many years ago, 2002 to be exact, i made a trip to mainland china. it was one of those two week deals where if it’s tuesday it must be shanghai type things. all in all very interesting especially the great wall. however, there were a couple of “incidents” that sort of stand out. one concerning vladimir putin and i’m still really not sure what was up with the other one.
first off, during the trip we stayed in xian for a few days. a lovely very old walled city with a moat around it. that would be in the really old part of town. we were on our way to see the terra cotta warriors outside the city. a truly wonderful experience if you get the chance to do so. on the way there we stopped at a factory that made small terra cotta figurines of the actual warriors, horses, and such at the site.
while at the terra cotta factory there was a guy standing around with big sony video camera on a tripod. i went up and started talking to him about his camera. he had an odd accent. turns out he was a russian tv news photographer or that was his story. he said they were doing “set ups” as putin was visiting the factory the next day before he went to see the actual warrior site. i didn’t speak to the talking head that was with him. anyways, after chatting with the ruskie and getting him to pose for some video i wondered off taking more video of the factory. suddenly, this extremely nice looking chinese babe came out of nowhere like a sudden heart attack and asked me in very good english if i’m getting some nice pictures. this kinda freaked me out. who was she? where did she come from? i said yeah and blew her off. i think she may have been chinese langley. did she and the chinese think i was cia as well?
yes, well, then it got a bit weirder.
later that day we were at the terra cotta digs when 3 guys in very bad suits walked past us. i immediately made them for russians. one of them stopped turned around and gave me the eye for a minute or two. guess he had heard about me from someone at the terra cotta factory. or something. i ignored him. putin was to be at the site as well the next day. so i guess they were just some more russian “cultural” folks checking stuff out in advance. did the russians think i was cia too? what was going on? we heard a day or so later the chinese closed the place for 3 hours so putin could look at the shit by himself and not be disturbed. i hope he had a grand time.
several days later we were in guilin. a lovely spot in south china almost to the north vietnam border. the main touristy thing there is a four hour boat ride down the li river. wonderful scenery. amazing stuff.
after a long day of sightseeing, dinner, and probably too much beer we went to a chinese stage show in the hotel where we were staying. a nice show and more beer. however, i had a hard time staying awake.
after the we show got in the elevator to go up to our room. two nicely dressed westerners get in too. for some reason we are the only people in the elevator. which was very weird because of the number of people who had been watching the show and were now heading back to their rooms in the hotel. we get up to our floor. the men stayed in the elevator and as we get out one of them says, in an aussie or british accent, good night, john. yeah, no shit. i had never seen those guys before. i just ignored them and kept on walking. however, i was jolted.
very spooky and strange and the last time on the trip that i noticed anyone taking any interest in me in a langley sort of way. i had completely forgotten this little incident until i was reading some old emails. even now it seems very bizarre. we were at least 600 miles from xian and the russian, chinese terra cotta warrior deal. now out of nowhere i had british MI6(?) guys wishing me a good night. hmm…odd…very odd.
this originally appeared here in july of 2014. with all the stuff going on about and putin and you know who, i thought it would be nice to re-visit the post.
one of those cooking
some guy in
driving by a
the lightning bolt
almost tossed me
off my throne.
hair cut joints.
back in the
by the marshall
get a haircut.
we grab a
a cloud of
i am the
fades into a
smelly dead fish
one stays with
a bag of
inside under the
M-16 cocked and
we take turns.
crappy hair cut.
ride back to
maybe stop for
a deal was
he came to us
on his day
the wild wild
got a little
a long time
some days more
this originally appeared here on may 10, 2014.
the two policemen finished their meal and talked quietly among themselves. they seemed to be negotiating something or another. it was hard to tell. whenever anyone got close they were quiet. though whatever it was they were discussing didn’t take more than half an hour. at one point the two men shook hands.
when they both got up lt january put several $20′s on the table. he motioned to jerry the bartender who brought over a warm box with the fries and sandwich inside. then he spoke.
you know, lt, i can tell when you’re wrapping up whatever it is that you’re talking about whenever you come in here.
you’re a good bartender, jerry. one of the best. i appreciate it and so does mick. see you next time.
lt vacas shook jerry’s hand and the two cops went outside to the crown vic got in and made the trip downtown. with the light week night traffic they were there in no time.
lt january brought the nevada cop up stairs and handed sgt john’s his still semi warm sandwich with a nod and a wink. he also introduced him to lt vacas. the men shook hands and exchanged greetings.
our boy doing ok, mick?
good as he’s going to, loot. he ate some more and dozed off for awhile. but he’s awake now. getting antsy though.
fine. turn off the video recorder and eat your sandwich. the lt and i are going in.
sgt john’s turned off the recorder as the two lieutenants went into the interrogation room.
hi, eddie. how you doing?
ok, lt. i guess.
hang tight, eddie. this will be over soon. eddie, this is lt estaban vacas of the nevada state police.
hello, eddie. i’ve heard all about your recent travels in nevada and your trouble with the la cosa nostra.
you know the lt vacas and i just might be able to help you out some, eddie.
oh? really. how so?
estaban, do you mind?
go right ahead, lt. this is your house.
eddie, long story short, you did pretty much everyone a favor when you shot those two hoods. especially us. the mob isn’t happy but who cares?
marvel didn’t wait for an answer and kept on talking.
the lt and i have come up with a solution to your problem, eddie. it may not be a permanent one but only time will tell. that will be up to you. more or less.
eddie sat there with his mouth open and a semi dumb struck look on his face as he fumbled around trying to shake a smoke out of the pack on the table. he didn’t speak.
here’s the deal. the lt and i don’t like the feds. they come in then big foot around and make a mess of things generally speaking. then they take whatever glory there is in anything they’ve mucked around in and screwed up. simple federal logic. and very annoying to any working cop. trust me, the feds have been sniffing around this one from the beginning. all the way back in washington, eddie. they’ve been watching. they think the mob is strictly in their purveyance. sometimes it is. but not this time. even though one of the thugs you killed was rumored to be thinking about working for the feds. you see where i’m going with this?
no. not yet. just keep talking. i’m beginning to like the way it’s going though.
maybe eddie. maybe. you can sit here and stand trial for second degree murder or maybe manslaughter or something depending on the DA and take your chances. let me tell you, your chances would be good. probably. only thing is there’s the feds. they are the wild card, eddie. if they like you they might put you in some witness protection program. because eddie, you’d be needing that if you’re found innocent. or they might just cut you loose. worse yet you get some weird ass jury and you end up the river for a few years. though odds are you don’t make the few years. you know this. right? then there’s the fact one of those dead guys in your apartment was maybe going to cozy up to the feds. plenty reason for them not to like you. this whole thing could go even more sideways than it already has. you following all of this eddie?
yeah. sorta. keep talking.
eddie, we’re giving you a choice. help the lt and i here when we need it or take a shot at the jury system and the feds. up to you. you take the jury system and feds then i read you your rights, right here and now. and the deal is gone.
i haven’t heard the deal yet. just help you two whenever…talk about weird. this is weird.
yeah, i guess so. but it isn’t the first time i’ve done this. it’s not kosher but it works and saves the taxpayers some money as well. and eddie, it saves you from the feds and the mob and a stupid set of jurors. regardless. at any rate, here it is.
eddie finally managed to get the cigarette lit and he inhaled deeply. he let the smoke out very slowly.
you leave here with lt vacas and go back to nevada with him.
whoa, wait a minute. i don’t like this…
let me finish, eddie. you go back with the lt and work for us when we need you. the rest of the time you’re on your own.
this is blackmail. extortion. it’s…
crazy, eddie? sure, i guess so. that’s fine. stay here. stand trial and the whole time the mob knows exactly where you are. every minute of every day. even the big foot feds aren’t that good, eddie. see where we’re going here?
holy crap. how am i supposed to help you two?
you’ve seen stuff, eddie. here in l.a. and vegas. you just point at pictures and maybe sometime point a guy out in person is all. we take care of the rest. best part of the deal is you’re a free man. no one to answer to except the two of us here in this room.
it doesn’t make any sense, lt. you know who these ass holes are. right? just arrest them. why do you need me? i don’t get it.
eddie. eddie. eddie. you want me to read you your rights or not? simple as that. yes or no.
jesus. no, of course not. what the…
good. lt you want to take over?
sure. eddie, you go back to nevada with me. actually, the three of us go back to nevada. the lt here is driving us back. you see the deal is he’s going up there to pick up your .357 and the ammo you tossed in the ditch on eastbound 80. we drive up because we can’t let you on a plane again until the other stuff is worked out. eddie, you aren’t really on the books yet, so to speak. understand?
yeah, i see. you guys are rouge cops. and i’m some sort of cop patsy. or snitch or some damn thing or another. i mean…
chill out, eddie. or i read you your rights. everything will work out. trust us.
holy crap. i don’t believe this.
you don’t have to eddie. just take the deal or start worrying again.
alright. alright. i’m in.
the two lieutenants looked at each other and smiled.
ok. we need to move. i can take care of my end on the phone while i’m driving. estaban?
me too. i just need to call the book store in tonapah to set things in motion. i have a couple of days before i have to be back.
ok. eddie on your feet. let’s book.
the two men got eddie to his feet and moved him out of the room. they kept him moving toward the elevators as lt january spoke to sgt johns.
mick, clean up the room but first get rid of the CD from the recorder. then you take a few days off. use up some of your comp time. i’ll let you know when i’m coming back into town.
eddie was gently shoved into the elevator by the two cops. he stood at the back of the box and didn’t speak. he was too busy thinking to do any talking. he turned himself in for this? the last thing eddie heard as the elevator doors closed was the sound of a shredder eating a plastic CD.
this is the final chapter to date of, “eddie catalina”, as of today. at some point or another there might be more of eddie catalina. thanks for reading and your support. i appreciate it very much.
copyright 2014 by john hauge
marvel january found a spot at the curb near the southwest terminal exit doors. his flashing lights kept the airport police at bay. though a corporal did wander up to the car and ask if they could be of any assistance. marvel politely declined. the lieutenant also figured lt vacas would spot him easier with the lights flashing. he got out of the car and stood by it on the sidewalk.
a glut of people began exiting the southwest terminal. towards the end of the group a man dressed in a business suit came up to him and spoke.
lt january? I’m lt estaban vacas of the nevada state police.
nice to meet you lt. the pleasure is all mine.
the two men shook hands and lt january offered to put his counterpart’s small bag in the trunk. with that accomplished both men got in the car.
lt, i know a little bar not far from here where we can get an outstanding vodka martini along with a very good prime rib sandwich. you up for it?
sounds good to me, lt. lunch was a long time ago. plus, i’m thirsty.
good. we can talk there as well.
lt january easily maneuvered the crown vic through the early evening LAX traffic. the lieutenants chatted amicably about police work and families as they drove to the small bar. marvel parked the crown vic in a red zone near the front door of the bar. he didn’t bother with the standard lapd placard. to any cop on the beat the shinny crown vic could only mean lapd brass. the car would be left alone.
as the men entered the bar the nevada cop spoke.
i was expecting a cop bar, lt. this is far from the usual cop hang out.
glad you approve, lt. my partner and i came across this place several years ago during a homicide investigation. we’ve kept it to ourselves. no sense ruining the place with the police.
good point. and one that makes perfect sense.
the bartender was busy with a few customers at the bar but smiled warmly and nodded his head towards the two men. while nodding and smiling back lt january held up two fingers. marvel gestured toward a table at the back of the bar. they could sit there and easily talk with no one close enough to listen in on their conversation.
not long after they had sat down two ice cold martinis were delivered by the bartender. marvel spoke.
thanks, jerry. we’d like two prime rib sandwiches, please. extra crispy fries for me. lt?
coming right up, gentleman. and nice to see you again, marvel.
how’s your brother in law?
doing ok. he often says he’s a lucky man, lt.
he might be that but i’m a better cop. tell him i said hi.
sure thing. i’ll be back soon with your sandwiches.
lt january turned to estaban.
long story short, my partner and i cleared his brother-in-law on a murder beef back around the time we found this place. it wasn’t even a tough nut to crack. simple really. but everyone is still grateful.
always a nice thing. this place is really small. where’s the kitchen?
they don’t have one. just a reefer unit, small deep fryer, and a microwave. ok, i see where you’re going. jerry’s brother in law works at lawry’s prime rib. they have so much leftover he skims some and shifts it over here. yeah, i know. it isn’t legal and the health department would frown on the whole deal but the stuff is as fresh as it can get and tastes great. all in all another reason we don’t tell anyone about this place. and if the guys behind the bar hear anything we hear about it too. it all works out.
big city cops at work.
hahaha. yeah, i suppose. so tell me lt, you ever do any work dealing with the mob out there in nevada or is that a silly question?
not a silly question, lt. everybody believes the mob doesn’t have much influence in nevada these days. not after howard hughes bought everything up and the feds made a number of big busts back in the 70′s. the mob is still alive and doing ok. not by their old standards but making some bucks and giving us something to do when the other criminals are taking a vacation.
i see. yeah, i’ve heard that. we’ve still got our mickey mouse branch of la cosa nostra out here too. mostly loan sharking and money laundering for the mexican and el salvadorean gangs. some sports booking as well. and a bit of narcotics thrown in with the asian groups too. t hey make a mess of things at times but like you say it gives us something to do when things are quiet.
jerry the bartender delivered the two cops their prime rib sandwiches, extra crispy fires, two small bowls of au jus, and several tiny bottles of a name brand ketchup.
you gentlemen need anything else? another drink?
no thanks, jerry. we have some work to do this evening. just box a sandwich order up to go for my partner, ok?
you got it, lt.
the two men ate in silence for a bit then lt vacas spoke.
hey, this is good. almost makes the trip worthwhile.
both men laughed and continued eating. vacas spoke again.
you gonna tell me about the gun and the bullets? and maybe the guy driving that mustang we have on ice in an impound yard?
lt marvel january smiled and said.
i thought you’d never ask, lt.
this last appeared here in august of 2014.
by the time lt january got back to the interrogation room eddie had finished his sandwich and coffee. before going in the lt told sgt johns about the phone call to nevada. huddled together and combined with their hushed voices none of the other detectives in the squad room heard what they were discussing. as the lt was about to enter the room he told mick to turn the video camera back on.
how was dinner?
just great. almost like a good basque joint, lt.
good to see you still have a sense of humor, eddie.
what else is a poor boy to do? i’m glad the running is over. but i’m a bit worried, to say the least, about what comes next.
well, tell you what, eddie, a lot of that depends on you.
you’ll find out soon enough. if i unhook you do you promise to be a model prisoner? no bullshit. tantrums. or other crazy insane shit? you sit here like a gentleman or walk around the room if you like. i’ll knock when i want to come back in again. you hear a knock you go sit in that chair and be a choir boy. alright?
ah, sure, ok. what’s going on?
like i said, eddie, you’ll find out.
with that the lieutenant unhooked the cuffs from eddie’s wrist and slipped them into his pocket. as he left the room he said.
you just be cool. this might take awhile. ok?
i suppose i have no choice.
lt january closed the door and told mick johns to leave the camera running and keep an eye on eddie. the sergeant nodded his ascent as the lt handed him back his cuffs. marvel january went back to his desk to wait for the phone to ring.
after several calls and a little over an hour and a half of waiting his phone rang again. this time it was the call he had been waiting for.
just a moment, lt. mick, take eddie to the can and see if he wants more coffee or another sandwich.
mick got up and knocked on the door. waited a moment then entered. eddie was sitting quietly in the chair.
come on, eddie, restroom break.
eddie got up and the sergeant led him to the restroom.
ok, estaban, what do you have for me?
the gun and rounds were right where you said they would be, marvel. though i seriously doubt you’ll find any prints on them with the water and all. but they are properly bagged tagged and awaiting your decision.
that was much quicker than i expected.
we have a new chopper that covers quite a bit of ground in a very short time. a very nice time saving tool. a gift from our at times friendly benefactors, the feds. we actually got two of them due to homeland security and our dams.
good for you guys, lt., we could use a few ourselves. traffic around here is usually horrible. anyway, if it isn’t too much trouble lt can you deliver the evidence bag down this way? asap?
let’s see. if i can get a flight to l.a. tonight i don’t see why not, lt. i can use a break from the cold.
i’m sorry it’s such short notice but i’m sure you know how things can work out.
it’s alright lt i’m always prepared to take flight as it were. i imagine you are too.
you’re right. it’s the nature of the game.
absolutely. let me put you on hold and i’ll check on a flight right away.
marvel january didn’t say anything but heard a click on the line. he was on hold. he sat thinking and wondering. soon he would know.
if i leave right now i can be in l.a. by 9:30 this evening at the very latest.
very good. airline and flight number? i’ll pick you up myself.
southwest, number 1966.
see you when you arrive around 9:30. that will leave us enough time for a quick drink and maybe a prime rib sandwich.
i’m looking forward to it.
both men hung up and lt january went back to the interrogation room. eddie was inside eating another sandwich and drinking another cup of coffee.
mick, the nevada cop will be here tonight. i’m going to go pick him up. are you ok? this could be awhile.
i’m good, marvel. i’ll keep an eye on him and keep the lookie loo’s out of the way. i’ll brush up on my ‘angry bird’ skills while i’m at it.
yes, i know you will on all counts, mick. thanks, man. i’ll be back when i’m back. and mick, just in case the feds come sniffing around keep eddie inside and under wraps. no more breaks till i get back.
not a problem. eddie and i will be here, loot.
lt marvel january removed his pistol from a desk drawer and put it in his empty shoulder holster then headed out the door. the clock on the wall read 7:30.
this last appeared here in august of 2014.
