Monday, December 21, 2020

December 21st


With the great cosmic alliance, let us step up, and humble ourselves before the universe, and accept with the dignity and responsibility of those so blessed these powers which have been bestowed. 

Unless I do actually just get the power to tell when the hot doughnuts sign is on at the local Krispy Kreme. Not that I wouldn't use it, but let's just say major letdown. 

And despite the trials and tribulations we have endured, let us with these gifts not take vengeance or wreak havoc...well, not too much vengeance, well, let's try to limit it the first few days at least people, then once we've got it out of our system, we're all going to be responsible about this thing. Aren't we? 

Well, I tried.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A Very Dark Comedy - The Pivotal Scene

This is a political post. 

And now we reach the the Moment

There is a moment in a play where the action culminates. All the threads so carefully woven come together and the story becomes clear. Sometimes its the killer is revealed. Or the act of betrayal is complete. We see the hero finally triumph. And suddenly it all makes sense, this story that has consumed us. It is the moment that we have been waiting for, and we let loose that breath stuck in our lungs.

But this isn't really like a play. 

This is more like..., the end of a long hard football game. The quarterback has lead his team on a drive for the ages. He has ducked a sack by inches, and managed to get a pass just barely over outstretched fingertips. He has overcome penalties and setbacks, bad plays and taken advantage of busted coverage. And now, with nearly no time left on the clock he has put his team in a position of triumph.

Only it's not up to him.

The kicker trots onto the field. His aim true and leg strong. But the wind is gusting, and the ball is slippery. And so the quarterback, a steely eyed missile man who has danced between linebackers and ducked defensive ends walks off the field. He goes to the bench, not bothering to remove his helmet, and with his head down begins to pray. It is almost too much to bear. 

All that's left is the snap, the hold, the kick.

Let it be true.

Let us pray.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Very Dark Comedy - Act 2

This is a political post. 

I'm wishing there was a way to just turn off the news for the next few days. I'm tired. I think most of are but it will continue to rage on until it's done. Which won't be the third of November. At the earliest. Most likely we won't be that lucky. And then the cleanup and dismantling of the wreckage that was this failed experiment in "not a politician doing politics" can begin. If anyone for one minute thinks the current administration is going to go quietly into the night, I've got beachfront property in Kansas you need to look at. 

But let's look at the latest travesty being propagated by the conservative minority - soon to be Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. She is a perfect example of exceptional results for mediocrity. One expects nominees to be the highest caliber of jurist for our highest court. This as my law professor used to put it - America's Council of Wise Men (or People).But Barrett's only been a judge for three years. She has never argued before the court she's about to be a member of. Actually, she's never ever argued an appeal. No, wait, she's never even tried a case, and spent all of two years in private practice. And with that sweeping and august background and experience we're all supposed to be okay with this woman being one of the principles of law for this country for the next thirty years or so? 

The appropriate term would be "the nerve." 

She was so obvious with her disrespect for the process,boldly holding up her notepad to say that she didn't even need notes. In reality what she was saying was that the process was so rigged she wasn't even going to bother to pretend. And while her religious leanings and if she decides to live within it's confines is her own business, the real question is if she's going to make the rest of us live within it as well. 

To the people who say that that voting doesn't matter, to the kids who swore because Sanders wasn't the nominee they weren't going to support the Democrats, the middle class suburban women who just couldn't stand Hillary...well, I hope this is what you wanted. Because a direct line can be drawn from that frame of mind to this moment. Now, going forward we stand together or we're all going to suddenly have to find religion. Even if we don't want to. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Yes, I am STILL a Cowboys fan....

Ramblings Post #386
I was worried about football earlier this year. As much as anything can signify that things haven't gone completely to hell it's the Saturdays and Sundays on the gridiron. I don't even have to really watch, or even follow the teams. I could watch a game on Saturday afternoon between We Over Here University and Podunk Tech and be alright as long as it's a decent game. Not even good, just decent. And most of America agrees with me. And we got the season, in a fashion. Along with Covid dropouts and shifting schedules but damnit we're playing football. Now, I'm not so sure this was a good idea.

Picture is from ESPN's Twitter

I had hope. But here we are.

Let's talk football. I've held off talking football because I am a Dallas Cowboy fan and there is apparently a conspiracy between reality and coincidence to keep all of us in blue and white frustrated and a little sad. Karma might be lurking around there somewhere, but all fans talk a little noise, so I don't know why she picking on us. And as much as I really didn't want to talk about Dak, who was having a career defining season through three games going down to injury he has become to some degree the focus of the conversation. The moment was gruesome - as pretty much all injuries are - but I think he'll bounce back stronger and wiser. And after watching what I could stomach of the game on Monday night, I find myself compelled to comment.


I'll admit I was in the crowd that thought that Andy Dalton was a good insurance policy. He's a veteran player, the Bengals while they had a few choice players never really surrounded him with talent during his tenure, and he still had the arm to make the throws if he had to brought onto the field. You had the feeling he was missed potential. So as a backup he was a no-brainer. But the BEST insurance policies are the polices you never have to use. And at best we expected to have to use him for a game or two. The Cowboys (and all us fans) thought we had Allstate or Progressive, it turns out we had a policy from Mick's Bait, Ice Cream, Discount Furniture, Insurance and Christmas tree lot. I know the offensive line has been decimated with injuries, but still I'm not so sure that Dak in a walking boot wouldn't be better than this.

It is at this point I implore the Jones Boys to go ahead and sign Dak to a long term deal. Just open back up the Brinks truck and be done with it. Whatever he wants, just say yes. Because I still believe that despite the presence of Mike Nolan's Pop Warner Defense, the Cowboys will accidentally win a few more games this season. It can happen. Right now the NFC East looks so bad they might stumble into winning the Division.

Also, please let Jerry know that it is far too late to join the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. I say sweepstakes because although he is primed to become a Football God, nothing is football is guaranteed. People tend to forget just how far back Brady was drafted. This sport bounces like the ball, not always where you think it's gonna. No disrespect, I hope the best for the kid, but this is simple: Bird in the hand, forget the two in the bush.

Anyway, I'm still gonna root for them. Because they're my team. 

Barkeep. That bottle of whiskey with the dust on it. The one for emergencies. 2020 has been some kinda fucked up.  

They got jokes. But let me find my pads.


Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Very Dark Comedy - First Intermission

 This is a political post. 

Photo and Highlighting from Politco

In the last 10 days. There was Cheato's $750 tax scandal. Then his debate shenanigans which he spiced up with a shout-out for a white supremacist group. His former campaign manager is wrestled to the ground after a standoff with police. And then his first (most likely of many) October surprise - Cheato announces that he's tested positive for the 'Rona.

I for one am a little worried about the season finale for 2020. The writing is on the far side of ridiculous and picking up speed.

First, for the record, let me state that Cheato cannot die, not now. I don't mean that in that he's the undead or anything like that, but it's just that if that were to happen, in this year, this close to the election, the nation's conspiracy complex would explode like a supernova. Deep State and Q-Anon would dissipate in the sheer political heat of the that happening like the the idea that Saddam Hussein had a Stargate. Now, as it may be evident from past posts that I'm not a fan of the president, I'd vote for ANYBODY against him, but he needs to live so we can see this election through. Seriously. We don't need that headache. But he's in a high risk group due to age so there is a great deal of concern. And there should be, I think.  

Because the million dollar question is: Does he actually have it, or is this really a political stunt?

From the moment he claimed the audience for his inauguration was bigger than Obama's he's been telling tall tales to beat the band. He's got a major credibility problem as time after time things he's said or claimed have been easily dis-proven if all you do is look in a direction other than the one he's pointing. I mean remember his people took offense when someone pointed out Cheato's head had been photo-shopped onto an image of Sylvester Stallone's body from 40 years ago, as if to imply that was an accurate photo. And the members of his party left the first 'Rona briefing and immediately adjusted their stock portfolios, then told the rest of us it was all good. They're not much better. So now, with the very real possibility of actual consequences, we find ourselves in doubt as to his and their veracity. Is he the old orange man who cried wolf?

I saw the tweet in the middle of last month which espoused the theory that exactly what is happening would happen: Cheato would announce he had the virus in October. His would be a mild case and he'd emerge touting hydroy-magic-whatever as the cure. But for the two weeks he was fighting it the media would push everything else to the side - social justice in streets and in sports, fires in California, bad economic numbers, the expeditious nature of the Supreme Court confirmation, etc, - and it would be Cheato all day, everyday. In the end he'd emerge having dominated the news cycle for two weeks as both victim and victor of fate, a powerful image on the eve of an election.

As I said, the writing for 2020 is getting funny. And the leaks are terrible.

Now that the president claims he has the virus, the propaganda, Faux News, sorry, has decried those who are taking light of the situation by pointing out the cruelty of being mean to man in the midst of health crisis. Reinforcing the victim narrative. Forgetting completely that the man in question mocked those who took strenuous precautions to avoid getting infected, let's see,, checks notes.... on stage at the First Presidential Debate less than 48 hours before his own diagnosis. It's kinda like the guy who complained that he was paying taxes for the fire department and so the city let him opt out of paying, and then got upset when his house caught on fire and the fire department just stood and watched it burn. You kinda feel sorry for the guy, but then you kinda think he pretty much set himself up for this.

For now he's been moved to Walter Reed and put on an experimental drug that had some promising clinical trials. This lends itself the possibility he may actually have it. Although I would check to see who has recently bought stock in the company producing it.

Who had Super-Spreader event at the White House on their Bingo Card? You get a bonus prize I think. Two extra masks and a box of gloves. 

But as I said, I hope he pulls through. Because we don't need the headache right now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Very Dark Comedy - Act 1

This is a political post.

"That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck" ~ Jake Tapper

"I'm just gonna say it like it is. That was a shitshow." ~ Dana Bash

That was the real media immediately following what we all saw. My understanding is that for a few hours Fox news pretended the whole thing was a fever dream until they got their excuses straight. For all the people wondering, the world doesn't respect us right now. Right now, that look you're seeing for other countries is pity and giggling, after all, we got ourselves into this mess. If this type of shit happens again, it's gonna be nervous laughter. Because also after all, we have nukes. 

And Cheato is crowing today about how great the number were. Substance be damned, as long as everybody watched. Yes, it's pity. 

I don't have any real deep commentary. I mean damn, if you can't see what he's becoming, if you don't believe your eyes and ears but only what he says, then you have been fully indoctrinated and I can't do nothing for you man. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ruth. Bader. Ginsberg.

In a better system, and 87-year old woman dying would not cause people to fear for the future of democracy.
~ The Gravel Institute

Her impact is inestimable. She spent her life and time on the country's highest court using her considerable legal skills to make the country better for us all. And recognizing the stakes instead of retiring and living out her last few years in peace she held on to her position as long as she could breathe. Her tenacity and spirit are a testament to how we all should live.

I didn't understand her friendship with fellow Justice Scalia, but then sometimes we all make odd friends at work. She battled sexism and prejudice while growing up, and engaged the patriarchy with a brilliant mind and sharp wit on behalf of every generation that followed her, man or woman, black or white. And as a writer her dissents from the bench where the she found the majority lacking were the stuff that made law students realize the power of words.

And now she has moved on.

Thank you.   

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Bar chatter

Bar Chatter #38
When it's not enough to make a post, but deserves to go out to the world... it's just Bar Chatter.  

This year feels strange. The days just seem to have blended together. 

California 2020 - No filter

It's like the veneer that kept us from seeing us, who will really are, has faded and all that is left is the cold hard truth about our hopes, dreams, fears and motivations. 

We'd all like a respite from this feeling. But it can't be by halves or later. It can't be for some and not others. We all need to get better. 

We need to stop thinking we know and listen. Because not listening is how bad things get worse. 

Been a long year. And there is still more coming.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Passing of a King


"In my culture, death is not the end. it's more of a stepping off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into a green veld where you can run forever."
~ T'challa as portrayed by Chadwick Boseman

Sometimes people keep things to themselves, troubling things, because they don't want anyone else to worry. It's an act of love really. The act of being worried is so draining. Especially in situations where the act of worry or concern cannot change anything. Or maybe he was just a private person. I honestly don't know, but his people kept it close. A friend of mine, who was a friend of a friend of Chadwick's sister told me today that she kinda knew he had cancer, but thought that it was under control or had been treated so she didn't even think about it. And after I saw pictures of him earlier this year and expressed concern with other friends those conversations quickly became that he was "naturally skinny" and had just bulked up for his roles or that he was preparing for another acting gig by slimming down. The idea that there might be something else to it did not even occur to us. In reality we've all known people with cancer, but treatment is real, so now we tend think of it as more something you get through than what ends you. It hurts to be wrong.  

