What’s to Like about the Seahawks?


Sehawks Logo

Today the Seattle Seahawks play in the wild card game against the Vikings—in Minnesota, where the weather is sub-zero. I’ll be watching from the comfort of my home, where it’s too warm for hot chocolate.

“Dad, why are you such a big Seahawks fan? Just askin’.” My daughter is well-practiced in asking good questions.

What’s not to like? They’ve won six of their last seven games to win a wild card berth. Two in a row Superbowl appearances in the past two years. (Yeah, I know about the final play, and I still think it may have been a good call from Pete Carroll. But that’s the way fans think, isn’t it?)

Here are the reasons I gave my daughter:

  • Pete Carroll. I’m a USC Trojan. Enough said. Actually, there’s plenty to say. He’s without a doubt a great coach. One who’s fun to play for and fun to watch on the sidelines. A class act. And he has a career trajectory that surprises folks who only know his successes at USC and in Seattle. For example, he coached defensive backs for the Vikings from 1985-1989. And then he was “sacked”. (Legendary Vikings coach, Bud Grant, says Carroll should have been hired as his successor. Easy to say now. I wonder how Zimmer feels about that.)
  • They win games. Everyone likes a winner. Except if you have to play the Seahawks this season. (Was that a sigh of relief whooshing out of Green Bay when they were slated to play the Redskins instead of Seattle?) The Hawks lose games, too. Which is why they’re playing a wild card game against Minnesota. And even though the Vikings are the underdogs at home today, a win will be tough for Seattle, especially in this weather.
  • Team chaplain. My good friend Karl Payne is team chaplain. (“Pro teams still have chaplains?”)
  • The fun factor. The Seahawks are fun to watch. Who can disagree? Yes, other quarterbacks make you perk up and take notice (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, old man Peyton Manning, and even younger Eli Manning—and I guess you have to include that guy who plays in North Carolina). But you just can’t compare them with Russell Wilson. Am I right? This is only his fourth year in the league! He plays well out of the pocket, both literally and figuratively. Understatement. And did I mention the two Superbowl contests?
  • The aesthetics factor. They have the best-looking home-field Seahawks Helmetjerseys and helmets. Okay, that’s a subjective point. And not the most important point in their favor. But it’s true for me.
  • Fan participation. Seattle knows how to galvanize their fans—collectively known as “the 12th man.” CenturyLink Field is the noisiest in the league. The fans make a difference to games.
  • The Northwest is our home. We don’t live there. But we’re there in spirit. My wife is from Spokane. We both went to university in Washington, we were married there. We could retire there without regret. And we live in sunny California; so that’s saying something.

Naturally, it helps that the Seahawks are winners. But there are plenty of other reasons to like them. And like them a lot.

The Rittenhouse Coincidence


Here’s another one for the books. When things like this happen, I have to wonder, is there a conspiracy of coincidences?

Last night I saw the movie The Martian. I liked it, but this post is not about potatoes and slingshots (you’ll have to see the movie). It’s about what happened later, in a sequence of events leading up to tonight.

b29f467fef4559042e682c14b9ea8fffAfter the movie last night, I did some of the usual post-movie internet surfing and landed on the odd story of Tallulah Bankhead. Her best film performance, it was said, was in the under-rated Alfred Hitchcock film Lifeboat. So I read about Lifeboat. The story for the film was written by John Steinbeck. The film was released in 1944.

So tonight I thought I’d see if I can rent Lifeboat through my cable service. Turns out I can. I watched the trailer. In the brief clip viewers are meant to notice that the guy who’s appointed himself in charge is a “Mr. Rittenhouse.” One guy remarks to another, with sarcasm, that he should call Mr Rittenhouse “Rit.” Not too remarkable. So far.

As often happens, I clicked some more, looking for other classic movies. In less than a minute I came across the Randolph Scott movie Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend. This caught my attention because it features Scott and two other actors I like: James Garner (of “The Rockford Files”) and Angie Dickinson (you know, “Police Woman”).

 

So I played the two-minute trailer for Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend.

The clip doesn’t reveal much of the story line. Randolph Scott is Captain Buck Devlin, recently mustered out of the cavalry. Sgt. John Maitland (played by James Garner) appears to be his sidekick. Devlin rides out of a small town heading west, with plans to return. Mshootout-medicine-bend-hs-sizedaitland stays behind for the time being.

After Devlin leaves, Maitland is seen managing some sort of transaction with the townspeople—swapping trinkets and such for weapons and ammo, it appears. A minor character steps up to the table where this is happening. He’s familiar to Sgt. Maitland. His name? “Mr. Rittenhouse.”

