Longtime Phillies announcer Harry Kalas dies at age 73

Philadelphia Daily News

Daily News Staff Report
WASHINGTON - Legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas has died. He was 73.

"We lost our voice today," team president David Montgomery said. "He knows the game and made a tremendous contribution to the sport and to our organization . . .

"Anybody who has played for us, it's an immediate point of connection with the club. He is the Phillies."
Rest of article behind cut )

People who know me know that I am not a big baseball fan. I enjoy going to the occasional game, but as a rule, I just don't get into it like I do football or hockey.

But to not hear the voice of Harry Kalas anymore will be jarring. He was part of the soundtrack of my youth. Down at Jersey shore in the summers, whenever the Phillies were playing, you couldn't swing a sand bucket without hearing a radio with his voice coming out of it. I can't possibly count the number of times while growing up when I was doing something else at home and heard his voice on the TV or radio as the game was on in the background. Feeling a small thrill when he cut loose with his trademark "Outta here" call for a home run.

No more.

I'm glad that he got to see the Phillies win one more World Series before he passed. And you always will want to hear him call just one more game. And I feel bad for whoever will be calling the games now, because he will probably not be compared favorably to Harry.

To his family, his friends, his co-workers, and his fans, I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences.
Howdy y'all.

So, not too much to report since last I posted. Which, I suppose, is the way that most of our lives go.


Have I mentioned lately that I hate DC Drivers? Really, I do. They suck. If it's not a dry overcast day, they freak the hell out.

But that wasn't what was really up my ass during the ride home last night.
Cut for ranting )
OK, i'm running out of steam. I'll talk to you later.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.
Well, the "Colorful and not very shy" John C. Welch has just posted the following story via Twitter:

Britain bars entry to anti-gay U.S. preacher

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - An anti-gay U.S. Christian preacher and his daughter have been barred from entering Britain as they could spread "extremism and hatred," the British government said Thursday.

The Reverend Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, had been due in Britain to protest at a play about the murder of a gay man.

But British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she had decided to prevent Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from entering the country.
Rest of story behind cut for the link-phobic )
OK, I'm no fan of Fred Phelps, his family, or the Westboro Cult. I mean, these are the poster children for giving Christianity, and indeed any religion, a bad name. And were I to read that they and their hatred were struck by lightning, split in half, burned to the ground, and sunk into the swamp, I might give out a cheer

But, having freedom of speech means that you take the good, the bad and the ugly. I think that in refusing them entry, The British government is taking a step down an awfully steep, slick slope that they need to be avoiding.

Phelps is an asshole of the largest possible proportions. And yet, he has the right to believe as he wishes and to speak as he wishes, just as I have the right to ignore his hate-filled rhetoric.

And for the record, when I say "ignore", I don't mean that I pretend this asshat doesn't exist. Rather, were he in my face spewing his venom, I can walk away. I sure ain't gonna engage this moron in debate - you can't win arguments with idiots like him; they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. He's looking for a fight. He's looking for a platform to practice his pedagogery. I don't have to give him that. I can (and will) walk away.

Turning people away won't stop hatred.

Silencing "Hate speech" doesn't stop hatred.

The only thing that can stop hatred is love. The love that we, as humans, have for one another. The love that is reflected in how we treat one another.

I offer this example from my own life:

During high school, I played football. For 3 summers, I went to a week long camp to help improve my skills. One year, another player took a dislike to me. I don't know why - he just did. Gave me grief during practices. Insulted me at every opportunity. A number of the other players there came up to me during the week and basically told me that they had no idea why he was being such an ass.

Well, Thursday rolled around, and his room mate was going around to the other campers asking if anyone had any aspirin, Tylenol, or something similar. He asked the guy I was rooming with, who told him "no", and started to leave. Now, my Mom never sent us anywhere for any length of time without certain basic supplies, including Tylenol. I hollered at him to wait, got out the meds, and gave him 3 of them. The guy looked at me in disbelief; after all, he had apologized for his roomies asshat behavior just a day or two earlier. He took them and disappeared.

That night at dinner, the asshole sat down across from me and apologized for being an asshole all week. He thanked me for the Tylenol, and we got along OK for the last day.

My point, then, is that love, compassion & caring can all be transformative. And as hard as it is at times, it is the only way to truly end the hatred bourne by people like Fred Phelps and the WBC.
Hey folks.

So, really, the title says it all. Actually, both [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I are gonna be distracted today, she moreso than I.

See, one of her best friends found some lumps in both breasts not too long ago.

She goes in for surgery in less than 3 hours.

So, if you have a spare good thought lying around, send it out towards Michigan for Aleisha.

Updates will follow as necessary.
From Punxsutawney Phil's site:

Hear Ye Hear Ye

On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators

Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper

And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths

After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,

Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time

And a bright sky above me

Showed my shadow beside me.

