|November 15 Permalink
Tony LaRussa may be similar to Earl Weaver. Both have been to
four World Series and only won one. I'd still prefer Earl, who
seemed to be winning games with smoke and mirrors and constructed
rosters along Moneyball lines. LaRussa has a fascination with
light-hitting utility fielders and of course over-manages the
How they do College Bowl at Weber
episode "What's Eating Gilbert Grissom?" A pledge dressed in a
bikini is chased into a pile of maggots. Inspection of the pile
reveals that someone was fed into a wood chipper, then dumped here.
Further examination determines that this is the work of the "Blue
Paint Killer," a serial killer at "Western Las Vegas University" who
freshly painted railings near water fountains. Women would wipe
their hands off on the fountain, leaving them vulnerable to assault.
Two years ago John Mathers was executed for one of the killings
while another was committed. It was believed he was a copycat. The
victim in the maggot pile was male and anyone can quickly figure out
he was a pledge in a blonde wig who was mistaken for a woman.
The killer reveals himself my installing a new railing on campus
and leaving a blow-up doll in a plastic bag. Inside the doll's mouth
is a note which also includes an impression of a scene that is his
latest victim, bound inside a van near an erotic store. The van
belonged to Mathers who is now revealed to be an accomplice. The van
also has copier toner which leads directly to an employee of the
campus copy center.
The killer is Kevin Greer who turns himself in after the cops
raid his home. He confesses to pretty much everything, then kills
himself in the bathroom.
Glau AKA River Tam, makes an appearance as the roommate of the
most recent victim.
November 14 Permalink
Hang a fourth star above the badge for DC
United. I rarely felt nervous in this game for some reason. Even
being a man down, I remembered Monaco
vs. Chelsea earlier this year. It's weird that my home team is
the Yankees-equivalent, the one with all the championships everybody
episode "A Man a Mile". An explosion in the tunnel being dug for a
major water canal turns up a dead body. The diggers are called Sand
Hogs, a dedicated fraternity. The victim worked topside and was
found downbelow, which is why CSI was involved. The dead man was an
incompetent asthmatic no one really liked. His brother intended to
trap him in the tunnels overnight as a lesson, not knowing he didn't
have his inhaler. When he turned up dead, he was left in the area of
an explosion to make it look like an accident.
In the B-plot, a floater is a poor girl at an exclusive school.
She made friends with a rich family. The older brother and father
both liked her, causing the classmate sister to kill her.
November 13 Permalink
Watched the Cold Case episode
"Who's Your Daddy". In 1991 someone comes to the door of a Cambodian
family. The daughter hides in a back room and a few minutes later,
finds her parents shot to death. Today, the 18-year-old daughter
comes to the police with a bracelet from eBay that she believes was
stolen from her family. The bracelet is traced to back to a
teacher's aide at her school who was also an addict. He stole the
bracelet, but several weeks before the murders.
The family took on the identity and papers of another Cambodian
family who were deported back and executed. The mother was a member
of the royal family who never quite got used to her demotion. The
father was an architect who resorted to working for a construction
company. The owner of the construction company skimmed off his
illegals and also used their wives. He was the one who came that
night, looking for someone to lick his boots and shot the couple in
November 12 Permalink
Miranda is still at that age when her parents are cool. She wants
to play Why
Did the Chicken while in the tub. I still don't get Brandy
and Mr. Whiskers.
November 11 Permalink
My elementary school, Glenallan
Elementary, is next door to Wheaton Regional
Park so we had an open-ended year-round permission slip to go
there. There was a geology class where we picked up rocks in the
stream. I took a fishing class where we fished in Pine Lake, but the
entire class only caught two fish over the course of two weeks. A
was found there earlier this year. The park also contains a sniper
November 10 Permalink
Stealing a Friday
Five meme, the nicest things people have said about me involved
saving someone's butt. In any organization, there are the leaders
and there are those following behind them with a pooper scooper.
Whitlock and I both turned out to be detailed-oriented people with
that job. When we're working together at home somebody's gotta be
boss and the other one has to sub-ordinate themselves.
episode "Crow's Feet". A biological hazard situation is a false
alarm. The marks that look like ebola on a dead body actually
consists of laser scars. The woman in question was engaged in
various weird anti-aging practices including ingestion of urine and
arsenic. A few days later, an even younger woman turns up dead with
many of the same symptoms and is also a client of a rejuvenation
spa. Cause of death is revealed to be a huge concentration of
hydrogen peroxide that caused the red blood cells to explode. The
spa will not be prosecuted, but the evidence is turned over to the
surviving family members for a civil suit.
