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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mr. Beagle's Neighborhood take 2

Here is an example of trying to learn technology- I present you a map of the neighborhood with dumtacks to point out where stuff is.(once again, you'll have to click on the map to see everything I'm talkng about, sorry.) I marked that projection of the woods where we saw the foxes as "fox Patch", the trail that Tina found as "Tina's Landing", and a brand new feature we call the "green hole". This is where the stream that goes through Woodbridge, crosses the feeder at that white line above the soccer fields, then goes into the woods at the river's edge and turns south. It makes yet another deep ravine that goes south until you hit the Green Hole, which we found today. This is a big circular depression, cut off now from water sources as the stream is basically dry right now, and full of bright green algae. Another dry bed turns perpendicular to the first, towards the river, so at some point this is a collecting point for water heading from the stream to the river.
We stumbled onto this because Scrappy had a Jones to go exploring this morning and we were ducking in and out of trails all along the river's edge as we moved north. We didn't start out till 8:45 so no deer, fox, rhino, or what have you today, though the first of the trails we took I saw a big fish groping through the roots at the water's edge. Looked like a carp, guessing maybe 15 inches long, and preferred to eat in privacy and thus left once we came along. The path we took to the green hole was farther on up, and led to a bigger entrance about halfway between where the pin's stuck and where the woods' edge turns north again. Scrappy really, really wanted to go down to the hole and I considered possibly following the dry bed to the river, but heat, bugs, and the thought of cleaning off a green beagle changed my mind.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What? now he's following international Baseball?

Not really, but in watching the Little League World Series these last two weeks, I did decide to do a little research on what's out there. Believe me, it's not hockey.

China started a six team lewague in 2003, and it was dominated for whatever existance it had (or has) by the Beijing Tigers. I got indications that this league was dropped after 2009 and a new six team league was to begin play in August 2010, but its website only reads "under construction".

Taiwan has a 4 team loop which plays a split season much like many American minor leagues. It looks like they are in the second half, with the Elephants of Taipei a usual leader.

In South Korea, the Han-Kook Pro Yagoo (catchy, huh?) is an 8 team circuit with the Kia Tigers of Gwangju and the SK Wyvern of Inchon in a tight tight race as their season winds down.

Of course, the pride of international baseball is the NPB of Japan, split into Central and Pacific leagues, much like MLB. The defending champs are the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, and they lead their league right now, looking towards a possible Japan Series matchup against Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

The Mexican League is officially a AAA league of Minor League Baseball. The Saraperos of Saltillo are the two-time champs, winning the 2010 championship over Puebla 4-1, including a 21-2 romp in the series finale.

Italy's Serie A1 is in its finals between 1st place Parma and 4th place Bologna, with Bologna having won the first game 2-1.

The only other credible Euro-league is the Dutch Honkbal Hoofdklasse. Perennial power DOOR Neptunus of Rotterdam rolled through the 42-game regular season at 39-3, swept the first playoff round, and awaits the winner of Corendon Kinheim of Haarlem/ L&D Amsterdam in the final.

Venezuela and the Dominican have winter leagues, whose histories are full of former major leaguers. The defending Venezuelan champ is the Leones del Caracas, who year-in and year-out dominate their 8-team league. In the Dominican, its the Leones del Escogito, who won last year's title under manager (and former Cardinal star) Ken Oberkfell. This team's history is full of their favorite sons, the Alou brothers. The Caracas team was once the home of White Sox stars Luis Aparicio and Chico Carrasqual, as well as A's and Red Sox slugger Tony Armas. These two leagues send their champs in January to face off against the champs of the Puerto Rican and Mexican Pacific winter leagues in the Carribean Series.

a typical walk parts V and VI

Yesterday Scrappy and I took off about 7:40 am in order to miss all the joggers and soccer-istas. Following the north edge of the meadow, we entered the woods at the second entrance. As we approached the paved part of the trail we saw an IPFW truck sitting just inside the woods. Either he was posted to watch for early morning poachers or was just trying to smoke a breakfast joint. When we were about 15 yds from him (and he saw us and began to back out), a buck appeared right between us about 30 ft into the woods. Of course, Scrappy was oblivious (for the time being) but the deer was not, and immediately took off.

We went up the ravine trail, and actually descended to the ravine floor for the first time. At first, Mr. Boy was excited to go on the new adventure; after a few yards, however, he was ready to go back up to stick his head in all the groundhog holes. (which reminds me that I should mention for the count that we also tracked one of them I think Monday.) Coming out, we decided to take California down to the river. Along the way, we went down what appeared to be just an opening to the creek that Tina discovered the other day. We quickly found out that it was the start of a network of trails all along the creek, possibly all the way to the river. It opens to the creek bank in at least 3 spots, and at one of them Scrappy got a drink and dipped his foot in (finding it too cold: it was 51.7 F when we left.). By the time we reached the river, a low mist was rolling across it with the sun just over the top of the scene. It was so cool we made Laurie get up and go with us today (which we'll get to in a bit). Retracing our path, we decided to take the dry stream beds that criss-cross the woods down to the creek north of the woods bridge, cross the creek twice (with Scrappy going in weenie-deep as usual) and coming up in the dry bed we had discovered last Sunday. This trail took us close enough to the buck's path that we immediately went careening through the woods on the path he'd took a half-hour before. Eventually, Scrappy came to the conclusion that he had, in fact, lost the trail; and after another 2-3 minutes of tangling, tripping, and running me through every spider web on the west side, he gave up the chase.

Last night, we went for a shorter neighborhood walk, and saw a deer cross the street into are back yard and on through the fence row whilst we were on the other side of the park. This was shortly before 8 pm.

This morning, with Laurie in tow, we set out on what would basically be the same path. If you look at the map post ("Mr. Beagle's neighborhood") you'll see that there is a projection on the woods on the far north end of the meadow. We were nearing this when I saw, up at the main wood's edge, a fox, tan about like this gentleman. Then Laurie saw movement at the projection's near edge, and there was his partner, much redder with a black tail tip. He ducked into the projection as his partner did into the woods. By the time that we'd gotten halfway down the projection, the red one came bounding out of the far edge, took a quick look at us, and bounded back again. Scrappy saw him this time and tried to go after him. By this point, Mr. Tan had peeked out of the woods again as well, and slipped back into the woods.

On the east side of the woods where it gets narrow about halfway to the third entrance, we spotted another deer. It was a small one, probably one of our fawns, though we never saw spots (he was too backlit by the sun). We made our way down to the river, which disappointingly was without the mist from yesterday. Coming back, we even took Laurie down the criss-crossing of the creek. She was not as fond of this, as the last crossing is a bit steep in a grab-branches -and-step-on-roots sort of way. We came out of the woods and onto the trail, and soon saw another fawn, this one definitely spotted, not far from where we just came out. Total mileage each trip: around 2.5 miles.
Now, I had seen last year a fox out the bedroom window one night, but this is the first time I've ever seen one that close. Our toteboard for the year now includes 34 deer, 5 groundhogs, and the 2 foxes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Step into my time machine week eighteen

So KC and the Sunshine band sat at the top spot last week after an 11-notch jump. Common sense tells us that they would be there again this week, but there's a passel of people behind them who are pissed that they cut in line. Will one of them steak the crown this week? Let's see.

“Hey! No cutting in line kid!”

This week we open with a crop of 11 debuts, but only three that I recognize: at 99, one of my all time favorites, English Keyboardist Pete Wingfield with the doo-wopish Eighteen With A Bullet; at 94, the Four Seasons begin their return to the top with Who Loves You; and way up at 88, the first single for Nat's daughter Natalie Cole, This Will Be. There wasn't a fierce competition for biggest mover this week; Dickie Goodman's Mr. Jaws moves 25 to land at 66. (By comparison, John Williams' main theme from Jaws moves up 16 to sit at 58 this week.) Its only competitor we'll see in a bit. A lot of competition, though, for the biggest dropper; and the winner is former top dog Please Mister Please, which falls from 14 to 40, a 26-spot fall.

