Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

I don’t curse once

When it comes down to it, then, Russia simply matters more to the U.S. than do Poland and the Czech Republic, despite Poland and the Czech Republic being friends and Russia not.

—  in the Atlantic

this is a fascinating article on the United States’ recent decision to scrap the star wars missile plan that would’ve put missile sites in Poland and a radar station, I think, in the Czech Republic. we’re deferring to Russia, to gain a harder line against Iran, at the expense of friendly democracies in eastern Europe.
that must’ve been some conversation they had at the state and defense departments they had about this situation.
I supported this decision. I still do, economically. but, I suppose an argument can be made about it being ethically questionable, in a geopolitical kind of way. assuming geopolitical ethics exist.

jesus it’s late

look at this.

milky way

if that’s not one of the cooler things you’ll see today, I don’t know what is.

tonight was awful tough. the newspaper recently went through a design update recently. I may have mentioned this, I’m not sure. and its width shrunk — permanently — and it is taking some getting used to, apparently.
but, oh well. let’s us waste time talking about football.
the Hoosiers lost a game by three in the closing minutes against Michigan on Saturday — and on the road, no less — and that was a bummer. Chicago won by six which makes them 2-1, and not too bad. we’ll break Favre yet, we will.
and I had mixed results in the fantasy football thing this week. this is important news, I know. but everyone except my man DeSean Jackson rolled over and left me hanging. my team in Dave’s league is looking pretty ratty right now. I might have to force a trade with one of those junkie sports vultures. they’re all Buffalo Wild Wings employees. they bartend and watch Sportscenter for a living. how am I supposed to compete with that, goddamn it?
anyway. this week, brother, sister-in-law, his buddy from Charleston, and cousin plus one are coming to town for the U2 concert. this is on Thursday. jesus. I need to clean.
so yes, I’m going to see U2 this Thursday, that’s pretty cool. I haven’t actually given this a whole lot of thought, to be honest; I don’t listen to U2 an awful lot, but they’re still an act worth seeing if you get the chance. maybe they’re getting a little old. oh well. they’re still alive, and a lot of people still hate Bono, which adds to his relevancy, I suppose.
now, I can’t imagine that the above reads like a thrilling endorsement of a band I’m about to go see. maybe not. but, I will say that over a nearly thirty year career, they’ve got enough music piled up that they’ll put together a good setlist. I have high hopes for this. so I’m pumped.

alright. I swear, to god, I’ll start writing more. I don’t know what’s slowing me up. this blog’s sucked for a while now. if we’re giving out grades I’d give myself a C. maybe a C+. the pretty pictures of me and the galaxy make for good wallpaper. but I need something to write about, with authority.
the Bears via ESPN isn’t working. so, until I get over the writer’s block, thank god for the Chicago Tribune.

why don’t you click on the damn links, that’s what they’re there for

important: here is a video of the goddamn Road Warrior.

I haven’t even mentioned the half-marathon.

I ran it! that calls for an exclamation point, I don’t want modesty to be misinterpreted for vanity. I ran an 8:40 mile, which isn’t exactly blazing. no, I’m happy I actually did it. and really, it wasn’t that bad. once I started, I really wasn’t concerned with not finishing. maybe that was dumb. it became hard at mile 11, but I never really had to think about stopping out of necessity.
yes. it was nice, the whole weekend. got to putz around in Pennsylvania for a few days.
my dad is originally from Philadelphia. I have a lot of family there, and I hadn’t been up there to visit in four years. four goddamn years! Philly is only four and a half ours from here. I have poor excuses.
chiefly among them: I simply haven’t kept in touch. when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania with cousins, especially during the summer. as such, I have an imprint of Pennsylvania in my mind from my childhood. what it looks likes. its temperature, its sound. you know what I’m talking about. everyone has these impressions.
anyway, I really sunk into that while eating a cheesesteak, two hours after the race on some patio in Delaware County, and how much it looks and feels like I’ve always remembered it. very bright, and washed out.
but. downtown Philadelphia has always escaped me. grams lived in Upper Darby. my aunts and uncles out in the counties. so the run  through the city was completely new to me. prior experience in Philadelphia?I had once seen the Liberty Bell. I’ve been to the Art Museum. I’ve seen the ‘Rocky’ movies, god help me. but that’s not really knowing Philadlephia. and neither is spending a weekend there and running a half-marathon, but it helps.
and so did the Italian restaurant in south Philadelphia. god, damn, was that some good food. I don’t even remember what it was that I had, but it included pasta and sausage, and too much red wine. I had a wonderful time. looking back now, three days later, listening to Paul Simon on blast. I remember my cousin raising a toast to me, and calling me Prefontaine.
hey. I appreciate that shit.

