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, July 22, 2006

BASEBALL ARMAGEDDON

From Pigpen...

I've never heard such hype about essentially nothing. This 3 game series in Det with CHW is being billed as the be all and end all of 2006. The talking heads in the national media keep on this theme of "if they don't sweep the Sox then they are certainly pretenders". Granted they are now 3-6 on the season and went 2-1 in the series, but nobody in Tiger land seems to have any proclivities of the Tigers not winning the division, because the Wild Card is comming out the central (barring Twilight Zone activity). I mean if they were to have swept this they would take a 7.5 lead in the division, if they got swept they would still be .5 up. As it stands after the series, they look to stay about the 5.5 range. Much ado about nothing... as ESPN slamma jamma in yo face baseball gets all too comfortable with trotting out the '00 KC team as a mirror image of the '06 Tigers.

The only sports pundit who is willing to give DET the benefit of the doubt is Kruk (beleive it or not). This team is eerily similar to last years Sox, I don't think they are series bound, but the stats show that they are not gonna fade in Aug (ERA and TBA speek volumes on that).

Analysts are signaling that the "collapse" will be when Young re-enters the line up, he's in Toledo right now batting .458 - but is a left handed "power" hitter already in the organization. I personally don't want him back b/c Mags in the DH is better than Young and likewise Shelton at 1st is better. I think that Soriano is a worthy pursuit, but I kinda like Hillenbrand (even though he's a righty), now that he's been
"cut" from Toronto.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, AL teams in the trade hunt are getting increasingly irritated with Georgie b/c he's the only one who can/will/want's to shovel the exorbinate amount of money that Abreu is due (pending he doesn't push the "no trade clause"). I wonder how long it will be before the Yankees successfully petitions the MLB to use 9DH's per game.

I love baseball, but I'm getting my ire up just like with NFL and NBA.

Analysts are signaling that the "collapse" will be when Young re-enters the line up, he's in Toledo right now batting .458 - but is a left handed "power" hitter already in the organization. I personally don't want him back b/c Mags in the DH is better than Young and likewise Shelton at 1st is better. I think that Soriano is a worthy pursuit, but I kinda like Hillenbrand (even though he's a righty), now that he's been
"cut" from Toronto.
EQUALITY VS. FREEDOM

Seth has found another example where our Republic must choose between equality and freedom...

"Fair Housing Act, or Internet freedom?

The base question is whether someone posting "Irish need not apply" or something to that effect in their Craigslist posting for housing should be controlled under the Fair Housing Act, which was instrumental in helping to integrate African Americans into suburban communities.

Since Craigslist reserves the right to delete someone's posting for any reason, as well as ban e-mail addresses from using the site, I think they can agree to delete anything that someone tells them is offensive, in the interest of keeping their site pleasant for their other "customers." If they agree to that, the law should back off. But I think if I were a judge, I would have a hard time seeing how the Fair Housing Act doesn't apply here."


I would like to see the specifics before making a decision. There seems to be quite a few details that were simply omitted in the article. On the one hand I do find it morally abhorrent that somebody would try to use the internet to keep their condominium complex white. On the other hand, if Frank is looking for a live-in love slave, he should be allowed to discriminate against anybody that is not an Asian female between the ages of 18 and 22. In the end I would certainly be against government regulation, especially on the internet. Hopefully, they can find a third way of resolving this conflict without resorting to further regulation, though I doubt it.
WARTIME FOOTING

Is it me or does it seem to be August 1914 in the Middle East these days. Israel today sent troops into Southern Lebanon. In the meantime the world is waiting to see to what extent the Jihadis ratchet up the conflict with their response. On the other hand, there was this hopeful piece from the NYTimes about Condoleeza Rice forcing a wedge between Syria and Iran...

But officials said this week that they were at the beginning stages of a plan to encourage Saudi Arabia and Egypt to make the case to the Syrians that they must turn against Hezbollah. With the crisis at such a pivotal stage, officials who are involved in the delicate negotiations to end it agreed to speak candidly about their expectations only if they were not quoted by name.

“We think that the Syrians will listen to their Arab neighbors on this rather than us,’’ said one senior official, “so it’s all a question of how well that can be orchestrated.’’

