Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Enough Already

Today's edition of enough already is brought to you by the swine flu. I can't go 15 minutes without hearing something about it. Even when I'm avoiding the media I can't avoid hearing about it. I walked by a tv at lunch today and just glanced at it and saw the completely non-alarmist headline, "Swine flu pandemic immanent!" And beyond that I get emails and here people talking everywhere they go. I haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the bird flu threatened humanity. Before that it was Sars, before that it was mad cow disease, etc...

I looked up the symptoms and it turns out they are the same as the regular flu. You have to go to a doctor to tell the difference. I think the death toll world wide is now up to 7. Will the carnage never end?!? Seriously though, what is the big deal? Why does there have to be a new disease that threatens humanity every year? Give it a rest already CDC and WHO. In 2 months nobody will remember this until the next great pandemic rolls into town.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Power Outage

....sort of. Last night I had one of the weirdest power outages, no, make that definitely the weirdest that I've ever had. I was up past my bed time, about 1:30, and just about ready to call it a night when the power went out in about 3/4 of my condo. I thought some of the breakers must have been tripped, but I checked them all and everything was in order. I checked them 3 times to make sure I hadn't missed something. Even now I don't know what was going on. What I do know is that there was no power in my bedroom, bathroom, or hallway. All but one of the outlets in the living room lost power, and two of the 3 outlets in the kitchen lost power. And in the kitchen, the range lost power, but lucky for me the refrigerator didn't. Lights in both the kitchen and living room still had power. And perhaps the weirdest thing, the light switch in the kitchen, which still worked, is 2 inches from an outlet that didn't.

Well, since it was pretty late, I thought it was a perfect time to go to sleep, but it turned out that I couldn't stop pondering the mystery. I couldn't fall asleep because I couldn't stop wondering just what the hell was going on. So I did the natural thing and went in the living room to watch tv because the outlet it was plugged into still worked. I thought that it would distract me from wondering and I would be able to sleep in my recliner. Well, that worked for a while, but I woke up again and once again began pondering the mystery and wondering if the hot water heater had power for me to be able to have a warm shower in the morning. And yes, this is one of the main reasons I have insomnia, often times I just can't stop thinking about things. Consequently I need the tv on to be able to distract me. Well, luckily for me, shortly before 4 the power returned as mysteriously as it had left, and I went back to my room, turned on the tv and was asleep in minutes. This morning I had the irritation of setting all my clocks again, but there were no other side effects. I just wish I knew what the hell happened. I wonder if there are some breakers somewhere outside my unit that I don't know about. Perhaps I'll never know.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Better late than never I guess. I was planning on doing this earlier in the week but kept putting it off and the next thing you know it's 11 hours before the draft. Let me start by bragging a little. Last year I predicted the Seahawks would draft John Carlson. The year before I called Brandon Mebane. And the year before that I was successfully able to pick Kelly Jennings. This year it seems like it should be easier with the #4 pick, but I'm having a lot harder time for some reason. It just seems like they could go with about 5 different guys. The one thing I know for sure is that it won't be Mark Sanchez.

Surprisingly the Lions announced they have reached a deal with Matt Stafford. If Matt Millen was still there then Crabtree would have been a foregone conclusion. I guess 9 years in a row is enough for drafting a WR in the first round. And just let me go on record now as saying that Stafford will not amount to much. He reminds me a lot of Jeff George. He's a perfect pick for the hapless Lions.

Now, to the Seahawks at #4. Part of the problem is that I think there is a reasonable chance they will trade down even though the Broncos swear they have no interest in trading up. I guess the Redskins will have to come through for us. But in the event they are stuck in the spot, I think Aaron Curry is the epitome of the Ruskell player, but I have a hard time imagining that LB is a big enough need that we'd take him that high. And I KNOW QB isn't that much of a need. Which brings us to OT or WR. Eugene Monroe seems to be the concensus among the "experts" who think we'll go with an OT, but my gut tells me it will be Michael Crabtree. Logically it doesn't make as much sense as shoring up the line, but Jim Mora seems to have a man crush on him. I'd like to be able to trade down a few spots and pick up Andre Smith, but I don't think it will play out. You heard it here first - Crabtree.

