Sunday, December 10, 2017

Going against my better judgement

Since the man whose last name matches the company name on my work badge requested, I used store credit to purchase clothes and shoes to attend last night's company December party.

Here is what I experienced:

Non employee spouses or fiancees introduced to me: 24
People who asked why I am alone requiring me to explain why: 10
Combined tenure in years of two people who retired in 2017 and were honored: 86
Beers consumed: 4
Glasses of wine: 1
Minutes the alcohol in my body completely removed the pain that is normally in it: 120
Weeks since the last time I was in that situation: 108
Previous times in 22+ years at my employer I was in that situation with fellow employees: 0
People concerned about my driving home while I was pain free: 7
People who mentioned the time in 2005 where in the building I discovered that two footballs commemorating the 1972 Dolphins playoff wins had the wrong score: 3
Times I showed a pic from device to answer a question: 4
People who incorrectly claimed that John Fox was the Broncos coach when they won the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning even though I said he wasn't: 2
People who tried to get me to take a "funny" pic in the photo booth: 3
People who asked about disc golf: 3
Luke Ski reverse parodies played in a row by the DJ: 3
People who called me Kenny: 3
Times I felt obligated to reply with a non plausible greeting: 12
Facebook posts or replies made from room: 4
Facebook friend requests confirmed while sitting alone at a table while others were dancing or talking together: 1
People who played an RPG afterwords as my initial plan to watch but decided to not to do since I was in too much pain to stay as apparently the alcohol did not remove the pain in my body but banked it for when I got sober: 6


Friday, December 8, 2017

A reading from the book of work


While looking at the multiple skids that have to ship knowing there are too many for the truck, the Madman stated to the drivers, “I have let those at the destination know that all can’t ship today and they need to let me know what to send today. If they choose not to decide, they still have made a choice.”

One driver chuckled and correctly stated, “Song lyrics?”

“Freewill,” replied the Madman.

“God gave us free will,” replied the other driver.

“Really?” the Madman stated. “What about those who use modern medicine to not prolong or protect life but instead use it to prevent unwanted life or end painful ones? What about those whose sexual preference are not described with the term heterosexual monogamy? Those people according to the rules God have prescribed should be persecuted or even executed. How is that free will?”

*Silence*

These are the words of the Madman.

There can’t be a “god”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

End of 2017 season recap

Due to a knee injury on October 21st, my disc golf season ended earlier than planned. I walked off the course on the 22nd with 6 to play in a tournament and had to withdraw from an event the following Sunday. Fortunately, I had yet to register for the same event in Wisconsin that I played last year on the 4th Saturday in November.

This week, I start physical therapy on my right knee which gave out during the same first step I took on a throw thousands of times this year. My doctor told me to not touch a disc until I finish therapy and I weigh less than 250 lb.

On January 1st, I set a goal to birdie 100 different holes and did that on June 29th on what I have to admit was a pulled drive that turned out perfect on a 375 ft downhill hole. I finished with 173 different holes birdied from 32 different courses. (There was one course that I played, Silver Fox, where I did not get a birdie.)

Here is a breakdown of them:

Location:

Cook County (7 courses) : 56
Du Page County (7 courses) : 30
Wisconsin (5 courses) : 30
Indiana (5 courses) : 22
Lake County (2 courses) : 17
Other IL counties (6 counties @ 1 course each) : 18

Situation getting first birdie of hole:

Practice: 116
Warmup: 13
Club event: 8
Sanctioned tournament: 36

Type of hole:

Standard: 163
Temp: 10

Multiple birdies from same tee pad to different locations: 2 (#9 Fairfield/Squaw Creek; #2 Grey Fox)
Multiple birdies from different tee pads to same location: 2 (50 Acre #1 and #8)
Longest par 3 birdie: Riemer #14 (478 feet from top of sled hill)
Number of drives off top of bucket: 4

How birdie happened:

Drive + putt: 158
3rd shot on par 5 plus putt: 1 (11 Squaw Creek Gold)
2nd shot on par 4 plus putt: 4 (best - #14 Lemon Lake Red, last hole of Homie)
Made long putt: 3 (None after popping arm in June)
Made approach shot: 5 (best #14 Lemon Lake Blue, first hole of Homie)

Aces: 2 (Jan 2 #3 Horizon Park - 160ft Red Leopard; May 14 #13R 50 Acre - 218 green Buzzz)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Burgers, fries, and knee pain

When I hurt my knee last February, I was referred to the orthopedic doctor in Downers Grove which is where my organization now has their doctors. When I looked up the address, I noticed that it was less than a block away from the Five Guys on Odgen.


The morning of my appointment, I turned off my tablet and then realized I never looked up how long it would take. Since the referral was in my car and I did not know the cross street or how many other locations have the name, I asked my wife to find out how long it takes to get to the Five Guys on Odgen. (which by entering that in Google is what I did to get the map above)

Five minutes later, she was on the Five Guys site still trying to get me that info and though I said where my doctor was compared to that location, she could not understand why I would go out of my way to head to that one since there are two other closer locations.

I should have known better to ask the same person who once told me the surgical center said to show up at 8AM for an 8AM surgery and then refused to give me the number so I could call them back to help me.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pandemic Legacy part 13

After treating all the strains in November and getting many areas vaccinated, a note was delivered to UNIT HQ. El Guapo was thanking us for making his plans to infect the world possible. He explained that our former quarantine expert, Ahmed Klinger, was stockpiling multiple variations of the CodA disease which will be used to change the world.

