Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Catfish overpower West Virginia

The Columbus Catfish held the West Virginia Power (Brewers) to three hits en route to a 4-0 win tonight. Heath Rollins pitched 7 innings, striking out 5, as he picked up his 12th win.

The Catfish touched up West Virginia starter Chris Toneguzzi for 4 runs in the 1st inning. Desmond Jennings led off with a double to left, then moved to third on a sacrifice attempt by John Matulia that Toneguzzi misplayed. Cesar Suarez singled, scoring Jennings. With 1 out, Ryan Royster hit his 16th home run of the year, a 3-run shot over the right field wall, putting the Catfish up 4-0.

The Catfish loaded the bases in the 3rd inning, but were unable to score. They only had one base runner the rest of the way, a 6th inning single by Seth Dhaenens. It was enough as Rollins was overpowering, as was reliever Ryan Reid, who pitched 2 perfect innings, striking out two.

The win keeps the Catfish in 2nd place, 2-1/2 games behind division leading Asheville. The series with North Division 1st half champ West Virginia continues Wednesday night.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Catfish power past West Virginia

After a slow start, the Columbus Catfish caught fire and powered their way past the West Virginia Power (Brewers) 6-2 tonight.

Down 2-0 after 2-1/2 innings, the Catfish began their comeback. With 1 out, C Craig Albernaz was hit by a pitch, and moved to third when SS Jairo De La Rosa singled, and West Virginia RF Chuck Caufield bobbled the ball. Albernaz scored ahead of a throw home from 1B Andrew Lefave, after Lefave fielded a grounder by CF Desmond Jennings.

In the Catfish 5th inning, 1B Matthew Fields led off with a walk, then Albernaz singled to left. A botched pickoff attempt let Fields advance to third. A De La Rosa single scored Fields. Albernaz moved to third on a fielder's choice that left Jennings at first, and scored on a sacrifice fly by RF John Matulia, putting the Catfish up 3-2.

The Catfish added another run in the 7th when Jennings, who reached on a 2-out walk, scored on a triple by Matulia.

In the 8th, Stewart led with a walk, and moved to second on a botched pickoff attempt. With 2 outs, Stewart advanced to third on a wild pitch. A single by Fields scored Stewart, putting the Catfish up 5-2.

Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson picked up his 9th win of the year, going 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 5. Brian Baker and Neal Frontz pitched 2 perfect innings each. Baker hasn't allowed an earned run in 6 straight appearances since July 8. Frontz earned his team-leading 13th save.

De La Rosa broke out of a 2-for-26 slump, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. He was the only Catfish with more than one hit, but they made the hits count.

The win leaves the Catfish 2 games behind division-leading Asheville, and pulls them to within a half-game of 2nd place Charleston.

Mystery solved

While we were vacationing in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that didn't make sense.

Now, I realize that saying something in Las Vegas didn't make sense isn't saying a whole lot. But still, something caught my eye.

We were staying at Harrah's, and they had signs up all over advertising the shows and events going on there. One of them was for comedian Rita Rudner.

Notice it says she is "Comedian of the Year." Remember that. Click the picture for a bigger view, if you need it.

One of the places we went to while we were in Las Vegas was the Sahara. And, just like Harrah's and every other place there, they had signs up all over advertising the shows and events going on there. One of them was for comedian The Amazing Johnathan.

Notice it says she is "Comedian of the Year." Click the picture for a bigger view, if you need it.

Now, that seems to not make sense. Two different comedians who are comedian of the year.

Unless ...

Follow me, now. I've never seen The Amazing Johnathan and Rita Rudner at the same place at the same time.

I'm thinking they are really the same person.

Sure, they look different. But I think that's just an act. It is Vegas, after all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Catfish drop finale to Augusta

The Columbus Catfish dropped the final game of their series with the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants), 10-7 Saturday night.
Cesar Suarez and Ryan Royster each had two RBIs and Desmond Jennings went 3-for-4 with three runs scored for the Catfish (20-15).

Columbus starter Ryan Morse (3-5) gave up seven runs on 12 hits with one strikeout over five frames to remain winless in 18 outings, including seven starts, since May 2.

The Catfish open an 8-game home stand Monday night with the first of four against West Virginia.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Catfish take series from Augusta, seek sweep

The Columbus Catfish have won three straight from the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants). Thursday night, the beat Augusta 5-2 behind the pitching of Heath Rollins.
Rollins (11-4) allowed two runs on seven hits without walking a batter en route to his third win in four starts. He fanned nine on two previous occasions this season, the last coming on May 14 against the GreenJackets.

The 22-year-old right-hander leads the South Atlantic League with 118 strikeouts.

Neal Frontz worked around a single in the ninth for his 12th save as the Catfish (19-14) won their second straight.

Ryan Royster went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and Quinn Stewart homered and drove in three runs for Columbus.

On Friday night, Quinn Stewart provided one of the offensive highlights, as the Catfish won 6-2.
Stewart, who went 2-for-4, smacked his 16th homer in the first inning and doubled in the sixth before reaching on an error and scoring in the eighth.

Nevin Ashley and Brett Grandstrand ripped RBI doubles and Matthew Fields lined a run-scoring single for the Catfish (20-14).

Reliever Wilton Noel (3-1) gave up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out three over five innings for the win. Starter Will Kline allowed two hits and three walks while fanning one in three scoreless frames.

The Catfish go for the sweep tonight against Augusta before taking a day off Sunday, and returning home Monday for an 8-game home stand. They host West Virginia and Lexington.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pod people

Normally, I'm the one to go for the little gadgets and such. Like the PDA. I bought a PDA a little while back. The Wife was not impressed. True, she uses it more than I do, but only to play Bubble Breaker or Sudoku or some such.

The TiVo was my idea, too. It records her two soaps every day. And a bunch of John Wayne westerns for her, too. But she again thought it was a bad idea. Even though she wanted to make sure that when the year-long contract was up, we kept the service. And we have.

A laptop computer was my idea. She was a little bit warmer to that idea than most, but still, there was some hesitancy about it.

Well, I think things have changed.

Guess who has an iPod?

No, not me.

The Wife does.

True, it's the little iPod Shuffle. The real small, brushed aluminum one that can clip on to a sleeve ... or, ahem, a strap ... and be out of sight.

Yes, she has a pretty pink iPod Shuffle. And so far, she's only put 214 songs on it. No, that's not a made-up number. That's the number of songs on her playlist that she Autofills from. iPod people will know what I'm talking about.

I'm starting to feel a little like Kevin McCarthy.

Because I want one now.

Catfish beat Augusta, snap losing streak

After dropping three games to Kannapolis, the Columbus Catfish rebounded by beating the division-leading Augusta Greenjackets (Giants) Wednesday night, 3-1.

Jeremy Hellickson won his 4th straight decision, going 6 innings to earn the victory.
Hellickson (8-2) yielded one run on three hits and two walks while striking out four. The 20-year-old right hander is 4-0 with 2.01 ERA in his last six starts, limiting opponents to a .234 batting average in that span.

Ryan Owen worked a perfect seventh and Ryan Reid gave up a hit and a walk with three strikeouts in two scoreless frames for his eighth save.

Quinn Stewart, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, clubbed a solo homer, his 14th, in the eighth. Matthew Field smacked an RBI double in the second and Cesar Suarez lifted a sacrifice fly in the fifth to help the Catfish (18-14) snap a four-game losing streak.

The series in Augusta runs through Saturday. The Catfish are in 4th place, 1-1/2 games behind division leading Asheville and Charleston, and a game behind 3rd place Augusta.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Who enlisted the Nigerians in the U.S. Army?

Got an email recently. You've got them before, too. The old Nigerian scam. Someone has a lot of money to move from one country to another and they want your help in making it happen.

If you haven't figured it out, it's a scam.

Well, it seems the latest version is where the scammer says he's a soldier, trying to move money out of Iraq:
Delivered-To: xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx
Received: by with SMTP id p19cs223757rvi;
Tue, 24 Jul 2007 18:51:49 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id r14mr51231rvi.1185328309865;
Tue, 24 Jul 2007 18:51:49 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from bay0-omc2-s9.bay0.hotmail.com (bay0-omc2-s9.bay0.hotmail.com [])
by mx.google.com with ESMTP id b24si272194rvf.2007.;
Tue, 24 Jul 2007 18:51:49 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of morgan_r_eeves06@hotmail.com designates as permitted sender)
Received: from BAY115-W7 ([]) by bay0-omc2-s9.bay0.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.2668);
Tue, 24 Jul 2007 18:50:18 -0700
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Originating-IP: []
From: "sgt. javis reeves"
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU?.
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 03:50:18 +0200
Importance: Normal
MIME-Version: 1.0
Return-Path: morgan_r_eeves06@hotmail.com

Hello Pal,

I hope my email meets you well. I am in need of your assistance. My name is Sgt. Morgan Reeves Jr. I am a military attache with the Engineering unit here in Ba'qubah Iraq for the united state, we have about $25 Million dollars that we want to move out of the country.

