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.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Featuring words and Music by Zucchero - Senza Una Donna (Italiano)

I change the world
I change the world
I change the world
I wanna change the world

Non è così
che passo i giorni baby
come stai…..
sei stata lì
e adesso torni lady
hey, con chi stai…..
Io sto qui e guardo il mare
sto con me, mi faccio anche da mangiare
si è così, ridi pure ma
non ho più paure
di restare…

Senza una donna
come siamo lontani
senza una donna
sto bene anche domani
senza una donna

che m’ha fatto morir
senza una donna …..hah …hah
è meglio così.
Non è così
che puoi comprarmi baby
tu lo sai………
è un po’ più giù
che devi andare lady (al cuore?)
yes, se ce l’hai
Io ce l’ho vuoi da bere
guardami, sono un fiore
Be’ non proprio così
ridi pure ma
non ho più paure
di restare………

Senza una donna
come siamo lontani
senza una donna
sto bene anche domani
senza una donna
che m’ha fatto morir…….

Io sto qui e guardo il mare
ma perché continuo a parlare
non lo so ridi pure ma
non ho più paure (forse) di restare….

Senza una donna
come siamo lontani
senza una donna
sto bene anche domani
senza una donna
che m’ha fatto morir
senza una donna
vieni qui, come on here!
senza una donna
ora siamo vicini
senza una donna
sto bene anche domani
senza una donna
che m’ha fatto morir……

Versione Inglese con Paul Young

"Where do you work where you can drink?"

"I would like to congratulate the Ohio 3 on their first set of store bought clothes."

"What's up with you lifting your skirt all the time? Are you afraid people are going to look at your face?"

"OK, are you ladies ready to race for that pizza?"

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It's ironic that Seth sent me this story the same day that I receieved an e-mail from somebody via their Blackberry. But anyways, it will be interesting to if any of this litigation plays out...

"She adds that "workaholism" can be a serious psychological addiction; symptoms include an inability to delegate or function as a team.

The American Physical Therapy Association's Margot Miller uses the term "BlackBerry Thumb" to describe a repetitive-stress injury causing pain and/or numbness in the thumbs and hand. Those who use their PDAs for more than short intervals several times a day are more likely to develop symptoms. She says applying ice, stretching, thumb splints, and cortisone injections are among treatments. In worst-case scenarios, surgery may be necessary."

Thursday, September 21, 2006


From CNN via Tres...

GURNEE, Illinois (AP) -- Why wait in line when you can just eat a cockroach?

That's the question Six Flags Great America is asking thrill seekers during a Halloween-themed FrightFest. The amusement park is daring customers to eat a live Madagascar hissing cockroach in exchange for unlimited line-jumping privileges.

The promotion, which has Lake County Health Department officials shaking their heads, starts October 7.

Anyone who chows down the entire 2- to 3-inch horned cockroach gets a pass for four people to cut to the front of ride lines through October 29.

It's not a bad trade-off assuming that they are sanitary and all. Though, I doubt the lines are going to be that bad at Six Flags Great America in October anyways. Now run the same promotion in July and I might consider it.

Audience chant - "Grab that wig! Grab that wig!"

"Come on, both y'all, I'm gonna show you I'm a bad bitch."

"I'm a playah straight up."

I had the most profound thing to say here in the history of the universe. But then I passed out for a 20 minute power nap, and civilization will never be the same again. Sorry.

From Seth...

"My hypothesis is when the league median ERA is closer to the average of the top 20, the teams with better hitting will dominate the league, and when the median hitter (calculated by slugging plus OBP) is closer to the average of the top-20 hitters, teams with above-average pitching will dominate the league.

Or better yet, that there's a connection to this stat and how much a team's final record differs from its Pythagorean W-L record (calculated by runs scored verus runs allowed).

