This Is For All The Lonely People

It’s a privilege to be granted life. To breathe the air, pursue your dreams and marvel at the daily miracle of being allowed an existence. The immeasurable blessings of children, family, friends, joy and laughter are far more precious than any earthly measure of value.

Still, when there is an absence of love in your life, an irreplaceable void exists. A cloud of sadness and regret looms ever present. There s no one to share secrets, collaborate and carry out schemes, celebrate and revel in triumphs and weather the storms of disappointment and heartbreak. There is only dark empty space to return to. It’s just a dwelling, not a home. And you are denied one of the most basic of human needs, there is no one to touch, and no one touches me.

I am grudgingly resigned to the unfortunate void in my practical, intellectual reality. But I was issued or developed along the way the heart and soul of a romantic. The person I am emotionally down to my farthest internal depths, will never accept the verdict that I am unworthy of giving or receiving love and companionship.

It’s a wonderful life but something major is missing. Abundant blessings abound and I am eternally grateful for all of them. However, the simple fact is, a huge piece of the puzzle, connectivity to every aspect of life, is missing. Moments are not as special, laughter is not as enjoyable, food doesn’t taste as good, the future doesn’t seem as significant. Sad that given only this one life, it falls far short of everything it could be when there is no one to share it with.

Headliner Assaulting Unreachable Records

7/25/2014

HEADLINER Headlines

Friday night at the Birmingham Race Course, it was racing business as usual for WW Headliner. The Fine Line Kennel mega star, trained by Eric Griffin, destroyed her foes by six lengths. The victory was incredibly, her 19th consecutive win. It was career win number 119. WW Headliner is now in the top ten all time for greyhound racing wins. She sits 24 wins away from tying the all time wins recorded of 143 set by JR’S Ripper. Now all of a sudden, Pat C Rendezvous consecutive win record of 36 is on the scope. Two seemingly unassailable records, very much in sight. In 2013, she already achieved the all time single year wins record notching 64.

The win was also her 38th of the year, in 41 starts!! Her 19th win was the first week of April and was career win #100. In her next start she encountered trouble and a resulting sore shoulder. She was rested nearly six weeks returning in mid May. She has started 19 times since that comeback and has not lost since. Her 2014 record… 41-38-2-0. Uncharted statistical territory indeed.

It is time for what is left of this industry to take notice of what this remarkable star is accomplishing. Statistically, this is a greyhound compiling a record that has never been achieved in the history if this sport.

Braves Prognosis… This Team Is Going Nowhere

The Atlanta Braves roared out of the gate in 2014 with a 17-7 start. They then fashioned a nice nine game win streak in late June. Those two stretches, nineteen games over .500 26-7, were highly productive to be sure. The quick start was completely attributable to the starting staff collectively pitching lights out. Reality caught up to them in Miami and normality has settled in since. The nine game streak, was built by their best offensive series of the year, a four game sweep in Philadelphia, three less than awe inspiring wins at home over the stumbling at the time, David Wright less Mets and finally two wins over a sub par Arizona team. Their current record, after Thursday nights 3rd loss in four to the Miami Marlins, is 55-47. Other than the two excellent stretches, the record in all the other games is 29-40. Sadly, their performance in those 69 games is a far more representative of who and what this team actually is.

The pitching has been very good. However, the recent horrific struggles of Mike Minor is very disconcerting. He has been lit up in recent starts. Julio Teheran is a so,if frontline pitcher, but has struggled away from home. Earvin Santana, is as good as his slider in any given start. If it’s on, he’s tough, if not, not so much. Aaron Harangue has provided quality starts, but his penchant for always pitching with runners on the bases, is constantly a time bomb primed to blow up. Alex Wood, is a solid lefty starter, but still very young. Bottom line on thvs tarting staff, solid, not spectacular. Mike Minor in effectiveness is a major concern. Unfortunately, I believe this staff has started to regress and down the stretch will not be very good,

The void of lefties in the bullpen is startling. Where is Johnny Venters? Apparently he was abducted by aliens. Sadly, Tommy John surgery doesn’t always work. Luis Avilan has been shaky and now they have a kid up, Chaisen Shreve, who is really unproven. Walden, Simmons, Varvaro all have been very good. Carpenter, may be in comeback trail, too early to say. Craig Kimbrell has been is usual dominant force. However, he has shown vulnerability at times when he fails to spot his fastball, there are games that his movement betrays him and walks have been costly. Other times, his extreme velocity has been countered by being up with his pitches. Even belt high 98 MPH heat can be timed by big league hitters. Look for th team to acquire a left handler here at the trading deadline. Bullpen forecast, very good.

