Sunday, July 29, 2007

God Created the Little Brother

Let's hear it for little brothers.

Today, Cal Ripken (aka, the Greatest Shortstop Ever) goes into the Hall of Fame. I'm of course going to watch the induction ceremony as one my all-time favorite players gets an ugly brown plaque. At the end of the stage, staring out at everyone uncomfortably, will be Cal's little brother, Billy.

Billy actually had a pretty decent career. He played for 12 seasons as a defensive specialist, even spending 724 games as his big brother's double play partner. And while his brother was polishing up the resume for a Hall of Fame career, Billy managed to eke out 2500 less hits and a batting average 30 points lower.

I'm willing to bet Thanksgiving was a little uncomfortable as their mom bragged about Cal while Billy had to sit there and try and point out he led AL second basemen in fielding percentage in 1992. Which is not nearly as cool as two MVP Awards.

But Billy will always have this on Cal: he was on the most famous baseball card of time. Cal might have gone to 19 All-Star Games, but he never appeared on baseball card holding a bat which read: FUCK FACE. Take immortality where you can get it. We here at Poseur HQ salute you, Billy Ripken, the greatest prankster in Oriole history.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Making Myself 2-D

Here's my first attempt to create myself as Simpsons character. I'm quite happy with the nose, which looked as close to broken as any of the options available. How do you think I did?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Defending the B's Football Honor

Stewart Mandel has joined the chorus of those picking on Baylor football, calling it the most irrelevant BCS conference team.

First off, the entire Big East is irrelevant, and wins that honor right out the gate, though he does give a cursory member to Temple, a football team so lousy it got kicked out of the Big East. Which is pretty hard to do.
“I defy anyone outside of Big 12 country to name a Baylor player, recent or current.”

OK, I go to the BLS. But how are national football fans not up on the fact that Sepulveda made two straight All-America teams? Sure, it’s as a punter, but I’m hardly going out on a limb saying an All-American is pretty good.

But if we’re running a contest for the worst team over the past ten years, it is clearly Duke. Mandel tries to sidestep that saying there is interest in Duke’s basketball team and therefore people care about their football team, but that’s just a stupid argument. I also can’t really explain how awful Duke is. But I’ll try.

Their last winning season was 1994. Since then, their highest win total is four, which they achieved twice (most recently in 2003). They have lost at least 10 games SIX times in eleven years (including five times in the last seven). Baylor’s only done that once. And Duke has lost every game on its slate FOUR times in those eleven years. Duke hasn’t won a game of any sort since 9/17/05, when they beat the Virginia Military Institute, a Division I-AA school. They haven’t beaten a team with a pulse since they beat (sorry, Jude) Clemson on 11/13/04. That’s 20 straight losses. Twenty. That's four times longer than the B's longest losing streak in the same time period(five, for those of you who aren't good at math).

But you want to discount Duke because they play hoops? Fine. How about Vanderbilt? Baylor hasn’t has a winning season since 1995. Vandy hasn’t had one since Reagan was in his first term: 1982. Half of the readership of this blog hadn’t even been born yet. OK, Vanderbilt does have their annual “we almost beat Bama” game which is kind of fun, but we’re talking about 25 straight losing seasons. Vanderbilt has never, ever won the SEC. Not once. Baylor is like USC compared to that (and their last conference title was, believe it or not, in 1994, though their last outright title was 1980).

However, this Triumvirate of Lousy all of have one thing in common: they are small private schools playing against the big boys. In effect, they all have an excuse to suck. Also, all have a certain level of relevance as the standard by which sucking is measured. You don’t truly suck until you suck like Baylor, Vandy, or Duke. We’re a yardstick of ineptitude.

So I give the honor of complete and total irrelevance to Indiana.

Indiana’s last winning season? 1994. Or, one year before Baylor’s. Since then, IU has churned out a stunning record of faceless mediocrity, overcoming the inherent obstacles that exist when you are a populous state’s flagship university. Oh, nevermind. If Indiana stopped playing football tomorrow, would anyone care? Hell, I doubt even Purdue would care. IU’s last conference title was 1967, and their last outright title was 1945. And that’s their entire trophy room. We’re talking about a program that aspires to have the kind of success Baylor has achieved. We even got them on NFL Hall of Famers: Mike Singletary to zero. Silly Hoosiers, why don’t you go eat some corn?

