Via @thescore

I remember when I was 22 I thought I was incredibly valuable to the company I worked for.  Each day I wandered in there six minutes late it was a blessing to them that I bothered to show up because there was absolutely no way that this corporation could even exist if I didn’t punch in every day.  The paycheck they gave me was more of an obligation than anything I earned, because if they paid me what I was worth they’d go fucking broke.

Then I got fired.  I realized that I’m a useless piece of shit like everyone else.

Such is the basketball life of Dwight Howard except he’s never had that moment of cognizance, to realize that he is ultimately replaceable and it is not the privilege of any team for him to suit up.  His time in Orlando was great, sure, but he had a really awesome supporting cast and steroid fueled Hedo Turkoglu.  How else to explain Stan Van Gundy trudging a team along to the NBA Finals?  That in and of itself is a lesson in improbability.

We all know the to-date Howard story.  A phenom and physical freak who flamed out everywhere else he landed.  The summer of Dwight that landed him in LA was an unmitigated disaster and squandered Kobe’s last good years.  Houston lead to first round playoff bounces.  He actually made Atlanta decidedly worse.  Statistically he’s put up good numbers most of his career, but this isn’t the hall of statistics, it’s the hall of fame.  Having 8 good years does not a hall of famer make, and a career devoid of rings doesn’t help.

Now he’s shipped off to Washington in exchange for some magic beans and a left shoe.  Quite honestly this is his best last shot at a ring.  The Wizards were a really, really good team last year that lacked a lot of defense and tenacity.  IF, and it’s a big IF, Howard can regain that youthful passion for defense and hustle, he could have a shot at the wide open east crown and a chance to shut down Boogie in the finals.

Just like when I stopped trying to work for others and became a piece of shit for myself.

I don’t think there’s ever been a champion in any sport who’s been more of an also ran than Francesco Molinari.  I’m not saying I don’t respect what he accomplished, The Open was brutal this year.  Sure, it played like your local muni on Saturday when any duffer with a set of sticks could hit a 68, but every other day was the wind-whipped Scottish hell we all expected.  A facet that I’m surprised no one has talked about may be the true bright spot of the weekend.  The light at the end of the tunnel.  The blinding light.

I give you: Pello Iguaran Valle

Don't stare you'll go blind

Excuse the blur, it’s a fucking screenshot.

Look at that shining, white baldness.

The moment after Molinari sunk that putt and essentially won The Open was a great moment, until it was surpassed by his caddy taking his hat off.  You couldn’t wear sunblock and painter’s tape in a tanning booth and get such a crisp, clear contrast between your smooth, luminescent dome and your sun baked face.  I don’t think this guy has ever been outside without a hat on.  Maybe that’s a bald guy thing, always having to wear a hat?  I wouldn’t know, the Good Lord chose to bless me with an amazing head of hair that I will never lose until I eventually suffer the consequence of my gluttonous life.  Let’s see this again.

Molinari’s balding tan line game is strong, but really pretty common amongst golfers.  They tend to look like Darth Vader sans helmet after taking their hat off.  But Valle truly shines above the rest.

http://www.erienewsnow.com/story/33392757/scott-enterprises-bayfront-development-gets-5-million-in-grant-money

I’m not going to enter the idiocy of the comments for this post. 

All along this project has faced roadblocks, mostly from the local government that is inexplicably in the hotel and entertainment business. This is a boon, yes it’s true, for bayfront development. Let’s break down the current non-industrial residents of the bayfront:

Convention center: No taxes

2 parking ramps: No taxes

2 hotels: No taxes

Library: No taxes

Bus station: No taxes

Maritime learning center: No taxes

“Cruise ship” terminal: No taxes

Liberty park amphitheater: No taxes

4 boat docks, 3 seasonal restaurants and a gallery: taxes
The same people that are crying about their own taxes and the lack of jobs have assailed this project because they’ve got a JEALOUS vendetta against the Scott family.
How many people have the Scotts laid off over the years? The crew of Damon’s was offered employment in their other facilities. They’ve opened numerous hotels and restaurants just in the past few years. “Yeah but they’re not like GE jobs!” Guess what? There won’t be many GE jobs very soon.
There will still be Scott jobs, and contrary to popular belief, they’re not that bad. If you’d take a second to stop looking down your nose you’d realize your niece waitresses at Applebees to get through college, your cousin’s kid got their first job at Splash Lagoon, and your neighbor down the street is working at the Marriott where he can get full time hours and benefits after the huge multi national corporation he worked for for 20 years shut the plant down to make their shareholders even richer.
Since I can remember the hospitality economy of Erie has been laughed at, but at this point we need to embrace it as a bridge to whatever Erie may become in this post-manufacturing based market.
Oh, for what it’s worth, my first job was bussing tables at Damon’s.
I was fired.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

Yesterday my wife Danielle and I took the kids up to Erie golf course on Old Zuck for some sledding. None of them had ever been there so I thought it would be fun instead of going to Frontier park which is usually packed, especially on a day off school. Normally this isn’t anything significant, except one thing: I had never taken my kids sledding.

