Thursday, June 30, 2005
The cause of the attack is still not known. They investigated the "possibilities", of course. The tiger was hungry? No. There was something wrong with Montecore? No. Foul play by someone who hates homosexuals? No. Terrorist attack? No. Montecore was just "protecting" Mr. Roy? No.
Well listen, USDA. I may not be a veterinarian. I may not have a degree in zoology. I may not be an animal psychologist. But it's real simple, folks.
You see, Montecore, is, afterall, A TIGER. Being a tiger, he does what tiger's do- he mauls. Shocking, isn't it? Montecore is not a pet or domesticated animal. He is a tiger. A natural born killer. It's really easy. I have written a half page report to the USDA. I find it to be more useful than that 200 page report. Here it is:
Report of Findings of Scottius Maximus' Investigation of October 2003 Roy Horn Tiger Attack
June 30, 2005
Problem: Roy Horn (hereafter referred to as "the snack") is mauled and almost killed.
Objective: To find out what happened and hopefully prevent this in the future.
Findings: "The snack" is seriously injured by some type of large organism, called "Montecore". On examination of photographic and videotape evidence, organism has been identified as what is known commonly as a tiger.
Conclusion: Duh. Did you read my previous paragraph? I said, MONTECORE IS A TIGER. Tigers attack other living things. They're called carnivores for a reason. They're killers.
Recommendations: People shouldn't hang around tigers and expect not to be attacked. Further research should be conducted to identify whether this applies to lions, leopards, panthers, rattlesnakes, crocodiles, sharks, and other scary creatures.
Respectfully submitted for your perusal,
Do you honestly think, after years of getting pushed around by Roy, that Montecore was not just biding his time? Don't get me wrong, Roy did not deserve what happened to him. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But please don't make excuses for the inevitable, or launch long and expensive investigations in to what is obvious: Montecore got tapped on the nose with Roy's microphone one too many times.
Seriously, how many times can one tiger put up with being yelled at, snapped at, pushed with chairs, bopped with a microphone, and just generally humiliated?
Can you imagine what went through Montecore's poor mind? It was probably like that Gollum/Smeagol battle in LOTR.
Gollum Montecore: If that little hobbit hits us one more times on the nose with that mike, I'm goings Medieval on him.
Smeagol Montecore: No, master is our friend. We must follows master.
Gollum Montecore: We are a tiger. I hates master, he humilates us.
Smeagol Montecore: Shut up, master is good to us. Mustn't hurt master.
Gollum Montecore: Be quiet. You wonders what master tastes like, too. Too bad he's not super-sized. Maybe we can fills up with hobbit's friend, too.
Well, I guess we found out who the Lord of the Ring really was, didn't we?
Maybe we need a PSA for all the kids out there:
Remember, kids. Stay in school. And don't mess with tigers.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Tony Womack, Yankees
G- 67, AB- 247, R- 31, H- 59, 2B- 4, 3B- 1, HR- 0, RBI- 11, TB- 65, BB- 11, SO- 38, SB- 18, CS- 3, OBP- .317, SLG- .263, AVG- .239, OPS- .580
Edgar Renteria, Red Sox
G- 70, AB- 286, R- 42, H- 78, 2B- 13, 3B- 3, HR- 6, RBI- 29, TB- 115, BB- 20, SO- 40, SB-6, CS- 0, OBP- .322, SLG- .402, AVG- .273, OPS- .724
Woody Williams, Padres
W- 3, L- 5, ERA- 4.24, G-11, GS- 11, CG- 0, SHO- 0, SV- 0, SVO- 0, IP- 68.0, H- 71, R- 32 ER- 32, HR- 8, BB- 17, SO- 41
Steve Kline, Orioles
W- 2, L- 3, ERA- 5.08, G- 37, GS- 0, CG- 0, SHO- 0, SV- 0, SVO- 2, IP- 28.1, H- 28, R- 18, ER- 16, HR- 5, BB- 17, SO- 23
Mike Matheny, Giants
G- 60, AB- 195, R- 22, H- 47, 2B- 15, 3B- 0, HR- 8, RBI- 34, TB- 86, BB- 16, SO- 34, SB- 0, CS- 1, OBP- .306, SLG- .441, AVG- .241, OPS- .747
Danny Haren, A's
W- 6, L- 7, ERA- 3.89, G- 16, GS- 16, CG- 2, SHO- 0, SV- 0, SVO- 0, IP- 104.0, H- 95, R- 54, ER- 45, HR- 10, BB- 32, SO- 78
Kiko Calero, A's
W- 2, L- 0, ERA- 6.06, G- 18, GS- 0, CG- 0, SHO- 0, SV- 1, SVO- 1, IP- 16.1, H- 20, R- 11, ER- 11, HR-3, BB- 5, SO- 17
Marlon Anderson, Mets
G- 56, AB- 91, R- 11, H- 26, 2B- 3, 3B- 0, HR- 1, RBI- 3, TB- 32, BB-6, SO- 14, SB- 2, CS- 1, OBP- .337, SLG- .352, AVG- .286, OPS- .689
Again from my critic's chair, here's my review of the "plot" of our "sequel":
1. A definite plot twist has developed in the catching department. I no longer miss Mr. Matheny, despite his hitting for more power this year. But let's face it- the Cards really don't need someone with more power. And, as I have asked before, has anyone ever seen a catcher pick off runners like the young Molina? (Now a thumbs up for the Cards).
2. I still miss Marlon Anderson, however. I'd love to have him available to pinch hit. (Still a thumbs down for the Cardinals).
3. The duo of Haren and Calero have made up for a slow start, whereas "Fox" Mulder decided to go skiing down the side of Mt. Meltdown. (Thumbs down for the Cards).
4. I love "Albert" Eckstein, and I'm still glad Renteria is gone. He got hot for awhile this month, but, still, look at those numbers. Theo paid him how much? (Thumbs up for the Cards).
