Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm Hooked on BrooWaha!

(For those of you who don't know, Broowaha is a citizen Internet newspaper that I write for. Check it out at:

I have now written more than 100 articles for BrooWaha San Francisco and all I can say is that I’m just getting started. I’m hooked on the Broo. I find myself thinking day and night about what I want to write next for the site.

I’m obsessed. My friends think I’m doing crank. My fiancée thinks I’m cheating on her. “What are you doing in front of that damn computer day and night?” she says. “Are you downloading porn?

In late February, I saw a posting for the new SF BrooWaha on Craigslist and it instantly caught my eye. I had never even heard of such a thing as a citizen newspaper. Already an avid blogger, I had no idea what it was or how it worked. But, once I found out and e-mailed back and forth with BrooWaha Founder Ariel, I took to the concept immediately.

What I like about BrooWaha is that it is TRULY a citizen newspaper. I wish it had existed when I was a journalism major at San Jose State a long time ago. In the early ‘80’s, long before the Internet existed, there just wasn’t anywhere that a fledgling writer could get his or her stuff published. And if there was, you were pretty much relegated to writing about things they assigned you. The kind of things no one else wanted to write about -- like PTA meetings, neighborhood watch patrols and kindergarten bake sales. Or, worst of all, you got to write obituaries. Nothing will kill you faster than having to write obituaries, believe me.

BrooWaha is a wonderful vehicle for many reasons, but one of the most important ones is that you get to write about those things that particularly interest you. Whatever you’re into, you can find an audience on BrooWaha.

And the system that Ariel has created is pure genius. And I’m not saying that just to kiss his ass. People read your stuff and comment on it. They rate you on interest, writing, fairness, etc. and you receive immediate feedback. Most of the comments I’ve gotten from fellow BrooWaha’ers have been very constructive and intelligently written.

I realize I’m not writing cutting-edge investigative stuff. Most of my articles are celebrity bashing pieces, local restaurant reviews, sports stories and interviews with old baseball players. I know people aren’t going to be clamoring for my next installment. But, for those who do want to read my articles, there’s a place that they can see them, and it’s BrooWaha. It’s the ultimate venue for free expression.

I also enjoy reading other people’s articles and I have been pleasantly surprised to see all of the really well-written pieces that have come through here. I’m also pleased to see that from time to time some articles get picked up by sites like Google and Yahoo, meaning they get a lot of traffic and additional viewers.

I wrote one story about Michael Vick and dog fighting, and it got a very high rating on Google, which has resulted in a lot of hits. One SF BrooWaha writer, M.B. Dixon, wrote an article that got picked up by Netscape and has received more than 6,000 hits to date! I’ve seen the some phenomenon occur again and again with LA and NY BrooWaha, which have been around longer and are more popular. If you’re looking for exposure for your writing, BrooWaha has proven that it can help.

I’m addicted to BrooWaha, I admit it. And unless my fiancée or my friends hold an intervention and try to wean me off this thing, I plan on writing for this site for a long, long time.

I’d like to thank the people who’ve been so supportive and given me some great feedback over the past few months, like Bill Friday, El G, Heaviside, SavageLettuce, Venditto and rjlight.

I love BrooWaha and I don’t care who knows it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Blowup of Armando Benitez

Last night we witnessed the complete and total meltdown of a relief pitcher. Armando Benitez, the controversial, unpredictable closer for the San Francisco Giants blew a game in a fashion so embarrassing that it hurt to watch. It reminded me of all the other horrible meltdowns in sports history, like the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers; the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl and Greg Norman in big golf tournaments.

If Benitez can bounce back after such a devastating collapse, God bless him. But, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if his decline rapidly gains momentum from this point on.

With the Giants leading by one run in the bottom of the 12th inning against the New York Mets, Benitez (0-3, 4.13 ERA with 9 saves in 17.3 innings do far this season) walked the Mets’ leadoff hitter, the speedy Jose Reyes. Giving the first hitter a free pass is never a good move, obviously, but this situation was made even worse, because runners steal on Armando like they’re crossing the street. To make matters worse, Benitez then balked Reyes to second, and then two outs later, balked him home for the tying run. It was the first time since 1988 that a pitcher balked twice in the ninth inning or later.

Then, obviously rattled, Armando gave up a game-winning home run to Carlos Delgado. Game over, Mets win 5-4. While the Mets went crazy, Benitez walked off the mound with his head down. As Delgado crossed home plate, he threw his glove in disgust.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Giants, but the effect of this one will linger for the rest of this season, because it revealed to the rest of the league one huge vulnerability with this squad. If you can get into the late stages of the game and the contest is close, you can beat the Giants’ closer. He is easily rattled and has the propensity to blow up faster than Rosie O’Donnell at a buffet.

Armando is done, in my opinion. With all of the great young starting pitchers that the Giants have on their roster, it’s a complete waste and a losing proposition to have a liability like Benitez trying to close out games. Blowing leads and walking batters is not what closers are paid to do. It’s time to come up with a Plan B, Giants, and the B doesn’t stand for Benitez.

Count those Calories...Absolutely FREE!

There’s a great free diet and fitness website out there called It’s an amazing completely FREE site that will assist you in losing weight and getting yourself on the right track toward a healthier lifestyle. They have an incredible calorie counter that is fast and very easy to use – which means you’ll use it every day and it will become an integral and useful tool. It teaches you about the nutritional contents of what you’re consuming and help you make better food decisions. This free calorie counter is so important, because, in my experience, calories are sometimes hard to keep track of. Before you know it, your caloric intake can get up there, and that’s why calorie counting is so vital to a successful diet. will help you lose weight the healthy way. Which means you won’t yo-yo and just gain the weight back. And the great thing is, your credit card stays in your purse or wallet. They’re no hidden charges – it’s absolutely FREE!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Unfunny and Uncouth: The Dice Man Stinketh

Every so often in the entertainment world, someone with no talent sneaks in under the radar and gains popularity for no logical reason, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter that they can’t sing, act or tell jokes, but somehow they’re in the right place at the right time and make it big. Certain rappers, bands and comedians fit neatly into this category. I have never understood how Insane Clown Posse, Vanilla Ice, Judy Tenuta or Emo Phillips, for example, ever sold a single album or CD.

Andrew Dice Clay is a poster child for this phenomenon. The fact that he’s been performing for more than 20 years makes me ill. He is the unfunniest individual on the planet.

I did standup myself for 12 years (I was pretty bad myself) so I know how tough a gig it is, but I have seen comedians here in San Francisco and down in LA at open mics, struggling just to get stage time, who are 20 times funnier than Andrew Dice Clay on their worst night. How this man has ever made a dime doing standup is one of the great mysteries of our time – kind of like the Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster.

The fact that Comedy Central ranked him number 95 on their list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time shows just how far our society has fallen. In 500 years, when our civilization has crumbled, historians will site Clay’s popularity as one of the early signs that led to the beginning of the end.

Clay started his career in 1984, doing nasty nursery rhymes and instructing men on how to abuse the opposite sex (like they needed training). In an interview back then, he cited his influences as Redd Foxx, George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, three comics who possess one quality Clay doesn’t – talent. It’s one thing to tell dirty jokes – Sam Kinnison, Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor (the greatest comedian of all time as far as I’m concerned) all worked blue and were very funny. But, Clay is dirty without the laughs. He’s abusive to women with no punch line. His routines are foul just for the sake of being foul. I’m so tired of hearing people defending by saying he’s a good family man. That’s like saying Hitler loved cats.

If it weren’t for the controversies he’s created over the years, the Diceman would never even be in the news. In 1989, Clay appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards where his raunchy act caused MTV to ban him from the network for life. When he hosted Saturday Night Live, Sinead O’Connor and Nora Dunn refused to appear. His movies have all bombed. The man’s only cinematic claim to fame is a disjointed, completely forgettable film named “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” (1990). His Madison Square Garden performance film “Dice Rules” (1991) was banned in many cities and hundreds of theaters throughout the country refused to show it. He attacked deaf actress Marlee Matlin on his 1993 album, “The Day the Laughter Died, Part 2.” What a class act. Dropping F bombs is an easy way out when you don’t have material and Andrew Dice Clay has created a career around it.

His 1995 TV series, “Dice,” co-starring Cathy Moriarity, was unwatchable and came and went so fast few saw it. He did get a small film role in “One Night in McCool’s” (2001) featuring Matt Dillon and Michael Douglas. Now, he’s been reduced to performing the gambling circuit (Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno and a handful of Indian casinos), and is noticeably absent from TV and movies.

