The Thought for the Day – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, essayist and lecturer. He was ordained as a pastor in 1829 and was also chaplain of the Massachusetts legislature. Later, Emerson found himself disagreeing with the Church and in a famous 1938 address at Harvard Divinity School said moral intuition is a better guide than religious doctrine and said that while Jesus was great he was not God. This ensured Emerson was not invited to speak at Harvard for 30 years. Emerson was also a friend and mentor to Henry David Thoreau, who from time to time also appears in this feature.

We all have instincts. We all have something inside us telling us how we should go about living our lives. Those that get on this world listen to and trust their instincts. Though they do not succeed at everything – or even most things – they try, they are not looking back wondering what might have been. 

Sometimes our instincts might not appear trusty, but it is important we do not confuse instincts with desires. Desire might tell us it is a good idea to put moves on someone we shouldn’t, but somewhere our instincts are informing us it really isn’t and part of the lessons we learn in this life are differentiating between the two.

Often times our instincts are showing us a path that is not easy. That’s OK. Since they come from inside, our instincts are completely in tune with us and they will never tell us to try something we cannot do. They will always send us on a path to do something we have a knack for. For example, you are reading this – and everything else I write – because my instincts tell me to write. I have a knack for this. On the other hand, my instincts do not tell me to go and open an auto repair shop. Your instincts and your talents always walk hand in hand with what you are good at.

…the huge world will come round to him.

What are your instincts telling you to do? Are you listening to them? We should be. Our instincts are a built-in autopilot that will take our lives exactly where they were meant to go.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUponRedditPinterestTumblrDiggYahoo BookmarksGoogle BookmarksShare
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – November 6, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

OUR COUNTRY IS DYING: Usually after the latest mass shooting we trot out our suitably witless remark about cutting and pasting the previous mass shooting column, changing only the location and the number of people killed.

This time, though, the interval between Las Vegas and San Antonio, about five weeks, was so short we can’t even do that. We’re numb. For a while now we’ve said in this space how a mass shooting isn’t really news anymore because they happen so frequently and now we’re at the point where we don’t even drop what we are doing to find out details. The fact there was another mass shooting is enough. In due course, we’ll find out where and how many if whether or not the gunman survived.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: We’ve said on the campaign trail that we are not going to have a peaceful world without a peaceful America. We are also not going to have a peaceful America without a peaceful America. Our country has been at war for most of its existence and continuously since 1989. War is virtually all we know.

Violence has become the go-to reaction for America’s government. It should be no surprise it has become the go-to reaction for America’s citizens.

Not only is our government violent, but so are our movies and television shows, our music and video games.

The only dividend violence produces is more violence!

If you disagree with that ask yourself this: are our nation’s prisons crammed with people who grew up in quiet, loving homes? Of course they aren’t. Most violent adults had violent childhoods.

And violent citizens have violent governments.

Dry, Technical Matter: If America had been at peace every day since 1989 instead of at war, it is reasonable to believe mass shootings would be rare occurrences. They’d still happen because there will always be misfits hell-bent on causing mayhem and tragedy, but they would be rare.

Well, That’s Refreshing: This isn’t going to stop, either. We can say this about regulating weapons designed to kill large numbers of people and we can say that, but as long as a violent American government produces violent American citizens, we will be dealing with the slaughter of large numbers of innocent people on a regular basis.

The Bottom Line: If we had a peaceful American government we would have an America at peace with the world and itself.

More Bottom Line: We are not going to have an America at peace until we start demanding it at the ballot box on Election Day. As long we keep reelecting the status quo the status quo is all we are going to get. We will have no one to blame but ourselves.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE: Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States on this date in 1860. Lincoln received 180 electoral votes, easily outdistancing John C Breckinridge, John Bell and his old nemesis Stephen Douglas.

FunFact: Lincoln was the first Republican elected president.

It Is Finished: Douglas, like some others over the years, had long had his sights on the White House, and after his loss it became apparent he would never get there without a dinner invitation. Douglas said screw it, retired to Chicago and died of pneumonia eight months later at the age of 48.

