Thursday, April 26, 2007

Do I have to answer that?

I stopped by the grocery store today and was checking out when the sweet older woman working looked at the spaghetti and pasta sauce I was buying with all of my other groceries and said, "making spaghetti?"

What am I supposed to say to that? "yeah, great guess!" or "well, I have to eat something and this is about as cheap as you can get" or "no, I just like to break it up so that my toy combines have something in their bins that looks kind of like wheat" (true story from my youth), or "listen, lady, I don't ask you about your religious beliefs". I said none of those things and just sort of mumbled, "yeah."

I guess she was trying to make conversation or something but come up with something a little more interesting than that, please. I'm buying two packages of Solo cups so maybe something along the lines of "binge drinking with 99 of your friends this weekend?".

Absolutely! That is something I can talk about.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Republican fear-mongering

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that has been paying attention but the Republican presidential candidates are trotting out that old standby line, "there will be more terrorist attacks if a Democrat is elected president."

The reason I'm writing about this is not that it is particularly newsworthy but because, on occasion, I've heard some of my fellow liberals say they could see themselves voting for someone like Giuliani or McCain. I'll admit that I may have somewhat flipped out over that statement at the time but that had about 10% cause in the alcohol I'd been drinking and 90% because I'm a flaming liberal and the thought of voting for a Republican in any sort of national election makes me shiver in disgust. It's not that there aren't Republicans I can admire it's just that they've all been dead for at least 50 years or pushed to the sidelines while their party has been hijacked by theocrats and incompetant crypto-fascists.

But, I digress. I should probably realize that other people I respect might have somewhat less stringent political beliefs but as I'll explain here, that's going to be tough for me to do.

People like Giuliani and McCain enjoy a reputation in the media as "mavericks" or whatever and this reputation may have been deserved at one time and it's not like a disagree with everything they say but both of them have proven to be so driven by becoming president that they are willing to lick every boot in the party if it means gaining support. These guys can't jettison their supposed ironclad convictions fast enough. "Well, when I said it's wrong to discriminate against homosexuals what I actually meant was..." "Campaign finance reform? Doesn't ring a bell. So, how about those donor lists, George?"

They're just as bad as, if not worse than, W Bush groveling at the feet of his theocrat masters because at least you know he might actually believe some of the crap he spews. They have nothing else to run on besides digging even deeper into an unwinnable situation in Iraq and pretending that they are the only thing standing between us and a September 11th attack every week.

A few days ago Giuliani said this in New Hampshire:
MANCHESTER, N.H. - - Rudy Giuliani said if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001.

But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped. [...]

"I listen a little to the Democrats and if one of them gets elected, we are going on defense," Giuliani continued. "We will wave the white flag on Iraq. We will cut back on the Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation and we will be back to our pre-Sept. 11 attitude of defense."

Ignoring the fact that the Republicans were in charge during the REAL 9/11, they were warned about al Qaeda repeatedly, and actually received a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." this is still laughable.

How many times are they going to try to go to that well? Let's look at what Dick Cheney said in 2004.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) -- A November win by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry would put the United States at risk of another "devastating" terrorist attack, Vice President Dick Cheney told supporters Tuesday. [...]

Cheney told Republican supporters at a town hall meeting in Des Moines that they needed to make "the right choice" in the November 2 election.

"If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney said.

"And then we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us."

They basically could have switched the names out and run these stories word for word. The thing is, the public sees through this crap. It's like when you're playing Tecmo Super Bowl. Running the flea flicker once might fool the defense and you can score a touchdown (2004 election) but if you're calling it on every play then it's going to become obvious for what it is, a slow developing play that isn't going to work. I'm just going to crush your running back as he tosses the ball back and he's going to fumble and you're headed to a crushing defeat because there's no substance there (2006 and soon-to-be 2008 elections).

