Monday, January 05, 2009

Tooth, ow! Sand, Nine.

Wow, doesn't everything seem different this year? It doesn't? Oh. Well, I am sorry.

Nonetheless, the arbitrary flipping of the year which has nothing to do with the birth of Anyone Whose Name Must Be Capitalized, any season, or much of anything else is nonetheless symbolic for many and it is a time to launch changes in lifestyle or some such gibberish.

I have some of my own gibberish that I am changing in my life. Some of it I will talk about publicly, some I won't. I might even add a gibber to two to this very post! Exciting, isn't it.

But first, let's talk about something nobody here cares about: sports.

In college football, where the Pac-10 couldn't buy their way into the polls this year, the teams were undefeated in bowl games, generally against teams of higher rank. Oregon State lost 50% of their offensive output (the brothers named Rodgers) to injury, so they just crushed the other team with defense and won anyway. The only undefeated team, Utah, will probably not be declared the national champion. I guess what I am saying is that the BCS hasn't really changed anything in college football.

I always like it when a corporation thinks they can basically throw a person away, but the person doesn't fade away all nicely for them. Darius Miles was a Portland Trailblazer who was injured two seasons ago. He was a good player, but like several of his teammates, he had off-the-court problems that bolstered the JailBlazer reputation. A new set of imagemakers joined the Blazer front office and focused on Character and Integrity. Part of this process included deciding that Miles, who had spent two years rehabilitating his body to return to the game, had a career-ending injury. They got the proper papers signed by the doctors and they cut Miles loose, along with some $18 million dollars in salary cap space they could use to get other players (Miles would get that money either way, but now the team could free up the ability to use that salary for other things).

The problem was this. Darius Miles didn't break his spine or something, he hurt his knee. It was a bad injury but, after enduring two years of surgery and rehab, he believed he could play. Last fall, Miles trained with the Boston Celtics, but did not make the team. Nonetheless, the Celtics said they were impressed with Miles. Since then, he has signed on with the Memphis Grizzlies. If he plays in 10 games, the Blazers eat that $18 million. Miles played his first game on January 4th. If he plays nine more, the Blazers will earn the consequences of throwing a person away. I hope they do (even though I am a fan of the team) because what they did was wrong.

Okay, enough with the sports.

I suppose I should mention some of my thoughts for the so-called year. First, I want to get going with backpacking again this year. There are some physical question marks, but I think we can deal with them. One of my goals is to continue our Pacific Coast Trail hike where Ladybug and I left off a couple years ago when I hurt my knee. I am thinking of heading north starting from Waldo Lake.

Getting away from the computer is another idea I had. Our whole family sometimes looks like we are hooked to The Matrix. It doesn't feel like a healthy thing to be doing. Sadly, it will mean fewer blog entries. On the good side, the entries that do appear should be of a higher quality.

For my dietary needs, I am working on finding a way to substitute vegetables into most situations where I normally eat something carb-rich, such as the morning taters, lunch items, and the ratios of things on the dinner plate. Things like beets and squash are tasty, filling, and there aren't a lot of reasons not to enjoy them instead of filling up on bread, potatoes, and rice.

Most people are excited about booting old Dubya out of office and welcoming Barack Obama. I think the Republicans are much better represented in Obama's cabinet than progressives are and I can only hope Obama isn't as stupid about dealing with Muslims as his foreign policy team appears to be (H. Clinton openly spoke of "obliterating Iran," nice work). He appears to be continuing the Bush policy of "look the other way" as it pertains to the idiots who took a pretty good shot at destroying capitalism. There is no accountability any more.

So. while I will give the guy a chance, every piece of evidence points to the distinct possibility that he will piss on the very people who put him over the top and that is just freaking sad. I can only hope I am wrong. Needless to say, my goals and hopes for 2009 are not dependent on a new President Obama becoming the next JFK. (Yes, I know the alternative to him was worse, but can't I have standards?)

With that said, I think the passing of Dubya, like a painful kidney stone, is worth celebrating, so the inauguration will be time for joy at Rancho Snabulus.

I will leave you with a picture from my lunch time walk (cheap cell phone quality). The remnants of last night's snow made for a nice forest scene. Enjoy.


ladybug said...

Yay! love the walk pic....hopin' Obama will be takin' some health initiatives seriously and that he gets some actual work done. GWB was one of the most "on vacation" presidents we've ever had...

The Moody Minstrel said...

Aw, kwitcherbichin and get back to your computer!

(I like that walk pic, too!)

