Being lonely sucks as if you didn’t know already

Today points out one of the biggest problems of being single.

I have been at the Buick dealership over SEVEN HOURS now. Since I don’t have a girlfriend/fiance/wife like most normal men over the age of 25, I have to wait it out. I could have called an Uber, but that would have cost a pretty penny.

It would have been at least $80 to make the round trip to my hair removal appointment at Shoal Creek. I figured I could wait until Monday.

Now this young boy is annoying the hell out of me being rambunctious like most young boys (certainly like I was at his age). I just put in my earplugs, but the sound of his plastic dolls hitting plastic is so loud it doesn’t filter it out.

I am going to go back to the hotel when this is done and collapse if I don’t cry first. This is another stark reminder of how much my life sucks and how much worse it will be when my parents die and I’m really alone.

I blew my chance at happiness when I screwed up with Renetta. Caitlyn is too young. Brenda and Peggy are married. No other women would be caught dead with me. I tried Match.com briefly again, but I’m not paying an exorbitant amount to get nothing out of it.

I bet the car will not be ready when the dealership closes at 18:00. What the hell will I do then?

If you want to laugh at me, please do. You need to laugh. I’m wretched and deserve it.

Madness in KC

For the THIRD time in the last 43 days, I am sitting in Cable-Dahmer Buick/GMC. Service Engine Light has been on since last Friday. No problems, but that’s something that has to be checked out. Other things have popped up, including.irreperable damage to a sidewall of a tire, meaning it needs to be replaced.

Yesterday started well enough. Andy Gibb’s “An Everlasting Love” woke me up at precisely 05:30, the first time an alarm has worked for me in at least a month. Work done on time.

Then it got strange.

I drove to Brew Top in hopes of seeing Dana, but when I parked, I realized my Gateway Arch keychain was not in my pocket (I drove using the spare key). It wasn’t on the passenger seat or floorboards. Not in the trunk or my bag.

I immediately drove back to my hotel. This time, I’m staying at the new Springill Suites next to Interstate 435 across from Worlds of Fun, which is between the river and Liberty. It’s got a few more conveniences than Briarcliff—QuikTrip, Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell are right down the street—but construction on I-435 south of the river is terrible, and there’s no freezer in the room, which I knew going in. The room is nicely sized, but I’m not able to freeze anything for the trip home. Not a big deal as long as.I remember to shop before leaving.

Keys were not on the ground in the parking lot. It finally dawned on me to check the cupholders.

Eureka.

Now it was too late to eat, because I had to go to Leawood for my monthly haircut and shave with Heather at The Gent’s Place.

Parking was a bitch. The city of Leawood closed all streets surrounding Park Place, the development where The Gent’s Place is located. I had to park in the garage, where nearly every non-reserved space faced the sun and was far away from the elevator and stairwell. I found a covered place on the fourth floor, but became disoriented trying to find my destination.

I said I would never go back to The Gent’s Place because of the streets, but I quickly backed off. They told me they didn’t know until the last minute, either. Good to see government still bungles royally during a pandemic.

Heather was great as usual. I won’t see her again until January because she’s going on maternity leave. She was barely showing. The only person who showed less that late into pregnancy was Courtney Cox Otto (Peggy’s daughter/Caitlyn’s sister, not Monica). At their suggestion, Camille will take care of me in October and November.

Heather has tattoos all over, and I would never consider getting one. Yet we get along wonderfully. In the past I may have recoiled, but now, it’s okay. Honestly, I have no problem with tattoos on women, but they really bother me on men. My dad got two tattoos in the Navy, and he calls it his second biggest regret behind smoking for over 30 years (he has now been smoke-free for 35 years; I’m convinced he would have died before Katrina had he not quit). My dad often wears long-sleeved shirts even in hot weather to cover up the tattoos. The one on his right forearm is not big, but it is faded badly; the one on his upper left arm is grotesque. I try not to look at it.

