Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gravlax and the revenge of the bugs, chowda...

That's me slicing gravlax at a party. This will get me to almost drowning in the North Atlantic in a circuitous way. The Nordic delicacy is one of my favorites, and there were too many vegetarians hanging around so I jumped in and did the deed. Funny, I saw some of the aforementioned vegetarians glomming the salmon as the liquor flowed and the phrase, "I sometimes eat fish", came into play. Those are what I call "beady eyed vegetarians"...they eat fish and chicken. Then, of course there are the "no-eyed" vegetarians that eat stuff like conch and eggs (especially if the eggs are in a particularly good dessert). But hey, I'm an omnivore with a heavy lean toward the vegetable side. I get into some terrific discussions with vegetarians about wearing leather and cow flatulence blowing holes in the ozone layer. I fully believe that last statement, but what would we do with cows? I haven't been to India, but I saw the movie. There are some major problems with cow shit there. Problems like these are more complex than the economy.

So, the place where I trucked lobster in the seventies (remember me passing the kidney stone in a cramped bathroom in an earlier post? 9/28), had us filleting salmon when the bug (Maine for lobster) business was slow. Hence, the gravlax connection. It was a really early start down there at the bottom of Main Street in Belfast, Maine. We left early, before dawn, touring the coast of Maine picking up crates of bugs. It was an amazing thing to be cruising down east (check the map of Maine for an explanation of that term) before dawn, sometimes I thought I was the first guy in the continental USA to see the sun rise...even if I was somewhat bleary-eyed most of the time. I had some hard nights in those days, actually some hard days too.

One December morning, before the sun rose they were playing way too many Beatles's songs on the radio. Before they said it I figured one of them had died. As the sun came up on the way to Prospect Harbor I learned that John Lennon had been shot. I wasn't a fan, but the tears ran anyway. I'll never forget, I got out of the truck near Bucksport to take a leak and could feel the frozen tears on my face. It was a shitty morning.

But not as shitty as the time I fell in the water, off the pier in Prospect Harbor, in January! They say you have a few minutes in those kinds of waters, but I was having none of that. My knee high, steel tipped rubber boots were filling up, but I was swimming like Mark Spitz. Donnie, the guy who ran the lobster pound just happened to be in his house (right where the pier started) when I lost my balance hoisting a one hundred pound crate (that's net, the crate itself probably weighed another thirty pounds) and went ass-over-tea kettle into the drink. I had on long johns, jeans, a long underwear shirt, a flannel shirt, rubber gloves and a down vest that was duct taped together like a patchwork quilt. All of it made it out of the water with me as I somehow scrambled up the ladder to the pier.

By then I was screaming for Donnie and running to his house. He took one look at me, dragged me into his living room and told me to strip everything off. I was quickly naked and he was stuffing my stuff into a dryer in the mud room. He had given me a wool blanket to wrap myself in, nonetheless I felt like a human popsicle. It was then that I noticed his three daughters were sitting around the kitchen table at the opposite end of the room. They were pretty big, they introduced themselves and one went and got me one of their gigantic, terry cloth robes. Still shaking they poured me a hot coffee while we gathered around the kitchen table. Donnie went out and finished loading my truck while I made small talk with the daughters.

Now this was way down east Maine in the seventies. These girls hadn't seen a long-haired, hippie freak (let alone nude!) too often, maybe once or twice up in the big city, Bangor. They just looked at me and asked every once in a while if I was okay. They heated up some fish chowder, that's "chowdah", as we listened to all my shit tumble in the dryer. I think Donnie was thinking I might take a fancy to one of them, but it wasn't happening.

I finally got dressed, thanked them all profusely, got the receipt for the lobsters from Donnie and headed out to my truck. Donnie had it all warmed up, with the heat blasting...I had to drive with just my socks on because my boots weren't going to be dry for a while. I fished an emergency doobie out of the glove compartment and started the two plus hour drive back to Belfast, still freezing my ass off. It took days and a lot of liquor to warm me up.

