Schingle's Blog

July 22, 2021

Not Hockey Again!

Filed under: hockey, images, musings, recreation, Sports — Tags: , , , — schingle @ 4:23 pm

Right. The new season starts around the middle of October, only a couple weeks late (adjusting for the late finish to this past season, which was adjusting to the whole Covid delayed 2019-2020 season). I would wait, but yesterday was the first major event of the “off season.” The Seattle Kraken held their “expansion” draft.

For those who follow hockey this will be old news, but for those who read my stuff just to humor me—well, humor me. The NHL, until the 2021-2022 season, had 31 teams. This upcoming October, the Seattle Kraken will be the 32nd team to play in the league. They are completing a new stadium for the team. They have a general manager, head coach and a couple of assistant coaches. All they were lacking was players. Well, yesterday, they began to solve that problem.

On Wednesday, the Seattle Kraken were allowed to select one player each from 30 of the 31 other teams in the league. (The team that was exempt was the Vegas Golden Knights, who only came into the league themselves four or so years ago). There were rules for the other 30 teams to follow. They could only “protect” so many players and had to “expose” a specific number for Seattle to choose from. Being a fan of the Colorado Avalanche, I was, of course, interested to see who Seattle would take from the Avs.

I suppose, in the end, it wasn’t a huge surprise. The Kraken took Joonas Donskoi from the Avs. He was just about the perfect fit for Seattle under the draft rules. They had to take so many players already under contract (check—Donskoi is signed through the 2022-2023 season). They had to pick players that would bring their overall salary to somewhere between 60-100% of the league “salary cap.” (check—Donskoi has a nice, medium figure salary—around 3.9 million per season). Obviously, the Kraken wanted to introduce some talent without breaking the bank. Donskoi is near perfect in that category. He’s a great 2nd or 3rd line forward. He’ll never be a true “star” but he’ll always play his heart out and produce some points and some minutes. All of this is very important for a team just getting started.

Now, the Avs need to get their own house in order. They need to re-sign Gabe Landeskog (the team captain), Brandon Saad (a recent acquisition from Chicago), Phillip Grubauer (their star goalie) and Cale Makar (their second year phenom). And, they need to do all of this and stay under the salary cap. Quite a chore.

So, there’s life in hockeyland for those who care. And, for those who don’t, thanks for humoring me. C’mon, October.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this near the end of the work week, Thursday.

July 21, 2021

Takes Me Back to SNL

Filed under: images, language, musings, Reminiscneces, words — Tags: , , — schingle @ 3:22 pm

Again, my brain was as dry as a potsherd, so I dipped into the word of the day. Very glad I did. I’m reminded of earlier episodes of Saturday Night Live and Mike Myers and his character, Linda Richman.

Today’s word? Verklempt. Its meaning? “…overly emotional and unable to speak…” I’ll always remember “Linda” patting her hair and saying it was “…no big whoop…” Then, suddenly, she’d get a little verklempt and tell the rest of us to “tall amongst yourselves.” I’m getting a little verklempt just thinking about it.

And now, on to its origins and etymology. Per dictionary.com:

Verklempt, ‘overcome with emotion and unable to speak,’ is an American colloquialism from Yiddish verklempt, farklempt ‘overcome with emotion,’ from German verklemmt ‘inhibited, uptight,’ literally ‘pinched, squeezed,’ the past participle of verklemmen ‘to become stuck.’

Call me crazy but today’s word of the day just tickled me.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this hump day Wednesday.

July 20, 2021

Don’t Judge a Book…

It’s a tried and true, if overused, phrase—don’t judge a book by its cover. I was reminded of it today by my Tao reading, which the author entitled, “Appearances.” The opening poem reads:

Some look fierce/ but are mild Some seem timid, but are vicious Look beyond appearances; position yourself for the advantage

While I agree with most of the poem, the last line is troubling, at least to my mind. The reading does go on to explain in more detail and says that if we keep ourselves in a position of a better “view” we have a lesser chance of being “duped” or “taken.” Perhaps that’s true, but it just seems unusually cynical for the Tao. (I mean, for me, personally, cynical is just an every day thing but I digress).

