Sunday, December 10, 2006

UNDERWHELMING Sports developments...
Maybe all of this proves that sports shouldn't be taken seriously!

Arizona: That's the way the ball bounces...Coach Dennis Erickson, who led the Idaho Vandals to all kinds of football glory years ago, came back for a second stint in VandalVille. He'd coached in the NFL, and in several different states before landing again in Moscow and promising grrreat things. So, was the "Erickson Magic" back in Vandalville? You be the judge; under his tutelage last year, the Vandals had a 4-8 record. Erickson has now migrated over to Arizona State; he is now officially the coach there. I guess Erickson must be a great coach if another school wants him after a PATHETIC LOSING SEASON AT IDAHO.

Rumor has it that Erickson (am I misspelling his last name?) must stay at least one season, and must remain at Arizona State long enough to take the flack just in case they have a losing season. See, when yer a Vandal Coach, and you wanna change affiliations, you can just move out in the middle of the night, slinking like a snake noiselessly 'till yer out of sight, sorta like when the original Cleveland Browns football team moved out in the middle of the night and re-located in another town. I just wonder how dumb, stupified and incredulous Vandal Boosters must be these days.

Gosh, maybe I can get $55 million, too...After all, I too, can throw a baseball. And I have a hard time throwing it where I want it to go. And the ball I throw will be super easy to hit, that is, if I don't walk the batter, which I would probably do. That means me and former (yes, I said former) Mariners Pitcher GIL MECHE have a lot in common. He's shown flashes of brilliance, which have been dimmed by his consistent mediocrity. Seattle just got tired of waiting for him to do something good. And another team is paying Gil $55 MILLION over five years! That's just gotta work out to several-thousand-dollars a PITCH! I think Gil Meche as a pitcher is sorta like Brian Bosworth as a football player. The "Boz" is probably STILL making money offa that big contract he & the 'Hawks agreed to long ago. Can you say "washout"? I knew ya could...

Word has it that the market for pitchers for the 2007 baseball season is not good. Seattle will once again be stuck trying to dip into their farm system to see if there's any pitchers who have promise. Such as RAFAEL SORIANO, the hard-throwing right-hand setup man that SEATTLE GOT RID OF in this off-season. He was one of Seattle's most powerful pitchers. And the M's, in all their bumbling, stumbling glory, got rid of him. In a twisted way, it makes sense. It IS Seattle, after all. If the Mariners don't get at least one more quality starter, they once again will finish with a sub-.500 record at the end of the '07 season. I guess it's a good thing I don't take sports too seriously, huh?

Well, maybe this is the kind of blog entry I'll continue to feature here, if indeed I decide to keep this thing going. Maybe I'll write better, now that I'm not using photos. Well, I can't get any worse, right? I said, rrrrright???

Saturday, December 09, 2006

That's what my 1972 high school class motto said, anyway...

Last week, someone or something hacked into my computer. The hard drive is FRIED. I lost all my files, all my pictures, and my handy-dandy "Roboform" program which took me automatically to pre-selected websites. Now I hafta surf the old-fashioned way...I have to actually re-remember all of my passwords. As a matter of fact, I wasn't sure I'd even be able to get into this blogsite, but I guess my own organic memory-chips are functional. Although sometimes I think my brain needs de-fragging.

So, I am typing this using a new computer tower that a friend gave to me. He's gonna fix my old tower and keep it for himself, I guess. That's okay; even tho that other tower was a bit faster, all I use the computer for is blogging, surfing and Ebay. I read in the newspaper this week that younger computer users are more into "instant messaging" while old folks (guess I'm one, huh?) tend to e-mail more. I don't have to be connected 24-7, alla the frickin' time. So, the end of my old computer means, the beginning of a new computer, and as such, probably a new difference in this blog. Probably not as many pictures as before.

Well, in Coeur d'Alene, there should be enough going on now, to keep gossipmongers happy for another half-decade...a computer-porn scandal at the Kootenai County Courthouse, and the unwarranted firing of KVNI radio man-about-town Dick Haugen. It looks like the Courthouse should start playing it safe, while KVNI should play it less safe. Dick Haugen was the town's main voice in the morning; he had numerous business and political connections. The KXLY broadcast group, based in Spokane, Washington, obviously doesn't care; it owns KVNI, and can hire and fire at will. KXLY values the CDA market, but obviously they don't care what Coeur d'Alene residents think. I have no idea why Mr. Haugen was "torched", and only the powers-that-be know for sure. And get this...he was fired two days after his father's funeral. With Christmas, a time of joy and remembrance fast approaching. Happy holi-DAZE!

