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April 2008 Archives

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April 30

Lopez, Nats sink Braves in 12th with bases-loaded hit. As much as FLop was at the bottom of the dogpile at the end, he didn't exactly acquit himself well in the bottom of the tenth when he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. At least in the 12th, the score was already tied and there was nobody out. Hill looked pretty good going eight as did Jurrjens going seven.

April 29

Watched the Criminal Minds episode "A Higher Power". Pittsburgh police officer Ronnie Baleman calls in the BAU about a series of suspicious suicides. A few months earlier, 14 children were killed in a fire at the Shadyside Recreational Center. All the suicides were of the parents. The most recent was Ronnie's brother Paul, a contractor electrocuted in a bathtub with no GFCI in the wiring.

Each suicide was executed in a different manner with suicide notes. Baleman suspects a serial killer. Garcia finds a suicide report of a 15-year-old boy James, the son of a professor. He was being continually molested by his father. The killer was James' brother Peter. He knew all the victims from attending various twelve step and grief programs. The so-called suicide notes were actually grief statements hetook from the meetings. Ironically and predictably Ronnie's brother Paul was the only true suicide.

Zimmerman's bat propels Nationals past Braves. Zimmerman homered and doubled, breaking the game wide open in the seventh. Guzman's infield single in front of Zim to load the bases was crucial. Rivera got the win, but Cordero left the game after seven pitches.

April 28

Went to trivia night at the Greene Turtle, with questions by TriviaMaryland. Only Chonte was there, but she was working. I came in second, earning $15 in gift certificates. I didn't use them all to pay the bill insuring that Cara would actually get the tip.

Here are the questions (Highlight for the answers.):

  1. What same number identifies the number of women in the cast of Ice Station Zebra, the number of U.S. Presidents who were only children, and the number of words spoken by the title character in Dumbo? Zero.
  2. In what three years were the Olympics cancelled? 1916, 1940 and 1944.
  3. How many hearts does an octopus have? Three.
  4. What four sitting Vice-Presidents were elected President? John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and George H. W. Bush.
  5. What is the maximum number of golf clubs permitted in a bag? Fourteen.
  6. Who are these people? (Click each photo to enlarge)

    (Left to right) Mark Hamill, Mark Twain, Luke Perry, Matthew Modine, John Tesh, Luke Wilson, Matthew Broderick and John Lennon.
  7. Who appeared on 54 Time magazine covers from 1952-1994? Richard Nixon.
  8. What three phrases and one word appear on all U.S. coins? In God We Trust, United States of America, E Pluribus Unum and Liberty.
  9. Who was the Bayonne Bleeder? Chuck Wepner.
  10. What four shows won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series at least four times? All in the FamilyCheers, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Frasier.
  11. Where would you find the trapezium bone? Hand or wrist.
  12. What five Presidents have had approval ratings below 30%? George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Harry Truman.
  13. What actor or actress appeared in all of the following movies: The Right Stuff, Edward Scissorhands, The Cider House Rules and Cold Mountain? Kathy Baker.
  14. What four drivers won at least 30 NASCAR races in the 1990s? Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace.
  15. What product had the slogan,"Look Ma, no cavities"? Crest toothpaste.
  16. Identify these television shows: (Click each photo to enlarge)
    (Left to right)That Girl, The Sentinel, The Saint, Family Guy, Family Law, Family Feud, Family Matters, Roswell.
  17. What country was known as New Grenada from 1831-1856? Colombia.
  18. What eight states are considered to have panhandles? Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.
  19. Who won an Academy Award portraying Maggie Fitzgerald in a 2004 film? Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby.
  20. Bounty, Elegant Lady, O'Henry, Red Globe and Topaz are all varieties of what fruit? Peach.

April 27

Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Six of One". Leaving off from the last episode with Starbuck pointing a gun at Roslin, she reminds the President that she disobeyed orders to go back to Caprica and retrieve the Arrow of Apollo on her intuition. Kara gives her the gun, telling the Roslin to shoot her if she believes Thrace is a Cylon. Roslin fires, but only hits a picture of Adama on the wall.

Tory comes on to Baltar in the mess hall and he has a Baltar from his head appear, acting a lot like Jim Carrey. They end up in bed together.

