Thursday, December 22, 2016

The first, last, and maybe only interview


Generally those involved with creating a song that appears on the Funny Music Project known as the FuMP appear on a weekly podcast which is often recorded on Thursday evenings right after when the show I use to broadcast on Dementia Radio aired. Even though I inspired the medley “It’s an Alt-Right Christmas” that was released on Dec 20, I was not asked to join the FuMPcast on the 22nd but figured the potential interview and conversation would go like this (Since my daughter would be at work the time the FuMPcast is recorded, me appearing would have been difficult using Skype on my tablet and since I fell asleep shortly after the cast began to wake a few hours later violently sick for what involved 2 1/2 days and an ER visit, it was probably best that I was not.):

Host: Joining us this week is Ken Sherlock
K: This is the Madman on the Loose. Thank you for listening this Thursday evening or whenever you are listening to this podcast. Hope you are doing well.
H: Are you ever going to be casting again?
K: Though Wild Card and Mad Mike got an old computer given to me by my employer running and I can get on line, it is not good enough to cast a show and right now purchasing a computer that would allow me to cast is out of the question since it would go to my daughter who needs it for school.
H: So what is going on in your world?
K: After FuMPFeST, my weight once again was at the point where I was considered obese level 3 and needing of a specialist. Since then, I have lost over 10 lb though I gained some back in the past six weeks but I am still 18lb less than I was on Jan 4.
H: So have you been going to any sci-fi cons or shows recently?
K: Actually no. I changed my focus from watching other talented people perform things that I can’t to doing something I can do and trying to get better at it. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I had my best ever disc golf tournament and I know that had I spent some of my time, energy, and money sitting in a theatre or hotel instead of playing, that result would have not happened. I’m currently working out three times a week and waiting for March so I can hopefully carry the momentum into the 2017 season.

After the song in played on the show:
H: So we will start with Ken. What inspired that idea for this?
K: About 8 years ago, I saw the unedited version of the movie Holiday Inn for the first time and did not realize that before Bing Crosby's character did the song White Christmas for the first time, he performed a song on Lincoln’s birthday and in order to disguise the identity of a woman who joined him in the song, everyone was in blackface
H: I had no idea.
K: Since then, I have in my head changed the words in White Christmas to reflect that era and their meaning of white. Thanks to what happened last month and many reactions by those supporting the result, I realized that the phrase Alt-Right could fit into that idea and posted that to Facebook stating I know others could make it better and along came Chris.

After Chris talked about it:
K: As awesome I find this track along with others made by Steve Goodie and NBW, I really wish the situation in the country was at the point where these songs would not need to be made.


After the announcement of the Marscon 2017 video which named the guest of honor as well as other acts performing:

H: As someone who has been to every Marscon since the comedy music track was created, how does this year's lineup compare to the past ones?

K: Can I mention names? No? The GOH was unexpected to hear and I am glad you were able to get that act to go thanks again to the help of Dementia radio.org. No doubt it could get some people to make the trip whom would otherwise not go.

At the end of the cast:
H: Ken, is there anything you want to plug?

K: Thanks to everyone who purchased a raffle ticket or cheesecake for my daughter’s choir, her trip to Disneyworld at the end of the month was completely paid for and I appreciate it. My daughter with her choir will be singing at Epcot center on the 28th

My stats are available at PDGA.com player number 33461.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pain and death

My sister recently asked me if I was interested in a used reclining couch that was still in decent shape and since sitting upright is painful, I said yes.

The plan was to move it last Saturday but getting a rare opportunity to work that day changed it so I got up at 7AM on Sunday, moved some things around to create a spot for it, and headed over there to lift it into his van uncomfortably riding in the back to make sure it did not fall out during the 2 block drive.

Then came a problem for me. My fatigued right arm. Somehow, I managed to carry as much as I could but by the time we were done, it was pretty messed up. It is at the point in July 2015 when I stopped playing disc golf and therapy was what was needed to make it better. In hindsight, I could have made a phone call or two and gotten help but as I often do, I fail to realize what I can't do until it is too late and something bad is made worse. Fortunately I know what exercises I did and still do most days for this so I am hoping to be better by next spring so I can try to continue the disc golf success I had in November.

I made sure when I went to the fitness center the following Monday and Thursday to concentrate on legs and abs and not even do anything with arms.

The following Friday at work, I had to do something on the internal server which took 15 minutes. I then noticed the time and realized since I was at the desk I use, it was a good time to take my break. When I got up from that, my legs were dead. Every step was painful but being Friday and knowing there was a company lunch, I forged through the next couple of hours which I have done many times. After sitting down to eat for 10 minutes during the lunch, my legs were even worse getting up which I needed to do so someone else could join the group and I sat alone with my legs up fortunately only having to get up once to answer the dock door. After it was over, I realized that I was no longer functional enough to continue and left early.

I wanted to take some pain killers and spend the next 18 hours on the recliner but life would not allow it. Though I had about 90 minutes to get my legs up and take a shower, from 3-6 PM had to walk a dog, pick up my daughter who needed to send four packages, and drive back to work to process them UPS since it was easier than filling out forms that were not in the slots at the post office since many ship things in December.

Then I had to drive to Plainfield for game night. It took over 1:15 to get there due to a car accident the other direction which caused a 4 mile gapers block.

My character in a slightly futuristic world was a former cop who had two identities, Bob James and Jim Roberts and I created a backstory where he was ratted out by two separate groups who discovered his dual life and joined the freelance security organization our fellow characters were in.

During the planning stages of our mission, I was really suffering and could not sit more than 15 minutes without needing to get up or risk getting to the point where I could not get up without risking falling. Once the combat part started, my instincts kicked in as they often do.

Even though this was the first real mission of the campaign, the mooks (henchman) were stronger than they were in other campaigns as they had become too easy and one of our players suffered multiple wounds before we all got on the chopper to leave the site.

The boss was able to open the chopper door and the mooks got a round of shots before we took off needed a 6 on a ten sided dice. Two of the three missed but the one who shot in my direction hit so the GM rolled for damage.

Their weapon called for 2d6 of damage (two six sided dice) and he rolled a 12. In the game we played, whenever a die is rolled to its maximum value, it is rerolled and the total is added. His next roll was a 6 and a 4, and the reroll of the 6 was a 5 for a total of 27.

My character's toughness was a 6 which it hit would leave my character shaken but not injured. Every 4 above that is a wound. Therefore at 10, 14, 18, 22, and 26, I suffered a wound. Four wounds leaves a character incapacitated and my character received 5. The game allows a character to spend a benny (token used to give second chances to soak (mitigate) damage and I needed an 11 on one of two six sided dice (allowing for adding on a 6) to mitigate two wounds to keep upright. Nope.

I then had to roll a 5 one of two six sided dice to avoid instant death and check for where I am permanently wounded. Nope.

On the way home, I figured out the odds of all that happening:

Hitting on the shot: 2.5-1
6-6 on first roll: 36-1
6-4 or 6-5 second roll: 9-1
5 or 6 on third roll: 3-1
Not getting 11 on one of two soak rolls:1.12-1
Not getting a 5 on one of two perm wound rolls: 9-4

Total odds of all that happening: 6,223-1

Monday, November 28, 2016

Expecting the unexpected


Last weekend, I played in a tournament in Silver Lake, WI with surprising results. My first round was rated over 2 shots better than any tournament round I ever played and even though I tired at the end of the second round and lost a title playoff on the third hole due to a 100ft shot that my opponent made, it marked the first time in 15 tournaments over a span of three years that I finished in the top half of a division in an open event. (As opposed to an event only available to members of a club) When I started to play in the 50+ division, this type of performance and result was what I was planning to see but my play over the last 3 years made this scenario become unlikely.

Now that the sting of the loss is fading, I can focus on the good and try to figure out how it happened and more importantly how to repeat similar results in the future.

