Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A SYD BARRETT MOMENT

After a few days of heavy eating and drinking, it only makes sense to have a Saturday Afternoon Coming Down. Well, things got kicked off with a load of laundry and the blasting of Pink Floyd's "The Wall." By the time "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" and "Another Brick in The Wall pt. 2" rolled around, a thought occured to me regarding its subject, Syd Barrett. Those of us who are "sane" are in fact the more disturbed and messed up ones in society. When things go wrong, we have the ability to suck it up, pull the Dumbs, and simply Deal With It. While on the other hand, the Syd Barretts of the world are overwhelmed by life's tragedies. They give themselves extra difficulties while trying to get their heads around ideas and injustices that we simply take for granted.

When you actually think about it, those of us who are able to construct "The Wall" are far happier than those who face their demons head-on. Like Beavis and Butt-head with nachos and good videos, we are truly content. We grow into complacency and dare not to challenge the status quo built by a world of people completely complacent themselves. In the meantime, the Syds in a way understand the fickleness of these things and continue their lifelong search of personal identity and their attempts to reconcile the Dumbsian World with their mind that has, nor wants any part of simply "Dealing With It."

In a way, it makes you wonder...Is the Dumbsian majority of the world, actually the sane?
YEP, THAT'S ABOUT RIGHT

Hat-tip to Drake for the link...

How many of y'all can relate to this story from The Onion. Headline: Wild Unattached Twenties Spent At Work.



Ahhh you gotta love parody.
PICTURE PAGE

It may not be Bill Cosby and Nick Jr. but I'm now able to add pics to the Ole Daily Rant. Please stand by while I work out the finer points of blogging pics. And in the meantime enjoy the next evolutionary regression of shenanigans.

We're not going to lose any thumbs or break windows if we drink our beer outta this cuppy. Posted by Hello
HERE'S ONE FOR THE BOYS...

If we're gonna have a Yeza New Years in Pasadena. Then we are gonna need something safe to drink from. How about this?
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

Ever have a holiday celebration go this horribly awry?
JUST A MATTER OF TIME

With parts of Northern California being so liberal it was just a matter of time before they turned their revisionist wrath on Declaration of Independence too. Afterall, our natural rights come from an all powerful secular state. Thus it is no problem to violate these rights in the need of advancing a "compelling interest" (i.e. race based admissions, abortion, or sodomy). It's quite frightening that this kinda suppression of truth and Soviet style revionism is going on right in our own country. But on the other hand, I'm not as surprised as I should be.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

HOLIDAY SPECIAL

From Seth...

"It's Thanksgiving 2004, which means we get to discuss the turkeys of the year. A turkey, by the way, is an animal so dumb that if you let it out in the rain, it can forget to breathe and drown.

* - Turkey list repeat customer

A.J. Smith - The General Manager for the San Diego Chargers the last two years and in charge of Chargers' personnel the last five. After they fired the last guy for not being able to put a team together with such an awful talent evaluator as Smith, A.J. himself got to take his job. Funny how that works.

Anyway, the Chargers had been grooming Drew Brees, the former Purdue great and late-round draft pick of 2002, to be their next starter. They followed the program, having him learn from Doug Flutie his rookie season then finally get some reps his sophomore year. Brees wasn't spectacular, but weighed against his competition from that year - Joey Harrington, David Carr, and Byron Leftwich - Brees was more efficient than all of them.

Yet for some reason, although conventional NFL wisdom says it takes 3 years for a QB to start paying dividends, Smith decided to use his #1 overall pick on Eli Manning, who had made notice of the fact that he wouldn't play for the Chargers. So as part of the pick, the Chargers traded Eli to the New York Giants for their 1st round QB, Philip Rivers, and a few picks to make up the difference. It was a slick trade, likely engineered by Manning's agent more than football reasoning, but you have to wonder why the Chargers were taking a quarterback in the first place? Or why they would make even bigger embarrassment out of the news that big-name players didn't want to play for them.

Well, now that they had Rivers, it was obvious Brees was going to be shipped out of town. Drew just had one season to play out while Rivers learned the NFL. So what'd he do? What he was supposed to when they drafted him, had him learn under Flutie, then allowed him to run the offense last year. He took command of the team. He became their franchise player. Except now, they can't trade Rivers because they gave him a massive signing bonus. So Brees is going somewhere else after this season, taking with him the team's confidence, a degree of QB education paid for by 3 years of Chargers' fans, and A.J. Smith's last shred of dignity. A.J., you're a turkey.