the ride back to downtown los angeles was uneventful. no lights. no siren. no talking. eddie sat uncomfortably handcuffed in the backseat lost in thoughts of prison. or worse. mostly visions of a sad brutal end out on a prison yard somewhere. he was safe for now but he knew that wasn’t going to last forever.
after they arrived january and johns had taken eddie upstairs to a restroom and then to an interrogation room where he was cuffed to a table that was bolted to the floor. the chair he was sitting on was bolted down as well.
yes, detective, i suppose.
hungry? you want some coffee?
coffee would be good. a little milk if you have it.
this isn’t starbucks. powdered creamer.
with that mick johns left eddie alone again with his thoughts.
eddie yawned and tried to fight the image of his death at the hands of some prison inmate. it wasn’t working. not even close.
the door opened and lt marvel january entered carrying a cup of coffee.
it’s not the best but it’s hot and it works.
he pulled a pack of camel lights from a pocket. removed the cellophane wrapper from the top and opened the pack. tapped one smoke up out of the pack and offered it to eddie. eddie took the smoke and the lieutenant lit it for him. he inhaled deeply as the detective watched. the cop blew out the match and said.
there’s no smoking in here. when you’re finished with your coffee use the cup for an ashtray.
you wanna talk to me or do you want me to read you your rights?
good. just remember though, at some point i may have to read you your rights. just so you know. i need this job and so does my partner.
lt january nodded to the mirror on the back wall.
none of this is being recorded. at least not yet anyway. you talk. i listen.
eddie nodded his head. mick johns turned on the video camera hidden in a corner of the room.
alright eddie what happened?
eddie finished most of his coffee then dropped the cigarette butt into the cup. he looked at the pack of smokes and then at the lieutenant. the lieutenant nodded and pushed the matches over to eddie. eddie fumbled a bit but finally managed to light another smoke.
it’s hot in here.
just talk to me. i want all of it. start with the day before every thing went south.
eddie catalina ran down the events leading up to and including the killings. marvel january didn’t interrupt him. eddie shrugged his shoulders and said.
that’s it. then i ran.
where did you get the gun, eddie?
the army. i brought it home from nam. it was before they started to crack down on that sort of stuff.
yeah, alright. i remember. duffle bags full of pot and stripped down AK-47s. among other things. where’s the gun now?
i guess it’s still west of elko in a ditch under water. near where the nevada cops must have found my mustang. on the other side of the road by a tree. i dumped a few more rounds along with it.
ok. sit tight. more coffee? a sandwich?
yeah, ok. why not?
the lieutenant got up and left the room. the sergeant turned off the video camera.
mick, get eddie some more coffee and a sandwich. i’m going to call nevada.
lt january went to his desk and made the call.
state police, lt estaben vacas speaking.
lt, this is lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide.
yes, lt. to what do i owe this honor?
yeah, right. um, by now, you fellows must have picked up an older model mustang west bound on US 80 outside of elko maybe a half hour or so.
perhaps. let me check.
january heard the keys of a computer being hit. after a moment the nevada cop was back on the line.
yes, we did. one of our patrol units had it impounded yesterday. he states it has a blown water pump.
that’s the one.
you know lt we’re having a bit of trouble tracking the owner right now. we have the vin number, of course, but it has expired oregon plates on it that were stolen nine months ago down your way from a car in the disneyland parking lot. the car itself looks like it may have come off a used car lot in east l.a. we’re waiting on the feds and the prints. a ton of them on the car.
the car did come off a lot down here. it’s part of an investigation just hang on to it for now, please. it probably has nothing to do with anything other than someone we’re looking at bought the used car and then drove it up there to nevada. the real reason i’m calling is to see if you can send someone back out to where the car was found.
i don’t see why not, lt. what are we looking for?
a .357 magnum and a few rounds of ammo. they should be in a ditch under some water near a tree on the eastbound side of 80 not far from where your trooper found the mustang.
alright. i’ll get someone on it right away. probably the officer who found the car yesterday. he should still be on duty today and possibly in the area. i’m assuming the gun and ammo should be considered evidence?
very good. yes, please.
i’ll send an evidence tech as well. though that will take a bit longer.
not a problem. just bag whatever you find and hold on to it. if we need it we’ll send someone up there to pick it up.
i’m from southern california, lt. if you need it i’ll bring it down to you myself. a good excuse to visit a few relatives and hang out in some warm weather for a change.
very well, lt. thank you for your cooperation. i’ll be talking to you again soon then. if you do end up coming down here i’ll be more than happy to to buy you a drink and dinner for your trouble.
as soon as we have recovered what you want i’ll let you know. good bye for now, lt.
lt january hung up the phone got up from the desk and stretched. he let out an audible groan. it had been a long day and it was about to become an even longer night.
this last appeared here in august of 2014.
lieutenant marvel january had been a cop for 26 and a half years. he always added the half or the quarter or whatever it amounted to. he thought it was important to do so. he wasn’t sure why. he just did it.
marvel found his partner, sgt mick johns, in the men’s room and told him they had to roll. eddie catalina had just called from ontario and the ontario pd were sitting with him. johns zipped up and said.
no shit? eddie called huh?
yeah. couple of minutes ago.
he say anything?
no. i did most of the talking and he just agreed to stuff.
man, this job is amazing at times.
the two men made it down to the street and their 7 year old crown vic. old but still newer than most of the other detective barges. marvel was a good cop who closed cases and he knew things. hence, the newer ride, plus he took care of the vic. he took it home a few times a year and hand waxed it himself. though he told the rest of the unit he paid to get it done at a car wash near his place. no one ever suspected a thing. the lieutenant got in the passenger seat. he rarely drove and he sure as hell wasn’t going to drive way out to ontario and back. not today anyway. besides johns was a good driver. the sergeant spoke.
sure why not. we can’t have an ontario black and white tied up too long now can we?
both men buckled up and the car sped away from the curb. first the lights then the siren. johns also tapped on the horn as he made a wide left at the first intersection heading towards interstate 10 east. january smiled as the car skidded around the corner. they always got some looks when johns was in his mario andretti mode. marvel figured they must be a sight. an old shinny cop barge. lights. siren. screeching tires. a very large black man in the passenger seat more or less lounging and a big white guy driving while pounding on the steering wheel not unlike popeye doyle in the movie ‘the french connection’.
with half closed eyes january gave his partner a semi sideways look and said.
try not to kill anybody before we hit the freeway. ok?
i haven’t yet. and i don’t plan on it today. all i need is some room to move. take a nap. ok?
that was their standard and usual mantra whenever they first went code 3. after that they both settled in for the ride. lt january lost in his own thoughts and sgt johns ripping up the road and scaring the citizens. the lapd brass had given up trying to get the two of them to change. marvel january and mick johns got results. regardless.
once lapd figured out they had two dead mobsters on their hands. one of them an upper level hood the case had been handed over to lapd’s elite robbery homicide unit. lt marvel january and his partner mick johns in particular. two old hands at getting results and closing the book on lala land weirdness as marvel was fond of saying. though this one had eluded them so far but that was about to change.
when they hit the freeway the sargent turned off the siren and only used it occasionally to get people to move out of their way. the lights stayed on. by the time they made it through west covina the traffic had thinned out some and johns made up for lost time.
we’re flying low now, partner.
marvel just grunted and kept his eyes closed.
once over kellogg hill and down into the pomona valley johns was able to take the car pool lane again and stay in it. he blipped the siren once or twice to move cars out of the way.
almost there loot.
let’s see. take vineyard. not archibald. then hit a left at holt. i’m thinking you’ll see the place on the right. hit the siren as we pull into the lot. the patrol guys should bring him out then.
the crown vic left the freeway and made it’s way to the cheap motel. johns hit the siren once as they entered the parking lot. the two ontario officers walked eddie out of the room and down the stairs to the waiting lapd car.
thank you, officers. we’ll take over from here. sergeant, get your cuffs on mr. catalina so the ontario guys can get theirs and head out on patrol.
while that was going on marvel spoke again.
eddie. i’m lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide. this is my partner, sgt mick johns. you sure as hell made my day when you called. i was beginning to have visions of being transferred out to hollywood vice. ok. here’s the deal. you stay cuffed and we take you back to l.a. just sit tight and don’t say anything. ok?
you start talking and i’ll have to mirandize you. i don’t wanna do that just yet. capisco? we’ll chat back at headquarters.
sergeant, get eddie in the car and let’s get out of here.
the wind blew up a small dust devil as the crown vic sped out of the lot and headed west back toward downtown l.a.
this originally appeared here in august of 2014.
it was warm and the air clear due to a slight santa ana with the warm winds coming out of the east. eddie catalina stepped off the plane and back to the city from where he had come. he’d left years ago vowing to never return. well, never say never he thought. here he was back again. no where to go and almost broke. no prospects either. jesus, when things spiral out of control they spiral until the wings fall off. then it’s a free fall until the sudden stop. eddie was beginning to wonder when the sudden stop would come.
the airport had changed since he was last there. he could tell a new terminal had replaced the old one at some point long ago. when was the last time he had flown in or out of ontario? probably the flight to oakland after his leave home before vietnam. no, that didn’t make sense. had to be his flight from oakland after his return from vietnam. a long time ago.
standing out on the sidewalk smoking with no plan in mind wasn’t a good idea. eddie figured there probably wasn’t anyone still living in the area from the old days. and he couldn’t just grab a cab and ride around all day and night looking for something or someone that probably wasn’t there anymore. a cheap hotel seemed to be his only option at the moment. a very cheap hotel if he didn’t find some money soon. he walked out to the curb as a cab pulled up. eddie told the cabbie to find him the closest cheapest hotel or motel.
the cab dropped him off at a motel not far away from the airport on east holt. it was a run down joint that looked like it catered to hookers and druggies. eddie wasn’t surprised. some things never change even with progress. eddie paid the cabbie and went into the dingy office. it smelled of tobacco, stale sweat, a tinge of blood, and a lot of tears. gag reflex was the only other thing that came to his mind.
yeah, can i help you?
i suppose. i need a room for a couple of nights.
we got a couple. one up one down. take your pick.
up i guess.
214. take the stairs to the left. that’ll be $66 for two nights. if you decide to stay longer i’ll cut you a rate for weekly or monthly. take your pick.
ok. thanks. i’ll let you know.
eddie counted out the money which left him with somewhere near the one thousand dollar mark. when you’re on the run money seemed to just vanish. the thought of calling the lapd again flashed through his tired mind but he quickly forgot about it. he took his key and went up to his room. hopefully, it wouldn’t become his home.
it wasn’t much of a room and it smelled like a well used ashtray that had never been cleaned. a good thing eddie had started smoking again. there was also a shabby bed covered by an even shabbier spread with all manner of stains on it. several large holes in the dirty shabby carpet as well. he would have to be careful at night. his inspection of the bathroom was somewhat of a surprise. compared to the rest of the room it was a diamond in the rough. eddie tried the tv set next which worked and offered basic cable along with a free porn channel or two. yeah, hooker haven for sure. so much for quiet nights.
he lit up as he sat at the cheap table that over looked the parking lot while hoping the chair he was sitting in wouldn’t fall apart. as he sat there smoking a car pulled into the lot. an old beater for sure but the lady driving wasn’t.
the car parked in the spot directly under eddie’s window. a youngish black woman got out and came up the stairs. eddie had a thought and he needed to hurry. he was up and outside his door when the lady passed by.
hi, sugar. you looking?
i’m looking but not for what you have in mind.
really? so what you want?
i’m looking for a ride over to claremont. if you’re interested in that proposition i’ll buy you dinner later.
harrumph. i’ll think about it.
eddie watched as the lady walked down to her room. he turned and went back inside his room thinking, another fine mess to go along with his first day of hiding in plain sight. moving back to the rickety chair he lit another cigarette. eddie sat smoking, thinking, and staring into the distance. shambles. his life was nothing more than a massive shambles. lighting another smoke with the butt of the other one eddie picked up the phone.
he dialed 9 for an outside line. then 0 for an operator.
can you connect me with lapd homicide?
one moment, please.
eddie sat smoking while waiting for the call to go through. when it finally did he heard.
robbery homicide. lt. marvel january speaking.
this is eddie catalina. i believe you’re looking for me.
why yes we are, mr. catalina. we need to have a talk. where are you calling from eddie?
i’m in room 214 at the day night inn on e. holt in ontario near the airport.
marvel put his hand over the phone and told another detective to call the ontario police and have them send over a black and white asap to baby sit eddie until lapd could arrive.
eddie, i’m sending the ontario police to your motel. they’re going to sit with you until we get there. at this point eddie you’re just a material witness. ok? you won’t try and pull anything stupid now will you?
no, lieutenant, not a chance. i’m not armed and i’ll have the door open waiting for them.
eddie heard a police siren a short distance away.
good, eddie. that’s good. i’ll stay on the line until the officers are in the room with you. ok?
sure. whatever you say.
eddie lit another smoke as the ontario squad car sped into the lot. the arrival of the police took a small group of people by surprise. the group hurriedly began to disperse. eddie got up and opened the door then sat back down.
lieutenant, they’re here.
good. just relax and don’t do anything stupid.
eddie heard the cops running up the stairs. they paused at the open door with guns out and told eddie to show them his hands. he sat the phone down showed them his hands then stood up.
turn around slowly, sir, and put your hands behind your head. we’re going to cuff you for your safety and ours.
not a problem officer.
after eddie was cuffed the ontario cop picked up the phone and told lt january the situation was under control.
thank you, officer. we’re on our way. just sit tight. we’ll be there as soon as traffic allows.
the ontario cop hung up the phone then sat eddie back down on the chair. it was over. finally. it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from eddie’s shoulders. eddie sat and watched the cigarette smoldering in the ashtray. the smoke drifted up and out the open door.
this first appeared here in august of 2014.
eddie just kept on running until he turned the corner and into the supermarket parking lot. breaking hard he almost fell. winded but no worse for wear he walked around a bit trying to catch his breath. once he’d done that he walked into the store and bought a carton of camel lights.
after his purchase he went back outside to the sound of sirens. very close sirens. he lit a smoke and casually walked around a corner and up to idaho st. one of the main east/west streets in elko. he turned left on idaho. several police cars whizzed past with sirens and lights blazing. they all turned south on 4th ave.
when eddie got to 4th he looked around the corner. what he saw was a scene from just about any run of the mill riot. the bikers, and there were a number of them, had descended upon the hapless mobsters for tumbling into their bikes. the mobsters were seemingly being beat senseless. elko’s finest had just begun to wade into the fray to try and quell the beatings. it was madness.
eddie kept walking on idaho until he got to the next corner. he turned south. walked down to commercial and went into the parking lot of the stockmen. it seemed as if the hotel and casino had emptied out into the lot as hotel staff, paiutes, gamblers, and drunks had all come outside to watch the show unfolding over on the next street. no one paid any attention to eddie.
eddie found his mustang. got in. fired it up and pulled out of the lot. he slowly drove up to idaho thinking hard. he needed to get out of elko. and he needed some sort of a plan. a better plan this time around. he turned left onto idaho. he was going to take 80 again but this time back to the west. canada or san francisco had come to mind. he’d worry about that later.
before he got back on interstate 80 eddie stopped to fill the mustang up with gas. he grabbed a few candy bars and bottled water as well. then he made his way onto the quiet interstate. there few cars and eddie pushed the mustang up to near 85 then settled in for the drive.
twenty or thirty minutes later eddie was eating one of the candy bars while trying to figure out his next move. the figuring wasn’t going well when he heard a loud thud under the hood then steam began to pour out of the engine compartment. by the time he pulled over to the side of the road the temperature gage was pegged out in the red zone.
just what i need, eddie thought. he popped the hood and got out of the car. gingerly opening the hot hood he released more steam into the chilly morning air. man, i don’t like the looks of this, was another thought. as the steam cleared he could tell all the belts were intact. what was the problem? then he saw it. a gaping hole where the water pump used to be. the pump had self destructed leaving eddie catalina stranded out in the middle of nowhere nevada.
he spoke out loud, another fine mess.
sighing heavily he closed the hood and looked east and west. no traffic in either direction. he thought once the mobsters were able to travel again they would probably head west. getting a tow to someplace where the water pump could be fixed might take most of the day. and most of the money he had left. plus standing around on the west bound side of the highway waiting probably wasn’t a good idea. passing pissed off and beat up mobsters just might notice him.
eddie picked his stuff from the car and crossed the median to the east bound side of highway 80. he was going to try and hitch a ride back into elko. finding a small tree he stood by it. he might be there awhile and the tree offered some shade and hid him from the traffic traveling west.
one candy bar and a bottle of water later he got lucky. a rancher in an beat up pickup stopped and gave eddie a ride back into elko. the old rancher offered to call a tow truck for eddie but he declined saying he’d take care of it once they got to elko. luckily for eddie he had the presence of mind to toss the old .357 and the few rounds left into a ditch running past the tree. the ditch had water in it. it would be a long time before anyone found the pistol. if ever.
eddie stayed quiet until he had a plan. he told the driver to drop him off at the mountain city highway exit. he was pretty sure the elko airport was just a short walk away from the exit. maybe he could catch a plane and be gone by the time the mob got it back together. either on the road or by air.
the rancher dropped him off then headed back to his own business. eddie walked to the airport and into the terminal. searching the small arrival and departure board he found a flight to san jose that was leaving in half an hour. he bought a ticket for the half full flight. with only a carry on he had no trouble making the flight. sadly, he was going to leave the mustang behind. there was no time to fix it or sell it. eddie had to keep moving.
