It’s a Small World

August 14, 2008

This past Tuesday (12AUG), the wife and I hit up our first Redwings game since the first couple weeks of the season.  We were fresh from the doctors office where she had her hard cast removed from her foot (she had ankle reconstruction surgery, but more on that in another blog).  We got to the park early, got our seats and once inside the gate, found out we had really good seats in a stadium that doesn’t offer a bad seat. 

As game time approached, we sat there, drinking a couple beers and throwing down some peanuts and sunflower seeds when all of a sudden the guy who had taken his seat behind me slaps me on the shoulder (scaring the crap out of me as well) and starts telling me that I better have good reflexes and catch any ball headed towards him etc.  He was breaking balls and that was cool, but I was still amped up from some stranger patting me down.  As I listened to him the voice sounded familiar.  When I turned around he looked familiar.  After talking for a bit, I was pretty sure I knew who he was, but that’s right about the time you call him by his name and its not who you thought it was and you look like an asshole.  So I say “what’s your name, you look really familiar”.  He responds not with a name but “well I used to teach at Fairport High School“, where I cut him off and say “Mr. Camiola, my 10th Grade Biology teacher.”  His wife smiles as does he and asks who I am, and I tell him and after a bit he does remember me.  Especially when he said later in the night that I wasn’t highly motivated but I did good”.  Yup, he remembers me!

Mr. Cam was one of the teachers you have in school that you always remember even down the line.  I actually ran into him 4 years after I graduated in 1998 when I was home on leave before I went Korea.  I ran into him in Eastview Mall and he remembered me then as well.  Add another 10 years and there we were.  And I can’t lie, upon first hitting Mr. Cam’s class, I wasn’t sure I was down with him.  He was very energetic and had a large presence in the classroom.  It was intimidating maybe, or I could have just been whacked, who knows.  However it wasn’t long until I was down with Mr. Cam and Bio class was one of the few classes that year that I looked forward too.  Having the opportunity to meet up with Mr. Cam again later in life really helped drive home the fact he was a great teacher and one of the few that always remains in a persons memory.  And now at 32, I can fully appreciate the kind of teacher and man he was and is. 

Mr. Cam is a huge baseball fan so we talked quite a bit throughout the game.  Baseball, 10th grade Bio class, all kinds of stuff.  It was like I ran into a long lost friend.  I shared some stories that my lab partner and close cumpare William Shannon had from that year.  He seemed genuine in his appreciate for the fact he had an impact on us.  Although I’m not sure Bill nor I have ever fully recovered from his story about the dime sized catheterhe received one time.  He also offered Bren and I a chance to get in on a ticket deal he and some others have with the Wings.  Good seats, discount on the price etc. 

Before I knew it, with the Wings up big, Mr and Mrs. cam had to head out.  We shook hands and hugged goodbye and said to keep in touch.  He did grab my number so we could figure out the baseball ticket thing.  I’m an overly sentimental guy.  I admit it.  So running into one of my old teachers from school, one of the very few I remember and having a good time at the ballpark made my night. 

The thing that struck me most about the now retired for 5 years Mr. Cam was this.  he seemingly had the world by the balls…in a good way of course.  He was just as I remembered him from High School, just slimmer.  He was full of energy, had stories, loved to talk with you or anyone, had that larger than life presence.  he had the perfect attitude about retirement, life, money, enjoying the little things etc.  Even at 32, he has lessons for me and my miserable ass.  I hope in time I work myself into a position where my attitude on things reflects his. 

Thanks Mr. Cam.  Hope to catch you at a ball game again soon!

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The Don’s MLB Forecast

April 3, 2008

Every year I plan on doing a big baseball predictions blog and I always fail to do so.  However this year I am.  Its not going to be huge, but a quick rundown and what I think will happen.

National League – I’ll start here since this is where real baseball is played.

East:
1.) Philadelphia Phillies
2.) NY Mets
3.) Atlanta Braves
4.) Washington Nationals
5.) Florida Marlins

The popular pick seems to be my favorite the Mets however I am not sold on them.  Many say they have a strong rotation solid bully and a great offense.  Well, 2 games into the season Glass Pete is hurt, the offense is already proving inconsistent, the bully had a meltdown and who knows what will happen tomorrow.  At best, I am hoping for a Wild Card for the Mets.  Philly has a great offense that I think will be much more consistent than the Mets.  There pitching is horrible but good enough to carry them through to the division title at least.  The Braves have become a dark horse pick with many and I don’t see why.  Glavine already got lit up.  Smoltz is hurt.  Hampton is going to get hurt.  Their bully is suspect and while they have some good and getting better young players like Francouer, Escobar, and Johnson I just don’t think they have the juice yet to contend.  The Nats are an up and coming team and are going to surprise people.  If they could get some better pitching in there, they would do damage to the hopes of the contenders.  The Marlins are a joke.  They have some solid offensive players, however their starting pitching is worse than my old High Schools current rotation.  They play suspect defense.  Their bully is alright, but they will be over worked by the all-star break. 

Central:
1.) Milwaukee Brewers
2.) Chicago Cubs
3.) Cincinnati Reds
4.) Houston Astros
5.) Pittsburgh Pirates
6.) St. Louis Cardinals

The Brewers have a special place in my heart as it was in Wisconsin that I got my first baseball hat (that I remember) and of course it was a Brewers dome piece with their killer “MB” baseball glove logo.  If Gange keeps his gas can in the bully when he takes the bump, I think this is the year the Brew-Crew get through.  The Cubs will end up celebrating 100 years of futility as well they should despite all the hype.  The rest of the division is made up of teams that have no chance at all.  The Cards are terrible.  The ‘Stro’s have some pop and some pitching but no-wheres near enough.  The Pirates can be better but not good.  The Reds are getting better as well.

