Monthly Archives: November 2008

Wendel Clark

“Several years ago when I retired as a player, I stated the two proudest moments of my hockey career were when I was drafted first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs and second, the day I was named captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Clark said during a brief speech. “Tonight’s the official hat trick.” [link]

That night (last night) was the night his number was retired with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I guess this is proof that I wasn’t a Leafs fan in the 80’s, because I don’t remember him as a big enforcer.  When I think “wild-eyed 5-minute major for fighting”, I think Tie Domi.  But You-Tube has plenty of reminders of just how much this guy gave for the game, and for the Leafs.  I do remember the McSorley/Gilmour debacle, as that was the year I became a Leafs fan.

[man, at 0:41 there is a moment when McSorley looks like he could have gone end-over-end, and Clark would have had the better of him…  all but for 1/16th of an edge of ice.]

Before that, in the 80’s, when I wasn’t much of a fan, my new friends at summer camp tried to convince me that Wendel Clarke was their uncle.  It didn’t take much convincing, since I was all like “Wendel who?”  And it turns out that the joke was really on me, as they were “Clarke” and he was “Clark”, but that didn’t stop me from asking how their uncle was doing…  I guess the joke continues to be on me.

It’s weird being in Washington, and having the captian here be number 17 with the name Clark; now there’s hardly a game that goes by that I don’t think about Mr. Wendel.

Also makes me wonder if time will be so kind to Mr. Sundin, who has clearly been one of the most prolific Leafs, but who is leaving under such strained circumstances.

Whatev; looks like Gilmour is getting his due — his number will be raised in Toronto on Jan. 31.

More Wendel — All Heart:

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HDisappointed

any idea what’s up with network TV lately?  for a while there, we were getting many programs in letterbox format, even on standard def (4:3 aspect ratio) TVs.  The Office, 30 Rock, SNL — I’m watching these shows on DVR yesterday, and they’re back to full-screen (4:3) when it was clearly shot in widescreen.  on DVD they make this work with “pan and scan“, which is awkward, but at least you don’t miss the relevant visuals.  with SNL, there was one skit where I was watching only Tim McGraw at a Thanksgiving dinner-table, when clearly I should have been able to see the mental-patient to his left and his wife to his right.

30 Rock and The Office were just as bad, with people talking to people off-screen that clearly should have been on-screen.

I have no problem with black bars on the top/bottom of my screen; I have a huge problem with not being able to see 40% of the action in the shows.  has anyone else notices this, and is there anything we can do about it?

I guess my cable does have HD channels for these shows, and maybe I can watch them on my non-HD TV… or maybe we just need to go HD.  if that’s your recommendation, please send it to my wife.

[dude:  I just hit the FOXHD channel to catch the end of the Redskins game, and even on my non-HD set, it looks much better than the standard definition channel…  looks like a short-term solution.]

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genius — words escape me

I get teary-eyed just looking at it.

What you are looking at, ladies and gents, is what we at A Hamburger Today are calling the Hamburger Fatty Melt. Lemme give you the smack on this meat stack. From top to bottom:

  • Grilled cheese sandwich as bun top
  • Four-ounce beef patty
  • Grilled cheese sandwich as bottom bun

Got that? It’s a burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches as its bun.

No, I have not tried to make one.  Not yet.

Of course, this wasn’t enough for some people; thus the Bacon Hambuger Fatty Melt and the (frankly ridiculous) Double(!) Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt — I’d post an image, but it makes me nauseous.  Click through on the Bacon Hambuger Fatty Melt if you dare witness this beast.

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Filed under healthcare, hope I die before I get old

interesting thought as 100,000 (and Oprah) gather to hear Obama speak…

“The darkest moments in world history have occurred during the confluence of a bad economy and a charismatic leader.”  Tim Slagle

not that I’m expecting the worst, but then nobody expects the worst at moments like this — they’re too wrapped up in the Audacity of Hope and Change they can Believe In.

they’re calling it Obama-palooza.  meh.

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Filed under fear of the day, politics

game changer?

I know the night is early and there are a lot of votes out in California, but I’m looking at Obama 13,786,707 — McCain 13,533, 528 as the popular vote stands right now.

That’s Obama’s 49.9% to McCain’s 49.2%.

Sure, the electoral college is 174 (Obama) to 69 (McCain), but where is the big landslide?  Where is all the rejection of the Republican party?  Where is the mandate for Change?

