Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Raining Votes

(From NYT's site here)

Call me prejudiced or close-minded or whatever you deem fitting, but this picture just does it for me. This is Mr. Obama speaking to a huge crowd of folks in Philly on Tuesday at Widener University.

How can you not vote for this guy? A landslide not happening? Inexcusable.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Gods Are Smiling on Philly!

Proof that prayers can be answered... after 25 years.

n.b.: Best play of the night, Game 5 Part #2?
Utley fielding grounder, faking to first, gunning to home to get the Rays' Bartlett out at home. How can a person think, act, & execute so quickly?
Wow! Estimated 3 million people expected at parade in Philly on Friday. Kids going to school that day? Fugedaboutit.

Next thing up? Tuesday. Voting time.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pass me the Bromo...

The Big Four, Politics, Baseball, Fox TV, and Paranoia all came together last night in Philly. In a game that should never even have started and then in a game that was peculiarly stopped half-way through an inning in which the Tampa Bay Rays were allowed to tie a game against the Phillies, Fear and Loathing officially opened a chapter in baseball.
Was it a coincidence that McCain/Palin flew into Philadelphia around 9:00 pm last night and then the rain at Citizens Bank Park really starting pouring down? Was it true about the unconfirmed reports of the (In The) Straight(s) Talk campaign plane circling the field before landing and seeding the clouds? Is it true that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is one of the most stupid and socially challenged human beings ever to don a sloppy suit? Is it true about Billy Penn's curse? Will the Phillies, up 3-1 in games and needing just one more victory, collapse under the weight of Selig, McCain, Palin, and Fox TV jumping on them because the city favors Obama? Time for a Congressional investigation and for me to cut down on my coffee intake.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Meanwhile, Back Home...

...on Sunday morning, The Anchorage Daily News was delivered to folks' homes with the announcement that the paper endorsed That One for president. Wonder, if someone's going to be canceling their subscription.
It will not be a happy situation for her upon her return. The Democrats who had worked with her as governor may be a tad annoyed at the the bashing she's been giving Obama in particular and Dem's in general. I wouldn't count on her return to power in Juneau to being a success story.
When does helicopter hunting season start, anyway?

...don't be hatin' on Alaskans because of one non-native Alaskan.


Dis, Dat, or the Other

You have a choice.

Red State version, or

Blue State version.

Either is available, among other places, at Cafe Press.


When You Don't Need...



Thursday, October 23, 2008

House Rich

Joe Biden, one of Delaware's US senators and one of the Senate's "poorest" members had the acquisition and ownership of his main source of personal wealth, his one house, i.e. home, investigated and questioned. He came out clean, as he had stated from the get go.

That other VP nominee? Seems not that much has been done as regards investigation of her $1.4 Million in assets. Funny, that. Would that be termed as picking on her? David C Johnston, former tax policy reporter for the New York Times, lists 10 questions he thinks should be posed to the Republican VP candidate. Another chink from her "hockey mom" armor may fall off, now that we know she's been clothed in Neiman Marcus. Any reporter out there going to ask her?

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Palin Curse. Phlyers Believe.

On this day, when a candidate, not an elected official mind you, dropped the opening puck of the 2008-2009 NHL season, the Flyers did not have a losing record. When VP Candidate Palin dropped the puck in Philly prior to the Rangers-Phlyers game, to an ever louder crescendo of boos, the Phlyers had not yet lost a game.

That was 12 days ago.

As of last night, they are 0 and 6. Believe it. The Republican VP candidate has put a curse on you, Philly. Luckily, she was not in attendance at any Phillies games.

Go Phils!

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Thursday's NYT

Two interesting bits from today's NYT.

This house is one that could most definitely keep me house-bound. Why go out? Why go to work? Why leave, ever? Catch the slide show included in the article.

The other article? It concerns NY governor David Paterson's aide. "Charles J. O’Byrne, (who), despite an annual income of about $100,000 and an Ivy League education, could not bring himself to undertake the task of filling out his tax forms every year. Mr. O’Byrne and his doctor have described him as clinically depressed during that period".
His lawyers, defending his non-actions with the IRS have brought up something called late-filing syndrome. Per the NYT, "Late-filing syndrome, sometimes known as nonfiling syndrome or failure-to-file syndrome, is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A spokeswoman for the American Psychiatric Association said that the group does not recognize it as a psychiatric condition".

