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 03, 2007


It's always great to see Tyna again.

Depeche Mode - Home

Here is a song
from the wrong side of town
where I'm bound
to the ground
by the loneliest sound
that pounds from within
and is pinning me down

Here is a page
from the emptiest stage
a cage or the heaviest cross ever made
a gauge of the deadliest trap ever laid

And I thank you
for bringing me here
for showing me home
for singing these tears
finally I've found
that I belong here

The heat and the sickliest
sweet smelling sheets
that cling to the backs of my knees
and my feet
I'm drowning in time
to a desperate beat

And I thank you
for bringing me here
for showing me home
for singing these tears
finally I've found
that I belong

Feels like home
I should have known
from my first breath

God send the only true friend
I call mine
pretend that I'll make amends
the next time
befriend the glorious end of the line

And I thank you
for bringing me here
for showing me home
for singing these tears
finally I've found
that I belong here.

Friday, March 02, 2007


What do these two pictures have in common?


To All:
Today, while having lunch with two friends at a organic, health restaurant in Brentwood, A Votre Sante, I saw a Luke Wilson, of the film Old School.

At first glance over at his table, I was not sure it was him; he had grown out a light beard and had huge sunglasses on, the later which is the style here in La La Land. He was eating with some other guy with a super-big beard; I could not make out who he was, if he was anyone notable. I could not make out what he was eating, though it was probably something organic and healthy, considering the place we were in specializes in that cuisine.

A woman went up to him to introduce herself; he was fairly pleasant towards her, even though what she was doing is a faux paus of LA, that being going up to a celebrity to speak with him or her as a celebrity.

My friend also pointed out that the actress who played the oldest daughter on the Cosby Show was also eating there, a Sabrina Le Beauf.

But obviously, my boy Luke Wilson was the notable one, being the Godfather and all...



Thursday, March 01, 2007


From Seth...

"Get excited. This is a great Wings team. Zetterberg is becoming a superstar, Hasek and Chelios are doing things nobody their age should be able to, and you've only got about 2 or 3 years left of seeing Nick Lidstrom, one of the best defenders the game will ever see, in his prime.

I LOVE what the Wings did here.

But fans have been saying the Wings need a big 1st line winger since we got Shanahan. Now we've got one. I'd hate to break up the thing Holmstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg have going, but if you put Bertuzzi on a line with those guys, you might end up with one of those lines whose nicknames last forever*.

And the trade is all conditional on how far we go in the playoffs. So if we stink it up again, no harm done, and if we kick butt, well, who cares about another 1st round draft pick -- we're better at picking 6th rounders anyway.

Maybe he'll wake up Lang's line, though. I dunno. Since I heard, I've been too busy to really get into it, but line combos have been flashing through my head like mad. This must be how Jim Leyland felt when they called to tell him he was getting Gary Sheffield.

Calder for Williams was a great trade, too. You should remember him from when he starred as the grit on the rookie line in Chicago before the lockout (with Mark Bell and Tyler Arnason). If you want to compare him to anybody, he's a young Darren McCarty (young meaning he's our age).

It also goes to show you why the Red Wings are year-in, year-out one of the best teams in the game. What they do -- and what every team that is successful does except the Yankees -- is to create value in the franchise with better scouting. We found Jason Williams outta nowhere -- an undrafted free agent. We gave him lots of opportunity -- even as a defender on power plays so his powerful wrister could be used. Then, when Williams reached his potential, we traded him for a guy about to enter his prime who fits what we need.

We've also got Greg Johnson coming back for the stretch run. Remember him? He scored 40 points on a line with Yzerman and McCarty in 95-96, before we lost him to Nashville in the expansion draft. But it was because of him that Primeau was so pissy -- cause young Johnson and McCarty were taking top line spots with Stevie Y setting them up (the other top line was the Russian 5), so Primeau was relegated to the third line with Lapointe and Doug Brown.

Okay, fine, I'll try a line combo:

Henrik Zetterberg
Daniel Cleary
Kirk Maltby
Valtteri Filppula

Pavel Datsyuk
Robert Lang
Johan Franzen
Greg Johnson

Tomas Holmstrom
Todd Bertuzzi
Kris Draper
Kyle Calder

Nicklas Lidstrom Danny Markov
Mathieu Schneider Brett Lebda
Chris Chelios Niklas Kronwall

Dominik Hasek
* I created and wrote most of this entry last year -- hence all the Red Wings lines.

The big boy house is mine, pending the seller installed turrets.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


From Seth...

"Gary Bettman's problem isn't that he's bad at looking out for the marquee franchises, so much as he puts way too much effort into giving the little guy everything. The top of the league, at least until the playoffs, is usually populated by teams that know how to put a franchise together, and keep it that way. Sometimes, the little guy sucks because they can't run a franchise.

