Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Just another manic Monday

Carl Monday is back harrassing people. This time it's some drunk guy.

Monday, May 29, 2006

5 words to describe my weekend

1. Windy. Kansas has pretty much a constant roar or wind but some days are a little more ridiculous than others and this was one of those weekends. On Saturday I was at the State Track Meet watching people literally hit a wall of wind as they turned into the backstretch.

Last night my dad and I camped in the cattle pasture since there weren't any open beds at my grandpa's with the rest of the family there. We were trying to set up the tent in the dark where it was still ridiculously windy. This led to my dad stepping his sandal into one of the biggest piles of cowshit I've seen in a while. Good times. We spent most of the night listening to the tent flap as it nearly blew off the hill we set it on.

2. Hot. There are two things you think when you sit on a metal bleacher for 7 hours in 95 degree heat. Dammit, I wish my ass actually had some padding on it. And wait, it's only May? I'm screwed when August rolls around.

3. Fun. Kind of a lame word but I did have a good time at everything I did except for the constant driving. I went on a loop from Lawrence to Wichita to Hutchinson to Inman to Belleville to Norway (KS) to Belleville to Lawrence hitting up a state track meet, dinner, a night at home, a visit to my granddad, Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetary, and a family reunion.

4. Confused. It used to be that I knew almost everyone at these reunions but it's been getting bigger and bigger for some reason. I'm not really sure what the deal is but we must be expanding to siblings of my great-grandfather. There's really no reason why I should be seeing high school kids and couples a little older than me with kids for the first time. Hey, if you're part of the family where have you been for the last 20 years? You think you can just show up now that the word is out about the legendary potlucks and basketball games?

I was introduced and forced to introduce myself to the same woman twice. Apparently she's been living in California but just moved to Denver and is Blanche's daughter. I've never heard of Blanche in my life.

And speaking of potlucks one of the staples of any potluck should be the potato casserole with the sour cream mixed in and wheaties crust. For a while these were so popular there were almost always 2-3 at this thing but then everyone quit making it because they thought someone else would. Listen, we NEED 2-3 pans of this stuff because it's always gone by the time seconds comes around. I don't care if you think someone else will make it, you make it too. Today there was only a poor substitute without the crust. I had two helpings.

5. Tired. I didn't sleep much all weekend and was woken up at 6 this morning and played two tough games of basketball. The teams were divided up kids vs. old guys and I'm an old guy because there are enough high school kids to matchup with the old guys plus me. Really, that's fine except they are all in great shape from track and I have to chase them around all the time.

I played alright making 3 of 11 in the first game that we won and 3 of 7 in the second where we were humiliated. One of my cousins is going to be a senior and wants to walk-on to play tight end in college somewhere so there wasn't much we could do with him inside. He didn't dominate but he was hitting his shots and pretty much put us away. So, I'm tired and sunburned and think it's about time to crack a beer and watch some basketball.

Friday, May 26, 2006

"The most anticipated baby since Jesus?"

Cold Blooded

Don't you think that some of the shine might be taken off of becoming the first double amputee to climb Mount Everest when Sir Edmund Hillary is calling you out for leaving a guy to die on the side of the mountain?

"Yeah, well, good luck with the whole 'living' thing, 'cause I got a mountain to climb, broham."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another awesome moment in investigative journalism



This is amazing. A TV station in Cleveland did an investigative report on porn in the libraries and they set up a hidden camera and managed to catch a guy whacking it. So, basically investigative reporter Carl Monday (are you freaking kidding me? that's his name? what a perfect job for him) starts asking him what he looks at in the library leading this classic exchange.

"What do you look up on the internet?"
"Nothing really. Umm, just sports scores, stuff like that."
"Sports...pornography, stuff like that?"
"No...why?"
"Why? I don't know why, you tell me why."

The interviews with this guy just keep getting worse and worse for him and you really need to watch the whole thing because let's just say you'll want to see what goes down in the last 40 seconds.

Why anyone that votes for John McCain is an idiot

The John McCain Straight Talk Express is a juggernaut (the link will try to print the page for some reason) that can't be stopped. Here's his Iraq plan:
"One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullshit,'" said Mr. McCain.

Dude, stop bogarting these ideas! Get on the line to Bush and let's solve this thing. I haven't seen diplomacy like that since Jimmy from South Park single-handedly created peace between Denver's Crips and Bloods. "I mean, come on."

This is just what America needs, a straight-talking, bold, contrarian that will tell it like it is. John McCain, Straight Talker, gonna do what it takes to "stop the bullshit"! I mean, come on!

O'Reilly rips on Jon Stewart viewers

Oh, Bill...
"Many Americans ages 18 to 24 have no idea what's going on and get their news from [Comedy Central host] Jon Stewart and their point of view from bomb-throwing entertainers."

Except that
In 2004, the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center released its National Annenberg Election Survey, which found Daily Show viewers to be better informed on campaign issues than consumers of other late-night television programs, newspapers, network news, or cable news. In a press release, Annenberg senior analyst Dannagal Goldthwaite Young said: "Daily Show viewers have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers -- even when education, party identification, following politics, watching cable news, receiving campaign information online, age, and gender are taken into consideration."

And:
Also, according to CNN, Nielsen Media Research statistics show that when directly compared with O'Reilly Factor viewers, "Stewart's viewers are not only smart, but more educated than O'Reilly's.:"Daily Show" viewers are 78 percent more likely than the average adult to have four or more years of college education, while O'Reilly's audience is only 24 percent more likely to have that much schooling.

Oh yeah, and then there's this:
Additionally, an October 2003 study conducted by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy (PIPA) found Fox News viewers were "significantly more likely to have misperceptions" about the Iraq war than all other media consumers. The study was "based on a series of seven US polls conducted from January through September" 2003 and measured respondents' "key perceptions and beliefs" on "US policy" in Iraq. The study found that "[t]hose who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions." For instance, of the "three key misperceptions" -- which the study listed as "the beliefs that ... links between Iraq and al-Qaeda have been found, that WMD have been found in Iraq and that world public opinion approved of the US going to war with Iraq" -- Fox News watchers were found not only to be the "most likely to hold misperceptions," but "were more than twice as likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions." The PIPA study found that 80 percent of Fox News viewers held at least one of the three misperceptions.

Here's what he said:
O'REILLY: I'm Bill O'Reilly, thanks for watching us tonight. Pop culture and politics, that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." "Who cares about the Dixie Chicks?" Ruth Wilson, who lives in Virginia Beach, emailed me, and so did many other Factor viewers and listeners.

And the answer is, the left-wing ladies do reach some younger Americans. And the media eagerly embraces what they and other committed lefty entertainers have to say. But you won't be hearing too much about Ted Nugent's opinions.

