Monthly Archives: July 2019

Trivia and tacos

Today’s trivia adventure comes from the Taco Bell at 1730 Vine Street in Hays, Kansas USA.

That’s right. I am a little under 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) from The Golden Q, where I normally play trivia in Hays. If you read my blog post from last Wednesday, you know The Q is undergoing a massive renovation which has closed its kitchen until next Tuesday, and the air conditioning and televisions are not functioning.

Buzztime updated its app last week. The questions now appear on the screen with the answers. The only drawback is clues are not given for Lunchtime and Countdown, meaning it’s all or nothing, unless lightning strikes and you figure it out in the middle of the question. For Late Shift, the game which runs from 2200 to closing, and others like it, the wrong answers wipe out. The app still cannot handle the hour-long games Tuesday through Saturday meaning if I want to play SIX Wednesday and Thursday at 1930, I have to be somewhere, which means Salina this week.

I had to come to Hays today to get my eyeglasses adjusted. Dr. Jones did it herself. I also had to get the correct case, which wasn’t a big deal.

Nickole Byers in Ellis called me while I was driving to Hays. I called her back and she wanted information on tournaments for the upcoming school year in case we wanted to print programs for them. Therefore, I stopped at Taco Bell to work.

I decided I would see how far away Buzztime could pick up the signal from The Q so I could play.

It worked. I’m about ready to leave to go home because I am dead tired. I didn’t get a lick of sleep last night, and it wasn’t because anything was wrong; for some reason, I couldn’t fall asleep even after taking Seroquel. I think I’ll be in bed very early tonight, because I would like to wake up early tomorrow, go to Wichita to get my car cleaned, then come back to Salina for trivia and a haircut with Amber.

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I understand why Wimbledon instituted a tiebreak in the deciding set of matches when the score reaches 12-12. The All-England Lawn Tennis Club does not want marathon matches such as 2010, when John Isner and Nicholas Mahut needed 138 games to decide the fifth set, with Isner prevailing 70-68.

That’s right. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT games. It took 11 plus hours over three days to complete.

Back to yesterday, when Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battled for the gentelmen’s singles championship.

Federer choked away two match points in the fifth set. Lo and behold, it got to 12-12.

Djokovic won seven of the 10 points in the tiebreak and won his fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam.

Djokovic also won the first and third sets by tiebreak after it was tied 6-6.

The 12-point tiebreak was introduced to Wimbledon in 1972. From 1972-78, the tiebreak was played in all sets EXCEPT the decisive set (third for ladies, fifth for gentlemen) when the score reached 8-8. It was pared down to 6-6 in 1979 and remained that way through 2018.

Through 1970, all sets had to be played out until one player had a two-game advantage. In 1971, an ill-conceived tiebreak was used; it was a maximum of nine points, period, meaning if it were 4-4, it was a sudden death set point.

I’m not a tennis fan. I haven’t followed the sport much since the heyday of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and later, Steffi Graf and Boris Becker.

If it were up to me, I would say no way to tiebreaks in all Grand Slam tournaments, at least in the decisive set. And for the championship match, it would be no tiebreaks, period.

This is akin to the four major golf tournaments eliminating the 18-hole playoff when two or more players were tied after 72 holes.

  • The U.S. Open was the last to eliminate the fifth round, going to a two-hole playoff starting in 2017; the last 18-hole playoff was at Torrey Pines in 2008, when Eldrick Woods defeated Roccco Mediate in 19 holes.
  • The last 18-hole playoff at The Masters was 1970 when Billy Casper defeated Gene Littler; Augusta National adopted sudden death in 1976, and it was first used in 1979. The Masters uses sudden death for one reason and one reason only: to make sure 60 Minutes is not delayed too long on CBS should the tournament run past 1900 ET (1800 CT). It’s the same reason why NFL games which kick off at 1505 or 1525 CT on CBS have fewer commercials than the 1200 CT kickoffs on CBS or all games on Fox and NBC.
  • The Open Championship last held an 18-hole playoff in 1975, when Tom Watson bested Jack Nicklaus at Carnoustie. The 18-hole playoff remained the tiebreak format for the Royal & Ancient through 1985; in 1986, it changed to a three-hole playoff, and later, four holes.
  • The PGA Championship eliminated the 18-hole playoff in the 1970s, first using sudden death, then changing to a three-hole playoff in the late 1990s.