USA Golf and the Tiger - After Tiger winning every tournament became a forgone conclusion, he suddenly became mortal - way too mortal. While kids still buy the Tiger Woods EA Sports golf games, and the Nike swoosh still adorns everything from his hat to his band-aids, Tiger spent more time growling with his hot new bride than on the golf course. The down season for Woods was capped by an awful showing in the Ryder Cup, as Joey Harrington's cousin and the Europeans, denied parking by Seth's hometown, showed America's big-money stars how to put the ball the hole.


Kobe Bryant - Oh, what a turkey you've been, Mr. Bryant. First, there was the rape scandel, which aside from the legal problems he's faced all year meant the end of his endorsements and likely the end of his marriage. That's okay, because even though you've got to O.J. yourself out a rape conviction, you've still got the Lakers, the Lakers love you. Except Shaq. Well, you can out-play the tired Diesel, lead your team to a championship and...ohh, drat. A team that plays defense just beat you because your team wasn't getting you the ball enough. Well, tell the press that Shaq cheats on his wife too, then demand they trade him. So in the course of 2004, you wrecked your marriage, spent $5 million on legal fees, lost all of your endorsements and good boy image, lost the championship against an Eastern Conference team with no legitimate superstars, and turned your own team from the Yankees of basketball to just another one-star mid-level squad. Wow, you must have been quite a turkey to accomplsih all of that.


Darko Milicic - Hard to come down on a player from a championship team, but in the year of LeBron, Darko was suposed to be the other guy, the super-can't-miss talent who would quietly show signs of one-day being more valuable to his team than the other overhyped 18-year old. Well, while Carmelo Anthony was proving youth could rejuvinate an NBA team, the guy picked right before him did zip, zero, zilch, nada. He played only junk minutes and didn't have a single good game. Now, we know we've been told to be patient, but this is the NBA. If he's going to be a star, we'd like to see at least a flash of brilliance. At least for the period betwixt late Nov. '03 and late Nov. '04, I have to call Darko a turkey.


Ricky Williams - I was originally among the small minority who thought that Ricky was more of an independently flying robin redbre@st rather than a gobbler. But the more I read, the more fowl he ran. The guy failed a marijuana drug test. Then, rather than take his punishment, he went Maurice Clarrett and quit, duking the team that had traded two 1st-round picks to acquire him squarely in the f@rt box. Had the story ended there, he'd be a smart, albeit selfish, guy who retired a multi-millionaire in the prime of his life and in peak physical human condition, whereas 5 more years of tailbacking would likely cause him lifelong and painful injuries. He wanted to take his h0t young wife, air balloon across the continent, climb the Himalayas, and smoke a d00bie, more power to him. But then Ricky wanted to come back. Tsk Tsk. Or should I say, gobble gobble.


NHL Players' Union - If you thought there was some bad representation going on in this year's election cycle, what about the 80 percent of NHLPA union members who aren't being listened to by Bob Goodenow. Here's the rub: If you're a 4th-line grinder, a 6th defenseman, a 3rd-line winger, a backup goalie, or anyone below that, you're making about $150 to $300 grand. You can't make more under the old system because your team's superstars want $8 million apiece. You can't make less under the new system because you're worth about $200,000/year. These guys aren't getting helped by the lockout, they're just losing their paychecks. Same for all the old guys - Yzerman, Hull, Chelios et al. They want to get back on the ice because they've only got so much ice-time left before old man time comes a' collecting. But both of these groups support Bob Goodenow in his hard-line stance against the league to preserve the multi-million dollar salaries. Goodenow's an agent. If he's making $25 million deals, he's making $2.5 million. He doesn't make much more or less on the grinders or the guys on their last contracts. That's what he's in for, and why we're still shut down - so he can get a bigger chunk of a bigger Ilya Kovalchuk deal. Add that to the fact that the players are whining about Scabs while taking Euro and prospect jobs away by playing in Europe, and all the local economies crushed by a season of no hockey, and the NHL Players deserve to be clipped, picked, spitted, stuffed, and roasted like the turkeys they are.


Gary Bettman - The other intractable in the pair of intractibles. Leave aside Bettman's quixotic drive to open up hockey that falls apart every year, Bettman has the public on his side and he's using it to leverage the Players Union to accept his terms or the highway. He's right that the total sum of player salaries are about twice what the league makes. But this man has tried to parlay the fact that he's right into a better deal for the owners. Trust me, he's not arguing for lower ticket prices.


