All snow and no play…

The amount of snow outside my house right now is beyond ridiculous. This storm has now not only cost me money and time but has cut into my son’s birthday festivities and that is unacceptable. Global warming has forsaken us yet again.

At this point allow me now to posit a different scientific theory. I’m no adherent to theories of global warming, of course, but I have noticed over 32 years of life there have been changes in winter weather patterns. For example, when I was a kid it seemed to be coldest in December and January. In February it started to warm up by the end of the month and March I considered springtime. In the past 10 or 15 years I’ve considered December more and more to be just a continued version of late autumn and winter weather to have extended into March. Seriously, winter has been shifting over the past decade or more and by 2015 it’s extremely noticeable. This is the second winter in a row we’ve had a major snowstorm (actually two last year) in March. And I live in Virginia! I’m convinced that we miscalculated time somehow and are now off by several weeks on the “real” day of the year. To my estimation it’s still the middle of February and we should adjust our calendars thusly. Sound ridiculous? They did it in 1752. And they’re always adding in leap seconds and leap minutes they just don’t tell you about. Today’s February 15. Who’s with me?

And I really think I have been cooped up inside too long.

From the sad to the sublime

It’s hard for me to believe it, but tomorrow my son turns one year old. Obviously he has no idea, but his mom and I are pretty excited.

Jerry Seinfeld has told us that your first birthday and your last birthdays are pretty similar. In both cases someone else does your party planning, tells you who your friends are, and helps you blow out the candles on your cake. Franklin, here’s the deal: I’ll do yours this time and you can get mine at the end.

And let’s have many, many in between.

Joe, 1982-2006

Since 2006 the date March 2nd has meant only one thing to me. This was the day my best friend for all eternity, Joe Sullivan, was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 23. Over the past nine years people have asked me whether I think about Joe every day.


About every 15 minutes.

I’ve tried to make this date not one of sadness but one of fond remembrance. Remembering the good times and also being aware of how many friendships I do have and how lucky I’ve been. Joe’s death was an obvious reminder not to take anything for granted, and to experience every joy in life that you can while you are able to do so. Joe did, and I don’t think I’ve ever found a better life lesson than this one.

Goodbye, Parks and Rec

Wednesday night I watched the final episode of Parks and Recreation on “tape delay.” Did the fact that I watched it on my tablet, 24 hours after everyone else saw it on TV, take away from the experience a bit? Perhaps, but perhaps I also must accept the fact that this is how TV is viewed in 2015. Series finales are not the TV spectaculars of yesterday.

There are only three shows in the history of television I’ve enjoyed that most of the main characters work for the government: Parks and RecreationM*A*S*H, and House of Cards.

Speaking of which, commence House of Cards marathon in 5…4…3…

Fifty years ago this week

Fifty years ago this week our nation lost one of the great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. He was felled by a hail of assassins’ bullets on February 21, 1965, by former associates from the Nation of Islam. Though not as celebrated as some other black leaders of the era, Malcolm X to me is a figured to be studied and remembered as much as any other.

Most people of my generation know Malcolm X from Spike Lee’s biopic of the man made nearly thirty years after his death. If you haven’t seen it yet, my God, watch it and watch it often. Few movies show music, crime, style, politics, and violence so well. Not exactly the black Godfather, but it’s up there.

If you have a little more time I recommend The Autobiography of Malcolm X, written by the man in collaboration with Alex “Roots” Haley and published shortly after the subject’s death in 1965. It’s amazingly (and sadly) prophetic, and is both entertaining and engrossing without trivializing its importance.

I’m hardly the first person to point out that Malcolm X’s philosophy, by today’s standards (perhaps yesterday’s standards as well), are remarkably conservative in tone. Do things for yourself and don’t expect the government to help you. Yup, that’s it in a nutshell. This is the man who said he’d rather have Goldwater as president in 1964 than Lyndon Johnson. Amen, brother. And by the end of his life he’d stopped calling white people the devil. Thanks.

One wishes today’s race hustlers and sycophants could be so honest about such matters. I suppose race relations have improved, on the whole, over the past 50 years, and the work of men like Malcolm X should not be overlooked as responsible for achieving such.

Watching movies like a kid

One of the great things about being an adult is periodically getting to recreate your childhood. Case in point: last night’s Oscars.

This is the part in most Oscar recaps for kvetching about who won and who lost. Being familiar with exactly zero of the movies up for any of the awards I… got to feel like a kid again. Yup, The Lego Movie was awesome. Didn’t win any awards? Whatever. I’m eating junk food and going to bed.

That’s adulthood right there.

SI’s swimsuits don’t cover much

If there’s one thing that can get us through a harsh winter it’s Sports Illustrated‘s annual swimsuit edition. Kudos for still being able to get away with that in 2015.

I’ve seen quite a number of articles and much Internet buzz glowingly referring to SI‘s showing “curvier” models in this year’s issue.


No complaints about the attractiveness of this year’s models, but calling any of them curvy is like saying Tom Brady and I are pretty much in the same ballpark when it comes to throwing footballs.

Political correctness has come full circle when we start calling the perfect ones something less than ideal so they don’t feel left out.

Presidents’ Day

If you ask me, Presidents’ Day is a stupid holiday. Or is it President’s Day? Look around and you’ll see we can’t even agree on how to spell it, let alone agree on exactly who we’re supposed to be celebrating. Or is it whom?

Indeed, there are at least a dozen ways the holiday is officially listed among our 50 states. For example, it’s Presidents’ Day in Texas and Vermont, but President’s Day in Maryland and Nebraska. It’s Lincoln/Washington/Presidents’ Day in Arizona, and here in Virginia it’s actually called George Washington Day.

Yup, we still hold grudges re: Mr. Lincoln.

To me there are only three options to solve this mess.

1.) Go back to calling it just “Washington’s Birthday” and celebrate it on February 22. Or February 11, as went the Old Style calendar of his day.

2.) Scrap the whole thing. I mean come on, a holiday to celebrate all presidents? I hate politicians anyway. And anybody out there really want to commemorate Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce?

3.) Go with the politically correct “Generic February Monday Holiday.” Nobody’s offended, everybody wins.

And we all still get a day off from work.

Jerry Tarkanian, 1930-2015

About an hour after I put up Wednesday’s post about Dean Smith I heard the news that Jerry Tarkanian had died, one of a small number of coaches one could mention in the same breath as Dean Smith. Well, now the two are linked forever.

It’s easy to say now, but yeah, Jerry Tarkanian was one of my favorite coaches growing up too. After all, the first season I paid attention to college basketball (1989-90), his team won the national championship. Won it in a rout, actually, a game I have rewatched no less than 200 times or so over the past 25 years. No joke. It’s a basketball clinic. The following year, “Tark” had an even better team, one that went undefeated in the regular season (no one else did that for another 23 years), but lost in the National Semifinal game in another college basketball classic. Today we’d say it was simply amazing that after winning the championship in 1990 he got three of his stars to come back as seniors and play another season. That’s respect as much as the era.

In short, Tark was “the man” among coaches as I was first introduced to the game. That sticks with you. The NCAA “violations” and various legal troubles he had through the years… none of that made any sense to me then. He was just a great coach who clearly made basketball fun. I mean, you coach in Las Vegas you’ve got to be fun. The Bugsy Seigel of basketball (or Moe Greene if you will), Tark brought basketball to the desert. And unlike some of his casino predecessors, there are plenty of statues and remembrances to his legacy.

So allow me to add one more.

Kudos, Jerry Tarkanian.