Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Something strange is going on in Mesa ...

Some days when I drove Mia to school, I would turn on a certain street, on the corner of which is a strip mall. I know, a strip mall in Arizona - shocking! Anyway, one day I happened to look over at the strip mall and saw some of the businesses there. One made me do a double take. A very weird business is operating in Mesa, and it seems much more appropriate for the seedier section of, say, Amsterdam or Bangkok:

What the crap is up with that?!?!?!? Right out in the open! Just another example of the sexification of our society. I'm shocked, SHOCKED!

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I tried to read The Gulag Archipelago, I really did

But I couldn't finish it. I couldn't even get 100 pages into it. Does this make me a bad person who loves Commies?

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Returning to the Big Easy on Picture Day!

I'm taking a break from the week of short posts to post pictures of New Orleans. My mom is still in town, so I'll probably be back to short posts for the next few days. It's not that she demands a lot of my time, it's that I feel kind of guilty hanging out on the computer when she's here. She's my mom, after all - guilt is her thing!

But for now, we have New Orleans. We took a cruise along the Mississippi and checked some stuff out, and our tour guide told and showed us many fascinating things. Such as ... (imagine the drum roll, please) ... the World's Largest Sugar Refinery!

Now that's exciting!

That's not all we saw, of course (although after that, who wants to see more?). We got a nice view of downtown New Orleans:

We hung out a lot in the French Quarter, as you can probably understand. Here's a nice view down Royal Street:

And a side street off of Decatur:

We also visited a historical museum, where we learned about the wonderful slave code that made all the slaves so very happy to be slaves. At this museum they have Napoleon's death mask:

If you were to ask me why Napoleon's death mask is in a little museum in New Orleans, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to tell you. I honestly can't remember.

Finally, we visited the aquarium in the city, which is pretty cool. It has an albino alligator!

Krys got a picture of me in front of the shark tank. I'm sure she was hoping that through some miracle the shark would bust through and gobble me up, but I survived. Yes, I'm wearing a fanny pack. I'm a geek - so sue me.

So that was our trip to New Orleans. Like I said last week, I'm glad we went, because who knows if it will ever recover. Speaking of which, next week we have exciting pictures of the natural disaster that struck Portland while we lived there! Come back next week - same Bat-time, same Bat-blog!

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Why can't sports commentators get poor Dirk Nowitski's name right?

It's "No-VIT-ski," not "No-WIT-ski." Just because there's a "W" in the middle of the name doesn't mean he's not German, and therefore pronounces it like a German - with the "W" pronounced as a "V." I have heard him say it, so I know it's right. Why don't people who talk about sports on television know? Can't they ask him?

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In The Iliad, Hector is kind of a dick

And a coward. I mean, isn't he? This is the great Trojan hero? In fact, most of the Trojans are cowards. No wonder they lost the war. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

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What a strange world we live in!

As I troll the vast cyber-inter-web, I find strange and fascinating things. At this site I found the news that Mamie van Doren, at the age of 74(!), has posed nude(!!). Sweet Fancy Moses! You know what? She either has had a lot of "work" done, or she keeps herself in good shape. Check it out, if you dare!

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The movie Stealth is not good

Really, it's not. Avoid it at all costs. Of course, in a movie about Navy fighter pilots, the director thought, "Is there any way I can get Jessica Biel into a bikini?" The answer is "Why, yes, we can."

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Where's Coolio?

I miss him. Where's he been?

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Things I learned about home runs while reading a book called Dingers!

"Dingers" as in home runs, of course. Dingers! A Short History of the Long Ball by Peter Keating is the book, and it's pretty interesting for any baseball fan out there. Plus, you can read it in about a day. And you can learn things! Here are some things I learned (in rough chronological order):

Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings hit the first home run in National League history in 1876.

Before Babe Ruth came along, Ned Williamson held the single-season record for most home runs with 27 in 1884. He never hit more than 9 in any other season. In 1894 he was voted the best player of all time by several old baseball players.

In 1894, Bobby Lowe hit four home runs in a game. He was the first one to do this. That's not the cool thing about it. He hit all of them off of Icebox Chamberlin, the pitcher for the Reds. Players don't get cool nicknames like "Icebox" anymore.

Ed Delahanty, who hit four home runs in a game in 1896 for the Phillies (and is in the Hall of Fame, because he was a brilliant ballplayer), died in 1903 when he fell off the International Bridge near Niagara Falls. No one knows if he committed suicide, was drunk and fell accidentally, or was pushed. There has to be a good novel in the story of Ed Delahanty.

Frank "Home Run" Baker (one of my childhood heroes) never hit more than 12 home runs in a season. However, he led the league for four straight years (1911-1914) and won two games in the 1911 World Series in dramatic fashion with home runs off Rube Marquard and Christy Mathewson, two Hall of Famers. Hence the nickname.

"Wahoo" Sam Crawford holds the record for most inside-the-park home runs in a season with 12 in 1901. Jesse Burkett has the most for a career with 55.

Rogers Hornsby is the only man with more than 300 career home runs who also had more than 30 inside-the-park home runs. He had 301 home runs, 33 of which did not leave the park.

Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire hold the record for most home runs with men on base in a season, 37. Ruth did his in 1921 with the Yankees, McGwire in 1998 with the Cardinals.

Ruth's 29 home runs for the Red Sox in 1919 not only set a record, it remains the highest percentage of a team's total for the year by one man, 87.9%. No one, not even Ruth, has ever come close to that.

Rabbit Maranville has the most at-bats in a season without hitting a home run, 672. Not surprisingly for a guy with a great nickname, he played a long time ago - he set this record for the 1922 Pirates.

Babe Ruth not only changed the way the game was played, he changed the way ballparks were built. In the 1920s, owners started bringing the fences in to encourage more home runs. Ebbets Field in Brooklyn originally had a left field fence 419 feet from home plate. By the time Gil Hodges and Roy Campanella played there, it was 343 feet away.

Al Simmons and Alex Rodriguez have both hit 5 home runs on their birthday, which is the most in history.

In the post-war years, teams continued to move fences in, leading to records for home runs in a season for the major leagues in 1949, 1950, 1953, 1955, and 1956. Integration helped boost the totals as well, something often overlooked.

