Thursday, September 28, 2006
  Happy Birthday, Mitch Hedberg
It's Mitch Hedberg's birthday today, so please check out the link below to remember some of his funniest bits.

And just say no to drugs, because even if you're really funny, they still kill you and/or make your publicist/jump off really nervous.

Lots of good Mitch Hedberg here.

  Rooftop, Like I'm Bringing 88 Back
Welcome to TLBR's tribute to 106th & Park...straight from 12th and Wells

In 1988, this was what I thought was some of the baddest hip-hop:

...until Guru dropped this one:

...but jump ahead to 2002 when Nas dropped this:

...and then, RE-MIX!(really NSFW)...and Lucacris' flow is dumb sick (whatever that means):

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
  I Call for the Return of The Daily Update
For the few out there who are loyal TLBR readers and were recipients of The Daily Update, consider this an(other) open invite/putting Dyzzy on the spot to bring it back.

The Board of Governors for Throws Left, Bats Right voted unanimously to pitch the open invite to Dyzzy back in the day. TLBR would be more than glad to open the books for la cosa nostra, and feature the genius of TDU here in Al Gore's cyberworld.

He's yet to accept the challenge. Something about going undercover with Dave Graham at Rice Hall...

But the both the TLBR Board of Governors and the boys from Family Guy are optimistic...they haven't stopped believing.

And you know what happens when 25 guys believe, right?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
There's virtually nothing left in the dee-luxe apartment.

Back where I started, a little more than a year ago.

I have a chair, a tv, one lamp, and a whole lot of space for weird apartment noises to bounce around...

I sold the couch and chair to a nice woman from Racine, who drives a Dodge pickup truck (yeah, it's got a hemi).

I sold the coffee table (that I inherited from my ex from way back in the Queen City of the Sound) and the bookshelf to a Marquette Law 1L.

I sold my childhood dresser drawers/bedroom set to a 2nd year Marquette Dental student. He and his wife have a baby on the way and need new places to put clothes.

I sold my childhood desk and chair to a student, I think from UWM. There wasn't a whole lot of studying done on that desk in high school, so I think it's like-new.
Odd how, even though there was money exchanged, I felt like I was helping these folks out. Providing them with stuff that I used for years, at a low rate, that they'll hopefully be able to use and enjoy for years to come.

A whole hell of a lot better than trashing it.
I'm watching 40 Year Old Virgin for maybe the 76th time. I think I've got most of the important lines down.

Wedding Crashers is also on the HBO on-demand. The count for that flick is somewhere around 88. Got that one on the personal C:/ drive as well.

At 100 viewings, you get a free set of steak knives.
My fantasy football squad is 3-0.

And I know virtually zero about football.

So, you know, whatever.
Alright, I'm sleepy. And it's dark in here. And eerie. WAIT! What the shampoo was that?

I see dead people...

  What the ... ?
Read this story.

I'm amazed by so many parts of it, I don't even know where to begin.

But I had a Paddington Bear as a child. And let me just say that I'm lucky to be here talking to you.

(or is it blogging to you? or typing? whatever.)
Anyone want to buy my bedroom furniture?

Monday, September 25, 2006
  Just a quick thought in between rolls of packing tape
As I pack, I have Green Day's pre-Saints & Falcons game performance on.

And as I sealed up the boxes and bags, I thought to myself: "wow, self, this is the first time that the song 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' didn't suck."

And that's because Guitar Jesus, David Evans, was playing. (yeah, I mean the Edge)
Odds on U2 playing "Beautiful Day?"

I'd say about the same as Michael Vick running the ball tonight.
(author's note: Vick, running off left guard, forced out of bounds after a pickup of eight, and it's 2nd and two for the Falcons on their own 36...)
(another author's note: When Hank Williams Jr. does his rendition of "Are You Ready for Some Football?" - the ESPN Monday Night Football theme song - he looks more feminine than Pink, who sings the Sunday Night Football theme song for NBC.)
George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, inexplicably was the ceremonial coin-tosser for tonight's game.

