Thursday, June 30, 2005

Catatrophic Moment? I'll show you Catatrophic Moment!

...says Kenny Rogers

Yowzer...Ok so this is what going completely ape nuts in front of the entire world looks like. Kenny Rogers decided he was tired of taking all that crap off the video cameras on Wednesday. The 1st pic below shows you Kenny Rogers in his last moment of sanity before attacking "offending" camera #1. The one above is actually the build up for Mr. Rogers (definitely not THE Mr. Rogers) strategic strike on cameral #2. Pics 2 and 3 in the series below show what happens when injured left hands, video equipment, and photo journalist are introduced to the wonderful world of physics. . .

So Kenny finally decided to walk away, had to get his stretching in, you know. He gets half way out, when as you can see below, he decides that spunky little camera hasn’t had enough. The teammate makes a half-hearted attempt to stop him, but to no avail (left). BTW, doesn’t this show you the weight Kenny has in the room when a teammate, after witnessing him go postal, thinks, “Ah, let him go, he’s rolling.” Anyway, more of Kenny Rogers Global War on photographic equipment ensues. That camera is finally down (center) and it knows who’s boss now because Kenny kicks it (not pictured). A teammate (Ron Barajas) finally attempts to corral him , but that just allows Rogers to move on (right) to yet another camera brave enough to hang around a combat zone. Luckily, that the camera transport (a.k.a. cameraman, video journalist, human) was able to get out of there.

Unfortunately, everyone wasn’t so lucky.

The big question, though, is why? Why would a guy who’s having the best year of his career at age 41 go off on a group of people who had not and were not doing anything to him? Yeah, I don’t know. He didn’t like that fact that some people questioned his willingness to play through pain. Maybe he didn’t like the way some members of the Rangers organization did the same. Maybe he's ticked because he can’t get the new contract he wants. But guess what. I don’t care. He’s either a freaking psycho or a freaking moron. There’s some talk whether he should ever pitch again. I’m not sure I’m ready to say Rogers shouldn’t, but he should definitely pay for this. Suspend him. Fine him. Maybe even tar and feather.
More importantly (well, to me more than those camera guys), this is just one more in a litany of things that makes me not like this organization. It’s sad that even as all the Rangers officials were saying the right things after the fact, I couldn’t really trust that they would do the right thing. I wasn’t even sure they weren’t complicit somehow and might even be glad that they had a tangible reason to cut Rogers loose. Read
T.R.'s article from Tuesday and tell me that you're sure that Rangers are 100% behind Rogers. Some of Tom Hicks' own comments about Kenny yesterday made me think that he didn't quite buy the whole "My pinky hurts story" either. All that to say, I wish Tom Hicks didn't own this team. I wish Tom Hart wasn't the G.M. and I'm ready for Buck Showalter to manage some other team into the ground. It's really hard to root for the team when you're continually reminded of these fools. Let's not forget these brainiacs pay the Evil Empire $8 mil a year to take the best player in baseball off our hands. Yes, he's the Cooler. But it's the principle of the thing.
The news stations are lucky they didn't send any cameramen to record my doings right now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Catastrophic Moment

...Another term coined by the great Mike Rhyner. It is the moment in a sports season when a team is seen for what it is. Their fate is sealed in your mind. Last night, without a doubt, it occured to the Texas Rangers.
There will probably be some debate. Even in my own mind, I'm not completely sure. The most obvious would be when this guy unfurled his majestic swing with the bases loaded in the top of the 11th. Thus wasting a fine pitching performance of John Wasdin, who went 8 and only gave up one run. Well, that was the moment I knew I was right in claiming the catastrophic moment. The play where that moment actually occured came some 5 pitches earlier. When that dang Darin Erstad inside-outed a Kam Loe fastball to left and Kevin Mench was not able to come up with it, thus putting runners at second and third with no outs. I'm not saying Mench should have got there, or didn't try hard enough, but I still don't know how a left-handed batter gets jammed but still is able to get it over the left-fielder's head. And when it landed, it looked like it was it almost hit Mench in the head to get to that spot. I knew it then. By the looks on their faces, I think Mench and Young and Buck knew it, too. "These guys are better than us, and we're never gonna catch'um." So, there you go. The Rangers are D-U-N...done, done, done.
This is what it looks like when you just clinched the division in June with one swing of the bat...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Am I still a bad sports fan? Let me hear from you, America!

