Not a Blog

Time to Vote

October 21, 2020 at 11:35 am
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I descended from my mountain holdfast for a few days this week, to make sure my vote was counted.

Early voting is open in many states.

If you want to vote by mail or with an absentee ballot, there are ways to do that as well.   But you have to ACT.

Or you can go to the polls on election day.   Masked, I hope.   Keeping correct social distance.

However you do it, please VOTE.  Covid makes it unusually challenging this year, but the future of our country, the future of democracy itself, is on the line this time around.

 

Current Mood: determined determined

A STORM OF SWORDS: THE ILLUSTRATED EDITION  

October 19, 2020 at 8:19 am
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On sale 11/3 

Lavishly illustrated by the incredibly talented Gary Gianni and available now for pre-order.  

Here is a sneak peak at some of his work on this special edition of A STORM OF SWORDS, brought to you by Penguin Random House. 

And a pre-order link:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/635347/a-storm-of-swords-the-illustrated-edition-by-george-r-r-martin/

This message has been brought to you by the minions of Fevre River.

Current Mood: artistic artistic

The Thrill of Victory

October 18, 2020 at 7:33 pm
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Ohmigod.   The Giants WON one!!!

Yes indeed.   Big Blue is now 1-5, having just defeated the Washington Nameless Horrors 20-19.   So… there’s that.   Winning is always better than losing.

It was not what you call a crushing victory, however.  The Washington Football Team, which is now also 1-5, is not exactly a powerhouse.   And the Giants almost blew this one.   They had an early lead, then squandered it.  Then they had a late lead, thanks to a fumble return for a TD, and seemed to have the game in hand… only to let DC score a touchdown with only seconds left.   A routine extra point would have sent the game into overtime, but the Washington coach Ron Rivera decided to go for two and try to win instead.   The attempt failed, so the G-Men got the win.  I don’t really blame Rivera.   It was a gutsy call, but why not?  Washington is not going anywhere this season anyway, any more than the Giants are, so might as well roll the dice and give it a shot.

A win is a win and I will take it, but there were several discouraging things about the game.  I really thought our defense, which has looked pretty good in some of the losses, would shut down the Nameless Horrors offense, playing with their second string QB.   But no.   They let Washington come back when a solid stop would have iced the win.   And while Danny Dimes looked pretty good most of the game, his biggest plays came from running, not throwing the ball.   And on the goal line, once again he threw a horrendous interception.   He still turns the ball over too much, usually at the MOST horrendous times.

Ah well.  At 1-5 the Giants are no longer at the bottom of the NFL.

That honor is reserved for the Jets, who were shut out by the Miami Dolphins 24-0.   I would love to find a silver lining there, but really, there is nothing to say.  It was the first time the Fins have shut out Gang Green since the AFC Championship “Mud Bowl” in… what was it, 1982?  A long time.   Joe Flacco started for Darnold again, and looked lost.  On the other side, the Dolphins had Ryan Fitzpatrick, a veteran of eight NFL teams, including the Jets.   The Jets let him walk years ago… but even now, he is better than any QB that Gang Green has fielded since.   Miami even got to put in Tua, their QB of the future, for a few plays in garbage time, and he looked good as well.   The Jets O looked inept, the Jets D looked disinterested.

Losing 24-0 in the late third quarter, Adam Gase tried for a long field goal.  (And missed, of course).   I guess he was trying to avoid the shutout rather than going for a win.  The team was unprepared and disinterested.

Oh, wait, Marcus Maye did have a really nice juggling behind-your-back interception at one point.  A play for the highlight reels.   Maye is the best player remaining on the Jets.  I wonder who we will trade him to…

On the bright side, since the Giants and the Falcons both won, the Jets at 0-6 are now the only remaining winless team in the whole NFL.   Number one overall draft choice, here we come!

((Comments allowed, but only on NFL football.   Off topic comments will be deleted)).

Current Mood: grumpy grumpy

Golden Glory

October 18, 2020 at 8:50 am
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New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment.   And fall is my favorite time of year here.

(No, not because Winter Is Coming).

Our autumns are gloriously golden.   We don’t get the reds and oranges they have up in New England, but the aspens and cottonwoods all turn gold.  It does not last long, but then again, all beauty is fleeting.   Seeing entire forests and mountainsides glowing in gold always lifts my heart.

(And these days, with the world the way it is, my heart is often in need of lifting).

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

Two More Defeats

October 16, 2020 at 2:48 pm
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The Jets and the Giants both lost again this past weekend.   That seems to be the story of the season.  It feels as if I am writing the same post week after week.   There is no joy in Mudville… or in Gotham.

As ever, the Jets defeat was much worse.   They were crushed once again, this time by the Cardinals.   Sam Darnold was injured, so Joe Flacco got the start this week, but it did not make a dime’s worth of difference.   Gang Green continues to look inept and unprepared on both offense and defense.  The Texans and the Falcons both fired their head coaches this past week, and yet Adam Gase continues to have a job.   It passes all understanding.   I have no idea how the Johnsons can continue to think of him as a good coach.

