Friday, September 30, 2005

A new face in blogging

Welcome to a new member of the staff at Incongruent-affect.


Girls Just Wanta Have Fun

Well I have done it...Merlin has been going on and on about this blog so I thought I would check it out for myself. Pretty good I must say, however, there is something missing...a womans touch. I thought it my duty to add just that, so here you go.

I have had a busy 24 hours with some very "girly" stuff. Last night I had several neighbors and new friends over to start a bunco group. I know you may be asking yourself "is that some kind of drug ring" well actualy it is not. Bunco is a dice game that us gals like to play while catching up on gossip. I must say I think this group is going to be a lively one. More to come on that in the months ahead. Now onto today. After a little thing call work that often gets in my way I was off to shop with my neighbor. She has a new baby so this was a feat in itself. The amount of stuff you need to carry around a little thing that weighs less then 10 pounds is amazing. It took us 20 minutes to unload and that much more to load between each stop. It is amazing thought the way people feel like they are your best friend and want to talk when they see you have a baby. A little scary but polite I guess that every person walking by must make a funny face, say "how cute" or comment on the amount of hair this kid has (and that is a lot I must add). All baby handling aside I must say I found the cutest zebra print silk top and chuncky necklace for a brithday bast we are attending this weekend. If that commet does not add a bit of girl power to this blog nothing will. Anyway, it is very cute and I look forward to sporting out.

I am making it my pledge to do everything I can to bring a little estrogen to Incongruent-Affect.

The IQ in Ohio County is destined to surpass all of KY maybe the world.

I read an article in USA Today while sitting in the sauna today. The jist of the whole article is that Identy theft has gone through the roof recently in large part because of meth users. Meth is a cheap easy to make and easy to buy subsitute for several other drugs and entered the county in the same tradition as when uncle Doc looked to Nashville, TN to find heroin and revolutionize illicit drug use in the county. I don't have to tell Ohio Countians that the county is eat up with (provided it is a soft edentulate diet-- pun definitely intended for the meth mouthers) meth use and sales. The article outlined the increase in computer hacking identity theft throughout the country and the very significant percent of meth users doing so to finance their meth. This is going on all around us. Apparently these computer "geniuses" are also heading up large amounts of online computer auctions with stolen items.

Now by these trends, Ohio County is the next Seattle, Washington and the meth labs are the next microsoft. And all of these people will be obtaining the identities of people around you. Maybe even some of our own adminstrators have been taken over by some meth addicts. Either that or they're just dumbasses. I'm not sure about the first conjecture, the second? Well, you be the judge.

We've sold out and gained a new correspondent.

You may have noticed some changes here at Incongruent-Affect and Bratch and I are at the forefront. Bratch was getting tired of the template so he gave us a little better looking one, although the white in the date kind of burns my retinas. This is in no way a slam at the founder of Incongruent-Affect, but sometimes change is good.

I have taken it upon myself to place some ads on the site so we can make an attempt to earn some money for wasting so much of our lives on here. All that you, the loyal readers, must do is click on the small banner ad whenever you enter the site. I am not sure how much we get for each click, but I will keep track of that. So click, click and keep clicking. Maybe if we get enough money I can…I mean, WE can have some sort of celebration, a festival, if you will.

We also have a new correspondent here on Incongruent-Affect, Sivart Worfner. From what I can gather he is Dutch and doesn’t know anything about picking a good college basketball team, but that is neither here nor there. We at Incongruent-Affect extend a laurel and hearty handshake and expect many great posts from this poet-warrior.

Piccu, Administrator

When did Consequences Go Out of Style?!?

The only new TV show worth its weight in salt is Breaking Bonaduce.
Akin to watching an execution in slow motion, this is the most engrossing show I've seen in a long time. Granted, I'm not the couch veteran that Bratch, Piccu and perhaps Merlin is, but I know what I like and I know good TV when I see it. Breaking Bonaduce is great TV.
There should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to tell folks that this type of behavior is absolutely and completely insane and should not be acceptable to anyone outside of a mental institution. I'd love to hear Merlin's comments on their hapless psychiatrist, but that's for another time.
Breaking Bonaduce stars, surprise, Danny Bonaduce. Danny is the poster child for what not to do when you're a child star. Breaking and entering, stealing, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, verbal abuse, and marital infidelity only scratch the surface of what Bonaduce does. Self destructive behavior puts it mildly. As his marriage is falling apart, Danny moves from one masochistic hobby to the next all with the feeling that in the end, it'll all work out. Why? Because it always does.
Which brings me to my point. When will we realize that forgiveness isn't always the answer. In America we forgive and forget to a fault. When Darrell Strawberry couldn't discern a coke line from a baseline, we forgave him. When Dennis Rodman did whatever it is he does, we forgave him. When Paul Rubins got busted working on his equipment in public, he got a standing ovation at an MTV awards show.
Consequences help determine our actions. That's as simple as it gets. When we remove consequences, we watch as people continue to push in search of boundaries that don't exist. That's what Breaking Bonaduce catches on film. We already know that before this first season ends, Danny will attempt suicide. But you know what, he's going to be ok. And that, is the problem.

Bratch sucks and here is why.

You have to realize that Bratch has been spoiled by shows like CSI where you don't have to care about the characters because you know nothing about their lives other than they are science geeks. Lost has started something that the creators probably think is a good thing, bad thing. They have a hit show about survivors of a plan crash on a freaky island. They now have to come up with ways to keep things progressing and interesting while at the same time they have to spread things out because they want to go on for years and years. The longer they go the more money they all make. If this weren’t the case, I’m sure things might be coming closer to wrapping up.

Except for the BBC's The Office, you don't have a successful hit show and decide to pull up stakes after a couple of seasons and end that show. ABC would not allow it and the fans of the show would not allow it either. Lost is at the top of its game right now and I assume we will have more shows like this week's show.

I did not care for the whole Michael and Walt flashback, but I am sure there are some fans who love those characters. This was the second time Walt was taken from Michael and who knows if he will get him back this time. I am sure this episode was supposed to get us to empathize with Michael and realize how much more this must hurt than the first time Walt was taken.

When you watch Lost it is not all about what you can plainly see. I have found you have to watch Lost with a fine toothed comb. Lost is a show that makes you think and discuss after it happens. For those of us who love it, we can rarely see any wrong, for those of us who hate it, we can nitpick at the least things.

Did anyone notice that the same emblem on the hatch was on the fin of the shark that was after Sawyer? That same emblem was on the Apollo candy bars that Kate took on her escape. Did anyone realize that Hurley’s numbers add up to 108? The same number that the countdown timer reset to after Locke put in the numbers. There are many things to look for as you watch an episode of Lost. It is not just a show, it is like a game.

I would imagine that we will continue to get episodes about the survivors’ past for the whole season and as long as they are about the characters I care about the most, then I have no problem. It is how you move a story along. I assume that the writers want us to know everything about the castaways because the more we know and care about these characters, when the time comes, we will care about what happens to them.

As for Invasion, Bratch can find no reason to complain about a show that is doing the same thing that Lost is doing. We are no closer to finding out exactly what is going on then we did after the first episode. That sounds stupid and it is. I can except that we need a buildup. A show needs to give you many things you don’t want so you will understand more about the resolution. I get it. Some who are of lesser intelligence do not. I except that if this show does great numbers, then those writers will have to find ways to spread things so they can keep coming up with ideas, to keep the show on the air, to keep bringing in the money. It is the same thing for every hit show.

I will say this, I believe that the doctor’s body was what was found and kept in Dave’s trunk. The doctor is an alien or a hybrid now. Though who knows if we will ever find out, that is the problem with new shows. It may get cancelled before we know the whole story. That is the only thing I am worried about when it comes to Lost. I am worried that they will get everything out of the way and ready to wrap things up and then because of low ad rates or lackluster ratings they will get cancelled with no big reveal. My head would explode if that were to happen. Maybe that would be a good idea for a show.

Drug reps... Where do they come from?

OK, first let me preface this by saying that this only applies to the women drug reps. I see the dudes running around, but the women really outnumber the men at least with the doctors on my block.

See, my office is one door down from a doctors office. And there is another doctors office at the end of the block on the other side of the drug store on the same block. Since my office is made up of about 48 percent glass, I can see everything going on out on the street/sidewalk.

So anyway, these women drugs reps are ridiculusly hot. I'm sure they come by because the doctors are men, but it's unbelievable.

My editor and I were having an intelligent conversation about some local things going on and probably the hottest of the hot drug reps ever to sashay herself by my window walks by and he stops dead in his tracks in mid-sentence. His radar was hot.

I was sitting at my desk so I only got... How should I say this?... A rear view of this woman.

Anyway, he instructed me that it would be worth my while to not move from my desk and wait for her to come back by to fully understand what it was that just walked by my window.

Having said all of that, where is it that these chicks come from? They aren't from around here. If they were I'm sure that some guy I know would have enough sense to inform every man he knew of these things being on the loose.

Regardless of where they are from, it's a prerequisite for the job that you are hot. Rarely is there an unattractive female drug rep to walk by my window. And I'm sure the few that do are probably the best pushers in the company.

When it comes down to it, I'm not really sure why I see 3 and 4 drug reps walk by my window each day and personally I'm not a big fan of the whole idea of promoting drugs.

To me you shouldn't have to promote a drug. Do you think that some day down the road that if a pill is invented to cure cancer that some hot blonde chick is going to have to go door-to-door to convince a doctor to prescribe it and use it?

The best example I can give of how insane drug promoting has become is the drug commericals that pretty much just give the name of the pill with nice flashy colors and tell you to ask your doctor about the pill. They don't say what it does and they don't say what it's for. That's mainly because they must give the side effects if they give the benefits. So I have to wonder what the side effects are of some of those drugs that they don't tell anything about.

I've heard the terms stomach cramps, hemorrhaging, bleeding ulcers, uncontrollable diarhea and other neat things listed as side effects to some of these wonder drugs.

And the worst part about this is that I know that hot blonde that walked by here convinced some doctor as soon as she walked through the door that he could live with the potential side effects of what she was peddling.

