Thursday, October 31, 2013


CW sent me a message saying he had several complaints about one of my posts and as a result chose to remove it. Now I'm not going to pretend I'm happy but it's CW's blog and ultimately he is responsible. I disagree but I understand (what with CW being a DC power player with a rep to maintain etc.). And I'll be the first to say I sometimes cross the line of propriety. I can be insulting and profane but as I've said before when this happened before, if someone has a criticism then let's hear it, just make a comment. 
In America we can say whatever the hell we like and everyone else has a right to criticize as much as they like. That's the way it works. That's what it's all about. But working behind the scenes to censor someone's opinion is just un-American. So whoever went whining to mommie is just a cheese eating, dime dropping little snitch, in my humble opinion. The rule is you never squeal unless it's a big deal, otherwise you're just a punk. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Hammer's Almost Weekly College Football Review

Let me go ahead and get this out of the way, boy do we suck! FSU had NCSU 35 zip with six minutes to go in the 1st quarter.  Jeez it was embarrassing. Especially when Duke is showing real competitiveness, once again overachieving and beating Va. Tech in Blacksburg. And Wake looked good as hell against a strong Miami squad. 

The thing is Duke and Wake don't have a tremendous amount of talent, but they are extremely well coached with COACHABLE kids. I think at schools like State (and sorry to say Maryland and UVA) they tend to recruit more along the lines of physically talented players rather than a more holistic approach of recruiting "good" players. At these kinds of schools we will lose out every time to the Clemsons and Florida States of the world for the big name recruits, so what we end up with is a second rate kid in terms of talent who may or may not be teachable. Duke and Wake do it right, we're just chasing the SEC's rejects. 

Now that I got that off my chest on to the national picture. Alabama keeps rolling spanking what I think is a pretty decent Tennessee team (a word Yankees cannot spell), The "Quack Attack" is showing no signs of petering out thumping a #12 (BULLLLL-SHIT!) UCLA by a ton, and as I've already mentioned FSU didn't hurt themselves yesterday. The "Old Ball Coach" got a good win at Missouri in double overtime but the Cocks still have a lot of problems. Auburn is looking good and might give Alabama a game. Stanford is still the second best team out West (Fresno State my ass!) and OK State could be a spoiler for Baylor. 

So, we've got Miami, FSU, Alabama, Northern Illinois (forgetaboutit), Baylor, Oregon, THE Ohio State University and Fresno State all undefeated. The big-un this week will be the "U" at Florida State.  Stay tuned.

Oh, in the Bundesliga...
Leverkusen FC Augsburg
Hannover 96 TSG Hoffenheim
Mainz Eintracht Braunschweig

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Berlin 2013 Day 5: My Sister is an International Star

I believe I misled you with my last post, in which it appeared that the friendship sparked up with the Irishman was as a result of my feisty comeback and his enjoyment thereof.  I suppose that had a bit to do with it, but what really had him over the edge was when I told him that my sister had once been the "New York, New Jersey, Connecticut Rose of Tralee" entrant.  Since we were in the conference when I told him, his initial reaction was one of reserved shock, but shock nonetheless.  It wasn't until later in the evening, when the effects of several glasses of red wine had begun to show their impact on my new friend, that the true depth of his amazement began to come through.  "You know" he said, "it's sort of like you are royalty.  Or like a Kennedy".  I'm not shitting you.  This highly educated, well-regarded professor of international law thought that my having a sister in the Rose of Tralee Festival was world beating.  So I got that going for me.

I have not formally exercised today, as I believe I put a conservative four miles of walking in, which should suffice.  From the hotel lobby where I wrote the last post, I proceeded to the Berlin Zoo, which has a well-deserved reputation as a great city zoo (see John Ennis for worldwide zoo recommendations).  I spent a few hours ambling around the zoo, looking in on my favorite animals (cats, penguins, apes/monkeys) and enjoying a beautiful day (the weather here has been very nice this week, I am told).  Having not eaten anything solid, at 1630 I headed to the "authentic German" restaurant (Tiergarten Quelle) that I thought about going to my first night here, which was right around the corner from the zoo.  Reviewed favorably on Yelp (4.5 stars out of 5), it turned out to be a great decision.  Not much to look at, but the food was superb.  I had a pork schnitzel cordon bleu that was out of this world. 

