Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Konerko staying in Chicago

$60 million for five years.

Joy in muddville!

Small Earthquake near Hilo, Hawai'i

That would suck, but not nearly as much as this one would. And it hit about 100 miles away from Guam.

I seem to remember hearing once somewhere that the island of Guam sits on a number of natural corral pillars, the collapse of which would simply drop the entire island into the deepest point in the world's oceans.

That may or may not be a load of crap, but either way, I can scarcely imagine what it would be like to feel an earthquake, and then suddenly watching the water rush up to carry everything away, forever.

I'm pretty sure it would have to be a direct hit to shake it all that bad...but either way, when you live on the ring of fire, right on the cusp of Challenger Deep...that has to mess with you every once in a while. Especially when you can look into the trench and see that old Bomber sitting there on the shelf...

Creative People Attract More Sex

This is the only explanation I can come up with for my past good fortune in this area...though I am now the poster child of faithful hubbys...

There is no god

America's favorite Post-High School Talent Show refuses to die. It's like a guest a party with invasive halitosis who keeps double-dipping fritos and refusing to surrender the karaoke mic.

There is no escape from this stupid show. Because Americans are sheep, eating the same bland grass every day.

(from an AdAge email this morning)

Fox Reaches Deal To Keep Judge and Producer
November 29, 2005

Christopher Lisotta

LOS ANGELES ( -- Fox has reached an agreement with cranky “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell that will ensure his continued on-air participation through at least five more seasons of the network’s top-rated reality music competition.

Mr. Cowell, whose contract with Fox was set to expire after the 2006 installment of “Idol” concluded, also settled a lawsuit with “Idol” creator Simon Fuller, who had accused Mr. Cowell of using the “Idol” format in his new U.K. talent show, “X-Factor.”

Fox also said it had made an agreement with Mr. Fuller’s 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America to extend their partnership to produce “Idol.”

The agreement also keeps Mr. Fuller and Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America, as executive producers on “Idol.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


It's a record. 26 named storms in one season. And Delta went all the way across the freaking Atlantic, and is ready to slap Northern Africa. (found via Warren)

David Crosby wanted for questioning...

Michael Jackson not the biological father of his kids, says his ex wife
Washington November 29, 2005 4:12:27 PM IST
Former king of pop Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe has revealed to an Irish newspaper that he is not the father of their children Prince Michael Jr and Paris.

Rowe, who was married to Jackson for three years between 1996 and 1999, claims her eight-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter were both conceived using anonymous semen brought from a sperm bank.

"Michael knows the truth - that he is not the natural father of Prince Michael Jr and Paris. He has to come clean," she was quoted by Contactmusic, as saying.

"I have no information whatsoever about the identity of the semen donor for either child as such (semen) was obtained anonymously from a semen bank under an agreement of confidentiality," he added. (ANI)

Esteban to Oakland

But a Nats franchise with an owner would have had the option of making an aggressive bid. In reality, they didn't. Washington's final offer to Loaiza ($8 million for two years) was somewhere between a joke and an insult. So, the team's third-best pitcher of '05 is gone. Here's hoping everybody enjoyed last summer's pennant race at RFK Stadium. Don't bet on another one anytime soon, not the way baseball has bound and gagged the Nats from head to toe and left them marooned as 29 other teams wheel, deal, sign and trade around the clock.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rod's rod

Best headline on Fark I've seen in ages:

Rod Stewart's fiancee gives birth to a baby boy, says she's thrilled to now have two bald, toothless, drooling guys that mumble incoherently and crap themselves in her life

Yoko continues to shit in John's cereal

Yoko Changes Lennon Album
By Roger Friedman (Fox 411)

For a genius, Yoko Ono doesn’t seem very smart.

The anniversary edition of John Lennon’s hit 1974 album, "Walls and Bridges," has just come out — but with a lot of changes.

The principal difference is a new cover: Ono has tossed aside the original — a drawing by Lennon from when he was 11 years old — and replaced it with a Bob Gruen photograph of Lennon wearing four pairs of sunglasses that used to be in the album’s liner notes.

Of course, a Gruen photograph is always a good thing. His new coffee table book, “John Lennon: The New York Years,” is a must-have for any Beatle fan (it’s certainly more important than the recent bio that was published and is said to be full of inaccuracies).

But it was Lennon who selected his childhood drawing for that cover. How, one wonders, could Ono have conceived of making such a change?

