An Uber-relaxing weekend

This past weekend was Uber-relaxing for me… except I don’t find being an Uber driver (and an unpaid one at that) very relaxing.

  1. Friday afternoon: Pick up Peter from his class field trip at Northern Kentucky University, drive him home.
  2. Take Leah to the thrift shop so she could look for Halloween costumes, then drive her back home, just in time to…
  3. Take Peter to his job at the pizza parlor, and get home just in time to…
  4. Take Andrew and his friend to the junior high dance at school.
  5. Bring home Andrew, his friend and another friend (guess that kid’s parents found out about our complimentary ride policy), as well as Leah, who was attending the football game. Drop each kid off at their respective home.
  6. Saturday afternoon: drive Leah to a friend’s house so she could get ready for a classmate’s Halloween party
  7. Saturday evening: pick up Leah and 3 friends at the party, and drive them all back to their homes.

7 trips, a total of 14 different stops… $0 earned. I need more hustle in my side hustle.

Good thing these kids don’t know that I failed my taxi driver test:

 

Win or go home… actually more like win AND go home

Sorry to have back to back blog posts about baseball (you’re getting very sleepy….), but the recent spate of manager firings seems preposterous.

Dusty Baker – you finished first in your division in both years as manager of the Washington Nationals.  Congratulations! Oh, and one other thing:

John Farrell – you made the playoffs 3 of the 5 years that you managed the Red Sox  – including this year (and one of the other years you were out with lymphoma) – and won a World Series. Great job. P.S.:

P.P.S. We’re replacing you with someone who has zero managerial experience. Here’s some salt for your wound.

Joe Girardi – your Yankees made the playoffs in 6 of your 10 years at the helm, you won a World Series, and you lost in 7 games to the AL champion Astros this year. Fantastic. Here’s a gift for you:

Seems like anything short of winning the World Series is grounds for dismissal these days. That’s absurd. You can do a masterful job managing 25 millionaires over a 162-game season, but if your team is edged out in a 5- or 7-game playoff series by another squad that’s slightly better, slightly luckier, slightly hotter or all of the above, you get the axe?

I hope the Yanks, Red Sox and Nats all stink next year… that would be karma.

 

Wake me when it’s over

“One of the craziest games you will ever see” said the TV announcer

“Wasn’t that the best game ever!?” said the Astros’ third baseman.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster” said the Dodgers’ manager.

“This is an instant classic and to be part of it is pretty special” said the Astros’ starting pitcher.

“The craziest game that I’ve ever played in” said the Astro who hit the game-winning two-run homer in the 11th inning.

8 home runs – a World Series record – including three by the Astros in extra innings, also a postseason record for any team. A game-tying home run on an 0-2 pitch in the top of the 9th against a closer who was previously untouchable.

And I didn’t see a lick of it.

My dad was a huge Dodgers fan, so I’m happy they’re in the World Series. I spent several summers in Houston and have relatives there – even went to one of my first MLB games at the Astrodome waaay back when – so I’m happy they’re in too. But the games start past 8 p.m. and typically go until midnight (or later when it’s extra innings). I know I won’t be able to see the ending, so why bother with the early innings? It’s like walking out on Star Wars before Luke flies toward the Death Star.

I know TV ratings (and revenue) rule the roost, but if MLB wants to capture the attention and hearts of the next generation of fans, they need to figure out a way to start the at least a couple of the World Series games earlier, or else it’s just the sound of one hand clapping.

 

It pays to eat healthy

Almonds have all sorts of health benefits. This week, the print ad from the grocery chain Fresh Thyme featured almonds for $5.99 a pound, which is a good deal.

But wait, there’s more… right above that featured item was chocolate-covered almonds… for a buck less a pound!

Yes, it truly is cheaper to eat less healthy. I’m surprised that deep-fried-Oreo-covered almonds aren’t on sale for $3.99 a pound.

 

Goodbye Gord

Gordon “Gord” Downie passed away this week. It’s OK if you’ve never heard of him. Most folks in the U.S. haven’t. He was the lead singer of a Canadian band called The Tragically Hip… they were beloved in Canada but never really made much of a dent on U.S. radio or sales charts.