Is it any wonder that the legal and the mental health professionals are not held in the highest regard by the majority of the populace? As a reluctant annual filer, not a tear of sympathy, not a drop of empathy go this fellow's way. $100,000 annually and he's not filing? Give me a break. Depression is completely understandable, but to concoct a syndrome for not filing, especially at the income level that the fellow's in?

...and let's not talk about Mr. O’Byrne's misuse of a government credit card. ("Questions about another aspect of Mr. O’Byrne’s finances arose on Wednesday based on a report in The Daily News that he had recently charged $935 in restaurant meals in Manhattan to his state-issued credit card, including visits to Commerce in Greenwich Village and Cookshop in Chelsea.")

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What's Wrong With This Picture?

The fielding-maligned Phillie Ryan Howard snags one two rows deep in the Tampa Bay Rays' stadium for an inning ending out.

This play has been one of the most talked about events of last night's 3-2 Phillie victory. Sports talk radio hosts and callers have been yapping most of this morning about the TB Rays' fans and their, uhmm...."lack of commitment". A typical caller opined that, "This (The Catch) would never happen in Philly. Come on! An opposing player making a play in a sea of Philly Phans? No F*%$ing way! (he was beeped out when in full throat delivery). He'd have his arm broken and his glove removed."
Another phan simply stated that if a Tampa Bay first baseman tried that play in Philly said first baseman would have been mugged. Regardless of the fact that fans are paying $3,500+ for those choice seats? Fugetaboutit! (Hmmm, why isn't "fugetaboutit" listed here as well?) Money's nothing when Philly's hometown honor is at stake.

I'm happy with 1 win out of 2 in Tampa Bay; don't want to be greedy about tonight. Saturday, it's Philly time. Keep your hands cupped closely to your children's ears. Philly-speak will rule. For a true fell of the game go here and then click on the Philly station 1210 AM (WPHT-AM) to listen to the Phillies' announcers. A World Series demands a partisan set of announcers.


At Ease

(On the New Hampshire primary trail)

(In a Philly barbershop, sometime in 2008)

Just two of many excellent photographs from this site. Callie Shell is the photographer.

TOTH to Delawhere for the link.

Click on each picture for a larger view


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Second Time Around

In my own little private imaginary world where I envision our country reclaiming its honor in the court of world opinion and re-establishing its place as an example to follow not to heed, this man will be re-appointed to the Secretary of State position in the change of regime to come. He does have the experience. He does have the respect. He does deserve a chance to wipe the scum and slime dumped on his character by the Cheney/Rumsfield ogre.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is She Stupid or Deluded? Seriously. I'd Love to Know.

Just one more quick post today...

A commenter to this post, normalasf put it succinctly and put it the best after viewing this YouTube of VP Candidate Sarah Palin.

She hurts my brain.

n.b. Remember that Anne Kilkenny e-mail regarding her take on fellow Wasillan (Wasillian? Wasillate?) S. Palin? You were kinda hoping it was all true but also dreading that it was just another viral e-mail going around spreading dirt and manure.
Well,, the non-politically affiliated fact checker outer site has jumped in with their take. All that mud-slinging? Well, it is mostly true. So, that cringe you were holding back? Have at it, man!


Matthew Ryan, Raw Voiced Wonder

Matthew Ryan, born in Chester, PA, raised in Wilmington, Delaware gave his hometown fans a memory-packed concert on Friday, October the 17th. Review to follow shortly. If he's in your neighborhood, run to the venue. Then catch your breath for a fabulous performance.

Other YouTube performances are here, here, and here.

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Home Made Obama

(linked from The Guardian) A short Barack Obama bio by Guest Podcaster Jeffrey Lewis.