There are plenty of other “updates” on the newly remastered “Walls and Bridges." Fans have noticed that Ono lists herself as “producer” of the reissue album, her name in all capital letters. The original credits read: “Produced and Arranged by John Lennon With the Plastic Ono Nuclear Band/Little Big Horns and the Philharmanic Orchestrange.”

Ono also has replaced the Apple Records label on the original disc with a version of a customized label used on the 1972 album "Sometime in New York City." That label, now adorning "Walls and Bridges," has two pictures of Lennon, two of Ono and one of them superimposed over each other in between the pairs to make one person.

“The difference,” one fan writes, “is that when they used this on 'Sometime in New York City,' John morphed into Yoko. Now Yoko becomes John!”

Insiders have pointed out the ridiculousness of all this Ono-izing of "Walls and Bridges" since Lennon wasn’t living with Ono when he made the album. He was with his girlfriend, May Pang, a fact that is thoroughly documented.

Fans have also noticed an audio change, as well. At the tail end of “Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox),” a rocking shuffle Lennon wrote for Pang, there’s a new little bit of singing as the song trails off.

It sounds like Lennon, or maybe Ono herself, is chanting “Yo-ko” very softly in a falsetto after repeating the chorus, “I love, love her.” Now it seems like it’s Ono and not Pang he loves, which was not the case at that time. Shades of the old days when the Beatles added hidden words to their songs.

Of course, the main reason for Ono’s march to revisionist history is the upcoming Dec. 8-9 25th anniversary of Lennon’s murder. First came the ill-fated Broadway musical, which closed after a short run. Now the album has been altered.

"Walls and Bridges" was Lennon’s best-selling solo record released while he was alive. It contained two top-10 hits, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” and “No. 9 Dream.” Ironically, the latter features whispered vocals by Pang, something Ono could not tamper with unless she wanted a huge uproar. “No. 9 Dream” is one of Lennon’s most played songs to this day.

Nevertheless, "Walls and Bridges" remains an unusual and often extraordinary collection of songs that has been eclipsed over the years by “Imagine” and “Double Fantasy.”

Lennon experiments with Philly soul (“Bless You”), gives a nod to the two big stars of the day — Stevie Wonder (“What You Got”) and Elton John (“Old Dirt Road”) — and takes yet another nasty swipe at former pal Paul McCartney (“Steel and Glass”).

As for Ono, an article in yesterday’s Japan Times doesn’t help much to restore her image. Writer Philip Basor points out that she’s shilled for a number of companies by appearing in Japanese TV commercials that feature Lennon songs.

The worst, I should think, is for Gibraltar Life Insurance. Lennon and Ono were married in Gibraltar, Spain — a point made in the Beatles song “The Ballad of John and Yoko.” The Lennon song “Woman” plays in the Gibraltar ad.

In a couple of days, Ono will compound her problems when she releases a book called “Memories of John.” There are interviews with 73 different people, many of whom did not know Lennon.

There are no interviews with the ex-Beatles, their wives, Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia, or son, Julian. John Fogerty says in the book, “I never met John, but I always felt that I knew him.” Yikes! There are also statements from such unlikely contributors as the Bangles’ Vicki Petersen, Bono, Alicia Keys, Steve Earle, Jello Biafra and Carlos Santana.

I don’t get it. Ono is obviously a brilliant woman and has been a great mother. All of these things — the musical, the book, the reissued albums — gave her an opportunity to show her generosity, wisdom and unselfishness. She seems to have passed on them all and taken a road that Lennon himself, even though he liked to put people on, would not have approved of.

Textbook Irony

Just click...

Bucs lose again

Absolutely no O-Line...same problem we've had for years. A loss to the equally questionable Bears hurts.

"Most football teams do not score points if the Quarterback has no time to execute a play. My special investigation, tonight at 11."

Red vs. Blue v.2005

This is pretty clever. Red States/Blue States, current approval rating-style.

Friday, November 25, 2005


The Marlins are having another fire sale, just in time for Black Friday. Shaved: $30 Million. Also shaved: any confidence that the team will still play in Miami after the 2008 season.

This smacks of serious familiarity.

Before the spring of 1993, I didn't give the stroke of a dead dog's dick about baseball. I was still buried in American Football, Jordan and the Bulls, following Arsenal in the FA Cup, and taking baby-steps into Hockey Fandom with the Blackhawks in order to get on the nerves of my Redwing-fan friends. That was back when Chicago won games.

