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, March 12, 2005


A while back Seth and I were discussing who the ugliest man in professional sports was, and of course John Chaney's name came up. However, in case you haven't been following college basketball and his douchebaggery check out what happened against St. Joseph's.

If you're bored and looking to add some excitement to your internet experience check out Also be sure to check out my fizavorite site via gizoogle.

About an hour ago the AJC reported that Brian Nichols had been captured in North Atlanta (about 20 miles northeast of Tondar). However, it looks like he also killed a customs agent before his rampage was ended. I wonder how long before we see the comparisons to Grand Theft Auto and calls from conservatives to pull the game because it OBVIOUSLY caused this string of murders.

What a day of tragedy! However, it's comforting to know that this cold blooded rapist turned killer is once again off the streets. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see exactly where all the security and police breakdowns occurred that allowed this to get out of hand so quickly.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Earlier this week we witnessed the release and shooting of Italian hostage and communist journalist Giuliana Sgrena. At the time I was a bit skepitcal of her story considering that she writes for a Stalinist periodical and knowing how Italians drive. However, it turns out, ole Tondar was right and though it may not be part of the Liberal Media's anti-amerikkan agenda, it looks like the Italian's story is constantly changing and falling apart by the minute.

Money quote from Captain Ed...

"This story gets fishier and fishier on every retelling. First we have a "rain of bullets" and Sgrena scooping them up by the handful off the seats, and then we see a car with two bullet holes in it, one of which went through the right front tire. Next the Italians tell us that the US had full operational knowledge of the mission when it turns out their own military leadership was possibly kept in the dark. Now Sgrena tells us that the Americans fired from behind the vehicle when they stopped at the checkpoint, the only position where US soldiers would risk hitting their own troops.

I call "shenanigans" on the Italians."

Tonight was the first time in my life that I actually sat down and watched local news. This was due to the shootings at Fulton County Courthouse this morning. At this time the search for "suspect," Brian Nichols still continues (as if anybody else is responsible). Frankly, this is a quite amazing story. There's alotta things Tondar can't quite get his head around. But first off, at this hour there is breaking news that the green honda has been found in downtown Atlanta, just blocks from the courthouse. If you remember, this is the car taken from an AJC reporter who was able to escape with a broken wrist and a pistol whip across the face.

Another thing that is interesting is that at one time, he lived within a few miles of Tondar here in Dunwoody. My neighborhood is devoted to apartments for "young professionals," but obviously I'm not that far from the insanity that plagues big cities.

Also as Pigpen pointed out, it's interesting how this is so much like a game of Grand Theft Auto with the multiple carjackings and killings. Of course, at this point Georgia could certainly use that **** feature that allows you to ALWAYS be found by the po as cop cars come flying at you from every direction.

But seriously, from top to bottom, this ordeal leaves me with alotta questions...

How did Nichols get the gun?

How was Nichols such a great shot repeatedly?

How is the only deputy still alive (the woman from whom he took the gun), the only one to somehow survive the rampage (a bullet grazed her head only bruising her brain), when normally people don't die from your "typical thugs" freakin' out.

How did he stumble upon the AJC reporter?

How can the media describe this as his "first" violent crime when he was on trial for rape?

How lucky is the assistant D.A. that was late to court?

Why haven't they found him yet?

Obviously, there will be more blogging on this topic in the future.


(Phil Jackson's agent, Todd) "Musburger said his client would not begin official talks with teams until mid-June, at the earliest. "I don't think you're going to hear anything about Phil's next step in the NBA, if there is a next step in the NBA, until a new champion is crowned," Musburger said. "I don't think Phil is going to accelerate the pace of any discussions. He has obligations that are non-NBA related. As it turns out, his calendar of engagements ... frees itself right around the time the NBA playoffs conclude. That's the time when we could really jump into it if there are serious offers."
-- Los Angeles Times

Of course you know what that means. The man that was able to coach Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan to six championships and Shaq and Kobe to three more, is basically hanging around to see who is the next great up and coming team. You know, ole Tondar coulda won multiple championships with that level of talent. However, if I had to guess I would say that Phil would probably take the Orlando job. Between healthy Grant Hill, Steve (turnover) Francis, and Dwight Howard, this is a team about to explode and perfectly suited to the triangle offense. Also, remember the whole reason the Spurs became great was because David Robinson missed most of the season and San Antonio used their #1 pick on a power forward named Tim Duncan.

