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, June 03, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


I have mastered cropping! Posted by Picasa
HOW NOT TO ADVERTISE


From Frank...

Tony:

Below is my craigslist ad, in search of doing The Work and the Glory:
To All Eligible Women 18-30 in LA:

Hi, I am 26, straight, SWM in WLA, who is meeting up with a friend from college in Vegas this Friday, Memorial Day Weekend.

What we are offering is a free ride out to Vegas Friday morning and free rooms in Vegas. No strings attached, just good old Vegas debaucherous fun. Can take up to 4 young ladies.

Please email with pics if interested. Also, please email with any questions you may have.

Cheers.
Please let me know if I should make any changes. Be frickin' serious in your response...we are talking about the Lord's Work here.

And after Memorial Day Weekend with Frank, I was able to experience that intensity first hand. He was particularly harsh on Rain at the Palms. After waiting in line for about 30 minutes we get inside to find that the club is a "soulless" cockfest. The dance floor was packed tight and there were hordes of men surrounding the few girls in there. To make things worse, the bathrooms left much to be desired. The first time I went, there were 2 people throwing up simultaneously. The second time I heard the most horrible explosive diahrrea coming out of the stall. For a second I wanted to see if that was Drake just back from India, but the stench drove me out where Frank and I hatched a plan to hit the Ghostbar on the topfloor. In retrospect, we should have done that sooner. Ghostbar has an open balcony overlooking the strip. Plus the ratio was about even so that made Frank happy until some Russians inspired a tirade about girls needing to stay home if they are not going to put-out.
MOVING ON: DEE-TROIT BASEBALL?

From Pigpen...

So who'd a thought that the tigers would be the best team in baseball right now. Did Seth see this coming or is this a surprise to the entire planet. You know what I'm talking about right, or do you know nothing outside the NL? Tigers-Braves world series!

The DH rules!


I do in fact know what he's talking about. Big Ed sounded a bit like Seth in Vegas always wanting to catch the score of the Tigers game and telling me about how good they were this year. I'm excited and can certainly maintain an allegiance to an AL team in addition to the NL Braves. What has old Tondar worried is the simple fact that the Tigers find a way to disappoint. On the other hand, considering that the Pistons won 64 games before crapping the bed, and the Red Wings won yet another President's Cup, I truly wonder if Detroit is destined for a TRW or tetrafecta sweep of great teams crapping out early in the playoffs.

Seth recently asked the question if there has ever been a city that had the best team in two sports simultaneously. Turns out the 1986 Giants and Mets both kicked butt and brought the crown home to New York. With respect to Detroit 2006, I think we have just come across another trivia answer.
ON THE EPA'S TOXICITY REPORT

From Seth...

We're having this week reading up on the EPA's annual toxicity report, trying to break down the numbers into anything that could be interesting for a story.

The one I found was this: pretty much every state that went for Kerry decreased their toxic outputs this year, and pretty much every red state stayed the same or polluted more.


Here's the ones that didn't fit the mold:

Virginia (2nd best by percent to Michigan, who kicked butt)

West Virginia (decreased)

Ohio (decreased)

Indiana (decreased)

Idaho (decreased)

Arizona (decreased)

Hawaii (increased)

I should also note that Puerto Rico increased, and the Mariana Islands increased.

So what the deuce?

Well, I noticed this map bore striking similarity to another I'm familiar with: that of the Environmental Protection Agency's 10 regions.



Note the only differences are the commonwealths and Alaska, both part of "Blue" EPA regions but had increased toxic releases this year.

From the looks of things, despite having less autonomy under President Bush than they have been used to, the separate regions within the EPA have come up results that conform to the political will of a majority of their populations.

Of course, there's probably another effect working: economic shift. If you'll note, a lot of the states who went down in toxic releases (Ohio and Indiana especially) probably lost a lot of toxic releases due to plant shut-down. Meanwhile, for a lot of blue states (Michigan, California, New York, et al.), state agencies and departments have been regulating beyond the national controls, accounting for the blue-state effect we see without necessarily pinning it on the EPA Regional Office. Arizona, while not a blue state, actually implemented California's tough-ass rules this year, so whatever EPA Region 9 is up to probably doesn't account so much as state action in the final results.

Another effect is they actually count different things sometimes. This is especially true with MTBE, counted in Michigan, most Northeastern and West Coast states but not much elsewhere. That is, except the four states of EPA Region 7 (Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri). Why these reds? MTBE is a byproduct of creating gasoline (and teflon). But we've been steadily replacing MTBE in gasoline with ethanol the last few years. So corn growing states have jumped on the "let's control MTBE" bandwagon in order to make life difficult for the competition.