In the B-plot, the owner of a house being fumigated for termites
turns up dead in his tented home. A next-door neighbor is suspected
because he suffering effects of the gas but it turns out his house
has a vent into his neighbor. The perpetrator was an employee of the
extermination company who stole from clients. He was caught by the
owner stealing and panicking, knocked the owner out and left him
there to die.
November 9 Permalink
I have no idea what Linda
Cropp is up to. First she proposed building a stadium at RFK.
Now she claims she's found someone who will build the stadium on the
Anacostia River where the mayor and Major League Baseball want with
mostly private money. I don't think this mystery sugar daddy or
mommy really exists, although there are rumors it is Dan Snyder,
Bill Gates, Bob Johnson or Oprah Winfrey.
I don't know why someone willing to build stadium wouldn't want
to own the team as well. Any potential owner would prefer a
governmental landlord, rather than a private one. Governments are
easier to manipulate when it comes time to threaten to move. And if
someone has money for both the stadium and the team, why don't they
just step up and be an 800-pound gorilla no one can refuse?
MLB doesn't like privately financed stadiums. SBC Park/Pacific
Bell Park is a boil on their collective glutes, a constant reminder
to every governmental body that private financing can happen. They
wants that option off the table. After all, if an owner has $800m
for a team and a stadium, MLB would prefer all that money go in
their pockets while the municipality paying for the stadium.
So far Cropp has just delayed the vote. I don't think any private
financier will materialize. The mayor's plan will be approved, along
with whatever neighborhood inducements are required to get the
votes. Again, I'm holding out on believing this is real until the
replica uniforms go on sale.
November 8 Permalink
Are there certain famous women that other women find beautiful
that men may not necessarily put at the top of their list? I'm
thinking of Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Marg Helgenberger and
Michelle Pfeiffer. They're more classy than sleazy and perhaps
there's a perception that they come by their good looks more
On the other side, I tend to consider men good-looking that
reinforce Whitlock's perceptions of my better characteristics. So
this means, Jason Carter, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Viggo
Mortenson rather than Tom Cruise, David Boreanaz, Sylvester Stallone
or Kyle McLaughlin.
epsiode "Trade Talks". Pete is afraid Dean will be traded so he gets
together a petition that he presents to the owner, played by Larry
King the CNN talk show host, who just laughs at him. He also tells a
reporter the same petition story along with a rumor that Hayes wants
to be traded. Dean kills the petition story but Hayes gets really
upset. Dean eventually decides to stay.
In the B-plot, sister Betsy still has her boyfriend in her
bedroom in the morning as she's getting ready to go to school. Mom
retaliates by removing her door and considers moving to New
Hampshire. Betsy gets a job as a waitress.
In the C-plot, Christopher Wiehl, who's been Owen on Buffy
and quarterback Derek McConnell on Playmakers, is Baines, a
left fielder who had steroids in his car. Pete was driving the car
when it was stopped and fingered Baines. Now back from suspension,
Baines is forgiving and they become friends, shooting potatoes at a
cat food ad. At the end of the episode, Baines is traded.
November 7 Permalink
Watched the CSI:
Miami episode "Legal". At a night club where the bathrooms are
mostly used for sex, a woman is murdered. She turns out to be an
18-year-old undercover alcohol and beverage control agent catching
people who buy drinks for her. Although the prime suspect is an heir
who has to stay clean so that he can inherit an island, the killer
was his buddy who the agent really liked. She didn't want to write
him up, so she kept refusing his offer to buy her drinks. Eventually
he got so angry he killed her.
In the B-plot, Horatio undercovers a slavery ring trafficking in
Hungarian women. They find a storage facility where the women are
warehoused through some incredibly vague memories of one of them who
got out. When the police find the women, Horatio hasn't bothered to
learn any words of Hungarian to comfort them.
November 6 Permalink
Someone outside the genres could easily mistake Peter Jackson's
The Lord of the Rings
for the George Lucas' Star
Wars. After all, both climax with huge battle scenes of digital
creatures that after a while get quite overwhleming. The genre
serves to illuminate and exaggerate certain elements of the human
condition that can appear trivialized in a mudane context. Buffy
the Vampire Slayer did this by taking the "High School is Hell"
Frodo is conflicted with evil. He wants to take the easy way out,
which is how evil wants its way. I think Anakin was already too old
even in The Phantom Menace to be the evil that is Darth Vader. Vader
is psychopathic with no second thoughts, while Anakin can only be
the evil that has deluded itself into believing he is performing
good. Darth Vader would have no compunction, at any point in his
life, in wiping out an entire Tusken Raider village.
