In the actual wake of Harvey’s devastation and Irma’s forthcoming, it’s simple and hard to help all at the same time. Never in human history has it been easier to give financially in support. You can literally text it. Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt has raised over $28 Million. Which also happens to be his PR in the clean and jerk. Of course, it’s always a little harder to be boots on the ground. Or, in this case, dingies in the river.

I can’t seem to do either.

And, in that sense I relate to Joel Osteen. Or at least the social media caricature of a man like Joel Osteen. Osteen is the pastor of the, ironically named, Lakewood Church, in Houston. He came under Twitter rage and other media scrutiny last week for failing to have his church open to shelter victims of Hurricane Harvey. A clear missed opportunity by someone to headline the story, “Floodgate,” in traditional scandal parlance.

Joel and I share a lot in common actually. 4:1 hairproduct-to-head ratio. An infinity smile. He probably has like 15 checkbooks; I can barely balance mine.

You have to be ready to be helpful. It’s not something you just become when help is needed. In attitude and priority, you have to prepare to be useful. Flexibility to respond. Assets to give. An attitude to serve.

People are at my door too. I just can’t ever seem to be ready. I get it, Joel. I really do.

Written and performed by sintax.the.terrific. Produced by Beatowski.

Today’s blong here:

The Book of Joel


Two Minutes of Fame

I live directly in the Path of Totality (Greenville, SC), which I’m pretty sure is an Alice in Chains album. We’ve been a recently growing and popular destination for industry and the arts and cyclists and beards. Now even major galactic bodies are coming to see what all the buzz is about. So, I’d like to be the first to welcome the moon’s shadow to GVegas. We’ll probably start a religious-themed pub for you called “My Coffee Black” or a walking trail in your wake unironically named the “Bike Path of Totality.”

So, today is really great and all. I’m super into celestial events. In fact, I’m specifically hoping to either burn in my retinas or be taken up in a UFO hiding in the moon’s umbra. But if you think about it, an eclipse is mostly a failed cosmic coup. It’s literally the story of a dead, useless thing trying to supplant the shine of one of the most wildly powerful, life-giving live things. And, not surprsiingly, it fails miserably. It has no combustion or luminescence of its own. And, then right at totality, the moon must come to this horrible realization that it’s become literally invisible to the world without any independent source of light. All it has to show for is the sad and utter darkness of its own shadow. And, then, again, the light prevails. It’s like the moon’s two minutes of fame. Or shame.

Sounds about right.

So Happy Eclipse Day!

Oh and I’d like to welcome Beatowski to the song blogging experience. I plan to bless his free instrumentals mercilessly with rap news.

Performed by sintax.the.terrific. Music produced by Beatowski.


Matthew and Me

I’ve needed some encouragement lately and it’s come in the unlikely form of certain Twitter interaction, namely with @walterthsalter. I landed in Boston two Sundays ago feeling pretty low and found this mashup in my Dropbox.

Me x Matisyahu.

I had literally just revisited Spark Seeker with my kids the week before, after a couple years’ hiatus. It sort of broke me down. Apparently Mr. Burgess had done the remix years ago only to send it now. I mean, exactly right on time. Thought I’d pass it along.

Two grey beards.



Written and performed by sintax.the.terrific and Matisyahu. Remixed by David W. Burgess.

Today’s blong here:

of venisonshine


Bison on Ice

Yeah, I have a song for every occasion. Even North Dakota State football upsets.

But guess what? NDSU isn’t a small upstart and its win yesterday against Iowa wasn’t an historic upset. And it’s not just because, in talent, as has been observed, they can line it up with the “big boys.” They are the big boys.

And, by “big,” I mean “1/8 viking.”

North Dakota State designed its punt rush after a Capital One Card commercial.

They forge their own helmets.

The quarterback’s wristband cheat sheet is written in rune.

The Fargodome doubles as a smokehouse in the offseason.

“The pigskin” is not euphemistic in North Dakota.

They’re not an FCS team. Holy crap. They’re not.

Quick primer. Historically, the biggest colleges in the country played football at the NCAA Division-I level. Oregon. Notre Dame. Alabama. Michigan. Florida State. Ohio State. University of Phoenix Online. (I believe that’s where Larry Fitzgerald played his college ball.)

Below that was a Division I-AA. Furman. Georgia Southern. Richmond. William & Mary. JMU. Montana.

Below the Division I levels were Divisions II and III and something called an NAIA. Apparently, the College of Charleston is very proud of all the basketball national championships it won at the NAIA level, against basketball teams taken from 6 small colleges, two group homes, and a chess club.

A few years ago, a semantic slight of hand attempted to conjoin Division I and Division I-AA into a single Division I with two subdivisions: The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). See how that’s different than just Division I and Division I-AA? Obviously.

Anyway, like the FBS, the FCS has private and public colleges. But, some of those public colleges are the biggest educational institutions of their respective states. Delaware. Maine. Montana. Montana State. North Dakota State. Institutions where either (1) the name of the college is a State or (2) is the name of a State plus the word “State” or “Tech.” Think Michigan and Michigan State. Or Georgia and Georgia Tech. Or Devry and Devry Institute. Granted most of these public FCS institutions are located in less populated states but these are still the flagship schools of a card-carrying member of our great Union.

And, lookey here at NDSU’s “FBS” victim list:

Colorado State
Kansas State
Iowa State

See a pattern. Middle of the country states. Dimly populated. White, I mean, errr . . . well coached. Sounds a lot like NDSU. Oh except those 6 schools are willing to actually play big time football and take the losses and failure that come with it.

