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Twins Podcast

Ah Blogger, a free program with the reliability of a North Korean power grid*

this is an audio post - click to play

In this week’s podcast I theorize the four main factors that have made the Twins a competitive team in the last five years or so (compared to the dark ages of the mid 1990’s) are:

1) Ron Gardenhire; a better manager than many give credit for.

2) Turf Grass; like the Rockies and their wet balls, making your home field more like your away games makes for more consistency and allows for more away game victories.

3) Joe Vavara; the Twins finally get power hitters to his for power instead of trying to force them to play stick ball thanks to this man.

4) Terry Ryan; the Twins GM doesn’t necessarily change a bad strategy, he gets better at implementing it. There’s a rule in the military that a good plan poorly executed is worse than a bad plan well executed. For Ryan I think it’s definitely the latter.

Thus my reasons why I think the latter five years of the last decade of the Minnesota Twins franchise are much better and a lot different than the former.

*Captain Capitalism

Personal Update

I don’t know what’s more frustrating, audioblogger or the guys from Right Handed Heat. I haven’t forgotten about the Twins Podcast (or the Twins for that mater) but I didn’t get a podcast done on Sunday thanks to a Right Handed Heat no-show and now Audioblogger has failed (again) to publish my “fill in” audio post. As soon as audioblogger gets rolling again there will be a Twins Podcast for this week. Knowing blogger, this week’s podcast will be ready to go next January.

This is a copy of a Katie post from Yucky Salad with Bones

I did not write it, but since her website has iffy archives I felt the need to keep these wonderful thoughts forever.

Her words:

August 29 ’06

The Emmy Awards show last Sunday night was the lowest rated in a long time, I guess, but I watched it, of course I did, and I thought it was actually pretty good. Conan O’Brien was really funny, if you like his brand of goofy, frat boy humor, which I do. NBC is apologizing for his “Lost” spoof, because it seems some folks thought it was insensitive coming on the heels of a real life plane crash, but dang I laughed when his “South Park” alter ego tried to hide in the closet but couldn’t because Tom Cruise was already in there. HAW!

Apparently purple is the new pregnant in Hollywood; 90 percent of the actresses were wearing purple gowns. It was weird, frankly, do the stylists not communicate with each other at all? My favorite purple dress was Meagan Mullaly’s, it was the perfect combination of pretty but tasteful and comfortable looking and it allowed her to stand up straight, unlike all the other purple clad ladies who all looked slouchy and quite frankly, exactly the same. Oh, except for Cheryl Hines, whose purple dress had one of Tonya Harding’s old figure skating costumes glued to the back of it. Notables who bucked the purple trend:

Kyra Sedgwick: I think Kyra is beautiful. That said, the last red carpet event she attended, she was wearing some ugly old curtains from her grandma’s living room, and Sunday night she wore ugly old curtains fromm her grandma’s dining room. I suppose you have to admire her ability to keep people guessing… I can hardly wait to see what part of grandma’s house she’ll wear next.

Virginia Madsen:…oy…

Virginia Madsen: “Hi everyone, remember me? I was in Sideways, remember? Um, I was, uh, nominated for an Oscar? Remember? No? Wait…”( Sound of fabric ripping as Virginia tears the entire front of her dress clean off, exposing all but a thin sliver of her enormous, free-wheeling breasts)

Two paparazzi talking to each other: “Geez, was that thunder? Is it going to storm?”

“No, I think Virgina Madsen’s boobs just fell out of her dress.”

V.M. : “NOW do you remember? Hey, Sandra! Sandra Oh…Hi it’s me, Virginia! Say hi to Alexander, will you? I’d LOVE to work with him again…if you see Paul, say hi to him for me, too!”

“What? Oh, hi, Virginia. Alexander and I are divorced now, and I haven’t spoken to Paul since “Lady in the Water” tanked. Um, Virginia, I think your dress is on backwards.”

OK, maybe that’s not why her dress spent the whole night trying to leap off of her. Maybe it was just embarrassed to be seen with her.

Jeremy Piven wore an ascot. I love him and I love Entourage, so I’m really hoping he was just being ironic. I thought Simon Cowell was wearing one, too, but then I realized I was just looking at his matted chest hair and threw up. To say he was repulsive would be an insult to repulsive things. (see Virginia Madsen’s dress)

I’ve been a Barry Manilow defender pretty much my whole life. Say whatever you want, the guy’s adorable and he can entertain, you know what I’m sayin’? I read a piece by Joe Queenan once where he went to a Barry Manilow concert ready to rip and came out a believer, and that’s impressive since Joe Queenan is about as hard-boiled as it gets. I love Barry. BUT….

