Al's Ramblings



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

(3/31/2010 11:53:00 PM) - Al

This might be why they didn't want anyone to read the bill...they suck at writing them.


3/31/2010 11:53:00 PM



(3/31/2010 10:59:00 PM) - Al

I've been arguing this for years...OPS (or really, OXS) is far more accurate (Insider required) than fancy new stats and far easier to figure.

A quick summary below, with enough taken out to keep the lawyers from contacting me:

OPS has the strongest relationship with runs scored by a team over the past 10 seasons among the statistics checked. In fact, in each year since 2002 the team that has scored the most runs in Major League Baseball has also had the highest OPS.

I am not suggesting that there is no use for more advanced statistical research...The intelligent front offices and sharp fantasy players who utilize cutting edge analysis will certainly have a leg up...

...In this case, if there is something uncomplicated that does just as good of a job explaining offense as a more complex one does, we should use the simpler stat.

While certainly a clever sabermetrician can (and surely has) found other replacement player or linear weight metrics that show a higher correlation to runs scored than OPS, the simplicity, as well as the utility, of OPS should be appreciated by all.


The nice thing is, I, or any of you, can easily project OPS and project a player's output, and then, a team's. Most of us have no idea how to use VORP, EQA, or WAR.

And dare I say, they really make the user seem nerdy.


3/31/2010 10:59:00 PM



(3/31/2010 10:57:00 PM) - Al

How do these idiots get elected?


3/31/2010 10:57:00 PM



(3/31/2010 09:28:00 PM) - Al

Edmonds considered for Opening Day start.

I have to wonder if the braintrust is not unhappy with Hart's lack of urgency about finding contacts, goggles, something that will work. Granted, he's struggled, but 55 AB's is a tiny sample to get too concerned with.

Of course, if he's taking fastballs down the middle and swinging at breaking stuff a foot outside, they just may not be expecting things to start improving. That said, he's always been a streaky hitter, seemingly at least, so minimizing his AB's when he's slumping is not a bad thing.

Depth is good.


3/31/2010 09:28:00 PM



(3/31/2010 09:21:00 PM) - Al

Hard to figure this out, unless the Braves made some sort of "handshake" deal with the Royals, as any 22 year-old lefty with solid AA numbers is worth far more than $25K.


3/31/2010 09:21:00 PM



(3/31/2010 09:09:00 PM) - Al

I set what I would call an aggressive goal for my online play in March, and I failed to hit it. Of course, I did manage to only miss it by 20%, so it was not a total loss.

Of course, judging by what I see on Poker Pro Labs, I should be happy to be a winning player...on one sit-n-go I sat in earlier tonight, 8 of the 10 players were losers, one had a ROI (return of investment) of -40% and another -46%...those are mind-numbingly bad.


3/31/2010 09:09:00 PM



(3/31/2010 09:04:00 PM) - Al

Palin says Obama's offshore plans are too little, too late.

I think it's better than nothing, but it does reek of politics, only opening up bits and pieces, and none of the oil rich Alaskan waters. I was all for it, but did not read the fine print...


3/31/2010 09:04:00 PM



(3/31/2010 08:57:00 PM) - Al

We were in one of these programs in the Cities, but the problem is, your AC simply cannot cool your house in 15-20 minutes, which is all they let it run during "peak" usage.

Our townhouse was still 80+ and humid at 9PM that night. I recall lying on the sofa downstairs (heat rises, you know) and sweating, while the Rambling dog laid on the floor next to me, panting non-stop.


3/31/2010 08:57:00 PM



(3/31/2010 03:42:00 PM) - Al

Michael Brantley was named the starting left fielder on Wednesday.

As it should be. Brantley has been very impressive in camp, batting .333 (15-for-45) with five RBI, two stolen bases and seven runs scored. It remains to be seen once where he'll end up when Russell Branyan returns. For now, Brantley will play left field and Matt LaPorta will start at first base.--Rotoworld


I should stop paying attention to this, as no one questions Brantley's inclusion in the Sabathia trade, as it did lead to the playoffs. Still, it sure is tough to see a 22 year-old who is a near perfect LH OBP bat already starting and still under team control for a half-dozen more years. I know when I first said that Brantley might turn out to be more of a loss than Laporta, I was in the vast minority, but now, that may have swung.


3/31/2010 03:42:00 PM



(3/31/2010 03:12:00 PM) - Al

Al,

Loyal reader for some time now. I was reading an article the other day while waiting to get my haircut. The article was written by an environmental scientist, who was against government funding of "green energy". His main argument was that it does not make sense for the government to throw money behind something that is not economically viable. He also brought up an interesting point about the government "creating jobs". Basically he said that any jobs the government created were also jobs that were being taken away somewhere else.

Lets say I had a lemonade stand across the street from another lemonade stand. Both stands sold lemonade for a quarter a cup, however the stand across the street is selling better lemonade with a better profit margin thus allowing them to hire more people and maybe open more stands. Obviously there is no way I would stay in business. One day my rich uncle tells me he will start covering much of my costs. This extra money allows me to sell my lemonade for 5 cents a cup. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay 5 times as much for a cup of lemonade so my sales go through the roof. Now the other stand is running out of business so they have to close some of their stands and fire some of their employees. Eventually my uncle stops giving me money to cover my costs and to earn any profit I have to again sell lemonade at a quarter a cup. Even though the other stand is out of business, my sales are going to go back down because of my poor product, so again I am forced to cut back on my costs by firing employees and closing stands. In the end my uncle was able to save most of my business but caused the other business with the better product to dissolve. All told, the amount of people working for the two lemonade stands decreased a little, but the growth of jobs in the lemonade stand market was killed because all that is left is the inferior business model.

Sorry for the long winded explanation, but I figured it would be something you would appreciate.

Troy


I'm against 99% of all government subsidies, and that's what they're doing with "green" energy. When and if green energy is financially viable, Exxon and others will be producing it by the bucket full. However, it is not, and will not be for many years, if not hundreds.

You know, when you're throwing billions at solar, wind (except, of course, when it can be seen by the Kennedys as they frolic on the beach at the family compound), and whatever else, pretty soon, it borders on the silly.

Could I be convinced to do some sort of high speed rail, with stops in Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire, Wis Dells, and the Madison/Milwaukee metro...possibly, as though I assume it would be a money loser, there may be enough benefits (fewer people on roads, less upkeep, a safe way for people to travel in the winter for business or leisure, etc.) to budget in an annual $25M (which comes to about $5 a WI resident) to help run this thing...it'd be worth talking about at least.

However, "green" tech is still in its infancy, and has not shown any indication gas/oil/coal will be any less vital in the future. At some point, what's the reward...gov't spending often has to spend $500K to create a single job, as yes, our layers of bureaucracy are that inefficient.


3/31/2010 03:12:00 PM


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

(3/30/2010 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Drill baby drill.

About time.

UPDATE: An e-mailer says it would appear Obama has experienced an about face on this issue...which is par for the course, to be blunt.

As the wind blows...


3/30/2010 11:09:00 PM



(3/30/2010 10:51:00 PM) - Al

Olbermann's show getting better ratings with Keith on vacation.

The truth is always funnier than fiction.

Larry King has his two worst quarters ever back-to-back. Now is not a good time to be a far-left talker.


3/30/2010 10:51:00 PM



(3/30/2010 10:11:00 PM) - Al

If I were him, I'd be far more embarrassed about being French.


3/30/2010 10:11:00 PM



(3/30/2010 07:48:00 PM) - Al

Putting Suppan on the DL would eliminate one of the three candidates for the No. 5 starting position, leaving it to either of two left-handers, Manny Parra and Chris Narveson.--JS

Suppan's stint on the DL with cervical disc pain was backdated to March 26, so he will be eligible to return on April 10. The Brewers probably won't use a fifth starter until April 15 against the Cubs, so Suppan presumably could rejoin the competition--MLB.com

Jeff might even have the edge, as he, if his injury has healed, can just keep building arm strength, pitching every 5th day in extended spring and with the Crew. Meanwhile, Narveson and Parra may well have to eat up an inning here and an inning plus there, and will not be stretched out, and able to go 5.


3/30/2010 07:48:00 PM



(3/30/2010 07:28:00 PM) - Al

Macha said he's been impressed with the play of outfielder Adam Stern this spring and indicated Stern might be the first guy up from the minors if an outfielder is needed.--JS

This is why those invites to the major league camp are so vital...Stern is nothing if not a minor league journeyman (.314/382 career in AAA), but a couple good AB's, and a couple good defensive plays in March, can overcome years of mediocre minor league performance.


3/30/2010 07:28:00 PM



(3/30/2010 07:18:00 PM) - Al

Jason Repko and Ryan Garko both released today, showing why you never overpay for a 5th OF, as you can use freely available talent to fill that spot, probably along with the 2nd reserve INF. The proof would seem to be that the Crew is utilizing Jim Edmonds (minor league free agent) and Joe Inglett (waiver claim) in those roles.


3/30/2010 07:18:00 PM



(3/30/2010 05:16:00 PM) - Al

I'll miss Steve Lavin on ESPN, but I'm sure he'll do a fine job in New York City.


3/30/2010 05:16:00 PM



(3/30/2010 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Suppan on the DL, cervical neck problem, which sounds painful.

I'm probably the only one, but I'd use this to take a look at a young hard thrower who is out of options who gets waived in the next week, and still send Carlos V to AAA to get regular work, and take advantage of CV's final option. For example, TOR has a half-dozen arms sans options, and it seems unlikely all will make their 25 man roster.

Narveson or Parra will start as the #5 SP, though both will probably be available in relief for the first week.


3/30/2010 04:00:00 PM



(3/30/2010 03:14:00 PM) - Al

Nate Robertson, who has pitched much worse than Suppan the past couple years, penciled into the Marlins' rotation immediately upon being acquired.

Soup does have value, just not at $12M. There are plenty of teams that would love to have a veteran who can go every 5th day and have a sub 5 ERA.


3/30/2010 03:14:00 PM



(3/30/2010 03:04:00 PM) - Al

Alyssa Milano sent this out on Twitter, videos of military members surprising their loved ones.

As one of the comments say, it is difficult to even fathom the lack of a welcome home for the Vietnam vets, and how badly they were treated. It's a shame, and hopefully, will never be repeated.


3/30/2010 03:04:00 PM



(3/30/2010 02:56:00 PM) - Al

Adam's piece at the team site tells what's new for '10, including TV ads, concessions, and team stores.


3/30/2010 02:56:00 PM



(3/30/2010 02:50:00 PM) - Al

I have often said how the goofy liberal activists who do things like block traffic in Manhattan just don't get it...they do not realize that all over the nation, regular, middle of the road (no pun intended) voters say to themselves "Well, whatever side they're on, I'm on the other."