When I got done with Heather, I went to Cable-Dahmer hoping to squeeze my car service in, but they told me they ddin’t have enough mechanics, so I had to return this morning.

I went back to the hotel and wasn’t in the mood for anything. Other than picking up Zaxby’s for the second straight night, I stayed in my room.

On the third Thursday of September last year, I was in St. Louis watching Caitlyn and Ottawa play Missouri Baptist in volleyball. Now, I’m doing all I can not to think about all of it—Caitlyn, volleyball, Peggy, everyone else. Volleyball crossed my mind, though, since Brenda’s birthday was yesterday.

I can’t stay in Kansas City past Tuesday. I don’t have any more meds, other than insulin and the antidepressants I refilled Tuesday. My blood pressure has been running high. I’m worried.

The Chiefs play the Chargers Sunday in Los Angeles. I know what I won’t be watching.

I’m back and not better

Again, I’m sorry I went dark after my first full day in Kansas City. The trip to Kansas City was the only thing worth writing about in the last 30 days, so it was probably best I stayed off.

The rest of August was horrible for the most part. Boredom at home, a swollen right foot that required four visits to Dr Custer’s office (plus another next week), no trivia for the past three weeks (by choice) and constant reminders of just how much I suck at life.

Facebook and Instagram are used by too many people as cyberbullying sites. They are used by people who have great lives to beat up those of us who don’t. I get so sick and tired of seeing people scream “I’M MARRYING MY BEST FRIEND!”.

First, if your spouse is your best friend, you’ve got problems. It means you never have had good friends to begin with, or you’re giving up everyone else because your spouse is the only person who matters.

Second, I don’t care. You should post it only to certain people, not your entire friends list, and certainly not publicly, especially if you allow non-friends to view your posts.

Third, I don’t need to be reminded at 44 that I’m hopeless. I blew my one and only chance when I let Renetta get away. Certainly it won’t happen in these parts, where 44-year olds are grandparents, or at least have all their kids out the house.

The 101st season of the National Football League starts tonight when the Chiefs host the Texans.

I will not watch. I have to leave early tomorrow for an appointment in Hutchinson, and one of the teams makes me sicker than coronavirus ever could.

I cannot tell you how much I despise the Chiefs right now. I am sick of hearing about Patrick Mahomes every eight seconds. I get it. He won the 2018 NFL MVP. He led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV (making the Chiefs NFL CHAMPIONS, not world champions). He signed a 10-year, $503 million contract. He got engaged to his squeeze who could appear in porn movies and make as much him.

Those are empirical facts.

However, I’m sick of hearing he’s already the greatest quarterback in Chiefs history and will be one of the four best, if not the best, by time he retires.

Yes, he’s probably one of the two greatest Chiefs quarterbacks with Len Dawson, which tells you how much the Chiefs stunk at quarterback from 1972 (Dawon’s last good year was ’71) through 2017. BIll Kenney, Joe Montana, Trent Green and Alex Smith were all good for a year or two, but a lot of others were just putrid.

To me, the greatest quarterbacks played before I was born: Sammy Baugh and Johnny Unitas. Baugh also played defense and punted. Unitas threw touchdown passes in 47 consecutive games in an era where defenders were allowed to push and grab receivers all over the field.

I’ll rank Montana as the best I watched. Four Super Bowls in nine years ends the argument.

The Chiefs hype train is non-stop. It’s a given they will be in Tampa for Super Bowl LV–provided the season gets there–against either Tampa Bay or Green Bay. Hopefully everyone is wrong and it’s the Saints (I’m not giving the Cardinals a shot no matter what the “experts” say) against anyone from the AFC but the Chiefs or Patriots.

I’m going to quit now. I promise my next post will be sooner, not later.

Normal for me? Somewhat. Nebraska? Not so much.

Even with the Big Ten and Pac-12 declaring life should not go back to normal, pushing back fall sports until at least the spring semester, if not to fall 2021, I’m trying to find normal in any way I can.