West:
1.) Los Angeles Dodgers
2.) Arizona Diamondbacks
3.) San diego Padres
4.) Colorodo Rockies
5.) San Fransisco Giants

This could be baseballs best division.  Arizona is loaded with young talent, solid pitching, a good bullpen oh and a pitcher (Micha Owings) who could hit more home runs than anyone on the Giants.  They have the roster to not only win the division but go a long way in the Playoffs as well.  However, my pick is on the Dodgers this year.  They have a great mix of veterans and young up and coming players.  Solid pitching, a great closer and a new manager who might me exactly what that team needs.  The rest of the division rounds out with the always solid Padres, but I don’t think they have enough talent to compete with the D-Backs and Dodgers this year.  They were counting on Jim Edmonds for a spark and he is already been on the D.L.  The Rockies can ride last years success right back to the playoffs in this brutal division, but I am not sold on their pitching.   They have a solid core of very good young players who will carry that offense, but I’m not sold on the arms just yet.  The Giants will probably be the worst team in the majors and will be the only break in divisional play that the N.L. West teams get.  At least that jagoff Barry Bonds is gone. 

As far as playoffs go, I think the Mets will score the Wild Card to get into the playoffs, however I see the Dodgers going to the Series.

American League – Where they play almost baseball.

 A.L. East
1.) N.Y. Yankees
2.) Boston Red Sox
3.) Toronto Blue Jays
4.) Tampa Bay Rays
5.) Baltimore Orioles

In another tough division with the emergence of the Rays as a team to compete with and of course the Blue Jays I am picking the Yanks to reign supreme.  Its hard to pick the pinstripes over the BoSox here, but I think the Yankee offense will power the team and the young pitchers will give them enough to get by.  The Blue Jays will contend and add to the divisions meat grinder as will the Rays.  I almost want to toss the Rays into 3rd but not just yet.  The Orioles are pathetic…who cares.

A.L. Central
1.) Detroit Tigers
2.) Cleveland Indians
3.) Minnesota Twins
4.) Chicago White Sox
5.) Kansas City Royals

The Indians are the popular pick despite Detroit’s stellar offense.  Cleveland has a fantastic team.  They have great offensive players who can get and be even better.  They have a decent starting rotation, a killer bullpen and a closer who has managed to get even tougher this off season.  However I am still picking the Tigers to win.  I think the offense they have as well as the manager, GM, front office and owner they have will get them through.  They will be forced to find a couple of middle relievers and they will and that will seal the deal for them.  The Indians will score the wild card…sorry A.L. East, only one of your teams is going this year.  I’m calling the Twins 3rd.  They are young and rebuilding but have a great core of talent, one of the best relievers in the game as well as one of the best if not the best manager and front office in the game.  The White Sox and their bloated payroll are going to flounder and the Royals are up and coming.  They have a shot to even get out of last place as far as I am concerned. 

A.L. West
1.) Los Angeles Angels
2.) Seattle Mariners
3.) Texas Rangers
4.) Oakland Athletics

This is probably the most lackluster division in baseball.  I think the Angels will eek out the division but Seattle will make it tough for the whole year.  Texas is regressing and Oakland is in perpetual rebuilding mode…I won’t even get started on that.

 For the World Series I am going to roll with a Dodgers vs. Yankees final.  Not only will be it an “old time” match up, but it will feature Joe Torre and his new team against hsi old team with Joe Girardi at the helm.  Tommy Lasorda will be around as well giving the Italians nice WS representation.  If I am forced to pick a winner, I think I will go with the Dodgers in 7, however starting in ’09 I expect Yankee Dominance to return in full force.

“The Sopranos” The Movie

March 8, 2008

Just have a quick note here to breathe some life into this blog as well.  For all you Sopranos fans like myself, you are probably hoping and praying that the rumored Sopranos Movie comes to fruition.  The latest news is that the strip club that doubles as the Bada Bingwas looking to do a bit of remodeling, however they were instructed by HBO execs to leave the layout as is for the time being.  Perhaps that rumored Sopranos Movie will see the light of day!

Baseball says Hello, NFL says Goodbye!

January 16, 2008

Here we are, 5 weeks again from the opening if Spring Training…and thank god. I’ve had the Hot Stove Reports to get me through the winter, trying to offset for me anyway all the steroid talk and such, but its running dry. At least now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So, I though I would take this blog post to welcome back baseballs immanent return and to also give the NFL a big hearty Fuck You.

Why attack the NFL you say right? Well, its no secret that I am a Diehard Baseball Fan at heart. And while I enjoy football, too many times I find myself at odds with ridiculous football fan who likes to talk shit about baseball right before they open their can of Natty Light with their Raider Fan inspired spiked shoulder pads, chug the beer then crush the can on their forehead.

Don’t get me wrong. I give the NFL all the props (and stunts) it deserves. Its is a hell of a league. It is well run (I could only wish baseball was run as well as the NFL). The product is good for the most part (unless you’re a long suffering fan of a handful of NFL Franchises). And more than anything, seeing as the NFL is America’s passion, they have more good will built up than Joey Chestnut can eat hot dogs. And again, credit for that. For whatever reason, I have watched hardly any football this year. I just haven’t cared. Not even with the Buffalo Bills getting their first sniff of the playoff’s in years. With the playoff’s in full swing with the Conference Championship games coming up and the Superbowl, I am looking forward to Football ending as much as I am looking forward to baseball starting.

