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August 31, 2003

Ten Worst Things In Sports? Hardly

The Rev. Hasty offered his Ten Worst Things In Sports. I think he needs to take some happy pills.

Originally, I was going to leave a comment on his blog, but it got to be so long I decided to post it here.

1. Major League Baseball.
He's dead to me for saying this, but I'll continue on anyway.

2. SportsCenter.
If you don't get Sportscenter, it's because you're not black enough. Olberman really needs to eat crow and go back to ESPN, because it's just not happening for him on whatever channel he's on now.

3. Interviews with athletes who have nothing to say.
Interviews were covered in Bull Durham.

Crash Davis: It's time to work on your interviews.
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: My interviews? What do I gotta do?
Crash Davis: You're gonna have to learn your clichés. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends. Write this down: "We gotta play it one day at a time."
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Got to play... it's pretty boring.
Crash Davis: 'Course it's boring, that's the point. Write it down.

4. Olympics telecasts.
What they should do with the Olympics is bring back the Triplecast. Let those of us who want 100% sports drop $100 on three channels of 24/7 live Olympic sports. Everyone else gets the NBC prime time crap. And, while we're at it, add a fourth channel to the Triplecast that is "all soft focus profiles all the time!"

5. The NCAA's eligibility rules.
The NCAA needs to decide if they're in business to make money or to make sure the idea of the "student-athlete" is defended even if it costs money. It can't have both, despite the fact it wants both. There will always be auto dealers who let college players take a nine-month test drive in one of their sports cars. There will always be high-rollers willing to shuffle a few large to Grandma just to remind her which school her Flash of a RB grandson should commit to. There will also be hard-working, intellegent third-string defensive tackles who won't marry their girlfriends just so she can get food stamps and keep their baby from starving. It's time to decide, folks. Do you care more about maintaining the idea of the student-athlete than money, or would you rather admit that all these kids get of the billions you bring in from the TV networks is a $30,000 college education that they have to get while losing months of the year to travel and playoffs?

6. One-named Brazilian soccer players who aren't Pele.
Ronaldo deserves his name, despite his haircut. The other guys, it depends. We do the same with American football players. You know exactly who I'm talking about if I say BO or BOZ.

7. Quarterbacks who wear the number 7.
I sense some Elway envy. :)

8. Americans' relationship with the NBA.
Michael Jordan.

9. The credit given to drivers in NASCAR.
Yes, a good pit crew gives you an edge. So does a good design team. So does having a tactical mastermind as crew chief. But, in the end, someone has to drive that car around that narrow track through the incessant congestion in order to win the race. Just like football -- you can't win without someone who can run the offense, period. Yeah, it could be Trent Dilfer and the Ravens, but without him they never would have won that Lombardi.

10. Men's tennis and women's golf.
Women's golf hasn't been good since Nancy Lopez dropped off the map. Men's tennis could easily be improved by forcing the competitors to play with well-worn rackets from some urban Boy's Club.

In my next post, my list of the Ten Worst Things About Sports, because I like to make lists and check them twice.

Posted by dylan at 06:06 PM | Comments (1)

August 30, 2003

Bumbershoot!

That's right, it's Bumbershoot weekend. Susan has kicked me out of the house so that she can finish the novel, so I'm off to that great, quirky Seattle music festival.

Tomorrow is looking to be a lot of soul and blues -- Solomon Burke, Blind Boys of Alabama, North Mississippi All-Stars, and the big R&B extravaganza. Sunday I haven't quite figured out yet, but Labor Day is Leftover Salmon and Nickel Creek to open, either New Pornographers or Daniel Lanois in the afternoon, and two bands I've wanted to see for eons now: R.E.M. and Wilco.

If I can still hear by the end of the weekend, I'll post a summary. BTW, my requests for the REM show (I emailed them in):
Camera
Kohoutek
Sitting Still
Flowers of Guatemala
Voice of Harold (admittedly, a really mean choice)

Posted by dylan at 12:32 AM | Comments (1)

August 22, 2003

Convergence

Liz Phair's new song, "Why Can't I," started rattling my brain five minutes ago. Reach over and unplug the headphones (computer is streaming WXPN) just as the DJ says, "It's the new Liz Phair song." And it starts.

This project is screwing with my head. I think I should go home now.

Posted by dylan at 05:49 PM

Friday Afternoon in HELL

Dreamweaver just bombed. GRR.

While I'm waiting for it to reboot AGAIN so I can finish converting the old website to my sorta-cool new design, let's do the Friday Five.

1. When was the last time you laughed?
Today, about 1520 PDT. Was reading part of a guy's self-published book about having a baby.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
My wife. This one's been rolling for about 36 hours now.

