Wednesday, June 14, 2017

And they done done it again...

Ramblings Post #334
There is something about sport. After games where my team won I've hugged people I don't know, bought drinks for people I can't stand and once got kissed by this girl who was in the moment. I felt used, but in a good way. Sport brings us together. But then I've also stopped speaking to people because I found out their Patriot fans. Or Steeler fans. Or one of those anybody versus the Cowboys fans. Grrrrr. And this is from people who don't even play. Imagine how the players feel. 

I didn't really watch much basketball this year, as my Lakers are still at the low end of their pendulum swing and the rise of the player initiated "super team" is upon us. Which is great when it gets to the very end, but really means the season is watching two wrecking balls slowly gravitate towards one another over 82 games. The storyline is straight from the old hero series style action novels I used to read, where it's not IF the hero will when but HOW? Will they when by 10 points or 30 points? Can the star get a triple double? Will they spend an entire quarter just shooting threes? It gets for lack of better way of putting it ...unexciting. 

Glad Golden State Warriors won it all though.

Not because I am necessarily a Curry fan, if you know anything by now with my persistent affection for the Cowboys, I am anything but a bandwagon fan. It's because I am not a fan of LeBron James, and the legend thereof. There, I said it. Although he is a good player, blessed with a deft touch, great shooting skill and a fantastic knowledge of the game, I think that he's not as good as his fan boys want to make him out to be. He's like an Apple product, in that if you listen to his fan club he's the greatest thing ever, but if you take him in context he's just very, very good. Now, keep in mind that when people start screaming that MJ is the GOAT I like to remind them that MJ couldn't even get out of the East until Bird's back caught up with him and Isiah Thomas (the first one) lost a step. My money is still on Magic Johnson, a point guard who could even play center at the championship level - and did when Kareem got hurt. LeBron is good, maybe the best playing right now, but still.
The current league is built from this matchup. Yet neither is in the GOAT convo?
What bugs me most about Bron-Bron is his incessant need to work the officials, as though they won't notice if something bad happens to him. Trust me, the league is looking out for him every moment of every game including halftime bathroom breaks. The way LeBron is always looking for something, if you took a shot every time he looked at the ref as if pleading for him to call the defensive player for looking at ole #23 too hard, you'd be drunk by the end of the first quarter. And it is this incessant need, this victim role, this...greed for even more, that cheapens his actual really good abilities, at least to me. He can shoot the three, knows tendencies, bang shoulders down low, so why is he looking for cheap fouls like he's playing 2K? Nobody like a whiner. And right now, he's a whiner. I wonder how many players aren't playing him tough, thus inflating his stats, because they know not is he getting that primo "Superstar foul leeway" he's also "crying for a call every time a stiff breeze ruffles his jersey?"

And for those who ask, NO, he doesn't stack up the old players. MJ, Barkely, Reggie Miller and others in their prime would dominate this current offensive minded league. No hand checks? All that space to shoot? The old school would have a field day every day. And going the other way, the current stars would be heavily hampered by the defensive allowances of old. I say this after just watching ESPN's documentary on the Lakers - Celtics where Kevin McHale literally clotheslines Kurt Rambis during a layup and wasn't even ejected. Today we're talking about throwing people out for flexing their are at the wrong moment and those guys were suplexing each other and giving up "and ones."
"Personal foul, two shots."
That and then, forgetting he left with Wade and Bosh to go play with Irving and Love, LeBron had the audacity to say he'd never played on a "super team." Even when he's the best there is, he pretends like he's some kind of victim, some kind of underdog. And so what if he is? it happens to all of us. Get over it. Go out, work harder. Geez.

I guess this really wasn't a article about Golden State, and how much Durant earned what he got. But I just had some things to say. And it is my blog.

Barkeep. I heard them Warriors ain't even thinking about going to DC. Get them a round on me. But beer only. Nothing imported!

Monday, June 5, 2017

But it's not...

This is a political post. 

Sometimes I envy those whose who work in meme. They're quick jabs of statement that get a point across. Quick jab, jab. Because of their brevity, they rarely do they possess nuance, but when they do, they are one hell of a statement.

I can't settle of how I would mine to look just yet, maybe caricatures of Cheeto and Spicer doing a convoluted "Whose on First" routine using the term "travel ban." Or maybe Spicer as a bad ventriloquist dummy. All I know is that I would not want to be a lawyer for this thing, as the courts have already indicated they're going to use what are considered contemporary statements to determine the intent behind this retread legislation. And Cheeto put them out there again Monday morning. He did not mince words.

The really weird part? He wants those listening to think the Department of Justice is undermining him, when what they're working with is the LEGISLATION HE SIGNED. After his first couple of tries got kicked back. 

And while the White House Communications office would have you believe he's just talking here (a NY concept), the idea that that what Cheeto tweets and what he means are two different things as an explanation is laughable. People have gotten fired for tweets. On more than one occasion. These contemporary statements  mean that while the actual legislation may be neutral on its face, the intent is discriminatory. And it it is, or it's execution is discriminatory, then the legislation is  unconstitutional, just as the lower courts have already determined. And let's be clear, no man - no administration - no President, is above the law.

