The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Champions League: English Premier League teams draw tough road. Italians receive free pass.

Let the whining begin...

We all know that the brackets for NCAA College Basketball Tournament games are created with the intent of saving the best games for the end. Which is why you don't seek Duke playing Kansas or Florida in the first round. Yet Champions League draws are a bit of a mystery with suggested collusion when it comes to deciding who plays where and when, and in which Group.

Last years Champions League quarter, semi, and finals were exciting since they paired the most talented teams (or arguably the most talented) to meet in the Spring. This year is something else since some of the best teams must survive their own grouping before advancing foward in the competition.
The downside of this is that it could be "over before its over" and the upside could be that there could be a darkhorse or two that could surprise everyone - that is - before getting squashed in the final.

Liverpool will face Porto, Marseille, and Besiktas out of Group A. Chelsea has drawn one of the toughest roads in the competition: Valencia, Rosenborg and Schalke 04 out of Group B. Manchester United out of Group F will face Roma, Sporting Dynamo, and Kiev. Arsenal will face AEK Athens or Sevilla, Steaua Bucuresti, and Slavia Prague

Sadly, the Italians pretty much got a free pass going into the first round (or real competition) AC Milan drew an easy road with Celtic, Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D, while their rivals Inter Milan drew an easy road with PSV Eindhoven, Pernerbahce, and CSKA Moscow out of Group G.
There is probably more risk to the game by drawing out best from worst due to the sensitivities involved. But a least no one will be able to say that the English had a easy road should they advance. English teams already have the toughest schedule in the Sport - FA Cup, Champions League, and Carling Cup plus the match-ups in their weekly EPL schedule.
It's really no wonder that people are beginning to question the reasonability of the schedules, and the impacts to the players. Some argue to leave it alone since its always been this way, but I'm not sure that such is the case - the competition within the regular EPL schedule is better than its always been with once mid-tier teams now strong enough to unseat "expected" power teams like Man U, Arsenal, Everton, and Liverpool.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Idiot Capuano: Crashes vehicle

From this story in the Hartford Courant, we learn that John Capuano, 36, of Newington led West Hartford police on a wild chase yesterday through parts of West Hartford, Farmington, and Hartford which ended in a crash on Farmington Avenue in Hartford. Besides hoping that they string him up for pistol-whipping his elderly father, and driving dangerously through three or more towns, evading police, I would like to know who pays for the damage to the West Hartford Police Cruisers as shown in the Hartford Courant snapshot?

Can anyone tell me who's obligated to pay for the damage? I hope its Capuano and not West Hartford Taxpayers. Can anyone shed light on this?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Diocese of Connecticut begins legal proceedings against Trinity Episcopal Church Bristol.

I reported this back a few weeks ago, and some individuals thought I might have misread or exaggerated the fact that the Diocese of Connecticut would go so low as to file suit against individuals. Well, sadly here we have an update from the American Anglican Council regarding exactly that:

The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut has commenced a legal action against the former rector and former wardens of Trinity Episcopal Church, Bristol, who have refused to turn over possession of Trinity Episcopal Church properties and assets as requested. The complaint is available online here.

Sad that Bishop Andrew Smith is taking this unprecedented step to personally attack parishioners of the Church. ArchBishop of Canterbury and our traditional Anglican brethern - we hope that you are watching. We hope that you see the kind of creeps running the Diocese of Connecticut, adorning the collar, falsely asserting that they are working on behalf of the Lord, and how low they are willing to stoop. They have no sense of Christian duty or morality.

What next? Star Chamber? We hope God is watching and punishes Andrew Smith and his crownies for their horrible antics.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Coming Presidential Election Cycle

One thing we can all dread, is the coming Presidential Election Cycle.

Anywhere you go, people seem fed up with politics. I can remember when there was excitement in the air back when "Slick Willie" Bill Clinton was in office and after realizing that he was pretty much the same old Washington carpetbagger using the White House as a Whorehouse and a Fund Raising Office (and his wife was lusting for power), and the Republicans made an incredible surge forward under Newt Gingrich and eventually took Congress and the White House - that was excitement and that's the last time anyone had a plan that made sense.