I’m not sure how it happened this way. It seems that sledding was a staple of life when I was a kid, we went all the time. Marian had gone only once to my knowledge, with her Mom and grandparents. In seven years. Seven years! At least I got Evelynn out at four, so I’m not a terrible parent for her (not that Marian would ever think that over sledding).

Last winter was too cold, so this winter I’ll make up for it, I promise!

My diet is trash
      A dumpster fire of fat
Extinguish with food

I just saw on the news that Cathedral Prep bought the Hoffman Rigging property to expand the facility and add “a few hundred parking spots”.
That’s all well and good for the people that go to that facility, but for the other 240,000 people who live in Erie County I’d like to ask a few questions that Sean Lafferty failed to answer in his cheerful reading of this news item:
1. What’s happening to Hoffman Rigging? I personally did business with them last year. It seemed things were going well there, the ladies in the office were very cheerful. Do they still have a job? I’d guesstimate that they might have twenty or so employees. I certainly hope this hasn’t been at their misfortune.
2. What is the Catholic Diocese going to do to offset the lost property tax revenue to the city, school district, and county? Yet more property off the tax tools while Mrs. Dahlkemper raises taxes on the homeowners. Additionally this is income tax revenue the city is likely losing. Our elected representatives need to get on this ASAP. I’d like to hear from Jay Breneman, as he seems to be willing to engage the public and answer questions honestly (I’ve appreciated that in past discussion). I don’t know of any city council members on Facebook that might be willing to read this.
3. Why wasn’t this move publicised as their initial purchase of the main property was? Surely this at least requires a zoning change, I do believe council would have to approve that. Again, where do they stand on this issue?
I’m sad to see more bread taken off the table in the city while more and more look to get a piece.

Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.
– Henry Kissinger

I’ve always had a conceptual problem with having “no regrets”.  Perhaps it’s a personal problem, but I doubt that.  “No” is the part that’s troublesome to me.  No regrets?  At all?  Seems alien to me, no regrets, this absolvency of conscience.  I don’t think I particularly feel more or less about the past than most others, I’m average in a great number of departments and I’m really ok with that (hell, there’s areas I’ve chosen that path intentionally).

Mr. Kissinger is widely respected.  I disagree with 3/4 of his statement, which is primarily why I chose to lead my post with it.  “Accept everything about yourself”, do this.  Do this with fervor and vigor and live every day as you and only you.  I spent many years trying to be something I wasn’t generally unbeknownst to those around me and I only found myself in a “happy place” when I dropped the guise and realized who I was, what I can do, and focused on these things and quit trying to change me.  “You are you and that is the beginning and the end- no apologies, no regrets.”

 

Horse shit.

 

I am me, start to finish, but this statement implies that what I am is unchangeable and forever and that just flatly isn’t true.  I can change me, it’s not easy, but I can.  I’ve done it several times.  Over the course of these nearly thirty four years I’ve resided on this rock I’ve seen and done a few things, though not nearly as much as I think many of my cohorts have done, and I’d like to apologize to some people.  Unfortunately, some of those people, I cannot.  I regret that.  I regret decisions I made and now I have to live with them until my beginning becomes my end.  No matter how I change myself for the better, which I strive to do at every opportunity, I have to do it in light of those regrets so I do not repeat those mistakes.

Perhaps it’s a different moral compass, perhaps it’s a nonchalant mindset, whatever it is, some people seem to be able to live without regret.  I can’t help but see it as irresponsible, but those without regret wouldn’t agree with me, I think they’d see my regret as a waste.  Mistakes are made by everyone, and a lesson can be learned by each and every one.  A few of those mistakes can make an indelible mark upon a life.  Upon several lives.  Upon many, many lives.  Tao teaches us that we are at the whim of fate, but we may shift that fate.  A paradox, really.  I truly believe that I could have ended up at the place I am now, with the wonderful family I have, through a myriad of choices over the years.  Unfortunately for me along this road I’ve traveled there are several things I regret, a real, true regret that I would give anything to go back and change because while it wouldn’t necessarily do anything to improve my current situation, it sure would make me feel a hell of a lot better about how I got here.

