I Got 99 Problems But A Pitch Ain’t One

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Going to the new Yankee Stadium is an exercise in the megalomaniacal excesses of old money crashing head long into new money and making babies; entitled little creatures whose trust funded silver spoon was upgraded to platinum in the reboot. For a culture stuck in a perpetual hunger for all things next gen, this joint plays a peach melody.

I’m plenty fine with the new digs, really. It’s just that, as a Yankee fan of a certain age . . I adhere to the bargain basement sensibility that asks, “If it’s swimming just fine, why the harpoon?”. Of course, just like Jeopardy whiz James Holzhauer, I know the answer before the question is set into its stone foundation. Yankee Stadium Part 3 is a masterstroke of inevitability run amok. Where sports stadiums have become premium tier caviar cribs, loosing a greed-think philosophy which has turned a day at the ballgame into a Disney vacation replete with fine restaurants and overpriced everything else. Seats have become investments, patrons have become guests and season tickets have turned into catching a couple games a year, maybe.

I miss the Yankee Stadium that was replaced by this one. The history of that place alone should have placed it on the National Register of Historic Places. The names that played its stage define an epoch of sporting accomplishment. From Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio to Mantle, Jackson and Jeter. Not to mention the rivals who graced the coliseum of a golden age: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige and Hank Aaron. And that’s just the first chapter.

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And oh yeah . . Knute Rockne and Vince Lombardi coached there. Joe Louis and Max Schmeling fought there. The 1958 Title Game (“The Greatest Game Ever Played”) between the Colts and Giants was played there. And Pope Paul VI and later Pope John Paul II celebrated mass there. And that’s just chapter two.

As we’ve seen, Cathedrals do fall and time is an impatient beast when it comes to change. Hell, the game has been transformed into a stat geek’s paradise; what with infield shifts that resemble pileups on the BQE and players who don’t know what a bunt looks like, and feast or famine box scores. But through it all, the game is really still as simple as a pitcher telling a little white pill what to do while a batter tries to talk it into doing something else.

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So it was that I took my son and his young bride to see the Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon, in a battle for first place in the American League East. A match-up of team aces, with the Yankees sending out Masahiro Tanaka and the Rays answering with 2018 AL Cy Young award winner Blake Snell. Thing about aces, there are expectations. The crowd expects A plus cooking, so when he starts scribbling B work, the chatter can get colorful. I happen to think there’s a beauty to watching a pitcher negotiate outs from the third rail. And these two pitchers ransomed zeroes from their respective arsenals, as if devils at the wheel. Tanaka’s four seamer was flat lining and his slider called in sick and yet, he was able to muster six scoreless innings before getting hit on the shin and becoming the latest Yankee to hit the injured list, which reads like a Hemingway tally.

His counterpart, Blake Snell, has stuff that’s more wicked than a trigger happy ridge runner. And while his curve ball wasn’t fooling anyone, his Hi-Lo game kept the home team at bay; with a fastball that salted the rim and a change up that tossed them into the drink time after hopeless time.

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One of my favorite things about the game is the down time, with which a writer chisels out Longfellow, Hopper and even a little Seinfeld. I talked with my son about that magical ride of a ’96 Yankees club. And then I studied the iconic facade that wraps itself around the holler of blue seats whilst pitching a Seinfeld skit inspired by the Goombah with the Giambi t-shirt a couple rows south of us that had the kids cracking up. We figured out the Yankees Rushmore somewhere in between.

As is my baseball ritual, I honed in on the infinite ripples of a game. Like how Tanaka stops on a dime at the quarter pole of his delivery. And how Luke Voit plays first base like the most earnest of rugby players. And how Kevin Kermaier of the Rays became my Grand Master of a most favorite baseball funk, with his insane between pitch stretches and his bantering to teammates and that Tarantino howitzer of an arm.

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As is the new age custom, the bullpen took the keys a little more than halfway through and outside of a few hiccups, they made it into extra innings after a Gio Urshela drive to deep right died two feet short of a walk off home run celebration for the Bombers. In Kermaier’s mitt, because of course. And then Austin Meadows of the Rays tore a moon beam into those same right field seats two innings later to give the visitors the lead for good.

