Monday, December 31, 2007

Come closer. Over here. I have a very important question for you. (whisper)....how's your colon?

It's New Years Eve and in a few hours it will be 2008. I know this isn't the best time to talk about heavy, serious issues, but I have to. As a responsible blogger, I sometimes need to ask the really tough questions, so here goes. How is your colon? When was the last time you thought about it? When was the last time that a medical professional looked at it? As we get older, guys (post-45) our colon becomes more important. That's why the first quarter of 2008 might be an ideal time to consider a colon cleanse. I'm doing one right around midnight. Care to join me?

Friday, December 28, 2007

This Week's Restaurant Review: Ristorante Venticello in SF


I am half Italian and half Irish, which means I can never be in the Mafia. It also means that I love great Italian food. I don’t want to diss Irish food, but let’s put it this way. Comparing the two cuisines is like comparing the Italian Painter Da Vinci to his Irish counterpart, a guy named Paul Henry. Paul who, you ask? Exactly.

And as I have written in many of my past reviews, I truly believe that Italy has produced the finest cuisine in the history of mankind. People can make arguments for each and every culture’s food -- Asian, Spanish, Mexican, German, British, American, Portuguese, Russian -- every country has some amazing traditional dishes that they have been passed down through the ages and each is arguably superior to the next.

We all have differing opinions based on what we grew up eating. But, when you talk about Italian food, you’re talking about the whole package – the passion, the preparation, the stories behind the cuisine – I have always said that there is only one thing Italians like to do as much as eat. And that’s talking about eating.

With that diatribe complete, I want to tell you about an Italian restaurant in San Francisco that represents everything that makes the food from this little boot-shaped peninsula the King of Cuisine. It’s called Venticello Ristorante (1257 Taylor Street @ Washington, SF, CA 94108; Phone: (415) 922-2545. Web site: http://www.venticello.com/) We were there the other night and I’m still salivating.

Tucked away atop Nob Hill, Venticello Ristorante is a quaint little spot with a wood burning oven and fantastic views of the bay. The look that they’re going for, according to the server we talked to, is Tuscan farmhouse. And since I’ve never been to Tuscany, I’ll have to take their word for it. You’ll get a warm, intimate feeling from the minute you walk through the door. If you’re looking for a romantic place, Venticello fits the bill.

The menu is varied and features primarily Northern Italian cuisine. For our antipasti, we had the Melanzane Ripiene ($9), two grilled eggplant rolls with ricotta and mascarpone in a marinara sauce; and the Portobello Con Polenta ($7), a wood oven roasted whole Italian field mushroom over soft polenta. The eggplant rolls were fresh and rich while the Portobello mushroom was earthy and hearty. Both were highly memorable and kicked off our meal magnificently.

For our main courses we ordered Gnocchi Ai Funghi ($17), potato dumplings in a mushroom sauce with gorgonzola; and the Maiale E Balsamico ($23), grilled pork tenderloin medallions with balsamic rum syrup. The gnocchi was homemade and divine and the sauce that accompanied the pork was like nothing we’d ever had. Unbelievable!

Other items we want to try the next time we visit Venticello include the Fettucine Con Salsiccia ($17), fettucine in a creamy fennel seed and sausage meat sauce; Agnello Ai Ferri Con Salsa Di Funghi ($25), rosemary marinated grilled lamb tenderloins with a sweet mushroom Chianti sauce; and Risotto Alla Zafferano Con Scampi ($19), a saffron risotto with basil and tiger shrimp.

Venticello has an extensive wine list. They know their vino, so ask them what will go well with your meal and they’ll be happy suggest wines from different price ranges. Speaking of prices, the food here is very reasonably priced, when compared to other great restaurants in San Francisco offering comparable faire. And the staff at Venticello is professional and the service is excellent.