Apollo accepts an offer from Tom Zarek to join the Quorum of Twelve. The officers give him a sendoff on the hanger deck. His goodbye with Dualla suggests an amicable divorce. Adama gives Starbuck the Demetrius and a crew to try and find Earth on her own.

With the Cylons, Cavil believes the Raiders broke off the attack because of a malfunction and proposes reconfiguring them. There is disagreement because one of the Sixes believes there are Cylons (Anders, Tori, Tyrol and Tigh), causing the end to the attack. Even the Sharon models diagree about the right course. A Six modifies the Centurions to shoot down Cavil and his allies.

Nationals 2, Cubs 0. Nice performance from Lannan, but Lilly was no slouch, either. Peña and Nieves drove in the two runs with singles in the second. The crucial play was when Theriot grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth.

Watched the Cold Case episode "The Road". In 2006, Brenda McDowell disappears from an engagement party. Rush and Valens are called to West Virginia to pick up a suspect who calls himself John Smith.

He used to work in a company that edited home videos. Smith becomes obsessed with the lives of some of the women in the videos. He chooses to kidnap one at a time and eventually starves them to death, but not until he's discovered at which they give up on living.

Smith takes Rush to the well where he saw, as a boy he saw a woman trapped there. Instead of getting help, he just watched her die. Smith unconsciously hums a tune, that leads the police to a basement in Kensington, near a church that plays that tune. McDowell is there still alive.

April 26

Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "He That Believeth in Me". As the Cylon attack continues, Anders goes up in his Viper, getting a bead on a Raider. Something flashes between tham as the Raider's red light scans him and the attack breaks off.

Starbuck lands her Viper, but everyone except Anders and Apollo treat her with skepticism, largely believing she's a Cylon. For her, only six hours have passed, not the two months for everybody else. The tail number on her Viper is that same, but Tyrol says the ship is as clean as if it just came off the showroom floor. Starbuck can't remember exactly how she got to Earth, but is confident she can lead the fleet there. The Viper's records are unhelpful, except for pictures of Earth.

Meanwhile, Baltar is being sheltered by a cult of mostly beautiful, young Caucasian women. Jeanne asks Baltar to pray for her son Derrick who is dying of viral encephalitis. In the bathroom as he is shaving, Baltar is met by Charlie Conner. He reminds Baltar when he brought his son Kevin to the President on New Caprica. That son later died died at the hands of the collaborator police. Conner puts a knife to Baltar's throat and Baltar is visited by Six, asking if his prayer for Derrick was sincere. When says yes, he is saved by the cultists.

With each jump, Starbuck gets a massive headache, indicating there are moving further away from Earth. She's afraid that soon, she'll lost the signal entirely. Starbuck breaks into William Adama's quarters where Roslin is staying and puts a gun to her head, demanding the fleet head toward Earth.

Watched the CSI episode "One Thousand Days on Earth". A comedian leaves a nightclub and almost backs into a cardboard box containing a dead three-year-old girl. She has no identification so she is known as Baby Cordelia from a nearby cross street.

Baby Cordelia's hair has been colored, suggesting she'd been kidnapped. Inmate Donald Balboa recognizes her as his daughter Inez and suspects his former cellmate Boyd Waldrip, who has been released. Waldrip has married Balboa's ex-wife Grace, adding his own two children to the marriage. Waldrip, Grace and Boy'd children are tracked to a diner. In the confusion, Waldrip accidentally shoots Grace dead.

The children explain they were playing hide-and-seek and Inez hid underneath the kitchen sink, hitting her head on the pipes. The injury was further exacerbated by drain cleaner leaking from the pipe. Instead of calling 911, Waldrip took her on a bus to the hospital en route. When she died, he left her body in a box he found in a dumpster.

In the red herring plot, the box is traced to Leo Finley, a registered sex offender, living with his girlfriend Nora O'Toole under the name Dean James. Finley's sex offense was being drunk and naked when he found himself in front of a bunch of pre-schoolers. The box originally held a microwave sent to O'Toole's apartment. Finley used the box to transport a cart part to a repair shop. That shop dumped the box where Waldrip found it. After Finley becomes a suspect, Nora kicks him and he loses his job. He confronts Willows for ruining his life, threatening to shoot himself on her front lawn.

