Monday, October 31, 2005

10/31/05 Happy Halloween

Welcome to the beginning of holiday madness. Santa's fat ass now extends back 2 months and butts right up against Halloween. Yay.

Traditions have always irked me a bit. Ok, a lot. I never liked it when I asked "Why?" and the answer is "Because that's what we do." I didn't like it as a kid and I sure as hell don't like it now. I imagine a day when I might have kids and I am up against a conversation like this:

Kid A - "Where are we going?"
Me - "To the grocery store."
Kid B - "What are we gonna buy at the grocery store, daddy?"
Me - "Some things for Halloween."
Kid B - "What kind of things?"
Me - "Two pumpkins. One for each of you. A carving knife to cut them with. Some candy for the trick or treaters. You also need to think about what you want to dress up as this year."
Kid A - "Why do we have to cut the pumpkins?"
Me - "It's a lot of fun. You cut a face into the pumpkin. And you take the seeds out of the pumpkin and eat them."
Kid B - "If it's so much fun, why do we have to wait a whole year to do it?"
Kid A - "Yeah daddy. We should buy a pumpkin tree."
Me - "Uhhh, so, uh, have you thought about your costumes?"
Kid A - "I want to be a pumpkin. Pumpkins are fun, right daddy?"
Kid B - "I want to be a pumpkin, too!"
Me - "What about something scary? Like a vampire or a ghost?"
Kid B - "Why would I want to be a ghost? Those aren't fun. You said this was supposed to be fun. You said pumpkins are fun."
Me - (blank stare)
Kid A - "Why do they give us candy? Why do we say Trick or Treat?"
Me - (continued blank stare)
Kid B - "Can we cut a face into a watermelon too?"
Me - "(about to completely lose it) You know what, kids? Do you want the real answers? It's about economics and marketing. Big corporations make us feel like we have to buy whatever it is they're selling. So they invent traditions. The pumpkin growers make us feel like we have to buy their pumpkins. Hallmark charges you 5 bucks a pop for their lame ass cards. Candy makers... "

At this point I realize that I suck as a dad and understand why adults lied to me growing up. It's just not worth it. It's also a demoralizing moment when I realize that those big corporations will always win. They'll also sell us their crap because it's so much easier to buy into it than question what the hell we're doing and why we're doing it. Like I said, traditions irk me.

I don't follow the NBA a whole lot. I just try and follow it enough to not embarrass myself playing fantasy basketball. In my research for my fantasy team, all I kept reading about was that everybody is picking the Spurs to win the title. Almost as if there's no competition. As you know, I have no faith in experts anymore after what happened during the baseball season. So I decided to check out this Spurs team for myself. I knew they had, arguably the best player in the league, Tim Duncan. And I also knew that they have Ginobli and Tony Parker and Bruce Bowen - They are definitely a talented group. When I checked out their bench, I understood what the experts were talking about. Their bench consists of Nick Van Exel, Brent Barry, Michael Finley, Robert "Big Shot Bob" Horry, Rasho Nesterovic and "Big Dog" Glenn Robinson. Each of those 6 guys could be a valuable starter on any team. Now I get it. The Spurs are loaded.

When my parents came to California to visit, the one thing they noticed above all else is the exorbitant amount of signs. You know, the kind of signs that they write songs about. This one on I-5 going down to San Diego is, well, unique. They also have all sorts of signs on the highways here for "No Littering" and "Carpool Lane Violation" each with a minimum fine. Those minimum fines are always some odd number like $271 or $341. Oh, I have a point here. Here's the newest sign. Just in case you weren't aware of what you should and shouldn't do.

10/30/05 Spring Forward, Fall Back, Stay in Bed

I'd be willing to bet that more accidents occur on the Sunday and Monday immediately following Daylight Savings Time than on a normal Sunday or Monday. Why, you may ask? First, the clock in your car is wrong. So, you might decide to change it while driving. And how often do you change the clock in your car? Did you know how to change it this morning? I think that once insurance companies latch onto this idea, they are going to give discounts to drivers whose cars change for DST automatically. I also noticed that my watch was an hour off while I was driving. Another hazard.

In fact, I heard about a nasty motorcycle crash on the radio this morning.

A second, but far less compelling point is that people are just off of their rhythm that first day after the clocks change. The sunlight is different, your sleep patterns are off. I wouldn't bet the farm on my theory (not that I have a farm to bet), but without hard data, it would be difficult to disprove.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

10/29/05 Ben Jabituya

One of the bummers of getting older and wiser is learning all of the ways in which you have been deceived your entire life. I was watching VH1's "I Love the 80's" and learned something that just crushed me. Remember Steve Guttenberg's Indian buddy in "Short Circuit"? Well, I have disappointing news. He really wasn't Indian. He's a white guy named Fisher Stevens.

Governor Blagojevich sends his well wishes to the White Sox. Yet somehow manages to conclude his statement by talking about the Cubs.

Mike sends a link to Imagination Cubed. You can draw with your friend on this page. If I had a friend, I'd tell you more about what it's like.

The Shining was filmed here. There is no room 237. The book used room 217. But Timberline Lodge asked that a non-existent room be used in the filming. I'd still be really creeped out to stay there.

Here's a neat article on the CCR5 gene, delta 32. And how the mutated gene in humans allowed certain people to be immune to the bubonic plague. Turns out the same gene also works the same way against HIV. Samplings of people of African, East Asian and Indian show that nobody has the mutated gene. Whites of European descent, however, showed 14% with the immunity.

Mommy, when are the neighbors going to take their Halloween decorations down?

Friday, October 28, 2005

10/28/05 We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

No more White Sox. I promise.

Popular Science lists its top 10 worst jobs in science. Included are Orangutan-Pee Collector and Kansas Biology Teacher.

Mike sends me an email saying that the director of Outfoxed has made a new movie. About Wal-Mart.

I love creative press. Here's the headline from the Detroit Free Press - "Asian vehicles rank low in survey. Reliability is issue for Nissan, Toyota" Now, read the article carefully for a minute. Notice anything? On the right you'll see "MOST RELIABLE 2006 MODELS" 29 of the 31 models are Japanese. The remaining two are made by Chevrolet and Mercury.

For those of you who have been sending links to me over the past few weeks and I haven't posted them, I apologize. It's nothing personal. I can't access my personal email at work. And, needless to say, I've been a little busy the last couple of weeks. I'm going to try and have one of those "mish mosh" posts soon with all of those links you've sent.

The White Sox Win the World Series - Part 7

(This is really the final post - The story begins here.)

I think we were collectively getting greedy. We were getting used to winning games. In my mind, I still thought “We need to win game 2”. We can’t split at home and then go to Houston and face their ace, Roy Oswalt in game 3. Once again, two of the best pitchers in the game faced off – Andy Pettitte and Mark Buehrle. This was a baseball fan’s dream. To be able to see some of the game’s greatest pitchers on consecutive nights in the World Series. It doesn’t get any better than that. For this game, the entire family got to go. Mom, Dad, brother, sister-in-law and me. The forecast was for colder weather and more rain. Yup, my Konerko jersey stunk to high hell, but I’d be damned if I was going to wash it after going 3 for 3 (The last 2 ALCS games and Game 1 of the World Series). So, we layered up, put on hats and gloves and headed back to the south side.

