Category Archives: Personal

President Leghorn? Is that possible?

Last night, I resumed my favorite hobby, playing Buzztime trivia.

Near the end of the evening, a question came up which had one of the most ridiculous answers I have ever witnessed in my four and a half years of intesne Buzztime trivia playing (I played some in 2008 and ‘09, but it wasn’t until May 2013 when I became wrapped up in playing it regularly).

The question asked, which U.S. President stated that “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself”.

Of course, anyone who remembers history in high school knows it has to be Franklin Roosevelt. I knew that in middle school, but I’m not here to brag on myself.

The other choices were John F. Kennedy, James Monroe and…

FOGHORN LEGHORN.

I’ve heard of joke answers, but that was ridiculous.

Foghorn Leghorn isn’t real–unless there is a Foghorn Leghorn out there I’ve never met. He’s a cartoon character for crying out loud!

I get the point of not making Buzztime trivia impossible–except Brainbuster, which is every Tuesday from 7 to 7:30–but come on.

The only answer which would have been more ridiculous would have been Pigasus, the fake deity who actually earned a vote during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the one where hippies rioted in the streets of Chicago.

Well, I stand corrected.

The most recent uestion just asked the nickname of Ohio State’s athletic teams. One choice: Kleptomaniacs.

Ah, Buzztime. Keeping us in stitches sometimes.

Another year on this globe

I officially turned 41 a little less than two hours ago. Of course, not as big a deal as last year, but it is Friday the 13th, the sixth time my birthday fell on a Friday. I was born on a Wednesday in case you’re curious.

My 13th birthday DID fall on Friday the 13th. I was in eighth grade at Brother Martin High (most of the Catholic high schools in New Orleans have an eighth grade), and I recall Tropical Storm Jerry formed in the Gulf of Mexico. It was pretty gray and damp the rest of the day and all of the next day.

This is the first Friday the 13th birthday since 2006, when I turned 30. I was busy that day: woke up in Wichita, drove up the Kansas Turnpike to Emporia for a tennis tournament, then went to Abilene for a football game, and finally back to Russell, becuase I had to turn around and cover a vollyeball tournament the next morning.

Last year, I was in Hays for a volleyball tournament because Cailtyn was playing and Peggy was coaching. This year, I’m in Kansas City.

My parents always leave town around the time of my birthday to go south, first to visit my brother and his family near Nashville, then down to New Orleans to visit my Uncle Jerry and also gamble on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My parents were going to go to Biloxi right after visting Nashville, but had to alter their plans when Hurricane Nate came ashore in Mississippi last Saturday night. They went yesterday instead.

The first professional sports event of my lifetime was Game 4 of the 1976 American League Championship Series, which started a little more than five hours after I came into the world. The Royals needed to win in the rebuilt Yankee Stadium to stay alive. They did, prevailing 7-4, setting up the fifth and deciding game the next night. Of course, the Yankees won that one 7-6 when Chris Chambliss hit Mark LIttell’s first pitch of the bottom of the ninth (barely) over the right-center field fence to send the Bronx Bombers to their first World Series since 1964. Maybe it was best the Royals missed out on that World Series, because Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine destroyed the Yankees in four straight. I don’t think Kansas City would have fared any better.

The Royals lost to the Yankees in the ALCS in both 1977 and 1978 as well before finally breaking through in 1980 (the Orioles defeated the Angels in the 1979 ALCS). At the time, Kansas City tied the Mets as the fastest MLB teams to reach the postseason (8 seasons), although the Metropolitans won the World Series in 1969.

Not going to be a particularly busy birthday. Lots of trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings and a visit to Minksy’s later. Same for tomorrow. Sometimes routine is good.

The end (of June 2017) is in sight

Yesterday was a very long day. Woke up at 6:30–the alarm started crowing. Then Crista. Then Dr. Jones to get my eyes checked. Small area of concern in the left eye, something she hopes will clear up as my blood sugar improves. I’m sure she will report to Dr. Custer, whom I see again in September.