And yes America, it was the closest anyone named President George Bush got to the flood victims and damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
And judging by the reception Daddy Dubya got, the only Bush getting cheers tonight is Reggie.

Or the kind you find on Bourbon Street. (I'm not even sure what that means)
And what do you know, an NFL game with some sort of tie in to the Manning family.

Who has received more facetime - Michael Caine during the 1980's or the Mannings in 2006?
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
  Let's Go Twins/Tigers, A's/Angels, Mets
So I guess congratulations are in order for the New York Yankees for winning another A.L. East title.

They sure do it the "right way," don't they? Everyone wears suits on the road and, boy, their hair is so neat. They do it the right's the Yankee Way.


Maybe in 1940's. But now? It's all a bunch of crap. Oh, they still make people stop at Bo-rics on the way to the Toilet off the Grand Concourse. But the Yankee's as much a facade as the one hanging from the top of the most overrated stadium in professional sports.

Because if the Yankee Way were the right way...and the winning way, then you wouldn't have the crap that's in this week's Sports Illustrated being a Yankee sympathist, no less.

What kind of balls does Jason Giambi have? Sure, you can make the obvious answer - none - on account of his steroid use. But for him to call A-Rod out in SI? Are you kidding me?

(god, am I defending A-Rod here? oh man, I need to see a doctor...)

Does A-Rod have the knack, seemingly, to not hit in the clutch and only in situations of grave indifference? Yeah, maybe. I don't have his situational game log from the last few seasons in front of me, but I do recall quite a few groundouts in the 2004 ALCS. Regardless, he puts up numbers.

But Giambi? Hey Jason, remember when you came to NY after winning the AL MVP? And Steinbrenner threw you a barge full of cash? And you had to exist in a clubhouse where the returning veterans were bitter because you were replacing a "Yankee legend" and World Series ring winner Tino Martinez? Remember how you brought your "personal trainer" along, rather than use the Yankee staff (I guess Gene Monahan doesn't have the good stuff). Remember when you used your dad as a hitting coach instead of the Yankees coach when you were in a slump?

Remember when you didn't have a friend in that clubhouse? Jeter, the clubhouse leader, shunned you?

I guess performance-enhancing drugs don't enhance your short-term memory, do they?

Or do you remember June, 2003, when Brian Cashman was overruled on a decision to send you to the minors after your batting average was slightly over the legal blood-alcohol level for you to operate a motor vehicle in the state of New York?

Remember the "intestinal parasite" that made you hit about a buck-eighteen? And then the, um, pituitary gland problem? And the fact you went from someone the size of Mark McGwire to someone the size of Walt Weiss.

Sure, it was your no fast-food diet. And by no fast food, you meant no whoppers. And by no whoppers, you meant "I didn't inject shampooing mega deca turbo into my veins."

Remember that, Juicin, er, Jason? Remember how the Yankees were looking into finding a loophole to void your albatross of a contract if you had testified publicly that you used steroids?

Remember how, when after you decided it was time to indulge and hit up the Wendy's dollar menu, you began to hit again?

And you began to look like a first baseman, rather than a bat boy?

And you began to hit towering home runs again?

No one called YOU out? No, you were some sort of shampooing "hero" because you held a press conference to tell people that you were sorry for something you weren't going to tell people that you were sorry for. But you felt the need to call a presser and make sure people knew that. And you were sorry.

You know what? At last check, the Yankees are paying you the same as they are their third baseman. And also at last check, with you in a Yankee pinstriped uniform, the Bronx Bombers have won exactly nothing. So what does that make you?

You cheated. Then you sucked. And now you're probably back to cheating again.

Yet another thing A-Rod hasn't done while in a Yankee uniform.


"Yeah, what TLBR said. Signed, Mike Lupica."
Monday, September 18, 2006
  Tell Me Why I Don't Like Mondays
I don't know how I missed this salacious gossip tidbit, but Lance Armstrong was recently seen out in Los Angeles with uber-celebrity Paris Hilton.