After that (I can't decide if I should call it lunch or dinner....I guess it depends on if I eat again, which I am hoping not to).I took a long stroll through the Tiergarten back to my hotel room, where you find me now.  One of the things I discovered about my immediate environment is that it is essentially "Embassy Row", with a number of large and important looking buildings around it.  Heavy security at embassies is apparently not just an American phenomenon, as all of them were like fortresses.  Except maybe the Italian, which looked a little soft.

And now I am in my room, enjoying my last night in Berlin.  Unfortunately, I have a good bit of work to do, so I'll probably just stay slaved to this little box upon which I type, before packing my things to get going in the morning.  Don't know if there will be a post tomorrow or not---though the flight here had WIFI, which means I might sneak one in.

Berlin 2013 Day 4: The Irishman and the Chinaman

I write this at 1230 on Saturday, after having lounged in my bed post-late night with new friends.  It occurs to me how wonderful it is to feel as I do now, refreshed, accomplished (sleeping past noon), ready for a (somewhat shortened) day.  When I used to drink, days rarely started like this.

I was unable to write you at the end of the day yesterday, as the events of our convention concluded and we then headed out for a final dinner together.  It was a wonderful day, even if it did start out somewhat oddly.  Without going into incredibly boring detail, the United States Senate has never ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, and this fact really, really sticks in the craw of much of the rest of the world, especially Europe.  Generally speaking, all Democrats support the treaty and some Republicans do--but the Republican minority has been able to keep the Treaty from being ratified for three decades.  Interestingly enough, the United States DOES however follow almost every provision of the treaty, especially those that pertain to its Navy, Coast Guard, etc.  And because we are the worlds largest economy with the world's largest and most global Navy, the plain truth is that the Treaty is tremendously boosted by the US, its ratification notwithstanding.

It is the job of the American at international conferences to be apologetic and somewhat embarrassed that we have not yet ratified the treaty, and over the years, I have seen many Americans play the part quite well.  It seems however, that I was unable to do so.  Here's how it went.  After my presentation on day 1 (Thursday), there was of course the predictable question/comment on the horrors of the US having not ratified UNCLOS.  In response, I repeated basically what I said above, that "I did not lose sleep over our not having ratified the treaty, since we possess the world's largest oceanborne economy and the world's largest Navy, I figure we do pretty much more than anyone else to support the provisions of the treaty."  Not exactly playing the role I was supposed to play.

On day two, the first panel, the man who had sat next to me the entire first day--an international lawyer from Ireland--gave a presentation, which was excellent.  Toward the end, he took the opportunity to add that he was "disappointed in our esteemed colleague from the United States' view on ratification of UNCLOS, and further, I cannot believe that a minority of Senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee could have blocked its ratification last year." 

Knowing full well which American colleague to whom he was referring, I raised my hand for the question and answer period, and when called upon, said the following:  "I would like to add some texture and insight to the views of the unnamed American colleague cited by Professor (XXXX) in his remarks, and remind the Professor that I THOUGHT I heard the unnamed American indicate that he slept easy at night BECAUSE the US ---the largest maritime economy with the largest Navy--were FOLLOWING the overwhelming majority of the Convention.  And furthermore, I realize that he may not be familiar with American law, but his beliefs notwithstanding, treaties in the US must be ratified by a 2/3 majority, which means BY DEFINITION they can be defeated by a minority."