Then George Bush came into office and everything seemed to go south for the GOP. The war is a huge mess. Everyone agrees and the public is dead set fed up with it. It's not cut and run at this point, its cutting our own throats and running in circles like a chicken with its head cut off. It's embarrassing. It's pathetic. It's why the GOP lost Congress to begin with.

It's going to be hard for any Republican to run along a record like Bush's. The GOP's only saving grace is that the Nation thinks less of Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Gore and the band of lunatics in the Democratically controlled Congress; everyone agrees that they are worse for America long term than Bush and the lackluster GOP hacks . Every time Pelosi opens her mouth, you can hear the sound of a cash register ringing - cha ching - and the GOP filling its coffers. With all the material that Bush supplies them daily by being himself, they can barely mount an offense. Pathetic creatures.

Back to 2008, today both sides of the aisle are suffering from decent candidates. It's worse than pathetic: Clinton, Obama, Nader, Guilani, Thompson, Edwards, and the rest of the gang are about as stale and boring as it gets. Let's break them down for you here:

Hillary Clinton: Electing her would be Satan's gift to the world. Bitchy, whiny, power mongering pain the ass with a feminazi twist on everything. God help the United States if such a person were ever elected to the White House. Her antics of pretending to be a New Yorker and then switching back to a Southern twang when in front of the Southern Crowd is about as phony and sick as it gets. Yet, no one calls her on it because they are terrified of her. And because the media goobers all love her. And so would every Middle Eastern Terrorist organization. She's a clueless, power-hungry twit. She'd do anything to get elected, just ask Vince Foster. Oh, that's right, you can't. Hmmm. The bead and sandles crowd will be at her beckon call - you watch.

Barack Obama: Yeah right. Everyone in their right mind knows he unelectable. He bucks the establishment way too much - even most Democrats understand that we can't negotiate directly with terrorist states - and I got a kick out of Hillary Clinton eluding to Edwards (caught on camera) that Obama (and the rest of the field) wasn't a real candidate. She's right. But since she changes accents to suit her audience... she's not a real person either. Obama and Usama... that's the connection everyone will make. America isn't electing a Muslim named black guy to the White House. Sorry. Call us in 200 years, and maybe then he might have a chance. Again, the media loves this guy.

Fred Thompson: Funny, witty and charming. A big fat politician that made his way to Television who everyone likes. No charisma, no energy, and no platform. Is he running or just acting. Fred, stay in acting please.

Ralph Nader (or his repetitive ghost). The only people who like Ralph Nader like to buck the world. Sleeps at people's homes during election campaigning, and pretty much spends all of his free time collecting signatures for the next Presidential Campaign Cycle. Very few people really think electing Ralph Nader to the Presidency is a good idea - even if it were in a "made for TV movie". The only thing good about Nader in the race is that he tends to embarrass the other Democrats in the field.

Chris Dodd: Connecticut's own tedious Senator. Again, no charisma. His high point was battling Bill O'Reilly on television. For a guy that's been in there for all of his professional career, he's doesn't seem to have much to show for it. No favors, no energy, nothing. He probably wishes he was back with a certain television anchor or partying with Ted Kennedy. If it weren't for the unions, he'd be history in Connecticut too. In fact, I can't think of one single piece of legislation that distinguishes on the Hill. What have you done for that many years? Chris Dodd's run is nothing more than wasted energy.

John Edwards: Didn't he already make a run? What's he doing out there anyway? Another ambulance chaser in the field. Didn't 2004 tell him something? Uggh. Get out now, stop bickering with the press about your wife. You lost your Senate seat and your respectability. Time to go.

Dennis Kucinich: Bahaahahahahahahaahah. Need we say more. My God, at least look Presidential for at least five minutes, will ya?

Rudy Giuliani: Ok. Showed great stuff in NYC during 9-11. Quite a few skeletons in his closet. New Yorkers have a stigma that most Americans are appalled by. Rudy could be a sleeper, but even Italians don't want to see an Italian President. Not sure what that's about, but there seems to be some issue with all of this. I don't know, Rudy doesn't do it for me. Stay a hero of 9-11 and stay in the public sector.

John McCain: First, the man is a patriot, but he looks like death turned over. And from everything we know he has a major anger management problem. But if I were held in confinement for as long as he was, I'd probably have the same problem. McCain isn't liked in his own party. He's not able to rally the troops particularly when he works so often with the Democrats.

