Monday, April 30, 2007

Mavs - Warriors: Uh-oh

I started writing a post called "Lament of the Dallas Sports Fan", but decided to hold off on full-scale despair for now. That post may yet see the light of day, but not today.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't indulge in some limited despair, however. And last night's 103-99 debacle certainly lends itself to limited (at least) despair.

In a game the Mavs absolutely HAD to have, they brought something. There was fire, there was effort, there were decent performances by Howard and Stackhouse. And that's what makes it so crushing. The Mavs played like they had to have the game, and it wasn't enough.

We'll be by the channel on Tues night for Game 5. I expect a Mavs victory in that one. Will the Mavs turn into last year's Phoenix Suns, and return from the dead? Maybe. But I'll keep my money in my pocket for now, thank you very much.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Daily YouTube: "Entertainment" Burmese-style

From our Theatre of the Surreal series, here's some sort of "show" from a nightclub in Rangoon. Remember, Burma is governed (allegedly) by the most corrupt and repressive regime on Earth. Which sorta explains the looks on these girls' faces, doesn't it?

Just for some equal time, here's Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate, leader of Burma's political opposition, and political prisoner for most of the past 20 years, speaking about ASEAN's role in Burma. There isn't much Suu Kyi video out there, so this is worth watching.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's come to this

Today's comedy joke:

What do you call a mentally disabled person in a fancy suit?

Mr. President.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Daily YouTube: Dallas Stars - Oh. No. Not. Again.

It ain't over yet, but the Stars are trailing 2-1 in the 3rd, as Trevor Linden has just scored again. It's looking like yet another first round playoff exit.

Remember the Salad Days of hockey in Dallas? It was 1999, and life was good:

Correction: It is over. What a disappointment.

Today's "Gay or Not Gay"

Submit your votes now.

Mavs - Warriors Game 1: THUD!

I'm still not sure what we witnessed last night, as the Warriors beat the Mavs 97-85 in Game 1. Didn't the Mavs have the best record in the NBA? Didn't Golden State barely squeak into the playoffs?

When did we land in Bizarro-World?

The Mavs abandoned their game, trying to match Don Nelson's small-ball lineup. No one played well, and a few (Dirk Nowtizki and Jerry Stackhouse, I'm looking at you both) didn't show up at all.

It's FAR too early to hit the panic button, and I'm predicting the Mavs to sweep the rest of the series, but what a way to start.

The worst part is that friggin' Don Nelson, strutting around in his hipster sport coat and t-shirt and his ultra-gel hair. I know, I know - he rebuilt this franchise and we all should be grateful. You know what, I'm over that. I really dislike the guy now. And I'd love to see Avery Johnson cram it right up "Nellie's" wazoo.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mavs - Warriors; Game 1, first half: WTF???

The Mavs and Warriors are tied 38-38 after the first half of Game 1. The Mavs are shooting 29%.

I'm guessing Avery Johnson did the calm, it's-gonna-get-better bit with his players in the locker room during the half. It will get better. It has to.

Doesn't it?

BTW - if you're looking for blow-by-blow blog coverage, you aren't going to get it here at little CIT. You will, however, get it and a whole lot more at the DMN Mavs blog.

FINALLY - NBA playoffs are here

More about the NBA in coming days. All I've got time for right now is: Thank the sweet, clean Lord God Almighty the playoffs are finally here.

Go Mavs!

The dumbest dude on Earth

Part—time Boston University student Andrew Rosenblum, age 20 and, unfortunately for the rest of us, apparently Jewish, made complete jackass out of himself last week when he emailed a former paramour that he was going to kill her, her friends, and himself. “It’s gonna be VT (Viriginia Tech) all over again,” he boasted in the email.

What a friggin’ IDIOT!

Needless to say, the stalkee went straight to the police with the emails, Rosenblum was arrested toot-sweet, and is now being held in lieu of $50,000 cash bail and ordered to remain under house arrest and wear a 24-hour GPS monitoring device if he posts bail. He would only be allowed to leave his home with an escort when visiting his doctor or attorney.

Seriously, how stupid to you have to be to, first make a threat like this, and second to make said threat IN WRITING? And he did it on Monday night, less than 12 hours after the carnage in Blacksburg.

This guy is going to get the book thrown at him, and he deserves whatever he gets. Moron!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mavs - Warriors: Let the trash talking begin

Nice little war of words (sorta) between DMN's Mavs Blog (good readin', btw) and Golden State of Mind (HIYO!).

