Friday, April 09, 2004
Break Up the Tigers III!
The Tigers are now 4-0, and are the only remaining unbeaten team in the majors. Still, it's not quite time to break out the champagne. The last team to start 4-0 the season after having the worst record in the majors was the 1952 St. Louis Browns; they finished the year 60-94.
Be of Good Cheer; These Polls are Temporary Phenomena
Perhaps a little anecdote will illustrate things. As I may have mentioned before, I grew up in a leftist household. Not quite as leftist as David Horowitz, perhaps, but still pretty leftist. My grandfather on my mother's side ran for Alderman in Syracuse on the socialist ticket during one of the years Eugene Debs was running. My parents subscribed to Commonweal and were active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and were county coordinators for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. I worked as a (very-low level) volunteer for both McCarthy and McGovern, mostly stuffing envelopes and delivering flyers from door-to-door. I also worked as part of the "bucket brigade" at two McGovern speeches, wandering among the crowd with a KFC-style bucket, soliciting contributions. I went conservative in the 1980s, but the rest of my family has stayed fairly liberal. My dad did vote for Bush in 2000, but all my siblings remained Democrats.
At Christmas this year, my younger brother surprised me. One of our uncles (who is still a liberal) said something nasty about Bush. Mark said with amazement something along the lines of, "Well, isn't everybody
glad that Bush was president on 9-11? I sure was!" My older sister (actually she's the older of the two; I'm the eldest) looked daggers at him, as well as two of the uncles, but I managed to steer the conversation away from the subject. Christmas is a time for family harmony, not for acrimony.
Both of my sisters are in town for Easter and last night we went out for dinner. Typically I'm the one who brings up politics, but this time, my younger sister brought up the subject, asking my older sister whom she was planning on voting for. Not surprisingly, the answer was Kerry. So my younger sister went onto this tirade about how could you vote for Kerry, he's going to undermine the war on terror, I'm voting for Bush because he's the one whose going to keep my kids safe. I managed to cool things down a bit by pointing out that my older sister's state (Kansas) is solid Bush, and that if he needs her vote to win the state, he'd be losing so badly that it wouldn't matter. But my younger sister wouldn't let it die there. She begged my older sister, that if there is another terrorist attack just prior to the election (as happened in Spain) that she would consider voting for Bush to send the terrorists a message that they can't intimidate us.
I was so proud of her! Oh, and she voted for Gore in 2000!
We're going to win this thing. (Crossposted to Kerry Haters)
About The Name
I realize it may be off-putting to some, so an explanation is in order. On Usenet, I originally posted under my own name. The problem with that, I found, was the amount of spam I received. So I started posting using the somewhat self-deprecating sounding nickname of Brain Death. I was given that name years earlier in a BBS chatroom for reasons that I won't go into here; believe it or not it was a compliment.
Anyway, the years go by and I begin to participate in a couple of IRC chatrooms. But often in those chatrooms, you will be disconnected, but the chatroom won't know it yet, so you name will still be on the screen. When you try to re-enter, the program will see that you are using a previously assigned name and kick you out. So Mirc, the program I use, asks you for a backup name. I chose Brainster as in the old Saturday Night Live gig where the guy next to the copy machine called everybody "The Mikester, Mikearoonius", etc.
Comes time to set up a blog and braindeath was already taken. GRRRR! So I just chose Brainster without thinking about it too much.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
I'm a big fan of bicycling. It's a great way to get exercise, it can be a lot of fun, and it's perfect for Phoenix, the city where I reside, because it's mostly flat and doesn't have a lot of wind.
That said, I've got to wonder about this comment from a reader on Andrew Sullivan's blog
The bicycle is, I'm all with you here, the ultimate form of transportation for us freedom lovers: complete reliance on oneself for getting the thing going, exercise while you go (instead of sitting in a car for hours and then paying to go to a gym to work off your laziness), no need for government registration and infinitely greater freedom in terms of where and when you can go.
I agree with most of what he says, but the last part is just bizarre. I don't have infinitely greater freedom in terms of where or when I can go on my bicycle as compared to my car. I can't ride in the rain, I can't decide to take a trip up to Sedona for the afternoon, and I'm not all that comfortable about riding after dark, even with reflectors and a twinkler clipped to my belt. Cars offer much more freedom, which is why this is an automobile society.
Dead Air America Part Deux
Like everybody else, I gave this a listen the first day and haven't tuned in since. I realized today that perhaps this was not a good idea, since Franken & Company probably expected it. So I thought I'd give them another chance.
If anything, it's worse than I remembered. They seem to have gotten comfortable with the fact that they suck. Franken talks like he's on Quaaludes--very slow, with lots of uhs and you knows to spice things up. He even uhs on the station breaks: "And, uh, we'll be back, uh, with more of, uh...." You sure this is drug-free radio?
Apparently Henry Kissinger is getting the Ann Coulter treatment today as the "humorous" "guest". Sounds like Franken's trying to imitate him, by talking while breathing in. Of course, this renders him almost unintelligible, which may be a blessing. About the only thing I could understand was that Kissinger & Associates works with Al Qaeda on the PR side. The sidekick, Lampher, helps out by laughing like Ed McMahon on nitrous oxide. Of course, her laughter is like the sound of a nightingale compared to Franken's haaannnhaaannnhaannn.
They're claiming it's a lie that Bush inherited a recession. This is tedious as hell, and they immediately turn it around and claim what he actually inherited was "record" surpluses. Only 11 minutes left until Rush comes on, and I'm about to slit my wrists.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Can Anybody Stop These Tigers?
Apparently not the Blue Jays--the Tigers are 3-0. I suspect it was mid-May last year before they won their third game.
Something to Help You Sleep
On ebay now
Break Up the Tigers II
2-0, baby! The win was costly though, as the Tigers lost Dmitri Young for six weeks with a broken leg. Young was clearly Detroit's best player last year, in fact, probably their only good player. Young hit .297 in 2003 with 34 doubles, 7 triples and 29 homers.
Monday, April 05, 2004
Break Up the Tigers!
They start the season where they left off last year, winning 7-0. They have now won six of their last seven games. Could this be the greatest single-season turnaround in baseball history? Just for kicks, I thought I'd figure out what team holds that current title. It's the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks, who improved a full 35 games from 65-97 in their inaugural season to 100-62 the following year. The 1903 New York Giants, under John McGraw, won 36 more games than they had the prior year, but only lost 33 fewer, making their improvement 34.5 games in total. The Tigers would have to go 79-83 to top the Diamondbacks' turnaround; difficult but not inconceivable.
Kos' New Advertiser
Jeff Seeman is running in Ohio's District 16 against Ralph Regula. It seems like quite an uphill battle; in 2002, Regula won handily, getting 69% of the vote. Seeman probably figures he's doomed anyway, but this will buy him a little publicity, perhaps even some contributions from Kos' fans. He has this to say about the controversy:
"Our campaign has decided that because of the recent events we will step in and advertise on www.dailykos.com. We have made this decision for two reasons:
1) We firmly believe in the First Amendment and everyone's right to say whatever he or she chooses on their own website.
2) We refuse to allow our campaign to be bullied by the right wing like they bullied Kos' previous advertisers."
Of course, nobody says Kos did not have the right to say what he chooses on his website; just that there are consequences when one says things that are offensive.