The regular starting eight have been maddeningly inconsistent. The Upton brothers are both talented. As they go, the Braves seem to go. BJ.plays the game with indifference emblematic of a man not happy about having to be at work. His body language and passion for his draft, resembles a highway working standing idly or at best going through the motions. Justin Upton, immensely talented, seems to fluctuate as far as his day to day focus. His statistics are solid but in major slots with games on the line, he has not delivered. Defensively, neither Upton typically shines. Both are capable of a great play but far more likely to butcher a routine one. BJ particularly struggles coming in on drives to center. Justin, is not likely to get to anything not hit in his immediate area.

The franchise cornerstones are Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.
Both have the ability to carry the team briefly. Heyward defensively has risen to the pedestal of the game’s greatest right fielder. Offensively, the nonsensical insistence of him leading off, has negatively effected his plate persona. Moved down in the lineup, he perhaps can regain a power to all fields approach. It was just a couple of years ago that he was marketed as the games next great slugger. Where has all the power gone? Freeman is also a premiere defensive player. His play still first base is stellar. Offensively, he was in an incredible zone to start the season. In recent weeks, he appears to be a man at the plate holding a ten pound bet. He seems sluggish, almost burned out. My theory is, he s so baseball savvy, he has to consistently produce for this team to win. I think that pressure he puts on himself has mentally exhausted him.

Tommy LaStella has been everything you could hope for. He hit a ton in the 7-hole, was moved to 2nd and struggled. He was moved back to 7th, caught fire again, so guess what? Gonzales moves him back to 2nd and he has had a lousy week.

Andrelton Simmons is a virtuoso at Short Stop. The best in baseball. He is hit and miss at the bet. With that glove, arm and range, anything he chips in offensively is a bonus.

Evan Gattis has seen an illness and then an injury stop his two best hot stretches at the plate. He has been back for a week and has yet to square up a pitch. He has been adequate behind the plate.

Chris Johnson plays a decent third base. Offensively he has improved largely after a disappointing first half. In his breakout year a season ago, his ability to put the ball in play led to him nearly winning a batting title. His 2014 start was head scratching. In a departure from his successful 2013 formula, he displayed little discipline and flailed at any and all pitches. Strikeouts increased dramatically as did lack of productivity. Seems better lately so perhaps he’s snapped out of it.

The bench is sub par. Pastornicky, Schaeffer, Pena, Laird, Doumit. Yawn! Okay players but no big spark guys. Serviceable at best.

The 2014 Braves have declined offensively as the season has gone forward. The team no longer displays power and is not built to manufacture runs. Which brings us to manager. Freddy Gonzales recent lineup switch has been a colossal mistake. Simmons and LaStella need to be switched back. With BJ Upton settling back into slumber mode, Jordan Schaeffer needs an opportunity to start some games. Or, shift Heyward to center, play Gattis in left and bring Bethancourt up to catch. The latter move would,d address a longtime baseball axiom, strength up the middle. Of course sitting BJ creates another Uggla situation. It just sit well or feel comfortable for your highest paid player to sit. Of course, it is just as uncomfortable to watch the uninspired, listless play of your big money star. It’s laughable, this stiff gets a couple of hits and people say, BJ is doing better. The guy is being paid in the range of the game’ stop stars. It is a sad situation when he indifferently takes a third strike or fails to utilize maximum effort and misplays balls hit to center field.

Obviously. This team Is very much in the race, so chances are management is forced into a stand pat/weather the storm posture. However, this team is, not a serious contender. It would be bold and against the book thinking but unload any veterans you can move for prospects. The Upttons, Johnson, Laird, Doumit, Pena, Harang, Santana. Go with young guys the rest of the year. Turn them loose, let em play. The current team is trending in the wrong direction. Make moves now and 2015, 20 years after their only ATL championship, an overdue celebration could break out.

