Oct 23

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 9

Quote of the Day:

“It’s faster horses, younger women, older whiskey and more money.”     – Tom T Hall

TB wants to talk to you this week about horses.


They are very big in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Not like freakishly-giant, but they have lots of races in Kentucky and people seem to make quite a big deal out of horses. That kind of big. I’ve always wanted to go to an MSU-Kentucky game and take in the races at Keeneland.

Speaking of which, it takes horses to win big games in the SEC.

And by the way, where does Kentucky get off with all this “Commonwealth” business? Do they think they are special or what? Commonwealth? Kentucky, you ain’t nuthin’ but a state. Not a particularly notable one either. Except when it comes to basketball and horses. But not the type it takes to win games against the top ranked team in college football. ‘Least I hope to God you don’t.

As for who’s got the horses in Thursday Pickin’, I am chagrined to report that RSR and Kitchen Princess are still lapping the field. They take Ole Miss every week. And every week Ole Miss covers the spread.

TB won the week, however, on the strength of a Pick of the Week that was not South Carolina and thus actually won and covered, along with a 4-1 bonus picks record. I’m now 4-4 for the season on POTW’s and 26-13 on bonus picks. The MTGU went 11-11 on POTW’s and 29-32 on bonus picks, moving our collective records to 103-94-7 and 236-195.  TJ hit the biggest DOTW with USM’s victory over North Texas. Song of the Week goes to Kitchen Princess and List of the Week to Mac. Of note, Mac lost his POTW and went 0-5 on bonus picks. No losers busted the curve to save Buzz and Fish from their dismal bonus picks.

Here are last week’s standings:

  1. TB  (4-1)                 68
  2. Kitchen P (SOTW)  61
  3. TJ (DOTW)             61
  4. RSR                        56
  5. Face                       56
  6. Sweet (3-2)             56
  7. Tiny D (2-1)             56
  8. RJ (2-2)                   50
  9. MD (1-1)                  50
  10. Fish (1-4)                 32
  11. BW Buzz (1-4)        32
  12. SDog (2-0)              26
  13. Folly J (3-2)             26
  14. Flyin’ J (3-2)            26
  15. Pitalo (3-2)              26
  16. Nelson (2-1)            26
  17. Big Ed (1-2)             14
  18. JLou                        10
  19. Irvine Redd              10
  20. BR                           10
  21. SmilyJ (1-3)              8
  22. Mac (0-5, LOTW)     6

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                         471
  2. Kitchen Princess      418
  3. TeaJay                     388
  4. Flyin’ J                      378
  5. Sweet                       378
  6. Folly J                      370
  7. TB                            358
  8. Tiny D                      335
  9. Face                        328
  10. SDog                        324
  11. MD                           302
  12. RJ                           300
  13. Nelson                     297
  14. BW Buzz                 292
  15. Fish                         288
  16. Irvine Redd              283
  17. Pitalo                       277
  18. Mac                          275
  19. Harmony                  272
  20. Big Ed                     241
  21. SmilyJ                      239
  22. JLou                        189
  23. TDW                        178
  24. BR                           161
  25. Krebs                       155
  26. Fig                            154
  27. TKH                           72
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop 10

Here are my Picks of the Week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • South Alabama  -14
  • Alabama  -17
  • Ole Miss  -3′
  • So. Miss +9′
  • Oklahoma St -1

POTW  Ohio State  -14

My Tunes:

  • Wild Horses – The Flying Burrito Brothers
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses – U2
  • Bring on the Dancing Horses – Echo and the Bunnymen
  • Faster Horses – Tom T Hall

SOTW:  Laredo – Band of Horses


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-9/

Oct 16

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 8

Quote of the Week:

We’re Number 1!”        

I can’t believe you just said that.”

–text exchange between TB and Sweet last Saturday

I don’t know how we got here. I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t know where Imma gonna go when the volcano blow.

What I do know is We’re Number 1!