In the second round I'm really hoping the Seahawks jump on Duke Robinson. The guy is a huge mauler at OG and will go a long way toward fixing the running game. I've seen him fall to the third round in some mock drafts, but I'd be concerned about waiting that long on him. I'd also love to see us take either Safety Patrick Chung or Rashad Johnson. If I never see Brian Russell on the field again for the Seahawks I'll be happy and either of these guys could easily step in and take his place. Ideally they'd be able to grab Chung in the 2nd and Robinson in the 3rd. So, I think the Seahawks will manage to pull off a trade to get an additional 2nd round pick and will take both guys.

The last guy I have my eye on is Glen Coffee. We could use another RB and he would be a great pick in the 5th or later round. And with a name like Coffee, where else would he go but Seattle? The lawyers for Starbucks are drawing up the paperwork for an endorsement deal as we speak.

Final random thoughts. BJ Raji intrigues me. He has the physical tools to be a monster, but seems to be a trouble maker and could be a huge bust. This tells me he's headed to either Cleveland or Denver. They seems to love guys like that. Percy Harvin looks like a bust to me and I wouldn't touch him. Sanchez is pretty overrated too. He could turn into a good pro, but he's going to take a lot of work and seems kind of risky for the top half of the first for me. Ron Brace is another guy to keep your eye on. If he falls to the third, he'd look good in a Seahawk uniform.

The Seahawks should be looking for a QB, but not until a later round. Even better, with rumors that the Browns and Redskins are considering drafting a QB, maybe we could trade for Jason Campbell, Derek Anderson, or Brady Quinn. They could all be available and would fit will in the Seahawks system. I kind of like Graham Harrell in a late round. Finally, stay away from John Parker Wilson. Not only was he ineffective at Alabama and as brought to my attention by PGT, no player who goes by 3 names has panned out.

It's late now, that's all for tonight.

A Modest Proposal

I have been thinking about it, and I believe that Kenji Johjima is the key to the Mariners success so far this season. But he's been hurt most of the season you say. Exactly! Last year a few of the pitchers were complaining about Joh, saying that they don't like pitching to him. I thought they were mostly whiners, but so far this year the pitching has been amazing and I'm beginning to think he might be the reason.

The Mariners sure haven't been winning with their hitting. With Lopez hitting an anaemic .236, Gutierrez and Griffey at .196, and Beltre bringing up the rear of the starting line up with his .169 average, it's clear that they've been getting the job done with pitching and defense. Take Washburn for example. His turn around has been shocking. 3-0 with a 1.71 era - 2 more wins and he'll match his total from last year. I always knew that Johjima didn't play very good defense and doesn't call a great game. Bedard's turn around has been equally impressive and I'm convinced it's because Rob Johnson is behind the plate. But then again the M's are 5-2 with Johjima starting and 6-4 with Rob Johnson. So maybe I don't have a clue what I'm talking about.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chew More Gum

An exciting new study was released today showing that students who chew gum in class score 3% higher on their math tests than their gumless classmates. It is believed that chewing gum reduces stress as the students were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This completely unbiased study was funded by the Wrigley Science Institute.

In a related study, the Hershey's Department of Health and Well Being announced findings that eating large quantities of dark chocolate will make you more attractive to the opposite sex and the Pepsi Truth Institute found that copious amounts of carbonated beverages prolong erections in men and increase breast size in women.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The beautiful weather on Sunday afforded me the opportunity to hit the links with a couple of buddies for the first time in about a year, and the first time since I broke my finger. The finger didn't present too many problems but didn't help either. By the back nine it was getting a little sore and continues to be sore today. But by then other parts of me were getting sore too.

We played at Kenwanda up in Snohomish, which is located on a hilltop giving it a great view but there is a fair amount of hiking up and down hills on the back nine. My feet were getting sore, in addition to my left forearm - an injury which would land a Mariner pitcher on the 15 day DL. I played through it though.

