Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The second was the little gathering of young men behind me, conducting their own ersatz sports talk show. The “host” was the loudest guy, who pontificated on all manner of topics, barely allowing his minion co-hosts to work in an edgewise word. He had an opinion of everything from the color of socks to the meaning of life, and covered each topic until he talked so much that he gradually disappeared into his own mouth hole. At some point both the rain and the talking stopped. What occurred to me was the idea that the combination of fantasy sports and the proliferation of talk TV and radio have given birth to a whole new species of men who have evolved into expert sports commentators and are now experts at repeating everything they hear on radio and TV talk programs. I wonder if he has a blog?
Lots of people showed up at the ballpark this week. Four games against the Brewers will bring in about 160,000 fans. Monday night’s special offer was one dollar hot dogs. The idea there is that people who otherwise would not go to a game would go so that they could load-up on cheap hot dogs. Marketing is a strange discipline. Somebody figured (accurately) that people are willing to spend $27.50 for a ticket to a baseball game if they can buy a hot dog for a dollar that normally costs $3.50. Otherwise, they would stay at home. How many hot dogs and buns can you buy at the supermarket for $25 and how many can you eat for a buck at the game without feeling like a pig – or looking like one? They had better be coming for the game, because economically they look goofy.
Then, there is the bobblehead doll … err … Bobble Figurine. We’re adults here. They give these things to adults because adults are permitted to sell them later on Ebay. Thursday morning’s count showed approximately 50 of them for sale, ranging in price from $9 to $25 to start the bidding. The game ticket was $27.50.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Speaking of voting (and I was, just now), voting has been going on for baseball’s annual All-Star game which will be played in San Francisco this year. For the sports impaired among us, the rule is that the league’s team that wins the All Star game has home field advantage in the World Series. In other words, if the National League wins, then the Phillies would be at home for 4 of the 7 World Series games. So, riddle me this:
What is my incentive for voting for any good American League players? Wouldn’t I want a crappy American League team so that the NL would win and the Phils would have home field advantage during the Series? Did I just say that the Phillies were going to be in the World Series?
Speaking of baseball (and I was, just now) we need look no further than the games to see how life goes here at MSM HQ. On Saturday, the Phillies staged one of the great innings of the season, scoring 6 runs in the 7th inning after an hour rain delay. I went on Sunday, when they stunk up the joint for Mother’s Day. The last 2 games have been classics, with last night’s game ending on a walk-off home run by Carlos Ruiz, of all people. I’m going tonight. Rain is expected, of course. Stinker to follow.
Speaking of stinkers (and I was, just now) I did not watch Dancing with the Stars this season, and now I find that I have no reason to start. Dancing partner [slash] hottie Cheryl Burke has been eliminated. They hooked her up with somebody named Ian Zierling, who I didn’t even know was a star, but that’s TV for ya. He was on 90210, which I didn’t watch either.
Meanwhile, they are announcing the network's TV seasons for 2007, and CBS is doing theirs tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that The Class is on the schedule. More on that tomorrow.
I gotta go pee.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I am really sick of the banners and junk that run across the TV screen during shows. C.S.I. Next – I know, but I’m watching something else now. You’re watching King of Queens on CBS. I know, I’m watching it. Then, during Seinfeld on TBS, the screen suddenly split in two squares. One was Seinfeld, and the other was an NBA playoff game going on over at TNT. Really. I completely lost control of my TV. Hey – dumbass, if I wanted to watch the game, I wouldn’t be watching Seinfeld. Leave me alone. They don’t do that stuff during commercials, which to me indicates a lack of respect for their viewers. Imagine you’re reading the newspaper and somebody waves another piece of paper in your face while you are trying to read. Annoying, right?
Thursday night, over at my Alma mater Widener University, they are giving me an award for having the highest G.P.A. of any Accounting student in my graduating class. It was 3.75, which I didn’t think was all that high, given that there are always those 4.0 students who obsess over grades. I agreed to show up to accept it, but the whole award gig makes me uncomfortable. I am not very good at self-promotion, and in the business world, it keeps me in the background. I’m not even that sure I should be writing about it, but what’s the point of getting the thing if I'm not going to tell anybody about it? I’m looking forward to coming to work on Friday and rubbing the award in my boss’ face and ask him why I’m still in the engineering department.
It’s May, and football is still on the front page of the sports section. Does anybody remember when sports actually had seasons? Baseball runs from March to October, but they’re still playing basketball and hockey. The football team is having something they call a Mini-Camp, which is a glorified practice – and they still manage to dominate the newspaper and radio shows. Can we give it a rest? More is not always better, and I think I would enjoy football season a lot more if I could stop hearing about it for a week or two.
At work, our maintenance guy has to do some sort of daily upkeep on the rest rooms. When he goes into the women’s room, he knocks on the door a thousand times, screaming “Maintenance!” three or four times to make sure no one is inside. The last guy was fired for supposedly not knocking and screaming enough, and the woman who was inside happened to be our Vice President of Human Resources. [Talk about being a victim of circumstance]. It occurs to me that women are much more freaked out by having a man in their rest room then guys are about having a woman in theirs. It’s odd, since you pee in a little room with a door on it and we pee against a wall.
I gotta go pee now.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Mi Hyun Kim, an eight-time winner on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and champion of last week's SemGroup Championship in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, announced after her win that she will donate $100,000 of her winner's paycheck of $210,000 to the United Way Greensburg Disaster Fund to aid the victims of the tornado that destroyed the Kansas town last weekend.
"I was just happy that I won the tournament," said Kim. "Sunday and during the week, the tornadoes came out of the middle of nowhere. I felt like I needed to do something for them. Winning a tournament on its own was a good thing, but I just decided to donate some money."
Holy crap - somebody actually gets it. Good for her.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
THE CRYSTAL BALL:
This ain't rocket science, folks. Almost half the states have passed one form or another of a smoking ban. Smokers are the social pariah now. At work, they huddle outdoors in all sorts of weather, in bars and restaurants they are relegated to the front sidewalk. Pull up to a local pub and you would think that the joint was standing-room only, but it is just the smokers hanging out, and I'm still getting used to it here in New Jersey. "Watch my stuff" is the request I get most often, as the smokers go outdoors for the post-beer butt puff.
They still sell the cigarettes, even though they know they kill us. Soon, all 50 states will have a smoking ban, and the only places they will be able to smoke is in their own home. I hear talk about banning smoking in cars, in front of children and even outdoors sometimes. Part of me feels badly for them, because they cannot or will not quit. Quitting is hard to do, since we also know that cigarettes are addictive.
New York City has banned trans fats from food, even though five years ago we didn't know what a trans fat was. States are enacting tougher drunk driving laws so that it is almost impossible to leave your house, drive to a bar and drive back without being in violation. I wonder why the cops just don't sit outside and pull over everyone leaving the place, since the odds are that they are legally intoxicated. Maybe that's an idea for them?
So, where is all of this going? We will not be permitted to eat fatty foods, smoke or drink outside our homes. The old saying, "Once the camel gets his nose under the tent, it isn't long before the whole camel is in there with you" is coming to fruition. The camel is neck-deep, gang.
All of it is under the guise of what is best for us, or so they say. They are telling us that we cannot be responsible for our own actions. Free will and money are no longer good reasons for us to make our own life-threatening decisions. I like a hamburger once in a while, and because I don't eat them every day, I don't give a rat's ass if there is trans fats in it or not. I don't smoke, but as long as people are respectful of my air space, I don't care much if you do. If you can't drink and operate a vehicle at a blood/alcohol level of .08, then maybe you shouldn't be out to begin with, but I wonder why we still have bars if the driving laws are going to be more prohibitive. Each beer is .02, and it takes 90 minutes to run that out of your system. Anybody drinking a beer in an hour and a half? No, more like 5.
There are, however, so-called do-gooders who believe that they know what is best for us - or bad for us as the case may be. Lately, they have been focusing on cigarettes, seat belts, fatty foods and alcohol; which even the not-so-do-gooders figure is the right thing to do. But, how long before laws are being passed regulating other forms of behavior? The camel's nose is under the tent, and if somebody in your state legislature thinks they are "helping", your funny little habits will die a painful death.