Coach Frank Haith of the University of Missouri was selected by the Associated Press as the 2011-12 college basketball Coach of the Year. Even though I thought he deserved it, I was totally surprised. Why? Because he wasn’t even selected as the Big 12 Coach of the Year.
I don’t know who selected the Big 12 Coach of the Year, but whoever it was, they had a tie between Coach Self from KU and Coach Hoiberg from Iowa State. I suspect Coach Haith ranked fairly high among those schools who were leaving the Big 12 to join other conferences. Would I accuse the Big 12 of considering that fact in making their decision? If I denied it, it would sound as hokey as the selection of Hoiberg and Self. So you can certainly see why I was surprised that some coach who wasn’t good enough to be the Big 12 Coach of the Year would be the AP Coach of the Year for the entire nation.
Now, I’m not happy that MIZZOU is leaving the Big 12. After Nebraska left, I thought we had a pretty decent bunch of schools. But, it is all about money and I, quite frankly, am clueless. I have heard that Texas and Oklahoma were getting the lion share of the TV revenue and that is why Nebraska, Colorado and now, Texas A&M and MIZZOU have departed. If someone knows the truth of the matter, I would love to hear from them.
I wasn’t real excited when Frank Haith was selected to be the basketball coach. He came from Miami where in seven years he had a record of 43 & 69 in conference play. Miami was being looked at by the NCAA. I think Miami (“The U”) is always being looked at for NCAA violations. I think the NCAA has a desk devoted to the University of Miami (“The U Desk”). Anyway, who was this Frank and how would he fit in? Well, with only seven scholarship players and only one starter over 6’6″, the team went 30 and 5 and was ranked third in the nation at the end of the regular season.
I think we’ll keep Frank.
Written by PJ Rice at www.ricequips.com
There is something almost mystical about sea captains. In the early days, they took their ships to places never seen before. What courage it took to take a ship over the horizon and into the unknown. Well, sea captains may no longer be as mystical. Perhaps it’s because the unknown has shrunken so. They are still quite special and usually held in high esteem.
Then there’s the Costa Concordia captain, Francesco Schettino. The only thing mystical about Captain Schettino is how he mystically ended up in a life boat while his 4200 passengers were still fighting for their lives on board the ship (some, of course, lost their lives). Should we give him the benefit of the doubt? I think not. He says he was helping others into the life boat when the ship lurched and he fell in. I guess he could have climbed back out. But, as luck would have it, it was the same life boat that his Moldavian girlfriend had climbed into. But most telling was when the port authority ordered him to return to his ship, Schettino mentioned that it was dark and cold out (and he didn’t have his blankie).
Italy can’t win for losing. They have an image problem. Listed under The World’s Shortest Books and right before “The Amish Telephone Book” is “Famous Italian War Heros”. Then along comes the activities of the cowardly Captain Schettino.
I guess by now most people know that the captain directed the ship off course so he could do a nautical “fly by” for a friend who lived close by. He planned to blast the horn in a form of a salute. The ship never got to the horn part. But his friend, a retired Costa admiral, will be able to look out toward the island of Giglio, perhaps for the next year, and see a reminder of the abortive salute. “All this for me?”
Follow this, the ship hit the reef at 9:45 PM on January 13 (Friday the 13th). Twenty minutes later (10:05 PM), the captain was contacted by the company and he told them he had a problem. At 10:25 PM, forty minutes after the gash was cut into the ship, the crew was instructing people that there was an electrical problem and they should go to their cabins. It wasn’t until 11:00 PM that the captain directed the abandoning of the ship. And he really meant it, because that is exactly what he did.
One of my friends who knew that we liked to cruise inquired whether the Costa debacle would cause us to change our plans. Absolutely not. I can’t think of a safer time to cruise. The recent experience will cause every ship captain to be a better Boy Scout, paying close attention to that which is important. They will save their stow away Moldavian women for deeper, calmer waters.
I have been told that Winston Churchill once was overheard saying how he preferred to cruise on Italian ships. He allegedly said, “First the cuisine is unsurpassed. Second, the service is superb. And then, in time of emergency, there’s none of this nonsense about women and children first.” The quote was probably not Churchill’s. But on the Costa Concordia, it wouldn’t be the women and children that would cause him delay, it would be the captain and his officers.
Written by PJ Rice at www.ricwquips.com
I remember when I was efficient. From the time the alarm clock went off, everything was planned and executed on time. I was a stream-lined efficiency machine. Now in retirement, there are less alarm clock settings. Setting the alarm at 8:30 hardly counts.
This morning was kind of typical, except Carole left early to go to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. That left me with no adult supervision. I let our sheltie, Nikki out in our fenced-in back yard, then ate and looked at the paper. The Washington Capitols changed coaches, but not the inability to make crisp passes, losing to the St. Louis Blues.