Our first special this week is the next five from my favorites of the decade. The Stones hit at 65 with Miss You, the song that re-established them as an ongoing force in rock'n'roll; at 64 I have New Yorker Dean Friedman with Ariel, a song that never played around here at the time, and I only discovered it about 3 years ago (probably something about the line "I took a shower and threw on my best blue jeans/ I picked her up in my new VW van/ she wore a peasant blouse with nothing underneath/ I said, "hi," she said, "Yeah, I guess I am..."). At 63 I put Keith Carradine's I'm Easy; the Captain and Tenille with my favorite of theirs, The Way That I Want To Touch You comes in at 62; and the combine of the Spinners and Dionne Warwicke with Then Came You ends this week's group at 61.

Six songs make it into airplay alley (aka the top 40) this week. Up 6 to 39 are the Osmonds with an old Four Seasons song, The Proud One. My favorite Osmond song, it was not only their first hit on the easy listening chart (where it hit #1); it was also their last chart hit. Up 5 to 38 is Tavares with It Only Takes A Minute; Paul Simon charts at 37 (up 10) along with Phoebe Snow and the Jesse Dixon Singers with one of those songs I just don't recognize, Gone At Last. Morris Albert finally hits the big time with Feelings, up 5 to 36. I knew he got a lot of crap about this song (undeservedly so), but I didn't know he got sued over it:

In 1981 the French songwriter Loulou Gasté sued Morris Albert for copyright infringement, claiming that "Feelings" plagiarized the melody of his 1957 song "Pour Toi". In 1988 Gasté won the lawsuit and was awarded 88% of the royalties generated by the song.[4]
Recordings of the song have credited authorship variously to Albert alone, to Albert and Gasté, to Albert and Michel Jourdan, and to Albert and "Kaisermann". The last of these attributions is redundant, since the singer's real name is Mauricio Alberto Kaisermann.[5]

Thank you, Wikipaedia. At 35, up seven, is Austin Roberts with Rocky; and at 27, up 21 notches (that aforementioned challenger to the big jumper) is Helen Reddy with Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady.

Our almost-but-not-quite salute goes to Ambrosia, which last week peaked at 18 with Holdin' On To Yesterday. From their self-titled debut, produced by Alan Parsons; in fact, only a few months later, they would be part of the first incarnation of the Alan Parsons Project.

Three songs enter the top ten this week, three drop out. James Taylor moves down to 12 with How Sweet It Is; The Eagles continue their stubborn descent, losing only 4 notches down to 14 with One Of These Nights. ( On the stubborn front, Love Will Keep Us Together holds at 26 this week after having started to climb again last time, while the Spanish version climbs 9 to 61.) Not so stubborn are 10cc, who drop 15 to #24 with I'm Not In Love.

Our trip through other years' # 1s takes us into the ones yet again. In 1991, Bryan Adams was near the start of a six week run at the top with (Everything I Do) I Do It For You; in 1981 it was Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross beginning an endless run (well, 9 weeks) with Endless Love; The Bee Gees were tops this week in 1971 with How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. In 1961, the folk group the Highwaymen hit with their version of Michael Row The Boat Ashore (which they simply titled Michael). These were the Highwaymen who were going to sue Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon, 'n' Willie for appropriating the name after their big album together; they settled instead for opening for the country stars a few times on their 1990 tour. Finally in 1951, Tony Bennett was on top with his first chart hit, Because Of You.

Onto the top ten. Barry Manilow hits the ten, up 3 with Could It Be Magic. (Side trip here; the "sweet Melissa" in this song was Melissa Manchester, whom he and his partner in crime Bette Midler discovered in 1971 and became part of Midler's back up group, the Harlettes [don't laugh; their first name was the Red Light District.]. The song was originally recorded on Barry Manilow I two years before, but waited until now to be released.) Climbing in at 9, up three, are the Isley Brothers with Fight The Power. The original lyrics had "nonsense" instead of "bulls--t", but were changed in mid-recording by lead singing brother Ronnie, because "that was what the people needed to hear". David Bowie comes in at 8, up from 11, with Fame; and Elton John tumbles four with former top dog Someone Saved My Life Tonight at 7.

War Falls one to #6 with Why Can't We Be Friends; Janis Ian moves up 2 to 5 with At Seventeen. Hamilton, Joe Frank, and the other guy move up 2 as well with Fallin' In Love, at 4. Glenn Campbell rides up one to #3 with Rhinestone Cowboy; the Bee Gees make a case for the stubborn contest, staying a third week at #2 with Jive Talkin'. And that means that Harry Casey and the band remain at number one with Get Down Tonight. Sorry, guys, one picture per #1 song. Until next week, gang!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Now in at quarterback for the Cardinals... Emmett Kelly...

Cardinals to start Anderson ahead of Leinart at Chicago wire reportsAug. 26, 2010
Matt Leinart has been benched after just two preseason games, this after the Arizona Cardinals gave him the starting job following Kurt Warner's retirement.
It could be just a temporary move -- or maybe not.
"Well, I don't think we've played really well enough offensively to make any determination other than we need to get better," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday. "We're looking at different combinations of people."

What Leinart will be looking at is
Derek Anderson, signed to be his backup, starting Saturday night in Chicago against the Bears.
Whisenhunt's expectations aren't that high, he would just like to see a few first downs.
Not surprisingly, Whisenhunt must be feeling like PT Barnum at this point. Kurt Warner alone had 207 completions, 254 attempts, 2430 yards, 23 TDs, 7 wins, and 2.2 yards per attempt MORE than the dynamic duo put together. Oh, they did top Warner in two categories: interceptions (13 to his 14, in half as many attempts) and losses (well, actually they tied here; Warrner was 10-5, they went 3-5). In all fairness I must mention that Leinart was a back up to Warner (whom he was drafted to replace) the last what, 4 years; while Anderson was usually a backup to Brady Quinn (who had 3 more completions than the dynamic duo in 3 fewer attempts, along with 16 more yards and 3 times as many TDs, to go with that gaudy 2-7 record). I guess that was fair.
On the bright side, there's always John Skelton, the rookie third stringer from internationally known football powerhouse Fordham.
And Jamarcus Russell is looking for work.( He'll probably work for food. Lots of it.)
So's Jeff Garcia.
And Daunte Culpepper.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Animals of another stripe

As I eat my Taco Bell dinner, I sit at the computer and look at the news from sources around the world. I usually go to, which links you to stories from all kinds of sources- even Aljazeera, which is surprisingly neutral in straight news, although quite radical in its op-eds. Now this blog is usually a happy place, so I won't go into a lot of details of the stories I read in shame tonight. Forty-five killed in Iraq as the US moves out and murderers under the guise of Islam target those brave enough to try to make a real nation out of their pile of dust. A government meeting becomes a place of butchery in Somalia, as murderers again try to prevent the establishment of a civilized government, under the guise of wanting only Shiera law. Yeah, a legal system that depends upon killing all its opponents, that's a good system there. In the laughably named Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire, the Belgian Congo, the Congo Free State, maybe even Disneyland) "rebels" decide the best way to rebel against a government that only exists in the world's collective imagination is to rape at gunpoint every woman in a territory that they can lay hands on, fleeing into the jungle whenever the totally impotent UN "peacekeepers" show up. These are more than unbelievers, my friends. Hear the words of St. Jude:

10But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

As I thought over these "people", I remembered my experience in church this week. Now, the worst thing a pastor can say to me is "open your Bible to the xxth chapter of St. Fillintheblank", because, invariably at the moment I have grasped what he's trying to point out I will start reading ahead. This week, whilst Pastor Dave was drawing conclusions from the dinner Abraham and Sarah were serving to the Lord and His two angelic sidekicks, I was reliving Lot's last night and morning in Sodom. And I though about how these groups aforementioned were just about like the citizens of the Plain; nothing more than conscienceless beasts, rutting and killing for no other reason than to please their warped emotions. Yes, I said for NO OTHER REASON; The Shi'ites in Iraq can claim they want to establish a government by their "faith". The Somalis can claim they want their kind of "law". The rebels of the DRC (mostly, as I understand it, Rwandans who must have raped all the woman in their own tiny little hell-hole and now want to ravish the prone body of their incoherent neighbor) can claim they want to establish their "ethnic group" in charge. But all they really want to do is kill and rape; if you put them all together on an island and let them establish all the things they claim they're fighting for, they'd just kill and rape each other out of existence. Because that, and nothing more, is all they want and live for.