Tony Siragusa - The Goose a turkey? Well, he talked himself into it. See, Big Tony was actually trying to get Joey Harrington put on the turkey list, saying, to paraphrase, that Detroit's young quarterback was more of a strawberries and cream kind of guy than, y'know, the guys with whom the Goose typically maws raw meat and chugs Budweiser. Well, Joey played it cool, saying he's not sure what the Goose meant, then went out on the field and showed he was all man. So while Mr. caviar-and-cigarettes, well-versed-in-etiquette killer queen Joey is picking apart defenses (occasionally) and has his team believing in him, the Goose is worried about ending up cooked and served with a few extra drumsticks to the winner of the annual Green Bay/Detroit Turkey Day game.


The BCS - Given a year off the Turkey list for giving us a great 2003 championship in Ohio State/Miami, the BCS proved that something this retarded can't stay out the fowl list for long. Started with the stated intention of providing an indisputed national champion, its inability to get AP and Coaches' #1 USC in its National Championship game created, guess what, a split-champion. Doh. I mean. Gobble.


The Soldier* - Look for this young NFL-er to have a long, productive career on the annual Thanksgiving list. In 2004, Kellen Winslow Jr. put aside his college cockiness to become a full-fledged Pro Turkey. He started off by making motions to say he wouldn't play for the Lions if drafted there, which set up a very favorable one-spot trade-down for the Lions so the Cleveland Browns could nab him first. The Lions took who they wanted in the first place: eventual rookie-of-the-year receiver Roy Williams. So now that his team is short a high 2nd-round pick for no reason, Winslow decides that he wants to be the highest-paid Tight-End in NFL history before ever playing a down, and sits out the entire pre-season. When he finally starts playing, he's dropping passes, running bad routes, and not blocking. He makes 5 catches for 50 yards (half of which came on a 25-yard reception in the first game) in two games, not working for many YACs, before breaking his leg (ending his season) in a pitiful Game 2 performance versus Dallas. Sidelined for the season, the PVR (private-first round) decided to talk smack on a few websites to get back at his detractors.


A-Rod, Jason Giambi and the New York Yankees - It was only fitting; the player who signed a 10-year $250 million contract would have to come play for the Yanks, even if the best shortstop in the game would have to move to 3rd base so the 2nd-best shortstop in the game could keep his position. But A-Rod wasn't nearly the player he'd been for Seattle or Texas. While his trade-bait Alfonso Soriano was leading the Rangers back to competitiveness, Rod's stats slipped to a .286 BA and 36 homeruns, ending a 6-year string of 40-HR seasons. But that falloff was nothing next to Jason Giambi, who hit .208 with 12 homeruns and missed half the season to injury, becoming the biggest-paid in sports history. The Yanks' big pitching moves were mediocre by pinstripe standards: Vazquez: 4.91, Brown: 4.09, Loaiza: 5.70, Nitkowski: 7.62. While Miguel Cairo had a breakout season in Soriano's shoes, El Duque came back to save the starting rotation, Olerud lent his class to fill the expensive hole at 1st, and Gary Sheffield was in the MVP running, for a team salary of $250 million (league median is about $45M), you'd have expected SOMEONE to hit over .300, SOMEONE to knock in 40 homers, and after going up 3-0 in the ALCS over the Red Sox, SOMEONE to win one of the next four games. For being the victims of the first team in 130 years of baseball to lose a 7-game series after going up 3-0, and for spending $250 mill to become the antagonists in the Red Sox' story, the Yanks make the list.


Joe Paterno - Ron Zook got off the list for beating his team's main rival in the last game of the season. But even though JoePa found a measure of redemption in stopping the giant-killing Spartans, I can't call the Big Ten's manufactured "Battle for the Land-Grant Trophy" a real rivalry. Some people blame the tough Big Ten schedule. Those who know better can see that he's lost some major in-state recruting battles (although JoePa won those for 5-stars Justin King and Dan Conner). But the fact of the matter is, even though every sports writer out there wants to give Joe the benefit of the doubt - I mean, the guy's a lock for the coaching Hall of Fame - every puts another wedge between the man and his security blanket of having won more games than Bear Bryant. For a man who used to never miss a bowl game when you needed a 9-1 record to do so, missing two in a row under the 6-6 standard makes the glasses seem and inch thicker, the neatly-pressed khakis an inch higher above the ankle, and the day when his enormous statistic of career wins becomes a final number that much closer. It begins by making the Turkey list - for only turkeys could lay eggs like four of the last five seasons.