Besides, if we eliminated Indiana, the Big Ten would actually have ten teams. Everybody wins. Especially those of us who can count.

I’m sick of people picking on Baylor at the very moment they are actually getting slightly better. Stop it or we’ll send Joe Pawelek to your house to punch you in the face. Who, by the way, was second-team All-Big 12 as a freshman. So he obviously sucks.

Stewart Mandel, you’ve made the B’s Enemies List. When we finally do have a winning season, we’re coming for you. Right after I take care of the entire staff of The Sporting News.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Squid Invasion

Y'all laughed at me over the Octoquid Invasion. Said I was worrying about nothing. I'm looking right at you, Matt. But look at this story from Yahoo!

The jumbo squid used to be found only in the Pacific Ocean's warmest stretches near the equator. In the last 16 years, it has expanded its territory throughout California waters, and squid have even been found in the icy waters off Alaska, Zeidberg said.

That's right, according to the article "voracious giant squid" are invading California. The octosquid was just the first wave. We must be on guard for the giant squid menace. They must be stopped.

Squid really freaks me out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Porn and Babies

There are many things I hate about flying: the banality of airports, going through security, the fear of plummeting to my death in a fiery mass of shrapnel, et cetera. But there are two things I hate most about travelling: porn and babies. One of these is self-explanatory, so I'll explain that first.

I was on the plane and they were closing all of the overhead compartments and no one was getting on, and it looked like I had hit the jackpot: absolutely no one was seated next to me. As soon as I had this thought, a couple appeared with baby in tow. Now, I don't begrudge people the right to travel with their baby*, I just don't want them to sit next to me. Which they did. And all things considered, the baby was well-behaved. It's just the impending time bomb of screaming and wailing that makes me uncomfortable.

OK, so everyone is with me. Now, what does porn have to do with travel irritation? I'm glad you asked, rhetorical device!

Airport bookstores have a limited amount of space for fairly obvious reasons. It's not like there can be the full Barnes and Noble magazine and book sections in there. Usually, I end up picking up a terrible book I regret buying almost immediately, but I also like to get a magazine. This is probably the only time I actually read Entertainment Weekly.

And whatever magazine you get, I'm pretty much fine with. There's a fairly limited selection, and most people stick with the choices of EW, People, Time, and Sports Illustrated. You know, the standards. But have you ever noticed that the store always uses some of its precious rack space to sell porn?

Now, I'm fairly apathetic towards porn. I don't buy it, but if it's your thing, knock yourself out. No skin off my nose. But here's the thing, it's an airport bookstore! People are picking up a magazine to pass time on their flight to Des Moines or whatever. There is limited space, yet these stores are carrying porn. Which leads me to the inevitable conclusion that people are buying it. At an airport bookstore. They aren't putting it on the racks for the hell of it.

Who the hell are these people? Have you ever met them? Because I've never been on a flight sitting next to a guy reading Penthouse. Obviously, someone is or they wouldn't have them on the racks, but who is such a compulsive aficionado of pornography they can't sit through a two hour flight without it? I'm absolutely baffled by this phenomenon.

It's because of these people I couldn't pick up a college football preview issue. I was hoping to pick one up before the flight. Instead, I ended up buying a terrible book about a serial killer.

*Ed Note - Not true. I do begrudge people the right to fly with their babies.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fanboy Mission Complete

Well, I hid in my apartment on Saturday and read the new Harry Potter book in one day. I usually don't go to opening nights of any sort, because I really don't care all that much. But I wanted to get HP before spoilers were all over TV and the internet.

I now feel it is safe to surf again without fear of having someone ruin the book. By the way, Rosebud was a sled.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Take Your Camera And Photograph My Tears Before They Hit They Ground

Finals are over and the usual post-finals festivities have descended upon Waco. For my part, I'm still cleaning the cigarette butts from my balcony. So thanks, everyone. And this is the part what I'd usually launch into some ill-advised story or try and make a cute history joke which shows off my dorkiness with a certain ironic detachment.

But I'm not going to do that because I got the phone call on Friday morning that my friend Rob had lost his bout with cancer. I knew it was coming, eventually. He beat it once, but that just seemed to piss the cancer off and it came back with a vengeance a year ago. Which is so grossly unfair because... well... like I need to explain that. He was too good of a person, too young of a guy, filled with too much love for his wife and family...

