Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Saints

If I were a Saints fan, I would be upset too.  However, if they take a step back in a few weeks, I think those who are foolishly reacting will feel foolish.

For those not clear of the particulars (and for myself when I read over old blogs years from now) here is what occurred. Toward the end of regulation in the NFC championship game, the Saints threw a pass, and interference should have been called. Had it been called, the Saints almost undoubtedly would have won the game.  If you watch a recording there is absolutely no doubt that the penalty should have been called. None. The receiver was interfered with. The Saints went on to lose the game that they would have won.

Because of this, Saints fans are filing law suits against the league; the Times-Picayune's headline yesterday was "Reffing Unbelievable." The owner of the Saints issued a public statement criticizing the officials and the league itself.

A number of things to consider.  The first: the call did not cost the Saints the game.  The Saints actually went ahead after the non call, but relinquished the lead subsequently when they allowed the game to be tied during regulation.  Then in overtime the Saints won the toss, got the ball, and threw an interception.  The Rams then won. And another thing. Before the interception, the Saints got a mascara (make-up) call when a receiver who was hardly bumped got an interference call.  So the Saints were sitting pretty with the mascara call, but gave it up.

Yes, they would have won had the penalty been called, but no, the penalty did not cost them the game.

Every game has bad calls. In the Patriots game later in the day, the Chiefs got away with the mother of all pick plays that resulted in a score. Belichick, the Patriots coach was furious.  But the Patriots still had a chance to win. And they did.  I have not scrutinized the film but I will bet the Saints got away with some calls in their contest as well.

Take a few weeks off Saints fans. You'll feel like goofballs later if you keep complaining.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Funny. Ha.

If you were watching you would have laughed. I did not.

It is icy out there today. Only four inches of snow, but after that came sleet. It is still sleeting. It took me every bit of an hour to shovel us out at 830 this morning. I do not mind shoveling, but I was beat at 930.

At noon I went out again to finish up. It had gotten worse. The sleet had made the snow tougher to move and the ice on our cars was difficult to scrape off.  I started both of our cars and labored shoveling snow.

I got done. I moved Donna's car to the street and parked it on the hill facing down.  I put on the emergency brake. I got into my car.  I could not shut the door.  Finally doing something I shut the door.  I pulled my car out. The goal was to put Donna's car first into the driveway. I try to get out of my car. I cannot. I am locked on the inside.  I have to climb over the console. It must have looked funny.  Not funny. I can open the passenger side. Unfortunately I have parked near a snowbank so while I can get the car open, I can't open it wide enough to climb out.

Now I have to climb back over the console. I am uttering words that we did not employ when I was studying Rhetoric while pursuing my graduate degree.  I get back to the driver side and do a u turn. Now my car is right behind Donna's. I have pulled to a spot where I know there is no snow bank.  Again I climb over the console, but it is tough. I have a couple of old man hips, I fell last March and the arm still has not healed, I have a hernia that the doctor said is no big deal but every once in a while stares back at me saying, "Anytime you're ready bub."  As I climb over the console I hear the console crack. Just great.  Looks hysterical. Laurel and Hardy funny. Not funny.

The weather man had said that by this time it would be just raining. It is sleeting.  Some feedback for the weathermen. Go back to school.

Finally I kick my legs over the crushed console, but in so doing I knock the car into drive.  I feel as if I am moving, because I am. In one second I will barge into Donna's car, parked on the downhill and we'll see if Honda makes a good emergency brake. Fortunately, somehow my left leg dangles fast enough to slam onto the brake.

I hope the Patriots fare better this afternoon.

Patriots 27-Chiefs 23.

Saints 34-Rams 20.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Luck Not

How is it possible that the Colts could have not been prepared for this playoff game. They did not lay an egg. They laid an omelette--one of the fancy ones you pay 13.95 for at a diner. 

On the first series, they drop an easy catch that would have been a first down. They do not get a single first down until there was less than two minutes to go in the half. Their kicker misses both a short field goal and an extra point.  Nearly all of the receivers could not have caught a cold. Their defense thought the game started at 6, not 430.

The good news for Patriot fans is that the Chiefs will not be so blessed next week. I am assuming the Patriots will win tomorrow, but whoever plays the Chiefs will not stink up the joint--and the Chiefs will not be the beneficiary of missed holding calls, and a phantom running into the kicker.

The Colts really need to go back to the barn.  Stinkeroo.


Friday, January 11, 2019

plumbing

So the downstairs toilet wasn't working. When I depressed the metal gizmo so that it would flush, it didn't.  When I opened up the tank and manually lifted the chain that should be lifted when you depress the metal gizmo, it flushed.  But that's the only way it would flush.

Probably not a big deal to fix, I thought.  But then I noticed that the water did not stop pouring into the tank after I flushed it manually. The rod that links to the ball had broken away.

So, I couldn't flush the toilet unless I removed the top of the tank, but once I did that I had to turn the water off, and only turn it back on when one of us needed to flush again. Terrific.

I went to home depot. Why I went is a good question. My grandfather was the handiest guy you could ever meet. My father was the opposite. I am in Dad's camp.  So me going to home depot to get the tools to fix the toilet, is like an illiterate buying a word processor to write a novel.