Sam Brownback: Who? Senator from Kansas. Stay in the Senate, you are too boring and mild mannered to sit in the White House. You are Chris Dodd's ghost in the GOP. He just doesn't have as many excuses as you do for not being able the rally the crowd or party support. Nice guys finish last. In your case, dead last. Stay in the Senate if you want to make a difference.

Mitt Romney: Just when you think you've found the next Reagan, he finds religion. A tough hurdle to overcome in states like NC, SC and GA where obscure Christian sects like Mormons and Catholics are deemed foreign and superstitious. He's the best of the entire field, but he'll be defending himself for the next 20 years.

Mike Huckabee: No offense Mike, but one clown from Arkansas for eight years surpasses the two century quota. We'll have to pass. What do you stand for anyway?

Yep, eight years of Bush is seven too many. If he had passed away just after 9-11, they would be putting statues up of him everywhere. Now he's the poster child for speech management classes around the globe. But sadly, his legacy is much to be desired.

I've never seen a group of rag tag wannabees forced on the American Public. And I didn't even hammer all of them.

So, jokes over now. Who's really running?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cornell Lewis: Using the Petit Family Murders to stir up Hate. Shame!

As if the murders of the Petit family didn't already have us saddened and upset; we are left locking our windows, securing entry-ways, and staring down would-be assailants in our local Stop-n-Shop. Every parent now operates on higher sense of alert; checking every nook and cranny for the potential for danger. The plain fact is that this is the horrific story of three innocent people, one wife and two children, attacked, raped, murdered and burned, and a loving husband left for dead - staggering out of his smoke-filled house, fleeing for his life. What kind of monsters would do such a thing? We all know.

Yes, we all know that two sick villains, both white ex-cons, planned and perpetrated the murders, and were caught red-handed fleeing the scene. Now we are left with the pictures, the story, and the fear that this could happen to any one of us in the darkness of night. The slight shimmer of hope is that the two rotten monsters who are responsible for committing such wretched acts are on track to most likely never see the light of day again. With any hope, they will feel the intermittent pulse of a 10,000 megawatt electro-charge, and seize to exist on this Earth.

Unfortunately, the story, as told in all its horror, isn't enough for some. And it only took only a few weeks, but the creeps have come out in full force.

First there are the idiot conspiracy theorists, having little class and too much time on their hands in between watching episodes of mindless crime scene shows that fill cable TV schedules, have decided to try and pin the murder on the only surviving victim - Dr. Wiliam Petit. The clue that drives them to conspiracy? It's only that poor Dr. Petit survived. "Why did Petit live, and why did the others die?" I'm sure Dr. Petit has asked himself that question a dozen times. Sometimes probably wishing he had departed this plane of existence with his family instead of having to face the ghosts of great memories, and memories that will never be.

Leave the man be. It's hell on Earth for him as it is. Just leave him alone.

This is the thinking of the mad in our midst. The same losers hanging around in West Hartford Center who rally against troops serving abroad who are protecting our way of life. The same that see rap music songs that call for shooting police officers as a mild form of expression misunderstood. You know, the counter-culturalists among us that see right as wrong, and wrong as right. Those who's heads were screwed on backwards at birth or got in with the wrong crowd at college and learned to reject Western Civilization and their parents for having successful lives on the backs of Native Americans, or the Slave trade, Capitalism, the poor, etc, etc. You know the type.

Not to be outdone by wanna-be detectives, along comes an even bigger creep. It's none other than black political activist Cornell Lewis, and his gang of cronies, who instead of showing support and compassion for the victims, and affected community (which by now is all of us), have instead come out in typical racist-fashion to try and turn the horrific Petit murderers into a racial issue or some type of self-serving publicity stunt.

Eager to turn this tragic story to his advantage, Reverned Lewis decided that because the victims lived in middle class Cheshire, and the victims were white, that he'd heard enough about this story and questioned, "[IF this had happened in a black community, would it had received the same attention?]. I guess the question to be asked is what does Lewis and his band of trouble-makers hope to gain by floating racial-charged hypotheticals completely unconnected with the Petit case? What is to be gained by such classless behavior? What does he want? Riots in the streets? To stir up anger in his followers seeking scapegoats for their ills? Attempt to energize his base? What?

