Friday, August 31, 2007


Surprisingly, this post is not about the good (soon to be former) Senator from Idaho. I just realized that I have two racey, sex-themed posts in a row, and I need to change the mood, as they say. Anyway, it appears that culture and tradition have a lot to do with how baseball pitchers react to being charged. So, watch the clips.

See how the pitcher is perfectly content to run? And run. And run. No pride whatsoever. Just survival. Watch the next clip.

This pitcher looks a little abashed at making a break for it prematurely, but see how he was ready to run like hell right away? He had his escape route all planned. Now watch the American pitchers in the next two clips.

See how the guy hangs in and throws his glove at Alcantara? Even after the catcher gets the kick in the face? It was not manly, but at least he was still on the infield when Izzy got to him.

See how Nolan Ryan kicked Robin Ventura's ass? Forget running. He was a fortysomething grown-assed adult at that point. He wasn't running anywhere. After all, this is baseball, about which John Kruk once said, "I ain't an athelete. I'm a ball player." Ventura's lucky the catcher got there to stop Ryan from beating him any more.
WHAT . . . THE . . . HELL

The Tribune ran a story today entitled "Women Urged to Shun Trendy Plastic Surgery." It was under the fold on the front page. I was about to just glance at the article when I read the very short first paragraph. "Issuing a strong warning to women, a prominent physicians' group stated Friday that there is no evidence cosmetic genital surgery is safe or effective."

"Cosmetic genital surgery?" Oh, my coffee almost came up. The surgeries in question are "vaginal rejuvenation," "designer vaginoplasty," "revirgination" and "G-spot amplification." Seriously. And they are not generally talking about women born with an "issue" in that their lives are inhibited in some way, Lucy Mancini style. No, this article is about surgery for purely aesthetic reasons.

Of course, the article does not talk about stuff that would really be interesting. I mean, I know women who have taken a picture of Jennifer Aniston in to their hair-cutter and asked for that cut. I have seen on TV where women bring pictures of someone's nose that is to the model for their new nose. See where I am going with this? I mean, I think the only genitals that are displayed often enough to be models are those of stars, both the Lohan/Spears/Hilton and the porn variety. Do you go in and say give me a Lohan? I'd like a modified Spears but with a Hilton top? Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

P.S. No, I am not posting links to the genital stylings of Lohan, Spears, Hilton, or any "professional" worker in the sex and allied trades. I know I could, but I also know that the entire Internet runs on pictures of this nature, and if you can't find them yourself, I won't help you. It's called google image search, and now I have taught you to fish, rather than giving you a fish.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


So, alleged gay sex cruiser Senator Larry "Not Gay" Craig's arrest and guilty plea to "disturbing the peace" in a men's room at the Minneapolis airport has raised a whole new set of issues. Whether Craig is gay? No, apparently this is not a new issue. Even Dick Durbin says he heard "rumors" kicking around the Senate that Craig was gay.

The new issue is actually three issues. First, I never heard of tea rooms before but I find it hilarious. Second, the mating rituals of gay hook-ups in public places. Apparently it involves lots of foot tapping, a little hand-waving and an arrest. Suffice it to say, if you are not looking for sex in a public bathroom and someone sticks their hand under the stall wall, you should probably hand them some T.P. and get out of Dodge. If, on the other hand (pun partially intended) you are looking for gay sex in the restroom, try not to get arrested like this guy.

The third issue is how this is happening at airports. I mean, you can't get through security without a boarding pass anymore, so the hook-ups are either between people with boarding passes (or airport employees), or outside of security. Frankly, gay sex must be better than I think if people are willing to leave the secured area and go back through security to get some of it, because with TSA doing their thing that's an awful lot of hassle.

Yesterday there was a story that Barnes & Noble continues to refuse to stock O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It. This is true even though the book has risen to number six among orders on their web page.

If I Did It is a reprehensible concept for a book. A man acquitted of a murder, but found liable in a civil trial theororizes about how the murders could have happened, if, in fact, he were the murderer. It seems like mocking the families of the victims, as well as the jury that acquitted him. It deserves to be ignored by thoughful people.

