Silver Linings Everywhere

As has been my morning routine for a lot of years, the first thing I do is get a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, make a quick check of emails for anything important, and get a cup of coffee.  Then I sit down to watch NBC’s Today Show.

For the past few weeks, the Today Show makes me cry twice. In the beginning, it’s all Corona all the time… and I cry tears of sorrow. But as the show goes on, a few bright spots start to shine through. Of late, Harry Smith and Cynthia McFadden have had great stories of how people all over are stepping up in the time of crisis. These make me cry too, but they are tears of joy.

A grandma in Detroit doing what she can to help.

More than anything, this Corona Bastard Virus has shown what WE are made of. The “WE” I’m referring to is the collective American and world-wide spirit. Every day people from all walks of life are “stepping-up” to do whatever they can. Sometimes it’s just the little things that put a smile on a little girl’s face… the grandpa dancing in the street a safe distance away from his granddaughter to make her happy.

Or maybe it’s the firefighters saluting all the medical workers. This time it’s the medical workers that are running to the danger.

And of course, stories abound about people giving money. Athletes and celebrities everywhere are donating… millions. But it’s not just the rich. Piano Bar and lounge entertainers are giving free concerts on Facebook and YouTube. Far more than a lounge entertainer, the next clip is Niel Sedaka doing a Facebook Concert. You may not know who he is unless you are a Baby Boomer. But you are sure to recognize the songs he has written. He has written for and collaborated with performers such as Elton John, and The Capitan & Tennille.

Neil Sedaka is doing these every day on YouTube and FaceBook. If you don’t know who he is, ask your Grand-Dude

People are donating food to medical workers or old folks that need help. One place on an interstate was giving meals to truckers moving goods to grocery stores. There are others just going to work and doing their job. Yet they are the ones that get us our groceries and other essential stuff.

Yesterday I beamed over to the “mainland” to pick-up groceries. I ordered it all online and drove to the grocery store. I parked in the designated spot and opened up the rear doors of the Magic Bus. A person came out wearing a mask and loaded everything in the back. I offered a tip, but the reply was, “I’m just doing my job, and a tip isn’t necessary. Give it to your favorite charity.” I think that’s much more than “just doing their job.”

Hummmm… I think grocery store workers are some of the heroes on the front lines. Even though they try to do everything they can to keep everything clean and disinfected, think of the hundreds or maybe thousands of customers coming into the store. How many of those customers are bringing in Cootie Bugs with them? Well… when you consider many of us are isolating ourselves for safety, anyone working in a grocery store is putting themselves in “harms way”. I just hope they don’t bring it home and give it to their kids.

Then there’s the soccer mom in New Braunfels, Tx. She’s a mother of six, cranking out “COVID-masks” by hand. She’s making 40+ a day… in-between homeschooling and everything else a mom of six has to do while her husband is away at work. OH… what does her husband do? He’s a US Army Officer and works at the Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Mom of six making these masks. She said she only hopes to cover the cost of materials.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a difference. There’s a California girl who works at Macy’s. When the Cootie Bugs caused the Macy’s store to close, she was home and out of work. Not one to bemoan her problems, she found a way to help. She volunteered with Project Door Drop. This all while battling Melanoma herself. She just said, “It makes me feel good to help out.”

Volunteering to help at Project Door Drop.
Project Door Drop is a non-profit organization working to bring pre-packaged boxes of food to the elderly and immunocompromised within the City of Lancaster. All food comes directly from the LA Food Bank. One box is estimated to feed 2 people for 1 week.

Feel sad, and feel-good stories abound. Perhaps the one that includes both ends was provided this past weekend on the Today Show by Harry Smith. I think this covers the week better than anything else I’ve come across. In the end, it shows just how good people can be… it shows there is a rainbow on the horizon.

Groundhog Day… all over again.

I’ve watched this video many times. Every time I watch it, I get a little something in my eye. The full story about the guy in Texas tells you more about him, his neighbors and Americans. You really need to watch this. Here’s the link: Ventilator shortage solution by small company in Texas (opens up in a new tab)

The people with stories during this time are almost endless. Yes… this is a hard time, but if you look you can find the silver linings. Mostly these silver linings are in people… what they do and how they are helping each other. I encourage you to post comments with your story, or the story you have learned about.

A Tradition of Stealin’

If you’ve known me for more than a day, you know Baseball is in my blood. In case you don’t know if I get a boo-boo, I bleed Dodger Blue

A few days ago, there was a bunch of hoopla about the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox stealing signs. I say to you, that’s just part of Baseball. Stay with me a few minutes here, and I’ll explain.

