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It’s Thor’s Day! Let’s Feel- Good As Much As We Can

i_feel_good1Don’t have to tell Chicagoans that it’s a might “crisp”, even a “snap, crackle and pop”, kinda day out there. The frost is – just about – on the punkins. Looking for the silver-lining, as much as the cold awakens “Uncle Arthur”, who reminds me that with each year, I’m getting older. Or, as Robert Redford told Jane Fonda in “The Electric Horseman” as he achingly awakens from sleeping on the ground, that different parts of his body wake up at different times. :-) Anyway, with the chilly weather upon us, MBH made her world famous chicken soup. How famous is it? It’s so famous, JoAnne Worley likes it! And, the reason you’re getting a semi-Feel-Good Friday edition is I will be making some eenfahmoos, “Rich’s Touchdown Chili” about three-months early. Don’t worry. I’ll make it for the Super Bowl, too. OK, let’s get to it. Some Feel-Good…mostly, I hope…

some not so. Hey, life sucks, then we die, so….

 

 

WABBIT STHEASTHON

 

Before starting, don’t forget to set your clocks back over Saturday night. Daylight Saving Time. Yes, despite the fact that it almost seems like a solar “savings account”, it is not. Hence, it is “Saving”, not “Savings”.

 

HEY WAT, WHAT DAY IS IT? Gladja axed. It’s…

 

“National Cat Day”. Don’t know if that means The Coasters, “Three Cool Cats”; Julie Newmar’s “Cat Woman” or Sthylvesthter the Cat’sth” day.

 

…and…

 

“National Oatmeal Day”. Now if that ain’t enough to get you up and going, I don’t know what is!

 

…and…

 

“National Hermit Day”. Most wouldn’t care but as just about anything tickles my “silly-bone”, that reminded me of this: Hermit Sketch

 

With your  Torquemada-instincts whetted and inquiring minds activated, I’m sure all y’all want to know what historynet.com and historyorb.com, have to say as to what’s happened on this date in history. Sherman! To the “Way Back Machine”, to see what’s happened on this date in…

 

1390,    The first witchcraft trial was held in Paris. It does not say if after being tossed into the Seine, if the witch sank or floated.

 

1618,    Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded, as it was thought he opposed the coronation of King James, I. No! Not LeBron! Look at the year, dammit!

 

1888,    After finishing his steak, Lord Salisbury granted Cecil Rhodes a charter to explore South Africa. Of course, this wasn’t done until after he’d consulted with the indigenous peoples.

 

1897,    Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, was born.

 

1901,   Anarchist Leon Czoglosz, was electrocuted for the assassination of President William McKinley. While not “Feel-Good”, if not for his actions, my favorite President, Teddy Roosevelt, may not have been.

 

1929,   On what became known as “Black Tuesday”, the stock market crashed, setting off The Great Depression. Again, seeking a silver-lining, our parents/grandparents, who grew up in those times knew want, need, hunger. They learned how to make the best of an awful situation. It also was the -eventual – impetus for FDR’s (can’t avoid those Roosevelts t’day, huh?), New Deal.

 

1942,   Nazis murdered 16,000 Jews in Pinsk, USSR. Keep moving. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

 

1945,   57 years after it had been patented, the first ball-point pen was sold at Gimbell’s Department Store. The price? $12.00. That’s a lotsa dough even now!

 

1949,   The Chicago White Sox traded Joe Tipton to the Philadelphia Athletics for a 2nd-baseman by the name of Nellie Fox. Anyone ever heard of Joe Tipton? me neither.

 

1952,    The French launched “Operation Lorraine” against the Viet Minh (“Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh!”), in French Indochina. Pffft. So, what’s that got to do with us, anyway? Uh-huh.

 

1956,    Back when TV News was considered “news”…not entertainment…Chet Huntley and David Brinkley of NBC fame, teamed up. “Good night, David”. Good night, Chet”.

 

1963,    A booklet titled, “Meet The Beatles” was published. Many reading this have the album. Songs? “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, for starters.

 

1969,    The Supremes ordered “immediate” desegregation, superseding the previous, “…with all deliberate speed…”.

