I am an avid baseball fan. I don’t mind that it is thirty minutes of actual sporting activity – often jam-packed into a three hour time span. Like many-many baseball fans I am team-brand conscious. In my case that means if the Chicago Cubs aren’t on the field I probably ain’t watching. That team-brand loyalty, is a reason that MLB requires both the American League and the National League to select at least one player from every team each league represents. To look at it from a business sense –> The All Star Game is an exhibition game and in order to draw and that helps keep the largest amount of baseball fans tuned in to the game. That helps MLB sell the game to Television corporations, plus it helps the broadcasting station to maximize dollars from advertising revenue. The fan hopefully gets to see the hometown favorite play the hero, the television station attracts a wider selection of viewers to expose their station’s product to while making money on advertising and the advertisers feel happy because they have a chance to promote their products to the captive viewer waiting to see their hometown favorite play the hero. It is a win-win-win for all parties. But like most big top circus events there is always room for “stupid is as stupid does” moments! In Tuesday’s game there was at least two such moments. One belonged to MLB the other to myself. Both of those moments coincided with each other.
I am a baseball addict. Like many foolish baseball addicts, I programmed my Direct TV box to automatically switch to the game – which was 7:00 PM Central. That was my “Stupid is as Stupid does“ moment! I have been watching the All Star Game for most of my 29+ years on the planet. Any avid watcher knows MLB rolls out a Big Top Extravaganza of entertainment before the actual game. It always lasts too long. That is their “Stupid is as Stupid does” moment. It is now after 2:00 AM in the morning and I still cannot tell you whom I am more mad at – myself or MLB!
Most Baseball games are a lot like going fishing – a lot of lulls in between the action. Even for an avid baseball watcher -there are lots of slow time in between the offensive and defensive plays. That is why the cameramen often scan the audience for pictures of cute kids, sexy women and doofus guys; in order distract the television audience during those lulls in the field action. So as I walked in to my television room several minutes after the scheduled time for the game, the pregame pomp was just getting under way. ZZZ-ZZZ-ZZZ! I walked in just in time to see a very ragged looking Harrison Ford in the middle of a feel-good MLB promotion. Sorry but MLB games are way too long for them too drag out such pregame spectacle. After a few minutes I started channel surfing. I returned to the channel at 7:45 PM figuring the game must be started. Nope, I arrived to a Direct TV commercial. When the commercials were over the game was still not ready to start! Finally a couple of charming kids came on the screen and did in about two minutes what MLB had failed to do in the previous forty-eight minutes – read the player lineups in order to start the game. The first pitch of the game was not thrown until after the clock on my television registered 7:50 PM. Arghhhhhh! Fifty minutes of mostly pompous spectacle in order to watch a game that lasted almost another three hours. I don’t mind giving up three hours of my time to watch a professional baseball game – I am a baseball fan. But fifty minutes of filler before the game is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!! It is distracting from the game and wasteful of the fans time. There is not a promotion or acknowledgement included before a baseball game that could not have been worked in as filler in between innings or during down minutes of the game. Baseball fans tune in the All Star game to watch baseball not fifty minutes of grandiose self-promoting back-slapping by MLB, owners/management, players, their affiliates and associations. Stupid is as Stupid does! If I were one of those MLB sponsors that paid mega-bucks for advertising in the time period between 7:00 and 7:50 PM – I would be demanding my money back!!!
Categories: Baseball, Cubs, Current Events, Entertainment, Fleecing the Sheep, MLB, News, Scoundrels, Sports, Stupid is as Stupid Does, Wheres the Beef!
Tags: media, opinion, rant, rants, television, thoughts, US
Before we hit the ripe old age of 29+ it is often a common occurrence to be insensitive with our sense of humor. And that is why we have sensible elders around to remind us of your rudeness. Of course at that age we are sure we are indestructible and that we know it all. So we pretty much laugh off wisdom imparted -about our penchant for tactless personal jokes- such as “one day you will be 29+ and you will see just how funny that joke isn’t”! Then that dreaded day arrives when we hit 29+. All of sudden body functions start breaking down as our minds and your bodies start having a civil war over the way you go about your daily duties. Sometime, functions of our bodies breakdown that we did not even know could self-destruct. But that is another rant. Now as a young man it is easy to find humor and make jokes about people that have to wear bifocal glasses. Way too easy! And then one day God gets even and balances the scale. That is the day the ophthalmologist with a twisted smile on his face hands you an eyeglass prescription for bifocals lenses. That is the day we realize that realize that the worm has turned and we are soon to be the butt of our own jokes! Yup all those wisecracks asking our parents, grandparents and 29+ friends if they would:
1. Like me to lengthen their arms.
2. Like me to pull out their nose out a little further.
3. Like me to see if that book is available in Large print.
4. Like me to hold the newspaper up on the other side of the room.
5. Like me to read the paper for you?
6. etc… are coming back to haunt me.