I know you’re sitting there wondering why you are reading my blog, and wondering why I am so bitter. I mean I have to be bitter right, to not be down with the NFL? Well I am bitter and I’ll tell you why. Every NFL Fan who doesn’t like baseball or doesn’t like baseball nearly as much as they like the NFL are crapping all over MLB for the steroid issue. Now don’t get me wrong, they have every right…to a point. The NFL is operating on the good side of a double standard right now. While baseball cannot get out of its own way currently, the NFL like MC Lyte seemingly can’t make a mistake. When the NFL had its publicized steroid problems way back when, they never came close to the heat baseball is getting. And perhaps its because in baseball, the records are more hallowed and such, and I understand that. However, don’t think right now that the NFL, the NBA, even the NHL has a steroid/HGH problem just like baseball. It’s just that baseball is taking the brunt of it all. I mean how is Shawne Merrinan, a staple of the Chargers defense and one of the best players in the league going to get suspended for using steroids and it hardly registers a blip on the radar screens of baseball fans. If the Orioles Brian Roberts takes HGH “once”, people are looking to hang him from a yard arm (I’m one of them too – all cheaters). Not for nothing, but the outrage should be equal across the board. Since Rappers and Movie Actors are now getting named in reports for using HGH and steroids, you know all the other sports have athletes cheating as well.

It’s time to come correct football and football fan. You think baseball is boring – fine. I think the NFL is boring too. I mean with 400 T.V. time outs, ruling challenges, the average play lasting 5 seconds followed by 45 seconds of circle jerking, an exciting play (finally) opps flag down call the play back and god forbid it’s a close game in the last 4 minutes. You’ll be like patience on a monument waiting for that mother fucker to end. In a couple of weeks (and no, the Pro Bowl doesn’t count) football will be done and baseball will be gearing up. Take the next couple of months off Football fan and prepare for the draft. The only things lamer than getting together for an NFL Draft party is getting together to watch a WNBA game or a Soccer game. You watch your draft, I’ll watch my majestic game. Kiss my ass NFL, hypocritical league number 1!

Blog Wars! I Hope

December 17, 2007

In the midst of the Holiday Season, its easy to fall into the doldrums that can be caused by the stress of holiday shopping, family, money etc. It’s now that its even more important that at any other time throughout the year, to find something you can cling on to and use it to catapult your mood back to a happy level. Well, my cumpare Mark has provided me an opportunity to snap out of it so to speak. See, Mark is one of those uppity beer type snobs. If his pint doesn’t cost at least $8.00 at whatever bar he is keeping in business that night, he thinks it sucks. Another friend of mine (not to be confused with “friend of ours” – no Micks allowed because they are pretty much the worst gangsters…but I digress) Bill is one of those uppity beer drinkers as well. Hey, to each their own you know? I like the beer the majority of this great land likes and that’s good enough for me. I don’t need fruit in my beer, or nifty little names like “Magic Hat” and so on. Bill is part of a consortium that use their beer snob-ness to create the Beerjanglin’ blog. Yet another digital fish wrap that I might occasionally read. I’m sure there is good info posted by the members there, however I’m just not into beer enough to make it part of my daily web routine when looking for updates. Mark’s blog offers a few bits of history here and there as well as a lot of local Rochester beer news, so I tend to get into that one more. Never the less, each blog stands strong in it’s own right.

Now, Mark and Bill have met once a couple years back when Mark and I made an I-90 roadie to Sorrycuse to catch a AAA ballgame. Sometime after Mark became a regular reader of Beerjanglin’ and has frequently stated how good the blog is. However, all good things come to an end. Recently Mark took exception to something Beerjanglin’ member Willy Moe posted on the blog. Not being able to take what was said, Mark broke out with an internet backhand that can be read here. Watching one beer dork try and get over on another is like watching a WNBA game. You don’t care about it. You probably won’t be interested in the game long enough to see the outcome, its horrible, but like a bad train wreck it just gets your attention.

I’m sure you, my loyal reader are sitting there wondering why in the blue hell do I care so much about this and how is it going to help get my out of the Holiday doldrums. Well, here it is. I enjoy it when one person gets into another and then vice versa. Nothing physical or overly mean mind you, but a good old fashioned throw down. See, while I know Mark reads Beerjangling, I’m not sure Bill and or the Boys read Beercraft. So, its my duty to get out my Mariano Rivera World Series style and start dumping gas all over these two blogs. Maybe Bill reads mine and tells his boy Willie Moe. Maybe Willie Moe gets fired up and reads Marks blog so he can craft a fiery response. Maybe Willie Moe comes back swinging and takes a run at Mark. Mark, thinking he is pretty good at the diss game might load up another blast. After that Willie Moe might want to swing back. Before I know it, these guys are throwing down and I’m loving it and BAM!, holiday blues are gone.

Of course, Bill could not care. Willie Moe might not give a rats ass. Mark doesn’t keep it up as if this was his sex life and there is no good brouhaha. My holiday depressions deepens and before I know it, I’m drinking $8 pints with Mark. Oh the freakin’ horror!

How Can it Be Christmas, It’s Only October!

November 29, 2007

So I haven’t blogged for awhile. I’ve had a topic here or there I thought about ranting about, but it never came to fruition. On top of that, I have been contemplating a move from Blogspot to WordPress. That would require my 3 or 4 readers to have to update their favorites, and I’m not sure they could handle that, and I could lose at least half of my readers. Anyway, I digress.