The King is Dead. Long live the King. 

Chadwick Boseman studied hard at his craft. And he was good at it. He was someone who had worked enough to not only was able to credibly embody the godfather of soul James Brown, but also display the quiet courage of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, or the spirit of a young future supreme court justice Thurgood Marshall. These and other were roles that required variation of style, of cadence, of emotion. Of a blend of talent and craft. In an industry that still limits the what kind of character that black actors and actresses can be, he managed to widen the field for himself and for others. And then came his star turn, as the African King and superhero T'challa, the Black Panther. The first billion dollar movie headed by a black lead character. A tour de force on so many levels. One that created an image that resonates, as we say now, for the culture. And he did all of them in between chemo treatments and battling his cancer. 

I watch the videos of him visiting children with cancer, of his tearing up during interviews when he says it gave it him a sense of responsibility, and those take on a new weight now. He knew where they were, what they faced. I'm certain he kept his head up, but that's a heavy burden. And he carried it well.

I don't wish to diminish any other death this year, but this one feels different. So much has moved us this year. So many lives have been cut short by tragedy. Some by fate. We didn't see any of them coming. They all hurt. 

We thank you Mr. Boseman.

Wakanda Forever.

Monday, August 10, 2020

What the NFL should have done....

Ramblings Post #385
I like sports. I really do. I played as a youth, still want to play as someone no longer a youth but my body keeps talking about practice (we talking about practice!) and I'm not sure my knees are with it. I watch all kinds of sports, play them on computer games and talk about them on this blog. Sports transcend a whole lot of problems. It's weird. It's bigger than us. But my team still needs to win.

The NBA Bubble should have been the template for how pro football handled this season, but I don't think anyone high up wanted to spend that much money or thought this pandemic would last this long. Such a setup would have made the game safe, would have ensured the season occurred and would have brought a much needed sense of normalcy that we all need. Or at least I need, I haven't been out to eat, drink and carouse since May. Well, my birthday I went out for lunch, but the restaurant had exactly two customers - me and my friend who paid for it - and we still sat outside.

And I've enjoyed this basketball more than any actual real season in a while (NBA2K seasons are lit, reality less so). But I NEED football. Like as I imagine most people in the South and pretty much all of Texas. But I judging by how we've already done things so far this year, this season will not be a ...complete one. Half a season? I hope I'm wrong, I really do. But the prep could have been so much better. And with college football already starting to batten down the hatches for next year, why this wasn't a fail-safe I don't know.

Now, my suggestion is vast because unlike the NBA we're talking about all the teams and all the games. The NBA eliminated the teams not in the final playoff hunt for their lock-down, and that and a few tweaks made it possible to schedule what has basically amounted to all day gym play using the limited TV ready courts. The NFL needs all the games if possible. If someone can think of someplace where there are four or five football fields together (or soccer fields for conversion) and accommodations for for two thousand or so people where they can lock themselves in it would be an easier setup to secure. I've been looking but I don't see one yet.

Barring that, and I've been looking, here's what they should have done:

1. Put the players on a Tour of Duty.

This isn't finishing an already started season like the NBA, this would be playing the full thing through January. As such the players would have to go ahead and accept that they would be in isolation for months. Seriously. They would need to mentally pretend they were shipping off the hotel compound the local team would set up. We ask soldiers to do it for three hots and cot, so sacrificing for a few million isn't really a grand argument. Let's call our little setup the NFL "dome."  Well, dome by location.

Note: The "dome" would also have to have been applied to refs as well, which might mean a loss of experience, as a lot of them have outside careers. They would be a separate national facility and be flown out by private jet to the game and then back.

Each team would really need two in-town hotels, one for the home team's use all season and one for a visiting team, who would travel a day or two earlier than normal. Yes, they would need the whole facility with room for the entire team, the coaches, practice squad, and other needed personnel ~ barbers, medical staff, massage therapists, etc. Room for maybe 120-150 people give or take, because once you go in just like with the NBA Bubble, trips out by anyone would need to be minimized. This plus a rotating staff of 40 would needed for the building - cooks, maintenance, housekeeping, etc. That smaller group would be on 60 day rotations in with a 10-15 lead in to work inside the "dome."  The idea is to create a safe space for them to live, practice and get ready for their games. 

2. Lock'em in

The domes should have to be set up to keep the guys fresh, because a stir crazy soccer mom is one thing, a stir crazy three hundred pound muscled up millionaire is another. I would set up a gamer lounge, a library, open a bar or two, maybe even a small group movie room to give the guys space to move around and socialize. The idea is that they don't just get on the bus to practice (which would be closed to the public), take the bus back to the hotel and go sit in their rooms for four or five months. A little variety. I'm not going to address the obvious missing element - family. But again, this is the tour of duty for the season. Just like a man overseas can't pop out to have brunch with the kids, neither can the players.

But, because people have to occasionally step out, and it will happen, a transition space for them to return would also be needed. A couple of suites, maybe a private lounge and if a player absolutely has outside business that needs to handled then they can do it with compromising the whole team. They would need to be aware that leaving would be like missing a week and automatic game check - with the exceptions for funerals and other serious situations. The teams could even presumably setup two or three family days where properly screened families could be let in after a few days in their own isolation for short periods. A mini-family vacation in the dome.   

Note: The refs dome could probably accommodate family members, which might be a bonus.

Under the current plan of "don't be sorry, be careful" plan it's almost certain that we'll see players drop out all season, and if we're unlucky the Superbowl will be a match-up of the team with most men not infected standing versus the quarterback who was signed three weeks ago behind a center whose been there two months who got lucky in the championship game against a fifth string quarterback. That or halfway through the season the NFL just calls it quits and chalk the season up to a loss. It's possible. 

3. Let'em play

The games would end up being more like high school games for the players  I'm certain the tech wizards who can draw a fake first down line can digitally put some butts in the seats for broadcast, but the feel of an empty stadium while playing is different than a full throttle game. Some noise would have to be piped in, but the energy will be missing and that would affect play. And since the play is the product, their might be a need to let in some fans, not near the lower levels and definitely not in position for Lambeau leaps or ball tosses of any kind. But the NFL needs fan energy. And playing inside a sealed actual dome would be tricky to say the least. 

