Sunday, March 27, 2011

Seething Red: One Blue-Blood Bleeds...

We are, we are... the mighty, mighty Everton!
Welcome, welcome... to the Park, Goodison,
The Pride of Merseyside... the peoples club!
Home to Moy-siah's Four-Six-None!!!

Who needs a striker?
Cahill's aerial arsenal leaves Gunners undone.

I mean I'll take ‘em if I can get ‘em to score a goal, but it's most often the case their whole lot are over-rated, over-paid, ego-maniacal glory-hounds ('cept Dunc of course whose EFC crested heart pumped & bled blue, not green like all those other foreign mercenaries).

The Legendary Talisman
The real glory starts from the back, from the strength to withstand the onslaught of these fancy fleet-footed forwards who begin to tire, whine, frustrate and ultimately give over: "Well, I'm just not gonna score that stunner today, guess I'll just have to settle for satisfaction in my one-billion pound paycheck for the week and call it a day." They're a different breed clearly (now, don't misunderstand that I have a mind for no exceptions, nor do I stand behind every Keeper or Defender just because they are one. Judge an individual on individual merit I say, but stereotypes exist for the element of truth in their generalities) and now to be fair, tis' true; you cannot win a match with a clean sheet, but as draws are inevitable, I'll take the defenders of a 0-0 over a 3-3 any day. 

A nil-nil score-line suggests one of three scenarios (in no particular order): 1. Two outstanding defenses met, neither side being penetrable. 2. Two clubs with inept goal-scorers met resulting in the deadlock. 3. Any combination of: an outstanding keeper (Howard),

a solid back-line (Baines, Yobo, Distin, Jags, Nev, Heitinga, Unsy, Weir, Stubbs, Hibbo, Lescot),
(click banner to enlarge collage)
defensive midfield general (like Gravs of yore or Cars in his short prime), box to box attacking & defending midfielders (Peanut,Ossie,Cahill,Coleman,Rodwell,Felli)....
(click banner to enlarge collage)
combined with worthless strikers/forwards (use your own judgments of degradation here), not enough (or too little difference in type) strikers/forwards, no midfield maestro threading the passes through the seems to unlock the opposition's defense (who/where is Mikel Arteta these days? Or his replacement, that’s the head I want to see roll),

the lack of long-range shots on goal (Ossie & Nev – god love him – seem to be the only willing parties to do so, but yet not often enough to make opposing defenses push their lines up to allow our attacking forces to get in behind)

and the lack of luck that seems to accompany goals from midfielders & defenders.

The first or third I'll take here, as both are workable situations... as David Moyes is completely aware as he's shown in his tenure as Gaffer at the club. You've only to study his history o'er the seasons since that fated day Unsy (the bluest blue ever there was witnessed by me since my allegiance, sworn back in the 98-99 campaign under Walter Smith) fittingly brought victory to the fans, the club and the players who worked together & for each other as a true 'team' under the reigns of the young visionary, heralding a new era of "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" and the ensure of progress over the decades to come (Rome wasn't built in a day and Rome didn't start 20-million pounds in debt either).
David Unsworth scores victory for David Moyes' management debut
If you don't see this progress as it is, as we're every season in the midst of it, and you consider a goalless draw to be boring and a loss of three points; then take your blind eyes and go watch "American" throw-ball (pigskin) if instant, high-action, point scoring is the goal, “must win the league now and always” is your attitude; or if you think clubs can/should buy their way into winning and the retention of league titles, align your yellow self with the likes of the canaries or the un-civil citizens of city. An empire swiftly risen to power, lacks the solidity of a fortified foundation!

Come on you Blues!
Win, Draw, or Lose...
For one hour and a half,
I'm behind you and the Gaff!

Moy-siah's 1st managed match

*For travel photos, details on the places I’ve been, or to follow me throughout my many random road trip adventures, please visit:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Roads Less Traveled

