Taking Note of a Few Things: The Not So Super Edition

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Folks love politicizing issues without knowing the real culprit when a problem arises. Case in point, gas. Home heating costs have skyrocketed this winter in California and people have blamed our governor, Gavin Newsom, or the president for his policies. The price we pay at the pump has also increased five straight weeks. However, the real culprit lies in greed. When a company like ExxonMobil turns a fourth quarter profit of $12.75 billion dollars, gas in any form ought to be far more affordable.

Poor Shell Oil. They only managed a $39.9 billion dollar profit last year.

One of the selling points for battery powered vehicles is that buying one is supposed to ease your conscience about the carbon footprint we leave behind. I won’t get into the environmental issue of what to do with all these batteries once they age out. Let’s just say I no longer feel bad when I toss out a AA battery to a clock that needs a new one. However, when I read where the battery on a Tesla recently burst into flames and required over 6,000 gallons of water before it was put out, either the firefighters called to the scene were poor at aiming their hoses or the footprint of the scorched vehicle was much more than Elon Musk wants us t believe.

Cognitive decline is perhaps the biggest fear of anyone once they hit sixty. A recent study shows that people who have experienced three or more concussions earlier in life are far more prone to cognitive decline as they age than those who have not. Another study shows people who have actively engaged in aerobic exercise throughout their lives have far sharper cognitive skills than those who avoided exercise. What I want to know is what happens to guys like me who have had multiple concussions but have been lifelong runners?

I don’t dare mention the passing of any recent celebrity because by the time I complete this and it goes to press, ten more will have passed. Let’s just say the year is off to a rough start for some of our favorite celebs.

George Santos has stepped down from the two committees he was appointed to before ever attending a meeting. This will no doubt be the best work he does while serving in congress.

It doesn’t matter if the GOP dumps Santos. They are used to national embarrassments and in their minds, Santos serves a wonderful purpose — by taking up so much media coverage, it keeps the likes of Marjorie Taylor-Green, Matt Gaetz, and a host of other “leaders” who at their best suck the life out of any room they are in. Unfortunately, they also normalize behavior which leads to more “crazy” in our day-to-day lives.

Why do politicians announce that in two weeks they are going to formally announce they are running for president? It seems like unnecessary announcing while only benefiting the press who are interested in digging up dirt and releasing it beforehand. In my 64 years, I have never encountered someone who said, “Did you hear the news today? ________ announced he/she is going to announce they are running for president in two weeks.”

The GOP finally got to work and the first thing they did was boot Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs while they twiddled their thumbs and did nothing on George Santos.

If I am the Democrats  the first thing I do when they retake Congress is give the boot to every election denier and anyone who ever went on Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity to spread lies. Of course, Democrats won’t do this because they will have more important things to do like fix the nation.

It’s that time of year where I must remind readers that in 2016, I ran for president with one campaign promise. If elected, I would have made Groundhog Day a national holiday. Instead, you chose Trump who turned the other 364 days a year into a national joke.

Well, we did it. We purchased a new home in Tennessee and are now in the process of figuring out what we take, what we toss, and what we sell. We also have to haul four dogs with us which would not be an issue if they were car trained. This might be the only time I wish we owned self-driving cars.

Why leave California? Moving is a pain in the ass. However, growing old in this state is very expensive. We will leave behind a 44 year old home and replace it with one that is brand new; leaving a state with horrible traffic, increasing weather challenges, and tax upon tax. Tennessee will offer up four unique seasons instead of fire and flood and an opportunity to live a life in another part of this huge country that will be different, to say the least.

The first Super Bowl was played in California and I can remember watching the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs. The following year, my parents flew to Miami to watch my dad’s Raiders lose to the Pack while I cheered for Bart Starr and company from home. This year, I have no interest in the game. In fact, I do not think I have had an interest in it for the last ten years. If you’ve seen 50 Super Bowls, you’ve seen them all.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce speaking to the media before Super Bowl LVII (Claudia Gestro)

Tennessee, where I will soon move to, has put forth a bill to end Columbus Day as a holiday and to replace it with a one that falls the day after the Super Bowl. The day after the game is recognized as one of the least productive work days in the nation. Of course, if the Super Bowl were played on a Saturday, there would be no need for the Monday off which keeps Groundhog Day on the table as a national day off.

If Sean Payton, the former Saints coach and now new head coach of the Denver Broncos, is worth giving up a first, second, and third round pick while also paying him a salary of $20 million a year, I wonder how much Vince Lombardi would have earned in today’s market?

There is probably no football coach loved and respected more by his players than Chiefs coach Andy Reid. I do not care if you are playing pee wee ball or professionally, players always play harder for coaches like Reid. They do not want to let him down just as much as he wants to see them succeed because all are part of a family more than part of a team.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid speaking to the media before Super Bowl LVII (Claudia Gestro)

The same can be said about Mike Tomlin. He’s never had a losing season, and if you looked at the talent he had this year, he should have been named coach of the year.

