Friday, September 25, 2015

Bring Back the Volcano Taco

Danville, Kentucky- Blockbuster. American Motors. The respect of my children. All were once wonderful, and all are now gone. Changing demographics and Obamacare have it made it impossible for the first two to return. The third I wouldn't want back after my children paid Olive Garden for the broken dishes after an engagement gone wrong. Life is about loss: happiness, sadness, intoxication are all transient and fleeting. We zig and zag through social circles; the wife of yesterday one day becomes the woman at the grocery store who you refuse to make eye contact with of tomorrow. Special people change, as surely as summer becomes autumn or as surely as Limeritas become drunken rampages in an Arby's parking lot.

The Volcano Taco is different. Sure, it's no longer available at Taco Bell establishments, but its highly-toxic, indigestible spicy goodness lingers on in the intestinal tracts of Mexican cuisine aficionados like myself everywhere. It's crunchy, artificially-colored, fire-engine red shell is as eternal and timeless as a Johann Sebastian Bach cello suite or Smooth by Santana and Rob Thomas.

Yet, the technocrats at Yum! Brands eliminated the Volcano Taco, allowing the dream of Volcano Sauce to go the way of Scott Walker's campaign or Hillary's emails. I don't care what your nerd focus-group data says, Taco Bell. You've made a mistake. It's time to be bigger than people like my ex-wives and admit when you've made one. If you are willing to sell products that have been linked with marijuana overdose, such as Doritos Locos Tacos, why will you not sell a product that celebrates the sublime and terrible power of a volcanic eruption, one of nature's chief calamities? If you are willing to contribute to the decline of American Mt. Dew products by selling foreign scab-products like Baja Blast, why will you not celebrate the American tradition of getting black-out drunk, eating spicy food, chugging a whole bottle of Pepto-Bismol, and praying for the sweet release of death?

The numbers would tell you that the Volcano Taco is a quick way to lower one's life expectancy or develop diabetes or heart disease. But the timeless deliciousness of this beefy treat can't be measured by calorie counts or grams of trans-fat. It can only be measured by how it makes a man feel when the cheese overwhelms the looming child support payment or failed scratch-off ticket.

We all measure time in our own way. For some, the seasons offer an annual reminder of when things change and new hope begins. For others, the McRib may offer a reminder that a new but familiar era has come. For me, time stands still. I long for the return of what made time seem to last forever in bliss: the volcano taco.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

She Destroyed two Nerd Companies: Carly Fiorina for President

Danville, Kentucky- I've made a mistake. The words so many of my ex-wives have not had the courtesy to use when informing me of spiraling debt or my assumed child's paternity. Today I admit a mistake. Today I fix that mistake. Today I say: Carly Fiorina for President.

To understand why Fiorina, it's necessary for me to offer a few joyous words to the great Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has shown an astuteness in avoiding what pundits think is necessary. Mr. Trump has brilliantly avoided learning the names of Iranian leaders. I didn't know the names of any of my opponents in union league softball. It follows there's no need for my President to know the union league softball opponent of the world or Iran's generals.

I'm especially sad to no longer be supporting Trump because he's a great builder. Trump has built great buildings. Folks, people in Ivory Towers may call that a tautology. People in life call that the truth because it is the truth.

Yet, this era calls for a great destroyer. Enter Carly Fiorina. Ms. Fiorina's record at H.P. is a thing of wonder. Ms. Fiorina caused the loss of 10,000's of jobs. She destroyed the company's stock value. Most importantly, she didn't just ruin one computer company- she ruined two by merging with Compaq. The Head of the Yale Bussiness School went so far as to say she ran the companies into the ground. He's right.

HP and Compaq are evil. HP and Compaq allowed kids to grow up idolizing excel instead of working on the fastball. Too many young children focused on Diablo 2 and not playoff game 2.

Fiorina changed it all. Without so many engineers due to the company's need for massive layoffs of engineers, software and computer products became awful. Kids with HP's grew frustrated at excel and picked up the football. Parents that foolishly bought computer games gave their kids a present they could never play on such terrible hardware. Fiorina's company became the last great hope to not raise a nation of nerds or Nate Silver's.

