Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Sure Can Be Scary

Happy Halloween, one and all – hope everyone doesn’t suffer from sugar shock after eating all those chocolate bars and candy corns!

Wanna hear a scary Halloween story?

Back when I was a college puddin head, I was out having a few brews with friends and I innocently asked if they had anything planned for Halloween – any parties, hay rides, what have you.

Much to my surprise, a peripheral aquaintence - whom up to that point I'd assumed was completely normal - chimed in with “We don’t do Halloween in our house”. Say what? I was dumbfounded. “What do you mean, you don’t “do” Halloween”? “It’s a nasty, evil holiday”, he tells me. I queried on. “Do you give candy to trick or treaters?” “No, because that just further legitimizes this evil day”. Evil day? What planet had I just fallen on to?

I attempted to point out that the paganism of the day had long ago been co-opted by seven-year-olds dressed up like Superman looking for Bite-Size Snickers, and teenagers looking for a more creative use for toilet paper, eggs and shaving cream. None of this seemed to matter. No, on a scale of one to ten - with one being puppies and ten being Hitler - apparently, Halloween was an 11.

This would have been scary enough, except that further prodding revealed that growing up, his family never did any of the innocent, childhood things most of us grew up with: no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny…I was dumbstruck. I looked at the other people we were with and asked “Did any of you guys have a NORMAL childhood”? Thankfully, I was not alone in my self-percieved sanity.

Thankfully, my parents didn't think my childhood should be all about them. There is only one time in your life when your suspension of disbelief is such that you can find yourself believing in something as wonderful and innocent as jolly old St. Nick and other bearers of joy (I'll even through the Tooth Fairy into the math - why not). There’s plenty of time when you are an adult, with mortgages, utility bills, illness and threats of terrorism to be a cynical mess. To not know that innocence ever in your life is a shame.

Ever year when I am enjoying my marshmallow Jack-o-Lanterns and nasty candy corn, I still think of him, all these many years later.

Who said Halloween wasn’t scary anymore?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Breaking News (of the Insane Variety)

This just in via e-mail from Jim Nazium:

From: Jim Nazium
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 6:26 PM
To: Pete Sayek
Subject: It's over!

I can say without feeling guilty to anyone including my friends that if you voted for Eliot Spitzer you're an asshole!

NY Senators mum on Spitzer's ID plan for immigrants

Eliot Spitzer's Halloween Trick: Driver's Licenses for Illegal Aliens

Thankfully, Jim knows I do not qualify under the ‘asshole proviso’ as I left New York for greener pastures many a moon ago, and even IF I still lived there, there’s no way in Hell I would have been THAT stupid.

I guess the events of 9/11 weren’t tragic enough for shit-for-brains megalomaniacs like Elliot “the bulldozer” Spitzer to have learned anything of value. I guess the guy is always too busy to trying to ruin people that oppose him to pay attention to what goes on in the real world.

Equal shame on “Homeland Security Secretary” and withering corpse Michael Chertoff (a.k.a. Skeletor) for capitulating to this effing insanity. What a disappointment this administration has truly become.

I am guessing this will NOT be the final word on this matter. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Goodbye, Alex…Hello, Joe

Early this afternoon, the Yankees announced that Joe Girardi had been chosen to succeed Joe Torre as manager. This is good news. Girardi is that anti-Torre. He’s a smart baseball man who won’t play favorites and allow funk to spread uncontrolled. The rumor is a formal announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

The real BIG news took place overnight and into the early morning hours. The fires hadn’t even been set and the windows barely broken in Boston last night when Alex Rodriguez announced via his mouthpiece and pimp, Scott Boras that he had chosen to opt out of his final contact year, effectively severing his ties with the New York Yankees, ending a tumultuous – occasionally caustic – three-year affair between Arod and the Yanks.

There’s no denying that Arod is a phenomenal player. That is one thing that can’t be argued. However, when he played with Texas – and before that, Seattle – you would always hear rumors about what a head case the guy was, how for all the good he brought to the table, there was always the bad; there was “the baggage”.

Who knew that no only were those rumors true – they were 100x worse than you could ever have imagined.

When Arod came to the Yankees, it was right after a deal to send him to Boston fell through. Remember that? Oh yeah, New York really pulled a fast one on Boston, didn’t they? They pulled Arod right out from under them! Nothing left to do now but sit back and count the rings. Well, since “stealing” Arod away from Boston, the Red Sox have two World Series titles while the Yankees have made three hasty first-round exits from the playoffs.

