You Were Looking Live…

Jayne Kennedy and Brent Musburger, 1/6/80
I was a first grader at Anona Elementary in Largo, Florida in early 1978. My grammar teacher, Mrs. Phelps, had given us a bunch of newspapers and told us all to find words with three syllables in them in the text. Somehow, I found a sports section of the St. Petersburg Times, and a column about what sporting events would be on in a recent weekend that had gone by.

I definitely knew about Howard Cosell by that time. But my eyes spied the name of Brent Musburger, then one of the top broadcasters over at CBS. Perfect for my use, or so I thought. Musburger has three syllables, but I got dinged by Old Lady Phelps because I had used a common name. I briefly protested the dinging; aren’t names words, I wondered?

When thinking about Brent’s work now that I’m an adult, I often call him the Geraldo Rivera of the world of sports. Some people think I mean that as some sort of dis at Musburger, but when you think about their careers, Geraldo and Brent are eerily similar to each other. They each rose to prominence in the 1970’s, and were household names by the next decade if you watched TV back then with any regularity. They’ve also each had some moments in their career they probably would each regret. Geraldo had that thing with Al Capone’s vault that wouldn’t open in the allotted broadcast time. With Brent, you can probably go back to The Human Fly the CBS Sports Spectacular had back in 1975. (A guy on the fuselage of a plane? How is THAT a sport?!?)

Brent’s firing at CBS back in 1990 and retirement tonight on ESPN are each incidents with no real explanation, just a lot of mystery. He does have his new satellite radio venture over at VSIN in Las Vegas, so in my many ways, he’ll be emulating one of his former colleagues, Jimmy “The Greek” Synder.

Folks (see what I did there?), I wish Brent the best in luck in his future plans. Hope he does some podcasts or writes a book, as I bet he’s got some war stories over his career worth reading or hearing.

Three No Trump

I’m very tempted to comment on the whole kerfuffle over one of President Trump’s more recent executive orders on refugees immigrating to the United States. As many of you saw over the weekend, that turned out to be a bit of a mess, and I want to give that a few days to see how that story progresses before making comments on it. There’s much more to that story then what meets the media eye, hence my precautious nature. Plus, I think something bigger is going on than just this one issue.

What I have to say this Monday morning is this: as Trump’s first term marches on, watch three US senators very closely. Keep an eye out on John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio, the Republican senators from Arizona, South Carolina, and Florida respectively.

Maybe it’s all the years I’ve watched reality TV, but I always try to keep my eye on small alliances inside big groups. That’s usually where power lies, or where power dies. If these three powerful Republicans (who’ve all been dissed by Trump at one point or another in the past two years or so) turn on their President, it turns the GOP 52-48 advantage in the US Senate into at least a 51-49 disadvantage, plus whatever trigger effects would subsequently take place, possibly leading to some sort of coup in the Republican Party.

Just my tip of the moment as things continue to evolve. I don’t claim to be a political expert, just someone who is watching these relationships evolve.

Flashback: “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse

I thought Amy Winehouse was going to be a much bigger deal than she wound up being.

She had the perfect modern day voice for the retro lyrics arranged for her on that Back To Black album she had that was a joy to listen to. (It’s still the last physical CD I have bought, my purchases ever since have been downloads.)

“Rehab” wound up being her biggest hit, but also the moral for own life’s story, passing away at age 27 back in 2011.

The 20,000 Point Pyramid

While I went out to take care of Harry yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 20,000 point mark. Later in the day when the session ended, it finished over the same mark for the first time ever.

No, I’ve never played the market, though I held Walmart stock when I worked as a janitor in Charlotte for one of their stores in 1999 and 2000. When my days in North Carolina ended, I sold my stock holding (a little over one share) when it got to $60 a share. Now, the same stock is currently worth $66.89 after being worth north of $70 for most of 2016.

I’m old enough to remember when the DJIA was under 1,000 in the 1970’s, and the stock market “flash crash” on Black Monday in 1987, where markets lost roughly 25% of their value in one day.

To see the Dow at 20K deserves pause. Both the Democrats and Republicans will take credit for it, of course. Enjoy it while it lasts, because you never know what the future will hold.

A Word From The ASPCA

It’s a slightly foggy morning where I live here in Florida. I’m waiting a couple of hours for the threat to die down completely before I take Harry to the local Petco for his quarterly nail trimming. 

Speaking of the devil…

I tend to watch Fox News if I’m at home during the day, and they sometimes run those ads for the ASPCA. There must be some philosophy that they have that those ads have to make everyone feel bad if they don’t own a pet or something

It’s always soft violin music, close ups of sad pets. I’m not saying that there are pet population problems in parts of the country. It’s logical it exists. 

I’m just saying they could make their ads a happier place. Show the happiness of pet ownership as opposed to the sadness of not being an owner. 

Next week, I will have owned Har for two years, taking care of him on and off since 2010. Generally, he improves my daily mood, making me feel better about myself. There are days he tries my patience, but you have to take the good with the bad in all of life’s elements. 

Not everyone can own a pet. If you can’t, that’s life I guess. No need to make everyone cry their eyes out over a commercial. 

The Story Of Hot Beef

You’ve probably heard the adage that rules were made to be broken, right? That seems to be true everywhere, and my little community in Pinellas Park isn’t immune to that axiom.

I got a knock on my door Friday morning from someone I didn’t recognize in an unmarked truck. It was a serious breach of etiquette in my neighborhood, as no soliciting is allowed. But, with the concept of not enforcing rules that my HOA seems to have, the reality of the situation is that the rule is closer to, “No, there will be soliciting.”

(By the way, the no-soliciting rule only applies to physical soliciting. I get calls from A/C repair companies all the time, and they specifically mention the complex I live in when they pitch me.)

As soon as the guy starts mentioning chicken and steak, I knew this was what I call the “hot beef” scam. Knowing how our complex doesn’t like the hassle of me alerting them that there are solicitors on the prowl, I cut the guy a break and just let him go without incident. The meat seller sped off, not stopping at any other house in the neighborhood other than mine.

These companies with their unmarked trucks usually put vague ads in the papers of the bigger cities in the country looking for drivers, careful not to divulge what their job specifically entails when you call up their number. It’s usually a building in an industrial part of town with a bunch of trucks for employees to drive in, and the meat they sell is usually not USDA approved. My guess is it’s from Mexico or some other Central American country where labor is cheap enough to export it out to the United States so that a “money mark” here can buy it, thus turn it for a profit.

Employees are just as much as prey to the scam as are the owners, as they are the ones risking arrest for carrying the contraband, but again such an arrest is probably more a theory than a reality. I nearly fell for this scam looking for work twice in the 1990’s, in two separate big cities: here in Pinellas County and Atlanta, Georgia. All I can say is the scam was a bit elaborate in Atlanta than it was in the Tampa Bay area, and that’s how I fell for it twice.

The moral of the story is: if someone is selling you meat from a truck, it might give you a case of indigestion in more ways than one.