It's just not right. It doesn't make sense. I guess it's not supposed to. But the next time you're complaining about how tough classes are or how this thing in your life isn't going your way... well, you know.

I'm sorry.

We'll be back to our regular scheduled bullshit soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Micahel Vick Is A Bad Person

I know the Bible tells me to judge not lest I be judged, but I think I'm gonna make an exception if God doesn't mind too much. I don't think I'm going out on a limb with this one:

Michael Vick is a scumbag and I hope something awful happens to him.

Running a dog-fighting ring was bad enough, but who hangs, electrocutes, and drowns dogs? There's a certain premeditation there that I just find absolutely repugnant. I don't know how you fashion a noose around a dog's neck. I don't understand people sometimes. Hell, even Vick's imaginary twin brother hates him.

Reportedly, the NFL is not going to suspend Vick under it's new get-tough policy. Because really, it's just one of the marquee players in the league torturing animals. Who cares about something like that?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Naming Your First Born

From the Why Some People Shouldn't Be Allowed To Have Kids Department:

Roger Karr Jr.’s first wheels were a Chevy El Camino. In fact, he’s driven nothing but Chevys ever since.

So it seemed only fitting that he named his first-born son after his favorite brand of car, with the name of his favorite NASCAR driver — Dale Earnhardt Jr. — thrown in for good measure.

Chevy Dale Karr arrived at Brandon Regional Hospital on June 13.

Jumping Jehoshaphat on a pogo stick. Are you kidding me? Chevy Karr? This is why there should be someone on the payroll of every maternity ward who can veto names: "No, I'm sorry. You can't call another human being that." The over/under on years spent in prison for Chevy is ten. Place your bets.

By the way, if he commits patricide... no jury would convict.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ineptitude, Thy Name Is Philly

The Phillies suck. I'm not the first person to point this out, but it's kind of fun to pile on. Especially when I can do it from the safety of Texas and no one from the infamous 700 Section can get at me. Because Philly fans know their teams suck, and it has made them permanently angry, bitter people.* My kind of fans.

The Phillies became the first team in pro sports history to lose 10,000 games. Ten thousand games. The Red Sox haven't even lost 8000. The Cubs lag 575 games behind. They are a truly remarkable 1,190 games below .500. That's more wins than the Florida Marlins have in their entire 15-year history. If the Phillies won 100 games a season every season, it would take THIRTY TWO seasons before they would reach .500 as a franchise. That's just a staggering level of suckitude.

And that's why it sucks to be a Phillies fan. It's not just that your team sucks, has sucked, and will continue to suck. It's that the Cubs and the Red Sox hog all of the loveable loser karma (ok, maybe not the Sox so much anymore). Hell, even the Indians had a movie made about them based on the premise that they suck. So did the Angels (twice, bet you didn't know it was a remake). Just to peak at the all-time World Series scoreboard:

Red Sox: 6
Cubs: 2
Indians: 2
Angels: 1
Phillies: 1

Mitigating fact: the Angels started playing in 1961. The Phillies have been losing since 1883. Hell, they even spotted the Cubs a decade.

The Phillies can't even lose right. By all rights, they should be the team synonymous with losing, but for some reason, they slip under the national consciousness. Why? Because Phillie fans understand this basic fact: Losing isn't cute. While the Cubs market their ineptitude as somehow fun, the Phillies actively try to win every year, and every year they manage to lose. It's really quite amazing. Hell, if it weren't the Phillies, the Orioles might have lost the 1983 Series. Joe Carter wouldn't have that famous home run in 1993. Mitch Williams imploding is the Phillies best baseball memory of the past twenty years. Now that's just depressing.

To sum up the Phillies, you must understand Phillie fans. this is a town which held two genuinely great players, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt, at arm's length. Now, granted, both were sort of prickly guys, but who is beloved in that town? Dick Allen, who can best be described as perhaps having a bit of anger management problem. which is why he fit in well with Philly fans. they can all be angry together.

Go celebrate the only way you know how Philly: by going outside and beating up some Met fans.

