The Things I Don't Remember

I am not sure why, but lately, I have been thinking about the things that I can’t remember all that well. It is strange to me that I could have had all these things as a part of my life, and yet, I can’t remember any of the little details of what it was like to be in the situations. Here are some examples.

I lived in North Royalton on street called Beaver Ridge Drive. I presumably parked my car and walked into the apartment on many occasions. Sometimes, I did so with groceries, I am sure. Yet, I can’t remember what it was like to drive up, park and go from the car to my apartment. I don’t remember any of the details. Did I have trouble finding space? Was the weather a giant burden because it was outdoor parking? I can’t picture what anything looked like as I was walking in the door. Yet, I must have done it over a thousand times in the 18 months that I lived in that apartment.

I turned 16 at some point during my sophomore year of high school like every other kid. My brother was a freshman during my junior year, meaning that I must have driven him to school with me for two years of high school. Yet, I can’t seem to remember a single thing about it. Did we listen to music? Did I listen to Howard Stern? Did I ever stop for coffee? Did he ride home with me most days? I don’t remember any of the details of that time, and I must have spent hours a week for two school years enveloped in it.

I spent a summer working at The Refectory in Chautauqua in upstate New York. I flipped burgers and made French fries. I spent a lot of hours working there that summer, and yet, I do not remember much of that job at all. How is it that I could spend so much time doing something like that and not remember it? I vaguely remember getting my forearms singed from the spitting grease on busy days, but I don’t remember anything specific about what it felt like when I first visited, or what it looked like from my perspective as I stood there.

It just seems strange to me how things like these can be so prevalent in my life at one point, and yet, all that exists in my mind is some generic recollection of taking part. The details, feelings, and subtleties are all gone and forgotten. The details, feelings and subtleties are usually what guides me to form my opinions on things, and yet when it comes time for recall, all I have is an empty memory.

I am sure this post seems very random, but these are the things going through my head lately. Maybe it is time for me to detail more of the subtle details of my life just so I can read them later when I can no longer recall them directly.

Michigan Loses to Appalachian State

The number five team in the country dropped their first "warmup" of the year against Appalachian State. All said and done, Michigan drops the by a final score of 34-32. Michigan had a chance to win on the last play of the with a field goal attempt and it turned out to be the second block of a field goal by Appalachian State.

Michigan is shocked. The Big House was silent. Michigan came into the opening week match-up as the number five team in the country and there is no telling how far this will have them fall. What a shocking . It will certainly have big fallout.

As a fan of Ohio State, you can probably guess my reaction initially. But, the big problem I see is that this might turn into one of the leading factors for why Lloyd Carr will eventually be fired. That, my friends is bad news for Ohio State because there is no better factor that leads to Ohio State success than Lloyd Carr. Hopefully he survives this bump in the road to continue dropping more important to Ohio State at the end of every year.

Trite Airport Nightmare Volume Eleventy-Four Thousand and Two

(This is part two of a saga that started here in part one.)

So where did I leave you? Oh yeah. I was waiting for a 3:40 flight. We didn't make it. We went off to spend the last $14 in the monumental $28 that they gave us for the day in the airport to kill enough time to bridge until the 6:30 PM flight which was already delayed until 7:19 PM.

They started boarding the 6:30 PM 7:19 PM flight and it appeared that all hope was lost. They called a few names and let some people on, when the desk guy who proclaimed "all stand-by's have been cleared for the flight." I didn't understand and assumed this meant that there were no seats left and as Jen and I got up, I was all upset. She walked to the ticket lady and basically told me that that meant we could go get on the flight.

Jen, understanding the greek lingo of the dummies who work for Delta walks us up to the ticket scanner lady. We handed our tickets to the ticket lady as precious time was expiring and she scanned our standby tickets only to tell us that we hadn't been cleared for the flight.

To the ticket counter where a large black man with the vocal inflection of a black woman saying "OH NO YOU DIDN'T" was waiting to "help" us. He told us that he didn't have us on standby list. I told him that they had told us that we would automatically be rolled over to each standby after each flight. He basically told me that I was stupid, and wrong and that I should have checked into the desk with him sometime earlier in the day. Nice to know that I was misled by one of his coworkers and he had no problem taking their error out on the customer.

