Sunday, July 8, 2007


Imagine, if Ned Flanders owned a labradoodle, what would he call that thing?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Childhood Poesy

Saw a birdie flying by
It went poopie in my eye
I'm a big boy, I don't cry
But thank the Lord that cows don't fly!

Random Sunday thought

Been a while since I wrote anything. I don't have any ideas for a full-length posts, but here is a feather I found floating in the windblown plains of my mind...

Back in, oh, probably March, Baseball Prospectus, a leading proponent of Sabermetrics, posited that the Chicago White Sox, just a year removed from winning the World Series, would post a record of 72-90. Naturally, team management and the Windy City media decried the prediction by maligning the source. it's been a common theme in baseball over the past 2 decades, "baseball lifers" denouncing those who use stats as being people who "don't watch the game" (laughable, since they watch a helluva lot of baseball), and don't consider "intangibles" such as chemistry and clutch hitting (party true - there are statistical analyses done to measure players performance in 'clutch' situations, but 'team chemistry' is pretty indefinable). Said 72-90 record translates to a winning percentage of .444. After dropping 3 of 4 games to my beloved Blue Jays this weekend, the Sox records stands at a not-so-gaudy 25-27, for a percentage of .481. Not as poor as what BP predicted, but certainly not what the White Sox were predicting for themselves, either. BP's prediction was based in part on the team's star players aging poorly, and so far that has happened. Maybe those computer nerds that sit in their underwear and spend all day on the computer in their parents' basements can teach the baseball lifers a thing or two about the game...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Donald Part 2

So a couple days ago I wrote a post about Trump's little media feuds. Turns out it was rather timely, as yesterday the Postmen wrote about Mark Cuban taking yet another potshot at the be-rugged one. A challenge-style version of The Apprentice, with Rosie as one of the judges.

(I have to say, I'm in agreement with the Postmen's view that replacing Rosie with Jessica Alba would not be a bad thing)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Donald Trump 's pop-culture wars

Donald Trump, Donald Trump. The Donald. Icon of 80's excess. A man who has made, lost, and made back millions of dollars. A man whose love for money is seemingly only exceeded by his love for himself.

In the past few months, The Donald has been involved in very public and very pointless feuds with Rosie O'Donnell, Vince McMahon, and Mark Cuban. Perhaps pointless is the wrong word - after all, it keeps his name in the public consciousness, and a man with an ego as large as his surely believes in the mantra that "there is no such thing as bad publicity". And Trump has experienced his share of bad publicity, from his high profile divorce to his declaring of bankruptcy. As well, the creation and subsequent overexposure of the Trump brand (Trump the Game, Trump shoulderbags, The Apprentice), a predictable offshoot of the 80's excess that brought him to public fame, have long had an air of overkill about them. Yet he keeps getting his name in the press.

What purpose do these so-called feuds serve, besides self-gratification? Let's take them one by one:

Rosie: When lascivious pictures of the winner of whichever beauty pageant Trump promotes made their way onto the internet, there was a hue and cry about the morals of these young ladies. Trump made a big show about taking the matter seriously, followed by forgiveness. Rosie piped in, saying Trump was in no position to judge another's morality due to his bankruptcy. The feud escalated as best it could, but in today's News McNuggets world, it faded within a week. So why did Trump pick a fight with Rosie? Well, he had to defend his role in both beauty pageants and mentoring young folk. Also, Rosie being Rosie, she is an easy target to pick on - very liberal and very outspoken are positions easy to attack. Anytime you insult Rosie, you'll likely get the radio equivalent of a high five from morning zoo programs 'round the U.S. In the battle for the public heart, calling someone a fat lesbian whose partner you will steal away wins you more points than pointing out unethical business practices. And in the all-important Male 18-24/18-34 demographic, it never hurts to be on the side of beautiful girls who allow naughty pictures of them to be taken.

McMahon: Like Trump,Vince McMahon, chief Pooh-bah of World Wrestling Entertainment, made his name in the 1980's. WWE's popularity took off in the 90's, as the mix of trailer park operas and staged violence found an audience the Fox Network would love. I do not know what caused the supposed rift between Trump and McMahon, only that each put his hair(piece) on the line in a cage match to be fought by wrestlers of their own choosing. No one in there right mind would have though Trump would end up bald - for one thing, his pride wouldn't allow him to 'lose' the match - and sure enough, the comb-over remains intact. I do not consider this to be a feud, per se, but a simple ploy for attention. After all, wrestling fans need millionaires to champion, too!

Cuban: When Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks were eliminated in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs, after posting the league's best record during the regular season, Trump chimed in with comments to the extent that Cuban isn't a winner and doesn't know how to be one. He also pointed out how Cuban's reality show never got off the ground, while The Apprentice has lasted, what, 5 season? (albeit with declining ratings). Cuban fired back on his blog with some personal attacks that I won't reiterate here (I would post a link, but it seems the entry is no longer available. Hmm...a brief summary can be found here, though).

This fight smacks of Bully vs Geek, with Mark Cuban, the man who parlayed his radio streaming internet service into a coupe of billion Yahoo! dollars, playing the role of Geek. After all, he made his money by creating a web service, he's young, and he prefers '90s-style ostentatiousness to '80s-style. Also, Cuban has a sports franchise, and in the US, and what's more manly than owning a professional sports team? (Disclosure: Trump owned a USFL team - that's USFL, the league that went bankrupt suing the NFL). Plus, Cuban has his own hair.

I doubt this is a fight Trump can win - Cuban knows the internet, and he knows business. Should it come down to whipping up public support, Cuban gets the youth/internet vote. Trump gets the wrestling crowd as well as the sycophants. Go Cuban!

So why does this man with wealth and women at his beck and call feel the need to engage in these petty disputes? It all comes down to character. The same drive that took Trump to the pinnacle of wealth still drives him, only now he has to look for enemies. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if he is on the road to paranoia, but I think it's more likely an ego thing.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I have been a fan of Stephen Colbert ever since I first saw him and Steve Carell do their "Even Stevphen" shtick on the Daily Show. Naturally, I am a fan of his current show, the Colbert Report. While I think it's very funny, I know a couple of people, my girlfriend included, that don't share my enthusiasm. This morning, as I woke up, realizing that our office is closed today and that I really should get some more sleep, the first thing that went through my head was Robert Smith's voice parodying a classic Cure song - "Friday, I'm in Bed" was the new version. The second thing that made it's way through the morass of my noggin was the realization that what makes Colbert so successful, and what will separate his show from Fox News' upcoming liberal parody show is that Colbert is mocking the (politically) far right, however the people he is mocking have a much stronger voice both in conservative politics and U.S. policy, while the far left liberals that Fox wants to make fun of don't have nearly as strong an influence on US policy or Democratic policy. This is why the Fox parody won't have nearly the appeal that Colbert's show has.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I've been delaying writing a post for too long now, and I shan't put it off any longer. I was over-thinking, trying to come up with a non-baseball related topic. Yet it is uppermost in my mind. There are many obvious reason for this, of course: the Blue Jays are my favourite sports franchise, and therefore my first choice in entertainment. With the drama of a 9-game losing streak in the recent past, followed by a stretch in which they have currently won 5 of 6 games in which young pitchers have stepped up following injuries to 3/5 of the starting rotation, they have piqued my interest. The fact that I have been playing fantasy baseball for many years now, and my money league team has started to make move gives me a chance to combine my knowledge of the sport with a small financial incentive. And perhaps most of all, the love of my life is out at an Arcade Fire show, so I am compensating for the absence of my adult love with a dose of my childhood love.

So on to the team!

They Jays called up 22 year old Jesse Litsch to make a spot start vs. Baltimore Tuesday night. All the kid did in his first appearance above AA was go 1 out short of a complete game, limiting the Orioles to a scant 4 hits and 1 run in his 8 2/3 innings. As an added touch, his father was in attendance celebrating his 57th go-round on Spaceship Earth. Wednesday night, de facto ace A.J. Burnett, he of the $55M contract signed after the 2005 season that shocked the baseball world until Gil Meche received a comparable offer this past winter, struck out 10 Orioles and, in fireballer style, got the 27th out that eluded Litsch. On top of an impressive effort by Shaun Marcum over the weekend, and Dustin McGowan's recent good-enough-to-win performance, the Jays are getting an early opportunity to find out if their young arms are better than the low-budget veterans signed in the hopes that one of them could catch lightning in a bottle. The upside of the veterans doesn't impress, so the performance of the younger guys will be watched with interest.

(A quick glance at my fantasy team's stats this evening quickly drives all thoughts of the home side out of my mind. Brad Hawpe, outfielder for the Colorado Rockies, has hit 2 home runs and knocked in 4 so far. Unfortunately for this with a rooting interest in the Shoeless Schmoes, Mr. Hawpe is planted on the bench this evening. Granted, he normally is on our bench, but with one outfield regular facing one of the toughest pitchers in either league tonight, tonight would be an opportunity for Hawpe to play for us. However, Hawpe's team was facing last year's National League Cy Young Award winner, so the Schmoes elected to go with a player whose game got rained out. Oy vey.)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Is Will Ferrell the new Chevy Chase?

So this is my latest attempt at keeping a blog going. Previous incarnations have focused on me, but in this one I shall babble away about sports, pop culture, and maybe even throw in a dash of politics. All of which will be tremendously enthralling to those fortunate enough to find this page.

The first topic is something that has been in my head for some time. Will Ferrell - is he the new Chevy Chase? Consider: They both started on Saturday Night Live, the both play(ed) bumbling fools (to be sure, Ferrell's characters are more bombastic), and as far as their movie careers go - well, early on in his career, Chase had "Foul Play", which was a decent flick and didn't typecast him as the glib, klutzy fool that he enjoyed with great success in Vacation and Caddyshack. "Stranger Than Fiction" may very well be Ferrell's "Foul Play" - but it was followed up by "Blades of Glory", in which he is once again typecast into a role similar to those he played in Anchorman/Old School/ Talladega Nights.

There is one difference between the two - I enjoyed Chase's SNL work a lot more than Ferrell's. I suspect that among the 40 and under crowd that is a minority view. After all, I was 5 in Chevy's only year on SNL, instead I watched the "Best of" tape many times as a teenager. Ferrell was on while I was in my 20's and early 30's, which would coincide with the time that one's tastes might take one away from the show...although, to be fair, I have watched some recent shows and find them to be an improvement on the Jimmy Fallon/Horation Sanz/Cheri Oteri/Molly Shannon years.

Bu to get back to my point, I do see a strong similarity in the careers of Ferrell and Chase. Ferrell might be able to parlay his success in "Stranger Than Fiction" into roles that are less over-the-top, and perhaps follow the Adam Sandler career arc...but if he takes a leading role in Blades of Glory II, then I doubt it.