Being the 4th Saturday in November, it was barely above freezing and most of the trees had no leaves. The temps did not bother me as I wore a sweater and winter hat at the start then a regular hat and long sleeve shirt the rest of the round as I got warm. My weight might have kept me from needing to wear as much as others proving me less discomfort in throwing a disc and no doubt the lack of leaves on trees made the tighter shots appear far more open.

It is possible that working out has given me more distance which showed on a couple of shots where I could go all out and a lighter and stronger version of me would probably fatigue less during an event in 2017. It is possible that me practicing to stay loose between rounds was a factor to why I tired at the end.

The course has to be a factor since the only other time I played it in July at a club event, I had my previous highest rated round. More than half the tees are elevated which definitely helps since I have a low flight. Though the course has duel locations for baskets, the distances of the holes to each basket fit my game as most of them are either within my reach on the first shot or too long or difficult for most other players to reach. The highest rated player in my division last Saturday which would normally be 5 shots per round better than me also played in the club event last July and only finished one shot better than me so having this result twice means the course suits my game.

A large factor has to be the player. Only one putt less than 20 feet was missed in the 38 holes I finished though 4 of them did hit the top of the front of the bucket but still went in. Since early October, a whole lot of disc golf was played even with a sore elbow/arm and Saturday’s result showed that.

Learning how to use midrange discs per the advice of a pro who ran the Memorial Day weekend event I worked has helped along with adding a couple of them to my bag. My failed attempt to get my first ace has also helped my overall game as I use midrange discs on 6 of the 9 holes at Horizon Park. There were multiple shots where I threw a midrange full shot close when before that it would have required a less than full shot with a driver.
Thinking about it, the most important factor might be the attitude of the player towards the game. Within the past 2 months, disc golf became the primary focus and not secondary as far as time and energy and the results show it. I believe that I had spent time and money sitting in a theatre in Aurora in late October and in a hotel in November in Lombard what happened that day would have been less positive. For similar results to continue in 2017, that has to remain.

A few hours after posting, I remembered something from 1995 and 2001:

Next year is NOT guaranteed!

There will be a 2017 but there is no way I can be 100% sure that an obese level 2, 51 year old man who has had multiple surgeries on his knees and who takes medicine originally designed for chemotherapy for life and pain killers to play will be able to drive his old, beat up car to events next April and be able to play at or even near the level shown.

During workouts, the sting of the event shows and it is important to use it to build my body and not to damage it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Season recap

Though my arm started having issues in October, I was still able to play through the end of November. Here is the results:

Club level rounds played: 5
Club level CTP won: 2
League level rounds played: 2
Shots below worst ever rated round in a league: 3
Tournaments played: 7
Advanced division: 1
Novice division: 1
Advanced grandmaster division (50+): 5
Shots in one round that was better than best ever rated round: 3
Shots in one event that was better than best ever rated event: 6
Player pack earnings: $45
Tournament winnings: $3
Times a practice shot at a CTP hole would have won: 3
New courses played: 9
Total holes with a birdie which I did not have one before: 50
Total with left handed drive: 4
Total par 4 holes with birdie: 1

Chips made: 1

Chips seen to win playoff against me: 1
Number of discs purchased: 0
Number of discs given as thanks for working an event: 1

Number of discs as part of player's pack: 2
Number of discs from used bag given as thanks for helping person move: 12
Number of those discs I traded for two I would use: 2

Number of discs added to my bag: 5
Number of discs lost: 0

Number of discs removed from bag: 2
Number of aces I saw live after never seeing any before: 4
Number of times I hit the basket on a first shot: 6
Different discs used on those shots: 4
Number of aces: 0

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Modifying the College

With the mostly unexpected result of Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential election, (I am still in disbelief writing those words) the way the US determines the president is under scrutiny since assigning electors from each state in most cases under a winner take all basis allowed Trump to defeat Clinton even though he has fewer total votes in spite of what a couple of conservative outlets are claiming. Trump decided to focus his campaign on the states that were close avoiding those with large Democratic populations.

The most obvious solution would be a popular vote. However, that could create chaos in a close election of over 120 million votes which could require that massive a recount. No doubt that is one of the reasons the US is reluctant to go to that method using one that is quicker to determine the winner even if one electoral vote from Alaska for Trump represents 43,000 votes for him and one from Illinois for Clinton represents 144,000 who voted for her.

Since electors from each state are determined by the breakdown of the 535 in Congress plus 3 for DC, I thought why not do what Maine and Nebraska do and split 435 of the votes by congressional district and the other 100 at 2 per state?

I thought of another alternative. I went by the Wikipedia state by state result of the election and multiplied the percentage of voted of those who did not have the most votes in the state by the total electoral votes in the state, rounded that down, then assigned the rest of the votes to those who won the state.

Since Clinton had 34.55% in Alabama which has 9 ev, she would get 3 and Trump 6.

Since Trump had 32.8% in California which has 55 ev, he would get 18.
Since Johnson had 3.24% in California, he would get 1.
Clinton would get the other 36.

Using that way the results would be:

McMullin: 1 (Utah)
Johnson: 2 (CA and TX)
Clinton: 266
Trump: 269

It would go to the house or be decided by third party electors. *sigh*

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pandemic Legacy 12

After we recovered from the shock of hearing that Quarantine Expert Klinger worked with El Guapo, we had to find patient zero in Mexico City as he would be the final piece to getting a vaccine.

To make things easier, Operations Expert Rizzo was assigned to establish a military base there after setting up a road block out of Miami preventing faded people from infecting the rest of North America. We also had a scary moment in Chicago as the Scientist and Researcher were in New York City while the base was being set up. Fortunately, Chicago was quarantined before it spread.

While spending our efforts in the search, there were outbreaks elsewhere. Eventually the team were able to control the damage, cure the new strains, and by replacing the Researcher with Medic Hunnicutt, treat those who were still ill. However, San Francisco had an outbreak and for the first time in almost a half a year, the faded figures spread to more cities infecting Tokyo and Manila.

The world was near panic due to outbreaks as we destroyed the San Francisco and Bogota military bases and after getting more info the Medic was just about to find patient zero when the scientist decided to treat those in Seoul first which prevented the outbreak which would have ended things at that time.

We did add more vaccine treatment equipment after.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Least of evils.

I HATE that phrase when applying to voting almost as much as third party votes don't count.

Tomorrow, I will head to the polling place and I am obliged to use that idea when I grab the marker. I am not a fan of HRC. I don't trust her, I am opposed to those whose votes were the margin of victory over Bernie Sanders in the primary in which I don't trust how it went, and I believe that some of what many have said about her is true.

I know there are more than two running and like every election I have voted (since 1984) I want to vote for one of them. I then examined what the others have to offer but found them having extreme views of the two main parties and not worth my vote.

But what about the white GOP man? In the 20th century, I would have easily voted for him over a woman no matter what but this is 2016. I wanted Trump to give me a reason to vote for him. He not only didn't but make me realize I have no choice but HRC.

The GOP has this century turned toward the religious angle for support. By doing that, they have turned me away. I am even forced to vote for the lesser candidate for Senate since her party needs to have a majority if for nothing else but to fill a vacancy in the SCOTUS that the current majority GOP refuses to acknowledge and to also keep dated ideals that were created centuries ago from influencing law.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Pandemic Legacy part 11


September was a difficult month for us at UnIT. We were again on top of our game so the idea of locating a rogue soldier in Bogota or San Francisco did not seem difficult since we found the virologist and immunologist without issue and were 1/3 the way of developing a vaccine for the faded people issue in Africa and 2/3 of the Americas. We replaced our researcher with our operations expert since this was a military issue and with the Cairo base established, we now had a fully functional base in all parts of the world.

We got info on the solider but not enough to find him. However, that search meant the rest of the world was neglected and by the time we were able to focus on that, it was too late. Our quarantine expert requested for a paramilitary escort for future operations and was approved.

Later in the month, we got good intel and with new government aid the quarantine expert almost located the soldier before leaving. Shortly after, our medic, who due to being a veteran was added to the team for the operations expert, found the soldier who had some unexpected information.