Then, I decided to do a little doggie pickup in the back yard. The back yard had had three to six inches of leaves everywhere until Monday. Now it was free of leaves and I would be able to ferret out what shouldn’t be there. I put on a light jacket, even though it was cold, because this was going to be a quick trip. I had moderate success. I know what moderate means, even if Herman Cain doesn’t know what “reassess” means. While I was wandering around favorite back-yard routes, I heard a really loud bird. I didn’t recognize the call, so I stood still and tried to find it. It was a red-bellied woodpecker that feeds often in our yard. Maybe the bird was upset because my sunflower seed feeder was empty. I wandered out to the shed to fill the bird feeders. I thought I could still make this a quick back-yard trip. The shed was locked. I always leave the shed unlocked, but because we traveled over Thanksgiving, I had locked it.
I went into the house, grabbed the keys and headed out. There was one feeder I could reach without the ladder. The shed was now crowded with hose containers. In the winter I put them in the shed because the chipmunks like to hide in them and Nikki goes crazy. Nikki actually knocks the hose containers over, but with no luck. I filled the bird feeder and then tried to get to the ladder. While trying to step over a hose container, I knocked over the bird feeder. I hadn’t secured the top and the bird seed went everywhere. Fortunately or unfortunately, this has happened before, so I was prepared. I had a dust pan and brush right there. My hands were now getting cold. I should have changed jackets when I got the keys.
Ten minutes later, I’m in the house. The feeders are filled, I’m sniffling and trying to remember what I was supposed to do today. I’m sure it wasn’t writing this.
While I have been fumbling around, the red-bellied woodpecker has checked out. Damn fickle bird.
Written by PJ Rice at www.ricequips.com
I have written a couple of articles that need to be corrected, modified or just added on to. No, it’s not about Tiger Woods not winning a major this year. That is written in stone and won’t need modification. And, it won’t be about Chad Ochocinco’s $10,000 bull riding experience. That was over as soon as it started. Ochocinco, the premier self promoter, stayed on a bull named Deja Blu for 1.5 seconds. It would have been shorter, but he flew in the air for a little while before he hit the ground.
I need to update you on my Infiniti with the dead battery. The one that had my golf clubs imprisoned in the trunk. I talked to my service guy (the one who had previously talked me into using $12 a quart oil – I’m an idiot) and he told me that he thought the back seat folded down. Well, I got out my owner’s manual and discovered that that little trick only works with the coupe, not my sedan. So much for that plan.
I had decided to jerry-rig my trunk so that a dead battery and no key would not stop me. I knew that the government (NHTSA) required all new cars to have a trunk release inside the trunk. This will help little Johnny when he locks himself in the trunk. The interest in saving lives outweighed the cost to all of us car buyers and the argument about upgrading the gene pool.
I figured out that I could tie a cord to the trunk release handle (which glows in the dark!) and slide the other end out through the hatch leading to my back seat. Then, if the battery went dead, I could slide into the back seat, pop open the hatch and yank on the cord opening the trunk. I wasn’t sure how the cord would look in the back seat, but I was committed to function over appearance.
I popped the trunk to locate the release handle. It was in the center of the lid towards the back of the trunk. I studied the location. If I got in the back seat and stuck my arm through the hole, could I reach the handle? I knew that Plastic Man and even Spider Man could reach it, but I wasn’t sure about myself. Only one thing to do and that was try.
I got in the back seat, popped open the hatch and stuck in my left arm. I couldn’t feel anything. I have a foot-long back scratcher with a little plastic hand on the end. If my real hand couldn’t reach it, I’ll bet my little plastic hand could. Then, my hand came to the end of something. It was underneath the back window. I hadn’t gotten to the trunk lid yet. So I stretched deeper and there it was, the handle. I popped the trunk. No need for an unsightly cord. No need to swap my sedan for a coupe. There may be another problem out there, but I don’t want to think about it.
On another matter, a while back I compared Gillette razors. I compared the new Fusion Proglide Power with the Mach3 Turbo and the existing Fusion Power. I stated that the Proglide was the only one with a light. I was wrong.
I still use all three razors (constantly comparing). The other day while shaving with the Fusion Power, I noticed a light on the handle blinking. I have had that razor for four years and this is the first time I had seen it blinking. How could I have missed it? As I am growing older, are my skills of observation growing stronger?
Pleased with myself, I tried to finish shaving. But, the battery went dead. I put a new triple A battery in the handle of my Fusion Power and guess what, the blinking light disappeared. I am going to give this matter some additional thought (using my enhanced skills of observation) and report back
Writter by PJ Rice on www.ricequips.com
One thing for sure, if you are going to marry a gal named Valentine, you better take St. Valentine’s Day seriously. I did and I do.
I guess we started dating way back in 1955. We got married in 1959 and until this year, she could always count on a Valentine’s Day card from me. Sometimes flowers, sometimes candy or dinner, but always a card. That is until this year.
In early February, we were traveling in Florida. By the 7th of February, we were at Disney World. It was shortly after our arrival that I realized I had no card for Carole. I started nosing around gift shops and refreshment areas, but there were no St. Valentine’s Day cards. I spoke to our concierge – no luck (No, I don’t want a post card!). If parents wanted to spend $500 on their eight-year-old daughter making her into a princess, no problem. But try to find a Valentine’s Day card.
