Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

A few random thoughts on the Tiger Woods situation, since it seems to have been the only story in the news since Thanksgiving:

  • The blitz on this story can be explained with a single word: voyeurism. Stories just like this show up every day on websites like TMZ and WWTDD and don't get nearly the attention of this one. This is an excuse for "legitimate" sources like ESPN and CNN to delve into celebrity tabloidism. And it's also an excuse for straight guys to openly pay attention to one of these sexy stories under the guise of "it's in the sports page!" instead of surreptitiously cruising through Ann Landers and Dear Abby for something scandalous when their wife isn't looking.
  • A hobby is something you do that's more fun than what you have to do for a living. Guys like me work in an office for a living and play golf as a hobby. Tiger plays golf for a living--of course he gets blown as a hobby.
  • A young prodigy, in the spotlight from a young age, with a domineering father who forces him to miss childhood while he focuses on his talent, becoming one of the most popular, recognized figures in the world by the time he's 30--sound familiar? Tiger's lucky his vice is adult women and not his own amusement park filled with barnyard animals and young boys.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

BCS

The economy's still in a recession, unemployment is still at 10%, there's still no health care reform, and we still haven't won in Iraq or Afghanistan. But don't worry, the House is spending their time and your money telling the NCAA how to run their postseason.

Think the current BCS system is bullshit and a playoff would be better? Then don't freaking watch. Don't watch the games, don't buy the gear proclaiming your school as the "national champion", in short, don't make the current system the most profitable way for the NCAA to do business. That's how to get something that's of no consequence in the long run done--not by our legislative branch spending their time and our money.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Silencing "The Voice of God"

Somehow, in all the media coverage surrounding Tiger Woods this weekend, this story seems to have been mostly ignored: Bob Sheppard has announced his retirement as the voice of the Yankees. Hardly a surprise--the man is 99 years old, after all--but he'll be missed. The man is a class act and a huge part of Yankee tradition--there's a reason why Derek Jeter uses a recording of Sheppard's voice for his walkup announcements at home. Thanks for the memories, Bob, and enjoy your retirement.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Riddance

Congratulations to Virginia for putting down the animal known as the D.C. Sniper, and only six years after his conviction. That's not sarcasm--these days, that's a pretty efficient timeline for death penalty states that aren't Texas. Kudos to outgoing governor Tim Kaine for deciding he might like to run for elective office again someday, and declining the clemency petition. And although it's a little late to give John Muhammed some parting advice, I'm going to do it anyway: maybe it's not such a good idea to shoot up the town where the nine people who have the very last word on whether you live or die call home.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Nothing Ventured Learned, Nothing Gained

Apparently, some elements of the extreme left didn't learn anything from Tuesday's gubernatorial elections. Just as the moderate-to-right element in this nation starts to reclaim some of the ground lost in 2008, the pinkos over at MoveOn.org are threatening to use their war chest to fund primary opponents for moderate Dems who don't vote for Premier Speaker Pelosi's health care bill tomorrow. Great idea, guys. Take away the advantage from people who mostly see things your way, and try to get some candidates out there who leave moderates no choice but to push the red button when they get into the voting booth. Do that, and just see how long your controlling majority lasts. I won't lose any sleep over self-inflicted foot wounds faced by the Dems, but I like to see the moderate element nurtured and grown within both parties. Without a viable third-party option in most areas, for many of us, the moderate is the preferable candidate regardless of affiliation. Compromise is king here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

27

Congratulations to my New York Yankees on their professional sports record 27th World Series championship! It's nice to walk around today basking in their reflected glory, getting congratulations from friends and coworkers for doing absolutely nothing. But along with the congratulations come the inevitable whines of "Duhr, you guys bought a championship with mercenary players, duhr." Really, genius? It's true, C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher were all offseason pickups, and Chad Gaudin was acquired in a midseason trade, but every other starter--pitchers and position players alike--were either products of the Yankees farm system or have been with the team for four years or more. That's long enough for the mercenary stigma to wear off. Do the Yankees spend money on players? Sure. But in recent years, they've brought in just a few each year to supplement a strong core of players that they've developed themselves. So congratulations, Yankees. Enjoy a well-deserved victory.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Separated at birth?
