Charles Rogers - After being the leading receivers for the Lions in '03, David Kircus only made the practice squad for '04 and Scotty Anderson was cut. "We've got too many guys on the depth chart," was the reason Coach Mariucci gave. Well, we could use all the hands we could get now, with no running game and 4 receivers out with injury. And nobody embodies the broken bodies at the position like Charles Rogers, who after being chosen #3 overall in 2003 and expected to become the next Randy Moss, has broken his wishbone..I mean collarbone...and gone out for the season twice. Last year it was after game 3. This year he couldn't make it through Game 1. At this rate, Charles will be 30 by the time he has that breakout season everyone's been expecting since he graduated from Saginaw High in 1999.


James E. McGreevey - In an election year, you'd think someone trying to get elected would win the coveted annual poltical turkey prize. Well, this N.J. governor beat out all the candidates, coming out as both g@y and corrupt at the same time. It wasn't his fault that he plays for the other team, if you will, but add that to homosexual harassment and putting lovers in high-powered positions - a la King James I - he had to know this wouldn't play well, right? As for Howard Dean's spasmatic performance and Jim Bunning simply going nuts, well, Dean helped his party by doing so and Bunning got re-elected to the United States Senate.


Carlos Boozer vs. the Blind Cleveland Cavs. - The Cavs should have realized that the NBA is a league of shallow thuggish theives. But yet there is never a shortage of bad things to say about somebody that skrewed over a blind guy. Gund gets on the list for being played. Boozer makes it ruining his reputation of being a stand-up fella (earned from playing all four years at Duke) in order to deal maximum skrewage to the Cleveland fans who had liked him almost as much as LeBron. Turkeys.


USA Basketball and David Stern - Since the Olympics started playing basketball, the U.S. team had 12 of 13 Gold Medals. Since they started letting in NBA players, the USA hadn't lost a game. Well, instead of Dream Team, this year David Stern decided to put together the Bling Team. Result: 3 losses, bronze medal, embarrassment. Spurned by most of the NBA's top players, the roster was made more to sell LeBron, Iverson, and Okafor jerseys than win basketball games. They pegged team-first coach Larry Brown to try to coax another easy run, but this team was doomed from get-go. With only 3 practices before beginning play, the team never had a strategy, never had much drive, and ended up becoming the perfect patsy. Worse, they were the perfect analogy for a world increasingly perturbed by American arrogance, and how that arrogance can allow the meek to knock down the giant. They were going to be my turkey of the year until......


TURKEY OF THE YEAR:

Ron Artest
- Right after last year's turkey day, an Indiana teammate said of Ron, "The court is 94 feet of therapy - for whatever's bothering him." Other activities that he's used to take his mind off of whatever's bothering him are ripping a phone out of press row, busting up a blackboard, hurling a TV monitor to the floor, smashing a $100,000 camera to bits, and my personal favorite, telling his teammates after a loss to the Pistons that none of them deserves to eat. After losing in the playoffs to the hated Pistons, Artest reportably ran around the locker room in circles for an unspecified amount of time. Over the summer, he threatened his fiancee and was asked to undergo anger-management therapy. During that time, the "artiste" also decided that being 6'7 and able to dunk made him qualified to make a rap album - 'cause, you know, Shaq's rap album was awesome, right? So as the '04-'05 season got underway he then asked his coach if he could take a month off from basketball to promote his new album. Carlisle responded with a resounding "what are you thinking?" and benched him two games for asking. So with Thanksgiving approaching, Artest pretty much had a turkey spot locked up and was in competition for the Turkey of the Year honors. Holding him back was that during the period in question, Artest had produced his best basketball season in his career and won NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors. But like an MVP candidate who hits four homeruns in the last game, Ron-Ron finished with a flourish, going on a rampage in the Palace last week like some sort of caged animal on steroids let loose in a butcher shop. For his efforts, the NBA ended Artest's season. The artiste can now go promoting his album, accompanied by NBA officials with cattle prods, no doubt. But when that's over, he'll have a lot of time sitting around at home to think all that he's accomplished since November '03. At least he'll have my Turkey of the Year award to keep him company.



