Saturday, 19 January 2013

That Earl Guy

I rarely ever blog over baseball anymore.  The steroid and bogus period of the 1990s still bothers me.

Today, a legend of sorts in baseball passed on....with Earl Weaver.  Earl was the manager of the Baltimore Orioles for seventeen seasons.  If you came to a came with the Orioles during this period....part of the reason was simply to watch what might develop with Earl.  Throughout the 1970s and part of the 1980s....Earl was part of the baseball.

Earl might spend ten games of the entire season on the bench for the entire game.  But for the majority of the games....he would readily come out and argue over just about any call that the umpires would make.  Earl could take a very simple call, and trigger a fifteen tirade that would involve finger-pointing, a recital of actual baseball rules, questions over the vision of an umpire, and in some cases....just plain insults.

It was like watching an opera go on....and instead of the fat lady....you got Earl.

I suspect Earl's players sometimes felt that they were part of a bigger thing in life, when Earl would come to defend them, their lousy play, or some minor moment in the game.

Earl had a strange view of run production.  You could view all of the teams that Earl had over that seventeen year period, and proudly say that he never recruited any guys who could run or steal bases.  Earl found guys who could pitch, hit, and produce home runs, period.  This wussy stolen base thing was for other teams....not the Orioles.

If you sat and watched a game, and Earl came out and started to circle the umpire....it was a sure sign that he wanted them to toss him out.  The final straw....like some wrestling show dram...was when Earl would kick dirt around at the shoes of the umpire.  That always resulted in Earl being tossed out of the park.

So in passing, I'm pretty sure that Earl is up in heaven, and arguing with God over some infraction.  And yeah, if there was dirt in heaven....he'd be kicking up dirt....just to make a point.  

Folks You Might Know

A Bama guy was never meant to be traveling far from the heartland.  We tend to notice things that most folks never pay much attention to, and that could be a dangerous thing.

I occasionally have to ride the DC Metro subway system....from three minutes to fifteen minutes.  It doesn't take much upon entering such a subway car....to notice things.

There's going to be the guy who's there in the midst of January with sandals on.....with the outside temp around 32 degrees.  You'd like to ask him where he's from, but you expect the answer to be Michigan.  Maybe it's best not to know that answer.

Then there's that gal dressed up in 1966-like clothing and feeling really fashionable.  She looks like a dumb-ass but you try not to say much.  She probably did her shopping at Marty's Pick-and-Go in Boaz, where he got all that cheap clothing from the Atlanta store bankruptcy back in 1971.

Then, there's the guy sitting there and doing twelve hand signals every minute.  You suspect he's on meds, and he'd be doing three times that number of hand signals if he wasn't on meds.

Then, there's the gal talking up a storm to some imaginary person over Interpol, Burma generals, Nazi agents, and secret meetings with Cheney.  I'd like to sit down and introduce myself as a alien from Mars....but she might actually take me serious and want to follow me to work.

Then, there's the guy who is dressed like he just got out of a Fairbanks snow-plow.  He's got on six layers of clothing, and sweating up a storm.  You kinda wonder what his real occupation is....but it's best not to ask.

There's some lady over in the corner with two pounds of hand sanitizer that she is pumping into her hands.  I'd just like to step up and offer to shake her hand....to see how she'd react.  Maybe cough once or twice.

There's the slutty gal dressed in some skirt that only goes one inch below the crotch.....and about ninety percent of her top is fully exposed.  You figure she works for some Senator, but it's best not to ask.  She has six-inch heels and some weird stockings that you probably can only buy in Montreal.  You'd think that you'd catch a cold with such little clothing, but I reckon that the Senator keeps the office temperature up around 82.

Across the way, there's the older gal sitting and reading a Doctor Bob and Nurse Wanda novel.  You'd like to walk over and introduce yourself as Doctor Harvey, chief doctor of such-and-such hospital and looking for someone to escort to a fancy opera in DC for Friday night.  She might freak out though.

Down the aisle is the Uncle Karl character, who is pepped up on caffeine.... probably his sixth cup of coffee this morning.  He is extremely focused, and he's got barely twelve minutes before he hits zero-minute and he desperately needs a visit to the bathroom.