Yeah, I said it. Tony Romo is dogshit. He has been for years. Like the aforementioned turd, turn up the heat, and he turns pale and starts to crumble. Like a nugget on the lawn, just apply a little pressure, and he falls all to pieces. From the fumbled point-after snap against Seattle in the '06 playoffs to just last weekend when he made Kyle Freakin' Orton look like Johnny Freakin' Unitas, this guy has never made the big play to win the big game. And yet the media is there, week in and week out, consistently ranking him in the top ten quarterbacks in the game. If that ranking is for the number of hot famous women he's banged, sure, he's right there behind Big Ben Roethlisberger. (I'll take Natalie Gulbis over Jessica Simpson any day of the week and twice on Sunday.) But in terms of actually playing in NFL games? He's halfway down the list, and that's on his good days. It's time for the sportswriters and talking heads to realize that this guy is not the second coming of Roger Staubach. The guy barely beat out an over-the-hill Drew Bledsoe to get the starting job in the first place. Hell, he barely beat out an over the hill Drew Henson to get the starting job in the first place. I'd say he's really the second coming of Ryan Leaf, but to be fair to Romo, he wasn't drafted in the first round (in fact, he wasn't drafted at all) and brought in as the savior of the franchise. Let's just call him the second coming of Elvis Grbac.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I'm A Yankees Fan

Because if I were a Red Sox fan, I'd have something in common with this load.

Seriously--they actually took court time to let a convicted criminal out of jail to go to a baseball game? He violated a restraining order--that implies a history of violence. (Based on the picture, it is possible that said order was taken out by the local bakery, however.) Thank God I don't live in Iowa; if my tax dollars had contributed to this, I likely would have stroked out.

I just wonder if they let him change out of his prison jumpsuit and put on his Sox jersey to go to the game. If they did, I'm guessing it was a throwback Mo Vaughn--that's the only one they make in his size.

Hat tip to my friend Pat ("proud" member of Red Sox Nation) for the link.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gone Green

I never thought I'd join the "stop global warming at any cost" movement. But it looks like hell just froze over. Or at least the version of hell presided over by the Hop Devil. Of course, we could just start pushing the world's hops production north. There's plenty of unused space up there in the northern parts of Canada, Greenland, and Russia that could host enough hops farms to supply our craft brewers.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hubby Chaser

Those wacky hippies at Ben and Jerry's are at it again--they've renamed their "Chubby Hubby" ice cream flavor to "Hubby Hubby" to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in Vermont. But is it a step forward for gay rights--or a step forward for bloggers who go for the cheap joke? Check out the description of the flavor on the picture--those pretzels don't look so appetizing when they're presented in a gay context. And is it just a coincidence that the word "fudge" appears more than once in the description? Couldn't they have changed it to "chocolate", just for the month that the flavor is on the market? Either that, or just go for the obvious one....

"Packed with fudge!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Forward March

I don't usually pass along, laugh at, or even read e-mail forwards, but this one was way too funny to ignore:

-----Original Message-----
From: XXXXXXXXXX <XXXXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXXX.com>
Sent: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 11:50 am
Subject: INTERNET WARNING

INTERNET WARNING:


If you get an email titled "Nude photo of Nancy Pelosi," don't open it....









It contains a nude photo of Nancy Pelosi.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Growth Industry

New jobless claims are up again, despite other indicators that the economy is entering a recovery period. But not every company is laying off workers. Some are doing well, and doing their part to increase the work force. Of course, if this keeps up, people won't need government handouts anymore, so this has to be stopped right away. How to accomplish this? Tax the hell out of 'em, of course!

(Hat tip to Starr of Texas and Beer Wars over on Twitter for the links.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dying Breed

Check out the second page of this article, on Walgreen's rejection of the state's lowball bid on Medicaid reimbursement. Specifically, this quote (the emphasis is mine):

The dispute now amounts to a $1 million savings for the state, and a $500,000 cost for Walgreens. That kind of money might be found in the seat cushions of Legislative Hall or the lint screens of a pharmaceutical salesman's clothes dryer. It represents an almost imperceptible blip in the record earnings Walgreen's has recorded in its past 34 consecutive fiscal years.
This isn't one a quote from a member of the churches pressuring Walgreen's to cave in. These are the words of the supposedly fair, unbiased reporter who wrote the story. This isn't in the op-ed section; it's in the local news section. Jabs like this are the precise reason why I don't subscribe to the print edition of my local paper. Am I the only one? Or is biased reporting part of the reason why this venerable medium is circling the drain? Unlike the News-Journal, I'll let you be the judge.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

