Sunday, July 31, 2005

I read books

I read. A lot. I just finished Harry Potter and I thought it was pretty good. I haven't read any Terry Pratchett, mainly because he has a ton of books and I feel intimidated. He is one of those authors who I always mean to read, but never get around to it. He's a bit peeved at all the attention that the Potter franchise and Rowling are getting.

From the BBC:
Author Terry Pratchett has complained that the status of Harry Potter author JK Rowling is being elevated "at the expense of other writers".

Pratchett, one of the UK's most successful novelists with 40 million books sold, said the media ignores the achievements of other fantasy authors.

I think the same thing is going on right now with IRL racing and Danica Patrick. The other racers (who actually win) are getting peeved because Danica gets all the media attention.

And I can understand the complaints of these people. They've paid their dues, worked their asses off and someone new comes in and gets all the attention (deserved or not).

Pratchett also has beef with how Rowling distanced herself from the genre:

He also expressed surprise at Rowling's comments that she only realised Harry Potter was fantasy after the first book was published.

"I'm not the world's greatest expert," he wrote. "But I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?"

Look, I read fantasy (generally grouped with science fiction), I LOVE fantasy novels, my bookshelf is full of them and I tend to agree with Pratchet on this.

I think the whole Potter mania isn't all about the books, if that makes sense. It's a culture thing. The Harry Potter books have become a water cooler phenomenon. You feel like everyone has read them, so if you want to keep up, then you have to read them too. I don't believe it was a good marketing campaign as much as I think it was word of mouth.

Once a bunch people started buying the books, then the media covered that 'hot new kids book' story. Then people saw that story and went out to see for themselves. Then they told people that the TV was right and that these books are pretty good. So more people bought them. And more. And more. And more. Then the media covered those stories, the lines waiting, the fact that kids are reading and not watching tv. It just snowballed; it became a benchmark of the times.

Pratchett is trying to point out that there is more to this genre than Harry Potter. Pratchett's point is, if the only fantasy author you know is JK Rowling, you're missing a much bigger picture. And he is kind of lashing out at the media for ignoring a very popular genre by only focusing on Rowling. There is always a big hoopla for politcal or sports books making it on the NY Times best sellers list. But fantasy books have gotten to the top of the list before, and not just Harry Potter. The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan and the Dragonlance series by Weis and Hickman generally debute number 1 on the Times list. There are generally huge lines to meet these authors when they do signing tours and Pratchett is just pointing out that these guys never get their 15 minutes on the local news.

There's always been a bias (not really the word I want, but it fits) against scifi/fantasy books. Besides Tolkien, none of them really get their due. Take the book Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg. This is a great book that no one knows about and it happens to be one of the greatest books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I'm going to steal a review from to make my point:

Undeniable proof that SF isn't considered serious literature

Robert Silverberg's "Dying Inside" is one of the great classics of SF literature. The protagonist, David Selig, is a telepath whose rare talent has brought him no pleasure. He leads the life of an outcast, a voyeur, with his gift as his keyhole. When his telepathy deserts him he is left stranded-

(Pauses). (Sits silently, head bowed). (Finally, sighs forcefully). (Prepares to whip self to indignant frenzy).

This world just isn't fair. You know that, you don't need me to tell you. But every so often an injustice so flagrant and so heinous occurs that I need to grab the nearest passerby and scream it at him. You're here, and I'm mad, so put down that mouse and listen. Have you read this book yet? Have you read "The Catcher in the Rye"- you know, "the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged," etc., etc.? Go read them. I'll wait- done yet? Good. What do you think? They're both excellent, aren't they? You really feel the turmoil and pain and angst of both Caulfield and Selig after reading them. So why has this book attracted only a handful of reviews, while "The Catcher in the Rye" has attracted- let me check- over 1000 reviews? Why does "The Catcher in the Rye" appear on all the "100 Greatest Novels of the Century" lists while "Dying Inside" doesn't? I'll tell you why- look at your copy of "Dying Inside," and look for those damning scarlet letters "Science Fiction." That's why. "The Catcher in the Rye" is serious literature; "Dying Inside" is science fiction. Never mind that David Selig is as vividly realized as Holden Caulfield, that the prose of "Dying Inside" is as smooth as silk and as scorching as a brush fire, that "Dying Inside" is to middle age what "The Catcher in the Rye" is to adolescence. One is "truly one of America's literary treasures," and one is not. There ain't no justice, is there, Larry?

Personally, I like the Potter books, I think they're really good. At the same time, I've read better, a lot better. But I like the books for the fact that they are introducing kids (fuck, and adults for that matter) to reading. I think that's their best quality. They can be a stepping stone towards a life long love for books (and not just scifi/fantasy).

There's ton great stuff out there if you like the Potter novels but don't know where to look to next. This is my list and by no means is it complete.

I think the Ender's series by Orson Scott Card or the Redwall series by Brian Jaques would be great places to begin post-Potter reading. I also loved the Wizard of Oz series when I was younger. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are an excellent writing combinatio and the Dragonlance saga is their calling card. I actually started out with their Deathgate Cycle, I would recomend both series and reading Dragonlance first (they are almost completely unrelated, but one character may or may not pop up in both series). The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and a Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin are two of the reasons I scoff when people mention how long the new Harry Potter book is. Wot and SoIaF are considered 'high fantasy,' meaning they are more in heavier and more on the adult side. And by adult I don't mean sex (though Martin can get pretty graphic), I mean, as I remember my sister saying, "Wheel of Time is just a bit more more in depth than Harry Potter."

Alright, well, if you made it to the end of my little post here, congrats! This took me about an hour and a half to write and I'm sure only a few people even know what I'm talking about (sup Sorrels) so thanks for indulging me.

And remember Reading is FUNdamental (the NBA it's FAAAAANTASIC!)

Deadline past

No trades by the Tribe and lo and behold, Manny is still in his Red Sox uniform. Huh, no kiddin.

The Light of Reason

I just found this site today and it has great in depth writing. It's really good stuff. Take a look at this post and see what you think.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Manny Trade

The Red Sox are in the middle of shopping Manny Ramirez around, the big deal they had with the Mets appears dead.

This was one of the worst deals I've seen since the Native Americans gave up Manhattan for bobbles and beads. The Sox would get Mike Cameron (who sucks), Aubrey Huff (who doesn't) and a relief pitcher who I know nothing about. The Mets would've got Manny, Danys Baez and Julio Lugo. And the Devil Rays (who are in this deal soley to piss of Lou Pinella) would get four prospects.

I love how Red Sox fans boo Manny and complain about how weird he is. NO SHIT. Geez, this is the kid who got picked off of first base in the World Series (by the CATCHER). With Manny it's a give and take. He gives you a .300+ average, 40+ HR and 428495741895734 or so RBIs. He takes the millions of dollars you gave him and you take all of his bullshit. For God sakes, he was the World Series MVP last year! You're going to trade him and not get an all-star in return? Good job.

Now if the Red Sox have a second deal waiting in the wings, then it's a good move. Like if they use the money they were paying Manny to go after another big name; that'd be a good move. But as it stands now: dumb deal.

There's a special election goin on

This coming Tuesday in Ohio's 2nd district.

Here is the democrat canidate.

And here's the republican.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Idiots Guide to Hockey


Q: What was the biggest mistake the players' union made?

You mean, other than canceling an entire season, then caving? The players' biggest mistake was trying to protect a salary structure that made no sense in the first place. Look, we all knew hockey players in high school and college -- they're good guys and hard workers, they stink like sweaty hockey equipment, they can drink until the cows come home, they have no problem walking around naked in front of other guys, and they would absolutely be happy playing professionally for $20 an hour. This is a blue-collar sport for blue-collar fans, people who should never have to pay more than $35 to $40 for a ticket. And the players fit right into that. So why pretend that hockey players should be getting $10 million to $12 million per year?

For instance, let's say you have a favorite diner near your house. What do we love about diners? They're inexpensive. The food comes out fast. The coffee is always good. The chef in the kitchen has an "I hope these customers didn't see me on 'America's Most Wanted' look on his face. The gum-snapping waitress is in her 50's, but there's still something sexy about her, despite the smoking wrinkles and the missing left index finger. And you can kick back, read your newspaper, enjoy a decent omelet, home fries and some buttered toast, and flirt with a 53-year-old woman who was probably Patient X for Hepatitis B back in 1971. What's better than that?