Robin Roberts, the Phillies' Hall of Fame pitcher, led the league in home runs allowed five times during his career (and holds the record for most allowed in a career), including 46 in 1956, but he didn't walk anyone, so they were lots of solo homers. Roberts showed the way pitchers had to pitch in the new era - deal with home runs, but don't walk anyone!

The 1952 New York Giants were the first team with 9 players hitting 10 or more home runs.

Seven times has a player hit more than 40 homers and struck out less than 40 times in a season. The last to do it was Ted Kluszewski in 1955, the third year in a row he had accomplished it.

In the 1960s teams moved to the suburbs, owners built new ballparks that were "multi-functional" and larger (because of the extra suburban room) and home run totals dropped. Which is why Aaron's home run totals are so astonishing, because Milwaukee had a horrible home run park. Home runs dropped, attendance dropped, and owners began moving the fences in again.

Tony Conigliaro holds the record for most home runs hit as a teenager with 24.

Aaron was hurt early in his career by playing in County Stadium, and helped late in his career - when most players decline - because he played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, a great hitters' park. Thus, he looks like a model of consistency, because his years in Milwaukee kept his totals down a bit, and his years in Atlanta pumped them up a bit.

Willie Mays has hit the most extra-inning home runs in a career, 22.

Free agency, which began in 1976, meant players took much better care of themselves than previously because they had much greater earning potential. Therefore, Eddie Murray could hit over 500 home runs without ever hitting even 35 in a season.

Dave Kingman led the National League in home runs in 1982 with 37 - and batted .204.

Ruth led the league in home runs the most times - 12. The second most times leading the league, with 8? Michael Jack Schmidt. Keep Brooks Robinson, Baltimore fans. Schmidt is the best third baseman in history. In 2002, sportswriter Allen Barra made the argument that Schmidt is the player of the 20th century.

In 1986 the Rangers beat the Orioles 13-11, the first game in which three grand slams were hit. In 1987 the Cubs beat the Astros 22-7, the second game in which three grand slams were hit.

Don Mattingly hit six grand slams in 1987, setting a record for most slams in a season. He never hit another one.

On April 13, 1987, Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, and John Kruk of the Padres hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to start a game - the only time that's ever happened.

Lou Gehrig has hit the most grand slams ever, 23. But Manny Ramirez has 20.

Fernando Tatis (?!) is the only player to hit two grand slams in one inning, in 1999. Nine other players have hit two in a game.

Brady Anderson's jump from 16 home runs in 1995 to 50 in 1996 is the biggest jump in home runs in one year ever. Lou Gehrig is second, going from 16 in 1926 to 47 in 1927, but nobody accused him of being on steroids!

In the 1990s, teams started returning to downtown areas and building smaller ballparks. Camden Yards (Baltimore), Coors Field (Denver), the Ballpark at Arlington (Arlington), the Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati), and Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia) are examples of this. The result: more home runs!

Based on previous players and their performance late in their careers, at the beginning of the season Barry Bonds should have had 634 home runs. Yet he had 708. Good conditioning, or performance-enhancing drugs? You be the judge. Through 1999, his career high in home runs was 46, and he had been in the league for 14 years. Since then he has hit 49, 73, 46, 45, and 45 home runs before he was injured last year. I have always hated Barry Bonds, but this is not about hating him. It's about cheating. I think he's a cheater, which is a shame, because for the first 15 years of his career, he was a great player without drugs.

Based on percentage of home runs that tied games or gave their teams the lead, Craig Biggio and Gary Sheffield are the two most clutch home run hitters currently playing.

Before Julio Franco hit a home run this year, the oldest person to hit a home run was a pitcher, Jack Quinn, who hit one in 1930 when he was 46. In 1929 Connie Mack started him in the first World Series game against the Cubs, and he beat them. It was his last moment of glory. Except for that home run, maybe.

Alex Rodriguez has only a 30% chance of passing Henry Aaron. Albert Pujols, everyone's favorite player right now, has a 15% chance.

Harry Davis hit the most home runs for the years 1900-1909: 67 of them.
Gavvy Cravath hit the most home runs for the years 1910-1919: 116 of them.
Babe Ruth hit the most home runs for the years 1920-1929: 467 of them (duh!).
Jimmie Foxx, one of the great forgotten home run hitters of the game, hit the most home runs for the years 1930-1939: 415 of them.
Ted Williams hit the most home runs for the years 1940-1949: 234 of them. The war, obviously, skewed these numbers. Many players, Williams included, lost three or four years of their prime when they went and fought. Williams later went to Korea, too. And he still hit 521 home runs.
Duke Snider hit the most home runs for the years 1950-1959: 326 of them.
Harmon Killebrew hit the most home runs for the years 1960-1969: 393 of them.
Willie Stargell hit the most home runs for the years 1970-1979: 296 of them.
Mike Schmidt hit the most home runs for the years 1980-1989: 313 of them.
Mark McGwire hit the most home runs for the years 1990-1999: 405 of them.
Alex Rodriguez hit the most home runs for the years 2000-2005: 281 of them.

Ruth ('20s and '30s), Gehrig ('20s and '30s), Mays ('50s and '60s), Mantle ('50s and '60s), Schmidt ('70s and '80s), Bonds ('90s and '00s), and Sosa ('90s and '00s) are the only players to appear in the top ten in home runs for two different decades.

It's a fascinating book. It also points out how unbelievable Babe Ruth is and how Aaron and Bonds can't hope to replace him. Ruth was the first person to hit 30, 40, 50, and 60 home runs in a season. In the 1920s he hit 217 more home runs than the second-best hitter, Rogers Hornsby. He broke the single-season home run record in 1919, 1920, 1921, and 1927. There was never a player like him, and it's impossible that there will ever be another like him. So Barry Bonds can pass him all he wants - and so can Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols. There's only one Babe Ruth. By the way, he also won 20 games twice, had a lifetime ERA of 2.28, and held the record for most consecutive scoreless innings in a World Series for forty years or so.

My mother comes to town tomorrow, so I have decided to keep things short for a while. My posts over the next week will be either brilliantly pithy observations about life or devastatingly probing philosophical questions that will make your brain explode! Oh, what fun! Be sure to check back and shake your head in wonderment!

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Picture Day returns and heads out to the Big Easy!

Sorry I missed last week. I know so many people look forward to Mondays to check out my wonderful photos, so I apologize. It was a small oversight and I'll try not to let it happen again!!!!