But what would be nice is to actually see Phil Jackson coach a REAL team. Let's see him try to win 40 games with the abortion in Madison Square Garden known as Isiah Thomas' knicks. Or maybe bring him down to the A. T. L. Afterall, it's where the players play and they ride on them streets like ev-a-ry day. Let's see Phil pull a playoff team outta this rebuilding effort. Or finally, Milwaukee. With a one man show in Michael Redd, this team is just good enough to be competitive, but will never have the talent to compete with teams like Detroit and Indiana.

From Seth...

"If you read the subject header, you've been warned.

I warned you.

The author writes for an online magazine that my old roommate from studying abroad, Wiley Norvel, also writes for, which is how I ended up reading such a leftist diatribe a bit too heavy on bile for my tastes.

Anyway, I know the Democrats also use rhetorical nonsense, but not to near the same extent as the GOP; at least we don't have a manual for it. The question really is, does this crap matter? I promise you that the name game doesn't make people like their politicians more. But do you think Americans can see through such B.S., such as, for example, calling Luntz a "pragmatist" for not realizing the inherent wrongness of the Swift Boat Lies after acknowledging that they were, in fact, lies.

I know I called the GOP the party of "It is what it is," but that's the voters. The party leadership seems to be more in the business of "It is what I say it is"

Whatever your reply, keep in mind, I don't endorse or agree with the author. He flies off the handle on something that just pisses me off."


Honestly Ole Tondar's not really pissed. Once you get past all the rhetoric and dem talking points, he's really just upset because the republicans are better politicians.

Though the renaming thing is kinda interesting, it certainly is a nice way to use the Liberal Media against itself since they are prone to repeat sound bites before they can summarize in Dem terminology. But overall, I would agree. People are stupid enough to buy into this stuff because thinking and finding out information for yourself is quite time consuming and cuts into watching "Desperate Housewives" and playing Grand Theft Auto.

But really, Im not surprised the party of change and reform (yes, the liberal party of our day) has such a command of the common man's tongue. Afterall, it's difficult for intellectual elites and welfare queens to speak to the swing voting masses when they can hardly communicate within their coalition.

Good news, take this quiz and your life will be complete. (Hat-tip to Jen)

Turns out Tondar is most like, and most likely to marry Bree. Well, you know how Tondar likes those clown-haired girls.

From Pigpen...

"I noticed that Seth left out 2 names that I think will be very much in the mix...

Marcus Thames - Been with AA Erie for a few seasons and saw limited action late last year with Det, strong hitter a-la Young. Downside: Outfeild

Dewayne Wise - aquired from Atl, I thought he's been very solid so far in Spr Tr, hit a two run shot first game against Phi. Downside: Outfeild

This year presents a unique problem that the Tiges havn't had to deal with lately and that's strong hitters (consistantly) who are primarily outfeild defense. Look for Craig Monroe to take his business elsewhere as Inge becomes much stronger at 3rd and at the plate. Plus the shofplifting charge that monroe had to deal with last Dec for a friggin $25 belt from Kohls or something doesn't help his case. Also I think that the pitching has improved with the aquisitions of Farnsworth and Percival, but the starting rotation is still a huge question mark. Last year it was the releivers to lose, this year it's quite the opposite with the setup of Urbina and the closing of either Percival or Farnsworth. I see good things happening in the bullpen, but
the starters need to continue where they left off in September - Especially Bonderman - look for him to be Cy Young material in 2-3 years."

And at that point look for Bonderman to go play for the Sox, Mets, or Yankees.

U2 is coming around on tour again. Tickets go on sale Saturday for Detroit and Atlanta. However, they won't be around until the fall, so this works out for all y'all that just happen to know where you're gonna be 6 months from now. As for Ole Tondar, things aren't that simple and I might not even be in the States.

Check out this latest piece by true conservative, George Will. Instead of using the The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to hurt Demcrats and further a Republican agenda he wants to scrap the entire thing altogether. It's a good idea, with which Tondar is down.