Now, the news isn't the fact that Paris Hilton was out on the town in L.A.

The news is, for the eighth consecutive year, a triumphant Armstrong joyously rode into... (oh c'mon,'s too easy.)
Nick Saban: so not a genius.

Eric Mangini: also not quite a genius.
In times past, I would have cancelled all plans - save for bodily excretions - to watch every minute of every inning of a Red Sox/Yankees weekend.

I might have caught, collectively, six of the 28 innings.

Sad. So sad.

The Red Sox cannot afford for this to happen again. I mean, they got most of us schmucks to buy our tickets through the month of Sept., but it's to the point now where is sending out emails that the EMC Club still has availability.

Great. $250 clams to watch Dave Murphy and Dustin Pedroia. I'll save the $240 and head to McCoy, where for 10 bucks, I can get a box seat and a hot dog.
Congrats to Richard Kiplagat, winning the Providence CVS Downtown 5k yesterday. Nice little payday for the Iona-educated Kenyan phenom.
Scary news out of Pittsburgh, where five Duquesne men's basketball players were shot on Saturday night.

It's scary for so many reasons, but topping the list is the fact it could happen anywhere.
Back to the Patriots. The first two weeks of the season, you're simply supposed to beat the teams you're supposed to beat. It's not brain surgery.

The Pats have done that. In November, the combination of the Bills and Jets games will read 2-0.

Have they been Scarlett Johansson pretty? No. Have they been effective? Yes.

The Patriots make the big play(s) when they need to. Don Davis' stuff on 4th-and-1 vs. the Bills. The Harrison tip to Bruschi interception at the end of the Jets game (by the way, if you're scoring at home, that was a guy who had his knee explode tipping a pass to a guy who had a stroke...let's keep THAT in perspective).

As Brady makes his adjustments, as the players adjust to him, as the defense figures out their angles, the whole thing will come together. En route to a very special year in Foxboro, I think.
Two more HR for Papi and he breaks the long-standing Red Sox record, held since 1938 by Jimmie Foxx.
Where have you gone, Richard Nixon? America used to be the preeminent power to mold and shape foreign policy and protocol.


It looks like we're running scared from Iranian president Ahmadinejad.
Back to running...Craig Mottram is quickly becoming the world's top distance runner.
Ok, that's all for now. Need to do some work and figure how not to throw up, as I've got a bit of morning sickness.

No, not that kind...

Friday, September 15, 2006
  Oh don't sorrow, oh don't weep
Been doing some thinking, as I'm ought to do from time to time.

I disagree with Paul Simon and his friend Art Garfunkel: A rock feels pain. An island cries.

As some of you out there knew prior to this post, and now many of you do: I'm departing the MKE on Sept. 29.

As to where I'm going, I'm not sure yet...both literally and intrinsically.

The most probable stop is back to God's Country. But there are other options - irons in the fire, as they say - which could arise.

It was a decision that took quite a bit of thought, but, has been quite obvious for quite some time. It was the forest among the many trees. It was the tunnel at the end of the light.

I recently wrote to a good friend about this whole thing. At 21, I thought I knew it all. Many of us that are well-past the age of 21 now know that we then-knew absolutely shampoo-all. But (and not to pat myself on the back or brag or all know I'm a different ball of elastic bands by now...) at 21, while I kinda knew what I wanted to do in life, I definately knew what I did NOT want to do.

In addition, I made a list of goals, most of which were either unattainable or unrealistic.

Jump ahead 10 years. I've achieved several of them. Others are close at hand. And still, others are far away, yet within shouting distance. And the career path, while taking different routes here and there, is still about as straight as an imperfect line between two points can be.

Am I the King of Spain by age 34? No. Has the Great American Novel been penned by 45? No. But I'm only 31.

(And while I've got some great ideas and random, unrelated chapters written, I'm thinking Monaco might be more my speed.)

But at the big 3-1, I again can take a wee bit of solace and a big slice of perspective from all this. One good person who I explained the deal to called it "clarity." I like that.