I drove half-bllind from Hays to Topeka. My eyes were dilated so Dr. Jones could examine them. I wore my old prescription sunglasses, and I was having a devil of a time seeing the car radio. I was fine to drive, but reading small print was a hassle. I finally inserted my contcts at Topeka so I could wear my Oakley sunglasses, which are much darker than my prescription lenses. Got to Kansas City and Buffalo Wild Wings at 3:30.

Around 6:30, a man accosted me at the bar and asked me if I was using my iPad to take pictures. My first instinct would have been to yell at him and call him a few unprintable words. Instead, I was focused on the TV screen with trivia. I let him stand there for a few minutes before he got the point. He complained to management. I showed Jarrod, the general manager, my iPad that it had no picutres of anything in the restaurant except the screen with trivia. I stayed until 8:30, which was leaving time anyway. 

I was offended at the accusation. Why would I risk going to jail in a place 250 miles from home? And certainly why would I risk trouble at a place I have been going for four years and want to keep going to? I told Robb and he was not happy to hear. He and his brother, Tim, came to play with me for a little while in the late afternoon. 

I am staying at the KCI Hilton this time. I rarely stay at Hilton properties. I am angry Hilton has not made all of its hotels, which also include Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites and Doubletree, smoke-free like Marriott has. Fortunatelly, the KCI Hilton went smoke-free earlier this year after seeing non-smoking customers bleed away to the Marriott and Four Points near the airport. 

I had trouble getting the luggage cart in the door, but for the first time when staying by myself, I did not have to stop by the front desk for a key.

The KCI Hilton offers a digital key. It is sent to your smartphone, and using Bluetooth, it sends a signal to the phone when you are near your room or any other space which requires a key to access. All I had to do was hit a button on my phone when I got to the room, and voila! Open sesame. 

I have not forgotten my key in a long time; I always put one in my wallet immediately after check-in and use the other when I need to leave the room but not leave the property. This morning, no key to forget! 

The room is very nice. The TV selection isn’t as good as the Farifield at KCI, which has DirecTV, but the bed was plush and there’s enough electrical outlets. There is room service, but it would cost more for a 10-ounce strip than it does for the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye at Outback. Speaking of Outback, the regular ribeye I had last night was superb. Charred outside, but nice and red inside. 

It poured AGAIN last night. Severe storm rolled in at 9:45 and blew through in 30 minutes. Over three inches of rain at KCI. In Carrollton, where Frank and Elaine Mercer lived before moving to Russell–they still own and publish the Carrollton Democrat–there was at least seven inches. This is the fourth time I have witnessed severe weasther in Kansas City this month. The rain is probably done until Monday. I’m planning on leaving Sunday night, but that could change. 

Getting the oil changed at McCarthy-Morse Chevrolet this morning. May be the last time here. My dad is talking about how his dad won’t be able to drive much longer and I’ll inherit his Buick LeSabre. 

I’m supposed to meet Larry (Mizzou) at Buffalo Wild Wings in Liberty for some trivia later. I also need to hit Minsky’s. 25 percent off through Tuesday! 

I’m eating 7-11 hot dogs for breakfast. It is a much better option than doughnuts for a diabetic, and I wasn’t in the mood to fight McDonald’s or another fast food place. Besides, it’s less expensive and I got a free Super Big Gulp. 

I ordered four movies from the 1980s on Blu-Ray on Amazon yesterday. They’ll arrive Monday. One of them I’ll discus in an upcoming post.

Lazy bones awakens

Geez! Eleven days since my last post. Lazy. Very lazy on my part. There hasn’t been that much exciting going on in my life, save for the trips to Kansas City and watching too much sports. On the other hand, it isn’t an excuse not to post something, anything. Sorry if you’ve been looking for the juicy details. 

I did leave Kansas City a week ago Wednesday after the extended Memorial Day trip. I didn’t leave town until after 7 that night, because I wanted to wait around and see Robb and Dawn. Also, I had planned to stay even longer that night, but if I had, I would have been back after midnight. 