Money quote...

"But about this commission as bully pulpit: Does anyone really think America suffers from an insufficiency of talk about race? What is in scarce supply is talk about the meaning of the phrase "civil rights."

Not every need is a right, and if the adjective is a modifier that modifies, not every right is a civil right — one central to participation in civic life."

He's gotta great point. Too often today we hear Democrats go on about all these random rights that also just happen to further their New Deal socialist agenda. Whether it be the right to abortion on demand, the right to healthcare, or the right to privacy, they do a great job of twisting language and the idea of "rights" to suit their specific gripe with "Amerika" at the time.

From Seth...

"We're watching Bush's anti-environmental efforts of the last 4 years blow up in his face today.

Even Republicans are dancing on the tables in my office right now, after finding out that despite all those millions of dollars contributed by the big polluters, Bush apparently can't stop Emissions Control.

Between Clear Skies getting blocked in committee (thanks to a Republican who broke ranks), and the EPA giving its boss the finger in releasing its Eastern U.S. cap-and-trade program, we just saved more American lives than Saddam ever took.

This will probably raise energy bills across the Midwest a few bucks per month. And we just heard that the mercury emissions regulation is gonna sneak through too...just got leaked to the wire.

Boy, something's going on, and it's not just because Ahnold and Pataki gave up on supporting Clear Skies. I wonder what the new EPA administrator's role is in this? He hasn't yet been confirmed, and these were in the works since Christine Whitman was in charge.

There's a theory going around with no basis beyond speculation at this moment, that it is Steven Johnson pulling the strings. He's supposed to be a lab rat, the first scientist to ever be nominated for EPA administrator. Right now, he's just the acting administrator pending Senate confirmation. Anyway, there's a rumor going around that he's pulling the strings on this sudden reversal of environmental fortunes. With Bush's nomination secured and his popularity soaring right now, the
scientist is making a political move, killing Bush's entire environmental bill while implementing two of his own policies. He's already got huge support from the Senate; he'll have no problem being confirmed. But there's been a lot of worry that Johnson would become simply another puppet-head of the EPA; the agency and its chiefs have
been at war with the boss since Bush took office.

Perhaps, and only perhaps, this is his way of saying "I'm not Michael Leavitt. I'm not Christine Whitman. Sorry, George, but if you want me to run the EPA, then I'm gonna RUN THE EPA. Just try to classify half of my annual report. Go ahead; let's see you try to take my legs out from under ME like you did Christine. Big Steve's in charge now."

Then again, if you look at the guy ( and click on the news article, "He's the Man,") he doesn't look like someone who would call himself "Big Steve." The Sierra Club thinks it's people coming to their senses, or the culmination of a return of environmentalism among moderate Republicans. I think it was dumb luck. The Eastern U.S. emissions program was going to come out eventually; Bush could only hold it off for so long, and the Mercury rule on its
heels is the same story. And all it took was one GOP Senator who didn't get a piece of the polluters' ad-buy pie to hole up Clear Skies.

It's just funny after all that solidarity that it was Bush's own administration who tanked him. Funny as in I'm laughing my ass off at the president's misfortune. Oh boy would I love to be there when Cheney's "secret environmental task force" shows up at the White House to ask what went wrong. Ha!"

Between the warrant and the pajamas, does anybody else have the feeling that this is Act V out of a Shakespeare play? The world is falling down around Michael Jackson. From the Jackson 5, to Thriller, to this trainwreck of a trial. Reality is once again writing us a great historical tragedy. But where will it end? In the meantime, Roger Friedman has the lowdown on the King of Pop's suicide watch and his financial troubles. Strange stuff.

This pic is gonna go down in history as the defining moment of this trial. Afterall, as Conan O'Brien pointed out tonight, who wears pajamas to their MOLESTATION TRIAL?! Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Looks like the Muslim Clerics in Spain are actually going to step up and do the right thing. They have issued a fatwa (religious decree) against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida. This is significant for 2 reasons.

First, it allows the world to see the "Muslims of Peace" that constitute that silent majority.