Friends, allow me to say, I'm very excited to say actor Matthew Modine is on the other side. What a total clod. To him, "hold hands and sing a folk song" is not an insult, but a legitimate political option.


3/30/2010 02:50:00 PM



(3/30/2010 02:10:00 PM) - Al

Suppan throws in simulated game to test sore neck, Gord Ash says an announcement is soon to come this afternoon.


3/30/2010 02:10:00 PM



(3/30/2010 02:03:00 PM) - Al

Why do climatologists believe in climate change and meteorologists do not?

Simple really...one's livelihood depends on taking a century's worth of data and convincing people it is far warmer (you know, half of one degree) than it was thousands of years ago, and the other depends on having a friendly demeanor, nice smile, and the ability to deliver a rainy weekend forecast with a positive outlook.

Whenever one has a financial reason to push climate change, you can pretty much bet on said climate change being pushed. Al Gore did not become extremely wealthy until he began selling a lie.


3/30/2010 02:03:00 PM



(3/30/2010 11:12:00 AM) - Al

The old media, are they even more reliable than the tabloids?

Remember the days when they just, you know, reported the news, rather than looking at a story

*cough*
John Edwards affair
*cough*

and trying to decide if they should be truthful?


3/30/2010 11:12:00 AM



(3/30/2010 11:10:00 AM) - Robert R.

Thoughts on The Pacific, part three.

I'm sure that part 3 will prove to be a disappointment for some who were hoping for nothing but action out of The Pacific. But, I think this is an important episode in order to gain balance for the series. For the first time, we really get to know these men. We see Robert Leckie's ill fated romance, learn about his family life and how the Marines are really his only functional family, and see the fallout when the relationship ends. We see John Basilone having to deal with the responsibilities of being a Medal of Honor winner. We see Phillips in a new light. And, it's clear that all of these men are still learning to be men in ways other than combat.

More importantly, the show is following the 1st Marines. And they spent the time in Australia and the show is attempting to give us their full experience, not just cherrypicking the most harrowing parts.

That said, while this is a unique episode from the standpoint of a not well covered part of the war, I'm not sure it gives us all that much insight into anyone other than Leckie. His girlfriend, although beautiful, seems idealized in many ways. Basilone and Phillips really play small parts in the episode. And Eugene Sledge is completely absent.

Obviously, it's hard to see how this fits into the big picture at this point. But, I think it's absolutely a necessary episode. Especially in regards to illuminating Leckie's character. At some point, we have to get to know these people. But, we'll have to see what the payoff is. Yes, we understand Leckie better now, but you're not exactly asking "what happens next?" at the end of this episode. So far, The Pacific has proven to be much stronger in its combat sequences than in piecing together a cohesive story where every incident contributes to the tapestry and illuminates character. In the end, this episode may be the glue that holds it together beyond a series of action setpieces.

Edit: A pair of sharp readers, Mike and Christopher, wrote in to inform me that not only was Robert Leckie's girlfriend idealized, she was completely made up. It doesn't change my opinion much on the episode, conflating and making up people is part of dramatic license, but it does make me want to add some thoughts.

I objected to Stella and her family as idealized before. Now, I have to wonder if it's writers falling back on a limited stock of cliches. One of the things that makes FROM HERE TO ETERNITY a great movie is that the fictional characters seem like they could be real with more than their share of flaws. They were examples of humanity, not types designed to provoke a specific reaction. As far as characters go, invented or otherwise, THE PACIFIC comes up well short of that high standard.


3/30/2010 11:10:00 AM



(3/30/2010 12:30:00 AM) - Al

It is ironic that despite a rumored "divide" in the McCain/Palin camps, Meghan McCain, despite the fact she's written a book and wants publicity, has gone out of her way several times to not criticize Palin...who is vastly more conservative than either McCain, including in this Daily Beast piece.


3/30/2010 12:30:00 AM


Monday, March 29, 2010

(3/29/2010 11:51:00 PM) - Al

In a blog posting on his Web site, singer Ricky Martin came out over the weekend, confirming he's gay.

In related news, the Pacific Ocean posted on its Facebook page that it is, in fact, wet.--Tony Hicks, CCT


Heh.

Martin, of course, is single, good looking, and a good dancer. Sometimes, it is a stereotype because it is often true.


3/29/2010 11:51:00 PM



(3/29/2010 09:20:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe Al Sharpton is still in the public eye, as he has no credibility remaining whatsover...none. He's a liar and a complete fraud.

Catch him lying to Bill O'Reilly, and then backpedal when pushed.

EDIT: Heh, proof of how easy it is to find bad things said, as every Reid supporter in Nevada shows up.:)


3/29/2010 09:20:00 PM



(3/29/2010 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Adam wonders if something may be up with Suppan, or I suppose someone else in the 5th starter mix.

I think Jeff would have little trouble catching on elsewhere and I project him at about 170 IP and a 4.80 ERA, so I do not think a DFA would be good for anyone, as I think he's far better depth than Marco Estrada or Kam Loe, in '10 at least.


3/29/2010 09:06:00 PM



(3/29/2010 08:26:00 PM) - Al

What are you doing today, going to go play tennis in 1958?--Charlie to Alan on 2.5 Men, when Alan comes out dressed in a sweater tied around his shoulders

I know some look down on the show due to its lowbrow humor, but it is, without an inkling of doubt, the funniest show on TV, other than Seinfeld and Raymond reruns, of course.


3/29/2010 08:26:00 PM



(3/29/2010 03:54:00 PM) - Al

Stossel discusses our government at work. Every day they go to work and hope at the end of the day, they get to keep their well paying job with outstanding benefits.

Oof.


3/29/2010 03:54:00 PM



(3/29/2010 03:36:00 PM) - Al

Palin names some veterans running for Congress...if only I had one to vote for.


3/29/2010 03:36:00 PM



(3/29/2010 01:30:00 PM) - Al

After a tough day of spurning the advances of their English teacher, the two 14 year-olds decided to wind down by getting a drink and paying for a strip dance at Gwen's trailer.

And to think, I used to chase frogs.


3/29/2010 01:30:00 PM



(3/29/2010 01:21:00 PM) - Al

The Twins have already sold 2.6M tickets.

As a reference point, the Crew usually hits 2M in April.


3/29/2010 01:21:00 PM



(3/29/2010 01:11:00 PM) - Al

I just wonder why the "recess appointments" weren't made a year ago, if they were so important.


3/29/2010 01:11:00 PM



(3/29/2010 12:58:00 PM) - Al

Adam says an announcement will be coming today about the rotation, though no surprises are expected.


3/29/2010 12:58:00 PM



(3/29/2010 12:48:00 PM) - Al

As I promised, I went to the walk-in today, as my eye was still puffy and red. Eyelid infection, caused by a stye was the official diagnosis, and I was given some erthomycin and told to get the stye lanced if it did not get better in a few days. She also told me my watery eyes and redness were probably allergies, as both eyes were red (actually, the nurse might have said that, in the interests of full disclosure).

My physician's assistant was Nikki, who was younger than some of my socks. She would have fit in nicely as a first year on ER.

I was at the clinic far shorter than I wandered around Target, as they pulled the faxed prescription off the machine only when I told them who I was. I'm glad I've never been truly ill and had to walk around there for 20-30 minutes.


3/29/2010 12:48:00 PM


Sunday, March 28, 2010

(3/28/2010 05:45:00 PM) - Al

Milwaukee left-hander Manny Parra is an intriguing possibility, although a separate source said the Brewers haven’t discussed him with other clubs.

The Brewers and Mariners are natural trade partners because Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik was a longtime scouting director for Milwaukee. He drafted Parra in 2001 and is still high on him now, despite a 6.36 ERA in the majors last year.

Parra, 27, is unlikely to make the Brewers’ rotation. Jeff Suppan, owed $12.5 million this year, performed well in his most recent spring outing and will be given every opportunity to become the No. 5 starter. Chris Narveson, another candidate, has had a great spring.

Parra could still make the club as a reliever, so there isn’t much incentive for Milwaukee to trade him.

The Brewers may be reluctant to give up on a young left-hander, remembering well that they traded Jorge de la Rosa for Tony Graffanino in 2006. De la Rosa blossomed into a 16-game winner with the Rockies last year. Rick Peterson, the new pitching coach, was hired for the purpose of getting value from quality arms such as Parra’s.--FoxSports.com


Parra, as a lefty who throws 92-95, will always have value, and possibly has a tad more right now, but not enough to worry about. The thing that I feel is overlooked is simple...if the Crew trades a SP candidate, they have six SP's...that means they are a single injury away from the best option being Marco Estrada or Kam Loe...certainly solid AAA arms, but guys you could easily project at 5.50-6 ERA fellas in the bigs.


3/28/2010 05:45:00 PM



(3/28/2010 03:58:00 PM) - Al

FYI, I'm watching the Bucks/Grizzlies tilt on ChannelSurfing.net online. Knock on wood, it has not frozen up the entire second half.


3/28/2010 03:58:00 PM



(3/28/2010 03:39:00 PM) - Al

Glenn has a Mike Yon update...if we would have sent the amount of troops requested, you have to wonder if it would be nearly over.


3/28/2010 03:39:00 PM



(3/28/2010 03:35:00 PM) - Al

Andy Cooper must have wrote the story himself..."at least dozens"...the picture looks like 500-1000.

CNN deserves that laughingstock label, without a doubt.


3/28/2010 03:35:00 PM



(3/28/2010 03:28:00 PM) - Al

Government workers hellishly overpaid.

Not to mention the days off and benefits. And they wonder why the anger and disgust is out there.


3/28/2010 03:28:00 PM



(3/28/2010 03:17:00 PM) - Al

I was going to give kudos to the president for visiting Afghanistan, but seeing it's his first trip as commander-in-chief pretty much explains how he feels the whole foreign policy stuff is just unworthy of his time, as he saves the US from those pesky free markets and such.

To be fair though, leaving the Bush doctrine in place is by far the best move he has made, even if it is in stark contrast to his election promises.


3/28/2010 03:17:00 PM



(3/28/2010 03:11:00 PM) - Al

After my head-shaking on shutting off the lights for "Earth hour", this comes in the e-mail:

A friend of mine came up with a really good idea for observing Earth Hour. Instead of observing just 1 hour, he's going to do them better by shutting all lights off for 5.5 hours, from 5:00-10:30pm on Halloween night.

Jeff,
Edmonton


Heh. Not only will he be saving the planet, he'll also be helping to prevent childhood obesity and tooth decay.:)


3/28/2010 03:11:00 PM



(3/28/2010 02:15:00 PM) - Al

I just checked the Twins/Brewers series at Target Field on Stub Hub...cheapest tickets $40 each.