It appears as though the public has finally figured out what I’ve been saying for two decades – The Dice Man Stinketh. Hopefully he’ll fade away just as quickly as he reached the top. In other words, overnight.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wasted Lives: A Classmate on Death Row

John Famalaro, also known as the “Cold Storage Killer,” was a classmate of mine. We both attended St. Michael’s Prep, a very strict Catholic boarding school in the city of Silverado, Calif. In 1975, we were roommates and got to know each other fairly well. Although he was a strange and sometimes very arrogant guy, I never suspected for a moment that he would go on to commit one of the most heinous crimes in Orange County’s history.

Now he sits on death row in San Quentin, awaiting execution. Living in San Francisco, I drive by the prison often, and every time I do I think of John. I think about how he wasted his life and ruined so many others. I wonder how he must feel sitting in a cell waiting to be put to death.

With the California death penalty enforced the way it is today, Famalaro will most likely die of old age before being executed. I’ve heard from some of my fellow classmates that he has embraced his Catholicism and is trying to counsel other inmates. He has found God a little too late.

I am disgusted, yet also intrigued by John’s story. If I could speak to him, I would ask him so many things. What led him to commit this unspeakable crime? Why did he keep the body in a freezer for so long, taking it with him from Orange County to Arizona? Did he feel remorse after he committed the murder or was he just numb? And how does it feel to be living in a cage, knowing day after day that the State of California wants you dead? Sometimes I feel like I should write him a letter, thinking that I might feel better if I can get some answers. But, I never will and I know it.

Here is John Famalaro’s story:

On June 3, 1991, 23-year-old Denise Huber pulls over on the side of
the Corona Del Mar Freeway in Orange County, Calif. to mend a flat
tire. She disappears without a trace. Lt. Ron Smith with the
help of the Costa Mesa Police Department, along with family and friends, search desperately for the young Californian native as this disappearance is in stark contrast with her character. Yet, like so many missing persons cases, all leads run dry and the investigation into Denise Huber's disappearance goes cold.

In 1994, a local paint shop owner, Elaine Court, makes an
arrangement to purchase paint from Prescott, Arizona local John
Famalaro. Upon this visit, Court notices a Ryder Truck in the
driveway. Finding the truck to be mysterious, she contacts local
police and asks them to investigate. What begins as a routine
follow-up quickly turns into a case of homicide. Police converge
on the Famalaro home only to find that located in the back of the
truck is a freezer. Its contents...a body...later identified as
23-year-old Denise Huber.

Inside the house, detectives find more evidence the home had been
visited by murder. A box marked "X-Mas decorations" contains a
bloody hammer and nail puller. Guns and handcuffs are strewn
about the home. Inside a closet, detectives discover an LA
Sheriff's Patrol Shirt——all signs that Famalaro abducted Denise
by gaining her trust posing as a cop.

Detectives embark on a forensic mission to re-trace the footsteps
of a cold case killer. The first step in this journey is to
determine the manner in which Denise Huber died. Averaging
85-degree temperatures, Maricopa County rarely deals with frozen
bodies. They resort to an old fashion technique. A hairdryer is
used to successfully thaw the frozen corpse, taking special care
not to destroy the fingerprints.

Forensic anthropologist Laura Fulginetti reconstructs Huber's
skull to find that she was bludgeoned to death with both the
hammer and a crowbar found in Famalaro's home. Detectives also use
luminol, a chemical spray that makes body fluids glow, to
determine exactly where the scene of the crime took place.

In 1997, the trial against John Famalaro begins. Famalaro pleads
not guilty...but remains silent in his convictions of innocence.
After deliberating for less than three hours, Famalaro is convicted
of first-degree murder with a death penalty sentence. He
currently sits on death row at San Quentin Prison in California.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Just Another Lazy Sunday...

Like the seals down at Fisherman's Wharf, my plans today include absolutely nothing. If I can get a good sleep and a few fish in my belly, I'll be happy. I love lazy Sundays, and if I can stay clear of my go-go-go fiancee Angelina, and her plans of moving pyramids and rearranging our place like the Winchester Mystery House, it'll be a good day and tonight I'll be able to clap my flippers and bark at the moon!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wayward Whales Winding Way Homeward?

Two whales that lost their way more than ten days ago are now circling near a Sacramento River bridge about 70 miles from the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

At first, scientists suggested banging pipes underwater to scare the whales toward the ocean, but that hasn’t seemed to move them. Now experts have come up with a second method that they’re confident will work.

“We’ve decided to really frighten and disgust the whales, so that they’ll leave this river and never came back,” said Hemma Rhoidal, spokesperson for WAPT (Whales Are People Too), an organization that assists whales in trouble, including those with drug, krill or alcohol problems.

“Banging pipes hasn’t worked, so we’re going to try and make some noise that will surely distress these animals,” Rhoidal said. “We’re going to start playing Joy Behar comedy albums, as well as Barry Manilow and Captain and Tenille records. If that doesn’t send them packing, nothing will.”

The organization has a special audio system that will play the records underwater. They’re also considering playing Andrew Dice Clay and Emo Phillips comedy albums, as well as Paula Abdul and Yoko Ono songs.

“If that doesn’t work, we’re going to invest in a video system and start showing them Ashton Kutcher movies. But, that’s a last resort. It’s very risky, because it could also kill the whales -- from boredom. Even whales know crappy acting when they see it.”

Both whales, believed to be a mother and her calf, are wounded, apparently from a run-in with a boat’s propeller.

“The wounds appear to have worsened over time and their skin has changed from smooth and shiny to irregular and pitted,” said Frances Guiland of the Marine Mammal Center.
Fresh water from the Sacramento River could hamper the whales’ recovery, biologists said. Skin samples taken from the mother whale on Monday were sent to out-of-state labs to assess her general health and help identify her population stock.

Some crews in the more than two dozen boats blocking the humpbacks’ path up the river tried herding the mother and her calf downstream by banging metal pipes beneath the water.
The challenge, officials said, was encouraging the pair to return to salt water quickly but without resorting to tactics that could upset the whales.

“Stressing even a healthy whale is not good. Stressing an injured whale is worse,” said Brian Gorman, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The humpbacks, nicknamed Delta and Dawn, had traveled 90 miles inland more than a week ago before turning around at the Port of Sacramento on Sunday. They were making progress Monday until they reached the Rio Vista Bridge and began swimming in circles.

Scientists theorized the whales began circling because vibrations from traffic upset them. The pair could not be coaxed forward even when the drawbridge was raised to halt the flow of vehicles.

Scientists have been watching the two closely because their route includes sloughs leading to muddy deltas where the whales could become lost and trapped.

The pair also faces a couple more highway bridges between Rio Vista and San Francisco Bay, including the Golden Gate.

Federal officials have authorized researchers to fire darts carrying a satellite tracking device beneath the mother’s fin to monitor her location, but two days of gusty winds and choppy waters have delayed the tagging.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Joy Behar: A Reason to Welcome Death

One of the web sites I write for,, is offering 1/2 price tickets to see comedienne Joy Behar perform in SF. It seems like she's having problems selling tickets and I'm not surprised. I would rather die a slow death than listen to this yenta ramble on. She is so tremendously unfunny that I can't describe the pain I feel every time I happen to hear her tell a joke. My favorite female comics are Ellen Degeneres, Paula Poundstone, Margaret Cho (she's incredible!) and Kathy Griffin. Joy Behar is a complete hack. I just thought I'd vent. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Amy and Joey: A Romance Revisited

It’s like a bad rash that won’t go away. Most of us want to forget it ever happened, but the two main parties involved won’t let it fade away. No, I’m not talking about Brad and Jennifer, John and Jessica or even Ann and Ellen. I’m talking about Amy and Joey. And I don’t know why I’m even wasting my time.

Joey Buttafuoco and his Long Island Lolita, Amy Fisher, renewed their highly dysfunctional relationship last week with their first date in 15 years. The man and the girl who tried to kill his wife and is now all grown-up, had their big night out in Port Jefferson, Long Island.

A torrid affair between the auto mechanic and his underage lover dampened in 1992 when Fisher shot Buttafuoco's then-wife, Mary Jo, in the head, but recent circumstances evidently made Joey's heart grow fonder for Fisher.

"We started talking when Joey was in jail," Fisher said.

Buttafuoco, 53, recently ended a three-month stint in a California slammer for ammunition possession.

Joey's current spouse and Amy's husband both recently served them with divorce papers.
That set the stage for last night's "date" at swanky Pace's Steakhouse.

Fisher, now 32, was dressed to the nines in a shapely dark sleeveless halter dress and heels.
Buttafuoco appeared almost chivalrous as he offered Amy his arm and held an umbrella to protect her from the ominous storm clouds.

