Thursday, May 29, 2008


This is a long time coming. I must repent for the lackadaisical attitude toward 24 I had adopted recently. For some reason, part way through season 6 of the show I just lost interest. I don't know why. I still haven't even finished the season. Well, today I went ahead and watched the first episode of season 6 during lunch and it was amazing. I forgot how wonderful this show is, so I am throwing down the gauntlet to myself to watch season 6 asap and get myself back in gear. I love you Jack Bauer. Thank you.

More On Global Warming

I am looking into this, but for now I will give you the taste test of what may appear to be a massive effort to get scientists to speak up and denounce global warming. I have said before that I don't pretend to know whether or not it is real, but I am greatly concerned about the fact that those who argue its reality ignore the view of those scientists who argue against its reality. It disturbs me how this has become (what I feel) is a political red herring for the liberal movement. I am sure that there are many who do care and believe that it is real, but the majority of voices that I hear don't seem sincere. They want something. It is a PR stunt.
Anyway, 31,000+ scientists have already signed this petition saying that they do not believe that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions and that those same emissions are actually helpful. I find that compelling. Granted, many of those who signed are possibly not experts int he field, so you do need to take this with a grain of salt. I will also share the insight that the website is decidedly conservative. So, once again... that grain of salt. Pretty interesting stuff though.

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 27: Forsooth, Mine Tooth

A cuckold. Who knew?

This week's poems will continue in the latest trend of being from my class last semester. The first is a villanelle.

Something New

You say I gave my dream away,
but that isn’t true;
my dream changed.

I hope you’ll understand one day,
but no matter what I do
you say I gave my dream away.

You won’t believe me when I say
that yours could have changed, too.
My dream changed

from something old and grey
to something new.
You say I gave my dream away

But I’ll tell you, if I may,
just what I have gone through.
My dream changed

and so now I’ll pray
to share this dream with you.
You say I gave my dream away.
My dream changed.

Incarcerate me if you think that I deserve it. I won't put up a fight. It would be nice to see George again, the old coot. Anyway, here is this week's haiku:

Tiny buzzing bees
work so hard to make honey.
Don’t come close to me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 26: Or So The Germans Would Have You Believe...

Ah yes. References to Germans. Nice.

Well, I just got back from the chiro/physical-therapist and I have to briefly comment on how disturbing it is to get your neck and spine popped. I don't think that I'll ever get used to that. It is downright creepy. And, on an absolutely non-related note, last night Sierra and I watched The Great Debaters. I must say that it was a very moving film. I highly recommend it.

POEM TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Silent Lamia

Alone in her tower the silent Lamia waits
to prey on the children she knows will come.
She never has to wait long
for children who don’t understand
or others who trust in a strength that will fail
or those who want to be eaten,
like me.

More than the demon’s self,
for the demons too come to kneel,
and seek affections,
and beg for just one taste of her mouth
as they’re devoured
without ever hearing her voice.

We devoured sit inside her
glad to finally be let in.

I should make it clear that this poem is not about my wife. I'm sure that she would want me to clarify that. Anyway, and now--today's haiku.

Curious river
winds along to seek the sea;
cement wall dams.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 25: What The? Who Now?

Ah ha! You all thought that I had fallen back into my old forgetfulness, that I had fallen asleep at the wheel as it were, that I was eating the cheese pie without my pants for you to take it. Well, I'm not! I was just not at work on Friday, because I got my wisdom toof taken out. Sadly, no drugs were administered or taken during this whole thing. I was awake for the whole procedure, and only took a couple of Ibuprofens the whole weekend. When will my day of drugged loopiness come? When will I be the Queen of the Ball in all your eyes? Maybe Thursday (Lost season finale--woot woot!).

Now, Let's dance a poem.


swirling ball of gas
erupting, raging, compounding
the potential climax that drives this flame
to reach, to touch, to fill all space
to explode (warmth, light and dust); to extend—
or to crumble and shrink and accept its fate,
consumed in dark void; the blackest waste.

not swirling (but gaseous all the same),
rising and falling in waves
reaching for that image of myself I see
to shine my warm light in the cold dark
and scatter my dust to mingle with life.
My two fates: to expand or to shrink—
and no choice at all is a black hole, I think.