Winning a major tournament in tennis and golf is supposed to be among the most difficult tasks in sports. Not to to detract from Djokovic’s thrilling victory on Centre Court, but if there weren’t tiebreaks, would the Serb win? Who knows?

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That said, I am on the other side of the fence as far as overtime in gridiron football and hockey.

There should be no overtime, period, in the regular season in those sports. If a team cannot get the job done in 60 minutes, it doesn’t deserve another chance. Better to have ties factor into a record than some convoluted tiebreaker based upon net points in conference games (NFL) or “regulation and overtime wins” (NHL).

Football and hockey are physically draining sports. Bruises, sprains and other injuries are a way of life. Why expose the players to more risk when it’s not necessary?

College and high school football should do away with their stupid version of overtime, which was foisted upon us in 1971 by Brice Durbin, then the Executive Director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, and later Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

The “Kansas playoff” is ridiculous. Starting from the 10-yard line slants the playing field so heavily in favor of the offense. Any team which can’t make three yards per play for four plays doesn’t deserve to win. Not allowing the defense to score on an interception or fumble is just as asinine. Why should the team which turned the ball over deserve a chance to stop the team forcing the turnover? If the defender runs 95 yards the other way, then that team deserves to win.

The NCAA version of overtime, also adopted by Missouri, Texas and other states, is little better. The 25 is still too close.

In 1972, my future high school, Brother Martin, played Monroe Neville to a scoreless tie in a state semifinal in New Orleans. At that time, the team which advanced was determined by first downs, and if that was tied, penetrations inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

That didn’t work for the Crusaders and Tigers, who each had nine first downs and one penetration. Louisiana High School Athletic Association director Frank Spruiell suggested the Kansas overtime to break the tie.

The coaches, Martin’s Bobby Conlin and Neville’s Charlie Brown, told Spruiell to jump in the Mississippi River. The Crusaders and Tigers got together four days later in Alexandria and played it over again. Neville won 8-0 and went on to defeat Bossier Airline three days later for the title at Monroe.

To be honest, first downs, penetrations and other statistics such as yardage, third down conversions and time of possessions are more appropriate ways to determine a victor than the Kansas playoff. The Kansas playoff is a crapshoot if there ever was one.

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The last time I was in Kansas City, I watched nine innings of a Rays-Twins game in Minneapolis.

I missed the first nine innings driving from Hays to Kansas City.

Eighteen innings? Are you kidding me?

Major League Baseball should do what the Japanese Leagues do and limit games tied after nine to a maximum of three extra innings. If the game is still tied after 12, the statistics count, but the game is thrown out and doesn’t count.

Teams play 162 games a season. What would a few ties hurt? Not a darn thing.

What is the American aversion to draws in sports? There does not have to be a winner in everything.

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I’m still at Taco Bell. That’s all for now…at least on the blog.

Post of 10 July 2019, 19:37

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, but nothing good to post about.

Friday was the worst. The absolute worst. Found out I’m so far in over my head I’ll never recover, then I got into a few shouting matches at Golden Q because some couple thought I was taking pictures of them. Bull.

I went to Salina yesterday just to clear my head a little. I didn’t leave the basement Saturday and Sunday, then only went to Hays Monday long enough to drop a FedEx in the box for Crista.

This morning, I discovered I was so stupid I threw away one of the discs from my Brady Bunch collection. Season 3, Disc 2 is gone. How dumb can I be? Fortunately, season 3 by itself only cost $9 on Amazon, so I’ll have it back Friday afternoon. But man, what am I thinking? I’m not.

I would have spent the afternoon wallowing in my stupidity, but I had an appointment with Dr. Custer. I decided to go back to Golden Q even though I knew the kitchen was close and there would be heavy renovations going on.

The air conditioning has been turned off as part of that renovation, but I’ve experienced much worse. Lucky I had a portable fan in my car. It feels pretty good right now. I’ll get my six and a half hours of Wednesday trivia before going back to Russell.

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The televisions at Golden Q have been disconnected. Thank God.

I don’t have to watch the most nauseating event on the sporting calendar.

The ESPYs.

Other than Jim Valvano’s courageous speech at the first ESPYs in 1993, the one where the beloved North Carolina State basketball coach stood tall in the face of terminal cancer and told the audience in attendance and those watching at home to never give up, I can’t think of one thing the ESPYs have contributed to better the sports world and society in general.

