Guilty…with a Caveat

i am sitting in my office before breakfast, part of what as become my daily routine with way too many “daily routines” lately. i have put away last night’s dishes; retrieved, sorted (sports pages, though little newsprint these days; and comics for me, and all of the bad news for Maureen); placed the newspaper on the breakfast table; opened the blinds to welcome the sun and see if the hummingbirds are humming around the sage outside the window; set said table; put Maureen’s “frother” and all of her three hundred and thirty-six things she puts it in the coffee near the coffeemaker, which she uses for her less expensive coffee because of all those things she will put in it; ground my beans, put the coarse grind into the press, poured in the steaming water; and retreated, with the press and cup in hand so after four minutes of steeping, i can have fresh coffee, untouched by three hundred and thirty-six ingredients.

i have checked the weather (and it’s Southwest corner glorious for a change as we are apparently pulling out of this protracted, record breaking rainy season, which has dumped three times the average amount so far this year, even though we have one more (i hope) rainy weekend ahead of us; read Wiley Miller’s daily “Non Sequitur” comic strip because our paper’s editor had his nose tweaked when Miller had an inappropriate something in one strip and didn’t tell the editor, so it was pulled about nine months ago but i need my daily fix; checked my email and Facebook; recorded today’s “to-do” list; and am already ignoring that list because i’m writing this.

And i’m feeling guilty.

One of the worse things about commentary, especially sports and political commentary, is when talking heads and writer’s propound something, especially when it makes them look like an expert, and subsequently, their profounding is proven wrong, they don’t own up to it, don’t point it out, or put a twist on it to make it seem like they were correct or they simply ignore it.

Guilty. At least three counts. Until now. Ah heck, maybe two of those should have been “nolo contendere” pleas, which is one of the most waffling legal terms in existence.

My most recent gaffe was yesterday when i spoke of Gorgeous George jumping 24 folding chairs. i woke up in the middle of the night and thought, “Hmm, a folding chair is probably close to three feet from front to back, so…24 of them would be about 72 feet long. Hmm…since the record long jump for some of the top athletes in the world, one of which is one of my favorites Ralph Boston, is not quite 30 feet, i’m pretty sure Gorgeous didn’t jump 24. Small chairs: nope. Bad memory? Too much beer? Old age? Maybe. Somehow 24 stuck i my mind. To be accurate, i don’t remember, i’m guessing maybe six. Don’t know.

i apologize for the exaggeration, something i have never heard a sports color man  ever do — They like to call themselves “analysts” but then they are the idiots who constantly use the term “physicality” incorrectly because someone else used it, and they thought it made them seem smarter, and that bugs me too, but it ain’t just sports guys: some bozo PR guy for one Chief of Naval Operations came up with the term “warfighter,” which is nonsensical and the perfect word “warrior” became almost non-existent because every other flag and every other boot licker (and i cleaned that up) thought it was cool and it became THE word in every military briefing and speech.

Back to the point at hand, i apologize.

The next gaffe was definitely my faulty memory in old age acting up. Mike Dixon caught me on my adjunct post about hard hit baseballs. i was convinced Les Peden, the player-manager of the New Orleans Pelicans hit that home run that came back in. i thought it was Dick Shively doing the call. But when i checked myself, Peden never played for or managed the Pelicans. He played a year or two for the Arkansas Travelers and it was after Larry Munson had taken over for Shively as the Nashville Vols announcer. Mike corrected me in an email, citing a Nashville Banner photo of Joe Margoneri, a pitcher for the Vols as the guy who hit the homer.

i should have a better fact checker. i apologize.

The final wrong is the one i wish to correct more than the others. i disagreed with many folks making a hero out of Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Roosevelt, who wrote a non-classified request for essentially quarantining his ship’s personnel because of an outbreak of the covid-19 virus. As of today, there apparently was no dire possibility of military action in the region, and more importantly, Crozier did make an effort to go through his chain of command before going public.

i am disappointed he was put in such a situation. Now, the Navy, with egg all over its face, has done exactly what Crozier requested. From my Navy experience, fealty to the chain of command is extremely important, but Crozier was faced with a classic example of situational ethics. He chose to do what he believed was the right thing to do, and for that, he should be a hero.

i hope he recovers from the dreaded pandemic himself. i also hope he is not persuaded by the money and fame from either side of politics or a huge grunch of the media to run for office or become a talking head. i’m sure some yahoo in Hollywood is already working on a movie and will seek him to be an advisor. It’s just sad. The Navy goofed big time, and it is my belief, it’s a focus on career and political advancement, not the mission, which it should be.

i apologize Captain Crozier, and i hope he gets well soon.

For the future, i will attempt to be more accurate in checking my memories and more circumspect in expressing my opinions. Unlike  those talking heads (and many others), i try to learn from my mistakes and improve, not always successfully.

And sadly as i lean back in my desk chair, i realize i should have been clicking my seat button and leaning back, oh, about three inches, to rest on my flight from Nashville back to the Southwest corner. Today would have been the conclusion of a grand trip back home and an even more desired visit with my grandson, daughter, and son-in-law in Austin.

Didn’t happen. It will, but today, i am sad it hasn’t already occurred.

Take care.

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