Unpaid Bill

vapros

Verified Member
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,310
Tigers and Tide

Tigers and Tide

You better believe there is joy in Mudville. Louisiana is in love. Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers have gone into Tuscaloosa and beaten Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the first time in eight years, and are now acknowledged as the best college football team in the country. To understand the magnitude of this win, you must know a bit about the history of these two programs. They are in the same division of the SEC and have played each other a great many times. Alabama has a comfortable edge in the long series. A pretty good coach with a healthy winning record, Charlie McClendon, lost his job at LSU many years ago, primarily because he couldn’t beat Bear Bryant. More recently another pretty good coach with a healthy winning record, Les Miles, had to give it all up – mostly because he couldn’t beat Nick Saban. Yep, it really counts that much around here.

Coach O has done the trick in front of the biggest TV audience in the past eight years. Game of the Century, or course. The previous record was in 2011, also Game of the Century, also LSU and Alabama and LSU won that one, too. I’m a football fan and a fan of the Tigers, but not at the level of a great many citizens of this state, for whom it is life and death. Most of all I am happy – really happy – for Ed Orgeron. He is a blue-collar coach in the strictest sense of the sobriquet and a Cajun to a like degree. There is nothing sophisticated about Bebe, as his wife calls him. He is from Cut Off, Louisiana, below which is the salt marsh, and not far below, either. He is big-eyed, hoarse voiced and speaks with the ultimate Cajun accent, and he is dedicated to the guys on this team – guys who would fight the Red Chinese Army with a Ginsu knife for him. Orgeron has knocked around in the coaching profession, going where he could find work, doing what needed doing, learning his trade. He was less than successful in the job at Ole Miss – he says he discovered you cannot handle the boys in the backfield the same as the down-linemen. He is humble, church-going each day, and most proud of bringing football success to his state. No matter where this all goes from here, it’s been fantastic and Bebe is loving it.

And the Heisman Trophy is Joe Burrow’s to lose and we are pulling for him to go on being the best quarterback in the country – what a tremendous gap he will leave in just a couple of months. I am recalling a season sixty years ago, when a stud ball carrier named Billy Cannon won the award as the only previous LSU Tiger. So much for football. As Coach O says (every time he is on camera) Go Tigahs!!

But it’s not all football here in Baton Rouge. There is rap, too – very possibly the rap center of the world, or that’s the way it appears. The rap culture is everything to an uncounted number of musicians (?!) and their fans and they are making videos to display on YouTube and the rest of the internet – videos with gold teeth, gold jewelry, guns, flashing hand signs, underwear, huge quantities of hard cash and a running commentary on who is king today and how he has journeyed from the hood. I’m not talking rap songs, but rather monologues about the state of the genre, delivered with mumbled authority. Candid comments are made about such topics as death, drugs, police and jail – who is slated to go in and who just got out. Violent death occurs not infrequently among them and with minimal shocking power.

I said possibly the rap center of the world because their performances and their troubles with the law follow each other to many other states and venues. Many lines are crossed in many ways. I thought about offering some links for the convenience of any of you who might be interested, but decided I would skip those. In case you are curious, search for the Baton Rouge Effect or Top Boy Gorilla affairs. My interest is not much different than that in La Cosa Nostra. Dynamic people who are closer than we think.

Watching a match video recently - not one-pocket - between Josh Filler and Marcel Price, I was mystified to see the way they racked the balls. If there was a template there, Magic Rack or Accu Rack, it was totally invisible on the video. No one seemed to ever adjust it, remove it or replace it. Wha’s up wi’ dat?

An item of note to me, at least. Last week this journal reached 25,000 views – proof of something or other. Thanks, folks. Later.
 

vapros

Verified Member
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,310
I say Football!

It’s seventy-nine degrees today in Baton Rouge, gasoline is $1.99/ gallon, and Louisiana is having a wet dream over the LSU Tigers and a baby-faced quarterback who will run the table against Georgia tomorrow in Atlanta and then get the Heisman Trophy two or three days after that. I have no doubt that the Tigers will win the SEC Championship and might even win big, but they will be one of the four teams in the hunt for the CFP title either way. LSU and Ohio State will both be there. And what if Georgia beats LSU – they are a good team – well, humble pie is not bad if it is fixed right. I have eaten more than a little.

