A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Who, Me?

Ben Wallace reportedly feels like he's being picked on by Bulls coach Scott Skiles.

Ben Wallace

League and team sources told The Chicago Tribune that Wallace feels singled out by Skiles' rules against pregame music, headbands and Wallace's tape-free ankles.

The situation came to a head on Saturday when Skiles pulled Wallace only 2:02 after tip-off against the New York Knicks because the center broke a team rule prohibiting the wearing of headbands.

A source close to Wallace told The Tribune that the big man is annoyed by the headband rule because he wasn't informed about it until after he signed his four-year, $60 million contract with the Bulls.

Hey, guess what--people who sign a 4 year, $60 mil deal with a career line of 6.6 PPG aren't all that common. One might even say that they stand out in a locker room. How's about you go and do something on the court than bitch because someone's being mean to you?

In all fairness, though, headbands ought to be encouraged rather than outlawed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Signs that you are not normal

So I'm talking to one of our cats yesterday, Maddux, who has a small paunch these days, and I say to him, "Well hello there! If it isn't Fatty McFatterskins!"

To which my wife comments, "Hey, I knew you were going to call him that!"

Is there a shrink in the house?

Monday, November 20, 2006

"And With Me is Steve Stone -- Hey Stoney, When're You Getting Married?"

So, how do we feel about the Cubbies now that a deal for Soriano is supposedly done?

The obvious objection, I think, is that if they were willing to pay $17 million a year to Soriano this year they ought to have paid $15 million two years ago to Carlos Beltran, especially since there's the risk of Soriano actually getting assigned to play CF--at least, Gammons wrote that he could end up in CF yesterday in an article that didn't have the Insider tag on it for a couple of hours before someone in the ESPN junta realized their mistake.

But I digress. Let's look at the provisional roster right now:

C: Michael Barrett
1B: D-Lee
2B: Mark de Rosa
SS: Cesar Izturis
3B: Aramis Ramirez
RF: Jacque Jones
CF: Alfonso Soriano
LF: Matt Murton
IF: Theriot, Cedeno
OF: Bynum, Pagan
SPs: Zambrano, Prior and some combination of Rusch, Marmol (unlikely), Marshall, Hill (very unlikely), Miller
RPs: Wood, Cotts, Wuertz, Novoa, Eyre
CP: Dempster

I fucking hate Izturis (covered earlier on this very site), but this is pretty good except for--drumroll, please?--starting pitching. They need two arms, and I hope to Jebus one of them isn't Barry Zito. He got hit hard enough in stretches last year, and moving from the yawning cavern of Oakland Colisseum to the Friendly Confines does not augur well to me, personally.

Saturday, November 18, 2006



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Guy Tarkington NOT Sexiest Man Alive

Apparently, I have not been chosen as People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for 2006. Four months ago, I sent them a photo of me and asked them to consider it as my application for the position. I just read that George Clooney won it again this year.

Here is the photo I sent them. I think I look better without glasses, so I PhotoShopped them out of there, and I think I did a pretty good job. What do you think?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's the Economy, Stupid

You can imagine my despair upon learning that the recent spending orgy among Major League Baseball franchise to secure the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka was a sealed first-price auction.

Economically efficient auctions attempt to identify the bidder who would get the greatest utility out of the good, but not allow losing bidders to inflict some sort of disutility on the winner by bidding up the price insincerely or allow the winner to try to scootch down from their true valuation of the good to somewhere just barely more than the second-price bidder. If you've ever played Monopoly with the official rules, where you have to auction unpurchased property immediately after someone lands on it and refuses to buy, you have a sense about why that's a hassle. Sealed first-price auctions are a little better than that, but far from the best.

A prominent and simple efficient design was developed by Vickrey and extended by Myerson (1981), who showed that a sealed second-price auction--the person who bids highest wins, but they only pay whatever the second-highest offer was--is economically efficient and equivalent to any other efficient auction design. Historians will also note that a nested second-price auction design was used by myself and my two housemates last year to figure out who would get stuck with the tiny, or "bitch," room.