To The Birthers:

It's real. The controversy is over. Now STFU, please. Now. Seriously. You're an embarrassment to conservatives everywhere. Like in, ELF-to-the-liberals-level embarrassment. Like in, the-government-is-responsible-for-September-11th-to-all-Americans-level embarrassment. Like in, the-moon-landing-was-fake-to-the-entire-human-race-level embarrassment. You're the reason I have to whisper that I'm a Republican. You're the reason people roll their eyes and shake their heads when they overhear my whispers anyway. Just go away, before you tar us all with your brush for the 2010 election cycle.

ThisIsWhyYoureBroke.com

Because, in the midst of trying to reduce a huge deficit, you grant $50,000 to a private company so that they can make instant French fry vending machines, with the promise of more state money to come once a working prototype is completed.

Is it just a coincidence that the owner of the company is both the neighbor and nephew-in-law of the head of the state senate's Bond Bill committee?

This is the fiscal equivalent of someone who needs to lose a hundred pounds sitting down for a nice healthy breakfast of Snicker Bar Pancakes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sock Puppets

My great home state has found a way to cut nearly 10% off their budget deficit without raising tax rates one red cent--legal sports gambling. Now two buttinsky senators--Hatch (R-UT) and Kyl (R-AZ), to be specific--want to shut it down before it even gets started. Their reasoning? Sports betting "threatens the integrity of the pastimes our citizens enjoy and the nature of the games they follow." Thank you, Senators, for your concern over the integrity of our entertainment while our troops are still fighting the war on terror and our economy is still in recession. Funny how this never came up when sports betting was limited to Las Vegas. Wait a minute...Utah and Arizona both border Nevada. Surely these two aren't influenced at all by campaign contributions from their local casino owners. Look carefully and you can almost see the hands up their asses making their mouths move.

Friday, July 10, 2009

MADD About Beer

Some special interest groups are like unions: they were formed for a good cause, but outgrew that initial purpose as they gained political traction. Take MADD, for example. No one is denying that DUI crashes are a terrible thing, and MADD is to be commended for getting the nation to take them seriously. But do they really need to go after (the excellent) Flying Fish Brewery over a line of specialty beers that pay mock tribute to the legendary Jersey Turnpike? If they're promoting drunken driving, then maybe MADD should go after Fat Tire next (okay, it's a bike tire, but you could still mess yourself up pretty good weaving around on a bike). And they must really hate these commemorative NASCAR beer steins! Do they really think a beer's name is going to influence (by definition) grown adults to get liquored up and slalom down the Jersey Turnpike...or at least any more often than that already happens? Or is this just another publicity grab by a special interest group that's outgrown its original mission?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get Over It

Economists are saying the recession could have another quarter or more to go, Iran is broken out in violence that could determine whether they become a progressive democracy or remain a reactionary radical state, and we're worried about David Letterman's stupid jokes? That's stupid enough, but to keep protesting after the butt of the joke has accepted his apologies takes it to a whole different level. A classic case of "we get the government we deserve."

Now, Megan Fox topless pictures....there's a distraction from hard news I can get behind (warning: link delivers what it promises.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Phone-y

I hate to keep "borrowing" Vodkapundit's post format, but it's just so damned genius.

Under President Obama’s plan, 95% of Americans will receive a tax cut. Except the ones who make phone calls.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Second Place Is No Place

Peyton Manning, #1 NFL draft pick, 1998: 3-time NFL season MVP, 2006 Super Bowl champion and MVP, and one of the biggest national sports celebrities with millions of dollars in contracts and endorsement deals.

Ryan Leaf, #2 NFL draft pick, 1998: 4 wins as a starter in his first three years, retired in disgrace after four injury-riddled years, and now a wanted fugitive.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blackmail

Or at least that's what it's called when private individuals act this way. When the government does it, it's called...well, I don't know what it's called, but it ought to be called the same thing. God forbid a retail business actually wants to get paid at least enough to recoup its own costs for the products it sells. And I can just hear the thought process of the (Democrat) representative who came up with this idea: "How dare this business try to make money? They're making it more difficult for our Medicaid patients to get their medicine! Wait, I know what we can do...we can make it more difficult for state employees to get their prescriptions, too! If it goes well enough, we can drive this large chain out of the state entirely, losing hundreds of jobs in the process! That'll mean more people dependent on the government, thereby guaranteeing me and my pals jobs for life! Self-high-five!"

