ON PURELY CHASTE, PRISTINE AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXV

September 1, 2017

Sorry, but it’s time for another “random ramblings.” Here are two dozen one-liners to celebrate the silver anniversary of the “random ramblings.”

  • Just finished reading Chernow’s  Alexander Hamilton.   I recommend it.
  • Prior to “Hamilton,” I read The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty by Hal Bock. This 2017 book is a must if you are a baseball fan. Incidentally, Hal is an East Williston resident.
  • I really miss Bill O’Reilly. His show was fair, impartial, interesting, informative and entertaining.
  • Defense plays second fiddle to offense in nearly every sport, particularly basketball.
  • I’ve become a fan of TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Can I attribute this to old age?
  • Traveling is no longer fun. Florida is the only place I look forward to going to.
  • Terry Collins (Mets) is unquestionably the worst manager in baseball. Maybe the Mets can lose the rest of their games and management will get wise and fire Collins.
  • The USEPA has thankfully come to its senses about global warming…or is it climate change?
  • A second edition of Basketball Coaching 101 is in the works and it will unveil my umbrella offense.
  • Just returned from our annual Easter visit to Sarasota, Florida. It was our 40th straight year of vacationing at the fabulous Sandcastle Resort. Unfortunately, I fractured a vertebrae slipping in the bathroom.
  • Planned on attending the Annual International Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) Conference in Pittsburgh in June. It would have been my 50th consecutive year in a row of either presenting a technical paper or giving a seminar, or both. Unfortunately, the fractured vertebrae eliminated my travel plans.
  • Just celebrated Mary’s 50th wedding anniversary. Planned on visiting Ireland again to also celebrate Mary’s family reunion. Unfortunately, Mary fractured her femur which eliminated all travel plans. Not the best of summers for the Theodore clan.
  • Noted sports historian Arthur Lovely celebrated his 89th birthday this past April 23rd at the 4½ star restaurant L’Econtra in Astoria. The party of 8 included handsome (that’s yours truly), the irrepressible Danny Doyle, Ed “The Glider” Charles of the fabulous 1972 Mets, and TV fight analyst/former boxer Tommy Gallagher.
  • The indifference and incompetence of government officials continues to amaze me – particularly here in Nassau County.
  • The indifference and incompetence of government employees also never cease to amaze me; I could write an article on my experience with the USEPA and the Albertson Post Office.
  • I keep preaching that defense is as important as offense in basketball, and all my “expert” friends keep agreeing with me. But do they really? Other than Bill Russell (and possibly Dennis Rodman), name one Hall of Famer in Springfield who was selected for his defensive play.
  • Capitalism (along with democracy) is what has made our nation great. But there are times when capitalism has to be harnessed for the common good.
  • Liberty and freedom? Somehow, there is need to balance these against anarchy and disorder.
  • Manufacturing runs has become a lost art in baseball. Everyone is trying to hit a home run.
  • Every batter who regularly faces the infield “shift” should be required to learn how to hit to the opposite field.
  • Lost another of our gang – Zack Mehale. He was one of the good guys who made us laugh and who everybody loved. We’ve become depleted; there’s only a handful of us left.
  • Visited Saratoga in late August (my 61st straight summer visit) – NYRA’s THE place to be if you want to get ripped off. And what does that say about me?
  • A couple of people complained about my June 1 article titled “On Great Eats.”
  • I hope most of you read Ron Roel’s ACT 2 Page three page feature article about me in Newsday on June 25th. It modestly describes my successes during my illustrious career, more in next month’s posting.

 

Once again, this is the silver anniversary edition of the “random ramblings.” Thanks are due to friends, relatives, colleagues, etc., for their interest and support for this unique category of article; my indebtedness is also extended to those individuals in this group who are currently incarcerated or institutionalized.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

OCTOBER:                 On Newsday’s June 25 Act 2 Article

NOVEMBER:             On Barack Hussein Obama (Revisited) VI

DECEMBER:             On 2017-2018 Hofstra Men’s Basketball


ON THE EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

Here is my opening paragraph from last year’s newsletter on the budget vote:

“East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception. Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget. Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget. Why? Two reasons come to mind:  (A) Waste and (B) Senior Citizen Exploitation.”

 

I then proceeded to provide detailed comments on both above reasons which was followed by detailed proposed solutions to both problems. Guess what?  I not only didn’t hear from anyone but I also received no acknowledgements of my proposal. Isn’t this just great? I’m a taxpayer with no voice. You can thank Kamberg and his brood, Kanas, the teachers, the teachers’ union, and, of course, the pitiful PTO, for this sorry state of affairs. And, let’s not forget that it was the Bergtraum (incompetence)/Israel (greed) era that started the EWSD’s decline.

 

In any event, here’s what’s coming down. Per capita student cost is up (>$36,000). Enrollment is down. Hiring is up. School ranking is down. Student performance is down. College choice for students almost certainly is down. Waste has increased. Senior exploitation has increased. Student/parent exploitation has increased. You want proof? Try to FOIL these parasites in control for information. You’ll get what I got…NOTHING! What a wonderful state of affairs.

