Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zackkk

I'm kind of excited that the Royals are getting a Sports Illustrated cover story for the first time in 16 years or so. All it took was a pitcher who hasn't given up an earned run in his last six starts (one of three pitchers ever to do that along with Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale), an absolutely sick streak. In his four starts this year Greinke has 36 strikeouts, four wins, 2 complete games, and a single unearned run. Just ridiculous stuff.

I would guess that it hasn't been since Kevin Appier or David Cone in the early-90's that KC has had a pitcher even come close to pitching this well and it's kind of embarrassing how giddy I am about it. It's not just that watching him pitch is so much fun or that his stats are other-worldy but his story is absolutely amazing as well.

He's always been kind of an odd guy but things blew up when he actually left the team for several months to deal with social anxiety issues. It was a really bizarre story and there was endless talk about whether he was crazy or whether the Royals were doing to the right thing or whether he would ever see the Major Leagues again. But, as the story details, he came back a changed man and unleashed the potential that they always knew he had. The story is a really good read (as pretty much anything written by Joe Posnanski is) and worth your time, IMO.

Fine, I'll address the Swine Flu issue

I'm sure you've been clicking the refresh button hoping to be the first to get my take on the swine flu that's sweeping across the world. When the flu is even devastating Abilene, KS to the tune of, well, 2 people ill I figure I can't ignore it any longer. I mean, Abilene was the boyhood home of our most perfect president for the 1950's and the Greyhound Hall of Fame. I can only hope their tourism industry won't be decimated like Mexico City's has been. Where was I?

Oh yeah, swine flu. Honestly, I'm having a little trouble getting up for this pandemic. Right now it seems like a lot of hype but not exactly a lot of deaths or sweeping of the nation although it's still possible that it might happen but I'm hopeful that preparations for situations like this will prevent it from doing anything like that. Of course, there are those Republicans like Karl Rove or Susan Collins who lumped pandemic preparation in with crazy things that will never ever happen so we shouldn't ever prepare for the possibility that they might like volcano eruptions. These people helped cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget for things like that, even bragging about it on their website until an actual, you know, pandemic threat emerged. Who could have predicted?

Of course, leading the crazy charge this week is Michelle Bachmann, everyone's favorite crazy congresswoman (who's not from my state). Fresh off of displaying her vast knowledge of sciece by explaining to all of us that global warming isn't a problem because "carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of nature" she apparently wants us all to know that she's a pretty accomplished historian in her own right.

Uhh, except the last swine flu outbreak occurred in 1976 when Republican Gerald Ford was in charge. Whoops.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Didn't we settle this during the Civil War?

I'm not sure there's anyone that annoys me more right now than those morons that talk about secession. So far the most prevalent are Texas governor Rick Perry and Representative Ron Paul.

First, the very idea is absurd to me. I'd love to see Texas suddenly secede from the Union and then try to deal with their Mexican border without all the federal border patrol agents or US military guarding it. I mean, come on, it would be a free for all down there. Then, what about all the federal NASA jobs or military bases? Do they think that they're going to keep all this? I'm sure they love to think about all the great tax breaks their people would get but, uh, can you imagine how much it would cost to raise your own army from scratch? Yeah, you may have some oil to sell but you're still going to be so dependent on the United States that you're probably going to be in a pretty weak position when it comes to negotiating with the the rest of us.

So, outside of the logistical nightmare that it would be (probably crippling to your "country") there's the issue that the civil war and 200 years of Supreme Court tradition have made secession essentially illegal which would probably lead to a war.

But, what really pisses me off is that in the buildup to the two wars we have going now it was supposedly so unpatriotic to question your government. Well, we're still at war but your guy isn't in charge so suddenly threats of secessions aren't somehow treason? Ron Paul alluded to the American Revolution as "secession" but, umm, I'm pretty sure that was an armed rebellion against the government. Is that what you're advocating?

