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Friday, September 26, 2014

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Bronco Sugar Cookies

contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women straggled into the rec room at the home for the Seattle Seahawks game. One of them had baked a plate of horse-shaped sugar cookies with orange frosting . She said some extra luck couldn't hurt and just couldn't think of eating horse meat.

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, not an old women favorite, was at once the heart of the old women's ridicule His 36 year old spaghetti arm was worse and his hairline is receding, and his arrogance of trying to look like the best player on the field didn't work. He was only among the oldest. And it showed.

The old women just roared when they realized that most of them were twice Peyton's age.

It was a game to to just settle back and cheer their boys on to victory...except for the last 41 second Bronco drive to tie up the score. As one, the old women screamed and groaned thinking this could not happen. They were not sure about the tie/overtime play rules.

Russell Wilson said after the game the interception he threw to hit Percy Harvin for an outside run was a learning experience. Russell thought he could thread a pass to Harvin but Bronco Chris Harris made the crucial interception.

The Bronco biased and annoying CBS game announcers stated often that Russell was too small and a 3rd round draft choice. Old women hate anyone who picks on their 'Hawks, especially Russell.

His final 80 yard drive some old woman said looked like pure Russell; keep moving forward and hang onto the ball just like Marshawn. In overtime with the 'Hawk's TD, the old women could breathe again. In between the screaming and laughing many offered proposals to Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman and Steve Hauschka ...again. It was noted that the Seahawks management better start saving up for what its going to take to keep Russell in Seattle.

The old women had many lascivious comments about their surfer boy coach, Pete Carroll. Old women don't care what others think about what they say. Just living long enough gives them the right to say what they please. They did worry that Pete wasn't chewing enough gum. Another home down the street said all the old women there were going to bring gum to chew for the next game...whether they had teeth or not. Many said they might have to nap in the afternoon as the Washington 'Skins game wasn't until 5:30PM
The old women made fresh coffee and the Bronco sugar cookies were passed around. Cookies are much better eating than horse meat.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 4

It took until Week 3. The Creepers Fantasy Football Franchise suffered its first loss. Last week's Wonder Twins, LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles, took the form of humans, combining for 72 yards and a fumble. I felt Danny Woodhead would be a good play until about 10:05. (Get well soon, Danny.) Randal Cobb's 29 yards plus Shane Graham's 2 extra points plus whatever Baltimore was calling defense equals a bad Creeper day. A 25 point loss to "da Expected Champions".

In other Creeper news, the other squads went undefeated in Week 3. I have two 3-0 teams, one at 2-0-1 and one at 2-1. The Creepers are staying the course.

Stay active finding depth at RB and WR. Keep streaming the best defensive matchup this week. Trust the experts and don't overthink anything.

Anyone see the Seahawks/Broncos game?

Ten thoughts for Week 4 about football, real or otherwise, and other gibberish:

#1 An Instant Classic

Russell Wilson versus Peyton Manning will be a rivalry on the level of Manning/Brady for as long as Peyton stays in the game. Grant us a February rematch, somebody.

A friend argued that this win, with Seattle recovering from Manning's final-minute strike and pulling together on the winning overtime drive, indicates the team is a step above the one that blew out the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

I concur. That game-winning drive builds a well of confidence the team can always drink from.

Remember that time Peyton Manning came out of nowhere to force overtime and we drove the ball right down their horse-throats? Let's do it again.

Russell had it all. Timely scrambles for first downs. Crisp passing off play action. And Beast Mode was in full growl.

I haven't felt this good since the Super Bowl. Now Seahawks and Broncos fans must suffer through a bye week.

#2 Bye Week Adjustments

I don't like the early bye week. I liked the Week 12 bye from last year better. Get the rest as close to the post-season as possible. Yet it isn't up to me so I'd better like it.

Arizona, Cleveland, St. Louis and Cincinnati also have the week off. So if you have players on those six teams, do you keep them or dump them?