With the score 4-2 Astros in the 5th inning and Andy Pettitte settling in, things didn’t seem so bright. Despite the best efforts of the White Sox scoreboard operator, there was really nothing to bring that crowd back into the game. Just like game 2 of the ALDS, Mark Buehrle gave up 4 runs, and we would need some sort of Tony Graffanino-like miracle. With runners on 1st and 2nd in the bottom of the 7th, we got our miracle. A phantom hit-by-pitch on a 3-2 count to Jermaine Dye. Just like all of the other calls that had gone our way throughout the playoffs, they still had to take advantage. Paul Konerko came to the plate. The reason I like Konerko so much is that he’s a smart player. He normally takes the 1st pitch. And with a new reliever coming in, you want to make him throw a few. And the opposition knew that. With bases loaded, you have to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. Like, I said, Konerko’s a real smart hitter. He knew he’d get a pitch to hit. He knew he had to be ready 1st pitch. And he did. He hit a frozen rope over the left-centerfield wall. I will never see another sports moment like that in my life. Comiskey Park erupted. Grown men started hugging other random grown men. I don’t even remember seeing or hearing any fireworks. Paul Konerko just changed the entire game, and possibly the entire series. Those are the moments you live for. That was it. A grand slam in the World Series to take a 6-4 lead. “6 more outs” was our new battle cry.

By the ninth inning our new cry became “3 more outs!” We could taste victory. We were actually going to go up 2-0 in the World Series. The big man came out of the bullpen and the entire crowd started to do the Ozzie move. 41,000 fans were calling for Bobby Jenks. But this time when our heads turned, the scoreboard didn’t read “99” or “101”. It was reading “95” and “90”. My brother asked me if that was his changeup. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Maybe the cold and rain was slowing him down. Maybe he wasn’t fully rested. Whatever it was, our Jenks wasn’t the same as the night before. Jose Vizcaino of all people tied the game up with a 2 run single. It hurt. But we saw Ozzie come out of the dugout to take Bobby out of the game. And he didn’t look worried. Not Ozzie. He knew the game wasn’t over. Heck, it was still tied and we had last wraps. And if Ozzie wasn’t worried, neither were we.

Some drunk guy in a Blackhawks jacket never stopped yelling, “DE-TROIT SUCKS! DE-TROIT SUCKS!” Hey, it made no sense and was a little annoying. But hey it’s hard to disagree. And if that was going to work, then I’m on board. Detroit sucks.

For the ump-teenth time, the loud speakers blared one of my favorite 80s songs, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. That was the White Sox theme song for the playoffs. They never stopped believing. And neither did any of us. The White Sox know how to manufacture runs. If one of the first two guys could get on base, I liked our chances. Either Juan Uribe or Scott Podsednik. Sure, Brad Lidge was pitching. But anybody is hittable. I checked the scoreboard after Lidge pitched to Uribe and it was reading “97” and ”98”. Yikes. Podsednik got himself into a nice 2-1 count. Throughout the playoffs, he had been working very nice counts, fouling of pitches and drawing walks. That’s what we needed here. Our speed demon on the bases. Lidge also knew this. So he offered up his best fastball. Pods took a swing and drove it into the gap. I was thinking “triple”. So was Pods. He was off to the races. But the ball didn’t hit the gap. It kept going. For a guy who hit 0 homeruns and 1 triple in the regular season to hit his 2nd homerun in the postseason is just unheard of. The most unlikely hero won the game with a walkoff homerun. We embraced, we screamed and once again, we didn’t hear the fireworks. It was 40 degrees and raining. It was perfect. Nobody left either. 41,000 fans just stayed. And I know for my parents, they were ecstatic. Not only for the White Sox, but for all of us, knowing that we were there together. And for that, I’m happy for them.

After about 3 hours of sleep, I took a cab to O’Hare at 4:30 the next morning. I broke my recent “no coffee” craze (for like the 10th time) and willed my way through the workday.

I watched game 3 at home. I was still a little exhausted from the weekend. Turns out, I made an EXCELLENT choice. I had my computer and was IM-ing with friends and family throughout the game. I even had my cousins Danny and Eric on videoconference. We had done that before and their TV is about 10 seconds behind mine. So I had to pull the microphone out if I were to get excited about anything, as to not ruin it for them. Now, remember, I hadn’t seen a game on TV in a couple of weeks. You may have been used to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. I wasn’t. And I’ve got to say that Tim McCarver ought to be nicknamed “Captain Obvious”. He offered no insight into anything. “So and so is a drop and drive pitcher. That means he drops and then he drives”. Oh, is that so, Tim? I suppose that it was your idea to have the gay baseball that talks to us and explains how a changeup works. Or perhaps it was your idea in the 12th or 13th inning to inform us that: “In five hours you could – Cook a Turkey, Fly from Baltimore to Iceland, Watch 1/5 of a season of “24”, Watch the longest World Series game ever”. How retarded do you think your audience is, Fox? Do you think I can’t figure what I could do with 5 hours? God, I hate Rupert Murdoch. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah. The World Series.

14 innings and 5 hours and I don’t remember how many minutes later, Geoff Blum hit the go ahead homerun. Geoff Blum? He played for the Astros a couple of years back and they said he couldn’t be part of the Killer B’s, despite fitting right in. Speaking of, the Killer B’s sort of made sense about 7 years ago when those players were actually good. Now it’s just lame. Lame like every sign I saw in Houston. “Sock the Sox” and “Hit a Homer” with a picture of Homer Simpson are the two that stand out. Are the people of Houston that lame or does Fox only show the lame signs? God I hate Rupert Murdoch. So yeah, at 1:20 am Central time, every I know went straight to bed. Cousin Danny had to wake up at 5:00 am to teach the next morning. I talked to Cousin Kevin a couple of days later, and he was up until 2:20 am, as he’s the only one of us on Eastern Time. Even my dad, who is a morning person, IM-ed me after the game, “Geoff Blum and Damaso Marte. My picks to click!” I suppose I can’t really complain about my loss of sleep. They’re truly dedicated.

It didn’t seem real. The White Sox were up 3-0 in the World Series. Their pitching was anything but dominating. They gave up 3, 6 and 5 runs in the first 3 games. But they were finding ways to win. Just like they had all season. There was no need for dominance. Their teams in the past had dominant bats and that never seemed to work. Maybe Kenny and Ozzie were right all along. They needed a team to win. They needed 25 guys, including Geoff Blum and Damaso Marte. Each of them needed to do their part to win.

I had to watch game 4 in public. Sure, there aren’t many White Sox fans in California. But it had to be out in public. So I picked a sports bar and sent out an email. I was joined by Poker Jason, Brent, Dan and Leah. I think they all came because I told them I might break down and cry if the White Sox won. Wouldn’t you know it – After all of the hype of the “Big 3” in the Astros rotation, it was their 4th pitcher that threw the game of his life. Fox must have hated this. But baseball traditionalists loved it. The game was 0-0 after 7 innings. Poker Jason suggested that we order a lucky drink. He asked, “What would be appropriate for the White Sox?” Although Miller Lite is the official beer of the White Sox, it just didn’t seem right. After a few moments, Jason had it. A white Russian. The right colors and the right drink. So we ordered a round of White Russians. And that’s all I need to say. Jermaine Dye singled in Willie Harris for the go-ahead run. And our bullpen closed things out. Everybody contributed. They all deserved the MVP. And I was just hugs and high fives all around.

Leah asked, “Who’s the first call to?” Home of course. My mom picked up and I just screamed, “They WON!” They were watching at home with the family – Brother, sister-in-law, my grandma (who was born a year after the last World Series), my aunt and uncle were all there. It was perfect for all of us.

When I woke up the next morning, I logged onto ESPN.com just to make sure it wasn’t a dream. It was real. The White Sox, a team with no real top-caliber players, won 11 of 12 playoffs games. They beat the reigning world champions (The Red Sox), the best top to bottom team in the American League (The Angels) and the team with the best 3 starting pitchers (The Astros). And they beat them all with style. They won their last 8 games. Something just seemed right in the stars for them and for the fans. We never stopped believing. We witnessed history. And we’ll forever have a story to tell. The 2005 Chicago White Sox were our team.