I made a quickie trip there last weekend. Arrived Saturday morning, left Sunday night. Enough time to get in 17 hours of trivia and get out of town. I did not see Robb and Dawn Sunday as I had hoped, but I got to see enough people I wanted to, both at Buffalo Wild Wings and Minsky’s. 

The college baseball postseason is down to the super regionals, with eight best-of-three matchups beginning Friday. LSU plays Mississippi State in Baton Rouge starting Saturday night, the very last super regional to get underway. The first to start is the Bluegrass, Kentucky at Louisville, Friday at 11 a.m. Central. Six Southeastern Conference schools are in the super regionals. The other matchups are Vanderbilt-Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton-Long Beach State, Sam Houston State-Florida State, Davidson-Texas A&M, Missouri State-TCU and Wake Forest-Florida. The winners of these series head to Omaha for the College World Series beginning June 17. 

It’s 2-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals. I was praying the Penguins would have skated the Cup Monday night. Instead, they are in a fight  for their lives with the Underwoods, er, Predators. Lord, please do not let the Stanley Cup reside in Tennessee. Hockey does not belong in Tennessee, period. Or Florida. Or North Carolina. Or Georgia…oh right, that one is taken care of. 

The NBA Finals resume tonight. Golden State, please win the next two games so we don’t have to hear about the NBA! I have had enough of the NBA. ENOUGH. I haven’t cared about it since the late 1980s. 

Bob Stoops retired today as Oklahoma’s football coach. More on that in another post. 

Exhausted–the good kind

When I left Russell at 6 am. yesterday morning, I had no idea it would be a day like it turned out to be.

The plan was after my time at Buffalo Wild Wings in Liberty, I would go over to Zona Rosa. I had no idea whether or not I would go to Buffalo Wild Wings there, or go immediately to Minsky’s.

I didn’t make it to Minsky’s.

Not because I didn’t want to go. I was feeling bad for not going over there to see Lindsay and Tara.

There were people who grabbed my attention–three of whom I had no earthly idea I would see yesterday.

I arrived at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa at 3:30. I asked Robb what his plans were, and he said he and Dawn would try to be there by 5:30. I told him I didn’t know how long I could hold on there before getting the itch to cross Barry Road.

I ate at Liberty, so I wasn’t eating at Zona Rosa. No Buffalo Wild Wings twice in a day. That’s a new rule for me. There were times where I’d eat twice at B-Dubs Zona Rosa the same day. Not anymore. The food isn’t that great. With Minsky’s and Outback right there, why bother with B-Dubs again?

Just before 5, I got a tap on my shoulder. It was Molly.

I knew she would be working tomorrow from 11 to 5, but her arrival was a pleasant surprise. I told Robb I would stay for awhile. I could see Lindsay and Tara later.

Robb and Dawn got there at 5:30. I thought we’d be there for an hour and half to two hours, then I’d cross Barry Road.

When Robb posted his high score in Countdown, he got a Facebook comment from an ex-Buffalo Wild Wings employee stating she and another ex-employee would be arriving around 8:30.

The ex-employee: Shannon Swanson. Her accomplice: Lisa Toebben.

Whoa.

Shannon was in town from Chicago. Lisa is trying to balance her 18-month old son, Liam, and prepare for her October wedding in St. Louis.

Robb and Dawn could not stay that long. They left at 8:30. I was still there, and I also ran into another trivia pal, Bob (ARROWHEAD), who has been going through a tough time as of late, following the death of his mother last month. His mother was 99 and lived a full life, something I can only hope for.

Shannon and Lisa didn’t arrive at 8:30. They weren’t there at 9. Morgan asked me why I was still there at that late hour, and I revealed it. She was quite surprised as well.

It wouldn’t be the first time I would see a former Buffalo Wild Wings sweetheart this month.

Elizabeth Psenski was in town last week. I saw her twice. Of course she had to hug me more than a few times. Now I have to go to Colorado Springs to see her.

