Manny is the 24th Major Leaguer to reach the milestone, and the third to do so in a Red Sox uniform (joining Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx).
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
- Since its Mothers Day weekend, I would like to thank my Mother for making me a good decision maker. She always said find me a switch, and it better be a good one!
- There is a secret society of really stupid people. There secret sign is ball caps turned backwards.
- People with their pants hanging to their ankles are much dumber than people with their hats turned backwards.
- The new Delta pre-flight video can’t be authentic. Absent is the screaming baby and the idiot trying to cram an oversized suitcase into the overhead compartment.
- We need to look at how much the US charges the oil producing countries for food. Let them try growing tomatoes in sand.
- To say doing jail time for driving without a license unfairly targets illegal immigrants, is like saying doing jail time for robbing a bank unfairly targets bank robbers.
- For those of you who want government health care, I have compiled a list of things government does well:
- In another beautiful example of irony, the bill that bans the sale of pot-flavored candy to minors was pushed through the legislature by a senator named Stoner.
- I'm sure everybody knows the difference between a BMW and a Porcupine. Porcupine's pricks are on the outside.
- The price of gas is too much when it costs more to go to work than you get paid.
- As I was filling my gas tank last night I thought to myself, "I sure would have been nice if the pump would have at least kissed me first"
- Why is it that some people can walk around a store for hours with a shopping cart, but when they get out to their car they can't walk ten feet to put the cart away.
- I don't understand smokers who hold the cigarette outside of their window while in the car. If you don't like the smell of cigarettes, why do you smoke? [Jeff note: After eating sour cream & onion chips, I put my face out the window to prevent bad breath.]
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
It was a busy holiday for Team Valfrey, with all of my immediate family making pilgrimages from around the South back to the family's ancient homestead. Some drove in personal carriages, others flew in giant magical metal birds from the sky.
No, I have no clue what that means, and there's no chance I can extend that further.
The only hiccup was the lack of air-conditioning at Valfrey Estates, which wasn't as bad as anticipated. Instead of half the family staying with us, they spread out to hotels and Nana's, instead of spending much of the weekend making fun of our DVR recordings.
I told you last week that the A/C was on the fritz, but when the guys came back on Friday to fix it they found out that the compressor was bad, meaning it will be this week before it's repaired. Just as high temperatures hit 90 for the first time and stretched into this week. No matter how many windows we open for ventilation or place fans in rooms to cool us off, the house is stuffy and hot.
And yet, Sunday everyone plus my father-and-sister-in-law came over for a cookout and were good sports about the heat. Amazing what free food will do as an incentive, eh?
Friday, Dad flew in, and with Nana we all dined at Olive Garden, where I'm told we're family. Family who has to pay the entire check. Some family.
Saturday, me, Val, and Dad drove two hours east to the Tennessee River and the Shiloh Civil War Battlefield. Dad and I have been several times, but Val hadn't been there in a long while,. It was good timing, since being Memorial Day volunteers in full uniform set up tables, tents and automobiles from every war since America's founding. (Which, for public school grads, was NOT a result of Michael Jordan winning a game of HORSE with Napoleon.)
The volunteers led a firing exhibition as well, which is always cool for the "big badda boom" factor of seeing a musket fired, smoke billow and enough noise to drown out my snoring and let Val get some sleep.
It was stinking hot, but we managed to drive around the battlefield and stop at key points, accidentally learning some new things, climbing on cannons for photos and trying not to start new battles with carloads of slowpokes from Missouri.
Saturday night the rest of my fam hung out at Nana's Matriarchal Abode while Val and I attended the quadri-annual gathering of her mom's side of the family for more good food, gossip and old stories. Then I had to go to work. It was a night of news unlike any other, but then again, you could say that about every newscast.
Sunday, with Mom and Stephanie watching Nate, the rest of us went to the theater to see the new "Indiana Jones" flick, which I'll review later, holding my nose much of the time and shaking my head at how the term "inter-dimensional" found its way into an Indy movie. What, no good scripts about the Bermuda Triangle were available?
Afterwards, with temperatures only 92 degrees, sunny and no wind at all, why not head to a house without A/C where we're lighting food on fire? For the occasion Dad bought us a grill, the very important and final piece lacking in making Valfrey Estates a real home. It may take a few more cookouts to figure out how not to singe my eyebrows, however.
Thankfully I also bought a big long spatula for Dad to use as the braver of the two of us, since the grease dripping from the burgers would ignite on the gas below and send fire billowing throughout my back porch. Still, everyone seemed to enjoy their well-done and extremely-well-done burgers, chicken and hot dogs, and Natalie bought the boys a slip-and-slide so they spent their time soaking wet in the backyard.