So, as I have been driving here and there for the past few days, a topic that needs my attention became distinctly clear. Christmas. Christmas decorations to be exact. Listen, I’m not Mike Scroogilini or anything, but why am I seeing people with Christmas trees up before December? Why are houses already decked out in more lights than Chevy Chase ever thought about using for his old fashioned family Christmas. Why are those lame metal with white lights reindeer already populating yards all over suburbia? What’s worse is that I saw a lot of this up even before Thanksgiving. Imagine how Tom Turkey must feel when the baby Jesus is basting him in his own juices because Baby Jesus just can’t wait for his own Holiday to come around. Taking this even further, I saw people rocking their Christmas décor before Halloween. Now seriously. I don’t need to see a manger scene with the Virgin Mary and Joseph dressed up as Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. I don’t need to see the Three Wise men dressed as the Three Stooges bringing their gifts of pumpkins, apple cider and some old fashioned “knuck-knuck”. And I certainly don’t need to see the baby Jesus sporting a Spiderman costume. Every Holiday has its time frame. I know that Christmas has lost damn near all its meaning and is now just a mass of over commercialization. That doesn’t mean though, that we have to physically display all of our own ignorance. I love my Christmas Tree. I love it from around December 10th until January 2 or 3rd. If you’ve been looking at your happy vision of Christmas since before Thanksgiving, how can you possibly be excited to see the tree Christmas Morning. By then, you’re sick of watering it. Sick of putting the ornaments back on it, because the pets keep fucking around with it. You’re sick of all the pine needles everywhere. Hell, I’ll be damned if I ever eat Thanksgiving dinner under the mistletoe with my Christmas Tree in sight.

Another special rant is about the PC cocksuckers that have ruined Christmas. You know, we have to say “Holiday Season” because Christmas offends those who don’t celebrate. Ba Fangul. And my wife is part of the problem on this, and every Christmas Season I get agita over her bitching. See, her pet peeve around the Holidays are manger scenes. Because she is a heathen ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR non-believer she acts like these things offend her. First off, its hard to offend this woman, and second, these manger scenes bother nobody. If you don’t believe, cool, but don’t be so intolerant as to get pissed off at someone for a little manger scene in their yard. As I would call her on this, she would bitch about any scene, but then changed her tune to the fact that people can have them in their yards (never mind the fact she still bitches about them), but when they are out in front of say a Town Hall, its bullshit. Out comes the separation of Church and State and everything else she can retain from that 11th grade History Class. Yes, those two things should be separate, but after our Free Mason Founding Fathers set up our government, Church and State started getting cozy right away. Its just a fact. I find it ironic that a hippie tree banging left wing nut job like her would be so intolerant to something….oh wait, this is one of those left wing causes. As I was. Plain and simple, if someone wants to set up a manger scene, a menorah, a Kwanza whatever (Bill Shannon would be able to shed more light on this celebration), 3 Kings Day etc. display, ah salude. Its not going to effect my Holiday Happiness.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Rips Up Verona, NY

August 20, 2007

This past Friday your favorite Don and his ole lady hit the I-90 here in Western NY. Destination was Turning Stone Resort and Casino to check out Big Bad Voodoo Daddy live in concert. I hadn’t been to Turning Stone since 1994 and apparently our Indian Friends have been busy making a once small casino into a resort complex with an Event Center and a special section for select concerts as well. Most know that I am not a live music/concert fan, but after incredible show earlier this summer from the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies I decided the 107 mile trip to Verona NY wasn’t that bad.

Upon arriving we quickly found out where we had to be and was surprised by the venue. If you have seen the movie (great flick that is) “Swingers”, towards the end of the movie when the Fellas go see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at The Derby in Hollywood, the venue was like that but bigger and more cramped. The trade-off was the fact despite getting a kink in your neck from being turned sideways, every seat offered a fantastic few of the band. Our table seated 8 so it was Bren and I, another couple from Corning NY and Swing Dancers. The rest were blue hairs. The couple that were swing dancers were cool and I enjoyed talking with them. I got to use my knowledge of retro swing music and pass along some bands for them to check out. They were definitely cool to sit across from.

The show itself was incredible. Of everything, I only had one complaint! BBVD didn’t play as long as I thought they would. I would say the Fellas were on stage for 80 to 90 minutes then called it a show. Brenna did mention the fact they are a high energy band which makes sense, but I was thinking they would play around 2 hours. Did that make the show suck? Hell no. Did it turn me off? Nope. So lets get on with it!

The show kicked off with the boys hitting the staged dressed in slick sharp suits and some were rockin’ the classic Godfather/Fedora type hats. As they hit the stage they started to get after it with what seemed like a warm up jam session. During this time lead singer and band leader Scotty Morris (more on him in a bit), introduced a few of the band members while they were all getting warmed up. I forget what song they opened with, only because the second song played is arguably my second favorite song of all time “You and me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight”. Incredible to hear live!

As the show went on, Morris made sure all the Fellas in the band got some solo spot light time and the accolades they deserved. I think doing things like that is really cool. From the Baritone Sax guy to the trumpet guy to the trombone buy to the bass guy to the piano guy to the drum guy etc. they all got their individual time in the light to shine. And shine they did! Matter of fact, it didn’t take me long to realize that every member of the band was fucking cool. There wasn’t a fucking square cat on that stage anywhere. And while I am not into the gushing of celebrities and such if I could be anyone else I wouldn’t be Bill Gates or Donald Trump or David Wright (well maybe David Wright) or Michael Vick, I’d be Scotty Morris front man of BBVD. Everything about this guy is fucking cool. From his movements, singing, actions, how he handles himself and the band etc., he fucking rules. And if anyone wants to say I might have a disturbing man-crush on Scotty Morris…I might be hard pressed to argue it. But hey, at least I’m man enough to admit it! Or dumb enough, time will tell I suppose.

