Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “January, 2014”


Peyton Manning and I like to dress alike in our Bronco gear.  I don’t mind when he does that.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say.



Smell of Sweet Success

So I have written recently about my official NFL licensed #18 Peyton Manning Bronco jersey. Remember?  All season, I would wear it, like many other fans with Bronco jerseys, on game days, and maybe even on the Friday before a Sunday game. In the playoffs, it became time to step it up.

Last week, in preparation for the AFC Championship last Sunday, I started wearing my jersey on Thursday and continued on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Then, in celebration, it was appropriate to wear it on Monday.  Similarly, Tuesday and thereafter, I felt it my duty to keep up the team spirit by wearing my jersey each and every day.   I have followed that course of duty each and every day.  That statement is not fully descriptive.  I meant day and night, for luck is a fickle thing and night loyalty might be even more important than day loyalty. 

With the Super Bowl approaching, and only one more week before the game, it has seemed important to me to stay the course.  I imagine that there is a Seahawk fan out there, wearing a Seahawk jersey relentlessly.  It is between him and me.  Which of us is the stronger of spirit?

My wife, Miss Sugar, is, as I have often observed, just a girl.  She does not understand manly things.  She sees no harm in washing my lucky jersey.  That is just what my Seahawk counterpart is waiting for.  And I am waiting for his wife to wash his jersey.  That is when I will have him.  At that moment, the Bronco Super Bowl victory will be sealed and they will have little old me to thank for it. Coach, I can beat this guy!

Oh, sure, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS Sports and all the commentators won’t give me credit, but I won’t mind.  I don’t need credit for the victory.  I just want to do my part for the team. 

It is only crazy if it does not work. 


Sugar got an appointment for me with Dr. Gersoff at 11:30 a.m. this morning.  He sent me to the hospital for an M.R.I. of my critically injured right knee.  Then I was to return to his office.  I appreciated that he did not just send me for the M.R.I., wait for the report, then have me come back on another day to go over it.  I think I know what is going on.  I suspect that Coach Fox and V.P. Elway pressured him to expedite getting me back in action.  He did not say that specifically, but I could see it in his eyes.

At the hospital, I had to go to admissions even for just a test.  For some reason, they were interested in my health insurance and even called to get the M.R.I. authorized.  CIGNA must be staffed by Bronco fans because the M.R.I. was approved immediately.  Thanks Coach Fox.

So for the paperwork, the hospital lady asked my occupation, to which I answered that I am an unsigned NFL free agent, and then Sugar rudely interjected, “He is delusional.  Put down that he is a lawyer.”  I don’t know what the lady actually put down, but since I was wearing a Bronco jersey, and am the perfect size for an NFL linebacker, I have a funny feeling that she put down both occupations, which is accurate.  I don’t understand why Sugar called me delusional because it is true that I am, at the present time, unsigned by any NFL team. 

The admitting lady told me the MRI was approved (surprise!) and led me to the Imaging Department.  There, I was presented with more paperwork, handed to me on a clipboard.  It was very intrusive.  There were questions about many health issues, such as whether I have metal anywhere in my body, including bullets, probably because metal would affect the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine.  As I stood in my gym shorts, I think I know what caused them ask this question:  Do you have a penile implant?

So I wrote as my answer, “No, but thanks for asking.  Everybody wonders about that, but truly, it is all natural.”  Sugar felt that a simple “no” would have sufficed.  I was chuckling as I handed back the clipboard.  The lady behind the desk was not amused, but I crack me up.

After the M.R.I., they burned a copy on a disk for me to take back to Dr. Gersoff.

Dr. Gersoff showed me that my meniscuses (mesici?) are pretty much shot, that I have bone spurs, that I have reactive bone growth or something like that, and that I had a bunch of fluid, causing swelling.

So he put a big needle in my knee and filled two syringes with the bloody fluid (100 c.c), and then he injected some medicine, cortisone, I think.  I hope it is not a steroid that will affect my eligibility for either the NFL or the Olympics. 

He told me I could hold off on the artificial knee replacement, but to take it easy for a few days. 

He did not say it during the appointment, but I expect that he will tell Coach Fox that I will be ready for the Super Bowl in two weeks.   

Put me in, Coach!  (I am willing to sign a one game contract.)


Superbowling Without Me

Many of you dear readers are aware of my status as an undrafted, unsigned NFL free agent awaiting that call from the Broncos.  Well, sad to say, my status has changed because I have had to put myself on the injured reserve list due to a non-football related knee injury.  To be competitive in the Super Bowl, I really need full mobility, espectially the ability to make quick lateral cuts, which ability I now lack.

How, you ask out of grave concern, did I injure my right knee?