My did I feel good.  Perhaps unfairly, my comment was slipped in under the last few seconds of the conference, so the Irishman didn't have an opportunity to counter-counter.  Within seconds I received emails from two other convention goers which were essentially electronic "atta-boys".  It was the closest thing one can come to a touchdown in an international affairs conference.  In the coffee break afterward, the Irishman approached me and we extended hands.  He said, "I hope I wasn't too tough on you" to which I answered, "you would have been disappointed in my Irish blood if I hadn't called you on that", to which he agreed and laughed--thus beginning what I hope to be a solid, transatlantic friendship.

The conference proceeded without incident, and the Irish Professor and I chit chatted with far more purpose on day two than we had on day one, to the point where he expressed a desire to "get you over to Ireland so that you can talk with some of my clients" as he is also a consultant to Irish a number of Irish businesses.  Yes please.

At 1945, we gathered in the foyer of the hotel for dinner, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army Senior Colonel who had joined us approached me, rotating his left shoulder as if in pain.  "Colonel, are you in pain?" I asked, to which he answered yes, there was some tightness in the middle of his back.  I thought little more of it until at dinner, where he was seated just across the table from me, I could see he was in discomfort.  "Colonel, are you ok?" I asked.  He said "my chest hurts and it is hard to breathe".  He looked to be in pain and uncomfortable, but not yet in distress.  I spoke to the Italian admiral across the table from me in German, telling him that I thought the Chinese guy was having a minor heart attack and that we should get him out of here.  The Italian watched him for a bit, agreed, and we brought it to the attention of the conference organizer, who arranged to get the Colonel to a hospital.  The Colonel was a tough bugger, sorta resisting the efforts of the group---and so I grabbed him by both sides of his head as he was moving around to my side of the table and said--looking directly in his eyes--"Don't be a f*****g idiot.  You need a doctor", to which he nodded and moved off with his attendants.  Don't know how things turned out, but I hope to ask some others by email who might know.

After dinner, a group of us went for a few drinks and we spent a wonderful evening chatting.  Only three of us were coming back to the hotel in which I was staying, including the Irishman. He, I and an Englishman who has worked in some of the world's most famous shit-holes alighted to the hotel bar where we watched German couples dance in the low light to the sounds of a German woman singing American hip-hop, something that could have come straight out of a 1970's East German bar.  Having had enough, I headed to my room for the sleep which extended right up until drafting this blog post.

UPDATE: Others from my group confirmed that the Chinese Senior Colonel was up and around smiling and making jokes this morning.  No word on what was the cause of his discomfort last night.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Berlin 2013 Day 3: My Oh My, Are the Germans PISSED!

It is 1123PM and I'm just getting back to the room after dinner.  We had a long day of deliberations in the conference (very good stuff), I got a good workout in, and then straight to dinner. 
Your humble blogger, being introduced before his presentation

While on the elliptical, I was continuing to watch my Open Yale course on financial markets, but I could see the TV coverage on the evening was all about the story of the NSA tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's telephone.  Virtually nothing else was being talked about.  I thought to myself, that this cannot be good news for anyone.

At dinner, our speaker was a German member of the European Parliament, highly placed in the foreign affairs ministry.  He started out his remarks making some very pointed and not so happy comments about the state of things at the highest levels of the German and U.S. governments.  It was a very serious and solemn moment.  I looked around at the other Americans in the room, and I sensed that we were all feeling the same thing--a little bit ashamed, and a little bit angry ourselves.  Angry that Edward Snowden ever existed.  Anger about those who defend him as anything but a traitor. Anger that our country is embarrassed; again.  Honestly though, I also couldn't get past the feeling that "well, that's your savior, Europe.  He criticized Bush for all these out of line wiretaps and excesses from the Patriot Act, and all he did was make it worse--we don't trust him any more than you do."