My cube in my office is still plastered with White Sox signs. I have every box score for every win in the playoffs. It’s been no secret who I’ve been rooting for. The playoffs have consumed my life for the past 4 weeks. I’ve neglected just about every other aspect of my life since the playoffs began on October 4th. I have zero regrets. I’ve enjoyed every moment of the ride. Almost 2 weeks ago in Anaheim my dad said, “There’s no script. You don’t know the outcome. That’s what makes it so exciting.” You know what, Dad? I’m not sure they could have scripted a better outcome had they tried.

The White Sox Win the World Series - Part 6

(See parts 1-5 before reading this)

On the ride back to his hotel, my dad and I were soaking in the moment. We were analyzing the series, talking about the Angels and how we both thought that they were tired and beat up from a long season. And how, despite the fact that the White Sox won pretty handily, we both knew that the Angels were a far better than they showed in that series. He and I may not be Rooney and Farmer, but we can still discuss a mean game of baseball. Once we got past the “complete game” and “Joe Crede” talk, he asked me the all-important question. “Are you planning on coming in next weekend for the World Series?” Knowing that he had tickets to game 2 on Sunday, I responded, “How could I not?”

The next day at work, I looked for flights. How could I not miss any work, get from Southern California to Chicago and back and still see game 2 on Sunday night? Oh, and I had to do this 4 days in advance. One flight stood out perfectly. It left LAX at 6:30 pm on Friday and got into Chicago around 12:30 am. And I would leave Chicago at 6:00 am on Monday morning, land at LAX at 8:15 am and drive straight to work. Nobody would even know I was gone. And little did I know that I would be going to not one, but both World Series games that weekend. My dad scored two tickets for game 1. My brother gave up a chance to fight me in the ultimate cage match for the 2nd ticket and said that I could go. You’d probably say he’s a nice guy, but deep down, he knew I could kick his ass :) (Yes, we’re grown men and we still talk to each other this way).

I slept in on Saturday as late as I could, given the long flight and the time change. After moving around slowly for a couple of hours, my mom suggested that I get ready. The weather forecast called for light rain and temperatures in the mid-40s. So I got ready for the game, Bears-style. T-shirt, long sleeve shirt, Sox sweatshirt, and my still-not-washed-since-Game-5-of-the-ALCS Paul Konerko jersey. I also brought one of those headbands that covers your ears, winter gloves and, of course, my traditional White Sox hat. Yup, we were ready.

We got to the stadium real early so we could park and soak in the moment. We were at the World Series. The WORLD SERIES! We immediately bought programs and put them back in the car. Next thing I knew, my dad was talking to a buddy of his, who ended up taking us to the The Stadium Club. So, not only were we at the World Series, but we were living large before the game. As I gorged myself with a Chicago style buffet (including an 18 inch Polish Sausage), we were all just talking White Sox. We’ve all been waiting our entire lives for this moment. And it was right there in front of us. It was completely surrounding us. It encompassed every part of each and every one of us. And we were all just waiting patiently until the first pitch.

I told my dad, “You know, we could potentially be seeing Clemens’ last game ever”. Sadly, not only was Clemens hittable, but he also hurt himself in the 2nd inning and never came back. When I said that, I didn't mean it that way. It's sad to see one of the greatest pitchers of all time possibly end his career like that. In a series that was supposed to be dominated by pitching match ups and suspect hitting, game 1 was tied 3-3 in the 3rd inning. Wandy Rodriguez was shaky in relief, but only gave up 1 run. The running joke between my cousins and me is that Rodriguez moved to the US when he was about 5 years old. And when the immigration officer asked him his name, the cute little boy said, “Wandy Wodwiguez”. At the age of 5, Randy forever become Wandy.

Ok, back on topic… For all of the talk of an unused bullpen, Ozzie had full confidence in them. After a leadoff hit in the 8th, Neil Cotts had first and third, nobody out and a one run lead. Long story short, Cotts struck out the next two hitters. Ozzie came to the mound, put his arms out along his sides, and called for the big man, Bobby Jenks. As Jenks was warming up on the mound, the cold night in Chicago didn’t seem quite as cold anymore. One more out and they were onto the 9th inning. I turned to my dad and said, “Have you noticed that he didn’t throw one pitch in the strike zone while he was warming up?” But as soon as the first batter stepped in, Jenks brought the heat. Sitting in the right field bleachers, I’ve never seen so many heads turn around after each and every pitch. They were looking at the pitch speed. I couldn’t quite see it, but I saw a guy in the row in front of me mouth, “Ninety-nine”. Someone had a brilliant sign at the game – “We don’t have a curse. But we have a Jenks.” Jenks went on to strike out the next four batters, earning his first World Series save. Twice, the guy in the row in front of me mouthed, “One-oh-one”. The White Sox bullpen struck out the final 6 hitters in the game. Yes, we have a Jenks. And we were up 1-0 in the World Series.

--- To be concluded (this time for real) ---

Thursday, October 27, 2005

10/27/05 The White Sox Win the World Series - Part 5

(See previous entries for the whole story)

The break they had between the ALDS and the ALCS seemed like it lasted forever. There was a rain out for game 4 of the Angels/Yankees series. When they finally played game 4, people began to ask me which team I’d rather face. My answer was, “I’d like to see them play a game 5. That way they’d both have to fly cross country, play the next day, use another starter, and the winner would fly to Chicago, only to play again the next day.” I got my wish. The Yankees took game 4. My dad mentioned in passing that it would be fun if he could come out here for the ALCS if the Angels and White Sox were playing. There was no disagreement from me. During Game 5 of the Angels and Yankees, my dad sent me an IM in the 7th inning. It said, “I’m booking my flight. Get us tickets for Saturday and Sunday”. I responded, “You’re serious? Don’t you want to wait until the game is over to see if the Angels win?” He said, “They offer refunds if the games don’t happen.” Alrighty then. I went online, found, what I thought were good seats for games 4 and 5, and prayed that the Angels would win. And they did.

Every expert went ahead and handed game 1 to the White Sox. The worn down Angels stood no chance. But they could definitely steal game 2 and go home with a split. Well, that’s what you get for listening to “experts”. Rust trumped rest and the White Sox dropped game one, despite a stellar outing from their 2nd half ace, Jose Contreras. The once scrappy club couldn’t scrap together any runs against Anaheim’s 4th pitcher, Paul Byrd. Uh oh. Was their dependency on the long ball catching up with them? Their pitching still looked solid. But their bats were looking pretty dismal. And when they slump, they slump bad.

Game two is the game everybody remembers. Well, at least out here in Southern California they do. It’s the Josh Paul game. With a pitchers duel going into the 9th, tied 1-1, Doug Eddings made himself famous, not by what he did, but by what he didn’t do. He didn’t call AJ out on strikes. You can blame the umpire for not making the correct call (Josh Paul caught the 3rd strike), you can blame Josh Paul for not tagging the batter just in case. Or you can give AJ credit for running to first. The bigger point is this. Had they figured out a way to get the next batter out, this would have been a non-issue. I distinctly remember watching this game at home and talking to my cousins Danny and Eric over the computer. After I got all excited about that play, they reminded me, “Crede’s up next”. Yes, my personal punching bag. I said, “Oh, never mind. At least we have Buehrle still pitching.” And wouldn’t you know it. Joe Crede came through huge. He drove in the winning run, salvaging a split and giving me hope.

I also knew that I’d be able to see both games 4 and 5 with my dad. The most likely outcome was that we’d see some good games and I’d watch the end of the series on TV. We both decided that the White Sox needed to win 2 out of 3 in Anaheim to give themselves a good chance at winning the series. Worst case was that the Angels would win all 3 at home and we’d be two bummed out dudes. We also knew there was a slim chance that we could see the White Sox clinch the pennant while we were there if they won all three. It would take something short of a miracle for that to happen. Like the miracle between Tony Graffanino’s legs? Like the miracle call on Josh Paul at the end of Game 2? Like the Angels ace, Bartolo Colon out for the series? Maybe there was something special going on. Maybe things were going our way. And maybe things wouldn’t stop. Don't Stop Believing, right?