Between now and Sept. 29 - the target date to get on the road - I'm sure I'll have updates and changes. Both to the trip-tic, and to my train of thought.

The decision to move out here last August was, at that time, my most important. The decision to leave here trumps it.

I'm richer and better for having been here. It's my hope that the folks I've been lucky to meet here in the MKE are too. And now, it's time to go...

When I was 21, with that combination of invincibility and awkwardly senseless combination of je ne sais quoi and je m'en fiche, I thought knew it all.

It's so funny and also so sad...when I look back at what I thought I knew and, now, realize I never knew anything of the sort.

From one end to the other. From je m'en fiche then to a simple au revoir now:

Merci, a bientôt, j'espère.

This rock says ouch, this island weeps. Across the field of mourning, light in the distance.

  This Might Be Old...
...but it doesn't make it any less funny. Click here for the video.

We here at TLBR are big fans of Kelly Clarkson. And Carrie Underwood for that matter. And can't understand why they won't call me back. I mean, come on, after 89 straight days of calling once or twice or 11 times, you think you'd appreciate the effort.

But, here is a video (probably old or something) of Ms. Clarkson hopping on stage with Metal Skool, getting shiznitfaced, and then singing with the boys.

Metal Skool, by the way, is shampooing hilarious. So watch the whole thing.

Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly, K-E-L-L-Y (that's what I call her in my letters...all of which have been unreturned, too...what the hell is a restraining order, anyway?) eventually gets up on stage with the boys and starts to do what she does best.

(no, the other thing...I mean sing...)

Enjoy Kelly Clarkson, American Idol...bombed and singing Guns n' Roses. And she'swith some other guy (whatever...) and apparently he's a singer too for some other band (it's like, so whatever...).

Thursday, September 14, 2006
  Video Preview of new Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver
  Seth Cohen: No Longer a Tool?

I guess the Coldplay song worked (and if you don't get that, you don't watch The O.C. enough, or I do too much...whatever)

On an aside, Rachel Bilson - Seth's girlfriend in the show (Summer) - is going to be cast as Wonder Woman in the upcoming motion picture of the same name. She also casts herself as Wonder Woman in the O.C. clip above.

I think it was a good choice. And I'm telling you the truth, even though there's not a half-naked supermodel, dressed in red, white, blue, and gold leather, with a magic lasso around me.

Or is there...???

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006
  Let me see you bounce right to left and let your shoulder lean...
Some thoughts before I go to bed...

- In November, today's Patriots game will merely be a "W." There were not many bright spots. One thing you like to see is a rookie running back making some good runs against a very good defense. Laurence Maroney was terrific.

And while the Pats' D...overall... stunk...the second half was much closer to Belichick football than the first 30:00 of play. The stop on 4th down, as well as the strong plays and the many three-and-outs...those were midseason stops.

The Don Davis tackle on Willis McGahee on that 4th down play was similar to a Willie McGinest stop, circa '04 vs. the Colts.

The Tully Banta-Cain flying parrey that caused the safety? That was also a big play, huge for a young player getting his first real taste at the first line on the depth chart.

The Pats' D can only build on that, especially when Tedy Bruschi returns to the ILB. As for the offense, they'll have their ups and downs. But the D will take this team as far as it's going to go.

- So far, if you're charting the Belichick coaching tree genius line, it goes Mangini, then Crennel, then Saban. Charlie Weis is doing OK now, too.

- Here's a SAT-style sports analogy. Chime in on the comments or send an email if you think you know the answer:

Peyton Manning: football as X: baseball.

By the way, it's week one and I'm already very sick of the Manning family. Except for Cooper Manning. I feel for him. Lumbar stenosis is not fun.

- Is Paul Weller one of the most underrated songwriters of our day? Methinks yes.

- Papi hit #48 today. Three more till he gets 51, and passes Double-X for the Red Sox single-season record. Amazingly, in the era of the juiced ball and ballplayer, the Sox' season HR record has only been 50...and it has stood since 1938. The same year that a Hurricane destroyed the City of Providence...that's been a long time. So if there's a bright spot left in the season, let it be Papi.