Ultimately I shot an unimpressive but just short of embarrassing 136 but got killed by both Slim and Hanner Montaner (who hates his new nickname making it even funnier). Hopefully after a few buckets at a driving range I'll be able to shave a few strokes off that total. Maybe one a hole would be nice. Bring on the sun.

**Coming soon, my highly anticipated draft predictions. I've got a pretty good reputation going so stay tuned.

Calling All Bankers

Today I received a letter from one of my credit card companies telling me that they had reviewed my card usage and based on my history were cutting my available balance in half. Since I rarely use this particular card, because it's got too high an interest rate and because the balance was so ridiculously high that I was afraid to carry it around with me - my initial reaction was that this was good news. Even at half what it was, it's still several times more than I will ever charge.

I began to get concerned though when I read a paragraph down toward the bottom though. It said that the decision was based in part on information provided by Equifax. As far as I know, I don't have any blemishes on my credit record. I always pay my bills on time and I don't usually carry balances on my cards. So now I'm concerned about what might be on my credit report.

So, friends with a banking background, how concerned should I be by this? As I understand it, if I order a credit report myself, it will show up as a soft hit, what are the potential negative repercussions? If I find something there that shouldn't be there, how difficult is it to clean up? Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Edited for TV

Thanks to an anonymous tip I was alerted to the brilliant editing job to make Snakes on a Plane safe for tv. "I have had it with these monkey fightin' snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!" I can't begin to explain the brilliance involved here. After three or four minutes of imagining snakes and monkeys battling it for the entertainment of weekday airline passengers - another budgetary move by a cut rate airline not wanting to spend the money on an in flight movie, I snapped out of it. That's when the lightbulb went off and I realized the brilliance of putting a completely nonsensical line into a preposterous movie. What could be more fitting. I feel like Homer Simpson as I'm imagining monkeys recreating the Civil War.

Then I started thinking about what, in my mind, is the worst editing job I have ever witnessed - Die Hard 2. I KNOW that several of you are way ahead of me and know I'm talking about the infamous 'yippie kay aye mister Falcon' scene. Not only was this one of the dumbest things I've ever heard, but for that one line, Bruce Willis' voice inexplicably changes completely. I immediately set out searching the internet for this wondrous video. In my quest to find this clip, I found a list of several other great edits including the amazing, "You racist melon farmer!" from the venerable Samuel L Jackson in Die Hard With a Vengeance, tying the whole thing together. But even more fascinating is that according to this same site:

Mr. Rupert "Stretch" Armstrong Falcon III was a network censor responsible for
editing the dialogue of popular films when broadcast on television, in order to
make them safer for children who would undoubtedly become drug users and
murderers if obscene language fell upon their innocent ears. Falcon was hired by
the networks to edit out the offending language and replace it with alternate
dialogue. He was remarkable for his ability to substitute an obscenity with a
word that was offensive to nobody and always made absolutely perfect sense, and
to imitate the voice of any actor with no less than 23% accuracy.

So the Die Hard 2 edit really is a fitting tribute to his hard work. And as luck would have it, I found a clip of several quality edits from Die Hard 2. The original unedited scene is shown followed by the safe for television version.

And I've said many times before that I do my best to avoid reading any comments on the internet, especially on youtube, but I broke my rule and was quite amused by one gentleman who said that he first say this on the TBS feature movies for guys who like movies ... with no boobs, blood, or swears.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

37 Stitches

I'm starting to become a Drowning Pool fan. I'm a little ashamed I don't know too much about them. I first heard them in 2001 (I had to look it up) when their song Bodies was getting some airplay. Then I didn't hear anything from them for several years and assumed they were done until they re-emerged in late 2007 with the great songs Soldiers and Enemy and the not so good cover of Rebel Yell. And while looking up the date that Bodies was released, I also found some interesting facts. Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox pitcher) plays Bodies when he comes to the mound and it has been in the trailer for the following movies: Rambo, Daredevil, XXX, The One, Jason X (Friday the 13th sequel), and The Punisher.

I'm pretty proud of the band for going to Iraq to perform for the troops with the USO and campaigning for better mental health care for returning soldiers. The song Soldiers was written to honor our soldiers and half the proceeds from their 'This is for the soldiers' tour went to fund mental health care for them. You can read more about it here.