We were fortunate to find out that the stockpile was hidden in Atlanta but due to multiple outbreaks, finding it will be difficult as the research center was destroyed.. Since CodA has become the threat, that took priority over curing the other new strains of disease which meant that Medic Hunnicutt, researcher Pierce, and Scientist Houlihan were no longer needed. Immunologist Kathy McIntyre, generalist Charles Emerson Winchester V, and Cpl Edward O'Reilly were tasked to take care of this situation.

Before the team could get to Tokyo, there was an outbreak infecting many cities in the pacific rim. Fortunately the factories were producing vaccine provided many doses but there were significantly more cities than planned and with multiple outbreaks of the other three diseases, there was no time to search Atlanta. Even though the anti-vax strains was cured, UNIT had to step in and shut things down.

After things settled, the team was able to vaccinate all the cities even though an outbreak in Montreal scarred the generalist. The team eventually made it to Atlanta and located the secret bunker. However, all that was found was a note declaring victory and wishing us a Happy New Year in a whole new world.

Epilogue:

As El Guapo predicted, the new strains of CodA put the world into mass chaos in spite of the best efforts of UNIT. The war that followed left humanity devastated. Once it ended, there were just pockets of civilization that after a couple of generations were supplied by havens based in the Atlantic Ocean. As the years passed, the communication among the areas not on the Atlantic were lost and eventually supplies were becoming short as a new threat to humanity arose.

Eventually, new heroes were needed to be called upon to try to save what civilization that was remaining and to possibly expand the world itself.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Not so happy Friday

I hate work day Fridays. My body is tired and sore from working the previous days of the week. I've explained many times that my happy Fridays are the ones I am not working and that if I was not working, then no Fridays would be happy since there are not ones at work for comparison to make the ones that I am off happy. (Please note that there is not an apostrophe used.)

The following are a bunch of things others have said to me in response to my pain to help along with how I would want to reply:


Q: Take some "over the counter" medicine (from the cabinet).


A: I can't believe I have NEVER thought of that idea in the decades I have been in pain. Actually, I have tried that and the biggest reaction I get is within my digestive system.


Q: Why don't you take the pain medication that you have prescribed for you?


A: I drive fork lifts weighing up to and over 10,000 lb moving skids up to 23 feet in the air. I can't take that medication and safely operate the truck and taking it the night before has caused me to sleep through my alarm in the morning.


Q: Just drink a 40 and do a blunt.


A: I drive a 5 ton fork truck around you and you want me to do that stoned?


Q: I take this (insert supplement) and it works.


A: My father who suffered from the same thing I do became a test subject for all sorts of medications and supplements through the VA and I have taken him to the emergency room multiple times due to the reactions to what he took. I was in the ER last December since the medicine I take for my inflammatory arthritis (which was originally designed for chemotherapy) is an immune suppressant and leaves me vulnerable to illness.

My wife also ended up having major surgery based on a supplement she was taking with her regular medication so I am not going to risk anything like that for me.


Q: What about a massage?
A: I have tried them too and found that though they feel good at the time, I am worse once I get up as the problem is joint related and not muscular.


Q: Why don't you get your wife...
A: No.


Q: But she's your wife...
A: NO!


Q: Smile. You'll feel better.
A: No. Me smiling would make YOU feel better since you want me to appear to be happy. Since you are not my daughter nor someone who is directly responsible for me earning money, I am not going to do that. Deal with it.

Q: *Puts hand on my shoulder or back to comfort*
A: WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING ME?!

Q: You should be happy because of the blessed day God has given you. I'll pray for you.
A: FUCK YOU and your non plausible concept.

Monday, October 9, 2017

taking a knee

The National Anthem was something I was taught to respect as a child. Whenever it was played before an event, I would always stand in courtesy of the performance or playing often noticing all those who were not acknowledging it. Occasionally, someone would perform it their own way and in Chicago, fans in the Chicago Stadium started to make noise during it. Even though I felt uncomfortable the occasions I saw it there, I was still ok with it even tough I refused to make noise as the other thousands there do.

In January, 1991, my perspective started to change. The country sent troops to Iraq marking the first time since I was a small child that the US was directly involved in a war. Though it did not last long, it left an impression which today still bothers me.

Before the National Football League Championship Game, the anthem was played and the singing was the worst I ever heard. It sounded like a person strung out on cocaine with a vibrator shoved between her legs. The following days, I encountered the horror of people actually not just liking the performance but making the person who sang it a star from that. I had to constantly hear it on the radio at work over the next couple months even purposely coming in late so I would not have to hear it played at 9AM. Over the years, I would still hear it played before events and even had to put my fingers in my ears one time as it was played too loud for my comfort.

As life continued, I took pleasure in hearing bad things happening to her. When a Fark Headline in October 2005 read: "White Sox beat Houston 4 times in 5 days to win title. Bobby Brown says he did better." I was ecstatic. In February, 2012, a statement I made over 2 decades earlier while I was still a virgin came true as the day she was found dead in a hotel bathtub I attended a wild Barfleet party at Capricon that evening.

What I eventually realized was that the performance in 1991 sparked a desire by anyone performing the anthem at any televised event to try to duplicate the success by making it theirs. There are people today most notably in the United Center in Chicago who have taken a song that is designed to be treated with respect into something they are noted to sing even using it as a way to rile up a crowd.

Thanks to the second invasion of Iraq which has continued far long after those responsible for 9/11 have been caught, imprisoned, and executed, the military has pumped millions of dollars to create patriotism at sporting events in order to generate more soldiers to continue a war for which I have no idea why is still happening. To me an event that used to be of respect has turned into a corporate joke.