- My man Spoon won a Mercedes today. Well, he won a share of it. He and three other guys won it as part of a radio contest. They're gonna sell it and split it four ways. So if anyone wants a good deal on a brand-spanking new Benz SUV, email me here and I'll get you in touch with the boys. They'll give you a fair price.

- Here is an assortment of text messages, both sent and received, during this weekend. The supermajority of them came during this afternoon Pats game:

"If we lose this game, we're going to have to have (name removed) shampoo (another name removed)'s girlfriend again"

"Matt Light: F."

"I heart Larry M (that's Laurence Maroney to you and me)"

"Are you ready for some football?"

"Yeah, I just remembered...I DON'T want to see your balls."

"I like Larry Maroney"

"About. SHAMPOOING. Time."

"Peyton and Eli Manning are related?"

"Can Diet Pepsi machine play on our O-Line?"

"Memo to O-Line: Stop Sucking. K bye."

"Steve Neal: reconsider WWE."

"Deion's agent to Pioli: Shampoo you, pay me."

"I heart Tom Brady." (that might have been me who sent that one)

"U R gay."

"You know how I know you're gay - you macramed yourself a pair of jean shorts."

"The first test - going to a bar with wings and football and ordering a diet coke."
Ok, that's about it for now.

I know you all know that tomorrow is the five-year anniversary of 9-11. Doesn't seem like five years ago. Seems more like five minutes ago.

Do me, yourselves, and your family, friends, and loved ones a favor tomorrow. Call them. Send them an email or a text message. Stop by, if you're close to them, even if it's just for a few minutes. Give them a hug. Tell a funny story to make you smile. Shed a tear.

Tell them you love them. Let them know you do. Let them know that you don't and won't take that for granted.

For if blind, fanatical hatred is what fuels those who wage wars of terror, then let love be the force that conquers it.

Amor vincit omnia.

  Wow, really?
The Giants and Colts are playing football against each other tonight?

That's really interesting. I think the quarterbacks from both teams are related or something.

And I think the game is on a different network than usual for Sunday night?

(if there's a football god, then Jared Lorenzen and Jim Sorgi finishing the game will happen)
And Terrell Owens plays for the Cowboys? Why haven't I heard about this yet? Why hasn't ESPN talked about it?

  Idea for Beaucoup Dollars
1. Become show producer.
2. Convince Eddie Murphy to do a night of standup.

I'm watching "Eddie Murphy: Raw" on BET right now. Obviously, it's censored.

And you know what? It's still absolutely hilarious. Timeless.

"I went to a white disco and, y'all can't dance." And the next five minutes is priceless. Especially the Italian/Rocky riff.

Now,"Eddie Murphy" and "Delirious," they're also classics. But they're also around the time where making fun of gay people and AIDS was "funny"- hey, I'm not condoning it, I'm just making a point.

But back to my original point: how much money do you think Eddie Murphy could pull in for a one-night only night of standup?

And not that Dr. Doolittle shit. Not the Klumps. Not Daddy Day Care. Not "My girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, part-y all the tiiiiiime...."

We're talking Eddie shampooing Murphy. Axel Foley stuff. The Michael Jackson/Bill Cosby imitations. Lots of shampoo words.
Richard Pryor set the bar. Chris Rock has carried the torch. Dave Chappelle has taken it to a separate level (then he jumped the shampoo off). Martin Lawrence and Chris Tucker have even made a splash.

But none of them are Eddie.

A hour and a half/hour and three-quarters of Eddie Murphy standup? You might not be able to sit through it. And it better not be on a weeknight, because your face might hurt too much to go to work the next day.

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 09, 2006
  Quarter to Three, Saturday Afternoon
How was your weekend?

You know, I just kind of hung out.

I was...god, Friday, when I went home, I really wanted an egg-salad sandwich.

And I was just obsessing about it and I was like: "Man, I'm gonna make one of those."

