Friday, October 31, 2008

A Republican Plot suppress the Democratic vote.
A month-long prostitution investigation in neighborhoods near the University of South Florida led to 52 arrests in connection with prostitution, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The initiative was dubbed Operation "Trick or Treat."

During October, deputies identified adults and juveniles who were committing prostitution and those soliciting it. One of the arrests included a 17-year-old girl listed as a runaway from Manatee County, the Sheriff's Office said.

The arrests included seven felony charges and 62 misdemeanors, deputies said. Twenty-three males were arrested for soliciting prostitution, 25 females were arrested for offering prostitution and one female was arrested on an unrelated warrant.

Guys, this is my neighborhood. If you get up early enough you can see these ladies at work. But you won't find Julia Roberts or Rebecca DeMornay from Risky Business on Nebraska Avenue. I like girls as much as the next guy, but seeing these poor broken women only depresses me.

A Very Special Voting Bloc

It look like the Obama has the Pennsylvania whorism vote locked down.
Based on the prostitutes' voter registration cards, they're destined to become Obama girls in November. That's because 78 percent of them registered as Democrats. Countywide, Dems make up only about 62 percent of voters, according to the Division of Elections.

The Illinois senator also has the advantage with local "johns" -- 72 percent go Democratic. And convicted pimps: Four out of every five register Democratic. And for the most special of special interest groups -- male transvestite hookers -- they're batting a thousand for Dems, albeit in drag.
Right now my mind is locked up. All the wisecracks and snark are just crammed up and can't get out. I'll let you commenters take it from here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You're right Rob, they had a great run.

If anyone would have told me back in March that the Rays would be in the Series, I would have told them to seek help for their drug problem. Usually by mid August it's wall to wall Buccaneers in sports talk radio. Not this year.

The Phils were my "up north" team so I'm not too disappointed. I wish Evan and Carlos would hit a little better. I wish Kazmir wouldn't have bad mouthed the ump earlier this year so he wouldn't get squeezed.

There were all kinds of conspiracy theories about the umps. Two of them lived in the Philly area; a third had played for the Phils.

The Rays will get better next year. Move David Price into the rotation and trade Edwin Jackson for a right-hand hitting rightfielder. Rocco's illness limits him to part-time duty.

And they will have to get better. They open the season @ Fenway. The home opener is against the Yankees. The AL East will once again be brutal.

Congrats, mighty Phils. I salute your scrapple, your birch beer, your cheesesteaks, your soft pretzels (No mustard? You must be from out of town!) and your Sure-kill River. Not to mention your Piels, Ortliebs, Schmidts and Rheingold.

Pitchers and catchers report in 107 days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Free Jimmy Buffett Concert in Tampa

It won't cost you any money, just your soul.
The mayor of Margaritaville is jumping into this year's political fray.

Jimmy Buffett plans a free concert Sunday in Tampa to urge people to vote for Democrat Barack Obama for president. The "Last Chance for Change" rally and concert is happening two days before the election at the outdoor Ford Amphitheatre.

People can get two free tickets by visiting any of the early voting information tables the Obama campaign has set up in the Tampa Bay area. Show time is 3 p.m.
Two challenges I face in going to this. I could probably pull off lying to the Obama voter info table about my love for his lordship. But the way these campaign things work is that you've got to be there at least three hours before the start. And at noon on Sunday I will be worshipping the real Messiah.

I will also miss the Obamamercial tonight. It's Wednesday night and I'm an evangelical; you know where I'll be. I'll probably get home around the restart of Game 5.

Life notes

Rosalind Russell: "Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by."

Via Sheila, who has done it yet again: a great post. It's a gift to be able to get inside someone else's thinking and "process" - it's a gift of a different order to hold that door open so others can get the glimpse you see. I'm not sure that I've read anyone as good as she is at doing this, on the Internet or anywhere else.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Malcolm X Shabazz High School

...just lost a home game.

Two suburban high schools refused to play football games tonight in Newark, citing worries about safety after a spate of drive-by shootings in the city Friday left two people dead and another injured.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and Cranford High School balked at playing games rescheduled from last Friday and Saturday. Newark school Superintendent Clifford Janey had suspended all athletic events districtwide while police were hunting for suspects in the Friday afternoon shootings.
Don't you guys have strict gun control laws in New Jersey? Don't you have all those gun buy back programs? How could something like this happen?

If I were going to write a parody of an inner city predominately black high school I would name it Malcolm X Shabazz High School. To the best of my knowledge, I don't think he ever called himself that. When Malcolm Little joined the Nation of Islam he renounced his slave name and took his X. When he completed the Hajj and became an orthodox Muslim he received the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Here in Florida the reason why we are polite to each other is because we all own guns.

I wore a sweater for the first time since March

At 8 a.m. it was 45 degrees here in Tampa. The high will be 66. This is the first really cold day of the year.

The Barking Spider Recordings

There’s a bootleg going around.

Let me explain. I belong to our church’s music group. It’s not a choir; we have a female alto, a female melody, a male melody (that’s me) and a male tenor (who plays guitar) and a second guitar player.