The good news for the doctor was that he didn't have to take the pill.

I'm not even going to get into the drug commercials filled aimed at the active herpes sufferer on-the-go who doesn't have time to take more than one pill a day.

Silly contests...

I don't know what it is about silly contests that can get you hooked on something. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones where you have to buy a candy bar and inside the wrapper will be a code or something and it may tell you if you won.

Well it seems like the masters of silly contests is Mountain Dew or should I say Pepsico. They have their hooks in myself and Piccu right now.

The current contest is that they are giving away a brand new Xbox 360 every 10 minutes for like a month or something like that. All I know is that when I buy a diet Mountain Dew I have make sure I enter the code in at the website linked in the title. I currently have 25 entries in the contest. Most of the time I don't even want a Mountain Dew, but that orange bottle cap is what gets me.

Yet I still haven't won anything. Although, each entry is a point and when I get 30 points I'll be able to order a Mountain Dew beanie skull cap. And I'm sure shipping and handling will only be 28 bucks.

So after purchasing 30 drinks it will only have cost me $478 for that beanie that probably won't fit my huge melon of a head.

I'm practically losing money buying something from them. Sure I want to win an Xbox, but I need something to show for all of my effort.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lost is losing me...

So Piccu and I checked out this week's episode of Lost and I can honestly say, if there ever was a show built for TiVo and DVR it's Lost.

Not to spoil anything for anyone, but last week all we wanted to know was, what was going on in the hatch. They finally got us up to that point and finally got us in the blasted thing and then left an interesting cliff hanger. Something from Jack's past has caught up with him.

So coming in this week I figured they were going to delve into the raft that was blown up at the end of last season, but I was OK with progressing that part of the story. Unfortunately, what was going on with the 3 guys on the raft after Walt was kidnapped was essentially nothing. Chen was missing and the other two were helping each other then fighting each other and making my head hurt.

We also got to see all of the uninteresting and pointless details of how Walt was taken from his father, the dude from HBO's Oz. I can't remember his name, but who cares. Of all of the questions that are floating around that viewers want answered, what happened during the legal proceeding of Walt's parental custody hearings wasn't one of them. We knew that Walt was adopted by his mother's husband, we knew that after she died he wanted nothing to do with Walt because he was a means to get into his mother's pants.

They explained all of that last year, so why did they decide to waste 30 minutes on this storyline FROM LAST SEASON?!!?

It's mind numbing. They wasted 40 minutes of the show before they got back into progressing the overall story on the island and they didn't do much with the last 20 minutes either.

What it boils down to is that if you caught the first 10 minutes and the last 20 you actually saw more than you really needed to see. The rest of it was rehashing what we saw last week and cutting room floor material from last season.

Piccu seems to think that Invasion is too slow, but I'm a little happier with it because they are sticking to one story and pushing it along. No flashbacks and no splitting off characters into their own adventures. They aren't answering many questions that we are having, but they are setting things up in a fairly orderly process.

Lost reminds me of the Itchy & Scratchy Movie from the Simpson's. It had a tag line that said, "Made with 52% new material".

Only Lost can't make the grade on the 52% mark.

A pretty new pet...

Whoops! Apparently giving Piccu and I administrative opportunities is like giving JoJo the idiot circus boy a pretty new pet. So we loved our new pet and stroked him and pet him until we collectively screwed up the site.

We lost our links (not that there were many) and we lost the site meter until I got it placed back in. I did change the template which I've wanted to do for a while. The last one was a little too... Green. Burn your retinas green. So I'm mixing in some earthy tones now.

Either way, we'll have to put the links back, but I'm sure Merlin has them or we can figure them out. I'm sure it won't be the last time I get a wild hair to change things up.

By the way Merlin, we are coming to South Carolina in two weeks, but we still aren't sure where in SC. How's about you send me an email with our destination.

New faces here at Incongruent Affect.

As the founder of this humble blog about nothing in particular; I have recently made some changes. Several others have been invited to join the blog. Also, Piccu and Bratch have reached adminstrator status. These changes may change little or may prove to be monumentous.

One other aside, Travis, I didn't have an email to send an invitation to you. Now that Bratch is an adminstrator he can send you that invitation if he has you email and if you want it.

A good weekend in Ohio County that maybe be the last of its kind.

This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest weekends in Ohio County this year. This weekend Ohio County becomes the Bluegrass capitol of the universe. (Eat that Owensboro!) This weekend in Rosine, the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration is taking place. This festival starts today, Sept. 29 and ends on Sunday Oct. 2. There will be over forty bands playing this weekend and it will draw a huge crowd, many from out of state.

For those of you who do not know, Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass music was born in Rosine, Kentucky, which happens to be in my home county. This is a big deal to any Bluegrass music fan. This is like Graceland for Bluegrass music fans. Before the annual Bluegrass festival and the Bill Monroe home place exhibit, Ohio County was known more for being the best place in the country to get away with murder. (Allegedly Paul Harvey said this on his radio show during the year there were about 5 unsolved murders committed in Ohio County.)

A man came to Ohio County to head up the Rosine Project. He was a doctor from Eastern Kentucky, who also seemed to be eaten up with the crazies for Bluegrass music. He was so eaten up, that he got the project off the ground quickly. He was fanatical. The first festival was in 2002 and was deemed a success, but the Rosine Project was a non profit entity and couldn’t afford to keep going just on donations and pay all the bands for the festival. So, the bands started playing for free and the festival continued and continued to do well. Sounds like a great deal for the county and Bluegrass music, right?

Well, this doctor from Eastern Kentucky has seemingly gone insane. It wasn’t that noticeable at first. The man is very likeable and well spoken. He seems to believe all that he is saying, even when sometimes it is not close to the truth. The first big chink in the armor occurred when the doctor claimed that Ricky Skaggs would be headlining the festival one year. He was interviewed by the editor of the OC Times-News and was asked point blank, would Ricky Skaggs be at the festival that year. The doctor said yes and the newspaper ran the big story. Later representatives for Ricky Skaggs said they had never heard anything about this and said Mr. Skaggs would not be in attendance. You could see the cracks forming.

This man then sued the foundation that was paying him to run the Rosine Project and the good doctor was fired from his official position as the overseer of the Rosine Project, but the Bill Monroe Foundation, which was appointed by the county to oversee the use of the Bill Monroe home place, elected him to be their leader. This new position was essentially the same job he was fired from, only he didn’t collect a salary for this job. (I know, this sounds incredibly stupid and the county, which actually owns the Bill Monroe home place, should have stepped in and taken over the whole project.)

He controls a board that is supposed to make the decisions on matters affecting the Rosine Project, but that board only does what he wants. None of them will go against him; they will not speak up about indiscretions they have witnessed. I have spoken with one who was very close to the board and volunteering their time to the cause, but after seeing how some things were done, they quit being so available. When contacted for a story in the local paper, this person denied ever saying anything against the good doctor for fear of what might happen for stepping out of line.

This crazy doctor then sued the man who owned the land surrounding the Bill Monroe Foundations land. The land that the festival, in the past, had used for parking and other essential needs. Because of the lawsuit, that land was said to be off limits for the festival’s use. How does the good doctor cope with this? He said that he and the owner have worked out a deal for this weekend. When the landowner’s lawyer was contacted about this so called settlement, he said there had been no conversations about letting the land be used for anything during the festival. Apparently the mad doctor is going to use the land regardless of what the owner or the law says.

The mad doctor has sued just about everyone that he needs help from to keep this thing going. Most of the people he has sued are the richest and most powerful people in the county and most got that way from being very smart and also very tactical. I see no good coming to the Rosine Project and the good doctor because of this war.

I can only see things going south for the Rosine Project and the county. I believe that the doctor will see what he has helped create, destroyed before he is ousted by the county or his acolytes wake up and realize he is leading them down a dark path. He has turned this battle into a good vs. evil battle, claiming God is on their side and the other side is “evil.” I have a hard time seeing which side is which. I feel like there will be no winners in this war, but maybe things won’t have to be completely destroyed before an end comes.

So, as we go into another wonderful Jerusalem Ridge festival, I have to wonder what will be the future of the Rosine Project and will this doctor, who loves Bluegrass music, love this whole project to death?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Who are the bigger idiots? Local vs. federal politicians. I have the answer, for now.

You gotta love small town politics. I sometimes wonder which politicians are the bigger idiots, federal or local politicians. After Hurricane Katrina, I began to think that federal politicians were the bigger idiots and then I see this story in the Messenger-Inquirer and the Ohio County Times News. Two of our Beaver Dam city officials got into a regular street fight in the parking lot of the volunteer fire department. I have seen and heard a lot of stupid things in my time, especially when it came to local politics, but this takes the cake.

Apparently the two morons got heated over an article in the OC Times News about the hiring of a new BD police chief. Charles Patton and BD's great, fantastic, wonderful, flawless mayor Mary Pate told the paper that Larry Morphew had been telling people that the city commission had already decided on a new chief before thee final applicants were chosen. Basically, someone was going to get the position Michael Brown FEMA style otherwise known as by the good ol boys network down here.

When you use the good ol boys network, you let everyone apply for the position, but you already have a person in mind. The application process is just a necessary procedure before you hire your buddy or a friend of a friend. Because Morphew starting mouthing off about already having a person for the position before there should have been, the commission started everything over and finally hired a person from Las Vegas to be the new chief. I am sure many are unhappy with this, especially many good ol boys, but this was probably the best hire.

Back to the blood feud, Larry Morphew took exception to being called out in the paper for telling something that was probably true, but shouldn't be said out loud. I do not know why they were in the parking lot of the fire dept., possibly after a meeting, but according to Patton and a witness, Morphew hit Patton and started beating him like a rented mule. According to Morphew, Patton hit him first and then Morphew started to beat him like a red headed step child. Whatever the case, apparently, Patton got his rear handed to him.

So now, both have filed assault charges and both are laughingstocks of the community and if they aren't, they should be. In fact, I believe that they both should be relieved of their duties because if they can't make decisions without throwing down in an empty parking lot, I wouldn't want them to make my city's decisions.

