Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Apparently Steve Blass' attack of his namesake disease has degenerated even further. Now he's unable to reach opposing cities. So for this year they are looking for a replacement for Blass on the Pirates road coverage. While I'm pretty ambivalent about most of the original possibles, from the final four selected, I've really got some issues. While Mike Lavalliere was my favorite Pirate from that era, (short, fat guys have each other's back) I don't know if his first color job should be in the majors. That pretty much leaves me with Kent Tekulve, who at least did an earlier stretch with the Phillies, and IIRC, their minors. What I can't deal with is the option of John Wehner, who basically milked being Pittsburgh's own John Wehner for about two seasons too long. (Best reference I've ever heard about him: Lloyd and Paul Waner were Pirate hall of famers nicknamed Big and Little Poison. As a result we have given John Wehner a similar nickname: Slow-Acting Poison.) And as for the final option, Sid Bream, I have to think that that's just a bad idea. Or perhaps it's a new method to appeal to a new generation of fans... by driving EVERY OTHER GENERATION OF PIRATE FANS TO SUICIDE, BIT BY EXCRUCIATING BIT.

Greg Brown: "Ah, you slid that one past us, Sid. Remember, folks, Sunday is Cutlass Day, all fans 13 and over get an authentic Pirate Cutlass, brought to you by Henckels Cutlery. Remember, you want to do it...with Henckels. And on the next homestand, Mrs. Al Martin Bobblehead night, collect the set."**

** Yes, I am ticked at Greg Brown, but I'm more ticked at the Cubs for not taking the jagoff off our hands.
We've covered Dr. Gene Scott before. (Last day of the California trip.) Well, he passed away yesterday. And somehow I'm wondering if I'm the only one out my way who ever got to see this guy. I can see that California people knew about him (1|2|3|4), but my family had the big satellite dish (since we're still too far out for cable to reach), and so we were able to see this. He became this simultaneously quiet, menacing, and utterly riveting television experience, something completely alien to my existence. I was already immune to the televised evangelism, even at 11, but he was hypnotic, always seemingly about to explode. 24 hours a day, episode edited into episode to look like he never left his chair, and just kept going. It was something that couldn't be explained, certainly not to your friends at school. It was like a two-by-four to the head, an est seminar that you could flip between it and unscrambled Cinemax. For the first time I was sitting there watching TV, disbelieving that I was watching this, utterly enthralled by the absurdity. It was probably the first performance art I've ever seen, and it's still by far the best.

For whatever reason, this particular strain of madman is dying out, and right quick.

Monday, February 21, 2005

If I needed some karmic explanation for my last 48 hours, I got it when I woke up this afternoon. Maybe it was insufficient oxygen, too much mucus in the sinus and lungs, or a bad batch of Sudafed and Vicks, but something was up. The body was lying flat and coughing up a storm, but the brain was running overclocked on some problem unknown. If you're inclined to believe in such things, maybe my brain was picking up a bad broadcast from Colorado.
Ever since I went into my first used book store, I've had this image of an author who finds his own works in the remainders, takes them all home, and lights them on fire. In the accounts today, I found a picture of Hunter S. Thompson shooting his own typewriter. You do have to earn the right to destroy what you've created, and somehow I have to think Hunter figured he had earned the right to shoot his own typewriter.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

It's not part of Monkeys in the News (yet), but this could be the greatest headline you'll see all year, mostly because I have this image of them storming the courtroom, while Pat O'Brien reports.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Almost out of nearly dead from the cold mode.

Found this today, I'm not so much frightened by this story of gorillas gone wild as much as I'm amazed to find that somebody actually keeps a record of Monkeys in the news. Since we know that monkeys remain comedy gold, this is perfect. Especially when they mention laser wielding monkeys.

This also got me thinking about the possibility of running a fraught ticker. Then I realized you can pretty much do this with nothing more than a google news search:

What the media dubs fraught at this hour:
Georgia and Russia
Being Arthur Miller's fiancee
Surprise parties
The Arab League, though that may be a consequence of surprise.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

It would appear that the Pit Bulls are beginning to enter death spiral, based on the reports here. And about as I figured, it's not really their fault. When a team cancels on you because a good bit of the team is going to the all-star game, so you get a replacement team for your gig (that isn't uniform coordinated, or even having the right team name on their jerseys), well you're in the ABA. If nothing else, they've got that right from the old league. Well, at least the new home arena was selling food.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

JQ sends me this article, which begs the question 'can something be fraught with fraught'? I really don't know. It's like staring into the bottomless pit.
The mere notion of the possibility frightens me.
"Don't try to out-weird me, three eyes. I get weirder things
than you in my breakfast cereal." - Zaphod Beeblebrox

Example: this article in slashdot on Elektro the robot. I read the header, and I see the title "Sex Kittens Go to College", and my immediate thought is "Oh, yeah, Conway Twitty's in that." My second thought was "Dear God, that's the strangest connection you could ever hope to make. Historical robots to Conway Twitty via Mamie Van Doren. What is wrong with you, DEK?"