I have Russell three times and Peyton once on my four teams. Yeah, they stay. Percy and Demaryius too.

Larry Fitzgerald is almost on my fence. Michael Floyd is looking like the Cardinals' #1 instead.

Cleveland will have Ben Tate healthy again, putting Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell back in the three-man platoon. I don't think anyone gets enough production to save.

Sure, Giovani Bernard is sticking around and AJ too. Jeremy Hill I'd hang on to. The Bengals' team is looking very real and they could support two backs. Marvin Jones will be healthy by Week 5, putting him and Mohamed Sanu in an iffy situation. It depends on your other receivers and the size of your bench.

Zach Stacy I'm keeping based on the fact that he's the most stable offensive piece on the team. Other Rams? I don't think so.

#3 I Told You the 49ers Would Suck

No need to point out the things I've said that are wrong. I was right when I said the Seahawks looked more stable than the 49ers. The team leads the league in penalties with 36 and has been out-scored 52-3 in second halves this year.

Jim Harbaugh spent the off-season wrestling for a contract extension the team wouldn't give him. Good luck with that this year.

And just like the NFL Championship Game, give Colin Kaepernick a chance to make plays and win the game, he'll get stripped or throw picks.

#4 Defenses I Like

My method for picking defenses is simple: note who the high scoring defenses played last week and see who's playing those victims this week.

Week 3 victims: Buccaneers, Jaguars, Jets, Packers.

Week 4 versus victims, in order: Steelers, Chargers, Lions, Bears.

I now have Pittsburgh versus Tampa Bay in all four leagues.

Detroit put on a surprising show last week against Green Bay. They should look even better against NYJ.

I don't think Aaron Rodgers and his crew get shut down again, so don't get excited about Chicago's D.

#5 Why I Don't Watch the News

You don't read me getting into politics or much outside my bubble of family, football, restaurants and writing. I don't care. I don't pay attention.

Most of all, I don't think I get the information straight.

Information is mostly delivered by one of a few sources competing against one another. Each one wants to gain the most attention when it shouts from the top of its roof. That's why no one makes money from good news. People tune in for the shocking, tragic and evil.

Furthermore I think government feeds the media the story as it wants it told. Do I know what's really happening in the Middle East? No. Neither do you. You know what you're told. That's it.

I don't know what's really going on in North Korea. Neither do you.

I don't know the true story of 9-11. Neither do you.

If you are on the ground in one of the world's hotspots and are close to those making the news, you know a pebble of the truth. I hope you get it out without getting shot and I hope someone believes you.

So I don't get excited over information I can't vet or filter. I don't sweat politics because they affect me, but I don't affect them. Fortunately, most of the crazy ideas politicians have never come to fruition. Thank you, checks and balances.

But my point eventually is, I should stop worrying about NFL news. I'll watch games and read statistics. Game recaps can't be spin-doctored too much. But what some source claims to know about what some guy did? Blah-bitty-blah.

What did Roger Goodell know and when did he know it? Did Steve Bisciotti try to cover up the Ray Rice thing or is Ray's camp saying anything necessary to start the reinstatement discussion? I don't know and neither do you.

Starting to sound like a court drama. Let's watch some football played by people not on the exempt list.

#6 The Kirk Cousins Effect

Somebody writing for one of the NFL sites I used to write for was attempting a drama about the quarterback controversy suddenly aswirl in DC. Who should the Pigskins start when RG3 is healthy again?

This is why sportswriting makes me ill sometimes. Writers must generate noise even if it's over nothing. OK, dude. Let's look at this argument: RG3 won't be healthy for weeks at the soonest. At that point, Cousins will have either excelled or failed. Until then, we can't discuss much.

We can talk about the situation at hand. If healthy, Cousins will start for most of the fantasy season at least. He may not throw for 427 again, but he'll throw it and he has good weapons. He may play from behind a lot. Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson will stay firmly in the picture.