Naming an award after Arthur Ashe, who passed away from AIDS one month before the first ESPYs, is a good idea. However, in 2015, it was awarded to Bruce, I mean Caitlyn Jenner, simply because Bruce decided he wanted to become a woman.

I don’t have anything against anyone who wants to change their gender. There have been many times I wish I were female.

However, Jenner had no good reason to receive that award. Besides, we saw enough of Jenner and his/her family since he married Robert Kardashian’s widow (Kim, Kourntey and Khloe’s mother). I think Bruce made a huge downgrade by dumping his former wife, Linda Thompson, one of the women who caused Priscilla Presley to leave Elvis.

Worse than the ESPYs being nothing more than athletes to get together and congratulate each other on how great they are, FANS decide many of the awards.

I haven’t voted for the MLB All-Star Game since 1991, and I won’t resume anytime soon. I don’t vote in online polls for anything anymore. I don’t believe fans have the right to determine anything. They know very little to nothing.

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The Women’s World Cup is over. THANK GOD.

I have had it up to here with the far left’s favorite athlete, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan, who doesn’t look as good in a bikini as many think. The media would have you believe they are the only players in the tournament who mattered.

We’ll have to hear non-stop about these two next year at the Summer Olympics. Hopefully, they will exit the international stage and go off to make babies or do whatever with their lives.

Between those two, Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd, I’ve had it up to hear with the U.S. women’s national association football team.

Time to leave the stage, girls. Let the men take over. Nobody outside the U.S. cares anymore about you. It’s time for the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A to take their rightful places in the football spotlight.

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The fake league won the MLB All-Star Game last night. At least it doesn’t count for anything.

Bud Selig, thank you for bringing baseball back to Milwaukee. But your idea to make the All-Star Game count for home field advantage in the World Series was so asinine there isn’t a word for it. At least the Royals choked in 2014 when they had home field advantage vs. the Giants.

At least Selig has revealed he didn’t want Barry Bonds to break Hank Aaron’s career home run record. Anyone who wanted Bonds to do it thinks cheating is just fine and needs psychiatric help.

Fuck you Barry Bonds. You are cheating asshole.

And that unrepentant asshole Pete Rose can go fuck himself. You broke the rules. You lied your ass off for 15 years. And even though you’ve admitted to gambling, you still do it. Fuck you.

Sorry for the coarse language. But I hate Bonds and Rose as much as any athlete. Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are in my top 25 for sure, along with LeBron, Brady, Kawhi, Tyreek Hill and (S)Cam Newton

Kansas City (low) lights

The Kansas City morass is over for now. I got the hell out of dodge yesterday at 1040. It was past time.

Monday was nothing but boredom. Eight hours at Buffalo Wild Wings with not talking to anyone and nobody else playing trivia. Everyone I knew who works there wanted Monday off because two employees had their wedding reception Sunday night–40 days after the ceremony and 1,100 miles from where it took place. . One bartender was bitching he was up until 0400 Monday then had to come into work at 0730.

Well, dumbass, there’s no reason to be up until 0400 unless you have to be. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for you.

I am done with weddings, unless Caitlyn invites me to hers, which I doubt. I’m not getting married, and I don’t want to go to anyone else’s.

Between not seeing anyone I knew, whether it be employees at B-Dubs or fellow trivia players, and the heat, it was a waste. I didn’t make it to Columbia. Then the trunk of my car was splattered by a bird Monday night. I sat in way too much traffic.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and found a message in my Twitter DM box from Peggy. She wondered if I was still in Kansas City, because she wanted to meet me in Russell on her way to Miami County, where she was going to spend the holiday weekend with Courtney and Andy, their kids, and the rest of the Cox and Otto clans.

Thank you Peggy! You saved me a lot of pain.

The room move paid off yesterday. The room I moved to Sunday evening was directly below my other one, and I had easy up and down the east stairwell to my car. Within 45 minutes, I was packed, the car was loaded, and I could get back to Russell.

At 1430, I was back at 1224 North Brooks. Thankfully.

Peggy and I met over Subway at 1730. I wouldn’t go for Subway, but she wanted to try one of the new sandwiches on ciabatta bread. I tried one and it was great. Maybe I’ll go back for more.