Anyway, back to 37 stitches, it's a little slower and melodic than their previous offerings. I love the harmonies and haunting guitars. I'm not really sure what the song is about but assume a bad relationship. I could listen to this song over and over though. I think I'll learn to play it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Waking Up Canadian

I know, we've all seen this plot in dozens of horror movies, you go to sleep like you do every night, but in the morning you find out that due to some legislative changes you're suddenly Canadian. On April 17th, the nightmare became a reality for thousands. These poor souls are forced to give up delicious bacon for thinly sliced ham. They will be forced to watch hockey, and maybe even curling. They will have to start mispronouncing words like 'about' and calling knit hats 'tuques'. How is this not a human rights violation? Why won't the UN intervene? Oh, the humanity.

Just look at the terrorist recruitment film produced by the Canadian government and tremble in fear.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

To Live Forever

While browsing videos online today I struck gold. When searching for To Live Forever, I was able to find a bunch of auditions for a new lead singer for the greatest band in the history of the world - Dream Theater. Dream Theater recorded their first album with a guy named Charlie Dominici. I hate to say it, but he really wasn't very good. And I'm not a fan of the current singer - James LaBrie - but he's a lot better than Charlie. Anyway, there were clips of auditions for 4 or 5 different guys and even though the quality wasn't very good it was pretty interesting to hear. The band certainly would have a different feel with somebody else.

Anyway, on to To Live Forever. This is a fantastic extended live version from Tokyo. For those of you familiar with Dream Theater, when I say extended, I mean extended. They aren't known for their short songs, rather their unapologetic self indulgence. Personally, I love it, but at the same time I know it's not everybody's cup of tea. In this one you're subjected to some extended wailing from James LaBrie that I could have done without, but once you get past that you're treated to a long guitar solo from John Petrucci. John is so good that I actually find myself discouraged by listening to him play. I feel like I should quit playing myself because there's no way I could ever be anywhere near that good. That aside, there's a stretch from about the 7:00 minute mark to about the 8:15 mark that I really enjoy. It's a little bit of a bluesy riff that has a catchy groove to it. I could probably listen to that guy just noodle all day long.

To Live Forever is actually one of my favorite songs of theirs even though it was an unreleased non-album track. Granted I don't really have my finger on the pulse of popular culture, but this is one of the songs that could have had some commercial success. That could have doubled their success! Note the tongue in cheek album that they put out last year - Dream Theater's Greatest Hit. This video still features original keyboard player Kevin Moore who I miss. He wrote, in my opinion, some of their best songs (including this one) before he left the band to move to Costa Rica and eventually Istanbul and record music under the name Chroma Key. He seems to have had some psychological issues to deal with and his current music is a lot more experimental, and even many of the songs he wrote with Dream Theater were more introspective, particularly Space Dye Vest which really struck a chord with me and I'll probably write about some other day.

One last treat before I let you go: here is a demo of the best Beattles cover material you'll ever hear, courtesy of Dream Theater.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Urgent Message

From the US Federal Department of Deliciousness, make sure to get your free taco today! They split the picture up into 4 pieces to try to make things difficult for me, but just follow the link above.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

...And The Winner Is


Today's headline on ESPN - Tight back forces Griffey to DH. By tomorrow he will be on the DL. He did make it more than one full week before his aging body caught up with him though. It's a shame that this had to interfere with his blistering hot 2-15 start. How will he pad his .188 average and boost his impressive 1 RBI now?

For all of those who voted for Bedard or Lowe in the poll, sorry.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More Cliches

Recently I mentioned a couple cliches that I've had enough of, but today I bring you one that deserves more use. On Friday morning's bus ride into work I witnessed a woman applying make up. This was a .... large woman, applying the make up in quantities and with such precision that the inherent bumps and jostles of the bus did not in any way deter her. This was when one of my favorite cliches came to mind - rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It is such a wonderfully descriptive phrase and is just amusing enough that it is perfect. Your assignment this week is to find an opportunity to work this into a conversation and report back.