Hut, Hut, Hike: The first college football game is played when Rutgers defeats Princeton – then known as the College of New Jersey – 6-4 on this date in 1869.

Dry, Technical Matter: Exactly why those that decide these things insist this was a football game has never been clear because the game more resembled soccer, and to a lesser extent rugby, than the football we know now. Teams could not carry the ball nor pass it and the only way to score was by kicking the ball over the opponent’s goal line. Each side had 25 players.

Rivalry Week: The two teams met a week later at Princeton, with Princeton winning 8-0.

The More Things Change…: A third game was scheduled but not played due to school administrators concerns that more emphasis was being placed on football than on academics.

Lights, Camera, Action: After two years on the Mutual Radio Network, Meet The Press debuts on NBC on this date in 1947. The first episode was hosted by its creator Martha Rountree and the first guest was Postmaster General James Farley. Meet The Press is still on the air, the longest-running show in television history.

Quotebook: Lethargy [is] the forerunner of death to the public liberty.Thomas Jefferson

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States, founded in 1636.

Today’s Stumper: When was the first college football game that involved running the ball, eleven men on a side and a play ending with the tackling of the ball carrier played?  – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – Sonny Bono

Humility will give you the power to do the job honestly.  – Sonny Bono, December 5, 1997

Sonny Bono was an American singer, actor and politician and today’s Thought was one of the few we were actually present at when uttered. Sonny was a Congressman from Palm Springs at the time and yours truly was a not particularly good newspaper reporter in a small town a bit south of there and Sonny was in town for a fundraiser and yours truly was dispatched to provide coverage. Sonny was funny and gracious and he died in a skiing accident a month and a day later. He remains the only US Congressman to have a number one single.

A good definition of humility is having a modest view of your importance and being liberated from pride and arrogance. When humility has completely taken hold of us it makes us realize how little we know. It makes us grateful for the things we can do well and gives us the wisdom to know what we don’t do well.  It does not mean denigrating your abilities nor does it imply weakness because humility and confidence often, usually, walk hand in hand. Humility is a natural inhibitor of cockiness and overconfidence.

There are many opportunities to be humble. Our favorite personal example comes from sports officiating. There have been times we’ve gone out in a big game and delivered our very best. Every time we’ve had to, actually, which is supremely satisfying because once a man knows this about himself what else is there to know? Not much, really, but you can’t get cocky and you can’t get too full of yourself. You must remain mindful of the work that produced your very best and that that effort will always be required lest you go out one time and not deliver your very best.

Humility will give you the power to do the job honestly…

Humility is very powerful. The truly humble are always in control of themselves. Humility allows you to set aside personal gain for the greater good, particularly if you are a leader. It allows you to acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses and it puts you in a position to get the most out of your time on this planet, life’s great prize.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – November 4, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

WHO HAD NINE MONTHS IN THE POOL?: In fairness to President Trump – President Trump! –  none of the three people indicted in the Mueller investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election involved current members of his Administration. They do involve a former campaign director, his aide and a past advisor.

And while we couldn’t be bothered to do the seminal research on the matter, considering the cesspool Washington is, nine months between inauguration and indictments seem to be pretty good time. The investigation, of course, is far from over, it’s ultimate destination unknown.

Dry, Technical Matter: Paul Manafort, a lobbyist and former Trump campaign director and an aide have been arraigned on assorted money laundering, fraud and conspiracy charges as part of a scheme to conceal more than $75 million overseas to avoid paying the taxes on them. A former Trump advisor has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

All right. We don’t approve of lying to the FBI anymore than you do, but let’s take a big-picture look at the tax evasion indictments.

Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury: What if the crimes Manafort and his aide were indicted for weren’t crimes? Or, more accurately, what if nobody felt compelled to break these laws because America had a tax code that encouraged people to keep their money here, instead of shipping overseas?

Glad You Asked: Well, one, they probably wouldn’t be under arraignment right now and, two, the American economy would have benefited from having that money here, instead of the money doing us some zero good overseas.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: While running for the United States Senate in 2014 and the United States House of Representatives last year we talked often about the benefits a flat tax would have for our country.

