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Football lock of the week

SEATTLE, Washington -

Record: 5-3

This week's pick: Rice @ UTEP - Over (77.5)

All Picks for This Season

UPDATE: This game ain't even over but it's already a cover on the over, 49-37 Rice. Record: 6-3.


So bad it's good - the Burger King Italian Chicken Sandwich

SEATTLE, Washington - I think we all have a few foods like this in our life - foods we know taste bad but that give us some sense of nostalgia. There are a few restaurant dishes in Atlantic City that I wouldn't tolerate at any other restaurant but fit right in there.

A reliable fast food good/bad actor has made a reappearance - the Burger King Italian Chicken sandwich. I remember it from years ago; the first time I moved out on my own, there was a BK located just before my apartment. It doesn't taste good. I know it doesn't taste good, but I keep ordering it.

It disappears from BK's menu for years at a time, then comes back, like a comet.


Why do guys knock up women?

SEATTLE, Washington - Everyone knows why women lie about birth control and get knocked up - but why do guys let themselves fall for this? Why perform this (hopefully, I think) massively life-changing event so casually?

Unless a guy is doing something exotic like holding his laptop in his lap and hoping this damages the sperm, all he has is vasectomy and condoms. If you haven't had a vasectomy, and you have sex without a condom with a woman capable of pregnancy, and you're not in a permanent-ish (e.g. marriage) relationship with the woman, you're either extremely irresponsible or you want to make a baby. Most contraceptive claims a woman makes in these circumstances should be ignored.

I'm coming around to the idea that a lot of guys want to make the baby, even if it's a semi-conscious or unconscious decision. I think a lot of people are like me, they procrastinate and waffle on certain large decisions in their life e.g. who to settle down with, or whether to have a child at all. Having sex without a condom in these circumstances has a couple advantages: (1) you get to have sex without a condom, which I assume is more pleasurable than doing it with a condom and (2) you could have one of your Big Life Decisions made for you by fathering a child with a particular person.


Football Lock of the Week

SEATTLE, Washington -

Record: 4-3

This week's pick: Cleveland Browns (+7) @ Jacksonville

All Picks for This Season

UPDATE: Cleveland wins, straight up, 23-17. Easy money. Record: 5-3.


Should you masturbate before gambling?

SEATTLE, Washington - I've already discussed how masturbation does not adversely affect athletic performance - but what about gambling? Jean Genet, in The Thief's Journal, claims that a pre-gambling spank was standard practice in the circles he ran in:

He led me a few steps away to the one comfort station on the Parallelo. It was run by an old woman. Surprised by the suddenness of his decision, I questioned him:

"What are you going to do?"

"Wait for me."


He answered with a Spanish word which I did not understand. I told him so and, in front of the old woman who was waiting for her two sous, he burst out laughing and made the gesture of jerking off. When he came out, his face had a bit of color. He was still smiling.

"It's all right now. I'm ready."

That's how I learned that, on big occasions, players went there to jerk off in order to be calmer and more sure of themselves. We went back to the lot. Pépé chose a group. He lost. He lost all he had.
(From the Grove Press translation)


Kentucky trying to say domain names are "illegal gambling devices"

SEATTLE, Washington - Whenever politicians talk about "protecting the children", you know they're pondering stuff that has nothing to do with protecting children. The absurdities pile up particularly high on the issue of online gambling.

Last year I mentioned proposals in Massachusetts. Now Kentucky is getting into the act - governor Steve Beshear is trying to the domain names of 141 internet gambling sites classified as "illegal gambling devices" that can be seized under state law. Surprise surprise, Beshear has also been pushing for a state constitutional amendment to allow meatspace casinos. Hurry, Steve, hide behind a child:

"No one has been willing to step up and do anything about illegal Internet gambling until now," Beshear said in the statement. "We must protect our people, especially our children, from this illegal and unregulated activity while also protecting our legal and regulated forms of gaming in Kentucky."
The technical absurdities pile up on this issue. Internet domain names are just mappings to a unique 32-bit numerical IP address, which people are free to use instead of the domain name - is Kentucky ready to start confiscating 32-bit numbers? Is the number 1481743248 an illegal gambling device, Mr Beshear?

The tech dork response to this may be "just use a proxy", but proxies and anonymizers often have performance lags that might be prohibitive for something like online gambling.

And of course, state governments are like football coaches, if they see one guy doing something that works they all copy it:
Jeremiah Johnston, president of the Washington D.C.-based Internet Commerce Association, said he thought the ruling could have far-reaching ramifications on Internet commerce.

"With this decision, it's essentially throwing a wild card into the mix," Johnston said. "I definitely fear copycat actions from other states."

Found via Digg (where it had a headline so misleading, I'm not linking to it)


Vitali Klitschko doesn't piss on himself, he lets his baby do it

SEATTLE, Washington - Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko has revealed a training secret he uses to reduce swelling in his fists - he wraps his fists in diapers full of his baby's piss. Says he got the idea from his grandmother. Of course he did.

The topic of piss and athletes came up a few years ago when baseball player Moises Alou revealed that he regularly urinates on his hands to toughen them up, which allows him to bat without batting gloves. He said in an interview that it wasn't gross at all, that urine was "just like water."

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada soon verified that he, too, pisses on his hands. He claims this was a common trick of manual laborers that he learned during his rural childhood.