I passively watched game 3 at home while I waited for my dad to land at the airport. I watched the White Sox score 3 runs in the first, as well as Jon Garland’s mastery on the hill. “Experts” kept talking about his long rest and how his splitter would lose its bite after such a long layoff. He gave up 2 runs, 4 hits and pitched a complete game victory. Just like Mark Buehrle did the night before. My dad and I were feeling good. If we could see one victory live, we knew that they’d be in good shape to win one at home. These are the moments you live for.

I had a dream that night. I dreamt about the games that weekend. My dad we sitting to my right and we were both directly behind the plate in the upper deck. I turned to my dad and said, “We’re going to the World Series!” And my dream ended. I wasn’t really sure whether I should say anything about my dream to him.

My dad and I got to the ballpark early on Saturday. We met other Sox fans and checked out the park. We even ran into White Sox GM Kenny Williams and took a quick picture with him. The day was much like my memories of baseball when I was very young. We watched batting practice in the outfield, hoping to catch a homerun. We walked around the park, figuring out what it was we were going to eat. I, of course, went for the nachos. As we were just settling in at a table on the centerfield concourse, a guy from WGN radio (AM 720) asked if he could interview us. Turns out, he used our interview to start their broadcast that evening. Cousin Eric got a recording and sent us a copy. Not too shabby for a couple of guys trying to watch history in the making. The game started much like the one the previous day. Paul Konerko launched a homerun to give the White Sox a quick 3-0 lead. Remember Ervin Santana from back in May? They guy who shut the White Sox down and earned his first major league victory? The same Ervin Santana didn’t show up that day. The White Sox scored early and scored often, as Freddy Garcia pitched a complete game and cruised to an 8-2 victory. 3 consecutive complete game victories? Maybe we really were witnessing history.

Could we really see a pennant clincher live? I thought I was asking for a lot when I wanted them to win 2 out of 3 on the road. But a sweep? It just sounded too greedy.

We did just about the same for game 5 as we did for game 4. Except that the constant running around called for a stop at Starbucks. As my dad and I were sitting outside of the Starbucks in our full White Sox gear, we were getting harassed a little. A couple of paramedics saw us sitting there and as they got into their ambulance and started driving away, one of them got on the load speaker – “The White Sox will lose.” “The Angels will win.” It was one of those, “You had to be there” moments. But it was funny nonetheless. We got to the ballpark early again and followed the same routine – We stood in right field behind the White Sox bullpen, watching batting practice, and we walked around the park, deciding what to eat. Only this time it was drizzling. And I told my dad that he had to sit to my right. He was sitting to my left the game before. He had to sit to my right, if my dream were to come true.

There was no Paul Konerko homerun to blow open an early lead in this game. In fact, the Angels took the lead 3-2 in the 5th inning. I just didn’t have a comfortable feeling during this game. But the bats began to wake up late. There was one particular situation with 2 outs, men on base and my boy, Joe Crede up at the plate – I turned to my dad and said, “If he comes through again here in the clutch, he is off my shit list. In fact, I will write him a public apology on my website.” He came through. And I wrote him an apology. He was Captain Clutch in the playoffs.

It seems like a long time ago, but it was only ten days ago, I was able to say something else for the first time. On an unseasonably cool and rainy day in Southern California, Jose Contreras threw the fourth of four consecutive complete games for the White Sox. And just as I had dreamt it two nights earlier, I turned to my dad and said, “We’re going to the World Series!” My dad hadn’t heard that since he was seven years old. And I was born thinking that we may never hear it again. We went down to the White Sox dugout and celebrated with the 2,000 or so other White Sox fans. The team came out with the AL Champion trophy and celebrated with us. 5 days earlier, my dad asked, “Am I crazy for coming out there?” Now we know. You would have been crazy to have stayed home. We saw them win the American League. We were there. The two of us. Together.

--- To be concluded ---

10/27/05 The White Sox Win the World Series - Part 4

(See previous entries for the beginning of the story)

Personally, I really could have cared less who the White Sox played first. Each of the AL teams was a good team. And the White Sox were not particularly successful against any one of them (The Yankees, Red Sox, or Angels) during the regular season. One thing they had going in their favor though – Home field advantage throughout. Hey, when it comes to the playoffs, you have to take when you can get.

When they drew the Red Sox as their first opponent, you kept thinking “slugfest”. Their offense had beat us up all year, just as they had done to every other team they had played. But the old adage crept back into my vocabulary. “Pitching wins pennants”. “Good pitching ALWAYS beats good hitting”. If that holds true, then the White Sox should win, right? It’s tough to be an optimist when you’ve witnessed 3 playoffs game wins in your lifetime. Not to mention 0 playoff series victories and 0 World Series appearances. But hey, I was enjoying this for what it was worth.

Game one was the early game. So, being out on the west coast, the game started just after 1:00 in the afternoon. I conveniently took a late lunch, walked over to the local Chili’s and ate by myself in the bar. I figured I could catch 2 or 3 innings. After a 5 run shellacking off of Clement in the first inning, that’s all the time I had and I headed back to work. I listened to the remainder of the game on my portable CD player at work (yes, I still have a CD player). After a 14-2 walloping of the Red Sox, I was feeling good. But I also realized it was only one win. And that the Red Sox’ best pitchers were yet to come.

Game 2 was the match up between mentor and student. The two lefties. The ancient David Wells against Mark Buehrle. Except that Mark Buehrle wasn’t his usual sharp self. We’re not accustomed to him giving up 4 runs. But against this Boston team, 4 runs were good enough to keep us in the game. So began the theme of the 2005 playoffs. Take advantage of the little things. Ex-White Sox infielder, Tony Graffanino, allowed a routine, inning-ending, ground ball to go between his legs. Tadahito Iguchi stepped in the box and was waiting for the David Wells quick, slide-step curveball. The rookie put a charge into the pitch and capped a 5-run 5th inning with his 3 run blast. Taking advantage of these opportunities defined this team in the playoffs.

The good news – The White Sox were actually up 2-0 on the reigning world champions. The bad news – They had to go to Boston. And they haven’t been scrappy White Sox baseball. They were back to their old 2004 selves – The team that relied on big innings and home runs. They couldn’t possibly get real far in the playoffs swinging for the fences. Could they?

As with Game 1, I took a late lunch at Chili’s and watched the beginning of the game. This time, though, there were no fireworks and no excitement early. When I returned to work, I turned on my trusty Sony Discman. With the score 4-3 in the 7th inning, ESPN radio broke to the Angels / Yankees pre-game in New York. The announcer sounded something like this, “Welcome to Yankee Stadium where it has been raining all day and the tarp is still on the field.” Wait, you broke away from a 1-run game in the 7th inning for this? This better be quick. He continued, “For those of you joining us from the White Sox / Red Sox game in Boston, we’ll continue to give you periodic updates on the game.” What!? You’re not going back?!?! I think the words I muttered to myself at work were, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” The Angels game wasn’t even set to start for another 45 minutes, regardless of the weather. Yet, I had to sit and listen to asinine interviews with Mr. Personality himself, Garrett Anderson, while they announced, “Wouldn’t you know it. Murphy’s law at work. Just as they get the tarp off the field, it starts raining again.” At which point I threw my headphones against the wall and watched the remained of Game 3 on MLB’s GameCast, cheering probably 2 minutes after each pitch actually happened. I quickly got over my anger at ESPN radio when it hit me. They won a playoff series. For the first time in my life, they won a playoff series. They won it against the reigning champs. And they won it in convincing fashion – it was a sweep. Wow.

Looking back, they won the series with pitching. They allowed 2 runs, 4 runs and 3 runs against the top run scoring offense in the league. The White Sox were built around pitching and defense. And that’s exactly how they won the series.