This is by far the funnest thing I do, and one of the few things I don’t screw up. It is entirely the grace of God that I am able to do this. I am lazy about practicing guitar. I can barely read music. But I can carry a tune well enough that the real musicians let me join in. Mostly melody. For reasons that I can’t explain I can only sing tenor harmony on stuff played on country radio. But I digress.

Five years ago, a lady in our church asked me and one of the guitar players to record some of the songs we sing in church. Now, we sing traditional hymns and praise songs, but what is unique to our church are the songs in which Bible verses are set to music.

The “scripture songs” were what she was looking for. So Tim the Guitar Player and I huddled by the cassette recorder and played some of our favorites and gave the cassette to our friend. So this is not exactly the White Album we're talking about here.

Five years later she is still playing it. She has even asked us to make a copy (it’s a cassette) to give to a friend. Now I know I’m not on my way to the Grand Old Opry. But it amuses me that someone is driving around listening to a recording of my singing voice.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yesterday was St Crispins Day

Tonight is St Crispins Night for the Rays. Joe Maddon better have that speech from Shakespeare's Henry V ready for pregame. The Rays are facing elimination against a pitcher who owns them.

I only thought the crowd was this rough when the Mets came to town.

And Phils fan, the Trop is a palace compared to the ratdump your team played in for over thirty years. I've drunk many an Ortlieb's at the Vet. When I was underage I snuck beer into the joint. I've seen the rats.

Whatever happens tonight, the boys from St Pete had a good run.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mohammed's Radio

You know, the Sheriff's got his problems too
He will surely take them out on you
In walked the village idiot and his face was all aglow
He's been up all night listening to Mohammed's Radio

-Warren Zevon

This must be the UAE version of the Fairness Doctrine.
A Dubai radio station fired a South African drive-time DJ for mocking religion and impersonating God on the air, the show's management said Wednesday.

The Arabian Radio Network said in a statement Revin John had been "let go" over a sketch Monday on Virgin Radio Dubai in which he quoted an article about a U.S. court throwing out a lawsuit against God.

John then pretended to act out a telephone conversation with God, prompting complaints from listeners of "diverse faiths and nationalities," said a statement written in reponse to questions from The Associated Press.
I guess you can't get Howard Stern or Bubba the Love Sponge ion the UAE. And definitely not this guy.

I must confess that part of my motivation in posting this story is the song in the title. I'm listening to an album I haven't listened to in a while called "A Quiet Normal Life: the Best of Warren Zevon. The guy had some offbeat stuff which I can appreciate. Listening to his version of "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" reveals a verse that Linda Ronstadt chose to leave off her cover. I can see why.

Unfortunately,Warren Zevon died a few years ago.

Thank you for indulging me.

This is for Tracey

Because of this post.

Huzzah, even.
It's too bad this isn't the weekend "pitching woo," huh? Off to the basement to start the wash. Woo.

Politicked unto death

Saw a comment over at Sheila's always-excellent blog and it made me sick of myself.

It's in the comments here. It's actually good news - she's been blogrolled by James Walcott, and that's a big deal in the art and literature community. Congratulations are in order. And that's why I'm ill with my own crapticity.

The thing is, what I've read of Mr. Walcott's work doesn't jibe well with me. Maybe he's a good read on his own subjects, but.... well, the term "glib phrase-spitter" comes to mind when he goes after other folks, and especially on political subjects.

You may wish to exercise some discretion at that last link, Rachel and many of her commenters use some rough words. For example, me.

Yeah, I called James Walcott a bit of a name. Now, you could call this blog the Internet equivalent of flyover country, where Spider and I bitterly cling to our faith, but you know, just because nobody knows nor cares what I write, doesn't mean that I should just say stuff like that.

I'm glad for Sheila and her commenter about being blogrolled by the guy, and he may have done much better work that I've missed in not reading Vanity Fair. It's hardly fair to judge the guy solely by quotes pulled by someone who doesn't like his work much. Still, it's hard to like it when a guy says he's rooting for hurricanes so Mother Nature can get back at us, to say nothing of the rest of it. Further, I read a lot of folks whose politics I disagree with, but who write well - nothing I've read of Walcott's does that for me, sadly. It just ain't that good. (Sheila's way better. If you ask me, HE should be dying to get on HER blogroll.)

Anyway, that's all sort of a buildup to the self-inflicted sickening, which is here for all to see and mock. (Please, see and mock.) Essentially, I've gotten so twisted around by the back-and-forth of the election that I seriously considered a political basis for a rooting interest in baseball.

And you know what? To hell with that. What the hell is going on here? The Rays are a terrific baseball story. I don't care who these guys vote for - just give us some good baseball. (And criminy's sake, I'm a Mets fan so really, anyone but the Phils, right?)

So yeah, this election has officially made me a jackass. In my feeble defense, I do honestly think that the Dalai Obama has a serious messianic complex, aided and abetted by willing fellow-travelers, that makes me only a bit less sick than I make myself. The truth is, the Left is often accused of letting the Government be their god - but their elevation of the Son of Government as our savior and lord makes that goofy cliché seem short of the mark. (Remember, they say this is the guy whose story is worthy of a new Bible chapter, who will still the oceans and heal the sick.) I'm not so sure about stilling the oceans and healing the sick, but I'm quite worried about his spreading the wealth and silencing the dissent.