One, it would simplify our tax code, currently nine million words long and incomprehensible to everyone, including the IRS which gives out incorrect information 25 percent of the time.

Two, it would produce a flourishing economy. More money would be in the economy instead of being given to the government. We would have more money to spend and businesses would have more money for expansion and paying better wages. In a low tax environment, people would have a reason to keep their money here, instead of hiding it overseas.

The Bottom Line: Liberated from the need to hide money overseas to avoid paying taxes, people wouldn’t be conspiring to launder money and the Mueller investigators would be able to focus on more important things.

SLOW NEWS DAY: Future English monarchs William III and Mary II get married on this date in 1677. At the time, Mary was the 15-year-old daughter of James, the Duke of York, who would become King James II in 1685. William was Dutch, the Prince of Orange, however, his mother Mary Stuart was James’ sister, which made William and Mary cousins.

William and Mary, both Protestants, ascended the throne in 1689 following what History refers to as the Glorious Revolution, where King James, who was Catholic, was chased to France. William and Mary were declared co-monarchs by Parliament and ruled jointly until Mary’s death 1694, after which William ruled until he died in 1702.

Can You Milk This Item Anymore?: One of their legacies is William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693, it is the second oldest university in the United States.

Well, Lookie Here: An expedition led by British archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the entrance to the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun on this date in 1922. The discovery culminated work Carter had been doing in the Valley of the Kings since 1907.

FunFact: The Valley of the Kings is the burial ground of many Egyptian rulers, royals and nobles who flourished from 16th to 11th century BC.  It is located in central Egypt, a bit west of the Nile River and north of Luxor and is known to contain 63 tombs.

Dry, Technical Matter: Tutankhamun had a brief life. He was born around 1341 BC, became pharaoh around 1332 and is believed to have died in 1323. Exactly how King Tut died is not clear, though people smarter than us generally believe his death was from natural causes.

Analysis of his skeleton showed the vertebrae in his neck were fused together so he was unable to move his head and he had problems with his left foot, which would explain the presence of numerous canes in his tomb, because those who survived him wanted to ensure their ruler would be able to get around in the afterlife. He also suffered from malaria.

A Warm, Personal Remembrance: We can remember seeing the King Tut exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with Dad, who had been able to scam two tickets, although why yours truly was chosen over Mom and my brother will forever remain a family secret because all three are dead now.

Oh Yeah: Some research showed the exhibit was in Los Angeles in the first half of 1978, and we still remember our tickets were for the 10 pm viewing, and on a school night, no less.

Quotebook: This species could have been so great, and now everybody just wants a new Salad Shooter or sneakers with lights in them. This is what we’ve settled for. – George Carlin

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Andy Brown was the last NHL goalie to play without a mask, doing so through his last game in April 1974. Brown then played three seasons in the World Hockey Association, also without a mask.

Today’s Stumper: What is the oldest university in the United States?  – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 10

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 10
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

It’s on.

Like two (2) heavyweights slugging it out, it’s 0-8 Cleveland vs equally 0-8 San Francisco duking it out for the most coveted trophy in sports, The Dan Henning Trophy – symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

Another tight one is the dogfight for the coveted third spot on the Bottom Ten medal stand. Both the Colts and Buccaneers have two wins and the Giants return from their bye week Sunday and as one of the deepest fields in recent Bottom Ten memory hits the halfway mark.

