Wednesday, July 22, 2015

the state of the blog: "the end game" ...

“All through the night.
I’ll be awake, and I’ll be with you.
All through the night.
This precious time?  When time is new?

Oh!  All through the night to day,
Knowing that we feel the same,
Without saying …

We have no past!
We won’t reach back!
Keep with me,
Forward, all through the night!

And once we start?
The meter clicks!
And it goes running
All through the night!

Until it ends?
There is no end …”


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Seven years ago today, this site was launched.

The initial post wasn’t much to read; more of a “hey, welcome friends!” post to announce its arrival.  From that initial post – 811* of them ago – this site has evolved into what it is.  Which is … uuh, what it is.

It’s a site heavy on recaps of real life events – because that’s what drives my passion, is experiencing life with so many of you, and posting a reflection of my thoughts so that forever long this incredible invention of Al Gore known as the Internet remains relevant, the pertinent details, the funny moments, the awesome moments, and yes, even the painful lows, along with the euphoric highs, are there to relive any time you or I want to.

It’s a site heavy on opinion – namely, mine.  If you don’t know who and/or what I am by now, then click on the bio at the top of the page.  I haven’t changed in 38 ½ years, save for a few minor modifications.  I despise hypocrisy, I despise incompetence, and I despise double standards, almost as much as I enjoy commenting on those things, and pointing them out.

(Hey – love me or hate me, at least I have a pair, and I’m not scared to use them.)

It’s a site occasionally filled with the trivial “why not” post – my favorite songs at that moment in time, the TV Theme Song Tournament (which is possibly the most fun I’ve ever had in creating a post), the eight worst seasons in television history of a show I loved, the twenty seven best episodes of my favorite show of all time, hell – even the occasional “this moved me and I wanted to share it” moment.

(Oh – and a post explaining, and defending, why “Saturday Night Fever” is my favorite movie of all time.  That might be my second funnest post I’ve ever typed.)

This site is Chiefs-centric.  I am not going to take the time to go back and add up the stats, but I’d guess at least one out of every three posts is about the Red and Gold in some manner.

This site is personal, as in focused on me.  I’ve refused to hide from my issues, or hide them from you.  (Well, for the most part.)  This site’s most read post – and nothing else is still within 500 clicks of it nearly three years later – was my recap of the Chiefs / Panthers game … which in reality was me revealing for the first time, what a few of you suspected, at least some of you were sure of, but none of you could verify – that suicide is real, that pain is real, and that when the pain of emotion confronts the option of suicide?

Sometimes it takes God Himself, to save you from yourself.

Oh -- and this site?  Now, then, and always?  Will continue for as long as I post to it, to remain your must-read go-to destination site for NFL and NCAA Tournament gambling predictions.  Because if I’m betting on your squad to win?  Load up on the enemy. 

(As always, that is my public service to you gambling addicts in the crowd.  You’re welcome.)

If – emphasis on if – if those things were truly what this site was about?  It’d be cool, it’d be neat, it’d be readable.  If those things were what this site was about? 

Then the State of this Blog would be rock solid, as it enters Year Ocho of its existence.

Only, those things?  Aren’t what this site is about.  At least not at its core.

Which is why the State of this Blog … is on life support.

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(*: technically, according to the statistics, this is post 811.  It does not include the post from two summers ago, when I posted about 30% of the indefensible wrong two “friends” did to me, over the span of 206 days.  The ONLY regret I have regarding this site, after seven years, 812 actual posts, at least that many that I opted not to post, and countless “will you please stop swearing so much?  You’re a fun read and I love you, but you don’t have to drop the f bomb for emphasis all the time!” feedback from my mommy?

The ONLY regret I have, is taking that post down.  I shouldn’t have taken it down; I should have perma-linked it in the masthead, to ensure every person who ever drunkenly or soberly stumbles here, could see those two for who they proved to be.)

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This is only the 11th post of 2015.  After posting 800 in the first six and a half years (or roughly 132 posts / year), I’m 10 in, as summer is peaking.

I could offer up any number of excuses as to why.  My job is ruining … excuse me.  Let me try that again.  My job is (stewie griffin voice) roo-eening my free time.  I’ve taken on some additional roles and responsibilities that have expanded my typical workday into the 10-11 hour range. 

My physical health is in serious crisis.  Well, not “you’re about to drop dead” serious, but I’ve never felt worse in my life than I did for most of May into June into early July.  I finally broke down and went to the doctor, the pain in my abdomen was so severe, I literally was crying, it hurt so much.  I was diagnosed as having a few things wrong with me, the most important of which is this condition known as diverticulitis.  For those of you who know what that is?  You are probably rolling on the floor, laughing your asses off right now, at me having that affliction.

For those of you who have no idea what diverticulitis is?  I’m going to give you five seconds to swallow whatever libation you’re enjoying while reading this, to put down any objects you could drop or use to hurt yourself, and then, when this paragraph ends, I’ll put it as distinctly as I told my folks (who didn’t know what this illness is).

Ready?