I called a buddy of mine who told me it is easy to fix this problem. And that is what the fellow in home depot said as well. The fellow with the orange apron, pointed to the directions on the plastic covering of the toilet fixer upper all in one package.  "All you have to do is follow these instructions."

Right.

It was my intent to give it a whack this morning, but after thirty seconds of eyeballing the tank and the materials I had bought from home depot, I started calling plumbers.  They all were too busy and all told me I could do it myself.

I remembered that several years ago a very kind man who works for the city had come by. He told me that after we had done the renovation, he no longer could read the water meter.  I realized that when the new siding went up on the house, the person who installed it must have taken the meter down.  The fellow told me that I was paying through the nose because they could not read the water meter. He offered to reinstall the meter for a modest fee. And he did, and it was a modest fee.  So, I thought of him this morning and gave a call. He was available.

This is the kind of fellow who could probably fix anything. Capable, self-effacing despite his skill, and affable. Whenever he got to what seemed to be to be a tough spot, and I asked if there was trouble, he said--"I think I can figure it out" which is just what I wanted to hear.  It took him about two hours to do the job. It would have taken me two days and at that point neither of us would be able to flush the toilet.

The handyman and I got to talking and he asked me how my new years was. I told him. And then I asked him.

He paused for a few moments and then told me.  He had lost his partner of sixteen years to cancer just a few months prior.  She had been misdiagnosed and when they finally got the diagnosis right, she was given only three months to live.  My new friend was venting, not overbearingly so, but he had gone through a tough stretch. Her family had been beyond unsupportive--and I believed the rendition the fellow was relaying.  He said that he and his partner were about to retire and were looking forward to time together. However, the time together when they both hit their mid 60s was spent with her failing and he being her caretaker.  He told me what I am sure he learned over the past year, that the body withers because the cancer eats up the calories you consume faster than one typically does. He also told me that when there is nothing left to eat, the cancer cells go for the muscle. And the atrophy is tough to endure and witness.

All this came with the backdrop of me reading a book about a woman who is married to a man and the two of them are engaged in a cold war related to the parenting of a troubled son.  I'm not finished with the book, but a recent exchange went like this. She: "This is so stupid. Either you really live with me or don't at all." He "You're right, I am pretty stupid, to hang around here and take this crap. It's time I found another place." She "Yes! I really wish you would." He: "Don't worry. I'll be out of here tomorrow." She: "Good"

My handyman now bereft is clearly in pain.  He was concerned that now, in his mid 60s, he was not in shape to meet anyone. It wouldn't be fair, he commented, because right now he was so off center. I had the sense that if he were reading the book I am reading, he would tell the two characters, that they are fools for separating.

In the throes of loss, any type of union can seem preferable. And maybe most unions are preferable to ones that have minor flaws.

It is, however, a matter of whether the toilet is fixable.

Can you repair it so that you can flush, or is the plumbing so far gone, that no matter what you do, the waste will be a constant condition and can only be temporarily purged.

And what you wind up doing is flushing manually and regularly and living with the smell.

I feel for my new friend, the handyman.  But I also feel for the characters in this novel.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Post game

Today's results and my predictions this afternoon suggest the limited value of my wisdom.

However, the Cowboys got two home cooking calls on their final drive. Also there was a hold on Prescott's run when it was 3rd and 14.

Maybe that is just sour grapes from a prognosticator who would have lost his shirt had there been wagers on the contest.

Predictions

Houston
Seattle
Chargers
Chicago




Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Wife

Most of the time when I see a movie after I have read a book, I leave disappointed in the movie.  Years later, I might feel as if the movie is much better than I had initially thought, because the details of the book have faded. I remember being upset the first time I saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and feeling similarly when I left the theater after the Godfather.  Now I like both of the movies a lot.  

I finished reading The Wife a few weeks ago.  I thought it was a good book that grew on me in the days after I'd completed it.  I could not, however, quite buy a central part of the story line.  Could not believe it would have happened that way, and that was a reason I was not wild about the novel. Still, it hung around in my head in the way good novels do.

Last night I saw the movie.  Really excellent. Glenn Close is so good in it.  As is Jonathon Pryce and Christian Slater.  When I left the theater I bought it. That is, I bought what I could not buy when I read the book. (You will have to do one or the other to know what I am referring to).  It could have happened that way.  It is a stretch, but it could have.  And I think it was Close that made me buy it.

To what extent do we, in order to motor along the bumpy highway of our existence, make concessions that seem--in retrospect at least, or to another observer--just unbelievable?  Will a spouse dodge the foul effluvia of a partner's conveniently blind selfish irresponsibility, in order to avoid the debilitating stench--yet still stay in the car.  Can social attitudes in one era, convince a person, subconsciously or otherwise, that what is incomprehensible in another era, is sort of fine.

I bought Glenn Close. I believe it could have happened. And I think the way she behaved throughout is akin to the way the wife would have reacted.  It helped that I had some background from the book.  The movie makers changed some of the storyline. The son is still central but he is a different sort of cat.  There is a daughter written out.  In the movie, there are allusions to Close's parents' aversion to the husband, and to the husband's upbringing--both of which could be seen as foundational to the behavior--but in the book, these events are developed much more.  The decision Close makes is right up front in the book but does not surface until the end in the movie.

Go see the movie. Particularly if you read the book. Just don't plan on having a jolly time with your partner afterwards.