Sunday, October 17, 2010


I've reached a point where I no longer find it a desirable exercise to try to remember how many years ago something took place - It happened - If any events in my life are important, in the grand scheme of things, the fact that they happened is what matters.

It's gotten harder to remember, to pinpoint times of events. Perhaps that's a sign of decline associated with age. Maybe it's just the way memory works as you add more and more and more as the years pass... also associated with age, it would seem. Probably both.

Viewing this revelatory moment as an
accoutrement of wisdom would probably be wrongheaded. It's an annoyance to search my brain pan and come up empty as often as I do. It's that simple, I think.

Yet there are many times I succeed, and find it an unsatisfying exercise. Perhaps that's because so many reference points are so far advanced past the years I expected to be riding in flying cars, and those very future-world dates now sit so very long ago.

It occurs to me, now, as I'm writing this, that I've NEVER been good at such estimations, just as the reckoning of someone's age has never been a strong suit of mine. So maybe the only thing notable about all this is that I'm finally devaluing such skills.

And we'll harbor no notion of this being a surrender to the dulling of the edges, a sad and important decision that will lead to my being less and less sharp as I continue on the road to dotage. I'll read a book now and then, and will continue keeping my razor sharp mental reflexes honed by picking on people... and playing synapse challenging games of Tetris with continued regularity.

And down the road don't ask me when this moment of clarity
occurred. I'll be lucky if I remember that it happened following a percocet, a big shot of Patron, and a Founders Centennial Ale at a Greg Dulli show.

Hey. It happens.

"Suck What?"
Robert Mitchum to Director John Heller on the set of "Eyes of War"
in the year 19-who-gives-a-shit?

Friday, October 08, 2010

So You Hate the Yanks, but...

So here’s the thing. As a
Yankee fan I have to hear crap all the time:
- They have a history as a racist organization that extends beyond the integration of baseball.
- They have spent so much money that any successes they’ve enjoyed should be considered the fruits of the sales of that many souls to Satan.

Well folks, Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby started no great flood from the Negro leagues. But what we see here is that we can bitch about the
Yanks in that respect, because they're the Yanks.

I know the
Yankees have outspent everyone else, pretty much forever, and thus have so many more World Series wins, that to non Pinstripers, it isn’t funny. Only to a Yankee fan, it’s fun, and to a BASEBALL FAN, it should be as well.

World Series Winners over the last decade, their payroll and where that ranked:

$114 /1st
2001 Arizona:
$81.2/ 8th
2002 Angels:
$61.7 15th
2003 Marlins:
$48.7 25th
2004 Red Sox:
$127.3 2nd
2005 White Sox:
$75.2 13th
2006 Cardinals:
$88.9 11th
2007 Red Sox:
$143 2nd
2008 Phillies:
$98.3 12th
$208 1st

As a
Yankee fan, we've lived with the Ed Whitsons, the Kenny Rogers, the Carl Pavanos, and have been told to keep our mouths shut because having so many trophies excludes us, as baseball fans, from the SOUR GRAPES LEAGUE, (as opposed to the Crybaby League). The idea is that if we spend enough money, we'll ultimately get it right and win yet another WS, so we're not allowed to look at the above list and note that the Yanks won 2 out of those 10 titles, though by far having that highest payroll EVERY year, in 2003 even taking a beating at the hands of the minimum wage Marlins!!

So OK, the
Yankees are the richest, and will always be told they bought their titles. What exactly does that mean?

Why We Watch:
I saw beautiful, relentless baseball from a bunch of really talented guys the last two nights. I got to see a team that, when working well, was an absolute joy to watch. Joining one of the early NYC Rotissery leagues turned me far more into a baseball fan, in that I paid attention to BASEBALL, not just my favorite team. I came to appreciate performance. When
Sugar Ray Leonard (who at the time I was a huge fan of) went into the ring for the first time with Roberto Duran, as a fan, I felt more joy at getting to see such transcendent performances than sadness for Ray.

Enjoying greatness, as we see it so seldom, anywhere in life, is something to be treasured.

So if you can put together a fabulous team that rocks on all cylinders, I'd rather see that than one made up of a handful of guys that shouldn't even be in the majors. When I watch baseball I want to see
GOOD baseball from pros. That too, in this day and age, is in short supply.

Yet we've seen excellence, as proven by the above list, from a lot of teams other than the

Now, of course, we also watch to see our hometown guys prevail, and our support provides us with a certain vicarious pleasure in helping our boys take the title.

Of course, I'm not an idiot.
I'm a Browns fan!!! So, I get it, fellas.

But this just speaks to
Yankee hating.

Who Else We Should Hate:

Yanks and the Sox and the Dodgers pay out, by far, the most into the revenue sharing pot. This is because they are compelled to, no lofty or noble purpose here. It's meant to help level the playing field some, at worst, keeping another team or two solvent.

Check this out:

Folks, we have a lot of small market owners who are wealthy and are NOT putting the best team they can on the field. They are doing what happens in Cleveland, picking the two or three guys with some real value and contracts coming up and jettisoning them before they have the vaguest idea if they might have that balance of youth, spirit, energy and veteran talent to be able to get into the playoffs, where clearly anything can happen, and some serious damage might be done... and
the Indians show a profit!