Ugh. I am just so tired of myself. Tired of all of this hooey. Tired of having to worry that we could elect a tool of the radical marxist left as the actual President of the US. These are signs of ill health, mentally and socially. Ideally it almost shouldn't matter who the President is. The whole of society should be handling the heavy lifting of everyday life, such that government should have influence only over certain matters. I mean, when we were alternating between Grover Alexander and Chester Arthur and all those guys, the country didn't go off the rails. Nobody was willing to scrap large parts of the republic for the sake of enhancing their own authority over people, no matter which party they were in.

Now we're looking at a guy who wants veto authority over people's 1st and 2nd Amendment rights (via the Fairness Doctrine and gun laws that effectively ban ownership), who opposed measures to protect the inherent natural right to self-defense, who would strike down every possible restriction to abortion, who is pretty openly in favor of massive wealth confiscation and disbursment (rather than encouraging the growth of wealth so that everyone has a chance at more), and whose entire record up until now is so underwhelming, he refuses to talk about it. Ask about his past associations and it's "racist"; ask about his planned policies, and people line up to dissect your life and work.

And I'm sick of it, and sick of the hopenchange, and sick of myself, and especially because I can't stop twisting the knife into my own belly.

Listen up, you maggots!

The governor has a few questions.

There's the cute librarian look. Then there's the look that has turned my head since I was an Airman Basic on Guam: a woman in a flight suit. I don't know why. Maybe because most of them were officers and aircrew which made them forbidden fruit for lowly enlisted such as myself.

I am in so much trouble if my pastor reads this blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hey, waitaminnit!

Funny lolcat from a few days ago.

can u spelz plagiarism?

One of mine. This makes two (huzzah) - except for a small technicality. What you see, above, is actually over a year old, done in the pre-profile-saving days. (Luckily, I email myself on these things.) The one that popped up on Oct 13 is here. You'll notice a subtle difference in teh capshun.

So, am I funny, or just early?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An idea

Since the Congress loves spending our money as if they were playing Monopoly, why don't we borrow from the Monopoly rules for a simple form of term limits?

To wit, serving in Congress is like rolling doubles. If you're elected for a third consecutive term, you go to jail. AND, you have to pay the U.S. Treasury to get out.

Now I know How Dems on Boston...

...feel about Curt Schilling endorsing Republicans.
Barack Obama will be joined at an event today(Monday @ Steinbrenner Field in Tampa) by several members of the World Series-bound Tampa Bay Rays at an event marking the first day of early voting in the Sunshine State.

Pitcher David Price will introduce Obama, according to his campaign. Outfielder Fernando Perez, and teammates Carl Crawford, Cliff Floyd, Jonny Gomes, B.J. Upton, Edwin Jackson, and Jason Bartlett will also appear on stage.
These guys can do whatever they want. I guess my main beef is this: Obama hasn't even been coronated yet and he is everywhere. The American Federation of Teachers is running pro-Obama ads on the Rush Limbaugh Program. The country music station (both types of music - country AND western) is running ads apologizing for having to run Obama ads.

The Rays were an Obama-free zone untill now. The few sanctuaries left are Christian radio, like 90.5 Spirit FM in Tampa. That's WBVM-FM as in Blessed Virgin Mary.

If Obama everywhere now, just imagine when he gets real power.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Votive Early, Votive Often

This is from a Mark Steyn post on the National Review blog the Corner.
Still think calling him the Obamessiah is over the top?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The World C-Rays

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
-Henry V Act 4 Scene 3

In order to be the best you have to beat the best. And it isn't over; the Rays open next season at Fenway where hostilities will resume.

Rays win 3-1. The last two innings took five years off my life. The fate of this team was put in the hands of David Price, a guy with barely a month of major league experience; a guy who was in college last year.

Can the mind of mortal man comprehend this?

Next are the scrapple-eating, Ortliebs-drinking Phils. The Phils have their spring-training facilities here in Clearwater, they are coming down on Monday to workout for The Wednesday night opener.

I'll need to up the blood pressure meds.

Ortliebs? Or is it Rheingold?

Rays Lose Game 6 4-2

Thanks, Fly.

Some of the ladies in our church have fallen in love with the Rays. One of them was watching last night's game on TBS when the signal was lost. She did not own a radio. She was calling other people to get updates until the signal was restored. She bought a radio as backup for Game 7.

I am really nervous about tonight. Those Bosox will not go away.

You Have To Be Carefully Taught

Kids say the darndest things:
She's only 12 years old but Ashleigh Jones is feeling the heat of this election year. That’s because the seventh grader at New Smyrna Beach Middle School was called a racist by classmates for wearing a pro-Sarah Palin t-shirt.
Now from where to you thing these innocent little cherubs got such an idea?

Not from the Obama campaign, whose surrogates have never raised the race issue.

Not once.

Of the many things an Obama presidency will usher in will be the use of race to marginalize your opponents. The Department of Mau-Mauing will be a cabinet-level position.

My pastors meet every three months with some other local evangelical pastors. One of them, who is black, told my pastors of the pressure he is getting to support his lordship the Obamessiah.

Like me, he will not bow the knee to false gods.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let's hear it for Jerry Manuel!

Hooray for FJM, for pointing out a story I'd missed, featuring Jerry Manuel's official de-interimming by the Mets.

