Posts Tagged ‘Suki the Dog’

My Excellent Man-Cave Weekend

My genetic male predisposition toward sports-oriented isolationism was rewarded handsomely over the weekend.

It started Thursday, actually, when the girlfriend took a trip to New York to visit family and friends. Suki, the dog, of course, needed her walks and attention so I took Friday off to take care of the friendly little canine over the weekend. So not only was this the perfect opportunity for a man-cave weekend- but a three-day man-cave weekend- with a Thursday night bonus.

Perhaps you looked up at the night sky recently when a rare alignment of Saturn, Venus and a crescent moon provided an unusual opportunity to revel in the mysteries of the universe and our home solar system. Well, that’s what my man-cave weekend was like. Instead of planets, there was the incredibly rare alignment of the start of the baseball season, the end of hockey’s regular season and the Masters golf tournament.

But not only were my favorite teams playing and available for viewing- they were also…winning. Opening day on Thursday at Wrigley field, featured a thrilling come-from-behind win by the Washington Nationals. Thursday night, the Washington Capitals completed their improbable return for the fifth straight year to the Stanley Cup playoffs with a tense win over Florida while the Buffalo Sabres were losing, clinching the Caps post-season appearance.

The Masters, of course, started on Thursday and so between those three events, Man-Cave weekend got off to a raucous start. Friday was all Masters, but then it all repeated Saturday as the Nationals notched another come-from-behind win over the Cubs in the afternoon and in the evening, the Caps stunned the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. After the hockey it was off to Saturday’s Masters highlights.

The Nationals finally lost a game on Sunday, but, really, who cares—it was Sunday at The Masters. Some people celebrate Easter Sunday by making an appearance at church, hiding Easter eggs for small children or generally contemplating and celebrating the changing of the seasons and the irrevocable end to Winter darkness.

I, however, was reveling in the Church of Golf at the Cathedral of St. Augusta watching mortal men battle the twin challenges of one of the most beautiful and diabolical golf courses ever designed and their own frayed nerves.

I watched in hushed amazement as South African Louis Oosthuizen holed a double eagle at Augusta’s 575 yard par-5 second hole. I’ve never seen anything like it before and never will again in my lifetime. The guy hits the green on his second shot and the ball literally takes a sharp, right turn and travels 60 feet at the perfect angle and velocity to just drop gingerly into the cup in one, final, slow, glorious rotation.

Do you know how ridiculous that was? That one golfer, with one shot, picks up three strokes at the final round of the Masters on Sunday? There have only been 4 double-eagles in Masters history- and I believe this was the only one of them that was ever televised.

The playoff ending that ultimately crowned Bubba Watson Masters champion was wonderful too. Even though I don’t particularly follow them, I capped off my magical weekend watching the Texas Rangers on ESPN Sunday night baseball- for no particular reason except I could.

I think it was Saturday night (not sure- the whole weekend was one large blur) I talked to Millie in New York. I believe she asked me if I missed her and, of course, I said, I missed her tremendously. She knew better. “You’re having the friggin’ time of your life, aren’t you? Nationals, Caps, golf. You can watch whatever you want, eat whatever you want- no interruptions. You have walked the dog haven’t you?”

I had. Honest. Only takes 15 or 20 minutes. In fact, if it weren’t for Suki’s two daily walks, I seriously doubt I would have seen the light of day. I hear the weather was great this weekend. Except for a few short ventures to the great outdoors- I would not have known because- as he intended- when God created light- he purposely made sure hardly any of it would seep into the man-cave.

Politically Correct NCAA Bracketology and Why I’m Voting For Hank the Cat

Posts about NCAA bracketology have the most general appeal, of course, early in the college basketball tournament when everyone still has a shot at glory. At this point, most brackets have been destroyed beyond recognition and few are left who really care anymore.

As for myself, there was no office pool this year because the young lady who had been administering it in past years is on maternity leave, which left me entering brackets on websites going up against hundreds of thousands instead of, say, 20. Had we had our normal pool, I would be in position to take this thing for the 2nd time in three years.

I have three of the Final 4 and if Ohio State wins it all, there’s little doubt victory would have been mine. But, no….I entered ESPN’s bracket game and the good news is that according to the little meter at the top of my brackets page, I am in the 92.8% percentile of all entrants. Impressive, no? Except there are literally over 5 million entrants, so even though I’m currently in the top 7%, that also means I currently rank 465,033rd.

George Allen’s Brackets

But I’m doing a hell of a lot better than Republican Virginia senate candidate, George Allen. reveals that his home-state pandering has resulted in the strangest brackets ever publicized. You can see them for yourself here right on his George Allen for Senate web site.

For a guy running for a Virginia U.S. Senate seat, it would be quite the conundrum, for example, to pick a second round match-up between Virginia and Norfolk State, both teams located squarely in the Old Dominion. So who does he have winning this intra-state contest? Why— Missouri. Huh?