If we'd go on a kid's and senior's day at Miller Park, all three of us could get nice seats for $40. Of course, more power to the Twins and their fans if there is that much demand for them.


3/28/2010 02:15:00 PM


Saturday, March 27, 2010

(3/27/2010 11:37:00 PM) - Al

The old media ignored violence in St. Paul, yet now seems to be trying to create some.

Is it any wonder why no one believes these clods?


3/27/2010 11:37:00 PM



(3/27/2010 10:25:00 PM) - Al

Pretty much a perfect blog post...Palin looking quite fetching, and kind words for the man who should be president, John McCain, American hero.


3/27/2010 10:25:00 PM



(3/27/2010 03:25:00 PM) - Al

John McCain just said there has not been a US service member's death in Iraq yet this year...and then said you would not see that mentioned in the old media. Iraq is also the only country in that entire region that has experienced real, honest, free elections.

Thank goodness the US stepped in and did what was right. Nothing worth doing is evr easy.


3/27/2010 03:25:00 PM



(3/27/2010 02:12:00 PM) - Al

All you ever wanted to know about the tomato industry.


3/27/2010 02:12:00 PM



(3/27/2010 01:21:00 PM) - Al

Debt will be 90% of GDP by 2020...says the always optimistic CBO.

How does anyone seriously think this have a chance in heck of ever taking effect? I cannot imagine how high taxes will have to go.

Get the repeal and rewriting pens ready...and you might want to consider, you know, reading the bill.


3/27/2010 01:21:00 PM



(3/27/2010 01:17:00 PM) - Al

We heard a lot about racial slurs...that nobody heard, we'll see if we hear a fraction as much about this vandalism.


3/27/2010 01:17:00 PM



(3/27/2010 01:13:00 PM) - Al

I think I'll make my Earth hour at about 4AM. By the way, do these clowns know it's dark here at 8:30? Let's be realistic, at 1PM, you could take a walk or play a board game, or read a book. At 8:30...it's going to just be ignored.

That's for the little people.


3/27/2010 01:13:00 PM



(3/27/2010 12:53:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers considered a Jeff Suppan for Snyder trade, but didn't want to take on Snyder's 2011 salary. Suppan will earn $12.5MM this season, the final one on his contract.--Rosenthal, per MLBTR

I just threw that possibility out a few days ago. The thing is, Suppan could easily have value if a SP or two go down, and Snyder is unlikely to be much of an upgrade over Salome, Lucroy, or Kotteras.


3/27/2010 12:53:00 PM



(3/27/2010 12:49:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers are on FSW today at 3, by the way.


3/27/2010 12:49:00 PM



(3/27/2010 12:43:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife requested a Wii streaming disk the other day too, and we have to agree with Robert, Netflix allowing you to watch movies and TV shows at no cost on your Wii, with no planning involved at all.

Ages ago, I recall seeing some people say Netflix had no future at all, as it was customer unfriendly and tech backwards. They could not have more incorrect.


3/27/2010 12:43:00 PM



(3/27/2010 12:40:00 PM) - Al

You know, I just can't find a single place to cut...government office ok's products...that do not exist.


3/27/2010 12:40:00 PM



(3/27/2010 12:31:00 PM) - Al

Delfino Update: Results of the precautionary imaging were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with neck and jaw soreness. Carlos was released from St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee last night after a complete assessment of his head & neck injuries.--Bucks' Twitter

Huge break, as Delfino has been playing 35-40 minutes and contributing in all phases of the game. Last night, they literally played without 3 guys who usually eat up about 110 minutes of the 240 available...needless to say, they did not look good.


3/27/2010 12:31:00 PM



(3/27/2010 11:10:00 AM) - Robert R.

I've said it before, Netflix is so far ahead of the curve that they appear to be well set up for many years to come. I received my Wii streaming disc for Netflix yesterday, and I don't know why I'm ever going to need to pay for an on-demand movie again.

The interface is a little clunky. Especially when you try to scroll through their general categories. And the quality is not as nice as a good DVD, let alone Blu Ray. But, beyond those limitations, you get a very convenient and cost effective method to access thousands of movies and television shows as the mood strikes you.

I'm convinced that on demand streaming is the way of the future for delivery of home entertainment. And Netflix is getting in early on the ground floor and are likely to stay cemented there for a long time.


3/27/2010 11:10:00 AM


Friday, March 26, 2010

(3/26/2010 10:59:00 PM) - Al

Yep, in the best of hands.

Oof.


3/26/2010 10:59:00 PM



(3/26/2010 09:41:00 PM) - Al

Tonight, the Rambling son requested I make him some muffins, which he enjoys for breakfast (note to self, expect nasty e-mail from Jamie Oliver). In addition to chocolate chip for him, I decided to make myself some raspberry ones, which while far from nutritious, aren't exactly a bad choice either, especially if I just eat one and do not add butter.

Anyway, I assumed they'd cook about the same speed despite being different brands, and when my berry ones were done, I put the potholder over the chocolate ones and slammed the tin down, hoping the berry would drop out and the chocolate ones would stay.

Um, yeah.

The berry ones fell out, as did the half-done others, which landed in a half-dozen uncooked globs on the counter. Questioning my decision to...let my son know I could use the oven, I pondered my next move. I decided to put them back in the tin and try cooking them longer. After about 5 more minutes, I let them sit in the tin on top of the oven for about 15 minutes (they keep cooking you know!), and sure enough, they kind of resembled muffins, maybe muffins that had been in a gang fight, but still.

About now, the Rambling son wandered upstairs, and asked about them. I told him I had struggled a bit, and he went over to them on the stove and looked. Of course, the tin also had big burnt on bits of my muffins that had overflowed and stuck. And granted, his muffins would not have won any beauty contests either.

I asked him how they looked, and his reply was:

They look like giant globs of failure.

{Note to self: Try and determine where boy gets his propensity to utter dry, sarcastic one-liners that are often quite biting.}

That said, he ate one right away, and said it was excellent, because the chocolate chips had melted and not yet cooled. So, on the counter, is a Ziploc bag full of muffin chunks and crumbs, as, no Virginia, muffins that break apart while heating do not stay together well at a later time...though they may well remain edible.


3/26/2010 09:41:00 PM



(3/26/2010 07:41:00 PM) - Al

Miss W yet?

I h\ave pointed out repeatedly that I always knew where W stood, and while I may not have always agreed, I got it. Obama himself does not know where he stands until he sees the poll and reads the 'prompter babble that the idiot frat boy wrote.


3/26/2010 07:41:00 PM



(3/26/2010 05:58:00 PM) - Al

Red Sox release Brian Shouse, and sign Scott Schoeneweis on the same day.

I'm sure somewhere in Arizona, Doug is thinking, "Wow, Shouse might fit in as a loogy...if only we didn't have 13 pitchers ahead of him."

Depth is a good thing, and I don't think many prognosticators take it into account.

EDIT: That said, the Crew probably has plenty of arms that can only go an inning or less. At this stage, Brian might be a one or two batter guy...an inning might be pushing it.


3/26/2010 05:58:00 PM



(3/26/2010 05:54:00 PM) - Al

Dave Cameron has the Crew at about the same win total as me, and speaks highly of the organization.

I'm not usually a big fan, but I agree with his Crew statements. One thing is, for those of us who think Alcides will hit, given his age and minor league stats, I think he's a top ten prospect in the sport, and I'm not not sure either Prince or Ryan ever were.


3/26/2010 05:54:00 PM



(3/26/2010 05:25:00 PM) - Al

It sounds like HBO is canceling Joe Buck Live, which technically ran for nine months but might be the shortest-lived talk show of all time with a grand total of three episodes. Joe Buck is the only person who could make Chevy Chase feel good about his hosting career.--AaronGleeman.com

I don't mean to go off on a rant here, but is there a less talented person in entertainment than Joe Buck? Let's be honest, if not for his dad, the younger Buck would be doing things almost any human that has learned to stand upright could muster, like delivering pizzas or working in retail.

Buck is the only person I know that can watch a game, see what happens with his own vision, and then say something else. He's set the bar so low, the only thing the Rambling dog needs to do to equal his ability is the "say untrue things" aspect.


3/26/2010 05:25:00 PM



(3/26/2010 05:21:00 PM) - Al

Brewers ignore my advice to send them both to AAA, and will have Lucroy repeat AA.

They are right though, Lucroy would certainly be considered if they need a C at some point in '10. I feel Salome's ceiling is far higher, but they won't worry about that, just what they can do "right now".


3/26/2010 05:21:00 PM



(3/26/2010 05:11:00 PM) - Al

The gap is smaller than last May, and it's still early, but thus far, Leno is right back where he was, easily defeating Dave.

Time will tell, but I don't see any other way the math works, to be honest. I'm the first to say I used to enjoy Letterman more, but he's become so grumpy and unhappy, Leno, while admittedly a bit bland and obvious (though we've always loved his headlines), would be our choice if we had to choose one (as is, the Rambling wife yells "headlines" at about 10:50 each Monday night).

I do admit, for those few who still yearn for Conan, and talk about how O'Brien's new show at Fox will someday beat both Dave and Jay, trying to imagine a mathematical formula existing for such an event is all but impossible. Conan was getting about 50% of Jay's viewers before the last week or so publicity that led to big Conan ratings), and Dave had went from a distant 2nd to an easy 1st...somehow, Conan beating both of them does not seem like the likely conclusion.


3/26/2010 05:11:00 PM



(3/26/2010 04:54:00 PM) - Al

The relationship ends...once again.

I realize the bank is not the company who has to pay the free nights in a hotel, but their continued quest to get a $29 annual fee from me, in lieu of carrying their credit card in my wallet, and possibly using it, is baffling. The funny thing is, they didn't even negotiate...no, they do not waive annual fees, and when I told them to cancel it, there was not even a pause...just a statement that it was canceled and she had now waived the fee (am I really that much of a forward thinker to think that they'd be better off not getting the $29 and still having a customer and an active card than waiving the fee only after they eliminate a customer?)...not even a thank you.

I haven't paid an annual fee in 15+ years, and I'm not going to start now. In the days of the Rambling girlfriend and fiancee (before she became the Rambling wife), she had to do an unpaid internship of one semester, and the cost of maintaining two households on my meager salary was, needless to say, a losing battle, so we built up a debt and carried a credit card balance for ages, which for years, I switched back and forth from one company to another, getting either a 0% interest rate for 6-12 months, or a 1.9% if a free one was not available at the time.

Somehow, if that was now, I suppose those offers would be less forthcoming as well.


3/26/2010 04:54:00 PM



(3/26/2010 03:57:00 PM) - Al

I didn't watch the Reason video yet, but I find Jamie Oliver to be annoying and very nanny stateish, so the term "shut the hell up" keeps racing through my mind. Any guy who tears up cause some kids are eating badly deserves my scorn.

