Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NFL Champs: Seattle Never, Denver Hardly Ever

The geezer is trying to whip up enthusiasm for this year's Super Bowl despite the fact that a couple of expansion teams are vying for the Lombardi Trophy. Denver wasn't admitted to the National Football League until 1970. The Seattle franchise is even younger; it didn't sign on until 1976.

Oh well, backers of teams that have been playing the game since the 1920s and 30s can afford to be charitable. My guys, the Green Bay Packers, have won the championship 13 times. Seattle? Never. Denver  only twice.

Back next year? Maybe.
NFL clubs with some history--da Bears, Cardinals, Giants, Lions, Eagles, Redskins, and Packers--can only hope to add to their laurels in the future. The usual cry of "Wait Until Next Year" is already reverberating around the league.

If it doesn't happen for your favorites right away, don't give up. The geezer once waited nearly 30 years for the Pack to get back. A long drought just makes savoring a new title all the sweeter.

The geezer's Super Sunday pick: Seattle by 3. That will give them one.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Merry Birthday II

Some folks still may be laughing it up as we reach the end of the season to be jolly, but about this time of  year members of my family often suffer from celebration burnout. Our problem is caused by a concentration of birthdays.

There's a somewhat unusual history of holiday birthdays in my family. My grandfather was born on Christmas Day in Germany in 1855. My father was born on Christmas Day in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1891. I broke the chain. My birthday is on New Years Day.

I don't know how being a Christmas baby affected grandfather's life, but it had a bit of negative impact on
dad. He was subjected to "one for two" gifting. He got more than his share of packages at our Christmas morning present openings marked "Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday."

My New Years Day arrival might have been expected to improve dad's fortunes to compensate, but it didn't. Merchants in my hometown showered gifts on the mothers and fathers of the year's first-born. It was a small city, and  sometimes the first baby of the year didn't arrive until Jan. 3 or 4. However, the one doctor who specialized in assisting at baby deliveries was busy on my birthday. I was the fourth child born that day. My family got no gifts nor headlines in the local paper.

Well, I did present dad with a full year's tax deduction, right? Yes, but his business was doing so poorly at the time that he had no profits and therefore no income taxes to pay. My new dependent deduction had no value.

Lee broke the family tradition of male holiday births when he waited until February 11 to arrive, but he contributed to our present birthday burnout situation. Karen's birthday is Jan. 8 and Sandy's comes not long after on the 21st. The four of us who live in close proximity thus require gifts and parties four times within about six weeks. That's a lot of partying, especially closely following the Christmas season.

Karen proposed a plan to make the 2014 B-Day time happier for all. Each birthday will feature the usual gift opening, but this time at a low-key private gathering for dessert and drinks in the evening. We will have one gala event on Jan. 25 to honor all four of us. It should be a good party, and one will be quite enough, thank you. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

How Bad Was It? Hell Froze Over

Twenty inches of snow fell on us over a three-day period. Temperatures dropped below zero and stayed there, setting several records. Schools closed. Businesses closed. Even Western Michigan University closed for two days, a rare event. The Kalamazoo Gazette said our winter weather in southwestern Michigan was a dreadful as anything experienced over the last hundred years. Conditions were as bad or worse elsewhere in the state.

To a lad who grew up in northern Wisconsin it didn't seem so awful. After all, my hometown of Tomahawk experienced 30 days of below-zero temps in a typical winter. But then various media had some fun telling us how bad things were. I had to admit it was terrible. I learned that Hell froze over.

The sign that welcomes visitors to Hell, Michigan

A few folks have told the geezer to go there over the years. And some who thought I might wander on the way have told me to go straight there. Yet I knew nothing about Hell. A bit of research revealed that Hell, Michigan, is a small village near Ann Arbor. Going to Hell from our home is a 95 mile trip.

A Hell resident who may have been exaggerating just a bit said the temperature dropped to 30 below zero (Fahrenheit) one night last weekend. He somewhat proudly posed beside an abandoned plow that got stuck in a huge snow drift while trying to rescue another truck stuck in a drift. You can be amused by this and other media reports on the subject if you choose. Just navigate to your favorite search engine and go to Hell.

This should be an amazing year. We'll get to enjoy all those things that never were supposed to happen until Hell froze over.