Except when the Nuge got a whole TV show to do nothing but humiliate money-grubbing fools and spread his beliefs.
Now, there's a growing problem in America with the younger people being completely uninformed. Public education is generally not emphasizing history, geography, or civics, preferring to indoctrinate American students into a world of tolerance, diversity, and secular values. Plus, every survey says the same thing. Many Americans ages 18 to 24 have no idea what's going on.

OK, I'll agree with Bill here. I was really pissed when they cut my American history class for Secular Values Indoctrination I. I mean, it was an interesting class I just thought that writing "I hate Jesus" 100 times was a little overkill. But, I guess that's the price we pay for letting those liberal eggheads run the schools.
Now, many of these young Americans vote, and they are influenced by celebrities and the press that fawns over them. In some young precincts, it is hip to be dumb, cool to be uninformed. In fact, you're a geek if you know a lot about current events.

Thus, we have millions of Americans who get their news from Jon Stewart and their point of view from bomb-throwing entertainers. This isn't new. When I was a sophomore at Marist College, drugs on campus were rare. As a junior, I went abroad, studied in London. And then when I came back to Marist as a senior, drugs were all over the place, along with pictures of pop stars who ingested them, people like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, both of whom died young. Drugs had become acceptable because the pop media endorsed them.

Apparently Bill was the only thing holding back the drug invasion at his college. How else to explain how popular music and drugs overtook his school during the one year he was gone.
With Bill O'Reilly: No music posters and no drugs.
Without Bill O'Reilly: Haight Ashbury at Marist
Coincidently drug use in London declined 78% during the year he was there. Thank God we have Bill O'Reilly to fight the culture wars for us. Actually, I kind of wish he was there during the drug revolution so maybe he would lighten up a little bit.

So popular culture does matter, it does have influence. Even on life-death issues such as the war on terror and how to wage it. Our republic demands citizens pay attention in order for the best people to be elected. Is that happening today, when 64 percent of young Americans can name the American Idol winners but just 10 percent know who the speaker of the House is?

We may be heading for big trouble in this country. In fact, we might already be there. And that's the "Memo."

YES! Exactly! Bill, you hit it on the head right there. "Even on life-death issues such as the war on terror and how to wage it. Our republic demands citizens pay attention in order for the best people to be elected." How are you supposed to convince people to fight wars in Iraq if there are those out there calling you and your leaders out on their bullshit? Hey, if everyone watched your propoganda it would be sooo much easier to lead them like sheep from one nefarious plot to another. So, I think I'll stick with Jon Stewart where I can get someone that will mock the politicians that lie and then lie that they ever said anything like that when they are caught (cough, Rumsfeld) and will go back and find that the president used the exact same speech announcing his choice for CIA director as the one he used for the guy he just forced out of the job. Because of things like that I am better informed than most Americans and certainly better informed than viewers of your show. Sure they may learn to hate the Dixie Chicks or think there's an actual "War on Christmas" but as far as any actial issues? I don't think so. And that's the Memo.
Sometimes I look at the short episode descriptions of Walker, Texas Ranger on TV Guide because they can be pretty entertaining. Here's today's:
"Payback", Someone's put a contract out on Walker (Chuck Norris), who's more concerned with recovering a carjacked van equipped for a physically challenged boy (Crime Drama).

What a nice guy that Walker is. He's not afraid of no contract on his life, he's got a handicapped accessible van to find!

UPDATE: Oh, what a classic ending. Vintage Walker!

It finishes up with Walker playing darts with the wheelchair kid in C.D.'s bar. Nice role model, Ranger. The sign on the door says drinks are a dollar off so at least the kid has that going for him. Then the mom sends the kid away so she can look longingly in Walker's eyes, give him a big hug, and touch his chest a few times to thank him. So, after saving the (one of many in this city, apparently) hot, single mom and her disabled son, Walker and Trivette walk out of the bar where Trivette sees a truck drive by and performs some awesome kung fu roll and pops up with his gun pointed. Yeah, right, a black man pulls a gun in a Dallas street and doesn't get shot by some redneck or trigger-happy beat cop? Fortunately, he doesn't shoot anybody or get shot and he makes some joke about how maybe not everyone in Dallas knows that the hit has been called off. Walker puts his arm around him and gives him a condescending look as they walk into the night. Cue the theme song. When you're in Texas look behind you...

Colbert Report wins again

This is golden. Basically, Tom Delay's legal defense team has a website and sends out an email trying to drum up support for the Congressmen who is going down for being a crook. Robert Greenwald (the guy that made the Wal-Mart and Faux News movies) made one on Delay and went on the Colbert Report. Apparently, the Delay people were so impressed with Colbert's Bill O'Reilly-esque interview that they announced that Greenwald "crashed and burned on Comedy Central's Colbert Report", that Colbert "cracked the story on the real motivations behind the movie", and posted the video on their website.

It's about time more journalists started their interviews with "Who hates American more, you or Michael Moore?".

Here's a link they might find useful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Gatorade!

Kevin Seilor has a post up about his love affair with Gatorade. I'm also a fan so I enjoyed it and engaged in some discussion in the comments section. The best part about his blog is that he writes it kind of like he talks so I can imagine his voice reading it to me and it totally enhances the experience. So, if you don't know him that's too bad you're not getting the full enjoyment that I am.
Well, I really don't have much to say so here's a piece by Malcom Gladwell on how to best analyze a basketball player's statistical contributions. I'm thinking Swany and Ryan will enjoy this and the rest of you might but probably not. Anyway, Gladwell is usually a pretty interesting read. Hopefully I'll come up with something else worth posting soon.

Berri, Schmidt, and Brook argue that the arbitrary algorithms of basketball experts elevate the number of points a player scores above all other considerations. In one clever piece of research, they analyze the relationship between the statistics of rookies and the number of votes they receive in the All-Rookie Team balloting. If a rookie increases his scoring by ten per cent—regardless of how efficiently he scores those points—the number of votes he’ll get will increase by twenty-three per cent. If he increases his rebounds by ten per cent, the number of votes he’ll get will increase by six per cent. Every other factor, like turnovers, steals, assists, blocked shots, and personal fouls—factors that can have a significant influence on the outcome of a game—seemed to bear no statistical relationship to judgments of merit at all.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I'm stunned

I keep trying to leave for Ames but then I find a story like this.

You may have heard about it already but a man living in Utah(!) drank 24 beers a day for 8 years and never threw away any of the cans. The pictures are shocking. There is a pile of cans taking up the entire room 2/3 of the way up his door. They estimated there were 70,000 cans and they got $800 when they recycled all of them. He even had so many that he stacked them in front of his TV. What the hell is he doing while he drank 24 beers a day? I've participated in a few Case Races in my day but I don't think I could ever compete in a Case Marathon. Shit, marathon isn't long enough. This is like one of those endurance races where the people run for a few days and collapse when their bodies go into shock.

Gross



I was taking a final today and right before I start this hippie-type guy with nastyass dreads sits down in front of me. Within seconds I'm enveloped by the odor of one of the worst smelling humans I've encountered since I was in junior high and the smell of one of my classmates made my friend Patrick puke in the lockerroom.