 

Other than that, not much else.

 

 

POLITICSSPEAK…

 

-The GOPers held another “debate” on CNBC last night. Even MBH commented that these aren’t really debates. Agreed. Funny. One of the participants was in high dudgeon over some of the questions being asked by what he sneeringly referred to as the “mainstream media”. As it was a debate which was supposed to have been centered around the economy, did that same person then begin reciting, “One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish”? Hmmm?

 

One would think this kind of intra-party internecine warfare, which failed misreably four-years ago, would not be repeated. Yet it was.

 

-DaDems did dere thing, last week, with “The Bernie-Hill Show”, which caused two of their three rivals, Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb,  to drop out. Former Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley is still hanging around. However, after Hill’s appearance in front of the GOP-Inquisition on Benghazi…funny, none were held over Beirut, Lebanon or September 11, 2001…where they were recently exposed as doing this for nothing more than to knock her numbers down for next year, she surged ahead of Bernie Sanders by as much as 41-points.

 

The thing is, DaDems took St. Ronald’s 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not speak evil of fellow Republicans”; substituted “Democrats” for “Republicans” and had a civil debate. Nothing hurts more than folks who are supposed to be “on the same side”, tear each other apart. All people rememebr is that. Substantive statements are lost in that maelstrom.

 

LOCALLY…

 

-Rahm’s budget was passed with few anti-votes from the City Council. He/they can say all they want about having to do the “right thing” in raising property taxes to make up for their less-than stellar stewardship of our previously-paid taxes, so they have to raise them again. One Alderman said he consulted with his brothers who live in the ‘Burbs. he said they pay 3 to 4 times more than we do. Uh-huh. OK. So? What he fails to understand is this. Many people decide to live in Chicago; ignoring its faults and not just for the convenience of it but also,  because property taxes were so much lower than surrounding suburbs!

 

Anyone recall when Rahmbi said raising property taxes was “off the table” back during his campaign for re-election earlier this year?

 

Speaking of elections, he and his 35, “Aye” votes apparently forgot taxpayers’ memories are long.

 

-Another pedophile bit the dust. Former Speaker of the House. Founder of “The Hastert Rule”, which has stymied any, real, work getting done in D.C., because former SOTH, NoBonerBoehner, couldn’t muster a majority of his majority to pass legislation, plead guilty to breaking federal banking laws in structured withdrawals of money from his bank(s). Now this is all “speculation” (yeah, sure) but it’s been reported that he withdrew over $3,500,000.00 over several years for “hush money” he was paying to someone he allegedly sexually abused as a teenager, when he, Hastert was a wrestling coach at Yorkville H.S.

 

Nothing was said about this, as it was not germane to the plea. However, a sister of one of his victims was quite vocal about what happened to her late brother at Hastert’s hands or whatever, when the indictment was announced. We can only hope our town’s investigative reporters have been digging; will continue to; eventually bring out the whole story of this hypocritical pedophile. The SOTH and one of the leaders of the party of “Family Values”. Yeah, sure. My aunt fanny!

 

He deserves a special place in FatRats’ 10th Circle of Hell…below even Satan, himself, in Dante’s 9th Circle…along with the perverted-pedophile-priests; the bishops and fellow clergy who helped hide them.

 

Some in the media have asked about this “tainting” his “legacy”. Legacy? That is why I am hopeful the Fourth Estate will do its duty and expose him for what he is/was and anyone else who knew of it, too.

 

Sorry. That wasn’t Feel-Good. Let’s move on.

 

 

DUCK SEASON

 

ON THE BIG SCREEN…

 

By this time next week, the latest James Bond film, “SPECTRE” will have opened. The title comes from Ian Fleming’s acronym for the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion…SPECTRE…headed by 007′s arch-rival, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

 

If we are to believe what we’ve heard, this may be it for Daniel Craig as 007, my fave. No slight to Sean Connery. I think it’s the films, scripts, etc, and Craig’s playing Bond as a bit more of a world-weary, international assassination/super-spy. Some names being bandied about are: Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, “Loki” from “Thor”; Tom Hardy, “Bain” from “The Dark Knight Rises” and the latest “Mad Max”; Damian Lewis of “Homeland” and “Band of Broithers”; as well as Henry Cavill, aka “Superman”; Michael Fassbender and/or Jason Stratham.

