Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I saw two things today that were repugnant to me. The first is that Cindy Sheehan has apparently decided that America does not live up to her expectations. You will remember that she is the woman who has been protesting the Iraq war since her son died in Iraq. In her "resignation letter" she wrote "Good-bye America . . . you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it."

Wow. I happen to agree with those people who said, and say, that Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time, that we are not winning the war, and that whatever plan there was supposed to be for the war apparently was not well-executed (or, worse yet, it was). That being said, Cindy Sheehan is an ass, and not the "face" of my opposition to the war. Her quote is repugnant and self-centered to me. I am very sorry that America is not living up to Cindy Sheehan's expactations. She is frustrated because somehow sitting outside of the President's ranch for a year and change did not stop the war? Try running for Congress, Cindy. You had the publicity, you had the name recognition. You would have had the money. Instead, you camped out for peace, like some sort of hippy from the 1960s. They didn't end a war either.

On a more gross than offensive level of repugnance, there are cicadas in the Chicagoland area right now. We have not seen them in the 'hood, but apparently some suburbs are swarming with them. Literally hundreds or thousands can show up in certain places. What do you do when they come? Apparently some people make pizza and use them as toppings. Really, check the link. Of course, each pizza uses fewer than 10 of them, so it is not a good solution for getting rid of them. Leaving me to wonder why I would eat them . . . Here are some other recipes from the University of Maryland.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Last weekend was the first weekend of interleague play in Major League Baseball. Each team gets a "rival" in the other league, and plays that tea, six times. There are other interleague games, but this weekend is rival weekend. The rivalries are:

St. Louis Cardinals v. Detroit Tigers

Cincinnati Reds v. Cleveland Indians

Baltimore Orioles v. Washington Nationals

Toronto Blue Jays v. Philadelphia Phillies

Florida Marlins v. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Minnesota Twins v. Milwaukee Brewers

Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros

Atlanta Braves v. Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox v. Chicago Cubs

Kansas City Royals v. Colorado Rockies

Los Angeles Dodgers v. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

San Diego Padres v. Seattle Mariners

San Francisco Giants v. Oakland A's

New York Yankees v. New York Mets

Oh, and the National League has two more teams than the American, so the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Pittsburgh Pirates.

What is the sense of these rivalries? Well, some of them are rivalries between two teams in one metro area. This covers Baltimore/Washington, Chicago/Chicago, Los Angeles/Anaheim, San Francisco/Oakland, and New York/New York. Some are two teams in one state. This covers Cincinnati/Cleveland, Florida/Tampa Bay, and Texas/Houston. Let's accept that these are all strong rivalries that make some sense.

That leaves St. Louis/Detroit, Toronto/Philadelphia, Minnesota/Milwaukee, Atlanta/Boston, Kansas City/Colorado, San Diego/Seattle, and Arizona/Pittsburgh. Can we make them better? I think that we can make some better, but we will always be left with some oddballs. Here we go:

Let's leave Atlanta/Boston. This one makes some sense because the Atlanta Braves were once the National League team in Boston. Then they moved to Milwaukee, then Atlanta. That is hardcore history. I'll accept that. Of course, using that sort of history, the Cardinals could claim Baltimore (the old St. Louis Browns) as a rival, and the Phillies could claim Oakland (the old Philadelphia A's) as their rival. However, since the Orioles and A's are both in "good" rivalries, we need better rivals for the Cardinals and Phillies.

Using the same rationale as Atlanta/Boston, let's move the Brewers rival to the Seattle Mariners. I know that Minnesota and Milwaukee were decent rivals when they were both in the American League, and they are in neighboring states, but frankly, it is hard to believe that this rivalry is particularly intense. On the other hand, the Brewers began their lives as the Seattle Pilots, so having them play the Mariners is old school. Besides, I am not sure that Seattle/San Diego has anything going for it either.

Also, using the same state theory (almost), how about the Cardinals versus the Royals? Does anyone really think that St. Louis and Detroit are natural rivals? Colorado and Kansas City? Who cares about either of those? The I-70 series could actually be worth something.

That leaves the Phillies, Rockies, Padres, Dbacks, and Pirates in the National League and the Tigers, Blue Jays, and Twins in the American League. The Phillies and Pirates are at least both in Pennsylvania, and two National Leaue teams need to play each other, so why not these two? That's a better rivalry than the Blue Jays and Phillies, with the Pirates playing Arizona. Of the remaining six teams, none of the matchups are particularly compelling, so match them up however you want. That being said, it is still better than the old system. Now there are three pointless matchups instead of eight.