The announcers would have to handled like the NBA, with their own little booths which also might detract from some of the camaraderie, but they'll work it out. And we'll be so excited to watch the game I don't think we'll notice. 

As the season progresses, teams will slowly, eventually drop out of playoff contention, and for the safety of those players the rest of the games for those teams might need to be worked out on an alternate system. I realize that in a 16 games season every game counts, playoff spoilers are a real thing, and draft picks need ways to be calculated, so this may not be feasible.

So, that's my idea. Or was my idea. There are a lot of details worked out, but I think it would have ensured we get a whole season. Which considering how this pandemic is playing out, I think the country needs a convincing sign like this to give us the resolve to continue. 

Barkeep. It's almost that time. Just bring the keg. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

John Lewis. A man for the ages.

This was supposed to be up a few days ago, but I've just been out of sorts lately. But greatness needs to be recognized. We've heard a great number of stories the past few days, from remembrances of the  character and dignity of son of a sharecropper from Troy, Alabama. One of the fabled Freedom Riders who went first so the rest of us could follow.

The most interesting story I heard, of all the history that seems to get divulged after someone passes, was of his moment at the March on Washington. We all know that this is where Dr. King delivered his historic "I have dream" speech. But John Lewis spoke as well. Something I didn't know. And I also didn't know, much like the family secret kept until after, is that they had to corral the young firebrand. Apparently they were backstage negotiating what he would say on the podium as the event happened. A foursome that included the yet to appear Dr. King under the gaze of the grand statute of Lincoln worked to tone down the young John's fiery words. This man, who would go on to serve in Congress had to be calmed.  

It's funny how things change, the more they stay the same. Passion, but controlled. He and his colleague C.T. Vivian. Arrested the same day, died the same day. Lived the same way.

I salute Mr. Vivian and John Lewis. Because I do not know if I could have endured what they did.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Will and Jada (as required by Internet Rule #478b)

Ramblings Post #384
I watched the video. It looked like he'd been crying for a while. That funny laugh you do when you try to play it off. I watched his jaw clench. His body language. But she...she looked like she had just gotten something off her chest and was finally free. We're all different the ways we deal with stuff. 

This year. I can honestly say that one thing I did not see coming this year was so many black women out here trying to revive that old Friends excuse from the mid-ninties? You know the one I mean. They were on a break! Yeah, but here we are now and Will and Jada, well, they still married. So that break got the same validity as it did the first time. I mean, if they had really wanted one, it ain't that hard to get the divorce process started. People start it and then take it back all the time. Especially in California. But ya'll believe what ya'll want to.

Because the truth is, this the old double standard. On damn steroids. Let's just be completely honest here. If a still married Will had gone out and developed a sexual relationship with one of his daughter Willow's friends who was half his age, under the guise of "helping her heal herself," the Fresh Prince's new nickname would be "Black Epstein." And the uptick in discussions about wealthy prominent men preying vulnerable young women would have been high enough to start a new cable channel. Will woulda been cancelled, deleted, cast out, defrocked, and they'd even be taking Wild Wild West off of streaming platforms (Okay seriously, that's a terrible movie, they can take that one out the rotation anytime, no scandal needed.) But here it's Jada. And she was in a very unhappy place.'s okay then?

That part.

That part right there is why even if it was an "open relationship" or whatever, what she did was just foul. Now, I imagine if the stories are true, and I'm not saying one way or another if they are, then the other people in their life are supposed to be like OTHER people. Like away people. I dunno, maybe a little chippie down in Hollywood. Maybe a yoga instructor. Maybe somebody who only rolls through when their team plays the Lakers or the Clippers. The other person is NOT somebody who you both invited into your home, became friends with your kids and took on family vacations with you. Not somebody you posted up on the red carpet with. And then when it all comes out, your description isn't supposed to use artful words like "entanglement" instead of simple words like cheated, because well it kinda makes it sound like maybe there were feelings on both sides of that "tangle." Which isn't the flavor you want to add right now. Since you're still married and all.

Maybe there is a feeling she "deserved to get him back" for past transgressions. Maybe they were on a break. But this situation is like he hooked up with a waitress from the Cheesecake Factory she'll never meet, and she hooked up with the next door neighbor kid who he taught to play catch and sometimes comes over to eat dinner. The little fella is even in your family Christmas card.

So, it's not the same thing. It's not even close.

Barkeep. Water. Because there is no celebration in heartbreak.

Monday, July 13, 2020

They actually agreed to do what?

Ramblings Post #383
Sometimes sports is bigger than a ball, a jersey, and a determination to win. Sometimes sport is more about our values as people, respect, and realizing that just because we've put a lot of time and energy into something that we can just go ahead and make a change. Because basically, as Shannon Sharpe said, it's just the right thing to do. 

A lot of things happened in 2020 that I was not expecting. The economy crashing? No, I saw that coming, there is this little thing called history. The Pandemic? Nobody thought the people in charge would mess it up this badly. I'm stunned how the people who keep screaming don't make it political keep going out of their way to make it not just political but also personal. Just the words "I got it wrong, let's do what we have to fix it" would change everything. But nobody currently in charge is grown-up enough to face up to the consequences of their actions. A hoarding of toliet paper? I still don't even believe that happened. They literally stopped professional sports? That was a blow to my soul. A Will and Jada kinda love? That's tomorrow, I believe I'm leagally required to comment. But today, something I swear I didn't think would ever happen actually happened.

The NFL team in Washington agreed to change it's name.

I used to read the sports column Tuesday Morning Quarterback, which was probably the most highbrow football piece ever written. And while it threw in odd statistics and hidden indicators between hilarious commentary, the author started referring to the team as the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons (both as indicator of the need for DC statehood and the ridiculousness of the team name) way back in the early 2000s. Sports pundits on every outlet have been asking when Dan "The Grift" Snyder would stop trying to figure out how to charge for oxygen in the stadium and change the name for decades. This isn't a new issue. Even as Cowboy who grew up loving the way the rivalry seem to naturally slot together, the Cowboys and the Indians, I grew up and realized that all lot things in American history have been romanticized. And a lot of things we grew up believing in, and Snyder grew up a Washington fan, need to be corrected now that we're older and know better.

