August 31, 2010

So I’m watching the Aroldis Chapman Press conference. The Cuban Missile just finished his first appearance in the Big Leagues. A dominating, if brief performance, that more than lived up to it’s hype. The atmosphere was electric, and he stepped up. Retiring all three batters he faced, in dominating fashion.
So there he sits, in front of the media, with the Reds General Manager, and his interperator.
He gets the usual questions, there is the pause as it is translated, then he talks, and it is translated once more.
Then, someone asks “Back in Cuba, was your family following the game, and how do you think they reacted.
The look on the translater’s face said it all, but he did his job, and asked it to Chapman in spanish.
The look on his face was impossible to explain. He kind of laughed, kind of looked hurt, kind if mad, and who knows how many other emotions.
Then he speaks, one word.
Then the translator prepared to answer in English. As he did, he both laughed it off, but put it in a tone that was meant to stick with everyone who was there.
“There is no way for them to follow his games in Cuba”
No television, no internet, no stories in the paper. No phone calls between family members, no shouts on the street from joyous neighbors.
It kind of sticks with you, both the way he said “No” and the look on their faces, that this is how it is in Cuba.
How, in this day, can this be so?
We just had an Olympics in China. One of the biggest stars in Hockeye is a Russian, who plays in our nations capital, is a star on both continents, and played for team Russia in the Olympics, then finished the year for D.C.
How is it still this fucked up in Cuba?
I mean, the whole missile crisis thing pissed a lot of folks off. Castro was a dick, but how long ago was that?
Everyone involved is for all intents dead, and those missiles have been recycled into Hyundai’s, or rafts for people looking to defect.
Can’t we just call this thing off?
We pretty much gave Cuba their liberation once, they were doing pretty good. Beautiful Island, a few resorts, some Casinos, and it was right across the waves from Miami. Things were looking up. Then the Commies took over, and it all went to shit.
Hasn’t it gone on long enough.
It’s like the guy at the card table, who keeps losing, keeps borrowing money, and keeps losing it all. He keeps playing, and playing, becoming more determined to win it all back, but everyone knows if they don’t step in, pull him away from the table, his whole life is going to be ruined, because he is so far in debt.
Imagine an entire Island like that.
Lets just say it’s a “tie”.
We’ll let Cuba think they tied us, and they can save some face, and we can get the rest of their pitchers.
I think it’s a good deal.
This poor kid had to defect, knowing he may never see his family again, all so he can at least have a chance at living his dream.
All because 50 years ago some people got pissed off.
Come on Cuba, step away from the table, you lost.



August 31, 2010

This will be the first of a four part series.
Stay tuned for more updates.

Here We Go Again

August 30, 2010

Well our old friends over at Time Warner are at it again.
This time, it’s not some little start-up like the Big Ten Network, or even some upper middle class broadcaster with stuff like Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.
This time, they are going all out, and taking on Disney.
Not just Disney, but ABC, ESPN, and every channel with those words in it.
And the timing is great too, just as we start football season, I may lose every channel that carries college football.
Oh wait, my $100 plus per month will still get me whomever plays on Versus, the shitty D-3 games on Sports Time Ohio, Notre Dame, and The Oxygen Channel, whatever the hell that is.
The deal they have, is about to expire, and they are up in arms on the terms of a new deal. Time Warner is playing the victim, and Disney is selling viewers on switching providers.
I’m sure Disney is an evil corporation, and drives a hard bargain, but come on.
How much money does Time Warner make each year?
I watch like a total of 9 channels. Nearly half of those are the networks, which I generally only watch during football season, depending on who is playing. This means the other two thirds of the year, I watch a grand total of five channels. Those five channels and my internet, with no DVR at the moment is over $130, each month.
All so I can watch the Reds, Sportscenter, River Monsters, Tosh.0, and maybe some shows on FX.
This is the scaled down version of my cable bill. Before we sold out house, I had more televisions, more HD, and a DVR box. I still watched the same 9 channels max.
Now, my wife watches some crap on Bravo, and every now and then I will check the weather Radar channel. That brings us to 11 channels. During Hurricane season (what the hell happened last year Al Gore) I watch the actual Weather Channel. This take sus to 12 channels, for about the same price per month to lease a Toyota Carolla, which gets killer gas mileage from what I’ve read.
Now, I realize my $130 plus per month pays for more than just the maximum 12 channels I will ever watch. I get that it costs money to have service technicians who will be here sometime between 8 and 5. I’m sure the lady who does the call waiting voice recording that I get to listen to for 47 minutes at a time when my cable goes out, costs money as well. Not to mention all the commercial slots they run for themselves, that has to cost something, and I suppose my more $1500.00 per year isn’t going to cover all of these, and the still afford Channels like HGTV, WE, and the DIY network.
Cause I may need those.
What if I want to Do something myself, but not actually do anything?
Then the DIY Network is there for me.
Suddenly my $130 a month isn’t a big deal.
I should consider myself lucky that I’ve gotten ESPN, and ABC all these years. If anything I should pay Time Warner Cable more money, so I can keep watching College Football.
I’m sure it won’t matter. I’m sure they will reach a deal, and all of us with Time Warner will get to go on watching football, and life will be okay.
That it will end up costing us more, will be no surprise.
After all, this is Time Warner Cable.
The worst fucking company ever.


August 28, 2010

Most of my life has been a battle against profiling, and discrimination.
In the days when I was single, whenever I went into a “Gentlemans Club” I was profiled, as someone who was more than likely to be paying $20 in ATM fees every couple hours.
I was able to battle through this, and get to where I am today.
Now, I face discrimination, in it’s darkest form.
As I watched Bengals preseason football, I saw an ad, that could have changed my life.
It was to go to any HH Greg store, or the company website, and you could sign up to be the kid who runs out on the field during Bengals games, and picks up the kicking tee after a kickoff.
I was on top of the world. I was ready to take a few days off work, so I could drive myself to every HH Greg store, and sign myself up. I was going to  hit the website so often, my computer would have caught fire.
And then discrimination shot down my dream before it even got off the ground.
Apparently the Nazi bastards over at HH Greg, only let kids sign up to be the tee retrieval boy.
Horse shit.
I’ve been to plenty of Bengals games, and I can tell you, those little bastards have nothing on me, as far as kick-off tee retrieval skills go.
In High School, one of my roles in football was the back-up holder on field goals, and extra points. I carried my own tee during drills in practice. I was money, some of the time.
I also was a starting cornerback, so I had the whole running part down to.
I may be old, and a tad out of shape, but did anyone see Brett Favre last season?
I could school those little kids that are gonna end up getting the job.
They always have on some jersey that’s about 13 sizes too big, and most of them run the forty in about 9 seconds. I would toast them, if only they would give me a shot.
Not only would I have the game experience, and far better physical tools, I would be a crowd favorite as well.
Instead of just running straight out, grabbing the tee, and running right back, what if I threw in some moves? What if I had a beer in my hand as I ran out there?
Think of the crowds response to seeing the old guy getting the tee, not just one game, but always.
Denver had that butthole who wore the barrel at games, the Bengals could have the drunk old guy who gets the tee.
Sure, I could take a little kid out there with me from time to time, just to get that “Awww” moment.
So please world, help a rother out.
Go to HH Gregg stores, and make a huge scene. Throw paint on customers, knock stuff off the shelf, just flat out raise hell, until they break down and change their evil policies.
My dreams are counting on you.

It looks like one of the Greatest Rivalries in all of sport, and definitely the greatest in College Football, is about to die a sad death.
Ohio State vs. Michigan.
Soon to be no more.
At least in the sense we know it.
It appears that the Big Ten’s quest to make more money, by expanding, and dividing into two divisions, is going to make THE GAME into just a game.
Sure, it will always be OSU/Michigan, but it’s not going to be the same.
It’s all but certain, that the two teams will find themselves in different divisions inside the Big Ten. That’s fine, I can deal with that. I pretty much expected that to happen.
It’s most likely that the two teams will play every year. It would be a tragedy if they did not.
The big problem, is that it looks to be all but certain that THE GAME, will now be played somewhere in the middle of the season.
No longer the final battle of the season, often times for all the Marbles, but always for so much more. Now, just a game between two rivals maybe in week 5.
No longer will there be a winter of glory, or months of misery following this loss. No, the winner, and loser will still get to play Indiana, or some other shit team from the Big Ten.
This rivalry deserves better.
News from the around the Big Ten conference seems to be verifying everyone’s greatest fear, which is THE GAME being demoted to the same level as the rest of the games.
Sure, they will always be rivals, and this game will always mean more than the rest, but the stage it has been played on for generations, and all that goes with it is about to die.
Yes, there is still a chance that a re-match will make THE GAME the final game of the Big Ten Season, but from what we’ve seen the past 20 years or so, it would only happen about once every 4 years.
The Big Ten wants the four teams who have won a national title in the past 25 years to be separated equally among the two divisions. Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Ohio State. Two to each division. Geographically, the only way to make this work, is to break up the big TWO, and put Ohio State in with a soon to be forgotten Penn State, and Michigan in with the most over-rated program in history, Nebraska.
Then in the next tier of Big-Tenness, you have Wisconsin, and Iowa. Obviously you’d have to put Wisconsin in with OSU, and PSU, and hope a new rivalry is born between Iowa, and Nebraska.
How’s that matchup lookin as far as the ugliest cheerleaders ever goes?

Then they will divide all the shitty teams equally from there on out.
Now, they will say nothing is for certain, but every hint and every finger points to it being a done deal.
The big fear is, having the two teams to the extreme east, and west being in the same division, as far as the big guns goes, and that OSU, and Michigan if separated, and if they still played the final regular season game every year, would have to play a re-match two weeks later, year in, and year out, thus making a mockery of the whole system.
The fact is, It’s Ohio State, and Michigan. It has been for decades, and it always will be, as long as there is a Big Ten, or something resembling it.
No other school wants to admit it, but it’s true.
It’s those two, and some other teams.
Sure, some programs have great tradition, and will always be good, and some schools will have big years, or even decades, but none of them will ever compare.
Year in, and year out, it comes down to OSU and Michigan.
How many years in the past 50 has it come down to these two teams to decide who wins the conference?
If one team is just a little short, and does not get to face the other in the title game with a chance to ruin the others season, it’s a tragedy.
Put them in the same division, and let them duke it out the 3rd Saturday in November.
Seriously, what team will the winner of THE GAME be scared of from the other division?
Northwestern? Minnesota? Nebraska?
Ohio State, and Michigan.
No amount of money is worth fucking that up.

Can We Buy Mexico?

August 13, 2010

Pretty much every night, I see a story on the news about either problems with Arizona’s immigration law, or people protesting. It’s getting old.
It’s August, I live in Ohio, I want nothing to do with Arizona until at least the BCS title game, and mostly just if my Buckeyes can get a shot at redemption against a one dimensional Alabama team. I’ll take our odds against a Ginger QB.
Anywho, this whole thing is getting old.
I myself, don’t mind most of the law Arizona passed.
It’s illegal, thus, it should be able to be enforced.
The fact that a high court judge ruled that AZ law enforcement can’t check someone’s immigration status, while they are under investigation for something else, because it infringes upon their liberty’s?
What the fuck?
So from this I can assume, that if I get pulled over for speeding, at 3 a.m. there is no way the officer can check to see if I am driving drunk, without infringing on my liberties.
Sounds good.
Let’s let our cops enforce laws that are already in place without throwing a huge bitch-fit about it please.
Or, there may be an easier way to fix not only our immigration issues, but also to take North America to the next level.
Instead of two-thirds great, one third complete out-house fire, lets just buy Mexico.
I know we’re pretty much broke at this point, but we’re America, we can get a loan from China.
If not us, let’s pass the hat around to all of our richest citizens, see what we come up with, and at least make a down payment.
Will it hurt to at least make an offer?
Let’s say we go to the “President” of Mexico, and ask to buy the country. How hard will it be to trick that guy into thinking he’s pulling one over on us?
“Well I really didn’t want to have to throw in the rights to the George Lopez Show, but alright”.
If that doesn’t work, what about a trade?
How many conversion vans do you think it will take us to make, to buy an entire country?
We as a nation still kind of own G.M., and we do own most of Chrysler.
What do you think would happen if Mexico’s leaders saw a fleet of brand new mini-vans with a back-up camera, and a rear door that closes just by pressing a button?
I think that’s a deal maker my friends.
Throw in the fact that Mexicans are Super Religious, and/or the Mayan Calendar has convinced them the world is gonna end soon, how hard is it gonna be to make them think they are taking us to the cleaners?
Not only would we fix our immigration issue, but we could help them out a little too.
We could take their shittiest city, and just trade it for Detroit straight up.
No more people sneaking in to our country, and if they did, they would already be home, and we could legally get them to build us a giant border fence that we’ve been dreaming of, for about the price of materials, and a new van, and a few cases of coka-cola, served warm.
It’s simple.
We name what used to be Mexico, New Arizona.
Then our biggest concern will be “how to keep the water in New Arizona from giving us the runs, and “how much will it cost to build a wall between New Arizona, and Guatemala.”
Problem solved.

Family Outing: Fail

August 12, 2010

Last weekend, we decided to head out, and get some culture in us.
Sure, it wasn’t a big trip, but travelling with a two year old boy can be a dangerous game.
Obviously this isn’t our first trip out, but you can never be too prepared. The more you think you know about taking two year olds into public, the more wrong you are.
Our son is great. Could not ask for a better kid. But like all two year olds, venturing out for extended periods of time, without adequate distractions, is asking for trouble.
We decided on a simple trip in the late afternoon.
We headed to the Dublin Irish Festival, which should have set off dozens of red flags.
Ah Ireland, the birthplace of white trash.
What could be wrong with a festival celebrating all things Irish?
Besides the fact that our son was still tired and cranky from his trip to the state fair with Grandma & Grandpa (yeah, fair, and Irish festival, we were trying to get our son exposed to as much white trash as possible in one weekend, hoping he will become immune), and the fact that it was in the mid 90’s, we went for it.
We don’t go out much these days, so it was worth a shot, and it was right down the street from us.
What could go wrong?
Well if you guessed over-exposure to all things claiming to hail from Irish folk, and every kind of freak that comes with that, mixed in with a little boy who wanted to run wild, you were close to being right.
There were folks in kilts (mostly fat, short losers who have nothing else left to lose). I even got to scratch another item off my “not a bucket” list. I saw a bull dyke, in a kilt.
How many of you can claim that honor?
Well, we were out of the car for about 3 seconds before my son decided his life would end if he didn’t have his toys with him. About 12 seconds later, he decided that there was no way he was going to let us carry him, or hold our hands, all while being surrounded by thousands of people with classic Irish surnames like Murphy, Quinn, O’Wifebeater, McDrunk, and Fitzunemployable.
More Red flags.
We got inside, walked past about 20 beer tents, which under different circumstances would have been an oasis, but not on this day. All the time, trying to hold onto a squirming kid who wanted nothing more than to haul ass into the crowd, and be Irish.
After we passed every “Fish’n’chips” vendor on the planet, we found a sno-cone booth.
Sugar water.
This bought us about 5 minutes of peace, before the syrup kicked in, and it got to be twice as bad.
94 degrees, insane crowds of idiots in kilts, and bull-dykes, and a sugared up kid, it was pretty much my definition of hell, minus the folk music.
Then we found the Irish folk music tent.
Hell was intact.
The whole episode went down hill fast. My son just had to dance, which at this stage in life is just hopping around in circles, which in this case meant crashing into several drunken Irishmen every 10 seconds.
Strangely enough my wife was the first to give in, and made the call to leave. I was ready the whole time, but didn’t want to be the first to call it.
It’s like being in a car full of people, even if you are about to piss yourself, you don’t want to be the one who speaks up first.
At this point, we were on the opposite side of the festival, but didn’t care, we headed for the exit.
Call it the luck of the Irish, cause there was a flock of bicycle rickshaws waiting by the exit.
Couple the $10 we spent on this, and the $20 we spent to get into this mess, and it was the worst way to spend $30 in 15 minutes I could imagine.
At least my son enjoyed the aspect of some dick on a bicycle pulling us around, as we drove across town looking for our car.
On one hand, my son will get older, and learn to behave in public, and we can someday go out again.
On the other hand, we got another on the way, so my best estimate is I will be able to safely go out in public when I am 51 years old.
Hopefully by then, every asshole in the world who is ¼ Irish won’t be wearing kilts.

Go Reds!