Manuel's "interim" tag was removed Friday night when the Mets gave him a two-year contract that guarantees him more than $2 million and includes a club option for 2011. Now he must figure out why the team collapsed in each of the last two Septembers and find a solution that gets New York back in the postseason.

I will save you the trouble of figuring it out, because I already know: your bullpen sucks out loud and you have seventeen frickin second basemen but no corner outfielders. There ya go, genius.

"We have to grow from every time that we get as close as we get and don't make it, and we have to review and kind of marinate on why we don't make it," Manuel said during a conference call.

You could marinate if you like. Or, you could look at this list of relievers employed by the New York Mets over the past two seasons:

Billy Wagner
Pedro Feliciano
Joe Smith
Aaron Heilman
Scott Schoeneweis
Guillermo Mota
Aaron Sele
Ambiorix Burgos
Duaner Sanchez
Nelson Figueroa
Claudio Vargas
Brian Stokes
Carlos Muniz
Jorge Sosa
Luis Ayala

Of these, who would you keep? Stokes, Smith, Burgos, and maybe Sanchez? Wagner - if his arm hadn't fallen off. You want we should keep marinating about this, boss?

On his first full day as the Mets' long-term manager, Manuel forcefully attacked the SABR-type mathematical analysis some have fixated on in recent years. "You get so many statistical people together, they put so many stats on paper, and they say, well, if you do this and you score this many runs, you do that many times, you'll be in the playoffs," he said. "That's not really how it works, and that's what we have to get away from."

Oh, that’s great. Forget statistics! Go with your gut! Let Schoeneweis pitch to a righty in the eighth inning of a tie game we MUST WIN to keep playing baseball! Let’s have five second baseman on our roster at all times, but no corner outfielders! What could possibly happen?

Not to be a giant-sized jerk about it, but look for just a half-minute at this statement: "If you do this and you score this many runs, you do [it] that many times, you'll be in the playoffs. That's not really how it works." Uhm, it kind of DOES work that way. If you do the things more likely to score runs, and do them often enough, then yes, that improves your chances of winning baseball games - what with scoring the most runs being the whole point of baseball games. To recap - you score runs on offense and prevent runs with pitching and defense, and anything that helps those objectives is the thing you SHOULD BE DOING, not "the thing we have to get away from."

But all that winning would stop us from marinating, and we don't want that!

"And that's going to have to be a different mind-set of the team in going forward. We must win and we must know how to win rather than win because we have statistical people. We have to win because we have baseball players that know and can understand the game."

It doesn't matter at all if people understand baseball if they can't actually PLAY baseball. Criminy! Does anyone honestly think Manny B Manny knows jack doodle about baseball, other than how far one goes when he hits it? Let’s have the 2008 MathCounts Competition winners play for us against the Phillies – they’ll completely think the hell out of that game right there!

Instead – and this is rather important – you may want the MathCounts winners to consult with when actually building a roster of actual ballplayers. They can tell you stuff like “Moises Alou is 42 years old and is not likely to play well, when he plays at all” and “Your bullpen’s ERA was 268.37 last September, so you should get some better pitchers so that sort of thing doesn’t happen again” and “Eleven ex-major-league shortstops just picked Jeter over A-Rod, so maybe you should leave the thinking to us.”

Look at the two options:

1. Win becuase we know how to win
2. Win because we have statistical people

I know how to win too. I've just described it in painful detail. It will not help me hit a two-strike curveball to the opposite gap. The statistical people, on the other hand, can demonstrate with objective evidence how good or bad your players are at baseball, thus suggesting areas in which they must improve. Going 1-15 is bad. It isn't good because the one hit is "clutch." Don't keep running that guy out there because he accidentally hit a pitch off a bounce that hung in the air six seconds but dropped untouched behind shortstop because four different guys thought someone else had it.

(Then again, this is a guy who owes his continued employment to Fernando Tatis rising from the dead and Carlos Delgado getting his bat back from Witness Protection. He doesn't want to admit this - he wouldn't get the credit. So he HAS TO marinate all this weapons-grade hokum and serve it up to the reporters. It's how the managerial game is played. Unfortunately it's not how the actual game is played.)

The funny thing is, the rest of the article says pretty much what I wrote above about having no corner outfielders and the Armando Benitez Memorial Bullpen. I hadn't even gotten that far down the thing when I wrote the above - THIS IS NOT A STATE SECRET. Why are you marinating, Jerry Manuel? What do you hope to learn?

"We have to put a value on say, moving a runner over. We have to put a value on getting a bases on balls. We have to put a value on infield back, [getting a] ground ball that's sufficient to score a run," he said.

Yeah, and you know something? PEOPLE HAVE DONE ALL OF THAT ALREADY! It's called statistical analysis, you dunderhead. Baseball Prospectus has pages of articles on the value of a walk in all sorts of game situations, derived from analysis of what actually happened in actual baseball games when walks were earned in those real situations from those real games and gaaaaaaaaah QVRT!GN0 994 GHQNACV %&*(!*!!1!

"You don't see a lot of guys that have statistical numbers play well in these championship series," Manuel said.

Unless they do.

"What you see is usually the little second baseman or somebody like that carries off the MVP trophy that nobody expected him to do. That's because he's comfortable in playing that form of baseball, so therefore when the stage comes, it's not a struggle for him."