5. Womack has come back down to earth after a little more than a season in orbit for him. He has only 3 more steals the past month, after having 15 the first two months. Let's see, who would I rather have in left field: Sanders or Womack? (Thumbs up for the Cards).
6. Woody Williams has been pitching better than Mulder the past month. But few haven't.(Thumbs down for the Cards).
7. I'd still rather have Randy Flores than Steve Kline, even though he's on the DL. (Thumbs up for the Cards).
So, it looks like four thumbs up and three thumbs down for this film, a net gain of only one thumb.
I definitely liked the first version better. The sequel, while not a bad movie, is disappointing. AND COULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH BETTER.
Stay tuned because I smell another sequel, coming to a theater near you in a few weeks..."Escape From The Planet Of The Ex-Cardinals." Let's hope it is better than this.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Looking west, head on at the right field stands.
The 1st baseline stands curve into these stands
on the left hand side of the picture. Present
Busch on the right hand side of the picture.
Now looking east head on at the 3rd baseline
entrance to the park with the Eads Bridges
arches. Current Busch on the left.
Beautiful aerial view looking back east toward
the Mississipi River, at the top of the photo.
Ahead of schedule, indeed. Good thing. Mighty
hot now in St. Lou!
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
So many questions come to mind, I hope my typing can keep up with my mind on this one.
First of all, why do we have world records for men aged 95-99? Is this necessary? I did not know such things existed. To me, it is enough to just make it to 95. Why does everything in life have to come down to a competition? Mark my words now- running races to set world records is not on my agenda at 95.
Do we have different categories for assisted and non-assisted races? In other words, world records for those with walkers and those without walkers?
Are we trying to bump off our old people now? Seems to me that euthanasia won't be necessary if we are allowing our elders to run races. What's next? Pole vaulting for 100 year olds? Why? So we can listen to bones snap as they crash in to the safety cushion?
Is there a subculture I am not aware of that tracks these "athletes" every move? You know, 90 year old women groupies who hang out around the clubhouse, looking to score. I'm afraid I have bad news for them- running a 100 yard dash at 95 only precipitates a nap.
The mental images I am gettting from this story are quite disturbing. I'm sure "Izzy Mandelbaum" from Seinfeld is in training for this kind of nonsense. And somehow, I have to believe whips were used to make them run.
Can we now have Olympics for old men? We have the Senior Tour in golf? Why not the Senior Olympics? No one under 85. Who wouldn't pay to see this? The networks surely are willing to shell out billions bidding for it.
Quote from the story: "I ran, thinking I shouldn't fall because everyone was cheering for me," Haraguchi said. This is pathetic. I ran thinking I shouldn't fall? I'm sure that's what goes through every world class athlete's mind running the 100. I'm sure that was Carl Lewis' strategy in 1984- just focus on not falling.
Can you imagine a pre-race interview at the next Olympics? Correspondent: "How will you prepare for this event?" Sprinter: "I don't care if I win, I just don't want to fall".
"I will keep working as hard as possible." That's just what I am afraid you will keep doing, Mr. Haraguchi. Take some advice from a young whipper snapper- slow down and enjoy what is left of your life.
"The organizer of Sunday's athletic event will apply for official record recognition from the World Masters Athletics." Organizer? Of Sunday's "athletic event"? Seems to me the only thing he should be applying for is bail. Because anyone who would organize a "contest" like this should be jailed.
Where are the rest of the records from this event? Like, most athletes dying during one event? Or, most broken hips? Or, most cataract-induced javelin skewerings?
And did you notice that his record was accomplished in the rain? Yeah, I can think of lots of good ideas for our world. Making 95 year olds run as fast as they can in a down-pour is not one of them. They ended the story before citing the number of pneumonia cases afterwards. I hear next year they're going to grease the track.
What did they do? Go down to the closest nursing home and recruit competitors? "Get on the bus, folks, we're going on a field trip. Those with walkers, bring 'em."
How do we know these results are for real? Maybe Haraguchi used "the Cream" or "the Clear" to enhance his performance. Did they make him wizz in a cup afterwards? If not, the previous record holder should protest, God-willing he's still alive.
Do they have to cancel these events if the wind is blowing the wrong direction? I mean, a good head wind and it could take days for these guys to cross the finish line.
I've got a lot more, but I have work to do. Anybody else want to take a shot?
Monday, June 20, 2005
WLS in Chicago, which was my music station as a child and young adult, used to have a Top 500 countdown of the best rock and roll songs of all time. I think it started around 1978. Listeners would vote on their favorite songs of all time, and then the station would rank them and play them one weekend. They did this for two or three years in a row as I remember, but they could have done it more. Every year it seemed like "Hey, Jude" was voted number one, and Stairway to Heaven was in there some where. But I'm getting off topic.
One year, I think it was 1979, they were counting down and the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" came on. Every version I have ever heard of this song since then ends by fading in to the song "A Little Help From My Friends." Whenever I've heard it on the radio it ends this way. And on the album itself, of course, it does. But on this particular night, at the end of the song, when "A Little Help From My Friends" should have started, the song suddenly sped up into the Sgt. Pepper reprise, which is the next to last song on the album. In other words, it was like they tagged Sgt. Pepper's reprise on to the end of the Sgt. Pepper song. I have this somewhere on tape, because I happened to be taping some of the songs of the countdown. Unfortunately, sometime through the years I have lost that tape.
Which brings me to my question? Is there a version of Sgt. Pepper, such as on a released 45 rpm single, where the two songs are combined together? Or was this something the radio station did by itself? I must say, I really thought it sounded quite good.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
When asked if he is now the number one driver of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Waltrip responded, "Nah, I'm the same cat they tried to get rid of not too long ago."
Who else, besides me, would use the term "cat" when speaking? Maybe this is part of the reason I dig this cat, that he and I talk in the same manner. Seriously. If Scottius Maximus were on television, you'd say, "Hey, that cat talks like Michael Waltrip."