Eagles HC Nick Sirianni speaking to the media before Super Bowl LVII (Claudia Gestro)

There is probably no person in the NFL loathed more than Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Commanders. The hope is he will sell his franchise and leave the NFL. However, his skid mark on the league will be a stain that won’t wash out anytime soon. It was not his fault the team he bought was named The Redskins. Despite not wanting to, he caved to public pressure and changed the name only when he was under investigation for maintaining a horrific workplace. The league will celebrate when he is gone but he should not plan on attending their party because he won’t be invited.

If I purchased his football team, I would get rid of all things Snyder. The first thing that goes is that stupid new name he chose, The Commanders, followed by those butt ugly uniforms. I’d take wrecking balls to the stadium they play in and blow up the team’s offices. The only thing I would keep is their head coach, Ron Rivera, who is the only person their football fans can feel good about.

Add Jay Leno to my list of stars I won’t travel with. Besides not riding on the back of a motorcycle with Jay, I refuse to get into a plane piloted by Harrison Ford.

It’s Oscar season and Hollywood is up in arms over the nomination of an actress most of us have never heard of. It seems it got so bad that the Oscar committee considered removing her from the list of nominees, not for anything she did, but simply because she is a nobody. I thought the entire point of increasing the nominee lists from three to ten was so more nobodies got recognized for their work? They’re a fickle bunch in Hollyweird.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have launched a new tour. It is their first one in six years. I thought about cashing in my 401K to buy two tickets but decided otherwise. I am not a fan of being old and homeless.

By the time you read this, Lebron James will have passed a guy named Kareem as the all-time leader in points scored in the NBA. James fans will use this milestone to claim one more reason why he is the game’s greatest. He is not and never will be. He may be the game’s most consistent player, but I would still select Bill Russell and Michael Jordan before selecting James.

I have to admit, I was one of many who assumed Russia would overwhelm Ukraine when they invaded them a year ago. A year from now, it is quite possible that Ukraine will not have just defeated this Russian invasion, but also have taken back the Crimea which Putin stole in 2014.

Count me in as one of the many who want to see Warren Zevon voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was always a much underappreciated artist in terms of popular music, but he was one of the key cogs behind the early California sound. He is probably better known for his lyrics than his songs. He passed far too soon and yet if you followed his journey to his final days, you are probably like me and can’t help but choke up when you hear this song.

Another sign of how things have changed was brought to me when I was recently searching for some shoe inserts to correct my supination issues. I came across some Birkenstock heel inserts that were priced between $55.00 and $60.00. Like many of my generation, forty years ago in college I was convinced to buy some Birkenstock sandals at the then same insane price. Considering I lived on a monthly budget around $300.00, I was banking on the sandals to last me a long time, which they did. This time around, I went with a lesser priced brand. Being poor when you are in college is not the same as when you are retired.

I read a headline stating that Englebert Humperdink is planning to tour this year. I can add his name to my list of celebs I thought were dead but turns out is only mostly dead.

There’s a bill moving forward in California requiring gun owners to carry insurance in case their gun results in the death of others. It claims if drivers are required to carry insurance in case of accidental deaths, so should gun owners. Logically, it makes perfect sense. However, don’t get your hopes up. Logic doesn’t seem to work when it comes to the law and guns. If it did, Columbine would have been a one-time incident.

Have you noticed some people will blame President Biden for the increase in prices on everything imaginable, but when there is another mass shooting, they somehow find the means to purchase another gun?

Downing the Chinese Spy balloon was the correct thing to do. Even better, we have a president who is not trying to use this incident as a way to launch another long war we can’t win.

The NFL has made a major change to their Pro Bowl format that got me thinking. No longer is there an actual game played primarily because no one wants to risk getting injured. Instead, they have set up different skill stations, water balloon tossing competitions, dodgeball events, and flag football games. In other words, it is now a middle school PE unit. As a former middle school PE teacher, I am waiting for players’ parents to complain about how dehumanizing it is to have for their sons to have to play dodgeball, bitch about them getting soaked from a few water balloons, and send them to the Pro Bowl with notes excusing them from having to participate.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is a Pro Bowl quality player. He was speaking to the media before Super Bowl LVII (Claudia Gestro)

Attention Roger Goodell: I am more than happy to come out of retirement and set up your Pro Bowl PE Unit and still know some former administrators I can refer parent complaints to. However, I know you have more money than any school district so I expect a better salary.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
(Claudia Gestro)

Another state of the union has come and gone and once again I was left off the guest list. I was so looking forward to being invited just so I could stir things up with a few members of the GOP.

One person who was invited was Bono. What happened to the days when our leaders came together for the good of the nation and worked toward finding common ground? Perhaps they all need an education about the importance of this and maybe it would include them taking a listen to some of Bono’s words. Then again, I am pretty sure the likes of Marjorie Taylor-Green would find fault with these lyrics.