Pope Takes Standing Eight Count

December 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm (Unzipped Thoughts)

Perhaps an angry mother of a child, used by one, or more, of the hundreds of Catholic Clergy who routinely use children as hand-puppets. That’s the what crossed my mind when news that  82 year old Ben Pope was attacked by a woman, described as “disturbed,” by Vatican officials. Interesting cherce o’ woids. Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black? Doesn’t the man, pictured here wearing a dress, head the up the most disturbing cult, ever?

Anyway, happy birthday Ma. You woulda enjoyed this.

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Oakland A’s… The Thinking Man’s Team

December 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm (Baseball, Unzipped Thoughts)

My love/hate relationship with the A’s of [currently] Oakland, goes back many a year. I can’t say they haven’t given me food for thought. Example #5,675: Why would the [prepetually, it seems,] rebuilding team think of signing this man?…

… He’s 30 year old Coco Crisp. Not only has he already taken a King’s ransom from the game [likely to affect his motivation]. but unless there’s a deal in the woiks for some power, signing him would impeed the progress of the Sweenys Davises, Taylors and Hairstons in the organ-I-zation.

Once again, WTF, Billy Beane?

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Zelda’s Pizza… Sacramento’s Finest

December 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm (Life & Death, Unzipped Thoughts)

Every now and again, I go east to Sacramento. I spent two, six year hitches in the “city that never awakens,” and at times, I miss it… more than one would imagine. Yesterday I tasted the familiar deep dish pizza/keesh delight. Simply the best pizza on the west coast. Here are some pics. of me, the Zelda’s sign, and the booth L.G. and I shared every Friday night, for years:

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‘Tis The Season… Here’s The Reason

December 18, 2009 at 12:55 pm (Kittatinny Camp, Unzipped Thoughts)

This was forwarded to me by the good Dr. Richard Berk, of Kittatinny Camp fame :-). It so captures it all!!

Enjoy.

If anyone asks you what the difference is between Christmas and Chanukah, you will know what and how to answer!

1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25. Jews also love December 25th . It’s another paid day off work. We go to movies and go out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don’t look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress , the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.

2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos….Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah , Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah , Hannukah, etc.

5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.

6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills.Wax candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.

7. Christmas carols are beautiful…Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful….Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don’t Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?

8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.

9. Parents deliver gifts to their children during Christmas mornings. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.

10. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus , Judah Maccabee, and Matta whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

11. Many Christians believe in the virgin birth. Jews think, “Joseph, you shmuck, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn’t sleep with her, and now you want to blame God. Here’s the number of my shrink.”

12. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah , even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person.

Happy Chanukah!

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Too Early For Fantasy/Roto Baseball?

December 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm (Baseball, Fantasy Baseball)

Not for me. I’ve joined a keeper league, consisting of crazed fanatics [like my dear old self] who think Baseball 24/7… MUCH FUN!!

Here’s one “expert’s” top 200 I copped from the internet:

