Jim Harbaugh

Locker Room Wisdom #3

I once saw him get so amped up and in the face of his players before rushing onto the field that he pushed one giant lineman hard, and the guy pushed back, dropping Harbaugh on his ass- from the upper deck I thought it was a fight; it was encouragement.

Departing Stanford Football Coach, Jim Harbaugh:

“You’re either better or worse than you were yesterday- you never stay the same.”

Now printed on a giant red and white banner wrapped around the fences of Elliot practice field, Stanford Campus.

Five years ago they lost 11 and won 1. This year they flipped that. I wonder what you learn more from?

This saying  is opposite of how we usually think isn’t it? We wake up, okay, i’m about the same guy I was yesterday. Am I? I bet I’ve made about 347 tuna melts in my life- what If every one got just a little bit better? They’d be so good by now they’d change your life. I’d relate this directly to my actual job, but i’m afraid I might not like what I see there.  Maybe tomorrow.

-jw (this post does not claim to represent greatzamboni in any way who hates all sports but Bowling, competitive mustard eating and Squash)

How is it that the bush burned but was not consumed?

Today’s somewhat biblical question is coming to I, Zambonesman, from the faithful reader “Sk Dance” from New Orleans. At first it might seem to you peoples that this question would be difficult and somewhat schismatic and controversial to answer authoritatively- this is not so. Since I have spoken directly to God about this you need not worry that I  am interpreting blindly in this liturgical matter or just advocating some religious stance.

Recently I had a beer summit with Yaweh himself  in which we drank a few suds (he prefers Bud Light and will not answer my quandries about why) and I asked him many questions (“Why Hurricane Katrina?”- “I was on the crapper”) and among these asked him to explain some of these miraculous happenings in the Bible. The burning bush being one. These are the words I heard from God though my notes are messy as I was drinking some home brewed Heffeweizen he’d made which was maybe 67% proof:

“Zamboni don’t be so thick. I am God, I make Rainbows, Elizabeth Taylor, Baseball, and the B.L.T., why do you think I have trouble making a bush keep burning. For me to do this is like Joe Dimaggio hitting safely in 56 games, or Julia Child making chicken, or Michaelangelo making sculpture.”

I pressed him further, though by this time I was on cold marble floor of his bathroom and he was hanging in inversion boots doing crunches.

“Okay you want to know the real meaning of this behind the burning fire?” he says. I assure him I do with drooling and mumblings.

“Look Zamboni, the bush keeps burning because it is a source of learning for Moses, and learning or study, this is the one fire that must never be put out in a man. The minute the fire to know more, the curiousity to learn, the minute this is put out, your whole house will go dark. This bush is lit up with Moses’s hunger, not my miracles.”

Learning never endeth.

So my dear SK, I hope you enjoy this answer as I enjoyed reading it in my notes after my 48 hour hangover subsided. I think it is good knowing, and if some sparks for this fire can be had from the blog of Zambonesman, well, this would be good news to me…

You know, we get older, and we think we know all we need to know. We think, “oh I don’t need to read that book or hear this sage, I’m no longer searching in my twenties.”

Well then why are we here?

I wish you happiness.

Friar’s Blues, or The Futility of Trying To Solve Other People’s Problems

I recently had the honor of playing Friar Laurence in a production of Romeo and Juliet. The Friar is the brilliant thinker who marries the two teens on the sly, hustles one out into the country, gives the other one fake poison, over-relies on the postal service, and in about 48 hours ushers each one to a dramatic suicide. This after giving a boatload of advice including, “wisely and slow; they stumble who run fast.” That’s fer sure.

Each night, as things inexorably rolled from happy to shitty, I’d joke backstage, “well it seemed like a good idea” or “Jesus friar, they’re thirteen for fuck’s sake.” Questions arose, like why does the friar have a SuperRoofie that can put someone totally out for 48 hours anyway? Another actor said, why not just get Juliet outta Verona and put her on a bus headed for Romeo’s hideout? Good question.

