30 June 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

With the first pick of the 2008 draft, the Chicago Bulls select, Derrick Rose, Memphis!

Well Bulls fans, these are the words you wanted to hear, but if I have my abacus right, this is the 6th or 7th time we're in a 3-year re-building plan. Forgive the heavy dose of doubt, but I'll just keep watching from the sidelines and wait for it to happen OR for Pax to get the ax.

Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, let me rock ya' Chaka Khan...

...right into the plastic surgeon. Wow, it's been a long time since the 80's hasn't it? Diggin' the gold mic bling though. She was at the Taste of Chicago. She should lay off the cannoli's.

And finally: It sure was nice for the Sox to take-part in the Pride Parade prior to playing Sunday night.
They did say they wanted to beat the pants off of the Cubs this weekend.

29 June 2008

So much for this, Sucks 5, Cubs 1

Wow. Marshall actually surprised me and pitched pretty damn well, but he got no run support. Ramirez was 0-for-the-series (13 or 14 ABs). No runs = No wins.

Thoroughly doubting what can happen at this point. I'm not going to blame the umpires, but when Lou got tossed, ESPN let slide that the Ump at 1st and behind the plate were minor-leaguers who were called up to allow the regular staff some vacation time. You have two first-place clubs going at it and you allow minor-leaguers? Wow.

We still stunk up the joint this weekend. If we can't win against the AL clubs than it might be nice to get to the World Series and lose. All the sports-radio idiots have got to stop talking about how we'll be so much better when we get back Soriano, Zambrano and Johnson. During the playoffs everyone has to play and be able to show up. If you can't show up during the middle of the season against your cross-town rivals, than I don't know what sort of motivation you need.

I guess the silver lining in these clouds is Jim Edmonds. Jesus. After hating this guy for so many years with the Cardinals, what a nice find and thanks to San Diego for cutting him loose.

28 June 2008

Ughagain, Sucks 6, Cubs 5

Well, I thought we were going to be better this afternoon. I mean, we have to win at least ONE at the mall-of-white-trashia. Aramis Ramirez who was unbeatable at Wrigley seems to have gone quiet.

Marmol giving up the homer just really hurt.

The good news is, we're having a house party tonight and everyone will get hammered. Maybe tomorrow? Eh, maybe not, we have Sean Marshall going against Buerhle.

27 June 2008

Ugh, Sucks 10, Cubs 3

After a rough series at home against the Orioles, we look absolutely horrible in Game 1 of the re-match. Although I didn't watch (I DO work) I hear Dempster looked bad as well.

I guess the only happy outcome is this. Further confirmation that A.J. is a pirate. A butt-pirate. Sort of apropos given it's Gay Pride Parade weekend.

Here's A.J. "tagging" Eric Patterson out. He IS kinda cute.

24 June 2008

George Carlin

I had the weirdest chill up my spine when I heard that he had died. First, I didn't hear about it until 5:30 when I got home tonight.

Second, last night, very late, I was burning his last HBO Comedy Special off of my DVR onto a DVD for my Mom and Dad. The special was back in March, but I've been dragging my butt getting it burned.

So very possibly, as I was burning his special, he was passing away. Very freaky odd.

I burned it onto the same disk I burned the most recent Dana Carvey special. Here's hoping lightening strikes twice. (I'm KIDDING!)

23 June 2008

Choo Choo Charlie

I thought that railroad "people" were supposed to be the masters of logistics. Logistics is defined as "The overall management of the way resources are moved to the areas where they are required".

On the 3:18 BNSF Metra EXPRESS tonight, we had to stop and pull over and wait because there was "freight train" traffic on the line. I was supposed to arrive at Aurora station at 4:13, but instead arrived at 4:35 and all subsequent trains were going to be delayed by at least 20 minutes.

Huh? They can move train cars all over massive train yards across America but somehow during express runs on the Metra, they need to pull over and stop? I'm assuming that the trainyard master was the one that gave the go-ahead for the freighter to take off down the tracks, so how did that not get communicated?

Go figure. No wonder why the rail systems for moving PEOPLE are dying and the only thing left on the tracks are goods and chemical waste.

Cubs 7, Sucks 1

Another fine display of the fire-power that is living within the walls of 1060 W. Addison.

Numbers sticking out in my head from last night's telecast.