Yup it is hard to believe all the misery a pair of eyeglasses can cause you until you start fighting with bifocals. I mean who could understand that a 48” HDTV screen could be so difficult to see a clear picture upon- with your properly prescribed eyeglasses resting on your nose? Who could know that sometimes your arms and/or nose are just too short when you want to read the newspaper – while wearing your properly prescribed eyeglasses? Well our well-meaning advice-giving 29+ friends and family that we ignored when they advised against our choice of comedic material. Since my evolution to bifocal lenses, I am sure that many of those same individuals are most likely looking down from the hereafter laughing their buttocks off as I take wild swings at insects crawling on the walls – that are not really there. An interesting thing I have found out about the curse of bifocals is that if a speck about the size of a pencil point (or larger) falls on the line of where your bifocal lens lines meet, as you are turning your head or moving your eyes, it looks like a creepy crawly running across the wall. My natural instinct is to send the critter to his final destiny with my fist. Of course when I take my hand away – surprise it is just a rude April Fools joke played on my eyes by my bifocal glasses. Arghhh! It almost makes me want to go back in time and bonk Ben Franklin on the noggin for inventing the blasted contraptions. But at least God and all my past joke victims are all having a good laugh at my expense. I suppose I earned the honor!
Categories: humor, Life, Stupid is as Stupid Does, Wheres the Beef!
Tags: aging, comedy, family, health, personal, rant, television, thoughts
When you live in an area you come to understand that the year is full of different phases of each season – determined by the environment of the area. You learn to adapt and prepare for the seasonal weather. When you fail to prepare and act upon the events of a season you can create risk for yourself and others. Now for todays rant!
What is it with people and businesses to lazy to clean the snow from their sidewalks? It is not that difficult. Unless you are handicapped, all it takes is the mindset to get the job done. Sidewalks covered in snow and ice are a hazard to people that walk. All it takes to clean them is some elbow-grease along with a snow shovel and stiff broom (for the low-tech), or a snow blower, or a yard tractor with a snow blade and then to spread some de-icer on the area. It is a season-long continuous enterprise that must happen when you live in snowy regions.
As traffic moved along tonight I noticed a woman waiting for the bus stuck standing on the edge of the road because no one in the area had cleaned any of the sidewalks as far as I could see. The area had both residential and businesses – yet all the sidewalks were covered in snow and ice. On a busy intersection that is risky. In another scenario – I try and walk the city blocks about forty-five minutes several times during a week. And come winter that becomes an unsafe task. It seems like every block there is a lot of sidewalk covered in ice created by people too lazy to shovel the snow from their sidewalks. I have noticed a lot of that in the Quad Cities since I moved here. Now I can understand if the individual living there is elderly or incapable of cleaning their snow. Yet most of the sidewalks I personally encounter that are in the most dire condition – DO NOT BELONG TO THE ELDERLY OR THE DISABLED. Most of the elderly or disabled, I know, have made arrangement to have clean sidewalks. It is like a badge of honor for them. If they cannot do it themselves, they get someone else to do it for them. Heck I know of one elderly man that not only cleans his sidewalks, he cleans many of his neighbors paths. I have to ask myself, if that elderly man is out cleaning after a miserable snow – why is any business or Joe Average Resident risking others safety by neglecting the same necessary removal of fallen snow?
It is no secret what has to be done. When people and businesses fail to properly take care of snow on their sidewalks – it is both disrespectful and dangerous to themselves and everyone else!
Categories: Current Events, Illinois, Life, Quad Cities, Wheres the Beef!
Tags: children, opinion, personal, rant, thoughts, USA, weather
What started out as a story about possible child abandonment is starting to look like a series of brainless actions performed by callous adults! The story is not clear as it differs between which media version you read but it looks like another case that started with a parent(s) who chose to party-party-party over the welfare of a child. The mother left the child in the care of individuals (a man she simply new as “Doc” and his aunt) she was staying with while she went out for merrymaking at another location. According to the Barb Ickes column those individuals had not agreed to take care of the child. Sometime after the mother left the house, Doc’s aunt took the baby to a nearby group of the mother’s friends outside drinking and partying and then abandoned the baby with that group of drunken individuals. The scary part is that out of all the adults involved in this repulsive sequence of events; the drunken individuals who quickly got tired of a baby disturbing their party mode made the closest to an adult decision concerning the welfare of the child. In what was clearly a case of doing the right thing for the wrong reason, they created a story (not an entirely false story considering the events) about the child being abandoned and called the police to pickup the child. Child goes to protective custody, mom gets arrested and her picture in the paper. What is wrong with this picture? Not one adult displayed one iota of responsibility!!! Every adult in this scenario was as much a perpetrator of child neglect as the mother. And where is the father of this child and why is he not taking some responsibility for this child? Is this a version of a Britney Spears meltdown? At least this child may have a chance to eventually lead a normal life as he survived this sequence of adult stupidity and heartlessness. Hopefully there will be no similar follow up episode. Other children of child neglect are often not lucky enough to have a bunch of drunks call the police into an incident of child neglect.
