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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Little of This & A :Little of That

Marcus Smart and Eric Bledsoe instead of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for All Defense First Team, you gotta be smoking smack.

Let's hear it for the Warrior bench, once again came through in the clutch. And how about Warrior smothering Defense? Assistant Coach Ron Adams get kuddos for that.

My wife was wearing her Lucky Warrior T-shirt for the entire playoff series, so I was never in doubt about the outcome

Kings need to be careful. This mornings sportpage: Making a play for free agent Tobias Harris could be a big mistake. No doubt they need a consistent 3 point shooter at the 3/4. But you can't sacrifice defense for offense. I thought I saw Bageley III beginning to get his 3 ball going by the end of season. I do like Harris, but Bagely is a natural 4. One right move and they're a playoff team. One wrong move and they're in the lottery.

I am seriously tired of all the yap yap yapping about KD. He is a Warrior until he tells us he's not. It's that simple. I personally believe he'd be foolish to leave the Dubs. Whose he going to partner up with and be on a team that has the same energy and intelligence as the Warriors, and coaching, don't forget coaching. Does KD really want to start anew at age 30 when he can remain and be part of a team that will not only be part of NBA History but NBA lore. It is not inconceivable that the Warriors could go on to two or three more NBA Championships. That would put them up there with the Legendary Boston Celtic teams of the Sixties. Don't do it, KD!

Toronto vs Milwaukee: As a Warrior fan, I hoping his series goes to 7 games. More Warrior healing and rest time. But irony always manages to rear its head in first game when the team that's tired coming off a grueling 7 games, wins. So Dubs better be prepared for Mr. Irony.

Fishing season is on in, so in honor of my two fly-fishing son-in-laws, this terrific fishing poem:

Catch   by Ethna McKeirnan   

I imagine us dancing, a Mexican ballroom somewhere
(anything instead of fishing)
In faded, pre-war elegance, tropically flowered wallpaper
(jigs, flies, speckled lures and mr. twisters)
Drooping lushly like the evening sea-breeze
(damn the wind, they won’t bite now)
And you in sailor whites – tuxedo, if I blur my eyes
(black, shiny, slimy leeches, grubs, chubs, fathead. . . )
The band plays 40’s swing, a dark man croons “Darling”
(I’m a rapid oxidizer,” you announce, sweat streaming down your nose)
“Darling, Take My Heart. . . “
(walleye, pike, sunstroke, crappies)
And my red dress spins faster as you lift me off he floor
9jesus Christ, a four pounder!)
Its ruffled hem streaming round my knees
Like a school of tiny iridescent fish
(darling, take my heart)
You sing at last.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Good Stuff and Bad Stuff

Let's start with the GOOD STUFF: CJ McCullum of the Portland Blazers has proven like Klay Thompson of the Flash Brothers, that his presence is essential for the success of his team.Whereas Dame's drives to the basket are usually straight line bursts, C.J. is bustro phedonic, albeit much swifter than the ox, able to break down defenses.

It requires saying that the Blazers lucked out signing Enes Kantor a month before their young and talented center Notic broke his leg. Let is also be noted that Kantor, a devote Muslim, played the game in Denver on a dawn to dusk fast as part of his religious tradition. Might be a good idea to consider the decent and positive qualities of Islam and not all the negative crap the Trump White House is chucking around like turds.

Now, how about that five bounce K Leonard jump shot from the corner for the Toronto Raptors' win!
Note: Raptors are lucky to have acquired Marc Gasol. Like a second coach on the floor. I don't hold out much hope for our northern cousins against the Bucks. I just don't feel comfortable with the Raptor's guards. Yeah, Lowry is OK, but as the recent AT&T commercials on TV ask us, is OK good enough?

