Thursday, October 31, 2013

Treats Not Tricks

Happiness is the day after a trial concludes, which is what I thought today was going to be.  Alas, due to a rather spirited argument involving four attorneys and one Judge yesterday, while the lawyers finished our work on our trial yesterday, our jury has yet to begin its work.  They shall be charged as to the law and shall begin their deliberations this morning.  Yet another day driving into Jersey City.  "Trick!". 

Once my work on trial is completed, a whole "whoosh" of energy seeps right out of me.  I am not sure if it is relief or what it is exactly although for me at least there is a bit of "happy this is now in the rear-view mirror" to it for sure.  As of this morning the matter in hand is out of my hands.  Do not misunderstand.  Irrespective of the outcome there are a million things you run through in your mind that you could have done differently, should have done better and so forth. 
Notwithstanding the internal second-guess - as much a part of the trial lawyer's repertoire as the Rules of Evidence - reaching the finish line is a good thing.  As a lawyer I normally tackle a thousand different things on several dozen different files during a given day.  It will be nice to re-widen my focus, which has been deliberately honed and concentrated since a week ago Monday. 
Today is not only "Verdict Day" it is also - of course....Jill and Joe's Wedding Anniversary.  Twenty-six years ago today my sister and my brother-in-law were wed.  I hope that this first quarter-century-plus has featured a significantly greater number of treats (including Simone and Julia) than tricks and that the quarter-century on which they have just embarked follows suit.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Patience & Virtues

The NBA season began last night.  The MLB season could end tonight.  The Boston Red Sox, fresh off of back-to-back conquests of the Cardinals in the Land of the Marble Arch, return home to the Fens up 3-2 in the Best-of-Seven World Series.  As a Yankees fan, I know that Red Sox fans recoil in horror at the mere mention of "1918" (much like Yankees fans do with "2004", "Kevin Brown" or "Carl Pavano") but if the Sox win either Game Six tonight - or Game Seven tomorrow - perhaps this generation of fans will think of "1918" in a less stark light.  Boston has won two World Series titles in the past decade - their first two such triumphs since 1918.  A win this year though will be the first time the Sox have won the World Series on their home field since 1918.  Back then a young fellow named George Herman Ruth was their star pitcher and "No, No Nanette" was a "yet to be pursued" folly in their owner's eye. 
The sun arose this morning all around the State of Concrete Gardens and those of us who call Jersey home awakened to find that Mother Nature had not chosen the 29th of October as the date on which she would turn our lives upside down.  Well, most of us who call Jersey home anyway.  There are still a lot of people - and since I eschewed mathematics in favor of a career in the law let me say that by my count "1" is too many people - who have yet to get back up on their feet one year - and now one day - after Sandy's arrival on our shores.  We are indeed Jersey Strong but even the strongest among us can only endure so much for so long before we reach our breaking point. 
It is true that in addition to being strong, those of us who call this joint home are stubborn.  Too fucking stubborn for our own good?  I reckon that we shall find out for certain sooner or later....
....I hope like hell it is later.  If the Red Sox could wait ninety-five years to celebrate a World Series-clinching win on Yawkey Way, then here's to looking towards them and their incredible patience as our guide.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ten Twenty-Nine

What a pity this season. You remember me my lover.
I don't recognize myself. I'm not the man you love.
Behold the hurricane. Behold the hurricane.
-The Horrible Crowes
We may be a bit quieter than we usually are in the State of Concrete Gardens today.  Do not let our silence unnerve you if today marks your first visit to our humble environs.  What you are experiencing today is the sound (or absence thereof) of eight million or so folks holding their collective breath. 
On this very date on each of the past two years, Mother Nature has proven to be one hostile Mother for Jersey boys and girls.  Our group goal today is simply this;  Make it to October 30th in one piece. 
Sometimes twenty-four hours feels like an eternity.  Here's to hoping that this year - unlike each of the past two - this twenty-four hours proves not to be.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Skies

Yesterday morning - before settling into the continuation of festivities that marked Margaret's birthday weekend - I went for a nice run through our little town.  I flat-out love this time of year.  Yesterday marked the first time since last winter that I had to throw a knit cap on my oversized head to keep warm.  And I enjoyed every minute of it. 
Winter is fast approaching here in the State of Concrete Gardens.  Its official arrival is still close to two months away but its presence will be felt before we get too deep into November.  For now at least Fall is still in a bloom that is pretty close to full - although there were almost as many leaves on the sidewalks and the streets yesterday morning than there were on the branches of the trees.  In another couple of weeks, the branches will be bare. 
I probably should have gone further than I did yesterday morning.  I left the house with no pre-determined plan and ended up going six miles.  My pace was good (for me) turning 8:40 or so miles.  But on a day as nice as yesterday, I always feel when I return home that I could have or should have run further than I did.  It is so peaceful.  So soothing.  At run's end, I felt not only tired but a little tinge of sadness. 
Fall days pass quickly.  Winter days seem to last forever.  I know they do not really but still....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For My Birthday Girl....

If Margaret Anne Bozzomo had not been born on this very day fifty-one years ago, then I reckon in order to have saved me from myself and my life I would have had to build her with my own two hands.  On that subject I say simply this.  My brother Kelly did not earn a reputation as a construction genius who can build anything by accident.  During my summertime college employment with him and the close to eighteen months I spent working for him full-time after I graduated from CU, I built nothing.  I carried a lot of stuff.  I cut a lot of steel.  I swept up a lot.  I went for coffee a lot.  I built nothing.  Suffice it to say I am very happy that Joe and Suzy B. handled the product development and, I suppose, distribution as well.

It is not an exaggeration - not even a slight one - that I refer to Margaret as the miracle of my life.  The life I lead, which I love, is entirely dependent upon her.  It would not exist without her.  The great Robert Frost once wrote eloquently of the divergence of two roads into the woods.  Prior to meeting and falling in love with Margaret, mine was the road to Perdition.  And lucky me - I had E-Z Pass.  I did not even have to slow down at the toll plazas.

I hope that my bride has a happy and joyous birthday today.  I always feel as if I bring less than what I should to bear on a day such as this.   I can never get even.  There is nothing I can give her as a gift that does not pale in comparison to that which she gives me. 

Every day....


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pink Buffaloes

For the entirety of this week work commitments have been front and center in my mind's eye.  I write that sentence half-hoping that no client of mine ever reads what it is written here because if they do, then they might be tempted to ask the question "How is this week different from your typical week?", which question neither I nor they want to hear answered aloud.  The nicest thing about being on trial is that it permits you to focus your energy on one case on a given day -as opposed to putting out fires on multiple cases during that time span.  The worst thing about being on trial is that it occupies the meat of your day, which leaves "off-hours" such as the wee small hours of the morning (including Saturday morning) and the wee late hours of the evening in which to put out the aforementioned fires.  The further removed I get from high school the more I wish I had paid attention in Mr. Freeman's Computer Science class.  F*ck me.  Oh well.  I am not nearly strong enough a swimmer to catch a ship that sailed that long ago. 