Then Florida...specifically a baseball team. And I declared myself an inaugural fan of these new Marlins. Partially out of sheer disbelief that pro athletes can thrive in an environment offering 1) Intense heat and humidity, and 2) A population largely made up of people from other states who bring their favorite teams with them. It seemed like a recipe for disaster...and I bought a couple of hats, made fun of my team on the radio, and waited for the joke to get funnier and funnier.

Expecially given that Wayne Huizenga was the owner. This was going to be a wild ride.

How true that was. Barely beating the Mets to stay out of last in the division that first year, the Fish went on to the cellar the next year, 4th again in '95, and tried to retool for '96. They brought in a new manager, and a great pitcher who had defected from Cuba named Livan Hernandez. I watched him on TV, and realized this kid had a shot to do some real damage.

1997. Seven nights in October, most of which I saw from work. Livan was the MVP as the Fish beat the Tribe in the freakin' World Series...just five years into their existence. And then, Wayne claimed he was hemhorraging money (which turned out to be a load of crap) and sold everything good about the team off to the rest of MLB. Kev Brown goes to the San Diego Pod Race. Robb "Automatic" Nen goes on to close for San Fran. Alou goes to Planet Houston. Bonilla to the Dodgers.

The team got gutted like an Elk fighting a Velociraptor.

I started flirting with other teams after that. It was trendy to love the Cubs, so I picked the White Sox. I followed the Twins briefly, the Mariners, even the D-Rays. I maintained my hatred of the Yankees, and still wore my Marlins hat. The Fish strung together a run of losing seasons after the Series win, and were eventually sold to someone less evil, John Henry.

In 2003, at the beginning of the season, enough was enough. Jeff Torborg, who I kinda liked despite his struggles so far that season, was replaced by a fossil named Jack McKeon. I dug into a bit of baseball history to learn about the guy, since my baseball knowledge was barely a decade old...and abandoned the team. A 72 year-old manager, in today's game, was a death sentence that I wasn't sticking around for.

I followed the Twins for the rest of the year.

Lo and behold, the Marlins eeked out the Wild Card spot. And the rest is history. They pounded the Cubbies in the NLCS, and then beat the hated Yankees in the World Series...perhaps just to spite me, perhaps to maximize my lack of enjoyment.

2004 dawned, and I felt I couldn't go back to the Marlins without looking like the ultimate sports hypocrite. So I continued to put the Fish behind me, and dove into the White Sox...and the Expos, because I really felt bad for Montreal's team. It was obvious that their city didn't want them, and that the League was going to move them.

Rumors floated that the Expos would move to Las Vegas, where I was born. I was excited at the possibility...and then they went to DC instead. I stuck with them anyway. The Nats had a great season, despite the odds and the bad second half. And Livan is there, reminding me of what passes for The Old Days with me.

This week, there are rumbles that the Fish will head for Sin City. I love the Sox. I love the Nats. But put a team in Vegas, and I'll be the most loyal little puppy the NL has ever seen. I've waited my whole life for a real pro team in any sport to call my birth city home.

American Mercs heading to East African Coast

Topcat Marine Security will target the "mother ship" launching pirate ships from the open sea, said the firm's Peter Casini.

Wow. Interesting. I still say we should just send a Destroyer over there to dip 'em in hellfire. But I grew up military, and have odd, unpopular thoughts about such things usually...

Monday, November 21, 2005

- NBC News Assholes-In-Programming Alert -

Yoko Ono is furious at "Dateline NBC" for marking the 25th anniversary of husband John Lennon's murder by giving airtime to his killer.

You have got to be kidding me.

I'm a firm believer that it's important to hear both sides of every position. Both sides should have a voice. The Klan should be heard, if for no other reason so our children can see how insane they are. Hussein deserves his trial before we cut off his head and piss in the stump. And yes, every murderer should be given the opportunity to express what demon drove them to the act.

But not 25 years later, after we've heard it all. Not on the anniversary of his killing of a man of peace who did nothing but try to add a little love into the world. And certainly not in an attempt to get ratings by any means necessary.

There are days I loathe being in the media. This is one of them. Makes me glad I got out of the news business years ago. Because all it is just that. A business.