The 2-1 win gave the Rays temporary possession of first place. And from the looks of it, these guys are intent on being a thorn in the sides of baseball royalty this season. Talent is the greatest equalizer, and when you have the chops to do something about it, you always got next.

Because some things never go out of style.

Heroes Of The Week!

Super Man

Imma try something new this week with my Heroes entry by giving y’all briefs on my heroes and zeros rather than prattling on. I got the idea after reading an article which claimed that readers tend to lose interest if they have to read more than a few paragraphs on a given topic. I forget what the rest of the article said, but I was duly inspired to exercise brevity. I’m sure there will be instances where I will prattle on. Take this explanation, for instance . . .

Mother Nature- The balls on this chick. There was snow in New England this week. Not the movie set Styrofoam shit either. As Lou Gramm opined, head games . . I can’t take it anymore!

Favorite headline from the Globe, or The National Examiner- “It’s not Harry’s Baby!”. Personally, I would have gone with Royal Flush! or Check Mated! But whatevs.

Wise beyond her years- I’ve been a critic of Team Process in Philadelphia, because I think any professional organization that soaks its fans for half a decade and then dresses it up in analytics should be brought up on charges. But the Sixers are fun, and Joel Embiid crying on the court after losing to Toronto touched me, okay?

Leave it to a nine year old Sixers fan named Olivia to sum things up best of all.

Readers ain’t writers (Spoiler Alert)- Palenty of Game of Thrones fans went carazy over how last week’s episode went down, so lemme simplify for the simpletons. Jaime proved you never outrun your past. Dany predicted how this was going to go down ages ago. And all those innocents? Picked the wrong kingdom to buy a house in. War ain’t tidy, kingdoms are won on equal parts guile and brutality and if you want a happy ending, go to Friendly’s. That is all.

A long time coming- Pete Sabedra waited a long time to earn his high school diploma. More than seventy years, in fact. When Pete was in the eighth grade, he had to drop out of high school to support his family. After serving in WW2, he received his GED.

Fast forward to now, where the 92 year old Sabedra was presented with a diploma during the awards ceremony in which his grandson Kace received his diploma. He was named an honorary member of the class of 2019. The moral is, it’s never too late.

Favorite headline from the the National Examiner, or The Globe-
“Betty White’s Wild Life!- Cocktails, Close Friends and Hot Dogs” My God, what a hedonist she was!

When jokes go South(west)- During an hours long maintenance delay on a recent Southwest flight, a passenger’s innocent joke got serious. Quickly. As attendants were handing out water, a passenger remarked “They should be handing out vodka, we’ve been waiting so long,”. Rather than let the joke die a cornhole death, an attendant shot back at the passenger and then informed authorities of an unruly passenger.

The plane did a u-turn and the passenger was removed from the flight, to the protests of all the passengers who had witnessed the exchange. Hopefully, this attendant will visit the website peoplewhoareeasilyoffendedbythestupidestshit.com.

Uncommon strength- Journalist Jayson Greene has written a book Once More We Saw Stars. It’s a memoir which details the anguish of losing a child. Greene and his wife Stacy lost their two year old daughter Greta in 2015 when a brick fell from an eighth story windowsill and struck her in the head. She died the next day.

Greene’s book is filled with painful, sobering images. But it also speaks to the crumbling infrastructure of New York City, and the desperate need for action so that this does not happen to someone else. It always amazes me to find people like this, who contribute to humanity in the face of unspeakable loss. God bless them.

Boycott Alabama- Of course, I ain’t ever visiting the place to begin with. And I don’t know too many folks who are. But it’s time to strike back at legislators who recently signed an abortion bill into law that truly belongs in the dark ages. Shameful.

Favorite headline of the week from the New York Post- “Here Cons The Bride”- ‘Husband’ sues car heiress for faking their wedding

All heroism is local- One minute Duana Owens was sitting outside a Wells Fargo branch minding his own business, and the next he’s getting a Sorryless mention.