Everyone wants protection from terrorist attacks but the people realize that this war in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and very little to do with the so-called "War on Terror." The reports have shown that it hasn't made us safer and has probably made us less safe at the cost of thousands of Americans lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and more money than we can even comprehend.

But these clowns want to double down on Bush's failures. "No, just a few more thousand troops. The enemy is on the run, they're in the last throes, we've turned a corner..." and all of that crap.

Amd THAT is why you're either a moron or mislead if you vote for these guys.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hey, little kid, you got...JACKED UP!

Like most people I love to see young children get crushed at sporting events. Who can forget this classic?

I'm not afraid to admit that I've probably watched this video hundreds of times in my life analyzing each frame from the moment you first see the kid running across the screen, to his legs popping right out from under him, to the simultaneous head grabs of nearly everyone in the audience. Classic. And I'm like 99% sure the kid is still alive so it's ok.

Well, today Deadspin had another addition to this genre of YouTube videos.

But, seriously, that's pretty brutal. First he took the helmet to the head and then got the rebound off the wall? Painful. Nice job by his dad of letting him stand about 2 feet from the endzone.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Solid Birthday Weekend

I suppose if I ever thought about what I would be doing on this birthday it wouldn't be this so as the date has approached I've had mixed feelings. Birthdays are supposed to be fun but at the same time this one makes me feel really, really old. However, the weekend has turned out to be a blast.

On Friday I went to see the Royals play the Twins. Getting into the stadium was a fiasco that I don't want to go into here but basically I spent what seemed like the same number of years that constitute my age waiting in various lines until I finally got in the stadium. It was the third inning and the Royals were down by a run already but they played really well and the Twins made a couple of uncharateristic mistakes and KC won in front of a big crowd. I must be somewhat of a good luck charm because I've seen them beat a lot of teams that had records way better than they did for a lot of the times I've been there. So, David Glass, anytime you want to send some season tickets my way I'll be more than happy to accept them.

The best part of the evening was a Royals' win and the second best thing was that I get a dozen bagels from Panera because they had 13 hits and won.

Today I went to the KU Relays which were a good time but maybe a little bit of a letdown compared to what I was expecting. Last year they had Maurice Green and a few other big names that helped draw 20,000+. This year they were supposedly focusing on college teams but I felt that field was a little weak and I would guess the crowd was maybe half of last year's. What annoyed me the most was the fact that so many of the races were run with a typical Kansas spring gale force wind at their backs which led to a lot of really fast times but they constantly kept acting like those times were valid records. I mean, it seemed like every other race with the wind set some sort of record when I kept thinking there's no way this record would stand up at all if you took in consideration the wind. So, kind of a minor deal but annoying to me.

After that I went to see the Decemberists in KC, courtesy of a generous birthday gift by two of my friends. The show was fantastic.

It was my first time in the Uptown Theater in KC and I think it's probably one of the best venues I've ever been too. It's a little hard to describe because the theme was mostly Art Deco but with a little bit of a gothic feel to some of it because the detail was so amazing. What was great about it was the feeling of being in an historic theater but everything was in perfect condition. A lot of places have the feeling of being someplace old that is confirmed by carpet that hasn't been replaced since Roosevelt was wheeling around.

The opening band, My Brightest Diamond, did a good job for what they were asked to. Their lead singer had a voice that was sort of a cross between the singer in Frankenixon and Fiona Apple. People were a little skeptical going in but were digging it by the end.

The Decemberists came out to the Soviet national anthem, a move that didn't entirely make sense until I remembered that their name comes from a Russion revolt nearly 100 years before the Communist revolution. I guess.

But, they put on a FANTASTIC show. It was one of my favorite concerts I've been to and they really did a great job with their sound and playing to/with the crowd. If there was a complaint to be made I wish they would have played a more upbeat song for one of their encores. A couple of us really thought they were going to play "Sons and Daughters" but they played a Morrissey song and another slow, quiet one but that is really a minor thing and I couldn't have been happier with the show.