once in the air eddie fell asleep. fitful dreams of pissed off mobsters and angry cops left him tired when he woke up as the plane was making it’s approach into san jose. after landing he found another flight. he was fast running out of cash but he had saved some by stiffing the stockmen for half the room rate and his room service tab. there was still some money left maybe enough to keep him going for a week or so if he was careful. no time to worry about that now.
his flight number was called and he joined the line of fellow passengers walking into the covered gangway. after all the passengers were onboard a stewardess had them all buckle up then told them the flight to ontario would take about an hour or so. eddie was heading back home. what was that old saying? something about hiding in plain sight. just what eddie catalina was planning on doing.
this originally appeared here in august of 2014.
as eddie began his trek across the parking lot he tried not to hurry or do anything to call attention to himself. he figured he was lucky he had gone into the commercial for breakfast. the mob guys probably didn’t think he would be coming from that direction. and by the way they were clustered up eddie thought they were just setting up for the job at hand. the job to find and kill him.
how had they found him so soon? simple really he thought. either the man at the sports book last night or someone in the cat house. or maybe even both. god, he was stupid and probably deserved whatever the mob had planned for him. maybe he should just go up to the suite and call the local law and take his chances with them. no, that was stupid as well. think eddie.
once inside the hotel lobby he saw only the paiutes and a few more leftover drunks from the night before. no mobsters. eddie wondered if they would actually come into the hotel to find him and take him. he took a chance and stopped at the main desk.
good morning. i’m up in 421. has anyone been looking for me?
no, sir. not that i know of anyway. i’ve been here for about an hour and a half.
ok. thanks. ah, some friends of mine mentioned they might stop by. if they do will you call me and let me know? i’d prefer to come down and meet them here in the casino.
not a problem, sir.
perfect. here’s a twenty for your trouble.
no trouble at all but thank you very much.
eddie made a beeline to the elevator. thankfully the wait wasn’t very long. he rode up to the fourth floor with several of the paiutes. he smiled but didn’t say anything.
once in his room eddie went to the window being careful not to stand to close to the opening. the mobsters were gone from where he had seen them talking. there must be one at each entrance by now. maybe others as well. he got his things together in preparation for a fast exit. then he called housekeeping and told them he didn’t want his room cleaned today. if anyone came to the door it would be the mob and not the cleaning lady.
from the side window he couldn’t spot any mobsters either. though on the corner there was a bar and a group of bikers gathered outside. eddie had noticed the signs yesterday about a poker run in memory of one of their fallen. today was going to be sunny and warm. a good day for riding a bike. was it going to be a good day for eddie?
eddie thought again about just calling the police but by now that option probably wouldn’t do him much good. he had run away after the killings. maybe if he had stayed in the apartment and waited for the cops back when it happened he might have gotten away with the killings. maybe. though the mob wasn’t going to forget. ever.
he pulled the last smoke from the pack in his shirt pocket. he crumpled up the package and tossed it towards the trash. he missed and it rocked a bit on the carpet before it settled. eddie looked for the carton of smokes and when he found the carton it was empty. he crumbled it up as well and tossed it towards the can. he missed again and the carton rolled to the wall and stopped.
eddie needed smokes. now was not the time to quit. yet again. maybe it was but he didn’t see it that way. he needed smokes to help him think. he was in a predicament and decided to take a chance and the stairs down to the lobby and try to find a machine for some cigarettes. and he hoped the mob guys were outside and not parked in the lobby or casino. from the side window he had seen the corner of what appeared to be a supermarket about two blocks away. he doubted he could manage to get that far with the mobsters around but it might become an option.
finding the back stairs eddie slowly made his way down to the lobby. the only people on the stairs were a few of the paiute kids playing kid’s games. they paid him no mind. once downstairs he slowly opened the door. he didn’t see any mobsters. eddie couldn’t actually skulk around in the casino without attracting a certain amount of attention. so he sucked it up and ambled as best he could out into the gaming area.
he asked a casino employee if there was a cigarette machine around. the man pointed to a corner by the coffee makers. eddie thanked him and walked over to the machines. he didn’t see any mob guys on the trip over. likely they were all outside, he thought. after all he would at some point have to leave. once at the machine eddie pulled a few dollars from a pocket and then realized the only smokes left in the machine were camel straights. unfiltered camels. this was not good. he needed cigarettes but not honest to god real live cigarettes. he hadn’t smoked one of them in many many years.
eddie walked back to the employee and spoke to him.
is that the only machine in the casino?
there are only non-filtered camels in it.
really? we were very busy last night. busier than i thought. sorry about that. it rarely happens. maybe once a year or so.
will it get filled up again today?
sorry, pal. the guy doesn’t come around till tomorrow afternoon. you can try the bar across the street but you’d probably be better off going over to the market down a few streets.
yeah, i’ve seen it. thanks anyway.
sure. nice day for a walk.
ah, yeah, right.
eddie returned to the machine and bought a pack of the camels. he opened it there and pulled out one of the short cigarettes and lit it. he immediately started coughing and thought, this isn’t going to work. he also thought since he was downstairs he ought to check the exits for mob thugs.
he picked up a free paper and walked around pretending to read it while he smoked and coughed. the unfiltered camel was making him a bit dizzy. he stood near the front desk and noticed two men smoking and talking out on the sidewalk. they didn’t blend in with the paiutes or the rest of the hotel crowd. mob guys. going back through the casino he noticed one mob soldier standing by the casino entrance door. two for two. probably at least one more at the side entrance by the sports book.
eddie was screwed. what the hell had he been thinking? why hadn’t he spent just one night in elko and then out on the road again? or better yet why hadn’t he just talked to the cops? hindsight. it always made you crazy. or in eddie catalina’s case, crazier.
back up in his suite eddie lit up another of the non-filter camels. he was going to have to figure something and fast. he needed smokes he could actually enjoy smoking and he needed to get the hell out of elko. as he stood smoking he noticed there were quite a few more bikers at the bar across the street. bikers and their biker harley’s. they weren’t your run of the mill sunday biker who took the wife for a ride and a brunch some place. no, these guys were the real deal.
eddie smiled and stubbed out the camel. picked up his stuff and went downstairs. he used the back stairs again as he didn’t want to pass the front desk with bag in hand. he was leaving but he wasn’t checking out.
once back in the casino he went towards the sports book and the rear side entrance. he got about three feet from the door and spotted the mobster on guard duty. eddie stopped. he knew this was his only shot at ditching the mobsters if only for a little while. eddie steeled himself. then he ran into the door and flung it open.
the mobster was startled and almost fell over. he steadied himself and yelled after eddie, who was about halfway across the street. the three other mob men were already turning the casino corner. eddie made it to the other side of the street and up on the sidewalk. he was running for his life.
the mob soldiers ran across the street giving chase. eddie rounded the corner of the bar and ran for the parked bikes. there were several rows of the shinny hogs lined up in the parking lot. it had been years but eddie catalina had once ran track and at one time was an accomplished high hurdler. he made the correct calculation inside his head and easily hurdled the parked bikes even carrying his ratty suitcase. hit the pavement on the other side and kept on running.
the mob guys weren’t so lucky. years of breaking bones and shooting people had left them way south of any athletic ability if there had ever been any to begin with. all of the mobsters crashed into the the parked bikes.
eddie didn’t look back. eddie catalina was in the wind.
this originally appeared in july of 2014.
barely managing to get out of his clothes. eddie fell into bed. his clothing ended up in several piles scattered about the large room. too drunk to dream he was none the less woken-up several times by the large loud saturday night gambling and drinking crowd as they yelled, screamed, and carried on out in the parking lot. that along with the buzz of the hotel neon sign just outside his slightly open window which sounded, to eddie, like music as the inert gas pulsed through the glass tubing. suffice it to say, eddie didn’t have a restful night.
he was up before dawn and hung over. he stumbled about the suite looking for the coffee maker. then he realized there were no coffee makers in the rooms at the stockmen. instead they had several large military size and style coffee makers down in the casino. want a cup of joe? you had to go downstairs and score it yourself.
it took eddie several more minutes to find the appropriate clothing from the various piles in order for him to make the trip. after he managed to get dressed he went down to the casino for the coffee. he left the room door slightly ajar so he wouldn’t have to use the card key while carrying the coffee back into the room. eddie figured since he was making the trip he should get all the coffee he could carry. fortunately, the casino was empty with the exception of a couple of drunks asleep at two slot machines.
eddie dumped the first styrofoam cup of steaming coffee on the floor while trying unsuccessfully to add creamer to it. the drunks slept on. he tried again. this time he was more successful so he filled a second cup as well. he even managed to get both cups of coffee up to his suite without spilling anymore or burning himself.
he sat at the table by the front windows drinking the coffee and trying to get straight. about halfway through the first cup he noticed a commotion coming from a bar across the parking lot and to his right. a clot of people had stumbled out of a the bar and on to the sidewalk. it was just after 6:30am. the sky barely turning light. from what he could hear through the open window the voices seemed to be speaking spanish. the people had come out of a building with a simple sign that read, slots and bar. they must have spent the night drinking and gambling in the small bar.
he watched in almost dumbstruck awe as several of the people fell face first onto the sidewalk. they just laid there while the rest of the folks talked loudly and waved their hands wildly about. one of them, a man wearing a large cowboy hat, peeled off from the group and stumbled off to his car. stumbling and zig zagging across the parking lot he stopped in front of a pick-up. fumbled for his keys. dropped them. twice. then managed to finally get the driver side door open. it took several tries for him to actually get inside the truck.
eddie couldn’t take his eyes off the drunk. the man finally got the truck started. turned on the headlights and drove away. amazing, eddie thought. although he had probably done the same thing a time or three himself. in particular the night and morning before he’d killed the mobsters.
he was working on the second cup of coffee when two cabs pulled up in front of the bar. the crowd of drunks began to get in both of the cabs. the two drunks who had fallen face first on the concrete got up like nothing had happened and joined the people getting into the cars. bloody amazing, eddie thought. only in the world of drunks and gamblers.
by the time the second cup was empty eddie was feeling almost normal. he was even beginning to feel hungry. a good sign. dumping the empty cups in the trash he got up. used the restroom then made his way back downstairs. there was a coffee shop a few feet from the elevators. he got out of the elevator and bumped into one of the paiutes. the indians were up early and there was already a line for the restaurant. not wanting to wait and not wanting to be to be the only non indian in the group, eddie decided to go across the parking lot to another casino and eat breakfast there.
the walk in the cold morning air further sobered him up and increased his appetite. he stepped inside the commercial casino. it was almost deserted as well. he walked by the hotel’s claim to fame, a stuffed polar bear under glass standing on it’s hind legs. it had to be almost twenty feet high. eddie stopped to gawk at the dead animal just like everyone else did the first time they laid eyes on it.
pulling himself away he went into the semi busy coffee shop. he was seated and ordered a ham and cheese omelet and a large glass of milk. once it arrived and he started eating it he was sorry he had ordered it. he wasn’t as hungry as he thought and the food wasn’t very good. gagging he did manage to finish a third of the omelet along with the milk and half a piece of toast and jelly.
he paid his tab. left a tip. then made his way back across the parking lot that separated the stockmen and the commercial. luckily for him he noticed out the corner of his eye several over dressed men smoking and talking about fifty feet to his right. there was no mistaking it or them. mobsters. they had found him. holy crap, he thought as he quickened his pace across the lot. he began to wish they were the cops.
the short walk to the basque restaurant was uneventful. however, by this time the small establishment was very busy. the staff was having a hard time keeping up with all the food and drink orders. eddie caught the eye of the lady he’d spoken to earlier and raised one finger. then he pointed to the bar. she nodded back at him.
he made his way through a large party waiting for a table and found an empty chair at the bar. eddie ordered a picon as he placed a twenty on the bar top. the usc stanford game had already started. eddie turned to watch it on one of the TV’s. he also further checked the room and things seemed to be normal.
the bartender sat eddie’s basque drink in front of him and took the twenty to make change. eddie turned back to the bar and sipped his drink. liquid ambrosia even after the vodka. he was going to need another one of these. the crowd in the bar cheered.
eddie turned back to the game to discover stanford had scored a touchdown. unless you were from southern california most folks didn’t care for usc very much. oh well. at this point in the day the only thing eddie catalina cared about was the final score and did he win his bet or not.
on the ensuing kickoff usc fumbled the ball after a hard hit at the twenty five yard line. stanford recovered the fumble. the way things were going didn’t bode well for eddie or his bet. especially after he noticed on the score crawl at the bottom of the screen that boise st had already scored 21 points in the first quarter. good-bye $3,200. or so it seemed. he finished his drink in one gulp and raised the empty glass to the bartender. who then set about making eddie another picon.
the sinking feeling of his $3,200 flying out the window made eddie think about his predicament again. he’d killed two mob boys in his apartment down in los angeles. the l.a. cops were more than likely looking for him so they could ask him a few questions. so, eddie, what’s up with the two dead guys on your kitchen floor? eddie shuddered involuntarily.
you ok, mister?
yeah, i’m fine. just a chill.
here’s your drink.
thanks. you can keep what’s left.
sipping his drink eddie knew the mob wasn’t going to be anywhere near as polite as the lapd would be. the problem being eddie catalina was screwed if either of them found him. though he doubted the cops would be looking for him in northern nevada. not just yet anyway. the mob? they weren’t going away either but it was probably even money they were closer than the cops. eddie shuddered again. then he noticed the waitress beckoning him.
he picked up his drink and made his way back to the dinning room. the place was even busier. loud as well. filled with happy diners.
the waitress led him to a table with four chairs. there were already two ladies sitting in two of the seats. eddie knew that most basque places sat you family style. it wasn’t a problem. the two women turned out to be a mother and daughter from boise who were on a road trip and had stopped in elko on the way home for some basque food.
eddie ordered one of the specials. oven roasted lamb neck bones. along with a half liter of the house red. the dinner came with the usual sides. soup, salad, tongue, a vegetable or two, french fries, spaghetti, and sourdough bread. enough food for 4 or 5 people. the ladies ordered an extra side of a delicious blue cheese which they shared with eddie. the fine meal was accompanied by pleasant dinner conversation. or as pleasant as eddie could muster under the circumstances.
the roasted neck bones turned out to be outstanding. eddie was glad he had ordered them. he learned long ago to order off the specials board in a basque restaurant. even better was getting to know the owner who would throw in extras or let you request something off the menu or specials board. eddie was stuffed. the ladies declined dessert. though when eddie heard they served bread pudding, which the waitress said was to die for, he groaned and ordered one. the serving was huge and delicious.
the ladies said goodnight and eddie ate his dessert alone. when he finished he went back to the bar and ordered a frangelico and soda to help with his digestion. it would also serve to help ease the pain of his misguided football bets. by that time in the evening it was obvious he had lost his $3,200. the only thing that could save the money would be divine intervention. which was something that rarely happened. at least with eddie.
sated he somewhat stumbled from the restaurant and out into the street. it was noticeably colder now and there were fewer people out and about. eddie pulled his jacket tighter around himself and started walking. the last place he wanted to be was in one of the cat houses a block or so from the basque restaurant. but that’s where he found himself, several minutes later, in one of the houses. he sighed and mumbled to himself that he was pretty well fucked up and he had fucked up big time by wandering into the joint. he almost turned around but didn’t. instead he went to the bar. at least it was warm inside. the bartender spoke.
what’ll ya have?
ah, yes. ah…um…brandy rocks.
the place was empty save for eddie and the bartender. as the bartender turned from eddie to make him his drink he rang a bell. crap. eddie thought, here they come. not long after that 3 or 4 ladies showed up. eddie wasn’t sure just how many there were. it may have only been two and he was seeing double. at any rate, he told the ladies thanks but no thanks. he was just having a drink then he’d be on his way. and no he didn’t want to buy any of them a drink. the ladies cleared out pronto.
eddie sipped his drink and talked college football with the bartender. one of the ladies came out again and sat at the bar. eddie ignored her. already drunk he at least knew compounding mistakes wasn’t going to do any good. he finished his drink. dropped a jackson on the bar and somehow or another made his way back to the hotel and his room. tomorrow or more to the point today was another day.
this originally appeared here in july of 2014.
after a few drinks and south carolina had defeated the favorite, alabama, eddie decided it was time to move a bit. go outside, look around, take a walk. he left things as they were in the room. including the TV tuned to a football game with the volume loud enough for someone to hear the game if they stood just outside the door.
eddie grabbed a jacket and headed out to the elevator. the paiutes, if that’s who they were, where pretty much everywhere in the casino. he thought of asking one of them what was up and if they were paiutes. that thought was quickly discarded. better to just mind his own business and stay under the radar. everyone’s radar.
when he arrived at the lobby he stopped once again to read the newspaper articles that were posted under glass there about john wayne. it also gave him a few minutes to see if anyone was interested in him. no one seemed to care. he was still curious about the john wayne connection though. maybe he would ask when he checked out. that is if he didn’t just leave without saying a word.
as eddie walked through the small smokey casino the old lust for gambling hit him like a short left hook to the belly. in fact he almost doubled over. easy he thought, this wasn’t the time to get lost in a gambler’s haze. though something did catch his eye towards the back of the casino and the rear exit.
it was a tiny sports book. probably the smallest he’d ever seen. the book employee was even wearing a black and white football referee’s shirt. low end and campy but the board behind the man had all the college games and tomorrow’s pro games. a simple white board with numerous boxes on it. the games had been written in with a black magic marker. the spreads as well along with the over and unders. low end for sure. but none the less all above board and legal with everything you needed to know in order to place a bet.
he stopped to look at the games and the odds. of course, he should have kept on walking but what was the harm? the employee greeted him and eddie spoke.
how long will you be open tonight?
