Saturday, November 5, 2011

short form...

short form constellation stylings at http://constellationoflogic.tumblr.com/

its all i have the strength for currently...

enjoy or don't...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

death or cake...

To keep the dream alive over the past few years I have worked as a writer providing content for websites and affiliate marketers that for the most part has been inane pseudo-SEO-speak, and the content is dreck. However, occasionally I get to nudge in an opinion here or claim social doctrine there and in the case of the current allegations levied against the University of Miami football and basketball programs I found a subject that could cross all boundaries and enter into the Constellation...

For my take on the matter I present this...

For those of you who don't have the time or inclination to give me the shameless hit I sum it up thusly...

"These particular allegations attack the ideology and morality of higher learning and should merit more than just a loss of bowl eligibility or scholarships but instead become a monument to the consequences of egregious behavior in the manner that SMU penalty was proposed to be and failed."


I'm speaking of course of the 1987 "death penalty " given to Southern Methodist university merely for playing players. I use the term "merely" because in the case of "the U" players weren't just alleged to be paid, they were given access to prostitution, paid in a bounty like fashion to injure opposing players and possibly in one case given access to an abortion...


College athletics is corrupt, it was before SMU and it is now, we all know it. The athletes know it, the parents know it, the coaches, the NCAA and so on. But in the 25 years since the institution of the SMU penalty the problem has metastasized like cancer. The "death penalty" was supposed to put a stop to these kinds of things, but instead has allowed the deferment of them to leaches dressed as boosters and the culture is morally bankrupt. I don't have to go too deep into the sociology of the issue for you to understand the breadth of consequences that comes from melding education with compensation. There are a million stories of pay-for-play and worse in the naked city of college athletics, but it seems the NCAA settles for the death or cake rational...


if you offer death and cake, the answer is cake every time...


put 'em to death...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

peripherals...

Actor Francesco Quinn was found dead in his home of an apparent heart attack last Friday evening...

Outside of being almost Anthony Quinn—Francesco was his son, he played Rhah in the 1986 film "Platoon." Aside from that film being one of the greatest depictions of good and evil ever created, the characters, born from Oliver Stone, were as rich as you've ever seen in a military film. Rhah, along with Keith David's portrayal of King, are two of my favorites. A delayed RIP to Rhah...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

facebook gold..

Because some things should stretch beyond 216 friends...

This gentleman here, who I know to be of sound mind, linked this to facebook which moved me to comment about our Commander-in-Chief...

(edited for poor grammar, induced by rage)
He has been governing for a second term, which always leads to sell-outs and back-downs. At least W shoved shit in our faces and then asked us to vote for him. I might have a little more respect for W then Obama right now, because if Obama had shoved tax code up their asses back in December along with a debt ceiling rise, I would have gotten an Obama tramp stamp tattoo. Now, after caving then, he allows a body of government with worse job security than a Washington Wizards coach partake in political extortion against his and his party's principles, not to mention principles of economic logic.

Honestly, I'm on the fence about the deal that was made simply because a deal was made and the immediate repercussions, (that is my already poor credit becoming full on go-to-the-mattresses economics), were avoided. But man-alive is there a sensible motherfucker in the Senate or the White House that doesn't get the fact the house of Representatives is akin to a political joke. They have two years before they have to get re-elected that makes for a year of policy rattling. I guarantee you in 2012 there will be another congressional bloodletting because at the end of the day, that's the only place where a normal, everyday kind of voter can hope to effect real change at Federal level. The fucker that has an office in your neighborhood. That office is never furnished well and the lights ever on—no one gets too comfortable in a congressional representative's office, it might as well be a P.O. Box. The Tea Party succeeded, they rushed in a ton of yahoo's and made a mockery of the process and in turn made the professionals look like amateurs...

Oh well, I think the idea of a man getting an Obama tramp-stamp tattoo is pretty clever, considering it would be my first ink, and the Wizards comment is interchangeable with the Oakland Raiders or the old Pop Steinbrenner Yankees. I do stick to my old haunts when it comes to references...

Maybe its not facebook gold, but it got me back on this horse for a day...

Clint Eastwood getting hammered slugging Pabst. It's like this...It's like that...

Now, that's facebook gold...

Friday, July 29, 2011

deadlines...

'And from my neck so free The Albatross fell off, and sank Like lead into the sea' ...
—The Rime of the Ancient Mariner-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To be clear, I was sitting on the couch in my parent's living room, ottoman between legs, like the night Mookie Wilson became immortal and Queens was the center of the world 20 Autumns before, when it happened. Lord Charles, the hammer, the hook—whatever you call it. The first time I laid eyes on one while standing in a batters box was the last time, some kid from Bayside High made me look silly. So as the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated in front of me and Carlos Beltran walked off, defeated and despondent, my first thought was of wonderment...

"Who throws a fucking 3-2 curve ball in the ninth inning of the seventh game of a National League Championship Series?!"

The answer, of course, was Adam Wainwright, that's who...

In the days that passed the natural inclination of most Met fans was to curse Beltran for keeping the bat on his shoulder and taking the backwards K. None of those fans have every seen a curve ball up close and personal, and therefore didn't know any better. But while the Beltran K and the failure of the team to advance to the World Series in 2006 was fated by Wainwright's 12-to-6er, it would not compare to what would befall the franchise over the next four years...

I don't have the time or inclination to rehash days gone by, suffice to say that the Mets, historically are a likeness of the Mariner in Samuel Coleridge's epic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Beltran, fair or not represents the albatross in this current playing out of Met struggles. The trading of Seaver, the one inning too long for Gooden and the surrender of the Scioscia home run, Benitez, and Heilman and Yadier. The Beltran strikeout laid on the neck of the franchise like the albatross...

Beltran has been a great Met, when he has been healthy he has been everything we ever asked of him. He was no Mike Piazza, but who could be, Beltran came in and was a 5-tool player for this team. He played hurt until he couldn't play no more and hurt he was still better than the majority of center fielders in the game, so I'm sorry to see him go in that sense. But it occurred to me this morning as the Mets approached 6 1/2 games behind the wild card leading Atlanta Braves that there is a distinct difference in this team than the one that was playing the game just one week ago. They are free, the rain has fallen, there is water and there is wind. Regardless of how this season plays out, and whether the Mets keep it interesting through September or succeed in the improbable by cinching a wild card playoff birth, the albatross is gone. Never again will anyone have to answer for not swinging at a curve ball...

Never again will a Met's player have to answer for what happened in the past, because the all of a sudden, the Mets have a future...

Monday, July 11, 2011

the 8th district...

Ohio Congressmen and Speaker of the House John Boehner got his gift horse, and he didn't just look it in the mouth, he took a boot to its kisser...

Republican lawmakers have drawn a line in the sand that shows they have no understanding of mathematics. We've spent the last 10 years with tax law in place that was initially enacted for general relief and then to stimulate job growth. We were all too busy chanting USA!, USA! and collecting a sparse check for $600-1,100 to notice anything fishy....