Finally, EPA Region 6 is really hard to count. They went up across the board, but hurricane damage created a lot of excess pumping on the edges of the cleanup area (pumping out New Orleans didn't count, but runoff from washing down your factory in eastern Louisiana did.)
PIC OF THE DAY


Do you ever question your life? Do you ever wonder why? Do you ever see in your dreams, the Castles in the Sky? Posted by Picasa
A NEW WARRIOR

Word out of Tallahasee is that Brother Dome will soon throw down in a Holy Crusade with Brother Dar and Tres. So let it be written, so let it be done, there will be a new sword...

Can I write "dome" on it? How about Nostra Domeus?


Before the next full moon our smiths shall create a new means of destruction from Andalusia to Palestinia let it be known that Nostra Domeus (Our Domesticus) will bring the children to the True Faith.
TASTE OF THAT A.T.L. STYLE

I heard about this one in Vegas, but Pigpen has the skinny...

"Does the A.T.L. live under some type of marshall law - all kinda of crazy killins seem to be commin out the durty souf...

ATLANTA - A group of robbers in Atlanta picked the wrong victim.
Police say former Marine Thomas Autry fought off four attackers last night with a pocket knife. They say he killed one and seriously wounded another.

Detective Danny Stephens says Autry was walking home from his waiter job when attackers armed with a shotgun and a pistol chased him. The detective says Autry pulled the knife out of his backpack when the group caught him.

Stephens says the 36-year-old's "training kicked in and he knew what to do." He kicked the shotgun out of one attacker's hands and stabbed a 17-year-old girl who jumped on him, as well as a man who also attacked.

The suspects fled, but police say they found them at a hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead.

Stephens says they face robbery and aggravated assault charges and are suspected in other robberies over the past week. Autry will not be charged.


Of course that's not all of the story. Look what came about at Friday's funeral for the girl that was killed in the attack...

"Once you get here," he told dozens of young mourners, "You don't come back to get it right."

Oliver, a young, slender man dressed in a long black robe trimmed in red, officiated at the funeral of Amy Elizabeth Martin held at the white-steepled Elizabeth Baptist Church off bustling Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta.

Police say the 17-year-old died from stab wounds inflicted by a former Marine who fought back late Monday night as she and four young men tried to rob him at gunpoint on a dimly lit street in Midtown.

"I just feel led to do this," Oliver told the mourners as a hymn heavy with bass notes echoed and rumbled through the large sanctuary.

"You and I sit here and ask, 'Why? Why her? Why so young? Why this outcome?' " the pastor said, at first speaking in a modest tone to the hundreds of people who filled the pews at the red brick church.

But his voice rose as he began to talk about the way Martin died. "Her death, like the deaths of so many youth, is senseless and the madness has to stop. There's a high cost to low living, a high price for living a reckless life."

Many adult mourners shouted "Amen," and some of them applauded vigorously.

During the service, a woman repeatedly cried out "Lord, bring her back!" and nearly collapsed as two men rushed to her side to steady her.

About 70 teenagers from various Atlanta high schools, wearing slacks and dress shirts or nice dresses, crowded into the sanctuary to view Martin's open casket. Many wiped tears but a few chatted and smiled, seemingly oblivious to the solemnity of the occasion.

Oliver shook his finger at them. "There is nothing to snicker or smile at. Life is not a game," he shouted. "Look up here. Listen to me. You weren't created to wander through life. You were created to make a difference. We don't need to have any more funerals or senseless deaths."

Many adults sobbed and again shouted "Amen."

The pastor then challenged the teens to pledge themselves to upright lives. He also urged them to lay down their arms.

"I bet some of you here today have a gun — some are probably toting even right now, if not in the church, then out there in your automobile," Oliver said. "I dare you to come down here to me right now to get rid of it. Unloaded."

More than 30 teens walked to the front of the sanctuary and gathered around the pastor. By late Friday, three teenagers had turned in guns to the church, according to Bob Brown with M.D. Walker Funeral Home which handled the funeral.

A couple of Atlanta police investigators who are assigned to work inside area high schools were among the mourners. One was moved to tears; the other clutched a maroon Bible.

"They're sick of it, too," the pastor shouted, looking back toward the officers. "They put their life on the line because of this senselessness."
INVITATION

I will be making my triumphant return to Michigan during the weekend of July 8. However, I need a date for my cousin's wedding upon the aforementioned date. If you are a young single lady in the Grand Rapids area, please contact Tondar at the address above so that we can get our logistics straight for the night on which you will be swept off your feet.
GAY BATWOMAN?