And when we finished off Aubie last week, old TB had to choke back a wave of tears I never could’ve imagined were stored up for such an occasion. And I wasn’t the only one by a longshot. And beyond that I don’t know what to say. It’s a wave and I’m ridin’ it for all I’ve got right now.


I even won my POTW last week while visiting the Grand Canyon and not watching the first half of the biggest regular season game State has ever played, which is a whole ‘nuther story that I may tell if I can scrounge up enough time to do a bit of writing this week–I’m slammed beyond belief right now and all I’ve got in me is nonsense and digressions, it seems, so let’s get the business taken care of, shall we?

I’m now 3-4 on POTW’s and I went 2-2-1 on bonus picks to move to 22-12-1 on the year. The MTGU went 14-9 on POTW’s and 27-23-1 on bonus picks, now 92-83-7 and 207-163 for the year. Pitalo won the week by hitting his POTW, of course, and going 4-1 on bonus picks. Sweet hit the biggest Dog o’the Week, Harmony gets Song of the Week and Mad Dawg scores for List of the Week. Shout out to RJ, TJ, TDW and SDog for hitting smaller underdog picks. RSR and Kitchen Princess, behind Ole Miss’ unblemished record both straight up and against the spread, continue to set the pace in the season standings.

Here are last week’s results:

  1. Pitalo (4-1)             68
  2. Sweet (3-2, dotw)  61
  3. Harmony (sotw)     61
  4. Flyin’ J (3-2)          56
  5. TDW (3-2)             56
  6. Big Ed (2-1)          56
  7. TJ                          56
  8. Face                      56
  9. Kitchen P               56
  10. Folly J                    56
  11. RSR                       56
  12. RJ (2-2)                 50
  13. TB (2-2-1)              50
  14. Nelson (1-1)           50
  15. BW Buzz (3-2)       26
  16. SDog (2-1)             26
  17. MD (0-1, Lotw)       19
  18. Tiny D (1-2)           14
  19. BR                         10
  20. JLou                       10
  21. Mac                        10
  22. SmilyJ                    10
  23. Fish (1-4)                2

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                      415
  2. Kitchen P              357
  3. Flyin’ J                   352
  4. Folly J                   344
  5. TeaJay                  327
  6. Sweet                   322
  7. SDog                    298
  8. TB                        290
  9. Tiny D                   279
  10. Irv                          273
  11. Face                    272
  12. Harmony             272
  13. Nelson                 271
  14. Mac                      269
  15. BW Buzz              260
  16. Fish                      256
  17. MD                       252
  18. Pitalo                   251
  19. RJ                        250
  20. SmilyJ                  231
  21. Big Ed                 227
  22. JLou                    179
  23. TDW                    178
  24. Krebs                   155
  25. Fig                       154
  26. BR                       151
  27. TKH                     72
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop 10

Here are my Picks of the Week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Bama  -13.5
  • NC State  +17.5
  • Ole Miss  -16
  • Kentucky +10
  • Notre Dame +11.5

POTW Georgia  -3.5

Here are my Tunes:

  • 1 Bourbon 1 Scotch and 1 Beer – John Lee Hooker
  • 1 – U2
  • 1 of These Nights – Eagles
  • 1 – 3 Dog Night

SOTW: 1 Week – Barenaked Ladies

Bonus SOTW: Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain – Willie

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-8/

Oct 15

I Am Not An Ebola Expert But…

Like with most things we argue about in this country, the talk about Ebola seems to have separated into two distinct trains of thought.

1. Freak completely out. The zombies are coming. Build a bunker and hide.
2. Stop freaking out you moron. Ebola is harmless as it’s impossible for you to catch it.

Let me start out by saying the truth (as I see it) lays somewhere in between these two ridiculous outliers. Is Ebola a terrifying disease? It sure is. Is it going to spread across the country like wildfire? No. But this has more to do with Ebola itself than our readiness to handle it. You basically have to swap bodily fluids with an infected individual to catch it. It is not airborne. And that is key.

