Saturday, April 30, 2005

Reality TV For 40 Year Olds

I can't stand reality television. I don't watch any of it, except for that Surreal Life episode where Mini Me whizzes on the wall. Thursday night I watched Survivor for the first time. It wasn't really exciting. It's a bunch of people I've never heard of trying to win a contest I really don't care about. I find it hard to believe anyone really cares who wins this thing. So as I'm watching my mind is wandering and wondering. How could this be jazzed up, so that it would be interesting? How can this be changed so I care about it.

Well, if you're around or over 40, I think you'll like the idea I came up with. The next survivor shouldn't have a bunch of no names. No, the next survivor will feature...cartoon has-beens.

Survivor: Cartoon Has-beens would pit various old TV cartoon characters who have been forgotten against each other on some island. This would be entertainment at its finest. A look at the roster for this show is like a Who's Who of my pre-teen weekday and weekend mornings.

Penelope Pitstop- This chick from the Wacky Races I think eventually landed her own show. She was a bit too high-maintenance to be considered a threat on a survivor show, however. She'd be too concerned about her make up and nails to make a good team mate. And you can forget about her eating insects.

Hoppity Hooper- Don't let Hoppity's small size fool you. You know he's got the heart of a lion and would be the conscience on an island with so many misfits, bumblers, and villains. I'd call him the David Eckstein of cartoon characters.

Underdog- Originally I thought underdog would be one of the favorites. He's a super hero for crying out loud! He'd probably win every contest. But every super hero has a weakness, and his is a doozy. All it would take for him to lose is for his humble, but lovable, alter-ego to show up. Yep, one day as Shoeshine Boy, and Underdog would be a goner.

Tooter the Turtle- Tooter would be a definite lightweight; in fact, I believe Tooter would be the first character to leave the island. He wouldn't even have to be voted off! The going would get just a little bit tough, and he'd go all Tooter on everyone. "Help, Mr. Wizard! I don't want to be on Survivor any more." And I could just see Mr. Wizard shaking his lizard head. Let's see, how'd that incantation go. "Twizzle, tweazle, twazzle, twome, time for this one to come home." Or something like that.

By the way, does anyone think Tooter the Turtle could even get on the air nowadays? I can see James Dobson and the Christian Right police come after the "evil" lizard wizard, Mr. Wizard, as corrupting our young. I mean, he is, after all, a wizard. There could be something satanic going on there, right?

Hong Kong Phooey- Too much of a knucklehead to be a real threat. Or is he? He's one of those types that could fall in a pile of dung and come up smelling like a rose.

Jonny Quest- If it is just Jonny himself, on the island, the young Mr. Quest could hold his own the first few rounds, but because he's only a kid I just don't see him emerging as the winner. And I would hope he wouldn't bring Bandit with him. Bandit might become survival food for the evil Muttley.

The rest of these clowns better just hope Jonny's friend, the white-haired Race Bannon, isn't allowed in. Race is undoubtedly the biggest bad-ass in the history of television, not just cartoons. Within 24 hours he would lay waste to the entire island, taking no prisoners. He would probably assemble grenade lauchers and automatic weapons out of coconuts and tree vines to win this contest by force. Rising out of the carnage, Race would then probably swim back to civilization with Jonny and his little dog Bandit on his shoulders. Whew! Freaking Race Bannon.

Go Go Gophers- Almost as small as Hoppity Hooper, these two gophers have cunning and a sadistic sense of humor. Remember how they easily disposed of those John Wayne-inspired and Teddy Roosevelt-inspired cavalry dudes? "Whoopee Doopee, we have fun" would be heard a lot on the island. But I don't think they could make it to the final cut.

Mr. Peabody- Too smart, but not athletic enough. And his sidekick, Sherman, is too pathetic to be of any help to Peabody. With a millstone like that around his neck, Peabody wouldn't advance past the middle rounds.