Honorable Mention:

Ron Zook - What, did he think everyone was kidding when they wanted him fired? Did he think this was the usual criticism given to a coach who follows a legend? Did he not put much stock in a website with huge traffic that called for him to get fired? Did he think spending as much time unranked as otherwise in the program they named Gatorade after would be considered growing pains? Did he think starting a media war with a local fraternity was going to make his players respond to him better? And what did he think would happen if he lost to Mississippi State, a team who got beat at home by Maine, I might add? The guy could recruit, no question about it, but all the best talent in the southeast hasn't translated to many wins. Fact of the matter is, he was on the hotseat ever since his pre-season #1-ranked Gators lost to Michigan in the Outback Bowl (in their own backyard) on Jan. 1, 2003. Since then, there's been little sign of a return to peak form. Zook was a solid member of the turkey list, but he earned his redemption by beating the 8th-ranked Seminoles to close the season. Nothing like upsetting your biggest rival to make everything better."
HEY I'VE BEEN THERE

Tuesday the Pope was given an honorary degree from the Nicholas Copernicus University of Torun. This is actually a beautiful small town halfway between Berlin and Warsaw. I stopped by for a night on my way to Sweden. And though I was alone, I had a great time. Saturday, I spent the night at a HUGE blues concert. And then on Sunday morning I attended Mass in their beautiful cathedral (it even had steep sloping northern European snow roofs). I also checked out the house of Copernicus. There wasn't too much to it but the town had enough scenary, castles, and delightful atmosphere to make it well worth the trip.

But anyways, also check out what the Pope said about truth, reason, and faith...

"In his brief address in Polish, the Holy Father advocated dialogue as the means to "overcome the contrast, made during the Enlightenment, of truth reached through reason and truth known through faith."

Check the Holy Father's quotes in the article as he discusses the "responsibility of truth." Derrida must turning over in his "grave."
GOOD READING

If you're not a completely partisan Democrat then you will love this humorous look at Bill Clintons attempt to re-write history with his Presidential Library. Sorry guy, but your "legacy" can be summed up in 4 words...

Impeached for chubby chasin'.
BASKETBRAWL VI

Check out the Sports Guy's thoughts on the situation. Also out of all the analysis I have read, only Simmons addresses what exactly Ben Wallace did to deserve 6 games...

"5. If you watch the game -- which has already earned coveted "Save until I delete" status on my TiVo, by the way -- two plays led to Artest's hard foul. With 6:43 remaining, Rip Hamilton threw a cheapshot elbow into Jamaal Tinsley's back after a defensive rebound (they called a foul as the Pacers bench erupted). That could have been a flagrant since it looked like Hamilton went out of his way to belt him. And with 1:25 remaining, down by 11 points, Wallace knocked Artest into the basket support while blocking his layup -- from the camera angle, you can't tell if it's a foul or not. So if you're playing the "Why was Artest fouling Wallace with such a big lead?" card, the play wasn't much different than Wallace's block. He just got more of a piece of him."

Makes a little bit more sense. Though why can't people understand the Palace has very little to do with Detroit.

Monday, November 22, 2004

PARTY OF BIG GOVERNMENT?

From James...

"Seems that the red states are the big government states. a paradygm shift from 94?"
DOUBLE-0 FUN AND GAMES

"Agent Seth checking in from the Union basement computers....which still let me sign in for some reason.

In the calm before the storm, the boys of Oblivion are setting up to play the Tap room, which will be followed shortly by a sure descent into a place with a tapped keg.

On the agenda tonight is a stop by 308, where it is rumored that Japs are holed up with their SUVs and Bat Mitzvah money. For daring to defile the sacred porch of U Honk We Drink with wicker furniture, we will fall upon them like locusts upon the sand and accuse them of stealing my brother's Halo 2 video game.

Yes, you heard me, the Japs stole my brother's Halo 2 video game. Mark my words... they shall pay!"