I am fiercely proud of my Alma mater, the University of Colorado.  Today, the Buffaloes are doing one more thing to add to the list of those things they do that make me proud.  On the gridiron, we are hosting the Arizona Wildcats (those in the know in Vegas will advise you to take U of A and lay the 15 but those of us who bleed black and gold might invite you to show a little faith for there just might be a little magic in the air on this late October Saturday night) on what has been dubbed "Blackout for Breast Cancer" Saturday.  Today is Homecoming.  Today is also the day that the Buffs are doing their part to help contribute to the efforts to eradicate a disease I hate more than any other, which is breast cancer.  While it is a "Blackout" game, the dominant color(s) of the day are black....and pink. 

Folsom Field is also appropriately adorned for the occasion.... 

....and while I have not seen her yet I presume that when my favorite hostile American Bison leads her human namesakes out onto the field of play this afternoon, Ralphie shall also be sporting more than a mere sprig of pink. 

Will any of this help the Buffs' D slow down 'Zona - and in particular running back Ka 'Deem Carey who in last year's game ran for 366 yards and 5 touchdowns against us?  Perhaps not but then again one never can tell.  It will certainly help the Buffs help others locked in a far more important battle than that for Pac-12 South supremacy. 

And that is most assuredly something worth celebrating.  Irrespective of the final score.  

Shoulder to Shoulder.  Then.  Now.  Always....


Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy HuckTheFuskerVersary

It has been a really long week - and candidly it should not really have been so.  I have been on trial all week in Hudson County - performing the functional equivalent of being a fly on the wall while the two attorneys representing the target defendants have put on a show.  You are never too old or too experienced to learn something new.  That is especially true in the business of trying cases.  I have no idea what the jury is going to do - they likely will not get the case until Wednesday - but this week has been akin to attending a CLE Seminar.  Great stuff.  Really great.
Today is the twenty-seventh anniversary of one of the greatest sporting events I have ever attended:  the 1986 upset that the Buffs sprung on the nationally-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers.  The Buffs had not defeated the Huskers at home - and back then we played them every year - since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House.  For the American History-challenged among us that was a really, really long time ago.  And on one simply splendid October afternoon twenty-seven years ago, it all changed. 
The streak ended....
....and bedlam ensued.
Man, twenty-seven years is a long, long time.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Grand Old Man

No matter how old I get - and these days I feel really, really old - I shall always be the tail gunner of the Kenny siblings.  I have five older brothers and sisters.  Today is my brother Kelly's birthday.  Once upon a time today also used to be United Nations Day.  I have not looked lately so I do not know whether it is still.  If you knew the future Pope then you would appreciate the irony of Kelly sharing a day with a diplomatic organization.  I certainly do.

While I reckon his would be a better birthday if the Yankees were the AL representative in the World Series or if the Rangers would actually win a f*cking game, I hope that in spite of neither of those things happening today that his birthday will be a happy one.

Happy Birthday Brother - wish big....


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October Skies

Once upon a decade and a half ago or so today was the start of what was an annual rite of October for Yankees fans:  the World Series.  Those days seem long ago now.  Really, really long ago.
As the song says, "Life goes on without me".  Far more often than not these days the World Series
goes on without the Bombers.  This October is no different.  The first pitch in the Fall Classic tonight will be thrown at Fenway Park.  The Red Sox matchup with the Cardinals will mark the second time in the past decade that these two have tussled in the World Series.  In 2004 after running off four consecutive ALCS wins against the Yankees, the Red Sox won their first World Series in eighty-six years by sweeping the Cardinals.  In the decade since, the Sox have won their second World Series since 1918 and the Cardinals have won a couple of WS titles themselves - in 2006 and 2011. 
It pains me to admit it but baseball's best teams are the two still standing.  While the first round of the playoffs did not produce a great deal of drama, both the ALCS and the NLCS were damn entertaining.  I would be lying if I said I was not voting for the team that is not named the Red Sox to win the World Series although all I am really rooting for is a good, entertaining World Series. 
Tis the final vestige of fall after all.  I am hoping that it lasts as long as possible.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trials and Tribulations...

Having to settle back into the routine of being on trial this week.  First time since - holy smokes - two summers ago.  Nice to be out of the office for a few days....or nine or ten if the trial takes as long as anticipated.  Silly way to make a living but it pays the bills.  And if you are going to do something you might as well do it well.  Nice thing about trial is that results are easy to measure. 
I spent Sunday morning taking part in an activity in which results are also easy to measure:  running in a 5k race in Livingston, New Jersey that my partner Arnold Gerst organizes.  It is a mystery to me why this race is not better attended but the number of participants in no way detracts from the event.  Arnold and his crew of volunteers do an incredible job with this race every October.  This year was no exception.  And for reasons not entirely clear to me, I run very well at his race.  Sunday I ran the fastest 5K time I had run since the 2012 edition of his race.  My colleague Jim Hajel ran an incredible race.  Young smart ass ran past me like I was carrying a piano on my back at about the 2.5 mile mark - even though I was humming along as fast as I could.  Hell of a nice day.  Hell of a good run. 
Not sure how much running I will get in this week.  Trial weeks tend to run long - and late. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Heeding Norlin's Charge

-George Norlin, President,
University of Colorado
The photograph above is of the West entrance to the Norlin Library on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder.  It is the charge that President Norlin gave to a graduating class.  You have said something worth saying I think when someone takes the time to chisel it in stone.  I sometimes write epithets on bricks using a Sharpie.  I cannot pretend it is the same thing.  You do not have to either. 
Saturday afternoon/evening I was a very minor participant in a very wonderful event presented annually as part of the Fall Fair/Homecoming at my high school Alma mater, Wardlaw-Hartridge, which event was highlighted by one of the most extraordinary testimonials I have ever heard one give for another.  Brian Flynn's homage to his late, great friend Greg Boff was pitch perfect.  I have already booked him to do the eulogy at my funeral.  
For about an hour and a half Saturday those managing the institution's present and shepherding its future intermingled with a cross-section of those who played important, critical roles in the making of its history, the forging of its identity.  Life is a forward-moving event.  It is after all a journey - not a destination.  Yet, an invaluable resource in shaping one's course forward is an understanding of one's history.  Hard to know where one is going without understanding how it is one reached this particular point in the stream. 
That is true for organizations and entities just as it is for individuals.  We humans are not terribly dissimilar from sharks in that respect:  cessation of movement is the kiss of death.  While it comes more quickly for them than for us, make no mistake:  standing still is actually moving backwards.  Notice how much larger the objects in the rear-view mirror appear. 
Kudos to all of the fine people at W-H who have a firm grasp on the concept that an institution is make up of much more than bricks and mortar.  Some of those people I have had the good luck of knowing for a long time - Emilie Marvosa, Rudy Brandl, Gerard Gonnella and Rob Rizzo - while others are people whose acquaintance I have made more recently - Bill Jenkins, Karl Miran and Andrew Webster.   And a thank you to each of them as well for reminding those of us who belong to the institution's past that there is something to be gained from reconnecting, giving back and helping those who walk the path we once walked make their way along it. 
On Saturday night, somewhere George Norlin smiled....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Welcome to the Party....