But science says that urine should actually soften hands, not toughen them - leading me to believe these guys just like pissing on themselves.


Football Lock of the Week

SEATTLE, Washington -

Record: 4-2

This week's pick: Virginia Tech (+3) @ Boston College

All Picks for This Season

UPDATE: Nothing's easy... this game was a circus and BC ended up covering, 28-23. Record: 4-3


A better economic barometer - photos of chicks

SEATTLE, Washington - I know I've been whining about the herd behavior of the public regarding their opinion of the "economy", but we may have finally stumbled upon a good indicator of the public's true sentiment - Playboy centerfolds. Scholars have correlated the dimensions of the playmates with the economic conditions of the time of their photo spread, and determined that in bad times, the playmates look like someone you'd hook up to the plow, and in good times they look like baby factories. This is consistent with something called the Environmental Security Hypothesis:

The Environmental Security Hypothesis says that in tough times men will prefer women who are good at production, generally older, taller, heavier, less curvaceous women with less body fat. In good times, they will prefer women who are good at reproduction, generally younger, shorter, lighter, more curvaceous women.


Daniel Craig as James Bond

SEATTLE, Washington - I finally got around to seeing Casino Royale with Daniel Craig as Bond. And let me say, the days of graying old Pierce Brosnan sipping on his martinis are dead and buried. Craig is Bitter and Badass and Totally Yoked. I think, for the next few years, the Bond bad guys are going to be in even more trouble than usual.

The Stock Market is not The Economy

SEATTLE, Washington - I keep hearing this constant drumbeat about how horrible the economy is. This is usually based on looking at the stock market. Even on the sports station, KJR, all the hosts are talking about our disastrous economy.

Can anyone cite for me the evidence of a disastrous economy? GDP grew at almost 3% last quarter. For comparison, during the Great Depression (and people who gain from misery keep comparing today to the Great Depression) there was an almost 30% contraction in GDP.

Unemployment is around 6%, a bit higher than recent years but still right around the 20 year average. Yet I keep reading news stories from places like MSNBC and ABC about the disastrous job situation.

Yes, the stock market is down and showing a lot of volatility. The volatility is a natural outgrowth of the uncertain situation regarding bank lending and the various rapacious and boneheaded government responses to the bank situation.

The evidence that we're going to hell in a handbasket seems to consist of the Secretary of the Treasury, Congress, and the media telling us that we're going to hell in a handbasket unless our wise government takes decisive action with hundreds of billions of dollars of our wealth.

While the media keep telling you about the stock market - oil is at $72 a barrel today, down around 50% from just a few months ago. A few months ago, we were all doomed because of high oil prices - it made food too expensive, we all had to throw our cars in the river, etc. Myopic publications like The Stranger were declaring the end of the automobile era, declaring that we should take whatever transit measures were being shoved down our throats, because oil had gotten too expensive and there's no way the price of oil ever falls.


Chinook's butchers their menu

SEATTLE, Washington - Chinook's has unceremoniously dumped the Oyster Stew from their menu. What reason exists to go there now, exactly? The view of the rusting sailboats?

They also ditched the Oyster Pot Pie.

I would have been the first to admit that the menu at Chinook's was a bit swollen, had a few items that had to go. But not the Oyster stew.

Guess I'll be learning how to cook oyster stew.


Football Lock of the Week

SEATTLE, Washington -

Record: 3-2

This week's pick: Utah (-23) @ Wyoming

All Picks for This Season

UPDATE: Utah wins and covers, 40-7. The only surprising thing is that Wyoming scored at all. Record: 4-2


Misery as entertainment in Seattle sports

SEATTLE, Washington - I hate to take the detached, cynical view of sports in this city but I'm a detached, cynical person.

Sports is ultimately about entertainment and I am entertained. Entertained by the meltdown of the UW football program, the bloodthirsty calls for Willingham's head, the sniping in the media between Tim Lappano and Hugh Millen, etc.

Sports talk radio is much more entertaining when things are bad. The Sonics have left, I know many people are heartbroken about this, but the whole 2-year relocation drama made for entertaining, informative radio.


O.J. Simpson found guilty - of carrying a bad manpurse

SEATTLE, Washington -

photo from Celebslam


Harrison Ford's Billboard of Dorian Gray at Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK, New York - To whom have you sold your soul, Mr Ford?


Football Lock of the Week

NEW YORK, New York -

Record: 2-2

This week's pick: South Carolina (+2.5) @ Ole Miss

All Picks for This Season

UPDATE: South Carolina wins straight up, 31-24. Record: 3-2


The sensual pleasure of crackling AM radio

NEW YORK, New York - While I'm on the topic of sensuality: I happen to be in New York City this week just as the baseball season has ended and the Mets have narrowly missed the playoffs for the second straight year. I've been listening to the tragicomic catharsis of the Mets fans on WFAN's evening call-in shows.

I'm not getting great reception in the hotel so the signal has a bit of a crackle to it, and I like it this way. I grew up with the buzz of mediocre AM signals and for me it's part of the experience.

WFAN now streams their programming and I do listen when there's big sports news, such as the trade for Brett Favre ("I wuz so excited... I heard the news just after midnight, right away I called my muddah...."), but it's not the same. Listening to Ed in Kew Gardens or Jerry in Bay Ridge vent about the Mets at 1am sounds so much more right on AM radio than on a 16 Kbps stream.

Perhaps I should work on a media player that will add some static to streaming radio.