Still, the rest of the reading rings true for me. I’m in a line of work where I meet all kinds of different people. Rich and poor. Liberal and conservative. Blue collar and white collar. Every race, creed and skin color you can imagine. Many is the time I’ll pull up to a rider and think, “oh, man, I don’t want to deal with this guy” based solely on appearances. More often than not, I’m wrong.

Of course, the converse is often true as well. I’ll see someone and based on nothing more than physical looks, I’ll assume we’ll get along, only to have that person rag on me about every little thing that happens on the road. You would think after four years and over 16,000 rides given, I’d learn my lesson. Let’s hope today, as day one of a new practice, that I learn not to judge the book before seeing what’s inside.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this sunny and muggy Tuesday.

July 19, 2021

An Impasse and Other Distractions

So, yesterday at our darts tournament several of us discussed different ways we could start up a new league. There were at least three different ideas, but we came to no consensus. It would appear as if we are at an impasse but we can keep bringing ideas in until something sticks. We’ll see what occurs. If nothing else, my would be team mate (Al) plays in a Thursday night league. It’s a singles league playing simply for prize money. When the next go round begins, I’m going to see if I can join them. J’s free to join as well. Again, we’ll see.

Speaking of the Sunday tournament, for the first time since we joined this group, J and I were partnered together yesterday. There were six teams in the tournament. We ended up taking fourth place. We lost our first match, but came back to win our second. We took the third one down to the wire, but in the end we lost that one as well. Oh well, it’s all for fun anyway.

Our dog, Fisk the wonder dog, is starting to show signs of age. She really slowed down on our morning walk today. Either she’s getting older (which, of course, we ALL are) or maybe the symptoms of Valley Fever are showing up again. It was just about a year ago right now that she was first diagnosed. She went on medications and rebounded fairly quickly. Unfortunately, Valley Fever is a life long thing and can be symptomatic at any time. She’s probably just about due for another blood test anyway. And, as I say frequently, we’ll see.

That covers things in small bites.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this beautiful and, starting to get hot again, Monday.

July 18, 2021

Organizational meeting?

Filed under: darts, friendships, images, musings, recreation — Tags: , , , — schingle @ 3:25 pm

Well, it’s Sunday and that means darts. This is our little informal darts tournament that we hold every Sunday. There are usually anywhere from 12 to 18 of us that play. We have a blind draw for partners and play doubles. It’s a double elimination tournament, meaning you can lose once and still have a chance, but once you’ve lost twice, you’re out. It costs two dollars per person so it really doesn’t hurt anything and it’s good practice.

At least eight of us who are regulars were also members of our league that recently disbanded. There were several talks last week (individually and in small groups) about starting up a rogue league. I’d like to get people to talk about it together. How can we make this happen? I don’t think we need a “charter.” I don’t think we need to form a proper “non-profit” status for the league. If we can get 16 people to agree to commit to a regular night and we could have four teams of four and just make a makeshift schedule. The season could last, say, 12 weeks with each team playing each other four times. Something like that. But we do need to organize. We’ll see how things play out.

So, that’s our plan for a Sunday. First, “LB’s” for darts tourney and then to Beer House of socialization. Not a bad Sunday. The only bad thing? It’s raining, so we can’t walk the dog. The rain is good, the missing dog walk is bad.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this beautiful and wet Sunday morning.

July 17, 2021

Dream Within a Dream

After my post of yesterday, one of my favorite writers here on Word Press, Melanie (@melaniereynolds) told me of having lucid dreams. (Lucid dreams are where you’re aware you’re dreaming and can actually manipulate outcomes). It reminded me of a one time event that happened to me some 38 years ago I guess. I called it a dream within a dream.

