Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm giving up on this blog and trying again elsewhere. See you there?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Birgit and I are off on vacation. We will be gone until 31 July. We will be, among other places, here.

So, until I return, I formally declare


(drum roll)


(symbol crash)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I have a few things to say. I'm gonna say 'em.

1. The Mexican election, which I mentioned would take place on Sunday, took and may still be taking place. I haven't been following things closely, but from what I understand there is a disputed result, with the conservative PAN candidate claiming victory and the leftish PRD candidate claiming fraud. I reckon that it is totally possible, even likely, that there was fraud because * it is Mexico, * the PAN is connected to the Bushies, * the PAN tried, and failed, to keep Obrador (PRD) from running to begin with, * Obrador led in pretty much all polls for the past two years, * the result is razor thin, and * the "winners" claim there were tons of blank or improper ballots. Basically, I'm waiting. I hope the regular folk of Mexico don't get fooled again.

2. There has been much discussion of what Matarazzi said to Zidane to provoke him. I don't care. I wouldn't be surprised if it was something nasty, but still don't care. I also am not worked up about what Zidane did. I hate intentional fouls in soccer, of course, but mostly because those are a form of cheating. Such things as what de Rossi did to McBride are intended to take the other player out of the game. What Zidane did, on the other hand, was plain ole "I'm very angry" stuff. One should not forget that professional athletes are adults, and sometimes adults get so angry at other adults that they choose violence. I, myself, have never done this, but it is not a cause for undue alarm. The miracle is that it doesn't happen more often, and that miracle has a name: civilization.

3. The World Cup had some really interesting non-sport effects on Germany. One totally positive one was that it boosted the average German's belief in the idea that he or she is capable of being viewed by the outside world as a pleasant host. This could do wonders for the "service desert" that is this country. Fingers crossed. Also positive was the management style of Klinsman and the way in which he was vindicated after having been attacked from all sides for two years. Basically, he was decisive and optimistic and welcomed risk. These are not common German stereotypes, suffice it to say. Perhaps Joe German will now take a few bills out of his MASSIVE pile of savings (seriously: this is a country of savers) and spend a little or invest a little or move around a little or try something new. I am less pleased, however, about the much ballyhooed upsurge in German "patriotism", which has been manifested largely by a plague of flags and people telling journalists that they are "proud". I don't trust flagwavers and I don't trust people who are proud of things like countries. I am (in theory if not in practice) proud of things I have done, but think it illogical to be proud of strangers actions. I can be, and often am, happy for them and happy to be around them and benefit from their actions. No more than that. Pride is dangerous. It is the first step on an ugly road. And it goeth oft before a fall.

4. Syd Barrett was very much alive until recently. He is now dead. Axes played no role in his death.

5. With Occam's Hammer in hand, I announce the victory of the American League over the National League in tonight's All Star game. You heard it here first?

6. I gotta get me one of them youtubes. They seem pretty cool.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I forgot to mention that those seeking to understand the French defeat (which included such inexplicable things as Zidane's 'header' and Henri's early exit), need only remember


I told you.

Of 64 games I correctly predicted 34 (35 if you count England/Paraguay). Better than I expected.

Germany did really well, and everyone is all frothed up here.

Turns out, also, that my town is slam full of Italians, and though I rooted against them, I have to give them credit for fan support. The city blocked off several streets for an impromptu parade (which I followed for a while). Horns are still honking.

I am going to South Africa. That's it, as Jules said. I'm fuckin' goin'.

I may go to the European championship in 2008, too.

I'm telling you: atmosphere.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Germany won (in) the World Cup!

They have third place. The Portugeezers are fourth.

It was an interesting first half and a really fun second half. Cousin Oliver played keeper and was awesome. Schweinsteiger (whose name means "he who climbs on the backs of pigs") scored two beautiful goals and a 'geezer scored an own goal. Another 'geezer headed one past Cousin Oliver (who had no chance).

The streets are full of honking cars.

I predicted 4-0 Germany, by the way. So close!

Found via Pandagon

Friday, July 07, 2006

I have had a blog since late 2001 (as have children as yet unborn) but have never before used the following term: Occam's Razor.

To the extent that I give a shit (I can't be bothered to check this), this is a "philosophical" thingy urging us to remember that, whenever we are confronted by some sort of mystery, we should latch on to the most probable of all possible explanations. Very Scooby Doo.

Forget, for a moment, the razor.

I haven't managed to support a winning sports team since putting my genetic proclivity towards the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team on the backburner (after they last won it all). By "winning", I refer to "it all". I don't count my support of the Green Bay Packers back when they twopeated. That was just me supporting a fellow former USM Golden Eagle. I haven't ever really given a shit about the NFL anyway. But . . .