I made the mistake of thinking DeSean's shoulder would outweigh his hate for the Eagles and I benched him. Didn't cost me the game, at least. He should be even better this week against the Giants.

Niles Paul could end up as a great TE grab until and maybe even after Jordan Reed returns to health.

Cousins is my fill-in for Russell and Peyton in 3 leagues.

#7 I Sold a Joke for $5

Writer Access has provided me with a crazy and sporadic range of writing opportunities. Recently, a cartoonist was looking for jokes he could use as single-panel gags. I pitched a few and he picked one:

A drunk wobbles into a bar and stumbles over a chair. The bartender points to a sign that says: "If you can't say Unacceptably Intoxicated then you're Unacceptably Intoxicated."

The drunk shakes his head and replies: "I'm not ceptanuptably zintosicated. Gimme a garmarita."

He liked it so much in increased my pay by 125%. I'd like that percentage all day. I earned $5.76 rather than the proposed $2.80 something.

#8 Cigar Review from the Oscuro Corner

Get on the mailing list for as many cigar sites as you can because some days you get stupid deals. Cigars International was running a 2 Buck Chuck event and, among others, was selling 5 Vegas Series A Apotheosis 15 packs for $29.99.

Yes, please. My birthday is coming up.

Always and also always search for coupon codes when buying anything online. For CI, you'll find a 10 cigar sampler for $8 you can add to any purchase. Include a 5 count Herf-a-dor for another $5. I have one, but I added the 10 pack, which included singles from Rocky Patel, Nestor Miranda and (my new favorite cigar name) Jesus Fuego.

I just might start using that name in vain. Jesus Fuego! Will you just throw it to DeSean?

Back to the cigars. I purchased another 5 Vegas Series A before: the 4.5"x44 Anomaly. My only knock against it was that the narrow gauge made it taste too hot and peppery.

So when I got a chance to buy its 5.5"x55 big brother, I pounced.

It lacks the cedar sheath of the Anomaly, so the flavor is not so woodsy. It's a box-press, so the draw is firm and the burn is slow. It has the meaty, earthy, dark leathery flavors a good oscuro should have. The Anomaly hinted at these, but I tasted more of the peppery wrapper and less of the rich filler.

I like this smoke a lot. I like the whole line and still enjoy an Anomaly for those short-attention-span sessions. You need a little guy in the lineup. But the 5.5"x55 box press is a very nice vitola for this blend.

You can't get them for $2 anymore, but 10 packs are $60 or less. They're available in a range of sizes. I'd like to sink my lungs into a 6"x58 Apocalypse one day.

#9 Haiku for Sale

I just got involved with, a site specializing in $5 freelance jobs. It takes a lot of $5 jobs to make a living, but some people make five figures working for them. You can grow into larger paying jobs and build your reputation.

Look at the last post to see how I've become a word whore.

Asking myself what I could do for 5 bucks, I decided I could give a lucky buyer 17 syllables of 86 goodness.

But don't just dedicate one to your bonsai tree. Give one as a gift, or a joke, or a compliment, or a prank. Have fun with them. I do.

#10 But this Haiku's Free

Last year with the Penalty Flag, I included a weekly limerick. This year, I'm going haiku. Next year, if wealth gives me the time, I'll give you a five act Shakespearian comedy or tragedy every week.

Marshawn gazes down:
One yanked dread on the turf. Vows
Overtime vengeance.

Good luck and happy creepings.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Pen is on the Street, Hooking

"What can I get for five dollars?"
"Everything you want."
"Everything. As long as it takes less than a quarter hour."

I am a word whore. I'll do it all for money. From the American Revolution to Flipped Classrooms, I'll take it all and I'll take it deep.

But it's only because I like it. I enjoy stretching myself to engulf new topics. I like to spread wide and expose my verbal flexibility. I'm not happy until I've serviced as many clients as possible.

My new john is, who asked me what I was willing to do for five bucks.

Everything you want, I replied.

Please be more specific, it suggested.