Well, there it is. Now, to end us off, we shall once again tread lightly where no other poems go: the haiku.

Hopping sparrow
sings its morning tune.
Smart worm sleeps in.

MLS Power Rankings: Week 9

Oh boy oh boy! DC finally breaks their 4 game losing streak, and I couldn't be happier about that. They aren't back to form by any means and frankly have a long way to go. I was impressed by their grit and determination to win. They went down a goal twice before eventually pulling ahead for the win. So, my deepest congrats to them, and a plea to right the ship and get back into form. Build from here boys.

1. Chicago Fire (2) - What a beating they gave to NY. Holy cow. Blanco (who has been cleverly nicknamed--not by me, although I find it hilarious--"the Hunchback of Bridgeview") was involved with four of the goals. Man, has that guy been worth the money or what? He is a serious baller and has come to win.

2. NE Revolution (3) - These guys climb for beating the Crew on the road. You know that this team is missing Twellman, but I have been so impressed with their depth and Nicol's managing skills.

3. Columbus Crew (1) - Big drop for previously #1 Crew. Not all is lost (they are still in a three way tie with NE and Chicago for first place in points, but losing at home sucks.

4. Toronto FC - (6) - Things get pretty sticky from here on out in the rankings. Toronto jumps two places despite losing one of the two games they played this week. That is mostly due to the losses of the two teams that were above them. They have built up a solid team (RSL fans have to just be seething at how well both Chivas and Toronto have been able to do in the same or shorter amount of time), but I am still not convinced that they are championship quality.

5. LA Galaxy (8) - What a jump for the Galaxy this week. Their win over KC puts them in first place in the West, and the re-emergence of Edson Buddle gives them yet another attacking option. The defense is still terrible, but could actually improve tremendously with a little tweaking (what that tweaking is, I'm not sure, but if Ruud has a clue then watch out). Honestly, this team's attacking abilities are astounding, and if they can even slightly shore up the defense, then they will become the terror of the West.

6. RBNY - (5) - Despite their 5-1 loss to the Fire, I still will place this team above Colorado. Why? Clavijo (see below).

7. Colorado Rapids (7) - I have a difficult time trusting a team under Clavijo to be anything more than mediocre (with flashes of brilliance tempered by flashes of whatever is the opposite of brilliance).

8. KC Wizards (4) - Big drop this week for KC. It almost doesn't feel justified, but the truth is that they are in a slide. If Claudio Lopez can shine consistently then they will climb back up, but we will have to see.

9. Chivas USA (11) - A road win against Colorado goes a long way in helping this team regain their form at the top of the West.

10. FC Dallas (10) - Coming from behind to get the win against RSL must have felt good for this team in turmoil. Rhine's ejection was merited from his ridiculous actions.

11. Houston Dynamo (9) - They lost to their former selves. That is twisted.

12. DC United (13) - A win at home raises this struggling team up, but not much. They will have to prove that they are contenders over the next few weeks to get out of the basement.

13. RSL (12) - It was so tempting to drop these guys to the bottom after their loss, but I won't. I am starting to wonder why this team isn't gelling. What is it going to take for this talent laden team to come together (they may not all be the most talented int heir position, but they are strong all over the field. They need results and now).

14. SJ Earthquakes (14) - They beat their... oh I don't know how all of this confusion is supposed to be resolved. Beating Houston must have felt exquisite to the Quakes and their fans (probably mostly to the fans).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Best Game Show Ever!!!!!!

A long time ago, my friends and I came up with a fantastic game called Crotch Shot 2000. A couple of variations also came along (like CS2K: Stick Wars, and CS2K: Flying Discs of Death), but the original is where the beauty truly lies. Well, a massive thank you to Matt for showing me this. As if Japan hadn't already contributed enough to the enjoyment of the world, they came up with their own Game Show version of Crotch Shot 2000, and it is hilarious. I must also add, that the capris are part of what make it so fun.

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 24: Serious Stuff

This may seem out of character for a blog this frivolous, but today's poems are of a slightly more serious nature. Once again, they were written for my poetry class. I rather like them.

