Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oh, Oh, OH! Canada [or Border XXX-ings]

Thanks to the Smoking Gun for the titles (I really couldn't do better).

The Smoking Gun, always on the cutting edge of bizarre and wacky law enforcement activities, has procured the Admissible and Prohibitable items under Canada's "Border Services Agency."

The job of this Agency is basically to screen porn and other potentially offense and/or profane material and give it an entrance or denial of entrance stamp. Tangently, how the hell does an American go about becoming a Canadian Civil Servant? how do you say Civil Service Exam in Quebecois? The good news is they are looking for a Director of Industry and Trade. He/she must have editorial review of these goods.

For people too lazy to follow TSG link (although I highly recommend it), I will quote some of the highlights; both mine and TSG's.


  • "Have Some Cannelloni, Tony!"
  • "Frank and Beans"
  • "Sie schluckt und schluckt und..."
  • "Basic Tool Maintenance"
  • "Elbow Deep"
  • "Much More than 4 Fingers, Vol. 2"


  • "Dog Wedding"
  • "Leather Bound Dykes from Hell" (volumes 18 AND 19)
  • "Piss Parade"
  • "The Best of Daddy, Volume 1"
  • "Best of British Spanking 15"

Feel free to add your favorites in the comments section below.

Monday, July 25, 2005


ABC has been showing commercials for "NFL Kickoff 2005" for roughly the last two weeks, which I believe is not until Sept. 8th. That's right, we are being subjected to the frightening sight that is John Madden's huge head, about 2 months before we should have to. And if that's not crazy enough for you, I went into the mall yesterday and they already have the Christmas decorations up! Okay, I made that last part up.

Anyway, my short answer is: No, I am not ready for some football. Please go away.


I'll say it again: terrestrial radio both sucks AND blows. The latest offender in the NYC market is a thing called "Jack", which has just usurped longtime oldies station CBS 101.1 FM (which I didn't listen to either). The New York Times has informed me that it's just one of 18 automated, soulless stations that features the same taped voiceover actor making witty quips between the "hits" from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. There are also "Bob" (hits) and "Hank" (country hits) stations across the country I'm told. God help us. This whole "Jack" thing started in Vancouver, so we can blame Canada.

Meanwhile, I've been listening more and more to internet radio stations, in particular, They started broadcasting in Cincinnati in 1982 as independent FM rock station until they couldn't break even anymore, and then became an internet-only venture. They might be the first station to do that. Anyway, I don't care if you listen since it might not be your cup of latte (they also have WOXY Vintage, if you'd prefer to be stuck in the 80s), but I thought I'd mention them since they like people linking to their site. I guess it increases awareness and their web traffic, which through some e-magic, ultimately leads to more money, which is always good. Now, if they could only get these guys on Sirius satellite radio, I might cave in and buy it . . .

WOXY Internet Radio

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


The NHL lockout is over, if they ratify this deal (and if they know what's good for them, they should). Well, it's about freaking time. Goodenow and Bettman didn't quit, but you can't have everything . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


This just in: I couldn't give a flying crap about tonight's All-Star Game! It's probably because of overexposure, with ESPN Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter, a thousand internet sports web sites, fantasy leagues, the satellite TV baseball packages, and something like 15 MLB games on ESPN and FOX every week . . . I mean, you can't escape these guys. It used to be a novelty, but now there's nothing interesting about the All-Star Game, because we've already seen them all play, and with interleague play and rampant free agent moves, they've already gone head-to-head dozens of times. Meh.

So who really cares? Pedro Martinez, the only deserving Mets player, surely doesn't so he's skipping it, and I can't blame him (he gave his cash bonus to charity). So the starters for this game are Mark Buerhle and Chris Carpenter. This is supposed to showcase the best players in the league, and that's the best you could do? You've got to be kidding me. I may sound like an old fogey, but the last good pitching matchup was probably back in 1986, Roger Clemens vs. Dwight Gooden, which was an eventual World Series preview. (1999, Pedro vs. Schilling is interesting in retrospect, and also because it was the last time Pedro was dominant.) Oh well.

Apparently, the Home Run Derby was yesterday, though I didn't watch a second of it. The only thing I know is that the "American" representative (they gave it an international twist to publicize their "World Cup of Baseball" or whatever it's called, a horribly bad idea) was someone from Pittsburgh named Jason Bay. Who? The star of "Arrested Development" and "Teen Wolf 2"? Oh, and this "slugger" hit exactly ZERO dingers. USA! USA!

That's why, more than ever, it's time for golf. Thankfully, The British Open Championship starts on Thursday. Set your alarm, because those tee times are early (for everyone except Kris). Too bad it couldn't start today.