Normal for me in August is a few days in Kansas City and eating in a sit-down restaurant. That restaurant is Brewtop in Kansas City, North, where Dana Tenpenney, whom I met at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa seven years ago, works weekdays behind the bar.

This is the first time I’ve been in a sit-down restaurant with wait service since I ate at Old Chicago in Hays seven months ago. My last dine-in experience was with Peggy at McDonald’s in Russell in February.

Normal included a visit to Milan Laser to continue to eradicate the legacy of my late grandfather. I don’t get why my grandfather had bear hair, my father has next to none, yet my brother and I were bears. I hope my 4-year old nephew, Luke, doesn’t end up like his dad and uncle (at least before laser treatment).

Normal includes a visit tomorrow to the fancy men’s salon in Leawood, which, like Milan Laser, closed for almost three months at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring. I’ve been cutting my own hair since the last time I visited The Gent’s Place, and fortunately for me, I can cut my own hair without it looking too terrible.

I’ll never forget swiping my mother’s sewing shears one evening in June 1987 and attempting to cut my own hair while watching a College World Series game between LSU and Arkansas.. I had longer hair—the short hair arrived on Memorial Day weekend 1989–and it was awful. My longtime barber in New Orleans, Roy LaCoste, almost died laughing at my foolishness.

Hopefully normal will be getting to see Robb and Larry, some of the people at Buffalo Wild Wings Shoal Creek (especially GM Rita Roberts, Tina, Nikki, Sherman and Ashley), and Lindsay and Bailey at Minsky’s Barry Road.

Maybe normal will include a side trip to Columbia for White Castle and Schnucks, but now that I’ve learned how to cook the frozen White Castle sliders properly, it’s not a higher priority. I did most of my grocery shopping last week after I had major repairs done to my car at Cable-Dahmer Buick.

Kansas City hopes normal will be the Chiefs kicking off on time vs. the Texans Sept. 10 in the NFL season opener.

Right now, normal must seem like another galaxy in Nebraska.

In case you don’t know by now, the Big Ten and Pac-12 opted to not play sports until at least January. The Pac-12 vote was supposedly unanimous, but Iowa and Nebraska vociferously protested in the Big Ten, wanting to play. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC are proceeding for now with reduced schedules, but most don’t think the season will be played to completion.

Nebraska’s administration and coach Scott Frost, who led the Cornhuskers to a share of the 1997 national championship in coach Tom Osborne’s last season, is attempting to go rogue and see if it can play elsewhere, including a return to the Big 12 for this year.

That probably can’t happen.

FIrst, the Big Ten would likely hold the threat of expulsion over Nebraska (and Iowa if it tried). Expulsion would mean a severe loss of revenue for at least a decade due to grant of rights the 14 Big Ten schools signed in its latest media contract.

In short, if a school departs the Big Ten, then the Big Ten, not the school, would receive all revenue generated by media for the length of the grant of rights, which in the Big Ten, runs into the 2030s

The ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 also have them, leaving the SEC as the lone major conference without one. The last school to willingly leave the SEC was Tulane in 1966, so the SEC is justified in feeling secure in its membership. Any school which leaves the SEC, especially Vanderbilt and others at the low end of the revenue scale (Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina) would be cutting off its nose despite its face.

Second, if Nebraska and/or Iowa was ousted from the Big Ten, those schools would likely be blackballed by the Big 12 from joining, lest the Big Ten threaten the Big 12 with cutting off all interconference competition during the regular season.

Third, Iowa State might block Iowa from joining the Big 12. I’m certain the rest of the Big 12, save TCU and West Virginia, harbors ill will towards Nebraska for jumping ship the same way Baylor hates A&M and Kansas hates Mizzou for joining the SEC.

Nebraska already lost this year’s College World Series due to the pandemic. Now not only is it losing Cornhusker football, but Nebraska is also losing its superpower volleyball team, which has sold out the 12,000-seat Bob Devaney Center, the former basketball facility, on a season ticket basis since moving there a few years ago.