I Won't Drink To That, Part 2

Apparently, the proposed increased booze taxes that Congress is proposing sounded like such a good idea that the states are beginning to jump in. Never mind that this tax is going to hurt the many local breweries that provide jobs and revenue around the state. And never mind that a lot of the liquor stores around the state are locally owned and operated as well. Just keep chipping away until nobody can afford to do anything the slightest bit bad for themselves. Or fun.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I Won't Drink To That

Under President Obama’s plan, 95% of Americans will receive a tax cut. Except for the ones who drink beer. This actually pissed me off enough to write to my senator on the finance committee; follow the links in the article to find out if you have one and do the same.

The format of this post was shamelessly "borrowed" from Vodkapundit.

Friday, June 05, 2009

When I Was Your Age...

...we had to write and turn in our research papers for school on time. We didn't have services like Corrupted-Files.com to sell us deliberately corrupted Microsoft Office documents that we could pass off as our completed work to stall for time while we waited for our teachers and professors to ask us to "re-send" them.

Hat tip to my old boss for the link.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This Is My Home State

Sussex family protests student's ban from graduation

There's a reason the southern part of the state is called "Slower Lower". Check out this quote from this future inmate's aunt:

"[My son] was found getting high in school and all they did was make him get drug rehab. And even though he failed all them drug tests, they still let him walk. All Robert did was threaten someone verbally."
So he threatens a teacher, and gets a slap-on-the-wrist school suspension instead of an assault charge. Oh, and he still gets his diploma without so much as summer school. Some people just don't know how to count their blessings.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Divorce

I guess I should start at the beginning of this story. It all started when I moved into my house in the summer of 2002, and immediately broke up with my first TV provider, Comcast. She'd turned into a real bitch over the past couple of years, and I probably should have done it long before then, but she was my first, and hey, I was getting what I needed regularly. But once I was in the new house, her customer service got all bitchy and uncooperative, and who needs that? So it was so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.

And hello to the love of my life, DirecTV. More channels. Less money. Better picture. We were happy, oh so happy. A couple of years later, our little Tivo unit came along, and it truly was the greatest day of my life. We raised it right--so that sports was the only thing it ever showed live, and I never had to sit through any commercials.

Fast forward a couple of more years, and now DirecTV and I also have a new HDTV. And that was what changed everything. DirecTV just didn't look as attractive anymore with her non-HD signal. Oh, sure, most of her programming could be zoomed in to take advantage of my bigger 16:9 set, and it was certainly a decent, watchable picture. But how could I be happy at home knowing that there's better looking HD programming out there for a reasonable price? They were everywhere I went--bars, hotels, even friends' houses, flaunting their beautiful 1080p's right in front of my face.

The most persistent of all of these was Verizon FIOS. She sent me love letters, promising to do things no TV provider had ever done to me before. Heck, to do things I didn't even know a TV provider could do. She'd do things to my phone, and to my computers too. DirecTV and Comcast wouldn't touch those. (Well, Comcast had been willing, but only if I gave her way more money than it was worth.) Then she started in with the phone calls, promising all the sweet nothings she'd provide, and how little she wanted in return. Luckily, I was able to delete the messages off my answering machine before DirecTV heard.

Then, last night came the big blowup. Our little Tivo unit was starting to go astray, running with a bad crowd that got poor reception on the signal. DirecTV insisted that it would cost money to have it fixed, even though I knew it was far too late to turn it around. For my part, I wanted DirecTV to get an HD job. I know she can still look just as good as those other services, if she only wanted to. But she refused to do it without some stiff upfront charges, no matter how much I pleaded, wheedled, and even threatened to leave.

So this morning, I did it. I gave into temptation. I finally called up Verizon FIOS and told her to get her gorgeous little installation package over here just as quickly as she could. She's moving in a week from Monday, and bringing me HD DVR service, free long distance, and faster internet (just to name a few of her services), all for about the same price I was paying before to get none of those from DirecTV. I'm so excited, I keep reading the e-mail over and over because I just can't believe she's moving in with me.

As for DirecTV, I've got the papers drawn up, just waiting to serve them. But I'm sure she'll land on her feet. The last I heard from her, she'd gotten the HD upgrade after all, and was heading north to shack up with my father.