Of course every major sponsor picking up their satchels of money and threatening to leave if the name wasn't..."reconsidered," probably didn't hurt either. 
As much flak as black people take, the very hint of selling a blatantly racist item will get you cancelled so fast you'll barely have time to unbox it. That will quickly be followed by the question "how did this get approved?" Shortly after some people will be fired, a department will be re0rganized and a black person will get to collect a fat check for eighteen months or so as the new diversity officer or guru or whatever they call it. But in the case of the, um...Native Americans? Is that the right term? I know you should refer to the individual by their tribe, Sioux, Cherokee, etc., but what is the name of the group of all of them. Indigenous Persons? In either case, this group got a racial slur them at them for sixteen weeks a year by major networks. It could not have been cool at all.

One of the few things in this country that transcends race for MOST people in this country is sport. We'll celebrate a hard fought victory with anyone wearing the same jersey as us. Check any tailgate or traveling fan group. It's amazing to see. So these activities that let us all find a common ground probably need to be brought into line with our ideals first. This change at this level however, is just the first step. A few other professional teams in other sports need to go ahead and man up as well. And there are still a lot of colleges, hundreds of high schools and lots of junior leagues who'll need to buy new gear, make some headspace changes. It's just the right damn thing to do.

And Jeep. I do really like the SUVs, but I think there are some people who want to speak to you too.

Barkeep. Cold Beer. Let's hope there is a football season.

Friday, June 19, 2020


I'm not going to sit here and tell you I've celebrated Juneteenth as man and boy. I didn't even really hear about it until college. And it was only because I went to summer school (to avoid going home for the summers) that I was able celebrate it with some guys from Texas, really more as an excuse to put something on the grill than anything else. That it isn't taught in the mainstream curriculum at any level is almost a crime. Or more precisely, typical of the current state of affairs.

And although we would be sold out to end the emancipation of Reconstruction after the Civil War,  and would endure the brutality of Jim Crow, the clear disparities of the hypocritical policy of  "separate but equal" and finally just raw discrimination, this day means something.

So, we can start with a federal holiday. But that is just a start. Understand.

Barkeep. A glass of that Uncle Nearest. Neat. And a fine cigar.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Something to calm the nerves, or inflame the spirit

Ramblings Post #382
Sometimes you just need to stop and take a moment. We live in interesting times. Or rather what we hope is the beginning of an interesting period in history. Where massive change, for what we hope is the better, is upon us. But even in the heat of battle one must rest. Clear the mind before marching back into the fray. 

I like black art. Or just art that showcases black people. That shows them as whole souls, as masters of the own futures, as pained by the dark parts of inhumanity, as people and not things, props, fetishes or less than.

Planes by @stylesosunde

Champ by @frankmorrison

Loud and Clear by Tim Okamura

Mask On by Nile Livingston

The story will be told. We will use those words, those colors, those images, that music, that thing we best feel expresses ourselves and we will tale you who we are. The story will be told.

Barkeep, a martini. Let a little vermouth sit at the bottom, don't just swish. One olive, no toothpick.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Use Your Words

This is a political post. 

I saw a post on Twitter today that disturbed me, but for all the wrong reasons.

At some point during a rally in Minneapolis, the mayor walked out to speak with the protesters. He came out without security, in a t-shirt and indicated that he knew that there was a real problem, that sweeping changes needed to be made, listed some he was ready to work towards and that he was ready to get to work.

Then he was asked, point blank, as a YES or NO question, if he would commit to defunding the Minneapolis police department.


First, is he even able to do that? Second, what exactly does defund the police department mean? Third, did the mayor know what you meant?

On the face of the phrase is not entirely clear. It's not quite like the familiar phrase Black Lives Matter. I ask the question what does it mean because while it's a slogan that apparently has found a home in our rage at the injustice we've faced since 1865, the actual meaning is not as clear as anyone yelling it thinks it is. Even the background of the shot of a greatly demoralized mayor of Minneapolis had signs that said "abolish the police," which I believe means something different than just defund the police. Or does it? Little things like that, that disconnect, gives the impression that even among those enthusiastically supporting the idea, the meaning of those particular words in that arrangement are a little too open to interpretation. It doesn't help that it is just muddled enough that the conservative media machine can and has latched onto the phrase, subsequently giving it the worst possible interpretation in an attempt to paint the protesters as people who want to destroy America.

It's a broad phrase Defund the Police, as most slogans are, but in this case it feels like it's garbled and the because the people who originated know what they mean and are real excited to use it, but they've erroneously assumed everyone listening knows what they mean. Or worse, suggest the confused Google it to find out. Google it? We live in a HEADLINE society.

So, does "Defund the Police" mean that thirty days from the notice of defunding that policing simply ceases to exist in municipal Minneapolis? It can't mean that. What about domestic violence incidents? What happens with the trafficking of illicit narcotics? Not weed, I mean meth or something worse.  Would a young woman who has been raped just on her own? Are we going to private security or street justice?

Or does "Defund the police" mean that we're scaling back if not eliminating completely the militarization of the police and taking those resources and creating programs to help citizens instead of criminalizing them? More community outreach programs, more drug therapy, more jobs programs, etc.? On a side note, I know that I find it odd that while doctors and nurses battle a disease that has killed 100,000 Americans they must must do so in trash bags and with equipment donated by people with home 3D printers, our police, who are using police brutality against a police brutality protest, are decked out head to toe in the Boys in Blue Law Enforcement 2020 Spring Collection. I think it shows that our spending priorities are just a skoosh off.  

It's the second one if you're not clear.

Later, the Minneapolis City Council would would agree to the concept, the defunding and then further dismantling of the current police department and rebuilding from scratch. I would suggest rebuilding the destroyed precinct and using it as a new headquarters. Symbolic. Now, this is a great FIRST step, but we also need new systems and checks in place to make sure the new structure doesn't even start down the path of the old.