They dined on oysters on the half shell and surf and turf, according to inside sources. They shared chocolate mousse and creme brulée for dessert.

Cynics have said the get-together is about money rather than love. A TV producer is shopping a reality show about Amy and Joey.

I cannot believe that this is anything more than a media stunt. How can Joey Buttafuoco be so callous? This is the woman who attempted to kill his wife at the time. The only reason Mary Jo isn’t dead is because Amy was high on drugs and is obviously a lousy shot.
What must Joey’s children think? The guy is a philanderer, a cheat, a skirt chasing dirt bag and now he wants to re-visit an affair that almost ended up in his ex-wife’s death?

When I hear about stuff like this, it makes me realize that the only reason we’re above chimps on the evolutionary scale is because we were lucky enough to get opposable thumbs.

Joey and Amy are my Douche Bags of the Month for May and are definitely in the running for the annual award!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Raunch Dressing, Anyone?

Let me have the extreme pleasure of introducing you to Marco Raphael Castro. He’s the sick little Illinois high school student who surrendered recently to face charges resulting from a revolting lunchroom prank he pulled one day during lunch.

According to Wheaton police and school officials, the 17-year-old senior ejaculated into a bottle of ranch salad dressing and returned the befouled condiment to the Wheaton North High School cafeteria. It is unclear if the dressing was used by any students before the container was cleaned and refilled the following day. Castro, pictured here in these Wheaton Police Department mug shots, has been charged with disorderly conduct and attempted aggravated battery, both misdemeanors. School officials learned of the prank from other students.

Whatever happened to the kinds of pranks we pulled in my day? Like putting chalk in the chalkboard erasers; snapping girls’ bra straps, giving kids wedgies(or melvins/snuggies as some called them back then); pink bellies, Indian burns or putting Ben-Gay or Nair in guy’s jocks during P.E.?

Sure, we used to do stuff that was borderline – like throw eggs at teachers or play the old dog crap in the flaming newspaper on the neighbors’ porch trick – but spanking the monkey into a bottle of salad dressing never even crossed our minds. It just shows how much our society has changed.

This twisted degenerate is a poor excuse for a human being and needs a ton of shrink time to figure out why he’s so bent. Obviously what he did was a cry for help. In retrospect, if the alternative was another Virginia Tech or Columbine, what this punk did was fairly harmless. In the meantime, his photo will live for an eternity on the Internet. It will be a miracle if he ever gets a date with a girl again. If I were him, I’d date salad dressings. I hear Thousand Island is a lot of fun!

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's ALL in Orlando

One of the most fun places on the planet is Orlando, Florida. Orlando has it all and more – from golf to fishing, great restaurants and shows, not to mention all of the amazing amusement parks – if and when I visit Florida, Orlando is where I’m headed. I am considering a vacation home Orlando right now. You’d be pleasantly surprised to see all of the great prices and luxury amenities that you can get from some of these super rental homes. If you’re going to the Land of Mickey and Friends, there’s really no other way to go. Rent a beautiful vacation home in Orlando and have the time of your life!

The Student Loan Consolidation Solution is a Winner!

Many of us still have student loans we’re paying off. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m 48 and I’m still paying mine off. By consolidating your student loan (which many people are doing these days) you can save. I knopw for a fact that school loan consolidation is extremely popular, because if just makes good sense. If your student loan payments are bogging you down financially, the consolidation solution is a viable way to alleviate the pain of big monthly payments. Saving money on your student loans should not be a stressful, arduous task. I have found a great web site that makes the process easy. They have no application fees, no credit check and they make it as easy as it can possibly be. It's a good time to consider school loan consolidation.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Saddest Thing About Old Ballplayers is....they die!

I have interviewed 36 retired baseball players since 2002, and one thing they all have in common is that they're very old (average age probably 75). So, I am always depressed when I hear that one of them has died. Last night, my good friend Rod Nelson from SABR ( sent me this e-mail. I interviewed Bill Wight in 2003 in Sacramento and I remember that he was just a very sweet and gentle man. We talked for over an hour at an Applebee's restaurant and he ate his favorite thing -- a big juicy cheeseburger with avocado!

Bill Wight, 85, scouting great & former major-league pitcher dies

He discovered and signed some of baseball brightest starsBill Wight, a well-respected major-league pitcher and scout and an influential figure on Sacramento baseball, died Thursday morning from a heart attack in Mount Shasta. He was 85.
Wight, a resident of Carmichael since 1969, was vacationing with his wife of 60 years, Janice. In addition to his wife, Wight is survived by his son Larry Wight, a professor at Sierra College, granddaughter Susan Walters of Seattle and grandson Bill Wight of Orange County.

Funeral services are pending.As a left-handed pitcher in the American League, Wight played from 1946 through 1958 for the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.In 1953, he battled for a spot in the Indians rotation that featured future Hall of Famers Bob Lemon, Bob Feller and Early Wynn. In 1958 with an aching arm, he wound up in the National League with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals. His career major-league pitching record was 77-99 with a 3.95 earned-run average.Wight debuted with the Yankees in 1946. His best year was 1949 with the White Sox, when he was 15-13 with a 3.31 ERA.Born in Rio Vista, Wight grew up in Oakland. He was signed to as contract with the Yankees by Joe Devine in 1941, according to a story published by The Bee in 1984. He broke in at Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, pitched the next year for Binghamton, and in 1942, he entered the Navy at St. Mary's Pre-flight School where his manager-coach was future Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer.After the war he made the Yankees' big-league roster as a reliever.
He had one of the best pick-off moves in the game, catching dozens of off-guard base runners during his career. Even as a young pro, he was so proficient with his move, he was asked to work with Yankees pitchers and base runners before the 1941 World Series."He had the best move I've ever seen," said longtime friend Ronnie King, who scouted for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies.
Wight played with Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Yogi Berra. He met Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig."He always kicked himself for not getting their autographs," said Bill Wight, his grandson.Wight sold real estate after his playing career ended before becoming a professional scout with the Houston Astros in 1962.Wight spent the next 37 year peering through backstops and filling out scouting reports, with the Astros for five years and with the Braves for the remainder of his scouting career.With the Astros, he signed Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and as the person overseeing regional scouts for the Braves, he signed two-time N.L. MVP Dale Murphy. He also signed Bob Horner and Sacramento-products Dusty Baker, Jeff Blauser, Rowland Office, Taylor Duncan and Andy Finlay.
Throughout his scouting career, he expended a lot of bonus money. "It has to be in the millions," he told Bee columnist Bill Conlin in 1984. "I've spent it in about every state in the Union."Conlin wrote: "When you spend that much of the bosses' money, you have to enjoy their confidence, which Bill plainly does."Wight was named Scout of the Year in 1992 and in 2005 was inducted into the San Diego Padres Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame. His plaque is next to Ted Williams at Petco Park in San Diego."Bill is one of the nicest guys I've ever met in the game," King said.
"He was some scout, too." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------By Mark McDermott - BEE SPORTS STAFF
Published 2:49 pm PDT Friday, May 18, 2007
The SABR Scouts Committee credits Bill Wight with this list of player signings:
1962 Houston Astros Ernie Fazio
1962 Houston Astros Joe Morgan
1963 Houston Astros Larry Howard
1963 Milwaukee Braves Walt Williams
1965 Houston Astros Keith Lampard
1967 Atlanta Braves Dusty Baker
1970 Atlanta Braves Taylor Duncan
1970 Atlanta Braves Rowland Office
1970 Atlanta Braves Jack Pierce
1974 Atlanta Braves Dale Murphy
1975 Atlanta Braves Glenn Hubbard
1977 Atlanta Braves Bob Porter
1978 Atlanta Braves Bob Horner
1980 Atlanta Braves Ken Dayley
1980 Atlanta Braves Brian Fisher
1984 Atlanta Braves Jeff Blauser
1984 Atlanta Braves Drew Denson
1985 Atlanta Braves Tommy Greene
1985 Atlanta Braves David Justice
1986 Atlanta Braves Kevin Brown
1986 Atlanta Braves Kent Mercker

*SABR member Ed Attanacio did an oral history interview with Bill on 9/11/2003 and I'll post a link to that later this weekend.