Lincoln and Omaha are fine places to live, albeit with the same problems of every big city. Right now, it doesn’t seem like it.

July was not good. Should have saw it coming.

July 2020 has a little more than five hours to run, at least for those who observe UTC -5. I won’t miss it.

I’ve been in quarantine since the evening of the 22nd, when my father revealed he tested positive for COVID-19. I haven’t seen his face since then, and I’ve seen my mother’s face for 10 seconds. I don’t want them in the basement, and I only go upstairs when they are asleep.

If there is a good time to be in quarantine, summer is it. I hate hot weather to begin with.

This July has been the rainiest month I’ve experienced in Russell. We need a drought. The rain has caused the humidity to soar to levels similar to what I see in Kansas City during the summer, and that makes a bad situation worse.

On the other hand, I should not have expected the seventh month of 2020 to be good.

When July has started on a Wednesday, at least as long as I have lived, has usually been bad.

Prior to this year, the last year July started on Wednesday was 2015. That was a disaster to say the least, between the infamous incident with a then-employee of Buffalo Wild Wings location #0296, the continued deterioration of the relationship with my former supervisor, and my finances going straight to hell.

The Buffalo Wild Wings employee, who no longer works for the company, still thinks I’m the biggest jerk on earth. My former boss died in October 2017, two years after our final conversation ended with us cursing each other out, and my finances still suck.

In 2009, I was passing blood in my urine throughout Independence Day weekend in Kansas City. The day after Independence Day, I drove myself to the emergency room at St. Luke’s Northland in extreme pain after passing kidney stones. Fortunately for me, I was back at my hotel in four hours, although in pain until the next morning when I had a prescription for painkillers filled. It’s the last time I was in the hospital for something other than routine care or tests.

1998? The alternator in my car died the evening of the 13th at a Baton Rouge hotel on Airline Highway, a long way from my apartment at the time, which was south of the LSU campus. Bill had to drive me home, then was reduced to driving me around the next day, which happened to be his 35th birthday.

1992? The Steinle family trip to St. Louis started terribly, with a blinding thunderstorm as we drove north. Got lost on I-270 and nearly went into Illinois before taking the loop west and finding our destination. The next day, our Oldsmobile 88 broke down and we were stuck for several hours waiting for it to get fixed. My dad, brother and I went to two Cardinals-Braves games at Busch Stadium, but the seats were awful. The highlight of the trip was seeing Bill Clinton and Al Gore returning to a downtown hotel after jogging one morning.

1987? My father left the United States for the Netherlands on the 9th on company business, not to return until 29 August. I was also counting down the days for my time in hell locked in a child psychiatric hospital.

1981? Don’t remember much, but there were no Major League Baseball games due to players’ strike which began 12 July and didn’t end until the final hours of the 31st. Games didn’t resume until 9 August with the All-Star Game, while the regular season began again the next evening. Also, Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed 29 July, Peggy’s 17th birthday. I was also a month away from kindergarten.

Thank God 1976 was a leap year. Had it not, July would have started on Wednesday, and I would have been born three months prematurely, knowing my luck and my mother’s terrible habits.

Thank God it will be August shortly. As boring and bad as June and July have been, it can’t get more boring or worse, can it?

June 2020: boredom reigns supreme

June is normally a boring month in my life. High school sports are over until Labor Day weekend, so work slows down. The heat ratchets up, so I am loath to leave my basement. I have scheduled my visits with Dr. Jones and Dr. Custer to where they don’t fall in June.

The only thing breaking the June monotony has been an occasional road trip. Last year, that trip didn’t come until the very end of June and spilled into July. I recall it was terrible because most of the employees of Buffalo Wild Wings #0154 (Shoal Creek in northeast Kansas City/Liberty) took vacation, so nobody I knew was working.

This June, however, has been more boring than usual.

No work, thanks to COVID-19. Very few trips outside 1224 North Brooks, which right now isn’t so bad. No chance to spend money, and no dealing with the oppressive heat, which hit 39 Celsius (102 F) in Russell today and only figures to get worse in July and August.