 

The community should be aware of the EW Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) 3/22/17 report to the EWSD Board of Trustees. I’ll spare you the details but here are the six FAC’s specific spending recommendations.

 

  1. Adapt recommendations to fund Program, Administration & Capital efficiencies
  2. Develop a framework to measure student achievement/investment
  3. Wages: take steps to continue to limit wage growth
  4. Healthcare: Increase employee contributions/eliminate opt-out
  5. Place a moratorium on contractual lifetime healthcare benefits
  6. Review opportunities to increase non-tax revenue

 

But, here’s the key.  Buried early in the report is “The Board has the responsibility and discretion to implement the FAC’s recommendations.”  Translated into simple English: they can, and will, ignore the recommendations as they have done in the past (I’ll comment on their action next year).

 

Regarding (1), the word efficiency is not in the Board’s vocabulary.  The teachers and their union have always opposed (2). The teachers and their union, the PTA, the Board, and Superintendent Kanas oppose (3). Obviously, the teachers and their union plus their stooges oppose (4) and (5).  Point (6) is a great recommendation that could be implemented by the brain trust in the FAC, but with teachers and their union, the PTA, Superintendent Kanas, and (in particular) the Board, there resides a group that is clueless on business/financial matters. Obviously, not a good situation since the FAC has wasted its time.

 

Here are my comments on reading the FAC report for the year 2017.

 

  • The District’s reputation is understandably on the decline (see later paragraph).
  • Tenure has created many of the problems. These positions should only last 5-years but can be extended if the individual has continued to demonstrate the freshness and enthusiasm of the early years of teaching. You know the teachers would never embrace this recommendation.
  • Need to spend time on converting thoughtless children to caring and thinking individuals.
  • Generate better relationships with students in order for them to maintain lifelong ties to the EWSD.
  • Teacher/community relations are at an all-time low.
  • I believe the rumors that all school boards have adopted illegal practices to undermine the school tax cap.
  • For goodness sake, do something positive about the WASTE.

 

The landscape has changed. My experience suggests that today’s students leave high school more aware of what they want to do and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Nobody I know feels the EWSD is doing enough to adjust to this change.

 

I’ll close with some general thoughts. The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. The mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. There is a need for accountability for not only these upstart programs but also for traditional programs such as at Wheatley. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment. On the positive side, I believe absenteeism has decreased; although there are more cars in the North Side parking lot, there is less of a reduction of cars on Monday and Friday. Finally, I stand by my earlier statements that at least two members of the Board simply cannot be trusted; the Community should not expect them to act in the best interests of the students and taxpayers.

 

You don’t have to believe me regarding much of the above material.  Here is the 4/25/2017 Newsday headline:  “7 LI Schools in the Top 200.”  Guess who didn’t make the top 200 nationally.  Guess who also didn’t make the top 50 statewide (there were 14 LI schools who did).  We also didn’t make the top 100 STEM schools in the state.  These are the FACTS, and the numbers don’t lie.  And yet, many of the uniformed parents refuse to accept that the self-serving EWSD Board, the teachers, the PTA, etc., have failed and betrayed both the students and the community.

 

 

Remember, it’s OK to vote NO on the budget. A NO vote represents a call for better education for our students, fair and responsible treatment of seniors, a call for new leadership for both the Board and the District, and a rejection of the corrupt self-serving policies currently in place.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JUNE 1:                      On Great Eats II

JULY 1:                      On Six Months Later

AUGUST 1:                On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXV

 


ON HOFSTRA’S 2019-20 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

 

Here is how I opened my earlier analysis at the start of the Colonial Athletic Association season (12/1/19) – “This year’s analysis? I love Coburn as a player – he was my type of player when I was coaching. But Buie is the key. I think it will be his defense that will hopefully carry the team to the CAA Championship and an invitation to the Big Dance. This will really be an exciting year if this comes to pass. And, they have a reasonable shot to make it happen.”

 

The prize this year, as always, remains the same: Win the CAA Tournament in March and earn a bit to the NCAA tournament. The result? They won the CAA conference outright. But the conference and tournament are two difference things since the season conference title earns you nothing although the team became the sixth program in CAA history to win consecutive season titles. Along the way, Hofstra ranked second in the nation with road/neutral site wins (13), hit 20 3-pointers in a game, exhibited a tenacious defense (at times), and their four guard-three point shooting offense was in high gear most of the time. Pemberton and Kante were selected to the second and third team All-CAA teams, respectively, while Tareq Coburn was selected the basketball scholar athlete of the year. And Buie? He received the Ehlers Award, which is presented annually to the men’s basketball student-athlete who “embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship in conjunction with his academic athletic achievement.” After earning his undergraduate degree from Hofstra, Buie is currently earning his M.E. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies, holding a 3.92 grade-point average. On the court, Buie led the CAA with 5.0 assists while pacing Hofstra with 18.5 points per game including 44 points in one game. Buie was also a first team all-CAA selection and was once again on the CAA’s All-Defensive Team.