Major change: Standardized "dead" ball, NL contraction followed by AL expansion
Effect: Dead Ball Era, steadily decreasing batting averages
Dominant teams: Strong hitting, average pitching (Mack's Athletics, Ruth's Red Sox)

Major change: New "live" ball, spitball outlawed, expansion
Effect: Homeruns become common, massive hitting stats compared to previous
Dominant teams: Ruth/Gehrig Yankees*, Giants, Cardinals, A's, Senators

Major change: Raised mound
Effect: Dropoff in hitting stats
Dominant teams: Dimaggio's Yankees, Gas-House Gang Cardinals, Tigers

War Years:
Major change: Players went to war
Effect: Thinning of talent, lots of really bad pitchers
Dominant teams: St. Louis Cardinals & Browns, teams with old pitchers

Postwar: 1945-1959
Major change: End of color barrier
Effect: Contraction effect, better median pitching
Dominant teams: Dimaggio/Mantle/Berra Yankees, Jackie Robinson's Dodgers

Major change: League expansion, smaller ballparks
Effect: Thinned pitching, more homers, Babe's records broken
Dominant teams: Dodgers (Koufax), Cardinals (Gibson)

Major change: New pitches (slider, changeup, etc.), free agency, DH, lowered mound**
Effect: Ridiculous pitching stats.
Dominant teams: Orioles, Tigers, A's, Big Red Machine, Yankees, Royals

Major change: Steroids, massive salaries
Effect: Hitting stats jumped, but massive salary teams would acquire both
Dominant teams: Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, surprise teams with great pitching

Why: I think that the great pitchers and great hitters are less affected by league-wide trends than average pitchers and hitters. Al Kaline will always hit well against average pitchers, but when the balance favors pitching, the average pitchers will dominate the average hitters. On the other end, Pedro Martinez will get average hitters out with consistency, but those average hitters will dominate average pitchers when hitting is favored. So in 1968, you need Kaline to defeat average pitching, but you can defeat other teams' average batters with Mickey Lolitch. In 2005, you need Pedro Martinez to defeat average hitting, but you don't need a creme-de-la-creme hitter to get runs against Mike Maroth.


*The "Murderer's Row" Yankees of the 1920s and early '30s had more than Ruth; they also had fantastic pitching, with Herb Pennock, Urban Shocker, Waite Hoyt, George Pipgras and later, Lefty Gomez. When their pitching was average, the Yankees were just average, even with a lineup overflowing with Hall of Fame hitters. The other teams to win pennants in those years were built on pitching.

What's more telling is that Christy Mathewson's Giants, who had the best pitching in the league, were just average during the dead ball era, as were Walter Johnson's Senators. Yet during the live ball era, Johnson's Senators won two pennants over the Yankees, and the Giants' great pitching got them to four straight Octobers in the '20s, something the Yanks didn't do until the 1950s. Dizzy Dean and Lefty Grove made the Cardinals awesome, while Pitt's Aldridge/Morrison combo was unstoppable. I think star pitching meant much more than star hitting in the Live Ball Era, and that the hitters of baseball's golden age were overrated because of Babe Ruth's notoriety, plus the ridiculous (at least as compared to previous years) stats the hitters were putting up.

**In the 1970s, pitching was so dominant that the American League added the designated hitter and both leagues lowered the pitching mound. Still, it was the teams with above-average hitting and average pitching doing better than those with average hitting and above average pitching. This created a period from the mid-'70s to about '81 in which the AL was dominated by good pitching teams and the National League's better teams (Like the Reds) had better hitting than pitching. But even the DH rule couldn't overcome the fact that average pitchers would routinely have ERAs under 3.50.

***For the most recent era, it's well to look at the teams that DIDN'T win championships. That is, the Mariners and the Indians. Those teams had better hitting than most championship teams in history, but neither made the World Series. Meanwhile, teams getting great pitching sprung to the top of their leagues, demonstrated most by the consistent dominance of Atlanta. We'll have to wait and see if steroids testing will tip the balance in favor of pitching again. I think teams with good hitting and average pitching are doing better than the average hitting/good pitching teams this season so far, but that's probably because it's May, and May favors pitching. Once the season warms up, I'm guessing, the Pedro Martinezes will distance themselves from the Mike Maroths and the teams with standout pitching will move up the standings"

Old Hickory Edition

This one's for you Frank. Take THAT Old Hickory! Posted by Picasa

Nothing like having this guy watch you sleep (or pee) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


"I have an eight year old bigger than the Pee Wee Pimp."