"Civil-union partners in New Jersey today do not receive the same benefits as married same-sex couples when it comes to family and medical leave, Medicare, tax and immigration matters, military and veterans' affairs and other area," Supreme Court of New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote Friday as the author of the unanimous (7-0) opinion in the matter of Garden State Equality, et al. v. Dow, et al., denying the State's request for a stay of a lower court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage here in the State of Concrete Gardens.  As the Chief noted, under the current state of the law in New Jersey, "The state constitution's guarantee of equal protection is therefore not being met."

As someone who both likes personally and supports politically our Governor, I am hopeful (although not overly optimistic) that he now goes gently into that good night on this issue.  Intrinsically, how anyone - whether you are a regular member of the private citizenry such as Yours truly or an elected official - can espouse a preference for denying fundamental civil rights to an entire segment of the population based upon sexual preference is something that I am either too stupid to comprehend or not ignorant enough to embrace.  I know not which.

Friday's ruling was not a final ruling by our Supreme Court.  In its decision, the Court denied the State's application for a stay of the lower court's ruling pending the outcome of the State's formal appeal.  However, in shooting the State down 7-0, a total that included Associate Justice Patterson who is to date the only Justice Governor Christie has appointed to the Court (although his most recent nominee is well on his way to securing Senatorial confirmation), the Court not-too-subtly telegraphed where it is leaning. 

Welcome to the 21st Century my fellow residents of the State of Concrete Gardens.  Fear not.  The Republic shall not perish from this Earth merely because rights that never should have been denied to this particular class of individuals shall now be formally extended to them - regardless of what the right-wing Christian fundamentalists want you to believe.  If you want to freak out your favorite zealot, then try this one out on him and her.  If one believes in the Bible, then the first "normal" couple, Me and Eve, brought upon us a significant number of firsts.  Who can forget original sin?  In addition to that, Me and Eve were the Earth's first human parents - a set of bouncing baby boy twins.  Sons whose presence on this Earth gave rise to - what else - the first reported case of murder....and fratricide to boot. 

Yep.  Us "Heteros" have been doing it right since Day One. 

Sure we have....


Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Reason to Begin Again

Here everybody has a neighbor
Everybody has a friend
Everybody has a reason to begin again....
-Bruce Springsteen

This afternoon I shall make what amounts to my annual pilgrimage to Wardlaw-Hartridge, the school from which Kara, Jill and I all earned our high school diplomas, which put food on the Kenny family table and a roof over our heads for close to fifteen years and the school that - indirectly at least - killed my old man.  The job may not have been the only thing that killed him but its spot on the medal stand is beyond question - even close to three and one half decades after his death. 

I have the distinct pleasure and privilege this afternoon of enshrining a man with whom I have been friends for more than thirty years into W-H's Athletic Hall-of-Fame.  Tom Murray - Class of '86 - is being enshrined because of his remarkable accomplishments in the pool.  I have been the possessor of a bit of a secret that I will finally disclose today - because one and all in attendance later today when Tom is officially enshrined shall learn of it as soon as they hear him speak - he is very goddamned excited about this honor.  He most assuredly earned it.  His appreciation for it - and for all that was done for him and for the opportunities presented to him while he was a kid at W-H a lifetime ago - is palpable.  I am humbled by the fact that I shall - in a very small way - be involved in his very big moment.  A damn good man.    

When I was a much younger man I saw Tom Lankey play football and baseball - first at Wardlaw and thereafter at W-H - as Dad deemed it important to spend Saturday afternoons after Play Group watching the Varsity Football team play.  I have no specific recollection of ever meeting Tom Lankey and given that he graduated six years before I did and while I was still toiling at the Lower School, which back in the day was literally in another zip code, I would make book on the fact that he could not pick me out of a police lineup.  Having watched him play the sports as a boy for which he is being enshrined today as a man in the Hall-of-Fame, I am happy as well for him and his membership in the Class of '13. 

I know for certain that I have never met this year's sole female enshrinee, Sarah Williamson.  Sarah graduated from W-H in 1998.  Given that she attended school while her father was Head of School, which he was not when I graduated in 1985, I presume that the two of us never called W-H at the same time.  I knew nothing of Sarah or of her extraordinary achievements until this year when I became a member of the Hall-of-Fame Committee.  "Impressive" does not do justice to what she did.  As a father of a daughter who is a high achiever I have a keen appreciation for her how father will feel as he presents her for enshrinement.  As a parent, there is nothing better than being present to celebrate the success of your child....even when she is not a "child" any longer. 

Two of the my favorite brave women shall be in attendance this afternoon as well.  In this the thirtieth year since his class graduated from W-H, the late Greg Boff is taking his rightful place in the Athletic Hall-of-Fame.  His great friend Brian Flynn is presenting Greg for enshrinement and Greg's two sisters, Stacy and Dana, shall accept the plaque in honor of their brother.  The Boff Sisters (I refer to them as if they are tag-team or some such thing) handle these moments with unparalleled grace and aplomb.  It is not easy to to what they shall do today:  stand in the stead of one you love, who you lost far too soon, and be flooded with your own memories while others speak of their memories of him.  It makes you smile.  But it breaks your heart anew just a little.  I am thrilled that both Stacy and Dana shall be present today - not only because they love their brother equally as he did them but because each of them is such a study in courage.  There will undoubtedly be some in attendance today who upon their arrival shall be unfamiliar perhaps with the Boffs and what they have meant - and continue to mean - to W-H.  By ceremony's end, they shall be so no more.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Hell Town

In case you live outside of the geographical confines of New Jersey and missed the results of Wednesday's Special Election I regret to inform you that I shall not be heading to Washington DC to fill the remainder of Frank Lautenberg's term and take my rightful place as New Jersey's junior Senator.  F*ck.  I really thought I had a chance.  Maybe I should set my sights a bit lower?  Mayor of Bogota perhaps.
Truth be told I did not have my heart set on becoming a member of Congress.  I have little interest in joining a club that counts that Canuck obstructionist among its number.  I am relieved that the chokehold that the asshats in DC had been exerting on my son and my oldest brother for close to three weeks has finally been released.  Do not mistake relief for forgiveness.  I am Irish.  One of the Post-It notes that forms the border of my computer sums up my position on this is quite nicely:  Irish Alzheimer's Disease:  Forget Everything....But The Grudges. 
If you have a moment today - or perhaps over the course of the next couple of days - then do yourself the great service of reading Dugan Arnett's story, which appeared in the October 12th edition of the Kansas City Star, entitled "Nightmare in Maryville:  Teens' Sexual Encounter Ignites Firestorm Against Family".  Be advised - it is neither a quick nor an easy read.  It may well make you angry.  It may well make you cry.  It may well make you want to punch Don Henley in the larynx the next time you hear him sing about "That same small town in each of us"....
....or at the very least hope like hell that Maryville Missouri is not the small town of which he sings.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Spot of Teakettle

I am a sufficiently self-absorbed little asshat that when this thought sauntered through my head Sunday morning as I was running through the streets 'NTSG I believed it to have been an original one.  No.  I am not kidding. I wish I was.  Not because I do not think in eight words it expresses a worthy sentiment - and does so in one-third less words than that techno-nerd Jobs did - but because I thought it might be my ticket to fame and fortune.  I was prepared to take the steps necessary to protect my intellectual property (never in the history of the English language has a better, more complete oxymoron been written than "Adam Kenny's intellectual property") when I thought that maybe, just maybe I should do a bit of investigation into its history....while hoping like Hell that it had none.  Papa can use some t-shirt and car magnet money after all. 