It's a pretty lowdown tactic by a man who calls himself "Reverend". The fact is that Lewis doesn't even have a point to make. It's pure hatred and racism on his part. He even pretty much admitted on WFSB Channel 3 that some would call his charges - racism. Yes, Reverend. This story is all about the hate and racism in your heart. Let's hope that the good people of Hartford see through Lewis' shenanigans to "stir it up".

I'm sure Lewis was saddened to hear about the news of the Petit murders. But sad chiefly because the story was about two white guys committing a crime against a white family in a middle class neighborhood. This story doesn't fit nicely into Lewis' warped view of the world. There was no opportunity for him to advance his ongoing assault of racism charges against Hartford Police for alleged profiling of victims, or claim some injustice for would-be-minority suspects against a system that he believes punishes minorities without cause. Nor did this story feed his claims that his community is unprotected and ignored by city officials - yep, no candlelight vigil in Hartford this time around. No black on black crime. No opportunity to spout statistics and point the finger at George Bush, Carl Rove, and a million or so responsible Republicans. No legs for Mr. Reverend Lewis and his agenda.

What Lewis doesn't understand is the horror of the story is that someone, not just a regular working stiff (like this writer), who spent his entire life serving, catering, and healing others in his community, has had a loss. And Lewis, the fact is when its someone who cares and serves, and loves like Dr. Petit and his family, we tend to see things differently. It's not because they are white, or live in Cheshire.

Reverend Lewis, like his followers, and the conspiracy theorists, has shown us all just how hollow he really is. And what's a shame is that the next time he might have a legitimate civil rights concern - he's hurt his credibility with those of us who may actually care. Because with someone like him standing up at a rally podium - the story will become lost in the memory of his self-serving ploy to downplay the memories of Dr. William Petit's family for his own self-serving need for public attention.

Get a grip Reverend Lewis. It's time for you to go back in your cave, and let the rest of us mourn for the Petit family in peace.

And shame on WFSB-TV Channel 3 for not knowing better than to fan the illegitimate flames of hate harbored by so called-Reverend Lewis and his band of cronies.

Update to NOAA Hurricane Prediction

In my last update, I advised that NOAA had downgraded its Hurricane prediction, but a West Hartford reader sent this link to me which advises that the National Hurricane Center has "maintained" its prediction for an above-average Hurricane Season.

This is interesting news since we haven't had a significant tracking for the season as of this writing. There must be a serious expectation that conditions will change over the next few weeks and turbulent weather formations will begin to increase in size and number.

Anyone with additional information is welcome to post to the comments section. Special thanks to "New to WH" for their contribution! Much appreciated!

Friday, August 10, 2007

English Premier League Kicks off tomorrow!

The official season of the English Premier League (EPL) kicks off tomorrow, and it looks like the games will be as exciting as last year - which is great news for those of us who love the sport of Soccer as played by the Europe's and World's greatest and most formidable league.

This brings me to a question that I've been toying with off and on regarding this blog and how to incorporate EPL updates as part of my regular ramblings. The question I've been asking is should I set up a separate blog for that purpose, or should updates continue here as key developments unfold? I don't intend to set up a blog or webpage that provides up to the minute scores or details of trades and so forth - as that is well covered by both Fox Soccer Channel's website and ESPN's Soccer site. And to their credit the coverage is good enough for the average fan.

In the coming days, I'll either set up a new blog, or decide to keep my soccer ramblings to a once a week thing.

But no matter what happens, I'm ready to watch Chelsea, Man U, Tottenham, West Ham, Liverpool, Newcastle and the host of other teams that are ready to take to the pitch. This will come as a huge disappointment to my wife and kids. The television will be centered around soccer which means that nonsense shows, soaps, reality TV, and Barney will have to take a hike. If Barney wants viewing time, he'd better put on a Chelsea Jersey and shag his fat, purple self onto the pitch.

Now how many parents would pay to see Barney slide-tackled. I'd pitch in a few bucks toward the Red Card suspension fee. Wouldn't you?