When I attend an event like a football game at my daughter's high school, I pause, remove a hat that I am wearing, and stand at attention. At events where there is money involved in the performance of it, I reluctantly out of courtesy stand for it. If I am watching a televised event where it is played, I pause the tv and fast forward through it.

Due to the corporate nature the anthem had become, how can I be bothered by those who use it for their own protest since many have used it for their own personal or corporate gain for over two dozen decades. I personally don't want them to do that since I want to watch and later hear others talk about a sporting event and not a demonstration before it is even played.

Another byproduct of the protest is the reaction by the fans who have bought into the overdone military presentations. There is a call for a full boycott of the NFL on the second weekend of November because of the player protests. I am interested in watching football. Unless I am playing disc golf, I will be in front of my tv on the 10th and the 12th watching the games and definitely on the 13th watching Miami at Carolina.

Due to the reaction by fans, another group of people are angry at the league since the first player who protested, Colin Kaepernick, was not signed by any team. Though he is not the player who took advantage of becoming a starter late in the season and having 1 1/4 great years, he is better than some players currently on rosters. However, the backlash of signing him is currently too great for any team willing to do so since unlike some players who have committed crimes and were signed, he is no longer an elite player.

I have seen a statement by Michael Moore talking about Kaep is still a viable player. To me that is the equivalent of Jenny McCarthy talking about vaccines. NFL defenses know how to stop the read option which he is good at. The year he was benched (before his protest) as well as the year after, he did not complete 60% of his passes which in today's NFL is bad.

All I want to do is watch football. I really didn't want to spend 45 minutes after work sitting on a computer getting these thoughts out of my head but I had to do it.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Eating like a cheesehead

Thanks to the situation in Illinois, one of my company's distribution centers moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin where the taxes are significantly lower.There were many who decided to not work in Wisconsin and with thousands of skids to move there, my help was needed there for much of August and September.

Granted, I was more than fairly compensated for the time and travel to work there and with working 12+ hour days and at one time 14 days in a row, I earned 2-3 times what I would normally make in my regular location.

Since I really did not want to wait until at least 7:30 PM to eat dinner at home, I would usually eat in the area and since I was really hungry, tired, and worn out after the long days of work, I would eat more than usual. Here is a summary of the places in the Kenosha/Pleasant Prairie area where I ate after work the 31 days I worked there from Aug 4- Sep 23:

Trolley Dogs 2x: This downtown Kenosha place is about 15 minutes from where I worked and owned by a former classmate whom I met for the first time in almost 4 decades. I would have gone there more often because their food is worth the trip but after working 12+ hr days, I was not up to adding extra time on my commute and I would have gotten there most days as they were getting ready to close.

HuHot Mongolian Grill: It reminds me of Kahn's in Bloomington as far as setup but the food was not as good but to be fair, Kahn's is a very high standard.

Golden Corral 2x: Both times I went there was after playing disc golf post work and was what I call "buffet hungry". Generally, I load up on vegetables at those places as well as meat products. It was a nice surprise to see that they changed to Coke products.

Milwaukee Burger Company: This is a burger bar. Was considering getting the $15 dollar burger and winning a t shirt by finishing it in 30 minutes but realized that included toppings I would not eat.

Five guys 2x: My favorite upscale burger place.

Mod pizza: 21st century pizza. Meh.

Potbelly: Went there because the first time I tried to go to Mod Pizza, the line had a dozen people in it. Had to wait 10+ minutes to use bathroom as employee was using it.

Panda Express: Went there on Sunday after work and it was understaffed. Had I not been so hungry or tired, would have gone elsewhere.

Perkin's: Nice family restaurant; good food.

Wendy's 2x: I ate there the day I did not play in a tournament and was real happy that their food was correct. (Every meal I ate in the area was accurate)

Arby's: Would eat there more often but they serve Pepsi.

White Castle 2x: Person there gave me a senior discount.

Noodles and Company 2x: Every time I go there, I consider getting something other than buttered noodles and then get them realizing the other items could cause issues. Had an enjoyable dinner conversation with someone who just moved to the area and was alone since her husband had not yet joined her from CA.

Dickey's BBQ pit: It reminds me of the Sweet Baby Rays Wood Dale location as patrons order, pay for food, and pick it up when ready.

Brat Stop 2x: First time got meatloaf. Second time got fried cheese curds and a brat.

Pizza Hit buffet: When one is hungry and tired, they made poor choices.

Subway 2x: Felt bad since both times was after disc golf and I was sweaty.

Texas Roadhouse: Bewteen the rolls and baked potato ate way too much regular butter that they kindly substituted since I can't stand cinnamon.

The second time there, it was busy and the person there looked at a tired man who was in pain due to aggravating an injury during his third 12+ hour shift in a row on the fifth anniversary of the day his father died and said, "smile". Without saying a word, I turned around and walked out.

Buffalo Wild Wings: I limped over from that place and found a seat at the bar. The host there said I could use a couple of beers. Not wanting to get up again, I mentioned that I take medicine used in chemotherapy and can't drink.

When I was done, I apologized to those there for overstating my situation as I just wanted to eat without being bothered.

Sammie's (Round Lake, IL) This place is about 1/2 mile north of Fairfield Park which is home to the Squaw Creek Gold disc gold course, one of the top rated courses in the state and my club's home course. They support the club and events there so I usually eat there after playing the course like I did one Saturday after work.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Missing a shot

Today while getting my prescription, I was asked about my flu shot since they offer them there. I stated that my job pays for the one I will get in a couple of weeks.

Getting a flu shot was something that I avoided for years as I generally avoided medication knowing that medication can create a whole new problem while solving one.