Owens watched a man enter and then rapidly exit the bank, brandishing a hatchet on the flip side no less. Undeterred, Owens sprang into action. He ordered the culprit to lower his weapon and to get on the ground. After a few tense moments, he did as Owens had instructed. “(Police) said they really couldn’t find too many citizens like me,” Owens said proudly. No kidding.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Apologies to those who never made it out of the green room, like . . . NYC Mayor DiBlasio turned Presidential candidate #714, the troll who wished cancer on talk show host James Corden’s kid and as always . . Chancellor Trump.

Heroes Of The Week

You say Twitter, I say Twatter- This garden variety weed of social media is Darwin’s gift to the technological world. And this week’s “Dumb Shit People Say On Twitter” award goes to . . .

Those imbeciles who trashed Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s beau, referring to him as a ‘bin raccoon’. One of the Twitterati exclaimed in mock horror, “THIS is what AOC’s boyfriend looks like?” . . . After which, I have to think their kindergarten teacher took away their phones.

Riley Roberts and AOC keep things pretty quiet and chill for a reason, this one. But the web developer loves his girl, is fiercely supportive of her and is loved by her mama. So apologies to all those twits who trashed his look for my blatantly mean response but . . .

Who gives a blessed fuck what you think?

And now for a Frank Angle on a few of the week’s heroes. Cincy, from AFrankAngle hit me with a double mint of good stuff this past week. Here then, his twin bill . . .

Back to the Future- Nineteen years ago, DerMarr Johnson’s future was so bright he was investing in Ray Bans and sunscreen. His was the mad game skill set that perched itself inside the NCAA’s “One and Done” system whereby high school stars use college as a revolving door in order to hone their games and get some much needed national recognition. A spring board for the starry studs, with the emphasis on court work over school work.

Johnson attended the University of Cincinnati for his requisite cup of coffee, leading the Bearcats to a 29-3 record before being upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Tulsa. It was a blip for the kid whose game was going places, as proven by his being selected sixth overall in the NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. It was all right there for Johnson; NBA stardom and generational money that would keep him in Ray Bans forever.

And then his first two seasons didn’t produce the takeoff many scouts had predicted. And then he was involved in a car accident that almost left him paralyzed, and then forever started getting lost. Johnson did play again, but most of his service time was spent on the fringes- some spot duty on various NBA teams followed by playing overseas and in developmental leagues.

Johnson never found his star, but this past week all that adversity felt a million light years away when the thirty eight year old earned a degree from UC. He wants to coach, and in order to do so, he needed a degree. So he went back to the classroom, for real. And now he’s got a bead on taking the court once again. Different seat, but it still counts for lots.

“Life is short. My life was almost taken my second year in the NBA. You don’t take anything for granted. You take advantage of all your opportunities,’’

I take back what I said about Johnson not finding his star. He’s simply chasing a different one now.

Running Down A Dream- Shaquem Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome. The condition occurs when amniotic bands constrict the flow of blood to digits, arms and legs and impair their development. Griffin’s left hand was compromised during childbirth, leaving him in excruciating pain as a toddler. His parents made the heart wrenching decision to amputate his left hand after finding him in the kitchen attempting to cut it off himself.

It never stopped Griffin from visiting all those places in his childhood dreams. He starred in track, baseball and football in high school. He played alongside his brother Shaquill at the University of Central Florida. Among his many achievements, Griffin was named the defensive player of the year for his league in 2016; and in 2018 he scored MVP honors at the Peach Bowl, capping an undefeated season for UCF. In April of 2018, he was selected in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks, where he would play alongside his brother once again.

Griffin never forgot where his dreams came from, and so when he heard the story of ten year old Izzy Turkington, he sprang to action. Turkington was born with quad congenital limb differences. He was fitted with prosthetic devices for his legs as an infant. In conjunction with the Challenged Athlete Foundation, Griffin fitted Izzy- who plays several sports himself- with prosthetic runners.

Because Griffin understands as well as anyone that disabilities are not roadblocks to success, they’re simply the challenges you overcome to get there.