Monday, June 01, 2009

GM or Bust

Nice to see that all of those billions of taxpayers' dollars spent to keep General Motors out of bankruptcy have finally paid off. The federal government is going to be the majority stockholder, and between the government and the unions, there's only going to be about 20% of the company left to go around. People--like my almost-90-year-old grandfather--who were holding GM stock are going to get the shaft worst of all, probably losing 100% of their investments. (Don't feel too bad for my grandfather, though--he's a pretty sharp investor who was just gambling a couple bones on a recovery for fun.)

But...just ask the former Soviet Union how well governments do when it comes to running automakers. Or just look how wonderfully efficient our own government institutions are. They wouldn't stand a chance in a competitive environment. Maybe a post-bankruptcy, streamlined GM will be able to compete. But I wouldn't bet my retirement on it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Back Door Man

New York politicians have a little bit of a history of going after video games over content--most notably Sen. Chuck Schumer with 25 to Life and former Senator Hilary Clinton with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Fortunately for people who enjoy a little bit of violent content in their fictional entertainment, there's very little they can do thanks to ye olde First Amendment.

But fortunately for nanny-state government officials, there's a way to force your will through the back door, as discovered by an obscure New York State Assemblyman: rule it a "health risk", slap a sin tax on it, and add one more burden to the ever-growing list of "wealth redistributions". "It's bad for you" is the new "Think of the children"--the battle cry of the banal and the bland.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carrie

OK, I'm mainly posting about this so I can put up the picture at the left--can you blame me?

Good for The Donald, though. Who'd ever have thought that he'd be a champion for free speech and the right to express a different opinion? All Carrie Prejean did was give an honest answer to a question. And just whose idea was it to make that little weasel Perez Hilton a pageant judge--a female beauty pageant, at that? As far as I can tell, his only qualifications for any sort of notoriety are being a flaming homosexual and drawing cock'n'ball pictures all over his site, like a junior high kid doodling in his textbooks. By that criteria, I'm halfway there myself. The guy's just an asshole--proving once again the old adage, "You are what you eat."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine And Dandy

Swine flu is this year's bird flu, with the mainstream media doing their damnedest to scare the bejeebus out of us all, so that we keep their station tuned in for all our Swine Flu Updates. I wonder how many infected from Mexico and South America will try to make their way across our borders in search of our superior health care, infecting every town they come in contact with. And I wonder what our government (now with Senate Filibuster-Proof Majority) will do to lower our risk. The next couple of days will be a golden opportunity to shore up our porous southern border. By this time next week, we'll know whether or not we've got a government that will give us "change we can believe in" on border security.

Friday, April 24, 2009

...And New Photos

I've finally resolved to get my Flickr site up to date with the photos I've taken over the last, oh, 8 months or so. This first batch is photos I took at Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park during a "two-games-two-days-two-parks" weekend, culminating with the eventual World Series champion Phillies clinching the division over the Nationals.

New Look

No, you're not at the wrong site.  I just proofread the post I just made and realized that my layout was giving me a headache.  So in the interest of easing eyestrain everywhere, I've changed my template to one that I think is a bit easier to read.  I'll be making some changes to some of my sidebar items (my Flickr link in particular takes up way more than its share of room), but I hope everyone likes the new look. (I welcome feedback if you love it or hate it; just use the comment form.)

You May Pick Your Seat

Anyone who knows me or who's ever read this blog (and I think all of you are one and the same) knows that I love the Yankees more than I love breathing. So it's out of love that I say this. Just like Chris Brown.

It's no secret that I hated the Yankees tearing down and replacing the classic, historical Yankee Stadium. In fact, over on my Twitter page, I likened it to seeing the Temple of Solomon torn down and having a McDonald's built on top of the rubble. Well, it looks like some of those proverbial McChickens have come home to roost. Seems that even during the inaugural series of...well, Yankee Stadium (I do give them credit for not naming it Macy's Stadium), there were an awful lot of Yankee fans who were disguised as empty seats and sitting very quietly. This was especially true in the most TV-visible lower seats, where face-value tickets ran over $2,000. And it's making one of (if not the single) most-followed, best-marketed-and-merchandised franchises in the world, let alone sports or baseball, look bad. There are lessons to be learned here--about tearing down the single biggest piece of the history that's made the franchise as beloved as it is, about spending billions of public and private dollars during one of the biggest recessions in recent memory, and about doing it all in the name of eliminating the bleachers and putting in more luxury boxes and "Legends Suites". Yankee Stadium isn't the only place turning what used to be entertainment for the working masses into a diversion for bluebloods and titans of industry only. But it's the worst and most visible offender. And a perception of inaccessibility is the first step down a very bad road for any franchise, sports or otherwise.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sext and Sensibility