But, treat yourself to a look at Joe Burrow, the world’s best football player short of the NFL. What a story! He came to LSU when he was not chosen as the Ohio State quarterback. He will be a hero here forever – everybody loves Joe and he loves ‘em back. Nobody could write it better. Sixty years ago a local boy won the Heisman at LSU. Billy Cannon got the award largely on the strength of a fantastic punt return against Ole Miss, but it wasn’t the media event in 1959 that it is today and there weren’t millions of dollars to be made. If I recall correctly, Cannon signed with the old AFL for a modest check and some gas stations. Today in Louisiana it’s bigger than the impeachment – and not nearly as silly. This ain’t Duck Dynasty, folks. This is football and you will have to excuse us this year.

Here in the Bayou State, good news and reason for jubilation is not always at hand, as you may have noticed. Baton Rouge has recently been cited as one of the most dangerous cities in this country, and New Orleans is not far behind. It’s a fact that a lot of powder is burned locally and the casualty list of dead and wounded is pretty discouraging. Still talking football, one of the big annual events is the Bayou Classic, in which Southern University and Grambling take their gridiron teams and their marching bands into the Superdome for a spectacular production, and celebrations continue late into the night and are not always contained by the police. Ten people were shot on Canal Street in the early morning hours of last Sunday – luckily I believe all will recover. A similar number were knocked down three years ago on that weekend. The reputations of a couple of fine schools take a serious hit every year and the gun-control people never fail to spread the word.

Maybe you recall a news item from several weeks ago, about a lady from Florida and a disgruntled camel at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete. Without going into detail, the camel sat on the lady and the lady bit the camel. Well, I lived in Grosse Tete for a couple of years and ate many meals at the Tiger Truck Stop (it’s a fine place to order homemade pie), and now the proprietor has a billboard on I-10 inviting travelers to stop in for a bite! The board also features a handsome portrait of Casper the camel, who appears to be a bit proud of himself. It’s an ill wind, as they say. . .

I’m not yet comfortable navigating the updated website, but with so many members helping I expect to see the light soon. At the moment I am just hoping today’s post can find its way into my journal. I will try hard.

Geaux Tigahs!
 
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vapros

Verified Member
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,310
Next year is here

Been a month since I posted and a lotta stuff has gone down. On this site we’ve been thru two major changes in that time, and lemme say the latest one looks really good. As the least computer-savvy member of the group, new things intimidate me but maybe it will all shake out. As an old sign-painter, I take an interest in the type styles and sizes – I believe it’s a large part of effective communication on paper or on the screen or on someone’s wall. I managed to make a post today in bolded type, but have not been able to adjust style and size. Just could not get it to work. This journal post is in 12 point Tahoma and I am curious to see whether that will follow it into our web site. By the way, I still think the default print is a bit too small. Since most of the rest of you seem to have pictorial avatars now, I will try to get my own, but I will need a photo. I will ask Big Al.



As a fan of the LSU Tigers, it has been a great month. First, the SEC Championship game and a big win for Joe Burrow and the Tigers. Georgia has frequently gotten into the big game as the winner of the Eastern half of the conference. In recent years, the best teams have been in the West and two or three good outfits get left at the post as a result. Then in the semi-final game of the national championship LSU destroyed Galen Hurts and the Oklahoma Sooners. Burrow threw seven touchdown passes before halftime and the matchup turned out to be a laffer. Lots of offensive records. For the past three years this championship series has included the best three teams in the country – and Oklahoma.



Nothing left of the season but to beat Clemson for the title, and it should be a great game down the river in the Super Dome. Gonna be tough to take down the defending champs, but I think we will do it. I really believe that Joe Burrow is the best thing to happen to college football in a long, long time and he has had the best season ever, and in the SEC. Clemson better wear their hard hats. Burrow is a fine young guy who is taking it all in stride and keeping his feet on the ground. Around here, Joe is bigger than Shaquille O’Neal ever was. What a storybook season for Burrow and Ed Orgeron, a couple of rejected guys who have jumped off the benches to put together a fantastic year. Got to hope they win it all.