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Altoona Curve, the Pirates' AA affiliate have an updated website, conplete with pictures of Steamer, whom they claim is a model of the K4 Steam Engine. However, I am convinced he looks like something else. Somebody want to convince me I'm putting way too much subtext into this, and that Steamer would be a perfectly fine mascot guest for your school's drug prevention assembly?

UPDATE: If you're very, very lucky, the ad that shows up above Steamer is an ad from the PA Department of Health asking you if you need help quitting smoking. Apparently, it's not just my subtext.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

For those of you who haven't actually seen me in the flesh, you probably don't know I got a new car at the beginning of the year. As we used to say about my dad, when he came home with a car overloaded on the features, they saw me coming. (one of the perks of having car dealers in the family.) And one of the features is OnStar. Now I don't get the whole OnStar thing to begin with, beyond the emergency button. So I was content with the notion of allowing the thing to simply expire after the free trial. Well, today, they called me. More to the point, they called my office. Now I'm ticked off, because now they're trying to sell me on it. I suppose it's the same reason I detest cell phones so much, I absolutely love being disconnected from the world for a few minutes a day, and something that would break into that, AND force me to pay for it...well, that's just beyong the pale.

Friday, February 04, 2005

My mind has been turning around item seven in this list for the past week. I think it's fundamentally correct. I mean, I tend to use this approach, and it works for solving a lot of problems. The problem I've had is that the problems I solve with this are typically small scale. If I could identify more fundamental, larger scale problems, I'd have a better shot of coming up with actual genius stuff. My answers are fine, I just need better questions.

So I think I'm going to ruminate on identifying what are the big problems in quiz bowl. More may follow on this, we'll see how it goes.
Seeing Max Schmeling's death notice caused me to stop by stiffs.com again. While there I noticed their top picks list. I immediately go looking for Abe Vigoda (who is some sort of patron saint of the death pool game), only to find he's outranked this year by Dan Fogelberg. Dan Fogelberg? There's not enough Dan Fogelberg hate in the world to explain that. So I go hunting for the story behind this, and I find this explanation. Yes, 72 people put money down on Dan Fogelberg's prostate. While over at Google news, I saw this headline as a top story:

Jackson says he has 'Rhinoceros Skin,' Blasts 'Mr. Eminem'...

Folks, I gotta confess, the possibility that he was speaking metaphorically was only the third interpretation I could come up with, after medical condition, and adding to the Elephant Man collection. Well at least it would make a good puppet.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Look, it was creepy enough knitted. But in coffin form? Picture 7 of 10.
10points Even with a new look, Cardinals don't eat Eagles.

30pointsAn explanation of how the prestigious single letter stock symbols are about to change.
Idle notion:

Possible Trash prize combo: The Sally Anthony Album and the Ron Artest Album. So what's the other two that need to fill out the four if it's a team prize?
Two bits I saw linked in series:
They're bringing back the Furby. I never got around to my notion to screw around with them the first time: setting five of them in a circle, getting a camcorder, and with judicious editing filming a group of them talking to each other like it was an episode of the McLaughlin Group. The article gives no mention of whether I'll now be able to get them to say "Special K with ba-nan-aas."

Meanwhile. NBC is rapidly approaching the level of Bob's Country Bunker:
"Oh we have both kinds, Law and Order and the Apprentice."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

We're a little lacking in the comedy this year in the Groundhog Day roundup. We lack the pure comedy nirvana that was the picture of Wiarton Willie from a couple years back, which I unfortunately can't find. Willie had gone to the great burrow in the sky, and depending on who you ask, his handlers were either:
a. Forced to announce the tragic news and show pictures of Willie in the casket the day after.
b. Prop him up like an albino groundhog aparatchik for the May Day parade.

Still, there's some good stuff out there:
A groundhog being directed to try the Atkins diet, but instead choosing to eat his door
and a groundhog demanding legal remedy against his rivals.
Just read the headline. I guarantee you fifteen seconds of befuddlement followed the feeling the article's getting crazier and crazier, the deeper you go.

Key quote, taken completely out of context:
Shurden believes it could be incorporated into horse racing
I suppose this is better than the idiots who have gotten ads tattooed on their foreheads, however, I just fear for any Piston fans when somebody upends Richard Hamilton on the court to see if his head's as good as the tread.
Your ABA FraughtWatch continuing coverage continues:

1Nashville's story goes from inexplicable to ridiculously inexplicable. Additional follow up here. Especially note the posting by "Chris" at 9:16 AM Feb 01, about the next game and the reaction on the fan boards.

2 After trying out with the Steelers earlier in the season, Pennsylvania Pit Bulls standout Julius Page has decided to try to take guidance from a third league (the NHL), leaving the team to play in Russia.

3 The Utah Snowbears, arguably the best team in the league, have basically said "It's okay. Have the All-Star Game without us. No, really, we're cool with it."