No more dollar menu from McGreedy. But maybe Santa will bring the Texans a Super Bowl and the world some peace.

 

So much sadness seems to surround our world these days. And I am not just talking about the Paris terrorist attack. For instance, fast food giant McDonald’s has announced it is parting ways with its dollar value menu. It is instead offering a choice of two items from a choice of the McDouble, McChicken, small fry and Mozzarella sticks. This comes after McDonald’s belittled the tamale in Mexico. Really, have you no shame ¿damas y señores?

Well while we are speaking of such a sad state of affairs, there was one brightened light last evening. I speak of the Houston Texans keeping their shirts together long enough to upset the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were one of an unprecedented three NFL teams that were undefeated. Those 9-0 teams are the New England (Cheating Scum) Patriots and the Carolina (Where the hell is that?) Panthers. Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer left the Monday evening game with a possible concussion shortly before the fourth quarter began. The Bengals led by two field goals in those waning seconds of the third period. But then as the fourth quarter began, in the sky, no on the field it’s … not Superman. But close enough for the Texans. Out of seemingly nowhere, came T.J. Yates — who is that? — lobbing a 22-yard touchdown pass at the end of his first drive. The catch by Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins sealed the deal.

Actually, anyone who even remotely has followed Houston Texans games should know who is this Yates — not Shelly, not Keats, nor Dickens — person. It was this T.J. Yates who substituted for first string QB Matt Schaub, and second-stringer Matt Leinart, during the 2011 Texans season. Yates chunked a short pass in the last two seconds of a match with — you guessed it — the Bengals. That resulted in the first round of playoffs, ever, in the Texans’ history during that 2011 season.

So now the Texans share an AFL South lead with Indianapolis. Both sport a very unspectacular 4-5 standing. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Just wait for the jolly old fat man with white hair and beard. I believe he will make it from the South Pole in December, or is it from the North Pole in January? Maybe St. Nicky will deliver the long-suffering Texans’ fans a playoff berth. And perhaps even a Super Bowl. If you are going to wish, you might as well go big.

While he is at it Santa might as well bring some comfort to our Parisian brethren, and serve it with some world peace on the side.

Thoughts of disgust from an unrepentant band-wagoner

HOUSTON — Damned Astros! I hadn’t intended to watch the Astros this year. When the team changed from the National League where they had been for, forever, to the American I said that is it. I will no longer watch them or like them. I like the Texas Rangers okay. They are American League with their designated hitters. That’s fine. But the Houston of Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan and Larry Dierker and the Killer Bs. They were born National League – the National League of the slugging pitchers and no DLs.

But alas, I fell into the bandwagon. The Astros were contenders for most of the year and they got into the playoffs the hard way, with a wild card berth.

As of this morning the Houston team was leading the series and could have finished off Kansas City this afternoon. And it looked as if that would happen with the Astros leading 6-to-2 at the bottom of the seventh inning. Oh, but the Royals came back in the final two innings to ensure no joy was to be seen in Mudville. The mighty Astros had struck out. KC lived to play another game as they whipped Houston like a rented mule 9-to-6.

It seems most Houston sports teams cannot finish the deal. Maybe some of the Rockets round ball teams are excepted. Maybe it’s this damned humidity that Houston gets from its sub-tropical geography. But it seems those teams always play like hell, only to have themselves passed up at the end and left bloody — in this case on the diamond of Minute Maid Park.

Game 5 starts after 7 p.m. Central Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium in KC. The temperatures will be mild with mostly clear skies says the Weather Bureau. Maybe the Astros will remember why they are there. It is for something called “winner take all.”

Let’s not even talk about the American League Championship Series, or, heaven forbid the World “Freakin'” Series. Not yet. But if the Astros get as far as either one, yes, I will be band-standing with the best of them.

Some thoughts on feet n’ football

Welcome back. I suppose that is a correct expression. I welcome myself back. I am trying very hard to stay off my left foot. That is where I have a toe wound and it is linked to diabetes. The wound became infected and my podiatrist was like “Holy shit!” He didn’t say that. But his expression said it for him.