The cuts were trumpeted as a way to jump start job growth by providing incentives for businesses to hire, particularly in the small business sector. The cuts were supposed to help small businesses of this great nations survive under the crushing weight of the previous tax code. I worked for a small business in 2003-2006, and now that small business is one man in and out of a hospital bed without health insurance. So much for his piece of the pie. But that's not on Mr. Boehner, no, he was just s spoke in the wheel then voting yay to whatever President George W. Bush and his administration cooked up. Rising costs for two wars, weapons development programs and homeland security measures be damned, they cut revenue anyway. Fund medicare as a legacy?, 'sure, why not, let's get sushi and not pay!' Even President Ronald Reagan knew better than to get involved in a 'real' wars when he made his deep cuts in government revenue. But for all of his candy-coated sentiment and his wife's 'Just Say No' bravado we all got high enough that when we came out of our stupor the country had evolved into an oligarchy. President George H.W. Bush sealed his fate by campaigning on the call of 'Read My Lips...' and we all decided to take the power back. It was 1992...

Well, here we go again...

Ten years of tax cuts and spendthrift ways. Its 1992 all over again and Mr. Boehner is going to speak for a party so fractured they have forgotten what to call themselves. Mr. Boehner is today's H.W. Bush. Given the deal of a lifetime with all the trimmings, cuts in entitlements, smaller government, and without stripping defense contracts, Boehner draws the line and says no new taxes. He speaks not for his 8th Congressional District of Ohio that makes an average of $43, 753, but for his place of residence in West Chester, Ohio, who's motto reads; "Where families grow and businesses prosper." A place where Proctor and Gamble, BAE Systems, GE Aviation and CEVA Logistics all hang a hat. Indeed a growing township that I'm sure is making more than $43, 753 per household...

I wonder, when the President provides a deal that includes $3 Trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, which is 3/4 of the cuts that Congressman Paul Ryan has projected using conservative think tank estimates, what's the issue? Is it the fact that on top of that the President would like to roll back elements of the tax code, not on personal income tax mind you, but on corporate profits made overseas, and breaks on the use of private jets? Breaks on those high-level corporate administrators that took the Bush tax cuts, put them in their pockets, pushed economically toxic waste investment strategies and then ask for some help from their own default? American people be damned, for these folks first class isn't good enough they need to fly private!...

Goldman Sachs recently laid off 1,000 people and took those same jobs to Singapore and hired 1,000 residents of the Malaysian country. This wasn't 1,000 secretarial and mail room jobs, these were college educated trading positions, and in some cases, MBA holding individuals that lost out on their cherry gigs because they make too much money. If I were Goldman Sachs my next move would be to apply for work visas for every new hire in Singapore, put them on the books as American workers and celebrate with 1,000 additional heads for the tax cut tally. But I'm not Goldman Sachs, I have a conscience. I also believe in the free market, the same market that would have crushed them like grapes if they didn't receive their piece of corporate welfare, courtesy of my job and the jobs of millions of Americans. Thanks for that...

Exxon Mobil is only required to declare 5% of its overseas profits for the benefit of its corporate income tax. That's like saying for every dollar you make the government is taking a nickel. A NICKEL. Five Cents! Sure Exxon Mobil employs hundreds of thousands but they also lobby against energy reform and rattle sabers with OPEC millionaires in countries that breed teenage America-haters. They have played both sides to the middle like an Upton Sinclair novel and come off looking Dickensian...

I'm not looking for Mr. Boehner's ear or Mr. Ryan's or anyone else screaming 'hell no we won't tax.' I'm not looking for the ear of Senator Harry Reid or any other democrat who think that saving entitlements for this generation is worth losing the next three generations. Your children's and their children and so on. I'm looking for the ear of the 8th Congressional District of Ohio. Hamilton, Middleton, Huber Heights, Eaton, Greenville, Piqua, Troy and those parts of Dayton, those residents that hold Mr. Boehners fate in their hands every two years. Mr. Boehner has made his decision for Christ. He has once again put you under the bus. Don't let him lie to you again. Tax code changes are not job killers, corporations are. These conglomerates can choose to do the right thing and be good for their communities in a way that satisfies all, they just choose not to. Mr. Boehner is up for reelection like every member of this 112th session of Congress. Send him out on a rail because he doesn't remember what it was like to make a salary $43, 753 and he surely doesn't care to know either—no matter how many tears he sheds. Vote for the Republican challenger to current President Obama as well, I don't mind, but be sure to know that when you do he was not the only one who failed you, Mr. Boehner is getting a little surf and turf action going on tonight regardless of whether a deal goes down...

The American people want action from their President and he has answered their call. Why won't Mr. Boehner and his cronies pick up the line?...

I implore those residents of Ohio, to pass this along to those they know from the 8th district of Ohio. Pass along just a little logic from the constellation...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky IV

'you ain't so bad! you ain't so bad!'...

sure, Rock, you caught the chicken, outpaced Apollo on the beach, was a part of the greatest movie soundtrack montage in the history of motion pictures, and did not let Drago break you! i finally understand where you are coming from...

last week i participated in my first Bikram Yoga class, an hour and a half of challenging Asanas in a heated room. i was moved to write about that first class last week, but found myself unable to move and typing was as close to impossible as it has ever been. i found myself longing for a Neo-Speech Stephen Hawking special...

as and aside, i think hawkings fucking with us, and if he is, he's not only the foremost mind in theoretical physics and cosmotology, but a comic genius as well. what a douchebag!...

twenty-six poses in over 90 degrees of humid heat is quite a workout, let me tell you. and this is coming from a guy that rides a bike for transport, swims 70-100 laps in four different strokes for fun, and runs because why not? last week i struggled through 3/4 quarters of the class, but hung on and finished. after an extended savasana—that's rest holmes—i left shaking, relaxed and completelyt dumbfounded by my ability to still be standing. the studio which is roughly a straight mile and a short 90 degree right to my home with the Cat Mom and the boys was an exercise in what not to do after your first Bikram Yoga class...

this week was equally challenging, after a the first few poses i felt strong, i felt i wouldn't be in a life or death struggle. thereafter, i did. but i stood firm, i heard the words of Rocky Balboa, i saw the the boxing glove on Clubber Lang's (did the dude even have a real first name) mohawk, even if i pitied the fool. i worked through the pain enjoyed an incredible workout...

yeah, Bikram, you ain't so bad!...

a shout out to Vinnie Marone and Kunatagh '86, dude almost destroyed our tent doing his Rocky impression. i became worried for my life and the only other people i knew there were Chris Elarde, and Nino, so options were limited. lesson learned? don't ever attend, watch or even mention a Rocky movie ion the presence of an Italian-American, it only leads to trouble...

and one more for Robert Trepper...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

fore...

somewhere between untimely deaths, some cat dad duties (the cat mom is off in PA for the weekend) and some pseudo-domestical-like refrigerator window shopping, my golf clubs showed up in Tucson courtesy of ma dukes...

fortunately, my mom didn't pack the slice...

detroit is still standing, gil, however, has fallen...

what do you do when your idols start disappearing two at a time?..