You know, I'm all for being one with the Earth or whatever but find some biodegradable deodorant and soap or something and take a damn shower. It's really not that easy to concentrate when everytime this guy moves I catch another wave and have to supress a gag reflex. He was also a big fan of resting his arms on top of his head as if he was trying to find a way to make it as bad as possible.

Gross.

Ask a Mexican

I was actually lying in bed when I rememberd that I read this at work and wanted to post it.

The Pitch, KC's alternative weekly, recently replaced their "Ask a Boss Bitch" advice column where readers would ask a question of a local female rapper with the "Ask a Mexican" column where readers can have their questions about Mexicans answered. Especially important with the current immigration debate that seems to be so damn important right now.

Anyway, his answer to "What is it about the word illegal that Mexicans don't understand?" was pretty good.

Take your pick, Mondo. Mexicans don't understand the word illegal because: (A) when paying their gardeners, nannies, busboys and factory workers in cash (and forgetting to withhold payroll taxes), U.S. employers don't seem to understand the word illegal, so why should Mexicans;(B) the Anglo-American trappers and traders whom you and I were taught to admire as tough, self-sufficient frontiersmen and pioneers were among the American Southwest's first illegals —who are you calling illegal, gabacho; — (C) Presidente Bush's proposal to offer amnesty and a guest-worker program to all illegal immigrants — a move designed to appease his supporters in the business community — means even Republicans don't understand the word; (D) whether they buy a fake passport or take a citizenship oath, Mexicans will never be more than wetbacks in the eyes of many Americans, so why bother applying for residency; (E) The Kansas City Star stylebook reportedly requires its reporters to describe as "undocumented workers" the men and women you call illegal; (F) little-known fact: The fragment of poetry on the Statue of Liberty ("Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," etc.) does not, because of a French engraver's error, include Emma Lazarus' rarely cited footnote, "No Mexicans, please." Fucking French.

But the real answer is the word itself. Illegal is an English word; Mexicans speak Spanish — yet you never hear Mexicans whine that their bosses don't understand such easy Spanish phrases as pinche puto pendejo baboso, do you?


Hmm, I think I laughed more the first time I read it. Maybe it's not really that funny. No, it's always funny when xenophobic anti-immigrant folk get put in their place.

I'm in Ames until Sunday so don't expect me to write shit. Enjoy your weekend.

Lazy Ramadi

Parts of this had me laughing pretty good.



Now we just need to get all of these guys back home before Bush can start another war.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thoughts on the Champions League Final - Second Half

48:36 Smyth: "You Scottish guys can count like...it's going out of style."
Other Announcer: "Easy now."

I was kind of dozing off for a bit during the second half but I did see Barca's two goals. See ya, Arsenal. They went over 16 hours in the tournament without giving up a goal and now they give up two in ten minutes. The last one went 5 hole on the goalie. Isn't that, like, pretty tough to do?

I think more US sports fans should use flares like they do in soccer. I'd love to light up a flare and wave it around for a while burning the shit out of everyone close to me.

Anyway, this one is about over. Aresenal fought hard but were pretty much screwed after Lehman was sent off.

...and I'm off to work.

Germans Love David Hasselhoff

What calms Dirk Nowitski down at the free throw line?

"You just try to relax. There are a lot of things going through your mind. I try to sing sometimes to kind of take the pressure off." Smiling wide and laughing loud, he said the song was David Hasselhoff’s "Looking For Freedom," a big hit when he was a kid in Germany.


And I think you should follow the link just for the seizure image of Hasselhoff. Just a warning, it's going to be etched into your brain forever so just think about that before you go.

Thoughts on the Champions League Final - First Half

Well, it's 15 minutes in and we're still doing prematch hype. There's a shirtless dude and a bunch of guys running around with long, white pole vault poles. Barcelona's fans have red and blue flags in stripes which looks pretty sweet. Then they have yellow ones inthe bottom section that spell out "Barca." Well done.

Alright, here come the teams. As is the slightly pedophiliac tradition they are all holding the hand of a child. Thierry Henry. Ronaldinho, still uglier than Reggie Evans.

0:00 And they're off. The best offensive team in the tournament agains the best defensive. Center, to the left midfielder, back to the center, to the right, back to the center. Holds it. Holds it. Holds it.

2:30 Henry gets behind the defense with no one but the keeper to beat and save Henry again...SAVE! Arsenal's really pushing which I gather is a bit of a surprise. I'm not going to lie to you. I like watching soccer but I really don't know jack about it. It's kind of like watching a football game with a girlfriend that doesn't really know what's going on but gets excited about everything. That's me.

9:19 Both teams have been running a lot. Shooting some. The crowd yells a lot. Hmm, I'm running out of material.

18:00 German national team goalie RED CARDED! Wow... What a stupid move. The guy was going to score anyway so he took him out. It's like that guy in the N64 soccer game always used to say "Poor challenge!"

21:40 I guy gets yellow carded for kicking another dude inthe junk. The ref carded him and then wagged his finger at him Dikembe Mutombo style with a wild look on his face. They're always so expressive since there's no clue what language anybody speaks.

24:04 I love reading the live match report from the Guardian since they use all these British phrases that I have no idea what they mean.
Like this: "Thierry Henry breaks from inside his own half, gallops down the left and attempts to thread the ball between two Barcelona defenders into the path of Robert Pires. He makes a pig's ear of it and Carles Puyol hacks clear."
Oh, he made a pig's ear of it. Of course.
"Ronaldinho appeals for a free-kick after being brought down just outside the Arsenal penalty area. "He always plays with a smile on his face," declared Ally McCoist (or was it Andy T) before the game. He wasn't f**king smiling there."
Ha, I guess there's no doubt who they're cheering for. That's awesome.

36:45 GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLL! Arsenal comes through on the header off a free kick from a questionable foul call. Campbell skied for that one and put it right in the back of the net. But where was the defense? Weak.

38:40 And Eboue pays for his acting job on the foul with a blown knee. Never fuck with fair play, Eboue. Never.

39:26 Barca's coach looks exactly like a latin/black Quin Snyder right down the hair and fancy suit. And he's from the Netherlands... Where's the coke, Frank? Today his hair is permed or something in case you wondering but you get the idea.

45:00+0:39 Some drunk fan is grunting to the tune of "Ring of Fire." The rest of the crowd declines to join in.

45:00+3:20 The announcer just asked if one of the players sprained his tongue. I've heard of a lot of dumb injuries but spraining your tongue? Pretty sure that's not possible. Tommy Smyth is the John Madden of soccer. He keeps calling the goalie Aluminia "Aluminium."

"Ring of Fire" guy is back and it's halftime. Barcelona nil Aresenal one.

Now I remember why it's important to drink during soccer games....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Al Gore

Here's the video of Al Gore on SNL last week.