In the meantime, trying to figure out who was transferred to where? There have been a lot of trades in the EPL over the summer, so you may want to look here so your not surprised to see players like Alan Smith wearing a Newcastle Jersey over the weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Barry Bonds* : Fraud

I think I've written plenty about the most arrogant baseball player, and biggest cheater in professional sports history. And I've written plenty about the fraudulent and cowardly baseball commissioner, Bud Selig who let this all happen. And the media who could care less about right and wrong, and would rather bask in a manufactured record setting moment, no matter how tainted it is. God forbid if someone actually passed Hank Aaron without using enhancement drugs or steroids. ESPN, Selig, et al - thanks for reminding kids that its OK to cheat because "everyone is doing it."

What a black eye on baseball. What a black eye on Leadership and standing up for truth. What an example for the kids! Selig, baseball owners, hang your heads low - you are a world-wide disgrace. As for Bonds* - well, we all know what he is, don't we?

So, let's get one thing straight... he will always be seen as:


* Used sports enhancement drugs known as steroids to achieve stardom and break Hank Aaron's all time homerun record. The utterance of this fraud's name in the same breath as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams is a crime against baseball purists and those that believe in fair play, honesty, and merit.

A Reflection: Making Time

Is time our friend or enemy? Or is it merely a partner in our current reality?

Well, one thing is for sure - time is something we can't control. So given that we have a meager 24 hours in a day, you have to make the best of it. You end up slicing it and dicing it into basic components:

1) Work (13 hours) - usually demands the most of your day and includes physically being at work, commuting to and from work, and the gray areas on the ends that distract you either while running errands, while eating, or engaged in something other than work, including trying to get to sleep.
2) Sleep (6 hrs) - (or actual sleep) usually runs between 11 pm to 5 am. With subtle interruptions.
3) Eating - (1 hr) - usually consists of more time prepping and less time consuming food.
4) Family and Errands (3 hrs) - the family time component usually suffers the most, and errands are a necessity. Cleaning, mowing lawn, shopping, vacuuming, putting children to bed, changing diapers.
5) Wasting time (1 hr) - Television, computer time, having a beer and zoning out.

As most of you know, I have a very demanding job. Lately, I've been putting in about 10-11 hours a day (and that time still doesn't allot for everything that needs to be done properly). But that is the life of a project director/program manager, and no one can lay blame about the work they do since we live in a free market and there are a vast number of jobs out there. And besides, the job is a personality fit for me: Always busy, never finished, and racing against the clock to meet milestones and deadlines while fighting fires each step of the way. (I'll save my fire on project management for another entry).

But back to the focus on time. I believe the equation is simple, the more demanding your job is - the more you are conpensated (let's face it, they pay you for the level of stress and accountability), therefore - the more time is expected to get the work done right, and not just your work, but the work of others. Since most of us, who want nice things for ourselves and our families, need to take these kinds of jobs, then we knowingly sacrafice time with our families, free time, and our health.

Is it worth it? Sure. We want our kids to grow up having what they need to be happy, healthy, and given the tools to be competitive in a complex and ever-changing world. And for the free moments we get, we want the conveniences and niceities in life that make it worthwhile - this includes things like toys that make us happy, and family vacations and weekend trips where great memories are made.

So given everything that I've written about time, I'm afraid I can offer little in the way of how best to reclaim any of it. All I can offer is to snipit time off of errands, a tad from work, a tad more from sleep, and make eating time family focused to the best extent possible.

All of this is hard with leaving for work when family is in bed or just waking up, my return home around 6 pm, and the kids bound for bed at 8 pm. It's the cycle of the working dad. So you just have to make 6pm - 8pm quality time with the family.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Spaten Premium: The King's regular beer of choice (and how he came to find it!)

Staying on the beer theme for now, I had to follow up from my Franziskaner post to talk about the beer that I choose to consume on a regular basis - and that is Spaten Premium - also known in the USA as "Spaten Light".

For the uninitiated, Spaten is pronounced "shpahhh-ten" - the "a" is soft - similiar to the "a" sound in "car". It's often mispronounced with a long "a" as in "bacon" or the sound you hear in "apple". Spaten is a spade... just like on the logo to the right.

Like most, I believe in love at first sight. And when it comes to beer, I can honestly claim that love at first taste is even more real than love at first sight. Most people can recall when they drank their first Spaten.