Secondly, it shows the emergence of a new European sect of Islam. For all its modern talk of tolerance and diversity, Europe was still home to some of history's worst genocides and expulsions. Historically, Europe is not a good place for minorities such as the original Christians, the Jews, muslims, gypsies, Basques, the Polish, etc. Being a minority opens the door to persecution, and I'm certainly not one to view the European Union any differently than the great Empires of Charlemegne, Otto The Great, The Hapsburgs, Napolean, or Hitler. It's a good move on the part of Spain's Muslim community to prevent another political consolidation as seen during the "Reconquista" under Los Reyes Catolicas (The Catholic Kings or monarchs). This move towards moderation and peace may just be enough to prevent another reconquista and expulsion when the Christians realize they are about to become a minority in Europe (check out the stats if you don't believe me on this claim).

Secondly, the fatwa is a great move for Muslims all over the world. As democracy begins to take hold in Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon, moderate voices can now reject the Istahlal (heresy) of tyranny that has kept democracy and progress out of the Middle East for so long. In addition, this shows just how backwards American Islam is, as well as the restraint of the American people to not follow in the oppressive historical footsteps of Europe.

From Seth...

"So I'm looking over the Spring Training Roster for the Tigers.

And for the first time in a long time, there's a ray of hope.

Few outside of Detroit think the Tigers are ready to make a move for the Post-season, but there's things to like on this baseball team, primarily, that they ARE a baseball team.

Historically, the Tigers have been a hitters' franchise. While Comerica Park has dimensions more favorable to pitchers, this year's Tigers squad brings some solid bats. You gotta love a team that has an identity, and after a LONG slumber, one is finally brewing again in Detroit.

Not that there aren't holes, of course.


Left: Rondell White, Bobby Higginson, Craig Monroe
Center: Alex Sanchez, Nook Logan
Right: Magglio Ordonez

The addition of RF Magglio Ordonez, if he remains healthy, could be the biggest difference in this year's Tiger team. Last time Detroit had a star of his caliber in right, Juan Gonzalez in 2000, the team was playing meaningful games in late August. Ordonez is a great fielder and a more-than-solid hitter, if he remains healthy.

LF Rondell White looks like he'll win the spot in left over longtime mediocre Tiger, Bobby Higginson, who's FINALLY in the last year of a very heavy contract. White is tearing it up in Spring right now.

As for center, I'm still not sold on speedy CF Alex Sanchez or the surprising Nook Logan. Sanchez hit .320 last year, but doesn't draw enough walks to turn that into solid leadoff numbers, and he can get lost in spacious Comerica grass. Nook, I'm guessing, had a good fall against lesser pitchers. If Sanchez isn't better, and the Tigers are in a position to make a move in the Central, I'd expect them to make a trade for this position. Whispers of a deal for Mike Cameron won't go away.

Craig Monroe has proven a solid backup for the Tigers at all three positions, but he's best in left. In the wings is the franchise's best prospect, Curtis Granderson, a natural right fielder.

1B: Carlos Pena
2B: Omar Infante, Fernando Vina
SS: Carlos Guillen, Ramon Martinez
3B: Brandon Inge
C: Ivan Rodriguez, Vance Wilson
DH: Dmitri Young

Questions questions questions, but there's a few answers. The biggest question is when will 1B Carlos Pena become an All-Star? He's a potential gold glover at 1st who makes mistakes that are younger than he is. He's got great power and when he's on, he's a fantastic hitter. But then he goes on long slumps. Pena stepping up is the key to the Tigers' success. DH Dmitri Young, as we all know, can fill in, but he's really the Tigers' DH. I trust he'll have another good year of hitting.

2B Omar Infante seemed to finally become a major leaguer last year, and has potential as a leadoff man. He's got a flashy glove that could be great, but he also makes kid mistakes. If Omar evolves to the next step, we've got our 2nd baseman for the next 10 years. If he doesn't, Fernando Vina isn't what he used to be, but has the consistency and smart hitting to be the kind of guy you can play meaningful games with.

In the hole, SS Carlos Guillen responded to his being traded away from the Mariners with a career season. He's not a home run threat, but he should have been an All-Star last year, and unlike previous one-year-wonders the Tigers have had at 2nd and Short, he did it by playing solid baseball. We're finally, finally, FINALLY set at short. And if not, Ramon Martinez last year showed in Chicagon that he's a guy you'd like to have on the bench.