(ted mosby voice) Kids?  I’m literally full of sh*t.

No, really – I am literally filled with sh*t.

My colon cannot (or will not, lazy bastard) process waste correctly.  As a result, it backs up, and eventually, when it has nowhere else to go (since you can’t poop no matter how hard you try, because there’s no poop to expel), the crap in you seeps into other body organs (mainly the stomach), and it destroys your appetite, causes intense pain in your midsection, and makes you so miserable you simply cry from the pain.

Thankfully, it’s treatable, and I’m on a healthy regiment of anti-biotics and fiber pills, and they’re working.  But still, pray you never develop this.  Because it hurts like hell.

I could claim writers block, or a lack of topics that interest me – both of which are true – but that’s just more excuse making.

And why make excuses, when there is a perfectly plausible, reasonable, rational, sensible reason for my silence on this site?

And that reason, is that this site has lost its guiding light.  It’s lost its compass, it’s focus.

It’s lost what it truly, at its heart, was all about.

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Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about a post like this, since I composed and posted “The Picture” last Thanksgiving weekend.  That post, someday, when this site is nothing more than a repository of the past, with no present or future, will be what I point to as the catalyst, in what has caused me to believe it is time to launch “The End Game” for this site.

“The Picture” actually was written, edited, and proofed a full week before I posted it.  I composed it on the drive up to Sioux Falls for the raiders game get-away.  I edited it at night that weekend, and pretty much finished writing it on the ride home when the weekend was over.  And then, I let it sit for a week.

See, that weekend hit me raw.  It’s probably why I’ve never posted Part Two of that weekend, because as much fun as that entire weekend was, it also just hammered home what’s missing on this site, and has been for quite a while now.

This site, at its core, was about … well, let’s back up a moment.  Because so much of what’s changed?  Is unavoidable.  It’s progress, and it’s a good thing, really!

So many of you who are not just friends, but family, co-workers, drinkin’ buddies, tailgating compadres, even in a few cases “I respect you too much to not tolerate you, because you’re too damned good at what you do not to tolerate you” acquaintances, have seen life change for you in epic, memorable, life-altering ways.

My nephew was born five months before this site launched.  He’s had two amazing sisters added since then.  So many more of you, have seen you find “The One” (at least for now) and settle down to establish a family.  “The Voice of Reason”, “bts”, “The Perpetual Intern”, Damien, “MS Moment” and Vince.  So many more of you have seen your careers launch into ridiculous success – my brother, my cousin Brooke, my great buddy Jasson.  (Here’s where I note, I don’t throw the word “great” around, very often.  This will matter, possibly, eventually, in this post.  If I ever get, to where I’m trying to get to with it.)

I not only have re-connected with a lot of former co-workers and friends from my previous employer (Transamerica), I spend every day interacting with so many of you, I never thought I’d see again, save for a “what are the bleeping odds” moment.  Friends like Dale, and Joe, and my boss Kathy.  People like Joey and John and Madeline, like the greatest administrative assistant ever in Pat, to Kyle and Ed, and Geoff.

Hell, I’ll even through my ultimate boss into that grouping – Dave would be the “we despise each other, but respect each other” person in the above comments.  (In fairness, I think he’d say the same thing about me – I can’t stand Stevo, but he’s too damned good at what he does, to let my bias interfere with my evaluation – that I say about Dave, every day.  He’s DAMNED good at what he does, and I’m damned proud to work for him.  Even if I can’t stand him 92.46% of the time … and the feeling is mutual.)

I’ve seen co-workers downsized, that I love so much, I can’t quit them.  My former boss Steve.  The awesome Carol.  My teammate for life (and friend until we’re welcomed through the gates of some afterlife) Penny, and her partner, “That DeHart Guy”.  I love my bowling league teammates and friends, so many of which I see every day. 

I love the co-workers I gained nine years ago on July 10th, that I still get to enjoy every day.  Lucy, Brad, Mary, Pat, Courtney.  Diana and Heather and Courtney and Dusti (who saves my ass every day in that job.)  I love the “smart people on the floor”, as I call them, in Actuarial, I shoot the sh*t with every day.  Jarow (who’s as p*ssed as I am, at the lack of a STH sticker in the mailing this year from the Chiefs).  Kyle and Bryan.  “Bill” O’Brien. 

I need Shannon’s inappropriate joke of the day.  I need Deneece’s “I need to smoke, (insert person here) is getting punched if I don’t” moment.  Wes and Mitch deserve their own sitcom.  It cannot possibly be worse than “Two Broke Girls”.  Especially if Wendy gets to play the wacky neighbor role.

I love that while I don’t see them every day (or, uuh, ever), so many friends from Transamerica remain friends.  Phil and I can shoot the sh*t about baseball anytime.  Ditto Scotty.  Brett and Shannon are the best couple I know.  Hadley and Shari are at worst the third best couple I know. 