My partners and I need a good partner someone we can trust to actualize this venture.The money is from oil proceeds and legal.But we are moving it through diplomatic means to your house directly or a safe and secured location of your choice using diplomatic courier services.

But can we trust you? Once the funds get to you, you take your 40% out and keep our own 60%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. Our own part is sending it to you.

If you are interested reply to Email: sgt.morganreeves@yahoo.com.cn
I will furnish you with more details.

Awaiting your urgent response.
Your Buddy.
Sgt. Morgan j.Reeves

I don't know what ticks me off more: some a**hole thinking I'm stupid enough to fall for the old Nigerian scam, or some a**hole pretending to be a soldier.

Okay, I do know which makes me mad: the pretending to be a soldier. I wore my country's uniform, and don't appreciate anyone trying to use it for any bad purpose.

No, I don't usually post about these kind of things. Ferdy, the Conservative Cat, is all over this kind of stuff. But it just ticked me off so much, I had to vent.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bad luck

One of the things about Las Vegas ... where we vacationed last week ... is that everyone knows that they are going to lose money if they gamble.

Okay, not everybody. There are the occasional winners. But, considering how few they are and how many people go to Vegas, odds are that if you gamble, you'll lose.

Bad luck seems to run rampant is Las Vegas. Comedians mention it in the shows, people talk about it on the buses or while in queue, and everyone knows it's a fact.

But, while we were there, we saw one fellow that seemed to be having a streak of bad luck ... and no casinos were involved.

While riding one of the buses to ... I don't know, somewhere ... there was this one fellow that sat down across from us. We were on a side-facing seat, facing the side exit. This fellow was on a front-facing seat, next to the side door across the aisle from us. And this other fellow was standing forward of the door, facing the back.

Number Two was just standing there, glancing at Number One. Number One was just sitting there, staring out the window. I'm merely observing. And so is the Wife.

The driver announces the stop, and it's ours. It's apparently Number One's and Number Two's stop, also. Number One stands up, takes a step forward, holding on to the pole at the door. I stand up, holding on to the pole opposite the door. The Wife stands, too.

Number Two suddenly looks all surprised, and calls out a name (I forget what he said). Number One looks up with surprise, answering hesitantly, with that look ... you know the look ... the "Do I know you?" look.

Number Two asks how "C.J." is.

Number One answers, "He ran away."

Number Two is sorry to hear that. "So, how's the wife?"

Number One responds, "We're having issues right now. She has a girlfriend, and ..." He trails off.

Number Two knows about this place that's for a good price. Number One accepts the information, writing it down. On the back of the resume he's carrying in his hand.

So, to summarize. Looking for a job, wife left him for another woman, someone (son?) ran away.

Suddenly, our luck didn't seem so bad.


When we saw the Carrot Top comedy show in Las Vegas Thursday night, I laughed harder than I'd laughed in ... well, maybe ever.

I nearly choked on my chewing gum. I don't know where it ended up. I'm sure someone at a later show found it.

Anyway, I ended up being a little hoarse from the show.

Then, Friday, we had the long adventure back from Las Vegas, involving TSA, delayed flights, and lost luggage.

Monday, I went to work feeling a little rough. Still a somewhat sore throat. I took some meds after lunch, and went straight to bed when I got home.

The Wife brought home some cold medicine. And I took some.

Which means that this morning, I'm still suffering from a NyQuil buzz. Along with some DayCare to get me through the day. Yes, I'm a wuss when it comes to medicine.

Am I good enough to drive? Maybe. We'll see in a little bit.

Am I good enough to work? Perhaps. At least my job isn't packing parachutes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More public transportation

Last week, when I wrote about the little run-in with a sawed-off little runt on the Las Vegas bus system, I may have left the impression that the incident soured the Wife on riding the buses in Las Vegas.

It didn't.

What did, was a later trip, where we sat behind the guy that was carrying a hunting knife and a map to the psychiatric hospital.

We had to pick up some supplies, and the hotel and other downtown shops didn't have everything we needed ... at anything near a reasonable price.

Of course, that meant a trip to ... Wal-Mart!

The Las Vegas bus system does run to Wal-Mart. It runs to just about all of the Wal-Marts in Sin City.

But the Wal-Mart closest to the Strip ... as best as I could tell ... was the Super Wal-Mart on Charleston. Which meant taking the Deuce to Charleston, then taking the 206 to Wal-Mart. And, of course, reversing the route when we're through shopping.

So, we did.

The Deuce to Charleston was easy enough. We got off at Charleston and walked over to the 206 stop, on that block. There was someone else that walked up right as we got there.

We sat down, looking at our paperwork, trying to make sure we were taking the right bus and everything. While we were doing that, the fellow got up from the other bench, walked past us to the trash can, rummaged around inside, pulled out a Powerade or Gatorade bottle, emptied it, then sat back down on the other bench.

When the bus came, he got on before us and sat down in the first empty bench, though not the first empty seat. We sat in the next empty bench (two seats). And the bus pulled away.

After just a little bit, I noticed the Wife's eyes get wide. I wasn't sure what she was looking at ... because there was quite a lot to see. Not anyone that looked like John (actually, Joseph) Merrick, but some interesting characters nonetheless.

She was calm for a minute, then got all wide-eyed again. I figured I better ask, so I leaned over.

She informed me of the hunting knife the fellow sitting in front of us had. She could see fine at an angle, over the seat from about 225° ... and that I couldn't see because, well, I was too close.

She also informed me of the paperwork he had in his hand. It was a printout of directions to the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital.

We got to Wal-Mart before he go to the hospital, so we left him on the bus.

When we were done at the Wal-Mart, we hopped the 206 back to the Strip, and took the Deuce back to Harrah's.

It was the last time we took a bus off the Strip.

And it will be the last time we ever take a bus off the Strip. At least, if I enjoy life, she told me.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Singled Out

Although we got back from vacation on Friday night -- okay, Saturday morning -- there were a couple of things that happened on the way back that were of note.

Okay, not necessarily of note, but, well, I remember them.

For example, did you know that you can't take a bottle of water through security? But you can take knitting needles.

Really. I blame Michael Vick.

We left out of Las Vegas around 1:00 PM PT, for a US Airways flight to Phoenix. That's the itinerary Orbitz picked, anyway. And we went along with it.

When we got our boarding passes, the US Airways lady couldn't print out our Delta boarding passes. So, we went to Delta. She said she couldn't print them.

Now, before we left the house to go to Las Vegas, I printed out our boarding passes on my computer. I guess Delta doesn't have terminals that advanced.

Anyway, that meant we had to see the Delta counter once we got to Phoenix.

There were 61 minutes scheduled between arrival and departure on the Delta flight from Phoenix to Atlanta. Which would have been enough ... maybe ... if we arrived at Phoenix on time. We didn't.

But, we didn't arrive that much behind schedule.

But, to get to the Delta gates from the US Airways gates, you have to take the bus.

That means going outside the "secure" area, and going back in.

And that means dealing with the clowns at the TSA Circus again.

Now, to be fair, not all of the TSA folks are clowns, idiots, morons, or a**holes. Not all of them. But a lot of them fall into one or more of those categories.

We got our boarding passes for the Delta legs of the flight, then headed to the gates. Now, I knew things weren't going well when we saw the long line at the TSA checkpoint that we had to go through to get to the Delta gates.

Things got worse when the grumpy old guy that looks at our ID and boarding passes pulled out his trusty red magic marker and drew a big red diagonal line across my boarding pass. Oh, and wrote "S.S.S.S." on it. No idea what that means.

Well, I know it means "take this guy aside and give him a real close looking at." I think that's what it means, because that's what they did.

I was a little worried when they had me step over to the side and pointed me to this guy that was putting a rubber glove on.

Turns out, he was just not wanting to make skin contact of any kind, because he didn't pull out any KY or anything. Just had me stand with my arms outstretched, while he ran a wand all around me. Like on the intro to Monk.

They gave my computer a real close looking at too.

I'm not sure what made them decide to flag me. Perhaps it was my Southern accent. Or extremely white skin. Or grey hair. Or clean-shaven face. I mean, if all that put together doesn't say 20-year-old Muslim extremist, I don't know what does.

Anyway, we made it through security only a few minutes after our plane was scheduled to take off.

The good news, sort of, was that the Delta flight was late. About 90 minutes late. So, we got there in time, after all.

The flight was fairly uneventful, as was the wait in Atlanta. That flight was delayed, too. It was supposed to leave at 10:36. Which was about 20 minutes before the Phoenix-to-Atlanta finally arrived.

Of course, the bad weather in Georgia that night meant that everything was late. Including the Atlanta-to-Montgomery flight. Good news for us. Bad news for the other 48 folks waiting for it.

It finally took off around 2:00 AM, and we got to Montgomery.

But our luggage didn't. But we covered that fact earlier. Oh, by the way, one bag finally ended up in Montgomery. And the other bag was sent to Columbus. So, we got that bag Sunday afternoon. They have now sent the other bag to Columbus, and I'll pick it up at lunch Monday.