watch where you're going, asshole

so there I go. I think that I’ll be doing more of these.

and the Bears won! that was pretty cool, seeing them playing a decent game against Pittsburgh. we’re gonna win the goddamn division. I’m back on the bandwagon.

he wrote the speech on a legal pad

that’s true, as well. you can see it. I’m watching Moammar Gadhafi give a speech to the UN general assembly. I think it’s the general assembly.
I acknowledge that the english translation is not nearly as eloquent as he is in arabic, but this is some rambling, crazy shit. he’s touched on civil war, Saddam Hussein, the JFK assassination … because he’s using some ham-handed analogies to denounce American foreign interventions  … and the prosecution of those Bulgarian nurses by his government, that were accused of infecting Libyan children with AIDS.
yes, he is ugly as hell, and he’s my man. it’s Moammar Gadhafi, everyone.

edit: see? rambling.

coffee

it’s been a slow week. not in the news, mind you; Obama pissed off Eastern Europe by backing out of that missile defense shield the Bush administration had been jacking it to for so very long, and Max Baucus has created a middling health care plan that everyone kind-of/sort-of thinks is alright. 
but I haven’t written anything. I’ve left you all without that flavor you love. I’m so very, very sorry.
and I don’t have much time to write now; gotta go running. this is very important today. on Sunday is the half marathon in Philadelphia, the one I’ve been working up to for two months now. that’s 13.1 miles. I’ve never gone that far, but I think I’m close; this last week or so, I’ve gone on three or four nine-mile runs, and I’m banking on adrenaline and reserve energy to put me over the top for the last four miles. and the eternal shame I will feel (for no good reason) if I have to stop in the middle of a race up and down the Schuylkill River.
anyway. that’s what I’m doing this weekend, driving up to Pennsylvania and back. I’ll be home on Monday, by way of Gettysburg — I’ve always wanted to visit Gettysburg — and I’ll take my camera, and I’ll take a bunch of shitty pictures.
so get ready.

WE’RE DOOMED

bears pack

one touchdown, four picks, and a whole lot of lame, in a 21-15 loss to the most insufferable bunch of pricks to ever arbitrarily choose a gold and green color scheme.
and Urlacher is apparently out for the season after dislocating his wrist. yes, I know: he’s a bit overrated, but a hell of a lot better than his backup is.
all of this, a week before Pittsburgh comes to town. well good. in six days, I’ll be done sulking. fuck the Steelers. we will march to victory on a road of their bones.

and all the bitches went crazy

so there’s a new policy journal out there, which is exciting news for people who aren’t cool. it only follows that David Brooks therefore devoted an entire column to trumpeting its arrival in yesterday’s New York Times. must’ve been a slow week for him.
but, as I am not cool, I read one of the essays. it is big, and wordy, and not easy to read at work because of its size. but  it had some interesting things to say about populism, the rise of the financial industry, the difference between being pro-market and pro-business, and America’s growing skepticism of capitalism in the wake of the massive bailout of  ‘too-big-to-fail’ titans of the economy.
I am still of the opinion that we (the torch-wielding mob) should go down to lower Manhattan and tar and feather some motherfuckers. but I can still appreciate a thoughtful reading of the subject, from someone who calls for a bit more restraint.
anyway, here’s a passage regarding giant bag of dicks Henry Paulson that I really enjoyed:

The problem is that people who have spent their entire lives in finance have an understandable tendency to think that the interests of their industry and the interests of the country always coincide. When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson went to Congress last fall arguing that the world as we knew it would end if Congress did not approve the $700 billion bailout, he was serious and speaking in good faith. And to an extent he was right: His world — the world he lived and worked in — would have ended had there not been a bailout. Goldman Sachs would have gone bankrupt, and the repercussions for everyone he knew would have been enormous. But Henry Paulson’s world is not the world most Americans live in — or even the world in which our economy as a whole exists. Whether that world would have ended without Congress’s bailout was a far more debatable proposition; unfortunately, that debate never took place.

Capitalism After the Crisis, by Luis Zingales

lots of ‘uhs’

An AP photographer embedded with a marine patrol in Afghanistan got some, uh, before and after pictures of a marine during a Taliban ambush. the results were not pretty, and the marine, a 21-year-old kid from rural Maine, died.
the decision to publish the photos — and from what I understand, it wasn’t done immediately and most who used the AP content didn’t snap up the certain picture that was called objectionable — pissed off the defense department something fierce. 
but I’m beating around the bush. you can see the pictures, and get a better description of events, at the New York Times’ photography blog. so go on and read that. and, uh, listen to Rush.

