Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Timberwolves Viewing Party

 I have no clue as to how I received an invitation to a Minnesota Timberwolves viewing party at a Howl at the Moon location in Minneapolis MN.  I haven't been to Minneapolis since playing a show at the 7th Street Entry in the early 1990s.  I have never attended or watched the Minnesota Timberwolves in person or on TV.  I have never even clicked on their team website by mistake.  It's exciting to be included.  I really appreciate it.  I think I am going to go.  There was some confusion at first.  See below...


From: Greg Miller [mailto:donotreply@eventbrite.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2015 1:32 PM
To: Timberwolves FansFirst <FansFirst@timberwolves.com>
Subject: Minnesota Timberwolves Howl at the Moon Viewing Party - Question from Greg Miller

Greg Miller has a question for you about your event Minnesota Timberwolves Howl at the Moon Viewing Party.

I was just invited to your viewing party, and was surprised to see it is sold out via event brite. I had planned on attending this event with a co-worker, and now we are unsure if we will be able to attend and cheer the T-Wolves onto inevitable victory over those sack of shit Lakers. Please advise.


This message was sent to you via Eventbrite.

From: Timberwolves FansFirst [mailto:FansFirst@timberwolves.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 10:04 AM
To: Miller, Greg
Subject: RE: Minnesota Timberwolves Howl at the Moon Viewing Party - Question from Greg Miller

Hey Greg,

The viewing party is open to the public and it will be a first come, first serve basis until they reach capacity of about 300 people. I would suggest getting there early as it will be a packed house!

Go Wolves!

From: Miller, Greg
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 10:26 AM
To: 'Timberwolves FansFirst'
Subject: RE: Minnesota Timberwolves Howl at the Moon Viewing Party - Question from Greg Miller

You’re not kidding about the Go Wolves thing!  This is our year.  We are done fucking around here in the Twin Cities.  We are going to pound those sack of shit Lakers into a fecal mulch.  By the time we finish with them our fans will regard Kobe Bryant as a mere shadow of his former self.  He will be so disheartened he will quit basketball and sell home improvement products to elderly housewives that have no idea he was once a professional athlete.  “Hello ma’am.  My name is Kobe.  Can I ask you if you are interested in saving 22% in your home heating costs with new windows?”.  Get bent you hack.  And get out of my living room.

I am currently applying complete body paint to myself.  I plan on attending this event early.  Please note I am so excited about the season starting I might become so intoxicated I lose control of my bowels.   I would suggest alerting the hospitality staff to keep a wet mop nearby.

Go Wolves.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Jacksonville and NFL Week 7

I had a very unsettling dream last night where I was on a small dive boat out in the ocean.  I couldn’t see land in any direction.  The sea was very rough, the boat pitching violently.  I had to get into scuba gear and jump into the sea to make a very deep dive to a shipwreck where a small box supposedly contained something of great value.  The sea was a disturbing color of green, a light sandy green that suggested little visibility once I entered the water.  After almost falling down on the clumsy walk with my tank and flippers to the platform, I fell into the bracingly cold water.  There was almost no visibility as I descended.  A huge silhouette swam past me above, an enormous predator.  I kept telling myself not to panic.  I could feel the presence of the massive shark looming nearby.  I sunk to the bottom of the ocean and felt along the sludgy sand bottom for the box, the only sound my labored breath bubbling out.  I kept cutting my fingers on sharp rusty edges of debris as I desperately searched.  At last I found the box, which was like a small treasure chest.  I struggled to open it, to get the great treasure.  Inside it was one item, a small antique key. 

I don’t know what that means, if anything, but I have my suspicions.  I do know that I am looking for answers in my NFL picks, where I have been "struggling".  It's been a half point here, a half point there...  It still comes up loser.  The issue is mostly that I don’t know anything, and these games have razor thin margins of error.  I do feel that the tide might be turning though.  This shows what a sap I am.  I think I might need to get more aggressive.  It's the only option.  It's a weird time right now.  I am so far beyond burning the candle at both ends.  I have entered into a period of time where it is all activity, activity, activity.  I don't really know what is going on as I am juggling too many things at once.  The only course of action is to continue moving until the wheels come completely off.  Only when sitting amongst the smoking debris can I be expected to assess what has happened.  Until then, let’s go…

I am betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.  I have been to Jacksonville once.  I played a show at a place called the Moto Lounge with The Cowslingers.  (I wrote “Gonna Win The Lottery” on the stairs of a building outside the club before the show for any Cowslinger trivia buffs out there.)  Jacksonville was most noteworthy for our visit to a beach which was populated by white trash dope addicts.  Skinny young men and women with sores on their skin sat against a horrible smelling cinder block latrine while we attempted to walk through the needle infested sand to hop in the ocean.  These were people that even Kid Rock would shy away from.  Angry hillbillies in jacked up pickup trucks roared through the parking lot.  An almost empty Hooters sat near a sad port.  The place felt like a great town to have your car broken into, or maybe sleep with a tired eyed single mother that would steal your wallet while you slept.  Grim place.

