Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Beware The Ides...

...of March Madness...with apologies to the Bard for misquoting his play, Julius Caesar.

Anyone out there paying attention to the NCAA tourney?

Nah, me neither...well, not much anyway...I'll check the results now and then.

There was a time when I thought I might follow it closely many moons ago...#3 son was invited to a varsity basketball camp at the end of his 8th grade year and ended up playing on the varsity team as a freshmen...he was a 6'4" fourteen year old with good quickness and a feel for the game...scored the first points in an overtime win during the regional championship game that year.

He grew to be a 6'6" three sport athlete who was voted Athlete of the Year his senior year, and had his pick of several college scholarships in multiple sports.

But in the end he turned out to be a graduate of the Tom Selleck school of sports philosophy as articulated in his great flick, Mr. Baseball:
And what is that philosophy you ask?  Simple: <insert your sport name here> is a game, and games are supposed to be fun.

Baseball is a game, and games are supposed to be fun...
Football is a game, and games are supposed to be fun...

...and the one that ended up hurting him the most...

Basketball is a game, and games are supposed to be fun...

When everyone around him got so serious about it, it stopped being fun and he was finally able to just let it go and move on with real life.

That's The Big O, Oscar Robertson himself, by the way...in the top picture...playing for the University of Cincinnati against Kansas, 1959, Regional championship game.

In the spirit of randomness...here's a pic of the ol' homestead...
...all lit up at night...for no particular reason other than I like the way it looks...

So we're less than a week away from the official start of Spring but it sure feels like winter 'round these parts...snow flurries and temps in the 20's...need someone to deliver the knockout blow to Ol' Man Winter...
It's impressive what an artist can do with a bunch of snow stuck to a tree...just a few well placed strokes here and there with a gloved finger and voila!  Ol' Man Winter...

Continuing with my trip down memory lane, another favorite from years gone by...
...she's such a doll...

A little bit at loose ends again, and I'm pretty sure it's because I'm not actively writing anything at the moment (well, other than this blog and a few programs at work).

A couple of ideas percolating, but not enough steam under them yet to push them out of my brain, into my fingers and onto the digital page.

I kind of think I'm going to pen the 6th Papa's Model T book...I've got the sports piece pretty well in hand...
...but struggling to find the main story / conflict...have started a couple of times but discarded early efforts.  We press on...

Came across this old midcentury modern ad for a local icon...
pretty cool...still going strong today...

During a recent conversation with #1 son he told me about buying a picture for his office...an artist's rendering of the great pugilistic battle between Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler, and Luis Angel Firpo from Argentina, the Wild Bull of the Pampas:
That is a spectacular rendering of this classic fight by artist George Bellows, who died just a year after painting this scene.

This epic battle took place place on September 14, 1923 at the Polo Grounds in New York City, and no one had ever seen anything like it before.  The challenger Firpo went down 7 times in the first round, and one of those times it looked like he was out for sure.

But each time he beat the count, got up and jumped back into the fray until he finally unleashed a vicious series of devastating punches that knocked the champ right out of the ring!

And all of this happened in the first round!

Dempsey v Firpo

Dempsey went on to knock Firpo out in the 2nd round, but this is one bout where handing out participation medals and calling both men a winner would have seemed just fine.

As we discussed the wild wild west that was the 1920's sports scene I reminded him that Papa X and Ike had witnessed another great Dempsey bout, the famous long count fight with Gene Tunney (Papa's Model T: The Long Count).
He suggested perhaps Papa X could use his time travel to change history by fixing the fight so Dempsey actually won.  After all, Tunney was in fact down for 15 seconds and you're officially out at the count of 10.

I agreed if I got rid of the moral element in my Papa's Model T books that would give me a wider audience that could even include democrats...

...but I think I'll keep them as they are for now...

Somehow we got onto the subject of land ownership, and I was reminded of an old joke I heard my father tell about the relative value of land.

This happened many moons ago during a family reunion in the great state of Texas...would have been early 1960's:

Three ranchers were bragging about how big their spreads were.

The rancher from Colorado said, "I own the Circle R ranch and have 2,000 acres and 1,000 head of cattle."


The rancher from Montana scoffed.  "That's nothin', I own the Flying T ranch and I've got 3,000 acres and 2,000 head of cattle."


The Texas rancher spit a stream of brown tobacco juice and drawled, "Well I guess y'all got me beat...all I own is 5 acres."

The other two laughed derisively.  "5 acres?  Some ranch!  Where is it, anyway?"

"Downtown Dallas," Tex replied.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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