So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.
I don't know what will happen. And neither does anyone else who isn't part of the higher-ups at SUP.

Should you back up your LJ? Yes, if you care what happens to what you've written. Hell, we in the IT world have been telling you to back shit up for years!

Here is a good, brief guide to methods for backing up your LiveJournal, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] brown_betty.

For now, I've also set up an account on Vox as Grayhawk. If the sky does indeed fall, then I have a new home.

I suspect that LJ ain't going anywhere. So sit back, do the backups, and keep on postin'.

Holy F**K!

Dec. 12th, 2008 07:58 am
Environmentalists blast changes to Endangered Species rules

From Erika Dimmler

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration cleared the way Thursday for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists when embarking on projects that could impact endangered wildlife, the interior secretary said.
Rest of story under cut for the link-phobic )

Dude? Jan 20 cannot possibly come fast enough.
For those who don't know, we have a cat. This cat, RC by name (short for Rum & Coke, which she had a fondness for getting into as a kitten), is, I believe, 18 years old. Quite old for a housecat. She's had a good run.

Today she goes to the vet, as she's been peeing everywhere but her litterbox. No change in the litter or the location of the box. She still craps in it, though [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 seems to feel there's something off with that. There's a host of problems, including the fact that she's gotten rather thin.

I suspect rather strongly that she won't be coming home from the vet's office.

This is going to hit [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 hard. We're ~4 days from the first anniversary of her father's death. She's raised RC from a kitten. The kids are gonna be hit hard too.

I was going to stay late today to make up the hours I missed on Monday. If my suspicion is right, I'll postpone that and stay late next Monday. They're going to need me more at home.

So if you can, spare a kind thought for [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 and the kids today.

Updates as needed.

Aw crap

Nov. 12th, 2008 01:32 pm
Found on the Twitter feed of Wil Wheaton:


WizKids Games, Maker of HeroClix, Finds its Kryptonite

And here is the full text from the WizKids Blog (http://blog.wizkidsgames.com/news-from-topps/)

The Topps Company announced today that WizKids will immediately cease operations and discontinue its product lines. Scott Silverstein, CEO of Topps, said “This was an extremely difficult decision. While the company will still actively pursue gaming initiatives, we feel it is necessary to align our efforts more closely with Topps current sports and entertainment offerings which are being developed within our New York office.”

Upon notifying our partners, Topps will immediately pursue strategic alternatives so that viable brands and properties, including HeroClix, can continue without noticeable disruption. To that end, WizKids will continue supporting Buy it By the Brick redemptions for Arkham Asylum, and the December Organized Play events for HeroClix.

For consumer announcements, please refer to www.wizkidsgames.com over the coming days for further information.

Bluntly, this sucks. And isn't all that surprising.

Leaving aside the nay-sayers and the doom-and-gloom crowd that will undoubtedly trumpet that they predicted this when Topps bought them out, it's never a good thing to see a company like this fold.

Yes, I've had my issues with WizKids from time to time. Especially with whoever was running their demo program back around 2000-2002 or so. And while I'm not sure what would have been a better way to handle how they sold their oversize special figures, they managed to foul that up pretty well as well. Still, they brought a lot of happiness and fun into people's lives.

Here's hoping that someone will pick up the lines and keep 'em going.
World hopes for a 'less arrogant America'


BERLIN — A world weary of eight years of George W. Bush was riveted Tuesday by the drama unfolding in the United States. Many were inspired by Barack Obama's focus on hope, or simply relieved that — whoever wins — the current administration is coming to an end.

Dear world:

So do we.

Love, The citizens of the United States of America
As much as humanity repeatedly gives me reasons to hate it, once in a while, you come across something to restore a bit of your faith in humanity.

This story will do this for you.


'Good Samaritan' saves crying woman's foreclosed home

(CNN) -- Tracy Orr sat in the back of the room and prepared to watch her foreclosed home go up for auction this past Saturday. That's when a pesky stranger sat down beside her and struck up a conversation.

Tracy Orr faced losing her home to foreclosure when Marilyn Mock, a stranger, stepped in to buy it.

"Are you here to buy a house?" Marilyn Mock said.

Orr couldn't hold it in. The tears flowed. She pointed to the auction brochure at a home that didn't have a picture. "That's my house," she said.

Within moments, the four-bedroom, two-bath home in Pottsboro, Texas, went up for sale. People up front began casting their bids. The home that Orr purchased in September 2004 was slipping away.

She stood and moved toward the crowd. Behind her, Mock got into the action.

"She didn't know I was doing it," Mock says. "I just kept asking her if [her home] was worth it, and she just kept crying. She probably thought I was crazy, 'Why does this woman keep asking me that?' "

Mock says she bought the home for about $30,000. That's when Mock did what most bidders at a foreclosure auction never do.

