Saturday, May 29, 2004

Surgery Becomes Him

After each surgery, Karsay's fastball gets faster. A few more trips under the knife, and he'll throw harder than Billy Wagner.

ESPN.com - MLB - Back from surgery, Karsay hits 94 mph

Friday, May 28, 2004

Arms Race

This gives Anaheim the best trio of throwing arms in baseball. Maybe the best trio ever. No one will be taking the extra base on the Angels.

ESPN.com - MLB - Mondesi reaches deal to play for Angels

We've Been Saying This For Months

This is one of the essential points of the research Mike and I are doing:

Publishing industry prospecting among Blogs

Tomorrow's best-selling authors may be writing Weblogs today. So says Kate Lee, an assistant at International Creative Management, who spends part of each day reviewing several dozen blogs in an effort to scour about for publishing talent. "Most writers are not getting published in magazines or literary journals," she told the New Yorker. "For some unconventional voices, for people who don't have connections, blogs can be an entryway into the game." Lee's got two clients at work on books: Elizabeth Spiers, writer of The Kicker, and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com.

A Little Magic, If You Please

It was time for payday, and it almost slipped away.
As previously stated, my deal was that if my daughter got straight A-s, I’d let her get her ears pierced a year ahead of schedule. We had an appointment today with a dermatologist. Upon arrival, the receptionist had trouble with our last name (which is not difficult if you posses in excess of a third grade education). She found our name .. but .. she had us for a June 28th appointment, not May 28th.
Well, that just plain sucked.
Fighting to hold back tears, my daughter got in the car and we headed home. I promised her I’d do what I could to perform magic and get them done today. A side note: I will not allow her ears to be pierced in “The Mall.” I’ll pay the $75 and avoid he later doctor bill to treat an infection.
Thanks to proximity search, I began to look for dermatologists near my home. No dice. Then, I tried pediatricians. My daughter’s doctor does not do ear piercing. Four calls later, someone said to try Desert Palm Surgical Center. They were booked, but after hearing our tale of woe, they got us in.
An hour later, my girl is decked out in (fake) diamond earrings.

We're All Bozos On This Bus (Apologies to Firesign Theater)

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

Zonies Head For The Beach

Next week, I am going on vacation. I have mixed feelings about vacations. I really am enjoying my work (I feel I am at the top of my game) but know I need a break. When you are past the half-century mark, you need to pace yourself and build in times to just get away from it all. Shut off the PC. Leave the work phone behind. Turn off the cell.

This is the first vacation in a few years that I feel I have truly earned. I have had a great 10 months of work since returning to the previous career. The work is stimulating and I have great colleagues. I do know, that of late, I am feeling a little fried. So, on vacation we go.

I will spend my time on the beach listening to music on my I-River MP3 player watching my daughter attempt to surf. I will read and generally just do what I love: hang with my family. In addition, we are off to do a zoo ride that takes us into animal habitats at the Wildlife Park and (of course) a baseball game. Every vacation must have a baseball game.

We’ll be going to two of our favorite dining establishments: Chieu-Anh Vietnamese Cuisine and Point Loma Seafoods. Toss in a trip to the outlet center and you have your basic Zonie get-away.

I hope to post next week from the road, but our room does not have high speed Internet access. I am on the prowl for free Wi Fi service nearby. Heck, it’s California… should be everywhere!

To Understand This, Please View "Wag The Dog"

Yahoo! News - U.S. Debates Defining Good Intelligence

Thursday, May 27, 2004

My Movie Pick Of The Summer

I didn't particulalry like "Jaws." I never saw any of the "Indiana Jones" movies. I thought "E.T." was vastly overrated.
But then again, "Saving Private Ryan" was a masterpiece. "Catch Me if You Can" was a cinematic gem. I am a latecomer to the Spielberg bandwagon, and believe the buddy films me makes starring Tom Hanks are can't miss.
When I want to feel really depressed, I'll rent "Schindler's List." I have been in Schindler's elevator.