I've had a lot of opportunity to talk about America with old friends and new while here.  It started yesterday when I made the point to Jannis (Sebastian's friend) that his view of events and dysfunction in American might be a little bit skewed by the media he reads.  I spent time telling these guys that to understand American, you have to understand our founding.  Our country was founded in a conservative revolution.  Our Constitution is a conservative document which LIMITS the power of the state, something that I simply don't think Europeans can get their heads around.  I assured them that the fight over Obamacare was far more than just a power grab by the party out of power--that there were HUGE, EXISTENTIAL issues at sake.  I reminded them that they had mandated health insurance in Germany, something they've had for decades.  I postulated that when their system was formed, there was very little bitching from the public about mandated insurance simply because there is an inherent TRUST in the state that Americans don't have--a legacy of our founding.  I explained to Jannis and Sebastian that there is a huge chunk of American that shakes its head and says, "excuse me?  You're telling me from the federal government that i HAVE to buy something".  I tried to explain how basic and fundamentally discontinuous that concept was.

At dinner, I sat with a fellow from Norway, a PhD candidate in Naval Strategy.  A super dude, all around, but sorta predictably lefty.  We had a wonderful, wide ranging conversation, and at one point, he asked me if I didn't feel it was time for our Constitution to change, for our system of government to change.   I asked him why he thought that.  He said, "well, it doesn't seem to be working".  I sat up straight and said, "it is working perfectly.  It is a perfect representation of the deeply divided country."  I think people here in Europe are looking back over their shoulders at us and wondering when the crazy Republicans are going to break down and give in to the benevolent Barack.  They simply have no idea of the depth of the resistance to his policies.  They have no sense of how deeply divided our country is, how what we are arguing about is perhaps the last best way to keep the nation from sliding into entitlement hell and second rate status.

This is an interesting time to be here. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 2: Travels with Sebastian

Always ready to aid damsels in distress
Today was to start as follows:  Wake, early. Work-out.  Eat breakfast. Wait for Sebastian to show up and then go visit Berlin.

How it went: Wake to the sound of the room phone ringing, slightly muffled by the earplugs. Receive information that Sebastian is in the lobby.  Curse Sebastian for obviously arriving much earlier than we had agreed (10-1030).  Ask woman on the phone what time it is.  Receive answer of "10:20".

You see, I figured my body would still be on Maryland time, and that even though I went to bed at midnight, I'd probably naturally wake at around 0600, which was fine with me.  Getting to sleep in a room with real, working window treatments was also a benefit, as I could close the shades and actually sleep in the dark. And...the earplugs--well, I didn't know how bad the street noise would be. Oh...and the sleep mask.  Well, you get the picture.

So I hurried to throw some clothes on, Sebastian came up to the room. Sebastian is a German PhD candidate in Naval Strategy, and I got to know him while he was in the US working on his dissertation.  My presence here in Germany is due to him, as he chatted me up to his adviser who is running the conference.  Our plan was to very lazily waft about the city and see some things. He had an unexpectedly good deal of knowledge about Berlin, which was nice, as I don't think he's ever lived here.  Our wandering started just across the street from our hotel: the HQ of the failed Stauffenberg plot to kill Hitler in the Summer of 1944.  I stood in the courtyard where Stauffenberg and fellow collaborators were executed by the light of army vehicle headlights.  Quite a way to start.

We walked then to the Potsdamer Platz and had a leisurely couple of Lattes.  Which is not good for the diet, as Lattes have a lot more calories than plain coffee.  We some some architectural monstrosities along the way, including a horrible opera house.  We then moved along where the Wall had been toward the Brandenburg Gate, which was awesome, and the Bundestag, or the parliament building, which was also awesome.  Then we walked over to the new central train station built for the 2006 World Cup, where I found an ATM and actually was able to get money from it.  Then we had a nice authentic German lunch in a bar at the train station, before heading across town by the S-Train to meet a friend of Sebastian who was going to take us on a little tour of the Berlin Wall museum.

Jannis was the name of Sebastian's friend, and he and his wife live in Berlin.  He was a great guy, very easy to talk to.  Both Jannis and Sebastian put up with my bad German, and spoke to me in slowly spoken German so that I could understand.  Much English was spoken when we turned to afternoon cappuccinos (again, calories), where Jannis and I had a spirited discussion of the duty of the state, each of us taking our stereotypical positions--me the right wing American, him the center-left Euro.  It was all great fun, but then it was time to leave.

