Monday, August 30, 2004

When democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was in town (Everett, WA) Friday (Aug 27, 2004), Coach Kevin Constantine of the WHL's Everett Silvertips ran into him in the halls of the Everett Events Center and jokingly told him, "I'd like you to play center for us, but you're too left wing."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Dodgers trade bait is NL West's Gain

Of all the moves the Dodgers made on deadline day, trading premier set up man Guillermo Mota is the one they will most regret. Say what you want about LoDuca's clubhouse leadership or the team's chemistry, but Mota's 8th innings heroics are what has allowed Eric Gagne to be the All-Star closer he is today.

Darren Dreifort, the Dodgers new default set up man, has had five 8th inning opportunities to hold a lead since the trade...He's blown three of them. In the eight games since Mota went to the Marlins, Dreifort has three losses and an 11.12 ERA.. Mota's total number of 8th inning blowups? Two...thank you very much.

Now the even better news... Dr. Frank Jobe said an MRI exam on Dreifort showed a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, calling it a Grade 2 sprain, and he will likely miss the rest of the season. Official word is the Dodgers haven't put him on the DL yet because they have no idea who they are going to call up or who will be the new set up man. "I wouldn't recommend he pitch again this year," said Jobe. "I don't think he'll do without surgery. If he does, I would be surprised. You seldom see Grade 2s heal without surgery. He would be out the rest of this year and into the spring." Jobe said that trying to pitch with this condition would put Dreifort at risk for a secondary injury.

What makes the trade of Mota even worse is the Dodgers KNEW Dreifort has been pitching with a different injury throughout the season. Jobe also said that the club is considering an operation on Dreifort's right hip, which has arthritic deterioration similar to that which required a second hip operation last month for another Dodger reliever, Paul Shuey. Dreifort has been pitching for most of the season with hip discomfort that has limited him to one inning per appearance.

According to the Dodgers official website, Dreiforts medical history is as follows:
  • two Tommy John elbow reconstructions
  • one right knee reconstruction
  • four arthroscopic knee operations
  • one arthroscopic right hip operation
  • The next two operations would make a total of 10

Here are the financial implications: Dreifort is guaranteed $13 million in salary in 2005, plus $400,000 of a $2 million signing bonus in the final year of a five-year, $55 million contract. Since he signed that contract, he has undergone or needed six operations, while winning nine games. Nine wins, 55 million bucks...a little over six million per win.

In effect what this will do is pull manager Jim Tracy into using Gagne for two-inning saves. Something he definately doesn't need to be doing as we head toward the playoffs. The worst thing to happen is Gagne will be burned out come playoff time as the Dodgers try to hold off the Giants and Padres in the NL West race. Something they haven't been very good at the past few years.

Tracy has said that some combination of rookie Yhency Brazoban, Duaner Sanchez and journeyman Giovanni Carrara could be used in the setup role, but the best option could be Edwin Jackson when he returns from a minor league rehab assignment that starts on Wednesday night.

It was just two weeks ago we were talking about the Dodgers "indestructable" bullpen as possibly one of the best of all time. Now it is in shambles as Gagne appears to be the anchor thrown overboard without a rope.

Seattle Tops Most Overpriced Cities List
Seattle is the most overpriced city in America in 2004, according to Forbes Magazine. The magazine has released its third annual list of the most overpriced places -- a list of cities with the highest cost of living, least affordable housing and most modest job and income growth.
Last year, Seattle was no. 10 on the list. San Jose, Calif., which took the top spot in 2003, is no. 6 this year.
There are a few places that have made the most overpriced cities list each year -- including San Jose, Calif., and Bergen-Passaic, N.J. -- but there are also a few newcomers to the 2004 list.
Portland, Ore., for example, has a diverse business base, but it also has high unemployment and meager job growth; and while the cost of living isn't as high as places like San Francisco, Portland's median home price is $25,000 above the national median.

Most Overpriced Places 2004

  1. Seattle
  2. Bergen-Passaic
  3. Miami
  4. Portland, Ore.
  5. Middlesex, N.J.
  6. San Jose, Calif.
  7. San Francisco
  8. Chicago
  9. New York
  10. Jersey City, N.J.