It was the Summer of '89. And I had been driving around Watrous Park in Cromwell in search of my brother who was to have been playing volleyball on one of the park's fields. I parked my car, searched high and low, and couldn't find my brother on any of the fields. But I stopped and listened. And to my wonderment, I heard this incredibly beautiful "German Fest Music" being played.

I then saw three older German ladies (Frauen), and inquired about the music which I had recognized from my German language classes at UConn. I asked if I could go over and have a closer listen. And one of them smiled and replied, "It's a public park, you can go anywhere."

I wandered over. Inquired about the music and learned that I had stumbled across the Hartford Saengerbund's annual club picnic. I met a few of the members, shook hands, and before I knew it, one of them - an older gentleman, who had very thick glasses and a thick German accent poured me a beer from the keg. This man's name was Alois Hager, and the beer was a Spaten Premium.

I had a couple of glasses and engaged the members in quite a bit of dialogue about German language, history, and culture. The members were eager to share their stories, and I was an open listener to the wonders of Oktoberfests, World War II, and the land of good beer and Ompa-pa bands. I later became a member of the club - and enjoyed many a Spaten from the kegs, and heard many amazing stories about soldiering in harsh conditions in the Wehrmacht.

Well, Alois has long passed away. He was a good man and lived a great life in amazing times. I'm sure he's in Heaven drinking a Spaten now (with a Jaegermeister shot on the side), and smiling down on me as I write this entry.

So back to Spaten.

Spaten also makes a variety of other beers, including Oktoberfest, Optimator, Boch Beer, and a few other simple varieties. As a general rule, I prefer the light version for its simplicity, and the fact that its not heavy, and doesn't leave you with a hangover in the morning. I think the lack of hangover is more an expectation of drinking German Beer. German Beer follows the German Purity Law of 1516 referred to as the Reinheitsgebot.

When the kids are in bed on a Saturday night and I have a free moment after 9 pm. I put a few bottles of Spaten light into my 1 liter glass stein, and sit back, turn on and envision myself in a Munich Beer Hall. Hey, we all have our escapes.

And thanks to Alois Hager, The Hartford Saengerbund, and Spaten Brewing Company - I have mine.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Franziskaner Weissbier: The beer of choice!

People have asked, "King, what is your beer of choice?"

This is a tough question because The King finds that there are plenty of excellent choices amongst the world's beers. In fact, I often will make my decisions for which I beer I choose based on my mood, the season, the weather, and general purpose (i.e. what do I want out of my adult beverage?).

To the right is probably my favorite beer - if given the choice of one beer upon notice that it would be my last: it is Franziskaner Weissbier (Hefe-Weisse style) brewed by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu GmbH out of Munich, Germany. The beer is incredibly refreshing and tasty. It cannot be consumed directly out of the bottle, but rather poured properly into a Weissbier glass (see Ron Kwas' site for specific directions on how to do this properly). The beer is full and slightly heavy. I break the normal tradition of drinking this beer without tampering with its perfection by sometimes adding a slice of lemon to it. I learned this from actual Germans so in some respect, I think it's not a taboo.

I've been drinking this beer for close to 18 years now. For whatever reason, I always come back to it as a staple of perfection for days when I need a boast, or I'm home relaxing on the back porch. My Frau (wife) enjoys the darker version of the Franziskaner Weissbier, which is also quite delicious. But once you start with it, its hard to move to another beer since the taste is so strong.

Weissbier comes in a lot of varieties and brands. People argue on end about which one is best and it is really just a matter of personal taste and preference. There are some American versions of Weissbier that are simply terrible (UFO for example). These beers are a poor imitation of the real thing. If you purchase beer on price, than you might as well drink water because that's what you tend to get when you pick as substitute like UFO.

Franziskaner is fruity, full, and yet light at the same time. It also helps with allergy season due to the "hefe" which is said to dampen the effects of pollen and other airborne and respitory aggravants.

And 50 cents isn't worth the savings to be satisfied, and enjoy a proper beer.

Life is too short to drink cheap, unsophisticated beer. Try a Franziskaner and let me know what you think.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sushi resturant "rolls" Barry Bonds*

A Denver Sushi Restaurant took a jab at "the world's biggest cheater" - Barry Bonds* (story here) .