Other than two visits with Crista and a few other trips to Hays for provisions, my only out of town trips were to Hutchinson on the 2nd and Salina on the 12th. I thought about a mid-month excursion, but decided against it.

Not much trivia. I’ve kept the Wednesday and Thursday night dates playing SIX. I’m playing right now since Brainbuster is on at 19:00.

I have not eaten in a restaurant since 17 February, when I met Peggy at the McDonald’s in Russell. I visited Old Chicago in Hays a couple of times in January, plus Minksy’s and Buffalo Wild Wings in Kansas City at the beginning of the year when my dad had to go to the KU Medical Center in KCK for surgery.

Eating out is not a big thing for right now. I’m not in the mood to go to the Old Chicago in Hays because I’m sure people I can’t stand will be there. Going in Salina will present the problem of having to choose between a very late return or fighting the blinding sunset. Also, I’ve stuffed my freezer to the point where it’s having trouble closing, so I’d better not let that go to waste.

I’ve watched The O.C. on what seems like an endless loop for the last three weeks. I’m sad Peter Gallagher no longer appears on Law & Order: SVU. He is the best reason to watch The O.C., the beauty of Kelly Rowan, Mischa Barton, Autumn Reeser and other ladies notwithstanding.

I’m also watching Monk again. I’m still in season one.

I’ve stopped watching Lifetime Movie Network. Besides, I don’t think there will be many, if any, new releases for the foreseeable future with studios shuttered for COVID-19. Many of the actors and actresses in those movies, as well as the studios, are Canadian, which will complicate matters since travel between Canada and the US is severely restricted, if not banned outright.

June boredom may not be the worst for me. Last Thursday (25 June) was the 16th anniversary of my first date with Renetta Rogers, the statuesque beauty whom I seriously thought was “THE ONE”. I can’t help but feel so helpless every time that anniversary comes and goes. I screwed that up so badly, and I deserve to be lonely. I am too stupid to realize it’s too late to find someone. I am going to die alone.

July will likely be more of the same. And August. And September. Heaven help me.

Father’s Day without baseball: un-American

Ah, Father’s Day. An observance I will never be a part of. I’m not going to be a father, which is not a bad thing. I would not want to pass my defective DNA to anyone. That would be grossly unfair.

This is my dad’s first Father’s Day without his father, who passed away 11 March at 97. He hasn’t said a word about it. I probably thought of it before he did.

For the first time since 1981, there will be no Major League Baseball on Father’s Day. The reason there wasn’t Father’s Day baseball 39 years ago was because the MLB Players Association went on strike 12 June and stayed out through the end of July, although games did not resume until 9 August with the All-Star Game in Cleveland.

Seven hundred twelve games were wiped out by the strike, which foisted upon us the comically bad split season, which cost the Cardinals and Reds, the teams with the best overall records

Ironically, Father’s Day in 1981 was also 21 June. Two other Father’s Days falling on 21 June produced MLB history.

In 1964, the Phillies’ Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. Bunning, a father of six, struck out 10 in the first National League perfect game since 1880 and the first regular season perfect game since 1922, when Charles Robertson authored one for the Tigers.

Of course, in between Robertson and Bunning, Don Larsen of the Yankees notched the most famous perfect game of all in the 1956 World Series vs. the Dodgers. It should also be noted Harvey Haddix pitched 12 1/3 perfect innings for the Pirates at Milwaukee in 1959, only to lose to the Braves.

The day after the game, Bunning was the New York Times‘ “Man in the News”, a rare honor for an athlete. On the same page as that item was a cigar advertisement with Phillies’ manager Gene Mauch, who has been described as the most successful manager to never appear in the World Series.

Philadelphia was a lead-pipe cinch for the World Series until the infamous “Phold”.