After fiddling with the computer, he looked at us and said, "I don't have time for all this." He yelled across to the ticket lady and told us to just go ahead. He said, "Hey let these two go on the plane."

We walked through toward the ticket scanning lady and as we did so, we passed three passengers who were supposed to be on the plane, but had gotten bumped off of it because they hadn't made it to the gate in time. In essence, we were taking their seats.

As the effeminate attitudinal man yelled "Let those people go" the three late passengers told the ticket lady that that meant THEY could go. I interrupted and told them no no no, the man was talking about me and my wife and we walked out to the plane.


So Jen and I walk to the plane and as we are getting there, the three passengers who had been late are now following us to the plane. Jen and I get up to the entrance and the attendant tells us to go ahead and sit wherever there is an open seat. Keep in mind that we didn't have seating assignments for the flight. Hell we didn't even have boarding passes at all for this particular flight that we were now walking into. Now it is a of musical chairs. Make sure you have a seat when the music stops. Jen is first onto the plane. I am right behind her. She passes the first row, where there is an open seat. I have a flash of strategery and figure that I better take that open seat, and Jen is first in line, so she will definitely get some kind of seat back there.

I was in some kind of "Get me the fuck out of Atlanta" kind of mental zone at this point.

The plan worked perfectly. I was seated in the first row and Jen was sitting somewhere behind me, probably about ten rows back. Now there are the three folks walking into the plane behind us and they want to kill the mother-effers who just took their seats on the plane.

It turns out that there are two seats left and this is a group of three people who traveled together. A nice man decides to volunteer his seat to let them all on the flight and he walks off the plane. So now we have a situation where Jen and I are sitting on this plane with a bunch of people who hate us. Hell, if I were them I would hate us too.

Then the Delta employees failed to understand that this guy volunteered to get off of the plane and another employee walks onto the plane and makes an announcement that they want Jen to come up front. I was sitting in the front seat and proclaimed that she is my wife and if you take her off, you are going to waste a seat on the flight and that the other dude volunteered to get off of the plane. This finally seems good enough for the Delta employees and Jen and I fly back to Akron Canton at 7:19 PM, more than 8 hours after our originally scheduled flight was supposed to leave.

There was no incident on the plane, but talk about potential tension between customers from Delta did their share to make sure that a potential powder keg was on board that day. On top of that, I was a little bit upset that we had been sent onto a flight without being properly assigned to seats in the fancy flight computer system. All I could think of as we took off was that if something had happened to that flight, it might have taken them days to deduce the fact that we were on that flight and not the one leaving at 9:40 PM that we had assigned seats for.

To top off the whole miserable experience, our baggage was locked away in a Delta baggage room that had no attendant at the Akron Canton airport. We had to wait for someone to come back after loading up the carousel with all the bags from the flight we had just arrived on. It turns out that they keep the staffing really low at Akron Canton and most people multi-task to the nth degree. So the baggage handlers also handle the baggage offices. They handle the loading and unloading of the plane including the ticket taking. They shuttle planes around on the runway. Any one employee can do any of those tasks.

I guess I don't have a problem with that until they are so understaffed that I can't get access to some bags that arrived about 6 hours before I was lucky enough to get there.

Some final thoughts.

Eff Delta. I will go out of my way to NEVER EVER fly with them again. I refuse so much so that when Jen suggested I take out some of my rage on their customer service people to try and get us some vouchers, I said no. Why? Because I don't care how much money they give me. I am not going to fly anywhere with them ever again. They screwed us out of our original flight. They offered us a single ticket when we were clearly traveling together. They only gave us $28 for the two of us to eat two meals in the airport. Their potential solution was a 10 hour delay. On top of all that, there planes feel old. Eff Delta.

Eff Akron Canton airport. I wanted to like my experience there. I wanted it to be a nice cheap alternative to Hopkins international. For my troubles I get bad service, a wacked out shuttle driver from the parking lot, horrible security gates, uncomfortable terminals, and finally, multi-tasking knuckle-draggers who aren't particularly good at any one thing, especially customer service.