Fiorina knew what she was doing. There's no way someone that ran two company's into the ground and actually tried to help the company would be polling in 2nd place. No, the people are smart. The people understand the best way to fight injustice is from the inside. The best way is Carly's way. Fiorina for President.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Johnny Be Good: Why Cueto Can Be Fixed and Nirvana is a Bad Band

Danville, Kentucky -- It was 1991. The pre-NAFTA days of the Clinton administration. When life was simpler and the union was stronger. After a non-descript day at the GM plant, I drove home in my pick-up truck, listening to the radio and contemplating the banality of working-class life. I wasn't prepared for what happened next. A horrible song with a flannel-wearing West Coast elitist singer whining on about how unfair life is came droning out of my barely functional radio, interrupting an otherwise pleasant commute. Smells Like Teen Spirit was ubiquitous on the radio that year, as was I Hate Myself and Want to Die several years later in 1993. Forgive me, Mr. Cobain, but I never did sympathize with you and your liberal grunge-buddies. I worked from 9 to 5 in a factory, toiling in obscurity just to pay off my gambling debt and buy a few appetizers now and then. You were a millionaire and could afford the type of substances needed to self-medicate one's self that a Danville man could only dream of. I had only a bottle of Kentucky Deluxe and divorce paperwork to look forward to when I got home from my monotonous grind on the assembly line, but I still woke up every morning trying to make each day better than the last, and I didn't complain about it either. Why so angry, Kurt? why so sad?

Why so angry? Why so sad? Those were the questions I found myself asking as I watched a visibly frustrated Johnny Cueto, staring upward at the night sky in confusion, exit the field of play following another disappointing outing versus the Baltimore Orioles. Johnny, you are an ace. This offseason, you're going to get a paycheck that makes Clinton's speaking fees look like GM plant money. You're on a first place team, having escaped the miserable situation of my hometown Reds. As James Shields would say: if you don't like it, pitch better. 

Knowing Johnny, he will pitch better -- thanks to his own determination and the camaraderie of the Kansas City clubhouse. He will get an extra psychological boost from the knowledge that Dusty Baker, perhaps the wisest Reds manager of my lifetime, will cover the playoffs for TBS. Cueto is no Cobain; he will not let self-pity and defeatism define him. Folks like me and Johnny aren't motivated by money; we want to win, and we want the endless appetizers and women that accompany fame and fortune. That, my friends, smells like team spirit.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nebraska and Texas, What's your Option? Return to the Option

Danville, Kentucky- Empires usually fall in different ways. The Romans faced grave moral decay, expansion and rapid inflation. The British dealt with the mistake of electing Labour over Churchill following a resounding victory in World War II. Today, the Nebraska and Texas programs have collapsed as well.

Nebraska and Texas are two of the proudest programs from two great states. While Minnesota was busy voting for Walter "what have I done since 1984" Mondale, Nebraska and Texas joined every state but Minnesota and went for Reagan. Nebraska has won national titles, and Texas has even won a title while Tupac may have been alive.

Yesterday, both programs faced devastating defeat. Some would say Texas suffered a greater loss than Nebraska. Folks, a loss is a loss. Tautologies aren't a logical fallacy, they repeat the truth twice so one doesn't forget it. Nebraska blew the game due to pathetic defense on the last play, while Texas was clobbered.

The only way to return to glory is to score more points. Lost in the analytics is the most important thing about football: scoring more points than the other team. Texas and Nebraska have foolishly attempted to copy their neighbor- whether U.T. running Baylor's offense or Nebraska running lord help us, whatever deformed version of Ohio State's brilliant attack the Lincoln faithful call an offense. Folks, my neighbor once followed my lead and slept with my wife. He ended up with gonorrhea. Nebraska and Texas are ending up with something far worse than an STD: losing.

The option is the one formula to bring these teams back. The option gives a team something important: options. Nebraska was last relevant when Eric Crouch said, "I can keep it, fake it,or chuck it." Nebraska's current attack has the fortitude to run this offense, and Texas may be an even better team to run the option. John Gray and Ty Swoopes are speedsters. They could run wild. They don't need to try and throw wild. Keep it simple, folks.