we close right after the last game starts.
no, hawaii is off the board unless they’re playing here on the mainland.
eddie was still looking at the board. there were a few games that were calling to him. usc stanford for one and boise st had way too many points to cover was another. maybe he could parlay some of the money left from the sale of the stolen caddie into something more. he shook that feeling off as quickly as it it had come on. what the hell was he thinking? maybe it was the vodka. he’d have to watch that.
he stepped outside into the almost late afternoon. it was cool but the air was fresh after the stuffy casino. he breathed deep. coughed. and lit another smoke. he stood there smoking for bit just watching the light traffic and the few people out walking around enjoying the fall afternoon air.
the basque restaurant he wanted to have dinner in was just a short walk away down on the corner. he made his way there and the smell of whatever was cooking inside made his stomach growl. they were already open so he made his way inside to check the specials. a smiling but harried lady asked him if he was going to eat. he said no he was just looking at the specials for now. the bar was almost empty and there were several TV’s on the walls all tuned to the usc stanford pre-game show.
eddie decided this was the place to eat. he almost told the lady he was ready to eat but the siren of the lonely little sports book was calling to him. he turned and left the restaurant. then quickly walked back to the hotel casino. the man in the referee’s shirt was still there. fortunately for eddie he was busy talking to another customer. eddie hurried past them and went up to his room.
once in his room he made himself a stiff drink and tried to settle down. that damn gambling jones. what a time to kick back in he thought. maybe a shower would help. the short hot shower did nothing to calm the siren in his head. the vodka wasn’t helping either. he put on his clothes and went back downstairs.
he should have gone out the entrance by the main desk and then taken the long way round the casino to the basque joint and his dinner. should have being the operative words. eddie walked through the casino and made a bee line to the small sports book. the man in the referee’s shirt was alone.
can i still put some money on usc and boise st?
yes, you just made it.
good. ok. i want to put $1,200 on usc and take the points. another $1,500 on new mexico and take the points.
the employee efficiently took care of the money and the rest of the transaction. he handed eddie his betting slip.
i’ll be closing in a short time so if you win come back tomorrow and i’ll take care of you. or you can mail the slip in to the casino. either way.
thanks. i’ll do just that. either way. thanks.
not a problem. have a good evening.
eddie put the slip in his wallet and made his way back to the basque restaurant and dinner.
this originally appeared in july of 2014
eddie quickly changed and thrown some clothes, the .357, and a few more rounds in a ratty suitcase then ran downstairs. out on the street he spotted the shinny new cadillac sts. in the distance he heard the sirens. lapd was on the way. he looked inside the car and saw the keys. it was unlocked. why not? who would be stupid enough to mess with a mobster’s ride? only a desperate eddie catalina. he got in threw the bag on the passenger side floor then sped away. as the sirens and the lapd drew closer.
eddie had stolen the car and then somehow sold it twenty minutes later. sold it for a nice piece of cash to a crack dealer eddie knew. a crack dealer with an old steamer trunk full of stolen and cold license plates from every state in the union. a crack dealer with visions of his own grandeur. thirty minutes later the car was in a warehouse getting chopped up into parts. parts worth four times what he paid eddie catalina including a set of oregon plates.
for eddie’s part he made his way to a used car lot where he’d paid cash for a seven year old mustang that needed body work. the car looked like crap but it did run well. very well. the car dealer threw in a full tank of gas because eddie had paid cash. what the hell, he could fix the books and pocket several hundred dollars for himself on the deal.
after pulling out of the car lot eddie made his way to a quiet alley and removed the red used car sticker from the rear window of the mustang. eddie also removed the california plates and added his newly acquired oregon plates. even though the plates were expired by several months eddie figured the cops wouldn’t care. after all, he saw plenty of expired california plates every day. the cops had more important stuff to do. expired plates would be an added after thought for some other offense. expired oregon plates? not a problem.
eddie hit the freeway with a new sense of urgency. jesus. he’d just killed two mob guys. then stole their car. thankfully, for a time the cops, and more importantly the mob, would be looking for the cadillac. the mob would find out soon enough what happened. the cops a bit longer. eddie had maybe five or six hours. maybe more. at least he was now sober.
transitioning from the 10 west to the 405 north he was soon on interstate 5 and heading north at a speed where most of the chp’s on the road would leave him alone. once over the grapevine and into the central valley he could open it up a little more.
which he did and he was now in elko, nevada and the stockmen hotel. pacing, smoking, and thinking. the only trouble was the thinking seemed to be getting stuck at the what next part. his next move just wasn’t making itself very clear. at least he felt somewhat safe in his room with a view.
it was saturday and the hotel was busy. busy with a native american indian wedding or something. for some reason eddie figured them for paiutes. he didn’t have any reason other than a hunch. it didn’t matter much other than the fact with all of the paiutes around a few greasy italians in suits or $120 charlie sheen shirts would stand out even more.
all that being said, eddie was getting antsy. he still had a good amount of cash but no plan. no plan other than hitting another basque joint for another lamb dinner with all the traditional sides that night. a few traditional picon punches as well. maybe the TV would help soothe his nerves. he turned it on.
a fall saturday afternoon. television was all about college football. with more games to come later in the evening. what was he thinking? strangely the college games did help soothe his nerves. though they did nothing to help him come up with a plan.
he sat a chair in the middle of the room where he could stand up and check out the front and side views of the hotel while he watched the games. he called room service and ordered some ice and a bottle of vodka. he might as well be comfortable. sure why not?, eddie thought. after he’d lost those mob boys in stockton he could have gone anywhere. eddie hoped they felt the same way.
this originally appeared in july 2014.
after growing up out in the farmlands that used to surround metropolis los angeles, eddie had moved to downtown l.a. after he was discharged from the army. that had been long ago. forty years ago more or less. things had gone well for him after the army. a thriving business, marriage and family.
thirty five years or so of peace and happiness. then it all started to unravel. slowly. one frayed thread at a time. eddie had started betting on football games. in the beginning he did alright. most weekends he won the majority of his bets. then something happened. eddie never did figure out what or why. his football acumen just went south on him. he started losing more than he won. not a good thing for any bettor.
instead of just quitting he tried to make up for his bad luck by betting more, more and more. he not only lost the bets he lost his family as well. his business and his peace of mind. everything. eddie had become some sort of poster boy for gamblers everywhere. not in a good way but the worst possible example.
wife, children, home and business gone eddie hit rock bottom. though living by his wits and a few odd jobs he kept a roof over his head. things had even started to turn around again. he even had thoughts of setting things straight with his wife and kids. instead, however, that old invincible bettor’s feeling came back and took hold. eddie started betting sports again. mostly college football.
he was actually doing well with his bets. just for a short time though. soon he was back to losing much more than he was winning. he began to drift out of control. there was no stopping him. madness seemed to hold sway. madness to the point of not caring anymore. then it happened. very quickly on a saturday afternoon in the late fall.
eddie catalina had weathered worse weekends but nothing quite like the past one. in some sort of semi delusional death wish he’d taken his car and rent money and bet it all on 10 of the worst college football picks imaginable. sure, some of them looked good and even made sense in that death wish sort of way. but he knew he was in big trouble by mid afternoon on saturday.
the odd thing was he really didn’t care. the third floor walk up in the eastern part of downtown los angeles and his 10 year old car had lost whatever luster was left or ever had been there. things had tumbled out of control and he was resigned to what would come soon enough.
another strange thing was he didn’t even have the car or rent money anymore. after losing the game that tilted the deal below what would mean busting out even he had taken the car and rent money and blown it all and then some. that was even before the total disaster became, oh so apparent. all the money he had was blown on a bizarre drunken whore mongering night in the illegal after hours mexican ‘nightclubs’ in his neighborhood. a long night that found him drunk, alone and asleep at his kitchen table around noon sunday.
the pounding on the door woke him up. it took a second or two to realize it was morning, the sun was up, and he was still drunk. very drunk. stumbling to the door he opened it. two thugs pushed their way inside. the larger of the two shut the door and stood by it.
the smaller one spoke.
so where were you last night? it looks like getting drunk on your sorry ass. and that’s no excuse. there are no excuses. you know the rules. payment is due on all bets at midnight sharp. pay up now plus another $1,000 in vig for our trouble. don’t fucking piss don vincenzo off any more than he already is.
standing there in his under ware, head down looking at the floor he thought, good thing i’m still drunk. maybe the broken bones won’t hurt so bad.
broken bones or maybe. just maybe. yes, a mad hangover haze grab for the rusty but loaded .357 under the three day old newspaper on the table. for you see, as dawn had broke that sunday morning, lonely broke drunken dreams made him pull it out of the bottom of his old army duffel bag. he’d passed out before he could use it. now maybe. just maybe. he could make use of it for some other purpose.
the smaller man slapped him to the floor. eddie used the table to help himself to his feet. his hand slipped under the paper. he gripped the pitted and splintered walnut pistol butt. he spun around firing. his finger pulling the trigger as fast as he could. sound, smoke, and the smell of cordite filled the small room.
the two mobsters lay there bleeding their last seconds of life out onto the cracked yellowed linoleum floor. eddie catalina’s troubles had only just begun.
this first appeared in july of 2014.
the two open windows provided light and air. they also provided a decent view of the parking lot and the street area to the east. eddie catalina stood in the middle of the room smoking, watching and pacing. the past two days had been a wild ride. or was it three? adrenaline highs and crashing lows had brought him here. north eastern nevada and the stockmen hotel in elko. the corner suite on the 4th floor. probably not a real suite in most hotels but the view was ok and he could smoke in the room. and with all the photos of john wayne in the lobby maybe the duke had even stayed in the room way back when. tangents. eddie was tired.
he hadn’t smoked in over twenty years but he had started again once the mad cap car trip had begun down in los angeles. probably somewhere in northern california along interstate 5. stockton? maybe. eddie thought he’d spotted a tail somewhere around the tracy turn off. no, he had spotted a tail. smart bastards that they were. someone on or near the over pass. though in the end not that smart.
eddie was a good driver. once the tail was spotted he let the adrenaline kick in and instinct take over. getting enough of a jump on them and then getting off the interstate in the old downtown section of stockton proved to be the right move. after a few one way streets there, a few quick turns, then backtracking he had lost the tail. after losing them he spent ten or fifteen minutes sitting in the shady parking lot of the public health department just to be sure, while getting his nerves back together. nothing of interest in the parking lot other than a few pregnant women coming and going. a few obvious junkies as well. nothing of interest.
after he left the parking lot he had a bit of a problem. he wasn’t sure where the interstate was any more. he drove around for a bit before he found it again. about that time eddie also realized he was hungry. he had seen a chinese restaurant sign a street or so over. not in the mood for mexican it would do. he doubled back. parked on the almost deserted street and went inside. the place was an old huge worn out dump. though the owner was friendly and the food decent enough. best of all he was the only diner.
for some reason after lunch he’d walked across the street and into a liquor store where he bought a carton of camel lights. eddie had been chain smoking them ever since.
from stockton he’d driven straight through to winnemucca, nevada stopping only for gas. he spent the night at the winner’s hotel casino and walking the streets of winnemucca while avoiding the cat houses. a sleepy casino was one thing but the houses were another. a sure fire way of being spotted. instead, he ate a delicious lamb dinner at an old basque hotel before retiring for the night. he was up early and back on the road again before 7. an overnight rain had left the roads shimmering in the early morning sun.
so, here he was in the stockman. elko, nevada. the duke’s old haunt? he was for sure smoking like the duke. two days and six packs of smokes later. jesus. he thought stubbing out a butt and lighting another. what the hell happened? what the hell indeed.
this first appeared here in july of 2014.
as you can see we had a rather nice harvest of orchids from our garden. orchids that survive mostly on neglect on our part and their own hardiness. in the warmer months and winter periods of no rain, they get watered once a week. as simple as that. the photos were taken by the brown eyed girl and myself.
these lovely photos were taken by the brown eyed girl. thanks, sweetie.
the brown eyed girl’s kitchen orchids and sunlight.
saddle up and head on out, pilgrims. boy howdy, it’s college football bowl season. that gleeful time of the year when we can OD on college football for around a month or so with games all week long, though the season has turned into that as well. but, hey, who’s counting? this time of year used to mean more to college ball fans. yes, kids i’m going down that road one more time.
when will someone in the hallowed halls of ivy wise up? or what will it take to stop the money mongering madness that has become bowling for dollars? legit questions if you ask me. though obviously no one has or just maybe things would be different. delusional? who me?
ok. so, i’m not running down the entire bowling for dollars TV schedule. that would be pointless. no sane person watches all of them anymore, right? right. why on earth would you even consider that? worse yet why on earth would you even consider buying a ticket to any of the games? i mean come on. though it doesn’t seem to matter because ESPN or FOX have deep pockets and have shelled out the bazillions needed to secure said TV rights.
the big games in january pay the big bucks to the schools, read conferences, lucky enough to be included in the very exclusive bowling for dollars country club. the podunk bowls make chump change but the teams playing in them get the extra practice the not so lucky don’t get. extra practice gets head coaches, offensive co-ordinators and defensive co-ordinators all hot and bothered.
the problem is, the players. trying to get them motivated may or may not happen. they’re kids after all. most of em would rather be chasing skirts, drinking, doing drugs, stealing cars, robbing fellow classmates, or just being very stupid. maybe only one of those things or a combination of some or even all of them. for some reason some kids think a felony enhances their chances on going to the big leagues. alright i’ll stop.
in case you haven’t figured it out this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. so, on to some of the games.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12-19 royal purple las vegas bowl. byu vs utah. once again las vegas gets a shot at hosting a bunch of folks from utah with the hope they all get crazy. what happens in vegas stays in vegas. none the less, a game i’ll probably try to watch. there are 4 others on the same day. all of which i’ll avoid.
12-23 san diego county credit union poinsettia bowl. boise st vs northern illinois. possibly a nice way to spend some time in front of the TV and forget about the upcoming christmas day hurricane.
12-24 hawaii bowl. a short and sweet title nothing like the previous game. san diego st vs cincinnati. another possibility as san diego st can be fun to watch. the calm before the storm.
12-26 sun bowl. u miami vs washington st. i picked this one for the simple reason mike leach gets a trip back to texas with a decent cougar squad. perhaps the game will get him a few more recruits. if so, watch out PAC(8)(10)12.
12-26 foster farms bowl. ucla vs nebraska. this ought to be a fun game to watch. at least on paper. along with the hope both teams show up. and coach riles gets a shot at taking down an old PAC rival.
12-30 holiday bowl. usc vs wisconsin. these two teams have not played one another since 1956. all the more reason to watch this game.
1-1 rose bowl. stanford vs iowa. yes, of course, the granddaddy of them all. an old school PAC vs BIG 10 game. regardless of who shows up it tends to make for an interesting afternoon here in the land of lalas.
1-2 valero alamo bowl. oregon vs tcu. with the ducks finally latching on to a defense late in the year they get a shot at the bowling for dollars thing. the score board fireworks alone are enough to make this one a keeper.
1-11 national championship game. some of the more astute among you have probably realized i’ve left a number of games off the table. the simple reason being i have no interest in them. yes, even the playoff games. that would even include this game. a game i have never watched not even back in the BCS days. i just don’t care so there isn’t any reason to even DVR the commercial fest. a commercial fest is putting it mildly.
instead of watching this game take the wife out to dinner. or hitchhike to tijuana. or find a nice comfy barrel and hit niagra falls. get the picture? avoid this game.
at the risk of offending someone else let me be, hopefully, among the first to wish you a very merry christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year as well. hanukkah has already begun so i’m probably not anywhere near the first to wish anyone a very happy hanukkah. which is fine i suppose. none the less, happy hanukkah.
be safe. be semi sane.
welcome to part 2, and the beginning of the college football play-offs selection showdown. re-makes in general usually leave a lot to be desired. part 1 left plenty on the table and riled up any number of folks. can they get it right this time around? probably not but only time tells and we have about a week to see what shakes out. i’m not holding my breath.
but first we need to get through this coming saturdays slate of championship games. i’m only interested in two of the games. plan and simple. the rest of the games, meh.
as always, this is for entertainment purposes only. to view it otherwise would be stupid on many levels.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12-5 stanford @ usc. the PAC(8)(10)12 championship game. the trees make their annual appearance, or so it seems. while usc plodded through the year with plenty of ups and downs, which included the sarks public meltdown, before meeting the bruins to see who would end up here. truthfully, i didn’t give either team much of a chance at beating the trees in this game. however, after the golden domers almost took the cardinal out on saturday i’ve changed my mind. the trojans have a very good shot at taking the trees down. of course, they have to play as well and probably even better than they did against the bruins. a game where they never let up and a stellar defense drove the game home. let’s do this trojans. FIGHT ON!!!