This week’s fiasco, as the nags limp up the backstretch:

1. Cleveland Browns (0-8; lost to Minnesota 33-16) – Browns blow three (3) leads in retaining B-10 top spot…Browns head into bye week looking ahead to showdown at Detroit, looking for Lions blessing in 0-16 quest with loss this at Ford Field on November 12…Browns 45th NFL team to start season 0-8…They were also the 44th…Next Loss: at Detroit (11/12)

2. San Francisco 49ers (0-8; lost to Philadelphia 33-10) –Niners never in this one, keeping pace in quest for first B-10 title with early 20-0 deficit and punting or turning ball over entire first half…49ers 46th NFL team to start season 0-8……Next Loss: Arizona

3. Indianapolis Colts (2-6; lost to Cincinnati 24-23) – Leading 20-17 at end of third quarter, offense takes charge allowing go-ahead score on interception returned for touchdown…Colts counting on close loss to B-10 perennials to set tone for strong second half…Next Loss: at Texas

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (2-5; lost to Carolina 17-3) – After having not lost game by more than ten (10) points in a month, Buccaneers back in stride with morale building 14-point defeat…Current four (4)-game skid best amongst NFL teams that have actually won a game…Next Loss: at New Orleans

5. New York Jets (3-5; lost to Atlanta 25-20) – Special teams shows the way in this one, missing two (2) field goals…After dismal 3-2 start, Jets finally starting to hit their stride, having lost three straight…Next Loss: Buffalo

6. Detroit Lions (3-4; lost to Pittsburgh 20-15) – B-10 Hall of Famers thanks to only 0-16 season – so far – in NFL history, Lions back in survey, showing inspiring midseason interest with hot, new three (3)-game losing streak…Next Loss: at Green Bay

7. Chicago Bears (3-5; lost to New Orleans 20-12) – Bears able to turn one (1) Saints 4th quarter fumble into touchdown, but clutch offense turns comes up huge late, turning it over on downs, tossing interception on final two (2) drives…Bears back in B-10 survey after snapping curious two (2)-game winning skid….Next Loss: Green Bay (11/12)

8. Denver Broncos (3-4; lost to Kansas City 29-19) – Broncos in midseason form at halfway point, with five (5) turnovers pacing third straight loss…Broncos not entirely sure who they annoyed in NFL office, as road Monday night game followed by east coast game Sunday…Next Loss: at Philadelphia

9. AFC West (15-16) – With only one (1) team above .500, AFC West gets shot at weekly, coveted Pete Rozelle Award – issued to NFL’s worst division…Only reason entire division isn’t on losing streak is because Chiefs played Broncos this week.

10. 2017 World Series – Hey baseball guys, there are too many home runs being hit…Quit juicing the ball…Feast or famine, home run or strikeout, is not the way the game is meant to be played…Next Loss: Your entire fanbase, which you’re already losing because World Series games end so goddamned late.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Cleveland at Detroit
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Indianapolis at Houston

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Bottom Ten - 2017 | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – Frederick William I

781….for here on earth there is nothing but falsehood and deceit. – King Frederick William of Prussia, August 1718

King Frederick William I was king of Prussia from 1713 until his death in 1740. He was an able ruler who left Prussia a prosperous and strong nation. Prussia was absorbed into Germany in 1781.

Today’s Thought comes from a memorandum the king wrote when he found himself between a rock and a hard place: obliged to make a treaty with King George I of England, who was hell-bent on causing mischief for Russian Tsar Peter, whom William Frederick had treaties of friendship with. To his credit, the king did nothing behind the tsar’s back, keeping him updated every step of the way, but Frederick William found the entire situation lamentable.

Today’s Thought shows nothing really changes in our human experience. Back then rulers were primarily concerned with retaining power and going to war, conditions that were both rife with intrigues and tumult. People tend to act in their own self-interest and autocratic rulers did what needed to be done to consolidate wealth and power.

…there is nothing but falsehood and deceit.

Times today, really, are no different. People continue to act in their own self-interest. For some, that means achieving and then consolidating wealth and power. For others, it means merely ensuring they are getting by. This is not an indictment because self-preservation is the mandate from Mother Nature.

What is in our self-interest? We’ve always felt we had an obligation not to waste our time on this planet, that us humans were always cut out for more than merely getting by. The best way for us to do more than merely earning a living and reproducing is to look inside ourselves, find the life we were meant to live and then go out and live it. We must find what we are good at and then go and cultivate and get the most out of those talents.