Well, imagine if they quadrupled the price at the diner, the food took three times as long, you couldn't see the chef, all the waitresses looked like Kathy Bates, and they added so many breakfast items to the menu that you almost needed a translator to read the menu? Would you ever go there again? Of course not. And that's what the NHL never realized until it was too late. It was the breakfast diner of professional sports leagues, nothing more. Unfortunately, it took a 301-day lockout -- as well as every cable channel basically saying, "Thanks, but no thanks" -- for everyone to realize this.

More Judith Miller

Learn more on the woman in jail for keeping her word.

(light posting today cause I actually had to work today)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

More Bolton

Okay, here we go, Bolton was asked if he was interviewed or testified in any investigation in the last five years. He said he hasn't. Well:
John Bolton, President Bush's nominee for U.N. ambassador, mistakenly told Congress he had not been interviewed or testified in any investigation over the past five years, the State Department said Thursday.
Bolton was interviewed by the State Department inspector general in 2003 as part of a joint investigation with the Central Intelligence Agency into prewar Iraqi attempts to buy nuclear materials from Niger, State Department spokesman Noel Clay said.

"Mistakenly"... right... or lied. Either or.

Summertime Songs

Billboard has a list of 'em.

Now I hate lists and most of the time they are just made to make conversation. Meh. But CNN manages to make a list where a remake (Shaggy) places higher than the origional (Mongo Jerry). Oiy.

Also, for future summer songs, I would check out the catalogue of a group named the Beach Boys. They might have some songs that could fit the criteria.

[Edit: alright, it looks like they are rated on how much airplay they got, so it's not one guys dumb list. But if it was, my coments stand]


Good column at

It's the basic new era column for the Browns, but it's pretty good. Most people agree with the moves the Browns made in free agency and the draft. Not really going for flashy guys, but for proven pros.

Still, I need a Dilfer jersey like like the Red Sox need a closer.

More Judith Miller

From Arianna Huffington at The Huffington Post:

Not everyone in the Times building is on the same page when it comes to Judy Miller. The official story the paper is sticking to is that Miller is a heroic martyr, sacrificing her freedom in the name of journalistic integrity.

But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has "manipulate[d]" and "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an "unnamed government official"). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out.

Documents, documents, documents

The White House and the Senate have been arguing, basically since the nomination of John Roberts, about which documents the Senate has been allowed to see.

They made/are making the same argument about Bush's UN appointee John Bolton (which is why Bush is appointing him during the August Congress recess).

I'm with John Marshall when he says:

Out of the corner of my eye I've been watching this growing dispute over whether and which 'documents' about Judge Roberts the White House will turn over to the senate as part of his confirmation hearings. And quite apart from the particular documents in question, I'm wondering what the argument is, precisely, for the White House having access to any more information in the process of nominating Roberts than the Senate should have in confirming him.

It seems like a basic point of logic. Why should the senate's call be, by definition, less well-informed than the president's?

I'll go one step further. If he is a good canidate and you want him at this important job, what reason do you have for withholding information?

One Fingered Salute

Now, if I talked about how my favorite philospher is Chris, how born again I am and I held the most powerful job in the world... I probably wouldn't do this.

This isn't the old video of Bush flicking off the camera, it a new one.

(come on over, I got a fishing tape! No, a new one!)

This is what kills me about the whole 'moral values' crowd... Cheney can tell a guy to fuck off on the senate floor and Bush can get caught flicking off the media... silence.

Could you imagine the outrage if Al Gore told a republican senator to fuck off? "Those Democrats have no vaules! First Clinton cheats on his wife (not that I'm defending Clinton, but he shouldn't have been impeached over it) and now Gore is swearing on the senate floor? Scandalas!"

But having a gay escort using a fake name in the White House press corp is okay. And wearing purple heart bandaids during the RNC is okay. And leaking the name a CIA officer (for purely political purposes) is okay. Dur.

Let it Snow

Bud Shaw is on a roll. I totally agreed with his take on Millwood and I'm now behind him with his Eric Snow column.

Eric Snow is already making starter's money. It's not the worst thing for the Cavaliers to see if he can earn it before they overspend even more on the point guard position.

Snow's offensive limitations won't be as blatant playing alongside Larry Hughes and Donyell Marshall as they were when the perimeter scoring options were Ira Newble or Lucious Harris or Jiri Welsch. Harris and Welsch, alleged shooters, were the NBA's top two "before" ads for laser surgery.

With Snow and Ira Newble starting, opposing teams could double and triple LeBron at will. They knew they could leave those two guys open (which they did, a lot) with no worries. Now with Larry Hughes on the roster, defenses have to play more honest and Snow won't ahve the pressure on him to score like he did last year.

Plus, and I have no basis for this, I think Snow's offensive game struggled last year due to coming off the bench. He spent years in Philly starting on some good teams and all of the sudden he was backing up Jeff McInnis. That couldn't have been an easy transition.

I do the Cavs should sign a young point guard. A guard who can come in and push the ball with James, Hughes and Gooden when Z and Snow sit. Former Cav Brevin Knight is a posibility, but he's not much of a shooter. Personally, I'd like the Cavs to go after Dan Dickau to back up Snow. Or they could use one of the guys on the summer league roster.

More Millwood

Tom Reed of the ABJ disagrees with all the Millwood trade talk:

There has been so much national interest in the trade value of Kevin Millwood that NASDAQ should assign him a stock symbol.

KMWD is a hot commodity, and there's little doubt Indians general manager Mark Shapiro could secure a few prospects by dealing the free-agent pitcher before Sunday's trade deadline.

But after three painful seasons of rebuilding, do the Indians want to remain in the futures market?

I see his point and if the Tribe would trade Millwood for long term prospects, I'd totally agree. But if the Indians could get a power OF or 1B prospect, I say do it. It would mean that signing Millwood could leave a long term mark on the franchise (instead of only one good season). If the Tribe can get a good upper level prospect, I think you have to make the move.

Trade Millwood

I agree with Bud Shaw, trading Millwood would be a good move. Hell, I'd throw Bob Wickman into this discussion too.

If the Tribe makes the playoffs, it won't be by much. Plus once they get there, they'll be killed by the Sox/Yanks or Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California USA Earth. Maybe I don't believe or I don't have enough heart. Whatever, but I don't see the Tribe making a big run this year. Yea, they're close in the Wild Card hunt, but I just don't see them hitting enough.

So trade Millwood, he's not going to re-sign with the Tribe; they won't be able to afford him. Right now the biggest pitcher out there is AJ Burnett. I got no problems with Burnett, but Millwood has a lower ERA and is pitching in the tougher AL. He's pitched in big games for the Braves, so it's not like he's unproven.

My point is, right now it's a weak market, there's not a lot out there, I mean, former Indian Dany Baez is the hot closer to be had. I think Millwood and Wickman could fetch the Tribe a lot of talent. Giving up one or both of those guys for a 1B or OF with power wouldn't exactly be a bad idea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Stupid Liberal Media

So last year, Valerie Plame (the outed CIA agent) went to one of the America Coming Together (Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, you know, those guys) concerts during last years election campaign. Apparently this is news.

Read the article, tell me what you think.

I have a few issues with this article:

First of all, it makes it sound like this is something crazy, calling America Coming Together an anti-Bush group. It's an election season! You're either anti-Kerry or anti-Bush! You choose sides, having a group that is totally against the president is really weird during an election season, but that's just me. The article keeps refering to the concert as the "anti-Bush concert". Not the "America Coming Together concert", or the "rock concert" or whatever. No, the anti-Bush concert. From the tone of the article, it sounds like the fact that this concert went on at all sickens the writer.

Secondly, the fact that this article has been written at all just boggles my mind. Robert Novak's column that outed Plame as an CIA agent ran on July 14, 2003, so in the fall of 2004 she decided to go to a concert that supported the man running against the Bush administration. Really? We're shocked by this? She decided to support the guys who didn't leak her name to the press? Wow. Good work there.

Third, when did Plame stop working for the CIA? I know once Novak's column was printed she stopped being undercover, but did she stop working for them all together? Is she still working for them? I don't know.

The article ends with this:
A bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report found that Plame did arrange her husband's trip even though he repeatedly denied it.
This is false. No one really knows how exactly Wilson got the job. First of all, Wilson is qualified, it's not exactly like he's an unknown. Second of all, the most Plame could do was SUGGEST Wilson for the job, she didn't have the authority to authorize or arrange the trip, someone higher up had to.