Sports? What's that? Oh, is football a sport? I can't remember the last time I watched a (American) football game. Or a basketball game, for that matter. Over here we're just putting up with sumo being wracked with all kinds of scandals, first a young rikishi being bullied to death at the master's orders and then two foreign (Russian, to be precise) rikishi busted (and fired) for pot possession even though the evidence was mostly circumstantial.

Is nothing sacred?

Certainly not the New Year, right?

Dave said...

I don't think any presidential candidate could survive the virtual hyper rubiks cube puzzle that is our economy.

Dean Wormer said...

Re: College ball - not only is the PAC underrated but it appears that once again the SEC and many of the East Coast conferences are overrated. I wonder how that happened.

Re: Blazers - not handled well but I do think Miles should've been traded as he did have the stink of the Jailblazer era.

Re: Exercise/ hiking. Awesome!

Re: Obama - I'm also cautiously hopeful. The attacks over petty shit coming from the right are pissing me off because I think they aren't leaving much room for legitimate criticism.

Pandabonium said...

Nice picture. I don't know much about sports, but at Christmas time my two daughters got together - the younger flying from St. Louis to Hawaii - and watched a game between the U of Hawaii Warriors and Notre Dame's fighting Irish. Thing is, my older daughter went to UH and the younger one to ND. I feared this could turn ugly, but in the end they had a great time. My grand daughters are confused however as evidenced by the picture I received of them wearing a UH t-shirt under an ND one.

I'm working on fitness too and got a head start a week before the new year started. Lots of habits to examine and change as needed.

I think Dave is right - no one is up to tackling the mess we face. We can only hope for mitigation of the damage. Gonna be tough times even if the best decisions are made.

To health and happiness.

Swinebread said...

I suppose things could get a lot worse but I do have hope now, I'd almost forgotten what it was like. Obama has said that he will reverse as many Bush policies as quickly as he can and for now, that's enough for me.

moce pic

Don Snabulus said...

Indeed. His nickname should have been Nero.

I likemybitchin. Those poor Rikishi probably can't get decent pot back in Russia. It should be legal even though I hate the stuff.

Dave & PB,
I agree, but holding the people responsible for a giant scam and having transparency about how thousands of our $$$ per person should be spent would be a darn fine start. I do wish everyone involved (except the fraudsters) luck in mitigating the damage.

College Ball: Agreed
Miles: He had no run-ins with the cops, so that keeps him out of the Jailblazers. He did get suspended by the NBA for using an over-the-counter training supplement, but I don't care about that.
Obama: They can get rid of the dissenting righties like they did with Vince Foster. Bwahahaha!


Dean Wormer and I have a friendly rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State. It is all in good fun.


I like the words from Obama; I can only hope the actions match them. I remember Clinton's welfare "reform" and blind faith in globalization all too well and Obama's cabinet is filled with Clintonites. I do hope they act differently this time around, but the story of Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football still applies.

Pandabonium said...

Transparency? No way. No the nature of the beast. I not only don't think anyone could untie the Gordian knot we are tied up in, I don't believe that anyone really wants to do so.

Let me put it this way. Remember the book/movie "The High and the Mighty"? The movie starred John Wayne. A piston engined plane going from Hawaii to San Fransisco throws a prop which punctures a fuel tank. They may have to ditch at night in a stormy sea. Frankly, that is our economic condition right now - the world, not just the USA.

Only in our real scenario, the original crew has bailed out and the replacements are rookies. So it's more like the movie "Airplane", but not at all funny.

So what do you day to the passengers? Do you tell them they are doomed? I hope not. You tell them that you are in serious trouble, that they need to do as you say, and about all the rescue services available. You tell them how some planes have ditched and stayed afloat so long that they became hazards to navigation and had to be sunk by gunfire. ("yes we can"). You'd tell them what to do - remove sharp objects from their person, take off their shoes (sorry Condi), don their life vests, and so on.

You certainly would NOT tell them that their chances were slim to none.

Because even though that might be true, you know that if you keep them calm and give them hope and some instruction on what to expect and what to do, some of them may survive.

Obama has the added problem that he has to deal with powerful elements who could literally kill him, as they did JFK, if he pushes too hard against their interests. (and mind you, I am not convinced he actually knows what he is doing).

Fasten your seat belt. It's going to be a bumpy ride down. We are going to ditch.

word verification: acche - what my head does when I think about this.

Don Snabulus said...


Thanks for your insight. I know you have a background in economics, so your words carry weight.

The "D" word is in play and that is scary. We might need to get ready to help our neighbors (and vice versa) before it is all said and done.