Thursday, January 22, 2009

He won't go away

Obama's presidency wasn't the only thing that started Tuesday. Keyshawn Johnson, former NFL receiver and author of "Just Give Me the Damn Ball!", will be hosting a design show on A&E. I don't know how they did it, but the executive producers/network heads came up with this awesome title for the show that somehow combined football and decor: Tackling Design. No doubt Keyshawn came up with the idea after discovering his love of pottery.

Image courtesy of tvweek.com

My first thought was to add Delta Burke and change the show name to Tackling Designing Women. At least then the show would have real talent. Zing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

At least they'd beat the February 29 team

Baseball-Reference.com has a great new feature where you can find out who was born on your birthday (h/t: Baseball Prospectus). I guess Spring Break for the baseball gods fell on my birthday, but here's the all-March 10 lineup anyway.

C: Ben Davis
1B: Lew Whistler
2B: Gene DeMontreville
SS: Donnie Murphy
3B: Charles Fisher
LF: John Cangelosi
CF: Tike Redman
RF: Johnny Briggs
SP: Wayne Twitchell
RP: Steve Howe
CL: Mike Timlin

Quick notes:
- I ran track with Tike Redman when I was in middle school. That means I'm less than six degrees of separation from almost all of MLB!
- Charles Fisher didn't even play in what we would traditionally consider Major League Baseball. He played for the Union Association in 1884; I just couldn't find any other 3B.

I think this team would go 68-94; it's just good enough not to be horrific. For the record, that's one Rookie of the Year (Howe), two All-Star seasons (Twitchell and Howe, one each) and zero Hall of Famers.

On the flip side, we have the sad story of Joe Campbell. He got to play one game in his major league career: he started in RF for the Cubs against the Braves on May 3, 1967. He shared the field with luminaries like Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Ron Santo. The 23 year old from Louisville had his shot...and struck out in all three at-bats. He didn't even get to catch a fly in the outfield. Joe Torre managed to run from first to third on a single hit Campbell's way, though, and I think that was the nail in Campbell's major league coffin. Torre was, how do you say, slower than Christmas. Allowing him to run from first to third, even on a hit-and-run, seems like the kind of play that would make a manager choke on his dip.

I could spend more time writing about the players who didn't make the team than who did; I love old-time baseball stories. In fact, one of the players who didn't make the list was born in Sedalia, MO, where my aunt currently lives. I think I'll go see if he's still in the area.

Not the best lineup
But they still share a birthday
With THE Chuck Norris

Monday, January 05, 2009

Blatant rip-off!

Taken from here, every city I've spent the night in during 2008:

1. Washington, DC
2. Chicago, IL
3. Somonauk, IL
4. Sandwich, IL
5. Yorkville, IL
6. Taipei, Taiwan
7. Hualien, Taiwan*
8. Northport, AL
9. Atlanta, GA
10. St. Louis, MO
11. Seattle, WA
12. Brooklyn, NY

*I'm probably wrong but I can't remember the name of the city. Thanks to the person who corrects me.

Anywhere I missed? What about you?

Hooray cheap and easy blog post!

A better blogger
Would have stories for each place
But no, just this post

Friday, September 26, 2008

Who do you hate?

During a recent conversation I started listing all the baseball teams I hated and I figured, why stop there? A brief rundown of all the sports teams I hate and reasons:

Baseball

Mets - as a Braves fan, this one needs no further explanation
Phillies - ditto
Marlins - ditto ditto, but with the added hatred that they have managed to win two World Series without a single division title. Lame.
Yankees - I want 1996 back.
Red Sox - Your fans are obnoxious and bandwagon jumpers. Stop with the shamrock caps, for the love of all that is holy.
Astros - The 18-inning playoff game in 2005.
Cardinals - The 2006 World Series. Why couldn't you have won it back when you were actually good? Nobody actually thinks you were the best team that season. Grrr.