Boy, 3, chokes to death on popcorn at movie
A 3-year-old boy choked to death while eating popcorn at a movie theater.
Deontea Riley, of New York City, was at the Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas in Long Island's Valley Stream watching "Alien vs. Predator" with his parents and older brother when he began to choke shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, Nassau County police said.
The family all had been eating from a small tub of popcorn when Elaine McIntosh, the boy's mother, saw that her youngest son was choking.
His parents rushed him out of the theater where they performed the Heimlich maneuver without success.

This story is obviously a trajedy...and I don't want to make light of it, but what the heck is a 3-year-old doing at a movie like Alien Vs. Predator? I do understand the movie is Rated it's not Rated R, but 3 years old? That seems kind of young to expose a young boy to that type of violence...don't you think?

Caskets, for less, at Costco
Supplier says warehouse retailer is testing six styles at two of its Chicago-area locations.
Warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale, bulk seller of products to help save you money in life, is offering a way to save money in death, too.
The Issaquah, Wash.-based No. 1 wholesale club operator is testing six models of steel caskets at two of its locations in the Chicago area.
"We're trying to offer value to our customers like with everything else that we sell," said Gary Ojendyk, Costco's general manager of merchandising.

Rock-throwing kids anger 120,000 bees
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Kids throwing rocks stirred up more trouble than they bargained for when they dislodged a swarm of bees from an enormous hive built in the wall of a Southern California apartment building, authorities said on Friday.
An estimated 120,000 bees held residents of the apartment building and nearby homes hostage in Santa Ana, California after the children pelted their 500 pound (227 kg) hive with rocks on Thursday, Santa Ana Fire Captain Steve Horner said.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Serial 'Snuggler' Gets Five Years Probation
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The serial "snuggler" will have to keep his hands to himself.The man who sneaked into women's apartments just to cuddle with them has been sentenced to five years' probation.
Before pleading guilty earlier this year to 12 counts of unauthorized entry, Steve Danos, 26, led a commendable life, a judge said Wednesday before sentencing him.
None of the victims was hurt. Instead, the intruder roused the residents to ask about a party, helped himself to beer and pizza, folded clothes, made nachos and crawled into one woman's bed to rub her stomach.
Before his arrest, Danos had a more notable claim to fame. He drove in the winning run in the state championship baseball game his senior year at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge.
"It's simply unbelievable," state District Judge Todd Hernandez said Wednesday, while flipping through letters written to the court on Danos' behalf by friends, teachers and school administrators.
"Mr. Danos, up until this point you've led a life that would make any parent unbelievably proud," Hernandez said.
The judge attributed Danos' bizarre behavior to the use of alcohol and drugs.
Danos' attorney, Robert Gill, said Danos was an outstanding high school athlete who sank into depression when he didn't make the team at Louisiana State, Gill said.
The odd behavior began when Danos started soothing himself with Xanax, alcohol and marijuana, Gill said.

Mom Sent To Jail For Smoking Around Kids
BOWLING GREEN, Va. -- A Virginia woman has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for defying a court order not to smoke around her children.
Tamara Silvius was banned from smoking around the children as part of a custody arrangement with her ex-husband.
She was given a 10-day suspended sentence for allegedly violating the order during a trip in November when she taped plastic trash bags inside her car to keep the smoke from reaching her children.
She was back in court Thursday for violating the order a second time in June. A judge upheld the previous order citing medical evidence of the effects of secondhand smoke on children.
Silvius was immediately handcuffed and led out of the courtroom by deputies. She's appealing the ruling.