Klondike Kat and Savoir Fair- Let's see, I think I can guess how this would go down. Klondike Kat would get beat up by Savoir Fair's dog buddy. Savoir Fair would steal all the resources available on the island and hide away in some cabin, with his sidekick to protect him. But "Klondike Kat always gets his mouse", and would bust Savoir Fair by some accidental maneuvering on his part. This would buy Klondike a few rounds of immunity. Unfortunately, however, that cat would be too bumbling to survive to the end.

Bullwinkle- Not a threat. No, not because he's as dumb as a box of rocks, and the dumbest character on television outside of Chumbley (and Freddy the Frog from New Zoo Revue). Bullwinkle wouldn't win because he'd never be allowed on the show. He's not a has-been. He's all over the place, and has recently been a movie character. So he's disqualified. Ditto "Squirrel".

Space Angel- Space Angel. I've said everything I can say about him already. Coolest dude in the universe. Probable winner of the whole thing.

Tennessee Tuxedo- Usuall fails in what he does because he tries too hard, and in an annoying sort of way. Chumbley, his cohort, makes Bullwinkle look like a Rhodes Scholar. He'd have no chance.

Riff Raff- Gangsta wolf-dog from the "Underdog Show", Riff Raff was a formidable opponent for Underdog. His sidekick Mooch was no bargain, however. Still and all, I could see Riff Raff stealing the title away from one of the good guys. And that could lead to a spin off series.

Commander McBragg- He's more like Commander McBlowhard. He could undoubtedly BS his way through a couple of rounds with his lies, but he would soon after be voted off, if the rest don't kill him first. McBragg has to be the most uncharismatic lead character to ever grace the drawing board.

Pink Panther- I love the Pink Panther, but he's too innocent to win. Or is he? Just like Hong Kong Phooey, he could build an outhouse and have flowers grow out of it. So he's an unknown factor. Things seem to happen around him, but he somehow stays out of all the festivities. On a show like this that's not a bad thing. A middle rounder if things don't go his way, or finalist if they do.

Dick Dastardly and Muttley- Fortunately for everyone else, Dick is as incompetent as he is evil. I think he is the only driver not to win at least one "Wacky Race". And he never could "Stop the Pigeon", either. Total Loser. No chance. And I'm sure Muttley would throatily giggle in the background when he got thrown off.

So, in the end, it looks like Space Angel would be our favorite, with Riff Raff and Pink Panther a good dark horse bet.

But, you know what, I just thought of a better idea for these guys. Ready? The Surreal Life: Cartoon Has-beens. You'd take these characters and put them in a house and make them live together for a few weeks. And you could get Space Ghost to host...and...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Coffee With What?

There are certain things about growing older I am looking forward to experiencing. Like retirement and grandchildren. But then...I'm not looking forward to losing my discernment mechanisms. Such as what one should eat when the beverage of choice is coffee.

You see, I have no problem getting with coffee and bagels, coffee and donuts, coffee and a danish, coffee and a muffin, coffee with pancakes, coffee with French toast.

But a friend of mine pointed out something that I have found completely revolting. Old people drink coffee with ANYTHING. Go to McDonald's at lunch. You'll see some old timer munching down on a Quarterpounder with cheese with a hot black coffee chaser. Disgusting. Or even worse. At the local pizza buffet, you'll see some white haired dude chowing on a pepperoni and sausage piece, following that up with hot black coffee. And the worst would have to be the Medicare man at the chinese buffet with hot mustard egg-rolls, vegetable low mein, and Hunan beef washed down black coffee.

I also don't get the mid-afternoon coffee. What's wrong with that, you ask? Well, nothing, as long as it isn't 95 degrees with 50% humidity outside, and you're not drinking it in the sun on your deck, like the older folk I've known. But I believe this has to do with senile loss of thermostat regulatory sensors than bad taste.

Why? Why must this happen to us? I'm really not trying to slam older folk, I really love them. I hope to be one myself some day. But haywire taste seems to be a universal affliction past 65. Now excuse me while I go cut the yard in my shorts and black socks. Don't worry, I don't wear garters...yet.

