Friday, October 30, 2009

Sleepless in Wayzata

I had a gut wrenching, isolated talk with a 10 year old boy tonight at our Halloween party. This boy has endured unspeakable tragedy recently. His Dad, my age, just died; no warning. My words to the distraught boy, which I deemed well selected at the time, seem empty in retrospect. The only thing that I could think of, in general substance conveyed over several minutes, was that "as unfair as this is, you have got to keep going on living your life one day at a time, while always honoring his memory." After an hour in bed trying to figure out how I might have selected my words differently, and still coming up empty, I gave up and got up seeking a way to distract my thoughts. So far, it isn't working.

What do you say to a 10 year old who just lost a parent?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another edition of "Not from the Onion"

I saw this story headline on an airport TV screen today and I had to look it up when I got home (3 hours late) to find out whether CNN was actually serious.
Mate debate: Is monogamy realistic?

. . . . In the age of hookups, friends with benefits and online dating, and as human life expectancy grows, is it still reasonable to expect people to pair up and stay monogamous until death do them part?

"It's realistic that some people can mate for life in the same sense that some people can play the Beethoven violin concerto or other people can ice-skate beautifully or learn a new language," said psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton.

You have to be exceptionally gifted to maintain a monogamous relationship?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Polanski

One of my few readers has figured out what will enrage me. Hat-tip: DG.

I believe that there is such a thing as a victimless crime. But Polanski's crime does not fit into that category.

Gore Vidal.

In September, director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for leaving the U.S. in 1978 before being sentenced to prison for raping a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson’s house in Hollywood. During the time of the original incident, you were working in the industry, and you and Polanski had a common friend in theater critic and producer Kenneth Tynan. So what’s your take on Polanski, this many years later?

I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of? . . .

What do you mean?

The media can’t get anything straight. Plus, there’s usually an anti-Semitic and anti-fag thing going on with the press – lots of crazy things. The idea that this girl was in her communion dress, a little angel all in white, being raped by this awful Jew, Polacko – that’s what people were calling him – well, the story is totally different now from what it was then.

A "respected" author suggesting that the 13 year old girl had it coming? And I am anti-Semitic and homophobic for disapproving of an adult male sodomizing a 13 year girl?

I'm not a tough guy, but if any guy said that in front of me and I thought he was serious, I'm not sure that I could resist the urge to punch him. If we aren't committed to protecting children, we are worthless as a society. Gore Vidal is a disgrace of a human being.

Monday, October 26, 2009


In 1950, Detroit was the 4th largest city in the United States. I have business there this week. My airfare was $1300. Today, that amount would be more than enough to put 20% down on a decent house there. And they can't even give away land. And the City's football team was the first to ever go 0-16 last year. Other than that, everything is going great.

Adrian Peterson highlight

I'm not going to post the game highlights as I don't want to see them again, but this particular play must be preserved. It will be remembered for a long time. The quote from the guy he ran over was that "He can't be human."

It reminds me of the first play on this Earl Campbell highlight video. I will never forget the hurt that he put on that guy.

Brett Favre's return to Lambeau

Yesterday was disappointing. The Vikings clearly could have won that game but for 2 bad plays and 1 horrible penalty call by an official that wiped out a Vikings' touchdown.* But they weren't going to go undefeated this year, and losing to the defending Super Bowl Champions at their house is not shameful.

I wonder if there is going to be any attention for the Vikes game next week. Let's check the schedule. Oh, yeah, it is the Packers at Lambeau. Homecoming weekend of a sort.

From StubHub.

Time Left to Purchase: 2d 2h 22m
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Tickets
Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 3:15 PM (CST) at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI
Section: Lower Level Sideline 115
Row: 1
Price:$2,999.00 each
Quantity: 2

This is the most ridiculous price that I could find for a non-suite ticket, but a serious premium will be necessary to score any ticket to this game. It should be fun.

* Peter King: "This game should have gone to OT after a Vikings field goal knotted it at 20, or the Vikings should have had a touchdown with less than a minute to go -- leading to a narrow victory."