We trained back to the Potsdamer Platz  and I caught a taxi back to the hotel where I finally got the workout in.  Between all that I had consumed AND the workout, I had only 497 calories to spare for our evening's first dinner.  I managed to eat lightly and come in under the day's goal.  Dinner was held in one of the hotel salons, and we had a very enjoyable dinner speaker, a German Vice Admiral whose command of my language was significantly better than mine of his.  At my table were a Chinese Senior Colonel, a retired Navy two star Admiral, a couple of UK academics, two admin people from the conference and an American who was acting as one of the panel leads during the conference.  Much conviviality was had by all, but I had to excuse myself at the early our of 2230 to get up to my room and write to all of you.  Oh, and to study my speech for the morning.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Is It Orwellian Social Conditioning...Or Just a Brain Tumor?

You've all heard the saying "the law works best when it doesn't have to work at all" meaning a society conditioned to obey the law minimizes the societal costs of enforcement. This is a good thing. But sadly given enough resources and time a society can be conditioned to do some very bad things. In fact a society can be conditioned to not only accept but actively perpetuate some fairly ridiculous (and dangerous) behaviors. History is replete with examples of this from NAZI Germany, Stalinist Russia to modern day Iran. And racism in America is another example of one of these behaviors.

Now, as a society we have been trying to eliminate racism for decades upon decades but it seems all we've managed to do is trade one kind of racism for another. In fact I would argue we've just had everyone in the queue do an about face and those in the back are now in the front. I would also argue our particular brand of racism today is more damaging than Jim Crow or even the Antebellum South ever where.

We see racism everywhere, if we would only see. A President whom is clearly incompetent is given a pass on some of the most absurd, insane policies, AND RE-ELECTED for no apparent reason other than he is black. The city of Detroit, Michigan, after years of graft and ineptitude (to the tune of 19 billions dollars) is bailed out no strings attached by the federal government, and not a bird stirs in the trees. No talk of reforms, investigations or, just send the money thank you. There can be only one explanation and you know it as well as I.

Here's a good example of this pathology in the area of sports. On a well known sports blog Philip Rivers is vilified as " intense weirdo" and is ridiculed for having six children (and one on the way) inside a loving, caring relationship with his wife. The blogger laments "There are going to be eight people with Rivers' DNA running around this world" as if having a big family in a committed marital relationship supported by hard working parents is somehow "weird". What an ignorant -ucking asshole!

Well, here's some of the folks who get a "pass" (I wonder why?) on what I think is weird behavior. And for my money (which apparently I don't have a right to anymore) I'll take Rivers' weirdness over these amoral, degenerate scumbags any day of the week.
•Calvin Murphy; basketball All American and long time NBA player, 14 illegitimate kids by 9 women.
•Evander Holyfield; 11 children 9 illegitimate.
•Shawn Kemp; 9 children by 7 women.
•Derrick Thomas (deceased) 7 kids by 5 women (he was only 33 so he really hadn't gotten started good). Of course they're all fighting like hell for his 1.16 mil left behind.
•Jason Caffey; 10 children by 8 women. Tried to declare bankruptcy due to 200k in back child support, judge said no dice.
•Ray Lewis; 6 kids by 5 women. But he started the Ray Lewis Foundation to help inner-city "disadvantaged" kids. What a guy!
•And the all-time winner (at least on record) may be Dominique Wilkins, University of Georgia All American and NBA Superstar (from "little" Washington, NC). But Dominique is no deadbeat dad, he is currently paying TWENTY child support payments! Way to go Dominique! Take it to the hole brother!

