Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Festivus!

Well, officially Festivus is tomorrow. Does everyone have their pole up and decorated or do you just have a holiday tree? I am really looking forward to the airing of grievances time of year.

The Mariners have been fairly busy this off-season in regards to pitching. They are not going to re-sign Franklin and have made some FA signings that should help us out next season. Again, just wishing for a .500 season at this point. If they trade away Jeremy Reed, I will be very disappointed. He has been talked about going to Boston. Reed has that Griffey pre-injury quality, where he could be an everyday Centerfielder for us. Plus, he can hit about .300 every year, just lacks the power.

Tomorrow we leave for Missoula. I am not sure how much sleep I will get, but I am really excited. We are suppose to have a rain/snow mix the entire trip. I hope that is not true, but that could be better than dealing with icy and snow packed roads. Our dog is staying with my sister-in-law. I will miss Basil, however, my parents are old and they do not have a fenced yard. He normally does travel with us to Missoula, but not this time, our social calendar is very full.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2005

U2

Wow, what a concert! I highly enjoyed myself. I am not a huge concert goer by any standard, but I really enjoy music. To see U2 live was pretty cool, since I have listened to them since the early 80’s.

Whether you are a fan or not, I would highly recommend that you go. They put on a stage show that is out of this world. Some may not go, because of how political U2, especially Bono, can be. It is to be expected from U2. Going to a U2 concert and have it not have some sort of political message would be like not finding ice on the North Pole.

I am a Led Zeppelin fan; however, the likelihood of seeing the original group live is fairly slim. So, I think of U2 as my zeppelin, I am very glad I was able to see them live.

Caroler etiquette and Shopping

What is the proper listening etiquette for carolers? It seems like the carolers are not the ones on stage. I appreciate the thought of coming to our house to sing, but standing in my doorway being sung too is surprising uncomfortable. It seems that the 5 minutes I am being sung to, is the longest 5 minutes in history.

We are 4 days away from leaving for MT, I am very excited. I was throwing the ball for my dog in the backyard, and my elbow was sore after 2 tosses. Apparently, my training program for the big game is not as good as once thought.

Got all of my Christmas shopping done early this past Saturday. Why wait so late? I did not charge one item for Christmas this year. Waiting for paychecks was my delay.

I hope to blog between now and when we leave. However, if the opportunity to do so does not present itself: Merry Christmas to my 3 readers. And Bill, I will see you Friday night!

Friday, December 16, 2005

ah....gas and other stuff

It has been awhile since I talked about the price difference with Diesel compared to gasoline. Diesel is only 20 cents more expensive from the highest octane in SLC. Back in October, the difference was around 75 cents and over a dollar from the lowest octane. This makes me feel better about our diesel purchase.

I hope to get all Christmas shopping done this weekend. I am on-call for my job, so that can always throw a wrench into my plans, but I am sure we can make it work. The U2 concert is this weekend. We had our tickets since March, so I hope it will be worth the wait. Besides these few items, I hope to cruise into my vacation that starts next Friday.

The Mariners signed Carl Everett to a one year deal. I am not a fan of building a team on the FA market, because it will never last. If you can start with youth, and attempt to keep them happy for a few years, you can make a good run at the top. Teams that do well in the FA market are only good for a year or two it seems. Think of all the FA's the Yankee's have acquired in the past few years, and have not won a World Series since 2000.

I hope to blog before my vacation. But, on the off chance I do not, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Voting and the famous greasy spoon

When I first heard of a restaurant called a “greasy spoon”, my initial reaction was “Why don’t they run them through the dishwasher again?” Oddly, I am not too far off on this one. I have come to my own criteria for a “greasy spoon” restaurant.

1. “We serve breakfast all day” is plastered across the top of all menu’s, and usually mentioned more than once
2. Their food is good. Not good as in “healthy” or good as in good, but good as in bad. So bad, when you have cleaned your plate, you can see yourself in the greasy mirror left behind and your cholesterol number appears in red on your white undershirt as you leave.
3. A breakfast "bar". A place for those travelers or loaners that need a place to sit without taking up an eight person booth
4. Open after the bars are closed. Fuck, breakfast is served all day.
5. Their “low fat” menu items have a calorie rating higher than the highest SAT scores in the country. But hey, it’s a low fat item on THAT menu.
6. Generally “tarnished” spoons. “Greasy spoon” rolls off the tongue a lot better than “tarnished spoon”.

Who does the “World famous” voting? Where the fuck is this white clothed booth located? I want an “I voted for world famous” sticker on my lapel someday. Someone is always advertising that they have “World Famous Fries” or “World famous (insert whatever you want)”. I think I am going to claim myself as the “World Famous Josh”. You disagree? Well, you should have fucking voted then.

What makes an item a “house specialty” on a menu? What makes Don’s Family Feedbag’s chicken fried steak, better than Pistol Pete’s Rooster Tail Bonaza’s chicken fried steak. I got a house specialty, Mac&Cheese, my Kraft box comes in a different color of blue and has red writing

What is “nog”? I am addicted to Egg Nog shakes and egg nog in general. Artic Circle should advertise “Now with real Nog!” Imagine the unnecessary questions and comments they would receive, but man it would be funny.

What is the “low fat” range on a menu? Why is the chicken cordon bleu “low fat” at Applebee’s, but not Chili’s? Are we talking 500 calories with 10 coming from fat? There needs to be a key card placed somewhere at restaurants.

Who says there is no such thing as a stupid question? I would like to start my own cliché. Even the phrase “that is so cliché” is a cliché. But yet, I can’t think of anyting great to start off with. Man, this job is harder than trying to wipe your ass with a fig leaf and a bungy cord.

I know this great little tarnished spoon around the corner, they have World Famous biscuits and gravy, and yes, they do have a low fat menu.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

First major storm

Sunday, all the news programs said that “On Tuesday, we will be lucky if we get any moisture in the valleys.” To mimic Chandler, they could not BE more wrong. We estimated just over 4 inches at our house, and traffic was a crawl on the drive home. Of course, last week when we were to brace for 4+ inches, we barely received a dusting. For my 3 readers out there, you are well aware of how much I dislike shoveling wet snow. This time, Lora and I split time, it worked out nicely.

Baseball’s off-season is cooking as usual. Players are getting paid more than what I feel they deserve. This seems to be par for the course. Mariners are guilty of this. Sexon and Beltre did come from the NL, so I am willing to give this past year a free pass. However, I expect greater things from them come this coming season.

Have I mentioned how excited I am to return to Missoula for Christmas and the big game? I am so out of shape, I hurt my left knee getting out of bed the other morning. Walking the dog, I am out of breath…this could be a long game.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Turbo Tax and Advent Calendar

Well, November sure went by fast. Lora cooked an amazing Thanksgiving meal. She did a brine to the Turkey on Wednesday…man…it was killer!

With December 1st, came my Turbo Tax and the traditional advent calendar. I recall as a kid getting excited to break open the day’s door on the calendar perched on my parents buffet. Now, I have resorted to adding a widget to my MAC dashboard…how lame is that!

For some odd reason, I love doing my own taxes. Love might be a bit strong, but I do enjoy doing them. I am sure I am not getting as much of a refund as I could be, but I feel we do pretty good doing this on my own. Plus, I am saving the $50/hour a CPA would charge me, or whatever that rate might.

We are going to Missoula for Christmas this year. I am excited. I will be attending the 17th Annual Whitaker Park football game on the 24th. I have missed the past two years, so returning to this event has me excited for our pending trip. This game has been played ever 24th of December since our freshman year in HS. This game has been going on for over half my life now! I was rather disappointed to miss the past two games, but that is what having multiple families to visit at Christmas causes. Lora and I seem to have developed a pretty good rotation.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Damn Bobcats

MSU was able to defeat UM 16-6 on Saturday. It was a horrible game for us UM grads. The Offense was still stuck in the heavy Bozeman traffic well into the second half. However, we were able to get an “at large” bid to the playoffs for D1-AA. We will be playing Cal Poly at home…again. I have a sneaky feeling that we will lose this game. Poly will have something to prove to the fans of Missoula.

