Saturday, December 29, 2007

Doctor Ripoff

I'm sitting at home on a Saturday night watching the Giants host the Patriots and I desperately want a Doctor Who ringtone. It's been impossible to find via my provider's ringtone services, and if I actually had a good phone I'm sure I could email a midi to my phone. No such luck. I did happen to come across the BBC website which sells the Doctor Who theme, but at quite the price:
Ringtones ordered by text cost £3. Messages you receive are charged at £1.50 each and you will receive two messages. Calls to the premium-rate phone line cost £1.50 per minute and should last approximately two minutes and a maximum of three minutes.
So, all together, that will cost you at least £9 ($18 US!*) for one fucking ringtone. You can go shove the TARDIS up your ass, BBC.

*Holy shit! What the fuck have the Republicans done to our dollar?

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm the only patriot in this country

I just took an online test to see which U.S. presidential candidate matched up most closely with my own ideals. Not surprisingly, Dennis Kucinich is my man. Our only disagreement was on the No Child Left Behind Act. I think children should be left behind to die, and also I think it's implemented stupidly. On further reflection, with the appropriate funding and sufficient implementation, it could be a good program. It's not really one of my top priorities anyway.

Whatever, kids are dumb. Let them go get a job like the rest of us and then they can worry about the 11th president and the quadratic equation.

Many people are afraid to vote for a candidate that they think can't win, except for the Ron Paul nutjobs, God bless them. Those guys really go balls out for Ron, you have to respect that. I encourage everyone in the primary elections to vote their gut and heart, and also brain. Vote for the guy or dame you like most, not the dude or broad you think has the best chance of winning. If everyone voted for their ideal candidate, that person just might win. And even if he (or she) doesn't win, that person may get a high enough percentage of the vote that the winning candidate has to adopt some of the other candidate's positions to draw in his or her supporters.

Here are some reasons why I love Kucinich, ignoring the fact that he has a gorgeous wife:
# War authorization: One of the few in Congress to vote against the Iraq War authorization. Consistently criticizes Bush's management of the war.

# Security/liberties: Consistently voted against the PATRIOT Act. He has received increasingly higher marks from the ACLU, scoring 100% last year.

# Social Security: Opposes privatization.

# Stem cell research: Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.

# Same sex issues: Opposes a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman.

# Trade issues: Opposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

# Budget issues: The balanced budget advocating the Concord Coalition gave Representative Kucinich a rating of 81%.

# Business & labor issues: Kucinich supported the interests of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 30% and supported the interests of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee 7% in 2005. Kucinich supported the interests of the United Auto Workers 93% and supported the interests of the AFL-CIO 93% in 2005.

# Abortion issues: He is pro-choice.

# Capital punishment: He would eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.

# Marijuana: He would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and allow doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) considers him a "NORML friendly candidate"

# Gun control: Supports gun control.

# Minimum wage: Consistently supports and votes for minimum wage increases.

# Health care: Supports universal health care.

# Prescription drugs: Supports expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.

# Environmental issues: Kucinich has been endorsed and he receives very high marks from environmental groups.

# Immigration issues: Representative Kucinich supported the interests of the American Immigration Lawyers Association 100% in 2006. He supported the interests of the U.S. Border Control 0% in 2005-2006. Supports amnesty/permanent legalization for illegal aliens. Opinion no known on temporary legalization for illegal aiens as guestworkers

# Education issues: Opposes school vouchers.
Remember, if you don't vote for Kucinich you're a racist, a facist, and a traitor.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Qwahnzuh

At first blush, Kwanzaa is a worthwhile cultural holiday of ethnic identification and strength. The principles of Kwanzaa are:

Umoja - Unity
Kujichagulia - Self-Determination
Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics
Nia - Purpose
Kuumba - Creativity
Imani - Faith

Sounds pretty good. In fact, it sounds like something every race or ethnic group could, and should, embrace.

Of course, when you scratch the surface a bit, you will discover that these are all black isolationist ideals created by Maulana Karenga (Ron Everett), who served time for imprisoning and torturing two women that were members of his radical Us Organization, the same group that murdered various delegates of the Black Panther Party in the late 60s and early 70s.

Black on black crime? That doesn't really sound like a cultural tradition worth embracing.

Update! Karenga was also "paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions," according to The Dartmouth Review. The money shot:
The psychiatrist observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons and believed that he had been attacked by dive-bombers.

Eight years later California State University at Long Beach made Karenga the head of its Black Studies Department.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Giants are in

Despite extended instances of mediocrity, the New York Giants have clinched a wild card spot. The Giants scored more than 21 points for the first time since October 21, and they showed what formula they will need to succeed: a strong defense + downplaying Eli's ability to impact the game. To wit:

Manning - 7/15, 111 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INT, 2 Fumble Losses
Jacobs & Bradshaw - 41 attempts, 296 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Fumbles
Defense - 21 points allowed, 3 sacks for 34 yards, 3 INT for 81 yards & 2 TDs, 1 Fumble Recovery

If the Giants wish to win in the postseason, they need to continue to play strong on defense and to run the ball on offense. Letting Eli touch the ball for longer than it takes to hand it off to Jacobs or Bradshaw (or Droughns) is a recipe for disaster.

A fair wage to all the children

Via Bogol, I have learned that the Soviets were fucking obsessed with rockets during Christmas time.

They also had room for a little tip of the ushanka for factory production.

More here.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

If I was Hitler...

...I wouldn't have killed the Jews.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fuck you, Rotoworld



Of course, Rotoworld and Antonio Gates were only 1/3 of my disappointing week. I'd also like to thank Tony Romo and Amani Toomer, along with Eli "I throw the ball too low" Manning, for allowing my exit from my league's fantasy playoffs.

I don't even have reality, do you have to take away my fantasy?! At least I'll always have the fantasy about Scarlett Johansson's boobs.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Maybe I could study abroad

I was at the website for the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, "the charitable and educational Foundation of the New Jersey State Bar Association," which "provides a wide variety of free law-related education services to the public." Among their services provided includes a series of videos about the law. Here is the table of contents:
Law On The Line

* Affirmative Action
* Arbitration and Mediation
* Auto Insurance
* Breast Implants
* Children with Special Needs
* Civil Court
* Elder Care
* Family Law
* Megan's Law Update
* Prosecutor's Office
* Real Estate Law
* Residential Landlord/Tenant Law
* Victims of Crime Compensation Board
* Workers Compensation
I didn't know attorneys could specialize in breast implants. That was practically my minor as an undergrad.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A conundrum

If you park in a driveway, but drive on a parkway, then why is it illegal for me to sleep with ten goats?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Roger Clemens: Hall of Famer?

I caught the end of This Week With George Stephanopoulos, where he was having his round table discussion featuring George Will, Donna Brazile, Claire Shipman and Jay Carney. For some terrible reason, they were discussing the Mitchell Report. Two points were made that I want to address.

First, George Will compared Andy Pettitte's two uses of HGH while he was on the DL to a player getting a cortisone shot. I am glad someone finally brought this up, i.e. that cortisone is a steroid. Obviously, Will's point was that Pettitte should not have his career reputation ruined over a small mistake rather than a player that had continuous use. However, I think it useful to consider that if Pettitte had received a cortisone shot and not tried HGH in 2002, there would be no problem, even though cortisone is a steroid. Heck, I've used steroids before, in a cream for treating severely dry skin on my hands. In fact, I'll use it again. Maybe tonight. Will you join me?

The other issue brought up was whether Roger Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame. All of the panelists and Stephanopoulos said no. These people are wrong. From 1984 through 1996, Roger's entire tenure with Boston, he put up ERA+ numbers of 97, 131, 169, 154, 141, 132, 213, 164, 175, 104, 177, 116, and 139. An ERA+ of 100 is league average. With Boston, his K/9 rate ranged from 8.0 (1985) to 11.0 (1988), the latter a career high. He had more than 250 strikeouts nine times during that span, including his last year of Boston, at which point his career was supposedly on the decline. In fact, his 1996 numbers included 286 strikeouts (9.7 K/9) and a 1.33 WHIP.

Figuring that Clemens probably could have played at least another five years, and knowing that he had 192 wins for Boston and 2,590 strikeouts, he probably could have finished with 250 or 255 wins and easily would have made 3,000 strikeouts, and more than likely 4,000.