Thursday, July 14th
TNT: 6:30 - 7 a.m. ET/PT (Preview Show)
TNT: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET/PT
ABC: 1:05 a.m. - 1:35 a.m. ET
Friday, July 15th
TNT: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET/PT
ABC: 1:05 a.m. - 1:35 a.m. ET
Saturday, July 16th
TNT: 7 - 9 a.m. ET / 4 - 6 a.m. PT
ABC: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET
ABC: 5 - 6 p.m. ET (Highlights Show)
Sunday, July 17th
TNT: 6 - 8 a.m. ET / 3 - 5 a.m. PT
ABC: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET
ABC: 5 - 6 p.m. ET (Highlights Show)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Ouverture Exceptionnel

Last Wednesday marked the begining of the "Soldes" or summer sales period. This date, dictated by the Prefet (a kind of puesdo-dictator for the region that is appointed directly by Chirac or one of his minions), signifies the only time that stores can legally place their products on sale. There are two soldes periods per year. One just after Christmas in January and one starting in early July and lasting into mid-August. The principle being that the stores can reduce prices on the stock of winter or summer clothes so they can make way for the other collection.

The soldes traditionally bring out the worst in the French. Always a fairly introspective and me-first society, a sudden trip to the shopping center turns into a full bore war...for a parking space, for a cart, for the last head of lettuce, and of course for a place in the line (word to the wise; if you are ever in France, never, ever, blink when you are standing in line, this is some sort of non-verbal acknowledgement that you want 20 people to crowd in front of you). If I could so how avoid eating for 6 weeks I would be all means skip the supermarket for the duration.

Anyway, getting to the real purpose of my current topic. French stores are, on top of being told when to reduce their prices, told what days of the week they can open, for how long, etc. One day that is strictly interdit is Sunday. I believe I raged previously in this post, or by email, about the "free-market" candidate for President in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, who reaffirmed the belief that Sunday should be spent with the family and not "shopping." Anyway, Sarko, as the political hacks like to call him, "liberalized" the society by allowing any specific store to be open a whopping 10 Sundays per year (fucking amazing, 10 of 52!). Generally these Sundays are before Christmas and at the beginning of the sales periods, like today for example. On a whim I figured to try to run down to the local Carrefour to check out the sales, because, as you will see, being knowledgeable of French society I realized this is the only day to go.

So I go, and Carrefour is of course opened. And who is taking advantage of this, besides me of course. In one word: Arabs. The French just do not have the wherewithal to imagine shopping on Sundays, whereas our lovely friends from the Mahgreb do of course. If there are any laws in Marrakech I would like to hear of them. Anyway, the population of Carrefour this Sunday consisted of 50 college students and 50 year-old women behind the counters, and 500 Arab customers. It is strange, and I was thinking about this when I was there. I tend to be cerebral, so I figured that the shopping center would be open, based on previous experience and pure logic. The French, being less so, obviously did not think of this, they instead thought of which paté they should open with the brie and red.

I think of myself as a non-racist; and what is funny is I can bang on the French all day and possibly be considered uncultured, or crude, but never a racist (even if they are clearly a different breed of person than Americans), but I fear that the first time I make a crack at the immigrants, I risk being put into that exclusive club with Edgar Ray Killen. This is by no means my desire, but in all honestly, the northern African population of France is less known for their intelligence, than for their insolence. And it makes me wonder; how did they know to go to Carrefour today? Is it that they do not have a culture problem shopping on Sundays, and when learning that the stores were opened they decided to go? Did they happen to be passing and just decide to stop? Do they go to Carrefour every Sunday in the hope that it is open? They seemed right at home, contrary to the French (there were a few, but honestly less than 50% of all shoppers), who on more than one occasion just looked completely lost shopping on a Sunday, honestly, I saw multiple couples looking at the ceiling inside as if saying to themselves, "So this is what Carrefour looks like on Sunday." Or maybe their were asking if this truly signifies then of French culture as they know it; Shopping on Sunday to buy shit they don't need...I'll admit, it does seem so American...

Saturday, July 9, 2005

By Popular Demand

Jeff wanted it, the others were thinking it...Well my friends, I spent another lovely Saturday at the beach playing sandball and I have acquired this lovely image for my troubles...Ok, I actually posted a lovely topless woman, but on second thought realized that we should keep this post as work-friendly as possible. Therefore, you have the option now to look at it, if you'll just follow the following link: Take me to the topless French Chick!

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Bettman, Goodenow must go

Article By Terry Frei, special to

This is not going to be a hatchet job.

Many of the denunciations of Gary Bettman's tenure as National Hockey League commissioner rely on tired, cliched and unreasonable assumptions from those who can't reconcile the sport's roots and traditions with modern reality. I often have been a Bettman defender over the years, and in many ways will continue to be.