It just goes to show that just when you think you have idiocy in America figured out and you think it isn't in your backyard, you have two local jackasses start a street fight over comments in a newspaper. These two need to have their good ol boys card revoked.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

He-Man, Master of the Universe but also Master of the Dance floor?

You must for the love of Skelator, check this video out.

Congratulations Demi and Ashton!!!!!

Stop the presses, we have big news, bigger news than any old hurricane. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are married, reportedly. Wow, I mean how long have we, the royal we, been waiting for this blessed event.

I know many will be taking bets on how long this thing will last. Many have put the odds at over Kenny-Rene and under Bruce-Demi. I am betting this will last and stand the test of time. When we first heard about this seemingly weird relationship, many were focused on the age of the couple. Ashton was around 18 and Demi was 53, well that doesn’t matter that much because most of Demi’s body parts are just now 13 or 14 years old. Actually, if you take the average age of their complete bodies, Demi is younger than Ashton.

Many others thought that this was just a publicity ploy for Demi’s movie comeback in Charlie’s Angels. I wouldn’t know why anyone would think this. No one in Hollywood would fake a seemingly serious relationship just to sell movie tickets. Besides, they have been together much longer than a good publicity stunt calls for and it’s obvious she is not using him for his hotness and buzz. He is not hot and he has no buzz.

Ashton I am sure will be a great father to the kids that are the same age as he is. I am sure we won’t hear about Ashton and Demi’s impending divorce and Ashton’s engagement to one of the Moore-Willis daughters.

This marriage should bring a new term to the American language, the ex-husband-in-law. Bruce Willis is still really close to Demi, in fact Ashton and Bruce escorted Demi and the kids to the Charlie’s Angels premiere. Maybe they will all be one big happy family. You know how Hollywood people are, freaks.

Anyway, here’s hoping to a long, happy marriage. But not too long or happy, because I have the under on this one.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mind McCready and D'Angelo, crazy before fame or after fame?

What is it about celebrity that makes celebrities go crazy? Is it the fame and money that make them crazy or is that they have always been crazy and the crazy people are the only ones who become celebrities? I bet Merlin would love a shot at some of these people.

The first one that should be examined closely is country singer Mindy McCready. She was a hot country singer as well as a HOT country singer (even now she is still a very pretty woman) who had a few hits in her time. Instead of trying some sort of comeback or follow up, she has been in and out of trouble with the law. She has had incidents involving drugs like oxycontin she claimed she was getting for a “friend.” She was nearly killed by her on again off again boyfriend and now the father of her baby, assuming McCready doesn’t kill the baby before it is born. This woman has pretty much thrown away everything she ever had.

The reason I bring up McCready today is because she has ODed again. This is the second time in just a few months and apparently it is for the same reason. She obviously does not want to be pregnant. She is in the hospital and by all reports she will survive, but something needs to be done about this. It is bad enough she wants to kill herself, but now she is trying to kill her unborn child. Which when you look at things, mom is a druggie with serious emotional and mental problems and dad has beat up and tried to strangle mom, maybe this child would be better off not being born.

I hope that something can be done because this is a waste, especially because country music loves these kinds of stories. Hell, country music was built on these kinds of stories. I think that if McCready could just get a handle on her demons she could make one hell of a comeback. First she should probably dump her homicidal boyfriend and go into the most intense rehab she kind find. If she can come back from this horror of a life she is living than she could comeback from anything.

Speaking of crazy celebrities, I just saw the Yahoo story about the R&B singer D’Angelo having been in a very serious car accident. He is listed in critical condition and no one knows any other information about it. Knowing the singer’s history it would not be surprising to find that he was driving under the influence of something.

This is another celebrity that was on top of the world. He won Grammys and VMAs and was the hottest singer and then just disappeared. He turned up in a mug shot looking more like ODB than D’Angelo. He was busted for DUI and possession of marijuana.

These are just two examples of celebrities gone crazy. What is it? Crazy after fame or crazy before fame, that is the question. Maybe Merlin has some insight.

The sport of boxing needs help. Thanks to me, they have it.

I did something this weekend I haven’t done in a long time. What could that be? Well I’ll tell you. I actually sat down and enjoyed a boxing match. Some of you are horrified by the brutality of that sport and just want to stick with watching football. And most of you thought that boxing had disappeared from the face of the earth. Well, unfortunately, for the most part it has.

I did not actively seek out the boxing, it sort of found me. I was taking a break from watching a DV D and began flipping through the HBO channels on my dish and stumbled over it. It was a heavyweight bout with Wladimir Klitschko facing Samuel Peter for the right to be number contender for both the IBF and WBO titles.

As I said earlier, and some probably didn’t believe me, I enjoyed this fight. Klitschko won in a unanimous decision even though he was knocked down 3 times throughout the match. These two warriors went after each other in the last few rounds giving it all they had. The only problem with that was that for about three of the middle rounds, they just kind of danced around and hugged each other. Other than that it was an exciting fight.

That is one thing I thought I would never say about a fight, especially since Mike Tyson had lost the ability to box. I never even expected to watch another fight in my life; boxing had lost any appeal it had ever had for me. The main reason is because there are no big names left in the sport of boxing. At least there are no big names left who can fight.

I am just a casual fan of boxing, in the extreme sense of the word casual. Let’s put it this way, say Beaver Dam had a sports team and they were playing a game this week at home. I am a walk up customer. Many people buy season tickets to ballgames and still others buy tickets for one game many weeks ahead of time. These are fans of that game and that team. I am a walk up customer who just out of the blue decides to check out a ballgame that day. There is no special reason other than I just felt like checking it out.

That is how I am with boxing if I see it on TV, sometimes I feel like watching sometimes I don’t. I never make time for it or seek it out. That is the problem with boxing, they have too many casual fans who can take it or leave it and to few hardcore fans who search it out.

If I am anything, I am a solutions oriented person and I have a few things that the sport of boxing can do to fix itself, no pun intended.

1. Boxing doesn’t need to fix itself. By that I mean there does not need to be any type of shady decisions or a whisper of the fix being in. I know this isn’t the 1950’s and organized crime probably has moved on to other things, but there are still some decisions that take place today that some question. I do not know if they are fixed for money or maybe a judge or a referee owes a promoter a favor or nothing fishy is going on at all. I just know that you need to have your fans to believe that boxing is not professional wrestling.

The heads of the boxing federations need to make sure to clamp down on any fighter or promoter who claims that a fight was fixed, whether it was or not. The NBA threatened to kick Jeff Van Gundy out of the league for hinting that the NBA refs were favoring one team over another. If a boxer claims to have been cheated in a fight the federations need to make sure that there are measures to keep that boxer under control, whether it is by suspensions or fines.

2. Boxing needs to get rid of all the different organizations. We have the IBF, the WBO, the IBC, the ATM, the BMF; it gets a little crazy when you have twenty different champions. It is so bad that I could probably win a boxing title and I haven’t boxed since 1974. Get together and make the title World Champion mean something. Let the title holder be the one and only champ.

3. Boxing needs to quit taking itself so seriously, especially when it comes to pay per views. I have watched maybe three boxing pay per views in my life and none cost less than fifty dollars. FIFTY DOLLARS! For a sport that barely draws a passing interest from most sports fans. Lower your prices and maybe, just maybe you will draw in the casual fan. It is pretty hard to sell pay per views when the average home owner needs to sell tickets to watch the fight at his home.

4. Boxing needs to market itself better. I know it is hard to market athletes in a sport no one watches, but you have to start somewhere. Maybe they could put better fights on free TV and let the average fan have a chance to stumble onto an exciting bout between two great fighters they would normally have to pay to see. Surely there are some sporting goods companies that would be willing to take a cheap chance on a boxer. Steal a marketing guy from the NFL, NBA, or even the MLB and let them run wild. Anything would be better than what is being done now.

5. Get rid of Don King or let him be the poster boy for boxing, one or the other. There are probably as many people that hate Don King as there are that like him, but which ever the case, he is probably the most well known figure in the sport. Boxing needs to decide if it would rather push him underground because of his somewhat shady past and dealings and make sure the public knows you are taking your sport’s integrity seriously. Or push him to the forefront and make him your unofficial spokesman for the sport and make him a part of your marketing campaign. If possible get him out of promoting fighters and into promoting the sport as a whole.

6. Perhaps the biggest thing the sport of boxing needs to do is to get or make some big names. Boxing needs to pick the cream of the crop in the heavyweight division and push them like crazy. Boxing could learn a few things from professional wrestling about promoting their matches. Boxing will not be able to draw big crowds or big pay per view numbers until the produce fighters that the public cares about. I say heavyweights because that is where the money is, but the sport should not forget about their other divisions. The other divisions will make money too, if they are marketed correctly.

Those are just a few ideas from a guy who knows nothing about the sport of boxing. I think some of them are good ideas and could help revitalize the sport. If the powers that be in boxing want them they can have them, provided I get all credit and a cut of the profits they are sure to rake in.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Entering a world of enlightenment

We live in a world of beaten paths that we find ourselves traversing on a daily basis. With time and preoccupation we ignor the surroundings between point A and point B; focussing on the fastest, easiest way to get there. Now mind you, we see the things we pass sometimes without "seeing" them. Sometimes there are side streets in life we just never make it down. Friday, I made it down one of those side streets, and I am a new man. Did I stop to talk to a homeless man? Did I pull over and spend a few minutes looking at a nearby creek? Even save my first coupon to get a discount at the grocery store? No. No. And hell no. I discovered, or perhaps I should say disc golf discover me.

The entire process was set in motion between psychiatry lectures on Wednesday. One of my fellow residents brought up the subject. I have been looking for a sport to get out and play, but frustratingly no one wants to do it, or my wife is not interested in competitive sports. Disc golf has met all of these needs as if to put a comforting hand on my shoulder to say fret not my son, everything is going to be ok; you're home now.