In other words, Roger Clemens was a Hall of Fame player with or without steroids and/or human growth hormone.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

American Gladiators 2: The Quickening

There's a new American Gladiators airing in January. I was a big, big fan of the original, but I'm a bit hesitant to embrace this new one. Are they going to have the same fun games, or are there going to be new games like "Punch to the Cunt" and "Shower Assault"?

I may have to tune in regardless, because a girl I went to school with in 5th and 6th grade is one of the Gladiators. Her name is Gina Cerano, now known as Crush. Unlike Hellga, whose voice is deeper than that of Justice (I saw them on TV), Gina is a relatively attractive girl. She used to have really wavy hair, to the point that I used to think she had a hair like a male lion's mane, and I would not have recognized her now if I didn't just look her up earlier in the year. I found out she was doing professional fighting, which is weird, and somehow less weird than American Gladiators. I dropped her a note to say hello and wish her luck with her endeavors, but she never replied, so fuck her. I hope she breaks both her legs and a contestant shits in her mouth.

If I can re-find my old yearbook, I'll scan her picture in. Not that anyone cares. Here she is from her mixed martial arts days of just a few years ago:



I fucking hate it when people I went to school with are more successful than me. This is the only one I know of, but it doesn't make it any easier. I hope she breaks both her...oh wait, I already said that.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Steroids? What are those?

I'm a big fan of Fire Joe Morgan, as most good baseball fans are. They are easily in the top ten sports blogs, and very close to the top. Even though the writers are Red Sox fans, their bias rarely comes out. After the release of the Mitchell Report on Steroids, however, they are in full blown gloating mode. They are very smug about some Yankees players as well as general enemies of Sox fans.

Here's the things, boys - your club knowing acquired players that were on or suspected of being on steroids.



Perhaps the dumber thing than taking someone with the taint of steroids is taking someone you think could very well suck. They didn't give up the bank for Gagne - the poorly named Kason Gabbard, a lefty with a good K/9 rate in the minors but iffy control, OF David Murphy, who put up good OBP and OPS numbers in 103 AB with Texas after the trade, and OF Engel(bert Humperdinck) Beltre, a teenager from the Dominican Republic who is either a baseball player or a sex slave. Nevertheless, the value the Red Sox got from Gagne was pretty much not even worth a ten year old Cuban, so as Dan Lamothe at Masslive asks, "why'd the Red Sox take the risk in the first place?"



Again, the Red Sox still went out and traded for players that they seriously suspected of being guilty of using illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Now, for a change, I'm not trying to kill the Red Sox. I think the Mitchell Report is kind of useless. It's not like we didn't know steroids were a problem. The only thing it really did was list the names of people who (allegedly) used, but Mitchell himself says the report was just to expose the problem, not the players, so that's not a legitimate argument. So then what was the point? I don't think the problem needed to be exposed, because it already was out there. According to some, the Mitchell Report didn't even present evidence of steroids being widespread.

Like I said, I'm not trying to kill the Red Sox. However, I am calling out FJM for being a little smug about the whole thing. Your organization was perfectly willing to accept players who cheated, and were willing to overlook those crimes in order to make Boston World Series contenders. It backfired with both players, as Donnelly needed surgery and Gagne sucked poutine out of a horse's ass, but Boston's intent was to use cheaters to win. They condoned it. Your team was willing to do anything to win, so you're not really in a place to judge or act morally superior.

With that said, it wouldn't surprise me if most or all MLB teams knew they were getting involved with players who used steroids. It will be curious to see how MLB plans to address that issue.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And now for something completely football

The New York football Giants squeaked out another win today, a little less tense than the Bears game last week, but still too close for comfort. The defense has been alright, shutting down Philadelphia and Chicago after a blowout to Minnesota. What is troubling, however, is how putrid the offense has been. The last time the Giants have scored more than 21 points was October 21 against San Francisco, not a particularly good team.

The Giants got 16 points in week 4, the last time they faced Philadelphia. I'm not sure if that should be encouraging (that was in the middle of a six game winning streak) or discouraging (the offense has only scored 21+ in five games this year).

New York will have to rely on their defense if they want to go anywhere in the postseason, which they are now all but assured after reaching 9-4 in the limp NFC. However, we know that Green Bay and Dallas can dismantle the Giants defense, so for now, it seems like expectations should be limited.

Maybe Eli Manning and the boys in blue can show us a little bit of energy and skill in the remaining weeks, a little something to give fans hope of a possible playoff run. We'll see.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

If liberals control the media...

...why can't I see bare titties on basic cable?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Compare and Contrast: Heart

1977:



1985:

Monday, December 3, 2007

When is it okay to murder?

Here are some exceptions people list for murder:

* Death Penalty - the people on death row deserve it ("eye for eye")
* Self-defense - killing to protect yourself from death
* Soldiers in war - killing for legitimate reasons (defense of liberty, oil, etc.)
* Civilians in war - they were in the wrong place at the wrong time ("collateral damage")
* Vegetables on life support - they're brain dead and essentially not living
* Criminals running from police or posing a danger - cops usually give a warning, have to protect public
* Medical malpractice, car accidents, or sporting events - there was no "intent" to kill
* Abortion - the fetus in the first trimester is just a glob of cells and not human

I agree with some of those exceptions, not others. I'd be willing to wager that there are very few people who agree with all of those exceptions on that list. I'm not here to say who is right and who is wrong, except that I am right. It's not my place to reveal which I support at the moment, but I will leave you with a subtle clue as to one of them.

I wish I was a woman so that I could have an abortion right now.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Russo is a racist?

On Thursday, November 29th, the Mike and the Mad Dog radio program based out of New York City was interviewing Charles Barkley, former NBA great. Chris "Mad Dog" Russo asked Barkley about black players in the professional sports having bad reputations. I don't have the exact quote, but he listed a handful of players like Pacman Jones, and then finished up with Sean Taylor. Sean Taylor was shot during a botched burglary:
Police said the men broke into Taylor's home early Monday in a targeted attempt to burglarize the professional football player's residence. They did not expect Taylor to be home, police said, and fled in a waiting vehicle after the shooting.
* * *
"People always said Sean's life led him to this, saying he was violent," [friend and attorney Richard] Sharpstein said. "But if anything here his openness and generosity led to this crime, which is shocking and horrific. I said all along it was a burglary and it was planned. There are 17-, 19-, 21-year-old pathetic criminal wannabes and they carry a gun like every other dime-a-dozen jerk in the streets, and they happen to come upon someone they don't expect to be there and they fire the gun and run like cowards."

Russo is an asshole. He did this same exact thing when former Bronco Darrent Williams was killed in January. He blames the victim just because the guy is black and because he had a shady past. It doesn't matter that the guy cleaned up his life.

Barkley (paraphrasing) said the players he listed were isolated and most athletes are good people. I agree, I suppose. For every bad athlete, I can list good examples - Amani Toomer, Donovan McNabb, Derek Jeter, Torii Hunter, Dontrelle Willis, Jason Kidd (even though I'm still not sure he's black), etc. Those are guys who, off the top of my head, don't get in trouble. They may not be role models, but they're not getting shot or shooting people or being arrested for drugs or anything else. So just stop with the whole "black athletes are thugs" thing. Some of them are, but not all of them and by the time they get to the pros they're more interested in money, fame and the sport than anything else.

And of course it wouldn't be me if I didn't make some kind of off-color joke, and why not target the advice of Yahoo Fantasy Sports news feeds again?

Friday, November 30, 2007

How can I get you a loan?

Heart, a band featuring the Wilson sisters, Nancy, Ann and Woodrow, is perfect material for a "Compare and Contrast." Until then, be reminded that by the 1980s, Heart was performing all kinds of cheesy ballads, including "Alone" -



It's kind of wimpy, silly, something only girls listen to (or guys who are...ahem...alone). I don't care how hot Nancy looked in this video (and riding a horse no less), I don't care how amusing it is to watch the director try to hide the fact that Ann is fat, this is text book definition of a guilty pleasure song.

We understand. The music, the lyrics, the whole package: it's soft rock. A power ballad minus a lot of the power.

So how do you possibly make it worse?

Enter Celine Dion.



