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, August 19, 2006

THE RIS AND FALL OF ORLOVSKY

On Tuesday, Seth was concerned that Lions backup quarterback, Dan Orlovsky became the number two guy thanks to his dedication...

"Place your bets: How long 'till we Harrington him outta town, too?"

But then in Friday night's 20-16 loss...

Orlovsky, who showed promise in the No. 2 role last week against the Broncos, entered in the third quarter and went 3-for-11 for 44 yards with an interception. His quarterback rating was a dismal 5.9.
THE GREENHORN YEAR

From Seth...

The NBA had its year just a few seasons ago, when Dwayne Wade and LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh and a host of other great rookies (umm.. and Darko) entered the league.

This year, though, it's baseball that seems to have brought up a cascade of new stars. It's maybe the biggest rookie explosion in the majors since just after WWII.

Nobody can explain it, but I might have a theory: the Moneyball Echo.

My theory is thus: if you draft a college player, they're probably one or two seasons away from the majors. If you draft a high school player, it's probably three or four years you have to wait. Obviously, there's a lot of give and take to this.

Moneyball was basically the Oakland A's draft stategy of the '90s: pick college players 'cause you know what you have, and favor pitching. Anyway, after the book was published, a lot of teams that hadn't been drafting college players started to do so, especially in the first rounds, because the collegiates weren't such a crapshoot. But before that, teams were still drafting mostly high schoolers. My theory goes, the high school rookies -- mostly position players -- drafted from 2000-02 reached maturity about the same time the college guys -- especially pitchers -- from 2003-05 did.

Below are the rookies mentioned in the article, plus a few more I thought had made a big impact this season...

Joel Zumaya
Justin Verlander
Francisco Liriano
Jonathan Papelbon
Jared Weaver
Russell Martin
Andre Ethier
Lastings Milledge
Dan Uggla
Ryan Zimmerman
Josh Johnson
B.J. Upton
Hanley Ramirez
Scott Olsen
Prince Fielder
Clay Hensley
Josh Barfield
Takashi Saito
Jonathan Broxton
Cole Hamels
Conor Jackson
Carlos Quentin
Stephen Drew
Zach Miner
Brent Clevlan
Joe Saunders
Dustin Moseley
PIC OF THE DAY


L'Expo D'Dourke, 2006 Posted by Picasa
YOUTUBE OF THE WEEK

Be afraid. Be very afraid. This is your corrupt GOP government at its worst.
PHOTODUMP


Optimus Prime Posted by Picasa

photodump Posted by Picasa

Photodump Posted by Picasa
ANOTHER LOOK AT "HURRICANE INSURANCE"

I took Seth's advice and found this thoughtful piece on findlaw.com that really explains the recent ruling in the Hurricane Katrina insurance case. Sounds like there will be plenty of litigation yet to come.
DARKO WATCH

With a contract year coming up, Chris Mannix takes a look at one of the biggest busts in Detroit Basketball history. But now that he is a member of the Orlando Magic, Darko Milic's success only serves to deepen the pain that he has caused.

Friday, August 18, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


of course he knows insurance Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

HE MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS FLAYS

Seth on the trail of the SBP...

The first time I met SBP, he told me to not eat the tail of the Swedish Fish, for the rest of the fish is soft & chewy candy, but the tail is the devil's.

I just bought a package of the fish from the vending machine, and the tails are all tiny, barely existent. Has SBP been doing the Lord's work in Parsippany, N.J.?


So let it be ranted. So let it be done.
TRES ON HURRICAN INSURANCE

From Tres...

Of course I agree with much of Seth's assessment of the situation in the Gulf Coast in regards to Katrina, and having worked first hand I have seen how corrupt the insurance industry can be and is. But I wanted to point out a few difficulties with Seth's argument so that your readership can be better informed.