There are several substantial hurdles to success. The effort risks allowing Syria to regain a foothold inside Lebanon, after its troops were forced to withdraw last year. It is not clear how forcefully Arab countries would push a cause seen to benefit the United States and Israel. And many Middle Eastern analysts are skeptical that a lasting settlement can be achieved without direct talks between Syria and the United States.


This is one place where I think that you have to give the "War on Terror" credit. Prior to 9/11/01 these negotiations would certainly take place. However, we would also have to put up with double-talking dictators that would pay lip service to America while supporting Jihad behind our back. But now that the United States and Israel have been forced to connect non-state terrorists to their national supporters and started holding them responsible, many Islamic countries have been forced to change their approach. I'm sure that the United States would be willing to come around and reach out to Syria. But to have Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan diplomatically calling for the end of the Jihad, Bush's foreign policy has placed an effective wedge between the Axis of Evil and the rational acting states in the region.

In the meantime, James stumbled upon this interesting "footnote" of a story...

Iran will halt gasoline imports from September 23 and start rationing gasoline supplies to motorists because of budget constraints, Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said on Friday.

Parliamentarians in the OPEC producer approved a budget for the year to March 2007 that cut the amount to be spent on gasoline imports to $2.5 billion from $4 billion.


If you read between the lines on this one, it's not a shift in economic policy. But it is a strategic decision to place the country on a war footing with gas rationing before war breaks out.
PIC OF THE DAY


This costume is now on a storage shelf at the Atlanta History Center. Posted by Picasa
"IT WAS AS HOT AS HADES, BUT IT WAS FUN!"

Sounds like possibly the last words of Don Giovanni, but no. It was only Kira Wilsterman's words on playing Izzy at the 1996 Olympics...

Money quote...

"Izzy didn't tie up traffic, Izzy didn't create the godawful tent city, Izzy wasn't responsible for the park bombing,"


I like these kind of stories because they present a better understanding of history. Looking back, we know what is important and what sucked and we can then criticize the trivial for not improving the situation...Stupid Izzy, always smiling!
I'M READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL

Well Sports Illustrated has their 2006 college football preview out this week. In case you missed it they have opted for the Residential College approach for Michigan, with no distinguishing grades, and not even a smiley system. Though they don't jump on the Tondar "Fire Lloyd Carr bandwagon, they are far from insiteful in their Sethian optimism...

"FINAL ANALYSIS

After its worst season in 21 years, Michigan has the offensive tools to bounce back into the Big Ten race and national championship picture. The biggest concern with the offensive unit is the lack of depth at quarterback.

English must find more playmakers to help Woodley and Hall. The Wolverines finished 10th in the conference in red zone defense and gave up crucial fourth quarter scores in losses to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State and Nebraska.

Mental toughness and leadership will be especially critical this season when the Wolverines face traditional rivals Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State on the road."


Depth at QB? If I'm not mistaken doesn't Michigan get a 4 Star recruit at QB every year? Somehow, I really doubt that position is what's going to make or break the Wolverines. However, the "preview" did take the time to look at Michigan's win-loss record, their defensive ranking, the upcoming schedule and they dropped some names. Given that criteria, let me look into my crystal ball and figure it out myself...

Ahh yes, it will be poor clock management and an inability to capitalize on comparative advantages that will sink UM's season. Obi Oluigbo and Steve Breaston won't crap the bed. Look for 4 losses, 3 of them being moral victories, and Seth's undying support of Scary Face. That's my season preview.
DON'T BOTHER WITH THE WEBSITE

I was telling Miss Allison about this cartoon the other day. However, I tried the website when I first found the cartoon and then I tried it today. Unfortunately, www.I_still_live.org is not a real non-profit website.

(By the way don't click on the second link above...I told ya not to click on that link. that's your own damn fault for seeing THAT.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

YOUTUBE OF THE WEEK

Last week it was Wilford Brimley and the "Beetis Remix Vol 2." Well this week it's something a bit more serious, but exceptionally well made. "The Life And Death of A Pumpkin" is well worth the time. I especially liked the sound and the cinematography.
PHOTODUMP


photodump (of my girlfriend) Posted by Picasa

My girlfriend's hair Posted by Picasa

photodump Posted by Picasa
KATHERINE WATCH

From Katherine...

G'day my mates!

I'm alive and well and back in the USA! After 2 days of traveling, I finally made it back to Grand Rapids. It was pretty neat because I had 2 Tuesdays this week! Hooray for the International Dateline! Crazy!

