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Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Things We Do For Love

Filed under: Music — Tom Pittman @ 4:36 pm

It’s winter. It’s Alaska. To my frustration, my boss made me work late and we were playing a private dance that night. Although we had set up the night before, I still had to drive home to change clothes before I went to the gig and I was running so late the band was going to kill me. Adding to my aggravation, the road conditions were not good making the drive to my house was so slow I was almost ready to pop out of my skin.When I finally got home, I couldn’t get the car up our road, so I left it at the bottom of the hill and ran up to the house. I quickly changed and being a certifiable idiot, I grabbed my beautiful, perfect, 1977 Fender Jazz Bass by the neck and decided to save a second or two and not bother to put it in its case … and took off down the hill.

Now, if the driveway was too slick for a 4-wheel drive car with studded snow tires to make it up, why on earth didn’t I realize it was also too slick for a person in dress shoes to run down?

I take that back: I DID realize it was too slick to run down in dress shoes … the instant I felt my feet were no longer under me.

I started to fall hard, and I was falling on top of my bass. All I could think of was, “Tom, you can heal. The bass can’t.” While falling, I tried to lift the bass as high as I could and rolled hard to try to make it so it would land on me, instead of me on it.

When I got to the gig, the band was all on stage stalling as best they could — praying I was alright with one face and cursing me with the other. As I came up on stage three of them started to lay into me at once. I just raised my right hand and showed them the open, still-bleeding gash on my palm, and my broken pinky finger pointing 90-degrees in a direction it shouldn’t. That shut them all up instantly and I grabbed my tuned and waiting Ric and we went right into our first set. Someone from the floor saw my distress and got me a towel to wipe up blood. I set the broken finger myself on our first break.

I still have that bass, my beautiful, still-perfect 1977 Fender Jazz bass. And if I had that night to do over again, I wouldn’t hesitate to take one for the gear. After all, I DID heal. I would, however, do one thing different: take the extra minute or two to put the bass in its case.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Mark Cuban does a poor Gandhi impersonation

Filed under: Basketball — Tom Pittman @ 4:30 pm

In Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s latest blog, Some Thoughts on the NBA, he wrote, “I’m a purist. The rules is the rules. I don’t care if you call it on us. “That would be a little easier to believe if we hadn’t watched Cuban’s jubilation at and after the three point contest. Dirk Nowitski should not have even advanced to the second round much less won the three point shootout, had the officials done their job as Mark Cuban claims he wants them to.

Since we haven’t read that he has sent tapes to the league office about it, forgive us for concluding that the only time he wants officiating to be spot on is when it is to his advantage.

Of course, it would be blatantly self-serving Cuban to claim that the time really didn’t matter. If it doesn’t matter that the time ran out when Dirk’s last two points of the first round were still in his hand, then why even time the three point shootout at all? Why not just let them launch five racks of balls and see how they do? Obviously, the timer is a big part of the three point competition.

Despite the articulate overtures of noble purity, Mark Cuban’s actions — and inactions — speak so loudly that it can be hard to hear what he says.

Want to leave a noble legacy? Why not redirect the considerable intelligence and financial resources from reforming officiating and put it into something meaningful like reforming the injustices of our legal system?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that NBA officiating is in need of a LOT reforming, it is just too much of a stretch to believe Mark Cuban champions reform from a non-partisan position.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Could what is wrong with the Knicks be what is right with the Pistons?

Filed under: Basketball — Tom Pittman @ 4:34 pm

If you want to see a very thought provoking article on why the Pistons are so good and the Knicks are so bad, check out this aritcle on Thomas vs. Dumars. It takes the teams that former teammates Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars built, and discusses how each of their teams are created in the image of their creator.This article makes me think about the job Jerry West did for the Lakers and how the Grizzlies have done since he went there, and how the former Phoenix Suns GM, Bryan Colangelo, might affect Toronto.

Maybe what Kobe needs most in L.A. is Jerry Krause! 🙂

Cheers!

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