February 26, 2014
Jack’s still here. More than 14 years since my wife picked him out, the shivering runt of the litter, in Evansville, Indiana. Since then Jack has lived in California and in Brazil. Jack is a dog well traveled.
I’m writing of Jack to stop the trend of feeling I need to write about my dogs when they die. I’ve done it before for Max and Duchess. I don’t want to do that any more. Especially for Jack. Because Jack is to be remembered for living.
I met Jack when he was two, and would joke with my wife that he would either lead a long life or die in some horrible way. Because Jack loves all people. But hates all other dogs. And isn’t all that fond of the limitations put on living things by physics. Jack – a Boston Terrier – has tried to attack two full-grown Great Danes. He fought Duchess – an Australian Shepherd twice his size – several times. Since he was about the age of five, Jack has been cut off from all other dogs.
Mind you, while Jack seeks to dominate all other dogs, his love of all humans and obedience is utterly pure. As my wife has said, Jack loves her, me, and then all other humans are tied for third. He has always been over-the-moon happy when around people and when receiving attention.
Jack was also blessed with unbelievable athleticism. In his prime he could jump over anything and run faster than the wind. His youth was spent in a jump with no clear plan of where he’d land.
Jack has always been our special dog. He’s not the sharpest of blades. This was even more noticeable when he was growing up with Max, who was an exceedingly intelligent little dog. Jack took years to house train. He destroyed three couches. He had energy enough to fuel six dogs. He was shockingly strong. And he was joyful in his madness.
And Jack’s still here, and acting like he wants to stick around awhile yet. Age has affected him as it must affect us all. Cataracts have taken most of his site, rendering his athleticism dormant. His hearing is shot. His sense of smell isn’t so great, either. He’s by no means decrepit, however. He still has a shocking amount of energy and will spend hours walking around the house, following whoever happens by him.
Jack’s life is one of shadows and routine now. He wakes up at the same time daily. He naps in the sun until he’s blazing hot, something he’s always loved. He enjoys his naps and comforts. He remains strong. Life has given him more savvy. He remains fearless. He is blissfully unaware that life has given him any disadvantages.
I’m petting Jack now. He’s happy and nappy and enjoying his life. And my wife and I are thrilled that Jack’s still here.
February 25, 2014
KIEV – “Protest This!™” a revolutionary new App that promises to help users easily meet and assemble against unpopular regimes, was shot down like a dog today in the streets of Kiev.
“Wow. Never saw that coming,” said App creator Nick Johnson, 20, from his parents’ home in Cleveland. “That’s messed up.”
After being shot by Ukrainian authorities, “Protest This!™” was then dragged through the streets, and eventually mutilated behind a meat-packing plant. No other information is available.
“Dude,” said Johnson.
February 25, 2014
CLEVELAND – UPS driver Tim Johnston woke up one day last week with a feeling of dread. A feeling that things just weren’t right. So often he felt this way but never spoke up about it. But this time, he wasn’t going to let it pass. This time, he was going to speak out.
“Gravity is BS,” said Johnston. “I’ve thought about this for awhile and it just doesn’t add up.”
Johnston said he based his anti-Law-of-Gravity theory on the simple fact that not all things are not constantly falling all the time.
“Kinda seems like that’s what would happen if gravity were real, right?” said Johnston, 47. “I mean, that’s how it feels to me.”
Johnston’s announcement caused a commotion in the entertainment/science industry. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN & Fox News (“Gravity: Stop Being a Slave”) have all announced new news/science/entertainment specials that will address this building dissent over gravity’s effects.
CNN also announced it will feature a two-hour, primetime debate between renowned entertainer/activist/scientist/TV Personality Bill Nye and Johnston. Nye said this was an opportunity to educate the public.
“Science!” said Nye, who then pushed a button that made his bow tie spin.
Others have joined Johnston’s call.
“[Gravity] was filmed on a soundstage by the government!” said citizen Raul Pudd, pounding his fists and with spittle flying everywhere.
For Johnston, the attention has been worth it as he tries to bring attention to what some have called “The Greatest Hoax in American History.”
“It just feels wrong, right?” said Johnston, a Capricorn. “This is one of those things that liberals believe that’s just BS. I mean, it’s just a theory.”
CNN chief Jeff Zucker said he was glad to see his network begin to take shape in his image.