Random Preliminary Thoughts on SEC Football 2014

Dedicated to my favorite SEC Fan…. For you Terre

SEC Media Days are completed. Four days of 14 coaches speaking and answering questions, but not saying much at all.
I thought it might be fun to give a quick general impression on each team. I will begin examining personnel and looking carefully at schedules this week. I plan to have a number of weekly features here on the blog and broadcast programs posted here and on I-Tunes throughout the season.

West
Alabama- Tide fans are in denial over QB vacuum.as great as recruiting always is, bare signal caller cupboard is puzzling. Backs and Receives are a dazzling group. Defensive breakdowns in last two games and departures if Moseley and Dix raises questions. Schedule softer than 2-ply Charmin.

Auburn- Queen once sang, Is this the real life, or just a fantasy? I’m still wondering about Auburn 2013. One thing is clearly real, Gus Malzaun was like a Grand Wizard, set ticking all the right chords on a miraculous run. Over achieving defense finally came home to roost in title game. Loss of key players and handling hunted status this year will be interesting.

LSU- you can’t argue with success, but I still am firmly in the camp that believes Les Miles has screws loose under that oversized cap. The Bayou Bengals never have a shortage of athletes but there always seem to be questions. Quarterback and scheme comes to mind this year.

Texas A & M- the year in a College Station is 1AJF (After Johnny Football) in 2013 it was the defense that played like tissue paper. Sum lim is a very capable young coach but it’s going to be a long year if they can’t stop anyone again.

Ole Miss- okay, I’ll say it, with all the hype last year. Ole Miss, for the most part, looked and played like, well, Ole Miss. Offensively inconsistent all year and young defensively, the anticipated progress was sporadic. Talent is there but it’s time to shine. Things could get chilly with Hugh Freeze in Oxford if nine or ten wins don’t happen.

Mississippi State- in 2012, Coach Dan Mullen saw his team start fast and fall apart. In 2013, the Bullies were woeful at times early but finished with promising efforts in winning three straight. Quarterback issues here as well. Some suggest, a sleeper team in Starkville, I’m not do sure.

Arkansas- Brent Bielema found out last year that the grass in the Qzarks wasn’t necessarily greener than the pastures in America’s Dairyland. The Hogs he inherited were a mess, in 2013 there was not enough success to change the situation. The fallout from Petrinogate resonates still. The Pigs have some pieces but more slaughter will ensue. Real progress is at least a tear away.

East
South Carolina- Coach Superior has things lined up for an east division run. Plenty of talent returns and schedule tilts to favorable. Cocks must avoid seemingly annual inexplicable loss. Last year it was at horrid Tennessee. Neither side of the ball is tremendously talented but this will be a very solid team.

Georgia- Preseason last year, several people tried to tell mr the Dawg defense would be solid. By seasons end, they were proven 7/11 correct. The front seven, most who return, blossomed. The secondary played all year like bound, blindfolded hostages. When Tech coach Paul Johnson, the games anti passing icon and ground game guru, fills the air with footballs, it is the ultimate indictment. Georgia’s early season array of offensive talent with a senior QB, was the best unit in the nation and greatest they had ever assembled. Injuries came in drives to almost every skill player. Plenty in the stable for this season but how it plays out for this soap opera program is anybody’s guess.

Missouri- who were those guys? Tigers 2013 run was impossible to forecast. It all just fell in place for Coach Gary Pinkel. A ferocious pass rush concealed a shaky secondary. Veteran offensive players executed brilliantly. Giant, skilled receivers caused matchup nightmares for puny conference corners. The black and gold will find things tour this year. Their lackluster debut in the SEC in 2012 led to them being overlooked last year. Not anymore,

Florida- the only chomping last year in Gainesville was Gator fans swallowing antacids. The 2013 edition of Florida football was a sad display that dunk steadily into the swamp. A team puzzlingly short of impact offensive skill players worsened that void by seemingly having no scheme or identity. When QB Driscoll went down it was game, set and match. A gritty defense should have sued for non support. Coach Muschamp is in a nuclear hot seat with the conferences most mysterious team heading into the season.

Tennessee- in a conference with tick star coaches, Butch Jones is like a character actor who took a role that couldn’t be cast. Here us the startling facts. Last year, the Vols were loaded with seniors and they were just lousy. This proud program is a long way from being back. Sorry Big Orange more of the same in 2014. Rocky Top will once again be home of Mediocrity.