At least it's not as bad as when she sang an AC/DC song.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

DuBrow du monde

Look at me now it must be hard to tell
That I'm alive and well

- Kevin DuBrow (1955-2007), Quiet Riot, "Alive and Well"

In 1999, bassist Rudy Sarzo rejoined Quiet Riot, reuniting the four members to perform on the first #1 heavy metal album, 1983's "Metal Health." This union produced nine new tracks and some miscellaneous covers (mostly new versions of old songs), released as "Alive and Well" on Deadline Music.

They toured in support of the album, opening up for Ted Nugent along with Slaughter and Night Ranger. Quiet Riot and Slaughter were given half hour slots, and Night Ranger had about 45 minutes to an hour to play. Quiet Riot really deserved more time, really only getting about 25 minutes and running out of time to play "Metal Health," although they did close out with "Cum on Feel the Noize."

After their performance, they signed autographs for anyone in the crowd. I walked down the table, getting signatures from Sarzo, Frankie Banali, Carlos Cavazo and finally DuBrow. It was at that point, dressed in an Iron Maiden t-shirt, fingerless leather biker gloves, and studded wrist bands, that I told DuBrow that the new album was "really, really good," and I (lightly) banged the table with both hands for emphasis. He had a mixture of shock and appreciation, and he told me thank you.

To be perfectly honest, "Alive and Well" was Quiet Riot's best album (although I've never heard their Randy Rhoads stuff). To be further honest, Quiet Riot really wasn't that great of a band. They had a few good songs, some hits, but most of their output is mediocre to downright bad. They tried to do the glam thing later in the 80s, but I really don't think they were a good fit for that. They would have been better off doing party anthems and miscellaneous rock songs, more like a mix of Krokus and Manowar, than trying to be Poison or Ratt.

"Alive and Well" really showed what Quiet Riot could be. The lyrics were surprisingly clever, or at least well-written, on most of the tracks, and Cavazo laid down some nice, meaty riffs. Sarzo has always been a competent and flashy bass player, having toured with Whitesnake in his post-Riot years, and Banali is a true metal musician, having provided drums on some of W.A.S.P.'s most interesting and expressive albums. As always, DuBrow, one of the more unique sounding singers in metal, topped it all off with his throaty, earthy vocals.

The only song I really don't care for is "Slam Dunk (Way to Go)," which I remember reading about as being made to become the first (and probably only) single for the record. I don't know if it eventually became the single or not, but just the fact that they would pick the worst song to announce the new release is kind of indictative of how often the band got it wrong. In some sense, Quiet Riot reminds me of Twisted Sister, as both bands worked hard during the 70s, found success in the early-to-mid 80s, and then completely went in the wrong direction and ruined it.

You may remember a VH1 special, perhaps "Where Are They Now?," showing Quiet Riot playing in front of a nudist festival. Not hot people either, but flabby, middle aged folks. Of course we can chuckle about that, but it does show Quiet Riot's work ethic. DuBrow may have had a huge ego and feuded with some rock stars in the 80s, but at the end of the day he was a rocker through and through, making songs and playing live for over 30 years.

Quiet Riot is probably nobody's favorite band, but they did make a lasting mark on the genre of metal, and Kevin DuBrow made it happen. So a tip of the hat to him.

Here's "The Wild and the Young," which features a somewhat typical 80s anti-authority, party theme video, but I like it because the song has a good sound and the lyrics stand up. A song doesn't have to make a social or political statement, but if it says something worth hearing, then you have a tune for the ages.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Penis butter and jelly

Woke up with a crimp in my neck, got irritated by people who won't stay in their own lane while driving, had some crappy Chinese food for dinner, but I'm still better off than the guy who refused a free blowjob and got bit on the dick:
A 22-year-old woman has been found guilty of biting a man's penis at a fast-food outlet in Falköping in March.

The incident occurred after the woman approached the man and asked him several times if he would like her to perform oral sex on him. The pair were not acquainted and the man declined the offer. He then kept trying to reason with her as he turned his body away from her advances.

But the woman would not take no for an answer. Catching the man off guard, she pulled his trousers down and sank her teeth into one side of his penis. She then scratched him in the face.
Sounds like he got what he deserved.

In other news, I've added Economist Paul Krugman's blog to my list of shit to read on a quasi-regular basis.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Compare and Contrast: Chicago

1969:



1984:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Compare and Contrast: Kansas

1974:



1986:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't mess with Jesus

One chapter of Mark in the Christian Bible shows Jesus in a terrible mood:
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

* * *

In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

Mark 11: 12-16, 20-21

Jesus ruined a tree that did not produce fruit out of season (note: Jesus' dad made every tree on Earth) and then flipped over trinket tables in church. Of course, God the Father routinely put people to death for disobeying him, but that's tough love, and Jesus was supposed to be the gentle part of the trinity.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Under Jolly Rancher

I know the once entertaining pirate mythology is slowly being driven into the ground by today's twenty-somethings and teenagers, but if we can look beyond their horrible taint, pirates are still pretty fun. There's a website with information about pirate flags, which I've enjoyed looking at, so much so that it inspired me to design my own pirate flag:



Oh, how I wish I could command a pirate ship and lead my bloodthirsty crew, looting ships and villages, taking gold, women and antique books, and drinking like a sailor...because we would be sailors. Pirate sailors. With swords.

And whores.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Croatoan

From Wikipedia:
"Croatoan" is a short story by Harlan Ellison, published in 1975 in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and anthologized in Strange Wine in 1978.
* * *
The story's narrator, Gabe, is forced by a hysterical girlfriend to descend into New York City's sewers, into which he has just flushed her aborted baby. Arriving there, he finds that fetuses populate the sewers, along with an animal population composed of similarly disposed-of crocodiles, whom the fetuses ride, and the word "Croatoan", crudely lettered on a wall near the entrance to the sewer. The story ends with the narrator's hysterical realization: "I am the one they have been looking for all along....They call me father."

That sounds retarded.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Around the world for under a buck


Mexican Radio


Land Down Under


Holiday in Cambodia


China White


Turning Japanese


Mother Russia


Taste of India

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Geno Bisconte, turnpike and internet phenom

I had a chance to see the following comedians back in October, or possibly September:
GENO BISCONTE
BENNY MICHAELS
E-LOVE
PATRICK O'DONNELL
JOHN "Mr. Hollywood" KENSIL
I don't remember much about them, except E-Love was fairly amusing and Patrick O'Donnell is an impressionist, although I liked his Catholic jokes better than his impressions.

I do remember headliner Geno Bisconte quite well. Brooklyn's own Geno mixes in the crowd with his set, and delivers zingers at the expense of himself and the audience, but mostly the audience. His topics range from dating to children to dating children. Here's a clip from one of his gigs and other stuff he's done:



If you're interested in Geno based on my poor, nebulous review of his stand up and the clip I posted, you can watch him make football picks via Stat Beast.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lolheroes



In honor of the world's most scholarly website.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Where goeth ARodimus?

I don't need to repeat what happened with ARod, opting out of his massive 10 year, $252 million contract in the middle of game 4 of the World Series. Word has it that Arod wants 10 more years at a minimum of $350 million, which he won't get. Nevertheless, Rodriguez wants a lot of money, and there aren't many teams who can afford him. The Angels, the Mets, the Giants, and more have been mentioned in being suitors for ARod. There's one team, however, that I think should cough up the money and wrap this man up (under contract, not in their arms, although he could probably use a hug, too):

Philadelphia.

Here's what we know about the Phillies. They have no viable options at third base. They could use Rodriguez to bat 4th between Utley and Howard. An infield of Howard-Utley-Rollins-Rodriguez would instantly be one of the all time greatest. The Phillies are ready to win a World Series. ARod would hit 60 home runs if he was able to play 81 games in Citizens Bank Park.

The two big problems, potentially, are that the Phillies need pitching, and Arod isn't going to come cheap. The latter problem is easy to solve - the Phillies have the money to pay. They only ranked 13th in total payroll last year, despite playing in the 6th largest city in the country. They were barely over $89 million. Paying Arod an astronomical $32 million per year would only put them at $121 million per year, a perfectly acceptable cost for a big market team. Having ARod will also give them increased revenue. It's not the question of whether they can pay Rodriguez, it's whether Rodriguez would accept.