Eff Atlanta airport. The food is too expensive. There are far too many people there. They charge for wireless internet access. They didn't have a store that carried an iPod data cable. They change gates every five minutes for every flight. Eff them hard.

Really, though, I had a nice time on vacation. It was just the travel day that sucked. Thanks to my wife for putting up with me on what could have been one of the most miserable days of my life.

Bill Simmons Doesn't Get it On This Cheating Scandal

We all know Bill Simmons is a homer, but I am at the point where I can't take any more of his commentary defending the the Patiots franchise after they were caught cheating. I was just going to let it go, until I read his column on Friday where he even went to the lengths to say that we should be talking about the miracle of Bills injured player Kevin Everett, as if NFL talk on two topics are mutually exclusive and somehow talking about the Pats negates our amazement at the recovery of someone who had risk of being paralyzed. That is where I start to lose my mind. He is constantly trying to find justifications and called the penalty against Belichick and the Pats "excessive."

In a that is based on money, how can he sit there and say that the Pats' measly fines were excessive? Belichick could wipe himself with $100 bills for the rest of his pooping life and not miss a dime of it. How is it that money is an excessive penalty? The draft picks hurt more than the cash, for sure, but nothing is taken care of THIS SEASON. I know we can't make a fair comparison to the NCAA, but they take teams out of contention for post-season play. Would it be too much to ask for the commissioner of the NFL to do something that impacts the current season, in which the Pats were caught red-handed?

To add insult to this whole thing, Simmons has the balls to criticize Mangini for blowing the whistle on something that was directly hurting his current team's chances and then shaking Belichick's hand after the . WHAT DO YOU WANT HIM TO DO? He stops the illegal practice and has the unbelievable gall to (gasp) act with some semblance of good sportsmanship by shaking hands with the person who was committing a violation to the rules of the ? How DARE he? Mangini should be applauded for being such a good sport in a situation where the Patriots deserved none of his respectful handshake.

Finally, Simmons proclaims the following in his final step toward unreasonable homer justification:

If we're going to stick an asterisk next to the '01, '03 and '04 Pats, don't stop there -- it needs to extend to Elway's Broncos (cap cheaters), DeBartolo's Niners (cap cheaters), the '90s Cowboys (drugs and hookers), the '86 Giants (coke), the '85 Bears (Tony Eason was on the other team), the '70s Steelers (steroids) and pretty much everyone who ever won a Super Bowl.

Drugs and hookers are players getting away with something on the personal side of the . So are steroids. So those don't provide proper comparisons to what the Patriots did. Throw these pieces of "evidence" right out of the window. Add to that the fact that Shawne Merriman was suspended last season for 4 last season, which follows the guidelines of punishing a cheater and his team in the season in which the violation occurs and we have something of a precedent.

I will give Simmons a little leeway on comparing the Pats to the cap violators who knowingly cheated the system to keep good players on teams that shouldn't have been able to afford them, but there are two big differences. First of all, there was a different commissioner in place before when those other violations occurred. In today's world where fans are paying as much as they are for a very expensive , the stakes are higher than they were. The stakes continue to rise with every season as the costs go up and as there are more and more options for the fans' dollars. This thing is about business as much as it is about the Hall of Fame in Canton.

Secondly, the Pats got caught during the season in which the violation occurred. It is one thing to punish a team in the season in which they were caught and quite another to punish a franchise for the sins of players, managers, coaches and executives that might have already moved along.

To bring it back to the Pats, I think the commissioner of the NFL had a chance to hand down real penalties to people who committed violations during the season in which the violations occurred. In this respect, he has failed to punish the Pats appropriately. Think about it from this perspective. How many teams do you think would mortgage their future for a good shot at winning the Super Bowl today? How many would mortgage the present and take a chance that they won't be able to make it to the Super Bowl? This is why the loss of future draft picks doesn't impress me much.

And don't even mention the financial loss. Those fines are basically meaningless.

I won't end this with something silly like saying I will never read Bill Simmons again. He is a talented, entertaining writer and podcaster. Saying that I would put some kind of ban on him would be really silly. He doesn't hide the fact that he is a fan, and he made his name by talking Boston sports first and foremost, so I get it. I just think in this case with the Pats and their cheating scandal, he doesn't get it.