Unique Utterances

Words never before uttered in world history until tonight:
Tim Hudson v. Mark Mulder.

Should be interesting.

Sure Signs Of Spring

I don't look for tulips or robins, dogwoods, or even tornadoes. I look for this:

Yep, you know it's spring the first time you see a Tom Emanski baseball commercial. I saw my first one this season yesterday. I'm hoping I'll get to see the one with Fred McGriff and that goofy flat-billed teal cap soon.

These commercials creep me out. Did you ever notice how everyone looks the same and has the exact same mechanics? That scene above where the fielders are all lined up and go through the steps of the "major league throw", all in unison, is frightening. They look like "Stepford" little-leaguers. I think there is a similar scene with batters hitting balls off of tees. There is no individuality or expression. It's like "robot baseball." It's militaristic. I think the director of these videos also directed the "The Boys From Brazil."

My question before buying these videos would be this- how many major leaguers have been produced from the Emanski methods? It's been around long enough, there ought to be some data on this. And why is it that I can think of no one in the majors off the top of my head that perfectly fits the Emanski model? It's because people are different, and whatever technique, stance, swing, wind-up, or delivery that works for one won't work for another. Using your brain to evaluate, treat, or problem solve a person's personal swing or delivery is what works. It's called coaching.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Number 1 What?

Is it just me, or is the number one draft choice in the entire NFL, quarterback Alex Smith, wearing mascara? And he was drafted by San Francisco? Are you kidding me?!! This is unbelievable! This is too good!

(Photo: Adam Rountree/Associated Press, courtesy of Fox Sports website)

And I don't think those eyebrows are real either. Can anyone else believe that Joan Crawford is now in the NFL? Has anyone else seen this? Can anyone explain it to me?

Laugh Or Cry?

I admit that I laughed when I read this. I mean, some things are so ludicrous that they are funny. But that probably isn't the proper response to this story. From Jim Rome, on the comment by Dmitri Young comparing Barry Bonds to Jesus Christ:

"At least someone has Barry Bonds’ back. Detroit’s Dmitri Young said, “I look at him like Jesus Christ. I’m talking Barry Bonds. As great as he is, he gets persecuted more and more and more. It’s not fair.”

You’re right, Dimitri, Barry’s just like Jesus in every way, except for one. Jesus’ best friend and trainer wasn’t loading him up on steroids. Jesus’ head didn’t expand five hat sizes late in his career. Jesus didn’t go from 49 homeruns to 73 homeruns. But other than all that, you’re right, Barry's just like Jesus. Don’t think MLB isn’t privately thrilled to hear that Barry's back on crutches. The last thing MLB wants is for Jesus Bonds to run down Hank Aaron."

Most of the people in this country don't know the meaning of the word persecution, besides being able to use it in a sentence. I get tired of athletes throwing this nonsense around. Barry Bonds grew up the son of a major league star. I really don't think he has ever been persecuted. I would believe he has faced discrimination and hardship at times, but who hasn't? Persecuted? Please.

Like Rome, I don't believe Jesus, when he said "take up your cross daily and follow me", meant for that to mean bulk up on "the cream" and "the clear".

Monday, April 25, 2005

My Dog Took The Wide Road

My dog is a mixture of golden retriever, husky, and some other stuff thrown in. He has been the best dog we have ever had. And until this week, he had developed no bad habits in his year and a half of life.

Well guess what? He has discovered that there is water in the bowl. No, not his bowl. That's right, the porcelain type. I caught him red handed (or pawed?). Why? He is quite the water connoisseur, and would drink it by the gallon if allowed, but why toilet water? I thought he was different. I thought he was special. He's proved me wrong. I am now convinced all dogs would do this if given the opportunity. It is embedded in their make-up.

