Archive for April, 2010

Tigers, Lions and some (hot) Wings

April 28, 2010

I haven’t written anything in a while and so I think I’ll write a sports-themed blog today.

The Red Wings certainly showed everyone they haven’t forgotten how to win in the playoffs.  Even though they should have won the series in six games, I am pleased they dusted off Phoenix.  We’ll see how they do against San Jose.  The NHL playoffs are a grind and if they start the second round tomorrow and then either Satuday or Sunday in the Shark Tank, that means game 3 would be back here in Detroit Tuesday or Wednesday. 

Their Game 7 victory on the road was the first time since 1954 the Wings won a playoff series in that fashion.  They beat Montreal in the old Fourm to win the Stanley Cup.  At the Olympic break, they were in 10th place and I thought their 18-year playoff run would come to a end.  But they turned it on after the Olympics and made the playoffs and won their first round series.  It will be fun, especially for me being in Europe next week.

I’m still concerned with their power play and their age catching up to them. Lindstrom turns 40 today and Holmstrom, Draper and several others are on their last tour.  I just hope all these deep playoff runs the past few years doesn’t mean they are going to run out of steam again, like they did last year.  It’s always fun, though.

The Tigers are going to be interesting.  Don’t think they’ll win the division, but i like the young rookies they have on the team in Jackson and Sizemore.  Their starting pitching has to come around for them to contend.  Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.  But at 11-10 and only four wins from the starters, it seems to me they are putting undue pressure on the bullpen.  And it would help if the pitchers threw strikes.

Johnny Damon is a fantastic player.  I think he’ll do fine as long as Jackson keeps hitting well in the leadoff spot.  Guillen has to come back soon.  Otherwise teams are going to continue to pitch around Ordonez and Caberra.  It will be a fun summer around here, either way.

The Lions drafted A Man Named Suh last week and I sure as heck hope he lives up to the hype.  I think the NFL is headed for a lockout of epic proportions next year, but I doubt very much one defensive player will make a bad team a Super Bowl contender overnight.  The other draft choices were currious at best, but i’ll wait and see on those.  The schedule to me, at this point, still says 4-12, 5-11 at best.

The NBA Conspiracy, er Playoffs are off and I am still of the opinion “Anyone but LA.” (Sorry, Alissa)  I just think it’s too predictable and the league favors certain teams, i.e. Boston, LA, Chicago) over other teams, like Detroit and San Antinio.  When the Pistons and Spurs played a epic 7-game series in 2005, ratings were the lowest since the early 1980’s.  Never mind that both teams played “the right way,” the League tweaked the format after that, making all series 4-out-of-7.  The first round had been 3-out-of-5.  And then the Tim Dohanny scandal and the NBA has lost all credibility with me.  Plus with the Jazz about to send the Denver Pistons, er, Nuggets, home for the summer, i’m not even interested in the playoffs at this point.

Anyhow, I will hopefully get a blog out next week from Slovenia.  The tables await, as well as three plane rides and a couple of Swedish women looking for their favorite American.

Thursday, as requested

April 15, 2010

Thursday musings:

I suppose I should write something this week, being that my blog is in such popular demand.  I have meant to write something earlier this week, but other things got in the way.  Today is April 15, Tax Day.  I haven’t filed a tax return in a while, but I hear about them all the time. 

Now, taxes have been around forever.  And they will be around as long as humans are, I suppose.  Over the past year or so, there’s been much more talk of them and President Obama’s “Tax and Spend” policy’s.  Well, for all to know, your taxes haven’t gone up a dime.  Most have seen their taxes go down.  But the “Party of No” keeps their constant “We are against everything this President is for” mantra,  and people keep thinking their taxes are going up when they’re not.

Beautiful weather here, we haven’t had snow since February.  Amazing.  Hurts the winter resorts and the farmers, though, because we’ve been dry since then.  Not a lot of rain around here this spring, either. 

Obama wants to cut the Space program.  Let the Russians take our astronauts into space and commericalize the space industry.  Scrap returning to the moon.  But skip a program that NASA has been working on for 15 years (Constellation) and move onto the next program, Orion, which is going to a asteroid and then to Mars.  Which to me is like skipping Junior High and going straight to college.  Come to think of it, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea for a lot of people I knew, including myself.  But not the space program.  Most scientists agree that we need to return to the moon and establish a base there before we can even attempt going to Mars or the outer planets.  And leaving the solar system.  Several heros of the space program have written a letter to the President urging him to keep the space program intact while others, most notably Buzz Aldrin, are on the President’s side in this matter.  I hope there’s a way to keep some of what NASA wants.  We need to keep sending men to space.