Mr. Lewis is an American musician/comic artist/protest artist who hangs around within an interesting musical circle, lately having opened for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks on their recent European tour. Mr. Lewis' site is here.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Weekend

I had a chance to marvel at Etran Finatawa performing last weekend at an international festival in Pittsburgh. The group had formed with 10 members and is now down to a more compact 5, which was still large enough to fill the small venue with their distinctive sounds. The band members actively encouraged audience members to dance. At one point, one of the singers asked if the audience was tired. Thinking, perhaps, that he was referring to our mood regarding the group's music, we loudly responded, "Non!" (The group's from Niger, a former French colony).
"Well, then," he slyly continued, "Why aren't you dancing?"

This Sunday, October 19th, I'll be d.j-ing a next-to-last show for the 2008 year, on WVUD, 91.3 FM, the University of Delaware's student/community radio station. You can also listen to the show, The Morning After, on the internet as well. I'll be playing selections from Etran Finatawa's CD "Desert Crossroads" in addition to some Iguanas, Toumani Diabete, Southside Johnny, and some other surprises. So tune in, if you've got a bit of time on your hands and curiosity in your ears. Sunday morning, 9:00 to 12:00 EST on WVUD.

10/21/08: Playlist for Sunday's (10/19/08) show has been updated and is viewable here.

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It's Over...

...and I'm not talking about that thing happening in L.A. tonight...that would be jinxing it. Today's piece in ponders the Q. of Which John McCain will be showing up for the last presidential debate of this campaign year, to be held at Hofstra University.

The way McCain's campaign is shifting week-to-week and now day-to-day, I'm expecting an attack-type conversation.
With a twist.

McCain's started with attacking Congress, where he's been since 1982, first as a 2 term Representative and then as Senator.
Then, McCain started attacking his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, an expected move of the oppositional party.
Next, he attacked the 2 term Republican president, George Bush, the latter now being the epitome of the lame duck president.
Who's left?
Without attacking his running mate for her "Do as I pontificate not as I execute" manner, there's only one choice. IMHO, McCain's campaign is now desperate enough to go through with it.
McCain will attack McCain tonight, concentrating on the 90% voting-with-Bush McCain and the "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." McCain, and the out-of-left-field-picking-VP Candidate McCain.
It should be interesting. Who but McCain knows McCain? Who but McCain can hold up both sides of the conversation against himself? This will give him the opportunity to get up from the table and walk around as he is prone to do, evidenced by the town hall debate, and explain it as getting into the character of the other McCain (whichever one that is).
Most importantly, by McCain taking on McCain, McCain will be able to neutralize the performance of Mr. Obama. How can Obama speak if there are two McCains wrestling with each other for talking time?
I predict that 45 minutes into the debate, McCain will wrestle the other McCain to the ground and we'll have a Greco-Roman bout for the debate's conclusion. My bet's on McCain....uhhhh, the one on the right. I think.
He will achieve the impossible. A triumphant defeat.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canada, Philly Says, "Yo! Thanks!"

For Game #4 of the NLCS, Philly gives you a pop on the shoulder for this guy.

The moment, explained.

Phillies 3 games
Dodgers 1 game

Only one to go
For the Biggest Show.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Hockey Mum

(Photo from the Philadelphia Inquirer)

The short of it is Philly is great!
The details of a VP candidate's visit to the City of Brotherly Love for a Flyers game are as follows.

She was booed. (from the article) " At times, Republicans attending the event and protesters confronted one another.

"They are hooligans," said Bucks County restaurateur and McCain supporter Andrew Abruzzese, after he flashed a peace sign at protesters, who responded with raised middle fingers. Another Republican complained of being jostled.

Of Palin's rise from PTA activist to City Council to mayor to governor to vice presidential candidate, Abruzzese said: "You couldn't get a more natural progression than that."

Several Republican attendees complained of the protesters' vulgarity, especially in light of recent criticism of the behavior of people at McCain-Palin rallies.

Outside on Broad Street, waiting for Palin to leave, one man was heard saying: "Let's stone her, old school.
" Under the Phlyers owner's, Ed Snider, orders the booing was deliberately drowned out by loud music. Mr. Snider is a staunch Palin supporter, leaning somewhat right of Attila the Hun.