* Ed. Note -- The two most infamous incidents are booing Santa Claus and pelting Buddhist monks with rocks during Lollapalooza. I defer to my friend from Philly who justifies these two incidents this way: "It wasn't rocks. We threw mud. And they were running long." And my personal favorite "In our defense, Santa was drunk". Just be fair. Now you know their side.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Finals Drags On

If you're ever in a class in which the professor has the bright idea to have an oral examination after the written portion, I would seriously consider dropping that class.

Securities Regulation made me cry and ask for my mommy. Though I did manage to get the 4 1/2 exemption right. So that's something. Now I'm knee deep in trying to figure out how an employer can discriminate against the handicapped. It's actually much easier than you would think.

Go read what an incredible dork I am in my efforts not to study. I got nothing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Imagining Osler with a Mohawk and Doc Martens

I ran into Osler in the student lounge today, and I was wearing my unofficial finals headphones. I step up to the big boys during this time of the quarter. He asked to listen to my iPod, which always worries me. I'd rather a prof not be exposed to the contents of my iPod.

Luckily, it was The Chinkees, a delightful ska band which are hard to find offensive (outside of the name). And finding out your prof also digs ska is a little disconcerting, though I'm think he's more of a Two-Tone guy, while I go for the punkier Third Wave. I'm having trouble picturing Osler at a Less Than Jake show. Bates? No problem.

Getting punchy from the studying, as you can probably tell. Back to the grind...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Day Without Sports

Just to show you guys we're in this together, I didn't throw y'all with girlfriends under the bus by pointing out that last night was the worst day of the sports calendar, as there were no sports on TV last night. Well, not exactly true, you could have watched a rebroadcast of Stage Four of the Tour de France or watched the soccer U-20 World Cup on Telemundo (Spanish-speaking announcers rule!), but for the average American sports fan, it was A Day Without Sports.

Which means, by all rights, your girlfriend or spouse had control of the clicker last night and could have forced you to watch a Meridith Baxter Bernie movie marathon on Lifetime, or whatever they were showing. Hopefully, you kept the Day Without Sports a big secret. Or, you pretended to like cycling or sports broadcast in foreign languages.

You should have been studying anyway.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baylor Wins! So Does A Guy Named Thor!

Outside of the fact I know nearly nothing about Securities Regulation* and there is a rather high likelihood I'm going to fail that class, today is a great day.

ONE. I finally turned in my independent study on the Constitutionality on gay marriage. So Matt and I can finally elope.

TWO. One of my very favorite cyclists, Thor Hushovd, won today's stage of the Tour de France. I like it when Norwegians named "Thor" do anything well.

THREE. Vitek is now re-opened. Today marked the day I had my first Gutpak in what seems like forever. It's just as good as I remembered.

FOUR. Today is a momentous day in Baylor football history. Really. Today marks the day of Baylor's first every victory over the hated Sooners of Oklahoma. No, seriously.

OU has been forced to forfeit all of their wins from the 2005 season. Among those wins was a game over Baylor. Meaning, the B is now 1-15 all-time versus OU. If you can't beat 'em on the field, beat 'em with an administrative hearing. You don't mess with the B when it comes to administrative hearings. Everyone, let's go toilet paper the Alico Building or something.

Winners never cheat and cheaters never win. Which begs the question, how has Baylor been cheating?

Has anyone seen Red?

*Ed Note -- This is a class which gives you insight into why business people hate lawyers. Hell, after this class, *I* hate lawyers.

I Wasn't Aware We Had Voted

There is an article in Time titled, "How McCain Lost Control of his Campaign". It's the standard political this-guy's-campaign-is-in-trouble piece, and the opening lede closes with this little nugget:
And almost as soon as he wrapped up his Iraq speech, he was besieged with rumors that another top adviser was bolting, and tried his best to refute growing speculation that his once promising campaign is all but finished.

Is anyone else disturbed by this? McCain's campaign is almost finished and no one has even voted yet. It's bad enough people start running for president almost two years before the election, but now we get the results of the campaign months before the people actually get to vote?

When did polls replace elections? Pretty soon, we're just going to elect the guy with the best buzz. Hey, Obama's got some cool web ads, does that mean he's the president already?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Taking Stock of the BLS Blogosphere

Let’s get meta today at Poseur HQ. As everyone here at the BLS knows, Swanburg is hanging up his law blogging spurs (sort of, kind of, not really) and making the difficult transition to business school blogger. Osler wondered who will pick up the slack, but given the whopping zero comments he’s gotten on that post, I’m thinking it’s not a big concern for the BLS blogosphere. We got by without Chris Farfenblogger, we’ll get by without Swanburg. And Swanny will keep writing, just about different things.