KVNI's heaviest advertising period of the day was when Dick Haugen was on the air. His morning show was a concentrated 3-hour dose of everything that's happening here in the area. And he worked long and hard. To prepare for a show that starts at 6am, well, you're there long before 6am! And then he'd turn around and do 'color' for local evening sports broadcasts, and pull all-nighters during election time, running down the results. But that's the modern-day workplace, where all the parts are interchangeable, so Mr. Haugen will get replaced with some wet-behind-the-ears yuppie, or, heaven forbid, AUTOMATION...anyway, another prominent voice in the wilderness, gone. Good luck, Dick. Everything will work out for ya. Every end is a beginning, after all.

Finally, my house has sold. A new place awaits. The end of my time here in Coeur d'Alene is the beginning of my existence in a small town on the Oregon Coast. I have needed a change in scene for much, much too long. Coeur d'Alene will always have a giant piece of my heart. I grew up here, got most of my education here, and undeniably, this place has large a part of my heart. I have many good and bad memories of things that have happened to me here in North Idaho. And I've felt really depressed here. I guess I'm trying to "shake things up" a bit.

The place I'm going to is smaller, more laid back, and if you can imagine this, it's over 60 miles away from the nearest interstate highway. I look forward to walking the beaches; to not have to worry about below-zero cold in the winter and scorching temps in the summer. How long will I stay down there? It's open-ended. Maybe forever, maybe not. But I've gotta try this. I'm getting to the age where, if I don't do it now, I'll never do it. So, every end is a beginning. And "change" is the only thing that's constant.

It'll take me a little while to get the computer up and running down there, but when that happens, I'll lurk, blurk, and perhaps even comment at "huckleberries". Regarding this blog, I don't know what I'm going to do yet. It's hard to concentrate with all of this stuff piled up in my living room, boxes and boxes of things waiting to get moved. So, all I can say now is "take care", and as the Desiderata advocates, "strive to be happy".

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

...if I hear those...
once more, I'm gonna turn into a GRINCH!

Just lately, it's struck me how stupid some of the "secular" (politically-correct) Christmas songs that we hear, mostly against our wills, every December, actually, here, in no particular order, I present my TOP FIVE STUPID CHRISTMAS SONGS...

"Winter Wonderland" features a moronic couple who actually go out to brave the blizzard, for the purpose of building a Snowman and pretending he's a "Parson". SAY WHAT??? Well, if the parson does the job when they're in town, and the couple gets married, I'd say they DESERVE each other!

"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" earns its first demerit by having an ultra-repetitive, and ultimately nauseating, title. I know all of us snow-haters feel that way. In the song, the guy braves a howling blizzard to trudge to his girlfriend's place to pop some POPCORN? Say WHAT??? And after they finish "goodbye-ing", she sends him back out in the cold to trudge home, possibly getting lost and dying of frostbite. Yeah, that's practical, ain't it?

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is just INANE. I'm just sick of it, for no particular reason. Of course, one can imagine the teary-eyed disappointment each youngster feels when he learns that reindeer can't fly any more than George W. Bush can be an effective Prezzident. I am sure kids everywhere have suffered severe trauma in realizing that yes, Rudolph is but a myth. And, an EARTHBOUND myth at that.

"Feliz Navidad" was well-recorded, well-sung, and it's a bright and cheery tune, as sung by Jose Feliciano. Only, poor ol' Jose probably wishes he'd never recorded it, because it REPEATS THE SAME PHRASE AD NAUSEUM FOR 3 AND A HALF MINUTES. I'm sick of it after a MINUTE and a half.

"Jingle Bells", although tuneful, cites a circumstance I can't even imagine. Once, I went on a night-time hayride with a church group when I was a kid. It was October at the time, and I froze my *****'s off. So why would I wanna get into a sleigh and go "dashing through the snow", when it's COLDER? No Thanks. With my luck, I'd get a horse that had been fed "Beef-a-rino". (You Seinfeld fans will be able to relate to that one!)

But, never fear; I have found a way to make even the most idiotic Holiday dirge a fun, pleasant, and (relatively) harmless experience...imagine, if you will, in front of your Christmas Tree, the Beatles are all set up and ready to deliver their own versions of Christmas Carols...they begin with the chords to "Eight Days a Week", only to transform it into "Let It Snow!...". Or, they start off with the opening lick to "Baby's In Black", only to end up singing the lyrics to "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"...