Wight, an unproven youngster in 1948, was halfway from California to the Yankees' spring training camp in Florida when he heard he had been traded to the White Sox. Chicago trained in Pasadena, CA; Wight had to turn his car around and head west. He became manager Ted Lyons's number-one starter but went 9-20 for the last-place club, walking a league-high 135 batters. He rebounded for his best season in 1949, going 15-13. In 1950, he went 0-for-61 at bat, an AL record for futility. Traded to Boston after the season, he pitched for six teams in the next seven years, never again winning more than nine. (RL)

FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY» February 24, 1948: In a key trade for New York, Ed Lopat goes to the Yankees from the White Sox in exchange for C Aaron Robinson, Bill Wight, and Fred Bradley. Lopat will star for seven seasons in pinstripes, winning 21 in 1951 and going 16–4 in 1953. Robinson's main value to the Sox will come at the end of the season when he's swapped for another lefty pitcher, Billy Pierce.

» August 20, 1948: The Indians draw record 78,382 for the largest crowd to attend a night game. The Indians go on to beat the Chicago White Sox, 1–0, at Memorial Stadium as Satchel Paige blanks the opposition on three hits for the 4th consecutive shutout by Cleveland hurlers. Bill Wight is the hard-luck loser. Besides Paige, Gene Bearden, Sam Zoldak, and Bob Lemon fired shutouts.

» May 15, 1949: White Sox hurler Bill Wight coasts to a 10–0 win over the Indians, and Al Gettel follows with a 2–0 whitewash of the Tribe.

» April 17, 1951: Rain cancels yesterday's presidential opener in Washington, washing out the debut of rookie Tom Morgan. Morgan would have been the first Yankee rookie ever to start an opener. Clad in an army uniform, Whitey Ford tosses out the first pitch today at Yankee Stadium, and Vic Raschi scatters six singles to shut out the Red Sox, 5–0. Bill Wight gives up all the Yankee runs, including a two-run homer to Jackie Jensen in the 3rd inning. Mickey Mantle, making his debut before 44,860, has one hit and scores a run. Also debuting is public address announcer Bob Sheppard.

» May 30, 1951: In a doubleheader loss with Boston, Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle strikes out three times in the opener, and twice more to start the 2nd game: Casey Stengel lifts the slugger in the middle of the game for Cliff Mapes. In the opener, Ted Williams scores from 2B on a sacrifice bunt, and then ties the game with a home run. Vern Stephens 15th inning homer off Spec Shea wins it for Boston, 11–10. Williams then ties the nitecap with a double and Stephens' single drives him home with the game winner as Boston triumphs, 9–4. Ray Scarborough and Bill Wight are today's winners. The loss drops the Yanks into 2nd place, where they'll stay for a month.

» September 7, 1951: The A's split a pair with the Red Sox, losing 8–5 to Bill Wight, before winning, 11–4. Billy Hitchcock has two triples and double in game two good for five RBIs. Bosox reliever Ellis Kinder makes his 54th appearance in the opener, breaking Wilcy Moore's club record set in 1931. Boston slips in the American League race to four games back.

» June 3, 1952: In a blockbuster trade between Detroit and Boston, the Red Sox send Walt Dropo, Don Lenhardt, Johnny Pesky, Fred Hatfield, and Bill Wight to the Tigers for 3B George Kell, Hoot Evers, Dizzy Trout, and Johnny Lipon.

» May 5, 1953: Pitcher Bob Porterfield of the Senators hits his first ML homer, a 4th inning grand slam off Bill Wight of Detroit, and the Nats add six more in the 8th to roll to a 14–4 win.

» July 13, 1955: The Orioles deal OF Hoot Evers to the Indians in exchange for P Bill Wight.

» August 31, 1955: Lefty Bill Wight of the Orioles gives up five runs in the first and then no-hits his former Indian teammates for eight innings. He loses 5-1.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Rollie Stiles: The Oldest Living Baseball Player

At 100, Rollie Stiles is the oldest living former major league player. He is one of only five people left on the planet who either played with or against Babe Ruth. He pitched for Oklahoma State University and played for almost 14 years in the minors and majors. He was a middle reliever, a spot starter and an occasional closer for the St. Louis Browns in ’30, ’31 and ’33. His career won-loss record was 9-14. He completed 9 games, threw one shutout and gave up 16 home runs (including one controversial HR to the mighty Babe that he says may not have happened, although he can’t be sure.) His lifetime ERA was 5.92 and he wasn’t a bad hitter, batting .270 in 1930. In 1931, Stiles finished 15 games for the Browns, which ranked 8th in the AL for that season. At 100, his long-term memory is excellent, although he does have problems recalling things that happened within the last few years. When I asked him about a speech he gave last November to around 300 people at a St. Louis Browns reunion, it came as a surprise to him. He has no recollection of the event.

Pitching to Lou Gehrig: "He was the best hitter I ever faced. That’s what I thought about it. I couldn’t throw a ball anywhere where he wouldn’t hit it. He was just happy to see me go in there. I think he could hit anything I threw. If he could reach it, he could hit it."

Managed by Rogers Hornsby: "Yeah, that has to be the darkest part of my career. He was a great ball player -- I’ll say that for him. He was a great second baseman. He was a good hitter. But, his personality was altogether different. I don’t really want to say anything more on that subject. I can’t ever remember anyone being happy that they played for Rogers Hornsby."

Playing against Babe Ruth: "I am proud to say that I got the chance to pitch against the man. They say he hit a home run off of me, but I don’t remember it. Well, now wait a minute. I know one of the games when I was pitching against the Yankees, he hit a ball right down the right field line, and, of course, the right field bleachers was pavilion-like and there was a screen that there was there to protect the right fielder that went about halfway down over that pavilion. So, he hit a high fly ball and I believe it hit the foul pole and bounced down on the roof of that pavilion. I know this happened. Now, whether that was a home run or not, I don’t remember. But, I know he did that and it could have been a home run. I don’t remember how it was scored."

Pitching against the good teams: "Well, it just seemed to me like every time I went in to pitch, either Ruth, Gehrig or some of those players from the Athletics was up at the plate. At that time, the Athletics had the best ball team baseball. When you went in to pitch to those fellas, you had to struggle all the time. And it wasn’t just the good hitters with the Athletics, it was their infielders too – the second baseman, third baseman, like that. When those guys got on a good team they became great hitters. That’s the way it was with everybody on that team, the Athletics. They had Simmons, Foxx, Cochrane, Dykes – you had to struggle with everybody on that club. You couldn’t look at any one hitter and say I’m gonna get this dood out. If you wasn’t careful, he’d slam one out between the outfielders somewhere, and you’d be in big trouble. It was murder having to go out and pitch to the Athletics."

Throwing illegal pitches: "I have an idea that back then some pitchers did things to the ball that they weren’t supposed to be doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if at that time there were more spitball pitchers than there ever were before. Now, I could throw a pretty good knuckleball, and sometimes I’d throw that. But, that was a legitimate pitch. But, I know there was cheating going on back then, with the spitball and things like that. There weren’t that many complaints about it. Once in a while somebody would squawk, you know, but officially there were never any complaints. At least not that I knew about."

When informed that he’s the oldest living major league baseball player: "Am I really the oldest? Are you sure about that? You’re kidding? I didn’t know that."

Why he thinks he lived so long: "Hell, I don’t know. I was sick all the time when I was going to school. I would miss at least a week of school every term with the flu, or something like that every year. I had nearly every disease you could have as a kid. I was always sick. I always drank a little bit and I smoked cigarettes during my whole baseball career. So, I can’t tell you why I’ve lived so long."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

BayWolf in Oakland: Food to Howl About!

BayWolf Restaurant in Oakland is why I personally eat out. Inventive, creative and very different food is the only reason, I believe, to go to restaurants. Without sounding snobby, I can honestly say that my fiancée and I are fairly decent cooks. If we want to eat something that we know how to make, we can stay home and cook it.

We’re not wealthy, so cooking and eating at home is attractive to both our palates and our wallets. We have a lot of high-end (and high-priced) grocery stores in San Francisco, so we can get anything we want to take home and prepare. Even if we go to Whole Paycheck, it’s still more affordable than going to a restaurant. Sure, you have to wash the dishes when you eat at home, but you also don’t have to tip anybody.

So, when we do decide to go out and eat, we want to try something distinctive that we can’t get at home. We want to sample new foods, flavors or textures. We want to experience unique and different cooking techniques and taste combinations.

That’s why BayWolf is very high on our list. It’s one of the most imaginative places in the Bay Area. Founding Owner Michael Wild says that “little things make a large difference in a small restaurant. We agonize over small details and play with them endlessly, tweaking as we go, discussing the niceties of the particulars inherent in getting it right.”

Wild’s main inspiration is Elizabeth David. “Her books are pressed on every one of our kitchen staff. We expect them to embrace her injunction to cook with care and skill, regard for the quality of the materials, without extravagance and pretension.” I think that says it all. The people at BayWolf make food to impress themselves and no one else. They aren’t trying to show off tricks they learned in culinary school. And the end result is pure magnificence.

Wild (who is also the executive chef) and Chef de Cuisine Louis de Gassic offer a new menu with a different theme every month, celebrating the season’s prime ingredients and regional cuisines of the Mediterranean. For instance, May is “andiamo in Italia” month, featuring primarily Italian dishes; and June is “Back to Burgundy” month.

One thing that’s always on the menu is the famous BayWolf locally raised duck. This place does things with duck that no other restaurant can. They know duck! When we ate at BayWolf recently, we had the Liberty Ranch Duck Breast with grilled asparagus and a balsamic vinegar glaze ($25). Duck is a tricky bird to make right, and this breast was so right it made me cry (privately.) Moist inside with crispy skin, the glaze accentuated the deep, rich flavors of the duck in a way I’d not experienced before. This little quacker did not die in vain. We also had a Duck Liver Flan with pickled onions, cornichons and olives ($12.50) that was incredible.

Other items we sampled included the Seared Tuna-Stuffed Calamari with curly cress and pimenton vinaigrette ($11.25); and a Grilled Adriatic Ling Cod with duck fat fries, roasted green beans and salsa verde ($22). Who does ling cod anymore? Unbelievable.
Signature side dishes are also well-known at BayWolf. Other than the duck fat fries, I can also heartily recommend the lemon mashed potatoes and the garlic spinach.

One dessert that really stood out was Rose-scented Parfait – a rice pudding with mango confit and candied pistachios ($8.50).

BayWolf is located at 3853 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. The place is hopping, so reservations are always suggested. Their phone number is: (510 655-6004.

Go to BayWolf once and you’ll be howling for more even before you hit the door.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What Gas Boycott?

Supposedly there was a big nationwide gas boycott yesterday. The only problem is that no one noticed. If people need gas, they will buy it. Some dumb boycott is not going to do anything. If folks really care, they'll get out of their cars and start walking, riding bicycles and/or using public transportation. When will that happen? Not any time soon!

Haters on the Highway: Road Rage in the U.S.

I have always thought that San Francisco must be one of the worst road rage cities in the U.S., but I guess this study proves it’s no worse than a lot of other places. Drivers in SF are some of the biggest a-holes I’ve seen anywhere and the overall attitude is one of total hatred for the individual in the other vehicle. Obviously road rage is a MAJOR problem in this country, primarily because people only care about themselves. We live in a very selfish “Me! Me!” society and road rage is a byproduct of that.

I found this study to be very interesting:

In The Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey, commissioned by AutoVantage, a leading national auto club, found that the least courteous city in the country is Miami, followed by Phoenix and New York. The other two cities in the bottom five were Los Angeles and Boston. The most courteous city is Minneapolis, followed closely by Nashville, Tenn., St. Louis, Seattle and Atlanta.
The In The Driver's Seat 2006 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey was conducted to determine the driving habits and attitudes of commuters across the U.S. and to learn more about consumer views on the topic of Road Rage.
"Road rage has unfortunately too often become a way of life, both on and off the track," said NASCAR driving legend and AutoVantage spokesman Bobby Hamilton. "More and more, in cities across America, people are acting out their frustrations with dangerous results. It's bad for professional and everyday drivers alike.
"Our new Road Rage survey shines the light on emerging driving trends, and there are some very interesting results."
The survey's best and worst are:

Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage):
-- Miami
-- Phoenix
-- New York
-- Los Angeles
-- Boston

Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage):
-- Minneapolis
-- Nashville
-- St. Louis
-- Seattle
-- Atlanta
Other cities surveyed include Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington/Baltimore.
"This new study focuses on important attitudes and habits of drivers on the open road nationwide," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of AutoVantage. "This groundbreaking research is an important tool to help educate and influence safer driving habits throughout the United States."
When asked the major causes of road rage in the survey, the most frequent theme was people being in a hurry, running late, being impatient and/or speeding.
-- "They are in a rush to get somewhere"
-- "People leaving too late and being in a hurry"
-- "People not going by the speed limit"
American drivers also feel that stress, frustration, bad moods, and being generally aggressive contribute to the widespread phenomenon of road rage.
-- "People being stressed out"
-- "People cut you off and do not signal"
-- "They think the road belongs to them"
Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters, and which can lead to road rage, include:
-- Driving too fast (57 percent observe this happening every day)
-- Tailgating (50 percent see this every day)
-- Cutting over without notice (44 percent see this every day)

Commuters also reported that other drivers frequently:
-- Talk on their cell phones (98 percent observe this at least once a
-- Run red lights (59 percent observe this at least once a week)
-- Slam on the brakes (54 percent see this happening at least once a week)
As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed reported that they:
-- Honked their horn at the offending driver (40 percent)
-- Cursed at the other driver (32 percent)
-- Waved their fist or arms (9 percent)
-- Made an obscene gesture (8 percent)
-- Called the police to report the driver (5 percent)
About one in one hundred (1 percent) said that they actually slammed into the car in front of them, although not always intentionally. "One time someone plowed into me, so I plowed into the back of another car," said one respondent.
Other key findings of the study:
-- Younger drivers, and those who have the farthest commutes are most
likely to react to an aggressive or rude driver.
-- There is no real difference between men and women when it comes to road
-- Besides talking on the cell phone while driving, the one thing that
drivers in this survey were most likely to have done is drive too fast
(64 percent admit that they do this at least some of the time).
-- Tailgating. Drivers in Miami are most likely to see this behavior daily
(63 percent), while drivers in St. Louis are the least like to see this
(41 percent).
-- Slamming on the brakes. Drivers in Los Angeles (33 percent) and Miami
(33 percent) are most likely to witness this behavior daily, while
drivers in Minneapolis are least likely (14 percent).
-- Stealing parking spots. One-half (51 percent) witness this behavior
once in a while. Drivers in Miami (8 percent) are more likely to see
someone "stealing" their parking space than drivers in Dallas/Ft.
Worth, Washington/Baltimore and Cleveland.
-- Running red lights. One-fourth (24 percent) said they see drivers every
day who run through red lights.
-- Driving too fast. Drivers in Dallas/Ft. Worth (68 percent) are more
likely to see drivers driving too fast than those in Minneapolis (47
percent) and Cleveland (47 percent).
-- Talking on Cell Phone. Eighty percent say they see drivers every day
talking on their cell phone. A full 91 percent of Dallas/Ft. Worth
drivers said they see this behavior daily.
Overall, 30 percent said they see drivers doing other things like putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving. Los Angeles (43 percent) emerged as the city where this is most likely to be seen, while Seattle (18 percent) emerged as the place where this behavior is least likely to happen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What's the Story with Robert Horry?

The Phoenix Suns' 12-1 run to end Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals gave them a 104-98 victory Monday night that evened the series with the San Antonio Spurs. But, the big news of the evening was what Robert Horry did late in the fourth quarter.

As Steve Nash started to bring the ball up the court after Manu Ginobili missed the Spurs' fourth straight shot, San Antonio's Robert Horry hit him with a forearm that knocked him into the scorers' table and had players from both teams rushing to the scene.

Phoenix's Raja Bell tried to get at Horry, as did Nash after he jumped to his feet.

Horry was given a flagrant foul and was ejected. Bell was given a technical foul. A free throw by each team made it 101-98. The Suns kept possession and Nash added another free throw with 16 seconds to go.

The Suns, who trailed by as many as 11 points, had taken the lead for the first time in the second half on consecutive behind-the-back feeds from Steve Nash to Amare Stoudemire that made it 100-97 with 32 seconds to play.

"He just body-checked me out of bounds," Nash said. "I understand he's frustrated, it happens but he did body-check me."

Shawn Marion added two free throws with 7.4 seconds to go.

The cheap shot that Robert Horry laid on Steve Nash last night is a disgrace. Horry should be suspended for the rest of the playoffs.

It was a classless move intended to injure Nash.

There’s no other explanation for it. Horry was frustrated because his team blew the game, so he decided to level Nash as retribution. Whenever I see this type of goon mentality, it makes me ill, because it goes against everything that’s good and still unadulterated in sports – like sportsmanship and fair play. What kind of message does this send to kids who happened to be watching the game?

Shame on you, Robert Horry. As a veteran of the league, you should know better. You pulled a punk move and deserve whatever punishment the NBA decides to give you. If I were the Phoenix Suns, I’d be eagerly anticipating your return. I don’t condone violence in any way, but payback’s a bitch!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Whitney and Binny? Who Knew?