Cubs 7, Nationals 0. Chico lost this one in the first inning. Zambrano went a decent seven innings.

April 25

Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Dirty Hands". Seelix is disappointed for being turned down for pilot training as she is more valuable as a mechanic. A Raptor malfunctions from badly refined fuel and crashes into Colonial One. The impact takes place off-camera, saving on special effects costs, but Tory suffers a broken shoulder.

Xeno Fenner, the chief of the refining ship is arrested for quoting from Baltar's book, My Truimphs, My Mistakes and Tyrol is put in his place. The assembly line is missing pressure seals and foreman Cabott is imprisoned until he reveals where they've been hidden. He was tortured by the Cylons so Cabott is undergoing a nervous breakdown. Fenner releases the location of the pressure seals and Cabott is let out.

Tyrol realizes the people from lower class colonies continue to fill the blue collar jobs. He meets with Baltar who reveals his Aerelon accent and alleged Aerelon origins. Tyrol calls a strike, demanding rotation of workers from other positions. Admiral Adama threatens to execute Cally until Tyrol calls the strike off. Roslin agrees to the rotation afterwards and wants the union to remain. The episode ends with Seelix headed for pilot training.

Went on to the Numb3rs episode "Checkmate". A gang leader delivers orders from prison through chess lessons he gives to a boy played by Tequan Richmond, Drew from Everybody Hates Chris. Don renews his relationship with Robin Brooks, a D.A. who is briefly believed to be a leak within law enforcement.

Nieves' walk-off homer lifts Nationals past Cubs. The Cubs had the bases loaded with one out in the 8th and the score tied, but failed to capitalize. Nick Johnson also homered and this was Nieves' first major league homer.

April 24

Miranda came to my office for "Take Your Child to Work Day". This was not a fun day for her as she had to fill out a few pages to bring to school the next day. This included questions about the education and traning needed for the job.

Lopez's slam, six RBI spark Nationals' rally past Mets. Beyond FLop's big night, O'Connor came up from Columbus to collect the win. Former Nats Ryan Church doubled and Marlon Anderson homered.

April 23

Santana doubles twice to help own cause, Mets mow down Nats. And Redding doubled, too, but the game got away with the Burger King pitching. Church hit a grounder that toook the most ridiculous spin and Zimmerman ended up throwing the ball away.

April 22

Smoltz reaches 3,000 strikeouts, but Braves get shut out by Nats. Like the game where Barry Bonds hit 756, Smoltz fanned FLop for 3,000 yet the Nats won. This was just 1-0 game until the Nats blew it open in the top of the ninth. Theaig blow was a throwing error by Jorge Campillo trying to start a double play.

April 21

Went to trivia night at the Greene Turtle, questions provided by TriviaMaryland. I was back with the Ninja Turtles which had Chonte's boyfriend Brendon in the group.

Here are the questions (Highlight for the answers.):

  1. Where on the body would find the tympanic membrane? Ear.
  2. Who were the last four horce racing triple crown winners? Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978).
  3. In Dances with Wolves, what did Dunbar call his wolf? Two Socks.
  4. What were the last six groups to have the best-selling album of a year? Ace of Base (The Sign), Hootie and the Blowfish (Cracked Rear View), Spice Girls (Spice), Backstreet Boys (Millennium), 'N Sync (No Strings Attached) and Linkin Park (Hybird Theory).
  5. In Gone with the Wind, what was the name of the Wilkes Plantation? Twelve Oaks.
  6. Name these television shows. (Click each photo to enlarge)

    (Left to right) The King of Queens, Perfect Hair Forever, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Hello Larry, King of the Hill, Home Improvement, Dr. Katz and JAG.
  7. What company had the slogan,"You can trust your car to the man who wears the star." Texaco.
  8. What three states lead the U.S. in apple production? Michigan, New York and Washington.
  9. The Treaty of Versailles ended what war? World War I.
  10. What were the four original jello flavors? Lemon, orange, raspberry and strawberry.
  11. Who is on the cover of this magazine? (Click photo to enlarge)