A dog owner's lamentation haiku:

When given the chance,
A dog will go for "the bowl".
NO licks on the mouth.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Lincoln Files

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library opened this week in Springfield, IL. Unfortunately, my submission to the museum did not make the final cut. So I present it here, in its entirety

Strange But True: Abraham Lincoln and The St. Louis Cardinals
Lincoln settled in Springfield, IL. The Cardinals more than once have had a minor league affiliate in Springfield, IL.
Lincoln was a lawyer. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa is a lawyer.
Illinois is the "Land of Lincoln". The state bird of the "Land of Lincoln" is the cardinal.

Abe Lincoln was abused by his wife, Mary Todd. Former St. Louis pitcher Chuck Finley was abused by his wife, actress Tawny Kitaen.
Lincoln loved animals. Cards skipper LaRussa is an animal rights activist.
Lincoln had a famous beard. Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris has grown a now-famous beard.
Lincoln and LaRussa both begin with an L.
Lincoln has seven letters. LaRussa has seven letters.
Lincoln had a propensity to give generals the hook. LaRussa has a propensity to give pitchers the hook.
Lincoln was a back-woodsman. Just like Cardinals reliever "Hacksaw" Pulsipher.

Could this all be just coincidence? No, I think not.

So what, you might ask? Well, it is obvious that if Abe Lincoln were alive today, he would be a Cardinals fan without question. In fact, on Opening Day 2004, Honest Abe was rumored to be in the stands. I think I even saw him on TV.

Hey, if this
jack ass can write a book claiming Lincoln was gay, then I can write a post claiming Lincoln would be a Cardinals fan.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Friday, April 15, 2005

Eccentric Training Methods Sometimes Pay Off

Reggie Sanders. One of my favorites. I love yelling "Reg-gie, Reg-gie" at Busch, or at home (can't help it, I'm a goofball). Remember his appendectomy in the middle of spring training? Well look at his numbers this year, after that operation:
G 7
AB 21
R 6
H 6
2B 1
3B 0
HR 4
BB 2
K 3
SB 0
CS 0
OBP .348
SLG .905
OPS 1.253
BA .286

Pretty impressive numbers. So, was the appendectomy the key to this success? I think more research is necessary.

I think I'll apply for a government grant to study this phenomenon. Just think of the good that could be done. This could put an end to the whole steroids epidemic if there is a correlation. Want to increase your power numbers? Don't take steroids, man. Just get your appendix yanked.

I have a theory about this. Sanders is a right-handed hitter. He drives his swing off of his right side. The appendix, usually located in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen, is often situated over the iliopsoas muscle complex. An anatomical variance of the appendix, or an unusually large appendix, could disrupt the generation of power of this large muscle by irritating it.

How? The iliopsoas, originating at the lumbar vertebrae and iliac bone, is the primary flexor of the hip, inserting medially on the lesser trochanter of the femur. If there is a weakened or painful iliopsoas, hip flexion will therefore be weak. The swing itself comes out of the hip flexed position, driving the femur into extension and internal rotation. The end result from a weakened hip flexion would therefore be a less powerful drive due to less potential energy available as the swing commences.

If my theory is correct, the 2005 World Series would be within our grasp. Because we'd just make Scott Rolen (another right-handed hitter) have an appendectomy two weeks before the playoffs begin. A repeat of the 2004 Series would therefore be impossible.

Class dismissed. Any questions?

Friday's Assignment

Just had Hawaiian bread and dill dip for the first time. Go try it now! It's fantastic.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

In Keeping With The Theme...

My favorite blogs, such as Kiihnworld, and Bunnie Diehl, have had music discussions this past week. Websites such as MSN have also had a number of music related articles. So...