I love everything about Italian food and Venticello has some of the best in town. Go there soon and you won’t be disappointed. That I can guarantee.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Tiger That Stole Christmas

We were going to visit the San Francisco Zoo yesterday. I’m not kidding. We’re members of the zoo and pay an annual membership fee so that we can go there whenever we want. Christmas is normally a perfect day to go there, because the place is usually empty.
San Francisco has a great zoo, not as good as the Central Park Zoo in New York City or the San Diego Zoo, but it’s still a decent zoo that has been improving its appearance and adding new exhibits over the last decade.
Well, I am happy we decided to stay home yesterday. Otherwise, I could have ended up as Christmas dinner for a Tiger. What a way to go.
Here’s the story, compliments of SFgate.com:
The same tiger that attacked and mauled a trainer at the San Francisco Zoo last year, attacked and killed one man and seriously injured two more after escaping its pen on Christmas Day.
“Tatiana,” the 350-pound Siberian tiger, managed to escape its cage shortly after 5:00 p.m. and then attacked a man in his 20s who was standing near the tiger exhibit.
The tiger then attacked at least two other visitors to the San Francisco Zoo before being shot and killed by police.
The zoo is closed today as officials try to figure out what went wrong. They also want to conduct a thorough sweep of the grounds during daylight. They said additional victims aren’t likely. They are still uncertain how long the tiger was loose before she was killed by police.
The zoo had five tigers at the zoo – three Sumatrans and two Siberians. Officials initially worried that four tigers had escaped, but found out quickly that Tatiana was the only tiger on the loose.
The three men who were attacked by Tatiana suffered “pretty aggressive marks” SF Police spokesman Steve Mannina said. The two injured men are in critical but stable condition at San Francisco General Hospital after undergoing surgery to have their wounds cleaned and closed, authorities said. They suffered deep bites and claw cuts on their heads, necks, arms and legs.
The zoo’s director of animal care and conservation, Robert Jenkins, could not explain how Tatiana escaped. The tiger’s enclosure is surrounded by a 15-foor-wide and 20-foot-high-walls, and the big cat did not exit through an open door, he said.
“There is no way out through the door,” Jenkins said. “The animal appears to have climbed or otherwise leaped out of the enclosure.”
This incident opens up a whole controversial can of worms. Many people are mourning more for the tiger than for the man who was killed. The whole moral dilemma surrounding the entire concept of keeping animals captive in zoos is up for discussion.
My take on it is this – we risk incidents like these when we take animals out of the wild and put them in a zoo. I feel equally bad for both Tatiana and for the man who was killed. It is a horrific incident, especially on Christmas.
But, I don’t think zoos are to blame here. The San Francisco Zoo, for instance, does an enormous amount of conservation work and raises tons of money for the protection of endangered species and for helping to save their environments. When people see these animals in zoos, they’re more likely to become involved in efforts to save and protect them. Where else can they go to see these exotic animals? Last time I was in the Castro, I didn’t see any tigers. (I did spot a couple of bears, but that’s a whole different story.)
So, don’t blame the zoo. And you surely can’t blame the tiger. It’s just a very unfortunate incident that ruined Christmas for a lot of people.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wow! Wetpaint is Wiki Wonderful!

There is a new cutting edge web site that I recently discovered that allows users to create and contribute to a wiki. It’s called www.wetpaint.com, and it is gaining huge attention from the media and online users alike. Created in 2005, this Seattle-based company is backed by big names – Trinity Ventures and Frazier Technology Ventures – so you know that there must be some viable reason for all the big-time buzz. In three easy steps, anyone with even limited tech knowledge can create a wiki in no time. The service has a lot of the identical features that you’ll find on message boards, social networks and blogs. The idea is that blogs are good (and extremely popular right now), but they’re limiting, primarily because they’re too hard to search. And wikis are proven to be great, but the problem with them is that even though the reader can become the editor, writer and fact-checker, the cold hard truth is that they’re too technical and involved for the non-high-tech people of the world. Let’s say you want to find out everything you can about Koi. You know, the beautiful gold fish-looking carp who reside in beautiful Japanese ponds? Sure, there are a ton of different blogs with information about Koi, but unless you can effectively do a search of blogs (which is tough), you are not going to be able to access the information you need. If you have a lot of very specific questions, like what is the best food to feed Koi during the Winter, or where can the very finest Koi be found, you’re going to have a hard time navigating through the world wide web and accessing the appropriate information that you are in need of in order to answer your very targeted and specific questions. But, with a wiki, you can get those specific answers and with Wetpaint you can find those wikis that will take you where you need to be. There’s nothing like Wetpaint! Wetpaint allows anyone with a hobby or interest – whether it be the arts, entertainment, education, gaming, hobbyist, games, lifestyles, music – you name it and you can do a wiki for it, and Wetpaint will help take you exactly where you want to be. You can build a brand new web site and tap into the Wikipedia universe with Wetpaint. Adding to a Wetpaint site is as easy as clicking and typing. It makes it simpler than ever to share ideas, solve problems and find individuals out three who share your passions and interests in a wide variety of different subjects.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Amazing New World of Condos

