My two favorite sports teams, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Orioles, are both looking to shoot themselves in the foot.
First we have the Washington coaching search. There are rumors they want USC's Pete Carroll, a doubly-confirmed NFL failure. Don't people realize that coaching in the NFL is different from coaching in college? Didn't Snyder learn anything from Steve Spurrier? Carroll is a very good college coach. He was a very bad NFL coach. He would be a disaster in Washington, although that would go right along with Dan Snyder's past history. But Snyder has fired the coordinators, probably pissed off the team, and will likely end up with another flashy failure at head coach.
And the Orioles. I get that they're rebuilding. It's come at least five years too late, but I get it, and I'm thankful for it. But why would you trade Bedard? He's 28. He could be the ace of the staff for 5-7 years, maybe more. He is the ONLY player on the team that you absolutely must keep, as far as I'm concerned. And they want to make a deal with the Mariners that centers around a young outfielder with moderate power (His home runs were up in 2007 in the minors, but his doubles were down, and he doesn't get on base much)?
I'll grant you that George Sherrill, the reliever said to be part of the deal, had a disgusting season last year (0.99 WHIP, park-adjusted ERA+ of 183, K to BB of over 3). But Bedard is, by far, the best player on the Orioles. Why would you give him up? Do you WANT Seattle to win their division this year? Is that your goal? Is Angelos getting a cut of their playoff revenues?
I think Angelos and Snyder want me to move to Boston. That's the only logical explanation.
A court commissioner Friday gave sole physical and legal custody of the former couple's two little boys to Federline and suspended the troubled pop star's visitation rights.
So the court decided that the genius who is now romantically linked to Paris Hilton is the more qualified parent. Actually, romantically linked is probably too strong. They probably got drunk and hooked up.
Anyway, somewhere along the line, someone should have sat Britney down and gave her a little talking-to. She could have been Madonna's little protege, making obscene amounts of money and doing pretty much whatever she wanted. Instead, she's a joke who lost custody of her kids. How often does a judge give custody to the father? I have no idea what the number is, but it's small.
At the same time, I hope whatever she's been hospitalized for is something they can treat and fix. Just because she's retarded doesn't mean she should be in the hospital.
The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to let one owner control a newspaper and a television station in Denver and other large markets, a change long sought by The Denver Post's principal owner, William Dean Singleton.
So, now, if you are not one of the top four television stations in the market, you can own a local newspaper. Let us count the things wrong with this.
First, what if I'm number five, I buy a newspaper, and then I pass number four? Do I have to sell the newspaper? Do I get grandfathered in? I can't imagine a scenario that isn't either ridiculous, or defeats the purpose of the rule.
The cross-ownership ban was adopted in 1975 with "the twin goals of diversity of viewpoints and economic competition," the FCC said at the time.
In the age of blogs and the internet and instant access to all sorts of viewpoints, the issue of "diversity of viewpoints" is a little misleading. An increasingly smaller number of people get their news only from newspapers and television. I know the older generation still does to a large extent, but most people my age don't read newspapers because they're outdated by the time they get to your door. And then you have to recycle them, and it's just a huge hassle.
"You take the high cost of news gathering and spread it across multiple platforms and you get multiple revenue streams," Singleton [publisher of The Denver Post and head of MediaNews Group] said in a 2006 interview.
THIS is what competition is about. Innovating, saving money, providing a better product at a cheaper rate. When you stick these stupid restrictions on who can own what, you make it relatively more expensive to provide news. Who does this help? Certainly not a new company with a great idea about how to get news to people.
When the barriers to enter a market are low, diversity is nearly guaranteed. If I see the market and say, 'Hey, that one company is the only one providing the service, and they aren't reaching half the customers", then I have a great opportunity in that market.
It's things like this where I tend to clash with the Democratic party. I want the government to stop sticking its fingers in where it isn't needed, based on what the world was like in 1975.
Anyway, this new law is a step in the right direction, but it's not far enough, and I doubt it will change anything.
So the Mitchell Report is out, as I'm sure you all know. The only current Oriole on there, I think, is Brian Roberts. I've always liked Brain Roberts. He's a little tiny second baseman who gets on base a lot.
I suppose we should have seen this coming - his yearly OPS numbers are .625, .605, .704, .720, .902, .757, .809. Does one of those numbers look, perhaps, way higher than the rest of them?
The year his bat exploded, 2005, is also the year he started wearing the Nike MaxSight contact lenses, which could explain it. The Mitchell Report simply states that former Oriole Larry Bigbie said that Roberts told him that he took steroids "once or twice" in 2003.
It figures: after I call for releasing all the Orioles on the list, one of my favorite players is the only guy who would get released. At least it wasn't Bedard.