I diagree with this argument the strongest!

Sunday night saw me and a couple of buddies at the neighborhood Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Bears game. Inevitably, this led to me angrily holding court and proclaiming that I would now, officially, never buy a GM car thanks to John Mellancamp. How dare they imply that by leaving my hometown and getting a college degree that I'm not a real American?

At this point, Charles pointed out that, well, yeah.

**The title of this post is from a piece of student writing.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Some people accuse me of being gullible. The other day, my roommate Bob told me that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary.

When I looked in the dictionary, it was there. I had been tricked. Bob was chuckling into his bowl of Fruity-O's.

Enraged, I grabbed a knife and chased him around our apartment. In the fray, Bob accidentally stepped on his antique violin, crushing it beyond repair. Bob crumpled to the ground, sobbing uncontrollably. It had been in his family for 200 years.

I felt bad about the whole thing, and offered to pay for the violin. Although the money could never replace the sentimental value to him and his family, he took my check for $25,000.

Six days later, the check bounced. Who's gullible now, bitch?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"One Bank"

You can really only listen to this once. Then the nausea kicks in as an auto-reflex.

"We'll live out our core values,
While the competition crawls."

Forget the competition, my skin just crawled a few inches after that stanza.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Horrible album art

I have found some of the most ridiculous, incomprehensible works of album art and decided to share them with you. There are others that are a little more vile that I didn't want to put on here and have to see everytime I logged on the Lemur. Enjoy.

Kenny Loggins - Keep the Fire
Who doesn't need a little Jesus in their life? Nobody, that's who!

Young M.C. - Ain't Going Out Like That
No, you're right. You are, however, going out like this, which is to say, "a chump."

Swamp Dog - Surfin' in Harlem
Just utterly ridiculous.

Deep Purple - Fireball
Actually, almost every single one of Deep Purple's albums is adorned with some ridiculous incarnation of their five faces on the cover--as candles, Mt. Rushmore, in a wine goblet, or, in this case, a comet. Wow. Along with Deep Purple, Millie Jackson has quite the oeuvre, as do the Scorpions, Prince, and...

Manowar - Into Glory Ride
"Timmy, do you like movies about Gladiators?"

Part Chimp - I am Come
Then, there's just the shittiest drawings that you've ever seen. I hope this went platinum and they had to hang it on their wall.

The Bee Gees - Life in a Tin Can
Then, there's literal cut-n-paste cropping, long before Photoshop came around.

Queen - The Miracle
Something about this one, however, just gives me the creeps. It gives me vertigo. It causes erectile dysfunction. It gives me dyspepsia. It ain't right!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Recent music rotation

The Drones - "Baby 2" (yousendit)
I picked this one up on a whim. I didn't really know what to expect, and it's been a pleasant surprise to have a little harder rocker in my library. This cut is a little more rollicking than some of their others, and I enjoy the upbeat tempo here. I think it works because the band plays somewhat sloppily, which often spills over well into the garage rock style.

Giant Sand - "Valley of Rain" (yousendit)
Giant Sand - "Wearing the Robes of the Bible Black" (yousendit)
Honestly, Giant Sand and Howe Gelb have been two of my favorite recent finds. It's a mixture of rock, punk, and country-n-western out of Tucson, AZ. I love the feel of the music--it feels organic and without the usual studio gloss. I also enjoy, especially in the early Giant Sand tracks, the intersection of 80s jangle-pop with a sort of Country edge. "Valley of Rain" demonstrates this jangly sound, while the second is a much more fractured offering. Fascinating stuff.

Palace Music - "Ohio River Boat Song" (yousendit)
Palace Music - "Valentine's Day" (yousendit)
Kicking a little lo-fi knowledge in your ears here. I just have gotten into this CD also, and really need to get me some Bonnie "Prince" Billy, another Todd Oldham creation. Again, I am a sucker for the music that feels like its held together by a string and some scotch tape, so obviously this is right up my alley.

