly in the wrong place and is at a sitting temperature of 212 degrees.

One distracted move by the barista and they will end up with a nasty two inch burn on the inside of their forearms. We call this The Leche Tattoo. 

(Actually . . . I just made that up. We would just look at the mark and ask "Steam Wand burn." and the barista would nod yes. But The Leche Tattoo has a certain ring to it, so feel free to adopt it)

Every barista has had one. I've had like ten to twenty.

And think about it, you might not think it's dangerous, but when I say every barista has had one, it's like saying every carpenter is missing a finger. I've made more trips to the emergency room for burned baristas then I have for my skateboard riding son (so far, cross fingers, god bless)

And for all you Low Fat Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte sipping soccer moms, I just wanna say this:

There is a good chance that your coffee beverage contains a trace amount of burnt human flesh.

My advice is to drink real coffee, and drink it black.

The Last Most Dangerous Thing on My List: Advice.
I will admit that my blogs have been sort of in the anti-Dear Abby vein. I offer a lot of perspective, I offer a lot of thoughts, I offer a lot of advice.

I would read your letters if anyone sent me any.

And I'm always willing to take your calls.

Unless I'm napping.

Or doing anything else.

But, I'm guilty when it comes to offering advice, and lots of it. And the reason advice is dangerous is because there are only four possible out comes:

First, my advice was good and you took it and everyone is happy.

Second, my advice was good and you didn't take it and now have erased me from the contacts on your phone because the last thing you need is some ass hat saying "I told you so."

Third, my advice was bad and you took it and now you think I owe you something, which I don't because you're an adult and you make your own decisions.

Fourth, my advice was bad and you didn't take it and now I have to erase you from the contacts on my phone because the last thing I need is some ass hat saying "I told you so."

This means advice, even in it's purest form, can only have a postive outcome 25% of the time.

Shutting the hell up has a positive outcome 100% of the time, provided that you continue to shut up when all you want to say is "I could've told you that."

Now teaching, is a whole different thing. Like . . . I can teach you how to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I'm never going to suggest you drink it.

Advice destroys relationships.

That's all there is to it.

So take my advice . . . 

. . . and don't take my advice.

Except when it comes to skateboards, chicken, ISPs, and highspeed chases. Cause those things are stupid and dangerous.