I'm kind of terrified of this thing. I love baseball, and this is going to hurt. It's a necessary hurt, like tearing off the old bandage, but it's still going to suck. There are already leaks that Roger Clemens is on the naughty list, and the promise of other big names.
I hate Clemens, but he's the best pitcher of my generation, and I don't want to see his name tainted like that. Maybe it will knock him down a peg and remind him that he's not actually bigger than baseball and teams will stop letting him get away with this "I'll pitch when I'm good and ready and we're playing at home" garbage.
And I'm afraid that other big names are really going to hurt. I hope the Orioles release everyone on the list. Immediate, unconditional release for anyone breaking the rules. I would rather watch the Orioles have the worst season in the modern era, or promote our entire AA team, than watch them employ cheaters.
My great hope for all of this is that maybe now the Steroid Era can end. No more. I want it to be over so we can go back to thinking about baseball, not asterisks.
An Iron Chef commercial on USA just told me that "Iron Chef" is "America's most coveted title". Listing any of the countless titles that are much more coveted would be insulting to all of those titles.
"We are experiencing home price depreciation almost like never before, with the exception of the Great Depression,'' Countrywide Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo said during a conference call with investors last month. He said it would take all of next year for the mortgage market to "turn this battleship around'' before demand rebounds in 2009.
So Countrywide, the largest mortgage lender in the US, is in some fairly significant trouble because of the subprime mortgage market implosion and related fallout. It's never good when you hear the current market compared to that of the Great Depression.
I won't pretend to really understand what's going on here beyond what's covered in the article and a general understanding of the subprime implosion, but I understand enough to know that this problem looks to be expanding a lot more than anyone initially admitted it would. It's not just small lenders who took on too much risk who are in trouble.
I don't expect this will have any effect on the mortgage I have on our rental property out in Falls Church, which Countrywide bought from a smaller lender. I mean, I can't imagine that Countrywide wouldn't be able to find someone to take on that loan if they were going under (Which I don't think is likely - they're just missing earnings and having to tighten up their belt).
I'm actually more interested in what it's going to do to the rental market, and to the value of the place where we live and the place we rent out. I'd really like a strong rental market in Falls Church. I'm not so concerned about the real estate market right now, since we have no immediate plans to buy or sell or take out a home equity loan. But that doesn't mean I want the value of our home to crash. We will need a bigger place eventually.
I'm also wishing I had some spare cash lying around. Like maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars. When you have problems like this, there are ample opportunities for people with money to make more money. Unfortunately, my savings account doesn't have that many zeros.
DC is a little crazy with their parking tickets. When I registered my car, I thought I would get a Zone 1 designation on my registration sticker. The 1500 block of our street is Zone 1 parking. Most of the surrounding streets are Zone 1. But not my block. So I didn't get issued a zone designation - it says "No RPP". RPP stands for Residential Parking Permit.
This morning, I moved my car to the right side of the street for street cleaning on the left. This afternoon, I got a parking ticket for failure to display an RPP. I can't display an f'ing RPP if I'm not issued one. Are they telling me that, on Tuesdays, I just have to drive my car to work, and not return until I can park on the left side of the street?
This is ridiculous. The DMV is closed now, but they will be hearing from me tomorrow.
I would rant some more, but I have to go pick up my wife.
I'm sorry, boss, but I'm too smart to be a good manager. Although I suppose that would probably backfire, as if we assume this is true, it follows that it's extremely unlikely that I will get dumber and therefore improve my managerial skills.
However, when you have a sample size as small as the number of US Presidents (43? Is that how many we've had? I forget. Less than 50, anyway), and you can list two exceptions - he mentions Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt - one starts to doubt the hypothesis.
Never mind how difficult it is to really measure intelligence.
Still, it's an interesting thought, if not a new one. And it doesn't make me want to vote for the dumbest person running.
With the new lights, though, the Empire State would be able to feature â€œdynamic new patterns,â€ said James T. Connors, the general manager of the Empire State Building Company.
Just what NYC needs.Â A huge, gaudy, brightly colored display.Â When this sort of thing is confined to Times Square, it's kind of cool.Â I still remember the first time I walked out of the subway into Times Square, and the overwhelming-ness of it all.Â To be fair, it was only a few years ago.Â But still.
And I'm not a New Yorker.Â I love to visit the city, but I don't live there.Â But I can't imagine that any New Yorker really wants a huge, animated American Flag waving over the city.
Maybe they'd be better off if they got their own Anti-Terrorist Pincers of Doom like we did.Â Rumor has it that over 30,000 terrorists have already been captured and impaled by the pincers.Â How many terrorists has the Empire State Building caught?Â That's what I thought.