Moving on, in October 1995 Krys and I went on our honeymoon. Close readers will note that this was 15 months after we were married, but we call it a honeymoon, so it's a honeymoon! This was the first time we could scrape together enough money to go anywhere, and we went to New Orleans. Now that New Orleans has been destroyed, I'm glad we went, because it really is (was?) a fascinating place, and although I stick by my contention that it was bone-headed to put a city there in the first place, it's a shame it was wiped out, because it is unlike any other American city. It would be nice if it could come back strong (of course, it still shouldn't be there - it's below sea level, people!)

So we'll have pictures of the Big Easy for a week or two. We took a lot o' photographs!

Here's the Saint Louis Cathedral. Saint Louis, of course, led two Crusades against the Muslims (he died on the second one, in Tunis), and upheld the right of kings to rule absolutely when Simon de Montfort wanted his blessing in his war against Henry III. So of course he was canonized, and of course Americans, those lovers of freedom and democracy, go around naming cities and churches after him.

One thing I like about old cities and cities that aren't necessarily perfectly planned are quirky streets. This is a cool little alley alongside the cathedral. Cool little alleys are cool.

Why did I take this picture? Apparently, that fence is famous. Why? It's the Cornstalk Fence! See, the tops look like cornstalks and are painted yellow. And it's famous!

We took a trolley ride through the Garden District and marveled at the gorgeous houses. I took a bunch of pictures, but I'll only post these two. People actually live in these. Neat.

We took a tour of the Lafayette Cemetery - during the day, so it was decidedly un-spooky. As you should know, cemeteries in N.O. are keen because they can't be underground. So we get nifty mausoleums (mausolea?) above the ground and we get scenes like this:

On one of the days we went on a bus tour of some of the plantations along the Mississippi. This was a nice trip but it almost made me bash my head against the window of the bus and is a reason why I can't live in the South. In the city we toured a museum about the history of the area, and we learned about the Code by which slave-owners and slaves lived. The tour guide kept talking about how much better it was for the slaves in Louisiana than the rest of the South. The bus driver kept saying the same thing. Listen, Southerners: slavery is evil. Deal with it and get over it. What your ancestors did 150 years ago shouldn't make you try to justify it in your historical presentations. Sure, maybe slaves were treated "better" in Louisiana than elsewhere in the South. But guess what? It doesn't change the fact that white people owned other human beings! It was very frustrating. My sister always talks about how wonderful northern Virginia is and how it's not like the rest of the South at all. I could probably live there for a year or two, but then somebody would say something idiotic and I'd lose my mind. So no thank you. I know there is racism everywhere, but in the South it's a little ridiculous.

But the houses sure are nice. This is Nottaway. Nice to have more money than God and not have to pay income taxes and have no labor costs. Look what it gets you!

So that's New Orleans, part one. Join us next week when revisit the glory that was once the Big Easy!

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Random thoughts on the greatest day in the history of mankind

This afternoon I skimmed the pool. Then I brushed the pool. It needed to be done - we have recently gotten our pool fence changed so that it runs across the entire back yard instead of stopping and turning into the house, so that made a bit of a mess. Then we had the deck painted and the calcium deposits removed from the tile lining the pool, so that made an even bigger mess. So I skimmed the pool, then I brushed the pool.

Then I got in the pool. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! The only saving grace of living in Hell is that the pool is ready in the middle of May. It's not bath water warm yet, but it's very nice. It felt very good, especially as the temperature hit 100 last week and has remained high since then. When I take Mia to school at 9 o'clock in the morning, it's already 90. That shit ain't right. But the pool makes it all better.

Going briefly in the pool was my birthday present to myself. Yes, today is my birthday, which is why it's the greatest day in the history of mankind - or it will be, once I am dictator of the world. Right now it's just a day. I'm 35 today, which means I'm about middle-aged, if you believe my life expectancy is in the low 70s. Give it a year or two and I'll be ready for my full-fledged mid-life crisis. Krys will just have to deal with the nubile girls I'll be bringing home. Isn't that what all men do?

I like to reflect a bit every year on my birthday about what I've been doing, since it's much more appropriate than, say, an arbitrary date like 1 January. This day is my New Year's Day, after all. This past year has been pretty good. Norah was born, Mia started school, and both made progress. Every year I promise I'm going to write more, and this past year I managed to get all my old short stories typed up anew and ready for publication. I have a bunch of literary magazines bookmarked and this summer I'm going to sift through them and send out my stories. Someone has to like one of them, right? Now that that's done, I have slowly begun researching my novel again, which is tough. I'm writing a historical novel that is set in the Balkans and Asia Minor, so I have to study up on the region because I'm largely unfamiliar with it. I have taken a lot of notes but I have a long way to go. I've been setting aside time every day to do it, and we all know that slow and steady wins the race. I may get the book done by the time I'm 40.

It's been about a year since I lasted had a job, and that was only as a substitute teacher. It kills Krys that she is working and not spending more time with the kids, and I would like to work so that she can stay home, but right now it's just not feasible. I'm hoping that in the fall when Mia goes back to school and Norah spends some time in day care that I can go back to working on my teaching certificate, but Arizona's credentials don't transfer easily to other states, so it might be a waste of time. Because we're still looking for a different place to live. Every year about this time I'm reminded again why I hate this place so much.

So I'm a year older. I still feel pretty good, despite gaining about 12 pounds since this time last year. Yes, I suck. Now that Norah is sleeping a little better, I'll have time to swim, which is fun and good exercise. And, of course, as she gets bigger and able to walk, I hope we can play together, which wouldn't hurt me.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to me. I'm still the luckiest guy in the world, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Thanks for reading. I'll try to be more entertaining next time.

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The Injustice League

There's a kind of sad acceptance I feel with regard to the direction in which the country is moving. It has little to do with my anger at Bush and his cronies - they're just buboes on the body politic masking the real disease. We have reaches a point in this country where Money is God. We worship it, revere it, assign ridiculous value to those who have it, ignore those who don't. It's frustrating, because I have no time for utopian socialist visions in which we all give our money to the Central Committee and they redistribute it equally. As conservative commentators are so fond of pointing out, there's a difference between equality and liberty, and they'll take liberty, and in certain areas I'm inclined to agree with them. But as a society, we are becoming sicker and sicker with this strange lust for an ultimately ephemeral thing, and it does not look like it will ever change. We can blame Bush and Big Oil all we want, but the Democrats in Washington are the same way. Very rarely does a person not born of privilege make any kind of difference. Clinton, ironically, was not necessarily a privileged individual, and although he had plenty of failings, his refusal to join the Wealthy Club and Play By The Rules was not one of them - and he was excoriated for it. Say what you want about Clinton - and it will probably be true - but he did work for all Americans more often than he worked for the Rich. That would probably not be true of Al Gore (even though Gore would have been a better president than Bush) and certainly not of John Kerry (and between Bush and Kerry, it's probably a toss-up).