12-5 michigan st @ iowa. the BIG(10)12 championship game. the iowa hawkeyes made it to 12 and 0 this year. something they’ve never done before. sadly, my departed pops, an iowa native transplanted to california in 1940, missed this historical event by 2 and a half years. though somewhere someplace i’m sure he’s very happy about the hawkeyes season and their chances here. if they win they’re in. simple as that. sure, lots of haters out there but once again what’s that word i’m looking for? ah, yes…meh. let’s run the table hawkeyes and make it a perfect season. one for the ages and one for my pops.
the brown eyed girl and i are off to vegas until game day. be safe. be semi sane.
week 12 was fairly interesting with the final demise of my pre-season favorite, utah, along with ohio st’s baffling loss. although the only game i sat through was ucla @ utah. this week is rivalry week or it used to be. there’re still some rivalry games being played this week but back in the day there were many more.
the championship playoff poll should be interesting this week. though the only one worth a damn is the last one and perhaps they’ll get it right but probably not. for my money, bama should fall a couple of slots for playing and wiping the floor with the FCS powerhouse, mother theresa auto mechanic tech, in the middle of november. shame on you, coach satan. get real. like that’s gonna happen.
the only game i have any interest in this week is the one below.
as always, this is for mostly irreverent entertainment purposes only. simple as that.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-28 ucla @ usc. lotus land’s crosstown rivalry. a years worth of bragging rights in the city of lost angels. generally speaking this is a very good game even if either school hasn’t been playing well. the game looms large for the bruins as a win puts them into the PAC(8)(10)12 championship game. but guess what? the trojans are riding in the same boat. though ucla is coming in after a tough win against the utes. usc, on the other hand, got rolled over by the ducks who’ve suddenly stumbled upon a defense. a good thing but with a number of losses too late to really matter. ESPN has the trojans, on paper, as the team to beat, 65% to 35%. a home field advantage for the trojans could prove vital. if the weather humps are right the weather should actually be fall like here saturday afternoon. the winner? either way this year. but maybe an edge goes to usc.
happy thanksgiving. be safe. be semi sane.
I had planned on taking the week off since utah has hit the skids. oh well. then i realized it was time for alabama to take a week off and add a win to the column by playing their usual road kill FCS school the 3rd week of november. what the fuck is up with that? am i the only person outraged by this insanity? apparently. just another reason college football leaves a bad taste in my mouth these days.
this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. nothing less.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-20 air force @ boise st. this might be a fun one to watch. ok. at least it probably would have been back in say several years ago. one can hope it still might be fun to watch.
11-21 ucla @ utah. some one will win this game and help out their record as well. who will it be? since they both lost last week and it’s on home turf for the utes, i have to go with utah.
11-21 usc @ oregon. sadly someone has to lose this one. hopefully, it isn’t raining. good luck trojans.
yeah, that’s it kids. be safe. be semi sane.
the best thing about week 10 was the fact memphis was finally exposed as an FCS team. however, there are still some schools on the same boat with a few weeks left in the season to expose them as well or at least that’s my hope. it should be yours as well.
not much in the way of game watching this week. i tried but got bored fairly quickly. though the halftime highlights and local TV sports highlights were my highlights of the football saturday. the dumb and decent stuff rolled up into a few minutes of semi fun. i’ll try again this coming saturday and see what shakes out. i won’t be holding my breath.
the college bowl committee polls are a hoot and highlight the obvious east coast bias against the PAC (8)(10)12. just sayin’, pilgrims. highlight, is obviously the secret word for the week. sorry, andy.
only one game this week. and it also should be more than obvious this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. nothing less.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-14 oregon @ stanford. the ducks get a shot at derailing the trees in their hunt for the PAC north title. maybe, just maybe, the duck’s defense will show up for the game and decide to actually want to play defense. simple as that, as they can still put some fairly impressive numbers up on the board. time to shine oregon. git er done. QUACK QUACK!!
be safe. be semi sane.
week 9 was a fun week especially with miami’s 8 lateral game winning touchdown that shouldn’t have counted. a knee was down at one point, kids. none the less, a fun little excursion into something that has all but been forgotten these days in college ball. intramural rugby is another matter entirely.
the above was written very early yesterday morning. since then all the refs have been suspended because a few more reasons for the TD not to count were found. fine. however, some delusional folks seem to think duke should be handed the win. ah, well, crap happens people and always has in sports. deal with it. college football isn’t the politically correct world of youth t-ball or soccer. though not just yet. another 10 years from now it probably will be. but that’s for another time.
with just a few weeks left on the schedule i’ve finally felt like watching some of the games. well, west coast games anyway. thank you PAC 12 network and DISH. that run should continue into this weekend as well.
i have 5 games this week so maybe things are looking up. we’ll see.
once again, the important thing to remember is that this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. nothing less.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-7 iowa @ indiana. indiana probably isn’t as bad as their BIG(10)12 record would indicate. that being said, hopefully the hawkeyes take this seriously and get the win to remain undefeated. it would be nice to see them go all the way and derail ohio st for the year. the buckeyes never were a favorite of mine. i suppose you could blame that on woody hayes. ok, i will.
11-7 ucla @ oregon st. it’s a recurring theme here, the beaves probably aren’t as bad as their PAC record would indicate. see this past saturday’s game against the utes. yeah, there’s some history there between the two head coaches and it may have played a part in the beaves decent showing. this could be a close game given the fact colorado gave the bruins all they could handle last week. probably a PAC(8)(10)12 TV network game and one to watch.
11-7 iowa st @ oklahoma. ok. i’m trying my clairvoyant mind meld again and i’m picking the cyclones to mess up the sooners rest of the season as two losses would more than likely end any shot at the Big 12 newly anointed championship game. time to shine cyclones.
11-7 utah @ washington. i watched most of the utes / beaves game last saturday. they handled their comeback from the loss to usc rather well. they didn’t score a billion points like one of the PAC network guys said they would but they did win. a good thing. probably another PAC network game and another one to watch for sure. hopefully, the utes stay the course for the win.
11-7 cal @ oregon. my beloved ducks have fallen on semi hard times this year as the word, defense, seems to have been deemed politically incorrect speech around eugene. they pulled off a minor miracle last week in arizona. thankfully, the game with cal is at home and perhaps that will give them some advantage like in the old days. they may have to put 75 on the board this week and keep cal under 70 for a win. good luck. i hope they do. quack quack!!!
be safe. be semi sane.
week 8 saw the trojans take down my 2015 team of destiny, the utah utes. now that they’re a one loss team their chances of hitting the season ending lotto have grown vaguely slim. given east coast bias and the fact that while catching a couple of minutes of the ohio st game the talking heads made a point of how amazed they were that utah was even a top ten team. yes of course, how lame of you. typical. no one with an ounce of sense cares what you think.
the games would be better if the announcers weren’t even there. just the cameras, some crowd noise and on the field noise would suit me just fine. at this point, i don’t need any over paid has been telling me what i’m watching on my TV.
at any rate, i’m amazed that temple, duke and memphis, all of which are top 25 teams, can even be considered FBS schools. there are others as well in the top 25 but those three more than make my point.
remember this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. nothing less.
what can you say about the state of college football when in week 9 of the season i can only find one game i have any interest in watching? sad but true and something that’s been brewing around here for a few years.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-31 usc @ cal. last week the bruins hopefully got back on track by putting a nail in cal’s coffin for the season. the men of troy also seemingly maybe got back on track by raining on the ute’s bandwagon parade. the hope this week is the trojans put the final nail into the bear’s coffin so they drift off to their historical past with a november swoon into the bowels of mediocrity.
be safe. be semi sane.
my clairvoyant mind meld tip on iowa st didn’t work out last week. i wasn’t even close. so, this week i’m trying again. i figure utah will end up being the tcu of the 2015-16 bowl season even after going undefeated and stunning the trees to win the PAC(8)(10)12 title. there’s always a school who loses out due to some weirdness, bias or insanity that the bowl season has become. of course, only time will tell.
as always, this is for entertainment purposes only along with an irreverent look at this weeks college football games. well, only two this week.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-22 cal @ ucla. the bruins took a thumping from the trees last week who seem to be on a path, once again, to rein in the PAC north title. instead of bitching about the bruin’s schedule coach mora probably should have concentrated on coaching and getting the kids ready for the game. this week it’s a week night game at the rose bowl. my tip for this game is, avoid the 210 freeway like the plague. the bruins take another whipping on thursday from cal of all people.
10-24 utah @ usc. getting rid of the sark didn’t help the trojans much in golden domerville. then again pat haden going down before the game probably didn’t either. sc doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break. this week will be no different when the utes hit lotus land. the utah bandwagon rolls on.
be safe. be semi sane.
8-30 fresno st @ usc. usc favored by 21.5 points. the sark is back in trojan land. as i stated at the end of last year it’s sort of a head scratcher and it still is. but, hey, at least the conversation i had in an upscale beverly hills bar with a seattle based medical malpractice attorney hasn’t come true. yet. an interesting conversation to be sure. but one i’ll keep close to the vest and let TMZ or E! ferret it out. if it’s even true. lawyers don’t lie and make up stories, do they? on a side note, i hope cajun ed o lands another head coaching job soon. he deserves another shot. ok. the game. the bulldogs got shellacked last year by the trojans in what figured to be a close game. it wasn’t as coach o had the trojans cranked up. plenty of points. let’s see if AD haden made a good pick in the sark. i’m taking the trojans to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!!!
the above appeared here originally on 8-22-14. it was week one of the college football season.
apparently the sark has had any number of problems all along. even back in his university of washington days. i hope he gets the help he needs then moves on to his next coaching position. hopefully, pat haden moves along as well.
why do i say that? because the conversation i had with the seattle medical malpractice attorney in january of 2014 over drinks in that bar did actually happen. it started off with the two of us at the bar talking college football with the bartender. at one point our college ball chat turned to the sark and his hire by usc. I told him i thought it was a dumb move. the attorney laughed and then proceeded to tell me about the sark rumor running rampant up in seattle. the bartender got busy and wasn’t around when the story unfolded.
of course, it was just a rumor, innuendo or hearsay apparently as TMZ never got wind of it. if the story is true then the cover up was a pretty darn good one. what story you ask?
allegedly the university of washington wanted the sark gone for some sort of un-seemingly conduct unbecoming a married man with an alleged huskie cheerleader. allegedly a pregnancy was involved. so, along comes the good ole boy trojan network who happen to be looking for a new head coach. they already have a fine interim head coach in ed ‘the cajun’ o. who was loved pretty much by everyone especially the players. a good thing.
let’s just say that pat haden allegedly along with the trojan alum and boosters were willing to help a fellow trojan out of his jam. allegedly they paid off the sarks getting out of seattle part of his contract. then apparently and allegedly they paid off said cheerleader to keep her mouth shut. it must have been plenty as so far it’s working. all in order to help a fellow trojan out. they toss ed o under the bus and hire the sark. who probably told all involved he would be a good boy and not cause anymore trouble. sure.
i mean it all sorta makes sense in hind sight considering what’s gone down with the sark since he came back to lala land and began his sad semi swift swirl down the drain. sad indeed. like i said earlier, sark, get some help then please move along and take the guy who allegedly worked the seattle deal out with you. yes, pat, that allegedly would be you.
as for the deans, regents and assorted trustees of usc let’s just stop the madness. right here. right now. no mas. yes, it’s nice to help a brother out at times but something as allegedly shady as this is shouldn’t be happening in or at major universities. um, yeah.
right. what am i thinking?
we hit mid season this week or something very close to it. utah is still riding high and for those that missed it, they’ve been my PAC 12 team to win it all this season since their win at the las vegas bowl last december. here’s hoping they continue their undefeated run. only five games this week. i could have added others but why? mostly because i have no interest. bama and a&m? florida lsu? i don’t think so.
always remember this is for irreverent and at times irrelevant entertainment purposes only. nothing more nothing less. only a fool would take anything seen here and use it as sage gambling advice.
i did manage to watch the last four or five minutes of the nebraska wisconsin game last saturday. pretty exciting stuff. nice win for coach riles and the cornhuskers. perhaps more TV to come for me this week.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-15 ucla @ stanford. the bruins need a win here to put a stop to their PAC south conference standing hemorrhaging. the trees on the other hand are flying high in the north PAC. at least mora and company get to escape the so far never ending ‘indian summer’ of the southland for a few days. a nice thursday night diversion if you’re of a mind. the first of 2 in a row for the bruins. coach mora isn’t pleased.
10-17 michigan st @ michigan. one of the best rivalries in the nation as it’s consistently year in and year out a good game. harbaugh seems to have things ironed out after big blues opening loss to utah. the defense in particular. home turf make it big blues game to lose.
10-17 tcu @ iowa st. this game is my upset special. it’s another year but once again it’s the cyclones time to shine. sure they’re playing tcu. so? your point? iowa st isn’t going to any post season bowl game. not even some klunker early bowler where 3/4 of the stands are empty. this is their bowl game and time for them to make a statement. this is also for my departed pops although he was more of a hawkeye fan. get some state.
10-17 usc @ notre dame. ( what follows was written yesterday morning. by now you’ve all probably heard the sark was placed on an indefinite leave deal. the only thing i have to say is: why wasn’t coach ed o given the job in the first place? ) on paper the trojans should have a better team than the one that has already lost two games this season. there’s even talk and a poll that suggest the trojan faithful have given up on the sark. from my point of view he was a head scratcher at best when he was hired. the guy that beat him last saturday would have made a bit more sense. as for the poll when i cast my fire him vote there were around 1,300 votes to fire him and a few hundred to keep him. lets just say, if he loses to the irish saturday there will probably be a much bigger spread than the one that’s already there in the poll. good luck, sark, you’re gonna need it. another legendary rivalry game. one i may even watch a portion of.
10-17 arizona st @ utah. this is the beginning of utah’s tough rest of the season foray into the PAC(8)(10)12 belly of the beast south. with some north PAC testers tossed in for good measure. a late afternoon west coast game up against the trojans and irish for TV ownership. that is a tough nut to crack but i’ll be along for the utah TV ride this week as well. after their win last week the utah bandwagon added a few more wagons to their train. they push on again this week for another win.
as we muddle and bumble our way into WWIII…be safe. be semi sane.
week 5 was somewhat interesting with georgia imploding along with the bruins and several other teams across this once great land. perhaps we’ll see more of that in week 6. my streak still holds, i haven’t watched anymore than a couple of minutes in passing of any of the games this year. how much longer can i hold out? can i go the entire season never watching any of the games? time tells. though when utah plays the trojans or the bruins that will probably change things.
as the football year heads into cooler weather, at least the nights are here in lotus land. it’s important to remember this is for entertainment purposes only. no points. no spreads. no overs or unders as well. and most of the time not even winners so far. just the irreverent ramblings of a semi sane old retired guy and vietnam veteran.
only two games this week. i may even pick winners this time around. what can i say?
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-8 washington @ usc. as i’m writing this it’s rainy and a bit chilly here in lala land. by this thursday the rains will be gone and the heat will start to ramp up again heading up into the high 90’s by saturday. accompanying the heat will be santa ana winds or as some folks say san tana winds. either way very hot, very dry and very windy. with the early rain maybe the mountains in these parts won’t go up in flames as they’re apt to do this time of year with the combination of the devil winds and assorted pyro fruitcakes wrecking havoc tossed in for good measure. yes, of course, a major veer right off edge of one of the switchbacks heading up into the mountains that make up most of the backdrop here in socal. the game? sure, sc had a week off coming after a nice win against asu. the huskies are pretty much also rans once again. as coach petersen is having a hard time getting his kids to adjust to actually listening to their coach and taking what he’s saying and putting it to some use. like playing div 1 football. usc should have their way with the huskies.
10-10 cal @ utah. is cal really for real? or just another georgia type poser? perhaps, as they’ve won everything up to this point. however, a one point win against a crappy longhorn squad isn’t my idea of anything nearing a quality win. the utes are finally showing up on other folks radar as a contender. espn’s game day is even heading to utah and spending a couple of days and nights in mormon country. boy howdy. stranger things have happened but the bears could possibly maybe might even win though i highly doubt it. things don’t ramp up for the utes for another couple of weeks. utah wins and their bandwagon rolls on collecting more talking heads along the way to their destiny. the big dance at the end of the season. i’ve been on said wagon since their 2014 vegas bowl win.
be safe. be semi sane.
college football week 5 hits TVs across the land with a schedule not un-similar to the previous four weeks. slim pick-ins. i don’t think things will get interesting until probably sometime in november. then there’s also the fact bama has fractured spleen state on the books as a pretend bye week in late november. but maybe by then it will be too late for them. one can only hope.
four games this week. i could have added a couple of others but why? once again entertainment reigns supreme here or what passes for anyway. no points. no lines. and possibly no picks as well.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-3 mississippi st @ texas a&m. the aggies are lucky this is a homer for them. it should be a close game and they may even win. but probably not.
10-3 arizona @ stanford. this is the trees game to lose. the wildcats haven’t been able to beat anyone other than road kill so far this season.
10-3 arizona st @ ucla. the bruins are rolling right along and seem to be for real. just like utah. i actually watched a few minutes of the ucla game last week. plus, i’m looking forward to their game with utah and usc. at any rate, state is only so so this year. ucla rolls on. i hope this will be another night game as it’s still way too hot for noon time football here in the land of the lotus people.
10-3 alabama @ georgia. georgia just might be the favorite by game time this week. hopefully, that extrapolates into a win over the tide.
10-3 notre dame @ clemson. it’s too bad the pope couldn’t stick around and sit on the bench with touchdown jesus this week. he could have probably even suited up as i’m sure he’s still has some eligibility left. the domers are probably going to wish he had. trouble brewing for the irish.
be safe. be semi sane.
welcome to week 4 of the 2015 college football season. just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do. what is going on here? the buckeyes are playing the wheels fell off my skateboard tech and bama is playing JFK it’s a conspiracy state. all of this going on in week 4. WTF!! to be fair they aren’t the only ones still on the pad my wins bandwagon. a bandwagon that’s gotten completely out of hand. yes, it’s become my mantra. it should be yours as well.
ok. so, of the vast number of games this week in the FBS world i could only find 4 games worth a hoot or something i may or may not even watch. though this could be the week i actually do watch a game. the jury is still out.
what i do have are 7 west coast or sorta west coast teams and one from the midwest. six of the teams are PAC(8)(10)12 schools. yeah, i’m a homer but regular readers already know that. what can i say?
once again there are no lines, points or anything else to get in the way. perhaps not even picking a winner. though that is kinda like kids soccer or t-ball these days. ah, well, sue me.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-26 byu @ michigan. byu appears to be for real this season even with their loss to the bruins last week. good luck big blue.
