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The Daily Dose/Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 16, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

HERE WE GO AGAIN: Once again a white police officer has shot and killed a black citizen in America and, once again, the officer has been charged with murder. 

We applaud Aaron Dean’s arrest, however we’ve established here before the difficulty in conviciting police officers of murder in these situations and we want to remind you again of these difficulties. Don’t blame us when Dean is acquitted and Fort Worth goes up in flames. 

To Recap: Dean and his partner on the Fort Worth Police Department were responding to a call early Saturday morning from a neighbor who reported Atatiana Jefferson’s front door was ajar. Inside she and her nephew were engaged in the dangerous past time of playing video games. Neither officer had made contact with the victim or identified themselves as police before Dean shot her through a window. Dean quickly resigned from the force and had he not he would have been fired. Dean is free on $200,000 bond. 

Dry, Technical Matter: Texas state law identifies four types of criminal homicide: murder, capital murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and we can dismiss capital murder becuase, by its definition, it is not relevant here. 

Get Out Your Penal Codes: Texas further defines murder as having three elements, two of which are relevant here: 

– intentionally or knowingly caus[ing] the death of an individual;
– intend[ing] to cause serious bodily injury and commit[ing] an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.

Good luck proving either of those two elements here. Intent will be difficult to prove in a case where Dean never knew the victim and only saw her for a second, if that.  

OTOH: Manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, however, offer options. Manslaughter is defined in Texas as: 

…recklessly caus[ing] the death of an individual.

Criminally negligent homicide is defined as:

…causing the death of an individual by criminal negligence.

No Wonder You Don’t Get Invited To More Parties: Criminal negligence is, more or less, not being aware of circumstances that could cause harm. 

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: If Texas proscutors insist on a murder trial they will face the same difficulties other prosecutors in this situation have faced. Dean will probably choose a bench trial because a judge will pay attention to the law and block out emotions a jury may be unwilling or unable to block out and more than one officer charged with murder has earned acquittal at a bench trial. Prosecutors will have to establish that Dean wanted to kill Jefferson and planned on killing Jefferson and good luck with that. This will be difficult to establish. 

Write This Down: The citizens of Fort Worth are entitled to see Dean prosecuted for killing Jefferson. They are also entitled to a trial where Dean is charged with a crime he can reasonably be expected to be convicted of. Murder probably isn’t it.

Today At The Site:
The Diary of a Nobody
Sparrow has the latest on the scratch paper front at the hotel. Today’s Diary. 

I’ve let the scratch paper pile in the back office get pretty low – it’s about half of where it was at its peak, 1.25 inches – and I used one this morning and the next one had a notation from me on it:

6/19/19 0620

It even had my initials on it and it had taken this brave slip of Sparrow-produced scratch paper four months to reach the top of the pile…This is one reason I let the pile work its way down: if you keep adding sheets to the top the bottom sheets never get used…This so inspired me I put the few sheets I did make this morning on the bottom of the pile, so other sheets that have been there since summer wouldn’t have to wait forever and ever to be used. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 7 will move Thursday morning. Promise.  

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1946 – Ten of the twelve Nazis convicted at the Nuremberg Trials and sentenced to death are executed in a gymnasium adjacent to the prison they were being held in. 24 Nazis had originally been indicted on four charges, though some ended up not being charged, or they were acquitted or convicted and issued lesser sentences. The two who were not executed were Martin Borman, who had been convicted in absentia and was who was actually already dead and Hermann Goring who, peeved he was going to be hanged and not shot, had killed himself earlier in the evening. 

In 1968 – Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists while The Star-Spangled Banner is played during the medal ceremony for the 200-meters at the Mexico City Olympics, an event History now refers to as the Black Power Salute. Australian Peter Norman joins the protest, wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights patch on his sweatsuit. For their efforts, Smith and Carlos are kicked out of the Games while Norman was not selected for the 1972 Olympics despite having a qualifying 200-meter time and when Norman died in 2006 Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral. The famous photograph of the protest was taken by John Dominis of Life magazine. 

