Friday, August 30, 2013


Riding home from work I heard some sports pundit (am I allowed to say "idiot") opine that Clowney's quest for the Heisman is already over. Really? After the first game!!?? One in which the opposing offense did everything but wave the white flag(including downright illegally trying to injure him with a blatant targeted chopblock/clip from behind) while they were running away from him, and still he managed to be in quite a few plays. I hate the Heisman system in the first place: there should be an award to players from both sides of the ball. Offenses can tailor their system to favor a specific player, and the defenses must stop them. It is much harder for defensve players to garner stats because they mostly have to react. Furthermore the NC line (and give them some credit) were often hitting him with two or three players, which meant other guys were not being defended as well. AS for his conditioning. . .he was running his heart out on a hot and very muggy day. Anyone who has lived in South Carolina in the summer knows what is is like to breather hot, liquid air and it wears you out, and that is just getting out of the car. As for annual awards, I hate watch lists and preseason speculation, although it is likely impossible to stop, but the groups responsible for taking advantage of picking winners for their own financial reward love to stoke the fires in hopes more people will watch the events and repeat their brand. I can't think of a single college defensive player I would rather have on my team than Clowney. He has an impact the second he steps on the grass, even before the ball is snapped. I wouldn't be surprised if many teams run away from him all year. I'll take 200 yards and ten points opposing every game if we can. . .and if that happened, a likely championship. Go Clowney. Go Cocks.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


An intrepid reporter from TMZ, Ms. Pappi Razzi, through an unnamed source (allegedly with the initials S. R.), has obtained a shocking and disturbing document that the entertainment blog claims refers to mega-star Alana Thompson. The source says the document was recovered from a stash hidden in the walls of a local Miami hotel, a seedy bed of corruption and criminality, strongly believed to be the lair of a drug kingpin and flesh peddler known only as "The Little Lion." During a raid by Miami Metro, headed by Dexter, hundreds of incriminating items were confiscated and stored in evidence, should the underworld boss ever be captured. Almost nothing is known about this elusive player, though rumors have it he is recognizable by his long silky locks. and supposedly has dens of iniquity all up the Eastern Seaboard. Some believe his criminal empire is headquartered in New York, and that his nefarious dealings are managed and protected by a mysterious computer genius; others claim he is the dealer of choice for basketball stars (such as L. O.). Devoted fans of the diminuitive entertainment darling, the biggest thing on the screen since Shirley Temple (for fans of the Disney channel, look it up), were stunned today with news of a possible connection between their sultry star and the dark underbowels of southern Florida. We at TMZ believe it is a service to release the following deeply dark and disturbing literature to the public, verbatim:

By D.D.R. (also known as the Himalaya Playa)

Here she comes, my H. Boo Boo,
Golden locks, unkempt hairdo,
She be young, but she got money,
which is why I call her Honey.

Mistress does not like her much,
But I cannot resist her touch,
Those pudgy arms, her full cheeks,
Time with her is what I seeks.

I cannot figure out her talk,
who needs that, when I can walk
over to tube and see her fans,
most people do not understands.

But I know love, so let me be,
One day you all will truly see,
I will be firm, and never budge,
So, bout me, you shouldn’t judge!

I love my Indian so spicy,
So for now I’ll just be nicey,
Yes, my gal is quite precocious,
but her love is furry ferocious.

Some may call me a “feline pimp”
Or "cool cat with gangsta limp,"
but she won’t give you any time,
My H. Boo Boo. . .she’s all mine!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I first saw Steve Neal at Buchanan Junior High, and I think he was the tallest person I ever personally knew. He had every reason to act like he was big-man-on-campus as the center for the basketball team there, and later on several outstanding teams as a Leto Senior High Fighting Falcon. He topped out at about 6-11, and after his seasons at Leto he was recruited by many schools, landing at Georgia Tech of the ACC. Yet he was always a humble, happy, and genuinely good soul for all the time I knew him, even when he struggled with the hurdles life puts in all of our way.

As a sophomore at Leto, I remember being the shortest part of the front line in volleyball during gym, flanked by Steve and Jacob Knight, and I don't think we ever lost a match while concentrating on that discipline, at least that is how I want to remember it. I think he would have helped anyone if they asked for it, and in my mind I can just see him grinning with long hair. He worked as a corrections officer for a while, and I did a stint as a juvenile corrections officer too. I think he sold batteries for a while, and was involved in construction recently. I recall him contacting me a few years back, mostly on Facebook, and we would trade emails. He struggled with some things, but he seemed to find increasing solace and support in his faith.

