Saturday, June 6, 2015

Will American Pharoah Run Away With the Belmont? Facts, Odds

FILE - In this May 2, 2015 file photo, Victor Espinoza rides American Pharoah to victory in the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Last June, Espinoza was aboard California Chrome during his Triple Crown run that ended with a fourth-place finish in the Belmont. In 2002, he and trainer Bob Baffert teamed up with War Emblem to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before their Triple try ended when the colt stumbled out of the starting gate in the Belmont and finished eighth. Now, Espinoza and Baffert are back again with a colt many believed is poised to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

                                           Good Day World!

Today is the big day.

I’m hoping we’ll have a Triple Crown winner.

Two days ago, American Pharoah, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, arrived at Long Island MacArthur Airport, having travelled from Louisville, Kentucky on a Boeing 727 dubbed by the media "Air Horse One"

American Pharoah was given 3-5 morning line odds for the 1-1/2 mile race. Frosted, from the sixth spot, is the second-favorite, at 5-1 odds. Materiality, starting from the eight post, was set at 8-1.


American Pharoah's name is inspired by that of his sire, Pioneer of the Nile, and his dam's sire, Yankee Gentleman. The horse's name also acknowledges it’s owners own dual Egyptian-American background.

The misspelling of "Pharaoh" is permanent, but inadvertent, though its origins are murky.

Zayat originally claimed that the spelling was the result of an error by The Jockey Club, but the organization's president stated,

"The name request for the 2012 colt American Pharoah was submitted electronically on January 25, 2014, through The Jockey Club's interactive registration site. Since the name met all of the criteria for naming and was available, it was granted exactly as it was spelled on the digital name application."

Zayat later retracted his statement.


American Pharoah made his track debut in a maiden race over six and a half furlongs on the Polytrack surface at Del Mar Racetrack on August 9, 2014. Ridden by Martin Garcia, he started as the 7–5 favorite against eight opponents.

He became unsettled before the race and, after running in second place until the stretch, faded to finish fifth behind Om, Iron Fist, One Lucky Dane, and Calculator, more than nine lengths behind the winner.

He ran in a blinker hood, which appeared to unnerve him, as did the commotion in the saddling paddock. Baffert addressed his anxiety issues by removing the hood and stuffing cotton in the horse's ears for subsequent races.


1) Figuring prominently and repeatedly in American Pharoah's deep lineage is an earlier generation of champions, including Nasrullah, Native Dancer, Nearco, Princequillo, War Admiral and Man o' War.

2) He is bred and owned by Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, LLC, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden in most of his races by Victor Espinoza.

3) Affirmed was the last Triple Crown winner in 1978.

4) Since 1978, 13 horses have entered the Belmont and left unsuccessful. Last year California Chrome finished just outside the money in fourth. Of the 13 attempts, eight finished in the money and four finished in second. The most recent of those was Smarty Jones in 2004, behind Birdstone.


Time for me to walk on down the road…



Friday, June 5, 2015

A Serial Molester: The Real Story Wasn’t Told in ‘19 Kids and Counting’

Good Day World!

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are several levels of hypocrites.

The worst are so-called religious people who commit vile acts in private while showing the outside world how good they are by going to church and singing hymns.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose large, conservative family has been featured on the popular reality television show "19 Kids and Counting, is the latest example of what I’m talking about.

The Duggars told Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" host Megyn Kelly that their son, Josh Duggar, inappropriately touched four of their daughters and another girl who was not a member of the family in a series of incidents that began in 2002, when he was 14.

After that, the family supposedly sent Josh to a Christian program in Little Rock that emphasized physical work and mentoring. Some sources say however, that he was just sent to a friends house to keep him away from his sisters.

After repeatedly molesting – caught three times – the parents (at the urging of their church) took Josh into the police station. The trooper who took the information – a family friend – didn’t do anything about it. A month later the statute of limitations was exceeded and Josh couldn’t be prosecuted for his actions.

What you have, years later, is a man who never paid a price for molesting his sisters and a family friend. A serial molester who was never caught. What are the odds he repeated his behavior – perhaps with his own three children?

To top that off he was the head of a Christian group. He resigned when his actions were revealed. But if he wasn’t caught, he’d still be there – a serial abuser representing Christianity.