So Saturday I went out and I got, like, a dozen eggs and I boiled them all. And then I just - I spent - I don't know, probably three, three-and-a-half hours know, the mayonnaise and the onions and paprika...and, you know, all the accoutrement.

And then, by the time I was done, I just really didn't feel like eating it.

And I didn't have any bread.

So, you know, it was pretty good. It was a good weekend.
Friday, September 08, 2006
  Panda Porn?
This link was pointed out to me by a long-time reader here in the MKE area. Read it and then return to the discussion:

(done reading? good...)

Ok, first off all...the photo to the right is not a penis. It's a panda cub. That, um, whatever it is...eventually becomes a big, black & white cuddly panda bear.

And secondly, did you catch the paragraph near the bottom? "Ya Ya was mated with 11-year-old Ling Ling from Wolong in April. The pandas watched a mating video before breeding."

Mating of mating...pandas...panda porn?

Weird. And in the opinion of the valued reader who sent this in, "it's hot." (not to be confused the same phrase used by alleged California felon Paris Hilton)

If it is indeed panda porn, then do the "actors" have cool names like human porn? You know, like Nikki Coxx or Sinthia Simon. Would panda porn actors have some variation of "long," "dong," "wang," or "poon" in their stage names?

Or have I spent way too much time thinking about pandas fornicating?

(and yes, I'm still retired...)

Thursday, September 07, 2006
  The Spirit of St. Louis
Visited St. Louis yesterday. Let's recap (apologies, True.)
Ok...Midwestern city; major industry/corporation, a brewery; downtown bordered by a fine Jesuit institution of higher learning; a dirty river; nice new ballpark for team that plays in the NL Central.

Milwaukee? Nope.

I forgot one other thing: big silver semi-circle kinda sorta thing down by the m-i-double s-i, double s-i, double s-i.

Just like Staten Island is "Brooklyn with trash," St. Louis is Milwaukee with a big arch-type thing.
Rode up to the top of the arch thingamajig. It's 600+ feet up and accessible by a tram kinda sorta thing.

(tram kinda sorta thing = un-air conditioned shoebox with five close-together, uncomfortable seats that takes all sorts of herky-jerky action to get to the top in about five excrutiating minutes that, if you weren't claustrophobic prior to, you were post-haste...)

(holy run-on sentence, Batman)

So that was that. The St. Louis Gateway Arch. Off the list. And one-time deal.
After sleeping for about 12 minutes last night, I woke up and walked to catch a very efficient and clean form of public transportation called Metrolink. The train took me from the area around new Busch Stadium to Lambert-St. Louis International airport.

In all, the city requires a return visit. Maybe even for a Cards game. If it's anything like Kansas City, which is only a little more than two hours down I-70, then me and the bbq ribs need to have a mafia-style sit-down.

Ok, that's all for today. Tedy Bruschi's back.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006
  People Make Me Pissed Off. So Get in Line and Take a Number.
1. RIP Eric Valdepenas, Bishop Hendricken class of 2003. Another victim of Bush's stupid war.
2. Deion Branch. Are you shampooing kidding me?

This obscene shampoo is what really makes me question professional sports.

As Patriots and NFL fans know, Branch is currently a hold-out from the New England football club because he wants his contract extended.

Branch, the 2004 Super Bowl MVP, was set to make a little more than a million dollars this year. He IS under contract with the club for the 2006 season. fairness, NFL contracts aren't generally worth the paper they're printed on. Nothing is guaranteed, other than signing bonuses and deferred payments, etc. Premier players do these holdouts in order to leverage their next contract with their club, or force a trade to a team that will pay such money.

The Patriots' front office is long known for being a wee bit stubborn and deliberate with their contract negotiations with players. Free agents know the deal. Players who want to stick around know the deal. Rookies know the deal. Agents (generally) know the deal.

And the deal: sacrifice a few extra dollars; win a Super Bowl.

So Branch, a second-round pick and certainly an exceptional wideout in the AFC, is trying to buck the system. (did I mention he's under contract for more than a million dollars this season that, if he plays, he gets paid...then can become a free agent and get that contract? but I digress).