How about a haiku?

Too boring and formal.

How about a zombie haiku, John?

I only have eyes
For you. The hearts were too ripe.
They were out of brains.

Okay, but I get to keep one dollar.

It seems I've just been pimped. At least he was honest about it.

Before I go take a shower and burn my keyboard, please investigate my offer of a haiku from Fiverr.

Share it. Think of who needs one. Don't get all pastoral about it. I will do one about blossoms in spring, but I'd prefer one zinging your ex-boss. Or taunting your ex-lover. Or pranking your room-mate.

You spend $5 on less. Buy something that will last. I promise to spend the proceeds on my 86 Logo tattoo. You could be permanently imbedded in my skin.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Over Charged

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

Old women lose. Some more than others. They could not understand how their Seahawks lost to the San Diego Chargers. Old women are really good at excuses. Some old women live their lives one excuse to the next. But with the 'Hawks, excuses were all from a Mom point of view: it was too hot, refs favored the Chargers, etc.

It took a while to just say the Seahawks were outplayed. The women expected another win as a given. After all, their Seahawks were the Super Bowl winners, weren't they?

Philip Rivers, trash-talking 33 year old QB of the Chargers scrambled, stayed in the pocket just long enough and his linemen covered him like a blanket. The women yelled for the defense to hit him in the knees.

Russell Wilson was left open to getting dropped, rushed, stopped and rendered only marginally effective. "Don't hurt him," they screamed.

The old women yelled for the Seahawks' defense to get with it. A sense of foreboding surfaced when they watched the offensive line melt in the sunny San Diego heat.All the usual conversations came to a halt when one of the women mentioned Ray Rice.

They all had seen the elevator scene over and over. A few quiet comments were made about the bastard husbands who slap their wives and kids around. Old women can get real sad and sullen very quickly. The collection of women and men at the home reflects some hard times. They know even rich families suffer domestic abuse, not just women like them.

Football players are big and strong and have no business hitting their families for any reason. The one old man would like to get his wrinkled arthritic hands on a 2x4 and straighten that Rice kid out. The old women had to laugh at that vision of this skinny old guy with 4 teeth beating up a player.

It did take the gloom out of the room and the women got back to screaming for their boys to DO something.

The Rec Room bunch did agree that the Chargers played well, but thought some Seahawk could have tripped Antonio Gates on at least touchdown play. It was his game. They couldn't take that away from him.

When it was all over, the old women said that their boys needed a reality check. The Seahawks would certainly feast on some horsemeat next week when the Broncos come to Seattle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week Three

I suppose I'm a free agent again. After a year and half with The Penalty Flag, I decided the income was not worth the effort and I quit. I did learn a lot and established myself as a performer. I went from grunt-writer to editor and leader of two divisions. 

But things that keep me from my family must pay me money. That's Rule Number One.

After a few months off, I joined RantSports. Instantly, I could tell they were a more professional operation. They know how they want things done, have greater organization and deliver a tighter product.

Their required quota was tough, though. In August, it went from four pieces a week to seven. It's hard pumping out that much quality, unless the money is right.

I toiled for about two months for ad revenue alone, unaware how much that would be. Then I found out. I stopped working almost immediately.

Rule Number One.

Outside of football, business is good. I'm writing for Bright Hub, College Factual and Writer Access. I'm building relationships with other sources.

I just started working four days a week rather than five and am replacing the income with writing. That's a win in my book.

Still, I'd love to be writing about football for someone other than myself. I won't do it for cheap. I'm not looking for an internship. I won't do it if it takes the fun out of the game.

But I will do it for you. Without further screwing around, here's this week's Creeper Report:

#1 Still Undefeated

I actually had a tie in Andy's league. If New York got the Percy Harvin call right, I'd have lost. Crazy how much man-power and technology missed that walk-on-the-chalk. I think I know where the Ray Rice elevator tape ended up.

