31 July, 2007

deadline dealing

looks like the sox have landed gagne as a setup man. initial reports have them sending kason gabbard and 2 outfield prospects (David Murphy and Engel Beltre) to texas.

this tells me they are trusting the schilling has enough gas left in the tank for the remainder of the season (also, he'll be back in time for his spot in the rotation). also that timlin is likely done and they want to take pressure off delcarmen.

i'm not complaining. it'll prevent okajima from being overworked, and give another viable closer option if papbelbon is unavailable. certainly an upgrade in what is already one of, if not the, best bullpens in the majors.

looks like any deal for dye is dead. not a problem for me; despite drew having an off year, dye isn't playing any better. he'd be an improvement over pena, as a 4th outfielder. but that's about it.

EDIT: 7/31, 5:11PM: apparently donnelly needs tommy john surgery. makes the gagne deal all the better.

30 July, 2007

trying to understand sports announcers

so, i was watching the rays vs. sox game yesterday, and (for some reason) extra innings decided to show the florida broadcast (despite having shown the NESN broadcast for the prior three games). anyway, during one of youkilis's at bats, the color commentator remarks that "one of the reasons youkilis is batting after ramirez is that ortiz has had problems against kazmir".

uh, what the fuck?

now, i suppose i shouldn't expect them to know that francona has lately been sitting drew against lefties, and when drew (the usual 5-spot) sits, youk is usually slotted to bat 5th. even so, um, the 5 spot is supposed to protect the 4 spot, not whomever is batting 3rd. regardless of the players, this statement makes no sense. unless we assume that if ortiz didn't have problems against kazmir, the rays would try to pitch around manny? huh? it's giving me a headache trying to figure this guy's logic out.

sometimes i wonder how these people keep their jobs.

27 July, 2007

hawking the forum, again

hey kids! i've mentioned this before, but i'm going for it again...why not comment in the forum? you have the option, and there are some fun and interesting conversations going on in there. check it out. registration is easy and painless. honest.

23 July, 2007

why i love america

what other nation could, would or even thought they should produce...Bacon Salt? i'll tell you: none. you'll only find that sort ingenuity, and desire for all foods to taste like bacon, right here in the good ol' u.s. of a..

there is even a bacon salt blog. and t-shirts! i think i need to own one.

21 July, 2007

harry potter and the deathy hallows

done. but i'm not telling you any more.


19 July, 2007

just embarassing

losing a series to the royals? did that just actually happen?

what the fuck?

16 July, 2007

movie review: harry potter & the order of the phoenix

well, perse and i saw the latest harry potter flick on friday. easily the worst of the films so far. actually, it was god-awful. based on the mediocre reviews, we'd lowered our expectations and were still disappointed in the movie. it's almost amusing: with one of the weakest books (azkaban), they produced the strongest film. yet handed, perhaps, the strongest and richest of the books, they've managed to produce a rushed, confused and sloppy debacle.

how? with a brutalized script and even worse editing. the acting is what's you've come to expect: harry (radcliffe) is servicable, ron (grint) is good as comic relief and hermoine (watson) still believes that talking loudly and swiftly is the way to convey emotion. the adult supporting staff is still strong. it is the story itself that has been bastardized. if you haven't read the book, you'll not be able to make sense of anything. even if you have, you might still be scratching your head. the writer, director, editor and, i presume, producers managed to not only cut out all the threads of character development that bind the plot together; they also managed to focus on the wrong points of the plot.

anyway, some SPOILERS:

opening, along with the entire movie, actually, is rushed. but you aren't told that harry is being constantly protected by the order of the phoenix. nor do you get the scene where harry's aunt gets the howler after his uncle threatens to kick him out. it's small, but vital and would have taken just a few more minutes.

you never get a sense of how cut off harry feels. you don't get much of a sense of how scared he is that he'll be tossed out of school. how he feels that dumbledore is ignoring him, or angry with him. anything related to school is thrown out. ron and hermoine made prefects? gone. harry trying to have a relationship with cho? glossed over and then twisted. the slowly building rebellion against umbridge? happens in an instant and focuses only on the weasely twins. the conflict between umbridge and the hogwarts staff is near absent. especially between mcgonnagal and umbridge. my god, you've got maggie smith playing her! woefully under used. the importance of the exams (OWLs)is never made clear, or how ridiculous it is that harry's class isn't going to be allowed to practice spells they'll have to perform on them. that's part of the reason they start the damn DA. the actual Order of the Phoenix is an afterthought. you see a small snap of them, then poof! gone till the ending.