Stealin’ signs is part of the cat-n-mouse of Baseball. Teams and players have been doing it since day one. Abner Doubleday probably figured it would be there when he invented the game.


Just as I was about to publish this op-ed, the news came out that the Houston Astros have been fined $5,000,000 by Major League Baseball… manager and general manager fired. Baseball will never be the same. News at 11… maybe

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Ole Abner knew that when the catcher wagged his a sign out to the pitcher, the runner(s) on base would try to figure out what that sign was. The runner wanted to signal back to their teammate what kind of pitch was about to be thrown… a fastball, curveball, screwball… or even a bean-ball.

I mean… this is as much a part of baseball as stealing bases and throwing spit-balls. It’s all part of the charm and tradition of the game.

Let’s take a step back from stealin’ pitch signs and look at all the other signs you see in a game. Sittin’ in the dugout, the manager performs all those quirky maneuvers to tell the third base coach what he wants the batter or runner to do… or not do.

For example, the manager touches his nose, then his chin, followed by his ear, and then grabs his crotch three times. That means nothing… it’s just a decoy… or maybe he just had an itch. But, if in full view of the television cameras, he does all those maneuvers and then scratches his butt twice, that means the batter is supposed to bunt.

Very funny bit… Sending signs… from A League of Their Own.

Following that, the third base coach has a whole different set of signs he sends to the batter… he adjusts his belt, sticks his finger in his ear, takes off his hat and rubs his head, and finally swats at a nonexistent bug flying around his head.

Then the batter steps up to the plate… but when the pitcher throws the ball, it’s nowhere near the plate, so the batter does nothing. And the whole thing starts again. You should see the gyrations managers, and base coaches go through for a hit-and-run play.

Of course, all this wagging, touching, scratching, and rubbing are in full view of the world… including the opposing team. And you can count on it… the opposing team is trying to figure out what all those signs mean too. You don’t hear anyone saying “ain’t it awful” to this stuff.

So, let’s get back to the catcher and pitcher. At the first-ever baseball game, when the catcher held up his arm waving, over his head that he wanted a curveball, ole Abner Doubleday was on second base. When Abner saw the signals, he hollered back to the batter, “He’s going to throw a curveball!” The batter hit a home-run.

After that, the catcher walked out to the pitcher and told him, “I’m going to show you 1 finger out in front of my crotch for a fastball, and two fingers for a curveball… got it?” Of course, Abner figured that out and started signaling back to the batter. And so it has gone for 181 years.

Now catchers have an elaborate set of signs intended to throw off the opposition. Catchers do more rubbin’, scratchin’, tappin’, and finger-wagging than the manager in the dugout and the third base coach combined.

Both sides know what’s going on. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. These days, catchers try to combat sign stealing by changing their sign patterns between innings. Sometimes in the middle of the inning, the catcher will run out to the pitcher to change the sign pattern.

And I think I’m probably right when I say, catchers have decoy signs. Just when they think the opposing team has stolen the signs, they change them to mean the opposite thing. A team steals what they think is going to be a curveball, and they get a fastball.

One more thing… the news media has said there’s so much at stake today, and technology makes it different. I submit it doesn’t make it different. Do you think the 1988 Dodgers thought there was any less at stake during the World Series? I don’t think so. Yeah, the dollar value has changed, but so has the price of a loaf of bread. Stakes now are the same as it was back in Abner’s day when they first hollered, “Play Ball.”

Some of you may think, “Ain’t it awful,’ but consider this. If baseball wanted to keep managers, coaches, or catchers from getting their signs stolen, they would just put a buzzer in the pitcher’s ear. Managers and coaches would use radios to the batters. The catcher would have a button under his big toe to press… once for a fastball, and twice for a curveball. No one could see anything. Of course, they would probably use a scanner to pick up the signals out to the pitcher.

And about that technology thing… first, it was just eyeballs… then it was a spyglass, then it was binoculars, then it was a camera on top of the stadium in centerfield. One day I’m sure they will have satellites looking down at the catcher’s crotch. Yep… stealing signs will still be going on then too.

So get over it. It’s part of baseball. It always has been and always will be.

By the way… “There’s no cryin’ in baseball.”

As for me, I can’t wait till February 21 when the umpire hollars out…


I welcome your and encourage your comments. All comments are moderated and will not immediately appear when you post them. All comments following the basic rules of civility will be posted within 24 hours in most cases.

Rude comments won’t see the light of day.

