To Fuss is Human, To Rant, Divine!!

Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

As advertised before, here is the picture that proves that if there is any high entity, it is Borg. This is not a photoshop. It can be found on Glebe Road heading towards Lee Highway in Northern Virginia (Rt 120 towards Rt 29).

Maybe when you get to the pearly gates, instead of St. Peter, you just hear a voice that says "Prepare to be assimilated." And then you get greeted by Seven of Nine. As I said, heaven.

Cy Young

This is a baseball post no one will really care about. But that's ok. It needs to be said.

Baseball sportswriters are incapable of writing about awards. They might as well write a two word column containing the first and last names of the person they want to win the award. For instance, take the article entitled "Arms Race" by Sports Illustrated's Stephen Canella.

He tells us right off in the byline that Clemens is in the lead. That's fine. That's what you expect, because after all, they should tell the reader who they think is currently at the forefront of the race.

But his first two paragraphs are perfect examples of the inane, polarizing drivel that plagues todays sportswriters, even good ones like Stephen Canella.

He writes,

You can tell a lot about a person by his or her preferences in choosing a Cy Young Award winner.

Are you a bottom-line kind of guy? If so, then you probably think victories are the most important criterion in judging a pitcher. The best way for a hurler to help his team is by winning. Who cares if the score is 1-0 or 12-10?

Are you a stylist, someone who enjoys watching an artist work even if the fates ultimately conspire against him? Then W's, which often have little to do with how well a pitcher pitches, is way down on your list of Cy-worthy attributes. You can probably trot out your walk ratios and your slide rule and prove that Jon Lieber deserves a vote.

Even though Canella nominates Clemens in spite of his wins, just look at the language in his second graph. "Trot our your walk ratios and your slide rule"? Right, because anyone who doesn't value wins is a bespectacled nerd sporting a pocket protector? It's a stupid example anyway.

To act the part of the bespectacled nerd, let me be the first to point out that no one in their right mind would give their vote to Jon Leiber, 1) because his ERA is 4.91 and 2) his walk ratio, a touch over 3, isn't close to Clemens or Carpenter. If you're going by walk ratio, Roy Halladay, Pedro Martinez, or Jake Peavy all receive consideration, since their K/BB ratios are well over 5.00.

So why the silly example, Stephen Canella? Is it just a red herring to satisfy the idiots that don't know what K/BB is? The ones that think Moneyball was written by Billy Beane and wins are the end all argument for a pitcher's ability? Even if it is, why do you need to write that? Is it because that's who reads Sports Illustrated these days? In that case, maybe they need to be educated.

Instead, you write this crap, and conclude that Roger Clemens will win if he goes on a hot streak and wins between 16 and 18 games. You don't conclude that if he goes on a great streak and doesn't win any games, that he still deserves to win. That possiblity goes completely unanswered, because if you're Stephen Canella, you don't want to align yourself with the people that don't value wins. Instead, you just present the 5 top pitchers in the NL. What kind of column is that?

How confusing is it that you write that you'd vote for Clemens today, but that you're "assuming Clemens will blaze down the stretch and get to 16 or 17 wins. If he does, he deserves his eighth Cy Young."

You could have done better, Stephen Canella. You could have actually taken a side.

And this is the worst of the sportswriting out there either. In fact, SI's guys, Canella, John Donovan and Tom Verducci, are three of the more decent writers out there. Anything by Hal Bodley, Joe Morgan, or Skip Bayless is pretty much guaranteed to be of the quality of dog poo. And I'm not talking about chihuahua droppings. I'm talking Rhodesian Ridgeback shit here.

Those three are pretty extreme, but even normally reliable writers seem to be going off the deep end these days.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Har har

From an AP release of Friday's MLB Game notes:


ATLANTA: Dave Hampton is resting for the next few days after receiving an epidural injection for a herniated disc in his back. He has been on the disabled list since August 20 with a strained lower back. It is not known when he will be able to return. ... The Braves had a rookie in their lineup for the 81st straight game. ... Jeff Smoltz (12-6) pitches Saturday against the Brewers for the first time this season. He has a 2.88 ERA with 45 walks and 141 strikeouts.

Something thinks he's funny obviously, because their names are MIKE Hampton and JOHN Smoltz. Tee hee? Yeah, whatever.

Either that or someone is sending these reports in stoned - this is the beginning of the Game recap for the Indians vs. Blue Jays game:

TORONTO (AP) -- Travis Hafner had no idea Grady Sizemore was going to steal home during his at-bat. He just knew not to swing.

Hafner took a two-strike pitch as Sizemore stole home, and Hafner later hit the first of his two homers as Cleveland beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-3 Friday night for the Indians' eighth win in nine games.