In 1971 – Rod Stewart is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the third of five consecutive weeks with Maggie May. It was Stewart’s first Top 40 hit and his first of four #1s. The song also went to #1 in Great Britain, Canada and Australia and was Billboard’s second biggest song of the year. Maggie May had originally been released as the B side to Reason To Believe, a song that peaked at #62, and after that Billboard listed the record as a double-sided hit.

Quotebook
Genius does what it must, talent does what it can.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Gordie Howe currently ranks fourth the NHL all-time points list behind Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr and Mark Messier.

Today’s Stumper
What was Billboard’s biggest hit of 1971? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 15

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The Daily Dose/Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 15, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

HUT, HUT, HIKE: Last time in the feature we talked about how silly it is the NCAA does not sponsor a major division football playoff and warned you our own solution would be forthcoming. 

There’s really no argument against it. There are too many bowls played in frozen baseball stadiums in front of too few fans for the system to be taken seriously as anything more than a way for ESPN to make a pile of cash. The games themselves, which occasionally feature 5-win teams, have long been meaningless exhibitions. 

Basket Weaving 101: Arguments about how much class time players would miss – and any other argument, really – are dismissed because the NCAA conducts football national championships in three other divisions. The two teams that play in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl – the NCAA Division III national championship game – play five playoff games, and these are real college students paying their own way who have to fit football around actual classes and scamming coeds. 

Let’s See What’s Behind Door #3: So let’s get down to business. As we’ve noted, a 32-team tournament – not an unreasonable amount when you have 130 major division teams – could begin on Thanksgiving weekend and end on New Year’s Day. 

Dry, Technical Matter: A minimum of 25 teams get automatic bids:

– Power 5 champions and runners up.
– Group of 5 conference champions.
– Remaining teams ranked in Top 25.

The remaining teams can be picked by an NCAA selection committee, who will then seed them and I don’t think anybody would complain if they used genuine regions so some lower seed that gets hot doesn’t have to cross the country five times. 

More Dry, Technical Matter: Since Thanksgiving weekend is a long holiday, half the games can be played on Friday and half on Saturday. 

Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: Now, if this plan were in place this season, conference champions would have to be determined by Nov. 23. Even allowing for conference championship games and a 13-week season (12 games and a bye week) the season would have to begin on Aug. 24, which is when Miami and Florida, kicked off the season this week. 

Participation Ribbon: We frequently fault the NCAA here but the one they do well is run championship tournaments and an NCAA Division I Football Playoff would become a cherished part of the American landscape so quick we would all be wondering why we didn’t do this 50 years ago.

Final Answer: As long as we keep watching the Frito Bean Dip Bowl Presented by Nabisco we’ll keep getting force-fed these postseason scrimmages. We’re not going to get a real, NCAA-sanctioned playoff until we start demanding one.

Today At The Site:
The Diary of a Nobody
Sparrow has a moderately funny line at the hotel. Today’s Diary. 

Ol’ Sparrow had a funny line, too…Not a Line of the Year candidate, perhaps, but a not-too-bad one nonetheless…After everything was taken care of, the man started prattling about how he had no idea why the home office had extended him and the guys because all they did was sit around the hotel “doing nothing” anyway…The line from ol’ Sparrow:

“Wow…You taking applications???…That’s the kind of job I’m looking for…”

It got some chuckles from the guy, Tammy and Gloria…As it should have because it was a decent line…Then I asked what he and his crew did do when they actually got around working and he said installing pumps or something similar yours truly has no skills for and I waved it away.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8The race for the ESPNCup rolls on. 

Here are some funny lines from this week’s NCAA Bottom Ten:

Commodores still hampered by turn-of-century decision to merge Athletic, Student Affairs departments as coaching staff replaced by Rabbinical Studies faculty that continually pesters officials over ball placement, resulting in NCAA record 935 delay-of-game penalty yards.