The Days of Whine and Poses- The NBA has become a league of girly men. Players are knighted by shoe contracts rather than their achievements on the court. Ya got Kyrie Irving wanting to be Batman when he’s a Robin. The Rockets ‘auditing’ referees calls and deciding they should have won last year’s playoff series against Golden State, which is shamefully weak. There’s Joel Embiid, who has more maladies than a hypochondriac proof reader for WebMD.

It’s quite obvious Michael Jordan has nothing to worry about.

As for the final entry for this weeks Heroes post, it goes to a place I’ve visited too many damned times.

Eighteen year old Kendrick Castillo was all set to graduate from STEM School Highlands Ranch next week. His interests included Computer Information Technology and he wanted to study electrical engineering in college. He was looking forward to this weekend, when he would compete in a “Rods and Robots” event at the school.

Kendrick had done such a great job interning at a manufacturing company that they gave him a part time gig. Post-graduation, he had several internships lined up, because companies wanted in on his smarts. With each passing day, his tomorrows were becoming more limitless.

And then someone walked into Castillo’s classroom with a gun on Tuesday and then the kid lunged at the shooter, saving his classmates by taking a bullet. And then all those tomorrows became the latest theft in a long and hopeless wound of school shootings.

Just like that, gone was the idea of everything. Replaced with stories that will never be told, memories that will never be made, and a life that comes to an end just as it was busy getting started.

His father is left to wish that his son would have run and hid, but he admits that wasn’t his way. Kendrick wasn’t the type to back down, he wasn’t afraid of the world he had grown up inside of. A world where kids go to school and never come home. A world where days like Tuesday have achieved a sick normalcy.

A world gone mad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

In the news this week, AG William Barr says his leaps are sealed. Facebook promises that its lips are sealed as far as our privacy is concerned, maybe. And if you haven’t seen Endgame yet? My lips are sealed . . since I haven’t seen it either.

Commander In Tweets: There would seem to be a lot of business to attend to as President. You got your daily briefings full of imminent attacks on US soil. You have to sign off on legislation that affects hundreds of millions of lives. And even your burner cell phone number has been compromised by your party rivals.

Of course, President Taj doesn’t have to worry about these things. He doesn’t read briefings, after all. And any legislation only affects him. And hey . . attacks on US soil will be a thing of the past once that wall is finished.

So with all that time on his hands, Trump can tweet. Lots. Which is what he did the other day when it was announced that Joe Biden had received the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters- a 300 hundred thousand member union. In less than an hour, Trump retweeted more than sixty tweets from firefighters who pledged their support to Trump. No word on whether Trump’s firefighter fans were legitimate replies or more fake views.

I checked out the billing for Woodstock 50 and the first name I landed on was Miley Cyrus. So needless to say . . the original has nothing to worry about. 

A Matter of Love: Kevin Love sharing his thoughts on depression recently didn’t get much play. Because he wasn’t changing teams or flipping bats or birds or small children. But rest assured the Cavaliers forward is authoring a pretty important story.

Love talked about his life with depression recently, admitting how anxiety has a stranglehold on him at times. Here’s a hulking physical specimen confessing that he once thought he was going to die during a game. Because that is how depression works. No one is safe from its clutches, no matter the size, strength or bank account. We need more dudes like Love and DeMar DeRozan who are willing to share their struggles inside the macho culture of big time sports.

Hey Kevin? We love you.

I wonder how professor Urban Meyer’s “Leadership and Character” class is going at Ohio State? I bet the section involving those thirty one player arrests during his six years as head coach of the Florida Gators are worth the price of enrollment . . .

They don’t call it “The Shield for nothing: The NFL will never be confused with a league that gives a shit about people. Here is a league that paid experts to refute the link between football and CTE, in spite of the mountains of evidence that exists. This is a a league that is more comfortable with a scumbag like Tyreek Hill in its fraternity than a gay player.

Hill is a serial physical abuser whose uniform should be orange, but hey . . he can run and catch so that counts for much more with the Kansas City Chiefs. You may remember they were the team who drafted Kareem Hunt- who was suspended and then released after videotape showed Hunt assaulting a young woman in a club.

