Bullies, Bitches, And Choices

I was reading this article recently that equated unfriending people on Facebook to bullying. Now do you know why I sometimes think Facebook is the devil?

What’s next? Will it be considered bullying to unfollow someone on Twitter? Sometimes on my Twitter accounts I have to unfollow people to make room for people who choose to follow me. It is anything personal when I do that, it’s just good business sense.

Yes, I’ve unfriended people on Facebook before. (Someone up in northwest Pasco county will be nodding her head reading me say that at some point.) Sometimes I was pigheaded, sometimes I was standing up for people doing it.

A couple of years ago, one of my long time female friends was complaining about one of my other friends being a so-called conspiracy theorist. I’m thinking: so, why take this to me? My guess was that an ultimatum had been thrown down: disassociate myself from this friend or else we won’t be friends.

I guess she did that thinking I would not have the cojones to unfriend her. What she didn’t realize is that the friend in question went to my high school and was dating one of my high school classmates and someone who I considered a very good friend. The long time friend who was forcing me to make a choice didn’t take that into account, and if she didn’t realize those facts, that was not my problem, nor was it going to be made mine.

Needless to say, the friend forcing me to make a choice I haven’t spoken to since, and it’s nearly been two years since the incident happened. Not my fault she didn’t pick her battles a little more wisely.

Prince Harry Goes To Petco

Harry poses for me on August 2, 2015.
Harry poses for me on August 2, 2015.

It was time once again to take “the Prince” Harry over to Petco for his quarterly nail clipping. This time I was running solo with him, so he got a ride in the front seat!

Harry, not knowing where he’s going, was doing his usual meowing on the way up. He doesn’t travel or like being kenneled all that well, mainly because I don’t ask much of it from him. We get to Petco at 9:53 and park in the front of the lot. It’s a few minutes before the store opens at 10:00, so I play some music to calm him down.

“Take Me Home” by Phil Collins is the first tune to pop on.  An omen?

A few moments later, this BIG van decides to occupy the parking space next to me. With plenty of spots open, I don’t know why exactly they need to choose the spot next to me so that I can’t fully open the doors of the car, but I guess that’s just a random short straw I drew from life yesterday.

There’s a brief line that forms once the store opens, so I place Harry down as we awaited our turn. There was a big ol’ Doberman in front of us waiting to be pampered on (who seemed very friendly, by the way), which leads to more meowing from Harry, so I calm him down by talking to him.

He gets his nails cut, I get some Temptations treats and Fancy Feast cat food for him while I wait, and after that it was time to go home.

As I’m loading Harry back into the car, the folks in the van now want to get back in their van as I’m meticulously loading my feline back in, and one guy in particular is giving me dirty looks. Just to make sure they don’t pull any kind of payback, I wait for them to pull out first and disperse before I do likewise.

We get home, and we’re both happy campers. I make sure to give the little fella some treats to thank him for his trouble.

Following Francis

Pope Francis is currently touring the northeastern United States.
Pope Francis is currently touring the northeastern United States.

So, about that papal visit…

A few days back, I suggested that Facebook was more interested in the Emmy Awards than in the Pope’s visit to three northeastern US cities (Washington, New York City, and Philadelphia) than the visit from the Holy See.

The last few days, the Pope has been all over TV, visiting here and there, getting a lot of network and cable news outlet time. I’m totally fine with that. The more time the Pope gets, the less time will be spent discussing Kim Kardashian’s boobs, butt, martial and pregnancy statuses.

It might even bring back some people to the Catholic church, which overall is a good thing. I was born Irish Catholic. I watch some EWTN when I get the chance, I read the bible when I get the opportunities to do so, I even watch Notre Dame football and basketball, but I just never get around to going to church.

Maybe this Sunday, thru new technology, I might get around to changing that.

Facebook Is The Devil?

My computer desk, sometime in the fall of 2008...such as it was.
My computer desk, sometime in the fall of 2008…such as it was.

Now don’t take my title all too seriously, people. I’m just suggesting that Facebook isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be.

Last Sunday when the Emmys were taking place on FOX, Facebook seemed to encourage us to talk about this award show that honors the best shows, actors, and actresses on television, which now a days extends to Internet TV networks such as Netflix and Amazon’s service.

Another newsworthy event is taking place here today which is getting little or no attention on Facebook: the arrival of Pope Francis and his first visit to the United States as the new pontiff. This doesn’t sit well with me personally because for better or for worse, I am a Catholic, and I find it weird that the online gathering place would be more interested in a second-rate awards show than something that still has some relevance in today’s world to those of us of that faith.

There’s a dark side to Facebook that makes it almost an addiction to some. I don’t consider myself such an addict, but I use FB every day, so maybe I am in denial in some way. But if you’re not on Facebook, it’s like you’re not keeping up with the online Joneses, and perhaps THAT is where the problem lies.

Honestly, if Facebook went up in a puff of smoke tomorrow, I don’t really think I’d miss it, as it’d be one less thing out there to do. I’d concentrate on my blogs and my Twitter accounts all the more, plus something else would come along that would probably be more interesting.

Giving Him The Business

Watching the Green Bay-Seattle game get chippy in the fourth quarter, I was reminded of a referee back in the 80’s named Ben Drieth.

The date of the game was September 7, 1986. The Jets beat the Bills 28-24 in the first regular season game that year, with the Jets going 10-6 and making the playoffs, while the Bills went 4-12 with Jim Kelly as their quarterback. Kelly, who had just come over from the USFL the previous year, was being “introduced” to the NFL by Marty Lyons of the Jets, hence the fight.