So, as I prayed for a little insight on the subject beyond, "let's just put a big fence around them and let them eradicate each other", Jesus whispered into my ear this little tidbit:

Matthew 11 New International Version

23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.d If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

And in Luke 11:32:

The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.

The point being, yes they are animals. But they have a limited excuse that the availability of the Gospel has not touched their hearts to the extent it has in our "civilized" nations. And yet we rape, we kill; we have every means at our disposal to effect our salvation, and to turn our lives in repentance once Grace is conferred, and do we? Are we even thankful that God has seen fit to bless us with life in a nation where these things are the oddity and not the norm? And if grateful, what do we do with it? God sees me condemn these people and asks, "And what would YOU do in that life? I brought you and called you to pray for grace, not to suggest additions to hell's playroom. Shelve your self-righteousness and follow Me."

Lord, when it seems that men are irredeemable and unreachable, when my every instinct wants to beg you to bring down judgement on this earth, remind me where I would be without you, if people had thought me Irredeemable and unreachable; strengthen me to forgive and pray.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just a stop... give those wonderful preseason NHFFL scores. The wonderful KCAs (1-1)down the now-winless Rhinos (0-2) 30-21; The tough-early Angels(2-0) blast the defending champ SVA 27-16; the Beagles (1-10 take out their mommy... er, the Elks (1-1) 23-4; the Clock BBQs (1-1) rout the Rangers (0-2) 36-7; those pesky T-Cubs (2-0) edged winless Buzz (0-2) 26-23; and the revenge-ridden Ducks (2-0) pound the B2s (1-1) 21-8. Next weekend's highlight game is the KCAs and Clock BBQs. Gotta love that new "only three more Mondays" commercial for MNF. Slapstick will never die.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Step into my time machine week seventeen

So, will Elton John hold on for a second week? The Bee Gees only fell one last week... 10cc held at three... the Rhinestone Cowboy had galloped up to four... and Hamilton, Joe Frank and the artist formerly known as Reynolds had just come flying into the top ten. Will it be one of these... or will a yet unknown player leap into the top spot? (Yeah, right.) Let's find out!

As always, we start out with this week's hot 100 debuts. 8 of 'em this week, with four notables: Willie Nelson, from his breakthrough lp Red Headed Stranger, comes in a 100 with Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain; the comedic montaging of Dickie Goodman comes in at 91 with Mr. Jaws; Art Garfunkel hits from his album Breakaway with his version of the 1934 classic I Only Have Eyes For You at 87; and Jefferson Starship enters the club at 86 with Miracles from the lp Red Octopus. Our big movers are, on the downside, Morning Beautiful dropping 26 to 54; and on the upside, Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady jumping 22 spots to 48.

Feature # 1 is our trip through the #1s of other years. We are back into the zeroes this week. Mariah Carey topped the pops in 1990 with Vision Of Love; 1980 saw Olivia Newton-John at the top for the third week with Magic from the movie Xanadu; in 1970, Stevie Wonder was on top of the Cashbox charts with Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours ( which got it's name from his mom's reaction to the melody line); this week in 1960, the King was on top with his 12th number one song, It's Now Or Never; and in 1950, the top dog was Nat King Cole with Mona Lisa. From the soundtrack of the movie Captain Carey USA, a spy flick starring Alan Ladd, it not only took an academy Award for best original song, but was inducted into the Grammy Award Hall-of-Fame (shows ya how I pay attention, I never knew there was a grammy h-o-f) in 1992.

Before we proceed to the top 40 debuts, a note about a song that will join the club next week. It was way back it Time Machine week six that I announced the arrival in the hot 100 of Feelings by Morris Albert. For the next five weeks it climbed as most songs do. Then it "lost the bullet"; it was no longer getting the notation that stands for "significant gains this week", though it was still slowly climbing. For 5 weeks it toiled along in this limbo. But this week, Morris got the bullet back, climbing 5 spots to sit just outside the forty. Three songs do crack airplay alley this week: John Denver moves up 9 to 39 with I'm Sorry; Orleans climbs 6 to 38 with Dance With Me; and the Pointer Sisters climb in at 37 with How Long (Betcha Got A Chick On The Side), a song I didn't recognize and frankly barely understood. But what does that matter with rock'n'roll?

Special #2 is our almost but not quite salute, and it goes this week to Hall of Famer Johnny Rivers and his cover of Help Me Rhonda. With Brian Wilson lending a hand on the chorus, Johnny peaks this week at #30. I'll also note that this week marks the beginning of the end for the first run of Judy Collins' Send In The Clowns. Although it made top 30 on Billboard, it peaked at 53 on Cashbox this time around. Interestingly, writer and broadway bigwig Steven Sondheim said that this, his only tune to hit the charts, was not intended to be the slow, soaring ballad that it became in Collins' hands:

''Send in the Clowns' was never meant to be a soaring ballad; it's a song of regret. And it's a song of a lady who is too upset and too angry to speak-meaning to sing for a very long time. She is furious, but she doesn't want to make a scene in front of Fredrik because she recognizes that his obsession with his 18-year-old wife is unbreakable. So she gives up; so it's a song of regret and anger, and therefore fits in with short-breathed phrases."

Hmm, kinda takes a little of the charm out of it, doesn't it? Oh well, better luck coming in 1977.

And an addendum to stubbornness: Love Will Keep Us Together reverses direction and goes UP one notch to 26 this week, while the Spanish version, Por Amor Viveremos, climbs 9 to land at 70.

Two enter the top 10 this week, two fall out. (Remember this; there'll be a quiz later.) Dropping this week are the Rockford Files Theme which files down 7 to 17; and Please Mister Please, which slips from 8 to 14.

Final Feature of this trip is the next 5 of my favorites of the 70s countdown. The most snakebit band in history, Badfinger, comes in at 70 with Come And Get It, which I remember first hearing as an Army recruitment commercial theme. I think it was Army, I don't know; I was 8, after all. Two members of this week's top 40, John Denver and Olivia Newton-John, combine their talents in Fly Away at 69. Another song in this week's forty, the Spinners' Games People Play, is the #68 song; Prelude's a Capella version of Neil Young's After The Gold Rush is at 67. Finally this week, I have Arlo Guthrie's City Of New Orleans at 66.

The top 10 leads off this week with former top dog, the Eagles' One Of These Nights, spending its 4th post-number one week in the top 10, falling 4 to 10. Oh, here's one of the contenders I mentioned at the beginning: 10cc drops 6 to 9 with I'm Not In Love. James Taylor slips one to 8 with How Sweet It Is. Our first debut comes in at Cleanup- Janis Ian jumps 4 to #7 with At Seventeen. Here's another contender: Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds climb 3 to #6 with Fallin' In Love. War Holds at 5 with Why Can't We Be Friends. Here's another contender: Rhinestone Cowboy stays at 4 for Glen Campbell.

Curious, isn't it?