So, tomorrow (today) is my birthday and I still have some time to go but it's nice to think that I can still get out and enjoy the usual stuff despite the fact that I feel like my age is a lot older than what I feel like my "place in life" should be whatever that means.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Things in the sporting world that annoy me sometimes

I was flipping through the radio today and came across Cal Ripken, Jr on Jim Rome. I respect Cal Ripken a lot and yeah, I guess his streak of 2000-whatever games in a row was pretty awesome but the caller I heard reminded me of why I sometimes get annoyed by that.
It went something like this:
"Yeah, uh, hey, Cal. I've been stuck in the same job for about 10 years now and I don't like it. But, I used to go to the ballpark with my dad and watch you play and I learned from you the value of going to work every day and all of that. And I just wanted to say that was a really valuable lesson for my life."

Hmm, perhaps a more valuable lesson might have been getting off your ass and doing something to get a better job. Now, maybe his circumstances are such that he can't do that, etc, but why call in and act like it took Cal Ripken PLAYING BASEBALL to teach you the value of going to your crappy job every day. He was making millions of dollars a year to PLAY BASEBALL! There are probably hundreds of thousands of jobs that are way harder than playing baseball and people do them for a lot, lot less money. Now, I'm not saying those people should be paid those kind of wages for a job that just about anybody could do but just stop pretending like Ripken is this great hero that can teach us all sorts of valuable lessons because he never took a day off or got hurt PLAYING BASEBALL.

My other rant involves all of the ridiculous coverage of the NFL Draft and, specifically, the admission of three of the potential top picks that they had smoked pot before. I mean, this was literally dissected for minutes at a time on every singles show like this was some major character flaw.

Not that I would do anything irresponsible like promote drug use on this blog (Happy 4/20, by the way!) but what is the percentage of college students that try pot and go on to become every profession imaginable with not a single scrape with the law in their lives? Why, you might even grow up to become president seeing as Bush, Kerry, Gore, and Clinton have all admitted to smoking pot. How many of these ESPN guys have smoked pot before? Can someone dig up that information?

Is this really that huge of a "character issue" when you have someone like Pacman Jones "making it rain" and then beating up strippers? It's frustrating to me that something like that is so easily lumped in with other character issues like domestic violence, illegal guns, or driving under the influence. Those are character issues that have real impacts on others, not smoking pot in college.

The overarching point on all of this is that there's really no reason for marijuana to be illegal anyway seeing as it a) is not that harmful (in fact the lastest study showed that THC slowed cancerous growths in mice), b) is tried by large percentages of people in this country, c) incarcerates nonviolent people costing governments billions, d) leads to other violent crime because there's so much money to be made off of it on the black market.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reactions to tragedy

Not surprisingly there were some varied reactions to the shootings at Virginia Tech. Nearly everyone was horrified although not nearly as shocked as we used to be. While the numbers of dead grew to once unfathomable numbers (the worst shooting in U.S. history as the media breathlessly reported again and again) there were plenty of incidents to compare it to. A "college Columbine" as one student referred to it.

Perhaps the familiarity of an event like this was the reason that some minds immediately jumped to political thoughts.

I feel obligated to point out that while I use words like "familiarity" and refer to a violent culture in the U.S. it is nothing like violence that many in the world face on a daily basis. 30+ dead in Baghdad is a frighteningly typical day. Something to consider...but on to what our politicians had to say.

Yesterday the president's acting spokeswoman had this to say, "The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed." Oh, and he also is horrified by the rampage and offers his prayers. However, many Democrats, eager to avoid the tough battles for gun legislation of the 90's (especially as they are starting to shed the reputations of "gun takers" spread by the NRA) quickly agreed, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who warned against a "rush to judgement" on strengthening the gun laws.

No, the last thing we want is a rush to judgement. In fact, the last thing most of these people want is any type of judgement at all.