The Phillies led the National League (there were no divisions until 1969) by 6 1/2 games with 12 to play, only to lose 10 in a row (four to the Reds, three apiece to the Braves and Cardinals) and see their pennant dreams vanish. Mauch was widely blamed for pitching Bunning and left-hander Chris Short constantly on two days’ rest, simply because he didn’t trust anyone else on his staff. The only pitchers who could have possibly survived that workload are knuckleball specialists (Wilbur Wood, Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield), and even then it would be dicey.

Hours after Bunning’s perfect game, something much more sinister took place in the piney woods of east Mississippi.

Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, led by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and trigger man Alton Wayne Roberts, who was dishonorably discharged from the Marines. It wasn’t until 4 August that the bodies were found in an earthen dam.

Six year’s after Bunning’s pitching gem, Cesar Gutierrez had his day in the sun.

The Venezuelan went 7-for-7 in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland. Gutierrez was 5-for-5 through nine innings, added an infield single in the 10th, then singled again in the 12th after Mickey Stanley put Detroit ahead 9-8 on a one-out solo home run.

Two players have gone 7-for-7 in nine innings: Brooklyn’s Wilbert Robinson in 1892 and Pittsburgh’s Rennie Stennett in 1975.

Sadly, Gutierrez was out of MLB after the 1971 season, and passed away in 2005 at 62. He only played in 190 games, but on one shining Sunday, he proved why sports are the greatest reality show of all.

I found out today that Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter (Birney), who portrayed parents Steve and Elyse Keaton on “Family Ties”, were born on 21 June 1947. No wonder they had such chemistry on the TV show. They share a birthday with Bernie Kopell (Dr. Adam Bricker on “The Love Boat”, 87), Ron Ely (“Tarzan”, 82) and Chris Pratt (41).

Unfortunately for Gross, Baxter, Kopell, Ely and Pratt, Jussie Smollett was born 21 June 1982. UGH.

Reduced to binging

My life has pretty much been in stasis since leaving St. Louis the morning of 18 May. There have been appointments with Crista, including my first in person since 2 March, the trip to Hutchinson and Wichita, and last Friday, an excursion to Salina just to do something different.

I was hoping for another trip to Missouri this month, but something happened which made it impractical. I’m not in the mood to go into it. The hot weather made the decision to cancel a little easier.

I have been reduced to binging on two of my favorite television series, Monk and The O.C.

I went through the eight seasons of Monk in three weeks. There was a time where I loved Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard, who turned 54 today) and I disliked Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram). When I first acquired the entire series on DVD, I started watching from the first Natalie episode, but eventually, I went all the way back get the full story of how Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) lost his job as a San Francisco Police Department detective, then returned to the good graces of Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford).

As I watched the Sharona episodes (the pilot through the ninth episode of season 3), I grew to appreciate both Sharona and Bitty, who portrayed Rockford Peaches right fielder Evelyn Gardner in A League of Their Own. Schram’s character was on the receiving end of the infamous line uttered by Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan, “THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”

I began watching Monk on USA during the fifth season, which was my first summer in Kansas following Hurricane Katrina. I fell off the wagon near the end of the series, largely because new episodes aired on Friday nights when I was on the road covering athletic events. The DVDs got me back on the wagon, and now I can recall lines from many episodes.

In April, Jimmy Kimmel brought together Shalhoub, Howard, Levine and Gray-Stanford for a Zoom videoconference where they were in character from Monk. Adrian tells Randy he was down to his last 12 cases of wipes. Randy says Adrian is hoarding, but Adrian replies it’s not hoarding if he bought them 20 years ago. Natalie mentions she tested positive for COVID-19. It was nice to see them together again, but I wish Schram, Hector Elizondo (Dr. Neven Bell, Monk’s second therapist) and Emmy Clarke (Julie Teeger, Natalie’s incredibly intelligent and talented daughter) would have also appeared.

I didn’t watch The O.C. during its four seasons on FOX (the first two seasons aired while I was still in Louisiana; the third season premiered one week after I arrived in Russell). I began to watch The O.C. in the summer of 2009 when it aired daily on the now-defunct Soap Opera Network (SoapNET) along with One Tree Hill.