I panicked. I thought about making a card, but my talents don’t run in that direction. I am more of a stick figure artist. Would Carole have a card for me? Oh yes. She, in her maddeningly efficient way, probably picked it out in early January.
Then, I realized that I write a Christmas poem every year. Why not write her a St. Valentine’s Day poem? I did and it solved the problem. The trick is to write from the heart. Here is what I wrote:
It’s Valentine’s Day and I want you to know,
Having you with me makes everything go.
You’ve captured my heart, and captured my soul,
When you’re not close by, I don’t even feel whole.
So, I love you so much and I just want to say,
Have a Happy, Happy St. Valentine’s Day.
(This was done by a professional. Please do not try this at home).
Written by PJ Rice on ricequips.com
The Commissary is one of the real bennies of being active duty or retired military. The PX is OK, but you can probably get just as good a price at Costco or Walmart. But nothing beats the Commissary. My wife, Carole, is an expert at price comparison. When they say re-up for the bennies, they are talking about medical care, retirement and the Commissary.
But, why would any sane retired person go to the Commissary on a Saturday? Well, we were already out and it seemed like a good idea until we saw the parking lot. But we were there. I generally drop Carole off and stay in the car for 30-40 minutes and read (or sleep). Neither is overrated. When I did go in, she was still in produce. Bad sign.
I have spoken of my quirks with green visors and pens. Well, Carole’s quirk is making sure she has enough food in the house. She has six of everything. If she gets down to three, she runs out and gets three more. We never run out of anything. We do throw stuff away because it expired years ago. The good news is that the 12 cases of Coke we have in the garage have no expiration date.
I have my own Commissary list. Two items: dental floss and chap stick. Were we out of the items? Oh contraire. Carole has a drawer for dental floss and one for Chap Stick (small drawers). I went through the dental floss drawer and found three mint waxed and one mint woven. I don’t mind the mint. It’s not high on my priority list when I am flossing. I just want to get it over. The woven stuff gets stuck in my teeth. I also have a picture in my mind of the wax attaching to my teeth and negotiating a deal with gingivitis.
Johnson & Johnson’s Reach makes an unwaxed, unflavored floss. That’s what I wanted. When I found the floss area, there was a woman standing in my way. I was in no hurry. I didn’t want to “crowd her space.” However, she took too long in terms of floss buying time. I wished I would have brought in my book. She finally made her decision and left and I grabbed my floss and moved on to the Chap Stick area.
I mentioned the Chap Stick drawer. Carole has medicated Chap Stick, skin-care Chap Stick and cherry and strawberry Chap Stick. I had previously taken the moisturized Chap Stick and was running low. That was what I wanted. I found it. It said, “moisturizer,” “skin protectant/sunscreen SPF 15.” Sounded great. Then I noticed it said, “Limited Edition Design!” Limited edition design? Chap Stick? It blew my mind. And I had been questioning the relevancy of flavored floss.
I couldn’t find out how limited the edition was, but I bought it anyway. Eat your heart out.
In my blog entitled “Me and My Old Man” (under “Random Thoughts”), I told you how my Dad and I loved the Gillette razors. We would test every new razor and proclaim it a success. When Dad passed on, I had to do the testing and proclaiming all by my self.
In the earlier blog, I mused about having “Fusion Power” tattooed on my knuckles. It’s a good thing I didn’t because, as expected, Gillette has come out with a new model. I ran right out and bought it – the Gillette Fusion Proglide Power. Both the razor and the case are a rich royal blue. The five blades are thinner, sharper and supposedly give a smoother shave. It seemed smoother to me, but I’m so prejudice, I don’t think I can be trusted.
The biggest difference is when you push the power button, starting the blades to vibrate, a light comes on. This light doesn’t illuminate your face, it illuminates the palm of your hand. That probably makes it easier to turn the razor off in a dark room. All you have to do is push on the lighted button. Also, if you forget to turn the razor off before going to bed, it allows you to observe the razor as it vibrates across you floor towards your bed. I think I see a horror movie plot here with at least two sequels!
I am now testing my Mach 3 Turbo and my Fusion Power against the lovely blue, lighted Proglide. So far, the Proglide is the only one that can climb up a bedspread. I wonder if I can get the stupid Federal Government to give me a grant for my testing.
Yesterday, I listened to Barack Obama accept the Nobel Peace Prize. I don’t understand why he was selected. I guess other countries and societies have their agendas too. But, I was delighted that during his speech, he didn’t apologize for the conduct of the United States. Then, I thought, we have really sunk pretty low when I’m delighted that the President of the United States didn’t insult our country in his remarks.
I liked what he said about justifying war. Whoever wrote his speech did a nice job. And President Obama is excellent at reading speeches. He also does an excellent job at Christmas tree lightings and Easter egg rolls. It kind of made me wish we had a government like Germany where the president merely officiates at functions. I would sleep better at night if I knew Obama was devoting all his energy toward the next state dinner.
But, if Obama was just the titular head and someone else was the chancellor or prime minister, who would that be? Some of the possible answers were so scary (Reed, Pelosi) that I gave up on the whole idea. Did I ever in my wildest dream think I would get to the place where Hillary Clinton looked good?