No, that's because people make a big stink about the little second baseman PRECISELY BECAUSE nobody expects him to, because he stinks - but hell, anything can happen in 4-7 games. Even a sucktacular collection of suck can win four out of seven ballgames. Even the worst regulars in baseball are actual major league ballplayers, and can have the occasional 10-hit, 3-dinger week.

(Unless of course "little second baseman" means Dustin Pedroia, who may win the American League MVP for the entire 2008 season of baseball because he's good at it, in which case maybe you have NO POINT.)

This is atrocious. They fired Willie Randolph for this? It was not Willie's fault that nobody got him any relievers who could pitch, nor that Carlos Delgado was a disaster for a full season and a half. It's not his fault that they flank Carlos Beltran with giant cardboard cutouts instead of baseball players. It's not his fault that he was stuck with Castillo, Valentin, Easley, Anderson, and Argenis Reyes at second base. Those five guys could form Voltron and still suck.

Gah. These stooges are going to waste what’s left of Beltran’s prime, and make Jose Reyes and David Wright bolt the moment they hit free agency. They might as well advertise a free kick in the nads to the first fifteen thousand guys who attend the first game at Citi Field, at least this way we’d know it was coming when we bought tickets.

Charles Spurgeon on Politicians

He wasn't impressed.
In particular, we must keep ourselves unspotted from the lepers of the world. There is a certain number of leprous men in the world. You can tell them by their conversation; and sometimes you cannot help going very near where they are; but if you hear them cry, “Unclean!” just give them a very wide berth. . . . We are to keep ourselves from all spots of the world when we have to mingle with it. Notice, there are spots which come from your circumstances. . . .

[Among these circumstances] are politics; you know what party politics are. We are all trying to [usher] in another set of maggots to eat the cheese; that is about all it amounts to; first turn out one lot, and then turn in another. It comes to little more than that. Even in the pursuit of really good matters of policy, do you know any Christian man who goes into politics who is the better for it? If I find such a man, I will have him stuffed if I can, for I have never seen such a specimen yet. I will not say, do not attend to politics; but I do say, do not let them spot you.
"Another set of maggots to eat the cheese." Truth from a man of God.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the plumber does not need a license

I work for an air conditioning contractor in Tampa. Part of my duties are to keep my boss' license current. Unlike the Medienhueren, I actually know what I'm talking about.

Let's see what the
Ohio Construction Licensing Board has to say:
4740.01(A) “License” means a license the Ohio construction industry licensing board issues to an individual as a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning contractor, refrigeration contractor, electrical contractor, plumbing contractor, or hydronics contractor.

4740.07 (B) Any individual may request, at the time of applying for a license or at any time thereafter, that the individual’s license be assigned to a business entity with whom the individual is associated as a full-time officer, proprietor, partner, or employee. If the individual is issued or holds a license and meets the requirements of this section for the assignment of the license to a business entity, the administrative section shall assign the license to and issue a license in the name of the business entity. The license assigned and issued to a business entity under this division shall state the name and position of the individual who assigned the license to the business entity.

Let me translate for you. One person in a business (in the case of my employer it is the owner) takes the test and qualifies for the license. That license is assigned to the business entity and you can have as many air conditioning technicians (or plumbers) working for that company as long as that license is assigned to an owner or a employee of that.

Joe the Plumber works for a business entity (Newell Plumbing & Heating) whose licenseholder is Al Newell. Trust me on this. I do this for a living.

I have anger issues. The Obama campaign is calling my place of work with taped messages. I got back by calling the Hillsborough County Democratic Party and tearing into the poor sap that picked up the phone.

Now this is a little presumptuous...

...just ask the 2004 AL Champion Yankees and the 2007 AL Champion Indians.
Baseball fans and players are notoriously superstitious.
Most starting pitchers, for instance, won't talk to the media the day of their starts. Matt Garza won't talk to the media the day before his starts.
Publix is selling a baseball emblazoned with the Rays logo on one side and the World Series logo on the other.

Pretty neat.

One problem.

The Rays still have to beat Boston at least one more time in the next three games before they get to the Series.

Do you think this ball will jinx them?
I sure as heck hope not.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kazmir to start Game 5

Instead of Shields.
With a 3-1 lead over Boston in the best of seven ALCS, the Rays have changed their pitching rotation and will start LHP Scott Kazmir in Game 5 on Thursday rather than James Shields.

Kazmir has pitched well at Fenway in the past, and Shields has not. Plus, the Rays would have the benefit of Friday's off-day if they have to go deep into the bullpen before a potential Game 6. Shields would start that game on Saturday at the Trop, where he has pitched very well.
The reason why the Rays would have to go deep into the bullpen is because Game 2 was not a abberation; Kazmir can barely go five anymore. Of, course the unspoken reason is that the Rays don't want to waste Shields in a game where Dice K will carry a non-no into the seventh, as in Game 1. Let Shields pitch Saturday at home against a lesser foe.

