Archive for February, 2016

Don’s Look at Baseball

February 25, 2016

I remember the days of old, listening to Mel Allen announce the NY Yankee games on radio.  There’s the windup, in comes the pitch, BAM goes the crack of the bat on ball, it’s a long high fly to right center;  that ball is going, going–it’s gone into the upper deck in right center.  Similar wonderful descriptions of Allen’s brought the Yankees national recognition and fame.

Today I get sports media talking about what is wrong with baseball.  It is rules and regulations that made it safe and great until along came the tinkerers who couldn’t stop fiddling with it by overloading it with more regulations and rules.

Baseball evolved out of a sandlot type sport to become the national pastime.  The major league was made up of all white players in two divisions: American and National Leagues with the powerful Negro League segregated but with much talent as well.  Eventually the Dodgers  hired Jackie Robinson and Cleveland hired Larry Doby which broke the color barrier forever in the major leagues.

Due to injuries mostly, the rule that 2nd base had to be touched while completing a double play was changed to one of just being near the base and so tolerated by umpires and fans.  Bat handles were made thinner for a speedier swing and shin guards were introduced to help avoid spiking during slides.  The softer cover on balls and interior were made harder so balls would be more firmer and livelier.  Artificial turf in some ball parks replaced the grass and dirt field which made the ball speed react even more. Helmets and batting gloves were introduced. Players could leave the batter box and adjust gloves etc.

The old gas house gang type spirit seems to be blunted by the big pay checks.  And teams were managed with the introduction of the high pitch count theory and the wealth of supplying more specialized relief pitchers.  It became a game of talent, big bucks, and big revenues reaped in from TV coverage and advertising.

As noted, a great many improvements have been made from those sandlot days.  But the rules and regulations grow ever more to what I see as delay of game.  The latest was the introduction of video replay of a call or if a homerun was fair or foul.

I would like to suggest that starting pitchers must work at least seven innings before a relief pitcher can be called in.  That would create more action on the base paths and likely more runs.  But it would be fair to both teams.  The fans would get more thrills and quality pitching retained.  There would be high scoring and low scoring games alike through the season with livelier fan excitement generated, higher batting averages and other stats.

Any feedback on my suggestion pro and con welcome!

Venial Sin of Lydia Peters

February 23, 2016

It was hard for me to devise a proper description for this portion of the life of our daughter with the love both Rose and I had hoped to blossom out the full family fullness and hope of someday finding forgiveness.  You see, Lydia was born and raised in a devout manner of Christ’s teachings from which, I believe, would have crushed the beauty of her spirit otherwise.  What follows might explain her sometimes depressed state in that she abhorred violence that seemed destined in her youth like a plague.

It all began after her first job as an assistant hired to clean and help with filing at the O’Rourke Detective Agency.  The agency was located on the 2nd floor of a book store and frequently stayed late to study from the huge book sections which lined it’s walls, even after the store had closed for the night.

She had been witness to arguments by some of the book staff who realized that Lydia had overheard their loose talk exposing the ties to a spy ring out of London and Mr. O’Rourke’s name had come up.  She was followed up the stairs by a female member and accost her as she was preparing to close the office. Lydia says she had a gun pointed at her and thought she was going to shoot her right on the spot but apparently decided to force her down the stairs perhaps to kidnap her and dispose of her later.  As the grace of the Lord was with her, she was able to trip the woman who fell down the stairs and died immediately from a broken neck.

It was a period of weeks after she had called the police to report in her mind an accidental death.  She was afraid.  She was taken into custody and questioned relentlessly for hours. She felt she was being followed with that sense of foreboding, not only by the police but by the group that had immediately left the premises and disappeared.  Sheer torment.  Her dreams had awakened her in sweat as she walked up the steps to have a rope put around her neck.  The police did not believe her story although they pretended such.  Mrs. O’Rourke vouched for her but the fact that her husband had been murdered being pushed onto a subway track and crushed during an investigation and  Lydia had deeply felt sorry for her boss as related during the inquiry.  He had gone to London on such business.  But the police could find no direct ties with his death or those who worked at the bookstore except on the word of Lydia.  Case was filed as open.