Even though I naturally like Carl Edwards because he drives for Scotts, Michael is my favorite.
Go, Cat, Go!
It's a retro jersey game in Tampa Bay. And how Tampa Bay is going to wear a retro uniform is a little beyond my feeble intelligence, but they're going to try. Evidently they're going to wear college uniforms from Lou Piniella's (Tampa Bay manager) college days. I can't wait to see the blue uniforms and the red caps on the road. Just for this one game, let Ozzie come and start the game at short, so we can watch his backflip one more time.
Speaking of Ozzie, the Cardinals Hall of Famer has a cut on the CD "Oh Say Can You Sing?", which is a collection of major leaguers crooning. He evidently sings Sam Cooke's "Cupid". And according to the Sporting News, he's better than Nikko. Poor Nikko.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
"You are not only a moron, but you are a COMPLETE LOSER.
Your Logical Intelligence is STILL nonexistent.
Your Verbal Intelligence is laughable, probably consisting of mostly how-do's and what-fers.
Your Mathematical Intelligence cannot comprehend crooked numbers, which makes "ciphering" a challenge for you.
Your General Knowledge is confined to the field of Sponge Bob Square Pants trivia.
The only think that is lower than your IQ is the number of teeth still in your mouth. Not only are you a TOTAL MORON, but the fact you tried to retake the same test to get a better score just proves what a TOTAL LOSER you are for caring what an online quiz says about your wretched life."
Sigh. I think I'm going out tonight.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I am going to stop taking these online quizzes. I took this IQ quiz, see, and this is what it said about me after I submitted it. Then they gave me this code to paste in my post:
"You're a moron.
Your Logical Intelligence is nonexistent.
Your Verbal Intelligence is so low Forrest Gump makes fun of how you speak.
Your Mathematical Intelligence is measured in fractions; if you only knew what those were.
Your General Knowledge is limited to Hi Ho! Cherry-O and Bubble Baths.
Your answers were so bad, your IQ is not measurable. You're as dumb as a bag of finishing nails. Even your mama couldn't be proud of you. How pitiful...Loser."
Anyone else have this happen? I'm sure I'm not the only one, right? Right? Quit playing around...right? Hello?
Monday, June 13, 2005
I'll Die If I Ever Have To Choose Between Debbie Travis' Curb Appeal Landscaping House Hunting Design On A Dime Finals Challenge And The Cardinals
Because I'm obsessed with something other than Cardinals games. Sure, the Cardinals. I knew that would happen come summer. And one would think this would be enough.
I had to go and hook myself up with another addiction. And this one's more dangerous, because I fear a constant, all-year battle with this.
You see, I love HGTV. Besides sports and the occasional Weather Channel turn, it's pretty much all HGTV for me.
Here's a brief rundown of my favorite programs, in ascending order.
Description from the HGTV website:
"Top design students face their final test—a real-life makeover with a minimal budget, a handful of helpers and advice from a mentor. In each episode, a student gets their chance to "go pro" and redo a room in a real family's house. The student gets real-world experience while the family gains a great new room!"
I love watching these students sweat it out, trying to get their work done on budget and in time. Is that wrong? I guess it's like watching NASCAR waiting for the wrecks (something I don't do by the way). They learn an important principle of life: things hardly ever turn out as planned.
From the HGTV website:
"Weekend Warriors celebrates the do-it-yourself trend with a cinema-verite look at people planning, doing and completing weekend home-improvement projects. This series follows such do-it-yourselfers as apartment-dwellers, homeowners, couples, singles and families through the stages of a project to its successful (or even unsuccessful) completion. The focus is on the enthusiasm and the experience of the participants as they improve their home on their own."
Okay, so I think I can do everything, too. Just like these people. Sometimes they get in over their heads. That makes me feel less like the idiot I am, to watch others make mistakes also. But I think I know the feelings of these people. Doing something yourself makes you appreciate it more. And in the end gives one a feeling of accomplishment.
By the way, if anyone knows what the heck "cinema-verite" is, let me know.
Description from the HGTV website:
"Wouldn't it be great to choose from different plans offered to you by three design experts for your real-life interior-design project? This weekly half-hour series follows one homeowner per episode through the exhilarating decision-making process of selecting from among three designers' room renovation plans, created just for the homeowner. Viewers watch as the chosen designer brings about a fabulous new look for the room. Hosted by Chris Harrison."
This is exciting for the opposite reason of Weekend Warriors. Because these people actually know what they're doing! The creativity of these people is something at which I marvel. Usually a stunning look results from their designs. But of course, I have a question. How do these people afford this stuff?
"House Hunters, hosted by Suzanne Whang, takes viewers behind the scenes as individuals, couples and families learn what to look for and decide whether or not a home is meant for them. Focusing on the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home, each episode follows a prospective buyer and real estate agent through the home-buying process, from start to finish."
Having lots of experience at this makes this show fun for me. But it's also great because of the unintentional comedy provided by the usually wooden personalities of these realtors and their clients.
In fact, I have a hunch that there is only one soundtrack for this series and they play it for each episode. The reason I think this is because this is the dialog for each episode almost verbatim:
Realtor: Let's take a look in this room.
Client (walking in): Oh, it's nice.
Realtor: There's a lot of space in this room.
Client: Yes, nice.
Realtor: Very nice.
Client: Yes. And it's bright.
Realtor: Yes. Very bright. Nice lighting.
Client. Yes. Really nice.
Realtor: Yes. It's nice.
Hey folks, there are other words in English besides "yes", "nice", and "bright". But it's funny because I remember saying the same things to my realtor in our house hunting.
Debbie Travis' Face Lift
"Host and designer, Debbie Travis, secretly works with a relative of an unsuspecting homeowner to make over a space that needs help. With the family member as an accomplice, hidden cameras record the homeowners' complaints about the room. And while the homeowner is away, Travis, the Facelift crew and family member/accomplice goes in, renovates, redecorates and reinvents the room in a day, a weekend or a week. The show's finale is the dramatic unveiling of the makeover and the cameras capture the homeowners' live response."