Except of course for the fact that it represents the apex of an ethical dilemma created by a generous jury. The civil court decision regarding O.J.'s liability, as well as the unconscionable (definition 2) $33.5 million award for the wrongful death of Ron Goldman, have created this ethical dilemma. Under the laws of California (where he was found liable) and Florida (his state of domicile), O.J. has never had to pay the Goldmans the money awarded. They are bound to O.J. by the award until it is paid off. In fact, Goldman's dad seems to have come to regard collecting the award as the sole penalty O.J. will face for murdering his son. Therefore, the Goldmans got a court to award them the profits from If I Did It.

It is very disturbing to me that because of an excessive civil damages award the Goldmans now have an interest in a book selling well that should be beneath contempt. It's almost as if Mein Kampf sales were going to support the Council for Jewish Elderly. Can you imagine having a bunch of eighty-year old Jews rooting for sales of that book? Had the civil jury reached a more realistic damage award it is possible that O.J. would have been able to pay it off. This would have allowed the Goldmans to move on and get O.J. out of their lives. The excessive award has led to over a decade of cat-and-mouse, with O.J. trying to minimize collectible assets and the Goldman's pursuing him. Just terrible.

Today there are reports that the city of Agra, home of the Taj Mahal is engulfed in riots. There seems to be agreement that four young men were killed by a truck during a Muslim festival. Some reports say that the men were walking along the road and were struck. However, the New York Times (and Tribune) reported that "a truck ran over and killed four young men riding on a motorcycle."

Four young men on a motorcycle? It would probably look something like this, or this, or this.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Doonesbury has had its ups and downs over the years. Sometimes it was more relevant than others. However, the last week seems like Doonesbury at its best. The theme is "if we cut and ran" from Iraq. As we know, allies of the administration have said that terrorists would follow us back to the U.S. Doonesbury has contemplated this quite literally.

Monday Ray comes home from Iraq "prematurely." The terrorist who follows him home asks, "do you guys know a cheap motel?"

Tuesday the terrorist explains that he followed Ray to the U.S. because before Ray went home the terrorist "wasn't sure" where America was. Good reason for fighting in Iraq all this time, rather than attacking here when the troops are overseas.

Wednesday the terrorist explains why they would act apparently illogically. "You only just created us . . ."

Thursday made me laugh out loud on the train. I love the last line.

Friday explores the terrorist's quest for weapons in America. I don't know which line in the last panel is funnier, or sadder.

Saturday takes on the absurdity of the immigration policies. Skippy Jefferson may be my new pseudonym.

Finally, Sunday takes our entire military structure to task. "Emotionally we outsourced this war-- to a professional class that mainstream America has almost no contact with!" I don't know anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan, and I am not sure that I know anyone who knows anyone. I guess that makes me mainstream.

So, Doonesbury has rejoined Dilbert, Mr. Boffo, and Get Fuzzy on my must read list on the funny pages. Welcome back.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The comment below was left on the Chicagoist entry about Elvira Arellano. I love it. The misspellings, the counterfactual nature of the claims. It is all good. I wish someone would leave a comment like this for me. My best one is when the roller derby lady bitched me out.
our government of liers keep promoting anchor babys. There is no such thing .The 14th amendment was never leagley passed, Look up history the southern states representives werelocked out of there seats and replaced with northern generals. Our government of liers want the dog chaseing his own tail ,so no one willresearch history and find out THE 14TH AMENDMENTIS NOT LAW ,ONLY OUR GOVERNMENT OF LIERS AND (LAWYERS )SAY IT'S LAW

So there.

Today's Tribune had a Tempo article in which the journalist spent time with some of the paparazzi chasing Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt around Chicago while they film a movie here that I wont' see. The article is pretty disturbing. They chase an SUV with Jolie and/or Pitt up Lake Shore Drive at 80 miles an hour, run red lights and stop signs on Wilson Avenue, and use oncoming traffic lanes to pursue the Jolie and/or Pitt SUV. As an aside, yes, Chicago drivers do all of these things, but we are trained locals, not Los Angeles asswipes not from around here. We are qualified.