I'm often conflicted on gun control laws. While I own a gun I don't remember the last time I actually fired that one. I certainly don't want to see massive gun bannings or anything like that but I don't see the need for automatic weapons or clips that can hold 20 or more bullets. My biggest hesitance is that I'm not convinced it will work when we live in a culture that seems to produce indiscriminate violence. And it's not just school shootings or anything like that. On CNN's website yesterday the main story was obviously Virginia Tech but there were also stories about two brothers who shot each other during an argument in Kansas City, an employee shot and killed outside of work, a man indicted for shooting up the CNN Center in Atlanta, not to mention the numbers of gang and drug-related killings that go largely unreported anymore in many areas.

It was interesting to me to read the calls from other countries for the US to do something about its gun culture. Even allies that I consider two of the closest to us culturally, the UK and Australia, spoke out in favor of increased gun control.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard also gave his sympathies to the families of the dead on Tuesday. He went on to suggest that the "gun culture" in America had to change. He referred to an Australian massacre in 1996 by a man with a semi-automatic rifle who killed 35 people in Port Arthur on the island of Tasmania. At the time, Howard confronted Australia's gun lobby and banned almost all types of semi-automatic weapons.

"Eleven years ago we took action to limit the availability of guns," he said. "We showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country."

I think it's pretty clear that this country needs to ask some hard questions about why these incidents occur. And these questions and ideas have to go beyond "the kid played Doom with Marilyn Manson every day" or "ban all the guns." Unfortunately this debate will never happen if our first thoughts are protecting the guns.

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Timewasting videos

Sports Guy had a few classics that deserve to be seen by a wider audience here.

First is a classic from the American Gladiator days.

And here's a brilliant host from the Home Shopping Network pulling a Ron Burgandy. I'm Ron Burgandy?

In fact, that video led me to some other classic Home Shopping moments. Like this one. Folks, right now...uhh...we...may need....emergency the studio. I love how they change to the zoom camera as he's hunched over in pain. Well, let's get a closer look at exactly how these swords will slice right through a human abdomen.

And finally here's one if you're like George Costanza and like funny stuff you don't have to think about too much. It's animals invading the soccer pitch! The video would have been better served to go a little ligher on the birds at the beginning and more of the crazy ones they had at the end.

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I really might be done this time

Like an abused spouse I continue to believe that this time the Royals will change. This time they've really got things figured out. This time they got a competant GM and this time Glass will spend the money. This time they'll win some games and compete.

Well, all of that may be true but not this year. Inspired by the optimism of all of the above mentioned signs I made a bet that the Royals wouldn't lose 100 games this year. Sure, they've hit that number four of the last five years but they were really close to avoiding it last year even with one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball history (note: that's not hyporbole, it was pointed out statistically several times by the media). The pitching staff looked to be much better this year and for most of the year it has been a lot better. Meche and Greinke have even approached looking halfway decent at times. Of course when that happens they inevitable have a bullpen meltdown or zero run support.

The offense has been absolutely brutal. They've scored just one run in five of the 13 games so far this year and have only scored more than five twice. Just hideously ugly. Then there's Buddy Bell who continues to send out Jason "the human white flag" Standridge. As soon as that guy's on the mound everyone can head for the exits because it's all going to be over soon. The two most egregious examples include letting him pitch in the 10th inning of a game against Toronto and then last night's debacle.

I don't even know where to start with last night's game. Bloggers are even making top ten lists about the worst parts of last night. How about pulling Greinke in the first inning in favor of Standridge? Sure, Greinke pitched like crap but when they were only down 4-2 in the middle of the second it didn't matter because Standridge was going to get rocked anyway. Then when the game was already out of reach he burns through everybody with half of a fresh arm in the bullpen as if the Royals could actually score 4 runs in the 9th inning, let alone an entire game. Then there was that great "Only the Royals..." moment when we had no middle infielders available and had to execute a triple position switch and see how our great 3B prospect can play at shortstop. What makes it even more insane is that they already have a former infielder playing in the outfield and an outfielder sitting on the bench. Wouldn't having one guy play out of position make more sense than three? But, I'm not a "baseball guy" like Buddy.

