Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Top 10 Ad Slogans (Past and Present) Behind the Oval Office Great Pilfer Caper


Capital One: What's in your wallet?

American Express: Don't leave home without it

Toyota: Let's go places

Nike: Just do it

Samsung: Do what you can't

Uber: Move the way you want

Staples: That was easy

Marriott Bonvoy: Rewards reimagined 

AirBnb- Belong anywhere

Taco Bell: Make a run for the border

Sunday, August 28, 2022

My Left Shoulder Is Refusing to Speak to Me

 My left shoulder and I are not on speaking terms. Actually, I thought it said hi to me earlier today, but when I turned to respond, I got the cold shoulder. Quite literally.

It was not always this way. In fact, I think until the beginning of this year we were friends. I would even say good friends.

I don't ever recall us arguing. Which is saying a lot since we have been inseparable since our birth seven decades ago. Oh maybe there were disagreements, like the time I banged it into the icy snow after catapulting out of my skis, but really give me a break (and no, I did not give it one). 

No body's perfect. Except maybe Sandy Koufax and his left shoulder. At least from 1961 until 1966. Or even Randy Johnson the year he almost single handedly beat the Yankees in the Series. Not that he only had a single hand.

Anyway, we were very close. Veryclose. It shouldered everything I threw at it with a smile. Until I slipped up. Or more accurately, slipped down.

I entirely shoulder the blame for that one. I never should have descended the stairs in my socks. And my right hand (left shoulder) man (it) willingly absorbed the weight of expectations on crash landing. Taking one for the team. I lay there believing it and I were separated. Just the thought of that causing take away my breath pain. Actually, not just the thought.

It turns out we were not separated but torn apart. Tomato tomaato. Rotator cuff.

And so, a few weeks into 2022 it suffered the unkindest cut. Or so both it and I believed. The doctor putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Good as new, or at least good as new as old gets. After five months of pulling here, pushing there, racing fingers up the wall, stretching our bond into shape, we were back. Not back but shoulder. And shouldee.

Through it all we remained, if not as tight as before, certainly still tighter than most. Able to share a laugh, lift a glass together just not too high, capable of handling whatever curve life threw at us (unless of course it had been delivered by Sandy Koufax during that incredible stretch or Randy Johnson when he appeared on the mound a giant, or more accurately, a Diamondback that Series).

The next one was not my fault. Ok, maybe it was. But who didn't sit out in the sun all summer, every summer back in the days when my shoulder and I were growing up? So what if I tore off the dead skin from my friend after baking it to a crisp. Year after year.

What are the odds that a melanoma would land with a thud right beside where the previously unkindest cut had just healed? I could have won big on that bet.

And so, just when I and it thought it (not that it, just it) safe to celebrate our win, once more into the breach we went. The scar from this incision far more than merely psychological. My shoulder now resembling Frankenstein's face on a bad hair day.

Good fortune shined on my friend and me as the doctor's subsequent report was that the cancer was nowhere in sight (kind of like the Koufax or Johnson fastball or curveball at their finest). We were now both free to move about the cabin.

Only our relationship is slow to heal. My left shoulder finding the insult in these injuries, as more than its pride had been wounded.

Thus, I am saddened even in my hour of joy. Healed but not whole. Not until my friend forgives my trespasses. When we see eye to metaphorical eye and stand shoulder to shoulder once more.

Well, not really shoulder to shoulder, but you know what I mean.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Clandestine Human Sources

 "Clandestine human sources." Even the terminology is clandestine. Oh, you mean spies.

Look, Donald Trump would have removed the filling from your teeth if he had the tools. Nothing within eyeshot of this man is out of reach. Who were his targets? What did he take? Where did he intend to show off his wares? When was he going to take everything out of the broom closet? Why does he always do precisely the wrong thing?

Trying to find the logic in the absurd is an impossibility. Mr. Trump's actions defy comprehension because they spring from the mind of a man who is allergic to rational thought. 

Here are some of the suggestions from Mr. Trump's flunkies that could be sold to the person who bought the Brooklyn Bridge. Mr. Trump spent time reviewing some of the files at Mar-a-lago (Only if he was looking for his  decoder ring). Mr. Trump cooperated with the authorities requesting he return what he had purloined (Only if he thought purloin was a kind of steak).

The redacted affidavit is the very definition of read between the lines. It tells us everything we knew and almost nothing we didn't. But what comes forward with clarity is that, true to his nature, Donald Trump was careless to the point of not caring, unrepentant for his transgressions, manipulative and obstructive. 