I don't know where to start with the next two programs because I love them both a lot. But here goes.
The accent has got to be part of it. I love the way Debbie Travis talks. There's just something about an English accent. Everything sounds better in an English accent. You say something intelligent, that's fine; but say something with an English accent, and it makes what you said Nobel-worthy. It's like authoritative. And it works for humor, also. Say something funny, you'll get a few laughs. Say the same thing with an English accent and paramedics will be carrying people out on stretchers, passed out from laughter-induced oxygen deprivation.
So, you've got this English chick on your TV telling people to do things they would not have the guts to do if it weren't an English chick telling them to do it. Like painting their kitchen lime green. Or taking an antique piece of furniture, PAINTING IT some wild color, and then taking something and FLOGGING the furniture to give it that "weathered" look.
Horrified bystander (wide eyed with voice raised): Woman, what the crap are you doing?
Family member: Why I'm beating this old antique that I just painted this psychedelic color.
Bystander (voice raised and perplexed): WHY?!!!!
Family member: That English lady over there told me to do so.
Bystander: Oh, okay. Why didn't you say so? Can I help?
But I am always amazed at the outcomes. This woman really is the "Queen of Paint". Incredibly talented. And fun to watch.
Debbie Travis' Painted House
"In each episode, interior designer Debbie Travis comes face to face with every style of home and every type of homeowner. From bachelor pads to RVs, family rooms to penthouses - no project is too small, no job too big. The Painted House takes decorating to an all new level as Debbie delivers humor and home decorating in one uproarious package."
Not much else to say. This lady really is talented. And very funny. Very entertaining show. See above.
"Three professional landscapers face off and "take it outside" to find out whose plan will best meet the outdoor design challenge and win the homeowner's vote. The winner installs the plan, and cameras document the process and the owner's reaction. Hosted by Marianne Curan."
I'm not sure what Marianne Curan has to do with this show other than providing voice over. She doesn't interact with anyone.
If I had to do it all over again (which is a ridiculous thing to think about, I know), I would be a landscaper. Maybe if I decide to quit doing what I do, I'll landscape. I can't think of anything I like to do more than totally changing a landscape and watching what happens. Which is why I like this show and this next one:
"Get great ideas for how to make the most of your home's appearance! Curb Appeal will help you look at your home with a fresh eye and offers up tips for turning great ideas into reality. Each episode features a real house and homeowner with guest experts who discuss the owner's needs and propose projects to improve the home's appearance. A "virtual makeover" then shows how to further increase the home's curb appeal."
At least in this show the host actually interacts with the subjects on the show, which is always more entertaining. And he usually interacts in a humorous way. I get delusions of grandeur watching this show and thinking what I might want to do with my humble abode. And it involves not just the landscaping but the entire exterior of the home. I'm sure my wife at some point will desire to write letters recommending cancellation of this program.
Design On A Dime
"Design on a Dime makes over a space for design-conscious home dwellers who want lots of style but may not have lots of money for the project. With a budget of just $1,000, a design team tackles a problem area such as a boring bedroom, lackluster living room, cluttered dining room or outdated office space. Together the team transforms the ordinary into the awesome. What a dramatic change! And what fun to see the residents’ reaction to their new room! The budget isn’t big, but the payoff sure is."
My favorite, mostly because this show is actually realistic. I know a lot of the projects of other shows on this network cost 10, 20, 30 or more thousand dollars. But these workers come in under budget with only a thousand to play with.
So there they are. My favorite HGTV shows. But I do have one other request. Why not combine HGTV with SCTV, my other favorite network? They could have call it HGSCTV or SCHGTV. And they could have shows like the following:
Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Designers:
"Dr. Tongue invites Debbie Travis, Marianne Curan, Suzanne Whang, Rick Spence and Kristan Cunningham each week to sit at the SCTV studios on Sammy Maudlin's set and show their designs in perfect 3-D technology."
I can just see it now. Dr. Tongue holding up a can of Debbie Travis' paint, saying in that Eastern European accent of his, "would like to see my new paint", while moving the can in and out, in and out, toward the camera. Like they always do in those 3-D movies.
A number one ratings smash, to be sure.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
But the best part was the CAT Chopper. It's gold and looks so cool. It travels around the country to different exhibits. Awesome, dude!
It's too bad they don't make these for the public. I'd certainly like to have one.
Friday, June 10, 2005
That's the question I have for the Yankees this weekend.
It's not like they couldn't have been here sooner.
Busch Stadium, Jr. opened in 1966. Since then, the New York Yankees have played in nine World Series: 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003. The St. Louis Cardinals have played in six World Series: 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, 2004. That means for 15 of the past 39 seasons, a whopping 38% of the time, either the Yankees or Cardinals have been contestants. And yet they have not met. The Yankees have not been to St. Louis since the 1964 World Series. Making today's visit by the Yankees their first to this version of Busch Stadium. And judging from how the 2005 Yankees are playing, probably their last.
The only possibilities for the Cardinals and Yankees to have met in the World Series, strictly speaking, would have been the years that both were in their respective league championship series at the same time. This happened in 2004, 2000, and 1996. The closest a Cards-Yanks Series came to happening would have to be last year, save for the Yankees coming from ahead to blow a 3-0 deficit to the Red Sox.
Had it happened, it would have given an interesting historical twist to the series:
- These two are historically the most successful clubs in each respective league, based on World Series won (Yankees 27, Cards 9).
- It would have been the 40th anniversary of the 1964 World Series.
- In 1964, the Cardinals had only one more full season at Busch 1 before moving in to a new ballpark, the present Busch Jr.
- In 2004, of course, the Cardinals were looking at only one more full season at Busch Jr before moving in to a new ballpark, Busch III.
