Sunday, May 21, 2006

ramblin' on...

Okay, so Barry Bonds tied up Babe Ruth's home run record yesterday and will no doubt surpass it shortly. I reckon Hank Aaron's record is safe from BB, however. Someone will break it someday. Anyway, the whole steroids thing keeps popping up.

Now Steve knows from steroids. I hung around enough gyms in my earlier days to know how prevalent their use was and probably still is. Did Barry use roids? Oh, probably, though the regimen I've seen described sounds pretty amateurish compared to some of the 'stacks' the bodybuilders and power-lifters utilize(d). Still, it undoubtedly gave him a little extra strength...but hitting homers is more a matter of skill than strength. Did hitting a little further give him more balls that went over the wall? Sure, a few.

Here's the thing -- lots of guys in baseball (and other sports) use or have used steroids. Until fairly recently it was more-or-less legal. So Barry was facing other players, including pitchers, who had enhanced their performances. It all equals out. For health reasons, I suppose it is best that steroids are against the rules now but I don't think they have mattered that much.

Certainly not enough for Congress to be wasting time investigating them.

Well, on the subject of baseball and testosterone, I was reading about the fact that coaches and scouts have long recognized that guys with long ring fingers, in proportion to their 'pointers', made good pitchers. It was theorized that it gave a better grip...nope. We know now that it is related to spacial skills.

A direct relationship has been shown between the length of the ring finger and the amount of testosterone to which a fetus is exposed while in the womb. Early exposure to the 'male' hormone (a misnomer since woman have it too, just less) has a variety of effects, some good (well, sorta) like right-brainedness and spacial and math abilities and some not so good (like a tendency toward depression and even autism). Yes, Steve has a long ring finger. Y'know, I never paid any attention before but now I find myself looking at peoples hands! :D

Other news: next weekend is the Florida Folk Festival, once again! My sixth time going (only as a spectator -- maybe I'll perform one of these years?). The head-liner is Rosanne Cash this year. Three days, a dozen stages and workshops going all at once. I hope to make all three days but, for the first time, may not manage it. We'll see. I'll definitely be there on Saturday, with friends. For more on the festival:

Saturday, May 20, 2006

You Are Indigo

Of all the shades of blue, you are the most funky, unique, and independent.
Expressing yourself and taking a leap of faith has always been easy for you.
You Are a Hunter Soul

You are driven and ambitious - totally self motiviated to succeed
Actively working to acheive what you want, you are skillful in many areas.
You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.
You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.

An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.
You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.
People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.
You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.

Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Friday, May 19, 2006


Somethin’ crazy is goin’ on
Woke up this mornin’, my mojo was gone
Ain’t gettin’ no love, ain’t gettin’ no kissin’
Ever since my mojo went missin’

Nobody respects me any more
Folks see me comin’ and they shut the door
My dog don’t mind and my woman won’t listen
Ever since my mojo went missin’

I keep on thinkin’ how things used to be
Before my mojo deserted me
Spend all day just reminiscin’
Ever since my mojo went missin’

Wake up in the darkness, waitin’ for the dawn
That’s how it is when your mojo’s gone
Ain’t gettin’ no love, ain’t gettin’ no kissin’
Ever since my mojo went missin’

Stephen Brooke ©2006

A silly bit of what is probably a song lyric. I found it partly written in some papers from last year and decided to finish it off. Just long enough, I think; any more would be overkill.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Doctor Who and the Tape Recorder

A quick check around the net shows that I'm far from the only one who noticed the anachronistic use of a tape recorder by WW2 British troops on last night's episode. 'Course, the fans over in England had already seen the episode a while back so they've had time to discuss it. I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to something like this in the old Doctor shows, which didn't have the production quality of these new episodes. I guess I expect more!

The tape recorder, as we know it now, was pretty much developed by the Germans during the war and was part of the technology 'liberated' by the Allies. The British soldiers could have used a wire recorder, one of the ancestors of the tape machine, but I guess the producers couldn't find one or didn't know about the mistake or maybe just didn't care.

But, oddly, I do care. Science Fiction has to be accurate in the details if one expects the viewer (or reader) to accept the rest of the story. It needs a foundation of realism on which to construct its fantasies.

Friday, May 12, 2006

a sijo:

Our highways crossed as we traveled toward the dawn.

Did you glance into your mirror and see me as I paused?

These what-ifs and might-have-beens overflow my box of dreams.

Stephen Brooke ©2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Jack LaLanne -- the post a couple back, with the quote by Jack, got me to thinking about him. I watched LaLanne's exercise show on television as I was growing up and it did make an impression on me. I count Jack as one of my personal heroes.

Yes, he's a great example of a guy who over-achieved, over-compensated. A little guy and kind of sickly as a kid. Should be noted that a lot of successful bodybuilders are on the short side; that may be because they're trying to compensate but it's also true that the ideal body shape for the sport, the full-bore mesomorph, tends to be short. Which is why when a relatively tall guy like Arnold comes along he can dominate his runty competitors!

But I digress...years of hanging around gyms makes me think I'm an authority. Anyway, I've no doubt that Jack was compensating for his earlier existence as a wimp kid by becoming a bodybuilder and showman. I recognize some of that in myself.

Oh, another aside -- every now and again, someone talks about guys trying to compensate for a lack of endowment by indulging in sundry macho activities, whether jumping out of planes or driving SUVs or chasing women. I don't buy it; our personalities are pretty much set well before we hit puberty and notice such things. I didn't box or bodybuild or ride rather large waves due to what lives in my pants; I did it because of what lives in my head.

And I strongly suspect it was the same with Jack. Some of us will always feel the need to prove ourselves. Anything wrong with that? It's how things get done.

On this voyage from nowhere
to nowhere, I’ll fix the stars,
draw my charted sky
with you the constant north.

No wind blows more darkly
than yesterday’s, when phantom
sails slipped the horizon.
In folly, have I pursued

such prizes, sought the siren
on her shore, dallied
over long in nameless
ports beyond the night.

Set the course, my star,
and I shall know your light;
it will shine a path
across the seas of my life.

Stephen Brooke ©2006

I've held the opening metaphor for weeks, waiting for the rest of poem to appear.
Jack LaLanne, at age 91, on the secret of his longevity:

"Clean thoughts and dirty girls."

(think I'll have to give that a try...)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I wrote myself a letter.
When will I ever
answer it?

another quinzaine

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We’re ships that pass in the night.
If we collided
would we sink?

a quinzaine. haven't written one in quite some time. who knows if I will again any time soon?!