I’m not big on Subway because I grew up eating too many great sandwiches in New Orleans. Between oyster po-boys, shrimp po-boys and muffulettas, I couldn’t go wrong.

Back to the Golden Q today. No Cassandra. Par for the course this week.

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The United States female association football team defeated England yesterday and now plays The Netherlands for the championship Sunday.

Alex Morgan embarrassed herself after scoring the second US goal yesterday, mocking England by mimicking a proper lady sipping tea out of a cup.

Morgan is married to some tattooed association football player from Mexico now playing in the fraud of a league known as Major League Soccer, so she will never be accused of knowing how to properly sip tea.

I am sick and tired of the American jingoistic media fawning over Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who sat out yesterday with a muscle pull. It’s as if nobody else is on the team, although Julie Ertz gets some coverage simply because her husband is a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Between the disgusting displays by US players after scoring goals to manager (do not call an association football leader a “coach”) Jill Ellis sending members of her staff to scout a hotel where England was staying in case the Americans won, I have had it up to here with this team. They were just as arrogant in 2015, when Carli Lloyd was being praised as the greatest thing since sliced bread and Hope(less) Solo was still around.

I want the Dutch to win Sunday. It would force the jingoistic Americans to shut the hell up. It’s only going to get worse between now and the opening of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

That was a very good reason to bail out of Kansas City yesterday. There were a bunch of jingoistic American fans at Buffalo Wild Wings Friday who would not shut up. Sadly, my headphones had no battery life and I stupidly forgot the charging cord in my hotel room, so I was screwed.

I know what I will not be watching Sunday. I’m ready for this crap to end.

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Wimbledon began Monday. Boy.

The non-stop Serena worship is on full blast from London. Most ESPN “experts” think Serena will win the ladies’ singles title.

I honestly don’t care who wins, as long as it is not Serena. I quit caring about tennis when Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe all passed their primes.

Another thing which gets my goat are media who keep using “WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND” in bylines. WIMBLEDON is a section of LONDON. The byline should always be LONDON. They must have forgotten a few things in journalism school.

When the Brooklyn Nets play at home, the byline always reads “NEW YORK” not “BROOKLYN, NEW YORK”. Same with the Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Islanders. It’s always NEW YORK, not the borough. Why can’t the idiots who cover Wimbledon get it?

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Looks like I may have extra trivia tonight. It is pouring in Hays, and the storm is barely moving. Reminds me of Louisiana when storms would dump buckets of rain on one place, yet five miles away, not a drop fell.

Everyone who is coming into The Q over the past hour has been soaked. I made the right choice by not cracking the windows in my Buick.

Tomorrow is INDEPENDENCE DAY. Yes, the date is 4 July, but it is INDEPENDENCE DAY in this country. Everywhere else has a 4 July, too, but it doesn’t hold the significance.

June ends badly

The last day of June was quite lazy, even by the standards of your intrepid blogger.

I dozed off the night before on the couch in my hotel room, finally heading to bed at 0035.

I slept. And slept. And slept. Every time I tried to get up, I went back to sleep. It wasn’t until 1630 I finally had the energy to move around a little bit.

All I had to do now was turn on the lights in the kitchen and living room and figure out what to do from there.

Oops.

The lights in the kitchen and living room wouldn’t come on. The air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave and oven were working, but no lights, no television, no power to the desk, which meant my computer had no juice.

Meawhile, the lights in the bedroom and bathroom were all just fine. However, without the living room and kitchen, I couldn’t very well work or eat without stumbling around in the dark.

Ugh.

An hour after this discovery, I was told I would have to move to another room.

AAARRRRRGGGHH!

It wasn’t moving so much as it was having to pack my considerable belongings and move them down two floors. I hurriedly threw everything into one bag or another for transport, and given the short time I had, I risked losing a lot of things. I think I lost a pair of scissors in the move, but if that’s all I lost, I’m fortunate.

I did not leave the hotel at all, something very rare for me. At least I thought ahead the previous night and got extra Zaxby’s. Otherwise, I would have been in deep.

It would have done no good to go to Buffalo Wild Wings. All the people I know who work there were at a reception for two of their fellow employees who got married last month. Given my history with receptions, you couldn’t pay me enough to go to one. Besides, I played trivia for six consecutive days before that.

This trip to Kansas City has been lonely for me. I’m regretting it. I never thought I would want to hurry back to Russell, but this time, I do.