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voting zen

it’s a kind of eeiry, peaceful feeling, knowing that you’re voting for the loser.  no need to go home and fire up CNN + Politico and breathlessly wait out the evening.  knowing that you didn’t just choose between the lesser of two evils, and that no matter whether it’s a blue landslide or an upset for the ages, you have four years worth of “I didn’t vote for that guy” in your back pocket.

the gentle self-delusion that I’ve “voted on principle” is still fresh.  both candidates had substantial parts of their platforms, and especially their rhetoric, that made it impossible for me to consider either one less undeserving than the other… a sample:

To both men I say, to paraphrase Gordon Gekko, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”

GEKKO TIMEOUT:

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good.

Greed is right.

Greed works.

Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.

And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

where was I…

  • Obama: “McCain wants to give tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas”; technically true, but an unintended consequence and not something McCain is trying to reward companies for doing*.  Kind of like how Obama’s ‘tax breaks’ are going to go to murderers, drunk-drivers, and rapists — those are unintended consequences, like wind farms (ostensibly good) killing birds (not so good).
  • McCainFeingold.  Still shaking my head over that one.
  • Obama’s tax breaks — call me a skeptic, but I don’t believe 95% of Americans are getting one.  I’ll let you know when I file my 1040 in April 2010; but I’ll bet you I’ll be paying more (as my top marginal rate and as a percentage of total income).  Obama’s commercials even said “95% of Working Americans” at one point, and I’ll bet Working Americans will be re-defined as they see fit (ie. working-class, not working=employed).
  • the utopia of “Green Jobs” (both candidates) — I posted on this before.  And something tells me I’ll be throwing something at the screen when I hear about Green Jobs during the victory speech tonight.  A pox on both their houses.
  • the scurge of “Foreign Oil” (both candidates) — the oil market is a global one, and discriminating against foreign oil makes about as much sense as discriminating against foreign cars, electricity, timber, anything.  And before you call me crazy, yes, there is plenty of ‘foreign’ electricity in the United States — from the same place that is the #1 source of imported oil (Canada; I know, this beat is getting old, isn’t it?  but it’s true…)
  • Obama: “I will make college affordable for every American. Period.” — if college is worth the investment (cost/benefit-wise, and I don’t think it is for everyone), people can find a way to finance it.  There are more financing options, and just alternative options (online, etc), available today than there has ever been before.  State schools and community colleges can be real bargains — but everybody wants to talk about how many million dollars it costs to put a kid through Harvard…

and #1 (shared)

  • Obama: “Barack Obama will make health insurance affordable and accessible to all” — again, with the “I can unilaterally make all things affordable AND accessible” line…  and you wonder why people call him a socialist.
  • McCain: “Better Care, At Lower Cost, for Every American” — I know they differ in the details, but every bit as grandiose and unrealistic.  Where is the straight talk?

Alright, this is getting less and less zen every moment, and I realize it’s all too late to convince you to change your vote.  Besides, I’ve got to go — only 2 more hours before the polls close and I lock-down in my CNN/Politico stupor.

* although if you could demonstrate that it’s an area where the US lacks comparative advantage, I would actually advocate tax breaks to actively ship those jobs overseas… it’s time we focus on what America does best, and not on industries that are little more than baggage from the Agricultural and Industrial ages…

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Filed under politics

McMarginalized

you know that thing people sometimes say, when they’re trying not to sound racist or bigoted, that only makes them sound vaguely racist/bigoted as well as kind of hokey and old-fashioned… they say something like:

I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, orange, purple, whatever…

because sure, there are yellow people.  and when they refer to the Orange, I can give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they’re referring to the faketan set.  but then they have to say Purple, and we all know there are no purple people.  not on this planet anyway.

so I heard a soundbite from McCain this morning, where he encouraged everyone to get out and vote:

“Republicans, Democrats, libertarians… vegetarians — whatever!”

right, because libertarians are about as viable as a constituency as vegetarians.

probability that I’d vote for McCain —
yesterday:  20%
as of this morning:  0%

[update:  turns out he’s used this phrase more than once, going back as far as the 2000 campaign.  but I was shocked, SHOCKED, when I heard it this morning…]

[update2:  the old fart is back on SNL tonight on their Election special… doesn’t he know that won’t get him any votes?  doesn’t he realize they’re making fun of him every second he’s on their show, behind his back, without him seeming to realize it?  it’s agonizing — almost worth a sympathy vote– NO NO, he’s not suckering me into a sympathy vote…]

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