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
According to Outlook, my cow orker Denis, discussing the template conversion.

4. When was the last time you bathed?
I showered this morning. I think showering counts.

5. What was the last thing you ate?
A blueberry, about ten minutes ago.

Dreamweaver's running again. See how long this lasts before it crashes again. Macromedia products make Microsoft software seem crash-free.

Posted by dylan at 05:20 PM

August 20, 2003

Kat's questions

Kat agreed to interview me. Answers follow. First, the rules again:

THE RULES:
1. leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. i will respond; i'll ask you five questions.
3. you'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. you'll include this explanation.
5. you'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Now, on with the show.

1. Now that your alma mater has been voted the top party school in the country, what is the wildest college party that you went to and did you do anything illegal?
Sadly, I was at Colorado during the "dead years" of the early 90s. No riots, no Girls Gone Wild. Parties of that age resembled cocktail parties, except there was usually a keg of microbrew and a huge bong. I was so square I think I can count the parties I went to on one hand.

There was a pajama party my (second) senior year -- 50 people crowded into a split level ranchero pogoing to the strains of some 80s dance song. I thought the floor was going to give way.

2. What is your favorite radio station and why?
I barely listen to the radio anymore. When I do, it's either NPR or Mariners games. Only local music station I listen to is KEXP, because it's non-commercial.

3. How old were you when you realized that Tulsa was not the center or the universe? What were the circumstances?
Summer before I turned 10. Stayed with my aunt and uncle in Colorado while attending these classes for gifted kids at the U of Denver. It was so much... bigger, more cultured than Tulsa. Shortly after this the Oil Bust hit; Tulsa went from being white collar to blue collar in ten years. I don't think I can get a job in Tulsa right now with my skills.

4. Why did you move to Seattle? If you had to do it over again, would you have moved here?
I was chasing a girl. Didn't pan out, but I stayed anyway. And I'd do it again even if there were no girl involved.

5. If you had to choose a single country (besides the United States) to live in and never leave until your dying day, what country would it be and why?
Either the UK or Italy. The melancholiness of England fascinates me. Italy, well, it's Italy. Give me another 50 years and I might just learn the language. :)

Posted by dylan at 03:11 PM | Comments (1)

August 19, 2003

The game continues

Here are the questions asked of Kat. She's getting back at me tomorrow.


  1. As a native Maineianiteer, uh, person who grew up in Maine, do you ever find yourself craving lobster at odd times of day?

  2. What do you think was in the trunk of the repossessed car in Repo Man? Is it the same thing that was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?

  3. If your life was a movie, what artists would contribute songs to the soundtrack? Who would compose the score?

  4. What is your biggest regret about high school?

  5. Assuming you had the physical ability to do so, which athletic event would you rather win: the Tour de France, Wimbledon, or the Masters? Why?

Posted by dylan at 08:34 PM

August 18, 2003

My round with The Interview Game

Saw that John (aka Thales aka the guy who wore the kilt to the Kirkland fotolog meetup) was playing The Interview Game, figured what the hey.

If you want me to interview you, just leave me a comment.

THE RULES:
1. leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. i will respond; i'll ask you five questions.
3. you'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. you'll include this explanation.
5. you'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Here are your questions:
1. Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bed post overnight?
Sugar free, peppermint flavored, yes. Sugary, cinnamon flavored, no. At least, last time I checked.

2. What was the first record/tape/CD that you purchased with your own money?
Graceland by Paul Simon, 1986. Ended up in my mother's car, where she wore it out playing "You Can Call Me Al" [over and]^20 over again. I made her a tape in college that was just "You Can Call Me Al" for 90 whole minutes.

3. Do you still listen to it?
I don't even own it. 700 CDs and I don't own Graceland.

4. If you had 3 months to live, what would you want to do? Give me the highlights.
Find some villa or monestary in Italy to spend the remainder of my days. Visit Roman ruins. Enjoy being with my wife. Write nastygrams to ex-girlfriends.

5. If you had to give up one of your 5 senses, for some crazy reason like world peace, which would it be?
We talking universal world peace here, no wars or battles or torture or having to listen to John Lennon prat on about how much of a frikkin' dreamer he is? If so, I might consider taste. Maybe. But it better be real world peace, because I'm thinking the buttery taste of movie popcorn is a lot to give up if there are still kids toting AK-47s in Uganda. Hey, maybe if we gave the warring armies of the world movie popcorn, they'd lay down their weapons....

Posted by dylan at 10:41 PM | Comments (4)

August 17, 2003

O-Me-O-My-O

Random bits.