The only main actor from The O.C. I have watched regularly since the show ended is Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen), who appeared as Arthur Larson on Covert Affairs and William Dodds on Law & Order: SVU. Peter is tremendously talented as both an actor and singer, and it’s a travesty he hasn’t had a leading role in a major motion picture since Sex, Lies and Videotape in 1989.

Since I first watched The O.C., I’ve had a huge crush on Kelly Rowan, who portrayed Kirsten (Nichol) Cohen. Kelly was born in Ottawa (the capital of Canada, not the one where Caitlyn goes to college) and was mostly an unknown, like the rest of the stars of the show excluding Gallagher. Kelly played her part flawlessly and with tremendous emotion and energy, and it’s a shame she hasn’t had another starring role either on TV or movies. If Kelly is a Senators fan, I’ll forgive her.

Three future leads of Pretty Little Liars–Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson and Janel Parrish–had guest appearances on The O.C. Benson and Parrish appeared in the same episode where Kaitlin Cooper (Willa Holland) throws a rager at Neil Roberts’ (Michael Nouri) mansion that is crashed by Ryan (Ben McKenzie) and Seth (Adam Brody), who go looking for their girlfriends, Taylor (Autumn Reeser) and Summer (Rachel Bilson).

I picked up One Tree Hill on the CW and watched the last three seasons as they unfolded. The last three seasons were missing something big without Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Peyton Sawyer Scott (Hilarie Burton), but Bethany Joy Lenz (Haley James-Scott) and Sophia Bush (Brooke Davis) kept it going strong. Shantel Van Santen (Quinn James) was a great addition for the last three years, although many didn’t like her.

OTH is now on Hulu, not to mention I have all nine seasons on DVD, so I’m guessing it will be on my binge list soon.

The other two shows where I have seen every episode are The Brady Bunch and Law & Order: SVU.

Time to call it a night.

Another Kansas summer commences

Summer has arrived in Kansas. The broiler was turned up today in Russell, with a high of 36 Celsius (96 Fahrenheit), which is 9 C (13 F) hotter than it should be in the first week of June.

The hotter weather prompted me to wait until after sunset to make a quick drive to the UPS and USPS drop boxes in town. I almost went too late. It started raining in Hays 30 minutes ago, and the lightning was striking quite frequently to the west. Oops, the rain just started at 1224 North Brooks. As Maxwell Smart used to say, missed it by that much.

I have had no desire to leave 1224 North Brooks since getting home from my excursion Tuesday. It was hot enough Tuesday.

It was a good decision to not stay overnight in Hutch, because it was an easy drive there in the morning. I got there way too early, so I killed an hour plus at the large Dillon’s not too far from the clinic. Most people were not wearing masks.

The visit with my new health provider in Hutchinson–I have not ditched Dr. Custer–went well. Made a quick trip to Wichita to pick up a new seat cushion from Bed Bath and Beyond, get my car washed and make an Amazon pickup at a QuikTrip. I avoided the protest areas.

IF you want an opinion on what’s going on right now, don’t ask. Not providing it.

I realized Tuesday morning I normally would be writing summaries of how local schools performed at the high school state track and field championships the previous weekend. This year’s meet, originally scheduled for last Friday and Saturday, was cancelled in March when schools were shut down for the remainder of the year.

I HATED covering that event. Check that. I DESPISED covering that event with every fiber of my being.

It was two of the worst days of every year. If the weather was as hot as it was today, that made it a million times worse.

Fans rave about how much they love that meet, but they don’t have to dash between eight events going on at once, trying to photograph 15-20 athletes. Heaven forbid if you don’t get a picture of an athlete, because the family of that athlete will not let you live it down.

When I was taken off of event coverage in August 2015, I wanted to quit. Now I realize it was a blessing. A HUGE blessing. There are some events I miss covering. The two days of hell at Wichita State are two days I’m glad I’m sitting on my fat ass in Russell or somewhere else (the last three years, that somewhere else was–surprise, surprise–Kansas City).