- Tim McCarver, one of the Cardinals heroes of the 1964 World Series, was one of the Fox Sports announcers for the 2004 Series.
- Mike Shannon, another Cardinal, announced the 2004 Series for St. Louis.
- Joe Buck, Fox Sports World Series announcer for the past nine years, is a Cardinals TV announcer, and,of course, son of the legendary Jack Buck, who along with Harry Carey was a Cardinals announcer in 1964.
- Joe Torre, Yankees manager, is a former Cardinals player and Cardinals manager.
- The Cardinals and Yankees have met a total of 5 times in the World Series. The Cardinals have won 3 series, 1926, 1942, 1964. The Yankees won in 1928 and 1943. The Marlins and Diamondbacks are the only other teams who have beaten the Yankees in the World Series more than they have lost to the Yankees (of course, they've each only met one time).
But ifs and would have beens are not something to waste much time thinking about.
Let's move on. This series should be fun.
Yanks-Cards at Busch Jr. tonight. It's about time. But better late than never.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
But think back. To the 1980s. Was there anything cooler in the universe than watching late-night ESPN with Australian Rules Football? Australian Rules Football, the roughest game of the 20th century. No helmets. No pads. Lots of tackling and hits. And wacko from-another-planet goal judges wearing white hats and trenchcoats, like the white guy in Spy Vs. Spy. There has never been a greater referee body signal in all of sports than the goal signal by the ARF ref. The fist to punch out a batter of MLB, the overhead hand stretch of the NFL TD, the outstretched arm safe sign, all pale in comparison to the quick leap to the goal line, followed by the elbow flexion and index finger point of the ARF ref.
And then it disappeared. But Fox Sports World (Fox Soccer Channel) has resurrected it. I can now watch ARF more than I ever have before.
My favorite team is the Collingwood Magpies. During the 1980s they always seemed to be on, so it just seemed natural to choose them to follow. Collingwood? Magpies? Are you kidding? Who made up these names? I had to look up what a magpie was. I lost track of them for awhile, and found out they actually won a championship while I wasn't paying attention. Granted the Magpies will never replace the Cardinals, but I revel in being a Magpie fan. The fact that it is another type of bird seems to fit my fan M.O. The team colors of black and white of course fit perfectly with the color of magpies.
These ARF nicknames are so un-American-like they totally rock. The Magpies, Swans, Kangaroos, Dockers, Bombers, and Crows. That's a total of 3 fabulous bird nicknames, and throw in the Hawks and Eagles and 5 of the 16 teams have bird names.
Tonight (tomorrow?- crap it's like that date line thing again) at 1 a.m. CDT the Magpies play Geelong on Fox Soccer Channel. The game was actually played last Friday, but I won't give away who won. Collingwood is not having a good season, but that's okay. I'm just glad to be able to watch again.
So crack open a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler, poof out your hair, put up your collar, and watch some Magpie action!
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Below is a recent post on Viva, El Birdos, featuring an absolutely hilarious list of quotes from Cardinals former player and now legendary broadcaster, Mike Shannon. Shannon is without a doubt the most entertaining baseball announcer currently working, including the great Bob Uecker, and I look forward to listening to him almost as much as to the game itself. Since Jack Buck's death, I have come to appreciate him even more.
To someone not acquainted with "The Moonman", it would be a shame to think that the list is compiled to make fun of him or his way of speech. Nothing could be further from the truth. Almost every Cardinals fan reveres Shannon, just not in the way you would a head of state. His down-home delivery and sometimes goofy "phrase-eology" takes listening to a ball game into an occasionally surreal direction. But sharply navigating around these mental icebergs is one of the keenest baseball minds still going. The fact that he provides quality entertainment to go with his baseball intelligence transforms his utterances into radio magic.
One of my favorite stories about Mr. Shannon is in Bob Gibson's autobiography, Stranger to the Game. He relates a story from Game 3 of the 1964 World Series, in which the Yankees and Cardinals are tied going in to the bottom of the ninth. Well, Mickey Mantle quickly ends the game, crushing the ball into the upper deck of Yankee Stadium. As soon as Mantle makes contact, it is clear to everyone in the ballpark that this game is over. Except one young Cardinal right fielder, our hero. Shannon gets a bead on the ball, turns and runs all the way to the warning track and then the wall, where he watches the ball sail far above his head into the upper deck. After the game, Gibson states he approached Shannon, asking him in effect what he thought he was doing out there, and didn't Shannon know he couldn't catch that ball. In typical Mike-Shannon-speak, Mike is reported to say to Gibson, "You never know, big boy, you never know." This line, which has become a catch phrase around my house, reveals a lot about how Mr. Shannon's mind works, as well as about his never-say-die atttitude.
Shannon is now so legendary he has inspired the naming (I think) of Get Up, Baby, one of my favorite Cardinals blogs. "Get up, baby, get up" is the quintessential Mike Shannon call, a plea to a baseball hit high and deep to the outfield by a Cardinal player to get up and over the wall. It is forever immortalized on Mark McGwire's 70th home run call in 1998. I submit "get up, baby" is as beloved to a Cardinal follower as "go crazy, folks, go crazy."
Bottom line? He keeps baseball FUN while being informative. Unfortunately, most broadcasters today are too wooden to keep it that way. We are truly blessed.
So buckle up, pop a "nice, cold, frosty one", and be prepared to laugh out loud at some of this stuff. And for still more Mike Shannon fun visit Redbird Nation archives, A Tribute To The Moon Man. (You'll have to scroll about half-way down the page).
Viva, Mike Shannon.
Posted on Wed May 18, 2005 at 01:06:33 PM EST
Again, these are old as the Missouri hills, but I love every one of them. Please feel free to send new ones.
All quotes below are attributed to Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon
"A hit up the middle right now would be like a nice ham sandwich and a cold, frosty one."
"This big standing room only crowd is settling into their seats."
"It's raining like a Chinese fire drill!"