I'm still knocked out by Golden States performance to win the series against the Rockets. The Warriors' offense might be described as a motion offense, but how do you describe the Rockets' offense: It's dribble, dribble, pass at the last second and sometimes a skip pass or pass around the horn for an open corner shot, but maybe not but back to Harden to dribble, dribble, dribble or to Chris Paull to dribble, dribble, dribble, pull up fade away jumper. They have all the skilled players they need to beat our Dubs, but couldn't do it because they lack one component: for lack of a better term: TEAM FLOW. 

The BAD STUFF: It broke my heart to see Tiger Woods accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump. How can an African American, I don't care how many previous projects he's been a part of with the Trump Organization in the past, or his recent designing of the Trump World Golf Course in Dubai (which, by the way, will turn out to be a financial loser like Trump's golf course in Scotland) to associate himself with a RACIST like Trump, speaks to Wood's shallowness of spirit. I thought he didn't look particularly happy, but he did bend his neck when the time came for Trump to place the medal over his head. What a sight, arguably the greatest golfer in the world being honored by a guy who cheats at golf.

I love this basketball prose poem that I've used before, but it's worth repeating.

Basketball   by Louis Jenkins

A huge summer afternoon with no sign of rain. . . Elm trees
in the farm yard bend and creak in the wind. The leaves are
dry and gray. In the driveway a boy shoots a basketball as ta
goal above the garage door. Wind makes shooting difficult
and time after time he chasesthe loose ball. He shoots, re-
bounds, turns shoots. . . on into the afternoon. In the silence
between the gust of wind the only sounds are the thump of
the ball on the ground and the rattle of the bared steel rim of
the goal. The gate hangs in the wind, the dog in the yard yawns,
stretches and goes back to sleep. A film of dust cover he
water in the trough. Great clouds of dust rise from open fields
and stretch a thousand miles beyond the horizon. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Holy Curry!

Holy Cow, Holy Curry! The second half of last night's game against the Rockets was his transcendent basketball moment in along list of Steph Curry's spectacular performances. There has never been an All Star player in a playoff series who has scored 0 points in a first half, and scored 30 points in a second half of the same game. Watching Curry in the second half was like watching a miracle. Thus I way, "Holy Curry!" with a slight nod in the direction of the Holy Universe. 

Missing a few of the bench from the first Dubs, this was the team that won the Championship against the Cavs in Cleveland in six. So let's not be overly surprised.

The Splash Brothers rule. Without Klay's first half, the Dubs lose.

Loony has discovered his "mean streak." I am totally stoked the way he's ripping the boards.

Draymond turns into the mythological dragon come playoffs.

Igudala, according to Coach Kerr, is the "the adult in the room."

The bench that has been mostly absent this season stepped up big time. Coach Kerr praised them and rightly so.

Perfect poem for Steph Curry

When I Got It Right   by Carl Lindner

The ball would lift
light as a wish,
gliding like a blessing
over the rim, pure,
or kissing off glass
into the skirt of net.
Once it began
I couldn't miss.
Even in the falling dark,
the ball, before it left
my hand. was sure

Sunday, May 5, 2019

3 on 3 pros not so pro and etc::Dubs, Nate the Great & Split Screens

A bunch of guys whose game has run its course (no disrespect intended) who gives a damn? Donte Greene, Bonzi Wells, Royce White. Really????? I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just that it ain't gonna work with the over-the-hill gang.
Most of the 3 on 3 coaches in their prime could outplay their players. Tiny Archibald H of F point guard, and Nancy Lieberman who, by the way, could probably juke Donte Greene, even at her age.

Warriors going small against Rockets (Green, KD, Curry, Thompson and Igudala) look strong. But you can NOT play the game of NBA playoff basketball 5 against 10. Dub's bench must step up, particularly on the Defensive end. The job of all the players providing relief for starters must be to play shut-down D. Be frightening. Kick ass! Don't worry about scoring.

Driving home from a Jones' Boy's Concert in Pacific, I found a Memorial Service guide for Nate "The Great" Thurmond in my glove box. I miss my teammate tremendously. I began thinking how Nate is often overlooked by a basketball public that remembers the Russells, Chamberlains, and Jabbars, while Nate was the best ALL AROUND center of all three. (Walton was the best All Around, but he doesn't count because he didn't pass the test of time.)