So what's the point here, what is the big deal about her going to this concert? This article has gotten play at the right wing and left wing blogs. On Powerline they just quote the article and makes it seem like the fact that she went to this concert damns her. Over at Americablog, John has this to say:
Wow, that's a hell of a new standard for leaking highly classified national security information.

It's okay to break the law and jeopardize national security in a time of war by leaking highly classified information, so long as your intent was to harm someone you think might have been a Democrat, or might become a Democrat at some time in the future.

I agree with John's point. Say she was some huge Democrat/liberal person who happened to love Springsteen, how does that make the fact that Karl Rove leaked her name to the press any less relavent? I mean, he outed a covert CIA agent, who cares what special interest groups she donated to? Plus the fact is that she donated/went to this concert AFTER she was outed! Who cares?!

Bush to London Bombers:

Bring it on!

Simmons Reviews Movies

Now this a job I want, he works for a sports website, but reviews random movies (it used to be just sports movies). He reviews Wedding Crashers and Bad News Bears this time around:

(The highlight of the first hour? A montage with the boys crashing various weddings and dancing to "Shout" in different outfits, culminating in a barrage of naked bridesmaids and cousins falling on beds to hook up with Vaughn and Wilson. One of the funnier montages in recent memory ... and with gratuitous nudity, no less. I give that sequence a 15 out of 10.)


Admittedly, the old "Bears" is a little dated. But it's not like the remake is overwhelmingly modern -- in fact, Buttermaker makes not one but two Helen Keller jokes during the course of the movie. Helen Keller? Really? So you're updating a beloved baseball comedy from 1976 and you're adding Helen Keller jokes? That has to be the most perplexing comedy moment of the year that doesn't involve the words "Comedy Central just gave D.L. Hughley his own talk show."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dear Nancy Grace,

there's another young woman missing (she just happens not to be white).

Remeber John Kerry's Take on the 'War on Terror'?

So does Americablog.

Jaric Time

The Cavs are looking to go after Marko Jaric, but they have little money left.

And it looks like the Clippers will match any contract for Jaric.

Democrats vs Democrats

The DLC (Democrat Leadership Council) is holding a conference right here in Columbus and some of it's members have pissed people off.

Digby responds to Will Marshall's idea that liberals are unpatriotic.

And Hilary is calling for a intra-party cease fire between both sides, and as Kos points out, if the DLC stops firing, pissed off liberals will stop fireing back.

But again, the DLC aren't big fans of Kos.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Dumbest Rules in Sports

From Page 2.

Some of these are great, some of these are really really really dumb. A few of these the authors just barely touched, like the ground can't cause a fumble. To me, this is one of the dumbest rules ever. Here's all they put down:
The Ground Can't Cause a Fumble in Football
Bull! Did the guy hold onto the ball or not?

That's all, though I agree in principle, explain it a little more, like do you really have possession if he loses it when he hits the ground? What if a hit from an opponent caused him to hit the ground really hard? Is it still 'ground caused'?

They seemed to rag on the NBA the most, including this brilliant idea:

The NBA's 10-Foot Rim and 94-Foot Floor
The court never changes. It's the same size we played on as YBA punks, baggy socks flapping about our ankles. Heck, it's the same size played on by James Naismith's kids.

This makes no sense.

The game has evolved. Like the Six Million Dollar Man, players are bigger, stronger, faster … and worth a heck of a lot more than $6 million. So expand the surface, raise the rim, restore flow to a game stuck in the mud. Make a dunk something special again.

First of all, this is just wrong. High School and Junior High courts are different sizes than NBA courts. Some colleges even have a shorter floor. Not to mention the 3-point line changes also. And changing the basket height is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.

They also touch on the NBA's timeout policy, their jersey restrictions (it has to be tucked in, and honestly, if you're going to be bitching about a sports fashion restrictions, start with the NFL), and the traveling and carrying rules (they say get rid of them and embrace AND1 basketball- oiy).

There is some good stuff in there too, about college amatures and stuff like that. But it's half and half; for every 'ground should be able to cause a fumble' argument, they make a 'boxers should be able to punch each other in the nuts' argument.

Knife of Dreams Prologue

is now available for purchase and download. It's 140 some pages and it's really action packed. Now I'm even more excited for Oct 11th and the rest of the book. Wotmania has some good discussions about the prolouge going on if you're so inclined.

Back from Wisconsin

Great weekend, just excellent. There are stories to be told, but not here.

Anyways, the Cavs seemed to have lost out on Sarunas Jasikevicius, which I don't mind too much, because now I can stop worrying how to spell and pronounce Jasikevicius. It looks like the Cavs will make a greater push towards Marko Jaric, which could may end up best. As Bill Livingston points out, the Cavs plan B may be better than plan A.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Going to Califor......

er... Wisconson.

I will be gone this entire weekend, so I ask all four of my readers to check back in Sunday night for a Wisconson recap and anything else thats on my mind.

(Oh, and right now its theres a 99% chance I'll be working at Circurt City)

John Roberts

I'm gonna tell ya now, this post could offend some people. Read at your own risk.

The Rude Pundit has a nice little blurb about the Bush's Supreme Court nominee John Roberts:
Look at the article - it's like the e-Harmony profile from hell: devout Catholic from a Bethlehem Steel plant manager father, uber-geek in elementary and high school, "scrappy" football player, part of the Gipper's administration, super-duper lawyer guy, and so, so much more.

Then he talks about Ann "Batshit Crazy" Coulter's article:
(Oh, and perk up, lefties. Ann Coulter's on our side on this one. 'Course, in her own cuntish, monkeyfuck insane way. See, Coulter thinks Roberts is gonna turn out to be a liberal, that he's kinda wimpy. Ann likes her men rough, the kind of conservatives that would beat her, fuck her in the ass, wipe their dicks with her hair, piss on her, and tell her it's better than she deserves. Real men, you know.)

I mean, if 'monkeyfuck insane' doesn't make you laugh, well... I'm baffled.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Trading Gooden

The PD has an article on Drew Gooden being on the trade block.

Ferry says no go, but I would be surprised if Drew started the season in Cleveland (and even more suprrised if he ended it). There is a rumor that the Cavs have been talking to Dallas about Gooden. Dallas has two point guards in Jason Terry and Devin Harris and if I had to chose, I'd choose Harris. He's younger than Terry, and the Cavs don't need another scorer (like Terry). I a young guy would fit nicely.

Also, the CBA deal is being delayed a few days (free agents were supposed to be able to sign with their new teams on Friday, it looks to be postponed). An offshoot of this is that the salary cap may not be $49 million like everyone expected, it could be around $52 million. That means the Cavs could have some more money to play around with, and the thinking goes, if they have more money, they sign Marko Jaric and if they have less they sign Sarunas Jasikevicius. We shall see.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This review is going to have two parts, spoilers and non spoilers, if you don't want to learn it from me, don't read the second half.

Harry Potter. Kids books? I guess, I mean, they were meant for children but the whole Potter-mania has taken a life of its own. Much has been made (mostly by media outlets) on the books length and the dark tone.

Length of books has never really bothered me. I prefer it when a book is really long, that means I get to spend more time with the characters and more time enjoying the story (that is, assuming the book is good). But then again, I read semi-regularly, I read Robert Jordan, whos books regularly reach the 1000 page limit, so 600+ (652 exactly) page Harry Potter book isn't exactly daunting.

As for the dark tone... in HPatHBP Harry is 17, so 6 books ago, when the series began, he was 11... A book written about an 11 year old is going to have a different tone than a book about a 17 year old. So of course there's a darker tone to the books, Harry is older, Rowling's readers are older and the series is nearing its climax.

That out of the way, I really liked the book. I definitely liked it a lot more than the 5th book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) but I still think the 4th (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is my favorite.

General points: I was surprised by how much of the British English came through the book (not that I mind). I mean, they changed the title of the first book from Philosopher's Stone to the Sourcerer's Stone, but this had a ton of words like snogging (which I assumed means kissing). Maybe not a big deal, but I did notice it.

The love story between the wizard students was kind of distracting. I understand why it was there, the whole 'there's still love during tough times' idea, but I didn't care all that much. Plus her writings on Harry and his monster in his stomach was kinda dumb.

