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It’s Thor’s Day… And St. Joe’s, Too… So… Let’s Put Our Hammers Down

20-years ago, yesterday, ChiTown was electrified by a two-word fax which read: “I’m back”. No, this is in no way on par with the “Second Coming of MJ”, but for this week, well, “I’m back”. Why? ‘Cuz I felt like it. No. Really. I was feeling like I was sounding like a bit of a whiner…which is the reason I’ve quasi-weaned myself off cable TV news shows. So, let’s get on with it.

Thought I’d get going with some mighty fine pickin’ and grinnin’ from Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris. This may be he best version of “Speedway to Nazareth” I’ve heard/seen. Enjoy…

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris – Speedway at Nazareth

Not bad, huh?

                                                                      WABBIT STHEASTHON

Well, besides being St. Joseph’s day…St. Pat’s red-haired, step-bro…it is also the last day of Winter. BOOM-Shaka-Laka! And, it’s also…

“National Chocolate Caramel Day”. How’s THAT for smack dab in the middle of Lent? Huh?

…and…

“National Let’s Laugh Day”. Well, shouldn’t that be every day, sometimes to just to keep from crying?

…and…

“National Poultry Day”. Uh-huh. You read that right. So, you turkeys, ducks and chickens out there, enjoy your day before someone enjoys you.

…and…

“National Certified Nurses Day”. Aren’t many nicer folks in the world than these.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! What’s happened on March 17th according to historynet.com and historyorb.com, you ask?

1279,   The Mongols won a naval battle at Yamen, which brought an end to the Song Dynasty. A dark, dark day, as we all know that “…without a song, the day would never end…”.

1687,   While searching along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico for the mouth of the Mississippi, French explorer, Robert de La Salle was murdered by his own men. Now THAT’s a mutiny!

1822,   Bahstehn was incorporated as a city.

1831,   The first bank robber in the US was committed in New Yawk. The thieves got away with $245,000.00.

1848,   Unfortunately for Ike Clanton and his bros, Wyatt Earp was born.

1891,   Former Chief Justice of the Supremes, Earl Warren, was born. He was better known as the author of “The Warren Report” which investigated the assassination of JFK.

1903,   Thinking forward, the Senate ratified the Cuban Treaty, gaining the naval base at Guantanamo. Why? Who knows? Of what possible use would that ever be?

1904,   Judge John Sirica was born. He was best known for having presided over the ” Watergate” hearings.

1906,   The leader of Hitler’s SS, Adolf Eichmann, was born.

1917,   The Supremes declared the eight-hour day for railroad workers to be constitutional.

1918,   Congress authorized Daylight Saving Time. Now that I’ve adjusted to the change, ain’t it nice? Now those RR workers had a little more daylight to enjoy once the got home.

1925,   Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft was born. His was the investigation into the “Iran/Contra” scandal.

1931,   The state of Nevada legalized gambling. Yeah, like that’d ever amount to anything.

1945,   Fearless leader that he was, Adolf Hitler, gave a “scorched-earth” order to destroy all German factories, as well as to his retreating troops, which made the locals very helpful to them.

1982,   The Argentinians landed troops on the Falklands, which precipitated the “Falklands War”.

1995,   Much to the joy of Chicago Bulls fans, MJ’s famous “I’m Back” fax is sent.

2003,   Led by numerous draft avoiders from the Vietnam-era, “Dumya’s War” began in Iraq. While many prdicted failure, it tuned out to be a rousing success. Just ask anyone. We finally have peace in the Middle East. Wait. What? Oh! OK. Never mind. Oh yeah…see 1903.

STUFF IN DA NEWS…

-The biggest has to be the Doogie Howser lookalike, Ella Congressman, A.A. Ron Schock.