Obviously, Tres is making retard noises while Olivia is inviting him to talk to the hand, obviously. Posted by Picasa

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Victor Vasnetsov. "Knightly Galloping." 1914. Oil on canvas. The Victor Vasnetsov Memorial Museum, Moscow. Russia.

Tres suggested that I add this as a new feature and explain what I have as my PC desktop and why. So since it gives me a chance to rant on art a bit more than usual I figured why not.

Browsing the Victor Vasnetsov collection was a bit random. However, I think it was inspired by Miss Katherine's recent trip to Moscow. Part of it was simple curiosity. But also, I honestly don't know anything about Russian art. Of course, I had to study some of the Communist Era stuff at Big Red Blue. But that was from a later period and more modernist. The art of late Nineteenth Century Russia seems to follow a separate line of development. Instead of progressing from realism to impressionism, the Russians followed the symbolism thread of development. Vasnetsov's work in particular is representative of this as it shows aspects of romanticism in realist settings. Browse the biography link above or simply check out these traditional scenes like the Knight At The Crossroads, or The Baptism of Prince Vladimir as examples.

Knightly Galloping stood out to me because it is very similar to a painting done on plywood in my highschool gym. Though Vasnetsov has a great sense of color and delivers more life in the detail of the clouds and horses mane, both pieces have great composition. Of course, I think it would be difficult to depict a knight triumphantly atop a hill and not have him look majestic.

Anyways, I selected this painting, first because it actually fit on the desktop. Secondly, because for some reason I have been having dreams of highschool lately. Of course the highschool of my dreams is more like Caesar's palace. It is built in a post-modern/commercial-driven classical style with grand college sized auditoriums but still full of frightening girls and the same teachers. Like most of the buildings I find in my dreams, it was a massive labyrinth that served several functions in addition to it's stated purpose as a school. Finally, I selected the knight as a symbol of adventure. Not only does it represent the adventure I will have once the Second Generation is completed, but it also represents the adventure of invading and conquering Middle Tennessee.

If you study art long enough you begin to find more subtle uses for it in everyday life. From compositions, to the general theme of an entire movement, to synthesizing a work into your life the great part about art is that it can transcend and unite all of humanity. When it comes to the works of Spanish artist, Salvador Dali­, I have had two of these experiences.

The first was a few years ago when I was back in Michigan. I was hanging out with some friends from highschool. We were drinking beer and instead of going back into the house to use the restroom we were told to piss on the fence. I had no problem with this. It wasn't my house. It wasn't my fence. While some tried to write their name, I took a more creative approach and decided to piss a masterpiece. So over about a 15 foot length of fence I created a great spiral of loops, and crosses, and dots. I even went so far as to interrupt the stream take a few steps before continuing my creation. When I returned to join the others some critic asked, "What was that?"

"I call it, 'Young Virgin Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity." Well they thought this was the funniest thing They'd ever heard. Of course, I didn't explain that it was a 1954 Salvador Dali­ painting so not only did I entertain, I also fooled them into thinking I wasn't some sort of art fag, and thus cool.

Now just recently I was amused by another piece. The other night I was looking for a new PC desktop to replace The Great He-Goat (Yes, that part of my life is so August, 2006). Originally, I wanted the reflective 1925 work of Dali­ "Figure at a Window." This is one of my favorite pieces from the Reina Sofia in Madrid and like the figure, I feel like I am currently watching all the world from my windows (the computer, television, and my real window overlooking the tennis courts, pool, and hills of Tennessee). However, I ran into formatting problems when I riclickedcked. If I "centered" the pic it was too small and there were bands of that strange brown left on both sides. However, if I "stretched" the photo the girl became a fat little troll with fat little ankles. I had several delightful minutes playing with this one as I alternated between the "centered" (southern girl) and the "stretched" (UMichigan girl). I suggest you give it a try too. Here are some handy phrases to use with the girls...

~~*snort* Got any goat?

~~I 'preciate that :)

~~I'm a woman and I don't need to look sexy for any man

~~I just look like heel, I don't have any make up on

~~Sorry I stink

I'll let you figure out which phrase goes with whom.

Some thoughts on that curious work of man known as humor from Seth...