The overall story was very interesting; it kept my attention all the way through (though I did finish the book in under 6 hours). The end was also well done, a major character did die and Rowling did make the end very poingent.

Finally, I did end up picturing a bunch of people from the movies. Though it was mostly Ron, Snape and Malfroy; I did okay with the rest of the characters.

*****Plot Stuff SPOILERS*****

The title came into play early on in the book, and even though I knew the Half Blood Prince wasn't Voldemort (as Rowling had earlier stated) the entire book I spent thinking it could've been him. The Half Blood Prince refers to a name on the back of a used Potions text book that Harry uses. The Prince wrote his notes in the book and the tips turn out better than the actual text. It turns out Snape is the Half Blood Prince.

This is Snape's book, you learn Snape is the Half-Blood Prince and you learn Snape is the one who told Voldemort about the prophecy (that led Voldemort to kill the Potters).

I've always been of the theory that Snape is good and Harry is too paranoid about him. But this book seems to put a end to that theory. The main character who died (and I'm not too surprised) is Dumbledore and Snape kills him, so it doesn't look too good for my theory. However, since we see Snape being forced (kind of) into an unbreakable vow spell to start off the book, Rowling leaves a bit of hope that Snape isn't all bad (plus he doesn't kill Harry at the end). But that is kind of streching it, Snape doesn't look too good after this book.

Which kind of bugs me, not that I really like Snape (or Draco Malfroy), but Harry spends the entire series thinking up ways that they are trying to hurt him. I would like to think that there are some people in this world who could simultaniously not like Potter and still not be evil. But I guess not.

Also, since it appears that Snape betrays Dumbledore, it seems Dumbledores fatal flaw is that he was too trusting, he believed too much in people/was to gulible. But Rowling has put Hagrid in the same boat as Snape (in Dumbledore's eyes), so it's kind of a mixed message. In an interview she talks about Dumbledore being too trusting. I can see the point in that; 'if you're too trusting you can be duped.'

But my problem is Harry is always right, basically about everything. He's paranoid the entire book, he never trusts Snape and at the end it looks again like Harry was proven right. Maybe I want the books to be a bit more complex a bit more like real life. Draco is bound to follow in the fathers footsteps (but not completely, he couldn't bring himself to kill Dumbledore) and become a Death Eater and Snape is bound to return to Voldemort. In Potter's world, if they don't like Harry Potter (or his parents) they are evil. In Potter's world if you don't like one another, there is no way to work towards a common goal. Or if a kid is a brat or a bully there's no way he can be redeemed.

Though I did find it interesting that Rowling started off the book with Snape taking the Unbreakable Vow with some other Death Eaters. From what I recall, I can't really remember a scene in the book that Harry wasn't present for. For my memory, the book has followed Harry around and we've never really seen something that Harry hasn't.

I hope in book 7 it turns out Snape is still good and his hand was forced to kill Voldemort and that Draco didn't go over to the Death Eaters completely. Personally, it would piss me off that every one of Harry's suspicions turned out to be correct.

I do admire that Rowling killed off an important character with Dumbledore. One of the big problems with the Wheel of Time series is that the main characters fight tons of battles and no one close to them really gets hurt. The Potter Universe has taken hits with Black and Dumbledore dying, so it does add a bit of realism there.

Also, -and this is either really good writing or really crappy writing- the book starts off with the Weasley parents always making sure they are who they say they are by asking personal questions. Dumbledore tells Harry to do the same. People could be impersonated and you need to stay on your toes. Rowling goes through all the trouble of telling us this and then never delivers. Or does she? Part of me thinks someone in the book wasn't really who they said they were. There was so much talk about knowing Dumbledore's favorite jam or the Weasley's pet names for each other not to have something like that follow up.

I must point out I didn't care for the cliche of Harry pushing away Ginny at the end of the book. He says how she's unsafe being with him or some crap. Like she isn't in danger anyway because she's part of the family Harry stays with during the holidays. Plus, and Spiderman 2 did this, it makes it seem like the woman has no choice in this. 'It's too dangerous, blah blah blah I gotta go' ugh...

I'm sure there's a ton of stuff I missed or didn't get to. But overall, the book was worth the wait and I now get to wait for book 7.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Looks Like Jasikevicius Is All But Signed

On Friday the Cavs will be adding 3 key players in Hughes, Jasikevicius and Marshall. I'm excited for the season.

Another James/Big Market Blurb

This time from the Daily Quickie:
Cavs land new PF: Not able to outbid with cash, Cleveland lured Donyell Marshall with a 4-year deal, longer than anyone else would offer.

So in three years, he'll look great teamed with Larry Hughes when LeBron is playing in New York or L.A. (But a solid move for '05-06.
He starts out he quickie saying how New York is going to be in rebuilding mode and Larry Brown shouldn't go there. Then he says James could end up in New York or LA.

I hate this speculation! For the last time, what big market team would James be a good fit for? The Knicks? The Lakers and Kobe? The Clippers and their aversion to winning? The Nets and Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson? If you actually put thought into James leaving for a big market, it doesn't add up. The Cavs should be better than all of those teams and James does a ton of stuff for his hometown of Akron (like his basketball tourney and his bike-a-thon).

Could he leave? Yea. But with these signings and the return of Luke Jackson, the Cavs should have a VERY nice team for the next few years. It's not a done deal of James leaving, if the Cavs are good enough, he'd have a hard time not staying.

As for John Roberts....

Bush's SCOTUS nominee.

I don't know much (understatement) about the guy, some sites say he's way out the mainstream and a partisan hack, some mention he's just had two years at being a judge, and some say that the president could've done worse.

My view is that most liberals were never going to like who Bush nominated, of course he was going to nominate someone on the right. The goal was for Bush to nominate someone who could be right of center, but left of the Shiavo crowd, which could lead to a quick, painless approval. I hoped he could nominate someone who wouldn't cause a huge fight that could divide the country even more so.

It could be argued that Bush couldn't nominate a consensus pick. No matter who he would nominate, the Dems would oppose. I personally don't believe that, I think a consensus choice could've been worked out (and it could be for all I know, Roberts doesn't have much of a record to go on). There was a comprimise on the filibuster debacle and the Dems have been pretty good at working with Bush (ie: tax cuts, Iraq, PATRIOT Act up until Bolton), even though he doesn't really give them anything in return for their help. So I do think he can get a nominee through the Senate without TOO much bickering.

A cynic could say that Bush wants a fight. He wants a long Senate fight to take the media off the whole Rove scandal and if the Dems oppose too much (or just reflectively oppose whoever he nominated) he could paint them as obstructionists.

However, if he did nominate someone who was WAY too out of the mainstream and somehow the Dems were proved right for not approving him, it could backfire and totally screw up his entire agenda.

Personally, I agree with Robert W. Gordon (the final link up top) the Dems shouldn't praise the pick and should only oppose if and when he refuses to answer questions. This guy doesn't have much of a record, so more questions the better.

Wedding Crashers

Just got back from Wedding Crashers and I give it a solid A-.

A-minus? Though the movie was hilarious and quite good, the fact that it went on just a tad too long brings the grade down a bit. But overall it was awesome, fuckin hilarious. Also, I could've used more of Christopher Walken's family, they were all nuts and needed more screen time (espeically Jane Seymour and Walken himself)

Owen Wilson is the lead in this movie, but Vince Vaughn is the star. Vaughn hits this one right out of the park. His lines from Wedding Crashers will be quoted like Ferrell in Anchorman or Stiller in Dodgeball, they're that classic.

has been made recently of the Frat Pack comedies (movies with the Wilson Bros, Ferrell, Stiller, Vaughn and Jack Black). USAToday has an outdated chart of who has been in each movie (Vaughn was in the Suburbans, Luke Wilson in Anchorman and Ferrell in Wedding Crashers).

As for all of the Frat Pack Comedies, I would rank Wedding Crashers behind Old School and Anchorman and slightly ahead of Dodgeball, with Staskey and Hutch bring up the rear.

Vaughn and Wilson are also signed up for a movie called Outsourced where they play two factory workers whos jobs get outsourced to Mexico. So they move to Mexico to keep them. And Luke Wilson is making a movie (mentioned in the USAToday link) called The Wendell Baker Story and has his brother Owen and Ferrell.

Oh, there's also a rumor about Old School 2, where they go to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. But like I said, a rumor....