 

Anyway, we’ll be seeing this and a review will follow.

 

THE BIG SCREEN ON THE SMALL SCREEN…

 

-”Pearl Harbor”. After visiting Hawaii and the for-real Pearl Harbor, I mentioned this film, “Tora! Tora! Tora! and “From Here to Eternity” as films we may want to see or re-see, now that we’d actually been there. This was the first shown on the tube, so we watched.

 

Released in 2001, with Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Alec Baldwin, Kaye Beckinsdale, Jennifer Garner, Jon Voigt, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Michael Shannon, among a raft of slid supporting characters, Dan Aykroyd among them, one might figure that’s a pretty solid cast and with the December 7th attack as its backdrop, a solid film, too. It wasn’t. With a running-time in excess of 3-hours, in which they tried to include the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo the following April as some kind of retribution-point for the film, it just didn’t have it. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “From Here to Eternity” were far batter. The former, told in a more documentary style; the latter, a forbidden love story, based on the James Jones’ book about “peacetime” military in paradise, culminating in the attack. The Doolittle raid was told much better in “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”, starring Van Johnson as the author of the book and film’s star, Capt. Ted Lawson, one of the for-real Doolittle raiders.

 

I will give “Pearl Harbor” points for this. The ferocity of the attack; how the women of the film, the nurses, were as heroic as the men fighting; saving lives, etc. But that was only about 20-minutes of the 183 that it ran. However, they showed Navy ships at anchor in Pearl Harbor from the time it was filmed. It was obvious they were late, 20th Century ships/early 21st. A quibble, I know. Most wouldn’t notice. But I did. Oh well. IMDB gave it 6-stars out of a possible, 10.

 

-”The Magnificent Seven”. Was shown night before last. Possibly my favorite film. Needless to say, we watched it.

 

TUBULARLY SPEAKING…

 

-Shows we’re no longer watching: “The Leftovers”, HBO. “Blindspot”, NBC. “The Blacklist”, NBC.

 

“The Leftovers”. We just could not get back into this series. It was a bit difficult last year. It may have been the year-long being out of touch with its goofy premise but, we watched its first episode with quizzical expressions on our faces. We decided to give Ep. 2 a try. Got about 15-minutes into it and just gave up on it; deleted the others we’d DVR’d and removed the “Series Record” order and that’s that.

 

Any comments on this one will be welcome.

 

“The Blacklist”. As much as James Spader’s “Red” Reddington” is a treat, the premise of this one’s just gone too far over the top…jumped the shark…whatever. I repeatedly suspended my disbelief that all the havoc wreaked by international terrorists; controlled by the evil, “Cabal”; comprised of the head of the CIA; mucho-many, mucho-mucho-wealthy folks from around the world; not to forget, elected officials, never gets even a sidelong glance from the news media. Not even a kid with a smart phone, taking a video of one or another or many of these crazy, off-the-wall, situations!

 

But wait! There’s more! Now, we have Lizzie’s former colleagues at the FBI “Task Force” being enlisted by Red…and they do help him; help her, in evading the aforementioned “Cabal”, the FBI, CIA and Zeus knows whatever group, criminal or law enforcement…without getting caught. Just so far out over its skis, I’m done. Fortunately, “Elementary” returns next week, Thursday on CBS , in the same time slot.

 

“Blindspot”, NBC. A mere 4 or 5 episodes in, and this one’s already caught up to “The Blacklist”. Not even Jaimie Alexander’s mesmerizing eyes are enough to hold my attention. It has gone in so many different directions in such a short time, it’s just too far out there. Again, the FBI has this special group, who were brought this beautiful, naked, woman; left in a bag in the middle of Times Square; covered with tattoos; each of which has a special significance, by the NYPD, to whatever the writers come up with. No? OK. See above and think of how the news, not to mention social-media would react. Would it just be forgotten? Would there be no investigative-reporter(s), not to mention social-media-mavens…trying to find out what happened? Oh well.