I'm not saying it was hot, but good thing Val and I didn't buy any leather furniture or everyone would still be in our living room stuck to the seats.
By Monday morning it was time to let everyone go home, so after a brunch at Perkins everyone climbed back into their preferred transportation and headed out of Memphis, to return next time when our home is cooler, I hope. Unless they're back in, say, to pick a random month, January, and our heat is broken, and it's too cold, which is highly likely.
Monday, May 26, 2008
- For someone who is supposed to be our Obamessiah, he sure has a way of avoiding what he thinks about issues. He claimed that he didn’t know anything about what his “staff” wrote in a 1996 campaign questionnaire while running for the Illinois senate, in which he took ultraliberal positions on abortion, the death penalty and gun control. But the Politico newspaper reports he was actually interviewed by the questionnaire's sponsors and even sent them an amended copy with his own handwritten notes on it.
- I don't mind so much that members of the House of Representatives can lease whatever vehicle they want on taxpayer dollars, but Democrat Charlie Rangel's justification defies explanation or understanding of normal Americans:
"When I'm in New York, my car is my office. I use it to conduct congressional business. It really pleases me that [my constituents] appreciate driving in a comfortable car, especially the senior citizens. "I could probably find something for... one of those red cars and then I think my constituents would say, 'With all the money that he gets, this is the respect he shows us?'"
- How to rid your city of a gang problem? Follow D.C.’s lead and stop using the term “gang” altogether! Bang! Solved!
- On the global warming hoax bulletin board:
There are strong indications that much of the world may soon experience a decrease in surface temperatures.
World sea ice melting? Not so much.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, April 2008 was the coldest April in 11 years.
Even though global temperatures have basically flattened out in the last 10 years — and one scientific study predicts global cooling over the next decade — Prince Charles says humans have only 18 months to reverse climate change or disaster will strike. He proposes a $30 billion program that may or may not affect climate change.
- More than 200 students and faculty at Furman University are protesting President Bush's planned commencement address next week. But many students are upset with the protesters. The senior class voted unanimously in favor of the president's address. One student tells the Greenville News that it is the faculty response that has taken away from the honor.
- Recession schmession, the American economy as the most competitive for the 15th straight year.
- Twelve-term Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski was caught on video being honest, for which of course he’s refusing, since he admitted that Democrats deliberately misled voters that they would end the Iraq war to win the 2006 midterm elections.
- Over in Colorado, the faculty won’t win any awards for diversity of thought. According to one professor's analysis, the 800-strong faculty includes just 32 Republicans. Jeepers, you could find more GOPers in NARAL than that.
- While anti-Semitism flourishes in the Middle East and Europe, and racial genocide is underway in Africa, the United Nations has decided it needs to investigate racism in America.
- Why did Obama get beaten so bad in Kentucky last week? It’s all Fox News’ fault.
- Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin says that John McCain's military background makes him dangerous: "He comes from a long line of just military people, so I think his whole world view, his life view, has been shaped from a military viewpoint and he has a hard time thinking beyond that and I think he's trapped in that. And I think that can be pretty dangerous." In case you’re wondering, yes, he thought Kerry’s Vietnam service was admirable, moral and above reproach.
- Hollyweird Lefties like to pretend that their free speech is being tortured by Chimpy McBushitler and his cronies, but remain oddly silent when over in France, one of their own is actually prosecuted for politically incorrect speech. Save Brigitte Bardot!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Meanwhile, the dang Yanks are under .500 and talk this week has been of Jason Giambi's "good luck thong," a gold number with flames, that he has shared with teammates to break out of slumps. Ick.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Reason No. 1,243 to lose weight and get in shape: After breaking down the equipment and on the way out at 11:30 p.m., officials had closed and locked the gate at the exit. Which is at the top of the bluff. To call it a steep climb is to insult the bluff. Instead of finding someone to open the gate (unlikely) or walking a mile down Riverside Drive to the Beale Street exit, the other guys decided climbing over the fence would be easy enough. Riiiigghhhht. After climbing up the stone staircase we had to climb over a wire fence ten feet above the ground. Most made it easy, but a couple of guys were getting snagged or landing on the trash can on the other side.
Me? Ready to walk down and try the walk down the street option.
My size 14 shoes were not going to fit in the fence holes, and my legs were shaky after climbing that bluff, so getting up and over the fence wasn't going so well. That's when morning floor director James realized that part of the fence was held closed by a few pieces of wire. Evening floor director carries around a belt worthy of Batman, and used pliers to twist open the wires and open the gate. All I had to do was jump four feet down from the stone staircase and walk out. Piece of cake.