 

On to this year’s tournament. The previous four years found the team in the finals twice, only to fail to win the championship. But this was another year. They won it easily which moved them onto the NCAA tournament. But wait! How do you spell infectious disease? CORONA!! End of story. After convincingly earning their first trip to the NCAA tournament in nearly 20 years, the event was cancelled.

 

As we gamblers often mumble after a tough loss…next case. On to next year and what can the faithful expect? Starters Coburn, Ray, and Kante will be back along with Schutte. Trueheart, Silvero and Burgess. Ray and Kante figure to have great years but Silvero could make a monstrous difference. New recruits will only add to a quality starting team that will consist of Coburn, Ray, Silverto, Trueheart, and Kante. I look for big things next year.

 

Finally, more on Buie. Can he make it to the next (professional) level? The scouts I talked to all felt he was not only too small but also too light. I disagreed in his case. Maybe I just have a soft spot in my heart for guards (I also touted Charles and Justin), but I believe that guards – particularly those who can play defense, – can most impact the quality of a team. (There’s an off-guard at Providence that currently comes to mind.) Buie has also shown dramatic improvement in each of the last four years; his ability/talent has increased near exponentially during this period. I really think he has a chance.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: The New York Racing Association (NYRA)

AUGUST 1:                On the Coronavirus

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Here are this month’s three defensive suggestions from the upcoming second edition of my “BASKETBALL COACHING 101” book.

 

  1. Officials should be charted, particularly under the offensive basket.
  2. Practice a small forward and (in particular) guards laying the low post to exploit any weak defensive player. Some (1) or (2) guards are especially adept at playing the low post, perhaps due to earlier playground experiences.
  3. With 40-70 seconds left at the end of the half or game, shoot before 30 seconds to insure another shot.

ON GREAT EATS IV: STEAKHOUSES

March 1, 2020

March 1, 2020

 

Steakhouses? A recommendation? I can close out this article right now with my answer: stay away from steakhouses. Period! They are a group of restaurants not to be frequented.

 

Despite my above recommendation, many of you will still want some comments and analyses. So here goes with a baker’s dozen, although it hurts to say anything positive about this class of restaurant today. In earlier times, nearly ¾ of a century ago, Italian restaurants had the best steaks; however, I can’t remember ordering a steak at any Italian restaurant in recent years.

 

  1. Blackstone, Melville. Overpriced. Mashed and creamed spinach good. Highly recommended in the literature. It’s all yours.
  2. Bryant & Cooper, Roslyn. Overpriced. Try the hamburger with onions or the lamb chops. Not for me.
  3. Burton and Doyle, Great Neck. One of many along steakhouse row on Northern Blvd. Decent, perhaps.
  4. Butcher’s Bar & Grill, Williston Park. Celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary there. Everybody loved it, except yours truly (who was not paying). Not for me, ever again. Really disappointing.
  5. Capital Grille, Garden City. Grossly overpriced. Formal, decent service. Excellent steak ($69, ouch) the one time I ate there.
  6. Frank’s Steakhouse, Jericho. A bit expensive. One of our son’s favorite. Not for me, although the least expensive of the “overpriced” group.
  7. Jake’s Steakhouse, East Meadow. There during restaurant week. Decent.
  8. Majors, East Meadow. A poor man’s steakhouse. Casual, comfortable, and decent service. My friend’s favorite haunt but I’ve yet to have a good steak there.
  9. Morton’s, Great Neck. A bit expensive. Formal. I’ve only gone there during Restaurant Week ($29 for 3 courses). The drinks are hellaciously expensive and a major rip-off – stay clear of the bar!
  10. Outback, Merrick. Another poor man’s steakhouse. If you go, order the lamb chops, not a steak.
  11. Rothmann’s, East Norwich. Expensive. Formal. A favorite of one of my friends. Not for me.
  12. Peter Luger’s, Great Neck. Very expensive; salad ($20, ouch) and steak for two ($115, ouch). Poor service. Not for me – it’s all yours!
  13. Ruth Chris, Garden City. I’ve never had a good steak here. Definitely a good one to avoid.

I apologize if I’ve missed a few. But, you get the picture. My recommendation is that you stay clear of these restaurants.