This is the most fun I have had in a long time. Here is the sell, it's insanesly cheap. Once you by two or three discs at $7 a pop all of you cost is gone. You can get more equipment as you go but initially it's all you need. It's free to play at 9 of 10 courses. There are multiple courses within 30-40min of virtually everyone. If you are in Rural western Ky head to BG or O-boro. It is a great way to get outside and do something like you haven't really done as a kid; the difference between this and golf is that you are in the middle of the woods not on manicured greens. For me this is back to my roots. You can play solo or in a group. All skill levels are welcome and can be somewaht competive especially at first. Fitness level plays no role. So like a few other sports the biggest or fastest person doesn't win.

I've got to tell you I am hooked. The feelings was the same for me and golf, but the difference for me is spelled out above low cost, more competitive at amateur skill levels, fewer people playing and therefore in your way, and it's jsut kind of cool to do something that is only modestly in the main stream.

The whole issue with choosing from hundreds of discs is cool. I'll give this brief overview that I got from a couple of websites. When you throw the disc (right handed backwards for left) at the end of the throw it tails off to the left. Discs are varying degrees of stable, overstable, and understable. Stable goes the straightest. Overstable tails even sharper to the left. Understable goes to the right. Starting out you need all stable discs made for at least middle distance and short distance. Even at my extremely amateur level I can tell a difference in my three discs.

This is great fun and reccomend this to anyone who could possibly even consider it. For three disks you are basically invested for 25 dollars which is probably cheaper than greens fees for a round of golf.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Small town rules...

For those of you who don't know, everyone involved with "The Affect" is from a small town and if you aren't from a small town, you don't know the rules. There aren't many rules because I'm fixing to make them up as I go, but they will be rules that make sense. Maybe.

Rule 1) When you travel to another city, never eat at a restaurant you have at home.

Like tonight for instance, I'm going to a football game tonight for a broadcast and my broadcast partner wants to eat at stinkin' Hardees. Not happenin'. But he's living the restaurant capitol of the world, Bowling Green, Kentucky. I'd rather eat at that dive truck stop in Canneyville (population 12) before Hardees.

Rule 2) Don't get caught doing anything bad in front of any old people in a small town. Or at least don't do anything you wouldn't want everyone to know about.

You've heard of 6 degrees of separation, well old people here are separated by about 1 and a half degrees. They all know one another and word will get back to your parents, grand parents or at least circulate the church before you know it. And it will end up in the newspaper barring a miracle if you get arrested. This keeps a lot of us out of trouble.

Rule 3) On the 4th of July, if all of the good fireworks you can buy are illegal in your state, feel free to set them off if you can get them.

Every year we acquire about $600 worth of the most illegal munitions available to the public and set them off in the street in the middle of town. No one cares because it's a heckuva show. Up until the this past 4th, we had the best show in the county until there was a commercial show this year.

Rule 3) If you marry a chick outside of your small town, don't expect to ever live in your town again.

This isn't a hard and fast rule, but at least 75% of the time an outside chick is met at college and they like to go clubbin'. There are no clubs here and on the outside chance that they graduate from college, chances are they aren't going to be able to use that chemistry degree there. Care to comment Merlin? Tee Hee! That was a cheap shot. LOL

Rule 4) When a fashion trend actually gets to your small town, it's officially over everywhere else.

That's not to say that people/kids didn't know the trend when it started, but they may have not had the clothing/accessories available to them. Or it takes them a little more time to build up the nerve to wear their pants belted around their knees.

Rule 5) When you go fishing in a rural area around a small town, ask for permission first.

Small town rural areas aren't far from the time where Mr. Banker would risk getting shot when he came to foreclose on the family farm. So if Mr. Banker had a legal right to be there, imagine what Billy Bob might do with you trespassing AND stealing his fish. This goes for hunting too.

So those are a few rules for small town living. That's the best I could do coming up with them off the top of my head. But if you can think of any rules on your own, feel free to post a comment or Piccu and Merlin can add to the list.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A brief Survey of the Cities I know

I am finally beginning to feel like Columbia is my place of residence. It takes a few months of spending time in a place to really get a feel for it. I was reflecting on the places I have lived or spent significant enough time to have a modest opinion of will follow with some of my thoughts on each of these. I invite our readers who have their own opinions of any of these places to put in their 2 cents. I know some of you still live or frequent these places which I haven't so much lately.

Beaver Dam-- This is my baseline for all comparison. It is a small town and realize that it has all of the pros and cons associated with that. Traffic is minimal; gossip is maximal. Everything else is in between. Of the places I have lived it is the most middle of the road weather wise. I would be interested to hear the other two writers input on this one.

Bowling Green-- I spent the college years here and it has exploded since then as it did a great deal when I was there. It is a great town, but my take on the traffic is that several roads have been rapidly outgrown by the poplulation growth in certain parts of town. I like the cost of living compared to Lexington and Louisville. I really liked the outdoor opportunities with places to run and play sports. If you are a frisby golfer it's heaven. I forget how many courses there are. Ilike the restaurant selection there with several unique places. I would consider settling down there in the long run. I would love to hear everyone's opinion of BG now. Especially Travis's.

Owensboro-- This is the twin city to Bowling Green and living in Beaver Dam nestles you right in between the two. I used to think of it as a residential town than BG and BG a funner place. I am not that I think BG is a bit of both now. The traffic is ok there much better than BG. Though the restaurants are growing rapidly the mall is 20 years behind. It seems like there is little to do there besides movies. I don't know about the parks and the rec leagues. Bratch and Piccu know more about the Softball and high school sports scene there. Of all the places I would consider living it is definitely put this one under BD and BG. I hope all of you will respond to this one.

Lexington, Ky-- I have a lot of mixed opinions about this place. The cost of living is my big issue. If you could afford to live in certain neighborhoods, it would be an awesome place to live, maybe toward the top of my list. If you can't afford some of those really kickass neighborhoods (which even as a doctor would be highly questionable), then the other places are just ok. There is plenty to do with cool parks and good movie theaters, to include the KY theater. I like this one becasue from time to time it has some interesting things showing. Traffic here really sucks for the size of town. The roads are out grown. For some reason the weather is much worse at times. The rest of KY is warmer most of the year, always less windy. I welcome a lot of opinions on this one esp. Trents.

Columbia,SC--this seems to be pretty good so far. It is bigger than all of the above even the city population doesn't reflect this. There are several places that make up the greater Columbia area. As far as traffic it is much better than Lexington. I would argue that it is even better than BG at rush hour. There is one part of the city to the north west that has several interstates coming together. Traffic is apain there, but other that it is awesome. The malls are awesome. There is a lot to do like parks, concerts in the park, and lots of cool unique restaurants. The weather is hot in the summer with really only an extra few weeks of the extreme heat compared to KY. Allegedly the winters are much better. We'll see about that. I know with certainty if we stay in SC it won't be here though.

Kate Moss has snorted cocaine? Noooo.

Model Kate Moss has admitted drug use in her past, horrors upon horrors. Are we really surprised at all this? The thing I am most surprised about is that all these companies seem to be dropping her like she’s hot or in this case like she is ice cold. Moss has been a popular and well known model for what seems like decades. Why I don’t know, but it surely wasn’t a secret that she liked the nose candy.

Moss seemed to be at the forefront of the heroin chic movement that was popular and reviled all at once. The heroin chic movement got its name because most of the popular models were skinny and ugly and looked like they were heroin addicts. Turns out Moss liked coke better, and I don’t mean the drink.

Not only has Moss lost some business, but it seems the cops are looking into her past drug use. I am not sure what they can do about it now, but they are investigating the impact that this admission can have on youngsters in England. I think that her heroin chic look will have had the most ill impact on youngsters. Especially girls. Most girls dream of being a model more than they do of becoming a coke head. I would worry more about eating disorders than drug use being caused by Kate Moss.

Moss is said to be looking into rehab which is a good idea, health wise and p.r. wise. Another thing she should look into is dropping her current boyfriend. Her current boyfriend is England’s best known crack head, Pete Doherty. Haven’t heard of him? That’s because he let drugs screw up his life so bad, he wasn’t able to capitalize on his band’s good buzz and become a success. He seemed to effectively choose crack over fame and fortune. He has been to rehab countless times and it just never seems to take. If Kate Moss is serious about getting clean and helping her publicity, then she may have to cut ties with her boyfriend.

What’s more important to Kate Moss? Drugs, love and destructive behavior or money, your livelihood and your life?

Some things getting back to normal in NO, at least normal for NO.

With all the death and devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused and the impending devastation the Hurricane Rita is supposed to cause, it’s good(?) to see that at least something in New Orleans is getting back to normal. Apparently strip shows are now available in the French Quarter. Yikes. For those who believe that the destruction of New Orleans was devastation of biblical proportions, literally, this would seem like a slap in the face.

I am not your most conservative guy, and I looooove the ladies, but this seems kinda weird to me. With all the things people need down there, are flaring hooters the best that can be done? I know the soldiers and male rescue workers need a break every now and again, but is a cut rate lap dance the answer? I don’t know, maybe it is. I don’t have all the answers. The Yahoo story is linked in the title so you can check it out yourself. I just thought it was weird and a little wrong and wondered what others thought.

The Brent Musburger Drinking Game

Here is an interesting little drinking game courtesy of the Tony Kornheiser show. I got this reprint of the game's instructions from the Andy Polley’s Happy Fun Time Message Board Extravaganza, who stole it from another site. If you have ever enjoyed a game called by Brent Musburger this will be a hoot. Enjoy!

The Brent Musburger Drinking Game


Play at your own risk. It is conceivable your whole party will be passed out with 8 mins remaining in the 1st quarter.

*Note: Partner is spelled "Pardner," because that's the way Brent says it.

Rule #1: "The Pardner" A person is picked to be the Pardner at the beginning of the game. The first time Brent says "Pardner," the Pardner has to take 1 drink, and then picks someone else to be the Pardner. The next time Brent says it, the new Pardner has to take 2 drinks, and then pick a new Pardner, and so on and so on. The Pardner must wear a special "Pardner" hat.