All this time, Lydia was schooled with private lessons with Paul.  She had, in fact, been invited to the Soviet Union, not for chess, but her musical talent although she did manage to visit with some of the area chess club members and engage in off hand games. This came about through a student exchange program.  And the brief month had given her a look at how the Russians felt that socialism was the wave of the future.  She had been at a meeting where Putin had been pointed out to her.  He was head of the Russian KGB and described as a cunning and vicious man with a pleasant smile.  The village reminded her of the English and American life of tranquility.  Yet, despite the attempt to persuade the young people attending, in unison did they privately despise the apparent attempt at influence, a few having seen the true conditions as reported by dissidents.

Lydia did not know as related to me whether this group was a hold over from the Nazi days who had been forced through self protection to bond with known  communists that had infiltrated countries like Canada, the USA,  England, France and Italy prior to and following WWII. Eventually it was to engulf most of Europe immediately following the surrender of Germany.  Socialism, the Communist brand, had completely annexed the countries into the Soviet Bloc which launched the Cold War.  What the Soviet secret police did not know was that this exposure firsthand given Lydia made her patriotism soar.  Both the British Isles and Canada were socialist by nature but it was to stir the juices of hatred for the Soviet Union when the spying apparatus of the Soviets was uncovered.  Lydia never confided in me if she had any direct ties to this exposure but she was definitely during that era politically pursuing her government interest and ties that had eventually proved a part of the secrecy of M6 and others.  Even I do not know her security clearance status despite her daughter-father relationship.

All through these years, the trauma felt through what Lydia called a necessary murder years before never left her a feeling of peace.  Her religious love for life so embedded in her spirit even today she says sometimes finds dreams unwelcome as they seem to periodically return.  Whatever other similar occurrences might have taken place she is mum about and I sense she hides any additional feelings from Rose and me.  Being sworn to secrecy she has gone into hiding for fear of her life from either friend or foe.  But she told me that maybe just having me know the truth, she would find family forgiveness of her past sins.  The goal to avenge the death of Mrs. O’Rourke’s husband and partner she was able to fulfill.  She remains a private person, agonized by her treatment early on. Yet, she seems to have lain aside all this in the knowledge that Jesus came to save repenting sinners.

What I give is publicly known.  She has gone on to raise her family with as much love and peace as God willingly fulfills within her heart.  Her husband stands by her as do her children–each of whom is immensely happy and pursuing their own goals in life, none of which is interested in chess outside family play of various board and card games.

I give you, my readers, a testament to heroism of epic proportions although she remains silent on the subject of her past recorded in secret files.





Eyes on New In Chess-The Magazine

February 21, 2016

Over the course of some 650+ articles I have endeavored to make chess an enjoyment for the novice and family circle and adding a bit of humor, story shorts, poetry, and general thoughts on the passing scene.

One of my favorite columns in NIC is Jeroen Bosch’s SECRETS OF OPENING SURPRISES *(S.O.S.).  The current issue has Magnus Carlsen on cover with wins at London and Qatar. Inside you will find classic articles by Shipov, Dlugy, Judit Polgar, Sadler, Timman Endings, Jobava surprise in the Rossolimo Scilian (S.O.S.), Short’s ALL BLACK, Giri report from Doha.

*1. e4  c5  2. Nf3  Nc6 3. Bb5  e5! is the move highly recommended; after 4. B:c6 d:c6 5. N:e5 Qd4 undermines White’s opening edge and is an idea seen in the standard Ruy Lopez. An interesting idea comes with 4. B:c6 d:c6 5. O-O Bd6.

