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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Note to self: Instead of trying to get ourselves to stop buying things we don't need, Cheryl and I should start wearing high heels when we shop.

TUESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The higher your heels, the smarter the shopper you will be.
That's according to new research that found having to focus on physical balance tends to lead to more balanced buying decisions.

"If you're someone who tends to overspend, or you're kind of an extreme person, then maybe you ought to consider shopping in high heels," study author Jeffrey Larson, a marketing professor at Brigham Young University, said in a university news release.

His team found that when consumers' minds are focused on staying balanced, they are more likely to consider all of their buying options and choose a mid-range product, as opposed to something high-end or of low quality.

Yo, Jeff, did you also consider the possibility that when you're wearing heels, your feet hurt so damn much, you don't want to spend all day shopping in them, you want to just get home and change into something more comfortable? Huh? Didja, huh?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Plus ca change, plus ca change.

Among the many things to remind us of how the world has changed since the 60’s when I was growing up, here’s one more.

The Phillies signed pitchers last week from these 3 teams:

-      The Normal Corn Belters

-      The Washington Wild Things

-      The Canberra Calvary
Possibly also worth noting...Two of the signed guys’ most recent ERA’s were 13.50 and 5.93.

Phillies add two new right-handers to GCL roster

The Phillies have needed some pitching help lately at the lower levels and have reached into the ranks of independent baseball and the Australian Baseball League for help. In the past week, they’ve signed three young pitchers, with the latest two joining the GCL Phillies.

Last week it was left-hander Ryan Demmin, who was signed by the Phillies after his contract was purchased from the Normal Corn Belters of the independent Frontier League. Demmin made a start for Lakewood last Friday, going eight innings and allowing just two unearned runs, which unfortunately was enough for him to suffer the loss. In the ever-popular procedural roster moves, Demmin was shuttle back-and-forth between Lakewood and Clearwater and there are rumors that he is heading to Reading to make a start for the Fightin Phils later this week.

Over the past few days, the Phillies have also signed two right-handers, Jordan Elliott and Chris Motta.

Elliott, who is a graduate of Delaware State, had his contract purchased from the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League. According to one Phillies scout, Elliott was on the Phillies list of potential draftees in this past year’s draft, but they didn’t believe they would have room for him on a roster. Now, with pitching getting thin, they have signed him to a minor league deal for the remainder of the season.

In five seasons with Delaware State, Elliott was a combined 28-13 with a 4.08 ERA in 62 games, 55 of which were starts. With Washington this season, Elliott pitched in two games for a combined 1 1/3 innings and posted an ERA of 13.50 as a Wild Thing. He holds school records for wins (28), Innings Pitched (329) and is third in strikeouts (248).

Motta, pitched for the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League last season. Motta made 12 starts for Canberra and was 3-3 with an ERA of 5.93, walking 30 and striking out 46 in 57 2/3 innings of work. Motta graduated from Concordia University and was recommended to the Cavalry by former Phillies pitcher Steve Schrenk, who is a former manager of the Cavalry.

Motta started his career at Concordia as a catcher and volunteered to take to the mound when the pitching staff was worn thin. A scout saw him pitching and recommended to him that he abandon catching for a career as a pitcher. Motta took the advice and finished his career at Concordia as a pitcher, going 1-1 with a 5.30 ERA in 10 relief appearances, totaling 18 innings.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In fact, just the thought of it gives me a hashtagging headache.

Call me Old School but I don't use hashtags. I use the pound sign.

There was another one of "those" studies that came out recently that "found that employees who have sex frequently have significantly higher salaries than those who don't."

This raises a number of questions for me:

1 - When employers start to wonder if employee productivity has started to wane, should they encourage their employees to hook up with each other...maybe even re-purpose a little-used conference room? People people! I need your attention. I'm passing around a sign-up sheet for the Conubial Room for everyone so we can perk things up around here! Please remember to check off whether you would rather be paired up with your same gender, the other one, or for a solo session."

2 - Does it count just as much if one is uh, self-enjoying? Or could one do better by visiting some ladies of the evening? (Maybe that too should be in the employee benefit package if it helps the company.) But so was any of that covered in the study? Huh - was it?!

Oh darn - I just read past the headline to the rest of the article. It says that "The link between sexual activity and wages is the highest among employees between the ages of 26 and 50."

Talk about your diminishing returns. Time for a study that determines if there is a link between the theory that women lose interest, and men lose some physical ability after age 50 (neither of which happen to be true in our household, I feel it unfortunate though necessary to add!) with this study. Do wages decrease as the activity does? Or is it vice versa? Are people already satisfied with the income levels at those ages and don't need to increase it?

I think I need to write a government grant to study this further. Just don't count me in as a volunteer...unless they pay me...and it increases my income. Or maybe that's why it was true in the first place.

News item:

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Reading Fightin Phils split a doubleheader with the Altoona Curve at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona, Pa.

I’m not sure I’d want to go to a game at a stadium honoring Peoples Natural Gas.

It struck me today that as much as we on the left like to make fun of our right-wing friends for all the mistakes they've made in predicting the results of the Obama Presidency (still waiting for the economic collapse, the double digit inflation and stock market crash), we were just as wrong about the GW Bush Presidency.

Obama has been so, so much better than the Rs predicted, to their great dismay, and GWB was so, so much worse than we our great dismay.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It sometimes bugs me how many Republicans are constantly booked on the Sunday morning political talk shows - the most obvious, quantitative measure of how the main stream media skews to the right - all statistics show there are consistently more men, more Republicans, more white folks booked on those shows than Dems, women or minorities.