He wants the Patriots to pay him as if he was the best WR in the league. The Patriots do not assign Deion that value. Hence, they will not pay.

So his agent is holding him out of training camp and ultimately regular season games. Each day he's out, he coughs up $14,000 in fines. Each day. That's a hefty taxi meter to be much for $.25 per 1/8 of a mile...

The Patriots played their own version of hardball. They told Branch and his representation: ok, you think you're worth the money, go see if you can find a team to pay it. He did. Two teams, in fact: the NY Jets and the Seattle Seahawks.

Both offered him close to or exactly the amount of money he sought from the Pats. One side of the deal done. The next side? What to compensate the Pats for Branch.

Neither team achieved that. Deal breaker.

What did the Pats want? Two first round picks. A hefty ransom.

But it's what they wanted. Or something close.

Branch wants something. The Pats want something. Who's right? Who's wrong? That's soon to be decided by an independent arbitrator. On one side, Branch and his reps. On the other side, the NFL and the Patriots. I have mentioned that Branch is under contract to play for the New England Patriots this season, right?

That means he signed a contract. And the terms of that contract state that in return for more than a million dollars, he's supposed to play football for the Patriots.

Except, he doesn't like that contract. So he opts not to honor it.

And yet, he also gets the right to file a grievance saying that a: the Patriots didn't trade him as they had promised if they got an acceptable offer --and-- b: the Patriots have negotiated in bad faith throughout his holdout.

(What says of "bad faith" when thou dost choose not to honor thy word, dear Deion? That's some NFL Shakespeare for yo' ass...)

And let's take a look at the two teams that chimed in with a contract for Mssr. Branch: the Jets, one of the Patriots division foes. Of course they're going to try to get involved. They want to hurt the Pats.

And the Seahawks. They played (and lost) in Super Bowl 40. They'd like to play in (and win) Super Bowl 41. One way of making sure that happens is to hurt the Pats.

So, in Branch's mind, just because those teams stepped up and told him they'd pay him his contract demands, the Patriots are obligated to trade him. Have I mentioned that Branch has an obligation? And that is to play out the contract that he signed with the Patriots, which is set to pay him a little more than a million dollars in 2006. Did I let that fact slip by?

If those grievances are denied, then Branch's lawyers seek to have the Patriots pay Branch the difference between his salary this year and the salaries he would have made with the first-year money being offered by either/or the Jets and Seahawks.

I'll give you a second to stop reading, turn your head from the screen, and yell "IS THIS SHAMPOOING GUY SHAMPOOING KIDDING ME?" at somebody/nobody/the wall/the dog/your shoes.

So Deion, thank you for your catches in Super Bowl 39. Thanks for helping the Patriots win. Now get out.

But not before you report to work. You're under contract.
3. Wow, they found oil in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Surprise! I bet they didn't know THAT was there... Just like they didn't think that pipelines with a life of 20 years would all of a sudden corrode and rot after 29 years of service.

Here's a question - what do you think the oil companies/government (they're the same entity) knew first: That there was oil in that newly drilled section of the Gulf?


That the levees in New Orleans would be breached in the case of a category 3 hurricane?
Ok, that's it. Tune in next week for another episode of People Make Me Pissed Off.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sad news out of Australia...Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter" as he was known on television, died when a stingray's barb hit him in the heart as he was snorkeling off the north coast of Queensland (up near the Great Barrier Reef).

Now, mostly everyone in America knows him as the shampooing crazy bloke who would yell "crickey!" and then tackle a 14-foot crocodile, reminding us to "take a look at this beauty."

But he was much more than that. He dedicated himself to the preservation of the natural habitat of many species of wildlife. What Dian Fossey was to gorillas, Jacques Cousteau to fish and other ocean dwellers (ironically enough, Irwin was diving with Phillipe Cousteau, Jacques' grandson), Irwin was to Australia's creatures and natural habitats.

His parents ran a small Queensland zoo and Irwin learned his craft from being around large reptiles his whole life.

