Wednesday, November 10, 2021

CRY ME A RIVER

 






Sunday, November 7, 2021

Covid versus Sports



The emergence of Covid caused quite the dilemma for pro sports leagues. How could the desire to maximize public safety mesh with the desire to make maximum money? Somehow they pulled it off. The NBA came up with a "bubble" playoff system, keeping basketball players on teams that qualified for the postseason in isolation from the rest of the world. Cardboard cut outs and recorded crowd noise took the place of a live audience. Home court advantage ceased to be a thing. But the games could still be played and televised, which meant advertisers could spend money on commercials that aired during the games, which meant that plenty of revenue could still be generated. Somehow they made it all the way to the crowning of a new champion. Somehow it turned out not to be the patched together for instant greatness Brooklyn Nets, or the LeBron James will never convince enough people that he's greater than Michael Jordan led Los Angeles Lakers, but rather, the small market, old school process of drafting well and team chemistry improving sufficiently over time to win a title Milwaukee Bucks. 



When it was time for the NFL to figure out how to deal with Covid for an entire season, they faced a daunting challenge and did a respectable job of being up to it. There was no bubble, but once again home field advantage was rendered obsolete with piped in crowd noise and cardboard cut out fans. Since football games are played outdoors in huge stadiums, a limited number of fans were allowed to attend in person. The rest of us watched on TV or some other screen. Players were given the opportunity to opt out of the season. Some chose to do so, most decided to play, the season rumbled on to conclusion with Tom Brady somehow winning yet another Super Bowl ring - this time in Tampa Bay, Florida of all places.




All of the various other sports that are performed for profit and watched for entertainment (plus profit for those who gamble and guess correctly more often than not) took the necessary measures to at least give the illusion that athletes and fans alike were being protected from exposure to Covid while the games played on. After being postponed for a year, the Summer Olympic games were played. The challenge of continuing sports in the era of Covid was met head on with admirable work done in the name of commerce and entertaining distraction from real world problems.



It wasn't until we were offered hope in the form of vaccines that make it far less likely (though not impossible) to catch Covid, and make Covid much less likely to be fatal, that things got complicated. For some reason that I can't quite comprehend, it morphed from a public safety issue to a political one. Anti maskers smoothly transitioned to becoming anti-vaxxers. No more bubble. No more cardboard cut outs. 100% fan attendance allowed. No restrictions for anyone who wants to participate as either a player or an in-person fan, provided that you're Covid free, vaccinated, and willing to offer proof of vaccination status. Depending on the sport one plays, the city that sport is played in, and one's willingness to trust the science that is reducing a pandemic to mere nuisance, things got a lot more complicated. High profile athletes such as Kyrie Irving and Aaron Rodgers have been unwilling to follow new rules and play ball. And so here we are at the intersection of pro sports and politics and freedom loving social issues. It doesn't matter who you think is in the right and who you believe is dead wrong. The end result is a big mess. Perhaps Kyrie and Aaron now have a greater appreciation for what Colin Kaepernick went through because he chose to kneel in protest while a song that he found to be hypocritical was played at the start of every game. 



Everyone should stand up (or kneel down) for what he/she believes in. There will be people who agree with your stance and those who do not. In the end, the opinion of the person in the mirror is the one of primary consequence. Muhammad Ali did not want to participate in a war against people he did not consider to be his enemy, and for that his title was taken until he went out and took it back. Colin Kaepernick wanted greater spotlight on police brutality, and for that he was willing to sacrifice the remainder of his career as an athlete in exchange for one as a social justice warrior. Kyrie Irving and Aaron Rodgers apparently are rather wary of needles. Whatever, bruh. Choose your hill. Fight on it at your own peril. Keep your Covid germs to yourself.


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Monday, October 25, 2021

HALLOWEEN


 

I could not love Halloween to any greater degree than I do. I could try - but I would fail.



The Axeman by Ray Celestin / NOS4A2 by Joe Hill / The Ruins by Scott B. Smith Neil Gaiman's American Gods & The Ocean at the End of the Lane

AND NOW FOR SOME SHORT STORIES PENNED BY ME 




The Television 


The Elevator Ride 



And now for a leisurely boat ride down the River Styx.

 



WHAT'S YOUR PREFERENCE? TRICK OR TREAT?






Oh look - it's Ava Appelsawse!




Check out the skilled hands of the illustrator of The Absolutely Amazing Adventures of Ava Appelsawse




My author portrait may be in need of a good dusting




Who likes to play with dolls?





I tried to kiss and make up





I don't think my apology was accepted



Be wary of what may be found in that Mystery Meat Taco




See how high she flies - She's got the moon in her eyes




Somebody was a big fan of being posed for photo ops.



Expelliarmus



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Jon Gruden Fails Email-101

 


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Read Endlessly...Review Mercifully...Read Some More

 











 











Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Post Apocalyptic Living






Unofficial Summer has been kick-started with Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps like myself you scored a BBQ invite and actually got to see old friends and make new acquaintances with people willing to stand within 6 feet and not a mask in sight. The pandemic may not be quite 100% over with, but signs are popping up everywhere that a return to normalcy is underway. Those of you with kids may have found summer camps will be in operation. Perhaps your local pool has announced that they plan to be open. Restaurant dining is a thing again for those not inclined to enjoy home cooking for every single meal. When you go shopping you're still likely to see mostly masked faces. Or at least you are if you live in my neck of the woods in NJ, USA. But for the most part it's a precaution and habit not yet kicked rather than the following of mandatory instructions. In short, free at last - free at last - Thank God Almighty. If you're vaccinated (because you're not a conspiracy theorist who believes the government is using Covid vaccines to control us) then you are likely feeling quite liberated these days. We're experiencing a modern day Juneteenth.

So what are planning to do with your new found freedom? Embark on more traveling? Do more socializing? Check more things off your bucket lists? Continue with hobbies you took up when holed up inside (sure you have not grown sick of puzzles)? Become more generous with dispensing your hugs? All of the above?



Perhaps you were you a content introvert before Covid-19 came along, found that a global pandemic didn't alter your lifestyle too much and perhaps even provided some benefits (feel free to work from home indefinitely!). If so, those of you who live somewhere with cold weather winters must still be happy about the arrival of summer regardless of the degree to which it alters your routine. Most especially if you are blessed with central air. Most most especially if you are a teacher or a student with central air and a whole lot more leisure time on the near horizon.

Introvert or extrovert or somewhere in between - are you intrigued by recent spacey developments which hint that the truth is out there?


Did any of my blog readers who happen to be fellow writers manage to get out a whole pandemic book like I did (humble brag)? I published my first children's book in 2020 and am deep into draft #1 of novel #3 and am going to pat myself on the back and keep patting until my books make me filthy rich.


Whether you're planning to change everything about your life or not a single thing - what's on your post-pandemic agenda? Not to be overly nosy. By this question I of course mostly want to know - WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ?