Friday, October 31, 2003

SEC Week 10 picks

Well, this Saturday is November, the month where the contenders break apart from the pretenders in SEC play.

LSU is playing out of conference this weekend against La. Tech, and although there's no SEC implication, my Tigers find themselves in BCS contention and therefore all games matter this year.

As I've said many times, LSU would typically fall on their face in a game like this; coming off the big win over Auburn. When set up for success, we typically choose failure. Performance in games like this is the key to judging Nick Saban in relation to Gerry DiNardo, Curley Hallman and Mike Archer - who all failed to turn good starts into great seasons.

And so we welcome La. Tech to Baton Rouge Saturday night. La. Tech is 4-4, having beaten UL-Lafayette, Michigan State, UTEP and Nevada, and having lost to Miami, Fresno State, Boise State and Hawaii. They've got a big mixed bag of results so far in 2003.

The team throws a lot, averaging 323 yards in the air (and only 136 on the ground), and they can score (28 points a game). Of course, this is against a very diverse set of opponents. They rang up 435 passing yards against now-9th-ranked Michigan State, for example, and only 165 yards the next week against Fresno State.

Inconsistent, to say the least.

LSU gives up 201 yards passing per game, but only allows 9.5 points (tops in the NCAA). And La. Tech is quite generous (315 yards passing, 186 yards rushing, 30 points) in offense allowed.

On paper, it's an LSU win for sure. The X factor is "The LSU Letdown". My money is on Saban not allowing this to happen.

LSU, 42 - 20

Elsewhere, the Crocs play the Bulldogs in the annual "Florida beats Georgia" game in Jacksonville. I've had a lot of discussion with folks about who I "should" be for in this game. On the one hand, if Georgia keeps winning, our win over Georgia will help us out in the final BCS standings (assuming we also win out). On the other hand, if Georgia loses, that sets up the chance that the SEC East champion could be decided by a vote of athletic directors. Could you imagine the day when that vote is happening? Here in Atlanta it would be like how everybody crowded around TVs to watch the OJ verdict.

But leaving aside whatever I'd like to see happen (I'm still not 100% sure), I think the Crocs are on a major upswing, with Chris Leak really coming into his own as an SEC QB. And the Dawgs are hurting bad, especially on defense. I think they're starting a cornerback who's 5'4" this weekend.

So I like the Croc offense to break out in this game. Florida, 31 - 27

Arkansas at Kentucky - Back-to-back-to-back SEC losses really dropped a turd in the Hogs' punchbowl. They have much, much less to play for now. Kentucky is on a roll (by Kentucky football standards), having been competitive against Florida and South Carolina and then beating Ohio and Miss St. I like the Cats' passing attack here. Kentucky, 31 - 21

South Carolina at Ole Miss - I should pull for the Cocks here, wishing a first SEC loss on Ole Miss. But the Rebels still have to play Auburn before meeting up with us in a couple of weeks, so I won't worry too much about this week. Besides, it would be great to have the LSU/Ole Miss game mean something for the first time since the early 1970s. Rebels, 42 - 14

UL Monroe at Auburn - Don't poke the Tiger, please. Bad start, big recovery, loss to LSU to take a backseat in the SEC West race. Look for Auburn to light this one up big, big time. Auburn 63 - 6

Duke at Tennessee - Duke comes to Knoxville in November? Seriously, Why does the ACC's worst team want to take this kind of abuse mid-season? Have they not had their asses kicked quite enough yet? Vols, 38 - 3

Thursday, October 30, 2003

What a cracker that Cap'n is

Digging through referral logs tonight, I noticed a visit from a Blogspot blog I did not recognize. Turns out some of my work is referenced and rebuked on a blog called Silver Rights, which is focused on "civil rights and related issues."

I thought about emailing the writer of that blog back with my rebuttal, but then I figured it's best done here for the public record.

The first swipe at the Cap'n came in a blog titled Southern blogger strikes out in anti-hate crimes argument. This was in response to the piece I wrote (in long form at about the Little 5 Points "hate crime" trial.

In that blog I'm called a "conservative" (I am not) and it charges that I believe hate crime laws "are an avenue for legally abusing white people" (I do not).

I'm not sure where Silver Rights got the second bit. Obviously not from reading my blog. My blog said all crime should be treated equally.

And if "hate crime" laws are such wonderful things that punish people more severely for crimes motivated by "hate", why did the two defendants convicted of the "hate crime" end up with a total of just 8 years in prison when the charge they pleaded guilty to (aggravated assault) carried a maximum 15 year sentence by itself?

If the judge was so damned outraged by the crime, why did he give them less than half the sentence he could have?

See, Silver Rights, I'm for stiff prison sentences for all violent crime, no matter the motivation. In my world, these shitheads would have gotten - and served - 15 years. In the real world of "hate crime" laws, they were convicted of a "hate crime" and still only got 8 years.

Do you, Silver Rights, feel better with these racist losers serving 8 years in prison after being convicted of a "hate crime", or would you have rather seen them serve 15 years for aggravated assault alone? I know the victims of this attack were none too happy with just 8 years.

Also, Silver Rights cited FBI statistics on "hate crimes" as evidence that "prosecutions, which are few, include whites as victims some of the time." Sorry, you're wrong. The FBI statistics are for reported incidents of "hate crimes", not prosecutions for hate crimes. Maybe you should spend some more time on your research.

The second appearance Cap'n Ken makes at Silver Rights is in a piece on MLK Boulevard, a "documentary" airing on Discovery Times.

In a blog titled Filmmaker explores "MLK Boulevard" the Cap'n is again referenced and rebuked.

There's so much misinformation about my review of MLK Boulevard in that blog, I'm going to have to pull out the • and go to bullet points:

• "Cap'n Ken, a blogger from Louisiana ..." Wrong. Maybe the URL or the tagline "The official blog of East Atlanta" should be a clue there. But I guess "from Louisiana" sounds better when you try to paint me as a bigot.

• "... he holds the filmmaker in such disdain that he refuses to refer to him by name ..." Nice leap of logic. The cracker writer from Louisiana really must hate this black filmmaker, huh? HE WON'T EVEN SAY THE BROTHER'S NAME!!!! Actually, I just didn't note or remember the guy's name. But way to go with the biased assumption.

• Cap'n Ken "accuses him of having faked footage in the movie without any support for the accusation." Maybe Silver Rights should actually read the pieces of my blog he/she excerpts. The third paragraph you lifted from my blog (the one where I make that "accusation") explains in detail what led me to that impression. To wit:

Now, the tape of this City Council meeting was taken from the local public-access cable channel. Such low-budget, government-run productions typically do not cut away from a council person as they are speaking to show others' reactions. I think the filmmaker - ala Michael Moore - assembled little bits and pieces of reactions (probably to unrelated things) and edited them together to create a certain impression of what happened. That's all too typical in these "documentaries".

• Silver Rights lifts this paragraph from my blog in which I state my understanding of the documentary's intention:

Is the renaming of a street in honor of King a fitting tribute, or is it a meaningless gesture that does nothing to promote King's vision and is just the default tribute required for all cities to pass NAACP muster?

and labels this "In a rhetorical question, Cap'n Ken says", and then concludes that "his position -- that such tributes are empty ...". Um, how'd you score in reading comprehension back in grade school? See, that paragraph states what the documentary is supposed to be about, not some conclusion I have drawn about the naming of streets after King. Pay attention, now.

• The last part of that paragraph "... is just the default tribute required for all cities to pass NAACP muster?" is labeled "his sneer at the NAACP". Wrong. Again. No surprise. There's no "sneer" at the NAACP in that line (as my wrapup below will explain), but Silver Rights is apparently so biased and so convinced that the Cap'n is some Louisiana conservative cracker that he/she reads everything as bigoted and negative.

See, here's the thing ... this documentary should have (and purported to) explore the question of whether naming streets after MLK really does anything to promote his legacy, or is it just the basic minimum requirement for a city to "go along" with the standard MLK tribute. I think there are a lot of cities that feel pressure from the NAACP and others to "honor" King by renaming a street, and I think cities often just go along to avoid any negative publicity. So instead of places looking deep into how King's legacy should be honored and his dream carried forward in their community, they rename a street and move on.

It would have been nice for the filmmaker (I don't remember his name - what a racist I am!) to actually explore that idea. That would have been worth time on my DishPVR 721. His leftist, afro-centric, predictable mockumentary did nothing to explore the issue.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

PETA on prowl against Mike V

Leave it to the nutjobs at PETA to use the Roy Horn tiger attack as a platform for pressuring LSU (and Southern) to get rid of their live big cat mascots.

PETA sent "urgent letters" yesterday to the universities' chancellors urging them - in the wake of the Roy Horn attack - to immediately retire the cats to sanctuaries "before similar tragic incidents strike at their schools’ campuses."

Of course, Mike V isn't led around Tiger Stadium on a leash.

Nonetheless, PETA is pleading with the universities to retire the cats -- which "pose the very real risk of attacking trainers, students, or members of the public with virtually no warning."

In its press release about the letters, PETA only mentions in passing the idea that keeping the cats in cages near football stadiums might not be such a nice thing.

And that's a point worthy of debate.

But, no, PETA is looking to keep its post-Roy publicity windfall rolling. There's nothing like a near-fatal attack on a celebrity to increase PETA's profile.

Also, big props to The Advocate (the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) for including an archive photo of Mike V from the day back in 1990 when the cub was introduced to his new home at LSU:

See, although I'm not in this shot, I was actually in the cage with Mike when this photo was taken. The guy at the top right was an LSU PR photographer, and I was a student writer in the PR office at the time. I had ditched a class and was heading out to my car when I saw the crowd at the cage. I talked the photographer into letting me be his "assistant" for the shoot and got to get in the cage and play around with Mike for about 30 minutes.

Only now do I see the very real danger I was in.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Dear Google searcher, let me set the record straight

Among the latest search terms that have guided folks to Cap'n Ken's is the term She crashed boxter searched on at Google.

As with most odd search paths that lead to The Cap'n, I had to check this one out and see how one would begin with that search and end up at CKHW.

That search on Google returns CKHW as the 17th result, with the exerpt shown as:

... and Catherine Zeta-Jones driving a Boxter down Melrose Ave ... she's not very attractive.) Again, there were probably a ... and burritos for dinner, and crashed about 9 ...

So did somebody click on my blog because they think I think Catherine Zeta-Jones is not very attractive??? Man, I can't have that.

For the record, I think Catherine Zeta-Jones is a fine, fine piece of ass, although she was hotter before she started squeezing out yard apes.

And, we only thought it was her and Mike driving the Boxter ... it's Elizabeth Berkeley I don't find attractive ... the post-burrito crashing was not a literal thing.

Moving weekend post-mortem

Our weekend of moving was eventful, to say the least. I could write about 10 separate blogs on it if I were so inclined. But I'm not feeling that ambitious today, so just the highlights.

The L5P U-Haul place has closed down; and that's the good news. I'd made a reservation for a 17-foot U-Haul truck earlier in the week. The wife had looked up the number for Little 5 Points Storage Wednesday while I was waiting on the DishNetwork girls. The truck was booked 3 p.m. Friday to 3 p.m. Saturday, which would give us time to move some small stuff with Char-lez Friday and the big stuff with Tom Saturday (Tom is a move-day maniac and can move a small house full of things in about 15 minutes. Plus, getting him to move my heavy stuff is payback for having to tote all those damn books of his when he moves).

So after picking up Grant Central and having the first official meal in the new place, Char-lez and I headed up to L5P Storage only to find an empty building (I was not aware it was part of the big Moreland shopping center project) and a demolition guy cruising around on a forklift. So I called the wife, who said she asked 411 for "Little 5 Points Storage" and that was the number she gave me. So I did the same, got a number and called it. It rang through (with no "this number has been changed" or anything) to the U-Haul place on 14th and Howell Mill.

Yes, the guy said, this is where I had made my reservation. But, no, they don't have my truck. Turns out the guy who had it Thursday had decided not to return it. Being told they were going to get an arrest warrant for him was of little comfort. I was told they have a 10-foot truck I could come get, but it would have to be back before 8 a.m. Saturday. And they could not guarantee me that there would be any trucks available Saturday.

This was the moment our moving plans changed. Faced with the prospect of having no truck Saturday, I knew we had to be set up and living in the new house Friday night.

Thus Char-lez went from box jockey to bona fide Moving Man, and instead of small appliances and bags of clothes he was tasked with helping move the 600-pound sofa and 2,850-pound bed.

It was appreciated, my brother.

So we moved late into the night; having given Char-lez his release after the really big stuff was over, got no sleep because our Little Black Dog kept waking up (and freaking out) to the smells of the former owner's dog (the smells didn't seem to bother the Big Brown Dog), and got back over to U-Haul right at 8 a.m. to stake out a 17-footer.

Luckily, they had one, and I was back at home by 9. Tom was a bit surprised - and maybe disappointed - to see all of the furniture in the new house when he showed up at 10:30, and he played the role of box jockey. He stuck around to suck down Maker's and Diet Cokes - yes, it is an excellent housewarming gift - and watch LSU (also his alma mater) stick it to Auburn.

Does Dish pay these people by the hour? The "advanced techs" from DishNetwork showed up about 1:30 on Friday to finish my installation (if you remember, the Dish girls who came out Wednesday were only able to get reception from one satellite and were baffled by the DishPVR 721).

I watched the advanced techs closely, and my theory that the Dish girls had not, in fact, given me a DishPro Quad LNBF was validated. But that was only half the battle.

After about an hour on top of the house, the advanced techs realized I was not going to be able to pick up the 119 satellite with a roof-mounted dish. I can't remember anything I've dreaded telling the wife more than "they are going to have to mount the dish on a pole in the backyard." Fortunately, the pole is pretty well hidden from view (at least from the deck; our neighbors get a pretty good view of it).

While Char-lez and I were on our great truck hunt, the Dish guys planted the pole, poured some Quikrete and buried the cables running back to the house.

The Dish girls spent 5 hours at the house Wednesday, and the Dish guys were there for about 3 hours Friday. That's 16 man hours and a decent amount of equipment and supplies. This would have cost me nothing, except I had to buy a Quad LNBF, which cost me $50. And they make money at this?

Yes, the humiliation is worth the cash. You may remember from my Pennies & Pounds blog that we had 37 pounds of pennies living in the world's ugliest wedding present at the old house. Based upon my careful calculations, I estimated there to be between $53.96 and $67.13 worth of Little Abes, depending on the mix of pre- and post-1983 coins.

Sunday night, I decided to take another stab at lugging them up to the CoinStar machine at the Ghetto Kroger. I tried this a week or so ago, only to discover the CoinStar was out of order (after experiencing the CoinStar process, it's amazing to me that they don't break down every hour or so).

But this time it was working. I plopped my box full of pennies down on the CoinStar and began dumping coin out of the Ziplocs inside.

Thirty Seven pounds of pennies takes about 20 minutes to feed through the CoinStar. And the CoinStar is like a Vegas slot machine in reverse. It's a constant clang of metal as you feed coins into it.

If I wasn't sure the people coming in the door were almost all thinking "damn, I wish I had that much money", I'd have been pretty embarassed.

The final count was 6,379 pennies, which the math whizzes among you know comes up to $63.79. That's right in the middle of my $53.96 - $67.13 estimate. Pretty good guess using just a bathroom scale, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

SEC Week 9 wrapup

OK, I admit it. I was completely wrong about the LSU / Auburn game.

It turns out we could hold those Tigers to our season average of just 53 yards rushing (actually, 50) and break their defense for an assload of yards and points.

I'm glad Char-lez couldn't make it over to the new house to watch the game with me and Tom. It was ugly.

So now LSU is 7 - 1, ranked 7th in the nation and poised (with wins over Ole Miss, Alabama and Arkansas) to get back to the title game in Atlanta. We play La. Tech this weekend in a tune-up for the SEC homestretch. This is where we usually fall apart. We'll see if Nick can hold the boys together.

Elsewhere: Tennessee / Alabama got real fun at the end. Tom and I put the LSU game on DVR hold while we watched this one wrap up. I got the pick right.

Arkansas / Ole Miss - Eli continued his run through the SEC. The road gets tougher now, boy. But I got this one right, too.

UAB / Georgia - I loved seeing the Dawgs stink the joint up again. I'd have been happy to give up this pick to see them lose. But no.

Miss State / Kentucky - Got it right.

Vandy / South Carolina - Got it right.

Damn, 6 - 0 for the week! No real shockers in my picks, but feels good nonetheless. That puts me 53 - 15 for the season, 7 - 1 on the Tigers.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

SEC Week 9 picks

Yes, an early rollout for my weekend football picks (not that anybody really cares). With the move on tomorrow, I wanted to get this out of the way.

So this is it. LSU / Auburn. Saturday Night in Tiger Stadium. The big showdown for the SEC West.

LSU is ranked 9th, Auburn 17th or 22nd, depending on what poll you believe. But there's so much to the story of this game, those rankings mean nothing.

Auburn was the pre-season star, found itself in deep trouble after two opening losses, and now looks again like a major SEC powerhouse.

LSU saw 2003 as its year to move up into the big leagues. We've looked great, except in the one game against Florida. The Crocs game could have broken our spirit, but we came back strong against S. Carolina.

Last week against the Cocks, LSU gave up zero yards rushing, and played better against the pass than the Cocks' 254 yards passing would indicate.

Meanwhile, Auburn rang up 405 yards on the ground against MSU and Coupe DeVille scored 6 times. The Tigers only gained 148 yards in the air, but didn't need any more than that.

A win for Auburn Saturday means they are for real and have the inside track for the West title. They would still have to beat Georgia and Ole Miss, of course. But a win in Tiger Stadium would help erase a lot of the pain of the club's 2003 start.

A win for LSU Saturday means they have the easiest path to Atlanta, with just Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas in the way (we've already beaten Georgia, of course). A win would also mean something like 7 straight weeks in the Top 10 and another big win for a program that is getting in a nice habit of collecting big wins.

It's shaping up to be a hell of a game. Old-style, ground-game, low-scoring physical SEC football.

LSU gives up an NCAA-low 9.9 points per game, and Auburn only gives up 12.4 a game.

Auburn averages 202 yards rushing a game; LSU has given up just 53 yards a game. LSU averages 155 rushing yards a game; Auburn gives up 92. But Broussard and Vincent looked like Dalton Hilliard and Garry James last week. The LSU ground/ball control game was in peak form vs. the Cocks.

Both teams are average through the air, and both are average on pass defense. LSU has the advantage at QB with the mature, level-headed Mauck. Auburn's QB can be rattled into some very, very bad decisions.

At the time when I began writing this, I was set to pick Auburn to win this game, as I did in the pre-season. And they have a good shot at it. But after my careful analysis, and putting aside all "homer" feelings toward LSU, I like our chances in a grind-em-up, down-and-dirty, for-all-the-marbles Saturday night home game on ESPN.

LSU, 17 - 14

Elsewhere in the SEC:

• Tennessee at Alabama - This year's Hillbilly/Redneck matchup is devoid of the kind of significance it typically holds. Tennessee has to hope for both Georgia and Florida to crumble if it's to win the SEC East, and Alabama has to hope for Jesus (or maybe Trot Nixon) to intervene if it is to win the SEC West (see, they're on probation). And neither team looks that good this year. I'll go Vols, 20 - 13

• Arkansas at Ole Miss - Two ways to look at this game from the LSU perspective. If Arkansas loses, they are completely out of the SEC West picture. Scratch that opponent and take the pressure off if we meet the Hogs with one SEC loss the last weekend of the season. Ole Miss has yet to lose in the SEC, so a loss for the Rebels puts them on par with LSU in the West race. I think I'd rather get Arkansas all the way out of the picture now and look forward to LSU vs. Ole Miss and Ole Miss vs. Auburn in the coming weeks to really settle the West. And I think Ole Miss will win this one, anyway. Rebels, 31 - 20

• UAB at Georgia - Oh how I'd love UAB to pull an upset here. Georgia is No. 3 in the BCS after Va. Tech blew it, and is within reach of playing for the national title if they win out (no easy feat for an SEC team). So if they stumbled against the Blazers, it would be a classic fold. But I'm not counting on it. UGA, 45 - 10

• Miss. State at Kentucky - This game has less impact on the SEC race than my desire for Katie Holmes has on her plans for next Saturday night. Cats, 42 - 3

• Vanderbilt at South Carolina - Slightly less significance than my crush on Katie. Cocks, 3 - 0

Let's Make a Deal

Our (now) former tenant "Randy" is a really cool guy. He's got this Moby / Michael Stipe vibe going, works in the Internet world and has great taste in music, art and - of course - houses.

So I was pretty apprehensive about our scheduled meeting last night to hand over the keys and make him officially our former tenant. This was because as of yesterday afternoon the house was still just plain filthy.

I'm talking bags of garbage all over, boxes - empty & full, intact and broken apart, you name it - everywhere, leftover crap from the yard sale in the garage and not a lick of cleaning having been done.

We saw this on Sunday after the yard sale was over. I figured Randy would probably get stuff cleaned out Monday. So I go over Monday night ... exactly the same. Tuesday night? Nothing had changed. Wednesday at noon? Still a filth pit.

With us moving Friday and Saturday, this was not a good thing. I quickly arranged to have the cleaning crew who's doing the move-out clean on the old place come out today and clean the new place, figuring I'd take the cost out of Randy's security deposit.

But I still dreaded the 6:30 house hand-over. I didn't want my last experience with Randy to be unpleasant. Because up until this, things had gone just fine.

I was prepared, however, to be a jackass about it. The house was getting cleaned Thursday, and Randy's paying for it. And we're moving Friday. End of story.

I anticipated his potential reaction that, technically, he's renting through the end of October so he'll clean the place when he damn well pleases.

I even thought maybe he thought it was next Wednesday we were doing the handoff. I nervously awaited his arrival.

Then at 6:20 he bounds through the door. He's smiling, friendly, asks how things are and all that. I give him "Things are good. The house is pretty filthy, though" as my lead in.

He comes back with "I'm here to make a deal. I had every intention to get over and finish up here, but honestly I'm just not into it. I'd rather be working on my new place."

So I tell him I figured as much, had already ordered the cleaning crew, how much it would cost and that I'd just take it out of his deposit.

He said the price seemed a little high, then laughed and said "but you have me by the short ones."

After I agreed to buy the brand-new 17" monitor and two Sony CD changers he'd left behind for $50 and told him I'd deal with the rest of the yard-sale stuff if I can take the tax writeoff, we talked shop for a little while and he was off.

He says he's having a housewarming party at the new place, and we'll get an invitation. We'll invite him back over to his old place for our party, too.

And thus ends the saga of Randy and The House Hunt. I call this episode: "The Final Burial"

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

"It's a Seven Twenty Who?"

My Wednesday afternoon was spent at the new house, waiting around for the DishNetwork installation team. It was lonely over there; just me, the breakfast table we'd bought from the previous owners, and the piles of trash, dog hair and empty boxes the former owner/tenant had left behind (more on that later).

That the Dish system was the first thing to be set up at the new house was not an accident. The LSU/Auburn game Saturday night will come at the end of our big move day, and will be the first featured event at the new place.

So I packed up the living room TV, the little spare TV (a stand-in for our bedroom set so I didn't have to tote it back and forth), my DishPVR 501 and DishPVR 721 Number 5 (yes, it is still alive) and brought them up to the new place.

I have enough experience with DishNetwork and specifically the DishPVR 721 to know nothing is simple with this particular piece of equipment. I had told the DishMover person I needed the DishPro Quad LNBF when I set the move up and explained that I, in fact, was the one person in the U.S. who has a DishPVR 721.

When the install crew - two young ladies who didn't look like installers - showed up, I had to spend 20 minutes or so telling them about the 721, since they had not only never installed one, but had never even heard of it.

"See, it has two satellite inputs, because it has two tuners," I said politely. They were very nice, but just didn't know what to make of this box. Finally I told them to treat it like I had two separate tuners in the same spot, and that helped things along.

They then set about hooking my system up. The 501 upstairs was no problem. And they even managed to get two cables down to the 721. And, it seemed, the system was working for a while.

Then they went back up the ladder and started fooling around with the dish. Two hours later, they said a specialist was going to have to come out because they were not picking up the signal for the 119 satellite, just the 110.

Since it was 7:30 by this time, I didn't offer my theory that they must be using a multi-switch up at the dish, when the DishPro Quad has its own switch built in and is not compatible with other switches (installing your own Quad teaches you these things). But I suspect that's what the advanced tech guy will find out when he comes out.

Char-lez, sombody's looking for you

Among the latest searches that brought folks in to Cap'n Ken's was the term "char-lez" searched for on Google.

Two questions: Who's searching for "char-lez"? and why is Cap'n Ken's the 26th result that shows up???

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Little 5 "hate" trial

I like that the scum who beat up the two brothers (I mean "brothers" in the sense that they are siblings, not in the sense that they are black - although they are "brothers" in that sense, too) pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault charges that will get them 15 years in prison but are fighting the "hate crime" charges that could tack on another 5.

I hate "hate crime" legislation. If "hate crime" legislation were a person, I would hate him. I might even whack him upside his head, which would get me an extra 5 years in prison.

Any chance that these morons are part of some kind of group using this case to test the constitutionality of "hate crime" legislation?

Cap'n Ken answers your search questions

Today, a Google searcher asks "pumpkin scones Starbucks". Cap'n Ken's Homespun Wisdom is the 51st result on Google for that search. Thanks for digging deep, friend.

Yes, searcher, Starbucks has again rolled out its fabulous pumpkin scones for the "holiday" season! And they are quite yummy. The wife and myself make it a tradition to order up pumpkin scones with our regular fare (Quad Venti Iced Latte for myself and Venti Nonfat Iced Chai for the wife).

Sunday, October 19, 2003

SEC Week 8 wrapup

Well, turns out LSU decided to take the team that played Georgia over to South Carolina and leave the team that played Florida at home. Good move.

The Tigers gave up some really stupid big pass plays, and would have given up more if the Cocks could catch, but held the Love Commandoes to a total of zero yards rushing.

Offensively, the running game finally came together in a big way, with the trio of freshmen - Broussard, Vincent and Edwards - showing the promise of great things ahead - and Mauck did a fine job of leading a balanced attack. The "epic" (as ESPN called it) 97-yard first-half drive - in which we actually racked up 116 yards of offense thanks to two dead-ball penalties - just crushed the Johnsons, and when they failed to reach the end zone after catching a Hail Mary to end the first half, it was over.

Next week's game against Auburn should be interesting. Those Tigers piled up 405 rushing yards against MSU; we held Carolina to zero rushing yards.

Elsewhere, I again forgot about a game (Alabama at Ole Miss), but I'd have taken the mascot-less Rebels here, so I'll claim a win (you'll remember I owned up to not getting the Thursday UK/USC game right even though I forgot to pick it).

Florida did us a favor and beat Arkansas. I missed that one.

Auburn, as predicted, crushed MSU and helped drive Jackie Sherrill into retirement.

Georgia looked unimpressive beating Vandy, but it's a win for them - and me.

Kentucky beat Ohio, as picked.

So, 5 - 1 for the week; 47 - 15 for the season, 6 - 1 on LSU picks.

Friday, October 17, 2003

SEC Week 8 picks

Things are much calmer this weekend, with the big Saturday of matchups behind us. But any weekend with SEC football is a good weekend.

My Tigers are on the road in Columbia to take on the other USC. Shaping up as a defensive struggle. Look for Michael Clayton to have himself a decent enough game for us to pull away late. LSU, 24 - 17

• Florida at Arkansas - As much as I'd like Florida to win and give Arkansas a second SEC loss, I think the Crocs blew their wad last week in Baton Rouge. Hogs, 27 - 14

• MSU at Auburn - As much as I'd like MSU to win and give Auburn a first SEC loss, MSU sucks. Auburn, 42 - 10

• Georgia at Vanderbilt - Almost a bye week for the Dawgs. If they have to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, it would make the trip to Nashville worthwhile. UGA, 56 - 3

• Ohio at Kentucky - Ohio? OK. Kentucky, 38 - 20

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yes sir, Mr. Randall. Whatever you say

On the way home from work today, my drive was held up for about 5 minutes as a big truck turned around and backed up on Grant Street. I was pretty annoyed until I got past the truck and realized it was from one of my favorite Atlanta companies - Randall Brothers.

Randall Brothers is a big building materials/HVAC concern that is - and has been since 1885 - headquartered on Marietta Street near my old office. It's Atlanta's 5th-oldest active company according to the AJC.

But my love for all things historic is not why I like Randall Brothers so much. What I love is their logo.

To wit:

That small Web graphic isn't the best representation of the logo, so look for the big orange trucks to get a better view. (Big props for the use of purple and gold, BTW)

The Randall slogan "Pointing the way to better living" is illustrated in their logo by what appears to be a Mafia boss threatening to inflict some serious harm on you.

Seems to me "pointing the way to better living" would be illustrated by a guy in coveralls pointing confidently out toward the horizon or something.

But no, we get a really mean looking dude in a black suit pointing right fucking at us for Chrissakes!

"Pointing the way to you keeping your legs unbroken by buying a fucking air conditioner" is more like it.

According to the Randall website, the "Pointing Man" is not Mr. Randall or anybody in particular. The logo has been in use, the site says, for more than 90 years and "exemplifies their seriousness and determination to serve."

Yeah, to serve a fucking horse head up in my bed.

Not to mention humid ...

Many times when the long playlist of MP3s hits The Myrtles, I get curious about what the guys are up to. [for those of you who don't remember, The Myrtles are a very cool alt-country band headed up by my buddy Lee from Louisiana]

So I hit their website this afternoon and notice there's a couple of new reviews of them posted. One is from "Italiana" and, as you might expect, is written in Italian. I like that the boys just posted the review sans translation.

Of course, I want to see what the Italians are writing about The Myrtles, so I copied the review and pasted into Babel Fish.

The resulting Italian to English translation is mostly gibberish, but the phrase:

"i Myrtles arrivano da Baton Rouge, Louisiana, luogo magico ed assolato del Sud"

translates as:

"the Myrtles arrives from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, magical and sunny place of the South"

Baton Rouge "magical"? It's a hell of a place to spank your cousins or drink yourself to death, but I don't know that I'd go so far as call it "magical."

The move is on!

I got word today that "Randy" is turning over the keys to the new Casa Ken (and Casa The Wife) this coming Wednesday, enabling us to start our move on that day and be officially in residence by the end of next weekend (the moving / LSU-Auburn party is Saturday).

So now everything swings into motion. I just got off the phone with DishNetwork about getting my service set up there (it's also set for Wednesday). During the call, you get transferred to an agent who goes over all the rules - someone over 18 must be there; you must have the TV set up 3 feet off the wall; if you reschedule, you must give 24 hours' notice; etc. - and one of the things she asked was "Is there a homeowners association?" My quick mind, in which is stored the information that there is already a DirecTV dish installed at the house, reasons that it is harmless to answer this with the correct answer - "yes".

So I say "yes, but there's already a DirecTV dish on the house, so dishes are not an issue." Her response was that I need to provide a letter stating that dishes are OK, because the rules may have changed.

Well, fuck me, I'm thinking. I haven't met any association people, and I do not yet have any paperwork. The association, you see, exists to maintain a gate on the main part of the subdivision that was not, in fact, built. It's 10% of an association at best.

As it turns out, I got put on hold during part of the process for so long that the woman forgot where she was in the rundown of questions when we resumed that part of the call. So she starts over.

When she got to "is there a homeowners association?" I said "no" and that seemed to satisfy her. Hopefully there will be no issues encountered with this Wednesday.

With that task handled, I moved on to security system monitoring. Randy gave me the name of the company he is currently using (almost all of the houses have this company's sign in their yards, so I checked out their site.

My inclination is to not consider them based solely on their amazingly useless website. They plug applets in to make the buttons change colors when you mouse over, yet there is no content on the site. And some design firm actually put their name on this.

In any case, I welcome any feedback on good and bad security companies out there. Looking for cheap, reliable monitoring without a contract.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

And LSU dropped out of the Top 10 Party Schools list?

The death last Friday of an LSU student has been confirmed to be "alcohol related," according to a story in The Advocate (the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) today.

By "alchohol related", they mean that the kid had a blood alcohol level of 0.43. For perspective, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 gets you arrested for DWI, 0.30 is considered toxic and police breathalyzers only go up to 0.395.

According to the story, 19-year-old Corey James Domingue spent last Thursday night at his Tigerland apartment with his best friends - six other students and as assload of rum. The group was "studying for a test," police were told.

Ironically, Domingue was not only a Cajun, but also a chemical engineering major, meaning he should have known plenty about alcohol and its effect on the body.

Domingue also failed to set a new mark for the highest blood-alcohol level recorded by an LSU student. That title is still held by then-fratboy-pledge Benjamin Wynne, whose alcohol level was measured - in the morgue - at 0.588 after being forced to drink 25 - 30 drinks in an hour.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Fortunately, there are no sick kids in America who need medical attention

The news today is dominated by the story of Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim, conjoined twins from Egypt who were separated by doctors in Dallas during a 34-hour surgical marathon.

I'm a compassionate guy (ok, maybe I'm not), but stories like this really bother me.

To make life better - not to save their lives, even - for these two people from Egypt, some of the most talented American medical professionals swung into action. Consider these facts as presented by Children's Medical Center in Dallas on the website built to fill the public's hunger for information about Mohamed and Ahmed:

• The surgery occurred after a "year of intense preparation" that included "extensive diagnostic tests" and "customized surgical equipment"

• The surgical team included more than 60 members of the hospital's medical staff, including five neurosurgeons, two craniofacial surgeons, a pediatric plastic surgeon, a pediatric general surgeon, an oral surgeon, nine anesthesiologists, six pediatric nurses, six surgical technologists, four respiratory therapists, four anesthesia technicians and support staff

• The separated twins will now spend about a week in the hospital's pediatric critical care unit

• Follow-up care will include reconstructive surgeries that will be done in stages and could take several years. The twins will travel from Egypt to Dallas for the surgeries

• The direct costs of the initial surgery are $125,000, with total costs estimated to be $2 million. The World Craniofacial Foundation raised the initial $125,000 to pay the hospital

• The surgeons, hospital and "hundreds of professionals" involved have donated the time they have spent and will spend on the twins' care

... all to make life better for two people from Egypt.

I don't find references to public money being spent, so I'll assume this project is mostly a private effort - the money comes from donations, the hospital, surgeons and staff chose to donate their time, etc.

But how can the hospital, its surgeons and staff and the people who donated to this cause justify all of this? Sure, it's a feel-good thing to make life better for these twins, but what about the opportunity costs?

I'd hazard to guess there are plenty of children in Texas whose lives could be made significantly better if these medical resources were made available to them rather than devoted to making life better for two people from Egypt.

How about spending that "year of intense preparation" providing pre-natal care for poor women in the state? I bet there are plenty of poor pregnant women who could use "extensive diagnostic tests".

Why not use the 10 surgeons and support staff occupied by the twins to perform neurosurgery, craniofacial surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery and oral surgery for procedures for children who need those surgeries in Texas or elsewhere in the U.S.?

Instead of more reconstructive surgeries and follow-up care for these two people from Egypt, maybe you could perform reconstruction on car accident victims who otherwise would remain disfigured?

Perhaps the $125,000 (and ultimately $2 million) donated to make life easier for two people from Egypt might do more good if donated for indigent care at Children's Hospital?

Couldn't the "hundreds of professionals" who donated all this time for more than a year make more of an impact by donating their time at free clinics or by visiting schools to give poor kids the routine checkups they probably don't get now?

And the hospital could have spent the time and money it took to create the special twins website on a site that provides better health information for the community.

But no.

In the judgment of the hospital, its doctors, nurses, support staff and the people who donated the money for this procedure, making life easier for two people from Egypt is a more important cause than anything else that could have been done with these tremendous resources.

And multiply this by the number of times we see this happen - remember the conjoined Guatemalan twins at UCLA - and there are no doubt thousands of people in the U.S. who could benefit from the time and money being devoted to the care of a handful of people who are fortunate enough to tug at the heart strings of America.

I find that sad.

SEC Week 7 recap

Well, LSU finally pulled an LSU and turned to shit when it mattered. Florida came in with an excellent gameplan to counter our pressure-heavy defense, and Chris Leak made few mistakes, but my Tigers just didn't come to play.

Stupid penalties; dropped passes; an inability to stop Florida's ground game and short passes; and just a lack of interest, it seems, spelled doom from the outset. We could be 6-0 right now and ranked 4th in the country. But no, this is LSU. We screw the pooch, fall to 5-1, give Auburn the clear shot to Atlanta, drop to No. 10 in the polls and hand Georgia our No. 4 spot. Lovely.

One could argue that LSU should still be ranked higher than Georgia, seeing as their one loss is to us ... but after UGA's rout of Tennessee, it's clear they are the class of the SEC East and deserve the conference's top ranking.

So I blew the LSU call, but got all my other Saturday picks right. Factor in my "miss" of the Thursday game ... 6 - 2 for the week; 42 - 14 for the season, 5 - 1 on LSU picks.

Friday, October 10, 2003


Some old, abandoned, about-to-be-torn-down government building in Downtown Baton Rouge caught on fire yesterday:

[side note: The caption to that photo (from The Advocate - the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) read: "The state Department of Education building, which is slated to be imploded, is wrapped for an asbestos abatement project. A statue of former Gov. Huey P. Long, as seen through a telephoto lens, appears to be standing near the burning building." Gee, thanks. I'd have never figured out that the statue appears to be near the building.]

Anyway, the overly-long story in The Advocate about this event talked about how people were freaking because the building has asbestos and that the asbestos might be spreading through the air - nevermind that asbestos is, in fact, a fire retardant.

And we had this quote from a Karen Bacon, a paralegal (and parathinker) who works nearby and took photos of the fire to show her kids:

"I think it will remind them of the World Trade Center," she said. "It's similar to what we went through that day, but on a smaller scale."

If by "similar to what we went through" Karen means there was not really much happening in Baton Rouge that day, she has a point.

But a fire at an abandoned building being similar to Sept. 11? Come on. Sure, this old firetrap is one of the tallest buildings in town, and the concrete wrapper they put on it makes it look kind of WTCish, but give me a break.

Just goes to show that outside of LSU football and Indians running for governor, there's not a hell of a lot happening in B.R.

Paddling-and-videotaped-masturbation-loving-coroner-candidate update

Jerry Sanders has dropped out of the race for Baton Rouge coroner. Seems the "bad press" he received related to his supposed love for paddling his adult male cousins and his desire to videotape them masturbating lowered his chances of winning the runoff (he came in first in the primary).

Sanders also says he will quit his current job of deputy coroner, thus leaving dozens of corpses to go unspanked in the weeks ahead.

Shannon Cooper, the man who finished second in the race and will now win the runoff by default, was gracious in his comments about the news.

"This is a good outcome for the parish," he said. "I am the best qualified for the position, so it was an inevitable outcome as I see it."

Sanders abandons race

Ole Miss gives up

In Ole Miss' ongoing efforts to be more "inclusive" and shed its image as a relic of the Confederate South, Colonel Rebel was banned from football games this year.

Colonel Rebel as window cling

Colonel Rebel is the 25-year-old school mascot, who resembles a disgruntled Colonel Sanders with horrible fashion sense.

It's worth noting that the university still licenses the Colonel Rebel image for sale on all sorts of Ole Miss merchandise. Political correctness is fine as long as it doesn't impact licensed product sales, I suppose.

In any case, the Colonel is no longer welcome at football games. I think each entry gate at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium has a photo of the Colonel with "DO NOT ADMIT!" written under it now.

In his place, university officials came up with two potential new mascot designs and asked students, season ticket holders and other Ole Miss VIPs to pick the winner by online vote.

The contenders were:

• "Rebel Bruiser" - He looks kind of like the Colonel's bastard son. He's gone prematurely grey, is apparently pumped up on steroids and wears football pants, a fashionable Britney-cut bare-midriff shirt and a pimp hat. The Bruiser, I suppose, represents Ole Miss' traditions translated to the modern age; he's your typical Mississippi redneck wearing the pimp hat and goatee in a desperate attempt to cling to the glorious past of the Old South. In other words, he's a member of Kappa Alpha.

• "Rowdy Rebel" - Yep, he's rowdy alright. And he's damn sure pissed off at something. He's clinging to a football, but is also lunging toward us and is ready to clock somebody with a left hook. The look on his face tells me perhaps he was just gang-raped by a bunch of KAs or something. Maybe he's a pledge.

Over the past two decades, Ole Miss have been told they can't wave the Stars and Bars (hence the ridiculous "Battle M" flag - which the school appears to have retired now) at football games. The school took Colonel Rebel off the helmets some years back, and has banned him from games altogether now.

So when the interested Ole Miss fans were asked to vote for either the redneck KA member of the anally-raped KA pledge as their new mascot, they ignored the request in overwhelming numbers. Of the 40,000 people qualified to vote, only 2,400 bothered, prompting the embarassed athletic department to cancel the vote and put off any decision on a new mascot.

And, thus, the Rebels will remain mascot-less.

SEC Week 7 picks

Big weekend for both the SEC West and SEC East races. Enough talk ... get to predictions ...

LSU plays host to the Florida Crocodiles. Once again we face the consistency test. By all measures, the 2003 Tigers are better than the 2003 Crocs, but historically this is also when we fall apart.

But I am going to continue putting my faith in Nick and the boys. Chris Leak will be rattled and play even more freshman-like than he has so far; and our offense will continue to show good execution. LSU, 31 - 17

• Georgia at Tennessee - This is the game for the SEC East, barring any real collapses by the Dawgs or Vols later. As I've mentioned, I have not been all that impressed by Tennessee, but they are growing on me. And Knoxville is always, always tough for Georgia. And as much as I would like to see Georgia get another roadblock in its march to Atlanta, I don't see it happening here. UGA, 34 - 24

• Auburn at Arkansas - Apart from each of these teams' games against LSU, this is the game for the SEC West. After this week, Arkansas really only has the LSU game left as a challenge, so they need a loss here. Auburn still has to play Georgia and LSU, so my motivation is clear. And it looks like Auburn is about as good as people thought. So, Auburn, 21 - 17

• Kentucky at South Carolina - Hey, who knew this was a Thursday game? My bad. I'd have picked Kentucky to break out their offense here, so I'll take the loss. Kentucky, 100 - 0

• Southern Miss at Alabama - Meaningless unless you're Mike Shula. Alabama, 24 - 14

• Arkansas State at Ole Miss - Meaningless unless you're Eli Manning or Colonel Rebel, who'll be watching from home. Ole Miss, 42 - 10

• Memphis at Miss. State - Meaningless unless you're Jackie Sherrill. MSU, 28 - 20

• Navy at Vanderbilt - Just plain meaningless. Navy, 24 - 10

Thursday, October 09, 2003

The falls of Stokeswood Ave.

Coming in to work this morning, I very gingerly drove over what appeared to be a sinkhole in the making at Stokeswood and Ormewood Ave.

There was nice, brown water spewing up from a bulging spot in the asphalt and running down Ormewood. I did wonder as I drove over it whether I'd be sucked into a sinkhole and get washed down the water lines toward Turner Field.

Fortunately, I did not die. I imagine by this afternoon, however, there will be a huge hole in the road that closes Stokeswood and maybe Ormewood.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

You have to wonder what kind of person runs for coroner, anyway

This from The Advocate (the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) today:

A guy - Jerry Sanders - who's running for coroner apparently pays his cousins to allow him to spank them.

One of his cousins called 911 after Jerry got mad when the cousin refused to masturbate in front of him and his video camera.

Jerry came in first in the primary Saturday. It'll be interesting to see if Baton Rougeans are troubled by their would-be-coroner's odd sexual tastes.

Coroner candidate's cousins called 911 after 'swats'

No doubt on Arnold now

Going into election day in California, I heard an interesting take on how one might look at the vote.

The first question, of course was whether to recall Davis. It could be argued that the percentage of people voting "no" on recall were, in fact, voting for Davis as the candidate in the race. That doesn't take into account the people who probably would not vote for Davis specifically but didn't want to see the recall happen for whatever reason, but still a valid point.

So, the logic went, if Davis got around 45% of the vote (the "no"s) and Arnold got the 30% or so he was projected to get in the new governor's race, then Davis really "beats" Arnold.

Interesting way of looking at it.

Of course, in the end is looks like Arnold got more votes (3.575 million) in his race than Davis (3.487 million) got in his anyway.

There's no doubt, then, that the Californians want Arnold, not Davis.

And have you looked at the results farther down the ballot in the Joke Candidate category?

• Larry Flynt finished atop the pack of ridiculous candidates (15,155 votes) and 7th overall.

• Gary Coleman (12,549) was hot on Flynt's wheels, finishing 8th overall

• Mary Carey (9,855) was 10th overall

• Gallagher (4,784) smashed his way to 16th on the list

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

A Pity Link

I woke up this morning and checked in on the wife's blog to see what she was working up last night as I drifted off to sleep around 9 (I haven't been sleeping well, and it caught up to me).

Turns out one of the "what's pissing me off today" items she linked to was my blog about Jesus' apparent (if you are to believe Trot Nixon) preference for the Boston Red Sox to prosper at the expense of small children and other humans.

I like that blog of mine. I think I did a pretty good job of making fun of "Christians" like Nixon who think Jesus gives a rat's ass about baseball.

But the wife's reference to it (and her mention in her subsequent blog about buying "shares" of Cap'n Ken) is pure web log pity.

See, the wife is a rising star in the blog world. She's had Pulitzer Prize-winning writers wanting her to comment on news stories, she's been featured on's web log column and her readership is loyal and growing.

Here at Cap'n Ken's, I consider it a good week if both Tom and Will stop by to read me.

I think I have a good blog. Apart from the SEC football stuff, which I include for my own amusement and future reference, I think the stuff I write about is often interesting and I like to think I have an entertaining writing style.

I am, after all, a trained and formerly professional journalist.

But Cap'n Ken's Homespun Wisdom gets less traffic than a cul-de-sac in Dawson County and generates less buzz than a burned-out light bulb.

Meanwhile the wife is a certified Blog Star.

This used to bother me. It's not that the wife doesn't deserve her success; she's extremely bright, a keen observer of the world and a good writer to boot. She used to be a semi-professional writer as well. We're just very competitive. And I'm losing at the blog thing.

But yesterday I came across a study conducted by Perseus about web logs that explains a lot.

According to the study, not only are women more active blog creators (56% of blogs are created by women), but women are more likely than men to stick with their blogs.

Apparently women are just more interested than men in creating blogs and in reading each other's blogs.

Women bloggers also benefit from the "girls who blog" link lists that form an instant community based just on gender (of course, if women make up the majority of bloggers, it would be more logical to have "guys who blog" to represent the actual minority. But that wouldn't work).

So my scapegoat for the lack of success at Cap'n Ken's is the blog culture itself. Apparently it's a girl's game.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Vote for the Indian ... it's important!!

I'd be failing in my duties as an ex-Louisianian if I did not take note of the governor's race down there.

No, it's not a recall. Louisiana, because it's Louisiana, has its governor's elections in odd-numbered years. And the primary is on a Saturday ... and it's an open primary where the top two vote-getters, no matter the political party, go on to the runoff.

Not a strange system if you grew up with it.

But it does produce strange results sometimes. Witness Edwin Edwards vs. David Duke in 1991.

And this year's race is also strange ... but in a non-typical strange way.

After Saturday's primary, the stage has been set for Louisiana to get either:

a) its first woman governor (Kathleen Blanco)


b) its first governor born to Indian (as in India) parents who has never held actual elective office, but who is Catholic, a product of Baton Rouge public schools, an honors graduate of Brown University, a Rhodes Scholar and an arch-Conservative Republican.

The latter is Bobby Jindal, who by all accounts is much, much, much too bright of a young man to still be living in Louisiana.

He came in first in the primary with 33% of the vote. Blanco (who reminds people at every turn that her maiden name is Babineaux - read: Cajun) finished with 18%.

You have to be damned impressed that a brown man can get that much support in such a backwards state.

Problem for Bobby is that his 33% represents about 99% of the wacko, anti-abortion, Christian Coalition crowd that forms the base of most Republicans' base in Louisiana.

Current Governor Mike Foster, a Republican, is a burly, hunting-and-fishing type whose granddaddy was governor. That goes a long way toward courting coonass Democrats who otherwise might vote Democrat.

So can an intellectual Indian get that kind of support? Not likely. Bobby has to come up with some reason for blacks and poor whites (who aren't anti-abortionists) to vote for him.

It may not be Edwards/Duke, but it'll be a fun month to watch politics down there.

SEC Week 6 recap

Florida looks bad, mkay?

I think Mr. Leak is going to have a tough time handling the crowd at Tiger Stadium, seeing as he was rattled by his home crowd against Ole Miss.

To the recap!

• Auburn / Tennessee. I didn't hear a single commentator, analyst or announcer pick the No. 7 Vols over the unranked Tigers before the game. And with good reason. Auburn is a good team with a bad start. The West is still LSU/Auburn/Arkansas. So I got this one right.

• Georgia / Alabama. As predicted, an easy win for the Dawgs, although they did their part to make it an ugly, ugly second half.

• Florida / Ole Miss. Florida is bad, mkay? Missed this one.

• MSU / Vandy. The pride is back in Starkville!

For the week, 3 - 1. For the season, 36 - 12. Still 5 - 0 on LSU.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Thank you, Jesus, for keeping the Red Sox alive

After hitting the game-winning, elimination-stopping, 11th-inning home run at Fenway Park last night, Boston's Trot Nixon explained what happened to ESPN's Gary Miller:

"I went to the plate asking the Lord to just calm my nerves ... I told him to just calm my nerves and allow me to honor Him out there on the field. And he came through for me today. It wasn't me swinging that bat; it was the Lord Jesus Christ."

Fortunately for Boston, Jesus choose to spend his Saturday at Fenway Park keeping the Sox' post-season hopes alive.

That's too bad for Jerome Bright.

While Jesus was taking batting practice before the game yesterday, he didn't notice Jerome, an 8-year-old Philadelphia boy, riding his scooter out in front of an SUV.

Jesus was happy to help Trot calm his nerves at the plate for his big baseball moment. The Lord could have helped keep small planes from crashing in Utah and Iowa Saturday, but who would have noticed that?

Trot is proud to be able to honor The Lord at the plate. And he was rewarded by Jesus' guiding hand on that home run.

Elsewhere Saturday, Jesus guided a hit-and-run driver into Stephen Gates as he changed a tire along I-40 in North Carolina and an 18-wheeler into an Idaho man as he was putting gas into his pickup on I-84.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Signs of life for R.E.M.?

I caught R.E.M. on David Letterman last night. They performed "Bad Day," which is one of the new songs from their upcoming disc: "In Time: The Best of R.E.M 1988-2003".

For the record, I'm of the opinion that the actual "Best of R.E.M." all happened before 1988 and that, in general, the band has sucked since 1992 ("Automatic For The People").

So I didn't expect much more than a cure for my insomnia when I pulled the Letterman show up off the PVR at about 1 a.m.

The pride of Athens surprised me.

First off, "Bad Day" is a damn good, old-school R.E.M. song. According to Pete Buck, the song has been around in a rough form since "Life's Rich Pageant" (c.1986), which explains its lack of sucking (and the Bill Berry writing credit).

And, being as "In Time" is a best-of record containing just two new songs, Stipe doesn't have the chance to turn this release into the kind of downer record he's shaped most recently.

But more significantly, Buck, Mills and Stipe actually seemed to be enjoying pounding out the classic R.E.M. brand of rock.

That Buck would be enjoying being an actual rock-n-roll guitarist is not surprising, seeing as he spends his spare time playing poorly-attended gigs alongside Young Fresh Fellow/unofficial Scott McCaughey in their side projects The Minus 5/Tuatara. At their Variety Playhouse show a few months back, Pete was selling t-shirts and making change after the gig. He's a rocker.

But Stipe and Mills have not shown much desire of late to be rock guys. Stipe's brought the mood down to atmospheric jazz levels on four of the band's last five records, and Mills has seemed content to go with the flow, play what Stipe wants to play and cash his checks.

That he could easily have been replaced by a drum machine on "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" helped push Bill Berry out the door.

In fairness, the boys are 23 years into this gig. That's an eternity in rock-n-roll, and signficant evolution and change has to be expected.

And come January, Buck will be 47, Mills 45 and Stipe 43. So they deserve some slack there.

On Letterman, however, Stipe and Mills were ready to rock. R.E.M.'s website features a video of rehearsals for the current tour in which the fellas relish the rock of "Maps and Legends" and "Get Up".

The video for "Bad Day" is a cheeky poke at TV news - complete with a mock website - that seems more the speed of Weezer than the old men of R.E.M.

And on Tour '03, R.E.M. has been liberally mixing in rockin' old tunes such as "Sitting Still" to go with the obligatory "Losing My Religion", "End of the World" "Man on the Moon", etc.

These are all good signs for fans of the old-time R.E.M. such as myself.

I doubt I'll buy "In Time", seeing as I don't like most of the 1998-2003 "best of" tracks; and I have no intention to shell out $47 - $67 to see them at Philips next weekend. I hate big-venue shows, so the one and only time I saw R.E.M. live was at the Saenger Theatre down in New Orleans - 1985, I believe.

But for what it's worth, based on what I'm seeing with "Bad Day" and their live stuff, my opinion of R.E.M. is swinging back toward the positive.

SEC Week 6 picks

Real quick, because LSU isn't playing, and football picks don't generate buzz on ...

• Tennessee at Auburn. Big game, and a tough one to pick. I still believe Auburn is not a bad team; they just have to prove it at some point. Obviously, now is the time to do so. A Tennessee win helps LSU and makes life hard for Georgia, though. In the end, I don't think Tennessee is a 5-0 team, and I know Auburn isn't 2-3. Auburn, 24 - 17

• Alabama at Georgia. Huge game for Georgia coming off the LSU loss. Alabama looked good for parts of the Arkansas game, and Arkansas looks very good. But on the road, I don't think Alabama can expect the close contest they gave Oklahoma and Arkansas. Georgia, 31 - 17

• Ole Miss at Florida. Florida wins this one as Leak gets to start an SEC game at home. Call it a shootout - Florida, 45 - 31

• Vandy at Miss St. Wake me when this one's over. MSU, 28 - 10

Sure is! How'd you know??

I came across the skyscraper ad below while on checking out the latest buzz on the wife's blog (I long for the days when random strangers would write The Cap'n ...).

Actually, AmericanSingles, I prefer my women to be much larger, older, and far less sultry. So thanks for offering more matches!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Where are all the white women at?

I got waaaay sidetracked on a clickstream of consciousness this evening that started out on the Census site looking at their "poverty" report (poverty report = B.S.; remember, this is the same government that says I'm rich).

I ended up digging into the U.S. population projections, which take current trends out to the year 2025. Most interesting are the projected changes in the country's ethnic makeup.

A lot has been made of the emergence of Hispanics as the country's largest minority, much to the chagrin of Jesse Jackson and the like. And while Jesse has reason to worry, the David Dukes of the world should be the ones really pitching a fit.

Of course, most white supremacists are not very bright. The mainstream media is not likely to focus on the looming disappearance of the white man, either.

But here at Cap'n Ken's, we're not afraid to tackle the controversial issues. So, armed with the Census projections and some handy Excel formulas, I came up with the following tidbits:

• In 2000, Non-Hispanic Whites (I assume that means "pure" whites) made up 71.8% of the U.S. population. By 2025, the Census projects Whites will make up just 62.4%.

• During those same 25 years, the Hispanic population is projected to go from 11.4% of the population to 17.6% of the population.

• Blacks will be the most stable of the Big 3 ethnic groups and are projected to grow from 12.9% of the population in 2000 to 14.2% in 2025.

So, while Blacks get passed by Hispanics on the minority hit parade; it's only the Whites who actually lose ground overall.

Of course, when a person must be 100% "white" to be called "White" but can be 2% "black" and be called "Black", the pale folks can't help but lose population share.

So what's a white supremacist to do? Is anywhere gonna be safe for white folks 23 years from now?

According to the Census data, the five whitest states in 2000 - Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Iowa - will still be the most colorless in 2025, albeit each a shade or so darker. Maine, for example, is expected to go from 97.7% white to only 96.3% white.

There is no state that will become "more white" between now and 2025, although Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama will hold closest to their current whiteness.

California will become much less white during that time. Alaska, New Jersey, Nevada and Rhode Island will also lose significant white share.

Blackening up the most over the next 23 years are Maryland, Georgia, Delaware, Louisiana and Connecticut.

Browning the best will be Nevada, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

Every state in the U.S. is projected to have a higher percentage of Hispanics in 2025 than it has today. No state will have a higher percentage of Whites.

My advice to the Klan? You all should move to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, then work toward secession. Those states are barely attached to the rest of the U.S. anyway. It's gonna be the last stand for white folks in America.

And I thought I had problems

This from the Catholic prayer site where I posted my best wishes for the Pope:
 : : : :

Hello, we are live in Brooklyn, in N.J.West Orange and in N.Y. Please help us pray the Lord to get full deliverance of powerful enemy with sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual reipping. sexual leaking, with forcing sex, with molestation our vergainas and peneses, and with vampire powers, enemy against our lifes the over past 9 years, with chuking, sucking our trauth, our vergainas, our peneses including every our teens, every our kids trauth and peneses, and verganas, please help us sooner, very sooner with stop or kill powerful enemy, because enemy love war, and love chuking our trauth, and love sucking our blood of our trauth, of our vergainas and peneses, we are have to figting back with powerful enemy, because millions people, mans and womens, including witch vampire, inkluding every witches and mind readers and people with others powers, and millions kids and millions teens get dead attacks every day, 24 hours a day from chuking trouth attacks, from sucking our trouth, and arteria from every each one hwo in the war with powerful enemy, and every each one innosent hwo is have no powers of protection them selfs, and our vergainas, including period from every womens, and every girls period'' our blood'', including mans and boys, and teens peneses. enemy chuking every kids and teens in the every skool, including every each one in the cars, in the works, in the streets, in our aprt, when we are along and no badies help us to we are get sooner protection from people hwo is with powers astral flying hwo is help to take awy from our trath or from our vergainas or from our peneses powerful enemy with vampire powers, and with sucking our blood powers and with all systamatic, sadistic, painful sexual abuses, enemy flying from the big distance with enemy astral spiritual bodies and against us all everywhere 24 hours a day, and enemy hears us all from the big distance and everywhere folloving, harassment, spying us all, and make for us all big black mass with satans control under every each one our trauth, arterias, every each one our vergainas, and every each one peneses. and every each one blood and in our blood our sould, enemies control our every each one sould from the distance and know where we are eny time and send for our trauth, and peneses, and vergainas full satanic vampire dead attacks. Please help us to get full protection of God millions angels of heaven. Please help us pray long time, and breack all satans controls under every each one sould, and lifes and trauth, and peneses and vergainas forever.

 : : : :


Pray for the Pope

Seems Pope John Paul II may be nearing the end of the road here on Earth:

More concern about Pope's health

One of the Vatican Cardinals was quoted as saying: "He is in a bad way. We should pray for the pope."

I'm not much for Catholic prayer, so how about a cheer instead?

Go, Pope, Go!
Die! Die! Die!
You can do it!!!

No, I don't really want the Pope to die. Apart from Carol Channing and radical Muslims, I don't really want anybody to die.

But shouldn't Catholics be rooting for the Pope to kick it? In fact, shouldn't the Christian desire for all good Christians be that they die as soon as possible?

The whole Christian experience is built on the idea that life here on Earth prepares you for eternal life, which for proper Christians is a swell gig. Heaven is the ultimate goal.

And it's standard practice at Christian funerals for the minister to talk about how the dead person is "at Jesus' side", "in a better place", "starting his life of eternal joy", etc.

Once somebody dies, it's an easy comfort mechanism to say it's a good thing for them that they are dead. Sure, it's painful for us left behind, but he happy for Mr. Dead Guy, who's having brunch with Jesus as we speak.

So if dying is a good thing if you're a right and proper Christian, we should hope Christian folk die as soon as possible. No suicides, of course. Jesus don't like that.

Seems pretty logical. Of course, logic and Christianity do not work very well together.

But here we have the Pope. Obviously a good Catholic, 83 years old, suffering through Parkinson's and maybe cancer ... and that nagging ache from being shot in the gut 22 years ago.

Even if there is no afterlife, a peaceful death would not be a tragedy for J.P. at this point.

And if there is a heaven, he's got a first-class ticket. He's paid his dues as a Christian; he's old, and he's suffering.

It probably won't count, because I'm not a Catholic, but I have posted a prayer request for the Pope, and I encourage you to do the same.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Snuggle partners now plentiful for "Steve"

The guy suspected of sneaking into coeds' apartments in Baton Rouge is in custody, and now spending his evenings in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

That's "Steve" (Steve E. Danos of Westwego) on the left.

Apparently Steve was also arrested back in March and pled guilty to reduced charges for similar breaking-and-watching incidents around LSU.

I imagine Steve will not lack any snuggle buddies in EBR Parish Prison.

In other Louisiana news, Master P's little brother "C-Murder" was convicted of, oddly enough, murder in suburban New Orleans.

That's C's mug shot, or maybe a promo shot. Hard to tell.

Anyway, the white boy who doesn't understand hip-hop in me wants to write C-Murder off an just another idiot "gangsta" who gets rich but still acts like a thug (i.e. beating and shooting a kid outside a nightclub).

But considering this happened in Louisiana, and specifically in white-flight, anti-urban Jefferson Parish, it's entirely possible that C-Murder is being railroaded.

In any case, C-Murder won't be able to snuggle with "Steve" at Parish Prison, in case you were wondering. He's in the Jefferson Parish joint while he awaits his mandatory life sentence before heading out to Angola.