My next question is - so what was with that grandstanding? It's obvious from the City Council's actions that the Mayor didn't have the sole power to defund the police. And putting him on the spot to promise to do so was just cruel. Either he had to lie and say he would knowing he didn't have the authority, or say he couldn't. To his credit he didn't lie. But what really happened was they took a potential ally and set his ass on fire. Instead of taking him in and using him to work the agenda (short and long term) to suit the needs of the people, the person on the dais pulled that "I'm the captain" now bullshit. This may make other future potential allies wary. Now, in this case this one objective was still achieved, but what about the others on the list?

Seriously, that "You either wit' me or against" me aesthetic really doesn't work outside of a two person relationship. We need to learn to stop asking for absolutes in a world full of grey and trying to simplify the complex questions by framing them as all or nothing slogans.

We need to use our words.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

This Should ALWAYS Happen

This is a political post.
Officer Krystal Smith, Ft. Lauderdale (still from CNN footage)
The black woman in this photo is Officer Krystal Smith. She works in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. During a Protest Demonstration in that jurisdiction a face-off occurred between the police and protesters. During those tense moments, Officer Steven Pohorence, the man at the far left of the photo, shoved a kneeling protester who had their hands raised out of his way.

Officer Krystal Smith immediately checked him. She snatched his ass up, and chewed his ass out. And he looks honest to God shocked that someone with the same uniform on as him might not agree with something he's done. Please be aware, Officer Smith is not his superior officer. She's just a cop who saw wrong and because she was in a position to do something she went and did it.

This should have happened in Minnesota.

Now, this is the important part. Officer Pohorence has been with the department for four years. But there are 71 use of force cases in his file and in at least 51 incidents in which he has drawn his gun. It's not clear if the some of these incidents occurred concurrently or if all these incidents occurred in just the four years he's been with this department. But if that is the case you have to wonder why this officer is still interacting with the public. And still possesses a badge.

I haven't slept good in five days wondering when someone is going to run into a cop with a record like this one. We've already heard ominous audio from the people who are supposed to be responsibly handling this situation. And there a people like this officer out there.

What would help right now, is more of those people who claim to be good cops to step up and be the good cops we need right now. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

This week on "President"...

This is a political post.

Is President still hiding in the Bunker? Does it have num-nums? Is the VP in like a mini-bunker, or is it like a closet in President's bunker? Did President reveal he was the evil twin? (like seriously, that's like from two seasons ago! Do we know yet?)  Is it true puppets Silk and Diamond are getting recast with models from the Ms. America pageant? How is President getting his fast food fix in all this chaos? Will they ever arrest the other three officers? And how the hell did Covid-19 blow a 28-3 lead over racism?

Okay, I must have missed something. While I'll admit I'm not an avid watcher, what I've seen so far is that this season looked like they were trying to pack absolutely possible everything in. I know it's a renewal year but it's just too much like Empire at this point - too much, too fast. And sadly, the whole thing is still as badly written as the first season. Back then they at least had the Mueller Investigation arc to hang everything on, but now it seems like they riff from one tangent to another, no attention to continuity or anything. I mean, the whole "This is a hoax, then I knew it was a pandemic all the time" twist, who did they expect to buy that? Maybe their hardcore audience, but everyone else is looking at the channel guide wondering if they can find an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or maybe a Hotel Impossible rerun. I think this incarnation of President has single-handed ruined the anti-hero genre.

Again, I'm not an avid watcher. Because apparently impeachment, a pandemic with 100K dead, and murder hornets were just not moving the ratings dial enough. Special note - whoever decided to fire up the old Racism 1865 needs to get fired. I know the adage is "go with what you know," but this is a trope that should have been benched by the network decades ago. Because of this, I can tell you now is season is not going to get a "fresh" rating. The theme of shooting looters is 1960's material, and even with fan groups like Fox "News" or those new guys, um, OAN or whoever, throwing up tons of fan-fiction isn't going to save it. We've seen this material before and it wasn't good the first time, or the eighth time or sixty seventh time. I wasn't okay in black and white and damn sure isn't okay in 4K. It's just bad writing.    

Wait. Are the old writers of Game of Thrones on staff? This looks like their work. If so, we're still short a hurricane, a zombies invasion and two other howlingly inconsistent plot twists.

Okay, honesty here...I'm not really feeling the lead on President. Never did. Just a bad vibe, from shitty hair and makeup to the awful styling. Is it just me? I personally would have looked into seeing if we could get the previous guy back, for like one more run at it, but something about Guild Rules or whatever. He was good. I liked him. Or that woman who they were looking at four years ago would have been good too. She wasn't my favorite but I think she would have worked it. But the guy on there now? He has no nuance, no subtext at all. Seriously, he just wasn't ready for the role. I mean, he does terrible reads, it's obvious they're dumbing down the script for him and does anyone know how Golf is getting such prominent product placement? I mean could see this guy appear on an episode of Law and Order, or as like a secondary villain in say, a Sharknado film or something like that. But he just doesn't work as a lead in something as big as show like President. I'll say it. Terrible casting. I'm not even going to mention the supporting characters who are uniformly just as bad.

Here's to hoping we can get a reboot this fall.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Thoughts on a Riot

This is a political post. 

First, I don't condone violence and looting. Primarily because I don't want violence used against me nor do I want my stuff taken. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So I don't condone the violence and the looting.

But I understand. 
These black men protect an officer during the unrest.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Black people have been peacefully marching and protesting for decades now, and as modern technology has allowed us to capture and share for all the world to see the indignities we've been reporting that we've been facing since the end of the Civil War the need for action feels more urgent. These things based in racism are not our imagination. These things are happening. And we've all seen the increase in the documentation of these flagrant abuses in the past few years. It's clear evidence. Less open to interpretation, although some still try. In the case of George Floyd, there was evidence of his cooperation with the police while being arrested for passing a bad check. Of him being held down after he'd already been secured in handcuffs. Of the other police officers joking as their colleague murdered a man in the street. Slowly and painfully. George Floyd did what he was supposed to, what was expected, what was advised.... and still, here we are.

That made it especially troubling when the local district attorney said they needed more investigation before he could bring charges. Which was confusing, because every law enforcement official who wandered in front of a camera indicated that what the officer did violated all the protocols of any kind of restraint training. We KNOW there are people who are arrested on suspicion, mere suspicion. There was clear video evidence of the actions taken. It's not unusual for additional charges to be brought after an individual is in custody. So what was missing? I'm really curious to know exactly what they were looking for, aren't you?