Everything but the kitchen sink is now being thrown at 45, in the numerous investigations that move forward, step by step and inch by inch. This one seeming to corner him into a closet overflowing with clandestine human sources.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Tit for Tat Mambo, a/k/a What's Bad for the Goose

 ("Can you Tell Me What Would Happen If the F.B.I. Were Investigating a Democrat?")

Not "if" but "when". Maybe not the F.B.I. but whatever agency, committee or body can be charged with performing the tit for tat mambo the instant the gavel is in Republican claws.

We all know Donald Trump invites a probe into every orifice of his being, his existence one big (ok, maybe small) middle finger to morality and convention. He got elected, and may well get re-elected, for being as big a pompous jerk as humanly possible.

Did he pilfer state secrets on the way out the door? I think he more covets the recipe to the secret sauce on a burger,  but he treats everything with such disdain and contempt it is virtually impossible to separate wheat from chaff.

It feels like we could, and maybe we will, spend 10 lifetimes trying to nail the coffin on 45, with the likelihood of success (ie a jumpsuit matching the often unique color of his skin) as remote as Hillary and Don deciding to double date this weekend. But try we must. As the Republicans will attempt to morph Sleepy Joe into Al Capone before he even waves his final Oval Office farewell.

What's bad for the goose....

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

 ("Biden Signs Bill on Taxes and Climate")

Is that the best you can do? No, not the Dems. The New York Times.

Under the headline hailing President Biden's signing of the law, FINALLY, finally providing  meaningful progress on the issue of attempting to save the planet, the NY Times has a caption reminding us that the "new law falls short of uplifting workers." 

Why that angle? Why today? Cannot this paper sing the praises of this President and his party without a caveat? Are they concerned this will make this venerable publication seem but a shill for one team?

I get there is still much work to be done. The Republican party will undoubtedly provide not very gentle reminders of that in the coming days and months before this November's showdown.

But come on. Would it kill you to allow the Dems one unfiltered moment in the sun for an accomplishment that but weeks ago seemed dead in the waters? For something, to borrow an old line from the now President, that is a "big f-ing deal" ?

So thanks, but no thanks for your "even handed" reporting. Today we expected far more from you than the sound of one hand clapping.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

I Cannot Tell the Truth - Donald Pleads the 5th

 He may not actually have said "I cannot tell a lie" but the Father of our Country bears absolutely no resemblance to this Mother of Invention and Deception.

And yes we have had a good number of our Presidents caught in compromising positions, in most recent memory from Watergate to Iran Contra, to Bill Clinton's attempted parsing of the term "sexual relations". But never before in the long and storied history of this nation has a person who was chosen as the best among us raised his right hand and called upon his Constitutional protection not to put his foot in his mouth and his entire body behind bars.

Donald Trump spent most of the day yesterday covering his ample behind, uttering the same phrase nearly 400 times. For a man with such obvious disregard for the truth, it must have ibbled him that he could not have used this time to fabricate, equivocate and pontificate. But eventually even the worst among us decides the system has its advantages that are best to be called upon in the worst of moments.

Donald Trump is more likely to be our next President than to spend even one nanosecond behind bars. More likely to utter the Oath of office than to ever testify beyond what he didn't say when asked to provide something  other than his name.

Somewhere there is a cherry tree that was cut down by our 45th President. But he will never admit it.  For he is a man who cannot tell the truth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Picking On Donald

 ("F.B.I. Search of Trump's Home Pushes Long Conflict  Into Public View")

Poor Donald. There they go picking on him again.

Donald Trump treats laws, subpoenas and the Constitution as but pieces of paper to shred and flush down the toilet. He  spent his presidency, no his lifetime, flouting rules, his moral compass set on disregard.

So the fact that he removed items from the White House improperly as he left the Oval Office came as absolutely no surprise. For a man who rose to power ranting about Hillary's 33,000 emails and smiled at the chants of "lock her up" for her alleged transgression, the "raid" on Mar-a-Lago was but a tiny dose of his own medicine.

This from a President who repeatedly attempted to utilize the Justice Department throughout his term as a cudgel to address his personal grievances.

And oh, the irony, that Merrick Garland should be the one to decide that, yes, breaking rules does have consequences.