    Shawn Fanning.
  12. How many strings are on a harp? 47.
  13. What was the location for Survivor in 2003, 2006 and for All-Stars? Panama.
  14. Who were the last three Masters winners? Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman.
  15. What is the Russian word for labor camp? Gulag.
  16. In what country are these locations? (Click each photo to enlarge)
    (Left to right)Venezuela (Angel Falls), United Kingdom/Great Britain/England (White Tower in the Tower of London), South Africa (Cape Town), Australia (Uluru), Israel (Dome of the Rock), Russia (St. Basil's Cathedral) and France (Versailles).
  17. In what play does the Prince of Arragon woo Portia? The Merchant of Venice.
  18. What six people have hosted the Academy Awards ceremony more than once since 1980? Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin and Jon Stewart.
  19. What 1992 movie had the best-selling soundtrack album of all time? The Bodyguard.
  20. The War Cry is a publication of what organization? Salvation Army.
Tiebreaker:How many Perry Mason books did Erle Stanley Gardner write? 82.

We can in fourth this time around. The tiebreaker was for gift certificates.

At the same time, the Caps-Flyers playoff game was playing on several screens. The place erupted for every Caps goal. Somebody commandeered the microphone to announce the Washington goals.

This is as opposed to the Nats game which was over in the second inning. Chico was gone after five inning as Prado doubled twice for the Braves.

April 20

Hanley's two homers help Olsen, Marlins beat Nationals. The score was only 2-1 going into the bottom of the 8th when the roof fell in. Milledge lost a ball in the sun, giving Ross a double. Rivera uncorked a wild one and Estrada tried to throw home, resulting in another run scored. That Ramirez hit two home runs seems almost irrelevant.

April 19

Watched the Bones episode "The Man in the Mud". The body of motorcycle racer Tripp Goddard is found in hot springs. Goddard was a member of the Slam Bolt Racing team, owned by Lenny Fitz with his twin children Danny and Phillipa as drivers.

At the Slam Bolt Garage, toluene is found that could have been used to clean up blood and the drain test positive for blood. Danny tests Tripp's bike on the track and dies in a fiery crash later determined to be from sabotage. The murder weapon used in Goddard was pry barn, that was choked up on in the swing, suggesting a shorter murderer. In addition, DNA blood on the pry bar shows the killer was female.

Philippa confesses to killing Tripp, her ex-lover and to tampering with the bike. She intended to kill Tripp, but accidentally killed her brother when he got on board.

Went on to the CSI: Miami episode "Ambush". Duncan and Bart are fishing with cherry bombs. They bring up the car of Kathleen Newberry who has her hands duct-taped to the steering wheel.

Newberry was kidnapped by Kyle Harmon, but Julia Winston paid her to go away and not be a witness at his trial. Her money is found with the cherry-bombing fisherman who only admit to taking it when the car rose to the surface. Her SunPass automatic toll device is with truck driver Ted Wallace who admits that Ron Saris gave him $5,000 and the SunPass.

Saris is a conman who has worked with Julia before. His blood is found in the rest stop bathroom from where Newberry was abducted. As Horatio gets closer to Saris, Julia arranges to have Horatio extradited to Brazil for murder. Meanwhile, there are an amazing number of scenes of Horatio actually doing lab work.

In the other plot, estranged CSI Dan Cooper is messing with Calleigh, stealing a memory card from her camera and putting up a web site criticizing her work. At the end of the episode, Calleigh is abducted.

Finished with the Battlestar Galactica movie "Razor". The story takes place during Lee Adama's command of the Pegasus with some flashbacks to Kendra Shaw boarding the Pegasus at the time of the Cylon attack and William Adama's experience with Cylon hybrids in the first war. Shaw got her assignment to Pegasus from political connections of her recently deceased mother.

The first friendly face Shaw finds onboard Pegasus is the computer network administrator Gina Inviere, who we recognize as Six with reddish-brown hair and the tortured Cylon that eventually killed Cain. Inviere was also Cain's lover and of course the network goes offline in the attack. The Pegasus makes an ill-advised attack on Cylon relay station that was actually a trap. Cain's XO Belzen refuses to continue the assault and Cain kills him with his own sidearm.

Cylons board the Pegasus and Shaw sees Six, confirming that Inviere is a Cylon. Along the way Pegasus encounters the civilian vessel Scylla, confiscating parts and personnel. When some of the people refuse to leave their families, some of those family members were massacred and Shaw fired the first shot. Since Cain's death, Shaw has not gotten along with subsequent commanding officers, eventually getting demoted to kitchen duty and doing drugs.

