A view to a chill

Yes, I know, its been a while, so, what would you like me to tell you about? Being wired up so I rode in a Davros type wheelchair, rather than being pushed in a standard one? That nice mad scientist I met who transformed me into my past life self, Clara Johnson, at the age of 25, with all her dancing skills (and seemingly she had plenty), so I’ve been dancing the nights away at delightful flapper style parties, darlings? Or the journey on that flying saucer that whisked me across the Atlantic, in about an hour, maybe? Flight diverted to Hollywood, so I could sign up for a big acting role? Or would you prefer the dull, actual, truthful version of events lol?

Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to set me up for any of those first 4 events mentioned, I’d love it! I know, I know, in my dreams, nothing more…but… 😉

OK, lets catch up on reality, before I get the full makeover, as mentioned above! Ooh, that would be fun, mind!

Saturday saw my first ride in a wheelchair for 50 years. I suspect it wont be the last holiday I need one at an airport, but we will see… It started off smoothly enough, as I got wheeled through security, and me, and my luggage checked over, without me actually ever leaving the chair. Then, after a slight delay on the flight (plane had to stop inbound, due to a medical issue, so was nearly an hour late leaving), I was wheeled down to the gate, and told someone would be back to take me down to the plane to board. Yes, fine, never happened, so eventually the Rep asked if the 2 of us were able to get to the plane under our own steam, so I went for it. Unfortunately, having taken the brace off, thinking I wouldnt need it again (its neoprene, and warm to wear for very long periods), I struggled the way with my hand luggage, and pulled it off. But yes, instead of having plenty of time to stow my bag, I was pretty much the last one on, but as I had a double seat to myself, I was able to get my bag stowed away anyway.

Arrival at Boston was good, and efficiently done. The two of us might have been the last ones off, but we were probably 2 of the Brits through first, all the same. Given I have a black, expanding suitcase, just like dozens of others, I need to get some pink, or rainbow tagging around the handle, so I can recognize it easier, even more so when you arent close to the conveyor belt, being in a wheelchair, and all that!

The rest of the day, just fine. After arrival at hotel (Kate had already booked us both in), we ended up calling out for food, chatting a lot, just having a good time.

Sunday afternoon, we came down to this glorious place we’ve rented on Cape Cod. Well, Kate did all the hard work booking it, I just paid a share of the costs really. Yes, its gorgeous! I’m sat in the living area, with a stunning view of the sea, typing this now. We ended up having pizza, watching NFL, just having fun.

Monday, being 2 ladies of reasonable leisure for the week, and given that neither of us are in the perkiest of health, we had a quiet day. Finished off for me at least, by getting my annual chance to swoon over Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football!

This morning, I had a couple of cups of coffee, sat outside, complete with a couple of muffins for breakfast, and just enjoyed the sun. Havent seen a lot of it in the UK this summer, so a real delight. Since then, just relaxed, and given my body the break it really needs. We’re here, somewhere near Mashpee, on Cape Cod, until Thursday morning, and I’m loving every minute of it. Might get another ride in a wheelchair at the 2 stations on Thursday, will have to wait and see. Or the next one, may be at JFK on Monday evening!

Yes, Thursday, I need to start getting into bridesmaid mode, but more on that later in the week. Thats when I could really do with that 25 year old, Clara Johnson makeover lol, especially if I’m expected to dance at the reception afterwards, as I currently have 2 left feet, in that sense. Where’s a good mad scientist when you need one, lol?

Right, video time. Yes, the blog title is a slightly tweaked version of that

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Last cut is the deepest

Its hard to believe that its nearly time for the NFL season to start seriously again, but this time next week, we’ll be looking at the opening game, and Kate and I will be gently teasing each other, as its Kansas City, against New England, so that will be fun! Its just a shame that its 2 days before we could have watched it together, and stirred each other up together, but such is life. The likely possibility, given New England wont be playing on the Sunday, is that I will get to see the Buffalo Bills, play the New York Jets, 2 teams that pretty much seem to be throwing away their seasons before they even get started. Yes, strictly the Bills are my team, but I’ve seen so much awful right wing, racist stuff written by their fans on social media of late (mostly about the anthem stuff), that I find it hard to get involved with them, in truth. Oh, and not to forget, the Monday night game, and my one chance this autumn to see the gorgeousness that is Jon Gruden! Swoon!

But why now, why the blog title, you ask? Well, tonight marks the last round of pre season games (other than the one in Texas, cancelled for obvious reasons), and after that, the huge squads that the teams currently carry, have to be trimmed back drastically. Most of those getting the chop will be players we’ve never heard of, but some of whom will either be plucked up for practice squads, or selected when injuries start to take their toll on teams. There will also be a number of relatively ‘more famous’ players who will be cut, for salary reasons. Again some will be plucked by other teams, some will get picked when injuries strike, but for a few, that will be it.