If you really want to freak out, worry about something as nasty as Ebola but one that is airborne. That bad boy will spread across this country like a wildfire moving up a mountain with a 40mph wind behind it. The main goal of many biological terrorists is to create such an ease of transmission in their nasty bugs. One mason jar of military grade powder dropped on a subway track in New York would be enough to start the fuse on the powder keg.

Which brings me to the most egregious lie being propagated about this disease. That this country is prepared to keep it at bay because of our highly advanced medical system. Horseshit. We will keep Ebola at bay, sure. But not because we are bulletproof. I have been an EMT for 18 years so I know a little bit about our “readiness” or lack thereof. A second nurse who treated the Ebola victim in Texas now has the disease. Does that sound like a good Ebola control program to you? Trust me, the hospital in Texas is not a one off example either. I know for a fact that almost any hospital in this country would have had the same outcome if an Ebola victim had landed in their laps. If EMT’s respond to a man showing fever and other symptoms anywhere in this country, I can assure you their first thought is not going to be Ebola. They won’t be wearing masks or eye protection. They will be hip deep into their patient evaluation before any warning bells go off. We saw this in Texas. That guy told them in the emergency room that he had just come back from Liberia for Christ’s sake. AND THEY LET HIM WALK.

So what should you think about Ebola? I am not here to make that decision for you. It’s ok to be concerned though in my opinion. As with all things, educate yourself about the disease. I am not freaking out but I cannot fathom for the life of me why we have not shut down flights from infected countries. I think the aforementioned hubris has something to do with that decision.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/i-am-not-an-ebola-expert-but/

Oct 09

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 7

Quote of the Day:

Want to know what a revolution sounds like? Between the third and fourth quarter, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ blares through the stadium speakers. The throng rings cowbells to the beat, creating a deafening roar as they try to hold on to the feeling.”     Pete Thamel, Sports Illustrated

I don’t even know where to start. State ranked number 3 in the country (along with Ole Miss), a matchup with the number 2 team coming up, a Heisman contender–make that front runner………

The media is going crazy for my Bullies too. Every time I turn around there’s another appearance by Dak Prescott on tv, another article from one of heavy hitters of the sportswriting world, another radio interview. The freakin’ cover of Sports Illustrated (along with Ole Miss).

It’s like a dream come true for this long suffering Bulldog fan. No, not a dream come true, a dream in progress. Maybe not even a dream at all but perhaps we’ve slipped into an alternate universe, one much like the old universe, but not quite.

And here’s the thing, I’m kind of getting fatigued by it all. Crazy right? Maybe it’s that I’m not accustomed to the stress but I’m a basket case waiting on Saturday to get here! Forty-four years I’ve been waiting for State to be appreciated by the outside world, to deserve being appreciated. Forty-four years of frustration that Our State never gets any positive attention and suddenly we’ve got it in spades (along with Ole Miss).

I tell you what, it’s given me an appreciation as to why Bama fans are batshit crazy. This winning is stressful. It’s so much harder when you believe, when you really believe your team can beat anybody.

God I hope it doesn’t stop.

TB lost my Pick of the Week for the third time in a row because South Carolina sucks. I’m done with them. I went 2-3 on bonus picks, my worst week of the year and my record is now a dismal 2-4 on Picks of the Week, 20-10 on bonus picks. The MTGU went 14-14 and 31-27 on bonus picks, now 78-74-7 and 180-140.  Flyin’ J won the week with authority, hitting his POTW and going 5-0 on bonus picks, including a great upset win by his alma mater, the Air Force Falcons over their intraservice rival, Navy.  Irving Redd gets the Dog o’the Week points for picking Arizona State and a DOTW shoutout goes to SDog, SmilyJ, The Daily Wit, and Tiny D. List of the week goes to Mac, because I appreciate his disdain for totalitarianism, and SOTW to Sweet for Jerry Reed’s, When You’re Hot, You’re Hot. At the halfway point, RSR leads the pack because Ole Miss is unbeaten against the spread this season. The State game (along with Ole Miss) shook up the college football polls this week and a similar shakeup occurred here in the MTGU.