Being afraid of regret can set you up for failure in a tentative life where you never do anything, nothing is accomplished, and then you die.  Being mindful of regret, however, is smart.  To me, rolling through life ignorant of consequence isn’t feasable.  If you’re lucky, you can make one of those apologies Mr. Kissinger disdains, avoid a great regret, and move on your path to whatever fate may hold, but if not, regret can be a powerful tool to remind you to not make that same mistake again before that lamentation becomes an indelible mark on your own life.

Last season, I kind of allowed myself to gush, to wax poetic on the childhood dreams, to revel in the playoff run that shouldn’t have been so surprising if you were paying attention.  I currently find myself with a bit of apprehension; should I allow myself to be so excited for “Your 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates”?  The short answer: YES.

Prognostication isn’t my business and it usually ends poorly for me especially when I talk about things on Facebook.  It’s uncanny how often my bragging seems to result in a meltdown, an embarrassing loss and ridicule from my friends who are fans of the opponents (A.K.A. the Raiders).  Typing out what I want to happen, what I feel can happen won’t help anyone here, but I’ll do it anyway.  I really think that the Pirates can make it.

Make it?

Yes, make it.  Make it all the way, make it to the World Series and make it to a win and make it back to prominence in the city of champions.  This isn’t a prediction, I just know they have what it takes and that all starts with Clint Hurdle.  He made it in Colorado of all places and when they hired him I knew he could do it here.

Following that, the lineup is filled with talent.  Deep, rich talent that permeates the farm system.  Drafting and acquisitions have been keen under Neal Huntington and are paying great dividends.  Everything that big-money teams like the Angels, Rangers, Mariners and Yankees can’t figure out how to master, the exception being the Red Sox who learned the Billy Beane way and have out-Oaklanded the Athletics.

Today’s heroics by the one guy who lives the dream of every single boy who grew up a Pirate fan, regardless of age, are certainly motivating and perhaps a preamble to this season.  Perhaps the Buccos have trouble with Smadjanotgonnaworkhereanymore every single time they face him including when they gave up one of his two career homers.  Opening day requires a temperance because it’s the most exciting day across the league because everyone has hope and dreams.  I think what has made this opening day different isn’t the 10th inning walk-off, the team record tying 10 KO’s from Liriano, it’s that hope has been replaced.

Hope has been replaced with confidence, swagger, and expectation.

#raiseit #letsgobucs

Penguins

 

DON’T PANIC

Yesterday I defied the heading you just read.  I’ve been frustrated with the Penguins performances lately, and whilst I’m not watching every game, I try to follow the team as close as time allows and watch games whenever I can, albeit most often just the 2nd and 3rd periods.  I encountered an article that proposed an argument of why the Penguins should fire Dan Bylysma and didn’t disagree with it.  I still don’t.  Problematic to me is that it’s not all his fault, I don’t blame him for last year, that was on Ray Shero.  He took a pick axe to the locker room chemistry.  It’s been tried before and failed, but it worked when last the Pens won the cup; Bylysma coached up Therrian’s team, who had lost the locker room.

Every local sports area has the iconic guy that people either love or hate.  Usually that guy is decidedly negative and always has a crappy opinion about everything, and how it’s all terrible.  If you’re not a Pittsburgh sports fan, this guy is Stan Savran.  He’s the guy who never quit waiting for the other shoe to drop during the Pirates run to the playoffs, and when they lost in the divisional round espoused “I told you so’s” like manna for the people.  During the Pens pregame I’m watching he came on to talk about how terrible they’ve been since the Olympic break.  In the graphic they showed, pre-Olympic Penguins were 6th or tied for 6th in goals, power play goals and assists (respectively).  Post-Olympics, they’re tied for 4th in goals with 9, 2nd in power play goals with 3, and last in assists with 12.

I hate being on the side of Stan Savran, and I’m not after seeing that graphic.  Statistically they’re not worse, it’s just that the pressure is on.  The assist statistic is the sole reason that they’re losing games.  I’ve never seen anyone pass more poorly, at all, ever.  They may as well intentionally be passing it to the opposition because at the rate they miss their passes they’d be more likely to hit their own player with the puck.  #1, #2, #3 on what to fix is passing.  The rest are defense.  I understand he’s not going to give up the ghost on dump and run, push to the blue line and hope for the best style of offense, but if you can’t pass it’s just not going to work.  I’m not going to panic, I’m going to hope that I can spend my birthday watching the Pens competing for the Stanley Cup.

Snowflakes start falling
      Like an afterthought in Spring
Wish they’d go away.

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