It's got some kind of funny stuff in there and makes you wonder what life would have been like had Gore won the 2000 election (assuming he didn't actually win it...). Personally, I think our country would be in much better shape.

What's been interesting is how he's been showing up all over the place and has been getting a lot of positive response from many Democrats. He's seen by some as the rightful resident of the West Wing and should be put there again, others think he is the only one with the name recognition and fundraising ability to beat Hillary, others feel he's found new life since his "time in the wilderness" and is ready and renewed to take back this country. I don't know who I'm planning to support in the '08 primaries (and it won't really matter nearly as much since I'll be in Kansas) but I can really see myself supporting Gore which is pretty surprising considering he's the man that drove me to voter for Nader in 2000. I still have a lot of the same issues I had with the Democratic Party I had back then but I guess I've decided that there are some important issues that really will affect many, many people and if we're going to change the power we can still do it by voting for those that the party chooses to run.

I appreciate that Gore really gets the environment and energy issues as those are the biggest threats facing our country right now. An energy indepedent US and less oil dependent world would do wonders in eliminating the threat of middle eastern terrorism and help save the Earth in the long run.

The primaries are still a long way off and the congressional elections are infinitely more important at this point but right now I'd say I'm still leaning toward John Edwards but could see myself voting for Gore or Russ Feingold.

Newsbreak

Doug Flutie is retiring. One of the great mullets of our time. Rokk!


Someone alert Stephen Colbert, bears are on the attack in the Netherlands. In this case they killed a monkey in a zoo while horrified onlookers watched (warning: graphic picture of the bear eating the monkey, although the monkey looks more like a raccoon to me but some of them do).

Music to my ears

Just one more post tonight and I'm done but I've been meaning to mention my latest CDs. One was a gift from my sister and the other I bought but I've really been grooving on both of them.

First, is the Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics. It's a little more guitar driven but still has that unique F.L. sound. I really like The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song and another one that I can't remember the name. But it's some really cool stuff and they do some Bush bashing which is always ++ in my book. It's tough for me to compare it to Yoshimi but I think they made a pretty good album. I like to use them to listen to while I study. In case you wanted to know...

Second, is Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere. This one has either been in my cd player or in my head since I bought it on Saturday. Gnarls is Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo. It's like a weird mix between Gorillaz (their latest album was produced by Danger Mouse), Outkast, and 70's soul and funk music. Cee-Lo was a rapper in Goodie Mob but he doesn't really rap at all on this one in favor of singing some soul. Crazy and Smiley Faces are my two favorites on the album but the whole thing is pretty solid. It's like something retro and new all smashed up together. And I like their name.

So, yeah, that's what I've been listening to. What about you?

Way to go Omaha...

This guy needs a life. Basically a man was protesting the Duke Lacrosse rape case. In Omaha. By hanging two signs, "JAIL THE DURHAM WHORE" and "DUKE LACROSSE POWER" over Dodge Street.

How many is a Brazilian?

Since the days of Pele Brazilian soccer has been known for their singularly named players. Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, etc. The team announced their 23 man roster today and it included many of these players. Dida, Edmilson, Cicinho. Sounds good so far. Cris, Juan, Gilberto. Hmm, those sound like first names, and fairly common ones at that. Then, there's Fred. Yes, Fred. Just Fred.

Far be it from me to tell this very talented soccer play anything but couldn't he be Freddie at least? Something just doesn't quite click with me and "Fred."

Anyway, I'm sure he'll be fine when he's hosting the trophy in 6 weeks or so.

Now Kansas hates Bush too

Bush's approval rating in Kansas fell to 35% in the latest poll. Before Kansas was in the embarrassing position of giving him the 8th highest approval and is now at the 22nd highest. Thoughts from Kansas goes inside the numbers. Most of the drop came from Republicans and specifically those in western Kansas. My guess agrees with his that this probably has a lot to do with the immigration issue which is a much bigger deal out there than in the rest of the state.

Speaking of immigration...

I didn't see Bush's speech tonight but I had read that he is putting 6,000 National Guard troops on the border. Obviously he's getting hammered from both sides and is trying to play both of them but being poltically astute isn't exactly one of his strong suits. Basically, all he's doing is pissing off the far-right who won't be happy with a giant wall and mass deportations and the hispanics/left who want to show compassion and a path to citizenship. The only people that are happy with his plan are businesses who will still be able to take advantage of very cheap labor.

Now, this National Guard thing really pisses me off. How many stories have been written on Guard units on their second or third tour of duty in Iraq facing the prospect of losing their job or business and spending years away from their families because they signed up under the guise of "one weekend a month, two weeks a year"? Now we're asking these same people to go sit on the border?

According to the official website:
Federal Mission: Maintain properly prepared and equipped units available for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency, or as otherwise needed.

During peacetime each state National Guard answers to the leadership in the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. During national emergencies, however, the President reserves the right to mobilize the National Guard, putting them in federal duty status. While federalized, the units answer to the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating and, ultimately, to the President.


So...where's this national emergency to justify nationalizing these troops? It certainly wasn't a year ago when he got rid of 9,700 border patrol agents he promised to add just months earlier. What happens if there's another Hurricane Katrina and we need these troops? What happens when there are brush fires in these southern states where the National Guard is usually one of the first lines of defense? Why are we giving up our security in these areas and asking our already overused guard troops to secure the border? It's such an asinine plan that it could only come from Bush.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

In Memory of Jake



Our beloved dog, Jake, died after being hit by a car today. I don't remember how old I was when we got him but I was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school and can still remember picking him up from the Albright's place. Supposedly he wasn't as good as other Australian Shepherds because of his blue eye and all of his white hair but you would never know it by how he acted. He was such a smart, friendly dog. He always had great herding instints and he would run in front of the cattle with his head down low and the slightest hint of a smile on his face just slightly betraying his vicious bark to those that knew better. He never had much training but he usually knew what you wanted him to do.

When he didn't get the chance to chase cattle anymore he would chase the cats or the birds or the rabbits or any other small animal that would happen to be around. I think more than anything Jake just loved to run. When people would be outside he would get extra excited and run a few laps around the house at a full sprint with his tongue wagging behind him barely keeping himself upright around the corners. He loved this so much that he eventually wore a path in the grass but that definitely wasn't the extent of his plant killings.

During his first few years it was an ongoing battle to keep him out of my mom's geraniums. We always thought he liked the cool dirt during the hot Kansas summers. He grew out of this for the most part (or, honestly, just decided that it was easier to lay on the ground ivy below my window). It wasn't his only quirk. My grandpa called him a "four-tire dog" for his propensity to urinate on all four tires of whatever vehicle pulled into the yard whether it was mine, my friends', or the mailman's.