4. O-O  Bd6 5. c3  Nge7 6. d4 c:d4  7. c:d4 e:d4  8.  N:d4 a6 9. Bc4 (Be2 leads to a quieter play. )  9. …O-O  10. Nf3! Protects h2. On 10…Qc7 11. Bb3  b5  (11…Ne5!?) 12. Nc3 Bb7 13. Nd5 N:d5 14. B:d5.

Discover more on this system. The magazine fee is cheap for the wealth you discover within it’s pages!

You may want to digest the in depth article by Jimmy Adams on Mikhail Chigorin–the father of Russian chess. It  is a wealth of historic background and knowledge of the man and the period or you may enjoy solving Maximize your Tactics with Maxim Notkin. And you will greatly benefit from the new column by Judit Polgar’s  latest: Bishops at their best.

Sorry, GM Timman bills me like everyone else for my subscription (and I would have it no other way).  You see I just love the game and my website is free to all across the world. I also have a somewhat short fuse about trash of any kind and when I see a quality work done, I am joyful to promote it– no strings attached.




Lets Halt Gender Debate

February 21, 2016

Politically-speaking, once you open the can of worms where a majority segment of thought rests with the female species as voiced by the Democrats which tend to exclude the ‘boys’ altogether from existence is a disturbing trend I have witnessed for a long time. Every conversation, every political persuasion is aimed at excluding men from the halls of Democratic debate within the female high jacking by the liberal media and headed by the gay like female bosses of the liberal establishment.  I say gay because the rhetoric of these females tend to express a hatred for the opposite sex.  And this seems to be exhibited more by the female species than the male but thankfully limited as a body who seem more like a bunch of fanatic crème puffs.  They can’t stand up with logic in debate.

Well, I suppose I shall be lambasted for my comment above but that is my observation which, of course, in today’s world is a taboo subject and why I am the only one to observe this trend over the past decade.  Observations are not principled ideology but only writing what such observations are seen can make disinterested people beyond their own little world existence take note.  I am not a hate monger so don’t try to label me as such. I get pissed off by that crap.

My commentary and critical analysis of postings maybe started from such observations that journalists and news commentators fail to satisfy my curiosity that shapes my walk through life.  I have a few really great, some good, and others either okay or duds in their professional writings.  To each his or her own.  And in this, I play no favorites in gender.





Don’s Comic Lessons

February 21, 2016

A host of comic humor to be catching especially when it contains, if only a hint of justice,  a joyful tickle within the heart and spirit that makes living worthwhile. To me, most fitting is the horoscope which I celebrate herein with you,  to wit:

Libra – You’re not seeing eye to eye with a loved one, but this might just be the blessing that keeps you from arguing which brings to mind Charles Baudelaire’s comment: “For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree!” which we might say fits the current political arena too.

Bridge – Cy the Cynic says people will buy anything being sold as one to a customer.

BlondieDagwood sits in his easy chair watching TV and Blondie is reading the newspaper.  Honey, did you know it’s Hoodie Hoo Day?  Hoodie what?  Well, people who have cabin fever can get rid of it by going outside and shouting HOODIE HOO according to this article in the paper. Is that supposed to be a joke?  Dagwood goes outside and lets out a real howl–HOODIE HOO!!

Pickles –  Nag! Nag!  Can Earl get no rest?  Earl, when you emptied the dishwasher you put the cheese grater in the china cabinet. Heaven knows where you put the gravy boat. From now on do me a favor and don’t empty the dishwasher.  Got it.  The cat is resting on the back of Earl’s easy chair and thinks, (I see your evil scheme is working!)

Hagar –  Mother-in-laws sometimes can be a pest to both husband and wife. Hagar tells his wife Helga that someday I shall buy you that castle with a full staff of servants!  That windbag is always exaggerating!!  Mother, Hagar is only human and thinks to please me. Oh, no!  Now you are exaggerating!!

BC – Definition in Wiley’s Dictionary of the word PREFABEarly adoption of an upcoming fashion trend.