Honestly, these people remind me of those that claimed they were moving to Canada or Europe if Bush was reelected in '04. I'm sure the vast majority of those people never left just like most of you will never do anything to "secede." I mean, come on, what a bunch of tools. If you want to shape this country in the way you'd like to see sack up and win an election like the Democrats did. The people overwhelmingly voted for Obama and the Democrats in '08 so we get to decide how things go for a little while. You may not like it and it may piss you off but from what I remember the options you gave us were to "love it or leave it" or convince the public that you had better ideas. Your ideas have already failed spectacularly so apparently you want to "leave it" but, the thing is, you can't take it with you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ames Police: Masters of Needless Crowd "Control"

Glad to see that the Ames PD is still operating from the same Veishea playbook that they were 5 years ago when a cop tried to pepper spray us for asking him how to get around the police barricade in order to get home.
Kyle Biel, a former ISU student, came from Chicago to visit friends. He said this Veishea was unlike the experiences he had his freshman and sophomore years at Iowa State.

Biel said he was walking with his friend from Kum & Go, 203 Welch Ave., at approximately 2 a.m. when they were pepper sprayed outside of Pizza Pit, 207 Welch Ave. Unit 201, by an Ames police officer.

“The guy saw me, I walked straight out of Kum & Go and he like followed me out of Kum & Go and moved me in towards the rest of the crowd,” Biel said. “He literally yelled ‘hey’ and to ‘keep moving’ and when he said ‘hey’ we both turned around and apparently because we stopped for half a second we got sprayed.

“I dropped to the ground for a second because my face was on fire and I couldn’t really see anything or breathe because a lot of it had gotten in my mouth.”

Biel said a woman, who he calls a “good samaritan,” escorted him and his friend to Lynn Avenue, their destination.

Biel said he wasn’t sure why he and his friend, who were toward the back of the crowd, were pepper sprayed.

“I’m just sort of pissed because, I mean, that’s sort of excessive force. All they had to do was tell us to keep walking — I don’t know why we got sprayed.”
He's lucky he didn't get hit with the baton like the poor bastard five feet away from me who wasn't moving away fast enough.

According to this article a fight broke out between a few people that led to 4 people getting arrested. Apparently this caused Ames PD to decide that all of Welch Avenue needed to be closed. Bars, food places, everything. OK, so you just closed every bar and restaurant within three blocks on the busiest night of the year. Sounds great except now you have thousands of drunk people standing around trying to figure out how they're going to get home. You know what that means, right? It's macin' time! What a bunch of dipshits.

Honestly, I think we should be worried about saving Veishea from the psycho cops. I do think that what happened in '04 was disgusting but I also think that it could have been avoided if hundreds of partiers on Hunt weren't herded straight towards thousands of bar-goers on Welch. Suddenly you have a massive crowd so the cops get nervous and show up in riot gear. This amps up a few morons who take advantage of the confusion which causes the police to start macing anybody that happens to be in the wrong place. Isn't it kind of an over reaction and potentially escalating a potentially dangerous situation to shut down all of Campustown over one fight? Plus, think about how much business the Gyro Guy or Jimmy John's lost because the police did that. I'd be furious.

Anyway, whoo, Veishea!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I wrote this column about the time I killed a drifter to get an erection

At one time I used to point to George Will as a conservative I could respect. I may not ever agree with what he says but at least he's intellectually honest, uses big words, whatever. Not no more.

First there was the debacle where he claimed that a scientific report on global warming said the exact opposite of what it actually said and then he wrote a column in Newsweek that was a list of about 40 baseball trivia questions (seriously, that was it). Now, with all of the economic and foreign policy issues facing our country he's decided to take on...blue jeans.

Oh, you damn kids and your jeans. I mean, seriously?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Celebrities...they're just like us!

They become zombies during the zombie apocalypse!

If you're anything like me you may have wondered, "hmm, I wonder what Stevie Wonder would look like as a zombie." Or, "do you think zombie Flo-Jo would keep her fake nails?" Well, we're in luck because the French have created a series of images presenting various actors, politicians, musicians, and athletes in states of zombie bliss. Oh, and the answer is yes.

I'll offer a few thoughts on some of the celeb zombies. First, Colin Powell and Ah-nold need to put some damn pants on.

It appears that zombie Bill Gates can still use his money to get some work done.

Some zombies look a lot like their non-zombie bodies already do. Zombie Amy Winehouse doesn't wanna go to zombie rehab either and Michael Jackson's flesh is already falling off so I'm not sure there's any left for the living dead to actually reanimate.