Bobby Brown’s drug-addled brain has finally short circuited. The R&B one-hit wonder claims that he’s on Osama bin Laden’s hit list. It turns out that the terrorist leader has his eye on Brown’s former wife, singer Whitney Houston.

“Bin Laden wanted to have me killed because he was in love with Whitney,” Brown claims on an upcoming ITV show, “24 Hours With Bobby Brown.” “Osama wanted to marry Whitney and make her one of his wives.”

“I feared for my life,” Brown said. “I’m still on my guard. The most wanted man in the world wants me dead.”

Brown has obviously completely lost it. Why would Bin Laden want all of the problems associated with Whitney, anyway? From what I’ve heard, he has enough problems getting his kids to obey him (They refuse to do their religious studies and drink Coca-Cola against his wishes.)

After researching this subject further, I realize that maybe Brown isn’t crazy. This article appeared on the Web site for the British newspaper, The Daily Mail:

“Terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is so obsessed with singer Whitney Houston he thought about killing her husband, Bobby Brown, it was claimed last night.

The suggestion is made by Sudanese poet and novelist Kola Boof, who claims she was bin Laden's sex slave for four months 10 years ago.

In her autobiography, Diary of a Lost Girl, she writes: "He told me Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen."

Boof, 37, who claims bin Laden raped her and held her prisoner in a Moroccan hotel, says he could not stop talking about the songbird, even though he disapproved of music.

"Osama kept coming back to Whitney Houston," she says in the book, excerpted in the magazine Harpers' Bazaar. "He asked if I knew her personally when I lived in America. I told him I didn't.

He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston, and although he claimed music was evil he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar.

"It didn't seem impossible to me. He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum.

"He explained to me that to possess Whitney he would be willing to break his colour rule and make her one of his wives.

"Whitney Houston's name was the one that would be mention constantly.
"How beautiful she was, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having killed, as if it were normal to have women's husbands killed."

Boof, who once claimed she had to take her son out of a Los Angeles school after rumours surfaced that bin Laden was his father, also claims the Al Qaeda mastermind read more than the Koran.

"In his briefcase I would come across photographs of the Star magazine, as well as copies of Playboy," she writes.

She also says his favourite television shows were The Wonder Years, Miami Vice and MacGyver (Undoubtedly where Binny learned his bomb-making skills.)”

Thursday, May 10, 2007

GW said WHAT??

Not since former Vice President Dan Quayle has a top politician made so many misstatements in this country. Yesterday GW Bush stuck his large foot in his bigger mouth when he said this about the Queen of England.

“Queen Elizabeth II helped the United States celebrate its bicentennial in 17, uh, I mean, 1976.”

This actually doesn’t seem so bad when compared to some of the other dumb things GW has said during his presidency. Here are some of my personal favorites:

“We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.”

When asked when a woman first starts to show her pregnancy, Bush replied, “Uh, I don’t know, August?”

“My (critics) misunderestimated me.”

“Fool me once – shame on, shame on you. Fool me twice – you can’t get fooled again.”

“The illiteracy level of or children are appalling. At least that’s what Dick said he read somewhere.”

“(Our enemies) never stop thinking of new ways to harm our country and our people. And neither do we.”

“Too many OB/GYN’s aren’t permitted to their love with women all over this country.”

“It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a good relationship.”

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Old Yuppies Make Grateful Dead Auction Expensive

During their heyday, the Grateful Dead promised in their folksy lyrics to "steal your face right off your head."

Dedicated Deadheads probably lost their shirts and a lot more earlier this week in San Francisco when big bidders brought in more than $1.1 million during an auction of memorabilia collected by the group's longtime road manager, Lawrence “Ram Rod” Shurtliff.
Everything from guitars to ticket stubs kept by Lawrence "Ram Rod" Shurtliff during his decades-long stint coordinating the rock band's legendary touring operation were on the auction block.

Other items included drug syringes, groupie’s bras and panties, used patchouli oil, trampled concert blankets, hair clipped from Jerry Garcia’s beard, Bob Weir’s stool samples, Pigpen’s dandruff, Mickey Hart’s toenail clippings and Bill Kreutzmann’s very first toupee.

"He just really loved the band and he didn't want to see any of their equipment or stuff thrown away," said Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment memorabilia for Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers, which was staging the sale in San Francisco. "He didn't want their legacy to go away."

“People who want to bid on these items better bring money. Some Deadheads have said that they want to trade beads, used roaches and happy thoughts for items. Don’t even try that crap.”
Auctioneers predicted that doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs - many of whom wore flowers in their hair to the Dead's early shows - would gladly pay a premium for ordinary items touched by band members, including Jerry Garcia, a founding member who served as lead guitarist and vocalist. Now that these people have sold out to the man, they want to re-capture their pasts.
The auction house expected a 1975 cream-colored electric guitar played by Garcia during some of the Dead's most famous shows to bring between $250,000 and $300,000.

Deadheads bidding by phone and in the crowded auction room bid up prices for band photos, original album artwork, guitars and other musical gear collected by Shurtcliff over decades.

A leather guitar strap worn by Garcia on stage around 1973 sold for $20,400 – four times the estimated selling price. A flight case containing Garcia’s picks, unopened guitar strings and other accessories sold for $16,800.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Entertainment's Capitol is New York, New York!

If you’re headed to New York City this summer (and it seems like half the U.S. population is) you should hire a new york ticket broker to help you get good prices on tickets. There is so much going on in NYC all the time when it comes to concerts, sports and live performances. Las Vegas is small-time compared to all of the amazing things that are happening every single day in the Big Apple. It really is the entertainment capitol of the world. Check out some of these upcoming events. Concerts: Joss Stone, Nelly Furtado, Joey Ramone’s Birthday Party Bash, Linkin Park, Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Costello, Steely Dan, Godsmack and Velvet Revolver. Sports: The Yankees, Mets, boxing, soccer, wrestling, U.S. Open tennis and Monster Trucks. Shows: Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera, The Color Purple, Wicked, Turandot, A Chorus line, Inherit the Wind, Hairspray, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Legally Blonde, Rent, Beauty and the Beast, Stomp and the Blue Man Group.

Monday, May 07, 2007

What's Your Wellsphere?

There’s a new SF-based Web site called Wellsphere and it sounds like a really exciting idea. Basically, it’s a site where people can go and share ideas, advice and experiences about healthy living.
First, you sign up and join the Wellsphere community, and then you can explore other members’ wellspheres, finding people with similar interests and goals.

Personally, I fell instantly in love with this site, because over the past eight months, I have seen the importance of living a healthy life. For almost 30 years, I smoked tobacco, drank copious amounts of alcohol, ate fast food and sat in front of the TV every night and all weekend. As a result, I now have a whole slew of physical ailments, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholestrol. Not to mention the aches and pains I experience every day with a bad knee and shoulder.

But, I'm happy to say that I am on my way back. I weigh less now than I have in 15 years and I'm eating the right things (No more Big Macs) and I'm working out with a personal trainer. I feel so much better and my life has improved dramatically. I'm kicking myself for not starting sooner, but you can't re-capture time or change the past, so what the hell?

That's why I am so happy I found Wellsphere. I am new to the concept but I think I get the general idea. It's a networking/educational site on how to get healthy and maintain good health.

Maybe you’re into hiking and you’re looking for better trails or groups to hike with. You can find them on Wellsphere. Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying yoga or pilates and you want to find the best places to do them. Wellsphere is the perfect place to meet people who are into yoga and pilates and who have been doing them for a long time.

Anything that has to do with healthy living – from biking, kickboxing, dance, meditation, tennis, diet, surfing, stretching, or just plain moving – Wellsphere puts you in contact with experts, hobbyists and enthusiasts and allows you to tap into their expertise and knowledge. The Wellsphere people really care about your wellness and want people to live healthier lives – to eat better and exercise more.

What’s your definition of wellness? Whatever is it, you’ll find limitless ways to get there on!