I'm just sick of it. Looking at it realistically they had way too many problems deeply ingrained in the organization to flush them all out within a few months but it's just so frustrating to keep watching this crap.

But, hey, they're giving away fleece blankets against the Twins on Friday, so that's something.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut: Sportswriter?

Kurt Vonnegut died last night. I won't write a retrospective of his work and tell you how much he meant to me because, honestly, the only book of his I read was Slaughterhouse Five and I think I was too young to really get it because I don't remember liking it that much. It was always something I thought I should give another shot now that I'm older.

So, why should I make a post at all? Well, through Deadspin I found a link to a blog post about Vonnegut briefly writing for Sports Illustrated in the magazine's earliest days and had a rather amusing departure. According to the magazine it went like so:
Kurt Vonnegut worked briefly at SI until being told to write a story about a race horse that had jumped the rail and terrorized the infield at a local track. Vonnegut stared at his desk for what seemed like hours before finally departing the building without a word. Inside his deserted typewriter was this: ''The horse jumped over the fucking fence.''

Yep, I'd say that pretty much sums it up.

I did like his poem "Requiem" that he wrote in 2005.
The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."
The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.


Sad Ending to Giant German Rabbit Saga

There was a sad ending to the heartwarming story of a German man breeding giant rabbits and sending them to North Korea to create giant rabbit breeding farms that would feed the starving population. It turns out that the ruling elites of the country may have decided they'd rather just eat the bunnies themselves. And really how can you blame them? When giant freak rabbits look up at me with their giant freak rabbit heads, well, holy jeez, I just wanna eat 'em.

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It's tough to argue with stupidity like that

Oftentimes when someone is backed into a corner they lash out with something completely ineffective and ridiculous in a desperation attempt to save their hide. After reading or hearing these about these next four items I'm fairly convinced that the Republicans truly have nothing left and are just throwing shit out there to see if something might stick.

We'll start with former House Majority Leader Tom Delay who said some pretty interesting things on the radio the other day.
I am so outraged by this whole criminalization of politics. It’s not good enough to defeat somebody politically. It’s not even good enough to vilify somebody publicly. They have to carpet bomb you with lies and made up scandals and false charges and indicting you on laws that don’t exist. … It’s the same thing as I say in my book, that the Nazis used. When you use the big lie in order to gain and maintain power, it is immoral and it is outrageous…

It’s the same process. It’s the same criminalization of politics. It’s the same oppression of people. It’s the same destroy people in order to gain power. It may be six million Jews. It may be indicting somebody on laws that don’t exist. But, it’s the same philosophy and it’s the same world view.

There's a lot to talk about in that one.

First, I'm so sick of him using the term "criminalization of politics" but I completely agree with him. I'm sick of the criminalization of politics and we can start to get rid of it by eliminating criminals like you. To avoid being indicted for crimes it's often helpful not to commit crimes in the first place. He used every underhanded trick in the book often skirting the line legally and sometimes crossing it altogether and now he's going to whine that he is getting called on it? And not only that but compare the legal system to Nazi ideology and himself to six million Jews? Give me a break, Tom.

The next story involves the Bush administration and their inexplicable attempt to prevent a convicted felon from testifying before the Senate Finance Committee on how he bilked the government out of $40,000. I couldn't even find a print version of the story so here's the link to the NPR story if you're interested. The basic plot is that this man was to testify and the Bushies went to court to try to stop him in an unprecedanted move. Their reasons for this were absolutely ridiculous and it's a miracle they didn't get laughed at unmercifully when the judge threw the case out.

According to them testifying would make this man "too important and powerful in prison", "more vulnerable to attack", and they had "safety concerns about having him in the same room with high-level government officials." Of course you have to ignore the fact that this exact same process has played out 48 times in the last several years without incident and convicted terrorims financiers have testified without any problems so you'd think a tax cheat might not pose that much of a security risk. I'm sure this testimony is just what this man needs to start his empire inside the prison walls.