Golden State of Mind does seem to have a pretty good handle on where the Warriors rank in the scheme of things. Case in point, the GSM Motto:

'UNSTOPPABLE, BABY!' - Golden State Warriors rookie Marc Jackson to the
Mavericks' bench, after hitting a lay-up during a 29-point loss (2000).

I'm going to stop in regularly to see what they have to say.

I LOVE this time of year!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Google Apps - taking the plunge

Google has recently unleashed a torrent of online applications which aim to supplant desktop office suites (like the incredibly bloated and over-priced Microsoft Office Professional 2007, of which I am a supporter - can't you tell?). With Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Gmail, Google Talk, Google Page Creator, Picassa, and a slew of other tools, you can now do just about everything from your browser, and save your hard disk for photos, music, ebooks, porn, or whatever your little heart desires.

Sounds brilliant, right?

Well, maybe.

Wired News editor Michael Calore went cold turkey, dropping his desktop apps and going exclusively with the Google online suite. He's got some good things to say, but it isn't all beer and skittles.

By the way, I'm posting from Google Docs & Spreadsheets for the past week or so. Word 2007 has a blogging feature, but it works for crap with Blogger (a Google product, go figure). So I thought a Google online app ought to be fairly seamless with another Google service. I'm going to stick with it for a while, because I think it will eventually work and some of my problems may be operator error, but right now, I have to tell you, NOT THAT GREAT. In fact, pretty darn frustrating.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Daily YouTube: No WAY!

This is truly amazing. And its safe for the kids, I promise.

VA Tech shootings

My take, for the record.

I really don't have much to say on this one, beyond the obvious "it's a terrible tragedy" and "my most heartfelt condolences go out to the victims, their families, and the entire VA Tech community."

There's already a whole bunch being said about the University's "slow" response to the original shootings in the dorm, two hours before the unbelievable carnage took place in Norris Hall. I think this is hindsight and the overwhelming human need to blame someone, and I think it will fade shortly. It's difficult for me to see what the University could reasonably be expected to do in response to two isolated shootings in a dorm room. Should they have locked down the entire campus? Cancelled everything? That's obviously tremendously disrupting and extremely hard to do, what with some students driving in, others rolling out of bed and going straight to class (remember those days?), and classes already underway. I don't think it's a reasonable expectation, given what was known prior to gunfire starting in the classrooms. Now, its obvious. Then, not so much.

We'll hear plenty from the anti-gun lobby: How could this foreign national have obtained handguns? If handguns were illegal, this never would have happened. And we'll hear plenty from the other side, who will want to know what would have happened if the professors and/or students had been legally carrying concealed weapons.

Both sides miss the point, in my opinion.

Once a person decides he/she is ready to die, and wants to take as many others with him/her as possible, there isn't much anyone can do. Whether its a handgun, a Kalashnikov, a Semtex-and-roofing-nails body suit, a fully-fueled American Airlines 767, or an Abu Fayed -autograph-model suitcase nuke, once a person decides to make the ultimate statement (political, personal, religious, or otherwise), he/she is probably not going to worry about any deterrent, be it legal, physical, or emotional.

The day is coming when college students wear IDs on lanyards around their necks, just like most of Corporate America does today. It won't surprise me to see metal detectors and bag searches at all public building entrances as well. None of those things are bad ideas, none of them infringe on your rights all that much, and all of them represent the state of our world today.

Do you think that will make us totally safe?

You do? Can we talk about some real estate I'd like to show you?

French presidential elections – Some hope for US-France relations?

The upcoming French presidential election holds some hope for the long-troubled US-France relationship. Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy is well ahead in the polls, to the point that the French version of David Duke, good old Jean-Marie Le Pen, is calling him a “scum politician’. Anyone who Le Pen hates this much can’t be all bad.

And Sarkozy is, indeed, not bad at all. A realist (all too rare in France), Sarkozy favors, among other things, a more Anglo-American economic system to replace the suffocatingly inefficient and restrictive, worst-of-both-worlds, Froggie-branded socialism which has led to huge unemployment numbers and regularly-scheduled working class riots; a more active French role in the war on terror; and a solution to the problem of radical Islam spreading throughout western Europe.

Sarkozy is the guy Americans should be pulling for. Quietly, though. At this point, US endorsement is probably the kiss of death to most politicians around the world. But that’s another post for another day.