Letting this legislation happen is us laughing in the faces of the founding fathers we supposedly revere and lays the groundwork for a return to monarchy.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Death of a Mr. Bond

Roger Moore was MY James Bond, in by that I mean he's the Bond I grew up with.

My introduction to the character James Bond was a suave, just on the high side of cool, just shy of silly gadget carrying world hopping spy who always had a bit of quick wit when the situation called for it. It wasn't until college that I really had a chance to get into the character and realize that Connery's more bare bones and ruthless Bond was closer to the how the character was written. But by then it was too late, because in my mind Bond had gone to space, jumped off a mountain and had car that turned into a submarine. Roger Moore's Bond was a character of it's time, although I'm hard pressed to look back at most it and think it's still cool. The submarine car though.

I realize now that the movie scene I wanted to shoot with all the Bond actors is now NEVER really going to happen for real. Although, they are doing wonderful things with CGI. But that would be cheating.

And although he soured a bit at the end, with the spurious reasoning as to why Idris Elba shouldn't play Bond, I liked him. Moore's spoofs of himself, both in Cannonball run and playing the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in Curse of the Pink Panther after Peter Sellers died, where quite funny, even for a kid from the sticks like me. I thought he made a good action hero in ffolkes ( also known as North Sea Hijack). I even liked him Boat Trip, a film which I'm still not sure why I watched, although I'm fairly certain Roselyn Sánchez had something to do with it.

To a degree I miss his Bond. Maybe that's what Daniel Craig is missing.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester

I'm not quite sure how to voice how upset I was to hear about the bombing Manchester.

It maybe that the modern day terrorism we've experienced so far has hardened us, numbed us a bit to the reality that there are people out there who want to perform acts of violence and cause chaos to further their own ends. So when I first saw this on my twitter feed, I was like "damn, now what?"

But then I got the facts, starting watching the feeds, and to be honest something about this bothers me deeply. I'm no expert on Islam, but I think that even where it authorizes/directs/suggests(?) the use of force, it specifically prohibits its use against the innocent. So when young girls...children...are attacked, it feels over the already dim line we like to imagine is still there. Maybe this was an effort to push us back into a state of shock. A mental state where dangerous things happen. That part of the argument where we say things we regret later, even though we meant them at the time. A mental state someone hopes will trigger something.

The sad part is we've been down this road as well.

I'm not sure what to say here. Had it been an office or a subway I would still be angry, upset, outraged. But this has a special quality of anger about it.


 
Note: What's interesting is that this happened the day before hearings in the US Congress that are demonstrating that the Presidential Transition Team may have been in deeper with the Russians than we know AND the new budget is released which slashes Medicaid. And I don't hear a single peep out of the "conspiracy mad right wing" about a false flag operation. Because this wasn't. Some asshole with a holier than thou cause did this. Sometimes things we wish wouldn't happen just do. And they happen all around the same time.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Feels like 1973 All Over again

This is a political post. 

So, that happened.

I keep trying to figure out when this precariously balanced house of fraud is going fall apart. For a while I was upset the Democratic Party wasn't metaphorically setting fire to the place in protest, save Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Shumer and a few others. But surveying the situation at this point, by the time to the rest of the party gets it's shit together all of the groundwork needed to save democracy will have been done for them. Oddly enough, by the people who to the untrained eye look like they're trying to destroy democracy.

Let's review.

There is increasingly clear evidence that a foreign power "meddled" with our fair democratic election process.

The President seems miffed that the inquiry into this whole "meddling" situation just can't be over. 

If I remember correctly, we just spent a little over three years looking into an incident on the Northern Coast of Africa. Three whole years! And that inquiry uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing or treasonous activity at all, despite every effort, but was continually renewed and revisited. By contrast this new inquiry into the election shenanigans continually turns up questionable practices and actions as well as artful forgetfulness on the part of those being investigated. And it has been ongoing for less than six months!

Then the Head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations is fired by the President. This occurs in the midst of the Head of the FBI's investigation into the aforementioned claims of "meddling."

The method for the termination stunk of stagecraft and the reasons behind it are murky at best. Shortly after it was announced the White House Press Secretary literally hid in the bushes rather than talk to reporters. (Note: I'm sorry, that's since been corrected to "among the bushes," whatever that means.) First the official explanation was that the firing was on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General, who balked at that accusation. Then the story became that the President wanted to fire the Head of the FBI since taking office. A rumor floated that the President only became angry after the Head of the FBI testified about his feelings concerning his actions during the election process, actions which at the time were completely out of sorts for a person in that position. Later still, the White House spokespeople claimed it was because the man had lost the respect of the rank and file under his command, a charge immediately refuted by the new Acting Head of the FBI. 

Then, and not joke, within 36 hours of the firing, the President meets with a representative from that same foreign power accused of meddling in the election in the White House, specifically the Oval Office. But because the President apparently hates anything but lackey media, the only press allowed in accompanies the guest. That particular press also just happens to work for the same foreign power suspected of the "meddling." Of the election.

This could very seriously mean that the Oval Office, one of the most secure rooms in the world, now might be bugged by a foreign power.