When we do that, we are not only producing a life that is useful to us but is useful to others, too. We are making our time on this planet serve us, life’s great prize.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – November 1, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

CAN’T WE JUST CUT AND PASTE THE LAST COLUMN?: Mass killings in this country long ago stopped being news in the context of actually being out of the ordinary. The root of the word ‘news’ is ‘new’ and there is nothing new about large numbers of innocents being slaughtered in America.

So when we found out something had happened in New York City Tuesday we mentally shrugged because it wasn’t a question of if something, somewhere in this country would happen, it was merely a question of when.

FunFact: The only difference is Tuesday’s slaughter did not involve firearms. A 29-year-old Uzbek man rented a truck and drove it down a bike path in Manhattan. Manhattan being Manhattan, the bike path was busy and eight people died while eleven others were injured.

After running into a school bus he scrambled out of the truck and proclaimed the greatness of God in Arabic before being shot by police. As we write this, the killer is in critical condition at a New York hospital.

Ready…Aim…Fire: Marksmanship standards must be slipping at the New York Police Department. If the officer was any good he would have killed him instead of merely wounding him in the gut.

Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: We say this every hour on the hour:

We are not going to have a peaceful world without a peaceful America.

We should not be surprised people want to fly airplanes into our buildings or plow trucks into our citizens. This nation has been at war continuously since 1989. That is almost three decades of not giving other nations the dignity of conducting their affairs without US interference. A violent world and a violent America are the consequences of that.

Testify, Gaylon, Testify!: Had we been at peace every day since 1989 9/11 would not have happened, ISIS would be a comic book character and eight people in New York that were killed today would still be alive.

We don’t think you can argue with that. We are never going to be rid of the misfits who want to cause harm. It’s been that way throughout history because that’s the way the world is built. But peaceful America would go a long way towards making this planet less violent.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Pope Julius II is elected on this date in 1503. Julius’ pontificate would not be dull and he is noted for, among other things, commissioning Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He died in February 1513.

Speaking Of Michelangelo: The ceiling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is shown to the public on this date in 1512. Painting had begun in 1508 and Pope Julius II had commissioned Michelangelo to paint it the year before. It remains one of mankind’s most significant achievements.

Fly In The Ointment: Before Michelangelo could get to work the small matter of exactly how to get a human up to the ceiling so it could be painted had to be worked out. A suggestion to hang scaffolding from holes cut in the ceiling proved unworkable and Michelangelo ended up designing his own platform supported by brackets secured to holes in the walls.

Dry, Technical Matter: The ceiling measured 131 feet by 43 feet. Michelangelo’s frescoes replaced the original design of gold stars on a blue sky.  

Home Sweet Home: John Adams becomes the first president of the United States to live in the White House on this date in 1800. The White House was designed by James Hoban, whose design won a competition that included an anonymous entry by Thomas Jefferson.

Adams did not live there long. Already three years into his only term, he would move out the following March after Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated president.

More From The Government Facilities Desk: The Library of Congress building – now known as the Thomas Jefferson Building – opens to the public on this date in 1897. Prior to its completion, the Library of Congress had been housed in the US Capitol.

Up, Up And Away: A United Airlines flight from Denver to Portland is blown up over Longmont, Colorado shortly after takeoff on this date in 1955. 39 passengers and five crew members are killed. The investigation led to one Jack Gilbert Graham, who had mommy issues and had placed a dynamite bomb in his mother’s luggage. Graham also hoped to cash in on assorted flight insurance policies that had been purchased at Stapleton Airport vending machines immediately prior to the flight.

We Are Not Making This Up: At the time, there was not a federal law prohibiting the bombing of an airplane, so Graham was charged with one count of premeditated murder for the death of his mother instead of 44 counts of murder. Justice was swift back then and Graham was executed in Colorado’s gas chamber in January 1957, only 15 months after the crime. 

Eff This Getting Hit In The Face Noise: Jaques Plante, a goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens, becomes the first goalie to wear a mask in an NHL game on this date in 1959. Plante had been wearing the mask in practice and put it on after he had taken a puck to the nose in the game against the New York Rangers.