Beatle Bailey –  Here we see a common trend in poor interpretations of meaning as seen by the public.  Sir, you should not drink so much.  It is not good for your health.  By God, Winnie Churchill drank a lot and lived to be 90 years old.  Well, if he had not done so, maybe he would have lived twice as long.  180-years!!?

For Better  or Worse – Young girl friends who get into arguments and fights can be catty. OK! OK!  If you wanna hang around wif Melody Morrison, well, you just can!  But.  If you don’t wanna be my friend anymore, then you don’t hafta and I don’t care.  Paula, I.. There is only room for one best friend around here.  Who is it gonna be, her or me?  I wish I was a grown-up.  They never have problems like this!

Shoe – The two political friends sitting at the bar have their usual chitchat. Off the record, my chances of becoming President are nil.  Why is that?  I don’t play golf.  On the other hand, if my robe as a judge has any merit, I could be nominated for the Supreme Court! Well, as far as the President goes, you lack the right philosophy.

Ziggy –  It shouldn’t happen in hospital.  Ziggy had an operation and the staff nurse came in his room with a document to sign.  This form is an insurance claim for a ROLEX your doctor lost while performing your surgery.

Dogs have tales, too.  Take for example, Marmaduke who was napping on the back porch when the boys came wanting to play catch with a ball.  One boy said to the other: Don’t  bother him now.  Saturday is his day off. 


Don’s Comic Review

February 11, 2016

Aries – When you express yourself in new ways, others will appreciate you.  Think positive thoughts or desirable options.  Remember that not everyone reads the tea leaves the same.  But if it is not win, win situation for others, it may well be the same for you.

Jump Start –  Politics is in the news.  I’m running for Class President and your essay about me is a bad idea.  Why?  There is plenty of time to learn all about me after the election.

Blondie –  Dagwood is watching TV in his easy chair and Blondie seems preoccupied in aimless walking about the room which prompts Dagwood to say: “You say you feel good, but you don’t seem good..” “I feel good! Ok?” “Well, it doesn’t seem like you feel good.” ” I just told you that I feel good!!! So drop it!”  So with that, there seems to be a ‘drop it’ overcoming Dagwood. “This isn’t good.”

Pickles –  Women just hate spiders. “I’m  not going to trash your computer over a spider you told me you saw while working on a blog.  I just can’t believe you get so scared by a spider.”  “Oh, yeah!  Who’s terrified of the clown doll in our bedroom?” “Hey, that thing is insanely creepy!!”

Hagar –  Enemy forces  are attacking.  Hagar hurriedly tell his aide, “We need a battle cry!” “AHHHHYA” “What’s that!?” “My lost battle cry!”

Peanuts – Lucy is sitting in her Psychiatry 5-cent box office when her long time patient addresses her. “I have sort of a complaint.. I’ve  been coming to you for quite some time now, but I don’t feel that I’m getting any better.” “ Do you feel any worse?”  “No, I don’t think so.”  “5-cemts, please! ”

Don’s Pick of Comic Classics

February 6, 2016

Aries –  Everyone needs attention and a hug.  There are those around you that seem to need it more than others but the commitment to exercise it’s value in our social lives causes us to refrain from doing so.

Blondie –  A customer asks Blondie, “Yum! Coin toss Crullers? “Oh, yes! Our super bowl special includes pigskin poppers and field goal fritters. The desserts are football fondant cakes and touchdown tarts.”  Where did you ever come up with such cool names? “Actually, my husband Dagwood is the culinary consultant of special events!”

Pickles – Why are you staring at me?  You look kind of sparkly.  Yeah, my wife sprinkled glitter on me while I was writing with her Disney Princess pen.  This a side of you I’ve never heard about before.

Family Circus – Granddaughter and Grandmother is looking at the family photo album. “I bet it was boring around here before I was born.”

Ziggy –  While lying on the doctor’s couch, Ziggy tells him, “When I was a kid, I used to have imaginary friends.  Now, I have FACEBOOK friends.”