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Friday, December 29, 2023

Famous Living People I Admire


Famous Living People I Admire


It is that time of year where we remember all those famous people who have recently passed.  We have lost some good people for sure, but I choose to honor those famous people who are still with us and hopefully will be with us for a long while.




I am a bit cautious with this list as many people who I have admired in the past have turned out to be complete asshats.  Most notably Bill Cosby.  I keep in mind that any of these most admirable persons may have a private persona that is the antithesis of deserving admiration.

I start with sports, a category notorious for its share of jerk-weeds:

Aaron Judge – Beyond being a great athlete and a Yankee, Judge just seems like a stand-up guy (and he stands up at six foot seven).  Always a smile, never a bad word about anyone. Judge often plays catch with kids in the stands between innings, he never shows up the pitcher after hitting a bomb of a homerun.  He strikes me as a polite, friendly, gentle giant.

Shaquile O’Neal – Another huge person of an athlete.  Retired as one of basketballs greats, he is successful in business, is very humorous, managing to poke fun at himself in commercials while still maintaining dignity. 

He owns up to mistakes in life, and just seems to have good head on his massive shoulders.

Google “Shaq quotes” to get a feel for this guy…examples:

“I’m a combination of the Terminator and Bambi.”

“If I were a painter, you’d be calling me Shaqcasso.”

Riley Gaines – This young lady is reviled by many for her stance on transgender athletes.  After spending 15+years becoming an elite swimmer, she has taken a stand against six foot four men taking hormones and declaring themselves as women to defeat real women.  It is not just the unfair advantage these trans athletes may have, Riley also objects to their locker room presence…yes, these “women” still are very much male below the waist.

Anyway, right, or wrong, whatever your position on the subject, this young lady is courageous regardless of attempts to cancel her or even cause bodily harm for her opinions.  She is also real cute. (A sexist would say!)

Tough to find anyone in politics, but I found two:

Robert Kennedy Jr. – Much aligned for his position on vaccines, because apparently challenging science is despicable, even though the definition of science:

The systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation, experimentation, and the testing of theories against the evidence obtained.

Pretty much requires questioning.  “A fact is anything that has not yet been disproved.”

Anyway, he is willing to go against the grain of his own party, seeks to unite, not divide, and if not for his creaky voice condition might be a successful candidate for President. Plus, I just like the guy!

Senator John Kennedy – Love his down-home country wisdom.  He can cut an opponent off at the knees without them even realizing it.

Just a sampling:

"If you believe that tax policy has nothing to do with the economy, you're pretty much like a rock -- only dumber."

"My attitude is if you hate cops just because they're cops, then the next time you get in trouble, call a crackhead. That's the way I feel about it."


Dolly Parton – That’s all I have in this category.  Who does not love Dolly?  Super talented and classy in her own country over-the-top non-classy way.  She seems to not let her fame get in the way of ever changing from the same old big-hearted Dolly.

“I don’t mind being called a dumb blonde, cause I know I’m not dumb, and I know I’m not blonde!”

Philosopher –

Tyrus – This ex pro wrestler, body guard turned Fox News philosopher is often spot on with opinions in an always humorous way.  Most of you probably do not know of him…your loss.

World Leader –

Volodymyr Zelenskyy  - This choice may turn out to be the next Cosby, but so far I admire his courage, conviction and love for his country and people.

With Russia heading for Kiev promising to rule the country and eliminate Volodymyr, he was offered safe passage out of Ukraine.  His response,

“I need ammunition, not a ride!”


Still looking!

Happy New Year everyone! 












Philosopher- Tyrus

World Leader - Volodymyr Zelenskyy



Actor – NONE


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Tommy Devito


Tommy Devito

My plan has been to only post once a month or so, but this story is too good to wait. 

Non-Sports fans can go now, but you will miss a real feel-good story.


The New York Giants Football team is having a less than successful season.  Their number one quarterback was injured early in the season.

Their number two QB was injured soon after.

Enter number three QB, Tommy Devito.

Tommy was an undrafted pick who was on the scrub team.  Typically, in this situation, the scrub QB would finish a game for the number two and the team would find a new back-up for the next game.

The number three Qb’s job is to hand the ball off, not make mistakes and then disappear.

(This is my uneducated estimation of situation, probably totally off base, but bear with me.)

It is not like a number three QB is a bum.  It is just that being a QB in the NFL is such a demanding position that only elite athletes make it to the back up position, the number three guy plays patsy for the defense team in practice.

Tommy Devito is a Jersey kid.  He is not some bum that just happened to get a contract as a number three sub, anyone who makes the sub team in the NFL is an elite athlete, but few undrafted players, as talented as they may be, ever make it big, especially at the quarterback position.

Tommy was a big High School NJ star.  In College, he started for Syracuse, a division 1 school for several seasons, and finished at Illinois with some very impressive stats.  Tommy is not a stiff athlete, but apparently, he does not have the metrics of most pro quarterback candidates. 