But in the Super Dome today, not so happy an ending for the Saints, as future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees fumbled for the first time this year and they lost to the Vikings in overtime. As he nears forty-one years of age one has to wish good things for him every Sunday, but it does not always happen. That’s pretty old in the NFL.



And in the islands an elderly Efren Reyes seems to play every day, but not quite like he used to. YouTube offers an apparently endless series of ten-ball matches with younger Filipinos – usually races to 21 games. Last night I saw him lose to a sixteen-year-old before a packed house of onlookers. Various streamers, often a function of JefGaling Productions, film these matches and put them on the air almost instantly – I see them dated two weeks ago, two days ago or even twenty minutes ago! The towns change and the venues change but the conditions are always similar. As many spectators as can squeeze into a room with no A/C, a Star table (which seems to roll dead true) piles of talcum powder on the rails to slick up the cues and a guy in charge of dipping his finger into the talc and marking the location of any balls that might possibly be disturbed by the next stroke. I have yet to see that precaution come into play. Bata the Magician is showing signs of wear. His head is balding and his face is lined and he winces at the mistakes that he makes more often than in years past. Like everyone else in the joint he wears below-the-knee shorts and rubber sandals. I guess he can’t quit playing and the watchers can’t quit watching. Lots of pool fans in the Philippines.



As a few of you may recall, I reported a cornea transplant in my right eye in May of last year. Unavoidable, as the local doctors struggled to preserve a bit of sight in an eye that can make out the big E at the top of the eye chart on a good day. The idea was to try to have a spare in case something happened to the other eye, but in such an event I would certainly be disabled anyway – unable to drive or read. Difficulties after the transplant kept me consulting the glaucoma doctor, the cornea doctor and the retina doctor, as well as ten drops each day from five different prescriptions. I entered the coverage gap in my insurance. So I made a special appointment with the guy who has been trying to maintain some use in the eye for about twenty years and I told him I was shutting down the program, as the eye was not worth it to me and I had decided not to buy it any more medical care or any more eyedrops. He took it pretty hard – he had more feeling for the eye than I did – I have full faith in him and we have become friends. He understood, but there was bad news. You can’t just quit, Bill, he said, not with a transplant in the eye. The transplant would probably be rejected and a painful infection would follow. So, at least until the anniversary in May, I continue to doctor the eye. I have cancelled the next appointment with the cornea guy and the one with the retina guy – they are out. The whole experience was not such a big thing to me. I’m eighty-seven years old and the good eye should get me home from here. At my age nothing is very serious. Better not be.



I won’t wait a month to post again. I have a growing list of little items for which I will offer original commentary – pool or otherwise. Go Tigahs!
 
Last edited:

rnewkirk

Verified Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
458
Next year is here

Been a month since I posted and a lotta stuff has gone down. On this site we’ve been thru two major changes in that time, and lemme say the latest one looks really good. As the least computer-savvy member of the group, new things intimidate me but maybe it will all shake out. As an old sign-painter, I take an interest in the type styles and sizes – I believe it’s a large part of effective communication on paper or on the screen or on someone’s wall. I managed to make a post today in bolded type, but have not been able to adjust style and size. Just could not get it to work. This journal post is in 12 point Tahoma and I am curious to see whether that will follow it into our web site. By the way, I still think the default print is a bit too small. Since most of the rest of you seem to have pictorial avatars now, I will try to get my own, but I will need a photo. I will ask Big Al.



As a fan of the LSU Tigers, it has been a great month. First, the SEC Championship game and a big win for Joe Burrow and the Tigers. Georgia has frequently gotten into the big game as the winner of the Eastern half of the conference. In recent years, the best teams have been in the West and two or three good outfits get left at the post as a result. Then in the semi-final game of the national championship LSU destroyed Galen Hurts and the Oklahoma Sooners. Burrow threw seven touchdown passes before halftime and the matchup turned out to be a laffer. Lots of offensive records. For the past three years this championship series has included the best three teams in the country – and Oklahoma.