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cavs Sign Marshall

The Cavaliers have reached a deal with Donyell Marshall of the Raptors worth between 20-25 million for four years.

This is a GREAT pick up for the Cavaliers, Marshall is an awesome shooter and could really help spread the floor for the Cavs.

He's 6-9 and the Cavaliers could really cause some matchup problems with him, James (6-8) and Hughes (6-5) out on the floor together.

The Cavs are also looking at Marko Jaric (who at 6-7 could cause some matchup problems of his own) of the Clippers to play point and still are pursuing Sarunas Jasikevicius (who Bill Livingston talks about today).

Heh... Bogut Tossed from a Summer League Game

Cause he got in a fight with some guy (John Edwards- what up Hudson!) I went to high school with.

Beatles Stuff

As many of you know, I am a HUGE Beatles fan. I believe they are the best band ever, and if you disagree I will fight you. I recently caught a few articles about them:

First, Paul says they would've reunited for Live 8.

Second, the Let It Be movie is looking like it'll be out on DVD soon.

First with the Live 8. I've always wondered what would've happened if Lennon hadn't died. Would the Beatles have gotten back together in the 80s? Would it have been worth it? Would it have tainted the bands image? Part of me wants to believe that yes, they would've gotten back together and yes, it would've been amazing. But part of me thinks that it wouldn't have gone well and would've just cheapened their reputation.

As for Live 8, imagine a day that Pink Floyd reunited AND the Beatles reunited! That would've been something. I think that if Lennon hadn't been murdered, the Fab Four would've played together before 2005. I can't imagine them NOT playing together from 1970-2005. But alas, John and George died early, so who knows. It's one of the great 'what ifs' of 20th century pop culture. But if Lennon and Harrison were alive? I bet something like Live 8 would be right up their alley.

As for the Let It Be DVD... SWEET. An inside look at the greatest band ever? Yes please. I'll take it. Seeing the group write and album and break up at the same time? I think I could watch that. A lot.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Rowling: Going to Miss Potter

From CNN.

The cynic in me says, "Really, you'll miss the series that made you the richest woman in England? No way."

However, part of me doesn't think it'll just be 7 books (I have not read book 6). At some point in time in book Order of the Phoenix (5), Harry thinks about what he'll do for a career and stuff. He thinks he might want to go to the wizard equivilent of college/grad school or something, either way it takes 3 years. I wouldn't be surprise if we got those 3 years of college at some point in time (though I do think she'll take time off after book 7 comes out, I wouldn't put money on it being Harry's last adventure).

Sunday, July 17, 2005

War of the Worlds

Some people on the right don't like it:
If there is a theme to Steven Spielberg's new alien-invasion movie, "War of the Worlds," it is not that the human spirit has the courage that justifies human survival. Or that American know-how and grit can defeat invaders, even when the situation seems impossible. No, it is more like: If aliens invade, don't fight back. Run...

...While set in the Northeast, Spielberg's alien war seems very much like what would happen if aliens invaded Hollywood. There would be no praying, no talk of God, no homeowners defending their homes, no posses defending their communities, no 90210 teens enlisting to defend their country.


It is said that fiction writers write about what they know - given where Spielberg is and what he does, this does make a lot of sense. I really can't imagine the citizens of Beverly Hills grimly determined to defend their homes against an invader...after all, it might wreck the exterior paint, and blood stains on the carpet? Just not to be done...

It is still an amazing thing that we have not had a score or more movies about the War on Terrorism - back during World War Two, Hollywood churned out movie after movie on the war and made a bundle doing it. There is a little bit of the war on the big screen, but not much - and this is more because Hollywood doesn't know anything about it and thus cannot put it on the screen. The sort of war Hollywood can write about is Vietnam - horrific Americans doing nasty things for no good purpose; heck, in such a setting, they can even make the odd American heroic, though only if he stands athwart the stated purpose of America in the portrayed war. But in a war between Americans and fascist terrorists? Doesn't fit the script.

First of all, I never got (and still don't get) the hatred for Hollywood. All of Hollywood is liberal and no one should care what actors think. Except for Arh-nold. And Reagan. They can run for office and do politcal stuff. But all other actors are dumb.

As for War of the Worlds, I liked 90% of it. As for the anti-America stuff... slacktivist explains it better than I could:

It's not surprising they don't like Wells' story. "War of the Worlds" is a political book. As Jim Emerson notes at, Wells explicitly compared the alien invasion of his book with the British imperialism of his time, including incidents like the decimation of the original people of Tasmania.

The book is an exercise in empathy -- what would it feel like to be on the receiving end of such imperial force.

The alien invaders arrive. We cannot understand them. Our best technology cannot harm them. They are inscrutable and unstoppable. There is nothing we can do.

That's what makes the book so enduringly creepy. Spielberg often captures this sense of inevitable doom, and the scenes in which he does are as unsettling as Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast of this same story in 1938. Right-wing critics of the film complain that Spielberg's hero, played by Tom Cruise, spends most of the movie running away and hiding. But that's the point -- there's nothing else he can do.

Empathy with the victim -- with the Tasmanians, or with the Mahdi at Omdurman, or the Wampanoag -- is not a favorite sentiment of the right wing. But there are other reasons they wouldn't like Wells' book.

These conservative film critic wannabes want a story to follow the moral outline of the old comics code or of Job's foolish friend Bildad. They want the good guys to be rewarded for their virtue and the bad guys to be punished for their vice. But Wells' story isn't about morality, it's about power. His Martian invaders have bigger, better weapons so they win and we lose. Period.

This, I think, is what the rightwing critics find most threatening in Wells' story and Spielberg's film. It vividly illustrates that might and right are not the same thing, that military superiority is not evidence of superior virtue. If the illustration of such a basic truth can now be interpreted as an "anti-American" political statement, that is neither Wells' nor Spielberg's fault.

Roger Brown

Sunday Column.

The first bit that struck me was his 'Indians should consider trading CC for Dunn' blurb. I couldn't disagree more. While I agree Sabathia needs to step it up, I don't condon trading a 24 year old left handed starting pitcher. He's been on all-star teams. Dunn could be good too, but you keep any decent starter you got.

Also, part of me believes Brown indirectly answered one of my emails I sent to him.

The email:
First off, I live in both Hudson and Columbus (when I'm at OSU) and I try to read you column whenver possible.

On the Z stuff, I agree, he's imobile and a subpar defender. And I think the Cavs signed him for too long. (The 3 year $30 million deal would've been perfect).

My question about Z is what center should the Cavs have gone after instead? It's not exactly like Hakeem was sitting around waiting to be signed. All the
centers out there (Curry, Chandler and Dalambert) were restricted. Could they have been a better fit than Z (especially with Hughes's lack of jumpshot)?
Possibly. But say the Cavs offer Curry a contract and the Bulls take the full 15 days to match it, and while the Bulls are taking their time, Z signs for big bucks in Atlanta. So now the Cavs have no center at all.

I feel the same way about all the media reports of LeBron leaving for a bigger market. What magical market is this? The Knicks with 5 shooting guards and
no cap room? The Lakers with Kobe and Odom? The Bulls, who will soon have no cap room? The Clippers? Yea, I get it, Cleveland isn't perfect, but before we
talk about LeBron leaving for a bigger market, what city out there has a realisitic shot?

My point is, I agree, Z does have some major faults in his game, but I fail to see which centers the Cavs shoud have gone after instead.

Ben Cox
He never sent me a response, but this was in his column today:

Apparently, the Cavs didn't bother to aggressively pursue mobile free-agent centers Samuel Dalembert (Philadelphia) or Eddy Curry (Chicago) - both restricted free agents - because they were sure those teams would match any offers. But what's the purpose of having nearly $30 million in available money (as the Cavs had) if you don't even try to pursue young, talented players like Dalembert and Curry. At worst, force the hands of their teams, both of whom are Eastern Conference rivals of the Cavs. It's as though the Cavs were terrified of hearing "No" if they pursued Curry or Dalembert instead of taking a more pro-active and aggressive approach.

Now, I made this arugment about Joe Johnson and Larry Hughes a few weeks ago, and for the shooting guard situation, I still believe it. But for the center spot, I don't.