--- To be continued ---

10/27/05 The White Sox Win the World Series - Part 3

(See previous blog entries for Parts 1 and 2)

On July 6th, the team was 57-26. Again, the talk began – “If they go .500 the rest of the season, they’ll win 96 games. They should EASILY win the central with 96 wins.” Little did I know… that’s pretty close to what was going to happen.

A team that began the season winning series after series, started to get more streaky. They were swept by the A’s just before the All-Star break. Then, suddenly, they came out hot again, winning 5 straight. I kept getting the question, “Do you think they’re going to win the division?” While the answer was, “Yes”, there was something still bothering me. I didn’t feel like they were beating good teams. When I looked at the schedule, I saw why. They had a stretch from August 8th – August 25th where the only 3 teams that they would play were the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins. My more complete answer was, “If they can play well during that stretch, they’re for real”. They began that stretch by winning 2 of 3 against the Yankees in New York. And in typical fashion, each of those 3 games was decided by one run. A 3-2 loss and two victories of 2-1. Then, the wheels seemed to start coming off. They were swept by Boston. Swept by the Twins. And lost two straight to the Yankees. Seven straight losses, including the last five at home. Still, they were 74-46 on August 20th, only 9 wins shy of last year’s total. They were still bound to make the playoffs. But you hate to be that team with no momentum. You don’t want to be that team that limps to the finish line.

The White Sox entered September at 80-51. 29 games over .500. Now for all of the talk about “choking”, they finished the season at 99-63. 36 games over .500. They improved 7 games between August 31st and the end of the season. They weren’t choking. Cleveland was just playing tremendous baseball. And the Tribe nearly made it. Too bad for them, though, that the White Sox were just starting to get hot. They were getting hot at the right time, including a 3 game set at Jacobs Field to close out the season and to close out Cleveland’s hopes of a wildcard birth. The Sox won the last five games of the regular season. Joe Crede had rested his herniated disks in his back. Scott Podsednik was starting to run again. Bobby Jenks was learning some control and earning the confidence of manager Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie was never worried about “choking”. And if he wasn’t worried, neither were his boys. He had a plan all along. They weren’t choking. They were trying different players. They were working on team chemistry. They were figuring out what worked and what didn’t. They were resting themselves just enough for one final push. They were getting ready for the big time. That was Ozzie’s plan all along. And they just seemed to put it together a week before the playoffs began.

--- To be continued ---

10/27/05 The White Sox Win the World Series - Part 2

This post begins here.

After that series at Wrigley, the White Sox flew out to Southern California for their only 4 games in Anaheim for the season. I had to go. There was no question in my mind. I had to go. So I went to the first game with Poker Jason. On the car ride in, we began talking about the surprise of the pitching rotation – The 8-0 Jon Garland. He was up against rookie Ervin Santana who was 0-1 with, what seemed like an ERA of 190 or something. (It was actually closer to 12.00, but at that point, who’s counting). I also mentioned that the White Sox were the only team that hadn’t been shut out yet all season. Only one team in history had accomplished that for an entire season. I think it was the 1927 Yankees, but I’m not certain. After analyzing these facts, our conversation went something like this. “You know, just our luck, we’re probably going to see Garland’s first loss, Santana’s first career win. And if we really want to be pessimists, maybe the White Sox will be shut out.” Well, guess what? All three of those happened. This scrappy group of guys that had looked so good on TV just didn’t look at that impressive live.

They won the next two games against the Angels 2-1 and 4-2. So I decided to go the finale. This time, I was joined by Hollywood Marc, who I hadn’t really seen much since college. It was the White Sox, however, that kept us in touch after I moved to California. We opted to buy tickets at the gate and got ourselves really nice seats that looked directly down the 3rd base line. Once again, the White Sox lost of a close game, 3-2. Great, I’m now 0-2 when I go to games. I’ve seen 2 of their 15 losses. That sucks. Maybe I shouldn't go see them play anymore.

In the 9th inning, Marc and I snuck down close to the White Sox dugout to see some of our heroes in black. After the game, Joe Crede popped his head out of the dugout. He looked really sad. Not sad in the “I just went 0-3 and am hitting .234 on the season” sad. But sad like, “I was supposed to meet some friends and they ditched me” sad. Everybody else had already gone into the locker room. It was just Joe Crede by himself. At that moment I decided that I couldn’t feel bad for him. I’m tired of sympathizing with players who can’t play. If he was going to continue to hit under .250 and kill their rallies with his horrible swing, they might just have to get rid of him. He became my personal punching bag for the remainder of the regular season.

--- To be continued ---

10/27/05 The White Sox Win the World Series

The White Sox win the World Series. I’ve waited my entire life to say that. For 28 years, I thought about saying it. I wondered what it would feel like to say it. But I couldn’t say it and make it come true. And it most certainly wouldn’t have lived up to the reality of saying it for the first time like I did yesterday.

You’ve waited your entire life to say it, too. And now you can. It’s something that will never be taken away from you. You can forever tell the tales of the 2005 season.

After the game last night at “The Corner Office” Poker Jason said to me, “I expect a good post on NachosRule.com tomorrow.” Well, Jason, here’s my best shot. Here’s my tale of the 2005 season…

As with most seasons, I start to read the pre-season predictions around March. And, as usual, the experts made their usual predictions. “Cardinals over the Red Sox”, “Yankees over the Giants”, or the out-on-a-limb “Phillies over the Twins”. The AL Central was supposed to look something like this – 1) Minnesota 2) Cleveland 3) White Sox 4) Detroit 5) Kansas City. Some experts even went as far as to put Detroit above Chicago. This led to my usual emails to Charlotte Dan and my dad; upset at the lack of respect the national media gives the White Sox every year. I can’t even begin to imagine the number of times I wrote “Pitching wins pennants”. I couldn’t believe that nobody had noticed the change in their starting rotation over the previous year. I kept saying that in 2004, they started the season with Buehrle, Loaiza, Garland, Schoenweis and about half a dozen guys who couldn’t pitch their way through a paper bag, fighting for the fifth slot (including Dan Wright, Jon Adkins, Jon Rauch, Felix Diaz and Jason Grilli). You’re probably saying, “Who the hell are these guys?” Well, that’s the point. They couldn’t put together a rotation.

They entered 2005 with Mark Buehrle still heading the rotation. But instead of being the #3 guy, Jon Garland would fill that evasive 5th slot, alleviating all sorts of pressure on him, and filling out a complete rotation for the first time in years. Since the middle of 2004, they had added Freddy Garcia, Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez. Each of whom were tremendous upgrades from the previous year. I kept thinking to myself – Why doesn’t anybody else see this? Am I so blinded by my prejudice that I’m missing something big? I mean, last year’s team won 83 games with shoddy pitching and season ending injuries to their top 2 hitters. Is it so hard to believe that they might win a few more games this year? Maybe even enough to win the division? I was excited. I seemed to be the only one.

For the first time in recent memory, they came out of the gates hot. They won each of their first 7 series with a 16-4 record. That’s what good teams do. They don’t worry about long winning streaks. They win series. They don’t let a loss or two get them down. People forget that the White Sox were 31-12 in mid-May when after they took the first two games against the Cubs at Wrigley. 19 games over .500 in mid-May? Are you joking? There was already talk of, “If they go .500 the rest of the season, they’ll still finish with 90 wins.”

--- This post to be continued ---

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

10/26/05 How Much is Your Blog Worth?

Mike sends me a link to determine How much is your blog worth?

I put nachosrule.blogpost.com into their search... And the result is below. Who knew?

Happy 20th birthday, NES. You grew up right before my eyes.

Why are they the White Sox and not the White Socks? Slate goes back in history and gives us the answer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Five Chicago Sports Fans

Tecate Dana sends this story about Five Chicago Sports Fans....