After Brian Jordan was hit by a pitch for the 4th time on a single road trip) "He must feel like a Ouija board."
(About former Cardinal Bernard Gilkey) "He was originally born in University City."
"He's faster than a chicken being chased by Ronald McDonald!"
(Referring to Mike Schmidt) "the longtime and soon-to-be Hall of Famer."
"He's madder than a pig caught under a barnyard gate."
(About a base stealer) "Sometimes when you feel the urge, you've just gotta go." (6/17/98)
"This game is off to a rather conspicuous start, don't you think, Jack?" (7/15/98 )
"Well, folks, this game began as a tiny worm and is blossoming into a large cobra." (8/12/98 )
(About Hideo Nomo) "He's the biggest thing to hit Japan since they dropped that bomb on Nagashima!"
"That foul tip bounced up and caught him right in the groins...and that'll really clear your eyes out!"
Broadcasting from New York under a full moon) "I wish you folks back in St. Louis could see this moon."
(On the day before Easter) "I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah." (4/98)
After a warning track fly ball) "A couple of strips of bacon at breakfast,and he'd a busted that baby out-a-here!"
"Things are not always as they appear to be as." (1999)
"I tell you, that same river flows the same way".
"Well, he did everything right to get ready for the throw, but if ya ain't got the hose, the water just won't come out."
"Like Spring makes the rains come, so does the edge of the plate grow." (6/17/00)
"Our next home stand follows this road trip." (5/20/01)
"I don't like that play. I've seen it go opposite more often than positive." (6/08/01)
(Referring to a home run by Ted Simmons) "And that's the bread on Simmons' butter."
"The right-hander is throwing up in the bullpen." (4/23/02)
"I've heard it said that if you know English, Spanish, Italian, and I think it's French, you can go just about anywhere in this world...except for China where they have all those derelicts." (5/19/02)
This year's quote regarding the derelicts in China was followed (after a pause) by Joe Buck's suggestion that Mike had meant to say "dialects." Mike's response was,"Yea, dialects! That's what I mean. But they've got a lot of derelicts too!!"
During an Eli Marrero at bat, Mike Shannon makes mention that the Cardinals had a lot of Latin players on the team and that "they are a creditable people."
"If you're writing a thesis or something, you could finish it in a week or so if you were catching this guy." (05-25-02)
"We'd like to say hello to all those folks listening in Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky."
"He ran to second faster than a cat in Chinatown."
"I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it.'"
Joe: "Mike, the Cardinals would like to welcome a group of 19 French foreign exchange students in section 382 today."
Mike: "Where they from Joe?"
Joe: "Uhhh... France... I think."
And Mike Shannon's classic: "Ol' Abner has done it again!"
A couple years back, Mike and Joe were discussing the horrible photographs of players that had been flashed on the screen at another ballpark. Mike's take on the quality of photo selection was, "Some of those guys looked like the picture was taken while they were seeing their first UFO." After several seconds of laughter, Joe added, "As opposed to their second or third."
"Oooh, that last pitch inside was a bit questionable and he'd like to say something to the umpire, but he won't say anything. At least not verbally.".
"Boy a frosty cold Budweiser would be great about now"...long pause...then an "aahhh".
"The wind has switched 360 degrees".
"The Dodgers are ahead by 5 runs or 3 runs or in between there somewhere."
"It was raining so hard I thought it was going to stop."
"...this crowd on their feet for the Canadian Star Spangled Banner."
"Horner's arguing, he wants an interference call against Cangeloni. Now Cangeloni's got something to say, but here comes Whitey to give a taste of his vocabulary, and it'll have extra mustard on it.""
Monday, June 06, 2005
"October 10, 2004
St. Luke 16:19-31
Dear Friends in Christ,
During a phone conversation with a pastor friend back in late August I listened as he described the anxiety and upset he had been experiencing from a few members in his congregation as he confronted them with the Scriptures. The pastor discussed the importance of maintaining the truth of God’s Word. A man in the group said, “The truth of the Word isn’t what’s important.”
And then I got to thinking about the t-shirt being promoted by Planned Parenthood. The wearer -a woman - can proudly display the statement: I HAD AN ABORTION.
And then I got to thinking about what children watch when they watch...oh...say...MTV. Seems I’ve caught a cartoon commercial where one man is patting another man. You can figure out where.
And then I got to thinking about one of our Pilgrim couples who happened to be in Champaign during late August and saw the following sign posted at a fraternity house: “Thanks Dads for dropping off your daughters.”
And then I got to thinking about the thrust of Christianity in America. For the most part, a non-Biblical emphasis for fear of offending tender ears. Felt needs drown out the “one thing (that) is needed” (Lk. 10:41)
Judgement Day will be quite interesting, don’t you think? Mouths on the ground, as we say of those who face shocking reality. Realities God clearly reveals throughout Scriptures. The very essence of why Christ came into this world. We face it this morning . . .
STARK NAKED TRUTHS
I. Death and Heaven and Hell.
I don’t mean to shock you with that theme this morning. But it is what we are to see in this account of The Rich Man and Lazarus. It addresses the purpose of God’s Word and Christ’s mission.
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived
in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered
with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table . . .
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to
Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he
was in torment . . . ” (vs. 19-23)
It’s simple. Everybody is going to die. There is life after death. When you die you will either land at Abraham’s side, which is just another name for Heaven - or, you will land in hell. It’s so stark and simple it hurts.
Now, the object of this incident is not to avoid it because someone might be offended or upset by it. The object is to hear and face it squarely. Heaven or hell is inevitable for everyone. They’re real. And we will each spend forever and ever in one place or the other. That’s what Scriptures teach. That’s what Jesus came to address.