I see the EPA is going to included A/C use and stop and go travel when they do MPG ratings in the future. I am not sure when these changes take affect, but I hope soon. It took many claims for those hybrid drivers out there to help with this change. I read one blog by a person stating that his Honda Civic hybrid was getting 31 MPG on the highway, but was advertised to get 47. I am not sure why this took so long, it says right on the sticker something to the affect of driving between 20 and 50 miles per hour to get that mileage rating. What I did not know, the EPA test you see on window stickers measurers the emissions the car produces and not the actual fuel used. Who drives 50 in a 65 or better yet, a 75 speed zone. I never put too much thought into this before, because it always seemed that our cars were “close” to the advertised rating. Our Jeep is getting around 21 MPG, with a good mix of City/Highway/4X4. When we drive to MT this December, this will be our first 100% highway trip in the vehicle w/o towing anything. However, we could be in 4X4, depending on road conditions.


Thanksgiving is this Thursday, but I don’t have to tell my 3 readers that. My wife and I are hosting our first turkey day. Lora is doing the cooking, so my job will be stress relief and to stay the hell outa the way.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Vegas and Christmas

I just returned from a weekend get-a-way to Vegas. The time away was nice, but I find Vegas very repetitive. Each hotel is a mini-city of sorts, some better than others. You do your fair share of walking around Vegas. My time could have been better spent than looking at Louis Vuitton clothes that I cannot afford. Las Vegas is a money pit. We kinda planned for this trip, but we seemed to overstep our budget on several occasions.

I have no plans on going back anytime within the next few years, but our traveling companions appear to enjoy Vegas; they go 3 or more times a year.

Fall has officially hit SLC, and it is November 14th. That is pretty good. It is rainy and cold today. It has been in the 50’s to upper 60’s and sunny.

Christmas ads are already covering our TV sets at night. They have actually been on for awhile. The day after Halloween, some stories already had Christmas stuff up. That is just wrong, it is barely mid-November. As kid, I was excited in July for Christmas, now as an adult, I kind dread this holiday.

I am in the middle of the pack in Fantasy Football. I had a lot of bye week issues, that I failed to address in a decent manner. Oh well, I am still having fun.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Expanding Mariner questions...

I finally took the Mariners up on emailing their "mailbag". Here was my question to them:

"Should the Mariners go after pitching in future upcoming drafts? Not just random throughout the draft, but like for the first 15 rounds straight. Pitching has won the last 2 WS for the Soxes, and countless times before that as well. King Felix is great, but we also need to find the next Oswalt and the next Garcia. I am curious if the M's have any plans to take a more aggressive pitcher draft strategy in 06 and possibly in 07."

It was nice to see the Sox win the World Series and break their own curse. Pitching has been a major cog in the championship wheel and mostly good, young talent at that. I really don't want the M's going after flash in the pan free agency pitching. Please see Carl Pavano for the primary example on this topic. Yes, he was injured, but did nothing before his injury. I am under the school of thought that free agency is NOT going to save the M's and get them to the World Series.

Lora and I just celebrated our 3rd anniversary this past Wednesday. We did exchange gifts of the non-traditional sort. I found on some tech sites that the 3rd anniversary should include Season 6 of The Simpsons, and some RAM for a computer. Lora got a watch out of the deal. We had an enjoyable time with the standard dinner and movie date.

Today and tomorrow are going to be raining here in the SLC valley. I guess I will have to clean out my office and do things around the house.

A quick update on fantasy football, I am currently in 4th place, well, tied for 3rd. I am a mediocre team that had huge success last weekend. I hope I am able to knock off the #1 team this upcoming weekend. I think that all of my 3 readers know that my history in fantasy sports has never been outstanding. Maybe next year I will order a chicken salad, on rye, untoasted ... and a cup of tea. Nothing has ever worked out for me with Tuna on toast.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Congrats Sox and Astros…NBA, just shut up!

I sure hope this turns out to be a great World Series. We have two of the best pitching teams going head-to-head. I give the edge to the White Sox, they have a bit better offense, but we shall soon see. I am still amazed at how the starting pitching for the Sox performed in their last series with the Angels.

The NBA players need to just shut up. I see that the 8 million dollar Marcus Camby is asking for a “clothing allowance” or something like that, to meet the new dress code. Whatever. The players are making a mountain out of this mole hill. Sorry, need to wear a collared shirt and not that Walt Frazier jersey on the sidelines. Personally, I am happy about this, help clean up the image of the NBA. I have not watched a complete NBA games since the last strike. So, no matter what, they won’t bring me back into the mix as a fan.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Diesel price....WTF?

Thank you Bill. Our trip was 135 miles one way going over 2 major hills and some smaller hills in the middle. Overall, a fairly rolling drive. We got 18 MPG going down, while my brother-in-law in his Xterra towing a 4400 pound Dutchman got 8. Now, the T@B is only 2K fully loaded, so we towed about half of what they were towing. Our mileage would have been worse if our weight was up.

The sad part, diesel in Fillmore Utah was $3.35 per gallon, to some degree, eliminating our diesel gas benefit, at least from a MPG standpoint. As a child and up until about 2 years ago, diesel was always cheaper then gas. Now, it is about 10-30 cents higher than the 91 Octane gas. I asked someone local about this, and they said "supply and demand, just not enough demand for diesel." I responded with a "bullshit" and brought up the facts listed above. Apparently, tax plays a larger roll in this "cheaper to produce" source of fuel that I want to think about.

I am not sure what our coming home MPG will be. We have 3/4 of a tank left of a 20 gallon tank. If that is truely the case, we drove 135 miles on 5 gallons of gas for 27 MPG...seems a bit high...but I hope it is true. I did seem easier.

Seachickens and the first camping trip

I had the unique opportunity to watch the Seachickens pound the hell out of the Texans last night on ESPN. The reason this is unique, SLC does not show Seachickens games, unless they were play Denver. Even San Fran games can’t beat out Denver.

We went camping for the first time in our new travel trailer this past weekend. I am sure that Lora will be updating our webpage for those of you interested in seeing our tiny trailer in action. Ours is a T@B clamshell, if you want to look on your own. Below is a small photo from the driveway.

It was over 70 degrees yesterday, hard to believe that October is here, and almost gone. It is actually nice, we have a lot of tulip bulbs to plant and some late fall yard work to be completed.




Basil in the trailer

Friday, September 30, 2005

Up on the roof…Vegas baby!

Tomorrow I will be taking the climb up to the roof to “winterize” our swamp cooler. I have been thinking about this all week, and I am NOT looking forward to it. The job should only take 20-30 minutes, if that. The hardest part will be getting over my fear.

Next weekend I will be attending iForum in Vegas. I have not been to Vegas since coming of age. The last time I was there, the Mob ran the show and “The Strip” didn’t exist. Of course, I was 5 or so. Maybe I saw a “hit” and didn’t realize it.

Not much else to report. This weekend will be our fall cleanup time as temperatures are supposes to be in the 80’s. Of course, Tuesday is going to be a high of 60, gotta love fall. Since I won’t be able to attend UM’s homecoming this weekend. I will have a beer and watch the game online.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

To Bill...

...If that is your real name. I will do my best to keep MPG information. However, not being the primary driver, that could be rather difficult, but I will train the drive the best that I can.

Nothing important in this blog...

Monday, September 26, 2005

1 week left and other updates of random goodness

Baseball’s regular season has one more week of life left before “October Madness” begins. The M’s do not have a shot in hell of making it. It is my hope, and the hope of other M’s fans around the world, that .500 is a reasonable goal for next season.

The wild card races this year are very good. It could very well come down to the last game in both the NL and AL. I hope that October will offer those of us with a passion for our summer pastime, some fall excitement.

Fall is coming to the Wasatch front. Our highs are no better than 70’s. I guess time climb up on the roof and cover up the swamp cooler. This is not fun for someone who has a fear of heights. Our home is an English style Tudor offering a nice steep pitched roof. If I don’t post for awhile, you know where to find me, somewhere next to my house on the ground.

My wife and I just purchased a new Jeep Liberty Diesel. Our main goal of this was to get better gas mileage, emissions, and have the capabilities to tow 5000 pounds. For those of you know us, we have so many needs to tow 5000 pounds. So far, 400 miles, we are pretty excited about this purchase.

On a personal note, I recently turned down a job that would have returned my family and me to Montana. I was the hardest decision that I have had to make, in recent history. This could be a close second to that choice to hit a 5 Wood into the water at Catigny in Chicago, damn you Dick Tracy, but I digress. My wife and I put a lot of thought and deliberation into our choice to stay in SLC. Perhaps in a few years, our decision process will not be as labor intensive.

Come on Seachickens! After tomorrow, I will be 2-1 in Fantasy Football. I am a mediocre team and will most likely not make the playoffs. Yes, I know it is early.

In terms of Fantasy Baseball, I am fighting to stay in second place. Much like the regular season in the real MLB, our fantasy league has been very competitive this year. I guess, next year, vengence will be mine.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bush to have an investigation…

This is an ugly trend this president has going for him. He had a 9/11 commission to investigate what happened there. Now, we have an investigation into why we were slow to get to the areas hit by the hurricane.

The 9/11 commission I can kind see, since it was a terrorist attack and that is something that you really can’t plan for. However, I think he does this sort of thing to avoid the finger being pointed at him. “W” is a professional spinner. He has the ability to turn the attention to CIA, or in this case FEMA.

I am not sure what the chain of command is for FEMA and how they report to the President. However, this makes me think of the X-Files movie. For those of you that have not seen that movie, FEMA is talked about as the most powerful government agency. I would think that “W”, if he was to use that gray matter, would have been to go to the director and say “Hurricanes a brewing, whacha doin’ bout it?” (As he leans on a podium with that shit eating grin on his face.).

Has anyone else read how funding to “upgrade” these levies was cut? Huh, can we say, unnecessary war? Thanks to the under funded “no child” act and the potentially over funded “Homeland security” mixed in with tax cuts, something had to give.

Felix is the man!

One shinning spot from this years M’s season is Felix Hernandez. This kid can pitch! He went 7 shutout innings against the A’s yesterday. The bullpen held true for the M’s to beat the A’s 2-0 in O-town. One thing the M’s have going for them, which I am not accustom to, is youth.

I project that in about 2 years, the M’s should be competing for the AL West title again. They need one year to get clicking. Plus, Tacoma, the AAA team, won the PCL Northern division. It is good see that our minor league teams are having success. I hope that proves well for the M’s in upcoming seasons.

I did not heed Bill’s advice to take Pat Beach on my Fantasy team. I will keep my 4 readers informed of my progress or lack of progress, in my fantasy football league.

Homeland security, must not include natural disasters

Okay, I know. Our government does not have the power to stop Mother Nature; however, they can aid those that suffer. We have an entire center in Miami that track hurricanes. I am sure that some of their money comes from Uncle Sam. So, this “center” tells America that New Orleans is right in the track of the hurricane, about 2 days before it actually hits. So what does FEMA do? Waits until after the hurricane hits, at least 3-5 days depending on where you may live, to aid those that need help. I believe our response to the Tsunami victims was faster.

Why is that whenever natural disasters occur, “W” needs Clinton and Dad to aid him? Clinton and Bush Sr. seemed to be on the same page for the Tsunami; however, in watching some interviews of them, I would say, this disaster might cause a divide between these two ex-leaders.

The West was price gouged, plain and simple. Apparently, Wyoming and parts of Canada were hit by a hurricane as well. Or at least that is the only reason why I can think the price of gas in SLC went up 35 cents. I know other parts of the west had to deal with rising prices. I think it is extremely unfair of gas companies to take advantage of us car/SUV loving Americans. Plus, there was a lot of coverage on the pipeline of gas to the east coast, however, since power has been restored, I have not seen any press coverage. I did see a mention on the CNN ticker on TV that Marathon will have power restored to their facilities by Labor Day…that was yesterday. Isn’t if funny how gas companies raise prices at the slightest notion of trouble, but once that has gone away, they are hesitant to lower them.

I joked in my Fantasy Football draft about the “San Antonio Saints.” Little did I know, that could become reality.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Welcome Andren and Fantasy sports update

I would like to first thank “Andren” for not posting anonymously and not posting a comment on how I can refinance my home. Welcome my fellow Mariner fan. Even though this blog has been avoiding the M’s.

Last night, the 31 year old rookie, Harris took control of the Mariners and was the leader in getting them past the evil empire. Tonight, we have a match up that could be a sign of things to come, Felix vs. Randy. I might have to tune into MLB radio and check this one out.

I have officially in second place in my Fantasy Baseball league. The evil commissioner of our league has overtaken me for the top spot. We have about 4 weeks of baseball to go and I am 250 points out of first.

Tomorrow is my Fantasy Football draft. This is always an interesting time; I generally suck at drafting a team, so I will be sure to update everyone as time goes on. I think I need to call in sick, way behind on research.

I really should have more to blog about since it has been almost a month since my last update. I am sure something else will come to mind.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Back in Missoula

My wife and I had a chance to go back to Missoula for the last weekend in July. Our excuse was a wedding; however, it was really nice to be home. Our weekend was packed full of on the go events. I really did not get to see my parents until Sunday, we arrived Thursday night.

Since I have moved to SLC, I have a new appreciation for Missoula and the “laid back” environment is offers. Not just Missoula, but Montana is general. Someday, it would be nice to return. Yes, we did bring back into Utah, illegally, some Kokanee beer.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Steroids hit the home team

Well, a Mariner has been suspended for drug use, Ryan Franklin. I don’t know a lot of details as of yet, but it is disappointing to have a member of your favorite team do this.

However, at least he did not go to Congress and deny steroid use to only get busted a few months later.

The Dells and other oddities

Well, I am back from sporadic vacation, with a few days of “work” thrown in. Let’s start at the beginning.

During the week of July 18th, I was in the Dells, Wisconsin. I should start on Saturday the 16th. We flew into Minneapolis to see my friends Ryan and Matt. Ryan I met at Edulog and Matt I have known since like the third grade. It was a nice visit that involved beer, bocce, and baby talk. Both Matt and Ryan have young ones, Matt’s is 5 months old and Ryan’s is almost 2 years. Both are very cute…the daughters are…I do find Matt or Ryan cute.

On Sunday we picked up my sister-in-law and her husband and drove 4+ hours to The Dells. We had to make a detour and hit the Leinenkugel brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI. Good beer!

The Dells were surprisingly fun. We went to the only Mega park, Mt Olympus and did the roller coaster Haites. We hit speeds of like 70 MPH, I think Lora kept her eyes closed through most of it, but I was proud of her for going. Mostly we just spent time with Lora’s father and Step mother and her family. We had a great time. We also saw Tony and Lisa, cousins of Lora that live in Clear Lake, WI. If you blink, you will miss the town.

This past weekend was spent back in the hometown of Missoula. Man, I miss this place. Everyone was so very friendly and the vibe of Missoula I have not yet found in SLC. We would love to move back, but housing in the Missoula Valley is somewhat crazy now. We have not lived in our SLC home long enough to gain enough equity to put towards something in Missoula. However, we will always keep our eyes open for opportunities. We spent our time with friends and family. Also enjoyed some great Bayern and Big Sky beirs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

In the Words of Elton John….

Saturday! Saturday! This weekend, my wife and I start a vacation to the dry, arid climate of the upper Midwest. Our travels will take us to Minneapolis then onto the Wisconsin Dells. Any of you that have been/heard of the Dells, are probably asking me “Do you have kids?” Nope. Followed by “Why the fuck would you want to go there?”

First, Minneapolis. I have two very good friends that live in this area. Our game plan on Saturday is a relaxing time drinking something besides 3.2 beer. Chances are some bocci will be played. Sunday is when we take our voyage south into the heart of the Cheese head state.

Water Parks litter the Dells like deflated balloons at a Grateful Dead concert. Sure, I enjoy a kid or two, but thousands of screaming tikes running around like decapitated chickens, I can live without. The main reason for our journey is a family reunion on my wife’s side. We have had the luck of finding a winery close by as well as the Beir Haus located in the historic downtown of the Dells.

I know that we will make the most of this trip; however, my “kid guard” is on watch…a.k.a size 11 shoe.

Overall, I am excited to see my friends of old. For those of us without kids, watching the potential hissy fits and temper tantrums that could take place, just might be the best form of birth control on the planet.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Lord of the Idiots

I got sucked into the reality show Extreme Home Makeover. I really do try to avoid reality TV, but every now and again the need to lose of brain cells overcomes me. Don’t get me wrong, what this show does is appears to be actually helpful to those that have been hit by tragedy. But I think they need to establish some rules on this show.

  1. Never appraise your new home. What was once a one level rat infested, termite eaten house, is now a 3 story mansion.
  2. There is no crying on TV. Much like baseball, there should be no crying on reality TV. Like I said above, they help out those that cannot help themselves, so emotions are running rampant. But, let’s take it down a notch.


Does anyone think the “Seinfeld curse” exists? George “lord of the idiots” Constanza appears now in an ad for Chrysler with ex-CEO Lee Iococca. I think there is a certain curse that comes with success. From now on, he will be known as George to almost everyone. And his sitcom attempts in the recent past have lacked the needed pizzazz to re-launch a new career and some new characters. Think of Theo Huxtable, Malcom-Jamal Warner, much easier to call him Theo. The curse of success.

Mid-summer classic

On Tuesday the All-Star game takes center stage in Detroit. I use to be a huge fan of this event. But what is this event…an exhibition or a real game? It was suppose to be a fun game to kind of sit back and relax and enjoy the large amount of baseball talent being spewed onto the field. However, now the winner of this game acquires home field advantage for the World Series. Is that right? Sure, it makes the game more interesting as a fan to watch because of the added pressure for the October classic. However, this is supposed to be an exhibition. Major League Baseball needs to make up its mind on what this game means.

It is going to reach 103 on Wednesday this week. I have a feeling our swamp cooler will be working overtime to keep our living area…well…livable. It is a dry heat. I have spent some time in the summer months of FL, MD, ILL, and TX. I will take the dry heat.

The M’s are going into the summer break on a 4 game sweep of the California Angels of Los Angeles and Orange County. For M fans everywhere, that is a huge accomplishment. I said I would not write too much more about win streaks, but this one should be mentioned. It appears very hard for the M’s to put together a series of wins, especially a 4 game sweep. Let’s hope this carries over into the second half.

At the break, I am in first place in my Fantasy Baseball league. About 130 points ahead of second.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

G8

I am not talking about the Intel generation of Apple to be released in the future, but the summit taking place in Scotland this week. I recently read why the U.S. is not into the Kyoto treaty. Since developing countries don’t have to be held to this standard, why should developed countries like us? Of course, GW would have to admit that Global warming is happening.

As we all know, global warming is some “liberals” idea. Damn the liberals for showing us the melting Glaciers in Glacier Park. For some reason, “Going to the Sun Park” does not have the same ring to it. Damn those infidel liberals for showing how the polar ice caps are melting. Damn you liberals for the odd global weathers patterns that are developing and the constant warming of our planet. Stupid Liberals.

On a separate note, the non-catholic country of Spain legalized gay marriage over the July 4th weekend. I wonder when our religious right leader will start to embrace diversity and not try to put Amendments in our Constitution to ban them. I have not heard much from this argument for some time. It appears to have dropped from the main spotlight, much like lesbian mud wrestling and the Downing Street memo.

HOT! and random

I have not of any huge importance to talk about in this blog. So here goes random paragraph after random paragraph.

It is getting hot in the SLC area. Not quit to the 100 degree level, but upper 90’s. Last summer we were lucky to never reach 100. However, yesterday on my desktop weather, it did say 100, the official was 96. I really need A/C in my car.

The M’s have hit another skid. We are, again, in the cellar. I am hoping by blogging about them, they can turn things around. The last time I blogged to praise them on a win streak, they lost their next 4. I am hoping this paragraph reverses the trend.

I am clinging to first place in my Fantasy baseball league. However, my time at the top will be limited to this week. I have a feeling that I will be in second upon the arrival of the all star break next week.

Did anyone else see the TLC special on cleavage last night? I think it was on TLC, I forget which channel it was on since I was distracted.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fireworks

July 4th has come and gone. To celebrate this holiday, my wife and I, and a few guests, blew a small part of our driveway to show our appreciation of our freedom. I am not sure how the neighbors liked it but it was short lived. Hell, what is one day a year to place totally destruction and scarring upon ones cement driveway. We also went to Kelly Clarkson concert on July 2nd at a local stadium. I know I will catch a lot of flack from my 2 readers on this one.

I see that GW was again giving reference to 9/11 in a speech he delivered last week. Do I need to review the facts? He might be using this towards a defense on why the 10K or so troops are in Afghanistan. However, I think he still tries to use this “link” to justify the 130K troops in Iraq. We will never truly know. The 5 years that GW has been in power, will take 10 years, if not more, to repair the worldly damage that has been done.

Sandra Day and Rehnquist have me a bit concerned. I hope that GW looks at the best interests of our country and its future. Looking at his track records, his best and his parties best interested will be maintained. We need to change our mentality in the White House, what may be good for the goose, is not always good for the gander.

Monday, June 20, 2005

the Downing Street memo update

Update....absolutely nothing!

Not that I watch every mainstream press show (does The Daily Show count?). But no one covered this memo. I included the link in the title of this blog in case anyone is interested.

On a slightly different note, 60% of America thinks that we should get the hell out of Iraq. Not sure if the poll had "hell" in it, but that would have added more emphasis. I am glad to see that the American public is starting to speak out now. Sounds like Bush disagrees with this philosophy, however, the masses are speaking up. I understand you cannot announce an exit strategy for the sake of giving the insurgents more power. So I guess, you could argue that they have a plan and it is being kept secret. I disagree with this; otherwise, they would be doing more things that would give us a sign. Like, announcing that more and more Iraq troops are getting trained. The White House needs a lot of positive publicity on this war, and they are doing little to acquire that needed boost.

No, I did not win the dove from the MJ trial on Ebay. But I am leading on a couple “Smooth Criminal” shirts.

Swept the Mets

It was only the second time this year the M’s swept a series. In doing so, they compiled 17 hits to beat the once mighty Pedro. Pedro Martinez, going into yesterday’s game, was 13-0 with some ungodly low ERA against the M’s. Well, the future hall of famer lasted 2.2 innings and gave up 6 ER’s. Wooohoo! The M’s tried to blow it in the 6th, but managed to extend their lead in the bottom of the 6th. The M’s are now only 5 games from reaching that .500 mark, and have pulled to within 7.5 games of first place. Now, if we can sweep the last place A’s.

Fantasy Baseball update. I have fallen out of first place. Actually, that fall took place almost 2 weeks ago, just haven’t said anything. This was due to a string of bad luck with my pitching staff. Hopefully, things can turn around this week and I can reclaim first before the All-Star break in early July.

Friday, June 17, 2005

MJ…Guilty or Star justice

Well, the long wait is over. MJ is found not guilty. WTF happened here? From what I heard about this case, he should be found guilty. All the evidence, all the witnesses and the fact this is not the first family to charge the musician with child molestation.

Not that I want to get all wrapped up in this worthless trial, but I would have liked to be a fly on the wall in the jury room. When the verdict was read, I was not surprised one bit. I think it was going to be a given that he would be found not-guilty. I was rather disappointed. Here is a “man” (and I use that term loosely) that is in some desperate need of some help. Many may say the same about me. I think Dave Letterman has it correct in calling him a “freak”.

Anyway, the rest of the MJ fans around the world can finally get on with their lives. Now, I need to go bid on Ebay for one of those doves.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

More on the Random and not on the Mariners

I really have taken to the “random” part of my blog more than the “Mariner” part. Perhaps since the Mariners have not given me much to write about until recently.