9-26 ucla @ arizona. the wildcats ran over some road kill 3 or 4 times last week. the bruins on the other hand actually played some football.
9-26 usc @ arizona st. the sun devils had some trouble with 2 chump change state teams the past two weeks. while the men of troy blew another one against the trees. this one isn’t that interesting anymore.
9-26 utah @ oregon. the ducks had a week off. maybe they even went shopping for a defense. however, they can put some points on the board. the utes do have a defense to go along with an offense. if utah can pull off a win here they’ll be well on their way to causing major mayhem in the PAC south and north. good for them. get some utes.
be safe. be semi sane.
week 2, as usual, is pretty much a repeat of week 1. the sisters of the poor and road kill tech are still getting some face time up against far superior teams. maybe the season should be started 2 weeks later and let the kids practice more those 2 weeks. i just don’t get what playing the 7-11 slurpees a&m does for anybody other than large amounts of cash being tossed around and up for grabs. yeah, we did damn good last week. we hung 89 on on pee wee herman rodeo clown tech. boy howdy, we got the offense dialed in now. yup, makes perfect sense don’t it?
i guess the point being is it’s no easier this week to pick 10 games than it was last week. sure, there are some nice match-ups but…
never forget this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here as sound betting advice would be shear madness. leave your wallet in your pocket where it belongs and nobody gets hurt. that being said…
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-11 utah st @ utah. easy pick here for another early rivalry game. utah wins.
9-12 oregon st @ michigan. this could be an interesting game.
9-12 iowa @ iowa st. both teams beat road kill last week. i’ve always liked the cyclones at home.
9-12 oklahoma @ tennessee. both squads coming off wins. at least the sooners win wasn’t at the expense of some never-never land league school.
9-12 arizona @ nevada. i like the sun devils and i also like nevada. i might move there some day.
9-12 oregon @ michigan st. oregon rolled up some impressive yardage last week against one of the usual week 1 or 2 suspects. they won despite the fact the ducks defense missed the entire game. the spartans had a similar game as well.
9-12 lsu @ mississippi st. very bad weather saved lsu’s road kill opponent from a possibly severe beating. state had some trouble but prevailed in the end.
9-12 boise st @ byu. boise st couldn’t cover the spread last week and the cougars pulled off a hail mary win.
9-12 ucla @ unlv. the bruins roll out for another win.
9-12 ucf @ stanford. the once mighty trees were humbled by northwestern last week. an omen of things to come?
there it is. i got started on this over the weekend, as i didn’t watch any of the games last week and i probably won’t watch any of them this week as well. i guess i’m pretty much done with college football. or so it seems. i might be back or maybe not. more likely not. greed and stupidity have won the day. the game i used to love? i’m done. adios, pilgrims. be safe. be semi sane.
another year down the tubes. where do they go? but, hey, college football is back. finally. the long lay off is over and with it comes lazy saturdays, TV remote in hand and college football. it doesn’t get much better than that.
the important thing to remember here is that this mess is for entertainment purposes only along with an irreverent look at the game we all love, college football. using anything here as sage betting advise would be monumentally stupid on way too many levels. don’t do it. leave your wallet in your pocket where it belongs and nobody gets hurt. simple as that.
one thing we should all be breathing a sigh of relief over is the fact the NLRB nixed college football players on being able to unionize. yes, thankfully it’s not going to happen. at least not anytime soon or until gloria allred decides it’s time to mess with the NCAA brass big time. my money is on that happening sooner rather than later. once the cosby circus crashes and burns she’ll be looking for other fish to fry. hell, there’s a couple of new lady army rangers these days. title lX, the SEC and a woman wanting to play college ball. count on it. ah, maybe we should all just let that riff fester on it’s own in the dark for the time being.
just like every other year, week 1 finds most schools playing the sisters of the poor or some other variation of the road kill scenario. sure, one of the sad sisters will more than likely pull off a huge upset or at the very least make it to close. way to close for some FBS squad. thus ensuring talking heads telling us it’s ok for the big time schools to schedule these exhibition games against high school JV teams. when will the insanity end? sadly, not anytime soon.
as usual i’m picking 10 games that i have some sort of interest in either watching or in the out come or both. i’m also still using a point spread conglomeration from several different places. the points here may change over the week but what is here is what i use to determine my win/loss record for the week. last year i ended the season with a 52.7% winning record. nothing earth shaking but this isn’t easy especially when your heart gets in the way while making the picks. something the odds makers and vegas count on. steve wynn didn’t get rich giving money away to gamblers.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-3 n. carolina vs s. carolina. s. carolina favored by 3 points. it’s nice to see one of the first kick off games is also an attractive rivalry game. i tend to like these games more at the end of november. however, i’ll take what i can get this week. a semi slim line here. hopefully, the old ball coach and the gamecocks get it together this year and they start today. take s. carolina to win and cover.
9-3 michigan vs utah. utah favored by 5.5 points. the utes return a bunch of starters on offense and defense. they’re my sleeper PAC south team this season. and maybe one of the most under rated teams in the country. jim harbaugh’s first game as big blue’s head coach. along with too much going on in ann arbor or so it seems. utes on home turf and the need to start with a win make this easy. take utah to win and cover.
9-3 tcu vs minnesota. tcu favored by 14.5 points. tcu takes their preseason #2 into gopherland. from what i can figure out the coaching staff is counting on gopher faithful to make enough noise to turn the tide in their favor. ok. sure. yes, they had a few good wins last year. they start this season with a loss. take tcu to win and cover.
9-4 washington vs boise st. boise st favored by 12 points. chris petersen and his the huskies head back to his old home and the blue smurf turf in boise for game 1. i like coach petersen but i like the broncos more. yes, it makes no sense but week 1 is always a crap shoot. take boise st to win and cover.
9-5 virginia vs ucla. ucla favored by 17 points. a big day of football here in lotus land. the bruins at home early in the day the the trojans later. the bruins have played virginia in the opener for several seasons. they haven’t lost yet. no reason to think things will be different this time. take ucla to win and cover the points.
9-5 louisville vs auburn. auburn favored by 10.5 points. auburn at home is probably too much for the cardinals. probably too much even on their home turf. take auburn for win and cover.
9-5 arizona st vs texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 3 points. arizona st a preseason 15 and a 3 point under dog against an unranked a&m squad. go figure. be that as it may and a&m’s home field 3, take arizona st for the win or at the very least to crack the meager point spread.
9-5 texas vs notre dame. notre dame favored by 9.5 points. the domers come in at pre season 11. texas has fallen on hard times. touchdown jesus should prevail. take notre dame to win and cover.
9-5 arkansas st. vs usc. usc favored by 29.5 points. ok. sure. the men of troy play arkie st yet again in game 1. at least they aren’t playing them in the middle of november, coach satan. just saying. on the field the trojans look like contenders for the PAC(8)(10)12 title. said title may come down to the crosstown rivalry game in november with the bruins. time tells. off the field, sark is in a bit more than hot water with alums and big time boosters with his drunken antics at a booster shindig week or so ago. for one thing, it’s probably never a good idea for a head coach of a major FBS school to show up for anything while under the influence. you wanna get blown away? fine. stay home and sit in your basement and stay out of sight. at any rate, there is a possibility this could cost him his job. could there be underlying little head issues vs big head issues here? stay tuned. yes, the game. usc at number 8. hopefully, the sarks weirdness hasn’t rubbed off on the kids. a bunch of points but arkie state is once again, road kill. take usc to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!
9-7 ohio st. vs virginia tech. ohio st favored by 11.5 points. the buckeyes at preseason #1. 3 words on everyone’s mind, can they repeat? if they are they need to start here on the road. i’m taking the buckeyes to win and cover.
there they are. the opening 10 for week 1. all things considered not a bad lot given the rest of the week 1 schedule. plus, it’s labor day weekend. if you actually have a job or are still working it means an extra day off. always a good thing. fire up the barbie and toss on some protein while hoisting a few flagons of dago red along with watching college ball. see you next week. be safe, be semi sane.
ok. unfortunately i didn’t write this. as to who did write it, i haven’t a clue. i saw it someplace and noticed that it was politically incorrect and nicely written. so, i decided to put it up here in some sort of pissed off at the whole system type thing. if you don’t see the humor in it or the irony…well, then, you’re part of the problem.
The Americans With No Abilities Act (ANAA)
President Barack Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many more Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.
“Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society,” said California Sen. Barbara Boxer. “We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing.”
“Of course, all of these newly created jobs will be union jobs, Made in America!” says Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
In a Capitol Hill press conference, Rep Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No Ability (63 percent).
Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.
Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into middle-management positions, and give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.
Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, “Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?”
“As a non-abled person, I can’t be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,” said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. “This new law should be real good for people like me. I’ll finally have job security.” With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other lazy untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Said Sen. #$%$ Durbin, IL: “As a senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a great salary for doing so.”
i’ll begin this epistle with why i’m here. sadly, the browned eye girl is in the hospital again here in BH. her slightly less than a year and a half old new hip fell apart due to several factors, which i’m not going into here. so, this was like her 16th or 17th surgery on that hip. we’ve both lost count. her current surgeon is world class and we’ve been onboard with him for the last 4 surgeries, counting this one. he’s pretty confident that this time around things will be different. so are we but if things can go sideways, the brown eyed girl seems to always be in the crosshairs. prayerfully, things will go her way this time. she is a trooper. and just one of the reasons i love her so much.
all that being said, the surgery went well, though she is in considerable pain at the moment. big time pain meds work, kids. and they aren’t anything to mess with unless under the watchful eye and care of several doctors. she’ll have go to rehab for possibly a week or so but we’ve been down that road before. she’ll be home soon for another 5 or 6 weeks of recovery and then we can start planning our next vegas trip.
as for me, last night i had dinner downstairs in the hotel restaurant. a very nice place and the food is very good. i was in the mood for some comfort food so i ordered spaghetti bolognese. it was outstanding. really good. when i was finished and as i was leaving i asked to speak with the chef. he came out and we chatted. i told him the bolognese was amazing and the best restaurant bolognese i’d ever eaten. but it still wasn’t as good as mine. he got a kick out of that. though i wasn’t kidding. we shook hands again and i went back into the bar.
i’ve stayed at this hotel a number times while the brown eyed girl has been in the hospital, as the place is convenient. with my number of stays i’ve become friends with some of the staff. all the bartenders, of course, and the food and beverage managers. the senior food and beverage guy in particular. we hit it off the first time we met. i’ve come to call him my brother from another grandmother. anyway, i’m sitting at the bar sipping some texas vodka on the rocks and my friend comes by and just like every time we first meet it’s like old home week even if it was last night.
we chat for a while and he says, let’s go sit in the lounge, i want you to meet my boss. i’m like sure ok. we go into the lounge area and his boss comes over. we meet and chat somewhat. nice guy. then he gets right to the point. he’s wondering if i would like to do a bolognese throw down with the chef. i’m like what? sure thing but i need to wait until the brown eyed girl can join me. he’s ok with that. no details as yet but i’ve appointed the brown eyed girl as my agent for the throw down.
so, a beverly hills chef, my friend the food and beverage manager, and me will duke it out some way or another in one of their kitchens and somehow somebody is gonna pick a winner. sweet. i hope they don’t mind losing. i’ll also be doing some recon this evening. i’m having the spaghetti bolognese again.
i wrote the above several days ago. the browned eyed girl has been moved to the acute rehab unit in the hospital and, so far, is doing much better. even with the pain. hopefully, she’ll be home by next weekend.
the bolognese recon went well and i’ll probably do another one this week. the throw down has been tentatively set for sometime in late october.
another dead soldier weekend has rolled around once again. pretty much the only time anybody cares about wartime vets especially WW2, korean and vietnam vets these days. that’s fine as we’re used to it.
when i was in vietnam i asked my parents to send me a reel to reel version of the dead’s ‘workingman’s dead’. one of my all time favorite LPs which sits around mid point in rolling stones top 500 LPs of all time. i have to say i was probably the only person in my platoon that liked the album. after a time when i’d play it i would hear, oh no. not that one again. or some such nonsense. yeah, there’s no accounting for taste or so they say.
the LP first appeared in june of 1970. it’s no longer ‘in print’ but thanks to rhino records you can score a copy if you’re so inclined. they released it in 2003 or so and even added a couple of different versions of some of the songs on the original LP. thanks, rhino, very nice indeed.
the album marks the dead’s new venture into vocal harmonies and a country rock sound with jerry garcia dabbling with the peddle steel guitar. which culminated with jerry garcia and guitarist david nelson’s homage to bakersfield, ca country music with their ‘new riders of the purple sage’ LP in late 1971.
‘working man’s dead’ opens with the studio version of ‘uncle john’s band’ one of my all time favorite dead tunes. it’s a semi country rocker with semi sorta religious overtones. or maybe not. later, on track 15, ‘uncle john’s band’ turns up again in a live version recorded at winterland in oct of 1970. the live version gets the standard dead jam thing going. something for the most part always lovely to behold and listen to.
another stand out cut is the studio version of ‘casey jones’. unfortunately we aren’t treated to a live version of casey ‘high on cocaine driving that train.’
at any rate, the rhino version has 6 live tracks including the already mentioned ‘uncle john’s band’ plus an alternate studio mix of ‘new speedway boogie’. the dead were at their best live. no doubt. sometimes really good or head scratching crappy. it was always a crap shoot.
i had the pleasure of seeing them live a couple of times. once here in socal at the rose palace if i’m not mistaken and once again at the filmore in san francisco. i was in the army at the time and made the trip up from ft ord in monterey. they shared the bill with miles davis who had just released his ‘bitches brew’ LP and the two of them filled the night with some stellar music.
ok. so, it’s dead soldier weekend again. raise a glass to the fallen soldiers of the past and continuing wars. and to all of those who’ve seen war close up. even more so to the vets of the great war, WW2. their ranks shrink and thin at an astounding rate with each passing day. there will come a time soon when they will all be gone. and all but forgotten i’m certain. old soldiers never die. they just fade away.
soldiers after all are just your average workingman doing a job no one else will do.
we watched the last episode of ‘justified’ last night. it has to be on a great TV show list for sure. elmore leonard was the best. i’ve said it before, he was and is an inspiration to me. rest in peace, elmore. so, i guess that’s what this one is going to be about. a TV show list. though there’s other stuff crashing through my frazzled brain that needs to come out at some point. perhaps another time.
before i completely go off on some weird tangent or another i suppose i need to get back to the title of this mornings epistle. desert island tv shows. this has appeared here before. back in july of 2008. just before things got serious with the brown eyed girl and i. after watching the finale of ‘justified’ last night it became apparent that this needed to be trotted out once again with a couple of additions.
i’ve been down this road before music in several blogs, movies and books. why not tv shows? they are for the most part all out there on dvds these days so i may as well. at my advanced time on the planet i’ve seen a few more tv shows than a great number of you folks. well, unless you are around my age. i’ve been watching tv longer than a large number of you have even been around to watch tv. we got our first tv, a packard bell black and white number in 1950. i was 2 years old.
yeah, i’ve seen me some tv that’s for sure. the problem being i’ve seen so much tv it’s really really hard to pare the list down to even 20 tv shows i’d drag out to the island along with all the other stuff, books, movies, and music. plus the surfboard and swim fin. plus the vino and chinese beer. oh, yeah, and a case or two of abslout vodka. i’m still trying to score some sort of gig with them. is anybody listening? after all these years obviously not.
i don’t watch as much tv as i used to. so the list is pretty much top heavy with stuff maybe you haven’t even heard of. though i’m sure it will or they will ring bells for the older ones in the peanut gallery. i’ve got 30 on the list. to put them in any sort of numerical order descending from number 1 to the last one would probably take me hours or days to muddle through and the only thing to come out of that toil and trouble would probably be another 30 or so old tv shows. get the picture? perhaps. so here they are in no particular order other than the way they jumped into my head and i wrote them down.
the adventures of ozzie and harriet- one of my faves. it’s top 10 for sure but there must be 20 in the top 10 as it is. ozzie nelson was probably a genius. plus very funny. then there’s ricky. more to come on this but later.
the lone ranger- great western show. i used to work with a guy who was clayton moore’s stunt double for the feature length movie of the same name. he also did a bunch of other stunt double work as well.
adventures of wild bill hickock- childhood memories of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich here.
maverick- they jumped around with the maverick bros and cousin in this one. i’m talking the james garner mavericks.