Mr. Manilow has obviously gone completely insane. What else would explain what he’s done to his face?? Nothing moves. He’s got cheek implants so big he looks like he’s storing nuts for the winter. Even his hair looks plastic now; he looks like if Hermie the elf were possessed by Joan Rivers. And after he won his Emmy, he said he was going to bring the statuette into the operating room with him the next day. The official word is “hip surgery”, but I suspect they melted that puppy down and dipped his face into it. And Farrah is apparently seeing the same plastic surgeon.

Keifer…mmmmm Keifer….Charlie Sheen looked sweaty and rumpled and wild-eyed, I do believe his Syphilis is getting the best of him. Ron Livingston and Jennifer Love Hewitt presented some award together, and I remarked that I thought they were the best looking couple of the night. Mike looked up and said, “yeah, and he looks all right, too.” Budump-ump. Katherine Heigle looked beautiful, but unfortunately her boobs were sweating all over the place.

You know who looked the best? Helen Mirren. She had on a really pretty white dress that complemented her hair and skin tone perfectly and a stunning emerald necklace. She won for playing Elizabeth 1 in an HBO movie, I never saw it but I think there’s a law in England that states “Every English actress must, at some point in her career, play Elizabeth 1. And Jeremy Irons will co-star.”

The Dick Clark tribute was fun, and there was a nice tribute to Aaron Spelling. It was awesome to watch his widow dab at her eyes just a second too late every time the camera caught her.

“Mom. Mom! The camera is on you!” (Randy Spelling shakes his mom, who is making out with her trainer)

“Wha? Huh? Is it Tori? Call security!”

“No! The camera was on you!”

“Oh. Damn (she tears up)…I miss Adam…”

“Aaron.”

“Right….oh, look, honey, a montage highlighting your (as far as we know!) father’s career, how nice. Hey, I didn’t know he did “Sunset Beach”, why haven’t I seen any checks for that? Get my lawyer on the phone!”

By far the most entertaining part of the evening was watching a reliably drunk Paula Abdul try to get through an interview with the chirping team from E! I couldn’t understand a thing she said, but boy did she make me laugh.

August 28 ’06

“He’s been out about 13 years, he hasn’t re-offended…he’s gone straight and you’ve got to admire that. And it also shows that prison works.”

-David Brent on his role model, Nelson Mandela

So The Office won the Emmy (more about the show later) for best comedy last night, absolutely deserved, it’s a great show. But if you want to see the master at work, watch this.

August 27 ’06

Mike got on the scale a few weeks ago and was greeted with a number he has never before had the displeasure of hosting, so he’s been strictly dieting ever since. He has an iron will, people; the guy hasn’t had so much as a cookie in three weeks and while the pounds are coming off slower than he would like, they are coming off.

Yesterday we drove out to Timbuktu to collect the elder babes from camp (whenever I re-read these things, it always seems to come across like Molly is a separate unit from Meg and Finbar; some sort of auxiliary child, which I suppose explains why her whole life is dedicated to making sure people notice her. And I promise not to use any more semi-colons this whole post.) Anyoots, we passed a Culver’s restaurant and my vigilantly starving Miguel blurted out, “I want to eat six butter burgers and pass out on that picnic table.”

Other things we passed that made me chuckle:

The Bug Bee Hive Resort…I’m not sure naming a resort after two of the more unpleasant aspects of summer is the best idea. “C’mon down to the Bug Bee Hive Resort! We’ve got bugs, we’ve got bee hives! Play your cards right and you might find a garter snake in your suitcase or a mole in your bed! Every third guest leaves here with Lyme Disease! Yee haw!”

A homemade sign on someone’s front lawn that said, “Day Care Sale”…what’s for sale, exactly? The day care itself? The services? Or the actual kids? And is a day care that is having a sale really where you’d want to put your kids?

“Hi, Monique, are you going to go back to work now that Cargo is weaned?”

“I honestly wasn’t going to, Linda, but the Bug Bee Hive Daycare was having a sale, and I just couldn’t pass it up. You know I’m a sucker for a good sale!”

D&D Recycling, right next to D&D Storage. Hmmm.

Kidlets had a wing ding of a good time at camp, and were both incredibly sad to leave. We went to a great band concert last night, but by evening’s end they were fit to be tied…and in a move of ugly Pavlovian irony, both popped out of bed at 7 am this morning. Instead of spending today doing fun, loving-family-reunited type things, I have spent it refereeing/banishing them to their rooms and they have spent it alternately shrieking at me and at each other. They are going to bed right after dinner. Just as well, since the Emmy’s are on.

August 24 ’06

If Space Were High School

Pluto: “Hi you guys! What’s up?”

Mars and Venus look at each other uncomfortably. After a beat, Mars mumbles, “Oh, hi, Pluto. What’s up?”