From Seth...

I'll pause here to let any right-wing Republicans in the room go get their kindling and lighter fluid for the above mentioned title.

I always find it funny when the public picks up a snippet of something going on in the comic world, because we all imagine that the superheroes we know haven't changed since last we knew them. To America at-large, Superman must have been flying around like Christopher Reeve, punching Lex Luthor every other page, while Batman comics were going over old Adam West tales.

But comics are always taking their top characters over the top. They die and come back to life. They visit alternate planets and alternate universes. Superman got married and divorced, killed off Clark Kent, saw Metropolis fall to the ground, lost his powers, then got transformed into two separate energy beings, all in one year. Batman witnessed all of Gotham die of the plague, had his spine severed, and has been going through Robins faster than underwear. Green Lantern is an intergalactic bad guy who tried to destroy the universe. Green Arrow died, went to heaven, met God, got sent back to Earth, then went back to being an atheist. Go fig.

But now they're bringing back Batwoman. No, not Barbara Gordon, niece of the Commissioner who took up the mantle as Batgirl (she of the recent cartoon series and one of the cruddy Batman movies of the '90s). Babs got crippled in the late '80s then became kind of an IT person for superheroes named "Oracle." Batwoman, however, was a mid-1950s character during the age of gimmick characters (Krypto the Superdog, Bat-Mite, et al.) and the new incarnation will share the original Batwoman's alter ego, Kathy Kane (named for Batman creator, Bob Kane).

Except this time, she's a lesbian, which means we should expect the sweet scent of burning glossy-page stock all across Middle America by sometime next week.

DC Comics is making a big diversity push right now, and Batwoman's outing accompanies a new Latino Blue Beetle (who gets superhuman powers from a scarab) and Chinese (PRC-govt.-sponsored) kid crime fighters endowed by a secret formula invented by British agents during the Cold War. A leggy lipstick lesbian socialite who spends her nights in a black skintight outfit is pretty incredulous, but it's hardly the kookiest idea the comics have ever come up with.

She's also not the first lesbian in DC Comics. There's a repeating character in the Superman books (since like 20 years ago) named Maggie Sawyer who's the captain of Metropolis' S.W.A.T. team. No special powers. No skintight outfit. Just a short-haired woman in a man's job whose job is her life. No big whup.

Maggie generated a small stir at one point, but the character never made it to the Free Press. She was created to give the book some diversity (afterall, Metropolis is New York) and they put her in such an obviously androgenous place that Captain Sawyer is hardly remarkable to readers, let alone spectators.

Batwoman, however is anything but. She's neither a personality created to identify with young girls who like girls, nor a character thrown in just to provide a little more diversity and open up storylines that relate to a greater part of the audicence, as DC suggests. If you want a comic that discusses the subject of h0mo$exuality in society (albeit allegorically), then pick up X-Men. Batwoman is almosts explicitly for $ex-crazed 12-year-old boys ready to throw down 2 bucks for the first cover that hints at some grrll-on-grrll action. In case the outfit didn't clue you in.

So the homosexual community probably has more cause for anger at this exploitive mischaracterization of them than the Crazy Christians. Then again, I think every woman on Earth probably has a good case against the tastes of hornball 12-year-old boys.

I should note, by the way, that there are a lot of overtly Christian characters in comics. Afterall, Christ is the Roy Rogers of the 21st century; slap a cross on a lunch box and it's an instant best-seller.

There's also a healthy smattering of my tribe; The Thing from Fantastic Four, and X-Men nemesis Magneto come to mind. But you have to keep in mind that almost every hero you've ever heard of was devised by Jewish guys (Superman's creators, Batman's creator, Marvel Comics' creator, the current CEOs of DC and Image, plus everything done by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby*). Pretty much every religion is well-represented in comics, as various ethnicities often led to the creation of new characters. And an abnormally large percentage of bad guys are explicitly atheists and communists.

Lesbians, however, have been in short supply, and h0mo$exual men are almost non-existant except for an occasional side character or characters in the non-mainstream books. The reasons for that should be obvious: few 12-year-old boys probably want to read about a gay superhero. Unless, of course, she's 5'11, wearing skintight leather, and making out with Catwoman. Vavavoom!


*Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were a team. Why is it Stan gets all the credit? It's like celebrating Ben as the king of Ice Cream, and then everyone going, "who's this Jerry fella?"

