Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sympathy for the Devil??

O.K. this is a tough one. Earlier during the week Lockerbie bomber and mass-murderer Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was released from prison where he was cooling his heels for his bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland. 270 people, including 189 Americans and 11 poor Scots on the ground were killed. This cock-bag put the 'bomb in the bag', so to speak and the bag in question made its way onto Flight 103 where it caused the explosion that killed all these innocent folks. Most on holiday. Not that there is one worse time to be murdered than another, I guess its just more shocking or hurtful when you think people are heading out to visit the folks at Christmas.
The most shocking part of this is that he was released out of 'compassion' by the Scottish courts because he has terminal cancer and has less than three months to live. Really? I try to not use bad language here but are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? Compassion? For a man who blew a jumbo jet out of the sky and killed almost 300 hundred people? Wha????
I watched my father suffer and die from cancer back in 2000 and let me tell you, he suffered.
Al Megrahi getting cancer may have been the result of a little quid pro quo courtesy of the lady we know as Karma. He has three months to live and wants to die at home with his family? Well, who knows how long any of those people on that jet had left. I bet their families would love to have another holiday, cold beer or even another argument with their loved ones. Will they get it? No. And they haven't had it since 1988 and never will again. This cock-bag will get to fly home, courtesy of that whack job Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his private "luxury" jet. Nice. And apparently on the announcement of his release, the government of Libya sent the news via text-message to every cell phone in the country.
There is a pic on the web showing the soon to be worm-food killer being greeted at the airport by enthusiastic crowds, cheering like drunken sailors and waving flags.
Outrage has been expressed throughout the logical-thinking members of the Western world.
our man B called the display "highly objectionable" which is the spin-doctors version of "those crazy mo-fos"
The Libyans have doured this event even further suggesting that maybe a deal for about 900 million bucks worth of oil played a part in the release.
In my humble opinion, he should have been left to rot, but that's just my take on it. The Bible says 'turn the other cheek', but doesn't it also say 'an eye for an eye' ? What's a good Irish boy to think?
While I strongly disagree with the Scottish courts decision, there is nothing I can do. So welcome home, I guess. The only solace the families of the victims have is that you will suffer, and you will die.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nice Hands Kid

I am speaking of course about the young Texas Rangers fan known as 'CJ'. I wish I could post the actual video here, but Blogger, like the Internet, hates me. So I can only give you the link to the video. Josh Hamilton is at the plate and he rips a foul ball into the higher decks. CJ 'Cool Hand' MacGee, who is sitting with his Pop, leaps up and snags the foul ball. Three pitches later, same batter, another foul ball into the stands. Guess who comes up with it? You got it. CJ 'Hoover' Smith. Ok, Hoover isn't his nickname and maybe 'Cool Hand' isn't either and really, I'm guessing Smith is not his surname, nor is MacGee. But again, I digress.
The crowd goes freakin' nuts as does the young Texan in question. Remarkable really. Not only will CJ life forever in the highlight reel, but he may very well end up as the answer to a trivia question in Rangers baseball lore. The odds of catching a foul ball is like 1 in 10,000. So catching two, off the same batter in the same at bat is pretty freakin' amazing. Let me call my friends at MIT. They can crunch the numbers. I worked all day.

Foul balls are a part of baseball. A chance for the fan to go home with a souvenir. Of course the chances of catching one are like, 1 in 10,000, so his feat is pretty amazing. Most times they bounce harmlessly off seats or off of other fans hands before landing in your beer. They often times have interesting stories attached to them. Some examples here.....

Although there are no official records for foul balls, some written accounts say the mark belongs to Hall of Famer Luke Appling who, according to the accounts, fouled off 24 pitches from the New York Yankees' Red Ruffing in one at-bat in 1940 before drawing a walk. Stats guru Bill James doesn't buy that story, though, and says Roy Thomas, who played in the National League from 1899 to 1911, has the record with 22 foul balls in one at-bat.

On Aug. 17, 1957, Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn of the Philadelphia Phillies fouled off a pitch that struck Alice Roth, wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth, breaking her nose. As Roth was being helped from the stands, Ashburn fouled off another pitch, striking Roth as she lay on a stretcher. She was not seriously injured.