Gollum is the greatest digital character so far. He swings back
and forth between the helpful servant and the jealous thief of the
ring. Yoda may be Lucas' best digital character, but he started as a
rubber puppet. He is as one-dimensional as Vader. As much as he
warns of arrogance, he is also very arrogant. Jar-Jar Binks is about
as real as Roger Rabbit. Dexter Jettster from the diner is
interesting, but he barely gets a scene at all.
As a producer, I was amazed at the massive coordination effort
required to make The Lord of the Rings. On the other hand, Lucas now
makes Star Wars digitally with very little location shooting.
Jackson's method seems more and more like an elaborate stunt. But in
the end, Lucas just doesn't have the characters to match his flashy
effects. I wish he'd leave the screenplays to someone else.
November 5 Permalink
Since baseball season has been over I've been watching the Star Wars movies in the morning.
George Lucas said there were better actors than Jake Lloyd who
auditioned for young Anakin Skywalker, but he had a touch of
portending evil to him. That is if you consider annoyingly cute to
be evil. I remember after the tremendous performance of Haley Joel
Osment in the Sixth
Sense, you could see Lucas had made a big mistake in never
giving him a callback. Osment has also been in AI, Pay it Forward and
Second Hand Lions
since then. Jake Lloyd has done Madison and Die with Me, neither
of which you've ever heard of.
During the previews for Attack of the
Clones, before the Fellowship of the
Ring, they showed the romantic version of the trailer with the
original Princess Leia theme as the accompaniment. Somehow the
editing of that trailer really got to me, a naive sort of teenage
romanticism dredged out of the muck. Too bad all the lines between
Hayden Christiansen and Natalie Portman are among the most
embarassing in film history - all except for the term "aggressive
And the whole midichlorians explanation has got to be the worse
pseudo-science/pseudo-mysticism in mainstream filmmaking. Qui-Gon
described mitochondria perfectly, but they have no mystical powers
to guide us and nobody has any more mitochondria than anybody else.
It makes as much sense as ascribing mystical powers to a more
familiar real organ like the liver. He should have left the
mysteries of the force to non-existent waves or particles the way Star Trek or Doctor Who does.
the Cold Case
episode "Daniela". In March 1979, a young girl walks the red light
district, claiming to not be turning tricks. A bag with rose petals
and bloody clothes turns up and filed as a Jane Doe.
An angry wife turns in what appears to be a snuff film of her
husband as a teen killing a hooker, the young girl known as Daniela.
The suspects include the two teen boys who knew her, their teen-aged
girl friend, the victim's landlord, and the father of one of the
boys. Also suspected is her Hispanic boyfriend Edwin. When Rush and
Valens find Edwin's mother, she reveals that Edwin and Daniela are
one and the same.
It was a weird relationship where Edwin wanted to go to the prom
as Daniela, to have the world see him as a girl. However, after a
confrontation with the father, Edwin/Daniela commits suicide. The
songs "Bad Girls" and "My Sharona" appeared a little too early in
1979 to be accurate.
November 4 Permalink
Yesterday around noon, an
empty Metrorail train with faulty breaks crashed downhill into a
stopped train at Woodley Park. When I got into the system,
single-tracking had begun and the train was maybe 10 minutes later
than usual at Shady Grove. On the way in this morning, the damaged
trains were curtained off. The rest of the train in the station was
blocked off with a police line. Again, the train ran about ten
minutes late. Given the extent of the damage, this wasn't too bad.
It was longer this evening, maybe because of the rain. The delay was
20-30 minutes which included some extended stops at some stations
and unloading an entire train at Farragut North.
Trek: Enterprise episode "Storm Front, Part 2". On board the
ship, Alicia wants to return to the resistance, rather than to a
safe place elsewhere on the planet. The alien Nazis, led by an
individual named Vosk, trade Mayweather and Tucker in return for a
discussion to work with Enterprise.
When Tucker is examined, he turns out to be Silik. Archer agrees
to work with Silik to free Tucker and disable Vosk's shield
generator. What an
original idea! The Germans get impatient and Vosk has to kill
them. Vosk is convinced destiny will allow their time conduit to
open long enough to get them home.