last week it was Randy "Macho Man" Savage. i didn't idolize Macho Man because of the eccentric style or the big elbow from the top rope nor the double axe-handle. Macho Man came with a style all of his own. he never asked you to be his fan, not once. you just were. i saw his first match in the WWE (then WWF) and was duly impressed, by his bravado and presence. in his second match he summoned all of the mangers from the time (Bobby Henin, Slick, Mr. Fuji et al) came down to watch Savage bombard Jose Luis Rivera over and over. i remember Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse "the Body" Ventura commenting that Savage was plying his wares to be picked up by one of the managers, but he chose none of them. He brought Elizabeth out his next time out. Sure, Elizabeth was attractive but that wasn't his point. his point is that he didn't need any help getting big, Savage was just going to get big...

tonight i find out that Gil-Scott Heron has died. for all of his faults and personal problems, Gil-Scott never stopped telling you like it was. he probably schooled somebody with his last breath. he was a unique talent that was marred by drug and alcohol dependency problems but he also gave us "Winter in America" an album that should be standard listening in any history class. a poet above poets and a man among musicians. i was introduced to Heron the way most are with "Whitey on the Moon" and "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" but it was a stroll into a lower east side record shop, when the lower east side still had record shops worth going to, and being introduced to a 11+ minute live jam of "The Bottle". i know that Gil-Scott has seen his share and then some, but when great spirits leave, its a little less full in this world. there is no replacing Gil-Scott or Randy they were originals and only a few of us truly understand the true beauty of the flawed, and tortured, because we are flawed and tortured ourselves...

i'm sorry, Gil. i'm sorry you never got the chance to see the revolution. but rest easy, your work is done, we'll take it from here...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Go to the Mirror, Boy!

the following is the unabridged version of a post I wrote on Flushing University concerning the New Yorker article on Fred Wilpon as well as a state of the franchise essay on the New york Mets...

Fred Wilpon is just like the rest of us.

Before anyone decides to go off half-cocked, read the story. Jose Reyes will not get Carl Crawford money, David Wright is not a superstar,Carlos Beltran is a lemon and And Ike Davis is a good hitter on a shitty team. Well, maybe we're not shitty. At 22-23 you can call the Mets a lot of things, but certainly not shitty.

There has been a lot of "the sky is falling" kind of talk around the New York Mets for most of the last bunch of years. but it seems to me the sky fell in October of 2006. The franchise hasn't yet recovered from the Adam Wainwright curve ball that shook Carlos Beltran's confidence and our confidence in him. I've said this before, as have thousands of other interested (and uninterested) observers.Like a drowning man grasping for the light above the water, subsequent signing haves deepened the wounds of that cold October night. Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo are the most notable of these errors. And the spectre of the Bernie Madoff Trustee civil suit lingers like the tell-tale heart in the foundation of Citi Field.

But this is not about the Madoff case, the lost money and the potential losses that would eventually remove the Wilpon family from their throne as owners of the New york Mets. This is not even about Irving Picard and Baker Hostetler, who stand to reap the benefits of a prolonged civil case due to the almost $1 billion in legal fees the firm has collected settling complaint after complaint. They will fight as long as the Wilpon's do because not to reap justice but to serve their own interests. Every billable hour is another hand in the Madoff Trust.

I digress.

This is about the reaction. The idea that Fred Wilpon is a terrible owner not because of his supposed mis-management, although he did principally hire Frank Cashen who oversaw the greatest era in Mets history and Steve Phillips who did a decent job himself building an era before he started to believe that he was smarter than Bobby Valentine. He also hired Omar Minaya who was a golden boy before Wainwright snapped his curve. So what's the beef? That he won't put money into this team? That he seems blase about the way the team has been managed and put together?

The man's company lost $500 million plus the day Madoff was arrested. It disappeared. That's roughly 230 % of what he is paying the 25 men and coaching staff on his major league roster this year. According to the sources in Jeffery Toobin's article, Sterling Enterprises is on the hook for close to a Billion in damages on top of that. I'm not defending the man, this is just how it is.

I'm sure opinions are across the board about the comments he made in one paragraph of a 10,000 word piece. Here's mine. He's right.

The sky has fallen and it couldn't get up, but if you are not encouraged by the what Wilpon's newest hire Sandy Alderson and his band of merry men JP Riccardi and Paul DePodesta have started here than you are already a lost cost. Perez an Castillo gone, there contracts will be gone too in four months. Contributors at Flushing University are all up in arms about the use of players like Willie Harris and Scott Hairston, but with Beltran and Jason Bay out to start the season and Angel Pagan, Davis and Wright all currently spending time on the disable list, just what is it that you expected. Johan Santana has been out since last year and bargain signing Chris Young has succumbed to injury as well, but this team has pitched fairly well, especially the bullpen since the reintroduction of Jason Isringhausen. There are no world beaters on that staff and to expect anything less is foolish. This is a .500 team and will be =/- 2 wins or losses in July when the real measure of this new management regime will come.

I trust that Alderson and his troops will draft well, there is just too much talent in that office not too. But the draft will be over and done by the middle of June and we'll wax poetic about the next guy who will make the jump to the majors as fast as Davis did. I'm referring to the July 31st trading deadline. While this team will finish better than the Washington Nationals, it simply can't compete with a Philadelphia Phillies who have a monster rotation and an offense about to get a whole lot better or the Atlanta Braves a team that is also better—good old Ted Turner knows how to own or even the Florida Marlins have enough starting pitching along with offense to keep hold of third place, so any talk of the Mets competing for a playoff spot is just that. It was back in March and it is now. Since the hiring of Alderson and the subsequent hiring of his staff, this has all been about July 31st.

The Mets will have approximately $35 million coming off their payroll with the expiration of the Perez, Castillo and Beltran contracts. Reyes' modest contract will also expire and the Mets are currently paying him $11 million. That's $46 million. There is the matter of Francisco Rodriguez and his 2012 option which I will elude to in a moment, but let's take him off the books as well at $11.5 million that's a grand total of $57.5 million that Alderson and his boys will have to spend more wisely.

The Wilpon's will finish a deal to sell off 20-25% of the franchise by Summer's end, and as the club is estimated to be worth over $1 billion let's call a potential sale of 20% $200 million. The sky fell, time to build a new sky.

Where to begin? Let's start with Mike Pelfrey, who has shown if nothing else, that he can throw innings. He may not be an ace or even a #3 starter but I think I can find a team a subway ride away that would take him off our hands for a couple of prospects, or maybe a guy like Austin Romine, who has shown great skills as a catcher. I'm sure Pelfrey could bring in two decent prospect from any contender and losing him doesn't hurt, we have Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia mowing down hitters in the minors as I write this. Either one of them could take Pelfrey's place in the rotation.

Next there is Beltran, really he is the no brainer of the group, send him to the American League and get what you can. Why not pay the remaining salary and upgrade the prospect in return. I can think of three destinations where Beltran services of part-time outfielder and DH could come in handy. Namely, Boston, Tampa and Texas and why not throw Cleveland into the mix. Beltran has been maligned since the fall of 2006. Injuries have cut him in half, but he is clearly the best centerfielder this team has ever had, and when he has been healthy he has been our best player. His time is done, and while most Met fans will slam the door behind his departure, they will be sure to miss him.

