Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just got a text message from Magellen and all it said was, "need a new blog." I have been slacking in my posts because I just couldn't find anything to write about. I asked him to give me a topic and he said that he would think about it. I thought to myself, how about if I just open the computer and start writing.

I am sitting with my computer and I have the Grateful Dead on for inspiration and I am coming up blank. I look over to my desk top and I notice the hospital band that I removed on Sunday night and I also see the e-mail notice from Sports Illustrated telling me that my interview for their HBO Series, Sport in America, Our Defining Stories has been submitted and it is now being looked at by the producers. As Eddie Murphy said in Coming to America, "AHA"

On Sunday, I was planning to go to Santa Anita for the day but when I woke up I was feeling a little light headed and I had a massive headache, like I had a hangover. I took my usual Beyer aspirin and I also took a Motrin to get rid of the headache. While I was getting ready, I realized that my left arm was tingling. I decided to take my blood pressure to see what was up. I took my BP and it was 157 over 92. That is extremely high for me. I am in pretty decent shape, I work out at least five times a week and I try to eat normally but Friday night I had to work until 4 o'clock in the morning and then I went to my nephews baseball scrimmage, so I was chalking this up as an anomaly to no sleep.

I pack my things and I start heading to Santa Anita. The traffic was pretty light and I arrived in Arcadia real early. I was not meeting my buddy for at least another hour so I figured I would get a cup of coffee and read the Sunday newspaper. I stopped at a Starbuck's on Huntington Drive, right across from the Derby Restaurant. As I got out of my car, the world started spinning and my head was really pounding. After awhile I realized I was not going to make it into the Starbuck's nor was I going to make it into Santa Anita. This wasn't right so I decided to head back and go to the ER. I stopped at my house first to do a few things and get some phone numbers just in case. Since I was home, I decided to take my BP again and it was now 172 over 100, wow, now we're cooking with heat. I guess I better step it up a bit.

I got to the ER at Hoag Hospital. Let me tell you this, I have been in a lot of ERs but this Hoag Hospital ER was like checking into a hotel. I even had to ask if I was in the ER and the "concierge" said yes. I told her the situation and they brought me in to the nurses station where they did some prelim tests. They took my BP and it was 182 over 115. Call NASA because we were about to blast off.

They get me all hooked up to a machine to take a picture of my heart and they start an IV and they ask all the questions. They hook me up to an EKG machine and start monitoring. I am feeling pretty good except for the pounding headache and lightheadedness. The doctor comes in and starts his battery of tests and questions. He says that I will need a chest x-ray, an MRI and some medication to lower my BP.  He says get comfortable because I will be here for awhile.

The nurse comes in and gives me some medication that she describes as very powerful. She can only administer a little at a time because it has been known to lower the pulse to about 20 beats a minute. OK then. They wheel me into get a chest x-ray and when that is done the doctor comes in and says, "well, you didn't have a heart attack." We're going to have to give you an MRI to see if you have had a stroke. In my mind, I am saying perfect, you are going to shove me into a cigar tube for 45 minutes and at the same time you want my blood pressure to lower. I am hoping this is an open MRI.

The BPAdavant, it will make you drowsy and you won't have a problem." The doctor looks at the nurse and says, "Good idea." Exactly who is driving this bus. They give me the Adavant and I get nice and drowsy and I sit still through the 45 minute cigar tube ride.

Everything turns out negative, no heart attack, no stroke, BP is back down and Doctor Seuess gives me a prescription for medication and really had no idea what caused this. He chalks it up to being a hereditary issue. He asked me if there is a history of this in my family and I say, I don't know, I was adopted. He retorts, you should find out your medical history. All I can say is that I am trying.

It kind of upset me that, I have been trying to find out about my natural parents but I have had no luck. My family has not been very knowledgeable about the adoption. I didn't find out until both my parents passed away so asking the main players is out of the question. I decided that I need to step up the search because I don't need any surprises like this again.