One can only wonder at the balls on this kid. (I call him a kid as I have “kids” older than he.) While many of his “questionable expenditures” might plausibly be explained away in some manner shape or form, what seems to have done him in was a fairly common practice among folks with expense accounts…mileage. As we all know, it’s damned hard to “dial-back” an odometer. But in NewbieDoogie’s case, well…

It seems Doogie bought his self an SUV for political travel around his district. So! What’s wrong with that, Wat?

Nuthin’. Not a danged thing.But wait! There’s more!

Seems Rep. Doog turned in mileage reports totalling around 170,000 miles of travel. OK, that could be quite a bit but, hey, who was checking? Right? But wait! There’s more!

Seems Rep. Doog decided to sell that SUV but when he did, the odometer read 80,000 miles, which if we use grade school math, tells us he was reimbursed for some 90,000 miles the vehicle was not driven. But wait! There’s more!

Thing is, the rate of reimbursement was $1.00/mile…or…$90,000.00 in his pocket, free and clear, with no offsets from any actual expenses. Uh-oh?

Former ChiTown Congressman…mine…Dan Rostenkowski went to Club Fed for cashing rolls of stamps he was provided under “franking privileges” which he hadn’t used.

The other thing is, this kid’s sposetabe such a wunderkind, what with J-Cubed still in Club Fed…and Blago, too…how could he have been so stupid? He’s dead meat. A “purty-face” for some prison baddass, as no matter what he says after the fact, no one will believe him. Oh yeah, he ma hear the words, “Squeal like a pigh” more than he care sto.

-Otherwise, we have Da Mayiral election coming up just after Easter and it’s caused a quandary. Even staunch, “non-Rahms” at DaNest are having problems. We don’t want more Rahm but Chuy ain’t zackly lightin’ anybody’s fire. What’s worse is, he doesn’t seem to be strong enough to hold off Rauner. Thing is, #2, can we count on Ram to really do that, or are his recent contrary words/actions nothing more than election-ploys?

He did say if we get a casino in ChiTown, any money from it would go to our pension-problems. That’s fine…as long as that money isn’t “fungible”. That’s a word I only learnt of after Big Jim Thompson’s pledge that all lottery funds would go to education. What he didn’t say was that word…fungible. What it means is, one thing can be used in place of another. So, in the example of the lottery, instead of those funds being “in addition to”, the education funds on hand, they were put in and then their equivalent were removed to the general fund. So, if Rahm means he will use the proceeds of any ChiTown casino to be used ‘IN ADDITION TO” the funds on hand, fine. But if he’s going to play “3-card monte” with them, then “NO”!

-Speaking of “Cousin Brucie” his budget’s gonna piss off his many of those who voted for him in ChiTownLand’s suburbs, with his transit cuts. This means they may find themselves paying much more to use the various suburban and city transit systems to get to and from work. I’m waiting for the “Don’t blame me! I didn’t vote for him” bumper stickers to appear.

-Speaking of transportation, Yellow Cab filed for bankruptcy at 3:45 AM, online, just hours after a jury awarded an attorney a $25,900,000.00 judgment against them. I’m not getting into the whys and wherefores of the case. What I am is this. Bankruptcies aren’t just filed on a whim. I recall one of you relating a conversation you’d had with one of the preeminent bankruptcy attorneys in ChiTown about what he counseled people who came to him saying the needed to file. The first thing he told them to do was to “fill their warehouse” with merchandise; then wait; then come back to see him and then, they’d discuss filing. Why? By then,  their suppliers could not reclaim the goods. It’d be too late. The bankrupt could continue to operate for quite some time as, well, their “warehouse” was filled.

Devious? Yes.  Unscrupulous? You betcherass. Uncommon? Not on yer finkin’ life. Which is why I nodded my head, knowingly, when the plaintiff’s attorney objected to this, saying in essence, bankruptcies don’t just get filed on a whim at 3:45 in the morning.

-”Obabarama”…aka…his Prez Liberry.

Am I the only one who’s going to do a spit-laugh if/when Barry and Michelle say they’re gonna have it in NYC?