The Wizards had angered Hughes and the Suns haven't done anything with Johnson. I believe Hughes could've still been had, even if the Suns took all the time to sign Johnson (but the Cavs didn't, which is why they run a basketball team). But with Z and the centers? Teams don't give up on centers, they just don't. Big men are over paid in the NBA.
So if the Cavs go after Curry.
And the Bulls figuring it wouldn't be in their best interest to let one of their own players go to a team in their division, match the contract.
And while the Bulls are taking their time, Z is insulted that the Cavs are going after other players and takes a ton of money from Atlanta.
So now the Cavs have neither Z or Curry. Great.

Rove: it's about Iraq

As I've been telling (annoying?) my friends about the whole Rove situation, it's just part of a larger picture on the Bushes whole Iraq War policy. Any information that didn't fit their point of view (ie: Iraq has WMD and works with Al Queda) they disregarded. And anyone who disagreed with them on anything, they smeared/slammed. Wilson and Plame are just part of a larger group of people, including Paul O'neil, Richard Clarke and Dick Durbin, that have been taken to the woodshed by BushCo.

Anyways, Frank Rich (and Americablog) talk about it better than I do.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cavs Stuff

The Cavs summer league team just went 6-0, the only team at the Las Vegas league who finished undefeated. Both Luke Jackson and Blake Stepp played well, both of their jumpers were falling, both of those guys couold really help out the Cavs this year if they can knock down open shots.

The Cavs also talked to the agent of free agent point guard Damon Stoudamire. I wouldn't mind picking up Stoudamire to play point for us. However, I think going after a power forward like Walker or Abdur-Rahim would be more important then a point guard at this point. I beleive Snow can start for this team next year, he used to for the Sixers, but I don't think they can go into the playoffs with Drew Gooden starting at PF for them.

Stole this from Justin

but still, shocked?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Cavs talking to Walker and Abdur-Rahim

Both would be a great fit for a power forward spot. They could score a ton of points with James, Hughes, Walker/Abdur-Rahim, Z and a pass first/3 point threat point guard.

That'd be a nice team there. I kind of like the idea of Antoine Walker. He doesn't have to lead or anything, he can be a vetern voice in the locker room. He's been to the Eastern Conference Finals before and he has loads of talent. AND he's gotten better at taking less threes (though not nearly enough).

Shareef Abdur-Rahim is a good player too, though he's never been to the playoffs before, so who knows how he'll handle it. Not to say he'd be freaked out or anything, but it'd be nice to have a starter with at least some extensive postseason experience.

Mark Cuban on the Good Ole Days

Great post by the Mavs owner.

This really reminded me of a conversation I had recently with some friends on 'how shitty things are now' compared to the 1950s. All the objectifying women in music videos and violence against women that goes on nowadays. Things have really gone down the tubes.

But 50s 'era' wasn't real, to me it's like the Matrix, a fake world. The 50s look good on TV with the cookie cutter houses and nice cars and rock and roll was innocent (aka hippie-less). There was no sex on TV and no violent and sexist music videos. Father knew best, everyone had white picket fences and little Johnny had a paper route. So it was a better time, right?

But there was segregation and out right racism every day. The real talents of Rock and Roll (aka black people) didn't get their due respect (publically). Husbands could legally rape their wives and rapes weren't reported as much. Lynchings, while not exactly common place, weren't exactly out of the ordinary either. Women didn't have the same oportunities on campus or in the work force. 50s idealism is easy, you don't have to deal with race or feminism (or dear god homosexuality) and you just live in a dream world with out any tough choices or thoughts.

So I'm with Cuban, the good old days weren't all that good and in 20 years we'll all be pining for the good old turn of the century days.

More Rove

Great thoughts here.

Billmon really explains things and keeps it extremely readable and easy to follow. Great stuff.

(I'm obsessed with the entire Rove scandal [maybe I shouldn't be?], so if you don't give a shit, sorry, bear with me)

London Bombing Stuff

This is a long post over at Americblog, but it is very important and it is very maddening.

The basic gist is: a while ago British and US intelligence caught an Al Queda (Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan) member and turned him into a mole. AKA they let him go back and talk to the other members, but he was now working for us. A lot of the guys he was talking have ended up being involved in the London attacks.

During the Democratic National Convention, the terror level was raised. People were (and should be) skeptical of why the terror level was raised during the Democrat's convention and part of the reason they gave was the capture of Khan. Well, all of the Al Queda members who were still speaking with Khan realized he was a mole and ran. British officials weren't pleased.

Super Heore Movies

A nice little article on CNN, it lets ya know what movies are in the various stages of production. Wonderwoman, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Thor, Captain America, Ghost Rider etc

Dan Le Batard

Wow. What great commentary! "If James decides to stay, the moves are brilliant, if he opts for a bigger marktet, they're a disaster."

Gee, thanks Dan. The Cavs offered all they could for Allen and Redd. They couldn't offer more money, end of story. Kind of like why Manny and Thome left the Tribe: $$$.

Would Allen or Redd help James out on offense? Hell yes! Did they both leave something to be desired on defense? Yes.

I agree Hughes may not be the perfect fit and they may have overpaid Z. But what moves should they have made? They couldn't get Allen or Redd, they just couldn't. It looks like the Suns will match whatever contract someone offers Joe Johnson. The Bucks WAY overpaid for Bobby Simmons. So what is this magic deal the Cavs should've done? What center should they replaced Z with? Where is this guy?

This reminds me a lot of the whole "James will leave for a big market" stories. Where is this big market he's heading to? LA with Kobe? The Knicks with a crappy team and 67 shooting guards under contract? The Heat with Wade? Where is James heading?

This is the kind of reporting that pisses me off, you're right, the Cavs could've really screwed up or really done well. Good job. It's either positive or negative. Good insight.

Looks, the Cavs are doing all they can to build a winning team in Cleveland. That includes having James re-sign, and if he gels with Hughes? Good. My problem is there's no center out there that could've replaced Z adequetly and there's no magic shooting guard (who they are able to sign) that can solve their SG problems. So lay off Ferry, what moves shoud've he made?

The team will be much better next year, count on that. They have a few more needs to fill (a bench, another PG and maybe a PF), but it's look up for the Cavaliers.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pluto on the the Tribe's Playoff chances


There's a lot of talk about trading for a veteren hitter. Especially one to play first, third or an outfield spot. The name I hear the most is Joe Randa from the Reds. I'm not big on Joe Randa, though he is hitting .300 this year, he is 35 years old. He's a career .287 hitter. Honestly, I haven't given up on Aaron Boone. I don't know, I think he could be here for a few more years (he's 32).

I have heard rumors (from my brother, but he's up in Cleveland with Cleveland sports talk radio, so who knows) about trading for one of the Reds outfielders. This I agree with. The player I'd least like to have is Adam Dunn. True, he can hit the ball a mile, but he strikes out more than I do at $1 mug nite. The Tribe wouldn't pay for Griffey (though it wouldn't be a bad fit, veteren guy, bring in some fans, he could DH or play right or left, keep him out of center where he'll hurt himself...) so that probably wouldn't be the guy. But Willie Mo Pena?

He'd be a great fit for the team and I think he'd be a guy they could plug into right field for the next 5 years. Have Pena, Crisp, Sizemore, Victor, Hafner, Peralta, CC, Westbrook and Lee be your foundation and get other guys as needed? Not too shabby.

Debunking Joe Wilson

well, really debunking the lies about Joe Wilson.

(Why all of this means something).

Kwame Browm Traded

to the Lakers. I like the move for both teams, however, I'm not sure I like it for Kwame Brown. It's obvious he had trouble dealing with the pressue of a number 1 over all pick and playing with Michael Jordan. So how about being in LA with Phil and Kobe? Is Brown supposed to be the number 2 guy there?

The reason I though he could do well in Cleveland is because the Cavs wouldn't need to rely on him. With LeBron, Z, and Hughes doin the heavy lifting, Brown could be free to find himself and fit in. There would be pressure on him, but not the way it was in DC or how it will be in LA.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Gov. Rankings

Look who's at the bottom with a whopping 17% approval rating.

The Dirtiest Joke Ever: NOT Coming to a Theater Near You


Pluto: Trade Drew

And I couldn't agree more. As Pluto says, Gooden doesn't get it. Some games he looks great, some games he looks terrible. His averages are ok, and compare favorably with Carlos Boozer. But Gooden wouldn't be consistant, some games he'd be a 20-10 guy, or even 20-15, but then the very next night it'd be 6-5 or 5-2.