Alas Poor Yorick I am not the first rube to put these eight words together.  In fact, judging by the results of the Google search for that particular octet it appears as if I am not among the first 1,000,000 rubes to have done so.  So much for my Tchotchke empire.  Oy vey!

Even though it turns out that these eight words are not in fact "Word for Adam to Get Rich By" they do distill some pretty good advice into an easy to remember little mantra.  That is something I suppose....

....and on a not unrelated subject, while my dreams of "Made in China" plasticware fame and fortune were dashed, I was elated to learn - in this the forty-seventh year of my existence - the meaning FINALLY! of one of Joanie K.'s pet turns of phrase.  Until Sunday night, I knew not what it meant when Mom discussed someone falling "Ass over Teakettle" for while I am generally familiar with the general location of the human ass (and one Human who is an Ass in particular simply by conjuring up "Mirror Mirror on the Wall...."), I have always found the Teakettle a bit harder to discover.  Now, however, I know:

Torii Hunter "Ass over Teakettle"
Game 2 ALCS 10/13/13

Thank you Torii Hunter for providing me the visual aid I had lacked all of these years and for enabling me to finally understand what the hell Mom meant.  Hell of an effort by the way.  One hell of an effort.  Although you did not make the catch I would like to present you with a token of appreciation....

....I hope you enjoy your "Stop Dreaming Your Life Start Living Your Dream" coffee mug.  It is a collector's item.  Only 4,000 of them were made.  I for one hope that the ALCS goes seven games - and the World Series as well.  Lots of product to try and move.  Lots of f*cking product.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Write In and Right On

Here in the State of Concrete Gardens we are extra lucky this fall.  Instead of just one Election Day, we get two.  Today is the first one.  When Frank Lautenberg died this summer in the middle of his term as a United States Senator, Governor Christie decreed that there would be a "Special Election" to fill the remainder of Senator Lautenberg's unexpired term.  Parenthetically (and I say this meaning no disrespect to Senator Lautenberg or any other elected official who dies while in office) but I have always found the marriage of the concepts "election to fill seat left vacant by death" and "unexpired term" to represent the most delightful type of irony:  "You expired! Your term did not! We need to fill your seat!"

Today's contest matches the young(ish) Democratic nominee, Cory Booker, and the flat-out-odd (speaking solely for myself) Republican nominee, Steve Lonegan.  Booker's most noteworthy achievement in the political arena has been his multi-term tenure as the Mayor of Newark, which is our state's largest city.  As far as I know, Lonegan's most noteworthy achievement in the political arena has been serving three terms as the Mayor of Bogota, which is a Borough in Bergen County.  The 2010 Census calculated Bogota's population as 8,187.  No - that is not a misprint. 

I know neither man personally.  I have no reasonable expectation that I ever shall.  People who I have known for a long time - whose counsel I seek regularly and whose opinion I value greatly - and who had experience working with and for Mayor Booker in Newark have all told me (separate and apart from one another and irrespective of their declared political affiliation) that they shall not vote for him.  They simply cannot bring themselves to do so.  They have shared with me the bases for their position.  I shall not disclose it here.  It belongs to them.  It is the by-product of their own personal experience. 

As a registered Republican, had the party of which I am a member selected as its nominee someone for whom I would have felt comfortable then I would do so today.  They did not.  I shall not.  Mr. Lonegan seems to be a very bright man and a man committed to what he believes to be important.  Sadly, at least as far as I am concerned the things he deems important strike me as far less so.  Personally, I do not see how the solution to the problem of ideologues masquerading as statesmen in Congress (Hello Ted Cruz it is to you I am speaking) and doing scant little to advance the interests of the people who elected them is solved by tossing another one into the mix.  There are any number of things I would like never to call Mr. Lonegan.  United States Senator is at the top of that list.

Today I am doing what I need to do.  I am voting my conscience.  I am writing in my name for United States Senate.  Will I win?  Nope.  Should I win?  Of course not.  But since having the chops to do the job appeared to factor not at all into the process by which the "Big Two" political parties arrived at today's menu selections, it should not stand in the way of me garnering one vote. 

My Country 'tis of Thee
The Asshat I'm Voting for is Me
Let Freedom Ring....


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

His Time is Now

At my Alma mater  - on the most beautiful college campus in these United States - the responsibility for resuscitating the football program has now been placed squarely on the shoulders of a young man.  Particular emphasis should be placed on the "young". 
Sefo Liufau is eighteen years old.  He will turn 19 a couple of days prior to Halloween.  He is 6'4" tall.  His high school career was nothing short of spectacular.  When he gave his verbal commitment to the Buffs fairly early on in the process - and then watched from the State of Washington as the 2012 team staggered to a one-win season, which led to the coaches who had recruited him to come play for them get fired - more than one person in Boulder expected him to ultimately sign his binding Letter of Intent in February for one of the other schools that recruited him.  He did not.  Having given his word, he stood by it. 
The plan this year was to have Liufau spend the season on the bench - ready to play but not having to play - protecting his "redshirt".  Division I college athletes (as a general rule) have five academic years in which to play four seasons in their sport.  Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and men - including Coach Mac II and his staff - came apart in the desert on Saturday night.  The Buffs ended up taking it on the chin - yet again - from a Pac-12 foe.  Early on in the demolition by ASU, it was decided that best chance for the Buffs to win came not from starting quarterback Connor Wood but - instead - from Liufau. 
Saturday night the Buffs ended up coming up a little bit short (to put it mildly).  When the dust settled the scoreboard read ASU 54, CU 13.  By turning his team over to a true freshman quarterback, Coach Mac may have effectively written off the rest of the 2013 season.  Such may be a luxury afforded to a man in the first year of a multi-year contract.  Or maybe he knows something that the rest of us who root hard for our beloved Buffaloes are about to find out for ourselves:  the best chance for winning this year, next year and for the years to come rests with one who - at age eighteen - was not even a gleam in the eyes of his parents when CU won its only National Championship following the 1990 season. 
I do not know the young man but this I know:  an eighteen-year-old who spends his time helping care for two autistic siblings not only has a throwing arm worth talking about but a head, a heart and a foundation that will serve him well.  On and off the field. 
It is a brave new world for the Buffs.  And a young man named Sefo is at the controls. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Book of Jobs

Your time is limited,
So don't waste it living someone else's Life.
- Steve Jobs

I have exactly nothing with which to top that advice, which just might contain the truest dozen words ever spoken.  If you have not been adhering to the Book of Jobs - and I for one am certain that I do not always do so - then try again today. 

Enjoy the effort. 

Worry not at all about the result.

It is as the man says it is.  Your Life is Now....


Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Post About a Saturday Evening....

Hooray!  The first Sunday in a while on which the Giants are guaranteed NOT to lose a game.  This week, in an effort to expedite their ineptitude they put losing on their schedule on Thursday night.  Thanks for thinking of us guys.  Much appreciated.  Actually, as a Giants fan who witnessed the Pisarcik fumble firsthand, I have yet to see anything this season that wakes up the echoes for me of the McVay/Arnsbarger era.  The definition of brutal football. 