My grandpa also had a saying something to the effect of "never trust a blue-eyed dog" but that never held true with Jake. He had to be one of the most loyal pets anyone could ever ask for. He was the self-proclaimed Defender of Our Home. He would bark to announce someone's presence in the driveway but always seemed to know when it was me pulling into the driveway no matter how long it had been since I had last been there. Our neighbors would tell us that he was extra ferocious when we were away. He was such a good watchdog that he would bark at coyotes or some other imagined danger (like the full moon) well into the night until he was relieved of his duty by his weary protectees who would lead him into the garage where he would curl up on his favorite brown blanket free to sleep until morning.

His loyalty and intelligence always showed on walks with my mom. Sometimes he would trot along next to her and other times he would run ahead or off into the fields but he always ran right to her side as soon as she called him until the oncoming car drove by.

Time sort of crept up on Jake and I. We had only had him for a few years when I left for Ames but he was always there waiting for me when I returned. In fact, the last time I was home my friend Adam (Baldy) mentioned something about how Jake was getting old. It took me by surprise because Jake had turned into such a part of the "farm" that it seemed like he would always be there and would always be the excitable teenager he had always been. But, sure enough, the signs were there. He was looking a little grayer and it took a little more to get him fired up enough to take more than a lap or two around the house. It's good that Adam said something because I made sure I spent some extra time with him before I left that weekend thinking that it's good to do things like that because you never know if it will be the last time you spend with someone. I just didn't really think it would be.

Jake really liked to be scratched behind his ears and rubbed down his side. I could always tell when I hit the spot when he would lick his lips and let out a little sigh. He had a beautiful coat that always grew out nicely even after it was shaved every summer to keep him cool. The first time we shaved him we couldn't believe how he looked. It seemed that we suddenly had a half-sized dog with a lion's mane. There was some concern that he might be embarrassed to be "naked" in front of his family but he was as proud as could be. He literally pranced around for the world to see, unencumbered by his lengthy coat anymore and free to swim around in the sewage lagoon until he turned green and always happy to run up right next to you and shake it all off.

Like I said before, Jake liked a lot of things but he LOVED to run. Fortunately the fields around our house provided him plenty of opportunities to do just that. This evening I searched through boxes of my things until I found some pictures I had taken of him running through an alfalfa field across the road. I guess it wouldn't be right to say he ran through those fields as much as bounded. He would take a few bounces and into a giant leap meant to gain the highest vantage point from which to survey the territory and possibly find his next chase victim, always with his smile on his face.

That's how I'll remember Jake. Bounding through that alfalfa field with his tongue wagging behind him. Cutting on a dime to chase an unsuspecting rabbit. Leaping after a hopping grasshopper. Doing everything he could to enjoy a beautiful spring day. And always with his smile.

I don't know where his final resting place will be but I would hope and guess that it will be at the end of our driveway, next to the dog that my family never thought would have a rival for our love and affection, Butch. It's a good spot for them. It's nice and shady and they're close to the fields that they played in but still close enough that they can keep an eye on the house. It's just how I think they would have wanted it.

Goodbye, Jake. We'll miss you.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Which would be more embarrassing?

I present to you two options.

Option, the first: You're Matt Leinart and have just been drafted to play QB for the Arizona Cardinals. During your time at USC you developed a reputation as a partier and have been linked to such celbrities as Alyssa Milano and Kristin from Laguna Beach. In fact, your star is so bright that Nick Lachey is trying to Lachey himself onto you in order to keep from fading into oblivion. Now, however, you're caught making the Walk of Shame our of Paris Hilton's house. It's gotta suck to be a Cards fan and realize you just drafted a walking STD.

Option, the second. You're Rick Sutcliffe, ESPN baseball analyst. You've been golfing with Bill Murray all day and decide to cap it off with a baseball game in the evening. Somebody decides it would be a good idea to put you on TV with the anchors except that means you just recorded the highest blood alcohol level in a broadcast booth since Harry Caray.

Regarding the video I'm not sure what's funnier, Rick randomly dropping George Clooney's name or the announcers frantically trying to keep him upright by patting him on his back.

Personally, I'd rather be drunk on TV than be seen leaving the skank's house.

Another fine product of Minnesota

Here's the story of a convicted sex offender who escaped from a Minnesota treatment center and managed to drive his stolen car to Kansas City. While in KC he managed to talk a guy into letting him stay at his place and got a job. Things were going fine until he was hanging out at his new favorite bar which happened to be showing America's Most Wanted. The featured criminal? Of course it was him. He didn't see it but the bartender did and turned him in to police who captured him just days before he planned to drive further south.

So, what did our criminal do in Kansas City?
While free, Benson said, he enjoyed Kansas City’s cultural amenities, visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Liberty Memorial. He also attended a Royals game, where he held up a sign, hoping to get recognized by a Minnesota Twins announcer who likes to highlight sign-holders in the crowd.

Just your typical Twins fans (Is it the "Dazzle Man" that circles people? He sounds like a sex offender himself...). But, seriously, you just escaped from a Minnesota prison so you're going to try to get on TV that you know will only be seen in Minnesota and will definitively place you in Kansas City. Brilliant. I wonder what his sign said. He probably gave a shoutout to all his boys on cell block 6.

The story is pretty amazing and hilarious at the same time. Definitely worth a read.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Say, man, you got any 'roids?"

"Uhh, no, not on me, man."
"It'd be a lot cooler if you did."

Matthew McConaughey sent an email to the Austin American-Statesman defending Barry Bonds. No word on whether he was high when he wrote it, but, I mean, come on, every character he has ever played is Wooderson to some degree because that's who he is.
If Barry Bonds did take steroids or not, even if you think he did or didn't, you gotta root for him because, whatever is true, or whatever you believe, he's clean now. Fact and perception.

So every home run he hits, like the mammoth 452-footer he hit in Philadelphia May 7, is a hit, a home run — for Barry, for baseball. It's a clean pursuit of the record, by maybe the greatest home run hitter ever to play the game.

Personally, I'm Matt on this one. Most of you already know I love Barry Bonds since I've argued about it with most of you. I love to see this guy jack homer after homer despite facing record amounts of intentional walks. He's clearly the best hitter to ever play the game and the best player ever, in my opinion.

There will always be questions about this era and steroids but Barry should not be singled out. His record will be legit and his legacy should be as well. And as McConaughey says to close his email, "just keep livin'."

NSA spying on "tens of millions" of Americans

From USA Today (surprisingly):
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.

For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.

So Verizon has been giving the government a record of every person I've called? WTF?
Under Section 222 of the Communications Act, first passed in 1934, telephone companies are prohibited from giving out information regarding their customers' calling habits: whom a person calls, how often and what routes those calls take to reach their final destination. Inbound calls, as well as wireless calls, also are covered....

In the case of the NSA's international call-tracking program, Bush signed an executive order allowing the NSA to engage in eavesdropping without a warrant. The president and his representatives have since argued that an executive order was sufficient for the agency to proceed. Some civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, disagree....

In December, The New York Times revealed that Bush had authorized the NSA to wiretap, without warrants, international phone calls and e-mails that travel to or from the USA. The following month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T. The lawsuit accuses the company of helping the NSA spy on U.S. phone customers.