Rule #2: "Folks" Everyone drinks 1 when Brent says "Folks." However, if Brent says "Hold on Folks", everyone must drink once but the first
person to drink has to finish their drink for not holding on.

Rule #3: "It's a foot race!". Whenever Brent says "It's a foot race" everyone has to finish their drink. The first one done becomes "That Man" and gets to punch the Pardner in the arm.

Rule #4: "There's that man again". After someone becomes "That Man," they get to give away 3 drinks to someone of their choosing the next time Brent says "That Man." That person then becomes "That Man." If Brent says "That Man" before "It's a footrace," The Pardner becomes That Man. If The Pardner becomes That Man first, he gets to punch the new That Man in the arm twice after giving away the 3 drinks. There must also be a special hat for "That Man."

Rule #5: "Dr. Pepper". Every time Brent says "Dr. Pepper" everyone has to yell out "I'M A PEPPER!" and take 2 drinks. Afterwards, each person must give out a satisfied "AAAAAAAHHHHH!", as if in a Dr. Pepper commercial. Anyone who fails to do so must drink again.

Rule #6: "Jack Arute". Whenever Brent says "Our ol' buddy Jack Arute" everyone has to say "AROOOOOOT!" Last one to do it has to do a shot. If everyone does it simultaneously, the Pardner must do a shot.

Rule #7: "In the college game". Whenever Brent says this little gem, everyone must say "Shut the **** up Brent", drink 2, and punch the Pardner in the arm.

Rule #8: Mentioning a Big 10 school during a Big 12 game. Whenever Brent does this, the first person who names the Big 10 school's mascot gets to make somebody drink for 11 seconds, since there's 11 schools in the Big 10.

Rule #9: Calling a touchdown before the player actually scores. For example, during an interception return, Brent says "It's a touchdown!" before the player actually scores. In this case, everyone must start drinking and continue to drink until the player actually does score. If by some odd event, the player does NOT score, everyone must finish their drink.

Rule #10: "Gary, my man". Whenever Brent says "Gary, my man", the Pardner gets to choose someone to be Gary. From that point on, that person must be referred to as "Gary, my man" until the game is over. "Gary, my man" gets to give away 5 drinks the rest of the game any time Brent says "Gary, my man". If someone talks to "Gary, my man" without calling him that, they have to do a shot. If there is someone playing the game actually named Gary, that person is automatically "Gary, my man".

Rule #11: "The Major". If Brent has a pet nickname for one of the players during the game, for example calling Major Applewhite "The Major", everyone must drink 5 anytime Brent uses this nickname. However, "Gary, my man" does not drink but gets to give away 5 drinks since this person already has a nickname of their own.

Rule #12: "John Saunders". The first time Brent quips with John Saunders, everyone must drink 1. The next time, everyone must drink 2, and so on and so on.

Rule #13: In the booth. Whenever there's a camera shot of Brent in the booth, the Pardner must make a toast to Brent. After the toast, everyone must drink 1.

Rule #14: "My Friend" Every Pardner gets to choose a "Friend." The friend must always get up to get the Pardner another drink (since the Pardner will be doing quite a bit of that). However, when Brent utters "My Friend" the friend gets to punch the Pardner in the arm for making him get up so much.

Galveston is getting it done...

If you would like to see first hand how to prepare for a Category 5 hurricane, look no further than Galveston, Texas.

I haven't even begun to watch the progress of Hurricane Rita like I did Katrina, but I can tell you that Galveston isn't going to let what happened to New Orleans happen to them. Again.

See, about 105 years ago Galveston, Texas was practically wiped off of the map. A gigantic hurricane destroyed the city and killed 8,000 people.

So today I flip over to the Weather Channel just to see what is going on and I see evacuation maps for Texas. I see the mayor on TV and I see emergency management officials on TV as well.

What are they saying, you ask?

Well the mayor told everyone they are evacuating the city. They set up loading times. They scrambled school buses and city buses and are making sure that everyone knows to get out and are making arrangements for them.

The mayor of Galveston stated that their flood walls are 7 feet high and the storm will be bringing in at least 14 feet or more of a storm surge. So they are packing up the pickup and heading for higher ground.

You can say that they are trying not to let what happened to New Orleans happen to them, but you'd be wrong. Even though it was over 100 years ago, Galveston knows hurricanes. They lost 8,000 people to a hurricane and that's a number that New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast still may not reach.

The sad thing about it is that in 1900 Galveston didn't know what was heading their way and New Orleans did a few weeks ago. Now Galveston is using the knowledge and technology they didn't have to their advantage.

Watch and learn.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mondaynight premieres

I mangaged to catch most of the premieres last night. Some impressed, some... not so much.

SURFACE-- I caught this one and have some reservations about it. For me it is a bit over the top but any sci-fi movie/show is to some extent. The story was mildly interesting and mildly entertaining. If nothing else is requiring DVR space and I have the time to watch it then I will. Unless it gets better though it's by no means a "must see."

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL-- The first episode basically lived up to it's billing for me. I was entertained and amused. I can't see the show too far into the distant future, but for what it is now it's great. There were a few hilarious scenes and the cast itself has a ton of potential to deliver the same quality week in and week out at least for a season or two.

OUT OF PRACTICE-- I am a fan of Cheers-ish type humor from way back. This show hit the nail on the head if it were attempting to approach the style. I really like the combination of people and characters they have put together. Is it true to life medicine? no. True to life Dr jerks? maybe. Pure escapism entertainment? Absolutely. I was entertained and even laughed out loud a couple of times. This one will stay on my DVR.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT-- This is my first time watching this one. I heard rave reviews last year, but my Sundays have been pretty jammed packed with work, play, and prior TV engagements. I like it's Monday slot, which has been a weak night of non-NFL TV. The show was funny, ridiculous and laugh out loud at times. The quick wit and "high brow" comedy was quite good. I reccomend it if you have yet to watch it.

I think it is important to point out that DVR has changed what kind of crap the average American will watch. I mean if you can tape something, watch at your leisure, and cut the time commitment then most of us will have a much lower threshold for watching anything. The most exciting point of this year has been the fact that reality tv has cut back a lot. Voyeurism should go back to where it belongs, where ever that is.

How greedy can the record industry be?

So for those of you who aren't into downloading music legally, Apple's iTunes is the leader of the pack. According to the article linked above, iTunes makes up about 82 percent of legal music downloads. To download a song from iTunes all you have to pay 99 cents per song. And since in this day and age most albums don't have more than 2 good songs, it's the way to go.

I have to admit that I really dig iTunes. If I ever want a song or get a wild hair to download a song, iTunes is where I go.

I'll give a buck for a good song, but now it seems that the recording industry is pushing Apple CEO Steve Jobs to raise prices on songs that are downloaded from iTunes. And I'll say this about Jobs, the man hit a home run with iTunes and he also smacked the recording industry in the face over this issue.

He is quoted in the article as saying that the recording industry only wants to raise the prices because they are greedy. Jobs also said that what iTunes is combatting is piracy and he's right.

Back when Napster first began a few years ago, before anyone was sued for their blatant distribution, I only had access to a dial-up internet connection and Piccu and I probably downloaded a life sentence's worth of music.

Check that, why no we did not download any music illegally. That is wrong and against the law.

Anyway, the great thing about iTunes is that it provides the music for you at a fair price and a buck for a song is a fair price for the iTunes service. All of the songs are organized and you are able to listen to them before you buy them. And unlike the illegal downloading software programs, you know that when you download a song from iTunes it's going work and be the song you downloaded. It's worth the buck just for the ease of use.

The thing that really shows the music industries greed is that when someone downloads a song from iTunes, more money is made for that download than if the song was purchased on an artists CD from a music store.

So they are just wanting to get more money for the one single they worked hard on so they can continue to release albums of 12 songs with only 2 songs worth listening to.

I guess the music industry is seeing some writing on the wall. Imagine if you were a recording artist and you decided to only release a single on iTunes. Remember when country artist Garth Brooks declared that he would no longer release his albums on cassette? He was going to make CD's only because the quality was better and they were cheaper to make.

Well, if you only released a single or album on iTunes you would cut your production costs down to nothing when it comes to printing the CD's. No printing costs for the album cover and inside notes, no CD printing, no CD jewel cases needed. It's ingenius. You let the consumer download the song and maybe even download the cover. Have them provide the blank CD and have them print out the cover art.

That's making some straight cash homey.

Monday, September 19, 2005

MLB playoff races and how much UK football stinks.

It’s grab bag time. I have a few things I want to write about so in the immortal words of the greatest sports caster in history, Champ Kind, “Let’s Hunt.”

Baseball is heating up

Is it me or does this week seem like the last? In the game of baseball it does. Each of the last few weeks we seem to have teams taking the lead, and then giving it up, and back and forth. And that is just the battle for the wild card. This baseball season is becoming one of the most competitive in recent memory; although I’m sure I said the same thing last year at this time.

The way I see it, 4 of the 6 divisions are still up for grabs. The two that I think are sealed up? They are both in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals had the Central sown up months ago and the Atlanta Braves, while they only have a 5 game lead, they win their division every year. It doesn’t pay to bet against a stone cold lead pipe lock.

The other divisions are up for grabs and I can see in my crystal ball that a couple of teams that are leading now, will not be in October. I have a bad, bad feeling that the Chicago White Sox are going to end up in the wild card battle in a week or so. The White Sox, as of this writing, have given up 10 games of their 13 game lead they had on the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are arguably the best team in the American League right now and they have a few games left with the White Sox. I believe that Cleveland will take that division by the end of the season and go into the playoffs as Central Division champs instead of the wild card.

While that will be the big collapse of the season, I have a feeling that the American League East will come down to the last weekend, but I see both the Yanks and the Red Sox making the playoffs. Both teams are just too good for one of them to not make the playoffs, but I do not see either winning the World Series.The Angels and A’s will have to fight it out for one playoff spot and I just feel in my gut that the Angels will pull this one out and send the A’s home. The Angels have got some decent pitching and with Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson, they will have enough firepower to put some distance between them and the A’s.