But, Philadelphians, exercising their Freedom of Speech and their lungs let Palin have it, sending a not overly subtle message to the Phlyers's owner that they weren't pleased about politics being brought into the hockey season opening day ceremony. Political divides were set by where you sat, it seems. The soon to be renamed Wachovia center became the Roman Coliseum for one night. Should Palin be thrown to the wolves? The fans decided quite loudly that the answer was "Yes".

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Iguanas

Pure Kismet.
The Iguanas will be playing at one of the finest venues in the Philly area, WXPN's World Cafe on Friday, October 10th. A local Wilmington non-profit was looking for a name band to anchor their annual fund raising celebration. The Iguanas dropped in their lap. So, on Thursday, October 9th, in downtown Wilmington, DE, the city set up a portable stage, closed off a few streets, laid down some hay for seating, and let the performers do their thing. It was a summer-like evening, temps in the high 70's, Phillies at home against the LA Dodgers in the NLCS, and great music out in the night light streets of Senator Biden's home town. No sightings of the Dem VP taht night, though.

The Iguanas played quite a few of my favorites including the ethereal

First Kiss Is Free (From their album Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart)

They performed quite a few songs from their new release, including

Pelican Bay (From their newest album If You Should Ever Fall On Hard Times)

Review of album to follow in the coming days. The Flip Video still amazes me with its ease of use and quality of picture ( DOES look a lot better as a file on a PC)


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Doddering toward the Finish Line

Last night's performance combined with the possibility that if only 25% of this piece is true makes for a sad end to Senator McCain's bid for the presidency. He shuffled, he struggled, he used the phrase "My Friends" as a mantra in attempts to connect, and then he referred to Senator Obama as that one. It was a pitiful site almost enough to elicit empathy. Almost. Hey! The guy's running to be the leader of the Free World (whatever that is these days). I hope I never empathize with the president of the US of A. The job is one of such complexity of all the components of the socio-political-financial-military human condition that I would not have a clue as to how the prez is coping or feeling. The most I can hope for as a voter and citizen is that there is competency, vigor, and communication happening between he/she on high and we the fellow citizens below. John McCain seemed old, confused, paranoid, and way past his prime. He came off as incapable of handling these momentous times we live in and made his first executive choice as his running mate even more egregious. If he is to be our chief corporate officer, his succession plan revealed that he has no future plans for our country.

Do I think Senator Obama is the best possible choice for these times? No, I don't. But the screwed-up way we choose our candidates has given us two choices and I truly believe we only have one choice. I will be lighting a multitude of candles for his obvious ability to absorb and learn on the job. I believe in his character, his family, and in the power and energy of youth. Unlike Mr. McCain (please read the RS article), Mr. Obama did not seem to waste much of his youth on the pursuits of adolescence. There is no bitterness, there is no indication of a spoiled child's unchallenged progression to adulthood, and there is no record of coattail riding in his life's story. Is he elitist? I don't think so but, if he is, well great! Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Warren Buffet, any of the Nobel prize winners; they're all elite performers in their field. If folks want to classify Senator Obama as an elite politician? Well, can I just vote today and end the agony of the 3rd debate?

nb: I'm just re-reading David Foster Wallace's "Consider the Lobster", specifically the piece, Up, Simba he wrote in 2000 for the Rolling Stone on John McCain, just to see what the hell happened to McCain in the last 8 years. One monstrous difference so far? Well, the writer of the current issue's article, Tim Dickinson, cannot hold a candle to Mr. Wallace for writing style.

The New Yorker makes a call.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Small Bear Blues

Well, the Phillies came through yesterday on Pat Burrell's untimely bat. Having eliminated the Brewers, a Jekyll-Hyde opponent if there ever was one, they're up onto the next rung of the World Series playoffs. The Phils resume play on Thursday at home at Citizen's Bank Park against Manny, Donny, Larry, & Joe. Not Manny, Moe, and Jack but familiar enough faces for baseball fans out here on the much hated East Coast.
The Phillies-Dodgers series may provide for an interesting turn of events as the previous Philly manager and much-beloved ex-shortstop Larry Bowa takes the field as LA's 3rd base coach or when Manny and his Hydra-Hair comes to bat. Maybe it's a good time for the Philly grounds crew to be working on that moveable outfield fence we've heard about.

