Friday, October 31, 2008
AL EAST - Boston. Actual: Tampa Bay. Okay, so the Rays were a tiny bit better than I thought.
AL CENTRAL - Cleveland. Actual: White Sox. Wow, they stunk. But everyone else picked Detroit, so at least I was original.
AL WEST - Anaheim. Actual: Anaheim. Best record in the AL.
WILD CARD - Dang Yanks. Actual: Boston. Hate that we didn't win the East, but at least the dang Yanks were out of of the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
ALCS - Red Sox over Anaheim. Actual: Rays over Red Sox. To be fair, I was right about Boston beating the Angels, it just happened in the first round!
NL EAST - NY Mets. Actual: Philadelphia. Once again, the Mets imploded in September. Will anyone ever pick them again?
NL CENTRAL - Cubs. Actual: Cubs. Best record in the NL, but meant diddly squat in their first round loss to L.A.
NL WEST - Arizona. Actual: Los Angeles. The D'backs were leading until the Sox gave the Dodgers Manny Ramirez, and the race was over on August 1.
WILD CARD - San Diego. Actual: Milwaukee. The Brewers had to fight to make the playoffs, while the Padres absolutely stunk all season long.
NLCS - San Diego over Mets. Actual: Phillies over Dodges. Yikes, I wasn't even close.
WORLD SERIES - Red Sox beat Padres. Actual: Well, obviously it wasn't the Red Sox. Phillies top Rays.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Remembering the big day, Oct. 28, 2006.
I would also like to offer a big thanks to everyone, family and friends, who have been with us, supported us, and helped make this first two years of marriage an incredible journey, and we look forward to the next 90 years!
Monday, October 27, 2008
161. I can never remember jokes, and when I do I'm awful at telling them.
162. One year when I was in my awkward 'tween years, I was volunteering at the Memphis Marathon and my sisters' running coach thought I was a girl. My long-hair phase didn't last long after that.
163. Believe it or not, I was a long distance runner in youth sports. 3000 meters and 1500 meters. I wasn't fast of the blocks, but I had stamina. One of my Dad's favorite stories is a race one Saturday morning when an older arrogant runner dude took off at the start and left me in his dust like the Roadrunner. By the end, he was slowing down considerably and huffing and puffing, and I just kept chugging along and passed him.
164. I consider myself a geography geek. I actually read and study maps, looking at states and city pages, tracing rivers and lakes, checking routes and roads throughout the country and looking at countries around the world.
165. I've seen an untold number of thousands of movies, and yet I only remember those that are paired with certain experiences. For instance, I can recall watching the terrible Outbreak flick only because Dad and I took it in when we were visiting Gettysburg during our Civil War battlefield trip during spring break of my sophomore year in college. I saw Star Wars Episode One several times in theaters, but the most memorable experience (other than opening night at midnight, then seeing it again at 3 a.m. and again at 7 p.m., was watching it in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Portuguese subtitles while visiting Dad with my brother Scott and his wife Jenn.
166. I eat the whole baked potato. In fact, the skin may be the best part, especially twice-baked and flavored at Cracker Barrel and Outback.
167. I'm fairly obsessed with correct pronunciations and spelling. Is it from my news background or does it contribute to my journalistic endeavors? It doesn't always go well. In the summer of 1994 I almost drove Dad to leave me in Porlamar, Venezuela when I kept trying to correct the way he pronounced the town we vacationed on Margarita Island.
168. You want embarrassing moments? In the spring of our freshman year at Union, I was playing on the non-Greek intramural softball team against my former SAE pledges and members, and assorted girlfriends and girl friends. My first at-bat I struck out swinging on three pitches. Mind you, I was always a good hitter, the best on my team, growing up. Second at-bat, a lazy pop hit into short left field. I went straight to the batting cage that afternoon and straightened out my swing quickly.
169. After graduating from Union I was accepted into the Masters of Journalism program at U. of Alabama. Really I was just doing it because my friend and roommate Patrick was getting his masters there, and over the summer I quickly realized that I neither had the desire to continue schooling, nor the money to afford it. Instead, I started working at WMC here in Memphis, then took the sports producer/director job at WLJT in Martin, and shortly after ended up at my dream job at CNN, so I'd say it all worked out. Patrick got his masters, married his sweetheart from nearby Jasper, Ala., and is teaching there, so we all win.
170. One of those infamous family stories is of the time I bragged and showed my sisters how I could pee from the bathtub. No, I was not 15 at the time.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
- I have a feeling that those of us who pay our mortgages and bills each month are going to get screwed in this bailout.
- Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
- My wife takes off to visit relatives for two weeks and calls to ask me if I'm OK. I was afraid she could see me smiling & giggling as I said in a sad voice,"sort of"
- The name ACORN fits the people perfect, because they are nuts.
- Obama understands that if you "rob Peter to pay Paul", you probably can count on Paul's support.
- I don't know about the rest of you, but I am so over Oprah.
- Dear AJC, to save time I wrote your headlines for you: (Insert rapper's name here) was arrested last night on (drug/weapons/DUI) charges. It is (rapper's name)(third/fifth/tenth) arrest this year. Just choose one (or all) word that fits. You are welcome.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
1. Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.
2. Robin Williams in The World According to Garp, then What Dreams May Come and the creepy One-Hour Photo.
3. Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
4. Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love.
5. Steve Martin in Shopgirl and The Spanish Prisoner.
Tom Hanks sort of qualifies, since he started out with "Bosom Buddies" and movies like Turner and Hooch, and then he became one of the best with movies such as Road to Perdition, Cast Away and The Green Mile, among many others.
Goldie Hawn started out in a bikini on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," then wowed us in The Sugarland Express, one of Spielberg's first feature films.
I don't care for Whoopie Goldberg, but she was perfect for her role in Ghost.
Friday, October 24, 2008
1. Quantum of Solace - The new Bond flick may have a funny title, but doesn't look to have any humor at all, which means it may lack the charm of the classics. But if it's anywhere on the level of Casino Royale, then it will rock my world. Solace takes up right where Royale left off, with Bond going after a phony environmentalist trying to control water supplies. (November 14)
2. The Day The Earth Stood Still - Keanu Reeves stars as an alien on a portentous visit to Earth in this remake of the 1950s sci-fi classic, which is the opposite of War of the Worlds, and right now I could take less of a blow-em-up, so that's good. Jennifer Connelly co-stars. (Dec. 12)
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - This will definitely be the talk of the town come Christmas. Brad Pitt stars as a man who is born at the age of 80, and ages backwards. You read that right. I'm excited that Cate Blancett co-stars. (Dec. 25)
4. Australia - It's like a Western, and a war flick, and a love story, and it stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Of course, the director is the freaky guy who did Moulin Rouge, so we'll see how that goes. (Nov. 26)
5. Valkyrie - If there's any Tom Cruise Nazi World War II assassination movie to see this Christmas, this is it! (Dec. 26)
On the radar:
Righteous Kill - Hard to make a crime thriller starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino that can tank at the box office, but it happened. (Sept. 12)
Sukiyaki Western Django - The Japanese take on a Spaghetti Western, Tarantino style. There are six-shooters, but swordplay, too. (Aug. 29, limited)
The Brothers Bloom - Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are con men brothers trying to swindle Rachel Weisz in what looks like an overly complicated globe-trotting adventure comedy. (Dec. 19)
Yes Man - A guy (Jim Carrey) whose life has stagnated turns it around with a just-say-yes policy about everything. (Dec. 19)
Twilight - Another vampire movie with a good one battling bad ones. Women seem to swoon over the books. Let's see what the big deal is. (Nov. 21)
Bedtime Stories - Since it seems more good natured than raunchy and involves cute kids who aren't being taught to urinate on public buildings, this could be one of the good Adam Sandler movies. (Dec. 25)
The Soloist - A music prodigy (Jamie Foxx) now living on the streets is befriended by a journalist (Robert Downey Jr.) and is begging for Oscar love. (Nov. 21st, limited)
Defiance - Four Jewish brothers, including Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber, lead 1200 other Jews in Poland into the forest where they evade and battle the Nazis. Based on a true story, which makes me curious. (Dec. 12, limited)
Seven Pounds - Will Smith's an IRS agent making amends for past wrongs by helping seven strangers. It's mysterious, though. He says "it's not part of the deal" and won't give his real name. Smith's an angel trying to get his wings, isn't he? Admit it, studio! Good use of The Island score in the trailer, though. (Dec. 19)
The Transporter 3 - Jason Statham is back on the job as the ex-Special Ops guy who's now the world's most-dangerous delivery man. I know, like you, at first I thought, "Another one? Why?" The the trailer was pretty awesome, so I might at least rent this. (Nov. 26)
could be gone by 2011.
This, of course, immediately brings to mind, as I'm sure it does you, the Saturday Night Live commercial sketch where a respectable investment company has to use the URL clownpenis.fart.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Senators in opposing political parties asked Republican presidential candidate John McCain to stop the automated phone calls that link Democratic candidate Barack Obama to a 1960s radical.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican and Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, made separate appeals to McCain on Friday. Collins faces a tough race for re-election and serves as a co-chairwoman of his Maine campaign. Mind you, these are weenie left-leaning Republicans, so the media gets to say this is a "bi-partisan" concern.