Five Chicago sports fans were climbing a mountain one day. Each was a fan of a different Chicago team and each proclaimed to be the most loyal of all fans to their team. Finally as they reached the top, the Blackhawk fan hurled himself off the mountain, shouting, "This is for Bobby Hull and all the great Blackhawks who played in Chicago!!!" as he fell to his doom. Not wanting to be outdone, the Bulls fan threw himself off the mountain, proclaiming, "This is for Michael Jordan and the great teams of the 90's!!!" Seeing this, the Bears fan walked over and shouted, "This is for DITKA!!!", and leapt to his death. The two remaining fans just looked at each other in stunned silence. After a minute, the Sox Fan shouted, "This is for everyone on the South Side!!!" and pushed the Cubs fan off of the mountain.

(Thanks Dana - I know you're a Cub fan at heart. But there's still time to convert.)

10/25/05 Bad Habits are Hard to Break

The question has been posed - "Can you go one post without mentioning the White Sox?". Despite game 3 of the World Series tonight, here's my best shot...

MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break. "The neural patterns get established in the basal ganglia, a brain region critical to habits, addiction and procedural learning."

20 people were fined for using the letters W and Q. Grover, Oscar unavailable for comment.

Does your daily dose of local and national news not worry you enough about things you can't control? If you want more unnecessary worry in your life, read this article about Life After the Oil Crash. My executive summary of the article is, "Life is gonna suck pretty soon. Enjoy it while we still have oil." Here's an example of what the article touches on:

"Oil prices that far north of $100/barrel would almost certainly trigger massive, last-ditch global resource wars as the industrialized nations of the world scramble to grab what little of the black stuff is remaining. This may explain why the director of the Selective Service recently recommended the military draft be expanded to include both genders, ages 18-to-35."

And, "crude oil prices could touch $380 a barrel by 2015."

Yay.

Here's another bummer of an article - Why Broadband sucks in the United States.

Do you want to find some 3 on 3 pickup basketball games in your area? Check out BBallin.com. You can try it for 90 days free. They have a ladder system set up, where you can challenge other teams and move up the ladder based on your victories (but you won't move down based on defeats).

Monday, October 24, 2005

10/24/05 Nancy Faust

My mom, brother and I had fun last night listening to Nancy Faust's organ music at the White Sox game. (Note to my sister-in-law: You were sitting too far from me... I don't know if you were part of these conversations or not). The music she plays for opposition hitters is an important part of the White Sox experience. It can become a fun game to figure out how the song relates to the player. For example, she likes to play songs with the player's number. Like the theme to Three's Company, "One is the loneliest Number", "Take Five" - things like that.

My mom had to explain that one song was about Camelot and was in reference to Lancelot when Lance Berkman came to bat. Sometimes she pushes it. Probably a decade or so ago, I remember Randy Milligan on the Baltimore Orioles - She would play the theme to Gilligan's Island (Get it? Milligan? Gilligan?). Then sometimes she really stretches things - She'd play "Inna Godda Davida" for Pete Incaviglia. And there are plenty of times, where none us of have any clue why she plays a song. Last night, for Willie Taveras, she kept playing "Head, shoulders, knees and toes". My brother suggested that a "willy" is just another part of the body. I'm guessing she had something else in mind. Ideas? I'm looking for some sort of website that keeps track of the songs she plays for different players. But so far, I'm coming up dry.

I pose 2 questions for the day:

1) What's your favorite Nancy Faust song for an opposition player?
2) Which was more improbable:

  • Jake Taylor (the over-the-hill catching with real bad knees) beating out a bunt with Willie Mays Hayes on 2nd.

OR

  • Scott Podsednik (The speedy, base-stealing leadoff hitter with 0 homeruns during the regular season) hitting a homerun in the bottom of the 9th off of Brad Lidge to win the game?

Alright - One more thing. The Sports Guy's World Series thoughts. Among them:

  • Every big Paul Konerko moment, as his winter pricetag continues to rise, as does the inevitability that he'll be hitting .224 for the Angels next June as announcers say things like, "Here comes Paul Konerko, last year's World Series hero ... just hasn't been able to get it going this year ... the Angels would LOVE to see him get it going ..."

(And if he's batting .224 on the Red Sox next June, I'm going to jam a kabob skewer into my own throat.)

10/23/05 2005 Rock Paper Scissors Champion

"The World Series isn't over, but the sports world did crown a champion over the weekend. That would be Toronto lawyer Andrew Berger, who captured the World Rock Paper Scissors title on Sunday in front of a raucous hometown crowd. Berger threw paper to cover the rock of second-place finisher Stan Long, a student from California, en route to the gold medal and $7,000 first prize. That winning throw, though, only served to remind us of the game's (sorry, the "sport's") one major flaw. It makes sense that scissors cuts up paper and rock smashes scissors, but how come nobody bats an eye that paper covers rock? What kind of lame rock can't break free of a covering that is, literally, paper-thin? That's sillier than the tuck rule." - SI.com

Congratulations to Stan Long of Newark, California for taking the Silver Medal. And to Stewart Waldman of New York for taking Bronze. One day we'll bring the trophy to the U.S. where it rightfully belongs. See the official press release.

Oh yeah. I'm sure nobody was really watching. But there was a pretty good baseball game on today. Two More Wins!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

10/22/05 We Don't Have a Curse. But We Have a Jenks.

(Thanks to Cousin Jeff for sending this photo - You've been a real sport during this entire playoff run. I don't think I could be half as kind as you have been if your Cubbies were in the same situation.)

"We Don't Have a Curse. But We Have a Jenks."

That was my favorite sign at Game 1 of the World Series. It was tied with "Houston. You have a problem."

Does anybody else get a kick out of Ozzie's call to the bullpen for Jenks? The one where he puts his arms out along his sides suggesting "I want the big guy".

I've done nothing but read about the White Sox and watch the White Sox for the past few days. So I really have very little else to post.

I've posted this before a while back - "Outfoxed examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know." Thanks to Mike for reminding me about the site. He highly recommends watching the movie if you get a chance.

Did I mention how much the White Sox rule? "These are special times" - Charlotte Dan.

Three More Wins.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

10/20/05 Don't Stop Believin'


Cousin Eric has brought something of historical importance to my attention. He informed me that the White Sox theme song is Journey's "Don't Stop Believin". From a personal standpoint, I couldn't be happier. Journey has been my throwback band of the year. In fact, when San Francisco Jen came to visit a few months ago, we jammed out a bunch of Journey on guitar. I came really close to driving 5 hours to Vegas to see them perform - That is, until I heard lead singer, Steve Perry, was no longer part of the group.

(The photo is of White Sox GM Kenny Williams and me in Anaheim last Sunday before game 5)

Staying with the happy theme - November 6th is "I love nachos day". So Google - if you're scanning this. I used "love" and "nachos" in my blog. I fully expect that if somebody searches on "I love nachos" or "nachos rule" or "nachos are the greatest dish ever" that I actually show up in your searches!

Mike sends a link to Million Dollar Homepage. Followed by "Why didn't we this of this!?!?". To which, I haven't a good answer.

Again, staying with an upbeat theme - Honda unveiled its new Fuel Cell Concept Car. We can only hope that this becomes economically viable someday soon.

On October 3rd, 16 "experts" from ESPN.com made their playoff predictions. Only 1, Jim Caple, said that the White Sox would make it to the World Series. Jim also has correctly predicted every other series so far (4 Division Series and 2 Championship Series). He said the Astros would win it all. Let's hope he goes a lofty 6 for 7.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

10/19/05 Damn Cool Illusion

My "Facts of the Day" have been building up over the past week. So, if you've sent a link, I'm going to try and post it here. I've got to admit, though, that most of the links are already outdated.