I love the friends tailgating has added.  My South Dakota Peeps – Ian and Angie, Rudy and Heidi, Ron and Becky, Adam.  The Omaha folks, Jeff and Paula.  (Or, as they were known for nearly three years on this site, “Tony and Lisa”.)  I love that even the tailgating folks who’ve moved on are still good for a game or three a year, to show up and simply say hello – Tyler and Will, “Joe Knows” Football and Robert (I expect – and demand – an invite to the wedding when it goes down, long, long overdue gentlemen).  Davey and Tracey, Tony and Jennifer, Debbie and Beth.  I miss the one we lost in Bill, and will never fail to say hello to Vessie, as I arrive at the pool.

I love the friends tailgating has maintained and enhanced!  Russ and Mona, my second parents.  I’d take a bullet for either.  Anthony and Jaimmie.  Clint and Miranda and Paul and Chesney and Michael and another Paul and insert random I’m missing here.

I am so damned appreciative that both my parents are still here, along with every relative that was, when this site began.  Every cousin – Brian, Brent, Brad, Brooke, Jordan, Kristin, Spencer.  Every aunt and uncle – Gail, Bruce, Marsha, Bill, Sandy, and even Geno.  I love that family?  Is intact.

The above paragraphs – which really don’t go far enough?  Is why this site needs to enter “The End Game”.

Because It’s not what been changed for the better, that has this site on life support, in my (rarely) humble opinion.  I wouldn’t wish change to any of you, from what you have.

And it’s not the fact that I feel like a failure most of the time, compared to all of you, that has me feeling as I do about this site.  Yes, I do feel like a failure.  Part of it is just what society demands.  I’m 38 and single … yet I don’t want kids.  Good luck finding something other than a one-night stand in my age bracket and desire for life.  I’m not career focused … but I’m always willing to set aside my personal wants, for the corporate needs, if that makes sense.  (It’s probably why, as I finish proofing and editing this, I am logged in running reports from home, to send out in the morning to the various reinsurers I issued payments to today.)

My lack of success (in the eyes of the world … and most of the time, in my eyes too) isn’t what makes me want to impose “The End Game”.  The success of so many of you, isn’t it either.

It’s what ISN’T here anymore, that fuels it.

And that’s what “The Picture” hammered home.

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What makes me think “The End Game” is in sight, is the loss of three people, I naively thought were friends.

“The Ex”, “The Champ”, and “The Chica”.

If “The Picture” was the post that hammered home just what has been lost?


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True story: in late March (may have been really early April; I forget which weekend I mailed it), I sent Dusty and Kellie a gift for their son’s first birthday.  I thought I would try one last time, to take the high road.  I thought I would try, for one last time, to get them to see what they’ve intentionally and deliberately thrown away, for reasons known only to them.

(Since, in fairness to them, they have refused all 46 requests made of me, to them, to talk this out, and counting.)

This was the response I received, when they mailed the gift back to me:




(The “regards” comment actually makes me laugh.  If any of you have any doubt left as to who Dusty and Kellie Jones really are?  Here’s your answer.  This?  Is the REAL them.  On Kellie’s stationary, in Dusty’s handwriting.  I’ll leave it to you “Clue” fans to figure out which room, this abortion of a note was written in.  Any mentally challenged person out there who still believes the Jones' pathological lies, that this wasn't personal, and was only about a bowling team?  Image credit: me, via my iPhone 6, via SnagIt 10.)

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True story: in October, I got a Facebook email from “The Ex”, informing me she literally had nowhere to go, and could I put her up for a couple days.

It took me a solid 12 hours to be talked into it … but I invited her in.  Six weeks later – go figure, the day she was supposed to begin repaying me for all the hundreds of dollars I loaned and floated her over those six weeks – she disappeared, and took off for Florida, where at last check she still was:


(image credit: me, via SnagIt 10.)

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Those two reasons, more than any other, readers, is why I think it’s time to implement “The End Game”, and set a finish date for this site, probably after posting a Chiefs in Review post in early 2016.

Because the “Core Four” this site truly was about at its peak?

Is down to only one, who gives a flying f*ck, about the other three.

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So convince me I’m wrong.

That’s how I close the “State of the Blog” to open Year Ocho.

Convince me I’m wrong.

Convince me what has been GAINED these last seven years, outweighs what has been LOST.

I’m giving you a comments section.  I’ll give you a Facebook email (teamtito15), a Twitter link (@teamtito15), an email link (teamtito15@(pick one) yahoo.com or gmail.com.  Approach me in person.  Contact me however you want to.

If you want this site to continue beyond this Chiefs season, then convince me to stick around.

Because the State of this Blog is not just on life support, I quite frankly don’t see how it recovers, absent a reason to recover that doesn’t yet exist.

This site has lost its heart.  

I fear if I continue to dwell on losing its heart, it'll lose its soul.

So please, convince me I'm wrong.

Convince me there's a future.

That's the State of the Blog, 2015.  Year Ocho has dawned.  Give me one damned good reason, to see year Nueve, readers, friends, and fellow "whoa, this is decent reading when you're pushing a .23 BAC" people among us ...

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