Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stats: 5.51 ERA , 50 Ks, 3,722 TTFAF notes

Meet Collin Balester, top pitching prospect for the Washington Nationals. His take-the-mound song?

Discovered through the wondrous DiamondTrax, courtesy of Bill S.

Everywhere Like Such As: Of The Air Space And The Iraq

"That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada . . . Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there . . . We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to, our state."
You know, this no-nonsense approach to security issues reminds me of another leading voice of our time, who answered a similar tough question about foreign policy . . .

"I personally believe, that U.S. Americans, are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. And uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe they should uh, our education over here, in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa, and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This Just In

Dozens wrestle pigs; no protests
Farmer holds event despite warnings of possible illegality, PETA complaint

The Baltimore Sun / September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So, What Happened?

Ok, so the first Presidential Debate is over, and the one thing I now think for certain is that Jim Lehrer should be our President. How do three newspapers sum up the contest on their webb pages?

Let's look and see:

Thee New York Times:
Candidates Clash On Economy And Iraq

The Washington Post:
Economy and Iraq Take Central Role In Debate

The Sun (Baltimore):
Candidates Debate Issues

Um, really? That's the best you could do? What the fuck else were they gonna debate, the goddamn O lines of the AFC North? You totally suck.

Friday, September 26, 2008

FlurkrFind #101


Why is our nation's economic future in the hands of a Christian Scientist named Hank? Did we get all wasted on Melon Ball shooters and text that chick we hooked up with on Sunday at 2 a.m. or something?

UPDATE: Um, wow.

In the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

Saturday, September 20, 2008

America v. Its Own Idiots: Exhibit A

Dear Dumb America:

You know how you get all ornery and flustered when people who don't watch WWE or own "The Purpose-Driven Life" (a.k.a. "elitists") start telling you that your beliefs are ill-informed and wrong, and that you are thick-headed rubes, and that you shouldn't vote for someone for high office just because they are as borderline adequate as you are?

This is why "elitists" do things like that: Because you are a bunch of immature idiots. This also pertains to your reaction to being told you are an immature idiot, which is to throw a patriotic hissy fit about "elitists" and, in a fit of smug "I'll show them" thinking, elect your kick-ass custom camo ATV as County Commissioner.

Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy: An estimated three-fourths of gas stations in the Nashville, Tennessee, area ran dry Friday, victim of an apparent rumor that the city was running out of gas.

"Everybody has just gone nuts," said Mike Williams, executive director of the Tennessee Petroleum Council.

He said he has no idea about the origin of a rumor that there was going to be no gas in Nashville. One reporter called him, saying she had heard that Nashville would be without gas within the hour, he said.

Hearing the rumor, drivers rushed to fill their cars and trucks.

Ok, so, just to recap: Cities don't run out of gas . . . well, unless a hurricane hits them and President Bush's FEMA doesn't do its job and clear the roads for the fuel trucks that it forgot to order.

Next week: Obama is not a Muslim, you fucktards.

Extra credit: Why that shouldn't even matter, you double fucktards.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spot the Douchebag!

See if you can identify the douchebag from the line-up of photos below!


Done? If you chose #1, "The Suspicious-Looking Cat-Brandishing Lady," you are correct! You've identified Anne Tallent, editor of b, Baltimore's potty-mouthedest free-tabloid!

See, what she did was, is she printed the word "douchebag" on the cover of b, the Baltimore Sun's free daily* (*weekends not included) for the mentally handicapped. Wanna see it? Behold!

Even worse: Want to read it?

So it actually got printed on Tuesday, September 16, and then, oddly, many people were all like, "WTF? You can't drop that word on the cover of a real paper, no matter how insipid and crappy and designed for people who are flummoxed by Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader it is!" And some of those people are reporters at the big boy paper, and they wrote to the editor of that equally-befucked up publication. They complained. And they cc:d Tallent, because they don't respect her and her gross little free paper ("Speculation, your honor!" "Sustained!"), and knew it would piss her off. Ding!

So she wrote a retort, which used this logic: the Sun reporters weren't allowed to be offended by the word, because b's readers use it "differently." And I think she also implied that they were old and therefore prone to offense-taking from "new ideas." And also ZING she totally sniped at them for going to the big boss with their whining. Oh also, she showed those old fogies! She pointed them right to where they stole this dim-witted idea from (thanks Radar!) Which somehow validates it? Thus, douchebag.

Hmm. Looking back on it now, I guess this quiz was a little too easy.

UPDATE: And so was my joke. Former Sun staffer Dan Fesperman posted this to Poynter.org:
If that's the way Anne feels, then I guess she won't mind a bit that my reaction to her memo is: "Wow, what a douchebag."

Thank you and goodnight.

Ok, everything seems fine here.

If anyone needs me, I'm drinking a bottle of Bombay and hitting the sack.

