Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bo Pelini: Classy to the #@#%&*$! end


Is there any doubt Nebraska is well rid of ex-football coach Bo Pelini?

If you had any lingering misgivings about NU's firing of the underachieving coach, who just was named head gridiron guy at the Economically Depressed University of Misfit Jocks Youngstown State, this article in the Omaha World-Herald ought to dispel them.

The newspaper came across an audio recording of Pelini's final meeting with his former players Dec. 2, and he went out the door in the classiest of manners. Or not.
A guy like (Eichorst) who has no integrity, he doesn’t even understand what a core value is," Pelini told players. "And he hasn’t understood it from the day he got here. I saw it when I first met with the guy.

“To have core values means you have to be about something, you have to represent something, you have to have something that is important to you. He is a f------ lawyer who makes policies. That’s all he’s done since he’s been here is hire people and make policies to cover his own ass.”

The World-Herald on Wednesday listened to an audio tape of Pelini’s address that night. He spoke conversationally, rarely raising his voice. It’s a rare window into the mindset of a coach who increasingly felt besieged by his own administration and fan base.

During the tape, Pelini expresses gratitude, support and advice for players. The majority of the tape, however, reveals Pelini’s thoughts about Eichorst. In the first minute of his talk, he uses two vulgarities associated with female genitalia to describe his former boss.

“I didn't really have any relationship with the A.D.,” Pelini said. “The guy, you guys saw him (Sunday), the guy is a total p----. I mean, he is, and he's a total c---.”

The administration’s lack of support, Pelini told players, wore on him and his family.

“I said to (assistant coach Rick Kaczenski) at one point, I said this job is killing me. I said I don't want to die doing this job. I meant it. I was like, I don't want to have a heart attack on this job.”

Pelini was fired Nov. 30 and was due to receive a $7.9 million buyout, mitigated slightly by his next salary.

On Wednesday, Youngstown State announced Pelini as its head football coach. He’ll return to his hometown and work under President Jim Tressel, who led Youngstown State to four FCS national championships.

During his introductory press conference Wednesday in Ohio, Pelini called Tressel “a president who understands football, who’s going to support me, something I don’t know if I’ve ever had.”
YEAH, Jim Tressel is just the kind of guy who oozes integrity and understanding of how to conduct a college football program the right way.

Remember that Tressel is the guy whose football program at Ohio State had gone rogue under his leadership. Remember, too, that Tressel is the guy who withheld what he knew about an improper-benefits scandal involving Buckeye players and a shady tattoo shop from his own administration and then lied to NCAA investigators. From ESPN at the time:
Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who was forced to resign in May, committed the ultimate sin for a college coach when he withheld information about the scandal from OSU officials and NCAA investigators. In fact, according to the NCAA's infractions report released Tuesday, Tressel had four opportunities to reveal his knowledge of the scandal to the NCAA, but never once told the truth.

The NCAA also didn't buy Tressel's excuses for remaining silent. Before Tressel was forced to resign, he said he didn't reveal that former OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor and other players were trading memorabilia for tattoos and cash because the tattoo-shop owner, Edward Rife, was under investigation for drug dealing. Tressel said he didn't want to jeopardize the federal investigation and feared for the safety of his players.

"The committee found [Tressel's reasoning] not to be credible," the report said. "The former head coach's inaction on four different occasions was in the committee's view, a deliberate effort to conceal the situation from the institution and the NCAA in order to preserve the eligibility of the aforementioned student-athletes, several of whom were key contributors to the team's highly successful 12-1 season in 2010."

SEC associate commissioner Greg Sankey, who serves on the NCAA's infractions committee, called Tressel's conduct "very serious and, frankly, very disappointing."

Now Meyer and the rest of the Buckeyes get to pay for Tressel's sins.

As part of its punishment, the NCAA made it nearly impossible for Tressel to become a college coach again. The NCAA hit Tressel with a five-year show-cause penalty until December 2016, under which any school that wants to hire him must submit a report to the NCAA detailing why it needs to employ him and how it would monitor him to ensure he doesn't break its rules again. Any school hiring Tressel during the five-year period would be subject to more severe sanctions if he cheats again.

Even if a school hires Tressel, he will be suspended for the first five regular-season games when he returns, as well as any postseason contests.
YEAH, Pelini's kind of guy is a man the NCAA doesn't trust to coach college football . . . but apparently is just the kind of guy to run Youngstown State. And Bo Pelini apparently is just the kind of guy a man who can't be trusted to coach college ball thinks ought to be coaching at Youngstown State.