In lieu of championships, we were treated to the Alex Rodriguez Traveling Road Show and Flying Circus. Stupefying heights. Mystifying slumps. The Contract. The sports psychologist. The bad blood with Jeter. The carefully-rehearsed interviews. Photos from Toronto with a mystery blonde. The ‘HA!’ incident. The ‘don’t boo me’ pity party. The 500 HRs. The magnificent regular seasons…and most glaring of all, the mind-numbing, Winfield-like post-season failures that piled up like leaves in Autumn.

Arod’s stay in New York will be littered with the debris of “the baggage”. People will remember three things about Alex now that he’s gone: the fact that he could never live up to the money he was paid no matter how many heroics he put up (he never allowed himself to); his astonishing October disappearing acts; and the fact that when push came to shove, he just couldn’t hack it in New York.

Alex is represented by Scott Boras, as big a dirty pimp as there is in organized sports. He schools his clients in the fine art of selfishness and disloyalty; his only concern is big contracts to maintain his big percentage cuts and large lifestyle. The onus however is all on Arod. Boras also represented Bernie Williams. Bernie had no problem telling Boras to shut the fuck up when he wanted to stay with the Yankees. Arod is different – he is Mr. Sensitive, Boras’ Golden Goose. As such, he is kept on an obedient, short leash.

Arod’s departure allows the Yankees to take the 30-million per it would have cost them to keep him in Pinstripes and disburse it in a wiser, saner way – namely on bringing in some sorely-needed bullpen help and keeping their new, youthful core intact well into the 2010’s.

So long Alex. Thanks for that meaningless home run in Game 4 against the Indians.

Take your “baggage” and your pimp with you.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The End of an Era

The Joe Torre era came to an end for the New York Yankees yesterday. Torre’s tenure ends with a whimper – a poor post-season showing and first-round elimination for the third straight year. Despite that, the Yankees made a more-than-fair offer to Joe: 5 million for next year with added incentives for each milestone that the Yankees reach: a mil for the Division, another mil for the Division Series, another for the Championship Series, and a payoff for a World Series title – with an option for a second year.

In light of how things have gone since 2001, I can’t say as I blame the Yankees for making that offer. Torre parlayed the good will of four championships in the late-90s into becoming the highest-paid manager in baseball by a WIDE margin. What did the Yankees get for their buck? Not much bang. Six straight years of post-season disappointment following the bloop-and-error-aided 2001 WS loss. Joe didn’t think so, and so he moves on.

I appreciate what Joe did while he was here. Four World Championships are nothing to sneeze at. However, many knowledgeable Yankee fans – who watch this team day in and day out – will tell you that the four championships could have (and should have) easily been seven or eight.

So what happened? There is a theory that managers are only successful for a certain amount of years because once the familiarity sets in, managers become partial to “their guys”. They play favorites over doing the right thing (something Joe Torre was guilty of the last few years), and the complacency starts to set in.

Joe’s dugout naps and lack of a pulse were OK when the Yankees were winning. When they are getting screwed repeatedly by bad calls and being blinded by bugs, suddenly it’s not so cute. It’s an old saying, but it is true – sometimes you DO need to make changes just for the sake of making changes. Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy, Miller Huggins – all eventually parted ways with the Yankees because that’s the way it goes. Nothing lasts forever.

So long Joe…it was fun while it lasted and what you did while you were here is definitely appreciated…but it’s time for a change.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NY Libs Wild About Rudy

Courtesy Tammy Bruce comes this little gem: a piece in The Observer outlining the various ways the mere CONCEPT of Rudy Giuliani running for president is driving New York Libs crazy:

Rudy’s Doin’ It! Shocked Cacophony Among New York Democrats That The Rudy They Know May Actually Become Republican Candidate

“It’s totally unbelievable,” said Charles Rangel, the dean of the New York Congressional delegation and a longtime adversary of Mr. Giuliani. “I refuse to believe that this could possibly happen to our country. I have too much confidence in our country to believe that this could really happen.”

The article is chock full of classic New York Liberal narcissism in action from the likes of Rangel, Norman Siegel and Ed "You actually didn't do so good" Koch.

The reason why Rudy drove (and drives, apparently) charlatans like Siegel, Rangel and Koch bananas was because he came in after two administrations (Koch and the uber-charlatan Dinkins) that made it their day-to-day business to bend over backwards for every “special interest” and “activist” like pathetic puppets.

Giuliani came in and fumigated the stench from City Hall by not doing the popular things, but doing the correct things. He took people and situations on a case-by-case basis and (correctly, IMHO) wouldn’t give clowns like Sharpton and his ilk the time of day, letting them know in no uncertain terms that they would no longer be allowed to run slipshod over City Hall like they did the previous four years. Little things like actually enforcing laws started to make a difference immediately. This drove a whole sub-class of rabble-rousers insane because they were effectively de-fanged and made irrelevant. Meanwhile, the city turned around and it became a decent place to live in again. Autocrat Bloomberg is doing his best to reverse all that, unfortunately.

