Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sorry for the radio silence...

...but my brain was frozen for the past week or two.  Now that the snow is starting to thaw, it seems more and more stories are worth visiting on the blog.

American Idol is back.  I'm going to try to fully appreciate Season Nine, as this is the last season I'll be watching it, since Simon is 85% the reason I've stuck around this long.  If you happen to miss an episode, SarahK always does a great write up of each show at her Snark Raving Mad blog.  And, as for Ellen joining the show, I'm hoping that she doesn't try too hard to win over America.  But, time will tell.  (And, memo to Miah and Erica:  I will win this season's picks, and you will have to "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!")

I consider myself member of "Team Conan" "I'm With Coco".  As I expressed in an earlier post, I have been rooting for Jay to fail at the 9:00 time slot.  But had I known that the idiots at NBC would screw over Conan after Jay failed, I probably wouldn't have rooted so hard.

I'm not sure which story out of Washington pisses me off more:  "Citing 'obscene' bonuses, Obama to tax banks" or "Unions agree to compromise on 'Cadillac tax' for healthcare".    In both cases, our all-knowing government is picking winners and losers, and both are being done not because it is the best for the country, but rather to score political points.  While campaigning, President Obama promised (video at the link and emphasis mine):
"I'm going to listen to everybody. We'll have the doctors and the nurses and the members of Congress and patient advocates. I'll have the insurance and drug companies at the table. They just won't be able to buy every chair. And we will... And I'll be at the table. I'll have the biggest chair, because I'm president. If people have other ideas and I don't assume that I've got every single idea. It can be improved and I want input. We're going to have to make some compromises.

But here's the thing. We're going to do all these negotiations on C-SPAN.

The American people will be able to watch these negotiations so if they start seeing a member of Congress who is carrying the water for the drug companies instead of for their constituents and says, 'Oh, you no. we can't negotiate for the cheapest available price on drugs because the drug companies need these profits to invest in research and development', I'll say, 'OK, let me bring my health care expert in here'. And on TV, we'll ask my health care expert, 'What do you think about what the drug companies are saying?'
And what that drug expert will undoubtedly say is 'Well, drug companies do need some profits to invest in research and development but a lot of what they're calling research and development is actually marketing costs for some of these TV ads you see' ... where everybody is, you have all these people dancing in fields, looking all happy. You don't know what the drug is for. Right? Except for that one drug, you know what that's for. You know what that one is for.
Anyway, you get my point. Open this. Transparency. You will hold me accountable, you will hold Congress accountable. That's how we'll get welfare... uh health care reform passed."
 Now, I will freely admit that CSPAN is not one of the 7 channels we pick up on our rabbit-ears, but I'm pretty sure the negotiations have not been aired, and "transparency" has not been achieved.  But what has been achieved is a handy sweetheart deal/kickback for the Unions for their support during the last election.  I guess that's the "hope and change" everyone was talking about back in '08.

As for the "bank tax", this line in the MSNBC report really got my goat:
"I think it is entirely reasonable to say that the industry that, A, caused these problems more than any other and, B, benefited from the activity, should be contributing," said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The problem, Mr. Frank, is that they wouldn't have "benefited from the activity" had you not bailed their dumbasses out with tax payer money.  While I'd argue that it was "crony capitalism" (the mixture of government and big business) that caused the financial problems to which Mr. Frank is referring, it was Congress and Congress alone who forked over hundreds of millions of dollars to the people who helped ruin the system in the first place.  So, I would propose that "it is entirely reasonable to say that the POLITICIANS that, A, bailed out a failing industry moer than any other, and, B,  benefited from the activity, should be contributing."  So, how about a tax on Congressmen who voted for the initial TARP payment to help climb our way out of the deficit they threw us in. 

A few weeks ago, my wife's hand tremors and high heart rate lead her to visit a doctor.  After some tests/scans/work-ups, they determined that she had Grave's Disease (a hyperactive thyroid).  They decided the best treatment option was using iodine to kill off the thyroid, so next week, she'll take some iodine pills and will be radioactive for about a week.  She'll have to keep her distance from other people/animals, use disposable eating utensils/dishes, and be really careful about cleaning up anything she touches, so as to not pass on the iodine treatment (which is apparently pretty potent stuff).  We will also have to sleep in separate rooms and can't ride in the car together for more than an hour.  I asked her to ask the doctors how far into the process it'll be before she develops super powers, but she got too bashful to ask, so we'll just be surprised.  I hope she ends up with super powerful sight (since it weirds me out having to look into her eyeball for a stray contact lens) or Dr. Doolittle-syndrome (since I've always wanted to know what Brodie is thinking).

A few thoughts on the MLB2009 PS2 video game I bought with Christmas gift cards:
  • Video game baseball is much tougher than video game football or golf.
  • It is odd/awesome seeing one of my high school classmates, Luke Hochevar, in a prominent video game.  I'd even say it is more surreal than watching him pitch against the Red Sox last season.
  • Video game baseball is as slow/methodical as real life baseball.  I had hoped that they'd spice it up a bit, but, sadly, they didn't.
  • Any and all video games are awesome when projected into a 100+ inch image on our wall.  Our digital projector is probably the best purchase we've made while in Omaha (second place being the snowblower, third place being my hybrid golf clubs).
And, while it is on my mind, sports columnist/blogger Joe Posnanski has a 9000+ word write up about the KC Royal's Decade (1999-2009).  It is facinating and a bit "inside baseball", but if you've got a half-hour to kill and would like to learn how/why the Royals became the team that lost more games than any other team in baseball, then this is the column for you.  While I don't agree with his assessment of my man Hochevar, he did happen to sneak into this opus the funniest line I've ever encountered in a sports column:
Where does the talent of Royals prospects go? I imagine a man in Germany shouting “Why can I play baseball so well? WHY?”
(find out why that joke is funny here).

It is my hope that the duration between blog posts is inversely proportional to the length of a day, so that as the days get longer, the time between blog entries gets shorter.  Until we meet again, remember that "you be looking like a fool, with your pants on the ground."


  1. I love this post because there is something for everyone. Keep posting as you know I get antsy when there is any sort of a break. -Rach

  2. Agreed, Rach. And how do I get myself some iodine treatment? A legit reason to keep my distance from other people...sounds like a dream.

  3. @rachel--sorry you have to go through all this

    @eric--have you ever seen the documentary on the good years of royal baseball, and how it coresponds to the good years of kansas city?