I'm just as shocked as you Bosox fans about the last two games at Fenway. I was just hoping the Rays wouldn't get swept.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Grade Field Trip

We’ve all been on school field trips when we were young skulls full of mush. One of the blessings of being raised in New Jersey is the historic sites to visit. I’ve been on school trips to Batsto Villige, where Revolutionary Cannons were made. I’ve been to Valley Forge and Independence Hall in Philly. In high school I even went in a field trip to Ancora Psychiatric Hospital. I serenaded my fellow students with Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” on the way back.

But this is one I missed.
In the same week that the No on 8 campaign launched an ad that labeled as “lies” claims that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools to young children, a first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding. Eighteen first graders traveled to San Francisco City Hall Friday for the wedding of their teacher and her lesbian partner, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The school sponsored the trip for the students, ages 5 and 6, taking them away from their studies for the same-sex wedding. According to the Yes on 8 campaign, the public school field trip demonstrates that the California Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage has real consequences.
This is a press release from the folks in favor of the marriage amendment, and to be fair, other news reports say that parents could opt out. But would a grade school in your town do something like this?

Are the people of San Francisco like you and I? In Genesis 18:20-33, God and Abraham are looking over Sodom and God tells Abraham of His plans to destroy the city. In an attempt to save Sodom, Abraham debates with God. “What if there are fifty righteous in the city, will you not spare it for their sake?” Abraham manages to negotiate God down to ten. Sadly, that didn’t save Sodom & Gomorrah.

If God and Abraham were looking over San Francisco, what kind of conversation would they have?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Boston Pee Party

We may wear "Rayhawks" and ring cowbells, but I don't think Rays fans are doing this.

Max Dougherty, an otherwise sane 28-year-old American male, has a tattoo of the Red Sox logo on his left chest and two cats named after members of the Red Sox team, and he never wears anything other than red socks.

He also once wet himself after a Red Sox win in the playoffs.

On purpose.

This was in 1999. There were 30 people at his apartment. His sister said she was so nervous she could pee her pants, and he told her that he would if the Red Sox won. Max Dougherty is a man of his word.

This is from the St Pete Times, whose pro-Obama bias in only exceeded by its pro-Rays bias, so they did look for an extreme Bosox fan.

When the Phils won the Series in 1980, it never occured to me to soil myself.

USA 6, Cuba 1

Cuba lost to the USA 6-1 in a World Cup qualifier Saturday night.

They had an excuse. They played a little undermanned.

Reinier Alcantara did not believe he would have another opportunity to pursue freedom, so on Thursday night, as he and his Cuban soccer teammates were preparing for a team dinner at the Crystal City Doubletree Hotel, the 26-year-old forward made his break.

Sharing details in a telephone interview with The Washington Post last night, Alcantara said he was in the lobby, wearing a casual shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, when he saw the coaches wander into the gift shop. He rode the escalator down to street level and "started running like crazy and didn't look behind," he said through an interpreter who arranged the interview and requested anonymity for political reasons.

After sprinting for about eight blocks, Alcantara said he flagged down a taxi and, with the few words of English he knew, told the driver, "Go, go, go!"
You should read this whole story. This guy had the phone number of a friend who lived near DC and was able to arrange refuge.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rays, Bosox split @ the Trop

Game Two lasted way past my bedtime.

The win was important, because the Rays winning two of three @ Fenway would have been a faith-based initiative.

Baseball is a funny game. James Shields gives up only two runs and loses to Dice K in Game One.
Kazmir stinks up the Trop in Game Two, and benefits from Beckett doing the same.

Game Three is Monday @ around 4:30 pm. So much for talk radio, the Rays will be my afternoon drive time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Pollster Asked Me..

…who am I voting for? Obama or McCain?

What has made this question a hard one for me are the circumstances in which I left the GOP and registered here in Florida as No Party Afilliation (NPA).

To put it briefly, John McCain is the reason I am no longer a Republican. I won’t bore you with all the ways the McCainchurian Candidate has screwed his own party; most reading this blog know them better than I do. Before he ran for president it seemed that the only time he was on TV was to bash his own party. The last straw for me was his open borders advocation and his surrogates calling me a racist if I didn’t agree.

The Sisko is angry. The Sisko is angry that my only choices are my political opponents and someone who has made a career out of collaborating with my political opponents. The choice of Palin for VP is the only sign that McCain gives a rat’s toenail about the base of his own party.

The Sisko is angry with Huckabee, who read the tea leaves and embarked on a plan to be McCain’s VP by brown-nosing him on the campaign trail and staying in long enough to draw enough votes away from Romney to insure that McCain won. (A McCain-Huckabee ticket would never have gotten my vote.)

I’ve seen the influence of McCainism here in Florida. Our governor is the number one McCainkisser in the country (maybe number two behind Lindsay Graham). We have a marriage amendment on the ballot in Florida. Crist was in favor of it until two minutes after he was sworn in. Who knows what he thinks now; Crist will probably decide after it passes or fails. The McCain-Crist tactic with Christian conservatives is to lift the skirt a little and show us enough leg to get us into the voting booth. After I voted for Crist in 2006 I felt like a whore.

I also have no faith. I talk a good game about having a faith in Christ, but I’m pretty much full of Pferdkaese. In 2000 I worked a phone bank for W, and when he won with a GOP majority in Congress I was sucked into the notion that America would become a Christian paradise. (Because we know that all Republicans are Christians. Right?) In Isaiah 31:1, God has a warning for those would seek after secular power (chariots & horses) and not seek the Lord their God. I am guilty of putting the faith I should have in Christ in a political party and a political process.