Finally, there's the Ag guy from Auburn who works for some government agricultural department and reading through the daily agricultural news. He's up on hog prices, wheat futures, tractor sales in Utah, and drought news from Florida.

After a while, you feel like it's the Twilight Zone, and you just don't belong there.  The train stops.  And you get a chance to leave.  The door closes.  And the crew drives on, with fresh new characters.

Bama guys should never travel beyond the borders of Bama.  Just my conventional wisdom kicking in.

Your Regulated Life

A kid who is born today....by age six....will have been involved or evolved through 2k pages of federal regulation.  From the hospital he was born in, the social security number assigned, mandatory shots, the care given, or the food given in those initial 365 days.

Between six and twelve, you can add around 4k pages of additional federal regulation that he or she will shuffle through.  The little league team and the field upon which they play will be federally regulated in some fashion.  The standards of the school?  Established by hundreds of pages of regulation.  The allergy medicine, the flu shots, and the Bactine mist?  All government regulated.  The bed upon you sleep?  There's some kind of sticker on it which notes the government regulations used to manufacture it.  The school bus?  At least fifty pages of regulation to make sure it's safe or guzzles the right amount of gas.  The teachers?  All government regulated.

Between twelve and eighteen, add on another six thousand pages of regulation.  The football helmets, the after-school activities, and the steroids that the family doctor gives you....all regulated.  The sneak way that you got birth control pills from the school nurse and some county doctor?  All government regulated.  The car that you bought with Grandma's money?  Regulated.

Between eighteen and twenty-five, you discover another six thousand pages of regulation.  The community college or truckers school all found ways to score on government grants....covered by regulation.  The cheap apartment complex you found....sponsored by a government grant and regulation. That butterfly project you helped Professor Poindexter accomplish?  Covered by a government grant and regulation.

Between twenty-five and sixty-five, add another ten thousand pages of regulation.  You married someone, and it was covered by the government act of real marriage (not fake stuff)....only because of government regulation.  The cattle you sold via the local farmer's market?  All covered by government regulation.  The fancy trip to Aruba?  Covered by government regulation.  The loan to buy that over-priced house for $350k?  Covered by government regulation.

From sixty-five on?  There's probably twenty thousand more pages of regulation....to cover social security, retirement, taxes, MEDICARE, and marrying a young Thai gal as you approach seventy years old.  Even as you die....there's government regulation.

So on that final day, as you note yourself in the status of almost passing....there will have been fifty thousand pages of regulation in your life.  To be honest, you probably didn't intend to read more than 1k pages of it.  And the rest?  Just passing over a piece here and there.

Truthfully, life isn't that simple anymore.

Simply Observations

TSA is finally rounding up all those "nudie-scanners" that they got about three years ago, and dumping them.  Reason?  Well...the company says they can't comply to a law that now says you need to obstruct the nude nature of folks and make a fake digital cloth around the item on the screen.  It's best not to even bring up the cost of this whole mess.  But here's the thing.  If you were a sports bar owner (several franchises).....you should go and offer $5k for each machine.  The deal?  You bring them into a bar and open the floor with these while guys and gals look over their digital nude image.  They'd practically show up night after night....with some new 'friend' and do a dance, then convince them to step in front of the scanner.  You'd make your investment back in six months and clear profit after that.

Someone came up to announce this week that the Cheesecake Factory's Shrimp Pasta is loaded with 3,100-odd calories.  I should add that it has over a 1,000 milligrams of sodium to it as well.    Toss in a soda?  Now, it's up to 3,300 calories.  With one of those, and a normal breakfast, and evening meal....you would be up to around 6k calories.

Some guy in Bama is in a bunch of trouble.  He went out and shoot three deer-hunting dogs, while out in the woods.  There's a hunter association offering $1k in reward money for someone to turn the guy in.  When you get to some moment of stupidity and shoot some guy's hunting dogs....you've likely sunk pretty low.  I'm guessing that you will admit this to someone eventually....just to brag about it, and they will likely turn you in.

Finally, the Monday ceremony for the President promises to be a fairly arctic situation....with freezing temperatures expected all day long.  Who would come out for eight to ten hours of this, and then face at least two hours of trouble in getting into the Metro stations and out to their car?  I'm not sure.  Most kids would absolutely refuse if you detailed the entire plan.  Most adults would likely beg to wrap it up after three hours.