Instead of firing Gase after the latest loss, the Jets instead released Le’veon Bell, the star running back they paid a bloody fortune for when he was a free agent.   It is said that Gase never wanted Bell.   He certainly had no idea how to use him.  To me, that’s another argument for dumping Gase, not Bell.  Bell has now signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, where I expect he will excell.   We shall see.   In the offseason, the Jets traded their best defensive player, Jamal Adams, to the Seahawks for a bag o’ magic beans.   They also let their best wideout, Robbie Anderson, walk.   Got nothing for him.   Got nothing for Le’Veon Bell.   Others teams build around their best players, but the Jets seems intent on getting rid of them all.   It is the coach and the GM that they should be getting rid of.   At this point, I think 0-16 is a very real possibility.

The Giants are a different story.   Yes, they are 0-5 as well… but they keep almost winning, whereas the Jets just get blown out.   That was certainly true this past weekend against the Cowboys.   The G-Men outplayed Dallas for most of the game and should have gotten the W… but they were up against the zebras too, and you can never beat the zebras.   The refs overturned not one but two Giants touchdowns on bullshit ticky-tacky penalties, and then, on the Cowboys game-winning drive, overlooked an absolutely flagrant hold by Dallas.   Give the G-Men those two TDs and they win going away.  And believe me, they needed that win.   Joe Judge has yet to win a game as head coach, but I have a lot more faith in him than I do in Gase.   At least the Giants make it close.  I think Big Blue will find a few wins sometime this season.

But this is not a good year to be a fan of NYC football.

 

Current Mood: embarrassed embarrassed

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My Birthday Wolf

October 7, 2020 at 9:12 am
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As promised, here is a picture of the wonderful wolf that Parris gave me for my birthday.

The wolf is the work of artist Jim Eppler, whose sculptures are offered through Manitou Galleries on Palace Avenue in Santa Fe.

I have several other pieces by Eppler as well, all of ravens.   He has a whole set of ravens.   Those were gifts from Parris as well.

Love them all.

 

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

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More Losing

October 4, 2020 at 8:58 pm
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One more week and two more losses.   What an NFL season this is turning into.

The big difference this week was that only the Giants lost on Sunday.   The Jets got it over with early and lost on Thursday night.

Both games were closer than last week’s blowouts, which I suppose is something to be thankful for.   (But not much).

Aside from that, the theme was more or less the same as the first couple of weeks.   The Jets were defeated by the Denver Broncos 37-28.  They actually scored first in this contest, and led again (briefly) in the second half, but of course they fell apart at the end.   It was the closest contest they have had all year, but that was not entirely encouraging.   The Broncos are another dreadful team, though plainly not as dreadful as Gang Green.  Denver was also 0-3 entering the game.   Now they are 1-3 and the Jets are 0-4.   Worse, the Broncos were the weakest opponent the Jets are going to face for quite a while.  Looking at what lies ahead for them in the weeks to come, I think there is a very real possibility Gang Green may be 0-7 or 0-8 or 0-9.  They even have a chance to go 0-16, which would at least get them first pick in next year’s draft.   There’s supposed to be a red hot can’t miss quarterback coming out, which some might think means hope for the future… except I remember when Sam Darnold was the red hot can’t miss quarterback coming out, so…

The Giants loss was to the LA Rams, a much better team than Denver, and they played the game in Los Angeles.  Away games are always harder, even when they have cardboard cutouts in the stands in place of fans.   A loss is a loss is a loss, but I have to say, the G-Men gave a really good effort in this one.  The final score was 17-9, but the Giants had a chance to tie the game and maybe even win it right up to the last minute of the fourth quarter, when Daniel Jones threw a drive-killing INT near the Rams goal line.   That was his only turnover of the game, however; despite being sacked numerous times and pressured constantly, he did not lose a fumble, which came as a huge relief.   Meanwhile, the defense did a really good job of holding the potent Rams offense, which has been scoring 30 a game, in check.   The biggest problem continues to be the O line.   The Giants have been trying to bolster that for years, with trades, free agent signings, and high draft picks, but it remains a mess.   Maybe one day..

The Giants are not going to be going to the playoffs.  All chance of that ended when Saquon Barkley went down.   But I think they might manage to win a few games before the season ends.

I am not so sure about the Jets.

Current Mood: depressed depressed

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Ugly, Ugly, Ugly

September 30, 2020 at 4:36 pm
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I have seen every presidential debate ever held.

I began taking an interest in politics when I was still in grade school.    The first presidential election I followed was the race between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960.   I was twelve years old.   It was an historic occasion.