My favorite band name of all time is Chuckie And The No Codes, a local band comprised of doctor-musicians. But what are the worst band names ever (besides Hootie And The Blowfish)? Here are my nominees:

Dolly And The Dandruff
Scabies And Scurvy
D&D Losers
The Foo Farters
Led Blimp
Loving Leprachauns
Steroid Banshee
Risky Whiskers
The Inert Rocks
Milquetoast WASPs
The Oil Glands

Blind Fruit Salad
The Marlboro Corpses
Barking Dork
The Dancing Kleenex
Pregnant Poodles
The Bad Scabz
Hairlipped Leaches
The Skittles Boyz
Nematode And The Pustular Fish
Bashing Squashes
Flatulent Assassins
Indecisive Indians
Costanza's Cult
Fingertip Chili
Superman's Sores
The Oozing Humours

How about some others?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


"Hacksaw" Pulsipher on 15-day DL, right hamstring injury. The line on Pulsipher so far:
W 0
L 0
G 3
S 0
CG 0
SO 0
H 2
R 1
ER 1
HR 0
BB 1
K 1
SV 0
ERA 5.40

Okay, so far not impressive, but too small a sample size. I'm just wondering...could this hamstring injury have been "masterminded" by none other than Bobby "The Brain" Heenan to put Pulsipher away. I'm not delusional or anything, by the way.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Hick Marine Right Again

This article linked from World Magazine about cloning the extinct wooly mammoth reminds me of my pal Gomer describing a monster movie he saw:
"This scientist feller was tamperin' with things that are best left alone."- Gomer Pyle c. 1966

Maybe I'm making too big a deal about nothing. What could go possibly go wrong? What's not to trust about scientists? And if something did go wrong, the Japanese could just conjure up Godzilla to save us, right?

Humans are such clowns. Even Gomer had more sense than these guys. The only thing that does shock me about this is that the Russians didn't think of it first.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Welcome Back For The Last Time!

Last home opener for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium Jr. today. I'm gonna miss this place. It's hard to believe it is going to cease to exist, but it's gonna happen. KMOX is playing some of the highlights from the past 39 seasons right now. In fact they are playing "The Heat Is On" song from 1985 right now. Does anyone remember the 1987 song they played on KMOX all the time? It was a Bob Seger song, and the highlights were played over the song like on "The Heat Is On." But I can't remember what song it was. Help!

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Be Strong In The Grace has a link to a cool quiz here. I felt a little pressure on this quiz, that I didn't expect at first. It would have been embarrasing if something else came up first.

My results for Christian Traditions Quiz:
Rank: Item (Percent)
1: Lutheran (100%)
2: Eastern Orthodox (74%)
3: Anglican/Episcopal/Church of England (69%)
4: Roman Catholic (68%)
5: Church of Christ/Campbellite (58%)
6: Congregational/United Church of Christ (58%)
7: Presbyterian/Reformed (56%)
8: Baptist (Reformed/Particular/Calvinistic) (53%)
9: Baptist (non-Calvinistic)/Plymouth Brethren/Fundamentalist (34%)
10: Methodist/Wesleyan/Nazarene (31%)
11: Pentecostal/Charismatic/Assemblies of God (30%)
12: Seventh-Day Adventist (24%)
13: Anabaptist (Mennonite/Quaker etc.) (19%)

Does this mean I'm an Orthodox Episcopal Catholic-type Lutheran, United in the Church of Christ Prebytery?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

JRR Tolkien Exposed

Some believe The Lord Of The Rings is a Christian allegory. I believe it is a baseball allegory, and that Tolkien was actually a donut-eating baseball-beat sportswriter who daydreamed a little too much.

I mean, think about it. There are so many similarities. Everyone's after "The Ring" in both LOTR and in baseball, right? Coincidence? I think not.

Sauron obviously represents the New York Yankees organization. Evil to the core, incredibly powerful, ruthless in pursuit of being THE almighty force of the world, and darn near unstoppable every year. When I saw that "eye" in the movie, I never new who modeled it, but I wondered. Well, get the extended version DVD with all the extras, and you'll see. "The eye" was played by none other than George Steinbrenner.