Anyway, I bet you are wondering about the headline here. Well, the paparazzi are chasing Jolie and/or Pitt through Uptown, endangering lives because Jolie and/or Pitt are headed toward Lincoln Square. Our old neighborhood! In fact, they have one of their kids with them. They are headed to . . . Timeless Toys! We went to Timeless Toys. In fact, U got a Steiff Knopf im Ohr bunny to chew on and a Gund Teddy Bear from that very store just last Saturday! So, the long and the short of it is that now that L and I are too cool for Lincoln Square, Jolie and/or Pitt are cool enough to go there.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


The Tribune ran a story today about zinc pennies. That's right. Pennies are not made from copper. They are made from zinc, and have been for a while. That was a good deal. Now less so.

It turns out that the price of zinc has risen dramatically. In fact, zinc is up 450% since 2003. Since zinc is one of the only raw materials in a penny, this means that the cost of production for pennies has risen dramatically. This is bad for the United States, since it undercuts the seigneurage benefits of minting money. In other words, the United States is actually LOSING money by MAKING money. Time to switch away from zinc, I'd say.

Wikipedia, the most reliable source on the Internet, says that the U.S. government has earned about $5 billion in seigneurage on the "50 State" quarters. They spend a nickel to produce a quarter (hopefully not paying with ten cent nickels, as discussed below) and people tend to hold on to "50 State" quarters. Thus, the quarters are cheap to produce, and do not come back for reimbursement.

By the way, it costs ten cents to produce a nickel, but there are not as many nickels in circulation, so this only costs roughly $100 million.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Last November I celebrated Jose Offerman's birthday with a post and a good old Offerman joke. Frankly, I thought that I was probably done with Offerman forever after that post. Oh, how wrong I was. How very wrong I was.

Apparently Mr. Two F's and 42 E's was not done playing professional baseball when the Major Leagues were done with him. So, following in the steps of Ricky Henderson, Carlos Baerga, Ruben Sierra, Jose Conseco, Tim Raines, and others, Offerman went to play in the Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks. That was all well and good. Leagues like the Atlantic League, the Northern League, the Frontier League, and the CanAm League all offer good outlets for professional baseball. Usually.

In Offerman's case it may all have been too exciting. Yesterday Offerman hit a homerun. On his next at bat he was hit with a pitch. That is pretty old school. However, it is baseball. The appropriate retaliation is for the pitcher on the Ducks to hit one of their guys. Then it will be over, there will be a bean ball war, or there will be a brawl. That's how these things go. What does not normally happen (Juan Marichal aside) is having the batter, Jose Offerman, charge the mound and hit both the pitcher and the catcher in the head* with his bat. This is considered bad form by Offerman, and probably spells the end of his professional baseball career in America.

* One player had a concussion, the other was not seriously hurt.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

  • A Chicago police officer wrote a $50 ticket and called a tow truck to remove the famed Wienermobile from Michigan Avenue in Chicago today. Only in America would the Wienermobile be as popular as it is. Only in America (o.k., maybe in Germany too) would the Wienermobile get a ticket for parking illegally. Mad props to C at work for the heads up.
  • The United States Army has released the bases under which it rejects people. Turns out that one of the few reliable ways to be rejected from the military isn't to be crazy (that didn't make the list), or a moron (that is 3% of rejections), or even to be a little criminal (9% of rejections). No, the most reliable way to be rejected is to be medically disqualified (generally for obesity, at 39% of rejections). Only in America could Ox be denied the opportunity to become a lean, mean, fighting machine (check out from 3:21).
  • Finally, only in America would people blame baseball for not cracking down on players that (may have) broken the law in pursuit of greatness. Steroids were and are illegal. If you are taking them, that is a criminal act. If being a criminal has allowed you to steal one of Hank Aaron's records from him, you are a punk. Regardless of whether baseball passed a rule against it.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

AUGUST 1, 2007

First, what the hell happened in Minneapolis/St. Paul? I can't even imagine how an interstate bridge in 2007 in the United States collapses. We will find out over time, but it is just stunning. Also, seeing all of the dust, the twisted steel, and the emergency lights immediately brought the World Trade Center to mind. I did not expect that, but it did.

On an infinitely lighter note, the Cubs finally caught the Brewers last night and are now tied for first place in the National League Central. The last time the Cubs were in first this late in the year was 2003. Of course, the Cubs have made a furious push to get here, so let's hope they don't play back to the mean, so to speak. Now they need to be one game better than the Brewers for basically two months. Oh, and keep an eye on the damned Cardinals.