Ah, Football

Apparently Thursday is the day to start NFL preseason games. I’m at a bar writing unit tests for my new project, and I have these observations:

1) People care an awful lot about the outcomes of games in which guys on your team who will be cut before the season starts play against guys on the other team who will be cut before the season starts.

2) The perfect football moment. A guy made a good catch. To celebrate he spun the ball on the ground like a top. The refs then took a full minute to penalize him for delay of game.

3) I’ve mentioned before that were I coach, I’d not be playing to win at all; rather I’d be digging deep holes for the team to see how my players respond. It would be a giant gut-check the whole night, an undying series of do-or-die moments. It’s only fair to the guys on the bubble to have a chance to show who they really are when things get tough. That’s what preseason is for, right?

But football is on the TV’s here and that means summer is coming to an end. To be honest, I welcome the cooler weather, but it’s this time every year when I consider that I will only know a finite number of football seasons on this lovely-if-frustrating orb. The players are younger, the announcers are older, and another summer is coming to a close. I love summer; my emotions have not forgotten the magic of summer vacation.

In my heart, I’m still that kid; in my soul, I have gathered a lot of wisdom over the years. In my knee, there is a constant reminder that things are changing and will not change back.

And so football arrives again, my knee saying “see? I told you so.” Time does what time does. And the referees delay the game to penalize players for delaying the game.

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Patio Life: California

I was looking for something cool and fizzy to sip on the patio this evening, and the Official Sweetie of Muddled Ramblings and Half-Baked Ideas suggested a Gin and Tonic, with some fancy tonic already cold in the fridge. I’m not ordinarily a G&T kind of guy, but the idea fit conditions perfectly.

Then she said, “Ooo! You want a lime? I’ll go out and pick you a lime.”

 

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Attention White House Staff: There’s a Grownup in Charge Now

Image stolen from cnn article linked below.

The Mooch made history by lasting just over a week in the White House. There are people who theorize that he was hired just to get Reince Priebus to resign, much the way a baseball manager will bring in a relief pitcher to face only one batter. Honestly, I don’t think Trump is engaged enough to come up with anything that clever.

Trump broke his own record this month for playing golf. For Trump, the best outcome for his presidency is impeachment; he has no interest in governing and now his Russia boondoggles are starting to surface. Being president, he has already admitted, is way harder than he thought it would be. As the castle crumbles, he’s working on his putts.

If he’s impeached, he can blame Washington insiders for his failure. He can go home early and rant and rave about how the system was rigged against him. If instead the electorate votes overwhelmingly for “not Trump”, it’s a tougher lie to tell.

But here comes John Kelly. Kelly had hardly finished accepting the job when he burned rubber to Anthony Scaramucci’s office to give him the heave-ho. That was a message to the rest of the staff, and it was a message to you and me. Guys with so little self-control that they make insane, profanity-laced rants about their co-workers (the word “cocaine” whispers across my mind once again) will not be tolerated. Well, one of them will, but no others.

Kelly comes from Homeland Security, which means he hates freedom. Your freedom, my freedom. Homeland Security is designed to curtail freedom. But you know what? He’s better than Trump. He’s a grown-up. (He probably also isn’t pals with one of the greatest enemies of our state.) Also, he’s better than Pence — as far as I know so far. So if Trump hits the links and leaves Kelly in charge, that might actually be a good thing in the short term.

In the long term, the harder Trump falls the longer it will take for the WWE Party to recover. It’s enticing, but this is my country we’re talking about. It would be nice if someone rational were in charge.

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Funkin Serial Fiction

So it comes down to this: out in chapter thirty-something things really fall into place if chapter one included one extra act of violence.

My advice to serial writers: When blood spills, go ahead an kill an extra person when you can. That corpse might come in handy later.

Funny How that Timing Worked

So if I have my facts straight, on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week The New York Times talked to our President-like Product* and asked him if, hypothetically, Mueller’s investigation of the Republican collusion with Russia were to be expanded to include Trump’s finances, would that be crossing a line?

Trump responded, with his usual thoughtless bravado, that such an expansion would indeed be crossing a line. Totally unacceptable.

Then on Thursday, it became known that Mueller has in fact extended his inquiry to include Trump’s finances. Whups!

There are a a handful of important takeaways here:

1) The NYT almost certainly already knew the investigation was expanding.
2) Trump did not know.
3) NYT was not above baiting Trump to say something he would regret later.
4) Trump is easily manipulated.
5) Trump can’t spot a trap question to save his life.
6) That same guy talks to Putin, who is no slouch at interrogation.

Number four above is the one that scares me most.

But let’s not lose perspective on the actual news. People with the power to arrest criminals are looking at Trump’s tax returns. No matter which side of the aisle you sit on, that has to be a good thing. If you believe he has nothing to hide, you will naturally embrace this chance to see him exonerated while keeping his finances private. If you think he’s up to his eyeballs in foreign entanglements, well, now’s the time to find out.

This is a good thing, as long as you believe in truth.
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* I promised, after the election, to suck it up and no longer use disparaging names for our then-president-elect. Today I was unable to live up to my own standard, so I’m calling myself out to save you the trouble.

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Kids These Days Don’t Know How Good they Have It

It occurred to me today, as I spent less than sixty seconds ordering a pizza, paying for it, and arranging to have it delivered to my home, that kids these days will never appreciate how rough it was back in the day. They’ll never know the difficulty of calling for pizza on the telephone, talking to someone who is in a loud environment and just wants to get the transaction done quickly, who may or may not get your order written down correctly.

THEN you have to give your address (even if you’ve ordered from them before), and all your payment information (even if it’s the same as last time). THEN you had to pay for the pie and tip the driver when it arrives at your door.

Man, what a hassle.

Knives Episode 36 Published!

A quiet place, relatively safe. Physical wounds can be tended to, but perhaps those are not the only injuries our little band of heroes has suffered. It is, at last, a moment to pause, and to decide how to act rather than merely react. Which begs the question “Just what is it we want to accomplish?”

I like this episode for a few reasons. The last sentence is the biggest of those. A big moment for Katherine.

Anyway, enjoy Episode 36: People Like Us.

Behind the scenes, I didn’t get as many actual words written as I had hoped to while in Kansas. The reasons for that are complex, but with the help of the Repeat Offenders I came to a couple of significant decisions, story-wise. One of those changes is particularly scary (for me), and will be challenging to get right. To be honest, it paralyzed me for a bit. I have taken on a new tactic as I make my way to the big change: Try not to think about it too much.