Sizemore got off to a huge lead from third in the first inning and broke for home before Dustin McGowan (1-2) started his windup. Catcher Guillermo Quiroz didn't attempt a tag as Sizemore easily slid in safely for Cleveland's first straight steal of home since Omar Vizquel at Detroit on May 27, 2003.

``I didn't know what he was doing. I thought maybe he had to run to the bathroom or something,'' Hafner joked. ``If I had swung and hit Grady in the face I would have had every woman in America mad at me.''

Sizemore was worried Hafner would kill him.

``I'm sure Hafner was ragging on me after I stole his RBI,'' Sizemore said.

Hafner went for it after noticing the third baseman wasn't even close to third and seeing that he could get a huge lead. He told third base coach Joel Skinner that he could do it the pitch before.

Another name error in the last paragraph, as it was Sizemore who stole home. Go him. Hafner did homer twice in the game though.

Edit - after watching the game replay, Hafner clearly took the pitch, which was about 3 feet outside, for a ball, and not a second strike as the writer of the article says.

Also, to top it all off, Yahoo!'s baseball page wasn't updated for the majority of two days this week.

I noticed that Yahoo! is hiring a new sports editor for their web content. This was a listing on Craigslist. Good thing, because their current sports editor is doing absolutely jack.

Speaking of which, they have Absolut Citron and Absolut Vanilla. Why not Absolut Jack? I suppose that would be kind of nasty. And a trademark infringement.

In any case, I'll have a rather amusing picture up tomorrow or the next day. It validates my notion that if there is any higher being, it's Borg.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


The majority of words we use come from two origins - German and Latin. The English lexicon is most similar to German, about a 60% similarity, and somewhat similar to French (27%). From the perspective of word origin, though, it's pretty much even between German (Old Norse, Old English, Middle English), French (Anglo French) and direct Latin.

The Germanic portions of the language were already being spoken when the Angles, Jutes, Normans and Saxons, just to name a few tribes, invaded England, overwhelming those who were already there, the Celts. Their moniker, barbarians, came from the Roman belief that these people were uncouth and stammered and generally struggled to communicate (the word is onomatopoetic in origin as well).

Through other invasions and assimilations of language, from the Vikings and the Normans (French), we got pretty close to where we are today, even though you couldn't really tell it from "Beowulf."

But, there are words of Celtic, or Gaelic origin. Gaelic is by and large considered a dead language now, even though there are some in Ireland trying to teach it in schools and revive it.

We actually don't have too many words of Gaelic origin. Some more popular ones include pet (from the Gaelic peata - is that where the organization got its inspiration?), bog (as in, Milton believed the Irish were an uncivilized people living in a bog), and whiskey (from usige beatha, or water of life - I really like that one).

Those are from Irish Gaelic, and there are words we recognize that obviously have Scots Gaelic origins, like cairn, clan, and of course, plaid.

My favorite word of Gaelic origin that is in common use today, however, has to be smithereen. It's a very silly word if you think about it. It's used in common parlance, often is treated as a cliche (smash to smithereens), and is almost never found in singular form. Can you have just one smithereen? The Gaelic origin comes from smidirin, or something really small. So I guess you could have one smithereen. I think we usually use the word smidgin (also spell smidgen, smidgeon) instead though.

You find it today in music (the lyrics of a song by "Live"), and all over literature and journalism. Yet I would bet money that most of the people who use the word have no clue what its origins might be. Although, it does certainly sound strange enough to be Gaelic, especially with that ending. Another of my favorite words happens to be poteen, or illegally distilled potato (sometimes other grain are used too) liquor.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Twice the Fun

Imagine if you will, the following commercial -

Man sitting on a couch - lighting is bright, not too harsh. He's attractive, in his mid 30's.

Man A: "You know, I've had problems in the bedroom before. I was embarrassed to do anything about it, to say anything about it, and it was really affecting more than just my love life. Before we knew it, the situation was so bad that we were both having problems. But that was before I found out about Cialis. Cialis is effective for up to 36 hours, so you can choose your moment. Now, the experience is more satisfactory, and longer lasting."

He smiles slightly, and looks off camera. A man (Man B) approaches. Man B (also attractive, similar age to Man A) sits down with his arm around Man A

Man B: "Since we started taking Cialis, the love life has been twice what it was before."

Man A: "Twice? It's been immeasurably better. Thanks to Cialis, we're both more comfortable with ourselves and around each other. "

They smile at each other, and the scene does a slow fade to a black screen with the Cialis logo. Below it, a new slogan.

"Cialis - Ok if you're straight, twice as good if you're gay"

I'm not kidding by the way - why are all these commercials geared towards single men? Do drug companies not think that gay men get erectile dysfunction either? I suppose that men throwing footballs, Mike Ditka, and a pleased looking woman in her early forties appeals to most heterosexual males, while a gay Cialis ad might make them think the drug was for gays?

I think someone needs to rectify this situation. Television needs more gay theme ED advertisements.