Both Democrats and Republicans were baffled about why they would do this. Even Chuck Grassley was bashing Bush saying he thought that the Attorney General, "with all of his problems right now, would have bigger fish to fry" and also reaffirmed the ever-obvious point that there is a "concerted effort in this administration to do everything they can to impede oversight." Yeah, I could have told you that years ago but your rubber-stamp Republican Congress did nothing to stop them for six years leaving them to believe they were beyond oversight. It just makes no sense at all and I haven't heard one legitimate reason why they would do something like that. The only thing I can figure out is they're a bunch of assholes who are trying to do everything they can to extend the power of the executive branch. I mean, why should congress have the right to call people to testify, right?

Oh, and speaking of "concerted impede oversight" several members of the administration had email accounts on a secret non-governmental server and may have "accidently" deleted emails pertaining to the Attorney General firing scandal. Whoops, our bad! Damn, and those really might have been relevant too. Oh well.

I can just picture these assholes furious scrubbing their hard drives in an attempt to save their own asses. By the way, it's illegal for goverment officials not to keep documents and emails like this which is exactly why they were trying to use a different server in the first place.

Anyway, the fourth and final ridiculous argument comes from Kansas' own Sam Brownback. The senator was speaking on the vote to allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. He was responding to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill pointing out that thousands of embryos are destroyed in the in-vitro fertilization process and it would make so much more sense to put those to use possibly saving lives. Sam compared that to harvesting organs from a death row inmate and asked rhetorically "the embryo is going to die, why not use it?" The answer apparently is to protect the embryo's dignity. I'm not sure exactly how much dignity you can have when you're made up of about 8 cells but it's important to have your dignity I guess. If that's the best argument he can come up with I'm pretty sure we know how this vote should have gone.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bush nearly kills himself in embarrassing fashion once again

As if passing out while choking on a pretzel wasn't bad enough Bush decided to up the ante and attempt to blow himself to pieces on the White House lawn.
Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.

Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.

"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?"

I will admit that when I saw the photo in the article and realized that Cheney was lurking nearby visions of President Pelosi danced in my head. But, that would make me a horrible person and I definitely dont wish that the president were dead, just not in office anymore and possibly in prison. The really ironic part would be if Cheney and Bush died because of a hybrid car and thereby setting that movement back by decades and saving big oil's ass. I'm wondering why they keep letting him around machines after the tractor incident where he nearly ran over a group of reporters.

Now, what I'm wondering is what the real story is on this because if it's really that easy for someone to start a fire like that wouldn't thousands of idiots do the same thing? I mean, tens of millions voted for Bush so we know there are a lot of them out there. But, surely he wasn't actually in any real danger or that is the worst design ever.

Certainly not the type of car you would want if you were a CEO that made an obscene $39 million in your first four months on the job. I'm sure all of those laid off workers feel great about that. Ridiculous.

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Whoa, you mean an excuse like that can actually work?

The pilot arrested for drinking and flying has been cleared of all charges. The reason?
A pilot arrested on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit has been cleared after tests found heavy dieting had caused his breath to smell like drink.

The Virgin Atlantic employee - held at Heathrow on 31 March before a flight to New York - had failed a breathalyser.

But samples taken from the 47-year-old prove his blood-alcohol level was consistent with a non-drinker.

Scientists say low-carbohydrate diets can produce acetone in the body, which may fool breath test equipment.

The long-serving pilot was said to have been on a heavy diet for a long period.

Acetone is a substance produced by the body as it tries to make up the glucose absent from low-carbohydrate diets.

Wayne Jones, a professor in experimental alcohol research at the University of Linkoping in Sweden, told the BBC breathalysers can sometimes fail to distinguish acetone from drink.

Professor of experimental alcohol research? Sweet. I think I earned my honorary degree at Iowa State but making it official might be a good idea.

