Hello friends. After a long silence I’m back. There were a myriad of reasons for my lack of communication. First and foremost being my business MEDIA MECHANIX. New clients and new projects have kept me jumping. My band THE LIVERPOOL SHUFFLE is coming off a very successful run of summer shows. My computer has been torturing me for a long time and thanks to a senior tech guy at APPLE in California it is now operating better than it ever has! It vegetable season and working our large garden keeps my hands in the dirt. All in all I’ve been B U S Y.
Excuses aside I have a few things I’d like to talk about in this edition of Joe Refano’s BIG MOUTH. You may agree with some of my positions and you may disagree with others. Either way I’d like to hear from you! You can reach me through the blog and I promise to respond within a day or two at the most.
Let’s talk some sports. What’s up with New York Sports? Why are the majority of the major league sports teams in the Tri-State area, for lack of a better word, HORRIBLE? The Mets. Ugghhh. Brutal. The Jets. Terrible though they are doing the right things to grow and nourish a perennial winner (which they will never be until they find a Quarterback) The Knicks? Whew…disgusting…even Phil Jackson couldn’t turn them around and now Carmelo is gone. The Islanders? Oooooo…looking at another so-so season. The Rangers? Possibly a contender if they can get out of their own way in the early playoffs. The Liberty? This was their year. Eliminated before a run could even get started. The only team with perennial championship aspirations are the NY Yankees. I was a huge fan as a kid. Steinbrenner ended that for me. Let’s take a deeper look shall we?
The Mets were projected as World Series contenders before the season began. How could they not be? Solid lineup supporting an impressive pitching staff. Fanatical fan support. They looked like they would be in the mix. And then poof. It all went away in the wink of a bruised calf, hamstring, shoulder, finger, ankle, etc etc
Familia out. Wright out. Syndergaard out. Harvey out. Matz out. Cespedes out. Duda out. D’Arnaud out. Conforto out. Pill out. TJ Rivera out. Wheeler out. Reyes out. Flores out. Cabrera out. Smoker out. Walker out. Gsellman out. Lagares out. Nimmo out. Lugo out. Milone out. Ridiculous. Mets players have spent more than 1100 days on the DL this season. Bang zoom. See ya’ next year. And what’s even more troubling is that some of these injuries could derail seasons yet to come. And of course the team will certainly look different now that they have traded Duda, Walker, Rivera, Reed and brought up Smith and Rosario. I don’t think you can hand out too much blame to management on this insane year but maybe they should look into upgrading the training staff? Ya think?
The Jets have been a joke since Rex took them to consecutive AFC title games. Proof positive that if you get that far you better win. He had the luxury of Mangini’s players and locker room but as we all know that disintegrated quickly into a boiling pot of bad calls, bad decisions and bravado that was never backed up. Breaking it all down and starting over is the right thing to do. The Jets have a collection of young hungry athletic bodies and I hope they will evolve into a core of good solid players that will be around for a while as they turn things around. This year is going to be mucho painful Jet fans. I’m rooting for the young guys to learn and progress and play hard…but since we still need the elusive franchise QB, I’m hoping the losing continues so we get a shot at the studs projected to be at the top of next April’s draft. # and 13 is a nice number. Just beat the Bills and the Pats and the season will be complete.
The Knicks are unexplainable. The great Phil Jackson…the Zen Master himself couldn’t turn this NBA version of the La Brer Tar Pits around. Glad about Porzingis. Let’s see what he becomes but unfortunately it might be the Ewing saga all over again. Not enough complimentary players to help the kid develop and prosper. They finale made a deal for Carmelo and actually got something for him. It’s a shame. The dude really wanted to win in New York. They are going to have to find his 25 points a game from somewhere.
Every year The Liberty are projected as contenders. And every year they fall short. The faces change. The results stay the same. Not much more to say about them. Bill Laimbeer must be wondering how he got involved in that mess.
Let’s talk tech for a moment shall we? I have a LOVE-HATE relationship with computers in general and specifically my computer. It’s an APPLE MacbookPro. It’s several years old. So I try not to smack it around with a hammer or drop it on the wood floor. It’s in decent shape. At least it is now. After years of slow painful torture, and after numerous clean installs, equipment fixes, software upgrades etc etc the machine has begun to behave. Why? Upgrading the RAM has turned the problem child of a machine into a fast, powerful tool that finally can keep up with my mind. Funny after all the years of problems no one ever suggested that upgrading the memory could have such a dramatic effect. It really has. So after you disinfect your files, after you trash corrupted documents, after you replace failing hard drives and mother boards, try installing whatever the maximum amount of RAM that goes in your machine. It’s been a revelation! The machine came with 4GB of RAM and it was suggested it only took 8GB max. The Apple guy told me to try 16GB. In stalled it myself and wow…suddenly I’m flying the Starship Enterprise.
The environment has been on my mind. Recently saw Al Gore’s AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL. I’d suggest that regardless of your opinion of Mr. Gore, the movies is quite enlightening on several fronts. Areas of downtown Miami under water at high tide every day. Low lying countries in Asia and along the Indian Ocean slowly slipping into the sea while thousands of people ponder what their response should be.
Back in the 20th century about 10 or 15 years ago I was becoming more aware of what was then called Global Warming but should be more accurately described as Climate Change. This is one of the most hotly debated and contested issues of the 21st century. But it’s interesting that the debates have been between the “deniers” and the “believers”. There really has been no serious debate between the world’s leading scientists. As the famous American astrophysicist at the Museum of Natural History Neil deGrasse Tyson is fond of saying (and I paraphrase) “the cool thing about science is it’s true whether or not you believe in it”. Years ago I read that the increasing temperature of the world’s oceans would lead to more powerful and dramatic storms the world over and that is exactly what we are seeing the last several years in this century. Katrina, Sandy, Irene, Harvey, Irma, Maria, etc etc with each one being proclaimed the biggest and most powerful yet.
At this point most people, regardless of age, country, religion, or political slant are accepting that Climate Change is real. The debate arises out of the fact that many people feel that Climate Change is is a natural occurrence, a phenomena that nature itself goes through from time to time. That may be true but the effects of such a huge change have never been shown to be quite as dramatic and quite as fast as what is happening now. Without getting into a big political debate, let me pose a question to all. Does anyone actually believe that the millions of tons of carbon gas, fossil fuel pollution and waste that we have been belching into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 150+ years ago has had no effect on the environment of the planet? Can anyone voice this with a straight face? The massive misinformation campaign foisted on the public by the interests of the coal industry and the big oil/gas companies has managed to slow action on this critical issue. The very survival of life on Earth is at stake. George Carlin pointed it out quite clearly. “The earth will most certainly survive. Idiot human beings will not”. Does anyone remember the outcry back in the 1970’s when it was discovered that the carbon exhausts from millions of vehicles was causing acid rain which was killing rivers, lakes and ponds in the Midwest? Wake up folks. That was over 40 years ago. Though the government standards (as watered down as they are) have somewhat controlled the emissions problem, we are still putting tons of carbon exhaust into the environment every day every week every month every year. Where does anyone think all of this noxious poison is going? Anyone remember Robert Klein’s hilarious parody of that old Exxon commercial? It was a singing jingle that went, “What can one man do my friend? What can one man do?” Klein’s voiceover intoned, “Have the President of Exxon put his mouth over my exhaust pipe.”