I send my condolences to his family, friends, and classmates, who I know all mourn his passing yesterday and will always keep him fondly in their hearts.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


A flower drawn by Joey using an online paint program, and I really liked it, so i post it here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Here is Mikey from a picture taken in the Pisgah area while his owner Christine and I were together. I loved this dog, and fortunately got to see him not long before he passed. His racing name was Michigan Mike and he had a pretty good record, not unusual for rescue greyhounds, as winning leads to longevity and greater possibility of being sent into retirement. He was the sweetest boy. I haven't had a dog since, though I hope one day to get another grey. Chris and I fostered for a few years and it was a wonderful experience. These are really good pups. I wrote a poem once about how they are mistreated:

Run! They want, my powerful stride,
to stay upfront, never caught inside,
so they can garner silver and gold,
yet what do they do when I get old?
So many brothers horribly killed,
beating hearts chillingly stilled,
sisters exploited, some just shot,
cruel experiments, or left to rot,
sad the life of many greyhound
only a few will be rescue bound.

Here is a pic of his lovely, and much missed, mug.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Although I may be going out on a limb, I believe this is a picture of my mother with her mother (center) and grandparents, who I believe had the last name of Adamska. I think my mom and grandmother were very stylish in their winter coats and hats, especially my mom with her tilted beret. Must have been a cool day, and I wouldn't be surprised if the photo were taken in Kiev, although I have no way to confirm that.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Justin King makes great Gamecock videos.

Friday, August 16, 2013


This and the following pictures are of my grandfather. Some might be from before arriving in Baltimore, but I think they are just as likely from the period when he started working at the TB hospital in Maryland. 

MOM at 16?

My Mom is about 16 maybe, or even into college is possible. I do not know where the picture was taken or who the ladies flanking her are. But it is a nice picture.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


 I am being held at just over one year in my winter outfit by my father in his naval uniform, most likely taken in Connecticut, although possibly also in New Jersey.
Happy child, I think. I wonder, too, if it was my mother who gave me the football in the background.
Already embarked on a life of reading and research, although the picture makes me look a bit like Casper.


Here are some pictures of my grandfather, all small (sorry) that came from my Mother's album. One thing I notice is that my eyes, unlike those of my siblings, seem closer to his kind, smaller and deeper set. I have no idea about or when these were taken, though they are of him probably from late 20s to early 40s. In my mind I always recall him being called something like "Tatu," although now I think it was because my mother was calling him our equivalent of "father." In pictures my aunt always identifies him as "Dziadzio," the Western Ukrainian for "grandpa."

Friday, August 9, 2013


I have only seen a few pictures of my grandmother, who died in the Ukraine, I believe from tuberculosis, when my mother was around two years old. My grandmother was a very beautiful lady, dark hair and sad eyes, thin nose. I believe this is a photograph of her when she was young. I am guessing she is about ten here.

The following pic is of my grandmother and my Mom, her only child. On the left is my grandfather holding my newborn mother, I am guessing. 


For my 500th blog, which seems amazing to me that I reached that number, although others are considerably more prolific, I offer some pictures of my mother, Lydia, from her album. I miss her every day.

This is my mother with her father and stepmother and her little sister Marijka. I am not sure if this was taken before they left Europe or after they arrived in Baltimore. I am guessing that Mom is about sixteen in this photograph.

These are pictures of Mom either as a student nurse or at her first job, in the late 1950s. I believe one of the ladies in the group photo was her best friend, Elizabeth, after whom one of my sister was named. My mom was very tiny, probably less than 100 pounds here. This is what she looked like when she met that dashing Naval Academy plebe.

This collage from one of the pages covers the gamut. The top left I think is from her school, before leaving Ukraine. Under that is a tiny pic of her aboard the ship coming to U.S., I think. Bottom left is graduation pic, but not sure if it is HS or college. I don't think I ever saw her hair in that style. Bottom pic, I think, is of her and friends, possibly Ukrainian Scouts.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


My eldest is starting High School in a week; he is at orientation this week. Where did the time go? I hope he can find things there to engage him and keep his interest, and maybe propel him onto greater pursuits. He is so smart. It has been a  real struggle the last few years to keep him on track. Meetings, conferences, pressure, etc. Most people love him, even the ones he frustrates. I keep on him, pushing, hoping it will all kick in. The sad part is that his mother will not get to experience this:  she hasn't communicated with them for over five years. He doesn't seemed phased; doesn't show things much, unless he gets angry. So much more to try and moderate with him.

I think the younger one will be happy to be the only Tidd in his school for a while too.