 

Again, any comments are welcome.

 

“Jesse Stone” series Hallmark Channel. These shows are based on the series by mystery writer, Robert B. Parker. They are more like mini-movies, starring Tom Selleck as the title character, former LAPD detective, who’s ennui reached its limit in the sleepy, seaside village of Paradise, Massatoosits, where he is the Chief of Police. Funny how he’s gone from being a P.I. in “Magnum”, to COP in N’Yawk on “Blue Bloods” and as well, here. His “shrink” and foil, ably played by old-pro, William Devane, helps with the exposition and foreshadowing in a way other police-procedurals can only envy.

 

Anyway, good writing; solid directing and acting make these shows worth the watch, when they are aired. Somewhat like the Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Sherlock Holmes” shows on BBC America.

 

-This week, TCM has shown “The Producers” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World”. Two of my top comedies, ever. Hope all y’all had the opportunity to see them.

 

“The Big Bang Theory”, CBS. Watching this show, I marvel at the comedic talents, mainly, of Jim Parsons’ “Sheldon Cooper” and Johnny Galecki’s “Leonard Hofstedter”, as well as the rest of the cast. I am reminded at varying times of Laurel and Hardy; Abbott and Costello; Crosby and Hope; Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton; The Kingfish and Andy Brown; some Three Stooges; Raymond and Robert Barrone, etc, while watching this show. If that’s not enough of a reason to watch it, I don’t know what is.

 

 

 

AND NOW…SPORT

 

-DaCubs…

For the first time in a long time, I am looking forward to the off-season – not only – with hope for improvement but improvement over the successful season they just completed. Yes, they lost to Joe’s Mets, who are in the Series. Well hey, hardly anyone thought they’d win that many games. Well, T-Tom, did. Next year? Oh yeah, I’m expecting. Hope took a hike when Game 4 ended.

 

This year, there are – again – many questions. Yes. believe it or not, there are.  Some more severe than others but questions, nonetheless.

 

First and foremost is CF, Dexter Fowler, who is eligible for free agency. he’s the – possible – first-domino, as much will be hinge on whether he stays or goes. His defense is fine and Zeus knows, whether it’s he or someone else, they need a ballhawk between Schwarbs and Soler, while they “learn” to play LF and RF at an MLB level. But back to Fowler, he had an OB% of .346, which hitting in front of Schwarbs/Soler/Rizzo, helped account for his 102-runs scored. He also had 29, 2Bs; 8, 3Bs and 17-homers, along with 84 BBs. One neg…154 Ks.

 

If he stays, that lessens the questions as CF is covered. More on that and how it affects the infield, too, later. If he goes, Red Turd, Jason Heyward is a possible F/A. He could play CF. Thing is, they need a leadoff man. Yes. I know, once through the lineup in Maddon’s system, that could be Russell. Heyward has outstanding defensive skills, a rocket-launcher for an arm…as we Cubs fans well-know…and is a solid hitter. Denard Spann is also a F/A, along with current Cub, Austin Jackson. So what about that “…more on that, later”?

 

OK, here’s where the dominoes stack up. The only,  non-questions, IMHO are Ross, catching Jester; Rizzo at 1B and Russell at SS. Here’s how.

 

If the Cubs decide to stay, “in-house” for CF, will they experiment with the Sporting News’ Rookie of the Year, Kris Bryant moving to CF, a la Dale Murphy? No? What if they decide to keep Castro at 2B, because they want to keep him or can’t trade him. Do they then move Baez to 3rd and Bryant to CF, while Alberto Almora continues learning his craft as an MLB CF in the Minors?

 

Or, will the try Chris Coghlan out there? See what I mean? But wait! There’s more. OK, let’s say they decide to keep Bryant at 3rd, where he -

hopefully – will hone his defensive skills a bit more. Then, again, do they keep Castro at 2B? Trade him and put Baez there? Trade Baez and keep him? See?