I hope you are all enjoying your summers! I can't believe it is almost the end of July.

I am working on getting some pictures online of my trip so you can see exactly how great Australia is!

I can't wait to see all of you! I miss you all!

The next month will be busy with mini-vacations, grad classes, and getting ready for my new job. It is going to be great!

Take care, and I hope to see you all soon!

Besitos

Kat

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

TIGER TRADE, OFF THE RADAR

From Seth...

"How're things in the NL East?'

Over in the AL Central, it's been Soriano this, Soriano that, who's gonna trade what for Soriano...

I wonder what would happen if we went to Colorado with the same thing that Washington's asking for Alfonso Soriano (our best pitching prospect, our 2nd-best positional prospect, and our current left-fielder), and offered it for Brad Hawpe.

Who's Brad Hawpe?

He's hitting .309 with 15 homers, 49 rbi, 2 stolen bases, and a .393 on-base percentage. And he's a left-handed hitter, which is what we need. Hawpe's also just 27, and mid-way through a cheap contract.

To compare, Alfonso Soriano's hitting .282 with 30 homers, 60 rbi, 23 stolen bases, and a .354 on-base percentage. He hits and throws right-handed, and is 30 years old. He's also on the last year of his rather large contract, and wants to move back to 2nd base for the Yankees next year.

I'm just saying, if the Tigers wanted to go a different direction, they might inquire as to what the Rockies would want for Hawpe, because he looks like just the kind of guy we could use."

Ben on the state of the Mets...

"Things in the NL east are relatively stable. The Braves are hot (7 of last 8, something like 64 runs in 5 games) but still way back (and I emphasize "way"). It's definitely not out of the question that they make a run for it, though. The division is distant but still within reach (it's only July) and the wild card is absolutely within reach.

The Mets are unlikely to make a big trade at the deadline. If they do, it'll be for a pitcher, probably a starter, but the emergence of our #1 pick in 2005, Mike Pelfrey, who is up for the injured Pedro and Bannister, is pitching very well. Pedro will be back soon so they'll most likely send down John Maine who has been the other fill-in starter. There is talk about trading for Livan Hernandez, but there are doubts. Second-base talk seems to have faded as Jose Valentin has been stellar.

The Marlins are hot... the Phillies are fading... the Nats suck... and that's about that!"


And in case anybody is interested, the Braves have been on a tear lately...

"Andruw Jones was 5-for-5 with two homers and matched his career high with six RBIs, helping the Atlanta Braves become the first team since the 1930 New York Yankees to score 10 or more runs in five straight games with a 14-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Adam LaRoche, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann also homered for the Braves, who have scored 65 runs during their offensive explosion that includes two 15-run games. The last time the franchise reached double figures in five straight games was in 1897, when it was called the Boston Beaneaters and they totaled 61 runs.

The 65 runs in five games is the best by the franchise since those same Beaneaters totaled 78, including 25 in one game and 21 in another, from May 31-June 3. The Braves have 81 hits during their five-game run and 98 in their last six, going back to an 8-3 victory over Cincinnati on July 9, the last game before the All-Star break"....

Unless the Braves win games in July and August like they lost in May and June, the Mets still have 11 1/2 game lead and they seem to be taking care of their business. Right now the talk is the 4 games ATL needs to get the wildcard lead. Though I would prefer them to go the EA Sports route and run the table for the rest of the season. But with the Braves and Tigers both winning, this could be my lifetime peak when it comes to giving 2 creamy enchiladas about MLB.
QUADROPHENIA PROJECT

I'm One










Every year is the same
And I feel it again,
I'm a loser - no chance to win.















Leaves start falling,
Come down is calling,
Loneliness starts sinking in.
















But I'm one.
I am one.
And I can see
That this is me,
And I will be,
You'll all see
I'm the one.
















Where do you get
Those blue blue jeans?
Faded patched secret so tight.















Where do you get
That walk oh so lean?
Your shoes and your shirts
All just right.
















But I'm one.
I am one.
And I can see
That this is me,
And I will be,
You'll all see
I'm the one.

















I got a Gibson
Without a case
But I can't get that even tanned look on my face.


























Ill fitting clothes
I blend in the crowd,
Fingers so clumsy
Voice too loud.