Before I sound too sorry for them, lets just remember what crazy salaries these people earn! In some cases, cutting 1 player cuts $6 million from a wage bill! But yes, for those young men, its still a tough time, if you’re the one thats cut. And thats on top of those who should have, but never got called to a team this summer…whistles innocently…

No, I’d have made a lousy cheerleader, even when I was young, lol! 😛

The video, you could say, as so often, there is a clue in the title. This is pretty much the original version of the song, Cat Stevens, from 1967! Yes, I really am that old, I was 9 then!

The games people play

Well, we’ve reached that time of year where one of the big US sports is just getting over the hype of the draft, and the so called experts are trying to work out what it all means. In truth, until those people make it, or otherwise this summer, we wont even start to see what the outcome of that is. But yes, NFL is desperately trying to keep itself in the news, so…

Two of the other ‘Big 4’ are now in the middle of their playoffs, and the loosest (and it is loose) interest I have in either, is Anaheim in the NHL. Its close to LA, and any team called the Ducks has to be worthy of support lol! Still as all US sports seem to do, the playoffs take on a life of their own, for a month or more!

So soon, for a couple of months at least, America’s favorite summer sport will take over events, baseball! Oh, and probably my favorite too, though I will watch football, both pro, and college, when I get the chance. Later this month, for the first time in over 18 months, I will get to see live baseball again, in the flesh. Yes, Dodgers, so sue me! 😛 In truth, you can get a seat for not that unreasonable a price, especially compared to soccer over here, and the NFL over there. Yes, you can pay a ridiculous sum for a seat, but I wont be doing that! No, not commenting on food prices, but yes, I will get some, all the same… One game, definitely, two if I can fix it, but if you twisted my arm, I’d probably say one will be as good as it gets!

Over here, the soccer season is also coming to an end, and talking of drawn out hype, we now have play offs to decide the last promotion position. Not quite as drawn out as play offs in the US, but even so…Oh fine, my local team, Huddersfield, and the team from the town where I work, Bradford City, are both in their respective play offs, so I’m told. Yes, that will be the only mention of it I plan to make! Well, I suppose if Huddersfield make the Premier League, I might, but otherwise…

Right, video time. A real oldie, which I doubt many of my readers have heard before, but I remembered it, and it seemed apt, so…

What a feeling to fly

So now we know the 2 teams left for that great sporting institution in the US, the Superbowl. Fine, the baseball World Series might mean even more to me, but this is pretty big all the same.

Its fair to say that the first team in the big match will surprise few people, its the New England Patriots. Yes, I know, the ‘marmite team’, or for those who dont get that comment, a team you either seem to love, or hate, nothing in between! Me, I’m one of those in between brigade, but only because my dear friend Kate is a supporter of them, I suspect. Otherwise, as a longstanding Buffalo fan, fine, I’d probably hate them too.

The other team are more of a surprise, or are at least if you are a pundit, expert, or just blindly followed prices at the start of the season, as its the Atlanta Falcons. Now me, I knew what their offense could do, thought they had a chance, but if you’d told me that Seattle would be ordinary, and that Carolina would be awful before the season started, then yes, I would have laughed.

But this team has run up points against just about everybody, and certainly impressed me even more than I expected. So fine, I might expect the ‘dark force’ to win out, as usual, but I know who I’ll be rooting for, the underdogs! Besides which, they’ve never won this, only once before been to a Superbowl, so yes, it would be nice for someone new to win, and…sorry Kate! xxx

The video, its the wrong bird, would be more apt for Philadelphia, but it was as close as I could get!

On New Years Day (plus one)

Today, strictly one day late, due to New Years Day falling on a Sunday, is one of the great Los Angeles (well, Pasadena) traditions, the Rose Bowl parade, and college football game.

I know, I know, but the great beast that is the NFL takes priority on a Sunday, so this has had to wait until today. Maybe one day I’ll get to see the parade live, or even visit the Rose Bowl, but the former wont be this year, and the latter, in terms of going to a game, no time soon, I suspect? I might see the Stadium later this year, but it wont be one of the priority places to visit, so…? I have no idea how practical that is by public transit, anyway?

Mind, compared to what travel must have been like for Michigan, for the first ever game, in 1902, its probably a whole lot easier nowadays. I assume 2 or 3 days by train, just to get out to California, and the same again, to go back afterwards. Now you could do the flight in a matter of hours! The current famous Rose Bowl wasnt apparently used until 1923 (Thanks, Wikipedia), but only once since then, in 1942, has it not happened there. Yes, that pesky WW2 forced it East for one year!

By tradition nowadays, its the champion of the Big 10, against the champion of the Pac 10, but it doesnt always happen. Commercialization, and nowadays the College Championships get in the way of that. So this year, we do have the Big 10 champions, Penn State, playing USC who didnt win the Pac 10, but beat the champions of that conference! They were in the College Championships, but anyway… I like many others suspect Penn State should have been among the 4 in that championship too!