This divide between rich and poor is probably more pervasive in society today than racism, but it gets less attention (except from crazy left-wingers, who are promptly dismissed as socialist), mainly because it's easier to "spot" racism. If a white person treats a black person poorly, it's racist. Easy. Wealth cuts across racial lines, however. We hear about poor blacks attacking middle class blacks for "going white" because they have made money and adopted a "white" lifestyle. It's silly and uses the language of racism (by assigning a racial change to those blacks who have accomplished it) but it still speaks to a gap between the rich and poor in this country. There are not as many barriers as there once were to blacks or Hispanics becoming rich, but there are many barriers keeping poor people - black, brown, or white - from becoming rich. More importantly, the rich, who don't care who joins them as long as they get to keep their money, are much better protected in our society, and that's where the worship of money and the failure of the government becomes pronounced. This is apparent in many ways, but the incident that, for me, set me off, is a local one.

I doubt if it's been getting national attention, but this story has been big in Arizona for a while. The link is just the latest (and possibly last) in a series of articles about the story. It's a sad and disgusting little bit of Americana. Two camp counselors in Prescott pleaded guilty to assaulting 18 kids under their care. How did they do this? In a "hazing" ritual in which they shoved broomsticks into the buttocks of the kids, who were wearing underwear or other clothing. The two counselors, Clifton Bennett, 18, and Kyle Wheeler, 20, told the kids, aged 11 to 14, on the first day of camp that they would be punished for breaking the rules. "Punished" meant, apparently, being sodomized with broomsticks and, in the case of three boys, being choked by Wheeler until they passed out.

The case has gotten a lot of attention here not only for the horrible nature of the crime but because of who Clifton Bennett is. His father is the President of the Arizona Senate, Ken Bennett. So politics, and more importantly money, enters the picture.

Clifton Bennett will get about a month in jail, 200 hours of community service, and three years probation. Think about that for a minute. We have people languishing in maximum security prisons for smoking marijuana. Not selling marijuana, smoking marijuana. This kid admitted to assaulting 18 children, and he's getting a month in jail. The Yavapai County District Attorney, Sheila Polk, has been ripped for not prosecuting the case more aggressively, but she says there isn't enough evidence to charge them with a sexual assault. So ramming broomsticks up some kid's butt isn't sexual assault, it's just regular assault, and therefore the perpetrator gets a month in jail.

The statements by the judge and the defendants are pretty astonishing, too. Judge Thomas O'Toole said, "The evidence clearly shows that both defendants engaged in conduct that was callous and reckless," and then added, "It's fair to say that the conduct was out of character for these young men." But he did not classify the convictions as felonies. So, if you're in the mood to choke kids until they pass out or drive sticks into any orifice they have, feel free - it's a misdemeanor. The judge also said that the actions were "not intended to be criminal in nature." Well, shit, that makes it all right, then. When I blow up my neighbor's house because he won't stop driving his motorcycle up and down my street late at night, I can just say that my actions weren't intended to be criminal in nature. Can I help it if there are laws against it? That's not my problem, after all. These defendants seem reasonably smart. Did they not think, as they were choking kids, that maybe these actions could be seen as criminal? That's such a dumb statement by the judge I almost have to bang my head against the wall. Meanwhile, the defendants were contrite. How nice of them. Bennett said he didn't think him going to jail would satisfy the victims as much as his heartfelt remorse. Yeah, okay. I'm shocked that he would think that.

The victims and their families were less than pleased. Their parents say many have trouble sleeping and going to the bathroom since the assaults, and their grades have slipped. 13-year-old Zachary Motcheck, one of the victims, said, "It's unfair, and it's just because Bennett's dad is a senator." Ah, yes, the political connection. Sheila Polk said that at no time did the office of Senator Bennett call her to influence her one way or another. Well, of course she would say that. At the Yavapai County Government page, there's a link to a press release by Sheila Polk (it's a pdf file and for some reason I can't link to it) in which she responds to some of the criticism leveled against her. It's all well and good, but the point is not that she failed and the judge failed (she, of course, blames the judge for the sentencing). It's that both she and the judge are caught up in a criminal justice system that favors the rich and powerful. Clifton Bennett is a fine, upstanding son of a Senator who is planning to go on a Mormon mission soon. Polk says that the fact that he is planning this also had no influence, but who can really tell. The fact is, district attorney is an elective office. Judge is an elective office. It certainly can't hurt to allow the son of the Senate President off with a slap on the wrist, and Sheila Polk and Thomas O'Toole can blather on all they want about proper procedure, but the fact remains that this is a slap on the wrist. Yes, it's up to judge's discretion to set the punishment. Are you telling me that the judge put aside any thoughts of political advancement, his own prejudices toward "fine, upstanding, religious citizens" who had never done anything wrong before (that we know of) and wept like babies in the courtroom, and the power of the father of one of the defendants when he sentenced these kids? He's human, after all. I'm not necessarily blaming him for it, because everyone is influenced in this way, but it's sad that we have come to this, when who the person is or is related to is more important than the crime they committed. If Clifton Bennett was a nobody, I would almost bet he would be in jail for longer than a month.

Senator Bennett was at the courthouse last Friday. He "hustled his son through the rear door of the courthouse" and said Clifton had "made a heartfelt apology in court."

"We hope today will begin the healing process for everybody," he said, before adding: "How would you feel if your son was going to jail?" As someone pointed out in the opinion page a few days later, how would he feel if his son was the one who had been sodomized and choked and the criminal who did it was getting away with a slap on the wrist? If my son came to me and admitted he did this, of course I'd want him to stay out of jail, especially if I thought he was contrite, but at the same time I'd want to beat him myself because this is a horrible thing to do. Senator Bennett might not have used his influence, but because of who he is, his son got away with his crime.

