7-30-10: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Once again, we've reached the end of the week, and unless I've missed something, we've gotten there mostly intact.

Trust me, these things can't be assumed!

As usual, Friday means it's Update time, and for at least one of my Favorite Teams there's plenty to discuss.

And I'll do just that...

Right after the quote!

”I have learned to use the word 'impossible' with the greatest caution.”
- Werner von Braun (1912 - 1977), German-American rocket scientist, astronautics engineer and space architect

Even with the greatest of caution, we can say that the Diamondbacks are out of it this year. The Twins? How about we be “cautiously optimistic” in their case?

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7-28-10: No-Hitter Madness

Hello again everybody...

It's almost uncanny. Nearly every time I end a column with something like:

“You know, unless something breaks that blows my initial idea out of the water...”

My initial idea gets blown right out of said water. Coincidence? Irony? Whatever god you believe in amusing him/herself at my expense... again?

You decide.

Whatever the case, the latest edition of “Peek at the Picks” will keep - and if it improves my Kelley Formula score, mores the better.

Instead, today I have to talk about Matt Garza's no-hitter from Monday night. In and of itself, it was no more or less remarkable than any other no-hitter. But put in the context of what's happened this season, and in baseball history, it merits some discussion.

And discuss I shall!

Right after the quote...

”Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.”
- W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), English playwright, novelist and short story writer

I always enjoy it when someone can take a simple phrase like, “Hey, live a little!” and make it sound like a profound bit of philosophy!

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7-26-10: Notes

Hello again everybody...

Hope you had a great weekend.

Mine was too short, as most good weekends tend to be. I got to relax a bunch on Saturday, and work a remote on Sunday.

What's that? Work as part of a good weekend?

Well when it's a red-carpet gala, and you get to meet some interest folks (and thanks to a union contract, you get paid for more hours than you actually work), it's not a bad way to kill a few hours on a Sunday.

I always enjoy a trip to the River Center in St. Paul. I only wish I'd been passing through on my way to a hockey game!

(This is the part on Twitter where you'd insert “#isitOctoberyet”.)

But you didn't come here to listen to me ramble about rubbing elbows with C-list celebrities (did I mention Verne Troyer of Mini-Me fame was there?!). No, you came here to get my unique - and sometimes even interesting - takes on what happened over the weekend.

Which I'll give you...

Right after the quote.

”A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
- Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist.

Admirable sentiment... now where did I leave the remote again?

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7-23-10: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

We've done it! We've fooled the employment gods and made it to the end of another week!

And it's not just any week-ending, oh no. It seems that the fine folks at the local office of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the corporate folks that run my shop are close to agreeing on a new contract.

Why would that be significant, you ask? Well, one, it guarantees me continued employment, which is always a good thing. But two, there's a clause contained within that contract that will change the nature of my job slightly.

I hate to be a tease, but I don't want to jinx anything either. (I'm a baseball fan, I believe in these things.) My hope is that in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to talk about some mildly exciting work-related news.

I know, I know, I probably shouldn't even have brought it up, but it's been on my mind today, so there you go!

I promise, as soon as it's official, I'll tell you all about it.

Until then, however, we've got some Updating to do...

Right after the quote!

”Knowledge is power, if you know it about the right person.”
- Ethel Mumford (1878 - 1940), American author

I'm not suggesting anything nefarious by selecting this quote... honest!

It's Friday. That means it's time... once again... for everybody's favorite segment...

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7-21-10: Say it Ain't So, Joe

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to a Wednesday.

Sorry this is getting up so late, but I was at the Twins game last night and didn't have enough time to really write anything afterward.

So I'm scrambling to throw something together at work. This probably won't be lengthy. This may not be all that deep. But it will be one heck of a rant!

And I'll get to it...

Right after the quote.

”College isn't the place to go for ideas.”
- Hellen Keller (1880 - 1968), American author, political activist and lecturer

Seems a little harsh, but okay. If college isn't the place to go for ideas, then the 3-hole isn't the spot in the line-up to be bunting!

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7-19-10: Notes

Hello again everybody...

I'm back. And even on schedule! Will wonders never cease?

Apologies for leaving you in the lurch on Friday, but as I warned you might happen last Wednesday, the combination of certain events conspired against me and I wasn't able to get anything together (at least nothing worth reading anyway) in time to be posted.

Hopefully you managed without me.

As it was, I had a brilliant weekend that included attending a couple of winning ballgames as well as some quality time with my nephew. Hard to complain about that.

So as we begin another week, what's the best way to get caught up?

A “Notes” column, of course!

Let's get to the notating then...

Right after the quote.

”The only obligation to which in advance we can hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.”
- Henry James (1843 - 1916), American-born writer

Though Mr. James was speaking mostly of long-form fiction writing, I think it's a fair statement to make even of amateurish blog writing. As long as it's able to hold your interest, any other errors are rather excusable... I hope.

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7-14-10: A Tale of Two Owners

Hello again everybody...

I'm back! Sorry I didn't have anything for you Monday, but sometimes you go to the well and there's just nothing there.

Not the case today, I assure you.

I thought last week that I was finished with the LeBron nonsense, but unfortunately, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers fired off a letter that was so astounding, I had to comment on it.