1 Albert Pujols STL 1B 30 1
2 Hanley Ramirez FLA SS 26 3
3 Ryan Braun MIL OF 26 7
4 Alex Rodriguez NYY 3B 34 65
5 Carl Crawford TB OF 28 5
6 Prince Fielder MIL 1B 25 14
7 Tim Lincecum SF SP 25 4
8 Chase Utley PHI 2B 31 25
9 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 26 20
10 Matt Kemp LAD OF 25 11
11 Mark Teixeira NYY 1B 29 29
12 Ryan Howard PHI 1B 30 19
13 Roy Halladay TOR SP 32 15
14 David Wright NYM 3B 27 64
15 Evan Longoria TB 3B 24 50
16 Felix Hernandez SEA SP 23 8
17 Troy Tulowitzki COL SS 25 24
18 Ian Kinsler TEX 2B 27 48
19 Matt Holliday F.A. OF 30 26
20 Joe Mauer MIN C 26 17
21 Jacoby Ellsbury BOS OF 26 6
22 Zack Greinke KC SP 26 2
23 Jose Reyes NYM SS 26 594
24 Justin Upton ARI OF 22 45
25 CC Sabathia NYY SP 29 22
26 Grady Sizemore CLE OF 27 225
27 Derek Jeter NYY SS 35 10
28 Adrian Gonzalez SD 1B 27 75
29 Dan Haren ARI SP 29 12
30 Robinson Cano NYY 2B 27 40
31 Justin Morneau MIN 1B 28 111
32 Aaron Hill TOR 2B 28 39
33 Ichiro Suzuki SEA OF 36 21
34 Nick Markakis BAL OF 26 88
35 Jason Bay F.A. OF 31 38
36 Brian Roberts BAL 2B 32 43
37 Pablo Sandoval SF 1B/3B 23 51
38 Johan Santana NYM SP 31 93
39 Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 31 87
40 Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B 26 60
41 Joey Votto CIN 1B 26 72
42 Ryan Zimmerman WAS 3B 25 53
43 Victor Martinez BOS C/1B 31 77
44 Mark Reynolds ARI 1B/3B 26 23
45 Justin Verlander DET SP 27 18
46 Adam Wainwright STL SP 28 16
47 Manny Ramirez LAD OF 37 233
48 Brandon Phillips CIN 2B 28 67
49 Brian McCann ATL C 26 153
50 Kevin Youkilis BOS 1B/3B 31 57
51 Mariano Rivera NYY RP 40 30
52 Josh Hamilton TEX OF 28 345
53 Joe Nathan MIN RP 35 27
54 Chris Carpenter STL SP 34 13
55 Jayson Werth PHI OF 30 36
56 Kendry Morales LAA 1B 26 46
57 B.J. Upton TB OF 25 117
58 Adam Dunn WAS 1B/OF 30 98
59 Chone Figgins F.A. 3B 32 33
60 Cliff Lee PHI SP 31 63
61 Adam Jones BAL OF 24 148
62 Carlos Lee HOU OF 33 83
63 Andre Ethier LAD OF 27 84
64 Jon Lester BOS SP 26 54
65 Bobby Abreu LAA OF 36 31
66 Jonathan Papelbon BOS RP 29 74
67 Matt Cain SF SP 25 42
68 Javier Vazquez ATL SP 33 9
69 Jonathan Broxton LAD RP 25 28
70 Curtis Granderson DET OF 29 106
71 Adam Lind TOR OF 26 35
72 Jason Bartlett TB SS 30 34
73 Lance Berkman HOU 1B 34 138
74 Yovani Gallardo MIL SP 24 103
75 Josh Johnson FLA SP 26 41
76 Shane Victorino PHI OF 29 79
77 Billy Butler KC 1B 23 104
78 Carlos Quentin CHW OF 27 369
79 Francisco Rodriguez NYM RP 28 119
80 Carlos Beltran NYM OF 32 203
81 Josh Beckett BOS SP 29 61
82 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP 22 89
83 Joakim Soria KC RP 25 109
84 Shin-Soo Choo CLE OF 27 55
85 Aramis Ramirez CHC 3B 31 228
86 Tommy Hanson ATL SP 23 113
87 Torii Hunter LAA OF 34 69
88 Ricky Nolasco FLA SP 27 169
89 Heath Bell SD RP 32 52
90 Ben Zobrist TB 2B/OF 28 47
91 Nelson Cruz TEX OF 29 90
92 Derrek Lee CHC 1B 34 44
93 Cole Hamels PHI SP 26 180
94 Raul Ibanez PHI OF 37 95
95 Jorge Posada NYY C 38 199
96 Vladimir Guerrero F.A. DH 34 254
97 Michael Young TEX 3B 33 80
98 John Lackey F.A. SP 31 152
99 Jose Lopez SEA 2B 26 145
100 Hunter Pence HOU OF 26 100
101 Ubaldo Jimenez COL SP 26 62
102 Nate McLouth ATL OF 28 124
103 Ian Stewart COL 2B/3B 24 252
104 Carlos Pena TB 1B 31 135
105 Matt Wieters BAL C 23 418
106 Michael Bourn HOU OF 27 32
107 Brian Fuentes LAA RP 34 114
108 Jair Jurrjens ATL SP 24 49
109 Francisco Cordero CIN RP 34 97
110 Carlos Marmol CHC RP 27 269
111 Nyjer Morgan WAS OF 29 76
112 Brian Wilson SF RP 28 68
113 Jason Kubel MIN OF 27 92
114 Jay Bruce CIN OF 22 392
115 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF 23 125
116 Alexei Ramirez CHW SS 28 157
117 Michael Cuddyer MIN 1B/OF 31 85
118 Huston Street COL RP 26 73
119 Chad Billingsley LAD SP 25 139
120 Howie Kendrick LAA 2B 26 212
121 Brad Hawpe COL OF 30 127
122 Gordon Beckham CHW 3B 23 263
123 Russell Martin LAD C 27 360
124 Yunel Escobar ATL SS 27 118
125 Alfonso Soriano CHC OF 34 301
126 Alex Rios CHW OF 29 182
127 A.J. Burnett NYY SP 33 151
128 Andrew Bailey OAK RP 25 37
129 Jake Peavy CHW SP 28 174
130 Johnny Damon F.A. OF 36 78
131 Elvis Andrus TEX SS 21 160
132 Denard Span MIN OF 26 66
133 Jered Weaver LAA SP 27 81
134 John Danks CHW SP 24 115
135 Jose Valverde F.A. RP 31 126
136 Wandy Rodriguez HOU SP 31 56
137 Trevor Hoffman MIL RP 42 70
138 Scott Baker MIN SP 28 108
139 Matt Garza TB SP 26 136
140 James Shields TB SP 28 170
141 David Ortiz BOS DH 34 223
142 Rafael Soriano ATL RP 30 102
143 Chipper Jones ATL 3B 37 222
144 Carlos Gonzalez COL OF 24 253
145 Brandon Webb ARI SP 30 888
146 Dan Uggla FLA 2B 30 186
147 Stephen Drew ARI SS 27 290
148 Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 2B/SS 24 110
149 Bobby Jenks CHW RP 29 187
150 David Aardsma SEA RP 28 71
151 Kurt Suzuki OAK C 26 168
152 Nick Swisher NYY 1B/OF 29 198
153 Phil Hughes NYY RP 23 173
154 Juan Rivera LAA OF 31 129
155 Frank Francisco TEX RP 30 196
156 David Price TB SP 24 289
157 Erick Aybar LAA SS 26 150
158 Tim Hudson ATL SP 34 576
159 Mike Napoli LAA C 28 256
160 Hideki Matsui F.A. DH 35 164
161 Roy Oswalt HOU SP 32 194
162 Todd Helton COL 1B 36 99
163 Brett Anderson OAK SP 22 165
164 Vernon Wells TOR OF 31 172
165 Max Scherzer ARI SP 25 197
166 Adam LaRoche F.A. 1B 30 146
167 Geovany Soto CHC C 27 739
168 James Loney LAD 1B 25 158
169 Brad Lidge PHI RP 33 468
170 Mark DeRosa F.A. 3B/OF 35 229
171 Jorge Cantu FLA 1B/3B 28 143
172 Carlos Zambrano CHC SP 28 204
173 Edwin Jackson DET SP 26 101
174 Miguel Tejada F.A. SS 35 94
175 Ryan Franklin STL RP 37 86
176 Ryan Theriot CHC SS 30 147
177 Felipe Lopez F.A. 2B 29 132
178 Orlando Cabrera F.A. SS 35 140
179 Ted Lilly CHC SP 34 58
180 Jermaine Dye F.A. OF 36 219
181 Matt Capps PIT RP 26 336
182 Franklin Gutierrez SEA OF 27 107
183 Adrian Beltre F.A. 3B 30 325
184 Chad Qualls ARI RP 31 208
185 Miguel Montero ARI C 26 235
186 J.A. Happ PHI SP/RP 27 105
187 Ryan Dempster CHC SP 32 116
188 Rick Porcello DET SP 21 205
189 Ryan Ludwick STL OF 31 183
190 Paul Konerko CHW 1B 34 131
191 Ervin Santana LAA SP 27 452
192 Mark Buehrle CHW SP 31 144
193 Placido Polanco F.A. 2B 34 181
194 Clay Buchholz BOS SP 25 379
195 J.P. Howell TB RP 26 142
196 Joba Chamberlain NYY SP/RP 24 408
197 Daisuke Matsuzaka BOS SP 29 938
198 Randy Wolf F.A. SP 33 59
199 Derek Lowe ATL SP 36 335
200 Gavin Floyd CHW SP 27 121