In an audio recording that was making the rounds this week, Hill was heard talking to his baby mama about how his three year old son suffered a broken arm. Which may or may not have been the result of Hill beating on him. And when his fiancee told Hill the boy was terrified of him, he replied chillingly, “you should be terrified of me too, bitch,”

Tyreek Hill should never, ever play another down in the NFL. Maybe Roger Goodell should grow a pair by taking action. Now. The next time a team like the Chiefs takes a chance on a player with Hill’s rap sheet, take away all their picks for one NFL draft. Half a dozen chances, and he should be out. But he’s more than welcome to go ply another trade. His resume is super impressive considering he went to three colleges! Of course, he never stayed in any of them very long seeing as how he couldn’t keep his hands off a woman.

Maybe one of his five minute alma maters can hire him to clean toilets.

I feel like this asshole in a Dodgers uniform is a perfect representation of America’s current state. I just do . . .

Nanook to the rescue: Twenty one year old Amelia Milling is an adventure junkie who gets her fix through traveling. The twenty one year old college student from Tennessee is deaf, but that didn’t slow her roll one bit when she decided to tackle Crow Pass Trail in Alaska. By herself.

The dream hike turned nightmarish when her hiking poles snapped and Milling found herself hurtling down the side of a snow covered mountain. She fell more than three hundred feet before crashing into a boulder; the impact of the crash catapulted her another three hundred feet, leaving her bloodied and dazed.

Enter Nanook, a seven year old husky who knows his way around rough terrain. Amelia initially thought Nanook was a wolf, but then spotted a silver, bone shaped tag around his collar that read “Crow Pass Guide” and included his owner’s address.

The husky led her back to the trail and then stood guard outside her tent that night. The next day, he saved Amelia from the icy waters of the Eagle River crossing. The ordeal took fifteen minutes but Nanook was finally able to pull Amelia from the river, after which she pushed the SOS button on her Spot Device. When state troopers found her several hours later, she was wrapped in a sleeping bag with her hero curled up beside her.

Nanook

 

“Nookie”, as he is called by his owner, was named an honorary Alaska State Trooper for his actions. Turns out, he loves to travel every bit as much as his new pal Amelia, so he has now been fitted with a GPS beacon on his collar.

Eat your heart out, Superman.

 

 

Thought For The Day- Plus One!

“Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry. If he has charged you with anything, you had better look it up. Anger is a bow that will shoot sometimes where another feeling will not.” –Henry Ward Beecher from “Life Thoughts,” 

Good for old Henry that he lived in a time and place where anger was but one of the accouterments to be rolled out when discourse took a turn; after which it was returned to its unwieldy sheath. Because if he resided in this age of incivility, where debate has been transformed into a verbal judo, his thoughts on anger would not make it beyond his morning shave.

Anger is no longer a retreat, it is an advancement. Anger has lost its impermanence to the idea of winning, no matter the cost. Our language has been retrofitted, as if armored regiments intent on vanquishing the opponent.

Spirited debate has gone the way of inkwells and handshakes.

Heroes Of The Week!

This week’s Heroes entry is slightly more hushed than previous episodes. Maybe it’s the season, I don’t know. I was tossing with doing an abbreviated version but then the stories took the wheel and before I knew it . . I had myself a traditional five spot. And so it is . . .

Like Father, Like Son: When Aric Tegtmeier took the stage today at his graduation ceremony, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream. For him, and for his father too. Aric officially entered the brotherhood of the FDNY at the age of twenty four. He will be assigned to the West Farms section of the Bronx, a short distance from Ladder 46 where his father served. Paul Tegtmeier was thirty nine years old when he joined the department- just under the age cutoff for new hires.

Paul was forty one when his company was called to the World Trade Center in 2001. He was one of 343 FDNY first responders who answered the call, and never came home. Aric was six when his father was lost and he says his dream of wanting to follow in his footsteps only grew stronger after  September 11th.