Yet this also is inescapable: For the good of the NHL, the game and even of Bettman himself, the commissioner should step down once a new collective bargaining agreement is signed.

That would allow the relaunch and the healing to take place without his lightning-rod presence as a distraction. The same goes for NHL Players Association head Bob Goodenow, whose dogmatic and principled inflexibility on the salary cap issue was admirable yet ultimately unproductive given the likely terms of the upcoming settlement.

Bettman brought the NHL into the 21st century, literally and figuratively, which was quite a leap considering that on many fronts the league was operating in the 19th century when he took over.

Primarily because his lockout strategy "worked" – the league brought the NHLPA to its knees, forcing the union to accept the unacceptable – Bettman can leave with the reputation of having obtained what the hard-liners demanded and having "won" this battle.

He can retire on top, so to speak.

All along, he said the system needed to be fixed, and only a blinkered fool wouldn't admit that a hybrid salary cap/luxury tax system with a ceiling in the neighborhood of $36 million is a victory for Bettman and the owners. Of course, that raises the question of whether franchises whose payroll costs will be drastically cut will roll back ticket prices – and roll them back significantly, not just with slight and mostly cosmetic markdowns.

The problem is, the victory is Pyrrhic.

Because of the dark season, and the silly holding-of-breath that led to it, the NHL's reputation has sunk to new lows, and that's saying something.

Advertisers and sponsors are both wary and maybe even embarrassed.

Season-ticket holders have every reason to wonder about the wisdom of their investments and their loyalties. It's hard to decide whether NBC's television deal is more like the arrangement Tom Sawyer made to get his fence whitewashed or like the let-us-on-the-air-please deals the XFL and Arena Football had with the network. And ESPN, so linked to hockey since the days when both the Hartford Civic Center and the network had just opened their doors, has decided not to exercise its option for next season. So if the game ultimately does return to the cable network so tied to its U.S. image, it will be under a deal more like NBC's than a traditional rights agreement.

That all has happened on Bettman's watch.

Can time heal?


If the league comes back with lower ticket prices and even increased parity because of a spreading out of talent, and with a more entertaining product because of new rules, perhaps. But what many seem to be overlooking is that in markets such as Detroit, Colorado, Philadelphia and Toronto, fans are accustomed to ambitious ownerships and talent-laden rosters, and while they grumbled about ticket prices and frequent underachievement, they don't mind paying for a superior product.

Also, the chances for healing will be far greater, and the timetable advanced, if Bettman isn't around to continue to take the heat for the game's perceived problems, all of which aren't going to go away.

In his 12-year tenure, Bettman has been derided as "a New York lawyer" and "a basketball guy." In hockey, those terms can be pejoratives, especially because the former sometimes can be code words used to cloak anti-Semitism.

The examples of players demonizing Bettman for his role in the lockout, citing his lack of hockey background and perceived lack of affection for the sport itself, are legion. And that was comical. Bettman cared only about money and not about hockey? This was coming from men in a sport in which salaries had skyrocketed under Bettman's tenure, who were part of a union that got mad at members for accepting "hometown" discounts rather than ruthlessly seeking all they could get to nudge the benchmarks up, and even sniffed at owners for being cheap if they didn't throw money at them as they were about to become free agents.

Bill Guerin, one of the NHLPA's officers, has a patent on that one.

But that's the business. The players and the union want the NHL to be about "The Game" when it serves their purpose, but they want it to be "The Business" when the talk turns to money.

A basketball guy? Bettman couldn't dunk a basketball with the aid of four Revised Statutes volumes stacked up as a springboard. So the "basketball man" knock has nothing to do with the New York City native's athletic background but rather with his stint as an executive serving under NBA commissioner David Stern when that league introduced its salary cap and also entered a new era of prosperity.

The Bettman era has been a mixed bag. Bettman's Folly was overexpansion, which failed because it didn't secure the league a lucrative national television contract. But he did bring the league forward in many ways, all the while drawing fire for what he isn't. He isn't a Canadian or at least an American with hockey in his pedigree, he isn't pandering to the media, he isn't capable of coming off as warm and fuzzy and disarming.

The lockout is about a lot more than Bettman vs. Goodenow, but that confrontation is very real and at least plays a role in the dispute that led to the cancellation of the season. Only the two men know how much the personal pettiness has affected the process, but it's clear that Bettman resented what he believed to be the NHLPA's lack of responsiveness to the league's financial situation over the past five years, since the CBA was last renewed. Goodenow's position long has been that the free market should set the benchmarks in hockey – whether that's what owners charge for dasher-board advertising, broadcast rights and ticket prices or whether salaries continue to escalate (or undergo a market correction, which seemed to be the case as the end of the CBA approached).

