Taking Note of a Few Things: The Coaches, Dogs, and more Complaints Edition

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In less than one day, the sports world saw the end of three great football coaches. Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks was fired, Nick Saban of Alabama retired, and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was “let go.”  Each is in their early 70’s and each would seem to have more coaching life in them if they choose to continue elsewhere.

Whenever I read of a great coach who steps down, especially one as old as these three, what follows is an obituary. There is no other way to describe what is written about them other than if the writer just adds actual death facts, you have an obituary. These guys are like Tom Sawyer and get to learn how the world thinks of them.

Former Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll (Claudia Gestro)
Former New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. Is he the GOAT ?
(Claudia Gestro)

Of the three, there is no doubt that Pete Carroll is the most admired person. At 72, he still is able to relate to young men playing a game. It’s safe to say neither Belichick or Saban ever tried to relate to their players the way Carroll did. Players were simply pieces on a football chess board to use and discard as needed.

Home Depot finally showed up to deliver my washer and dryer only for me to be told they couldn’t install them. Ten days of laundry life I will never get back, a canceled order that only caused me to have my credit card compromised, and the realization I am better off dealing with a local company that offers a more personal approach.

I finally had to call Waste Management and leave a message that most likely made them realize they had a lunatic on their hands. After being assured the three trash cans they took for some reason were not delivered as promised on two occasions, I ranted, raved, and told them they had a choice of telling their delivery guy he had to change his schedule for me or I was about to unleash hell and garbage on them. I guess they took me seriously and decided to change their schedule. Three cans were dropped off to my delight.

Fifteen minutes later, my mail arrived with my first bill from Waste Management.

The world will be run by robots and that’s not so bad, at least if you shop at Wal-Mart in Chico. I was in my local store and decided on a whim to see if they had any lawn mowers. I went out to their Garden Center and saw what was a nice one that was locked to the shelf for security reasons. Then I saw a woman about my age standing at a register even though there was no one but me shopping. Another woman half my age was perched on a chair that allowed her to appear as if she was security. Both were content to do nothing for a living.

I asked for help to get the mower unlocked and the younger woman used her handheld radio to call for someone to come out. Five minutes later, no one showed so she actually had to walk to the store’s front desk and page for help. Five minutes later, there was still no sign of help, so I moved on. The younger me might have found a pair of heavy-duty pliers or a cable cutter in their tool department and cut the security cable. The new older me just told myself to add this store to my list of places to skip in the future.

The Wal-Mart in Oxnard that was near my apartment had wonderful help. Maybe that’s why their store was always filled with shoppers whenever I went in and the one here in Chico was pretty much empty.

Laverne and Shirley, my two canine roommates, have grown like weeds in the five days I have had them. They used to just curl up under my desk and nap away while I fart around on-line. Now they grunt, groan, and let me know my feet are no longer welcome because they can’t fit under the desk as well. This morning, when I woke up, they were curled up on the floor by my closet instead of underneath my bed where they have been sleeping. I guess they need more head room.

It was another wet and dreary day yesterday and the girls were confined to the backyard. After the amount of shit and piss from them the day before I cleaned up inside, I decided they just need to be outside dogs more than inside. They didn’t mind. They ran, they chased, they tackled, they wrestled, they dug, and they even used their outdoor dog house without complaint. When I finally brought them inside, they just collapsed together and slept on the carpet rather than using it as their personal potty pads.

I was really tired as well, but did not want to nap in my bed for fear I would sleep too long. I grabbed a pillow and curled up on the carpet with the idea I would only nap a few minutes before my aching body would wake me. Instead, it was Laverne and Shirley telling me it was time for dinner.

Dating profiles are much different up here even though I am on the same sites. Single white women in Ventura County are just plain nuts. The things they want and claim to expect from a future Long-Term Relationship (LTR) had me just swiping past each profile and pretty much only interested in women who moved here from another country. Up north, the white women want someone who still wants to camp in a tent instead of staying at a four-star hotel. Their photos include things like them holding large fish they caught instead of puckered lips and a painted face to hide their years.

The difference between the two has helped me realize that I just need to stick with Laverne and Shirley for the time being.

The curtains I bought to hang in front of my sliding door were way too long. I can stitch a dart in a pair of shorts too big in the waist, but I am not about to tackle the task of rehemming the curtains. I could return them but needed them for privacy, so I did what a real bachelor does. I took them down and folded over the bottom hem twice and used double sticky tape to hold in place. When that did not do the job, I took out my stapler. I figure if someone is the sort of person who notices this immediately, I don’t want that person in my life.

If I was younger, I would have built a roof already over my back patio. I have a feeling it won’t be much longer before I do. Furniture can wait.

Does anyone have any faith in either Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis being viable candidates for the GOP if they decide to ditch Trump? Can either connect with anyone beyond the GOP base? Have they done anything that might convince a voter they have a spine and will lead the nation instead of just serving as a yes man or yes woman to the far right?

Of the two, I would vote for Haley before I voted for Adolf DeSantis.