I never thought I'd be praising the ultimate blue-state government of Vermont, but this time they're working on a plan that actually makes sense. And that plan is to decriminalize sexting between teenagers. Yeah, yeah, yeah, religious conservatives, it'll probably lead to more of that kind of thing. But we're not talking about school shootings or fight clubs here. We're talking about stupid and horny kids doing what stupid and horny kids do whenever a new technology is invented: use it to get their rocks off. In a post-Megan's law world, is that worth being branded for life with the modern-day scarlet "A"? That's in the same category of stupid as stigmatizing someone for taking a leak in the alley behind the bar.

Monday, April 13, 2009

To Amazon: You Stink, No Link

I like keeping the Recent Experiences section over on the right hand side of this site up to date. It's a way for me to let my visitors know what entertainment I've been enjoying lately. To do that, I use the thumbnails from Amazon.com, just because they're there and easy to grab hold of. As a way of thanking them for not blocking me from leeching their images, I link back to the product's purchase page so that they can perhaps grab an extra sale or two out of the deal.

Well, not anymore. After I read this story on Slashdot today, I refuse to send them any more business until they back off this policy fix the "bug". Oh, sure, they're free to to sell or not sell whatever they want. But I'm also free to encourage others to send a message by taking their business elsewhere.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sin Tax Error

I'm sure everyone's read the stories and the opinions, pro and con, about the biggest ever tax hike on tobacco in history. (And it is tobacco, not just cigarettes. In fact, the taxes on cigars are going up at an even higher rate in some cases.) Problem is, most of the money goes to increase funding to S-CHIP, the childrens' health insurance program. That's not something that's suddenly going to need less money if smokers quit en masse. This tax has two goals that are at odds with each other: to get more people to quit smoking (and buying cigarettes), and to fund government programs. If and when the first goal is accomplished, the revenue stream dries up for the second. And what does the government do then? Well, if the fiscal conservatives are in charge, they cut spending commensurately. But if the government acts in character for recent times, that's not going to happen. And in the end, when everyone's taxes go up to keep the money flowing in, even the saints will be paying the sin taxes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bailing Out The S.S. Georgie*

I don't necessarily agree with Barry Hussein's Bailout Bonanza, but I can at least get the arguments.

Bank bailouts--I get it. We can't let our banking system collapse.
Automaker bailouts--I get it a little less than the banks, but they do provide a buttload of American jobs.

But newspaper bailouts? I don't get it at all. At least the banks and automakers still have a type of product that people want and need. Do we really need to spend still more taxpayer money to preserve paper copies in the era of 24/7 news channels and the interweb? Why don't we just bail out Tower Records and the vinyl record industry while we're at it?

*If you don't get the title, watch the TV movie version of IT.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness 2009

It's that time again--the only time of year that I watch basketball, the NCAA tournament. (I refuse to call it the "men's tournament" because the only women's sport I watch is beach volleyball.) For the record, I'm predicting Pitt to win it all over Louisville, with Memphis and UNC rounding out the Final 4. My big first-round upset predictions are Maryland over California (UMD is up 3 at the half as I write this), Mississippi State over Washington, VCU over UCLA, and the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky taking out the Fightin' Illini.

It's just too bad the NCAA's new and "improved" video player sucks so bad. Just a few of the new "features" include:

  • Gigantic advertising banners that take up approximately 1/3 of the available viewing room in fullscreen mode. That's not fullscreen, you greedy scumbags. That's 2/3 screen. And just to add insult to injury...
  • The inability to switch games during commercial breaks. Why would I want to check out the near-upset of #2 Memphis during the commercial break of the also-close LSU vs. Butler game?
  • Underestimation of bandwidth. Apparently they've failed to realize that 90% of the audience will be watching the daytime games on our superfast work connections and therefore we'll all want the high-quality feed. I actually want to see the shots go in, not hang in midair while the word "Buffering" and the Wheel of Waiting sit on my screen.
  • Microsoft Silverlight. If your computer had balls, Silverlight would be the steel-toed boot slamming into them. I'm not a Microsoft-basher (in fact, I'm a Microsoft-basher-basher), but in this case, I've got to call a spade a spade.
I suspect 99% of these problems would be solved if the NCAA would follow baseball's lead and ditch Silverlight in favor of Adobe Flash (or just stick with good old Windows Media Player. Really, was that so bad?) Better luck next year, hoops fans.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Autoneurotica