The best morals I can draw from this are: 1)beware of trying to solve other people’s problems, and especially, 2) beware of people who are bent on solving your problems for you.

I personally am guilty of the first. I’ve been an uber-listener and giver of advice all my life. In fact when I was ten I put a sign on my door, “the Psychiatrist is IN” Not a good sign.

The second I guess Zamboni himself could be guilty of. But he often makes clear in his advice to people that he is merely getting people to admit what in their hearts they already know. At least when he’s at his best he is.

Friar Laurence takes it upon himself to bring two lovers together, which is ironic since he can’t have this himself. He loves Romeo,  absolutely, but he ends up destroying him. Is all his “help” just a subconscious way of destroying what he loves? A revenge for his own celibacy? I don’t know, but as the good book says, I think,  “by their fruits shall ye know them” and the fruits of his help be rotten.

So beware of those bent on helping you, and beware of asking for help. You might be better off reading Shakespeare, and then just going it alone.

Then again, don’t listen to me, I’m the friar. -jw

“Have you lost your Peace of Mind”?

I may have found it. It was in front of my neighbor’s house with several flowerpots and old video cassettes including “The Tai Kwon Do Workout”.   Peace of Mind, by Joshua Loth Liebman. It’s an old book with yellowing pages and a cloth cover that proclaims, “since publication in March, 1946, it’s popularity has steadily mounted until it is now America’s best-selling non-fiction book.” Like other things I hoard, I stashed it away somehwere for months and only this morning looked at it.

“As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of emotions and ideas should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberty to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the decent and creative majority within our minds?”

“Our childhood is a blackmailer that makes us pay over and over again for some of the failures or mistakes that long ago have been outgrown…”

Sounds good to me. This guy says things so much better than even Zamboni sometimes. He says there should be a, “statute of limitations” on that old childhood stuff. Nice. The back cover tells us this guy’s an accomplished slashie, rabbi and professor and, “he is one of the leading radio preachers in America…millions have heard his sermons over NBC, ABC, and CBS..” Back then that about covered the airwaves.


Vintage book, and made in the US by Simon and Schuster. And best of all, a tiny slip of onion skin  paper fell out of it. Someone long ago typed, with a real typewriter, these two lines and used them as a bookmark in their reading, or perhaps a reminder to themselves..? It read:

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

(and below it:)

“The way to raise children right is to take it for granted they are going to do the right thing–and never let them think any different.”

This here medium can’t do justice to the beauty of the actual typing. Instead of that cloned dash you see here,  its like two closed sleeping eyes, and one is just slightly higher than the other.

I always knew lapels and tie widths were better back then, didn’t realize that extended to dashes and outlooks too.


“How Long will the Sunshine Last”

Today’s question comes from El Beh, a wondrous actress and person from California.

El, the Sunshine will only last another four billion years. The sun, as brilliant scientists and Zambonesman himself have discovered, is a star and all stars have limited days to go. The sun itself is somewhat middle aged, again like Zamboni, so this give to me some special insight into it’s psychology. You see, I myself am at the peak of my powers, much like the sun, as we all plus the polar bears have been finding out. Yet even as I am at the peak of my mesmeric, psychic, gastronomic, and other inmentionable here powers of many kind- in this very peak I see the beginning of the end. Bittersweet but true – no?

In Estonia there is a saying among the ragpickers, “who cares how you die, you won’t be there to see the teethmarks”. This is difficult to decipher exactly, but I think we get the point. There are many theories about how the sun will die. Some say it will sort of climax in huge explosion, others say clouds of cosmic dust will more or less choke it out, and others say things too boring to get into here. Suffice it to say that no one including you or me will be here to see it go goodbye.

Now, in case you meant your question in a more immediate, like, how long with this sunshine last like, this week, I still of course have an answer for you.

Enjoy it while you can.Add Video

Peace and the power of the Lily be with you.

Zamboni has spoken!

“still,  I have the warmth of the sun , within me”