"These kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics," Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said. "Sen. Collins urges the McCain campaign to stop these calls immediately."
Coleman, in a tight re-election campaign, said he hoped all candidates and outside groups would stop their attacks.
In Nevada, a four-page campaign flier mailed this week by the state Republican Party also focused on Obama's past relationship with former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers, calling the college professor a "terrorist, radical, friend of Obama" and featuring several images of Obama and Ayers.
Reid told reporters at a news conference in Las Vegas that he's surprised at the "scummy" tactics employed by McCain's presidential campaign and "can't believe John McCain knows what's going on."
The McCain campaign says the calls are warranted because Obama's connection to Ayers -- the two met many years after Ayers' anti-Vietnam War activities had ended (emphasis mine) -- raises questions about the Democrat's judgment and record. So if McCain let a former abortion bomber work for his campaign, then it would be cool? After all, McCain would have met him decades after his "activities" ended.
"This is an association that is highly questionable and not out of bounds," McCain spokesman Rick Gorka said.
The automated calls in Maine, Nevada and other states -- they are commonly known as "robo calls" -- say Obama "has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home and killed Americans."
The charge is misleading: The bombings, which took place more than 35 years ago, didn't result in fatalities and the group didn't claim responsibility for the attack on the judge's home. (emphasis mine) Oh, then it's okay then! Sure, in an article in the Times on 9/11 Ayers wishes he'd done more, and his wife was even more radical, but hey, the judge lived so it's water under the bridge.
Obama has condemned Ayers' radical activities, which took place in the late 1960s and the 1970s, when Obama was a child.(emphasis mine) In the debate Wednesday with McCain, Obama said Ayers played no role in his presidential campaign. I'm sure if McCain was pals with a former Nazi camp guard then they would forgive him since McCain was just a boy during that testy WWII stuff.
Ayers, an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, lives in Obama's neighborhood in Chicago. In 1995, he hosted a meet-the-candidate session at his home as the young Harvard Law School graduate prepared to run for the Illinois Senate. The two also worked with two nonprofit charitable organizations in Chicago.
Which begs the question that the AP doesn't ask, why is this man exerting influence anywhere? Would the AP cover for McCain if he had lunch with Tim McVeigh in 1991? This is non-negotiable, Ayers is a terrorist. Just because he's a left-wing terrorists radical working on behalf of the AP and left-wing causes in the 60s and 70s does not make this acceptable.
“We decided to stop at a diner because I was hungry and I decided I wanted some pie (1). Pie (2). That’s what I wanted.”
At which point, as usual, someone in the crowd listening offered some pie of their own.
“You make pie(3)?” Obama asked? “What kind of pie (4) you make? Sweet potato pie (5)? I like sweet potato pie (6). I’m thinking of having a sweet potato pie (7) here in Philadelphia? Because I’ve heard a lot of people are saying they can make sweet potato pie (8). I’ll put it up against my mother in laws sweet potato pie (9). Alright, you give up? Nah. You. So anyway they did not have sweet potato pie (10) in South OH. So I had coconut cream pie (11). The governor of OH he had lemon meringue pie (12). So we ordered our pie (13)and I decide that I’m going to take a picture with the wait staff.”
It was at this point that he had matched his record. Had he stopped here, it certainly would have been impressive…yet not historic. I would like to say the crowd stood silent waiting to see if he would break the record, thrilled to say they witnessed someone reach pie immortality. But the truth is, they might have been silent out of concern. How much pie can one person take? Nevertheless, the record was within reach. And Obama continued:
“Just as we were re finished taking the picture and the owner comes out, with our pie (14). So I take my pie (15).”
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The 2008-09 NBA season is upon us, and when you actually begin to notice in about six months, you'll see that our Memphis Grizzlies (last year's record: 22-60) are way, way out of contention.
As part of their team-by-team previews, Deadspin.com gives us some good news, then hits us with the very, very bad:
This might surprise you, given last year's Free Pau Gasol Giveaway, but the Griz have talent and a future. Their core is composed of former top 10 picks from the last three drafts: O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay. They've also got a couple new big boys to help up front: Darrell Arthur and Marc Gasol. Oh, and they're going to have some big bucks left over to throw at free agents in the summer of 2009. So yeah, the Grizzlies may be rebuilding, but they're off to a pretty good start. ...Though it may be fun to watch the young guys, too much of the time they're going to be getting schooled by veterans, so lower those expectations.