Oh, the NFL? Well, Buffalo were as awful this season as I expected them to be, as were the Los Angeles Rams. Now seems there will be a second team in LA next year, the Chargers seem to be moving up the coast to join them. Not that they will improve the quality of the teams in the city, but anyway… Thankfully, from a Harlow point of view, the Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs, and in fact, won their division in the end. More due to the Raiders having major injury issues, but all the same… its something!

OK, video time. A very apt piece of U2!

Hold on, to what we’ve got?

I guess if I was actually a movie star nowadays, like the one I took the name of, I wouldnt mind the insane salaries that they get paid nowadays. In truth, for her time, the money Harlow was getting a week was pretty crazy, even if you took the depression out of the equation. I have no idea how much Clara Johnson was making for her lesser roles, acting, dancing, and whatever, but I suspect it was enough for a decent life, if not a Hollywood, or Beverly Hills mansion!

Its been the same with music stars, I guess, though apart from a few names, most only have a short period of fame, and then the money just has to last as long as it can, assuming they havent blown it all already?

But yes, fine, this comment comes out of a sporting event over the weekend, and OK, it relates to LA, so…

To me, what some sporting people earn is just crazy money. Even the lower league soccer stars earn more in a week, than I do in a month, for just kicking a ball around. When you get to the Premier League stars, and the stars of some of the US sports, well, it just goes crazy! I know, they’re good at their jobs, but $20 million plus, a year, seriously? I know, if I was male, and good at one of these sports, but, from the outside?

After this weekend, the NFL finally got round to the first coach sacking of the season, Jeff Fisher, at the LA Rams. The crazy thing, he’s only just been given an extension to his contract, so thats about $8 million he’s made, for about a fortnight of work! But the NFL is so loaded with money that even though I’m sure the owner will hate writing that money off, its an insignificant amount, in a billion dollar business! I know, football especially is a dangerous sport, careers are short, but…? Mind, the basketball, and baseball players earn equally insane amounts, but at least they work for a larger portion of the year to earn it!

But fine, the thing that amused me the most about an article on the CBS webpage on this, and the possible dismissal of the General Manager as well in the near future, was the talk of a woman in one of these roles, though I’m pretty sure they mean GM, not Coach! They then proceeded to give a list of 10 suitable names for the latter role, not one of them a woman! I know, I’m hopelessly not qualified, but if (seemingly when) it comes up, I’d be tempted to apply, just to shake up the old boys network. As I say, I wont get it, not qualified, no great experience, but…

Would any woman really stand a chance for a role like that, even if they were perfect for the job, and did apply? Hmm?

Yes, I’ll go back to dreaming of being offered a small theater, or movie part, and leave it at that, I guess! 😉

Video time. What the Rams didnt do in the title, and some would say, what they are now living on.

Can we stop the NFL?

I know that strictly, its not the fault of the NFL, because lets face it, how were they to know that things would work out like this, and besides, even if they had, there is only so much they could do, when the fixture list is played out as it is?

The one thing I’ve heard a lot of this year, is that TV ratings for NFL games are down, quite a lot in some cases. I know there are always going to be some really good games, a few less than great games, but currently, in truth, we’re sandwiched between a pair of shockers at present.

On Sunday, the 2 win Chicago Bears hosted the 1 win San Francisco 49ers. Yes, the fact we’re 12 games into the season shows how bad they are. To be fair to Chicago, they at least looked like they were prepared to fight for their future, and won comfortably, 26-6. Yes, San Francisco looked like a team for whom the end of the season couldnt come quickly enough. I only feel sorry for the people who paid large sums of money to see them play, but given most of those were from Chicago, I’m sure they didnt mind too much.

This morning, I had the misfortune to watch the highlights of the Monday night game, between the Indianapolis Colts, and the 3 win New York Jets, in New York. It has to be said, the attitude of the Jets players made the 49ers look enthusiastic! Oh, they lost 41-3, and it didnt deserve to be that close! What a top team might have scored, I dread to think! And given this game was in New York, it was the locals who paid large sums of money to see that shocking performance. The only consolation for me, Jon Gruden!

So guess what the Football Gods have thrown up for next week? Yes, you’ve guessed it, the New York Jets are travelling to…San Francisco! Well, strictly, Santa Clara, but thats where they play nowadays. Will both teams turn up, let alone care about the result? I know, depressing. But again, the people I feel most sorry for, are the people spending large sums of money for tickets, for a game that neither team seems to care about, beyond getting their pay packet!

And the NFL wonder why ratings are down? Fine, rant over!

The video is a Christmas one, though its not really a Christmas one, at the same time. No, not Greg Lake, but the other one!