I’m Worried About Inflation & Other Random Thoughts

Everything I know about Milton Friedman’s ideas tell me it’s coming. Not looking forward to it, either.

I’m sure Milton liked kreplach, but not at that price.

Today I officially became a “cord cutter,” and got rid of my satellite TV service. No way to really justify spending that amount of money to watch barely a half dozen channels from time to time. I was proud of myself for keeping the rep from spending too much of my time trying to talk me out of it by cracking lots of jokes. She took a liking to me for making her laugh and expedited the process in under 5 minutes.

Either that, or women just don’t want to talk to me.

In any case, it’s done. And now I’ll get my allotment of TV reruns via Locast, which I can recommend if you’re in one of their markets. They cover about half the country.

I spent the last few weeks burning through the two dozen or so saved movies in my DVR before I have to send it back. I might be movie-d out for a while, but it was worth it – I think I only bailed on one of ’em, all the others were good calls to record & watch, nearly all for the first time, or for the first time in many years. Maybe I’ll write about them in this space soon. I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while, even with the increased amount of time I’ve been stuck home with all this crapola.

In the meantime, I guess I should be buying gold, or bitcoin, or kreplach. Gotta put that nest egg somewhere.

Another GREATEST FILM EVER MADE

Certainly the most ’70s trailer I’ve seen. Just listen to that quasi-porn funk guitar soundtrack. Check out those bleached out colors. How about the car smashups with those old gas guzzling bombers?

Not ’70s enough for you? How about the stiff line readings for whatever dialogue we get, or spotting Richard Jaeckel as most likely cop and Lloyd Bochner clearly as mob boss?

Funny… this morning I was thinking about Bochner’s classic Twilight Zone where the aliens have him on the menu in “To Serve Man.” Then I remembered how be played Pia Zadora’s impotent husband in “The Lonely Lady.”

Ah well. He mostly did TV in the 70s and 80s, like Dynasty and the like. But he’s great in “Point Blank” and on an old Wild Wild West where he plays a demented genius puppeteer with life size puppets.

Jaeckel mostly played sleazebags, due to those wild eyes of his. Not quite Steve Railsback level, but close enough.

But a wheelchair with shotguns in the arms? I’m in! Time to hunt this piece of crap down and put it on my own menu.

I have a feeling that the two minute trailer will be more entertaining than the film itself, but let’s hope I’m wrong. Perhaps some heavy doses of slo-mo martial arts fight scenes and gratuitous nudity will truly make this one a classic.

My Fearless Superbowl 2021 Prediction

Even though he’s not on my team anymore, I’m still rooting for Tom Brady.

He won 6 more Superbowls for the Patriots than I ever thought I’d see them win when I grew up watching them lose in the first round every year, or finally make it to the Superbowl in ’86 only to embarrass themselves.

So even if it feels like watching divorced dad with his new family, I’ll be rooting for Brady, Gronk and Tampa in Sunday’s festivities… but the cold-hearted soul-less analyst in me is thinking Chiefs win by something like 31-28. At least that’s what I got when I crunched all the stats, sport-betting wise (and I’m not betting on the game, especially since my calculations put the result way too close to the spread).

I predict a good game, with back and forth leads… but in the end, I think Mahomes and the Chiefs are just a better team than the Bucs.

But who knows? I’d love to be wrong on this one.

A Tasty Culinary Abomination

This one felt wrong when I looked at the interior of my fridge and thought of it, but I gotta say… it was beyond easy and tasted really good. <insert your own joke here>

I made what I can only refer to as “California Roll Soft Tacos.”

Let’s be honest, sushi people – California roll is ALREADY an abomination. One of the better long-gone sushi bars of Los Angeles, Sushi Nozawa, would actually THROW YOU OUT if you ordered it.

But what can I say? I’ll eat any kind of seafood if it tastes decent. Kinda like the way I’m a total pasta gourmet and snob, but would still snarf down Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese out of a box or even Chef Boyardee.