Vanderbilt- farewell best coach the school ever had. Goodbye progress, hello downfall. Scrappy Dores will be hard pressed to improve on last seasons. Franklin succeeded in making his team play with attitude. They just don’t have the horses or depth. Sour notes in the music city this fall.

Kentucky- if John Calipari loans Coach Stoops the Harrison twins, the Cats might be better. The problem is the same as always, not enough players and no depth. The defense showed some flashes of promise but this team always struggles to move the football and scorer. The Cats are forever toothless. Hoops and Horses rule in Bluegrass country. The forecast for this year is slight improvement but usual results.

Next week….. SCHEDULE Analysis

Moving On…Addendum … After Further Review, I Am Not A Loser

This is the follow up to my previous post, Moving On. To recap, I have reached the conclusion that it’s time to move to a new strategy in dealing with my challenges and achieving goals I have set for myself.

I have been saddened and continually disappointed that my new reality is isolation and loneliness. I mistakenly convinced myself that without the help, belief and motivation from a special someone, that I couldn’t lead a quality life. The absence of a partner by my side and my inability to find that valued individual, cast an ominous shadow over my heart and spirit. I felt rejected, ignored, forsaken, invalid. The weight of the anvil of melancholy upon my soul effected every aspect of my life. In summary, this void and constant heartbreak convinced me, despite my immense confidence in myself and my talents, That I had become….A Loser!

After a week of reflection, I am delighted to announce, I know now that the somber conclusion above, is simply not true. I am going to achieve my agenda and create the life I envision and deserve. I am taking a different route and it can be navigated by utilizing resources currently within my grasp. It also will require hard work, persistence and ingenuity on my part to make it happen. My whole life has always been based on finding the easiest way. It has become such a standard approach, I didn’t even realize that is what I always resort to. After all, the easy way, often times is the swiftest and most logical option. This time it did not work. As mentioned in the original story, it is clear now, that the plan was flawed, ill advised and doomed to fail. For the right person to miraculously join the cast as co-star, divine or mystical destiny and fate would have been required elements.

Ive rolled up my sleeves. I’m making lists, gathering contacts. I am brainstorming, setting up meetings, assigning tasks, utilizing existing, previously under utilized resources. I am suddenly energized by the delightful idea of finding another way. Whatever is cluttering and obstructing the path, is being cleared a piece at a time. Incredibly, the abandonment of the previous plan was the first step. Suddenly, after months of lethargy and stagnation, the creative process is flowing again.

In ten days, I am leaving for the west coast. Three days in LA, catching the Braves in Dodger Stadium, night life, food and fun. Then San Diego and three days in a rental condo on the Pacific. Braves/Padres, surf, sun and a day at the races in the Turf Club at Del Mar. Next stop, Vegas. Ten days total out west, living the high life. Other great trips are in the works. Concerts, shows, events, fine dining, just some of the components that will define everyday life. The theme is fun and fulfillment. Drama, misery and mundane routine can just be checked at the door.

Yes, this excursion of being a part if and building something outstanding, offered a unique and rind earful opportunity. An amazing daily life of creativity, laughter, achievement end celebration, while being the recipient of an inconceivable amount of love, respect, appreciation and treatment which could only be described as royal.

No question, after further review, I am certainly not the Loser from my inability to attract a special someone. As I began laying out the intricacies, ideas and strategies needed to get the train of Plan B rolling, I am on board for this remarkable adventure as the countdown for launch begins. The seat next to me is unoccupied. As I soar in the months ahead to where I want to go, it is crystal clear, despite my inability to see, my vision of what life should be is 20/20. I am certainly not the one who is losing out. That distinction belongs to that select few, the special ones who could have been in that empty chair.

Moving On

When I suffered my vision loss, I did what I always do when obstacles arise… I ponder solutions. I try to turn adversity into opportunity. I find a way.

My brilliant notion to deal with this was based on what was seemingly a logical premise, I needed someone. I had reached that point once before, when I absolutely knew I wanted a family. I found the perfect partner with the same goals and two wonderful sons ensued. Looking back now, perhaps it was destiny. More likely, considering my atrocious history with women, it was miraculous. In any event,I had no doubt that fate would intercede once again.