 

I know. Many of you complain that much of my stuff are put-downs without offering any alternatives or solutions. So here goes. If not a steak, is there another option? I have come to really enjoy hamburgers. What could be better than a hamburger with fried onions on a crusty roll? Add some ketchup, french fries and a sour Jewish pickle and you’re in business. My favorite burger spots? Wendys, (Dave’s Single) and Shake Shack. You might also think about meatballs with spaghetti (actually, linguine for me) in Rao’s marinara sauce, from a jar, (I prefer Mary’s rich tomato sauce) and grated cheese. Finally, you might think about (as I usually do) an Angus ribeye from a supermarket and putting it on your own grill at home. All of these suggestions carry another feature. There is no tipping! Today, good service requires a 20% tip. I go for 25% if happy with the service. Thus, 2 – $15 glasses of wine (I no longer drink) doesn’t cost $30 – they cost $40. A $200 food bill costs $260 with tip and tax. Bottom line: you make the call, but there appears to be some merit to frequenting “fast food” restaurants (next Great Eats article later this year) and eating in.

I hope this helps those of you who requested this article. Let me know what you think.

Note:  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect

those of the editor or publisher.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                       On Four Issues II: The New York Racing Association (NYRA)

 

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Here are this month’s three defensive suggestions from the upcoming second edition of my “BASKETBALL COACHING 101” book.

 

  1. Keep “score” on each defensive player’s ability to prevent a pass to the man he is defending.
  2. Each defensive player should “scout” the player he will be defending.
  3. When losing near the end of the game, know when and who to foul.

 

 


ON THE ULTIMATE QUIZ II

February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020

 

I started this “quiz” approximately a year ago and got some positive feedback. (Incidentally, the newsletter is approaching 15,000 hits.) Here is the second quiz with 21 questions, with the grading at 5 points per question. A total grade of 65 is passing; you are a genius if you are at or above 90.

 

  1. From a gambler’s perspective, what casino game provides the player with the best opportunity to win?

 

  1. Name the capitol of either North or South Dakota.

 

  1. What renowned author and basketball authority recently celebrated his 85th birthday?

 

  1. What legendary Astoria singer made famous the song “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”?

 

  1. The 50s and 60s band “Spontaneous Combustion” – featuring Steve Jones – has its roots in what general Nassau County locale?

 

  1. What Landmark Astoria diner is alive and doing well despite real estate interests in their property?

 

  1. Who keeps telling his friends this: “Every day is a blessing.”?

 

  1. Name the smallest country on Earth.

 

  1. Who uttered the quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”?

 

  1. Who discovered the Periodic Table?

 

  1. What nation is dry and stony, and features olives, grapes, lamb and goats?

 

  1. What college academic discipline could be classified as totally useless and serves a legitimate escape from reality?

 

  1. What actress said: “There’s no place like home.”?

 

  1. True or false? Mars is named after the Roman God of War.

 

  1. True or false? The moon is approximately 242,000 miles from Earth.

 

  1. Name the largest country on planet Earth.

 

  1. Who is the greatest boxer of all time?

 

  1. True or false: Shakespeare’s first name was Sylvio.

 

  1. Who is the greatest football running back of all time?

 

  1. Provide the age of the Sun and its distance from planet Earth.

 

  1. What renowned Civil War general said the following: “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”?

 

I’ll return with Quiz III later in the year.

 

 

ANSWERS:

  1. According to your author’s statistical analysis, the answer is blackjack (21). Dice (craps) is a close second.
  2. Bismarck and Pierre.
  3. An easy one, yours truly.
  4. Ethel Merman.
  5. The Willistons.
  6. The Neptune Diner.
  7. Legendary (92 years old) sports historian Art Loveley.
  8. A tough one. The Vatican.
  9. Full credit here since no one knows for sure; it was once incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain.
  10. A tough one. Dimitri Mendsleev (a Russian chemist) in 1869.
  11. The land of my forefathers – Greece.
  12. A liberal arts program.
  13. Dorothy (Judy Garland) in Wizard of Oz.
  14. True.
  15. True.
  16. Russia.
  17. Full credit here. For me, it was Sugar Ray Robinson, with Gene Tunney a close second. Interestingly, in 1950, Jack Dempsey was voted the greatest fighter over the past  50 years.  He received 251 votes to 104 for Joe Louis, and there were none for Tunney.   My favorite growing up was Kid Gavalan.
  18. False! It turns out Sylvio was his middle name. His first name was Vincenzo; close friends affectionately called him Vinnie.
  19. Full credit here. I didn’t care for him as a person, but for me, it will always be Jim Brown.
  20. Approximately 4.5 billion years and 93 million miles.
  21. General William T. Sherman.

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: The New York Racing Association (NYRA)

 

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Here are this month’s three defensive suggestions from the upcoming second edition of my “BASKETBALL COACHING 101” book.

 

  1. There is a need to be able to defend one-on-one. Practices should include this exercise.

 

  1. Never relax on defense. Never!

 

  1. Each man-to-man defensive player should be defending at all times. The author describes it as the “war” defense. During the Killeen’s basketball team era, one of the author’s small forwards took it personally when his opponent scored.

 

 


I – On Solving the Greenhouse Gases Problem

January 1, 2020

 

January 1, 2020

 

This article is concerned with the general subject that has come to be defined as global warming / climate change. Well, is it global warming or is it climate change? It depends on who you talk to. What one can say for certain is that many have come to believe that both are related to the so-called greenhouse gases.