Silik gets shot and killed. Archer rescues Tripp. Enterprise
destroys Vosk's complex after fighting Luftwaffe armed with photonic
weapons. Daniels returns Enterprise to their proper time and I hope
this show never has another time travel episode.
November 3 Permalink
Over in the California League, The
Modesto Athletics Era is History. Unfortunately the new nickname
will be selected from among Crop Dusters, Derailers, Nuts, Steel and
Strike. As every columnist without an idea has mined thinking up a
name for the Washington baseball team, I'll do the same for Modesto.
As a wine-growing
area, I immediately thought of Stompers. That's also the name of
Athletics mascot. The Modesto mascot Peanut
apparently will remain suggesting that Nuts will be the eventual
choice. I can see the television ad campaign now:
Nurses love the
As the Modesto Bee article suggests, the Crop Dusters may remind
people of bioterrorists. Steel
was a bad Shaquille O'Neal movie. I'm afraid Strike will remind fans
of the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.
As far as Derailers is concerned, it's not as if bioterrorism,
horrible movies and sports labor stoppages were enough, now we have
vehicle disasters. Sure there's a history of forces of nature as
nickames: Blizzard, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Lightning, Earthquakes,
but they suggest something unstoppable, not something that results
from mechanical failure or human error. Why not the Denver DWI, the
Alexandria Accident, the Jacksonville Jackknife, the Pittsburgh
Pilot Error, the Houston Hydraulic Failure, the Florida Faulty
Signal Crossing, the Carolina Capsize and the Oklahoma Oil Spill?
episode "Harvest". A mom played by Melissa Leo comes to pick up her
daughter from a Catholic school, only to find she's been playing
hooky with the older daughter. April, the older daughter says a
black man with a beard took Alicia, the younger daughter away. An
Amber alert goes up.
The husband is Hispanic and all three children seem to take more
after him. April has been kicked out of the house for her heroin
habit. The son Daniel has leukemia and Alicia has been donating bone
marrow and other body parts to him.
They pick up a registered sex offender played by Principal
Robin Wood. He admits to having a Jones for the boy that walks
to Alicia to school. He's got boys underwear in his house, but
everything there is his. He's been playing games all alone in his
Turns out the son was dying anyway and drugged his sister to keep
her from donating her kidney. When she was found dead, the family
went into cover-up mode and staged the kidnapping, framing the
neighborhood sex offender.
In the B-plot, Catherine's daughter Lindsey has been hitchhiking
and everyone give Ms. Willows parenting advice.
November 2 Permalink
The importance of Theo Epstein has been downplayed because no one
buys jerseys of the general managers. I think it's time for all
geeks to get custom GM jerseys and wear them proudly. All that
matters is getting the number right. I think a Red Sox Epstein
jersey should be "0" as in "The-O". Billy Beane wore 11 for the
Athletics. I could get a 27 Expos jersey with the name Not
Watson. Since he didn't play in the big leagues, I don't know
what number would be appropriate for Jim
November 1 Permalink
If you're looking for a job, the new Washington
baseball team is hiring.
epsiode "Chin Music". The main plot was about Pete the batboy
staying overnight at the stadium after a night game because there'll
be another game in the morning. This doesn't happen except for the
Patriot's Day game in Boston and the occasional Saturday morning at
the Metrodome so that the facility has time to convert the field in
time for the Gophers.
During that evening, the senior batboys conduct a hazing that
climaxes in one of the rookies throwing up after a tumble inside the
clothes dryer. The rookies fight back by locking two of the veterans
in a room and stealing the lucky St. Sebastian medal of Jose, the
incumbent in the home locker room. Since Jose is afraid of heights
Pete says he put the medal on a light tower. After part of the
climb, Jose gets sick and the two come down and Pete says some
In the other plots, Pete's mom Lynne finally has a date with
doctor she's been showing houses to. Pete's sister using her fake ID
to enter a SoHo bar and gets picked up by a guy who assaults her.
Mom has to interrupt her date to pick up her daughter. Third baseman
Dean goes on a date with a Brazilian supermodel only to fall for her
translator, who turns out to be his date's mother. This mother is
played by Fabiana Udenio, previously seen as Adira Tyree on Babylon 5
and as Alotta Fagina in Austin Powers:
International Man of Mystery.