And Then There Was UCLA

Repping West Coast basketball.

The lowest point for my UCLA Bruins may have been 2013 when they came from behind and won on a buzzer beater in some Pac-12 conference game. In an otherwise forgettable season, Shabazz Muhammad glared at his teammates as he headed towards the locker room.

Why? Because he didn’t get the last shot. Muhammad, who didn’t give a shit about the team, only cared about his NBA prospects. Never one to play defense, Muhammad spent five years mostly warming NBA benches and then bounced around overseas.

Fast forward to Philadelphia tonight. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels are on a roll and may very well beat my Bruins, but that’s okay, because I get so much joy watching them compete.

They always make the extra pass and never quit. Credit Cronin. The worse things go, the more they lean on each other. And in their pressers, they continually talk about their bonds with Cronin and one another. They are the complete antithesis to the 2013 Bruins.

Yesterday, a college analyst picked the Heels to cover (UCLA is a 2.5 point favorite) and win because they’re playing with so much confidence and they’re a better rebounding team. He cited some other analytics, but he hasn’t watched the Bruins as much as me. You can’t quantify their unity and resolve to keep it going as long as possible.

Win or lose, I will relish the smiles, the affection, the team’s spirit. All of the intangibles.

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Thank You Ginni Thomas

Calling the Court’s independence into question, Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, to overturn the 2020 election.

From The New York Times:

“In one message sent in the days after the election, she urged the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to ‘release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,’ invoking a slogan popular on the right that refers to a web of conspiracy theories that Trump supporters believed would overturn the election.

In another, she wrote: ‘I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences.’ She added: “We just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.’

Other texts end with “I hope this is true”. Here are two examples:

“Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states. I hope this is true.”

“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition. I hope this is true”.

I’ve struggled mightily to understand some of my fellow citizens growing number of conspiracies related to our national politics, among other things. Now, for the first time, thanks to Ginni, I may actually get it.

Whenever Tucker Carlson, Ginni Thomas, or your QAnon brain addled neighbor says, “This is true,” what they really mean is, “I hope this is true.”

I hope the Ginni Thomas’s of the world get the help they need.

The Weakest Guy In The Weight Room

I lift weights two times a week; as a result, I’ve progressed from pathetically weak to just merely weak.

My primary motivation is to strengthen my legs for cycling, but I do dabble with the bench press, doing 25 reps of 135 pounds in 3-5 rep sets. See, I told you.

Earlier this week another grey hair dude, who I estimated to be very close to my age, also put two 45 pound weights on the 45 pound bar. Because I’m a pea-brained male, I thought to myself, “I wonder how many he can do at 135 pounds?” Granted, he had actual muscles and was probably 30-40 pounds heavier than me, so I wasn’t too surprised when he quickly ripped off a set of 8.

Then he got up and stretched his shoulders on a nearby machine. Next, he added 45 pound weights on each side, and like a NFL rookie at the draft combine, ripped off more reps at 225 pounds.

Then he got up and stretched his shoulders on a nearby machine. Next, he added 25 pound weights on each side and ripped off more reps at 275.

Then he got up and stretched his shoulders on a nearby machine. Next, he added 10 pound weights on each side and ripped off a few reps at 295.

Figuring I’d be very little help, he didn’t even bother to ask me to spot him.