I keep saying I'll have the California pictures up, but I can't get myself to spend the three hours I need to finish building the site.

I wish Moveable Type had a "now listening to" plugin a la LiveJournal's. I could type it in manually, but I forget.

Took the camera to the Ballard boat launch and the Locks tonight. Only got about 32 pics, only half of which looked halfway decent. Timed the lighting wrong.

As much as I like Gillian Welch, I can't bring myself to buy her new album. So, I found a couple MP3s that I'm in the process of deleting right this minute yessiree.

My driver's license renewal paperwork came. My choice to make by September 22: $5 for a little sticker to extend my current four year license to five, or $25 for a Mark Of The Beast (TM) credit card five year license. Hmm. I think that choice is pretty easy.

I hate apartment hunting in this city. I just want a large 2 bedroom or a 3 bedroom that's on this side of the Ship Canal, isn't a bad sort of old, and has a washer/dryer and dishwasher. Susan agrees with this. Despite the current state of rentals in Seattle (18% vacancy rate, according to Kat), the housing stock still sucks pretty badly. The neighbors really want us to stay -- and are even willing to help remodel the kitchen just to keep us. But I don't want to buy this place; it's not worth its market price, and it's way too small. The landlord's absenteeism is worrying.

I think that, finally, I'm going back to writing. Six years ago, Susan tells me, I was a great writer. During our courting days, I used to send her letters every week in longhand. I don't think I've sent her an e-mail over 100 words since we've been married, and that's been four years next month.

And, for the heck of it:
current music: Look At Miss Ohio, Gillian Welch

Posted by dylan at 01:17 AM | Comments (2)

August 16, 2003

Wifey Dearest

Pop by Susan's Livejournal, and this was what came up.

If you'll excuse me, I'll be in the closet gathering up all the wire hangers....

Posted by dylan at 12:01 AM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2003

Power, Corruption, and PR

Apparently, the Pentagon and the GOP have fired all their PR people. That could be the only reason that they're ending combat pay in Iraq and farming out fundraising telemarketing to India (respectively).

Let us walk through these together.

1. You're the Pentagon.

You're running two major combat operations on top of the usual slate of peacekeeping jobs and the overhead of running the world's most powerful military force. The cost of the aftermath of the Iraqi war is higher than expected -- for some bizzare reason, the brain trust running this thing had no experience producing oil and thought it was just "magic." (And, yeah, someone keeps blowing up the pipelines.) So, you need money to keep the budget on level. Something has to be cut.

Do you:

a. Quietly require supervisor approval for budget purchases and make due with the current supply of paper clips;
b. Reduce administrative and contract staff through attrition
c. Cut combat pay for soldiers who are already fatigued and have pissed off families tired of being told they're "unpatriotic" for normal whining.

2. You're the Republican Party.

Your election war chest is already the largest in history. You could give every American who voted in 2000 an ice cream cone -- with sprinkles -- and still have enough cash left over to crush all opposition in '04. Your #1 starter, the President, is the donor development equivalent of an industrial milking machine. Let's be honest, you aren't going to run election commercials on TV as much as sponsor every prime time show in America. Still, a little more milking wouldn't hurt, especially in these low-revenue House races. Time to hire a telemarketing firm.

Do you hire:
a. An outfit in Sioux Falls, SD, staffed with 850 red-blooded Americans who are paid $8/hour
b. A call center in Harligen, TX, staffed with 850 red-blooded Americans and green-card holding Mexicans who are paid $7.50/hour
c. Two firms in India staffed with 1900 Indians who took a two week crash course in American English and are paid $3/hour, keeping in mind that in doing so you just sent 1900 jobs that could have stayed in the USA even while using every chance you can to extol the virtues of creating jobs in America?

If you answered C for both questions and are unemployed, consider sending your resume to Mark Racicot and/or Don Rumsfeld.

Posted by dylan at 11:47 AM

August 09, 2003

Cost of Living, maladjusted

So my employer (which I will decline to name) announced that we're all getting cost-of-living adjustments. I received my letter from the head of my unit this week, thanking me for the excellent job I've done the last couple of years and rewarding me my employer's highest possible COLA:

Two percent.

I should be horribly outraged, but I'm not. It hasn't been a good time for my current employer; they have had to deal with the recession, turnover in management, and the loss of some of their best R&D people. Two percent is paltry, but it's something.

Funny thing is, I'm getting more from them than I am from Dubya's most recent round of tax cuts. I can barely buy a Happy Meal with my cut. I got yer economic stimulus package right *here*, Mr. President....

Posted by dylan at 10:14 AM | Comments (3)