Everyone just waiting for chick basketball season to start as remaining home football giveaways include Geno Auriemma refrigerator magnet, Geno Auriemma water bottle and Geno Auriemma throw blanket.

With strong 13-13 conference play mark, MAC officials optimistic conference can maintain frantic .500 pace for rest of conference season. 

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1783 – Man flies above the earth for the first time as a tethered balloon designed by brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier and piloted by Jaques-Etienne reaches a height of approximately 80 feet. There was a second tethered flight later that day and the brothers would conduct man’s first untethered flight on Nov. 21. The Montgolfier brothers were paper manufacturers by trade who also invented transparent paper and a hydraulic ram, that raised water at their paper mill. 

In 1989 – Wayne Gretzky of the Los Angeles Kings establishes a new NHL record for most points in a career, scoring late in the third period in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky’s goal tied the game 4-4 and gave Gretzky 1,851 points, breaking the mark established by Gordie Howe and Gretzky later scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Gretzky retired in 1999 with 2,857 points, a record that still stands.  

In 1976 – Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots are at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for their only week with Disco Duck. At the time Dees was a disc jockey at WMPS-AM in Memphis, where Dees was not allowed to play the song and was later fired for mentioning this fact on the air. The song also went to #1 in Canada, peaked at #6 in Great Britain and also peaked at #15 on Billboard’s soul chart. The duck vocals were done by a friend of Dees named Rick Pruitt.

Quotebook
Amid world beating hearts, the tumult and the shouting starts.
Grantland Rice
From The Start

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Besides Jack Christiansen, Eric Metcalf and Jermaine Lewis are the only other NFL players to return two punt for touchdowns in a single game twice in a career.

Today’s Stumper
Where does Gordie Howe now rank on the NHL’s career point list? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 14

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8

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The Daily Dose/Monday, October 14, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 14, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

HUT, HUT, HIKE: It took a while but college football is finally providing us its first playoff arguments following previously #2 Georgia’s overtime loss to South Carolina Saturday, the first time a Top 10 team had lost to an unranked team in 2019. Previous to this week it had been steady as she goes all season. 

Dry, Technical Matter: The NCAA does not conduct a major division playoff, though it conducts them in three lower divisions. It lets the schools determine how they select a national champion and currently there is a four-team invitational playoff, which we sometimes refer to as the Nick Saban Invitational because Alabama always seems to be in it. It’s real name is the College Football Playoff (CFP). 

Back On Message: The problem really isn’t the effect it will have on the SEC race: they’ll beat themselves into submission over the next few weeks and it was probably a stretch to expect two SEC teams to make the CFP anyway. 

Fly In The Ointment: The big deal is Notre Dame, who lost to Georgia earlier this season and is having a pretty good season, currently ranked #8 in the AP Poll, two spots ahead of Georgia. Who beat them. And if Notre Dame ends up getting invited to the CFP and Georgia doesn’t Georgia fans will left saying “hey, we’re better than Notre Dame, we beat them”. Idiots like us will say this, too: Georgia is better than Notre Dame; they beat them. 

Yeah, Yeah, Whatever: But there are arguments of this nature every year because there are always a couple of really good teams that get left out of the CFP simply because there are only four spots.  

Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: We’ve been saying this every hour on the hour for years: it’s silly the NCAA doesn’t conduct a major division championship and it gets sillier every year because don’t kid yourself, a major division college football playoff would become an American classic quicker than you could say “strength of schedule”. 

Make Your Ticket Plans Now: There would be details to be worked out of course, and we’ll offer suggestions in our next column, but a 32-team NCAA Division I Football Playoff could begin Thanksgiving weekend this year and end on New Year’s Day, the last day, lets be honest, that anyone really cares about college football.  But instead, we are going to get .500 teams playing in frozen, empty baseball stadiums this December.  

