Gymnastics & Shuffleboard – On Ice. ATL UTD. Let It Be Light.

They Make It Look So Easy.  The Second Season.  Daylight Savings Time.

The “men of machismo” don’t always put men’s figure skating in the best light.  Maybe it is the costumes or the elegant flair that must be shown to differentiate your performance from others.  Maybe it is just the fact that the men are ‘simply’ ice skating and not competing in ski jumping, the luge, or on a 2-man bobsled team.  Though my baseline is zero as I have no clue how to even stand up on skates, I am one to hold these athletes in high regard.  Similar to gymnastics, the training begins early on and continues for many years.  Due to the lack of available ice time,  their first training session begins before dawn with the day ending in another late evening session.  The competition is fierce and culminates with the U.S. National Championships which is the qualification competition to make the Olympic Team.  One miscalculation, one chip in the ice that leads to a stumble, and after ten years of training, your chances of success go right down the drain.  They perform the infamous triple Salchow and the triple Axle….on ice.  I would enjoy seeing our infamous NBA, NFL, and MLB players trying these moves on a hard surface.  Maybe then the sport would receive the respect it deserves.  Scott Hamilton, a former gold medal-winning figure skater, who has survived four battles with cancer, estimates he fell over 4,000 times between training and his many years of competition.  He jumped back up 4,000 times.  Just for reference, here is the description of the Salchow move, named after figure skater Ulrich Salchow:  The Salchow is a figure skating jump with a takeoff from a back inside edge of one foot. The rotation in the air is made in the direction of the curve of the take-off edge. The landing is made on the back outside edge of the foot opposite the one used for take-off.  Really?  No thanks.

Speaking of lack of respect, I have heard many over the last two weeks crap all over the sport of curling.  “Shuffleboard on ice”, “stupid sport” and “what a joke” are some of the blurbs I have heard.  I will go down the same path as figure skating though the physicality necessary to figure skate and ‘curl’ are way different.  The technical aspects of curling are mind-boggling.  The ‘rock’ or ‘stone’ is sent down the ice with the designated pace and spin along with ‘sweepers’ warming the ice to move the stone down the targeted path. The objective is relatively simple: you want your stones to come closer to a bulls eye than your opponent when all the stones are thrown.  It sounds simple until you realize that the stone weighs 44 pounds and you must send it 150 feet down the ice to hopefully circumvent your opponents stones, or hit them out of the way to leave your stone closer to the bulls eye.  A bit weird to watch but it looks like a lot of fun to play.  That is, if you can stand and balance yourself on ice.

Atlanta United opens up their second season next Saturday afternoon at Houston.  Some new additions will add some additional fire power along with Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron.  Watch for the pace when the counter-attack is on with newbies Darlington Nagbe, Ezequiel Barco and Franco Escobar. This should be a lot of fun to watch.

DST alert:  two weeks from today!

Have a Funday Sunday!





The Right to Bear Arms.

Access and Security.

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) were ratified by three-fourths of the States.  The second amendment is unfortunately top of mind these days with another school shooting, this time at a high school near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Second Amendment reads: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.  Little did Thomas Jefferson know that when he authenticated and ratified the Bill of Rights, the second amendment would indirectly lead to many school tragedies including Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland, and many other shooting incidents at schools around the U.S.A.  Nor did he know how people of lesser minds would use the weapons allowed by the Second Amendment.

I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system.  What I will comment on is school security.  Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place.  My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place.  As taxpayers, we support the use of schools using crossing guards to protect our students on a daily basis, but what about school security?  With the mental instability of so many, why are many schools left unprotected with the ability to enter a school with little deterrent?  I realize that based on the tax base every school system is different, but at a minimum, should we not employ off-duty police officers to protect our schools, no different than the school crossing guards who basically put their lives on the line every time they direct traffic?

I know these questions may be trivial, but not to the families and friends who lost loved ones last week.  No matter the politics, gun control will be an issue for many years to come.  So while our congressional leaders try to figure out what to do, can we not tackle the issue of security within our schools?

My heartfelt condolences to family and friends who lost their loved ones last week.  It should not be just another Funday Sunday.

Top of Mind for February 11, 2018

Short Takes and DST Update.

Don’t let that measly ever-lasting smile alter your perception of her home ‘country’ of North Korea.  Kim Yo Jong,  sister of the young moron running that country,  has one purpose with her presence at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics – propaganda.  Detente?  Not a chance.

Nashville – great town, great music and now an MLS team coming on line in two years.  Definitely a destination anytime but especially when Atlanta United has an away game there.

Let’s hope that Tuscon’s maximum security prison provides Larry Nassar the misery and hell he deserves.

We all take it for granted.  You turn the faucet on and let it run for minutes while you rinse off dishes or scrub a pan.  Worse, we take showers that last way too long and use up way too much water.  No big deal until you understand that a few major cities around the world are now in a situation of water stress.  At first glance it does not make sense with 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by water.  Then we learn that only 3% of that water is fresh and that 3 billion people find water extremely scarce for at least one month of the year.  Cape Town is now in a precarious situation with their 4 million residents facing “Day Zero” as early as May.  “Day Zero” meaning all water is cutoff.  Someone way smarter than me (most) – please explain why the ocean’s water cannot be turned into fresh water to alleviate this problem.  My first thought: desalination – the process of removing salt from seawater.

It is maddening to get caught up in the craziness of the market over the last two weeks.  I hope what is happening is a ‘normal’ correction – the first correction in over two years.  Remember, the Dow was on a 7% rally year-to-date and enjoyed a record high on January 26th.  Let’s hope the correction corrects itself.

Early February is a rude awakening for many of us as we must wait until late August for the restart of football.  The silver lining:  only three weeks away from the start of Atlanta United’s season.  This is also the time of year that the Champions League match ups get interesting.  This week, check out Tottenham v. Juventus on Tuesday and PSG v Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Daylight Savings Time countdown:  4 weeks from today.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!  




The “Super” Bowl. Lead, Follow or Get Out of My Way. 5 Weeks.

Apathy.  Patton & Schwarzkopf.  DST Update.

My Super Bowl memories go way back – think Jerry Kramer’s block allowing Bart Starr to sneak into the end zone with thirteen seconds left in Super Bowl Two.  This was, and is to this day called the ‘Ice Bowl’ as it was 13 degrees below zero during most of the game.  My recall is even better with the Miami Dolphins and their back-to-back Super Bowl wins – especially the  1972 undefeated season.  Now skip forward to the Atlanta Falcons – a loss in Miami in the 1999 Super Bowl after their starting safety, with his family in the team hotel, was arrested at midnight before the game soliciting a prostitute.  Then, of course, last year’s Super Bowl where the Falcons forgot that it was a 60-minute game.  Later today, the 52nd Super Bowl kicks off and I have never experienced so much apathy towards the Super Bowl.  Is it the teams, is it their coaches and players, or did the behavior of many NFL players disenfranchise the core audience?  I will be watching the game, and the commercials, hoping that the Eagles can pull off an upset of Tom Brady and his Patriots.  As for the ratings, who really knows as the commercials and JT’s halftime show my trump the actual game.  No pun intended.

Three of my favorite leadership and courage quotes:                                                  “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”        “Sure, we all want to go home. We want to get this war over with. But you can’t win a war lying down. The quickest way to get it over with is to get the bastards who started it. We want to get the hell over there and clean the goddamn thing up, and then get at those purple-pissing Japs. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. So keep moving. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler”.           “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”

The Daylight Savings Time countdown:  5 weeks!

Adios and have a “Super” Sunday Funday.