Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Entirely too much info

Thank you Rob for pointing out that my profile was overly explict in terms of displaying my gender. I have corrected this.

Have any of you looked at the information that they want in this section? Yep, like I'm going to give my email address to everyone who happens to click on this blog.

I know, this post is weak...I need a fucking vacation; so much so that I can't even think of witty remarks to place here. Ugh!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Complete nonsense

Hey, am I missing something, or does Kris Salo's "complete profile" seem to consist solely of the rather mundane fact that he is a male?

It's getting to be a bit much, listining to a Yankees radio broadcast. Everything is accompanied by a promo now. The "Seagrams 7 bottom of the fifth", The "Tyson Farms Fowl Ball", the "Victorias Secrets E-Z Removal Bra first out" The "NFL Replithentic Jersey Throwback to the pitcher". When is it going to end?

I was on line at the food store today. More accurately, I was on several lines. First, the 10 items or less line, until I realized it was "cash only". Over to the 15 items or less line, which didn't move for for the entire duration of the instrumental version of Madonna's "Borderline". Over to the 20 item line, currently being clogged by a pair of lard-asses buying nothing but soda. I was going to give them a good toungue lashing, but then realized they may just be stocking up for a BBQ this Labor Day weekend. Next line over is nearly empty, so I skip over to it, and needless to say the cashier is moving at the speed of a glacier. I'm ready to explode at this point, and then I think, well if I was doing his job, for minimum wage, I wouldn't be working very hard either. Then I think, I have my job which pays considerably more, and I don't work very hard. So how can I be angry with him? The point of all this is, bring cash to the store.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Shameless Self-Promotion

I have a blog of my own now. After thinking about it, I didn't want to give my family the link to this baby, it's a bit on the edge for them. So, without further ado I present you my blog: "Arbitrary and Biased" (I was looking for a good name for a while, and decided to do antonyms of Fox News).

This, as I mentioned in my post on the site, is goign to be more of a "family-friendly" format. Less porn and more socially acceptable things like Bush bashing. I'll be giving the link to my family so I will keep the words suck as fuck, shit and cunt under wraps. Feel free to comment on any of my stuff, I always look forward to Rob totally destroying one of my opinions or Karl going off on a tangent that is the size of Texas.

Anyway, hope you all check it out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

stuff in my head

A couple nights ago, the Yanks handily beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7 - 0. After breaking open a 2 - 0 game in the 7th inning with 4 runs, Ken Singleton (who I really like as an announcer) noted that this is how the Yanks used to win games in the late 90's, good pitching, wearing out the opposing staff with patient at bats, then delivering the KO against the bullpen. It was an astute observation by a genuinely knowledgeable announcer. The next day, the Yanks pulled off an unlikely comeback win against the same Blue Jays, getting a late home run from Hideki Matsui to tie the game and winning on a bases loaded single by relatively unknown Felix Escalona, who only entered the game to pinch run in the eighth. The following morning, Mike (Greenburg) and Mike (Golic) of ESPN radio noted that "this is how the Yanks used to win games in the late 90's, all those dramatic comebacks". OK, obviously someone is wrong here, and to the surprise of no one, it is the two amatuers on ESPN. Clearly neither of these two watched the Yankees in the late 90's or they would know that the recipie for success was exactly as Singleton had described it. Get a lead, get into the opponents bullpen, knock them around, bring in Mo, game over. There was rarely a need for late inning heroics. I suppose M&M were thinking about the Aaron Boone game, which was niether the late 90's, nor a championship year. This is the problem with sports talk radio. These guys have to fill all this air time with something, and the fact is, there isn't that much to talk about. So, what the hell, they figure, lets just make stuff up. So now there are people who think that's really how it happend in the 90's, because M&M just said so, and it saves them the trouble of doing any thinking of thier own. I really have to get my car's CD player fixed.

On to the next topic, my underwear. I noticed today while I was taking one of my many, many bathroom breaks at work, that my Jockey boxer briefs are labeled M/M/M, which indicates, in 3 languages (English, French, Spanish) that they are medium. I submit that there could simply be one M, and the reader of the tag could interpret it as he sees fit. This tri-lingual underwear labeling is just another instance of the enormous consumer benefits of NAFTA, yet some people still point to minor nuisances, like massive economic strife, tidal waves of illegal immigration and lawlessness in US-Mexico border towns, in their derision of the illegal and perverse legislation. Some people just don’t get it.

The French now think they have proof that Lance Armstrong used EPO, a performance enhancing drug, during his first tour victory. Never mind that every protocol in drug testing was ignored. After all this time, you would think the one thing the French could do is be gracious losers.