When I get home, I realize that I need to submit my interview to Sports Illustrated for their series that they are doing with HBO. This series is called Sport in America and they take stories from ordinary people about experiences in sports. I submitted my story on how a bunch of us pooled 5 dollars a piece and my buddy and I handicapped the 2005 Kentucky Derby. We put together a few trifecta tickets and we ended up winning. Our winning trifecta ticket paid, $133,000.00. Hopefully the producers of HBO like what I submitted and qualify me to be on the show.

To everyone who is reading this, get yourself a BP monitor and some Beyer aspirin because one never knows when something like this could occur. Without those two things, I don't know what might of happened. Information is powerful and life saving.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I have been watching the Jeremy Lin saga play out over the last six games. This is exactly what the Knicks needed and that was a shot in the arm. Due to injuries to two of their biggest stars, Lin got his chance and he has shown the NBA what he can do.

How does a kid like this get passed up by so many scouts and how is it that two teams cut him. He was just about to get cut from the Knicks but injuries forced D'Antoni to use him. Jeremy Lin is not your prototypical point guard. He is not that big and he is not that strong but he is a basketball player. He plays the position exactly how it is supposed to be played. He runs the floor, he takes it to the hoop (who says Asians can't drive) and when the big guys sag on him, Lin drains them from the outside but the most important thing that he does is pass. He makes his teammates play the game the way it is supposed to be played, like a team.

If Stoudemire, Tyson and Anthony were winning games as the big three for the Knicks, we would not know who Jeremy Lin is. He would of been cut and he would of been looking for another team. He has pulled the ultimate Wally Pipp. The stars have been sitting and he came in and now he won't leave. His great run has taken a lot of heat off of D'Antoni. Without Lin, I think D'Antoni would have been banished. Don't get me wrong, I still think D'Antoni needs to go.

I think the Knicks need to evaluate this situation. I think the chemistry is great right now but once Anthony returns, it becomes a different team. Lin needs to control the floor but I don't see Anthony letting that happen. Package up Anthony for some good pieces to help out in the long run. I really think that David Lee would of been perfect in this line-up. The Knicks need to be smart and evaluate what the future holds.

Lin makes the Knicks fun again. I am going to enjoy it while it lasts because they still are the Knicks.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Horse racing is one of my favorite hobbies and Santa Anita is my favorite track. I was very anxious to see the first two episodes of HBO's mini-series, Luck, this past weekend.

In the past year, when visiting Santa Anita, you saw movie trailers parked by the entrance to Clocker's Corner. When you entered Santa Anita, there was a sign with what appeared to be some legalese from the movie company. The sign basically said that by entering Santa Anita, you are allowing the movie company to possibly catch you on film, whether you like it or not and you can't ask for any money if you are caught on film. These guys were serious about this long filming process.

Last weekend was the first two episodes of Luck and after watching the first one, I wondered to myself whether the general public was going to get lost in the dialog. The degenerate gamblers (And they remind me of The Stooges from Hollywood Park) talk in a vernacular that only a denizen of the track would get.  There is Dustin Hoffman's character, who has just been released from prison and he has some backdoor deals going for putting a casino in place. Nick Nolte is an old time owner/trainer who appears to have found a horse that might run for the roses and Richard Kind is a jockey agent and after the first episode I can see that he is going to steal a number of scenes. I really like the fact that they have placed Gary Stevens and Chantel Sutherland in bit parts to really add to the realistic sense of the show.

All in all I really liked it because it was not a feel good story in the vain of Secreteriat or Seabiscuit.  This is a story that is played out everyday at every race track.  The average person will get a crash course into the handicapping dynamics of a race, the doping end of the game and the real life stuff of horse racing. The makers of this series are not shy about it, they put down a horse in the first episode and it was graphic.

This whole entire gritty show is played against the backdrop of probably the most beautiful race tracks in the country, Santa Anita.  This race track is still carrying its art deco look of days gone by but the most breathtaking aspect of Santa Anita is the track's backdrop, the majestic San Gabriel Mountains.

If you have HBO take a look at this series. Who knows, you might want to take a ride down to the track and pick up a new hobby. If you are going to do this, I will give you a piece of advice, "Don't ever take a tip from a guy with holes in his shoes!"