If only I were 116 years old...

Welcome to Wednesday everyone.  Just so you all know I'm on vacation, sitting on the beach drinking cool drinks with the sand between my toes while playing in the water and riding sharks while I hobnob with the folks at NASA and bring them up to date with my latest earth orbit delivery vehicle specifications and sign autographs because everyone just figures I'm an astronaut.    Be jealous, at least for a second, until we get to this week's subject.

The Chicago Cubs.

I am a Cubs fan and I have to live with it every day.  I'm not a buy a Darwin Barney jersey because it's the cheapest one, because he sucks, show up at a game once a year, hang out at the Cubbie bear until the 3rd inning, get blasted out of my mind, and then leave after they quit selling beer in the 7th kind of fan.  I'm the guy who watches almost every game, compares stats, reads advanced scouting sheets, looks at the analytics and yells at the tv when one of our pitchers thinks his 95 mph fastball is somehow more special than everyone else's, and maybe this time he'll be extra sneaky on an 0-2 count and throw it for the third time in a row because he'll probably get it in on the hands of a Cabrera or Pujols or Trout, or whoever, and then, oops, it turns out those guys can turn on 150 mph fastballs that are only an inch away from their bodies.  Sigh.  Yep, that's me, a masochistic nerd.  

Do I love the pain?  I must, because it's not even on my radar to change.  A part of me died in 2003 when our shortstop of whose name I no longer speak kicked that ball and even though we had Prior and Wood in games six and seven and even without Rafael Palmeiro (who we had via trade but exercised his 10/5 rights and I'm still mad at him because he could have just shot some roids and came on over and helped win a championship) and even through Moises Alou's baby tantrum when a fan interfered with a ball that could have been a fantastic catch but shouldn't have had an impact on the game and if I'm talking about Moises Alou I can't help but mention he and Ramirez bought non-refundable plane tickets home after game six, but don't worry, they assure us that they did it all the time which I understand because why would you expect to win with one of the best pitchers in the game that year on the mound for you the next night and even though Dusty Baker can't manage his way out of a box and my friend The Kriz and I were screaming at the TV at some of his horrible moves...  Wait a minute.  I lost track of what I was talking about.  Probably one of my longest run-on sentences ever right there.  And I ended a sentence with there.  And these aren't even complete sentences.  Sigh.  Anyway, despite whatever I was just talking about, I remain the eternal optimist.  This year, or next, or maybe the year after that, or possibly even the year after that is going to be the year, though, and all of these facts I'm about to throw at you will no longer be relevant and the murder rate in Chicago will no longer be a national talking point because the city could quite possibly burn to the ground.  

106 years ago on January 1st the ball dropped in Times Square, New York for the first time to signify the new year.

106 years ago the average life expectancy in the United States was 47 years, probably because only 14 percent of American households had their own bathtubs, 95 percent of births took place at home, doctors didn't actually go to any kind of medical school, and women washed their hair an average of 1 time a month.  Gross.  I wonder if they shaved their armpits.

106 years ago sugar cost 4 cents a pound, eggs were 14 cents a dozen and coffee was 15 cents a pound.  Think of the Starbucks profit margins back then on a Caramel Affogato Java Chip Frappuccino with an extra double shot of espresso.  (At least I assume they were around, I didn't fact check that.)

106 years ago you were most likely to die from dehydration and fever which were directly linked to influenza, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.  Often these diseases were intertwined and complimented nicely with a handy little case of diarrhea which oftentimes was considered chronic and people would live with for weeks, or even months.  Gross.  Again.  Especially because of the whole bathroom and cleaning yourself thing.  

106 years ago you could buy heroin over the counter and oftentimes it was lauded as a cure all.  Have a stomach ache?  Take some heroin.  Headache?  Heroin will fix it.  Smashed your toe with a hammer?  A couple heroin pills should do the trick.  Girlfriend broke up with you?  Take some heroin and go visit a brothel and the sporting ladies will help cure what ails ya, well, because prostitution was still legal too...most places.

106 years ago rural mail delivery service was still only a decade old and most people had to travel a day's time to pick up their mail.  I wonder if they were as frustrated as I get when my router gets screwed up and I have to get off my butt, go downstairs and unplug it, wait 15 LONG SECONDS, and plug it back in, or when my browser on my phone locks up and I have to shut it down, do my google search all over again, and then it won't even sync with the right gmail account to pull up some vital stuff that I was working on.  #firstworldproblems

106 years ago they didn't have hashtags.

106 years ago today would mark the 106th backwards anniversary of the first time I used a hashtag in a blog.

106 years ago on February the 12th the New York to Paris auto race via Alaska and Siberia began in New York city.  George Schuster was the winner in a mere 88 days.  This has also screwed up my entire learning that Pangea was a long time ago, which 106 years is kind of a long time, but I was thinking more along the lines of a REALLY long time, like, at least twice that long.  Perhaps George had a flying car or Marty Mcfly loaned him his.

106 years ago King Leopold II sold Congo to Belgium, and no, not a crappy dvd bootleg of the movie Congo, the actual Congo.  I wish I had a country to sell.  I bet they go for pretty decent bank.

106 years ago the Cubs didn't have a mascot.  Now they do.  His name is Clark.  He's for the kids.  Unless they had Renteria, Miller, Epstein, and Hoyer spending their days developing and creating him instead of working on baseball I have no idea what the big deal is.  

And finally.

106 years ago, on October the 14th the Cubs took the 5th game of the 5th World Series, defeating the Detroit Tigers.  With a team .OPS of a paltry .632 the team was best known for its pitching with a combined earned run average of 2.14, and the Tinkers to Evers to Chance double play combination.  I expect the Cubbies to approach those ops totals this year.  The ERA, not so much. Oh well. #I'mgoingtokeepwatching #canyouputapostrophesinhastags #becauseilovethecubs #evenwhentheyareterrible #hashtagsareweird #clarkisforthekids #dontgetyourpantiesinabunch#Idoubtanyplayersorcoachesworkedonhim #vacationsareawesome #IwonderwhatthelongesthashtagofalltimeisandiftheyaregenerallyonlyonehundredandfortycharactersbecausetheyareatwitterthinganditsactuallykindofmindbogglingtotypelikethisbecausemyfingersaresotrainedtohitthespacebarinbetweenwordsbutifIcanpossiblybeintherunningforaworldrecordofhashtaggingIsupposeitisworththeeffortjustlikewhenIhavetogodownstairsandrestarttherouterwhichonehundredandsixteenyearsagoIwouldnothavehadtodobecausethesestupidhashtagswouldnothaveexistedandIprobablywouldhaveevenseenthecubswinonebutthatisokbecuasewearewinninginthenextcoupleofyearsanyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Posted on March 26, 2014 .