Inspire Vapidness

When it comes to the written word, I cherish brevity. Friday night after dinner I was watching television downstairs while the Good Wife, the good daughters, and Meg, the Eldest’s good partner, were all upstairs in the kitchen cackling about, as it turned out, Meg mindlessly putting the Gal Pal’s last puzzle piece in the crossword The Good Wife had been working on for three months. Among other things.

So I decided to write a story about the evening from my downstairs perspective. I couldn’t really make out their dialogue, so I improvised. Ready?

“And hilarity ensued.”

Pretty damn good, huh?! My story left the Good Wife perplexed. I admitted it lacked character development, but that wasn’t enough of a concession for her. She said a story has to have a beginning, middle, and end. I will not be boxed in, so I will not be rewriting it.

So I suppose I should give the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers some credit for their brevity, but their back of helmet two-word slogan, “Inspire Change”, couldn’t be more vapid.

What’s wrong with “Inspire Change”? First and foremost, it’s hella vague. What kind of change exactly are we to inspire? Heaven help us if it’s Florida-DeSantis change. Without specifying, are we to assume it’s change just for the sake of change? If that’s the case, the Bucs need not worry because change is INEVITABLE. Thus making the slogan utterly unnecessary.

Bonus football observation from the second half of Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks-Detroit Lions shootout. Apparently, to play tight end in the NFL it’s not enough to be 6’6″, run like the wind, and have great hands. You also have to have REALLY long hair. Who knew?

Now Hiring

Tweet to ponder.

This is one of the Former Guy’s better ideas. We all lack self esteem and could use more positivity in our lives. In fact, I’m going to adopt this practice. So I’m now hiring. Since I’m not quite the public figure the Former Guy is, I will expect more direct positive reinforcement especially when on the golf course.

If you think you can say, “Great shot Ron, that tree had no business being there, the course architect is a sad (sick) person.” Or “Amazing round Ron, so much winning, the LIV Tour should sign you.” Then please apply. There’s no actual compensation, but being in my presence is priceless.

‘The Omelete Is Closed’

From a profile of Johnny Mac.

“The tennis commentator Mary Carillo, a fellow New York native and his mixed doubles partner for their win at the French Open in 1977, recalled an 18-year-old McEnroe losing his temper with a waiter at a Paris cafe that spring. McEnroe spent several minutes yelling ‘omelet du fromage, which was the only French he spoke, at a waiter who ignored him. The waiter finally wandered over and quietly, but dismissively told McEnroe, ‘The omelet is closed.’

‘To this day when we’re arguing about something and I’m done with it, I just say, ‘the omelet is closed,’ said Carillo. . . .”

Fake News?!

It’s almost impossible to believe a Trump business is failing. But that’s what Slate is reporting, “Truth Social is strapped for cash and struggling to find new users.” 

“Earlier this week, Fox Business reported that the company stopped paying RightForge, a conservative internet infrastructure company, in March and now owes the vendor at least $1.6 million in backdated payments. While RightForge CEO Martin Avila has said that the company is ‘committed to servicing’ Truth Social, the platform could lose its hosting services if it continues to withhold payments.”

And dig this:

“Trump himself seems unconcerned by the issues. On Monday, he posted dozens of messages promoting blatant conspiracy theories like QAnon, which are largely banned on mainstream platforms.”

The Former Guy is talking QAnon and demanding that he be reinstated. But Biden is the one who is slipping?!

In related news, the Portland Trailblazers want the NBA to correct the no-foul call that was gifted the Lakers in the closing seconds of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. And I want a recount of the 1977 Lexington Junior High student body President election. All I need is 11,670 votes.  

Related.

Come On Reggie!

Man a live, the humble blog goes way back. I searched the archives for “Reggie Miller” to see if I ever shared my Reggie Miller story, and sure enough I did in a 2009 “Friday Fitness Update”. Here it is again.

In my fifth year at UCLA, while working on my MA, I got a job tutoring athletes. After my first session, bossman asked if Reggie Miller showed. I said no so he told me to call him up in the dorms and ask him where he was. “Reggie, this is Ron. . .” “Oh man,” he interrupted, “I thought you were a woman!” I told him there wasn’t much I could do about that and he never showed. Not sure if he passed Western Civ, but he’s done okay for himself.

Fast forward to Reggie’s post NBA life. Miller works as an NBA commentator for TNT and college basketball analyst for CBS Sports. More interestingly, he’s become a serious cyclist, he has an affinity for mountain bikes in particular. Recently, he competed in a 100 mile gravel race in Colorado.