Quotebook: I work harder than anyone who has ever lived. I am not well and worn out with this stupendous labor, and yet I am patient to achieve the desired end.  – Michelangelo,  letter to his brother while painting Sistine Chapel

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The world’s population is generally regarded to have reached one billion people in 1804.

Today’s Stumper: Who was the last goalie to play without a mask in the National Hockey League?  – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 10

t is The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 10
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Three winless teams.

One ESPN Cup, symbolic of NCAA Bottom Ten supremacy.

The battle is joined. #1 tight, but so is the competition for the remaining spots. It is so tight, in fact, that unless you are a Bottom Ten Legacy Team like Duke or Vanderbilt, you can forget about being ranked if you have two wins. This leaves out former #1 UMess, who sent regrets for the rest of the season with their second win of 2017.

This week’s fiasco:

1. UTEP (0-8; lost to Texas-San Antonio 31-14)
Mitigating Factors: Miners ascend top B-10 throne following nation’s best eighth-straight loss…Three punts and an interception set strong early tone for Miners, who also finish strong, closing it out by getting outscored 14-0 in second half…Nobody moves the ball worse than UTEP, who rank Dead Last in Total Offense (222.5 ypg) and Offensive First Downs (97).
Broad Historical Context: Current losing streak best since 2007-08 squads tag-teamed on nine (9)-game skid.  
Next Loss: at Middle Tennessee

2 Georgia Southern (0-7; lost to Troy 38-16)
Mitigating Factors: Eagles fan(s) crying foul after team dropped from top spot despite dutifully losing seventh (7th) straight game…B-10 pollsters cite loss to former #1 UMess, who has won two (2) straight, causing Eagles to lose enough strength of schedule points to drop to runner-up spot.
FunFact: Passing game key for Eagles, as offense ranks 126th in Passing Offense (100.6 ypg), 127th in Third Down Conversion Percentage (.472%)…Defense chipping in, too, ranking 126th in Scoring Defense (40.9ppg)
Next Loss: Georgia State

3. Baylor (0-8; lost to Texas 38-7)
Mitigating Factors: Bears easily retain medal stand berth with lowest point output of 2017…Running game key to success, as Bears averaged 28 inches per rush (IPR) on 37 carries vs Longhorns…Defense taken out behind shed for beating following game for only allowing ten (10) points off of three (3) turnovers…Bears have lost eight (8) straight in a season for first time since 2007.
FunFact: Showdown at Kansas this week for Big 12 berth in B-10 regionals.
Next Loss: at Kansas

4. Rice (1-7; lost to Louisiana Tech 42-28)
Mitigating Factors: Owls still haunted by UTEP win, remaining on outside of B-10 medal stand looking in….Owls wore pink ribbons on helmets to show solidarity with other one-win schools missing out on B-10 medal stand…Consistent Owls getting it done on both sides of ball, getting outscored by average of 35-to-13.1  
SOS (Save Our Season): With only win coming in Week 2, Owls need help not only to win B-10 title, but also to earn Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: at UAB

5. San Jose State (1-8; lost to BYU 41-20)
Mitigating Factors: Big loss to previously one-winned Cougars shoves Spartans into upper half of B-10 survey…Total Team Effort (TTE) key, as five (5) turnovers lead to 20 (20) BYU points…Spartans cannot get caught taking slumping San Diego State too lightly this week as veteran B-10 watcher(s) know the only game you can lose is the one coming up.
Bump, Set, Spike: Team so bad official athletic website leads off with pics of chick soccer, volleyball since basketball team isn’t good enough to countdown to start of season.   
Next Loss: San Diego State

6. Kansas (1-7; lost to Kansas State 30-20)
Mitigating Factors:  Despite scoring points for first time in three (3) weeks, Jayhawks still more than bad enough to earn seventh straight loss…After getting field goals on first two (2) drives, offense settles down with four punts, a fumble and a turnover on downs on next six (6) possessions…With only win coming in opener, Jayhawks in driver’s seat for second Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
Carry On, Wayward Jayhawks: Showdown vs Baylor this week for Big 12 berth in B-10 regionals.
Next Loss: Baylor