I remember sitting in Giants Stadium on a particularly cold, rainy late-season Sunday as they flailed away against the Cleveland Browns.  For a moment it appeared as if they might actually win.  Late in the fourth quarter scat back Bobby Hammonds hightailed it around the left side and disappeared into the Swamps of Jersey like Hoffa himself for a touchdown.  Not so fast.  On the right side of the formation - about as far away from the play as Mount Holly is from Moonachie - the Giants bust of a high draft choice - John Hicks from (THE) Ohio State University did what he did best:  got called for holding.  Goodbye touchdown.  Hello old friend.  

I still vividly remember one other Sunday during the dark days before George Young's arrival as GM when season-ticket holders - protesting the ineptitude on the field - stood outside of the stadium and burned their tickets to that day's game.  As we walked past, I asked Dad who those men were.  "Idiots", he replied.  My old man had a gift for being succinct when he wanted to be unrivaled in modern history.  Right about now you are thinking that it skipped a generation; right?  Fair observation.  Very fair. 

While I know not how I shall spend my football-free Sunday, I do know how I shall spend next Saturday.  For those of you watching at home and taking notes this is what we call in the biz a "segue".  My high school Alma mater's annual Fall Fair/Homecoming is Saturday, October 19.  Truth be told I never seem to make there for the day portion of the program.  However, beginning at 4:00 PM a wonderful ceremony shall begin at which Awards will be given to various Alums and retired members of the faculty and individuals will be enshrined into the school's Athletic Hall-of-Fame.  This year I have a small role in the enshrinement ceremony.  I am a member of the Committee that selected this year's class and I shall have the great honor of presenting an old friend of mine, Tom Murray Class of  '86.  

If you have a connection to W-H and you can make it, you should.  Not for the people being honored.  Certainly not for me.  For you.  You shall be glad you did.  


Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Vertebrate Redemption....

I was a much younger man when I met - and immediately became great friends with - Alex Schreiber.  I knew mere moments after we had unpacked our respective treasures in our Farrand Hall fourth floor dorm room in late August, 1985 that we were going to be friends.  I knew before I actually laid eyes on him. 

Alex - at that time - lived in New Orleans.  On his initial foray to Boulder he had been accompanied by his father.  They had arrived on campus and already unpacked a considerable amount of Alex's stuff when I bebopped on in - with my most precious worldly possessions crammed either into the bag over my right shoulder or the steamer trunk I was lugging up four flights of stairs.  I met Alex's stuff before I met Alex.  I had never known anyone who owned a kayak AND an ice ax until I met him.  In one fell swoop (Is there any other kind?) I met such a man.  

While I think his father found me a bit off-putting at first (most of my prized possessions that were not clothes were alcohol-related) he and I immediately fell in together.  Our little corner of the floor became very, very tight.  It was the two of us, Bill Winter and John Gloor next door and a pair of roommates who were so far apart in their approach to day-to-day life that they made us look like Siamese twins, Vince Buckmelter and the late, great Scott Bouchard.  It is funny how life takes you where it takes you.  As that year went on, relationships frayed a bit - and in the case of Vince and Boo fractured completely - but Alex and I held together pretty well.  By the time we were seniors, John, Alex and I had spent three of our four years at CU either as neighbors or roommates.  Oh the stories we could tell.  And one day, when I am certain that all applicable Statutes of Limitation have come and gone, perhaps I shall.  One day. 

I am reminded just how long ago college was when I think of my great friend Schneedz and just how long it has been since he and I have been in the same place - or worse yet since I have the sound of his voice.  Alex has a speaking voice that Tom Waits would love - an almost guttural growl interspersed with a bit of the South.  Well, the bit of the South was present a lifetime ago when he still called N'Awlins home.  He has made his living in Northern waters for a quarter-century now.  I have not spoken to him other than via e-mail in close to fifteen years.  I know not whether any of the Po' Boy dialect or inflection remains.  In my mind's ear, I presume it does.  When I do my admittedly dreadful impersonation of him for my wife, which I do every now and again, I do it in that style.  "Adsey, I'm tellin' you boy" just does not sound right without it.

Today is the 12th of October.  It is the 47th birthday of the one, the only Schneedz.  But for my oldest brother Bill, he is the most knowledgable and most passionate fan of British rock and roll I have ever met.  In the years we lived together I went from being a casual fan of The Who to a far more learned listener and from someone who kinda, sorta knew who The Faces were to someone who listened to their albums. 

One of my favorite things about him was that Schneedz cared not at all about a great many things at CU - principal among the things about which he felt apathy was the football team.  I smile today because it was on his birthday our freshman year that I dragged him to Folsom Field with me for the first and last time.  CU played Missouri.  Before the game we had "tailgated" so by the time we made it to our seats - on a  beautiful, sunsplashed Colorado October Saturday (Homecoming by the way) - we were feeling loose and relaxed.  When the Ralphie Handlers lost control of her on the wet Astroturf (it had rained the night before) and she rounded the horseshoe unaccompanied by human companionship and bore down like one hostile bison towards the Missouri players warming up on the sideline, Schneedz laughed as if it was the funniest fucking thing he had ever witnessed.  In hindsight, I wish I had thought quickly enough to lie when he asked me if that happened every week.  Had I said yes I could have suckered him into at least one more Saturday afternoon with me in the student section - rooting like hell for Ralphie to stomp the shit out of some unsuspecting opponent. 

Alex's dad was among the first class of Peace Corps volunteers.  When Schneedz and I went to N'Awlins our freshman year for Spring Break the old black-and-white photo of Mr. Schreiber shaking hands with President Kennedy on the day he was sworn in as a member of the Corps was appropriately displayed in a high-traffic, high-visibility area.  Upon our graduation from CU in '89 Schneedz joined the Peace Corps.  Met the woman he married - and from whom he subsequently divorced - there.  When I telephoned him in the Summer of '92 to tell him that I had met Margaret and that we were getting married the following summer - he interrupted me to tell me that he and Kathleen were doing likewise.  He wanted Margaret and me to come to his wedding in Washington - just outside of Spokane I think.  And we would have.  We could not.  Schneedz and Kathleen were married on the Pacific Coast at 6:00 PM on the evening of June 18, 1993.  Margaret and I were married in Bridgewater, New Jersey at 12:00 PM on June 19, 1993. 

These days my old friend is doing what he does - exploring the mysteries of marine life and shaping young minds as a Professor of Biology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.  He holds a Ph. D. now so I suppose I have to honor his official title and refer to him as "Dr. Schneedz".  Well.....maybe.  That scarf makes it a little tough.

Happy Birthday to my old great friend.  One of the best, brightest minds I have ever met and one of the most stand up, have your back when the shit is caving in around you type of people all of us wish we knew more of - and were more like ourselves.  I hope today - and everyday - finds him well.  Finds him happy.  And finds him at peace.  

I guess I just miss my friend.... 