Anyway, I'm done flying for a bit, I think. Not that this is putting me off of flying. We just don't have anything scheduled that far away.

But when we do fly, I think I'll get to the airport way early. Way, way early. Like a day or two early. Just to screw with them.

I mean, turnabout's fair play, right?

Update: It turns out that I got to the Phoenix airport too early. You see, I didn't mention that while we were in that big line, between my getting the big red slash and being pulled over to the side, someone came strutting through, calling out "Airport employee!" and telling folks to move over to let them through. We had to move over to the left to let him through.

Oh, this happened twice. A group of three came through a few minutes later. We had to move to the right that time.

No, I didn't see if they got screened or not.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just how many times can the same luggage be lost on one trip?

Our flight back from Las Vegas was uneventful.

Except for getting flagged by the TSA in Phoenix.

And the delay of the second leg of the trip back.

And the delay on the third leg of the trip.

Oh, and our luggage being lost. Again.

Our luggage was lost on the way out to Las Vegas. The details were here. Of course, that story got all complicated, before the luggage was finally delivered, and then the reason for the delay discovered.

Well, when we got to our final destination -- Montgomery -- we went to pick up our luggage. And it wasn't there.

Yes, the same luggage that went missing for two days on the flight out to Las Vegas, has gone missing on the trip back.

It's early, yet, I suppose, but 9 hours after landing, they don't know anything yet:
We're sorry; we have no updates on this bag and are still trying to locate it. Please check back again.

And, yes, I'll be checking back. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that I'll be checkig back often.

Friday, July 20, 2007


It's a little after midnight, and we're sitting in Hartsfield airport in Atlanta.

Delta emailed me 30 minutes ago telling me that the flight we had just got off ... was going to leave late.

More on this joyful day later.

The good news ... sort of ... is that we're nearly back to the house. One more flight, then, if the luggage is there, we'll drive back to the house. Or try to, anyway.

I've been making notes about things to blog about, but just haven't had the time.

But I'll make time.


A chili dog and a Carrot Top show

Yesterday was our 10th anniversary. And we celebrated in style.

For our anniversary, I took the Wife to Las Vegas for a chili dog and a Carrot Top show.

No, really. Well, sort of.

For our vacation, which normally coincides with our anniversary, we went to Las Vegas. And, while in Las Vegas, we saw some shows. Not many, but a few.

But one we saw was Carrot Top at the Luxor.

Now, yes, I know, some people really think Carrot Top's humor is silly, sophomoric, and lame.


It's funny. At least, to me it is. And we got tickets to see Carrot Top. Back in March. That's when we got the tickets, I mean.

Anyway, we go to the Luxor in plenty of time to pick up the tickets that were waiting on us.

And, before the show, we stepped over to the Food Court at Luxor, and at at ... Nathan's Famous.

So, for our anniversary, we had hot dogs -- she had a chili dog -- and saw Carrot Top.

Okay, I'm a little better than that.

You see, we've been eating twice a day, what with the buffets and everything. And, after eating a big breakfast yesterday, we skipped lunch. Sort of.

We ate an early dinner. Steak and shrimp. And it was good, but not quite as big a meal as one could eat on the buffets.

So, when we go to the Luxor, as show time approached, we got a little bit hungry. So, we went to the food court, saw what they had, and decided to get a hot dog.

Then, we went over to the show and sat on the front row.

The show was fun. And funny.

What you'd expect from Carrot Top. Silly, sophomoric, and a little raunchy. Just a little. Oh, and the spraying water and soap suds on the audience. Like I said, what you'd expect from Carrot Top.

Like I said, my kind of humor. And, apparently, the Wife's too. She got a t-shirt that said "Carrot Top made me wet."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Public transportation

The first time the Wife and I came to Las Vegas, we rented a car. Now, the problem with that was, my driver's license expired between the time we left the house and arrived in Las Vegas. You see, we stopped over in Atlanta for two days. And, while in Atlanta, the license expired.

So, when we got to Las Vegas last time, the car rental place wouldn't let me rent a car. Something about needing a valid driver's license. Go figure.

Anyway, the Wife ended up renting the car. And she drove while we were here. She didn't like it.

This time, we didn't rent a car. We figured we'd be able to take the Monorail everywhere we wanted to go. Well, the Monorail and/or the city buses.

So, we've been getting bus passes or Monorail passes when we needed to go somewhere that wasn't walking distance. Or that we realized wasn't walking distance -- since most everything here isn't really walking distance.

Anyway, the other day, we took the Deuce (the double-decker city buses) somewhere (all-day pass) and decided it wasn't that bad.

Well, it wasn't that bad because it was morning.

That afternoon, when we went to the ballgame, we took an afternoon bus.

That's when it wasn't quite as pleasant a ride.

The ride started out unpleasantly enough when we just missed the northbound bus. No problem, though. Another would be by in just a few minutes. Or so said the schedule.

A southbound Deuce soon appeared, so that was a good sign. Then another southbound Deuce. Then another. And another.

Finally, after 4 southbound buses had gone by, another northbound bus finally appeared.

And it was packed.

We got on board, and stood in the doorway while the driver went to the next stop.

Since he told me I was blocking the door from opening, I stepped around the Wife (who was in front of me) and went as far as I could down the center aisle. Which was one position, the person, apparently, who had departed the bus at that stop via the side door.

As I got as far as I could, still near the front of the bus but facing the back of the bus, I heard a very unpleasant voice behind me. I turned around, facing the front of the bus, and some sawed-off little old Casper Milquetoast-looking fellow wearing a $20 suit was pointing at the Wife, running his mouth.

He was telling her to move back.

She was up against me, and I was getting way too friendly with the person behind me. And it was like that all the way back. Or at least as far as I could see.

He kept on running his mouth at her, and she had her fill of it in just a few seconds, and said she wasn't going to do anything he said since he was talking like that.

He got even more unpleasant, asking where she was from over and over. She asked him where he was from. Of course, he was from Manhattan.

She told him she wasn't moving, and that he could go to the back of the bus.

He muttered something as he walked by, and just as he passed her, shouted, "BITCH!"

Now, if you've been following along, just past her was ... me.

It took me a second to realize that he had indeed just called my wife a bitch.

So, since he had, by the, shuffled past, I gently placed my hands on his shoulders and spun him around to face me.

He looked me square in the chest, and ... then looked up.

I'm towering over this little old pipsqueak, and when we made eye contact, I informed him that it wasn't a good idea to say such unpleasant things about my wife.

Only, I didn't use exactly those words. And I may have raised the level of my voice a notch or two.

I politely informed him that I didn't know who the hell he thought he was, but he wasn't going to speak to my wife that way.

He wasn't sure who the hell I was, but I kindly related the fact that I was the husband of the woman in question.

As he backed away, he informed me that he would have me arrested. Of course, since I had my cell phone with me, I offered to call the police for him.

The Wife, by this time, had dug her fingers into my arm and was guiding me back to the front of the bus.

It seems, by the way, that suddenly, for some unknown reason, those in the back part of the bus found a way to make room. A couple of seats even came open. Hmmm.

Anyway, he kept running his mouth as he moved further to the back of the bus.

He stuck up friendly conversation with a fellow in the back. His new-found friend tried to inform him that the other fellow (me) was a lot bigger than he was, but Casper didn't seem to care. Liquor will do that to a man, by the way.

Casper's friend said if blows had been exchanged (I would not have struck him ... first ... by the way; he was just an old drunk in a bad suit), that, in the friends words "both of you would go to jail."

Casper said something back, and the friend said, "It doesn't matter who you know. You could know the Pope and you'd still go to jail."

Casper replied that he did know the Pope. And, about that time, lost a friend.

The rest of the passengers were beginning to feel the tension lift, especially after I asked the Wife, "Now, aren't you glad we didn't rent a car?" Or, possibly, the mood lightened with her look back at me.

Other passengers chatted up, laughing about it, though still a little nervous laughter. They may have thought I was going to kick Casper's ass or something. But I wouldn't. Like I said, I was a lot bigger ... and a bit younger ... than he. And I have no desire to harm an old drunk, loudmouth though he may be.

But I didn't appreciate him saying what he did.

Since that day, we've taken the Monorail every day, going to different places. But the Wife hasn't been too anxious to ride the bus.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Wife, the terror suspect

When the Wife and I got to Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, we had no luggage.

And had no luggage until this morning, when the bell desk brought it up.

I had blamed Delta. And then Northwest. But it turned out neither was to blame.

It was the TSA.

You see, when the bags arrived, and I opened the first bag, the smaller of the two, I found a notice inside. A "Notice of Baggage Inspection."

But only in one bag.

It was the one that contained most of her stuff.

Bras. Panties. Shoes. Personal care items.

Oh, sure, I had a couple of things in there. But most of my stuff was in the other bag. The bag without the notice of inspection.

Her bag was the one searched. Or so it seems.

I'm not sure what about her made them decide to go into her underwear to search for stuff. But they did.