"She said, 'I did this for you. I'm doing this for you,' " Orr says. "When it was all done, I was just in shock."
The following headline from the Boston Globe caught my eye this morning:

Consistent Message Eluding McCain

So, my challenge to you, dear reader: What message is eluding McCain? Serious good, humorous better.

Political flame wars to be deleted.

(Note: While I currently support Obama, I am currently convinced that I don't trust either any of the four P/VP candidates to lead a grade school student council, let alone the US.)
Thieves take cancer patient's dog

Updated 9/24/2008 5:22:57 AM
Posted By: Jennifer Leslie

A young cancer patient is putting out a call for help after someone broke into his family's home and stole his brand new puppy.

What's worse, investigators believe whoever did it knows the family and the fact that the little boy is sick.

Whoever did this needs to have some extremely painful and lengthy punishment inflicted upon them.
Some time ago, Steve Jackson Games released SPANC: Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls, a light-hearted competition between starship crews of cat girls in search of toys and loot! It's been out of print for a while, but damn near every time that I or another of the SJG Demo team have run this game (especially at Origins), one or more of the players would ask if it was available for sale, and we'd have to say it was out of print. And we'd pass the message along. And we'd encourage them to say something to SJG through the website.

Today, in the Daily Illuminator, it was announced that SPANC will be reprinted! You can find out more details Here.

Of course, you could always join the [livejournal.com profile] sjgames group. Then you'd get the Daily Illuminator right in your LJ every day!
Sikahema KOs Canseco in 1st round

By MICHAEL McGARRY Staff Writer, 609-272-7185

ATLANTIC CITY - Size didn't matter at the "War at Shore" on Saturday night.

Former Philadelphia Eagle and current sportscaster Vai Sikahema knocked out the controversial former baseball star Jose Canseco in the first round of a celebrity boxing match at Bernie Robbins Stadium.
rest of story behind cut for the link-phobic or those who do not care )
It's easy to get lost in the countless stories of grief, greed, hatred, stupidity, and general decay that permeate the news.

Once in a while, though, something sneaks in that helps to restore your faith in humanity.

Volunteers put finishing touches on new house
Story behind cut for the link-phobic )
Excuse me, I think there's something in my eye...
While quite a bit of this article will not hold any surprises for the majority of my readers, I encourage you to read this and discuss in comments.


Text of article )

I'm curious to see what y'all think. I'm withholding my opinions for the moment.
Some of you may remember some time ago when Geno's Cheesesteaks in Philly was under fire because they had a sign up that read "This is America: WHEN ORDERING 'PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH,'".

For those who don't recall this, please see this post from 2006.

Anyway, here's the followup:


'Speak English' Signs OK at Philly Shop
Wed Mar 19, 7:38 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA — The owner of a famous cheesesteak shop did not discriminate when he posted signs asking customers to speak English, a city panel ruled Wednesday.

I had no problems with the sign in 2006, and I have no problems with it today.

Now, before you decide to write some silly reply about how I'm racist, I encourage you to read the articles. Note that they claim that they have never refused service to someone because they couldn't speak English, and they have helped people to learn the menu and order in English (that's in one of the articles from 2006> Racist would be refusing them service and not helping them.

So congrats to Genos. Maybe I'll go have a small cheesesteak in celebration of this sudden outbreak of common sense.
From Mtv.com:

Quiet Riot Singer Kevin DuBrow Found Dead In His Las Vegas Home

Rocker, 52, died of unknown causes.

Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow died Sunday, drummer Frankie Banali confirmed in a post on his Web site. DuBrow was 52 years old and the official cause of his death has yet to be determined.

Quiet Riot's album Metal Health was one of the first ones I ever bought for myself. It rocked the hell out.

Thanks for all the music, fun and memories, Kevin. Thanks for helping me "feel the noize" and to "bang my head".

News story

Nov. 16th, 2007 10:33 am
Clued in on story courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] fragbert :

Vintage Whiskey May Be Poured Out

Law Requires Officials Destroy Whiskey That Cannot Be Sold Legally

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Here's a sobering thought: Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.

Officials seized 2,400 bottles late last month during warehouse raids in Nashville and Lynchburg, the southern Tennessee town where the whiskey is distilled.

[livejournal.com profile] fragbert is quoted as saying "Noooooo!"

In comments to [livejournal.com profile] fragbert 's f-locked entry, [livejournal.com profile] lovellama suggests that "They should auction off the whiskey and use the proceeds for childrens' programs or the like."

[livejournal.com profile] grayhawkfh is quoted as saying "That is the second best idea I can think of to do with that. (The first would be to give me the 5 oldest bottles, but I digress)"


Frank N. Huminski

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