My vote will be 30% for Sarah Palin and 70% against His Lordship the Obamessiah. I want to win the war on terror. I want this blog and talk radio to still be around next year. I don’t want the public reading of certain portions of Scripture to become a criminal act. I don’t want my boss or his customers to be taxed to such an extent that I will lose my job. I want to at least hold serve on the life issue.

Christian paradise? I’ll be voting for McCain in hopes of staving off Ragnarok for a few years.

And I’ll feel like a whore afterwards.

Actual serious stuff

Don't worry - not serious in the sense of "personal tragedy about to follow." I'm not sure that I could write too much about any of that sort of thing if (or inevitably, when) it happens. Of my whole family I'm probably the one who is least "private" about those sorts of things, so out of respect for everyone else, I try not to drag them along into my malfunction.

But the serious stuff is out there.

I'm not about to list my blogfriends in a bunch of links, saying "go here and offer your support," and not because I don't want them to be supported. It's just out of respect. It's easy to air one's own laundry if one wishes, but someone else's? Even if they've mentioned it in their own space, it just feels off to drag the rest of the world over there to comment on it. Of course I have done in the past, and so have plenty of others... welcome to humanity. We are inconsistent, and not always logical. All I can say is, if it feels right to call for the cavalry, I do; when it feels right to withdraw respectfully, then I do that.

It's not always the right way to do things. I zig when I should zag, sometimes. It's probably because with the blogfriends, there isn't that personal interaction. With those who write well enough to get the reader inside somewhat, there's the additional challenge of feeling like I know them better than I really do - or assuming that they thus know me, that my quirky jokes won't simply come across as stupid or insulting.

And then there's my blog curse... I skip a stop for a day or two, usually by accident, and when I get back SOMETHING HAPPENED and I wasn't there, I MISSED EVERYTHING, people NEEDED ME and I was SLACKING. I'm sorry! I want to say, but hell, it wasn't about me in the first place, so why barge in late with all the drama?

Pfffft. It would be easier to just churn out Water Cooler posts. (Actually, I miss those, I should get off my butt... Top Model in particular has been bringing the crazy.)

Still, if this blog is about anything, it's about that connection with all of you blogfriends out there. Whether I get 150 comments like some of the heavier hitters or just one or two, I know there's that connection. Like any other set of friends, sometimes the connection is about TV or sports or something fun and goofy... sometimes it's about news, culture, politics... sometimes about work and relationships... and sometimes it's because there's something looming and personal, where we need our friends - or just need to TELL - but we don't want to talk about with any random stranger who overhears.

So no links this time. You regular readers here visit my sidebar a lot, so you know at least some of the people I'm thinking of with this post. I don't value you guys and gals any less for being way off on the other side of the Internet, or if I miss a post, or sometimes choose not to link to a particular item about tough times. I can only hope I do right by you, friend by friend and moment by moment. Be assured that even when you haven't asked, you have my regard and my prayers... and as always my thanks for your visits and your friendship.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The hits just keep on coming!

As I noted in the comments here, I wasn't even able to include verses about alleged illegal campaign contributions, nor Tony Rezko, nor the kickbacks to the wife... and at the last second I lost the chorus about "writing a new Bible chapter," the moment the oceans receded and the storms ceased, and "we are the ones we've been waiting for."

And now there's THIS. I'm just re-posting the Rachel Lucas link because she's done some excellent roundup work, with no fewer than a half-dozen links to various perfidy currently in play on behalf of the Democrats - if not actually aided and abetted by their current presidential candidate.

At this rate, I'm going have to rewrite Billy Joel's entire catalogue to adequately describe Obama's craptitude.

Hockey Mom.. drop the first puck.
Sarah Palin's next faceoff will come at center ice at an NHL arena, not at a debate. The GOP vice presidential nominee will drop the ceremonial first puck when the Philadelphia Flyers open the regular season against the New York Rangers on Saturday. Palin, the Alaska governor and self-described "hockey mom," will join the winner of a team promotion for the "Ultimate Hockey Mom" to drop the puck.

Last month, Palin visited a Philadelphia bar with Flyers owner Ed Snider, who has donated money to Republican presidential nominee John McCain's campaign.
Hey Fly, the Islanders couldn't get in on this?

"Palin visted a Philadelphia bar". She probably ran into my Cousin Antny or Uncle Jack.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Once More Into the Breach

You knew it would come down to the Rays and the Bosox in the ALCS. The Rays have been battling Boston all year. Their games at the Trop have been wars, both on the field and in the stands.

Guess whose going to Game One on Friday? Mrs H has turn into a hardcore Rays fan.

Of course, I may encounter the dilemma that many transplants here have with their old teams up north. What do I do if the Phils and the Rays meet in the Series?

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's been bugging me all day...

I know that everybody and their twin has already blogged about the debate. No doubt this has already been mentioned elsewhere. But something has nagged at me ever since Joe Biden had his little scolding screed about Dick Cheney being the most dangerous Vice President ever:

While he Vice President of the US, Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

Afterward, he went home without a moment's thought. He showed up a few days later in Washington DC to preside over the Senate, as if NOTHING HAPPENED. He spent much of the next several years unable to visit New York or New Jersey without being arrested, tried, and hanged for murder. What's more, there's evidence he may possibly have made plans to steal or outright conquer part of the Louisiana Purchase in order to be the King of something, rather than the complete social and political pariah of the United States.