I am not going to let that stop me.  I feel like the Jaguars will be so happy to leave Jacksonville and play in London that they will score some points and keep it close against Buffalo.  I don't even know who is on the Jaguars.  Does Maurice Jones Drew still play?  It's all about betting against the raised expectations on the Bills.  Rex Ryan will probably try to show his players how cool he is by letting them go crazy in London pubs, and as a result the Bills will play down to their level of competition like all Rex Ryan coached teams.  The Bills have 8-8 written all over them despite having great talent.  Rex seems like an interesting man that isn’t a particularly good football coach.  He will be there three years and leave in disgrace.  This is not to suggest anyone in Jacksonville knows what they are doing either.  I’m just all over the points on the little team field trip to England.  Jacksonville +5.5.

A few weeks ago the story on the Raiders was that “They Are Back Baby”!  Then they lost to the Bears, went on a bye week and are perceived to suck again.  This is good for degenerates like myself.  All the same people that think the Raiders suck just watched Phillip Rivers throw for 500 yards and almost beat the Packers on the road.  The amazing thing about the NFL is that perception amongst the public is whatever happened last week will happen again this week.  That is never the case except for the Patriots winning and the Browns losing in soul crushing ways.  The human mind craves order from the chaos.  Things are supposed to happen in a systematic manner.  When they don't, the mind wants to reshuffle the deck into a more ordered revision of history.  San Diego will always throw for 500 yards.  If they almost beat Green Bay on the road, they'll kill the lowly Raiders at home.  Of course.  Yes. 

Don't get me wrong.  I hate betting on the Raiders.  They have let me down almost as much as those loser Raider fans dressed like Darth Vadar and scary cavemen in their cheap seats.  I wonder with the rapid "gentrification" of Oakland, if the new hipster crowd will become Raider fans?  By the way, "gentrification" means that the poor people that lived there and ran used appliance and wig shops get moved out for dudes in mustache wax that open shops dedicated to free range organic antique bicycles and artisan espresso sweaters.  If you drive a tow truck or deliver pizzas in the Bay Area, chances are you have tickets in the end zone at Raider games.  I have a hard time seeing someone that waits tables at a vegan hot yoga herbal tea shop putting on skeleton makeup and yelling terrible things at Derek Carr.  Here's what I know...  San Diego is 1-7 ATS at home.  It's just difficult to play great football when it's 76 degrees, sunny, and everyone wants to hang out at the beach.   What the hell.  I'm on the Raiders +4.5.    

Season record a bleak 4-7.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Nurse the Hate: The Elway Jersey and Week 6

There was an odd group think that washed over the city of Cleveland this week, the idea that the Browns will not only be competitive but actually beat the undefeated Broncos this Sunday.  Even I found myself at midweek thinking that this would happen.  This is especially odd in that the only times I have watched the Browns play the Broncos it has ended in complete disaster for the Browns.  I was in the Dawg Pound during “The Drive” loss sporting a really ugly coat and ineffective hunting socks.  I remember with vivid clarity the rubber thud-thud-thud of crushed fans bootfalls against the filthy cement of the stadium walkways when the game ended.  It’s not often that 80,000 people can file out of a building so quietly.

The following year when the Browns lost in “The Fumble” game I was wearing a John Elway jersey just to annoy all of my Cleveland area roommates in college.  I bought it at the now defunct department store O’Neils.  These people allowed me to open up a credit card, which was odd as I had no credit history or more importantly any money.  As I was a college student, I was essentially a gypsy with a gigantic record collection.  My mailing address was “flexible” shall we say.  I never received a bill from O’Neils.  It wasn’t really their fault.  It was like trying to send a bill to a ghost.  I wound up indirectly getting that bill three years later.  O’Neils had been closed for two or three years.  They had been swallowed up by another now defunct department store called Kaufman’s.  Kaufman’s was sort of like that character Kenny KGB in the movie “Rounders”.  They had bought up my debt like cheap loan sharks without me having any idea any of this was happening. 