Lee appoints Shaw XO as a political move to continue Cain's legacy. William sends Pegasus to go find a missing scientific Raptor. They suffer a Cylon attack and Shaw orders a short-range barrage that subjects Starbuck and Showboat to friendly fire. The Cylon Raider brought on board is an old model, just like those from the 1978 series.

Sharon says it's a ship of the Guardians, an evolutionary dead end to the human-Cylon hybrid. William recalls in the first war when he saw the experiments Cylons performed on humans to create the hybrids, the babbling bathers we find on the baseships. Fearing the same fate has befallen the scientific mission, William orders a rescue.

Shaw devises a daring plan wherein Pegasus lures Raiders away from the baseship. An assault team, including Shaw and Starbuck, board the baseship in EVA suits, rescue the scientists, leave on a different Raptor, and nuke the basehip remotely. Some of the scientists are rescued, but Shaw is wounded and the nuke can only be detonated manually. She stays behind, looking for absolution for instigating the Scylla massacre.

Helms caps Marlins' come-from-behind victory. It looked like a nice comeback with an error, a walk and a couple of wild pitches leading to a two-run single by Austin Kearns to tie up the game. Unfortunately in the bottom of the inning, Rivera walked Uggla which eventually led to Helms' game-winning single.

April 18

Nationals 6, Marlins 4. The story of this game was told in the bottom of the 6th and the top of the 7th. The Marlins scored in the three in the bottom of the 6th, capped off by Willingham's two-run homer. Nick Johnson answered with a bases-clearing double. Captain Red Ass is on the DL, replaced by Shawn Hill.

April 17

Hanrahan blows it, Easley and Mets capitalize with win in 14th. At least the Nats took the Mets to 14. Ayala and Rauch couldn't keep the Mets from tying th score in the bottom og the 8th. Hanrahan pitched a couple of decent innings before getting too wild in the 14th.

Maryland Academic Quiz Team Cellphone WallpaperApril 16

Last weekend, the University of Maryland won the NAQT National Championship, representing their first unrestricted championship since we won the College Bowl Nationals in 1981. Congratulations to the team of Jeremy Eaton, Jonathan Magin, Charles Meigs and Chris Ray. Now can fans and alumni buy championship t-shirts? I'll just have to do with the cellphone wallpaper. The Terps go for the double in the ACF Championship, two weekends from now at Brandeis.

Beltran's first homer of year huge for Maine, Mets against Nats. Sure Beltran's homer was big, how significant can it be when Chico unloads three gopher balls? The offense awakened slightly with Kearns' home run.

The 8th was weird as Cordero barely broke glass with his pitches, yet allowed no runs. Acta and St. Claire are decidedly concerned. Last night, a fan fell off an escalator to his death at Shea Stadium.

April 15

Watched the Criminal Minds episode "Damaged". Rossi continues to be haunted by a case in Indianapolis 20 years ago where the parents of three children were brutally murdered while the children slept. He was in town with the FBi on an unrelated serial rapist case when he was the first on the scene. Today, the children still live together in a different house and receive a stuffed animal from Rossi on the 20th anniversary of the murder.

Rossi returns on his own to Indianapolis while Jarreau, Morgan and Prentiss eventually find out what's wrong and follow him. Rossi himself has bought the house where the murder took place, hiring various service companies for regular maintenance. The crucial break comes when Rossi discovers about the stuffed animals secretly left every year on the anniversary of the murder that never came from him.

The profilers surmise that the killer was feeling remorseful, not taunting the children. In addition, the stuffed animals are very cheap and seem to have come from a child. The killer may have been mentally a child. The quality of the toys and the regular anniversary gifts suggest he may working at a carnival. Garcia finds a local carnival where the killer and the father who had ben protecting him are found.

As Rossi leaves, he gives the house back to the children. I thought,"Oh, great. Now we have to try to sell a house in Indianapolis in a lousy market."

In the other plot, Hotchner and Reid interview serial killer Chester Harwicke on death row. They are forced to deal with him alone when the guards are forced to deal with another matter. For a moment, there is the implied threat Hardwicke can kill both of them with his bare hands, but I couldn't see how he could slaughter two trained FBI agents, even if one of them is Reid.

