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Spring is sprung!

Baseball
Today was the first day of Spring Training games!


Tim Lincecum gets his pitch on.

And even though it means nothing in the grand scheme of things, the Giants won their Spring opener. A sign of good things to come? Maybe.

Bookish [meme]

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Pilfered from hastings1066, it's all about books!

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Baseball
Every Baseball postseason, I simultaneously look forward to the drama of the playoffs while dreading the encroachment of mediocre Network broadcasters into the television play-by-play game calling.

If you don't want to read a big complainypants rant about MLB broadcasters, now would be the time to not clickCollapse )
I ramble about all this because while there are some broadcasting teams worse than Tim McCarver and Joe Buck, they are precious few. Having watched significant portions of the first two games of the world series, their bias toward the National League team is once again painfully obvious. Buck's father was a career-long broadcaster for the Cardinals, as was Buck himself prior to 2008. McCarver was a long-time catcher for both the Cardinals AND the Phillies. It is impossible for McCarver to be unbiased. He may not even be aware of his own prejudice, but it is obvious in the bent of every piece of commentary that he and Buck favor the NL team. Dismissing the Rays based on prior track record alone would be forgivable - if uncharitable, given that they are the best team in the American League - but it is aggravating to listen to a constant stream of adulation for Charlie Manuel and the Phillies, and how the new sports complex in Philadelphia is one of the greatest in the nation.

Additionally, Buck and McCarver are bad game analysts. Their assumptions about a player's actions are often not borne out, and they are constantly backing and filling throughout the call of a game. They always sounds stilted and amateurish to me. Watching a Giants broadcast is so rewarding because Mike Krukow has encyclopedic knowledge of the game and how (and WHY) it's played, and on numerous occasions I have seen him predict exactly what will occur on an upcoming play. McCarver seems to have no such acumen as a color man; his anecdotes are as colorless as Buck's narration is bland.

Overall, Fox does a poor job of representing baseball. They appear to be trying to force it into the mold of their football coverage with such gimmicks as micing players in the dugout, and playing "in-game" interviews with coaching and/or management personnel (actual interviews occur between innings). These interviews often step on actual real-time game action, forcing McCarver and Buck to (badly) catch the viewer up on what has occurred during the usually vapid "sideline interview."

The solution, in my mind, is to take baseball away from Fox and give it back to ABC, which would then pave the way for Jon Miller and Joe Morgan to call the Postseason. Now, I find Joe Morgan to be McCarver-esque in his ineptitude, but Jon Miller is there to offset Morgan, and being on TV does not make Miller lazy or prone to omission. Miller and Morgan do the radio call for ESPN, and it is far more enjoyable than Fox's coverage. If not for the delay between TV and radio, I would mute the TV and put the radio on.

My ideal scenario, however, would be for the network that owns MLB postseason rights to contract with each team to have the home team's broadcasters take over the play-by-play for national TV when the series is at their team's park. That way, viewers get exposed to the talents of multiple broadcasters (who knows, besides XM subscribers and residents of Tampa/St. Pete, that the Rays have quite a good team of announcers?), and they get a little of the hometown flavor for each team. I'm sure it'll never happen.

Fox owns the rights to the MLB postseason through 2013, and seems determined to relegate the MLB postseason to crushing mediocrity. The MLB Network, scheduled to launch in 2009, does not appear poised to alleviate this. I guess I can dream that, come 2013, some knight in shining armor will rescue the MLB postseason from Fox and raise their coverage above its current suckitude.

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God damn it.

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Sorry, no detail on this one. I just need to clean the wound.

"you came to take us
all things go, all things go
to recreate us
all things grow, all things grow
we had our mindset
(I made a lot of mistakes)
all things know, all things know
(I made a lot of mistakes)
you had to find it
(I made a lot of mistakes)
all things go, all things go
(I made a lot of mistakes)"
--Sufjan Stevens, "Chicago"

January 20th, 2009: The End of an Error

Rant
Just when I thought it was not possible to hate that fuckhead George W. Bush and his administration of fuckheads any more, I see this little gem on Yahoo news, which actually made my vision turn red for a moment:

"WASHINGTON - Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct. The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.

New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft first obtained by The Associated Press."

--Click for full article

Another salvo in the Bush Administration's Global War On Science.

I think Oliver Stone should have waited to make his movie about Bush until a few years down the road, when the dust has settled, a few damning documents have been declassified, a few dents to America's reputation have hopefully been repaired, and hindsight has cemented his legacy as the worst leader this nation has ever had.