So did they pay? Did you pull a Tondar on their front porch? What went down?
OLD NEWS

The Met in NYC had an exhibit about this work of "civil art" coming to Central Park. Frankly, I don't get how these "artists" ever find a following. Give me some wicked rich patrons and I could make something twice as good as "The Gates" and far far better than anything that Matthew Barney's crapped out in creating the "Cremaster."
BASKETBRAWL V

Well I guess it was just a matter of time before somebody made this. However, I think the point should be made, that I didn't agree with Juan NonVolokh. I think the fans share little blame in the whole Artest incident. Sure there are always, going to be drunken douchebags in the crowd. However, Stern made the right decision in not going after the people that make the NBA "Fan"tastic. Whether they be NBA fans, Pistons fans, or "crazy" Detroiters, the large share of the blame should fall on the NBA prima donna players. Now true you can argue that fans help create these beasts. But that is never an excuse for the animal like behavior of people like Artest, Rodman, or Vernon "Mad" Maxwell. In a civilized society people have to be held responsible for their actions. And it looks like it actually may happen this time, at least in civil court.
DON'T TRUST THAT CANADIAN SYSTEM

I once heard that we should get a healthcare system like the Canadians. Check out this review that serves as a great warning for the unintended consequences of socialized medicine. No, we DON'T wanna turn our system into this kinda mess. It's amazing how when the government gets involved everything it touches turns to crap.
BASKETBRAWL IV

In spite of just having 8 players Sunday night, the Pistons still found a way to beat Charlotte in double OT. However, probably the saddest line of the game is the fact that Darko only played 9 minutes. This is pretty significant considering that Smush Parker played a total of 38 minutes.

But anyways, check out these brawl photos from FOXSPORTS. As word travels around the blogosphere, it's interesting how Detroit fans are catching most of the fury. While few want to blame Artest for being a crazy son of a bitch for snapping over spilled soda (pop).

Sunday, November 21, 2004

KATHERINE WATCH

Special Turkey Day edition...

"I hope you are getting ready for the big day of eating great food on Thursday! Don't forget to take a minute to be thankful for all you have! I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the country of Togo, probably eating grasscutter which is an anmial that resembles a giant rat. I will be thinking of all of you and how excited I will be to see you in only 3 weeks!

Well, this weekend was great. I went to a "football" game, which means soccer here. It was pretty cool, they sure do take that sport seriously. I spent the day at the beach, and I will tomorrow as well. I love talking to the Ghanaians and getting to know more about the African culture. Last night, I was sipping a nice cold beer on the ocean when I met a "Rasta" man who took me and my friends to a cool place down the beach. They had a live drum show and acrobats right there, and we got to dance and have a great time. Africa is awesome!

I am so looking forward to snow! It is so hot here! I stayed at a hotel this weekend with air, so that was a nice change. The rest of the weeks will be sweaty, but that will make me all the more appreciative to come home! I seriously can't wait!

Well, I want you all to check out this cool webpage that my friend Scott made about our HIV presentation. He put together that website that I sent out in the last email, but this page is soley for the presentation.

Alright, Happy turkey day to all of you! I miss you and can't wait to see you all! Take care, and for those of you shopping on the busiest day of the year (this coming Friday), good luck!"

That's 2 Thanksgivings in a row that Katherine has been outta the country. Last year we enjoy spaghetti carbonara in Sevilla prepared by her host mother. Of course, the more fun part was later that night when I drank a two-liter of orange fanta mixed with a fifth of cuban rum. Oh how I love, Havanah Club! In fact, I love it so much I didn't even bother putting it away when I went into a bar. I just took it with me and mixed my own drinks. Now THAT'S Thanksgiving with the Dar!
BASKETBRAWL III

Well the suspensions have just come down from David Stern. Artest got the harshest penalty, and became the first player to ever be suspended for an entire season. I call that justice. However, Ben Wallace really got the raw end of the deal being suspended for 6 games. I still don't quite understand that one. His shove is really a minor infraction. I wonder how that compares to previous NBA brawl suspensions. Afterall, it should be noted that no Piston player even threw a punch.
THE NON-IMAGE OF BRITNEY'S IMAGE

Check out this Slate piece that tackles the parodox of Britney Spears' sexuality. It is quite interesting how for 5 years now she has been able to walk the line between innocence and dirty dirty whore.
TOP TEN OF THE WEEK

The top 10 Rush songs according to Tondar and Pigpen...

10. Working Man--There is something to be said for "in-your-face, slamma-jamma" rockers. Best end to a guitar solo ever, where Alex comes off the solo and seamlessly kicks into the main riff. It's also a good song for the 2003-2004 Pistons. How cool would it be to be at the Palace, the lights go down and they come running out to that! This song was from their first album (pre-Neil Peart), which is quite evident with the lackluster lyrics and lack of complexity to the song.

9. 2112--This is the title track from their 1976 breakout album. Nothing like a rockin' 20 minute Sci-Fi epic about creativity destroying an authoritarian theocracy. From the Overture through the Grand Finale Battle scene, you really feel like you are along for the ride as an Ayn Rand inspired Rush reinvents music for the people of the 22nd Century.