What are the chances that within two minutes of each other, I’d see brief clips of two completely unrelated movies, where in both a “Mr. Rittenhouse” is addressed by another character?

Maybe I have a name, finally, for the kinds of coincidences I sometimes write about here: “The Rittenhouse Coincidence.”

Will the Movie “13 Hours” Undermine Hillary Clinton’s Credibility about Benghazi?


In less than ten days the movie “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” will be released. There’s chatter that this will lend credence to the already credible claim that Hillary Clinton is not an admirably honest person.

Still, you have to ask, “Who should you believe? A former First Lady, New York Senator, and Secretary of State, or three guys named Tonto, Tig, and Oz?”

13-hours-movie-poster

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The movie’s website and movie trailer: http://www.thirteenhoursmovie.com/

IMDb description: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4172430/

How’s This for Irony? American Blimps and Amish Buggies


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Questions for Democrats Watching Republican Debate #3


Here are three questions for Democrats to ask themselves as they watch the third Republican debate tonight:Republican Logo

  • “Among the top five contenders, who has the best chance of beating the Democrat nominee in the general election?”
  • “Among the top five contenders, who has the best chance of losing to the Democrat nominee in the general election?”
  • “Which Republican would I be most open to voting for if he of she wins the nomination?”
  • “Would I be likely to vote for one of these Republican candidates instead of the Democrat nominee?”

I hope to see your responses here.

Related links:

Shopping for a President: Republican Debate #3


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.51.21 PMThe top ten contenders for the Republican nomination gather tonight for their third presidential debate. It will be aired on CNBC at 8:00 pm ET.

These debates offer the electorate one of the best vantage points for peering into the character and policy plans of the candidates. Many expect the field of serious contenders to be winnowed after tonight.

I hope you’ll be watching.

But what should we be watching for? What questions will inform our observations as the event unfolds? Here are some things that will have my attention:

  • There will be the usual one-upmanship on display. Look for the contest between Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Does the “religion issue” come up? How does that play out? How will their inevitable sparring affect their post-debate poll numbers?
  • Who apart from Trump and Carson do well? I expect Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina will, and maybe Ted Cruz. They’ve all demonstrated tenacity.
  • I’m looking for Fiorina to do well. Hillary Clinton has made the fact that she’s a woman a central feature of her campaign. How would that play if the Republican nominee is also a woman? Fiorina needs to perform well again if she’s to gain more traction in the media.
  • Anticipate how the media will cover the debate in the days ahead. Fiorina has exceeded expectations in each debate so far. And she’s a woman. This should have attracted lasting media interest. So the shortage of media uptake has been puzzling. Maybe it has to do with the Trump vs. Carson obsession. I have a theory. Democrats care about who wins the Republican nomination. They’ve thought about the field of candidates and scored each one for his or her potential to defeat their own candidate. I think Ben Carson looks like an easy target. I think Ben Carson is an easy target. What about Trump? He has terrific potential to self-destruct and alienate people, if he can even win the nomination. If I’m right, the Dems have a vested interest in a Trump or Carson victory. That’s what I would be hoping for if I was Hillary Clinton. So if you’re a Republican, think of media attention as a weather vane. And consider the possibility that a left-leaning media will seek to control the buzz following the debate. Will they want a strong candidate to gain traction? Or will they continue promoting a national obsession with Trump and his closest contenders, whoever they may be at any given time?
  • As you listen to each debater, whose ideas have the most cogency? Who speaks persuasively about the most urgent domestic and foreign policy problems facing the nation? How specific is their plan? Do they know what they’re talking about? Have they done their homework? Are they focused on high priorities that matter to most of the electorate, including Republicans and Democrats?
  • Ask yourself, “Do I want to hear from this person for four to eight years if he or she becomes the next president?”
  • Ask yourself, “Would this person galvanize a nation with strength at home and abroad, with a winning persona, with an inspiring vision for the future?”
  • Ronald Reagan’s legacy has long been a reference point for Republican aspirations. As you watch the debate, does anyone sound most Reaganesque, in message and in tone.

You don’t have to be a Republican to play this game. You don’t have to be a Republican to have a stake in the outcome. If you’re a registered Democrat, you may want to consider the merits of a Republican candidate for the presidency.

What will you be watching for? Share your responses here.

Related links:

Thingamajig #3 – What Is This Object?


Here are three views of the same object.

View #1

Thingamajig-IMG_2904

View #2

Thingamajig-IMG_2905

View #3

Thingamajig-IMG_2906

Share your brilliance and answer these three questions:

  • What is it called?
  • What is it for?
  • How is it used?

Bonus question:

  • What creative uses for it can you think of?
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