Archive for January, 2010

Japanese Baseball II

After my missive on the Nippon Ham Fighters I got a couple of responses. Morty Lambstershank mentioned the Okinawa Disturbed Chicken Livers and Chris Burns wrote about the famous “breakfast bowl” between the Nippon Ham Fighters and the Tokyo Egg Beaters, and as Devil Dick asked, I will draw my idea for the Ham Fighters mascot as soon as get some more crayons. Such an outpouring of interest made me want to delve deeper into Japanese Baseball, especially interesting team names. Here is a list of some more major and minor league team names I found interesting, most of these teams are current but a few have either changed their names or have disbanded:
Nishin Studious Hawkmen
Hirosaki Creme DeMenthe
Ichihara Honorable Flea Wings
Imabari Potato Fish
Kurume Joseph Stalins*
Ogori Sleepy Dimples
Iwaki Friendly Musk Oxen **

*Changed their name from the Kurume Dutiful Himmlers in 1946, team disbanded after the 1953 season
** Changed their name to Iwaki Friendly Yet Purposeful Musk Oxen in 1996

I Like Records 26 (dvd’s)

We had bought a stack of used DVD’s, mostly junk and in the pile was a movie called DEATH RING starring; Norris, Drago, McQueen, and Swayze (listed last names only, a red flag). from just a quick glance I thought that must be a really late, close to death Steve McQueen (or maybe footage cobbled together after his death) if he’s in a movie with Chuck Norris, and Patrick Swayze. I also thought that maybe I had stumbled onto a cool guilty pleasure movie like Road House. I looked closer and was CHAD McQueen (son of Steve), MIKE Norris (son of Chuck) and DON Swayze (brother of Patrick). The most high profile name on there was Billy Drago who was last seen in The Adventures Of Brisco County Junior. I think we put out Death Ring for $3.99, which is overpriced.

Something I like

a somewhat disappointing logo considering the name

After yesterdays corrosive, scattershot, fairly obvious (nobody has ever commented on douchey Mac/Apple fans) rant, here’s something I like. The Japanese baseball team The Nippon Ham Fighters. Actually I just like the name,  I haven’t done any research on the team but it seems pretty great that a team has an aggressive pork product as it’s name.   I’m imagining a pig with boxing gloves as it’s mascot or a giant canned ham with cartoon eyes and gritted teeth. Of course Nippon Ham is probably just a corporation that makes industrial corrosives or something, but I really dig the name.

I Hate Me, Part 226,902

late for practice

The day started of great and got progressively worse, mainly because of the weather.
It was my day off today and I got up early to drive my step-daughter to school. It was an amazing day, real stormy and rainy. A great day off. Later in the morning I got a large coffee and drove down to the beach and just sat by the ocean, couldn’t be better. I had to work for a couple of hours pricing a shitload of records we just bought, but that was cool. I was at work for a couple of hours and… What the fuck, it got sunny out. I hate great stormy days that get sunny. We should have a social contract with nature, start stormy and end stormy. It wasn’t even  “thank Christ the storm is over”, blue sky and bright sunshine. It just stopped raining and the sky turned a yellowish grey as if nature couldn’t be bothered and just went “Eh, I’m not really feelin’ it today”. Anyhow that soured my day. Much later I had band practice and I had to get fliers for a show photocopied and I went to Staples. You have to buy a card and copiers use the card, so I go to put the dollar in the card machine. The dollar I used was horrible, very wrinkled with a tear on it and of course the machine wouldn’t accept it. So instead of getting a different dollar, I tried to force it in and took it as a personal affront that the card dispenser wouldn’t accept my wretched dollar. I shook it so hard that if it was a pinball machine it would have lit up “TILT”. Amazingly it finally took the dollar and copies were made. I also had to get markers and the line was slow and stupid. I begin to realize that I’m going to be late for practice if this line doesn’t start moving faster. The woman in front of me, after questioning every price (“Oh, it’s a mail-in rebate,mmmm…”) is finally leaving when the cashier asks her if she wants a coupon for a PC cleaning. Instead of just saying “no, thanks” she acted like she was being offered a plate of shit “Oh, no…no,no. We don’t have a PC (she made a lemon face), we have a Mac (condescending smile) ”. Who gives a fuck if you have a Mac. I love Mac’s, I’m writing this on one, but fuckin’ Apple disciples can be douche bags . I still have to get coffee for practice so I go to the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru. At night it’s usually empty, there’s just one car in front of me. Great. I pull up to the window and I wait and wait. I start to look at the car in front of me, It’s festooned with christian stickers; “Keep Christ in Christmas”, not one but two Jesus fish and something that I think reads “My Other Car is The Rapture”, and I’m still fucking waiting. The guy at the window starts handing out bags of food and a bunch of coffees, not just two or three but twelve to fifteen coffees. This shit just kept coming. Finally it ends and I pay for my coffee and for fucks sake, the Jesus mobile in front of me is stopped. They seem to be sorting out the coffee and food, which is fine. What’s not fine is that they’re blocking the exit while doing it. A glare, a beep, and I’m out of there. I’m not late for practice, yet. So I decide to take a short cut. I don’t have much luck with short cuts, but like Charlie Brown and the football I’ll always try. This shortcut involves crossing train tracks. I’m gonna fucking make it. No. You’re. Not. I have to sit thru not one but two trains. And I’m late for practice, ugh.