Firstly, no insurance company sells a "hurricane" insurance policy. They only sell what is termed a "homeowners" policy which includes damage caused by wind, fire, and a sudden water damage (ie. water mains bursting inside the house). Almost all other water damage is pretty plainly excluded in the policy. So, if we are going to talk about insurance being a gamble I would say in the case of most Katrina victim sin Miss. and Alabama they are the ones who lost the gamble. To offset this ridiculous exclusion on homeowners policies the Government has taken exclusive control of Flood Insurance. Anyone who lives in what is considered a flood plain are required by law, and by their mortgage company, to purchase this seperate policy (which often is equal to, or double, their HO policy). The problem comes when homeowners who don't live a flood zone are told this costly, and usually undrfunded and inadequate, supplementary policy is voluntary they usually don't purchase it. And in the case of much of New Orleans, which does not fall into a "flood" plain, most of these homeowners believed they were protected by their HO policies. So, in essence, the Insurance companies, as immoral as it may seem, had the legal high ground here. They said that water damage was not covered by their policies and that the insured could purchase additional insurance if they wanted to. The insured agreed to this contract and did not purchase flood insurance and got bent over for it. Sorry, but that's the breaks, kid.

However, this particular case hinged not on whether or not the policy covered this damage (which it didn't) but whether or not the agent mislead the insured to believe they didn't need flood insurance. Obviously he didn't because the judge ruled in the insurance companies fault.

Secondly, State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide, which make up about 3/5 of the HO policie sin the gulf states have combined paid out billions of dollars but no one bitches when they receive a fair compensation for their house in a timely manner, do they? What almost no one knows is that acts of war and terrorism are blatantly excluded on all insurance policies and yet the Big three of insurance: State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide waived that exclusion voluntarily after 9/11 for victims of that disaster. But no one clapped them on the back for that.

Thirdly, what many people don't understand about the insurance industry is that, even though State Farm is a national company each state is regulated seperately, hence State Farm in Miss. is independant from State Farm in Alabama. This is not their fault, it a stupid governmental thing and the stupidity of it has been brought to light by the recent disasters. Hence many in the federal government are calling for federal regulation of the insurance industry instead of state to state. So, when State Farm in MIss. collected 600 million in premiums last year and had to pay out 1 billion in funds you can see the inherent problems with that. So, to make sure they have enough in the coffers most large insurance companies purchase what is called Reinsurance from other campanies. Well, the reinsuerers are having a field day and raising their rates through the roof. So, in order for SF to pay their reinsurance costs they must raise premiums in the former disaster areas or stop writing new policies there, or stop insuring those they already have. For instance, ask someone who is buying a home in Long Island how much they are paying for HO insurance. Not pretty.

Fourthly, sadly, Seth, the insurance industry is in a state of emergency right now, because if every year we are going to get a Katrina, or something of that nature they are flat out not going to insure any homes in Miss, Alabama, Florida, New York, North or South Carolina, Georgia. That is a problem because the only companies left to insure in those areas are government backed insurers, and we know how well the government manages finances.

In conclusion, I think the real problem here is that Americans have gotten it in their fat little heads that it is their inherent right to live wherever the hell they want even if it means the government has to subsidize the underlying costs of doing so. From heavily subsidizing the construction and oil industries to keep people buying and able to afford those fat Mcmansions twenty miles outside of town to forcing insurance companies to right policies in areas which are destined to get slammed by a Cat 4 hurricane every three years, the government is egging on this self-destructive behavior. Seth, honestly if you let the market decide things, only 1% of Americans would be able to afford to live within 100 miles of the Gulf Coast, and only Bill Gates could live in Florida. My opinion is that the court of public opinion shouldn't swoop in everytime that there is a natural disaster and point the finger at the big guy. Perhaps there should be a little accountability reserved for those who decided to live on the train tracks when they couldn't afford to neither build their house back themselves or pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy that would help them. That is just poor planning.

If you want to scream at the insurance companies, I would scream at them for claiming they need to raise rates in the aftermath of Katrina 235% in Texas!!!? That is outrageous. Don't get me wrong, the insurance industry is nearly as corrupt as the oil industry, but in this particular case they are not necesarily the big bad wolf they may appear to be at first. This is a huge, complex issue and it will become a crisis before too long. I guess just toss another log onto the fire at the feet of our nation. Burn, baby, burn!
INJURY TRAIN DERAILMENTS

So Andruw Jones did not start in centerfield last night against Washington. It turns out he was injured by Ryan Langerhans' cleat as he was trying to exit the locker room. But coincidentally, it was Langerhans that filled in at CF. Should I smell conspiracy?

But anyways, Braves radio said this was the strangest injury since Ryan Klesko threw out his back lifting a cafeteria tray. Now if I'm not mistaken didn't George Brett miss some World Series games thanks to hemhroids? Are there any other weird injuries out there?

Ben came up with a couple: "Tom Glavine had two teeth knocked out in a cab accident a
couple of years back. Also Pedro's toe fiasco comes to mind."