They have won 7 of their last 10 games, this is great news. The month of May was not a good month for the northwest squad. We have since pulled ahead of the A’s in the AL West. They are still 7 games back from being a competitive force in their division, and this year, they will need to win this division if they want to play in October.

This also marks the 10 year anniversary that baseball was saved in the northwest. The Mariners came from a 0-2 game deficit to beat the Yankees in a best of 5 series. In ’95, they also made a large comeback in the month of September to win the AL West. It would be fitting to have deja-vu all over again.

The next series of games is against some forces from the NL East. If we can come away with a better than .500 record on this road trip, I will ecstatic.

Apple to shift gears

For some of you, the news that Apple will be moving off of the PowerPC IBM/Motorola chip to Intel mean very little. However, for those of us that like variety, I see this as a blow to those die-hard Applephites.

What will happen to Apple’s strong hold on the graphics and designer community? Will this help Intel stream line their chips to be more like RISC technology? We will not know these answers until after 2006. I personally like Intel, but it would be nice to see the instruction set lowered slightly.

Most major software manufactures for Apple also have PC formats for their products. I would imagine the porting over from the PowerPC to Intel should not bad a horrible experience. I see this is being extremely beneficial to Apple taking a larger part of the PC market share. I use a MAC at work to manage our Windows/Citrix environment. I like the MAC, mostly do to its unlikely virus attack vulnerability.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

W. Mark Felt

I am not sure how I feel about Deep Throat revealing himself. Personally, when I heard the news, I was “oh wow,” and went on with my life. I recently had an email with a friend who I will call deep throat to keep his anonymity. He mentioned that Deep Throat is “a hero” by the press. In his email, he also mentioned Linda Tripp as been “demonized” for her actions during Clinton’s administration. Personally I don’t see either one of these as being true. I have seen articles showing the opposite as being true for these two players.

If anything, Woodward and Bernstein were the “heroes” for exposing the corruption of the Nixon campaign. As well, Kenneth Star was seen as the “demon” of the Clinton scandal. But, those heroes and demons are just my own opinion. My email source, deep throat, mentioned that Clinton perjured himself about this “sexual relations”. Perhaps he did, but I don’t think this means you can compare the scandals. Clinton was impeached for his “sexual relations” while Nixon was impeached for breaking into DNC headquarters. These seem like apples and oranges. This also brings up the question: When it comes to politicians, what is perjury?

I bring in GW as my current evidence of this. No WMD, no links to terrorist. Yet, we are still in Iraq attempting to bring peace, order, and democracy to an area of the world that really does not want us or our ideas. So, GW tells the American public that there are WMD and links to terrorist. However, over the past few years, both of these have been proven wrong. This, my friends, is perjury to me. What better court than the American public. But what do we do to reward this lying…GW wins re-election. WTF went wrong here?

I do respect my friend’s opinions and did make a short attempt to see his side. If I stretch a bit, I can see where he is coming from.

I am afraid now that the movie “All the Presidents Men” will not hold as much value with me…or at least I don’t think it will

Friday, May 20, 2005

End of an Era? MY ASS!

I am not sure about most of my 2 viewers; however, I am sick of the Star Wars publicity. I feel, this movie has lost its entire mystic and charm in these “prequels”. First of all, Anakin becomes Darth Vader. I hate to spoil it for you.

First, let me tell you what I like about Star Wars. The visual and sound effects are great! I highly enjoy the story, and this is a series not just for geeks. However, that is based on the originals! Those tapes no longer exist.

The originals have been changed, twice. First, back in 97 or whenever when they gave Jabba the Hut the Guinness book of world record for being the first walking turd. I am aware that Jabba the Hut was suppose to be a person, and that was changed for ROTJ. Keep in mind that deleted scene from 1977 that was to first introduce Jabba was not mentioned until the “remake” of ‘97. Here are some other unnecessary CGI effects:

1. What were walls in the cloud city now show scenic panoramic views.

2. Some random filler scenes of crowds and alien beings

3. The dramatic explosions of the Death Star

4. A whole host of others that I cannot think of at this time

The second change is now the DVD. The ones I have heard of are, changing Anakin’s image to the “current” Anakin, and Han shooting Greedo in defense.

I do enjoy a good CGI, surround sound mayhem riddled movie. I will rent movies for the sheer joy of hearing them in my surround sound “theatre”. However, this “story” was based on more than just CGI. Giving us that great good vs. evil story line as well as introducing some twisted family dynamics. Star Trek has been more “geek” oriented than Star Wars ever was. With the major focus on computer affects, geeks are starting to rule the theatre seats, while those “old school” fans are searching for those lost original elements.

I am aware that in the mid 90’s, they put out some VHS tapes with “enhanced sound”. I don’t have a problem with this. The story and original screen showing are not being interrupted. But when you start to edit the original movie, redo the image on Anakin in ROTJ to fit the prequels, something is wrong.

In protest, I will not be purchasing the DVD of the original movies. I would love to hear those battles on surround sound; however, purchasing them would mean I have caved into my own “dark side”.

I did see, Episode I in the theatres. But sitting there, I realized a few things:

1. WTF is a character like Jar-Jar doing in this film
2. This is not what I like about Star Wars

Oh, and Han did shoot first! If you care, this link will tell you all other things Han shot.

Now…back to watching “Titanic”. One of these times, that ship will miss the iceberg.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Memo Leakage: Is that like Anal Leakage?

Apparently some memo, the Downing Street memo, has been leaked to the public. This British memo gives the impression that GW and his pals in DC had some semblance of a plan in July of 02 to move forward with military action against Saddam. And, in press conference after press conference before and during the war, inform the public that there was no pre-conceived plan. Oh wait, we declared victory in May of 2003, so I guess we are in a post-war state.

I am tired of being “anti-American” for speaking out against this unjust war. Let’s look at the evidence that was being “fixed around the policy”.

WMD: There are none.

Links to the 9/11: There are none.

Whew, that took too long. I am not saying that Saddam was a great leader, but don’t forget, WE put him in power. He abused the living hell out of it, and should have been taken out. But to have 130K of our troops, experiencing daily casualties, and not really making a lot of headway (please, don’t start on the successful elections), is wrong. To say that we have a coalition of forces, doesn’t really count. Yes, thank you Sudan for your 200 troops, thank you. Italy and Poland are pulling out of this war, and I am sure that the longer this goes on; other countries will do the same.

Main stream media has been all over this memo. You have not seen the Peter Jennings report on this? Huh, go figure. I have seen a lot of coverage on the next Star Wars movie, thank god for that unnecessary publicity.

This document states that Iraq’s nuclear program was less than that of Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Has anyone looked at a map to see how close North Korea is to U.S. land?

Thankfully, our Secretary of State has her facts correct. "This war came to us, not the other way around." That was stated on May 15th, during her visit to Iraq.

This article may look like I am sitting on the sidelines, waiting for GW to emerge from the oval office and say that this war was all planned in 2002. I will be waiting for a long time…something about ice water in Hell.

How does it feel to be lied to? With the factual evidence that is out there about this war, isn't lying unbecoming of a religious person? Would that be a fair statement to make?
He is not even lying for the greater good of the U.S.! For someone that is in-touch with his "faith"...why does he continue lying to everyone? Well, I guess you can't even trust religious politicians.

A brief opinion on the base closers. I am in no way happy that jobs are being lost. However, how else are we going to pay for our rising cost of war and our debt? This is only the beginning. Other programs will be cut back as well, military and non-military. Plus we are about 6 or so months away from a final decision on those base closures. Did anyone else see how many reservist camps are being closed? Not to draw too many conclusions, but this is setting up nicely for a draft.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Shorts

It was 78 degrees on Sunday, so I had to break out the white legs and the shorts. We had a wildly eventful day of yard work and visit with the in-laws. Overall, it turned out to be a good weekend. We have one more weekend at home before the big journey to Sacramento for my nephews wedding.

After a horrendous road trip to Boston and NY, the Marines take 2 out of 3 from the Sox back at "The Safe". Being in third, and a position ahead of the A's, is great. However, we are a long ways from the top of the AL West. If we can sweep the Yanks, we should be back in the hunt. Yes, I am well aware it is not even Memorial Day yet. To me, every baseball game is important.

On a sad note, our dog’s mother was killed over the weekend. From the sounds of it, she was trapped under a horse trailer and that trailer drove off. Even though I only met the dog once, it did bring a tear to my eye. She was a sweet dog, and we are very happy that Basil was a product of her litter. We grow much attached to our pets, it is always sad to see someone lose one.

Work is going okay. Things have kind of calmed down in terms of the gossip and monetary talk that was being thrown around.

It looks like, in July, I will be inheriting my fathers 89 SHO. I am excited; this car has been great for my dad. Plus, it has A/C, which my current form is transportation is lacking. I will be losing some in the MPG department. However, I do plan on keeping the Escort for those days that do not require the A/C.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Runaway bride and TMI

This runaway bride story, to me, is worthless. I don't give a rat’s ass that this freak took a bus from Georgia to New Mexico to avoid a wedding. And on top of it, the apology is delivered by her pastor. WTF is that? Take off the 1974 Afghan and talk to the people and look the camera in the eye. Just don't look so wide eyed when you do it. Yes, I took psych in college and I am well aware of some mental disorder that does that to your eyes. I personally think her apology holds no water.

Co-workers. I work with 3 women, and all they do is talk about their private lives and the lives of others. One is the worst. I have heard at least 15 times how the price of her house was dropped 10K. (That is a long story and really not something I care to pass along). Does anyone else out there work with people that breach the TMI line everyday? It is so bad, I know about her son’s financial problems, the amount of ungodly money she is giving her daughter for her wedding, her dad’s health, and other personal matters. I have grown to love my MP3 collection to avoid listening to any more of this talk.

<>
I believe that monetary issues need to be kept to ones self. That new home owner co-worker has moved onto credit card balance talk. What people want to our how they spend money should be left up to them. People will find odd justifications to go thousands of dollars into debt.
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Well, that is what I have been stewing about for a week. It feels so good to blog on days like these.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Breaking News...

I saw an article on Netscape that indicated that the search for WMD in Iraq is officially over. Guess what, they did not find jack shit! Man, for some reason, I feel that about 50% of America could have told the world that. I hope this convinces that other 50% that there are no WMD. Remember when Bush was re-elected; people were still under this school of thought.

The Mariners are in a different place now, then they were last year at this time, second to last in the AL West. Woohoo, improvement! I hope this streak of improvement can last for another 140 games or so.

Unlike "Greg's" prediction, I am still in first place in my fantasy baseball season; however, my lead has shrunk to 45 points. The NFL draft took place over the weekend. I was completely wrong about Alex Smith. Apparently he went first, and here I was thinking he was a round 3 or 4 pick. Geez, now I see why I have a desk job. The NBA playoffs are talking place...who the fuck cares.

Anywho, that is about all from here. I will attempt to find more things to blog about, I always forget how much fun this can be.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Parents weekend

Well, this past weekend my parents and my brother Bob made the trek south from Missoula. It was a nice weekend, 70+ the entire time. We mostly hung out, but I was able to put my 70 year old parents to work in our .5 acre yard. I am such a slave driver.

Parental visits are kind of funny. I loved the visit and missed them when they left. However, I must admit, the 2.something days they spent with us was about the max for me. This weekend, I realized that I suck at entertaining my folks. It is very hard to constantly keep conversations moving, my wife did most of that. On a brighter note, we bottled our IPA and have 48 Kokanee's waiting consumption.

The Mariners are off to a .500 start...WOOHOO! This is all I asked for when the season started and my goal has been achieved. I guess I should wait until they play the other 150 games before I cross that off my "to-do" list.

Our fruit trees are in bloom at this time. The Cherries look the best followed closely by the plum trees. It is nice how the different types of fruit bloom at different intervals. We are supposed to cool down a bit and then warm up to 70 again for the weekend. For those weather watchers at home, our normal is 61 this time of year.

I understand the Pope is kind of an important person in the Catholic life; however, I don't need to see news coverage on the furnace. For fuck sake, tell us something that I actually give a rat’s ass about. Not to spoil the outcome, but I think the furnace will get real hot and then burn some stuff and some smoke will come out. Now that we have that mystery solved, lets hear about Britney Spear's and how she is preparing for her new baby.

After 2 weeks of Baseball, I am still in first place in my Fantasy baseball league. However, I am not sure how long this dream will last. However, for future debates, I am tracking how many days I am in the lead.

That is about it from here. My job keeps moving along, I will post a blog about that a bit later on...when I am not at work.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Opening Day...and other odds and ends

For the Mariners, today is the day. In about 6 hours, the first pitch at Safeco will be thrown. I hope to have my MLB radio tuned in, at least, for the first hour or so.

After 1 day of MLB action, I am in second place in my fantasy baseball league. As much as I HATE the evil empire, you do need some of them on your team in order to win. I have Matsui from the Yanks on my team, as well as Rivera.

My wife and I watched "Super Size Me" this weekend. I have never felt like hurling more in my entire in life, but it was a well done documentary. I know this movie is a year or two old, however, I have not seen a lot of movies lately. We recently signed up for NetFlix, so I should be catching up in no time.

We brewed an IPA over the weekend. I am not a huge fan of bitter beers, but this kit was a gift. Once this has been brewed, I think we will brew some summer oriented brews, light in body and color.

After 1 year of home ownership, I can finally park my car in the garage. We have a two car garage and my wife has had this luxury for some time. However, now with our yard work in full swing, the “yard supplies" that were in my spot, have been put to use. I had no idea how good it felt to park in the garage. I felt like I have achieved a new place in life.


Well, that is about all for now.
J

Friday, April 01, 2005

Spring forward.....my ass!

Ah yes, that time of year where we turn our clocks ahead one hour to gain that extra hour of sunshine. Many people are divided on this issue, except those in AZ, HI and parts of IN. Many of my loyal readers have been quoted as saying "I hate that shit" or "Fuck, already?"

I will admit, I do not like the hour of sleep loss; however, the extra light is a nice touch. I really have nothing else to say on this issue. Just found the swearing that is becoming associated with this spring tradition, somewhat funny.

Opening Week

Well, at least for the Mariners, it is being called "Opening Week." I see that Moyer will be given the ball on Monday to help lead us back to a .500 team. Our defense has really improved from last season, at least on paper. I hope the same can be said for the offense. Again, my major concern is pitching.

Our Fantasy league also starts next week. After last weeks draft, I am mildly optimistic about the upcoming season. I had a similar feeling last year; I was able to crawl into third position. I hope to be again in the top 3, time will tell.

The weather in Salt Lake is supposed to be excellent this weekend. That should allow us to get our yard work duties complete as well as the first mow of the season. I don't really hate to mow, however, I would not mind giving some kid $15 to go spend on Crack or Meth to mow the yard. I am sure that all 3 readers of my blog recall mowing the neighbor’s yards for a few bucks, probably not for meth, but for candy or baseball cards. I went as far as making flyers and passing them around my neighborhood. Only had a handful of takers, but my card collection grew nicely.

Today, our guest bed is being delivered. Up until now, we have punished our visitors with a futon. Yes, that college apartment standby. We wanted to get a semi-comfortable bed. One that is comfortable for guest, but not overly comfortable to avoid in-laws at the house for months on end.

Basil is up to about 90 pounds now. It is amazing to me how fast he has grown. I guess, in the dog world, he about 16 years old in human terms. I recently learned that the 7 year deal is not all that accurate. I will post a picture for those that are or are not interested. It should also give new readers an idea of what a Spinone Italiano look like.

Signing off
J




Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In regards to "Bill"

If that is your real name. Excellent point about fear. I would also say that the current administration is successful due to the large amount of fear they portray us living in. I am sure they view it as a "realistic" view, however, won't this become the President that called wolf?

First of all, what is the government doing putting their nose into this family business. A late night session? Seriously... WTF?