Here are last week’s results, the top 14 won their POTW, everyone else lost, and bonus picks only are in parentheses.

  1. Flyin’ J (5-0)            80
  2. Tiny D (3-0)            68
  3. Irv (DOTW)             67
  4. TeaJay                    62
  5. Face                       62
  6. MD (1-0)                 62
  7. RSR                        62
  8. BR                          62
  9. Harmony                62
  10. Kitchen P                62
  11. Fish (2-3)                44
  12. Folly Jon (2-3)        44
  13. Sweet (4-1,Sotw)    43
  14. BW Buzz (3-2)        26
  15. Nelson (2-1)            26
  16. SDog (2-1)              26
  17. Mac (2-3 Lotw)       19
  18. TB (2-3)                   14
  19. RJ (2-3)                   14
  20. JLou                         10
  21. SmilyJ                       10
  22. TDW                        10
  23. Pitalo (1-4)                2
  24. Big Ed (0-3)              2
  25. DNP–Krebs, Fig, TKH

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                      359
  2. Kitchen P              301
  3. Flyin’ J                  296
  4. Folly Jon               288
  5. Irvine Redd           273
  6. SDog                     272
  7. TeaJay                 271
  8. Tiny D                   265
  9. Sweet                   261
  10. Mac                       259
  11. Fish                      254
  12. TB                         240
  13. BWBuzz               234
  14. MD                       233
  15. SmilyJ                   221
  16. Nelson                  221
  17. Face                     216
  18. Harmony              211
  19. RJ                         200
  20. Pitalo                    183
  21. Big Ed                   171
  22. JLou                      169
  23. Krebs                     155
  24. Fig                          154
  25. BR                         141
  26. TDW                      122
  27. TKH                        72
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop 10

Here are my picks of the week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Washington State +17
  • Northwestern  +4
  • Georgia Tech  -3′
  • Iowa  -3
  • Georgia -3

POTW–Ole Miss +2′

My tunes this week reflect my discombobulation and roiling emotions:

  • Its ALong Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll) – AC/DC
  • All Shook Up — Elvis
  • Dream On – Aerosmith
  • Basket Case – Green Day

SOTW– Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey



Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-7/

Oct 04

The Biggest Saturday Morning in Mississippi Sports History

Quote of the Day:

This is probably the biggest Saturday in Mississippi Sports History.”     –about a million people this week

TB rose this morning to glorious blue skies and the first brisks of the fall. I set out to get my morning exercise, walking and running a bit through the neighborhood and up the Natchez Trace, then back again.

Half of Mississippi is heading up to Oxford or Starkville this morning, the other half already being in those places, but yet another half was out running and walking and biking because mornings like this were made for that.

Most prevalent on my pre game perambulation were the cult of the the runner. They gathered in packs, as many as nine to a group, more often fivish. Sometimes they waved. Always they pounded up behind me, forcing me to the precipice of the asphalt trail before muttering in my ear, “on your left, mornin’, mumble-mumble” and then moving past.

Sometimes I picked up a bit of their conversation. Lots of stuff about “my shoes” or “friction”, some talk of “miles this week” and “miles last week.” One group went through that when they passed me the first time, then when I met them coming back it was “I’m gonna have 4 eggs.” “I’m gonna have 6 eggs.” “I’m gonna have 6 eggs and a cinnamon roll” (group laughter). Then someone admitted, we aren’t any of us really going to eat.

Actually, that may have been me, projecting. There wasn’t a decent drumstick in the bunch.

The best part came just before I left the trail to reenter my block.The crowd was momentarily dispersed and around the corner came a gentleman, mid-fifties I’d say with well coifed and thick gray hair. He was all in black, with walking shoes and black sweatpants, and a black turtleneck, and a hardbound book tucked under his arm.