So I had some fake crabmeat I’d figured on making some simple sammiches with, but instead, I did this:

  1. Chopped up said fake crabmeat and tossed with mayo, set aside
  2. Took 2 avocados, mashed ’em up with some lemon juice and salt, set aside
  3. Seeded/sliced up some cucumber into long strips, as well as some shredded carrot – set aside.
  4. Made a quick abomination of sushi rice – basically, 1/2 cup of rice rinsed until the water was reasonably clear, cooked in cup of water – bring to boil, simmer until mostly done, then let sit off heat for 10 minutes. Then I mixed it with a tablespoon of vinegar rice. Set aside.
  5. Warmed up some flour tortillas, soft taco size.
  6. Assembly! A layer of the rice in the tortilla, followed by pressing the crab, avocado into it, then the cucumber and carrot.
  7. Rolled it up tight and alternated between sprinkling soy sauce or tabasco on it, in between bites.

And it was DAMN GOOD.

Certainly a good thing to do with the fake crab from now on. And, minus the hint of salt/crisp from the seaweed wrapper of an actual California Roll, pretty much the same affect.

And considering how I got all the major ingredients at the local Aldi…. DIRT CHEAP!

I’m sure if I wanted to spring for actual sushi quality fish, the same sushi-burrito motif would work just fine with a tweak here and there with the other ingredients. And yes, I did miss the picked ginger, although I mostly eat that as a palate cleanser when switching between fish at an actual sushi bar.

I keep wondering if dim sum or a sushi bar will be my first long sit-down restaurant meal once this covid bullshit is over with. But in the meantime… I guess I’ll try to come up with more stuff like this.

Kentucky Derby Predictions 2020

I guess this is what it took to get me to emerge from my non-blogging cave for the past several weeks… or is it months? I’ve lost all track of time since all this virus BS began. I can’t tell one day from another, except that each day seems to suck more than the previous one.

I’m tired of it all. How about you?

I’d like to think it ends with logical and reasoned decisions made by people with an adult view of the world, but I’d also like to think I can pick the powerball numbers at will. So I’ll dispense with predictions of violence and apocalypse and stick to picking this year’s Kentucky Derby, bumped this year to Labor Day weekend from its traditional May spot.

The clear favorite this year is 17 Tiz The Law, and for good reason – this horse simply outclasses the remainder of the field. The current line is 3-5 on him, and it’s been a while since a Derby favorite has been under even money. He’s got the speed and the consistency, and has won every race in his career except for a sloppy track effort.

Forecast for Churchill Downs on Saturday is sunny & clear. Fast dry track. Check.

So I’ll definitely go with 17 Tiz The Law as my winner… but with odds like that and MY ENORMOUS EGO to be satisfied, it’s time to think about what sorts of combo plays are possible.

My second choice would be 18 Authentic, one of two Baffert trained entries. Authentic has a near perfect record, save a close failed-as-favorite effort in the Santa Anita Derby. Bounced back nicely in the Haskell with the great Mike Smith aboard… but today, Smith will be riding his long-time partner 16 Honor AP, another horse I’d throw into my combos. Authentic switches to John Velazquez, who has a very nice 3/4 in the money record with Baffert with two wins. That tells me Baffert thinks he’s got a definite shot against Tiz The Law, and is definitely gunning for a money position. I’d also say the same for Honor AP and Smith, even if some of the numbers aren’t as strong.

My other picks for possible money finishes would be 15 NY Traffic, currently 20-1, despite running a fantastic Haskell Stakes, only losing by a nose to Authentic. This horse is improving and comes into this race with some nice momentum, ready to challenge horses who look better on paper… but I’m thinking he could get into that 2-3-4 position and fatten up any exotic pools if he stays 20-1 (though I won’t be surprised if those odds drop considerably by post time.) Rounding out my exotic field are 2 Max Player at 30-1. He’s lost to Tiz The Law twice, but puts up some impressive speed figures recently, and the works tell me his new trainer has him running faster than before. He’s also a closer – could be the kind of horse who sits in the middle for a chunk of the race and then runs into a money position down the stretch. I also would give some chance to 6 King Guillermo, another 20-1 dark horse who shows improving works and the potential to come out ahead in a race-inside-the-race type dynamic of horses competing for 3rd or 4th despite Tiz The Law clearly in the lead.