But I'm one.
10 YEARS GONE

Can you believe that it has been 10 years since the 100th Olympiad rocked Atlanta? Well the AJC has great coverage including classic photos and a then/now update of some of the buildings and people that made the '96 games so great.
KEVIN SMITH'S MAKIN' MORE FRIENDS

Clerks 2 is about to come out and it looks like beardo-director Kevin Smith has flown off the handle yet again. You may remember his showdown with Fred Toucher on 99X (#2 audio start listening at about the 4:20 mark). Well this time he goes off on Joel Siegel for walking out of Clerks 2. Sure Siegel was offended by another round of "penis and fart jokes," but did he deserve this rant...

An apoplectic Smith fired back on his MySpace blog: "Getting a bad review from Siegel is like a badge of honor. This is the guy who stole his mustachioed-critic shtick from Gene Shalit years ago, and still refuses to give it back. This is a guy who seemingly prides himself on his own nyuk-nyuk wordplay. For 'Pirates 2,' he made us all titter with 'Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Fun' . . . He made us squeal with delight when he wrote, 'Wheelie Good Time for "Cars." ' I mean, Fozzy [bleeping] Bear laughs at this guy."

And there's more: "I don't need Joel Siegel to [bleep] my [bleep] the way he apparently [bleeps] M. Night Shyamalan's, gushing over his flick ['The Lady in the Water'] before he's even seen it, but [bleep] man, man - how about a little common [bleeping] courtesy? You never, never disrupt a movie, simply because you don't like it. Cardinal rule of moviegoing: Shut your [bleeping] mouth while the movie's playing.

"I don't come down to your job and slap the taste out of your mouth for coming up with a line like, ' "Shark Tale" Is a Halibut Good Time' - so don't [bleep] with my stuff while it's still screening . . . What are you, a 12-year-old boy cutting loose with your pals at a Friday night screening of 'Scary Movie' 4' while your parents are in a theater down the hall watching 'The Devil Wears Prada'? Leave the diva-like behavior and drama-queen antics to the movie stars, not the movie reviewer, ya' rude-ass [bleep]."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


I'd call that a big yes. Uh, are you habitually using drugs? Stimulants? Alcohol? No, no. Just asking. Are you, Alice, menstruating right now? Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

BUYING INFLUENCE

If you agree with the Supreme Court and think that money is speech, then check out this site of the most active voices in our republic. What I find most interesting is that some are big time partisans (George Lucas, Charles Schwab), some play the middle (Michael Bloomberg), while others simply have their own agenda (Richard DeVos). Hat-tip to Seth.
PIC OF THE DAY


Adventure hurts...YEAH YEAH Posted by Picasa
KATHERINE WATCH

The Australian adventure rolls on...

G'day mates!
I hear it is hot back home! Yikes! Maybe I will just stay here where it isn't super hot! Just kidding, I am excited to come home in a few days! This has been a real adventure. I really enjoyed my time here and also getting to know the group of kids. I am so blessed to have this opportunity in my life!

Whoa. Right now I feel like I am on a boat, my equilibrium is messed up! Today was the best day of all! In fact it was one of the best experiences in my life! That is saying a lot! I spent the day snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. WOW. I really can't describe it. I will try and get some pictures up when I get home so you can see what I saw. I wish there was someway to get a videocamera in my eyes so that you could all see what I saw today! It was absolutely incredible! I found Nemo again! I also saw a giant sea turtle, and the most colorful fish ever. They came right up to my face...only inches away! The coral was amazing, and I learned all about it. Did you know it is the only living thing in the world you can see from the moon? Did you know the reef is the size of 7 million soccer fields? It is breathtaking. I even got to eat lunch and go in a semi-submersable sub to see it! WOW! What an amazing day! Another one of the 7 wonders of the world!!!

Tomorrow is the last day of fun, we are taking a gondola ride through a rainforest and going on a waterfall. After that we are meeting with the Aboriginal people, so that will be interesting. Then I am off on my 32 hour trip home! Wowsers, it will take forever!

If you ever get a chance, come to Australia! The outback is great too! We got to stay with a family on a farm for a few days, and I learned to crack a whip and live the farm life. This place is just amazing!

The other day I got to pet a kangaroo, hold a koala, wombat, snake, and crocodile! What great wildlife they have here! They are all so darn cute!

I miss all of you my mates! Take care, and starting midnight on Tuesday (practically Wed morning) I will be home! Hooray!

Take care and let me know how you all are doing!

Besitos!

Kat