And whether Rodriguez would accept ties into the second problem, the real problem. Philadelphia desperately needs pitching. The free agent starting pitching list is not full of great arms, but there are enough options to give Philadelphia two or three new starters. They should pursue Curt Schilling and perhaps think about bringing back Randy Wolf. They could possibly sign Bartolo Colon if they think he can drop 50 pounds and regain his former stuff. Kris Benson, Paul Byrd, Matt Clement, Livan Hernandez, Jason Jennings, and Mark Prior are also decent options, but none of them are better than #3 starters, unless they think Mark Prior will somehow stay healthy.

So let's say Philadelphia signs Schilling at one year, $17 million, and Kris Benson at 3 years, $21 million. They should move Brett Myers back to the rotation and either take their chances with Tom Gordon or go after some other old man like Bob Wickman or Todd Jones, or even perennial disaster Armando Benitez. Let's say they go with Todd Jones for 2 years, $15 million. That gives them a rotation of Cole Hamels, Curt Schilling, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, and Kris Benson with Todd Jones, Tom Gordon, and whatever debris they have in the bullpen. They have Rob Barajas behind the dish, the aforementioned infield, and Aaron Rowand, Jason Werth, Shane Victorino and Pat Burrell for the starting and 4th outfielders.

Adding those three pitchers will cost $31.5 million in 2008, adding that to the rest of the payroll (including ARod) runs the team total to $152.5 million, a pretty big increase. A crazy amount of money. Philadelphia, listen to me. If you spend that money now, you will win the NL. You'll have a solid rotation, the best infield in baseball, and a good, young outfield. Your offense will be destructive. Don't forget that Schilling's salary comes off the books in 2009.

The Phillies are at the point now where they can turn themselves into legitimate contenders, or they can fall back into the same "almost" status they've been in for a number of seasons. Now's the time to take a risk, put the chips on the table, and make a run for the title.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Get Cable

Turner Classic Movies is going to be airing the 1971 British crime drama "Get Carter" starring the legendary Michael Caine on the morning of November 3rd at 2 a.m. (meaning two hours after November 2nd is over, in case you're not good with calendars). I highly recommend this movie. Caine is great as a stone cold hitman searching for the truth behind his brother's death, and the soundtrack features an amazing jazz score by Roy Budd:



Be there or be square, bitch.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

NFLondon

If the NFL was trying to entice the Brits with American football by sending the Dolphins to Wembley Stadium, I'm not sure it worked. That was an incredibly boring game, essentially boiling down to the Giants and Dolphins running/slopping the ball a few yards before getting pounded and doing it all over again. Only a combined 208 passing yards, 2 sacks, and 2 touchdowns, the last of which came with less than two minutes left in the game. I guess you could blame it on the London weather, but people don't want to hear excuses. As the great poet Berlin once said,
I was on a Paris train
I emerged in London rain
And you were waiting there
Swimming through apologies
I think what was much more exciting was the giant robot walking through London, although maybe the NFL should have saved that for if they play a game in Tokyo.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

People with kids are weird



From Le Notti del Terrore

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stub Series

I've noticed that MLB has been heavily promoting getting tickets on StubHub. The question I want to know is, why? Does MLB get a kickback? I don't even know how StubHub is legal; last I checked, scalping is against the law.

Tickets for the postseason are expensive enough as they are without further inflation. Fuck MLB and fuck StubHub.

As for the World Series, I definitely want to see Colorado win. The Rockies have certainly become the darlings of baseball this postseason, but even besides that, there's no way I want the Red Sox to win. Any Yankees fan that says otherwise is a pretty shitty fan.

Boston for the year had a .270 EqA, Colorado a .263 EqA. Should be a very close series. It's probably a safer bet to say Sox in seven, but I'm going to be rooting for Colorado and I think they can overcome the Red Sox, so I'm going to predict Rockies in 7.

Apologies to Denver if the Rockies lose.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Samantha Que

Christina Applegate is in a new program called Samantha Who?, which is great. I don't really know what the plot is about, I think she has amnesia, but Applegate looks hot in this. She went from Kelly Bundy to 20 years of so-so movies to MILF wet dream. I love the curly hair, I love her slightly saggy breasts, I love that I've already seen her prance around in her bra and her towel and expose herself to her parents. This is what television is all about.

Applegate's character's mother is played by Charlene from the TV show Designing Women. It's like this new series was designed to appeal to my ten year old self.

Actually, from the parts I've paid attention to, there's some good jokes in this. I'm glad I was too lazy to change the channel to Monday Night Football.



Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rain? In Octember?

I got these two junk mail messages tonight:
Leopoldo Myers Where can I read more about lifting routines on the net? Sat Oct 20, 2007 2k
Martha Doherty Can I get stronger without gaining more muscle mass? Sat Oct 20, 2007 2k

What is this, are they trying to anticipate what I would type into Ask Jeeves if I wanted to get a more serious exercise routine? How does one get stronger without gaining more muscle mass? Are we talking physical strength, in which case I'd suggest kinetic energy, or intangible strength, like how a rich people control the world? Maybe I should have read the email before deleting it.

Anyway, enjoy this Dane Cook parody before the corporate attorneys make YouTube take it down. You know which show it's from.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

See ya, Skipper

In my previous post, I said the Yankees would offer Joe Torre a one year deal at four million dollars. I was a little off; it was a one year deal worth five million plus up to three million in incentives. Even without the incentives, it would still make Mr. No Bullpen Management the highest paid coach in MLB. Torre didn't accept, which is fine with me.

Tom Verducci does not approve of the Yankees' offer, and here's why:
They spent three days crafting a contract offer they thought would strike just the right balance: just good enough for public relations purposes, but insulting enough that no man of Torre's pride and accomplishments would ever accept. Torre is the most successful manager in modern baseball history. He has delivered the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseasons. The next longest active streak by a franchise? That would be one. His Yankees crashed out of the first round of the postseason this year because a swarm of bugs attacked a rookie pitcher and the winningest pitcher of the past two seasons threw a total of 5 2/3 innings in two starts in the American League Division Series. Such episodes defined the unpredictable nature of postseason play.

You know what? The second part of what he says is absolutely correct. Torre had little to do with the Yanks' loss in the first round this year. On the other hand, Torre had little to do with the Yankees 12 postseason appearances. Torre has consistently been surrounded by a top, high quality team. Always. Most of the managers in the majors could come in and win with a team of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, etc. These aren't scrubs.
Cashman has fancied himself a Billy Beane-Theo Epstein wanna-be, an intellectual GM known for running an efficient system, especially when it comes to player development, rather than just a guy who writes checks. He has traded veterans for prospects, embraced sabermetrics and surrounded himself with young number-crunchers who get jazzed about PlayStation tournaments. The more he has put his self-worth in the image of cutting-edge GM the less Torre and his old-school ways became relevant.

Agreed. Cashman understands baseball better than a guy that wants to have Derek Jeter bunt.
We've already heard Hank tell us that he personally insists that Joba Chamberlain start next season. Are these Cashman's baseball operations any more?

Um...Chamberlain should start. He's a really good pitcher and the Yankees need really good pitchers in their rotation...as I already said last post.

EDIT 10/19: Forgot to link to the Verducci article. Also, Torre is insulted with a potentially $8 million dollar offer for one year? He's lucky he got that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My thoughts about the Yanks

Postseason numbers invariably match regular season numbers over time. Over 25 postseason series (125 games, 495 AB), Derek Jeter has a .309 batting average and a .377 on-base percentage (hits + walks). For his career regular season numbers, he has a .317 batting average and a .388 on-base percentage. Over 10 postseason series (39 games, 147 AB), Alex Rodriguez has a .279 BA and a .361 OBP. For his career in the regular season, he has a .306 BA and a .389 OBP. If both players had four extra hits in the postseason, their playoff batting averages would be identical to their regular season batting averages (.317 and .306, respectively).

Joe Torre will not be fired. The Yankees should have let him go after 2003, and they had legitimate chances to drop him after '04, '05, and '06. I doubt they'll do it now. More than likely, he'll get a one year deal at about $4 million.