I Like Records 25

the artist sometimes known as "borg"

It was a monday, Martin Luther King day. Chris was on vacation and I was covering for him, we were kind of busy and short handed.

[KEY: – woman, + me]
There was a middle aged woman looking thru the metal section and she stopped me;

– Do you got Useborg?

Now I’m thinking that she’s in the metal section so “Useborg” must be some kind of metal band, maybe some obscure Norwegian black metal band that I never heard of.

+ Is that a metal band?

– No, used Borg.

+Used “Borg”? Is Borg some kind of Star Trek band? (yes, I used to watch Star Trek)

– No, Borg, that Finnish girl. She sings. You know, B-J-O-R-J-G-Something.

+Do you mean Bjork? B-J-O-R-K from Iceland.

– Well, I think it’s pronounced “Borg” but yes that’s who I’m looking for. Do you have any used cd’s from her.

+ We don’t have a list of what’s used, but here’s her section.

– (she stares at the name on her cd section) Bjork, huh. I’m still pretty sure it’s pronounced “Borg”

I’m a goddamned idiot, and I couldn’t let it go.

+ Yeah, but there’s no “G” in her name

– Well, she is foreign.

+ So you’re saying they might pronounce “K’s” as “G’s” in Iceland.

– Maybe

I gave up and walked away.

Coakley’s loss explained

A&P news service , Kevin Appier

After the devastating loss in Tuesdays election there are many questions about the campaign that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley ran. Upon further investigation it appears that New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya was running Ms. Coakley’s campaign. An anonymous source connected to the Massachusetts Democratic Committee is quoted as saying “Sure, Minaya’s fingerprints are all over this debacle.  The gaffes, the whole Don’t worry we’re fine attitude. Yeah, that’s all Omar”.  New York Mets officials and Mr. Minaya’s personal representatives have denied any connection with the election. Ms. Coakley’s staff could not be reached for comment

Around Red Bank

a farewell to Outlet

Could they have put maybe a little more effort into naming this place. “Outlet”? That’s just one step above calling a place “Store (we sell things)”. Outlet was a store that just appeared one day, already with going out of business signs in the window. So maybe I’m wrong and they’re not going out of business, maybe they’ll be a fixture of Red Bank’s downtown for years to come. It’s hard to tell, or care.

Letters, January 2010

Dear Sirs,
As the owner of Precision Marble & Granite I see that you made fun of our sign (“Around Red Bank” 1/7/2010). If you had the decency to come in and ask about it instead of skulking around like paparazzi I could have explained it. As the sign indicates, Precision Marble & Granite specializes in oversized marble and granite pencils. These are mostly used in school literacy fundraisers. Let me tell you, nothing opens up purse strings faster than a giant marble pencil. We’re also in the process of reviving the ancient greek myth of “Tompo” the greek god of literacy. Tompo who resembles Zeus but with giant pencils instead of lightning bolts will surely inspire children to read and perhaps write. So far we have retrofitted seventeen Zeus statues into Tompo statues using our giant marble pencils. Your mocking story was hurtful and we are waiting for your apology.
John Precision
Precision Marble & Granite