One day in my latest grubby apartment, hired goons called me up and said “Mister son of bitch!  You pay me my money!  We destroy your credit Mister Son of Bitch!”.  I had no idea why I owed Kaufman’s $38 as I had never even walked into a Kaufman’s.  I also had no idea why some Eastern European goon was threatening me on the phone over this $38.  I told him something along the lines of “I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about and I’m not giving you any money”.  I figured out that it must have been that damn Elway jersey when I connected the dots of the corporate takeovers about three months later.  They never sent me a bill though.  Looking back, I should have paid that goon.  A couple years later when I bought a car that $38 was the only glitch on my credit report.  I still have that jersey by the way.

So as you can see, I have a very murky history with the Denver Broncos.  As I now sit in the early morning light with a small rainbow in the distance I have been hit with immutable truths once again.  I will share just a few of them with you.  One is that you should always pay Eastern European goons their money.  Two is that Elway jersey was a really good deal.  Three is that the Broncos are going to win on Sunday just like they always do.  Denver -4.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Giants are going to win the NFC East.  The fact that they aren’t a very good football team and their best defensive player blew his hand off in a fireworks accident don’t really matter.  It’s just that all of the other teams are so bad.  Washington is the only team in the NFL that make the Browns look like a well run operation.  The Cowboys lost three in a row after going Full Weeden.  The Eagles look doomed.  A few months ago Chip Kelly was trying to show everyone how smart he was by trading away all his good players for injured outlier type players.  Kelly seems like one of those guys that doesn’t want to win as much as he wants to show you how much smarter he is than everyone else as he wins.  You know who likes that?  Nobody.  I take small joy in each Eagles failure.  While this does demonstrate a lack of character on my part, I need to be honest here.  It could be one of the factors in why I’m taking Giants +4 on Sunday night.  Yet, this isn't a purely emotional decision.  You should know that the Eagles have only covered in 12 of their last 37 at home.  Also, these NFC East games are always close.  It’s always a field goal by some shitty kicker at the end that wins these games.  The underdog has covered in 14 of the last 16 Eagles/Giants matchups.  Take the points.  Giants +4.

Season Record 4-5 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Post Office

I was standing in line at the post office.  In case you have ever ordered Daredevils merchandise and wondered why it was so late in getting to you, it is because I am the one that has to go to the post office and mail it.  The “shipping department” is me cobbling together a box in the driver’s seat of my car.  It’s a very high end enterprise that allows me plenty of time to observe humanity at the post office.  Generally, the more time I spend observing human beings, I become more and more amazed that society functions at all.  The most basic tasks are an immense challenge to most of the population.  Can you imagine that the same society that created the computing power in a smart phone also contains people that cannot get a box from point A to point B even with an almost fail proof postal system in place?

The problem appears to be that most people, especially in lower class areas, have no idea how the post office is set up to work.  They step up to the counter with no real plan of any kind.  They just haven't thought this thing out.  A shoddy box or envelope is incorrectly addressed in their hands as they struggle through the basic inquiries of the postal clerk.  How do you want to send this?  First class?  Overnight?  “Ughhhhh…. Ughhhh…. I don’t know… I… I….I?”  I saw a guy once try to mail a box with only “Jim Smith… Houston” written on it.  He had no idea that he needed to have an actual street address much less a zip code.  How could someone reach the age of 40 in the United States and not know what a zip code is, or that the letter carrier might not instinctively know where “Jim” lived in Houston?  "Hey, is that a box for Jim?  Yeah, I think he lives behind that convenience store on Maple.  I'll buzz it over there."

There is no place in America more filled with time burglars than the post office (except arguably the airport).  Here's a quick piece of advice I have earned the hard way.  At all costs, do not get in line behind an elderly woman.  If I am buying stamps, it will take me roughly 25 seconds.  I do not care what art work is on the stamp.  You've got flags?  Fine.  Oh, Charro is on a stamp now?  That's fine.  As long as it works, I am on board.  Elderly women will go through every possible variation of stamps available to them with remarks to the clerk of “Oh!  That one is pretty!” while the line lengthens filled with people like me that just want the wait to end.  Two weeks ago I was standing in line for 17 minutes while a woman mailed a letter and debated with her friend if she should get the Paul Newman stamps or not.  (In the end, she risked it all and got them.)

I also have a complaint about the ambiance in the post office as a whole.  The music played in the post office is always horrible.  I don’t expect some sort of indie rock dance party when I go to the post office, but for example, the downtown Cleveland post office plays exclusively “smooth jazz”.  This is also known as “shitty jazz” to people that like Miles Davis or John Coltrane.  Whenever I hear “smooth jazz” I think Billy Dee Williams is about to glide out of the back room and seduce the heavy bottomed woman in line in front of me.  Look, I just want to mail somebody a “Nashville Surprise” CD.  I don’t want to see Billy Dee Williams “getting it on”.  