I was recently (over lunch) reflecting on humor as a cultural reflection. I postulated that different forms of
humor in various cultures were directly linked to the values of that culture. In other words, you get made fun
of for not attaining the
cultural morals of your society.

Culture Value Humor
American/German Self-actualization, physical prowess, luck Ineptitude, athletic blunders, ill fortune
British Social/intellectual worth, peer acceptance Social embarrassment, eccentricity, absurdity, wit
Franko-Latin Sensuality, cultural custom Sexual deviance (e.g. crossdressing), cultural ignorance
Gothic Latin Sensuality, societal/gender roles Role-reversal, emasculation
Grecian/Slavic Continuity, family Fads, disfunctional relationships
Irish Self-control, Catholic moralismaq Drinking, hedonism
Workplace Formality, Normalcy Informality, nonconformity
Jewish Egalitarianism, fighting stereotypes Parody, caricature, self-deprecation
Black Self-worth, fighting stereotypes
Stereotyping, caricature, self-deprecation

In each of these, humor serves a social purpose, or reaffirms social values. I guess you could also say
that a culture without values (i.e. extremism) is also one without humor.

Also note how cultures shaped by similar backgrounds share similar humor. Western European culture still has strong societal/gender role morals left over from Rome, and this still plays out in Spanish, Italian and French humor.

Blacks and Jews, both shaped by centuries of oppression and minority standing within their greater societies, developed largely egalitarianist values. Thus, both black and Jewish humor has a strong strain of poking fun at pomposity, particularly the
rich and powerful within the community. Both also make heavy use of their own stereotypes and self-deprecation. I think this is a
tell-tale defense mechanism for long-term minorities, as a way to de-tooth defamatory humor from the majority. Given time,
I think Latinos and homosexuals are starting to pick up on these same minority humor characteristics
(e.g. Carlos Mencia), while American Jews, having mostly survived our oppression, have taken the
edge off to make our humor more accessible. Israeli Jewish humor, however, still has that same bite of taboo.

In many ways this works. But like all stereotypes we cannot be bound to the generalities that are usually true. I would say that one theme that is even broader and applies to all groups is the eccentric that doesn't know how he is different. This eccentric can be a weirdo, drunk, geek, douchebag, or bumpkin. But the comedy always ensues when his antics are highlighted and brought to the attention of the "normal world." Due to the fact that both the "eccentric" and "normal" are subjective, there is a world of variation.

Thus if we apply Seth's model, what we are really seeing is the normalities of other cultures pushed to the limits by their own eccentrics. Of course James had some ideas of his own on the subject...

I'm not familiar with humor from many places. I
know that Canadians are about the funniest people, per
capita, on earth. John candy, Rick moranis, martin
short, Pamela Anderson, etc.

aside from Monty python, English humor is not funny at
all. As dry as English toast. See bob and Margaret,
absolutely fabulous, etc.

black humor is all about the lowest common
denominator, especially stand up. How many jokes
about getting it on do you see on bet comicview?
about a million. and how many times did martin
Lawrence crossdress on martin? Every damn episode.

Mexican humor, if sabado gigante is any judge, is all
about juxtaposition. cuidado, el lion! dios mio!

i don't know what these things say about our cultural
values. But keep this in mind; sarcasm is a
completely foreign concept in Japan. in fact, my
uncle (who works for nissan) can tell when its time
for the Japanese workers to go back to Japan; when
they pick up on sarcasm. i guess they don't want them
to become too "americanized."

Nothing like a quick little trip to Moscow...

Drastvootsia! Hello!
Dobre utra! Good morning!
I hope this email finds you all well! I just spent quite some time writing an email, and then the internet shut off.... I should have guessed that would have happened!

Anyway, it is already time to leave Russia. I have had a great 2 days here, but it has been very emotional. I was nervous, scared, tired, happy, and sad all at the same time.

My speech and presentation went really really well yesterday, and it is such a relief that it is over! I had some excellent feedback, and great questions... so I must have done an OK job. I got a chance to meet lots of important Russian government and organizati people, so I made some good connections.