One would almost think this a synopsis of a an episode of the trashy night time soap Empire and not the goings on of the leadership of the most powerful nation in the world.

I am aware that a lot of people who voted for him did so because he was, and still is, an outsider. That he'd shake up the system. The problem is that we're not talking about the family hardware store, we're talking about the United States of America. And it turns out we've got a guy in office who doesn't understand the basics of life, much less the basics of government. And that bodes ill for us all.

I'm not sure where I want to go with this....

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Quick Restaurant Review - Little Trouble

I don't hang out much anymore for various reasons, the vast majority of which seem to always be in flux and so a return to that swinging nightlife could be just around the corner. But right this second, I'm bingeing on a bit of law in an effort to get this "ranching" career off the ground and video games I may have purchased as long a four years ago. For the uninformed I have a habit of purchasing games when I have a few spare coins and then playing then much later. It's not like they go bad. This time the game is only two years old, but I waited like a year after release to purchase it, so I've really only had it for like a year, but I digress.

When I do go out now it's in short bursts, meaning a few hours after work or to a single event. Atlanta's night life has changed so much in the few years I've been out of rotation that I'm no longer certain of anything, and the spots I used to frequent are either gone or just not hot anymore. And with the city bisected by the highway collapse, I'm either locked into to staying near home or have to pack an overnight bag just go get drinks. Yeesh. Which is how I ended up at Little Trouble on a Friday night.

I'm not quite sure how the spot operates, as it seems a little like a out of the way bar that shows in NY movies where the protagonist is in the basement of a building that looks condemned from the outside and then suddenly bam! - trendy nightclub. Little Trouble is kinda like that only the building is like a high end shopping destination by day that has one of the busiest Uber drop offs I've ever seen. After taking a risk that Serve, the taller of the hangout duo Spanky and Serve who I sometimes hang out when I do go out, was actually going to show up this time, we met around the corner at one my fav little spots, Ormsby's which is in what I guess is Westside Plaza(?). We had a drink, had some hummus and she learned to play Bocce on the bar's indoor court downstairs. But that stop was just a social amuse-bouche before we sauntered over to Little Trouble.

The spot is at the other end of the plaza from Ormsby's, which itself is a bit of beast to find, and then down a long dark tunnel where we were greeted with a neon logo that made me think of Blade Runner for some reason. This opened into cozy little bar with low seats and lots of mood lighting on one side of the room and more formal dining tables on the other. There is a quieter smaller space in the back but I only glimpsed it. The spot has a very hip vibe to it, which may be why the people with backpacks looking like they just got off the bus from Mississippi left a just a few moments. Full Disclosure: The second we walked in I thought that Sporty would have loved it.

The wall is like from a shipping container
Serve and I posted up at the bar, which in retrospect is set much lower than I realized, and perused the menu, a take on street food from Southeastern Asia - buns, bowls and meat on sticks. I should mention for those who like to imbibe that Little Trouble is really more a craft bar - in that they really seem to excel at crafted drinks. While I pursued the food stuffs offered, I got a Crane Kick (Japanese whiskey, rum, spice and lemon - the spice apparently ginger) and Serve ordered something I forget. But it looked really fruity. The bartenders take their time too, pouring a touch of this and a little of that to get it just right. More than once I saw him assemble something that made me want to order it too. That's a sign of a good, or at least entertaining, bartender.

Crane Kick and whatever it was Serve had....
Now, my original intention was to mix and match a few of the buns to see what it was all about and started with the Pork Belly, hoping to try some of the other items like the meat on a stick, Pork Rinds or Panda Cotta later. Serve got the Salmon Bowl and split it with me, since the sauce was too spicy for her (note - it's not spicy, she just sensitive). The bun is a soft white crust-less bread shell, think really cool Slider, topped with stuff I usually don't eat and a pretty fair size piece of grilled pork. It was a very good combination. And if they didn't melt the Gruyere on the French Dip bun I would have stuck to my 'try a little of everything' plan. Instead, having found something I really liked, I got a second Pork Belly Bun which was just as good as the first, so no drop off here.  The food is good, and the portions are just the right size for someone out trying to have a good time, not too small but not too big.   

We got there relatively early, around eight or so, but the place doesn't really pick up until nine or so. This is a change from back when I used to run the circuit, when there were days I'd leave the job on Friday at 5pm and be pulling up to the spot 20 minutes later...and still not be the first one out. Maybe we were just more desperate to have a good time back then. Be aware, the crowd is a mixed bag, but mostly younger folks and people who have jobs that let them afford the ridiculous ass rent in the surrounding apartment buildings.

If you're trying to get into a little trouble, I can suggest Little Trouble. Maybe it's easier to find at night, as it might be the only thing that has foot traffic that time of the evening over there. I do intend to go back though and find out.


Side Note : While it was still early we walked across the railroad bridge and ran into a line outside Jeni's Ice Cream. We had to get some because there was a long  line, at least according to Serve. I'm not sure about the logic, but who can turn down ice cream?  The selection was a little...esoteric, with flavors along to lines of Riesling Poached Pear and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso, but it's good ice cream. And the place smelled like they were making the waffle cones fresh. I can say with authority, it was worth the wait.