There is a real void of leadership in this nation. I like President Biden and believe he has done far more good than bad and I intend to vote for him again this fall. However, he is viewed as old which leads to people in his own party attempting to position themselves to become the next leader of the Democratic Party. However, this nation does not need another opportunist nearly as much as it needs someone who can lead from the top down. We need a person who commands the respect of any group with a special interest and who will toe the line when he or she reminds them of who is calling the shots.

We live in a time where we see the shortcomings of win/win leadership. When you coach a sport, you learn someone is in charge and the rest are expected to follow. Hopefully, as a coach, you inspire people to want to follow. It’s no different anywhere else. However, too many people in positions of leadership think they have to come up with solutions where everyone thinks they win. It’s impossible to appease everyone and leaders who try only regret doing so.

By the way, for MAGATs who might read this, Trump was not such a leader. He was in it for himself and no one else. If you think the buck stopped with him, you might be stupid. The buck only lined his wallet, but his trials have shown they certainly never came close to stopping with him.

If or when Trump ends up in prison, he is more apt to be seen as a cartel leader who needs busting out of prison with the use of force rather than someone who was the victim of a political witch hunt. If he wins in November and avoids jail, he will be nothing short of a dictator who upends all this nation was founded on. Our nation’s future is better off with him as a jailed cartel leader.

In another week or so, Chico will be flooded with college students returning from winter break.

I need to start wearing a mask out in public again. I live alone, am 65 years old, and will soon be in a community filled with young people who feel invincible to illness. It’s a perfect recipe for me catching COVID for the first time.

If I have learned one thing since I brought Laverne and Shirley into my life, it is that if I collapse dead inside my home, Laverne will feast on my dead carcass while Shirley patiently sits at my side and waits for me to feed her.

Once the sun rises and the freeze thaws today, I look forward to going out to the backyard and seeing how many apples that fell off my neighbor’s tree into my yard that the dogs ate yesterday. It’s saving me on dog food, but it won’t be long before there are not any more free dog treats.

I can hear the sound of a train off in the distance because of how quiet it is outside. It’s nothing like when I lived two blocks from the tracks in college. It sounds more like falling rain.

Short of the entire state getting hit by a massive earthquake, I would like to know why we have a $38 billion dollar deficit when not that long ago we were swimming in money. I’d also like to know who is going to pay the bill? Housing in California is already too high so expecting the average taxpayer to pay more is unacceptable. Thinking the wealthy will pay is delusional. Cutting services in a state overrun with people in need is heartless. This is entirely a Democrat problem given how the GOP holds zero clout in this state.

When any political party holds a super majority, it doesn’t take long to understand why our founding fathers wanted nothing to do with creating a nation led by a king. Too much power in the hands of any singular party is a recipe for taxpayer disaster.

Running up debt for offering too many social programs doesn’t seem as bad as doing so for fighting wars to feed the military-inddustrial complex, but at the end of the fiscal year, both mean the average citizen can expect to pay the price. Debt is debt and it is irresponsible for any governing group to blatantly disregard fiscal responsibility.

The last time I checked, kick the can was a game for children. Kicking the can of bill paying is criminal, but the sentence for the crime is always paid by the innocent. The first place federal or state leaders should legally be required to cut funding to is their salaries and benefits. Making lobbying a crime instead of a benefit for corporations and elected leaders would also help. If elected leaders are doing the job they are expected to do, the public would not notice them nearly as much as we do for constantly failing to accomplish much good.

As the football season nears completion, we get closer to the primary season. Since both Biden and Trump seem shoo-ins to take their party’s nomination, it may seem pointless to even hold them. However, since they often contain important state measures, they serve to show us how voters feel about important issues.

National polls are pointless when it comes to predicting who will win the presidential election in November. What matters most are the individual state polls, especially in swing states like Pennsylvania. Most states are either strongly blue or red or lean heavily one way or the other. However, given our use of the Electoral College in determining who is elected president, presidential elections are usually decided by five to ten states often too close to call.

The only political prediction I feel 100% confident making for November is Joe Biden will comfortably win the national vote total. However, this century has shown the national vote means nothing when electing our president. I just hope it is not determined by the vote of our Supreme Court.

There are powers in play who want to drag our country into an expanded war in the Middle East. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthi, are terrorist groups funded and trained by enemy nations of ours, doing everything they can to drag us into what began as a Hamas attack on Israel last October 7th. The more problems these groups create, the more this turns into a multi-front war that Israel can’t fight alone.

Diplomacy does not work with groups who have no problem looking you in the eyes and lying to your face. It also doesn’t work with people who see negotiating as a weakness and whose followers believe death on a battlefield ensures an eternity in Paradise.

An enemy who does not respect or abide by the rules of war is not owed the benefits of the Geneva Convention. Just as a homeowner would not give a pest an opportunity to find another home to dwell in, terrorists are best eradicated when caught off guard and overwhelmed. If a neighbor’s vicious dog gets out and threatens your loved ones, you don’t negotiate with your neighbor first.

When the Biden administration okayed a joint military exercise against Houthi sites used to attack ships and disrupt world-wide shipping lanes, it was the right thing to do. However, by doing the right thing, it has also moved us closer to a larger and more costly conflict. If there is one thing to worry about it is not whether we should help eliminate Houthis ability to cause the world major problems, it is whether we can do it without spending trillions of dollars and decades doing so in the process.