From the NY Daily News: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed on Tuesday to build a $2 billion world headquarters near the World Trade Center site.

The deal came after months of negotiations with state and city officials who dropped plans to build a tunnel near the site after the firm objected and lured it with $1.6 billion in post-Sept. 11 Liberty Bonds.

Bless those Goldman Sachs boys. If anyone needs a 1.6 billion dollar handout, it’s those hardworking, minimum wage making bond traders.

Also from the Daily News: The Manhattan Container Store now offers a "Go Shop! Scan and Deliver" service, which allows for cart-free shopping and home delivery. For $15, shoppers searching for organization tools can use a scanning device to choose merchandise. Following the spree, customers take their scanners - which look like over-sized Palm Pilots - to the checkout counter, pay and give their address for the goods to be delivered home.

See that? With a little imaginative thinking, we can all find ways to have top flight jobs, like “crap store delivery person”, in the post NAFTA economy. By the way, what do you think the delivery success rate in NY will be?


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


After attending the second round of the 2005 PGA Championship this past Friday, I have to say the overall experience was outstanding. The Baltusrol Low Course in Springfield, NJ, was a simply gorgeous, well layed out course (not at all 'hokey'). The sight lines for spectators were great on most holes (in my case, it certainly didn't hurt being tall). Despite the 96° heat (which we quickly got used to), the worst part of the day was enduring the shuttle bus from the Meadowlands. Although we never had to wait, it was just an interminably long ride, taking about 50 minutes to travel 20 miles. It turned out that there were plenty of places to park around the course (including Rob's cousin's house)--oh well. But despite the gaping security hole we walked through upon entering, and the two will-call windows over a mile apart having disparate policies about 'holding tickets', it turned out to be a great day.

Despite their appearance on TV, in person Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and John Daly look skinnier, smaller, and fatter, respectively. It's simply amazing (and humbling) to see these guys drive the ball up close: a nice smooth swing, a sound like a rifle shot at impact, and the ball is drilled into a mini-orbit re-entering the earth's atmosphere over 300 yards away. I clearly don't play the same game as these guys, even though we both call it "golf". Not only that, but they have to hit every shot with thousands of motionless fans staring at them in complete silence, which they're probably used to but I would find unnerving (I think I would prefer the din of 70,000 screaming fans while lining up a field goal, if I had the choice).

After witnessing the "Phil love-fest" in person, I have to say that it's kind of creepy. Yeah, I understand that he's a likeable guy who smiles a lot, and acknowledges the fans even in the midst of a competition, and people respond to that. However, they show their admiration by shouting out his name before and after every shot he takes: "Phil!" "Phil!" "Phil!" is all you hear as he walks around, like hundreds of squawking parrots only taught one word. He must hear his own name thousands of times a day--it's very odd. And although the money is nice, I would not want to be Tiger or Phil. I would much rather be somewhere in the top 20, quietly making more money than God, but less than the head Nike/Buick spokesman; I could live in anonymity and still be respected on the Tour, and not be bothered while trying to play golf. Someone like Sean O'Hair, who is #16 on the money list (with a cool $2M), but you couldn't pick him out of a lineup.

My overall impression of golf fans was that they're well-behaved, funny and knowledgeable. I suppose it's an extension of the laid-back country club atmosphere, and the fact that the athletes aren't hitting each other or drawing any blood. It seemed to me that there are two basic groups of people in the crowd at these events: 'golf' fans and 'celebrity' fans. The celebrity fans follow guys like Tiger, Daly, and Phil around the whole course, whereas the golf fans go from hole-to-hole to try to see the whole course and as many players as possible. We were in that second group, which I think was the right choice; as we stayed a few holes removed from the "Tiger wave", we got to see almost every hole and avoided the big crowds (and also avoided getting hit by a tree limb). Most of the "golf" fans were pretty sarcastic about those who were "celebrity" fans (we'll call them "Tiger hunters"), which I appreciated. Of course, there are also people who just stay in the air conditioned Wanamaker Club or the "corporate chalets" and don't actually get close to the action, but we won't discuss them.

Best player name: Richard Johnson. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, PGA tour pro "Big" Dick Johnson! You can't write these jokes, they write themselves. Though, I probably shouldn't have said that out loud just as he was hitting his approach shot.

Best player moment: seeing Jerry Kelly hole out for birdie from the right green side bunker on the 9th hole, finishing all alone in 2nd place after two rounds, and garnering the coveted "Foster's Shot of the Day".