Because if they had instructed the officers be taken into custody immediately after the city fired them, all of this protest would have been less likely to have happened.

That's just my opinion.

So, for the rioting and looting, I understand. I don't condone it or support it, but I understand.

Every few weeks it seems we add to the list a new name. Maybe they were jogging. Maybe they were bird watching. Maybe they rolled through a stop sign. Maybe they were asleep in their own home. But they're black, and alive and apparently that's enough. Their friends and families mourn them. We discuss them and ask for justice. And far too often those who took the lives of another are exempted from justice because..., well, pick your reason. But remember whatever that exemption might be it would not be afforded to the current victim if the situations were reversed. It's a terrible cycle that seems to be on endless loop.

And as for the circumstances surrounding the rioting and the looting, well, it's complicated. The same proliferation of video that revealed the outrageous behavior that got us here is also revealing that the flashpoints that drive the crowd MAY be artificial. And pushed the crowd stumbles, and a body in motion stays in motion. The outrage they'd been suppressing releases. And their act becomes in effect a society howling in pain and frustration of the deprivation of basic respect and dignity. 

So I don't condone or support violence or looting. But I understand.

Photo By Ryan Vizzions
Now, I know this won't get far, but to those questioning how to answer this, here is my suggestion:

The mayors of those cities in unrest need to announce today that they are meeting with community leaders to address the problems. Pick a day, a week or so from now and set the meeting. They should know who the community leaders are, but there probably need to be three or four new voices in there as well. And it should be televised, on public access or the local channel or whatever. The days of quiet meetings behind closed doors on these larger issues are over for the minute. The the mayor and the city officers or city council should go and LISTEN. Not explain, not talk, not justify, but LISTEN to the those people that they were elected to lead. Today there seems to be a desperate need of elected officials to play to their base, almost exclusively, seemingly forgetting that they've been elected to lead not just people who voted for them, but everybody. Listen, take notes, answer questions. And this doesn't need to be one meeting, or two meetings, but a series of meetings. Each televised and advertised, open to the public for viewing and comment.

Around the third or fifth meeting the mayor should start asking questions, addressing concerns and hashing out solutions. Real implementable solutions. And then, with the help of the city officials or council, IMPLEMENT THOSE SOLUTIONS.

If this listening and change occurred after peaceful protests, then there wouldn't be violent protests. If there were actual systemic change after people knelt, or marched, or rallied, or at least honest attempts, then there wouldn't be instances where people feel the rage necessary to riot and loot.

One would have thought that this was obvious.

And it means that maybe next time someone decides to march peacefully, our leaders will come out to engage them and hear their concerns instead of...whatever it is they're doing now.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

I'm tired

Here we are again. Again.

How much are we as a people supposed to endure? Damn. Just Damn.

George Floyd. He shouldn't have been treated that way. That's all I got.

I'm just so tired.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Long Blank

Let the light see the dark of me
as the mind churns
the new fable
Morning fades
and I must face down
the long blank page
white with hope
white with distance
white with possibility
white as the dream it aspires to contain
it is all and nothing
and will contain all and everything
stories half conceived
but fully written
wisps of thought
conjured from the fingertips
onto the paper
if only to clear head space
for the next deluge
even composed of ether
the bits and bites
the page awaits my effort
rough or refined
it comes unbidden
and I am compelled to record
the words
they arise

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

So we took...a pause.

This is a political post. 

If you're like me, you've been home taking in the Cheato Chronicles, um sorry, the daily Corona virus briefings, watching old movies, semi-exercising, reading, pretend writing (maybe that's just me), cleaning up your house (or maybe that's just you), Facetime drinking, gaming and trading memes with friends. I personally try to keep the news to a minimum, lest I run my blood pressure up watching supposedly grown people find every excuse not to listen to the people who know things. No Karen, the failed casino operator's medical opinion is NOT on par with the person who has an actual medical degree. And as of late, I've been parsing through the spirited discourse about the growing desperate need to restart the economy and to just get things back to normal.
Proper Social Distancing...
Just so you're aware, I'm of the opinion that this "back to normal" at this point is a really bad idea. Aside from the lessons of history and it being far too soon considering the still rising rate of infection that a lot of close contact businesses like barbers and gyms are being allowed to restart is highly suspect. The plain simple truth is that we don't have anywhere near enough testing to actually be able to determine who has the virus and who doesn't. This despite the promise of our duly elected officials that everyone would be tested. People seem to forget the two week lag and that it hasn't even hit the less populated states hard yet. Even after all that, there is one other glaring fact nobody in power wants to admit: Normal doesn't work. At least not anymore.

This desire to return to the old normal is however, understandable.

Most people like things they're familiar with. A lot of people who want the old normal to come back is because they desperately need a haircut, or just want to go out to eat again, or just want to spend time AWAY from their family. Their reasoning is just that simple and I can't really blame them. I can't tell you how eagerly I await the phrase "Can I start you guys off with some drinks and appetizers?" I might make them say it four or five times. *SIGH* But the insistent people, particularly those with a few coins, want the old normal back because with the old normal they know what the rules are and, more importantly, how to game those same rules and make the system work for them. For example, the SUV craze about a decade ago?  This was because as a small business one could write off an SUV as a business expense up to a certain amount, so lot of  "small businesses" were started in suburbia. They had one business act - buying an SUV.  The more you know.

No, a new more equitable system would be a radical shift too far, like taking away the loaded dice those people have been playing with all this time. All this talk about basic income or raising wages, equal treatment and universal healthcare is scaring them. They prefer the Animal Farm sentiment that "some are more equal than others." and an non-existent version of capitalism that is fair but keeps the spirit hungry. It let's them sleep on $15,000 Swedish beds at night. And those people are fully cognizant that the longer it takes to get back to "normal" the less likely it will be the normal they are familiar with.   

But for a lot of people the old normal was pretty bad. It involves working too hard for too little money. It involves an institutional lack of opportunity depending on factors outside of our own control, like race or sexual orientation. It involves sending kids to schools strapped for cash because a voucher system is letting rich parents drain the system dry. It involves health insurance tied to their employment, incidentally of which a lot of people no longer have. It involves a slow erosion of rights that protect masses while trumpeting it's championing of a small set of rights that aren't evenly applied. And it's getting worse.