The thing about youth and athleticism is that it often comes hand-in-hand with foolish inexperience. So expect mistakes. Lots of them, probably. And that excitement gets a little hard to sustain in the midst of a 30-win (or less) season. ...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Tampa Bay's improbable supercalifragilisticexpialidociously magical season continues, at the expense of the 2004 and 2007 World Series champions.
I don't think I'll be able to muster any enthusiasm about a Rays-Phillies series, especially since I'll be in Florida for the first four games, so good luck to both sides and don't be insulted when ratings are in the tank.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The 293rd day of 2008, there are 73 days left in the year. On this date:
On Oct. 19, 1781, British troops under General Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, as the American Revolution neared its end.
In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.
In 1812, French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte began their retreat from Moscow.
In 1864, Confederate General Jubal A. Early attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Virginia; the Union troops were able to rally and defeat the Confederates.
In 1936, H.R. Ekins of the New York World-Telegram beat out Dorothy Kilgallen of the New York Journal and Leo Kieran of The New York Times in a round-the-world race on commercial flights that lasted 18 1/2 days.
In 1944, the play "I Remember Mama," by John van Druten, opened at the Music Box Theater on Broadway.
In 1951, President Truman signed an act formally ending the state of war with Germany.
In 1960, President Eisenhower imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.
In 1967, the U.S. space probe Mariner 5 flew past Venus.
In 1977, the supersonic Concorde made its first landing in New York City.
In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value.
1940 -- Alabama snaps Tennessee's defensive scoreless streak of 71 quarters but still loses 27-12. Tennessee hadn't allowed a point since Oct. 29, 1938, when it beat LSU 14-6.
1980 -- Dan Fouts of San Diego passes for 444 yards and four touchdowns as the Chargers beat the New York Giants 44-7.
1994 -- Duke beats North Carolina 3-2 in women's soccer to end the Tar Heels' unbeaten streak of 101 games.Today's Birthdays: Former ambassador to Russia Robert S. Strauss is 90. Author John le Carre (luh kah-RAY') is 77. Artist Peter Max is 71. Actor Michael Gambon is 68. Actor John Lithgow (LIHTH'-goh) is 63. Former National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland is 63. Singer Jeannie C. Riley is 63. Talk show host Charlie Chase is 56. Rock singer-musician Karl Wallinger (World Party) is 51. Singer Jennifer Holliday is 48. TV host Ty Pennington ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") is 44. Rock singer-musician Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 43. Actor Jon Favreau is 42. Amy Carter is 41. "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker is 39. Comedian Chris Kattan is 38. Rock singer Pras Michel (The Fugees) is 36. Actor Omar Gooding is 32. Country singer Cyndi Thomson is 32. Writer-director Jason Reitman is 31. Actor Benjamin Salisbury is 28.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Ya gotta love the testiness of Rays announcers. On the way home from work I was listening to the XM Radio feed from the Tampa guys, and they were trying to defend their fans. Of course, we all know that the Rays consistently have the worst fans in the major leagues, even this year when the team was in first place pretty much from start to finish.
So it's the middle of the seventh inning and Boston's up 4-2, one of the announcers says, "And no one has left yet," and they start ripping Sox fans who left early a couple of days ago.
Dude, that was a 7-0 game at the time in the seventh inning and the Sox were down 3 games to 1 in an elimination game. Your team is down two runs with three at-bats left and a 3-2 lead in the series. That's like comparing apples to idiot baseball announcers!
Really, you want to start trying to demean Red Sox fans, you know, the ones who make up half the crowd at your stupid dome?
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- TBS had technical difficulties that prevented it from showing the first 20 minutes of Game 6 of the American League championship series between Boston and Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
The game started at 8:08 p.m., but the broadcast didn't begin until 8:28 p.m., when Carlos Pena, the seventh batter of the game, walked in the bottom of the first. TBS then showed a replay of a home run by B.J. Upton, the previous batter, that put the Rays ahead 1-0. [Jeff note: Why's anyone pitching to that Upton kid anyhow?]
TBS had experienced router failure in Atlanta, which caused transmission problems, Rays spokesman Dave Haller said.
TBS spokesman Jeff Pomeroy didn't immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press seeking comment. [Jeff note: Answer your phone, Wussy McBedwetter!]
Major League Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said MLB was unaware there was a problem until the broadcast failed to come on the air. No consideration was given to delaying the start of the game because the starting pitchers already had warmed up, Levin said.
