Friday, June 05, 2009

Paulo's Book Club: "Straw: Finding My Way"

"Straw: Finding My Way" is not a book about baseball. It's a book about Darryl Strawberry's life.
Most of the book covers his long spiral down, but the final few chapters focus on his recovery.

When this book came out some lascivious details of his days with the Mets were released, but if that's why you read this book, then you are going to be disappointed.

Many people get frustrated listening to people who have led troubled lives feeling as if they blame their problems on a troubled past. Strawberry describes his abusive relationship with his father (which came to a head when he pointed a shotgun at his wife and kids) but is careful not to blame that for everything he did.

Eventually things came full circle and Strawberry -- high on drugs -- held his own family at gunpoint. But even that wasn't enough to bring him to his senses.

Two failed marriages, several failed stints in rehab, and one incredibly discarded baseball career weren't enough to make him change his ways. Even a battle with cancer couldn't get Strawberry to stay off drugs.

And that's why so many are skeptical to believe that this is the time he has finally turned his life around. But either way, it's worth reading about.

Product Review: DVR Expander

After years of battling DVR-mageddon I invested in a DVR expander. It's basically a hard drive that connects to your cable box and basically doubles the storage space available. Now we record everything we want (and will never have time to watch) and never have to worry about filling up our DVR and running out of space.

The expander gives you 300 extra hours of standard-def or 60 hours of hi-def programming.

This is the one we got compatible with Scientific-Atlanta boxes (most likely what you have if you have a cable DVR).

I strongly recommend this product but urge you to read the instructions before connecting it -- and follow the steps in the correct order to make it work properly.

What a Way To Go

The body of American actor David Carradine was found in a hotel room closet with a rope tied to his neck and genitals, and his death may have been accidental suffocation, Thai police said Friday.
The 72-year-old actor's body was discovered Thursday in his luxury suite at Bangkok's Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel. Police initially said they suspected suicide, though Carradine's associates had questioned that theory.
Police Lt. Gen. Worapong Chewprecha told reporters that Carradine was found with a rope "tied around his penis and another rope around his neck."
"The two ropes were tied together," he said. "It is unclear whether he committed suicide or not or he died of suffocation or heart failure due to an orgasm."
Police Lt. Teerapop Luanseng had said on Thursday that Carradine's body was found "naked, hanging in a closet," and that police at the time suspected suicide.
"All we can say is, we know David would never have committed suicide," said Tiffany Smith, of Binder & Associates, his management company. "We're just waiting for them to finish the investigation and find out what really happened. He really appreciated everything life has to give ... and that's not something David would ever do to himself."
Aurelio Giraudo, the hotel's general manager, said Carradine checked into the hotel May 31 and he last saw him June 3. He said Carradine chatted with staff and even played piano a few nights in the lobby as well as flute which the "guests really enjoyed."
Giraudo said a chambermaid discovered Carradine's body, adding that she knocked and entered after there was no response. Police arrived shortly thereafter.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Is Melky Cabrera Fucking Mary Carey?

Melky Cabrera has to be fucking Mary Carey, right? I mean, how many times in the history of the world has a man been naked in a hotel room with a porn star and not nailed her?

So Melky Cabrera, in a hotel room, no clothes, porn star on his bed asking him questions and he's eating peanuts. That must have been post-coital right? At least we know there was a camera present so maybe we'll get the sex tape to prove it eventually.

I Hope He Means This

I have been very disappointed with early indications of exactly what the changes are that President Obama plans to bring to this country. But I was reserving judgement until I heard his stance on Israel. And if he follows through on this part of his speech in Egypt today, I think a great many Jews can be somewhat relieved.

"The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.
Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction - or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews - is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve."

Unfortunately Obama went on to call for the creation of a Palestinian state and the cessation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Both of those things I can live with if they are concessions in exchange for a true peace in the region. But as we have learned many times throughout the course of this conflict it is not the desire of Arabs and Palestinians to leave peaceably with Jews, they want to throw all the Jews in the sea.

College Baseball is Poop

Two amazing games this weekend in college baseball in the regionals of the NCAA baseball tournament leading up to the College World Series.

Florida State setting records in pretty much every offensive category for one game, scoring 37 runs, getting 38 hits (including 15 doubles).
They scored 8 times in the first inning and eventually took a 32-0 lead before cruising to a 37-6 win (box score).

Ohio State coach Bob Todd summed it up perfectly: "Everything they did was right, everything we did was wrong."

That game stands in sharp contrast to an incredibly even matchup played a day earlier between Texas and Boston College.
The teams were so evenly matched they had to play 25 innings -- the longest game ever -- before Texas pulled it out 3-2 after more than 7 hours (box score).

Hero Travis Tucker was 1 for 11 in the game before he came through with the game-winning hit.

Texas's Austin Wood pitched 13 innings of 2 hit ball -- in relief.

I Want To Eat at Mr. Spriggs BBQ

Slow jams and ribs, sounds good to me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bruno Lands Ass-First in Eminem's Face

By now you've probably seen the stunt performed by Sacha Baron Cohen at the MTV Awards. To promote his new movie, SBC as Bruno came down from the ceiling and landed with his ass (in a thong) right in the face of Eminem.