And because of shenanigans, the people in charge are not listening to the people who actually know things so the realization that we technically don't even know everything about the disease or how it's spread doesn't appear to be a reality for a large number of our country's decision makers. That the governor of a state in the United States said that he didn't realize that the virus was transmissible by people with no symptoms a solid month after it became common knowledge is just plain embarrassing. And more alarming news comes forth daily. There is now evidence that it causes strokes and heart attacks in people under 30. Even as we rush to open the doors of business across the nation the numbers of people dying are still rising, and the much hoped for herd immunity may not occur as in China people are becoming re-infected. This rush to get back to "normal" and avoid those terrible 100k, 500K and 1M milestones hinge on too many things going right when our obsession with short term gains and our rights trumping the public good have already shown that we as a group are intentionally going to do things wrong. Because nobody tells us what to do. (For the religiously oriented, this would be the part where 'pride goeth before a fall.') 

To be clear, the cure is NOT worse the disease.

It may feel like it to some, but here it is - the dreaded cure is sheltering in place and limiting exposure while severely limiting economic activity to the essentials. The disease is thousands and thousands more dead people. One is a temporarily financially inconvenient period that can be mitigated for the citizens of this country and is already going to happen based upon where we are now. The other is permanent.

The cure however would demonstrate that the system as we know it, is what it is -- a creation that can be changed.

And that is beyond dangerous to the wrong people.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #37
When it's not enough to make a post, but deserves to go out to the world... it's just Bar Chatter. 

- I have two #35s, so this must be #37. I think - 

Jerry Jones is going to have to up his game. Yacht, schmat, the guys out west aren't playing. I was watching the 2020 NFL draft and this image came up.

This was the draft room, often referred in NFL parlance as the WAR ROOM, of the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury. Seriously. He was working the first round draft looking like he'd just stepped out of a hedge fund annual report.

This draft, conducted from the homes of the NFL coaches and GMs allowed us to see a unique part of their lives. Many of them have houses that might be up the street from yours. They looked so ordinary. Even Jerry Jones's setup appeared to be just a white couch, although I assumed the wall sized monitors were just out of shot. But this? This right here?

Ballin. Straight ballin. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Back from the Far Edge

Ramblings Post #381
Alas we do not understand the power it holds over us until it is gone. Then, tired and alone we weep at it's absence and pine for it's return. It has become our breath, our world, our everything, gone in a wink. We return to the darkness without it, and die.

As I hunkered down in preparation for this long period of self-reflection and withdrawal to discover who I am and what I am all about (i.e., bunkering to avoid infection) my very lifeline to reality began to falter. Um okay,  I'm being overly dramatic: My internet went down. Now to be clear, the internet is one of those things that didn't even exist when I was young. I had a great life before it and swear that before it came life was fine. But like those two years that I lived with no washer and dryer, this past week I have had a chance to be reminded how important it is to have this now utility need INSIDE the house.

So I'm downloading a new game. No, I haven't I've finished playing any one of the old ones I've started in the past two years. No, I haven't finished any one of my writing projects. And also no, I haven't finished any of the other self improvement/ life changing projects I need to finish. But I'm downloading this game and the thing starts hanging. No big. My connection isn't always the fastest but it has worked day in and day out for lo the past decade. Sure, sometimes I have to reset the modem but it's not a big deal. Or so I thought.

Reset does not re-establish my connection. Nor does turning the router off and on. Or the computer. I check the cables, try again and nothing. I'm tempted to switch the breaker in the breaker box but calm down.

I actually call tech support. *Sigh*

I am not happy with this turn of events because many years ago I actually worked tech support, and was pretty good at it. So this is kind of a personal acknowledgement that maybe, just maybe, my skills in the tech area have eroded a bit and I need to "get my weight up." For the record, both the automated service AND the person I spoke to shortly after both had repeat the exact same steps I went through before I called them. But after some checking on her end, the young woman immediately decided to send me a new router. My previous router was a decade old after all. Had to break sometime. Okay, fine. But that's three days away.

But what do I do in the meantime?

Because if you weren't paying attention, almost every game platform these days asks you log on to play the games you've already paid for. I'm sorry, that you've leased. And with no internet my PS4 games didn't play right. So I got really into Twitter and Instagram. By the way, Black Twitter is having a field day with the Quarantine. After that hour ...I started my steam games in offline mode (Thanks Steam) so I did get a Civilization VI play-through. Note that by the time I figure out Crusader Kings the next version will be out. Lots of Dwarf Fortress was played. I watched Turner Classic Movies and Cartoon Network. I napped and tried to not to eat all my snacks.

So three days pass, and my new router pops up on my door step. I'm happy as all get out, until it doesn't work. Like, it comes on, the lights blink, except the important one, and it does not fix the problem. So I call tech support again and after repeating the basic turn it off and turn it on steps this time she tells me she thinks the problem could be in the wires in my wall. They have to send a guy. An actual guy. But, it won't be for two days. Ugh. I flick back through Twitter and Instagram. Fifteen minutes later I start a new Fortress. Considering this isn't really a ride to Starbucks to connect for a while situation, or just access it from the office reality, the hours go by so slowly it's criminal. So I took a stroll.

My street was empty, but something about what the lady had said struck an odd memory. My brain put two and two together and got fourteen, then smiled at me but didn't explain the math. Outside in the crisp spring air I follow the line from my house to the pole and down the block. Now, as I said, my tech experience is a bit dated, but I'm pretty sure that the wire from ISP shouldn't hang in a droop. Well, at least not droop so low that I touch it with my hand. I mean I don't, but I can. Seems odd. As I said, I'm not an expert, but still. So at that point, in the chill of the air standing on empty street I'm expecting the guy to show up, see this and send for another truck. So, two more days after the first guy shows up? I'm starting to see the viewpoint of those insistent Spring Breakers still traipsing around Miami. How bad could death be?

But, to his credit the guy showed up, looked at and then got it done. At one point I thought he'd disappeared only to find him half a block down the street on a ladder up the pole doing whatever it guys do up a pole fixing telephone/internet cable. And just like that I'm back. I'M BACK. And just like that I realize that all the stuff I'd meant to write so I would have something to say now that I'm back did not get written. I'm going to blame it on not being able to research on the internet. Damn you no internet!

Barkeep, use one of the open bottles. This liquor got to last until who knows when.