Drieth then calls a personal foul on number 99, who was Mark Gastineau, the quarterback sacking wild man (and a steroid user, as he himself admitted years later) that the Jets had, who was known for dances to celebrate whenever he got to the QB. That usually triggered fights (the Rams and Jets had a famous fight in 1983), and this ’86 brawl was probably not an exception to all of that.

That’s the world of the NFL for you, and these guys aren’t there for their peacemaking skills.

Damon Rutherford Should Have Ducked


I recently re-read the “Universal Baseball Association, Inc.” in recent days. I didn’t grasp the book totally at first and the darkness that surrounded it, but now I have a better grasp of it.

With computer technology being what it is today, the book is kind of obsolete in a sense, but for me, it’s understandable subject matter. And for 1968, the story was something that was ahead of its time.

Author Robert Coover writes about fictional character J. Henry Waugh, accountant by day, consumed by a dice-created baseball league of his and the rules and fictional characters of his creation when not working. One of his such created players, Damon Rutherford, throws a perfect game in one such game, retiring 27 batters in a row. It proves to be a curse in disguise as it causes him to hone his attention on the UBA even more than he had. As fate and the dice would have it, Damon’s fate is “sealed” in the very next game when he’s killed by a pitch that hits him in the head from an opposing pitcher.

That sends Waugh’s personal life in a tail spin, as the facts and events of his life and the fiction he creates are mashed into an unrecognizable blur. The moral of the story: keep your hobbies just that: your hobbies. Don’t let them consume you.

Things I’ve Learned Recently

Just me...right before I typed this blog entry up on September 18, 2015
Just me…right before I typed this blog entry up on September 18, 2015.

It’s been a rather eye opening week for me.

I’ve spent a lot of time with my mother, getting that rain-checked dinner from Zom Hee last Saturday and a rare trip to Outback Steakhouse in St. Pete on Monday. Believe it or not, the last time I had been to Outback the year I went began with a “1” in it. It’s a shame, because their food is pretty good, just wish their service was better, as I recently wrote on a Yelp review I did.

As I’ve noted previously on the blog a while back, I’ve noticed that if you go to a restaurant these days and place an order, you’re liable to run into wait staff who want to change your order, or make you defend what your ordering when they attempt to correct it. This also took place at Zom Hee’s last week when we went there, and it’s getting super annoying. I might have to straighten somebody out the next time it happens…it’d make good blog material, no?

Driving and pedestrian literacy and smarts also seem to be on the wane.

Turning left onto 9th Avenue from US 19 in St. Pete, I got stuck in the left-turn lane for an extra light cycle because as we (in the north-south portion of the intersection) had the green, some guy in a bike can’t decide whether or not he was going to cross 19 on his bike or walking his bike when it WASN’T HIS TURN! Thanks, pal. You’re lucky there weren’t cars speeding through the intersection that would have put you into orbit without a spacesuit.

Then coming home on Gandy, we run into Confused Trucker Guy, who wouldn’t make a right turn onto Grand Avenue when the road was clear for him to do so. He would rather chat with some bicyclist, apparently to get directions, even though I’m sure the nearby Wawa station had plenty of maps.

If that was all to the story, I wouldn’t have mentioned this. Then, this fruit-looped dingus is making a left turn into the nearby condo complex. He uses the proper lane…and he also uses the one I’m trying to use to evade him and his dangerous driving, so I guess all the lame brains come out during rush hour which helps tie up a clogged portion of St. Pete (they’re currently turning Gandy into a mini-highway from Grand Avenue to the Gandy Bridge) even more.

I try and be a nice guy, but if you’re lost, get a GPS or a road map. If you can’t drive, find a nice police officer somewhere and surrender your license. The rest of us would like to make it to and fro when traveling in one piece.

Aircheck: WLCY, 1/22/1961

This clip comes to us from a cool (for Florida, 41 degrees) Sunday evening of January 22, 1961, just two days after the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.

WLCY 138 based off of Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg (stations often dropped the 0 at the end of the AM frequency in those days) was one of the more popular music stations of that time in the Tampa Bay market. The music from early 1961 was pretty diverse, as the station goes from country crooner Ferlin Husky to the soul stylings of Lloyd Price in the first two songs heard on the aircheck.

Worth a listen if you’ve got a few minutes.

The Bucs Find Neverland…Again

Jameis might want to consider playing baseball as opposed to the NFL...
Jameis Winston might want to consider playing baseball as opposed to the NFL…

I’ve been a Bucs fan a long time, and I am hard pressed to find an opening game that could make me more discouraged than the 42-14 blowout they suffered at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, who went 2-14 in 2014.

The game wasn’t even THAT close. It was 35-7 at halftime until Tennessee called off the dogs early in the second half and cruised to victory.

To their credit, I thought the Titans played very well. They built their offense around their first-round NFL draft pick, Marcus Mariota, flying around the field like his college team, the Oregon Ducks.

The Bucs on the other hand are trying to fit Jameis Winston into an offense for a head coach who has never had great offenses in Lovie Smith, either here or in Chicago when he took the Bears to the Super Bowl nine seasons ago off of a good defense and a special teams weapon in Devin Hester.

The Bucs don’t have a good defense, nor good special teams. Wherever Lovie is staying in this great Tampa Bay area, I hope he’s merely renting property, not owning it. It was an extremely disappointing way to start the 2015-2016 campaign that doesn’t conclude until they play Carolina in Charlotte on January 3, 2016. That date seems a long, long ways away now.

Flashback: “Don’t Let The Good Life Pass You By” by “Mama” Cass Elliot

A little uplifting ditty with 9/11 in mind. This was a minor hit for Mama Cass Elliot in late 1970 that other performers have covered, Jerry Reed probably being the biggest. A good reminder to keep things that happen in life in a proper perspective.

More to come soon…