Leading, 3-0, and five outs from reaching their first World Series in 58 years, the Chicago Cubs watched spectator Steve Bartman reach for a foul ball, deflecting it away from left fielder Moises Alou. Given new life, Luis Castillo drew a walk, starting an eight-run rally that propelled the Florida Marlins to the 2003 National League championship, and earning Bartman infamy in Chicago. Alou said this spring he doubts he could have caught the ball. Bartman was lead out of the stadium because, well; every Cubs fan in the place wanted him dead. He received death-threats for months after his act of idiocy.

Two years ago, Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons fouled a pitch in the ninth inning of a game in Baltimore, striking his wife Laura in the ribs.

When former Dodgers catcher Toby Hall was playing for Tampa Bay, he went into a mid-May series in Kansas City, Mo., batting .326, having struck out only four times in April. But after hitting a 9-year-old boy with a foul ball in his second at-bat against the Royals, Hall struck out — and fanned three more times over the next two days. He hit only .224 over the next six weeks and didn't recover until after the mid-July All-Star

In April, Susan Rhodes of Los Angeles, sitting four rows behind the first base dugout at Dodger Stadium, suffered a concussion and facial injuries when a wooden bat swung by Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies shattered, sending part of it into the stands. And last summer, first base coach Mike Coolbaugh of the double-A Tulsa Drillers was killed when he was hit in the head by a foul ball during a game.

So there you have it. Another rambling recount of a young fan , CJ 'No I've got it!' Winklemeyer, and some other interesting, useless facts about foul balls.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

RIP Koko

So today will be a lazy day for us here. Mags is still not feeling all too hot and we are both lacking in the sleep department. Although I did get to sleep until 7 this morning. CrazyDog woke me up at 430 am panting like a pervert and once I evicted him from the room, was able to go back to sleep. Mags got up around 630. Which is good for her because she usually wakes at 530 when I get up for work.

Today whilst surfing I realised blues great Koko Taylor had passed away in June. If you're a fan of the blues, you know Koko. She had tremendous talent and when she sang you 'felt' the blues. Here is something I cut and pasted from her MySpace. I was shocked because I don't remember hearing the news. So here's to you Koko.

"I come from a poor family," recalls Koko Taylor. "A very poor family. I was raised up on what they call a sharecropper's farm." Born Cora Walton just outside of Memphis, Tennessee, Koko was an orphan by age 11 (an early love of chocolate earned her the lifelong nickname Koko). Along with her five brothers and sisters, Koko developed a love for music from a mixture of songs she heard in church and songs she heard on B.B. King's daily radio show beaming in from Memphis. Even though her father encouraged her to sing only gospel music, Koko and her siblings would sneak out back with their homemade instruments and play the blues. With one brother accompanying on a guitar made out of bailing wire and nails and one brother on a fife made out of a corncob, Koko began her career as a blues woman. As a youngster, Koko listened to as many blues artists as she could. Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith were particular influences, as were Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson. She would listen to their songs over and over again. Although she loved to sing, she never dreamed of joining their ranks.

When she was 18, Koko and her soon-to-be husband, the late Robert "Pops" Taylor, moved to Chicago to look for work. With nothing but, in Koko's words, "thirty-five cents and a box of Ritz crackers," the couple set up house on the city's South Side, the cradle of the rough-edged sound of Chicago blues. Taylor found work cleaning house for a wealthy couple in the ritzy northern suburbs. At night and on weekends, Koko and Pops would visit the various clubs, where they would hear singers like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Magic Sam, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. And thanks to prodding from Pops, it wasn't long before Taylor was sitting in with many of the most legendary blues bands on a regular basis.Taylor's big break came in 1962.