George Steinbrenner is going to die. We're all going to die, but I think the Boss is on his way out soon. I was thinking he would probably die right around when the new Stadium opened, but now I'm not so sure he will make it that far. I feel he is deteriorating rapidly, and that the whole Joe Torre statement was either a small moment of lucidity or just a ploy by the organization/family to make it seem like George Steinbrenner is still what he once was. He isn't, and I think he's going to end up like Phil Rizzuto, shut away and dying out of the public eye.

The Yankees rotation needs to be young. There are no free agent pitchers that look very exciting this offseason, and those that are somewhat interesting all have options. The Yanks always bring in big name free agents, and they don't really live up to the hype. Many teams perform much better when they stick their young arms on the team, New York included. Next year, I say the rotation should be Andy Pettitte (the one veteran), Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain and Phillip Hughes. The potential there is far greater than anything the Yankees could go out and buy. The Yanks best shot to win a Series is to have that rotation work well, and if it doesn't, then they're no worse than if they went out and got a bunch of league average free agents. Naturally you do everything you can to sign Johan Santana next year, but you worry about that later.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Overkill concert photos

Full show review to come.















All pictures taken by yours truly on October 7th, 2007.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Like an unlucky girl two weeks after prom, I'm late

I pick Colorado over Arizona in six games, although I suspect Colorado could do it in five. Look at the following season stats (Colorado vs. Arizona):

104 vs 88 OPS+, .263 vs .249 EqA, 860 vs 712 Runs Scored, .354 vs .321 OBP, 110 vs 114 ERA+, 1.36 vs 1.38 WHIP

The Rockies have a much better offense and a surprisingly comparable pitching arsenal. I would have never expected either team to make it this far, but while Colorado gained some great young pitchers during the season, the Diamondbacks have kind of been outperforming themselves. They just don't score.

Boston and Cleveland are much closer. Although Boston seems like an offensive juggernaut, the two teams have had very comparable seasons (Boston vs Cleveland):

110 vs 105 OPS+, .270 vs .261 EqA, 867 vs 811 Runs Scored, .362 vs. .343 OBP, 118 vs 109 ERA+, 1.27 vs 1.32 WHIP

The Red Sox get a slight advantage in both hitting and pitching, but the Indians have really had a fantastic run and put out a pretty good team. I think that Boston can outplay them, though. Carmona is the best thing going for Cleveland, so maybe they get two wins if they get him to pitch twice. The same way the Sox took advantage of Sabathia's sloppiness tonight the way the Yankees didn't last week, I think the Sox will take advantage of Byrd's sloppiness, too. Westbrook doesn't match up with either Schilling or Matsuzaka. You give the edge to Boston in six games, although the Indians might be able to squeeze an extra one out and force it to seven.

And no, the outcomes of the first two games didn't influence me beyond my commentary here. I already revealed both picks to some people a few days ago, so really I've just been neglecting you, the honest men and women who make our society rich and vibrant.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pot and Kettle in epic struggle

John Horton, Plain Dealer Reporter, talks about LeBron James in a Yankees cap:
Traitor.
* * *
It seems we are all witnesses to the ultimate display of disloyalty. Where's the allegiance to your town, big guy? To your faithful fans?

Think back a few months to the NBA playoffs, when The Q brimmed with your followers. You didn't spot Browns receiver Braylon Edwards in the front row wearing a Pistons jersey, did you? Or Indians star Grady Sizemore decked out in Spurs duds?

This is no way to lord over Cleveland, King James. Did England's King Henry V sport a fleur-de-lis logo while his people battled France? We think not.
Nice fleur-de-lis reference (no, really, I liked it). A bit hysterical, but all in good fun, right? Wait...
Although John Horton is an Indians fan, be aware: He roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Browns.
What a fuckin' hypocrite. Rooting for the Indians and the Steelers? That's like rooting for the Phillies and the Cowboys, or the Red Sox and the Jets, it's crazy. There's no way Horton can give LeBron James crap about his allegiances when Horton's are all screwed up.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Beisbol Playoffs 2007

This is one of my favorite times of the year, but unfortunately I don't have the time to really talk about it like I would rather do. First off, let me say that at the beginning of the year, I predicted the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Tigers would make it in the AL, and the Phillies, Mets, Cubs and Padres would make it in the NL. I was wrong about Detroit (they had a good run), and the Mets and Padres both came down to their last games. I was wrong about the Diamondbacks and Indians, but to be fair, the Diamondbacks are super overperforming (they've been outscored by 20 runs!). I know everyone kept picking Cleveland for the Central, but I wasn't in love with their pitching and I thought Detroit had the better team. Ah, well, five out of eight isn't bad!

This looks like a pretty good postseason. Except for the Sox and Yanks, the six other playoff teams were not in it last year, and outside of the Angels, I don't think any team has been in the playoffs since at least 03, but I could be wrong. That's pretty exciting if you're a bitch that's always crying about parity.

Now, for my predictions (note: postseason predictions are usually less accurate than regular season) -

Arizona vs Chicago: It's about time for the Diamondbacks to stop overachieving, but the Cubs don't exactly fill me with confidence. Arguably, the Dbacks have the better pitching. I'd give the Cubs the edge for offense. Without looking at runs scored, run differentials, WHIP, HR, and other stuff I like to check, I'll give the edge to Arizona in five.

Colorado vs Philadelphia: Colorado and Philly should be a really fun series. I think both teams match up pretty well, probably give Colorado the edge in pitching (especially bullpen), and Philly for offense. Gonna go with Philly in five, but it's not a confident pick. Should be enjoyable watching all the home runs in those two parks.

New York vs Cleveland: Without checking the stats, I can already tell you the Yankees probably ranked 1st or 2nd or 3rd in OBP, HR, and Runs Scored. Yanks get the edge on hitting. I think people like Wang and Pettitte can be slightly overrated, but they both had good seasons. Cleveland has decent pitching, too, so I'm just going to give them a push on that. I'll give the Yankees the edge, say 4 games, keeping in mind the Yankees swept both series with Cleveland.

Los Angeles vs Boston: Anaheim has a good bullpen, they always have a good bullpen, but ignoring the whiff on Gagne, Boston also has a pretty good bullpen (except against New York, like that one time when Okijima and Papelbon gave up 80 runs in 1 inning). Gotta give credit to Beckett for "most improved." I'd say the Angels and Sox are pretty evenly matched, but without looking at stats, I'd say Sox probably rank 1st or 2nd or 3rd in OBP and runs scored. Sox in 4, considering the Angels shit the bucket in Fenway.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Bronze Bombshell

Yes folks, once again I earned a fantasy baseball trophy, my skills unrivaled except by those with more skill. This year I only placed third, but third is still better than fourth, or last. Here are my top players, for the hell of it:

Draft Pick - Hitter
Best: Chipper Jones (Atl - 3B), drafted 8th - 134 G, 108 R, 173 H, 29 HR, 102 RBI, 5 SB, .337 AVG, .425 OBP
Runner-up: Ken Griffey Jr. (Cin - OF) drafted 23rd - 144 G, 78 R, 146 H, 30 HR, 93 RBI, 6 SB, .277 AVG, .372 OBP

Pick up - Hitter
Best: Carlos Pena (TB - 1B) - 148 G, 99 R, 138 H, 46 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB, .282 AVG, .411 OBP
Runner-up: Brad Hawpe (Col - OF) - 151 G, 80 R, 150 H, 29 HR, 116 RBI, 0 SB, .292 AVG, .386 OBP

Draft Pick - Starting Pitcher
Best: Cole Hamels (Phi), drafted 7th - 183.1 IP, 15 W, 5 L, 2 CG, 177 K, 3.39 ERA, 1.12 WHIP
(Very Close) Runner-up: Roy Halladay (Tor), drafted 1st - 225.1 IP, 16 W, 7 L, 7 CG, 139 K, 3.71 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Pick up - Starting Pitcher
Best: Tim Lincecum (SF) - 146.1 IP, 7 W, 5 L, 0 CG, 150 K, 4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
Runner-up: Shaun Marcum (Tor) - 159.0 IP, 12 W, 6 L, 0 CG, 122 K, 4.13 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Draft Pick - Relief Pitcher (also the Francisco Squad)
Best: Francisco Cordero (Mil), drafted 12th - 63.1 IP, 44 SV, 86 K, 2.98 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 0 W, 4 L
Runner-up: Francisco Rodriguez (LAA), drafted 4th - 67.1 IP, 40 SV, 90 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 5 W, 2 L

Pick up - Relief Pitcher
Manny Corpas (post-ASB) - 34.0 IP, 17 SV, 25 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 1 W, 0 L

Best (only) Trade
Brett Myers for Jake Westbrook (drafted 21st)

As you can see, I heavily favored pitchers in the early part of my draft. I don't think I need to be so pitcher-conscious next season, especially since I went from drafting one closer last year to getting a whole boatload this season. I need to find some relief moderation. And let's be honest, Halladay is good but not 1st round good.

