Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt Was Right...

...when he spoke of the virtue of walking softly and carrying a big stick.  It is our actions, after all, which define us.  Do not talk me to death.  Talk was proven long ago to be the cheapest of currency.  The more the world changes, the more the world remains inviolate.  

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a long-time, close friend of mine in which I was reminded again of Roosevelt's wisdom. Not because of something she did.  Rather, because of something that was brought to bear upon her.  It angered me greatly.  Truth of the matter is, I woke up this morning still pretty goddamn pissed off about it.  

People treat each other shabbily all the time.  The more advanced we have become in terms of our technology, the more savage we have become in terms of our humanity.  When one is an asshole, Your truly being a prime example, and the end of the stick you attempt to jab into my eye is covered in excrement, it does not make me happy but I certainly understand it.  But when the person who is on the receiving end of your Dookie Dog is a good person, then your conduct is beyond my ability to comprehend.  

It is worth pointing out that my immediate lack of understanding regarding your blatant fuckery shall not temper my enthusiasm for balancing the scales of justice. Irish Alzheimer's Disease is, after all, the ability to forget everything except the grudges. 

As my great, great-grandpa Phineas was fond of saying, "Revenge is a dish best served over and over and over."  You need not bother turning the index card over to its back side, presently our kitchen is preparing a very limited menu.  

One dish. 

Are you feeling lucky enough to venture a guess as to what it is...

Bon appetit! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Marvin Berry, The Boss, and Marty McFly

I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet...
but your kids are gonna love it.
- Marty McFly

It is truly a cause for celebration when a person lives a life that has as much breadth as length.  As the world mourns the death at age ninety of rock n' roll's original superstar, Chuck Berry, let us not fail to take the time needed to celebrate his life - and his legacy.  

At the moment when his career launched, in 1956, with the release of "Roll Over Beethoven", it was as if rock n' roll was a placid, idyllic lake across the surface of which Berry's influence extended outward in an endless pattern of concentric circles in a manner akin to a skipping stone.   Sixty-plus years later, the ripples across the water remain readily detectable. 

Among the items I find time to read every Monday is Peter King's MMQB column on the Sports Illustrated web site.  One of the things I find so enjoyable about King's work is the portion of the column he devotes each Monday to non-sports-related topics.  This week's piece, in the section King calls, "Factoids That May Interest Only Me" included a nugget pertaining to an April 28, 1973 show that Chuck Berry played at Cole Field House at the University of Maryland.  

Also on the bill was Jerry Lee Lewis and a young fellow from the Jersey Shore by the name of Bruce Springsteen.  Top-end price for tickets?  $5.50.  According to King's column, Springsteen opened with a four-song set that included "Spirit in the Night" and "Blinded by the Light"  and then after Lewis played his set, Springsteen and the E Street Band (who were on tour in support of the Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey album), returned to the stage as Berry's backing band for Berry's seventy-minute show. 

No less of an authority on the subject than John Lennon once observed that, "If you tried to give rock n' roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."  A life lived to its fullest over almost a century, during which he spent sixty-plus years to the making of the joyful noise that is rock n' roll.  The creator of a legacy so significant that while Beethoven is free to roll over any time he wants, he no longer needs to do so in order to inform Tchaikovsky anything.

By this time, he knows.  He most certainly does...

...everyone does.  

Thanks, Chuck. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Hello, Spring!

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere officially ends today.  Sure, snow remains on the ground all over the State of Concrete Gardens.  But snow on the ground does not change the fact that there are ZERO days left in the Winter of 2017. 

Nothing makes me happier than winter in the rear-view mirror.  Today, I am a happy man.

Relatively speaking, of course.  Let us not get carried away.  


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bravo, Kansas City!

In a nation inhabited by ignorant, vindictive, heartless pricks such as Mick Mulvaney, it is refreshing to know that people such as the good people of The Veterans Community Project exist.  

Please take a moment or two to read this story.  As long as it affects you, guileless, morally bankrupt skull fucks such as Mick Mulvaney shall remain what they are - transient douchebags with a limited shelf life who good people simply have to endure until the arrival of their expiration date.  

A date that inevitably arrives sooner than the asshole in question ever presumes it will.  

Mr. Domino, sir, take us home please...


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Rob Lowe, Jackie Bisset, and the Oxford (Comma) Blues

I like to read.  Among the things I like to read, and try to spend at least a few minutes daily reading, are legal opinions.  In New Jersey, our Superior Court releases them for anyone to read - for free - shortly after ten o'clock every business morning. In my office, I am in the distinct minority in that I read them every day.  If anything in a particular opinion seems to be of potential interest to anyone in the Firm - I copy the link to the opinion and circulate it via e-mail to my colleagues.  