- Up in Boston, the Red Sox drank the Brewers' milkshake with a weekend sweep. As a result, Francona's boys are back up a game in the AL East thanks to the Cardinals beating Tampa in two-of-three, so thanks to my wife and it's a win-win for Team Valfrey!
- Meanwhile, on network television, two of my favorites, "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica," are weirder than ever and producing far more questions than answers. I need a Cliff's Notes to follow the plots. BG is worse, since at least it's easier to try and predict where the show's going. With BG I have no clue who's doing what, to or with whom, or why. I can't even figure out when Sharon became commonly called Athena. On "Lost," what's bugging me is that in the flash-forwards, the Oceanic 6 are so daggum miserable. How am I supposed to root for anyone to get off the island knowing that? And don't they dare kill of Desmond. If he isn't reunited with Penny, so help me and Val, we will totally threaten to quit watching!
Friday, May 16, 2008
For the little kids in grown-ups who have yet to grow up, good news is on the horizon: A double helping of nostalgia will soon be making its way to screens both big and small. Kid-friendly TV series Fraggle Rock and The Electric Company are being steamrolled back into production, the former in a live-action musical film, and the latter in an updated run on PBS. (Thanks to Heather for the heads-up.)
An Australian man has been fined after buckling in a case of beer with a seat belt but leaving a 5-year-old child to sit on the car's floor. (Courtesy common sense.)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The other night in Baltimore Manny makes a wicked awesome running catch in left field, high fives a fan as he runs up to the wall, and then still gets the ball back to the infield to double off the runner at first.
The dugout's reaction watching it at the end is just as priceless.
The whole highlight is here.
And no, this does not make up for losing four in a row, the last two to the stinkin' Orioles.
UPDATE 12:05 a.m. - Meanwhile, apparently the dang Yanks have more to worry about than someone burying a David Ortiz jersey in their new stadium, judging by the evidence of mice and rats found in stadium food areas. And no, by "mice and rats" I don't mean "Hank Steinbrenner and A-Rod."
Or they'll sing it out. Whatever. We'll be rooting for Cook.
Meanwhile, this week is the Memphis In May International Barbecue Cooking Contest. Unlike last year I'm not out at Tom Lee Park all week, which looks to be great for my asthma/allergies. Instead, I helped set up Wednesday and I'll cover the 9p special Saturday night. In between I'll gladly watch from the control room and let someone else deal with the crowds, smoke, mosquitoes and drunks.
Not that I won't gorge myself on BBQ when I'm there. Really, it's the most awesome food on the planet.
Ironically (?), MIM is honoring Turkey this year, which is majority Muslim, and thus the vast numbers of Turks won't eat pork on religious grounds. Guess they won't be judging the contest here, eh?
Me? I say if pigs are unclean, I don't want to be clean. This BBQ is so good as to transcend religious beliefs. Eat more pork!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This is a photo from earlier this spring showing the back of the house, and where the tree is at. Number 14 fairway runs from left to right behind the photographer.
Which means, either they aimed at our house from directly across the fairway, or they hooked it so much that they bounced off the roof of the patio and behind the tree. No wonder they didn't retrieve the balls, who'd want to admit to those shots!
The final four meant the return of Len's Masterclass segment, the second-best regular bit behind DanceCenter. Hilarious stuff watching him interact with the dancers. He introduces them all to one new step to see how they do, which reminds me of soccer camp. One summer the coaches taught us some ball tricks and told us that for any trick used in the afternoon game that a point would be added to the team's final score. Surprisingly I was the only player to try one, and though it was ultimately unsuccessful they awarded me the point and my team won by one.
Jason & Edyta - Their foxtrot was graceful, cute, entertaining. Jason posed too much in the paso doble and I didn't feel it very powerful. It was missing some oomph, and I don't mean the sound he makes spinning Edyta around half the time. Speaking of which, Val and I thought they accidentally did a lift, but the judges were silent on the issue.
Marissa & Tony - Their quickstep was enjoyable, though I didn't notice what Bruno did, that they missed a step. For the rumba, I know it's supposed to be slow, but to me that was slow-motion. Boresville.
Christian & Cheryl - Last week Val and I felt his scores were artificially inflated, but this week he actually deserved decent numbers. It's weird, but I think the injury to his left arm did him good, because now he has to focus on being technically good instead of just smiling all the time and letting Cheryl do all the work.