As I was considering the various ways I could go about commenting on it, news came yesterday of the passing of a legendary baseball owner, George Steinbrenner. And that's when the muse kicked in. What better way to comment on one... I don't know, is “boisterous” the right word?... owner than by comparing and contrasting him to another?

That's how column ideas get born, boys and girls!

So let's get to the commenting...

Right after the quote.

”Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.”
- Orson Welles (1915 - 1985), American film director, writer, actor, and producer

Look, I'm all for grand pronouncements, lofty goals and national pride. But sometimes it's a bit much and you just want to know what's on the lunch cart, you know?!

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7-9-10: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

So I wasn't really watching TV last night, did I miss any news?


Anything at all?

Okay, of course I was aware of the hullabaloo that was going on last night. Yet I debated for a good chunk of time about whether I'd even mention it or not today. A big part of me wanted to ignore it completely since I really couldn't care less about the NBA. I wanted to let my silence be my statement.

But that would be slightly disingenuous since I did discuss it with several people last night. So denying you, my dear readers, of at least a brief discussion of LeBron-mania wouldn't be fair, would it?

Here goes then...

All of this nonsense only reinforces my distaste for the NBA. The way I see it, LeBron manufactured an hour of national television to rip out the collective hearts of his home town. Well played, James!

Look, he was a free agent, and could sign wherever he wanted. I don't think he owed it to Cleveland to re-sign there. He gave it seven years, and wanted to try something else. Fine. I don't deny his right to do that.

What I object to is the manner in which he chose to do it. There is a reason that we haven't seen this type of event before, and it's not because there hasn't been this high a profile free agent. Kobe was a free agent. Michael was technically a free agent when he returned from the world of baseball. And those guys had both actually won a championship before they made their choice... what a concept?!

The reason we haven't seen it before is because it's a classless move towards the organization a player would be leaving, and the fans who'd supported that player throughout his tenure.

To create the hype and nonsensical drama of “The Decision” was an intellectually dishonest attempt at marketing the LeBron “brand” and furthering his efforts to become a “global icon”. (I know, I know... that's a lot of quotes... bear with me.)

The only scintilla of credit I can give him is that the profits from the commercials were donated to the Boys and Girls Club of America. That display of charity is laudable, yet insufficient to outweigh the disgust I feel over the whole affair.

This is the guy the NBA wants us to celebrate? This treatment of his former franchise is supposed to be acceptable?

No. This is the reason I continue to detest the NBA. This is the reason that despite Gary Bettman's continued attempts to ruin the sport, my winter sports attention and passion resides squarely with the NHL.

I don't expect the NBA to care. I don't expect them to miss my money or attention much. But they're the only “votes” I have, and they're not in any danger of going in the NBA's favor anytime soon.

Rant, fin.

Now let's get to why you really come here on a Friday. It's time to get Updated!

Right after the quote...

”Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”
- George Carlin (1937 - 2008), American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author

So at least LeBron has that going for him! (Okay, honestly, I'm done with it... really.)

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7-7-10: Big Ten (Plus) Alignment

Hello again everybody...

I hope you had a fantastic and safe holiday weekend. I'm back, feeling pretty well rested and refreshed. I also hope you still have all ten fingers and at least most of your eyebrows. I'm not a huge fireworks person myself, so I'm all good.

The All-Star rosters came out over the weekend, and it was my initial intention to compare and contrast them to my ballot today, but I got into an email exchange with Lon in Forest Lake that got me a little sidetracked. So instead, I'll kick the All-Star roster debate til Monday. That'll work out just dandy since by then we'll know the result of the “Final Vote” (go to and Vote Delmon!) and we should have the vast majority of roster-tweaks due to injury and “that pitcher pitched on Sunday, so by rule he can't pitch in the All-Star Game”-type stuff ironed out.

(Hey, I didn't make the rule, but don't think that teams aren't making sure certain guys pitch on Sunday because they don't want them risking injury in an exhibition game.)

Today? We're talking college football. I know, I know. It's early July. Why on earth am I bringing it up now?

One word... fear.

I've been kicking around some Big Ten (Plus) divisional alignment ideas for some time now, and I want to get them down in column-form before the league goes and announces their official alignments and screws me out of a topic of discussion!

So let's get to the aligning...

Right after the quote.

”If I had my life to live again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.”
- Tallulah Bankhead (1903 - 1968), American actress, talk-show host, and bon vivant

Right? Get them out of the way? Gain your wisdom more quickly? Ah, but Ms. Bankhead didn't take into account the likelihood that making the same mistakes more quickly only frees you up to make more mistakes! Think about it...

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7-2-10: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Happy Fourth of July weekend to you all. That's right, Independence Day is on Sunday, which makes Monday a federal holiday, and I'm fortunate to have that day off. That also means, no column on Monday.

I know, I know. I've been taking a lot of time off lately, both from work and the blog, but it's Summer and these things happen. I'm sure you all understand.

But before we can light up some fireworks, we've got to get ourselves Updated. Oh, and this week? You get a little extra! That's why you come here on a Friday, right?!

Let's get to it...

Right after the quote.

”A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not endured with patient resignation.”
- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist and social critic

Mr. Russell and I would not have gotten along very well...

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