Elton John will NOT be the top duck, er, dog for a second week; he falls to three with Someone Saved My Life Tonight. And the Bee Gees hold at 2 with former top dog Jive Talkin'.

So let's see. Elton's gone, the Bee Gees, 10cc, Campbell... even Hamilton, etc. That's all our contenders, isn't it? Time for your quiz. Two songs debut in the top ten this week. We've named off one. How many does that leave? Answer: one, and that's the song that leaps from all the way down at NUMBER 12. That song, by the same outfit that wrote Rock Your Baby for George McRae......... Get Down Tonight, by KC and the Sunshine Band! Yowsa Yowsa Yowsa!
Okay, with that shocker, we leave the time machine for another trip. See you next week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What, me worry about health care?

Now that I am almost at the end of an unnecessarily long story, let me fill you all in. When we were called back to work in January, I let you know about the troubles I had getting reinstated on insurance. Over the succeeding weeks, as our (now former) HR babe Trish attempted various things to get everything back to hunky-dory, I repeatedly asked her to request me new ID cards as mine was quite worn. Actually, I found out, I should have gotten a new ID card last July, when most of my co-workers were mailed theirs. Trish, for her part, was having trouble even getting onto my page as plan administator (she said it actually kicked her clear off the system once), even though I could get on as a customer. She finally suggested I try to request one myself online. Of course, this was as she was drizzling down to her imminent (and now accomplished) departure, and I frankly thought the problem was more her than Blue Cross- Blue Shield of Michigan.

Though it still may have been somewhat on her, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize.

After she left for otherwise gainful employment, I did request new cards. It seemed a simple enough thing. I checked to make sure the address they had was correct (it never stopped any other thing they wanted to mail me), which it was. I was informed that they would soon be winging their way to my house.

Today, I get a call about 4:10 from our plant mgr. in Ft. Wayne. The cards, it seems, had been sent to our home office in Bingham Hills, Michigan; from their they were sent to Ft. Wayne ( since the FTW HR babe, Teri, is watching over us abandoned ones in Kendallville until they hire the next Trish). He or his son will get them to me next week.

His son works in FTW but is helping us out with inventory the next week or so, and I told him about the ordeal. He told me that he (an employee) received his new card last year about a month before his father (a plant manager) got his. His father's response: WTF?

This then, is the finest health care system in the world, a system that our government wants to take over so they can mess it up worse. Reason #78 to oppose Obamacare: the system really doesn't need any more messing up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Addendum to stupidity (i.e. last night's who's dumber)

So I showed the idiot light from last night's story around work to see
if anyone could come up with a solution. Most people gave up without

a guess; one lady did try several incorrect guesses. And one lady, who requested I put it on the blog (and I know you knew better than to dare me, Ma) , guessed, "It looks like a woman's diaphragm." I can only suppose she would know better than I. I later remarked that this would be a "no birth control" light, only active when the vehicle is parked in a dark area.

I thought about doing another "who's dumber" starring Nancy Pelosi and her idiotic demand that the government look into the "conspiracy" behind the opponents of the Ground Zero mosque. But she's such a hall-of-famer at this game that putting her on my "WD" list is like allowing Babe Ruth's 1927 season to be eligible for MVP every year. No one else would have a chance. I did, however, go to the website of the group that's pushing this thing, an outfit called the Cordoba Initiative. As I am wont to do, I sent them a message, asking them how they are "Improving Muslim-West Relationships" by seeking "to actively promote engagement through a myriad of programs, by reinforcing similarities and addressing differences" when all they are doing is putting a permanent wedge between mainstream America and themselves. We'll see if I get a response (as KC would say, "Thank you for your interest in Cordoba Initiative. GO INITIATIVE!" [which was the form e-mail I got from the Miami Dolphins when I complained to them a few years back, and has become our running joke]) from our loving and sensitive Muslim neighbors.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maybe I should start documenting SMART people...

Okay, tonight's first contestant has to be the PR man behind this new automobile idiot light:

Do You Know What This Symbol Means? By Colin Bird (Courtesy Yahoo!news)
Do you recognize the symbol here? It lights up in your instrument panel and loo
ks like a U-shaped pictograph with treads and an exclamation point in the middle.
Do you understand what it means now?
If you guessed a low tire-pressure warning, you are right. If you didn’t recognize the symbol, that’s also understandable because one out of three drivers do not, according to Schrader, a company that makes tire pressure monitoring systems.

The warning for the TPMS lights up when one or more of your vehicle’s tires is 25% below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. The system is now required on all vehicles starting with the 2008 model year.
The issue here seems to be that the public hasn’t been properly educated on the warning symbol, which is supposed to be “idiot proof” and understandable across a wide variety of cultures and languages. Yet 46% of drivers couldn’t figure out that the icon represents a tire and 14% thought the symbol represented another problem with the vehicle entirely, according to Schrader.
As we said earlier in the week, properly inflated tires are vitally important to your safety. Low pressure will affect your braking, acceleration, stability, cornering and fuel economy. The government instituted the TPMS mandate after the Bridgestone/Firestone tire failures on the
Ford Explorer in 2000, a controversy that was partly attributed to inadequately inflated tires.
Well, two out of two people here couldn't identify it. Scrappy tried, but I told him he was already an idiot and thus disqualified.
Contestant number two? From Russia with love, I give you Boiko the Great:

Russian Tycoon Orders Workers to Find God or Get Fired
Lauren Frayer ContributorAOL News
(Aug. 17) -- A Russian tycoon has told 6,000 workers at his private dairy company that they'll be fired if they've ever had an abortion, or if those who are "living in sin" don't get married within two months. Vasily Boiko, who officially changed his name to Boiko-Veliky, which means "Boiko the Great," has set a deadline of October 14 -- a Russian Orthodox Church holiday -- for any of his unmarried employees who live with a partner to get married, or get fired. "We have about 6,000 employees, most of whom are Orthodox, and I expect them to be faithful and to repent," Boiko told
Reuters last week. His order came in an internal memo to workers at Russkoye Moloko, which means "Russian milk" and whose products are sold in many Russian supermarkets.Boiko told Ekho Moskvy radio that a woman who's had an abortion "can no longer be an employee of our company ... We don't want to work with killers," according to Reuters.The ultimatum also comes amid Russia's worst drought and wildfires on record, in which suffocating heat and smog have doubled the normal summertime death rate in Moscow. More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by fires, and a third of Russia's wheat crop has succumbed to the drought. The government has banned grain exports for the rest of the year, and promised subsidies to farmers and agriculture businesses like Boiko's. The tycoon blames Russia's extreme weather this summer on what he called a lack of ample religious faith. "Such an extreme situation is punishment for the Russian people's sins," he told daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, according to The Daily Telegraph. "I need to take extreme measures including looking at the way my employees treat God."But government officials say such extreme measures could violate Russia's labor laws.About two-thirds of Russians belong at least nominally to the Russian Orthodox Church, which has seen a revival of popularity since the 1991 collapse of the secular Soviet Union. But one of Boiko's former employees told the independent Moscow News that the tycoon hasn't always been so religious, and characterized some of his business practices as "certainly not Christian." The unnamed former worker said Boiko apparently had an epiphany while in jail for fraud allegations in 2007.
And the earthquakes are due to women dressing in revealing clothes, etc., etc. Of course when you're dealing with a country that brought you this headline a few weeks back:

Heat Wave and Vodka A Deadly Russian Mix; Hundreds Drown
Russians Desperate for Relief; Worst Drought in 130 Years
(July 14th, ABC News)
maybe the "great" one has a point.
The preseason NHFFL week one results are in. The defending champ SVA starts out with a totally meaningless 15-7 win over the Rhinos; the T-Cubs Ohio Connectionof Benson and Harrison whomp the KCAs 24-13; the State Ducks get a Monday night td from Brandon (I don't care if Eli wants me to go the other way, I'm coming thru) Jacobs to top the Beagles 25-22; the Elks edge the Rangers in a snoozer 14-11; the Angels top the Clock BBQs 24-19; aaaaand inOT, the B2s top Buzz 21-16.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mr. Beagle's Neighborhood

