Saturday, April 23, 2011

Look What the Cat Dragged In

A quiet California neighborhood is being terrorized by Dusty the Klepto Kitty.

My favorite part is Dusty coming down the street with a bra hanging out of his mouth.

Dusty the klepto cat steals a bra

But there are so many questions:
1) Why can't they lock Dusty inside the house? How does he keep getting out?
2) Why can't the neighbors lock up their stuff? I can see the bathing suits, but why are your tighty whiteys outside?
3) Why do his owners still have a collection of the stuff he's taken? Don't they give it back? Why are the holding onto their neighbors' dirty drawers?
4) Why do people own cats?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Poker's Black Friday

On Friday the U.S. government shut down Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars effectively outlawing online poker in the U.S.
Several years ago Congress prevented banks and financial companies from doing business with offshore gambling sites. The poker sites found a way around that, using third-party payment processors to get the money from individuals' bank accounts.
Now the government says those workarounds were illegal.
11 people were arrested and now the sites are shut down.
I tried to logon to my account and was told I cannot play because of the government crackdown.
This is wrong on so many levels:
1) I am a grown person who should be able to do what I want with my money
2) the hypocrisy of banning an activity online, but making it legal in a casino
3) protecting us from the social ill of gambling which ruins so many lives. In this country we should not punish the responsible to protect the irresponsible, we should help the irresponsible or let them suffer the consequences of their actions
4) robbing honest, tax-paying citizens of their livelihood. Thousands of people make a living playing poker online and they should be allowed to do so and pay taxes on the proceeds
5) poker is not a game of chance. It is not gambling, for the people who do it well. Yes, there is luck involved, but over time luck evens out so those who succeed do so because of skill.

The only possible bright side of this would be if now that our backs are against the wall, right-thinking lawmakers heard our cries and legalized our hobby/profession. Otherwise April 15th will live in infamy as Black Friday for poker.

If that doesn't happen the worst part of this will be the almost total eradication of poker on TV. ESPN will broadcast the 2011 World Series of Poker, but they have already canceled one NAPT event because it was title sponsored by Poker Stars. Fox has already pulled "The Big Game" (the best poker show on TV) because of it's affiliation with Poker Stars. And every other poker show on TV relies heavily on advertising from poker sites. If those sites go away, those ad dollars go away, if those ad dollars go away the shows go away too. And that would hurt me the most.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fashion That's Clashin

My favorite announcer in any sport is Walt "Clyde" Frazier. And he has been so for many years because of his dual loves, vocabulary and fashion.
A recent article in the New York Times explained how Clyde makes his fashion choices.

Walt Frazier — Always in Style
In Walt Frazier’s closet hangs a polyester cow-print suit with brown-and-black splotches. However absurd, it fits in a menagerie of 100 or so suits that hang on five racks and with patterns of tiger stripes and leopard spots; designs of bold plaids and checks; and colors of yellow, red, salmon and orange.

The closet is actually a small, disorganized bedroom in Frazier’s Upper East Side apartment where he mixes and matches his dozens of ties, shirts and handkerchiefs to his suits. He spends hours inside thinking about what to wear to announce a Knicks game for the MSG Network; he will work and rework his suits and accessories (“Sometimes, I’ll let the tie dictate the colors I’ll mix with it”) to gratify himself and stun others, something he has done since soon after he became a Knick in the 1960s.

“I like unusual combinations,” he said Thursday afternoon, dressed in a white pullover and sweatpants as he eagerly prepared to broadcast the first Knicks playoff series in seven years. “I have to entertain myself. I like combinations that people wouldn’t think would go normally together.”

Frazier exhibits a delicate touch as he moves among two hangers jammed with a riot of colorful ties to an armoire packed with pocket handkerchiefs, the suit racks and a floor littered with boots made of alligator, ostrich, eel and stingray skins. This is where he seeks an alchemy befitting the Clyde persona that was summoned to brash life more than 40 years ago, when he starred for the Knicks and often battled the Celtics. Here, a wild plaid suit is tempered by a pink shirt and a pink tie. Here, the leopard-spotted suit is tamed with a black silk shirt and black-patterned tie.