Shannon and Lisa arrived at 9:30. They sat next to me at the bar and visited with Molly, Trey and all the employees they knew, plus a few guests they recognized. We talked about Liam, about a guy Shannon is seeing, and other things going on. I didn’t divulge much about myself, but I promised I would send a message about what’s been going on in my sessions with Crista.

Shannon and Lisa were the ones who pushed me to get help in late 2014. They kept on me about it. They were not going to put up with me the way I was going, which was straight down the toilet. And to be honest, they should not have put up with me in that state. Fortunately they prevailed upon me, and Dr. Custer got me referred, which led to me seeing Crista.

I hated leaving at 10:50, but I finally did. I used the excuse I was an “old man”, although I wasn’t fooling Lisa, since I’m sure Jeff has had many sleepless nights. Eleven and a half hours at two Buffalo Wild Wings. That was plenty. At least it was good.

After picking up a steak at Outback–I hadn’t eaten since 2:15–I stopped in at Minsky’s to say hello to Lindsay and Tara. I promised I’d be back later today.

The best thing other than seeing Larry, Robb, Dawn, Molly, Shannon and Lisa? My contacts did not irritate me, even though I wore them 19 hours.

It’s now a little after 1 a.m. I’m not yawning, but I am weary. A happy weary.

Today looks stormy. As long as I can get to Barry Road without much trouble. I’m sure it will be soaked when I drive from B-Dubs to Minsky’s, which makes me worry a bit about some maniac causing an accident.

I’ve seen more rain this year than I have since moving to Kansas. People can stop complaining about a drought. Then again, they’d better not waste water, because if the drought returns, there will be hell to pay.

Friday on another track, part 2

I’ve been at Buffalo Wild Wings too long. I just forgot to change a trivia answer and got zero points. Oh well. It happens. It would have angered me so much when I was playing trivia in past years, but now, it’s a reminder I have to stay on my toes. It is easy to get distracted with all the electronic gadgets. 

I’m leaving the restaurant in Liberty just before 3. Time to drive west on Missouri Highway 152 to the Zona Rosa area. Whether I go to Buffalo Wild Wings there or to Minsky’s is up in the air. 

I don’t care where I am today. I’m glad I am not at Wichita State University covering the Kansas State High School Activities Association state track and field championships. I have nothing against the athletes. Nothing against the coaches. Nothing against the spectators. 

I’m especially glad I’m not covering this year. It is hot and humid, much more so than it has been in recent years on this date. It isn’t as hot as it was the first time I covered the meet in 2006, but it’s bad enough. 

My beef lies with the KSHSAA itself, Wichita State’s athletic department, and the officials who run the meet. I’ll get into that in another post. 

The only sad thing is I’m missing Caitlyn’s final high school event. She and her teamamtes on Norton’s 4×100-meter relay qualified for the final, but the 4×400 relay was eliminated in the prelims. Caitlyn’s final race is tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll be in Kansas City. I feel bad for her. I’ve abandoned her this track seaosn, and I wouldn’t blame her, or anyone else in her family, if they told me to get bent. 

It’s about time to leave. I’m ready to go because some asshole at the bar keeps going out to smoke his cancer sticks and he smells worse than my feces. I HATE CIGARETTES. PERIOD. HATE THEM. HATE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING ON EARTH. 

Friday on another track

I was up at 4:45 this morning. By 6 am., I was in my car and driving.

Unlike past years, I was not driving from the Wichita Marriott on North Webb Road to Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium. I was simply driving from Russell to Kansas City for a long weekend. I need to see those I know in town, play some trivia and eat some good food. And I need to do it before it gets unbearably hot and humid.

I don’t have much desire to come to Kansas City this summer, especially when it gets to be as miserable as I remember Louisiana. Nothing can be as oppressive as a Louisiana summer (okay, it can be), but I don’t want to feel like that again. Hot and less humid in western Kansas is terrible enough.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association track and field championships are today and tomorrow at WSU. I covered the meet 10 consecutive years from 2006-15, but I have not set foot on campus since. I am so glad I am  not covering that meet anymore, but that’s another blog post.