This is a good time to mention it again, but I still find it ironic that the two big problems that keep getting brought up by the old media is:

1. Childhood obesity

2. Child hunger


I have to question the validity of both, since it makes so little sense.

EDIT: Oliver is unwatchable, and understands nothing about simple economics...as Reason points out, the government provides subsidies to people to grow corn and raise beef, and instead of throwing it away, uses it to feed kids in the school lunch program. Plus, the idea that Oliver thinks he can fix the school lunch program by

*wait for it*

raising spending by $5B a year, mostly to put more fresh fruit and vegetables on the menu...much of which will just be thrown away, of course, because kids won't eat 'em, and, they go bad in mere minutes, even in my crisper (which we call "the rotter" in the Rambling household) at home. Oliver also makes fun of them for serving pizza for breakfast in West Virginia...which is made from flour, meat, and cheese...much like a breakfast biscuit does. I mean, you'd think a know-it-all foodie would know that. Reason points out they serve food they know kids will like because they are reimbursed by the government based on how many sign up. Put "lean chicken with rice and beans, apple for dessert" on a menu, and I can promise you the Rambling 2nd grader will be brown bagging it...and you know what? We're so evil, sometimes, he even gets a "sweet" item for dessert.


3/26/2010 03:57:00 PM



(3/26/2010 03:47:00 PM) - Al

Yeah, you know, I just don't see anywhere to cut spending in DC.

And how many times in that article does it say those people could make more in the private sector...sadly, however, then they'd have real responsibilities, could easily get fired, and not have a benefit package better than God.

And yes, we are in the best of hands...read the bill first? Heh.


3/26/2010 03:47:00 PM



(3/26/2010 03:26:00 PM) - Al

It is amazing to see how much better the high school girls are at shooting the ball and overall athleticism than they were 20 years ago. When they first introduced the 3 point shot, I remember one coach laughing and saying, "I don't have anyone that can shoot it, so it won't make a difference." For years, teams would maybe have one player who would take the shot, usually looking terrible and often not drawing iron. Now, teams have one player who doesn't shoot 3's.

The one difference I still see is that girls are not "instinctual"...they still have to think about the situation. Of course, much of that comes with knowing the game and watching it...I know what to do, but suck at everything but shooting. In another 20 years, they'll be right there with that too, I'm sure.


3/26/2010 03:26:00 PM



(3/26/2010 03:23:00 PM) - Al

Bogut out tonight, and Ersan probably is.

Andrew has not looked himself of late, even though he said he was fine yesterday. Finding the truth in pro sports is almost impossible.

Ersan has the flu.

They will be forced to go small, as Ersan is also the 3rd center, I'm not even sure if Gadzuric is healthy, he's been inactive 90% of the time.


3/26/2010 03:23:00 PM



(3/26/2010 03:09:00 PM) - Al

Sioux Falls is where the former Badgers are.

As I've said before, I sure wish NBA teams could "DL" injured players, as I'd love to see Butch and Landry at the end of the bench and during garbage time...after all, that's how players like Mike Redd started and worked their way up. Much like MLB, the NBA has focused all their energy on getting the most money for their stars and not worried much about the minimum and adding players at that level.

I remember Jim Powell suggesting that MLB add a pair of players to the roster in exchange for a 5-7 year "phasing out" of the DH, usually a highly paid veteran. That made perfect sense to me, who sees it as a chance to keep a Rule 5 pick, a "specialist" or two (a Matt Stairs PH type, a good hitting veteran AAA 1B who can PH, but no one considers because Prince plays 160 games at 1B, an aging C who can be your 3rd C and also PH, another loogy, and so on), as I love to see teams that are built well and intelligently have a better chance to compete with the clubs simply able to outbid others.


3/26/2010 03:09:00 PM



(3/26/2010 03:02:00 PM) - Al

Macha still unsure about batting order and SP #5.

Both will get far too much discussion, as batting order is all but meaningless anyway, and can be changed at any time, of course. The 5th slot in the staff can also be changed, of course, but you would think whoever wins it will get at least a few starts before a hook will be used.

You could justify any of the three getting it, without even looking at Suppan's salary, which I don't think will play a part. Manny was awful for most of last year, Jeff was up and down, but was awful when he was down (though those do coincide with injury), and Chris was excellent in the final month, though that was only a handful of starts.


3/26/2010 03:02:00 PM



(3/26/2010 02:28:00 PM) - Al

Al,

First time writer, been enjoying your blog for ages. We're about the same age, so I find myself agreeing with many of your views and also enjoy it when you discuss your family as many of the same things we've been through or are going through.

The reason I wanted to write was about your eyelid. Last year, my son land on his face while wrestling, and his eye got all red ans swollen. Even after the shiner wore off, his eye remained big and ugly. Finally, a couple weeks after wrestling ended, he mentioned some teachers were giving him a hard time and should see a doctor, as apparently, a nursing certificate is now passed out with an English or Math degree. So, we took him and the doctor told us it was because the eyelid is the thinnest skin on the body, it doesn't take much fluid to look swollen. He said if that was on your arm, no one would ever notice, but since the skin is so thin, it pushes it way out. My wife asked if they could drain it, and again, he declined, because not only was it likely to fill up again, that skin heals slowly due to the thin-ness of it, so it scars easy.

I thought it was funny when I first read eyelid infection, but with my son, they called it eyelid trauma. Basically, it's just a bad part of your body to injure.

Thanks for the work you do. I think you've mentioned you think the Brewers will outperform expectations, and I agree. People forget they won 80 games last year, and have added a pair of very good starters, and only lost Cameron, who is getting up there in years, his production and health are bound to fall off anyway.

Take care, your friend through the internet,

Dale


Thanks for the kind words, Dale. Both the Rambling wife and Rambling son proclaimed my eyelid to be even more swollen this AM (the Rambling son said it looked "very worse", making me question their work in the realm of adjectives, but hence, I digress), and I ignored them and went to work, saying I'd continue my plan with going to see the doctor Monday if it still looks terrible.


3/26/2010 02:28:00 PM



(3/26/2010 09:49:00 AM) - Robert R.

Movie review based on a preview screening.

MADEO (MOTHER)

The latest from South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, director of MEMORIES OF MURDER and THE HOST, is a distinctive mystery/thriller/character study with all of his trademark complexity and tonal shifts. And more than a few allusions to other directors who played with the form including Hitchcock, Kurosawa, and David Lynch. And it partly can be seen as a play on a line of dialogue from PSYCHO, "A boy's best friend is his mother."

The film lets you know right away that you're in for a more surreal experience than normal. The unnamed mother (Hye-ja Kim) walks across a field in broad daylight, glances at her hands, and then starts to dance by herself. The camera lingers on this for awhile as we ponder what could have lead to this. And then we're introduced to the story. We see the mother, at work cutting herbs, and her son Do-Joon (Bin Won), who, to be kind, is more than a little slow upstairs. She's very protective of him, probably too protective as they share a bed, but it's clear that he means a lot to her. And his friend Jin-Tae (Ku Jin) is a hot head that leads him into trouble. One night after drinking too much, Do-Joon follows a teenage girl to a dark alley and then stumbles home. The next morning the girl is found dead and Do-Joon is quickly rounded up based on circumstantial evidence. And his police interview doesn't go well. The case is quickly closed, but Do-Joon's mother won't just let it be. She sets out to investigate and find out what really happened in that alley. "How far will she go for her son?" is one of the central questions of the story.

There's no need to go into the rest of the plot and spoil the twists and surprises. But it does need to be said that the third act revelations pack a wallop. And the journey there is very interesting. This isn't a Miss Marple / MURDER SHE WROTE type mystery. It's something much weirder and more perverse as things unravel. It's to those type of stories as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are to David Lynch's BLUE VELVET and MULHOLLAND DR. There's even a scene where the mother hides in a closet and spies on what's happening outside reminiscent of BLUE VELVET. And we see how the investigation effects her. She makes some unlikely allies. And, after a bout of violence, she has a cigarette that might be characterized as post-coital. And we find out just as much about the mother as we do about the mystery. And her sins and regrets. This is anything but a straightforward, neat mystery thriller.

The film revolves around the central performance of Hye-ja Kim and it's an astonding one in its clarity and complexity. Reportedly, Joon-ho Bong wrote the movie with Hye-ja Kim specifically. I've never seen her before, but she's known as "Mother Korea" for her role as a long suffering mother on Korean television. I've heard her public persona described as a modern Donna Reed. This is about as far as you can get from that. It's like Florence Henderson in a David Lynch film. The movie is worth watching for her performance alone.

But there are other pleasures to be had. The movie isn't really fast paced, the camera lingers long past when many directors would cut away, but every shot seems packed with information. More information than you might expect when the third act rolls around. There are homages to Hitchcock in here. There are homages to Kurosawa's HIGH AND LOW, particularly in a series of interviews with a dividing glass in the way. And there are more than homages. Bong has a great sense of composition all his own. Do-Joon looking at his mother with a sharply focussed eye, his hand covering a beat up half of his face, with one moment of insight and revelation being a key shot. Bong also has a trademark of shifting the tone of a scene. From serious to comedic, for instance, at a drop of a hat. It's not as prevalent here as it was in THE HOST, but it's definitely still present. And it helps key you on your toes in a mystery.

All in all, it's a remarkable film. Engrossing, full of unexpected moments, terrifically acted and shot, and packing a punch. It's making the art film circuit this Spring, scheduled for Madison on April 16th and Milwaukee on April 30th, it's worth setting aside time on your calendar for it specifically.

You can view the trailer here.

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3/26/2010 09:49:00 AM



(3/26/2010 12:02:00 AM) - Al

Working on a giant spreadsheet to revolutionize the way I do taxes every year (and hopefully make it a lot clearer/easier to understand!):)--Vanessa Rousso, pro poker player, on Twitter

Giant nerd, Go Daddy girl...that's a rare combo.


3/26/2010 12:02:00 AM


Thursday, March 25, 2010

(3/25/2010 10:06:00 PM) - Al

Doug Melvin just told us Gallardo, Wolf, Davis and Bush will be first 4 starters...while Parra or Narveson likely the 5th: Suppan to bullpen?--Jim Bowden on Twitter

I found it interesting Macha said after Parra got hit hard today that he isn't used to pitching out of the bullpen...Parra and Suppan are both pitching just poorly enough that you have to consider Narveson a real possibility.


3/25/2010 10:06:00 PM



(3/25/2010 09:47:00 PM) - Al

Add to the people I hate list:

Those so incapable of performing the simplest task that they have to use their phone to shut off the lights.

How is it possible these idiots have a job?


3/25/2010 09:47:00 PM



(3/25/2010 09:45:00 PM) - Al

You may think less of me (as if that's possible, my son has been calling me "clown face" of late), but I think Hot Tub Time Machine looks really stupid...and really funny.