Quasi - "The Poisoned Well" (yousendit)
Quasi - "You Fucked Yourself" (yousendit)
Rising from the ashes of Heatmiser (E. Smith's first band) and encompassing the drummer from Sleater-Kinney, Quasi is an interesting fusion of fuzzy keyboards, sullen lyrics, and energetic drumming. I enjoy it very much. The story is that "The Poisoned Well" is about Elliott Smith himself, which would not be entirely surprising.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - "The Big Guns" (yousendit)
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - "Rise up with Fists!!" (yousendit)
And in honor of, hopefully, a little change around this country. This is a great album, much better than any Rilo Kily album. I really didn't like that band. But Jenny Lewis is quite the consummate songwriter. And she has quite a nice voice.

NB: If any of the links run out of downloads (there's like 7 total), let me know in the comments and I'll take care of it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

100 CCs of History Channel, Stat!

A student of mine just wrote that

However, unlike Hitler, Stalin did not need a political party and did not need to be elected into position ... Also, unlike Hitler, Stalin did have the need for a secret police.

Sadly, the number of dead bodies underneath Krakow with bullet holes in their skulls from the imaginary guns of Hitler's nonexistent secret police are legions wide and fathoms deep. Of course, the Russians of the age fared much better under the enlightened leadership of Joseph Stalin, who like George Washington believed strongly in an apolitical, Party-less government.

Has anyone else seen the SNL skit "History of the Civil War as Told By High School Drop-Outs?"

Participatory Democracy

From the "referendum no one is talking about" file:


Ban gay marriage and civil unions. Rejected
Deny bail to illegal immigrants charged with serious felony. Approved
Make English the state's official language. Approved
Bar illegal immigrants from receiving punitive damages in lawsuits. Approved
Bar illegal immigrants from receiving certain government subsidies. Approved
Raise state minimum wage. Approved
Award $1 million to a random voter each general election. Rejected
Limit eminent domain seizures; require compensation for adverse land-use rulings. Approved
Hike tobacco taxes. Approved
Prohibit smoking in public places. Approved
Prohibit smoking in public places, but exempt bars. Rejected

Fuck you

Fuck you Donald Rumsfeld. Good riddance you worthless piece of shit. The man who single-handedly ruined any chance of a positive outcome in Iraq with his complete and willful ignorance and incompetence of every element that he was in charge of. Now maybe you can wipe that smug look off your face you asshole.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On Voting

I can't even begin to describe the fleeting, but enveloping, temptation to fill in the straight-party bubble next to "US Taxpayers Party." Their logo appeared to be a tiny Abraham Lincoln, which may or may not be accurate since I know relatively little about Lincoln's approach to taxation. I always thought that the 13th Amendment was more relevant to US history.

Meanwhile, voting for Jennifer Granholm and Debbie Stabenow seemed oddly appropriate given the grim rain that was needling the pavement as I trudged out of the elementary school and back to my car.


As my wife and I walked out the door to go to work this morning, we were lucky enough to come across this ad on T.V. Well, guess my votes for Cohen! I know that the Great Wall of Texas does seem like the most effective method of stopping illegal immigration, but something tells me the money *might* be better spent elsewhere.

(The link goes to a .wmv file so you will need Windows Media Player to view it. Sorry, iTuners)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead...

... And Michael Vick still sucks.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Now the turds in the Mainstream Sports Media (MSSM) can get back to talking about how athletic he is and how he's just about to turn the corner so we have to expect these setbacks, just like they have been for the last six years.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Wha... WHA...?

Doogie Howser is gay? OMG. Next thing you know Richard Dean Anderson of MacGyver fame will be gay. I'm not sure I could continue to live in such a world.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Look at all these fookin' costumes!

It's a day late, but it makes me laugh. You may have to click on the white box to make it work. The embedding is a little off.