Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gary Johnson For President! However...

I want to see Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian Party, as our next President.

Quixotic dreamer that I am, I think he actually could become the occupant of The Oval Office if things fall right. He's polling in the low double-digits at present. If he can crack 15% in select national polls, he will be given a place on the stage during the presidential debates this fall. If that happens, anything can happen.

And I'm fairly militant about my candidate, too. Ask me my opinion and I'll give it to you straight. I think Trump and Clinton are BOTH unfit for the office. Whichever one of them wins - if, indeed, one of them does win - I'll be a combination of sad, angry and disillusioned that I have never been before.

Having said that, though, I am trying desperately to not alienate the people who really matter to me. I am trying to hold my most strident political opinions in check when I am in the company of those folks I love but who may have a differing opinion.

I'm trying, but I'm failing - sometimes. And that's what my column in today's Boston Herald is about.

As always, I'm grateful to you for stopping by this increasingly desolate wasteland that once was a robust and thriving blog. I'll be even more grateful if you go to the Herald's website. I'll be positively ecstatic if you leave a positive comment there. I might even die as a result of paroxysms of joy if you write a letter to the editor and it's published (but, even if you don't want to see me dead, feel free to take the chance. I'll medicate myself each morning before I read the paper, just in case.)

Soon, with more better stuff (especially if Johnson wins, but I think I already said as much and I don't want to beat a dead horse, as much fun as that might be.)

(I had no idea, until this very moment, how macabre I could be concerning deceased equines. Sorry!)

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

I Am Now Someone's Future Angel

The other day, I had my car, Roddy, inspected in Watertown. I’m happy to say he passed.

Roddy (and if your car doesn't have a name, one of you has no soul.)

After doing that, I decided to give myself a treat. It was 3:45. I’m usually due to work (as scorekeeper and statistician for a men's fast-pitch softball league) at 6:00 in South Boston, but I decided I’d drive there early and indulge myself with a couple of burgers at Sullivan’s (no relation) on Castle Island. Rather than arrive at my job tensed up from a bumper-to-bumper ride on the Massachusetts Turnpike during rush hour, I could relax, eat, and enjoy a nice walk around a lovely park in the sunshine.

 Sullivan's - great burgers! [Image from Universal Hub - great Boston news aggregator!]

I arrived at Sully’s a bit after 4pm. I got my burgers and walked around the park.

       Overhead of Castle Island. Sullivan's is just out of the picture, upper right by the parking lot.

I was relaxed and happy. I started back to my car at about 5:15. As I approached, I saw something troubling. Roddy's lights were on.

I couldn’t understand it. Roddy is one of those cars whose lights are always on while driving, but turn off automatically when the motor isn’t running. I tried to start Roddy. No go - dead battery. And then I discovered the problem. The mechanic who performed the inspection had turned Roddy's lights on and never turned them off. And now I was in the parking lot at Sullivan’s with a dead car, about forty minutes before work.

I thought I had jumper cables, so I checked Roddy's trunk. Nope. There was nothing to do but ask random burger-eating strangers if they had cables and could give me a jump.

The first ten or twelve folks I asked couldn’t help. They were kind enough, making sad burger-eating faces while giving me the bad news, but now I was getting desperate. I pictured myself walking a couple of miles to work, carrying my equipment (about fifteen pounds of bases, balls, gloves, catcher's masks and scorebooks, usually hauled in Roddy's trunk) and being late anyway. And then having to hope that someone there would be able to give me a jump before the park closed and motor access – in or out – became impossible.

I asked another fellow – climbing into his car with burgers, for he and his elderly mother – if he had cables. He did! And he wasted no time in trying to give me a jump.

I say “trying” because it didn’t take. Neither of us could figure why, other than maybe his cables were bad. I hoped so. If something else was wrong, I was up the creek. I thanked him for the effort and set off to find another kind soul.

As luck – or blessings – would have it, the next person I asked also had cables and he said he’d be glad to help. We hooked our batteries together. I turned the key. Vroooom! First try, and you would have been hard-pressed to find a bigger smile in all of Southie than was on my face at that moment.

As we unhooked the cables, I offered to buy my angel a couple of burgers and some fries. We were, after all, at one of the best places in Boston for them and he had just arrived when I asked him for help. He flatly refused. He said, “Praise God and pass it on.”

And so this is the first part of that. As for passing it on, the next stranger I meet in the outside world who asks me for a favor will get it, no questions asked.

I’m looking forward to being someone’s angel. In case I’m supposed to be the same sort of angel I got, I’ve purchased jumper cables.

(Roddy is also looking forward to passing along the favor. After all, I was just looking at being late for work, but he was brought back from the dead!)

Soon, with more better stuff.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

I love the Fourth of July. That's because I love this country.

Sure, we have our problems. We're far from perfect. There are, however, no perfect countries now or ever, so a lack of perfection doesn't bother me too much. We've done fairly well in perpetuating freedoms of one sort or another for 240 years. Our ideals sometimes outdistance our reality, but our hearts are usually in the right place.

Anyway, in honor of Independence Day, I have a column in the Boston Herald that tells you many of the things I like about this land. Nay, that I love about this land! 100 things, to be exact. You will agree with some of them, maybe disagree with a few, but overall you'll probably enjoy the piece. Or possibly even LOVE it. Who knows? You certainly won't know until you go there and read it, so why not do that?

Here's a handy link that will get you to there!

As always, I would love it if you left a comment or wrote a letter to the editor. As a matter of fact, if you have a letter to the editor published, I'll buy you dinner the next time you're in Boston.

(No guarantee of a gourmet feed. It might be a hot dog. But it will be a filet mignon in my heart!)

Thanks for stopping by. Soon, with more better stuff.