Friday, August 06, 2004

As I was researching a "chain-story" I got via e-mail at I came across a few stories they have verified as truth about our President I thought I should share. With all the bad press he is getting right now we should pause and remember what this man is really all about (again, these can all be verified at truthorfiction.:

Story 1:
Attached is a picture of one of my best friends in the Army, Mike McNaughton. We were privates together in 1990-1994. He stepped on alandmine in Afghanistan Christmas 2002. President Bush came to visitthe wounded in the hospital. He told Mike that when he could run amile, that they would go on a run together. True to his word, he calledMike every month or so to see how he was doing. Well, last week theywent on the run, 1 mile with the president. Not something you'll see inthe news, but seeing the president taking the time to say thank you tothe wounded and to give hope to one of my best friends was one of thegreatest/best things I have seen in my life. It almost sounds like acorny email chain letter, but god bless him.
CPT Justin P. Dodge,
MDFlight Surgeon, 1-2 AVN
RGTMedical Corps, U.S. Army

Story 2:
In a moment largely unnoticed by the throngs of people in Lebanon waiting for autographs from the president of the United States, George W. Bush stopped to hold a teenager's head close to his heart.Lynn Faulkner, his daughter, Ashley, and their neighbor, Linda Prince, eagerly waited to shake the president's hand Tuesday at the Golden Lamb Inn. He worked the line at a steady campaign pace, smiling, nodding and signing autographs until Prince spoke:"This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11."Bush stopped and turned back."He changed from being the leader of the free world to being a father, a husband and a man," Faulkner said. "He looked right at her and said, 'How are you doing?' He reached out with his hand and pulled her into his chest."Faulkner snapped one frame with his camera."I could hear her say, 'I'm OK,' " he said. "That's more emotion than she has shown in 21/2 years. Then he said, 'I can see you have a father who loves you very much.' ""And I said, 'I do, Mr. President, but I miss her mother every day.' It was a special moment."Special for Lynn Faulkner because the Golden Lamb was the place he and his wife, Wendy Faulkner, celebrated their anniversary every year until she died in the south tower of the World Trade Center, where she had traveled for business.The day was also special for Ashley, a 15-year-old Mason High School student, because the visit was reminiscent of a trip she took four years ago with her mother and Prince. They spent all afternoon in the rain waiting to see Bush on the campaign trail. Ashley remembers holding her mother's hand, eating Triscuits she packed and bringing along a book in case she got bored.But this time was different. She understood what the president was saying, and she got close enough to see him face to face."The way he was holding me, with my head against his chest, it felt like he was trying to protect me," Ashley said. "I thought, 'Here is the most powerful guy in the world, and he wants to make sure I'm safe.' I definitely had a couple of tears in my eyes, which is pretty unusual for me."The photo has been circulating across the country, Faulkner said. Relatives have passed it on to friends, bosses and acquaintances. As they tell the story, they also share in Wendy Faulkner's legacy, which her family continues through the Wendy Faulkner Memorial Children's Foundation."I'm a pretty cynical and jaded guy at this point in my life," Faulkner said of the moment with the president. "But this was the real deal. I was really impressed. It was genuine and from the heart."

Story 3:
Subject: Bush in church, Very interesting
I'm at the 8:00am service at my church, St. John's Episcopal, at
Lafayette Square, across from the White House. (I wanted to go early
because I was going with Alice and Brent for breakfast at the Cracker
Barrel in Manassas.) Much of the service was uneventful--nice, but
uneventful--until it comes to the part of the service when the priest
says, "Greet one another in the name of the Lord." I turn to my right to
exchange the peace with my friend, Amy Fox Smythe, who was was on the
other end of my pew. I then shake hands with the person in front of me,
and turn around to say hello to the person behind me. The person behind me
was our 43rd President George W. Bush. I am not kidding. A small crowd was
forming around him, and not wanting to delay the church service or bother
him by waiting to shake his hand, I turned back around and sat down and
talked to Amy. About 30 seconds later I felt a hand on my left shoulder
and turn around to see President Bush with his hand extended. "Peace of
the Lord, " he said and held my hand with both of his. "Peace of the
Lord," I replied, and held both his hands and smiled at him. I turned back
around and was remarkably calm about the fact that the most powerful
person in the world was sitting two feet behind me. I could hear him
flipping through his bulletin as the priest made the announcements. I
loved the idea of him thinking, "Oh, there's a covered dish next Sunday."
We perched and when I stood up to go to the communion rail, he got up and
walked down the aisle behind me. We passed a little old lady who said,
"Mr. President, I pray for you every day." To which he said, "That's a
very special gift. Thank you so much." We got to the communion rail and
there were two spaces, one in front of us and one around the side of the
altar. We both surmised for ten seconds and then I started off around the
corner. He stopped me and whispered, "No, no. I'll go around" and motioned
for me to take the closer spot. The only exception made in the entire
service was that the President was allowed to leave first and then the
rest of the congregation followed.