In Jan 2012, I came down with the flu and missed a whole week of work though Thu and Fri were missed since one of the medicines I had was causing breathing issues. When my doctor called asking how I was doing, her reaction to my issue was to prescribe something else as well as expensive preventative medication for my wife and daughter.

I stopped taking the one thing causing breathing issues, did not get any more medication, and told my doctor that I will no longer seek her services.

That summer, my then 84 year old father started to deteriorate and passed shortly after turning 85. Less than 36 hours after it happened, I started to not feel well and declined to go to the funeral director with my mom. Though I made it to game night, I was unable to work the following day.

Two days later, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and ended up out of commission for the whole week after being unable to help with anything. I was also told that getting the flu in January contributed to it. Due to missing time for work, I ended up working the day of the memorial service since I was out of vacation days by then.

So especially since I now take immune suppression medication (originally created for chemotherapy) for my arthritis, I definitely get a flu shot every year.



Monday, July 31, 2017

A penny for your ounce

Cook County, IL, the same county which contains the city of Chicago, will be starting August 2nd charging a 1 cent per ounce tax on soda and other non natural beverages in an effort to raise funds.

As someone who drinks Coke Zero instead of coffee (and will likely drink their "new, improved" version), that becomes an impact to me even though I do not live in Cook County since the two stores I most frequently shop are the closest to the county line for those north and northeast of me and the stores are advertising that the new tax does not affect them.

There are times when Coke Zero runs out now. It will probably happen more often when those in Cook County travel to buy 4 cases of it at a time.


Du Page county, where I live, was at one time a part of Cook County but was created separately in the 1800s.

There are those who think this can help me because it might inspire me to stop drinking soda because that is why I am fat. I say, "Fuck you." I am fat because I eat way too much and not from drinking things without calories.

They could also say drink coffee or tea. I say, "Fuck you." I can't stand the taste of coffee or tea either hot or cold. I am used to popping a 20 oz bottle at 6AM.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jumping the Thames

It has been 24 hours since I was sitting at a picnic bench eating lunch between rounds of a tournament when I discovered that the next person to play the Doctor is Jodie Whittaker.

My first thought was the phrase "jumping the shark" which is a term used to describe a tv show declining in popularity doing something different in an attempt to boost ratings. Looking at many reactions to this announcement, it is possible that this move could turn viewers away from the show than to it.

I have begun to wonder how the new producers of the show will handle the Doctor being female. There has always been self discovery within the character after the previous regenerations and this one will definitely be more significant. Being a show where there are episodes that take place in the past, the new appearance of the character can provide additional obstacles to overcome. I have even imagined scenarios where the Doctor would need to uncomfortably tap into its previously unused feminine side to escape imprisonment or influence someone.

However, exploring a radically different persona won't be enough to make the show viable and I hope that those making the new episodes which should become available next Spring will realize that.

This scenario reminds me of what happened decades ago when Tom Baker made the show very popular who was replaced by Peter Davison who kept the momentum going through before losing viewers with Colin Baker before the original run ended with Sylvester McCoy. The new show took off with David Tennant and now this one will be the third past him.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Unexpecting the expected

The title of the post refers to a song done by a California comedy music artist named Dino Mike whose most recent CD ANALBUM  had a song that was a 2016 Logan Award finalist, Urban Dictionary, and a song called Beamer whose video won the 2017 Logan Award last month.

The song can be heard here: http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1889

The song has a label called Squick (unlike the explicit stag which means profanity) which means that there are concepts in the song that can really gross people out.

The song is an upbeat positive jingle from the point of view of an abortion clinic doctor featuring a whole bunch of puns that are in poor taste. I have wanted to make a video for this song for the FuMPFeST video contest but lack the person behind the camera as well as a couple of extras that are needed.

Wanting to kill time on a day off work without feeding me face, I decided to walk 2+ miles each way to the Wood Dale Police Station to drop off empty prescription bottles even though I drive past it to go to my job. I know that my town has that also but their container is only open during weekday business hours so I left about 11AM.

While walking down Irving Park Road past the many places where I can get food, I realized that there might be people protesting outside the abortion clinic as they have done for years. Knowing that there is an open field which can shorten my walk a block each way if I walk past it, I continued in that direction.



There were only two ladies on the main sidewalk and as I passed them, one offered me a pamphlet about "the joy that I could receive from being a member of the Christian church". I politely declined and with my back to them as I continued on my way one told me to have a blessed day to which I instinctively replied, "Not plausible".

I then heard both of them yelling but due to the traffic and my hearing I could not make out one word which was probably for my best. I then had a decision to make. On the way back do I avoid them and add a block or two on my walk back since Irving Park Road is not a true east-west street here or head back the same way I came since if they have a right to stand on the sidewalk and harass people who have decided to make a difficult decision, I have the same right to use that sidewalk as well. .

Knowing what they could say to me, I rehearsed my replies including listing the 12 years of Christian education that I received, asking if their protests have even caused one person to change their mind (though it is possible that their protests might prevent others from going there), and explaining that not plausible means that though the concept of eternal salvation is something only an idiot would not want to get, there is no tangible evidence to support that concept and using the Bible to support your claim is as meaningless to me as someone using a Little Men book to prove that Mr. Tickle exists.

I also considered pretending to be on my phone talking about that evening's Vatican City style drug fueled gay orgy but put the phone down and calmly walked to that location only to find that those two ladies moved to a different part of the sidewalk not along Irving Park Road to harass customers. The sun being in a different part of the sky might have caused them to move but I really hope that they moved to avoid me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Straight on the edge

I do admit that my level of seriousness when playing sports has always exceeded my level of play. Even when playing in the Cook County golf amateur championship in the 90s or in a league against the best bowlers in the area, that occurred especially when others show more ability than me since my intensity was the only thing that could when harnessed properly allow me to compete.