Turns out his initial instincts were a first round pick of Missouri beating Norfolk State. I’m thinking one of his political aides noticed this and said, “Sir- you’re picking a home-state team to lose.” So you can see he’s scratched out Missouri and written in Norfolk State. And, I might add, it’s not gently scratched out, it’s harshly scratched out with heavy black marks- almost angry black marks as if to say, “Jeez, how could I have been so stupid?”

Except he forgot to adjust his third round pick accordingly and so that’s how he has Missouri winning the Virginia/Norfolk State game. He also did it with Davidson which he initially picked to lose to Louisville. Davidson is not in Virginia but it is in neighboring North Carolina. And so George Allen has Davidson upsetting Louisville—but in the third round, the winner of the Davidson/Long Beach State game is—Louisville!

Every politician panders- that is not exactly a state secret. But wouldn’t you think the pander should be a bit more subtle and not quite so overt? And what kind of campaign staff does Mr. Allen have that would allow such a thing to be published on his actual campaign web site?

Well, obviously not the sharpest staff in the tool box- because apparently they don’t read either. The result being that even though this exercise in blatant pandering has the full light of the media spotlight on it—the picks, their heavily scratched out amendments, and the bizarre results- are still on the campaign web site for all to snicker at!

Hey, my NCAA picks may not have been perfect, but at least no one’s pointing their finger at them as an object of ridicule. For that, I have my own crack staff to thank- Bernstein, the cat and Suki, the dog. And this, my friends, is why I’m voting for Hank, the cat this November in the Virginia Senate race. You can buy his T-shirts here.


Blistering Heat & The Best Dog Walk Ever

(Suki the Commando Dog being held by a mysterious pair of hands in a primitive effort at photo-shopping)

I took a week off to do nothing but read, take leisurely dog walks and catch up on my premium channel favorites. Nancy’s back to dealing pot on Weeds, witches are now in full battle with werewolves, shape-shifters and vampires on True Blood and what a great week to stay indoors and in the AC.

Except for the three times a day I walk Suki the Dog. At 10am this morning in Washington, D.C., it was 94 degrees and the “humiture” was already 110 degrees. I love these “wind-chill” and “heat-index” stats. Not only do they tell us what it “feels” like but it gives you better bragging rights. I mean 110 sounds a hell of a lot worse than 94. And braving -10 degree wind chills is so much more impressive than bundling up against a mere 15 degrees.

Suki the Dog, by the way, does not need the heat index. She well understands that unlike humans, dogs only sweat through their footpads leaving panting as the only real way they can cool off. Accordingly, we just had the most efficient walk in modern dog history (at least since dog-walk record-keeping began in 1887).

By the end of the first 100 yards, she was already panting. At one point she looked up at me as if to say, “Yo, dude, this is wrong. As your dedicated man servant, I intend to make this walk brief but effective.” I love that look.

She was a peeing and crapping machine. She compressed her marking routine, spritzing delicately but quickly every 30 feet or so. No lingering at some mysterious patch of grass where no doubt another canine had attempted to claim ownership of the dog park an hour earlier. And there was no dilly-dallying on the major mission either. This was the kind of no-nonsense, no-frills, military-precision-like walk a Navy SEAL dog would have taken. Actually, this was a walk not as much “taken,” as it was “conducted.”

If I am estimating somewhat accurately, all the business “conducted” in a 20-minute walk was condensed to approximately 540 seconds.

The 3 o’clock walk should be real interesting. By that time the actual temperature is expected to be anywhere from 99 to 104 degrees and the heat-index will be 9 thousand degrees- hotter than the surface of Venus. I’m thinking we’ll cut off another 3 or 4 minutes in another commando power walk before high-tailing it back into the air conditioning and her well-deserved organic dog bone treat.

Me and Suki- we’re going to get through this.

Brackets, What Brackets?

It was Bill Maher who recently said that if you’re going to show him your March Madness brackets, may as well also trot out the pictures of your kids and your dog too and just show him everything all at once that he’s completely not interested in. 

In that spirit…here’s a picture of my dog:


This is Suki, the dog.  A total ham and scam artist.  She has stopped peeing in the house and has started collecting bird feathers. 

Here’s a picture of my kid:


Charlie is currently blossoming and flourishing at Middle Tennessee State University where on any given night, besides studying very hard, he’s also performing or recording or writing music or engineering, or producing a song or a project or working on getting laid
entering into an enriching and communicative relationship with total sharing and trust.

Here’s a picture of my brackets:

Note how it starts out with so many schools in green colors.  These were winning picks.  I ruled my office pool for the 1st two rounds.  Notice how many schools in the later parts of the tournament are in red.  This is when I got obliterated and all the top college basketball programs in America completely let me down.

I won the office pool last year.  This year, I have been reduced to a laughing stock. 

Oh…and I hate Butler.  Well, “hate” is a strong word.   You can only be Cinderella once every ten years.  Two years in a row and you’re overstaying your welcome and ruining everybody’s brackets.

I hope VCU throttles you. Butler. Please.