Then, I began thinking what about the centers in today's game? Jokic of Denver and Joel Embid of Philly as examples of today's "new" centers. They would not have scored against Nate The Great.. Take that to the bank.

Just wondering: When Joel Embid and Pascal Siakam, both from the Cameroon, meet Luc Mbah a Moute do they have to bow to the Prince?

My latest sports gripe: SPLIT SCREENS. Not only do we sports' fans have to put up with endless regular commercials, but now the powers that be have added more advertising space they can sell by virtue of splitting the screen while the sporting event is going on, and they don't even have the courtesy to give the sport the bigger of the two screens. Talk about greed at the expense of viewers. What I do when the split screen comes on is place my right palm over the commercial screen and close my right eye. Blocks the ad  Frigg 'em! Corporate greed over the top. Amazon pays no income tax. Is that nuts, or what? But they are not the only corporation paying zero taxes on the back of the Middle Class. Get real, America!.

In honor of the Kentucky Derby:

A Jockey    by Ron Koertce 

named Kovacs went down
at Pomona yesterday.
He was riding something
that was born to hold
one piece of paper
to another.

The crowd loves to hate
accidents and everybody
wanted to know wo Ted
Kovacs was. Like the
next winner, it was 
a mystery.

This  then, is to set
the record straight:
Ted Kovacs makes 14
thousand a year when
things to right.

His wife keeps a 
scrapbook that shows
the day he tripled,
the $9000.00 Exacta
where he was second,
and all the times he
was in intensive care.

When he almost didn't make it,
the article ran to nearly
20 lines. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The NFL is a Weeny Sport

I just finished watching Wales defeat Scotland in an international rugby match. All I can say is the National Football League should be ashamed of itself. Rugby players wear no helmets, no pads. They play in T-shirts and shorts and advance the ball down the field in what appears to me with the kind of violence associated with the Visigoths sacking Rome or our Army storming ashore on the beaches of Normandy. Not a concussion protocol in sight. And talk about fast, holy hundred meter dash!!!!  And then, after the match, I'm told, both teams go to the pub and suck up suds and hug each other, and sing songs. Now that's football.

Sacramento Kings center Willy Cauley Stein, a free agent at the end of this season, would consider leaving for another team. He feels, according to this morning's sport page, unappreciated. He says of himself, "I've still got more skills that haven't been brought out." He wants to be more than a rim running center. I'm a fan of Cauley Stein, but find his complaint curious. Is he saying the Kings coaching staff have not developed his potential? If that's the case, pray tell, what would that potential be - skill wise? At this point in his career, the way I see it, Willy is a Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan type of player and that's not an insult. Tyson won a ring being a rim protector and dunking lob passes. But, if Cauley Stein sees himself as possessing the kind of skills that would put him in the category of Anthony Davis, or Tim Duncan or Hakeem Olyjuwon, wouldn't it seem logical that in the four off seasons, Willy would have worked his butt off to learn to shoot a consistent jumper, or develop a few post moves or jump hook? Oh, but maybe, this was the job of the Kings coaches.

Watched my Dubs hand the Nuggets their jocks (I hear this is an outdated male garment) and said to myself if they can play like this through the playoffs, it's another Championship Parade. And just so you know where my heart is, as far as I'm concerned, it's all about Warrior defense. When the attack on D, every other part of their game reaches it's devastating potential.

Question going into end of season. Who will the Celtics give up to get AD? They better be careful not to give away too much. AD does not have a good medical history.

Watching My First Rugby Match    by Tom Meschery

I wonder in the chaos
called a scrum,
what is hidden
that is not the ball.

And remains behind
within the vortex
as the ball slips out
and pitched to run

until the next collision.
This way the ball 
moves down the field
one embrace after another

that it is not so fond
to its final destination
players bloody and broken
and wars are lost and won.