Saturday, June 24, 2006

Paintball Day

Falling far short of their programming needs, today, ESPN decided to broadcast the World Championships of Paintball. I know what you're thinking ... there's a championship of paintball? You bet there is, and it's on TV, which makes it a major event. I happened across it while touring the dial trying to avoid watching the Phillies.
A team from one of those Nordic countries was playing a team from Great Britian, and the announcer made a remark that made me think. Go figure, thinking during a paintball match. He was talking about one of the players (are they called players?) named Lundquist - guess which team he was on - and he described him as "the Zoolander of the sport of Paintball." That bought to mind three questions...
1 - Who the heck is Zoolander?
2 - Is Paintball a sport? ... and
3 - What the Hell does 'the Zoolander of paintball' mean?
If you can figure it out, feel free to post a comment, because I need to catch up on my sleep.
Meanwhile, you may also ask, why I was avoiding watching the Phillies? It's not only because they are a bad baseball team right now, because they are just as bad off the field as they are on. On Friday, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was arrested for physically abusing his wife on a Boston street corner. According to police reports, he struck her twice with a closed fist and she was heard to say, "I'm not going to let you do this to me anymore." The key word there is 'anymore', implying that it has happened at least one other time.
I don't know how the story has played where you live, dear readers, but here in the Philadelphia area, it is getting a lot of exposure. I don't need to go into the disgusting nature of violence against women, and neither do I need to expand on the allegations, since, without benefit of proper legal proceedings, are strictly the stuff of reports, two independent witnesses notwithstanding.
What made me seek out other forms of entertainment (if you can count paintball as entertainment) is the fact that Myers was pitching today's game in Boston. It was difficult for me to look at him without thinking about the horrible accusations, and I wondered why the Phillies would even want him on the mound in a nationally televised game. But such is the nature of professional sports (even paintball?) that louts and near-criminals are given a stage on which to ply their craft. It isn't relegated to sports, but today it was the focus of attention for over 3 hours.
The thing that bothered me about the baseball game was the fact that the Phillies trotted Myers out there as though nothing had happened. I had trouble looking at his stupid face, and I couldn't help but make the connection between him and his behavior. I'm very close to being done with pro sports altogether. Let them play their games and beat their wives if they want, but include me out.
Today's promotion at Fenway Park should have been "Paintball Day", where all fans were given a paintball gun and instructed to aim it at Myers. Now, that's entertainment!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Your Sick Minds

Yes, you - Katie! That "thing" on the Germany babe's cup (the one she's holding, not the one that is holding our attention) is a drawing of the World Cup. So, I find that my readers are indeed the ones with the sick minds, and I am merely the "enabler" when it comes to the sickness. Check the photo above and compare to the cup with the babe. Take all the time you need.
God bless your sick little minds.

Go Germany!

A fan for Germany looks on prior to the start of the Ecuador v Germany 'Group A' World Cup soccer match at the Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, June 20, 2006. The other teams in Group A are Costa Rica and Poland. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
I really need to figure out this soccer deal.
...and, why is the dope with the camera pointing it at the GAME?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Rich Get Richer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chief executive officers in the United States earned 262 times the pay of an average worker in 2005, the second-highest level in the 40 years for which there is data, a nonprofit think-tank said on Wednesday. In fact, a CEO earned more in one workday than an average worker earned in 52 weeks, said the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. The typical worker's compensation averaged just under $42,000 for the year, while the average CEO brought home almost $11 million, EPI said.
That seems fair. After all, golf is expensive, and who's going to pay for the gasoline in their big, expensive company vehicles? We are. I would like to be able to explain why one person is 262 times more valuable than the people who are actually doing the labor, but words and logic fail me. But, at least our legislators have a grip on the situation, right? Read on if you dare...
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) - The Senate on Wednesday defeated a proposal pushed by Democrats that would have given some of the lowest-paid hourly workers a boost in their wages for the first time in nearly a decade. A majority of the Senate, 52 senators, voted in favor of incrementally raising the federal minimum wage -- unchanged since 1997 -- 40 percent from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 by January 1, 2009. But the measure needed 60 votes to win under a procedural agreement worked out earlier.
So, now the gap between wage earners and their CEOs will get even larger. Good news, folks. You'll be working even longer to make up for a decade of earning the same wage. Take my advice, cheat on your taxes and steal shit from work to make up the difference. After all, a pay raise every 10 years should be enough for anyone - unless you're the CEO.
That's OK, they would probably just piss away that extra $2.10 on food, rent and clothing anyway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One Small Step for Man

WEST HOLLYWOOD, California - City leaders adopted a resolution Monday night calling on sheriff's deputies not to target certain adult marijuana users. The City Council backed the nonbinding resolution 4-0, said city spokeswoman Tamara White. The resolution directs the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, which contracts with this left-leaning city, not to "target adult marijuana users who consume this drug in private and pose no danger to the community."
Minors and drug dealers would still be subject to arrest, and smoking in public would still be prohibited, the resolution says. The resolution is not legally enforceable, but sends a message that law enforcement officers should "leave the pot smokers alone" and go after more serious crimes, said Councilman John Duran, the resolution's sponsor.
How revolutionary -- that people who do things in the privacy of their homes should not be the target of persecution because they pose no danger to the community. The next thing you know, we'll be able to drink and smoke cigarettes at home...