In the world of disc golf, my attitude becomes more out of place. I rarely on a busy course not hear music playing from a portable speaker and even in tournaments see alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana either used or see people whom I can tell were using. I even heard of a video showing the lead card at a local tournament made by that tournament's TD that there were people openly drinking alcohol while playing.

(Due to my arthritis, I take multiple prescription medications and a vitamin supplement so I can take that medication. There are some that will question my opinion since I choose narcotics to function as opposed to "more natural" things. I am aware. Deal with it.)

In events held by the Professional Disc Golf Association, drinking or drugs on the course are grounds for immediate disqualification. Not wanting to be "that guy", I ask that those who ask me about using to use make sure nothing blows in my direction since the whiff of it can give me a headache and I also do not want the smell on my clothes.

There was a recent non sanctioned event on a course that I like to play so I went. I broke even financially by having the best shot out of over 30 players involved at the end of round one and was in a good mood starting the second round.

Due to pairings, I was paired with the associate of the person who was running the event. He played in the same age restricted category I did in a sanctioned event there last year but was not in the same group as me in either round as he struggled in his first round being hung over from the previous night and showed how much better he is than I am in his second round once he was sober.

At the recent event, he chose to not offer his bag tag since he was again hung over and I was not looking forward to playing with him as his lack of sobriety showed as he was trying to pair people for round two. At least I did not play with the person who mentioned during the break how weird he felt after having a "mushroom".

As we were waiting to play, he started complaining that the person who won $20 in the throw off was a cheapskate by not donating it to the charity. My first thought was to confront him and tell him that if he wanted that money to go to charity, he should have thrown his shot better than me but since he was helping the TD, I decided to not do that.

As he struggled, he was popping multiple beers even bragging that 30% of his income (though he is unemployed) goes to alcohol. I was getting more annoyed by him as the round progressed. With a couple holes left, he wanted to take a break so he could enjoy something else as the parking lot would not be suitable for him. Since I was downwind as it happened, I got the full brunt of it and had a headache soon after.

After all that, I won't return to that course for an event unless it is a fully sanctioned one. There is also a chance that another tournament group might hold an event there since a location had to change. Since an event there could mean being paired with that person since that is his "home course", I hope it doesn't happen.

On my way home that day, I was thinking about him and how he lives and realized that though he is someone whom I look down upon, no doubt he is happier than I am.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Finishing super

Though I now watch the NFL Championship game, everyone else calls it the Super Bowl and there have been 51 played. I discovered on You Tube a video showing the last play of the first 50 Super Bowls and as I do, created a list which I am posting today so it gets out of my head. I might create a pie chart but doing that on a laptop computer is not easy.

QB kneel (or goes to ground): 17 times - Though it is common today for a QB to take a snap and kneel at the end of a game, it did not start to happen regularly until after the 1978 Miracle at the Meadowlands game when the team in front fumbled the QB/RB exchange. Before the rule allowing a QB to kneel without being touched was not established until 1987, the QB would take the snap and fall to the ground. The first one to finish a Super Bowl that way was Mike Rae in SB11.

RB hand off: 10 times - Not surprisingly this happened 4 of the first 8 times all by the winning team and only three times in the last 31 including the game winning run in SB51.

QB sack: 6 times - To my surprise it has not happened in the past 24 games. In SB7, the last play was a 4th down sack and until I saw the replay of the game in 2010, I did not realize that at that time, the clock was restarted after change of possession after a player is tackled in bounds which is not the rule today.

Completed pass: 6 times - Most famously SB34 where a player on a team down 7 points was tackled at the 1 yard line

Incomplete pass: 3 times - Since the game clock stops after an incomplete pass, it is not common. Two of them were done by the team in a "Hail Mary" situation trying for a long pass to win.

Kickoff return: 2 times - One was after a team made a leading FG the play before

Interception: 2 times - One was on a "Hail Mary" play.

Made field goal: 2 times - The 5 second rule for field goals was established after the kick in SB36 took 7 seconds off the clock including the last 2 after the kick went through the uprights.

Missed field goal: 1 time - Scott Norwood's 47 yard attempt off natural grass in SB25 was to me at best a 50/50 chance.

On side kick: 1 time - In SB16, the losing team scored with a couple of seconds left to be down 5. Had they recovered the kick without the other team touching the ball, no time would have elapsed and they would have been able to run one play.

Free kick return - In SB47, the team up by 5 on their own 8 yard line deliberately had the punter run out of the end zone conceding a 2 point safety to avoid getting the punt blocked or returned from a tight punt formation. They had a free kick from their 20 which was run back to the 50 before the player was tackled ending the game.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Applying math to football again

Working at a place that prints sports schedules, I look at them from the point of view of the person who will see them displayed as opposed to the printer. Occasionally I will notice something wrong within the presentation of the schedule that someone focused on print quality would miss.

While looking at one schedule a couple days ago, I realized that the Miami Dolphins will play in Carolina on Monday, November 13th. I did not notice that when the schedule was released by the NFL last month.

What makes it weird is this is the third time in four years that the Dolphins will play on my birthday having hosted Buffalo in 2014 on a Thursday and playing in San Diego last year on a Sunday.

I had to figure the odds of that happening. Since there are four things that need to happen, the probability of each is determined then all four are multiplied to get the result.

Thursday night game in 2014: 16-1: Every team plays once on 16 Thursday night games during the season.