While conventional wisdom states that if they do well, that could lead to better attendance the next year, and the foundation to build on, the 'actuarial tables' of MLB's revenue sharing tell us that there has to be a monumental turnaround in literally no time at all to make it worthwhile for the profit seeking ownership of a team these days to follow any success by holding their hand and adding to it.

Dolan, owner of the Tribe, walked away with a profit of $181 million in 2009.

If it does NOT pay to win, the fan suffers. So what needs to happen is there have to be more strings attached to revenue sharing, compelling teams to put a greater percentage of it on the field, so YOU TOO WILL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF HUMILIATING THE BIG, CREEPY, RICH BITCH YANKEES AND THOSE OF THEIR ILK!

And I'll get to see overall better baseball being played more often by more teams.

Honesty 101:
If your local team had ownership with buttloads of money, willing to spend a reasonable number of said loads with the intent (successful or otherwise) of putting an awesome to watch and awesome to cheer team on the field year after year, you'd take it without a blink.

Further Honesty:
And you'd all still hate the crap out of the
Yankees until the day you die.

I get it. I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

back yet again?

So my wife, the proprietor at The Dolli Mama's Vintage Warehouse was showing me her 'stats' and it was kind of inspiring to see how many people and countries have dropped by to check out her recipes. Don't blame them, it's good eatin'.

For my part, I've been busy trying to find enough WD 40 to move my project YourBeerNetwork along before every possible bit of craft beer/food programming has been developed, pitched, sold, produced, archived, and moved into late night cable re-runland. That would be three different internet elements, all reachable (such as they may be) by going to

The one thing I find about facebook is the suggestion, just by the mere architecture of it, to be brief, something as you may know, I've never been very good at. So as the stats for this site tell me that no one has yet visited from Mozambique, and just basic sense tells me not everyone is on facebook, let me leave a little something here for anyone who might drop by. This is from a thread I started on facebook based on the kid who recently got cyber-pushed off the GW Bridge:

I sent a letter to my Senator last night asking about new laws, or reinterpretations of existing ones and the approaches to enforcement concerning this world of cyber assault, one that operates on all sorts of levels, with a potential that's growing exponentially.
At a loss to really say how I'd frame any change, I suggested that parents be held more responsible for their kids' actions in cyberspace. If they break a streetlight, a parent has to pay. if they taunt a kid to death, well... consequence is a great motivator to teach and control. Won't change the dark components of what makes us human, but how they are allowed to manifest themselves amongst others needs to be tended to in this new arena.

Social networks and the internet in general are game changers. Perhaps laws need to be passed that DO limit our freedoms a bit. Totally against my grain, and certainly the ACLU's and maybe even the Constitution, depending on who's sitting, bu
t the internet is NOT an exclusively American enterprise. It is an entire world unto itself that lives throughout our existing world. Maybe some international law/regulation could allow us to protect ourselves without feeling we're setting 'local' precedent that would have ramifications elsewhere where we don't want it.

And last... maybe we can legislate Fox News out the door while we're at it.

After, a pal wrote: "WOW! I agree with you, Harv! Could we be getting more conservative in our old age or just a bit wiser?"

I just think we are simply recognizing that, in so many ways, Marshall McLuhan was right about how manifest the changes were going to be when this kind of technological environment took off, growing and accelerating at Einsteinian proportions. Call it his 'Global Nervous Breakdown' if you will. I mean, it's not even Science FICTION, it simply is what it is, and we're getting outpaced by it. It's like handing an automatic weapon to a really angry monkey.

First, there is evil. There's no arguing it. It exists. This applies to everyone, old and young.
Second, youth, specifically, gives us boundless e
nergy, raging hormones, a weird sense of immortality and invulnerability in a cocktail with a sense of doom and TOTAL emotional vulnerability. Youth is where so many great things come from as we see much less consequence to our actions.
But experience isn't there, all the modifiers and equalizers that the experiences of life bring haven't been rolled out yet. A blessing and a curse. Many don't wish to do harm, but don't have the tools to see ahead or around the corner enough to understand the idea of avoiding doing harm.
"We didn't mean to drive him to suicide." True, but what you didn't do was anticipate how damaging this might be and AVOID creating such an environment.
The difference today is in the weaponry, both in the zeros and ones, and recent generations living in a couple worlds now... and when it comes to actual GUNS, a line got crossed a while back, a chilling one changing the relationship so many have with death. It REALLY is a different time and needs to be recognized as such.
A friend once observed that there was conscious evil and unconscious evil, he far preferring to be face to face with the conscious kind. Of course this makes sense and this is why we need to deal with this problem specifically and, as a culture, need to REALLY get our arms wrapped around what is an amazingly different Operating System we're living in from as recently as 5 years ago, destined to be unrecognizable 5 years from now... as well as we can man

And... legislate Fox News Net off the air.

From another friend: 47 states have laws similar to Ohio's (links below), there are also Federal laws regarding cyberstalking, etc.

ORC 2903.211(A)(2) et al

ORC 2917.21 regarding telecommunications harassment - scroll down for the post 9/13/2010 version

Links to other states' laws can be found here:

Thanks for these to Susan Mueller Baranoff.

I'm just shivering a little at the landscape I think we're seeing clearly here. Gay assaults, hetero-assaults, economic fraud, even the capacity to drop a worm into Iran's nuclear control system, all paint the picture of a Deadwood with no borders, no limits, growing like an insane cancer, with such little oversight. Brave New World, indeed.