So it’s looking like a 17/15,16,18 exacta ticket and a 17,18/2,6,15,16,17,18/2,6,15,16,17,18 trifecta, maybe. I might prune depending on odds changes, or if I decide to go all-in on Tiz winning regardless of my combos. But since I’m still playing with house money in my eyes from my long-ago pick 6 win, maybe I’ll get extravagant.

Haven’t bet the horses in a while. One day of betting Del Mar earlier this summer scared me away when I watched twenty bucks go down the toilet when Del Mar did what Del Mar does and NOTHING seemed predictable. And this was after some nice wins at Santa Anita.

Ah well… Santa Anita returns on September 19 for a month or so… I’ll wait til then.

My Treatment For Missing Sports 1: Monday Night Football, September 21, 1970. Jets vs. Browns

Welcome to a new feature for my fellow sports addicts going through withdrawal.

The other day, I watched MLB Network’s broadcast of the 1978 Yankee/Red Sox divisional play-off, the Bucky Dent game. They showed the entirety of the game with a few pop-up trivia overlays, but essentially just gave us the old WPIX broadcast complete with Bill White and Phil Rizzuto.

And I thought, with ALL sports gone for a while, why don’t the other sports channels run old games? They own the films of all of ’em, and could add panels with surviving players the way MLB does, or put in pop-up trivia, or what have you.

But I then I remembered how people upload their own private video stash to youtube, and sure enough, there’s GOLD like this – the complete broadcast of ABC’s Monday Night Football premiere game of 1970, with the original commercials intact.

There’s a lot to digest here – Keith Jackson’s announcing, Howard Cosell on highlights, and Don Meredith on very infrequent color commentary. The differences both in how the game is broadcast and how the game is played from now is pretty striking.

The broadcast is simple – no frills, very few replays. Limited camerawork given the technology of the day, but all the key action captured. Cosell starts the show off with a nice dig at Meredith, introducing him with a lowlight reel of his QB career, but the tradition of the insults flying in the booth wouldn’t really get going until the show aged a bit.

God… those titles and theme song. Hardly the big production and hype we get now. No yellow first down line. No scores or ticker flashing. We don’t even get to see the game clock unless they cut to a shot of the one at the stadium,

And somehow, it didn’t really matter.

The game play is something to see as well. No celebrations or showboating after mere sacks and tackles. Not even after touchdowns. The guys just play, and try to play well. It didn’t seem like there were as many penalties. The refs weren’t even mic’ed up, their calls had to be explained by Jackson unless you knew the hand signals.

And way fewer injuries, even with the defenses playing with a lot more contact, especially in the secondary.

Oh, and those ads! Never mind the Marlboro ciggie ads as a glimpse into a lost world… all the ads with athletes pitching stuff are SO much more likeable than the ENDLESS God damn insurance company drek that runs over and over and over again during today’s sportscasts. We get Len Dawson & Joe Kapp pitching Gillette before Tom Seaver does. Other ads feature Roger Maris and Bart Starr. It almost rivaled the nostalgia brought back by the players on the field… Joe Namath, Emerson Boozer & Matt Snell on the Jets, or the guy with one of the best names in sports history, Fair Hooker on the Browns.

The halftime highlights go through some of the previous weekend’s games, with Cosell selling it like it’s a huge innovation to see league films. Maybe it was back then.

Those Boston Patriots managed to beat the Miami Dolphins, though! But the seeds of the Dolphins’ future Superbowl champions were in place… some highlight plays include Griese passing to Paul Warfield, a combo I remember very well.