This just infuriates me. All of this bullshit happens until the guise of fighting terrorism but on what evidence do they want to create a log of every single one of your phone calls, my phone calls, everybody's phone calls? These people will not rest until they have a police state that really does resemble 1984. What happened to our belief in the Constitution?
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Can anyone stop by DC to see if the Bill of Rights still has this amendment? Or the line about needing a warrant that will not be issued without probable cause? Because Bush's nominee for the CIA chiefs stunningly thinks it isn't there.

It's time for Congress to actually find a pair and stand up against this crap. These are YOUR phone calls they're tracking. Think of the possible damage these guys can do with a "record of every phone call ever made?" Are we supposed to believe they will only use this power for "good"? For chasing terrorists? Fuck no. It will be used for political payback, spying on enemies, cracking down on dissent, and who knows what other diabolical things they could do.

Oh yeah, and the guy I linked above, the general that has been nominated for head of the CIA but doesn't know that probable cause is in the Constitution? He's the asshole that helped come up with this program. Once again, Congress. This guy is going in front of you in a few weeks and you'll get all the opportunities in the world to ask him about this stuff. NOW DO IT!
A 43-year-old woman is charged with helping her daughter and two other teenage girls bake cookies laced with a laxative that were then given to a teacher.

Julie Hunt appeared in Skowhegan District Court on Monday and pleaded innocent to a charge of misdemeanor assault.

Hunt was arrested Friday after a police investigation into the attempted prank at Carrabec Community School in Anson that sickened four seventh- and eighth-grade children.

The cookies, which were baked with Ex-Lax, were left on the teacher's desk on April 10 with a note saying, "We made these cookies just for you, hope you enjoy them."

According to a police affidavit, Hunt told the girls how to crush the laxative pills and mix them in with the cookie batter. The girls, who are 13 and 14, used an entire box of pills, the affidavit says.

There was another incident in Arkansas where four students put laxatives in the tea of the teacher's lounge.

Oh those crazy kids. It reminds me of my own days in high school when the school year was winding down and we were in the final days of our horse-toothed principal. Discipline was running closer to the Ned Flanders' model and as seniors we felt no pressure to do much of anything. Of course we never did anything that would get us arrested. At least that anyone knew about...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Here's a couple of things I picked up from Deadspin.

First, Willis McGahee should be nominated for Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World."
Q: So far, what’s the most difficult thing about fatherhood?
A: Nothing right now. Not for me. Just dealing with the mother. That’s the difficult part. After that, everything is cool.
Q: What’s more troublesome, an ex-wife or a baby momma?
A: A baby momma.
Q: Why?
A: Because they feel like they should be a part of your life for 18 years. An ex-wife, you can get away from her. A baby momma, you can’t get away from her until the child is 18 or older. They’re going to constantly ask you for money. They just want to nag you for no reason, just because they can. (Willis has never been married.)
Q: Did you meet both of these women here in Miami?
A: (Laughs) Yeah.
Q: Is that why you say you need to get out of Miami?
A: I need to get out of Miami.

Wow, what a total douche. Yeah, man, this fatherhood thing is a snap except for the mom always wanting stuff. What's her deal? And she's going to be bugging me about it for 18 years? Damn, man, these baby momma's need to get a life.

Second, McSweeney's has an awesome http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2006/5/10steele.html. It's so awesome that I had to convince myself it wasn't real.
SCOTT: Lounging! Just like MV'04-'05P, Steve Nash "Bridges" of Raja Bell County.
VAN PELT: "Hello, room service ... One hamburger, please!"
SCOTT: Numero ocho with the ba-dunka-dunk!
VAN PELT: Your paltry laws of gravity have no bearing on my will!
SCOTT: (Growling.) You gotta rise up! Easter-style!

And it only gets better from there.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More wisdom from our preznit

This is from the same interview as his BEST PRESIDENT MOMENT EVAR WHEN HE CAUGHT TEH BIG FISH!!!!!!111one
That's George Washington, the first President, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three -- three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?

Err, yeah, I guess that's interesting but I thought you were going to say something interesting about George Washington. I don't think the fact that you read about him will make its way into any future biographies.

More interesting to me is the fact that you actually read. The fact that you read three or four books on the same person is a little odd so are you sure those weren't "chapters" and not actually individual books?

Things I'm digging today

1. YouTube
2. The Gatorade commercial featuring the US Men's Soccer Team.



This is such an awesome commercial. It really shows all the stuff the US team has to put up with; crappy Latin American stadiums, thousands of crazed fans behind barbed wire focusing all their anger about US foreign policy on the 11 guys on the pitch, taping themselves, carrying their own Gatorade jugs, playing in snow. And all for comparatively little recognition here in the States. Hopefully it will increase interest in next month's World Cup. The patriotism/nationalism on display during the WC has always been a draw for me so maybe seeing the banners like "Yankee go home" will get some people fired up for it.

The scenes in the lockerroom where the roof is literally shaking and that guy trying to crawl over the barbed wire are pretty amazing. They face some crazy shit at those games. At the games in Mexico (and unfortunately against Mexico in the US which may as well be a road game) they are known to throw urine, shit, and even blood and chant "Osama Osama Osama." Of course, it's not like US fans are blameless when some break out the "Mow our lawn" chants. Obviously, it's a bitter rivalry but I digress.

I'm already super-psyched and making plans to get to the Twin Cities early for Paul's party so I can hijack his TV at 2:00 for USA-Italy on the 17th. Shh, don't tell him.

It's going to be tough for the US to make it out of their group and even tougher to make it past a probable matchup with the Brazilians if they do but you never know. Last time they shocked front-runners Portugal in the 1st match and made an awesome run to the quarters where they lost a heartbreaker to zee Germans. It's a whole new game.

Also, check out Nike's Joga Bonita ads. Ronaldinho - Joy shows some ridiculous moves but you can't go wrong with any of them. Many of them are at YouTube but all can be watched at Nike's Joga Bonita site.

One more kind of odd World Cup note. Most of these European countries come up with "official" songs for that tournament and there's usually one for the entire tournament. Usually some pop star writes a song. I think Robbie Williams has done one, Anastacia did the one for 2002. Anyway, I guess everyone in England hates the song for this year so the lead singer for The Darkness (I love those guys) wrote his own version full of references to WWII and beating the Germans again. It's supposed to be controversial but I don't think it really is. And the song isn't that great either but it kind of made me laugh because England and Germany hate each other. You can listen to the song at his MySpace page.

Oh, and here's a story about hooligans from Poland looking for trouble. These dudes are badasses and with 250,000 Polish fans coming to Germany things could get ugly. I read another article where the leaders of hooligan groups from Poland and England were pre-arranging sites for their fights because Poland wants to take the crown for the "best of the worst" away from them. The article describes a game in Warsaw where instead of trying to keep the groups apart the police just herded them into the city center so they could fight it out there instead of in the stadium. Oh, yes, this World Cup is going to rule.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bush's best moment as President?