 

The greenhouse effect appears to some to be a completely man-made phenomenon in the world today – one that some engineers (not your author) and scientists feel is leading the planet to the brink of disaster.  The term “greenhouse effect” describes two separate but interpendent occurrences: (a) the increase of trace greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, tropospheric ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons) in the earth’s atmosphere, and (b) the absorption and re-emission of long-wave radiation by these gases. In theory, the greenhouse gases act like the glass in a botanical greenhouse, trapping heat and warming the planet. The increased concentration of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide, i.e., CO2) in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution is a well-documented fact; however, the predicted effects of this increase are still in debate among the technical community in the environmental field. Current debate centers around questions such as: (a) Have greenhouse gases affected global weather as yet? (b) How high will the temperature rise once the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reach higher concentrations? (c) How long does it take for changes in greenhouse gas concentrations to affect global climate? However, keep in mind that a half century ago, environmentalists were claiming that the Earth was cooling.

 

Here is my take on the global warming / climate change issue. The entire issue is bogus at this time. The policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are bogus. The changes recommended and advocated by environmentalists are bogus. The present ideologies of environmentalists are bogus. Why bogus? There simply are no hard facts to back up their doomsday predictions. It would therefore be reasonable for one to conclude that any effort to curb CO2 emissions into the atmosphere that involve significant economic changes that can impact man’s social behavior cannot be justified. Any effort to reduce and/or eliminate CO2 emission is thus certain to downgrade the quality of life and lead to an increased state of poverty and world instability; in effect, it would have a dramatic negative impact…and only a minimal effect on global CO2 emissions.

 

Society needs to come to grips with the reality that environmentalists and their supporters are probably the greatest threat to society.  They are a frightening group that is fanatical.  This group will do anything – lie, manipulate, deceive, etc. – to achieve its misguided goals, including to save Mother Earth from itself.

 

Environmentalists justify their conduct by arguing that over 90% of the technical community, based on the flimsiest of hard data that has not been adequately peer reviewed by opposing viewpoints, support their position on global warming. But nearly all of the 90% they refer to have vested interests in the existence of this catastrophic problem facing society.  If there is no problem, most of these so-called experts will be out of a job.  At a minimum, there will be no tenure, no promotions, no articles, no consulting, no books, no government grants and contracts. The environmental organizations who also support this scam will have greater difficulty in generating funding, donations, and government support. And, government bureaucrats will no longer be able to justify to the electorate that they, and they alone, are capable of addressing and solving this contrived problem. Many of my colleagues, authorities in the environmental field, disagree with these environmentalists. Gone are the days when scientists and engineers were beyond reproach.  The reality is that today’s scientist/engineer is as corrupt as the lawyers society has come to detest.

 

You are no doubt aware that lawyers are adept at creating problems while engineers are noted for their ability to solve problems. In days of old, some lectures to my chemical engineering students emphasized how to solve problems. Here is basically what I had to say. First, clearly define the problem. Then apply my 3 Cs concept: Cause, Consequence, and Cost. In effect, what is the cause, what are the consequences, and what will it cost to remedy/eliminate the problem. Here is what we have when this simple concept is applied to global warming and climate change: We really don’t know the cause and we really don’t know the consequences. The solution proposed by the fanatics (they are either dumb or crazy…or both) would bankrupt our economy and probably lead to WWIII; their proposed green agenda is absolutely nuts.

 

Some of my critics claim that I often complain about problems but never offer any solutions. Well, here are seven possible solutions to this potential environmental problem by your favorite author that will have little to no adverse effect on society.

 

  1. Plant 500,000,000 trees. The journal Science (Newsday: 7/5/2019) claimed a trillion trees would do the job in the most efficient manner.
  2. Convert totally from a coal energy economy to one totally based on natural gas. I have previously shown that it would halve (actually 46%) CO2 This partial energy conversion in the U.S. accounts for our achieving the goals of the (ridiculous) 2015 Paris Climate Account.
  3. Convert to a natural gas/oil energy economy. Oil emits approximately 25% less CO2 than coal per unit of energy generated.
  4. Embark on more aggressive domestic and industrial energy conservation programs. This can include converting to electric cars, capping unused wells, controlling CO2 and CH4 (methane) emission from fracking operations, landfills, etc.
  5. Convert to nuclear power. Don’t believe Ralph Nader – the man is clueless. It’s simple, safe, and economically attractive AND there would be no CO2 This is obviously the cheapest and most effective solution.
  6. Halt World Bank funding to China for potential coal-fired power plants since China is no longer (2015) classified as a developing nation.
  7. Any combination of the above.