I had the afternoon free, so I went out in Moscow alone for the first time. Not sure I would recommend doing that, especially if you are not competent in Russian! It would be a lot easier if I could read in Russian, but that is my own fault. Thank goodness I know a lot of vocab in order to get around! The metro system is so confusing! I was lost for over an hour, and I was late to the dinner with the officials! I was only 5 minutes late, but I was running through the streets of Moscow with my laptop wearing my nice business suit... I am sure you can picture how funny I must have looked! It is funny now, but yesterday I was in tears trying to get there and find my way!

I had a chance to see some great places, although no pictures since the camera is dead. I will get it fixed when I get home. Plus, I have already been here, so I have some good pictures from last time. I took some Americans out last night, and that was fun. I was actually leading them around, and that was scary since I don't know the way myself! We had some Russian food and really enjoyed walking around the magical streets of Russia.

Now I am at the Moscow airport waiting for my flight.... I hope it is on time or I won't get home till Thursday!
Hope you all had a great week! Miss you! I will see you all soon!!!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


"He told her he didn't want nothing to do with the bitch, and I'm going to kick her ass!"

"You gotta Big Mamma beat down!"

"My tits are bigger than your head."

If you get the chance check out these defensive highlights from Saturday's Notre Dame game. Hopefully, they can keep it up next week when Wisconsin and freshman running back P. J. Hill Jr. come to Ann Arbor for a little payback from last year's loss. And as Pigpen pointed out, hopefully LAMAR WOODLEY can catch his breath by then because he looked in need of an oxygen tank after returning that fumble for a touchdown.

No, I'm not talking about the Ashley's Incident nor baby snakes of consuming fire and black as sack cloth of hair. I am talking about a new infomercial. Though I am partial to the Midnight Special DVD set, James has been telling me all about the Almighty Cleanse show (video doesn't work) and forwarding some of the disgusting movies and literature. You can see a short clip on their website. However, since others have tackled the claim that John Wayne and Elvis were full of 40 lbs of back up when they died, I'll just let Sandy J. Knauer shoot some holes in Daniel Viera's almighty cure.

I honestly didn't watch the Transformers much growing up. On the one hand, I feel left out, for many of my friends were raised on it and speak of "Transformers: The Movie" the way I speak of "Monster Trucks and Funny Cars." On the other hand, I'm rather glad I didn't get caught up in that time goblin of a money pit and had lego and He-Man resources diverted from the vast armies that battled upon my bedroom floor. But for those of you that did watch, here is what happens when they bring a foul mouthed Optimus Prime back to life in 2006. Turns out all of his old enemies and friends are dead except for the newly named Shitpiece and Goldbug and the worthless Wheelie.

BTW - Did you know they are making a live action version of Transformers for summer 2007.

"Just like all Yankee women, all you are good at is ordering in restaurants and spending a man's money!" Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 18, 2006


"I see you ain't got no ovaries. You got balls!"

"Sitdown Mr. Piggy!"

"Well you need to tell people you a man." *fight ensues*

Looks like Miss Katherine is at it again, this time spreading AIDS in Russia...

"Iz van itz E ya! (hello in Russian)

Hello everyone! I hope this email finds you all well! I just wanted to email you and let you know that I am here.... after long delays and a day of travel, I am in Moscow and loving it.

I left Grand Rapids Sunday at 7am.... then to Cinncinnati.... then to New York.... then we were delayed for a few hours and finally off and flying by 7pm US time. I made it to Russia today at 1:00 in the afternoon, Russian time. I am 8 hours ahead of all you East Coast people! So, my body is having an interesting time adjusting to all of this.

I had a great flight from NYC to Moscow because no one sat next to me! I could stretch out and really get a good nights sleep. In fact, I was asleep before take off and woke up in the morning only minutes before we got off the plane. I guess I needed some sleep!

I got off the flight and IREX (the organization hosting me) was there waiting to pick me up. Apparently there were people on my flight coming to the conference as well, and it took them 3 hours to get through customs! It took me about 5 minutes, but maybe because I spoke Russian! (ha ha ha, my Russian is so bad I am surprised they didn't tell me to turn around and go home!) Anyway, alll of the rest of the people on my flight lost their luggage... except for me! I sure do have good luck sometimes! But that meant that I had to sit at the airport and wait for 3 hours for them so we could go to the hotel. Grrr. Today was supposed to be a free day to go througout the city, but it didn't work out that way.