Today At The Site:
The Diary of a Nobody
Sparrow puts oatmeal cookies in the center row normally reserved for chocolate chip cookies. Today’s Diary. 

In deference to the slow season, I’m putting fewer cookies on the tray for afternoon cookie service and today the oatmeal cookies were center stage, occupying the middle row usually reserved for chocolate chip…That’s because the package that had both the oatmeal and sugar leftovers from the previous day was on top and ol’ Sparrow was too lazy to set this package down and retrieve the chocolate chip package and it could have just as easily been sugar in the middle as oatmeal…I looked at it and shrugged and while I didn’t mention it to Brandon when he relieved me, I privately wondered if anyone would notice. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when an American U-2 spy plane takes almost 1,000 photographs of a missile base being built in western Cuba. The missiles were identified as medium-range ballistic missiles, identified, in part, with help from Soviet double-agent Olep Penkovsky, who was rewarded for his efforts by being executed by the Soviets the following year. President John F Kennedy would be informed of the missiles the following day. 

In 1951 – Jack Christiansen of the Detroit Lions becomes the first NFL player to return two punts for touchdowns in one game in a 27-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Christiansen, a rookie safety from Colorado State, scored on returns of 69 and 47 yards and he would duplicate this feat in a Nov. 22 game against the Green Bay Packers. The record still stands, though it has been tied many times. Christiansen would retire after the 1957 season with an NFL-record eight punts returned for touchdowns, a record now held by Devin Hester (14).

In 1978 – One Nation Under a Groove by Funkadelic is at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot Soul Singles chart – for the first of six consecutive weeks. The song was the first of two #1 songs on the soul chart for Funkadelic and One Nation Under a Groove also peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, their only Top 40 pop hit. With six weeks at the top, it was the biggest soul song of 1978.

Quotebook
…the wine trade of Bordeaux was too precious a boon to England to be lamely lost merely to defer by a few years the death of 10,000 Englishmen.
Will Durant
 The Story of Civilization, Vol VI: The Reformation

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The World Series was also best-of-nine from 1919-21. None of the four such series went the full nine games.

Today’s Stumper
Who is the only other player in NFL history to return two punts for touchdowns in one game twice in a career? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 13

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The Daily Dose/Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 13, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

The Sunday Bottom 5
The very best of the very worst of the week that was:

1. Marathon Record Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge becomes first human to run marathon in less than two (2) hours, though track poohbahs rightfully deny world record for assorted technical reasons…Still though, course wasn’t entirely downhill and Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters “pretty sure” this is still a landmark accomplishment. 

2. Impeachment Imbroglio President Trump, putting on show Nixon would be proud of, still refusing to cooperate in any way whatsoever, which the House may well decide is itself an impeachable offense…Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters “pretty sure” president should be impeached for believing moon is part Mars, that Continental Army won Revolution by securing British airports. 

3. My CarHot on heels of fan only working on setting #2, washer fluid no longer streams onto windows on command, tho wipers still move…We’re trying to be mindful this is a first-world problem – that billions would love to have car to drive on paved, marked roads, even under these circumstances – but when will it end?  

 4. NBA/China NBA walking about as tight a rope as possible, not wanting to disrupt China cash flow, but also acknowledging an American’s pesky 1st Amendment rights…Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters “pretty sure” this is what happens when you crawl into bed with Communists for a pile of cash. 

5. Trump Fact CheckA Sunday Bottom 5 staple, click here for latest from president unwilling or unable to tell the truth. 

Today At The Site:
The Diary of a Nobody
Sparrow helps a guest get ice for his morning coffee. Today’s Diary. 