Gotcha. It seems the birds of a feather have flocked together.


Jim Tressel's guy is a grown man with obvious anger issues who goes before a bunch of 18-22 year-old kids -- most of whom stiil have to be at NU. play for the Huskers and presumably stay in the good graces of their athletic director -- then speaks about that AD in the most vulgar and demeaning manner. "Oversharing" hardly begins to cover Pelini's actions in that meeting.

With a bunch of college kids.


For whom he set himself up as a role model.

Role model? Bat-s*** crazy cult leader, perhaps. Role model, no. Unless, of course, you expand the definition of "role model" to include being a hell of an example of how not to conduct oneself.



 
Pelini's not-so-greatest hits: EXCEPTIONALLY NSFW

I GUESS in Youngstown, role models do their damnedest to poison the well for the poor saps who have to clean up their overwrought messes. The Huskers' new football coach, Mike Riley, has his work cut out for him, it would seem.

And so do those Nebraska football players who thought Pelini was just the kind of man they wanted to be someday. Breaking up is hard to do, but for these poor guys, growing up is going to be even harder with a role model like their former coach.

Bo Pelini is not what Nebraska football has, by and large, been about. May it never be again.

In firing this underachieving hothead -- the Freudian concept of the human Id personified -- Shawn Eichorst has done not only Nebraska football a great favor but done a great favor to the entire state of Nebraska as well. If that makes the man a P-word and a C-word, those are labels he should wear with pride.

Pelini is Ohio's problem now. Thanks be to God . . . and Eichorst.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What the #@*% do you have to do?


This is the scene from the curb in front of my house as of about 45 minutes ago.

The garbage man has been here. The recycling crew, too.

Omaha is a great place to live, if you can ignore the garbage-pickup thing. The garbage thing is awful here.


Apart from the garbage cans and recycling bins strewn all about, which is normal enough, there is another sure sign Deffenbaugh Industries has been to your neighborhood -- the garbage and recyclables blowing down the street after the company's not-so-industrious crews have done their due non-diligence.

That is, if they've bothered to pick up your garbage at all.

With this in mind, I had a strategy for getting rid of an old kitchen garbage can. Below, you see my strategy.


I KNOW . . . I know . . . it was a calculated risk, but it was all I had when I put out the trash last night.


Some risks don't pay off, I'm sorry to say.


APPLYING MY finely honed analytical skills to this situation and taking into account bitter personal experience with Omaha's garbage contractor, I have come up with a few possibilities here:
  • 1. Deffenbaugh crews just don't care.
  • 2. Deffenbaugh crews can't read English.
  • 3. Deffenbaugh crews don't care and they can't read English.
  • 4. Deffenbaugh crews don't care, can't read English, and they don't care that they can't read English.
  • 5. Deffenbaugh crews don't care, can't read English, don't care that they can't read English . . . and company management likes it that way. Maybe city government, too.
MY MONEY'S on the final option. Did I mention that, in addition to the sticky notes, I also sat the unwanted garbage can on top of a full trash bag?

The trash bag, they took.


So, just how does one throw away a garbage can, anyway? After today, I'm open to all suggestions
that won't ultimately land me in jail.

Joy From Raleigh 2016


Three words: Mom for president.

Not my mother -- Oh, God, no! (It's a long story) -- their mother.


From The Washington Post:
https://www.fastyetitees.com/funny-mothers-day-t-shirts/funny-mothers-day-t-shirt-vote-for-president/Everybody knows that the best part about CSPAN is the unpredictable nature of the show’s call-in segments, where regular hosts and guests do an admirable job of fielding unusual questions with no advance warning. But brothers Brad and Dallas Woodhouse are now the champions of awkward CSPAN calls, after the politically divided brothers ended up taking a call from their mom.

“Oh God, it’s mom,” Dallas Woodhouse said as soon as “Joy” from North Carolina started to speak.

“You’re right, I’m from down south,” she said. “And I’m your MOTHER.”

She’d called to take issue with something her kids said on air: That the brothers’ political bickering — you see, one is liberal, and the other is conservative — is typical of most families. “I don’t know many families that are fighting at Thanksgiving,” she said. “I’m hoping you’ll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas. I would really like a peaceful Christmas.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Viral police videos we like to see

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:5

Saturday, December 13, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Yule love time travel!