The parents knew what Josh did before signing up for the reality series. The hypocrisy of that is stunning! They were portraying this wonderful Christian family while hiding Josh’s dirty little secret all that time.

Finally, what about the sisters who were molested? They knew their parents pushed it under the rug, and were told to deal with it. What did they feel like watching their serial abuser brother masquerading as a good Christian?

19 Kids and Counting was a so-called reality show, but the real story was not being told.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, June 4, 2015

NBA Finals: Laker Fan Picks Warriors Over Caveliers

                                  Good Day World!

East meets West.

Brawn meets Speed.

Today is Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and the Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr has done a masterful job of guiding his team to the Big Game.

The last time Golden State won an NBA Championship was in the 1974-75 season. Many consider that win the biggest upset in NBA history. They utterly annihilated the heavily favored Washington Bullets in a four-game sweep.

That team was coached by former Warrior Al Attles, and led on the court by Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes and Phil Smith. So little was felt of the team's chances in the playoffs, even by their home fans, that the Coliseum Arena scheduled other events during the dates of the NBA playoffs!

As a result, the Warriors did not play their championship series playoff games in Oakland; rather, they played at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

Now the Warriors are considered the favorites (quite a turnabout) in the best-of-seven series to take the trophy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers HAVE NEVER WON an NBA championship.

Their star, LeBron James has enjoyed winning championships in Miami. His return to his hometown of Cleveland this season has been magic.

If there was ever an underdog – the Cavs fit the bill. They lost their other big star Kevin Love for the season. They’re playing a team that has dominated it’s opponents thus far in the playoffs.

The Warriors look unbeatable.

My playoff pick (I’m a Laker fan) is Golden State.

I got married the year (1974-75) that the Warriors won it all. Seeing how my team isn’t in the playoffs, I have to pick one of these two teams.

Part of me feels a little guilty about not picking Cleveland. I was born in Ohio. They’ve never won before, and I usually love underdogs. Both good reasons to consider the Cavs.

But the die is cast. Go Golden State!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Did Marijuana Give Me ‘Moobies’?

Good Day World!

The good news is, I don’t have breast cancer.

My doctor ordered a mammogram and ultra sound because I had a lump in my right nipple, and I had a family history of cancers. My sister died of breast cancer.

The bad news – at least to me – is that I have man boobs (also called moobs for short). I was diagnosed with gynecomastia, also known as moobies.


It’s a condition that affects approximately 33% to 41% of men between the ages of 25 and 45. It's even more common during puberty, affecting 60% of 14-year-old boys.

It also affects 55% to 60% of men aged 50 and older. I’m 64.

Although most cases of gynecomastia resolve spontaneously within a few months to a few years, in 2012 nearly 23,000 people underwent surgery to correct the condition.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), it was the fifth-most common cosmetic surgery in men. For the record; I have no plans on getting plastic surgery.


Gynecomastia is caused by a hormone imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. When the ratio between testosterone and estrogen tips in favor of estrogen, the body responds by creating excessive breast tissue. Hence, man boobs.

Many doctors today will tell you that smoking marijuana causes man boobs.

Few studies have examined a direct causative effect between smoking marijuana and gynecomastia. I certainly wish there were more.

A report in 1972 made the initial connection between cannabis and gynecomastia. This study is contrasted with a 1977 survey of U.S. Army soldiers which showed no association between smoking marijuana and gynecomastia. 

So can smoking pot really give you man boobs?

According to the doctor I saw, he said it was a possibility.

He said certain drugs can cause the condition and inquired into my medications (none of which were on his list). He also said that having man boobs is not dangerous.

I’ve been smoking pot (on and off) for fifty years. Why have my man boobs suddenly become noticeable, and tender, in the space of a few months?

I think the science is still out on the moob - marijuana connection. I’m sure not going to stop smoking now because of it. I told my wife I’ll just try to embrace my feminine side!

Meanwhile, it’s great to live in Oregon where marijuana is legal!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New Reality Show: ‘Congress Island’

   Good Day World!

It’s time for installment #4 of new reality shows I’d like to see.


I know this selection sounds like Fantasy Island and probably could never happen, but..

All 535 members of Congress are put on a deserted Island. 100 Senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives are divided between two camps – The Republicans and the Democrats.


The two groups are not allowed off the island until they pass a full year’s agenda of different laws that will benefit the majority of Americans. If they can’t come up with a full year’s worth, they can’t leave.

