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Johnny Bench



PRODUCERS NOTE:¬†We could spend a whole lot of time speculating about the SCOTUS pick by President Trump, but since this show is listened to by many people who are operating in “ketchup later” mode, it doesn’t make much sense to do so. We’ll wait until tomorrow when we actually have the pick in hand.

Sometimes taking a few days off seems like it is longer than taking a month off! So much happens. So many things I want to talk about. So little time when I get back in front of the microphone. On Independence Day, I found myself feeling a bit down. Why? Because Ben was finally doing things that I was pretty sure he’d never do on his own. And I realized that when he graduates from High School, I will be 64 years old, the same age at which Ed Shultz passed away¬†last week. I was really having a hard time dealing with that until I read an article about Johnny Bench. Yes, THAT Johnny Bench. One of the men who inspired me to play behind the plate in baseball all those years ago.

Mexico has a new President who is shaking things up by doing some…. well… strange things already…

In Japan last week, six people were very quietly executed by hanging. Most people have no recollection of the terrorist attack that occurred more than a generation ago that finally lead to the executions. Now, on the one hand, it is interesting because there has been virtually no outcry for mercy or commutation of the death sentence in a very civilized country. On the other hand, the attack is another data point in the idea that most terrorist activity is driven more by religious fervor than political ideology.

Is Hillary Clinton planning to run again in 2020? The idea seems… crazy. At least on the surface. But what if…?


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The Doubting of the Experts

On December 8th, 1941, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare War on the Empire of Japan. It is one of the most stirring speeches ever recorded. Congress quickly agreed and except for the standard Conscientious Objector vote, approved the resolution and declared War on Japan.

I go back to the speech itself, which, even if you are not a fan of FDR, is quite stirring, patriotic and appeals to everything that Americans love about their nation. including an appeal to Almighty G-d to see us through to final victory. If you haven’t heard it or watched it, you should do so right now:

In many ways it hearkened back to the speech that FDR had listened to by Woodrow Wilson, who ran in 1916 on a promise to keep America out of the war, then gave what many to consider to be the best speech to call for a Declaration of War ever given by a President. Wilson’s speech left many in tears and screaming with fervor as the nation found itself finally getting into the war which he had promised to keep us out of just months before. Read the rest of this entry

Stores Load

A very, very long time ago, in Bangor, Washington, aboard USS Michigan, I participated in at least six “stores loads.” Probably more because at least twice we broke our patrols into two parts, once for a Follow On Test (a four missile test launch) and the second time because we broke the submarine.

What happens is that all the “Junior” enlisted sailors, say Petty Officer Second Class (me) and below, 110520-N-DI599-019that aren’t on watch, form a line from the pier to the storerooms aboard ship. The worst place to be is in the hatch, because then the boxes are going vertical instead of horizontal. But otherwise, the line has a Sailor handing a box to the next guy who is facing him and then he passes it on to the next guy who is facing him and so on until the box goes from the pier to the proper storeroom. On occasion there aren’t enough guys and each box is carried by a sailor from the pier to the hatch, which is okay at high tide and best at mid tide. It absolutely sucks at low tide when the pier is suddenly 10-15 feet above the deck and you have to carry the box down the gangway. This can lead to funny moments, like when one sailor (not me) stumbled coming down the gangway and in best vaudeville fashion continued to stumble down the way, hit the deck at full speed, crossed the deck and hit the safety line on the far side. He then slowly leaned out over the edge leaning on the line), came to a stop, and gently eased back up as the line took in the slack. Read the rest of this entry

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