With all sincerity, and partisanship aside I tell you: This is a special
man! There is a peace and a Godliness about him. It radiates from him. It
is the only reason that I was able to remain calm. It was more than the
adrenaline I've felt when I've met other famous people. A goodness flows
through this man. He has more than my vote in November. He has my respect,
my prayers, and my gratitude. Whatever your political affiliation, and
whether or not you agree with his decisions, you should take comfort in
the fact that--despite recent press attacks--this is a man of integrity
who makes decisions because he believes that they are RIGHT, not popular. He
makes these decisions with a heavy heart and through prayer.

I don't mean to go on, and on, but I truly believe this was a blessing
from God that should be passed on.

Laura Lefler
Office of Senator Lamar Alexander
302 Hart Senate Office Building

Story 4:
At the Foot of the CrossA Story You Haven't Heard
Angel Tree, our Prison Fellowship program for prisoners' children, is one of the great unheralded volunteer outreaches in America. Over the Christmas holidays these past few weeks, approximately 100,000 volunteers delivered Angel Tree gifts to more than 525,000 children of inmates.
You didn't read about this in the newspapers, nor would I expect that you should. It's not really that newsworthy that Christians help people in need. But there are two of our volunteers, who delivered forty presents, that I think you should have read about but didn't. For reasons best known to themselves, the media ignored the fact that two of the volunteers were President and Mrs. George Bush. And they delivered gifts to forty inner-city kids in a church basement three days before Christmas.
President and Mrs. Bush arrived at three-o'clock, Monday, December 22, at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Now, presidents don't move anywhere without a great deal of fuss. The police were out, the roads blocked, and Secret Service were roaming around the church. And when the president arrived, he was accompanied not only by his own team, but also by a pool of reporters, forty or so members of the press. For ten minutes they popped their flashbulbs, scribbled their notes, and then were ushered out.
I remember from my days with President Nixon what photo opportunities are: Get the picture and leave. So I thought the Bushes would shortly depart, but they didn't. They stayed long after the cameras were gone to greet every child, to have their picture taken with them, their mothers, and their grandmothers, to talk with them, and to ask questions. Though the press didn't report it, I noticed that both the president and Mrs. Bush talked to the Hispanic children in Spanish.
Just before the president left, I introduced him to Al Lawrence, a member of our staff. I told the president that I had met Al more than twenty years ago in a prison. Jesus had got hold of Al's life, and he's been working for us ever since. Then I told the president that Al's son was now a freshman at Yale. At that point the president stopped, exclaimed, "We're both Yale parents," and threw his arms around Al Lawrence-an African-American ex-offender being embraced by the president of the United States in a church basement. The ground is indeed level at the foot of the cross.
I tell you this story because it's a wonderful Christmas story, and you probably haven't heard it. With all those reporters who crowded into that basement, the visit resulted in almost universal media silence.
I suppose there are many explanations for this, but I'll offer mine. The president is a Christian who really cares for "the least of these," who does this not for photo ops, but because he's genuine. That is something that his detractors in the media simply can't handle. Conservatives caring for the poor? Never. It dashes the stereotypes.
But surely Christians ought to be rejoicing that the most powerful man in the world and his wife, a couple of days before Christmas, had a wonderful visit with the most powerless people in our society.
After all, that echoes the Christmas message, doesn't it? The most powerful came to be with the least powerful to give us hope.