and ah, that last battle with the death-eaters. terrible. so poorly done. oh, sure the cgi is okay. but there is no tension. no conflict. no danger. you actually feel these vicious, murderous dark wizards are going easy on harry and friends, cause they are kids. you actually feel like malfoy would just let them go if harry hands him the prophecy. ridiculous.

order of the phoenix is one of the best of the books. the film version is a debacle.


what's the best way to spend a 90° day? why, outside, throwing 1800° pots into a trash can full of straw! what, you had to ask?

yesterday was the first time i've participated in a raku firing. and it was a hell of a lot of fun. i'll definately sign up for the next one. anyway, here's some pictures. enjoy!

first things first. gotta practice moving pots:

pots are red-hot and ready to move to the cans for reduction:

what happens when red-hot pots are thrown on hay? fire!

once the pots are all in the can, we close the lid and let them reduce:

and then, after about half an hour, we've got the find everything hidden in the smoldering straw:

one of the best features of raku firing is instant gratification. or sorrow, if your pot cracks from the thermal shock. lucky for me, the kiln gods liked me and all 5 of my pots survived:

small bowl; Roger's Black (Stoneware/Raku)

large bowl; Red-Bronze (Stoneware/Raku)

squared bowl; White Crackle (Stoneware/Raku)

tea cup; Hawaiian Blue (Stoneware/Raku)

vase; Copper Penny (Stoneware/Raku)

12 July, 2007

my first raku firing

will be this sunday. i'm looking forward to it, as fire is prominently involved. plus, instant results! no waiting for the kiln. pots go in the fire, come out, and (once cooled) are all done. granted, i'm not sure if i'll be overfond of raku, since it's non-functional. but hey, it's worth at least one try. besides, i get to use different glazes and slips. we'll see how it comes out.

09 July, 2007

curious searches

hmmm...apparently someone got a hit on my blog when searching for "how to mastrubate on vacation".

first, thanks go to andres carl sena, for allowing this to be.

second, why would going on vacation make mastrubation any more challenging? is there something i don't know?

06 July, 2007


once again demonstrating that nothing is better at rousing sleeping bats than a series against tampa bay.

02 July, 2007

adventures in unintentional advertising #4

hey kids, it's two-for-one day! we also examine recent spots for...quaker oats bars! kids love them, apparently. there have been a string of these, all fairly similar. kids play (somewhere) and then you see the quaker oats guy (aka william penn), cast in incrediably unlife-like painted plaster, standing with a tray full of cereal bars. every time they show his statuesque visage, they also play very odd, high-pitched laughter.

intentional message: your kids are safely in the hands of strict, colonial-era religous sect. feel free to ignore the little beasts.

unintentional message: none, really. these commercials just creep me out. i think it's the weird laughter. seriously, quaker oats guy is creepier than giant-headed, smiling burger king guy.

adventures in unintentional adversting #3

wal-mart comes under the gun today. our scene is a barbeque competion in memphis. as the judges are announcing the winners, a tastefully generic family (dad, mom, unisex child) walk on, pushing a wal-mart cart. the man inspects one of the grills that a competitor had used to cook his barbeque. satified that it is, indeed, a grill, he pushes it off screen, family in tow. no one at the barbeque competition seems to notice. we fade to message claiming that wal-mart has the things you need, at the "wal-mart price".

intentional message: wal-mart carries authentic items, used by authentic people in authentic situations. not just cheap crap that no one but a cheapskate would bother to purchase.

unintentional message: if you like something, steal it. preferably while the owner is distracted.

unintentional meta-message: see, wal-mart's prices aren't just low because they employ illegal aliens. they also get their stock from hijacked trucks.

lumber slumber

in the past 6 games, the sox have gone 1-5. they've left 63 men on base! of the 6 games, 5 have been decided by 1 run, including their sole victory during this stretch.

this is not a pleasing trend.