Went on to the CSI:NY episode "DOA for a Day". The hitwoman from Down the Rabbit Hole is still at-large and highlighted on a television "Most Wanted " show. A woman resembling her is found in a warehouse with a knife through her skull.

Although Mac thinks it's her, the victim has had extensive plastic surgery. The knife is traced back to the son of one of the victim's Suspect X, but he's lost both of his legs to an IED in Iraq. This woman in the warehouse is actually Katie Mann, an aide to Jordan Gates, the mayor's criminal justice coordinator.

Katie was kidnapped and altered to look like Suspect X to put law enforcement off her trail. Suspect X uses worms to data mine e-mail for people with the desire and money to kill someone. A trap is set with Detective Angel as the bait.

A uniform spooks her as she runs to a rooftop where Mac kills her. The actress runs very awkwardly on high heels. The producers would have done much better to hire one of the stunt people with experience on Buffy for this role.

Mets 6, Nationals 0. This game was pretty much over with Wright's two-run homer in the first. The Nats showed a hint of life by loading the bases with one out in the third, but Zimmerman poped out and Johnson struck out.

April 14

David Ortiz uniform fiasco rocks Yankees at foundation. I believe a Red Sox fan would pull a stunt like that. But the definition of Yankee arrogance is to laugh in the face of such superstition. Instead, Hank and the gang succumbed to it.

Through yesterday the Yankees had a 6-7 record while Big Papi had a batting average of .070 and an OPS of .371. Although certainly a Yankee record below .500 is unacceptable, the jersey in the concrete seemed to be hurting Ortiz more than the Yankees.

April 13

Cherry Blossoms at Nationals ParkPNC People Not Coming Diamond Seats1924 Pennant
The cherry blossoms were sort of in bloom the center field plaza. The PNC "People Not Coming" Diamond Seats continue to be empty. I noticed for the first time the pennant for the 1924 World Series. Just as long as it's not flying in Minneapolis.

My cousin Jesse came to the game late. As a Verizon employee, he has a really cool smartphone with web access.

As far as the game, Glavine left injured after pitching to four batters, retiring none and allowing two earned runs. The Nats jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but had to hang on to win 5-4. In the 9th, Cordero quickly got two outs, but was pulled after a walk, a double and an intentional walk. Rauch threw just one pitch for the save.

Watched the Cold Case episode "Andy in C Minor". In December 2006, Andy Kiernan, a deaf student at a deaf high school was reported missing. Today an old storage room is unlocked, revealing a lot of Andy's blood, indicating he was killed there.

Andy played piano before a viral infection caused him to lose hearing at age 8. Most of the episode concerns the deaf culture and whether Andy will get a cochlear implant. Andy was doing it for Emma, a hearing aide he'd fallen in love with, and to play piano again.

He goes to New York to get the implant with the written consent of this father. Andy is accompanied by his friend Carlos Ramirez who is not a good cochlear implant candidate, because he's been deaf since birth. Back in Philadelphia, Andy plays the piano again. Carlos is angered at the piano playing and the fact that he can't get an implant, so he kills Andy.

Krista Guterman and Paul Lo DucaApril 12

Today is the birthday of Paul Lo Duca. Pictured is his signature moment, with babysitter and SUNY Oneonta dropout Krista Guterman. Captain Red Ass should be in Georgetown right now drowning his hitting woes with a Herndon runaway on a fake ID.

Watched the CSI episode "Grissom's Divine Comedy". While Grissom is sick with some apparently flu-like symptoms, Deputy D.A. Maddy Kleine demands he get out of bed to investigate the death of one of her witnesses in a fiery car crash. The victim is Don Cook, who was interrogated for an automatic camera traffic offense because that location makes him able to identify the killer of the street ganster Little Gordo.

Kleine's prime suspect is Emilio Alvarado AKA the gangleader El Matocho. She believes Alvarado knew Cook would testify against him and order the hit from prison. A search warrant is issued for Alvarado's apartment, but just as Grissom and Brown are about to go upstairs, the apartment blows up.

Evidence later points to Cook's father-in-law Richard O'Malley for his murder. He heard about Cook testifying anf wanted to get her daughter out of a bad marriage. O'Malley stenciled a gang tag on the car and stuck a rag between the firewall and the catalytic converter. In the fire, a gun went off in the glove compartment, further confusing the case.