After a particularly fiery performance, arranger/ composer Willie Dixon approached her. Much to Koko's astonishment, he told her, "My God, I never heard a woman sing the blues like you sing the blues. There are lots of men singing the blues today, but not enough women. That's what the world needs today, a woman with a voice like yours to sing the blues." Dixon got Koko a Chess recording contract and produced several singles (and two albums) for her, including the million-selling 1965 hit, Wang Dang Doodle. That song firmly established Koko as the world's number one female blues talent. In the early 1970s, Taylor was among the first of the South Side Chicago blues artists to find work —and an audience—on the city's North Side. In 1972, Koko played at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in front of more people than ever before (including a young Bruce Iglauer). Atlantic Records recorded the festival (including her performance) and released a live album, which brought Koko to the attention of a large, national audience. In 1975, Koko found a home with the city's newest blues label, Iglauer's Alligator Records. Her first album for the fledgling label, I GOT WHAT IT TAKES , earned her a Grammy nomination. Since then, Koko's recorded seven more albums for Alligator (and received five more Grammy nominations) and has made numerous guest appearances on various tribute albums and recordings of her famous friends. She's been in movies and on television, on radio and in print all over the world. It is not easy being a woman succeeding in the male-dominated blues world, but Koko Taylor has done just that. She's taken her music from the tiny clubs on the South Side of Chicago to giant festivals around the world. She's appeared on national television numerous times and has even been the subject of a PBS documentary. Through good times and personal hardships, Koko Taylor has remained a major force in the blues. "It's a challenge," she says. "It's tough being out here doing what I'm doing in what they call a man's world. It's not every woman that can hang in there and do what I am doing today."
Taylor died on June 3, 2009, after complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding on May 19, 2009.[5] Her final performance was at the Blues Music Awards, on May 7, 2009.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fine. Eat All My Birdseed.....Sheeesh

So almost every day I find myself chasing two naughty little tree-rats (squirrels) away form our bird feeder. It involves me yelling, clapping my hands and often throwing something at the offending little rodents. I don't try to hit them (OK I have once or twice) but I do my bast to discourage them from eating the food I put out for my feathered friends.

So the other day I was attempting to shoo away one little fella and he sat and looked at me. Noticing I had no weapon he taunted me...'chatter chatter squeeek chatter chatter' (or something along those lines....I picked up a stick from next to my compost pile and start waving it at him like I was shooing off a very large bird of prey. He chattered once more and scurried up the tree.

Well today I realised what his chattering meant. Apparently it meant "I have a big brother and he's going to come here and whup your little human butt," because this is what I found at my feeder this morning....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Pics

So I have this new job and when I come home I am simply wiped out. Lots o' lifting. A job for a younger man perhaps. Most of my coworkers are 20 year old kids. Half my age and they seem to be better suited to it than I. I'm not complaining, I like my job. A lot. Just explaining my lack of posting.

So last night I watched the Sox and Yanks and hung in until the 11th inning of a scoreless pitcher duel. Always exciting when these two teams play. Much more exciting when the boyos form Boston win, but again, I digress. I awoke to find that A-Rod launched a shot into the seats in the 15th to win it for the much-hated Stanks. Bad way to start your day, I know.

I have some pics from work I will post here.

The first pic is one of two fans we have on the ceiling in our place. They are 24 feet in diameter and they are Big Ass Fans. Really. That's the name of the company that makes them. They are really niec, if you happen to be working directly under them. They will, supposedly, lower the temp of our building 10-15 degrees if they are cranked up all the way. I can't wait to see that.

The second pic is my machine. It's a Crown 3450H. Not that means a whole lot to is a stand-up forklift. You stand on the platform (which you can barely see ) and it raises up into the air. It has a reach height of about 35 feet or so, which brings us to pic number 3. The dude on the ground is my work buddy Sergio. I'm about 25 feet up in this pic. To give you a better idea of my distance from the safety of the floor, Serg is about 6'0 tall.

The final pic is display cases I was stacking with my machine. They are stacked 5 high and are about 5' tall per rack. It's a wee bit nerve-racking being up that high with that load behind you, trying to place it onto the existing cases. They have four posts, one on each corner, and you must rest the next case on them perfectly. Whilst performing said task I looked down and the three top dawgs in the place were staring up at me , mouths agape. I lowered meself and asked what was up. They said nothing, they had just never seen anyone stack the cases with that particular machine.

Much later in the day, the head of our sight called me offer and told me that was a very good idea, but (thankfully) from this point forward we will only be stacking 4 high. Whew.

Well my lawn needs cutting and sadly, it will not cut itself.