Kristi & Mark - Kristi really should be worried. By this time voters start going with the "most improved," not "most outstanding." I think she would have been better served with a different partner. Mark's way too happy to be on TV. If the Gooch was paired with, say, Tony, Jonathan or even Derrek she would have been even more proficient. Her dances tonight were efficient, but you don't win by being efficient, you win by drawing in the audience, and I felt nothing. In their second dance, the Jive, Mark's feet were flailing spastically so much to be distracting from Kristi, who looked stiff by comparison.
Going home? Marissa, if talent is the yardstick, which it's not. Is Kristi popular enough?
- This is the niftiest advertising I've seen in a while: An Alabama entrepreneur has developed a way to make foam clouds shaped like corporate logos that float hundreds of feet into the air. (Click the link to see a picture.)
- You thought you were hot stuff as a kid long jumping into the sand or running around the track. I mean, I was. Bonnie Richardson thinks you're a wuss. Richardson won the Texas 1A team title all by herself. Heavens to mergatroids! Richardson was the only Rochelle High School athlete to qualify for the state meet, where she won the high jump, placed second in long jump, third in discus and then laced on her running shoes to win the 200 meters and finished second in the 100 meters. Richardson, a junior, earned a total of 42 team points to edge team runner-up Chilton (36). Rules limit a contestant to five events, so think of how big of a rout she would have won if she could have kept going!
- Headline of the day: "Chelsea says HIllary would be 'better' president than father." - Well, yeah, but one is impossible and the other involves surgery.
- Oh Tony, oh no:
- This is a funny mass email my sis-in-law Cheryl sent along, and I don't care if it's all true or not, it's hilarious.
Top 10 comments made by sports commentators that they would like to take back:
1. Weightlifting commentator at the women's Olympic Snatch and Jerk Event: "This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up, and it was amazing!"
2. Ted Walsh, horse racing commentator: "This is really a lovely horse, and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother."
3. Grand Prix Race announcer: "The lead car is absolutely, truly unique, except for the one behind it which is exactly identical to the one front of the similar one in back."
4. Greg Norman, pro golfer: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."
5. Ringside boxing analyst: "Sure there have been injuries and evens some deaths in boxing -- but none of them really that serious."
6. Baseball announcer: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."
7. Basketball analyst: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces."
8. At a trophy ceremony, BBC TV boat race 1988: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the Cambridge president is hugging the cox of the Oxford crew."
9. Metro Radio, college football: "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field."
10. U.S. Open TV commentator: "One of the reasons Arnie Palmer is playing so well is that, before each final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them. ... Oh, my God, what have I just said?"
- It's not so much the kid sucking on an empty beer bottle at the Chattanooga Lookouts game, it's that frackin' fauxhawk hairdo that gets me.
Monday, May 12, 2008
141. A few summers growing up in Scenic Hills, we were members of the local Recreation Club in the neighborhood. They would have late-night movies for the young'uns. I only remember one of these. They showed "Night of the Living Dead." Previously I told y'all about my disdain for horror/gross-out flicks, and this is one of them. I was eating a box of Boston Baked Beans, and the movie and candy turned out to be a vomitous combination. So embarrassing.
142. Never have been, never will go to a strip club. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NEVER. It demeans everyone involved.
143. I prefer to deal with females when it comes to important issues like getting a home loan, a new car or going to the doctor. I don't feel as though they're cheating me like men would try, or at least they don't seem so smarmy. So I guess I'd rather be snubbed, robbed or prodded by a woman than a man, 'cause at least they provide that nurturing touch.
144. I absolutely abused our carport growing up on Ancroft Cove. If I wasn't drawing the Enterprise on the walls, I was kicking soccer balls against them or hitting tennis balls off them, leaving all kinds of wonderful round marks.
145. Breakfast fast-food of choice: Burger King. Lunch: Chick-fil-A. Dinner: KFC.
146. In my youth, say, ages 10-18, I could watch the same movies dozens of times and never tire of them, usually as background viewing while reading, doing homework, etc. The two that wore out the VCR most were Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Hunt for Red October.
147. One day I was hanging out with my brother's friend Jeremy and his new BB gun. He started aiming it me, freaking me the heck out, and when I started running he shot me in the back at close range.
148. My life in stitches, both around the same time as a kid under 10. One time taking a bath with my brother, we were seeing who could hold their breath the longest. I popped my head up quickly and it caught the faucet, and later when I stood up to dry off I had blood streaming down my body. We went to the local Med where they had to give me a shot in the top of my head (it hurt, but I didn't cry!), and stitches. The second time, I was playing Choo-Choo with my sisters hanging on, running around the house. I rammed the corner of my forehead into the kitchen counter, blood ensued and much crying. Back to the Med, more stitches, another story for Show and Tell.