* Dempster: 9-0 at home, first time in 50 or so years a Cub starter has done that
* 14 in a row: First time since 1936 a Cub team has done that
* .312: Cubs team batting average at home this year
* 8 out of last 9: Victorious Cubs v Sucks series
* A-Ram has hit more HR off Sucks pitching than any other player in the AL. He went 6 for 13 with 4 HR, and 8 RBI in the series. That's your NL player of the week.

Now, this could all change next week at the Joan where the Sucks have been as dominant and where the Cubs are just under .500 on the road. So all of these wins are for naught unless we win at LEAST one game there.

I really like the slim and trim running Cubs. Fukudome, Patterson, Johnson, Theriot all have great speed and it looks like Lou is sorting out how to use it effectively. Hit and runs are beautiful when executed properly.

How were the rats Ozzie? As big as pigs? Surely even _they_ kicked your ass this weekend. Sorry Cubs ownership couldn't hold the State of Illinois hostage 20 years ago by threatening to go to Tampa-St. Pete to get a bright new shiny stadium, where, if you don't hit a specific attendance, rent is only $1 a year.

I guess that's how you roll though. See you Friday!

21 June 2008

Cubs 11, Sucks 7

A 9-run 4th inning that started and ended with Jim Edmond's HR's.

Hi Ozzie!! How's it going?

Cubs 4, Sucks 3

Walk off home runs are probably the best thing in sports. Aramis Ramirez, you're the best!

Keep bringing it, Sox.

18 June 2008

Notes from the road

In my taxi from LaGuardia to the upper East side, we were driving down the FDR and there a guy in a white BMW cranking Rammstein. Sweet.

Both taxis I was in today had interactive units in them that let you watch on a gps map where you are going PLUS you can see the fare + tolls and then pay by swiping your credit card through it.

I bought a I "heart" New York magnet for my cube to reinforce the positive attitude one has to have when dealing with our clients here.

What's Up Doc?

Last night, Glenn "Doc" Rivers coached the Celtics to the NBA Championship.

Now, THAT'S a Marquette Warrior for ya'.

The last team to go from worst to first was the '77 Trail Blazers, the same year Marquette won the NCAA's. Of course Doc had nothing to do with either of those as he was in grade school in Chicago.

There were TWO Marquette alums as head coaches this year. Doc and Jim Boylan who was fired from the Bulls. Jim actually did play in '77 for the Warriors.

Two alums, going in two different directions this year.

Congrats Doc!!! You deserve it.

The Cubbies are coming, tra-la, tra-la

Courtesy of my friend Don Prabish and his magic fingers in Photoshop..... The countdown is on. See you at Wrigley!

Hi Ozzie: Can't wait to hear your rants!

17 June 2008

Very cool pictures and technology

Had this sent to me by some AFC Wimbledon fans as, well, it's Chicago and I AM the Chicago Womble! Other pictures at this site were shot at over 1 Gigapixel in quality. Use the zoom functioning and you can see actual human beings standing in the Shedd Aquarium (lower left).

Cool and fun. Check out Machu Picchu and Sydney, Australia


Cubs Hall of Fame Game

Unfortunately the Hall of Fame game (this would have been the 69th ever and it was the LAST one that would have been played) was cancelled today (06/16/08).

But I believe the Cubs would have missed a fantastic opportunity to make a statement to both the Hall, the writers and the league. Although the game wasn't to be televised, what a wonderful thing it would have been to at least come out for the start of the game with every single player wearing the number 10!

Ron Santo belongs in the Hall. This isn't just a bandwagon jumper saying it, I truly believe it. His numbers rivaled Brooks Robinson (AL's most notable 3rd basemen during the same time) but because he played when Brooks played, he just is over-shadowed. It's insane how he's been screwed over so many times by the writers and then most recently by the veterans committee.

Even if the Cubs would do it for batting practice it would have been significant. It would be nice if, WHEN they make the World Series they come out for BP wearing #10's EVERY DAY!! Send the message.

This Old Cub
Santo Debate

Are the Blackhawks for real???

I heard the news today old boy. The Hawks have brought back the modern "voice of the Hawks" Pat Foley to the broadcast booth.

So let me get this right. Home games on t.v., dedicated team building and efforts to bring back the fans and now, the screech of "he's scores"? I'm about to wet my pants with excitement.

I'm sorry. I know many people in Chicago who are affiliated with the organization loved Wm. Wirtz, but no one can deny that the 180 that's going on isn't probably the most significant sports story to come out of the franchise in over 25 years. Rocky Wirtz, I may need to shake your hand if and when I see you. You truly are going to reap the benefits of this.