Imagine, if you can, the Beatles opening with the rocking intro to "I Saw Her Standing There", only to have it transmogrify into "Rudolph...", or, perhaps, they do "Frosty The Snowman" in the style of "Mr. Moonlight" about "later" Beatles stylings; imagine the drone of sitars and tablas and other Indian instruments, a la "Sgt. Pepper", only instead, you hear the lyrics to "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"?

Well, on the two CD's recorded by the Fab Four (a Beatles' sound-alike band) (one of which is visible at right), they do all that, and more. Their treatment of "Blue Christmas" is absolutely hilarious. If you've heard the "White Album", you're familiar with the 'shoo-be-doo' version of "Revolution"; here, the Fab Four take it and insert the lyrics to "Blue Christmas", which probably has Elvis doing cartwheels in his grave! One more hilarious Christmas "sendup" they do...if you're familiar with "Tomorrow Never Knows" from the "Revolver" album, the "Fabs" take that terminally weird and chaotic song and insert the lyrics from "Jingle Bells"! Hilarious stuff.

Aw, look at the hungry little birds: I went and fed the ducks and seagulls today. The ducks get desperately hungry in the cold. I sat in my car with the door open and tossed bread to them. The ducks were whimpering and stepping all over each other to get food. One duck actually climbed INTO MY CAR and leaped on me, trying to get food. I got to pet the duck. Awwwwww.....and after they've had their fill, they still hang around to get more, but they're calmer; I guess a full stomach tends to do that. The gulls squawk and scream, and they get bread too. And being surrounded by all of that bird-life makes me feel better somehow.

Relocation update: I haven't relocated yet. Duh! My real-estate woman tells me all is going according to plan, and that by mid-month, I won't be seeing snow in massive quantities anymore. It rains quite a bit where I'm headed...but, you don't have to SHOVEL rain, after all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

And, thanks to those folks in the County COURTHOUSE, we've got one!

"In disguise with all their backing, they don't care what goes on around...
In their lives, there's something lacking, what they needs' a damn good whacking...
(George Harrison's Beatle Song, "Piggies", on the 'White Album'...)

I think that in order to properly address this situation, you would have to take the tone of a dog owner who's just discovered that Fido has chewed his favorite slippers into smithereens. "Bad, BAAAAAD DOG!", you would probably say. And then you would find the nearest newspaper or magazine, roll it up and whack 'im a couple of times. (I can just see foaming-at-the-mouth animal-rights activists trying to find out where I'm at so they can whack ME...)

Well, you would take that canine's admonishment, modify it a bit, and enter the Kootenai County Courthouse, and try to find ANYONE (well, not a judge, but you know what I mean), and say, "Bad Employee...Bad, BAAAAAD employee!" Why? Because it's just come to light that some county employees in the Kootenai County Courthouse have been using taxpayer-purchased computers, to send all kinds of smutty messages to co-workers, during the workday, in which they earn money provided by, you guessed it, the TAXPAYERS. Bad, BAAAAAD Employees!!! WHACK!!!

If you jump on over to, you can read more about what's been going on at our tarnished hall of justice. And, it seems the higher-profile the position, the more likely the employee is going to offend. This thing involves D.A.'s, prosecutors and other courthouse employees, and falls just short of almost being approved by one of the head cheeses, who has viewed all of the clamor surrounding this misuse of computers as a "distraction", something that's getting in the way of everyday business. Well, DUH, you BET it is!

So all kinds of new-fangled computer policies are going to be initiated. It's inevitable. No, they're not going to rig up a system that gives you a violent electric shock every time you type a dirty word...and if you call up an off-color picture and send it to someone, you're not going to get hit in the face with a custard pie by the Computer Nazi looking over your shoulder...those kinds of things, after all, would be too expensive. We wouldn't want to waste taxpayer dollars, after all...

But I have it on good authority, that instead, a preventative measure is being taken. Every courthouse employee who has access to a computer will see the following image after they hit the "on" button...

...I hope it works...but somehow I think this might be a bit too subtle to have any kind of effect...if this message is going to work, the individual reading it needs to have at least a BIT of good ol' common sense. And, tragically, that's a rapidly diminishing entity in ALL levels of government. How do you think George W. Bush got re-elected?

By the way, there's no truth to the rumor that one of the qualifications for a Kootenai County Courthouse job is that you have a healthy death wish. At least, I don't think so...