Like with CPD earlier this summer, BBVD played their music and left the artistic creativeness elsewhere. They played their music the way we have all heard it before and loved it. They didn’t dick with the music or tweak the lyrics. It was Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at their finest. Another thing that was great about the concert was that the Fellas in the band all looked like they were having a great time. I’ve been to concerts where the band just looks like they are going through the motions until they can get off stage. BBVD looked like they wanted to be there and were having a great time at playing. It makes it more enjoyable seeing that as a fan and a patron they are down with throwing on a good show as well.

Every song they played I knew of course, except one which was a new song. Brenna while not a big fan like me knew all the songs as well just from my heavy BBVD rotation in the CD player. I give her credit though for allowing me to indulge in my Retro Swing obsession. Its only a matter of time though before she uses it to guilt me into a night of lame French music at Starry Nights Cafe here in Rochester. You’ll all know when that happens when you read the blog titled “Your Don gets his balls clipped on a Starry Night”.

The ended much too soon for me, as I could have sat there all night listening. After several rounds of hearty applause, people started to file out. The merchandise table
was packed, so I decided if I wanted anything, its easier to go online and get it. After about 10 minutes the band all came out to greet the fans and sign autographs on CD’s, shirts, tickets, posters etc. I thought it was a cool thing to do. Once I got a glimpse of all the Fellas, Bren and I headed out. Still had a 107 mile trip back to the friendly confines of my suburban based crime family local.

It was a great show and I was glad we made the roadie. I know that like CPD, the next time BBVD are anywhere near my location, I’ll be in the audience.

Soccer Sucks Part 33

August 16, 2007

You know, its been far too long since the Don talked about Soccer. Granted, I hate Soccer with a passion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like sharing and talking about my disdain for the horrible game.

I believe I’m pushing around a year or so since my last Soccer Post. It was about the Rochester Rhinos losing their championship game or something. As usual, my pal and Soccer friend Mark went to the Rhinos Fan Forum and posted a link to my blog which lead to me to getting ripped apart by the members of said forum. Of course your favorite Don, being the head of a powerful Crime Family isn’t about to let some jagoff’s just besmirch his good name, so you know I had to make another appearance there to defend myself. This was the second time I had to do such. This time however, as the thread about my blog degenerated, the Don was banned indefinitely by some asscan named Spinning Webs. Apparently this scumbag is a member of the Stampede and a big time ass rammer errrrr Soccer Fan. I give this douche credit for sticking up for his game, I respect that. I was doing the same in regards to my opinion as well as baseball when SW started to attack that as well. I know Mark likes to empty his can of gasoline all over the place and drop a match leaving me to have to deal with the fallout, but these Soccer Fans just take things too far. I mean Spinning Webs is a 40 something year old dude who suspended me from the site for the reason “Because I Can”. Really? I can do a lot of things too. I could fuck his mom if I wanted…but I don’t do it you know? Before that, he slapped my peepee because I was “insulting another user”. Riiiiiight. I had a thread where about 18 Soccer Honks all talking shit about me, when when I responded…I was insulting? Look, I’m actually a moderator of a forum. I can understand certain actions and I can pretty much guess what causes other actions. When it comes to Spinning Webs, it doesn’t take Freud to figure this guy out. Dude likes Soccer. Dude likes to make fun of others and their favorite sports, however when he gets made fun of and Soccer gets made fun of he can’t take it. His name is Spinning Webs. He takes an internet forum way to seriously. He uses his moderator power to “strike back” at other users. Its quite simple to see that dude used to get his ass beat on a daily basis throughout his school years. Unfortunately for him, he was one of the very few who despite fighting everyday never developed fighting skills to make people leave him alone. On top of it all, he is a finok. If he wasn’t such an asshole I’d feel sorry for him. But all that lead up to his high standing as a stampede member and first rate jack-off Rhinos Forum Moderator. Next time I stop by to “visit” your moms Web, I’ll be sure to stop down in the basement and say hello.

As far as my current take on Soccer, now that the frenzy over Posh Spice moving to the U.S. has died down, I figured it was a good time to talk about her husband, Soccer Spice Dave Beckham The Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS signed dude to a 250 million dollar contract to leave Europe and come play Soccer here in the States…where we don’t give a rats ass about it. Look, Soccer is not going to work in America. We have too many other sports that we all like better! Sure, more kids might play Soccer than any other sport combined, but that’s because not everyone can play real sports growing up. This is why the minute a kid gets out of High School, their level of care about Soccer ceases to exist. I mean Pele playing on the NY Cosmos couldn’t make Americans care about Soccer in the late ’70’s, so Beckham Spice on the L.A. Galaxy isn’t going to make is care now. Sure all games involving Dave will either be sold out or have a large attendance, but why? its not because people want to see Soccer. The Females will want to watch Dave run up and down the field and hopefully see him take his shirt off. The Dudes are their to catch a glimpse of his anorexic Spice Girl and that’s that. Ole Becky isn’t going to increase the attendance at any game he doesn’t play in. Here in Rochester he sure the hell isn’t going to help increase the anemic attendance figures at Paetek Park…Rochester’s very own Soccer Specific Stadium that saw attendance figures drop around 50-75% depending on the night in just a couple of years. Maybe Spinning Webs can round up all his friends and decrease Rhino’s attendance even more. And here is a telling figure when it comes to Soccer and its place in America. When Beckham made his first appearance on the field for a practice, less than 5,000 fans shower up. At the same time, for Alabama’s (college football) Spring Practice 105,000 fans showed up. Look, Beckham is on the downside of his career. Sure he got A-Rod money to come here and play, but he wasn’t even starting anymore on the English National Team. Real Madrid didn’t try to keep him when his contract was up. I wonder why? If the MLS wanted to take a legit shot and getting their league really up and running and bringing Soccer to the American Population, maybe they should try and score one of the best young players in Europe and go that way. Instead they go for the celebrity train wreck couple that will sell millions of tabloid rags in the Grocery Store.

