WARNING TRUCK – The Wednesday Wordapod

With the 2014 Major League Baseball season nearing its climax, the Wednesday Wordapod is …

 

WARNING TRUCK

Warning Truck (n)in certain baseball stadiums, a truck that is placed in the outfield a few feet in front of the home run fence

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Ahead to the Past – Crap I Think Of While Mowing the Lawn…#23

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Welcome to Volume 23 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

AHEAD TO THE PAST

I’ve always wondered why the movie, “Back to the Future” wasn’t titled “Ahead to the Past.”  Okay, the real title may be catchier, although if there were a successful movie or three with my proposed title, who knows if that would be the case.

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ROUND TRIPPER – The Wednesday Wordapod

As Major League Baseball nears the World Series, we turn to the (former?) national pastime for The Wednesday Wordapod, which is…

 

ROUND TRIPPER

Round Tripper (n)one of many nicknames given to a home run in baseball—with a fascinating story behind it

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SMELLICOSE – The Wednesday Wordapod

The Wednesday Wordapod is …

 

SMELLICOSE

Smellicose (adj) descriptive of someone who stinks the high heaven and is very belligerent

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #22

 

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Welcome to Volume 22 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

THE FAST COUNTDOWN

They tell me today is October 6, 2014. There are, apparently, 80 more shopping days till Christmas. For those interested, there are 71 more days—shopping and otherwise—till Chanukah. And not to bury my lead:

There are now 351 eating and sinning days until the next Yom Kippur. Really?

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #21

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Welcome to Volume 21 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

BASEBALL STORIES

I used to do most of my mowing/ruminating on Sundays; now, the inspiration comes, and goes, most any day.

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YOM KIPPURIM – The Wednesday Wordapod

The Wednesday Wordapod is …

(Note: You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate this one, but it may help. Enjoy, and continued Happy/Healthy/Fulfilling New Year to you and your families!)

 

YOM KIPPURIM

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – # 20

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

 

Mower and Statesman

Welcome to Volume 20 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

BACK TO THE LINC

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CHAIRISMATIC – The Wednesday Wordapod

The Wednesday Wordapod is …

 

Chairismatic

 

Chairismatic  (adj)of, or relating to, the quality of being quite at home in a recliner

 

Observation

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POUCH POTATO – The Wednesday Wordapod

What would YOU call a marsupial that lazes around all day?

If you like “Pouch Potato”…and who doesn’t…you really need to pick up a copy of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words, where you will find more than 250 creative, fun Wordapods.

 

Pouch Potato

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FREUDIAN SLIPCOVER – The Wednesday Wordapod

Today’s Wordapod features an interview with Dr. Klaus Stichmein, owner of The Klaus House of Furniture and Psychoanalysis.

If you like “Freudian Slipcover”…and who doesn’t…you really need to pick up a copy of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words, where you will find more than 250 creative, fun Wordapods.

 

Freudian Slipcover

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #19

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

 

Mower and Statesman

Welcome to Volume 19 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

BOOK IT?

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POPSICKLE – The Wednesday Wordapod

So, what would YOU call a Russian farm implement passed down from father to son? Let the games and fun word plays begin.

Two Book Crossover 11.13

 

If you like “Popsickle”, you really need to pick up a copy of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words, where you will find more than 250 creative, fun Wordapods.

 

Popsickle

 

Popsickle (n) – short for “Pop’s sickle,” an implement reserved for the family patriarch, and used for cutting grain or tall grass

 

Please Note:  This word comes to us from Russia, where people have always had a great reverence for their semi-circular bladed tools, as well as for their fathers. No, there’s no pophammer.

 

Who Knew…?

Mikhail Jordan, Professor of Field Clearing at Odessa (Russia) A&M, is the author of a dynamic new book entitled Watching My Father’s Tools: A Memoir. It was an honor to interview him, even if I couldn’t tell whether his sense of humor was very poor, or very advanced.