I've had a couple of people send a link to this damn cool illusion. At first I was afraid it was one of those sites where you look at it for 20 seconds and then the Exorcist chick screams at you. But it's not. It's actually a real cool illusion.

Cousin Jeff sent a link to Cub fans' horror: White Sox vs. Cards. While it doesn't make a difference now, I once sent an email poll to every Cub fan I know. The question was simple. In a World Series between the White Sox and Cardinals, who would you root for? The vote was split.

Some Indian guys doing a spoof of Holla Back Girl.

Yom Kippur recipes.

Google Nicki sends Visited States.

How were the 2005 White Sox assembled? Here's how.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

10/18/05 White Sox World Series Tickets

Did you try to get your World Series tickets today? I know my mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, aunts, uncles and cousins were all trying. And last I heard, nobody got through. First off, I'd like to hear a story about somebody who actually got tickets using the Ticketmaster method today at noon CST. Secondly, I'd like to know where all of these White Sox fans came from. Also, I'd like to know what the call volume and internet volume was during that first half hour of ticket sales. I'm sure it was insane. I was on the internet and had 2 phones going, calling Ticketmaster in Arkansas and Indiana. I looked like the guy from Airplane! "Auntie Em! Where's Toto? It's a twister! It's a twister!"

UPDATE - Tickets sold out in 18 minutes.

You can try and enter a sweepstakes for 2 tickets to the game on Sunday.

Does anyone have a urinal in their house? Why do they only exist in public restrooms? All of the urinals at work were taken and I had to use a stall for number 1. Why did that seem strange to me? I use a regular toilet all the time at home. It's just like using a straw. There's something about needing a straw when you go out to eat. But when you're at home, do you ever use a straw? No, you just drink out of the glass. Why do we have different needs and expectations when we're in public? If I ever buy a house, I'm going to put a urinal in there. Just cuz.

Monday, October 17, 2005

10/17/05 Public Apology to Joe Crede

I need to get something off my chest. It's not very often that I admit that I'm wrong. And even now, I'm not going to admit that my assessment of Joe Crede in the past was incorrect. But what I will say is directed at Joe Crede himself. Joe - You've been amazing in the playoffs. Without your timely hitting and leather throwing, the Angels may have been following you back to Chicago for a game 6. I told my dad at the game last night, that if you came through again (right after the botched tag on A.J.), I would no longer speak poorly of you. You came through. Way to go, Joe. Four more wins, boys. Just four more wins.

I'm a few days late with this. But for stat geeks like me, you might enjoy Jayson Stark's Unless Information Department.

Think you've been dealt a lousy hand in life? Check out this guy's story.

Happy 15th IMDB.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

10/16/05 The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

The White Sox Win The Pennant!!!

A couple of Sox fans at the game tonight told me a story about Roger Clemens' mom who passed away earlier this year. "In her final hours, she was talking baseball. Clemens said his mother asked if the Astros had made the playoffs yet, inquired about Andy Pettitte and more than once mentioned Shoeless Joe Jackson." White Sox vs. Houston in the World Series? Houston's one game away from making it a reality. Creepy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

10/14/05 Marijuana Magic

Google Nicki sends me an article about Marijuana Magic: Inducing Brain Growth. First off, Nicki, why are you sending articles about pot? Second, the source is Express India? Sounds real newsworthy. It's still an interesting article. And I'm sure pot smokers are dancing in the streets right about now.

Speaking of Google - Check out Google Talk. You type in 3 or 4 words and it types the rest.

And speaking of dancing in the streets - How about Jon Garland? MAN, he was awesome! My dad is a wise man. He says, "Game 4 is always the pivotal game. There's a HUGE difference between 3-1 and 2-2." To, that we put our faith in Freddy Garcia tomorrow on the hill.

10/14/05 Doug Eddings

Doug Eddings is the guy you never knew existed three days ago. Now, he's become the center of the baseball universe. Beyond the fact that he made a bad call and continues to defend it, I'd like to see something else. I'd like to see the term "Eddings" incorporated into the American vocabulary. In exactly the way "Munson" was used in Kingpin (which by the way, rates in my top 10 comedies of all time and is extremely underrated). If you don't know what I'm talking about, go rent the movie - it's the best $4 you'll ever spend.

I'm coming up short with good examples, and perhaps you can help me. The idea goes something like this:

Definition:
Eddings (verb) - To make a mistake and then make the situation worse by not admitting your mistake.

- Female passenger: "Admit it, we're lost! We've been driving around for 3 hours looking for this place! I think you took a wrong turn off of the interstate."
- Male Driver: "We're not lost, woman! I don't make wrong turns!"
- Female: "Why can't you just admit you made a mistake! You've just Eddings-ed our entire trip!"

Or how about this?

Definition:
Eddings (noun) - Someone who can't admit he's made a mistake, therefore making the situation worse.

- Your Boss: "We're going to just keep working night and day until we deliver. No meetings, no eating, no sleeping, no planning. Just working."
- You (after he walks away, of course): "Whatever, Eddings. How about spending $200 to buy a clue?"

Speaking of, I haven't seen Wheel of Fortune in years. How much does it cost nowadays to buy a vowel?

As you can see, I think there's some potential here. Hopefully we can incorporate "Eddings" in the American vocabulary and, perhaps someday, it will be an entry in Webster's Dictionary.

On a personal note, my dad is flying to meet me in Southern California tonight and we're going to the games on Saturday and Sunday. And on a more personal note, Doug Eddings, if you're reading this, I'd personally like to buy you a drink while you're in town. Thanks, man. Go White Sox!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

10/13/05 The Curse of the Ex White Sox Players

First, Tony Graffanino on Boston. Now, it's BGRA star, Josh Paul in the thick of things. Call it the curse of the ex-White Sox players. Too bad Bartolo Colon is off the ALCS roster. Some guy in my office comes up to me this morning and says, "Hey. You don't know me, but I've heard about you. Somebody told me there's another White Sox fan in the office and I had to meet you." This guy suggested that the lucky bounces are rolling our way this year. And that it might be destiny. And to that, I couldn't disagree. Meanwhile, all of the Angels fans here are crying. I'm going to buy them some White Sox world series towels to wipe their tears next week.

In a sign that Aaron Rowand is smoking crack, he writes in his journal, "There's nobody better than [Crede] in the clutch. He's been doing it his whole career, over and over again. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time, either." Yeah. When I think clutch. I think Joe Crede.

Here's what quarks might look like. If they were big enough to be seen.

An interesting editorial about the Dark Underbelly of Technology.

The Music of my Groin. (Not exactly safe for work. Also, wait for the sound file to load up.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

10/12/05 Take a Whiff

A chain of events has led to facts that I would have otherwise never learned. Link one in the chain of events - I got a job last month. Link two - I have to drive 20 miles each way. Link three I now listen to crappy morning radio shows. It has become apparent that my TV channel flipping techniques also apply to radio stations. So I listen to 3 or 4 shows at a time. Today's station flipping landed me on the Howard Stern show. They were interviewing the inventor of Take a Whiff. Take a whiff is some sort of herbal pill that you can take. And within 14 days, your poops won't stink. Apparently it has something to do with the type of bacteria in your intestines. He claims that his product eliminates "bad" bacteria and promotes the growth of "good" bacteria.

This leads us to the age old debate - Do you want your poop to stink? Personally, I take pride in the stank. It makes me feel as though I've accomplished something. Your thoughts? Would you take this product?

On a side note - I'm still convinced that if you ate nothing but peanuts for a months, you would poop peanut butter.

Monday, October 10, 2005

10/10/05 The Truth Behind the JFK Assassination

A new book, written by Antoinette Giancana, daughter of late Chicago mob boss, Sam Giancana, says that the mob ordered the hit on JFK. According to the article, the Chicago mob helped JFK win Illinois ("vote early, vote often") which swung the electoral vote in his favor. In return, JFK was supposed to ease up on the mafia. And he didn't.