Baseball season is underway.  Went to my first game of the year on Monday.  They lost to Kansas City.  I like the two new kids, Jackson and Sizemore.  But I miss Granderson.  And the pitching worries me.  But you could say that about every major league team.  I still love baseball.  It is a great game. 

That woman who hit and killed those four kids last year in Roseville pled “no contest” the other day.  I feel sorry for that woman, she obviously should never have been behind the wheel, but for the State to put her in jail for the rest of her life seems even more sad then those four kids getting killed, which was sad enough.  The unseen toll and emotional damage on both families is terrible, it really is.  I hope the judge is understanding, but judges rarely are in these matters.

I dislike the Pistons at the moment.  They haven’t been a team since they traded Chauncey away to Denver.  Dumars overplayed his hand and all that goodwill he built up is gone.  It might be a while before they get back to respectability and Dumars might just walk away, from what I was told.  And what makes it even worse, is that at the moment, they are unwatchable.

The Wings are amazing.  They climb from 10th place at the Olympic break, get into the playoffs and promptly get spanked by Phoenix in the opener of the series.  Figures. 

Got into a real interesting discussion with someone on a thread on Facebook last night and this morning, which naturally involved politics.  I guess I’ve always enjoyed politics, but since when did opinion of someone who doesn’t matter (me), matter?  I mean, the past thirty years everyone has moved into opposite camps and there is no middle anymore.  Probably because there is no middle class anymore, either. 

Elizabeth Warren for Supreme Court.  Maybe.  I still think the Republicans are gonna hoot and howl whomever the President picks. 

Ozzie Guillen is the Michelle Bachmann of Major League Managers.  A screw loose, needs a filter.

Ben Roethlisberger is a jerk.  Two Super Bowls doesn’t mean you are above the law or can have any woman you want, even if they resist.  That being said, the woman who complained should be investigated as well, especially if she files a civil suit against him.  These women know who these guys are, just like Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant.  The list is long.  Several athletes just pay the money even though the alligation is false. 

It doesn’t surprise me that Derrick Coleman is broke.  Most athletes run out of their money within a few years of leaving their respective sport.  Divorce, mental illness, you name it.  There’s a ex-Kansas City Chief player who just went AWOL about five years ago.  No one knows whether he’s alive or dead.  Mike Webbster, who was the center on those great Pittsburgh Steeler teams in the 1970’s, killed himself at 51,  from early onset dementia.  And it’s rumored that Allan Iverson is broke due to gambling debts and has been banned from casinos in Detroit and Las Vegas.  In a way, i’m lucky not to have that high a profile or have a lot of money.

Well, I think that’s all for now.  Comments are always welcome.

Friday Night Lite (I think)

April 10, 2010

Once again, into the breach…Or maybe on the beach.

Lately, I have been thinking about the stuff that’s happened in my lifetime.  Not just stuff that I have been invovled with like family, friends and all that, but stuff I have seen.  And experienced.  And remembered.  And it’s a lot.

I have seen every James Bond movie.  Several times.

I have seen every Star Trek movie. Several times.

I have lived under 11 Presidents. 

I have voted for President 8 times.  Never voted for a Republican.

In my lifetime we have gone from Walter Cronkite to Katie Couric.

I have lived in many places, but never considered any one place to be special.

I think I have been cheated from a lot of things. But I allowed it to happen.

My favorite Disney character: Goofy.

Johnny Carson. Dean Martin. The Rolling Stones.  Sienfeld. Newhart. Hill Street Blues. Cheers.

I miss the music I grew up with.  Even the crap was good. 

Everyone today takes too many risks.  I blame TV and mass media.  I never wanted to be famous when I was a kid.  That was just not in the way we grew up.  I wanted to watch baseball and football and read. 

Music stopped mattering to me 20 years ago.  Nirvana ruined rock and roll, in my eyes.

Women have taken over music.  Look at the charts.  I still read Rolling Stone, but more for the articles on politics and the old rockers, not the new stuff.