Any of my solutions would have a dramatic positive impact on our economy with a corresponding reduction on elimination of carbon emissions. My plan would ensure our nation’s energy future without the inevitable loss of jobs. It would replace Obama’s Paris “agreement” – his success story – that allows China to operate nearly an infinite number of coal-fired boilers and India planning to build 23 new coal-fired plants; this was indeed another Obama Administration whopper. Now really, how does the above compare to the green agenda currently being proposed by the liberal progressive Democrats?

 

Bottom line: For the past 4.5 billion years, the Earth’s temperature has varied from year to year, decade to decade, century to century, millennium to millennium, etc., and the changes, at times, were really significant. The same can be said about Earth’s climate. None of these changes were man-made, and only some of these changes have been satisfactorily explained. Yet here we are, not only having survived but also prospered. At the present time, the cause(s) for today’s changes are unknown, the consequences are unknown, and therefore, any attempt to address these phenomena with massive economic expenditures and altering present lifestyles would be insane. Case closed. Next case.

 

Any questions or comments? Bomb away!

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

FEBRUARY 1:           On the Ultimate Quiz II

MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: Climate Change

Here are this month’s three offensive basketball suggestions from the 2nd edition of my “Basketball Coaching 101” book.

 

  1. Every shooter should either follow their shot or get back on defense; he should not just stand there (as with most players today) like a prima donna watching to see if the ball is going to go in. Players were always instructed in earlier times to “follow your shot,” since the shooter, better anyone else on the court, knows where the ball might go.
  2. Whenever possible, shots should be attempted from the head of the key or center position (dead center if possible) of the court, not from the side or end line.
  3. Always fast break – always! One cannot beat taking layups which often results in a fast break.

ON THE HOFSTRA 2019-20 BASKETBALL SEASON

December 1, 2019

December 1, 2019

 

Here is part of what I wrote last year at the start of the Hofstra Men’s 2018-19 basketball season. “The 10/28 Newsday headlines blared away “Hofstra Targets NCAA: Wright-Foreman key to making March Madness.” Here is what appeared this year in the 11/2/19 Newsday headlines, “Hunger Pains: Pemberton, Pride Wants to Earn Spot in NCAA Tourney!” Now I ask you: What team doesn’t want to make the Tourney? In any event, the problems that existed last year still remain.  What problems remain? The same four I raised earlier, as detailed below.

 

  1. How many teams that made the Sweet 16 play zone defense? If you answered hardly any, you’d be right. And, there is a reason why the better teams do NOT play zone defense. Accept it – nothing can replace the intensity of an in-your-face man-to-man defense. NOTHING!!!
  2. I keep repeating this after each season. You are inviting trouble when you commit to a 7-man rotation, with 5 players rotating around 4 positions. A successful team needs season-tested players not only when players are in foul trouble but also at tournament time when confronting either a 3-game/3-day or 4-game/4-day schedule. Hopefully, this will not occur again this season.
  3. Coach Mikalich and his staff have done a superb job in recruiting – when it comes to offensive players. But, defense is as important as offense, right?  Anything been done about it? Time will tell.
  4. The object every season for any club in a mid-major conference is to win their tournament, NOT their conference. How does a team do this? I discuss this very topic in the upcoming 2nd edition of my “Basketball Coaching 101” book . . . or, simply talk to Coach Timmy Cluess of Iona.

 

On to this year. Buie, Pemberton, Ray and Coburn are back. So is Truehart, although currently sidelined. The new additions include guard Silverio (Omar) and center Kante (Isaac). The starting five appear (at this time) to be guards Buie, Pemberton, Ray, and Coburn with Kante at center. Subs appear to be the aforementioned Silverio, Shutte (Ken) and (perhaps) freshman Burgess (Caleb). This year’s analysis? I love Coburn as a player – he was my type of player when I was coaching. But, Buie is the key. It will be his defense that will hopefully carry the team to the CAA Championship AND an invitation to the Big Dance. This will really be an exciting year if this comes to pass. And, they have a reasonable shot to make it happen.

 

Here’s more:  the club is off to a decent start.  So far, so good.  The team’s record at the time of the preparation of this article (12/1) is 4-3 that includes an embarrassing loss to San Jose St. and a dramatic come from behind 20-point victory against UCLA.

Here is my usual pitch on why everyone, particularly seniors, should consider attending Hofstra games this season. Attending these games for me still remains the best sports buy in the New York Metropolitan area; it’s even cheaper than going to the movies. There is ample free parking, easy access in and out of the Mack Sports Complex, the concession stands are not a rip-off ($3.50 for a dog, $3.00 for a soda, etc.), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Did I mention that its $6 for seniors and children, and the whole exciting atmosphere is conducive to family attendance? Many home games last year turned out to be thrillers. Share it this year with someone you care about.

 

GO PRIDE!

 

Note: The theodorenewsletter will begin a new feature starting this month (see below). The new feature will provide either three offensive or three defensive basketball suggestions that will appear in the upcoming 2nd edition of “Basketball Coaching 101”, and replace the weekly basketball suggestions that have appeared on Facebook’s “Basketball Coaching 101.”

