Waaaaayyyy too many commercials during UK and UNC Elite 8 game!

Trying to watch the NCAA basketball game between NC and Kentucky, but endless commercials, in a great defensive but poor offensive game (lots of turnovers, forced shots and bricks). Leaned towards turning game off.  Commercials are non-creative typical F500 yawners: Insurance, cars, fast food, lawn care, cell phones and two banks.  My favorite commercials in March Madness are the Mayhem ones, but there were only two different ones and they got tiresome quickly. Every time we return from a commercial we are given 1 or 2 more endorsements as the game starts to play. Kentucky and NC both shooting awfully with a lot of turnovers, but on the plus side I am a fan of how both teams play (not afraid to work it down in the post)…. Ended up watching game on iPad and played GTA during commercial breaks, which was better. Amazing shot by Monk (Kentucky) tied game with few seconds left, then Mayes (UNC) buried a game winner with .03 left…

Waaaaayyyy too many commercials during UK and UNC Elite 8 game!

Watched Vertigo with the family.  It isn’t my favorite Hitchcock film.

The family ordered pizza and watched Vertigo last night – wonderful time together…  Vertigo is widely considered Hitchcock’s best film, and I try to love it, but I don’t. It’s creepy, but I don’t like the “As you know” dialogue in the beginning, its length, how Stewart forces Judy to wear certain clothes before he knows she’s scammed him and it seems slow for a Hitchcock Film. I love the how green surrounds the characters when they are influenced by the plot, and the reds. I love Ebert’s observation that Hitchcock put himself (Stewart) on the screen for judgement. But I like other Hitchcock movies more.
..  Was curious during movie about 1906 San Francisco earthquake. 3,000 people (out of a population of 400,000) died, over half the city ended up homeless and it hit an estimated 7.8 on the Richter scale (which was created 3 decades later). 

Watched Vertigo with the family.  It isn’t my favorite Hitchcock film.

Trying to stay focused on my projects

I am prone to getting distracted, especially on my personal interests, meaning I will start a lot of projects that I get part way through then move on to the next thing.  Somethings I’m working on that I’d love to finish: 

  • Great Films 
  • Alley of Injusticeness booklet. 
  • Neo Noir novella/stories. 
  • History booklet and seminar. 
  • Film Study booklet and seminar. 
  • City Council meetings. 
Trying to stay focused on my projects

Attended Community Lunch fundraising dinner.

Community Lunch serves 50,000 meals per year to anyone. They interviewed some of their regular patrons, but it was so loud under the freeway bridge where they lived that the interviewers had to move the interview to a new location in order to hear. One person became homeless after their husband was murdered. Another was a professional with a college degree. A third hates when people yell “get a job” because he works. A fourth talked about laughing at homeless when he was a teen, never realizing that it would be him some day. They now provide medical and dental care, too. We donated over $500 to the cause although it has been a difficult financial year for us. Next year, we’d like to give $1,000.

Attended Community Lunch fundraising dinner.

After several years of working for sh*tty companies who need rescuing in tech services, accepted a job in software licensing

Several years ago, in the wake of my illness, my career stepped in a huge pile of cow manure by going to work for the wrong company. Unfortunately, as I worked to wipe the manure away (while continuing to get my work done) I stepped in another pile, and then another pile and yet another pile. But, today, after some diligent searching, I’m happy to announce that I’ve found a gate out of the cow pasture and back into the world of Enterprise Software Sales – with luck I am wiping the last of the manure from my career for awhile! I’m very grateful for some of the people I’ve met along the way but have also met a few people I hope to meet in a dark alley some day (half-kidding 🙂 ). Never ever again (knock on wood) will I take a job that needs rescuing and that does not have an actual product to sell.

