Monday, October 23, 2006

Carry on my wayward son

There's an entire state of the Union that no one seems to know about. It's called Kansas. I was there this past weekend for a conference and... for my first time west of the Mississippi River, it was a little underwhelming. I flew into Kansas City airport, which was the most depressing excuse for an airport I've ever seen. I drove to the University of Kansas in the middle of the day. There was no one on the roads. These were interstate highways. Oh well, at least it had clean air, darkness at night, and quiet. I miss those in Chicago.

When I got there, I was told that no, Kansas is not all flat (the university is on a hill) and that they've gotten rather sick of all the Wizard of Oz jokes. However, they seem to have something against actually labelling their streets. My Mapquest directions were just fine. It was attempting to find where US-59 was that was the problem. I stayed at the Holiday Inn... right next to a store called "Topless Liquor." I'm not making this up.

The Kansas mascot is the Jayhawk. I asked what the hell that meant. No one knew. I asked why it looked like a Dodo bird with fetal alcohol syndrome. No one knew that either.

But, in the bookstore in the student union, I found a book on the art of Federic Edwin Church. I am happy.

This week's theme:
Songs you won't be able to get out of your head.

This week's theme is basically meant to drive you nuts. I'll put a link to a song on YouTube or something like that, and you have to listen to it. Don't worry... it's a song you'll be thinking about all day. But you can't cheat. You either have to click on the link or not.

I'm going to pick sneaky ones. Not Tom's Diner or the YMCA song. You'll love them. You'll hate me.

Today's song you won't be able to get out of your head
(Here's a better song by the same artist.)

Baseball Bits:

While I was in Kansas, my friend Omar called me and said that he was interested in baseball blogging with me. I think we may start it for real. Not sure on what the format will be. Stay tuned.

Has there been any more of a yo-yo story in Major League Baseball than Kenny Rogers? Here's a guy who's been a marginally good pitcher through the years, had a funny nickname, "The Gambler," and then out of nowhere (or Arlington, Texas), tosses a perfect game. After that, he wanders around baseball (Rangers, Yankees, A's, Mets, Rangers, Twins, Rangers, and now the Tigers). He becomes a villain by attacking a camera man, then signs with Detroit to be the "ace" of a bad team. He ends up starting the All-Star game and then making a fantastic post-season run.

And he might be a cheater. What do we make of this guy?

Not a whole lot of news. San Francisco and Montr... uh, Washington are still looking for a manager. Apparently, they both want Manny Acta. Another former Indians manager is on the hot seat. Mike Hargrove may also be out next season in Seattle. Speaking of, Daisuke Matsuzaka wants to go to the Mariners, who apparently will just build an entire team out of Japanese players. Dusty Baker might work TV, and former Tigers manager Alan Trammell has several options. Speaking of Trammell, how much must it suck to be him. He manages through the rough times, gets fired, and then the Tigers go to the World Series. The Mets are looking for pitching (isn't everyone?). Possibilities include Barry Zito or Jason Schmidt. Jeff Suppan will be a free agent and pitched a few good games in the playoffs. This means he's due to be overpaid by at least $5 mil per year. The Marlins are looking for a young cheap CF (Willy Taveres, Chris Duffy, etc.)

On to the news:

British children can't find UK on map
(They sound more like Americans all the time)

Australians forbidden from singing in the shower
(But, would we have gotten Kylie Minogue otherwise?)

Blind and deaf man gets speeding ticket
(And sure plays a mean pinball)

Alabama, boobs, and politics
(That right there is enough to get you to click, isn't it?)

Bright, shiny objects:

A guide to Halloween costumes.
(Please follow these rules... please?)

Elevator is going in the wrong direction
(This one will take a minute to fully appreciate)

Today's Random "Next Blog":

Captain Oats
(I think it's someone's band.)

The Monday playlist feature:

October 26, 1997. The saddest day of my life.

5) Paula Cole -- I Don't Wanna Wait

4) Boyz II Men -- 4 Seasons of Loneliness

3) LeAnn Rimes -- How Do I Live

2) Sugar Ray -- Fly

1) Jewel -- Foolish Games

Actually, at the time, I was hooked on listening to this song and this song, both from the album King by Belly.

The entirety of the 1997 playoffs was a fun ride. The night of the 26th, I was sick with a terrible cold and probably should have gone to bed early. But, this was Game 7. Then, it looked like the Indians would win by midnight. They didn't. They haven't been back to the World Series since.

Today's Random Anniversary:

October 23, 1814 -- The first plastic surgery is performed in England. We just happen to have a picture of the first recipient. (I know, cheap shot...)

Fun Fact of the Day:

If you stretch a standard Slinky out flat it measures 87 feet long.

And finally:

On my way back to the airport from Lawrence, I listened in on the KU football game. Ouch. Well, Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! Whatever that means.

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