77 sunset strip- a friday night mainstay for a number of years. along with the friday night fights brought to you by gillette. who could ever forget heavyweight fighter, scrap iron johnson? this is a twofer. lucky you.
have gun will travel- great show. understated, dark and brooding.
wanted: dead or alive- steve mcqueen. nuff said.
the jackie gleason show- another comic genius and a great show.
the red skelton show- either one. the half hour show or the hour show. wonderful stuff.
combat- vic morrow. the marlon brando of tv land.
the rockford files- james garner again. edgy pi show in 70’s l.a. for the most part very good stuff.
bob newhart- any of his numerous shows. another comic genius.
steve allen’s westinghouse show- late night every night but i could only manage to watch it on friday night. brilliant stuff plus the jazz greats of long ago. it didn’t get much better.
the a team- yes, what can i say other than george peppard was a very good actor. anybody remember ‘breakfast at tiffany’s’? another nuff said.
miami vice- pastels and no socks. plus an edge. the sopranos- maybe the best show ever.
monk- good stuff though he’s sorta wearing thin these days. first four years were stellar.
the deadliest catch- if you haven’t watched this one you really should. a white knuckle ride for sure.
magnum, pi- this one is top 5 all-time.
columbo- peter falk.
laugh-in – probably a bit dated these days due to the topical humor but good stuff.
the smothers bros- funny stuff plus hot rock ‘n’ roll acts.
the avengers- the first one with patrick macnee and diana rigg.
the prisoner- perhaps the strangest show ever to hit the tv airwaves. top 10 for sure.
the man from u.n.c.l.e.- great cold war angst.
i, spy- more cold war angst. robert culp. what could go wrong? i got a ‘d’ in a chemistry class while going to college. i had the class on monday night. all i wanted was for the damn class to be over so i could scream down the hill and catch whatever i could of this show.
navy log- if only for the lovely hymn sung at the beginning and end of this ww2 show.
victory at sea- ww2 brought to your living room in living black and white.
seinfeld- what can i say?
bosch- the amazon TV production of the michael connelly’s harry bosch books. outstanding reading and an all time great TV show. a top 5 for sure.
justified- of course. if you didn’t watch it you missed something grand. elmore leonard at his best and final work. another top 5 for sure.
during the current edit i’ve added:
married with children. i don’t know how this one slipped my mind.
yes, the top 5 has been tossed around so, here it is.
1. the sopranos.
3. the rockford files.
4. magnum, pi.
that’s it kids. you all have your faves and these are just some of mine. feel free to comment and add your own. i know it’s only old tv but i like it, like it. yes, i do.
it’s not quite mid march but you’d never know it by the weather outside. the devil winds are howling and record high temps are expected to fall over the weekend. just another year in the lingering california drought. with it being so hot and with the skin crawling santa ana winds blowing it reminds me of a time back in the mid 1980s. when one savage beast had southern california curling up with loaded shotguns at night. the beast being, richard ramirez, or more commonly known as, ‘the night stalker’.
over the years southern california has had it’s share of deranged murders and serial killers. a genuine motley crew of bat shit wackos and satan wannabes. hell, the whole state for that matter especially when you toss in the zodiac killer from up in the bay area. i digress.
the night stalker began his reign of terror in the spring of 1984. by the summer of 1985 the land of the lotus was in a downright semi siege mentality. myself included. it seemed as if the night stalker was striking at least once a week. from one bucolic suburb to another. another family or couple murdered while they slept. or murdered while the mate was made to watch. the night stalker made charlie manson and his gang seem almost tame. charlie after all had a beach boy as a friend. but he still had murderous mayhem in his heart.
as the summer of the stalker plodded on for sometime it became more apparent that local cops all over the southland were pretty much clueless as to what the hell was going on. hence, sleeping with a weapon became the norm to anyone with an ounce of sense. especially for those of us who weren’t about to give up sleeping with a window or door open no matter what insanity was befalling the various communities.
at the time, i had a winchester defender which i kept fully loaded and in bed with me. not the first time that had occurred. in vietnam a loaded M-16 and two hundred rounds of ammo were always at my bedside. one never knew when insanity would hit the fan and running around looking for a weapon was not an option. ever. at any rate, before hitting the sack that summer with the shotgun i’d set up trip wires to various homemade early warning devices. making sure they were loud enough to wake me up. not that a really sound sleep was going to happen. regardless.
eventually the police got a fairly decent description of the stalker from those who had survived his rampage and his police sketch was plastered all over the TV 24/7. on arriving back to socal from one of his bus trips to his home state of texas a few street vatos recognized him and kicked the crap out of him while the cops were being called. sadly, they were unable to finish the job before the cops arrived. he was, of course, convicted and sent to death row where he would still be living today if he hadn’t died of cancer back in 2013. karma is a bitch. and also very handy at times. yes of course, the hand wringers among us here in the great state of chaos got the death penalty squashed a while back. making karma our only hope for any retribution when it comes to murderers. be they be simple run of the mill types or straight from the bowels of hell types.
the record breaking march heat, wind and drought brought back the dread of that long ago but never to be forgotten socal summer. vivid memories of tossing and turning searching for slumber and peace.
further inspiration provided by today’s Power Plant Men blog, “Lizzie Bordan meets Power Plant Man”.
the brown eyed girl and i spent a good deal of time in front of the TV binging away yesterday. we may do so again today. or at least i hope so. the point of our binge was amazon’s new TV show “bosch”. i’d been wanting to watch it since i’d first read about it. as i’ve been a huge fan of michael connelly’s harry bosch books since i first discovered them back in the early 90s. so much so a fan that i’ve read his bosch books at least three times each. yeah, you read that right. there aren’t too many contemporary authors i enjoy more other than perhaps, james ellroy, charles bukowski, hunter thompson and elmore leonard. i’m sure all five have had a major influence in the writing style. one way or another.
anyway, the brown eyed girl figured out our TV was amazon capable and she figured out how to make it happen. it took some time but she managed to figure it out. me? i probably wouldn’t have been able to. that pesky getting old gene and new techno stuff just don’t mix at times. at least for me.
so, we watched four episodes one after the other yesterday. amazing TV and i’m so happy harry is finally on the screen in whatever form. so is the brown eyed girl who had never read any of michael’s books before. yeah, it’s that good. 5 stars good. well worth whatever effort it takes to see amazon’s new “bosch” TV series.
michael connelly is the executive producer and one of the writers.
in order to bring something new to the table and get chinanski off the front burner i’m tossing this in to replace it. don’t get me wrong, i dearly love me some chinanski. but it’s time to move along here. this piece could probably be considered for mature audiences only. or immature audiences only. far be it for me to judge. yeah, right. you’ve been warned.
they call him, ‘little dick’, although, of course, not to his face. that would probably be stupid. the little dick moniker was a result of him owning a pick-up truck. not your run of the mill off the lot pick-up but one of those, let’s see just how really stupid we can make this ride, kind of pick-ups. jack it up to the point that even a normal size person would need a step stool or small ladder to get into the cab. then tack on some huge rims and tires and a winch on the front bumper and you had your classic ‘little dick’ ride. a sort of money pit for vehicles. and a totally useless piece of gas guzzling crap. why anyone would do that to a perfectly good pick-up truck never made any sense to me. other than the fact they all have little dicks and seem to need to make some sort of amends for their short comings as it were. or something.
why indeed? any rate, all the little dicks would say it was for off roading or some such utter nonsense. nonsense because for the most part the bottom half of the frame stays pretty much where it has always been even after thousands of dollars had been spent raising the truck to absurd levels. at any rate, there are any number of little dick trucks out on the road at any time. loud rumbling monsters more suited for something other than a quick trip out for a loaf of bread. however, suited for what is the question.
certainly not as a babe magnet. to even think such would be insane. let’s just say for example, you have a date with heidi klum or jennifer lawrence. fine. you roll up to pick them up in your little dick ride. ah, yes. the date is over before it even began. point. set. match.
another odd thing about little dick trucks, or maybe not, is the fact you rarely see anyone else in the thing other than the said little dick owner. yeah, sometimes maybe some other guy riding shotgun. obviously some other little dick with little money and just riding along for the vicarious feeling that maybe this will make his dick bigger as well. this also falls under, wishful thinking.
it’s a rare thing to see a female passenger in a little dick truck. very rare. and i’m guessing that’s probably for the all too obvious reasons. that being said, you often see women or girls or females driving their own little dick trucks. however, in their equally sad case they are known as, little clits. this doesn’t occur as often as the guy little dick thing but still it happens. little clits are out there none the less. make no mistake. you also don’t see many passengers riding along with the little clits other than maybe some other little clit or perhaps some little dick. what’s the saying? birds of a feather flock together or fuck together.
ok. so, the purpose of this missive has been to bring attention to the all to prevalent, LD(C)DS, little dick deficit syndrome and it’s sister, little clit deficit syndrome. you can make a game of it if you wish. when you’re out and about with the family the first person to see a LD(C)DS and call out ‘little dick or little clit’ scores a point. whoever has the most points by the time you get to where you’re going wins. pretty simple really.
perhaps a telethon is in order. maybe john travlota and tom cruise as co-hosts.
this originally appeared at my other wordpress site on january 1 of this year. it’s here now just to see what happens. jmh
his eyes ached and itched. he had been at it since 10pm. it was now well after 4am. the only things he had accomplished were to adjust the drapes several times along with the candles. which were the only illumination in the otherwise dark room. paper and pen. typewriter and paper. and computer had gone untouched other than the occasional tap of his fingers on one or more of them. he sighed and slid further down in his chair. a few moments later he was asleep.
the sun was out as were the blue jays. who were well into their morning foraging with their unmistakeable squawks coming in somewhere just beneath his sleeping conscience. the candles were out in a pool of their own wax. a breeze rustled the drapes. as the phone on his desk rang he stirred in his sleep only slightly aware of it’s ringing. the phone. the ringing. now almost awake he cursed under his breath.
finding the phone he cursed again. why had he agreed to have one of them was something he never fully understood.
‘who else maury.’
‘ok. i never know who’s going to answer when i call you. you know your aversion to the phone and all.’
‘hmmm. yeah, i suppose. though i tossed everyone out rather early last night. you know work and all.’
‘yes, exactly why i’m calling. how’s it going? any progress?’
‘progress? ah…yeah…i tossed everyone out last night. early. then i spent the night here at my desk.
‘mmm. not really writing. thinking about writing mostly. i did have everything i needed close at hand though.’
at that point in the conversation a blue jay began creating a racket on a the window ledge.
‘look maury i need to deal with henry. i’ll call you back.’
‘henry, the bird?’
‘yeah. i’ll get back to you.’
he hung up and went to the window.
‘good morning, henry. sorry about the drapes. let me move them out of your way.’
the man moved the drapes and a squawking blue jay flew into the room and landed on his desk. the jay stood on a piece of paper and stared at the man.
‘ah, good. the paper. perhaps you’re housebroken after all. excellent.’
he went to his desk and sat in his chair while opening a drawer. the blue jay moved closer and he made a deposit on the desk.
‘well so much for housebroken. where’s lady?’
the jay squawked a reply.
‘i see. out doing other things this morning. fine. here you go my little friend.’
he scattered some unsalted peanuts in the shell on the desk top. henry the jay made a bee line to the closest nuts. he poked at one until he got it open then he ate it. he did the same to several others. the man tapped the desk with his index finger. looking up at him the bird walked over and put its head down.
‘yes yes, my little friend.’
he began to gently ruffle the jays feathers on it’s head. the bird closed his eyes and settled in to the attention. it had taken weeks for bill to get the blue jay to come inside the house after days of feeding the bird peanuts out in the yard. actually the pair of birds. husband and wife as it were. both would come inside now for the nuts and a bit of petting. which had taken even more time and patience to accomplish. the petting went on for a few minutes before bill spoke again.
‘ok. henry. i’m in no mood for our next adventure today. we’ll work on our trick again tomorrow. i have things to do today. you grab a few nuts while i visit the loo.’
after one last pet, bill got up and left the room. henry shook out his feathers and grabbed a nut in his beak. then proceeded to fly out the window with it. he returned a minute or so later and grabbed another. henry repeated this a few times until he was satisfied. at least for the time being. bill returned to the room with a damp piece of toilet paper and cleaned up the desk. the analogy wasn’t wasted on the man. after he swept the peanuts back into the drawer he closed the window and opened the other drapes.
sighing bill went back to his desk and dialed maury’s number.
‘good morning. maurice wienstein and associates. how may i help you?’
‘morning, anne. how’s it going? is the man still there?’
‘morning, bill. all is well. yep, i’ll put him on for you.’
‘good. how about drinks later in the week?’
‘ah, ok. i’ll let you know. i’ll put maury on now.’
‘thanks. talk to you later.’
‘bill? the birdman of sherman oaks. i’m honored.’
‘jesus. cut me some slack, maury. i’ve put a lot of time into those birds and well…’
‘you know, bill, a little more time hammering something out would be nice as well. time is tight. the season starts again in three months. it would be especially nice if i could hand the producers a completed script. soon. i might add it would be a win win for both of us. along with money in the bank for unsalted peanuts.’
‘you’re just jealous.’
‘and how many times have i asked you not to date my help?’
‘jealous once again. i’ve lost count. and drinks aren’t dates. we agreed to that long ago. remember?’
‘one of the dumber things i’ve agreed to in my life. did we get it in writing? ah, crap. never mind. so, do you even have an inkling of an idea? perhaps even a germ that’s sprouted something or another? anything at all since we last spoke? what last thursday? you’ve had all weekend.’
‘sprouting idea germs? good one, maury. i may eventually use that one.’
‘yes, please use it. just use something anything and get it on paper or in the computer and give it to me. getting you to write something is not the easiest thing in the world to do.’
‘tell me about it.’
‘i’m your agent not your mother. if it weren’t for the fact you have one of the best track records going i’d have moved on to other writers long ago, bill.’
‘yes. yes. yes. maury, the same old song and dance man. i’m only as good as my last…’
‘look. bill. the sand in the glass has about run out. they need something soon. very soon. or they’ll be looking elsewhere. sure it won’t be up to your standards but what is? the point being, they will have a play to produce and perform. capisco?’
‘yeah. i know. ah, shit. alright. i may have something. an idea. want to hear it?’
‘yes. please. continue.’
‘alright. there’s this guy. a politician. a minor one. a hack not really going anywhere. not real bright but interesting in a hail fellow well met kinda way. babes like him and men too.’
‘ok. maybe. what else?’
‘ah, his old lady. she’s the balls and brains of the outfit. a real harridan. she prods him into doing stuff so they can move up the political ladder. ah, sorta engineers him into doing whatever it takes. mostly murder, i guess. not sure just yet.’
‘i like it. yes. not last years romantic comedy either. yes. ok. when will we have it, bill?’
‘soon. it…it…it’s coming together. i’ll get it done. no screwing around until it’s finished. count on it.’
‘fine. let me know when it’s done.’
‘sure, maury. talk to you soon.’
bill hung up the phone then noticed henry and lady out on the window ledge.
‘sorry, kids. not now. work to be done.’
bill sat at his desk and typed on the computer. he had the title. macbeth by william shakespeare. the seed had germinated. the rest would come easy.
i want to thank all of you who read this poem. the poem isn’t about my christmas this year. it concerns my christmas in vietnam during the war and the cutting down of a small pine tree at the beach. i also wrote about it a few years ago using prose. it’s back there in the vault somewhere. i wanted to present the scenario in a different way this year.
at any rate, this minor adventure is never far from my thoughts at this time. it’s just one of those life things. i hope you all take the time to remember those in the military and those of us who are less fortunate this christmas.
i wish you all a wonderful and peaceful christmas and a very happy new year. thanks, again, to all of my readers.
all isn’t sublime
nothing can alter
the dim hopes
the sad schemes
all slip and
slide in between
reality it seems
visions of a tree
frightful and small
scrawny and tawdry
ready to fall
vainly to bring
hope for us all
out on a limb
a viper does crawl
death kneel after all
three colts bark
before it falls
while the tree
grows new life
from december 2008 all rights reserved. tipping is optional.
yes, it’s bowl season once again. the tried and true template of post college football season insanity. psst, hey, mister, you want to buy cirque de soil tractor bowl tickets? cheap. ah yes, the clarion call of hucksters far and wide. the make it rain cash cow for everyone involved. that is of course, if you were lucky enough to be invited. no invite? no tickee? no laundry. no money. no nothing. better luck next year. now out of my way, son, i have huckstering to do.
have you ever noticed the half empty stadiums in the early bowls? hell, even some of the later ones as well. TV tries it’s best not to show you that sort of thing but with over 3 or 4 hours of air time it is hard not to catch whole sections of unsold seats at least once or twice during the game. these boondoggle bowl committees struggle along for a few years until they can con some other corporate sponsor into ponying up the cold hard cash for the opportunity to put their name on said turkey bowl. then the TV guys take over and pretend like it’s some brand new bowl instead of a sad cheap re-tread that’s gonna have a blow-out before it hits freeway speeds. the other now dead bowl is tossed on the trash heap of NCAA history. next!!!
we saw something very similar to the above with the PAC 12 championship game. empty seats. tons of them. neutral site games probably need to go away. how can any fan be stupid enough to spend the cash on a neutral site league championship game, a round one game, then maybe the final game? lots of traveling involved along with insane checkbook math, kids. but i guess no one cares because the TV money is so good. hey, let’s add another 4 teams to the mess.
it is just plain hard to work up any desire to sit through bowl games anymore. even if it’s just a TV game at home with a clean private restroom close by and pretty much whatever you want to eat and drink close at hand as well. plus, at prices far below what the hucksters demand. let alone buy a ticket and travel to some lack luster burg and sit on some cold hard plastic seat for four hours wondering if you locked the crappy safe in your hotel room when you left said hotel. say, did we put the laptops and return air tickets in the safe? yeah, when that thought hits you upside the head forget about the game. you might as well start walking home right then and there. walk? sure. wifey is probably not going to wire you any cash. not even bail money if you get even more stupid or crazed because she was never on board for this bowl outing to begin with.
hi, are you alright? you don’t sound good.
ah, yeah, well…there’s been a…ah…sorta problem.
what happened? are you in jail?
ah, jesus, baby i’m so sorry…
just get to the point.
yeah, well…someone stole our laptops and return flight tickets out of our room. then this uber car service guy takes sid and me…and…so we…
ended up in jail?
ah, yeah…i guess…
you guess? you are either in jail or not.
honey? aw come on honey. honey? shit. she hung up, sid.
yep, bowl season. money ball. lots of money ball. more cash than anyone can ever hope to carry. you’ve seen those guys with the furtive beady eyes all glassy and crazed dragging steamer trunks manacled to their wrists. yeah, them, wrestling those cash filled trunks down the street. they’re trying to find the alley they crawled out of and return to their rat holes for the next nine month so they can sit cackling madly as they count their cash windfalls. not a pleasant or pretty sight. you expected something else?
ok. so, the bowl games. i’ll give you some. not all of them because if you’re paying attention or even still reading you know what i think. no points. no spread. just a straight up pick. and just some of the bowls i might actually spend a few minutes watching. or just in passing. hey, it’s a bowl game. isn’t there a seinfeld re-run on somewhere? or what about that slew of house hunters on the DVR?
rock ‘n’ roll.