Here is a map of our little slice of heaven so you can see what I mean. Just below and to the left of the dumtack marking "home" is the fence row. If you follow it down, that cross street is Inland drive (or trail, I forget), and following it to the right takes you to the top entrance of the IPFW woods. The big buncha parking lots to right of Home is the Plex's buildings; between them you see a thin row of trees that mark the boundary between the Plex and Woodbridge. there are 3 breaks in that row where I usually enter the Plex grounds. The light green between the Plex and the woods is what we call the "meadow"; where the row on its right side meets the woods is the second entrance, and this is where the dirt path that starts where Inland ends becomes stone. The rectangle of field above the woods is what I refer to as "fields 15-19." At the far right side of this is paved road which connects the main Plex road to the woods; you can see where it runs through the woods to California rd. The dark line through the woods up and down here is the stream Scrappy takes his swims in; above the trail it becomes the ravine. (NOTE: at this point, you'll have to click on the map to see the whole thing. Or, since most of this part is not updated on the map, you could take my word for it.)Between the woods on the right and California, that little patch of green is where the hidden entrance of the ravine trail comes out. Everything to the right between California and Coliseum Blvd. no longer exists; this is now the Hotel at the bottom and the 2 fields they are in the midst of developing above it. Above right field of the nonexistant ball diamond is where the bridge to IPFW now sits, as well as Scrappy's favorite beach. Along the river on the IPFW side is the tree walk. The smaller stadium left of the ballpark is the IPFW soccer field; the Plex fields continue left. Following the row right and above from this field, at the river's edge, is the duck pond. The basically horizontal line dividing Plex lots from soccer fields is the greenway path; the feeder canal follows hard below it, all the way to St. Joe Ctr. The white dot on the Greenway directly above the home dumbtack is where the stream that goes through the fence row and crosses Woodbridge enters the feeder. Aproximately halfway from there to where the river seems to meet the trail is the path that leads to Scrappy's Landing at the river's edge. And now, you've been around our neighborhood.

Deers need to get a schedule.

Scrappy wakes me up about 5 till 4 this a.m. to bark/growl at a skunk meandering at the edge of the fence row. ( I guess I really should flesh out the term "fence row"; what I am talking about in this case is actually an approximately 10-yard deep patch of woods and scrub starting at the edge of the townhouse block across from us and extending full width to the end of Woodbridge and about half that width through the next addition to Inland Drive. Following a stream that emerges from it at our end, it crosses Woodbridge, becoming the stream that Scrappy gets his drinks in when going/coming back from a walk, and draining into the feeder canal. Thus this "fence row" can handle the network of various sized trails and the zoo full of transient animals.)
I got up to hit the "head"; Scrappy was again at it when I returned, although I was sure that Mr. Skunk had ambled away for the evening, as indeed he had. But on the other side of the tree at the right of our bedroom was a deer. She took up about 5 minutes of our evening nibbling on the pine needles (they're close to killing these trees that border the fence row) before finally disappearing down the trail. Just as Scrappy finally settled down, he was up at it again- you guessed it, perhaps; another deer, same spot that we spotted the first. Same story again, except he passed the trailhead and just stood in the middle of the yard. Scrappy began to bark and growl and whine and lean back on me and look up as if to say, "Dad, do something," though what that something is is never made clear. Of course, the deer hears this, looks right at us- and deducing rightly it was no threat to him, continued to nonchalantly stand there and make Scrappy miserable. By the time he was satisfied with his morning's work, stopped off to eat some more needles and finally disappear, it was about 4:30. I kept waiting for Marlin Perkins to come through, but he must have had the night off.

None of this, mind you, changed the routine of wake dad up at 8 a.m. and pester for a walk until he gets his way. So out we go at 8:15 into a world that was already in the mid-seventies with humidity at 82%. Through the hedge into the Plex, alongside the tall grass of the meadow and into the woods where the dirt and stone trails meet. Along the way our poop-eating butterflies were all over, and one tried desperately to land on me; each landing had to be aborted by a/the jerk on the other end of the leash, who wanted to see all the little soccer kids gathering on "fields 15-19".

In the woods, I immediately spotted a fawn deep in the trees; he spotted us, too and scampered off before I could tell if he was one of the ones we saw earlier in the week. I thought he might have been smaller, but not for sure on that. It was more humid yet in the woods, so we went up the dirt trail and exited quickly into the addition. About a block from home, Mr. Bunny Rabbit was sitting in someone's yard; amazingly, the near-exhausted Scrappy actually saw him before he moved, and was momentarily upset I didn't let him chase the beast across the guy's yard. However, it was a fleeting thing; I wondered if Scrappy'd make it all the way to the door before wanting to rest ( this was not a mile walk, folks).

So, if we throw in the bat that we saw Thursday night, that puts us at 30 deer, 18 rabbit, and 7 bat-sightings for the year.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Step into my time machine week sixteen

Today we cover one of the most famous movie themes in history, and the first use of a stringed orchestra on a mainstream hit; look at someone who went from a teen star to a real estate agent; and see a cowboy start to ride to the rescue. First though, I want to bring up my besteveralbums top 50 list again. I mentioned this site on a previous post; since then I have talked to some friendly people, heard some nifty new songs, and had a problem with a somewhat arrogant Brit who told me my chart was the worst he'd seen, used a John Lennon quote to bad mouth ELO (which, if you know me, is like having Barack Obama come with you to a John Birch Society meeting)- and after a couple of not-so-friendly-rejoinders in which I invited him to avoid my chart, he apologized for being "over the top". None of which gets to my point, which is that they actually even rate members based on ratings, number of albums listed, number of posts, etc., and yours truly as of right now, out of "1800 charts" submitted on this site, I rank as the 90th top member. Too bad my chart doesn't get the same love.

Okay, onto the chart. 13 hot 100 debuts this week, with 4 notables: ABBA's SOS comes in at 100; Queen comes in at 99 with a song longtime fans will recognize, Keep Yourself Alive; at 84 comes the most recognizable movie theme in history (NOTE: we'll hit one a lot less recognizable in a later segment), John Williams' theme to Jaws; and at 82 is Michael Murphy's follow-up to Wildfire, the lovely Carolina In The Pines. Oh, and we have another Rolling Stones debut, so I thought I'd Listen to see if it was any better than that horrible last one. It was, slightly; it's called Out Of Time and came in at 87. The second line of the song says, "You're out of touch, baby," and I'd have to say at the time, they were. But if I Don't Know Why was any indication, we'll see this one graze the top 40 too. Moving on.

The Big Dropper (not Bopper, Dropper) this week was Gladys Knight's Try to Remember medley, which glanced at the top 10 a few weeks back and this week tumbles 33 to #64. The big climber was John Denver's I'm Sorry, up 32 to 48th.

This week's 5 songs off my favorites of the 70s list are: at 75, Heartbeat-It's A Lovebeat by the DiFranco Family featuring 13-yr-old little brother Tony on vocals. He's now a 51-yr-old real estate agent in California. At 74, Todd Rundgren's I Saw The Light; 73, A Rock and Roll Fantasy by the Kinks; 72, the real Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds with Don't Pull Your Love; and at 71, Linda Ronstadt's cover of Martha and the Vandella's Heat Wave.

Coming into "airplay isle" this week are 5 songs. America climbs 5 to 40 with Daisy Jane; at 39 is a song by an ensemble called New Birth, Dream Merchant. I didn't know this, but it was a very nice R&B tune by a band that reached 45 the previous year with a cover of Wildflower which was also very tasty. The Hudson Brothers lept 8 spots to come in at 38 with Rendezvous; the Carpenters outdid that, jumping 20 to #37 with Solitaire; and David Geddes' tearjerker Run Joey Run outdid that, just missing the big jumper with a 31-notch hop to 30.