Personally, I think cops should start pulling over Jared from the Subway ads to get him a fake DUI so I don't have to see his dumb face on my TV anymore.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Second Gunman on the Grassy Knoll

I'm not sure exactly why but I've been cracking up about this video. What the hell is Cheney doing back there?

I keep getting visuals of him skulking around the bushes outside the White House peaking in Bush's windows. Sure, I've read some stuff about a falling out between Bush and Cheney but I never thought he'd have to get a restraining order against his own vice president. Given the fact that he's already shot a man in the face I hope the Secret Service was aware he's standing there.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Atrocity Exhibition

Apparently New Balance is producing a line of shoes inspired by Joy Division and other Factory Records bands. Brilliant idea. To me nothing says "cross trainers" like someone who hung himself in his kitchen while listening to some Iggy Pop. But that's just me. They don't look like bad shoes it just seems a little odd that we're using suicidal rockstars to market shoes and baseball video games now.

Not that any of this is interesting at all but soccer fever has apparently overtaken the U.S. Within five minutes of walking onto campus today I saw two guys in Liverpool jerseys, one of whom was talking shit with a guy in a PSV Eindhoven jersey. I also saw a Bayern Munich jersey, two German and a French national team jerseys. For those that were unaware Liverpool owned PSV in Champions League on ESPN today. They kept showing this fat, surly Dutch man and that made me happy.

Oh, and Keith Richards snorted his dad. Gross.
LONDON (AP) - Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all.

In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.

"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said. "... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."

Well, everyone knows that Keith was pretty wild back in the day. Wait, his dad died in 2002? Wow.

I hate to end on sad news but I happened to come across this while reading about Iowa's new coach. Apparently a missing ISU student from Rolling Meadows, IL, was probably found in Lake LaVerne on the campus today. He was last seen walking home to Towers from a party around 4 AM. The lake is sort of out of his way and he lost his wallet somewhere in Campustown so all of that doesn't make much sense. Either way it's a really sad deal.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Love for Opening Day

I'll admit that I'm not one of those people that will tell you that baseball's Opening Day should be a national holiday or that it's my favorite day of the year but I do enjoy. Mostly because it's probably one of the last days that the Royals will be tied at the top of the standings but it's still a lot of fun. 41,000 people went out to watch the Royals take on the Red Sox today and to get a look at the young talent that they have been accumulating. Plus REO Speedwagon is apparently on an Opening Day tour hitting up St. Louis last night and KC today. They looked really old but they got to sing the 7th Inning stretch as well.

It was beginning to look like one of the Royals' most hyped prospects ever was going to get a storybook start to his career when Alex Gordon came up with the bases loaded for his first career at-bat. Unfortunately he struck out but that could still be a good story as well.

The rest of the day went a lot better. The $55 million pitcher, Gil Meche, showed his stuff and gave up one run in 7.1 innings. Tony Pena, Jr, already one of the most popular Royals players just for the fact that he's not Angel Berroa, hit two triples and looked like a halfway decent shortstop. Joel Peralta came in and struck out Big Papi in the 8th inning with two men on and the Royals looking to prove they can hold onto a lead this year. Then the next inning he struck out Manny on his way to four straight strikeouts. Possibly the best part of this is that it was on ESPN so they had to find something else to talk about besides how awesome this Red Sox team was going to be today. In the end the Royals came up with a dominating 7-1 victory against Curt Shilling.

I have a case of beer riding on the Royals this season as I bet Swany that they wouldn't lose 100 games this year. I feel pretty good about it because as horrible as their start was last they still barely lost a hundred and their pitching is going to be so much better this year than it was. In fact, their defense and their hitting might be as well.

And that's the beauty of Opening Day. In all probability reality will set in at some point and KC will fall further and further behind in a tough division but there's always reason to hope on Opening Day and there's especially reason to hope when it seems that there is competant leadership in place that seem to have a plan that is coming together.

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