Thanks to Facebook, I now know when all my friends birthdays are and what their relationship status is.  Birthday’s, I care about, the rest, not so much.

I think i’m going to be single the rest of my life. I’d like it to be different, but I have to face reality.

Saw Michael Moore’s movie “Capitalism, A love story,” yesterday.  Interesting movie.  But nothing that I haven’t known since 1975.  The uber-rich would freak if we restored the 90% tax rate (now at 31%) that the uber-rich paid back in the 1950’s and 60’s.  Some guy walked out of the NYSE and told Moore “Stop making movies.” 

Glenn Beck said he “has no political agenda.  We are a entertainment company. ”  Not much else to say to that one. But i’m sure others might.

Comments that are “taken out of context,” aren’t.  They are taken the way they are meant.  When people get upset about them, then they have a fall-back position.

Is it just me, but are there more idiots than there used to be.  Or maybe i’m the idiot?

The NHL regular season means nothing.  But the playoffs are the best playoff system in the world.  Followed by the World Cup.  But the Stanley Cup is a two month grind and nothing, in my mind, comes close.

Michigan will come back because of one thing.  Water.  The west is running out of it and we have 75% of the World’s fresh water supply right here.  A friend of mine told me that 15 years ago.

The Tea Party  claims it’s not racist.  But I heard they kicked out blacks because they thought “Obama sent them.”  I keep telling people, it’s not the government you should be scared of, it’s the corporations.  And all these people are now finding out the consequences of your hate.  The mother of the person arrested in San Francisco blamed Fox News and Glenn Beck and said “the rest of us don’t think that way.” 

And Senator Tom Coburn telling a town hall meeting in Oklahoma to watch something other than Fox News.  And that Nancy Pelosi is a nice person.  That’s like the fox telling the chickens the boiling pot is a whirpool.  Too late, Senator, too late.

And Leslie, I have a hobby.  Getting bugged by women on the internet.

Tuesday afternoon

April 6, 2010

I meant to start this earlier, but we had a thunderstorm come through and I shut my computer down.  Weather here’s been pretty good the past five weeks or so, overall. 

I have enjoyed my first week of doing this, although I thought there’d be a few more posts and comments.  I had a quiet easter, didn’t really do to much over the weekend.  I watched the basketball and was amazed that Butler almost pulled off a miracle last night. 

Tiger Woods.  I don’t care.  He’s a fantastic golfer.  If he’s a tightwad asshole who treats women like crap, so be it.  If his wife stays with him, that’s her choice.  We shouldn’t care or give him the time of day outside of what he does on the golf course.  There are 300 other golfers on the PGA tour at any given time.  Most of them don’t have a chance in hell of winning or attaining Wood’s popularity of stature.  And for Country Club sports columinists like Mike Lupika and Mitch Albom to write about it, that’s hyprocracy at its’ worst.

Rush Limbaugh.  Shut up and go away.

Michelle Bachmann makes Sarah Palin look sane.  And that’s no joke.  Of course they both make Charlie Manson look sane.

A message to the Tea Party:  You are doing more harm than good, even in your own misguded way.  You say you’re going to hold rallies on April 15th.  Have fun.  And then on April 19th, you’re going to “Take back America.”  The sane, walking upright, thinking America will be watching.  Kicking and berating prostrate Parkinson’s sufferers is a really good way to promote your agenda. 

I read a article where half the teams in the English Premier League are facing bankruptcy.  One team, Portsmouth, has declared it already and under English law they must re-organize or dissolve.  I wonder how many American pro sports teams will face the same fate.  Some predicted the WNBA will fold (no surprise if that happens) and several teams will either be forced to move or sell to new owners under the current conditions. 

Glenn Beck makes everyone else look sane. 

Howard Cosell would never make it in today’s sports scene.

ESPN 3?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Somewhere, the American Dodgeball Association is ready with a contract.  Or the Boy Scout Jamboree.  “Boy he sure tied that slipknott, maybe Nike will offer him a deal.” Do they still have those?  Isn’t it time for Christopher Guest to do a mocumentary on ESPN?

The circus is coming to town in two weeks.  Oh, that’s just King Kwame.  Put the man in jail already.

Peter Graves, Robert Culp, John Forsythe.  The tip of the icebreg.  In 10 years, most of our generation’s favorites will be gone.  Except for William Shatner.  He’ll out live us all.  And Ozzie Osbourne.  “SHARON!!!!”