I Clicked on a Polical Ad – D’oh

Before I get to it… I need to tell you, this is not about politics. These days, there’s no faster way for a lifelong friend to “un-friend” you than to disagree with their politics. And… if you support the other side, it is as if you are going to vote for Beelzebub. You will be a pariah to them for the rest of eternity.

So… this is about the bottomless pit of political ads on Facebook.

Have you noticed the increase in political ads on Facebook? Yes, they are increasing everywhere, but now every time I go Into Facebook, there’s a political ad waiting for me. When I scroll down, it seems every other posting will be a political ad.

I was curious about all these ads, so I started poking around. I discovered something interesting. Each one of those ads has a little “i” somewhere in the upper right part. If you click on that little “i,” a pop-up will give you some information about the ad… who paid for it and stuff like that.

See the little ” i ” in the upper right hand part of the pic. (Click Here) Click that ” i ” only to see who paid for the add.
This one was paid for by a “committee” not Trunp’s campaign. This on is a “Political Action Committee” usually just called a PAC (pronounced “pack”).

If you click on “More About This Ad” at the bottom (red arrow in the pic above), another window will open up, telling you how much that person or organization has spent on the ad.

HOLLY S***!!!!! It is astonishing how much has been spent on Facebook alone. Since May 2018, this PAC has spent nearly $27 Million.. and in the last week, over HALF A MILLION. Imagine how much spending there is across all platforms.

No… I’m not picking on Trump. They’re all like this!

I’ve shown just one PAC for one candidate. Imagine how much is being spent by all the PACs and the candidates. I did some checking, and it will astonish you how much all the PACs are spending. Go ahead… check it out for yourself. Facebook is making Billions!

I propose a new law requiring 50% of the money spent on all campaign ads on Facebook to go to the Saint. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Salvation Army, the ALS Association (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), or other equally worthy charities. Think of the good it would do.


Don’t do what I did!!!!!!  Don’t click into any of those ads. I did. D’oh!!!!

You see, I saw an ad for Maxwell Schemdley. The ad: “Do you support Max YES – NO.”


Well… I like ole Max, so I clicked “YES.”  D’oh!

Then a window popped up, “Take our survey,” so I clicked in… D’oh!!!!

The survey asked me what my main issues were and asked me for my email to complete the survey. So I filled in my email. D’oh!!!

After I checked the boxes for a few survey answers and clicked next, I was taken to a “Donate to Maxwell Schmedley” page. D’oh!

Sure… I like Max, but I’m not ready to donate. So I clicked “back” to get out. Nothing worked. Finally, I entered $0.00 in the amount. Yeah… you guessed it… bells and whistles went off. A fire engine siren drove through my office… Neeee-Naaaaa-Neeeee-Naaaaa. Then a hand reached out of the monitor and slapped my wrist with a 12” wooden ruler.

I didn’t know what to do. So I figured since I do like Max, I would give a minuscule amount. I entered $0.25 in the little box for a custom amount. I really didn’t think it would work. I just wanted to work up from the bottom end. To my surprise, up popped a new window prompting me to enter my credit card information.

I filled in all the information and pressed enter. The screen started flashing green. A band in my office started playing Happy Days Are Here Again After a minute, another screen popped up with a “Thank you” and a “Press Here to Exit” button. I clicked on the button, and the donation page closed.

Now I get 173 emails every day asking me for another donation.


P.S. You couldn’t resisting clicking on “Happy Days Are Here Again” could you? D’oh!

Call Me Scrooge… Please

Yes… it’s true. I consider myself to be on par with Ebenezer Scrooge. I’ll explain more in a minute, but first…

A couple of nights ago, I watched “A Christmas Carol” on TV. Of course, I’ve watched it a zillion times before… along with all the other classics including Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life (still my favorite), and of course, The Wizard of Oz. I don’t know how the Wizard of Oz got to be a Christmas movie, but these days, it’s the only time of year it is shown.

This year, the original version of Miracle on 34th Street is “pay to view.” That’s a dirty rotten trick by the cable service here on Kokomo Island. This is certainly not in keeping with the Holiday spirit. So I say to them, Bah – Humbug!

Hummmm… the saying, “Bah – Humbug,” has become Continue reading

Turkey Day Ramblings

Alexander Hamilton – “No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.”

Pilgrim Thanksgiving

It is generally agreed that the United States tradition of Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims. Most scholars consider the first Thanksgiving to have been in late 1621. However, there is no evidence that the Pilgrims ate turkey as part of the feast. The Wampanoag Indians brought deer, and the Pilgrims brought wild “fowl.” Historians think the “wild fowl” was most likely ducks or geese.

It’s also unlikely Continue reading