But of course Seth had several...

There's the Florida offensive lineman who broke his leg rolling out of bed. There's the motorcycle moron twins in Ben Hypethisberger and Kellen "The Soldier" Winslow Jr. The backache of Juan Gonzalez in 2000 comes to mind, as does the myriad ways Charlie Batch found to get hurt. And remember when John Smolz burned himself while trying to iron a shirt while the idiot was wearing it!

And of course there was the famous "electrical problem" story. Basically, during the consecutive games streak (and during a 15-game hitting streak for Cal), Mrs. Ripken Jr. caused a little marital mishap during relations with her Iron Man, and the Orioles announced their new stadium had an "electrical problem," and rescheduled the game.

Let's see what I can find on the Internet:

* A striker from the Scottish team missed the World Cup qualifying game this year because he over-heated the baby's milk. When the milk hit the kid's lips, the baby shrieked and dumped the steaming mess into daddy's lap. Daddy had burns all over his thighs and his other two boys

* Clint Barnes injured himself carrying deer meat up the stairs.

* Terry Mulholland scratched his eye by rolling over a loose feather in a hotel pillow.

* Mike Remlinger broke a finger after getting it caught between two recliners.

* Glenallen Hill had a spider nightmare and rolled out of bed into a glass table.

* Wade Boggs strained his back putting on cowboy boots.

* Sammy Sosa got back spasms from sneezing.

* Adam Eaton accidentally stabbed himself in the stomach with a paring knife while trying to unwrap a DVD

* Bret Barberie accidentally rubbed Chili juice in his eyes.

* Steve Sparks, the Tigers' old knuckler, dislocated his shoulder trying to rip a phone book in half (he'd seen it done)

* Kevin Mitchell strained his rib muscles while puking. He also missed Spring Training when he burnt himself on a microwaved donut.

* Marty Cordova burned his face at a tanning salon.

* Jeff Kent broke his wrist while cleaning his pickup at a self-serve car wash. He slipped on the soapy water and tried to break his fall.


* On Draft Day 1992, Atlanta was trying to offload their 3rd string quarterback who didn't get along with their coach for Green Bay's 1st round pick, and it looked like the Packers would bite. Except while hustling the trade bait to the Packers for a quick physical, they re-injured his hip, which was still healing from a major car accident the year before. The Packers docters weren't told it had just happened and thought the QB had a degenerative hip problem from the old accident (like what ended Bo Jackson's career). They argued, and decided to decline the trade. Too late: the Packers turn was up and the GM went ahead with the deal, sending Green Bay's 19th overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons for Brett Favre.
NEWS FROM THE WESTSIDE

It seems like a fair contract to exchange goods and services except for the fact that the criminal activity voided the entire thing. From Olivia...

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. A woman who feared she would lose her boyfriend while she recuperated from surgery arranged for her 15-year-old daughter to have sex with him, authorities said.

Police said the three signed an agreement specifying the sexual services the girl would perform and the compensation she would receive, including clothing and body piercings. The 37-year-old man and the girl had sex about 20 times over two months, police said.


Only in West Michigan can you find that kind of dedication.
SETH ON THE INSURANCE RULING

Of course Tres is the expert on this one, but here's what Seth has to say on the recent Katrina insurance case...

"So the inurance guys won their case in the Katrina thing, kinda. They had to pay like $1,000 more than they first doled out, but didn't have to cover the flood damage, and still haven't even paid back what the policy cost the policy-holders. Needless to say, the insurance company's definition of "flood damage" meant anything the waters touched.

I think you can look it up on FindLaw

The ruling didn't answer my big question in the case, though: did the insurance company misrepresent to purchasers of its policy that they would be covered. Speaking from a consumer's perspective, if I were to buy hurricane insurance, I would want my policy to cover any damage caused as a direct result of the hurricane. It's like if you buy tornado insurance, you're protected if the tornado picks up your neighbor's tractor and puts it through your roof. I thought this case should be settled on what was in the policy, and how it was represented, with the basic understanding that a person who hears the word "hurricane," will imagine both wind and water and all sorts of related damage.

The homeowners in this case made a strong point: in the insurer's definition of hurricane liability, if your roof comes off and an inch of water touches the foundation, the damage was caused by water and they're not liable.