I checked in to the Fairfield Inn Liberty just before 10 a.m. I couldn’t believe I got the message that my room was ready before I left Russell. Usually, it isn’t until the afternoon when the room is ready, which means I go to Buffalo Wild Wings to kill time, then check in. This time, the check in is first, meaning all my crap is out of the car, and I can relax.

I’m staying in Clay County this time instead of the Fairfield near the airport in Platte County. Figured a change of scenery would be good, at least for a  few days. The good news is Price Chopper and Zaxby’s are very close just off Interstate 35. Outback is a still a ways, but the way they’ve been burning my steaks as of late, maybe I’ll skip.

I’m going to Buffalo Wild Wings Liberty in a little bit. Hopefully Larry is there so we can play trivia and go over the news and sports of the world. I have to make my way the Zona Rosa area sooner or later. Minsky’s with Lindsay and Tara?  Definitely. Buffalo Wild Wings? Don’t know. Tori is still on vacation (in New Orleans, no less). I know I’ll be there tomorrow with Molly.

I stayed up a little later last night than I would have liked, because I wanted to see the end of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh NHL game. The Penguins won 3-2 in the second overtime to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, where they play the Nashville Predators starting Monday. Guess who I will be rooting for? HINT: Not the team Carrie Underwood likes.

The Cavaliers won last night to advance to the NBA Finals vs. the Warriors. I still won’t watch.

Bad start to May

This has not been the best week for me. I’ve had worse, but this one has been downright dreadful at times. 

It wasn’t so bad until 3:30 Monday.

That’s when Interstate 70 westbound in Topeka came to a dead stop. DEAD STOP. As in an elevated parking lot. 

About a mile west of the Kansas state capitol, everything screeched to a halt. And from what I could gather, the traffic was stopped all the way to the junction with I-470 a mile west of Wannamker Road, and then the backup continued into Wabaunsee County. 

I wasn’t about to sit in a parking lot for a very long time. I had to find a way to get off the damn interstate and turn around. However, the nearest exit was over a mile away. Then a trooper threatened to ticket me for ‘not staying in the lane’. What the FUCK? There were only two fucking lanes of traffic, and neither was moving. As tempting as it was to get on the shoulder to find the exit, I wasn’t going to risk it. The trooper was looking to arreast someone. 

I finally found my way out of the parking lot. I had to double back seven miles to return to the Kansas Turnpike, then divert southwest all the way to WICHITA. I could have gotten off at Emporia and taken US 50 to Newton, but I had no desire to go on the two-laners. None. 

It took four and a half hours to divert from Topeka to Wichtia and finally arrive in Russell. Somehow I made it wihtout stopping. I was beat. Really beat.

I should not have been surprised I-70 came to a standstill in Topeka. First, the interstate through downtown Topeka is ridiculoulsy narrow, and there is no room whatsoever for expansion. Whomever designed it that way was truly stupid. Second, traffic in almost every capital city I’ve been through in the US is horrible. The roll call: Baton Rouge, Topeka, Oklahoma City, Austin, Jackson, Montgomery, Columbia, Tallahassee, Lincoln, Nashville, and of course, Atlanta. 

The exception: Frankfort. Breezed right by on I-64 leaving Lexington. Going in wasn’t bad, either, save for the normal rush hour of state employees leaving work on the day I arrived in Kntucky.  

Tuesday was a torture day of work. Wednesday was more of the same, but I was also groggy as hell because I took seroquel to sleep better. 

Then I find out Wednesday Norton is coming to Russell’s track meet tomorrow. I really had no desire to go to a track meet. None. Now Peggy is trying to guilt me into going. UGH. 

I took seroquel again last night. Couldn’t get going until after 1. Finally I made it out. Drove to Salina for trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings. But now I’ll be thinking about that track meet tomorrow on the drive back to Russell and then when I get home. Sleep will be tough tonight. 