Laying Pipes

I turned 19 the day the towers fell—
I stood in a ditch laying pipes
on my first day at a job.
Who starts a new job on their birthday?
You do what you have to do.

My foreman came racing up in his truck
with the news that we were under attack,
and the rest of the day we watched the skies
waiting for planes.

In time, those awkward moments will stop,
and no one will try to reconcile my birth
with so much hate and death,
and new hurts will replace the old pains,
and all the living and killing become
chapters our children read.

And now today's haiku (someday maybe I'll come up with titles for these haiku's, but titling my poems is always my least favorite part--if they are serious poems at least):

Snow-dipped mountains, tall
guardians of solitude.
Hear winter whisper.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 23: You're So Beautiful You Could Be A Waitress

Howdy Campers. Another day of poetry for ya. Man, what is this two days in a row now? Times are good, yes, they are good.


Green curtains faint filter light
settle soft on her soft face

subtle part her sweet full lips
gentle rise her chest each breath
little rest her hand in mine

safe she sleeps in my embrace
awake dream I: it is the same

Here is this week's second poem. It is a haiku. Another you ask? Well sure, I've got at least eight more or so after that too. So... put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Drops of water
bathe the Earth.
Fish never notice.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MLS Power Rankings: Week 8

I took a week off from this due to finals, but here it is and here I am and we is done with finals.

1. Columbus Crew (1) - A scoreless draw on the road at the fortress that is Toronto. Some diving antics, but still the top of the pack for now.

2. Chicago Fire (2) - I almost dropped them to third after their home loss to Houston, but... they've done well enough to stay up for now.

3. NE Revolution (4) - Road win against a terrible SJ still feels good for this recovering-from-injuries team.

4. KC Wizards (3) - Got the road tie against RBNY off of Conrad's third goal this season. Way to go, Jimmy!

5. RBNY (5) - No change in rank. They look good, but can't seem to put the game away.

6. Toronto FC (6) - No change, and I'll be more convinced that this team has arrived as a real contender when they can get results away from home and those bloody streamers.

7. Colorado Rapids (8) - Home victory against bitter Rocky Mountain Cup rivals, RSL.

8. LA Galaxy (9) - Excellent victory over FC Dallas. This time without Beckham. That is actually a great thing.

9. Houston Dynamo (14) - Big climb for this team after a couple of wins.

10. FC Dallas (7) - This team is slipping badly right now. 5-1 loss to LA? Yikes that hurts.

11. Chivas USA (12) - Home victory against DC, their first ever come-back win... not too bad with how many injuries are plaguing this team right now.

12. Real Salt Lake (10) - Tough road loss to Colorado, but this team is looking strong at home. If they can keep that up and then toss in a few wins on the road, they won't be in too bad of shape to squeeze into the playoffs.

13. DC United (11) - At least they didn't have an own goal, but man are they bad right now.

14. SJ Earthquakes (13) - No attacking power whatsoever and a defensive mishap that utterly blew.

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 22: Tuesdays With Poetry

I took a poetry workshop class this past semester and have decided to share some of those works with you all on here (this did, after all, start out as Papa's Poetry Corner). I think today we will get a poem and a Haiku. The first was a poem that had to somehow mention or be about coffee (which I don't drink).

The Impenetrable Drink

A poem about coffee seems so simple a thing—

except to a man who’s never tasted the drink.

He’d sit and stare at his impatient screen,

trying to find the deeper meaning

in something so common, smelly, and wet;

that little black bean he’d sooner forget.

After hours of failed attempts at sonnets,

he’d eventually settle for ten simple couplets,

and he’d never get close to connecting a string

of words that could pass as poetry.

This next one is a Haiku, and--to be clear--does not follow the traditional format for English Haiku of 5-7-5 (which is not a true translation anyway, but instead some random system that English speakers to try and copy the Japanese form as best as they could. They got it wrong). It has no title.

Green fields for miles,

flowered waves’ gentle flow.