A Modest Plan

April 3, 2010

My first Political Post.

This country is falling apart.  Has been for a long time.  It’s been accelerated the past 30 years or so by one-issue voters and the advent of cable TV.  43-years ago, The Youngbloods sung “Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong.”  And it seems to me that we’ve carried that into the most severe extreme on both sides.  There is no middle anymore.  The Republicans never saw Bill Clinton as legitimate, the Democrats saw George W. Bush as a fraud.  And that brings us to our current mess.

There are many people who claim that  President Obama isn’t legitimate.  I won’t go into the reasons, but suffice it to say all of them are crap.  I love it when folks say how the current economic mess is all his fault and that he’s a socialist, the antichrist, a second Hitler, etc.  It’s all because the Party of No can’t lose gracefully.

OK, enough of that.  Here’s how we get this country back on track. 

1. Enact Immigration reform.  And not just aimed at Mexicans, either.  Something that makes sense instead of singling out one specific group.

2. End the “War on Drugs.”  It doesn’t work and it’s too costly.  And legalize Marjuania.  Sam Kinison was right.

3. End the Corporations.  “Too big to Fail”?  Sometimes, the big need to fail.  Do we really need another Wal-Mart? Best Buy? Target?

4. Rework NAFTA.  Or repeal it.  Or walk away when the treaty expires.

5. Strip China of it’s favored nation status.  Tibet is never going to be free until the west wises up and forces China’s hand on human rights.

6. Suspend Wall Street trading for three months to fully examine the books and prevent the kind of shenanigans that led us here in the first place. 

7. Stop with the trickle-down economics.  Letting the uber-rich keep more of their money doesn’t create jobs or incentive for them to put their money into anything but banks in Barbados.

8. Let States set their own educational standards.  “No Child Left Behind” should be scrapped.

9. Term-limits for members of Congress.

10. Politics shouldn’t ruin friendships.

Knee Deep in the Hoopla

April 1, 2010

Some short thoughts:

Tom Izzo isn’t going anywhere.  Not to Oregon, not to the Nets, not anywhere. 

I’m not running against Scott Brown in 2012 either.  Get over it.

I think there’s another financial crisis looming unless some real reforms are done quickly.  No stall tactics anymore. 

Mitch Albom is still a jerk.

Funny how Bart Stupak went from the defender of life to “Baby Killer” because he voted for Health Care Reform.

Those who question anyone’s patriotism even if they oppose him should be repudiated. 

Tigers – 89-73…second place to Minnesota.  No playoffs.

I don’t like anyone running for Governor at this point.  And I know one of them personally.

How can Michigan State be so good in basketball, but so bad in football?

Bob Seger.  Name the date.  I’m there.

Sad to see the demise of newspapers.  Free Press and News haven’t been the same since the strike in the mid 90’s.  That’s what killed them, not the internet and cable tv.

My niece, Bianca, has three wonderful kids.  And a terrific husband.  I’m still not for marriage.  It ruins too many lives and shatters too many friendships.

Kid Rock is still a jerk.

The academy awards don’t do anything for me anymore.  They have become a big deal about very little.

The best thing about Facebook.  Reconnecting with old friends.

The worst thing about Facebook. FarmVille.

You will never see another show on TV like “Lost.”  Whether you like it or understand it, the story is epic. 

I can still watch “Sienfeld” anytime, anywhere and laugh.

Why is Dick Cheney still talking?

The problem today is there’s too much “money” out there, but noone seems to have any.

In my lifetime, I have lived in America’s great crumbling city.  In less than a decade Detroit will become the first “Ghost City”.

Bates Burgers still rock. Anyone remember the great Bentley-Stevenson fight?

Favorite cities: Chicago, Sydney, Dublin, Melbourne.

I miss my grandfather and my friend’s dad.  And my dog Brutis.

I have enjoyed my 30-plus years in disabled sports.  Some of the people, that’s another story altogether.

Even though the academy awards sucked this year, I really enjoyed Jeff Bridges winning.

Johnny Carson could come back from the dead and Jay Leno would go away forever.

My Table Tennis coach is 80 and still playing.

ESPN is fast becoming like MTV.  No longer relevant.

The one thing that I hope happens in the next couple of years is the hate and rancor die out and we can all get back to sloving problems instead of blaming each other.

Life matters.  Everyone does.