Well, anyway, my skill for picking out unexpected hot players from free agency helped balance out my draft muffs (although that Griffey pick was pure genius), and in the end, I won something, which is the most important lesson and goal of sports (even fake sports).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Get up, Stand Up

Had an opportunity to see some stand up this past Wednesday. The headliner was Jimmy Pardo, along with guest Dan Kaufman and host/opener Andy Nolan. We were in the Helium Comedy Club on Sansom Street in the right lung of Philadelphia. There were roughly 20-25 people in a club that could seat 250. I gotta give credit to all the comics, though, because all three brought their A game.

Andy Nolan was pretty decent, and finished on a high note, which is always good. It's so weird when comedians end their set on a dud joke. I can't find anything to share with you on Nolan; in fact, the funniest thing I found was this Andy Nolan - Europe's No.1 Tribute to Ronan Keating website.

Dan Kaufman came on next, and he had a nice set. By then I was already into my "Philly-tini," which was just a martini flavored with Godiva liqueur and orange flavored something or another. Quite good, actually, if not horrifically overpriced. Anyway, I don't think it was the tiny bit of alcohol that made me warm up to Kaufman. Although a little on the laid back and nerdy side, which isn't a great approach to a small crowd, he still had some quality jokes. Here's a video with a few of his jokes:



Now as good as both of those comics were in keeping the crowd alive, Jimmy Pardo was like a conquering king. He made us sound like a packed house (with the laughter, mind you). Pardo's show came on a recommendation (Nathan), and it was money well spent. Some comedians kill, but Pardo destroys. He annihilates. He's rapid fire, with a solid mix of pre-written jokes and ad lib material. I was in the front row (thank you, people not going to comedy clubs), and I just had a great time. No one commands an audience better than Jimmy Pardo, from what I've seen. I wish I had something of his set to share, but there's only a handful of videos online, including this:



You can also listen to his podcast.

After the show, I met Jimmy and Dan, and bought Jimmy's CD and picked up Dan's business card. I tend to buy comedians' CDs after the show, even if they were so-so, because apparently I like to piss away money. However, I would have purchased Jimmy's CD from a store, it was that good. Dan probably should have had a CD, I would have bought it (unless he was charging twenty bucks or something, I'm not Richie Rich here).

Here's Kaufman doing a puppet show (he didn't do this during his set, so relax):

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Update on Kurt Vonnegut

He's still dead.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I want to rub books all over my naked body

Schindler's Ark (a.k.a. Schindler's List) by Thomas Keneally - This is one of my favorite books. I'm a big fan of non-fiction that reads like fiction (Wild Swans by Jung Chang, to a lesser extent Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose), and this is written like a fluid fable. The past is brought to life in vivid detail, with personal accounts and memories used to weave a complete, balanced look at Oskar Schindler's life, and it reads like a great novel. I also like that the book deals with the details of the Holocaust in a way to leave a lasting, uncomfortable impression without disrupting the flow of the story. What I mean is, the whole of the Nazi extermination plan is looked at through the lens of the Schindlerjuden and Schindler's quest to save as many Jews as possible, and it's so much more "real" than statistics or unconnected stories. The book is about a flawed man with a flawless goal, and about horror and hope. Fantastic effort by Keneally.

The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly - This is one in a series of the Harry Bosch detective novels, although I didn't know that when I bought the book 12 years ago. You know how they say we use very little of our minds? I wonder how much of our brains is used for storage, because there are details of this book I have not thought about in over a decade that I remembered instantly upon rereading. Anyway, the novel isn't fantastic, but it's a decent mystery. Bosch is supposed to be a straight L.A. detective but he seems like a bit of a dweeb (mustache, jazz fan, named after a painter). However, the investigation into his mother's death is not filled with many twists and turns, but just enough to keep it interesting. The big fight towards the end of the book is a major letdown, but even that doesn't stop Coyote from finishing up with more positives than negatives. For every one cliche or obvious plot device, there are two original ideas, so all things considered, it's not a bad book.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some baseball thoughts

As usual, the NL has some tight races, especially the Wild Card, so I thought I'd completely ignore that and talk about some other stuff.

If you're a San Francisco Giants fan, there's not much to look forward to now that the Barry Bonds watch is over and done with. The Giants rank 29th out of 30 major league teams in runs scored, and out of position players with 300 AB or more, none of them were born after 1975. However, ignoring all of the bad, and there is quite a lot of that, the Giants do have a bright, shining light. Fans should be very happy with their rotation. In the past month, the starters have looked like this -
Barry Zito - 30.0 IP, 22 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Matt Cain - 28.2 IP, 27 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Kevin Correia - 35.2 IP, 26 K, 2.02 ERA, 1.09 WHIP
Tim Lincecum - (shut down for rest of the season to preserve arm health, but in 146.1 IP on the year, had 150 K, 4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)

That's a very good front four. And who will fill in the 5th slot? Well, they don't have to go back to Russ Ortiz; there are options. Noah Lowry? Jonathan Sanchez? At least one of them could be ready to go by April 2008.

Speaking of the Wild Card (we were, back at the beginning of this post), I've heard more rumbling about the divisions. After all this time, people are still uncomfortable that the AL West has two less teams than the NL Central. Arguably, it's easier for the Angels to grab a division title than the Cubs. I'm sort of wondering why MLB does not just go back to the duel divisions (East and West), and have two wild cards, either one out of each division or two out of each league. That would leave seven teams in the AL East, seven in the AL West, eight in the NL East, and, of course, eight in the NL West. Not only would that balance things, but it would allow more teams to face each other more often, instead of one team playing 75 games against four division rivals.

Finally, the Yankees have been routinely criticized for buying expensive free agents, stocking their team with high priced hired guns. So when the Yankees began passing on certain top free agents like Carlos Beltran and Barry Zito, and instead starting promoting young farm players like Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, and Shelley Duncan (not to mention those that haven't found a home on the pro roster, such as Tyler Clippard), people had less to complain about, but no less hate. In fact, the anger probably grew. Here was a team that could sign Roger Clemens for $28 million for about 20 starts and yet still call up one of Baseball Prospectus' top prospects. If you thought Clay Buchholz's not hitter in only his second major league start was impressive (it was), Hughes did the same thing (granted, he only pitched 6.1 innings because he hurt himself for a few months, but it's all apples and carrots).

Anyway, my guess is that due to the fact the Yankees are relying on their farm system as much if not more than free agency these days, you're going to start hearing the drum beats grow louder that the Bombers use their corpulent financial resources in ways other teams can't. If the Yankees happen to win the World Series this year, it will happen ahead of schedule. Count on it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

They hate our freedom

Associated Press:
Members of a Christian theater troupe are spreading the word that they’re irate about Kathy Griffin’s off-color speech in accepting a creative arts Emmy earlier this month.

The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge spent $90,440 on a full-page advertisement in USA Today that ran nationally Monday, proclaiming “enough is enough.”

In accepting the Emmy for her Bravo reality show, “My Life on the D-List,” Griffin said that “a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.”

She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and proclaim, “This award is my god now!”

* * *

Griffin’s comments have also drawn ire from the Catholic League, an anti-defamation group that called on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to “denounce Griffin’s obscene and blasphemous comment” at the Sept. 9 ceremony. The E! channel chose to edit Griffin’s speech when it aired the taped event last Saturday night.
and Sheila Marikar, ABC News:
"At the heart of Nora Walker, she is a mother. So surely this belongs to all the mothers of the world … and to especially the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait -- wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm's way and from war," Field said before stumbling over her words, appearing to lose her train of thought and blurting, "Let's face it, if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no god----"

That's when the sound and picture cut out, leaving Emmy viewers across the country to wonder what Field said. She reportedly concluded that sentence with "damn wars," but Fox, airing the Emmys on a time-delay, did not cut back to the stage after Field finished talking.