When we all grow up we face a natural desire to depart from the path our past creates. Eventually we realize the promise of long removed seasons is the best way to success. Two proud programs know they have an option. The only question is: will they take it, or will they fake it?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Change the Name: Redskins should trade name with Seahawks

Danville, Kentucky- The Redskins carry the greatest name in sports. They represent a people subject to struggles. Some are told, and often, the worst were untold. Despite the intensity of the struggle, the Native Americans persevered. They became code breakers and union men, women tired of paying taxes and the boys of fall.

Image result for redskins
One football team was blessed to carry their legacy. The Washington Redskins were a representation of all that Native Americans overcame. They were wise, they were strong and they were winners.

Joe Gibbs symbolized the excellent leadership of so many past Native Americans. He was wise, and like myself at the bar, he refused to quit. Damn, folks, I'm crying thinking about watching him coach in his 70's. Oh, and he won.

The Redskins broke barriers. Doug Williams was the first black QB to win a Super Bowl. Joe Gibbs and the Redskins played the best players and they won. Sadly, that was a radical concept at the time when entrenched bureaucrats pushed out legacy players. The Redskins pushed out the best.

Today, the Redskins have an obligation to change their name with the Seahawks. The Redskins keeping the name is incredibly racist. The Washington football team is pathetic. They are losers. Their management picks quarterbacks based on their feelings, not their winning. Coaches come and go like dollar wells at the local watering hole, and the man in charge is incompetent. If this franchise represents Redskins, then they are providing a caricature of a proud people. The caricature must go.

The Seahawks are a wonderful team. Russell Wilson is a proven winner. He made up some story about curing his concussion so he could keep playing. Richard Sherman is a bit of an egg-head for my tastes, but he tells the people what they need to hear. If not for one mistake, they'd have hoisted back-to-back Lombardi's. The mistakes don't define the Seahawks. The winning does.

Dan Snyder must change the name. Redskins cannot be associated with such a bad team. The Redskins name is great. It should always have a place in the game, but never a game played in an evil city by an untalented team coached by foolish men. Toby Keith once opined in a classic song, "Head West Young Man." It's time for the Redskins name to head West for the Seahawks. It's time to change the name.

Hungry Like the Wolf: TWTW's 9/2 Tigers @ Royals Preview, or, Why Some Men Refuse to Quit

Danville, Kentucky – In retrospect, my encounter with Randy Wolf seems almost dream-like. It was the winter of ’94. After my ban from Applebee’s, I undertook a nomadic voyage of the American heartland to rediscover my purpose in life. In my ’69 Ford pick-up truck, the open road was in front of me, a cooler full of PBR beside me and a host of irresolvable financial and marital problems behind me. I drove and drove till the familiar landscapes of cornfields and family values were in the rearview mirror, and liberal America lay before me. I visited my Uncle Truman in Bakersfield, California, a lone bastion of working-class values in the sea of leftist nihilism that is the West Coast. My wanderings led me to a nondescript In-N-Out Burger, where I struck a conversation with a young man who I later discovered shared my interest in baseball. This mysterious youngster sat by himself in a booth – it was late, and only lone wolves like myself were eating at this hour. The LA times called this kid the High School pitcher of the year in ’93, and he had a look in his eyes that told me he would one day go onto do great things. I saw a bit of myself in the young man named Randy that I met that day; I saw my work-ethic, my determination, and my hunger for not only bacon cheeseburgers, but also greatness. We sipped Coke and talked about whatever was on our minds – not least of which was the recently implemented NAFTA agreement which would destroy the livelihood of all kinds of folks like my Uncle Truman from Bakersfield.

Later, Randy and I sat in the back of my pickup truck and drank PBR. Folks, I’m overjoyed to learn Mr. Wolf is back in the game. At 39 years old, he has done enough time in the minors and deserves another shot at the big-show. Randy Wolf is every man. Every man who refuses to quit on their dreams; every man tasked with providing for a wife and kids despite the numerous obstacles placed in his path by an overbearing federal government hell-bent on regulation. Last night’s Verlander-Cueto matchup was a duel of aces – tonight, we will watch a game about every man. The ageless Randy Wolf will teach the good people of Kansas City something that not even an odyssey from Danville to Bakersfield can: what America is all about.