8. Marathon--An inciteful song from "Power Windows" about past personal greatness. It's also the second best song about personal retrospection.

7. Analog Kid--The second track on "Signals" is one of the most poetic songs ever written. In addition, it's musically quite complex, as the rockin' feel never takes time to slow down and catch its breath.

6. Manhattan Project--What a great expression of the single biggest event in mankinds exsistance. It really illustrated the naivety and fervor that science operated with to eventually develop the earths greatest mistake. A direct and to the point history lesson on the biggest "dear God what have we done" moment in the 20th century if not all time.

5. Dreamline--If Tondar ever had a song, this would be it. Everytime I travel to Europe or move, I make sure this is the first song played on the journey. From moving to New York or Atlanta I appreciate the rockin' reminder that "I'm only immortal for a limited time..."

"I travel on the road to redemption
A highway out of yesterday - that tomorrow will bring
Like lovers and heroes, birds in the last days of spring
I'm only at home when I'm on the wing
On the Wing"


5. The Trees--I always thought Pigpen shoulda played this one at his wedding. Not that it's a terrible song. But just that it's highly out of place at a celebration of love. Nevertheless, it is an excellent commentary on social issues, and the idea that one person or group ruins it for everyone. Musically it starts out tranquil like a forest, before it kicks in and starts rocking. I've also always appreciated the ironic twist at the end of the story. Similar to my own fictional writing style, the end hits you upside the head and really makes you think.

4. Time Stand Still--Pigpen and I have always liked this one. He calls it..."The best song about personal retrospection. It's the song I want to be listening to while remembering my life and all the people that meant something to me. I cannot think about anything other than sitting on the bluff at Copper Falls during autumn when I hear this song." On the other hand I take a more Tondar approach to the song as it reminds me of those great days of 628 or 308 when you just wanted the night to last forever. In particular it reminds me of one weekend up at Steve's house in Kent City where crazy happenings went down. However, one of the highlights for me was early in the night when I was enjoying a drink alone and watching the sun slip below the rolling fields of northern Kent County.

3. Red Barchetta--"This is a song about a car!" The short story this is derived from is very good, the mental imagery that the story and the song paint for me is unlike anything I can describe. Plus, the video for this song that Pigpen has in his head would probably be the best video ever made, if done correctly by someone who knew how to do it with him as the creative controller.

2. Prime Mover--What can I say, this is a great song with smart lyrics. On top of that, the 5th song from "Hold Your Fire," has one of the best bridges as it brings the medieval idea of the Prime Mover to life. Afterall, if somebody is going to tackle the happenstance of life and enjoying our mortal universe, it might as well be Rush.


1. Natural Science--Not only one of the most complex rock songs, but the musical and lyrical aspects compliment eachother perfectly. I always found it interesting that this song was one of the easiest for them to write. Plus, the melody and time signature change dramatically many times, but it also follows the theme of the song to blend into a great commentary/story song about the chronological existance of humankind...

"1. Tide Pools
When the ebbing tide retreats
Along the rocky shoreline,
It leaves a trail of tidal pools
In a short - lived galaxy.
Each microcosmic planet
A complete society.

A simple kind mirror
To reflect upon our own.
All the busy little creatures
Chasing out their destinies.
Living in their pools,
They soon forget about the sea...

Wheels within wheels in a spiral array,
A pattern so grand and complex,
Time after time we lose sight of the way,
Our causes can't see their effects.

2. Hyperspace
A quantum leap forward
In time and in space,
The universe learned to expand.

The mess and the magic,
Triumphant and tragic,
A mechanized world out of hand.

Computerized clinic
For superior cynics
Who dance to a synthetic band.

In their own image,
Their world is fashioned.
No wonder they don't understand.

3. Permanent Waves
Science, like nature,
Must also be tamed
With a view towards its preservation.
Given the same
State of integrity,
It will surely serve us well.

Art as expression,
Not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations.
Given the same
State of integrity,
It will surely help us along.

The most endangered species,
The honest man,
Will still survive annihilation.
Forming a world
State of integrity,
Sensitive, open and strong.

Wave after wave will flow with the tide, and bury the world as it does.
Tide after tide will flow and recede, leaving life to go on as it was..."