This case is just a microcosm of what's happening in the U.S. today. You can argue it if you want, but I don't think it's really debatable that the rich and powerful get away with pretty much anything they want to. This is frustrating because the middle class keeps shrinking and the U.S. begins to resemble a Third World country more and more. We're not there yet, but we're on the path to it, and as those of us who aren't rich become more and more marginalized, it will just get worse and worse. The government should be there for those who don't have power, but it's not. That's why Bush is a failure - not because he's an idiot, but because he, like most presidents, sees the office as just a way to accrue power to himself and make his friends richer. Bush and his friends don't need to be richer. They need to look after the powerless. That doesn't mean throwing money at them like Democrats want, but it does mean helping them in any way they can. Trickle-down economies don't work. Developing systems by which the powerless can get true justice would be a start. But we're a long way from that, unfortunately.

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Scandalous teachers, insane conservatives, Archie is God, Operation Mincemeat, and Saint Paris Hilton? Yes, it's all in the links!

It wasn't a ridiculously busy week, so I had some time to surf the world wide web and bring you the highlights. I hope you enjoy them!

And, if you're so inclined, sign my GuestMap. It's been a while since anyone did and it's getting sad.


First, we have a blog devoted to pictures of Vanessa Kay, who appears to be one of the women who used to be on The Man Show. So. Photos of a big-chested blonde. Now that's entertainment!

I can't really recommend going to the next blog, but it's weirdly compelling. Very short posts with very bad grammar and very foul language accusing pretty much everyone in the world of being involved in child porn. Bizarre. No icky pictures or anything, so don't be afraid, but very bizarre. Seriously. Everyone in the world.

The next blog is somewhat interesting. Black-and-white photos of what I can only assume is Italy, since the blog is in Italian. Neat.

This blog is by a bunch of left-wingers in Appalachia. "Because Appalachian Pride isn't limited to zealots, bigots, and right-wingers." Testify!

Finally, a blog that appears to be written in Turkish. It certainly looks like Turkish. So if you can read Turkish, go for it! I can't.


Are we sure Bush will leave office in 2009?

The GayProf rips Mary Cheney a new one. Go, GayProf! Excellent thoughts.

Why would I post such a blatantly cheesecake picture, especially in the "Political" section of the links? It turns out she's a teacher. And, of course, parents complained. She's 25 and posed for these when she was in college, so it shouldn't be anyone's business, but as we well know, if you're a teacher, you're scrutinized much more because God forbid children should see chicks in bikinis! I got the picture from this site, which has more, if you want to contribute to the corruption of America's youth! And of course, I must make the obligatory male-pig remark about not remembering having any teachers who looked like that in high school. And comment on the fact that there is, apparently, a U.S.A. National Bikini Team. ?????

How Bush has helped liberals. Good point, actually.

Speaking of Bush and liberals, conservatives who are disappointed in him are now calling him ... yep, a liberal. Fine stuff. Of course he's a liberal, because we all know that liberals are the worst evil ever.

Here's a horrific article about the war in the Congo. Another place we ignore even though it's important. I got this from Andrew Sullivan.

Ahistoricality links to an interesting article on Latin America and Donald Rumsfeld. More stuff we don't care about, but should.

The great immigration debate! From a century ago, that is. Amazing how things never change. This is from Andrew Sullivan.

Is George Bush really Alexander Luthor? If you don't know who Alexander Luthor is, you obviously don't read comic books. I got this at Ian's blog.

Join the army, kill civilians. This is a very sad story that right-wingers will probably trash. I found the link at Crash Landing.

Boys in college are reporting more impotence, so we should, of course, blame feminists! Who knew feminists were the cause of everything evil in the world. I found this at Majikthise, who links to other thoughts about the story here and here.

So there's been that big to-do over the Spanish-language version of the National Anthem, right? Well, ABC News went to Washington and found most members of Congress did not know the words to the English version. So, you know, shut up. I got this from Crooks and Liars via Shakespeare's Sister.


I don't like to link to her a lot, because even giving her the attention on this tiny little blog is too much, but sometimes, it's necessary: Ann Coulter wonders "where are the skinheads when you need them?" Yes, she's calling for people to rise up and beat foreigners again, specifically the former spokesman for the Taliban who is attending Yale. She continues by asking, "What does a girl have to do to get an angry, club- and torch-wielding mob on its feet?" Read the rest, if you didn't just eat. How can conservatives defend this woman? Some people say we shouldn't take her seriously, but she does this far too often. She is absolutely insane. And yet people think she is the voice of conservatives. If so, I fear for the country. I found this here, which had been linked to by ahistoricality, who also has some other fun conservative quotes. There's some more perspective here, as well.

Bush and the conservatives are doing very well, according to Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt, in case you don't know, has pictures of Bush on his wall with hearts drawn around his face and "H.H. + G.W.B." scribbled all over them. At least he should. I got the link at Agent of Change.


What Wonder Woman taught the GayProf about life. My favorite: "Fighting Nazis and supervillians is not an excuse for ignoring your appearance." But they're all valuable.

Chris Sims gives us Infinite Crisis in Thirty Seconds - done in crayon. Sheer brilliance. I'd steal a panel, but it must be experienced in its complete glory.

Harvey Jerkwater shows us a seriously bizarre Silver Age comic book cover. You must go look!

The Hulk has found comic strips starring ... The Hulk! Go and read them: One, Two, Three, and Four.

Sleestak wants to re-introduce the word "Fileboner" to the world. Find out where it was first used.

Rob Liefeld draws Jesus fighting Greek gods. And he pulls himself off the cross to do so. Awesome. I found this link at Dave Ex Machina.

Scipio breaks down why Archie is God. Freaky!


Here's a post proving basketball is ridiculously homoerotic. Lots of pictures (with captions!), including my favorite:

The Jumble in the newspaper gets weird. You have to scroll past the Spider-Man comic strip, but it's worth it.

You know you want this shirt:

I don't know where to buy it, but I saw it at Dave Barry's blog.

Chez Guevara: A Revolution in Dining.

Very funny blog: Emails From Jesus. "Our blogger who art in Heaven." Satan also answers your emails - and lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Very, very funny.

Latigo Flint explains how not to get killed by angry orcas.

You know those annoying motivational posters in offices? Well, at this site you can find "demotivators." They're excellent. Here's one of them:

I found the link at Welcome to Blog.

Toner Mishap gives us some fake anti-Bush pictures, including this one:

Superblog!! links to an old post about really bad URLs. They're real site addresses to, and they include such fun ones as


Pictures from the same blog: here and here.