 Do not adjust your TV set. It's 1963. There is no HD.

You'll have to settle for some great music instead. And the hi-fi equipment is kinda cool here, to tell you the truth.

So while we at 3 Chords & the Truth linger in Mid-Century Modernland, we'll take the opportunity to adjust the color wheel so it shines better onto the aluminum Christmas tree -- and we'll throw a few LPs on the phonograph while we do that.

Have you heard about this group of long-hairs that has the kids going crazy over in England? The Beatles, I think they are. Whatever. They can't even spell "beetles" right.

Geez Louise.

ANYWAY, we'll linger a while here a half century past before we venture elsewhere along the musical timeline. The Big Show will  even stop for a time in 1915.

Everywhere we stop, though, the music will be spiffy. That's our Christmas gift to you, the 3 Chords & the Truth listener.


Spiffy music also happens to be your Hanukkah gift, your Thanksgiving gift, your Easter gift, your Labor Day gift, your Fourth of July gift, your birthday gift and your "Hey! It's the weekend!" gift.

That's about all I have to say about that. The proof's much more in the listening, to tell you the truth.

So, go listen. There's links to the Big Show here, there and everywhere. And audio players, too. Really, you can't miss it.

THAT'S a good thing, because missing it would be a crime.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

1 Adam-12, 1 Adam-12 . . . chlorine leak,
Hyatt Hotel. See the giant raccoon. Code 2


When one is confronted with somebody releasing chlorine gas at a furry convention in Chicago, you can try to act like this isn't seriously, mind-blowingly absurd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom
You can try to pretend this is just another, unexceptional entrée in our American smorgasbord of criminal "mass incidents."

You can try to suppress that regressive, normal-normative little voice tormenting your modern, enlightened mind, saying "This is some seriously weird s***, dude!"
 

You can click the heels of your ruby slippers together three times, repeating "It's just another valid lifestyle choice! (click) It's just another valid lifestyle choice! (click) It's just another valid lifestyle choice! (click)"

Yes, you can try to pretend that bat-s*** crazy ain't crazy at all.

You can try.


OR . . . you can do what MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski did Monday morning on Morning Joe . . . as Joe Scarborough sat next to her giggling into his hand. And in doing so, she found that she had become -- for one day, at least -- the voice of a nation.

It's too bad that "I RUN SCREAMING INTO THE NIGHT WITH MIKA" is too long to put on a bumper sticker. On the other hand, "I GIGGLE WITH JOE" isn't.

It's also too bad that whoever put the chlorine powder in a stairwell at the furries' Hyatt convention site just couldn't see the fuzzy, cuddly humor in it all. Or run screaming into the night. One or the other.

Monday, December 08, 2014

34 years ago, right about . . . now


As I wrote four years ago, it still hurts.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Treasures for a winter's eve


You ever wonder from whence all this fine music on 3 Chords & the Truth comes?

You do? I'm glad you axed. Sorry, "asked." You can take the boy out of south Louisiana. . . .

Well, much of the music on the Big Show, I've been collecting since I was a kid. Some was my parents, particularly some especially tasty 78 RPM records. Other stuff was other people's tuneful treasures that ended up in antique stores, the used-record bins at various music stores . . . and on sale for 99 cents at the local Goodwill.

One treasure featured on this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth was in the collection of the parents of a dear friend since our days at Baton Rouge High School, taken from a real album -- an album of several 78s, which is why we call multitrack records or CDs "albums" even today. The song is "Embraceable You" from the "Strictly From Dixie" album released in 1942 by Henry Levine's Strictly From Dixie Jazz Band, featured on a regular program on NBC radio, The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street.

It's also an album that never was later released on an LP, much less a CD.

The popularity of the radio show on the NBC Blue Network might be why my friend Doug LeBlanc's mother, Janice, had the album. She still had it when she died earlier this year at age 87, which is how I came to possess it and how you're hearing some of it on the Big Show this week -- Doug sent it and another 78 album to me when he and his brother cleaned out Janice's house.

MUSIC IS special on its own accord, but it also is special because of the love people have for it. The feelings, thoughts and memories it evokes in us. In honoring music, we acknowledge that we matter -- matter apart from what we do, how much we earn or what status we have attained.

By honoring vintage music, of which we play our share on 3 Chords & the Truth, I think we also honor those upon whose shoulders we stand -- those who lived and struggled and loved before us. We Catholics refer to those souls as "the communion of saints," who are not gone but are with us still.
 