Sweet scented summer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fahrenheit 451

Don't consider this a book review, as much as something that I greatly enjoyed from a book. I just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 this morning (for the first time ever--somehow I missed the boat on that childhood experience, that everyone else seems to have had, of reading this book). I loved it! I think one of the things that I loved most about it was how Bradbury made the book feel foreign and incoherent in the first part, but as time went on and Montag became more aware of himself and the real world, the book began to feel more coherent. It fit perfectly with this theme of literature containing knowledge and helping us to become aware of ourselves (like the phoenix).

Anyway, that is all I will say for now, because I don't want to empty my head of thoughts on Bradbury's work before our book club meeting. Oh, I lied, I will also say that I highly recommend it to all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Golden Boot

I am copying this list of the top goal scorers of MLS (after 7 weeks of games) from DuNord. This is me giving him a shoutout, because Bruce does a fantastic job of compiling soccer news from around the world everyday. Anyway, here are the top scorers:

8 Landon Donovan
5 Kenny Cooper
5 Robbie Rogers
4 Alejandro Moreno
3 David Beckham
3 Cuauhtemoc Blanco
3 Alan Gordon
3 Sacha Kljestan
3 Jaime Moreno
3 John Thorrington

Now, not to get all "I Love America" teary-eyed on you, but I am so shocked and impressed that the top three are all from the U.S.A. I know that this is our national league (of sorts; we let in Canada also) so it would seem like that should be natural. Well, it is not. I am trying to find the list of Golden Boot winners for the first 13 years of MLS, but I can't. Regardless, it has more often been foreign players than Yanks.

Here we have 5 of the top 10 who are Americans and that makes me happy. The season is still young though and a lot can change.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I have no other reason to post today than to link to a delightful picture.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Paying Homage to Harry Potter

You'd think that enough time would have gone by for me to be candid about events from Harry Potter. It hasn't--my wife still has to read books 5-7. So, I will make my references to events, plot-points, and characters vague enough for her not to understand, and try to make them clear enough for those who have read the books to get. How will I do this? I have no clue.

What I want to say is that these books touched/moved me in ways that no other book has EVER been able to. I give J.K. Rowling full credit and deep respect for that. As I told Sir Steven a minute ago, I have never been more angry, while reading a book, than I was during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (HP5). I was enraptured in the conflict, and I actually grew to loathe someone. I had to literally stop myself at points and remind me that it was a fictional story and none of these people were real. It was that intense for me.

Conversely, I have never had any single event in a story make me as excited and, dare I say, giddy as did something that takes place in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (HP6). The second I finished that sublime moment, I immediately re-read it, and then after I finished the book, I went back and re-read it again. As a hint, so those who have read it will know of which part I speak, think of Ron's look to Harry that says, "If you must." BAM! I was floored and wanted to squeal like a little girl with glee.

Then you add in what I feel is one of the most complicated characters ever (complicated meaning conflicted on many different levels) and you have the book series that has moved me more than any other. I laughed out loud, I cried out loud, I fumed out loud, and I rejoiced out loud.

So, after all of this time, I am finally getting around to giving my thanks to J.K. Rowling for her excellent books.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Will the Real Harry Potter Please Stand Up?

So, apparently there once lived a man named Harry Potter.
"What?" you ask? You already knew that? No you didn't. You are lying. I'm not talking about the fluffy-haired boy who is all uber-hot and getting freak nasty with You-Know-Who. I'm talking about a man (still British) whose father built half of the city of Middlesbrough. I'm talking about a man who lived 130 years ago. I'm talking about this guy.

Pretty interesting, eh? I wonder if Rowling pays his descendants royalties. I wouldn't. The dirty beggars...

In related news, here is an article about the Rowling/WB lawsuit against the guys making the HP Lexicon. What intrigued me most was the end sentence, where the concern is whether or not the HP community will still be accepting of Vander Ark. I don't really know where I stand on this one, because I can't see why he shouldn't be allowed to make this book, but I can definitely understand Rowling's desire to maintain rights to her creative property. I guess the issue is whether or not this will really fall under that umbrella though. Is a lexicon considered creative property? I don't personally feel like it should be. Let this guy write his book. Rowling will write hers and it will outsell this guy's hands down, no contest, no problem. Scott Card's remarks are poignant.