You would not believe all of the offers that are out there right now for condos for sale. There is a web site that I found called http://www.prodigynetwork.com/. They feature condo hotels, regular condos, resales and purchases of some of the finest condos in places like New York, Panama, Mexico and Florida. These are great investments because they will always be coveted. They're also ideal for people who don't want to have large yards and big houses to take care of. With spectacular views, all of the finest luxuries and amenities in the world, condos are HOTTER than ever!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's His Birthday, for Christ's Sake!


Santa Claus has stolen the limelight from Jesus on his birthday and it's just not cool!
Christmas is all about gift giving, Santa Claus and caroling; overeating and sleeping in; egg nog and mistletoe; wild office parties and designated drivers.

It’s about getting together with relatives you can’t stand and sitting in airports for hours on end; driving around mall parking lots and dealing with screaming brats and teetering seniors.

It’s about putting lights on the house without falling off the roof; killing a perfectly nice evergreen tree and keeping it alive in your living room with sugar water until December 26th, when you dump it on the corner like an unwanted stepchild.

It’s your Aunt Irene’s terrible Jello fruit mold and Grandma Victoria's “Armageddon survivor’s” fruitcake.

My question is -- before we get totally lost in all the hoopla -- what the heck happened to Jesus? I mean, isn’t Christmas supposed to His birthday? How and why did Santa Claus and his entourage push Our Savior to the back pages of the newspaper, across from the Suduko, Word Jumble and obituaries? How on earth did the Big Guy from Heaven fall so fast? And how can He make a comeback? I mean, if John Travolta and Mariah Carey did it, surely Jesus can figure out how to get back on the front page, without killing someone or entering rehab.

There’s no doubt about it -- Jesus needs a complete makeover. My advice to Our Lord is to hire a new, hip publicist and start appealing to the teenagers and 20-somethings of the world. Change water into Red Bull. Get a newer robe with a higher thread count. Put pictures in the Bible. Better yet, make it a pop-up book. Did you know that they have Grecian Formula for beards now? Do some 8-minute abs. Get on myspace or facebook. Write for BrooWaha. Go on Springer or Ellen. Get your own video game.

And Jeez, change your back story. The whole part about the crucifixion needs to be spun a little differently. No one likes to hear about a guy getting strung up on a cross and being left to die. It’s not warm and fuzzy. It’s dark and bloody. It scares kids and grosses people out. Tell folks you got hit by a chariot or abducted by aliens or snatched up by some cult, I don’t know.

I do like the swaddling clothes in the manger part of the story, however. Stick with that and maybe expand on it a little. Everyone’s encountered an overbooked hotel and people will always gravitate toward the “local kid makes good” /”rags to riches” type of thing.

And spruce up the three wise men bearing gifts concept. Alter the story to where they’re the three “baby daddy’s” -- it’s more contemporary. Maybe change their presents to an iPhone, a Nintendo Wii and some Viagra. I mean, who evens knows what frankincense and myrrh are anyway? No one from this century, that’s for sure.

I’m not trying to be sacrilegious here. I believe in God and I’m a big fan of Jesus. I was raised Catholic. I saw “Hair” twice and actually sat through "The Passion” even though I knew the ending. People will be upset over this article, because religion is a very sensitive subject. I know enough to avoid the topic at parties, believe me.

Many of my friends are Jews, Scientologists, Atheists, Buddhists, Amway Sales People, Members of the Raider Nation -- even Ignostics (that’s the religion where you think there’s a higher power but are too ignorant or apathetic to bother figuring out what you believe).

I respect your religion, whatever it is. I have no problem with your God, whoever he or she may be. Just don’t try to convert me or ask me to go to bake sales or buy raffle tickets.

I just feel like The Most Holy One deserves more press than He’s getting, especially on His birthday. If it weren’t for Jesus, we’d be spending the holiday season waiting for "Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Special" and watching over-hyped college bowl games.