Other Horror Stories of Child Neglect and Abuse —>
Link1 Peoria Couple Charged With Murder of Their Child
Link2 Couple Frequently Abandons Child to Party
Link3 Angry Mom Dumps Son on the Side of Road
Link4 Parents Behaving Badly
Categories: Culture, Current Events, Life, News, Quad Cities, Scoundrels, Wheres the Beef!
Tags: child abuse, child neglect, children, crime, family, rant
Improper food handling, storage and inadequately trained food-handlers/cooks cause many food born illnesses. Often food born illnesses are simply passed off as the flu since they have very similar symptoms. Most food born illnesses are usually a night or two of projectile vomiting and ten-second dashes to the toilet merriment. And though a majority of food caused illnesses are simple and non life threatening in nature that is not always the situation. Even the less dangerous infections can create a hazard for the young children, older individuals plus the sick and infirmed. In my 29+ years on this planet I have been witness to two cases of food contamination that had serious effects on individuals and in one of those cases it was a contributing factor associated with a persons eventual death. So it is not without cause that I try to be cautious when handling food products. Which brings me to today’s rant.
I think grocery stores spend zero time in Sanitary Food Handling with their front-side of the business. By front-side I mean cashiers, packers and their supervisors. When I see leaking meat packages, spoiled fruit and vegetables mixed in with the fresh produce, flies buzzing inside bakery goods packages (yes – I have seen this), moldy items on display, torn packaging and badly dented cans — I then question how much time has actually been spent training the food handlers of their perishable goods. It is atrocious how often I spot these types of situations inside grocery stores and supermarkets. And most are simply careless food handling and a lack of quality control supervision and inspection. Raw meat handling is a special pet peeve of mine. That is where many bacterial contaminations are easily transferred to other foods. Because of this I am probably a cashiers worst nightmare at the checkout line. I try to pick up my meat and frozen goods last. So I spend a great deal of my time shopping, rearranging my food inside the shopping cart to be able to keep my raw meats separated from the rest of my groceries. No touching! If my cart is too full I will sometimes carry the meat products separately. When I get to the cashier I will always separate my products as I lay them on the conveyer belt. I usually have a dry goods item to separate my raw meat products from good like snacks, fresh produce etc. (especially things that are not normally cooked). That makes it easier to keep products that could get contaminated from winding up in the same grocery sacks. Yet no matter if you remind them, no matter if you watch them like a hawk the minute you get distracted checking out your ticket totals they manage to put two foods together that do not belong in the same bag. You do not even dare to flirt with the red headed yogurt queen in line behind you for fear of finding your raw chicken packed in the same bag as your sack of fudge brownies. Grrrr! It is getting to the point I am almost ready to tell them to send the bagging clerk away and let me do it myself!
I had some free time on my hands the other day and spent the afternoon at the Davenport Showcase Cinemas watching the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. The movie actually lived up to most of its hype. Batman has experienced a Hollywood metamorphosis since the extremely campy 1960′s TV series staring Adam West. The latest movies with Christian Bale have become more like the serious and edgy comic books, displaying the fight for survival of good vs. evil and how it can be difficult to tell the two apart at times. As with all the Batman movies the villains and heroes are yin and yang, in the sense that one cannot exist without the other. The one moment of the movie I found lacking was a scene where the Joker is confronting the mob bosses. The movie reminded me too much of the scene in Kill Bill, where the O-Ren Ishii character is confronting the Japanese mob. Otherwise, the movie had a nice balance of character exploration, action and special effects. I actually like this series of Batman Movies much better than the previous and successful (1989-97) Batman movie series starring Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. I also thought the Michael Keaton Batman Movies were very good. Though the series bottomed out with the Clooney movie.