It was towards the end of my Junior year in college. April of 1983. I shared a two bedroom house with two roommates (John and Mike). John and Mike each had a bedroom. I had half of the living room, separated out by a couple of hanging tapestries. (We fancied ourselves hippie-dipster types).

Anyway, one night as we were getting close to finals, I had stayed up particularly late. When I finally went to bed, I saw myself lying in bed. I’ve often just been myself in a dream, but this is the first (and only time that I remember) time I saw myself in a dream from a third person perspective. As I was lying there I noticed I was having a night terror. (As opposed to a nightmare, a night terror is when you feel absolutely motionless as if some entity is holding you down). Seeing myself in this state of panic, I forced myself to awaken.

I bolted upright and got to thinking. Since it was finals time, I wanted to make sure that I had set my alarm. My night stand and alarm clock were on the other side of the tapestry I had hanging between my “room” and the living room. I pulled back the tapestry and checked my alarm. As I was letting the tapestry fall back I glanced out the living room window. In the house next door I thought I saw a figure. By now, the tapestry had shut. I wanted to make sure I saw what I saw. I opened the tapestry again and looked out the living room window. In the house next door was a bald headed figure (a man?) and he (it?) was staring right at me. Started my heart up real good.

So, I let the tapestry shut again, and I lay in bed really scared. Freaked out even. I lay there a good ten minutes before deciding to get up. I got up and walked to the other side of the tapestry into our living room. I decided to watch TV for a few minutes and just mellow out for a bit. I turned on the Tonight Show (this was back in the Johnny Carson days). Instead of Johnny Carson, though, Bill Cosby was the guest host. Nothing eventful happened but as I lit a cigarette, I woke up in earnest back in my bed. Hence, the dream within a dream.

When I later related this story to a friend of mine named Phil (who was a Native American—a mountain Sioux from Montana), he told me that the figure I saw in the next door house was a dead man’s spirit who wanted to steal my body when I was in this unconscious state. I don’t know if any of that’s true, but I know seeing this figure staring right at me when I was sleeping was enough to scare me but good.

So, that’s my story of my “dream within a dream.” For what it’s worth.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this beautiful Saturday.

July 16, 2021

An Observation About Dreams

They say we dream every night, but that we don’t always remember them. When that happens we’ll say we didn’t dream. Not that that’s absolutely true, but that’s the consensus. I had a really weird dream last night and it got me to thinking. My thinking is dreams are strange (out of order, out of context, unworldly, etc.) for a reason. It’s to make them more memorable.

Think about it. If you dream that you woke up, had a cup of coffee, went to the bus, caught your bus, went to work, had lunch, went back to work, then headed home—what would be memorable about that? Maybe those are the kinds of dreams we have when we don’t remember—-or say we “didn’t dream.”

I won’t go into details about the dream I had last night as it would take too long. Suffice to say that it involved going to a series of bars, interrupting a gay orgy complete with a vomitorium, losing my ID and feeling unsafe walking through a sketchy neighborhood. Now, with all that weirdness, it was easy for me to remember my dream. Now, if you’re going to ask “what’s the point?” I can’t answer that.

One school of thought is that we dream to try and teach ourselves something about ourselves. Even if we dream about others, and we aren’t “in our own dreams,” it’s some aspect of the other person that we’re trying to find (or maybe eradicate?) within ourselves. Again, just a theory.

So, back to my theory, if we dream to try to teach ourselves some sort of “lesson” (for lack of a better term), then dreams HAVE to be weird, bizarre, strange in order to help us remember them. Of course, with the weirdness, the interpretation becomes that much more difficult.

Just some thoughts. I may be full of shit. I’ve certainly been told that before.

And, as always, here’s wishing everybody peace on this hazy, end of the work week Friday.

July 15, 2021

The Spice of Life

I was scrolling through my reader page focusing on people whom I follow. It just occurred to me what a wide range of people whose stuff I get a chance to read. Well, you know what they say about variety. I’m all for it. Thank you all.