When the top of the second inning began, broadcaster Chip Caray said: "We again apologize profusely for the technical difficulties we had back in Atlanta. You haven't missed much." [Jeff note: UP YOURS, Chip! Missed much? Only a bunch of the freaking first inning of a playoff elimination game!]
In place of the game, TBS had televised an episode of "The Steve Harvey Show." A crawl on the screen ran repeatedly, saying: "We are experiencing technical difficulties." [Jeff note: This is a lie! It wasn't until 7:13 and only for a few minutes!]
Tampa Bay, seeking its first World Series appearance, led the best-of-seven series 3-2 after wasting a 7-0, seventh-inning lead in Game 5 and losing 8-7 to the defending champion Red Sox.
At the Cask N Flagon outside Fenway Park, manager Mike Fusco said the hour -- from the pregame show until the game was restored -- "wasn't real fun."
"People were in a little uproar because they thought we didn't put the game on. They were just screaming at us to put it on and try all the other stations -- Fox, TNT," Fusco said.
Finally, Fusco said the staff had to use a PA system to explain the technical problems to the capacity crowd of 700. Some customers yelled for them to at least put the game on the radio, but the bar didn't have one.
"People watched `Steve Harvey' until it came on," Fusco said. [Jeff note: The dang Yanks are behind this somehow, I just know it.]
In case you haven’t heard, as Michelle Malkin writes, Joe Wurzelbacher ”is the small-business man from Ohio who questioned Obama about his tax plan during a Toledo campaign swing last weekend. The revealing exchange was caught on tape and broadcast widely across the Internet and TV airwaves. In response to Wurzelbacher’s question about why he should be “taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream,“ Obama sermonized that he needed to ‘spread the wealth around’ because “it’s good for everybody.’”
Once conservatives began to use this exchange of Marxism as an example of the Obamessiah’s far-left ideology and McCain used it in Wednesday’s debate, the libs and the media (but I repeat myself) went nuts prying into this guy’s life to tear him down in the “politics of personal destruction” that the Clintons so masterfully coined in the 90s.
The left’s political plumbers are attacking the messenger, rummaging through his personal life and predictably wielding the race card once again. It’s standard operating procedure for the Obama thug machine.If the media and Obama's campaign will try to rip up this guy, what do you think they'll do to a nobody like you?
Obama squirmed. The dirt-diggers started Googling. And the next morning, six-term Sen. Biden launched the first salvo against the Ohio entrepreneur on NBC’s Today Show, challenging the veracity of his story: “I don’t have any Joe the Plumbers in my neighborhood that make $250,000 a year.”
Under an Obama-Biden administration, they’ll make sure no Joe the Plumbers ever earn such a salary. “It's good for everybody,” don’t you know?
Wurzelbacher never claimed to be making $250,000 a year. He told Obama that he might be “getting ready to buy a company that makes about $250,000, $270,000” a year. His simple point was that Obama’s punitive tax proposals would make it more difficult to realize his dream.
Obama’s followers couldn't handle the incontrovertible truth. Left-wing blogs immediately went to work, blaring headlines like “Not A Real $250k Plumber!” Next, they falsely accused Wurzelbacher of not being registered to vote — he’s registered in Lucas County, Ohio, and voted as a Republican in this year’s primary.
Next, they called him a liar for identifying himself as undecided. Only registered Democrats and fake Republican tools used in mainstream media stories and YouTube debates are allowed to use that label, you see.
Next, award-winning liberal blogger Joshua Marshall cast Wurzelbacher as some kind of rabid freak for calling Social Security a “joke” — as if no working-class Americans could believe that the federal government’s entitlement programs were a rip-off unless they were bought and paid for by the McCain campaign.
Then, suddenly, the journalists who wouldn’t lift a finger to investigate Obama’s longtime relationships with Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright sprang into action rifling through citizen Joe Wurzelbacher’s tax records. Politico.com reported breathlessly: “Samuel J. Wurzelbacher has a lien placed against him to the tune of $1,182.92. The lien is dated from January of ’07.” Press outlets probed his divorce records. The local plumbers union, which has endorsed Obama, claimed he didn’t do their required apprenticeship work and didn’t have a license to work outside his local township.
After Wurzelbacher told Katie Couric that Obama’s rhetorical tap dance was “almost as good as Sammy Davis, Jr.,” the inevitable cries of “bigotry” followed. (There are now tens of thousands of hits on the Internet for “Joe the Plumber racist.”)
Welcome to Joe the Plumber Derangement Syndrome. If you can’t beat him, smear him. It’s the Obama way.