16 June 2008

My First Father's Day

I never thought it'd be this great. Although the morning started with a violent thunderstorm with high winds, the day cleared up quite quickly and the waking of my son, Aidan with a huge smile to my face, just really sunk in.

At school (daycare) a couple days before, he came home and had green paint on his feet. I know they do a lot of crazy things over there, but I was sort of irritated that they didn't clean them well enough to send him home. Of course, on Friday when I got home after a really crappy day at the office, to see the green footprints on a picture frame that had a poem about how he wanted to follow in my footsteps, it just brought a tear to my eye.

What an amazing day and just to see him so happy. I can only hope he stays happy and I help keep him happy for many years to come.

15 June 2008

Aidan's First Baseball Game

What a great sight! We chose this game as Aidan's first Minor League Baseball game because it was the night before Father's Day and it was also a fireworks night. Kane County Cougar fireworks nights are quite amazing.

We got there early as we had lawn seats (gen. admission) and so you have to claim your territory like an old 49er as quickly as possible. Aidan seemed to be interested in everything around him as his head just kept turning as other people, kids and noises would go by him.

Of course, Daddy had to make sure he ran with Aidan in his arms to get the first picture with Ozzie Cougar.
Too bad Daddy forgets to take off the shades!!
Just a great night out and of course, he stayed awake to exhaustion (which ended up being the 7th inning). He slept through the fireworks, including the loud conclusion. Go figure. Cougars lost 6-1.

13 June 2008

Oh what a choke!

I just finished watching the Lakers blow a 24-point lead over the Celtics in Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

How fantastic. Kobe just really went flat after the first half. I'm not quite sure if it was over-confidence that they had such a lead or just fantastic defense by Paul Pierce. Either way it clearly exposed that beyond Kobe the rest of the team is immature and doesn't have the guts to step up. Derek Fisher couldn't be found and at the end, the total collapse of any form of Laker defense just screwed them.

Good on ya', Celtics! Keep it up, your championship is just around the corner. 0 of 28 teams have come back from 3-1 down. Of course, your 24-point comeback also had never been done so don't get too cocky otherwise you could be on the receiving end of history as well.

11 June 2008

Are we still in the rebuilding years?

The Chicago Bulls announced Vinny Del Negro as the 17th head coach of the club today. What??

Talk about a franchise continuing to go in the wrong direction. I hope that by sometime next February I can look back at this post and say how WRONG I was, but there's just no way possible I think that's something you can take odds on.

The continued lack by John Paxson of bringing in significant talent to the organization at ANY level really makes this his swan song if it doesn't pay off.

The Bulls hit the magic lottery and have the #1 pick in the upcoming draft, but that poor pick is going to show up to the Berto Center and see that he's playing for someone who has never coached in the NBA in his life, played on a college team AFTER they won the NCAA (he missed being there by one year) and most recently was an Assistant GM for the Phoenix Suns who traded for a tired, old Shaquille O'Neal who plays post-up ball when the club is a run-and-gun team.

Pax, you'll forever be the guy I remember hitting the outside jumpers to clinch a couple Bulls championships, but seriously, you're in way over your head.

06 June 2008

How NOT to start a fire...

  • Every year we head down to Indianapolis for the 500. (fast cars = good times)
  • Every year we venture just northeast of the city to Chuck and Cynthia Fice's house for some drinks and socialization. (don't use your GPS, it won't find it properly)
  • Every year Chuck has a bonfire in his backyard just under the telephone lines. (still haven't burnt them down).
  • Every year Tom throws a little "help" on the fire to get it started. (he has good medical at his job)
  • Every year, we worry someone will burn themselves, but not this year!!! (we say that every year)
  • Watch the ground just as it gets lit.
  • That's the danger of using "help" when starting a huge bonfire.

No animals were harmed in this video. Twigs, branches and logs...absolutely!

05 June 2008

Can they charge me a Fuel Surcharge?

So in my taxi back to Onion Station my cabbie was driving a Toyota Hybrid. First time I've really ridden in one to be honest.

Kinda small and on an 88 degree humid day in Chicago, he took the engine efficiency to the extreme by not putting on the Air.

So I chat with him about the Interactive display that he has on his dash. It shows when its burning fuel v when the rechargeable battery is engaged. It also shows estimated miles left in the tank/battery combo as well as his MPG.

Dude was getting 48.7 mpg!! Pretty cool, even if I was sweating and rolled my window down to street-level.