Now Aric will take the place of his old man, almost eighteen years removed from the day when his life and the lives of so many were changed forever. When all those bumper sticker proclamations of never forgetting began getting lost in the rear view, there were plenty of sons and daughters just like him who were abiding. They never forgot the one true thing, and they never will.

Mueller Report, Schmueller Report: Much ado about bupkis, and I’m not surprised. Seeing as how the report contained more redactions than an Applebee’s menu, what were we supposed to gain from this? Will the calls for a ‘free range’ report ever be taken seriously? Or will our children’s children have to wait to find out the what’s what on Trump and his bed mates?

Oh, and having Attorney General James Barr dish up sonnets in the lead up to the release of the report is some extra crispy bullshit right there. But once again, it’s a matter of being told our eyes and ears are deceiving us. That we are the ones in the wrong if we don’t go along with the party line.

Columbus Day!: I do understand that to celebrate the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning is mostly counterproductive. Both teams are more of the same as per the expansion era Americanization of a Canadian sport. But . . . at least Ohio gets four seasons. That’s a rule of mine. If the city gets snow, it can get hockey. Florida should stick to trying to get football right, because it’s doing a shit job of it right now.

A Disney Cruz: Remember how Ted Cruz was supposed to take the reins from the crumbling GOP after Trump laid waste to the other front runners during the primaries? And remember how that never happened? You know why?

Because Ted Cruz is a schmuck.

I guess old Ted was sick and tired of having been rendered a Trivial Pursuit question. And really, in today’s politics? Making the news is all that really counts, so mission accomplished. Cruz decided to throw some shade at Disney after the company announced it was donating $5 million dollars to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Cruz sent out a tweet that would’ve had Mickey throwing down both middle fingers.

“Wonderful! Will we see Disney princesses in the new stained glass?

Of course, Ted would have had to read up on the fire which ravaged this sacred cathedral in order to learn that the stained glass windows were saved. But hey . . why do your homework when making machine gun bacon gets you elected?

It’s a good thing we carry with us the hope that the good days will outweigh the bad ones, and that loss will be served with rebirth. When the horrible truths of the world bring us to our knees, it’s important to have faith in something . . in someone.

Father Jean-Marc Fournier is the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade. As fire laid waste to the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, Fournier insisted on re-entering the structure in an attempt to retrieve some of the priceless artifacts housed within.

He was joined by a group of rescue workers who formed a human chain in order to save the Crown of Thorns- believed to have been worn by Jesus during the crucifixion- and the tunic of Saint Louis which was worn by King Louis IV when he brought the crown to Paris.

Fournier has a resume of doing this kind of thing. He served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan before joining the Fire Brigade. In the aftermath of the 2015 Bataclan terrorist attacks, he helped to evacuate the victims. He also gave absolution to those lost in the attacks.

Holy Week always feels quiet to me, but never more so than after this trying week. That hush of appreciation for the mysteries that might hold answers, it speaks to me this time of year. And I do hold to the idea that all is never lost.

Only misplaced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week! (Game of Thrones House Party Edition)

Game of Thrones

In honor of the final season of Game of Thrones, Imma share seven stories in honor of the seven kingdoms for this weeks Heroes installment. To those of you who do not possess a relationship status with the show, just imagine Congress . . only fun. And with dragons.

Okay, it’s not that cutthroat.

Shit Showtime- Magic Johnson as a zero of my week? Actually . . yeah. Listen, the dude has achieved his Rushmore. On the court. But as coach and then President of the Lakers, the dude wasn’t willing to put in the time necessary to succeed. His resignation as President mirrored his brief tenure- quick, un-involved and disconnected. Contrary to popular opinion, I think Magic’s stepping down is the best thing that could have happened to the Lakers in the short term. Jeannie Buss should be on the phone to Jerry West and Pat Riley, offering the keys to the kingdom. It won’t happen, but it should.

You can’t take it with you. Oh wait, yes you can- What do you do on the other side of buying your own private island for eight million dollars? You go shoplifting at K-Mart, of course! Which is what Andrew Lippi did, stealing more than $300 worth of merchandise from a K-Mart in Key West, Florida. He purchased items, replaced them with cheaper items and then returned them for a refund. My personal favorite? He bought a Keurig, replaced the coffee maker with a basketball and then returned it.