Trading Gooden would be a good idea. Pluto doesn't have any suggestions, but I do. Call the Wizards, trade Drew for Kwame. Both are udnerachieving PFs and both could use the scenery change.

Coming This September

The 11th actually, American Dad, Family Guy and The Simpsons have their season premieres.

Plus that's the day I move into my new place.

A Religious Right Group Who Dislikes Bush

Because he's too left (ie, soft on abortion and homosexuality.)

Wow. That's all I got.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Z is back

Not that he really went anywhere.

The Cavs signed him for 5 years and between $55-60 million. Not too bad, but I'm kind of concerned about the number of years on that deal. The Cavs offered 3 years at first, and I thought that they would end up at 4, with the 4th year as a club option. But 5? Woah, I hope Z is still Z in five years.

This means the Cavs have about 5-6 millions left to find a PG and maybe a PF. It looks like either Antonio Daniels or Sarunus Jasikevicius will be splitting PG duties with Eric Snow next year. Either one should be alright, both can hit the 3. Family Guy-Simpson Feud Escalates

That's the head line, the article? Meh.

NEW YORK (AP) -- "The Simpsons" took a shot at fellow Fox cartoon "Family Guy." So that series' creator is taking a shot right back.

Seth MacFarlane said an episode of "The Simpsons" where a Homer Simpson clone was identified as "Family Guy" dad Peter Griffin was "definitely a slam."

But since the "Family Guy" team dishes out plenty of its own insults, it should be able to take some, MacFarlane told Blender magazine.

"To me, Peter is much more similar to Ralph Kramden than he is to Homer, right down to his voice," he said, referring to the character from "The Honeymooners." "That's what I see. But because 'The Simpsons' and 'Family Guy' are really the only two shows of their kind of television, there'll be comparisons made."

MacFarlane said he was definitely influenced by "The Simpsons."

"I mean, in its prime, it was one of the greatest comedy shows of all time," he said. "But it's not the show it was. It can't be. You can't do 16 seasons and be consistent."

Rove and stuff

Americablog is your one stop Rove shop recently, with all the news about Karl Rove and CIA outing.

Basically the White House was talking a big game about firing the leaker and that Karl Rove had no role in the affair at all. But it's now known that he did have a role (THE major role) in the whole case, basically committing a crime to and endangering someone to get back at a political oponent, and the White House is mum on the whole subject of firing the leaker.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Cavs Rumors

Marl Steine has the latest from Las Vegas (summer league):
Cleveland isn't worried about Hughes' perimeter shortcomings because it has the inside track on one of the best shooters available: Stein Line favorite Sarunas Jasikevicius.

Jasikevicius, spotted in London watching Wimbledon with Big Z (Ilgauskas) last month, is still being chased by several teams. Indiana's Larry Bird is a big fan who went to Israel late last season to visit the Maccabi Tel-Aviv point guard in person. And Portland, which boasts its own Lithuanian tradition after a long association with Arvydas Sabonis, is said to view Jasikevicius as an ideal veteran complement to the developing Sebastian Telfair.

Jasikevicius would be a great fit for the Cavaliers, espiecially with two Lithuanian centers on the roster. I guess he's not much of a defender, but you can teach defense, defense can be learned. But you can only teach so much shooting and you definitely can't teach clutch shot making, both of which Jasikevicus excels in.

Fantastic Four

I give the movie a solid B. Could it have been better? Of course. Could it have been worse? You bet. But I was never bored, I was into the picture the entire time and I enjoyed it.

What movies get critically panned and what movies get critically praised has become really interesting to me. Over at Rotten Tomatoes, Fantastic Four got a 26% Fresh Rating (meaning 26% of all reviews of FF are positive.) The Spiderman movies got a 89% and 93% rating, respectivelly.

To me, the Spiderman movies are a little bit better than FF, but not by too much. I didn't love the Spiderman movies like everyone else did, they were good, but nothing special, to me at least. Fantastic Four was the same way. Could some lines have been better? Yea, but name me a superhero movie without some cheesy lines.

But roam around the Ain't it Cool News website and read the Fantastic Four reviews, it's basically the worst movie made by humans. The Thing was supposed to look terrible, he should've been all computeres, like the Hulk. But I thought it looked great, I get taken out of the element when a character is too computery. The Thing could interact with the rest of the actors and I think it payed off.

So count me in the minority that says Fantastic Four wasn't a waste of money. Both the Spiderman movies and the X-Men movies were better, as was Batman Begins (X-Men and Batman Begins are the cream of the recent comic book movie crop IMO), but it was better than Daredevil, I can tell you that.

But the fact that Daredevil got a 46% Fresh Rating boggles my mind. I haven't seen the Hulk, but that got a 60%.

I don't get it. While I was home this past week I saw the Day After Tomorrow on DVD and I enjoyed it. It got ripped on (45%) and it was a bust. But I liked it, I would and do recomend it. I did have problems with it, but all in all it was pretty good. I saw War of the Worlds, which is basically the same movie, but instead of global warming changing human life forever it's aliens. I liked it a little better than Day After Tomorrow, but not by much, I still had some problems with it. But War of the Worlds got fantastic reviews (73%), and while I agree it's a better movie, it's not by too much.

Both movies had problems, but one got great reviews, is it just a Tom Cruise Factor? Spielberg factor?

But what do I know, I could could just have shitty taste in movies. Or I could've had lower expectations for The Day After Tomorrow and Fantastic Four and too high for Spiderman and War of the Worlds.

Republicans mad about Hilary

's coments.

So she compared Bush to Alfred E. Newman (the MAD kid), really, you're offended?

But Karl Rove can say Democrats/Liberals want to hurt the troops and give aid to terrorists and you're fine with that? Sweet.

Cavs Summer League

The Cavaliers have a nice summer league roster right now, with John Gilchrist of Maryland, John Lucas III from Oklahoma State and Luke Jackson from the Cavalier injured list.

I think both Lucas and Gilchrist have a very good chance on making the final roster, both are experienced college players and both can play some PG.

Harry Potter

The new book comes out July 16th (Saturday) and I'll be reading it (just ordered it on Amazon). However, the 4th movie just had a test screening.

And the reviews were great.

As always, it seemed the actors were spot on, Mad-Eye Moody and Voldemort were great. The same problems came up as with the other ones. The pacing of the film was a bit off and if you didn't know the book, you might have problems following the movie. Also, because the 4th book is so large, a bunch of stuff had to get cut out, so book purists may have a problem. But this was a test screening, so the pacing and stuff can be corrected.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Daily Howler

Good stuff, this is an older one, but still good.

We can’t explain why our current lib/Dem elites are so intellectually lazy. It has now been several years, but they keep repeating this hopeless meme—and going down in flames when they do. The conversation is hopeless but constant. Here is the way it works:

LIBERAL/DEMOCRAT: Bush lied when he said there were WMD!

MODERATOR: But Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Dean all said the same thing.

LIBERAL/DEMOCRAT: Yes, but what I really hate is when Bush or Powell said [move on to different complaint]...

We gave up when we saw Wolf do it. When Howard Dean did it eight months later, enthusiastic e-mailers wrote us, saying how brilliant he’d been.

For ourselves, we’d guess that Bush did think he would find some WMD in Iraq (see text from Fred Kaplan below). Indeed, Woodward directly asserts that Tommy Franks did believe there would be WMD. But a simple reading of basic texts show us how the Admin talked “shit” in the wake of the Downing Street memo. Yes, Clinton and Gore and Kerry did say that they thought there were WMD in Iraq. (Gore said it a few weeks after the Downing Street memo. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/3/04.) But they didn’t go out and lie through their teeth about the state of Saddam’s scary nukes. They didn’t go out and pimp those tubes in ways that were plainly inaccurate. They didn’t go out and talk that “shit” about the 45-minute attack. They didn’t go out and fake the intel about those scary unmanned aerial vehicles (Woodward, page 246) or about those scary trailers (Woodward, page 247). Nor did they talk about uranium from Niger, whatever you’ve decided to think about that. Did George Bush say there were WMD? Duh! So did every major Dem! For this reason, this is the weakest case against Bush—but lib and Dems just love to push it.

9/11 Movie

I thought it'd be a bit longer before we got to see a major motion picture about 9/11.

Guess not.

The good news it, it doesn't seem like it'll be a love story within a tragedy (Titanic style). But who knows?