The Granite State is the eleventh state in which I have resided. Within these eleven of the lower forty-eight, Henniker is no less than the nineteenth town (or city) I have come to inhabit. During my vagabonding travels over the years, I have also landed my foot in fourteen countries and have gazed upon the sights to be seen throughout thirty-five of these states united.
I have stayed in the lavish five-star Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand and I have slept in a sleeping bag atop a cushion of pine needles, three feet below the snow in a fireman’s trench in the mountains of Brunswick, Maine. I have purchased a 2-ply, Super-King mink blanket for twenty U.S. dollars (in 1999) in Seoul, South Korea (which keeps me warm and cozy on a cold winter’s night till this day!) and I have paid thirty-four U.S. dollars for a one-time bridge crossing of the George Washington onto Manhattan Island in New York City as I moved from Savannah, Georgia to Hamden, Connecticut. I swam in the crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean, seven degrees south of the Equator (where toilet bowls really do flush counter-clockwise) on the coral reef island of Diego Garcia B.I.O.T. (British Indian Ocean Territory) and I have skipped rocks upon the brackish waters of the Puget Sound from the stony shores of Whidbey Island, Washington. I have also been treated to the half of nothing that someone had in Misawa Aomori Tohoku Japan and I have had the half of nothing that I had, taken from me, mugged at gun point on the streets of Northside in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I have witnessed and realized much from remote lands and far off places… less than many, and yet, more than most. During these pivotal years as a young adult, it is fair to say that these experiences played a part in influencing, shaping and yes, even changing my life. It is more correct perhaps to say that, while I was maturing, I was fortunate enough to have had these experiences upon the outskirts of my own culture and even far beyond.  Now it’s been a while since I’ve been out of country and I must say there’s a craving deep within to get out there and experience something new again. To be somewhere I have never been, to do something I have never done, to observe something I have never witnessed and to meet someone I may have otherwise never known. The experiences met with while traveling have opened up my outlook on life on a grander scale and have brought to me a sense of connection with the world in which, at many levels, I am indeed such a major part of.
I put this challenge to you: If you haven’t yet (physically) explored your world, you ought to take any and every opportunity presented to you to do so. If not a one presents itself then make your own, because there’s a whole globe out there chalk full of sights your eyes will never behold, scents your olfactory will never nose, tingles your tongue will never taste, turf your toes will never touch and history that’s being made every single living moment of every day that your ears will never hear of otherwise!
Realizing that while many of you, if you haven’t already, will someday fly, boat, train, swim(?) halfway around the world just to see that bathwater twirl, draining hydro-nado style, counter-clockwise out of the tub; others may not or will not be, afforded the opportunity to witness such a spiritual and life changing event. It is for those less fortunate souls (yes, yes, and for all the rest of you too…) that I offer up a secret that I have come to stumble upon in only these past few years. This secret is really a no brainer and isn’t really a secret at all, but it is rather a phenomenon that I have come to wonder at myself about; a classic case of the grass being greener far over in Ireland. (Well, but in this case the grass is really greener! I mean, have you ever seen the color green, as green as it is in Ireland? Crayola’s “grass green” crayon should be renamed “As close as we could get any green crayon to the color of grass… sorry. P.S. Thanks allot Ireland!”, but I guess they wouldn’t be able to fit it on the wrapper.)
Last semester, while enrolled at New England College, came the culmination to this secret of which I was only at the beginnings of previously coming to know. In the fall of 2010, I enrolled in professor Robert Seaman’s Liberal Arts Science (LAS) 2140 course titled “Embracing Nature’s Heritage.” My classmates and I spent the term researching the towns of Salisbury, Webster, Hopkinton and Henniker. We formulated a report which we presented to the Currier & Ives Scenic and Cultural Byway Commission who was intent on further promoting the byway and its respective towns to tourists both within and without the state of New Hampshire.  As fate would have it, I found myself the sole researcher assigned to the town of Webster.
Webster is the epitome of rural living, having as its town center only the town hall, the public library and the elementary school across the street. What Webster lacks in modernity it more than makes up for if you’re an outdoor recreational enthusiast… winter, summer, spring or fall, Webster’s got it all! (Except pop-tent camping, so plan on making it a day trip.) Throughout my handful of trips exploring and examining the town of Webster, a mere twenty minutes from my new hometown Henniker, it dawned on me that this was something I’ve been missing all along. In the many places I’ve hung my hat, I had gotten so caught up in the work-a-day daily grind, that taking a vacation (or having a long weekend) meant a break from the norm in which I would proceed to go see something/be somewhere far removed from where I was at. Although Henniker is a small town itself with many things to offer (that I have still yet myself to discover being the fresh “Hennikerian” that I am), only twenty minutes away lies a recreational oasis, seemingly far removed from the hustle and bustle here at New England College.
Now, when I think back to all the places I have lived and didn’t take full advantage of exploring the towns and townships and cities neighboring that of my residence… I vow to myself to never overlook that which lies at my feet to be explored and discovered by me. (Besides, a twenty to forty minute road trip to spend the day or weekend somewhere you’ve never been, seeing stuff you’ve never seen is allot cheaper and much more convenient than flying or driving to Daytona to spend spring break not remembering where you were for one week of your life! That’s all I’m saying… and these days, I know you can appreciate “cheaper”.)
This semester, I am continuing my journey with Bob Seaman in his LAS 2140 course “The Road Not Taken – From Highways to Byways.” Throughout the term we will be exploring the whole of southern New Hampshire. From the banks of the mighty Connecticut River at our western border, clear across the state to the salty shores of the seventeen miles of Seacoast; we will be exploring towns everywhere in order to present the state with a full east to west, off the beaten path, Byway proposal plan. In congruence with this course but not purely subject to it, I will be bringing to you: Travel Pieces, unearthing treasures long buried here, right in Henniker’s very backyard (and where ever else the wind may take me). I hope one day to meet you out there somewhere other, in this wide world… but until then I will share with you here, the wonders you may witness as you merely step without your doorways and perhaps even beyond your front porch.

Saint Simon Island, GA
photo source - JX

*For more travel photos, to see other places I’ve been, or to continue following me throughout these random road trip adventures, please visit: