Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trade Deadline

The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and what big move did the Mariners make? They traded Julio Mateo to the Phillies for a AA outfielder. If you're scoring at home, that makes 3 former Mariner pitchers the Phillies have now, and it doesn't seem to be helping them win many games.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, and as far as any Mariner fan should be concerned, this is a great trade. No, it's not the blockbuster to bring in an ace to the starting rotation, but it does ensure that the dreadful Julio Mateo will never wear a Mariner uniform again. Not only is he a terrible pitcher who baffled me year after year with his ability to not only stay on the roster, but continually make it in to games somehow. And close games too, not just the blowouts. But he is also a terrible human being. Mariner fans were only spared his terrible pitching after he was arrested for beating his wife.

And so it is that I say farewell to Julio Mateo and hope that one day the Mariners will face him and score about 35 runs off him. I don't know that I've ever been so happy to see a player leave town.

Wife Beater

Today when I got on the bus I saw a young guy, maybe 19 or 20, wearing sagging jeans and a wife beater, slouching down in the back seat about as far as he could without falling on the floor. Basically looking like a complete loser. And I really couldn't help thinking, for longer than I'd like to admit, that, first, no one should own a wife beater unless they are planning on making a guest appearance on Cops, and second, under no circumstances should anyone ever wear one in public for any reason, unless that brain dead trailer trash look really appeals to you. I still am unable to wrap my mind around why someone would intentionally dress like that.

This was only part one of the mystery. Part two was that this waste of space had a fairly cute - albeit kind of slutty - girl with him. Think Britney Spears circa 2003 or 2004. About the time she started up with the similarly trashy Kevin Federline. And I couldn't, and still can't seem to understand what it is that would make a girl who is good looking enough to attract a normal man want to go after someone like that. Is it that they hope to one day upgrade to a double wide and they think this is the kind of guy to make that happen? This girl could easily have gotten herself a man who wouldn't eventually cheat on her with her best friend, or possibly her sister, or possibly his own sister.

I could go on for hours wondering about this, but I guarantee you it would only get less interesting. If I think about it any more, I might lose sleep. Perhaps there is no answer to this.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Modest Proposal

I've been thinking, Matt Shaub is a pocket passer without much mobility. He is going to be playing behind one of the worst lines in the league next year. What the Texans really need is a running quarterback. Somebody who can run for his life from a swarm of defenders hell bent on hospitalizing him.

On the other hand, the Falcons seem almost desperate to get rid of the troublesome Michael Vick, however doing so would leave them without an experienced QB. As a matter of fact I don't have a clue who that would leave them with. What they need is somebody who knows their offense and can step right in and be productive.

That's why I think the Texans should send Matt Shaub to the Falcons for Michael Vick. If you find yourself thinking that's crazy, just take a few minutes to let it sink in. It all makes sense.

On a completely unrelated topic, while driving home the other day, a few stray hairs apparently blew up through the sun roof and got caught when I closed it. This resulted in a sharp tug at my scalp the first time I moved my head, immediately followed by some unsavory language. Me not happy.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Christmas In July

Am I the only one who finds the whole Christmas in July thing to be exceptionally annoying? I realize that every summer, many of our biggest retailers are in danger of going out of business due to decreased consumer spending, and therefore need to create a holiday to urge increased spending. I do have a big problem with their lack of creativity on creating such a bogus holiday though.

Spearheaded by the greeting card and candy conglomerates, marketing departments have been able to create several bogus holidays already. Fathers Day, Mothers Day and Valentines Day come to mind. How then are these marketing departments falling short now? Are they just that lazy? Can't they at least find somebody out there to honor, or kill somebody and make them a martyr?

And I guess what is bothering me most is that I thought we had killed off Christmas in July years ago, but suddenly it is rearing it's ugly head again. I am seeing ads for it everywhere, and it's got to stop. Am I just imagining that it had died off and was just somehow blissfully unaware of it the last few years? Either way, I have had enough. I am officially boycotting any company that is pushing Christmas in July, and not just because I'm saving up for Hanukkah in August, or Easter in September.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Phone Problems

For the last year and a half, I have had VOIP phone service through a company called Sunrocket. I have absolutely loved it. Good sound quality most of the time (occasional choppy sound, but not that often), unlimited calling in the US and Canada, a certain number of free international minutes a month (I don't know how many since I never made any international calls), voice mail, caller id, 3 way calling, and several other features I didn't ever use. All for the low price of $199 a year. For those of you scoring at home, that's approximately $16.60 a month.

Well, that all came to an end last week when without warning, Sunrocket filed for bankruptcy and shut off it's service. That left me without phone service for a couple days while I scrambled to find another phone company. I managed to find a company called Teleblend that got my phones back up and running almost immediately without having to get any new equipment and I am able to keep my phone number. In order to attract Sunrocket customers who got screwed, they are offering an introductory rate of $13 a month.

That got me back up and running for now, but I can't help thinking it's just a stopgap solution. I have looked into some of the more reliable alternatives, and as much as I hate it, I think it might finally be time to get a cell phone. I know I have ranted about how much I hate them, but right now I don't see a better option. It looks like I can get a plan with more minutes than I'll need for under $35 a month, but the problem now is that there are about 100 phones on the market that all look about the same but seem to vary in price a great deal. I can't imagine I'll ever get into text messaging, and I don't think I'll be taking many pictures. Is there anything else I need to consider besides sound quality and battery life? At the moment I'm kind of leaning toward the Razor since it is slimmer than the rest and seems like it would be less annoying to carry around. But at the moment that's all I'm basing my decision on.

The cell phone industry has finally broken my will. It's truly a dark day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Big Brother Is Watching

I saw this story in the Seattle Times earlier this week. The city has put up cameras at 4 intersections to catch people running red lights. I guess I kind of have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand I don't like the idea of cameras watching me everywhere I go. But on the other hand, it theoretically is making that intersection safer, and even if it isn't, it's bringing in a lot of revenue to the city from people who deserve to contribute to the general fund. The cameras have been up for a year now and have brought in over $900k. Hopefully some of that will go to road repair, and maybe building some mass transit that the voters keep approving. On a side note, I don't know what it is about this state that we keep passing light rail and monorail bills, but we don't get anything built (well, they are finally starting to build light rail at least), and we keep voting down stadiums but they get built anyway.



Back to the topic at hand, one of the cameras, the one pictured in the article, is right out in front of my office, and I can tell you from experience that every single light change somebody either runs the light or is blocking the intersection. If traffic violations and accidents are really down as the city claims, then I would hate to have seen what that intersection was like before the cameras. I guess since I'm a law abiding citizen, I'm in favor of more traffic cameras. Not at all intersections, but just the most problematic.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

People I've Been Told I Look Like

Well, Friday I was told I looked like Joe Dirt. That is one of the more insulting comparisons I've heard which now include:
Jay
Silent Bob
Jack Black
Scott Spiezio
Scott Weiland
Louis CK
Troy Aikman

Now none of these people look remotely like each other, and I don't think look anything like me, but it's still kind of interesting. Scott Spiezio I have heard by far the most often. When he was playing for the Mariners I would hear that one about every other game. Haven't heard it once since he left though.

Stories From The Bus

This story starts on my bus ride home from work on Thursday. I was on the 245, about a mile from home when one of the passengers got up and started acting a little strange. He started pulling on his jacket sleeves, and from there moved down to the bottom of his jacket and started twisting it from side to side, all the while looking around the bus with a very confused look on his face. From there he moved about halfway to the back of the bus, grabbed the top of one of the seats and started pulling back and forth on it. By this time, the driver had stopped the bus and was trying to talk to him. The driver kept asking him if he was ok, or if he needed any help. The guy didn't seem to notice the driver was there and kept pulling on the seat while making incoherent sounds. The driver got on his radio and called for help, and the guy moved back to the front of the bus and started slapping his hands together like he was trying to dust them off. The driver again tried to talk to him, but still got no response.

Well, this went on for I would guess between 2 and 3 minutes and then the guy kind of snapped out of it and went right back to acting normal. He didn't even seem to realize that any of this had been going on. It was almost like he had been blacked out the whole time. As it turns out, he was having an epileptic seizure. He said he has been having 2 or 3 of them a week since he was 6 years old and that he was fine. I was relieved to find out he was ok, but since the driver had called for help, the bus had to sit there and wait for an aid car to show up and check him out before they could go on, and so I hopped on the next bus going by and headed for home.

What I really couldn't believe about all this though was that about halfway through the seizure, some jackass in the back of the bus actually said, "just kick him off the bus and let's get going." It just blows my mind that someone could see someone having what seemed to be a serious problem and all he could care about was that it was a minor inconvenience to him and wanted to just leave him on the side of the road. Unbelievable. I'm sure that guy must have been a Democrat. Ok, that was uncalled for and just kind of slipped out.

Ah, the joys of public transportation. I was about to say never a dull moment, but in fact there are a lot of dull moments, but occasionally those dull moments are interrupted by something very unusual.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Systematic Chaos



Get it now! Even if you don't like good music, get it anyway. I finally got around to picking up my copy the other day and it is so good that there are not enough superlatives in the world to describe it. Forsaken is my personal favorite so far. I was going to find a video of that on youtube, but all I could find were some live recordings with horrible sound and one home made slide show that sounded great but was so stupid I would be embarrassed to have it on my site. As always - rock on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Haircut

Well, my sources tell me it's about time for a haircut again. I'm told that my last haircut was sometime in December. I would dispute that it's been that long, but I honestly don't remember. Either way, it probably is about time.

So I'm opening up the floor to suggestions. Suggestions from certain people will be completely ignored, and those people know who they are. Photoshop renditions of what I might look like with different hair styles are encouraged, however I have already ruled out this look.

Perhaps it's time for me to go blonde. Maybe I'd look good with the Jay Buhner hair horse shoe look. I would prefer that to the Donald Trump hair though.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Up From The Depths

The big story of the day is that Japan was rocked by a 6.8 earthquake that severely damaged parts of northwest Japan. Not as big as the 7.0 that some of us in Seattle lived through back in 2001, but apparently much more severe in terms of property damage.

The really disturbing part of the story, however is that a nuclear power plant was damaged, subsequently leaking 315 gallons of water containing radioactive material into the Sea of Japan. A company statement said the leak had stopped and that there had been no "significant change" in the seawater under surveillance and no effect on the environment.

At this point, I assume you all see where this is going. The radioactive material will undoubtedly awaken Godzilla, who will then go on a rampage destroying far more than any earthquake ever could. At that point it will be up to modern science to find a way to sedate Godzilla, appease him in some way, or create a Mechagodzilla to battle him into submission.

The point is that very shortly, people will begin saying with dismay, "oh no, there goes Tokyo." Here is a short video of what we can expect in the days to come:

More Ken Levine

Required reading here. Ken wrote up a quick recap of his visit to the Mariner broadcasting booth.

Quote of the series: “And the score after five – your guess is as good as mine.”

And for those of you who missed it, here you go:

Today's Useless Trivia

Governors Schwarzenegger and Ventura have appeared in three films together: Predator, Running Man, and Batman & Robin

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Random Thoughts.....

.....after another weekend of baseball.

First off, it looks like Weaver is back to sucking again. He gets a few bad calls, or a few things don't go his way, and he just gives up. We need to get rid of him.

I saw more Detroit fans with casts on their right hands this weekend than I could believe. Is this the new fashionable thing to do in Detroit now?

On a sunny warm day in Seattle, there is no better place to be than Safeco Field. Except maybe Alki Beach. Point being though, if you haven't been to a game on a sunny day yet this year, make sure you get to one before it's too late.

Red Sox fans suck. No particular incident brought this on, it just occurred to me that I haven't said so in a while, and I didn't want anyone to forget.

I think the most entertaining part of Sunday's game was watching the two cute women at the bar. Actually, one was pretty cute, and the other was just ok looking. Anyway, these two sat there knocking back drinks for a couple innings in relative solitude, or at least as much solitude you can get in a stadium with 40,000 people in it. But eventually they had enough to really start showing signs of intoxication. At this point, losers started descending upon them like vultures on a dead carcass. They didn't have to buy another drink the rest of the game. There were deadbeats all over them, trying to get their pictures taken with them, looking for an excuse to wrap their arms around them and get a cheap feel. I couldn't help thinking, if you are a woman, and you are hoping to snag yourself the most desperate guy you can find with nothing else going for him but the willingness to spend some cash on your drinks in the hopes that he will eventually get into your pants, then hang out at a bar and act drunk. At the same time, I also couldn't help thinking, how many more drinks would it take for these already tanked women to look over in my direction? But perhaps the only thing standing between me and a three way was .... no, even as a joke I can't bring myself to finish that statement. Let it be known, Scott likes his women sober. Although sober women don't seem to like Scott, so that presents quite a conundrum. Also this whole dilemma has somehow caused Scott to start speaking in the third person for no apparent reason. At least one of these problems will be resolved as I vow to stop speaking in the third person, at least for the time being.

Friday, July 13, 2007

No Crap


I'm always intrigued when Woot offers the famous Random Crap. First off, I'm way more curious as to what's inside each bag than I should be. Second, I'm simply awestruck by the incredible popularity of said crap. People fall all over themselves to get a crack at some crap. Since this went on sale on Thursday, they have had almost 4,000 comments on their web site about it. Mostly people who are thrilled to finally get their grubby little hands on some coveted crap. I haven't yet fallen victim to this clever little trap, but I fear it's just a matter of time before curiosity gets the better of me and I roll the dice to see what I get. I have no doubt that I'll get something that will immediately be thrown away, and that has been what's held me back thus far. But on the other hand, hearing anecdotal evidence, or maybe just flat out urban legend, of people getting things like plasma tv's keeps me interested. If I actually did buy a bag of crap and got a plasma tv though, I would crap myself. I'll have to check back later when people start receiving their crap to see what they actually got. I'm not a gambler, but this might be what turns me into one.

Also From The BBC

I've never liked Prince, but I do applaud his latest decision to give the finger to the record industry. I don't know why it's still referred to as the record industry since they haven't made records in years. Maybe it isn't and I'm the only one who still refers to it as that instead of the recording industry. Am I simply behind the times? But I digress... Prince is giving away copies of his new CD with copies of the British paper Mail on Sunday. The recording industry (see, I can learn, I hope that makes you all happy) has been gouging consumers for far too long. The didn't get the hint when rampant piracy started, and I doubt they will get the hint now, but there's always hope. If not, they might get the hint when studios start going bankrupt, which shouldn't be too much longer now. Kudos to you Prince.

Housing Market In Decline

According to this article I found on the BBC, US home sales are at the slowest rate in 4 years, with no end in sight. I know that in other parts of the country, housing prices have dipped, but I'm still waiting for that to happen here.

But as far as I can tell, the economy isn't slowing down, so I assume that there isn't as much money to be made in real estate anymore. The stock market has been solid of late, which leads me to believe that investors are putting their money elsewhere. Or I could be completely wrong and we could be headed into another recession.

What I'm Listening To



I can't get enough of this song lately. It's been a while since Korn put out a good song, but they got this one right.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Welcome Back Ken Levine

Ken Levine is temporarily back in the broadcast booth with the Mariners. I'm not sure how long it will last, but make sure to tune it before he's gone. He may well be the most entertaining broadcaster you will ever hear.

And I may as well start up the bring back Ken Levine campaign again in the hopes of getting him back full time. I hate to say it, but most of the current broadcasting crew is pretty boring (pretty much all of them except Dave Niehaus). Maybe if this temporary stint is successful enough, we can turn it permanent.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good News For Mariner Fans

The M's have been rumored to have reached a deal with Ichiro, extending his stay in Seattle for another 5 years for reportedly between $90 and $100 million. I'm glad to be keeping him here, but do wonder how much longer he can be productive with his style of play. So much of his game is based on speed, and at 33, he's going to lose a step soon, and that could well mean a 50 point drop in his batting average. He does keep himself in phenomenal shape though, so he could maintain his level of play over the length of the deal. I celebrated the deal by watching Ichiro hit the first in the park home run in All Star Game history in HD.



Coming so soon on the heels of Hargrove resigning, speculation has already begun that Ichiro forced him out. I don't really think that's Ichiro's style, but if there's any truth to it, then I don't know why he didn't force out Bavasi too. I still think he looks like San Hill. Bavasi is twice as evil though.


In other good news, Mark Lowe has begun his rehab duty. I wonder if they are going to turn him into a starter since the bullpen is so solid this year. I also wonder if they'll send Brandon Morrow down and turn him into a starter when Lowe is ready for big league duty again. I'm not sure which is a better alternative.

Too Hot

I like warm weather as much as anybody, but 90+ is just too hot. I left my air conditioned office today and it was like opening an oven door. It was like being punched in the face by a big wall of hot. But that wasn't nearly as bad as seeing the obese woman walking down the street in a bikini. That should be illegal. When I first saw her from a distance I though she was pregnant. Turns out she was just gross.

Now they are forecasting 98ยบ for Wednesday. I don't know if that's a realistic expectation or a threat by the weathermen. I know they are not above sensationalizing the forecast to get some attention. Once the temperature hits triple digits though, my life is officially in danger.

Monday, July 09, 2007

HD Is For Me

I got home from work today to find that the good people from DHL delivered my HDTV 2 days ahead of schedule. If it had been shipped FedEx, it may never have arrived, but my FedEx hatred is a post for another day. Anyway, thanks to a screaming deal from Fry's, I'm catching up to the latest technology, and that was all the excuse I needed to sit down in my recliner and not move for the rest of the evening. I may have to call in sick the rest of the week. That combined with the fact that the weather will be hot enough to prohibit much physical activity the rest of the week, and it may be some time before I see the light of day again.

My one concern so far is that the picture is not quite as clear as I had hoped. I don't know if Comcast is to blame for this, or my lack of an HDMI cable, or both, but I think I'm going to have to get an HDMI cable and see how much that improves things. And I'm also beginning to wonder if I need an HD DVD player. But perhaps it's wiser to see how the whole blue ray thing shakes out since it looks like blue ray is winning the battle so far.

What I do know is that I have not been spending enough quality time in front of the tv in recent weeks, something I plan to remedy soon.

*Update: here is the model I got.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Scott The Movie

Now this is something that I'm a little embarrassed to say I've put a little to much thought into, but here it is anyway. So the big question is: when they make the movie about my life, who will get the coveted role of Scott? Obviously, the first names to come to mind will be Brad Pitt and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, while Brad is a fine actor, I'm not sure he has the dynamic range to fully capture my personality. And Arnold is a close physical approximation, but I feel that most people will have trouble getting past the accent. Besides, with the governor gig he's got now, I'm not sure he'd have the time.

So what this leads me to is an actor that I'm not sure many people would think of, Owen Wilson. Granted he doesn't look much like me, and he talks a lot more, but I think he's got the right sense of humor. Plus, even though he is a lot more verbose than me, he is not gregarious and has that quiet, low key demeanor that I am known for. He would have to grow his hair out more though.

I haven't yet decided whether to cast Jessica Alba or Eva Mendes as my love interest yet. Perhaps there should be more than one. Yes, I think that would be the smart move, so both shall now be in the movie.

Several more roles have yet to be cast, so if you are going to be in the movie, submit your suggestions. I will say now though, that no one will be playing them self. That never works out. I think William Shatner will be playing the role of Pat, seeing as how they have similarly misplaced egos. Devon, my nemesis, will be played by Michael Moore, whom he is only slightly more annoying than. I'm thinking Jeff Bridges for the role of Shelvis. Maybe Wayne Brady for the role of Wayne. The Molitor will be played by Chris Rock. Lyndsay will be played by Lindsay Lohan. And since I am obviously out of ideas, I'll stop now.

I'm Tired

Well, after a week of gluttony, explosions, auto repair, sunburns, and other good times, I'm sad to say that I have to head back to work tomorrow. I feel like I need a few more days off to recover from my vacation. I also was unprepared for the withdrawal I would feel after several days of limited internet access. But now it's back to business as usual.