The Almost but not quite for this week is Dyn-o-mite, the tribute to Jimmie Walker's tag line recorded by studio band Bazuka. Bazuka was built by producer Tomy Camillo, whose biggest claim to fame was getting a Grammy for co-producing Midnight Train To Georgia for the aforementioned Miss Knight und der Pipsters. Peaking at 12, it begins it's descent this week, stopping at 19.

Two songs go into the top ten, two fall out. The droppers are Midnight Blue at 13, and former top dog The Hustle at 14.

Our tour of the tops of other year's charts reaches the 9's this week. By 1999, every chart you looked at had songs that clung to the top forever, as the singles industry accelerated its erosion. Case in Point is the Alternative chart #1 for this week in 1999, Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was in the chronologic center of a run that would stretch from the end of June to the middle of October. In 1989, the top song was Prince's Batdance (which I still don't remember hearing); 1979's top dog this week was Chic's Good Times, the only one of their songs I could put up with back then. 1969's top this week was a more enjoyable Rolling Stones with Honky-Tonk Women. And in 1959, the Drifters were on top with the haunting There Goes My Baby. I looked at some of the Drifters' convoluted backstory, but it was too convoluted for me; suffice it to say that this song was the first commercial rock'n'roll hit to have a string orchestra.

Specials out of the way, here comes the top 10. At leadoff, Mike Post's Rockford Files Theme peaks up one notch to 10. The somewhat-modified Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds pop up 4 to #9 with Falling In Love; Olivia Newton-John drops another 4 to 8 with former top dog Please Mister Please. Batting cleanup is sweet baby James Taylor with How Sweet It Is, etc., etc., moving up 2 to 7. The Eagles continue to give ground very reluctantly; On Of These Nights slides but one to 6 this week.

Side note on the subject of stubborn droppers; Love Will Keep Us Together actually held the 27 spot for a second week in a row, while the Spanish version climbed 18 spots to 72 this week.

Again moving on, War moves up that one notch to 5 with Why Can't We Be Friends; Glen Campbell finally puts a spur in that horse, as Rhinestone Cowboy moves from 8 to 4. 10cc holds at 3 with I'm Not In Love. The Bee Gees slip off the bully perch to #2 with Jive Talkin'. That means our new number one is Elton John with Someone Saved My Life Tonight.

(what? You think I'd use the duck picture again?)

That's it for this trip. See you next week!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've had enough!

I hate to post so soon again, but this one goes to the point of that whole "what Government's for" thing was about. From FOXNews:

In Montana, a Fight Over Separation of Church and Fairgrounds
By Tess Civantos
Published August 11, 2010
MISSOULA COUNTY, Mont. – Leaders of a Christian organization are convinced a group of atheists were successful in getting annual fellowship services moved from the Missoula County Fair, but church organizers say they’re determined to make the best of their new location.
Still, churchgoers who worship at the service resent that any group could get them relocated.
Sunday morning church is a long-standing tradition at the Missoula County Fair, thanks to the Missoula Christian
Network’s planning. But that tradition fell by the wayside this year after complaints from a national atheist group, which called the service “a violation of civil rights.”
Rebecca Markert, staff
attorney for the atheist/agnostic group Freedom From Religion, said, “Anyone who went to the church service received free admission to the county fair, which is a violation of the Civil Rights Act. It discriminates against non-churchgoers.”

As you will see, this is a willfull misstatement by the atheists.

Freedom From Religion sent a letter to the Missoula County Board of Commissioners, urging them to “discontinue these discriminatory actions by eliminating the Christian service altogether at this year’s County Fair.”
According to
Steve Earle, director of the Missoula County Fairgrounds, the churchgoers did receive free admission – but so did every other Sunday morning fair attendee. The fair does not offer churchgoers any special privileges, Earle told
“We have a tradition of doing ‘community days’ on Sundays, with an open gate until noon, to beef up the crowd,” Earle said. “It’s open to anyone and it’s not related to any religious service.”
Fair organizers moved this year’s church service from the fairgrounds to nearby Ogren-Allegiance Park, a baseball stadium that is outside the confines of the county fair, which runs from August 10-15.
That decision, according to Earle, had to do with a scheduling conflict and not Freedom From Religion’s complaint.

I'm Sooooo sure.

“We’re already talking about having a Christian worship service next year on Sunday morning,” Earle said.
Michael Burks, a Missoula County businessman who helped plan the church service in the baseball stadium, spoke out against Freedom From Religion’s civil rights complaint.
“Christians don’t want to be against anyone,” Burks said. “For people to tell us to ‘Go back in your church and shut the door,’ for an organization to tell us we can’t
get together for this service, is unconstitutional. If it was a Buddhist prayer service or a gay pride parade, I wouldn’t tell them they couldn’t meet somewhere. This is not what America’s about.”
“I don’t understand honestly why Freedom From Religion got involved,” Burks said, noting that the group is not based in Montana, but in Wisconsin. “They’re trying to make it sound like you have to go to the service to get free admission to the fair, but you don’t. Hopefully, clarification will fix it.”

They get involved because it is not enough for them to separate themselves from God; they want everyone else to have the same hopeless view of the afterlife as they do. Traditions, the desires of the community, the health of the nation, none of that matters to them, as long as they can convince one antagonistic mind to bitch.

Keith Mobley, a pastor with the Missoula Christian Network, said, “There are people in this town that are very anti-Christ, anti-religion, anti-Church. You could say this is Liberal-ville, Montana. But we’re not going to let some out-of-state group tell us we can’t meet at our county fair to worship.”
Markert, however, says her group is acting on behalf of Missoula’s own citizens, and at least one of them specifically asked the group to intervene.
“We’re a membership organization and we act on protests from our members,” Markert said. “We received a complaint from a member in Missoula County.”

And this is my point: It only takes one person with a dissenting opinion, although it seems it has to be a liberal/pc/atheist opinion, to ruin something for everyone. That's not protecting minorities, it is TYRANNY of the minority, and it goes a long way to explain why this once-proud nation is so f-'ed up.

Meanwhile, Mobley is hopeful the church service will return to next year’s County Fair.
“If the churches had really wanted to, we could’ve had the service,” Mobley said. “And we plan to next year.”
In the meantime, the church-service organizers and attendees are enjoying their temporary exile from the Missoula County Fair.
“Honestly I’m not too upset about the change of venue,” Burks said. “Where the church service was originally located [at the county fair] was far from concessions and
parking. There was no seating. This is a test run, but the new location is much more convenient and comfortable. We’re even getting games and jumpers for the kids so people don’t need to find baby-sitting.”
“It’s the whole making lemonade from lemons thing,” Burks said

And that is a reminder of Galatians 6:7, people: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. "

Why aren't you at work? part 4

Because I called yesterday and took a week's vacation pay and figured I might just as well have the week's vacation at this point. I'm a lot better, but last night I tried eating a regular size meal and was not quite ready for it, I guess.