 

This month’s Basketball Coaching 101 offensive hints:

 

  1. Run back at near full speed after a turn of possession (or turnover) to play defense.
  2. Never play zone defense. There are some exceptions, detailed in (3).
  3. Consider playing zone defense only if one of your star offensive players is a weak defender or if one of your star offensive players is in foul trouble or if you intend to use only 5, 6 or 7 players, i.e., the person (substitute) players are weak. Massimino used this strategy during Villanova’s championship run in 1985.

 

You want more? Tough. You’ll have to wait until next month for 3 offensive suggestions.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JANUARY 1:   On Four Issues I:  Climate Change

FEBRUARY 1:  On the Ultimate Quiz II

MARCH 1:      On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:          On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:            On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:           On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:           On Four Issues II: NYRA

 

 


On The OHI Day V

November 1, 2019

 It’s been 9 years since I penned my first article on the OHI Day (some of which is reported below). This is a special day in Greek history as it regards Greece’s heroic involvement in WWII. Our family’s recent visit to Greece was yet two reminders of this day.

 

As noted in earlier articles, I was baptized Elias Theodorakos since it is the Greek custom to name the first son after the paternal Papou (grandfather). Within a few years, the name Elias (our first grandson is also named Elias) was displaced by Louis, its American counterpart. I know our children and grandchildren would have preferred that our last name had not been changed. They are also disappointed – along with Mary (who is not Greek) – that I did not insist that they go to Greek school. Although I am an American first, I still remain proud of my Hellenic roots.

 

On to one of the themes of this article. My ancestors have a long history of battling and suffering with evil elements and opponents. Unfortunately, history repeated itself in 1939, as documented below. The 80th anniversary of the resistance of fascist forces by the Greek Armed Forces was recently celebrated several days ago on October 28. (The day came and went without a whimper here in the United States.) OHI (an emphatic no!) was Prime Minister Metaxas’s response to Hitler’s order to peacefully surrender. What followed Metaxas’s response was 219 days of fierce battles. That in turn was followed by intense guerrilla warfare that resulted in a brutal occupational that included executions, sufferings, famine, and severe inflation. The rest is now history for some people and all Greeks. Here are some comments immediately following the war.

 

Winston Churchill: “The word heroism, I’m afraid, does not reflect in the least the Hellenes’ acts of self-sacrifice that were the defining factor of the victorious ending of all the nations’ common struggle during the 2nd WW for human freedom and dignity. If it were not for the bravery of the Hellenes and their courageous hearts, the ending of the 2nd WW would not have been clear.”

 

Franklin Roosevelt: “When the entire world had lost all hope, the Hellenic people dared to doubt the German monster’s invincibility fighting back with the proud spirit of freedom. The heroic struggle of the Hellenic people against the German hurricane filled the American hearts with enthusiasm and won their sympathy.”

 

The second reminder of this special day was a recent paper submitted by our 13-year old grandson for his English class. It was titled VACHOS 1,5. VACHOS is a essentially small deserted town built on a rocky terrain half way up a mountain with no apparent means of sustenance itself. Vachos is a located in Mani – the middle member of the Peloponnese peninsula – surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the south, the Messenian Gulf on the west,  and the Laconian Gulf  on the east. Elias’s passage follows:

 

“I opened the car door and the blazing sun came right at me, forcing me to quickly cover my eyes. It was pushing 100 degrees late that afternoon, a dry, windy, burning heat. We had started our journey in Athens, and we were now in Mani, the region of the Peloponnese my great grandfather emigrated from. We were staying in Limeni, a small town on the Mediterranean Sea, with turquoise and emerald blue water and vibrantly colored fish that eluded my grasp. Limeni was five minutes away from Vachos, my great grandfather’s hilltop town. Excited and curious, my whole family had all been waiting for this part of the trip. As we drove into the hills, the sea disappeared from our sight. A sign ‘Vachos 1,5’ told us to turn right and drive 1.5 kilometers to Vachos. In our little stick-shift Toyota, we started along a bumpy road with tall grass that surrounded us. Ascending the steep hill, the car rolled back every time we began again after a stop. Houses that had looked like dots from afar came into view, and we pulled into what looked like the town square.

 

The square was a flat expanse among the hills, empty except for an older man in a run-down pickup truck. He got out to introduce himself as the mayor. He was a third cousin of my grandfathers, and an important person who lived in the town. Much to my surprise, this otherwise bleak town square had a basketball hoop that hung from the patio of a shuttered restaurant. It amazed me that my ancestors left this town for more opportunities in America, but a basketball hoop had traveled in the opposite direction.

 

Our cousin, Kiriakos Theodorakos, who could only speak Greek, and a dialect at that, toured us around the town. We walked up a curving path and around abandoned stone houses in search of my great-grandfather’s house. My grandfather stopped in front of an old house “This is the one,” he said, pointing. We all started toward it. Nestled into a steep hill, the house was made of stone, most of it still intact, with a dilapidated clay roof. Trees obscured the view of the house so we walked down the hill to see it from another angle. Long, prickly brush scratched against my legs as I surveyed the place my Spartan family had lived in a century before. We could see the door where this family entered and the dirt floor they walked. The sound of cicadas and the smell of oregano overwhelmed me. I wonder what it would have been like to live in these remote Greek hills.