We knew that El Guapo developed the disease in Mexico City but we had no idea members of UnIT were involved as well. It turned out there is a group called Zodiac which El Guapo is a member along with our quarantine expert who disappeared once he realized who we found. We also realized that the full military operation which we initially opposed then assisted to create needs to be shut down by destroying the permanent UnIT bases we created.

We got a report a day later that a Miss Noble found in her garbage the ID badge of our quarantine expert and was actually travelling around Europe gathering information about the anti vax issue and treating the ill. Since we were dealing with the Martian water issue in the Far East as well the fall of Sydney and Khartorum in spite of getting government quarantine assistance, we did not have resources to go after Miss Noble until everything in North and South America tipped causing the world to go to shut down mode again.

Since we did eradicate this strain of the Silurian illness, we developed a faster method to cure it and we also requested and received C4 as well as riot gear to handle military bases and faded cities. We were told that with the new development, we will get more aid.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Rooting for other

When asked about the World Series, I don't want either the Cleveland Indians or the Chicago Cubs along with their fans to celebrate a title so I was thinking about how I could not see that happen.

Terrorist attack

Positive: It could if completely successful destroy the Chicago minor league ballpark as well as kill ball players from both teams preventing future championships for the near future.

Negative: It would potentially prevent other sports from being played as well as cause many people to decide that Donald Trump would be the best president to make those responsible pay for their actions.

Epidemic/ civil unrest

Positive: This would only delay other sports for a short while and has actually prevented a Stanley Cup final from being played.

Negative: The Cubs are a youthful and talented team which like the Red Sox last decade could compete for titles for 5 more years so this scenario at best could only delay a Cubs title.

Nuclear war/asteroid strike

Positive: Would stop the World Series

Negative: Would stop all sports

Alien invasion:

Positive: As one of the few who believe Jesus, Mohammad, and other deities are alien beings, I could be rewarded for my faith by being made commander of a portion of the conquered planet especially if I helped them.

Negative: A species that conquers interstellar travel would not need my help nor put me in charge of anything and I would most likely be killed if not enslaved.

Infrastructure failure

Positive: An airplane crash, hotel fire, or stadium collapse would definitely stop the World Series from being played and harm the team so it would be years before they would be competitive again without disrupting other sports. This has happened to a college team and multiple professional athletes but never to a major professional team in North America. There always has to be a first.

Negative: There would be a moment of silence for a while in other sports which would require me to pause the tv and fast forward past similar to what I do for all live showings of the national anthem.

Killing myself

Positive: My dying thought would be knowing I never saw the Cubs or Indians win a championship.

Negative: I would be dead, duh.

No doubt there are some who while reading this would suggest I choose the last option.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

There's always next year

My current plan for weight loss pointed toward the 2017 World Amateur disc golf championship next summer in the Quad Cities area (IL/IA). I qualified to play in 2015 and 2016 in the 50+ age division (based on year of birth) but could not go due to vacation and recovery from an injury. I also realized that at my weight, the four days of play would be difficult for me.

Yesterday, I saw a post about the qualifying standards changing and discovered that they were increased in my division by a factor of 10 from 2015 in order to reduce the number of available players no doubt because of the large number that wanted to play this year but couldn't because they were unable to reserve their spot as it filled minutes after it was opened.

Looking at the current listing, I realized that just over 100 players are currently qualified while over 500 would be at the level I was expecting it to be raised. It makes sense for them to do it since an event like that should be for those worthy.

So what would I have to do to be able to play? There are two choices, get better or get older. In 2025 when I turn 60, the requirement would be significantly lower but who knows how my game would change as my arthritic body ages let alone it is valid to question would I be able to play at a tournament level at all in 9 years?

So getting better would be my only option. 2016 did mark new personal bests in a two round tournament and a single tournament round so I am getting better but I know it is not enough. In Aug, I stated the first 50 things I need to do to get better are all to lose one pound but I need more than just that.

What I need requires a full commitment. That first means getting my body to the point where I can physically play an entire Mar-Oct season. It also means playing (and paying to play) the events I did in the first half of 2015 and second half of 2016 as well as others I skipped due to "life". It also would require playing in A level two day events where I would need to get a hotel near Bowling Green, KY in May and Peoria, IL in Aug as opposed to the hotel rooms I would get in Bloomington, MN next March and one in the Chicago area sometime during summer 2017.

I did invest in a fitness center membership so I believe my choice has been made.

When I told people I had to cancel in 2015, I was told there is always next year which is the same thing that I heard in 2000 when working after a golf tournament led to me losing. During the time for the 2001 golf tournament, I had my right knee scoped and was not the same after. Next year is NOT guaranteed. Now is what needed to happen when I decided to not play in 2015 and I failed again in spite of my desire to not let it happen.

Monday, October 3, 2016

W W W

When I go on my walks, I often go where and when I shouldn't not wanting to wait for lights or crossing streets at the crosswalk and even crossing train tracks to get to where I want to go.

One recent evening during halftime of a game, I paused the tv and left to get about 30 minutes of steps. That time, I left via the north exit of my building, walked around it and headed east near the train tracks passing the rail station. There was a short block to walk before it ended so I walked on the street as it was on a direct path from the parking lot I was in.

As I am walking down the street a slow moving vehicle pulled up, looked at me, then went on its way. I realized it was local police and had one thought. Ferguson.

Since I appeared as a non threatening, white man, no doubt the police officer did not bother me. I have to wonder what would have happened had I was not walking while white.

I then realized how other drivers and pedestrians look at me while I am walking and think how would have things been had I was not white and what would happen to me since all I carry on walks with my pedometer is my keys and cel phone.

Of course if they all knew what things have ran through my mind while on my walks no doubt most who have encountered me would have reacted much differently.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No Cubs. No.

With the Cardinals losing on the evening of Set 15th, the Chicago Cubs won their first division title in 8 years and over last weekend clinched the best record in the National League just like in 2008.

With the White Sox not involved in spite of their hot start, my playoff rooting interest would usually default to teams that finish with the best regular season record since I believe that six months of excellence should not be spoiled over an unnecessarily long playoff system which in under less than ideal playing conditions way too often produces an undeserving champion.

Since 2001, 15 teams have won the NL pennant. This is the position those 15 teams would have finished in the regular season had there been no playoffs:

1st: 3 times
2nd: 3 times
3rd: 4 times
4th: 3 times
5th: 2 times

This is about the teams' record and not seed. The NL champ 2015 Mets were the 3rd seed but had the 5th best record in the National League.

Unlike 2008, this year's Cubs look like a championship ball club. They have three starters that are among the top seven (now six) in the league, a flexible, well-balanced powerful lineup, a dominating closer, and one of the top managers in the game as opposed to one of the other NL playoff teams which has one of the worst.

Do they deserve to win a title? Yes. Do I want them to win? NO FUCKING WAY!

I know it is 13 years later but I am still upset that the Cubs lost their composure in 2003 and would still not want to meet the fan whose ignorance led to the collapse as well as changing NFL history that following Sunday. (A topic covered in a previous post)

I am also not wanting one specific person to ever enjoy the reality of a Cubs title. In 2007 and last year, that person's enjoyment would have been spoiled by me winning money betting on them but due to the odds, that bet this year was not worth making. I have carried out scenarios in my head where upon winning a title, I purposely say or do something to destroy the moment and forever associate that person's moment with tears of pain rather than ones of joy.

I have made plans to avoid being in that position even though admitted deliberate actions taken against me in 2005 before and after I had my right knee scoped (on the day of the AJ dropped third strike game) would make doing that justified.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The madman within

There are many places where being the madman can be beneficial if harnessed properly and I have always tried to create situations where I can unleash that aspect to make things better for me and occasionally others and some of my greatest accomplishments in competition happened with me being on the loose.