On the other hand I was a bit disappointed in the theater. I understand that equipment malfunctions happen but the tone of the theater experience was set right from parking lot when I noticed that the “C” in Cinemas was burned out. That in itself is not a big deal but it was representative of things to come. The next less than extraordinary experience was at the concession stand. Okay I am familar and understand the concession pricing concepts used at sporting and entertainment venues. And when you pay their high prices you would think that they would have someone that could adjust and balance the syrup-carbonated water- ice ratio proper for a soda drink. (I am not even going to start a rant on the stale popcorn problems.) Nope you get a watered down drink that tastes vaguely like a Pepsi. Please, it is not that expensive to do it correctly!!! There is more cost in the container of a drink than is spent on all the soda and ice put inside. It is not that tough to get the balance right people. Also when you walk up to a concession stand where there is two people being waited on, one by the manager, plus several dazed and confused teenagers shuffling aimlessly around inside the booth there should be no reason for the manager needing to direct traffic to wait on the customers that are walking up. Perhaps what was more bizzare was the attitudes of those that were being asked to wait on people. Instead of the apologetic “oops my bad” expression – they had that “you talking to me” look. Yikes!! I guess when I pay $5 for a 32oz watered-down soda I expect a little enthusiasm and cheer for that extra cash. I know it must be tough getting paid to stand around in an air conditioned building when the temperature is hot. Alas I received no more cheer when the person taking my ticket stub directed me to my theater. After entering I go through my usual routine of sticking my hands underneath the cup holders of potential seats before I sit down. That day was a good day as my first choice was acceptable. Now I know all the other people in the theater are wondering why a grown man goes from seat to seat feeling plastic cup holders. Well after two bad experiences of leaving the movie house with a previous patrons sticky chewing gum on expensive dress pants -> I check underneath the cup holders for such presents left behind. As I looked around the room I also noticed no one had bothered to clean-up following the previous movie. (I suppose they were all too busy playing bumper cars inside the concession booth.) There was trash in the aisles, floors, seats and even one paperwad on the back of a seat. Wow, another embarrassment for the Showcase Cinemas. Still I was delighted that no gum would be mounting an attack on my clothing so I settled in to watch the movie. The usual summer-teen cell phone disruptions offered up entertainment while waiting for the movie trailers. The movie trailers started. Oops, another embarrassment for the Showcase Cinemas. No sound! I looked around and did not see an usher to hail. So I looked around again to see if I had mistakenly entered a silent movie showing and perhaps would have Pearle Bodine playing the organ as sound accompaniment. Nope, just another chink in the movie experience. An individual that was seeing less humor in the situation than I was left to track down assistance. And finally we had mind-blowing ear-crushing sound. Hooray! In the mean time I saw Mr. Dad wander in with his three kids in tow and helped them get placed and distributed out their various concessions. A tear came to my eye as I realized this was no cheap thrill for this dad. Factoring in the high cost of concessions I figure the Dad probably spent at least thirty dollars on snacks and food. Heck they should have given him his tickets for free. Then -hallelujah- the movie started! And it was a great movie with few crowd disruptions. Even better. Then it was over and it was time to leave. Ahh but they had to have one last embarrassment before I left. Perhaps I am spoiled by the Moline Great Escape Theater bathrooms, but the Showcase Cinema’s bathrooms really need an enema. I cannot remember the last time I went in to their bathrooms where the sinks and floors looked clean and paper towels were not strewn everywhere. (Oops I forgot they all need to be playing bumper cars inside the concession stand.) On the upside I did not have to wait in line the usual Showcase Cinema hour to expel my 32 oz sort-of-soda. Oh well, at least the movie was a good experience.
Categories: Culture, Entertainment, Fleecing the Sheep, humor, Life, Quad Cities, Wheres the Beef!
Tags: Batman, hollywood, Movies, rant, rants, service
Before I entered school I had already been taught to respect my peers, my elders, public/private property and that behaving unruly had serious repercussions. Yet I cannot remember the last time I was shocked to be reading news about young kids involved in nefarious actions against each other, adults or public/private property. Where do young kids get so many aberrant ideas? The latest should-have-been-shocking news involves nine Georgia third graders (boys and girls) who had created a plot and gathered items to attack a teacher whom they were angry with. The individuals had gathered a knife, a crystal paperweight, handcuffs, duct tape and various other items as part of a plan to attack the teacher. Each student involved had even been assigned personal tasks including covering windows to hide the event from others and post-activity cleanup. Evidently the only detail that prevented the kids from executing their plan was that another student noticed that one of the girls involved had brought a weapon to school and turned her in. Thank God some children still have enough awareness and good sense to help prevent such an incident from happening. Evidently the children face various forms of discipline, the harshest just being long-term suspension from school. Actually I am not sure what kind of punishment you could give a kid of that age to convince them of the serious consequences involved with their actions. Plus the statement following the incident from the Principle of the school, Angie Coleman, strikes me as a leader that is either clueless or in denial. According to Coleman “this is an isolated deviant incident because the school has good kids“. Yikes! Hello, Lady!!! You just had several kids involved in an elaborate plot to harm one of your teachers!! Something is terribly wrong with that event!! Lady, emergency alarms should be going off in your head!! Warning-Warning Danger-Will Robinson-Danger!!
Lady – Quit trying to spin the event to the public (and yourself), instead search and find the root of the problem before it happens again!!