This time, I needed someone I could care and provide for in every way who could take care of and help me. I also convinced myself that this wondrous woman could be a cohort, partner, consultant, manager, collaborator. Most importantly, she’d be my eyes. The opportunities were endless. I came to see this vision setback as a simple kick in the backside to get out of my chair and tackle all the things that I had intermittently left on my drawing board. Adversity yes, but I was ready to author brand new chapters.

It has been three years since my left vision took the same path of malfunction that my right had two years prior. My logical solution, finding someone, has officially failed. After some promising possibilities emerged and a number of candidates surfaced, it is clear it’s not going to happen. The reasons vary why each case fizzled or barely launched. At the heart of the problem are two dominant factors… 1) my emasculating lack of mobility and freedom of movement makes the process of developing a relationship nearly impossible. 2) At this stage, the terrain is so rugged, the complexities, baggage and collective damage is overwhelming and immovable. The notions and learned behavior from negative experience, real, unreal, preconceived or practical, is in most cases an impenetrable fortress. My personal plethora of attributes, wisdom, wit, humor, expression, generosity, gentlemanly manner, respect etc. routinely delivered me to the castle walls, but access was never assured. One misstep, an ill timed word or gesture, any signal misinterpreted, can instantly jettison you into the moat. There are only two automatic openers to the formidable stronghold. Looks (aka Hotness????) and $$$$$. My list is long but my personal attribute score, without one or both golden tickets, earns me something far less than platinum status.

I look at the situation now and realize, perhaps it was a fool’s venture, to think there would be someone willing to throw in with me and pursue an adventure filled, fun, potentially rewarding wild ride. In retrospect, it was naive, even stupid. People need to act out and play the dramatic roles that years of routine and habit have prepared them for. The strong, independent, brilliant achieving women I’m enamored with, are certainly not inclined to spin the wheel and wing it. It is too vast a leap of faith. Who can blame them for clinging to security and low risk.

But in my heart,I know who and what I am, and who and what I could be. With the support, love and belief from the right person, the sky was the limit. Even when you fervently believe in what you are selling, some times it’s just an impossible sale. I’ve had in recent days to stop thinking of might bes and could have beens. That passage is hopelessly blocked. The route to touching the sun,or even getting close to it, may be non existent. When dreams disappear all that are left are nightmares.

Reassessment has begun. Some way to cope with this and make it tolerable must be found. I can’t give up or I will die. A demise filled with regret and bitterness that I let this defeat me despite all the gifts and talents I have that should have produced a life worth living. I have to bang on doors and kick them in if necessary. Persistence and relentless effort to break through and have something in writing or broadcasting come to fruition. The challenge is daunting. The simplest tasks are so difficult when you can barely see. And, with shame I must admit, my track record in terms of being self motivated, is not stellar. Maybe I can be granted a smidgen of luck and find a motivated paid assistant to help me. In any event, Plan B is underway. Like a GPS system, I’m recalculating the route to where I need to be. The best path, is sadly and heart breakingly.. Barricaded and Closed.

Exit. Stage Right… Into Oblivion

The lights are glaring and the crowd is cheering,
My performance is successful, seemingly endearing,
The positive affirmation surrounds me leaving the stage,
But as I fade to black it’s back on to a sad, lonely page,
There are no plaudits in the night siting there completely alone,
No one to scheme with, no capers to craft, a silent deafening tone,
In the quiet I hear the kind words reverberate in my head,
I ask puzzlingly why I am not heartened but miserable instead,
I know the answer but don’t feel good facing the truth,
But the isolation and loneliness is devastating, definitive proof,
It’s nice people appreciate my mind and talent, they do truly care.
But the saddest tears are shed when I realize again, no one is there.

Somebody Just Shoot Me

I am at the racetrack in West Memphis. At one of my lowest life points, I try to escape with a few races. The machines here are in bad shape and the screen display is unreadable with my condition. Last time i was here I had ticket punching mishaps that cost me over $500. Today, despite total awareness and diligence, I somehow left one number off one of my tickets on one spot. You don’t have to guess….$381 winner. I just need to go jump off the Mississippi bridge. I am cloaked in ultimate failure 24/7 365.