Screw NBC. This is insulting and pointless. Kinda like the rest of their news programming...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bucs win again, move into tie for 1st

Ten points in the last 1:55 against the Falcons, move out of a tie for 2nd and into a tie for 1st with Carolina...who lost to the Bears, who we face next week.

Weird season. We still have far too many consistency problems for me to get too excited yet, but I'm liking the must-win against Atlanta. Got to see the last 1:20 or so after the Bears game ended.

Chucky, somehow, is pulling one hell of a season together with the scant talent and aging veterans he has. I hope he can keep it going. The league is wide open this year...

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Secret Town

Some piss poor writing about a town that isn't realy all that hidden to begin with.

Just outside of the razor sharp wires is a community within a community. When First Coast News tried to get pictures of this place from the sky, the prisons went on lockdown and our crews were ordered to the ground, even though we were not breaking any laws.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The saga continues on Planet Van Halen

Sammy Hagar has spoken to DJ Steve Dahl (WCKG Chicago) about his current plans. Of most noteworthy is news that the new Waborita's album is 9 songs out of 12 complete and will be released next year with the title Livin' It Up.

Sammy will tour next year in support of the album, with Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony in tow. Sammy said the show would open with a Waborita's set before moving into a set of Van Halen material even playing DLR era VH with Mike on vocals. He also said he talks with Michael almost everday.

On the topic of Eddie Van Halen, Sammy has not spoken to Eddie since the end of the 2004 tour, but suggests that if Eddie called, he would gladly talk to him. He also stated that the tour may kick off in Chicago.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bucs remember how to play football for a week!

Wow. Probably because I missed it, the Bucs hung in there and played a helluva football game with Washington yesterday.

Going for two...and actually getting it? Simms throws for 3 TDs and no picks?

What team IS this??

Thursday, November 10, 2005

...all that remains are the faces and names, of the wives, and the sons, and the daughters...

I just learned that today is the 30th Anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

A friend of mine, from years ago, was engaged to one of the sailors who went down with the ship.

Serbian Contraception

Like most of the darker, blatantly horrible things in this world...this was brought to my attention on Warren Ellis' website:

Serbs line up for testicle shocks

Men in Serbia are lining up to have electric shocks delivered to their testicles as part of a new contraceptive treatment.

Serbian fertility expert Dr Sava Bojovic, who runs one of the clinics offering the service, said the small electric shock makes men temporarily infertile by stunning their sperm into a state of immobility.

He said: "We attach electrodes to either side of the testicles and send low electricity currents flowing through them."

This stuns the sperm, effectively putting them to sleep for up to 10 days, which means couples can have sex without fear of getting pregnant.

"The method does not kill the sperm permanently and it does not affect the patient's health." well..physical, anyway.

Dr Bojovic added patients were now lining up at his fertility clinic in Novi Banovci for the shock treatment, as it had none of the problems attached to using condoms, the male pill or having a vasectomy.

He added: "We are hoping to have a small battery powered version on sale in the shops in time for Xmas."

Hmmm...this Christmas, do I want one of these, or Episode III? Testicle shocker...Episode Maybe I need to make one of those Pros/Cons lists...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


One of my coharts here at work is from Philly, and he's a major Eagles fan.

I asked him this morning for his opinion of the whole TO debacle, figuring his opinion was mroe valuable than most.

His answer reminded me of the Keyshaun situation my Bucs went through a couple seasons ago. And was brilliant:

Imagine you've been told you have cancer, but if you take one drastic step, you can shit the cancer right out of you. So you agree...and you take a monster shit like you've never had before. Then, you go back for more tests, and they tell was successful: the cancer is gone. Which is great. But you don't feel any better. THAT'S what it feels like.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

TopCats on top and bottom

The story has been around since the weekend of the two Carolina Panther Cheerleaders arrested in a bar fight in Tampa. It stemmed from them allegedly occupying a busy bathroom in a Tampa bar (which I've been to). The woman who scuffled with them said they were holding up the stall during a sex act with each other.

The best comment I've seen about this story was on Fark this morning...

2 TopCats fired..

Whatever happened to due process in this country?

Can somebody please tell me what kind of a world we live in where you can't lick your teammate in a public restroom at
2am anymore and then punch somebody and then lie about your identity to the cops?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Love in the bathroom stall

The Panthers put a licking on my Bucs yesterday...but the licking didn't start on the field...