Nothing left of the season but to beat Clemson for the title, and it should be a great game down the river in the Super Dome. Gonna be tough to take down the defending champs, but I think we will do it. I really believe that Joe Burrow is the best thing to happen to college football in a long, long time and he has had the best season ever, and in the SEC. Clemson better wear their hard hats. Burrow is a fine young guy who is taking it all in stride and keeping his feet on the ground. Around here, Joe is bigger than Shaquille O’Neal ever was. What a storybook season for Burrow and Ed Orgeron, a couple of rejected guys who have jumped off the benches to put together a fantastic year. Got to hope they win it all.



But in the Super Dome today, not so happy an ending for the Saints, as future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees fumbled for the first time this year and they lost to the Vikings in overtime. As he nears forty-one years of age one has to wish good things for him every Sunday, but it does not always happen. That’s pretty old in the NFL.



And in the islands an elderly Efren Reyes seems to play every day, but not quite like he used to. YouTube offers an apparently endless series of ten-ball matches with younger Filipinos – usually races to 21 games. Last night I saw him lose to a sixteen-year-old before a packed house of onlookers. Various streamers, often a function of JefGaling Productions, film these matches and put them on the air almost instantly – I see them dated two weeks ago, two days ago or even twenty minutes ago! The towns change and the venues change but the conditions are always similar. As many spectators as can squeeze into a room with no A/C, a Star table (which seems to roll dead true) piles of talcum powder on the rails to slick up the cues and a guy in charge of dipping his finger into the talc and marking the location of any balls that might possibly be disturbed by the next stroke. I have yet to see that precaution come into play. Bata the Magician is showing signs of wear. His head is balding and his face is lined and he winces at the mistakes that he makes more often than in years past. Like everyone else in the joint he wears below-the-knee shorts and rubber sandals. I guess he can’t quit playing and the watchers can’t quit watching. Lots of pool fans in the Philippines.



As a few of you may recall, I reported a cornea transplant in my right eye in May of last year. Unavoidable, as the local doctors struggled to preserve a bit of sight in an eye that can make out the big E at the top of the eye chart on a good day. The idea was to try to have a spare in case something happened to the other eye, but in such an event I would certainly be disabled anyway – unable to drive or read. Difficulties after the transplant kept me consulting the glaucoma doctor, the cornea doctor and the retina doctor, as well as ten drops each day from five different prescriptions. I entered the coverage gap in my insurance. So I made a special appointment with the guy who has been trying to maintain some use in the eye for about twenty years and I told him I was shutting down the program, as the eye was not worth it to me and I had decided not to buy it any more medical care or any more eyedrops. He took it pretty hard – he had more feeling for the eye than I did – I have full faith in him and we have become friends. He understood, but there was bad news. You can’t just quit, Bill, he said, not with a transplant in the eye. The transplant would probably be rejected and a painful infection would follow. So, at least until the anniversary in May, I continue to doctor the eye. I have cancelled the next appointment with the cornea guy and the one with the retina guy – they are out. The whole experience was not such a big thing to me. I’m eighty-seven years old and the good eye should get me home from here. At my age nothing is very serious. Better not be.



I won’t wait a month to post again. I have a growing list of little items for which I will offer original commentary – pool or otherwise. Go Tigahs!
Keep on going, Bill. I really like you and your musings.
 

vapros

Verified Member
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,310
Big Weekend

Big weekend. Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday – his one hundred nineteenth. He always wanted to be six feet tall, and missed by half an inch. He wanted to live to be a hundred and he missed by just two years. I was his only male heir – didn’t make any difference, as he didn’t leave anything. I grew up with four sisters, married and had four daughters and since then I have had six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all girls except one. Does that indicate anything? Probably not.