                                                               DUCK SEASON

ON THE BIG SCREEN…

-”Insurgent” the second entry into the “Girls can fight, too” saga based on the “Divergent” trilogy of books, opens tomorrow. We’ll be going to see it, probably one day next week, as it’s an MBH fave. I’m OK with them, though, again, if a guy had written a story which as part of its plot involves a guy in his  late-20s,  making out with some 16-year-old girl, he’d be called a “perv”.

Naomi Watts has joined the cast as another member of this film’s “rebel alliance” against the evil “Jeannine”, played by Kate Winslet.

TUBULARLY SPEAKIN’…

-Watched “Blue Bloods”, which we’d DVR’d from last week, last night. Overall, I thought it was one of their better efforts, mainly due to the portion of the story which involved Frank and his helping a young woman, whose family was murdered by a psycho when she was 6, who then was contacted b the killer as he wanted to get in touch with her to help himself work through what he’d done. Yeah, just what I thought. What I liked was it wasn’t some TV-BS. This girl hated that man…h-a-t-e-d…him and there was nothing he could say or do to change that. In other words, her reaction was about the same as ours would be towards someone who’d murdered our parents and younger sib. It was well-done. The Eddie going undercover could have been better. It was too predictable. I felt I was hearing the cavalry charge in my mind’s ear while her fellow-cops and FBI agents stormed to her rescue. It was a “thumb-sideways”. I had the “Henry’s girlfriend” segment pegged as soon it began.

-”Battle Creek”. So far, it is as advertised…a quirky cop show. We’re only into episode 3, so, we’ll hafta see. However, there was a scene where one of the detectives exclaims to Hispanic suspects what he thinks is”Halt! Don’t move” which came out like, Hey! It’s cold outside!”

-Am really liking “Sirens” on USA. At least this show’s main characters work for an ambulance company, which has them all over the city. Last night’s premise with a fight outside Wrigley Field between  Cubs fans and Sox fans based on their mutual disdain for each other, which only ends when they face a common enemy(?). Like this from last year…which is great!

New Era Caps – Chicago White Sox vs Chicago Cubs – Round 1 (Craig Robinson vs Nick Offerman)

As we are about to enter into Spring, not much first-run tube, on now, save for “The Blacklist” which seems to be waning. “The Slap” which we have not watched a second and the ABC entries, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal” and “American Crime”.

CBS? They have the NCAAs, which are of next-to-no-interest around here..nor among yuze, either, as no one wanted to do any brackets. No problemo. I don’t care, either. Which brings us to……………………………………………………………….

                                                                         AND NOW…SPORT

IT’S 2-1/2 WEEKS TILL OPENING DAY!

-Have the replay of the Cubs/Doyers game from yesterday on MLB Network. They’re up 7-5…the Cubs. Sorry, Rene.

-Much was made about Kris Brant’s agent, Scott BoreAss’ comments as to why the Cubs aren’t planning on taking him up to start the season. Someone needs to buy this guy a mirror. Y’see, he does his job too well. He’s the #1 agent in MLB; always seems to have the pick of the litter among the young-up-and-coming-ballplayers, which is fine. He’s earned his spot. But here’s the thing…and I’ve mentioned it before. While getting off to a good start is important and the kid could be a big part of that, he also could pull a Ryno and go 0 – for -23 in his first few games…similar to Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, when they first came up. So, should he Cubs risk losing him a year earlier than they have to…if he’s a good as his potential…for that possibility?

So, there’s this goofy clause in the CBA…which the MLBPA agreed to by the way…which states a “baseball year” lasts 173 days, though in reality, it’s more like 180 days. So, if an team bring up any minor leaguer with them, their “service years” begin with Opening day. But if they wait those two weeks or so, as the MLB calendar goes and the’re less than that 173-days, they get an extra year of “control” over any player, before the player can file for free agency. Now, with yer ordinary types, not such a big deal. But with the #1 prospect in all of MLB, who is represented by THE agent who’s known to push, shove, wheedle, use any loophole he can find to get his guys…and in turn, himself…more money, especially through free agency, what would you do?

