Friday, March 28, 2008

The Endless Cycles of Man lived through Baseball Season.

In all of my 24 years of life, I've had the privilege of 24 seasons of Milwaukee Brewers baseball. And not one of them ended in a playoff berth. Sure, we've come close, what with all those years in the 80's when we were certainly good enough, but played in that godforsaken "traditional" playoff setup, where only two teams from each conference made the playoffs.

But this year will be different. No, that's no casual or even causal optimism. That's rock-solid fact. (Fact as it pertains to me) This year, we're deeper, faster, stronger, and many other adjectives that describe our physical superiority over the Chicago Cubs. This year we'll break through. I've not wanted many things in my life, except to see my three "teams" (Bucks, Packers, Brewers) win a championship. Well, we got 1 of those 3 out of the way, and the Bucks came damn close in 2001, but alas, Father Time is chipping away at me, and my teams haven't gotten much closer. If anything, the Bucks seem to be hell-bent on going the opposite direction.

But yes, this year will be different. This will finally be the year, when I'll have something meaningful to watch on television in September that isn't soon-to-be-canceled pilots (Homeboys in Outer Space, anyone?) or football. I know the Brewers will probably get swept out of the first round by some big spender, but it doesn't matter, because they'll have finally taken my playoff virginity.

This year will also bring another year of Neddy "Ballgame" Yost's managerial strategies. Having nothing to do in the off-season except watch the gentleman's sport that is NASCAR, Yost had some time to think. By thinking, I mean he decided to start batting the pitcher 8th and the cather 9th in the lineup. I'll let you decide whether or not that actually constituites thinking. The idea, in theory, is that Jason Kendall will act as a second leadoff hitter. Oh, Neddy Ballgame, what moron would bad Jason Kendall leadoff in the first place? Oh, wait, it actually happened in Pittsburgh. A team that hasn't exactly set the gold standard for quality baseball the past 15 years or so. In any case, it should be an interesting season, in which I drag many friends and comrades to the bleachers in order to discuss the finer points of the suicide squeeze, and which I remind Michael A. Ritmanich of his misguided scouting report of Bill E. Hall in 2002: "He's a bum! Get rid of him!"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Harry, pay attention!

A couple of things I've been working on in my random time.

Man was once a part of this. We used to be living in the bushes just like animals, eating twigs and berries. Our primordial instincts are still here, of course, but the absurdity of the modern human condition has dulled our ability to kill and forage for meat.
What’s the best way to catch to animals?
Well, why do you want to catch them?
So we can kill them!
No, no, why would you want to kill nature? Nature’s like the endless bounty that we’re all living off of.
MAN 1:
What, so if some crazy bear started attacking you in the woods, are you saying you wouldn’t want to kill the bear first so that you wouldn’t have to worry about him coming after you in the future?
HARRY:Why, did I offend him or something, why’s he coming after me?
MAN 1: Well, he’s hungry, he’s--
HARRY: And why does the bear have to be crazy? Why can’t he be like Yogi Bear or the Coca-Cola bears or something, just sitting around drinking coke and stealing food?
HARRY: It’s about, uh,
5:43 P.M. right about now, and we’re waiting for a confirmation sighting of the very rare Great White Owl. Some of the local townspeople have reported a very large predatory bird attacking cats and small dogs.

The balance between Man and Nature has been somewhat blurred in recent years as man has become ever more invasive and technologically advanced. No longer are there reaches of the globe where animals may hide from Man, for he is, truly, everywhere.
Throughout my life, many people have asked me what exactly it is that attracts me to the Natural World of animals? To that query, I would respond that it is the simplistic nature of the Natural World. Eat, sleep, breed, kill, and so forth. Instintive lives, indeed. No confusion about picking a career, having to pay bills, and so forth.
To understand the unique relationship between human and animal, we have decided to invite local naturalist Josiah Milne. Mr. Milne has been an observer of nature and the like.

(I will work on more when I find the time.)

Monday, January 07, 2008


...who likes 'em? They're loud, noisy, intrusive, and generally more destructive than an uninvited guest.

But tornadoes in January? Had one today. There's something wrong about it being about 15 degrees with 2o inches of snow one week. Then five days later, we're sitting in 55 degree weather and under siege from a wayward militia of tornadoes.