When I got back to the shop I had to call a guy back into work (no cell phones in those days) to help me unload. I had him bring me his extra boots. He also brought a pint of Jim Beam for me to start the defrosting process in earnest. The boss came by, he wasn't much for heavy labor and asked us, "Hey there's some salmon in the cooler, you two want to fillet some tonight?" In perfect synchronization were both spat out "f... you."

So, I love gravalax, but whenever I see it that trip often comes to mind. That lobster pound has a million stories, like the time my buddy Leo flipped the truck in Rumsford, and there were bugs all over Route 2...but that's for another time.

Later, biff

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No pizzaz and Yaz...

All right, a thousand kudos to those of you who have labored in corporate America for long than ten minutes! I just did it for a week and feel like I have mono, a hangover, dengue fever and double vision! I am out of gas. In an effort to keep up with my other temporary data stewards I just kept working, almost all day long. On the computer at nine, with a dazzling slowness in operating it, and off at five feeling like I just played defensive tackle for a 0-10 college football team. I did have a few cups of tea and an apple or two. I went home at night and tried to eat 4,00 calories of anything to recover. Let's see if I make it through next week. Once again, for all you people with real jobs (something I'm really not familiar with after fifty some years of working, hats off! But get this, I can now use a mouse with my index and middle finger! There's something to tell the grand kid about!

While writing that piece on Keith Richards I thought of some of the worst people I had to deal with in the somewhat non-corporate world I've inhabited. Working in a medium-fine dining clam shack on the coast of Maine I came across one of my worst for a multitude of reasons. It wasn't that he was more than a considerable pain-in-the-ass, I couldn't stand the people he was involved with...the Boston Red Sox. Yet, being in Maine he was revered like royalty because he was, bow down now, Yaz. Carl Yastrzemski, who was then the recently retired left fielder of the Beantown ball club. The odd thing was that he wasn't as recognizable as he thought he should be. Being the manger at the time he gave me a small list of requests; he wanted to be seated immediately (there was an hour wait), in a Sopranos like corner table, no one was to come up to his table and, get this, he would give me one autograph. Like I wanted one! (I satisfied that offer by getting him to sign something for one of my son's friends, who turned it into a shrine of some sort in really rural Maine). So Yaz ensconces himself at his table with his wife or girlfriend and starts filling up the ashtray. The man could smoke like Gary, Indiana. The poor waitress spent most of her time dumping his butts. He grumbled and growled his orders,"See an empty glass, bring another drink," I paraphrase. I kept an eye on the table, making sure he wasn't rushed like Elvis at a concert, like I think he was hoping. The food was of a secondary nature...smoking and drinking was his dining experience. When he left, leaving a shitty tip I might add, you could tell he wasn't comfortable with his lack of recognition. I made a salutary comment about his meal, and wasn't even given the courtesy of a reply. I know Carl didn't come from the greatest of backgrounds, he grew up on a potato farm on the eastern end of Long Island before it became McMansion Central for the rich and famous summer people and his Dad drove him pretty hard...but you'd think he'd have compassion for the little people. My thought was that he might be just having a bad day, but his countenance was confirmed by other restaurateurs I came across later in life.

You know the Red Sox have had a great line of left fielders; Williams, Yaz, Jim Rice and Manny. Jason Bay isn't ready for election into that pantheon. I've met them all but Manny. The pariah of the bunch, in Boston, is Jim Rice. I spent a day with him during Spring Training, and guess what, he was one of the most cordial celebrities I've ever met...and all he wanted to do was talk baseball. I could write all day on why he should be in the Hall of Fame.

Maybe next time I'll tell you about another job in Maine...like the time I fell into the North Atlantic loading lobsters into a truck, in January. I took the week off in the prognostication department after last week's four winners and one cover...but I probably would've suggested Alabama this week, but that's called betting the "red board".