Two questions beg answering. Why in the name of Richard Branson’s steel balls does a millionaire with several peach properties to his name need to be playing three card monte with coffee machines and LED light bulbs? And perhaps an even more important question. Why is there a K-Mart in Key West?

The Suns and Daughter of Discovery- Katie Bouman is a twenty nine year old assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at California Institute of Technology. She spends her days developing uber-sophisticated blueprints on the genome of space. There is excruciatingly precise detail involved in figuring out the math of this mystical parking lot, but the MIT grad knows her business. Thanks to an algorithm Bouman developed, the Event Horizon telescope snapped a photograph of a black hole whose address is some fifty five million light years away.

And oh yeah, it’s the first image we’ve ever had of a black hole. Ever. So while Bouman ain’t got social media cred or a line of sneakers with her name on them . . she’s doing the business of not just the whole wide world, but the universe to boot. In summation, Bouman took us on a trip to forever after while LeBron couldn’t even take the Lakers to the playoffs.

Soul Food- Country music singer Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly do grocery shopping like nobody’s business. The couple recently broke ground on a grocery store in Nashville. This particular grocery store will offer big savings to its clientele. How big? Welp, try absolutely free.

1 in 7 people and 1 in 5 children deal with food insecurity in Nashville, and the store will serve those in need by lending them a helping hand. Brad and his wife were inspired to do this beautiful thing after visiting a similar store in California. And while Brad is best known for strumming a guitar, he’s got big talent when it comes to giving back.

Pre-K Kelly Strikes Again- Just when you think R. Kelly couldn’t get any lower comes word that his recent ‘concert’ for fans in Springfield, Illinois lasted exactly twenty eight seconds. And that he charged $100 bucks for the honor. It took me fifty six seconds to write this, so I just lapped his ass.

Just Call Him Roger Stone Age- The former GOP strategist and avid indictment collector hopped on the Trump bandwagon this week. Yanno, the one that serves up a beat down to dead people? Stone lashed out at the late Barbara Bush, calling her “nasty, rude, self-important and entitled and a vindictive drunk”. Not all at once, but in a series of rambling attacks on the former First Lady.

And in keeping with his former Boss, Stone saved his worst for last when he took to Instagram and pontificated on the 2016 primaries in which Trump laid waste to the Bush dynasty. In a vicious rebuke to Barbara Bush’s “countdown clock” on the Trump presidency, Stone said “Well, she’s dead and he’s President- who won that one?”.

How do you possibly counter such a miserable outlook on people as Stone possesses? Imma borrow a spit shine solution from E.E. Cummings and just say that Hatred bounces.

Singh his praises- Jay Singh is a 7-Eleven store owner in Toledo Ohio who’s just trying to make ends meet. Running a convenience store ain’t the easiest gig, what with small margins and long hours and peeps trying to dig into those profits by taking your inventory free of charge.

Which is exactly what happened recently when an employee at the store informed Singh that a teenager was shoplifting. Singh went back and checked the cameras and sure enough, the kid in question had a serious case of the hot pockets. And so at this point, you wouldn’t have blamed the guy for dialing up 911. Because, yanno . . he’s got a business to run? And he’s not related to the Paisleys.

Singh did no such thing. Instead he asked the young shoplifter a simple question. Why? To which the kid replied that he was hungry, and that he was stealing food for himself and his kid brother. It was all Singh needed to hear.

The store owner went on a mini-shopping spree- collecting sausage rolls and sandwiches, chips and pizza and a 2 liter soda for the young man. Because he thought it a better idea to give him something rather than take something away by having him arrested. Because Singh’s bottom line doesn’t begin and end with cash money. Because sometimes, it really is better to give than to receive. Singh’s gesture inspired one of his customers- Cedric Bishop- to give the kid a ten spot. I mean, can you imagine being inside that moment with these people? It must have felt as if God was watering the lawn.

I like that idea just fine.