I can't help feeling that life is a lot like a tornado. Really, we're at the center of it, so we're more or less in the "eye" of it. I.(eye)e. we lack perspective about what's going on around us as everything is really spinning around and revolving around us. And what a destructive path we create, yeah?

I'm just rambling really, but I wanted to renew this blogging post, because now things are starting to gain steam in my life. Finally got a job, after coming off the bench at Best Buy for a few weeks, and got me some benefits. No one has explained what these 'benefits' really are, but I can only imagine they involve usage of the executive washroom and/or handjobs. But yeah, I've blown (another tornado reference, in case you missed the earlier paragraph as I write this in real-time) through another phase of life, and now I find myself face-to-face with the working world. What exactly will go down, I don't really know. I'm kind of in a weird place, really. Had a plan on what I wanted to do with my life, but when I found out it's, uh, a little hard to do the job I wanted to, I was stuck scrambling like so many quarterbacks in Tecmo Super Bowl before they were flattened into a pixellated mess.

It's a tough thing to wrap your mind around, when you consider that really, your entire childhood, high-school, and college years are behind you. When you're a kid, you sort of live in this little mindset of everything that you see/experience as a youngster is really what you form everything else that happens in your life around. You're in high school, and you think man, this is NOW, as if everything that you've ever done has led up to this point. You dreamed about high school, saw it in countless episodes of Full House and Saved by the Bell and couldn't wait for the 6 years of prom dances, and 8 years of Urkel. ('cos we all know that in TV people age just a little bit better, just look at Zach Morris and his 5 years of freshmen years)

Doesn't really work that way, I guess. But it's weird how what seemed to important at one point, what seemed to be the only thing that was of any significance, which was being in high school or middle school or college, now is just another notch on your lifespan, just like when you were in kindergarten or first grade, or at one of Polley's famous sleepovers.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where did you go Joe DiMaggio?

Apparently he's in the business of pre-empting my blog posts with headline titles for himself.

So I'm waiting for my stupid animation project to finish compiling the last oh, say, 1700 frames. So in the meantime, I thought I would re-activate this do-hickey blogging thingamjig.

Looking at my last post, the unabridled optimism that was the Brewers early season start has, as I'm sure my loyal readers know, evaporated into an unacceptable victory for the Chicago Cubs. As a result, armies are massing on the border and diplomatic hyperbole has been ramped up to level four.

So, long story short, sportswriting wasn't my bag. Which has left me with the enduring question of how best to utilize my talents (or lack of) in the quote, unquote, "real world" after I graduate in two months. To this question, I've given quite a bit of thought. From A (astronaut) to Z (zucchini, not quite the job security you'd like, what with the changes of being eaten constant, and the large amounts of time spent underground) I've taken the question on. Let's look at several job possibilities:

Position: Constable/Public Destroyer.
Pay: feeble, but public benefits such as graft and bribes are endless.
Benefits: Besides being able to wop anyone I want on the head with a nightstick? I get to wear a snazzy uniform and one of this little bowler hats. I could also wear my stab vest to formal occasions.
Drawbacks: Might actually have to work one day.

Position: Video Game Superhero.
Pay: Gi-normous. Look at that coke-pad that Mario's rolling around in. He's got all the linguini (drugs) and princesses (women) that anyone could want. Truly the American dream to be an overweight plumbing pop-culture icon with a flunky brother.
Benefits: Good health and life insurance (infinite lives and solid fireball protection plan) and not to mention all those coins and rupees lying around the video game universe.
Drawbacks: Must be able to lift 50-75 pounds.

Position: Arun D. Antonyraj, Musician, teacher, and political commentator.
Pay: Moderate, but emotionally fulfilling.
Benefits: Between the endless amounts of Macintosh software and paraphanelia lying around, to the ability to work with musical instruments constantly. Position of power and influence, as many young minds seem to fall under the tutelage of the many Arun Antonyraj's that populate our schools.
Drawbacks: Might collaspe under weight of delusions of grandeur.

So, those are the three main positions I'm considering right now. I have many job offers on my doorstep. I mean, can't a man walk down the street without being offered a job? Come on, now...