Worst player moment: Ian Poulter, with his nifty Union Jack slacks, almost spraying us with sand on the 9th, after slamming his wedge into the ground and dropping an F-bomb after he was unable to spin the ball to his liking.

Close call: I saw a guy almost spill four cups of beer at the PGA (potentially a very expensive accident), but then we figured it was probably only Miller. As Rob pointed out, "He spilled almost beer." But then I realized that since he never bought beer in the first place, it was therefore impossible for him to spill beer. Dodged a bullet there.

To sum up, the 87th PGA Championship at Baltusrol was golftacular!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NHL Talking to Four Contenders For Cable Rights

This is pretty sad.

If Comcast gets the rights, it could air games on its "Outdoor Life Network".

WTF? Are you kidding? First of all, I don't even GET that channel. Second, it's a goddamn Canadian channel. Third, would that mean they'd have to play all the games outdoors, like that Edmonton/Calgary game a few years ago?

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

U2 Gives Me Vertigo

If you are going to see U2 on their current tour get to know this refrain; you're going to need it...

Hello, Hello
I'm at a place called Vertigo (¿Dónde está?)
It's everything I wish I didn't know
But you give me something I can feel

So we saw U2 on Friday...I was waiting to try to get some camera phone photos to send, but my co-viewers aren't being good about transferring these to their computers.

Anyway, snap judgement: A lot of people need "more" in their lives. People are fucking insane about this group; they are very good, and very good in concert, but man, get a freaking life. There were so many people just awed to be there. I don't know, maybe it's the ultimate cynic in me that causes me to be jaded by such affairs.

But it was a lot of fun. We had great places (look for the red circle):

For a middle-aged band they can still rock pretty well; even if they played Vertigo to open AND CLOSE the show. Bono's a preachy bastard that tends to have a number of inconsistencies in his "statements" and obviously doesn't care if they people listen to him or not. It's a really interesting sociological test to see how bands react with crowds that don't understand a bloody word that comes out of their mouths. Bono just pressed on like he was talking at a Save Africa, or Amnesty International meeting in Dublin or London.

Plus the fact that he has us pay sums of money to give to him (and the group) for the show and then urges us at the concert to send a 34 cent text message to "Help Africa." I would be much more impressed if he acknowledged the money he got from the show and said he would be donating X amount of the proceeds to help cure malaria or AIDS or whatever the hell he wants to cure.

But hey, private citizen Bono can do whatever he wants and charge whatever he wants for his albums and his concert tickets. And he has every right to make whatever political statement he wants, as confused and inconsistent as it may be. But he can't make me do one little thing.

Kammann Came Back with the Following:

Monday, August 8, 2005


That's right, I said it. I'm pretty much done with it. You can't root for these guys anymore because half of them have cheated, or continue to cheat, and when they get caught they don't admit it, saying it was "unintentional" or claiming ignorance. (When Jose Canseco and Pete Rose are the most honest and credible former players out there, I'd call that a serious problem.) On top of that, most of the players only play when they feel like it (or when they're due for a new contract), and are either ornery assholes or moody divas. So you try to root for your favorite team, but they constantly let you down because they never live up to the preseason hype, and make dubious moves just to fill the seats. And the only reason the MLB Extra Innings TV package is good is because every game gets boring and unwatchable after about 10 minutes, so you just switch to one of the other 12 games, and hope for the best. I can't watch it anymore. And I can't believe I'm already getting interested in the NFL (which I will be complaining about soon after it begins). Over time, my interest in these sports ebbs until eventually the flow ceases altogether; it's a viscous cycle.

Someone said to me "Hey, Manny was almost a Met!" My reply to that was, "Yeah, and I was almost a Met, too!" There was an equal chance of that happening, because the "Manny trade rumors" last week were all calcuated bullshit, expertly scripted by the Red Sox front office. Manny was unhappy, Manny wasn't playing hard, Manny wants to be traded, boo-freaking-hoo. So knowing he's a temperamental headcase, they "talked" to a few teams, without ever planning on trading him EVEN FOR A SECOND, then they go back to him and say "we love you, we need you, and we realized that we don't want to lose you, please stay, big guy!", like encouraging a 12 year old who almost runs away from home. They even scratched him from the lineup on the day of the trade deadline, after he was being booed the day before. Then once the deadline passed and he was told he wasn't being traded, they put him to pinch hit in the 8th. Predictably, he gets the game winning hit, and the Fenway fans go crazy (suckers). So everyone's happy, it's a big love fest. Pure theater, and pure bullsh!t (like Schilling's fake-blood red sock). It was all just a ploy to make him feel wanted and happy again, so he'll go on another tear and lead them into the playoffs (he's batting .563 since he was "almost" traded, with 3 HR and 11 RBI). I have to admit that the Red Sox have something that they've never had: a smart front office. GM Theo Epstein is the man--well, boy, no . . . he's the man-child of the year.

That being said, Joe Torre should be the manager of the year. I don't care what anyone says, because if you told me before the season started that: 1. he'd be trotting out Al Leiter (39), Kevin 'Mordecai Three Fingers' Brown (40), Randy Johnson (41) and Mike Mussina (36), (who have to be the oldest starters lined up for 4 consecutive starts in baseball history); 2. Chien-Ming Wang, Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon would come in to help out, and 3. Jeter would be producing less runs than the Mets' Jose Reyes, I would have predicted that they'd be at least 15 games under .500 and out of the race. But they're not, in fact they have a good chance to win the division or the wild card. Hard to believe.

On the flipside, Terry Francona (Red Sox) and Mike Scioscia (Angels) are the worst managers in the league. They have so much talent (Red Sox are #1 in hitting, Angels are #4 in ERA, in all of baseball), they just have to get out of the way and let them play. If they CAN'T win with the talent they have, they shouldn't get paid. Sorry, I don't mean to be so anti-Scioscia, but that's how I am.

(I apologize, I thought of that last joke while in the car this weekend, and I had to let it out somehow.)

Monday, August 1, 2005


This just in: Rafael Palmiero, who adamantly denied using steriods in front of the U.S. Congress back in March, has been suspended for 10 days for violating MLB's steroid policy. He now says "I have never intentionally used steroids". I'm practically numb from all the steroids talk now that I'm not surprised or shocked by any of it. But just don't lie to me. I don't believe for a second that any of these guys, who rely on their bodies for their livelihood, "didn't know what they were putting in their bodies". How stupid do you think we are? I have no respect for these guys. I really have to visit the Baseball Hall Of Fame before guys like this are inducted and the whole thing becomes a farce.

[A side-note: Kenny Rogers gets a 20 day suspension for pushing a cameraman, but Raffi only gets 10 days for sticking a syringe in his ass filled with an illegal substance? That doesn't seem right.]


By the end of August, because of the new CBA and salary cap structure, the rosters of the 30 NHL teams you know (and love?) are going to look quite different. For the most part, that's a good thing, because it will balance things out and hopefully make the league more competitive. Last week there were a few big name contract buy-outs (Amonte, LeClair, Holik), but the real free agency craziness starts today. Just released, here's the full list of NHL free agents, players who may or may not be changing uniforms before the season begins. The phone lines are open! Let's make a deal!

The good news for the players is that Bob Goodenow resigned as head of the NHL Players Association. Although everyone says the original deal in February was better (which is debateable, but it seems to be the consensus), he still talked them into throwing away the entire season instead of trying to negotiate and salvage it. Do you think he said to himself, "Well, my work here is done!" as he wrote his letter of resignation? Maybe he's decided to accept a job at Enron, or become the head of the WNBA--who knows? I just don't see Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick sending this guy a Christmas card this year.

ESPN Page 2's Bill Simmons wrote an article about the return of hockey, and actually agreed with me on one count, saying that during the lockout he was hoping that some teams would fold and some move back to Canada, leaving only 24 teams (which unfortunately didn't happen). He also mocked Gary Bettman, saying that he's so inept he couldn't even fix the draft lottery to make sure #1 pick Sidney Crosby ended up on a big market team (a point Rob made, when the flailing Rangers' odds inexplicably were made worse). Bettman was brought in here as a marketing guy, and all that's happened on his watch is: overexpansion of the league, bloated player salaries that the revenue couldn't support, and no TV deal. Let's read that last one again: a marketing guy couldn't get his league a television deal. Way to go, genius! I understand why the owners' like him, but I can't believe they're sticking with this guy. I still think Gretzky should take over in some sort of bloodless coup.

Everyone is expecting that the new CBA will allow ticket prices to drop, but that's not going to happen in every market. Locally, I've seen the owners make tiny gestures, like giving away free Rangers tickets to people waiting in line all day, and decreasing season ticket packages by 10% and throwing in a personalized jersey. For most people, that's pretty useless. Most of the discounts I've seen only affect season ticket holders, or those who opted for a refund from last season; the common fan (like me) who is only going to attend a handful of games is not affected at all. So far, only a few teams have discounted single game ticket prices, like Toronto (5% decrease) and Colorado (10% decrease), but for the most part the working-class fans will still be priced out.

Oh well. For better or worse, hockey's back.