“This is what the people want,” said Zucker, who announced that one lucky debate viewer will win a free trip to Tucson, Arizona. “People are asking questions.
“Is gravity America’s greatest hoax, or not?” added Zucker. “That’s what we want to attempt to answer, if we can. We’re CNN.”
February 24, 2014
Speaking as an American, which is something I often do, let me just say that I am outraged by the complete lack of American military intervention in Ukraine right now. America and the Obama Administration are once again refusing to show true leadership.
You’ve seen the pictures coming from Ukraine. It’s a mess. Total chaos. This is why the time to act is now. And act with confidence and focus.
Now, from what I’ve seen, one side in Ukraine is led by one of the boxing Klitschko boxers, and the other side is led by other people who I don’t know. These are the only sides there can be, as two is the maximum number of sides that can be taken in politics, as we know.
So we got Klitschko, who I think is on the side Russia. Now, Mitt Romney said Russia is the enemy, but lately it seems like conservatives are really big fans of Russia and Vladimir Putin. So I’m not sure how that all works out, really. But those small issues are left for the bean counters. Now is the time for action.
My friends, now is the time for America to re-establish itself as the leading exporter of peace-making, geopolitical-shifting destruction. Who cares which side we’re on, the people of Ukraine need America. Or something. And, you know, it seems like it’s a mess in Venezuela right now, also. Let’s stick a boot in their ass for talking crap about us.
In conclusion, the world is falling into chaos. America needs to start bombing stuff.
January 24, 2014
BRAZIL – Brave American Hero Patriot William K. Wolfrum – best known for making fart jokes and laziness – shocked the world today by leaking information about the Patriot Act.
“Yeah, I think it’s correct to say I’m a Brave American Hero Patriot,” said Wolfrum.
The information leaked is the largest amount of Patriot Act information given to the public yet. Documents leaked include information on the the FISA Court as well as several unconstitutional aspects of the Patriot Act.
Wolfrum admitted that his work on the issue was now done.
“I did my part,” said Wolfrum, 16. “I’m not a hero, but I understand if you think I am.
Wolfrum added that he hoped American journalists would finally take notice of the Patriot Act.
“After 13 years of the Patriot Act, though, I’m just trying to get a conversation started,” said Wolfrum. “Yeah, I know. It’s heroic.”
January 2, 2014
I just love that French President Francois Hollande falls for the same thing every time – the dignitary tries to look pleasant for the flashing cameras of the press, then Hollande meekly tries to shake hands.
December 24, 2013
Rostov-on-Don, RUSSIA — Leaker extraordinaire Edward Snowden unleashed his biggest coup to date, leaking Santa Claus’ Naughty or Nice list on Christmas Eve.
“I just want us to have a discussion, is all,” said Snowden. “Let’s talk. I want to talk. We should talk.”
Claus, a shadowy figure known mostly by song, has long fought off civil liberties activists who say more transparency is needed in regard to the famed list.
“A debate, perhaps?” said Snowden. “A little tea time conversation, maybe?” I really wanna talk about this.”
The release of the Naughty or Nice documents – attained by Snowden who spent seven months dressed up as an elf to get his hands on the goods has already created controversy.
“This will undoubtedly cause turmoil for America,” said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “When the terrorists get this information, the Naughties will be in grave peril.
The controversy has spread quickly. Bobby Jimson, a 9-year-old who discovered he was on the Naughty List for excessive sister-punching, expressed his feelings about the leaks.
‘THIS IS BULLSHIT!’ said Jimson.
More on this story as it develops.
December 20, 2013
DES MOINES — “Gay people are made of orange peels and frog legs,” shouted William K. Wolfrum.
“Black people poop pumpkin pie!” Wolfrum added.
Wolfrum, who is unemployed, said he was practicing his First Amendment rights to say anything he likes.
“Mexicans have four nipples,” bleated Wolfrum.
Wolfrum, who said he doesn’t care about his social media reputation, said he felt free to say whatever he wished because the government would not charge him with a crime or detain him in anyway.
“I’m free,” said Wolfrum, 46. “Icelanders drink squirrel milk!!”
Wolfrum, however, admits that he understands his radical viewpoints mean that he will struggle to find future employment.