See you on November 5! Go Ravens!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flatulent Frank the Bookman

From Sunday's Thee New York Times Book Review, I learned this about a well-known book publisher house:
Doubleday, a proudly “middlebrow” company, was founded by Frank N. Double­day, who suffered from flatulence. As a result, none of the characters in the books he published were allowed to pass wind.
This explains why Samwise Gamgee never "cut the lembas bread" during his strenuous hike up Mount Doom.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You Are Forgiven

Dear Thee New York Times Magazine:
So, remember when I was all like, "You stink, and your articles stink, and you're boring and out of it, and oh jeez why don't you just write a giant ass cover story about the semiotics of Deal or No Deal or something? Losers."

Today you have a cover story about bipolar kids (whatever) and . . . and . . . wait, what's this? A giant feature on giant British famous crumpet Katie "Jordan" Price? For me? Oh . . . oh gosh. Really. Wow. That stuff I said? That was just the gin and tonics talking, baby. Everything is better now. You come right over here. What's that? You want to tell me something?
When someone noticed last fall that Price’s second ghostwritten novel had outsold the entire Booker Prize short list, there was much wailing about the death of literature.
That was the best. It's like falling in love with an elitist Sunday magazine for the first time all over again. Tell me--what do you know about Jodie Marsh?


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nerd Vent: Fringe=Cringe

Fringe was so dumb I stopped it after 25 minutes and deleted it from the DVR. The entire experience was wretched, from the half-wit retards at (shocker) Fox affiliate WBFF-TV 45 here in B'more running the first 15 minutes in HD--but in 4x3 format, then realizing as they ate their Slim Jim and mayonnaise sandwiches that, hey, idn't this TeeVeeProgram in that there big-pitchur HD? Forgot to flip the switch!

Ok, so then what happened was, the pretty Fed lady got this wackadoo old ex-Harvard scientist out of the remote, high-lockdown kook hatch where he had been growing a beard and urinating in his pants for a couple decades to help solve the mystery of the flesh dissolving/invisiblizing goo, and he demands to be taken back to his old lab in a basement at Harvard U. And it's still there, 17 years later, covered in cobwebs and dust. And he starts demanding some new equipment. Which is funny for a lot of reasons, and was what finally made me expunge this show . . . FOREVER.

To wit: I am not a scientist, but I am pretty sure that the fancy science-learning mo-sheens are kinda different these days, compared to the 1991 era. They have "Core 2 Quads" and "cable modems" and "Large Hadron Colliders" and stuff now, and he's not gonna know about or be familiar with any of this new-fangled stuff. Because the last computer he saw was probably an IBM PS2 486. And just wait till he sees 2 Girls 1 Cup! He'll want to go back to the nut house.

Also, fancy universities in dense cities (like Harvard and Cambridge/Boston) just love keeping huge high-tech laboratories empty for 17 years. It's a smart move financially and academically. Now, if this had been Regent University or Liberty University, it would be more believeable, because those schools don't need labs or science, because Dr. Jesus, PhD will solve all their confusulating physical world problems (like Muslims).

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Best E-Mail I Got In 2008

And the winner is . . . R.P. of Texas!

Every year I host an alligator hunt down at our ranch on the coast at Matagorda, Texas [...] One, you come with me on what I presume would be your first-ever gator hunt! Would love to have you, it would be a fun weekend with fun people and plenty of bourbon.

Thanks to everyone who "submitted entries," but there's no way you're topping this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Turn-ons: Horsies, privacy, forging prescriptions, ignoring existence of half-siblings

Bum rush a liberal elitist, rob a blind newspaper stand owner, impregnate a 17-year old--do whatever you need to do--but immediately read "The Lonesome Trail" in this week's aforementioned Sept. 15 New Yorker. It is a profile of Cindy McCain, and it is full of fascinating information about her and her husband John McCain. There are a few too many biased and judgmental swipes at both of them, which really aren't necessary given the actual lies and white-washed "re-truthings" the McCains expel.

Here's one:
Cindy McCain describes herself as her deceased father's only child; she repeated this claim at his funeral . . . which was also attended by Kathleen, his daughter from a previous marriage, of whom Cindy was well aware. Because she was at her wedding.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cheap Bud and Fencing in Beijing

I knew I liked The New Yorker's China correspondent, Peter Hessler, but I couldn't quite decide why until the Sept. 15th issue's piece about the Beijing Olympics. From "The Home Team: What the Chinese made of the Olympics" (not posted online):

It was possible to show up at fencing at 10 a.m., spend four and a half bucks, and get a six-pack of Budweiser. But no Chinese person would ever do that.

That's quality writing and journalism, right there. You know why? Because the next bit, the one we are all thinking (though not the one he wrote) is:
Me? I sure as shit would.

Drill Baby Drill

Reading this winkingly-titled tale of the wacky goings-on at the Interior Department ("Gov't Officials Probed About Illicit Sex, Gifts"), with the payoffs and the kickbacks and the blow and the humping, I realize that this is the kind of boss I should have been: 

The reports also said former head of the Denver Royalty-in-Kind office, Gregory W. Smith, used cocaine and had sex with subordinates.