Story 5
From A Capt in Iraq (Tyson Daniels):
We knew there was a dinner planned with Ambassador Bremer and LTG Sanchez. There were 600 seats available and all the units in the division were tasked with filling a few tables. Naturally, the 501st MI battalion got our table. Soldiers were grumbling about having to sit through another dog-and-pony show, so we had to pick soldiers to attend. I chose not to go. But, about 1500 the G2, LTC Devan, came up to me and with a smile, asked me to come to dinner with him, to meet him in his office at 1600 and bring a camera. I didn't really care about getting a picture with Sanchez or Bremer, but when the division's senior intelligence officer asks you to go, you go.
We were seated in the chow hall, fully decorated for Thanksgiving when aaaaallllll kinds of secret service guys showed up. That was my first clue, because Bremer's been here before and his personal security detachment is not that big. Then BG Dempsey got up to speak, and he welcomed ambassador Bremer and LTG Sanchez. Bremer thanked us all and pulled out a piece of paper as if to give a speech. He mentioned that the President had given him this thanksgiving speech to give to the troops. He then paused and said that the senior man present should be the one to give it. He then looked at Sanchez, who just smiled. Bremer then said that we should probably get someone more senior to read the speech.
Then, from behind the camouflage netting, the President of the United States came around. The mess hall actually erupted withhollering. Troops bounded to their feet with shocked smiles and just began cheering with all their hearts. The building actually shook. It was just unreal. I was absolutely stunned. Not only for the obvious, but also because I was only two tables away from the podium. There he stood, less than thirty feet away from me! The cheering went on and on and on. Soldiers were hollering, cheering,and a lot of them were crying. There was not a dry eye at my table.
When he stepped up to the cheering, I could clearly see tears running down his cheeks. It was the most surreal moment I've had in years. Not since my wedding and son being born. Here was this man, our President, came all the way around the world, spending 17 hours on an airplane and landing in the most dangerous airport in the world, where a plane was shot out of the sky not six days before. Just to spend two hours with his troops. Only to get on a plane and spend another 17 hours flying back. It was a great moment, and I will never forget it.He delivered his speech, which we all loved, when he looked right at me and held his eyes on me.
Then he stepped down and was just mobbed by the soldiers. He slowly worked his way all the way around the chow hall and shook every last hand extended. Every soldier who wanted a photo with the President got one. I made my way through the line, got dinner, then wolfed it down as he was still working the room. You could tell he was really enjoying himself. It wasn't just a photo opportunity. This man was actually enjoying himself! He worked his way over the course of about 90 minutes towards my side of the room.
Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to shake a few hands. I got a picture with Ambassador Bremer, Talabani (acting Iraqi president) and Achmed Chalabi (another member of the ruling council) and Condaleeza Rice, who was there with him. I felt like I was drunk.
He was getting closer to my table so I went back over to my seat. As he passed and posed for photos, he looked me in theeye and said, "How you doin', captain." I smiled and said "God bless you, sir." To which he responded "I'm proud of what you do, captain." Then moved on.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

It always has been and still is all about the money. To quote a story from
The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape will have to discuss with prosecutors whether she will go ahead with the criminal case because she fears the release of court documents about her sex life threatens her chance of getting a fair hearing, one of her lawyers said Wednesday.
John Clune said his 20-year-old client will have to talk to prosecutors soon about that and will also consider whether to file a civil suit against the NBA star. "This young woman is not going away. Whether it proceeds criminally or civilly or both, justice is going to be had for this young woman," Clune said.

What happened is simple to explain. Katelyn Faber (Photo - faber.jpg) went to Kobe's room and had sex with him. After she was done she was ashamed of herself and felt bad about who she was (remember, this woman has tried to commit suicide twice). She then had sex with another man AFTER she had sex with Kobe...Probably her boyfriend. She broke down and told him about what had happened, he was mad and she blamed it on rape.

Then the real wheels started spinning. How can I get some money out of this. The Civil suit they will file after the criminal case is either dropped, dismissed or Kobe is found Not Guilty will be in the millions of dollars. Kobe, District Judge Terry Ruckriegle & the County this trial is taking place in will all be named in the lawsuit (since she was so wrongly harmed by the county & the judge by documents which were made public).

After a year or so of Civil filings and blah, blah, blah...There will be a couple million dollar settlement between Kobe and this woman and then she can finally write her book and ink her "made for TV" movie deal.

Oh what it is like to be young, pretty & never have to work a day in your life again!

The most exciting computer soccer game I've ever played! Seriously!
Sky Sports Table Top Football