“In hell where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away,
with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on
me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
because I am in agony in this fire.’” (vs. 23-24)
Of this man’s predicament Martin Luther wrote:
If we look at the rich man according to the fruits of faith, we find a heart and
a tree of unbelief. ...this rich man is not reproved because he had fine food
and splendid clothes, for many saints, kings, and queens formerly wore fine
dresses, as Solomon, Esther, David, Daniel and others; but because he set
his heart upon it, and made it his idol. Raw, naked unbelief. As Jesus taught, “...whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (Jn. 3:18) The words stand out, starkly so: “he was in torment...in agony.” He was “condemned.”
David F. Burgess relates this incident:
Two soldiers on an American troopship crowded around their chaplain and
asked him, “Do you believe in hell?” “I do not,” was his answer. “Well,
then,” they said, “will you please resign, for if there is no hell, we do not need
you, and if there is a hell, we do not wish to be led astray.”
It would appear, judging from present day culture, that most prefer to be led astray. And most who stand in pulpits are willing to oblige. Hiding the truth will not make the torment and agony of hell any less real - any less truthful. As someone chillingly stated: “Hell is truth seen too late.”
But for our comfort, we are to grasp the truth of the Lazarus’ situation:
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to
“...Abraham replied (to the rich man), ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime
you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now
he is comforted here . . .” (vs.22,25)
Comforted. Comfort. Forever and ever. This was Lazarus’ reward. Not because he was poor,
miserable and mistreated, but because he believed. As Jesus said, “‘For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is notcondemned...’” (Jn. 3:17,18a)
Lazarus had simple faith in God’s payment for his sin through Messiah, the Christ. Simple faith that hoped of things better in eternity. And get this: The Lord did not take away the rags of his life in this world. He did not take away his ragged living. On the contrary, the Lord exchanged the passing, earthly rags for the white robe of a forgiven life. Lazarus spent his last moments in pain and empty-handed. He entered eternal life comforted and given the fullness of God’s life and love through Jesus Christ. . . forever.
IV. Beyond Human Reasoning.
“(The rich man answered),’Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my
father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will
not also come to this place of torment.’
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to
“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them,
they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will
not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (vs. 27-31)
I constantly ask myself how many more “how to” and flights of fancy books will inundate the lives of Christians in this country? People read and read and read . . . but little of God’s precious Word, the Scriptures. And after all their reading they still remain the same lost, sinful creatures - the same people with the same struggles, or just new ones. But the Word is life! It’s the stark, naked truth: Without the Word there is no faith in or understanding of Jesus Christ. And without faith, there is no life!
The Apostle John reminds us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (Jn. 1:1,4) And Jesus impresses upon us, “‘If you hold to my teaching (His words), you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (Jn. 8:31,32)
This is not earthly freedom but body and soul freedom. It’s the freedom that was granted Lazarus. It’s the freedom granted us in Christ. It’s the freedom our friends and loved ones who have died in Christ now know to its fullest. And it’s ours. It’s the stark truth that gives us peace and eternal hope!
A fellow by the name of John Cumming wrote:
The empire of Caesar is gone; the legions of Rome are moldering in the
dust; the avalanches that Napoleon hurled upon Europe have melted away;
the pride of the Pharaohs has fallen; the pyramids they raised to be their
tombs are sinking every day in the desert sands; Tyre is the rock for
bleaching fisherman’s nets; Sidon has scarcely left a wreck behind; but the
Word of God still survives. All things that threatened to extinguish it have
only aided it; and it only proves every day how transient the noblest
monument that man can build, how enduring is the least Word God has
spoken. Tradition has dug for it a grave; intolerance has lighted for it many
a (fire); many a Judas has betrayed it with a kiss; many a Demas has
forsaken it, but the Word of God still endures.”
It does. It’s ours. It’s the Word that impresses upon us the lifting of our sin and assurance of Heaven through faith in Jesus. The Word is Life. It’s ours. And that’s the stark, glorious truth!
Edgar Renteria as the Red Sox starting shortstop also makes this series a little awkward. I hope the crowd greets him with indifference- don't boo, don't cheer. He's just another player now.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Are you reading?
On the web,
I stay up real late,
That stack of bills- it can wait,
Surfing through a blogger wonderland.
Gone away, is Redbird Nation.
Here to stay- our consternation.
Brian Gunn was the man,
For all Cardinal fans.
Surfing through a blogging wonderland.
But out there still is Dan at Get Up, Baby,
Making sure great Cardinals postings still abound.
And Pastor Paul makes me so happy to be Lutheran,
By posting pictures of "Communion Clowns".
By the way, where's Pastor Brondos?
For three weeks, he has no new posts.
Be Strong in the Grace,
Has taken his place,
Surfing through a blogging wonderland.
World Mag has more bloggers than I can read.
If you don't like it- you can go away.
You'll never have a church-growth thought accost you,
If you just read the Bunnie every day.
Well, I've just spent, two hours of time,
trying to get, Kiihnworld to rhyme
With just one English phrase,
But that could take days.
Surfing through a blogger wonderland."
Thanks to all of you who write blogs I visit (as noted above) or who visit this blog! It's been fun so far. Blessings.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
But the thing that I've discovered is that Wayne Hagin on FM sounds a lot like Howard Sprague. Which to me is an improvement, as I 've never been fond of his voice or speaking style. Too plastic and contrived. It makes me appreciate the Moon Man much more, however, because those are two words never uttered in the same sentence with Mike Shannon.
"How bad are the Chicago Cubs this season? Things are getting so bad they let the Houston Astros win a road game. Last night the Astros won for only the third time this season away from Houston, beating the Cubs 5-1. That makes the Cubbies 8 games back of division leading St. Louis and to make matters worse another one of their pitchers is hurt. As hard as this may be to believe, the injury may even be more whack than Carlos Zambrano hurting his elbow online. Reliever Mike Remlinger was placed on the 15 day disabled list yesterday after hurting himself Sunday, but not trying to throw a nasty slider, or being hit with a line-shot, Remlinger broke his pinkie finger while sitting in a recliner. Hey, who hasn't been taken out by a recliner at some point? You can walk into any emergency room in the country and they're packed with recliner related injuries. Those things are death traps. I mean, all that sitting, resting and watching TV, it's a wonder they even sell those things anymore. They should be in glass cases in stores like guns, so people don't get too close to them. You really should have to obtain a special license just to buy one."