Luckily for you, this is a buy one, get one free offer. I'm also reminded of one of my late grandpa's favorite sayings. At times we would be on our way out the door, everyone would be ready to go except my grandma. She would be putting on her make up and my grandpa would say, "we have to wait for your grandmother to put on her war paint before we can go." I always thought that was funny.

Soccer Hooligans

After seeing a post from the Camel discussing soccer hooligans, the memories came flooding back from the one European game I attended. About 6 years ago, while on vacation in Denmark, I was fortunate enough to be able to get my hands on a highly coveted ticket to see FC København (that's Copenhagen to you English speaking chumps) play cross town rivals Brøndby. I knew I was in for a good show when, after receiving a full pat down entering the stadium, I found out that beer came in handy 5 packs. They had a very conveniently designed carrying container which allows you to carry all 5 beers in one hand. This innovation has yet to make it's way across the Atlantic to US sporting events, but I imagine MADD might have something to say about it. Luckily the 2 guys I went to the game with purchased 2 of these, and being a teetotaler I didn't partake. This led to one of the gentlemen consuming, I believe, 7 of them himself.

**Note - picture doesn't seem to be showing all the time but can be found here.

Unlike in other parts of the world, I was never in any real danger, but unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the Brøndby goal keeper. At one point a fan threw....I was going to say a fire cracker, but perhaps explosive would be more accurate....on the field. At the time the action was at the other end of the field, but from a good 60 - 70 yards away I could hear the explosion in a sold out stadium which I would guess seats about 40,000 screaming fans. The goalee didn't hear anything for a while after that. When I looked over I could see a cloud of black smoke about 10 yards away from the poor guy who was now doubled over in pain with his hands covering his ears.

This was the only violence that I witnessed, however I did witness several ejections by security. At domestic sporting events this is typically a pretty uninteresting event - a couple security guards will tap someone on the shoulder and say, "come with me please" and off the person will go (although in my years with the Mariners I've witnessed a couple guys mouthing off to police and that leads to a more interesting confrontation). Well, in Copenhagen when they eject someone, a swat team consisting of about 10 guys in riot gear descend on the unsuspecting fan when he's not looking and literally drag him kicking and screaming from the stadium. That, my friends, is a much more interesting event to view.

There were half a dozen ejections in the game I was at, and that constituted most of the excitement, however I must also mention the half time entertainment. A Danish rap group performed in what was one of the most laughable things I saw there. There were 4 pale blond guys who looked like they belonged in the mall food court rapping in Danish and trying their best to look like bad asses. Had this taken place in Oakland, Detroit, or Philly, I think that the beating they would have received would have landed them in the hospital. If I weren't so lazy I'd look up some Danish rap videos on youtube for a good laugh.

I think FCK ended up winning, but honestly I don't really remember anymore. What I do remember is that after the game, my inebriated friend insisted on singing a song he had written, and teaching said song, about the other team's fans. I don't know the lyrics, but the sober friend informed me that, among other things, it had to do with the other fans having limp d!cks and so on... It was quite inflammatory and despite my lack of knowledge of the song, it was clear that the other team didn't care for it and I got to help calm a couple guys who meant him harm. Oh, and he also got a pretty good scolding from a lady whose front yard he decided to pee in since there weren't any nearby restrooms. A good time was had by all. As luck would have it, I still have my souvenir from the game - the ticket stub. Finally my hobby of collecting ticket stubs paid off! And as you can see from the handy seating chart on the back, I had some pretty good seats. Section C6!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Quote of the Day

Anyway, long story short is a phrase whose origins are complicated and rambling. - Grandpa Simpson

Monday, April 06, 2009

Blue Wave

If this doesn't bring back the Seahawks glory days and get you excited about the draft then there's no hope for you.


I know I complained a lot about bringing Griffey back, and I still don't think it's the best move for the team in the long run, but I have to admit that when I got home, turned on the tv, and saw him step into the batter's box, the old memories came flooding back and it put a smile on my face. My first thought was, "he's got a home run in him." And 5 pitches later, he put the ball in the seats, it put another smile on my face. Now it's time to trade him for Randy Johnson before he gets injured.