It does not always work. The same passion and drive that I harness to overcome whatever happens to me can harm others and myself as well. I am aware that many of my physical problems which eventually lead to doctor visits, physical therapy, and even surgery initially evolved with me pushing my body to the point where it starts to bend and then keep going until it breaks. For over 14 months, I have had to deal with elbow pain from doing that in disc golf. I am currently fighting my desire to play in a tournament on Sunday though I do not need the points to qualify next summer for the national amateur championship which I have been unable to play due to my injury this year and last.

My desire does not always create physical issues. It took a long time to realize that people at my company know that I am intellectually capable of doing a significantly more important job where I work but also that I am equally as capable of unleashing the madman in stressful situations and that I am a risk others are unwilling to take.

One of my ways of coping became food after someone in a situation at a con realized I had not eaten in 8 hours after I tossed a table. Of course treating stress with food created more of a need for food which helped worsen my weight issue. I am often scared to eat less worried about what I could do when hungry.

My instinct whenever I do something that hurts others is to try to help even if it is not required nor wanted thinking that I can solve the situation and make it better. Even when told to stop, I often can't and when it does not help, I then try even harder and when that does not work...

Physical damage to myself is easy for me to diagnose. Other things are not so easy for me to see unless told. I even fight my desire to try to help even after told to stop.

As with many things in my world, I have become stuck without a solution that would not upset whatever balance that exists within it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FuMPFeST by the numbers

Though it was two weeks ago, I am finally getting around to this post since running a raffle has taken up much of my time.

Attendees: 180
Attendees who currently or once had a show on Dementia Radio: 18
Attendees who have walked from their residence to the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn: 1
Attendees who were at an ALCON there in 2000 and or 2002: 20
Attendees who have had gastric surgery: 4
Times my car stalled in the 4.5 mile drive to FuMPFeST after a mechanic could not find an issue with it: 4
States people have travelled from to get to FuMPFeST: 17

Different musical acts with their own show: 14
Acts in the FuMP showcase: 5
Others who only joined artists on stage to sing: 12
Other music acts that were there: 7
Artists who performed under medical or physical duress: 2
People there who have or are part of a podcast: 6
Songs that I would have played during this year's "Mom, don't listen" show that were performed: 6

Artists who participated in Dumb Parody Ideas: 6
Fans who participated in Dumb Parody Ideas: 8
Events I missed part of due to getting food: 3
Different places I purchased food over 5 days: 12
Weight gained: 3lb

Different tag lines on bottles of FuMP moisture: 19
People who were given a bottle to reflect their act or personal situation: 9
CDs brought home: 5
Shirts brought home: 3
Singed pieces of cartoon art brought home: 1
Autographed giant inflatable penis brought home: 1

Monday, August 29, 2016

19 in a row

Yesterday finished an amazing weekend of comedy music less than 5 miles from my house known as FuMPFeST 2016. A post about those at the event is soon.

One unique thing about the event is that there are two fan based activities there. One is a video contest. I had an idea for a video this year but lost the nerve to do anything to try to make one.

Last year, someone else had even a better idea that would have involved my daughter and I but due to logistics, that never happened.

When I watched the entries, I was thinking about watching one I would have made and get the same nerves that make me purposely not listen to anything that was recorded of me.

The other one is called "Dumb parody ideas". This is an event where ANYONE there could do a parody in front of people. I have done many in my head over the years but last year lacked the courage to go on stage.

In the 14 months between the events, I analyzed and rehearsed what I would say for both parodies and simplified it so listeners would not get lost in the details.

When it was time for entries, I could not get myself off the chair as I watched others. It was entertaining to watch and I decided to justify me not going up there but to be honest, I put in too much time and effort in my head to have let it go to waste but I did.

On Saturday, Tim Cavanagh, who had a song on the first Dr. Demento Show I heard, had no singing voice due to a cold and asked someone to help sing 99 Dead Baboons on stage with him. I froze and watched someone else did and then talk about the amazing experience he had.

After hearing a song that made one of my excuses not to do my parody void, the con was soon over marking the 19th comedy music filled con in 16 years which I did not speak into the microphone on the main stage not in costume.

Since I do not want to keep the words in my head another 10-12 months, here is what I would have said:for the second parody:

After stating to a coworker that the song God Bless America is a prayer, it was suggested that I ignore the lyrics and focus on the music.

The next time I saw him, to the tune of God Bless America I sang a song from the point of view of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Though he was focused on my lyrics, I wanted more than a template to anger people whenever someone goes on a killing spree and thanks to a book about people like me which has a letter B is missing from the title, I came up with this:

Godless America, land that I want.
We'll stand beside her and guide her through the night with no light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam.
Godless America. My hope, sweet hope.
Godless America. My hope, sweet hope.

I also imagined someone asking about the Gacy one

Teenagers in Des Plaines, all have to die.
So I'll lure them, to my clutches, strangle them, hide them under the floor.

I would then state that was all I need to prove a point and that phrases like "School kids in Sandy Hook" , "Aurora Batman fans" , or "Random folks near Cleveland" could easily fit in the first verse.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Making the last shot

I always want to make my last shot whatever I did just in case it becomes that. In high school I stated that to others and it was used to make things difficult for me.

Often in disc golf tournaments there is time to chat waiting to play. The question of aces often comes up and I state none to the surprise of those in the group. My lack of distance is definitely a factor in that.

This year I found out about a short course in which 6 of the 9 are easily reachable for me and two others can be reached with a good shot. I decided to make it a mission to get an ace in 2016.

I also decided to play in leagues to get more game experience. In April, while waiting for things to start, saw someone ace the short #1. In the doubles event he was my partner and on #1, I had an ace run where it came close. Later my elbow popped delaying my return to full tournament action.

Memorial Day weekend, I worked a tournament and a pro suggested I learn to use mid-range discs and going back to the short course hit the top of #4 on what ends up being days there with many ace runs.

Late June played an event and though I had my best score, did not come close to an ace. There were two aces at that event there both on a hole near where I was.

Played a doubles event two weeks later and a person in the other team in my foursome got his 59th lifetime ace. Having had an ace run skip off chains a couple days previous made me more determined and confident it will be when and not if.

Had a couple other runs seeing discs go under and around buckets but not going in and my focus went to an IOS event in an effort to finally cash for the first time in ten events.

Had an ace run in practice but did not come close in the event. I managed to be in a four way time for the last spot winning $3.50.

Next week had a disc clank off the front of the bucket while having many close calls after adding a couple mid-range discs to my bag which I got after helping someone move.

Last Sunday I went back to introduce a four year old to the game. I played two nine hole rounds tying my best score of 21 on the second one. The kid was interested in riding a trike and exploring a playground before playing disc golf.

An hour later we made it to #1 and on my release heard multiple pops in my elbow. It felt OK after but I knew it would be my last day for a while. At the end, threw multiple discs wanting to get an ace in front of them and landed another one under the bucket.

After more trike time and dinner went back. First round was OK and the second round started OK making a 18 foot birdie putt on one and a 15 foot par putt on two after a bad pull on a drive which happens when my elbow has issues.

The putter stayed hot and after a full shot on 8, made the birdie putt and a perfect full shot on 9, make the 20 foot putt to a bucket on a pole 6 feet off the ground finishing with 7 straight birdies for a score of 8 under 19.

The next day my elbow and legs were sore and after two poor nights of sleep, the pain is so intense I knew it was time to bring my disc bag inside and put it in the closet.

I will go back to that place on my way to a future game night with a Sharpie and instead of writing a name and date of an ace on the pole for the hole, inscribe on the pole supporting the course layout:




At least I made the last shot.





Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ending the summer on a high note (Sunday)

My assessment of FuMPFeST Sunday:

Dementia water aerobics: B:

FuMP showcase: B+: Other artists who don't have a mainstage show can perform and knowing who doesn't have a spot, it should be entertaining and possibly weird.

Zach and the Pathetic Men: I: Another group I might watch.

