Man’s Inhumanity To Man

I went back to my local Walmart here in Pinellas Park off of US Highway 19 last night. The big Super Walmart just off of the big super driveway that connects the city I live to points north and south. Actually, I take a shortcut into the store off of some surface streets that is much quicker and a lot less taken.

As soon as I pull in to the Walmart, someone’s cutting thru empty parking spaces, moving towards me as if the driver wants to engage in some kind of bizarre car jousting exercise. I stay right where I am until this crazy person allows me to move.

With all the talk in the news about people are going batshit for Walmart bargains, I thought for sure this was going to be a hectic night. Better get a few things and get the hell out of there.

Actually, it wasn’t too bad. All of goons that invaded my Walmart were long gone, making for easy travels through the grocery section. And who wanted mere groceries when you could get a year-old HDTV for $99?

I also think the big-box stores (not singling out just Walmart here) encourage this kind of behavior. If you spent any time watching the sad spectacle of clips YouTubers collected for public view, you’d probably see a store employee more interested in telling the videographers not to shoot their video as opposed to letting the unlawful combatants meet their justice.

And you wonder why I have a hard time sleeping some nights, wondering what would happen if our country engaged in a war, or had some kind of disaster like a massive blackout or something similar to that. No foreign army would have to worry about killing Americans, as at the rate we’re going, we’re much more likely to implode upon ourselves.

Flashback Friday, Christmas Edition: “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” By Andy Williams

The next four “Flashback Fridays” (including this one) will be Christmas related. No better way to start off the set than with this Andy Williams classic.

A Reason To Be Thankful

Feeding the animals at Marineland.  St. Augustine, Florida during the summer of 1978.
Feeding the animals at Marineland. St. Augustine, Florida during the summer of 1978.  Pull your tank top DOWN, little guy!

The day before Thanksgiving always stands out in my mind for some reason.

About a year ago I mentioned that I had spinal meningitis in the fall of 1977 after turning six, and that my week and a half stay at the hospital had it highs and lows.

I got out of the hospital on November 23, 1977, the very day before Thanksgiving. There was a big gathering at the house the following day, part Thanksgiving feast, part homecoming. Football on the tube, and I remember the Miami Dolphins destroying the St. Louis Cardinals 55-14 that afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys being a rare no-show on the Thanksgiving cavalcade that season.

My dad set me aside at one point during the day and gave me a very early Christmas present: a toy typewriter. You put regular tying paper into it, and it typed what you wanted to say.

How cool!

But I had a question: why was I getting this gift now? It wasn’t Christmas yet.

I don’t remember my father’s answer. I think they were just thankful I was still alive and well.

Fit To Be Tied

The pre-Thanksgiving round of NFL games brought the rarest of results in a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers: a 26-26 overtime tie. Usually, a NFL game goes to a tie once every few years. Yesterday, there were nearly two ties on the same day, with the Patriots besting Denver 34-31 after thirteen minutes plus of overtime.

Amongst the four major North American sports leagues, only in the NFL can you play past the regulation length of a game and have a game end in a tie. Rain can halt an MLB game in extra innings for the day or the evening, but the game would have to be finished at some date unless the teams don’t play each other again.

But in the NFL during the regular season, you can have a game end in a tie if it goes the full 15 minutes of overtime. It always seemed to me that the rule changes introduced recently where each team gets one possession unless the first team that gets to bell scores a touchdown or surrenders a score would produce more ties.

But yesterday was the first time there was a game that went to OT and ended in a tie where both teams scored.

I would love to see the rules change where NFL games are played to a finish. Except for preseason games, of course. For those games I would abolish overtime games completely.

Twitter Will Outlast Facebook

It’s just an opinion of mine, but I think Twitter will still be around when Facebook crashes and burns.

Facebook reminds me a lot of America Online back in the 1990’s and the 2000’s. Why? They serve too many masters. You can do too many things on Facebook, as was the case of AOL.

When it comes to virtual reality, I think less is actually more, and vice versa. It’s also probably why MySpace failed.

Twitter keeps things to whatever you can do in a 140 characters, or whatever code you can fit into those 140 characters.

With Facebook, the more you can do, the more trouble you can get into.

I have both. I like hedging my online bets.

As It Happened: The JFK Assassination on KLIF 1190 AM in Dallas

This is a rather impressive piece of audio.  KLIF was the big pop/Top 40 station in the Dallas area playing the hits of the era, with this piece of tape beginning on 11:30 am local time, November 22nd, 1963.