It’s not better in the suburbs either.  Today I heard Autograph’s “Turn Up The Radio” while in line.  I had never noticed prior to today there is an awful keyboard part in that song.  I imagine that somewhere even now when that song comes on at Applebee’s a solitary man at the bar will lean in to a pair of women conversing over their Jack Daniels deep fried pork bites.  “Excuse me ladies… You hear that song?  I played on that…”  He will then sit back in his stool expecting to bathe in praise and wonder.  “No, no… I’m not singing… That’s me there!  Hear it?  That keyboard part!  Wahhhhhh!!!!  Hear it?”  The women will go “ohhh” in a dismissive manner and resume their lives.  The man then hitches himself up at his stool and quickly finishes his Miller Lite tall draft when he realizes that this didn't turn out like he'd planned.  He makes a hasty exit and rides off in his Fiero trailing a mist of disappointment and scorn.

I know there are all sorts of new fangled high tech shipping options out there.  I'm sure I can probably set something up online where an elf comes to my house, picks up the boxes and leaves after giving me a foot rub.  For me to even start the initial foray into setting that up seems too daunting. I'm continuing my evolution into my father, must as he must have evolved into his.  I am leery of technology, sure that if I click the wrong button online I will fall victim to some sort of identity theft scam.  Just by looking into more affordable and convenient shipping I will probably have all my worldly possessions stolen by online goons.  Russian gangsters will show up at my house waving official looking documents.  "You Greg?  We take house now.  It ours.  We make party with dogs.  Bye bye.  Have a nice."  I will be left in my "golden years" rowing some sort of slave ship like an extra from "Ben Hur".  With luck I will work my way up the ladder and empty out the "slop buckets" for a few extra sheckles that I can spend in port on medicine for my sores.

To those of you waiting on Whiskey Daredevils merchandise, please be patient.  It's coming.  Eventually.  I just have to get back to the post office.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate the NFL Week 4

I looked at the NFL lines yesterday and quickly came to the conclusion that Vegas has completely zeroed these in.  The early weeks of playing on people’s perceptions that the Eagles would never lose a game and that the Jets are awful have passed.  The curtain has been pulled back.  Now we begin the process of pointless gambling and chasing our tails.  However the weather has become grim, so what else are you going to do on a Sunday?

I feel the need to make a frivolous teaser bet today.  In Vegas Sportsbook parlance, this is known as a “sucker bet”.  I am not sure what it says about me that I am willingly making a bet that I know in advance is for “suckers”, much less that I am talking about it openly.  I am also going to combine two teams that have collectively let me down for almost a half century.  This is a suicide mission.  A celebration of folly that should make me a public laughingstock.  A miscalculation so obvious to even the casual sports fan that I expect to be pointed at while walking down the street.  Little children will tug at their mother’s coat and whisper “Mommy?  Is that the man that took Buffalo and Cleveland in a teaser?” while their mother’s sharply hiss “Shhhh!  Don’t even look at him.  Something is very wrong with that man!”

Cleveland +13/Buffalo +.5

I am going to continue this comedy of errors by taking the Chicago Bears.  If you are reading this on a traditional computer, I will give you a moment to clear off the drink you probably spit all over the screen after reading that.  Listen, I did a little nosing around.  I have my ear to the ground on this game.  I’ve got the inside dope.  My people are telling me that Jay Cutler is going to play.  This is important in that Jimmy Clausen won’t be playing.  Jimmy Clausen has been disappointing people since he graduated high school.  After his football career is over I suspect he will disappoint anyone he is involved with regardless of the activity.  “Jimmy, I just thought your sales numbers would be better…  What happened?”  Or maybe “Honey, this steak you grilled… It’s okay I guess but… Did you season it?”  Meanwhile poor Jimmy will be standing there in his grilling apron holding his tongs looking dejected, dreaming about when he was in high school and was THE MAN. 

The other factor in this is that Chicago is playing an Oakland team that everyone has decided is a monster team bound for the Playoffs.  People can’t stop talking about how the Raiders are BACK!  Look, they beat the Browns and a dodgy 1-3 Ravens team while getting pounded by Cincinnati.  Let’s not lose our minds.  I am going to rely on the adage that The Public is always wrong.  The Public is heavily on Oakland.  That little kid that tugged on her Mom’s coat has two bills on the Raiders today.  Fuck that kid.  I am going the other way and taking Chicago at home with the points.