This is a fascinating post about something called Operation Mincemeat during World War Two. Intelligence work is kewl.

Paris Hilton = Good Catholic Girl! I found this at Road to Surfdom.

The new season of Deadwood might be the last. Boy, that sucks. I found this at Unqualified Offerings.

Oscar Madison praises dandelions. I agree with him. Dandelions are purty.

It's time for ... sculptures made out of tape:

I got this at Dave Barry's blog.

There's a rock slab growing from Mount Saint Helens! Check it out:

You can read more about it here. I found the link at Laura's blog.

Dave Barry finds a German brothel that caters to virgins. Comic book readers of the world, head to Germany!

A judge in the Philippines was fired for consulting mystic dwarfs. Yes, you read that right! In George Bush's America, he'd get a promotion! I got this at Homo Sum.

Something Old, Nothing New has WKRP in Cincinnati clips. They take a while to load, but they're very funny. Of course, they depress me because it will never be out on DVD. Ever.

Go check out the weather on Jupiter!

Blogs4Bauer celebrates Jack Bauer Appreciation Day with what they most appreciate about Jack Bauer. Warning: it has very little to do with Kiefer.

Do you want to make your own wallet out of Batman undies? Sure you do! Thanks to Heidi for the link.


We all love wasting time on the Internets, don't we? Guess what? It just got a whole lot easier: Welcome to Google trends. You put in whatever term you want and find out where the most searches are coming from. I found out about this wonderful tool here and here and here. Yes, Salt Lake City is third-highest in the world for searches of pornography and Muslim countries dominate the searches for sex. Commence with the time-wasting!

That's all for this week. As usual, who knows when the links will rear their frightening heads again! It's a week-by-week process, people!

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Not one, but two celebrities need to shut up!

From today's Arizona Republic:

[Britney] Spears told the British publication [the Sun] that she would love to make a film with [George] Clooney.

"He's pretty cute, but don't tell my husband," Spears says.

The ideal Spears-Clooney collaboration script would have Spears playing, perhaps, Wonder Woman - from the Island of Amazon Doritos Addicts With a Severe Allergy to Standard-Issue Superhero Spandex.

"I would go nude. And I'd love to play a superhero. That would be really cool," Spears says.

Clooney, of course, would play Maj. Steve Trevor, whose overwhelming sexiness would cause him to be habitually clubbed over the head and stuffed into a barrel, but always rescued by a topless Spears wielding a golden venti Frappuccino of truth. The Nazis, however, would remain clothed and uncaffeinated.
[emphasis mine, because that's what she shouldn't have said.]

Oh, Britney. Oh, dear Britney.

And then there's Clementine Ford, Cybill Shepherd's daughter: "It was tough having a beautiful mother as a kid. High school boyfriends wanted sex with her. I don't blame Mom for being beautiful - but it was gross." Almost as gross as you telling us about it!!!!

Hey, Clementine and Britney: shut the hell up.

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Never come between a woman and her interior decorating!

A month ago I sort of mocked my wife right here on this blog! Okay, I didn't really mock her, I just mentioned her delightful quote. I guess I should have kept my mouth shut, because we got two of the switchplates in the mail this week, and they're kind of sweet:

That second one is a representation of a floor tile from the church of Saint Catherine of Siena. Is that in Siena? Anyway, those are cool switchplates. However, I stand by my gentle mockery. She was surfing this switchplate site and was putting plates in a shopping cart just for fun. She mentally went around the house and replaced all our switchplates. Just ours, mind you, and she had just one switchplate for each bank of switches. Her shopping cart had over $500 in it! She did not spend that much, of course, but these two were pretty spendy for switchplates, I think. You must still look upon them with envy!

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Back to the coast with Picture Day!

For Memorial Day in 1995 Krys and I took a short trip to Florence, Oregon, and various places between Florence and Portland. It was a nice trip - the weather was spectacular and we got to check out the sand dunes of Florence, which is part of its charm and tourist appeal. We also drove further down the coast than we had previously, so that was neat.

This is just a typical Oregon coast photo. Beautiful scenery, a lighthouse, a road, a tiny beach - that's just the way it is!

I mentioned the sand dunes in Florence. Here's Krys hanging out on the sand. We saw some people with a dachshund out on the dunes. I suppose it's kind of cruel, but we couldn't stop laughing at the dog trying to run on the sand. You haven't seen funny until you've seen a wiener dog trying to run on sand. On second thought, it's probably not that cruel. It's not like the dog was in any kind of pain. He just went straight down instead of forward. Classic.

More dunes. Just because I can.

I'm not sure what that house is, but if it's a residence, it would be a cool place to live. Except in the winter, of course, when the weather is yucky. I'm not sure what it is, though. Looks cool.

We drove up 101 from Florence on our way home and stopped at the appropriately named Seal Rock. Those things on the rocks are sea lions. No, they're not seals. Whatever. They hang out and sun themselves with impunity, because those damned liberals won't let anyone shoot them. Stupid liberals!

It was a very nice weekend. I again implore you to visit the Oregon coast. It's groovy.

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Great songs, according to me (Part 21)

We're into the third hundred of great songs, according to me, so crack open a can of Schlitz and sit on down to read! There's really nothing better to do on a fine spring weekend than check out what songs some bonehead in Arizona are great, is there? IS THERE?????

As usual, in case you came in late, you can check out my first two hundred selections: the archive of the first 15 parts; Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, and Part 20. Now, let's get it on!

201. Gallows Pole (by Led Zeppelin on the album Led Zeppelin III, 1970): It's been a while since we had a Zep song on the list, but let's kick it back up with a song about whoring out your sister! Yippee! The starkness of the lyrics in "Gallows Pole" is nicely accompanied by the slowly building frenzy of the music, which of course culminates with the hangman banging the condemned's sister. Page really shows off his chops here, as he goes from plucking his guitar to full blast honky-tonk. Whyever is Plant on the Gallows Pole in the first place? It's a mystery for another day!

202. Genie (by Marillion on the album Marbles, 2004): If there's a slight weakness to this song, it's that Steve Hogarth's vocals aren't what they used to be - he can't quite reach the higher registers, and he should stay away from them. However, it doesn't wreck the song, which is a tragic tale of a man who is scared to take risks and find happiness even though he has a woman (the genie, presumably) willing to show him the way. It starts quietly and builds majestically, until you can hear all the fear and sadness because of that fear in Hogarth's voice. A tremendously beautiful song.