7. Earlham (0-8; lost to Manchester 48-13)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers 41st straight loss shows they are in complete command in quest for second consecutive Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO…Defense to be given extra instruction this week, as unit just 7.2 inches away from giving up an average of 500 yards per game.
Rand McNally Would Be Proud: Earlham losing streak really hits home as B-10 staffers realize Quakers are almost neighbors, with  Earlham campus a mere 1,300 miles from B-10 headquarters on US Hwy 40.
Next Loss: at Bluffton

8. Coastal Carolina (1-7; lost to Texas State 27-7)
Mitigating Factors: Chanticleers in first year of major division football and are ineligible for ranking in final B-10 survey, but B-10 pollsters wanted to give them a shout-out anyway…Have lost seven straight since winning opener (against UMess), leading athletic department to petition B-10 staffers for interim Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – should they lose out.
Getting To Know You: With school relatively new to survey, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” school located “next to ocean or something” but still unable to find state of Coastal Carolina on map.
Next Loss: at Arkansas

9. Trilateral Commission (7-10; Duke: lost to Virginia Tech 24-3; Vanderbilt: lost to South Carolina 34-27)
Mitigating Factors: With Rice entitled to own entry, hilarious, traditional B-10 joint entry reduced to two teams…Bleu Devils, Commodores have combined to lose ten (10) straight…After strong start to decade, Duke, the B-10 Team of the Decade for the Double Aughts, hoping to earn consideration for Teen Team of the Decade by losing out next 2+ seasons.
FunFact: Vanderbilt still reeling from turn-of-century decision to merge Athletic, Student Affairs departments as starting offensive line at choir practice, leaving blocking duties to 5-8, 135-pound divinity school students.
Next Losses: Duke: at Army (11/11); Vanderbilt: Western Kentucky

10. Sun Belt Conference
Mitigating Factors: Former B-10 Conference of the Week staple – regular B-10 fan(s) will recall the award was almost named for them a few years back – Sun Belt earns first weekly award of 2017…Sun Belt setting pace with winless Georgia Southern, of course, but two-thirds of 12-team league has losing record.
Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: Despite historical lousiness, Sun Belt expected to once again come back strong with .500 conference play mark in 2017.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Baylor at Kansas
Lousy Big 12 Matchup of the Week: Baylor at Kansas
Lousy California State University System Matchup of the Week: San Diego State at San Jose State
Bumped From ESPN932 To ESPN7236: Rice at UAB
Sun Belt Conference Thriller of the Week: Georgia State at Georgia Southern

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Bottom Ten - 2017 | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – J.C. Watts

The American dream is not about money. It is about using your abilities and being the best you can be. – Congressman J.C. Watts, United States Congressman, Republican National Convention, 8/13/96

We’ve been keeping our quotebook since 1998 and of the couple of thousand or so entries there only a few we actually heard in person including one by, of all people, Sonny Bono. Today’s Thought is another one. We were reporters at the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro, California at the time and the Republican National Convention was a couple hours west in San Diego, and each of us reporters took a turn going to the convention and rustling up a story. Watts was in his first term in Congress and some readers might remember him playing quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.

It’s easy to think the American dream is about money. We are saturated with images of the rich and famous, and products that we must buy right now. Plus instinct and self-interest demand that we make our share. For some, this self-interest turns into their ruling passion. This is not an indictment. A society needs people who enjoy and have a knack for making money because they employ people like me who do not.

It is about using your abilities and being the best you can be…

One of the themes we harp on ad nauseam here at your Thought for the Day is the proposition that all of us were issued certain talents at birth. It is one of the earliest lessons we can remember learning: we can all do something well. In school, some are good at math or science or writing and in sports, some can shoot a basketball and some can hit a baseball. An annoying few seem to be able to do everything well and are marks for particular scorn. 

Those who make a go of it in this life are the ones who get the most out of the talents they were born with. When we do that we become the best we can be at something, life’s great prize and something that cannot be purchased.