They may have passed from this world to the next, but the best parts of them live on here in blessed memory and in our hearts. And what they knew . . . what they loved also can be part of what we know and what we love.

Christmas is coming upon us fast, a time of the year when our thoughts turn to those we love and times gone by. I think this show -- indeed, most episodes of the Big Show -- are right nice listening for a cold winter's night, "when all through the house not a creature (is) stirring, not even a mouse."


It is then when we cab be alone with our thoughts, with our memories, and with our dreams. And we can be alone with the music, the music of our lives . . . and that of the communion of saints.

THAT'S WHY I do this show, and that's why no decent "radio" program is just a radio program, even if it's on the Internet and not the airwaves.  I guess I could have said this on the show this week, but then it would have run a even longer than it already has, which would be a wee bit longer than  normal. But I didn't, so I'm saying it now.

Because it's worth saying.


It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there.  Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.


Friday, December 05, 2014

Football players. Geez.


Nebraska defensive end Jack Gangwish learned a thing or six about raccoons Thursday. This may help explain the Wisconsin game.

Channel 7 in Omaha has the scoop on the angry critter beat:
The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Husker defensive end Jack Gangwish spotted the animal on the side of the road Wednesday night as he was driving north of Lincoln and decided to take a picture of himself with the raccoon using his cellphone.

When he approached the animal, it attacked, biting the 21-year-old Gangwish on the calf.

Gangwish killed the animal with a crescent wrench he grabbed from his truck.
Authorities are testing the raccoon for rabies.
SO . . .  the question for the house today is this: Do athletes develop mental incapacity because of playing football, or do athletes play football because they suffer mental incapacity?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Live from the riot

 Not particularly safe for work. It's a riot . . . uncensored.

It's amazing how a situation can go south in an instant. 

Rage is a seductive, untamable beast.

Charlie LeDuff of Fox 2, WJBK in Detroit, documents what's all the rage today in America from news of the non-indictment of the cop who shot Michael Brown to the descent into mayhem on the streets of Ferguson, Mo.


WHAT'S interesting is how LeDuff tries to tell the aggrieved and enraged that, as a Detroiter, he knows a thing or two about riots and how they kill cities dead. What's unsurprising is that rage is deaf . . . when it's not being blinded by tear gas.

Welcome to your future, America. It looks a lot like the 1960s, only with a harder edge and a lot less ingrained hope for the future. Really.

This won't play on the blog. But the video is here.

IT IS at this point that I turn the microphone over to Jeff Daniels, as seen in the opening scene of the HBO series, The Newsroom. Behold some of the most bare-knuckled truth ever in a TV series.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Things you can't make up


I would not attempt to make this up.

You only attempt to make up things people might actually fall for. Nobody would buy someone named Phuc Kieu being arrested on attempted-rape charges.

Further commentary would be pointless, except to say that of course this happened in Florida.


HAT TIP: Romenesko.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Boom goes the dynamite!


This week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth came this close to ending life as we know it on Earth.

And with just a little less skill by Yours Truly, it would have. Instead, it merely will blow your mind.

That quite the claim for the Big Show. But it's true. A couple of things happen on this week's program that -- and words fail here, but this is an approximation -- boggle the mind.

Consider, for example, Waylon Jennings covering. . . . No, you just have to hear it to still not believe it.

And then there's the transition from Chicago to. . . . No, you wouldn't believe it if I told you. The proof is in the slack-jawed hearing.

JUST CONSIDER it all a Thanksgiving treat from 3 Chords & the Truth to you. A bit of blown mind to go with your turkey and pumpkin pie.

It's what we do.


All it's going to take is your complete cooperation, absolute secrecy and 20 live turkeys.

IT ALSO is just more proof -- as if you needed it -- that you never know what's coming next on the podcast that takes freeform radio to a whole new level of "WOW!" and wonderment.

And that's all I have to say about that. Really, you have to hear it for yourself to grasp the musical possibilities.

Just remember our motto: There's only two kinds of music -- good and the stuff we don't play.


It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanks for the laughs . . .


. . . and the movies

. . . and the Broadway plays

. . . and the TV shows.