Also, two items of note. First, my Punkin head, Shenan, turned 17 yesterday.
Second, again condolences to the Lomont family. My brother in law Doug lost his brother Dan yesterday. It's only when people are gone that you notice how much they really light up a room, and he did. God rest you, Dan.
Now, let me finish off our team bios.
The Ragin' Rhinos: were born in the expansion of '05, posting a respectable 6-6 mark in their opening campaign. They made the playoffs at 7-5 the next year, but were bounced out by the Beagles 33-28. Another playoff spot in 2007 after a 6-6 season and another first round loss, this time 25-24 to SVA. The next season they dropped to 4-7-1, and last year fell short in a tight three-way race for the last playoff spot.
Shenandoah Valley Authority: The SVA came in with the T-Cubs in 1998. Missing the playoffs the first 2 seasons (7-7 and 4-10), they squeeze in in 2000 with a 7-7 record, nosing out the KCAs, and beat the Aguas before losing 52-11 to the Angels in round 2. Three more years outside the playoffs (4-10, and twice 7-8) were allieved when 7-8 was good enough in 2004 and she roared through the playoffs and beat KC's Clock BBQs 54-36 in SBVIII (thus making me a liar earlier; that's 2 teams with losing records that won Super Bowls). She won the Purple Div. in 2005 at 9-3, but the fourth place Angels blasted her in the first round 53-18. Slumping to 5-7 in 2006, she returned to the playoffs at 6-6 the next year only to lose to the Beagles 32-30 in the second round. She fell apart to 3-9 the next year, but last year finished 8-4, routed the Rangers (35-16) and the KCAs (42-26) in the opening rounds, and claimed her second Super Bowl, beating the Buzz Lightyears 33-26 in SBXIII. SVA is the only other multiple winner besides the T-Cubs.
Sunset Rangers: The Rangers' history is a litany of first round losses. 1997, the 9-5 squad lost 28-19 to the Greenwoods. Missing in 1998 at 6-8, they won their first division tile in 1999 at 11-3 and drew the bye, losing the championship to the T-Cubs 32-23. The next year a 3 way battle ended up with them getting the last playoff spot at 8-6, only to lose again to the Greenwoods 26-23. In 2001, the 9-5 squad fell again to the T-Cubs 33-22, and when the great contraction came, they switched divisions. Winning the Dupont Div with an 8-7 mark, they were flattened by the Beagles in round 1 43-24. sliding to 6-9 the next year, they again won the division in 2004 at 10-5, only to lose to the caffeinated SVA 44-21. 2005 saw them go 7-5 and lose to the Beagles 45-18; they finished out of the playoffs the next 3 years, going 3-9, 6-6, and 5-7. They won a hotly contested 3 way battle for the last spot last year, only to be blasted by SVA, 35-16, to make it 0-9 in playoff matches.
State Ducks: Coming in with the Rhinos in 2005, they opened at 6-6 and were bounced out by the Elks 30-17. Next year, another 6-6 playoff spot, but this time they won the first round, downing the B2s 32-21, before falling 54-26 to eventual champion Buzz. In 2007 came yet another 6-6 campaign, topped off by a 51-30 loss to the Elks again. In 2008 they won the first of 2 straight division titles at 7-5, beat the Clock BBQs in the championship 45-28, only to lose to the Angels in SB XII, 27-24. Last year's 9-3 division winners lost in the championship to Buzz 41-28.
T-Cubs: The New England Patriots of the NHFFL started in 1998, finishing their first year 6-8. They came in second in 1999, at 8-6, and won their first SB, 57-43 over the Dragons. In 2000 they won the div. at 9-3, and took their second SB (and 1st of three over the Angels) 45-31. After squeaking into the playoffs at 7-7 in 2001, they turned on the jets again, winning their third straight SB, 62-53 over the Angels. In the great contraction era they suffered, going 7-8 all 3 years and losing their one playoff appearance, 56-24 to the Clock BBQs in 2004. 2005 saw the return of their old whipping boys, the Angels, and a return to the top of the division at 7-5- just in time to beat the Angels a third time in SB IX, 34-16. They paid for it in three lean years (4-8, 6-6,and 5-7) before making the playoffs again last year at 7-5, and losing to Buzz 34-31.
And there you have it, except that the last two seasons, we had All-Star Games. In 2008, Gold beat Purple 46-44 behind Brandon Jacobs of the Clock BBQs; last year, Tom Brady of the Angels was MVP of a 66-55 Purple victory. How we'll do this with 3 divisions this year, I don't know.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'd call this a "who's dumber..."

...but really, I don't know who I'd credit it to. I guess this would have to be a vote for politicians in general. First, ripped from today's screaming headlines (a tag line often put on early '70's comic books):

NBC/WSJ poll: Public is fed up with Congress
From NBC's Mark Murray

In the past year and a half, Congress has produced plenty of legislative achievements. The far-reaching health-care law. The landmark financial reform. The economic stimulus.
But the public isn't buying those legislative successes.
According to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal, a combined 60 percent say that the Congress is either below average or one of the worst in history -- the highest percentage here in the history of the poll.

I can offer only one comment to that headline: DUUUUUUUUUUH!!!!!!!!

It's not so much that they don't know it- which I'm sure they do- but how divorced from reality their thinking is that they cannot change it. They simply cannot fathom anyone who doesn't think or feel as they do. To wit:

During a campaign event in Nevada Tuesday, (Sen. Harry)Reid (D-Nev.)made an appeal to Latino supporters whose votes he needs for re-election in November, by making this condescending remark:
“I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK,” he said. “Do I need to say more?"

To which we get a reply from Dr. Manny Alvarez, respected OB-GYN who formerly reported for Telemundo and now heads health reporting for FoxNews:

Dr. Manny: Dear Senator Reid, I’m Not Stupid!
by Dr. Manny Alvarez
Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) — the person who holds one of the most powerful positions in our government — a protector of the constitution, of free speech and of tolerance — called me stupid.
Perhaps he was indicating that I’m mentally challenged or maybe that I’m just uneducated — I’m not sure. But what I do know is that his comments were a profound insult to me and every other American of Hispanic decent.
Yes, Sen. Reid, in fact you do need to say more.
Perhaps Sen. Reid should have came out and said what he was getting at rather than making such inflammatory comments — implying that all American Hispanic voters would be foolish not to conform to a herd mentality for their own good.
I can only assume that the point Sen. Reid was trying to make was that the majority of Latino voters in Nevada would be hurt by a Republican taking office in November because of the GOP’s stance on immigration reform.
But perhaps Sen. Reid would be interested to know that the Hispanic community in this country can make their own decisions. A
CNN poll conducted in late July showed that 65 percent of all Hispanics questioned want to see tighter security and increased federal law enforcement at the southern border.
With all the recent talk of ethnic profiling since Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law came into play —
I have to say, that is exactly how Sen. Reid made me feel today.
I highly resent Sen. Reid’s remarks for suggesting that I lack the brainpower to make a rational choice,
and for deciding for me how my ethnicity should play out politically — because I am a Republican and I also happen to be of Hispanic decent.
And I happen to know many American Hispanics that are Republicans. They are Republicans that share the strong fundamental values this country was built on. They value family, education, freedom, respect and love for this great nation — the United States of America.
But I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised by the generalizations and stereotyping coming out of Democratic Party and its leadership. It’s quite a familiar theme these days, because it seems that I as a doctor also lack the intelligence to make the right choices for my patients.
If this is the formula for success in fixing a broken health care system, it would stand to reason that Sen. Reid may also believe that I can’t be a doctor and be against Obama’s health care reform — especially me — since I’m not only a doctor, but a Hispanic doctor at that. By Sen. Reid’s calculations, I may as well cut my losses and become a Democrat who practices medicine in federally-funded clinic. OK, OK — so I have a flare for the dramatic, but I think I’ve made my point. But all sarcasm aside, what hurt me the most about Sen. Reid’s ignorant remarks is that he has insulted the memory of my father.
My father was a hardworking man that fled communism in Cuba and arrived in this country in pursuit of the American dream. And part of that dream, were the freedoms and opportunities afforded by an economy built on capitalist ideals. Those ideals allowed a man like my father to build his business on his own terms — never asking for help — but always thankful to this great nation. My father was a Republican through-and-through until his dying day. And yes, Mr. Reid, he was also of Hispanic decent.
Hispanic Americans are proud people. They are proud of their heritage, but they are also proud to be citizens of this democracy we call the United States of America. We do not want to be boxed in. We simply want the same respect given to any citizen of this country — to be viewed through colorblind eyes, and to have diversity of choice free from ethnic bias .