Some fear can be good, and keep us alert. However, living in fear is a completely different argument.

Monday, March 21, 2005

What is life?

The Schiavo case has received a lot of attention. So much attention, our president rushed home from his ranch in Texas. When is he not at the ranch, really! But I digress. I cannot speak on behalf of her or her husband. But what this family is going through is about as far from the definition of life that I have.

If I was in that state, I would not want my wife to have to come to the hospital or wherever I am, to see her husband. Especially for 15 years! That is not a definition of a marriage in my opinion. I would think that both of us would be in a better place if the decision to "pull the plug" was made. Life is full of adventure, experiences and time spent with loved ones and friends. What is the point if one of the loved ones does not know up from down? I am told she smiles, but do we truly know what she is smiling about?

What is life? The supports of the decision need to ask themselves this question. I would like that if everyone could take 1 day and put themselves inside that body, I would think they too would vote for a safe and peaceful decision.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I am taking today and tomorrow off

How many of you have said that about the first 2 days of March Madness? I say it every year, usually on the Wednesday before the madness. Next year, I think I am going to try to stick to that pledge; SLC is hosting rounds 1 and 2. I hope to get tickets; I have never attended March Madness. I would love first hand knowledge of these games. I am going to lunch with some co-workers today, I am not sure I will be returning to work.

On a different note, I was listening to the Dan Patrick show on Monday. He had a caller, "John", a self proclaimed black Division 1 ex-basketball player for a school in Arkansas. Would that be the University of Arkansas...but I digress. He was making a point, a weak one of that, how America is out to head hunt the black athlete. He was attempting to say that the reason people want an asterisks next to Bonds in the record book is because he is black. Not because he is under investigation for steroid use. Give me a break! I am amazed at home people can take any issue that involves people of a race other than white, and say it is a race issue. In some cases, I am sure it is justified, but in this case I would say it is not. For the record, Bonds is not the only player in MLB to be under investigation. I will say Bonds is getting the most attention, in large part, he is about to break the biggest baseball record. Not because he is black.

Monday, February 28, 2005

31

Today is it; I turn 31, officially at 10:25 PM or something like that. I will have to admit, 30 was a bit hard. I did not think it was going to be, but I was down for a bit after last year’s big day. This year, I don't feel that way at all. This feels like another day for me. My wife and I had a great weekend, we now have surround sound. I have been missing surround sound since we moved from Missoula 20 months ago.

As I turn 31, my dog Basil turns 1. Well, he is a leap year puppy, so I am not sure how the math works on these sorts of situations. I am not one of those odd owners that will have a party at the house, with some Pedigree cake and all the neighborhood dogs over. The visual image of a cake made from Pedigree...yuck! I will post an updated photo of our dog in the near future.

Another, rather large, accomplishment coming up, I will have worked at the U for 1 year as of March 8th. This is big only because I have not lasted a year at a job since I left APS in August of 2002. Very interesting how fast the last year of my life has been.

Well, that about wraps up my gloating session for today. I cannot believe the weather that SLC is having, 50 degrees! Looks like Missoula is suppose to be warmer than us! And they say global warming is a myth...huh.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In Full Swing

Pitchers and catchers reported last week, position players are reporting as I type. I am looking forward to this Mariners season. The M's have historically done very poor in the FA market. I hope with Beltre and Sexson that our luck has changed. These two players have youth on their side, which also has been uncommon in recent years for the M's.

Our bullpen pitching staff is now rich in lefties. We have always lacked a strong lefty setup man, so I hope that we can deliver here. Again, we have youth on our side for a majority of our bullpen pitchers. I am not a huge fan of Jeff Nelson, but I hope he has some success years still in him.

How will we finish? Well, I am going to give my pre-season prediction that the M's will finish just over .500 and probably in third place in the AL West. Putting the 99 loses from last year behind us and building to prosperous years ahead. We are at a transitioning point for the M's. All signs are looking up as we build for a run of AL West domination.

Friday, February 18, 2005

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

Ah, Napoleon Dynamite. This movie is one of those that you either hate or love. I am on the love side of the Napoleon spectrum. For those of you that have not seen this movie yet, not sure how to describe it. It has some intellectual writing along with some comedic lines and physical humor. Monty Python meets "Dumb and Dumber" in Preston, Idaho. I personally laughed from start to finish. Unless you have zero sense of humor, I would recommend this movie.

Quietly, "Yesssss".

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Opening day for Fantasy Baseball

Feb 17th marks the day that fantasy baseball begins! Well, sign-up at least. Our commissioner is dragging his feet and waiting until after work to setup the league, the nerve! Oh well, I guess I can wait 12 hours before I can join the league. Now, time to do some research and get ready for draft day!

I would like to elaborate on my NHL post from yesterday. I am somewhat saddened to see a league have to shut down for the entire season. I have a few friends that follow hockey religiously. I know that they are down today about the shutdown. I would feel the same if MLB was to call it quits for an entire season. I am not sure where to point blame here, from the sounds of it; I am leaning towards the league. The only basis I have for this blame, the cap of 49 million was too much even though only 8 teams out of 30 were even close to that last year. However a cap of 45 million, the middle ground between players and owners, is not an unreasonable amount.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

What is the deal...with politics

Okay, I felt I went a bit overboard in my "morality" tussle a few blogs back. However, how can anyone just sit back and not voice their opinions about the direction this administration is taking the American people.

Last time I checked Iraq had WMD, Iran did not. Oh wait, did I reverse those? And really, just how successful were these elections in Iraq. If you are an Iraqi, great (your first free election in how many years?)..For America, not so great. Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base -- and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. So let’s think about this. We go back in time, and bomb Tehran, would that have made Baghdad happy? Now, with these "ties" anything we do to Iran will put our America on even more unfavorable ground with the world. I guess this outcome was always part of the plan. Well, that is not true; you have to have a plan first if you want to compare outcomes. The puppets master is going to have work overtime if Condi Rice is going to patch things up in the Middle East.

Social Security. If there is anyone that can mess this up, it will be GW. It is my opinion that his SS talk is meant to divert attention from his failure on the foreign front and focus attention to his failure on the domestic front. I am constantly belittling this man, but it is going to take someone with a lot of energy and thought to change my opinions about our current President. I do not feel we have the right man for the job. Granite, I don't fully understand how government money works, but I have seen articles where GW is borrowing money from the SS trust fund. Is he helping his own cause by hurting SS even more?

"Compassionate conservative". I am getting tired of this term. There is nothing neither compassionate nor conservative about GW and his administration. As I have spoken about before, the NCLB act, killing SS for my generation and generations to come, spends outrageous amounts of money on defense, Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of being a "tax and spend" democrat, he is a "cut taxes and spend more" republican. I wonder what God would do if he was president?

mmm...beer

My wife and I started brewing our own beer last summer. I must say, that we have produced some of the best beer I have ever tasted. I am sure that I am biased here, but I would like to think others would agree.

So far, we have brewed a delightful Cream Ale. Our second batch included a fall Apricot Ale, and Canadian Ale, eh. We just complete our first lager, a Meiboch. Next on our list is an IPA. It is very nice having fresh beer in our house, screw this born on date stuff.

Am I a beer snob, well, of course. Growing up in Missoula (home to Moose Drool) you have access to some of the best beer available in the Northwest. The Rhino with its 50 beers on tap, how cool is that for a town of 50K in population. Wait a minute, 1 tap beer per 1K people...wouldn't that be great! Think about it, Belt, Montana has a microbrewery. Belt has about 1500 people in it and makes one heck of a pig's ass porter.

Microbreweries are still very trendy and sometimes are not focused on the beer as they are on capitalizing on the money hound that it can be. I have not found many of these, all of the ones I have visited have some really great beer. That list would also include those in Utah, believe it or not.

Maybe for our next alcohol project, we will start growing some blue Agave, and follow in the steps of Sammy Hagar. Oh wait, we don't live in Mexico.

The NHL...who cares?

I do not live in a hockey rich town, and really, anything south of Canada is not hockey rich. Okay, Michigan, North Dakota and Minnesota, I hear ya yelling. You three are the exception to hockey in America is dead.