Pfizer can cure erectile dysfunction

truly. they’re changing lives.

Pfizer (the same company that used Nigerian children as test subjects) will pay a record $2.3 billion fine for illegally marketing drugs proven ineffective to doctors that we often don’t need.
this has been coming for a few months now, apparently, but it’s the first I had heard of it. and according to the NY Times story, this fine amounts to less than three weeks of Pfizer’s sales. so no, fuck you, logic and decency.

this is important, god damn it

a lot has been going on in the news.
Virginia’s next governor, it has been revealed, wrote his master’s thesis on why wimmin have no place in the workforce, why fags shouldn’t get the same benefits afforded to heterosexual marriages, and bemoaning legal contraceptives for unmarried couples, because these things are affronts to the traditional family. many people are shocked by this news. I am not. when Bob McDonnell went to graduate school, it wasn’t called Regent University, it was Christian Broadcasting Network U! because nothing says “higher learning” like Pat Robertson. 
and what else. Los Angeles, as usual, is going to burn to the ground. let’s mosey on over, across the web, to the LA Times, and see what’s what … yes. the Southland is fucked, as usual.

but fuck all of that. because Football Season is upon us. It is back, having descended from the skies. It has returned, like It said that It would.
with the advent of professional football, also comes fantasy football. I am in four leagues this year, an all-time high. technically, three of these do not matter, while the fourth league — BWS valpo season 2009 — matters greatly.
bear in mind, this is nothing against the formidable competition in the others. they’re just not putting money on them.

I love to toot my own horn about this; this will be my fourth year in the Buffalo Wild Wings league, and I’ve won it twice now. I do this through a carefully calibrated combination of stingy trade refusals, workhorse running backs, and blind luck. I’m also of the opinion that if you fuck up your draft, no amount of finagling with the other jackasses in your league will make it right; none of us are master criminals, no matter how much Sportscenter we watch and Rotoworld.com we read. so I try to get it right the first time, and then ride the season out.
this year, the draft was last night. I had planned to do it from work, as I sit in front of a fucking computer for eight hours a day (and I’ll be doing it again in about three hours!), but, because working for Media General is equivalent to working for a despotic 14th-century warlord, I’m not allowed to install any updates to any program on my computer myself. I have to get the IT guy to do it, and I need a good reason to ask for it. so I can’t install the Flash upgrade on Internet Explorer, and therefore, can’t participate in Yahoo’s fantasy football online drafts from the office. son of a biscuit.
so I called Mike up and got him to draft for me from DC. because that’s what brothers are for. here is what he/I got for Team Sexual Warrior:

took Drew Brees at QB in the first round; he’ll throw for a bajillion yards this year, so that was a good call.
by the time the second round rolled in, all of the top-tier running backs were gone. so got Randy Moss as the #1 WR.
same held true for the third round, so got Roddy White for the #2 WR.
at this point, everything had gone to shit; my first inclination is to take the best QB available, and then draft running backs. but apparently, everyone else in the league thinks this is a good idea, too. so now they’re all gone, and I’m starting Felix Jones and Darren McFadden while I wait for Marshawn Lynch to serve his three game suspension. shit.
my tight ends suck; I’ve got John Carlson from Seattle and Tony “I’m on the downward slope of my career and Kyle Orton is throwing to me” Scheffler from Denver.
the kicker is interchangable and not really worth mentioning, and I have Miami’s D. I’ll give Mike that one, he’s right; that team’s on the upswing, and Parcells is the general manager, which, as he pointed out, means they’re not going to have scrubs on defense.
Mike got Ted Ginn Jr., and Hakeem Nicks as backup wideouts. Nicks is another good call, because he has as good a chance as any to catch passes for the Giants ever since Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg while wearing sweatpants at an NYC nightclub and got a prison sentence for it. talk about rough justice for a fashion faux pas.
and I’ve also got Beanie Wells at RB, and Carson Palmer to spell Brees.
and that’s it.

so truthfully, I think the first week of the season is going to hurt. wide outs are prone to violent mood swings in fantasy football productivity, and that’s the one thing I’ve got a lot of. but I’ve got high hopes once we get into October. we forced Virginia off of her computer (and a conference call) so I could take another swing at being crowned king of the Buffalo Wild Wings dipshits for another year, so I’m already in a debt that I can’t pay off in bartending tips. so please, let’s all cross our fingers and hope everything goes well, and McFadden can gain more than thirty yards against San Diego in two weeks.