Where the Cavs Roster Stands

Via the PD.

They are listing the Cavs roster by positon and then saying which free agents are possible. I'm glad they mentioned Kwame Brown at PF, that's the first time I've seen someone say the Cavaliers are interested in Brown. The article also says the Cavs are looking at Damon Stoudamire as a PG possibility. I haven't heard about that until today, where it was another article in the Plain Dealer.

New Macca Album

Who knows how it'll be. I know I'll probably be buying it.


Terry Pluto loves the move.

and Bud Shaw is sold as well.

Personally, I'm not thrilled with the move, but I don't really have a problem with it. I still would've rather had the Cavs make the Suns match an offer we made to Joe Johnson. Make them take on a ton of money.

But I don't know Hughes's (Hughes'?) time table. The Cavs could've offered Johnson a contract and Phoenix could've taken their time matching it. By the time they did, both Hughes and Johnson could've been off the market and the Cavs would've signed no one.

I don't know, this could work out great, I just don't have a good feeling when's headline for the move is "Cavs settle on Hughes." Your big free agent move is considered settling... great... Hooray Cleveland!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cavs reach deal with Hughes

Not sure how I feel about this.

5 year deal at 12 million per year.

Still, I would've prefered if they at least made Phoenix match an offer to Joe Johnson. I mean, at least max out Johnson and make the Suns think about it. And I actually would've rather had Bobby Simmons to Hughes because of Simmons 3 point shooting. I just have a nagging feeling that with Z and LeBron, Hughes isn't a good fit.

Now if they do a sign and trade to Denver for Andre Miller and Nene for Z.... I'll see...

And I hear that LeBron wants Eddie Curry, so if the Cavs replace Z with a more athletic big man, then hughes might be a good fit.

Also, take a look at Vlad Radmonovic from the Sonics, with McMillan gone, they might be able to grab him. Because you need a 3 point shooter. Also, offer a contract to Kyle Korver, make the Sixers match that too.

Conservatives on Evolution


Arabs and Regular People

Fox News: Classy

Maddox hates Blogs

And other trendy words.


Blog: The word "blog" is literally shorthand for "boring;" a vulgar, overused word that strikes your ear with the dull thud of a cudgel to the soft spot of a child. It's an abbreviation used by journalism drop outs to give legitimacy to their shallow opinions and amateur photography that seems to be permanently stuck in first draft hell. Looking in the archives of the blogs, one would expect someone who has been at it for years to slowly hone their craft and improve their writing and photographs, since it's usually safe to assume that if someone does something long enough, he or she will eventually not suck at it. Even with lowered expectations, you'll get a shotgun blast of disappointment in your face.

Liberal media: Whiny, bitching, cry-baby conservatives love to prattle on and on about the "liberal media." To be fair, except for FOX News (Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, Neil Cavuto, Steve Doocy, E.D. Hill, Brian Kilmeade, Brit Hume), Clear Channel, Laura Ingraham, Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Ann Coulter, Newsmax, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, The New York Post, Sinclair Broadcast Group (WLOS13, Fox 45, WTTO21, WB49, KGAN, WICD, WICS, WCHS, WVAH, WTAT, WSTR, WSYX, WTTE, WKEF, WRGT, KDSM, WSMH, WXLV, WURN, KVWB, KFBT, WDKY, WMSN, WVTV, WEAR, WZTV, KOTH, WYZZ, WPGH, WGME, WLFL, WRLH, WUHF, KABB, WGGB, WSYT, WTTA), David Horowitz, Rupert Murdoch, PAX, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, they're right.

More London Stuff

A really interesting point about the London bombings (read the whole article, it's not long):
Overlooked by most media outlets (but not by London bloggers) in the Edgware Road and Aldgate bombings is the very interesting fact that all the bombs were set off in or near the most heavily muslim neighborhoods in the UK -- or in western Europe, for that matter. One can see why the bombers avoided Gleneagles; as to logical London targets, one could conceivably argue that Whitehall or Westminster are too tough to penetrate for even the most ingenious death cultist.

But why on earth would muslims set off so many bombs in their own mini-capital, as it were?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Simmons on Simmons

Sports Guy's article on Cavalier interest Bobby Simmons.

Redd signs with the Bucks


Now I would offer a ton of cash at Joe Johnson and make the Suns pay a ton to match. And I'd take a look at Bobby Simmons of the Clippers.


Sick. Prayers are with all of England, obviously.

Though, the one thing I'm going to hate is that the cable news media is going nuts over this. Anytime something big happens they just go nuts, Reagan's Death, Tsunami, Shiavo, etc.

Not to say this isn't newsworthy, of course it is. It's a tragedy. However, with every news station looking for their own angle and exclusive, sometime real news gets ignored. But right now the news will be bordering on exploitation of the bombing.

Fox News: Classy

via Atrios.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A reason I vote Democrat



Michael Redd is visiting the Cavaliers today. The fact that he's meeting at all, is a good sign. The Bucks offered the max money, the Cavaliers can't come close to that, so the idea that the meeting is taking place is a good thing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ray Allen

re-signs with the Sonics.

Now the Cavs must REALLY pursue Michael Redd. They cannot lose out on Redd and Allen (and Joe Johnson, but he's third on the list due to his restricted contract with the Suns).

Rick Santorum: Classy

Good stuff.
"The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor,
low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the
economic ladder is just wrong." (It Takes a Family, 138)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Wedding Crashers

The first reviews I've seen. Needless to say, I'm pumped.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Cavs are waiting on Z and Redd.

Looks like the Cavs offered Z a 3 year 30 million deal, which is pretty fair. The article says that the Cavs will probably add a fourth year if Z meets certain contract requirments.

Redd is going to be visiting Cleveland in a few days, both the Cavs and Bucks offered Redd the maximum they could, so it's all gonna be on the Cavs selling James.

Pluto's Sunday column is good yet again, and he's got more Cavalier advice:
• ``Your problem isn't your center -- it's your guards. They don't score,
and except for Eric Snow, they don't defend.''
• ``Drew Gooden is not the answer at power forward. You need to get a shot blocker/rebounder next to
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, or really develop Anderson Varejao. Trade Gooden, or at
least bring him off the bench where he can score against backups.''
• ``You know you need a shooting guard.''
• ``You need a clear system of how to defend the pick-and-roll and other basic
principles, and you can do that without exposing Ilgauskas all the time -- which
happened last season.''
• ``Coach Mike Brown has told you that he'd rather deal with a few non-defenders who can score rather than some non-shooters -- because he believes he can develop some team defense where players help each other. That's another reason to keep Z. As Brown said, it's very hard to teach a non-shooter to shoot.''
• ``You need Z and another scorer to change the late-season mentality of LeBron James, who lost confidence in his teammates. Z had the broken finger. No one else could make a shot. LeBron shot too much, and passing remains the heart of his game. Watch the ball move if you have Z and Michael Redd or someone else at shooting guard.''

Agreed, Gooden isn't good enough to be starting and the guards last ear didn't recieve nearly enough grief for their terrible defense. The poor backcourt defense really hurt Z, because he had to step up to challenge the shots of the penatrating guards, getting himself in foul trouble (or his guy getting a dunk, cause lord knows Gooden can't rotate).

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Bucks offer Redd the max

It will be about 80 or 90 million for 6 years. The Cavs can only offer 5 years and 70 some million. Now, I love Michael Redd, but I don't know if he's worth 90 mil. However, I've said it before, if the Cavs want a top flight SG, they are going to have to overpay for him.

The Cavs two priorities are Z and Redd, but they could quickly move to Ray Allen and Joe Johnson if Redd takes the max deal. However, people are saying that because Redd didn't take the deal right away, the Cavs have a chance.

Karl Rove: Classy

Valerie Plame case, leaked CIA agents name. All signs point to Rove. Perjury.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Simmon's Trade Value

Like thinking up NBA trades? Me too.

Signing Z

At the end of last season, Z was at major odds with the Cavalier managment. It seemed they were way off on money and that they weren't too interested in re-signing him.

Then they hired one of Z's first friends in basketball, Danny Ferry, to be the GM. That went a long way to bridge the gap.

Now they traded for Martynas Andriuskevicius, a kid from Z's hometown who shares the same agent. This could do a lot to help re-sign Z.

George HW Bush's

Physician wrote a op-ed.

Bill O'Reilly

Wrong. Wrong on purpose.