“Oh, yeah, I’m screwed,” said Wolfrum. “Maybe I can see if Obama will step in and force someone to hire me. If not, I don’t see anyone hiring me. Or even talking to me much.”
Wolfrum, however, said what really mattered was his freedom to say important things that truly mattered and drove social change.
“All Irish people have butterscotch in their hair,” blathered Wolfrum.
December 10, 2013
I have three mango trees. I spend an inordinate amount of time speaking and thinking about mangoes.
December 3, 2013
“This is a game of emotion and violence. Even if you don’t fully understand, enjoy watching these warriors on the field.” — Announcer Fabio Dos Santos.
Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, BRAZIL — A warm summer Saturday in Brazil. The field is freshly lined. Fans of both teams take their places, wearing the shirts of their favorite teams. the players stretch and prepare for the match ahead. As anticipation builds to a fever pitch, the game begins.
The kickoff …
… is returned to the 25-yard line before the returner is tackled.
This is not your pai’s football.
To say Brazil is a soccer-crazed nation is as much an understatement as saying they enjoy dancing. “Who is your team?” is a required question when meeting someone (My Brazilian team is Cruzeiro. Which is my father-in-law’s team. Which meant it was an easy choice). The game is religion and a big part of Brazilian society.
Yet on a Saturday evening, here were a bunch of Brazilians aged from 18 to 45, putting on shoulder pads and helmets and preparing to grind it out for 40 minutes. It is, to say the least, a surreal vision.
The game featured the Uberlandia Lobos against the Lusa Rhynos, two of the more than 20 organized American football teams throughout Brazil playing in the “Touchdown Tournament,” the semi-official “commission” of American Football. Jeovanir Silva, the President of the Lobos, as well as an offensive lineman, has been the main cog in bringing American football to this city of 600,000 residents.
“We are pioneers of the game here in Brazil,” said Silva. “It is our job to promote an teach the game.”
But while Silva and other Brazilians deserve credit for promoting the game, pursuing sponsors, and raising the country’s awareness of the game, one entity can take credit for planting the seed – ESPN.
Prior to the game, there was an expectation that many of the players had either studied or spent a significant amount of time in the United States, where they were able to gain an appreciation of American football (such is the case with my wife.) Instead, nearly all players pointed to watching NFL games on ESPN (which is available via cable or satellite tv here).
Uberlandia’s diminutive strong safety Joaquim Garcia – the team’s defensive captain, who makes up for his lack of size with the highest football IQ on the field – is one such player. Having spent his life watching the game on ESPN, the 20-year-old is now one of the country’s top players.
“I remember I was very young and watched an NFL game and gave always loved it since,” said Garcia. “It is amazing to get to play.”
Garcia’s girlfriend, Kim, sits in the stands along with approximately 100 other surprisingly football-savvy fans. Looking through the crowd, one is never likely to see so many people in sporting jerseys that don’t have names like Neymar or Kakà on the back. Here, fans proudly wear jerseys of NFL players like Brady, Manning and Brees. And in the crowd sits Kim Garcia, looking for all the world like Brazil’s first football widow.
“I know the game pretty well,” said Kim Garcia. “We watch games all weekend. Every weekend.”
The game itself was both beautiful and heinous. Turnovers abound. Penalty flags are like a plague of yellow locusts. Both teams suffered from the same problem – having learned the game via watching the NFL, the players wanted to play NFL-styled offenses. The running game – the main staple of beginning football players – was utterly abandoned by both teams in place of passing games that led to a total of seven interceptions for the game.
Nonetheless, there were tremendous bright spots. Both teams played with passion, and as the game progressed, you could see true “football players” emerge. Big hits were met with thunderous applause from players and fans alike. Uberlandia running back Eduardo de Souza scored on a nifty 25-yard camper that ended with him somersaulting into the end zone.
In the end, an early safety was enough to give the Rhynos a hard-fought 8-7 victory. Despite the loss, Silva continues his work in making Uberlandia one of the top teams in the nation. The club has received a smattering of media attention, started a youth team and continues to invite any potential players that want to come out and give American football a try.
In the end, the game is about the players. And leaving the field, bloodied but unbowed, Joaquim Garcia lets you know his feelings for the game with one popular Portuguese word.
November 21, 2013
Currently the subject of a rape case investigation, Florida State QB Jameis Winston has apparently taken to hiding out on Twitter in his best Randall Cunningham mask.