It is kind of embarrassing.  Many consider swimming to be a safe sport.  However, for those of us at the elite level, the act of kicking displaces so much water that something has to give.  I am a swimmer with special power it seems.  I entered the pool on Friday and swam a couple laps of butterfly, a difficult stroke requiring extraordinary coordination so as to execute the technique.  Then I swam a couple laps of freestyle, cutting through the water with grace and speed.  Next I started my specialty, breaststroke, which employs a frog kick or whip kick.  As you know, one’s knees move laterally and then come together.  On Friday, my usually compliant knees decided they could go up and down but they drew the line at going sideways and back together for in the process of swimming breaststroke, my right knee gave up and gave out. 

I blame my wife and mother.  Sugar dropped me off at the pool.  She said that I needed to get back in my routine so that I can again swim in the Senior Olympics and qualify for the national championships, again.  My mother always asks me if I have been exercising.  Pushy broads!

I hope that they are happy now that I am too crippled to play for the Broncos in the Super Bowl. I wonder how they are going to explain that to Peyton Manning, John Elway, John Fox and millions of Bronco fans. 

I wonder how they are going to explain my injury to the Senior Olympic Committee and the Senior World Games folks and all Americans counting on me.

Tomorrow I am going to see Dr. Gersoff, the orthopedic specialist for many professional athletes.  He has photos in his waiting room of Bronco players and Avalanche players and Olympic skiers and such.  I might be his first swimmer.  I better bring him an autographed photo of me in a Speedo, suitable for framing. Olympian 127



Peyton Manning, #18, is not my team-mate, yet, but, since I am an undrafted free agent, I hope that soon we will both be on the roster for the Broncos.  I happen to possess an official NFL licensed Peyton Manning jersey, which I will be wearing on Sunday, when the Patriots come to Denver for the AFC championship game to decide which team goes to the Superbowl.  Of course, after I am signed, the Broncos will have to get me a jersey of my own, with a different number, but, for now, we both wear #18.

Peyton and I have not spent a lot of time hanging out together, yet, but I look forward to doing so.  He drives a Buick and my father had a Buick, so we have that in common.  Also, he has won some awards for his athletic accomplishments, and, as you readers are no doubt very aware, I have a few trophies of my own.  Remember who was captain of the 7th grade flag football championship team a few years back?  I thought you would! 

So, like I was saying, Peyton is my kind of guy.  I sincerely root for him and the other Broncos to beat the Patriots and then to win the Superbowl.  I don’t mind if I don’t get one of the championship rings this year because I will probably get one next year.

Now I have time to get that double knee replacement during the off season and to get my weight up.  After that, Peyton and I will have some fun during the 2014 season.  Go Broncos!


Prayer for Peace

This prayer is attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

Divine Master, grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.  Amen.


Another Funeral

Tomorrow is the funeral.

When Jamie posted on Facebook that his teenage son, Adam, had committed suicide, Sugar told me about it and I called him.  We had a good talk about Adam, about addiction, about depression, about divorce, about family, about grieving, about the Bible, and about Jamie’s faith.  He wept.  I tried to comfort him.   

I did not know Jamie that well.  We just met at a couple of Sugar’s art shows and hit it off.  Jamie’s planters made from re-cycled tires are very unique so we bought a few.  I just thought he could use a friend when I heard of Adam’s death.  I told him to call me if he wanted to talk more, but I did not call him again.

That was in November.  In December, Sugar offered Jamie a spot in her Handmade for the Holidays show at the Hilton.  He decided to not participate.

 Tomorrow is Jamie’s funeral.  He could not bear living any longer.  He hung himself in the shed behind his rented house. A lady from church told us.  She thought we’d want to know.

Jamie’s pain is something I can only imagine but not understand. God understands. May God grant Jamie the peace that passeth all understanding.

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The title to this post is a famous quote from Cool Hand Luke.  It was said by the warden.  He was not referring to language differences.  I am. 

We have a rental property which was, as I have written recently, damaged by pot-growing tenants.  As a consequence, we made an insurance claim.  The adjuster sent us a check.  The check is payable to my wife and me, of course, as we are the policyholders.  However, the house has a mortgage, so another payee is on the check — the mortgage company, as “an additional insured.”  Therefore, that third payee has to endorse the check for it to do us any good.  

Now, if the mortgage was held by a local bank, as is the mortgage on the ranch, we could go to the bank and have an authorized officer of the bank endorse the check in order for us to have the money for the agreed repairs.  Sadly, our mortgage on the rental house was sold to a lender we do not know, which is headquartered in another state, and which, obviously, is staffed by persons for whom English is not their primary language.  Apparently, the customer service department has been out-sourced to another continent.  I whispered to Miss Sugar, “This gal ain’t from around these parts.”