3/25/2010 09:45:00 PM



(3/25/2010 09:41:00 PM) - Al

Seattle Times, Andy Cooper, Dan Rather...yep, the old media deserves its demise.

Not to seem old, but back in my day, the old media used to, you know, just report what happened.


3/25/2010 09:41:00 PM



(3/25/2010 08:13:00 PM) - Al

The Dems wouldn't lie about racial slurs...would they? I'm sure they would, and the lack of a single bit of video proof would seem to prove it.

The irony is, the Dems failed to admit the tea party existed, and now, with the polls showing the tea party far more popular than Congress or the president, are trying to prove they are scum...and they really suck at it.


3/25/2010 08:13:00 PM



(3/25/2010 07:24:00 PM) - Al

My eyelid seems to be getting better, though slower than I'd like. I've done some studying and it seems I may have an eyelid infection, known as blepharitis, as I seem to have more of its symptoms than a stye. I woke up this AM and it had peaked in pain, and when I reached up to clean out what I assumed was an overnight build up of eye crust, I pulled out 3-4 eyelashes which were covered in gunk.

Hopefully, it will go away, but since everywhere says a week or so, I'll hope it goes away over the weekend, or else I guess I'll head to the walk-in on Monday.


3/25/2010 07:24:00 PM



(3/25/2010 05:45:00 PM) - Al

The Bucks add a big young body to the team, and can use the last month to decide whether to keep him for next year.


3/25/2010 05:45:00 PM



(3/25/2010 05:23:00 PM) - Al

Amish and Muslims "exempt" from health insurance bill.

Freedom of religion is dandy, but special privileges due to religion are unacceptable.


3/25/2010 05:23:00 PM



(3/25/2010 04:55:00 PM) - Al

As I predicted, Tom H has Bush picking up the 4th spot in the rotation.


3/25/2010 04:55:00 PM



(3/25/2010 03:26:00 PM) - Al

Discovery buys rights to Alaska, starring the Palin family.

The Palins rumored paycheck is about $9-10M, meaning that Discovery obviously "gets it", and to many of us, is just about the only travelogue we'd consider watching (though I have a soft spot for Australia as well).


3/25/2010 03:26:00 PM



(3/25/2010 03:12:00 PM) - Al

Funny, I sure have not seen the media reporting this rise in gas prices.

Does not fit the narrative.

With the various environmental friendly policies and complete terror of offshore/public land drilling, the supply/demand curve would point toward higher prices...exactly what we've seen. It's ECON101.


3/25/2010 03:12:00 PM



(3/25/2010 11:07:00 AM) - Al

As colleague Tim Kurkjian learned Wednesday, Jim Edmonds was told he has made the Brewers' roster, and he returned home to get some stuff.--Buster Olney

The JS has two writers there (well, one writer and Tony W to grab coffee), and I have not seen this mentioned.


3/25/2010 11:07:00 AM



(3/25/2010 08:55:00 AM) - Robert R.

Movie review based upon a preview screening.

THE ART OF THE STEAL

A little background to set the stage. In the early 20th Century, Dr. Alfred Barnes created a cure for VD and made a fortune. He spent much of the fortune on post-impressionistic art. Among his collection were 181 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 69 by Paul Cézanne, and 59 by Henri Matisse, as well as numerous other masters, including George de Chirico, Paul Gauguin, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Edouard Manet, Amedeo Modigliani, Jean Hugo, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Maurice Utrillo, Vincent Van Gogh, Maurice Prendergast, and a variety of African artworks. After a disasterous gallery show, when the paintings were savaged by Philadelphia art critics as "primitive" he built a villa outside of Philadelphia to house the paintings and set forth in his will that a) the paintings were never to be moved or sold, b) the paintings were part of a foundation that was to be used for educational purposes only, and c) the foundation was to be entrusted to small Lincoln College.

Today, the art of the Barnes Foundation is valued at between $25 to $30 billion.

Also today, via various political and other machinations, Philadelphia and its movers and shakers have arranged for the paintings to be moved to a new museum downtown as a tourist attraction in direct opposition to Dr. Barnes's will.

THE ART OF THE STEAL documents these maneuverings. As you can probably tell from the title, it's not some neutral look at the issues surrounding this move, but clearly takes a side. But it makes a pretty convincing argument all the same. What can you do to protect the sanctity of a will when the establishment, including the attorney general in charge of protecting wills, has their own goals that conflict with it? And, while perhaps not being the final word, as a piece of advocacy the film is really good at getting the blood boiling.

That said, there are many issues that are worthy of discussing after the movie is over. Economic development, tourism, city public relations, and making art more accessible to the public are all laudable goals for public officials. However, where do you draw the line? And how much does the building and how the art was intended to be displayed matter? What's the line between public interest and respect for private property?

There's also a person in the documentary, Richard Glanton, who emerges as a central galvanizing figure. He was head of the Barnes Foundation trust in the late 80s and embodies part of the conflict. It's under his watch that Dr. Barnes' will was first really breached, Glanton arranged for a worldwide tour to raise money while the building was being repaired, and he emerges as the first to use the collection for political/power building ends. Even filing frivolous lawsuits using anti-Ku Klux Clan laws against the neighbors who opposed expansion of a parking lot on the grounds. OTOH, he also was someone who recognized the value of the art and valued it's independence and left the foundation with more money and the grounds in better condition than when he started. It's perhaps the most even handed portrayal in the movie and the filmmakers deserves credit in this regard.

Beyond advocacy, where the filmmakers deserve criticism is with basically whitewashing Lincoln College's and the Board of Trustee's mismanagement of the Foundation. Mismanagement of funds, poor maintenance, and a lack of political savvy are all in evidence. Really, there's no reason that the Barnes Foundation grounds shouldn't be on the National Register of Historic Places and some foresight in that matter probably could have prevented the current political shenanigans.

But, with those caveats in mind, it's a skillfully constructed piece of advocacy that raises interesting and difficult questions. And features some great art. At the very least, it's a real conversation starter.

You can view the trailer here.

The Art of the Steal is getting a limited art film release and is available through IFC On Demand through many cable systems.

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3/25/2010 08:55:00 AM



(3/25/2010 12:17:00 AM) - Al

1000 blondes were asked if they'd sleep with Tiger Woods. 89% said "never again".--Doyle Brunson on Twitter

Heh.


3/25/2010 12:17:00 AM



(3/25/2010 12:06:00 AM) - Al

Before I was against Facebook because I thought it was really silly, but now, I'm avoiding it for my health.


3/25/2010 12:06:00 AM


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(3/24/2010 11:33:00 PM) - Al

Just an FYI to those of you who love the big online events, Poker Stars has SCOOP poker tournament coming up in just over a month...buy-ins for all budgets, and satellites are up and running now!


3/24/2010 11:33:00 PM



(3/24/2010 10:52:00 PM) - Al

I never thought I'd see the day...a full article on Casey Daigle, and not one mention his wife is Jennie Finch.


3/24/2010 10:52:00 PM



(3/24/2010 10:50:00 PM) - Al

Tom H points out that Doug knows waivers.


3/24/2010 10:50:00 PM



(3/24/2010 10:08:00 PM) - Al

Bill Cosby with a farewell to his friend Bob Culp.


3/24/2010 10:08:00 PM



(3/24/2010 09:41:00 PM) - Al

Haven't checked to see what searches led folks to Ramblings in a while:

JJ Hardy girlfriend

Every single day. It's just so sad, yet consistent.


3/24/2010 09:41:00 PM



(3/24/2010 09:31:00 PM) - Al

Rosenthal thinks the Mariners are going to regress.

I was thinking I'd be the only one. I've haven't seen so much hype put on questionable numbers (defensive metrics) since the global warming debacle. Never mind that, they lost Branyan and Beltre, and replaced them with Figgins and Kotchman...a huge loss in SLG, and some in OBP too.


3/24/2010 09:31:00 PM



(3/24/2010 09:04:00 PM) - Al

ABC News with one of the most blatantly anti-military articles since the days of Vietnam.

They come out with the "breaking news" that 8% of the troops are on some sort of anti-depressant...oh, and by the way, 10% of the general public is.

It's this type of biased reporting that has simply devastated the old media, and why Fox News has as many viewers as all lefty leaning cable nets combined.

It's just an embarrassment how slanted the news has become.


3/24/2010 09:04:00 PM



(3/24/2010 07:48:00 PM) - Al

SPOILER ALERT--Survivor, for those out west and using DVR
*********************************************************





I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Russell is the best Survivor ever...by far. It isn't even close.

He's so far ahead of everyone else, he appears to be behind.


3/24/2010 07:48:00 PM



(3/24/2010 05:48:00 PM) - Al

It was Bob Culp who came up with the Mansion motto: "Gentlemen, gentlemen, be of good cheer. For they are out there, and we are in here."--Hugh Hefner on Twitter

Hef mourns the passing of Culp.

I had no idea that was who played Ray's father-in-law (Debra's dad) on Everybody Loves Raymond. I think one of the funniest episodes ever was when Culp's character starts dating a woman older than his ex-wife, and older than himself. The best line is when his new lady friend takes a nap, and the others question whether she'll be ok if he leaves for a while.

Oh, she just went down, she'll be out for 3 hours.

As was the case with Peter Boyle, who played Ray's dad ("Holy crap"), he'll be missed.


3/24/2010 05:48:00 PM



(3/24/2010 05:27:00 PM) - Al

TV gal: How much would this cat be, if someone wanted to adopt it?

Shelter gal: $105.50, since he's already neutered.

Rambling wife: $105...for a cat?

Al: If you want, I can open up a can of tuna and put it out by the grill, by morning, we'll have about $1000 worth of cat on our deck.

I remember back when we adopted the Rambling dog, cats went for $20 a piece, and often times, they had 2 for $20 specials. Granted, that was 10 years ago (pause to imagine we've been the caretakers of a whiny, always hungry, turning gray faster than me for an entire decade), but I can't imagine the demand for unwanted felines has peaked in the days since.


3/24/2010 05:27:00 PM



(3/24/2010 04:46:00 PM) - Al

Cutting mail delivery to five days will help, but they will soon have to cut back on Saturday open hours as well. When was the last time you spent part of your Saturday in a post office? If you have to have something, that's what Fed Ex is for.

That was obvious, I recall it being mentioned 20+ years ago, when I still lived at home. Those good ideas take forever to weave through the maze of bribes and earmarks that clutter up DC.


3/24/2010 04:46:00 PM



(3/24/2010 04:31:00 PM) - Al

John Hammond with a 7 minute clip on NBATV yesterday.

The Bucks have the best record in the NBA since the all-star break, at 15-3. Astounding.