We got to the hotel, checked in, and had lunch (at 5pm). I met some new friends I can hang with for the next 2 days, so we walked.... got lost... found the metro, and went to Red Square. Really, the most exciting thing for me about this trip was that I was going to have a chance to see St. Basil's in the daylight (That is the big cool church thing, I am sure you have seen it). So, after an hour of getting lost, we found it. I almost cried! It is so beautiful!

Then I took out my camera to start taking pictures, and it broke! Ah! I really wanted to cry! Luckily another girl I was with had the same camera, and I put my memory card in her camera, shot a couple of pics, and I will at least have those. But, to me losing a camera is worse than not having clothes! So, I won't get to take any pictures on this trip, but I guess the fact that I am here is pretty amazing. I would have never guessed that I would have been back here a year later... it is weird.

This trip has really sent me down memory lane from my experience in Russia last year. I sure do miss it! I am also happy that I have a great life waiting for me at home too. This is a nice taste of my old life, but I am glad that I have moved on.

So, tomorrow is my big speech and presentation day. I hope to get a good nights' sleep and then it is go, go go! After the conference tomorrow, I will have the night in Russia to go out on the town, and then I get picked up to go back to the airport Wed morning. I figured it out, and I will actually have been traveling for more hours than I will have been in Russia!

I am so happy to be here! Even with my camera breaking today, I know that attitude makes or breaks it. So I am really going to live it up here despite the fact that I won't get to take pictures of anything to show you all.

I might not make it to an internet cafe tomorrow, so I will email you all when I get back to the states on Thursday. Hope you have a great week!


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Here are the highlights from 9/16/06, or as future generations of UM football fans will call it: the day Lloyd Carr saved his job.

Though ESPN didn't take the time to hate on the SEC in this piece, they at least had a nice rundown...

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The clock was about to run out. The game about to end. And though the scoreboard indicated everything inside Notre Dame Stadium had already been settled, that was hardly the case.

On the Michigan sideline, chaos reigned around the water cooler. Running back Mike Hart and receiver Steve Breaston knew what a 47-21 victory over Notre Dame meant. They knew the Wolverines hadn't won a road opener in six years, knew they hadn't won at Notre Dame in 12. In the shadows of Touchdown Jesus, they knew they had stomped on the second-ranked home team's dreams of a national championship.

Mario Manningham
Joe Raymond/AP Photo
Michigan WR Mario Manningham celebrated a three-touchdown day in a 47-21 win against ND.

So to celebrate, they prepared to dump the water jug on head coach Lloyd Carr. But then something happened.

"Steve and I were just standing around talking to each other, 'Do it, do it,' " Hart said. "'C'mon, do it. This is huge.' But then I started thinking, 'You know what? We haven't done anything yet. And we came down here expecting to do this. So you know what? No. We're not going to do it.' "

But senior linebackers Shawn Crable and Prescott Burgess had other ideas. As soon as Hart and Breaston put the cooler down and walked away, Crable and Burgess picked it up. And seconds later, Carr was doused, his polo shirt stuck to his wiry 61-year-old frame while tiny beads of water fell from the brim of his cap.

"Coach Carr got what he deserved," Burgess said. "We did that for him. You hear all these people saying his time is up, he should move on. I just heard on TV the other day, Michigan needs a new coach. His time is not up. We don't need another coach. Things are just fine in Ann Arbor."

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Today in the pool, Tres, Matt, and I, being men devised a new throwing and catching game. It's not worth sharing since we weren't really sure on the rules ourselves. But after dropping some easy catches and making some retarded throws, I made a reference to myself playing like Raiders quarterback Aaron Brooks. If you haven't seen it, check out his 35 yard backwards pass. It was the defining moment of his career. Also since the Sports Guy pointed out both, be sure to take a look at the "Aaron Brooks Glitch" from Madden 2007.

It's almost like we thought that we would win that Rose Bowl game...just like we won today against Notre Dame 47-21. Yes, let's celebrate, that score IS final! Posted by Picasa