The combination of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles came up big for me in Nate's league, helping me sting Nate himself. I can't remember starting two running backs on the same team. I certainly don't recall it working.

Russell Wilson didn't win it for me in three of my four leagues, but he didn't lose it either. If 202 yards and a pair of scores with no turnovers is a bad game, I'll take the floor everyday. But I can't wait for some ceiling time.

#2 How Do You Beat Your Kids?

As of this writing, it seems like the Minnesota Vikings are starting to do the right thing. They waited until the whole world and their sponsors turned their backs. The sun released a statement that it wouldn't shine on Minnesota if Adrian Peterson was in uniform.

In general, I agree that the league and teams should not act until the court system has done its job. Innocent people, especially wealthy and popular ones, get accused of things that aren't true or aren't as big as they once appeared.

But Mr. Peterson, did you hit your kid with a stick?


Did you leave welts and cuts all over his legs, back and buttocks?


And scrotum?


Were there defensive wounds on his hands?


And this child was fourteen years old?

No. He was four.

I'm sorry. My mistake. Four years old. You're fired, Mr. Peterson.

We don't need to wait for the courts to decide anything about motive or intention. Peterson has admitted to doing it. It's his parenting style. He learned it from his father.

Cycle of abuse.

His employer needs to decide whether to stand with him or against him.


You might lose some football games without him. You might lose your fans with him. You might be surprised how the other players on the team step up.

#3 Everybody Hurts Sometime

Some players missed time for reasons not related to domestic violence. They were injured by football players. How should the fantasy football world react?

Robert Griffin III will be out for much of the season, at least. That opens the door for Kirk Cousins, who did a solid job in relief. This week he plays at Philadelphia. If the pattern holds, the Eagles will play bad in the first half and good in the second. Cousins could put up a couple hundred and a couple scores.

Speaking of Philly and DC, DeSean Jackson could make his return if his shoulder is okay. It seems he sprained his AC joint. I think will and desire should put him in pads. Hell hath no fury like a DeSean scorned. I have to decide whether to play him, Steven Jackson, Steve Smith, Knile Davis, Stevan Ridley or Antonio Gates at W/R/T. Let me think about that.

AJ Green could suit up against Tennessee this week, although the wise decision could be to wait until after the Week 4 bye. Mohamed Sanu gains value. Giovani Bernard turned into the most valuable receiver against Atlanta. The Bengals chose to run in Green's absence and Jeremy Hill put up solid numbers. He's worth an add, too.

With Jamaal Charles out at least a few weeks, you already missed the Knile Davis grab. Sorry I didn't get this out Monday night. I was writing about the top marketing colleges in the country.

Too bad I didn't go to one. I might have sold an ebook this year.

Carson Palmer is somewhere between day-to-day and week-to-week, making Larry Fitzgerald into a flex and Michael Floyd into a head-scratcher.

#4 At Least San Francisco's Loss was Uglier

The Seattle Seahawks got beat. The San Diego Chargers had a great game plan and executed. They held the ball for 42 minutes, much like they did when they beat Denver last December, keeping Seattle from getting into any offensive rhythm.

Nice to see Russell Wilson getting the Peyton Manning treatment. Keep him bored and on the sideline.

Seattle's only turnover was Percy Harvin's fumbled kickoff return. They didn't lose as much as they got beat. Hats off the Philip Rivers and his crew.

The 49ers, however, blew it. Colin Kaepernick turned the ball over four times. The defense gave up 21 fourth quarter points. Kaep got a fifteen yard flag for the brand-new abusive language penalty. "He knows what he said," stated the officials, although Kaep denies speaking. He also had a delay of game in the final two minutes.

I'm not sick about the Seattle loss. That will motivate the team against Denver. 49er fans should be sick and frightened of the 2-0 Cardinals that won without Carson Palmer.

#5 Defenses I Like

Houston is for real again. JJ Watt and ten of me might do well against the Giants. If they're still out there, get them.