Heard local sports-TV-dude David Kaplan offer this, last night. He suggested that Bryant and BoreAss sign a waiver of the “control” year and cede that extra year to the Cubs. In other words, for BoreAss to do for the Cubs, what he wants to Cubs to do for his player. Would love to hear his response to that.

That crap aside, they seem to be rounding into shape. An interesting comment was made about how the “metrics-geeks” favor a team putting its best hitter in the #2 spot, as once they go through the order, he can be #3 or 4 or 5, plus, it works out to around 18 more at-bats per year.. OK, I get it and I understand it and all y’all know I ain’t no “metrics-geek”. Y’see, back in the 1960s, the Giants used to bat Willie Mays 2nd. Believe it or not, they were able to figure out the same things! Really! Of course, when he was followed by “Cha-Cha” Orlando Cepeda and “Big Mac”: Willie McCovey, not forgetting guys like Felipe Alou and Jim Ray Hart, it’s easier to understand.

This was all involved in an item about hitting Castro #2. Could work. Ryno did it. Of course, he’s a HOFer. It wouldn’t hurt for Castro to be hitting ahead of Rizzo or Soler, either.

Not so happy…the Cubs are tied for 2nd place in the Cactus League with 20 errors. New manager, Joe Madon’s take on that? “Potentially very good.” Potentially really good”. “Potentially pedestrian…but our guys have to believe that it’s that important. And that’s the sale job going on now”. Yep. Right now, the #! prospect in all of baseball’s been a bit more Michael Jackson than Ron Santo on defense.

DaSOX…

-Looks like they may not be taking their top pick, LHP Carlos Rondon up with them, either. He may need more “seasoning”. No biggie. The kid seems to have the stuff. If he can make the transition, he’ll make a strong starting staff nasty.

DaBULLS AND DaHAWKS…

-Not going into too much as when I do, I jinx them.

-It was nice to see the Hawks return the favor to Joe’s Rangers and shut them out, 1-0 in New Yawk, as the did to us, here in ChiTown.

-Was also nice to see DaBulls take one from Indy. Lots of talk that Thibs may be on thin ice over “minutes-played” with Noah, among others. Will say this. Thibs is about the only, for-real, coach they’ve had since Phil. Saw something the other night that of the 40 top minutes-played/game, while Jimmy Butler leads the NBA, there isn’t an other Bulls team member. If the part was over that, a la Crumbs over Phil and MJ, they may lose me.

THE SOCIALIST FOOTBALL COLLECTIVE FREE AGENCY PERIOD…

-We’ve gone through DaBears, though they just signed a new long-snapper, Thomas Gafford.

-Here’s a head-scratcher. MyPackehs, who’ve cut two ILBs and may lose another to Joe’s Jets; have also lost 2-CBs to FA and don’t have a NT for their 3-4 D under contract, why in hell would they be looking at signing Wes Welker? I don’t know if this is media-BS or an actual leak from them. Hopefully, it’s the former, as they need to shore up their defense. Their offense is fine. Yes, A.A. Ron throwing to Nelson, Cobband Welker would be awesome. But still, their needs are on “D”.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

-Pete Rose. I know this is controversial and I, me, Mr. “Rules Are Rules”, thinks he should be allowed to stand for election into the HOF and see what happens. If he gets in, he does. If he doesn’t; he doesn’t.

I get it. I understand it. I know there’s more to it than that. And, I know I am taking a very narrow view but as far as I’m concerned, his inclusion or exclusion from MLB HOF should be based on his play, which is beyond arguing.

OK, am going to wrap things up. Hopefully, will have some Feel-Good for t’morra. Happy St. Joseph’s day to all.

Remember, any day we wake up above ground is a good one.

DaBigFatWat


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