For the record... football team sucks it hard.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

...with 25 days to spare

I've finished my little project. I've reread all 29 of the original Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, and did it between 11.30.04 and 11.05.05, within the 1 year I had set out to do it in. And now #30 and #31 await.

For the two or three of you out there who read this blog, here's the deal: when they reprinted Book 12, Witches Abroad, and I was finally able to buy it...I finally had all of them in my collection. I had read them all, but hadn't owned them all until they finished reprinting the harder-to-find books of the series here in the States. And once I had the complete set of spines staring at me from the bookcase...I decided I needed to try and read them in order for once.

The Discworld Novels can be enjoyed individually, and most people who have read them all didn't read them in order. You don't have to read them in order to get a great story out of them. Two books in particular, in fact, have almost nothing to do with the others (Pyramids and Small Gods).

So I set out to read them all in one year...and started on November 30th. I finished them around 6 this evening and am about to hapilly dive into #30.

During this period, I also read the following:

The 9-11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions
A Night In The Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (which I read every October, without fail, and have for years...)
Harry Potter VI (twice, once with Skylar)
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (with Skylar)
Oliver Twist (with Skylar)
Moby Dick (with Skylar)
Island Of The Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
Fluke by Christopher Moore
and 2, maybe 3 others last winter whose titles escape me at the moment.

The best part is...because The Beloved Kim talked me into waiting to read last year's new Pratchett, Going Postal, until I finished this project...I now have two brand new (to me) novels by my favorite author to read, since Thud! just came out last month.

The sickest part about all of this? I am not even remotely "Pratchetted out". I'm hungry for the two new books, and afterwards, I'm planning on finally reading his mini-series called The Bromelliad...which I bought about a year ago and have never cracked open. And his other mini-series, the Johnny Mawell Trilogy? I have books 1 and 2. By the time I'm ready for 3 should be reptinted, as well. Muhahahaha.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Loss of Rosa Parks

Last week, the day after Rosa Parks passed away, there was an event at my childrens' school. Each of my gnomes was to deliver a speech in front of the class, and I was waiting for this to begin in my son's homeroom while The Beloved Wife waited in our daughter's class.

My son's teacher, as parents were still funnelling in and finding seats, asked "Can any of my 4th Graders tell me who Rosa Parks was?"

My son, all 9 years of him, hopped up and raised his hand.

"Rosa Parks was a black lady who refused to move to another seat on a bus in Birmingham, Alabama, back in 1955. She was supposed to move to the back and she wouldn't. She got arrested. Dr. Martin Luther King was on her side, and told people about what she did, and it was the start of the civil rights movement."

The entire room was shocked into silence, as was I. Had he and I ever talked about Rosa Parks? I know we did briefly after a trip I made to Memphis three years ago...but where did he get all this? Especially the city, and the year?

Later, I remembered that he and his class did a unit on the Civil Rights movement at his old school, back in the second grade.

I didn't realize the kid had this kind of retention in him. Amazing...

The Patented Fox News Nudge

Watching the Republican Channel at work today, as they "hotly debated" the recent Iranian expulsion of all Israeli Officials from their X-Box Game they call a country. It's amazing how FNC tries to create the story with their endless prognostication and hyperbole.

My ears perked up especially stiff when they mentioned that sanctions would be a positive thing to help effect change there...but how Iran had x amount of soldiers sitting on the Iraqi border, making retrobution against the USA a cakewalk.

News. Kinda. Sadly, CNN isn't much better these days...

BoSox GM Slips Out In Gorilla Suit

Trying to avoid the press after his resignation, he slipped out unnoticed in a gorilla costume that was just sitting around. Genius! I salute him for clever use of Halloween!

Fark, Hatin' on Colorado Springs

Always interesting for me to see the impression others have of that city, after living in it for just over 14 months, and then running screaming back to the midwest...


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I need a camera phone

Last night, leaving work early to get the 9 year olds ready for the annual sugar collecting...I saw a yellow volkswagen (one of those annoying new ones) being driven by a demon. The mask/makeup was straight out of Buffy, not too bad. His four (FOUR!) passengers in that little car?

Four clowns.

Far scarier than the demon, of course.

The quintet gave me pause, and suddenly it made sense to me that the original car was designed by Hitler.They waved as they went by, and I sadly considered the lack of blinding alcohol in our happy home...