A Halloween Memory

The year was 1990. The date was Halloween, October 31st.

The girlfriend I had at the time and I were in her car, driving up Indian Rocks Road from Largo to her home in northwest Clearwater for the evening. Right around where a McDonald’s used to be, there were these people wearing these big, oversized heads that were obvious as you drove up, dressed in costume.

As we drew closer, it dawned on me that the big heads were characters from the new FOX cartoon, The Simpsons. One of them dressed as Homer, the others being dressed up as Marge, Bart, and Lisa, respectively.

Like I said, this was 1990 when I saw this. Little did we know at the time that the show would still be going strong over a quarter of a century later.

As for 2016, I wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween out there.

Ducking Slick Willie’s Audit

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but what the heck, it has been nearly 20 years since it happened, so I’m going to venture whatever statute of limitations exists out there is out the window.

When I came back to live in Largo in 1996 after nine months in Marietta, Georgia, I started getting stalking by these yellow index cards from the U.S. Mail. They wanted me to sign for something they had for me from the IRS.

It didn’t immediately dawn on me that the Internal Revenue Service wanted to talk to me. I kept thinking, “What’s Eers?” Originally, I thought the letters in IRS were a word, and was quickly corrected when I did a little consulting.

The reason why they wanted to talk to me, I think, was because my last radio job in late 1995 and early 1996 paid me under the table, a set amount per week for a very small amount of work, three hours a night, five nights a week. What I’ve assumed for all these years is that somehow the IRS caught wind of that, and wanted to flip me against my paymasters, who I was loyal to.

I also wonder if the Bill Clinton administration was behind it all, considering their dislike of conservative talk radio. (Can you see why I couldn’t vote for Hillary, all these years later? Imagine what they’d do with the Fairness Doctrine if HRC wins?) They didn’t need me after all, because the FCC would eventually change the rules of radio ownership by 1997, expanding the number of stations media organizations could own.

And so, for a little, if I was home when the mail was being delivered, I’d just turn off the TV or radio and get real quiet when I saw the mail truck in the neighborhood. A few weeks later, the IRS had given up the ghost, luckily for me.

It couldn’t have been that important. If it was, the powers that be would have persisted in their pursuit of me.

Auditioning For CNN (Or MSNBC) On FNC


While I watched the first game of the World Series last night (Cleveland took the opening game 6-0 to take a 1-0 series lead), the Internet social circles that I follow were going absolutely bonkers of Megyn Kelly’s interview with Newt Gingrich on the Fox News Channel.

If Hillary wins the election in 13 days, score an assist for Megyn. On top of that, have you noticed how Fox News Channel has shifted left in its views since Roger Ailes resigned from the channel? Megyn and her anti-Trump views don’t bother me all that much, even though I voted for the Trumpster. (And as I said back when I first mentioned it, it was NOT an easy call at all.)

I just think it’s hypocritical to say “women aren’t sex objects” when a woman has no problem posing like one. Like the last accuser (of 11, mind you) that claimed Donald Trump engaged in sexual misconduct was a porn star. I thought that was ludicrous. All the misconduct Bill Clinton has engaged in (from his main accusers) has been documented and adjudicated. Where’s such documentation from all of Trump’s accusers.

Then again, there have been a lot of ludicrous things emanating from these campaigns. I’m still looking forward to the election being over.

Trump In Tampa, Redux


Donald Trump was once again in the Tampa Bay area last night, rallying his “troops” to vote him in for President. The latest polls are showing everything from a comfortable Hillary win to a tight election to a slight Trump victory.

Just remember folks, national polls are as insignificant as a man or a woman with a third nipple, because the popular vote means nothing. The presidential election is about winning 270 votes in the Electoral College, which isn’t where someone goes to school. Win the 11 most populous states, even by one vote, and it doesn’t matter if you’re landsided in the other 39.