Russell has had more rain in the first four months of 2017 than it normally has in a full year. This summer will be the worst for mosquitoes I have witnessed in Kansas. Nothing, though, will ever be as miserable as Louisiana summers. I don’t miss my native state most of the year for that reason. 

All by myself in a packed place

I’m almost to the point of total boredom with Kansas City. There, I said it.

The trip to Kentucky came at a perfect time. It not only got me out of Russell and the trouble I have at home, it also got me away from Kansas City and some of the thigns that go on there. Believe me, if I didn’t have work to get done or an appointment with Crista today, I might have stayed in Kentucky a little longer. I’m going to have to find time to go back there. Probably not during the summer because Kentucky can be quite humid, even in the higher elevations of the Appalachian valley. 

I woke up at 4:30 yesterday and left Kansas City at 5;20. I had a 10 am appointment in Hays with Crista. I was groggy the whole way. I took seroquel before going to bed Wednesday night, and while it helped me sleep, it left me lagging a bit as I drove west on Interstate 70. Crista could tell I was worn out during our appointment, which ended after 45 minutes. It wasn’t anything with her. I was just beat. 

I had to stay at home for a little while to get some aggravating work done. I left Russell at 4:45 and drove to Topeka, where I stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings to play some trivia. My favorite game, SIX, is at 7:30 Wednesday and Thursday evenings. I could have stopped in Salina and played a little longer, but if I did, I wouldn’t get out of Salina until 8:30, which meant I’d be back in Kansas City no earlier than 11. By stopping in Topeka instead, I was able to get back to Kansas City before 10, which meant I could get Outback to go. 

Today has been a lonely sojourn. Stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings near Liberty to see if Larry was playing trivia and/or Tina was bartending. They weren’t. I stayed for about 40 minutes then headed to Zona Rosa. The music playing on the jukebox at that B-Dubs was beyond awful. I wanted to scream. I didn’t stay that long, didn’t order food. 

Finally made it to Minsky’s just before 4. Somehow, I feel lonely even though the place is packed. There’s a lady sitting to my left who probably thinks I’m totally perverted. 

Return to routine

I’m driving my car again, and I’m sitting on my familiar barstool at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa. Slowly but surely, I’m back to the routine life. 

I returned the rental today, even though it wasn’t due back until tomorrow. It saved $23 in parking fees at KCI. I already ran up enough as it was, parking there for six days. But what else was I do? It would have been cheaper to park at Wichita and drive up the Kansas Turnpike, but that would have taken extra time. The rental fees out of Wichita would not have been that much different than KCI. I probably could have rented out of Wichita had I not had the appointment with Crista last Wednesday. Would  have been able to drive to Wichita Tuesday night, wake up early, rent the car, then go. 

I know I made the right decision to drive all the way to Kansas City yesterday. It would not have been fun driving three and a half hours across Missouri after going six yesterday. I figured I might as well get it all done yesterday. 

I would not have been able to leave early because of all the work I had to get done, and what about traffic? Maybe I would have got to enjoy more White Castle, but now I have an excuse to drive to Columbia every so often. That and the rye Triscuits. A dozen boxes should last me until June, but they might be too hard to resist. 

This trip really opened my eyes to what is lacking in Kansas and the Kansas City area. No White Castle. No rye Triscuit. No Marathon gas stations. Very little Shell stations. No Mobil stations. At least there’s Zaxby’s in Lawrence, becuase Chick-Fil-A does not have variety, and Raising Cane’s is highly overrated. I am still praying Buzztime will come to Hays–other than the Fort Hays State studnet union–soon. 

I also don’t like staying in a hotel for only one night. Usually, I try to make it three nights, uusally more. When I stopped in St. Louis last week, it was the rare times in recent years I was in and out of a hotel. I did it last year going from Russell to Wichita and then to Lawrence in the morning. Kansas City is usually three nights or more. 

I have to go back to Kentucky. Sooner not later.