And lest we forget - dude killed a guy in a duel. In fact, killed a guy who by his own account had already determined to waste his shot, in order to bring the duel to a peaceful conclusion. In later years Burr actually brought someone back to the Weehauken cliffside and showed him where Hamilton's shot had gone before Burr had fired back.

I don't care how many hunting accidents he has - Dick Cheney will never approach Aaron Burr's standard.

U can has memmereze

Great post about the Games of our Youth at Ricki's Rants and Rambles.

Marbles (and hippos) not included.
Growing up I was lucky to have a lot of those classics: Scrabble, Boggle, Stratego (gosh, that commercial is so goofy!), Life, Monopoly... And Dad, being Dad, also taught me chess, which I still (mis)play now. It wasn't all Atari 2600, no sirree!

The Ladybug and I have a shelf with dozens of these, plus more modern card and board games... Rocketville, Scotland Yard, The Great Dalmuti... and our friends, the Prussian Tiger and family, have dozens more. Good times.

I thought Catholics...

...didn't do this.
Pope Benedict XVI will kick off a week-long reading of the Bible on Italian television starting Sunday, with readers to include three former presidents and Oscar-winning actor Roberto Benigni.

Some 2,000 people will take turns reading the Bible's 73 books, from the Old Testament's Genesis to the New Testament's Book of Revelations, at Rome's Holy Cross in Jerusalem basilica.
I want to know what poor schlub is going to be stuck with 1 Chronicles chapters 1-9.

"the Bible's 73 books." Hmmmm.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sing me a song

Your debate special. Feel free to hum along. (With slight edit in the Ayres verse, to make it make a little more sense.)

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd gathers near
There’s a old man sittin’ next to me
Clinging to his religion and beer

He said, “Boy, let me say why you’re scarin’ me
It’s more than your funny last name
You’re mind is elite and you’re kind of effete
And it’s plain that we don’t look the same”

Uh, la-la-uh, diddy-dah
Uh-uh, diddy-dah…. uh, dah

Vote for a change with Obamaman!
Vote Hope and Change tonight!
Well, we’re all in the mood for the kool-aid
And you’ve got us drinking up right!

Now Dave at the bar is a friend of mine
He astroturfs blogs for me
He’s quick with an ad, and makes Palin look bad
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be

He says, “Man, I wish you’d have picked Hillary!”
And his smile clouded over with doubt
“Well I’m sure that your lead would be comfortable
Without Biden’s foot in his mouth!”

Uh, la-la-uh, diddy-dah
Uh-uh, diddy-dah…. uh, uhhhhhhhhh….

Now Wright is a firebrand reverend
Whom I’ve never met in my life
He’s reading Alinsky, who taught me strategy
For exploiting neighborhood strife

William Ayers got me started in politics
He thinks governments all should explode
We just happen to share some objectives
But to say that is racist in code!

[piano solo/teleprompter repair]

Don’t disagree with Obamaman!
Don’t bring my ideals to light
No, I’m not in the mood for real scrutiny
My truth squads will shut you up tight!

It’s a pretty good crowd for a debate
And the moderator gives me a smile
It’s her book about me that got her on TV
This event should be ours by a mile

All the questions sound like our talking points!
Got the media kissing my rear!
Got kids singing my fame, Germans chanting my name
Win or lose, it’s a hell of a year!

Uh, la-la-uh, diddy-dah
Uh-uh, diddy-dah…. uh, dah

Vote Hope and Change with Obamaman!
Vote for those smarter than you
We’ll run your whole life with impunity
Because we know better than you!

My Pastor Called Me...

...from Tropicana Field in St Pete. Two weeks ago he took Mrs H to a Rays game for their wedding anniversary.

Today is her birthday, and her present from the hubby is Game 1 of the AL Divisional Series.

What a guy!

Die Kleine Hitler-Jungend..

...hat auf der liebe Führer gesangen.

Guys, it rolls off the tongue so easily in German.

Come to think of it, when I was stationed in Germany 20 years ago most Germans who worked on base and were of the right age were in Hitler Youth. It was a mandatory formation.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Not terribly surprising

Took one of those color tests, this one found at Kate P's. Sometimes it's uncanny how accurate stuff like that can be.

Best Occupational Category
You're a CREATOR
Key Words: Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

CREATOR OCCUPATIONS - Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

CREATOR WORKPLACES - Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

2nd Best Occupational Category
Key Words:Witty, Competitive, Sociable, Talkative, Ambitious, Argumentative, and Aggressive

These enterprising types sell, persuade, and lead others. Positions of leadership, power, and status are usually their ultimate goal. Persuasive people like to take financial and interpersonal risks and to participate in competitive activities. They enjoy working with others inside organizations to accomplish goals and achieve economic success.

Impulsive, Talkative, Argumentative? Shocka! I could also go on to buy a twenty buck analysis, including tips on how to best suit my management style to my personality. It would be worthwhile, I suppose, except that those $20 are heading for my gas tank later tonight.