Some polls that look at every state see a Clinton win, while the Real Clear Politics map that includes a toss-up column has Hillary at 262 electoral votes with 150 more votes in the toss-up column. If that holds, Trump can afford to surrender six electoral votes and no more and still win. Meaning he can lose in Iowa or Nevada, but not both. Any other toss-up state lost makes Hillary our first female President.

Trump’s speech in Tampa last night offered nothing new, other than reactions to news events already offered when he had spoke earlier in the day in St. Augustine. I keep noticing that when Trump comes to town, he never visits Pinellas County. Why is that? Surely there are facilities over here such as Ruth Eckerd Hall or Tropicana Field (to name a few) that could accommodate a huge crowd to see him.

Maybe it’s because Hillsborough country has a better highway grid than we do, although with the building of a few roads to highway standards in the next few years, Tampa won’t hold that advantage for long.

Anyways, I know Mr. Trump has an election to win, but Donald (whom I soon hope to call Mr. President), would you mind paying Clearwater, or St. Petersburg, or even Largo a visit? We’d love to have you over here.

UPDATE, 10/25, 11:55am EDT: Real Clear Politics updated their map, putting Minnesota in the Clinton column. With 10 electoral votes, that puts Hillary at a projected 272 votes, enough to be President if everything holds. But, the one thing about this election is that this may change a few times between now and November 8th.

Nirvana For Wrigleyville


On October 22, 2016, a date that will be long remembered in the annals of Chicago sports history, the Chicago Cubs clinched their first trip to the World Series by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 to win the National League championship series 4 games to 2, their first such crown since 1945. They will now face the Cleveland Indians to possibly win their first World Series since 1908.

In the top of the ninth inning, the gravity of the moment was hitting the fans amassed at Wrigley Field. You could see fans openly crying in the moments before the game-ending double play. No doubt they were wondering if what they were seeing was real, and not some mass event of common imagination, like minded people wanting to see the real thing, wondering if it was.

When the game ending double play took place, the audio from the FOX Sports One broadcast could not do the joyous moment justice. Fans singing “Go Cubs Go” when their adapted fight song blared were in full voice. Even comedian Bill Murray couldn’t help but weep as cameras trained their eyes on him.

A marvelous moment for the sports world and the city of Chicago. Maybe the Cubbies can rescue this rather regrettable year 2016 has turned into, at least for a little while.

Aircheck: ABC, 2/26/1984

The year is 1984. A little over a month after the Los Angeles Raiders scalped the Washington Redskins in the 18th Super Bowl, the 2nd USFL season got underway.

ABC carried USFL action on Sunday afternoons, with college football play by play “hoss” Keith Jackson and former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann calling the action on the network’s “A” game, which is the game going to the most markets. Keith and Lynn were in Birmingham for the game between the hometown Stallions against the New Jersey Generals.

At halftime, Jackson interviewed the owners, and you may have heard of the guy on the left in recent months. Yep, that’s the 37 year old Donald Trump being interviewed about the Generals, the team he owned in 1984 and 1985. The USFL folded in 1986 when they attempted to switch to a fall and winter season to go head to head with the NFL at mostly Trump’s behest. The USFL would sue the NFL and win, but the victory was a hollow one as they only got $3 in the antitrust verdict.

For many, this was one of Trump’s first TV appearances on a national stage, and worthy of a look back.

Flashback: “Eep Hour” by Jerry Garcia

I reminded myself of this 1972 song from one of Jerry Garcia’s albums watching the debate Wednesday night.

It was like watching a sporting event in a climatic moment with a sense of nervous energy in the air. Would the team/person pull it off, or would opportunity go squandered?

Plus, it’s almost Halloween, and this song has a haunting, spooky air to it.

Two Out Of Three Falls, Inside A Steel Cage


I watched the third and final Presidential debate in Las Vegas. In retrospect, I don’t know why it was such a good idea, since I had already voted for Donald Trump. The media, as is their apparent wont these days, wasted no time declaring Hillary Clinton a winner by a narrow margin. (Even though some of these “snap” polls question more Democrats than Republicans, but I digress.) Personally, I thought Trump look better in the final debate then he did in the first two and probably squeaked by with a narrow win.