Ok, so last night, as you may or may not be aware, was game seven of the NBA Finals. It's not something that happens every day or every year, more like once a decade. It started about eight. I sat down about a quarter till and decided I was ok with missing tip-off to catch up on the DVR (BTW, Rick, you were right. Lost is genius.) When I had finished with that, I was starting to think I should capitulate to the big time sports event. As I return to ABC, the 2nd quarter is waiting to begin and I hear Hubie Brown describing the game so far as fast-paced. I was mildly shocked. Both teams must have scored in the 30's (the score had yet to be displayed). Detroit? Fast-paced? Then Hubie mentioned that the teams weren't shooting all that well (S.A. 40%, Det. 38%) "Oh," I think, "the teams only scored in the mid-20's then." Hubie also stated that the pace had enabled San Antonio to attain the lead. Fast-paced and all. Then, the score is displayed. And what do my eyes behold? Spurs - 18, Pistons - 16. I let out one loud singular guffaw. My next move was back to the PVR (Six Feet Under anyone?). When I had finished with that poignant episode, I turned the TV off and headed for my room. Of course, I then turned that TV on, dutifully to the game. Half time was just ending. And then I saw the score, Pistons - 39, Spurs - 38. I shook my head, wondered if either team would get to 75, and grabbed a book. I "watched" the rest of the game while reading. By watch I mean I read and occasionally checked on the score. If Al or Hubie screamed I might also glance up, but I don't recall that happening. Well, I'm sure you all know the out come by now. One team did actually get to 75, but only one. A champion was crowned. Yip. Which brings me to a question. How do you make a 7-foot tall, three time NBA champion with 3 Finals MVP's look gay? I'm not sure, but it's got to look something like this.

Oh, one final (rock me!) thing. Yesterday, something very important happened…something that could spare Dallas residents a large amount of future embarrassment. A guy retired. Thus meaning we will never again be subjected to this...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I am a horrible sports fan

Why? Well, last night after having dinner and trying to catch up on some of my PVR collection, I headed to the bedroom. Before crawling into bed I switched it to Sportscenter as any good human male should do, when I saw this man giving a press conference. Worse yet, at first I couldn't figure out why he was in a press conference. My superior analytical skills finally led me to the conclusion that, despite any impression I might have had, game 6 of the NBA finals had been played. And I never even suspected it.

Worse news for the NBA, I didn't really care. Is it because I'm not a fan of sports? I don't think so, because I did spend quite a bit of time last night watching and listening to...wait for it... the Double-A Texas League All-Star game (more on that later). What I've concluded is I can no longer tolerate the NBA in large portions, if at all. It's not because it doesn't contain amazing athletes. It's not because my local team isn't good. It's because the officiating, or lack thereof, or the superstar exemptions or the fact that a guy can take 6 step and not get called for a travel, it all drives me mad. What it's done is taken a perfectly good sport with superior athletes and turned it into something I can't stand to spectate. Luckily, I have baseball.

Speaking of which, I did indeed take in enough of a minor league all-star game to catch who might be the next great hope to be Texas Rangers pitching star. I actually watched him pitch a complete game, 105 pitch, 3-hitter last week via FSNSW. Last night was just one inning, but that one inning was glorious. He mad some very promising prospects look helpless. Who? Edison Volquez . This is what Mike Hindman had to say about it in his daily email update on Ranger Minor League goings on (yes, I am a geek. No, I'm not ashamed.) that made me giddy and full of gleeful glee:
I wandered down to the Frisco bullpen in the third inning when I saw the young man in the red jersey get up to throw. I took my position next to the nacho stand, leaning over the top rail to get a close up view of Edison Volquez warm up for what would be his one inning of work in last night’s Texas League mid-summer classic.

A man and his two pre-adolescent sons crammed up against the fence next to me and the man admonished his boys to "watch this guy throw." And for a moment, all was quiet, save the ambient buzz of the massive crowd and the popping of horsehide into leather. This went on for five or six tosses, at which point one of the boys turned to his dad and said, "but Dad, you can’t see the ball!"

Turns out that kid was no different than the Texas League’s best hitters.

Volquez perched himself upon the Frisco mound in front of what was probably the biggest crowd he’s ever seen, on a day when some had to be questioning whether–after just three Texas League appearances–he really belonged in the game, and wrapped his massive hands around a baseball, letting fly called strike one (96 mph fastball). Called strike two (97 mph fastball). Swing and miss, strike three on a dirty change.

Next up, the Texas League leader in homers, Corey Aldridge, who has seen big league action with the Atlanta Braves. Change up for strike one. Eighty mile an hour change up fouled off for strike two. Heater, 95 mph, fouled back. Finally, after seven pitches, a pair of balls (an 81 mph change and a 94 mph fastball). Then Volquez snapped off the one curve ball he threw during his tenure, a nice 11-5 number that came in at 74 mph and Aldridge dribbled a harmless grounder right at sure-handed second baseman Drew Meyer for out number two.