 

Matt:  Professor Jordan, has Russian culture always been so reverential about farm implements, and the protocol of who should use them?

 

Professor Jordan:  Relentlessly so. For many centuries, Mother Russia has always been a very patriarchal society that also places great emphasis, and even reverence, over these implements. The father has always been accorded the honor of leading the way in the wheat fields, and he wields the most ornate and sharpest sickle, which has come to be known as the popsickle. The first son inherits his Dad’s tool; if no male sons are born, the sickle is buried with the old man.

 

Matt:  Isn’t it ironic that Mother Russia is so patriarchal?

 

Professor Jordan:  No, I don’t see the irony.

 

Matt:  Mother Russia. (pause) Still nothing? My mistake. But, tell me, sir, where are the daughters in all this? Do they ever get to use their father’s prized tools?

 

Professor Jordan:  In very rare cases, yes. For instance, a farm girl from outside Vladivostok named Katya inherited Anatoly Pasternacky’s tool in 1983.

 

Matt: Did this event shatter the glass ceiling for Russian farm girls?

 

Professor Jordan:  Apparently not, but I’m sure that it helped young Katya harvest some wheat.

*************

To get your own signed copy of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words, please follow the links or simply email me:  Matt@tipofthegoldberg.com

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #18

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Mower and Statesman

 

Welcome to Volume 18 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF QUESTIONABLE URGENCY

Due to the Labor Day three-day weekend, yesterday felt more like a Saturday and didn’t produce the stimuli and inspiration needed for this column. Now, it’s a Sunday-like Monday afternoon, and it’s time to convey a thought or two.

 

TENNIS, EVERYONE? OKAY…ANYONE?

It rained overnight and a little this morning, which canceled this early morning’s tennis action. Not at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY, but on the less-than-elegant (or level) public tennis courts in front of the Larchmont Swim Club of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Nursing an injury or two, I may not have made it this morning, even if it were dry. On the semi-bright side, it’s been a good spring and summer of tennis, and I hate to see it come to an end.

A brief description of the early morning tennis gang is in order. I’ll start with two facts that may be a bit jarring. One: We play “pickup” doubles Saturday and Sunday mornings from the crack of dawn till about 9:30 or 10—which usually allows us to play anywhere between three and five sets. Two: Generally, between 8 and 14 players show, and of the regulars, I’m one of the three youngest guys.

The play is somewhat competitive, and friendly enough. Rare has been the argument over line calls, although some are more generous than others in calling his opponents’ shots. As God is my witness, I am one of the more generous line-callers; if I don’t know that the ball is out, I consider it to be “good.” I only deviate from this credo when my team is losing a close match.

My play has been pretty good this season as well, and with the best doubles players apparently migrating to other courts, my game is probably the best of all of the regulars. God, are you still witnessing? Having said this in truth (and agreeing with the other players who have unofficially crowned me with this semi-dubious designation), it certainly does not mean that there aren’t several players who have stronger aspects of their games, nor various matchups that are difficult to win. It’s a lot of fun, but starting next weekend, I’ll be teaching on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and greatly missing the tennis. I can actually sleep a little later now, but would gladly sacrifice those two hours of sleep (which are usually my fourth and fifth of the morning) for some more tennis.

I wish that there more tennis lovers within my overall circle of friends, but do thank my buddy, Neal, who told me about this gang of early morning enthusiasts several years back. When he first told me about this group, I asked him if they play at 9 or 10 am. No such luck, but with all things (especially those activities that you enjoy), you get used to it. That’s certainly been the case for me.

I’ve enjoyed tennis for many years, since a little before my high school days, when I played for our school’s team. Truth be told, tennis was my consolation prize, as I got cut from the baseball team my freshman and sophomore years. Luckily, I could play varsity tennis for three years, and made and furthered great friendships, even as I couldn’t play my true favorite sport. With organized basketball (and even golf) now positioned in the rearview mirror of life, tennis and baseball…well, men’s softball leagues, at this stage…continue to be the main sports that I play today.