Which begs the question, will I start posting about law school events and cracking BLS scandals like Swanny has? The answer is no. This blog’s never been about that. It’s never been about anything at all, really. The whole point of this thing is to talk about something other than law school, particularly random crap like the octosquid invasion, long-winded rants about baseball, and interviews with buildings. That’s not gonna change for two reasons:

ONE. I’m lazy. I like writing this thing in short bursts of “creativity”. I’m not going to do research and get my hands on SBA emails, which BTW, is pretty damn impressive. Swanny’s like Woodward and Bernstein.

TWO. I don’t care. While law school inevitably pops its head under the curtains here at Poseur HQ, there’s nothing more boring than law students talking about law school. I simply can’t garner up the energy to even pretend to care about the grade distribution of a class I’m not even taking. Which isn’t a shot at Swanburg. He’s a good enough writer to make anything entertaining, and I read his blog every day. But those are the posts of his which make my eyes glaze over. No one has their A game everyday, but Swanny comes remarkably close.

I do hope someone comes along and starts writing about SBA events and making it through this place as a first year. New perspectives are always fun. But I’ll amend Osler’s rules on what makes a successful blog. Free advice. It’s worth exactly what you paid for it:

1) Be interesting. You don’t have to have an interesting life, but you have to have an interesting perspective. Don’t be cliché.
2) Update, update, update. Sometimes I curse this blog because I feel I have to update it. That’s the cost of having a readership. It doesn’t have to be brilliant everyday (or in my case, any day), but you have to try.
3) Write what you know. Don’t be someone you’re not. And don’t take shots at people. If you write something you wouldn’t say to someone’s face, you shouldn’t be writing it.
4) Be a part of the community. The best BLS blogs have been self-referential and given their due to the BlogFather. This is a community. Participate.
5) Encourage comments. They are the lifeblood of a blog. You guys are funnier and more interesting than I am.

And, only sort of related, here is some recent blogger ethics on how the MSM should cite blogs. I just find that interesting.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Interview With Angkor Wat

The voting for the New Seven Wonders has just concluded, and the winners of the worldwide voting are in. Our new wonders are:

The Great Wall of China (China)
Chichen Itza (Mexico)
Christ Redeemer (Brazil)
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Petra (Jordan)
The Colloseum (Italy)
Taj Mahal (India)

Which, on the whole, is a pretty good list. I’d put the Eiffel Tower on there somehow because it really is an architectural marvel ,and we tend to be blasé about modern buildings even when they are rather cool. And maybe Stonehenge or Hagia Sophia have a case, but it’s a strong group that beat them out.

However, we here at Poseur HQ were lucky enough to get an interview with Angkor Wat, one of the disappointed finalists that just missed the cut.

Poseur HQ: Hey, thanks for joining us.

Angkor Wat: Pleasure to be here. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to speak about this injustice.

PHQ: Injustice? Isn’t that a little harsh?

AW: I’m the high point of Khmer architecture! I was both a Hindu and a Buddhist temple… who else can say that? Who else has been on the flag of their country? No one, that’s who. Have you seen the faces built into my walls? You have to admit, those things are cool.

PHQ: Indeed they are. But Easter Island has big heads, too. And they also failed to make the final Seven.

AW: You’re comparing me, a complex temple with an outer wall, an interior structure, and a separate temple to a bunch of heads lying around on some abandoned island? The heads is all Easter Island’s got. I’ve got the faces built into my very structure. They are just a feature of the greatness that is me. At Easter Island, the heads are the whole show.

PHQ: But it’s not like all of you is intact.

AW: I’m 900 years old, you punk. And 203 acres. You’re only 31 and 6’2” and pieces of you are already falling off. I could kick your ass.

PHQ: I’m sure you could, but I’m not a finalist for the Seven New Wonders.

AW: Damn right, you’re not. What about that joke in Peru, Machu Picchu? It’s just a bunch of ruins built into a mountain, and it made it to the final seven. Are you kidding me? I take dumps bigger than Machu Picchu.

PHQ: Well, it is built into the face of mountain, almost 2500 meters about sea level. And it’s in the Lost City of the Incas.