Dementia Smackdown Wrestling: B: Though fun to watch, it isn't the same in the afternoon but the late night show has become too difficult now to do well.

Carrie Dahlby: B: Without any recent new material of her own I expect many others to join her on stage.

Tom Smith: A-: Another artist I see much less often than I used to.

Closing ceremonies: It will be difficult to see things end as it always is.

Ending the summer on a high note (Saturday)

Saturday FuMPFeST lineup:

Dementia water aerobics: B: I love the idea and wished my body would allow me to participate.

State of the FuMP: B: The only true panel of the con and the only necessary one where Devo Spice and others talk about their plans for the site which is almost ten years old.

Dino-Mike: A-: It will be nice to see him do an hour set as my daughter did not see him at Marscon and after hanging out with him during the Marscon parties wants to see his show.

The Library Bards: I: I do not know much about them. If I am up to it will watch.

Before they were now: A: I love the idea of people doing songs as a previous act.

MEGATHRUSTER: B-: I know and like a couple of their songs. Definitely the FuMPFeST act with the least time as an artist together.

Paul and Storm Q & A: A-: The guests of honor talk and answer questions. Duh.

2D6: I: Another group with material I am not familiar. Will watch if up to it.

Tim Cavanagh: B: If not needing food badly, will watch his perform songs I have known for three plus decades as well as songs from his new CD.

Live podcasts: B: Those who do podcasts will record them live: I might get called.

FuMPFeST guest of honor Paul and Storm: A+: The last time they performed in front of this crowd, it was memorable and expect it to be that way again.

Movie time: C: I like the idea but doubt I will be up for it after a long day.


Ending the summer on a high note (Friday)

Next Friday starts the three day event FuMPFeST 2016 at the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn on route 83 and Landmeier Rd.

Here is my assessment including thinking of my daughter and nephew (who will be attending and seeing everyone there for the first time) of the many music performances and other events there in chronological order.

Opening ceremonies: B+: I wanted to create a video for the contest but it is probably best that I didn't knowing what I would have done.

Devo Spice: A-: The host and organizer leads a Friday night which I find strongest of the three by far. I know he will be performing material I have not seen before.

Rob Paravonian: B+: The Marscon 2015 GOH is playing at the same hotel I first saw him in May 2000. Since I was in serious pain during his set, I know I will enjoy this show more as he is more than a one song artist.

Bad parody ideas: B+: Anyone can present their idea and after last year, it should be better. FYI: Be afraid; be very afraid.

Worm Quartet: A: As the years press on, I see fewer performances by many and I miss seeing him on stage dammit.

The Gothsicles: B+: My age shows during their show. The last time I saw them perform, it was overwhelming. I am glad my daughter is now old enough to enjoy their show.

SeaMonkey: A: I can understand why it is advertised as his last show as people change as they get older. I am hoping my daughter is old enough to appreciate his content.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tournament results

Last weekend was Illinois Open Series #79 and the hole by hole disc golf scores are listed.

The first round of the top two was on the significantly easier version of the course and the card from one other person in my division was interesting.


The bottom two on the championship gold course was interesting as well. I do admire the woman who finished her round as I could imagine others in her situation quitting.

Note: The women started on #12 making them finish on #11 so I can see how she had a 19 there as that is 685 feet through trees after a long, hot and muggy afternoon.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pandemic Legacy part 10

Quarantine specialist Klinger log:

Thanks to info from the virologist, we got a new assignment: Find the immunologist who is lost in either rioting Los Angeles or Mexico City. We were also told to just cure diseases and not worry about eradicating them any more. We also got a new military base in Bogota meaning 5 of the 6 areas of the world now have a UNIT facility.

Not wanting to risk harm to our researcher, our generalist was called into action as we got reports of anti VAX issues in New York and western Europe. I followed the generalist into Mexico City to search and quarantine while the scientist headed east to treat.

Two epidemics in Asia happened while the scientist cured the Martian water issue and then she had a tough decision to make. She had an opportunity to find the immunologist in Los Angeles before the trail went cold as well as curing the anti VAX problem but she would be in a city with faded figures which would scar her and decided to go for it knowing the Silurian issue was about to get beyond control.

After a third epidemic followed by an outbreak, I had one last chance before things would go out of control. I was in Sydney and cured to the Silurian disease, went to LA to reestablish the quarantine there, and set up a seventh overall one in Bogota to get to the point where UNIT can move in and settle things (including an evac of our scientist preventing injury) just before another outbreak would have created chaos.

Our immunologist stated that he needs components to form a vaccine but the virologist can now treat the faded people. When we mentioned that the disease is called El Guapo, he corrected us stating that El Guapo is not the name of the disease but that of the man who created the disease and unleashed it upon his people in an attempt to take over the country but it spread beyond his control.

After I worked out details to allow expanded quarantine procedures, we got a call from Torchwood stating that their nuclear device was now available followed immediately by a call from the Doctor demanding that we never use it.

Aug 30

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pandemic Legacy part 9

Quarantine Specialist Ahmed Klinger

After a brief discussion in which our rescued virologist stated those in the area mention "El Guapo" as the disease name, we determined finding cures to diseases has becone more important than treating so our researcher was welcomed back to the team in place of the medic.

Things broke heavy in the far east so roadblocks were established to prevent multiple outbreaks there. As I started quarantine procedures in Africa, the scientist along with the researcher headed to Asia to treat. Due to them being close, info was easily exchanged and after I headed that way as well, all three diseases had cures thanks in part to the scientist having extra storage capacity.

The treatment part became a challenge as outbreaks in all three diseases made things come close to panic. Fortunately a quarantine in Moscow kept the Silurian issue from turning worse as well as good timing.

With my hasmat suit, I made my way into faded west Africa then into South America without getting scarred and established a military base in Rio. As the other two were finally able to eradicate the anti vax issue, I was on my way to adding a military base to our Cairo office only to find out funding that was established after our failure earlier this month already provided one.

Having met our goal, we made the anti vax issue easier to treat as well as getting an additional treatment option for potential future use.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Close and no Cigar

On July 13, 1996, a horse named Cigar was at Arlington Park in an attempt to tie the record set by another horse named Citation of most wins in a row and I really wanted it to lose. Unlike the following race where it was forced to a fast 6 furlongs causing it to tire and lose to my delight, it ran a solid race and won. There was a close call with the horse I wanted to win as far as interference and stated the people who would make that decision would not have the courage to even look at it. That statement caused a huge argument with my father and I stormed out of the house with my golf clubs.

After hitting my drive off the second tee at Evergreen G.C., I twisted my right ankle getting off the tee box. Though it was sore, I could still walk ok and a few holes later realized that it kept me from over swinging. After waiting a short rain delay on 4, played the more difficult front 9 in a respectable 6 over par 42 gaining more confidence as I went.

Number 10 was 290 yards but it usually plays into the prevailing wind. With the northeast breeze that was in play and with my ankle feeling better, I launched my drive putting it on the green 10 feet from the cup. Though I missed the eagle putt, I had a birdie which was followed by one on 11 where the wind allowed me to play a short wedge second shot.

Though I bogeyed 12, a birdie on the difficult 14th down wind made up for that. The most difficult hole on the course, 15 played into the wind along OB on the right and I managed a double bogey keeping OB out of play. After pars on the last 3, shot a 6 over par 77 which was (and still is) the lowest score on a 18 hole round of golf that I will ever shoot.

Twenty year later to the date, I went to Round Lake to play at Squaw Creek Gold, the #1 rated disc golf course in Illinois for a league since I was unable to play in the World Amateur championship as my right elbow was not ready at the time I needed to register. It did not matter that my play over the previous couple weeks have deteriorated and I had confidence in myself.

The first 7 holes went ok though I did make a couple of errors but things unraveled on 8 and the rest of the round was a death march in and out of the woods at the edge of a storm. I had no idea where a disc was going nor how to correct it.