About half of the 14,000 ACORN applications that were rejected in Harris County were missing required information such as the potential voter's address, date of birth and Texas driver's license number, said Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. Another 3,800 applicants already were registered to vote.
Bettencourt said his staff checked the voting rolls and did not find any obviously phony registered voters. His bigger concern is the time his staff wastes processing duplicate applications. By comparison, only four duplicates were found among 4,000 applications submitted by the League of Women voters, and five have been found in 3,300 applications submitted by the Harris County Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, the left-wing machine is churning out articles and columns to support ACORN and paint any dissent as racist and say that ACORN's repeated national problems are no big deal.
OpinionJournal retorts: “If other organizations can do registration without these problems, why can't ACORN?”
Friday, October 17, 2008
With Boston heading to St. Petersburg to play Tampa on Saturday, let's take a look at where the Sox need to nix any Rays advantages in order to complete another miraculous comeback in the ALCS:
NOT-SO-CLUTCH HITTING: Boston has left 73 men on base to 53 by Tampa.
GETTING BEHIND EARLY AND OFTEN: The Rays have outscored Boston 7-2 in the first inning, 11-2 in the third.
HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF?: Manny Delcarmen has a 31.50 ERA in the series, giving up 7 runs in three innings. Don't give him the ball in a close game. Okajima, Papelbon and Lopez have 0.00 ERAs (though they've all give up runs inherited by other pitchers), and Masterson has a 1.93 ERA. If Timlin enters, we'd better be up 10 or down 10, or Francona had better be wearing Kevlar when he goes to the mound.
GIVE ME A HIT, ANY HIT: Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Varitek are hitless in 26 combined at-bats thus far. Big Papi only has two hits in 19 at-bats, with the biggest coming last night on a three-run blast that gave Boston new life in the seventh.
DON'T PITCH TO THIS GUY: Rays centerfield B.J. Upton is on fire, with three homers, 10 RBIs and a .400 average, and seems to stick a dagger in the Sox every time he appears in an important situation.
HIT IT TO THE ROOKIE: Evan Longoria's a stud at the plate, but has three errors at third base. Make him flustered and the Sox can sneak in another run or two.
OUR STUDS ON THE BUMP: Beckett and Lester obviously had terrible starts in games two and three, but can they at least avoid the garbage runs allowed and keep it interesting? If Beckett struggles early, will Francona hesitate to let Byrd try a few innings?
EXPERIENCE VS. INEXPERIENCE: Boston's been here before, trailing 3 games to 2 in the ALCS, and prevailed. Twice. Tampa is frisky, but hopefully they can be scared into the "Bad News Bears" if the Sox can jump ahead early. Even the dang Yanks seemed to give up in game seven of the 2004 ALCS when Damon belted that grand slam.
HEARTBURN VS. HEADACHE: Will I survive any more dramatics? Hard to say, since I have to work Saturday and Sunday nights, so I'll be keeping track out as best I can with hopefully the least negative effect on my newscasts.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Every time you see a story this election season about ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), they're politically correctly described as "an organization that tries to get low-income people registered to vote." What's unspoken? That it's a group in the tank for liberals, Democrats and especially Barack Obama, who, by the way, used to do work on behalf of the group, including as a lawyer.
It also has a history of conspiracy and illegal voting fraud. In just the past couple of weeks we've heard about offices being raided in Nevada duet to a large number of "erroneous" registration information, including, nonexistent names, false addresses and duplicates of previously filed applications, and one of the forms used the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.
In Indiana, CNN reports that ACORN applications in Lake County alone, 5,000 came in and after the first 2,100 were found to be fraudulent they gave up.
In the largest county in Ohio, election officials are investigating fraud including 73 registrations obtained from one man by ACORN in return for cigarettes or cash.
A former investigator writes in a column how "in the 2004 Ohio presidential election, election officials reported that ACORN made a repeated practice of submitting large stacks of voter registration documents at the last minute, filled out months prior but held so late that any verification was impossible."
In April, eight ACORN workers in St. Louis city and county pleaded guilty to federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards for the 2006 election, and now over in Kansas City officials are sifting through hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms.
Clerks in Michigan report receiving thousands of registration forms from ACORN that appear to be fraudulent.
In almost every case, ACORN tells local news that it's all a misunderstanding because of "overzealous youthful signature collectors, many of whom are being paid based on how many voters they sign up." When it keeps happening in state after state that are up for grabs politically, you start to wonder how much of this is organized on a national level to get their guy in the White House.