Friday, June 02, 2006

A YEAR OF DISAPPOINTMENTS

I'm having a bit of an Andrew Sullivan "woe-is-me" moment here. Game 6 is about what I expected. And Pat Riley is my equal when it comes to NBA basketball. He took the Pistons concept of rejects and built a team with FORMER all-stars that had just enough in the tank to stick it to the best "team" since Dr Jack's 1977 Trailblazers.

I guess there are several questions that have to be answered next. Where do we go from here? What happens to Ben Wallace after he crapped the bed in a contract year? What about the draft? How do we stay competitive on the wheel of fortune? Where will Flip Saunders coach next year? Do you keep 'Sheed? How old is Chauncey? What about the Finals? What about Dallas playing with only 2 centers? How will the Heat handle Nowitzki and Terry? What about your tongue, like the sun in my mouth?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

PHONDAR PHOENIX

Let it be known that Phondar is once again fully functional. Three times he has been destroyed and yet three times he has found new life.

Viva Phondar Primero!!
PIC OF THE DAY


Oh what destruction you have wrought! I don't know how he found me! But Arch-Duke Ashley has once again laid siege to the Baron of Atlanta. Weep for your brother that has witnessed the wrath of the Destructor. Posted by Picasa
DREAD OF GAME 6

From Seth...

Remember, Tondar picked the Heat to win it all this season early on. But 'Zo was injured and Payton was looking old and Walker wasn't getting the ball, and Williams wasn't making plays all season, and they kind of fell back a bit. But we've been afraid of this team turning it on, especially seeing how much they're favored by the officials and how much D-Wade can score on any shot. The Pistons knew each other well, while the Heat spent a lot of the year on introductions. But on paper, there isn't a better team in basketball than the Heat, and now that paper is coming to life.

The hardest game to win all year is tomorrow night. Wade's demoralizing shots are all the bigger in Miami. And considering we couldn't get anything approaching a fair shake from the stripes when it's Ron Garretson in Detroit, I can't imagine Danny Crawford in Miami is going to be much better. It's going to be ridiculous; Shaq is going to get called for 2 of his 20 fouls on Friday, and Dwyane Wade is going to go to the line every time he misses.

That's not to mention the kind of play they're getting right now from Posey and Haslem and Walker and Williams and Payton and Mourning. We flat out-hustled them at the Palace last night, but I doubt that will happen again.

No, this is the Heat's one opportunity. They're not going to let this series go back to Detroit for a Game 7, where even if they win they'll have to carry Shaq into Game 1 of the finals in an oxygen tank.

This is the hardest game all year. The Heat will come out. The refs will come out. The Miami fans will come out. And all of them will be focused on a singular goal: end the Pistons' season now! If somehow the Pistons can out-play all of that, well, that would be one of the biggest upsets all season. The regular season record means that these Pistons are at least one of three, and possibly the only, team that can beat the Heat when the Heat are at home and on their game and can cheat to their hearts' content. But that's asking an awful lot.


Yeah, if they had just played a little better at any time during these playoffs ole Tondar would be more confidant. But I had to agree with the Florida trashtalkers on this one.

It ain't smack if it be true.

Though Pigpen offered some interesting words on Game 5's victory...

"Did you see the in-yo-face jibba from Shaq last night, along with the cry baby attitude post game when asked about it? He complained about it being a foul and wanted to know what was wrong with the reporter for asking such a dumb question when clearly EVERYONE knew it was a foul. Hope they can keep the intensity in Miami so that it can go 7 - I still think that the Pistons are gonna die from the jump shot. It was how they lived all season and now it's not there and it shows."


Shaq's, he's been crying all season about not getting the calls which is ironic because the man has his own set of NBA rules. Most ironically he was owned by Nenad Kristc during some regular season games against the Nets. But his ego is so large that he would call out the officials rather than give BW credit for that block. Personally I give the credit to 'Sheed for taking the elbow and allowing Big Ben time to get into perfect position.

What I have been most frustrated is that they have simply been standing around this series. It is true that they live by the jumpshot. However, the Flip Saunders offense is meant to get the Pistons high percentage jumpers, as they send Chauncey and Rip off a variety of screens (with and without the ball). Their problems have come when they spread the floor and then stand around. Like Phoenix and Dallas the Detroit offense revolves around movement (transition and half-court). When they've been frustrated they have simply fallen out of this and will try to have Tay take his man off the dribble or pass it around the perimeter for a low percentage jumper.

I was excited the way they played last night. But I unfortunately think a Pat Reiley team should take care of business at home, especially against these off/on Pistons.
PIC OF THE DAY


Well I'm back from Vegas, and the Pistons are still alive. It could be worse. I could be this asshole. Posted by Picasa