Without Jesus, there would be no Santa. There would be no Christmas tree. There would be no Uncle Jack to fall asleep after dinner and drool all over your parent’s loveseat. There would be no teeth shattering fruit cake. And there would surely be no reason to run up your credit card bill buying useless stuff that will all eventually end up as ancient landfill long after mankind is a painful afterthought.

So, let’s put Christ back in Christmas and put a big “X” over Xmas. Let’s throw Him the 34th birthday bash he never resurrected Himself in time to enjoy. For Christ’s sake – it’s the right thing to do. After all, He did die for our sins. (Question: Does that include the ones we haven’t committed yet?)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mr. & Mrs. Joker


This photo of the new Joker was revealed recently. The Joker is my favorite villain. Jack Nicholsen was the best Joker, with Cesar Romero finishing a close second. The newest Joker is being played by Heath Ledger. He looks really strange -- and mean.

Too bad Leona Helmsley isn't around anymore, because she would have made a great Mrs. Joker.

I Dream About Plumbing Fixtures

Lately, plumbing fixtures have been showing up in my dreams, especially faucets and sinks. Maybe I was a plumber in another life, I don't know. Faucets, sinks, shower heads, toilets, bathtubs -- they circle around in my mind while I'm fast asleep. Maybe the spirits are trying to tell me that I need to remodel our bathroom -- I'm not certain. It's the weirdest thing. Yesterday I even started looking at web sites that sell plumbing fixtures, and I found a great site named www.faucet.com. What a great web site. They have a wide selection, a low price gaurantee and they'll ship to you for free if you order more than $99 worth of stuff from them.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cover It When You're Done Playing With It!

If you have an expensive car like this one here (a Maybach Exelero, worth $8 million and change), you should really think about putting a car cover over it. It's a fact that car covers will help your vehicle last longer. They protect the paint and the finish and will ass years to the life of the car. I found a great site called http://www.bigskycarcovers.com/ and these people are the Boston Red Sox of car covers. Which means (to all you non-baseball fans) that they're the very best in the business. They're the World Champs of car covers!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Vacuum Cleaners Make a Practical Gift

Some people give you frivolous things for Christmas -- like stocking stuffers, funny gag gifts and things you will never really need. Then, there are those other folks (who you are probably related to) who give you presents that you can use. This is where vacuum cleaners come into the picture. Vacuum cleaners are something you will always find a good use for. We have three, actually. A really high-quality vacuum cleaner is great to have. So, think about it as a gift if you know somebody who needs one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

10 Rules for Fledgling Santas



Every holiday season, I volunteer to be Santa Claus at local charity fundraisers, friends’ parties and a host of other events. I love being Santa, for a variety of reasons. I love the look of amazement in a young child’s eyes (usually between 2-8) when you know he or she still believes. I even like the skeptical “whatever” stare I get from teenagers when I can plainly see that the magic of the big guy is no longer in their lives. And I even enjoy the lustful look that 40-something thrice-divorced women who are into fat guys give me as they insist on sitting on my lap.

Over the years, I have developed a 10-point plan for being a believable Santa Claus. If you ever have to don the costume and play the role, you should really read these.

1. Play the part 100%
As my acting coach used to say -- “Go all out or don’t go.” If you believe you’re really Santa then everyone else will buy into it. Wearing the costume is a privilege, so don’t do anything that might spoil the big man’s image – like smoke, swear, spit, hit on women or break loud wind.

2. Learn your ho’s
A weak “ho, ho, ho!” greeting is the quickest way to be labeled a weak, panty-waist Santa Claus and nobody wants a wimpy St. Nick in their presence. Practice your delivery before the gig, and make sure you use a loud, deep, bass-heavy voice with just the correct amount of pacing. Think jolly, yet confident. Assured and comforting, with a twinkle on the side. Project your voice and shake the rafters!

3. Control your beard
The most important part of the outfit is the hair and beard. Too many times a cheap or poorly attached beard will ruin the illusion. First off, purchase or rent a high-quality beard. Use safety pins or small two-sided adhesive strips to make sure the beard doesn’t shift. One time a 10-year-old girl said to me, “Santa, your beard is falling off. I know there is no such thing as Santa, but I don’t want to ruin it for the little kids who still believe in you.” She then re-adjusted my beard.