And I would laugh at the inability of Reid, Pelosi, to see that this is the way they are treating all Americans, not just those bright enough, like Dr. Alvarez, to see it. ("Pork blinds... absolute pork blinds absolutely." CW Martin, 2010) But alas, it's hard to because when you look around, if you're bright enough, the GOP and especially the RNC, are exactly the same way. (Damn it, you'll take Dan Coats and you'll LIKE IT!)

You know why Osama and Iamanutjob will never nuke Washington DC? Reread this post. If you're bright (and I know you are), you'll figure it out.

Why aren't you at work? part 3

And on it goes, though I am somewhat better. While I'm waiting for the company to open so I can call in (the answering machine is down this morning) I figure I'll add some more team bios.

Fiery Beagles: Born as the Fiery Dragons, they were initially the Angels' rivals as sad sacks, winning only twice the first year and going 6-8 in 1998. But in 1999, they squeezed into the playoffs at 7-7 and blew out the B2s 60-37 and the Aguas 38-18 en route to SBIII, where they became the T-Cubs' first victim, 57-43 in a back and forth affair. They fell to 4-10 the next season and 5-9 the next. When Laurie joined the league, the Dragons became the Beagles and made the playoffs the next 2 years despite 7-8 records. In 2002, it was the pasting in SBVI by the B2s; in 2003, the KCAs took them down in the openner 73-28. They finished out the contraction era with a 6-9 2004, but then began a 4-year playoff run that saw a 7-5 and loss in the semis in 2005, an 8-4 and another loss in the semis (both at the hands of the Angels), and then in 2007 a division title at 9-3 and a second SB loss, this time to the Elks. They Squeezed in again in 2008 despite a 5-6-1 record but lost in the first round to- you guessed it- the Angels. Last season was a down year at 5-7.

Greenwoods: The first Super Bowl champs, they finished 3rd at 8-6 before ripping through the division playoffs and upsetting the KCAs 31-27 in the big game. The next 2 years they finished out of the running, but came back in 2000 with an 8-6 slate and a loss in the semis to the red-hot T-Cubs, 26-23. Their final year was a down one, though, ending at 6-8. They died in the great contraction.

KCAs: Begun in 1993 in my first league, they were the first team to found what was then the DEFFL in 1997. The last ranked of 3 teams in the old Dupont div. at 8-6, they won their way into the first SB only to fall to the Greenwoods. They went 8-6 and finished 2nd the next year, only to fall to the Aguas in the 1st round 39-32. Then came four years of no better than 7-7, including (and concluding with) a last place 6-9 in 2002. 2003, however, saw the rebound: 10-5, first place, and the exiting 31-30 win over the Elks in SBVII. 2004 saw them back in last at 6-9;in fact, those next four years saw three last place finishes and an aggregate of 18-33. The misery ended in 2008, as they took 2 division titles, went 9-3 and 8-4, but lost in the div. championships to the Angels (42-39) and SVA (42-26).

New York City Athletic Club: This team posted 6-8 records in 3 of its 5 seasons, including 1998 when it was good enough to sneak into the playoffs, and they ran the board with a 29-25 win in SBII over Butthead. In 1999 they hit their high water mark of 8-6 and were blown out in their final playoff appearance, a 46-20 rout by the T-Cubs. They followed with 4-10 and 6-8 marks, and were dissolved in the great contraction.

Okay, work is called, and I'm going back to bed. I'll finish this up next time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why aren't you at work? part 2

Still laid up, And tired of laying down. To kill the boredom, thought I'd do a history of our Fantasy teams.

Arden's Angels: For the first three seasons they were the sad sacks of the league, running up a 14-28 record. Then suddenly they sprang up in 2000, going 8-6 and winning what was then the Dupont division. They shattered SVA 52-11 in the division championship but lost the first of 3 Super Bowls to the T-Cubs, 45-31. In 2001 they posted the best record so far in league history at 12-2, but again the T-Cubs beat them in the Super Bowl 62-53. Then came the contraction of 2002-4 and they were out of the league. Returning in 2005, the only year that 8 teams made the playoffs, they squeaked in at 6-6, pulled upsets over SVA and the Beagles, only to find the T-Cubs in the Super bowl again and another defeat, 34-16. 2006 saw their 3rd division championship, another trip to the SB, but again a 64-32 loss to the Buzz Lightyears. They fell back to 5th in 2007 but rebounded to 8-4 in 2008, upset the KCAs in the semis and finally taking the SB, 27-24 over the 1st timer State Ducks. Last season, though, they collapsed again, finishing last at 4-8.

Aguascalientes: This team reached the playoffs in all 5 years of its existence, winning 1 division title and going 43-27. The playoffs were never so kind, losing in the first round in 1997, 2000, and 2001 while losing in the division championship to Butthead in 1998, the Dragons in 1999. They were folded in the great contraction.

B2s: They started life as Butthead's Wheel Runners and won the first 2 Dupont division titles. They lost in the first round in 1997, but made it to the SB in '98, losing to the NYCAC in a huge upset. They became the B2s in 1999, losing in the first round that year and missing the playoffs in 2000. 2001 saw them become the BJs and saw them squeak into the playoffs at 6-8, upsetting the Aguas before losing to the Angels. In 2002, they switched permanently to the B2s and moved to the Estates division, finishing 2nd, rolling to their first SB win by crushing the Elks and then the Beagles by a combined of 89-32, pasting the Beagles 52-12 in the big game. The next year they recorded 10 wins but lost both the division and the first round playoff to the Elks. They slid to a 7-8 mark in 2004, and since then have struggled mightily, with 4 last place finishes and a 11-25 slate the last 3 years.

Buzz (and the) Lightyears: Buzz won the first Estates div. title in 1997, but got smacked down in the semis by the Greenwoods 60-18. Returning to the playoffs the next season, they were upset 40-31 (ot) by NYCAC, and then slid back again. They missed the playoffs the next three years (despite an 8-6 record in 2000) and were one of the teams folded after a last-place finish in 2001. Returning in 2005, they got the last playoff spot and were hammered out by the T-Cubs 53-25 in the first round. But in 2006, they went all the way, capturing the div. with an 8-4 mark and blasting the Angels in the SB. In 2007 they missed the playoffs, returned in 2008 only to be snuffed out by the Clock BBQs, but in 2009 (despite a 6-6 season) fought their way back to the big game, only to lose 33-26 to the SVA.

Clock BBQs: A 7-7 opening campaign in 1997 was followed by a div. championship at 11-3 and an unceremonious 46-20 drubbing by NYCAC in the semis. They would only win 2 games the next year, and break even in 2000. In 2001 came a second div. title and another drubbing in the semis, this time by the T-Cubs 57-20. The next 2 years were quite lean; they put up a 7-23 record in 2002-3. Then came 2004 and a 3rd div. title only to be beaten by Shenan's SVA 54-36 in SB VIII. 2005-6 were both 5-7 seasons, but 2007 brought a 4th div. crown. Once again, they were knocked out in the semis (this time by the Elks), and would be again in 2008 (by the Ducks). Last year they tumbled back to 5-7.

Elks: They entered the league in the 2002 season and won their first 8 games before finishing 10-5 (which won the division) but were knocked out of the playoffs by the B2s. 2003 brought another div. title and a loss in the greatest SB ever played, a 31-30 loss to the KCAs. 2004 they fell to 6-9 but rebounded to 6-6 and a playoff win over the Ducks in 2005 before bowing out. Missing the playoffs in 2006, they returned in 2007 on a mission, winning their first SB over the Beagles 28-24. 2008-9 weren't so kind, tallying an 11-13 record and missing the playoffs both years.

Okay, it's getting time to go lay down again, so I'll pick this up later.