I have the inclination to ask him why he wanted to study podiatry. One immediately thinks — at least those of us with somewhat perverted minds — “foot fetish.” But feet stank. Yes I know that isn’t the right word but to get a little OG into it. I’m talking “Original Gangster” but some of you, perhaps it is just I, probably think I was recalling that dirty little short ditty sang by Dr. Hook called “Monterrey Jack.” You know:

“You mean OD/No OG/That’s when you OD and you say Oh gee … ”

I tell you what, for the acclaimed writer of children’s books and poems that Shel Silverstein was, he sure wrote some bawdy songs full of sex and drugs and rock and roll, such as this song. The guy was a f***ing genius.

Where was I any way? Oh yeah, my cousin just emailed me about a Facebook post where I explained a little of what’s going on with my left, second toe. You see, it has a wound partially started via diabetes and the adjacent hammer toes I have. Fortunately, X-rays found no infection in the bone. So if I stay off the foot for awhile in order to heal, perhaps I want have to worry about amputation. As it is, I say a better than even chances. I hate thinking about it. Best not to think about it. So keep it clean, unlike what Shelly did when he wasn’t writing enchanting literature like “I’m being swallowed by a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor … ” And even PG tunes such as “A Boy Named Sue.” Yes, yes, I know Johnny Cash sang it, or whatever he did with it, but he didn’t write it. Neither did Cash write Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” Johnny made other folks’ songs breathe more feeling.

You know something, people tend to overlook the poetry with music of people like Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Willie Nelson and others of their ilk. They are all Texans, of course. Kristofferson was a Texan by virtue of Army bratdom. I’m just saying.

And also I’m just saying, what’s up with that Marshawn Lynch? These pro football players, some of them, are just trying to be cute. Of course, that wouldn’t be how they would describe it.

Some folks will chalk it up to disadvantaged youths with no father figure at home and 24/7 rap music and drugs and so forth. Do that if you will. But there are people who turn out just fine. I know a couple of former pro football players these days. Then I also was acquainted with a couple of other former pros, both Dallas Cowboys from the early 60s, but I didn’t hold that against them. One was an Episcopal priest and the other married to a Methodist minister. Both nice guys.

Really, if there is blame to go around for people like Lynch acting like buttholes then a share goes to you and me. Well, the literal me not the figurative me. We make these young men big heroes and like to watch them dance in the end zone and make fools of themselves. We buy their crap and like to see them stick it to the man. That’d be the rich ol’ white man.

Over the last few years the Super Bowl has been pretty uninteresting to me. Even the commercials I usually value more than the game itself. So it is likely to be this year. I don’t give a damn who wins. If there was some way both teams could lose, that would be a great outcome in my mind.

Cheating bastards versus arrogant a**holes. Katie Perry “Roars” in between. Come one, come all!

Go out to the parking and get in your car and drive real far … it all makes sense

In my research of commercial spots for the upcoming Super Bowl XLIX — which of this weekend will be Seattle Seahawks facing the New England Patriots — did I find no mention of the hilarious Acura RDX commercial. I won’t give much away except it features an attractive woman who goes on speaker phone in her car without knowing, or apparently caring, that her bosses are listening. The woman is rocking out and singing along to, especially the rap portion, of the 1980 Blondie hit “Rapture.”

The sing-a-long may not be one of the $4.5 million spots seen on the Super football game but surely it will make it at least once in the hours-long hype leading up to the 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time game on Sunday, Feb. 1.

Of course, we all know the Super Bowl is all about the TV commercials. Well, mostly. I am not a big fan of the Seahawks although a local boy, Earl Thomas, the ‘Hawks Pro Bowl defensive back, from nearby Orange, Texas, is about the biggest thing in Southeast Texas right now since the Valero Refinery. Fellow Seattle DB and Pro Bowler Richard Sherman and Thomas were both injured in their come-from-behind win against Green Bay yesterday for the NFC Championship. Sherman sprained an elbow yesterday though continued playing despite that even I could see him wincing on TV and not using that left hand. Thomas had a dislocated shoulder. Both are expected to play in the world championship in two weeks.

Thomas is, understandably a hometown hero, he apparently spends a lot of time back home in Orange during the off season, doing good works for the community. So, if even half of what I hear about Thomas is true, it certainly speaks well of the young man. Sherman, obviously loves his mother and Campbell Soup. That, and being one of the best cornerbacks in the game, doesn’t prevent his generally being regarded as one who regularly engages in dirty play.