Gord was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2016. He could have wallowed in self-pity and shut things down. Instead, his response was to tour… to keep doing what he did best – sharing his art with his fans, his friends. And to continue to support reconciliation with Indigenous people in his home country.

 

Canada is in mourning over the loss… watch this heartfelt speech from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and you start to get a feel for the impact he had.

Here’s to you, Gord. Not just in the Great White North but across the world, there are millions of folks that appreciate your music and admire your courage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything I need to know, I learned from the funny papers

Confession: I’m 52 years old, and I still read the comic strips first when I get the Sunday newspaper. (Kids, ask your grandparents what a ‘newspaper’ is.)

This past Sunday, there were two comic strips that I found quite profound… tucked in among the usual banal suspects like Beetle Bailey and Hi & Lois.

Pearls Before Swine is consistently very good, and Stephan Pastis really struck a nerve with this one:

Non Sequitur is another standout strip, and this one was outstanding:

You can keep your philosophy books… I’ll take my life lessons in nine panels or less, thank you very much.

DO Blink or you’ll miss it

This weekend, Cincinnati is hosting BLINK. What’s BLINK, you ask? Well, according to the “About” page on the BLINK website:

BLINK, October 12th to the 15th 2017, is expected to be one of the largest light, art and projection mapping events in the nation. The four-day event will feature large-scale projection mapping installations, murals, urban artscapes, media light and interactive art in Cincinnati, OH. BLINK will span 20 city blocks, from Cincinnati’s Banks to Findlay Market. Food and beverages will also be available. BLINK is free and open to the public – no tickets are required. 

That description really doesn’t do it justice – it really is one of those “you have to see it for yourself” things. It basically uses the walls of downtown buildings as giant screens for all sorts of projections, like a mini-movie about the start of King Records:

And it “animates” dozens of murals celebrating Cincinnati’s history and famous citizens. Here’s one of Rosemary Clooney:

All the lighting magic is amazing, but the coolest part to me was the fact that BLINK brought thousands of folks from the ‘burbs to downtown Cincinnati and the area just north of downtown called Over the Rhine. All ages, races, creeds, colors… just enjoying an evening stroll around town with their fellow citizens, checking out the bands that were playing, meeting up with friends, riding the streetcar.

It showed our city at its best, and I hope we see more of it in the future – with or without the light show.

Saturday morning cartoons

Saw this video earlier this week and it cracked me up. Hope you like it too:

 

Go-Go-Godin

I go to a lot of concerts every year. Yesterday I saw a different kind of rock star. Seth Godin is marketing wizard, a best-selling author, a brilliant blogger and one of the best public speakers I’ve ever seen.

Yes, this guy rocks!

He was in Cincinnati yesterday to give the keynote speech at an event called “Brandemonium” (because all of the good names are taken, apparently).

His presentation was ostensibly about how consumer brands can better connect with customers in the digital age. But really it was about life. About generosity. About art. About connecting. About overcoming fear.

His presenting style should be required viewing for any public speaker. Way too many folks try to cram a bunch of bullet points, charts and graphs onto their PowerPoint slides, and they wind up being a huge distraction to the audience… and a crutch for the speaker. Seth uses compelling visuals (one per slide) and a sprinkling of text to move his narrative along, so you can focus on the story instead of the charts and graphs.

I set up a blog a few years ago, and created a whopping total of about five blog posts in the first 18 months of its existence. Then Seth issued a “blog post a day for one week” challenge via his own blog, and that was exactly the kickstart I needed. (So if you don’t like dubbatrubba.com, blame Seth, not me!) He taught me that if you keep waiting for “perfect” you’ll squander your talent (using that term very loosely). “Ship your product” in Seth’s parlance means creating something and putting it out into the world.

I highly recommend you subscribe to Seth’s blog. You’ll get a daily email containing his latest blog post – most posts take just a minute or two to read, but the food for thought will sustain you all day long.

I know I sound like a fanboy. Because I am. You should be too.

Exclusive: the true origin of the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop feud, revealed!

It all started with a Ho.