Tomorrow is Game Day, and the LSU Tigers will win the national championship, beating the defending champs, Clemson. The bookmakers say it will be close and maybe it will – either way. If Clemson wants to win it, they better not waste any possessions, because my guys can score on anyone. The ball will be in the air many times. It might not be enough if Joe Burrow had only two or three of the best receivers in the country, but he has five and they communicate. When they line up and look at the defense, those guys make the same reads that he does and everyone knows what to do and they do it often. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I don’t think the other side can keep up. And if we win the good times will roll – New Orleans and the SuperDome ain’t seen nothing like it before. This is big.



And some lesser things are happening also. I have not watched the big match going on in New Orleans, but the reports indicate that Bustamente is having his way with Cory Deuel. Cory’s one-pocket game has been something other than either traditional or Chohan-ish, and he is not really coping with Django’s solid style. It will be interesting to hear his reaction to this experience. Does anyone believe he might change?



I have both a pool table and a computer in the big room at my place – they are maybe six feet apart. There’s a limit to how long I can stay at the table so the ‘puter gets much more of my time and attention. YouTube continues to fascinate me and it just gets bigger and bigger. To get access to many of the videos I want to see, I must sit thru one or two five-second commercials, not a great inconvenience. Beyond that are the fifteen second pitches which I usually mute, and the longer ones that generally offer the option to skip, so I do. I have to anticipate that this will get worse rather than better, but everything has a price and I will pay. My preferred bedtime has long ago gone by the boards, and I find myself frowning at the clock in the wee hours. Will try to do better.



Currently I have watched several episodes of the Two Ronnies, the very best of the British comics who performed for many years on the BBC. Both are gone now. Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker were committed to entertaining us and would dress up and do just about anything for a laugh, including a bit of slapstick. British comedy is the best. Next to that, the funniest vids are the bloopers of Bill Dance, a professional bass fisherman who falls out of boats and breaks up his tackle and butchers his lines in the commercials. There is TheDailyWoo, which is an endless series of amateur videos by a guy who travels – I mean he really travels, and films as he goes. One of his gigs is traveling across the country, skipping the cities and the Interstate highways and taking the backroads and exhibiting the towns that generally can’t be found any other way. Minimum commentary and detail and no candidate for prizes, but if you come from a small town, especially a small town in the South, you might find that Woo has been there and taken pictures. The titles of the vids are pretty specific, so you don’t have to search. On the extreme southern edge of Louisiana, Cow Island to be exact, the local priest has added a new sort of church service. He prepared a good quantity of Holy Water (did that need the caps?) and had it distributed throughout the area (his parish, maybe?) by a crop-duster. Not only that, we are told that individuals can bring their own water to him and he will do what is necessary to make it holy. I still don’t know what the procedure might be, but before you ask I guarantee that the concept of making Holy Water is one I would not touch with a long-handled mechanical bridge.



I have a lot of fun with this journal and sometimes it is neglected because I’m not able to come up with a post that I believe would interest such a narrow group as ours. I would like to see someone covering the pool scene – someone closer to it than I am. Other than occasional references I don’t try. However, with YouTube right at my fingertips there are plenty of things I could get into and offer to readers. For example, I would like to write a bit about the narrow boats of the UK and the canal system they travel. I could tell you about the guys who search out the small canals and ditches and creeks, without a boat, and fish for small fish with ultra-light tackle and one-pound line and tiny lures. The guys who shoot rats with high-tech airguns, the folks who are moving off the grids and living in various and novel structures, the ones who dig in the ground for relics of old wars and such as that. So I will. Instead of posting them in this Unpaid Bill journal I will put them up separately and label them so you can tell what the topic is and skip it if you like. And in the new format I will be able to tell if anyone is reading. The current journal notes 27K views, but no longer keeps a running tally for me.



Anyway . . . . Go Tigahs, just one more time!
 

LSJohn

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
7,627
I'd feel I was intruding if I were to say much, but I can't resist adding to the college football matter that the National Championship game will have what MUST be the best two quarterbacks who have ever appeared in the same college game.

I'm kinda Go Togahs! too, but mostly because so many of my friends are rooting for them. I really like the Clemson quarterback and coach.
 
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