203. Gentle Groove (by Mother Love Bone on the album Apple, 1990): I really can't stress enough how brilliant Mother Love Bone was on their one album. I've mentioned them before, and whenever they come up again on this list, I'll tell you again how brilliant they are and how you should track down this recording (the original of which is out of print but which is available packaged with their EP, Shine). "Gentle Groove" is just one of their typically wonderful songs, as the guitar comes in slowly but powerfully, and Andrew Wood's nasal voice with its hint of nastiness wraps around bizarre lyrics that are far more than the sum of their parts. When he reaches the end and sings, "And nobody's gonna take my love away, and nobody's gonna slow my gentle groove," you're pretty sure he's talking about drugs, which makes his death all the more stupid and pointless. All of the songs on the album have some added poignancy because Wood was an idiot, but they're still excellent rock-n-roll, and this one is one of the great ones.

204. Get Out The Map (by Indigo Girls on the album Shaming Of The Sun, 1997): Sure, this is a typical Indigo Girls songs, which means I'm going to like it anyway, and although it doesn't have that special something that lifts other songs by our two favorite folk lesbians above the others, the reason it's a great son is because it sounds sad but is really quite joyous, and when Emily sings, "I'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young," you just can't help but smile. It's also a song that makes you want to literally get out a map and just hit the road. So that's why it's great.

205. Get The Funk Out (by Extreme on the album Pornograffiti, 1990): Yes, it's an Extreme song on this list! While that may invalidate my opinions in the future for anyone who happens to stop by here, I would challenge you to actually sit down and listen to this song before you start bashing me. Great horns, fun guitar, goofy lyrics, and a plea for hedonism. What's not to like? It's just a wacky rock song by big-hair guys who don't take themselves too seriously. Nuno Bettencourt has some great chops, and Gary Cherone has a fantastic rock star voice (his awful Van Halen album notwithstanding), and you can't help but bop your head and sing along at the top of your voice. Don't resist!

And just wait until I get to songs from their 1995 release, Waiting for the Punchline. Why? Let's just say the words "forgotten" and "classic" will be thrown around a lot.

206. Gett Off (by Prince and the NPG on the album Diamonds And Pearls, 1991): Prince is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance these days, but that doesn't mean we should forget his past! Diamonds And Pearls, unfortunately, isn't really that good of an album, but "Gett Off" kicks major ass. Only Prince could make a flute funky, I believe. He has that great greasy vocal working for him in this song, and it has that early-1990s wheeze to it (like in House Of Pain's "Jump Around"), and of course, great lyrics about how hot some girl is and how nasty she likes her sex. Come on, it's Prince, what do you want? People tend to forget about this great dance tune when they think of Prince, which is a shame. It's excellent.

207. Ghost (by Indigo Girls on the album Rites Of Passage, 1992): Holy crap, this is a great song. As usual with the Girls, it's the lyrics that drive it, although the music is powerful enough. It's another Emily song, which is a bit surprising because I tend to like Amy's songs more, but Emily can certainly write kick-ass songs about lost love. Her voice aches as she begins with "There's a letter on the desktop that I dug out of a drawer, the last truce we ever came to in our adolescent war" and when she reaches "You kiss me like a lover then you sting me like a viper" you can almost imagine her weeping as she sings. It's a marvelous evocation of love gone by, a love that probably wasn't that healthy but is missed nonetheless.

208. The Ghost Of A Smile (by The Pogues on the album Hell's Ditch, 1990): Hell's Ditch is a decent Pogues album (of course, I'm a fan, so I think they're all good), but it doesn't reach the heights of their classic albums. That's not the fault of this song, though, which is light-hearted enough, but contains just enough edge to push it to greatness. Shane is smitten by a girl, who can get him to do anything she wants, but he also tells her "Don't wait too long, or I'll be gone." That simple little lyric, coupled with the slight increasing urgency of the music, twists this sweet song just enough to make you realize how ephemeral love can be, and we need to seize it while it's there. Beautiful.¹

209. Give It All Away (by World Party on the album Bang!, 1993): Wow. I just found out, looking for a web site about him, that Karl Wallinger and World Party have a new album out. Just another thing I have to pick up. I mean, it's only been 9 years since the last one. Take a few more years off, Karl! Anyway, Bang! is a good album, helped by this song, in which Karl rocks out a bit more than usual, and gives us biting lyrics about (what else) man's destruction of the earth. Sure, it's a theme he really likes, but it's still relevant, and his anger and sadness comes through very well on this song. How can you argue with lyrics like "It seems to me you're killing all the things you love the most"? See? You can't.

210. Give It Revolution (by Suicidal Tendencies on the album Lights ... Camera ... Revolution, 1990): Mike Muir must have a lot of anger in him, what with the name of the band and then the songs they write. But that's okay, because we reap the benefits with loud punkish thrash metal with some excellent lyrics and bass lines to die for. And, of course, songs about revolution! I love songs about revolution, because it means I'll have a soundtrack for when I take over (after which, like the French one, the revolution will become a dictatorship, but I'll be a good one, I promise), and this song will be near the front. It's just a kick-ass tune, and with lyrics like "Well you can put a bullet in my head but you can't kill a word I've said," you know you want to join the fight! The whole album is brilliant, thanks to this song and a host of others.

Well, that's it for this installment. I know you're always excited and interested in peeking into my twisted musical mind, and I like to accommodate! Enjoy!

¹ Yeah, I used "ephemeral" to describe a Pogues song. You gotta a problem with that? I'm a snooty English major, after all.

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Is it getting better?

Thirty-six years ago today National Guardsmen fired on Vietnam War protestors at Kent State University. I suppose we should be thankful that Bush doesn't know any history, or he might think this is a pretty good idea.

I mentioned the event last year, but I'm doing so again because this is one anniversary that really saddens me. Here and here are sites devoted to the events of the days around 4 May 1970. And, of course, the Wikipedia entry.

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The grossest miscarriage of justice in American history!

Raja Bell was suspended today. Oh, the humanity!