Maybe in Mr. Trump's safe they will find the irrefutable proof that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Because we always know that Donald tells us nothing but the truth about the documents in his possession.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Counting the Years - On Our 45th Anniversary

 Billy Martin

Derek Jeter
Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig
Joe Dimaggio
Joe Torre
Mickey Mantle 
Yogi Berra
Roger Maris
Phil Rizzuto
Lefty Gomez 
Wade Boggs 
Alex Rodriguez
Lou Piniella 
Thurman Munson
Whitey Ford
Mickey Rivers
Don Larsen 
Dave Righetti
Jorge Posada
Paul O'Neill
Roger Clemens
Don Mattingly
Robinson Cano
Mark Teixeira
Orlando Hernandez
Giancarlo Stanton
Sparky Lyle
Catfish Hunter 
Willie Randolph
Dave Winfield
Elston Howard
David Wells
Mel Stottlemyre
Mike Mussina
David Cone
Casey Stengel
Johnny Blanchard
Daryl Strawberry
Chien-Ming Wang
Randy Johnson
Mariano Riviera
Jeff Nelson
Reggie Jackson 
Gerrit Cole

Next up is Andy Pettite
Four more to Ron Guidry
Six to Bernie Williams
Aaron Judge - neverland

PS - this was done with an assist from my dear Yankee buddy Sheldon (not the marriage, just the list)

Friday, August 5, 2022

When a Doctor Calls You at Home at 7 PM on a Saturday Night

 When a doctor calls you at home at 7 PM on a Saturday night, your first thought has to be:"this can't be good."

Luckily, for me, it wasn't so bad.

So, my left shoulder and I have been in a battle for some time now. In January, I slipped on the interior steps of our apartment and landed squarely on my ego. You have, if you follow my mental wanderings with any regularity, been provided chapter and verse of my surgery and recovery. I was pronounced almost good as new a few weeks back. And starting last week, I was allowed the freedom to curse the gods on the golf course.

A few days before my surgery, I met with a dermatologist whose task was to advise if any of the score of moles and other strange looking protuberances were more than met the eye. And she focused on one spot that was located, as you now might suspect, on my uncooperative left shoulder. There was no way, I stated, that she was taking a small slice out of that area immediately before I was to face a most unkind cut in that very region from a surgeon.

And so, I quickly forgot about her concern, for I was dealing with a mountain and could not focus on a mole.

Fast forward to slightly more than 2 weeks ago. As I had scaled to the top of Everest and was now swinging a golf club free of pain (at least physical), I was before a different dermatologist, showing my full self to a new set of eyes. Bingo, back to the left shoulder. He studied it with a small microscope and then informed me that the offending area would have to be sliced and diced. The biopsy results would take a week to 10 days he said.

So, three days later, when I received that Saturday night greeting from him, I suspected he was not calling to let me know the Yankees had looked a little shaky recently.

Melanoma, he said. But only on the top layer of the skin. Just have to cut some more around the surrounding area to be absolutely certain that you are clear of any hint of cancer and then you can move about the cabin freely. Or at least that is what I heard, after I took a moment or two to recover from hearing the word at the top of this paragraph.

I could have addressed this a half year ago had my offending limb not been otherwise wounded. I was most fortunate that during that time the cancer had apparently not taken a trip beyond where it  remained while I recuperated from the shoulder surgery.

And it was but serendipity that I even saw this latest doctor. I had been in another physician's office very recently (don't ask) and on the way out the door, she remarked that I had to see a dermatologist for a mole she spotted behind one of my knees. But for that glance, I may not have found my way to where I am today.

Which is at a 3:15 appointment for the cutting and stitching. I am grateful that good luck seems to have spared me from anything more than the most minor of temporary distractions from my golf game. Soon, I hope to be able to query the ball, with my reconstructed and cancer free shoulder, and wonder why it has decided that the bottom of the cup is its sworn enemy.

This should be my most pressing question.

I am one very lucky guy.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

When They Go Low, We Go Lower

 ("A Cynical Low For the Democratic Party")

When they go low, we go lower.

Isn't that what Michelle Obama said? OK, maybe not, but how about all's fair in love and political war. Because, make no doubt about it, this is treated in Republican circles as a battle to the death.

And while it would be nice to keep your hands clean and your moral code unblemished, if you are fighting against an opponent using an AR-15, you better not rely on your ethical superiority as your first line of defense.

If January 6th and its aftermath was not a wakeup call to Democrats everywhere, then shame on us. Fighting dirty is not an abstraction, but a necessity and, if supporting the worst of the bad in a Republican primary gives the Dems even a hint of an advantage in the general election, then I say just watch how low we can go.