So although Alvarado did not order Cook's death, he did find out about the warrant on his apartment, meaning there was a leak in the grand jury. It turned out to be grand juror who had a 19-year-old brother in Chicago that the gang got out of prison in exchange. Alvarado communicated through prison library book and writing invisible messages with his urine.

Francoeur drives in seven as Braves send Nats to ninth straight loss. Lannan let this one get away early. SMoltz scattered five hits in six innings. Francoeur hit a three-run homer in the first off Lannan and a two-run shot off Bergmann in the 6th.

April 11

Braves 3, Nationals 0. Matt Chico pitched a nice game, but the Nats couldn't overcome - or enabled - 8 inning, 3 hit performance. I'm more concerned about the two additional runs the current closer Jon Rauch gave up.

April 10

Hendrickson, Cantu help Marlins complete sweep of Nats. As a game it could have been worse. The Marlins had 13 hits including five doubles. The Nats didn't walk once. We could just see the silver lining and call it a one-run loss.

But the comments of Captain Red Ass, Paul Lo Duca, earlier today, has made him the most loathsome member of the Nats.

"Mentally, we got to be stronger," he said. "We should've been 4-0. we lost a tough game in Philly, and we let it bother us, and it's snowballed. And we've played terrible the last six games. This is no sugar-coating it. We played terrible, and we need to play better."

He also said, "I know it's early, but we need to turn it around quick, because this is getting ridiculous."

This is the post-Lerner/Kasten free agent acquisition by Bowden I most disagree with. First of all, I don't see the point of spending money on somebody who's not going to be any better than Flores. In addition, he was the centerpiece of Bill Paschke's personal fatwa against Paul DePodesta. Of course Plashke turned around and disowned Lo Duca when the Mitchell Report came out. If there's anything an APSE award winner loves more than rhapsodizing about a gamer, it's moralizing about steroids.

When Lo Duca came to bat in the ninth, I was actually afraid he'd make the game-winning hit because he'd probably become insufferable the rest of the season. I think I was hoping for a pop-up or a strikeout, but he more than exceeded my expectations with a GIDP. When someone is so hateful, you wish your team would lose, that's a high level of ignominy. And yes, he's worse that Elijah Dukes. At least Dukes has acknowledged his wrongdoing and at least said the right things on the road to reform. Lo Duca is just sorry he got caught.

I see a Quadruple-A ballplayer who saw a way to make himself a major league regular at age 29. He could have talked about the human temptation to take the steroid route. But I suppose if Lo Duca were to admit how much help he got, who would sign him as a free agent afterwards?

The crazy thing is, along with Brian Schneider and Carlos Baerga, Lo Duca is one of the three most likely current or former Nats to be a future manager. He's exactly the kind of old-school style disciplinarian sports writers and I'm sure certain owners and GMS would love. And if Lo Duca were managing your team, you'd be forced to hear him every night.

April 9

Jacobs powers first-place Marlins past Nationals. Bergmann's seven run 5th pretty much doomed this game. So is this a hitter's park? The only hope on the horizon is Shawn Hill, Wily Mo Peña and Chad Cordero coming back.

Afterwards, I watched the Tigers win their first game. Pudge Rodriguez also got his 2,500th hit. After that, it was over to the Cubs and Pirates in the 14th inning. Northsiders took the lead in the top of the 14th, but LaRoche hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 14th to equalize while the Parrot appeared to pelvic thrust in his pajamas. Felix Pie put the Cubbies ahead for good in the top of the 15th.

April 8

The Washington Post architecture columnist doesn't like Nationals Park, but the reasons are laughable, as if he's expecting a hippopotamus to fly. A ballpark that functions like a monument would be nice, but it must, first and foremost, function as a ballpark. As much as I criticize how far away the seats are, the arguments presented here are ridiculously irrelevant.

From the day the design was revealed, the stadium outside was going to look like an office building. Still, I think Nationals Park had many distinguishing features on television so you'll know exactly where you are from just a few shots. There's the vertiginous press box view of outfield fly outs and the white stone behind home plate. Inside the seating bowl, the riot of red, white and blue, remind me not so much of a cathedral, but of a Lego® construction.