Trivia: Since 1991, how many teams have had a Top-3 draft pick?

If you'll notice, the NHL seems to have a lot of repeat offenders getting high draft choices, part of Bettman's grand plan to put all of the NHL's resources into putting hockey into NASCAR towns.

Since except in extremely rare instances, draft picks can't help you right away (like they can in the NBA and NFL), and because the draft for hockey players isn't the crap-shoot it is for MLB, maybe they should look at finding a way to keep teams that just drafted high the previous season out of the top picks the next year. You put on a suck-fest, and got your pick. Now, before he can come help you, you get to put on another suck-fest and get another guy. In other words, if a team craps it up for a season and gets rid of all of its talent, they get rewarded with two straight years of first pick. Quite cuddly.

The extreme of this effect was seen recently with Pittsburgh, probably because it's a well-known fact that Gary Bettman is Mario Lemieux's bitch. When Lemieux bought the team, he made Pittsburgh all about him, and traded away everyone else around him (Palffy, Lang, Jagr, Barnes, Tocchet, Larry Murphy, Kovalev, Francis, Sandstrom, Straka, Nedved, Olczyk, Johannson, et al.). With everyone gone, they crapped up the ice in 2002, and were rewarded with Marc-Andre Fleury. Then the next season, they kept Fleury in the minors even though he was ready, and were rewarded with Evgeni Malkin. Then, after the lockout season, with the most talented kid since Gretzky at stake, Bettman again rewarded the crap-out of 2002 by giving the Penguins Sidney Crosby.

But the most extreme case of this over-charity was Bettman's first hard-luck case, the expansion Ottawa team, who got Alexei Yashin (2nd - 1992), Alexandre Daigle (1st - 1993), Radek Bonk (3rd - 1994), Bryan Berard (1st - 1995), Chris Phillips (1st - 1996). In 1997, the Sens finished tied with Chicago, but Bettman put them ahead of Chicago for the 12th spot in a draft with 12 acknowledged blue-chip prospects. They got Marion Hossa, and the Hawks got Dan Cleary.

The other extreme is Atlanta, who still have 1st overall Ilya Kovalchuk, 2nd overall Kari Lehtonen, and built by trading away two other recent 1st overall guys, Dany Heatley and Patrick Stefan.

I'm all for welfare to help keep the league healthy. But you don't have to give your poorest guy the frikkin White House!

There's a pattern here: the less viable the franchise, the more help they get from Gary Bettman. Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Ottawa, the Islanders and Florida all were falling apart before getting their major windfalls from the league. Atlanta got theirs from the get-go, right about the time the city showed they could care less if they had a hockey team.

A lot of this seems to be protecting his own ass. It was Bettman's decision to again expand the NHL and move it southwards, and it's usually been those franchises getting the magical top picks. In the Gary Bettman NHL, there's a clear market incentive to lose if you're not a top franchise. If it made his league better, I'd be all for it. But it doesn't. When those teams trade away their stars, it makes the fans leave, and they haven't been coming back for the new ones all that much.

Look at the top teams right now. There's Detroit and New Jersey, because Detroit has managed to find great players in the lower rounds, and New Jersey has a brilliant front office that knows how to put together a team (the Pistons of the NHL if you will). But the rest of the top is Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Nashville, Ottawa, the Islanders, Tampa Bay, San Jose and Atlanta. And Carolina won the cup last year. What do all of those teams have that the others don't? Except for Nashville, they all have at least two guys chosen among the Top 3 in the NHL draft, and many have 3 or 4.

Now, I don't want to throw everyone under the bus. They run a quality franchise in Nashville, despite the fact that the fans need to have icing explained to them before games. And they run a quality franchise in San Jose, and their biggest star, Joe Thornton, was picked up by trade, not drafted.

So excepting Nashville, every one of the top teams are the beneficiaries of top picks, over and over again.

If you look at the bottom of the league, it's now populated by big-market teams who've been trying to compete for the last 13 years (they years Bettman's been in charge). The Kings have been putting together great teams, but injuries kept them at the middle (they kept trying to win) and that means they never got a higher pick than 11 (Alexander Frolov, who's been great). How about Phoenix, whose talent is only so-so, but because they make a push for the playoffs at the end of every season they never get a shot at the elites. There's Boston and Chicago, Original Six franchises that are near the bottom 'cause of bad upper management, but whose coaches would never let them finish last. Or New York, which has a lot of financing but horrible coaching. Or Philadelpha, another proud franchise who got hit with the injury train.