The Orcs represent Yankee players and fans. There are millions of them. Ugly and obnoxious, every one. The rest of humanity would like them to go away, but only a strong army (code: team) can keep the ring from falling in to their hands, and subsequently, the "eye" of Steinbrenner.

Saruman is obviously Randy Johnson. He was on the side of good for awhile, a "wizard" on the mound. But his trip to the dark side began with a thirst for winning it all. Not wanting to play for a team he signed a contract with, he wanted to be a part of a team that could fulfill his desires in the time he had left. He had to know that only one organization on the planet could afford to pay him what he deemed himself to be worth, and on that thought the betrayal to the dark side, to the Yankees occurred.

Gollum, or Smeagol if you prefer, was a reference to the Boston Red Sox. You see, a long, long time ago, the ring was in his power, just like the Red Sox of the early 20th century. But he lost it. And he (they) was tormented by it, and wanted it back. But only at the price of losing himself, his soul. Which is exactly what has happened to the Red Sox in 2004. They won it back last year, but this has been at the cost of their soul, their identity. The Red Sox are now just another ball club. There is nothing special about them any more. And they will hold the ring only briefly, falling in to the lava pit of a 2005 season nightmare.

The Hobbits are obviously Tolkien's reference to the Chicago Cubs and their fans. They are loveable, harmless, and no real threat to anyone. But you get a kick out of their antics and shenanigans.

So where do the Cardinals appear in Lord of the Rings? Funny you should ask.

Gandalf is most certainly Walt Jocketty. Prescient and wise, he guides his armies to victory by infusing them with talented yet decent and likable sorts.

If you get the LOTR extended version DVD, there is a segment about Legolas, the elf who is quite athletic, quick, and acrobatic. Now, who does that sound like? Of course. The character of Legolas is none other than Jim Edmonds, who plays himself in the movie by the way. A lot of people think special effects were used in the 3rd movie when Legolas was manuvering his way on the acromegalic elephant. Well, that was just Edmonds being Edmonds, and is actual footage. It's just hard to recognize him with the long hair and without the eye-black.

Gimli. He has quite a beard, doesn't he. Say hello to Matt Morris, if you will please.

The Cardinals team can only be the Elves. They represent goodness and honor and all that is right with the baseball world.

And the king? Well, we all know who that is:

Still think Tolkien wrote a Christian allegory? Get a life. And watch some baseball. The season is starting.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Some Mondays Aren't So Bad

It was a beautiful weekend where I am. Early spring is an unbelievable time. Miniature leaves sprouting off of lifeless twigs. Tiny flowers doing likewise. I'm amazed, awe-struck really, at the wonder of it all. It's freaking incredible.

And to top it all off, baseball is starting.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Poor Ozzy

Another Ozzy Osbourne mishap. I think he's running out of things to do.

Ozzy's To Do List:
Substance Abuse. Check.
Rehab. Check.
Bite head off bat. Check.
Get rabies shots. Check.
House fire. Check.
Break clavicle, cervical vertebrae, and ribs in quad bike accident. Check.
More substance abuse. Check.
More rehab. Check.
Urinate on the Alamo. Check.
Bite head off of dove. Check.
Bite head off another dove and throw at music corp. receptionist. Check.
More substance abuse. Check.
More rehab. Check.
Get stabbed with screwdriver. Check.
Urinate on police car. Check.
Get arrested for urinating on police car. Check.
Snort line of ants like cocaine. Check.
Steal money from wife to buy drugs. Check.
Defecate in elevator. Check.
Break foot doing "frog leap" on stage, then let it get infected. Check.
Screw up children. Check.
Get shot.
Jet ski during a hurricane.
Drive bulldozer into dynamite factory.
Wrestle crocodile like Steve Irwin.

But you know what the miraculous part of all this is, besides the fact that he is still alive? It's that, save for the total merit of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, what I have to offer God looks just as bad as this. I am in the same condition he is, and probably worse, except for God's grace. So, I guess I should pray for Ozzy and his family, that His grace be extended to him. And if you're like me, you should probably also.