Sunday, October 25, 2009


The NY Times is repeating this story. So I will too. This is an amazing young man.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Edition of "Not from The Onion"

"Sicilian prefers prison to house arrest with wife"

Marathon snobbery

As someone who has (1) run a marathon in extreme humidity on a course where the last 7 miles were uphill (Twin Cities: 4 hours 25 minutes), (2) run a second marathon on a flat course in perfect long distance running weather (Phoenix: 4 hours 10 minutes), and (3) walked a marathon with my wife on the hilliest course possible that ended with her in the emergency room after she battled through pain and tears just to finish (Bar Harbor: 7 hours, 3o minutes), I think that I have standing to comment on this New York Times article.

Every weekend during this fall marathon season, long after most runners have completed the 26.2-mile course — and very likely after many have showered, changed and headed for a meal — a group of stragglers crosses the finish

Many of those slower runners, claiming that late is better than never, receive a finisher’s medal just like every other participant. Having traversed the same route as the fleeter-footed runners — perhaps in twice the amount of time — they get to call themselves marathoners.

And it’s driving some hard-core runners crazy.

And my comment is this: "Take the stick out of your butt and your nose out of the air, people." The faster runners never see the people behind them after the first 1/4 mile. Are you saying that it somehow degrades your accomplishment if someone doesn't finish by some arbitrary time that you consider worthy? If the City and the event organizers are willing to leave the roads open and to provide services until everyone who wants to finish gets to finish, why should you care?

And how many of you sub 4-hour marathoners can break 85 on a regulation golf course? If not, by your logic, I guess that you should be banned from even playing the game. I mean, when you shoot 100, it must make a mockery of an 80 that I shot 2 hours earlier. Why, I'm not sure; it just does.*

(*To be clear, I also don't object to organizers setting a time limit, just like I don't object to St. Andrews requiring proof of an 18 handicap or less to play golf there. But if an event or destination wants to market for the masses and you don't approve, don't go. Don't bitch that someone who you consider to be inferior somehow crashed your party.)

This is too weird

Link. The flight voice recorder will eventually reveal the true story.

Contact with the Northwest Airlines plane was lost for an hour as it flew at 37,000ft, sparking hijack fears.

The crew said they had been distracted by a "heated discussion" but officials will check if they had fallen asleep. . .

The plane's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder have been taken from the plane and are being sent to the board's laboratory in Washington, DC.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not from The Onion

UPDATE: Maybe the first report regarding the "facts" weren't 100% accurate. My sympathy for this guy is now on hold.

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Eric Williamson faces an indecent exposure charge after a passerby saw him in the buff in his own home making coffee.

It happened at 5:30 a.m. Monday. Channel 5 reports the woman and 7-year-old boy who saw him naked apparently had cut through Williamson's front yard from a nearby path. . .

They were trespassing, they looked in this guy's window while it was dark outside so he would not have been able to see that they were there, and they then called the police because he was naked in his own house. And the police arrested him. Are you kidding me?

Glenn Beck is insane

He truly is Howard Beale.

“We call them progressives [i.e., liberals] now, but back in Samuel Adams’ day, they used to call them tyrants. A little later, I think they were also called slave owners,"
- Glenn Beck.

Drunkest guy ever . . .

. . . caught on security camera.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Charley Walters is a dope

The Vikings' strength is defensive line, with stars Jared Allen and Kevin Williams. But they could make it even stronger by trading for another defensive lineman . . .

Although they already have Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, the Vikings could also add depth at running back by trading a precious draft pick for another running back. (And I could add depth at my canine position by trading Jack the Cat for a 4th dog.) Or maybe, just maybe, it would make more sense to consider trading for a defensive back, a position at which we need immediate help.

How he gets paid for this dribble is one of the great mysteries in this world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vikings: 6-0

Highlights. Based on my behavior, my wife declared me to be insane after the Ravens' last second field goal went wide left. She just does not get it. But I love her regardless of her faults.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Interesting question

Link. Read it all.
People can, and undoubtedly will, argue for some time about whether President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Meanwhile, though, there's a simpler and more immediate question: Does the Constitution allow him to accept the award?

Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, the emolument clause, clearly stipulates: "And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State."

This sounds like a technicality, but if it is unconstitutional without explicit congressional consent, it is unconstitutional. We can't just decide that we will respect about some parts of the Constitution but not others because they aren't that important. Out of respect for the Constitution, Congress should pass a resolution authorizing Obama to accept the Prize.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Words escape me


NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told he Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

I don't even know what to say.


The situation in Pakistan is starting to make me very nervous. The Taliban with nuclear weapons would not be a tolerable situation. I hope that people smarter than me have a strategy.

Monday, October 12, 2009


If you look at the boxscore, you will find that a woeful St. Louis team had more first downs and more total yards than the Vikings. Yet, it was a blowout on the scoreboard, 38-10. (Highlights here.) But not a truly dominating performance. Two weeks from now, after we have played Baltimore and Pittsburgh, we will know a lot more about this club.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Cub Scout camping

My son and I leave tomorrow morning for an overnight Cub Scout camp where there will be approximately 5000 Cub Scouts, plus 5000 parents, and we will sleep in tents. If that is not crazy enough, the forecast for tomorrow is for a high temperature of 37 degrees (with snow flurries) and an overnight low of 24 degrees. Jealous?

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Seriously? For what? Speeches? Listen, I voted for Obama, and I think that he has made some good foreign policy moves, but he has also stumbled. And what has actuallly been accomplished so far?

Richard Cohen is sarcastic:

In a stunning announcement, Millard Fillmore Senior High School chose Shawn Rabinowitz, an incoming junior, as next year’s valedictorian. The award was made, the valedictorian committee announced from Norway of all places, on the basis of “Mr. Rabinowitz’s intention to ace every course and graduate number one in class.” In a prepared statement, young Shawn called the unprecedented award, “f---ing awesome.”

At the same time, and amazingly enough, the Pulitzer Prize for Literature went to Sarah Palin for her stated intention “to read a book someday.” The former Alaska governor was described as “floored” by the award, announced in Stockholm by nude Swedes beating themselves with birch branches, and insisted that while she was very busy right now, someday she would make good on her vow to read a book. “You’ll see,” she said from her winter home in San Diego.

James Joyner notes that Ronald Reagan was not ever awarded the prize despite the fact that he actually won the Cold War without a shot fired.

This smells like a situation where a person is promoted at work over a more experienced and proven co-worker based on looks. It cheapens the award.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Twins win division

Unbelievable. Both going 17-4 in the last 21 games to come from 7 games back in September (and 3 games back with 4 to play, which has never been done bef0re), and the play-in game itself.

This is the quote from Ron Gardenhire, the Twins manager: "We witnessed one of the best baseball games I have ever been a part of in my whole life."

And this is from a writer for the Detroit Free Press after he described the ups and downs of the game: "This was one of the most amazing games any of us have ever seen."

And this from the beat writer for the Twins: "What a night. Unreal."

If I were a Yankee fan, I would be nervous.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Favre had an almost perfect game to beat the Packers. It is feels great and weird at the same time. Here are the hightlights. And Jared Allen was an animal on defense. Sometimes it is really fun to be a football fan.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

My sports teams

The next 2 days, and possibly 3 days if the Twins have a playoff game, are going to be so much fun.

Twins vs. Tigers battle for the title on the last day of the season after the Twins were a supposedly insurmountable 7 games back in the last month
For the third time in four years, the Twins enter the final day of the regular season with a chance to win the American League Central.
Vikings vs. Packers on MNF, with Favre at quarterback for the Vikings.
"This is probably the most anticipated game I think, for a regular season game, that I've ever been a part of," Leber said.
I stocked up on Budweiser.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Baseball's code

I really wish that I better understood baseball's unwritten code. Like whether or not it is acceptable to try to steal signs, when it becomes unacceptable to try to steal bases, and when a beaning is not only acceptable, but the beaned batter does not get mad at the pitcher for the beaning, but his own teammate for provoking it. Heck, our manager said that "[t]hey did the right thing” by intentionally hitting one of our players with a baseball at 90 mph.