Rodriguez is a tricky matter. He will be shopped and a bargained for. Most teams will hold the 2012 performance option over how heads to entice us to pay most of the contract or take lesser prospects. Take a bucket of balls just don't pay the $17.5. That will be a killer of an albatross going into the next off season.

I have written here and in other forums that Reyes should be traded. That his attitude and baseball acumen is overrated, but truth be told, I've seen the error of my ways. Citi Field is ideal for him. Reyes plays inside the walls, the bigger the walls the better. Whatever I wrote here is poppycock. Well, not entirely, but...

The tack to re-sign Reyes will be akin to a game of chicken. Its true, he is going to want Crawford money (7 years $142 million), and he is not worth Crawford money. Crawford is not worth Crawford money. So how do you talk a guy off a ledge? You let him experience what jumping is all about. There are four conceivable places for Reyes to go via free agency and get the kind of money he is looking to receive. The Yankees, which have their own problems finding a place for their aging Hall of Famers, adding Reyes doesn't seem like a particularly smart investment when they need pitching more than anything. the Red Sox already made their play with Crawford. Texas has Elvis Andrus which leaves the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem. They have the means and the spot for Reyes. Alderson's job will be simple. Don't just make an offer to Reyes, let the market make the offer. Be up front with Jose and tell him we want you here, but we know that the idea of being a free agent is appealing and you should go out and see what's there, come back with what you find and we'll see where we are. Following that strategy the Mets will sign him for $15-16 million per season average over six or seven years.

As for Wright, we keep him because there is no alternative. There is no better player available at third base in the majors and there is no one in the minors to replace him. Bring the fence in left in and allow him and Bay to benefit. Second base is set with Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy and both give you options at the corner positions. Davis is fashioning himself for a spot alongside Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver and (most likely) Mike Piazza along with Jackie Robinson. He is the best parts of John Olerud and Keith Hernandez and he should be here for a long time.

The outfield, especially without Beltran is a question, which is why deadline trades should be made with it in mind. This team should be built on pitching and speed. We have tons of waiting arms in the minors, but no speed. Find me a 22-year-old centerfielder who can steal 30 bases and cover two-thirds of an outfield like Tori hunter or Beltran could in their youth and the job is done.

Met fans have been through a lot in the past 10 years. False starts and titanic disappointments have led to an ire against the Wilpon family that might be justified in particular instances. However, this behavior and sentiment is not just over comments that anyone of us have made since Game 7, 2006.

Wilpon's comments didn't shock me and they sure didn't anger me. They made me realize that for all of the missteps and calamities this franchise has faced that he has a clue. That he understands the reality of this team and that is an important point to digest. Wail all that you will. We are the cursed and left for dead Met fans, it is what we know, but I can't help but look at a team at 22-23 in May, the management team is in place to be successful from here on in, with the draft and the the trade deadline fast approaching and not believe something good will come out of this.

Its all a matter of patience now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

birth of the cool...

it was written that jesus turned water in wine...

well in that tradition i give you cucumbers in the desert...
that's right bitches, cucumbers in the desert...

Monday, May 9, 2011

the witch is dead...

there he is in all of his glory. in the only uniform that ever mattered...

i think a lot of Knick fans forget this man's history. that he was a bruiser, rebounder/defender a la Xavier McDaniel, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason. that years later he would call those guys brutes and dirty players, the same player he was. he would say the same about Dennis Rodman and then welcome him with open arms...

Phil Jackson is a charmed citizen of the game of basketball. never more than a 7th man off the bench, he won a ring with the Knicks in 1970, via recovery from spinal fusion surgery and '73, as defender and enforcer. he inherited a ready made team in Chicago with the best player on the planet and won three straight titles riding that man's back to Atlantic City, before a year of retirement that left Jackson with the also rans...

every coach in the NBA manipulates referees some better than others, i always thought Knick coaches Pat Riley (also with the Heat and the Lakers) and Jeff Van Gundy (with the Rockets as well) did a nice job of showing the proper sort of indignation towards a particular game's officiating while others like Jerry Sloan (late of the Utah Jazz) and Greg Popovich (of the suddenly done like disco San Antonio Spurs) often sounded like someone kicked their dog. Jackson was elite in this regard, making it sound as if the NBA Commissioner, David Stern, had walked up to the microphone and said the words himself...

once Jordan came back from his 'retirement', he would coach three more title winning teams until the Air would once again take his ball and go home. Jackson followed in short order until he was hired to charge another super-talent in Shaquille ONeal along with a young superstar in the making in Kobe Bryant. Winning three more title with that crew, then, this time, taking a step away from the game only to return with Kobe and additions Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum to win two more...

11 titles, its impressive, no doubt...

he didn't create the triangle offense, that was Tex Winter, and his defensive schemes are more Red Holzman than anyone else. he has had more talent and grit given to him then any coach since Red Auerbach, but Auerbach drafted his players...

what makes Jackson what he is—his gift; is that he could make folks believe the earth was flat...

this is why, on this day, rather than applaud a man for his achievements of an unparalleled coaching career of over 20 years, we should show him for what he is...

a silver tongued thug...

i've watched the Dallas Mavericks/Lakers series as intently as i would if the Knicks we're playing it. i thought the talent, size and drive of Dirk Nowitzki, the size of Tyson Chandler and Brenden Haywood and the frenetic style of the Mavericks guards could match-up well versus the Lakers. And they did, game 1 and 2 in Los Angeles went to the conquering Mavs. Game 2 was the dagger and when the game was out of reach, Laker forward Ron Artest took a cheap-shot at fireplug point guard JJ Barrera. Classless to be sure but i thought nothing of it, i mean; its Ron-Ron, ever since Fran Frischilla pulled his pants down that kid hasn't been right. it was game 4, the penultimate ass-whooping by a team driven to destroy of a team certain of its demise...

with the game locked up late in the fourth Odom decided to shoulder block Nowitzki and was called for an illegal pick, a double technical and removed from the game. certainly another classless move and not the way Odom should be representing the thorough borough. Within the next minute, Bynum assaulted poor Barrera with a forearm shiver to the ribs, that sent the already in-flight Barrera to the floor, hard. Bynum should be suspended for the action going into next season. the action was not only classless, but it put another human being in danger of a serious injury...

all the years of promoting the idea that Jackson was the Zen master, making water in to wine, we saw his true face. when his stars faltered, the billy club came out. if he was such a good coach, a man of reason and wisdom, he would have told his charges after game 2 that Artest's behavior in was unacceptable. after the Odom incident, he should have repeated the mantra, but he kept his mouth shut and Bynum was let loose. regardless of how you perceive the incident, the onus was on Jackson to keep the peace, he did not. thug to the end...

they all fade away like wounded soldiers, Jordan came back once too many times. Oneal is languishing as a sound byte in Boston and Kobe, well, he has never looked so good. for a man who was booed in his home town all-star game, caught cheating on his wife, and had the most ridiculous scowl in playoff history, he comes off looking good. even to a hater like me. my advice is to pack them up Kobe, 5 rings in pocket are more valuable than the pain and suffering you will go through only to never see the finals again. walk now and enjoy, you've made your mark...

the next 24 hours will be a non-stop love fest for Jackson i will not participate. ESPN will get the final gurgle from the nipple of the man who was given the keys to the city throughout his whole career, but went out like a punk...

in watching this series, a lot has been made about Nowitzki, himself, 13 years in the league, and how he is determined to get another chance at a title. he has been a victim of the Jackson lore. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry have spent years in the league, foiled as well, but the player who struck me, and caught a lump in my throat was Peja Stoyakovic. Victim of Jackson's Laker's time and time again while in Sacramento, Stoyakovic went 6-6 from the three-point line yesterday, shooting the lights out. shooting every one in Jackson's eye. good for Peja, even if he doesn't win his ring, he can sleep knowing he sent Jackson out on a rail, for Chris Webber, and Vlade Divac and the rest of his former teammates...

but for a hardened Knick fan this was the sweetest day. the witch is dead. if i click my heels i can imagine a world without Jackson and maybe another title for my boys at 33rd and 7th in the neat future, the first one i will ever see...