But his crowning achievement was the Australia Zoo - a place I was lucky enough to visit last year, even taking in a live show with Irwin and his wife Terri (see photo at top of page).

The zoo - the best I've ever been to - had animals in their natural habitats and while they were in captivity (you don't really need to mingle with a 17-foot really don't), they were there for good reasons. Not that you're going to warm up to the aforementioned 17-foot croc, but you grow to learn more about them.

When you're educated about certain things - whether they be living/breathing or an ideology - you tend to respect them more. Sure, in the case of the big, man-eating croc, there is still an element of fear. But it's not fear rooted in ignorance. It's fear of, well, being eaten by a 17-foot croc.

Irwin's dedication to his life, his zoo, and his causes earned him some local, then national, then worldwide celebrity. But it wasn't all an act. It was life for him.

And him trying to further those causes, the ones that were his life, ultimately led to his death. Ironic and sad. But mostly sad.
On an aside, the way he went...a stingray barb to the heart...not the way I want to go.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
  But People Call Me Steve
Borat from the UK version of the Ali G show.

I'm of the opinion that the UK show is much funnier than the U.S. version.

  We Stand For 10 Minutes of Silence
  In My Country There Is Problem; And That Problem is Transport...
Classic Borat here...

(yes, Texas is a Red state...)

  For Those Expecting Friday Night Blogging (sponsored by 2003 Tintara Shiraz)...
...many apologies. Tonight was a working night.

In all, five articles today - including the dutiful recap of the Marlins/Brewers game - kept me from staying home, having a few glasses of the vino, and blogging away.

It's late. I'm sleepy. And Anchorman is on. So for those expecting some good stuff tonight, no such luck. But I do have a few quick hitters.
A few folks I've spoken to today have inquired into the "retirement" of sorts.

Yes, I'm serious. Yes, it's real.

Longtime loyal J-Malls likened it to a PGA retirement. Jack Nicklaus, he won 18 majors. Then he got older. Stopped playing as much. Only played the good ones on the good courses.

Then he went to the Senior Tour. Now he picks and chooses his spots and, whenever he does, it's a huge deal.

It's definately that sort of retirement. Not the Michael Jordan-type retirement: off, new sport (and what would that be if I retired from drinking, heroin? yoga? islam?), back on, off, back on again, off, back on yet again. Not the George Foreman retirement. And certainly not the Barry Sanders retirement.

It all remains to be seen, but the lobbyists for my liver and certainly pushing hard for it.
Got a chance to say hello and ask a few questions of the fella at the bottom of the page who is "throwing left:" Dontrelle Willis. Very friendly, articulate, and a pleasure to interview.

Of course, the premise was mostly just get a chance to chat with a guy I admire in baseball - is that particularly professional journalism? no, but I'm not a professional journalist, so... - but the questions were germaine to the topic at hand: the fact that the Marlins could win the wild card with him and four rookie starters.

I'm rooting for them. And I'm also rooting for Joe Girardi, one of the only "true" Yankees I ever really liked.
Anchorman is a very good movie. Even after the 146th time.
Bought the new Ray LaMontagne, "When the Sun Turns Black." Buy it. Also bought Mat Kearney's "Nothing Left to Lose." Buy itm, too. An interesting mix of a guy who channels a little bit of Chris Martin/Coldplay, Embrace, Ben Harper, and, well, a rapper. And he's good.
Ok, c'est ca. Have a great Labor Day Weekend. I'm sure I'll be checking in again.

Friday, September 01, 2006
  Sitting at Miller Park; Thinking of Fenway Park
Covering the Brewers/Marlins game tonight for Sportsticker, but just saw some sobering news, leaving me with a pit in my stomach.

A report on said that rookie left-hander Jon Lester has been diagnosed with a treatable form of anaplastic large cell lymphoma and will begin treatment within the coming week.

While the word "lymphoma" sticks out at you, so does the word "treatable." Best wishes and prayers to Lester as he undergoes said treatment.

A daily - or every-other-day - account of all there is in my head
that's dying to get out, via my fingers.
(I vow to attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.)

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