3B Brandon Inge, after playing a number of positions, finally found his niche at 3rd, as Eric Munson signed a free agent contract in Minnesota. Inge has a good swing that doesn't always produce good numbers, but he's got great defensive instincts. Remember, we lost quite a few games last year due to sloppy infield play.

As for behind the plate, well, you can't do much better than C Ivan Rodriguez. He'll start slowing down in a few years, but he's still at the top of his game. The future Hall of Famer went on a tear last year in the first half. However, he can't play every day anymore, and I think trying to do so last year tuckered him out down the stretch. That's why picking up Vance Wilson was so important. The way I forsee it, if Pena comes into his own, Pudge can afford a few nights off while Wilson works the game. If Pena's slumping, Dmitri Young starts at 1st and Pudge can DH on his off nights.

Next week, PART II: Pitching"

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


I didn't know Drake knew Willie Nelson Posted by Hello

Seth is a little upset to see Old Media Dan and his Rather biased reporting go. Here's what he had to say about Cronkite and the pigpile of a farewell...

"Have you ever asked yourself why it was Rather who took the hit? It wasn't the reporter who received a phone call warning that the information was a set-up, but his producer. Rather already had his sources and his facts straight. He'd put the story to bed. He had the documents and proof that they were authentic. He didn't know that one of his sources was working for Kerry. He also didn't know that one of his corrabative sources was a lawyer working for Bush.

The producer took a call from the former secretary of Bush's old C.O.; she's the one that reported the documents in Rather's hands weren't originals but copies she herself had made. Note: not forgeries, copies. The former secretary agreed that her boss had been unhappily commanded to lie about Bush's service, but also said that the first source for Rather was a rather partisan guy. Anyway, Rather's producer made the decision to ignore the last-second information. She apologized and stepped down unceremoniously just last month.

Rather is yet another casualty of the Right's War on Journalism, if the most high-profile. CBS, including the producer most at fault, allowed the martyring to continue because they were anxious to get rid of him; he'd long been in 3rd place among major news anchor ratings, but they couldn't drop him either. Even though the story was true, it was now tainted, billed as the story that ruined Dan Rather. Nobody picked it up. Neither did anybody pick up on the Bush lawyer posing as a former military commander, neither did anybody pick up on the bloggers -- just
those invited to the RNC -- posting full reports of forged documents and a source who went to Kerry before Rather just as the news report aired.

It was a set-up, and it worked. And now you feign sympathy? Now you cheer?

What you really mean is that you'd feel sorry about how many snakes were allowed to take a bite of his hide if it hadn't been a Republican president his report attacked. But I know you don't even mind the snakes. No, you're a pragmatist when it comes to the 2004 election.

Ruining careers is a chess move in a brilliant victory.

The pigpile on Dan Rather?

Winners can re-write history, but you don't get to change what really happened.

What happened was Dan got screwed so Bush wouldn't have to weather a minor political hit from past mistakes. If there's any consolation, it's that the guy CBS has replacing Rather is also a well-respected journalist who's long deserved the promotion. He's an honest man who reports with vigor and impartiality, so I'm sure you'll hate him too."

To tell you the truth, I really like Bob Schieffer too. He actually is a "well-respected journalist who's long deserved the promotion. He's an honest man who reports with vigor and impartiality." I've always dug him as the Tim Russert of CBS. He did a great job with his debate in 2004. And he actually is a voice within the legacy media that can understand the marginalization that Rather and other dinosaurs have caused.

Speaks for itself...

"The adoptive parents of a 17-year-old boy who weighed 49 pounds when found in a home where he was forced to wear a diaper and sleep in a locked, cage-like bed have been charged with child neglect, authorities said.

Child welfare workers called to Wilson and Brenda Sullivan's home Jan. 10 found the teen wearing a diaper and appearing developmentally delayed, a police report said. The boy was less than 4-foot-6 and was in the weight range of a 61/2-year-old, officials said."

Leave it to Drake to make his li'l brother iron his clothes with the flag of Imperial Japan in the background.

Sometimes there's just things you gotta do Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005


What could he be dancing to?? It doesn't matter...