And here's the most damning indictment: While the two sides were playing line-in-the-sand playground games last winter, the clock was running. If Bettman and Goodenow could have set aside their personal rivalry – and there is one, even if they won't admit it – to lead their factions back to the bargaining table for prolonged talks, last season could have been saved and the scarring reduced. Sure, the posturing and petulance on both sides affected the specific terms of the ultimate settlement, but serious negotiation would have led to this hybrid cap/tax system long ago. And saving the season would have overshadowed gains here and there.

Bettman and Goodenow were doing their jobs, and that's the business world; but they could have operated with much more urgency this past winter, and I still think their deep-seated rivalry was a major reason for their dual irresponsibility.

Bettman should have told the hard-line wing of low-ambition owners it wouldn't be allowed to carry the day, that reasonable negotiations would benefit all. Goodenow was the revolutionary leader who took over for a corruption-plagued regime that disgracefully looked out more for itself than for the players it represented. While the pendulum arguably swung too far the other way, NHL owners with a sense of history understand that many of the recent problems came because their predecessors benefited from the union's corruption.

Under Goodenow, the players had a gravy train for a long time, and he also could walk out with a track record of accomplishment for his constituency.

Bettman and Goodenow have had their runs.

After the new CBA is signed, they should quit.

Terry Frei is a regular contributor to He is the author of "Third Down and a War to Go" and "Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming."

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Da Pimp Act

Holy crap, this is one of the most ridiculous lawsuits I've heard of in a while, and being from the Land of Litigiousness, that's saying a lot.

A Russian astrologist who says NASA has altered her horoscope by crashing a spacecraft into a comet is suing the U.S. space agency for damages of $300 million.

"It is obvious that elements of the comet's orbit, and correspondingly the ephemeris, will change after the explosion, which interferes with my astrology work and distorts my horoscope."

Un-fucking-believable, is the first word to come to mind.

P.S. "Da Pimp Act" was a joke stolen from Mystery Science Theater 3000's Summer Blockbuster Preview show, from back in the day.


Here's my favorite G8 quote of the day, from President G.W. "Don't Mess With Texas" Bush:

"I don't know how we can look our taxpayers in the eye and say, this is a good deal to give money to countries that are corrupt," he said. "We want to make sure that the governments invest in their people, invest in the health of their people, the education of their people, and fight corruption."

Hey, that sounds good. So when is the United States government going to start doing that?

For me, Saturday's hugemonous "Live 8" concerts helped raise my awareness of Roger Waters' failing vocal chords, luxurious Scottish golf resorts, and the fact that MTV STILL BLOWS (apparently, kicked its ass with their coverage).

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

The Continuing Saga of: "Life is tough on Kris" [UPDATE]

Scoring a goal with Photoshop
Originally uploaded by Salokj.
Great news, it turns out that I had a photo of me with the ball. I can't really explain why this looks exactly the same as the previous photo without the ball...Just a funny coincidence I guess!
I do think it makes a better picture when the ball is in my hands. Hey, this would've been the picture had I caught the ball...

Monday, July 4, 2005

The Continuing Saga of: "Life is tough on Kris"

It's coming right about...DAMN!
Originally uploaded by Salokj.

I've complained a lot of the Mediterranean coast of France, I think, and I can't help but to continue. Ok, that's a bunch of crap. I haven't complained much, and I don't have much to complain about. Anyway, I just wanted to post this image of me playing what called by the very French name of "Sandball." It takes the principles of handball (for those of you who don't know what the fuck this is, there is no better place to get your information than the Saskatchewan Team Handball webpage) and applies them in an informal manner on the beach.

For example, if a topless woman walks by and you manage to score while she is still in view, you receive double-points. Ok, that's bull, but I think they should make this a rule. You can never underestimate the distractory powers of a topless nubile. Many a goal have been scored, and many a car dinged up from their power to remove every other object in the world from your field of view. But I digress...

Anyway, you're probably asking yourself, "but how is he going to score if the ball is a good foot away from his hands." Well my friends, telekinesis has nothing to do with it. In all honesty, everything about this picture - my jump, my form, my hand placement - is textbook perfect (actually I have no idea if it's textbook perfect, if it's totally wrong, or if it falls on the hazy plane in between), except the minor detail of the ball being, unfortunately, not in my hands. But let me tell you, the goaltender was mighty surprised when I threw air at him - he wasn't expecting that!

Unfortunately, this was the best photo of me playing balle sur sable (yep, there's a reason they use the english word) - and I don't think it is a bad one, just the minor detail of the ball.

If you want to learn more about team Handball or Sandball, consult your local library, or move to Iran, I hear they're going to field an awesome team next year...Something about all the sand they have to practice on...