Monday, May 05, 2008

MLS Power Rankings: Week 6

1. Columbus Crew (2) - Another game, another win; this team is on fire.

2. Chicago Fire (3) - Another impressive win against NE this season. They have outscored NE 7-0 in two games. Wow.

3. Kansas City (4) - A loss and yet they climb the rankings? This is for three reasons: they played #1 Columbus in their loss and still looked pretty good, the Revs' loss was atrocious (and I can't dare to put them above KC at the moment), and the East is dominating the West.

4. NE Revolution (1) - Bad bad times in a loss like that. The Revs are starting to get some of their players back, but will that mess up the mojo of their reserves-turned-starters squad?

5. RBNY (6) - I realize that TOR has a point on RBNY, but they also have a game in hand and NY got the road tie against a TOR team that had been dominating at home.

6. Toronto FC (7) - More fantastic stuff coming out of Toronto; who saw any of this coming when the season started? This team did NOTHING but lose a good player in the off season, but give Mo credit for bringing in three quality players (at least) in the early weeks of the season to get this team going. BMO is a scary place to play these days.

7. FC Dallas (5) - I'm not impressed with an 0-0 score against SJ. I don't care if it is a road game.

8. Colorado Rapids (10) - Gomez or Gallardo? Clavijo has got to be psyched about his trade right now.

9. LA Galaxy (8) - They showed some grit, and Beckham singlehandedly got this team a road point.

10. RSL (12) - They gave up a 2-0 lead to Beckham's heroics, but a tie in which they score rates higher in my book at the moment than a tie in which they don't (i.e. Chivas). There were times that they looked good.

11. DC United (9) - Something is wrong in our nation's capital. We're starting to hear those old grumblings of "Fire Soehn" again. I don't know if I can really argue, but the loss of Olsen can't be underestimated in this now leaderless team (Moreno may wear the armband, but Olsen was the heart of this squad).

12. Chivas USA (11) - Guzan showed his worth, but it wasn't enough for this team to get a goal.

13. SJ Earthquakes (13) - No change.

14. Houston Dynamo (14) - No change.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Benny Olsen...

I sure hope that you get better soon.

Since I started getting back into soccer (around World Cup '06 time) there has been one player that I have grown to love more than any other: Ben Olsen. He has been the heart and soul of DC United for years now and is a fantastic guy (from what I understand--I admit that I have never met him personally). His contributions on the field are not usually the ones that get printed up on stat sheets, or shown on top ten highlight reels. This guy is a workhorse though, and his contributions cannot be understated.

His career has been plagued by injuries, but he has always risen above them and come back a better player for it. More than anything, he has become what I think of when I think of DC United (as much as I love Jaime Moreno, and trust me I do, DC is Ben to me). With his current injury looking so terrible, it is highly likely that he won't be back on that field as a player ever again. I truly hope that, if that is the case, he will stay in touch with the world of soccer. I have no doubt that he would make an excellent coach or GM (not right off the bat perhaps, but give him some time as an assistant coach to really learn the ropes). If he'd prefer, than let him get his hands on a job working as an announcer for soccer games.

I will miss you Ben. I hope that all goes well in your recovery and know that if you have to retire, you sure picked one heck of a season to end your career with. You earned MVP in my book for last season. Emilio's goals were incredible and I take nothing away from him, but at the end of the day, we all know whose work made those goals possible, and whose grit got DC to rally and get back into the season.

Good luck, and thank you.

Here are a couple of articles that talk about Ben and pay homage to the man:

American Soccer Spot's Kind Words
Steve Goff's Soccer Insider Blog (Washington Post)

Who Loves The Office?

I do I do.

Matt showed me an excellent website devoted to bringing you many many hilarious quotes from The Office. You can look up close to all of the episodes, and they even link to pictures and things. For example, here is a link to see Dwight's Power Flow Chart from last night's episode. You can see how the menstrual cycles of the women in the office are figured in, you'll also notice that the majority of the peoples have their own little icon, too. The girls have the Female sign, Oscar has two Male signs (he is indeed gay) and the three black people have little "Black Power" fists. Hilarious.