12-20 las vegas. sin city, nevada. utah vs colorado st. one of the early games i may actually watch. or part of it. two good teams both with decent records. this game is always a good draw for the folks in utah. sin city, a good place for anyone to kick out the jams. staying true to my PAC 12 homerism i like utah for the win.
12-20 potato. boise, idaho. western michigan vs air force. hey, anytime you can watch a hopefully dialed in falcon offense take the field you probably shouldn’t miss the opportunity. take air force.
12-27 sun. el paso, texas. arizona st vs duke. duke, eh? apparently they played well enough this year to get an offer. i guess we’ll find out if they’re for real or not. that is if the sun devils come to play. i lile the sun devils.
12-27 holiday. san diego, ca. nebraska vs usc. this is one of those bowls whose money name has been changed a few times over the years. with bo gone it will be interesting to see how well the huskers fair here. it will also be interesting to see how good of a job the sark does with the men of troy. usc of course. FIGHT ON!!!
12-30 music city. nashville, tenn. notre dame vs lsu. the domers limp into a bowl with perhaps the longest money title of them all. anyway it’s a good music and food venue. the domers need the win but i don’t see it happening. take lsu.
12-30 foster farms. santa clara, ca. maryland vs stanford. the trees with what is more or less a home game for them. i’m taking stanford.
12-31 peach. atlanta, ga. ole miss vs tcu. one to watch for a bit to see if the horned frogs throw down some points once again. i like tcu here.
12-31 fiesta. glendale, az. boise st vs arizona. a good game here and probably one i’ll watch for a while. a step up for the broncos for a change who i think will be up for the game. as for the wildcats, flip a coin as to whether they’ll show up to play. ok. take boise st.
1-1 cotton. arlington, texas. michigan st vs baylor. possibly a good game and if baylor had played the spartans earlier in the year and won things would have gone differently for them. flip a coin for the winner.
1-1 rose. pasadena, ca. oregon vs florida st. one the brown eyed girl and i will watch. perhaps even the entire game. after all, it is the grand daddy of em all and the ducks are playing in the game where i fell in love with them back in 1958. simple enough. take the ducks. QUACK QUACK!!!!
1-1 sugar. new orleans, la. alabama vs ohio st. after 3 or 4 days of bowl games with a couple more tomorrow i may or may not watch. i’ll probably feel more like watching ‘house hunters’ or ‘the property brothers’ on new years evening. even though one of these teams will be playing the ducks on jan 12. the buckeyes already have a number of fans pissed off because they’re in this game. fine with me. i hope they piss off a few more when they roll back the tide.
1-2 alamo. san antonio, texas. kansas st vs ucla. the L.A. Times did an article about why the bruins should turn down any bowl offers. apparently they didn’t read the paper that day. if the bruins do show up and are ready to play this could be a good game. if they don’t. well, then the Times was right. flip a coin.
1-12 national championship game. arlington, texas. ok. here’s the deal. 1) this game is played well over a month after the end of the regular season. 2) at this point i really don’t care who’s playing in it. unless the ducks are one of the teams. even if that is the case i still probably won’t watch any of it. hours and hours filled with a few seconds of football and much more time spent with TV commercials and blithering analysis than actual football. how anyone could sit through this is beyond me. especially in person. let alone watch live on TV. sure you could DVR the thing but why?? maybe the brown eyed girl and i will hit a local favorite for happy hour instead. a couple of drinks and great bar food. yeah, i’m sure it will be on all the TVs there but i won’t care. neither should you.
i had a few other bowls penciled in but scratched them from the list. yawners and not worth the time or effort. the first year of playoffs will be in the books in a little over a month. which for me is still a major problem. when, not if, they go to an 8 team playoff the championship game will probably be played around valentine’s day. all due to the TV money effect. a sad thing indeed. don’t believe me? i have 9 letters for you MLB, NBA and NFL.
the final week of the 2014 regular college football season steams into town with a number of league championships on the line along with a few leftover games to round out the grand finale. all in all, i guess we’ll get our four playoff teams out of the mix along with plenty of stuff to be upset about regarding the four picks. you expected something different? the new boss is a lame as the old boss. the trouble being, the Big 5 Gang signed off on this deal for 14 years and i haven’t heard of any escape clauses. just sayin’.
hopefully, things pick up again for me this week after a dismal 4 for 10 last week. the points being the problem once again. my over all now sits at 74 for 140. an up tick to end the season would be very nice.
never forget this is for entertainment purposes only. taking something read here and trying to use it as some sort of bettors edge would be extremely stupid and very possibly insane. do not do it. leave your wallet where it belongs in your pocket and nobody get hurts. simple as that.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12-4 ucf @ e. carolina. e. carolina favored by 5.5 points. this is here because i wanted a game each day there was one scheduled to end the year. other than that unless your kid plays for either team you probably aren’t that interested. me either. both schools with similar records. i’m taking e. carolina to win and cover.
12-5 MAC championship. n. illinois @ bowling green. n. illinois favored by 5.5 points. the paper trail tells me that this is the huskies game to lose. the game is to be played on a neutral field somewhere but i haven’t a clue as to where that would be as stub hub wasn’t working when i checked. take n. illinois to win and cover the points.
12-5 PAC 12 championship. arizona @ oregon. oregon favored by 13.5 points. no doubt the game of the week and a nice way to cap off a friday evening. another neutral game site this one in santa clara at the new home of the 49ers. the ducks don’t get their usual autzen home field home crowd advantage. i don’t think the wildcats care where they are playing. they beat the ducks on the road on oct 2. yes, a rematch. something i usually don’t care for but these teams can put some points on the board so that sorta trumps the rematch thing. i’ve been a duck fan since 1958, no that isn’t a typo, so i’m taking the ducks to win and cover. it’s too late to stop now. QUACK QUACK!!!
12-6 ACC championship. florida st @ georgia tech. florida st favored by 3.5 points. it’s no secret i don’t care for either of these teams. however, push come to shove i’ll take tech any day over state. especially this year. take georgia tech to at the least get inside the spread.
12-6 oklahoma st @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 19.5 points. there is no championship game for the BIG 12. that would be too easy. instead they screw around and use math you never paid any attention to in high school gets used to determine the conference champion. i suppose this game could be considered the first algebra equation of the day. pay attention and no cheating, please. this would also be the last of the big time rivalries for the year. the cowboys began the year on a roll but are bringing a 5 game losing streak into town this saturday. never a good sign. the sooners lost to all the other teams with a shot at the title so they have to win this one for the math to even come close to working out. let insanity reign. take the cowboys to at least get inside the points.
12-6 kansas st @ baylor. no line. the second algebra equation of the day. actually it’s the first but with things this convoluted it hardly matters. the bears survived a scare last week against a so so texas tech team. much more on the line this week. take kansas st for the win.
12-6 iowa st @ tcu. tcu favored by 32 points. the third algebra equation of the day. the cyclones drag their horrible record and 5 game losing streak into ft worth this week for a shot at derailing the surging horned frogs at home. that probably isn’t going to happen. even with the boat load of points i’m taking tcu for the win and cover.
12-6 BIG 10 championship. wisconsin @ ohio st. wisconsin favored by 4 points. with the loss of the ohio st starting qb the badgers chances for winning this one got a whole lot better. i like the badgers here because of their running game and their defense. plus, the game is being played in indiana. bobby knight will join the ohio st band for a chair throwing demonstration at half time. something i’d probably pay to see. the game?take wisconsin to win and cover.
12-6 SEC championship. alabama @ missouri. alabama favored by 14.5 points. the tide and tigers clash in the georgia dome for all the SEC marbles. the paper and ink thing has the tide with a distinct advantage. however, i like the spread so i’m taking missouri to at least get inside the points.
12-6 MW championship. fresno st @ boise st. boise st favored by 19.5 points. another rematch and a shot at a slim ticket punching game for the broncos. fresno states marginal record and a win against san diego st backed them into this title game. they also lost by 10 points to boise st on oct 17 in boise. they’re looking at a similar fate again this week. boise st needs the win and hopefully will score something better than another trip to sin city and the vegas bowl yet again. take boise st to win and cover.
that’s all, folks. the 2014 season will be in the books soon. three fleeting months gone with the wind. now we sit and wait for nine months. yes, sort of like giving birth. we sit. we wait. then at last, it’s september again. finally. be safe. be semi sane. see you in september.
i went 7 for 10 last week leading up to happy turkey day and happy what used to be rivalry weekend as well. though over the years rivalry weekend has become somewhat diluted with some rivalries being played other weeks of the year. yeah, there’s still a number of the games left to be savored with leftover thanksgiving goodies but it isn’t quite the same as in the old days. but then what is? exactly. none the less, rivalry weekend rolls into town with turkey and stuffing, over eating, drinking and the dreaded relatives this long holiday weekend. at any rate, it’s my favorite weekend of the year.
the 7 for 10 put my over all at 70 for 130 or 10 games over .500 something i’m relieved to finally see. my best picks last week were arizona, minnesota and my personal fave, oklahoma st. all that being said, remember this is for entertainment purposes only. don’t use anything bandied about here and take it to sin city or your local branch of sin city to use as some sort of betting edge. it would be insane. do not do it. you aren’t that stupid now, are you?
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-27 tcu @ texas. tcu favored by 6.5 points. turkey day rolls out with what used to be a pretty good game. this year? meh. though i’d watch this game rather than a pro game. just sayin’. tcu needs kansas st to put down baylor for them to have any shot at the BIG 12 title and a big dance card handed to them. but that may not even seal the deal. the longhorns have been all over the map this season on their train to nowhere. even though it’s a home game for them things probably won’t change much for the longhorns. although the lack of points reflects the rivalry. tcu rolls. take tcu to win and cover.
11-27 lsu @ texas a&m. lsu favored by 2.5 points. the tigers are coming off a two game losing streak. the aggies, as predicted here, finally ran into their real schedule. to be fair, they did out last auburn a couple of weeks ago. probably a pretty good game with the aggies lucky it’s a homer with the points doing another reflection thingy. i’m taking the aggies here to at least cover the points. yeah, i know.
11-28 arizona st @ arizona. no line as of publication. it’s a short busy week and i’m not sitting around waiting for them to figure it out. two thirds of the PAC south title contenders mix it up in tucson on friday at the same time as the other third hits the turf in tree country. this game is on FOX the other on ABC. even under normal circumstances this has always been a good game. this year with a shot at the title and a chance for a go at the ducks makes this game a must watch. yes, both teams lost to ucla so they need the bruins to go belly up. flip a coin. although home turf seals it for the wildcats. take arizona for the win.
11-28 stanford @ ucla. ucla favored by 4.5 points. the PAC 12 south title up for grabs and the bruins at home, the site of their only losses this year. stanford with a shot at playing spoiler and parlaying that into perhaps a decent bowl bid. what does it all mean? the bruins win and cover. take them. and stay off the 210 freeway anywhere near pasadena.
11-29 miss st @ ole miss. miss st favored by 1 point. of the two, miss st seems to be the only team with any steam and desire left in them this year. maybe the talk of ole miss’ coach freeze heading to florida has put the kids in the dumps. sort of like the kids learning mom and dad are heading for a split. i say that’s fine let him go and bring back coach ed o for a shot of redemption. yuup, works for me. i digress. take miss st for the win and very short cover.
11-29 oregon @ oregon st. oregon favored by 20 points. the civil war game. the beaves have had a dismal season with the exception of beating arizona st at home which is huge. at least in my book. on the other hand, the ducks need this to remain a temporary pick for the playoffs and then a win next week to seal the deal. if state can find what they had on 11-15 again this will indeed be more than their bowl game for the year. never count coach riley out. take oregon st to cover the points.
11-29 notre dame @ usc. usc favored by 7 points. the domers ride a three game losing streak into lotus land for one of the oldest rivalry games going. usc needs the win for a better shot at a bowl bid and to derail the trees and their bid. yes, a bit convoluted but what else is new? at least it’s a home game for the men of troy and another 12:30 game time. which means fresh batteries for the TV remote might be a good idea for this saturday. plus, more clogged freeways in the metro area. take usc to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!
11-29 minnesota @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 13 points. hopefully, this game gets some TV time. just sayin’. the badgers mailed in their win over iowa last week. the gophers played their hearts out in their win against nebraska. did they leave their game in lincoln? i like both teams. however, the short break hurts the gophers more. take wisconsin to win and cover.
11-29 utah st @ boise st. boise st favored by 9.5 points. if the broncos pull this one out they play in the MW championship. simple as that. they’ll probably win that game then get hosed like in the old BCS days. Times have changed??? i’m rushing things a bit. take boise st to win and cover.
11-29 auburn @ alabama. alabama favored by 9.5 points. pretty much everyone in the SEC took a bye last week and scheduled a game which should be classified as an exhibition game and mean nothing in the final standings. yeah, like that’s going to happen. what should happen is the practice of the SEC playing practice games in late november needs to end. the problem being the SEC is too damned arrogant for the practice to go away without some sort of king hell fight going down. the NCAA doesn’t have the stomach for it or for much else or so it seems. the game? i like auburn to at least get inside the points. take auburn.
enjoy your rivalry weekend and the last college football week of the year where it’s just about everybody’s final regular season game for 2014. next week we get a handful of leftover games and a few league championship match-ups. then the usual chaos will ensue. have a happy thanksgiving! be safe. be semi sane.
after suffering a bout of some sort of lower GI and occasional upper GI thing since saturday evening i’ve finally made it here for this weeks picks. better late than never. i haven’t been that sick since probably my high school or college days. it was a sort of a never ending colonoscopy prep, if you get my drift. at any rate, i’ll be keeping things a bit more simple this week.
ok. so, last week i tailed off some and went 4 for 10. had a couple of my picks who won covered the points things would have been much better. i had two standout picks however with, utah and oregon st. my over all now sits at 63 for 120. nothing stellar.
remember this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here as any sort of betting advise would be pretty stupid on numerous levels. do not do it.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-21 air force @ san diego st. san diego st favored by 4.5 points. i honestly don’t get the spread here. the falcons are a much better team. i’ve even checked the odds a couple of times. someone obviously knows something i don’t. not an uncommon thing. be that as it may i’m taking the falcons to at least get inside the spread. maybe even win.
11-22 colorado @ oregon. no line. colorado is abysmal as ever. if colorado wins it will be a sign of the apocalypse so strap yourself in. take oregon for the win. QUACK QUACK!!!
11-22 usc @ ucla. ucla favored by 3.5 points. a crosstown rivalry that most of us here in lala land patiently wait for every year. regardless of how good or bad either school is in any given year pretty much goes out the window for this game. plus, the fact that calls get missed or manufactured out of thin air or some other sort of strangeness goes down effecting the outcome of the game. it just seems to be part of what a rivalry shootout is all about. the bruins are on a 4 or 5 game roll here. Pac south title on the line for the trojans, at least for this week. a close call to be sure. i’ve been using a usc keck hospital pen for my notebook this week so, ipso facto, take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!
11-22 arizona @ utah. utah favored by 4 points. both schools coming off squeaker wins last week. utah with the home field 3 plus one. another close call. take arizona to beat the points or win.
11-22 minnesota @ nebraska. nebraska favored by 10.5 points. two rushing power houses crack heads in what should be a fun game to watch. minnesota doesn’t get much respect though i like them. out on a limb here but take the gophers to get inside the spread and perhaps even win.
11-22 washington st @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 16 points. i just don’t see pirate mike’s cougars with any shot at all here against the sun devils. yes, i’ve been wrong before. none the less, take arizona st for the win and cover.
11-22 ole miss @ arkansas. ole miss favored by 13.5 points. despite the fact ole miss went off road and did a preseason road kill thumping last week i still like them here. although arkansas may surprise. it wouldn’t be a first. take ole miss for the win and cover.
11-22 western carolina @ alabama. no line. that is to be expected with this freak show. at least the ducks game is a conference game. for at least the last four years and probably even longer the tide has scheduled some form of road kill for this week. this year it’s western carolina. lovely. i’m sure coach satan has some semi weird sort of explanation for doing this every year. however, the bottom line is for it’s all about the wins. quality be damned. because if you just look at the numbers you’re missing the fact that the tide played some Div ll school in week 13. plus, a couple the first few weeks of the season. it’s bad enough doing it the first couple of weeks of the season and shrugging it off, but this time of the year smacks at an arrogance of epic proportions. and is one of the reasons i’ve fallen off the tides wagon. no line? take the tide.
11-22 oklahoma st @ baylor. baylor favored by 27.5 points. a bundle of points for sure and i’m thinking the cowboys are looking at this game as a bowl game and their shot at redemption for a train wreck of a season. they have it in them. they may not win but i think they will at least get inside the points. take oklahoma st.
11-22 boise at @ wyoming. boise st favored by 12 points. a night game in wyoming the end of november. ouch. things could go off the rails for either team at any point. boise st needs the win. take the broncos to win and cover.
with only a few weeks left in the regular season enjoy your weekend of college ball. be safe. be semi sane.