A few reasons I think Eminem was in on this:

1) They took a shot of his face as Bruno was falling
2) This seems like too far to go without getting approval first
3) Eminem just sat there leaning back
4) His entourage just pushed Bruno away, had they all really been surprised I would have expected a beatdown reminiscent of Riddick Bowe's crew when Fan Man parachuted into the ring

Update: MTV says this was staged and Eminem was in on it but he was a little pissed because evidently he didn't know exactly how much ass was going to be in his face. Paris Hilton was their first target but she declined. She didn't want to sully her reputation by having video of her with her head buried in a guy's crotch all over the internet.

SNY Producer Gives the Mets the Shits, May Have Swine Flu

Carlos Beltran and John Maine have been hobbled by the shits this week thanks to a really bad stomach virus they may have caught from an SNY producer.

SNY producer Dan Barr was tested for swine flu and is still awaiting test results from his hospital visit after he had felt ill for several days. Barr, who flew on the team's chartered flight from LaGuardia to Pittsburgh after Sunday's home-stand finale, drove back to New York after going to a local hospital with flu-like symptoms. Doctors instructed him not to fly commercially.

While Met players insist the term "swine flu" wasn't mentioned during a briefing by trainer Ray Ramirez on the SNY employee, Met officials also said swine flu can't be ruled out.

"It has not been confirmed as swine flu that everyone is talking about, but it definitely is a case of flu," assistant GM John Ricco said. "We've been told it's not a type of illness that's transmitted through the air. It's something that's more droplets, shaking hands or sneezing. So we're not too worried.

"The symptoms we've been told generally are marked by high fever, joint aches and fatigue, and it comes on you rather quickly. It's not something that comes on in a slow fashion. These symptoms are not consistent at all with what Carlos Beltran and John Maine have at the present time [see, they have the shits]. But, again, our players are being informed that this has happened, and if they're presented with any of the symptoms I just described, to let a trainer now. Right now no one on our team is feeling any of that."

Song of the Week

"Sugar" - Flo Rida
I hate Flo Rida (as a sign of disrespect I call him "Florida") but any song that samples "I'm Blue" I'm ok with.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

She's Got Legs

Today's obscure illness causing a rare physical deformity is called Proteus Syndrome.

Born with a rare condition, 34-year old Mandy Sellars has petite 84-pound frame which is supported by abnormally large legs that weigh 210 pounds. Her doctors, who are still baffled by her disorder, have tentatively diagnosed her with a form of Proteus syndrome for lack of a more definitive explanation. Made famous by the case of Joseph Merrick, also known as "the elephant man," Proteus syndrome affects one in 1,000,000 births and causes atypical growth of the bones, skin and head and can result in vascular malformations and partial gigantism.

Once able to walk without aid, Sellars is now dependent upon crutches or a wheelchair to get around her home. Her condition has worsened over the years, causing Sellars to endure crippling paralysis, months of hospital stays and the curious stares of children and adults alike. Reliant only upon government and delivery services, she lives alone and has no caretakers to help her out of bed in the morning, do the wash or scrub the dishes -- activities that take her hours instead of minutes. And as her legs continue to grow, dwarfing her upper half, doctors can offer little explanation or foresight into the future.

Second Face Transplant

I admit it, I'm obsessed with face transplants.
James Maki is the second patient in the United States to get a new face.
Maki suffered devastating facial injuries after falling onto an electrified third rail at a Boston train station in 2005. Though surgeries before the transplant repaired some of the damage, he was still left without a nose and was so disfigured that he did not want to leave his home because of the hurtful reactions his appearance provoked.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Love-40 (Double Dees)

Wimbledon hopeful Simona Halep wants surgery to reduce the size of her breasts.

Halep, 17, is seen as one of the tennis stars of the future after winning a host of junior titles and a place in the final of the junior French Open last year.

But the 5-foot-5-inch Romanian tennis star said she thinks her 34DD bust is holding her back.

"This fall I'll have a breast reduction operation,” Halep said. “The breasts make me uncomfortable when I play."

"It's the weight that troubles me — my ability to react quickly," she added.

You Reap What You Sow

Noted abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down at his church Sunday by an anti-abortion activist named Scott Roeder.
While I don't condone what Roeder did, forget the irony of killing someone as punishment for taking life, I reject the efforts by the media to cast Tiller as an innocent victim.
George Tiller didn't deserve to be put in a casket, but he did deserve to get thrown in jail.
Beyond just your average abortion doctor, Tiller "The Baby Killer" was well-known for performing hundreds, maybe thousands of late-term abortions.
His clinic was one of only three in the nation to do them.
Late-term abortions are illegal unless done to protect the mother's health or in cases of rape or incest.
A widely held belief is that Tiller stretched these laws to perform late-term abortions on patients who were not raped no in immediate danger (one 13-year-old girl says she was coerced).
Personally I think Tiller was known as the guy to see if you needed a late-term abortion.
I also believe he was willing to fabricate circumstances, or stretch the law (one woman got a late-term abortion for severe depression) because he so strongly believed that he was doing good by preventing unwanted childbirths.
While that doesn't mean Tiller deserved to be killed, it probably means he doesn't deserve to be mourned as a hero.