When set to music these lyrics in a way become a microcosm of humanity's history. At nearly 10 minutes, the last and 6th song on "Permanent Waves," was Tondar's favorite during the semester in Italy. Many times I would throw this CD on and spend 3-4 listenings just pacing around one of the circular fountains in the garden contemplating the universe, Margot, this song, and their relation to eachother. Of course at the time I was reading Dante's "Devine Comedy", so I was sure to always walk in a "logical" clockwise direction around that fountain. But still, even 2 years later, this is still my favorite song because of its depth and significance. I can't think of another song that after so many listenings leaves something further for or you to discover about the universe or the music.
JUST LIKE TRES' MOM

Well inspite of the heartbreaking loss to Ohio State (UGH!), it looks like the Wolverines simply went backdoor on the Rose Bowl. Next up, we gotta figure out how to get ahold of tickets and cheap airfare. Any ideas anyone?
BASKETBRAWL III

Here's a few videos from NBC4 in Detroit that show exactly everything that went down. Personally, I'm still wondering about the details of the fat kid that took the hook from Artest right across the jaw. (OUCH!)
BASKETBRAWL II

Check out these videos from NBC4 in Detroit. Also here are some comments from around the league. The most enraging is Artest's fellow prima donna Vince Carter...

"You can't blame a player for reacting that way. You can't blame anybody. ... He was protecting himself. Nobody wants to be disrespected like that. You can say what you want as long as you don't put your hands on somebody else or touch him. You can't blame him."


You're right heaven forbid you should be "disrespected" like that. Hopefully Oakland County will also file charges against Artest for inciting a riot, felony assault and battary, and for "disrespecting" the rule of law that governs a civil society. This guy has been too nuts for too long. "Mizz-unda-stood," or whatever, he needs to learn that his actions have consequences and nothing would serve him better than a few months in jail for attacking fans.

Also, I'm not sure if this is true but I heard from a guy at the bar yesterday (yeah, great source) that Artest had applied for a job at Circuit City so he could get an employee discount. He even went so far as to put his coach, Rick Carlisle down as a reference. Yeah, I'm shaking my head at that one too.

But anyways, of all the comments about the brawl, I think Grant Hill had the most down to earth, realistic take on the situation...

"I just think in the long run, no isolated incident is bigger than the game. The NBA will survive."
FREAKIN' DeLay

Check out this David Brooks column that really nails the problem with the Republican leadership in Congress as they make the transition from party of reform to selfish entrenched powermongers, only bent on their own re-election. Where are Joe Scarborough, Newt Gingrich, and John Kasich when you need them?
TICKET WATCH

With a bit of research I was able to come across this...


"Rose Bowl Game

The Rose Bowl Game is a contractual sell-out each year with the majority of the tickets distributed by the participating teams and conferences. Every person, including children (no child lap passes), must have a ticket to gain entrance to the Rose Bowl Stadium.


2003 Rose Bowl Game

A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public through Ticket Master at (213) 365-3675 on Tuesday, December 7 at 8:00 a.m. PST. There is a maximum of two per call and a maximum of four per person. Singles are available.

A limited number of tickets to the Rose Bowl game will be available to Pasadena residents at the Pasadena Civic Center Box Office on Saturday, December 4. Line-ups will be allowed at 6:30 a.m. (no line-ups allowed prior to this time.) 6:30 and 8:00 a.m. - random numbered armbands will be given to all in attendance. At 8:00 a.m. armbands will no longer be issued, and a random starting number will be called. Line up for purchase will begin at 9:30 a.m. and residents may purchase two tickets each at 10:00 a.m. Pasadena residents must show picture ID with Pasadena address or a picture ID with document establishing Pasadena residency such as a phone bill, electric bill, etc. There is a maximum of two per person. Singles are available. Cost is $125 per ticket."


Sounds like our best bet is to send those of you in Cali to land tickets that Saturday morning. Oh Drakey, don't pull the Drake this time my man.
JOHN SAUNDERS CAN SUCK IT

Announcer's say alotta stupid things. However, after the Pistons-Pacers brawl John Saunders has crossed the line...

"I'm here to tell you that the Pistons' fans, based on what I saw, are a bunch of punks."


ESPN pulls alotta douchebaggeries, however, this personal attack against Ole Tondar and kin is too much. Welcome to the ranks of Keith Jackson, Lee Corso, Bill Walton, and John Madden. Not only do you get added to Pigpen's "Face-punch" list, but you are hereby invited to suck it. Suck it long. And suck it hard John Saunders. Here's hoping you get cancer.