Yet, I have a lot of misgivings about Rudy as President. However - if he can take out the Clinton Machine, I might be able to live with them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Give Paws a Chance

Hey fellow Cat Peeps – in case you didn’t know, today is National Feral Cat Day. The whole purpose of this day is to clear up some of the misunderstandings about feral cats.

The most common misconception is that feral cats are “wild”. Feral cats are NOT “wild cats”. They are the same domestic species as the house cats that simultaneously sleep on - and destroy – your sofas at home. The only difference is that “feral” cats were never socialized, so they fear human contact.

Many communities have begun the humane population control of feral cats though the effective method of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The ineffective method of destroying unadoptable ferals is an unacceptable control method – especially when TNR is a viable alternative that better manages and reduces feral cat populations.

Take a couple of minutes and read all about the good work that the people at Alley Cat Allies do every day to spread the word about TNR. The little feral fuzzbutts in your area will be glad you did.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Stupid Get Stupider

Well, those screwball idiots at the Nobel Foundation (or whatever the hell they are) did it - they went and awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to Algore for permeating his junk science on the masses. No matter that tons of meteorologists and scientists have problems with his reporting of hackneyed theorum as fact. These Nobel folks are becoming as arbitrary in their choices as Time's Man of the Year: throw some crap at a wall, see what sticks.

What I want to know, is why the schmucks at Nobel never award their little trinkets to honor things that have actually made life worth living? Where are the Nobel prizes for...

Those foam caddies that keep your beers cold.
Air conditioning (thank you, God).
Electronic guitar tuners (we, the tone deaf, appreciate it).
Stereo hi-fi equipment (and all that has come since then).
Cable de-scramblers.
Ice cold Coca-Cola on a hot day.
The "Brazilian cut".
Chicken marsala.
Bit torrents.
Blizzards on a school day (I remember that).
Martini shakers.
White Castle Hamburgers.

I could go on and on...the list is endless, really...but instead, we honor the cream of the assclown crop. It's almost a metaphor for the futility of life, I tells ya.

All I'll say is this: if you are going to give Al Gore a Nobel Prize, you have to also consider giving one to Doctor Science and Professor Irwin Corey.

Better yet, let’s give them to every weatherman everywhere. I’m down with awarding trinkets to Lloyd Lindsay Young and Al Roker. I think Tex Antoine deserves a posthumous Nobel…don’t you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yes, WAS the WORST

Simply because I can't get enough schadenfreude these days, I present to you ANOTHER article - this one from Zac Wassinick over at Yahoo Sports - that points out YET AGAIN how the Mets collapse of 2007 was the worst in baseball history:

Many Mets fans are pointing to the Yankees of 2004 as the biggest choke-job in Major League Baseball history. That team, as is well known, took a 3-0 lead in the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox before losing four straight, the first team to ever lose a series after taking the first three games in the history of the Major Leagues. Nice try, Mets fans. It's time for fans to realize that the collapse of the 2007 is even worse than what the Yankees "accomplished" in 2004. Here are the reasons why that is true.

Read and learn. Look on the bright side - someone has to be worst.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another Early Exit

I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet: the Yankees made another hasty exit from the Playoffs last night. Wish I could say I wasn’t getting used to this, but unfortunately, I wasn’t shocked. I am only now beginning to understand how it must have felt to be an Atlanta Braves fan in the 1990s – good enough to get to the dance, but not good enough to leave with a trophy.

I know these guys killed themselves down the stretch (they needed to play .700 ball after the All-Star Break just to make the post-season), and I’m sure that factored into the ‘fold and mutilate’ they just executed, but this team was definitely better than the Indians and the excuses…well, they’re just not floating with me right now.

Joe Torre looked like a guy in a coma throughout the series and it will be interesting to see if Boss George makes good on his threat to go in a different direction next season. Regardless, it should be an interesting off-season.

Go Tribe.

Happy Birthday, JWL.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I Know Baseball Fans Like Stats, So...

...a little lesson in basic math from the guys over at Enough Lupica for our favorite Midget Met over at the Daily Snooze:

For years we've had to endure the same payroll bullshit from Mike The Douche Lupica.

The Yankee payroll is $200 million - every week, every month, every year, every article we have to hear about it. We get it. We did a little research about the Mets payroll - and guess what? Time to shove it up your ass, Mike.

In addition Mike, your politics suck, you're ugly and you dress like a dwarf.

Today's The Day

Some good advice from the legendary Ray Stevens.