I rest my case.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Berlin 2013: Day 1/Arrival

When last we visited, I opined about the sparse crowd in the waiting area, hoping that it signaled a less than full flight.  To my great delight, that was exactly the signal.  The plane was a 2-4-2 rig, and I had an aisle seat on the starboard set of two.  Who should then put stuff down to sit next to me, but the largest man on the plane.  He was not a fat man, but he was a good six feet five.  It was painful to watch him fold himself into his seat.  As the other passengers filed in, then to a trickle, the flight attendants offered that it was ok to get up and move if we liked.  I said to the fellow that I was going to move, so that he could have more room.  Actually, I wanted to move so that I could get a seat with no one sitting next to me, meaning no one would have to wake me to go to the bathroom.  I found a seat on the aisle, in the group of four, with the only other seat in the row taken the other aisle on the four.  Genius.

The plane took off on time (German efficiency, no doubt) and I settled in.  After a quick drink of water, I donned my sleeping mask, noise cancelling headphones and ear plugs.  Seven hours later I woke up as they were serving breakfast and we were flying over the English Channel.  A perfect flight.

We landed in Munich, and I had an hour before I had to board.  The one bag I checked was checked to Berlin, so I simply had to go through a passport control process and head to the next gate.  Had time for a cuppa joe along the way.  An hour more flying and we landed in Berlin, the airport serving which looks like one of those small midwestern fields that exist in order for there to be a place to fly a Congressman.  I grabbed my bag (which was checked by no one that I could tell) and got a taxi. 

My driver was a Turk named Astan who had been in Germany (West Berlin) for 25 years.  After a bit of German back and forth, he offered (in German) that his English was terrible.  I offered (in German) that my German was terrible, and he assured me it was nothing of the sort.  We had a delightful conversation for the twenty or so minutes it took to get to the hotel, including a discussion of public nudity after passing a few Germans frolicking au natural in a park along the way.  He indicated that there was plenty of public nudity in the summer, and that looking at the topless women was "good for the eyes". 

I arrived at my hotel, which is sort of unimpressive from the outside (Dresden chic), but very nice on the inside.  It is located near the famous Berlin Zoo, which happens not to be in the happening part of town, as I will cover with you in a later paragraph.  It seems to be very residential with nary a coffee shop to be found in the general vicinity--which could be disastrous.

I checked in and immediately headed to the gym/spa to scope things out.  The gym was tiny, with an elliptical, a stationary bike, and a treadmill.  I chatted up the comely Asian woman working the spa desk and swung myself a massage for an hour and a half later.  In the meantime, I went back to the room, changed into athletic attire and headed back down to the gym to burn a few calories.  I am bound and determined not to backslide this week, and I'm going to need to be disciplined if that is to work.

After the workout, I went to take a shower in what is a very standard German shower---a tub with a handheld shower head.  Problem was, I just couldn't get the shower head to work.  Lots of water poured from the faucet into the tub, and I thought I was able to recognize the mechanism for transferring flow, but it just didn't work.  So I took a quick bath and made a note to have someone from housekeeping show me how to work the shower.

Back down to the spa for my massage, when much to my surprise, my massage therapist turned out to be the very same comely Asian woman who checked me in.  Nothing wrong with that.  Her name was Van and she had come to Germany from Viet Nam via Canada.  All of this I was able to ascertain in the few moments we spent prior to her leaving the room while I disrobed.  I'm not chatty during a massage, and I tend to be very tough on massage therapists who are.  She was not, and our hour went by wonderfully and silently.

By the time the massage was over, the clock and my stomach told me it was time to eat, and so I took out my trusty iPad and used one of the geolocation Apps that told me what was around me.  This was the second hint I got that I wasn't in the happening part of town, as I now had backup digital evidence to confirm my eyeball evidence.  I did find what appeared to be a pretty well reviewed "authentic" German restaurant, and so decided to make for it.  First though, and ATM.  Uh....yeah.  Well, it turns out there aren't many ATM's in the area either.  In fact, this may be the lowest density of ATM's in the Western world.  There were two generally in the direction of the German restaurant, so I made for the first.  And it wasn't there.  And I was walking through streets that felt safe enough, but there weren't a lot of people walking on them.  So I made for the location of the second ATM, which brought me into civilization.  But....that ATM wasn't there either.  So I gave up finding an ATM, gave up the German food a cab ride away, and headed across the street from the last known location of the now missing ATM to a little Chinese joint.  Turned out to have the best egg-drop soup I've ever tasted.  Tossed in some random chicken dish, and feeling lucky, made for a third ATM up the street.  YES!  Put the card in, selected the amount I wanted...and then the machine said my bank card wasn't accepted there. 