It's a Tondar kinda day :) Posted by Hello

From Joel...

"1. If you have sex with a robot is that considered cheating?

2. If they can program the robot to cook and clean then we had better start collecting lots of women's eggs so we can still grow people. I mean with cooking/cleaning/sex robots there would no longer be a need for women, but we would still need to generate babies to continue the species."

Of course, the engineer had to write it as a lengthy PDF file...UGH!!

Pigpen stumbled upon this li'l gem. Check out the video on the side of the page.

However, I guess the piece Seth sent is the typical NYPress garbage. Check out the fallout from their anti-Catholic, "52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope."

Boy, that's some funny stuff!

But seriously, I think this is a great example of everything wrong with todays left. From Lenin to Gingrich the left never had to answer criticism or debate their ideas. Thus within that context, it makes sense to make fun of anybody that disagrees on abortion because obviously they are too archaic to understand a woman's right to commit genocide.

From Seth...

"Of course, I don't agree with the author's conclusions at all. Spite voting makes sense, but not to the degree that your typical Kansas white male would actually WANT to see New York and L.A. destroyed so Mr. Middle America to fulfill his dream of becoming Mad Max.

Money Quote: This is why all the talk about "personal interests" is a sham. Spite voters don't care solely about their own interests, nor are they bothered by how "the left talks as if they know what everyone's best interests are," an argument you often hear from the whiney right. What bothers spiters is that the left really does know what's in their interests. If you're miserable, you don't want to be told what's best for you by someone who's correct—it's sort of like being occupied by a foreign army with good intentions. You'd rather F*** things up on your own, something you're quite good at, and bring others down with you.

So my guess is, there is a level of hatefulness in the Ohio voter who wouldn't check Kerry's name. But there's a lot more out there who see no difference between Democrat and Republican in the old economical argument that once defined American politics. So if A is as good/bad as B on economics, a new set of criteria must be used to evaluate them, namely social. That's the transition going on in American politics, even if corporate welfare versus social welfare still matters in the end result. The Conservative Revolution tapped into social arguments like religion, abortion, and most of all, sex.

It makes sense when you consider what generation brought this on, you know, the one that had "the last real orgasms this country ever witnessed." In the 1960s, their activism was social in nature. Why wouldn't its backlash be social as well?"

Ole Tondar can see why Seth would like this one, it was tangental, and all over the place.

The author unfortunately doesnt have a grasp of political science when applying his "spite theory" to the American electorate. This is a great example of typical liberal arrogance with regard to cramming their 60 yr old New Deal agenda down our throats. America did vote in its own perceived "best interest." Afterall, the Republicans were the party that gave tax cuts for all (positive financial gain). In addition they support a more confrontational approach to terror (right or wrong Dems have not been able to provide a VIABLE alternative for the voting population).

Its interesting how the author uses a confounded pragmatism to justify his theory of the "spiteful" voter. He completely misses any kinda point he might have stumbled upon with regard to people voting for the "worst" in a candidate. Based on what I read may I offer a more libertarian/pragmatic position that would fit the authors theory better...

Leaders like Bush and Nixon are elected because they offer the pragmatic approach that will deal with the worst of human nature. From limiting our own destructive passions (abortion, crime, terror)to laying the beatdown on our enemies. They are much easier to trust with the keys of the kingdom compared to the happy go lucky internationalism offered by pie in the sky liberals like McGovern or Kerry.

Think of it as the difference between Plato/Aristotle...Machiavelli/Calvin...Marx/Spencer. A different approach to understanding basic human nature is going to result in different ideologies manifesting itself in voters.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Yesterday's pic was from the porch at 308 in A2. Note the word "BOOBS" written on the post behind Lenny. Today's pic (from the same night) goes a bit further in explaining how that strange pose came to be...

This is probably how the shirt came off, guy. Posted by Hello

If you didn't know, now you know...

"So I'm listening to the Rush song "Kid Gloves"...Did you know that the term kid gloves is a boxing term that dates back to the 19th century. When the sport was moving away from bareknuckle-in-yo-face action, early boxing gloves were made from young goat (kid) leather. The gloves actually were not much more than today's leather work gloves that are widespread in the work world."