If they're selling policies like that, then I think it's time our government deals those companies a crippling wallop. Freeze all policy prices, massive oversight, and massive penalties for refusing payouts. Bankrupt the lot of them, and throw the 'em in the stockades.

Scrare the bejeezes out of them, eh?

Okay, more seriously, this industry is just getting out of control. In a healthy market, their treatment of Katrina victims should have run these jerks out of business. The public relations job should have been a nightmare. Who could ever trust any of these companies again?

We've got millions of Americans giving whatever they can to help get the area back on its feet, and the guys who were paid to be there in this eventuality spending all their money on court cases to make sure they don't have cough up.

I'm sure a multi-billion dollar company can rustle up better lawyers than Mr. and Mrs. My-House-Got-Destroyed, and make their signed documents say whatever they want them to. But this can't possibly work in the court of public opinion, or the court of common sense, for that matter. The sheer hubris is astounding: you're in the INSURANCE business, people! You can't just take everyone's money and expect not to ever pay anything back! Yes, if a hurricane blows up Louisiana and Mississippi, you're going to take a hit. The homeowners paid you to cover them in the 10-percent chance their home was destroyed in a hurricane, and you took the bet. It's a gambling industry. You lost; $uck it up and take the hit.

Instead, they're going to b!tch and moan and haggle and squirm and cry "our poor poor investors waaaaaahhhh" rather than give one red cent to the people they happily sold the policy to.

It's like a car dealership that closes a deal on a brand-new Civic and then hands the customer the radio and runs off to show a judge the fine print they interpret to mean they don't have to supply the car.

If I were an insurance company right now, I'd pay everything the people hurt in Katrina expect, and make a massive show of it to contrast with my competitors. I'd call my competitors greedy con-artists every time a microphone came near me. Compared to what the companies bring in, they can afford this "donation" if that's how they see it. Heck, we're not exactly the only company to give money to Katrina victims, you know. Besides, it's kind of, you know, WHAT WE SOLD THEM to begin with. Then I'd get on the horn with every Army Corps. of Engineers and political yahoo who allowed the damage to get so much worse than it should have and tell them they'd better get their act together and make sure my company doesn't get b!tch slapped like this again.

If we don't see a company doing exactly that, then I think that's pretty good evidence of endemic corruption and industry-wide collusion against the consumer. And that means it really is time to regulate and Class-Action these companies into the poor house. Believe me, the economy could weather the total turnover of the home insurance industry, especially if our regulations make sure the void is filled with companies that don't have a stake somewhere else. I'd hate to take such drastic action, but you can't let an industry run amok like that."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


This is just a preview of what is to come after tonights orange sunset. Beautiful. Posted by Picasa
PIC OF THE DAY


Yeah, I bet he'd run you down for a Big Mac and a taste of your coke. Posted by Picasa
TASTE OF THAT McDONALD'S RAGE

OK, this one didn't happen in the A.T.L. but it's close enough that I will still give it credit for being a part of the general insanity that is The Dirty...

ATHENS — Athens-Clarke County police are looking for a disgruntled McDonald's customer who ran into two other customers with her car after a dispute over who was next in line to order breakfast.

Police say 34-year-old Melinda Ann Thomas and 51-year-old Linda Ann Thomas were standing in a crowded line about 8:30 a.m. Saturday as they waited to order breakfast. A cashier opened a new line and they stepped to the front of it — a move that angered at least one customer waiting for her chance to order.

Witnesses told police the woman left the restaurant before the Thomases and stayed in the parking lot, sitting in her dark blue Jeep Cherokee.

As the Thomases made their way to their car, witnesses said the woman pulled out of her parking space, backed up and then sped toward the ladies — striking them both with the passenger side of the Jeep. The report says neither woman was injured severely.

Police are looking for the woman on charges of aggravated assault.


What do you wanna bet it was the Hamburglar?

Monday, August 14, 2006

IT IS DONE!

FREEDOM!!!

So today I told that slave driver to shove the sweat shop up her ass via a polite resignation letter in which I thanked the firm for the opportunity. Man are they going to be so screwed in 14-17 days. Sure it wasn't the great two finger salute. However, it beat Tres' tactic of leaving a "fuck you note" and then having to return the office key during business hours the next day.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

AD OF THE DAY


Where is my endorsement check? From California to Nashvegas, everybody is calling me with anecdotes on how PB(da)R has touched their weekend. Posted by Picasa