Eh, while we're talking about presidents and death.... Why not... Did you ever wonder what 2000 looks like?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

10/9/05 Man Made Diamonds

It's relatively rare that I go on a rant. And I know it's usually pretty obnoxious. But when I write about these things, it's because of believe deeply in what I'm saying. Today's topic/rant has to do with diamonds. I found an article that says man made diamonds are available and are indistinguishable from real diamonds. And I couldn't be happier. The process by which diamonds are mined and distributed is sickening. Check out Ten reasons you should never accept a diamond ring. "More than one-half of the world's diamonds are processed in India where many of the cutters and polishers are bonded child laborers." "The diamond engagement ring is a 63-year-old invention of N.W.Ayer advertising agency. The De Beers diamond cartel contracted N.W.Ayer to create a demand for what are, essentially, useless hunks of rock." I would be thrilled to see the diamond market completely crash, leaving the rock virtually valueless.

On a more upbeat note, Dennis Rodman just moved into my apartment complex temporarily. I'll let you know if I ever get to drain a 3 over him in basketball.

I heard a reference to Edward G. Robinson three times in one day. Once in a Richard Jeni comedy skit. Once in a Billy Crystal comedy skit. And I think once during a poker match on TV. It was kind of creepy to hear a guy's name 3 times in one day - especially since I had no idea who they were referring to.

Dave Chappelle has a skit on What if life was like the Internet.

The ultimate grudge match. MIT vs. Mythbusters. Mythbusters says that Archimedes Mirror is a busted myth (I have a post a while back on this). MIT says otherwise.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

10/8/05 How Your Kidneys Work

A while back I thought about the Beavis and Butthead episode where the conversation goes something like this:

Beavis: "Ahh! My liver!"
Butthead: "Lower down dude."
Beavis: (Moves hands down to his crotch) - "My liver! My liver!"

It got me to thinking. I don't know human anatomy for shit. So, in my studies online, I learned how your kidneys work. I learned that:
"Your kidneys weigh about 0.5 percent of your total body weight. Although the kidneys are small organs by weight, they receive a huge amount -- 20 percent -- of the blood pumped by the heart."

Teach yourself how to talk more awesome.

Enjoy this video. Er, something.

Toys in the 80's ruled.

Speaking of the 80's - A lot of people wonder why my generation grew up to be kind of screwed up. I think educational videos like this might help explain things a little.

Also speaking of the 80's - That is the worst idea ever.

Friday, October 07, 2005

10/7/05 Musical Genome

"The company Pandora Media takes a different tack for its online music-recommendation service. When you tell Pandora a song you like or have bought, it doesn't mine its sales database for records of other purchases by those who have bought the song. Instead, it looks for songs with a similar musical profile, based on a database of 300,000 songs rated on up to 400 characteristics like rhythmic syncopation, vamping and vocal harmonies."

After years of searching, I think I found my dream job. Seriously.

Give blood, get soccer tickets. Nice idea.

My Baby Does the Hanky Panky

Normally the Nacho Expert is responsible for any deep-like thought. But I just had to get these two thoughts off my chest...

Thought 1 - You know the song "My baby does the hanky panky"? Is the dude just really excited that his girlfriend puts out? Cuz that's all he says over and over again. It's has to be, by far, one of the most unimagintive songs ever recorded. Plus, I thought the censors were pretty strict back in those days. What happened?

Thought 2 - Since I'm driving to work now, I'm stuck listening to goofy morning radio shows. That is until I hit the library and start the Book-on-tape thing. Norm MacDonald was a guest on some show this morning - A show where there's a woman with the smoker's voice in charge and two dudes as sidekicks who pretty much just laugh at everything. It's like 2 Paul Shaffers and a female David Letterman. It's on 98.7 FM in case you live in Southern California. Anyways - Norm MacDonald brought up an interesting point (which I'm sure he came up with one night while he was baked out of his mind). He talked about how the telephone was such a great invention. It goes without saying that it's pretty amazing that you can talk to someone, anywhere in the world, anytime you want. He then compared the phone to the internet and email - Where you can simply write to someone anytime, anywhere. Years from now, looking back, wouldn't you think that you'd be able to write to someone before you could talk to them?

I just realized, now that I wrote them, that both of these thoughts suck. But I just spent the time typing them out, so I'm going to post them anyways.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

10/6/05 RFID Conspiracy?

Is there a conspiracy to spy on you and your lifestyle using RFID?

Harry Potter is gay?

President Bush says God told him to invade Iraq. Doesn't realize God is really Cheney speaking through a radio transmitter in his fillings installed by Rove. Also tells him to stop touching himself. (See last paragraph)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

10/5/05 Bear Down Chicago Bears

Just how bad is the NFC North? The 1-2 Chicago Bears are in first place. And how bad are the Bears? Check out quaterback Kyle Orton during their bye week.

Poker Jason sends an interesting picture. It took me a minute to figure out what I was looking at.

Speaking of poker, my dad sends a link to the greatest poker ad ever.

Also speaking of poker, I won 2 free breakfasts and 2 free Halloween party tickets for my not-so-stellar 5th place finish in the apartment complex poker tournament. Since I don't have any friends, you are welcome to join me for either one.

I actually watched this entire short movie. It's not really like anything I would normally put up. But according to my rule that if I spend more than 3 minutes on a website, I've gotta post it.

How fun would it be to have your own pimp mug?

The top 25 film scores of all time. The Goonies, Over the Top and Major League must be numbers 26, 27 and 28.

Boy, am I glad we got rid of that guy. And picked up this guy instead.

The 100 most frequently challenged books of 1990 - 2000.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

10/4/05 Google Personal Homepage

Have you tried Google's personal homepage yet? It's pretty sweet. It has your usual local weather, email and headline news. It also has a neat drag and drop user interface. Most importantly though - it also allows you to add any website feed you want. Why do I mention this? If you click "Add Content", select the last option "Create a Section" and paste in http://nachosrule.blogspot.com/atom.xml- You can have your fact of the day waiting for you when you wake up every morning.

Forgive my excitement over the playoffs. It's been 5 years since the White Sox have been to the playoffs. 12 years since they won a playoff game. In my lifetime, the are 3-11 in the playoffs. 1 win in 1983, 2 wins in 1993 and 0 wins in 2000. It's been 46 years since they were in a World Series. And 88 years since they won a World Series (which is also the last time they won a playoff series). That being said....

Let's put a big crooked number on the board today.

ESPN presents the ultimate pessimists - Why none of the 8 playoffs teams will win.

Eric Neel writes why you should jump on the White Sox bandwagon. Reason #10 - You have no choice. Seriously. What are you gonna do, pull for the Padres?

Monday, October 03, 2005

10/3/05 Formula of Laughter

Leave it to Igor Krishtafovich to develop a formula for laughter.

The formula is as following:
HE = PI x C/T + BM
PI - personal involvement
C - complexity of a joke. The higher degree of complexity the better provided that your audience can solve the problem within 1 or 2 seconds.
T - time spent by a person solving a joke. The longer the time, the weaker the effect.
BM - background mood. A joker can have an advantage if an audience enjoys the show. However, a real good joke can "blow up" the most dismal audience.
HE - humor effectiveness.

ESPN puts common baseball playoff theories to the test. Like the old addage, "Pitching wins pennants".

Go White Sox!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

10/2/05 Carnyville

Remember the good old days where I used to post more games? So do I. I found a worthwhile game today. It's called Carnyville. It's one of those click around, get some inventory, button-pushing adventures.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

10/1/05 Drug Terms

Today's slang dictionary - Drug Terms. It's 25 pages long and there will be a quiz tomorrow.

Hmmm... Ironic.

Audioslave is streaming their music and videos online.