From Seth...

"One of the worst effects of ESPN is to erase regionalism in sports. College football is a great example, with how dissatisfied everyone always is with bowl selections and that ever-stupid argument about whose conference is tougher. Seriously, what should we care if Florida recruits a speedy receiver whose brother went to Florida State?

I ENJOY it when it feels like I'm in a foreign place when I travel.

While in Paris last week, one day all of a sudden the city was filled with Welsh people, all draped in the red, white and green. I figured out it was a Rugby match, world semi-finals between France and Wales, and it was happening in Paris. So I found a bar, ordered a few Guiness, and watched the game with the locals. Awesome! First of all, Rugby is awesome. Think football with no stopping and no blocking. Anyway, that's something Europe has that we don't. And it's cool like that.

Canada and the northern U.S. states have hockey. What's wrong with leaving it at that? When southerners come visit here, we can say we came up with it because our glaciated landscape up here created lots and lots of frozen lakes and ponds in the winter. In return, they can tell us tales of roads that don't crumble into cracked pothole-ness every year, and how they used that to build a sport out of drag racing.

Derian Hatcher signed with Detroit over higher offers from others because he grew up in Michigan and always dreamed of being a Red Wing. Think anyone says that about Nashville?

And that's what the NHL just doesn't get. They can sell themselves as the 4th sport in places like New York and Atlanta if there's enough base interest to do so, but that shouldn't be its overall identity. Gary Bettman still believes that sports-loving America will one day wake up and say to itself, "Gee, I like this hockey stuff more than basketball and baseball."

Actually, I know exactly what Bettman was thinking: "The NBA did it." Hockey got its Gretzky at the same time that basketball got its Michael Jordan. It wasn't just general managers who engineered trades of the Great One to Los Angeles and New York. Glen Sather wrote in his book that he was pressured by league officials to export his commodity from Alberta. I could tell him that it didn't work, but I think that's the modus operandi of the '90s expansionist period."



I have been a Travel Agent for thirty years. This is why we're in trouble!

I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

* ********************
I got a call from a candidate's staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, then she interrupted me with, "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts." Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa."

Her response (click).

* ***************
A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me.

I looked on the map, and Florida is a very thin state!"

* ******************
I got a call from a lawmaker's wife who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." She said, "But they look so close on the map."

* ******************************
An aide for a Bush cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between the gates to save time."

* ************************
An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20 a.m. and got into Chicago at 8:33 a.m. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

* ************************
A New York lawmaker called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?" I said, "No, why do you ask?"
She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that is very rude?"

After putting her on hold for a minute while I 'looked into it' (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, CA is (FAT), and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

* ************************
A Senator's aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"

* **********************
I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, "I was told y flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them."

* **********************
A lady Senator called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, FL. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?" I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever!"

* **********************************
A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa. "Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those."

I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!"

* **********************
A New Mexico Congresswoman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York." The agent was at a loss for words Finally, the agent said, "Are you sure that's the name of the town?"

"Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the lady.

After some searching, the agent came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Rhino anywhere."

The lady retorted, "Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!"

The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered,

"You don't mean Buffalo, do you?"

"That's it! I knew it was a big animal," she said.

* **********************
Now you know why Government is in the shape that it's in."

Last night I went out with my aunt and cousin for dinner. It's tradition when we go out for Mexican to get "Texas" margaritas as well. Well she ordered mango, and "Ole" Tondar ordered strawberry. However, when they came, hers was in a regular glass and you could smell the booze without even having to sip it. Mine on the other hand, came in a styrofoam cup, and sure enough there wasn't any booze. As we all know, Tondar will not be denied alcohol. So when he came back, I asked the waiter, "How old do you think I am?"

With a shrug he answered "I dunno, 17 man?"

I giggled to myself and said, "No I'm 25," as I busted out my ID. The waiter was totally shocked as he apologized and left to get me a bigboy drink. But if you think about, if Tondar looks like he is 17, I could certainly use this my advantage on the highschool scene. What highschool girl wouldn't wanna date a 17 year old professional who owns his own car, and even has his own crib. Thank you mexi-waiter, you have opened a wonderful can of worms for the Dar.