Most of you are probably way younger than me.   JFK died before you were born.   You may not even remember the day he was shot, let alone the election that won him the presidency, or the debates that played such a big part in that contest.   But fortunately you have YouTube.   Take a look.

 

Millenials, Gen Xers, Gen Zs, play a little of this.   The opening statements, at least.   The issues and controversies of 1960 are part of history now, and may not seem hugely relevant to us today (though some of them still are)… but it is the TONE of the debate that I want to draw your attention to.   This is what a presidential debate is supposed to look and sound like.   Two candidates exchanging views and ideas, debating facts, dealing with the issues of the day, all the while treating each other with respect.   It was a DEBATE.   Lincoln and Douglas would have been proud.   Maybe it was not the most exciting television in the world, but it gave us a good view of both candidates, where they agreed, where they differed.

I have seen every subsequent debate as well.   Nixon and Kennedy had three more of these, and I watched.   I was watching when Ford blew his election against Carter with a gaffe about Eastern Europe.   I was watching when Bill Clinton turned the 1992 race in the three-way debate with Bush the Elder and Ross Perot.   I saw Ronald Reagan debate Jimmy Carter, and John Anderson, and Walter Mondale.   I watched Obama against McCain, and Obama against Romney.   I saw all the good moments, and all the bad ones.

I have never seen anything like what I witnessed last night.

It was appalling.   Offensive.   Disgusting.    Donald Trump was bad four years ago in his debates with Hillary Clinton, but last night he set new records for being offensive, obnoxious, and rude.    He ranted, he raved, he shouted, he interrupted again and again and again and AGAIN, refusing to let Joe Biden finish a sentence without breaking in.   He spoke over Biden, he spoke over the moderator, he ignored the questions, he ignored the rules — rules his own campaign had negotiated and agreed to — he told shocking lies, and doubled down when called on them, he engaged in smears and personal attacks, he tried to discredit the result of the vote before most of America has even voted.

This was not the behavior of a president.   This was not the behavior of a presidential candidate.

This was the behavior of a schoolyard bully, an obnoxious child, the tinpot strongman of some third world dictatorship.

Look at the debate from 1960.   Can you imagine either Kennedy or Nixon engaging in behavior like this?   I am certainly no fan of Nixon, and he did some pretty shady things when he got into the White House (Watergate and all).   He said some pretty obnoxious stuff in his private moments as well.   So did LBJ.   So did other presidents, other candidates.  IN PRIVATE.   None of them would ever have behaved like Trump did in public.

It is not a question of Democrat v Republican, or Liberal v Conservative.   Nixon would not have behaved as Trump did.   Ronald Reagan would not have done so.   Nor Eisenhower, nor John McCain, nor Barry Goldwater.

Donald Trump disgraced the presidency last night.   He took a piss all over democracy.

All other issues aside — and there are hugely important issues being decided this year, from race relations to climate change to the pandemic — last night’s “debate” proved one thing beyond any doubt.   Joe Biden is a decent human being, and Donald Trump is not.

 

Current Mood: angry angry

Jetboy Lives!

September 30, 2020 at 8:43 am
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((Well, not really, but the memory of him survives)).

A few posts down I shared the wonderful Billy Joel / Wild Cards parody.

Here’s another Wild Cards song I stumbled on, from YouTube.   This one is an ode to the Kid Who Couldn’t Die Yet.

Enjoy.

And read on!

Current Mood: amused amused

0-3, 0-3

September 27, 2020 at 6:51 pm
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Life is meaningless and full of pain.   At least on Sunday.

The Jets and the Giants did it to me again.   Two more losses.   Horrible losses.

The Giants lost their first two games, but at least they were competitive.   They hung tough in those contests, even had a shot at winning or at least taking the lead late in the game.   Not today.   Today the G-Men looked as bad as the Jets.   The 49ers crushed them.   A debacle, start to finish… and what was worse, they lost to a backup quarterback and San Francisco’s junior varsity defense.   Depressing.

Come the afternoon game, the Jets were miserable again.   The season’s first two losses were hideous, but this was the worst one yet.    Adam Gase needs to be fired.   Jets ownership thinks he is an offensive genius, yeah… but you know how you can tell if a coach is an offensive genius?   Their offenses score some points.   The Jets are getting worse, not better.   And Sam Darnold, our heralded quarterback of the future, is regressing.   He threw three INTs this afternoon, and gave up a safety.   He was supposed to be the best prospect in his draft class, but right now he is looking like the worst.   Gase is supposedly a “quarterback whisperer.”  I have no idea what he is whispering to Darnold, but it isn’t working.   Looking at the schedule in the weeks to come, Gang Green could easily go 0-8 or 0-9, unless they win one soon.

Most of the year, I work seven days a week.   The exception has always been Sundays in the fall, when I take off to watch NFL football.   This year, that is starting to look like an exercise in masochism.

 

Current Mood: discontent discontent

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