This is just a fraction of the voter fraud in near unheard of levels this election. Logically, who do you think would be illegally registering 30,000 felons to vote in Florida?
Oh, and by the way, this is a group that gets federal money. In case you weren't pissed off enough.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Do you at least think that these guys know their prize is tainted because they only won since the Nobel people hate Bush as much as they do? I don't think so, either.
Donald Luskin of National Review Online writes of Krugman's award thusly:
Krugman is entitled to such opinions, whether as a public intellectual or an economist. But there have been serious questions about his journalistic integrity — suggestions that the living Krugman has debased and corrupted the very science the dead Krugman did so much to advance.
In 1999 Paul Krugman was paid $50,000 by Enron as a consultant on its “advisory board,” and that same year he wrote a glowing article about Enron for Fortune magazine. But he would change his tune. After Enron collapsed in 2001, Krugman wrote several columns excoriating the company. (One featured what may be the most absurd howler in the history of op-ed journalism: “I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.”) In most of these columns Krugman worked hard to link Enron to the Bush administration, and in one he actually blamed Enron’s consultants for the company’s collapse — while neglecting to mention that he, too, had been an Enron consultant.
Daniel Okrent, while ombudsman for the New York Times, wrote that “Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers.” Indeed. But Krugman’s distortions were so rampant, and his unwillingness to correct them so intransigent, that Okrent — no doubt pressured into service by my Krugman Truth Squad column for NRO — did something about it. Okrent forced the Times op-ed page to adopt for the first time a corrections policy for op-ed columnists. That was in 2004. Later, when Krugman flouted that policy, the Krugman Truth Squad went to work on Okrent’s successor, Byron Calame, who pressed for the adoption of a new, more stringent policy in 2005. ...
Monday, October 13, 2008
DANCING WITH THE STARS - I couldn't hear Carrie Ann over the volume of her disco-ball dress, but how did she justify giving Cloris an 8? It looked like Corky was propping her up and moving her around physically like Weekend at Bernie's, for goodness' sake.
Actually, the most entertaining parts of the night were Toni's cameo on "All My Children," and my wife calling Samantha "Melissa," then not remembering her name, which just shows how much she doesn't care for Tom's co-host.
The next three who need to go are Rocco, Cloris and Susan, clearly, in any order. That leaves a pretty decent top six of Brooke, Maurice, Warren, Cody, Lance and Toni. Any of them would be a decent top three, and although the judges are ready to crown Brooke champion already, watch out for Warren, which isn't tough to do since he's roughly the size of a Transformer.
Next week the contestants learn four new dances, and you can be sure that at least twice during the show Val and I will look over at one another and say in unison, "I cannot believe they're doing this Hustle crap on a ballroom show."
A real row was being aired in Criminal Court yesterday. Last July 4 at Cuba, Tenn., fights sprung up like weeds in the celebration of Independence Day, the combatants being piled on the ground three and four deep in some places. An old woman who wielded an ax with such telling effect during the melee was in court but the testimony of the 10 witnesses who were called yesterday was so evasive and differed so much from each other's that the case was thrown out of court.Don't you just picture something from a movie, a John Wayne-style brawl a la McLintock! or Hondo, when you read that?
Our Fall decorations are up, the weather is cooling down, the MLB playoffs are reaching a crescendo, football season is getting interesting, and Team Valfrey is just a week away from getting the heck out of here and going to Florida for our second anniversary! Good times.
Media Bubble, Oct. 8 -- John McCain's bid for the Oval Office suffered another stunning blow yesterday when the Arizona senator referred to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, as "my opponent." The campaign-shattering remark came during a vicious, Hitlerian speech before an audience of drooling right-wing drones in one of those states in the middle, possibly rectangular.But as conservative columnist Michelle Malkin notes, this is now the narrative of the campaign coming from the media:
"I believe that we should do things one way," McSame sneered, his shrunken, twisted body and hideous visage producing overwhelming revulsion in all sane people who beheld him. "But my opponent feels we should do things a different way." ...
Paul Krugman is trembling: “Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage…What happens when Obama is elected? It will be even worse than it was in the Clinton years. For sure there will be crazy accusations, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some violence.”Leave it to Instapundit to bring it all home:
Frank Rich decries “Weimar-like rage” and the “violent escalation of rhetoric.” ...
So we've had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers' bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it's a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It's nice of McCain to try to tamp that down ... but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that's before we get to the Obama campaign's thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)Meanwhile, don't expect this kind of thing to get much attention in the press:
The Angry Left has gotten away with all sorts of beyond-the-pale behavior throughout the Bush Administration. The double standards involved -- particularly on the part of the press -- are what are feeding this anger. ... So while asking for McCain supporters to chill a bit, can we also ask the press to start doing its job rather than openly shilling for a Democratic victory? ...