Leap year timing: 2-1: Since the NFL does not play November Friday or Saturday games, there has to be a leap year in the second or third year for a team to play on the same date 3 times in 4 years.

Sunday game in 2016: 4-3: 24 of the 32 teams played on Nov 13 last year. 2 played the Thursday before, 2 the Monday after, and 4 had their bye week.

Monday game in 2017: 16-1: Two teams play on that Monday night.

Doing the math: 682.666 - 1

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Still fat

Having lost over 40 pounds since November 2015, 25 since August 2016, and 15 this year, many have complimented me on how I look. Though I appreciate the compliments, I am nowhere near satisfied.

Today, I realized that in the 3.1 mile stretch on Irving Park Rd between York Road and Prospect Ave along my work commute, where I shop, or where I walk that there are about 35 places where I could walk into, give someone money, and get food to eat right away. Some days it does become difficult to not stop at them but avoiding those places most of the time is the main reason things have improved for me since August.

Over a decade ago, two things happened which I remember like it was last week. At Mount Olympus in the Wisconsin Dells, there is a large water slide which passengers lay forward on a mat. My six year old daughter was just tall enough to ride so we climbed the 3+ stories and she went first. When she was done, she turned around to me and gave a thumbs up which the person at the top of the slide had to confirm for me.

Then I went down. It was more intense than I anticipated and when I stopped at the end of the slide, I looked up and saw the life guard running in my direction giving me a dirty look. As she passed me, I looked behind and realized that I forgot to account for Newton's second law of motion. When I got to the bottom of the slide, I was carrying more momentum than my daughter and went significantly farther and displaced more water. My daughter who was still walking to the end of the slide was knocked down by the force of the wake I created. She was stunned but was ok.

In 2007, at Universal Islands of Adventure, there was a brief shower and when it ended, we were near the entrance for the Hulk roller coaster which was temporarily shut down for the rain when it reopened. I gave my glasses to my mom who agreed to watch my daughter so I can go on one ride during the week I was in Orlando which was not suitable for a 7 year old girl.

After 15 minutes in a line which is normally defined in hours, it was my turn and the person at the ride told me seat three in row 6. I went to that row, saw that the last seat was open and sat there. When I pulled down the restraint, I noticed that it would not lock. When I mentioned it, the person at the ride was upset with me since I did not follow her instructions and after unlocking the entire ride, I switched seats and the harness worked.

After the ride was done, I noticed with my poor, unaided vision blurry letters on a sign, walked up to it and read:

Certain passengers with special situations will be required to sit in the middle two seats in rows 3 and 6.
 
I then realized that due to my weight/size, I had to sit in a "fat seat".
 
What I weighed during those two occasions is about what I weigh now.



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reverse parody going full circle

In May 2000, I went to the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn for a Weird Al fan convention as it was only a few miles from where I lived. There I met a whole bunch of people whose music interests were similar to mine and for the first time in my life, I had people who can call friends as opposed to coworkers, teammates, club mates, or opponents.

The most memorable musical moment performed by other people who did comedy music who were there involved what to me was an original rap song about Star Trek in which each verse covered a different incarnation of the show along with a verse involving the character Q who appeared in different versions done while wearing the appropriate shirt during each verse and rapidly changing outfits during the chorus.

What I did not realize about the Luke Ski song "What's Up Spock" is that it is a parody of a song by a group called the Fu-Schnickens called What's up Doc (can we rock) which is a song I still have never heard.

Once I started listening to the rest of his work and then helping him at conventions I discovered that even though he was born only 8+ years after me (the day after the Miami Dolphins led by MVP Larry Csonka won Super Bowl 8 and haven't won a title since) his taste in music is completely different from mine and it shows in the parodies he has done.

Then I started to hear songs played by others on radio that sounded a lot like songs done by Luke as well as other artists like Devo Spice (and later Insane Ian, Dino Mike, and Weird Al) in which I know the parody but not the version I was hearing. I coined the phrase "reverse parody" to explain the point of view of someone hearing the original song after hearing a parody version first.

Inspired by a person who was not familiar with the Madonna song Vogue upon hearing Luke's most recent song Rogue (about the female characters in Star Wars), I went to https://lukeski.bandcamp.com/ and went through all his parodies discovering that if multiple parodies of the same song are discounted, that there are 100 parody tracks which made this chart easier to make.


On June 18th, I will see Luke perform at FuMPFeST at the same hotel I saw him perform when my now 17 year old daughter was an infant. I am not going to count the total number of times I saw him perform but I would guess at is at least 150. With him now storyboarding cartoons for audiences in the thousands (instead of a somewhat disinterested group on Sunday afternoon at a con) and me deciding to focus my time, energy, and money on doing something I can while dealing with physical pain as opposed to watching others do what I can't while I sit uncomfortably in physical pain, it could be the last one.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thoughts of a still obese man

Current weight/BMI: 259/37
Nov 2015 max weight/BMI: 298/42.6

As an assignment to the weight loss program at work, I was instructed to read a chapter in the manual called the eat-repent-repeat cycle. It referenced concepts including instinctive eating, completely denying foods, and using exercise to justify or punish poor eating.

The last time I checked off so many things that applied to me, I was looking at a picture of a sign that listed things that would condemn people to eternal damnation.

I also came to realize that where I now spend my time doing the thing that inspires me to get off the couch at 5:15AM has impacted my weight.

In the past, one of the things I found comforting about conventions like Windycon near Chicago, Penguicon near Detroit, Gencon in Indianapolis, and mostly Marscon near the Minnesota twin cities is that my obesity, pain, and physical problems were usually less pronounced than many there and I often found myself helping those who were worse off than me.