Taking this Soccer shit even further, while literally dozens of Soccer fans in America were celebrating the arrival of Soccer Spice, almost no attention was given to the fact that the best home grown American Soccer player Fred Adu left his MLS team to go play Soccer in Europe. Somewhere in Spain I believe. Isn’t that just perfect. Soccer Fan is constantly bitching and moaning about their game and trying to talk it up among us real sports fans but they aren’t talking about this. Adu has been playing MLS Soccer for Washington D.C. since he was like 9 years old or something. Dude is like 18 or so now. He is correction was American Soccer. So while the MLS is spending 250 million to import a once great player on the downside of his career, they let an 18 year old “phenom” escape to basically take over for Beckham in Europe. So tell me Soccer Fan, what does that tell you? Soccer in America Sucks. The brightest stars of today are leaving to go play in Europe, where they have nothing else to get excited for except Soccer. maybe Soccer Player has met one to many “Spinning Webs” and decided the riotous Soccer world in Europe would be better after all. Either way, I fucking love it. Soccer will continue to struggle as nobody in this country cares. Soccer can continue to toil with Redneck Games and Ping Pong on the list of games Americans take seriously. Remember, this weekend be sure not to support your local Soccer team and for gods sake…keep your kids out of Soccer. It’s like giving your kid a Red Sox hat….its damn near cruelty!

Working With Engineers

August 9, 2007

I’m always looking for a good topic to blog on. I run into the proverbial “writers block” as much as anyone – or I just get lazy. So when Mark came to me with this topic, I knew it was straight up money. While I work with a lot of engineers, I myself am not one, so I have the unenviable task of working alongside engineers. Most of us know that engineers are qwerky yet usually intelligent. So, here I’m going to chronicle a few of my experiences working with engineers, as well as placing them into their own unique groups.

Group 1 – Cool Engineers. For the most part, a lot of the engineers at some level can be “cool”, but this group (and its the smallest one) is for the engineers who are truly cool. Guys you would go throw back a few beers with. These guys are the Young Turks of the engineering world. Usually young (between 24-34) and right out of college or the military and haven’t been corrupted yet by 20 years of engineering service. They laugh at other engineers as much as you do and if you joke on them they can take it and give it back. They are still free thinkers and work to get their job done. They haven’t been “re-educated” by 23 years of company policy’s that leaves the best engineers standing in front of the grunts (such as myself) with drool falling out of the corner of their mouth and expecting you to make shit happen based on the sketch they drew on 3 sheets of single ply toilet paper while they were taking their mid-morning dump.No, the cool guys will be down here getting dirty like the rest of us and when they get in the way and we tell them to get fucking lost, they get fucking lost. Fellas, your overpaid asses can buy me a beer anytime.

Group 2 – Young Dick Engineers. These are the younger engineers who you would not have a beer with. These are the guys in the same age group as the cool engineers, however they are not cool. Matter of fact usually they are fucking assholes. They are determined to make it to the top of the company no matter who they have to step on or who they have to fuck over to get their. Its safe to say that these are shitty engineers for the most part, yet are the ones who will make it to the top 1.) because they step on people on their way up and 2.) they keep getting promoted because they suck. Sad but true, but when one boss finds out how useless YDE is, it’s easier to promote him and send him elsewhere then get rid of him. Fucking politically correct bullshit. A great example of YDE in action is this. YDE brings a design of his to you. As the Mechanic who will build his design, he asks for input (although he thinks its perfect). You will take a look at YDE’s design and quickly notice its full of more shit than last nights bowel movement. You give your input, YDE blows you off yet takes your input and cleans up his design. You build it then, it comes out better than was expected and YDE takes all the credit for it. Cocksucker. Another example is as a floor worker, you will be in charge of a program out on the floor. The assigned YDE will never be anywhere to be found. The program’s due date will be pulled in and you end up working overtime and busting your ass to get this program done and shipped on time. This included dealing with a bevy of problems ranging from supply issues to mechanical issues. Never the less, you get the job out and under the new deadline and YDE takes all the credit for your hard work. Luckily for me, YDE’s around my job are in short supply.

Group 3 – Old Miserable/Crusty Engineer. These are the guys that have been around forever. 25, 30, 35 years or more. They never achieved the success needed to get into management or program management, but they are at the top of the game among other engineers. The thing is, most of these guys are flat out miserable. Miserable that they are back as a test engineer or doing some other aspect that newbies would handle. However after 30 years, trying to find a place for these guys is tough. To OMCE, don’t blame me that you are miserable and surely don’t take it out on me. Its not my fault you don’t have the drive to break out, or are content just hanging around in your secure world or whatever. When I saw “good morning” or “hello” I want something better in return than your mumbling and grumbling. These are also the guys who have no patience or tolerance. If something isn’t working as it should, start building your bomb shelter like the Commies just dropped off some warheads on Cuba because these guys will blow a gasket! Look bitch, work through the problem like you would have 20 years ago and deal with it. Don’t start yelling and expect me to come running with the fire hose to put out your fire. be happy you’re still here working. If we were in Alaska you would have been put on a block of ice and pushed out to sea.