Monday, May 2, 2011

misplaced aggression...

yay!...

yay for US! USA! USA! USA! when i turned on the Met game last night after returning home from potential employer #4, i first heard the chants of USA. i logged into my fantasy baseball team to check what had become a close week in a head to head, match-up with an old TORCHIE, when the news of the evening revealed itself...

so yay! we're so great, we got Osama Bin Laden!...

i'm not trying to downplay the significance of this event, i know the grass is greener for 3,497 families and the countless others who lost their lives in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center. but it was viewing some facebook posts and hearing the chants of USA over and over from Philadelphia fans, that caught me sour. it reminded me of a day in 1995 when the OJ Simpson verdict was announced, not just for the cheers of elation that came from African-Americans in this country but the disdain it caused amongst most white folk. i remember sitting in my History of Sports class, with the entire range of emotion exploding around me and thinking 'how is my life any different?'...

it wasn't. in fact i was still enraged from the fact that OJ and his cohort in arms Al interrupted the Knicks/Rockets game 3 the summer before. misplaced aggression i guess...

i awoke today of varying thoughts on facebook regarding the the death of Bin Laden, some are measured, some are sublime, but some are downright ridiculous. as if this will help us remember the fateful events of September 11, 2001. like we need help. i remember the sinking feeling when the second plane hit standing atop Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, the eerie drive to Whitestone, onto Bayside and the days after. the smell of death in the south plaza of the National Tennis Center that had wafted from lower Manhattan, the vigils, the rage, the fear—all of it. i remember that night the next January walking to a bar to meet up for judge roughneck's birthday, taking the wrong turn and approaching the site with a growing anxiety in me, only to turn around and find my way to the pub. or the day, years later when i would first step in the footprints of the towers. a bone-chilling late winter day with a mix of freezing rain and snowflakes, traversing the scaffold stairs lower and lower into what was a mass grave site turned into a 16-acre puddle of mud. later, i stared at the dried mud remnants on my shoes going home on the E-Train, leaving a trail from Church St. to 94th avenue. no, i don't need last night to remember September 11th...

today OJ is in jail for some foolishness, and Bin Laden gets his date with oblivion, but he doesn't mean shit to me. my life hasn't changed, neither has yours. we're just as vulnerable to a terrorist threat as we were yesterday and will be again tomorrow. our biggest threat still isn't the terrorists, its ourselves and our inability to identify the real problem, our misplaced aggression. the world isn't different today, its exactly the same and going according to plan, its just not our plan, and no, its not god's either...

there is a seen in the film 'Miracle', where Kurt Russell portraying US Hockey Coach Herb Brooks walks into the corridor of what is now named the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, takes a moment and exults to himself about coaching the team that beat the vaunted Russian squad in the 1980 Olympic Hockey Semi-Finals. for those who know the scene, it was measured and it was right. even if Brooks' actual reaction was nothing like that which was portrayed it felt right, and it is one of the best snippets from a film i've ever seen, (for sports films it rivals Gene Hackman's face-wash/nod after Ollie hits the second foul shot in 'Hoosiers')...

and that's how it would be. you should emote, in solace. elate, weep in joy, sadness and relief. repose. give a shout-out to the boys who are the best trained fighting force next to the Mossad and tip your hat to the man who had the wherewithal to pull the trigger without prejudice. something his two previous predecessors could not accomplish and move on because today is another day...

and ain't a damn thing changed...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

running commentary...vol2

so that didn't go according to plan...

basketball season is over now that the Knicks have fallen to the Celtics in a 4-0 sweep. the best team won, there is no question of that, but that won't tell the tale...

a little Vegas officiating in game 1 turned a 1 point lead to a 2 point loss and a nice comeback, smothered by a floating charge in game 4 removed any chance the Knicks had of making this look respectable in the series box score...

positives? Chauncey Billups got hurt on a (non-call?) contact play but game 1 was the still Knicks' contest. hopefully the Celtics took the officiating crew out for dinner afterwards, in lieu of the 'Melo call and Garnett moving pick miss, but it was losing Billups that took away the ability to run a cohesive last shot offense in both games 1 and 2. The team played admirably without Billups and Amare Stoudemire in Game 2 and Carmelo Anthony showed us something that Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari will never be able to do, I'm not sure what happened in Game 3 or the for better part of game 4 but they were in it in the last five minutes or less in 3 of 4 in this series and that says a lot...

negatives? i'm not sure why D'Antoni kept Landry Fields out there in game 3 when Anthony Carter consistently gave him good minutes all series long. Fields had an awful series. He's a rookie, its fine. watch the film and get back in the gym. however, staying with fields, along with Jefferies on the court while the ship was taking on water left the Knicks playing 3 on 5 on the offensive end. it was poor management and D'Antoni has to answer for that...

29 games. that's the sum total of the Knicks after the 'Melo trade. listen, they were going to have to be healthy and clicking on all cylinders to win this series. losing the first two the way they did led to the sluggish start in game 3, and there is no excuse for that after 2 days rest, and D'Antoni has to answer for that, but he gets a pass on defense, because i think this team proved they know how to clamp down. i think they found a nice player off the bench in Shawne Williams and Ronny Turiaf certainly showed his worth. i think they resign Carter. but this team is missing a piece. a rebounder, defender and enforcer. a 30-minute a game bruiser that will make teams weep...

i am worried about what little Jimmy Dolan will do about the management. a return of Isiah Thomas could very well put this team back in salary cap hock. short of that, re-upping Donnie Walsh's option is a primary step in the right direction. another draft like the team had last year, this time with a first rounder and the kind of signing that shores us up on the glass and in toughness is step 2. D'Antoni is most definitely on the hot seat for 2012. i fully expect this team, with a few tweaks, to have home court for the first round of the playoffs at least, and challenge a Celtic team that might not have a coach or some of their unrestricted free agents for the division title next season...

the clock starts tonight, get to work...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

metwich...

yeah, i know where my Metwich is made, i can still here the call of 'sauteed onions!' from Sera. and i know its raining for you poor folks in flushing, but i'm all ready for some Mets baseball via FSArizona...
3 egg whites, shallots (i'm out of onions), jalapeno and green peppers with sharp cheddar, shredded, and a couple of shakes of Cholula chili-lime on a homemade roll for some morning baseball...

let's go mets!...

its not raining here in the desert, so i'll just pretend they're playing where its 75 degrees and dry as a bone...

letting the universe decide...