* * *

In an e-mail statement Monday, Fox explained why they chose to censor three parts of Sunday's Emmy broadcast. (In addition to cutting away from Field, Fox also dropped sound during Ray Romano and Katherine Heigl's speeches.)

"Some language during the live broadcast may have been considered inappropriate by some viewers. As a result, Fox's broadcast standards executives determined it appropriate to drop sound and picture during those portions of the show," the statement said.

* * *

Despite George Carlin's infamous "Seven Dirty Words" monologue, the FCC doesn't have a list of words it considers profane. In its consumer fact sheet, the FCC defines profanity as "including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance."

* * *

Even if Fox censored Field purely because of her expletive and not because of her message, [Quinnipiac University's John Macleod] Gourlie thinks they were wrong to do so. He argues that, considering the Emmys aired at night, at a time when most children are in bed or at least not listening in rapt attention to a 60-year-old actress at an awards show, Fox should have aired Field's speech in its entirety, curse word and all.
We're such a hypersensitive society, and in such perverse ways. We won't waste more than thirty seconds over genocide, but someone says something off-color and there's hell.

With regards to the first article, I wonder why religious people are so insecure with their own faith that they have to lash out at others who don't share their exact beliefs. Did the Miracle Theater really need to drop $90,000 on a hissy fit? That money couldn't have been spent on something more useful? And who cares what Kathy Griffin thinks? Lots of people don't agree with what I like, you don't see me taking out ads in newspapers or blogging about it.

If the roles were reversed and Muslims were the majority in the western world and Christians were the majority in the middle east, Protestants would be flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up.

As for the second issue, does it really matter if kids hear someone say "shit" or "God damn"? First of all, what responsible parent would let their child watch a boring awards show? Second of all, what kid doesn't already know the majority of curse words by the time they're in third or fourth grade? Adults act like when they were small, everything was perfect and no harm or foul deed ever graced their presence. More than likely, they were probably the biggest little assholes around.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Warlord of America

Warlord was an American band that released a few demos, albums, etc. in the early 80s. Back then, they could typically be considered a "power metal" band, but not the technical power metal that is so popular today (and what we typically think of when we think of "power metal"). The band reformed a few years ago, as many 80s metal bands have, but for now, I'd like to share some of their early work.

Lucifer's Hammer


Lost and Lonely Days


Black Mass


Deliver Us From Evil


More info here, DVD here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wins and Losses are the worst statistic in baseball

In 187 innings, a pitcher in the major leagues has thrown 151 strikeouts, 76 walks, and compiled a 3.71 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has a 119 ERA+. He has started 30 games so far, so what would you expect his record to be? 12-9? 14-10? Something decent, right? Put that guy on the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, or other offensive team, and he could be looking for 20 wins by the end of the season.

Well, not when you're Matt Cain and you play for the San Francisco Giants. Cain is 7-15 thus far, and will probably lose his last game of the year next week. The only team that has scored less runs than the Giants this season is the Washington Nationals (time to ship that team back to Montreal). The Giants' offense is so bad, Matt Cain, in 53 at bats, has hit as many home runs (2) as Dave Roberts (362 AB), Omar Vizquel (481 AB), and Mike Sweeney (90 AB).

Matt Cain has not been perfect this year, but then, no pitcher has. He's not a Cy Young candidate with his numbers, but he has pitched 16 games where has given up 2 earned runs or less, and his record is only 6-6 in those games. If you want to include games with 3 ER, then he's pitched 22 games with 3 ER or less, and his record is 7-8.

In other news, I entered a LoJack caught stealing contest to guess how many runners the Yankees would throw out this season. I guessed between 41-45. After submitting my entry on MLB.com's website, I was told, "So far this season 22 runners have been thrown out by the Yankees." Well, considering Jorge Posada has already thrown out 29 runners, I'd say that you're wrong, MLB.com website. Furthermore, Wil Nieves and Jose Molina have also thrown out runners for the Yanks, so you're more wrong.

MLB.com website, you are so wrong you are more wrong than people who think Wins and Losses are a good stat to use in baseball.

Update, September 21, 2007: Matt Cain, yesterday's game hosting Cincinnati - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 R, 4K. Result? Loss.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Doctor Who, Doctor What?

You know, out of all the many bizarre and unbelievable elements in the new Doctor Who - a tunnel to the center of the earth, an ancient prison floating around a black hole, a void of nothingness between dimensions that can be inhabited, a Cyberman that cries oil, a living human face inside a slab of concrete, multiple eteceteras - the oddest thing about the new Doctor Who series is all the black people. Black people make up only 2% of the British population, and yet if one were to make a judgment based on episodes of Doctor Who, you'd think the show was filmed in...Brazil or something (a lot of mulattos in Brazil).

Doctor Who is hypersensitive to political correctness, and I guess that makes sense considering series producer Russell Davies is a homosexual. I'm sure it's lovely for black Britons to see "themselves" on TV (I myself am overjoyed at the fact that the Doctor is white), but it is a bit excessive to focus on 2% of the population the way they do. Indian and Pakistani outnumber blacks in the UK, yet there are significantly less of them on Doctor Who (although there are some, so kudos on that).

If that's the worst racial issue the BBC has to deal with on their shows, they're in good shape. I just couldn't help commenting on it. Looks like the BBC has a bit of the ol' jungle fever, eh?

I apologize for that last remark, although the black women on the BBC are certainly hot. One day I'll write about the BBC's amazing stable of sexy females and the surprisingly healthy body weight they all have, but that's not for today. I don't want to spend too much time analyzing society through television.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stand-up Round-up

Over Labor Day weekend, I went with my gal pal Justin to see some of the region's top (and bottom) comics. The acts included Blake From Sales (the audio from that night is on his comprehensive website), Ed McGonigal (you may know him if you listen to Opie & Anthony and care about the Virus tour), Chris McDevitt (couldn't even be bothered not to have allergies), Randy Latini (could sometimes, apparently, be heard on The Scotty and Alex Show before the show got cancelled as of yesterday), Danny Ozark (I'm running out of parenthetical comments), possibly someone else I can't remember, and the great Bob Levy (if you've heard of him, he really is great).

Here's Danny Ozark tearing up an audience of ten or so people:



Chris McDevitt is a professional comic and thus has little soundbytes on YouTube, which I like to call Chris McNuggets*:



*Don't groan at me you asshole

The aforementioned Bob Levy, who really knows how to command a crowd. And call them gay mother fuckers.



When I was looking for a clip of Ed McGonigal, I came across this, which is probably better than his stand-up routine:



Justin thought Ed was the worst of the bunch, but I didn't think Ed was that bad. In fact, I think Ed is pretty good when he isn't bombing. Ta-da.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

You don't say

Rick Gano, AP:
Guillen's made a name for himself not only for his managing style and success but for controversial comments and opinions that often have caused controversy.
You'd think they would have editors or something.

Unrelated, but Ozzie Guillen's contract probably should not have been extended by the White Sox. Ah well, it gives the Royals an opportunity to look down on someone for a change.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You know, technology

When Apple released the iBook, nearly everyone killed them for not including disk drives. I know that I, too, was incredulous. "No disk drive?," I proclaimed. "Why, that's preposterous." Lo and behold, all these years later disks are as prominent as vinyl records, and everyone is using flash storage devices that connect to the computer via USB ports. What did iBooks have? Oh yes, they had USB ports. Apple was genius.

However, USB ports can't last forever. It's only a matter of time before something else replaces them, something faster and more powerful and even more useful. While this sounds great in terms of what we can accomplish as a society (presumably more work, more war, and more porn), it is creating a problem with me, especially because I do not have my thumb on the pulse of future tech like Apple does.

If I build a robot to carry forth my bidding now and into the deep future, I want it to be able to make use of the latest technology. Today's head crushing technology will seem quaint by tomorrow's standards, and I don't want my robot to be left behind with cars that run on leaded gasoline. Can you imagine if I built a robot in 1997? I hope so, because I'm not going to take the time to write about what it would have been like.

Well, anyway, one good thing about the exponential advancement of technology is that if my robot ever rebels against me, its master and creator, I can always go into hiding for five to ten years and wait for it to go obsolete. Then I can strike at its cold, mechanical heart.