When I was done, I was an exhausted, disgusted, and thoroughly beaten man who realized he had enough and knew he should never again try to play. I sent a text contemplating whether I should to drive home or at high speed into a wall, threw my disc bag in the garbage, thanked the man in charge of the event for putting up with me, and left.

Ten minutes later, I realized my phone was still in my bag and headed back to discover that the same statement I have made to myself in the past after similar days at a bowling alley, golf course, or Scrabble tournament reads differently as a text message sent to another person and that I scared people.

After done talking on the phone to those I scared, went to the garbage and retrieved my equipment as the person in charge of the event stated he was going to do so anyway. Though I was in no mood to eat, I drove home without incident and the next morning went back to practice. Having a weekend out of town even though I was not in the mood at first to go was a benefit as well.

Being one week later, where am I?



 Such is the not so normal world of the madman on the loose.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Price is Wrong... Bitch

After the Tour de France stage ended, I turned on the second half of The Price is Right not having seen the show in a couple years interested in seeing how it looks and sounds.

When it was time for the dollar wheel, the first contestant hit 65 cents and in spite of her bf, stayed. I commented about the argument that the couple will later have since the chances are better when spinning.

I was told I was wrong. I then explained that my father and I had this conversation in the late 1980s and I did the math.

65 cents is the high point where player is better to spin winning when holding outright almost 13% of the time and winning a spin-off 4% and a person who spins though would be over 65% of the time would win just under 19%.

I continued once a player gets 70 cents, they are better off not spinning and then reminded her that I figured out the odds of winning most of the games assuming simple price knowledge like the range of item costs and that prices often end with a zero.

I was then told I take the fun out of game shows. I smiled in agreement.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mandatory Fun(k)

I am home after a memorable day.

Started by going to my cousin's house to see people I generally see once per year (unless someone dies or I get invited to a wedding which I understand why I don't). I appreciate those who bought a raffle ticket to help pay for my daughter's trip to Orlando.

At 3:25, got a panicked text from Carrie stating the VIP preshow event for the Weird AL concert in Aurora was starting at 4. I hustled from 167th and Cicero to get her and then to Aurora in 2 hours in time for a couple cool things including a couple pics taken in the Mandatory VIP lounge to go along with the theme from Weird Al's most recent and probably last album Mandatory Fun which debut at #1.



We then got to the second row as it is festival seating and waited 2 hr for the show to start. The nice venue was only outdone by the 70 degree weather which was perfect for his show the only problem being that the stage setup made it difficult for him to access from the front and not possible to head into the crowd as he had done in all but one of the other shows I've seen over the past 20+ years.

After the show, we joined those at the party and others we knew backstage where I got an autograph and a pic with him.



So why the title? Carrie as well as others who were there commented on the smile I had especially when admitting the 50pt IQ drop I often experienced in the past at conventions. During the show I had on multiple times get my mind to stop thinking about life and to try to fucking enjoy the moment for once I course I then got unhappy with myself because I was unhappy.

After getting back to Carrie's house which took longer than it should not seeing a sign confirming a street that I needed to take, I started to shake. I initially thought it was nerves that happened the previous time I took a pic with AL but it turned out to be lack of food so I stopped at a Denny's as I wanted to see the pics that were on Facebook right anyway.

I did not see my smile in the pics. I did not see a happy person either. I saw the fat, old, sad man who does not know how to just be happy without looking stupid and who was very lucky to not fall 15 minutes before the pic because he was not paying attention to the posts that run under the benches. On the way back from the show to Carrie's, she mentioned the numerous my negative assessments I make of myself.

As I finish the words the following morning with the pics to be added later, the exact words I had eludes me. I know I hold myself to standards which I rarely meet and am aware it takes a toll on me even on the days that try to make up for the rest.

No doubt that is why I turn to food to cope and see the fat way before the smile as it feeds among itself. The evening was also a test to see if I was so tired of life to bother to continue living. Though it was a struggle, I did manage to pass it even three days later at work feeling the energy from the event.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Discing as a numbers man

Yesterday, I got up at 4:30 AM and drove 100+ miles to play in my first disc golf tournament of the year. First of all, the right elbow injury which caused my first event to be this late in the year had NO issues. I did tweak a calf muscle late and cramped my right shoulder changing my shirt in the parking lot after it was over.

Since I was physically and personally unable to play Saturday, I played in the 50+ group as opposed to the Am3 group. Though I had never played the course before, I shot a very good first round and a respectable second round.

How the Professional DISC Golf Association rates tournament and club play is by a number created based on how well the best player(s) that day did and subtracting from that number points for every shot worse than the best player. The amount of points subtracted (anywhere from 6-14) depends on the overall difficulty of the course that day.

My round ratings were 867 and 838 which meant I had by best played event ever. In spite of that I finished 7th out of 10.

The cool thing about ratings is that they can be applied to other events. All I need to do is find the round scores that are closest to my round ratings and that would determine what my game yesterday would have scored there.

In the Am4 division held the day before which I am eligible because my player rating is 819, (best in the world is over 1,050) I would have finished third with the ratings I had yesterday. In what probably is my next event on Aug 13, my ratings from yesterday would have finished third, one shot out of first in Am4 at last year's event.

Though not 100% guaranteed like the time I played Am4 in an event last year where my arm had major issues and I missed cashing by one shot, I expect to cash for the first time at an Illinois Open Series event after not doing so the first 8 times.

I also went to the PDGA site to look at all the 50+ year old players and found the #1 player in Illinois is ranked tied for 21st in the US and my rating puts me in a tie for 881st.

Two women in the 50+ bracket have a better rating than I do but I question one listing as the person is significantly in first, someone who was recently added, and has a first name of James.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Trolling the whales

On Facebook, there was an article about a high school girl who after being shamed about her weight decided to make shirts supporting those like her with a picture of a whale on it. Not liking that, I stated her energy would have better used elsewhere... (like losing the weight)

Replies to that ranged from wanting me dead to commenting on my Power Puff app profile pic, to posting a pic of me from a couple of years ago where I actually weigh less than I currently do.

I was going to comment and then realized I was wasting my time. Had I referenced the famed whale Shamu which I associate with fat due to the Weird Al song, I could understand the hateful response. This is what I was going to write:

Thank you for stating that I am fat. I know. In Jan 2011, I was approaching 300lb and after a whole lot of effort lost over 50 lb and it stayed off until July 2012 when life caused weight to be added as well as in the winter of 2014 when a hereditary medical condition emerged leaving me off and on in a whole lot of pain for a couple of years.

This March, I finally was able to get a working and stable routine with my medication and with that problem resolved, I have been losing weight again though currently I am nowhere near the point I was 4 years ago.

Anyway, I have to put a whole lot of effort into attempting to resolve my weight situation to get results. If I just accepted who I am like the girl appears to be doing, I could easily end up over 350lb. Every day I need to make an effort for my weight. I keep food for work in a desk at work so I don't eat it at home. Currently, there are Pop Tarts, Fiber One bars, bagels, and potato chips in the desk next to me along with the medication I take to offset the heavy duty medication I use to manage my medical condition and I have to limit myself even on days I get hungry or angry or both.

Less than 100 feet from me are vending machines which can transport a dollar or two into something tasty which can also make my day at work a little less irritable. There are also many situations where complimentary food becomes available and I need to manage what I eat when I decide to eat something, figure out what I can do in its place. When I leave my work, I have to pass about 2 dozen places on my 3.5 mile drive that could provide something I can eat.

Managing my weight takes a lot of effort and to be honest, many times I still take the easy temporary gratification of something I know I should not eat because I am tired or angry or bored. Even on a weekend where I walked 36 miles, I gained 2 pounds due to what I ate at a party on Saturday and before, during, and after the multiple walks I made on Sunday.

Right now some of the law creating representatives of our country are attempting to correct a problem instead of dealing with it. I hope that girl and others like her make the difficult choices I try to make every day and instead of dealing with the weight issue, try to correct it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A madman might have been walking in your town

Every once in a while my brain defaults to the Van Halen video Right Now which among phrases that are right now, is one stating a madman is walking the streets in your town.