I cannot find how long his contract goes, but I know Skiles' is 4 years, now 2 left. I would think we might be soon hearing extensions announced, as in their jobs, having a year left is like being a free agent.


3/24/2010 04:31:00 PM



(3/24/2010 03:21:00 PM) - Al

Catcher Chris Snyder is another player the club would like to deal. Snyder has looked fully healthy following back surgery last year. He is owed $4.75 million this year, $5.75 million in 2011 and has a $6.75 million option for 2012 with a $750,000 buyout.

Milwaukee has shown interest in Snyder and could match up well because of their starting pitching depth.--Arizona Republic


Interesting note, as he makes a bit less than Suppan, but the numbers are comparable enough to start a conversation.


3/24/2010 03:21:00 PM



(3/24/2010 02:53:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a rundown of the rotation candidates.

The fact Bush has an option left, and that the Crew does not need a 5th SP until 4/18 may end up meaning something, as it would work out if he'd be willing to make a couple starts in AAA.

I really like the way the braintrust is intent on keeping all their arms, as they know they cannot afford to lose quality arms on waivers...they are incredibly fortunate none of the teams that easily could have latched onto Narveson last summer were too intent on the short-term to bother claiming a lefty who throws 90+ to be their 12th man.


3/24/2010 02:53:00 PM



(3/24/2010 02:43:00 PM) - Al

TB has a great young rotation, too bad they play in the BOS/NYY division. I can say that about BAL too, as they look to be a much improved young team.


3/24/2010 02:43:00 PM



(3/24/2010 02:34:00 PM) - Al

Jason e-mails in this quote from Representative Dingell:

The harsh fact of the matter is when you're going to pass legislation that will cover 300 American people in different ways, it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

Emphasis added, but this is exactly why so many know health care reform is necessary, but do not want more government intervention.


3/24/2010 02:34:00 PM



(3/24/2010 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Ann points out 55% of those evil tea partiers are...ladies.

I suppose the stereotypical reason for this would be the men are too busy working long hours trying to keep their small business afloat. Also, in many of the businesses and families I know, the woman does the books, and may be more painfully aware of just how much of the "profits" are going to taxes, insurance, and fees.


3/24/2010 02:27:00 PM


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(3/23/2010 10:29:00 PM) - Al

Tom H gets around to predicting the final roster, just a few days after it was set in stone.

I think Bush will be in the rotation, though I'm not sure who I'd move to the bullpen.


3/23/2010 10:29:00 PM



(3/23/2010 07:41:00 PM) - Al

Allow me to say the NFL's overtime rules are a distant second to the NCAA's, and it would have been oodles easier to simply adapt the superior version the college game already has in place.


3/23/2010 07:41:00 PM



(3/23/2010 07:29:00 PM) - Al

I have an amendment on the floor to remove all sweetheart deals from hcr reconciliation bill – let's see what the Dems do.--John McCain on Twitter.

I'm pretty sure the senator realizes that the entire bill is built on "sweetheart deals"...but in theory, every single person representing their district back home should want to rid the bill of pork and earmarks...should.

Somehow, in November, I don't think voters are going to forget...


3/23/2010 07:29:00 PM



(3/23/2010 07:13:00 PM) - Al

Schoenewies has absolutely no remote grasp of how a major league roster is built, and just how little difference (if any) there is between him and a run-of-the-mill AAA loogy.

You'd think he would "get it", since no team gave him a major league contract, he was not going to be handed a job. Plus, the guy hasn't pitched well for ages, and has a career ERA of 5. He's going to have to go to AAA eventually for someone, though I'm sure Boras hasn't bothered telling him that (Steve still hasn't told Matt Harrington he cost him $4M because he's an incredibly bad agent).


3/23/2010 07:13:00 PM



(3/23/2010 07:01:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling sister-in-law suggested boric acid for my stye, and epsom salts are also suggested here.


3/23/2010 07:01:00 PM



(3/23/2010 06:40:00 PM) - Al

Lee may miss start of season on the DL...of course, he's suspended anyway.

If there was only an "unavailable due to stupidity" list the M's could stash him on for a fortnight...


3/23/2010 06:40:00 PM



(3/23/2010 06:36:00 PM) - Al

With all due respect to Glenn...they told me if I voted for McCain, the VP would be a constant punchline with their constant mistakes...and they were right!

You know, the fact he ran for president twice and got three dozen votes in Iowa makes me feel a lot better about the Hawkeye state.


3/23/2010 06:36:00 PM



(3/23/2010 06:30:00 PM) - Al

Troy e-mails this link to Bill Simmons' recap of the Bucks' 4th quarter comeback. I'm not a Simmons' fan, but it does tell you what folks outside MIL think. He is right, Delfino's signing gets overlooked, but it was brilliant, Carlos often plays 40 minutes a game, and while he only averages 10-12, he also gets plenty of rebounds and assists, and is a solid defender at the 2 or the 3. No one even mentions that Salmons now defends the 3 and Delfino the 2...they're even introduced that way.


3/23/2010 06:30:00 PM



(3/23/2010 04:44:00 PM) - Al

Chicago Marathon not taking anymore entries.

Damn, I missed it again.

Heck, I get winded driving 26 miles...


3/23/2010 04:44:00 PM



(3/23/2010 04:21:00 PM) - Al

Fanhouse with a fiercely pro-Bucks article.

It is the first mention I've seen of Hammonds for executive of the year, while Skiles has been constantly thrown out there as a coach of the year candidate.

I openly questioned Hammonds when he let Charlie V and Sessions leave without compensation, but to be honest, in the NBA, letting a player leave gets you cap space, which is often more valuable. My gosh, the Bulls traded Salmons, a solid if unspectacular off-guard, for two expiring contracts (Warrick and Alexander). While both of those two either are or may soon be decent role players (Warrick has had a nice career already), the Bulls traded Salmons for the fact both contracts will be off the books after the season...the players attached to them were inconsequential.


3/23/2010 04:21:00 PM



(3/23/2010 03:48:00 PM) - Al

I think I've mentioned suffering with an stye by my eye before. I guess I have another one, as this time, my eyelid looks puffy and red, before I just recall it being extremely painful to the touch (the Rambling wife's advice...don't touch it...is it any wonder why I married her?) and it going away pretty quickly.

Let's hope history repeats itself.


3/23/2010 03:48:00 PM


Monday, March 22, 2010

(3/22/2010 10:17:00 PM) - Al

Ben Stein is a genius, and he's mighty upset.


3/22/2010 10:17:00 PM



(3/22/2010 09:34:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers don't need a No. 5 starter until late April, so Suppan could be placed in that role, allowing them to skate by without him for awhile.--JS

I hate to bring facts into the fiction filled world Tom H and Tony W live and "report" in, but they will need a 5th starter on the 18th, 24th, and 29th of April, hardly late April...it's not even two weeks into the campaign.

By the way, TW is having a chat tomorrow, which should at least be good for a few "How does he have that job?" e-mails.


3/22/2010 09:34:00 PM



(3/22/2010 09:28:00 PM) - Al

MellyJHart:But will be taxed 3.8% more & most employers wont offer anymore. RT @davebrener:Do u understand, Obama's plan everyone can keep plan they have now?---Melissa Joan Hart on Twitter

MJ proves she is not a dumb blonde, schooling someone in 140 characters or less.


3/22/2010 09:28:00 PM



(3/22/2010 09:18:00 PM) - Al

I think Adam and the JS mentioned the possibility of Carlos V going to AAA in the name of organizational depth.

I was ahead of everyone by about a few weeks on that one.


3/22/2010 09:18:00 PM



(3/22/2010 08:57:00 PM) - Al

Non-partisan look at the health care bill.


3/22/2010 08:57:00 PM



(3/22/2010 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Treanor traded to TEX in a swap of players signed to minor league contracts and organizational depth.

Olmedo is a generic utility infielder, as he can't hit a lick (that said, he is a switch-hitter, so he can't hit a lick from either side of the plate) but can play all three spots, and will probably just be used as AAA depth.


3/22/2010 05:36:00 PM



(3/22/2010 10:15:00 AM) - Robert R.

Thoughts on The Pacific, Part Two.

THE PACIFIC has much more ground to cover, basically 4 full years compared to BAND OF BROTHERS focussing primarily on D-Day to VE Day and Part Two covers a good chunk of the remainder of the Guadlcanal campaign.

There are perhaps two focal points of this episode. The first part demonstrates the desperate straits the Marines are in due to the lack of supply. And, surprisingly, this is handled with a good dose of humor at times. The cook tells the Marines re: maggots in the rice to "Think of it as meat." They deal with the runs caused by dysentary with more than a little ribbing. And there's a lot of humor in the Marines plundering the newly arrived Army supplies during an air raid on Henderson field.

The second part deals with the Japanese assault on the undermanned lines and John Basilone's heroic efforts. It's a marvelous setpiece that features very clear storytelling despite being set at night. With many memorable moments. Basilone grabbing a red hot machine gun. Hand to hand fighting in the jungle with Japanese who have broken through the lines provides particularly tense moments. And Basilone running out to clear piled up bodies blocking the line of fire. Jon Seda's distinctive facial features work well for this part of the story as he's easy to pick out even at night and with a helmet covering much of his head.

The characters are still not quite fleshed out enough, but we're getting to know them a little better. Robert Leckie starts to writing poetry. Basilone finds his friend Manny Rodriguez shot dead and ponders what could have been. The relieved Marines discover that they're national heroes. And Eugene Sledge gains medical clearance from his dad to enlist. Next week promises to fill out their characters more outside the combat arena.

The standout character so far might be William Sadler's Lt. Col. "Chesty" Puller who mixes extreme bravado with private worries about the Marine's situation. He manages to do a lot with just a couple of scenes.

Again production values are strong. And it effectively gets across the idea that warfare is long periods of boredom, interrupted by minutes of pure terror. It probably isn't going to cover any campaign in any depth, so it's starting to become apparent that we're going to need to see more of the soldiers and the effect of the war on them to use as shorthand for the events we don't see.


3/22/2010 10:15:00 AM


Sunday, March 21, 2010

(3/21/2010 11:57:00 PM) - Al

Map of what religion is predominant in each region.


3/21/2010 11:57:00 PM



(3/21/2010 11:06:00 PM) - Al

Stupak needs to learn the subtlety of taking a payoff...he only gets $700K for airport maintenance, and it leaks out right after the vote.

As far as taking a bribe...he sucks at it.


3/21/2010 11:06:00 PM



(3/21/2010 04:42:00 PM) - Al

8y/$184M deal, Twins and Mauer, supposedly a done deal.

Full no-trade clause as well.


3/21/2010 04:42:00 PM



(3/21/2010 04:26:00 PM) - Al

A thinking man's piece about keeping Suppan because they'll need more than five SP's over 162.