Blackberry Creme Latte

Today, due to lots of sunshine and warm weather, I had to go wandering around outside at lunch time today. My journey's led me past a Seattle's Best Coffee, which I would normally just keep walking past since I think their coffee is the worst in Seattle, but I saw the blackberry creme latte sign in the window and I had no choice but to stop in and try it. I love blackberry. I love creme. And I love lattes. What could go wrong with that? Well, it was drinkable, but I thought it was too sweet and was disappointed that the blackberry flavors were a little muted. And at 480 calories for a 16 ounce, I believe it officially qualifies as a calorie bomb. I'm pretty sure it had more calories than the rest of my lunch. So the moral of the story is: I can't in good conscience recommend this beverage.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Orphanage

This weekend I watched El Orfanato, or The Orphanage if you prefer. The well reviewed Spanish ghost story was sounded like just my kind of movie. More of a psychological thriller than a blood & guts Friday the 13th style slash fest. The movie revolves around a woman who returns to the now abandoned orphanage she grew up with with her husband and adopted son in the hopes of eventually running an orphanage herself. Her son begins communicating with imaginary friends and not much is thought of this until he mysteriously disappears at his birthday party.

I was lucky enough to watch this on blu ray and the visuals were absolutely captivating. The audio was also quite well done with various creaks and bumps in the night to build the suspense. My big problem came from the movie degrading from a ghost story into a less interesting story about a hysterical mother who will go to any length, no matter how illogical or ill advised, to try to get her son back. Truth be told, after all was said and done I wasn't sure whether there were any ghosts at all or if they were all imagined. Perhaps it wasn't a ghost story at all.

Did this make it a bad movie? No, it was still an above average and watchable movie. I just felt that the ending was dissatisfying after the quality set up. I don't exactly know what it was that other reviewers raved so much about, but I would have to give this movie a respectable but not spectacular 6 fists out of 10 on the Craw Fu scale. Way better than Twilight though. Yes, that was for your benefit Lyndsay.

Oh, and one last note I should mention. Be prepared to read subtitles. I saw a few idiots on Netflix who left bad reviews basically saying, "boo hoo, they didn't tell me this was in Spanish. I'm too dumb to be able to read." Don't be one of those people.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


The Denver Broncos pulled off one of the biggest swindles in NFL history. Not since a hapless Chicago Bears gave away a first round pick for a worthless Rick Mirer in 1996 has there been such a misguided and desperate trade. Kyle Orton plus 2 first round picks and a third round pick for Cutler and a fifth round pick is insane. I personally think that Orton is a better QB. He's not the prototypical big, strong armed QB who can throw the deep ball and make the big plays like, oh say, Rex Grossman. He's a smart QB who makes the high percentage throws and doesn't make many mistakes, like Joe Montana, or if you think that's too favorable a comparison, then Dave Krieg without all the fumbles. Plus he's not an egomaniacal head case. Orton will be able to make some throws underneath and let Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal turn them into big plays. And with the draft picks thrown in they can shore up some holes on defense. This is a huge win for the Broncos.

The really intriguing part for Seahawks fans is that the Broncos might be looking at Orton as a stop gap and with the extra first round pick might be willing to trade up to the Seahawks spot to get Stafford or Sanchez. Or I'd be happy to take Orton to trade down. The opportunity to pick up an impact OT and still get something else has me salivating. And despite recent talk that the Hawks might draft a QB 4th overall, I find that completely inconceivable.

This ended up turning into a bigger Orton love fest than I had originally planned, but I really believe this trade has the opportunity to end up benefiting the Seahawks in a big way. And until things shake out a little more, I'll hold off on my annual draft predictions.

Thank you Chuckman for pointing out that Orton is much less of a salary cap hit as well.

His biggest down side, as I see it, is his hideous beard.

Quote of the Day

I respect your diversity to the extent the law requires. - Hermes Conrad

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The pig is an amazing animal, you feed a pig an apple, it makes bacon. I find that impressive. Let's see Michael Phelps do that." - Jim Gaffigan

I'm in the middle of watching his most recent special - King Baby - and it is hilarious. I don't know when it's airing again, but check your local listings.