Friday, October 11, 2013

American Zombie in Fostoria

I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down....
-Sir Bob Geldof

Perhaps your week has been a nonstop shit show.  It has been nothing but one negative event after another, laid back to back and belly to belly.  You cannot fathom anyone having had a worse week than you.   Well, other than the genius at CBS who greenlighted "We Are Men".  Note to programming:  Slap Jerry O'Donnell in a fat suit, give him a crew cut and write a part for him in "Stand By Me - Part II" or "I'm Still Here, Where the Hell are You?" or whatever you want to call the sequel to Rob Reiner's classic 80's film.  Unless and until you are willing to do that, keep his admittedly toned, yet talent-challenged mug off of prime time television.  Ditto for his wife Rebecca Romijn.  If a couple "in the business" has ever had a brighter future as mannequins than thespians, then I am unfamiliar with them.  Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy they are not.  

But I digress....

Your week was better than Donald Eugene Miller, Jr.'s week.  How can I be so certain?  Well, for starters only one of you appeared in court on Monday morning at a hearing before a Probate Judge and heard His Honor declare you to be "STILL legally dead."   

In 1994, Judge Davis presided over a hearing requested by Donald Eugene Miller, Jr.'s ex-wife, Robin Miller, to declare "the Donald" legally dead so that his Social Security death benefits could be paid to the couple's two children.  It was not as if Robin Miller rushed to the courthouse.  Mr. Miller had disappeared without a trace eight years earlier - in 1986.    When he appeared before Judge Davis this past Monday, he uttered the understatement of all time in response to His Honor asking what had happened.  He told Judge Davis that he had decided to walk away from life as he knew it because of a myriad of financial problems - including it seems his court-imposed requirement to pay his child support obligations - and "It kind of went further than I ever expected it to."  Hmm.  You think? 

Before you weep too heartily for Mr. Miller, whose application to be declared "no longer dead' so that he could reinstate his driver's license and his Social Security Number Judge Davis denied (as well as his request for relief in the alternative, which was to change his first name legally to Lazarus), consider this.  Mr. Miller returned from wherever the hell he had been to Ohio close to a decade ago.  It was in 2005, upon his return to Ohio, when his parents told him that he was "dead".  The enthusiasm for reinstating his driver's license and restoring his Social Security Number so overwhelmed him that only eight short years after learning of his death, he commenced the reincarnation process. 

If he plays his cards right he might be sitting on a marketing gold mine.  Given that Halloween is fast approaching, Mr. Miller should have his attorney reach out to Party City to gauge their level of interest in a Donald Eugene Miller, Jr. costume - or at the very least a mask.  Why be an anonymous, run-of-the-mill zombie when you can dress up as one who comes with his very own back story? 

Perhaps in the certain-to-be-made TV movie of his life, the role of Donald Eugene Miller, Jr. can be played by Jerry O'Donnell.  A lot of time has just opened up in his day-to-day.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Border Patrol

Happy Echo Day!  Do not look for a card at the local Hallmark store for I doubt any exist.  I suspect I just invented it.  It seems to be the sort of low-hanging fruit, half-assed, irrelevant nonsense about which I could be the creative force.  Even if I am not its creator, I am claiming to be.  As the great Elvis Costello once observed, "Even in a perfect world where everyone is equal, I'd still own the film rights and keep working on the sequel...."  

Alas to day is not a "Echo Trifecta Day", which it would be if the month/day/year were all aligned numerically.  For reasons known perhaps only to me, I recall how I spent Echo Trifecta Day when tens were wild.  10/10/10 was a Sunday.  I spent it (or 25 minutes of it thereabouts) in Deal, New Jersey running a 5K race.  Nice town.  A town where the size and upkeep of the homes suggest that every resident is sitting atop a heaping pile of "Fuck you, everybody and the horses you all rode in on" money.  I wonder if that makes Deal a good place for pony rides?  Given how my oldest brother Bill always has his heart set on one, I should look into that for him. 

Oh - before you pooh-pooh my acknowledgement of "Echo Trifecta Day" consider this:  The overwhelming majority of those of us alive today (including all of your dopey bastards who are frittering away a portion of your remaining time on Earth reading this pointless blather) will not live long enough to see the next one.  For those of you so overcome by angst and sorrow at that thought that you just stopped reading this so that you could sprint to the highest point you know and hurl yourself off into the abyss, thanks for stopping by. 

I have long suspected that the people with whom I work spend a portion of their day conducting an informal mental status examination on Yours truly.  Given how much time certain of them spend wandering around the office not otherwise doing a single useful thing, I would be relieved to learn that at least a small portion of their day-to-day is spent in an apparently worthwhile pursuit.  When the men in the white coats descend upon my space and forcibly remove me from it, I presume that Exhibit A at the hearing regarding my involuntary commitment will be my computer monitor. 

For those of you reading this in black and white, two things.  First, the 21st Century is on the phone inviting you to join it.  Second, the things lining the monitor are yellow Post-Its.  Technically speaking they are little yellow sticky message notes.  Somewhere a couple of years back whoever is in charge of such things here at the Firm determined that it was more cost-effective to buy Staples house brand - "Stickies" - than genuine Post-Its.  Personally, if there is a difference in the quality of the product it is lost on my untrained eye.  We apparently use of lot of these things at the Firm.  Some of us more than others. 

While my handwriting is so dreadful that I typed all of my law school exams the final 2 1/2 years at Seton Hall and I typed my New Jersey Bar Exam, the little yellow life preservers that form the border of my computer monitor are works on which I am the scrivener.  I am the scrivener but I am not the source of the material written on them.   There are in fact multiple sources, ranging from Cicero to Dr. Seuss and from Pete Hamill to my brother Bill.  To your eye they may appear to be visually distracting.  To me they are anything but.  The words written on them serve as navigational buoys - assistive devices if you will - helping me make my way through my day-to-day.  Each contains a thought worth thinking each and every day. 

The one or ones on which I rely on a particular day depends very much on where my head is at on that day.  From one day to the next - for me at least - there is no guarantee as to where that might be.  I know not whether it is my Irish blood or simply my own DNA but my entire life I have been subject to what I would call bouts of melancholy.  When they come, they come.  Their arrival might be known only to me - given my generally less than sunny disposition on a day in, day out basis.  So what?  To this point in my life - with forty-six-plus years of tread on the tires - I have successfully battled through every one of them.  It is nothing more and nothing less than each of us does however often we have to - even if it is every day. 

I had not noticed until a few days ago - although they have been where they are for longer than I can recall - that two of the smartest Irishmen I know are side-by-side.  My eye (mind's and otherwise) has been drawn to them quite a bit lately.  The great Pete Hamill offers, "Sometimes no Truth is more Powerful than one expressed in Anger by a Melancholy man."  His next-door neighbor - my brother Bill - contributes, "Very often the Difference between a Rut and a Grave is the Depth of the Habit." 

Wise men.  Wise words.  The lessons to be learned from them.  

All in a day's work. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kinda, Sorta Acts of Randomness

Old Ferris was pretty damn smart.  But I suspect that you, like me, already knew that.  Life moves at a perpetually breakneck pace - even when you spend the day just hanging out and relaxing.  Close your eyes to go to sleep and wake up the next day to find out that more than several hours have passed.  Entire weeks have gone hurtling by in an eye blink.  It is inevitable.  And when you earn your keep as I do being ever mindful of the "billable hours" clock on the wall you run the very real risk of having your life broken down in units of time, measured in one-tenth of an hour increments.  As soon as I can wrap my head around whether my arrival at that epiphany was more depressing than infuriating or vice versa, I shall be sure to let you know.  I suspect that it was, it is and it shall remain a flat-footed tie. 