Along with the annual preseason camps and expectant speculation that springs forth every late summer as players and coaches prepare for the fall college football seasons, come the attendant calls for players to be paid. Critics claim that players are being taken advantage of, as schools and the NCAA profit enormously from their athletic prowess. They often complain that players do not have enough spending money (made all the more ridiculous when you see star players cruising about campus in brand new Ford Explorers and luxury automobiles, in their tatted skin with diamond earrings and dripping gold). Others attack NCAA enforcement efforts---I can't but believe many of them are just hoping to make it easier for boosters to evade the rules and continue to fund their players. Some people claim that impoverishment of players forces them to engage in illegal activities (selling drugs, stealing, accepting improper payments). Bosh, I say. There is a symbiotic relationship that the player benefits from, and very well, I might add. Yes, many college programs profit mightily from their football (and basketball) programs, but almost all other sports are money losers; most schools barely scrape by putting sports teams on the fields and courts. A small group certainly get rich, and the ultimate beneficiaries are professional teams who have an unofficial minor-league system and agents who represent their cash cows. Granted that there are abuses within the system, and some players who may have been able to turn pro out of college (but those are few and far between, and professional teams would not want to carry them) might be taking a bit of a bath. But most players on these teams are not going to turn pro, even many who hold scholarships, but they get a great deal. And, I may add, it is a voluntary thing: no player is forced to sign with a college. They can go out and find a job or join the military.I also hate that a player can turn pro in one sport, scrape in whatever money and bonuses they can, and when they realize they might not make it, they are allowed to return to college in another sport.

Scholarship athletes receive generous benefits, starting with the opportunity to receive a college education for free (usually including bed and board, books, academic tutoring), in some cases to the tune of tens of thousands each year. They usually eat well, for free. They have access to modern weight equipment and medical expertise far beyond that of most semi-professional teams; there are myriad opportunities for entertainment and social activities that a large percentage of these athletes would never have been able to participate in. Not all, of course, but I wager a large percentage. They get to continue being big men on campus. They are showered with jerseys, clothes, shoes, workout outfits, and, when they win or play in bowls (a reality for many in top-level divisions) they get rather nice benefits packages (including vacations, electronics, watches, etc.) and rings. They get to travel. They are often provided small stipends. They get specialized athletic guidance and coaching from staffs whose goal, beyond that of building winning teams, is to prepare them for a shot at the big leagues and the huge financial reward that comes with that leap. And it is on the big-time college stage that many have the opportunity not only to hone their skills, but to have a stage to show off for prospective employers. Star athletes who finish their pro careers often have what amounts to sinecures in cushy positions with boosteristic companies if they want them, are hired as coaches, or announcers, and many other nice positions. A superstar at a school can almost guarantee he will be taken care of later in life. They are the privileged. 

Yes, some claim they spend too much time practicing, at the detriment of their studies. What?  No one forced them to play. In some cases university-paid employees shepherd these student athletes to their classes, provide tutoring (if not even more, as in doing their work for them), and monitor their behavior. Often special study centers costing millions are built to help a small group get through their classes. Some universities have been guilty of at best carving out easy programs for their athletic charges to at worst signing them up for no-show classes and artificial grades to keep them eligible for play. Many walk away or jump to the pros without completing their programs and earning their degrees, but how is that so different from all the other dropouts? Most schools also allow player to return later, for free, to finish their studies. And everyone knows that sheepskin usually can result in better jobs.

Yes, injuries cut short careers. But wouldn't that also happen if they were in a minor league, with low pay and few benefits, as they tried to impress a pro team? And usually universities provide amazing health benefits; injured stars get premium care and rehabilitation for free in order to get ready for an opportunity for professional play.

I doubt most communities would be able to provide a comparable stage for these players if they had developmental leagues and such. Some cities might have decent crowds, but likely nothing as grand as college.

I say keep things basically as they are, with some tweeking.

[I may add more later] 

Monday, August 5, 2013


This past weekend was the 35th Reunion of the Class of 1978 of Leto High School, Tampa, Florida. The Fighting Falcons. And no, this is not a review of the event. Because I wasn't able to attend. But I hope my classmates had a good time, which I am sure they did, because many of them are fun-filled spirits. There are a few people I would have enjoyed seeing (although I don't know yet if they were in attendance either). The beach and gulf sure looked inviting, in the few pics I have seen. Sadly I had to contend myself by flipping through the old yearbook. It is amazing how much I have forgotten of those days. And how many people, sadly, that I didn't get to know during my three years at the school. We did have a big class, I lived way out in the country, and so many rushed off straight to work after classes. Anyway, I lift my glass to my former classmates and wish them well, and hope I can attend an informal reunion some time.