She was real happy to realize that some overpaid government worker got to run his ... or her ... hands all over her intimate articles.

If she gets her hands on whoever was rummaging through her underwear, I'm thinking they'd rather have encountered Mohammed Atta.

I hope she hits a big payoff at the slots today. If she's in a good mood, she'd probably only cripple the TSA worker for life.

My apologies to Delta and Northwest Airlines

I owe two airlines an apology.

I wish to apologize to Delta Airlines, who I first thought lost my luggage. I was extremely frustrated by the fact that our luggage ... containing all our toiletries and underwear, among other things ... didn't arrive. And I expressed my displeasure.

First, I didn't like the luggage going missing. Then, I didn't like the scant information about them finding the luggage and having it delivered.

But, I think I understand why they couldn't tell me more than they did.

I also wish to apologize to Northwest Airlines, who ended up with my luggage.

I was very unhappy that an airline that I didn't even fly on ended up holding my luggage.

But, I think I understand how they got involved.

You see, when the luggage finally arrived, and I opened the luggage, I found something. Something that just might explain it all.

More on that later.

For now, to Delta and Northwest: I'm sorry.

Look who finally showed up

Our errant travelers have been found. And delivered.

A little after 6:00 AM, I went to the phone, saw the flashing red light, and pressed the button to recover our messages.

"You have no voice mail."

That was odd, I thought. Then what's with the flashing light? Then I noticed the voice was continuing.

"You have one text message."

Okay, that's odd, too, I thought. But the machine said I could retrieve my text message by pressing a button. So I pressed that button.

"We are connecting you."

And I was connected. And told the nice little lady that I understood I had a text message. She located it, and read it to me.

"Contact the bell desk."

That was the message in its entirety.

"Would you like me to connect you?"

I would.

A pleasant young man answered.

I spoke. "This, is..."

I didn't get to finish.

"Yes, sir. We have your bags here. Would you like us to bring them up?"

I would.

And, in just a matter of a few short minutes, came the knock on the door.

I asked him to leave them there because the Wife was still in bed, not yet awake.

He agreed.

I gave him his tip, and we both departed happy. He had the easiest luggage delivery ever. And I had my luggage.

And then I found the reason for the delay.

That's a story all in itself.

Monday, July 16, 2007

So, just how did an airline we didn't take lose our luggage?

I mentioned a little while ago that an airline we didn't fly on lost our luggage.

You might wonder how that could happen. It hadn't occurred to me that such a thing could happen. But, apparently, it did.

Here's the deal.

This afternoon, after finding the same thing up on the Delta Web site saying they had found our luggage and were sending it to the airport, I decided to call them.

I spent 55 minutes and 55 seconds on the phone with them. It would have been longer, but Verizon dropped the call.

But, before the drop, I found out some little tidbits.

Let me say first that I can be just about as passive-aggressive as the next guy. More so, from what I hear.

And, one of the things that really aggravates folks about me is that, if something I'm told doesn't fit together just right, I'll keep prying. And, if I don't like the answer I get, I'll keep prodding.

I don't always get my way. But I usually get my point across.

Anyway, this nice lady from Delta ... Melissa was her name ... answered my call and checked on things for me. She checked a lot. Kept putting me on hold to check things. Partly because she was updating me on what she was trying to do, and partly because of my questions to her that she had to put me on hold to check on.

Anyway, after just under 56 minutes, I found out that, according to her research, the airport in Montgomery didn't put my luggage on the flight I was on. Instead of putting it on a Delta flight, they put it on a Northwest flight.

Now, I don't know where that Northwest flight was going. But apparently, not Las Vegas.

Because when I changed planes in Atlanta, the luggage didn't make the transit to the Delta plane. I don't know what happened to it. Melissa from Delta doesn't know what happened to it. But she knew (she said) that Northwest had been notified of the situation, had acknowledged the situation, and was sending the luggage our way.

It's not here yet.

But, the good news is that the notice on Delta's Web site has changed, and looks promising:
We have located your bag and it will be delivered to you within the time frame shown below:
12:30am...12:30pm, July 17, 2007

It's just after 12:30 AM in Las Vegas. So the phone could ring any moment.

I really need a change of clothes. I think so. And the Wife sure thinks so, too.

But It's A Dry Heat

One of the things about this trip to Las Vegas that is not too pleasant ... other than an airline we didn't take losing our luggage ... more about that later ... is the heat.

I know Las Vegas is in the desert. Heck, everyone knows Las Vegas is in the desert. And the desert gets hot.

But, still, it is Las Vegas ... and all the activities of Las Vegas make up for that.

However, you just can't get away from the fact that ... well, doggone it ... it's hot.

For example, since we're in Las Vegas, that means we're going to succumb to the temptations of an addiction that we suffer. Actually, truth be told, I'm the one that has the addiction. The Wife will give in to temptation, but if I wasn't in her life, she'd not be giving in like this.

Yes, that well-known addiction that can be satisfied in Las Vegas: baseball.

We went to a Las Vegas 51s game. We had the chance to see 4 former Columbus Catfish (nee South Georgia Waves) players play tonight. 3B Andy LaRoche, SS Chin Lung Hu, RF Delwyn Young, and LHP Wesley Wright all made it into the game.

LaRoche hit 2 home runs, driving in 4 runs, as well as making a couple of fine plays at third. Hu had a couple of outstanding plays at short, also, as well as getting 3 hits and scoring 2 runs. Young had 2 hits and scored twice. Wright pitched the 9th inning, striking out two. It was not a save situation.

Yes, the 51s were hot tonight. Heck, they're the hottest team in the Pacific Coast League, having won 6 in a row. Delwyn Young is hot, too, being named PCL player of the week.

But the temperature was hot, as well. It was 106 at game time.

It did cool down, though. The game ended at 10:21 PM (PT), and 10 minutes later, according to the sign outside the stadium, it had cooled to 104.

But it's a dry heat.

You know what else is a dry heat? The inside of your oven.

I'm not too worried about the airlines losing our luggage. I don't think I'm going outside ever again.

Catfish Beat Rome In Ten

It took 10 innings, but the Columbus Catfish managed a 3-2 win over the Rome Braves tonight, sweeping Rome and moving to within a half game of first place.

Catfish 3B Joey Callender got his only hit of the game in the 10th inning to spark the team to victory.

Callender greeted Rome reliever Jorge Acosta (0-1) with a leadoff single and moved to third on second baseman Travis Jones' error. Cesar Suarez, who had six RBIs on Sunday, was intentionally walked before Acosta uncorked a wild pitch to plate Callender.

The Catfish (15-9) were dominated for most of the night by Braves starter Kyle Cofield, who limited them to one hit over seven scoreless innings. But Seth Dhaenens came through with a game-tying two-run single in the ninth for Columbus, which pulled out its fourth straight win.

Reliever Brian Baker (3-3) picked up the victory after allowing three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in three scoreless innings. Starter Will Kline gave up one hit and fanned one over two frames in his professional debut.

With the win, the Catfish complete a sweep of Rome, and have won 4 in a row, the current longest streak in the South Atlantic League. Losses by Augusta and Asheville, coupled with the Catfish win, leaves Columbus in 3rd place, but only 1/2 game out of 1st place. Greenville, which snapped a 9-game losing streak with their win over Asheville, invades Golden Park Tuesday, opening a 4-game series.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


We all have baggage.

We carry it with us wherever we go.

Some comes in the form of mistakes we make when younger. Some from things that are beyond our control. But, whatever the reason, we all have baggage.

Unless, of course, you are taking a trip to Las Vegas that involves a plane change. In that case, the airline has to look for your baggage.

We arrived in plenty of time at Montgomery to check a total of two bags. One, a large garment bag that contained a suit (me) and a nicer outfit (the Wife), along with shoes, dress shirt, ties, etc. It also contained most of my underwear and socks.

The other bag contained all of our toiletries (except for a travel toothbrush and toothpaste that I had in my pocket), most of her clothes, and a few of my clothes. And my Leatherman Tool (an original Leatherman PST, since discontinued) that I bought in Kuwait to replace one I lost in Kuwait.

We left Montgomery (lot cheaper to fly from Montgomery to Atlanta than directly from Atlanta; go figure), got to Hartsfield, took the shuttle over to our concourse, got to the gate, and they were boarding the flight.

We got aboard, and settled in for the Atlanta-to-Las Vegas flight. More about that flight later.

We got to McCarran (the airport in Las Vegas), and went to pick up our bags. Got to the carousel, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

That's when the Wife noticed some little dude with a radio that was directing some people over to a little office. That had lots of luggage outside its door.

We looked for our luggage. No luck.

So, I stood in line.

When the lost luggage lady -- a real nice lady, by the way -- called us, we gave her the information, pointed out bags that looked like our bags (like ordering food at the Huddle House) and gave her our cell phone number.

And we went to the hotel.

I've been checking on our bags. And now, Delta has found them. According to Delta's Web site:
We have located this bag and are scheduling it to be on a flight to Mc Carran Intl Airport, Las Vegas, NV (LAS). Please check back again for the delivery date and time of your bag.