 

The town’s population is about sixty and probably wasn’t much more in the early 1900s. How different would New York City have seemed to my Great Papou when he sailed into the harbor? I asked my grandfather if we could go inside and he translated the question. Our cousin kept saying “fidia,” but my grandfather either couldn’t understand his accent or didn’t know the word. Finally, our cousin wiggled his hand and we understood that the house was now filled with snakes.

 

On our way back to the town square, we wandered into the town cemetery, where we were greeted by marble stones with engravings, vibrant flowers, and food and drinks placed on graves. I share blood with all of these people. The mountains surrounded us, but we could not see any water nearby. Why did people build a town here? As we were leaving the town square, our cousin went to his truck and brought us a jar of oregano. As we drove away I opened the jar and crumbled the leaves between my fingers, the smell of oregano filling the air.”

 

Thank you Elias for keeping the memories alive.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Upcoming Basketball 2019-20 Season

JANUARY 1:              One the Ultimate Quiz II

FEBRUARY 1:           On Four Issues I: NYRA

MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: Climate Change

 


ON PURELY, CHASTE, PRISTINE AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXVIII

October 1, 2019

Hard to believe. The 28th! Here’s another 25 thoughts of yours truly.

  • It’s a new football season, but I still maintain that Eli Manning is the most overrated and luckiest individual to play the game of football…ever! The football Giants are toast if they don’t go with another quarterback.
  • Had contact with a recently graduated college basketball player who confirmed that two players on his team were paid. Now get this…he attended a mid-major
  • The Mets failed us once again. I thought nobody could be worse than Terry Collins. I was wrong.
  • I maintain that the bulk of the media continues to peddle lies and distortions.
  • Mets reliever Diaz doesn’t deserve the bad press. I believe he has the highest swinging strike ratio in the league – and that is an excellent measure of how good a pitcher is.
  • Just returned from a 3-day visit to Saratoga Springs. It was my 63rd year in a row. Lost some money but had a great time with the family. Finally had dinner at 15 Church Street; it was a unique experience.
  • Recently met democrat Judy Bosworth, Supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead, and was impressed…so much so that I might vote for her next time around. Ditto with Councilman Pete Zuckerman.
  • It’s World Series time. The Mets are dead but I’m still alive with the Yankees (ugh!) and the Braves.
  • My new book on “Water Management” will be out before the end of the year.
  • Mary still gets mad at me when I ask the maître d’ at an upscale restaurant: “Are franks and beans on the menu?”
  • Winter is just around the corner, and I’m not looking forward to it.
  • Lost Richie Dreyer (St. Francis), one of my players, last month. He brought a toughness that was lacking on my Killeen’s Tavern basketball team. He mellowed in his old age and did some wonderful things for AA.
  • I believe that one of our nation’s biggest problems is that family life has been displaced by government subsidies for far too many people.
  • Travel by any mode is terrible in Manhattan. Ditto Brooklyn.
  • Visited Quebec City in late June to attend the annual Air & Waste Management conference and presented two papers. Loved the Canadians and what a great city.
  • When are baseball pitchers going to wake up and figure out that the key to success is to not walk anyone and batters realize to go the other way when the shift is on?
  • Only got to Lot #6 at Jones Beach twice this year. I still maintain it is the most beautiful beach in the world.
  • The New York Racing Association seems hell-bent on destroying thoroughbred racing at Belmont Park. I paid for a season pass but won’t be going back this year; it simply isn’t an enjoyable day anymore. The level of incompetence of this organization is beyond belief. Hello Nassau OTB. I’ll have more to say about this in January.
  • The level of hatred for de Blasio continues to mount; it is almost as bad as that for Trump.
  • Still involved with developing potable (drinking) water processes via the desalination route, but have recently extended my work to include non-desalination methods. This has really been exciting work.
  • Traveled to Monmouth Racetrack (twice!) with several of my players. We visited my dear friend Steve “The Greek” Panos, the toughest Greek since Alexander the Great.  I am forever indebted to Steve for probably saving my life during a riot at one of our basketball games in 1963.
  • It’s all Greek to me. I still love lamb and pastitsio.
  • Recently attended a Kourtakis (maternal) family reunion in New Jersey, and it was just great. Some of us reminisced about life growing up in New York City.
  • Dear friend and noted sports historian Arthur Lovely keeps hitting the nail on the head with his “every day is a blessing”
  • My new quote to those close to me? “I hope misfortune follows you but never catches up.”

 

Tata!

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

JANUARY 1:              On Four Key Issues

FEBRUARY 1:           On the Ultimate Quiz II