In the National League things are pretty much set, except the horrendously horrible NL West. The Sand Diego Padres have a 5 game lead, but they are terrible and the San Francisco Giants have gotten Barry Bonds back. I am not sure if having Bonds can help the Giants make up 5 games in two weeks, but it can’t hurt. I see the Padres holding on and getting swept right out of the first round of the playoffs. Did I mention the NL West was not good?

As for the NL wild card? I am not sure, there are so many teams that deserve to win and could easily go to the World Series. The two teams I believe it will come down to are the Houston Astros and the Florida Marlins. Just because I like Roger Clemens and I would like to see him in the playoffs, I will go with the Astros to win the wild card.

I reserve the right to change my predictions in a week or so, but until then, that is how I see things heading into the playoffs.

UK football, what’s up with that?

The UK Wildcats took on hated rivals Indiana University this past Saturday and for some reason I had hope that UK would win the game. My hopes were quickly dashed as I saw one of the most unbelievable things I have ever seen in a football game.

At the end of the first half, UK had a first and goal opportunity with about a minute left. The Cats ran a play that was sniffed out pretty quickly and lost some yardage. UK had second and goal and they were on the 12 yard line. This is not an impossible mission.

What does UK do? Do they run it up the middle and score a TD? No. Do they throw a nice little twelve yard TD pass? No. Do they take a knee, TWICE, and let the time run out? YES! I turned into the late Joe Buck; I didn’t believe what I just saw. I couldn’t hear the announcers so I keep thinking there was a good reason for not even kicking a field goal, but for the life of me, I can’t think of one.

I can see now that that glimmer of hope that I saw in the UK vs. U of L game was fleeting and false. UK seems to still be UK and things will never change. The Cats will be lucky if they can win 2 more games this season.

If you are going to cheat, cheat well.

I read an article about the whole UK and Claude Bassett fiasco and I wonder who’s zooming who? Bassett was a former assistant coach for the UK football team and he apparently got caught up in a recruiting scandal and now is suing the university because he claims they encouraged cheating.

I am not sure who to believe on this one. My cynical side wants to take over and argue that every major athletic program, whether it is football or basketball, cheats. There are no clean universities, except those that do not win.

But it isn’t that easy. If the university encouraged cheating and payoffs, then why didn’t the Wildcats win any games? If it weren’t for Vanderbilt, UK would be the worst football program in SEC history. I find it hard to believe that the UK football program couldn’t buy better players than they were getting for free. It doesn’t make any sense.

We may never know the truth for sure, but I believe in the ineptness of the UK football program. I believe that the university may have known things were going on, but did not encourage it. You would think that a university that was encouraging payoffs could afford better players with all of that UK basketball money floating around.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kenny Chesney, fraud? Rene Zellweger thinks so.

What exactly constitutes fraud in a marriage? That seems to be the big question in the celebrity divorce scene. I guess I shouldn't say divorce because Rene Zellweger is looking to have her marriage to Kenny Chesney annulled. The reason for the annulment is fraud. Apparently Kenny Chesney is a fraud. What exactly did he do that made Zellweger think this?

According to the linked article from yahoo, a fraudulent marriage means, "the consent of either party was obtained by fraud." And according to Zellweger the party that did the frauding was Chesney. Also according to the article, in California court, Zellweger will have to prove that Chesney did this. Which means that we should be hearing the answers leak out in a few weeks.

I am not exactly a huge celeb gossip reader, but some things are just intriguing. What did Chesney do, or what did Chesney lie about? Did he cross his fingers during the ceremony, thus making the promises he made null and void? Has he refrained from having and holding in sickness or health? Has he not loved, honored or cherished her? Has he not obeyed? Is he really a woman? Who knows? I am just curious as to how Zellweger will be proving her case. What evidence does she have against Chesney?

What it will probably all come down to is that they haven't spent more than two weeks together at a time since they were married. He may have promised her that he would clear his touring schedule to schedule time with her or something along those lines. You may envy celebrities for many things, but I do not envy the fact that celeb couples spend a lot of time apart and have lots of irons in the fire between them. She has probably been working on films or promoting films and he has been on tour and when you are a 1000 miles apart every day, that probably makes it a little hard to make a marriage work.

Perhaps they were just two impulsive morons who were going out for five months and decided, "What the heck." They wouldn't have been the first celebs to do something spontaneous and stupid. Look at Britney Spears, she got her annulment in less than 60 hours and then got married to some Hollywood white trash, baby making idiot.

I have laid out a few scenarios as to why these two are splitting up, but this could be the real reason. I think that Kenny was Rene's rebound and she was trying to get over the much cooler and more talented Jack White. Could this be it? Could she just be freeing herself up to go after a rocker and dump her fake country beach bum? We all know that Hollywood actresses love the rockers, just ask Winona Ryder. After all this time, when it comes to celebrities, nothing really should surprise us anymore.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Zombies in Ohio County, KY?

I can’t be sure and I have no proof or any way of getting proof, but I believe I saw a couple of zombies in Rosine, KY yesterday. I was out on an addressing run and I was getting on to the beautiful majestic Bill Monroe Blue Moon of Kentucky road and I sped past a couple of crazy looking characters.

One of them was an older man with grey and white hair and a Santa beard. Not a fake Santa beard, at least as far as I could see. His clothes were kind of ratty and he looked like he was dressed for winter. Big flannel shirt over what looked to be two other shirts, if that isn’t zombie behavior I don’t know what is.

He never even looked at me as I passed, even though the both of them were in my lane and not moving to the shoulder to let me by. I thought I was going to have a head on collision with oncoming traffic as I swerved completely out of my lane and into the other to avoid attack.

The female zombie looked at me as I passed and I noticed it had a blank stare in its eyes. It was almost as if it were looking through me or over me. Perhaps, she picked up on the scent of my delicious brain as I sped past. She was also dressed in ratty clothes, but at least the female was dressed for the right climate. She had long stringy hair and she was a stout zombie woman. She was as big as the male zombie. She had eaten a few brains in her time.

While the male looked to be just an old man, the female had some damage to her face; at least it looked like damage. I assume that if in fact these are zombies, then it is reasonable to expect some decaying of the flesh. Her face had an area on it that looked as though it were burned or had had a huge blister on it that popped. (I have even disgusted myself with that mental picture.) Perhaps they had already been in battle and massacred someone. Rob Zombie couldn’t come up with a couple of creepier monsters than these two.

I was not going to turn around and try to follow up on my suspicions and investigate. I like my brain, simple though it may be, it is mine and I need it. I kept on trucking, half expecting to read in the paper about a bloodbath in Horse Branch with a family missing their brains. The only thing that I can think of to explain these rough looking characters, besides them being zombies, is that they must have been visitors from Butler County, KY.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Atheist gets victory in 'Under God' case

That's the headline and it's linked to the Associated Press story about the dude, notice I didn't use the plural form of dude, who would like to have 3 syllables removed from our Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

I'm not going to get into the case or the article for that matter, but I just thought I would write a little bit about the subject.

The one thing that seems to be nearly stereotypically true about atheists or agnostics, or whatever you want to term people who don't believe in God or anything, is that they want to make sure you know they don't believe.

For the most part, what I've seen or read, most of them go to such extremes of explaining why they don't believe in God that it's almost like they are trying to convince themselves more than convincing you. And there is never more than one of them around because I guess they feel it would be too churchy to hang out and discuss their lack of faith.

I'm a Christian and I believe in God, but I don't go around pushing my beliefs onto unwilling people. But the atheists love to push their beliefs onto everyone else as if we are mindless sheep following our God.

This country was built around religion whether anyone likes it or not, and the primary religion was Christianity. The separation of church and state was meant to keep the government from establishing laws requiring people to worship at the Church of America(see; Revolutionary War). It said nothing about making sure that religion was bleached out of every nook and cranny of anything remotely affiliated with the government.

The founding fathers were God fearing men and laid the ground work so that people could believe what they wanted to believe and worship whoever or whatever they believed in. And unfortunately in this day and age of litigation, the atheists who so desperately want to be right are trying to remove "under God" from the constitution and get the 10 Commandments from the lawns of courthouses everywhere. Using the simple laws in ways that the founding fathers never anticipated.

And about as far as I'm concerned about the Commandments is that it's not like they are telling people to slaughter live animals every Wednesday or anything. If you are making a federal case out of "under God," why not just have the first 3 commandments left off with simply numbers designating the first three and print the last seven? The first 3 are the only ones that mention God.

Granted, the first 3 are extremely important to Christians like myself, but the last seven are pretty much words to live by. Just because the Bible says God issued these Commandments doesn't mean they aren't smart. You shouldn't kill, steal, fool around with a married woman, your neighbors wife, or your neighbors stuff, probably should keep gossiping to a minimum, and should appreciate your parents.

What is so wrong about those ideas? Those aren't Christian ideas, some are laws and the rest are common sense.

For people who don't believe in anything atheists surely fight to the death for what they don't believe in. And then pay their lawyers with money imprinted with "In God We Trust."


New Shows, New Seasons

I am proud to announce the beginning of a fall tv lineup that is the first time in many years I have had cable. Even more of a change, it is the first time I have had DVR. So in the Piccuian spirit serial tv taping I am embracing afall lineup indiscriminately (at least to some extent) taping all sorts of new crap. If I like, I 'll keep taping it, if not then I'll dump.

So far I have caught a few shows. First of which is the new one, Bones. In the spirit of CSI, this first show was fairly well written scientifically, entertaining, but the characters were somewhat over the top. I'm going to stay tuned and I must say I like it better than CSI:NY and CSI:Miami, but not nearly as well as the Las Vegas CSI. There is the one major gripe I have about this show and the CSI's. I know that what they are doing is happening in reality, but these shows take away the extended time element that has to be taken to accomplish what they do and the extended time element of getting labs back. There is a forensic anthropologist in Frankfort, KY. So for one thing in the show it makes the statement the next closest one to Washington DC is in Canada. That's not true. When I was doing autopsies for a month in medschool, I saw some of this woman's work. It is amazing. She takes skulls and makes clay models on top representing what the people looked like. When these models are side by side with photos, it's really unbelievable. She was one of the key people in sending Joel Rifken to Jail by identifying one of his last victims and connecting him to all of the murders. If you've got extra dvr space or time then check this show out.