The media is somewhat conceding that, considering their collective big headlines revolve around Trump’s relative uneasiness at conceding the election should he lose. Considering some of the information emanating from journalist James O’Keefe regarding Democratic stagecraft at Trump rallies and potential voter fraud, I’d think Trump would be stupid to concede under such a toxic environment that current conditions may represent.

What Mr. O’Keefe has been saying through his YouTube videos cannot be dismissed as partisan hackery, considering two DNC operatives have already been terminated over the findings within recent days.

The biggest problem with these elections, and pretty much society in general from where I sit, is that we glorify the problems we have, and that’s all we do! At the same time, the media (on both sides) doesn’t spend a lot of time dealing with why the problems exist and how the problems can be eliminated. The problems become buzzwords in these news cycles that go by quicker than a sneeze. ISIS! IMMIGRATION! CROOKED HILLARY! BUILD THAT WALL! TRUMP IS A GROPER!

This is not going to end well, and I think most of you can figure that out with the benefit of me telling you this. Whoever wins, there will be claims of fixing and fraud. I just hope we can all keep are collective heads once it’s all over.

Just remember, we all have to live together when this is all over with.

20 Items Or Less

As I do every week, I went to Walmart Saturday. This Saturday trip was a little different, as I got to the store just before 8:00 in the morning, because that’s when their hair salon opened up, and I wanted to get a haircut.

Why do I talk about my Walmart trips all the time? Good question. I think Walmart has become something either people love to do or despise doing. In many ways, it is a microcosm of Americana in this early part of this new century we’re all apart of.

When I got to the grocery buying portion of the trip, I’m keeping track of the number of items I’m getting. Should I get 20 items or fewer, I can go to the automated checkout sections they put in the store a few weeks back. I do my shopping, and sure enough, I’m right at 20 items.

I belly up to the checkout section on the north end of the store, and the attendant who I had encountered a few weeks ago who helped me with entering the bananas on their kiosk seemed in a sour mood.

The attendant declared, “Twenty items or less, sir.” I guess she was thinking I wasn’t keeping track.

“But I have twenty items exactly.” I responded.


I wouldn’t have declined the offer if she wanted to count the number of items I had for herself. But for her to assume I wasn’t keeping count, but it was strange that she immediately backed down. I’m not mad at her, as she was probably doing her job and probably has to deal with a lot of technological novices who aren’t adapt at using the automated machines yet. They should, however, be welcoming people who want to use their machines. I don’t go to the store to run some sort of scam on them.

I like the machines, though it has probably cost a few people their jobs at the store. I like scanning and going at my own pace, instead of hurrying to place bags in the cart and make split-second decisions that might squash that loaf of bread. Maybe it’s the future, or maybe it will be something that doesn’t mesh with the public like the “new Coke” back in the 1980’s.


Wikileaks Will Change The World


With three weeks left before the US elections that will find our 45th President, allegations of all kinds of misconduct are being thrown around like snowballs on a cold winter day.

It is hard to overlook the role that Wikileaks, a website that gathers information from political figures and big names thanks to hacked into E-mail, has had on the campaign to date. All kinds of information about the Clinton campaign’s inner workings have come to light, which doesn’t bode well for them. The biggest accusations (at least to my point of view) is how closely the media has been working with Hillary.

Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, Wikileaks impact in these elections will be felt. Might be a “death by 1,000 paper cuts” kind of thing.

The odds, according to fivethirtyeight.com, have Clinton with an 88% chance of winning as of today. If a so called “media bias” is out there and exists, could such a bias skew the polls?

The most likely scenario is that Hillary wins, having pulled out all kinds of stops to beat a non-politician. If that happens, the “leaks” that keep dripping may damage a Clinton presidency right from its start on January 20, 2017. There’s still a chance that Trump wins and pulls off one of the great political upsets in American history, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it, and if we get to it.