Time moves so quickly that Suzanne and Ryan are officially old married people already.  They have been married more than one month.  In our little corner of the universe the next milestone event is Jess and Rob's wedding.  06/06/14 is now less than eight months away.  And I know as I write this - and smile thinking of what shall be another great day for one of my two kids - that it too is a day that shall pass by in a blur. 

I am a New York Giants fan.  Notice that I did not throw in the obligatory "Football" between the words York and Giants.  In view of the fact that Horace Stoneham moved his baseball team from the Polo Grounds in Manhattan to Candlestick Park in San Francisco approximately fify-six years ago there are few public declarations in the world of sports that make my hair hurt more than some too cute by half asshat broadcaster referring to the boys of Mara Tech as "the New York Football Giants" in a tone of voice suggesting that he is letting all of us plebes in on information previously available only to those at the cool kids table.  These Giants are the only New York Giants that have been a professional sports franchise in my LIFETIME.  Enough already. 

But I digress....

It has been a tough autumn on the gridiron for the boys of Mara Tech.  To date they have played five games and have won exactly none of them.  I suppose that they could rally, win their final eleven games of the regular season, qualify for the playoffs and dazzle the home folks by winning the Super Bowl that will be played on their home field on Groundhog Day, 2014.  Anything is possible.  Right after a monkey flies out of my ass playing a french horn I will start believing in the possibility of the Giants suddenly embracing success.  Way back when in July and August, a lot of the people in the know about NFL football predicted doom and gloom for New York's professional football team.  The quarterback position was a sore point.  The talent level on both sides of the ball was considered poor to mediocre at best.  The head coach was a dead man walking.  Their best action plan was to be as bad as predicted to put themselves in a position to draft this generation's Lawrence Taylor (referencing his on-field talent and not his predilection for cocaine and underage prostitutes) Jadeveon Clowney of the University of South Carolina.   In case you are not familiar with Mr. Clowney, allow me to make the introduction for you.  I assure you that your New Year's Day headache could not hold a candle to that of Michigan's Vincent Smith:

Funny thing is that the New York football team that the smart folks were talking about was the Jets - not the Giants.  After five games, Rex Ryan's team is 3-2.  While it appears - given how dreadful the Jacksonville Jaguars are - that the Giants may lose out in the Quest for Clowney through five games they are in excellent position to claim the prize.  

Even further back in time - mid-May to be exact - the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to be in the market for a new manager.  The shadows being cast across the field at Chavez Ravine were from the vultures circling above the head of Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly.  The smart money in Las Vegas had Mattingly being fired by Memorial Day.  Hmmm....

Granted, they still have to win two more Best-of-Seven series to be crowned World Champs but considering how very far away a Dodger-Blue Gatorade shower seemed for Donnie Baseball five months ago, his ear-to-ear grin was not only understandable but well-earned.  Turns out that people will kill you a lot of times before you are actually dead. 

Final random thought for this rudderless, rambling day:   There are brewers who make genuinely moving, terrific commercials.  The people at Budweiser and at Coors leap immediately to the forefront of my mind.  However, the quality of their commercials is undercut (in my opinion) by the fact that their product is better suited for cleaning utensils and kitchen counters than it is for drinking.  Leave it to the good people at Guinness to make a commercial that rises to the quality of the beer they brew:

See you tomorrow.  Or not. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Reading from the Book of Genesis

I will follow you will you follow me
All the days and nights that we know will be
I will stay with you will you stay with me
Just one single tear in each passing year...

While I know less about things technological than I do about most other things, a few months back I broke down and opened a Twitter account.  Showing off how little I know about it, I do not have an especially clever name (how does @adamkenny89 grab you for its inherent level of sophistication).  I do not really use it for anything productive at all.  I do post the link to my blog there daily and (in the interest of true confession) when I write something that I think a particular audience might enjoy or find interesting I send the link to my blog to them directly.  For example, the piece I wrote about the 2013 NYC Tunnel To Towers Run I sent to the good people at the Tunnel To Towers Foundation because I thought they should be aware of it since it commented upon what work they do every day and what an exceptional job they do of pulling off that particular event annually. 

Other than using it to circulate my blog, I find Twitter a fairly effective way of staying atop the day's events and something that affords me the opportunity to occasionally fire off my own particular brand of humor.  Well, one hundreed forty characters of it anyway.  Saturday was one such day.  As I was half-watching the second half of the Rutgers/SMU game I was in and out of the Twitter app on my phone.  One of my favorite writers about college football is Pat Forde.  Saturday afternoon, as Maryland was getting the shit kicked out of them at Florida State (while wearing one of the less hideous incantations of a uniform that the Terps have been sporting for the past couple of seasons) Forde Tweeted about what he perceived to be the Terps' new duds and the fact that they did not make him want to vomit in his own mouth, which he appreciated.  His perceived "attack" on Maryland's unis, which clearly were the key issue of the day in a game that they ultimately lost 63-0, prompted the ire of a young man who is apparently a Maryland fan.  The guy unleashed some fury at Pat Forde, which prompted replies from other people (including Yours truly), none of which were directed towards the uniforms the Terps were sporting but, instead, the manner in which they were playing.  

About ten minutes after I sent my wholly tongue-in-cheek take on the affair, I received what I presume is supposed to be the Twitter version of the "put down":  a response from the little d-bag commenting upon the fact that I have but twenty "followers".  I laughed aloud sitting in my living room - but only after considering for half a heartbeat whether laughter or sobs should carry the day.  I knew not whether to laugh or to cry at the realization that even when limited to 140 characters, Twitter is a forum in which someone can still have nothing intelligible to say.  The Twitterverse version of "Oh Yea!" I reckon.  

His retort (giving that word the broadest possible definitional interpretation permitted by the Einstein Estate) prompted me to do a bit of Twitter research.  As of yesterday - at 2:45 EDT - Miley Cyrus had 14.5 Million Followers.  Lyle Lovett - on the other hand - has 19,700.  While I sought out law school as a refuge from hard math, even I know that the difference between those two is a lot.  Kim Kardashian had (again as of 2:45 EDT yesterday) 18.5 Million Followers on Twitter whereas Hillary Clinton's official account showed 834,600 followers.  Is Mrs. Clinton crapping all over Lyle Lovett's head?  Sure is.  But in the world of Twitter, the gap between Ms. Kardashian and Mrs. Clinton is almost the flip side of the gap between their respective IQs.    

All hail the new American system of measurement:  It is not the breadth of your character or the height of your intellect, but rather the number of people who follow your every movement on Twitter that calculates your value to the tribe?  Methinks that as some point - probably after the completion of puberty and the full descent of his testicles - my young friend on Twitter will come to realize the folly of his position.  At least I hope he does - for his own good.  If he does not, then I hope the fast-food establishment in which he shall spend the remainder of his income-producing years is one that I frequent and that he works a shift conducive to my patronage.  It would be a crime to be deprived of a person of his intellect with whom to joust.  A real crime.