I’m home now. Gonna scramble up some eggs, maybe have some biscuits and ham.

Two more hours ’til the biggest sports day in Mississippi history kicks off.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/the-biggest-saturday-morning-in-mississippi-sports-history/

Oct 02

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 6 (Magnolia Madness Week)

Quote of the Week:

Sweet, you’ve totally redeemed yourself in music pickin’ since the Luke Bryan debacle last year.”     –Nelson


The epicenter of College Football, maybe even all of the American sporting scene this week.

Worthy of a series of sentence fragments for sure.

Bulldogs and Rebels, Gameday and lofty rankings.

And now a haiku

That was the first line of it.

Bully and Bear’s chance to rise.

As you can see TB is pretty much punch drunk and worthless this week what with the anticipation for this weekend’s Bulldog game vs A&M, and I know many of you are the same about Ole Miss-Bama. I’m not the “poor-old-Mississippi” type by any means, but I have to admit, I never dreamed we’d get a weekend with four top 15 SEC teams squaring off, at home, on the same Saturday. It’s a really big deal and I for one am enjoying every second of it that doesn’t involve Pat Forde.

But before the games can be played, the picks must be made.

And before the picks may come, I must tell you about us being dumb.

Last week, that is, we were. Dumb.

I lost my POTW for the third week in a row to fall to 2-3 on the season, but I went 4-1 on bonus picks to move my overall record in the lesser category to an impressive 18-7. The MTGU went a dismal 7-14-5 on POTW’s. Ole Miss accounted for the 5 ties as Sweet confirmed per RJ’s Friday USA Today that the official TP line was 21. On bonus picks we went a respectable 24-23-7. Our record for the year on POTW’s falls to 64-60-7 and on bonus picks we are now 149-113.

Jessie Lou won the week by nailing her POTW and winning List of the Week. SmilyJ got the biggest Dog of the Week and MD picks up Song of the Week honors. Shoutout to Fish for a nice DOTW too. TB busted the curve to give free points to everyone from 6th place through twelfth.

Keep an eye on BR. He picked up a tie last week to move his record up to 0-4-1 on the season.

Here are last week’s results, remember the top 7 won their POTW, next 5 tied and everyone else lost; and bonus picks only are in parentheses. If you see an error with your scoring, just ask me to look at it. Did I mention I’m punch drunk and worthless?

  1. Jessie Lou McFaul (LOTW)  67
  2. Fish (3-1-1)                           62
  3. Irvine Redd                           62
  4. Pitalo   (2-3)                          44
  5. Sweet (2-3)                          44
  6. Flyin’ J (1-3-1)                      40
  7. SDog (0-3)                            40
  8. Mac                                       39
  9. RSR                                      39
  10. BR                                         39
  11. Kitchen P (1-1)                      39
  12. Krebs (0-3)                            39
  13. TB (4-1)                                38
  14. Nelson (3-1-1)                      32
  15. Tiny D (2-1-1)                       26
  16. Folly J (2-1-1)                      26
  17. RJ (2-1-1)                            26
  18. TJ (1-0)                               26
  19. SmilyJ (DOTW)                   15
  20. MD (SOTW)                        15
  21. Big Ed (1-2)                        14
  22. TDW                                    10
  23. Face                                    10
  24. Fig                                       10
  25. Harmony                             10
  26. BW Buzz (1-3-1                   8

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                       297
  2. SDog                     246
  3. Folly Jon                244
  4. Mac                       240
  5. Kitchen P              239
  6. TB                        226
  7. Sweet                   223
  8. Flyin’ J                 216
  9. SmilyJ                  211
  10. Fish                     210
  11. TeaJay                 209
  12. BW Buzz              208
  13. Irvine Redd          206
  14. Tiny D                  197
  15. Nelson                 195
  16. RJ                        186
  17. B Pitalo                181
  18. MD                       171
  19. Big Ed                  169
  20. JLou                     159
  21. Krebs                   155
  22. Face                     154
  23. Fig                        154
  24. Harmony              149
  25. TDW                    112
  26. BR                        79
  27. TKH                      72
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  10