Before the politically correct amongst us attack me for a failure to value diversity, allow me to point out that the purpose of a customer service department is to, well, serve customers.  When the service is performed by the telephone, it is valuable to speak the same language.  I don’t mind (most) accents.  I even kinda prefer Southern accents, based on having married a Texas bride.  I can understand Boston, New York, and Joisey accents.  I can understand the Fargo accent in the movie of that name.  I usually understand those who speak English with a Spanish accent.  I cannot identify the accent of the lady who was in our mortgage company’s service department, which is why I truly believe that she is presently in another continent, not that she came from a faraway land and culture, but she is clearly still there, yet has been hired to help, via telephone, customers in America, 

Miss Sugar took the phone and sweetly tried to obtain the address where we were to send the insurance check for endorsement and to inquire about the process and whether it may be expedited.  The two ladies talked for several minutes.  Sugar tried to write information on a sheet of paper.  I noticed that Sugar repeated herself a lot.  Poor Sugar, the mortgage lady does not speak Texan.  I doubt she understood, “Ah preciate y’all’s hep.” 

Sugar endeavored to repeat the spelling of the street name; however, to do so, it is vital that the letters of the alphabet be mutually understood. 

We have some information.  It is not entirely reliable.  I am not clear on whether the check is to go to Ohio or Iowa.  Miss Sugar cannot say for certain; i.e. “shuh.” 

Maybe we should just put Pakistan on the envelope and hope it gets to the proper person in Customer Service. 


Consider this parable:
A man was driving on a country road when one of the tires on his truck blew out and was flat.
His brother came along and invited the man with the flat tire to come have a beer with him sometime.
“That would be nice, but what I need now is to borrow your cell phone so that I can call AAA.”
“You should not need my cell phone.  I know that you have a cell phone.  Use your cell phone.”
“I left my phone at home.  That is why I am asking for your help, Brother.  What does it hurt you to hand me your cell phone so that I can call AAA?”
“You should have checked your tires.  Then this could have been avoided.  I don’t have a flat tire.”
“Yes, I know, but may I use your phone or not?”
“Man, that hurts my feelings.”
“I will pray for you.”
“Thanks, but I need to call AAA.”
“I will pray for you.”
“I heard you the first time.”
“That is all I want to say.  I will pray for you.  Bye.”
And he drove away, thinking, “My brother is sure a screw up.  After all I have done for him, he wants to use my cell phone.  Isn’t praying for his sorry ass enough?  How dare he say that I hurt his feelings!  I am a good person.  Way better than him.  He deserves to be stranded.  Still, I will pray for him and patiently await the opportunity to have a beer together like the good old days.”
After the devout Christian brother drove away, a Samaritan on a Harley stopped.
“Hey, Dude, need any help?”
“Yeah, thanks.  Do you have a cell phone that I can use to call AAA?”
“Sure.  No problem.”
Maybe the brother was praying that someone else would help.

Call the Police!

As a prerequisite to reading this post, you should first read the one on the link below.

So Miss Sugar and I have a rental house in a town 50 miles away.  The tenants were to move out by the end of December.  On the last day of the month and of the year, they were to vacate the premises.  On January 1, we arrived at the rental house.  Imagine our surprise that the moving truck parked in the driveway was empty.

I knocked on the door.  It was locked.  I went into the back yard.  The two Mastiffs greeted me.  I walked into the open patio door.  They were not exactly packed up.  I looked around.  I got Sugar to come in too.  She had her camera.  See link. 

 I have been told that the power of my personal presence can be intimidating.  Shucks, I am just a country lawyer.  For some reason, over the years Miss Sugar has gotten the impression that I am a fighter as well as a lover.  She exaggerates about both.  Still, she was concerned when the tenants returned and I had a conversation with the male tenant, whom the police later described as “a large individual with a female companion with blue hair.” 

I might have let it slip during the conversation that I was not pleased that our house had been used to grow marijuana, that we had not given permission for a vent in the roof of the garage, and when the large individual denied the growing of marijuana, I might have inadvertantly called him a liar and encroached into his personal space, at which time he told me that I did not have to get aggressive.  I do recall gently responding that I am very aggressive and, perchance, I may have described myself, with typical self-deprecation, as a mean son of a bitch, without meaning disrespect for my own mother.  It was just a literary tool. 

In a few brief minutes, when I was inside the house and he was loading the truck, there was a knock on the door.  It was two police officers.  They informed me that they had received a call about an altercation.  I said there was no physical alteration, yet, and stated that our tenants were not out as promised, which I realize is a civil matter, and that this is a marijuana grow house, which in other states would be a criminal matter.  They did not seem interested in the latter.  

I thought, “What a weanie, calling the police on me.”

Sugar told me that she is the person who made the call.  I was insulted.  “I could take him, Sugar, you know I can, and you could handle the blue hair chick.”  

“I know.  It was not you that I was worried about.  A murder conviction could interfere with your ability to practice law.”

That Sugar is always considerate of the feelings of others.


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