What does that mean? That they "are scheduling it to be on a flight" to Las Vegas? Where did it go? Did it get hung up on Montgomery? Or did it not make the flight out of Atlanta? Or did it go to some other location? I have no idea.

Anyway, some time Monday, I expect to be able to change my underwear. And put on clean socks.

In the meantime, I'm just going to think about the fact that we're in Vegas.

After all, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. If it ever gets there to begin with.

Catfish Clobber Rome

Cesar Suarez broke out of a 1-for-15 slump with a 6-RBI night, as the Columbus Catfish beat the Rome Braves, 8-1.
Suarez had an RBI groundout in the first inning, a two-run single in the third and a three-run homer, his eighth, in the fifth for the Catfish (14-9), who won their third straight.

Columbus starter Heath Rollins (10-3) yielded one run on three hits and a walk while striking out seven in seven innings for his fourth straight win. Neal Frontz allowed three hits over two scoreless frames.

The series with Rome concludes Monday night.

Hey, Baby, let's go to Vegas

The Wife and I are on the way to Las Vegas.

Here's hoping you have a great week, too.

Catfish Open Homestand With Win

After dropping 4 of six on a road trip, the Columbus Catfish returned home Saturday night with a 4-3 win over the Rome Braves. The Catfish were led by Desmond Jennings, who drove in 3 of the 4 Catfish runs with a 3-for-3 night at the plate:
Jennings' two-run homer in the seventh inning off reliever James Curtis (2-4) gave the Catfish (13-9) a 4-3 lead. He also had an RBI bunt single in the third.

Joey Callender ripped a pair of doubles and scored twice and Ryan Royster collected three hits and a walk for Columbus.

Reliever Matt Falk (3-0) allowed a run on three hits, striking out two without a walk in three innings for the win. Ryan Reid pitched around three walks and fanned two in two hitless frames for his seventh save.

The win leaves the Catfish in 3rd place, 1-1/2 games behind Augusta and Asheville.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What do you do about a gay man with three balls?

Seems there was a little spat in California last week about a Padres game.

Now, me, I don't normally pay much attention to what goes on in California. I agree with what a fellow told me one time: we need to send in the Marines to get that state back. He told me this in the early 1970s. Folks should have listened to him.

Anyway, something happened in California and I missed it. And it involved baseball.

I found out about it via a Georgia blogger, aTypical Joe, who follows, well, not so much baseball, but events like what happened at the ball game. (Great pun in the title, by the way, Joe. And, yes, I got the reference, even though someone else didn't.)

What with being busy and all, it's been difficult to find out just what the facts of the story are.

Here's the basics: The Gay Men's Chorus of San Diego sang The Star-Spangled Banner at the July 8 game.

Now, if that's all there is to it, then it's not a big deal. I mean, a bunch of fellows, who are homosexual, sang the National Anthem at a ball game. Tell me what's wrong with that.

However, it seems some folks put up a fuss.

And that's where the story gets a little hazy.

You see, it wasn't readily apparent that the Padres had a special "Gay Pride Night," with discount tickets, for homosexuals or supporters of LGBT causes. But they did. And I think it's a bad idea.

You see, homosexuals say they want to be included as a part of society. But they also have these "look at me" nights.

Now, am I picking on homosexuals? No. I'm not in favor of Heterosexual night, either.

I also don't care much for Latino night, Negro night, Caucasian night, Left-handers night, Bi-polar night, or any other kind of "our group that's different, just like everyone else" night.

Corporate nights? That's fine. If the Braves want to have Delta night, or CNN night, or Home Depot night, or Coca-Cola night, that's fine. The companies are paying for it.

And Red Cross night, United Way night, Samaritan's Purse night, or other real charity nights, those are fine too. They support and help folks in need, regardless of any special status or grouping. That is, Red Cross just cares that you're in need. Samaritan's Purse doesn't only help Christians. And so on. Those nights? Fine.

But special nights for groups that have a special interest? No way.

If the Gay Pride groups want to shell out the same money as Coke or Delta, then fine. When I see a Big Gay Al they've paid to put up next to the big Coke bottle at Turner Field, I'll know they're all playing by the same rules. And they have group discounts anyway, for families, or picnics, and such. All that's fine.

So, to recap, the Gay Mens Group singing the National Anthem in front of a ball park full of families? Fine with me.

A special Gay Pride Night?


Oh, by the way, the answer to the question, "What do you do about a gay man with three balls?"

Walk him and pitch to the lesbian.

Catfish drop series, win finale with Charleston

Thursday night, the Columbus Catfish were 1-hit by the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), as they lost 3-0.
Gabe Medina, Ferdin Tejeda and Jonathan Hovis combined for the 1-hitter:
The 23-year-old right-hander fanned six batters and set down the final seven batters he faced during a season-high six innings.

"[Medina] was pretty dominant from the start. He allowed just that one hit," Hovis said. "The guys behind us made some good plays too. [First baseman Kevin Smith] made a great play, taking away a sure hit, and so did [third baseman Mitch] Hilligoss."

Tejeda tossed two perfect innings and Hovis worked a 1-2-3 ninth to preserve the shutout and notch his South Atlantic League-best 19th save as the final 16 Columbus batters went down in order.

"We have had several games without walking a batter, and whenever that happens [the pitchers] get to take BP," said Hovis, who hasn't got caught up in being the league's active saves leader.

"It's definitely good to have the lead, but you can't really think too much about stats," he said. "I'm going to pitch the same way always."

It was the second consecutive game that the RiverDogs flirted with a no-hitter. Eric Hacker took one into the seventh inning Wednesday.

Friday night, the Catfish avoided the sweep, winning the 3rd and final game of the series, 3-1, behind the pitching of Woods Fines:
Fines (6-5) gave up one run on six hits and a walk, striking out one. Ryan Owen fanned two and pitched around a hit and a walk over 2 1/3 innings before Brian Baker got the final two outs for his sixth save.

Quinn Stewart belted a solo homer, his 13th, in the sixth for the Catfish (12-9). Ryan Royster's bases-loaded walk snapped a 1-1 tie in the seventh and John Matulia added an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI infield single.

Desmond Jennings went 3-for-4 with a walk and his 39th stolen base.

The Catfish return home tonight, opening a 7-game home stand, beginning with 3 against Rome.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tell me again why this war is illegal

This whole Cindy Sheehan coming to town has sparked some angry feelings ... on both sides ... in the local newspaper.

One thing that keeps coming up again and again by the looneys on the left is "this illegal war."

Somebody with some sense explain that one to me.

Didn't the President get authorization from Congress for this? Didn't Congress look at the same intelligence ... that was gathered under Bill Clinton's CIA Director, George Tenet?

So tell me what makes this illegal? Michael Moore said so? Cindy Sheehan said so? Hugo Chavez said so? Osama Bin Laden said so?

If the Congress thinks the authorization for war was a mistake, then revoke it. Congress has the power to revoke any resolution it passes, doesn't it? And all it takes is a majority, right?

No, the Congress won't revoke the authorization. Because all that rhetoric is just that ... people putting talk above the best interests of the nation.

So, again I ask, somebody with some sense explain to me why this war is illegal.

But that's the catch, isn't it? Somebody with some sense.
Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson's Website, Rosemary's Thoughts, Big Dog's Weblog, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Pursuing Holiness, third world county, Nuke's news and views, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, CommonSenseAmerica, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, 123beta, DeMediacratic Nation, Jeanette's Celebrity Corner, Webloggin, Cao's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Pet Haven, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Faultline USA, Allie Is Wired, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Planck's Constant, CORSARI D'ITALIA, High Desert Wanderer, The Yankee Sailor, Gone Hollywood, and Public Eye, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cindy Sheehan is coming to town

Saturday morning. A perfect day to sleep late.

But not this Saturday.

Why is that?

Guess who's coming to town?

Cindy Sheehan.

Read that again.

That piece of garbage, that low-life hero of the Democrats, that attention whore, that ...

I couldn't believe it when I read that Cindy Sheehan is coming to the area. She's going to be at Fort Benning Saturday morning.

I'm looking for ideas.

No, I really don't want to get arrested. Not really.

But I wore my country's uniform. And I know folks that wear this country's uniform. And, yes, Cindy Sheehan's son wore this country's uniform.

But none of it wore it for her to spew her vile. However, because we wore the uniform, she can do exactly that.

But, so can I.

So, if you want to come to the Columbus area, to the main gate at Fort Benning, and give her a very unwelcome greeting ... and an appropriate sendoff ... come join the fun.

And, if you can't make it here, give me some ideas.

Update: She'll be at the gates of Ft. Benning at 10:00 AM Saturday.