Well Tommy Devito has won three games in a row for a very mediocre team.  He has done it by not making stupid mistakes, passing with great accuracy, running the ball with surprising skill and understanding and adjusting to a complicated Pro Football system that usually takes a top rank rookie a year or more to learn.

What does Tommy have that has made him successful (for now at least) is he is Jersey tough. 

Tommy lives and grew up 10 minutes from Giant Stadium.  He is Jersey Italian tough.  I have married into a Jersey tough family, so I have some experience.  They are a special kind of tough.  Family is huge.  Sundays are Italian gravy dinners.  Respect is demanded…let us just say they are special people, and Tommy Devito is the stereotypical Jersey Italian tough.

He lives at home, well yeah, who else could make dinner like his Italian mom.

Tommy has fast become a New Jersey favorite of this New Jersey team…yes, the New York Giants play in New Jersey.

In his first win as a giant QB, after a touchdown pass, Tommy made a NJ Italian hand signal that means…well it can mean many things depending on the situation, much like the “Happy Day’s” Fonsie “Ehhhhh!”

Now after every TD, the whole stadium gives the hand signal “Ehhhhh!”

His success so far is not just on his undeniable talent, but also on his coolness under extreme pressure that is just part of his Jersey culture.

Tommy enters the field to the theme song of “The Soprano’s.”

The New York Giants will probably not make the playoffs this year. 

Tommy Devito will probably not make it in the league beyond a backup position in years to come, but for now he is the only fun sport thing happening in the New York area.

In a sports world full of prima donnas, it is refreshing to find a lunch pail Jersey kid make it for a while in his own home town.  Will success spoil Tommy Devito?  I doubt it.  The reason for his success is the reason it will not go to his head. 

He is New Jersey Italian tough.  He is bringing the Sunday gravy* to the NFL.


*Gravy is tomato sauce with meat for anyone not Italian.  Took me a while to learn.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Steakhouse Rules


Steakhouse Rules

Every once in a while, I get sucked into one of those internet tutorials on how to live your life correctly.




You get the idea: Some recent journalism grad is given the task to suddenly become an expert on a subject and then impart their great insight on the rest of us cretins.

Generally, I get a laugh of these lesson for life from an expert who is just getting started out on life.  This recent one however brought out my best Cranky self. 


These rules were for eating at a fancy $65 or more a plate Steakhouse.  Now I am not sure I have ever eaten at a $65 or more a plate restaurant, but I figured just in case, I should know the rules.

Here is what some genius culinary/etiquette expert came up with, I am sure they spent many hours of research.


1. Dousing your steak with steak sauce: If the chef wanted the steak slathered in sauce it would come that way.  HMMM, at $65 a plate, I’m not sure I give a rat’s backside how the chef wants me to eat MY steak!

2. Cutting the steak all at once: Cut one bite at a time, pointy finger on top of the knife, put down the knife, switch hands with the fork then eat.  Who knew that style points counted when eating steak, I guess there is something to be said for not eating like a cave man, but don’t tell me how to hold a knife (actually I think I do hold my knife that way) and shifting my fork for every bite is a waste of motion.

3. Do not eat every-last bite, leave something on your plate.  Etiquette says if you leave a small piece, it shows you were completely satisfied.  What if I’m not completely satisfied without finishing all of my plate? Why do I give a gosh darn if the chef and staff think I wasn’t satisfied? Furthermore, after years of being told “Clean your plate, Joe!” and feeling guilty for the starving children in China, I’m going to still listen to Mom.

4. When done don’t leave your napkin on the table, fold it neatly and leave it on your seat.  NO! I’m a rebel damn it!!

5.  No matter how good, do not chew on the steak bone, use your utensils.  Not only will I chew if I want, but I’m asking for a doggie bag to take that $65 bone home!

6.  Do not spit out chewy pieces in your napkin, place them discreetly in the corner of your plate. For $65 there should not be ANY chewy pieces, gristle, or excess fat! I will dispose of bad pieces how the hell I feel like…and then complain.  (Well, actually, never complain to people that are handling your food.)

7.  Order you steak well done if that is how you like it, but medium to medium rare is how the chef prefers as this is the juiciest and most flavorful setting.  Medium is my preference, but I really do not need anyone’s approval to order how it is cooked.  If I want to pay $65 for dried flavorless steak, take my money, make it well done and suck it up!

AS an aside for those that think it is macho to order steak rare and then chew forever before painfully gulping down each bite; it is OK to order medium or even medium well.  See, I can make rules too.


8.  Dress properly, many of the best restaurants require a specific dress code.  I don’t think there are many restaurants that are strict about dress these days, but I did like the old coat and tie days, so I can live with this rule.

Too summarize, for rules 1-7 pffffffft!  I was going to say “Fuck You” but I have mellowed. 

Mostly I don’t need to worry for now; it should take several more years of inflation for Outback to be selling $65 steaks.