 

But what about Schwarbs? OK, #1, he ain’t goin’ nowhere. Well, not unless they’re offered Chris Sale or someone like him, which ain’t gonna happen, so, again, he ain’t goin’ nowhere. That said, and I’m only guessing, he’ll have dropped 10 or 15#s. They’ll have him working on his footwork; ball-tracking and his route-taking to the ball. Let’s face it, MoistHands Alou patrolled LF for them. This kid’s bat will be as good if not better. Another question, will he go behind the plate? OK, Theo addressed this. he said they’ll continue to have him work on his skill as they can’t expect him to have Johnny Bench talent, just like that. I’d like them to find a way to keep him in the outfield. No? Go ahead. Think of all the catchers who’ve been great hitters. There’s only a few: Bench, Berra, Biggio, Munson; even Piazza, who did some DH’g. It’s the most important defensive position as well as the most physically-demanding. Teach the boy how to track a flyball. They’d be much better off with an “OK” LF, who can hit like a sumbich, a la Billy Williams, than a catcher, who at one time, could hit like a sumbich who’s just decent after dealing with the rigors of the position.

 

Soler. Watching him in RF, it seems he has the same problems most 6′ 4″ guys have playing the outfield. They’re 6′ 4″ tall and not exactly nimble ballerinas. He has awesome power and a helluvan arm. He also showed better plate-discipline during the playoffs. Hell, if not for Schwarbs and he, the Mets may have won it in 3. ;-)

 

Speaking of tall guys, that may be a reason to think about changing Bryant’s position. He’s 6′ 5″! Another question…see?

 

Miguel Montero? Will they keep him or trade him? His “D” isn’t as good as David Ross’, who ain’t goin’ anywhere, at least for next year as he’s The Jester’s designated-catcher. However, Miggy’s hitting outstrips Ross by a mile. Interesting.

 

Pitching.

Other than Arrieta and Jester, anything can happen. Tye definitley need a stud-muffin starter…or two…to ease the burden on Big Jake. At times, it seemed Maddon pulled a Dusty, leaving Arrieta in way too loing, a la Baker’s handling of Pryor and Wood.

 

Hendricks was “spotty” but is young and could be kept as a #4 or #5.

 

Hammel was hurt in June and never really returned to his pre-injury effectiveness. Will he return to that form? See? Another question.

 

Then we have the rest. Some were very effective; some spotty; some not even that.

 

There are many F/A starters out there. The good thing about that is, they only need to give up money for them, no players. They have the money. They drew 2,959,812. Multiply by $100.00/ticket holder and that’s the gross gate.

 

Then there’s the biggest question, which many Cubs fans really don’t want to face. When the TheoCrats demolished the team, in hopes of obtaining high draft-picks; some succeeded, some are still in the pipeline. BUT, not only did they get them to be good on the field, see above, but to be used to trade for more established players. So, don’t be surprised if one or more get traded.

 

Feel free to comment. I know I just scratched the surface and haven’t said anything about anyone else’s fave-MLB teams.

 

-NiffleBall…

 

This weekend’s games..

 

Emmanuel’s and Whitney’s Pats travel to the -seemingly – improved, DollPhins. The Pats are one of five, undefeated teams. Could be a good one. Joe’s Jets gave them all they could handle in Massatoosits, last week.

 

Speaking of Joe’s Jets, they travel cross-country to play Oakland, which has been very hard to discern, this year.

 

DaBears host Detroyit, after returning from their Bye week, after which in recent seasons have not boded well for them. They are also minus Theo Ratliff, who tossed a hissy, which got him cut and escorted off the team’s premises by Lake Forest police. Looks like their not-a-teardown’s kind-of-a-teardown. Detroyit canned its O/C, the grandson of NFL legend, St. Vincent Lombardi, Joe, after losing, yet again. He was replaced by – possibly – another legend, “Cooter’s” scion” from “The Dukes of Hazzard”, with Jim Bob Cooter.

 

And finally, in the league’s Sunday Night game, my 6-0, Packehs travel to Denver to play the 6-0 Broncos on national TV. Obviously, there will only be four unbeatens after this game…or more…depending on the early games.

 

OK, I’m done. have some stuff to do and am gettin’ a sore heinie.

 

Have a great weekend and remember  that each of its days-  and every day – is a gift. We should treat them as such.

 

DaBigFatWat

 

 


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