No time restrictions are required. If the two groups can cooperate and come up with the laws in a few months – that’s fine. Has to be a full slate however.

Everyone on the island has to be naked. The producers thought the sight of having to see each others nude bodies would spur the groups to come to quicker compromises.

No outer influence allowed. The members must make their minds up without the help of lobbyists, PACs, etc. They are on an island with no cell phones. No TV. No radio. No internet. Not even carrier pigeons.

They will have the necessary tools to write everything down – reams of paper and plenty of pencils. Note: all paper must be accounted for, and can’t be used as toilet paper.

Food sources – the island will have various wild berries and eatable roots. The only small animals are rats. Thousands of big fat Norwegian rats. There is only one source of water on the island – an underwater spring surrounded by boulders in the middle of a dense jungle.

I think viewers will be riveted to their seats every week watching them try to stay alive and pass meaningful laws.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, June 1, 2015

Girls Tackle Stereotypes Amid Concussion Concerns


                                            Good Day World!
Football is the most popular sport in America.

Say what you will, the sound of helmets colliding is music to the ears of millions of fans of all ages. And genders.

There’s a growing movement for girls to play full tackle football.
Utah has the country's first known tackle football league for fifth and sixth grade girls.

Twelve-year-old Sam Gordon, a 4'6" running back who made headlines as a gridiron girl a few years back, helped get it started.

Three years ago, after her highlight reel went viral, Gordon graced the front of a Wheaties box.

The video showed Gordon breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns in a full-contact league for boys.

Meanwhile, concerns about football-related concussions have become a national dialogue. A controversy. Parents are reconsidering letting their children bang heads in the name of sport.

Another Football Player Quits Amid Concussion Concerns

NBA Basketball star, LeBron James, has publicly stated he isn’t going to let his son play football. Despite improvements made on helmets, and rule changes designed to discourage head-to-head collisions…concussions are still too common.

For all ages. From the first days of peewee ball to the stadium lights of the high school field, it's abundantly clear that physical harm is a reality of football.
For years, it was just "the norm" for adolescents and young adults to break a bone or suffer a concussion here and there. If a young player was injured, odds were they had been playing their hardest out on the field, and that was glorified.

While I want to congratulate Sam Gordon and the other 5th – 6th grade girls for breaking stereotypes – I can’t help wonder if it’s really the kind of ground worth breaking!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

James Buchanan, AKA ‘Miss Nancy’ Was Our 1st Gay President

Our real first gay president
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Salon)
                                         Good Day World!
James Buchanan was gay, before, during and after his four years in the White House. Moreover, the nation knew it, too — he was not far into the closet.

I sure don’t remember being taught that when I was in school in the 50s and 60s. But a lot of things were glossed over in history books back then.

The following are excerpts from Our real first gay president by JIM LOEWEN at Salon:

“Today, I know no historian who has studied the matter and thinks Buchanan was heterosexual. Fifteen years ago, historian John Howard, author of “Men Like That,” a pioneering study of queer culture in Mississippi, shared key documents, including Buchanan’s May 13, 1844, letter to a Mrs. Roosevelt.

Describing his deteriorating social life after his great love, William Rufus King, senator from Alabama, had moved to Paris to become our ambassador to France, Buchanan wrote:

I am now “solitary and alone,” having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

According to Wikipedia:

While Buchanan may have been asexual or celibate, many indicators suggest he was homosexual or bisexual. The argument has been put forward by Shelley Ross, biographer Jean Baker, sociologist James W. Loewen, author Robert P. Watson, and historian John Howard.

A source of this interest has been Buchanan's close and intimate relationship with William Rufus King (who became Vice President under Franklin Pierce).

The two men lived together in a Washington boardinghouse for 10 years from 1834 until King's departure for France in 1844. King referred to the relationship as a "communion", and the two attended social functions together.

Contemporaries also noted the closeness. Andrew Jackson called them "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy" (the former being a 19th-century euphemism for an effeminate man), while Aaron V. Brown referred to King as Buchanan's "better half."

James W. Loewen described Buchanan and King as "Siamese twins." In later years, Kat Thompson, the wife of a cabinet member, expressed her anxiety that "there was something unhealthy in the president's attitude."

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...