I really am struggling with words to describe the myriad of emotions I have after reading this:
BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush told a German newspaper his best moment in more than five years in office was catching a big perch in his own lake.
"You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best," Bush told weekly Bild am Sonntag when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001.
"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound (3.402 kilos) perch in my lake," he told the newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

First, I thought "when he caught a fucking fish? THAT was his best moment as president?"
Then I thought, "well, when you think about it that's pretty much the only good thing he's done. I mean, thousands of people didn't die unlike 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, or the War on Terra. Just one bigass fish."

Really, can you come up with anything else he could have said? "Well, it was probably when I used 9/11 to push through all kinds of policies that screwed over poor Americans, took away civil liberties, and increased my executive power beyond what the Constitution asked for? I liked that." Or maybe, "Well, my best moment was right before I had to go figure out what to do about the World Trade Center collapsing. I was really into this page turner about a pet goat. I real think piece. I thought about it a lot." Or, "When those country music guys gave me a guitar with the presidential seal on it. I guess that hurricane stuff was going on but I got a big laugh when I pretended to play it. Pretty cool."

Sometimes I feel bad for him. He's such a simpleton that catching a fish is the only thing he can come up with for his BEST MOMENT AS PRESIDENT. This is what happens when you elect the village idiot as president. Seriously, can we just impeach this guy so he can sit on his lake and catch all the damn perch he wants instead of running this country into the ground? Please?

This post probably sucked but I'm just too flummoxed to come up with anything coherant. It's just one thing after another with this clown. Everytime I think he can't top himself when it comes to stupidity he says something like this.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bill Simmons had me rolling with his NBA column today.
Carmelo Anthony. Here's an actual exchange between me and the Sports Gal (a 'Melo fan) as we were leaving Game 5:
Me: "I can't believe how much 'Melo sucked in that series."
Her: "He tried hard."
Me: "What?"
Her: "And he was a good sport."
Me: "What is this, a youth soccer league?"
Her (after 2-3 seconds): "Well, he seems like a sweet person."

I've had that same conversation with Veronica.

Me: Dammit, Tasheed. Quit turning the ball over.
Her: Stop, I like him.
Me: Yeah, but he turns it over everytime down the court.
Her: He looks like such a nice guy though.
Gasol. Much like with Jake Plummer, Gasol's karma-altering beard only worked during the regular season and self-destructed during the playoffs. On the flip side, Playoff Beards almost always work. So if you grow the Regular Season Beard, either you have to shave it for the playoffs, or you need to shave it into something even goofier, such as one of those horseshoe-shaped mustaches like the one belonging to Vito Spatafore's diner cook/boyfriend in New Hampshire. You just can't stand pat.

Seriously, the NBA looks like Woodstock on wood with all of these hippie beards out there.


Which reminds me. I was reading about Wakarusa, Lawrence's big hippie music festival and run across this quote:
"You get into this hippie mindset where you get a glimpse of the simpler life. You could live off the land. All you need are friends, good music, and a tent to sleep in. It’s a good reminder that life doesn’t always have to be so complicated," she says.


Umm, what? Have you ever been to these things? It's a sea of people throwing massive amounts of garbage onto the ground and walking over them until it's like a carpet of muddy trash everywhere you walk. I don't know that it really makes me think we could live off the land unless we imported thousands of cans of beer, cartons of smokes, and all kinds of crappy food encased in plastic. Oh, and drugs but you knew that.
To illustrate my point:
Rylan Ortiz, Kansas State University junior, says that he and a team of 30 student volunteers collected about 4,800 pounds of glass, 500 pounds of aluminum, 300 pounds of plastic and 150 pounds of cardboard (almost 3 tons of recyclable waste), at the festival last June.

So, within a week we'd be standing on over 6 tons of garbage? Sounds like a sustainable lifestyle of "living off the land" to me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The end of Qin

Sometimes I read about things that I find interesting and I feel compelled to bore people with the details. Well, hopefully they aren't too boring but here is the next installment of my "The More You Know doo doo doo dooo" series.

The beginning of the end of the brief Qin Dynasty began with the death of China's first emperor, Shih Huang Ti, in the year 210 B.C. He died during a journey to his eastern provinces when his science advisors gave him mercury pills ironically designed to make him immortal. Whoops, I guess some more testing was in order. Sensing a chance to gain some power and to keep a popular uprising from erupting during the two month journey back to the capital his death was kept secret from most except for his closest advisors and chief eunuch.

Screeech. Umm, did you just say chief eunuch?

Yes. Castrating oneself was a popular way to gain employment in the royal court. In fact, it got to be so popular that the Chinese had to ban self-castration until the number of eunuch employed by the empire fell to less than 500 in 1912 from a high of 70,000. Eunuchs were thought to be extra loyal because they wouldn't be tempted to sieze power and give it to their kids. They were used throughout Eurasia for a variety of functions like bathing Roman emperors or blessing newlyweds in India (those guys cut off the beans and franks..ouch). It is unknown if any of them ever said, "I miss my nads" but I think they probably did.

So, the chief eunuch knew about the death and the advisors knew about the death but there was the problem of the people who might seize the opportunity to overthrow the goverment. Something about being tired of the forced labor marches to build the Great Wall. Whatever, peasants are always complaining about something. They had a two month journey back to the capital so they ordered a wagonload of fish to travel in front and another to travel behind the emperor's wagon to cover up his odor. Apparently, king's loved to travel right next to wagonloads of rotting fish. One of the advisors would go inside a couple of times a day to "consult" with the emperor in order to keep the illusion alive.

The emperor had died without a will and his eldest son was supervising the construction of the wall in the north so the advisors hatched a brilliant plot to appoint the younger son to the throne. They got him to go along with the plan by forging his father's will.

But, what to do about the elder son who would probably be pretty pissed when he comes back and discovers his kid brother is running the show? Well, they took care of that by sending a fake imperial order to commit suicide.

"Boy, building this wall sure does blow. What? An order from dad? I have to commit suicide? Aw, dammit. This always happens to me."

Unfortunately things didn't work out for the conspirators because the son proved to be hard to control and a crappy leader. Within four years the palace had been burned and the son was dead, ending the Qin Dynasty.

The more you know, doo doo doo dooo.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kaman vs. Reggie Evans

Something that has gotten lost in the controversy over former Hawkeye Reggie Evans grabbing Chris Kaman's balls is that this was a confrontation between possibly the two ugliest basketball players to have ever played the game (apologies to Sam Cassell).

If you drew a 3-inch circle in the middle of Reggie Evans head all of his facial features would sit inside that circle. Then, as if his compacted face isn't bad enough, he has these ridiculously tiny ears that stick out from just barely above his neck like little warts or something. He grabbed 2 rebounds a game just because guys would grimace when they saw him and lose track of the ball.