Then the powerful Mike Napoli took his place in the box. Napoli, who led the Cal League with 29 dingers last year, who is second behind Aldridge in the Texas League home run race this year, who is batting .300, and who provided the most awe-inspiring moment of the home run contest before the game with a shot over the green back in dead center (at least 470 feet), is a dead fastball hitter (one scouting report I read reads "will hit an average fastball a mile" and, after the home run contest, I had little reason to doubt the veracity of that report).

So as Napoli stands in, I’m wondering if Volquez knows about any of this–or if he cares. And , quickly, the answer comes. Fastball, right down the gut. Strike one. Fastball, 97 mph, fouled off. Strike two. And then one more time, fastball, 97 mph, as Napoli looks on hopelessly. Called strike three.

So, you see, that kid out at the bullpen was no different than the most powerful hitter in the Cal League who couldn’t see the ball that Volquez throws. And if you don’t get yourself out to Frisco, pronto, you might not see it either.

So, like I said, I'm a horrible sports fan. If you agree call me tonight will I'm at the FC Dallas game.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Nothing new...

Just a couple of updates...

#1. Papa John's did call and offered me a free pizza. I don't expect to be calling them back.

#2. As if on cue, soon after completing this post rolled out a whole new group of ads that inundated my internet slogging. I have added them. I believe they might even be more shocking than the originals. Check them out HERE.

Monday, June 20, 2005

From which I came...

I was preparing today's post about my hometown upon having visited the little burg (pop. 14,000) this weekend for Father's Day. I was going to supply examples of entertaining insight such as every cute girl you see when walking through Wal-Mart (Yes, I went. Yes, it's required. Yes, that is where you go to see anyone in this town...) is either (A) great with child or (B) already pushing one or two around in a shopping cart. But, as I was preparing to supply you a link to our local newspaper (their ability to identify and report actual news will always be in question, and yes, I do know the family on the front page...went to church with 'em, played b-ball and taught the kids in Bible study) I struck pure internet gold. For at the top of the page is a large button that says click here to go to the photo gallery. I did. Then you see that this little fish of the fourth estate offers copies of photos for a small fee. In this case the only offering is for the 2005 Gainesville High Prom. My alma mater, God bless her. Just so you know. Prom is a very big deal in G-ville. Too big. I despised it while there, loathe it now that I'm gone. Or is it vice-versa? Anyway, not only do they decorate the inside of Civic Center in that year's particular theme; they typically create a faux facade to really bring the theme home. I remember one year as a child the theme having something to do with a riverboat resulted in a fake riverboat with a giant rotating paddle. My senior year, the theme was something medieval. So, or course, it looked like a castle with a drawbridge complete with fake dragon expelling smoke periodically. Yes, I know, we are all insane. Oh, yes... you should also know that they erect bleachers so parents and other interested parties (I would estimate at least 100 or more than the attended any high school baseball game in which I played) can watch as couples enter the prom and are announced. That's right, announced.

So, without further delay I give you the link. From the ten pages of fun you may have such reactions as:
1. Apparently the white tux is making a comeback...
2. Dude, you are not that cool...and no, the hat does not have me feelin' ya. (#24)
3. Dude, pink? felt? jacket?...with jeans? (#26)
4. Flaunting in the face of the "Bare midriff rule"? Bold. (#29)
5. Dude, your date's got like a foot on you...
6. Are you sure she's in...high school? Not Grad school?
7. Repeating...Dude you are not that cool (#22, 60, 70, 78, 82, 122, 123, 139)
8. Sunglasses, huh? It's 9:30...PM!!!
9. Apparently coxcomb is not an SAT word.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Corporate Media folly

My letter to the editor of the Dallas morning news:
Quick question. I've just gone back through the last three editions (6/15-6/17) of the Dallas Morning News and have yet been unable to find the story on Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and his remarks (click for video) comparing American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot? I really appreciate the knowledge that Bush aides are millionaires. You were even able to find space to report on the need for detainees rights being defined but, where's the related story that a U.S. Senator became completely unhinged over the issue and compared U.S. servicemen to some of the most prolific murderers in history? It's not in the paper to which I subscribe. Why do I subscribe again?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Rise of Fascism