Food for Thought

Here are some interesting facts to take with you to the water cooler, or just hang around the house with, if you don't happen to have a water cooler at home.

Most popular name for girls in 2006: Wynonna.

Most popular name for boys: Wilhelm.

"99 Bottles of Beer" was Benjamin Franklin's choice for the National Anthem of the United States.

Terry cloth was invented by former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

1 out of 5 Americans make up 20% of the population.

Unleaded gasoline contains trace amounts of gold and platinum.

Doing the 'Hokey Pokey' is illegal in 17 states.

There is no Chinese word for 'smooch'.

Dogs cannot hear women screaming at them.

"Thousand-legger" insects actually have 998 legs.

Half of the money you pay for car insurance goes to Donald Trump.

The moon landings were not filmed in Hollywood, but the World Cup soccer matches are.

Geneologists say that by the year 2075, humans will be born with a cell tower in their head.

Still waters do not necessarily run deep.

The Smokey and the Bandit films were based on unpublished works by William Shakespeare.

The 'Employees Must Wash Hands Before Leaving Restroom' policy is federal law.

David Blaine is a figment of your imagination.

The silhouette on the Major League baseball logo is Kevin Costner.

George W. Bush is a competent leader and his admistration will be looked at by historians as a symbol of democracy, having led the country into prosperity by his great legacy of personal sacrifice and inspired dedication to the preservation of the ideals of the country set forth by our founding fathers over 200 years ago, free of corruption and scandal, and motivated by the best interests of his constituents for whom he tirelessly works while guided by the quest for equality for all Americans regardless of party affiliation, wealth or place of birth.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Small Miracles

Supreme Court Affirms Wetlands Restrictions
Narrowly, but a narrow victory is better than losing....or is it?
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the government can block development on hundreds of millions of acres of wetlands, even on land miles away from waterways, as long as regulators prove a connection to the waterways. Stevens said Scalia's opinion "needlessly jeopardizes the quality of our waters." He laid out a history of the 1972 Clean Water Act and said "the importance of wetlands for water quality is hard to overstate."
Yes, it is hard to overstate, and much like the global warming issue, I would ask, "What is the downside?"
Virtually any land in America would be covered under the government's interpretation of the law, Roberts and the court's other three conservatives complained in an opinion. The court's four liberal members said the conservatives would have opened up sensitive wetlands to polluters.
Complained? They complained? Please tell me that is a legal term. Damn, you liberals! Don't you know that the polluters are the future of our country?

Roberts said the result was confusing and that "lower courts and regulated entities will now have to feel their way on a case-by-case basis."

Is that supposed to make me feel better? Now, the issue is open to local graft and corruption, when we could have had our Supreme Court close the door on the issue forever. Once again, bureaucracy has failed us.
I am not amused. But, Disney World was built on wetlands, right? So, how can that be bad?
Oh well, those justices will all be dead soon, so why should they care?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Over a Barrel

Oil and Gas Company Executives Defend High Pump Prices As Essential to Maintaining Supplies
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans paying $3 per gallon at the pump have it relatively cheap when compared with prices globally, say oil and gas company executives who defend their record profits as essential to maintaining supplies. In parts of Europe and elsewhere in the West, gasoline prices are more like $5 per gallon to $7 per gallon, said the chairman of ConocoPhillips Co., James J. Mulva. Mulva and two other executives who appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" said they are optimistic about keeping a lid on domestic prices, unless their fears come true about the potential for damage to U.S. energy production from the hurricane season that began June 1. "I do understand why consumers are concerned. The thing that concerns all of us, I think, is that we're heading into hurricane season again," said the chairman of Chevron Corp., David J. O'Reilly.
Excuse me ... uh ... Mulva - are you the dad of Jerry's girlfriend whose name he couldn't remember? What a coincidence that I also commonly refer to the big oil companies by the names of female body parts.
Nothing galls me more than that tired old argument that tells us we are "lucky" to be where we are, and not somewhere else. It's irrelevant, because we are not in Europe, we are in the United States. Historically, prices in Europe have been higher, so the argument doesn't hold water - or oil.
As we know by now, consumers don't stand a chance against big business, whether it's oil or anything else. And yes, we are concerned about hurricane seaon - but isn't there a hurricane season every year? Why is it only the past couple of years that we have been concerned about it? I'm guessing that the 'Meet the Press' host didn't follow up that comment with a question.
They do understand that we are concerned, but there is a big difference between understanding and caring, and we know they don't care. The lid's off the hurricane season, folks, so keep driving those giant house-sized land cruisers and get ready to dig deep for another gallon. Here's an idea: Let's petition the National Weather Service to change the way they name hurricanes. Since we are supposed to be 'concerned', why not use appropriate names for storms that will affect people outside of the storm track? Here's my partial list. Feel free to add your own.
A - Anadarko
B - British Petroleum
C - Chevron
D - Dick Cheney
E - Exxon
F - just put your favorite "F" word in front of an oil company name
G - Gulf (although you could substitute "George W. Bush")
H - Halliburton
...well, you get it. And soon, we're all going to get it.