Terminal - Yahoo! Movies

Wonder Which One Is The Con?

I am going to a party this weekend where there will people 100 people. Figure half of them are men. Guess that represents three quarters of one prisoner.

Yahoo! News Full Coverage - U.S. - Justice Department: 1 in 75 U.S. Men in Prison

The Low Carb Soda

Let’s start off with the fact that soda (or pop, if you are West of the Mississippi) is not a diet drink. It is also not a health drink. Carbonated beverages, by and large, fit no where on the food pyramid—they are off to the side in the danger zone. Consume at your own peril.

The new Pepsi and Coke “mid range” drinks that have less carbs “but all the taste” is a dumb idea. Mid-range anything is a dumb idea. I am a type 2 insulin-dependent diabetic. My life is the Atkins Diet. I eat minimal carbs and am not going to waste a single carb on soda. Sure, I miss the occasional Coke. I remember hot summer nights in Philadelphia when my dad and I would stop for a Coke on the way home from the ballgame. There was a deli underneath the El stop and Marget-Orthodox that was open late. My dad, from whom I inherited diabetes, didn’t drink many Cokes. In his day, diabetets control was not what it is today … That’s another posting.

Anyway, if I want a soda, I go Spelnda ® all the way. Hansens and Diet Rite are the best. ZERO carbs, no Aspartame ® That Aspartame ® stuff will kill you. Jones Soda used to have a vast array of Splenda ® -based flavors. Not any more.

Of course, I’ll try one of the new Cokes and will report back.

Does This Mean My Prescription Isn't Ready Yet?

Yahoo! News - Ex-Rite Aid CEO Gets 8-Year Prison Term

Small Hall

Wonder who is in the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame?

Heck, I’m wondering too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Welcome To Deja Vu

This year's political conventions will not be snoozers even if both parties have their nominations sewn up. You can just feel the civil unrest beneath the surface that certainly will manifest itself at both conventions. The tight security at the conventions from the recent threats of terrorism will add to the drama yielding some sort of watershed event.

Yahoo! News - Dellinger, One of the Chicago Seven, Dies

Missed Him By That Much!

As Maxwell Smart might have said ...
Looks like my man Marvin is no longer with the Atlantic City Surf but instead with the Blue Jays farm AAA team.

Sports | Baseball | canada.com

Wait... What Happened To Country Joe?

Yahoo! News - Phish Going Belly Up

Aim High

It will be the best $75 I every spent. That’s what it will cost me to get my daughter’s ears pierced this Friday. It was the incentive I gave her mid-way through the school year; if she got all A-s at the end of the year, I’d allow her to get her ears pierced a year ahead of schedule.
Honestly, it was a goal that seemed out of reach. Alas, I discounted the X-factor—Mike Lee. Mr. Lee is my daughter’s teacher and raises the bar for what you expect from a teacher. Honorable, caring, inspirational, fun, accessible. I could go on. In short, he cares and it shows. The kids see him a real, funny, smart and encouraging. With his guidance and prodding, my daughter hit her goal. Mr. Lee was one of Wal Mart’s teachers of the year for Arizona. We won’t hold that against him.
It gives you hope. A young woman inspired to reach beyond her grasp. A young teacher whose mission is to inspire his students. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I know a bunch of kids who are going to have a great year in 2004-2005; Mike Lee’s next group of students.

Do We Look That Dumb?

Note to producers of “The Sopranos”: If you plan on killing off a major character, don’t let anyone show her picture starring in a new show for the fall season. Sort of defeats the purpose of the plot surprise.

Two Days Later

Are you kidding me? What is the value of a concert review two days after the concert?
I used to review concerts (in a lifetime long, long ago) and always wondered about this. In the case where it was part of a three or four day run, I could see the value of "expert" commentary. In the case where it's an act that comes around every few years, I'd say it's a waste of space.