A Sarkozy victory in France could well be a turning point, not only in Franco-American relations, but in the modern history of Western Europe. If the traditionally leftist French begin to admit the failure of their Socialist policies and begin to swing more to the center, it could lead to a similar (although more subtle, because they have less far to swing) German move center-wards. If France and Germany begin to move away from their failed Socialist systems, the waaaayyyy-left Italians would find themselves singing solo. In addition, one would assume that some solid, realistic economic policies would have near-instantaneous, positive impact on the moribund French economy. An even-slightly resurgent France would do wonders for the stagnant EU.

There are lots of “ifs” and “maybes” in the paragraph above, but the alternatives – a National Socialist France under the unhinged Hitler-wannabe Le Pen, or a further descent into the Peoples’ Republic of France under mega-Socialist (and somewhat hot) Segolene Royal – are bleak. Don’t forget, Sarkozy is well ahead in most French polls, so the part about him winning is certainly well within the realm of possibility, if not probability, even if the rest of the conjecture above will have to be seen to be believed.

Go, Sarkozy. Too bad “Sarkozy” doesn’t rhyme with anything in English – it’s tough to come up with a good campaign slogan. Regardless, phone all your pals Over There and give them the good news.

Boy, ain’t this the truth?

The trouble with facts is that there are so many of them.

- Samuel McChord Crothers

Thursday, April 12, 2007

NOW I understand Sanjaya's appeal

This is NOT family friendly. But it does explain a lot.

Daily YouTube: Microsoft humor

Um, I think they're kidding. But, I'm not completely sure. You decide:

Ode to Drewzilla

Drew Bledsoe hung it up yesterday, retiring from the NFL after 14 steadfast and professional years in three different unis.

Bledsoe probably never did quite live up to his billing. A prototype physical specimen, he had some truly outstanding years in New England and Buffalo, but inconsistency, lack of talent around him, and perhaps a bit too much faith in his own skills prevented him from attaining the top of the mountain.

Drew came to Dallas two years ago as the next big hope. After several years spent looking for an adequate replacement for Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, the Cowboys saw Bledsoe as a viable, medium-term answer. It's clear now that the Pear Shaped Football Genius had plans for Tony Romo even then, but put his faith in one of his guys from the NE days. In his first year in Dallas, Bledsoe showed flashes of brilliance, and the hope was, with a retooled offensive line opening up what should have been a competent rushing attack and giving the immobile Bledsoe time to check off, the second year would be even better.

Alas, it was not to be. I still think the Cowboy offensive line underachieved, and the running tandem of Jones and Barber is over-rated, but it became clear early on that Bledsoe's skills and confidence had eroded to a point where it just wasn't going to work. He further hurt his cause by freezing out TO Owens (which, in retrospect, may not have been all that bad an idea) and, by the sixth game of the season, patience wore out. For the third time in his career, Bledsoe found himself passed over for the young guy.

Bledsoe won't be remembered much, and when his name does come up, it will be in the company of second tier guys like Bert Jones, Richard Todd, Billy Kilmer, Randall Cunningham, and others. Personally, I'd place him above any of those just based on Bledsoe's professionalism, community involvement, and general good-guyness.

Best of luck to you in your life after football, Drew. I'm sorry to see you go.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Daily YouTube: Beautiful Rhodesia

From our Theatre of the Surreal, today's entry is a series of home movie clips and patriotic songs from that idyllic moment in time: Rhodesia in the early 1970s.

Stick around for the end, where there's lots of mention of Rhodesia's "men of good quality" and those evildoers who sponsored the birth of Zimbabwe, referred to as "people of poor quality". Not too difficult to figure out the meaning behind those words, is it?

Hard to believe it was just 30 years ago...

Top 10 most under-rated US cities

As a fan of the Top 10 list in almost any form (most of my wedding/birthday/retirement/etc party schtick is in the form of a Top 10), I was drawn to an article on MSNBC tonight entitled, "Top 10 Most Under-rated US Cities". I've travelled this great land of ours pretty extensively, and I was curious to see how the list stacked up against my experience.

MSNBC's list (actually picked up from, whoever they are) reads thusly:

1. Baltimore
2. Ft. Lauderdale
3. Houston
4. Kansas City
5. Louisville
6. Minneapolis
7. Pittsburgh
8. Portland
9. Providence
10. Sacramento

This is total crap list.