I really enjoy playing this sport, no matter how bad I am. I believe I have 6 goals in 6 years...where is my award for consistency? I do like watching NHL playoffs, they tend to be very exciting. However, I can honestly say, that I won't miss them. Many American's do not understand the sport and really have little interest in the play as they do in the potential for a fight every night. Thanks to the NBA and high school basketball for filling that void nicely.

I am glad they did not make some feeble attempt to come back this year. It would have been a very short season, and no guarantee of money or success. I am even glad they did not allow scabs to play. That might have hurt them more then helped them.

Tune in next October to see what the NHL has in store for us. For now, Fantasy baseball sign up begins tomorrow...Play ball!

Monday, February 14, 2005

In regards to "Salami"

Well, I am assuming you are referring to the meat, and not the form of banker embezzlement.

I am a fan of most Italian meats, Salami, happens to be my favorite. I enjoy a good piece of Salami faceted to a hoagie roll with Dijon mustard. Perhaps with some American cheese, just for a more non-EU worldly taste. The Salami has to be of a fresher kind, not the stuff that Subway and Jared pass off for Salami; that is more like salamystery.

Salami is seen more like a delicate meat, one that when added with sliced cheese, can make even the most anti-saltine eater come around. Salami on Ritz, I think not. Lower a meat like this to an Akins cracker horror story, does not do the meat justice. I can only compare that to Gorgonzola on a spread of Lamb's hair.

Salami on "gourmet" crackers, what a delight! The selection of crackers here is crucial. You never want to go on a pick-nick with salami in one hand, and a dry-rye cracker that could be used to cut mortar in the other.

Thank you Mr. Felix, if that is your real name, for the idea. Hey, weren't you in a cartoon awhile back?

the '95 season and Howard Dean

It was 10 years ago this upcoming Oct that the M's were in the playoffs for the first time. They came back from a 0-2 deficit to the evil empire in 5 games. For those of you not familiar with this huge event in Mariner history, allow me to give you a very brief description.

This was the first year of the wild card. Owners of the M's had talked about selling the team, potentially to some folks in Florida. In '95, there was also a new stadium build in the state legislature. The M's defeated the Angels in a playoff game to win the AL West title. They faced the dreaded "evil empire" in Round 1. They lost both games in NY, and returned to Seattle for 3 games. It was Edgar's double in the bottom of the 9th in game 5 that drove in Griffey Jr from first to capture the win. It saved baseball in the NW and the momentum from that magical moment still has M's fans coming back for more. That '95 team is responsible for Safeco Field.

After that awesome victory, they went on to lose to Cleveland. The manager of that Cleveland team is the current M's manager, Mike Hargrove.

On a different note...

I am very glad that Terry McAuliffe is no longer the Democratic chairman. I did not like how aggressive he was. I feel that he is partially responsible for dividing this nation, not as responsible as GW, but he still did play a role. (Perhaps 10% responsible.) I feel that Howard Dean will patch our relationship with those on the other side of the aisle, as long as he does not scream. He brings the proper amount of tenacity with a balanced approached to arguments. I always felt that Terry was defensive during arguments and, personally, seemed to allow his emotions get the better of him. More so than any scream by Dean. I hope this is the start of something good.

Friday, February 11, 2005

In response to "Tony"

Tony, If that is your real name, I would like thank you for posting. You are correct, a majority of what is classified as a "good" sitcom has some sort of dumb husband type of role. Even the Simpson's has this.

The one thing the Simpson's can do very well is drag American citizen and American political behavior down with it. I think we can tell what direction on the political fence Matt Groening sits.

Again, thanks for the post. To bad blogging cannot be setup like a talk radio show.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Can anyone write a sitcom anymore?

According to George Castanza, this is a job that "anyone" can do. However, in channel surfing last night, it was painful to watch the attempted witty banter on a show called "Committed". Not sure how many of you have seen this show, but it severely lacks the writing that is necessary to keep it around for a long time.

I have similar thoughts about "Joey". How long can America be in love with the village idiot? I am all for physical comedy and idiotic behavior, but give me a break. Those things usually only work in the movies were it is 90 minutes of it and you are done. Here, they are trying to build a long running sitcom on that premise. Sure, the show has its moments, however, spin offs can be difficult. The only successful one that I enjoyed was "Frazier". They took the witty psychologist from "Cheers" and put him into an environment in which he flourished, surrounding him with a more intellectual style of humor.

One of the few shows that have successfully achieved wittiness is "Scrubs". They have put the right players in place to develop odd moments were the show just seems to flow from start to finish.

Another show that I have only recently started to enjoy is "Everybody Loves Raymond". I remember watching Ray Romano on A&E's "Live at the Improv" back in the mid to late 80's. The man was, and still is, extremely funny. In a Seinfeld-esk style, he takes family life and turns it into a weekly comedy. It is scary how often I catch myself saying "it's funny cause its true." With Ray leaving his network post for syndication, I do not see a show that has the ability to replace him.

I feel that most of the new and upcoming sitcoms that are trying to make it big on the big 3 networks seem to lack that comedy that grabs you and has you watching for years. The fair and balanced Fox has some of the better sitcoms with "Malcolm in the Middle", "Arrested Development", "King of the Hill", and of course, "The Simpson’s".

I would love to hear your thoughts on the current state of the sitcom.

Canseco

I am not talking about the investment house here either. All the off season steroid talk will either bring back fans or turn them away.

Ways to bring back fans: Now with a steroid/drug policy in place, perhaps those fans that thought baseball was "dirty" will return.

Ways to lose fans: Since no one will be "juiced", I am not sure if we will ever see HR totals as we have in the recent past.

However, last year was not a huge offensive year. We are seeing more players in the 20 HR range than before, but Bonds hit 73 back in 2001. Since then, he has not broken the 50 mark. I think attendance for MLB games is better than what you will see at an NBA game.

I do hope that this will bring back more fans, and help keep those die-hard MLB fans still in their seats. Feel free to tell me how you feel about drugs in MLB and perhaps sports in general.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Village

Lora and I watched "The Village" this weekend. Does anyone else think that this is a political commentary on the reaction of 9/11?

Lora had some great points about this movie, some I saw, some I missed. I will not spoil it for those that have not seen it. However, if you have, I would love to see our comments on how you feel about it.

The Moral Party?

Moral party…my ass!

<>Here is a topic that has been bouncing around my head for sometime. Basically, there was nothing there to stop the bouncing.

<>How can a president who is currently fighting an unjust war and on the verge of ruining Social Security claim to have “morals”? Just because you see gay marriage as “morally wrong” does not necessarily mean it is. Ask any one that is a homosexual. I mow my yard on a Sunday in the state of Utah; does that make me morally a bad person? But yet, sending 130K worth of troops to Iraq to find WMD and the terrorist that Saddam has been harboring IS moral? Here’s a shocker, no WMD and no link to terrorism. However, now with the US there, this is the best training grounds any terrorists could have asked for. What is or is not moral, is about perception.

<>The “No child left behind act” leaves plenty of children behind. In Oregon, they are discussion taking away the PE requirement to focus more on the tests that GW has put into place. And you think America if fat now…just wait. I have also heard of other states taking back funding from certain programs and funneling that into classes that will help the schools pass their required tests. In order to get the best funding or really, any funding, a school has to suck. How does this maintain funding at those schools that do well. Do they need to drop their scores to get funding? Personally, this is a crazy idea. Last time I checked, most of this “federal” funding was actually coming out of the states, not Washington DC. Amazing how the name of a bill or Act can care some serious weight. Did anyone read the Patriot Act?

His new budget cuts funding to some of the very people that helped him win reelection, the farmer. He wants to trim funding to them by $587 million in 2006 and by $5.7 billion over the next decade. Bend over farmers, here is your president! I know that is a bit severe, but give me a break. I wonder if this was another one of his “gut” decisions. I understand the record deficit needs to be addressed, but the best way in my opinion is for job growth and roll back some, if not all, tax cuts. You can only blame the war for a portion of his deficit.