Yesterday in my normal blog wandering, I ran across this article. Essentially, it's a warning to all those far and wide that the pesky Christians are becoming more than pesky, maybe dangerous. A threat to liberty the world over. Uh-huh. Sure the author chooses to use offensive language and colorful pejoratives such as "Christer", but this is not an anti-Christian stance. It's pro-freedom baby. Before I go on, last I checked I'm a Christian, a conservative, I attend a large Baptist church in Texas no less, and seem somewhat politically involved. Yet, I've got none of the memos. I have no idea whose freedoms on which I supposed to be trampling. Not even on the mailing list. What do I have to do? Build a statue of James Dobson in the front yard? Also, none of my bible thumping-- or as the author might call "fundamentalist religious primitives"-- friends has mentioned it to me either. I think I'm about to get my feelings hurt.

Anyway, some of the most inflammatory derisions come by way of a quote from Martin Kaplan.
"Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, calls the new Christer offensive a drive toward 'theocratic oligopoly. The drumbeat of religious fascism has never been as troubling as it is now in this country,' adding that 'e-mails to the FCC are more worrisome to me than boycotts' in terms of their chilling effect ."

I read that and smirked, figuring that the fascist line of demarcation had been moved. But my blog hero, James Lileks, had a better response on his newest blog creation:
If one means “religious fascism” as the use of the power of the state to achieve a particular moral objective, you could argue that progressive taxation is “fascism,” inasmuch as it assumes that the rich should pay more for the good of all, and this moral imperative should be enforced by law... I suspect Mr. Kaplan subscribes to the fashionable notion that people who email the FCC to complain when a sitcom uses the Eucharist as a running gag – literally – are part of the dark bolus of god-bothered maniacs. Fanatics. Wild-eyed nutbombs who want to unite the world under the rippling banner of God Uber Alles first, and have the miserable sectarian wars after the secularists are dead. James Dobson, Osama – are not both filled with terrible certainties? Is not an email campaign to bring down a TV show the metaphorical equivalent of bringing down a skyscraper? Granted, a writer who jumps from a cancelled show usually lands on his feet. But they have a certain poetic symmetry, no?
No. And anyone who tries to make the point deserves to be struck in the face with a thick, wet, cold haddock... You’re permitted to lodge complaints, but only if you come from a secular perspective. By all means, protest – dissent is patriotic! – but keep that Christer stuff in the church.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Corporate folly

Just like most other people (especially guys), I like pizza. Unlike some, I like Papa John's pizza. I actually agree with their claim, the ingredients do seem better. It's also quite tasty rewarmed in the oven. But sadly, I don't forsee me having that particular brand of pizza pie ever again. After one service gaffe after another, I have thrown in the towel and trimmed the "pizza place fat". To make that official, I sent Papa John's customer service a little email letting them know why I would not being dialing them up next time I need a large pepperoni. Of course, here it is for your reading enjoyment.
I just thought I would take the time to inform you that after several incidents I will no longer be ordering pizza from Papa John's. I came to this conclusion after the most recent problem in a collection that can be epitomized by the three I will describe below.
Event #1: A few months back, while at a friend’s house, it was decided to order pizza from Papa John's. I am currently a resident of Dallas, TX, as is my friend. After having to deal with being put on hold multiple times, which seems to be a staple of Papa John's customer service, I placed my order and gave the address. I was then advised that I would need to call another location. I did. Went through the same procedure, and was told I would have to call a third location. I did again. This time I began the call by asking if they would deliver to my location. I was informed that no, they did not, and I should call…the first location. I informed them that I had already called that restaurant and they stated they did not deliver to the address (in 75238 zip code), this location(third) assured me they (first location) had been mistaken and I should just call them back. So, I recall the first location. Tell them my story, and am the told that I will not be able to get a pizza from Papa John’s at my current location. Period. Yes, you live in big city full of Papa John’s, but no, we don’t provide you that “service”. Despite the fact that there are currently 3 locations within 3 miles of the house, no pizza. So I gave up.

Event #2: Last Saturday (6/4), I decided once again to try to order from Papa John’s. I am immediately put on hold. After several minutes, I am asked for my order, but in mid-sentence asked to be put on hold again and it is done before I can answer. I am then disconnected. I try to call back, after 7 to 10 rings and no one answering I give up.