Zombie popes will always make me laugh. And I always love a good Zombie Reagan running for president joke.

This is just mean.

Sentimental fave for zombie connoisseurs.

Without a doubt the coolest-looking zombie. There's no doubt that he will actually live forever so I think a zombie Keith Richards is fairly likely.

Zombie Elvis
is looking better than Elvis at his death.

My favorite part is scrolling through the zombies and finding one that is completely out of the blue like zombie Laika, the first zombie-dog in space, I presume. Or zombie Jeff Buckley. Really? Jeff Buckley became a zombie? Why?

I also enjoy the ones that seem completely inappropriate, like zombie MLK. I also like when certain zombies retain their curmudgeony charm, like zombie Winston Churchill.

Some zombies still exhibit evidence of how they died like zombie John Bonham or zombie Saddam.

Zombie Brandon Lee turned into the Crow???

Some zombies remain fashion icons even when their undead flesh is falling off. I can also tell which zombies I would find hot if I were ever in a zombie state and could go on a date with them without worrying if they're only dating me for my braaains, braaaaains!


Zombie Freddie Mercury
deserves a shoutout.

We'll end with the answer to the other thought quoted above as I present zombie Stevie Wonder.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

New contender for dumbest "trend" of the year

I hesitate to even call this a trend since I think some reporter was on a deadline and made something up but apparently the doga craze is sweeping the nation.

Oh, you mean you've never heard of doga? Basically, it's yoga but with dogs. From what I can gather looking through the photo gallery you pretty much just do yoga except your dog lays next to you. In particularly tricky positions someone will place your confused dog on top of you. Why is any of this a good idea?
Guiding these techniques is an agreed-upon, though not officially stated, philosophy: Because dogs are pack animals, they are a natural match for yoga’s emphasis on union and connection with other beings.
And they like any opportunity to sniff another dog's asshole.

According to the article people like Grace Yang pay $15 to $25 a session because it can help "deepen her stretches by providing extra weight" although "the main reason she goes is to bond with her dog." Right, and there's clearly no other way to do that other than doga.

Not everyone is happy with this though. Several quotes from real-life yoga instructors complain about the potential to turn yoga into nothing more than a fad (hahaha, uhh, too late on that front) while another describes the experience like this:
“A stuffed animal — but not even a dog-shaped stuffed animal — was used by the instructor,” she said. Owners struggled to get their very real dogs to replicate the stuffed-animal poses, she said, and bags of treats were used to get the dogs to change positions. “It was lunacy,” Ms. Apro recalled. “Peanuts, my retired racer greyhound, didn’t participate at all. Instead, I did downward-facing dog while he ate the most treats he’s ever had in a 60-minute period.”
Yeah, that's pretty much how I envisioned it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Rich scumbag would like your sympathy

A Texas billionaire accused of setting up a Ponzi scheme is just really bummed out by how unfair this entire ordeal is. From TPM here are some of his complaints and defenses made to ABC News.
*He lamented how the charges had deprived him of being listed by Forbes as the 405th wealthiest person in the world.

*He complained about being forced to fly commercial after the government seized his fleet of private jets. ("They make you take your shoes off and everything, it's terrible.)

"I always lived very frugally. I flew around on a private jet. I had a boat. But I always lived very frugally. I'm not a high-fallutin guy."
I kind of question if he knows what "frugal" actually means. What an ass.

Ridiculous story on NPR today

Today on NPR's "All Things Considered" they ran a story on the supposed shortage of ammunition across the country that consisted mainly of an interview with a Texas gun owner. The piece basically gave this guy free reign to go on and on about how all of his customers are afraid that Obama will be taking away their guns that they want to stock up while they still can. At one point he went on a rant that made my jaw drop in disbelief as the interviewer allowed everything he said to go completely unchallenged.
They're so scared of the socialist type of 'let's take over the banks, let's talk about take over the oil companies, let's give all of this money to people who are without jobs, let's, let's reward all these people who are not working hard," and they said well if the government is going thataway what are they going to try to take away from us now. And that you know what the big concern is, they're worried about not being able to get any ammo and not being able to protect themselves. They feel like if the criminals know you can't get guns then it's just going to make it easier target to commit crimes.
Who exactly is talking seriously about any type of gun control legislation? What are these people so afraid of?