Another one that we watched last week was Reunion. It is very poorly written in terms of some of the dialogue that goes on, but over all I think the storyline could be good. The thing I like about the show is that I grew up in the time that this show covers. Essentially, each episode is another year in the progression of these six friends. They go to painstaking efforts to show what the culture was like in that year with music, clothes, and other things going on. That is pretty cool, since I grew up in much of this time period. We'll see how it shapes up, but I intend to continue dvring.

Another show we watched was Supernatural, which repeats tonight if you are interested. Essentially, these two brothers and their dad lost the mom in the family years before in some supernatural manner and now the these guys are "ghost hunters." One brother doesn't want to do it anymore. The other brother and dad are gung ho. While it is very unbelieveable, they are attempting to take the place of the x-files in a hipper, more teeny-bopper way. It was ok. If we have dvr space and are able we'll tape and watch it when nothing else is on.

House was entertaining as usual. He was a bigger ass than last season but even funnier at times. As you can imagine much of the medicine is written fairly well, with the exception that these doctor's do everything in terms of tests, scans, and procedures. That isn't anywhere close to the real world. Also, they take the rarest cases and show them as if that happens on a weekly basis. For example they had a pheochromocytoma on this week. In med school we here about it in every single class, but it is so rare that most doctors will go their career without seeing it. There is a joke in the first clinic year of med school (3rd year). What are the two things you'll never see in 3rd year of med school? a pheochromcytoma and a nurse taking the stairs. The views expressed are not representative of those here at Incongruent-Affect.

Call me French toast and cuddle me

I have been married for two and a half years now. I have learned over that course of time that my wife has sleeping habits much different from my own. For example, when I wake up in the morning; I get up. She could lay in bed for hours. When I am not tired, I don't sleep. She is able to fall asleep virtually by thinking about laying in the bed.

In addition to these differences, she also talks in her sleep and occassionally runs from the bed room in her sleep. Usually the running thing is just when I have to work late and come home after she is asleep. She used to run out of the bed room as if she is in a hurry to get somewhere and then starts to laugh. She doesn't now where she is going nor does she no what's so funny. Moreover, if I don't wake her up then in the morning she doesn't remember any of it.

The most entertaining of her sleep habits is the talking in her sleep. If she was afraid of snakes, the dark, and guns I might be inclined to think that she is a regular Sydney Bristow revealing all of her secrets while asleep. Most these late night conversation involve her making declarations of some sort. Occassionally, there are commands thrown into the mix.

This morning, as another part of her morning ritual that I adamently battle, is the early alarm set. This is for an additional 10-15 min of snooze time, and as you may recall when I awake in the morning I am ready to get up. This morning, since she was incharge of the alarm last night, the buzzer went off ten minutes early and as I reached to turn it off I heard some conversation going on behind me. I rolled over and replied asking if she had said she wanted me to get up and make her French toast.
She said "No. I said call me French toast and cuddle me." Apparently, my laughter and almost falling out of the bed woke her up a bit. I repeated back her phrase to her and she thought it was mildly funny. For the next few minutes, I tried desperately to wake her up to explain what she was talking about so that it wouldn't fall into that huge void where unremembered dreams go to die.

The nearest I could gather, she was having some sort of dream where everyone was calling each other Homeslice she wanted something different.

So to all you homeslices out there just call her French toast.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Once stung, thrice shy.

Today was a day off for me so I decided to do a little farming. I got some fuel and filled up the tractor and headed off into the unknown for some bush hogging. For those who aren't up on their redneckese, bush hogging is simply mowing a field with a much more destructive mowing deck than you would use to mow your lawn.

The reason I am bush hogging today is because the government is giving us money to do this. I know, this sounds weird, but it is true. The government will not let us mow this field anytime unless it is the time they will allow it. They want the land to be a wildlife refuge for the animals during the summer months. Then just as the animals have settled into their homes, the government wants us to mow everything down. When we do this, they give us money. Weird but true.

I mowed up around the tree line and around the whole field one time. I then decided to chop off a piece of the field and try to mow a third of this today. I am motoring along making my circles and stopping every so often to clean off the screen in front of the radiator. It gets covered in dust and basically all the crap that is kicked up when bush hogging. Because of this, the tractor begins to overheat.

As I swing around for about the sixth time, I realized that the tractor is getting hot again and I need to clean the screen off. I stopped the tractor and hopped off. When it hit the ground I felt something hit me in the head. I swung my hand up to swat it away, but before I could, it stung me. I don't know what it was but it hurt like a %$^&&$%%. I yelled a few French phrases and then got back on the tractor and continued to bush hog.

I made another trip around and I came to the spot that I thought I may have first roused the offending stinger. I looked to the right and saw a bee or hornet or something with an orange striped butt. I wondered if it was the one that stung me but I continued to focus on destroying his habitat. I got around on the opposite side of where I saw the great orange beast and for some reason I turned to look behind me.

It was then I realized I had not encountered just any old hornet. No, this was some sort of warrior hornet. It was right behind me looking as if it were a World War I fighter plane bearing down on a sputtering mail plane. I took evasive action and turned around and headed for home, swatting and slapping to try and keep the demon off my back.

As I ran like a coward, I neared a different field that was between me and home, I decided not to waste the entire day and just mow this field and then go home. I made a few passes and saw wasps fly into the woods just as I came near. I saw wood bees, the big yellow and black bumble bees, fly into the woods as I came near, but I saw no orange fighter hornets. I thought this will be quick and easy.

I was coming around for what was becoming one of my final passes when I got this feeling. I can only imagine that it was like the feeling that Spiderman gets right before trouble hits. I felt something dive right into my hair. Before I could raise my hand to brush it out, I was hit. This makes two stings to the head and I am getting a little worried I have stumbled onto something big and deadly. Before I can raise the bush hog and throw it into high gear, I feel a sting to my back.

That's it, I've had it. I jet out of there. I sounded the retreat bugle once again. I feel things continue to bounce off of me as I make my run to the house but luckily I did not get my fourth sting.

Never in my life have I had something like this happen. As I write this, hours after the first stinging, it still hurts like a @#%#@$. I haven't been stung by anything other than a sweat bee in 10 years. Three in one day, that must be a record. I will regroup and head back into the belly of the beast in a few days. I have a feeling I will need to take a few days to recover. If you ever see any hornets that have orange butts, KILL THEM or run for your life.

Hitting the podcasting nail on the head...

Linked in the title above is an article from PC Magazine from about 8 days ago. It's about podcasting which is slowly becoming a favorite subject of mine.

If you don't quite know what podcasting is, just read the article. It's not very long and it explains things quite well.

The funny thing about this is that podcasting is really a natural progression of the internet. We are getting to the point where even I can get high speed internet at my home. I live in a town of 3,500 and where I live does not even have cable.

Blogging seemed to just be a good idea that took a while to develop, but podcasting requires a high speed connection because I'm not downloading a 25 megabyte file over a modem. I don't care how much I like it.

And right now the only thing really holding back podcasting is success. What I mean by that is I would like to start a little podcast possibly. And while I have all the equipment to get it ready, there is a little bit of an investment to be made.

First of all, I'll probably purchase a program that will set up my RSS feed. This is how people can get subscribed to your podcast where they can download it automatically when you release a new podcast. The software is like $30 so that's not a problem. I have access to mics and other equipment because I do a little work at a radio station.

The biggest investment will be purchasing space and bandwidth from a web server. You have to have a place to park your podcasts. So you pay someone like 10 bucks or so a month to let your podcasts sit on their servers so people can download them.

Here is where success becomes a problem.

The podcasting world is a very friendly place. You can make up a little promo and send it off to other podcasters and they play it for you in their podcasts. But the web servers that host your podcast also have a bandwidth restriction. Everytime your podcast is downloaded, it eats into the bandwidth you are alloted.

Take Adam Curry's podcast the Daily Source Code. A few months ago he said that the DSC is downloaded roughly 100,000 times per show. Since each DSC is about a 25 megabyte download that means that each show requires about 2,500 gigbytes of bandwidth. Yes, that's 2,500 for just a single show and he does at least 3 per week, sometimes 5. On the site I'm looking at to host a podcast, the most they offer is 200 gigabytes of bandwidth for about $20 or else you have to look into a dedicated server.

Everyone wants to get a promo played on Curry's Daily Source Code because it means they'll pretty much be famous and if he likes your stuff, he might just pay you to join his Pod Squad.

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to get a promo on the DSC you could be seeing 100,000 people downloading your podcast. Which means that at the end of the month you might owe your hosting service at least $250 more than what you expected. Unfortunately, some who like your podcast will inevitably go back and get the old shows so it could be double or even triple that.

Ah, the price of success. Anyway, that's what's rattling around in my head. I still want to do it as long as Piccu and I can map out a plan.

If any of you Incongruent-Affect readers out there would like to check out a podcast, post a comment about it or what you might like to hear about.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

That's a big pile o' tires...

Here in Ohio County, Kentucky we have a huge problem with people not wanting to dispose of their trash in the appropriate manner. At one time we had something like a dozen or more illegal dump sites that the state gave us 6 weeks to clean up or there would have been a $25,000 per day fine.

Our current judge-executive made sure to clean them up, needless to say.

I'm not sure why people dump trash out in the middle of nowhere. It's really mind boggling since our local landfill has a free day where you can dump all the trash you like at no cost. Instead of taking the landfill up on the free offer, several folks around here would rather load up their pickups and run a 2 a.m. stealth mission into the middle of Deliverance country and dump their garbage. And some of these dump sites are huge.

Well today I got to see the mother of all illegal dump sites. And this time it was old tires.

Once again I must explain that most every county in the state has a "tire amnesty" day or weekend where anyone can bring in their old tires and have them disposed of for free. But alas, people are stupid and they'd rather drive into the middle of nowhere to dump their tires.