Here are my Picks of the Week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the odds:

  • Louisville   -1
  • Virginia Tech  -2′
  • LSU   +7′
  • Oklahoma  -5
  • E. Carolina  -40′

POTW, for the 3rd week in a row and so far they are O-fer-POTW — South Carolina  -3′

Mississippi Tunes this week:

  • Down in Mississippi – North Mississippi Allstars
  • Mississippi Saturday Night  – Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Starkville City Jail – Johnny Cash
  • Oxford Town – Bob Dylan

SOTW Shake ‘Em on Down  – North Mississippi Allstars


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-6-magnolia-madness-week/

Oct 01

Legal Weed in Mississippi?

A group is filing a petition in Mississippi to have legalizing weed put to the voters. My Republican friends (nearly everyone I know) already think I am a Marxist card carrying liberal so it should come as no surprise that I think weed should absolutely be legal in this country. That being said, this initiative has about as much of a chance at being passed in Mississippi as Roberta the town whore has in getting elected mayor. You see, Roberta is liked well enough in the community but we can’t admit that publicly. Definitely not in the church house come Sunday morning.

I wasn’t paying a whole heckuva lot of attention to this (because I know it’s a lost cause) but a “friend” on Facebook brought it to my attention. He posted an article about it and said something to the effect of “If you are for this, unfriend me now”. Well hell. You don’t have to ask me twice. I am always looking to cull folks from Facespace. I ain’t even remotely mad about it. We were only work acquaintances (he’s a cop) and I have said many times that life is too short to be getting pissed off all the time on social media. He did us both a favor.

I have had numerous arguments about legalizing marijuana over the years. The funny thing is that opponents have no good argument. Seriously. The only two I have heard that hold any water at all is “That it’s already illegal.” My problem with this is that it never should have been illegal in the first place. Alcohol is legal. In 18 years of running EMS calls, I can not count the number of calls I ran that involved alcohol. I have never been on ONE call where being high on weed was the problem. Unless eating the house out of Cheetos is an emergency. Folks arguing against weed legalization would have been the same folks upholding prohibition and breaking barrels of whiskey with axes. We should be clear about that. Not only is alcohol legal, we actively support it’s abuse. How many bars do you pass on your way home from work? How many cars are in the parking lots? How do you suppose all those people are getting home?

The second excuse they use and the most popular is that marijuana is a gateway drug. I am sure it is for some people. The same way some folks that like shooting guns end up shooting people. Look people, being BORN is the gateway drug. Life is a tough sonofabitch. Some folks deal with this differently from other folks. It’s almost as if we are all different people. Do some people move on from marijuana to other harder drugs? Sure. Do some people use weed for most of their adult lives without starting to shoot crap in their veins? Yep. Do some folks, like me, try it a few times in college and never again? Yep.

I just don’t get the hypocrisy. If you against any and all drugs (alcohol, tobacco, prescription pain killers, caffeine etc), I think you are a weirdo but I respect you.

If you think alcohol is ok and smoking one plant (tobacco) is ok but smoking another should send you to prison, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you to GFY.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/10/legal-weed-in-mississippi/

Sep 30

Write On, Brother

Quote of the Day:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”     –Ernest Hemingway

TB has been at this writing thing now, in earnest more or less, going on eight years. I enjoy it. I love the MTG and it’s little universe of folk and the interaction we have when the place is rocking.

But the whole idea back when I started “a blog” was to work my way around to writing the book I have long felt locked up inside my increasingly-addled brain. I haven’t done that yet and one thing I have learned over these years is that there is nothing so obnoxious as to tell about how you are “working on a book.” Therefore…..