Did I ever do cocaine or have sex with subordinates? No, all I ever did was bring doughnuts. And laughter, maybe. Oh, and once, I gave the copier chylamidia*.

*Joke boosted from The Venture Brothers, which I credit here in full.

UPDATE: Oh man this is great. From Thee New York Times article: 

In discussions with investigators, the report said, Mr. Smith acknowledged buying cocaine from his secretary and having a sexual encounter with her at her home, but denied discussing drugs at work. He also denied telling anyone to lie, saying that he only told people that “no one has a right to know what I do on my personal time.”

On one occasion in 2002, the report said, two of the officials who marketed taxpayers’ oil got so drunk at a daytime golfing event sponsored by Shell that they could not drive to their hotels and were put up in Shell-provided lodging.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"I will now sail away to Blackout Island"

Cheers to this fantastic compilation of Bar Signs (helpful hand signals to indicate needs, actions, and tactics whilst in a public house) from the greatest magazine in America, Modern Drunkard. Tonight's activities involve a daring two-man infiltration of perhaps a dozen of the city's bars and taverns for "research" for a "book" I am "working on."

Monday, September 8, 2008


pt posted a short clip of Esquire magazine's new and much-bepimped e-ink e-cover (via Gizmodo). It's . . . not that impressive, but it could be in a year or so. This feels like something a not-very-with-it 45-year-old marketing guy thought up: "Let's put an intertube-like screen on our cover! It'll be synergistically paradigm subverting." Okey dokey, bub. Call me when it's IN COLOR and full screen and HD.


(Much larger version here)

Today's L.A. times has a photo/audio megaslideshow sort of thing by Michael Robinson Chavez (and a companion article by Henry Wu) about Dharavi, one of Mumbai's worst slums (unlike the nice ones with the great water slides and golf course communities, I guess. Gah.) which happens to be on some of Mumbai's most desirable land.
About half a million people live and work in Dharavi -- recyclers, tailors, leather tanners, laundrymen, potters, cloth dyers and shopkeepers, all jammed into a single square mile of narrow alleys and rickety buildings made from corrugated metal sheets.
Yes, that's half a million people living in one square mile.

The new plan?
"You're talking of a location that's fantastic. This is the only location in Mumbai where I can bulldoze 500 acres of land and redesign," said architect Mukesh Mehta, whose $3-billion redevelopment plan was adopted by the Maharashtra state government in 2004 but has been subject to repeated debate and delay.

His goal is to "create a brand-new beautiful suburb," complete with green space, schools, hospitals and reliable public services such as sanitation, things Dharavi currently lacks.
Yes, that's half a million people living in one square mile with no sanitation.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

All Your Data Are Belong To 538

If you are a massive election stats dork--and I know you are out there--or you are even just curious about how really bright and numerically-obsessed folks view the upcoming Presidential battle, I recommend you run over to 538. It's named after the number of votes in the Electoral College, and run by Nate Silver, who is managing partner of Baseball Prospectus, which means he does to numbers what the late Steve Howe did to lines of cocaine. Apparently, Silver could not be contained by the meager world of digits that baseball provides; he decided to apply his skillz to a far more boring contest, politics. Your mind will be exploded by data and pie charts and numbers and thinking and truth (NOTE: It is more interesting that the chart you see here, but I wanted to show how balls-out the data is). 538 was in some fancy publication that probably had the words "New York" in its title a while back, and my bright engineer pal Bill brought 538 up the other night; now get over there and start learning about the reality of everything. Bring clean pants, it will be like that time you went to Burning Man by accident with those girls who tasted like copper and you didn't have any spare clean pants.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Eight is Enough

This was the fastest any Oakland Athletic player had to move after the sixth inning last night, as they walked their way (and then added a grand slam) to an 11-2 bitch-slapping of the once-again-hapless Orioles last night.

Here are some fun stats from the contest:

-Five bases-loaded walks issues by Orioles pitchers (Brian Bass, Brian Burres, Kameron Mickolio, and Randor Bierd) including four in the eighth inning.

-The aforementioned Kam Mickolio gets his own stat line: 6' 9"; bred in Wolf Point, Montana; entered the game with a 9.00 ERA; left with a 27.00 ERA; intro song is "Folsom Prison Blues," because--looking at his ERA--he is apparently familiar with the sensations experienced during prison rape.

-The A's scored eight runs in the eighth inning on one hit (a grand slam by Rajai Davis, only his third of the season, that had to be discussed by the lethargic ump crew because they were confused by the ball actually being struck by the bat).

Friday, September 5, 2008

FlurkrFind #99

Get Ready For Mind-Exploding

See this? It's, like . . . WHOA!!!1!!

From Poynter.org, the tale of a relic of a magazine that no longer exists, published back in October 2004, giving us a bizarre glimpse into a future no one could imagine. Read about the hilarious hi-jinx behind the scenes here!


Thee New York Times has a smashing panoramic of the Money Shot from thee GOP Convention.

P.S. The music here was so bad.

Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times

Monday, September 1, 2008