Monday, October 7, 2013

The Proof Is In The Pictures

Yesterday morning Sue's Crew V took part in the 20th Edition of the Central/South Jersey Race for the Cure at Great Adventure.  It was - as it has been each and every time we have participated in it - a tremendous event.  You can wake up feeling a bit under the weather or tired or feeling otherwise less than 100%.   However once you arrive on site as this event, whatever ails you simply goes away.  There are too many good people who are battling problems far more serious than you shall ever have to address for you and your trivial problems to matter. 
We were fortunate enough yesterday to have a great group of people running under the "Sue's Crew V" banner.  I was lucky enough to find a seam in the mass of humanity gathered at the starting line and make my way to clean air and clear space rather easily, which set me up for a nice, fairly quick run.  And which gave sufficient time to get myself situated near the finish line to watch most of the other members of the Crew complete their trip around the course. 
The video above is one I took with my phone of Margaret as she reached the finish line.  My wife is not a runner.  The one race she actively participates in annually is the Race for the Cure.  Although running is very far outside of her comfort zone, she not only takes part in the Race each October but she revels in it.  She enjoys every minute of the time that she spends on the course.  In an event dominated by people celebrating their triumph over their own hardships and their own fears, Margaret demonstrated again yesterday morning that she finishes second to absolutely no one in that competition. 
I am not such an idiot that I do not love my wife every day.  Occasionally however I remember just how extraordinary she is.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Shame on me that it is not an everyday event.  It should be.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Run For Life

This morning - at the unseasonably warm environs of Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey the Missus and I shall - in the company of ten other hardy souls (Jordan Forsythe, Kara Forsythe, Jeff Grubb, Kathy Grubb, Sue Kizis, Diego Navas, Walmis Navas, Connie Radlof, Jaime Scarillo and our Rookie of the Year Brooke Voorhees Menendez) shall carry the banner of Sue's Crew V at the 20th Edition of the Susan G. Komen South/Central Jersey Race for the Cure.  We shall be in good company. 

Thousands of people come to Great Adventure for this event every Autumn.  Among those in attendance are those who have lost a loved one to breast cancer, those who are watching a loved one battle against it presently, those who have watched a loved one defeat it and those who have themselves personally kicked its ass.   We have one such anchor person on the Crew again this year:  Kathy "I Kicked Breast Cancer in the Face" Grubb.  

While the vibe at Great Adventure today is decidedly different than that which permated the Tunnel To Towers Run/Walk in New York City last week, it is equally extraordinary.  As events in which I participate as a runner, these are my favorite two.  This morning, much like last week, will put me in the immediate vicinity of scores of people who are tougher than I could ever hope to be and braver than I shall ever be even on my bravest of days.  And for them, being tough and being brave really "ain't no big thing".  It is simply how they live.  

Today is more than an opportunity to do a bit of good and to enjoy the company of heroes.  It is an opportunity to learn as well.  Lessons in grace, lessons in courage and lessons in resoluteness of spirit abound....

....And the opportunity to learn awaits us all.  


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Promise Kept

In December Bill McCartney (a/k/a "Coach Mac I") will be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame.  'Tis an event that may not have yet registered on your radar - and may not in fact ever register - but since Coach Mac was the Head Coach at CU when Jill, Joe and I were matriculating along Colorado's Front Range more than quarter-century ago, it has indeed popped up on mine.  Bill McCartney is - as we all are - an imperfect human being.  He did a hell of a lot for CU during the time he spent in Boulder.  And then he did something far too few in his profession - or perhaps in any profession - do:  he left on his own terms.

Following the 1994 season he retired.  Simply walked away.  At the time he left he said that he he was doing so in part because he owed it to his wife and to his four children to be a better husband and a better father than he had been.  When Coach Mac is honored at halftime of today's game against Oregon, among those members of the CU Football family there with him shall be his grandsons T.C. McCartney and Derek McCartney.  T.C. is a graduate assistant on the Colorado coaching staff.  Derek is a member of the team - a true freshman.  Their mother is Coach Mac's daughter, Kristy.  Each has a different father.  T.C.'s dad, Sal Aunese, played at CU while I went to school there.  Aunese was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the Spring of 1989 and died less than nine months later.  Derek's father, Shannon Clavelle, played at CU in the early '90s.  Both grandsons were raised in Boulder, Colorado in the house next door to their grandparents.  And each says that Coach Mac is his hero - acting as both father and grandfather for boys who lacked the former and who needed the latter.  

I am very happy that Coach Mac shall be in Boulder today being feted for his accomplishments in advance of his HOF Induction two months from now.  It does sadden me more than a little that Mrs. Mac shall not be there with him.  Lyndi McCartney died earlier this year.  The McCartneys had been married for fifty years.  Together they raised four children and welcomed ten grandchildren - including T.C. and Derek.  A stat line even an old football coach can love.  

This afternoon the 2013 edition of the Buffs will likely get shredded by the juggernaut that is the 2013 Oregon Ducks.  Oregon is ranked #2 in the country for a reason - they are really, really good.  Thus far this season they have won their games by an average score of 59-10.  If you are inclined to wager on this afternoon's affair, the safe bet is to take Oregon and give the 38 points by which they are favored.  It pains me to say that but it is what it is.  And today is likely to be a blowout. 

In September 1985 the second football game I attended as a freshman at CU-Boulder was against the Oregon Ducks.  It was a game highlighted - as today's game shall be - by a halftime ceremony.  In 1984, the Buffs played Oregon in Eugene and CU tight end Ed Reinhardt was seriously injured during the game.  A hard, clean hit resulted in Reihardt sustaining a subdural hematoma that developed a blood clot on the brain.  For a considerable period of time following the '84 game, Ed Reinhardt's condition was touch and go.  Among the things that helped save his life was the treatment he received at the University of Oregon's Medical Center in Eugene.  Although his injury had occurred when I was a high school senior some 1600 miles east of Boulder, in the week leading up to the Oregon game that fall I learned quite a bit about it.  Including the high regard that Coach Mac and everyone associated with CU Football held their colleagues at Oregon for all they had done to help Ed Reinhardt and his family.   And if anyone thinks for a moment that time has tempered the affection that the people of Eugene, Oregon has for Ed Reinhardt, then spend twenty-two minutes watching this simply beautiful video that the University of Oregon's Athletic Department has recently posted on its website.

The '85 game against Oregon's halftime ceremony was the Reinhardt family - with Ed front and center and smiling like a madman - riding around the field in a convertible.   He waved to the crowd and thanked everyone for supporting him and for thinking of him.  I am confident in saying that everyone at Folsom that afternoon cried.  Well, I presume they did.  I know I did.  It was an amazing moment. 

That afternoon ended with an amazing moment as well.  Oregon needed a touchdown to win the game and under the leadership of their quarterback, Chris Miller, the Ducks had driven the length of the field to inside of the Buffs' ten-yard line as time ran down.  On what would be the the game's final play, with everything on the line, the Buffs needed something big to happen.   And it did....

Mickey Pruitt blitzed off of the corner and even though Miller rolled to his right - away from Pruitt - he had no chance of escaping him.  Pruitt sacked him.  Game over.  An unbelievable ending to an amazing day.

Even though history is not likely to repeat itself this afternoon in the shadow of the Flatirons, it shall nevertheless be one hell of a day.  And sometimes that, in and of itself, is more than enough.