Later, biff

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Score, the law and Bama...

I''ll always remember that night in May of 1957 was Cleveland fireballer Herb Score was hit in the face by the Yankeees Gil McDougal. I was a kid in bed listening to the game on a school night. I was a really passionate Indians fan, and h....(I can't stand to use that word, I reserve it for Hitler and diseases) the Yankees. I knew from the crack of the bat, I swear I could hear the ball hit Score's orbit bone. Even as a pre-teen I knew, I knew Score would never be the same. Luckily he lead a great life after his career was over.

I started a mind-numbing job for a law firm (temporary) this week as a data steward. Not bad money, but it doesn't make me want to jump on this computer after seven hours of looking for lawyers, companies, CPA's and legal minutia. I'll be okay, but me inside the bowels of an old white shoe law firm is comical, if you think about it.

My prognostications last week were dismal...all teams win, but only one cover...that was Alabama, and I will ride them into the BCS. Of course they will most likely have to get past Tim Tebow and the Gators in the SEC Championship, but I love their defense. Gnarly old farm bred boys up front and guys that run like my old greyhound in the secondary. We'll see.

The Jets will lose tonight, although they are probably the better team on paper...but the serpentine intangible, Bill Bellichek, looms like a crappy winter around here. My vision is Favre throwing throwing a hail Mary as time runs out...

Okay, back with some more of the book soon. Bear with me while I catch my breath at this new job, AND, how about those Knicks and Rangers! Later, biff

Saturday, November 8, 2008

So, You think you've had a weird job?

Odd jobs have a different meaning for me. I'm am the classic factotum. Please, someday, read Charles Bukowski's book, Factotum, especially if you grew up with any comforts of middle class at all. I was young and couldn't stay still. I'd been that way since the first time I ran away from home at the age of four. I had a small collection of belongings wrapped in a bandanna that was tied to a pole slung over my shoulder. Classic hobo of the forties, now known as homeless or something more derogatory. I made it about a half of a mile from my great uncles house when the cops found me. Not far, but I had my first on the road experience before Jack Kerouac wrote the book.

Then he wrote the book (1957). I was hooked and unfortunately I had a ready made partner in crime; we'll call him PB, for pin-bladder...he had to pee after every beer. We hitch-hiked from Greenwich, CT to Cape Cod when we were fourteen. That was the first time there was ever an APB out on me. I didn't know until quite a bit later, but that trip should have scared the road out of my ass pronto! We were picked up by a couple of exceptionally drunk transvestites in the middle of the night, and thought they were older babes coming on to us. The term "cougar" was a half of a century away from daily use. I'll spare those details, but we managed to escape unscathed. We spent the night after that under route 128, way under. The next day we hitched home, having completely avoided the All Points Bulletin. Aside from being more knowledgeable about the variances of sexuality (don't you love that Billy Bragg song?) our appetites for hitching were whetted beyond belief. It would be interesting to know the amount of miles PB and I hitch-hiked over the years. Times were different, that mode of travelling was still viable. I digress, but you couldn't hitch-hike on Maui in the sixties, but, if you sat at the side of the road, reading a book, that was the signal that you needed a ride.

Back to the oddest job. The summer of my nineteenth year I had a rather pedestrian position as a laundry truck driver. I guess it wasn't pedestrian because I was driving. I drove this clumsy step van filled with paper wrapped laundry through the wealthy back country of Greenwich. Everything from ball gowns to jockey shorts. It wasn't a hard job...until I took my first turn, then the load shifted, everything was out of order, and delivering the proper sheets to the proper house became a problem. I generally turned a six or seven hour job into ten. The best times were showing up at some gabled mansion...and not having a thing in the truck for them. Back-tracking, and trading packages with maids was really tough, and embarrassing. The part of the job that was scary, were the dogs. There were no electric fences in the sixties, but there were big, scary ass dogs. Little ones too. I always had a big box of Milkbones by my side and it was a sight to see me running, with the laundry on my shoulder, throwing handfuls of biscuits at canines that were trying to attach themselves to my leg before I made it to the house. But that wasn't the odd job.