Where did you go Joe DiMaggio?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Brewers 12, Mets 3

My lord, is JJ Hardy on fire. I don't know which alien body-snatcher has taken over his body, but I like this new version of JJ Hardy just fine, thank you. It's almost gotten to the point where his numbers are just silly. No scouts looking at Hardy expect him to hit more than 15 homers in a season, yet already he's at 11, tied for first in the NL (with Prince Fielder, of course). His grand salami today couldnt' have come at a better time, as the Mets had chipped away at our 4-run lead and we had Matt Wise and his changeups on the mound. Between him and Prince, they've carried the team in the early run, although it was nice to see Bill Hall finally get some hits and get that anemic average up to .273.

Just imagine, if the Brewers can get Weeks and Hall going while Hardy and Fielder are still hot (they have to slow down sometime, don't they?) the nos. 1 through 4 in our order would be absolutely devastating. Then throw in another home-grown Brewer in Geoff Jenkins (who's having an underrated season so far), and you have one of those rare line-ups that's totally home-grown. Contrast that against some teams like the Mets or Yankees, and you can see firsthand how good of a job that the Brewers are doing in developing players. Still'd be nice to see Melvin add a bat or two to the lineup, Counsellino isn't getting the job done lately, although today they worked pretty well.

Anyways, the Cubs predictably lost (again) and so our lead's up to 8 games now. We're pretty mcuh guranteed of having at least some share of the NL Central lead until the end of this month!

Go Crew!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Starting tomorrow (after I watch Pan's Labyrinth and the Fountain tonight), this blog will take the format of a sports blog about all things Milwaukee Brewers. Thanks to their 24-10 start, I'm feeling like the "touch" is coming back. By touch, I mean the 95 mile-per-hour fastball that is blogging.

Go Brew Crew!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Brewers Blow game to Reds.

Why would anyone in their right mind put Greg Aquino in that situation? Where was Matt Wise? The play-by-play stiffs on FSN, Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder, claimed that he wasn't available for the third day in a row, so why not just intentionally walk Brandon Phillips and then let Shouse pitch to Hatteberg?

Let me set the stage for you, in case you didn't see the game yesterday. Brewers up 5-4, and after Villaneuva had let two men on base with nobody out, Yost brings in Brian Shouse. He brilliantly, and I mean BRILLIANTLY, strikes out Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey (of the Jr. variety) with nasty pitches (Dunn to the point where he slammed down his equipment in the dugout and let out a nice, loud, "BULLSHIT!"). Anyway, it's two down, two on base, and for some reason, Yost decides to bring in Aquino to face Brewer-killer Brandon Phillips (as the play-by-play guys stated, batted .411 against us last year), this of course backfires to the point where Aquino let in 5 runs and couldn't hit the strike zone, literally walking a run home with the bases loaded. Absolutely awful, there should've been someone, ANYONE, warming up in the bullpen. I was screaming at the tv for the Brewers to get that bozo out of there. He hasn't been very good this year so far, and, outside of one outing where he struck out the side, he hasn't looked much different from Jose Cappellen thus far.

Let's look at the Brewers bullpen to see who else was available and could've gotten the job done:

Matt Wise-usually the 7th inning his job, but apparently he was "unavailable"
Derrick Turnbow-I'd hate to bring him in the 7th inning, because whenever he pitches for more than an inning is usually trouble, but if we get out of that 7th inning jam, they've got the bottom of the order coming up, and possibly we could bring the 8th to Cordero.
Francisco Cordero-Closer. I would save him for the 9th. I don't believe the crap that you bring your best guy in for the 7th inning, if so, then who faces the heart of the order in the 9th?
Elmer Dessens-I'd be tempted to suggest him, but after seeing him give up another two runs in the 8th inning, when we needed a hold, no way.
Brian Shouse-should've left him in.

Here's a suggestion that might seem out of left field, but why not bring in a starter who's in the middle of their five day resting period? Even if it's for only one or two outs, it's still basically the same pitch count as the bullpen session they normally throw? Imagine sticking Cappy in there or even Suppan. Give them 20-25 pitches, and you get out of the jam, stick Turnbow in the 8th, Cordero in the 9th, and bam, the Reds never recover first place.