Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicago go go

Via Stats dot com:
May 29 The Associated Press reports Chicago Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said the team did not tell security personnel in the left field bleachers to crack down on fans that might boo or harass struggling OF Alfonso Soriano. One season ticket holder told the Chicago Tribune that crowd control personnel told fans Monday, May 26, they were instructed by supervisors to use a no-tolerance policy for anyone cursing at Soriano, or harassing him.
Two thoughts on that.

1) Stadiums tend to have a low tolerance for people who curse or cause mayhem. Maybe not in football (NFL or FIFA), but in Major League Baseball parks, they do. I've seen people thrown out for yelling at each other.

2) A "struggling" Alfonso Soriano?

His 2007 statistics: .299/.337/.560 with 33 HR and 70 RBI
Roughly 1/3 of 2008: .283/.329/.547 with 11 HR and 29 RBI

He's on pace to finish with his same numbers last year. The big deal is?...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Watching a woman drown

I received another email from Thrillary Clinton, Presidential Hopeful. Let's take a look:
Have you seen the general election polls lately? They consistently show that we'll beat John McCain in November.
That's a refreshing attitude. The Democrats can beat McCain...we have the better ideas. We have the better vision. We -
In a national head-to-head match and in the critical swing states, the numbers show I'm the best candidate to take back the White House for Democrats.
Oh, I see. When you say "we," you mean "Hillary Clinton...ah yes, and the little people who helped me (that's you)." Well, what do you want from the little people?
That is why it's critical that we stay in this race and keep fighting for every last vote. We can win the nomination if we extend our popular vote lead, and that means putting everything we have into the final races. With just a few days before the voters in Puerto Rico head to the polls, our campaign is working hard -- and your support is making the difference.
Ah, try to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, eh? I don't think anything is making the difference, but as some scholars have noted, you can still get the nomination in other, creative ways...just not necessarily legitimate or comfortable ways.

Anything else?
Every vote matters. I need you to help today and join our matching program. When you give today, a supporter will match your contribution and double its impact, making your $25 gift worth $50 or your $50 gift worth $100.
Asking for money was disingenuous two months ago, and it is certainly not any better now. In these hard economic times, why would you try to cheat Americans out of $5 or $10? What are you, a pyramid scam?

[Readers may note that I am writing this as if I was speakingg directly to Hillary Clinton. Readers may also presume that Hillary Clinton will never read this. This assessment is wrong. Ms. Clinton has eyes everywhere. By this time tomorrow, I may have had the bullet with Obama's name on it stir my own brains instead. Enemies of Ms. Clinton will perish. Send my love to my wife. I'm not married, so just pick a random woman, preferably someone attractive. Pubic hair doesn't bother me. End transmission.]

Out, damned Scott

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan wrote a book criticizing the current administration. He's just the most recent in what will probably be a long line of people looking to distance themselves from the Bush disaster. It's too little, too late. God may forgive, but I don't. At least, you don't get to absolve yourself by admitting after the fact that you participated in deception and fraud against the American people, that you misled the world, that you brought death to thousands of innocent people...and for $24.95 hardcover, $9.95 paperback. You don't get to wash the blood off that easily.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Shed your crybaby tears

In yesterday's New York Times (full of good stuff, apparently), Cara Buckley profiles the terrible burden of young white people living in Manhattan and the more fashionable parts of Brooklyn:
Ms. Werkheiser’s salary as a publicist, while well south of six figures, might be considered enviable elsewhere in the country, but in New York she has had to reprioritize. So the remote wardrobe was not her only money-saving tactic.
* * *
She and her friends have also located just about every B.Y.O.B. brunch spot in the city, plotting them out on Google maps. The cost-consciousness, Ms. Werkheiser says, is worth it: She adores New York and lives, with two roommates, in a $3,450-a-month three-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side, verily the center of the universe for Manhattan’s young and hip.
I admit that I am not hip, nor am I with it or in the know. Although I have lived in a vast array of places, from urban to rural, west coast and east coast, I have never lived in Manhattan. So although I understand the term "brunch" to mean a meal between breakfast and lunch, in the glitzy well-to-do world of Manhattan, it might mean something else. But just in case it means the same thing in NYC as elsewhere, here's a helpful tip from your ol' pal Chris - skip the booze during brunch. You really, honestly don't need to drink before 5 p.m.

I'm also curious what salary is "well south of six figures" but "enviable elsewhere in the country"? I'm going to guess $75,000. If someone can't afford to live making $6,250 per month and paying $1,150 per month in rent, that person may be what I like to call "a financial idiot." You know what? I wouldn't even need the roommates. I could afford to live on $2,800 per month and have the apartment all to myself. I could afford groceries and clothing (not that I buy clothing every month). I could afford to see underground bands, visit museums, attend sporting events. I could do that.

Of course, is that where these kids are going? Doesn't seem that way.
“Pre-gaming,” youth speak for drinking at home before going out, is another cash saver. So is ferreting out bars that offer free drinks at certain times, information that is handily compiled at
You don't have to go to Manhattan to drink. I've been around; bars and clubs are plentiful everywhere. This is still America, after all.

To be fair, not all of these 20-somethings are stupid. Some of them are just working shitty jobs.
Peter Naddeo, a 24-year-old musician, earns $15 an hour working as a temp in Web development in Chelsea, and has perfected the tricky art of stretching lunch into dinner. He moved to New York from Pennsylvania last fall and can barely afford his $80 monthly college loan payments. He listens to a hand-me-down CD player because iPods are out of reach. He pays $600 for a 10-by-10-foot room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that has one saving grace: a window that faces east. For lunch, Mr. Naddeo usually orders a $3.50 plate of yellow rice and beans from a Latin American diner on Eighth Avenue, and eats late to ward off hunger pangs.
On the other hand, it's hard for me to feel bad for someone just because they don't have an iPod. I also know that Brooklyn is an expensive place, but dig this - there are cheaper areas than Williamsburg. My cousin makes $15 an hour and he doesn't fucking live in fucking Williamsburg, you fuck. I can take you to the Bronx and introduce you to entire neighborhoods that make less than $15 per hour, yet they eat better than this shmuck. No sympathy.

It's hard for me to feel bad for people purposefully putting themselves into tight financial situations based on poor decisions and inept financial planning. I realize I walk a dangerous line here, as I will bang the drum for the poor often, but I can't classify these people as poor. They're just dumb. My entire life, I've seen people do without so they can live. No one ever did it for the "experience" of living somewhere. Most of the people I deal with in my job live in shitholes not by choice, but because it's all they can manage. Again, I am very reluctant to type these words, but if you can't afford to live in Manhattan, it might be time to pick another borough.


Thus concludes my post of rage, indignation, and venomous bile.