By this time PB and I had Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarity ( On the Road's main characters) fully ingrained in our subconscious. We were in a bar in Port Chester, New York one night and we must have been itching for a road trip. I said to PB, "If this song (Like a Rolling Stone) comes on the juke box again, we're going to Dayton , Ohio." Sure. Well, sure enough, it did and we went home to get a limited amount of fresh clothes, leave notes for our parents and split. The Dayton part was due to a woman that I knew, not particularly well, but she had said to me that she wouldn't mind a visit if I was in the area. At that time people who lived in New England weren't in Ohio that often. So we headed out for Dayton.

One really sad (or hilarious) oversight; it was Saturday night, and my laundry truck was fully loaded in the back yard for Monday's deliveries. My step-father, in his Brooks Brother's suit and brogans had to drive the truck down to the laundry on Monday morning. We've never talked about it at length, but it isn't one of his better memories.

So PB and I were on the road by about one AM. I had a VW bug by the time, so we weren't thumbing it. Along the Pennsylvania Turnpike PB quoted directly from Road, "We're ballin' that jack..." Not quite like Sal and Dean in their great American behemoth of a vehicle, but we were going down the road on four wheels. Early in the morning we were sideswiped, I was crumpled up and asleep in the back, the passenger door was tied shut for a long time. Not a great impression when we landed in Ohio. The Dayton part was sort of disaster, well, not sort of. My woman friend fixed up PB and we went to a down club in Dayton, Little Mickey's Twist Palace. It was a great place, but a bit raw for country club girls. We lasted a couple of days, and were back on the road.

What to do next? We were too old for our parents to put out APB's, and going home voluntarily was out of the question. But, we didn't have the balls, or money to complete a cross country run. So we did what came naturally, we went to Cleveland. I'm and Indians fan, and PB had friends there. Drinking eighty-nine cent six packs from the super market and twenty-five cent hot dogs from street vendors we we coming perilously close to running out of money. Somebody said you can always get a job at Lake George, New York, so we filled the car with gas and beer and headed to Buffalo where PB had some more friends. He specialized in having friends in the rust belt in those days.

And that's where we ran out of money. I rememeber spending my last, what thirty-five, fifty cents on a bottle of cheap beer in a smokey bar in downtown Buffalo. Bumming cigarettes was our only source of anything at the moment. PB's friends were broke too. Then somebody came said they found us some work...as professional pall bearers! Have any of you ever even heard of that job? I don't even remember Kerouac or Cassidy even tackling that type of employment.

The deal was this. Lynettes Funeral Home in Buffalo was having two funerals the next day and they needed a few strong arms to bury a couple of nuns. And they were willing to pay us six dollars each for two burials! A veritable jackpot for PB and myself, we'd get to Lake George with money to spare (it was the early sixties), and get some jobs.

It went off with just a couple of minor problems. Both PB and I had to wear ill-fitting winter, dark suits that we borrowed from his friends on the sweltering Saturday afternoon. And I fumbled the Holy Water trying to hand it off to the priest during the second internment. Other than that our careers as professional pall-bearers went well, and we retired.

More gas, more beer and the crippled car headed for Lake George. We made it and worked the summer there, and believe me, it was also another Sal and Dean experience. We started out living in a disabled '57 Dodge convertible (the bug was just too small for double occupancy) outside of a bar, and it went up and down hill from there.

Maybe sometime I'll tell you about training rhesus monkeys (don't worry, it didn't last long, the anti-vivisection got to me quickly, one again, it WAS the sixties) on behavioural apparatus for a management consulting firm in Boston...later, biff

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Miles,Obama, CC, Maine women, foxes?