Since the Dodgers are still alive, their previous opponent is obviously.....

not. The Cubs, again, are out in 3 games, this year being a more painful exit as their false-promising 97 wins was the best in the National League this past year. I, for one, will miss their participation, if only for no longer being able to read Cubby-Blue, the brilliant blog written and drawn by Mr. Tim Souers.

Still, Cubby-Blue is worth any serious baseball fan's return visit, despite the Cubbies' early exit. The Blues are a musical idiom thick with sadness, regret, and life's bitter pills. Combining the blues with the Cubbies is akin to putting a hemi on your gut-bucket feelings. You can't get lower, faster.

My condolences go out to Tim. Wait 'til next year. Go, Cubbies!


Friday, October 03, 2008

Change is Good?

Who's making that suggestion?


99 Taboo Skidoo

She's back.
From a long, long voyage.
And she starts off with a just piece to get you back in the rink-think.
The season's on!

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Walking the Dog

Brett Myers, a Phillies pitcher, has a .069 batting percentage. 0.069! His average is so low, he makes the Mendoza line seem almost Gwynnian. But last night, apart from his (post 1st inning) fabulous pitching, his at-bats will be the stuff of legend. In the second inning, after going into a 0-2 hole against the monster CC Sabathia, he worked a walk against the Milwaukee ace with two outs. To boot, he drained 9 pitches out of Sabathia's limited pitch supply. When have you ever seen 45,000 people raise a ruckus and wave their rally towels for a walk? Why, last night in Philly, of course. Of the 98 pitches the Brewers' workhorse pitched last night, 19 were to Myers. That's 19.4%! To an opposing pitcher! To someone that should be an automatic out, 3-4 pitches max! The Phils won 5-2 to go up 2-zip against the Brew Crew. What will be remembered from last night will not be Victorino's grand slam homer in the 2nd inning (the first grand slam of his career and the first grand slam in the post-season history of the Phillies (who have been around since 1883!) but Myers' unearthly at-bat to earn a walk in the same inning.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Falling Classically

It's barely started and I'm already succumbing to the inevitable funk.
L.A. (as in Dodgers) v. The BoSox. Call it the Manny's Revenge World Series. Joe "I'll Be Back" Torre returns to Boston to set things straight; the Sox don't win another World Series in 50 years.

Yeah, Philly's ahead in the best of five divisional series, 1-0, but Lidge is morphing into Mitch Williams and WHERE THE HELL ARE THOSE BATS!?

For masochistic relief, I go read Tim Souers' Cubby-Blue. Now, there's a guy who should not have any seat in the upper decks. And if he does, I hope friends have brought rope along to tie him to his seat. Yesterday? Not an auspicious end to the curse.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bon Voyage!

Enough said, or seen.

10/02/08 Addendum: Well, that one was taken off. Try this one instead. Sorry, couldn't embed it.

Big Vote Tonight.


Eclectic Election Elucidations

Here, from Onion Election HQ, the bloated "War for the White House" includes bloggers like Dac Kein, retired Viet Cong Torturer, Gary Brunson, 4 week old fetus, and Don Delillo, the critically acclaimed book-sales-challenged author. Well, I think it may be him. Or, perhaps, a English PhD grad waiting for that position at DelMonte Community College & Canning Emporium to open up who, mint the mean time, is doing a credible imitation of Delillo's style. My bet's on the latter, with a tip-o'-the-hat to Mr. Delillo for allowing to have his pic posted and going along with the joke.

All of the bloggers post intricately drawn out "thought" pieces on what they're hearing and seeing. I'm still waiting to read the blog of one Pip Dawkins, purported 19th Century Street Urchin, on his take. We here out in the blogosphere welcome all of these new posters, albeit not of flesh and blood.

In other Onion Knews, Senator McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists.

McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists


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