4. Don’t skimp on the costume
Get the high-end suit, not the Walgreen’s one. It may cost a little more money, but it’s worth it. Kids aren’t stupid and they’ll know you’re not Kris Kringle right away if you skimp on the costume.

5. Don’t get hammered
This can be embarrassing. On one particular holiday evening I over-imbibed on some cheap red wine. One little kid who was sitting on my lap looked as his mother and said, “Hey mom – Santa smells just like daddy – like Gallo.” I corrected the child and told him that it was actually Kenwood. That was bad. Lay off the sauce when you’re Santa. There will be plenty of time to hit the egg nog later at the after-party.

6. No lap dances
Keep adults off your lap. It’s unnatural and unhealthy and can lead to sexual harassment charges if and when a party gets out of hand.

7. Do your research
Children will invariably ask a lot of specific questions. “What’s your definition of ‘bad’?”; “Why do you go down chimneys instead of through the front door?” and “Why are there Santa Clauses on every street corner downtown?” They’re interrogating you to see if you’re the genuine article. My advice is, if you’re going to be Santa Claus, do a little research beforehand. Check out Wikipedia. Work on your background story. Learn a few interesting facts that you can impress tots and tykes with. (For instance, did you know that Santa started appearing in red and white in the mid-to-late 19th century when he appeared in Coca Cola advertisements? Until then, Santa wore all-white, green or other assorted colors.)

8. Bring a towel
I have had many a two-year-old (those who aren’t scared to death of Santa) deposit all kinds of things in my lap. Need I elaborate? There’s nothing worse than a stinky Santa!

9. Have a Mrs. Claus to help you
Make your job a lot easier and bring an assistant. I used to hire a little person to help me, but he kept grabbing soccer moms and I had to let him go. Now my fiancĂ©e plays Mrs. Claus and it works out well. She can get the kids’ names and find out what they want before they hit your lap or warn you about a brat before you get kicked in the shin or smacked in the juevos.

10. Go tough love when necessary
A lot of teenagers will try to insult you to make themselves look cool in front of their friends. Maybe some of you did stuff like this when you were that age. I remember kicking Mickey Mouse in the butt at Disneyland one time when I was 11. That’s why they call it adolescent behavior. In these instances, I will lean over and whisper a word of useful advice into the offending party’s ear, something like, “Don’t make Santa go medieval on your ass.” or “I snapped an elf’s neck last week and he was just about your size.” You know, something to get their attention.

Bad Credit? Fear Not!

Bad credit can really limit what you can do in this world. Believe me, I know. I was very irresponsible with my credit when I was in college and it took me almost 15 years to get back to where I am today (740 credit rating). Things can happen that are beyond our control. Financial fortunes can be altered when layoffs occur, people get divorced or have to move. That's why BadCreditOffers.com is so great. It's a Web site that allows you to compare dozens of "bad credit" offers from major providers -- rather than just having one choice, you can pick the one that is best for you. This is a great chance for you shop for bad credit loans to rebuild your credit and get back to where you once belonged!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Digital Camera Batteries

It might be a romantic or "warm and fuzzy" Christmas gift, but it sure is practical. What I am talking about is a digital camera battery. If you own a digital camera (we have 3) than you know that a battery is essential to be able to take pictures when you need or want to, especially when you're out on location somewhere and need one in a pinch. You can spend too much on a digital camera battery, so make sure you shop carefully. Sometimes it's better to give someone an Xmas gift that someone NEEDS rather than WANTS (socks also fall into thay category.)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Yuletide Yuckfest 2007 A Success!





It was the largest crowd ever at a Fest. The comics were outstanding. We raised a ton of toys and money. And Chubby's All-Stars never sounded better. Yes, the Yuletide Yuckfest, in its 10th year, was a huge success! Thanks to everyone for making it a really special event!