When playing in disc golf tournaments with people who are younger and physically fit, I am the old man who is always hurting and can rarely finish a tournament without having a physical issue.

Over the past dozen years plus, I have seen changes in many of the people at conventions. Some have passed on partially due to their physical issue while others have been successful in transforming themselves with medical help or even on their own.

One of the benefits of deciding to avoid conventions or even board game days is the food involved. The two I attended in 2016 involved me eating at over 12 different places over four day spans. Board game day is at a restaurant. Going to those places does not work for someone who even though is almost 40lb less than his high point, still has a long way to go.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

On the outside

The Saturday before Marscon, I felt a twinge in my right knee getting out of a low chair. A couple of hours later I developed a noticeable limp and by Monday, I could barely put any weight on the leg.

The orthopedic doctor who saw my x-ray had sobering news. Though there is a sprain, the arthritis flare-up in my knee is a far greater issue. The official x-ray report stated grade III which means significant. For reference, my knee was grade II in 2012 and grade IV is the point where a joint replacement would be possible. This likely means any attempt to get better at disc golf has a limit due to my situation.

Since I was going to be off work due to my medication, I tried to figure out how to get to and stay at Marscon. I had an offer for a ride on Thursday morning but needed to figure out where to stay.

Got a message from someone on Tuesday asking about me driving and after I explained my situation, he stated he was not going. I passively asked a couple other people who stated they had no room either so Thursday happened and I was home.

When the person I would ride with arrived on Thursday, there was somewhere for me to stay but public transportation did not work so I packed clothes on Friday and took off in my car but my leg got numb after an hour behind the wheel and I turned back home. I then also realized I could have ridden with someone on Friday who lives near where I turned around.

On Saturday, the person on Tuesday arrived and stated he had an extra bed in his room as well. My mood went from sad and frustrated to angry since had I known his status, I would be there right now.

To be honest, I should have been more aggressive about finding a roommate by Wednesday to avoid being to the point I am currently at.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The 2017 lineup

Two weeks away from Marscon 2017, I am still unsure if I am going but I am going to rate the events there as I have done for many years anyway as far as my POV.

Concerts:

Friday:

9:00 pm – CARRIE DAHLBY concert (last seen FuMPFeST 2016) B: It is possible that similar to many of those who have performed for over the last decade that there will be something new. Three years ago her Marscon performance debuted a song that was #5 for the year on the Dr. Demento Show as well as a Logan Awards finalist. I edited the grade from a B- after hearing her concert plan.

9:45 pm – MIKEY MASON concert (Last seen Marscon 2014) A-: Due to timing and circumstances, it has been a while since I saw a full show of his since I was busy helping Luke when he was performing at Gencon.

10:30 pm – MARC WITH A C concert (Never seen) : I have heard his act mentioned numerous times over the years but have never heard any songs that he has done. I know Luke Ski would have not given him a main stage slot unless he felt it was deserving.

11:15 pm – DEVO SPICE concert (Last seen Marscon 2016) B+: Usually this spot features a performer whose content is worthy of a late slot night but there really is none this year.

Saturday:

2:00 pm – POWER SALAD concert (Last seen Marscon 2016) B+: If I don't end up making the trip, I will miss out on the chance of talking with him about our lives and concerns for the world in which we live.

2:30 pm – INSANE IAN concert (Last seen Marscon 2016) B: It is not his fault that my daughter who can't make the trip this year has the ability to appreciate his work more than I do.

3:00 pm – TV’S KYLE featuring LINDZILLA concert (Last seen Marscon 2016) C+: At conventions, his music works best but I am more interested in hearing him talk about the CN show Mighty Magiswords in his Sunday panel as it is his creation.

3:30 pm – THE GREAT LUKE SKI concert (Last seen Marscon 2016) B+: The 2016 music guest of honor as well as the person who created and runs the music track will be performing at Marscon for the 15th straight year as well as talking about Mighty Magiswords.

4:15 pm – LIBRARY BARDS concert (Last seen FuMPFeST 2016) B+: The surprise of last year's FuMPFeST will be making their Marscon debut.

5:00 pm –  Guest Of Honor JUDY TENUTA (Never seen): I have known who she is for years. I have seen clips of her act and well as other things she has done but never her full act on stage.

Sunday:

2:30 pm – THE FUMP JUKEBOX concert C: I am glad this exists.

3:00 pm – DEMENTIA SMACKDOWN concert B-: Musically it is fine but the timing of the event means that things are ending.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Prop time 2017

Tomorrow is the championship game of the NFL and similar to past years, these are the prop bets that I would make if I had the money. As usual, my bets are focused on the football game and nothing else (broadcast, unnecessary entertainment, or babble).

NE -3 (-120) $360 win $660
Under 59 (-120) $240 X
NE -7 1/2 (+200) $100 X
NE over 30 1/2 (-140) $140 win $240
ATL under 27 1/2 (+110) $100 X
NE wins 7-12 (+550) $100 X
Brady MVP (+160) $100 win $260
Brady over 305 pass (-125) $125 win $225
Blunt td (+150) $100 X
Bennett TD (+150) $100 X
Edelman TD (-125) $125 X
White TD (+300) $100 win $400
Tot FG 3 (+300) $100 X
TOT TD 7 (+450) $100 X
NE TD 4 (+325) $100 win $425
ATL TD 3 (+300) $100 X
Ryan more pass yd (-125) $125 X
Freeman less than 54 rush (-115) $115 X
Jones TD (-150) $150 X
Coleman TD (+130) $100 win $230
Sanu TD (+160) $100 X
Jones most rec yd in game (+175) $100 X
First score TD (-165) $165 win $265
NE first score (-125) $125 X
ATL last score (-115) $115 X
2 point conversion made (+175) $100 win $275
NE TD first score (+175) $100 X
NE first score TD (-165) $165 X
ATL first score FG (+125) $100 X
Bennett first TD of game (+1200) $100 X
Bennett first NE TD (+600) $100 X
Coleman first ATL TD(+600) $100 X

Total wagered: $3,860
Winnings $2,980
Loss: $880

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bowling for points

My work has two things currently happening which are irritating to me separately but when combined causes me to waste time creating a post so I don't end up yelling at people.