Here's a quote from the article:

"Hapa Sushi Grill ran a half-page ad Thursday in the satirical weekly The Onion that read "Congratulations Hank Aaron on 755 home runs." At the bottom of the page, the ad continues: "Organic beef and chicken, no added steroids." Full-page ads are planned for two Boulder, Colo., daily newspapers starting Friday."

Hapa Sushi Grill is my kind of place. Any Restaurant that would stick its head out to call attention to the illegal antics of Barry Bonds* should be frequented and rewarded by local patrons. Thumbs up to the owner of Hapa Sushi Grill - sir, you have more "sack" than our current clueless and cowardly Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, and all of ESPN and most of the Sports Media who have been out there popping for Bonds* and his PHONY ACHIEVEMENT.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

2007 Hurricane Season in full swing

For all their scientific gadgets and fancy prediction systems, the National Weather Service has certainly struck out the last few years with their over-prediction of Hurricane activity. NOAA has issued this prediction for 2007, which calls for an above average number of Atlantic Hurricanes (since the May prediction they toned down the threat, but yet they haven't updated their site to reflect reduced predictive forecast... so we will go with what's posted). Pacific Coast predictions show a reduction from normal activity (down about 70%).

For the Atlantic, NOAA predicts:

  • A 74 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2007 (the long-term average probability is 52 percent).
  • A 50 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula (the long-term average is 31 percent)
  • A 49 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville (the long-term average is 30 percent).

The Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, but August and September tend to be the months where activity is most frequent.

Why do I care so much about Hurricanes?

As a member of the marine community, I need keep a keen watch on predictions and reports to protect my vessel (and my friend's vessels) from damage. Often this means either pulling the boat out of the water, or moving it from the open water to a sheltered location - such as a cove or inlet where it won't get torn to shreds by high winds, other vessels, docks, and flying debre.

The problem is that there isn't always a lot of time to react if you only receive your weather updates from local television and radio. So I monitoring the National Hurricane Center every few days (more so when a storm is brewing) to make sure I'm keeping abreast of storm track direction. NHS offers a three and five day track which is updated hourly and daily as information is available.

With making decisions around what to do with your boat, your better playing it safe than sorry - which unfortunately often results in pulling or moving the boat too quickly and paying out quite a few bucks (after a few false alarms it becomes annoyingly expensive) to prep, prepare, and haul. Sometimes threats too close to the end of a season can typically end the season prematurely because of the cost and time involved when moving her to the hard.

Having weathered a few good storms, I've come to respect and see Mother Nature in a whole new light. When it comes to these storms, its not always what you see that's a threat, its what you don't see - currents, undertow, and small objects that would ordinarily been deemed harmless become missiles or bullets when they are traveling at 90 mph.

When the flags come out, instead of being like the fools you see on TV playing in the surf, head in doors and watch from the comfort of your couch.

Here are a few good sites to peruse to educate you on Hurricanes:

How Hurricanes are formed
Another site explaining how Hurricanes are formed
Hurricane Tracking charts
National Hurricane Prediction Center (best site for regular updates)
Amateur Radio Station at the NWS
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PUBLIC SERICE WARNING: Fisher-Price Toy Recall (Elmo, Sesame Street, Dora, etc)l!

Heads up on this one folks, Fisher-Price is recalling 83 types of toys, estimated to be about 967,000 pieces off the shelves of toy stores in the United States, and around the world. The toys include (but are not limited to) Sesame Street (Elmo, Big Bird), Dora and Diego, and others. The reason for the recall as reported by Fisher-Price's parent company, Mattel, is that the products which were made in China contain over .06 percent lead accessible, which is the percent at which products can be subject to recall by Consumer Product Safety Commission .

The story can be found here (courtesy of The Day, New London, Connecticut based Newspaper).

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Press Release with product list can be found here. The CPSC Recall Hotline is (800) 638-2772.

Mattel's website also has a product list which can be found here. Or you can call Fisher-Price/Mattel at (800) 916-4498 if you have questions or concerns.

Note to Mattel, you should probably put a warning for parents at the top of your Fisher-Price Website. I noticed that there isn't one as of this writing.