Upon reading your “news” blurb about Harry Reid’s prejudiced shin bone (1/11/2010), I was moved to write you. Harry Reid’s left shin is one of the most tolerant shin bone’s in the whole of these United States. I can remember when Harry Reid’s shin (not the rest of him, who was busy elsewhere) was part of the march on Selma in 1965 and gave as rousing a speech as any bone I’ve ever had the privilege to see speak, and I’ve seen plenty! In 1966 Robert Kennedy’s right knee cap gave a fiery speech about unions and I was there and when I was a child I saw Lou Gehrig’s thumb bone give his famous “I’m the luckiest thumb bone on the face of the earth speech” and…..what? …….stop writing and go home!?….Look, I was promised rye toast if I wrote this and rye toast I will have…goddammit!….
Meadowlark Lime

Dear Blog,
After reading your story about Tavern on the Groin (1/4/2010) I started checking to see if there were any other racy or salacious gentleman’s clubs named after New York landmarks. After days of exhaustive investigation I found a few; Splay Stadium out in Flushing Queens, in Manhattan there are The Fulton Flesh Market, The Pimp-Pire State Building, Hump Towers, and Lady Liber-Teeze. I vow to continue my investigation.
Thank you for your time.
Elliot Spitzer (not that one, a different one)

A word about Snol Tempson

In a recent blog (1/13/10, I Hate Me, part 166,303) I recounted a thrilling story where I couldn’t come up with folk artist Dave Van Ronk’s name and blurted out the name, “Snol Tempson”. Well thanks to astute friends of the blog J. McBain and C. Burns (check comments on 1/13/10’s blog) I found out that Snol Tempson is more than something my mind vomited up in a fit of early senility, HE’S AN ACTUAL PERSON! (let that sink in). Here’s what we pieced together from wikipedia and other sources.
Born Lonnerton Snol Tempson in the late 1920’s to itinerant slush farmers in western Sweden, Tempson was abandoned at an early age and was raised by snow, or as he later referred to it “father snow and mother ice”. He learned how to play guitar by stringing yarn across reindeer antlers. His first album, the unfortunately named Hitler of Folk was released in 1943. it was a rough time for Sweden and many thought that a Nazi invasion was imminent. In a 1963 interview in Folk Folks Magazine Tempson addressed this topic “Well you see, I thought that we were going to be overrun with the nazis and I was scared and I wanted to get out in front and let them know, I would play ball with them”. Songs like “Deaths Head Rag” and “Give me an H (for Hitler)” earned him the hatred of the entire Swedish nation and after the war he moved to Austria where his next LP was the mewling love letter to Russian leader Josef Stalin, Stalingrad-Stalin, Grand! Not much is heard from Tempson until the middle 1950’s were he settled in America and recorded a series of forgettable albums for the Forkways imprint (other artists on the Forkways label were Barb Dylan, Feet Seger, and the Kingston Duo). His final album on Forkways was the anti-anti-segregation record, 1963‘s Segregation is Hip! Not much is known about what happened to him after that. There are reports that he was seen on a Cambodian cable access show called Hot Tubbing with Pol Pot in 1976 singing a song called “Re-education is Where It’s at”. After that the trail runs dry and the mystery of Lonnerton Snol Tempson grows.

Boy, 8, on TSA watch list

By Ray Sedecki
The New York Time

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), under intense scrutiny for its handling of terror watch lists in last month’s Christmas bombing attempt, has on its Web site a “myth buster” that attempts to reassure the public.
Myth: The national No-Fly list includes an 8-year-old boy.
Buster: No 8-year-old is on a TSA watch list.
“Meet Osama Bin Laden Jones,” said Eva Braun Jones, introducing her 8-year-old son, a New Jersey Cub Scout and frequent traveler who has seldom boarded a plane without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person. “It’s not a myth.”
Osama Bin Laden Jones’ mom initially sensed trouble when he was a baby and she could not get a seat for him on their flight to Florida at an airport kiosk; airline officials explained that his name “was on the list,” she recalled. “We just liked the name when little O (“O” is the child’s nickname) was born, it’s very musical sounding. We didn’t know he shared it with the most known terrorist in the world.” Ms. Jones continued “We’ve had problems with our other children’s names as well; Saddam Hitler Jones who is now 12 years old, and our youngest Mussolini Klansman Jones who just turned two.”
Representatives for the Jones family say they are in discussions with the A&E network for a proposed reality show called “Watch List!”