Then there's Kaman who is trying harder every day to pull off the Hulk Hogan look (if Hogan were 7 feet tall and had pasty skin instead of tanning bed-induced leather stretched over his muscles) by compensating for a giant bald spot by growing his blond hair longer. Too bad they won't let him play in a doo rag like the one Hogan uses. It was always a bit of a dissappointment when Hogan lost his rag because you were reminded that he was 40 something (when I was a kid) and probably lost all his hair from roiding up.

I'm don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal.

I linked to SI's Peter King talking about how our government has ignored and forgotten the Gulf Coast and it made the front page at the massive Daily Kos with a hat tip to me at the end. Here are links to the post and the blog. My anonymous, nonsensical internet alter ego is experiencing its 15 minutes of fame. Bask in its glory.

And what the fuck are we doing with New Orleansa anyway? Letting it sit there in the hopes that another hurricane blows all the trash away? We're staring another hurricane season in the face and nothing has been done to protect the city outside of sealing the previous breeches. Unbelievable. I'm beginning to think George Bush doesn't care about anybody, let alone black people. (Not really, I thought that all along.)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gambling Tips from John Daly

The poster-child for addiction, pro golfer John Daly, is back at it again. Daly was famous for his hard partying ways on and off the course. It got to be too much so he cleaned up for a while but decided he golfed better when he was drinking and staged a mini-comeback. He became a legend for boozing it up the night before and smoking cigs on the course.

Now, in his new book, he claims he's lost between $50-60 million gambling. You know how you hear about Tiger or Jordan gambling $1000 on a hole of golf or something and you're like, "damn, I can't even imagine that." Well, it's even tougher to imagine losing $50-60 million.
He told one story of earning $750,000 when he lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods last fall in San Francisco at a World Golf Championship. Instead of going home, he drove to Las Vegas and says he lost $1.65 million in five hours playing mostly $5,000 slot machines.

$5,000 slot machines? I didn't even know those things exist.
Daly three-putted from 15 feet on the second playoff hole against Woods at Harding Park. He headed to Las Vegas and lost $600,000 within 30 minutes. He said he took out another $600,000 line of credit and lost that in two hours.
"And here's how my sick mind analyzed the situation," Daly wrote. "My sponsorship payments would be coming through in January, so I'd be able to pay everything off and get back to even by the beginning of the new year. Everything's fine. Everything's OK. No problema. Hell, yes, there's a problema."

Well, it's good to see that John recognizes there's a problem. How does he plan to solve this problem?
Daly says he has taken more control of his life in the last six years.
"I'm off those ... medications. I don't drink JD [Jack Daniels] anymore. I don't beat up on hotel rooms and cars as much. Only gambling remains a problem," he wrote.
He said he plans to start at the $25 slots in the casinos and set a "walkout loss number," which would tell him it's time to leave.
"If I make a little bit, then maybe I move up to the $100 slots or the $500 slots, or maybe I take it to the blackjack table," he wrote. "It's their money. Why not give it a shot, try to double it? And if I make a lot, I can ...
"Well, that's my plan."

Oh. Well, I guess that sounds like a plan. A really stupid plan. If you keep winning you're going to move up to the $100 slots and then the $500 slots or blackjack table? Try applying that to an alcoholic.
"Well, I'm going to start with a Bud Light and if that doesn't ruin my life I'll move up to Foster's and if things are cool maybe I'll go to some vodka or Jack. What can go wrong?"

Since my sister is off to Vegas next weekend I thought I could give her some advice. Try not to blow through $600,000 in your first half hour. So, maybe try to avoid the $5,000 slot machines. And feel free to try the "Progressive Slots" plan to try to dig your way out of any hole.
Clockwise is oriented in the direction it is because it was meant to imitate the motion of the shadow on a sundial. Had clocks been invented in the Southern Hemisphere clocks probably would have moved in the opposite direction.

The more you know...doo doo doo doo.

Monday, May 01, 2006

3 years


It's been exactly three years since General Asshat dressed up like a figher pilot and declared "Mission Accomplished" on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Since that day 2,207 American soldiers have died (94% of the total 2,400), 16,927 American soldiers were wounded, the estimated number of "insurgents" has quadrupled to 20,000, the number of insurgent attacks is 9 times higher, and the financial cost of the war has grown by $241 billion.

Mission Accomplished?
Well, Bush was reelected, his buddies in defense and oil got rich, the social program Republicans love to criticize are being cut to pay for the war. It all depends on what your goals are.
Mission Accomplished, indeed.
Through April Albert Pujols hit the same number of home runs (12) as the entire Royals team combined. To be fair he probably gets paid more than all of them combined too.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm almost as ashamed to admit this as anything I've ever admitted to in my life. I'm cheering for the LA Lakers.

Ugh, I know. How could this have happened? I've cheered against them for years! It's just some sort of weird divergence where suddenly the Lakers are the underdogs. Kobe is one of the least-likable athletes in a long time stemming from his youthful arrogance and selfish attitude, an inability to get along with Shaq leading to the breakup of one of the better dynasties, and, of course, being arrested for rape and settling outside of court. We'll never know what really happened in that case but he's not a likable guy.

So, why do I find myself cheering for him? Enjoying his every conquest? Taking pleasure in this improbable 3 straight wins?

First off, he's played out of his mind this season. How many guys since Wilt could have broken 80 once and challenged for it a second time? Yeah, he threw up a ton of shots but with the guys around him can you really blame him? And somehow they're killing themselves to win even with the supposed most selfish player in the NBA leading them. Phil Jackson drives me nuts because he's such an arrogant dude but he's got this team playing great basketball and busting their asses to go up 3-1 on a supposed title contender.

Plus, Kobe has the reputation of being selfish but he took 8 fewer shots than Nash did yesterday. Which brings me to my next point. Obviously, Kobe thinks he should have been MVP and a lot of people agree with him. He's more of a one man team than Nash is but is still leading them to wins. I didn't have a problem with Nash last year but two years in a row? There are better players out there.

So, Kobe gets a chance to go head to head against Nash in the first round and had that awesome dunk over him in Game 2 and then nailed two HUGE shots yesterday to tie and win the game. You can't beat a mano a mano matchup like that.

Then there's the possibility of an LA-LA matchup in the second round. Clearly, LA is a crappy, bandwagon sports town so it might be kind of entertaining to get some bad blood going there. There will be celebrity rivalries (Jack Nicholson and every bandwagon jumper like Paris Hilton vs. Frankie Muniz and some other washed up celeb like Penny Marshall) which will be entertaining for about 10 seconds until they take a break at every dead ball to show the famous people like we really give a shit they're all there. Plus, one of the losingest teams ever having a chance to beat the proverbial "Big Brother" in town which also happens to be one of the winningest. Should be good stuff.

Only something as strange as this could turn Kobe into someone I am actually rooting for. I must be going soft or something.