Ginsu knife career

While visiting a friend who stopped in the office to wish me well on my future endeavors, he asked if I was going to write up the prerequisite “So Long, Farewell” column.

Yes. I am. Right now, in my head and in note form, I have five versions of the column that will be my final statement and mark of 18 years at The Daily World. Yes, I will have one. I just don’t know what it is going to look like and what will be in it until the very end.

I’ve read my fair share of them. All of them were heartfelt and had a tinge of sadness in them, as is if to convey that this wasn’t their choice. Unfortunately for me, I’m the one who made the choice, so that tinge of sadness will come from elsewhere.

Here’s one column idea that went through my head recently… the Ginsu knife. You know, the one on television that can slice through bread so thin, you can see through it. It is beaten up and comes right back to slice that tomato expertly and through a single piece of newsprint easily.

There are a few metaphors you can pour into it, about adversity, overcoming obstacles and staying true to form. You can draw up how well it is designed and how it’ll last forever. And, you can add the steak knives, the peeler and the decorative knife that can help make a potato look like a spiral staircase around a bit piece of pot roast.

Then, to draw it together, you compare your career to it. You compare how tough, sturdy and reliable both have been all of these years. You note how both stood up to the knocks, the pings and the misuse. It’ll all come together like an advanced Lego set.

At the end, you can sign off with something pithy, something heartfelt and something logical.

It’ll fit. Until you realized that it is a bad idea and rather stupid to compare a career that will come to an end with just over 28 years to span to a direct marketing knife set that isn’t that good. It is really stupid.

Or, is it. I don’t know. I’ll know soon enough.

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And then there were two…

The NFL postseason has come to an end, in a sense, on Sunday with the NFC and AFC Championship games.

For Super Bowl 51, the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots for the NFL Championship in Houston, Texas on Feb. 5.

If you are looking for in-depth analysis, you won’t find it here, just a few tidbits and observations.

  • First off, here is the best National Anthem presentation from Sunday (the video is from last week, but it is the same guy):
  • Brett Favre is now in a burgeoning commercial storyline with Buffalo Wild Wings, which you know will be concluded during Super Bowl Sunday (no judgement):
  • Super Bowl 51 will be on FOX, which means the world will have to listen to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call the game. Buck’s style is just, eh… Aikman’s style in commentary isn’t bad, but he does make Buck look good at times, which is more you can say about Phil Simms’ role with Jim Nantz on CBS.
  • The radio play-by-play teams on Westwood One have been traditionally the best at calling the games. Ian Eagle and Kevin Harlan are really good as PbP men, with Dan Fouts and James Lofton are very good analysts/color commentators. If there was an easier way to link up the radio broadcasts with the TV broadcasts (on mute), I’d love to find it.

As for the games, Matt Ryan may be the NFL MVP at the end of the season and he showed why against Green Bay. For two straight weeks (against Green Bay and Seattle), Ryan and his offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have dissected the opposing defenses easily. Sunday’s game was tough to watch. Green Bay was never in the game and neutralized a hot Aaron Rodgers, who had to play from behind from the get-go.

New England just keeps rolling on. Another AFC title game in Foxborough, another Patriots victory to clinch a Super Bowl berth. And, ESPN will spend two weeks of mythological magic on the Patriots to hype up the game.

Enjoy the break before the Super Bowl – because that means no more football until August.

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The day after

There was a movie in 1983, a TV movie, called The Day After. At the time, it was a big TV movie event, not as big as Roots, but big enough to warrant a bunch of stories and fear about what life would be like after a nuclear attack.

From Wikipedia: The film postulates a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. The action itself focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated near nuclear missile silos.

The cast includes JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum, Jason Robards, and John Lithgow.

The one scene I remember without looking at the trailer is someone looking at the mushroom cloud that was forming miles away and getting blinded by the heat/shock wave.

Right now, as I type this on Saturday night/Sunday morning, it is the fresh new era of the Orange Orangutan Administration (aka the Celebrity Apprentice guy before Arnold Schwarzenegger). And all I can recall is a TV movie about the day after a nuclear war between the U.S. and the USSR.

So, take that for what it is – a rare political rant here. In the future, if there is funny to pass along, I will, but very few rants.

Aziz Ansari hosted Saturday Night Live, which is the new favorite show of the Orange Orangutan Administration, and did a great job with the monologue. Below, I’ve also added a trailer from the TV movie.


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Writing is hard

Tough to keep your momentum going when you don’t have much to write about.

So, I’ll see if Twitter posts are able to come up here. I know Instagram does, which is good.

And it looks like it does work. Nice.

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A minor flashback

While watching a bit of postseason football, I scanned Instagram briefly and saw this photo of Johnny Knoxville, of Jackass fame.
And yes, it brought back a few memories.
There were a few times when I lived in Calistoga where I’d take a few days traveling, mostly because I had vacation time I had to use and I didn’t want to just give them up.
On one of those trips, I drove up I-80 past Reno and Sparks and dove down I-95 to Las Vegas – one of the loneliest highways I’ll ever drive. On the best of times, these trips would be frugal affairs, just enough money for gas, food and a place to stay for a day or two.
This, however, turned out to not be one of those best of times. It didn’t come from bad luck or gambling or theft or anything nefarious – I did a poor job of planning.
After a long day of driving, I was sitting in the lobby of Caesar’s Palace. And, the money just didn’t add up. What was supposed to be enough money for gas, food and two nights at one of the cheaper casinos turned into just enough money for gas. Even to this day, I can’t sort out where I miscalculated.
So, a three-day stay in Vegas was now a survival test. Well, no. It would be a one-night survival run before leaving.
Hey, I just got there. I was going to stay for a bit. I walked around the casinos. I sat at the slots to get a free beer or two. I slugged a lot of free water. I talked up a few ladies, but none of them took me in for the night (even for a bit of sleep).
All of the walking and the drive and the stress pretty much wore me out. I fell asleep for a few hours in one of the casino lobbies and was woken up by a security guard asking me to move on.
And, in the morning, I did what Johnny Knoxville did in the picture – I grabbed a bit of breakfast from the room service left out at Caesar’s, where my truck was. I’m not proud, but it worked.
I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. One lasting sensory memory from that experience is my aversion to ketchup – so much ketchup poured onto eggs and potatoes and even on a streak.
So, the takeaway is this – make sure you count your money to survive a trip and never, ever put ketchup on a steak.

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A very special episode, er… post

Nothing special, really.
Just a chance to try this again.

Pregame before the Seattle-Detroit playoff game on Saturday.

A photo posted by Rob B (@robrvr) on Jan 8, 2017 at 10:32am PST

Rainy day in the #NapaValley and all points beyond.

A video posted by Castello di Amorosa (@thecastello) on Jan 7, 2017 at 12:27pm PST

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You just need a little bit of help.

Sometimes, you just need a bit of help. #nationalanthem #badsinging #sorryitissideways

A post shared by Rob B (@robrvr) on


Instagram / National Anthem

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