Baltimore? OK, I'm kinda down with that. The Inner Harbor is cool, the newish baseball stadium is cool. I can live with that. Maybe not number 1, but up there.

Ft. Lauderdale? Again, not too upset with this. The beach makes up for a lot, and it's definitely not the Spring Break dump it was back in the day.

Houston? WTF? I'm out right here. I am currently IN Houston, so I think I speak with some authority. This town SUCKS. It's way better than it used to be: The omni-present road construction is largely complete, and the area around Minute Maid Park (I still want to call it Enron Field) is going to be pretty good once some more stuff gets built here. But, the traffic is God-awful, the climate is akin to a malaria swamp, and LARGE parts of the city are falling apart. Again, WTF? Number 3? You have GOT to be kidding

Kansas City? Well, OK. Maybe. The downtown area is nice and compact, and you certainly can't beat the BBQ. But the utterly decrepit baseball stadium ought to rule it out right away.

Louisville? The city I've spent the least time in, so I can't really comment. Seems like a stretch, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Minneapolis? I can live with this one, if you include St. Paul. The climate rules against it, although summer is nice. It would be a lot nicer if it was warm more than three months a year though. And the Mall of America has GOT to go!

Pittsburgh? I don't have a lot of experience with this one, but based on the little I know, I'll go along with this.

Portland? Heck yes. I'm behind this one 100%. It ought to be higher.

Providence? Another one I can get behind. I'm out on the local accent and the preponderance of the color brown (in honor of the university, one assumes). But, overall, OK.

Sacramento? Another WTF? If you're looking for pre-fab, anonymous cities, go someplace like Phoenix or Dallas. They're much more affordable and offer much more to do.

One has to ask, where is Ft Worth? How about Austin? San Antonio? Or outside of Texas, how about San Diego, Tampa, Charleston, Santa Fe, or even Little Rock? None of those get props as "Big Cities", but all have some GREAT stuff going for them.

Well, that's the fun of Top 10 lists. I'm open to other suggestions as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Daily YouTube: Some fairly intense video

Here's a heavy-duty bit of video: KBR (the former Halliburton sub which is the main US contractor in the "rebuilding" of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a company I have become quite familiar with lately - more about that another day) truck convoys criss-cross Iraq, carrying all sorts of supplies and goods. Here's a convoy that made a VERY wrong turn.

WARNING: Not for the faint of heart, and ABSOLUTELY not for kids.

A missive from Edinburgh

From the World's Best-Named Band. If you're in the neighborhood on Friday, please do stop by, and tell the lads I said "howdy":

Just a quick reminder that our gig at the Liquid Room on the 13th is fast approaching and we'd like as many of you to come along as possible. The band are now in possesion of tickets. Reply to this message with TICKETS in the subject line and we can put some aside for you. Failing that, you can also pay at the door on the night.



Today's comedy joke

From Comedy Central:

An Irish daughter had not been home for over five years. Upon her return, her father cursed her.

"Where have ye been all this time? Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn't ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old mum thru?"

The girl, crying, replied, "Sniff, sniff... Dad... I became a prostitute..."

"Ye what!!? Out of here, ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You're a disgrace to this family."

"OK, Dad -- as ye wish. I just came back to give mum this luxurious fur coat, title deed to a ten bedroom mansion plus a savings certificate for $5 million."

"For me little brother, this gold Rolex and for ye daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes limited edition convertible that's parked outside plus a membership to the country club... (takes a breath)... and an invitation for ye all to spend New Years' Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera, and..."

"Now what was it ye said ye had become?" says dad.

Girl, crying again, "Sniff, sniff....a prostitute dad! Sniff, sniff.

"Oh! Be Jesus! Ye scared me half to death, girl! I thought ye said a Protestant. Come here and give yer old man a hug."

The crap we waste time on

Between Anna Nicole's baby-daddy, Don Imus' feeble attempt to remain (become?) relevant, and Sanjaya, I'm embarrassed to be an American lately.

Um, war? Middle East? Iran's industrial-strength, "peaceful" uranium enrichment program? Collapse in the sub-prime mortgage market? Anyone? Anyone at all?

My head hurts.

Back from the dead

Hey now.

For those of you who feared for my safety and sanity (and there were a few of you, for whom I am grateful), please be assured I am physically and mentally fit as ever.

Which is, admittedly, not saying much. On either front.

My absence is due to nothing more than apathy and inertia. But I have overcome both of those constants of the universe, and hope to be present here in these pages more frequently.