Cafe Gratitude: Joining The Grateful Fed

With two cafes in San Francisco, one in Berkeley, and with their newest location in San Rafael, Café Gratitude has gained a much-deserved reputation in the alternative culinary community for its inspiring environment and distinctive, flavorful organic foods.
To find out what Café Gratitude is all about, all you need to do is check out their mission statement:
“Cafe Gratitude is our expression of a World of Plenty. Our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness. We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same. We support local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly products. Our food is prepared with love. We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone who chooses; loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful everyday, and experiencing being provided for. Have fun and enjoy nourishing yourself.”
This amazing place is not just about putting food and drink into your stomach and then paying the bill. It’s about the entire experience – nourishing the heart, mind and soul. They want you to leave there feeling better about every aspect of your life.
I must admit that I was skeptical when I went to Café Gratitude. I am a steak and chops kind of guy. But, I was really surprised when I found myself really liking it.
When you walk through the door, this sign greets you:
Welcome to Cafe Gratitude serving all organic, vegan and mostly live foods! Come play the Abounding River Game and experience an unfamiliar view of BEING ABUNDANCE!
Café Gratitude does not serve anything with a face, or anything that comes from something with a face. This includes eggs, honey, milk or cheese. It also serves live food, which means nothing is nuked or charred there. Most of the food is cold, room temperature or slightly undercooked to keep the cells within the food alive.
When I went to the Haight-Ashbury location yesterday for lunch, I was expecting a bunch of hippies chanting mantras and smelling of patchouli oil. Not even close. Café Gratitude is a great place, with wonderful food, a relaxed, totally laid back attitude and people who will make you feel at home almost immediately. We were only there for about two hours, but when we left, you would have thought we’d known each other all our lives. If felt the same pangs of guilt I feel when I leave a rocking party early. I really didn’t want to go!
One of the coolest things about the place is the way you order your food. Every item on the menu is an affirmation. For instance, the almond milk is called “I am Youthful.” When you order it by name, the wait staff replies, “You are Youthful.” At first, it seemed kind of strange, but after awhile I got into it. When the food came promptly, I was happy, because “I was Hungry.”
The menu at Café Gratitude is extensive, featuring a wide range of over 100 items, including soups, salads, appetizers, smoothies, teas, fresh juices, elixirs, shakes, organic sparkling and white wines, beer, sake and cider, organic coffee, organic ice cream, live pizzas and assorted desserts.
Some of the things we tried at Café Gratitude were:
The “I am Warm” Soup: A Faux Pho miso soup. This is a warm miso with spiralized vegetable noodles, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and sprouts in a big bowl ($9.00).
The “I am Thankful” Soup: This is Thai coconut curry soup with avocado, tomato, cucumbers and shiitake mushrooms ($7.00).
The “I am Fabulous” Live Pizza: A living, breathing pizza with lasagna-zucchini noodles layered with cashew ricotta cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil, pesto and marinara sauce ($12).
The “I am Festive” Taco Salad. A flavorful salad with shredded romaine lettuce tossed in a creamy dressing topped with crumbled walnut-seed taco filling, guacamole, salsa, nacho cheese and green sprouts topped with flax seeds ($12.00).
To complete the experience, we had the “I am Praising” dessert – a dish of Café Gratitude’s vanilla soft serve ice cream. It was less heavy than your standard ice cream, because, of course, it contained no dairy.
On the way out we picked up a copy of I Am Grateful, a book written by Café Gratitude’s co-founders Terces and Matthew Engelhart. It presents their view of life and their business philosophy. In the book, Terces also relates her own story of personal healing, sharing highlights of her recovery from food addiction while explaining the benefits of an organic lifestyle. The book’s incredible full-color photographs accompany easy-to-follow recipes for the café’s most popular items, making it easy for readers to prepare live foods at home.
Recipes include café favorites for satisfying smoothies such as the "I am Luscious" raw chocolate variety, as well as juices, soups, and appetizers. There's also entrancing entrees like the "I am Elated" spicy rolled enchiladas and delicious desserts including the "I am Amazing" lemon meringue pie with macadamia nut crust.
Café Gratitude has four locations. To find the one nearest you, visit their Web site at: It’s an experience that will leave you feeling healthy, happy and qualify you as a member of the Grateful Fed.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Message to Michael Vick: Dog Fighting is Dog----!

Does anyone want to buy an authentic Michael Vick Atlanta Flacons NFL jersey? I paid about $200 for it, but you can have it cheap. Please respond soon because if I can’t sell it quickly, I’ll burn it. When I found out the other day that Vick is very likely involved in the so-called “sport” of dog fighting, I suddenly lost all interest in the man and his spotty football career.
Already a problem child, Michael Vick, it appears, is a member of a sick segment of our society that thinks it’s cool to watch innocent, helpless animals attempt to kill each other. I have never seen the attraction to something like this and I never will. Dog fighting is a demented, uncaring and inhumane form of entertainment for sick, twisted people who, if there is any justice in this world, should be put to sleep themselves. Or at the very least – fixed.
This appeared on the other day. I am so happy that the NFL is taking action:
“A prominent animal-rights group called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to ban players who are involved in dog fighting, saying it was especially troubled that evidence of the deadly activity was allegedly found at a home owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.
The Humane Society of the United States sent a letter to Goodell on May 3, calling on the NFL to "collaborate with us in an organized effort to eradicate animal cruelty and illegal animal fighting activity from the ranks of the NFL."
"We believe that the current situation involving Michael Vick is indicative of a larger subculture within the NFL of dog fighting and other forms of violence against animals," wrote Wayne Pacelle, chief executive officer of the Humane Society.
While conducting a drug investigation last week, Virginia authorities raided a home owned by Vick, though he wasn't the one being targeted. The investigators reported finding dozens of dogs, some injured and malnourished, and evidence of dog fighting.
The Humane Society has alleged that veterinary supplies, blood-soaked carpeting, treadmills used for training, scales for weighing the animals and tools used to pry apart a dog's jaws were confiscated from the property.
Pacelle said his group "tracks 10 underground dog fighting magazines and a laundry list of Web sites, and we can assure you that this is a major underground criminal industry." He also repeated the group's claims that it suspected Vick was involved in dog fighting long before last week's raid.
The NFL has said it is investigating the case, and Goodell summoned Vick to a private meeting while the quarterback was in New York last weekend for the NFL draft. An after-hours message left on the cell phone of league spokesman Greg Aiello was not immediately returned.
Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said the team had no comment on the Humane Society's letter. Vick has maintained that he never visited the home, even though he owned it and allowed a cousin to live there. He blamed family members for taking advantage of his generosity and said he felt like a victim too.
The Humane Society is skeptical of Vick's explanation.
"The problem of illegal animal fighting and other forms of animal cruelty is widespread, but they have a particular significance where high-profile sports personalities are concerned because of the influence the behavior and habits of these athletes have over fans," Pacelle wrote.
Vick isn't the only player facing the wrath of animal-rights advocates. Defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux is facing felony charges in the death of his girlfriend's dog. The player has denied responsibility.
"We hope you will collaborate with The HSUS to combat animal cruelty and animal fighting in order to send a clear message to the public that the NFL does indeed intend to hold its players to the highest standards," Pacelle said in his letter to Goodell.
"By setting an example of compassion for the public, the NFL has the chance to tackle the problem of animal cruelty and animal fighting from the top down and to truly make a difference for our communities."
While Vick has denied involved in dog fighting, he does have an apparent interest in breeding animals such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. A Web site for "Mike Vick K-9 Kennels" includes a disclaimer that any of its dogs are used for fighting, which is banned nationwide and is a felony in 48 states including Virginia and Georgia.
Another Web site for an Atlanta-area breeder, Sanders Kennels, shows a picture of Vick holding a Presa Canario puppy, an animal that it says is "bred for loyalty, protection, guarding, and peace of mind. They can and will protect."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Is It Time to Give Your PC a Computer Memory Upgrade?

If you work on your PC every day, putting it through the paces and really testing its limits, you may be in line for a computer memory upgrade. It’s something you should consider. As you start putting big documents, high-resolution photos, music, games and other large downloads onto your computer, memory becomes so much more important to the operating efficiency and overall capacity. Without getting into a bunch of technical jargon which most people won’t understand (including me) what I want to communicate here is this – think about a computer memory upgrade. And then don’t forget it!

Katie Holmes: Devising an Exit Strategy?