ESPN staff writer, Austin Ward, expertly observed:

Playing a brand of physical, old-school football that wouldn’t look out of place in the Big Ten, the Bison were deserving winners over Iowa.

Right. Because it’s NOT out of place. NDSU is from the exact same dang place.

For a long, long time, nobody cared about Division I-AA/FCS football. But, then it became increasingly clear that television exposure and the opportunity to upset a major FBS school could raise a school’s admissions and money profile through FCS football success similar to a good run in March Madness.

And, when people started caring, these publicly funded FCS institutions were well-suited to capitalize.

North Dakota State University is one such example. À la 5 straight national championships. 5?! Even shameless Appalachian St. had enough collective pride at 14,000 students a year and state funding, to go FBS after only three straight championships.

All of this applies equally to the Delaware’s and Montana’s and Montana Jr.’s of the world as well. How else could Joe Flacco be so elite?

Which is all fine. But, this advantage that comes with size and the support of either half or nearly all of a state’s population and coffers, should temper their pride in success against less comparably postured institutions. It, however, only seems to inflame it.

A major state institution has two options. Either (1) qualify your arrogance over winning multiple National Championships by beating private schools an eighth your size and “upsetting” Corn Pone University D-I schools or (2) move up to FBS with all the other large state schools.

NDSU will accumulate a 6th championship this year in a row and then swear they did something.

I initially visited this topic upon the poor unsuspecting NDSU fan base a few years back when my beloved and properly designated FCS Furman Paladins met the Bison in the playoffs. As you might suspect, they generally flew into a nordic rage although some were quite generous. I appreciated the exchange in all its color.

And, so I apologize for fishing the bison carcass out from under the frozen surface just to put it right back on ice.

But, it has to be said. No one else apparently is willing to throw a flag.

Performed by sintax.the.terrific. Music produced by Fab.
Today’s blong here. Updated and final version of the original with new third verse:

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein do not reflect the views of Furman University or even its football team. They are exclusively the ramblings of a too compulsive fan acting entirely alone. As in, without any friends to speak of.


Street Legal

There’s a lot of overlap between the arts of lawyering and emceeing. Theater. Persuasion. Costuming. Words. You have to have stage presence. Look the part. Tell a convincing story. Talk a big game. Win the crowd.

As a practitioner of both, I probably haven’t done my job to make you hip to the vocabulary and black letter law.

So, I’m going to periodically include a feature that gives both some technical and everyday explanation of legal terms and concepts. Part street, part legal. Street Legal. See what I did there?

For instance, res ipsa loquitur. It’s a torts doctrine and latin phrase, which literally means “the thing speaks for itself.” It’s a way to hold someone liable for an accident or injury without direct proof that they did it. If the incident or item was completely in a person’s control and the damage done is of the kind only possible through negligence, then the person can be held liable even if there is no eye witness or even circumstantial evidence of her misconduct.

Like holding Erykah Badu responsible for Common’s Electric Circus.

It’s the only explanation. That’s on some res ipsa loquitur, son.

Street legal.



Deep Impact

So the government has announced a special operations exercise called Jade Helm 15. It will run from July 15 through September 15 of this year in various southwestern states, including Texas, New Mexico, and California. It will ostensibly involve tactical maneuvering of military personnel in civilian settings, like neighborhoods and homes.

jade helm

In this same basic footprint, Walmarts have been mysteriously closing various stores for “plumbing” concerns. That’s some systemic dysentery. I’m sort of an expert on Walmart bathrooms and may be partially responsible. I could have seen this coming. It’s not good. But, the deep web has speculated that the stores are being converted for processing centers when martial law is eventually declared.

I personally suspect Obama is trying to monopolize their always low prices. Just like him.

[Street Legal: In wartime or “states of insurrection,” the United States Government or the Governor’s of the respective states can declare martial law and substitute military tribunals for civil ones. Like when ODB bumrushed Shawn Colvin on stage at the Grammy’s. Or Yeezy did T-Swift. Street legal, son.]

So, guess what’s supposed to happen September 15? A 2.5 mile meteor is going to hit the continental United States! Coincidence? That’s called dot connecting folks.

Orrrrrrrrrrrrr there anticipating an attack by ISIS on Texas.

I’m pretty excited either way and making sausage cheese dip in anticipation.

We love a good apocalypse and front row seat to our own demise. There is this strange affection for extinction level events. In movies and real life. Like we want to be paranoid of government takeover under the guise of Jade Helm but we mostly can’t wait.

Pulling up a chair.

Written and performed by sintax.the.terrific. Produced by Dalama Jones.

Today’s blong here:

Keep Shuffling


City Lights

I grew up 20 minutes south of Baltimore. We used to chill at its Inner Harbor. The Constellation is docked there. I took some lady friends to a place called City Lights. Paddle boats. And the Aquarium.

I haven’t been there in 17 years, immediately after our wedding and honeymoon. We had a Ford Explorer full of personal belongings and music equipment. Two large speaker cabinets and amplifier/mixer head. A Dr. Boss sampler.

We improvidently parked deep in the city and the car was broken into and, ironically, the only thing stolen were are wedding photos. We scoured the nearby housing project for them only to find the empty boxes.

Two decades later its all broken out in riot. Baltimore and my life. We both need an inner harbor.

Written and performed by sintax.the.terrific. Produced by Dalama Jones.

Today’s blong here:

Inner Harbor


Endangered Species

In honor of Earth Day, Tim Tebow is a Philadelphia Bald Eagle.


In the wild.

Performed by the sintax.the.terrific. Produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s blong here:

All Things