Then there's Florida and Washington. Florida has been the beneficiary of a lot of high picks, but because the franchise sucks, they've lost all of that value. They had ROBERTO LUONGO, and traded him for Todd Bertuzzi, then traded Bertuzzi this week for draft picks that will almost certainly be low, and will only show up if the team they traded him to, which hasn't made it past the 2nd round since 2002, gets to the Western Conference Finals. They've also been rewarded with Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, and Ed Jovanowski (Olli Jokinen, a 3rd overall, came via trade), and could have had Vincent Lecavalier but traded that pick to Tampa Bay -- nothing can help those idiots. As for Washington, they were competitive for years, and tried to stay that way in the bad times, grabbing Jaromir Jagr and Robert Lang during Lemieux's firesale. For trying hard, they got, well, diddly squat. So they went the Pittsburgh direction, sending Jagr to New York, Lang to Detroit, and every other good player they could move to somewhere else. The reward: Alexander Ovechkin, the most talent the NHL had seen since Lindros.

St. Louis used to compete their heads off every season to finish in the middle or with an early playoff exit.

In the NFL, you spend a year at the bottom, you get your guy, you plug him in, and you get better. Unless you can't scout, in which case you deserve to be at the bottom. There's also less of a difference between the top pick overall and the 10th pick overall, and even the last pick of the 1st round, except in rare, rare cases. In baseball, your picks are never a guarantee, so again, giving the worst team multiple picks in the top 3 over three years doesn't give them a massive advantage.

So the NHL is most like the NBA, in that having a pick in the top 3 should significantly affect your team for years to come. The NBA has a lottery for this very reason. The NHL should do the same, and more, by barring the top overall from the previous season from a top-3 pick, barring the 2nd overall from the top two, and barring the 3rd overall from the top spot.

So how many teams have had a draft pick in the top 3 since Gary Bettman took over in 1991? Out of 48 picks, only 10 franchises have had a taste. There's league parity for ya."
From Pigpen...

"Ahh the good ole days! Why do the Av's have to suck so bad now?"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


It's been a while since Toto played that gig in my grandma's den. However, I think that we should meet the classic Rosanna video all the way, as it represents an evolutionary cul-de-sac in the history of music videos.

All those people in the band, and not a Tondar hair-hero among them.

Obviously it comes at some point before 91. But how many cats are officially too many? At what point is one declared at cat lady? From there, how does one go about becoming a crazy cat lady?

On building a permanent structure to surround your trailer...

"Once a singlewide, ALWAYS singlewide."

Goin' to work!

Monday, February 26, 2007


Tondar's found another house. But this time it's a SFR.

So Friday Tondar got home shortly before dark. Since it was a nice day I threw on my shorts, grabbed my ball and headed down to the cages to shoot some hoops. I was already on the court before I noticed the no-good teenagers loitering at the other end. However, I didn't think much of it since I could shoot hoops by myself and pretend I was backing down Tim Duncan on the other end. But when the kids invited me to play, I figured why not. This ought to be interesting.

So the first game began with me getting paired with the smaller black kid, Cody. That cat could ball, but he was a bit of a ball hog since he only hit me once on the pick and roll. Between his Vince Carter impression and me cleaning up down low like Shaq, we kicked butt in the first game despite it being 3 on 2. In the second game, I got paired with the tall white kid, Dalton. Unfortunately, that kid was a ball hog AND a terrible shot. I felt bad because my competitive side got the best of me as I went all Bill Russell on him and began coaching on the court. I tried to keep the berating to a minimum but it was difficult when he played defense by grabbing the arms and legs of his opponents.

Though, I had no need to bust out my hook shot, I did teach it to Cody. Hopefully, in 10 years we will see the sky hook return to the NBA when Cody takes his ballhoggery pro. However, another problem I encountered playing with the kids is that my style of defense is very touchy-feely. I constantly keep a hand on my man so that I can keep an eye on the ball. In addition, I'm always popping people in the lower back with the forearm check or throwing my butt into people to clear a little space. Being a grown-ass man I had to restrain my tenacious D a bit so that I wouldn't look like a complete perv trying to feel up the kids when I was really just trying to demoralize them in the spirit of boot to the neck (aka balls to the face) competition.

But since I was there bringing terror to the 14 and 15 year olds in the neighborhood, here are the top things Tondar said to the kids while I schooled them in the cage.

10. You're right that's not a foul. It's my own fault for slapping my wrist against your hand while I was shooting.

9. You play defense WITH YOUR FEET!

8. Spread the floor! SPREAD THE FLOOR!!

7. You ain't from the Dirty! We're in HenDARsonville. Quit talkin' trash until you make a shot.

6. When you throw up a hundred you're bound to make one!

5. You deserved to get popped in the nuts, playin like that.


3. Scream all you want, I'm still gonna make my lay-ups.


1. That's how we roll in the House of the Cripple.

Sunday, February 25, 2007