August 10, 2010

I hate the Cardinals.
I hate Vaginier Molina. I hate Chris Carpenter. I really Hate Albert Pujols, and all the HGH that runs through him.
The only thing that really bothers me about the way the Reds handled all this, is that nobody killed Chris Carpenter, and Vaginier Molina didn’t get a fastball to the head after he imitated Brandon Phillips all the way around the bases.
I get that they lost all their composure, and made waaay too many mental errors after the skirmish, but I still like it.
Good for the Reds!
I love them even more, and hate the Cardinals even more, all because of a few heated words.
At this point, the Cards are definitely in the Reds heads, but judging by the Cardinals excitement, the Reds have front row seats in their heads too.
Sure, the Cardinals handled it better once the dust settled, but it’s just what this race needed.
Some fire.
It was getting boring.
There’s too few games left between these guys, we gotta make ‘em count.
Baseball is missing a good (real) heated rivalry. Ever since Boston actually won once, it hasn’t been the same. It’s been Yanks/Sox seeing who could land all the free agents, a couple inter-league fights in Chicago, and that’s all the heat baseball has as far as rivalries go.
B-Real was right.
He was right to try and get his team fired up. He was right to get in Vaginier Molina’s face, and he sure as hell was right to call most of the Cardinals “Bitches”.
The fact is, they are.
You can’t celebrate anything, take your time, or do anything that may fall short of the lofty standards Chris Carpenter expects, without earning their ire. One small move, and they are chirping across the diamond, about anything, and everything. At least once a month, some random team gets into a cold war with the Cards, and it’s always Vaginier Molina, and Chris Carpenter leading the charge.
Bitches is about as good of a word as I could think of.
So hats off to Brandon Phillips, and the entire Reds team. Dusty, I am now a fan. I would love to have a chance to punch Tony Larussa, and can’t wait to see the next go round.
Maybe this time, once the umps step in, and the game rolls on, we can actually focus the energy to baseball, and get a win. If not that, we can just kick the shit out of Cardinals players.
Go Reds!

Whose idea was this?

August 6, 2010

Has anyone else seen the Wheaties commercial starring the HGH infused Albert Pujols?
I’ve seen it a couple times, and never paid attention, as I have no desire to see Mr. Pujols, unless he is being eaten by a liger, but tonight, something caught my eye.
Why, is Francisco Cordero the pitcher in this commercial?
It’s not like it is a clip out of a real game, it’s a staged deal. How does that convo go?
Hey Co-Co, wanna be in a commercial where you give up a homer to Pujols? We’ll give you free shitty cereal….
Did the actors they tried to get to do it have too hard of a time giving up a homer to Pujols, and they decided it would just be a lot quicker if they hired Cordero, and told him to try and strike him out?
Just when we thought it was safe to show your face as a Reds fan…
…our closer even sucks in commercials.

End Of An Era

August 6, 2010

As many of you have heard by now, I had to say goodbye to one of my closest friends this week.
A pair of sunglasses, I bought exactly 10 years ago, finally broke for good.
I tried to fix them yet again, but it just was not meant to be.
I guess it was their time.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I flew out to San Diego with a group of friends, to visit one of our friends, and give our brand of debauchery a west coast kick.
It was my first trip on an airplane, and first time buying airline beer.
It was a wild, wonderful trip, and along with heightened odds of contracting an STD, I also brought back a new pair of Sunglasses.
I actually bought two pair, but one didn’t even survive the trip, the other, was most likely the greatest pair of sunglasses of all time.
It’s safe to say no pair of real Armani glasses ever lasted this long.
We headed to Pacific Beach, for a day of beer drinking, and classing up the left coast.
Being a total rube, I had no sunglasses, so I went exploring.
I found a cool little place called Moon Doggies, had a beer, and some nacho’s, and then went into a little hut that sold sunglasses, which may or may not have been called the sunglasses hut.
They sold “real” brands of glasses, as well as designer knock-off’s. Being that I had been drinking since well before the marine layer melted away, I went with the 2 pairs of fake designer shades for 20 bucks. A fake pair of Calvin Klein glasses, which I’m pretty sure never made the trip back from Tijuana, and this pair. A magical pair of “as compared to” Armani Sunglasses.
They were glorious.
They survived the whole trip, and the rest of that fateful year.
I think I lost them for a year or two, but aside from that, they were never too far away.
They went with me back to California, a few trips to the east coast, Arizona, even Canada.
I’ve lost these glasses in the bottom of pools, lakes, and two toilets, and every time they were recovered, and sometimes even cleaned.
I bet I wore these glasses to at least 6 Applebee’s.
Now you know how much they meant to me.
A year or so back, one of the lenses fell out, but I was able to repair them.
Recently, the lens would fall out whenever I put them on my head, but yet they pressed on.
Then, tragedy struck.
One of the arms simply snapped off.
The metal could take no more.
I tried glue, 2 types of epoxies, and even some tape, but nothing would hold of the grim reaper.
I tried wearing them with only one arm thingy, but it’s not fair to reduce a once glorious pair of glasses to this.
They deserve better.
So in case you were wondering, there will be a small memorial service on Monday.
In Lieu of flowers, you can send me money, or beer.
So this is goodbye fake Armani sun-glasses.
I’ll try and find a convertible that was left with the top down in a parking lot somewhere, and pee in it, like I did the first night you were with me.
It’s the honorable thing to do.