Whoever Survives, Go Kick Their Asses

Going into this Labor Day weekend, the media is getting hysterical (again) over another group of terrorists. This time it’s the newly created ISIS (or ISIL) who has emerged into the spotlight, having beheaded James Foley recently.

Personally, I think the best way to handle terrorism is to tell terrorists that we’re not afraid of them.

Actor Burt Young as Paulie Panina in the first Rocky movie, 1976.
Actor Burt Young as Paulie Panina in the first Rocky movie, 1976.

I refer you to the Paulie character from the Rocky movies, played by Burt Young. Whenever he was in a spot that would worry a mortal man, Paulie would look at his adversary and say four simple words: “I don’t sweat you.”

That’s how we should handle terrorism. Whoever wants to hurt us can’t kill ALL of us. We will mourn the dead and those taken away from us too soon, just like we’ve done in the past. Whoever is left will avenge the dead and make the terrorists rue the day they messed with us.

Doesn’t matter who the president is, doesn’t matter how many die from a terrorist attack or who they are. Whoever survives, go kick ass. It’s that simple, and it’s that approach that we need to take.

Pauly The Yes Man

Another day, another call from the world of telemarketers.

Someone wanted to borrow some of my time and get me interested in lowering my energy bill.

I’ve got numerous ways of dealing with these people, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with the “Yes method” I was talking about yesterday. Whenever they ask a question, always say yes.

Now, the key to it all is to pay attention to the questions. If some A/C company is giving you a time and a date to set up an appointment, you obviously wouldn’t say “yes” to that. Simply hang up the phone, or tell them it’s time for your milk and cookies. Something. Anything.

Otherwise, give the “Yes method” a try. It works, and more often than not, they’ll leave you alone, because they will think you’re someone who is home, waiting to sell pencils on a busy city street.

Consumer (Dis) Services

I’ve been getting a series of calls from someone claiming to be from Consumer Services as of late, offering some kind of lower credit offer. These people are a very rude lot, and when they show up on my caller ID, they often use the same number I have, accept for the last digit. By a stroke a luck, they showed up on my ID today as being from 321-209-6988, a number that shows rather prominently when entered into Google.

One day I ask, “Consumer Services from whom?” Click.

Another day I ask, “What company do you represent?” Click.

Another day, when they ask me if I was interested in the lower credit off, I say yes.

They ask me who I am, I say yes again.

They ask me who I am again, I say yes a third time. Click.

The next time they call, I’m tempted to tell them I am part Turkish and part Japanese, and tell them my name is Go Fuk Yusef.

I have no doubt I will get the “click” again, but at least it will amuse myself.

Hackis Interruptus

A week ago Wednesday (August 20th), I woke up, put out the garbage, read the mail, and discovered that someone had put $500 into my Paypal account.

Sounds nice, right? Well, only one problem with that. They did so by attempting to pull the same amount of money out of my Bank of America checking account, which did NOT have $500 in it. After doing some swearing at nobody in particular, and changing my hacked Paypal password, I made some phone calls, and had Bank of America put a stop order on the attempted withdrawal, coming through for me when I really needed it. It’s now set up so that any further attempts at hacking my Paypal account will be ignored. It also means I will have to use another E-mail account to set up another Paypal account if that need ever arises. I used to use it when I did transcription work, withdrawing money from it when I got paid every Monday. If I ever go back to that, I’ll have to make other arrangements.

Keep on eye on these hackers! Just because you leave chump change in cyberspace doesn’t mean they will leave you alone. Found that out the hard way.

The Great Quake Of ’89

Early Sunday morning, most of the San Francisco-Oakland area felt a sizeable earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale.

It was the largest quake since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, which most of the country recognized as it interrupted ABC’s coverage of the third game of that year’s World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco. Broadcaster Al Michaels tried to alert everybody to the earthquake, but only got the “earth” part out before transmission was temporarily lost.

I was doing something a bit less spectacular while that was going on: I was sleeping. I had just started working for radio station WTAN in Clearwater a week or so prior to all of this, working the overnight shift from 12am-6am, and 12am-8am on Sunday mornings. Even though I was off, the sleeping pattern of my 18 year-old body had been all mixed up. About 10pm that night, I get up from bed, hoping to catch the latter part of the World Series game.

I figured my mom or dad would be watching the game, but it wasn’t on, which confused me. So, I asked my mom what’s happening with the World Series game.

“You don’t know? They had an earthquake in San Francisco. The game has been postponed.”

I thought my mother was joking around. It wasn’t unusual for my father to play that kind of joke. He once told me a space shuttle exploded and obliterated Cape Canaveral a few months before the Challenger disaster had took place in 1986. But looking again, I saw that my mom had a serious look in her eyes. So I turned on the news, and she was right.

