There are a couple of things I want to talk about today, but first, let me say thank you to everyone that bade me a happy birthday, through one social medium or another. Monday was my 52nd birthday. It wasn't a milestone or anything, so festivities were low key. (But not so low key that Pinky didn't make me a German Chocolate Cake! Whoo Hoo!)
I talked to my mom, who always calls me at 1:30 PM on my birthday, because that was the time I arrived.
By the way, don’t think I’m not relieved that I wasn't born at 1:30 AM!
[Brrrrrrring! Brrrrrrrring!] [Reaches for the phone, falls out of bed, gets tangled up in the covers] “Dammit Mom, can’t you just call me during the day??”
Anyway, she relayed something my Uncle Joe told her about my birthday. He was at home with their mom when they received the news of my birth. They realized I was my parents’ 1st child and the 1st grandchild, born on a Sunday, the 1st day of the week on the 1st day of the month, in 1961. As Grandma said, “That’s a lotta ones.”
I realize now that I ought to consider “1” to be my lucky number, and maybe go so far as to get a “1” necklace or something. But I’d rather not look like a giant douche canoe, walking around with #1 around my neck, like I was all that. I’d feel more like a big pile of #2.
At work, this morning, my cubicle neighbor (as in “next door,” not “shaped like a cube”), who is about 10-12 years older than me, asked me how it felt to be 52. I said, “I feel like the same dumbass I was last week. When does all that ‘wisdom of the ages’ to come rushing in.”
She said, “When you get old, you get wisdom, but then you have to pray you don’t forget it!”
And that’s why I love coming into work every day.
The Shutdown Bluz
I haven’t said much about the previously expected and now come to pass government shutdown, mostly because it’s just so goddamned stupid. The Tea Party kamikazes on the right are showing how little they care about much of anything, except hating the president and getting their own way.
For what might seem to be a complicated situation, it really isn't.
*Obama ran for president in 2008, campaigning on health care reform, and he won.
*Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate took a Republican idea from the 90s and formulated it into the Affordable Care Act, and passed it in both houses.
*The GOP tried every measure available to repeal, override and defund the ACA, but were unable to do so. They went to court to have it declared unconstitutional and lost.
*Obama ran for a second term, defending the ACA as successful health care reform, and won by an even larger margin. Democrats in the Senate gained seats. The House GOP held serve, thanks largely in part to extensive gerrymandering and voter suppression.
So now, with the ACA about to take effect, the GOP goes with the nuclear option and digs in their heels to shut down the government, by refusing to pass any kind of budget, provisional or otherwise, until they get their way.
The real laughable part is how they’re claiming the American people (for some reason) don’t want access to affordable health care, and that Obama and the Democrats won’t negotiate. Are they kidding? What’s to negotiate? The American spoke loudly in 2008 and 2012, with full knowledge that health care reform was on the table. That game is over. They lost.
These Teabaggers are like a 5-year old who won’t eat his vegetables, lights the tablecloth on fire and then complains that his mommy won’t negotiate. The only reasonable course of action is to put out the fire, wrestle the matches out of his hand and lock him in the fruit cellar until he can learn to cooperate.
Bedlam in Buc-ville and the Rule of Three
So how about those Pittsburgh Pirates? Wow, that game on Tuesday night was unreal. Playoff baseball came to Pittsburgh for the first time in 21 years, and the whole freakin’ city showed up. And now that they've survived a single-game elimination, versus the Reds, it’s on to a five-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s such a novelty to me to be able to follow the Pirates this late in the season. I know I've written far more about the Orioles, but that’s the team to which I have the most access. I never stopped considering the Pirates to be my #1 team.
I’m so happy reading tweets and updates and blog posts from people that have just been aching for a winner at PNC Park. People were dying for a chance to become invested in Pirates baseball and it’s finally here. If you saw the game, you heard it yourself as over 40,000 people shook the press box and shook up the Reds pitcher.
So it’s great watching the hubbub, albeit from a distance. So far this is the best thing I've seen:
This is from St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh, and the same place that swaddled the newborns in Terrible Towels during the Steelers’ last Super Bowl run. Obviously, with the Steelers’ 0-4 record so far this year, making the playoffs this year seems unlikely.
But it got me thinking about something and I've formed a hypothesis. Ahem…
“Only two of Pittsburgh’s three professional teams can be good at any given time.”
In the 70s, the Steelers and Pirates were good, and the Penguins sucked. In 80s, all three pretty much sucked. Early 90s, the Pens and Pirates were good, but the Steelers sucked (at the end of the Chuck Noll era). Then through the late 90s to early 2000s, the Pens and Steelers were good, but the Pirates sucked. Same thing in the late 2000s up to last year.
So now it looks like the Steelers’ turn to suck. The Pirates are in the playoffs, the Pens are still loaded with talent, and the Steelers have begun their season in woeful fashion. (Barring a major turnaround, I project them to end up 4-12.)
So this year Pittsburgh has two out of three good teams, which as Meat Loaf would say, “Ain’t Bad.”
Luckily for me, the Ratbirds aren't looking so hot themselves, either, at 2-2. You know, this might be the year I see if what I always say is true… that I would be OK with the Steelers ending up 2-12, providing the two wins were over the Ravens.
But OMG, I can’t believe what THAT might lead to… the AFC North Division Champion Cleveland Browns?
Nah… no sense in talking foolish…