* Age is as of April 1, 2010.

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Kittatinny’s Helen Schwartz…

December 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm (Kittatinny Camp)

… sent these terrific pictures… and Klarions from those wonderful days, replete with Color Contest [not war] Fight Songs and Parodies. Here’s one:

 Bob Smith [to the tune of “Splish Splash”]

Splash, splash Bob is down at the lake, megaphone, whistle and all.

Standing mighty and poised on the deck…

Just like a statue, straight and tall.

{Whiffenpoof Song]

Oh from the bunks upon the hillside

To the Rec Hall down bellow

To the archery Range that we all love so well

You can hear the gentle echoes

Of his voice so sweet and dear

It’s our Uncle Bob resounding load and clear

BE CAREFUL! THOSE SURF BOARDS COST $98.50

————————————————————————

These pictures really bring back memories:

Lee Herman was one of my favorite people. He died, tragically, much too early.

Alan Sacks, Art Baskin, and Craig Pearson were three of my heroes. I can’t tell you how much I miss those days.

Helen, pictured bellow, reminds me of Gidget. :-)

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Invictus

December 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm (Life & Death)

My very favorite poem, of all time:

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

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Mourning Matt’s Pup, Bear

December 1, 2009 at 11:34 pm (Life & Death)

What an absolutely terrific Thanksgiving week it’s been, except for the news that Bear [an All-Star pup] died, in an accident. My condolences to Matt and his terrific mom, Terreye [pictured below, with Bear]. I know they are both hurting.

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