Mike Nichols, rest in peace. From the obit in The New York Times:
Especially consistent was his wry and savvy sensibility regarding behavior, derived, in part, from his early success in nightclubs and on television with Ms. May. Their program of satirical sketches depicting one-on-one moments of social interaction eventually reached Broadway, where “An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May” opened in October 1960 and ran for more than 300 performances; the recording of their show won a Grammy Award.
Developed through improvisation, written with sly, verbal dexterity and performed with cannily calibrated comic timing, a sharp eye for the tiny, telling gesture and an often nasal vocal tone that both of them employed, their best known routines — a mother haranguing her scientist son for not calling her; teenagers on a date in the front seat of a car; an injured man and a doltish emergency room nurse; a telephone operator and a desperate caller in a phone booth — became classics of male-female miscommunication and social haplessness.

Their work, along with the cartoons of Mr. Feiffer and the stand-up routines of Bob Newhart and a young Mr. Allen defined comic neurosis for the American audience before it became a staple in the hands of Albert Brooks, Richard Lewis and countless others.

“Most of the time people thought we were making fun of others when we were making fun of ourselves,” Mr. Nichols said in 2000. “Pretentiousness. Snobbiness. Horniness. Elaine was parodying her mother, as I was mine, and a certain girlishness, flirtatiousness, in herself.”

Mr. Nichols said in interviews that though he did not know it at the time, his work with Ms. May was his directorial training. Asked by Ms. Ephron in 1968 if improvisation was good training for an actor, he replied that it was because it accommodates the performer to the idea of taking care of an audience.

“But what I really thought it was useful for was directing,” he said, “because it also teaches you what a scene is made of — you know, what needs to happen. See, I think the audience asks the question, ‘Why are you telling me this?’ And improvisation teaches you that you must answer it. There must be a specific answer. It also teaches you when the beginning is over and it’s time for the middle, and when you’ve had enough middle and it’s time already for the end. And those are all very useful things in directing.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Musical antifreeze


Somebody stuck most of the country in the deep freeze.

And Omaha hasn't been even close to freezing in days -- as in "32 degrees would be a vast impr-pr-pr-pr-provement." It's supposed to start snowing again shortly.

Old Man Winter done kicked autumn's butt. We are so not amused when it's only mid-November.

So . . . what to do? What to do?

WELL, DUH.  What you do is turn up the heat, make yourself a piping-hot beverage, curl up under a blanket and listen to the comforting, warm sounds of 3 Chords & the Truth. If this here music program can't warm your soul and circulate your blood, your next conversation probably will be with St. Peter.

Good luck with that. No . . . really.

Assuming, however, that you indeed are still with us, there is no better time to treat yourself to yet another episode of the Big Show. It's another stellar effort, of course, and with the weather the way it is, you need to treat yourself.

Because eventually you will have to go outside.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

A commercial like no other


Would you believe this moving Chinese film urging people to give love another chance and not divorce is . . . a commercial for hair-care products?

China 1, the West 0.

And I hope Procter & Gamble sells a lot of shampoo, because this commercial is powerful way beyond its ability to move product. In America anymore, you'd be more likely to see ads pushing Trojans to newly footloose and fancy free divorcés.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Posted through my tears

1grace  noun \ˈgrās\

1
a unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b :  a virtue coming from God
c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace 

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/ashley-picco-memorial-fund/260229#

I know -- having been the recipient of it a time or a thousand -- grace when I see it.

Oftentimes, grace is the strength God sends you when you are at the end of your own. Sometimes, grace is beauty that descends upon you -- beauty that is not of this world. The video above is the first that begets the second.

Imagine that your pregnant wife dies in her sleep. Imagine that this occurs months before her due date. Imagine that your little son is born of your dead wife via an emergency C-section. Where would you find the strength to do what we see here and do it so beautifully?

One place.


http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/ashley-picco-memorial-fund/260229#
THERE have been times when I have summoned the strength, strength that was not my own, to endure what I might find unendurable and react to it in a manner not of my own nature. Still, I cannot imagine serenading my dying infant son after losing my pregnant wife -- or at least I can't imagine doing so without collapsing into sobs.

The singing father is Chris Picco of Loma Linda, Calif. His wife was Ashley Picco. Their son is Lennon James Picco. Lennon James died in his father's arms the day after this video was shot.

People often wonder where God is when things go horribly and unjustly wrong. The answer is that God is standing beside you, holding you up if you'll let Him. It's a beautiful thing, as you can see above.

If you'd like to help God out in holding up Chris Picco as he endures the unendurable, you can do so here.

Here, too.