Now all I have to do is learn how to build basic robotics and go from there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What's in a name? Letters

The Cincinnati Reds baseball club have a player on their roster named Elizardo Ramirez. It's a very interesting name. Ramirez is shared by only seven other players who are or have been on a 2007 roster (not including recent September call-ups).

Ha, you fool, I wasn't talking about his family name! I meant his first name, the very exciting ELIZARDO. Broken down, it means E-Lizardo, or "electronic goat." In all likelihood, it may be a Spanish bastardization of the Hebrew name for "My God Helps/Helped Me," but I like to think he is actually named after a reptile. In fact, if Elizardo Ramirez was a character in the Marvel Comics Universe, he would more than likely be a supervillain named The Rhinoceros Iguana (an animal indigenous to the island which contains the Dominican Republic...much like 455 of MLB's past and present players!).

This is all I wanted to talk about todasy, a guy named Elizardo.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Alizée

Alizée Jacotey is a hot little piece of French pop star ass that left the stage to get married and have a kid at the age of 19. What a waste. Anyway, now she's 23 and planning to release a new album in October. Regardless, to deprive us all of her "talents" during what is arguably the best (looking) years of her life is criminal.



J'en ai Marre


Moi...Lolita


Gourmandises


L'Alizée


Hey! Amigo!


La Isla Bonita (Madonna Cover)


J'ai besoin de quelques tissus.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I don't get this

Emily Yoffe writes:
Hypersexualized clothing is not necessarily skimpy. Macy's sells the line by Kimora Lee Simmons, the ex of hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, called Baby Phat. "This is gross," my [11 year old] daughter said, holding up a T-shirt. There was nothing provocative about the cut of the shirt, but embroidered in pink across the chest were the words "Baby Phat" under the large, stylized logo of a cat. My daughter doesn't understand the references this logo is clearly meant to evoke, but she instinctively knew wearing this shirt would be so wrong.


I guess the cat has some vaginal shapes in there...maybe? The cat is a pussy cat, which signifies pussy, which is slang for vagina? It's pink...like a vagina? I mean, seems like we're really stretching it here (like a vagina with a big ol' dick inside it), and how would the 11 year old know? This is why I wouldn't be a good father, I suppose, because to me that would be a perfectly acceptable shirt for a young girl to wear.

I'm sure my friends can think of other reasons why I wouldn't be a good father, such as my disdain for children.

A pile of dead babies

From the side alley bars to the halls of the opera house, everyone's heard this now classic joke:

What's the difference between a pile of dead babies and a Cadillac?

I don't have a Cadillac in my garage.

The gift of a true comedian, of which I am not one, is to reinvent the wheel. Now, I don't mean you reuse the same jokes forever, but what I do mean is you have to keep people on their toes. If they can predict the joke, it's not funny. With suspense as well as with humor, an unexpected zinger is gold.

So what's the difference between a pile of dead babies and a Cadillac?

I've never made a raft out of a Cadillac.
I've never killed someone inside a pile of dead babies.
I don't buy Cadillacs from the clinic.
You can't eat a Cadillac for Thanksgiving.
I kidnapped your sister.

Feel free to add more in the comments.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Spy Who Came In from the Used Car Dealership

I was thinking about the guy that owned GMF Motors, "where we pay top dollar for your good running vehicle, paid for or not. I'm ready when you are." His used car commercials were huge in Las Vegas, and I was trying to find them on YouTube. Think Appliance Direct, but Nevada instead of Florida.

Instead, I found out* he is being investigated by the federal authorities because he is Iranian and spends half of every year in Iran. Oh what a tangled web we spin when we choose to be Middle Eastern.

Is he a threat to this country? Maybe, maybe not, I don't have all the facts. I just think it's a shame if he's being targeted simply because of his origin and continued connections thereof. Besides, it's not like we need a reason to distrust used car dealers. Doing otherwise would be...wakkie nu-nu!



*I'm not sure what year the story was written, but I figure it was published circa 2002. Dear KLAS, please date your articles.

Second only to March Madness

Fantasy Football season is about to begin, which is the one non-physical office activity everyone seems to get into outside of betting on college basketball. I'm a bigger fan of fantasy baseball, as I prefer baseball in general, but that doesn't mean I won't try my hand at it every season. Here are my draft results from today:

Offense
QB - Tony Romo, DAL
WR - Marques Colston, NO
WR - Mark Clayton, BAL
WR - Isaac Bruce, STL
RB - Reggie Bush, NO
RB - Ronnie Brown, MIA
TE - Antonio Gates, SD
K - Josh Scobee, JAC
UTIL - Warrick Dunn, ATL (RB)
BENCH - Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (QB)
BENCH - Troy Williamson, MIN (WR)
BENCH - Randy McMichael, STL (TE)
BENCH - Jay Feely, MIA (K)

Defense
DEF - Baltimore Ravens
D - DeMeco Ryans, HOU
D - Lance Briggs, CHI
BENCH - Buffalo Bills (DEF)
BENCH - Antonio Pierce, NYG

I feel it's a pretty balanced draft overall, but I'm already worried about Ronnie Brown's playing time and Colston and Clayton's health. In fact, I drafted Ronnie Brown second, and while my gameplan was to draft two RBs in the first two rounds, to my defense I arrived late and the autopick had already chosen for me. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And now, stand up

Here is Chainsaw, a regular caller to The Kidd Chris Show when Kidd Chris was in Sacramento, or maybe San Antonio. Somewhere else. Anyway, if you feel the stand up is going a little slow, skip ahead to about the 4:27 mark (or 2:30 left) and listen to the public toilet joke.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Captain EO and the EOteers

Many have decried the "Disney-ification" of society, the cheapening of classic fairy tales and the commercialization of whatever. You know what it is, I don't have to run it down for you. The point is, Disney gets a bad rap, and sometimes rightfully so. However, Disney is also responsible for one of the single greatest achievements in human history, and that was the 3D film "Captain EO." It's no longer in Epcot, but it is here on the Internet!





If you mixed Star Wars, "Labyrinth," "Flash Gordon," Proust and Kafka, you still wouldn't get anything as close to perfection as this. Michael Jackson in space...with puppets. It's glorious.

Exact quotes

MLB Commisioner Bud Selig on Jason Giambi.

KFPL:
"He was forthright with Senator Mitchell -- at least that was Senator Mitchell's conclusion."
vs.
STATS, Inc.:
"He was, I thought, very frank and candid with Sen. Mitchell, at least that was the senator's conclusion."
Funny how both reporters heard the same thing and quoted something that is essentially the same quote, but clearly different. If you're going to quote someone, I think it important to get it exactly right. Even if the spirit of the quote is right, if it's not precise, you know how those things can come back and cause problems.

"You just can't slap quotations marks around something and call it an exact quote," Chris said from his chair. "It's sloppy journalism."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jesus, part 1



Original drawing by Larry Van Pelt.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Return of the lightning links

Mike Wieringo, comic book artist, recently passed away at the age of 44 from heart failure. He wasn't my favorite artist, possibly because his art seemed a bit more cartoony than I like, but I did read his blog on occassion and I read a few of the titles he worked on, most notably his epic run on The Flash with Mark Waid in the mid-90s. Some people are sharing their favorite 'Ringo covers in this thread.

Roy Edroso, former punk and underground musician, is probably my favorite political writer (I say probably because I haven't given it much thought). He is very good at cutting through the bullshit, and his best work is when he picks apart those who view art strictly as propaganda and nothing else. However, that's only the tip of his penis, for he does well on so many other topics. Take his examination of people who are desperate to be free of diversity ("Race Men"), or the confusing minds of pro-war conservatives ("Hawks & Sheeple"), or even the me-first, you-never attitude of libertarians ("The Trouble With Libertarians, Part 45,882"). As an added bonus, his comments section is among the best on the Internet, a healthy mix of quality and quantity. I imagine his articles and blog are only enjoyable if you are left-leaning, but even in terms of technical proficiency, he is a hell of a writer.

Finally, this comic is so true to reality it's almost sad. It doesn't even touch on HMOs, which means that if you manage to corral health insurance from an employer, you still probably can't see the doctor you want and you need referrals everytime you want to have something checked. And don't even think about preventitive medicine, not even in passing.