I read a Wall Street Journal article about his turn to cycling and it referenced his Strava account, a personal fitness app that my friends and I use to keep tabs on one another’s athletic doings (and Dan, Dan, The Transpo Man’s lawn mowings). After reading the WSJ article, I put in a “follow” request on Reg’s Strava page and as you can see below, he has yet to accept.

Come on Reg, accept the request! Class of 84′ and 85′ and your former assigned tutor. You ghosted me then, don’t ghost me now.

Once this post goes viral, he’ll have no option but to accept. I will be sure to let you know as soon as Reg and I are Strava friends.

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Holmgren To Miss 22-23 NBA Season

With a foot injury suffered at an exhibition at Seattle Pacific University last weekend. Begs a couple of questions.

1) Is the fact that it happened in Seattle some sort of sad (sick) cosmic payback for Oklahoma City stealing the Sonics?

2) Who will have the longer NBA career, Chet Holmgren or Bill Walton? Due to numerous foot and other injuries, Walton played in 468 games over 10 seasons. I hope Holmgren fully recovers, but I think I will take the under.

You’re Vacationing All Wrong

Opines Richard A. Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

“The truth is, when it comes to vacation, rest and relaxation aren’t just overrated. They might even work against the very things a trip is meant to cultivate: a mental reset, a sense of relaxation, happiness. A better vacation is one in which vigorous exercise features prominently. That way, you can take a break not just from work and routine life but also from the tyranny of self-absorption.”

Okay doc, what do you suggest then?

“Recently, a close friend and his wife invited my husband and me to join them on a cycling vacation. I was a bit nervous; I’m a serious swimmer but not an experienced cyclist. Riding 30 to 40 miles a day through Vancouver’s impressive hills for five days sounded like hard work, not pleasure. But by the end of our first day of riding, I was overtaken by euphoric calm.

The work of managing hills by bike has a special way of commanding your attention. I was so busy thinking about whether I could hold my pace for the next rise and how fast I could go downhill without wiping out that I had no time to think about myself. I started looking forward to getting up early and hitting the road. I took in the mountains and forests, dense with cedar and fir, but my focus was really on the bike and the road.”

But this entire Humble Blog is based on the need for more introspection. If everyone is just hammering up hills on two wheels, are we really better off?

“In fairness to the rest-and-relaxation lobby, some introspection is indeed good for you, and being able to tolerate idleness and boredom is a sign of psychological strength. I’m a clinical psychiatrist, and I know well that self-understanding is a cherished goal of therapy. But too much self-examination doesn’t make you happier or more enlightened. Besides, vacation is not the time to work on that skill. You can incorporate moments of idleness into your daily life if you want to get better at sitting with yourself, but vacation is a time for feeling good and escaping responsibilities, including the ones to yourself. Accordingly, you should do what makes you feel good, and that’s activity, not idleness.”

Got it.

As an endurance athlete, I’m keenly aware of how my brain waves fluctuate markedly during most workouts. If I’m going uphill and/or into the wind, my focus narrows a lot on the task at hand. If I’m descending and/or with the wind, my mind drifts to numerous other non-athletic things. I might even begin writing the next blog post.

All movement is good, but add some intensity in on occasion. Even on vacay.

The Best Ever

Vin Scully (1927-2022).

From John Gruber’s heartfelt remembrance.

“Most fittingly, it was Vin Scully at the mic for Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run in game 1 of the 1988 World Series, the Dodgers against the A’s. I was 15, watching it live with my friends. Who else to call such a moment in Dodger history? The whole at-bat epitomizes Scully’s gift. He let the drama build. Gibson was unable to start the game because he had not one, but two injured legs. The man could barely walk, let alone run. A mere hit could tie the game. Dennis Eckersley, the best relief pitcher in all of baseball, on the mound. Two outs. The count full. Then: ‘High fly ball into right field, she is … gone!’ And then, for 70 seconds, as Gibson hobbled triumphantly around the bases, as his teammates celebrated at home plate, as the full house at Dodger Stadium erupted in ecstatic pandemonium, Scully said not a word. 70 seconds. The moment belonged to Gibson, the Dodgers, and their fans. And then, this: ‘In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.'”

The GalPal and I were walking on the Hermosa Beach bike path when diners at a beach-front  restaurant erupted. We pressed in to marvel at the replay.

Use the link above to watch and listen to the magical at bat. The fateful pitch was outside. Gibson reaches for it, and because of his injured legs, doesn’t really turn on it. How the hell did that ball clear that fence?