Update: Still looking for ideas. Signs, slogans, whatever you got.
Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson's Website, Rosemary's Thoughts, Right Truth, Big Dog's Weblog, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, third world county, Nuke's news and views, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, CommonSenseAmerica, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Random Yak, guerrilla radio, DeMediacratic Nation, Adam's Blog, Jeanette's Celebrity Corner, Webloggin, Cao's Blog, The Pet Haven, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Allie Is Wired, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Planck's Constant, High Desert Wanderer, Public Eye, The Yankee Sailor, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Catfish Fall Late

Despite taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning, Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) pitcher Eric Hacker had a no-decision, as his team beat the Columbus Catfish 3-1 in Charleston last night.
Mitch Hilligoss ripped an RBI triple and scored on Eduardo Nunez's single in the eighth for Charleston (11-8), which has won four straight. Nunez went 3-for-4 with a run-scoring triple in the third.

Catfish reliever Ryan Reid (4-4) took the loss after yielding two runs on three hits while striking out four in two innings. Starter Ryan Morse gave up a run on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five frames.

Nevin Ashley belted an RBI single in the seventh for Columbus (11-8).

The game was delayed over an hour because of rain. The 3-game series continues tonight.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What about Hope and Charity?

At the checkout counter this afternoon, I saw a book that ... well, it never occurred to me that there might be such a book.

As you can see, it's The Complete Idiot's Guide To Faith.

That gave me pause.

Idiot's guide? To Faith?

I'm sure I understand what it's saying. But really. Idiots? And faith?

What I want to know is ... are they idiots if they have ... or seek ... faith?

Or are they idiots because they'll buy any kind of book?

I'm thinking the latter.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Snoop Dog, the Motor Pool, and the Lady from the Electronics Store

So, what do Snoop Dog, a motor pool in Korea, cell phones, and the lady that ran a Lafayette Electronics store in my home town all have in common?

That's a tough one, huh?

Well, here's the missing piece of the puzzle that puts it all together: nachos.

Make sense now?


Let me explain.

I had a really odd dream last night. In my dream, I was still in the Army, and stationed in Korea. I assume Camp Hovey, where I spent a year back in the 1990s.

Things were operating like the motor pool in Korea. Only, one of the people in my unit were the lady that used to run the Lafayette Electronics store in my home town. In reality, she and her first husband (great fellow, who had a heart attack and died suddenly one day) ran the store. But for some reason, in my dream, she was in my unit.

The motor sergeant ... who wasn't either of the actual motor sergeants from my unit ... welcomed Calvin Broadus to the unit. Not as a member of the unit, but as a VIP. Yes, Snoop Dog was in da house! And on the cell phone the whole time.

I ended up driving him around in an M998 HMMWV.

Now, why was all this happening?

Remember the nachos?

Best I can figure, we ate a late supper last night. And we had nachos.

And I ate too much.

And I fell asleep on the couch. With the TV on.

I'm guessing that while I was asleep, different commercials came on related to the Army, Snoop Dog, and electronics. And the nachos didn't sit well.

Not sure that actually explains it all, but it'll do for now.

Only, the thing is, the Wife wanted to go to Moe's Southwest Grill for supper.

And, we're watching The Closer tonight.

I'm worried about what my dreams will be like tonight.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Catfish Avoid Sweep

Needing a win to avoid being swept by the worst team in the division, the Columbus Catfish came through, beating the Rome Braves 3-1 tonight in Rome.

The Catfish scored a run in the 2nd inning, when CF Desmond Jennings singled to center, scoring C Craig Albernaz, who had reached on a 1-out single.

In the 4th, Seth Dhaenens scored on a ground out by SS Brett Grandstrand, to put the Catfish up 2-0.

The Catfish added an unearned run in the 8th, when LF Quinn Stewart scored on a botched pickoff attempt. Stewart had reached on a single, and moved to third on another single by 2B Joey Callender.

Rome put across a run in the bottom of the 9th, but the Catfish held on to win and avoid a sweep in the three-game series.

Cesar Suarez had 3 hits on the night. Stewart and Albernaz each had a pair of hits.

Heath Rollins scattered 5 hits in 6 innings work, striking out 3 to pick up his 9th win. Matt Falk pitched 2-1/2, allowing a run on 2 hits. He stuck out a pair. Ryan Owen finished the game and picked up his 7th save.

After a night off, the Catfish head to Charleston for a trio of games, before returning home Saturday night.

I should be the Commissioner of Baseball

I really do think I should be the Commissioner of Baseball.

Okay, someone like me.

By that, I mean a fan.

The Commissioner of Baseball should be someone who is not beholding to the owners. And he should not be someone that is just in favor of the players.

The Commissioner of Baseball should be a fan.

Because, without the fans, George Steinbrenner would be building model ships and coaching high school basketball.

Without the fans, Barry Bonds would be a corrupt cop in California.

Without the fans, Bud Selig would be a Milwaukee used car dealer.

The fans make the game. No, the game can't be played without the players. And the teams wouldn't exist without the owners. But all that would be meaningless without the fans.

Way back in 1920, Kenesaw Mountain Landis became the first Commissioner. He made some decisions that upset players and managers, but were done with the best interests of baseball in mind. And that's what baseball needs today. Baseball needs a fan in charge. Like me.

What would I do?

Well, I'd ban Barry Bonds. He's a cheat and an illegal drug user and is a bad face for baseball. He's a weasel. And weasels get banned.

I'd ban Bud Selig. He's been a bad influence on baseball, having forced a no-confidence vote that led to Fay Vincent's resignation. And guess who took over for Fay Vincent? Yep, Bud Selig. He's a weasel. And weasels get banned.

And Pete Rose? Well, my favorite non-Braves player would be reinstated. After he dies.

He accepted a lifetime ban. And a lifetime ban it is. When he dies, the ban is lifted, and he'd be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Because nothing he did, though against the rules, inflated his stats. He took no drugs. He bet on baseball. Which was wrong. Even though, unlike the "Black Sox" players, his gambling involvement was in favor of his team, it was still against the rules. So Pete Rose stays banned for life.

The Black Sox? Buck Weaver would be reinstated, since he was not in on the fix (although he knew about it, but didn't report it). The others? Heck, I don't know. Probably would lift the lifetime ban, since they're all dead. I mean, a lifetime ban ends when the lifetime ends, right?

The steroids investigation? I'd ban every player that there is reasonable evidence used steroids.

Inter-league play? It would end. The whole thing makes the schedule uneven. American League would play American League teams. National League would play National League.

If the teams want to play cross-league rivals, let them schedule exhibitions that don't count. Or better yet, win the pennant and face off in October.

And the World Series would be in October.

Oh, and there'd be day games. Television would not force night games. If the team wants to play at night, great. Go ahead and play at night. But if they want to play day games, play day games. TV will put up with it. They won't like it, but so what. Baseball is not a TV program. It's a sport. If they want to carry the games, they can carry the games. If they don't like the schedule, they can air a reality show.

Oh, and the season would open every year in Cincinnati. The Reds would host the Braves. The Cubs would play an hour later.

You see, the first professional baseball team was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, who disbanded after the 1870 season and reformed in Boston, again as the Red Stockings. After several name changes, they settled on the Braves. Then moved to Milwaukee. Then to Atlanta.

So, a game in Cincinnati would harken back to the origins of the game. And the Braves, the descendants of that first team, would be playing.

Oh, about the Cubs? They are one of the original National League teams, and as such, deserve to be a part of opening day.

What else would I do?

Heck, I don't know. I'm open for ideas.

But, you know, Major League Baseball would never allow me ... or someone like me, a fan ... to be Commissioner. They aren't interested in what's best for baseball. They're looking for a buck. Just like many of the players. They're out for the almighty dollar.

They just forget that those dollars come out of your pocket.

Do Not Forsake Me...

I can tell time.

But I wonder about others at times.

My first job was at a small radio station in southeast Georgia. My first duties at that job was to work a Braves games.

Back then, working a Braves game involved listening on the network to ensure that everything sounded correct, then, at the right time, start the intro. When the intro ended, if everything was done correctly, you'd hear Pete Van Wieren or Ernie Johnson start their greeting, and the broadcast was underway.

You needed to be able to tell time ... and to know the correct time ... for it to work properly.

During the game, we'd have to play commercials. We had a guide that indicated which break was ours. Between innings, either we'd let the network commercials play or we'd play our local commercials. And, our local commercials needed to be either 30 seconds or 60 seconds (we played multiple 30 second commercials) for it to time correctly.

Pete or Ernie would say something like "After two innings, it's Los Angeles 3, and the Braves 1" (since the Braves were often behind early and often back then) and we'd start our commercials. After the commercials ended, Pete or Ernie would start back, talking about the first 3 batters coming up, or a scoring change, or something. The point is, if everything was timed correctly, it sounded smooth.

And, because baseball has no clock, the players wouldn't stop playing at the top of the hour so the station could give a legal station identification. No, Pete and Ernie would watch the clock themselves, and as close as they could get to the top of the hour, they'd pause for station ID. And, because it might be a sudden thing, they'd give more than 10 seconds for station ID.

