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worth it?


A month ago, I really wanted Terrelle Pryor to play at Ohio State. Now, I’m not so sure. Here are a few reasons why:

* Fighting with members of another team. I’m sure the boys from North Catholic weren’t exactly behaving like altar boys as it relates to this incident, but isn’t crushing them on the floor enough?

* Trying to fight the entire student section following another playoff game. Not just dumb. “Holy crap can you believe this?” dumb.

* Holding a news conference on national signing day to tell us he’s not yet making a decision.

It’s possible I’m being way too hard on an 18-year-old kid. If I had to deal with that kind of attention at his age, I would have crashed and burned harder than anyone ever in the history of crashing and burning.

But still — I’m wary. You might remember a guy named Maurice Clarett. Great athlete, but troubled past in Youngstown. He was a dream during his first year in college — the best season for a freshman running back in Ohio State history, a history that includes six Heisman Trophies won by people who held the position.

There were signs of trouble during that first year, but as Ohio State rolled to an undefeated season, we chose to overlook them. You know the rest: Unsuccessful suit to gain early entry to the NFL. Got cut by the one team that gave him a shot when he finally got his chance. And now he’s in jail.

I don’t have any idea whether Terrelle Pryor would even come close to causing the same kind of trouble, although, given the staggering nature of Clarett’s public collapse, it’s a little hard to imagine someone matching it

But Mr. Pryor is starting to look like a prima donna to me — and I’m not certain his once-in-a-lifetime talents are going to be worth the headaches that could follow.


Coolest things we saw at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show this afternoon:

Dogs and cats, living together. Seriously. Animal Friends and the Humane Society each brought a bunch of cats and dogs out to the show. But Miles would have been displeased if we brought one of them home.


Giant metal palm trees. Maybe if we had a bigger truck…


Creative re-use of … stuff. We found these even before walking by the Construction Junction booth. This is what we want our backyard to look like someday.

A guy who has some kind of method for cleaning a century’s worth of Pittsburgh grime off the houses we’d like to live in.


This chair. Oh. My. God. I want one. It even vibrates.

hack. wheeze. cough.

Advice based on our experiences from the past week, largely from The Wife’s suggestions: Tips for dealing with the flu.

Chicken soup works. The Crappy household endorses the double noodle variety.

Drugs don’t. Yeah, you can take Advil to keep the fever down, but there isn’t a whole lot you can do once you’ve got it.

Work someplace that’s generous with sick days. If you’re not mentally tallying the comp time you’re going to need to tinker with once you go back to work, you’re free to suffer in peace.

Irish whiskey has magical powers. Try this only if you’re not also suffering from stomach issues.

 Warm cats. They help you sleep when they’re stretched out next to you.

Finally, and most importantly: Marry the right person. The flu is a lot easier to cope with if you have a patient person to cook dinner and wash dishes while you’re lying on the couch.

kids these days.

Reasons why I might be about 20 years older than my actual age:

Dixieland jazz. A wonderful affliction foisted on my by my father and his parents. Yes, Mom and Dad had Beatles/Stones/etc. records around when I was growing up. But Dad’s enthusiasm for the jazz rubbed off on me a long, long time ago. 1976: I could have been the only 10-year-old on the planet who knew the names of Kid Ory, Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison or Bix Beiderbecke. Come to think of it, I’m probably one of the few 41-year-olds on the planet who knows the same.

Manhattans. Again, my father’s fault. Martinis are much hipper — as are probably dozens of other cocktail options — but I like the bourbon and the sweet vermouth.

Newspapers. This is more than a professional problem for me. I do a lot more reading online than I used to, but you can’t lie on the couch and read your computer every Sunday morning. (OK. I know that actually can be done, but I’d still rather wander through an actual Sunday newspaper instead.)

The Tony Kornheiser Show. Mr. Tony occasionally gets ripped for being hopelessly stodgy, but his radio show — on XM 144 from 8:15 to 10 a.m. or via podcast at iTunes — is still his best work. It’s epic.

There’s probably more. I just can’t remember at the moment, because I’m up past my bedtime. Hey — you kids get off my lawn!

the law won.

In honor of the nice police officer who got all pissed off at me because I was asking a couple of perfectly reasonable questions: The Complete Criminal* Record of Uncle Crappy:

1) Speeding ticket, Fairfield County, Ohio, March 1986. Returning to Athens for the start of spring quarter.

2) Speeding ticket, Franklin County, Ohio, spring 1989. I was excited about the my new Chevy Cavalier and might have been going a little fast along Fishinger Boulevard.

3) Open container violation, Athens, Ohio, February 1990. My first trip back to Athens after completing basic training and getting my assignment at Fort Knox. The ticket cost $60; I also had to buff the floor of my first sergeant’s office for a week.

4) Speeding ticket, Washington County, Ohio, November 1994. Helping The (Future) Wife return home from school. I had a Browns sticker on the front windshield of the car, and the state trooper was a Bengals fan. The Bengals had finished crushing Cleveland about an hour before, and the guy couldn’t wait to ask me about the game.

By all rights, there should be a few more additions to this list. In December 1996, I got pulled over on Route 28 in West Deer Township by a county cop while The (Future) Wife and I were headed to do some Christmas shopping in town. After he found that I wasn’t a wanted felon, he told me to slow down and wished me a merry Christmas. That was a pretty nice gift.

On two different occasions, I was let off while speeding home to Columbus for a weekend away from Fort Knox. The first time, I was doing about 75 on I-71 somewhere in Kentucky; a trooper flew up behind me, demonstrated his displeasure with my speed and drove away even faster. I think his shift was over and he had a hot date. The second time was at night, again on I-71, but this time just north of Cincinnati. I didn’t see the trooper pull next to my car, but I certainly heard him when he announced over the PA that it would be a good idea for me to slow down.

And I did. For a while. At 55 miles per hour, that’s a long, dull drive.

*None of these are actually “criminal” offenses. I’ve come close in a couple of other instances; we’re not going into those here.

that’s a big twinkie.


Something bizarre happened on Twitter today, something that’s worth a follow-up here. I think Jesse Hambley was having an odd morning and tweeted something about Ghostbusters … and within minutes, nearly everyone I know in Pittsburgh with a Twitter account had switched avatars to a Ghostbusters character. Quotes from the movie flew back and forth, and those who follow us from afar had to wonder what got into the water in western Pennsylvania.

The silliness got me thinking about Bill Murray. If I was having a conversation with someone about film, it wouldn’t occur to me in a million years to include Murray in a list of favorite actors, and I don’t think many of his films would get a shot at my top five in the same discussion.

And I realized this morning — that’s crap. I started going through his filmography at IMDB, and noticed something startling: I’ve 14 movies that feature Bill Murray in one way or another. I’ve seen most of those in the theater. Apparently, I love the guy. And I might have to re-think my “best of” lists in the future.

In the meantime, here’s my Bill Murray Top Five:

1. Ghostbusters. Perhaps the most quotable movie of all time.

2. Stripes. This gets bumped up on my list because a good chunk of it was filmed at Fort Knox, where I spent most of my Army days. The scene where Winger is trying to escape in the middle of the night? Shot in my motor pool!

3. Lost in Translation. Gorgeous movie. Probably should be at the top of the list.

4. Groundhog Day. It wasn’t filmed in Punxsutawney, and it made it damn near impossible to get anywhere close to Gobbler’s Knob for a while. But how can you not like a movie with a groundhog as a co-star? Don’t drive angry.

5. Caddyshack. Carl Spackler: “This is a cross, ah, of bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and northern California Sensemillia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.”