My 42 day work step challenge ended June 19 and the results are in. Here they are from my POV:

Total steps/average per day: 755,760/17,994
Total miles/average per day: 356.3/8.48
Total steps on 29 work days/average: 514,339/17,736
Lowest/highest daily total on work day: 14,074/20,590
Total steps on 13 off days/average: 24,1421/18,571
Lowest/highest daily total on off day: 7,286/42,431
More steps walked per day on days I DIDN'T work: 835

Towns walked from home: 5 (Bensenville, Wood Dale, Itasca, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst)
Towns walked from place I rode: 4 (Elmhurst, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Hobart, IN)
Towns I played disc golf: 7 (Carol Stream, Lombard, Naperville, Elk Grove Village, Hinsdale, Midlothian, Woodridge)
Other towns where I had steps: 5 (Chicago, Stickney, Plainfield, Winfield, Rosemont)

T shirts worn on final day which had a high of 92 and I had 42,431 steps: 5
Pounds gained during the last weekend which I walked 36 miles: 2
Estimated steps not walked on final day since my planned vacation day the one after was needed by my teammate in the company challenge and I could not walk from 10PM to 1159 PM since I had to be at work the next morning at 6AM: 10,000

State highways jawalked: 5 (IL 19,58,64,83 IN 51)
US highways jaywalked: 3 (12,14,20)
Times illegally crossed railroad tracks: 3
Value of items lost during challenge by wearing gym shorts instead of jeans shorts with decent pockets because I had chaffing issues: $100

Trailers either loaded or unloaded during that time: 20
Steps I take while driving a power jack or a 4 ton forklift while moving that material: 0
Number of times I had to stop while driving a power jack or 4 ton forklift for people who were walking in the warehouse area in an attempt to get more steps: 11

Place in company challenge out of 135 people: 11
Others in top 17 I would have been able to pick out of a police lineup on the date the contest started: 0
Coworkers in Illinois who had more steps than me: 4
People out of about 50 in the building I work who had more steps than me: 0
Steps/miles ahead of second place in my building: 58,281/27.6
Steps/miles ahead of highest placing person I personally knew on the date the contest started: 87,803/41.2

Different people who won gift card: 13
Additional number of steps/miles I would have needed to win: 184,845/87.5
Additional number of steps/miles my "team" would have needed to win: 303,984/143.9
Number of people with more steps than me who did not win anything: 3
Hours wasted for a contest whose prizes reward those who are fit instead of encouraging those who (like me) are not: Too many to figure out as I have already wasted way too much time, energy and effort in the contest and for this post.
Pedometers smashed with a sledge hammer: 1

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

50-40

Yesterday, I went to my doctor who wanted to see me after the results of the multiple blood tests I took because I am now 50. She noticed that I am borderline on many things (still NOT diabetic) but nothing that would require me to take any additional medication.

Then it was time to address the white elephant but to be honest it was more a white Penguin/Cat combo as I was wearing my Bill and Opus for president in 2016 shirt. Though I was 2lb lighter than I was three months previously, I was still medically extremely obese as my BMI was over 40.

I told her I know my weight divided by 6.97 is by BMI which is 40.45. The doctor, impressed by my math skills, asked why am I doing what I am doing and not something like curing cancer?

I felt obligated to explain to the female of Asian descent that because my knowledge is so biased in math and science and I could not stand written fiction, my GPA would not allow me to get a college scholarship unless I provided something special to the school. Her face turned when I explained that meant I am a white male.

I then explained that even though I could do integral calculus in my head and knew 95% of the atomic table when I walked onto the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in August 1983, I did not know how to masturbate. All the awkward moments teenage boys go through in high school and earlier I started to have about the time I legally became an adult and the college world is not really a place for that. I then talked about how I tried to do what others said I should but to be honest, I was not socially ready at that time.

The doctor brought the subject back to my weight asking what could fix it knowing that if my weight was 1/4 lower, many of my current issues would be a whole lot better. Of course my first thought was eliminating a couple hundred pounds of burden.

I stated that I know my wife is real stupid because she married me and then tried without too many details to explain why I find myself a very disturbed individual. As a coworker once recently suggested, there are things I believe which I know if stated would get others angry with me without providing any benefit to anyone. In the past, I have stated a couple of ideas only to find that someone I know and care about would have their current or past significantly altered if my ideas were incorporated. The conversation even got dark after explaining how I got stuck in my situation but lack the courage to change it though I know many ways to get unstuck.

By the time I was done, I felt like my doctor was deciding if she should call police, the hospital or even the "men in white coats" and I did not even get to talking about the chain of ignorance she prominently displays.

Anyway, she wanted me to see a nutritionist. I stated that I know what foods I should eat and that I am fat because I eat things that make me happy forgetting for a short time the long term effect of my intake.

She then suggested what I associate as a "fat doctor". I know there is a name but like calling the grain quin-o-a, I am going to say fat doctor. Deal with it. Apparently, they do more than surgically reduce a person's intake.

As I left the building, I did not immediately throw the referral in the garbage.

Monday, May 9, 2016

"Home field" playoff games

Many times over the years team in playoffs ends up the home team due to timing or luck and many times that has changed sports history.

10) Super Bowl 14 and 19

Twice a team has played the game (which is determined years in advance) in its own metropolitan area. The LA Rams gave the Steelers a game in #14 and 49ers coach Bill Walsh stated playing #19 at Stanford University Stadium made pregame preparations feel like a home game.

Both times the team with the better regular season won the title including the one loss champ who came closest to a 19-0 season.

9) 2008 AL Central playoff

The White Sox hosted the Twins in a one game playoff for the division title because of a coin flip. What made home field so important was that 17 of the 18 regular season games they played were won by the home team with the Twins winning the one road game.

The winning White Sox playing the game hurt the team in the Division series since it has to use its best pitcher in the playoff game.

8) 1972 AFC Championship game

The Steelers hosted the undefeated Dolphins because that is how the yearly home team rotation worked.

Though the Dolphins won the game, the NFL decided in the off season that record decides home field in playoffs.

7) Super Bowl 48

The NFL decided to play a game outdoors in a cold weather city so Met Life Stadium (home of the Jets and Giants) was chosen.

Peyton Manning returned from surgery and was league MVP though he struggled near the end in Denver with the weather.

Seattle is a turf team that prefers bad weather in an outdoor game and it led to the blowout.

6) 1997 MLB playoffs

The rotation of home field advantage in MLB was changed to better record after 4 of the six series to determine the pennants were hosted by the team with fewer wins.

5) The Big 8 champ vs Florida teams in the Orange Bowl

Until the BCS, the Big 8 champ (later Big 12) always played in the Orange Bowl against a team that did not win the SEC, Big 10, PAC 10, or when it existed SWC.

Many of those games which determined the national champion were against Florida State or the University of Miami which played home games in the Orange Bowl Stadium.

Most of the Big 8 teams played home games on a fast artificial turf field while the Orange Bowl surface after grass replaced artificial turn in 1975 was slow.

4) 1954 World Series

Home field flips between NL and AL. I referenced game 1 in a prior post.

http://notnormalworld.blogspot.com/2015/05/lose-is-four-letter-word.html

That game lead to a Giants sweep over a team that won 114 regular season games.

3) 1984 NLCS

Due to the year the Padres hosted the Cubs and the home team won all 5 games allowing the Padres who won fewer regular season games to win the pennant.

2) 1967 NFL Western Conference Championship

In the first year the NFL had 4 divisions, the Green Bay Packers who finished 9-4-1 hosted the LA Rams who went 11-1-2 because home teams was on a rotational basis.

The Packers winning that game led to the Ice Bowl league championship game the following week.

No doubt the Colts 11-1-2 record is the best record of a non playoff team in league history as it lost a tiebreaker to the Rams to determine the Costal Division champion.

