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Time to clear out a cluttered desk, mind


I guess it’s too late to take advantage of the Labor Day sale for a new mattress. I suppose I can toss the Weird Al Yankovic concert ticket I bought for the concert two months ago at the Thrasher-Horne Center.

It’s shocking what you can find when you decide to clear off your desk. And your mind.

I have notes written on the back of envelopes, post-it notes with telephone numbers I don’t recognize and notes to remind me of things that happened months ago. I also have more than 150 postcards from companies trying to sell me Medicare Advantage plans or hearing aids.

So it’s time to go through everything – both on my desk and in my brain.

Why does a sandwich shop cut a bun completely in half for a cheesesteak? I wind up losing more meat and ends up in my mouth. That’s been on my mind – and my shirt – for a couple of weeks.

Just found some notes from my class at the Day as a Deputy program offered by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. I knew these would come in handy.

First, did you know many of those pickup trucks fixed to look like they’re carrying three tons of fertilizer in the truck bed aren’t legal? Whatever they call them, the “Palatka Lean” or the “Carolina Squat,” Florida law retires the front headlights to be no higher than 54 inches.

Also, when holding a firearm, deputies never put their finger on the trigger unless it’s time to fire. They hold it to the side of the trigger guard to reduce the chance of an accidental discharge. Now that I know that, it drives me crazy to see every cop show on television because they all have their fingers on the trigger. Maybe they need to take the same class I attended.

In one pile on my desk, I just found a Publisher’s Clearinghouse envelope. Oh well, I didn’t win.

Another thing that’s been bouncing around in my head is Tom Petty’s song, “I was Born to Rebel,” but all I hear is “I was Barney Rubble.”

I have a signed photo from Pete Rose somewhere in my office, and it made me think again about the hypocrisy of the Baseball Writers Association of America and that group’s insistence that he be left out of the Hall of Fame. Rose has been banned because he gambled on baseball. Then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti didn’t ban him for gambling, which would have led to an automatic lifetime suspension. Rose was suspended for “misconduct.”

Let’s be clear: Pete Rose admitted he bet on the Cincinnati Reds while he was the manager. He always bet on them to win; never to lose. He put his money behind his confidence the Reds would win every night. As someone who used to bet his lunch money on games, I understand the inappropriateness of his behavior. But there never has been any proof, alleged or otherwise, that he always tried to win. Is that so egregious?

Let’s also be clear: Pete Rose is the greatest hitter of all time. Period. My photo has “4,256” written on it because that’s how many hits he had in his career. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a great player, but not as a flawed manager.

Now for the hypocrisy side of the Rose argument. Did you know there now is a Sports Book from MGM where you can bet on games located inside the Great American Ballpark where the Reds play?

Wait, I just found the photo of Pete. I’ll share it.

Another thing on my mind is all of the injury lawyer commercials. They tell you it’s not the person who’s at fault who has to pay the settlement. It’s the insurance company. Well, guess who pays the insurance company? All of us!

Finally, lost in the celebration of last Sunday’s incredible comeback and 28-27 victory against the Baltimore Ravens is the fact Jacksonville mishandled the kickoff. You don’t squib-kick it in that situation. It was gathered up the 24-yard line and returned 15 yards to the 39. One 11-yard completion later, the Ravens’ 67-yard field goal attempt at the buzzer fell just short. It never should have been that close.

Next time, kick it through the endzone so Baltimore has to start at the 25. That way, they have two plays to go 75 yards for a touchdown or 30 yards on one play to set up a barely more-manageable 62-yard field goal.

Now I feel better. My desk is clean. So is my mind.