Then it dawned on me that I still had to pay the $1.00 fuel surcharge as authorized by Da' Mayor. SHOULD I really have to pay when the impact is minimized by technology??

I guess the only remaining thought in my head is that he had no dividing glass in his cab. To that end I do fear for his safety down the road.

Thanks Nana Ogundala for the ride. It was informative and damp.

All Good Things...

For the first time in 10 games, the Cubs lost tonight, 2-1. After nine straight games of massive Cubs offense, a four-hitter by San Diego brought it to an end. Why did we let Greg Maddux go AGAIN? JK, he's too old now and I'm happy with the staff at hand.

Unfortunately, once again, Ted Lilly just can't get the run support when he pitches but I really can't complain. We're 16 above .500 and have a 3 game lead in the division. True Cub fans are still waiting for the shoe to drop though.

I continue to look forward to the next couple of months.

03 June 2008

Bo Diddley, was a Man

That's spelled M-A-N.
Bo Diddley, born Ellas Bates, 12/30/1928 - 06/02/2008

Talk about a prolific writer and publisher of music as well as someone who shaped the sound of rock and roll.

I can't even write out how many rockers were influenced, but given the Rolling Stones and the Who are in the list, does one really need to go through the list?

I had the privilege of meeting Bo back in 1991 when a club called the Blue Note in Oak Forest opened up. At the time our agency was booking all of the acts there and he got booked in for one special night. I got to go into the backstage area and shake his hand.

If I could have had 30 minutes with the man, I have no idea what the hell I'd ask him. Would I have asked him about the start of Chess Records or how his guitar riffs ended up on so many songs from Buddy Holly to Roxette?

Although he will be missed, it's important to point out that the Chicago Blues Fest starts this Thursday in Grant Park. I imagine there will be plenty of tributes and covers of his songs, especially on Sunday when B.B. King takes the stage. How fitting that it's the first time in 20 years that he'll be at the Fest.

Before I close, I had my brushes with greatness in the Blues world when I was in 6th Grade. I played basketball for Fairview Grade School and we had a game against Westmont Grade School. They had a kid named Joe Morganfield who played. He was one of many of Muddy Waters' kids. So at 11 years old, I found out about the blues. Especially when Joe kicked my ass up and down the court!!

02 June 2008

It's Election-time, the nuts are out!!

I actually watched with laughter at the Fr. Michael Pfleger sermon video from Trinity United Church of Christ. I'm sure most everyone who cares has seen this.

I dunno. I mean, I think he kind of hit it on the spot with respect to Clinton*. Sure I'm supporting Obama, but the people screaming the most about this are those who just know it's true. Clearly what has driven Barack's decision to quit this church though is the reactions from the congregation behind and around this sermon.

As a Roman Catholic, actually, if I was able to go hear lively and robust sermons like this (well, maybe not EXACTLY like this), I might even go to church more often. The Catholic Church has gotten boring over time. I'm almost 42 now, and you can only hear the same stories over and over and over so many times. I'm also not encouraging preachers and Priests to start campaigning. We've had enough focus on religion in our politicians long enough now. In fact, I think that with Bush, we've seen TOO MUCH religion being used in political decisions and speeches.

Of course, then there's THIS lovely lady from New Yawk.

It's not going her way and so it's a conspiracy. She's bitching to the press and then when the press asks her her name and how to spell it, she thinks it's the CIA or FBI?? Wow, get out of the bunker Harriet.

I guess she's the latest to find out (very late in life) that the political parties do whatever they hell they want to do. Let's see, the whole SUPER DELEGATE creation is a manipulation which allows the Democratic party to over-ride whatever the popular vote says. You have Super Delegates whose entire district overwhelmingly voted for Obama (including one from Washington DC, a predominantly African-American city), yet their white SD boldly proclaims on the national news that they are voting for Hillary who is a much better candidate.

Since the start of this fine nation, the Electoral College overrides the popular vote. Now, in all but four elections, the candidate with the most populist votes was confirmed by the college. John Quincy Adams, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush were all lucky dogs who lost the popular vote, but still became President.

So summing up, you have a Primay Election process whereby popular vote may not mean a lot since there's so many Super Delegates they will put whatever candidate they want in place to run in a National Election where, the popular vote could potentially fall to the Electoral College, another group of "super delegates" who cast their votes however they want. Are we really that far from a Monarchy? clearly we're DIFFERENT than one, but in the end, 538 people truly choose our President.

*I definitely don't agree with his views on guns or entitlement with respect to other immigrant families in America