And there’s always Rod Serling selling Ford LTDs or Goodyear tires that’ll keep EVEN YOUR WIFE safe if she drives alone… but one of the ads that really jumped out at me was the United Airlines ad touting flying a 747. Look at the people in it – how well dressed they are, how spacious and relaxed that plane cabin looks, the people strolling around. Flying was once glamorous, luxurious… now they cram you in like sardines, nickel and dime you six different ways and take away your water.

This is a lot of fun to watch – and it’s just a regular game from another era. No playoff or memorable game where some record was broken, just a normal weekly broadcast. The Jets were a year after winning their upset Superbowl, the fans in Cleveland still had hope, and no one knew that veteran Johnny Unitas would finally win a Superbowl that season.

Well, if NFL network or ESPN won’t run stuff like this, I’ll post it to share, and invite your viewership and comments! I can’t be the only one who misses present sports and loves sports history.

So as therapy for our sports on hiatus, look for old games here – football, baseball, basketball, hockey… whatever I can find, especially if it has the original commercials and show bumpers. I want the complete experience, right down to the lame synth theme songs, hairstyles, dated celebrity references… you name it.

Walkies

Certainly a nice day out. Finally, after maybe two weeks of mostly rain or unsettled garbage.

And like all of you, I’ve been stuck inside, doing my job online for the past week. Felt good to get out and start doing my walks again. I was up to a 4 mile a day routine last summer, I guess I’ll get an early start on that now.

I went up the hill to my usual spot for watching July 4th fireworks and took this shot from my spiffy new phone, the best digital camera I have. The view is a nice one today.

I walked by the big community pool. Totally empty. Three ducks had the whole hot tub to themselves and were riding the jets around and around.

So, putting together all the recent news and combining it with my personal observations, I’m predicting this for our future:

You heard it here first.

The Cure For Stupid

Today I went to the grocery store for some restocking, mostly milk, yogurt and assorted items I had soon-to-be-expiring coupons for.

They only had a few bottles of hand sanitizer on the shelves. Well, I guess I can sorta understand the run on those with coronavirus fears out there. You can’t carry a sink and hot water around with you, after all.

But the shelves stocking cases of bottled water and toilet paper were nearly empty.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO STOCK UP ON BOTTLED WATER???

Even if you WERE quarantined at home for WEEKS, there’s something called THE FAUCET, WHERE RUNNING WATER COMES OUT.

And it’s NOT an intestinal bug. You don’t NEED that much toilet paper.

(I do, but that’s another story).

So the cure for this stupidity?

SIMPLE! Turns out the other day, there’s a mountain lion wandering my neighborhood. I knew there were coyotes and a local bobcat, but never a mountain lion before. But according to the ever-vigilant on Nextdoor, someone spotted a decent sized lion only a couple of blocks from my house.

I wanted a new kitty. Maybe the lion heard about that.

In the meantime, I HOPE HE EATS ALL YOU STUPID IDIOTS STOCKPILING BOTTLED WATER.

And then I hope he drinks the water. My cat used to get dehydrated.

And then I hope he pees all over your STUPID CORPSE.

If the lion DOES become my pet, I will train him to do so.

The Hardest Working Batteries In Show Business

They don’t make ’em like this anymore, I guess.

This morning, my stereo forgot all of its preset radio stations, and I remembered that there’s actually a small battery compartment in the back that’s the thing that saves them.

I popped it open to replace what looked like a pair of AA batteries, and when I removed the old ones, it occurred to me that I’ve NEVER replaced these batteries before.

And they’re Sony batteries with assorted Japanese text on them. They’re the factory batteries THAT CAME WITH MY STEREO IN 1984 WHEN I BOUGHT IT.

So they’ve been saving my presets for more than 35 years.

I bet the ones I just popped in there last six months. Kids today….

A Timely Novelty Song From 1947

Me?

I’m drinking wine and making an Italian chicken and lentil stew for dinner. I’m watching a Yankees/Red Sox preseason game to watch individual players, and to soothe my baseball addiction with some meaningless sports.

I intend to die as I lived…. as a decadent glutton.

The rest of you are on your own.

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