I don't read the news and stress about the economy. No, I just find more and more other things to worry about. Just a few:

  • I've already posted my fears about Europe's Large Hadron Collider, or as I call it, the Doomsday Device. Now I find out that there's a similar gizmo right here in the U.S. The race is on...to see who can cause the Apocalypse first.
  • I can't go out to eat anymore. At least not to a lot of the places I used to go. Not since my local paper introduced me to a searchable database of health code violations. I'm reasonable with it--it's not going to steer me away from my favorite cheesesteak place just because they caught one of the cooks smoking too close to the kitchen door. But I'm sure as hell never going back to the Chinese place that got written up because the staff was handling the food with piss-hands!
  • This is my ultimate fear. This is the reason that I've never had the organ donor label on my drivers license. I saw an episode of Law & Order similar to this when I was younger, and had it removed the very next time my license was renewed. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for organ donation, and my family will donate my organs, but they know to keep it to themselves until they're satisfied that I'm completely dead. In my worst moments, I imagine my organs being harvested while I'm conscious (similar to locked-in syndrome).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Greatest Excuses Ever

"I thought I was smuggling diamonds, not drugs."

The false suitcase bottom didn't tip this guy off to the fact that he was doing something illegal? It's too bad they can't tack on extra years for stupidity.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Backpedalling

I hate flip-flopping, but in this case, I have to do it. I don't mind changing my mind, so much, but when I feel strongly about something and give voice to it in strong words, like I did with my A-Rod post a couple of days ago, I like to stick to it. But this time Bud Selig has gone too far.

A-Rod "shamed the game" of baseball? Maybe so--but no more so than the other 103 players who tested positive in that supposedly anonymous test. I'm pissed at A-Rod--and not so much pissed at as disappointed in--because he was supposed to be the Great Clean Hope, who would reclaim baseball's home run records from the evil, tainted clutches of Barry Bonds. His record and legacy are just as tainted as Bonds, McGwire, Canseco, and others from MLB's Steroid Era, but he was within the rules of the game (if not the rule of law). About 14% of the league tested positive along with him, not an insignificant number. And that's just the ones who got caught. Serious juicers know all sorts of tricks to avoid being caught by simple urine tests. For that reason alone, I'm against Curt Schilling's call to publish the names of all those who failed the anonymous tests. It could falsely exonerate a cheater who managed to game the system by chemical means.

But I digress. A couple of days removed from Alex's confession, and with some time to think with some balance about what's best for both baseball and for my favorite team, I just don't feel as harshly about A-Rod as I did a few days ago. And I certainly don't feel as harshly about A-Rod as Selig does. I'm disappointed, and certainly won't root for A-Rod with the same intensity as I did in past seasons, but for the good of the Yankees, I'm going to move on and focus on the present. Bud Selig needs to do the same.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Separated at birth?



Bank of America head honcho Ken Lewis and former XFL commentator Jim "J.R." Ross

I don't know why, but I feel a lot more confidence about our economic recovery after seeing this. Maybe it's the knowledge that if this bailout thing doesn't work, we can stay afloat selling barbecue sauce.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Workin' At The Car Wash

Car wash owners charged with mistreating, harassing employees

This story doesn't say, but it makes me wonder what the immigration status of the employees in this story was. I'm not saying that the owners aren't scumbags, or don't deserve to go to jail if the allegations are true, but people who are in the country illegally and working "off the books" make themselves targets for this type of predatory boss. That type of thinking probably makes me some sort of evil victim-blamer in some people's eyes, but I don't care. I think of it as taking one's fair share of the responsibility when bad things happen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A-Hole

Headline blatantly swiped from yesterday's New York Post. Because it's true.