Vandals spray-painted the words “Republican means slavery” on the door of the York County GOP campaign headquarters overnight Friday.
Party volunteers called police after discovering the message when they arrived at the office on Rock Hill’s Oakland Avenue. The vandals also stole about 45 candidate signs from the front yard and spray-painted over a banner that carried a picture of Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Their messages included lettering and symbols sometimes used by gangs. ...
Peon, pawn and peasant employees reportedly were offended not to be mentioned.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Good: Boston hasn't lost on the road in the postseason since losing at Cleveland in game four of last year's ALCS.
UPDATE 12:40 a.m. - Once again, Francona's lack of any feasible strategy blows a Red Sox win. Leaving Beckett in after Boston took a 6-5 lead to start the fifth inning after getting blasted for four innings, everyone knew the Rays would come back. And then by not letting Papelbon start the 11th inning to get an out or two, it was like Francona was waving a white flag by starting Mike Timlin in the 11th. Ridiculous move. I fully expected what happened, a Rays score and a Rays win, at that point. And now it's back to Fenway where hopefully the players can overcome shoddy managing to win three in a row and prevent a return to the Fruity Dome.
I admit, in the first inning as Dice-K walked the bases loaded, I had visions of deporting him back to Japan, but after he no-hit Tampa through six innings and earned the win, yeah, I just need to sit back and trust that he knows what he's doing when he gets himself out of these jams. 18 wins and sub-3.00 ERA has earned some trust. I'd like to say the same about Terry Francona, but seriously, he was the only one who thought it was a good idea to bring Dice-K back out for the eighth inning, and almost cost us the game.
With a win at the Fruity Dome, the Red Sox send postseason legend Josh Beckett out to give us a chance at ending this series early.
(Not getting my hopes up, I'm not getting my hopes up, I'm not getting my hopes up ....)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I got my CPAP yesterday, so this is what I'll be looking like until I get drop the "fatso" label. Of course, even then I'm not assured to be cured of sleep apnea, but I'm hopeful.
I went with the jet pilot look, covering my mouth and nose, because I'm a mouth-breather and if I try to breathe through my nose, with my lifetime of asthma I start to panic that I can't take a deep breath. The only weird thing is trying to breathe out at the same time the machine is forcing air into your mouth, so for the first few minutes it feels like you're fighting the darn thing.
Looking at the results of my second sleep study where I used a CPAP, it was a lot better than the first test. For example:
In test two, I didn't have any "apneas or periods of complete obstruction in respiratory airflow" and only 10 hypopneas for a rate of 1.7 per hour, whereas in the first test there were 345, or 42.66 per hour.
With the CPAP, my average heart rate was 82.0 BPM during wake, 68.9 during non-REM sleep and 70.0 during REM sleep. In the first test, the average heart rate was 98.9 BPM during wake, 70.1 BPM during non-REM sleep, and 79.2 BPM during REM sleep.
In the first test I had 23 total minutes of REM sleep, and 88.5 with the CPAP in test two.
And this is just the technical mumbo jumbo, it doesn't measure, "Anger/Annoyance rate of spouse at having to sleep with a terrible snorer" or "Number of jabs to ribs by spouse trying to shut the spouse the heck up."
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
1994 - Emil Kijek, 79, of North Atteboro, MA hit his first ever hole-in-one while golfing at the Sun Valley Golf Course in Rehoboth, MA. After doing so he approached the ball, said “Oh no”, and collapsed.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
And we all know about Obama sticking with a pastor for 20 years who claimed from the pulpit that the U.S. created AIDS to kill blacks, so the media will just claim that "it's behind us and Obama spoke on the issue so eloquently."
So how about Obama's 17-year relationship with political fund-raiser Tony Rezko, who in June was found guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery. One of the counts against Rezko detailed how he funneled the proceeds of an illegal kickback scheme into Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign. The New York Times reported that Obama attended a business meeting on behalf of Rezko to impress potential investors for his business schemes. Has this happened a lot?
And, oh yeah, in the summer of 2005, Rezko helped him buy a home by purchasing an adjoining lot they could not afford, then selling them a strip of the land on which they wanted to build a fence, for which the Obamas significantly overpaid.
Obama has returned $157,835 in campaign funds that Rezko and his associates donated in his career, using the same "he's not the man I once knew" line that he used with Jeremiah Wright.
That's shady, and I don't mean the land.