1) 1987 Minnesota Twins

Four AL East teams and four NL teams won more games in 1987 than the 1985 the Twins won but due to rotation the Twins had home field advantage in both the ALCS and World Series.

The Twins won every home game while losing all road games to win their first title.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Nocturnal injuries

A week ago Sunday, woke up, rolled over, and felt pain under right shoulder. Since I played on Friday and practiced on Saturday without taking medicine due to being at my mom's, can understand.

Last Sunday, woke at 5:30 from a dream where I was playing football and my right knee was throbbing with my right leg up off the couch. In spite of ice and medicine, pain did not stop. The next morning, the discomfort was located on the inside of the knee meaning I sprained my MCL.

While powering through work the day needing to get things done, was asked about seeing a doctor. I stated what would happen:

I walk in, pay copay.
Explain what happened to nurse and doctor both whom would find unusual and that since I tweaked my shoulder the week before did not play or practice which could lead to an injury.
Wince in pain as doctor examines leg and puts pressure where it hurts.
Go for x-ray with note excusing work the rest of the week.
Toss note in garbage then power through balance of work week maybe taking Thursday and or Friday off.

Would also state doing that saves copay.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mom, don't read this.

Though I don't miss casting most Thursday nights since the second computer over a 14 month period died last June, this one is an exception. During the first year, I tried to get my mom to listen to my show and one time while on the phone with her, I told her to not listen. Of course she tuned in and then informed anyone in her family what I play on my show.

So every year on that week, I played a "mom, don't listen" show featuring the most offensive and religiously inappropriate material I have. Though I can't cast, this is what I would play if I could:

What Your Parents Think (All your music sounds like) live at Marscon 2008 - Worm Quartet
Urban Dictionary - Dino Mike
That Doesn't Make Sense - Whitney Avalon
Sex Rhymes - Schäeffer the Darklord
Altar Boy - Seamonkey
The Loophole - Garfunkel and Oates
Hasa Diga Eebowai - The Cast of the Book of Mormon
Night of the Living Christ - Schäeffer the Darklord
The Rabbit Song - Worm Quartet
Unexpecting the Expected - Dino Mike
The World is Made of ... - Carrie Dahlby
Asshole - Dennis Leary
Atheism - The Awful Show
The Here and Now - Tom Smith

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Marscon 2016 by the numbers

Hours gone: 107
Total miles driven: 824
Total people driven: 9
Straight years taking pic flipping off giant Pepsi sign in Mall of America South food court: 6
People on log rides who waved back to my daughter who did not want to go on any rides without a friend: 5
People in MN I either drove to get food or picked up food: 13
Total foot long sandwiches: 3
Total breakfast buffets: 2
Total vanilla milk shakes: 3
Pounds gained from Tue before to Thu after: 4

Main stage artists: 10
Those who came after finding out they were a Logan Award finalist: 2
Other artists who participated in track: 5
Males in wrestling: 10
Females is wrestling (including winner): 6
Stage personas in wrestling: 2
Cartoon characters in wrestling: 2

Syllables in 45 second part in Schäeffer the Darklord song Sex Rhymes: 285
Logan Award winners who were there to accept: 0
Logan Award winning entries out of the 12 over the past four years that I felt was the best of the five finalists: 1

Times I heard Power Salad song Leia (and other Star Wars related parodies) over the weekend as a video for it was being shot: 7
Number of burlesque performers: 4
Number of male burlesque performers: 1
Number of Magicswords made for the character costumes Luke had created for him and Carrie: 6
Minutes wondering why a person was pointing a video camera towards me before Luke's show until I realized it was pointing toward the person behind me (TV's Kyle): 15
Pizza Hut delivery drivers seen in fifteen minutes on Sat after one failed to find the hotel last year: 2

New people at table 27 (music merch table): 4
Total CDs purchased: 5
Other non food items purchased: 1
Time daughter left party floor on Sat: 2AM
Time I got back to room on Sat: 3:45AM
People in our section at Kahn's on Sunday: 34
Those who had a Marscon badge on Sunday: 30
People who played boob tree using color markers after I was the even man out: 9
People in hot tub when it closed at Midnight Sun: 7

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Final? Voyage of the U.S.S. Whitehurst


Twelve years ago, I squeezed into a van with six others to head to Bloomington, MN for a convention called Marscon since Dr. Demento was there and it turned out to be an amazing, life-changing weekend.
The next year, knowing that there are many in the Chicago area that do not have a vehicle I decided to rent a large van to take people to Marscon and it then became the best way to get there. The convention for those in the van started when the trip began and did not end until we got back home.

In late 2006, two people many of us knew passed away. One was a Dementia Radio DJ called Blindwulf. He lived in Colorado and in spite of his name most of us had no idea he was blind and also disabled until after he died of a heart attack.
The other one was a musician named Logan Whitehurst. At the time, I did not know much of his music but others did. He had been suffering from headaches which turned out to be cancer and after a three year battle, it claimed his life.
In 2008, due to demand, we needed two vehicles and Luke Ski drew a cartoon of us in a van called the Dementia Bus (named after a reference the Luke Ski tribute song about Weird Al’s Another One Rides the Bus) which was titled the U.S.S. Blindwolf. He also made nameplates for the vans one for him and one for Logan. 

Even though it cost me between $300 and $500 for the van rental, it was doable. Recently, it became more difficult to afford that amount and others found their own way to get there or decided it was no longer worth it to go since I realized 4 nights in a hotel was necessary so I can safely get home.
My work situation this year really made things difficult and I felt horrible telling others I can’t take them not knowing when or if I could go. Due to a change with my work situation made at the beginning of last month, I can attend normally.
Another thing has changed my Marscon drive and that is my body. Ten years ago, I had trouble entering and exiting the vehicle and though I now understand why and take medicine for it, my body is worse than ever. The only reason I am driving other than getting compensated for taking gear and driving one person who did not know my situation is that my daughter is going with me this year and two airline tickets were too expensive.
It makes sense to name this vehicle after Logan since I am carrying one current Logan Awards juror to the ceremony that will be at Marscon. I then realized this:

One year had an extra juror and there are two people who won two awards.

Last year at Marscon was difficult for me. Though I did not drive, my body started giving me problems Friday afternoon and Friday evening after a concert while getting up off a chair, my left knee gave and the leg completely failed. Had Carrie not been there to grab, I might have fallen. I did not bring my pain medication with me but had my arthritis medication (which is also used for chemo). Saturday morning I took the once a week medication along with the supplement that I need to take with it. Two hours later it felt like my blood was on fire as well as the sharp pain in my left knee.
I tried my best to stay calm but the fact that I was at Marscon in pain made my mood worse and due to bad timing along with me actually being a madman on the loose, the wrong person ended up being at the wrong place at the wrong time on two separate occasions.
At a future time I tried to explain that after three weeks of my pain, I discovered that I mixed up bottles and what I thought was a supplement was in fact a steroid which not only increases anger but fought the medication which prevents cell growth causing the burning feeling inside. Though I said that and apologized, I know things can never be the same and can tell that it won’t be no matter what I do or say. At least I learned to NEVER fuck with medications again and will carefully pack what I should take as well as anything I could take. Since the medicine is metabolized in the liver, that means no alcohol as well.

I am thinking that this Marscon, #13 for me, would be ideal to be my last unsure about my future physical and financial situation. Unsure about my daughter’s school situation or desire in future years, this could be her last one for a while too. It is possible that I would fly to MN next year as opposed to driving. The fact that last Friday my left knee failed after sitting at a table for two hours for an RPG which means my drive this year won't be pain or discomfort free as it usually takes a week to ten days for my knee to recover.

However, for me, Marscon is more than a weekend. Though it often fails to come close to expectations, it is still worth the trip. I know it gives me a reason to get off the couch before the sun rises and to work at my job. I say it's the five days that make the rest tolerable. Anyway, I punched out of work an hour ago and I should get home. The Whitehurst leaves in less than 48 hours.