I was defending A-Rod--once again--to friends over the weekend. My side of the conversation went something like, "Well, you know, it is possible to have a false positive in these tests. You don't see any of the other telltale signs, such as becoming injury-prone, or suddenly, mysteriously, gaining 50 pounds of muscle in the offseason. I'm going to be on his side until he confesses."

Which lasted until Monday afternoon. Whoops.

I'm so tired of having to stick up for this douche. He's made an ass of himself and his family right on the front page of the papers, he's caused nothing but distraction year after year since coming to the Bronx, and he's done nothing but fail down the stretch and into the postseason. And still, I've rooted for him, for the good of the team. No more. I'm done. I'm out. The Yankees don't need him anymore. There are other third basemen out there. We've added Mark Teixeira--he can replace A-Rod's offensive contributions easily. Oh, I'll still be rooting for the Yankees--I'll just be hoping they win while A-Rod falls to the bottom of the lineup, eventually getting benched and traded for a couple of long-shot pitching prospects. The worst part about all of this? A-Rod was the best shot to have a "clean" player break Barry Bonds's tainted home run record. Now it looks like the most revered record in sports is going to be in the hands of a juicer for at least another generation.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Post-Super Bowl Thoughts, XLIII Edition

  • The commercials sucked this year, just like the last couple of years. I blame the whiny noodges like the PTC that give bad press to any company that dares to try anything edgy or outrageous (remember the flack over Budweiser's farting horse ad?) and scares the advertisers away from taking any chances.
  • I feel bad for Larry Fitzgerald. He played a great game, and it's going to be completely lost to history. He's the best receiver in the game today, and non-diehard football fans don't know him because he doesn't do prop celebrations in the end zone, doesn't shoot himself in nightclubs, and doesn't do cocaine off a credit card in parked cars.
  • That said, Santonio Holmes's game-winning TD catch was one of the greatest Super Bowl plays I've ever seen. Maybe not quite as good as Tyree's helmet catch last year, but I'm definitely biased.
  • Parity is a good thing. We've had a bunch of good, close Super Bowl games over the past several years. Remember when the 49ers or Cowboys could be counted on to blow out their Super Bowl opponent, year in and year out? Those games were boring to watch. Dynasties are great for the history books, but boring to live through, unless you root for the team that's on top.
  • If New England is the team of the 'aughts, Pittsburgh is a close second. 2 wins and no losses in the Super Bowl, and two more AFC championship appearances...that's not too shabby.
Finally, in tribute to the champs--an updated video version of their fight song!



Is it as good as the original? You be the judge. There's definitely more "shoehorning" of the lyrics to fit the original song, but to me, that's just comedy gold.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photoblivious

Check out this story on MSNBC about Mickey Rourke, star of the hit indie film The Wrestler.

Specifically, check out the picture. This picture, to be exact (it's the one used in virtually every Wrestler news story I've seen--MSNBC, CNN, you name it:

Yep, the mainstream media--the same companies who complain about "nappy headed hos" and other "insensitive" speech--has been plastering a photo all over their sites with a sign clearly visible in the background that reads "Necrobutcher sucks a fat dick." Not that I'm complaining--just laughing.

Update, two days after the original post: MSNBC has removed the photo from the story. I wonder who the tattletale was who clued them in.

Friday, January 23, 2009

They Do WHAT?!

More than you ever wanted to know about the love life of our new President and First Lady.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Best. Losers. Ever.

We're in the first of the two magic weeks of hype leading up to Super Bowl XLIII, and MSN has their top 10 list of the best Super Bowl teams ever. This year's Arizona Cardinals squad isn't on it, but last year's Patriots are on there at #10. So last year's Giants are up there at #1, right? Well...no. #5? Nope. Not even #9. Last year's championship team is still regarded as not on the same level as the team they beat for the title. I really do root for the Rodney Dangerfields of the NFL.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

5 Hour Injury Drink

5 Hour Energy has maybe the worst collection of spokesmen ever assembled:

  • New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora: Missed the entire '08 season with a preseason ligament tear.
  • Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards: Had a near-terminal case of the dropsies during the '08 season. Had his second-lowest total receiving yards ever and only 3 touchdowns for the whole year.
  • Some loser NASCAR driver I've never heard of: I had to look this guy up, and it turns out he's Rusty Wallace's son. He's never won a race and is still in the NASCAR minor leagues. Oh yeah, and he also has Tourette's. Twitching, energy drinks, and racecars: it's a winning combination!