A number of my colleagues routinely delete my e-mail without reading the opinion.  I know they do because I have a setting on my e-mail that informs me thusly. I have an e-mail folder that contains the most egregious, serial offenders.  Irish Alzheimer's Disease is very much a real thing.  Trust me.  I know of which I speak. 

I read because while I am a man of few loves, my love of language is among them.  I am painfully aware that my affection for it rarely manifests itself in my use of it.  In my next life, perhaps.  I know not who should be more terrified by the prospect of me having a "next life" - me or the rest of the world?  I assure you that it is a notion in which I have as little interest as do the rest of you. 

It intrigues me when legal matters are decided by an element or an issue in the case that seems at first blush to have little to do with the law.  An element or an issue such as punctuation.  

Less than one week ago, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit unanimously reversed the United States District Court for the District of Maine's decision in the matter of O'Connor, et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy, et al., which is a civil action involving a dispute between a Maine dairy and its delivery drivers regarding the scope of an exemption to the overtime law in the state of Maine.  Oakhurst Dairy prevailed at the District Court level. The court entered summary judgment in its favor and dismissed the drivers' complaint with prejudice.

In the O'Connor case, the Court of Appeals' embrace of the drivers' position could ultimately require Oakhurst Dairy to pay several million dollars in overtime.  Not crying over spilled milk is all well and good but when several millions dollars are at stake, I assure you that at least a tear or two was shed at the dairy upon its receipt of the court's decision.  

At first blush, it appears as if Oakhurst Dairy intends to seek relief from the court's March 13, 2017 opinion and order,which relief might ultimately lead it to the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Neil Gorsuch, a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, begins his confirmation hearing for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 20.  He shall undoubtedly be subjected to rigorous questioning on a variety of subjects, including perhaps some culled from this list.  

Maybe, just maybe, the first question out of the box should seek to uncover Judge Gorsuch's position on the Oxford comma.  Of course, he may prove to be as hard to pin down on that topic as he has reportedly been on multiple other topics.  If he is, then he could be forever known as the  "Comma Chameleon", irrespective of whether he is confirmed to the Court.  

Cue the music, George...


Friday, March 17, 2017

A Prayer Said on the Rising Road

This week, two men have died who I was fortunate to have had the chance to know - albeit to a limited degree. While I knew neither well enough to deign to claim to have earned the title "friend" from either, my interaction with each was never anything but friendly.  Each was a man roughly the same age as I.  Each was deprived the chance to celebrate his 50th birthday.  Each a good man who deserved a substantially better fate.  Each whose death is, I submit, irrefutable evidence of Life's inherent inequity. 

Those who loved each man have, this week, grieved his loss - a process that shall continue long past the completion of this week and of the next.  For those who loved each most of all and for those who each loved most of all, the promise of better days ahead seems empty. The family, a term limited by neither kinship nor marriage but all-encompassing enough to include the great, lifelong friends who knew and loved them, each has left behind is distraught at the loss of one loved so richly and yet enriched by having had the opportunity to do so.        

Today is St. Patrick's Day, a day awash in besotted revelers who foolishly (albeit, significantly more often than not with no malice aforethought) believe that "what it means to be Irish" is to be stumbling drunk at 8:00 am on a work day.  On this St. Patrick's Day, the Tuyp family and the Newcomb family could easily teach those transient imbeciles what is the true meaning of being Irish...


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tickets In Hand & Suitcases Packed

Through the magic of social media, at some point early yesterday afternoon I learned that my nephew, Patrick (Sigrid and Bill's son), and his girlfriend, Jena, had become engaged.  Exhibiting a flair for the dramatic that has sadly eluded his favorite uncle named Adam (ours is an exclusive, proud fraternity) for a half-century, his marriage proposal came on the occasion of their celebration of Jena's birthday.  That is "other side of the pillow" smooth.    

As presumably you have already figured out, Jena said "Yes".  I know not any particulars (date, location, DJ/Band, mashed potato bar or two mashed potato bars) except for the most important one, which is this.  Having reached the part of the ride where one needs a good companion most of all, each has chosen the other.  No choice they made before this one nor any they make after it, carries this one's significance.    

My wish for them is that irrespective of wherever it is they shall make their home, may each always keep at least one foot firmly planted within the geographical boundaries of the land of hope and dreams...

...all aboard.