Hope everything turns out as good as it can for the people of San Francisco all these years later.

Naked And…What?

A couple of weeks ago, I had remarked about how reality TV has gotten stale.

I forgot to mention how all these shows seem to have the word “naked” attached to them. Yep, they’re scraping the bottom of barrel when they go to blurred nudity, and I am not a prude or anything like that.

There’s “Naked And Afraid” which shows some dangerous unclothed camping and hiking.  God forbid a cactus or something else sharp finds an orifice!

There’s also the more risque and still blurred out “Naked Dating” on VH-1.  The show has made news for the wrong reasons, as one of its participants, Jessie Nizewitz, is suing the show because a part of her anatomy that was supposed to blurred WASN’T.  Ouch.

The moral of the story: never leave your nudity at the hands of one of these unscrupulous producers.

Yesterday’s Ally

Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays hugs David Price, now a Detroit Tiger, formerly a Ray.  August 21, 2014.
Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays hugs David Price, now a Detroit Tiger, formerly a Ray. August 21, 2014.

It was one of the weirder Rays games I’ve seen in recent memory.

David Price, who has been “Mr. Ray” over the past seven seasons, was not in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform, pitching for the Detroit Tigers against his former team. You would think Price would know to pitch against his teammates, and he did, only surrendering one hit and one run. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that lone run and hit held up as the Rays scored the 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

Will the Rays make the playoffs?  Not looking likely now, as they’re 12 games behind Baltimore for the AL East title (as of this moment), and 7 games out of the second AL Wild Card berth. I’m not saying a miracle can’t happen (because it has happened before, namely the Rays 2011 campaign), but losing two out of the three games with the Tigers really took the wind out of our sails. But I refuse to give up hope.

Go Rays!

Root, Root, Root For The Road Team

I heard Joe Maddon got all bent out of shape over the weekend about how fans attending the Saturday Rays-Yankees fans cheered raucously when Derek Jeter got a game-winning hit to secure a 3-2 New York win.

His frustrations are certainly understandable, but it’s not a new problem for the team, nor this sports market.

I remember going to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Chicago Bears as a birthday present (I had just turned 20 two days prior) back on September 8, 1991. Back then, the Bucs were terrible, a few years away from turning their franchise around, and this was also back when the Bears would play a game here in Tampa every year with both teams playing in the old NFC Central division. Made up of mostly midwestern teams, the Bucs were the bastard child of the group.

Sitting in the broiling sun, the Bucs fell 21-20 to the more capable Bears. But being in the crowd that day, you’d think it was a Chicago home game. True, the Bears had a national following at the time having been a few years removed from a Super Bowl championship back in 1986, but I left Tampa Stadium that afternoon wondering where all the Bucs fans were.

Our market loves winners. If our teams aren’t winning, this is an area will the fans will find other things to do. That’s the way it’s always been here, and probably will be, sorry to say.

Ferguson

The last time I watched this much CNN in a day (as much as I did yesterday) was probably during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A young black man was shot by a white policeman in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri.  The accounts of what happened are so different that I think somebody is lying.

I feel bad for the family of the 18 year-old man shot down, Mike Brown. A kid that young, with a whole life to live in the palm of his hands. It’s a tragedy regardless of how it plays out.

But today left me with a simple set of questions that I needed someone older than me to answer. So, I asked my 65 year old mother.

I asked, the people rioted when Martin Luther King was shot down, didn’t they? She said yes.

I asked, the people didn’t riot when Robert F. Kennedy was shot down two months later, right? She said yes.

I then asked if Mike Brown was a caucasian and not African-American, would anyone give a damn? Would anyone be devoting hour after hour of the news to him, and the aftermath his death has caused? She said, “Exactly.”

It’s not my intent to be racial asking that set of questions. I merely do it to point out how things are, whether that’s good or bad.

The Little Things You Learn

You hear a lot of “inside stuff” things working in the radio business, as I did from 1989 to 1996.

One day, I heard a doozy at a shift at the Sun Radio Network in Clearwater that wasn’t widely known before computers and Wikipedias were commonplace, as they are these days.

Preparing for a 12pm to 6pm shift, I came in early and heard a discussion about how “Flipper” in the 1960’s NBC TV series was NOT male, but female.

The reason why? If you shot a male dolphin at a certain angle, there would be no doubt you would be looking at a male dolphin, if you catch my drift.

If you did NOT catch my drift, I’ll put it another way. What sex organ does a man have, and a female does NOT have?

Bingo.