Venus stifles a giggle and Mars elbows it and whispers, “Shut up! You’re so mean!”

Pluto: “Are you guys going to Jupiter’s party in twenty thousand years? I can’t wait. I’ve been working on my gravitational pull.”

(Enter Jupiter and Neptune.)

Jupiter: “Excuse me, dwarf planet, what are you doing talking to Mars and Venus?”

Pluto: “What? What do you mean? Oh, you’re talking about my demotion…so I’m downgraded a little, so what? I’m still the same old me, good old Pluto! Remember that time Earth had that dinosaur infestation and I was like, ‘Hey Earth, why don’t you call Orkin?’ That was funny, right?”

Jupiter: “Whatever, dwarf. I always knew you weren’t one of us; for crying out loud, you’re not even round.”

Neptune: “Yeah, and newsflash, I don’t really appreciate how you’ve been orbiting me all the time like some stalker. It totally grosses me out, why don’t you just quit it.”

Pluto: “It’s not like I can help it! You think I don’t want to orbit the Sun?”

Jupiter: “Look, dwarf, we’ve been listening to your dumb stories for long enough. Go hang out with Ceres, why don’t you…what, Venus? What did you say?”

(They all look at Venus, who blushes and stammers nervously)

Venus: “Um…I was just saying, Earth does think it’s so great and everything just because it has people and stuff. I mean, don’t you get sick of its constant whining about that stupid Ozone hole? You can’t even see it. At least it has Oxygen.”

(Jupiter leans in menacingly close to Venus.)

Jupiter: “You don’t fool anyone, Venus, we all know how jealous you are of Earth and you might as well face it: Your properties are not even close. Not only do women not come from you, you’re never going to have people, or trees, or those giraffe things you’re so obsessed with. No way, no how. Now why don’t you shut up or maybe we’ll have to start calling you a dwarf, too.”

Venus: “No…no please, Jupiter, I’m sorry.”

(The four bona fide planets spin away, leaving Pluto rejected and dejected. Enter Ceres and Xena, the two other “dwarf planets”.)

Xena, excited: “Hi Pluto! Heard you’re one of us, now! Do you want to go try and clear asteroids out of our ellipses?”

Ceres, sadly: “Hey, I am an asteroid!”

Xena: “Whoops, sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it, you’re so big I just forgot.”

Pluto, angrily: “I don’t want to hang out with you guys, and like you’re even strong enough to clear your orbital paths anyway. You know what? I hope you get crushed by icy debris! Leave me alone! Just leave me alone!”

(Pluto spins away, its odd egg shape giving its orbit an awkward tilt.)

Xena: “Pluto better watch it. I’m bigger than it is.”

I’ve been waiting for this for a long time

Dolphins are dumb:

The study, by the University of the Witwatersrand’s Paul Manger, claims the large brains of marine mammals such as dolphins and whales are to help cope with being warm-blooded in cold water and not a sign of intelligence.

He argues the dolphin, widely regarded as one of the smartest mammals, does not display enough sophistication in its behaviour to show any more intelligence than a lab rat or goldfish.

“When you look at the structure of the dolphin brain you see it is not built for complex information processing,” Professor Manger said.

“You put an animal in a box, even a lab rat or gerbil, and the first thing it wants to do is climb out of it. If you don’t put a lid on top of the bowl a goldfish will eventually jump out.

“But a dolphin will never do that. In the marine parks the dividers to keep the dolphins apart are only a foot or two above the water between the different pools.”

Why not? Because, Professor Manger says, the thought would simply not cross their minds.

I had fights with teachers going back to fifth grade about dolphins, the Endangered Species Act and other environmental drivel. Finally though, we find out that dolphin free tuna is unnecessary…the dolphin and the tuna are just about intellectual equals.

I doubt any of my old teachers read the blog. Too bad.


What cartoon are you?

South Park

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Frustrations

It’s time for some cool down time. I was originally going to go through the arguments for and against voting for Tim Pawlenty this week in a big post. I got sidetracked by a flamewar on a different blog and I probably just need some settle down time. It’s obvious the recent Tim Pawlenty push against “Big Oil and Big Pharma” coupled with his increase of the sales tax in Hennipen County for a Twins Stadium and the ridiculousness of the “fee” or “tax” debate and a few other noteworthy reversals and his recent use of progressive talking points…

Let’s just stop there. Pawlenty talked his way out of getting my vote. That is the point I want to make.

But…

I just don’t have it in me to attack Republicans right now. Even though I changed my mind on Pawlenty doesn’t mean I don’t support the other 4 Republicans running for state office. I caucused as a Republican, I’ve donated my money to Republican campaigns, I defend the necessity for compromise and moderation and I do my best to support Republican incumbants on Race to the Right.