Football (college, of course)

Auburn - I'm from Tuscaloosa. Both of my parents worked at the University of Alabama. Done.
Tennessee - Yep. Plus, that gawd-awful orange will make you go blind or crazy.
Florida - Steve Spurrier losing to Vandy was such sweet karmic revenge. And the Gator Chomp sucks.
Kansas - I went to Missouri. Scoreboard.
Nebraska - I know it's an old joke, but I never get tired of hearing that the N on their helmets stands for Knowledge.
Oklahoma - This is just bitterness. They knocked us out of the Big 12 basketball tournament two years I was there, kept us out of the Final Four, and last season kept us from the national title game in football. Wow, we've really been their bitch.

Miscellaneous/Past Hatreds

Seattle SuperSonics - I was a Rockets fan in the mid 90s because they drafted Robert Horry (Bama guy), and the Rockets and Sonics were constantly battling for supremacy in the Western Conference. I remember feeling so lucky that they played on my birthday one year - 13th, I think - and the Rockets beat them. Now I can't hate the Sonics. Nobody can.

Colorado Avalanche - Back in high school I started rooting for the Red Wings because they were always on and I was trying to teach myself the rules and strategy of hockey. I know this makes me as bad as those kids who become Yankees fans because they're always good but I never rubbed it in anyone's face. Except anyone who rooted for the Avs. The Wings/Avs rivalries were pretty intense. Exhibit A:



Birmingham City FC -Now that I've become a complete soccer addict, I've also developed new hatreds. Aston Villa's crosstown rivals aren't always in the Premier League, but it's more fun when they are. Villa fans even managed to change the words of Winter Wonderland to taunt City fans.



I'm sure I'm leaving out some important ones, so remind me and leave your own in the comments.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Budget Hero!

Badass game from NPR where you get to control the budget and see how your decisions affect our surplus/deficit. You can adjust tax policy, too (I highly suggest repealing the Bush tax cuts, if only for the immense visual effect). You will undoubtedly lose at least one hour of your life to this game, but it's educational, so it's cool. Click here to play. (Ed. note: I finally took it off. Not like I've posted enough lately for anyone to get offended, so it's cool.)

Go through line by line
And eliminate the waste
Knight of the ledger

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More than words can say

I've just seen the greatest speech of my life. Barack Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination surpassed all expectations and gave me great faith that he will not only win the election, but lead America out of its current malaise. In that one speech he shed the Democrats' traditional labels of raising taxes and soft on defense. He also showed the ability to find common ground between disagreeing parties, hopefully ending the recent political trend of us vs. them. But more than anything Obama's speech inspired me and convinced me that our country can once again become the country the world turns to for hope and guidance.

He's got my vote in November. What about you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From a very sunny garden apartment

I can't believe I left DC four weeks ago. A few notes on the first (almost) month in Chicago:

- My new place has taken a little getting used to, especially the lack of AC, but now it's fine. My old place was much nicer than what I needed and in the long run I'll be glad I'm saving the money on a cheaper apartment.

- Chicago is huge. I thought DC was a big city. I was wrong. I live in the city of Chicago but it still takes me almost an hour to get downtown on a bus or train. Compare that to DC, where even if I lived all the way out in Fairfax (the end of the Orange Line) it would only take half an hour to get to Metro Center in the heart of the city.

- Speaking of public transportation, most of northwest DC is within five blocks of any Metro station. If Chicago wanted to blanket the city in a similar fashion, either the sun would be blocked out by all the elevated tracks or Boston's Big Dig would look like some kids playing in a sandbox. Guess I better learn the bus system.

- Chicago's regional train system, Metra, doesn't accept credit cards. At all. Also, the only way to pay online is to first mail them an application. FAIL.

- I'm still looking for a job. I've got enough in savings to be a little picky, but I'd really like something to come along soon. Is it too much to ask for to find a job where I get to play with numbers and interact with clients in a fun industry where I feel like I'm contributing to the world while making enough money to pay off my obnoxious student loans? Probably so, but I sure hope not.

- If I had to do this over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat. It's scary as hell but it's exciting and I know the right opportunity will come along. Now get up here and visit before it gets too cold.