After several years of working for sh*tty companies who need rescuing in tech services, accepted a job in software licensing

Thinking about those massive blowout wins in 10th grade

My 10th grade basketball team was shockingly good.  We’d been 7-4 or something like that as freshmen, and returned the entire team plus added a really good player (who although maybe the best scoring guard in the league never amounted to much due to personal issues*), so literally went the entire season and playoffs without losing a game.  In fact, we had several games where we won by nearly 80 points.  I remember one game it was 98 to 18 with just a few seconds left, and the other team scored to make it 98-20.  They whooped it up since they had broken 20 against us, escaped losing by 80 and prevented us from scoring 100 (kudos to the coach for keeping them focused on the minor victories!)…  I thought of this today, when listening to The Heart of the Game, where the writer is disgusted that a team was winning its games by 100 points.  He couldn’t imagine a coach allowing his players to do that to another team. But we never thought of it that way – we didn’t trash talk or gloat, we really just enjoyed playing, and honestly any of our 11 guys were good enough to start for any team in the league.  Later, when I played softball as an adult and they had the mercy rule that ended a game early if a team went up by 10 runs, my friend and I used to make errors on purpose to allow the other team to score so we could continue playing (e.g. over throw the cut off man, let a ball scoot between the legs without being too obvious, etc.).  For me, always, I truly just love to play and to compete – victory comes from that love.  I think that is why I always loved pick-up basketball more than organized basketball – organized basketball is about winning, whereas pick-up ball is about playing (I like to win there so I can stay on the court and continue to play 🙂 ).

*= I never played with or against another player like him.  He was all of 5’8″ and 150 pounds, and reasonably quick but not too fast or quick, and not a fancy dribbler but he could dribble forever without anyone stealing the ball.  He would dribble and weave, dribble and weave, dribble and weave, until all of us was just stop trying to get open and wait.  He’d do this for a minute at a time before finding the opening he wanted, then would weave methodically into the lane, lay the ball up with an incredible spin so that he could literally throw the ball away from the basket (and shot blockers) to the edge of the backboard, where it would hit the board, turn almost 90 degrees then drop in the bucket, every time.  He drew a lot of fouls as players slashed at the ball and he’d score 20 points a game, but also drew the frustration of his teammates (“C’mon, pass!”) and even a tireless player like me would stop trying to move without the ball after awhile.  The thing is, we also didn’t play against great coaching – a tight zone defense, or better help-defense  in the low post, would have neutralized him I think, since he had no outside shot and was dependent on weaving through a seam; also, since he wasn’t fast and didn’t pass, I would have pressured him the entire way up the court since we could take chances and still have time to recover…  On another side note, despite being short and slender, no one ever harassed him – he boxed nearly his entire childhood and knocked out a kid in 7th grade who tried pushing him around.

Thinking about those massive blowout wins in 10th grade

Have Been Thinking About My Rule Against Praying Lately

When I was a freshman in high school, our first three basketball games were nail biters – two of them went into overtime and a third was decided with one second left.  In our final timeout in each of the three, I prayed for god to make me a hero of the game.  I actually prayed as Jesus instructed in the bible, something along the lines of telling God you believe anything can be accomplished if he wills it (I forgot the exact wording).  The first time I did this, I sank 5 out of 6 free throws in the final minute of the game to seal the victory.  The second time I stole an inbounds pass with 6 seconds left, was fouled as I raced for a lay up, and buried both free throws with one second left to break a tie game and beat our nemesis.  The third time, I buried four free throws in the final minute of overtime to win the game a third time.  I remember the morning after the third game, my dad saying, “I used to dream about winning a game with last minute free throws, and you’ve done it three games in a row.”

But I felt guilty.  I felt guilty about praying for something so trivial as being the hero in a freshman basketball game.  So, after the third time, when I was actually a little weirded out and to this day (although I am no longer spiritual or religious) I still wonder how that could be coincidence, I promised never to pray for anything specific again.  Instead, if I pray, I pray for strength and courage to deal with what comes.  And although I for sure had good games after those three games, I never again sank a last minute winning free throw (in fact, I missed a free throw that would have ended a tie game in the playoffs the next season, although luckily we won in the overtime period).

The last couple of years have been relatively difficult in my career.  I’ve worked for three awful companies in a row, and am now struggling to get into my stated goal of getting into a winning company, ironically because of the poor reputation of my last companies.  And I keep feeling the temptation of praying again, like I did that one year, but I will resist the urge and will continue to knock on wood, do my best and hope that things work in my favor.

It’s important to keep a promise, even when tempted 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Have Been Thinking About My Rule Against Praying Lately