Tennis started becoming popular shortly prior to my high school days, in no small part due to the renown (and controversy) of players such as Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Today, men’s tennis has three of the best…some would say THE three best…players to ever play the game in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. I’ll only weigh in here to posit that I would place both Federer and Nadal in my top two or three all-time (along with Rod Laver) and Djokovic may earn that same designation before he hangs up his racquet. What’s really cool is that they are all eminently likable guys. Yes, none are American, and I wouldn’t mind if any or all were, but it doesn’t keep me from rooting for them, and appreciating their skill, competitiveness and intelligence.

So…as I was watching the US Open this afternoon, I forgot that the Phillies were playing a holiday matinee game in Atlanta until a friend posted on Facebook that pitcher Cole Hamels was pulled after just six innings (he had thrown 108 pitches) even though he was throwing a no-hitter.

 

THAT’S A NO-NO, FOLKS…

 

As it turned out, Phils’ manager Ryne Sandberg’s decision to go to the bullpen worked out for Hamels, and for the team. Three relievers not only preserved the win, and the shutout (7-0 over the Braves) but also kept the Braves hitless. It was the first combined no-hitter in the Phillies’ mostly futile history, dating to 1883. It also made for one of the few highlights of this forgettable 2014 season.

The no-hitter took me back to my own youth, and my own attempts to turn the trick. I came close to pitching one on at least two occasions that I recall with a great measure of accuracy. Here is what I remember: I started pitching in my fourth year of organized ball, as a sixth-grader. Playing for a maroon-colored team sponsored by Ray’s Garden Mart, I toed the rubber (none of the mounds were  elevated) behind Parkway Elementary School and retired all but one batter who hit a humpback liner that was just out of reach of our third baseman, who told me that he should have made the play.

The third baseman in question, a very athletic redhead named Paul Kelly, usually played for another league on days that I pitched. When he pitched, I played third; perhaps, we had a good shortstop, although his name (Snoopy?) escapes me. It was rare to have Paul in the lineup when I pitched, and it probably was a play that he should have made. But, it went down as a hit in the book.

Six years later, in my last year of organized baseball, I recall throwing another one-hitter, but can’t picture the hit in question. It wasn’t a homer, but it could have been a double or triple. I’m not sure.

Apparently, in much more recent times, I threw another one-hitter or two in softball leagues, which is hard to do, and shouldn’t be done. Slow-pitch softball is really a hitter’s game, and it takes good fielding and a poor opposing lineup to even get close to a no-no.

Another oddity: I do recall once (on a travel little league team, when I was in seventh-grade) getting two hits against a very good pitcher that our team had a real tough time with. That isn’t so unusual, but for some other circumstances. I reached base twice in the six-inning game, and only one or two other teammates did the same. After the game, our coach berated our team for striking out so often, and he further said that we only had one hit on the day. I was bummed, as I figured that one of my two apparent hits was ruled an error. It was a bit comforting to get our only hit(s), or was it?

As it turned out, both of my hits were ruled as errors, as he mentioned the name of another player who got our only hit. Let’s just say that the team book was often scored by someone who wasn’t too enamored with having a kid with the last name Goldberg on the team. Presumably (and while I minimized all of this crap back in the day), I had several hits changed to errors that season. It happened often enough to keep me from getting one of the trophies for the five highest batting averages in the league.

Yes, God is still my witness, even if HE would marvel at some of the Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn, or watching tennis/baseball from my couch.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Who am I? Well, please check out my site. I am an author/speaker/custom writer/coach who loves to inspire people to laugh, smile, learn and achieve more. All those things, and more.

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Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #17

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)

 

Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Mower and Statesman

 

Welcome to Volume 17 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.

 

SHOW ME THE…WHAT?!

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