April 7

Marlins 10, Nationals 7. It should have been another one-run loss, but Rauch gave up a homer to Andino in the 9th. After last week's one-hitter, Redding got hammered tonight. Bad luck with the situational hitting tonight as the Nats ended two innings with the bases loaded.

April 6

Cardinals 3, Nationals 0. Nats had nothing today. Kyle Lohse et. al. shut down the Washington bats as a fine performance by American Hero John Lannan was wasted.

Lastings MilledgeApril 5

Today is the birthday of Lasting Milledge. Pictured is his signature moment, high-fiving fans after hitting a home run. He's already homered against the Phillies on Monday.

Wendell Wagner and I played as a two-man team in the ICT Warm-Up. We played as Presidential Pipe Dreams. I was John Anderson. He was Dennis Kucinich.

We finished 10th with a 7-7 record and I finished fourth among individuals. Our only 30-pointer was a bonus on defunct airlines. I powered "I'm My Own Grandpa", "1999", and Baltimore Orioles managers.

People in Magenta
Walking back from lunch, we some folks on the mall painted with magenta dust. You got me.

Cardinals 5, Nationals 4. Another 5-4 loss. Mediocre pitching by Chico and Nats almost came back on Johnson and Flores homers. Why is Flores headed back to the minors again?

Watched the Numb3rs episode "Black Swan". While the FBI raid a methlab, they arrest Isaac Meechum, a suspicious character wandering nearby. He has guns, duct tab and plastic handcuffs in his truck, appearing to be attempting a kidnapping.

Meechum is connected to an anti-government white supremacist group called the New America Front. He refuses to talk about the NAF have planned so Granger and Sinclair stake out Meechum's car, parked in front of a bar to smoke out his accomplices. They track the accomplices to a house rented by Meechum.

The FBI sets up a stakeout in a house for sale across the street and identify the two men as Joshua Quigley and Bernard Laiken, both with criminal records related to the NAF. Reeves sets up a diversion by crashing into the NAF car while the pair are outside smoking a cigarette. Granger discovers there's a third man they never saw inside.

The FBi try to figure out exactly what the third man is up to. The other two might be outside smoking because the third man has a power relationship with them, but that seems unlikely since the FBI hadn't seen him before. They deduce the third man must be building a bomb. The house is raided resulting in Laiken being shot, the third man blown up, and the Quigley escaping.

Reeves figures out that the NAF have something against the Farmer's American Bank because they put out a Suspicious Activity Report that got the group in trouble. The FBI descend on the downtown LA branch where Quigley has seven pipe bombs attached to his body. Don talks him into giving up.

I was surprised Quigley was telling the bystanders to leave the bank. I would think a fanatic would want a lot of collateral damage. In addition, they never explained what Meechum planned to do with his kidnapping equipment.

April 4

Watched Home on the Range. Apparently this film and Brother Bear signaled the death knell of 2-D animation at Disney. I liked that movie and I liked this one. Home on the Range was just plain weird.

The opening song (You Ain't) Home on the Range had terrific lyrics. I noted that Maggie was pulled behind a covered wagon that was pulled by an oxen, which is more historically accurate than the horses you frequently see in Westerns. And the rustler villain lures cows by hypnotic yodeling! Whitlock immediately recognized which character was voiced by Steve Buscemi.

Cardinals 5, Nationals 4. Another one-run loss. It was typical Nats game with the offense rallying against the opponent's bullpen. Unfortunately, FLop and Harris couldn't keep the 7th going. Chief went on the DL to make room for Lannan to start on Sunday.

April 3

Phils rally from five runs down, win it in 10th against Nationals. The winning streak wouldn't last forever and we shouldn't get too messed-up by an extra-inning loss. Still, the Nats pitching staff shouldn't break down like Bergmann, Rivera and King did in the 6th.

April 2

Redding's strong mound effort carries Nats to 3-0. The last 1-0 one-hitter out of Washington was by Dick Bosman on August 13, 1970 against the Twins. All the scoring was provided by yet another Zimmerman game-winning homer.

April 1

Watched Barnyard. I was surprised they let a character die in an animated movie. There was open acceptance of adopting unrelated sons. Otherwise, it was pretty predictable irresponsible young cow has to prove himself by protecting his fellow farm animals. I was also disturbed that the male cows had visible udders.

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