So goes the nation...nah. My guest writer's state is as good a prognosticator as I am.

All right, back from delivering the monster (in size) dog to Florida. We took what seemed like the longest route possible from Vermont to Florida. We actually went through Scranton, PA and Charlotte, NC. While in Charlotte we stopped to see an old friend who actually lives next to NASCAR driver Greg Biffle. Too bad I couldn't have met him, you know the old, "Mr Biffle meet biff " gag. Lowest gas price paid was $2.07 in Georgia. I couldn't get a fake beer (NA) at most of our stops south of Virginia. One thing I noticed was the lack of signage considering it was a presidential election year. I'm sure people were stealing the Obama signs as soon as they went up...and they'll be on ebay soon. It was a tremendously long drive, but it was beautiful in our destination, Coconut Grove. Though obviously off season the economy's lack of energy was quite evident. Outside cafe tables were way too empty even for early November, and closed store fronts were obvious. It's a live (gag) Jimmy Buiffet song when the tourists aren't around. You know, the rigging of the sailboats serenading the gulls, and there seems to be more flip-flops per capita anywhere other than a college campus. But it's not the seventies, when I lived there; too many white table cloths, Prada and designer sunglasses. And, not a whiff of pachouli.

We new Obama would win..but I'm a little suspicious about how quickly W put the olive branch out for the transition. First time we've seen the guy in quite some time. Can anyone remember a more lame duck president?

All the news of Sarah Palin being a pain-in-the ass to her handlers doesn't come as a surprise, but the fact that she thought Africa was a nation is quite hard to swallow. I guess it came up when she asked if South Africa was part of Africa or a separate nation. The sale of "Palin in 2012" tee-shirts were on sale in Wasilla, Alaska...but I think she's going to remembered more like Dan Quayle in a skirt.

McCain was gracious in defeat...but if I had a tree to sit under near Sedona, AZ to contemplate life, I promise, even I could be gracious.

I really wish Obama had picked Bill Bradley as vice president...unbeatable White House basket- ball team. I know Obama played on his Hawaiian High School state championship basketball team in 1979, but I would like to know if he started or how much he played? I wonder who was the best athlete to occupy the top job? Ford played football at Michigan and Bush the elder started at first base for Yale.

The first time I was aware of Obama was when my wife wrote an article about him for Black History month in February 2007. It's amazing that the campaign has been going on almost that long. Don't you think there should be a time limit on running for office?

The Prop 8 defeat was such a drag...who gives a shit who marries? My brother told me one of the 26 props in San Francisco was to name a dump after George W. Bush. It was defeated, but it's more amazing that it was on the ballot.

Okay, my guess is most of you are happy about the election, but what a mess this man has to clean up. Clinton let me down on some issues (gays in the military, for one), but he didn't step into the quagmire that's facing the president elect.

The Knicks have won two games. I'm amazed. The NBA has been great so far...but none of you care.

The Yankees, according to New York sports radio, are going to offer C C Sabathia (he has asked for the periods to be dropped from his C's) thirty million a year. I can't believe it, but I always have been in favor of athletes getting what they can. I'd rather them have the money than the owners. I figure it gets back into the economy quicker that way. After all, how many guys that have made millions in professional sports are broke? It's sad, but most of that money went directly into the economy...not into the ether of the stock market. Sabathia has said he'd rather stay on the west coast, and in the National League so he can hit...but thirty million a year? The Dodgers have offered Manny a large contract...I suggest he take it. He's invisible in LA. The NFL salaries were listed in the USA Today and Ben Rothlisberger makes $27,701,920 this year.

Tell me women aren't tough in Maine. A female jogger near Presque Isle ran with a rabid fox gripping her arm for a mile to her car! Then she pried the jaws of the fox open and threw it in her truck! She then went directly to a hospital for repairs and have the fox tested...oy!