After all, you could listen and know when the third out was happening, and know that they'd describe the play, and you had enough time for the announcer to give a scoring wrap (that was the cue) to have your commercials set to play. With station ID, you only had enough time for them to say "Let's pause for station identification on the Atlanta Braves radio network." And that's not long. So, the 10 second break was actually 14 seconds.

So, things sounded smoothly for station IDs and for commercial breaks, if it was done right. There was never any commercial ending, and Pete be in mid-sentence. That sounds really bad. And we didn't do it.

Why didn't we do it? Because it sounded bad. And we were professionals. $1.80 an hour professionals, but professionals nonetheless. We took pride in doing it right. And in order to do it right, we had to know what time it was, and be able to tell time.

Nothing hard, really, when you think about it. Just a desire to do things correctly.

What brings this up?

Well, apparently some TV channels can't tell time. And haven't been able to tell time for a long time.

You see, what I'm about to describe may sound like a TiVo issue, but it's really not.

A long time ago, I recorded some movie that was coming on late at night. It was many, many years ago, and I was recording it on the VCR.

Now, in order to do that, you have to have your VCR's clock set right.

Well, mine was.

If I was watching TV, and I noticed the time was off, I'd set the time.

Now, by "the time was off," I mean I kept my wristwatch the correct time. I'd take whatever steps were necessary to keep the time correct. To the second.

So, when I noticed the time on the VCR be off at all, by a second, I'd set it. And, yes, I'd have to set it about once a week. Sometimes twice.

The point is that it was never more than a second or two off of the correct time.

Anyway, that night, I set up the VCR to record a movie, based upon the information I had.

Okay, it was Thelma and Louise. Don't laugh. I had heard it was a good movie and wanted to see it. So, I recorded it and watched it.

When it got to the point where they clasped hands and Thelma (or Louise) hit the gas, the movie stopped. Actually, the recording of the movie stopped.

Now, my VCR was set to the second. Or within a second. So, I'm assuming the problem wasn't on my end.

Fast forward to 2007. Technological advances mean that we should be able to do thing even better and more efficient. Or at least, correct.

VCRs have been replaced by TiVo. But dumbass movie channels are still dumbass movie channels.

Because TiVo synchronizes itself ... including its clock ... every day. It gets data from the networks about what's playing when, and for how long. Okay, actually, it just goes by the starting times of the various programs, but determines the length based on that. For example, if High Noon starts at 11:30 and the next program, The Bravados, starts at 1:30, then at 11:30, TiVo starts recording, and records for 2 hours.

Well, on this past Friday, that's exactly what happened. At 11:30 AM, TiVo switched to AMC and recorded High Noon. And, at 1:30 PM, it stopped recording High Noon.

Since the movie is 1:25 long, it should fit in a 2-hour slot. Only, AMC plays commercials. They used to not, but have for a while now. And, they decided that for that 2-hour slot, 35 minutes of commercials wasn't enough.

You see, I've never seen High Noon. I'd seen that it was on, and had watched a bit of it, but always decided that I wanted to watch it from the beginning, and watch the whole thing. So, I'd never seen the beginning. Or the ending.

Well, this weekend, I had the opportunity. TiVo had it as a suggestion. So, we watched it.

Or most of it.

It began with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara outside an Irish cottage, then walking the trail to the little house.


Oh, that was the ending to The Quiet Man, which had aired before High Noon. That wasn't a good sign.

But, still, the movie was less than 1:30, so there should be no problem with a 2-hour slot, right?

Yeah, right.

You see, after 2 hours, when Gary Cooper picked Grace Kelly up, and a wagon pulled up, the famous TiVo "ding" happened, and we had the opportunity to keep or delete the movie.

I don't know what happened next. Did Gary Cooper say or do something meaningful? I don't know because ... TiVo missed the ending!

Only, I don't think it was TiVo's fault. The time was set correctly. It was AMC being AMC, playing way too many commercials and not being able to read a clock.

Technology is a wonderful thing. Unless you have idiots running it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Another Big Inning Dooms Catfish

The 5th inning did in the Columbus Catfish this afternoon. The Rome Braves scored 7 runs in the frame, then held on to beat the Catfish 7-6 in a rain-delayed game in Rome.

Offensively, the Catfish outhit Rome 14-9, but weren't able to overcome the rough 5th inning. Nevin Ashley went 4-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Seth Dhaenens was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Cesar Suarez was 2-for-4 with an RBI. All other Catfish starters had at least 1 hit, except for Jairo De La Rosa, who drove in 1 run on a sacrifice fly.

The Catfish stranded 11 runners on base, 3 in scoring position. Two other base runners were erased when caught stealing.

Starter Jeremy Hellickson allowed 1 hit in 2 innings work, striking out one. Reliever Brian Baker started the 3rd inning, but didn't make it out of the 5th. He allowed 7 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits, 5 in the 5th inning, striking out 3, but walked 3 and hit one. Neal Frontz came in, got the last out in the 5th, and finished the game, allowing 2 hits in 3-1/3 innings work.

The loss was the 3rd of the year by Baker. Frontz lowered his ERA to 1.81. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 18-2/3 innings.

The Catfish must win tomorrow night's game with Rome to avoid being swept by the cellar-dwelling Braves.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Carfish Fall To Rome

For only the 5th time in 24 games, the Columbus Catfish were beaten by the Rome Braves. Tonight, a 5-run 7th inning helped Rome do in the Catfish, 12-6.

Woods Fines allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings work, striking out 4. He left the game with a narrow 2-run lead. It didn't hold, as reliever Wilton Noel allowed 5 runs on 5 hits in 2 innings work, with all 5 runs coming in the 7th inning. It was his 2nd blown save and 1st loss of the year. Ryan Reid pitched 1 inning, and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, striking out 2.

Desmond Jennings went 3-for-5 at the plate, including a 2-run homer in the 4th inning that put the Catfish up 6-4. Seth Dhaenens was 3-for-4 with an RBI single, a double, and a triple.

Rome's bullpen did in the Catfish. After scoring 6 runs on 9 hits against Rome starter Jamie Richmond, the Catfish were held to just 2 hits the rest of the way, a single in the 5th, and a lead-off double in the 9th. No other Catfish reached base during the last 5 innings.

The win drops the Catfish from 1st place in the Southern Division, thanks to Augusta's win tonight. They're now in 2nd place, 1/2 game behind Augusta.

The Catfish have 2 more games with Rome on this road trip before heading to Charleston for a trio of games.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Catfish take series from Charleston with walk-off homer

Quinn Stewart blasted his 12th home run of the year in the bottom of the 9th to propel the Columbus Catfish to an 11-8 win over the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) tonight.

The blast off the old hot tub stand beyond right field came with 2 outs and runners on second and third.

Charleston had jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the top of the 3rd inning, chasing Catfish starter Wade Townsend, who allowed the 6 earned runs on 5 hits, including 2 home runs in 3 innings work.

The Catfish, in turn, knocked Charleston starter Ivan Nova, who hasn't won a game in 4 weeks, from the mound in the bottom of the 3rd.

Joey Callender got things started with a single. That was followed with a single by Jairo De La Rosa. Desmond Jennings then singled to left, scoring Callender. John Matulia singled, scoring De La Rosa. A double steal put Jennings on third and Matulia on second. That's when Cesar Suarez hit his 7th homer of the season, cutting Charleston's lead to 6-5. Nevin Ashley, who had lots of family in attendance, reached on a single, but was erased when he was caught stealing second in a call that brought out Catfish manager Jim Morrison face to face with field umpire Jimmy Volpi. With 2 outs, Quinn Stewart walked, then moved to third on 2 wild pitches. Seth Dhaenens walked, then stole second. On the throw to second, Stewart took off towards the place and beat the throw, getting his 13th stolen base and tying the game at 6.

In the 5th, the Catfish took the lead. Ryan Royster walked and with 1 out, stole second. With 2 outs, he scored on a single by Callender, putting the Catfish up 7-6.

The 6th inning saw Matulia reach on a 1-out single, then move to third when Suarez singled to right. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Ashley, and the Catfish led 8-6.

The 7th inning saw Ryan Owen come on in relief of Matt Falk, who had taken over in the 4th. Charleston tied the game on a 2-out single by 1B Chase Odenreider.

The game remained tied at 8 going into the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out, Suarez singled on a line drive to right field, Ashley walked, but was erased when Royster reached on a fielder's choice. Royster advanced to second on what I understand should have been a stolen base ( see Rule 10.07 (g) comment), but was ruled a fielder's choice (commonly called defensive indifference). Anyway, that's when Stewart homered over the right field wall, ending the game.

The win keeps the Catfish in 1st place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League, 1/2 game ahead of Augusta, who kept pace with their win tonight.

The win also gives the Catfish the series, 2 games to 1. They head to Rome Saturday to open a 3-game series with the Braves.

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

Folks talk different all over.

Me, for example. I have a Southern accent. Comes from being from the South.

There's lots of folks I know that ain't from around these parts that talk with a Northern accent. Only, the thing is, they don't think they got an accent. They do.

There's certain parts of the country that talk a certain way.

Watch the Travel Channel or some other basic cable fare that features somebody from Maine. You can tell it by the way they talk.

Same thing for someone from Minnesota. Or Boston. Or New York. And so on.

In fact, just about every part of the country has it's own way of saying things.

And the same goes true for the South.

Folks in Alabama have a way of talking. The accent is pretty much the same as folks from the western part of Georgia. But they'll use a word a little different ... or pronounce it different.

Georgia, it seems to me, has a variety of accents. Southeast Georgia has a way of talking that's a little different than, say, South Georgia or North Georgia.

But, it seems at times, the accents are going away. Folks from other parts move in and bring their own way of talking, and the distinct ways of saying words goes away.

One thing that really is noticeable, though, is the way certain names ... or names of things ... are pronounced.

For example, in the middle of Georgia is Houston County.

Now, if you're not from Georgia, you probably pronounced it "HEWS-tun." You'd be wrong.

It's "HOWS-tun." Not "HOWZ-tun" but "HOWS-tun." As if were spelled House-ton.

Why do they pronounced it that way? I don't know. Beats me.

But it was named for John Houston, who was a member of the Continental Congress and was Governor from 1778-1784.

And he predates Sam Houston, for whom the city in Texas was named. Sam Houston wasn't even born until 1793. So John Houston (HOWS-tun) predates Sam Houston (HEWS-tun) by several years.

So, which is correct?

It depends on where you are.

Then, there's the name "Jordan." I bet you pronounced it "JOR-dun," didn't you. Yeah, me too.

But there are folks around there with that last name, and they pronounce it "JER-din." Like Hamilton Jordan (JER-din), who was Chief of Staff for Jimmy Carter.

There used to be a fellow on the radio around here that pronounced Michael Jordan (JOR-dun) as "JER-din." His name was "Ray from Milwaukee," and I assume he was from Milwaukee. Why he pronounced Jordan (JOR-dun) as JER-din, I'll never know.

Now, there's lots of folks named Jordan (JER-din) in West and Southwest Georgia. And that's how they pronounce it. But not everyone in Georgia pronounce it that way. I've know some folks named Jordan my whole life and they pronounce it "JOR-dun." Go figure.

Which is correct? Depends on where you are.

But in Southwest Georgia is a town called Albany. How do you pronounce that?

Some say "ALL-buh-nee," which has the accent on the first syllable. Some say "all-BAN-ee," which is pretty much the same, but with the accent on the second syllable. Some call it "all-BEN-ee," which is a variation of the second pronounciation.

Which is correct? Depends on where you are.

And how about "pecan?"

Some say "puh-KAHN," which has accent on the soft second syllable. Some say "puh-KAN," which has the accent on the hard second syllable. And some say "PEE-kan," which has the accent on the first syllable and a hard second syllable. Merriam-Webster gives all three. And I've even heard "PEE-kahn," which has the accent on the first syllable, and a soft second syllable.

I've heard PEE-kan much more in Southeast Georgia than in West Georgia. Most in West Georgia say puh-KAHN. And the Dairy Queen commercial says puh-KAN.

Which is right? I don't know. And I don't care. I'm heading to the Dairy Queen for one of those waffle treats with soft serve and pecans.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

No, there's no Marilyn Monroe ... or even a Britney Spears ... to offer a song.

But George Walker Bush, the President of the United States, turns 61 today.

Happy birthday, Mr. President.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Catfish Beat Charleston, Move Back Into First Place

In a back-and-forth game, the Columbus Catfish came from behind then held on to beat the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) tonight, 8-7.

Charleston scored 2 in the 2nd inning, then runs in the 4th and 5th to take a 4-0 lead before the Catfish fought back.

In the bottom of the 5th, Jairo De La Rosa hit his 4th home run of the year, a 3-run shot that scored Seth Dhaenens, who had led the inning with a single, and Brett Grandstrand, who reached on an error. The homer also won $700 in lottery tickets for a lucky fan, with a promotion the Catfish are running with the Georgia Lottery.

Quinn Stewart hit his 11th homer of the season in the 5th inning to tie the game.

In the 7th, with 1 out, Desmond Jennings singled, then moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt. John Matulia walked, and both batters moved up a base on a wild pitch. Cesar Suarez hit his 28th double, scoring Jennings and Matulia. Nevin Ashley walked, then he and Suarez each stole a base. With 2 outs, Quinn Stewart walked to load the bases. Then, Dhaenens singled to left, scoring Suarez and Ashley, and putting the Catfish up 8-4.

An error, two singles and a double by Charleston in the 8th closed the gap, 8-7. Columbus native Brian Baker came in and closed out the 8th, then the 9th to pick up his 5th save.

Wilton Noel pitched 2 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 4 hits to get his 2nd win. Starter Ryan Morse went 5 innings, allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, and struck out 5, but left with the Catfish down by a run and didn't figure in the decision.

Jennings, Dhaenens, De La Rosa, and Ryan Royster each had 2 hits. Each Catfish batter scored a run, save one.

The win, coupled with losses by Asheville and Augusta puts the Catfish back in first place.

The series with Charleston concludes tomorrow night, before the Catfish head to Rome for 3 games, and to Charleston for 3 more.

The Pledge of Allegiance

[The YouTube]


The Wife and I went to the fireworks in Albany last night.

Why Albany? You remember that we have a friend playing on the Anderson Joes baseball team, right? Well, Brandon Carter and the rest of the Joes had a series in Albany against the South Coast League leaders, the South Georgia Peanuts. So, to Albany we went.

After the game, they had a fireworks show, what with it being the Fourth of July and all.

Pretty good show. Didn't last a real long time, but it was a fine show nonetheless.

Certainly a heckuva lot better than the fireworks that we used to go see in my home town in southeast Georgia.

Catfish Open Homestand With Loss

The Columbus Catfish opened their short homestand with a loss to the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees). The Catfish were beaten 6-3.
Catfish starter Heath Rollins allowed one unearned run on five hits over six frames. He struck out four, walked one and lowered his ERA to 2.71. Ryan Reid (4-3) took the loss after surrendering two runs on two hits and a pair of walks in the seventh.

Desmond Jennings and Ryan Royster each drove in a run and Cesar Suarez went 3-for-4 for Columbus (8-4).

With the loss, the Catfish fall to 3rd place, 1/2 game out of first. The series with Charleston continues tonight.

50 Stars

The flag of the United States is something with which we are all familiar. Many business and several households fly it every day. It's on the uniform of the men and women serving our country. It's in the heart of many who love this country.

The first flag, the 13-star "Betsy Ross flag," was authorized by Congress on June 14, 1777 ... which is why that's celebrated as Flag Day. That flag, or a variation of it, flew over this country until Vermont (1791) and Kentucky (1792) joined the Union. It was not until 1795 that the flag was changed to reflect those 2 states. But, the new flag had not just 15 stars, but also 15 stripes. That's the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry, and was the subject of Frances Scott Key's poem that later became the Star-Spangled Banner.

Even though Tennessee joined the Union in 1796, the flag remained unchanged. In fact, it remained unchanged through the admission of Ohio (1803), Louisiana (1812), Indiana (1816), and Mississippi (1817). In 1818, the 5 new states were finally reflected in the flag with the change to 20 stars. The stripes were reduced back to the original 13.

Illinois was admitted to the Union in 1818, and the flag was changed the next year.

Alabama (1819) and Maine (1820) led to the 1820 increase to 23 stars.

Missouri (1821) was reflected in 1822, as was Arkansas (1836) in 1836. Michigan (1837) brought the 26-star flag in 1837. Florida's admission to the Union necessitated the 1845 change of the flag.

Texas (1845) meant the flag would increase to 28 stars in 1846. Iowa (1846) brought the number of states to 29, and in 1847 the flag reflected that. Wisconsin (1848) brought the number of stars to 30.

California (1850) led to the increase to 31 stars in 1851, while Minnesota (1858) brought the number of stars to 32. Oregon (1859) made the total 33, Kansas (1861) brought the 34th star, West Virginia (1863) the 35th, and Nevada (1864) made it 36 in 1865.

Nebraska (1867) brought the number of states and stars to 37, while Colorado (1876) made it 38 in 1877.

Things got busy in 1889 when North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington were added to the Union. Idaho was added in 1890, meaning that the 1890 flag would reflect an increase from 38 to 43 stars. Wyoming was admitted to the Union 6 days after the new flag was flown, which meant it would be 1891 before the 44-star flag would fly.

Utah brought the flag to 45 stars in 1896, and Oklahoma (1907) brought the 46-star flag in 1908.

New Mexico and Arizona were added to the Union in 1912, and the flag reflected 48 stars beginning July 4, 1912. That flag flew for 47 years, until 1959, when Alaska became the 49th state and was reflected with the 49-star flag.

Later in 1959, Hawaii was admitted to the Union, bringing the number of states to 50. On July 4 1960, the 50-star flag was first flown.

That 50-star flag has now flown 47 years and 1 day, longer than any other flag in the history of this country.