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Tuesday Tidbits

1.  In a note that will interest almost no one, I am in three fantasy baseball leagues this year, all Yahoo.  For the curious, fantasy baseball is like having your own team: you draft real players trade them, pick them up as free agents.  Your team accumulates whatever stats those player have and go against another team in your league for a week, then you go up against another team throughout the season.  Your wins and losses determine your standings.  Easy, huh? 

The first team is a league I created about three or four years ago and includes many former co-workers at Mary Davis Home and even one from Knox Academy.  One of the owners is Pat Johnson's grandson, Justin, and another is my old college roomie, Dr. Dan Kolbow.  

The second is a league I joined last year that was renewed again this year.  The third is a a Public one that I joined just for the hell of it. 

The Fighting Flamingoes

The point of this whole fantasy blurb is to tell you that a Counselor at the Mary Davis Home started a league 13 years ago and include all of us baseball fans who worked there.  Brian McGrath was the original Commissioner.  Randy, Stewart, David, Brian, Brooks and a few others joined and it was our first experience with fantasy baseball.  When a trade was offered and consummated it rocked the building sometimes.  It was new and fun and exciting.  

Why The Longoria Face?

Through the years owners would come and go, and eventually less MDH people were owners and more strangers or friends-of-a-friend would join up,  diluting the original group.  This year, a guy dropped out and a 10th owner was impossible to find; and the present Commissioner had moved to Springfield and lost interest,   thus the end to the league that had brought 13 years of enjoyment to many of us hardcore owners.  

Oakview Ghosts

In many respects, having fantasy baseball a daily routine has expanded my baseball universe, and because the real Met's are so lousy, increased my baseball enjoyment.   My three teams are in order of importance, named Fighting Flamingos, Oakview Ghosts, and Why The Longoria Face?  The 13 year team was called the Metros. 

And finally, the various teams I have fielded have won Championships in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.  Before you think I'm a whiz at this, I should also tell you that I only have a 60% winning percentage.  I lose almost as much as I win.  But its a fun endeavor and never hurts to have some bragging rights with the old co-workers.  My only personal criteria is I don't draft, pick up through waivers, or trade for Cubs players.  And this year, with all three teams I only have one Met.  It only takes 40 seconds or so  to get your lineups ready for the day and its free, so not a bad return on your investment.

Now, want to know about my Fantasy Football teams?  

2.  The beaches are open and the water is warming.  This past weekend Drew, Kenzie and Norah went to Maderira Beach.  

I think I'll go next weekend.

3.  There's a lot of crazy people down here.  I'm not talking about the marginally crazy, although there are those, too.  I'm referring to the bat-shit loons who gyrate like spaced-out voodoo zombies along the streets, who converse endlessly with each and every one of themselves; the ones who need supervision and lots of medication, but in this society fend for themselves kind of lunacy.  

One tends to shrug them off like bumble-bees with stingers (equal measures of fright and compassion) knowing that somehow, someone, somewhere is judging us for our interpersonal skills, or lack thereof.  

It was this kind of mental acrobatics I engaged a little old lady at the grocery store yesterday (Sunday).  She was somewhat wild looking but kind of classy at the same time.  She had painted-on  eyebrows, an almost comical red/brown hair and deep red lipstick.   Perhaps too much purple make-up around the eyes, too.  I was in the liquor department, and she strolled by and whipped her head around and thus began our initial conversation.

Her: "Let's just buy the whole store."    
Me:  "At least one of everything.  I'll get another cart."
Her:  "Better get another wallet, too."

OK, nothing, too bad, intact, she was amusing, didn't dawdle to talk and just kept on shopping.  Maybe she wasn't nuts.  Just a nice old lady. 

Fast forward to me heading to the checking out line.  And right there to my left going to the checkout next to me is the painted old lady again.  She comes right up and starts talking again.

Her: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Illinois"
Her: "Well, you don't have a Northern accent. Do you like music?
Me:  "Pretty narrowly."  
Her: "I grew up in west Virginia.  I'm 93 years old.  Born in 1921.  My Daddy taught me to play the accordion, organ, and piano.  I have a nephew who played with Santana and a grandson who played with the eagles.  We were a musical family."
Me: "When did you leave West Virginia?"  
Her:  "During the war I went to work in the mines, then after that I got married and my husband and I moved here in 1949.  He's been gone now 14 years.  My son lives here and is a professor of Biology at University of South Florida.  I worked at Dow Chemical for years and then at Honeywell."
Me:  "What did you do for fun?"
Her:  "We had a place next to the Marina over by [I'm not sure] and we had a boat.  We'd go out all the time in it."

Me: "Sounds like you have seen a lot and done a lot. If I had a dozen teenagers with me here, and you could give them any advise, what would it be?"
Her: (Without hesitation) "Learn to do as many things as you can.  If you strike out with one job, you will have a leg up on another one.  Security." 
Me:  "Good advice.  Will you invite me to your 100th birthday party?
Her: "Only if you bring me a hundred pennies, and wrinkle cream."  
Me:  "I didn't think it was possible to have fun in a grocery store.  But I sure did with you."  
Her: "Me, too."

I left and after I loaded up the car and had wheeled my cart to the cart area, I saw her loading up her car.  I thought I'd save her a trip with her cart so I went up and grabbed her cart.

Me: "I'll save you a trip and take care of your cart."
Her: "Your a good man.  See my old Honda here.  It has about as many wrinkles as I do."  
Me: "Hondas last forever, kind of like you."
Her:  "We both go in for lubrication and oil changes."

I left feeling pretty good about running into her.

She probably thought I was one of those bat-shit loonies running around town.         


  1. Great grocery store encounter. Everyone has a story, some we want to hear some we don't. I'm glad you took time to share your encounter with her.


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