College football has come down to the BCS arguments. My Missouri friends, you gotta lay the 27 points over K State and THEIR lame duck coach. And Rice, who averages about forty points a game, has to beat Army by more than eleven, no? Colorado should cover (9 and 1/2) over Iowa State and I like Alabama giving LSU three and a half. Way too many predictions this week.

It's full on ugly fall here in Connecticut...rain, fog and arthritis inspiring dampness...I did see some Christmas crap going up...but I won't get started on that...too soon...later, biff

Friday, October 31, 2008

as Missouri goes, so goes the nation...

Hi loyal followers of the BiffBlog! The old man is still cruising down I-95, so the youngun gets to guest post for a while. No worries, though, I've been promised on-the-road updates, which will then of course be put up here.

Anyway, it's Saturday, and that, of course, means utter college football madness. This particular Saturday was without question a truly epic one--for multiple reasons, but mainly because of the Texas-Texas Tech game. I would describe it here, but really, it's something that needs to be seen (ESPN's highlight reel is at this link: http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3677736&categoryId=2378529&n8pe6c=2). Suffice to say that Tech beat a number one team for the first time in their history, and a minute-thirty on the clock is just way too much time to start slacking off on defense. Mack Brown, of all people, should know this--he's the one who beat USC in the '06 Rose Bowl with 19 seconds left.

In other exciting news around the conferences, Rice clinched bowl eligibility (this'll never get top billing in other media outlets, so I'm giving the event its due right here and now), Michigan clinched a losing season in a last-minute fall to Purdue, Florida stomped all over Georgia in a cold-blooded act of revenge (I want to see the new Heisman rankings, even though I suspect McCoy will still be leading), and the Huskers got shucked by the Sooners. ESPN, that master of self-promotion, floods the airwaves with Monday Night Football reminders throughout these games, but frankly, I find the college game infinitely more exciting and interesting than that of the pros (and to think I didn't even pay attention to it until, well, I got to college). The rivalries are more intense, the plays and players less refined and more gritty--football started at the college level, and it's here, still, that the game is best watched.

However, Chris Berman is interviewing McCain and Obama during the MNF halftime show, which is something definitely worth watching.

Sen. Obama spoke at Mizzou this past Thursday to a crowd of about 40,000 people, of which I was one. I had seen him earlier this winter, when he was still campaigning for the primaries in Texas, but to have a presidential candidate come to your school in the waning days of election season...well. That's something entirely different. The speech he gave was much more focused than his Houston talk, zeroing in on the economy (no surprises there), and encouraging all to go out and vote on Tuesday. I know the audience for this blog is not quite at 40,000 yet, but I'll do the same on that latter issue. VOTE. Please. You can't complain about the government, be it Democratic or Republican, unless you cast a ballot. My excitement levels over the election probably have a lot to do with this being only the second time I've been able to participate, but I hope they don't decrease in the future. Having spent the past couple weeks working on a research paper detailing apartheid policies, I appreciate all the more my right to have a say in how things are run. It's not something to take for granted--I don't buy the "principled non-voting" argument. Plus, you get the "I Voted Today" sticker!

Stepping down from the soapbox, here's to an extra hour of sleep tonight! Peace out, and look for a Biff update in the near future :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies win the World Series...in Vegas, Goodbye tomatoes, feet...

I had the last yellow heirloom tomato of the summer today for breakfast on an asiago bagel. Karen's extraordinary green thumb produced over seventy-five pounds of delicious tomatoes this year. Along with, peppers, grapes, arugula and squash. With her flower garden being like a botanical garden there isn't too much room for vegetables. Current economy trends may change the proportions next summer.