I have a couple of people who show up in my reader scroll who are published writers. That’s cool and kind of encouraging. I have a very few pieces published in print—mostly in “alternative” newspapers, but it’s nice to see your own name in print.

Then, I have people who write almost exclusively about politics. It’s obviously an interest of mine, but I can’t just focus on the plight of the world (and trust me, the world is in trouble). It just gives me a headache. I figure I’m well past the half way point in my life. I don’t need headaches on purpose. But, many thanks to those of you who focus on politics. It helps keep me informed.

There are a few whom I follow who write almost exclusively about sports. I’m a huge sports fan, but to only dwell on them isn’t my prime concern. Most sports I write about are my own darts league (recently disbanded), and my love for hockey. I love reading other people’s takes on sports, though.

And then there are those who write about music. I LOVE reading their stuff. It’s funny, when I first started this blog that was going to be my sole focus. Then I drifted into the world of variety. Perhaps my writing should be more focused, but I like switching things up.

And, finally, I am amazed (but probably shouldn’t be) at the number of people I follow who write about food. Some share recipes. Others speak about restaurants they’ve tried. But, if food is the focus, I’m so there.

And, so I want to thank each and every one of you for the variety of things you like to share with the rest of us. Keeps things nice and spicy.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this (work week is almost over) Thursday.

July 14, 2021

A Little Knowledge

Filed under: Humility, images, musings, Nature, Reminiscneces — Tags: , , , — schingle @ 2:51 pm

I had to share at least a part of my Stoic reading from today. The reading is entitled, “A Little Knowledge is Dangerous.” There’s probably a little something in there for everyone—including yours truly.

The piece begins with a quote from Epictetus: “Every great power is dangerous for the beginner. You must therefore wield them as you are able, but in harmony with nature.”

It goes on to say that, often, a teacher will be hardest on his most promising student. This is because if someone is a “natural” at something, she or he may skip through the rudimentary stuff we all have to go through at the beginning, and try to become a “master” right away. Now while it’s true that a natural might learn more quickly, he still has to work at all the steps in between in order to gain true mastery.

I remember a teacher I had once told me. Yeah, Michael Jordan is a great basketball player, but did you know he’s the first player to come to practice AND the last to leave? Even with all the natural talent he has, he still understands he needs to work on his game as hard or harder than anyone else out there.

I’ll end this piece with the final few lines from today’s Stoic reading: “Don’t get carried away. Take it slow. Train with humility.”

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace on this beautiful (and wet, yay!!!) Wednesday.

July 13, 2021

At What Point Do You Accept Defeat?

Filed under: images, musings, Mysteries, politics — Tags: , , — schingle @ 3:31 pm

This is not a news flash, however to the many people who still view the last US national election as having been “stolen,” it may come as one. The orange wannabe dictator LOST. Ok? Got it? He lost!

It seems that a good majority of the people in the states (more then 7 million more) think that four years of tyranny, of not listening to the true majority, of skirting congress whenever the “president” doesn’t get his way and of avoiding the rule of law was enough. And yet, his legions still don’t get the message. So, how does one solve the problem? Good question.

To start, members of the dictator’s OWN party HAVE to stand up to him. They have to tell him, first you lost and second, you don’t speak for the party as a whole. Only then will his minions receive the message that the last election is over. Only then will they stop with the threats of over-running the government who was duly elected.

The irony, which is lost on the dictator’s (blind) followers is, that while they call themselves patriots, they are among the biggest of sinners and transgressors of the US constitution. These people do not want democracy. They want to WIN, regardless of the rule of law. And yet, they’ll continue to call themselves “patriots.” It’d be laughable, if it weren’t so scary. And, so pitiful.

Sorry to get on my high horse, all. I’ve stayed away from politics for quite a while, but I keep reading these headlines that make me sick.

And, as always, here’s wishing everyone peace (including, and maybe even more so, those who continue to follow the orange one) on this beautiful and still slightly cooler Tuesday.

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