I was tipped off to the greatest coffee shop in the world recently though. A place called Cowgirls Espresso. If you love coffee, you have to go there. If you don't love coffee, you still have to go there. It's that good. By the way, I wouldn't recommend clicking that link at work.

And now for something more interesting:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crackpot Theories

I have already found yet another benefit of being home during the day. There is a wonderful show on the National Geographic channel today about how NASA faked the moon landing. Several nutjobs are going on at length about how it wasn't possible for the astronauts to do the things they did, the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of the film and photos, etc. It's all great fun.

I'll tell you right now that I don't believe any conspiracy theories. I don't believe a UFO crashed in Roswell. I don't believe bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster exist. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy. And I have absolutely no doubt that we did actually land on the moon. But that doesn't mean that I don't find these crackpots to be very entertaining. I am a sucker for almost any show about mythical monsters, ghosts (although those are beginning to wear thin), government cover ups, secret organizations, aliens, etc. I absolutely love those things. How people can come up with such intricate, convoluted explanations for things is endlessly fascinating to me.

So I either need to take more vacations, or somehow find more time to waste on daytime television. Working is for suckers. Maybe if I can come up with some suitably insane theory of my own, I can write a book about it and make enough money to retire. The best theory I have come up with so far is that a planet nearly identical to earth exists directly on the other side of the sun, and that's where all the aliens are coming from. And because the sun is always in the way, we can't ever see it. I was deeply saddened when I told that theory to someone else who said that the theory already exists. So I'm back to square one. All ideas are welcome.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Crazy Man

I don't know why I'm so entertained by this story, but I am. The short version of the story is this: a man in New York came across a peacock outside a Burger King and started wailing on it, claiming it was really a vampire. I know I should probably feel bad about it since the guy is clearly mentally ill, and the bird had to be euthanized, but it is just so bizarre that I find it amusing. Although I guess the guy could have been sane, but high on something. I don't know if that makes it more or less tragic though. Or more or less amusing.

Vacation


I am on vacation all this week, which means I'll be sleeping in for a change, but it also means I've got a lot of time to waste now. For example, I have time to post an old picture I found of myself a couple weeks ago. This was just after my high school graduation.

I was still young and happy and didn't hate the world yet. Ah, how the times have changed. Check out the sweet hair.

A lot of people that have only known me as an adult think I look completely different now, but I still think I look pretty much the same. Except, obviously, that I now have long hair and have turned into a fat bastard. But I guess those things do make a pretty big difference. Fortunately, I don't have a treasure trove of old pictures since I have always hated getting my picture taken, so this will probably be the only old picture you'll be subjected to.

Who Needs A Kwik-E-Mart


Seattle doesn't anymore. The 7-Eleven on Denny in downtown has been turned into a Kwik-E-Mart to promote the upcoming Simpsons movie. I'm going to have to find my way down there eventually.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day

Today I got to see the Mariners celebrate Canada Day by sweeping Toronto and sending the large amount of Canadians in attendance home with their heads hanging. It was a great day at the ballpark. It was sunny and warm. We officially got rid of Mike Hargrove, although we may never know why. That's 8 wins in a row for those of you scoring at home. I can't remember what the M's record is in games I've attended this year anymore, but I do know that they have won 5 of the last 6 I've been to. Good times.

I do feel the need to once again state that it never ceases to surprise me how many Canadian baseball fans are foul mouthed, belligerent drunks. They really like to come across the border, get sh*t faced, and see how close they can come to getting beaten up or arrested. I don't have any figures on how many of them were ejected from the stadium this series, but if I hear, I'll pass it along. Don't believe the lies that Canadians are friendly and polite. It's just not true.

They weren't all bad though. The cute Canadian girl who sat in my section today is welcome to come back any time she likes. And even though she looked pretty young, I'm pretty sure that with the exchange rate, she was legal. And before I get any comments telling me what a dirty old man I am, let me say for the record that I am joking.

And once again, what's the deal with the funk blast? I don't know how much more of that I can take.