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Tainted 11: The Mitchell Report Looms

The Mitchell Report, the findings of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use that has tarnished some of the game's greatest stars and records is going to be released to the public next week.
What will it tell us? Whose baseball careers, if any, will be ruined? How will it change the American pastime? And maybe most importantly, what will MLB do in response to the report?
Early leaks tell us that the report will reveal the names of 11 current free agents who took steroids.
Critics of the report are already lining up, denouncing the report as being one-sided and outdated, but one thing is for sure – major league players from across the continent are more than just a little concerned about what the document contains.
"Well, it ain't Merry Christmas or Happy New Year for somebody," Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
One question that a lot of people are asking is -- who is George Mitchell? The 74-year-old former chairman of The Walt Disney Company was once offered a spot on the Supreme Court by President Clinton and famously challenged Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings. He is a political veteran with an impressive pedigree.
But, what’s his agenda? Every politician has one. Will the report be objective? Is this thing going to be honest and candid, or are we looking at another Warren Report?
One thing that may taint Mitchell’s background is the fact that he is also a director with the World Series champion Red Sox, a role players say makes him hopelessly conflicted and a pawn of Commissioner Bud Selig, who appointed him. Players also claim Mitchell refused to show those accused the evidence he had against them, denying them a chance to refute the allegations.
For now, Selig claims not to know what's inside the report. Suffice to say, midway between Boston wrapping up the Fall Classic and the start of spring training, there are plenty of jittery people around the majors.
"Obviously, it can't be really good," New York Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "If there's some really, really big names I'm sure it's going to be a real impact in some ways."
Outfielders Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons, linked in media reports to receiving human growth hormone, were suspended Thursday for the first 15 days of next season. The penalties are an indication how baseball might treat any players named by Mitchell.
Although some say Bonds' home run record -- and milestone ball -- should be marked with an asterisk, Mitchell noted the Hall of Fame vote in which Mark McGwire was picked on just 23.5 percent of ballots, nowhere near the 75 percent needed for induction.
That election in January was considered the first test on how history will view a period when bulked-up stars amassed bulked-up stats.
"If nothing else, the results of the Hall of Fame voting last week, and the reaction to it, offer fresh evidence that this issue will not just fade away," Mitchell said then. "Whether you think it fair or not, whether you think it justified or not, Major League Baseball has a cloud over its head, and that cloud will not just go away."
To some, the drumbeat of suspicion is falling on deaf ears. A lot of people no longer care about this subject.
"Now when it comes out, more people seem to be numb to it," said former Milwaukee manager Ned Yost: "I don't care one way or the other, to be honest with you."
Hired by Selig in March 2006, Mitchell and his staff spent millions of dollars interviewing people and collecting evidence. Their task: Provide a history of what happened off the diamond during a time when home run marks that had lasted for decades fell as suddenly strong sluggers changed the balance between pitchers and hitters.
Previously undisclosed names could be tied to steroids and HGH, thanks to the cooperation of former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski. A national investigation led by the Albany, N.Y., district attorney's office also is believed to have provided evidence to Mitchell.
Active players largely have resisted cooperating -- the Yankees' Jason Giambi is the only one known to have spoken to the inquiry. Although this wasn't exactly Sing Along with Mitch, retired players have spoken with Mitchell, who did not have subpoena power.
Selig's decision to launch an official investigation followed the release of "Game of Shadows," in which San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams said Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs for at least five seasons beginning in 1998.
Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron's career home run record in August, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he lied to federal investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs.
The home run king was arraigned in U.S. District Court on four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice stemming from a Nov. 15 indictment. If convicted, he could spend more than two years in prison.
Bonds, currently a free agent who hopes to play in 2008, has denied knowingly using illegal performance enhancers. He nonetheless became the face of steroid allegations while dozens of other major and minor leaguers tested positive.
"I think we're all eager to get this era behind us and to get steroids out of this game, growth hormone out of the game, get things that change the competitive balance other than hard work and a desire to be the best ballplayer you can be," Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
To former World Anti-Doping Agency leader Dick Pound, baseball is an outlaw sport, refusing to agree to WADA's standards for testing and discipline.
But athletes in U.S. team sports, protected by collective bargaining agreements and American labor laws, have no interest in international standards.
"I think if you look at attendance, if you look at the health of the game right now, that would suggest that fans have digested what information exists and perhaps assumed that the problem has been addressed, at least for the moment," San Diego Padres chief executive officer Sandy Alderson said.

Looking for a Hotel Deal in Vegas?

If you're looking for a great deal on a Vegas hotel, there's a web site called http://www.i4vegas.com/ that kicks the heck out of high Las Vegas lodging prices. If you're headed to Sin City -- to gamble, see some shows, got clubbing, shopping or to some amazing restaurants, you need to visit http://www.i4vegas.com/ and check out some of the super lo lo prices on hotels. Why spend an arm and a leg on a Vegas hotel when you can use that money to play blackjack or good 'ol Texas Hold 'Em? Now, that's exactly what I am talkin' 'bout!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The BCS is B.S.!