Group 4 – Managerial Engineers – What a classic group these guys are. These are veteran engineers who were able to land a promotion and end up a “boss”. See, where I work, the Engineering group is broken down to several different groups inside, based on what you are doing. Each group gets one of these ME’s. Once an ME has been in place for a few years, gone is all common sense, ability to reason and think, and to be able to help the people who work under you. After a few years in these slots, gone is the understanding about what it takes to get the job done, what life is like on the floor. After a few years of paper pushing, worrying about deadlines and the cleanliness of work areas, and a couple million games of FreeCell and Solitaire, an ME ceases all usefulness. Most of the time, ME just hinders his groups performance, causes riff’s among co-workers, and has completely lost touch with the work that he supervises. While achieving ME status might be good for your paycheck, its is a death sentence to your common sense abilities.

Group 5 – Know it all Engineers – I’m going to keep this description short, as their issues will be described in the idiosyncrasies of Engineers, but as you can imagine, this group thinks they walk on water and act like it too.

Now that we have a few of the groups out of the way, lets talk about some things that stand out about Engineers.

1.) The Superior Attitude. You would think these guys belong to some secret club that makes them better than everyone else. We all know the fact that they are just crackpots, And they know that too yet they act like they shit out rose smelling gold bars. Listen, you’ll be still paying off those 5 years at R.I.T. by the time I retire so spare me. To the older engineers…Technology has passed you by. All your knowledge and expertise is as useless as ME right about now, so spare me the look down your nose at me treatment.

2.) Missing – Common Sense. There is no question that engineers are some smart mother fuckers. Some even brilliant. Apparently though, this intelligence comes at a great expense. Once they have reached a certain level of intelligence, all common sense falls right out the window like Eric Clapton’s son. The simplest of tasks like filling out a move ticket or operating a pallet jack become some of the most difficult tasks these asscan’s have to do. Keeping their shoes tied, a shirt tucked in proper shave etc. are all problems these smart guys face. Seriously, if I get so smart that simple tasks become a problem for me, here’s hoping I go the other way and end up a dumb shit.

3.) Strange/Weird. Yes, there is just something about this group that just isn’t right. It’s nothing that can be pinpointed, but we all know its there. Whether its Software Engineer’s geek/dorkdome, Mechanical Engineer’s “why get it right the first time when I can redraw it on the computer 7 times and keep having you build it wrong” attitude, Managerial Engineer’s Duuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh, or Test Engineer’s decision to make a simple 3 minute test last 17 days and seem like the fate of the known world rests on it. Something just isn’t stirring the Kool-Aide with these bitches. Nothing is more ridiculous than listening to smart engineer one tell me over and over about this device he built that shot out a signal that would trigger peoples radar detectors and he would always bring it on his road trips to “mess with people”. Wow, you got them slugger. Nothing like possibly causing a motorist to possibly slow down or say “fuck” as they think they have just been nailed by radar. The way he says this story, its like he just masterminded the great train robbery and made off with the biggest score ever. Seriously dude, you’re a fucking douche. Now go play your Wizards and Wagons game of whatever it is you do instead of having actual sex with an actual woman and leave me alone.

4.) Bathroom Habits. I will close with this one, seeing as its pretty gruesome. We might all need a breath of fresh air after this one. The bathrooms where I work are fucking disgusting at best. Considering the bank this company is pulling in, you think they would get a cleaning crew that would actually put a little elbow grease into cleaning shit at night. Maybe a crew that would remove the growing “fur” on the edges of the sinks. Scrub the floor and get whatever is on it off. Scrub down the walls etc. With all this, its not like the bathroom isn’t nasty enough. It makes the Port-O-Pottys that the Army used to stick out in the field for training exercises seem like a shithouse palace! So, with all that working against it, when you add some nasty mother fuckers to the mix, it just makes it that much worse! Lets start with the urinals. Never mind the fact they are old and the little mat in the catch basin is about 20 shades lighter than it originally was. You walk in there at almost any time of the day and there will be piss all over the floor. The little dividing wall between urinals has been coated with piss day after day and never cleaned. Seriously, what the fuck. I have no problem pissing in the proper spot. Sure I might get a few drops on the floor right in front while I am packing the hog leg away, but I don’t piss all over the floor and leave a standing amount that the floor drain can’t even handle. The stalls. There aren’t too many more disgusting places on earth one could be. Upon entering and locking the door behind you, you usually are greeted with puddles of piss in front of the bowl. I get that you might drip some upon standing up, but drop some TP down there and soak it up. Next you would inspect the seat. Sometimes you might encounter piss on the seat as well as shit. Yes shit. Now look. These are grown ass men. These are smart engineering grown ass men. Do you mean to tell me that these guys are not smart enough to get their shit in the good sized opening provided? Taking that further, how do you actually get shit onto the back part of the seat? Do you only have half your hold dangling over the edge? Do you reposition yourself so you lather up the seat with your shitty ass? And even if you do get shit on the toilet seat…when you flush, how do you know notice? At least grab a handful of TP and wipe it up. And the topper, when you go a stall and a courtesy flush is needed. After a flush or 3, you still notice shit stuck to the porcelain…under the water line at that! Now I don’t have the best diet, but I have never had shit that fused with the porcelain and could withstand about 14 straight industrial strength flushes. What the fuck can these engineers be eating? Better yet, I don’t wanna know.