I've seen people go batshit crazy during the Clinton years with every whacko conspiracy theory in the book up until Y2K which he was going to exploit in order to remain in power. We're returning to the days of "black helicopter" sightings and the militia movement and Tim McVeigh's of the world. It's already starting with the paranoid gun nut (and apparently Glen Beck fan) that killed three cops in Pittsburgh and the ridiculous rhetoric coming from these fringe whackos. People like Glen Beck egg them on with increasingly violent rhetoric of their own but then react with outrage that someone would even think of accusing them of playing any part is this whole mess. I don't even want to link to the BS Beck was saying today but if you search around I'm sure you could find it. I'm hopeful that these morons will be content to head out into the desert to shoot up abandoned cars and rant on their websites but I wouldn't count on it.

If NPR insists on giving them a platform to espouse their views it would be nice if they would actually follow up with a dose of the truth because their journalistic "effort" on this story was pretty weak.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Glenn Beck even more insane that I once imagined

For a brief, sad period in my life I listened to a lot of Glenn Beck on the radio. Don't worry, I wasn't some right-wing reactionary who took marching orders from a recovering alcoholic Mormon convert, I was just really bored. Really, really bored. At the time I was working what is possibly the most boring job ever. When I describe this job to people they have trouble comprehending how someone could do that for 8 hours a day. Without going into a lot of details I was picking kernels off of an ear of corn and looking for ones that had a purple top and a white center as opposed to ones that had a purple top and a purple center. Yes, seriously.

Fortunately, one of my good friends was working across the table from me so we screwed around a lot. We would find innovative ways to waste time, discuss the best way to work on a crossword without your boss noticing, argue about something meaningless, and, eventually, listen to right-wing radio. Our radio options were limited to say the least. There was the alternative station that was ok in small doses but literally played the same songs in the same order, sometimes even in the same day. There was classic rock which was alright but got to be pretty repetitive. For a while they had some gimmick where they would play some ten song rock block in the morning and we would have a contest to see who could guess the highest number of bands that would be played. Then there were endless other crappy stations that other people wanted to listen to but since we were there the most we were usually in control of the radio.

Finally there was talk radio which is usually sports or conservative bullshit. Talk radio really is the best thing for wasting hours upon hours so we would listen to that. Jim Rome was usually good for some really awkward moments with the bosses so we couldn't really listen to him and the local sports talk was pretty boring. This meant that we'd often go for the Glenn Beck, some local show whose name I've forgotten, and then, to cap it off, Sean Fucking Hannity.

The local show was great because they had a liberal guy who loved to make outrageous points and a conservative guy who was always amazingly outraged but was pretty much a complete moron. Their arguments were hilarious because the conservative guy would always get owned and make the dumbest points possible. He was always trying to come up with these hypotheticals except they never quite made sense.

Hannity was pretty much there just to cause pure rage. I mean, we hated this guy with a passion and found that the best way to deal with the last few hours of work was to direct our anger towards something like the second biggest asshole on radio. We totally owned him with our sarcastic comments too.

Glenn Beck was kind of a different beast. He had some kind of funny bits and once in a while would say something that would make sense (like, once a week or so) but we never really hated him. It was more of a mocking thing. He was just kind of a tool that always had his moral outrage sensor set way, way too high. Plus, his audience was really like some kind of cult so that was kind of cool.

After the year of hell working that job (only part of which involved 8 hours of corn picking, thank God) I have probably only listened to five minutes of his show but I did notice that he was at CNN (which was hilarious after hearing him whine about them for so long) and now on Faux News. I started hearing about this weird shit he was doing like running specials on the coming war between conservative and liberals and bullshit like that. Then I saw the clip of him with his creepy eyes doing his whole "We Surround Them" special event. Did you notice all of the conservatives surrounding you? Me neither. Anyway, I meant to write about all of that but kind of forgot until I saw this hilarious video of Stephen Colbert taking him down so just watch that instead. Enjoy!
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The 10/31 Project
comedycentral.com
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I mean, holy shit, get this guy some help.