About 0515 Steve came by for his morning coffee, with an odd request: he’d like some ice for his coffee and the ice machine was fully loaded ready to dispense a bucket full and he only needed some for his cup…Well, Steve was a nice, friendly sort who I liked immediately, so I did what I could for him…I was about to get the big pitcher I use to transfer ice from the machine to the ice water service when it hit me that I could merely use a cup and take some ice from the top of the water dispenser…This was exactly what Steve required and I made the sign of the cross and solemnly told him he was authorized to do this himself, which is pretty funny and got the laff it earned.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 2010 – The last of the 33 miners trapped in a mine in northern Chile are rescued via a capsule lowered through a hole drilled to where the miners had been trapped. The miners had been stranded 2,300 feet underground since Aug. 5 and survived in no small part because they were united in their determination to do so. Despite a long record of safety violations at the mine, the owners were not charged in the incident. 

In 1903 – The Boston Americans – now the Red Sox – defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 at home to win the first World Series 5 games to 3. The Americans got the only runs they needed on a two-run single by Hobe Ferriss in the fourth inning and Bill Dinneen pitched his second shutout of the series, a record that is now held by Christy Matthewson, who pitched three shutouts in 1905. The first three games of the series were played in Boston, the next four in Pittsburgh and a ninth game, if needed, would have also been played in Boston. 

In 1984 – Stevie Wonder is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of three consecutive weeks with I Just Called to Say I Love You. The song went to #1 in 16 other countries including Great Britain, Spain and Denmark and also went to #1 on Billboard’s soul chart. It was Billboard’s 25th biggest song of the year, the 73rd biggest of the decade and ranked 370th on Billboard’s 60th-anniversary chart last year. The song was Wonder’s 40th Top 40 hit and his eighth of ten #1 songs. It was from the soundtrack to the movie The Women in Red.

Quotebook
Towering genius disdains a beaten path.
Abraham Lincoln

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The second song to spend at least twelve weeks at #1 on a Billboard chart was Frenesi by Artie Shaw, which began a 12-week stay at #1 on Bilboard’s National Best Selling Retail Records chart on December 21, 1940.

Today’s Stumper
How many other World Series were best-of-nine series? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 12

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The Daily Dose/Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 12, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

Leading Off will return. 

Today At The Site:
The Diary of a Nobody
Sparrow has the latest real estate news from the small town. Today’s Diary.

That dump a few houses down Main Street from The Shire is still for sale, too, at 180…It had a bit more curb appeal after the snow fell – snow could make a slum look somewhat appealing – but in the next day or two the snow will be gone and it will be a dump again…Almost funny is the description advises our small town is “thriving” which I tend to doubt because thriving small towns have a diner where you can get a first-rate Stromboli and a prime rib on Saturday night and our diner has been closed for a while now.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1492 – An expedition led by Christopher Columbus becomes the first Europeans to make landfall in what would become the New World, though History has never established if it was the present-day Bahamas or Turks and Caicos that was discovered. The expedition would later visit present-day Cuba and Haiti before setting sail for home in January. On the voyage, Columbus had discovered his compass no longer pointed to the North Star, a phenomenon known as magnetic declination, though it was later shown this was known in other parts of Europe and in China. 

In 1986 – Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears becomes the first NFL player to accumulate 20,000 all-purpose yards in a 20-7 win over the Houston Oilers. Payton ran for 76 yards and had 30 receiving yards to bring his career total to 20,045 yards. The record is now held by Jerry Rice (23,546 yards) and Payton is now third on the all-time list behind Brian Mitchell (23,330 yards). 

In 1940 – I’ll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers are at #1 on Billboard’s National Best Selling Retail Records chart – the predecessor of every other Billboard chart – for the twelfth and final consecutive week. The song was written by Canadian songwriter and pianist Ruth Lowe, who wrote it after her husband had died during surgery. I’ll Never Smile Again had first hit #1 on July 27, the first #1 song on the first-ever Billboard chart.

Quotebook
Give me a great effect here so I can take the audience by the throat and choke it with splendor.
Robertson Davies
The Lyre of Orpheus

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Neil Diamond has had 38 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Today’s Stumper
What the second song to spend at least twelve weeks at #1 on a Billboard pop chart? – Answer next time!

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