Now, if you can get through all that because you just have got to take that shit (and when I do, I spend the first 5 minutes of my stall time building a TP nest on top of that shit stained seat), once you sit down its time to relax and drop your load. Normally when doing this one will look around the stall. If you do that in the stalls where I work, you are in for a real treat. Boogers. That’s right, Boogers. Apparently not challenged enough engineer is so board at work that he while he drops a deuce, he picks his nose and flicks the little goodies all over the stall walls. Absolutely fucking perfect. These are grown ass men, not 3rd graders. Most of these men are married with kids but it would seem that they need the fucking diaper. I don’t even want to know what their wives must have to go through at home! And let me end with this. One of the facilities guys here usually will get stuck cleaning the shit house every afternoon. Nothing too serious, but he rolls with a bucket with a sponge or something and water with cleaner in it, some paper towels and a toilet scrub brush on occasion. I almost feel bad for the guy, but dude talks to himself all the time, so obviously all his dogs aint barking, so better him than me. Although if I had to clean anything in there, I’d be sporting a biohazard suit. So, I walk in there one afternoon to take a piss. Dude is in there cleaning and was just starting the stalls. As I stand there pissing, dude erupts with a flurry of self-talking. It sounded like this. “Goddamn mother fuckers. Nasty mother fuckers. Fucking disgusting. Its all over. Its in the hinges. I can’t get that out. *gags* Nasty mother fuckers. All in the hinges. *gags* Nasty Goddamn fuckers. *gags*. While that might not sound funny reading it, hearing it and knowing how nasty these fucking engineers are, I stood there long after I finished pissed just to listen to him go off.

Engineers are a different breed. For all the intelligence they have, for all the creative shit they come up with, its too bad that they are nasty, weird, and plain messed up most of the time. Make sure you don’t get played out by an engineer. In reality you’re smarter than they are!

Welcome to the Hall Gentlemen

July 30, 2007

For some, yesterday was one of the biggest days of the sporting year, if not the biggest. It was the day that 2 of the classiest guys in baseball, much less sports were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY. A record crowd of over 75,000 descended upon this quaint little town in Central New York to see one of the few things that baseball has done right lately. Forgotten for an afternoon were Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy, Barry Bonds and everything else that is wrong with the sporting world. And while this might be more directed towards Baseball fans, it should be impressive to for any sports fan to see the 53 hall of famers on stage behind the newest inductee’s. It should be impressive that 2 men who spent their long and entire careers with one team and are easily not only the best guys of their generation but of all time reach the pinnacle of any sporting career. I know I was impressed. For the first time it hit me. These are the guys I grew up watching. These are the guys I pretended to be when my friends and I grabbed our gloves and went off to play baseball. These were the guys who helped shape and define my love for the game of baseball.

Being on the East Coast, I never got to see Tony Gwynn play as much as I would have liked. Luckily Baseball Tonight and Sportscenter helped bring his game to the masses, but there is no doubt in my mind that had he played for the Mets, Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, Braves, Red Sox etc. his legend would be even greater. We’re not going to find a man more dedicated to his craft. A player who was never complacent and was always learning, always trying to improve right up until the day he retired. He is a man who is as big a hit in the community as he was on the field. And he was a guy who never made headlines for the wrong reasons. A great player and a great man I hate to cut things short on Big T, but I need to get to Cal as he has always been one of my favorite players.

Every baseball fan around owes Cal Ripken . No, we don’t owe him money, a first born kid, we owe him our respect and our admiration. I grew up watching Cal Ripken Jr. I was fortunate enough to actually see him play when I was a little kid and he spent one year as a Rochester Redwings . Of course then I had no idea what I was watching, but now that I know its something I can always look back on and be thankful I did see it. Because the Wings were Baltimore’s top farm Team at the time, I grew up watching the Orioles, even though I was a Mets fan. I grew up watching Cal play. I remember hoping that the Game of the Week would feature the Orioles every week. I remember vaguely the World Series winning team, the pain of the late 80’s team, and the resurgence of the 90’s teams. As a baseball fan, I also remember the devastating strike in 1994 and I remember everything that Cal Ripken did to get baseball back in the good graces of the fans. His chase and eventual record breaking streak in 1995 of Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak is legendary in its own right and it’s timing helped to pull baseball from the strike burned memories of the fans. And whether it was Cal taking a lap around the entire stadium shaking hands with fans or the fact he would never turn down an autograph request, he did more than anyone to bring it back. I don’t think I could name one player right now that would come out and sign autographs for 2 or 3 hours after playing a 3 hour baseball game at one of the most demanding positions. He did not want to disappoint the fans…and Cal never did. Cal was about the game. He understood the game existed because of the fans and his HOF induction speech was the same way. Cal didn’t talk much about himself. Instead he made his induction speech, on his day into the HOF, about the game, about everyone else. From his dad, to his brother, to his wife and kids and mom, to his teammates, to the fans especially Oriole Fans he made it about them. He talked about how great baseball is and he talked about teaching it to today’s youth. He talked about how every mistake he might have made he learned from and never repeated. He talked about being a role model whether players like it or not. He talked about baseball being his job so playing everyday was just what he did whether he was hurting or not. His sort of tribute to the fans of the game who work hard all their lives. With his speech he gave fans like me one more glimpse at being a kid watching baseball, and he also gave all fans hope that players do exist that care more about the game and fans than about the paycheck. When my kids are growing up playing baseball and beating up those that play Soccer, they will know all about Cal Ripken. Who he was, what he stood for, everything he was and is. The biggest injustice we could do it to forget about Cal and to not keep his memory flowing always.

I cannot thank Cal, Tony, the HOF and baseball in general for giving me as a baseball fan one pure day. Like I said, yesterday wasn’t steroids and tainted records. Allegations and conspiracy’s. It was about the games greatest players being honored, inducted, and remembered. I’ll be down to see Cal’s plaque in Cooperstown real soon.