Thursday, May 29, 2008


From the LA Times, last week:

Pitcher is traded -- for bats

The Calgary Vipers give up the minor leaguer to the Laredo Broncos for 10 maple sticks.
From the Associated Press
May 24, 2008

MCALLEN, TEXAS -- During three years in the low minors, John Odom never really made a name for himself -- until he got traded for a bunch of bats.

"I don't really care," he said Friday. "It'll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues."

For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.

"They just wanted some bats, good bats -- maple bats," Broncos general manager Jose Melendez said.

According to the Prairie Sticks website, their maple bats retail for $69 each.

The Canadian team signed Odom, 26, about a month ago, but couldn't get him into the country. Odom had a "minor" but unspecified criminal record that wasn't revealed to immigration officials before they scanned his passport, Vipers President Peter Young said. Odom said the charge stemmed from a fight when he was 17.

The bat trade wasn't Calgary's first try at creative deal-making. The Vipers once tried to acquire a pitcher for 1,500 blue seats during a stadium renovation, Young said.

... hmmmm. I'll be home Monday, mom. They started throwing me the curve ball...



No, I didn't buy it either.

You gotta wonder what this sounds like, though. And how many songs you can sit through before you start thinking, "OKAY, I GET IT. YOU'RE ALL GAY. NOW PLAY A SHUFFLE."


Last week, temps hit 110 here one day, and two days later the high was 55. In 34 years of living here in Phoenix I can't ever remember that happening before.


My son Adam turns 23 on Saturday. Happy birthday, Adam!

23? Really? I still remember the two meals I ate that day, and where I got them. And both restaurants are still around, in the same place they were then. THAT doesn't happen much in 23 years.

Played the Encanto clubhouse last night and I was easily the youngest person in the place. Suffice to say I didn't play the "Piercing Song"...


Sunday, May 18, 2008


Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs is a fine baseball player. Lately he's been on a tear, which the Cubs needed, badly. He's been carrying the team lately.

Good for him.

But I just saw him interviewed on WGN before today's Cubs game, and people, Alfonso Soriano is the 21st century version of "Chico Escuela."

For those of you who don't remember Chico, he was a character developed by Garret Morris on Saturday Night Live about the time the Alfonso was two, so he obviously comes by this honestly. But the fact that Soriano clearly does not consider English his first language becomes obvious quickly.

And like Chico, whose catch phrase was "Beisbol bin berry berry good to me," Alfonso was stuck answering admittedly time-filling questions with answers like:

"No question. When you swing at de strikes and don't swing at the balls, you got berry good chance of getting on base."

This is funnier when you consider that one of his companions in the outfield every day is a guy named Kosuke Fukudome. You have to wonder what the between-batter chatter sounds like out there.


This past week, I was able to spend some time with an old Wisconsin junior high and high school schoolmate of mine, Chris Tenaglia, and his wife Carol and daughter Tiffany. Chris was here for some training classes that his company sprung for, so he brought the family along. We met for dinner on Mothers Day at La Casa Vieja -- very good and nicely priced, I must say. Then I met up with them again on Tuesday night when they showed up to watch me play at an open mic.

Daughter Tiffany is quite an artist, and she drew a quick sketch of most of the player that evening. I'll have to scan mine and get it up here in the next few days.

Anyway, here are some pics, in no particular order (I think you can figure it out): Me and Chris, Carol and my wife Jan, my boys, Adam and Brendan, with Tiff. If you print all the pics and cut them into threes, you can make a set of those silly cards we all had as kids where you put one person's head on another torso, etc...


Jan returns tonight from what I'm assuming is another successful trip to Sebastopol with her troupe for Tribal Fest.
Good thing, too. Five days without my wife is enough.


Spent a pleasant evening last night at Alwun House. I caught Kara Kay's last gig in town on her western tour (she and bandmate Daniel Albertini -- DAMN that guy can play -- are headed to Telemagica in Jacumba, CA this week). I've known Kara now for 10 years and if it's creative, I don't think she CAN'T do it. Remarkable songwriter, incredible dancer, poet, model, you name it.
Drive safe, you guys!


Friday, May 09, 2008


Actually overheard in a Yoshi's Japanese restaurant:


It struck me as funny.


If you remember Cracked magazine you probably remember it as the weak sister to MAD. Well, Cracked has gone online and it now resembles something closer to the National Lampoon. (Not quite though.)

Anyway, this made me laugh: It's a column about words and phrases that Shakespeare apparently made up.


The author's "translations" are a riot.


My wife is getting ready to go to northern California with her troupe for their annual trip to this big tribal bellydance fiesta that I can NEVER REMEMBER THE NAME OF. I think it's Tribal Fest. If you're in or near Sebastopol, California next week between Tuesday and Saturday, stop by Tribal Fest and surprise the shit out of Jan. You can't miss her; she's the one dressed like a tribal bellydancer...


When the D-backs play the Cubs, like they are this weekend, I don't care who wins. All is good with the world. At least in baseball.


Who's letting gasoline get so expensive? Stop it!


Thursday, May 08, 2008


Why is nobody coming down on McCain for associating himself with this guy, who can't tell the diff between Islam, the religion, and Muslim terrorists?

Funny, but I don't remember ANY of the founding fathers having a problem with Islam...or even knowing or caring much about it.


If you're looking for something to do on Tuesday nights, check out the open mic at the BEAUTIFUL Grand Avenue Tavern at 24th Drive and Grand. Just look for the big metal sign or the even BIGGER poster that quietly and unassumingly states that RENEE BOUGHT THE GRAND!


Jan and I went down to the Grand on Tuesday and we had fun. Not too many players showed up so we all ended up jamming at the end of the night -- mostly old fart songs, 'cause that's what we are. We sounded pretty good!


Sunday, May 04, 2008


Tickets are now available for this year's first installment of Romantasy Cabaret, which played so often and so well at the Paper Heart last year. Well, the Heart went to see Jesus so this year, the show will be at the SETS, a bar at Southern and Mill in Tempe.

Here's the blurb for it (my wife designed it! Neat, huh?):

v12 copy


I was the volunteer at Fidds last night and wound up playing a set when the third act didn't show up. Highlight of the night was my old friend Kara Kay, who came through town with an amazing guitar player in tow named Daniel. Good stuff.


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