This whole BCS thing is a big load B.S as far as I’m concerned. Why NCAA Div. I football won’t embrace the idea of a playoff system is beyond me and this season should be a prime example of why such a format is needed. The powers that be in college football should be ashamed of themselves – how long are you going to drag this sport down and hold fans throughout the country hostage? People want a clear-cut winner and it’s not rocket science to figure out how it should be done.
All of the lower-level divisions in college football have a playoff system. It works well and takes all of the guesswork out of the equation. You have one champion who got there by winning the tournament. You don’t need a computer to tell you who the best team is.
Besides, have you tried to figure out the method that this computer uses to determine who the two top teams are? Albert Einstein would have problems understanding it on his best day. It’s a mish mash of things like strength of schedule, opponents’ records – and a whole lot of other stuff that nerds at MIT would probably have difficulty grasping.
When the season started out, everybody was talking about USC. But, they lost to Stanford. Then it was LSU. Then THE Ohio State University. West Virginia got some recognition for a while there, as did Oregon and Arizona State. But, they all lost. After that, everybody got excited about Cinderella teams like Kansas and Missouri. All of them fell like dominos during the course of the season. But, in the end it will be Ohio State and LSU in the Finale – two teams that were in, out and now back in again.
And what about Hawaii? Why doesn't a legitimate star quarterback like Colt Brennan (see photo) deserve a chance to play on the big stage? Just like Boise State last year, Hawaii ran the table without losing a game, but don’t get to go to the Big Show because they play in what’s considered a weaker league and don’t merit a shot at the championship. That too, is B.S., in my opinion.
So, now that we have these big-wigs’ attention, how about a playoff system? I’ve heard all the objections to such a system and have a response for each.
Objection #1: The bowl games are traditional and sacred and cannot be jeopardized.
Response: A playoff system won’t hurt the bowl games. Use the bigger bowl games as playoff games and then create one Championship Game to be played in a different city each year, so that fans from all over the country can get a chance to see it.
Objection #2: The season will be too long if we have a playoff tournament at the end.
Response: You call yourself colleges? How hard is this to figure out? You shorten the season to nine games, eliminating the normally lopsided non-conference games that are stuck in there to fill out a schedule and are customarily blowouts (exception: Michigan vs. Appalachia State). A 16-team playoff would only add four more games to the schedule, with only two teams playing in the fourth and final one.
Objection #3: How would the playoff money be distributed?
Response: Well, now we’ve come to the real question. All along, it’s been all about the money. Every conference wants what they feel they deserve, and in the end – let’s admit it – they’re all greedy. So, what you do is take every conference in football – regardless of how many teams from each of them is in the playoffs – and you distribute it evenly. Sure the Pac 10 and the Big Ten will object. Who cares?
So, that’s my take on the concept. Select 16 teams and let them knock the crap out of each other. The last one standing wins. Let it be decided on the field and not by some passionless computer. This way, everybody wins.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Designer Inspired Jewelry

If you're looking for designer inspired jewelry -- I mean the real stuff, not the wannabe kind. Then, you should really visit www.quantabellajewelry.com. They have the finest rings, bracelets, broaches, necklaces -- if you want it, they have it at great prices. For a wide selection of jewelry that will really please your significant other, www.quantabellajewelry is the site to link up to. Christmas is now officially just 24 days away. It will be here before you know it. So, get online now and check these people out. You'll be happy that I told you about them and will come out smelling like a rose!

Flipping Homes

Everybody is doing it. It's the hottest new thing of the last five years. And no -- I am not talking about pilates or yoga or hybrid vehicles -- I am talking about real estate flipping. That's right! They have numerous books on it, seminars; they even have some reality shows about the subject. I have several friends in Nor Cal who are doing it right now and getting some really awesome results. Flipping homes can be profitable and very rewarding -- some people are doing it full-time and making buko bucks. But, if you don't know what you're doing, you might just end up flipping yourself into oblivion. But, if you have the money, the time and the smarts -- flipping real estate can be a great way to make a bunch 'o money!