I didn’t intend to spend so much time writing about the upcoming Super Bowl. I just found the Acura ad amusing and liked that it used what is probably the only “rap” song I like even though it isn’t totally rap. I just have not liked rap or hip hop all that much. I suppose the major difference between “Rapture” and the rest of rap is Blondie vocalist Debbie Harry’s sexy voice — now 30-something years later —  as well as the rock and funk that underlies the tune. A couple of hip-hop pioneers, Fab Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash, are also name-dropped in the song.

All I’m saying is that it’s a cool song though saddled as both rap and disco tunes. “Rapture” is pretty fly, my man. I gotta figure, that’s a good thing.

 

Nine years, 2,600 posts and then, there is the Houston Texans

When I began writing this little blog almost 10 years ago I never thought I would still be writing it 10 years later. I certainly never imagined I would write 2,600 posts. I never really knew what to think.

I know I wanted to make my living as a freelance writer. I tried it for awhile but that tech writing stuff which just kept me barely afloat financially was not what I had in mind. There was a period in which I slept in my truck. A lot of that was health problems. It’s all documented. Perhaps I should look back upon it from time to time. Finally, I got a better than average part-time job money-wise. But I developed a few health-related issues which has made it hard for me to function, particularly now that I work 32 hours every week.

Meanwhile, I also became a regional vice president of my union local, for which I am not paid. Every now and then I get to take a trip somewhere on union business and might come out ahead in per diem. But, hey, I get to help my fellow bargaining unit employee.

More and more I find that I need to get off my ass and get something published, even if it is for something that might pay only a few bucks. That and I need to get a book underway. I’ve thought about it for so long. Even if it is a collection of posts and columns I wrote through the years. It is for my writing that I have published this blog. I have tried my best over the nine-plus years to write something here every day. I was once disciplined enough to do so. A load of life has slowed me down.

What is it they say about good intentions? Maybe it’s better than bad intentions.

I had planned to write about football today. Specifically, I had planned to write as to the danger involved in life as a Houston Texans quarterback. It was sad yesterday when Houston played Indianapolis. Houston actually held, with not quite as much steam from possible MVP, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Indy by a touchdown. The Texans third-string QB Tom Savage came in after previous starter Ryan Fitzpatrick broke his tibia in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick, who has seen more NFL teams than the Zebra corps (the referees) had started the first nine games for the Texans this season until he was benched by first year Head Coach Bill O’Brien. In came Ryan Mallett, who backed up Tom Brady. You know the guy, who never seemed to miss a day’s work in his storied career with the Patriots. Mallett started two games and injured his pectoral muscle. Savage came in and hurt his knee toward the final minutes.

Perhaps Houston should have hired another QB named Ryan or hired the Ryan family (Buddy, Rex and Rob) as coaches. It looks as if Houston favorite Case Keenum, former U of H Cougar QB and a damn good one, may come in to replace the wrecked Houston quarterback squad. I’m sure that makes Texans punter Shane Lechler, former Texas Aggies punter, kicker and emergency QB happy. Just how good Keenum might be returning as a quarterback, well see his preseason attempts.

Houston Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon pretty well predicted before the first draft pick the pickle the Texans would find themselves. Many sports talking heads on radio felt this year’s QB class in the NFL draft was an abysmal one. That is even considering Johnny Football Manziel who finally started yesterday also, for the Cleveland Browns. He probably stunk worse than Savage. Nonetheless, the Texans desperately needed a hotshot quarterback, Solomon and many others said earlier in the pre-draft. The Texans had the shot at the first round, top pick and they spent their pick and their millions of bucks on Jadaveon Clowney, an outside linebacker from the South Carolina Gamecocks. Clowney played four games this season and received a “microfracture” of his knee.

Oh well. NFL guys make a butt-load of money for doing whatever it is on the field or whatever it is they are supposed to do but cannot do because of injury. I was on injured reserve earlier in the year with a torn meniscus from a fall. Got the surgery, the physical therapy. My knee still hurts. It doesn’t bend like it used to and swells up somewhat ugly. I feel your pain. Well, your knee pain, at least.

What was I talking about earlier? It doesn’t matter. Just putting the words together feels okay. I have accomplished my deed for the day.