In an effort to inspire fitness rather than reward those who are fit, my company has integrated a new points system based on individual physical activities for their fitness challenge. After a week and a half, I have seen results that others posted which I question but there is one category which I know there are multiple incorrect listings.

That is the entries involving the company bowling outing which due my decision to focus on disc golf in 2017, I decided to not attend. Since the results are broken down by type of activity, I can easily determine what people entered what amount for bowling since before the outing, my disc golf entries (incorrectly listed on the site as frisbee golf) was one of four people to have entered a sports related result.

What is incorrect was something I anticipated and even mentioned to others beforehand is entering the wrong activity level since every activity has five different intensity levels involved. From helping a coworker enter his league bowling stats, I know that bowling one hour is worth 11 points on a leisurely level.

There are multiple entries which have either 44 or 55 sports points which would mean 4 or 5 hours at the leisurely level which when a person between frames sits down, drinks a beer, and or eats pizza is how it should be rated. Those people all rated their workout as moderate, the mid level, which doubles the per hour points. Moderate level bowling is about 15 minutes per game and not the 40-50 minutes those who were there were doing. As someone who has bowled 8 games in an hour, I know what moderate paced bowling is. 

Since I walk on a treadmill multiple times in a week, I know walking at 3.0 MPH equals 41 points per hour or 13.7 points per mile. That means bowling 3 games in 2 and 1/2 hours at a moderate pace would be the same as walking 4 miles in 80 minutes. Anyone can see how those two activities should not be considered equal in activity.

The Sunday after I made the post, I played 2 total hours of disc golf by myself at two different places walking 4.8 total miles. I initially logged 2 hours of low intensity at what the site incorrectly calls frisbee golf and got 64 points. At a 20 min /mile pace, I also checked to see how many points I would get by just walking 4.8 miles which would take 1 hour 36 minutes and found out that is 66 points. Since having to carry a 12lb bag over terrain while throwing a 170g object at high speeds 48 times should add to the total points of a workout and not decrease it, I realized that when playing alone, disc golf should be recorded as moderate pace which in this case gives me 86 points. I also corrected the intensity level of the entries I have made in the past to accurately reflect what I was doing.

If anyone questions the large amount of points that was recorded by me over the past weekend, I will direct them to this post which was inspired by obvious errors others made.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vacation time

Vacation dates at work started to be claimed for 2017 and for the first time in over a decade, I did not immediately schedule dates around a weekend in early March. For those who would not need to be off work at the same time as me, that time of year is not in any demand and I could take it on a couple of days notice easily.

On March 12th, my daughter will be performing her first ever solo at a music boosters fundraiser so her spending the week before 400+ miles away watching others perform and missing at least one day of school would create havoc with her schedule as well as rehearsals for the school musical that she will be in as well.

Similar to me, she is turning her energy to doing things as opposed to watching and my plan to drive to Marscon this year would involve her taking the wheel part of the way due to the difficulty for me sitting for a long period of time and the ideas of driving the complete trip or riding on a plane are not pleasant.

I was thinking what would make me decide to make the same journey I have made to Minnesota the previous 13 years and listed them in order of the likeliness they would happen

1) finances

Though I purchased my badge after it was announced that the Dementia track is staying at Marscon in spite of one local resident claiming that it will move to one area con she will still attend, the badge cost is not an issue. Even if like in 2015 when I had to purchase a badge at the door even though I was told that I was registered 6 weeks before, the cost of a badge is not a deciding factor.

I have to get there and sleep somewhere and those costs are what would matter since I have to eat no matter what even if eating there would cost more than normal. Though I can afford to go, doing so just to watch people do something I can't is no longer something I can justify in my current situation. Something would need to change to make me go there.

2) participation

If somehow I would do more than watch even for a moment, the cost and difficulty in travel would be justified. Though I could think of circumstances which that could happen including one in which I sent an email, without knowing before hand I would not make that decision.

3) life

In the past, I was worried about life preventing me from going to Marscon. Now that is reversed. If something develops that would by March prevent me from playing a full season of disc golf in 2017, then I would settle for Marscon.

4) the end of the world

Marscon will be held 6 weeks in the dystopian world in which there is President Donald Trump. *shudder* It is not inconceivable to realize that Marscon 2017 could be the last time things would be "normal".

5) Booty call

Though it is not impossible, I put the idea of the world teetering on the brink of destruction as a more likely scenario.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Profiled

I renewed my disc golf membership then went to my player page to confirm that it is listed as such. When I saw the page, there were a couple surprises including getting credited for a win from the November tournament even though I lost in a playoff.

 

It is not uncommon for a pic of the player to appear on their profile page. For many it is a professional looking pic or that player throwing a disc at an event. For some reason, the one their site has chosen to display for me seems appropriate. That image without the words or microphone is the one I am trying to get put on a hat to wear at events but don't feel comfortable spending $40+ to get it made since the cost to take an image and prepare it for the hat is twice the cost of the hat and the actual printing.

Upon seeing it on my player page, I now feel obligated to get it made to wear at events.