Since when is "recliner finger" a reason to go on the DL? Ask Mike Remlinger of the Cubs. Or "computer mouse elbow"? Ask Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs.
Seriously, how many people in the world get hurt in the way the Cubs players do? Sammy Sosa sneezes last year and throws his back out for 3 weeks. Does any of this sound normal? Of course not. Is there a more bizarre medical track record than the one the Cubs have run recently? How out of shape does one have to be to injure a finger in a recliner, or an elbow from being online, or a back from sneezing too hard? Who is supposed to be overseeing the Cubs fitness program?
And before anyone brings up Matt Morris' escapade jumping down the stairs and twisting his ankle in 2003, just remember, it is Matt Morris, after all, and it was an isolated incident. The Mike Matheny hunting knife caper was years ago. All the Cubs "accidents" have happened within a year. And Mark Prior last year went from having Achilles tendon problems to elbow problems to shoulder problems, a man supposedly with the best pitching mechanics the Cubs scouts have ever seen. I remember one "expert" expounding on how Prior won't hurt himself because his mechanics are too good. Well maybe they just don't know what they're looking at, or talking about.
Honestly, I think it is Dusty Baker that has brought this clumsiness and buffoonery. Remember he almost let his 3 year old son get pulverized at home plate after running on the field during action at the 2002 World Series. If not for a quick thinking Giant, he would have been flattened.
I'm waiting for Greg Maddux to come down with a case of "watermelon-trashbag elbow" like former Padre now Rockie reliever Jay Witasick did. You know about "watermelon-trashbag elbow", right? It's when you blow out your elbow by throwing the too-heavy remains of a watermelon tucked inside a trashbag into your garbage dumpster from too far a distance.
So what else to expect this year? Don't be surprised to see:
56 Cliff Bartosh- out with stirrup-sock shin, brought on by pulling too violently on his socks.
48 Joe Borowski- on the DL for hamster-wheel hamstrings, caused by running too fast in a hamster wheel device used to try to get Borowski back in shape.
46 Ryan Dempster - scratched from the lineup for toothpaste-eye, a malady caused by getting a small amount of toothpaste on your finger without realizing it, then rubbing your eyes. Guaranteed to "burn out" 20/20 vision for at least 2 days.
51 Jon Leicester - bite tongue severely trying to imitate Harry Carey, miss 3 games as he cannot chew tobacco with so-called "Harry tongue".
31 Greg Maddux - miss 4 starts with "Goat Groin", resulting from being head-butted where it counts by a goat brought in to reverse the curse of the billy goat from the Cubs.
52 Sergio Mitre - suffer severe case of "bowling thumbnail", a ripped nail from bowling earlier in the day, and have to leave a game.
44 Roberto Novoa - punch his computer monitor after taking the online quiz, What Disney Character Are You?, and learning he is "Cinderella", thereby punching his computer and breaking his 4th and 5th metacarpals, and becoming the first known casualty of so-called "Cinderella Fracture".
50 Will Ohman - blow out his knee trying to protect Jeff Gordon from the angry mob at "Wrigley Stadium" when Gordon shows up again, this time to sing the National Anthem before the game, and thus causing more misery to Cub-dom due to "National Anthem Knee".
33 Glendon Rusch - suffer the malady of "Michael Jackson Trial Decubitus", a pressure sore on the sacral area from lying in his recliner watching constant trial coverage, and miss one month while it heals.
40 Todd Wellemeyer- out indefinitely with "Weeble's warts", a condition of the bottoms of the feet caused by stepping on a child's Weeble toys infected with wart virus, leaving it's victim unable to walk.
43 Michael Wuertz - miss 3 weeks due to "Kingsford Hands", after dousing his charcoal with WAY too much lighter fluid and throwing a match into the pile but failing to get his hands out of the way of the resulting 50 foot flame.
8 Michael Barrett - have to leave a game after aggravating his "toilet paper dispenser wrist", caused by having to spin the dispenser endless times looking for the end of the roll.
9 Henry Blanco - become so repulsed by this that he wretches too hard vomiting up phlegm, causing "Clown Communion hernia", and miss six weeks due to subsequent surgery.
25 Derrek Lee - sidelined the rest of this season after having surgery for "suitcase shoulder", when he yanked too hard on a heavy suitcase trying to remove it from his trunk.
1 Jose Macias
13 Neifi Perez - put on DL with "Neifi Knee". I don't know what this is, it just sounded cool.
16 Aramis Ramirez - lost for season with "Akita ACL", after tripping over his Akita and tearing his ACL.
7 Todd Walker - sidelined 2 games with "diffuse lotion blister" after mistakenly rubbing a combination of capsaicin and Flex-All 454 on his body instead of sun block.
19 Enrique Wilson - put on DL with "sod cutter sciatica", after cutting sod for 4 hours putting in a flower bed at his home, injuring his back and herniating a lumbar disc.
3 Jeromy Burnitz - miss two weeks with "blog eyeballs", after becoming obsessed with Blogger and straining his eyes staying up late every night reading too many blogs.
4 Jason Dubois - out indefinitely with "Left Behind lateral oblique strain", caused when he laughs so hard at the theology of "Left Behind" books he pulls his right lateral oblique.
15 Jerry Hairston - leave game with "Saluki stomach", caused by eating too many Saluki dogs from his alma mater.
28 Todd Hollandsworth - with what will for forever be known as "Hollandsworth Heel", after the Cubs outfielder tears his Achilles tendon jumping from the dugout to the field without using any steps, just to see if he could do it.
20 Corey Patterson - actually have a LEGITIMATE injury diving for a baseball during an actual game.