Cleveland is not as lousy as I thought and the Jets are not as good as you think. Geno Smith could prove me wrong, but he was consistently inconsistent last year. He's due for a flop.

Screw whatever power rankings put the 49ers in the top 10. Take the Cardinals against them this week. Kaep will fold.

The biggest hunch: if you're feeling crazy, believe the Vikings will huddle against the storm and rally together, putting up a gutsy show against the Saints. They'll lose, but not without getting some turnovers and sacks. Maybe they'll block a kick or score a non-offensive touchdown. Watch for it.

#6 The Restaurant Business is on its Head

Anyone who knows the restaurant business understands it's one of the rare industries where a promotion is a demotion.

In the world of gratuity, the hourly supervisor or salaried manager makes less money than the servers and bartenders they oversee. This is most true in Washington, with the country's highest minimum wage.

For the half year I had to be a supervisor, I estimated I could make more money getting ice and emptying trash for the bartenders.

Therefore I've avoided elevation from the front lines for most of my 20+ years. This year, I realized another truth:

Full-time status is inferior to part-time.

Benefits? Medical insurance through work is costly. Dental insurance is cheap anyway. My main benefit is Paid Time Off. For tip-earners, that equates to minimum wage hours. I accrue less than $100 worth per month.

The trouble is, full-time status means they can schedule me whenever they want. Typically, they put me on the best night shifts. But they may throw me in the occasional Sunday brunch or mid-week lunch. Not wanting to put me into overtime, this costs me a prime-time night shift.

In other words, less money for me. Working Tuesday lunch instead of Tuesday dinner equals all the PTO I'd earn all month.

If I'm part-time, I can tell them when I can't work. As of September 1, I'm working only the four nights I choose so I have time to free-lance.

I make more money working part-time. Your job is not this weird.

#7 Other Pickups

This is a fantasy football column.

Ahmad Bradshaw will succeed with or without Trent Richardson touching the ball.

Bobby Rainey's getting the ball in Doug Martin's absence. Atlanta's a good matchup. See if Martin is an O, D or Q.

Niles Paul has a good thing going with Kirk Cousins already.

Owen Daniels is coming back to life after coming to Baltimore with Gary Kubiak.

#8 At Least He Didn't Use a Stick

Suddenly, there's little Ray Rice talk.

Way to make Ray look good, Adrian.

It was despicable. No man should ever deal with a woman with a fist. That doesn't mean my irreverent ass can't take a few swings.

He didn't use a stick or stuff leaves in anyone's mouth. He did it in front of cameras so at least there's little question about what happened. At least she was an adult. She was old enough to attend kindergarten, even. Their argument was presumably not over a video game. He didn't outweigh her by 180 pounds.

Peterson leapfrogged Rice's villainy.

#9 Butterflies

In lighter news (aka not involving women or children getting beaten) Monarch butterflies have begun their annual 3000 mile migration south to the tropical jungles of Mexico.

Lets close our eyes and float away on diaphanous wings, riding perfumed thermals to sun-drenched paradise. Lets spend the winter licking the nectar from flowers and mating.

Scientists estimate 90% of the Monarch population has disappeared over the last 20 years because of dwindling food supply and environmental pollution.

Pop goes the bubble.

#10 The Ocsuro Corner is Still Dark

Forgive me for not posting about cigar deals very often.  Forgive me even more for not tweeting about a deal that found me last week.

Cigars International put a bunch of good things on sale for $2 each. I grabbed some 5 Vegas Series A and rediscovered another deal. Look for the coupon code and you'll get a 10 cigar sampler for $8 with any CI purchase. I grabbed the sampler over a year ago. I liked some. I didn't like others. This time, they're all different and look even better.

So in time for my 40th birthday, I'm getting 23 cigars for under $45. I'll take it.

Speaking of the birthday, I decided with my freelance income I finally earned my 86 Logo tattoo.

Yeah, you might see a picture of that soon.

Good luck and happy creepings.