…..I am not going to tell you about how close I finally am to accomplishing this lifelong goal. I am not getting in to how I realized over time that a novelist I am not. Nor will you read about how I for the first time have a clear vision of what my book will be like, that being a collection of essays, most of which have been written on this page as first drafts and the remainder of which are well outlined in my head. Above all I am not going to tell you that come hell or high water I am going to finish this thing before my next birthday.

What I will mention, because you asked, is that for the first time my words have been published in the outside world.

It all started at a birthday party for a friend of my daughter’s. I was snooping around, looking at the wealth of well-worn books haphazardly lining the shelves in the family den. These books were not for show. As I was admiring the treasures, the little girl’s Mom came in the house and we began talking about our common interests in the literary way. She told me she’d read some of my essays here and had I read David Sedaris? I had not, so she explained that we have much in common in style and background except that he used to be a junkie, lives in France, has half a dozen best sellers to his credit and is a homosexual.

She pressed one of his books on me and I took it home, dubious about our commonality. Which brings us back to me not telling you about how his template is the one I am currently mimicking to some degree.

No, the point of this, if I can stop digressing, is that my friend also asked, upon learning of my affinity for Ernest Hemingway if I would be interested in reading For Whom the Bell Tolls and summarizing it for her. It seems that she was engaged to write a series of books on famous authors, summarizing their major works, lives and impact. And she hates For Whom the Bell Tolls.

I liked it twenty years ago when I read it the first time, so I said “sure.”

Well, now the book is out. The Little Book of Hemingway by Nicole Valaire. Plus a few pages written by TB. It is sort of a survey course for adults on Hemingway and it’s really good and hey, only $2.99 on Kindle! Buy it from the MTG portal to support Be Excellent to a Stranger.

I urge you to punch it in to the Amazon search window on your left and check it outIMG_6418.

For my labor I was generously compensated with a copy of the book, signed editions of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls” by David Sedaris and an inordinate boost to my self esteem. Inside the front cover of the “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is the inscription, “Dear Ben, I’m so happy you’re alive.  –David Sedaris.”

All of which is to say, Nicole, a Yale graduate with a degree in comparative literature, published author and veteran of the Manhattan publishing world has offered to edit my book. The one I’m working on but, exercising discretion, I won’t tell you about.

Ok, I’ll tell you one little thing. The title is Trainstopping.

But you didn’t hear about it from me.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/write-on-brother/

Sep 28

Les Miles Is (Really) Cold Natured

For years, people have talked about Les Miles as the Mad Hatter. He eats grass. He calls trick plays. You never know what he’s going to do. As an Ole Miss fan, I mainly think of him as a terrible clock manager. I heard that he once called a time out before the opening kick off. But I digress. Actually, can you digress if you’ve not yet established a point? I don’t know. I think that was another digression.

Take a look at this picture.Les+Miles+Mississippi+State+v+LSU+xL6mTss-a0bl

Les Miles is wearing a long sleeve pullover. (As usual.) Take a look at every other person in the frame. They are all wearing short sleeves. That’s because, unlike Les Miles, these people dress according to the weather. This particular game was played in September. In the Deep South. It was hot. It was humid.

Thus, I find myself wondering, What draft of cold air does Les Miles feel that no one else in the stadium feels? How is it that in any stadium in the country, there can be a chill in the air only around Les Miles?

“Aren’t you cold,” asked Les Miles.

“No, coach. It’s 92 degrees and the humidity makes it feel like we’re in southeast Asia,” the assistant coach replied.

“I don’t know. I just can’t get warm. It’s like there’s a jet stream of coldness bearing down on me,” said Miles.

People speculate that Les Miles will one day leave LSU to coach at Michigan. It’ll never happen. If Miles needs a long sleeve pullover when the temperature drops below 115, he’ll die in a Michigan winter

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/les-miles-is-really-cold-natured/

Sep 25

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 5 (Dak Valley edition)

Quote of the DAY:

I’ve got a Tiger by the tail it’s plain to see.”     –Buck Owens, via Nelson

Well well well here we are all together again.