Oh well, you know what they say about Black quarterbacks.
September 3, 2013
Being a sports fan means never aging. It means that year after year, youth is recycled and everyone is again a 21-year-old looking to make his or her mark. The dream of sports is one of beauty and youth and endless possibilities.
The nightmare is so often what happens when those beautiful young athletes become a little older, a little slower and a little less beautiful. For even the most successful athlete, 40-years-old is about the limit. Then life begins. And life can often be unpleasant for these formerly beautiful young men.
Boxer Tommy Morrison is the latest tragedy to come from the sports world. Morrison died yesterday at the age of 44, most likely of AIDS-related illness, despite long denying he was HIV-positive or that the HIV virus even existed. From all reports, his final years were spent in hospitals and in a fugue of conspiracy theories.
I remember when Morrison arrived on the boxing scene. A more perfect example of Midwest American good lucks and personality will never be found. If you knew boxing, you knew Tommy was limited. But you also knew he could punch and that he came to fight. Morrison actually accomplished more than he should have, as he smartly out-boxed a slower George Foreman for some type of version of a heavyweight title. Morrison made some money in the ring and entertained fans, but a weak chin meant he’d never rise to greater heights, however, and a then a diagnosis of HIV changed everything.
And like so many before him, Morrison’s life outside of athletics was one of madness.
The stories of athletes – especially fighters and football players – falling apart after sporting retirement are everywhere. As but one example, for Mike Webster, life after football meant a brain-injured stumble through a life that would end early. Whether it is from brain injury, financial distress or personal demons, however, the life of a former athlete is often one of struggle, physically and emotionally.
Mind you, some athletes find success off the playing field. But for every Magic Johnson – who thrives off the court despite his famed battle with HIV – there are 25 Websters and Morrisons.
But regardless of the plight of the once-worshipped, for sports fans, every year is one of renewal. Did you see Jameis Winston yesterday? So young, so gifted. The world is his.
And so the new replaces the old in sports, as it must. For sports fans, it’s an eternity of watching young men excel. For the young athletes, however, it is but a blip of time that will eventually lead them to an uncertain future.
August 30, 2013
DAMASCUS, Syria — Speaking in front of his soon-to-be destroyed home, soon-to-be-killed-by-an-errant-missile Mustafa Zuabi, 9, said he thinks U.S. President Barack Obama will be justified in his soon-to-come-attacks on Syria.
“Obama put himself in a pickle,” said Zuabi, whose body will not be found. “He drew a line in the sand against Assad. He has to act.”
While the UK has seen its government thwart military action in Syria, sources say Obama is steadfast in carrying out the attack. This comes despite a U.S. public that as grown skeptical of military usage, as well as evidence and intelligence that have yet to be confirmed about whether Syrian President Assad carried out the chemical attacks on his own people.
Despite this, Zuabi said Obama will be correct when he carries out a small scale attack that will kill a “small number of Syrian citizens,” including Zuabi.
“With the budget clashes upcoming, Obama can’t afford to appear weak on the international stage,” said Zuabi. “This could have serious implications in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
“Face it, the GOP will attack Obama, regardless,” added the soon-to-vaporized Zuabi. “But weakness is not something a Democratic president can portray. Ask Jimmy Carter.Obama has to blow something up, regardless of what anyone says. Otherwise e loses political capital.”
August 29, 2013
Friends, his blog has come under fire recently for being, among other things, “Insipid,” “Sophomoric,” and “Largely unattended.” These allegations wound me, and I feel it is time for a response.
That response is this – MLK would have loved this blog.”How do I know this? Well, check out this quote from MLK, which I found in 10 seconds via Google:
“We will never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
I think that about says it all right there, and anyone who debates me on this point not only is going against MLK, they are also saying they condone police brutality on African-Americans. So just shut up already.
My amigos, these are rough times we live in. But my blog is awesome because it has the backing of MLK. Whoever that is.
August 12, 2013
Abbott & Costello’s classic “Who’s On First?” bit, translated to Latvian, then translated back to English. The English version is on the right side. Click the volume button on the bottom-right of the text box to let the Google translate voice speak the entire bit. It makes it way better.
Click here for English to Latvian translation.
Click here for English to Lativian back to English.