So I hailed a cab and headed back here to the hotel to write down the fun from my day.  I'm meeting my friend Sebastian tomorrow for general touring of the city.  He's a German PhD student in Kiel, who knows Berlin perhaps only slightly better than I do, which is not at all.  We've got the opening dinner of the conference tomorrow night, and then things get off to a start on Thursday morning.

Enough for now. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Berlin 2013: Departure

In the olden days, I would be writing this from the hermetically sealed splendor of some airline club, financed by the promise of future revenue or at the very least, the generous salary my employer imparted unto me.  Now that I am a small businessman getting my enterprise off the ground, such expenses are unwise, and so I find myself one hour before boarding sitting in a sparsely filled gate lounge awaiting my flight. I would like to think that the small crowd is a promise of a half full flight, but I cannot allow myself that dream.

I am certain to disappoint some, as my tracksuit sits folded in my carry on whilst I sport relatively normal travel togs, including a tweedy jacket, a long sleeve crewnweck brown tshirt, blue jeans and loafers. I think my decision to eschew the fat tennis player rig flows from the spring in my step enabled by having lost some weight. I feel less slovenly, so I dress less slovenly.

On the way to the airport, I stopped at the Reston Town Center to break bread with an old shipmate. It was a delight to see him, and I remain amused by the interesting life he leads. As if on cue, when I got to the bar, he was chatting up a 9.2 and her friend, an old flame, it turns out.  Ahhhh....

My flight leaves at ten pm, and I expect to be asleep by 1130. I figure with ear plugs and a mask, I can bag six hours and wake refreshed for breakfast. I will not destroy my diet on this trip, and I expect to make liberal use of the hotel gym.  I finished writing my presentation this morning, but I have a revision or two to look at. The good news is that I don't give it until Thursday.

Forty-five minutes to boarding, and there are fewer than forty people here...keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Hammer's Weekly College Football Review

Well, week...uh... whatever damn week it is... was pretty exciting and some of the pretenders have been exposed. Man alive, FSU took Clemson to the woodshed didn't they? In Death Valley too! I was a little surprised by that frankly, not necessarily that the Semi-holes won but how they owned Clemson from the git-go. That freshman quarterback went to the backwoods side of nowhere -hole in the ground- known officially as Memorial Stadium and in front of 80 thousand screaming rednecks took it to their ass! To be honest I wasn't so sure about FSU, but I am now. Jimbo Fisher has it going on down in Tallahassee (a word no Yankee can spell). This is very good football team and guess who gets them next?

So it looks like the Tigers were 2-2 yesterday; Missouri and Auburn winning with LSU and Clemson screwing the proverbial pooch and thereby knocking themselves out of the running (is there really a proverb about a pooch I wonder?). Missouri is looking REAL good reminding me of the days of Tony Galbreath (Missouri always did do well against SEC teams) and Baylor, Texas Tech, Ohio State are undefeated along with a handful of others. The Gamecocks lost to maybe, perhaps (?) a resurgent Tennessee (another work Yankees can't spell) and the notion that there's another West Coast team that's worth a shit (Washington) was put to bed.

Now to the really sad news. CW's University of Virginia Cavaliers sashayed away a 22 point first half lead over Duke, eventually losing 35-22 in front of a nearly empty Scott Stadium in Charlottesville. The Wahoos' collapse was not entirely unexpected what with a three game losing streak, but my Goodness! Can't anybody in Charlottesville play this game? But I'm just glad the Pack isn't on UVA's schedule this year, we'd probably lose.

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