June 3 and 4 are Desiree Days, since those dates are mentioned in Neil Diamond’s 1977 hit “Desiree”. It woke me up at 05:00 Tuesday. And I heard it again driving back to Russell.

“Desiree” is on the Neil Diamond playlist on my iPod. “Sweet Caroline” is not and never will be.

Saturday is Convoy Day in honor of the 1975 classic “Convoy” by C.W. McCall, which opens “It was dark of moon on the sixth of June in a Kenworth pulling logs…”

That’s all I have for now.

The calendar flipped! Let’s party!

If you know me, you know my headline is completely sarcastic. I hate New Year’s Eve more than any other celebration, and I believe it is so puerile to celebrate just because a calendar flipped and you’re putting a new year on checks.

If flipping a calendar was so huge, let’s do it after EVERY month!

I pray Bill DeBlasio will shut down Times Square in seven months and tell everyone to watch the ball drop from the comfort and safety of their residences while Ryan Seacrest provides play-by-play. Of course, there would be tens of thousands of morons who would flaunt that if DeBlasio issued that order, just like idiots did last weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks.

May wasn’t as bad as I feared. The week in St. Louis, plus two Zoom conferences with Crista and one with Peggy, helped the month go by quicker than I thought it might exactly one month ago.

However, the month ended horribly with what went on in Minneapolis last Monday and the subsequent protests and riots. Kansas City and St. Louis are among the places which have been victimized by looting. I’m leaving it at that.

There was a time where I would get on a soapbox and rant about anything political. Not now. If you’re looking for a hot take, I suggest you find another blog. You aren’t getting it from FOOTS PRINTS.

I have an appointment in Hutchinson tomorrow morning. I thought about going down there tonight to stay, but when I saw the volume of food I still had to clear from my refrigerator and freezer, I decided to save the money I would have spent on the hotel and rough it. That means departing before sunrise tomorrow to make it for 10:15, barring an unforeseen illness.

Why am I going two hours to Hutchinson instead of just going to Hays, or even Salina? It’s personal for me. Sorry.

I ate McDonald’s twice last week, both in Hays. It was the first hamburgers I ate from a restaurant, other than White Castle in St. Louis, since I met Peggy at McDonald’s in Russell in February. McDonald’s is much better able to handle mobile orders than most fast food restaurants, so I patronize them over other locations which can’t get their mobile/online ordering straight, or those which don’t have it at all.

Chick-Fil-A was the first fast food restaurant to roll out mobile/online ordering in 2015. I seemed to be the only person using it at the Kansas City location at I-29 and Barry Road, at least until 2017. The Chick-Fil-A in Salina lost my order more than once in those early years, and it angered me. But I have not had a single problem with Chick-Fil-A in three years.

The McDonald’s in Russell has some very old employees who probably don’t know how to turn on a computer. I have to go into the store to pick up an online order, something which wasn’t possible for over two months.

White Castle’s online ordering system is great, at least through the main website. The app is spotty, and often I cannot pay through Apple Pay because it gives me an error message stating “fraud”. Thank God my tablet can handle desktop websites.

I’m going to end my review of fast food ordering here, at least for this post. There is one restaurant which is so far behind the technology curve it’s downright asinine. I’ll reveal it later this week.

When I went to Dillon’s in Hays last week to pick up what few things I needed, I noticed all the maskless faces, a sharp contrast from St. Louis, where most people were compliant (or ALL were complaint in the case of Whole Foods). One man without a mask had two young daughters in tow, both without masks as well. I cringed.

I doubt the surgical masks I’m wearing could prevent the coronavirus strain which causes COVID-19 from getting into my airways. However, by wearing a mask, my sneezes and coughs go into the mask, not the air where they might infect others. It’s an inconvenience, but it’s one that is necessary. I don’t want to fathom the alternative, a strict lockdown under martial law.

It’s getting hot out there. June in Kansas. Yeesh. I knew it was coming. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.