Proposed new rivals:

Cincinnati Reds v. Cleveland Indians

Baltimore Orioles v. Washington Nationals

Florida Marlins v. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros

Atlanta Braves v. Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox v. Chicago Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers v. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

San Francisco Giants v. Oakland A's

New York Yankees v. New York Mets

Kansas City Royals v. St. Louis Cardinals

Seattle Matiners v. Milwaukee Brewers

Philadelphia Phillies v. Pittsburgh Pirates

any combination of Colorado, San Diego, and Arizona with Detroit, Toronto, and Minnesota.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A certain half-American once said

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

Now that I have you in the right frame of mind, does anyone else think that great half-American has been reincarnated in U?

Monday, May 21, 2007


This weekend I used my new electric lawn mower for the first time. It was very satisfying. U slept (more or less) from 9:00 p.m. to about 2:30 a.m. That was amazing. I was able to get some of the cardboard boxes out of our "Sam's room" in the basement so I can see what's on all the shelves. That felt great. Then I got a haircut, which was just super. I am now officially a million years old.

The Cubs took two of three from the White Sox. That makes me happy, but I need to reiterate that I still do not consider the White Sox the Cubs' major rivals. I would say that the Cardinals are the (A)(1) rival, with the Astros following, and the Brewers gaining ground on the 'Stros. I could see the Brewer rivalry reaching a point closer to the Cardinal rivalry if the Brewers have a couple of good years, and we have more time to build it. I mean, Milwaukee is only 90 miles away, and the Packers/Bears rivalry has everyone primed. Now we need time and games.

Since you asked me about TV, have you seen Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel? Could this show be any more amazing? L finally convinced me that the shots are all real. I would have sworn that some of them were computer animated, but apparently not. This series is too amazing. They have clips here. Just remarkable. On a similar note, I know that I am very late to this game, but I really like Meerkat Manor. In fact, I could watch it all day.

U exploded out of three diapers this weekend. I am thinking about just wrapping him in trash bags when we are in the house. Is that too Britney?

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The Bush Administration has had some indictments, and will have some more, I bet, but it really seems to have a bigger problem with idiots than criminals. I mean, look at Paul Wolfowitz. The guy is about to lose his job at the World Bank because he is the only manager in the world who doesn't know that you don't give your girlfriend a big raise. You have someone "independent" do it. By the way, Wolfowitz was one of the geniuses who rationalized our invasion of Iraq. Puts his judgment in a new light, doesn't it.

Meanwhile yesterday we found out that John F-ing Ashcroft was the defender of civil liberties in the Administration. Worse yet, we find out that Alberto Gonzalez and Andrew Card are idiots and went to Ashcroft's hospital room while he was in the ICU to try to force him to sign off on the domestic spying program. The guy who told the story, James Comey, makes it sound like the scene in The Godfather where Michael is alone at the hospital with his dad and gets the baker to stand in front with him when the guys come to kill his father. That or a novel you'd buy at the airport. Idiots.

Friday, May 11, 2007


"Why would someone think you were gay? I don't know? Oh well, . . . one time I went out with a transvestite." Classic.


So, I got sick of scuffling for new books to read, so I started to read the Pulitzer Prize winners. There are about 85 books that have won the Pulitzer. I have read ten of them, and have two more on tap. I can say that The Magnificant Ambersons (1919), So Big (1925), The Good Earth (1932), and Middlesex (2003) are good books, well worth your time. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1928), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Old Man and the Sea (1953), To Kill a Mockingbird (1961), and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2001) are brilliant books. I did not like The Yearling (1939). Next up is One of Ours.

In other news, the Prague Post carried this article about the commemoration in Pilsen (Czech Republic) of Patton's liberation of the city in 1945. After the war the Soviets taught that they had liberated Pilsen. However, for 60 years people kept pictures, as well as American Jeeps (!) to prove the true liberators. Check out the Liberation Day web page. Anyway, the story reminds me of all the stories about Patton not trusting the Soviets. Had he had his way, the Czech Republic may also have been divided, as Germany was, or neutralized (but left free) like the Austrians. Instead, the army was withdrawn and Bohemia turned over to the Soviets.