Gracefully aging Eagles take it to the limit at TCC | www.azstarnet.com �

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

'Round Here, We Love The Big Cat!

In our house, this is a big deal.
In 2000, when my wife battled breast cancer, Andreas Galarraga was our inspiration. The year before, Galarraga beat cancer for the first time and the stories of his strength and courage kept my wife going. When he returned to the Atlanta Braves lineup, there was not a dry eye in all of Turner Field. The dignity and grace with which he handled this horrible time in his life is a source of strength to draw from, and we drew from it a lot. My wife wore a blue Braves jersey with the name Galarraga on the back to each and every chemotherapy appointment. People would ask, “Are you a Braves fan?” “No,” she would reply, “just a Galarraga fan.” When he came to play for the Giants after his illness, we were devoted fans who cheered his very move.
After he retires from baseball for good, the word is he is considering running for president of Venezuela. I’d move to Caracas just to vote for him.
We love you, Big Cat! Our prayers are with you always!

Blogs +Political Conventions = The Future

I was reading today about a blog created by a young woman on Capitol Hill that is creating quite the scandal around D.C. I care about this for two reasons: one, is that shows the power of blogs. Mike and I are screaming this from the rooftops. Second, it is a precursor to the seminal blogging event of 2004—the political conventions.
The right person (or persons) with a Wi Fi-powered laptop and perhaps a digital camera can create the kind of instant journalism with an unbiased view that could rock the news world. We underestimate how smart and create people are in general. We overestimate the talent of “licensed” journalists. I was one (a journalist, that is) and there is no major potion you take to be a crafty reporter or writer. You have it, or you do not.
Stay tuned, we’ll talk more about the conventions, blogs and citizen journalism over time….

Michael Moore: Go Direct!

Despite Michael Moore's brilliance and grabbing the top award at Cannes, he still cannot get a U.S. distributor for his film, "Farenheit 911." . Why not try this for a distribution scheme: USE THE WEB!

Offer the movie for download via a Web Portal (MSN or Yahoo!) or Amazon or eBay? Or, use Movielink. Charge everyone $5 via a Paypal account. Donate some of the money to a charity of your choosing. In a few years, the politics of the movie distribution world will go away anyhow; start the revolution now.

Yahoo! News - Moore's Politics on Center Stage at Cannes

The Hotel Arizona

As concerts go, it was not anything that will make me forget the amazing three hours with Stevie Wonder in Seattle in 1981, or the time I saw Billy Joel (when he was a nobody) in 1975 at my college in Allentown, Pa..BTW, his song, “Allentown,” is not about Allentown, but more about Bethlehem, which is the next city down in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton corridor. That nonsense aside, the three-hour set last night in Tucson by The Eagles was memorable as it represents a bridge between the past and the future.

I could not help but be struck by something I saw a few weeks ago. In a promotional video for Launch, Don Henley (the most talented of The Eagles), remarked that Yahoo! was The Eagles record label. Given The Eagles do not record anymore, they probably don’t need one, but to me it represents a sign of the future when the big Web Portals become record labels (and TV networks and radio stations).

The good things about the show: the sound was great, the performances were solid and the road show lead guitarist, Steuart Smith, was sparkling. Henley sounded great; Glenn Frey sounded better than last year; Timothy B. Schmitt sang well (last year at the Phoenix show, he had laryngitis) and Joe Walsh was.. well … Joe Walsh. Someone once told me Joe Walsh was considered Ohio’s answer to Eric Clapton. I wonder.

The bad things about the show: the crowd was a strange mix of burned out old and indifferent young people with a lot of drinking. Don’t understand that; my daughter asked me why people get drunk. I had no answer. The security was really bad. The guards hassled some poor woman who was enjoying herself by dancing next to her seat. These same guards could not control a bunch of jerks who kept standing in front of us (we were in the first row of a floor section). I guess given these guards were making fast food wages, you get what you pay for.