How many people know that the World Series is over in Las Vegas? Not really, but they paid off the Phillies bet from the rain-out. According to a twenty year old rule, an official game is an official game. In a three inning game you have to bet the Phillies, right? The Phils get four at bats to the Devil Rays three. I still like the Devil Rays. Truly, this proves Las Vegas is a different country. I haven't been there since Meyer Lansky was alive. Karen wants to go, I'm fending her off as long as I can. Her Grandmother, an all-time gambler told me a few years before she passed away, "It's like Disneyland now, too many kids." I prefer the back alley casinos in the Dominican Republic that friends of mine took me to decades ago. There's a great one in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Hotel Delray...Rick's (Casablanca) without the tuxedos. I talk about gambling a lot for a guy who makes about six team sports bets a year. I find college football the easiest team sport to bet. I really like those giant spreads...but generally fail to act on them. By the way, I'm really not a big fan of this team, Notre Dame looks nice laying 5 and 1/2 at home against Pittsburgh. Rice fans, one more win and you're bowl eligible (you've got Army down the road)...they're a live one giving UTEP 2 and 1/2. To my Colorado friends, spoilers, that's their fate for the rest of the season. But hey, the good times will be rolling at the Sink as usual...according to alumni from Maine who have been out there lately. I wish I had a friend from say, Harvard, wait, I do...one of my kid's best friends is a grad, and their QB, Chris Pizotti looks like another NFL possibility. The friend played in the band, one of the most entertaining in collegiate sports. Memory pause; 1962, NFL Giants halftime entertainment, the Florida A & M marching band, a fantastic show. Ivy League betting takes a much better handicapper than me. I went to a Crimson game a few years ago, it's one of those weird deals, the games are much better live...the TV production leaves something to be desired. I worked in New Haven during one of Calvin Hill's seasons, a great pro running back. I also saw Dick Jauron play DB there. He's now doing a good job coaching the upstart Buffalo Bills. Will they beat the Pats in that division? Incredible, the Patriots are 5-2 after losing numerous starters to injury this season. Tom Brady might be the best QB in my lifetime. Hopefully this injury and the attendant complications will not leave him permanently off his game. Begrudgingly, you must give Bill Belechik credit. When Brady went down I think the Jets started printing playoff tix...maybe a bit too soon. Seems like Favre wants to play one way, and it's not head coach Mangini's. In watching them, my impression is that he (Favre) feels he has to win the games himself...and in heroic fashion. The poor old guy has certainly been on his ass a lot this year, and the interceptions just keep coming at the wrong times. Will THEY make the playoffs...NO. He did bring them back nicely against the hapless (Jim...) Chiefs.

I know I'm the only NBA fan left in this country, but the Celtics/Cavs game was great. I think in a few years Lebron James will be compared favorably with Michael Jordan...but the rings, he has to win. Paul Pierce always amazes me too, but his talents are a lot more subtle. He has that not-made-for-the-NBA body that fools you. Kobe Bryant was his workman-like self in the late game. I guess Oden will be up there in the Rookie of a the Year tally... oops he got hurt again last night. Sam Bowie ring a bell? Must be a problem with big and feet in Portland, though they did win with Bill Walton's terrible tootsies. I really want to see O. J. Mayo, he'll probably be in the hunt.

Okay I'll be leaving with the giant dog (not a wager, a real mastiff) and the little buddy from Vermont tomorrow. Luckily the snowstorm already passed through our route...friggin' snow in Pennsylvania...middle of October, that ain't right. I will try and be in touch, but we will be doing some serious driving. Karen may sub for me with recipe's and moaning about the Red Sox, she's quite shy though.

I'm a little dissapointed Obama is taking out those infomercials tonight. I understand he has campaign money to burn, seems like overkill. I'd rather see a large donation to a needy organization...that would be a great political advertisement...but maybe it isn't legal. Either way, I implore you all to vote for the man of your choice. Michelle, out of mothballs, filled in nicely (if not briefly) while Barack visited with his grandmother in Hawaii. I wonder where their vacation spot (outside of Camp David) will be? Anyone know? Be nice if they just took two weeks, with pay, of course.

May all your Halloween treats be gooey, later, biff