Is anybody there?

Egads.  It’s been sooo long since I posted anything, I’ve forgotten how to operate creating a blog.  After struggling with logging in, I tend to lose any interest in doing anything.

That said – I’m doing better physically than last time, but frustrated with current politics so much that I’ve logged off from Facebook for a few months. The treatment of the children being held by ICE upsets me so much that I can’t sleep, and the behavior of our so-called ‘leaders’ is despicable.

So what else?  My granddaughter, Zoe, has turned one, and my great-grandson, Ares, is almost 18 months.  A real treat to be with them. Feels like they are the only reason I’m sane.

Unfortunately, writing has taken a back, back seat. Have one story about 70% drafted, but haven’t touched it for months.  I guess I’m sounding depressed.  Enough of all this.

Respond, if you can, and at least let me know you’re reading.  That’s all for now.

A Recap of the National Football League Draft

My son, Adam Kemp, is an avid football fan, and I asked him to write us a blog about the recent draft. I love football, too, and I hope you enjoy his thoughts.

This is a picture of him and his cat, Thor.20150717_230942

Once a year the National Football League gathers to expand their membership, and to welcome young men from around the country to the club. This year the Draft became international when the Minnesota Vikings use the 180th pick on Moritz Boehringer, a WR from Germany.

Today he became the first rookie to sign a deal. Boehringer had a good reason. He must show proof of employment to obtain a work visa. Many consider the 22-year-old’s journey to the NFL the biggest story on the last day of the draft. But his story wasn’t the only one of note this past weekend. Prognosticators and experts around the country have spent the months since the Super Bowl analyzing and measuring and predicting the success of college kids as they transition to professional game.

Things are much different in the NFL than in college. First there are 128 FBS ( Football Bowl Subdivision ) schools, formerly Division One, in addition to 125 FCS ( Football Championship Subdivision ) schools, formerly Division Two. Combined that is over 18,000 college football players, all competing for roster spots on the 32 professional teams. Consider this, if every NFL team’s roster were empty, the teams would need 1,700 players, that’s roughly 9% of the pool of college players. Of course none of the rosters are in fact empty so the percentage goes down further. Second the quality of the individual players are greater in the NFL. They are the best of the best and the competition is fierce. A WR from North Dakota State may be the best player at his school but wouldn’t make the team at LSU.

So the odds of realizing the dream of playing in the NFL are small, but it’s the dream, none the less, of almost every one of those 18,000 young men. This weekend 224 college football players took the first and the biggest step toward achieving that goal.

Teams trade veteran players to acquire additional picks, and thus more chances to add the best of the best college players to their rosters. I never understood the fascination of professional teams with unproven commodities that are college football players. College football players are drafted based on potential. Why teams are so willing to trade proven commodities for chances to draft potential ones blows my mind. With so many college players not living up their perceived potential, why is so much faith placed on these young men? Scouting the college players and judging that potential is not an exact science.

Remember back 1998 when the league and the experts disagreed on which of the 2 top QBs would grow and develop into a legitimate starter in the NFL. Those 2 QBs were Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. If you are wondering who was Ryan Leaf, then you get my point. Perhaps the best indication of the uncertainty that comes with picking players based on perceived potential is Tom Brady. Drafted in 2000, this 4 time Super Bowl winning QB was drafted in the 6th round. That year 6 QBs were drafted ahead of Brady, and I bet you can’t name them any of them. His success and Hall of Fame career is especially noteworthy considering he was, according to most experts, the worst QB ever to attend the Combine, which is a yearly event where most of the top college football prospects are invited to be tested, measured, and timed in multiple drills.

Now that the 2016 NFL draft is concluded, experts have given each of the 32 teams a grade of the team’s choices. The Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars sit atop of the list with grades of A, and the Atlanta Falcons scored the lowest grade with a D. Time will tell if the experts are right, if the players chosen live up the hype and achieve the success predicted. The teams wager millions of dollars on their choices. Those young men who walked across the stage and hugged the commissioner will soon ink contracts instantly making some of them millionaires. For many it will be the only contract they sign.

Fabric from France

Wayne and I returned last Wednesday night from 2 weeks in France. The cruise was really lovely although the weather wasn’t. Way too much rain, and gloomy skies. But we had fun. I’m just about spoiled from having my meals served and wine poured. Met some really fun people on board and plan to keep in touch with them. IMG_0305

The rumors or gossip that French people are kinda arrogant and aloof were confirmed for some of the folks we met. Shop keepers were friendly and accommodating, but few spoke any English, at least outside of Paris. The worst for me was some of the tour guides – their English was sometimes hard to understand. But more importantly, a couple of them talked constantly so that no one could ask any questions. Interrupting them was hard. When I finally managed to break in to ask one for a bathroom break, she replied, “Now?” I mean seriously. She didn’t like it and escorted all of us back to where there were bathrooms, insisting the break was only for emergencies. Fifteen women got in line.

But aside from all that, we got to do some shopping not only in Paris, Dijon and Lyon, as well as Arls and Avignon. As many of you know, I’m a quilter and have posted pictures of ones in the past.
In Lyon, I think it was, I found a fabric and yarn shop where they had packets of cuttings of several similarly colored fabrics. They cost 30 Euro each, so I bought 2 of them–one several yellows and another several blues.

Now in the U.S., these types of packets are what we call ‘fat quarters.’ These are half-yard pieces of 42-inch fabrics that are cut in half. This gives a piece approximately 21 by 18 inches, while a half-yard would be 42 by 18.

Imagine my surprise when I opened these packets and found I had strips measuring 42 by 9 inches, an exact 1/4 yard.

Picture shows the stack after I IMG_0585 washed them. Are good quality cotton and are completely usable, just not like I expected. So caution quilters— quarters in Lyon, France, are not the fat quarters we are used to in the U.S.

Ever been surprised with a purchase in a foreign country? Anyone have similar unfriendly behavior from the French?

Alice is in the House! Please Welcome Alice Abel Kemp to the Blogathon!

Alice Kemp

Say hi to Alice Abel Kemp!

I asked Alice to talk about herself, and she very kindly opened up in all kinds of fun ways.
Take it away, Alice!

 What I want readers to know: I would like readers to know that I have a passionate commitment to women’s equality. Trained as a research sociologist, my dissertation and subsequent research publications focused on women—why their earnings remain low compared to men’s, the effects of job segregation, and the burdens of poverty. I am most proud of a textbook I published in 1994—Women’s Work: Degraded and Devalued. I still receive small royalties for reprints although the book is long out of print.

I loved teaching women’s studies classes. Just this summer I heard from a former student that my class from over twenty years ago transformed her life. She’s now an Associate Dean of Business at a big university in New…

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