Those of you not following the NBA playoffs, I apologize for delving into it here. Usually I don't give a tiny rat's ass about the NBA playoffs, but living in Phoenix the past few years has piqued my interest, because the Suns, although I don't really care whether they win or lose, are a fun team, and I'd like to see their up-tempo style of play take over the league, because back when I was growing up and enjoyed the NBA, teams played like that, and it was fun. Now, after 15 years of "defensive" basketball (meaning guys trying to score get mugged all the time and the games end up with scores like 82-76), I can barely stand it. Which is why I like the Suns. They score quickly and often, and they don't care about keeping the other team down. They just figure they can outscore you. It often doesn't work in the playoffs, where the refs let players get away with even more mugging than usual, and it didn't work last year for the Suns (although they got to the Western Conference Finals) and it probably won't work this year (they're facing elimination in the first round). But the suspension of Raja Bell pisses me off.

If you don't know the tale, last night the Lakers were trying to eliminate the Suns in Phoenix. Phoenix came out strong and held a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. That's when Raja, who had been guarding adulterer and possible rapist Kobe Bryant all night, took the NBA's golden boy down with a clothesline to his throat. A flagrant foul, obviously, and Bell was tossed from the game. The Suns won to force a sixth game in Los Angeles, but they won't have Bell, who is a good defender on Bryant. They will probably lose.

Bell should have been tossed, of course. Usually, I wouldn't have a problem with a suspension, either. Other players have been suspended in this postseason for actions as bad as Bell. But others haven't been. And that's what pisses me off. Let's look at some of the crimes perpetrated in these playoffs that have led to suspensions:

Ron Artest of the Sacramento Kings gets suspended for a game for a flagrant foul on Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs. Ginobili came across the lane without the ball and Artest hit him in the side of the head with his forearm. Artest has a history of this sort of thing.

Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat gets suspended for a game for throwing his mouthpiece at a referee.

James Posey of the Heat gets suspended for a game when he comes up behind Kirk Henrich of the Chicago Bulls while Henrich has the ball and basically hip checks him to the floor.

All of these suspensions are justified. So how is Bell's any different? Allow me to explain. Kobe had the ball and was driving the lane, unlike Ginobili. Bell was in front of him, not behind him like Posey. And when you throw things at the ref, that's a whole different level. Does that mean I think Bell was justified? Certainly not - it was a stupid foul (I told Krys if you're going to foul Bryant that hard, make sure you break his leg, because otherwise it's pointless) and might cost Phoenix the series. But it wasn't as egregious as the other fouls. Kobe had elbowed Bell in the chest once already and in the face another time. So there was some history there.

Meanwhile, a couple of other things have happened in these playoffs that are just as bad or worse than what Bell did and nobody got suspended. In this series, Luke Walton of the Lakers threw Tim Thomas of the Suns to the floor, much like Bell did to Kobe, except that Thomas was in the air, which is a lot more dangerous. No suspension for Walton. Kwame Brown of the Lakers fouled Boris Diaw of the Suns hard and then stood over him, showing him up. No suspension. For the record, I don't think either of those fouls deserved suspensions, but then again, neither did Bell's. And the Holy Grail of idiocy, a few days ago a member of the Denver Nuggets, Reggie Evans, came up behind Chris Kaman of the Los Angeles Clippers and grabbed him between the legs and pulled. It's very clear on the video (I highly recommend watching it if you can find it, because it's so bizarre) that he is grabbing, clutching, and pulling. Kaman took exception to this, as you might expect, and shoved Evans. No suspension for Evans. If you're not going to suspend a guy for grabbing another guy's family jewels deliberately, you can't suspend Raja Bell for knocking a guy down.

So why was Bell suspended? These playoffs have been poorly officiated, as usual, and both teams have been getting shafted and a bit chippy. My feeling is that Bell was suspended because the person he took down was Kobe Bryant. Despite his adultery, despite possibly raping someone, despite his arrogance, the NBA wants to push Kobe as the next Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player in history, but he also got away with pretty much anything he wanted. Now he's gone, and the NBA is looking for someone to bring in the crowds. Kobe in L.A. does that, especially if they go far in the playoffs. If the person driving the lane had been Smush Parker, I doubt if Bell would be sitting tomorrow. But that's just my opinion.

This is one of the reasons why I get vexed by teams sports. I love football, but the refs often have too much control. Basketball has long been this way. It's frustrating to watch, because you have no idea why some calls are made and some are not, and therefore it becomes arbitrary and far too easy to believe in conspiracies. I don't think the refs are deliberately calling the games in favor of the Lakers, but when it gets off the court and suspensions are being handed down, I begin to wonder. And I don't want to wonder. I want to enjoy the game, because despite my all-consuming loathing of the Lakers in general and Kobe Bryant specifically, this has been a pretty entertaining series. It's too bad it's somewhat tainted now.

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Back to nature with Picture Day!

After last week's post of pictures of people you don't care about, today we head back outside and check out some spectacular scenery. If you can't enjoy Oregon in the autumntime, you just can't enjoy anything!

In October 1994 we decided to take a day trip to the McKenzie River Valley, which is east of Eugene. We drove south for a few hours and then got on route 126 to head east into the Cascade Mountains. We saw many scenes like this:

Ah, fall foliage! How I miss it!

We had nothing but time, so we stopped often and took pictures like this:

Look at that handsome devil! Okay, it's probably best that you can't really see me that well - we wouldn't want to ruin the scenery!

Route 126 leads to Route 242, which takes you over the mountains. Right near the road are the Three Sisters, which are three peaks close together (shocking, I know). These are two of them - the north and middle peaks.

Near the top of the route is a lava field. The background is washed out in this picture (I'm not a professional, sue me), but the lava sure is neat. Krys has claimed it in the name of Spain!

Lava as far as the eye can see! I'm not sure what that mountain in the background is. It might be Mount Jefferson. Nik, help me out!

We drove down the east side of the Cascades and into Sisters, Oregon, which is a nice little town that has become a bit of a tourist trap. From there we turned north. Most people, when they think of Oregon, think rain and evergreens and rivers and forests, but if you get on the eastern side of the Cascades, it's a desert! Check it out!

We headed north on Highway 26, which takes you over Mount Hood. We reached the summit area around sunset. So we took a picture of it!

It was one of the nicer days we have had together. It was very long, but well worth the drive. If you're ever in Oregon (and really, you have no excuse not to go!), a day trip through the mountains is quite groovy. Trust me!

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Quote of the day III

Krysta Burgas, 28 April 2006, approximately 8:30 p.m., speaking to her husband:

"I'm glad you're not a commercial fisherman."

So am I, honey, so am I.

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