“They’re everywhere. Someone please help me.”
A gardener found this message scrawled in the dirt in the backyard of the mansion where Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise currently live.
I know I’m risking a rattlesnake in my mailbox by saying this, but Katie Holmes is reaching out. She didn’t realize that when she married Tom Cruise, she was marrying the late L. Ron Hubbard as well.
Katie has held on long enough and hasn’t left Tom Cruise's side since they began dating in April 2005. She’s supported him through thick and thin and even sat through Mission Impossible III. Lately it’s been reported that Holmes has been openly flirting with Adam Rothenberg, her co-star in the upcoming film, Mad Money.
However, that support has caused her grief. According to one Hollywood insider, the actress, who gave birth to daughter Suri last year, has been told by her husband to attend "mommy classes" taught by Scientologists.
("There are parenting classes," a Scientology source confirms.)
"Katie was quite offended by that," the source said. "Can you imagine when you're 28 and have your first child to be told you need to go to this church to become a better mom?"
“Most of the moves Katie has made in her life have been smart ones,” the source continued. “But, she told me the other day that she now regrets three decisions – marrying Tom, starring in First Daughter and in Pieces of April.”
Holmes now finds herself surrounded by fellow Scientologists (an exception is Victoria Beckham, who one Hollywood insider describes as "a link to the outside world").
From the time Holmes and Cruise began dating, the actress - who, pre-Cruise, did interviews without a publicist - has been assigned a Scientology "minder," whose job, according to a Scientology expert, is "to make sure that nothing is said or done that would be critical of the church."
In fact, virtually everyone on the couple's staff is a Scientologist. Says the source, "Everyone who works with Tom is technically minding Katie."
So why does Katie stay? What will Suri's life be like growing up as a Scientologist? What did Tom's ex, Nicole Kidman, think about Scientology?
(Please Note: This article is more than 50% fiction with the remainder being pure conjecture. In no way should any of this be taken seriously.)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Punking Postings on Craigslist

I love to punk people on Craigslist. I never do it in a mean way, but every once in a while I feel a need to do it. I saw this posting yesterday and couldn’t resist:


We are Looking for two girls who are bright and motivated to work hard in the music entertainment Biz. We have a Signed Music Group that is searching for Girls with talent in dancing, and Singing! Ages of 18 to 25! Auditions would be held in Hollywood. There will be Travel, and we need Unsigned TALENT!!! SEND PIX, CONTACT PHONE NUMBER AND A COPY OF YOUR MUSIC TO: -or- 1617 N. El Centro suite 24 Hollywood, Ca. 90028 schedule an appointment! No Calls or Drop offs ( e-mail for appointment w/pix and cover letter)”

Here’s how I responded:

I am very interested in your posting. I am a hot 20-something who has done a ton of modeling, recording, acting and dancing. I would have made it onto American Idol, but Simon was a d--k and hated me. Paula and Randy thought I rocked! When I heard that you guys were signed, I immediately became intrigued. People are always trying to con babes who look like me. They offer bogus jobs and then try to turn us out. I’ve seen it way too many times, believe me! When you see my latest headshot (which I’ve attached) I think you’ll know what I mean. The last band I did work with said they were signed and made all these promises, but in the end they were just trying to get a date with me. Please send me some more information so that I can be 100% certain that you’re legitimate. I live in SF but I’ll be down in LA in two weeks to shoot a Red Hot Chili Peppers video and to shoot an episode of Entourage. Maybe we could meet then.

Medieval Times Dinner Show

The Medieval Times Dinner Show in Kissimmee Florida is an event you will enjoy from beginning to end. It’s an adventure that provides top-notch entertainment for both young and old. You’ll enter a castle from the days of King Arthur’s Court to begin the evening. This building is as authentic and realistic as they come – with all of the trappings of castles from the period. One of the highlights of the Medieval Times Dinner Show is the food. It’s a feast like you’ve never experience before – everything’s freshly made and expertly prepared. Once the show starts, you’ll be mesmerized by the action in directly in front of you. The performers are so close it feels like you can reach out and touch them. You’ll meet King Alphonso the Magnificent, who has invited six of his most noble knights for the chance to compete in a tournament of jousting, medieval games and hand-to-hand combat. When it’s all over, only one of these noble knights, the best of the best, will be the victor. The reward is that the knight will become the personal champion of the King. This is the ultimate honor and comes with a lot of perks! One of the first things the winning knight gets to do is select his Queen of Love and Beauty from among the castle’s finest babes. You’ll see fierce fights using authentic medieval weapons, the costumes are incredible and it’s there’s a lot of fun audience participation. Discount tickets are available for the Medieval Times Dinner Show, which makes it even more of a must-see! Order your tickets now for your summer vacation!

Barkley Bashes the Bay Area

TNT broadcaster and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley dissed the Bay Area recently, saying that he would rather live on Alcatraz than reside in either Oakland or San Francisco. He went on to say that he likes Sacramento more. Locals are fuming and want The Round Mound of Rebound’s large head on a platter.

“I love it when they give me a hard time,” Barkley said. “I know that I’m getting a lot of love there now.”

Bay Area radio and TV stations have received numerous complaints about Barkley’s remarks. People have created amusing photo shopped pictures of Barkley in a rowboat on his way to Alcatraz, in a jail cell or hanging out hugging guys in the Castro. The Cities by the Bay are mad, but what they don’t realize is that they’re playing directly into Barkley’s plans with their reactions.

Barkley makes his money saying outrageous things. By shooting from the hip and going against the grain, he has established a reputation for being irreverent and controversial. That’s how he gets his name in the press. TNT loves it, because Barkley takes the heat and they get the ratings.

Let’s face it -- the NBA playoffs this year aren’t as exciting as they’ve been in the past. Without the Golden State Warriors, it’s a fairly ho-hum lineup of games. Sure, King James is fun to watch, and the Chicago Bulls are an exciting team young with a promising future, but other than that, it’s a bunch of the same teams we see in the postseason year after year.

So, Barkley decided to spice things up a bit. By insulting the Bay Area, he’s put himself right in the spotlight, which is where he’s comfortable. Now fans all over the country are going to be rooting for the Warriors. He’s made them America’s Underdog with his comments.

Good job, Charles. You could teach our President a few things about spinning the media to your advantage. You’re in the NBA Hall of Fame for getting points on the court and rebounding well. And now you’re doing the same thing from the broadcaster’s booth.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Arrrgh! The Pirates Dinner Show in Orlando

Hello there, land lubbers! If you’ve got treasure buried somewhere, it’s best to tell us now, because if we have to go digging for it, you’ll be walking the plank! It’s the Pirates Dinner Show in Orlando and it’s an exciting night of fun, fantasy and pirate adventures. Full of audience participation, you’ll love the delicious plentiful food, the amazing sets and the incredible performers as they take you into the world of pirates during this awesome show. Once you enter, you’re invited to start off your evening with a bountiful appetizer buffet as Princess Anita’s special dinner guests. Savor the King's assorted tasty snacks, salads, and special sauces. The faire alone is more than worth the price of admission! The festival buffet is prepared to whet the appetite of absolutely everyone – young and old, pirate, princess or prince. And that’s just the beginning of the evening’s festivities. There’s a feast for the senses coming your way that will surely satiate even the hungriest of pirates at the Pirates Dinner Show in Orlando. It’s an incredible adventure, transporting you to a dreamland like you’ve never seen before, with danger, gold, wenches, and a whole chest of surprises! Discount tickets are available for this wonderful night of fun and frivolity. It’s one evening you and your family will treasure for a lifetime. The Pirates Dinner Show in Orlando. Do not miss it!

Alyssa Milano: She's All Blue!

Alyssa Milano is every guy’s dream girl. She’s super smart, incredibly beautiful, a savvy business woman AND (maybe best of all) she’s an LA Dodger fan. She has a great baseball web site called “Touch ‘em All ( where she has some very well-written, highly insightful postings about the LA Bums. Milano also has a new clothing company called “Touch,” featuring a lot of baseball apparel.
There’s just something so sexy about a woman who knows her baseball. I always enjoy talking to women who know their stuff. Alyssa has obviously been a baseball fan for a long time, and it shows.
And to top it off, she’s just signed to do a new film. This press release appeared on her web site (
Milo Ventimiglia, one of the stars of NBC's "Heroes," has signed on to Topline Lakeshore Entertainment's horror thriller "Pathology." Alyssa Milano, Lauren Lee Smith and Johnny Whitworth also have been cast in the movie, which is being directed by Marc Schoelermann.
"Crank" filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are producing with Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.
Written by Neveldine and Taylor, the story centers on a young intern (Ventimiglia) who is studying pathology at Philadelphia's University Hospital and encounters an attractive but murderous group of colleagues who have devised a deadly game to see who among them can commit the perfect murder, while the others compete to determine the cause of death.
Milano will play Ventimiglia's fiancée, while Smith ("Trick 'r Treat") and Whitworth ("3:10 to Yuma") are the med students.
The film is being released by MGM in the U.S., and Lakeshore will be introducing the film to international buyers at the Festival de Cannes market in May. Production is scheduled to begin in May.
Ventimiglia, who plays the power-absorbing Peter Petrelli on "Heroes," was most recently seen on the big screen in "Rocky Balboa." He is repped by CAA.
Milano, who starred in the long-running television series "Charmed," recently completed production on the indie feature "The Blue Hour." She is repped by CAA and attorney Bill Skrzyniarz.