Chicago +3.5

Season Record 4-5

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate Guns Again

I am convinced that no scenario exists in which this nation will move ahead on even the slightest regulation on guns.  It cannot be done.  What else has to happen?  The largest massacre in the history of Oregon will be forgotten by Monday.  A five month old got shot in a drive by shooting here in Cleveland yesterday.  How much worse can you get?  Gun regulation opponents will not move an inch from their position of “If we even admit there is a problem, we have lost”.  What would it take?  Teams of armed goons spraying Disneyland with machine gun fire?  Roving gangs of firing squads?  It’s insane.  At this point when a 24 year old sexually repressed white kid shoots up a bunch of innocent people, I hardly even notice.  That’s a problem.

The logic of the gun lobby is so completely flawed it is laughable.  Let’s go point by point…  

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  Yes, people with guns.  I can’t recall the last time a 5 month old baby got killed in a “drive by knifing”.    

It’s not a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue.  We can’t prevent mental health problems, but we can prevent mentally ill people from getting guns, hence eliminating the problem of mentally ill people shooting 40 people at a school.

Most gun owners are responsible, so they shouldn’t be punished because some kooks go crazy with guns.  I can comfortably drive 130 mph in my car, but I’m not allowed to drive 130 mph in my car because your dipshit sister-in-law can’t control her vehicle at 55 mph much less 130.  Being in a society means we have to cater to the lowest common denominator.  Yeah, it sucks that I can’t go 130 mph because your fucking sister-in-law can’t drive, but that’s the way it is.  My pal Leo can take a bunch of LSD and have a great time, but Sally from the college jumped off the roof of her dorm so now none of us are allowed to do LSD.  It’s the way society works.  We have to cater to the people that don’t have their shit together.

But the Constitution says…  The Constitution is a document written in the 1700s when the Founding Fathers weren’t too concerned about a disgruntled white kid showing up at a movie theater with an Uzi.  However, they were wise enough to realize that society would change and to allow for that they created the idea of the “amendment”.  We got rid of socially destructive situations like slavery and women not being able to vote.  I think we can come up with a workable gun policy.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  The idea of arming everyone to prevent gun violence is so stupid it defies all logic.  I am not really interested in living in a society where any disagreement can rapidly devolve into a gunfight because everyone is “packing”.  Let’s try arming every drunk asshole at an NFL Stadium this Sunday and see how this model works out.  I will be home in my safe room.  Tell me how it goes.

I need a gun to protect my family.  Let’s be honest.  If you were focused on protecting your family, you would probably buy really tricked out doors and badass window locks.  You’d dig a moat.  Buy some alligators to toss in it.  That’s not really as fun as a bunch of guns, is it?  This idea of being some domestic Jason Bourne is ludicrous.  Every responsible gun owner claims their guns are in a safe.  How does one get their guns from a safe during one of these feared home invasions that are right around the corner?   “Hold everything you sons of bitches!  I’m running downstairs to the basement gun safe and I will be right back!  Don’t you move!”

If the guns are regulated, the only ones that can get guns are criminals.  If we are trying to prevent mass shootings caused by mentally ill white dudes in their 20s, wouldn’t it logically cut down the chance of these incidents happening if the mentally ill white dude (that is always a loner) has to navigate the criminal underground to buy himself a gun?  Also, if only criminals and police have guns, wouldn’t we then be leaving the gunplay to the pros?  I’m good with that.  How about I sing stupid songs on stage and criminals and cops shoot at each other?  The deal would be that cops and meth dealers can’t sing “Gloria” at any jam night or karaoke bar.  That’s a “win” for society.

Armed civilians are the only way to keep the government from totalitarianism.  While folks like to play militia much like other folks like to do Civil War recreations, these are both fantasies.  A backwoods militia is as real as a Renaissance Faire.  (note olde timey spelling)  Let’s say the government goes crazy and the president declares himself “dictator for life”.  The same armed forces that blew up the Iraqi army in about 23 minutes would then have to tangle with “Jim and Ray from outside Terre Haute”?  I’m putting on my money on the $431 trillion dollar government war machine instead of the 17 guys with assault rifles.

None of what I think matters though.  Common sense has no application in this situation.  In a few days this will blow over.  The NRA and other lobby groups will do their thing.  Congress will gridlock.  The clock will start ticking until the next crazy tragic situation.  Years from now people will look back at this and marvel at the stupidity of our society.   We clearly need to do something.  Anything.  What we are doing now is not working.  That cannot be debated.   

Perhaps we as a society just need to see if we can solve one small problem.  Maybe we need to first all pull together in something we can all agree on.  Maybe we need to see of we can tackle one tangible issue and have some success.  Perhaps some momentum could be gained if we righted at least one wrong.  All of us unified in a common goal we all know is important.  Tell me this... 

What is the status of the One Direction wallet?