There has been a host of conservative commentators both on the state and national levels who have said Republicans need to get back to our principles and I agree with them wholeheartedly. The big reason our Republican government at the national level hasn’t been able to govern in a more conservative manner is because conservatives are a minority in government. In the state of Minnesota it’s even more of a mess.

As a quasi-pundit, I want to change hearts and minds and move people’s political beliefs to the right. That’s what this blog and the radio show are about. In the practical political arena, I care only about moving public policy to the right. Sometimes those two goals conflict with each other. The big problem is I don’t know where to draw the line between those two goals.

Nor, for that matter, do I know where to draw the line when it comes to compromise and moderation versus principles. I guess this pretty much makes me useless as a political commentator. The worst part is that there is no good answer. People like Dick Morris who are political technicians and do nothing but try to figure out campaign strategies and winning messages are rewarded on the talking head scene. Ideologues are also rewarded too, be it Ann Coulter or Bill Buckley. Even party hacks, the “Republicans can do no wrong” people can find their home in the commentary world (Sean Hannity is the big name there). But what good would I be to the conversation?

In a way, this is a serious question for me. I don’t consider myself important to any discussion, and I think I do a good job of staying humble. I have a weekend radio show on a 1000 watt AM station in flyover country and a blog that has to be at its best just to break 50 hits a day. However, if I do want to ever go anywhere as far as being a radio talk show host goes, I’ll probably need to figure out where some of these lines should be.

The radio show is chief among my frustrations as far as this topic goes. Race to the Right has become a platform for attacking Republicans. I’m not sure how much I can take. You’d think there’d be plenty of opportunities to attack Democrats as well. We have some topics like that which we prepare for the radio show, but it seems the stories about Republicans gone astray are more interesting to discuss on the show. Yet…

I don’t know about Tony, but I originally got into politics because I believed my ideas were right, and that other ideas were wrong. In fact, not only were some of those other ideas wrong, they are dangerous in my mind. How do you compromise with terrorists? How do you treat the 9-11 attacks as a law enforcement issue? You can’t.

I want to support Republicans over the next 9 weeks. While I don’t think 2006 is “the most important election of my lifetime” I do think it’s important never to throw yourself on the rails for no good reason. What about me throwing Pawlenty onto the rails?

So I’m not supporting one Republican. I’d prefer to look past that one race and look to the 7 other races where I feel my energies will make a difference. I’d also like to go after liberalism a little bit too. Thus, I’m not going to finish up any of the posts I had dealing with how the GOP has gone astray or how blind party loyalty will lead to a loss of your principles. The state of mind I had to put myself into to go after Pawlenty is not one I enjoy. So no anti-Pawlenty posts. At least not this week.

Basically, this post is an offering of an excuse as to why I haven’t finished some of the blog posts I said I would. It’s also an opportunity to vent. I don’t take the priviledge of venting very often so I hope I’m given some forgiveness.

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://www.conservatives.com/

GOP Press Release:

What’s Klobuchar Hiding?

Nearly One Year Later, Klobuchar’s Office Still Hasn’t Responded to Data Practices Requests

“Amy Klobuchar and her liberal allies talk a lot about open and responsive government but for nearly a year now, her office has failed to respond to a series of data practices requests. This long-standing indifference to public information requests raises serious questions about what Klobuchar may be hiding.

“We already know from Klobuchar’s own employees that she has a history of putting her personal political ambitions first. Minnesotans deserve to know whether Klobuchar is going to run out the clock until November 7 on these requests or will she immediately expedite these already long overdue requests?”

- Ron Carey, Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota

_______________________

Nearly Year Old Requests Still Not Completed By Klobuchar’s Office:

Star Tribune: “Still In Dispute Are Thousands More Documents The NRSC Wants, Including Klobuchar’s Daily Travel Schedules Going Back Seven Years, Progress Notes On Various Programs, Oral And Written Testimony She May Have Given On Proposed Legislation, Arguments For Civil Commitments And Receipts For Everything From Out-Of-Town Meals To Office Furniture.” (Patricia Lopez, “GOP Group Mines Data From Office Of Amy Klobuchar,” Star Tribune, August 26, 2006)

Star Tribune: “Committee Officials Complain That The Office Has Dragged Its Feet, In Some Cases Taking Months To Provide Information Taken Off The Office’s Website And Waiting 11 Months To Comply With More Complicated Requests.” (Patricia Lopez, “GOP Group Mines Data From Office Of Amy Klobuchar,” Star Tribune, August 26, 2006)

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://www.triallawyersinc.com/

Radio Show Today

1-3pm on 1450 KNSI in St. Cloud.

Listen online

http://www.1450knsi.com/home.php

Click on the icon on the right side of the new webpage.

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