AW: Well, la tee da. No one lost Angkor Wat, I can tell you that. And I’m built into the Cambodia jungle. You think that’s easy access? I lived through Pol Pot.

PHQ: Well, the first westerner to see Angkor Wat did so in 1586, but Angkor Wat wasn’t a prominent site until the 19th Century.

AW: Yeah, and the sun rises and sets on the western world, right? While your ancestors were still living in huts and trying not to die from the Bubonic Plague, I was a complex city with redented towers and cruciform terraces.

PHQ: Well, there was Rome.

AW: Yeah, and the Colloseum makes the final seven? It’s a damned stadium. Why not just put the Rose Bowl on there and be done with it? Are you really trying to compare a stupid cylinder with some dirt in the middle to a holy shrine as gorgeous and complex as I?

PHQ: Well, the voters certainly did.

AW: Western bias. How many Cambodians do you think are on the internet? And India is busy stuffing the ballot box for the Taj Mahal.

PHQ: The Colloseum is the only European site to make the list. You can hardly claim a western bias there. And what’s your beef with the Taj Mahal?

AW: Actually, I take that back. The Taj Mahal and I go way back. Even if it is just a tomb while I’m the cradle of a whole civilization. But he’s got a better marketing agent than I do. And that’s the problem here. I knew I should have hired a publicist.

PHQ: You do have some pretty good press clippings. Here’s what Henri Mouhot said about you, “One of these temples—a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo—might take an honorable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged.”

AW: See? Even when someone says something nice about me, they have to mention something bad. It all comes down to the rules of real estate: location, location, location.

PHQ: You do get a million international visitors per year.

AW: That’s a bad month at DisneyWorld. Speaking of which, do you think you could score me some tickets? I’ve always wanted to ride Space Mountain. Now that's a Modern Wonder.

PHQ: Well, thanks for your time Angkor Wat. Any parting words?

AW: Y’all suck. How did I lose to Mexico? But at least I punked the Statue of Liberty. I’m gonna go get a beer with the Acropolis and commiserate over what could have been. You think I’m ticked? Acropolis is downright despondent. He keeps going on about the old days. Yeesh.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Octosquid Invasion

I am so never going to swim in the ocean again. There are just way too many creepy things that we can't identify. The octosquid? Are you kidding me? This is going to keep me up at night.

Look at that thing!

Like octopi and squids weren't creepy enough on their own? Now they have some sort of undersea alliance in effect. That's it. I'm not going to Hawaii.

Now let's turn to the guy who found this thing caught in a filter of a deep sea pipeline:
"When we first saw it, I was really delighted because it was new and alive," said Jan War, operations manager at NELHA. "I've never seen anything like that."

Which would be much different than my quote, which would go something like this:
"Holy crap! EEEEK! What the hell is that thing?! I don't need this job! I quit! EEEEEK!"

He's delighted it was new and alive? I'd prefer it was old and dead. Seriously, deep sea creatures scare the living hell out of me.

Tour de France Starts Saturday... Just So You Know

In my quest to follow only sports covered by obscure cable networks broadcasting in foreign languages, I an obsessive Tour de France fan. Don't believe me? Here is me and Jason's blog devoted to a truly frightening level of obsessiveness.

One more sport for you to ignore. But one racked with scandal, so that's always fun. This is a cry for help.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Something Americans Are Still Good At

The Hot Dog Eating title is back in America where it belongs. In 2001, that interloper from Japan, Kobayahsi, came in and shattered all previous hot dog eating records.* He has since dominated the, er, sport. Well, after six straight titles, we’re not going to stand for that anymore.

Joey Chestnut, represent! USA! USA! USA!

No one does gluttony like we do. No one. Don’t try and take that us from us. Chestnut ate 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes, meaning he ate a hot dog every 10 seconds. That is pretty impressive in a very disgusting way. This is a proud moment for America.

*Yeah, I know. They keep competitive eating records. I’m as surprised as you are.

**After posting this, I wandered over to Osler’s blog, only to find he has posted the same thing. And we even had the same “USA!” chant joke. Sorry everyone. You just got a backup post. Great minds thinking alike and all that.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

John Adams Gets His Date Planner Wrong

From a letter dated July 3, 1776 from John Adams to Abigail Adams:

"But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.- I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfire and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."