149. Every time I reach for the bathroom door handle, I have a thought in the back of my head that someone could come barge through and break my fingers.
150. As a kid I used to fall asleep with my head down and butt sticking straight up in the air.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
NEW YORK (AP)—Alex Rodriguez passed out during the birth of his first daughter.Congrats on your new daughter, A-Rod, may she never read this blog!
“The one nurse had a cold cloth on his head. The other nurse had the blood pressure on his arm. And my mother was like rubbing his back. And he is passed out on a couch. And I am there, in the middle of labor,” Cynthia Rodriguez, wife of the New York Yankees star, said on an episode of the YES Network’s “YESterdays” that is scheduled to be broadcast Wednesday night.
“And really, I am not being paid much attention to besides the doctor and a couple of nurses,” she said. “And he is there moaning. In between pushing, I am going, `Honey, are you OK?’ and `Are you breathing? Are you OK?’ “
Natasha Alexander Rodriguez was born on Nov. 18, 2004.
“As tough and big as he seems, he is real wimpy around doctors or any type of medical situation,” Cynthia Rodriguez said, according to excerpts released Tuesday by YES. “I don’t know why I thought the birth of our child would be different. In the middle of the night, I realized that I needed to go to the hospital. I wake him up. The first thing that comes out of his mouth, `Can we call your mother?’ … A few hours later, I said, `I think you can call my mom now.’ Uh, and the color came back to his face when I told him he could call my mom.”
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
At a news conference in North Carolina, Obama explained why he finally decided to do the deed. Apparently, Wright’s latest comments — Obama cited three in particular — were so shockingly “divisive and destructive” that he had to renounce the man, not just the words.
What were Obama’s three citations? Wright’s claim that AIDS was invented by the U.S. government to commit genocide. His praise of Louis Farrakhan as a great man. And his blaming 9/11 on American “terrorism.”
But these comments are not new. These were precisely the outrages that prompted the initial furor when the Wright tapes emerged seven weeks ago. Obama decided to cut off Wright not because Wright’s words or character or views had suddenly changed. The only thing that changed was the venue in which Wright chose to display them — live on national TV at the National Press Club. That unfortunate choice destroyed Obama’s Philadelphia pretense that this “endless loop” of sermon excerpts being shown on “television sets and YouTube” had been taken out of context. ...
On Tuesday, Obama declared that he himself was surprised at Wright’s outrages. But hadn’t Obama told us that surprise about Wright is a result of white ignorance of black churches brought on by America’s history of segregated services? How then to explain Obama’s own presumed ignorance? Surely he too was not sitting in those segregated white churches on those fateful Sundays when he conveniently missed all of Wright’s racist rants. ...
Obama’s newest attempt to save himself after Wright’s latest poisonous performance is now declared the new final word on the subject. Therefore, any future ads linking Obama and Wright are preemptively declared out of bounds, illegitimate, indeed “race-baiting” (New York Times editorial, April 30).
On what grounds? This 20-year association with Wright calls into question everything about Obama: his truthfulness in his serially adjusted stories of what he knew and when he knew it; his judgment in choosing as his mentor, pastor, and great friend a man he just now realizes is a purveyor of racial hatred; and the central premise of his campaign, that he is the bringer of a “new politics,” rising above the old Washington ways of expediency. It’s hard to think of an act more blatantly expedient than renouncing Wright when his show, once done from the press club instead of the pulpit, could no longer be “contextualized” as something whites could not understand and only Obama could explain in all its complexity.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Sorry for being obvious and unoriginal, but "Enchanted" left me, yep, enchanted. I don't know how good that French chick is who won Best Actress, but I doubt she was any better than Amy Adams. I dare say that it's tougher for a professionally trained actress to act bubbly and positive for an entire picture than for any actress to emote dramatically in a "serious" picture.
By Joseph B. Frazier, Associated Press Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.
But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.
She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.
Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count -- an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.
Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.
The umpire said there was no rule against it.
So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky's legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her good leg.
"The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt," Tucholsky said. "I told her it was my right leg and she said, `OK, we're going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg,' and I said `OK, thank you very much."'
"She said, `You deserve it, you hit it over the fence,' and we all kind of just laughed."
Holtman said she and Wallace weren't thinking about the playoff spot, and didn't consider the gesture something others wouldn't do.
As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.
Tucholsky's injury is a possible torn ligament that will sideline her for the rest of the season, and she plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business. Her home run sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washington's chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.
"In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much," Holtman said. "It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run."