In the middle of “I Have A Boyfriend” by The Chiffons about 55:15 or so into the clip, you’ll hear a shrill beeping noise carrying the first bulletin of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Within minutes, more bulletins follow, interspersed with songs and commercials.  The music is much more somber by the 1:09:00 mark before it goes away for several hours as the non-stop bulletins try to make sense of what happened.  Gordon McClendon, the owner of KLIF and a radio pioneer, helps anchor the coverage.

Has Football Jumped The Shark?

It’s another afternoon and evening of NFL Football at my house. The Bucs have now won two in a row, can you believe that? Don’t sell your house yet, Coach Schiano, you might be here in Tampa Bay in 2014.

And yes, I’m officially off of the “Fire Schiano” bandwagon, almost as if the wagon itself had caught fire.

I’ve been watching the NFL most of my 42 years and change on this earth, with Super Bowl XII being the catalyst for my interest.  My dad’s Dallas Cowboys and Tom Landry winning the Lombardi Trophy over the upstart Denver Broncos.

I wonder if the NFL has jumped the shark in terms of its significance in the real world, probably has by now.

Years ago, no one would have ever seen a football game postponed for a couple of hours because there may be tornadoes in the area, for instance. They would have just played on. And I’m not saying it’s not the right thing to do, either.

I remember a Bucs-Redskins game in September of 1982, played in a thunderstorm in Tampa Stadium for most of the first half. My mom and dad, my cousins, aunt, and uncle where cruising around Clearwater Beach that day. You could hear the thunderstorm on the radio, but they just kept playing.

Now a days, it seems everything the NFL is sanitized for safety. It may prove to be a good thing down the road, but as an older fan, things seem only one way: different.

Passing Through Dallas

In the spring of 2000, I was back on a Greyhound bus on my second (and most recent) sojourn to find a new life in Las Vegas. Still looking for that “morality car wash” Robert De Niro spoke of in Casino, didn’t find any of them out there.

I loved the trips by bus for some reason, even though I spent a couple of days elbow to elbow on a stacked bus without showers. Next time, if there is a next time, remind me to buy Handi Wipes or something.

It wasn’t all bad, though. On this second trip out west I saw Ashville, Knoxville, Jackson (Tennessee), Memphis, Little Rock, Dallas, El Paso, Phoneix and Laughlin, Nevada for the first time. On my return trip about a month later I saw Kingman, Arizona (a beauty of a town), Jackson (Mississippi), Birmingham, and Greenville/Spartanburg for the first time as well.

The trip out of Dallas was kind of spooky, as the route out west to get on the nearest Interstate went thru the very area made famous by President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. I looked around on the bus, saw the grassy knoll, and saw the “X” on Elm Street where the fatal shot tolled JFK’s life. Then for a moment, you’re in that very spot.

No one else on the bus noted it, or cared to.

As for me, it gave me a serious case of chills.

So What Does A Radio Guy Listen To These Days?

Radio still interests me, but technology and the Internet has changed the field forever. In some ways for the good, some ways for the not-so-good.

Alex Jones is pretty much the heir apparent of a lot of the shows Sun Radio did back in the 1990’s. I’m not a big fan of his gay bashing and his put downs of the very people he tells us all he’s trying to help. There have been rumors of him being a double agent working for the government he often bashes, and if that verifies it really wouldn’t surprise me. Recently dropped an F-bomb on the “overdrive” portion of his show (kind of like Howard Stern, he goes off the air for the day when he wants), but the network that carries his show (Genesis Communications Network) did nothing to discipline him for doing so.

Wonder if anyone will report him to the FCC. Fair game if someone does.

If you’re looking for a good AJ alternative, you’d be best served by two other shows. One show I recommend that’s on every Friday afternoon (but posted on YouTube if you miss it) is Jorge Rodriguez’s show on SoFlo Radio out of (where else) South Florida. Another great show that cuts to the chase of a lot of matters (including the ongoing news out of Fukushima) is The Lifeboat Hour by Michael C. Ruppert out of Colorado. These shows are no holds barred (because they are Internet only shows and thus, unlike Alex’s show, do not have to submit to FCC language cleanliness), so you’ll hear the occasional bomb.

Happy Veterans Day to all of you who have served our country…