This new dump site that was found was enormous. We actually had to drive into the next county and drive across a dude's farm to get to it, but when we got there it was mind boggling.

I was armed with a camera, but wasn't really able to get the scope of the site. See we were told to walk over to the edge of a bank and look at all of the tires thrown in a little valley. The kicker was that the bank we were standing on was the tire pile itself. They were running heavy machinery on top of the pile of tires. Dirt was dumped on the pile most likely to conceal it and we really aren't sure how big the pile is. It had grass growing on it and everything.

We estimated what we were standing on and could see as being a pile that was about 75 feet tall, 100 feet wide and about 300 feet long. Roughly 75,000 tires with the disposal cost being $1.04 per tire. It's going to take at least 6 weeks working 8 hours per day to get that mess cleaned up. Weather permitting. It's just insane.

Truck loads of these tires most likely came down from Louisville and some of the tires were at least 20 years old according to some dates acquired from some serial numbers.

Some people are just too stupid for their own good. If it wasn't for the fact that everyone knew that it needed to get cleaned up and gave this guy a get out of jail free card so they could get on his land to clean it up, he would be looking at a fine just large enough to kill him.

Regardless, that's a big pile o' tires.

XM satellite radio educates me...

For those of you who don't know, I am a satellite radio lover. I listen to it at night, driving and I leave it on at night all night long. I feel as though should I wake up in the middle of the night, I should be entertained so I leave the radio on. And when you have music or talk radio going when you sleep, it creeps into your dreams.

I've had lots of dreams like movies and my soundtrack is whatever is on Top Tracks Channel 46 on XM.

Anyway, since I listen to Extreme channel 150 a lot and it is mostly live radio all day with commercial breaks, they have to play some different things and while some are national commercials, some are educational things. There is the Megabyte Minute with Lazlow from Grand Theft Auto fame and Earth and Sky which is about astronomy.

I heard one today about a parasite called a hair worm. Merlin, you'll get a kick out of this. This worm infects grasshoppers and scientists wanted to study the infected grasshoppers and worms.

They set up a pool outside of a forest to study a phenomenon involving infected grasshoppers. See what the hair worm does is it infects a grasshopper and after the worm gets to the point where it wants to reproduce it has to get into some water. So what this little parasite does is it produces a chemical that makes the grasshopper commit suicide by flying into water and drowning itself. Thus allowing the worm to leave the grasshoppers body and enter the water to get it's groove on or whatever it does to reproduce.

Scientists found out that the grasshopper is going to die by this point anyway from the damage the hair worm has inflicted, but it's still crazy sounding. They also found that this worm is producing a chemical that the grasshopper itself produces naturally, but it still causes the suicidal tendencies.

Another thing that XM radio taught me was about hybrid cars. On one of the educational public service announcements, they stated that in order for a hybrid automobile to make up for the extra cost involved with purchasing one, the owner would have to drive around 36,000 miles per year. Granted, there are people that do this, but that's about 3 times as much driving as I do. The other way the hybrid cars would be worth purchasing is if gas prices got up around the $6 range. At the time this seemed a little crazy, but since then I got gas at $3.09 per gallon the other day and now this doesn't seem too far fetched.

TV's new fall season is in full swing on FOX with the others catching up soon

Fall TV season is here again. It seems like only yesterday I was hyping the praises of a show called House on Fox. Tonight that show begins its second season and while I will continue to watch and be a fan, it will be interesting to see if it can hold on to its great rating from last season without American Idol as its lead in. The new show Bones premieres tonight before House and while I will check it out, I am not sure if it will make it into my fall rotation. I already have to go out and buy a new VCR because some of my favorite shows are conflicting with each other, as well as wanting to check out some new shows.

The new shows I am interested in are very few. I am curious about My Name is Earl on NBC because Jason Lee is hilarious. His performance in Mallrats to me will always be one of the great raunchy comedic performances in movie history. I am also interested in Kitchen Confidential on Fox. I have heard good things about this show and after the performance of Bradley Cooper in the Wedding Crashers as Owen Wilson’s rival; I believe this show will be alright. Another new comedy that interests me is Everybody Hates Chris based on Chris Rock’s life growing up. The most surprising thing is this is on UPN. Which also means it will not get huge ratings, but I bet it will get a chance to grow and gain an audience.

As far as any other new shows, I have to say I am not impressed right off the bat. It seems all the new shows are dramas and they all want to try and capture that Lost feeling by making them all supernatural. Or all of the new dramas are CSI: Wherever. I like CSI and I love Lost, but I just don’t think you can capture what they have with a copycat type show. We will see.

As for returning shows, I am looking forward to Lost on ABC, just to find out what is in the hatch. I read in Entertainment Weekly that we will find out what is in the hatch in the first episode. One cast member said they were disappointed in what the writers came up with and another cast member said it will blow us away. Whatever it is I am sure it will only raise more questions instead of giving us answers.

I am looking forward to Medium’s season premiere on NBC, mostly because the finale was so good and it was just a great cliffhanger. It didn’t make you angry with how much they held back, but it made you anticipate the conclusion. I am also looking forward to the return of Arrested Development on Fox. This show is the funniest show on TV and I hope it can continue to buck the odds and remain on TV for many years to come, despite people not watching it. If you have never seen it, run out and buy or rent the DVD. It is worth it. If you like smart silly comedies you will love this.

Perhaps the returning show I am looking forward to the most is Veronica Mars on the WB. I am just freaked out over this show and wonder why I didn’t watch the whole run last year instead of waiting for summer reruns. This show is so good, funny, smart, and Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars is amazing.

Veronica Mars is a show that can surprise you wtih twists you do not see coming. I was watching it the other night and a secret came out and I just wanted to scream it was so crazy. It was better than anything Lost has let the viewers in on, even if it was a little soap operary. If you have the WB check this out on Wednesdays at 8 Central. I know what you are saying, “Hey, Lost is on at that time!” I know, I know, but we have VCRs and DVRs nowadays and you can tape one and watch it later. But I will let you in on a little secret, if I had to choose between Lost and Veronica Mars and there were no VCRs or DVRs, I would pick Miss Mars.

So there is my little preview of the upcoming fall season. I will probably watch every show that comes on, at least until I realize I just don’t have enough hours in the day to waste my life watching TV. Or until I realize that most of the new shows stink. Either way I am greatly anticipating the long hours.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Jason Giambi as MLB comeback player of the year?

Fall is here and that means two things, pennant chase baseball and football. I have said many times that I am not a huge football fan, but with the right TV I can be. If at all possible get an HDTV, it will make you a better sports fan, but I digress. September baseball cannot be beat, well unless it is October baseball, but follow me. With the addition of the wild card, more teams have a shot at the postseason, which means more fans have a chance to see meaningful baseball at the end of the season.

With late season baseball you have the debates for end of the season awards. MVP awards, Cy Young awards, manager of the year awards and others will be given to deserving players at the end of the season. One award that seems to be causing a bit of controversy is the comeback player of the year award. Why would this award be causing controversy? Well, a great candidate for the award this year is Jason Giambi.

Remember him? The same Jason Giambi that testified under oath, in leaked grand jury testimony, that he KNOWINGLY took performance enhancing drugs. The same Jason Giambi that apologized in a preseason press conference for…well, he apologized for something. Apparently he wasn’t able to say what he was apologizing for because the Yankees would have dropped him like a sack of potatoes if he came out and admitted he took illegal substances. I guess the Yankees’ lawyers informed them they couldn’t sack Giambi for testimony that was supposed to be confidential and was leaked illegally to a newspaper.

Giambi, after starting off very slowly, has put together a very good season, especially when you look at the season he had in 2004. In 80 games with the Yanks last year, Giambi hit a Mendoza like .207 with 12 homeruns and 40 RBIs. I also should mention that Giambi suffered many health related maladies that may or may not have been steroid related.This year Giambi, as of this writing, has hit .284 with 29 homeruns and 74 RBIs and most of the numbers have been put up since July when Giambi went on a tear. Because of this huge turnaround, many are touting Giambi for the American league comeback player of the year.

Should they be? Does Giambi deserve this award? In a word…no. Giambi should not get an award for coming back from trouble he caused himself. Until we know more about the damage steroids do, how can we know for sure that Giambi’s health problems were anything other than steroids related? Unlike Rafael Palmeiro, who still has not explained how he unknowingly took steroids, Giambi knowingly took steroids. While he benefited in the pocketbook, it looked to many that it may have ended his probable Hall of Fame career. Can you give him this award when in reality his stupidity was the reason he had to comeback from adversity?

I have said that I could be entertained by someone but not respect that person. This is the textbook case. Whenever Giambi comes to the plate in a game these days, I am watching to see if he blasts another homerun, he is entertaining and I admire the way he has battled through his early season struggles. This is a great story. He has not, however, earned my respect. He cheated himself and the game and got caught. The reason he had a horrible 2004 was caused by himself and no one else. Because of this he should not be rewarded.

I haven’t even mentioned that fact that we don’t know for sure if he is clean. How do we know that after his very slow start, Giambi didn’t seek out a little pharmaceutical help? That is what some have said happened to Palmeiro. He struggled early and then to get a boost he took a banned substance. I am sure Giambi has been tested, but we don’t know if he has found another steroid that is undetectable. He could very well be taking human growth hormone or HGH. That is not even being tested for in the major leagues.

With the combination of Giambi causing his own decline and the fact that no one knows for sure whether or not Giambi is completely clean, then I think that someone else should win the comeback player of the year. The question is, who deserves it more than Giambi does? That is something the voters will decide. I should say that I won’t be surprised if Giambi wins, but I think for that to happen there has to be no other player that is even close to deserving it.

In the National League, the choice is easy, Ken Griffey, Jr. This season is the first that Griffey has played over 125 games in four years. By just his numbers alone, he is deserving and Griffey has never been mentioned in the whole steroids controversy. In fact Griffey has been known to be a player who had never worked out, until the last few seasons.

It will be interesting to see what the baseball writers will do. I think that everyone in the league who was linked to the steroids controversy will have a tough time winning any awards from now on, and that is the way it should be.