First things first. TB did something no Thursday Picker in his or her right mind should ever do. I changed my POTW from Bama to South Carolina Saturday morning. For that sin, I lost my POTW. On the upside, I went 4-1 on bonus picks and oh by the way, DAK VALLEY.

The MTGU had it’s first bad week of the season going 11-16 on POTW’s. Wanna know why it was so bad? In a word, DAK VALLEY. On the season we are still a healthy 57-46-2.

On Bonus picks the MTGU posted a 39-26 mark, now 125-90. I bet even Dak would be impressed.

Folly Jon and Flyin’ J won the week with POTW winners and 4-1 bonus records. Nelson gets song of the week and Sweet’s Hank Williams homage gets the points for List. Pitalo and Nelson pick up 5 points for hitting the biggest Dogs O’the Week. But the real winner this week was, of course, DAK VALLEY.

One of the best things about DAK VALLEY has been the haters. My god how I relish the taste of sweet sweet grass infused Tiger tears and the reminder of how much, like all civilized folk, I loathe that bunch. ‘Course the haters have come out much closer to home as well, always enjoy that too. I’m looking at you Irvine Redd and you too Folly Jon. They think the Bullies are mean. Cruel, even. All because of one–err–two little stomps–I mean accidents, which by the way would not have occurred at all if so many Tigers hadn’t been lying flat on their backs all night.

So, anyway, here are last week’s standings and remember, the top 11 won their POTW’s and bonus picks only are in parentheses:

  1. Flyin’ J  (4-1)             68
  2. Folly J (4-1)               68
  3. RSR                          62
  4. MD                             62
  5. Harmony                    62
  6. Fig E. Fresh               62
  7. SmilyJ                         62
  8. Coach TeaJay            62
  9. Sweet (3-2, LOTW)     61
  10. BW Buzz (3-2)            56
  11. SDog (1-2)                  44
  12. Pitalo (4-1, dotw)         43
  13. TB (4-1)                      38
  14. Fish (4-1)                    38
  15. Big Ed (2-1)                 26
  16. Tiny D (2-2)                 20
  17. Irvine Redd (2-2)         20
  18. RJ (2-2)                       20
  19. Nelson (1-2, sotw)      19
  20. Krebs (1-2)                  14
  21. Kitchen P (0-1)             14
  22. The Daily Wit (2-3)       14
  23. BR                                10
  24. JLou                             10
  25. Face                              10
  26. Mac                               10
  27. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  10

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                          258
  2. Folly Jon                   218
  3. SDog                         206
  4. Mac                           201
  5. Kitchen P                  200
  6. BW Buzz                   200
  7. SmilyJ                      196
  8. TB                            188
  9. CoachTeaJay           183
  10. Sweet                       179
  11. Flyin’ J                      176
  12. Tiny D                       171
  13. Nelson                      163
  14. RJ                             160
  15. MD                            156
  16. Big Ed                       155 (Big Ed, I gave you the points for “Kent”. Please refer to them as Kentucky from now on so I know who you mean.)
  17. Fish                           148
  18. Face                          144
  19. Irv                              144
  20. Fig                              144
  21. Harmony                    139
  22. Pitalo                         137
  23. Krebs                         116
  24. TDW                          102
  25. JLou                           92
  26. TKH                            72
  27. BR                               40
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  10

Here are my picks of the week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Rutgers  -11.5
  • Maryland  +3.5
  • Notre Dame  -9
  • Washington St +13.5
  • Texas A&M  -8.5

POTW  S. Carolina  -4.5

And here’s my weekend DAK VALLEY backlash playlist:

  • They Hate Me – Peter Cooper (no video online, but worth a listen if you click the link)
  • I Hate Myself for Loving You– Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  • Cruel – Dropkick Murphys
  • Mean Street — Van Halen

SOTW–Stomp and Holler – Hayes Carll

07 They Hate Me


Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2014/09/thursday-pickin-season-vii-week-5-dak-valley-edition/

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