Plush is a decent venue for a a local show in Tucson. after a recent renovation the stage and viewing are more symbiotic, but overall, the ambiance has suffered with the installation of a warp-around bar that causes a bottle neck to the stage area and the removal of the stage are bar facilitate leaving a performance to get a Guinness. i haven't been here long, but during my several visits prior to my relocation, i had grown to dig the place. now, not so much. i still think its a fine place to see a show, and Mostly Bears was good, even with the stand-in drummer...

after the show the Cat Mom and i struggled over having another Guinness and being semi-social with Boy-Wonder from the gym and his ex-girlfriend and her family (apparently the family that parties together stays together)—CM coined her shrinky-dink and its difficult to explain just how much that was a perfect assessment. i will say that her face was involved and you can take it from there...

anyways...

we continued to waffle, i am perpetually looking for my next Guinness so it wouldn't be a stretch for me stay for the sake of strength and the Cat Mom often leaves these precious decisions in my hands to grapple with—the agony...

then came a song on the P.A. that sounded familiar, it was difficult to fully discern over the din of the ultra-cool. the Cat Mom turned to me and asked, 'Is that 'Easy Lover'?'...

i walked back to the performance area to get a better ear and it turns out that it was not. i returned to the Cat Mom and told her so, adding that all things being equal since its not 'Easy Lover' that we should step with no delay...

sometimes you have to let the universe decide...



i am fully aware that this song was released only as a single and on the 1984 Chinese Wall LP from Philip Bailey, although the person who posted this video doesn't seem to think so...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

running commetary...

in an effort to get my point across to New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and to provide the best possible outcome in game 3 of the NBA Playoffs i will use my considerable prowess as an affiliate marketing writer...

Coach Mike D'Antoni of the New York Knicks facing the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs game 3 should be sure to redeem his Superstar Carmelo Anthony, husband of La La Vazquez not to be confused with Lamar Odom of Queens' prep high school Christ the King who is married to Khloe Kardashian, coupon to save on splitting double teams and showing patience in the far-wing post. Save with special discount offensive opportunities when you play the pick and roll from the high post rather than the wing and receive additional New York Knicks fans approval by instructing basketball superstar Carmelo Anthony married to La La Vazquez—Nuyorican actress, disc jockey and television host, to post one on one inside the three point line in order to ensure the spin dribble to the left and skip pass to the opposite wing for maximum scoring and open shots in late game situations versus the Boston Celtics in the 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs Round 1, Game 3.

can't say i didn't give it a supreme effort...

as a Knick fan it is difficult not to chew D'Antoni's head off for the poor execution the team has shown in the final minutes of both games but at the end of the day, the Celtics have snuck out of their home court winning game by a total of 3 points with the help of some Vegas officiating and untimely injuries to vital pieces of the Knicks. 0-2 going home with three days rest and yet to play a mistake free game—i'll take it...

as an aside, if Anthony does what he did tonight another 15-20 times in the playoffs during his career as a Knick number 7 will be hanging in the Madison Square Garden rafters in 10 years or so, along with a championship banner or two...

on with the show...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the art of the double standard...

it sure is peculiar what people will allow and not allow when it comes to their hallowed ground...

case in point, in a shorter distance to the World Trade Center than any proposed community center is a little joint called the Pussycat Lounge. i came about this hole in the wall on Greenwich St. when i was working down the street in the great big hole in the ground, (haven't been there in a touch, i figure it is a hole no more), two colleagues and i decided to grab lunch at the pizza/sandwich place next door (and connected incidentally do your best to stay away from the parm-wiches, but Chaz in Charge said the pizza was good). along with being a go-go bar the pussycat lounge has a second floor for live music and dancing. next door to the lounge is an adult movie shop, all of this within earshot of what many Americans consider hallowed ground...

this is the site of the January 8th shooting of 19 people and 6 deaths at a Tucson Safeway. a used book sale...

a few months prior a junior college professor was arrested for practicing yoga in the the same area. read about it here and make your own judgements the cat mom has some personal history with the gentlemen, and come to find out through mutual friends that all he was doing was trying to make the area a 'sacred space.' now in fairness and by all accounts this man is a bit of a fruitcake, but regardless, all he did was grieve and process in his own way, his constitutionally protected way, and he was arrested...

hmmm, guess he was trespassing on the old book sale's turf. grieving is hard these days...

is nothing sacred?...

Monday, April 18, 2011

what i know...

first a couple of things i don't know...

i don't know why referees are calling suspect offensive fouls with :35 seconds to go in a playoff game but not a moving pick with the game on the line. nor do i know why it is so important to keep Jared Jefferies on Rajon Rondo after the latter gentlemen is relieved of the responsibility of in-bounding the basketball...

but i know this...

switching inbound passers after almost turning the ball over doesn't make you a genius, so let's hold off on the Doc Rivers schooled Mike D'Antoni talk right at the top. The play didn't change and more than anything else D'Antoni schooled himself by taking Jefferies off the inbound pass...

i've watched enough Celtic games over the past three or four years to make the following statements....
1. in late game situations Paul Pierce is the Celtics #1 option. he is not only one of the great players in the NBA today he absolute cash money with the game on the line. Pierce makes Kobe Bryant look like Charles Smith...
2. when Pierce is covered, which Carmelo Anthony did quite well on the play, Ray Allen is option #3. Allen has been metaphorically kicking me in the jewels since i was a younger tyke watching St. John's games from behind the basket. he might be the best shooter in the biz right now, and there is no reason to hang your head when he drops a game winner...
3. when the Celtics are successful getting a shot away out of option 1 or 2 they are very successful, when they have to go to option #3, they lose...
here endeth lesson 1...

as for the series, i have the Celtics winning in 6, but the way the Knicks played last night, most especially Tony Douglas and A'Mare Stoudemire, i am optimistic that it could get a little more interesting than that, seeing as well as they played and the team played defense and how terribly ineffective Anthony was on the offensive end, and that will most certainly change for the better...

if i was in that locker room last night i would have, (and i hope the questionable for game 2 Chauncey Billups would echo this gesture), pulled Douglas over and told him; 'next time keep the ball and take that shot.' that's not an indictment of Anthony's late game prowess, just a flow of the game decision that a point guard has to learn to make. win or lose, the Knicks can find comfort in the fact that Douglas will come out of this series a much better player in the long run...

down 1 on the road, i know this isn't over...

