Hail the Bison…But No One Else

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Today I’ll watch my NDSU Bison carve up the Cardinals from the University of the Incarnate Word. As promised this is the only football I will watch this weekend.

Here’s an abbreviated tally for misdeeds in the NFL. So far we’ve got a guy who punches out his wife (Ravens), a player actually convicted of assaulting his girlfriend (Carolina), a murdering tight end (Patriots), another domestic abuser (49ers), a team owner that sexually assaulted an exotic dancer (Dallas), and now a Minnesota Viking that took a “switch” to the bare ass of a four year old.

My good friend Thundering Bear often talks about the corrupting influence of money on all aspects of American life. The NFL is no exception. The league makes a massive amount of money each season and they have little incentive to implement any kind a change until all these misdeeds start affecting their bottom line. So if you’re a football fan, join us in our boycott and hit them in their jockstraps in the only way meaningful to them. Because if they start losing advertising money, endorsements, and asses in those seats it will be the only way they will pay attention.

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Honey, I Shaved the Dog…Again

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Here is Pippin one day after his buzz cut. It’s still unseasonably cool here and he’s all about finding the warmest spot in the room to sleep. Meanwhile half the cats are outside, piling up carcasses like squirrels stocking acorns for the winter. At least they haven’t caught any squirrels yet. Joffrey did bring a bird into the house this morning and someone left a bloody shrew by the sliding glass door. I see an eviscerated lark near the steps. It’s Saturday, Bloody Saturday here.

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Yesterday It Was My Birthday, I Hung One More Year On The Line

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That’s a Paul Simon line. He might have actually wrote that one. Paul has a nasty reputation for ripping off collaborators. Just do a search for “Paul Simon Los Lobos” and you’ll get some unexpected dirt. I like Los Lobos much more that I like Paul Simon, so fuck him.

It was my birthday yesterday. Carjo and I drove to Minot. She had a doctor appointment, Pippin had a grooming appointment, and I took most of the money my sister-in-law gave me (thanks!) to buy some birthday beer. It’s their FFOK Imperial IPA, a stellar beast of a beer and because it’s in a growler, I’ll have to polish it off this weekend.

Tomorrow the Bison of North Dakota State will play the University of the Incarnate Word on national television. For Incarnate word it’s a good deal. If you’re going to be a sacrificial lamb for a behemoth like NDSU, you might as well do it on television and get some exposure out of the deal. Once again, Fargo is hosting EPSN’s game day and like last year, it’s going to be insane downtown. I’ll just sit back with my ankle on ice, watching the chaos on and off the field, working on my buzz.

It will be my only football of the weekend (boycotting the NFL for the near future or until Goodell resigns, we’ll see). Sunday might be a warm fall day. I think we’ll go out to the farm and walk the land. That beats football any day.

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I Do As Commanded

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There’s a fellow on my music forum that goes by the nickname Hal. Yes, that Hal. Anyway on Facebook he challenged me to list Ten Books That Have Stayed With Me. Book list? Me? And away we go in no particular order…

1. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings – given to me as a confirmation gift by fiendish older cousins.
2. The Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. One of those books that I can pick up at anytime and get lost in.
3. The Lord of Light by Roger Zelazney. So weird for its time, contains my favorite opening and closing paragraphs
4. Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor. The 95 Theses came far far too close to describing my growing up in a small provincial town
5. The Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. I thought fantasy was doomed to be forever a trip through unicorns and daisies. I was wrong.
6. Missionary Stew by Ross Thomas. My favorite thriller of all time and Draper is the kind of hero I can identify with in my most egotistical moments.
7. E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton. I had stopped reading these because of who knows. Reread this and remembered how great Sue is.
8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. This is the one where shit started getting real.
9. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. The most captivating piece of nonfiction I have ever read.
10. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Such a strange and wonderful world, I truly did not want this to end.

Note..I could have easily added another thirty and not broken a sweat.

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What Keith Said…

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh1x1-Z91sU

I was going to launch a rant on the NFL’s bungling of this mess with domestic abuser Ray Rice but there is little I could add to this other than agree than all of these people, especially Goodell, should be excused from their jobs and Rice should be in jail. 

I am a big football fan but its problems tug at my reason and common sense, eroding my love for the sport. There’s the issue of concussions and brain injuries, the issue of the treatment and condition of ex-players, the issue of addicting players to pain killers, the issue of homophobic coaches, the issue of the nickname of the Washington DC football team, and on and on. I think I am reaching a tipping point. 

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Coming to Terms with Digital Convenience

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It’s a cold day up here. The cats can’t decide whether to go out or stay in and I can’t decide how many layers of clothing it will take for me to go downtown to get the mail. It’s a day for sitting inside and reading. The question is, on what format?

I just finished Steven Erikson’s Dust of Dreams, the ninth of ten doorstops in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I hadn’t read anything in this series and it would have been ridiculously confusing had not TOR done a massive reread of the entire series, breaking it down chapter by chapter, scene by scene. That got me through and it was worth the effort. The last two chapters were the most insane, action-packed, ball-to-the-wall crazy crack Erikson has done since the climax of Memories of Ice and it left me with a smile on my face. It’s all thanks to my iPad.

I love reading a physical copy. To a bibliophile like me, there is nothing like the sensation of having a book between my hands, turning each precious page. But I live in a house with little overhead lighting and let’s face it, my middle-aged eyes need all the help they can get. Carjo loves to watch TV and movies in a dim room, keeps most of our house in a low glow. It’s hard for me to find a spot with enough illumination to read without strapping a headlamp on. That’s right, I do have a headlamp for reading in bed at night. But with the iPad, I can read anywhere. So while a lot of books go unread because I have them only in physical form, I can plow through the digital stuff with ease. 

I won’t stop buying physical books but it appears that this is another aspect of digital life I have succumbed to. It’s a sad realization. The iPad offers me none of the tangential sensations I get from turning pages and I will miss that. Maybe next summer, when the sun returns…

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Just Another Overrated West Coast IPA…Not

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I picked up two four packs of Surly’s Overrated when we were in the Cities a couple weeks ago. I love the writing on this. It’s like Pitchfork reviewing a band that has gone from an indie to a major label, which I imagine is the intent. And no, it’s not just another overly aggressive West Coast style IPA. Not a lot of balance here, but it is a wonderful dry hop taste with notes citrus and pine, a thick white head, and the malt presents itself only in the finish. Not something for anyone who dislikes hoppy beers and even a test for the occasional dabbler, this delivers what it promises. Unlike most indie bands that go onto a major label…

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