* I lost bets in support of the Buffalo Bills FOUR times.
* I lost a bet in support of the Philadelphia Phillies.
* I have been an ardent fan of the Chicago Cubs since 1984. They have sucked far more often than not.
* I support USM and the West Virginia University Mountaineers in college football (in addition to the Tide) because I attended those fine institutions. They haven't won it all.
* I support the US men's soccer team, and openly rooted for them to make it out of the group round this year. They didn't.
* I predicted the Mexican men's soccer team in this World Cup to win it all. They didn't.
* After Mexico lost, I switched allegiance to my adopted homeland, Germany. They haven't won it all.

Granted, the Tide have won it all a few times during my lifetime, and I passively supported the US women's soccer team during their runs, but I'm not counting those because they don't fit with what I'm getting at.


Teams suck or simply disappoint because I support them.

This fits nicely with Occam's Hammer: when a collection of facts seem, when you hold your mouth right, to form a vague pattern, then they can be made sense of ONLY in terms of the most ridiculously self-centered explanation possible.

Occam's Hammer thus dictates that Italy will defeat France in the game on Sunday.

Occam's Garlic Press, by the way, is when you take a big, difficult-to-digest thing and squeeze it in to tiny, and much more palatble (but unrecognizable) things. For example, the history of the Roman Empire (all 2000 or so years of it) becomes a series of anecdotes about fiddling, horse promotion, collapse, lions, and hand washing.

Did/does Occam have anything else?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lightning round:

How come everyone has their panties in a twist about North Korea's missles?

Let me rephrase that: aside from the fact that missles are hellish things which should not exist, how come everyone has their panties in a twist about North Korea's missles?

Is it that it is North Korea what has them? They not allowed?

That must be it.

I haven't had a missle test ever, and don't even have any missiles (other than my love missile, which has a limited range)

I said something very similar to this, by the way, a few months ago with respect to Iran's interest in newkillar things.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'd just like to point out to betty that this is the same Italy team that fouled, dove, and whined their way through the first round. She likes that? Perhaps we'll get lucky and the Portugeezers will beat France. Then we can dispense with soccer altogether and have a foul-off and/or dive-off to decide the champions!

(Having said that: the Italian goals were lovely)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lemmie put it this way: there was nothing I saw which would have swayed the game one way or another BUT

Fuckin' Tallies, dude.

I mean, the Tallies in the final? After how they've played?

It is a serious stab in the heart of anyone who actually enjoys football.

If you are an Italy supporter, and have no connection to Italy with which you might justify it, then you should fuck the fuck off. Your boys are fucking fuckers. They fuck their mothers, then use their mothers as fuckers with which they fuck other mothers.

See? That bit of typing? That was the typing equivalent of an Italy game.


So. I'm not going to Berlin. But I'm still taking Monday off.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I must apologize for having let World Cup hoopla push the following story out of my forebrain: Mexico will elect a president on Sunday.

This could have a high level of significance. Basically, if the PRI candidate wins (not likely), it will return to power the party that ran the joint for over 70 years. If Obrador (of PRD) wins (a distinct possibility), it would mean aNOTHER leftish government in Latin America (everything's coming up izquierda lately, or somethin'), and aNOTHER one whose oil reserves give it the potential, a la Venezuela, to hold the USA by the shorthairs. A PAN win (possible), would mean more of the same ole same ole (Fox is from PAN): more NAFTA, more economic refugees, more corruption, more drugwar, etc.

Attention must be paid.

(Note the cool "no more campaigning for a couple of days" rule. I think I like that.)

Ahem. So.

Germany did beat Sweden and England sqwoke by Ecuador (how much luck do those fuckwads get?), but otherwords I was way off.

In my defense, Mexico DID outplay Argentina (going so far as scoring a goal for them) and really only lost as punishment for numbnuttery, the Netherlands DID spank Portugal (and the other way around), but I didn't mean it literally, and Australia DID shock Italy (speaking of lucky fuckwads).

I was utterly wrong about the Ukraine/Switz and Spain/France.

As to the Ghana game: the Ghana defenders, in at least two of the goal moments and during several almost-a-goals, just totally disappeared. It was as if they had somewhere more important they suddenly had to be. Ghana's schizophrenic play, and Brazil's "easy" victory despite being outplayed up and down the field, caused Birgit to bring up the possiblity of cash changing hands. I think there may be something to that.

So, First round 25 and 23, second round 4 and 4.

I am 29 and 27, if that is possible.

Quarterfinal predictions, for what they are worth . . .

Germany will play the Argentina that played Mexico, and will win.
England really has to lose sooner or later, and as much as I doubt Portugal's fortitude, it will have to be them.
Ugh. pUkraine versus shItaly. Can they both lose? pUkraine will win.
And France versus Brazil? Man. It don't get easy, this pickin. I'll say France has found its form. Ugh.

Did I mention that I'm going to Berlin?

(On baseball: I think the Cubs are paying the Pirates to keep them out of last place)