Friday, April 8, 2011

riding the mutt vol I...

folks who know, know this—i am my bike, in all reincarnations from the banana seat hand-me-down and the childhood triumvirate (the names escape me but not the pain of losing them to dirty thieves will never fade) to the Pierce Arrow to the Mongoose Stylist and younger brother Hilltopper (both still in holding in QV)...

then there is the mutt...some of you might be familiar with the Bianchi Mutt 7700 i picked up in 2008, featured above in all its splendor in its new home, Tucson, AZ. i'm sitting in the tree. yes, there are trees in the desert. while due to nagging injuries and other responsibilities, the mutt and i haven't really been able to stretch our legs together here in the great southwest, that is, until recently...

this town has its share of breathtaking landscapes and interesting routes to explore. but for the opening volume of riding the mutt i chose to give you a handlebar view of Roller Coaster Road, a local back road that lives up to its name. its even better when you don't have to worry about the camera in your hand...

music courtesy of 24-7 Spyz, 'Yeah X 3'—enjoy...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

really, don't look behind the curtain...

you are not going to like what you see America...

this was never about paying down the deficit. nor was it about making government smaller, (not directly at least). it sure wasn't about getting you and i a job, or affordable health care or any of the other glossed out promises made by any number of politicians who won your heart in 2012...

it was about this...

and this...

when did republican politics become about staying out of their business while allowing them to stick their dicks in ours? attaching riders to a budget plan after a compromise has been made isn't bad politics, it is despicable politics. good faith has been rewarded with good faith and a little something for the trouble. Wisconsin has changed its mind, who is to say the rest of the country won't...

i'm under no illusions that the alternative is the solution. this is a problem 50 years in the making and you want a solution tomorrow?!...

i say make your own...

Smokey the Bear once said; 'Only you can prevent forest fires.' he was right, i once started one and i know it to be true. conventional wisdom dictates that we all have a pawn in the game—our vote, but what, pray tell, has that helped us achieve? more of the same?...

i say conventional wisdom be damned. it is no longer relevant. dictate your own terms on your own battleground because multinational corporations and industrial complexes have laid down the law and the government, the one that you think is too big, is now powerless and feckless in its own defense...

those who believe in the way things are have only something to gain. everyone else can't decide on the ground rules of what's right and wrong while the answer is inherent. don't buy what this latest round of budget talks is trying to establish—the end of the new deal. the end of any chance at an American dream unless you are born into it or winning some random lottery that deems you worthy of a reality TV show...

don't buy that these wars are for oil when they are really about production. if you want to blame the President for introducing us into a bigger mess in the Middle East, that's fine, but remember its only because we need the money. Sure Tomahawk missiles cost money, but who do you think makes them? its the only thing we do right, the morality of it be damned. only we can prevent forest fires remember?...

i was in Camp Bulowa in upstate New York on a boy scout trip, i must have been 15, i'm guessing. the fire hazard for that weekend was high, but i decided to light a couple of leaves on fire to impress the younger kids huddled around, one thing led to another and i was running up to the cabin to grab one of the 5 gallon water jugs. when asked by the adult leaders milling around the cabin what i needed the water for, i answered, 'nothing.' Luckily those leaders had reason enough to be suspicious and doubted the validity of my answer. They followed me shortly down the hill to my destination, a now 10-15 foot circumference of fire getting more ornery by the second. needless to say that was the last time i let a flame touch a leaf, a cigarette go thrown in haste or improper care be shown to fire. no one had to tell me, i just learned the lesson, all by my lonesome...

when are you all going to learn. don't buy that the sun is going to come out from behind the curtain. don't buy...

sell...

because that curtain is all fucked up...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

primetime...

bringing that beat back...
that's how i used to roll. a one-line open and than into the soup...

i've been inspired lately by the performance of my alma mater's crew the St. John's Redmen and given that today is the true beginning of NCAA Men's basketball, i figured i'd pull a little PRIMETIME out of my rear and do a quick breakdown of the tourney...

i filled out three brackets, purists say this is a cop-out and they may be right, but i have three. i'm special. the following, then, is an overview and best guess scenarios of the four regions rather then definitive picks game by game...

East:
Ohio State is chock full of seniors, can shoot and play defense and are one of three legitimate number one ranked teams in the country. The Big Ten as a conference was a whole lot weaker than most pundits predicted but the Buckeyes are fairly real. i like West Virginia in this top half as well. They are well coached and their zone is not atypical, making them a difficult look. I would stay away from Villanova, (who probably shouldn't be in the tourney at all) and Kentucky. The wildcats are still awfully young and i'm never crazy about an SEC conference team...

in the lower half it gets a little more complex. Washington, Syracuse and North Carolina could all come out of this half. Washington has the kind of player in Isiah Thomas that carries teams to the Elite 8, Syracuse has an experienced tournament coach and a killer match-up zone, and Carolina is Carolina, except they aren't. UNC might be a year away so i'm going to pass on them getting past Washington, its the Syracuse/Washington match up that i teeter on...

West:
this one will go according to hoyle for a while. Duke is another legimate number ranked teams from this year and had a chance of going undefeated if not for Kyrie Irving hurting his foot. i mapped this out on Sunday night figuring UConn in the west=Final Four. Kemba Walker is a beast and i hate him with the white hot heat of the sun, but the boy can play—although, once i found out Irving was practicing i switched my pick and have Duke getting out of this region...

San Diego State will make a nice run, and Texas will fall in the first round. i could go either way with the U of A (Arizona) based in my new home town. Its a pretty simple bracket for Duke and UConn to have their way with...

Southwest:
Kansas...

I have this bracket going completely to seed except for Richmond topping Vanderbilt (SEC) and VCU (they beat USC last night) beating Georgetown (at some point JT the Third Jr. will realize that he is recruiting more talented players than his Princeton system can handle)...

Southeast:
St. John's could lose to Gonzaga tonight. the Redmen could also end up in the Final Four. they are a tournament nightmare for most teams. the Redmen shut down Nolan Smith and Kemba Walker, and they would do the same to Jimmer Fredette if they can get past Gonzaga...

this is the most wide open bracket and your choices are plenty. you can be safe with Florida or Pittsburgh here, but Utah State/Kansas State, UCLA and Gonzaga/St. John's could make some noise here, beware, be-very-ware...

check Belmont in the first round...

Final Four:
you could choose all four number 1 seeds and do pretty well. i have two locks and one 99 percent lock in Duke, Kansas and Ohio State. Kansas was given a cakewalk to the Final 8 and even then i don't think Notre Dame can handle the NBA bodies the Jayhawks have...

i had Connecticut in the Final game until Kyrie Irving started practicing, so as much of a lock as i think Duke might be, this is the NCAA's and weirder things have happened...

Ohio State is a strong representative out of the East, but they haven't had to play a team like Syracuse and Washington is really intriguing. if North Carolina can keep up the team's body of work from the last month they could be in the conversation. on my three brackets i have Ohio State coming out of one, Syracuse another and Washington in a third. if i had done a fourth would have seen Carolina...

last but certainly the most interesting, you can pick 'em. Pittsburgh? sure. Florida? yeah, they can put something together. Utah State, Kansas State, Gonzaga, St. John's, UCLA, even last year's runner up Butler can all make a run. nothing is for certain. i have one for Pitt, one for Utah State, and one for St. John's (my wishful thinking bracket)...

Championship Final:
each bracket ends the same, Duke beating Kansas, but if this doesn't look a lot like when UConn beat Duke on the way to face George Mason in the final a few years back. i believe UConn has just as much of a shot of winning a title as Duke and Kansas do. the rest fall in line behind...

i used to capitalize when i wrote for The TORCH, (The Official Student Newspaper of St. John's), now i find it too constricting...don't sleep on the Celtics now that they have Jeff Green, the Heat can't check them, the Magic are a one trick pony most nights and for all the height the Bulls have, they will live and die with Derrick Rose, and i don't trust teams that depend on point guards to win unless that point guard is Magic Johnson...although, give the Knicks three straight days of practice and morning shoot-around and they could be right in the thick of things...if a liberal democrat is a treehugger, does that make a conservative republican a treefucker (reprinted a comment from a friends facebook post)...i move out to Tucson home of several early round and quarterfinal NCAA match ups over the years, and they send St. John's to Denver. oh well, at least we have Casey holding it down for the Redmen there...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the new dope...

odd future wolf gang kill them all...

get to know them...

tyler the creator...

earl sweatshirt...

frank ocean...

hodgy beats...

plus...

i've only been able to get my hands on frank ocean's tape, if you've got some of the others let me know, if you don't what are you waiting for???

they are the new dope...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

does this thing have a trailer hitch?...

there are a ton more Knick fans this morning, huh?...

i know this because the bandwagon i've been driving for the past 10 years just got full up. some of you are returning after a long absence. you were left ill by the poor decisions and outright lack of class by management and ownership. some of you are probably fresh and brand new. either way, welcome, just don't expect a pat on the back, some of us have been here a while...

first the facts:

Carmelo Anthony was going to be traded. the Denver Nuggets have eyes and they can see all the way to Cleveland. that puts the kibosh on those who actually think this was going to drag out into the summer, where a lockout awaits and a guarantee of less money for players across the board. If the Nuggets didn't trade Melo he would have signed an extension and that would have been the end of it. New York is New York, but money is money and Denver ain't all bad...

the Knicks were no better than a sixth seed in the playoffs if they stood pat. They'd be no better than a five seed next year or the year after that, and that's dependent on what the Boston Celtics become. sure, i like Raymon Felton and Wilson Chandler as players but were they weren't going to win me a championship in a league with the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls...

Chauncey Billups is old. But he's a spring chicken in comparison to Steve Nash and Jason Kidd (and myself for that matter, though Kidd is the senior in this bunch), two (three) gentlemen that do not have rings. Billups has a ring. Not just any ring. His ring came with a bonus Most Valuable Player Trophy. You find me a point guard who has that on his resume. Billups will fit the role as long Felton was scheduled to, that is, until Chris Paul or Deron Williams come knocking, and they will....

no one can check Anthony. there are a handful of players that have earned that status—Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Amare Stoudemire. what? No Lebron James? Yup, no Lebron James. James has spent most of his career playing the small forward or combo guard with a power forward's build and strength but a point guards agility. There is only one other player who fits that bill and that's Melo. Anthony is a bad match up for James and nine times out of ten, head-to-head, Carmelo eats him up. For all of the talk of how great a defensive player James is he is not a very good on-the-ball defender. sure, he runs full court to block a shot off a fast break or fills a passing lane and comes up with a steal, no one is saying he doesn't have incredible instincts but in a game last year between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Nuggets the spotlight was on two of the best in the game playing clear out basketball. Anthony not only won the game, with his drive to the hoop against James, he then stymied James into taking a 25' jump shot with the clock ticking down. it was at that moment that i hoped James would resign with Cleveland, because i'd rather have Carmelo. sure, James gets all the cred, but Anthony is his nemesis, and know one is more worried today than Lebron James...

did i say no one can check Stoudemire? its true. now imagine the space created in the paint by putting Melo at the wing, or the opposite free throw line extended. imagine the lack of double team, the frustrated looks on opposing benches during time outs when they don't know who to cover. this will be worth watching. it might take a few weeks and the Knicks might not get any better than a sixth seed in the playoffs but whoever lands in that three seed better pray for a Knick injury. Amare is my man, a modern day Larry Johnson who still has his knees (at least for now). LJ could score from anywhere inside 10 feet, before Amare he is only 6'7" power forward/center i've ever seen dominate a post. Amare is listed at 6'10" which is probably closer to 6'8" and he has the same ability to power past taller, wider players to score...

now, the thoughts...

this will be Billups' show, coach Mike D'Antoni works everything through his point guard. there will be a high screens and low screens and maybe even some Anthony/Stoudemire pick and roll. it should be interesting. defense? it will be there when it has to be, this is an offensive league no matter how many times Mark Jackson tells you any different. real defense went the way of the dodo, once Phil Jackson cried enough times about how Xavier McDaniel, Charles Oakley and John Starks used their hands too much. the Knicks will be able to score with anyone and ultimately i like my chances with a kid like Landry Fields on Wade and Anthony on James. i like the odds of Melo checking Hedo Turkgoglu and Tony Douglas putting a hand in Jameer Nelson's face when they are trying to get the ball into Dwight Howard. i like my Knicks having the chance of doing to the Bulls what the Bulls did to us. And the Celtics, well, we may have gotten a little older with this trade, but those Beantown boys have been in the oven so long they are baked. i sure would like to see that series...

all of this talk that the Knicks got older and lost defense is assinine. Danillo Gallinari was a statue who regressed offensively. i love his attitude and the kid can shoot, but so can Shawn Williams and Roger Mason...

while Felton and Chandler are two players i will miss, chances are i will forget about them over the next few years as this team challenges in the conference year after year. As much as i liked those guys, as is said before, they aren't championship players, only pieces...

and where is this future all of these naysayers are talking about? in the draft picks we don't have? we should be celebrating, Eddy Curry is gone! the world is better place today!!...

Renaldo Balkman, Sheldon Williams and Corey Brewer are all replaceable parts that don't cost much and come off teh books quickly. Balkman might even find himself at the Garden where he was once a fan favorite for his hard working style of play. my man can rebound and defend better than Chandler ever could, and if you ask me which player i'd rather have Timofey Mosgov or Balkman, i'll take Reynaldo and you can hold the gross misspelling of my name...

was it the best deal? no. the New Jersey Nets (and they will be in NJ longer than they think), would have been stealing if they were able to send draft picks Devin Harris and Derrick Favors to Denver for Carmelo. Draft picks? Favors?! HARRIS?! no one in the league wants Harris two years after he was hyped as a great young point guard by the Mark Cuban marketing machine. did the Knicks outbid themselves? possibly, but its not like they got Glen Rice this time...

the deal is done. let's be pragmatic. this team is better today than it was yesterday. it will be even better in two to three weeks. ultimately it will better when they pick up basketballs next fall or whenever they decide to play again. Amare didn't lie, the Knicks are back...

will the Knicks win a title? they certainly could, but either way it will be worth watching...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

more expirements from the lab...

two straight posts about sandwiches? really?!..

pipe down, when you work at home and by extension eat at home this is the kind of thing that inspires you...

i write to work right now, leaving me little time for creative pursuits. between expounding on the benefits of remanufactured inkjet and adult cloth diapers a mind can wander to the matter of how best to feed oneself...

in the grand tradition of the Peace in the Middle East and the Sandwich of Love (both recipes are locked in the annals of Sandwich Masters (TM), i bring you the o'Ban...


this would be a potato pancake with jalapeno, garlic and shallots coupled with ham and surrounded by swiss and cheddar cheese with mustard on cuban bread. grilled and covered...

and yes, its awesome...