But after yesterday, I'm starting to think it's not such a bad thing, as explained by this article in Huffington Post:

As the author wrote: "Here is a message to the Republican Party, from me: Guys, I don't know if you've noticed this, but you are getting rooked pretty badly by the Sunday shows. Did y'all wake up today thinking that the best thing for your message was to have it carried by guys like Trump and Louis Gohmert and Steve King? I am guessing that's not the case. But that's who got booked, because nothing is better for ratings than a bunch of hot messes on the teevee."

"Look, Republican Party, there is probably nothing you can do about Donald Trump, because he is a unique, sparkling gas-sack unto himself. But can you guys see about keeping Gohmert and King occupied on Sunday mornings? Maybe give them both a sack of jacks and a rubber ball to bounce, or something? It would make my life better and it might even make your jobs easier as well."

It's kind of like the Republican debates, where the more people watched, the more people laughed at pretty much everything about the right-wing, from cheering the death penalty and their willingness to let people without health care just die to booing Iraq War vets. Shameful, yet shameless.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Interesting how according to the metrics/analytics of this blog, some of which only I can see and some of which can be seen down the right hand side of this blog, all the most viewed posts on this blog are of things having to do with sex or have pictures of sexy women (I should gratuitously add one here just to get more hits), but generally the only posts that get comments are on politics and are from the usual kinds of blog trolls, most of whom, from reading their writing, seemed to have dropped out of school in about 5th grade, which only seems to reinforce the stereotype of the standard uneducated Republican voter.

And oddly, the more stupidity I see in the comments only embolden me to write more about politics so said trolls have a chance to see a point of view they don't generally see from the overwhelmingly right-wing, conservative mainstream media that they feed on.

It's also remarkable how rarely the comments address anything I actually wrote in the post. More often, they see the topic and without speaking to the point I've made or trying to think it through and analyze the concepts (again the 5th grade education thing), they just pull the string in their backs and recite the right wing mantras that have virtually no basis in fact or merit.

And even more telling is how they all prefer to stay anonymous, hiding behind their screens, afraid to present themselves as clearly as I do, with no fear of their angry, self-incriminating comments. I actually feel sorry for them, that they don't have more pride in themselves.

One exception was a post some time back by a local gentleman named Anthony Oleck, who did have the courage to identify himself and I respect him for that. I actually wrote him a response to his comment, but it never posted for some reason. I thanked him for reading and for his comment and gave a few reasons why I didn't agree, and I also told him that I had written the editor of the Daily Local News and suggested that he and I do a weekly column in the paper debating any given topic, keeping the vitriol out of it, but presenting strong, fact-based arguments for our points of view.

Sadly, but predictably, the email to the editors of the Local was not responded to, probably for fear that they would be forced to actually present an occasional progressive view of something on a regular basis, which must have terrified them.

So, Mr. Oleck, if you check in again, thanks for reading, and for your comments.

Sappy stuff

Yesterday was my son, Trevor's 13th birthday. I don't want to write about that in the usual context of how old it makes me feels, since it doesn't and because that's not what's important here. And it would be easy to write the ole Where has the time gone?! But that isn't fair either, though it has an element of truth.

Instead I'll say the same thing I said in this Facebook page, which is that the last 12, though actually, it's 13, years of my life have been by far the best, though I could also frame it as the last 15, when Cheryl, Ev and Liss came permanently into my life, or the last 9+ since Emma was born.

But even more in terms of the Trevman, what I'd like to say is just how incredibly proud I am of him and the person he's become. I have never ever met anyone so relentlessly happy and upbeat. He never lets anyone get him down. Oh, his little sister knows how to push his buttons fer sure, but other than a quick flash of exasperation, Trev doesn't let that impact his overall mood.

And besides that attribute, I just love his enthusiasm about everything, including even himself.  "What did you like best about vacation, Trev?" "Everything!" Who was your favorite camper at Onas, Trev?" "Me!" And with no sense of conceit or ego. I just think Trev likes who he is. He likes being Trev. And I dare say pretty much everyone around him likes who he is too.

One other thing I'd like to say from a selfish standpoint, which is that I always imagined what it would like to be a dad, and the 4 kids I have have helped me exceed any and all dreams I ever had about what it would be like. I had ideas of things we would do together and the fun we would have and all that has happened many times over, but what I never realized was the capacity for love that I have and the way my kids make me feel.

This morning, getting ready for work, I saw one of the 100 or so unnecessary plastic objects in our house on the floor of our bedroom. It was a toy of some sort that one of the kids left there. And though my first reaction was probably a quick Grr that they'd left it there, that was quickly followed bya reminder of what that toy represents - the fun the kids have in their lives and the fun they've brought to my life and also that welling and swelling of love in my chest, that almost literally can take my breath away at times.

So, Trev, Ev, Emma and Liss - this is to all 4 of you, and you too, Ammar. Thank you so much for all you've done for me. Gawd knows, and you probably do too, the many things I wish I could do over differently and do better as a dad/stepdad, but I can only hope that each of you someday experience the love and reward that you have all given me many thousands of times over. And thanks to each of you for that.

I love you all.
 - Dad/Jamie
Wow, it's been a long time since I posted anything. I've had a number of thoughts of things I'd like to post, but I often wonder if I've already written it here somewhere since they are often things I've thought about a lot over the years. That leaves me with 3 options:

1 - Go through the whole blog to see if I've already written it.

2 - Don't take the time to look it up but write it anyway.

3 - Don't do either 1 or 2 above, taking the chance it'll never get written for fear of writing it more than once.

I think I'll go with #2 above based on the idea that if I don't remember if I wrote it, the readers probably won't either. So please excuse the possible early signs of Alzheimer's if you see the same topic written about twice.

(I am SO tempted to copy this entire post and then re-post it a second time, wondering if I'd already written about this. Oh, the hilarity.)