Bottom line: my wife loved it. I live for these moments. After every song, she shot out of her seat clapping and screaming attired in her new $40 Eagles souvenir T-shirt. My daughter also liked it, which no doubt surprised her. As for me… it gave me some fodder for my blog. I can hardly wait for this “dysfunctional musical family” to return to the Southwest.

BTW, my ears are still ringing. As Uncle Leo once said, “Would someone answer the damned phone!”

Monday, May 24, 2004

To Sign, Or Not To Sign?

Sexson is in his walk year of his contract or might be just arbitration eligible... not sure ... I'd vote to sign him anyway. He's a home run hitter (which are difficult to come by) and the fans love him.

ESPN.com - MLB - Diamondbacks' Sexson back on 15-day DL

It's An Arizona Thing... Part II

FOX11AZ.com | News for Tucson, Arizona | News | State News

And The Reason Is??

NEWS.com.au | Rumsfeld bans camera phones (May 23, 2004)

Welcome To The Hotel Arizona

Yep, it’s going to be a big week. Next week, I am on vacation and it’s one I have earned. We’re off to the beach like most Zonies who flee after the temperature hits the century mark.

But before we head west, this week is jam-packed. I have tons of work-related stuff plus an Eagles concert tonight in Tucson. It will be the third time I have seen them, second in the last year. They are a really good live act even if the music is dated. My wife… well … she is a major Eagles fan. She will spend the better part of the morning hunting down her $40 T-shirt purchased at the last concert. I will blog the concert with some pics from outside the TCC (Tucson Civic Center).

We also have a family event next weekend. I will not be blogging that.

Then a D-backs game and then vacation… Of course the vacation includes baseball.

Danger Is My Name!

I live or have lived near four of the top seven. What does that say for me?

10 most dangerous intersections & photos

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Steve Martin's Underpants

So, today we saw the last in our Arizona Theater Company series. The play is “The Underpants,” written in 1910 by Carl Sterheim but adapted for the modern stage by Steve Martin. It was quite poignant, especially if you have an interest and knowledge of world history from the early part of the 20th Century.

The play has really nothing to do with underpants, although the premise is about a mild-mannered housewife in Dusseldorf who loses her underpants in the Town Square. The havoc it creates, especially with two male admirers, is the central plot theme. It has to do with German’s loss of innocence and its growing feelings of anti-Semitism. If you couple the play with a viewing of the strange-but-interesting movie, “Max,” you get an interesting picture of the era before and after World War I and how it changed Germany forever. “Max” stars John Cusack as a Jewish art dealer who befriends a young Adolf Hitler right after the First World War. If you really want to make a day of it, add “The Pianist” and “Saving Private Ryan” to the mix and you’ll need an Adam Sandler movie (my preference-“The Waterboy”) to get you back on track.

Anyway, the play is quite good.

TV Crossovers

Now that I am getting into “Law and Order” (one of the all-time best exercise bike shows), I am noticing a lot of “The Sopranos” crossover.

Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) was in an episode I saw while traveling; I tuned in late, so I am not sure about his role other than he was one of the alleged murderers. John Firoe, who played Gigi Cestone in “The Sopranos” (the guy who had the heart attack while on the toilet),is in the episode I currently am watching Looks like he also was in “NYPD Blue,” a show I am just starting to enjoy.

I Thought Of this First

Ask my wife.. she'll tell you this is true:

When Tommy John was managing one the Arizona Fall League Maryvale Saguaros in 2002, I tried to get up the nerve to ask him this very question. Bill Simmons of ESPN poses it very well:

When Tommy John meets somebody and they say, "Hey, you're the surgery guy!", do you think he ever wants to grab them by the collar, push them against a wall and start screaming, "I won 288 f------ games! Two hundred and eighty-eight! I pitched in three World Series! You got that, moron?!?!?! Two hundred and eighty-eight wins!"

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