When we utilize and cultivate the talents we have we will find that everything else will follow. The life we are supposed to live will be there for the taking.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – October 31, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

OH, I  WISH I WAS IN DIXIE, HOORAY!: The headline about a Mississippi school district deciding to return the landmark book To Kill A Mockingbird to its eighth-grade curriculum caught our eye, but it took a second for the full impact to hit:

People are still banning books!

Earlier this month the Biloxi School District had removed To Kill A Mockingbird from its eighth-grade curriculum after receiving complaints about the language – particularly the use of the n-word – used in it. The book is about racism in the Deep South, so it is not unreasonable to expect the n-word to make an appearance or two. As it is, it makes several dozen appearances in To Kill A Mockingbird, generally in dialogue.

Of course, not every book should be taught to eighth-graders, but To Kill A Mockingbird has been a staple of American education for decades and rightfully so. We remember being required to read it and you may well remember it, too.

FunFact: The book’s return to the classroom is not without condition. Students must request to be part of the class and must present a signed permission slip. Those who do not want to read To Kill A Mockingbird will be given another book to study.

Dry, Technical Matter: This isn’t the first time To Kill A Mockingbird has been banned. It has happened off and on since it was published in 1960. Last year a Virginia school district took it off its library’s bookshelves, along with the equally subversive The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, after some parents go their shorts in a knot over their use of racial slurs.

LOL: What’s funny is people in the South complaining about the use of the n-word. Maybe some KKK grand wizards complained because it wasn’t used enough. It can’t be because it isn’t used in the South anymore because in some houses the n-word is generally the second word of out of Southern white kid’s mouth, right after ‘mama’.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: Unless the book is F*ck Me Stud, a kid should not need a parent’s permission to read anything in school. Furthermore, for Southerners especially to get worked over the use of a slur it brought into common usage is silly.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! America’s first cross-country highway, the Lincoln Highway, running from New York City to San Francisco, is dedicated on this date in 1913.

The road has been realigned many times, and now mostly – though not entirely – follows US Highway 30 from Philadelphia until meeting Interstate 80 in Wyoming and there are still a variety of businesses along both the current and past routes that still carry Lincoln names.

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Heat: Marble Bar, Australia has a temperature of over 100 degrees on this date in 1923, the first of a record 160 consecutive days of temperatures above 100F. The town in Western Australia would not have a day without a 100-degree temperature until April 8, 1924.

Well, That Was Nice: Mt Rushmore, featuring 60-foot high carvings of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, is declared finished on this date in 1941. Carving had begun in October 1927 and over 450 workers moved 450,000 tons of rock without anyone dying.

Now You Know: Mt Rushmore was designed by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. He chose Washington and Lincoln because they were two most popular presidents, Jefferson because he doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase and Roosevelt because he founded the National Park Service.

We’re Outta Here: Three members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) are freed from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin via helicopter on this date in 1973. The helicopter had been hijacked by two IRA members, with Captain Thompson Boyes instructed to fly to and land in the prison. Guards initially thought the helicopter was ferrying a government official so the prisoners had a head start. The three prisoners climbed aboard and Boyes flew the craft to an abandoned race track, where the IRA members fled in a hijacked taxi.

Oh Yeah: The three prisoners were eventually recaptured and Boyes was not harmed.

Get Out Your History Books: Earth’s population exceeds seven billion people on this date in 2011.

Actually, the day is symbolic. The day was picked by the United Nations based on data from five-year estimates. With the margin of error factored in, it is thought the seven billionth human could have entered the world anytime between March 2011 and April 2012.

Running The Numbers: Earth had passed the six billion mark in 1999 and is expected to pass the eight billion mark in 2027.

Quotebook: There’s no use denying fear – It’s how you handle it that counts. – Caryl Chessman, moments before dying in California’s gas chamber, May 2, 1960

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Besides appearing as himself and as the narrator, Orson Welles played Professor Richard Pierson in the radio drama The War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938.

Today’s Stumper: When did the world reach a population of one billion people?  – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment