Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin for VEEP

Update and BUMP - because my MAIN MAN the Spider looks to have scooped everybody else on this by at least four days. Great job, man.

And THAT'S what a Rutgers journalism degree can get you, kids. Stay in school!

[oringally posted August 25, 7:25 PM] She's the current governor of Alaska and one of the few Alaskan politicians who is free of scandal. And she is an actual Republican, unlike some of the other choices McCain has.
How will she do in a debate with Biden? How many men watching will be aware that Biden is in the room?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One Reason I Love Baseball... because of what Rick Monday did 32 years ago yesterday.

The Vietnam War had ended a year before when two protesters dashed onto the field at Dodger Stadium, carrying something under their arm. It was an American flag, and as they tried to light it, Monday, then a Chicago Cubs outfielder, ran from center field to left and snatched it out of their hands.

On that day, April 25, 1976, he became an American hero.

Here's what Monday had to say about it.

"My feeling in 1976 is the same as it is today, that two individuals were wrong in desecrating a symbol of the rights and freedoms that we have," said the 18-year major-leaguer, who retired in 1984 and was in town with the Dodgers, who concluded a four-game series against the Phillies last night.

Two years ago, on the 30th anniversary of the historic moment, the Baseball Hall of Fame voted Monday's act as one of the 100 classic moments in the history of the game.

Aiiie! A Balrog has come!

Sheila's post about the Feline's Bane reminded me of a couple of things. The first is my favorite story about cats and vacuums.

I lived in a boarding house for a few years. Said house had two cats: an older, mellow cat (I called him the Living Beanbag, he'd just flop anywhere and relax) and a younger, larger, yet shyer black cat. This younger cat would hunt (and catch) bunnies and stuff outside, but the vacuum was truly his Balrog... he has met his equal, and has nearly been destroyed. One day I took the vacuum out of the closet and parked it in the living room, and went back to plug it in. I turned back around and, out of nowhere, there was Younger Cat, sitting and staring at the infernal machine. Before I could do anything else, he puffed up, spat and hissed at it, and then tore up the stairs in a black blur. Basically, he just had to come out of hiding to defy his arch-enemy - for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee! - and then ZZZZZZIP! Poor kitteh.

The second, which showed up in the usual place a few months ago, is wonderfully apt:


Monday, August 25, 2008

I need your advice.

If it's not on the country or classic rock station I am ignorant of it. My question is: Has Madonna jumped the shark? I mean, she's older than I am and I have a younger sister who is a grandmother.

I mean, she looks like the Madeline Kahn character in Blazing Saddles.

And she isn't doing her buddy Obama any favors either:

Madonna's apparent swipe at McCain came during a performance of the song "Get Stupid", when the Republican contender's image was flashed up alongside images of destruction and global warming as well as Hitler and Mugabe.

Towards the end of the song, pictures of Beatles star John Lennon, former US vice-president Al Gore, Indian Mahatma Gandhi and McCain's Democrat rival Barack Obama appeared.

McCain as Hitler? Wait, I thought Bush was Hitler.

I can see Madonna in the next McCain ad bashing Obama's celebrity.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Latest From the Rays Republic.

The Rays lost to the Chisox 6-5 in 10 innings.

Getting ripped off by the umps didn't help. I don't think we have baseball's version of Tim Donaughey. But it was the 10th inning on a getaway day and maybe the umps had a flight to catch.

How many times have we seen football refs throw a flag, and then after a conference with all the officials they pick it up and say, "Never mind"? How come baseball umps can't do that?

The Rays are still in first place, 4.5 games ahead of the Bosox. At 79-50 they are tied with the Angels for the best record in the AL. And there is no earthly reason why. The All-Star left fielder and third baseman are on the DL. So is the closer, who is pretty much crippled. The All-Star starting pitcher can't go more than 6 innings.

I'm trying to remember the last time the Rays lost two games in a row.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We missed you, Peter King

MMQB is back.

It's reassuring to know that some things don't change: for example, the Ten Things this week are actually 37 items. He even briefly mentions the Red Sox-Rangers insanity from last week. (Though with a score like Boston 19, Texas 17, he could be forgiven for wondering if the Pats and Cowboys had played an early game this year.) The funny thing is, he notes the crazy first inning, where David Ortiz hit two 3-run homers, while Kevin Youkilis struck out twice. It would only have been fair to add that Youks came back to hit two homers himself, including the 3-run shot that won it in the home half of the 8th inning.

I would be equally remiss without noting that the Rangers intentionally walked Ortiz to get to Youkilis for that at-bat. How'd that work out, kids?

(Yeah, it's Papi, but think about this:

Ortiz- 260/363/488; 14 db,0 tr, 17 hr; OPS+ of 119; not fully healthy
Youks- 320/388/577; 33 db, 4 tr, 23 hr; OPS + of 147; healthy

OPS+ is on base + slugging, adjusted for one's league, and expressed as a percentage of the average. In other words, Youkilis is hitting about 47% better than an "average" player would if playing for the '08 Sox; "average" in this sense could be represented by Mike Lowell: 270/335/446; 25 db, 0 tr, 14 hr; OPS+ of 101. Youks' OPS+ is currentlythe best on the team - better even than the very hot JD Drew and the recently-departed Manny Ramirez.)

The Fly's wedding reception wasn't this much fun

Nobody got tased.

The Michigan wedding of Durango newlyweds Andy and Ania Somora came to an abrupt end last weekend after the bride and groom were tasered by local police and spent their wedding night in jail.

According to a news release from the Chikaming Township (Mich.) Police Department, Officer Jeff Enders responded Saturday to the Burnison Art Gallery in Lakeside, Mich., after gallery owner Judi Burnison asked for assistance with unruly guests at the Somoras' wedding reception.
Burnison, who rented the gallery to the Somoras for the reception, told Enders the party had gotten out of hand, and there were broken glasses and spilled drinks.

Burnison declined to comment Wednesday, but she said her lawyer would respond to questions.
However, no call was received as of Wednesday evening.

Enders told the assembled guests to leave, but many became upset, police said. Enders called for backup, and 14 law-enforcement agencies responded to help clear the crowd. Police said that many of the 100 guests left peacefully, but several continued to be disorderly and to swear at the officers.

Now, I almost lost my kneecaps at the reception.

When the Ladybug tossed the bouquet, it was caught by the Fly's baby sister. When the Fly prepared to toss the garter, I was in position with all the other single guys and I actually caught the garter.

With that done, I headed for my seat. I was grabbed and then told that I had to put the garter on the leg of the bouquet-catcher, who was the Fly's baby sister. The best man, the Fly's younger brother, and auto mechanic and a muscled, vigorous young man whispered to me that he was glad it was me that caught the garter.

I first met the Fly's little sister when she was six, and in my eyes she still is six. So the plan was to stop the garter just past the knee and get out of there with my bones intact. I must add the those of you in attendance were not helpful in this matter. When I was done I told the MC that I liked my kneecaps the way they are.

I ended the night with the garter around my leg. I still have it at home. Blame it on my visit to Asbury Park that week.

Olympic shocker

Michael Phelps continues to amaze.

Yesterday, the record-setting swimmer passed another milestone, leading the United States quad sculls team to a stunning victory over the favored Polish crew.

"We happened to glance to our right and here comes this dude from nowhere," said Poland's, Marek Kolbowicz. "I must admit that I was impressed." However, the International Olympic Committee was not. They ruled that the American team violated the rules by having Phelps swim the event rather than row. As a result, the Polish crew's runner-up finish was awarded gold, with Italy and France taking silver and bronze.

"I was just looking for something to race, that's all," Phelps said later. "I meant no disrespect to the event or the competitors. They seemed like they went fast and I'm always looking for a new challenge."

The United States counter-protested, saying that Phelps was a legit part of a four-man team since he towed a scull with three men in it, but the IOC denied the claim. "Phelpsie caused too much wake, it affected the Polish boat," siad teammate Paul Teti, who waved from the stern while sipping tea during the race. "And I think the Germans were just bugged out by it."

The German team, in fact, finished last: they stopped rowing with 150 meters to go, staring slack-jawed as Phelps put on speed and passed the rest of the regatta.

Phelps is considering racing the entire Olympic team home from Beijing, swimming the Pacific before their plane can touch down in California. "I may stop in Honolulu for a sandwich or something, I don't know," he said.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Politics-Driven Church

The McCainchurian Candidate, the Obamessiah & Rick Warren are going to be on the Radio tonight (91.1 FM in Tampa) at Warren's church.

Warren will be talking to each of them, Obama first, then McCain. He will be asking them the exact same questions.

I don't care about the answers. I know enough about the candidates. I'm care about the questions and what they say about Rick Warren. Warren has said that he got help from a group of left wingers with the questions, so I expect Obama to bring a pillow.

Full disclosure. I don't like Rick Warren. This may come as a shock to some of you because he loves Jesus and he has a best seller out (I've read it), but I don't like him. Whenever he is pressed on the life issue his answers are slippery. I would have more respect for him if he manned up and admitted he was politically on the left.

Also, if his preaching is anything like his book, it is doctrinally weak. Maybe it's because I am spoiled, going to a solid evangelical church where the pastor preaches sound theology. On the right is a link to a fascinating blog called The Curt Jester. The Jester has several posts about local Catholic churches in which the priest will go off on tangents and not preach Catholic doctrine. I feel the same way about Rick Warren.

The media has christened Warren an evangelical leader. If he is an evangelical, I must be something else.

I remember four years ago the media were wetting themselves over the influence of evangelicals in the re-election of W. Separation of church and state. Turning into a theocracy. Michael Moore calling the South and West "Jesusland". Now that the Obamessiah has brought light into the world that doesn't seem to be such a big concern anymore. Hmmm.

Don't even get me started on Mike Huckabee.

Friday, August 15, 2008

To the Bitter Psychedelic End

I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey last night. I must say, the special effects hold up well for a 40-year-old film.

Maybe it's because I don't smoke weed, but I could have cut a half hour from that movie and not missed a thing. I didn't remember all that psychedelic stuff. I guess folks felt differently in 1968.

It's also interesting to see how Kubrick in 1968 saw 2001. No cellphones. AT&T still had a monopoly on long distance service. The business suit hasn't changed as much as Kubrick predicted. And New York City doesn't have 40 million starving people in it. (Whoops! That's Soylent Green).

Surprizing little dialogue. My favorite line was also used by Richard Pryor in a bit about taking acid.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
"I can't do that, Dave."

As soon as Netflix gets their act together, my next film is the sequel, 2010.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


“Dear Jesus, please help us kick ass in this competition that angers you so. Amen.”

For some reason I started reading this post in Archie Bunker's voice: Aw jeez, lookit dese hoors with dere Federalist Papuhs, heah! Trust me, it makes sense if you're reading Tracey every day.

And if you aren't, what the heck is wrong with you? Must you be punched? Between the Best Blog Games Ever, Olympics coverage, gorgeous art, spirituality, and... well, everything else... you ought to be reading Beyond the Pale.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You come on like a dream...

Tracey and SarahK have been justly ranting about the Chinese waif's gymnastic team, whose aggregate age may not equal that of this blog. Here's a gift to them from the completely awesome Kurt Snibbe:

You're pre-teen, you won medals, and you're nine...
ESPN wins the Internet.

Water cooler BONUS!

One thing Ladybug and I got to do before going on our vacation was a little trip to Atlantic City to see... wait for it!... American Idols Live!

We'd heard that the Idols usually come out a few hours before go time to post for photos and whatnot, so we got down there plenty early. Unfortunately, the Idols themselves did not, so we were stranded on the boardwalk for a while. It was a little crazy out there. I amused myself with trying to discover the casino exit that Fast Eddie Felson used after being eliminated in the nine-ball tournament in the Color of Money. I didn't remember the name of the casino, and they are all so different now, though there are stil hints of the shabby 70's and 80's peeking through the new pastel and neuveau chic everywhere.

Instead we wound up having dinner at the Irish Pub on St James Avenue. I would have bought everything David Archuleta ever sings if they had teased Carly about it on stage, but happily, nobody was familiar enough with the area. Going there is definitely worth it. Get this for an appy: cheese cubes, thick-sliced pepperoni, crackers, and a ramekin of spicy brown mustard for six bucks.

The walls are lined with neat stuff, some of it the typical Approved Oirish Blarney™, faith an' begorrah an' St. Patrick droivin the snakes from th' Em'rild Oisle and such - but some of it fascinating. We sat next to a very long photograph of a beauty pageant from 1926. It turns out that it was the Inter-Cities Beauty Pageant, which eventually became THE pageant, Miss America, held here for many many years. Ms. America 1925 was in attendance, standing next to the master of ceremonies, alongside such notables as Ms. Spokane, Ms. Canarsie (really!), Ms. Toronto, and Ms. Utah. This shot is not the same one we saw, and I don't think it's as good: you can't read the sashes as easily.

From there we went to Boardwalk Hall, where a large sign prohibited picture-taking, audio and video recording, dageurotypes, woodblock engravings, and anything that could be used as a weapon. (Silly me, I put the camera in the car, and was treated to the sight of three thousand different flashbulbs going off every seven minutes.) Before we could get in, however, I endured the crush of Tween America to get a tourbook and a David Cook picture for the Ladybug.

Oh, and there was singing. Counting down from 10 to 3, everyone got three songs; the Davids got four each. There were also a couple of group sings for kicks - though in the tourbook, David Cook said that his least favorite part of AI was the group numbers. (Heheheheh. Get off my stage, hippehs!) My least favorite was the creepy Pop-Tart mascot wandering the floor. Neither crazy nor good. The venue is good though. Holds a good number of people, has a wealth of old-fashioned touches (especially the huge ceiling), and they kept the hockey boards along the sides to separate the floor seating.

10 - Chikeize like Sunday morning - went very R & B with his set. The first song was the one where he said "You know my name is Chikeize" (and he did it that way live, too) but I forget the name of it. The other two were also good. He hit one VERY high note that seemed even to surprise him. And yes, he was wearing one of the many velvet jackets, though it was a muted color and not the One Top outfit from earlier this year. Verdict - very good.

9 - Ramiele - oh, the poor thing. Whatever IT is, the thing that turns one from a talent into a performer? She just doesn't have that. She has the pipes but she just looks uncomfortable on stage. She isn't really walking around any better, which is bad since this stage has a walk-out area in the middle and both wings, PLUS an overhead behind the band accesible from all three sides. She sang "I Want You Back" by the Jackson Five, and it was kind of stilted. Then she tried to handle "Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne (Jersey Girl!), and it was a little big for her. I didn't really care after that, so I don't know the last. Sowry! Verdict - poor.

8 - Michael Johns - big cheers. As they put him up on the screens behind the stage, the band started in with "We Will Rock You" and the crowd flipped out. He rose up on an elevator to the elevated section of the stage (cool) in a big rock star pose and belted out part of this song before going right to "We Are the Champions." He stuck with the greatest hits theme, going into "It's So Wrong but It's So Right" and closing with "Dream On." He introduced that last with "This is the song that got me kicked off Idol. Randy Jackson didn't like it, but Randy isn't here tonight..." Roar from the crowd. Love it - though technically speaking, this is just the song that he sang his last week. He was really kicked off for his bizarre "A Day in the Life" edit, it just took an extra week. Anyway, he did his slow bobbing around deal, and sang really well, and looked as much at home as Ramiele looked lost. This is why I had him top four originally. Verdict - rockin'.

7 - Carly - sounding not quite as Oirish as usual. Still wearing dresses that make her look like a short person on top of a tall person's legs. Oh, and she can still sing the absolute stuffings out of everything. Opened with Evanescence, "Wake Me Up" (I think that's the name), and won my Ladybug's heart forever. It didn't hurt that she looks a lot like the singer from Evanescence, nor that she blew the doors off the thing. Then "Crazy on You" and "I Drove All Night," to the full-bodied approval of all in attendance. Top four performance. Verdict - turned up to eleven.

6 - Kristy Lee Hoedown - She is embracing her country self, and I admire that. I believe that two of these three were originals, actually, sandwiched around "God Bless the USA," but I won't vouch for that. (Anybody know a song called "Cowgirls"?) Some of the crowd sang along with the chorus to God Bless the USA, and it got a little dusty in the arena. She did a little of the Invisible Horse but otherwise solid work. Verdict - yee-haw.

Oh... there was a group sing in there as well. I'm really dropping the ball as far as set lists and all, but I couldn't really take notes in the dark and the loud and the jostling and FLAYVIN. Besides, pen and paper were probably forbidden too. It was an Idol Gives Back thing, I know that. Carly and Mike Johns carried over the simpatico they had in the songs during the show.

5 - Brooke - she rose up from an even larger elevator in front of the band, on the lower level, seated at a piano. Wow. So that's a stage that could double as an exercise track, with two working elevators, all the band's gear, some contestants' own instruments, three large screens, eleven smaller mobile screens, lighting, rigging, and a giant Pop-Tart costume. The roadies are awesome. Oh, yeah, singing... Brooke opened with a decent "Let it Be," (barefoot, natch), then let the piano sink away while a crewman handed over her guitar. One of the others was called "Yellow," and darned if they didn't soak her in yellow again, like they did for "Here Comes the Sun." Bad times. Verdict - ok, kind of forgettable.

Intermission. I got to watch the Guitar Hero commercials. It reminded me of two things. One is that I wish they'd used my idea for the Round of Three commercial - David Cook and David Archuleta singing "The Girl is Mine"a la McCartney and Jackson, with Syesha taking a verse to scorn them. (C'mon, you can hear the Crown Prince saying, "I told you, David, I'm a lover not a fighter.") They bicker away while Syesha gets into the Ford, and then... "I don't believe it!" The camera pulls back to reveal that Jason Castro is in the car with her, cheerfully singing "The girl is mine, mine, mine" as they drive away. This would have been PERFECT.

Second thing, I looked up to make sure I'd remembered it right, and I did. From the nine-to-eight post, regarding the pickup basketball commercial:

The commercial made me laugh out loud, but at them, not with them. Song was a dud, singing was a dud, and they wouldn't have a prayer of winning a pickup game against those guys if they all played at once.

Playing nine on five
What a way to take a beating
They're just running by
It's all dunking and repeating
We've just lost the game
Sixty-seven against zero
We should have stayed home
Playing "Guitar Hero"

And what did the Davids play on the screen during breaks? You guessed it, bubbelahs. I want my royalties NOW.

Also during the intermission, a really bad Guitar Hero contest between some dude with tats and a hairdresser from LA. Neither man even tried to play, based on what we're watching on screen. This is a serious Guitar Hero contest? I did better the first (and only) time I ever played. Boo.

Finally, two perfectly cute grade schoolers in an air-guitar contest. They were both better than the GH dudes, too. Lots of sweet moments - the younger kid is fighting the MC's forced "we're all super cool" cheer, and I love him forever for it. They each got a home version of GH, leading to the older kid saying sadly, "But I don't have a PS2." Heheheheh. "Target's open 'til eleven," chirped the host. Now, I love me some Target, but dude? Seriously, Mom's not going to Target, and will now curse your name and parentage for months.

We come back from break. 4 - Jason Castro - opened with the uke version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, complete with mangled lyrics. (Come on folks. I know that's how the big guy sang his version, but you're allowed to sing it in his style and get the words right.) Did "Daydream" by the Spoonful, and then... NOT "Hallelujah." Ladybug just took him off the Christmas card list. Verdict - like, mellow.

3 - Syesha - wearing a dress that seems much more modest than it really is - it's all there but it's all made of thin clingy wispy stuff - and thin-yet-large hoop earrings. A bundle of contradictions. The singing went well, though. "Umbrella," (pronounced with seven syllables in the song: uh-oom-bu-reh-ell-uh-ah) and then a Beyoncé tune and a song I don't recognize 'cuz I don't listen to the cool kids' music. Very natural on the stage. She sounded great, looked very happy. Verdict - top four.

2 - Crown Prince - the squealing for this reached such levels that every dog within two miles must have tried to hide under a couch. Is it too late to get the Asian Liberace out here? I mean, it's taking a while to bring him on. He's using the center elevator - is he bringing the piano too? I mean, he played it for all of five notes during the entire year.

Ladybug: they lit up the smoke machine.
'fly - no, they just lit up Jason Castro.

Up through the haze rises Archie, and yes, he's at the piano. The way it's angled I don't know if he's doing much. Everyone in the band is also going. It does keep him from offering me gum, however. He sings four songs. The first two I kinda recognize, the last two are "Stand By Me" (excellent, actually) and a Josh Groban tune (kept up pretty well). Had to turn down some gum at the end, but I'm sure he didn't notice since he closed his eyes with feeling the whole blergin' time. Great voice, but not a lot of stage presence. Verdict - syrupy yet good.

The squealing resumed, only double, at least. Hm - maybe we have the real reason Cook prevailed over the forces of Tweendom. He got their votes too! These kids probably dialed Archie AND Cook 5-10 times each, only all the moms only voted for Cook and the poor Crown Prince was bulldozed. Kid, you were set up.

1 - David Cook - came out like a rock star, and yanked out his earpiece about six seconds into the set (maybe it was a malfunction). I wonder if this factored into the performance, which was not that good. It's the reverse of the final, actually; now it's Cook singing nothing but stuff he's done already. "Hello." Much better the first time. "Time of My Life." Obligatory, and he was gracious in thanking everyone for making it successful, but "Dream Big" is a better song. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Except this song. Not a favorite to begin with, and he could have sang his excellent "I'm Alive," or his excellent "Innocent," or his excellent "Day Tripper," or etc. etc. Lucky for us, Ladybug brough the iPod and she bought everything he did on the show, plus most of the singes.

Then he did a song that he dedicated to his brother, called "There Goes My Hero." Sounds repetetive. Not enjoying it. His heart's in the right place but his music was not getting there for me. (Ugh, I've turned into Randy Jackson. I hate myself so much right now.) Finally, he encores "Billie Jean," and of course he had to, considering the boom this song gave him originally. Pretty good. Verdict - acceptable.

Actually, to elaborate: Verdict - he wishes he were somewhere else. I know he's grateful and I know he loves his brother. Those are real things. But equally real, I think, is that he wants to finish an album and tour with an actual band and sing all his own stuff, and not have to race through a truncated routine so that the Awesome Roadies can dismantle everything and schlepp it to the next town. It's like he's just about ready to say "Bag this, I'm cranking out some nine-minute Metallica track." He just feels the tether - he's a little impatient with the limitations imposed on the contestants of the show, and it shows through a little bit, just like it did from time to time on the show. Simon scolded him for that and he's got a point. Part of being a polished professional is selling what you're doing full-tilt. The audience gets that you're being limited but they still deserve the best you can give.

Even without an album, Cook did enough on the show to put up a credible half-hour or so of great music; he could also break out a few songs he didn't do on the show, like some of the others did. He should work harder to keep it fresh for himself.

There's an encore - "Don't Stop the Music." Everyone comes out, even Mr. I Hate Group Sings. Lots of fun. Overall, a fun night and a decent concert.

Top Three - Carly, Chikieze, Michael.

Bottom Three - Ramiele, Brooke, and Jason. (Sorry, man. Should have sang Hallelujah.)

PS - true fact: on the way out of the arena, I stepped on some gum. Archie's revenge.

Monday, August 11, 2008

440 miles of bad road

The worst part about vacations is the trip home. I actually look forward to being back home, but not much at all to the packing and hurrying it involves. There's always the fear of leaving behind something important, and resentment at being rushed through goodbyes when you want to spend more time together.

And then there's Delaware.

The first half of our trip took about 3½ hours, covered 223.9 miles (I checked), and ended with a pleasant early dinner somewhere north of Richmond, VA. We hit slowdowns throughout Maryland (some of which had to do with the backup of US 50, due to this terrible crash), but it was reasonable until we got to Delaware.

Next time, guys, just put up a sign for everyone: "Attention: Delaware is full. Please go around. We apologize for the inconvenience." No lie, we were stuck in a traffic jam on I-95 that stretched half the length of the state, due to a lane closure cutting northbound traffic from four lanes to two. It took over an hour and a half to move seven miles.

And joy of joys, at the end of it all I got to go over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which I'm fairly certain was designed after careful scrutiny of all of my nightmares. I already have issues with bridges, but this one takes from me every means of coping. I can't just stare rigidly forward because the slope of the roadway makes it look like one is about to tumble over a cliff. I can't glance to the sides because the railings are about seven inches high - and the first five are air. (Seriously, it's like paper maiche guardrails. They look like they could be bent by an angry butterfly.) The whole thing rises up as one approaches, at such an angle that there is little or nothing to be seen in the background. It looks in every respect like a long dock for dirigibles, stretching into thin air.

Luckily, the majority of traffic wound up stuck on the road to Wilmington and Philadelphia, so I could at least get over the thing quickly - EXCEPT for the guy in front of me. On top of it all, after all the snarling traffic and growing lateness and anxiety - the guy in front of me decides to take the bridge at 35 mph.

I totally flipped my gourd. I passed him on the right, on the Bridge of Evil Intent, screeching... well, I think is was all one word, possibly in English: whathef'kisf'knwrongwithyougetmethef'koffthef'knbridgef'k! My wife actually started laughing at that point, mostly because we'd reached our limit. It was 1:15 am and we had expected to be home by 10:30. The bridge is more than an hour from our driveway.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a cruel joke. There should be sanctions. I don't care how long around or how late it is, next time I'm going through Philly.

Friday, August 08, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Try reading this with a straight face.

Bill Clinton made a plea yesterday for a new emphasis on monogamy as a key element in the battle against Aids.

The former US president, not noted for his ability to keep his own marriage vows, said it was very important to change people's attitudes to sex.

In an interview with the BBC recorded in Africa, Mr Clinton said that increasing support for monogamy was not just a problem for the continent worst hit by Aids but for the world.

"To pretend we can ever get hold of this without dealing with that – the idea of unprotected sexual relations with unlimited numbers of partners – I think would be naïve," he said.

I am speechless. Sometimes this stuff just drops from the sky.

There is no sanctuary

A recent poll had 48% of us out there as tired of hearing about Obama. Part of the reason is that conservative talk radio (of which I listen to too much) isn't to excited about the GOP candidate, so all that's left is the ample material available to bash the Obamessiah.

But even I need to get away from it sometime, and when I do I listen to both types of music, country AND western. I've lived in Florida for 12 years and I am down with the culture.

But even that sanctuary has been breached. Yesterday I heard my first Obama ad on country radio. If this guy didn't PO me already. . .

88 long days until the election.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Green, Green Grass of Home

That is, grow houses in Tampa.

TAMPA - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office announced the dismantling of 62 marijuana grow houses and about 70 arrests related to the investigation this morning.

Operation Indoor Outlaws began in February, and investigators continued to raid grow houses through last night, Sheriff David Gee said.

A total of 5,806 marijuana plants were seized during the investigation, along with 3,240 pounds of marijuana. Gee described the operation at a sheriff's conference room surrounded by some of the seized plants and marijuana.

Forgive me if I have posted about a similar bust on this blog, but apparently growing indoor dope is big here in Tampa. The reason why these guys steal electricity is because a big spike in the power bill is a dead giveaway that your house contains an emerald forest


Very relaxing. We didn't go far, but we did get out of town for a while, visiting very good friends who've been there for us since the beginning. Today is the ladies' day together, so it's me, JD, and the Adorables - fending for ourselves. I'm taking advantage of naptime to do a little reading and typing.

On the porch, they have a bird feeder that attracts hummingbirds. Those things are amazing. I was familiar with the precision of their hovering and quick adjustments; I was not prepared for how fast they can fly if they want to. As an anniversary gift, they gave us a similar feeder for our own front porch. Hopefully I'll get some pictures of the birds. They don't linger.

Hm. I hear whispering from down the hallway...

We can finally get on with our lives.

Favre goes to the Jets.

Brett Favre's plane touched down safely at the airport in his hometown of Hattiesburg, Miss., Wednesday afternoon. But in many ways, the Packers quarterback was still waiting to see where he would land, with the Bucs a possibility.

The answer came late Wednesday when the Packers confirmed that Favre was traded to the Jets.

Terms of the compensation were not immediately known, but it is believed to be a conditional draft pick that increases in value depending on how many years he plays and how the team performs in 2008.

The Bucs had been hoping to complete a trade for Favre, but the Jets were willing to part with more for the three-time MVP.

Here in Tampa, I was getting sick of hearing about it. I hope that Jon Gruden is more faithful to his wife than to his quarterback. The gag down here is that Garcia's the starter until Vick gets out of prison.

PS - Spider, you should have titled the post "Jet Favre." Hopefully the Post didn't beat us to that.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Year Ago Today...

... I was in a church in New Jersey wearing a tux witnessing the Nightfly & The Ladybug being joined in holy matrimony.

I flew back to Tampa to continue my pitiful existence, while the Fly & Ladybug enjoy honeymoonal bliss to this day.

I blogged about this at the time. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

On Thursday of that week I walked around Manhattan wear my Rays hat. I wish I could do that today.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Am I the only guy whose done this?

Busy weekend. I went to the Rays game vs Tigers Saturday night with the Lutherans. Samuel Mann had his third birthday party and church on Sunday.
I ran out of underwear and had not time to do laundry. I'm a single guy, apartment dweller and I couldn't make it to the laundromat.
So I bought new underwear to hold me over till I could do laundry.
I can't be the only guy whose ever done this.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday wiirkout update

Been a while... sadly, that indicates that it's also been a while since this fly got buzzing. The move-in work died down but I'm still scattered everywhere. I missed a game last week, and will miss next week as well (though it is for an excellent reason!). In between we got beat on shootouts. I haven't won a shootout in what seems like a dog's age. I'm terrible. I'm also getting pudgier and it took a couple of days to stop feeling sore after the game - most unusual.

My Tune-up and Oil Change @ the VA

First, I dragged myself into the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital @ 6:30 am to get my blood drawn. And after that, I went up to the second floor canteen and gorged myself after fasting for 12 hours.

Two hours later I had my meeting with the pharmacist. The diabetes clinic does not have a permanent office. Normally it is in a cramped space in the ER, but on Thursdays it moves over to the other side of the hospital. Thankfully I found this out in time to make it to my appointment.

The pharmacist reviewed my log book (one must test blood sugar and record the results), and was happy with my blood sugar level. I was told that this is the honeymoon period, that my body is responding well to the little insulin I use (5 units before bedtime). My blood sugar seemed to be low first thing in the morning, so I need to snack before bed and cut my intake of a diabetes drug called glipizide (only one pill a day instead of two).

I am taking ½ pill of a high blood pressure drug called lisinopril, which must be working because my BP was 106/61. Being caffeine-free since March helps.

In May my cholesterol was @ 126 (it needs to be under 100). No test for it was done yesterday, but I am taking gemfibrozil (2 pills a day) and simvastin (1/2 pill a day). Also per doctors orders I am taking 4000mg of fish oil a day.

The nutritionist couldn’t see me, which was good because I’m supposed to be on a diet (and I am trying to get some fruits and veggies in me) and I haven’t lost any weight. At 5’9” and 218 lbs I am a laundry bag with legs.

My A1c number was not available, but the pharmacist guessed that, per my log book it was around 7 or 8 (normal people are around 6). Which is down from 11.5 in May. And 17 in March.

There is a little concern about possible damage to my kidneys. I am supposed to call the doctor if my pee starts looking like Coca-Cola.

That’s it for the next two months. It looks like I am going to live to see the Rays in the World Series this year.