So John was off by two days. Give the guy a break, he only guided the Continental Congress through a successful revolution against the most powerful nation on earth. It was still a good prediction.

Enjoy the shews and illuminations tomorrow night celebrating our great anniversary festival! I’m looking forward to the pomp and parade.

Monday, July 02, 2007

500 and 3000: More Baseball

Over the weekend, when I was away from TV and internet, the baseball gods spited me and Biggio collected his 3000th hit and Frank Thomas his 500th home run. This was specifically to punish me for cheating on the Orioles. A minor slap on the wrist from the karma department, but a slap nonetheless. I missed these milestones, and I had been looking forward to them.

Biggio and Thomas are both criminally underrated, though for almost completely opposite reasons. I can’t believe there is even a discussion on whether these guys are Hall-worthy. Here’s the answer: you bet your ass they are. Even without the nice round numbers.

Playing in Houston, Biggio and Bagwell failed to capture the national imagination. Maybe it was the lack of titles (mainly because the front office insisted on putting a terrible team around the two), but I’m hard-pressed to think of a better right side of the infield in my lifetime, maybe ever. Tony Perez and Joe Morgan pop into mind, but Bags was much better than Perez (though Morgan is better than Biggio). But you would never know it. They just kept churning out excellent seasons.

Biggio is perhaps the greatest small ball player of all time. He was a great defensive player, and at the plate, he is perfectly described as “pesky”. I will be more impressed when he breaks the all-time hit by pitch record, which is one of those quirky stats I love. But it sums up Biggio. He didn’t pop out home runs, but he was a doubles machine in his prime. He stole bases, but his real skill was going from 1st to 3rd, a skill which never shows up in a box score. He was a terrific bunter, but he also had power. He was a career .270 hitter, but he drew tons of walks. In short, he did all of the things people say they appreciate but really don’t. If you want a guy to show the “right way” to play, Biggio is the model. He was Charlie Hustle without the gambling problem or generally being a jackass.

First, he has one of the all time great nicknames, The Big Hurt. He’s also a big fat guy, and I’m partial to big fat guys who play pro sports. So I always liked Thomas

The Big Hurt didn’t do the little things, except draw tons of walks. He couldn’t play defense, and was one of the worst defensive first basemen of all time, which is pretty hard thing to do. He couldn’t run and he couldn’t throw. But God, he could hit. Hell, unlike Biggio, this isn’t a past tense thing. Thomas can still hit. And he’s perhaps the only major slugger of the 90s outside of Bagwell who has avoided the taint of the steroid scandals.

While I’d still rank Griffey and Bonds as the two greatest players of the 90s, Thomas might be a better HITTER than either of them. He hit 320/440/573 in the 1990s. That’s just insane. Thomas got on base 44% of the time in the 1990s. For perspective, Griffey’s highest OBP in a season is 408. Bonds has .440 career OBP, but that’s inflated by his late career surge (he hit .428 in the 1990s). Thomas performed the most basic skill of a hitter better than anyone in the 1990s: to not get out.

Oh, and he hit a boatload of homers.

Congratulations to Biggio and Thomas. Way to polish up those resumes. See you in Cooperstown.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My Brother Gets Hitched

I'm back in Texas. But it was hard to make myself come back. Seriously, how beautiful is the Chesapeake Bay? I got to give my brother credit, he chose a good place for the wedding. St. Michael's was not only the setting for my brother's wedding, it was also the filming location of Wedding Crashers. So you know what it looks like. Hey, it's a place so nice, Michael Jackson bought out the neighboring resort. Trust us, all of the children are accounted for.

As a card-carrying member of the Little Brother's Union, I enjoy tormenting my older brother. David was born old and has always taken the world seriously. I, er, do not. His new wife is an independent free-spirit who loves being the center of attention. Apparently, some people marry a girl like their mom, but David married a girl like his little brother. I'm flattered. I was never really sure he liked me, what with him spending a good portion of his childhood trying to kill me.

And of course, as good Marylanders, we ate lots of crab. I ate crab for three straight meals (steamed crab for dinner, a crab omelet for breakfast, and crabcakes for lunch). Now, I'm back in Texas in my Chesapeake Bay-less, crab-free existence. Sigh. And, to my faithful reader who asked when I will comment on Craig Biggio... well, I will get to it this week. No offense to Astro fans. I'll say something nice.