3/21/2010 04:26:00 PM



(3/21/2010 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Jeffress committed to staying clean...just like he was the other two times.

As I have said before, I find it difficult to believe someone that stupid can ever be intelligent enough to manage to get big league hitters out, but since he has 95+ velocity, he'll get every chance. That said, every chance is one left.


3/21/2010 03:00:00 PM



(3/21/2010 02:29:00 PM) - Al

Glenn quotes that the Dems think they can gain popularity by passing an unpopular health care bill.

I'd feel a lot better if someone would call it what it is...Medicaid expansion, that does nothing to solve the real problems. By forcing insurers to ignore facts (pre-existing conditions), they're simply going to push premiums up, I'd guess 10-20%, overnight.

It also fails to address that 800 pound gorilla in the room...doctors lose money every time they treat a Medicaid patient, and pharmacies like Walgreen's lose money on every prescription they fill...which is why they've stopped accepting new Medicaid patients. If you see that as a solution, good luck with all that. There is no tort reform, no selling across state lines (which means every policy sold in WI has to cover autism, cochlear implants, and other very expensive but rare treatments, which is why WI health insurance costs 25% more than IA).

Most of all, it's just bad business...paying health care providers less than it costs them to treat the patient is somehow supposed to create jobs in health care? Heh. That's Jimmy Carter economics, and if you'll recall, Carter's record speaks for itself...there's a reason the old media never mentions his presidency and focuses on his building houses since...the hole Reagan fell into was as deep as the next president will find in '12.


3/21/2010 02:29:00 PM



(3/21/2010 01:39:00 PM) - Al

Adam talks about which players have "an out"...hopefully, most will choose to remain in Nashville, as Doug is well known to not stand in the way should any major league team want to bump a non-prospect to the 25 man roster.


3/21/2010 01:39:00 PM



(3/21/2010 01:23:00 PM) - Al

I had to giggle at the drama the JS tries to create with this headline...the Badgers are favored by 4, and while it would be "an upset", it'd be minimal to say the least. Cornell is loaded with 3 point shooters and have a dominant 7 footer in the middle...and I assume the crowd will be heavily cheering for the underdog Ivy League school.


3/21/2010 01:23:00 PM



(3/21/2010 12:10:00 PM) - Al

I am speaking on the night before the start of spring, otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming.--President Bill Clinton

It's funny because it's true.


3/21/2010 12:10:00 PM


Saturday, March 20, 2010

(3/20/2010 11:50:00 PM) - Al

Nice piece on J-bo, who will graduate in May.


3/20/2010 11:50:00 PM



(3/20/2010 11:41:00 PM) - Al

Rumor has it the tourney will expand to 96 teams as early as next year.

I'm all for it, though I'm curious to see when they play the extra games.


3/20/2010 11:41:00 PM



(3/20/2010 10:37:00 PM) - Al

If you haven't joined the Bucks' bandwagon yet, you're missing a lot of fun. Tonight, with the team depleted due to foul trouble and ineffectiveness, they pulled away in the 4th with a lineup of Ridnour, Salmons, MaM, Ersan, and Thomas.

Skiles said before the game he hoped he got some good play out of his reserves, but honestly sounded like a guy who didn't think his team had a chance.

Only the 2nd team to win a game in Denver after playing in California the night before, not sure how long that goes back, but the Nuggets' opponents are now 2-25 in that circumstance.


3/20/2010 10:37:00 PM



(3/20/2010 06:53:00 PM) - Al

That sound you heard was Northern Iowa destroying almost every bracket someone filled out.

Simply put, there is nothing better than the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament.

I have to hearken back to last Sunday when several know-it-alls said:

I have all four #1 seeds in the Final Four.

Only about 5 teams are capable of winning.


I cannot imagine a life so dull as to seriously look at a 65 team bracket and go with all the #1 seeds. It's like walking into Baskin Robbins every day for a year and every time saying, "I'll take the vanilla."

By the way, when did this kneeling on the court with your head down on the floor become popular? Have an ounce of pride, get up, congratulate the victor, and get in the locker room with your team. I haven't seen such obvious cries for attention since the 90 pound actress checked into the hospital due to, ahem, "exhaustion".


3/20/2010 06:53:00 PM



(3/20/2010 05:27:00 PM) - Al

Military health plans not protected in the bill about to be passed, despite promises to do so.

We're in the very best of hands.


3/20/2010 05:27:00 PM



(3/20/2010 03:05:00 PM) - Al

I would never say MSNBC has low ratings...with luck and perseverance, someday, they might reach "low".


3/20/2010 03:05:00 PM



(3/20/2010 02:44:00 PM) - Al

MLS and their players sign a 5 year CBA, avoiding a potential devastating shutdown.


3/20/2010 02:44:00 PM



(3/20/2010 02:37:00 PM) - Al

Hawkins with a "great" bullpen, he's back on track.


3/20/2010 02:37:00 PM



(3/20/2010 02:35:00 PM) - Al

We lost our internet last night about midnight and just got it back. FYI.


3/20/2010 02:35:00 PM



(3/20/2010 12:11:00 AM) - Al

Add the Bucks double OT thriller to an already exciting 2 full days of basketball.

You know, this Jennings kid may end up being pretty good. Jennings can't shoot, Braun has a hitch in his swing...these wanna be scouts are just so bad.


3/20/2010 12:11:00 AM


Friday, March 19, 2010

(3/19/2010 07:35:00 PM) - Al

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Anna Nicole Smith's estate will get none of the more than $300 million the late Playboy model claimed a Texas billionaire to whom she was briefly married meant to leave her after he died.

The ruling came in a 15-year legal battle that started in a sleepy Houston probate court and stretched all the way to the U.S Supreme Court.

It initially pitted Smith against the son of J. Howard Marshall over the $1.6 billion estate the oil tycoon left after his 1995 death at age 90. J. Howard Marshall had wed Smith the year before when she was 26.

Marshall's son E. Pierce Marshall died in 2006 and Smith perished after a drug overdose in 2008. Their heirs and lawyers kept up the legal fight.--AP


No one wins except the lawyers. They fought for 15 years over less than 20% of the fortune, which says all you need to know about the Marshal family.


3/19/2010 07:35:00 PM



(3/19/2010 06:48:00 PM) - Al

JS article on how the "jobs bill" will not spur hiring. It may help a tad...companies that were going to hire ten may hire a dozen, but compared to lowering corporate taxes (dividends are double taxed, and have been for ages) and capital gains taxes, things economists would recommend, but not much.

They aren't rearranging the chairs on the Titanic...they're trying to decide how many chairs are needed. It looks to be a brief recovery and one that does not create many employment chances.


3/19/2010 06:48:00 PM



(3/19/2010 04:56:00 PM) - Al

I see Suppan gave up 5 runs in the 1st inning, and am not sure if he pitched more than that or not, as the Angels still have only scored 5 in the 3rd.

I probably have as much faith in Jeff pitching a Suppan-like campaign as anyone, and think he is very likely to throw 170 frames and a 4.60-4.80 ERA. However, if Bush is healthy and Parra's out of options, I can certainly see Jeff not being in the top 5...and if Narveson has turned the corner, not the top six.

So, does Suppan have value? If he was signed to a one year contract for $1M, I can see teams lining up to bring him aboard. That said, due $12M plus a $2M buyout, the difference between releasing him and finding someone to pay $1M is very minimal. If no one is injured, to keep him in the bullpen would mean Carlos V would have to be sent down...this is probably the option I would look at, as I have little doubt Suppan, or another guy labeled as the 6th or 7th SP, will have to take a few turns at some point.

Is there another player out there making too much money for his production for a swap? Maybe, but would they make the team any better? Edmonds and Inglett are seemingly very good end of the bench guys, and the guy who loses out in the backup catcher battle is plenty solid enough to be a reserve for anyone.

It certainly does not help matters that, without question, Suppan is as good a guy as you'll find in the game. In my opinion, any staff with 5-6 guys better than Jeff can be counted on to be a pretty decent group, barring injury of course.


3/19/2010 04:56:00 PM



(3/19/2010 04:44:00 PM) - Al

Congrats to Bo on his 600th win. I'm exhausted after it, so I'm sure the team must be as well.

Glad we get to see Jason and Trevon play at least one more game. Jason has always been one of my favorite players, probably the favorite since Mike Kelley. One thing I have always admired about him is while he may not score at all, he also rarely, maybe never, forces a shot when he's not open. Also, it's not difficult for me, as a nonathletic Caucasian, to imagine being as good as J-Bo, if I was perhaps 100 times better than I am.

I barely got to see Cornell, but I'm sure they are a talented group, though they will only have a single day to prep for the Badgers, as opposed to three for the Owls.


3/19/2010 04:44:00 PM



(3/19/2010 03:00:00 PM) - Al

UPDATE: The Rambling wife stopped in at out local cable office today to get a different remote for our new DVR box...the old one works, but not without being clumsy. The gal volunteered to look up our bill and see if we were getting the best rate. The Rambling wife said I had just bickered a couple days ago and the office gal said the 1-800 people were rude and lie. Within seconds, she told my better half that for what I had worked it down to, she could get us every premium channel they had. Instead, the Rambling wife told her to get the price lower, and with a few keystrokes, she put us on a listed promotion (never once offered to me, in fact, they said several times they could not go that low) that makes our bill almost $20 a month less.

Moral of the story, go talk face-to-face with your local office, and don't bother with the "customer service" people at corporate. As I told the wife, they probably "save" that for when you threaten to cancel at the 800 number.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before she left today, the Rambling wife brought in the cable/internet bill and told me it was once again the time of year to grovel, threaten to get Direct, and beg for a "promotional rate". Of course, we all know than other than the filthy rich who don't even realize it, no one pays full price for cable.

As is always the case, I feel like I just spent the last hour of my life negotiating services on a street corner...though I get the feeling most women in that line of work would be offended by the comparison.

At the end of the day, we're paying more for the same thing...though I did get them to replace our cable box with a DVR box for free...of course, I get the feeling the Rambling dad would have knocked a good $20 a month off and got HBO and Showtime thrown in for free, while shaking his head at my negotiating skills and saying, "You didn't even tell them you wanted to leave!"

EDIT: It just occurred to me that any second now, I'll be getting an e-mail from someone informing me they don't even have "regular" boxes anymore, just the DVR version.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a shower.


3/19/2010 03:00:00 PM



(3/19/2010 01:34:00 PM) - Al

Hawkins has a sore shoulder, but they expect him to be ok after a couple days of rest.

Loe, Lofgren, and Estrada will be in the rotation at Nashville.

Thanks goes to Adam at the team site.


3/19/2010 01:34:00 PM



(3/19/2010 01:21:00 PM) - Al

I think I'd feel better if the Badgers were the lower seed today.