“If your suit is popping,” he said, “your tie can’t.”

As he considered his choices, he sometimes said, “Now, where is that hankie?”

He had returned from Boston that morning from the Knicks’ last game of the regular season. On Sunday, he will be back in Boston for Game 1 of the Knicks-Celtics playoff series. He eyed a bright green suit — not Celtic green — that he was tempted to pack for the trip to TD Garden.

“For years, he wouldn’t wear green in Boston,” said Mike Breen, his partner at the MSG Network. “Now he’s going for the reverse jinx.”

The green suit shares space with the cow print that Frazier first assessed as sofa fabric for rental property in St. Croix. He was in Zarin Fabrics, on the Lower East Side, when he spotted the cow print, along with the leopard and tiger designs, on rolls. These could be suits, he said, offering the sort of idiosyncratic style judgment usually reserved for Las Vegas extravaganzas.

“I asked the guy and he said, ‘Yeah, it could be a suit,’ ” Frazier said. “But he might have told me just to sell it.”

He toted the fabrics to Mohan’s Custom Tailors, near Grand Central Terminal, which makes nearly all his suits and has a celebrity clientele.

Frazier occasionally spends hours studying swatches for future suits and shirts on a scholarly hunt for what he calls jazzy, and what others might call gaudy.

“He thinks and thinks and tries to match things,” said Mohan Ramchandani, the proprietor of Mohan’s.

Ramchandani trusts Frazier’s vision, yet still had a question about the cow print. “Are you really going to wear this?” he asked. “Because it might be too heavy?” Frazier assured him he was, and Ramchandani turned the cow and wildcat prints into suits for $700 to $800 each.

In the months before Frazier picked them up, they were ogled by other customers.

“Sometimes, we show people the Clyde suits,” he said. No one else asked for a cow suit.

A funny thing happened in January when Frazier broke out the cow ensemble for a game at Madison Square Garden. He left the pants hanging at home. “I wasn’t brave enough to wear the cow pants,” he said. He wore black trousers instead. “Man,” he added, “I thought it was going to be too much.”

Breen remembered the night in January when Frazier wore the leopard suit in Los Angeles.

“When the camera came on,” Breen said, “he said, ‘This might be one and done.’ ” That night, Breen added, Frazier hinted at the cow suit that was to come. “He said, ‘Mike, you ain’t seen nothing yet.’ ”

The leopard print might go into seclusion, but it will be replaced by something provocative. Frazier challenges the tailors at Mohan’s: “Show me something that nobody else would wear.”

Frazier has so many suits in his closet that he said he did not have to spring for any dry cleaning in the 2009-10 season. “I said, ‘Man, I’m saving money by having all these suits.’ ”

There is a touch of frugality to him; he enjoys ironing, and said he was appalled recently when it cost him $34 to dry-clean four silk shirts.

Frazier plans his next season’s outfits during the current one. On a table in his kitchen are swatches (one that looks like cheetah) for 10 or 12 suits that Mohan’s will make for him. He has a bagful of buttons that will be sewn onto his jacket sleeves. And inside a folder are pages clipped from women’s magazines and catalogs to help him visualize his future designs. He stopped reading GQ long ago.

“I look through these for different patterns for shirts,” he said, flipping the pages of a Bloomingdale’s catalog. “I like these open collars for summer. You can see what you’re getting more than in men’s magazines. Here’s a suit. See how that lapel looks? And here’s a sort of Nehru suit.”

The closet will soon close its run after about 30 years and move to Harlem next week, where Frazier acquired three penthouse apartments last year. There is more closet space there, and he vows to be better organized and to ruthlessly color-coordinate his wardrobe. He is also planning to open a sports bar and restaurant on 10th Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets in December. The ceiling has a design that is based, in part, on Frazier’s shoes. A Frazier-themed mural will span a blocklong stretch.

“It will be,” he said, “a shrine to Clyde.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Song of the Week

"Sure Thing" - Miguel
A strong follow-up to "All I Want is You."
I haven't gotten an e-mail from JLeary about it yet, but I am sure I will.