Event #3: Being a glutton for punishment I attempt again this Saturday (6/11) to order a pizza from the same establishment (Abrams Rd). Once again I’m put on hold no less than 5 times, all while I was in mid-sentence. I’m attempting to order a singular large pizza for which I have a coupon. When I inform the employee of such, she asks for a coupon code, which I correctly supply and she responds that said coupon doesn’t exist. After several minutes of debate over the authenticity of the coupon and the veracity of my bold claim, I suggest that I just supply the coupon in hand when I pick up the pizza that is a requirement of said coupon. She relents. I wait 30 of the 35 to 40 minutes I was informed it would take to prepare such pizza, which, by the way, is about 20 minutes longer than my local pizza place of which I will now be an exclusive customer. So I make the 3-minute trip to the Papa John’s storefront. I arrive and am asked if I’m early, for my pizza doesn’t appear to be ready. After a more detailed search, it is discovered that my pizza is currently being delivered…to my home…where no one is currently present. It’s takes several more minutes to reach said pizza courier for, apparently, no one at the location had a way to reach him. After crossing that hurdle and yet another wait for the driver to return, my pizza is supplied. I pay, using the authentic non-existent coupon, and leave with my pizza. And while I guess it could not be characterized as cold, it would also not meet the criterion of “piping hot”.

Honestly, after writing this down, I wonder why I kept trying. I have no plans of ever being a member of Papa John’s frustrated customer base again, but figured if a concerned, dedicated management type trying to feign diligence existed, they might like to know.

Taking votes if anyone even thinks this gets read.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Feeling Sorry for a Murderer or What happened to Pro-Choice?

In the past I discussed abortion and how life should be viewed. So, you can guess that after reading this story I was quite troubled.

Short version:
Woman (17 year-old girl) gets pregnant...with twins.
After 4 months decides she not so keen on the idea of carrying twins.
Starts an atheletic regimen that will induce a miscarriage.
Starts abusing her belly via punching and other methods to same end.
Admitting failure, enlists the help of her 19 year-old boyfried.
Over the course of a week, the boy stomps on the girl's stomach as she punches herself in a failed attmept to remove some of his culpbablity.
Girl miscarries.
He gets life for two counts of murder(prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty).
The girl gets...nothing

Uh, what? Don't get me wrong, this guy's an idiot and a murderer. But so is the "mother". More so. As I understand it, if one hires for murder they are usually more culpable than the person that commits the act...or at least equally so. The girl has admitted to all of it, yet she walks free.

I guess my question is...well, my question after asking "What heck has happened to this world?" question is where are all the pro-choice supporters? Where are these people? After all, isn't that what the girl did? Exercise her choice.

She didn't want to have the babies. It is her choice, is it not? She found means to terminate the pregnacy. To abort it. So why isn't NOW on the case? Where's the blasted ACLU? I need someone to explain to me how you can be pro-choice and not think this guy should be walking free. Something tells me you can't.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What I should look for in a mate

In my daily traversing of the vast expanse know as the Internet, I come across many things. I check stocks and scores, my email, news and blogs. Many times a blog will send me to another blog or even a news story by any number of reputable members of the fourth estate. I'm sure any person who spends some idle moments on the "Web" has had an instance where you were expecting one thing but were instead found expelling a "Whoops," while covering the screen with the hand not feverishly clicking the mouse. I've even had such an event occur as my boss stood by spelling exactly the URL I should try to access. Fun times.

The point? Well, recently I've had a similar experience when reaching the correct website. Like I check my email at or read about the "Oil for Food Scandal" at the Washington Post website. The “offending” images are all adverts for an online dating service.
Hello there

The thing is, these pictures are, at least to me, very suggestive. Too suggestive. I'm not sure they want me to be concerned with the inner beauty of a prospective date. I'm assuming there's some there, but there's so much outward beauty to work through. Think I'm crazy? I might be. Just to be sure, and so you would not be confronted with the same situation as myself unexpectedly, I have assimilated a small collection of advertisements for Just go here.
Come to Butthead.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Winning the lottery

Well, I'll probably never win the lottery (I hear you have to buy a ticket), but today I won the corporate version. Well only if you consider winning having to do something no one wants to do...but when it's a condition of your employment,

you go fill the cup.

Yes, that's right, today I got tapped on the shoulder for the rare opportunity to fulfill my corporate duty to take a "Random" Drug Test. The best part is my HR representative constantly assuring me that this will be kept completely confidential…not that I care. The only drug in my system is from one of the two cups of coffee I might have per week. But I guess for some this is important. If they show up to work tomorrow and are then "escorted from the premises" they can still try to save face. Plausible deniability, I presume. I, on the other hand, hide it from no one ...obviously. I’m willing to wager the current Texas Lottery winnings that I will not fail the drug test. Takers?

Maybe, if I'm lucky, tomorrow I can get drafted for emergency coffee bar duty. Eat your heart out, Dilbert.