I recall someone saying on a message board right before the brackets came out that they sure hoped the Badgers didn't draw Cornell. I thought that was strange, as I thought Cornell was Ivy League, who does not give athletic scholarships.

Well, Temple is down 18 with 4 minutes left to them. That's a mighty tough #12 seed, to be certain.

NOTE: Cornell is Ivy League, as I thought.


3/19/2010 01:21:00 PM


Thursday, March 18, 2010

(3/18/2010 09:43:00 PM) - Al

Adam updates the rotation battle.

I'm still shocked no one has got hurt yet. If they only had 5 guys, they'd be dropping like flies.


3/18/2010 09:43:00 PM



(3/18/2010 08:22:00 PM) - Al

The problem I have with this is Craig's List is such an incredibly poorly run company that they don't even blink at an ad labeled Child Buying/Selling. I assume this is a hoax, but at the end of the day, CL is as bad as it gets.


3/18/2010 08:22:00 PM



(3/18/2010 07:20:00 PM) - Al

If you just watched the network news, you'd never know the level of disgust out there right now, as they speak of Pelosi and Reid in Greek godlike metaphors.

You know, Nancy said she was never told about waterboarding even though she was briefed on it, and Reid, who declared the surge a failure before it began about 4 years ago. Personally, I wonder what the 16% are smoking...


3/18/2010 07:20:00 PM



(3/18/2010 05:59:00 PM) - Al

Thankfully, the old media will never report this, another Biden gaffe.


3/18/2010 05:59:00 PM



(3/18/2010 04:51:00 PM) - Al

Other than the fact none of this will do a thing against human trafficking, this looks like a fine idea. Bells and whistles won't solve the real problem, as there is a fortune to be made assisting people trapped in a dirt poor world.

Ashton Kutcher proves only that it is still possible to sell your soul to the devil. I cannot imagine a less talented goofball getting more publicity for being an immature, incredibly untalented human being.

That said, I do find it humorous when he denies his wife has had magazine covers photoshopped hours after other sites have shown the real and the airbrushed versions earlier in the day. For someone so "high-tech", he sure is out of the loop.


3/18/2010 04:51:00 PM



(3/18/2010 04:23:00 PM) - Al

I have to repeat my feelings about Tiger Woods...if you can't stay faithful with a Swedish bikini model...or Sandy Bullock, there's little hope for you.

By the way, while much disdain has been heaped upon the fella, very little scorn has reached the gals that had no problem at all taking part in the, ahem, alleged activity.

I've worked with a few guys over the years who were involved in relationships while married, and they always seemed to have no problem finding a "friend". One guy always had multiple girlfriends, who would always break up when he was found to be unfaithful...and then the cycle would repeat itself, with the woman who was once the "cheater" becoming the "cheatee"...and they would always be shocked when this happened. The irony of this

I can't believe that you're cheating on me, after we started this relationship by me having an affair with you when you were in an exclusive relationship.--the paraphrase of many ladies

was something many of us found amusing at 2 or 3AM many nights, while closing the delivery place.


3/18/2010 04:23:00 PM



(3/18/2010 04:21:00 PM) - Al

Kids called 911 from my store once or twice...and on more than one occasion, one of the phones/intercoms were left off the hook, meaning a conversation was going over the loudspeaker.

Of course, Wal Mart will get criticism for this, though unwarranted.


3/18/2010 04:21:00 PM



(3/18/2010 04:14:00 PM) - Al

Gamel has a muscle tear, out a few weeks of the regular season.

He'll rehab and get going by May, hopefully. If he starts out hot, he might get a chance to DH when interleague rolls around.


3/18/2010 04:14:00 PM



(3/18/2010 03:54:00 PM) - Al

I don't mean to mock Fox, but, do they seriously think Conan O'Brien will somehow do better against Dave, Jay, and Nightline than he did up against Dave and Nightline?

Me neither.


3/18/2010 03:54:00 PM



(3/18/2010 03:43:00 PM) - Al

I did pick Murray Sate, but only because I have a former co-worker whose son plays football there. That and the fact I pick as many lower seeds as I do higher ones.:)

Those people who said 96 teams would be silly because none of them would have a chance are looking like idiots, because a team like Illinois would have been a #13 seed, and several teams at that seed or lower are giving higher seeds all they can handle.


3/18/2010 03:43:00 PM



(3/18/2010 03:19:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and I went to Aldi's today to stock up on a few basics, and among my findings was a jar of this. It was a store brand, but I believe it will be the first time in 15 years I have had anything besides Jif creamy peanut butter, as that's all she will buy.

To me, the simplicity and convenience makes this the perfect product, though I know many think it is stupid. I was surprised to hear one person tell me they have it on the table in the lunchroom at his daughter's school, so the kids could use it on their bread if desired. With all the talk of peanut allergies, I did not think that would be the case.


3/18/2010 03:19:00 PM



(3/18/2010 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Cliff Lee suspended 5 games for throwing at a guy in spring training.

Lee may be a fine pitcher, but he has to be if he's that stupid. It's not a huge deal, as he'll pitch in the 6th game, and depending on the days off and schedule, may be able to "make up" a start, but talk about selfish behavior and putting the team second.


3/18/2010 03:00:00 PM



(3/18/2010 02:42:00 PM) - Al

Reason has a look at what Cleveland needs to do to stop being a city in decline. I am watching to see what parallels exist between Milwaukee and Cleveland.

Part 1--intro

Part 2--schools...how school choice leads to higher test scores for less money

Business does not like high taxes and red tape

Very strict zoning laws...are not helping--the nanny state simply does not work


3/18/2010 02:42:00 PM



(3/18/2010 01:58:00 PM) - Al

On this day in 1953, the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee, where they remained for 13 years before moving on to Atlanta. The Braves were Milwaukee's first major league franchise since the original Brewers moved following the 1901 season. The minor league Brewers, who had been playing in Milwaukee, moved to Toledo, Ohio to become the Mud Hens.--Brew Crew Ball

I did not know that the AAA Brewers became the Mud Hens, who are one of the best known minor league teams, probably due to MASH and Jamie Farr.


3/18/2010 01:58:00 PM



(3/18/2010 01:46:00 PM) - Al

Cornell is only a 4 point underdog to Temple tomorrow...that's who the Badgers play if they win. UW is a 10 point pick over Wofford. Does my heart good to see many of my "upsets" are only 1-4 point dogs. MIN, a #12 seed, for example, are only getting a single point.


3/18/2010 01:46:00 PM



(3/18/2010 01:32:00 PM) - Al

In week two of Leno's return, minus the star-studded bookings, Jay wins easily, by about a 5-4 margin, with Nightline all but equal to Dave.

I think as people grow more used to their choices, Leno's lead will near what it was in May.


3/18/2010 01:32:00 PM



(3/18/2010 01:23:00 PM) - Al

I did pick Old Dominion to win, but don't give me much credit...I always pick against Notre Dame. I also went with BYU because I did not think Florida should have made it, even though BYU irritates me because they refuse to play on Sunday, so they have to be placed in a special bracket. Needless to say, I did not pick Bob Morris, but I'm rooting for them.


3/18/2010 01:23:00 PM



(3/18/2010 12:54:00 PM) - Al

These are the kinds of articles that the economic reports fail to take into account when they say negative things about a new ballpark...Mpls-St. Paul are major league cities, and Des Moines is not...despite similar census numbers...and it all has to do with major league sports.

I remember when they first picked the site, there was concern of it being "cramped", but the early reviews are superb, except for the constant refrain of "Why no retractable roof?"


3/18/2010 12:54:00 PM



(3/18/2010 12:47:00 PM) - Al

Ryan e-mails to tell us to check out this article in the American Spectator he wrote...you know what? Just by calling it a jobs bill, doesn't make it a jobs bill.

I can only imagine how this economy would take off if they lowered or eliminated capital gains tax, or the taxes on dividends and interest. Punishing saving and investment only works in the bizarro world...which isn't far from exactly what we have in DC right now.

Up is down, black is white, more regulation and intervention is pro-business...what?


3/18/2010 12:47:00 PM



(3/18/2010 12:02:00 PM) - Al

Tim looks at the Brewers' offseason. Like most, I feel the projections he uses are a bit pessimistic if the rotation stays healthy.


3/18/2010 12:02:00 PM



(3/18/2010 12:27:00 AM) - Al

Mike Moore and I feel the same way about Obamacare...I may have to reconsider.


3/18/2010 12:27:00 AM


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

(3/17/2010 11:53:00 PM) - Al

WSJ talks about walk-ons in basketball, and how they are treated badly on some teams.


3/17/2010 11:53:00 PM



(3/17/2010 11:23:00 PM) - Al

Those NBA fans who are still up are seeing just what Brandon Jennings can do, and may well begin to do consistently in a few years.

Royal Ivey with a night to show his unique talents as well.


3/17/2010 11:23:00 PM



(3/17/2010 05:49:00 PM) - Al

At this second, if my car would blow up tomorrow, I'd be leaning toward a Ford or a Toyota myself.

That said, I hope it doesn't.


3/17/2010 05:49:00 PM



(3/17/2010 05:30:00 PM) - Al

Milwaukee has a quad-fest of Big Ten games Friday, so I assume we will as well.

The Rambling wife has told me a couple times that many guys plan their vasectomy for this time of year, so they can enjoy the long weekend of basketball...also, Masters weekend is a popular time to get that procedure done.


3/17/2010 05:30:00 PM



(3/17/2010 05:23:00 PM) - Al

I'm off the next couple days, so the Rambling wife and myself were just discussing what we could grill, before the weather reverts back to "too damn cold" in a few days.

One of her favorites is when you put ribs in the crock pot all day, and then grill it a few minutes after loading it down with BBQ sauce. The Rambling son enjoys pork roast, and one thing I wanted to do was a turkey breast, as I've never done turkey on the grill. Hopefully, the weather will stay nice until we get through this trifecta.


3/17/2010 05:23:00 PM



(3/17/2010 05:20:00 PM) - Al

You know, I would have figured $50M of drugs may well have some armed security near it.

Eli Lilly needs to take a lesson from Columbian cartels, where runners get shot for rounding to the higher tenth in a dime bag.


3/17/2010 05:20:00 PM



(3/17/2010 05:15:00 PM) - Al

I read somewhere today that today's the final day to release a non-guaranteed contract and only owe that player 1/6th of their 2010 salary. I think if you release them by Opening Day, you owe them 1/3rd.

I think that means Bush has pretty much solidified himself a spot somewhere.


3/17/2010 05:15:00 PM



(3/17/2010 03:20:00 PM) - Al

I had no idea managers and coaches were part of MLB testing.

Time will tell, but it seems likely Washington will not be long in TEX.


3/17/2010 03:20:00 PM


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