Thanks a lot, Supreme Court, for handing this dipshit corporate mouthpiece our country on a platter in 2001. Thanks again to everyone who voted in the 2004 election for sticking with the abominable but familiar.

The post's title comes from a bumper sticker I've seen in a few places. I like it.

Still-President Bush indeed, Daily Show.

Feh.

The Unlooked For Return Of... Poetry Corner!

Serious
Humans are nothing if not primates, and primates do a lot of things instinctively: eat, shit, fuck, fight, etc.

Primates also imitate, and after reading the excellent re-write of the poem aduvanchek originally wrote for our wedding ceremony, I had a desire to examine my own diction & syntax. Last night, while falling asleep next to my wife, the first seven lines of this poem popped into my head. I'm probably not done with it, but I'm pretty happy with it. I tried to take Strunk & White to heart and omit needless words.

What do you think? I'm particularly interested in the opinions of my two resident academics (aduvanchek and sweeney_o).

Click For PoemCollapse )

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Draining An Abcess - Metaphorically Speaking

Rant
Good afternoon. I'm taking 10 minutes out of my lunch hour to express frustration on a topic I know many of you also feel frustration with: shitheads.

This rant comes from an experience I had this morning. I drive from Irvine to San Diego 4 days a week for work, and 99% of the time, it is a relatively breezy 1:15 in driving time. Occasionally, the works will get gummed up by a spectacular traffic collision. Today was a 1% day:

"OCEANSIDE – A Vons big rig crashed into a disabled vehicle on southbound Interstate 5 near Las Pulgas Road, flipped over and burst into flames early Thursday morning, leaving all but one lane of southbound I-5 blocked for hours."
-- This Article. You can click for the details.

I got stuck in the backup for 3 hours and 20 minutes or so. It was frustrating, boring, and had me contemplating self-immolation. That being said, my true frustration came when I started being passed on the left by people going by in the breakdown lane.

Maybe I'm not as cynical as I think I am, because this really surprised and angered me. I'm fine being passed by emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and other vehicles that provide resources for such a large-scale cleanup. But what in the hell makes Joe Mercedes and Sally Corolla feel they are entitled to spend less time in line than me? Guess what, people; the accident and subsequent traffic backup applies to everyone on the freeway. It's not like the rest of us were too stupid to figure out that the breakdown lane is just wide enough to fit our vehicles, we merely understand that human consideration and a sense of fairness dictate that we all stay in line.
Many Angry Words Below The Cut: Click for more FunCollapse )

Kids, wear your bike helmets

Serious
...this is why:



A car collides into cyclists participating in a race in Mexico's northern border city of Matamoros, Sunday, June 1, 2008. At least one person was killed and 14 injured when a driver slammed into a bicycle race.

I'm shocked that only one person died in this horrific crash. The circumstances of this just look odd - the car's on the wrong side of the road - and I'd like to find out exactly what happened, but I sure hope the driver of that car gets thrown down a hole in the rock of the Yucatan Peninsula and drowns when it fills up with rain water.

In Which I Use The C-Word Appropriately.

Rant
What kind of a braindead, pig-ignorant, babbling drooler of a brain-damaged moron do you have to be to accuse Rachel "As Controversial As Apple Juice" Ray of supporting terrorists by wearing a scarf in an ad that vaguely resembles a kaffiyeh?

The image in question:


From the article that the photo accompanies:
"Critics, including conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh... The kaffiyeh, Malkin wrote in a column posted online last Friday, 'has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.'"

*EXPLETIVE WARNING*
Well, that stands to reason, because Michelle Malkin is a dumb cunt. She is a third-rate Ann Coulter-wannabe, which is kind of like aspiring to be Warren Jeffs, or Charles Manson. Like all arch-conservative bloviating harpies - male and female - Malkin demonstrates analysis skills that are startling in their shallowness and single-mindedness. Only a person striving to fulfil an ignorant, inflammatory, fearmongering agenda could look at that picture and come up with the patently absurd (I am looking on dictionary.com for words that mean "absurd, only more so," and the best I could come up with was the definition from Roget's New Thesaurus: So senseless as to be laughable) notion that Dunkin' Donuts somehow deliberately intends to support Radical Islamic Terrorist groups. The idea is so dumb that typing the above sentence made me laugh out loud.

Sorry for the profanity, but Michelle Malkin: fuck you.

Let The Sunshine In

Serious
Mike Doughty commands, and I am his obedient servant. I give you: the video for Fort Hood.



It's simple and effective... and affecting.

In case you were wondering what Fort Hood is about, Doughty tells you. In no uncertain terms.

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