Cute Pictures and Emailz ...

You can almost hear this baby saying "what the blazes is THAT!"

"June is bustin' out all over" .....


Keek booooo ! I can seeee ya ......


Hi Folks,


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a very Happy New Year - the above pictures fairly cheered me up and I am enclosing them with good wishes from the land of the tartan - I also received the undernoted goodies too and I hope you enjoy them !
~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic
entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old, I thought as I stared at the stooped, shrivelled body. But the appalling thing was his face--lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night.

I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning." He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face...I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..." For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us.

"No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.

On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

"Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!" Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

(Received from the Inspireme.net system - I really enjoy these stories with a message and hope you do too).

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

This next one is a bit 'tongue in cheek' but fun just the same ...

Hi ,

Just before the end of the year I wanted to thank you for the emails you have forwarded over the year. I must send a big thank you to whoever sent me the one about rat crap in the glue on envelopes, because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing. Also, I now have to wipe the top of every can I open for the same reason. I no longer have any savings because I gave it all to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time. But that will change once I receive the £15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft are sending me for participating in their special email programs. Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me to split seven million dollars with me for pretending to be a long lost relative of a customer who died intestate. I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.

I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward emails to seven friends and make a wish within five minutes. I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains. I can no longer buy petrol without taking a friend along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up. I no longer go to shopping centres because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me. I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number and then I'll get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan . I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my bum.

I can't even pick up the £5 I found dropped in the car park because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

If you don't send this email to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhoea will crap on your head at 5:00pm tomorrow afternoon and fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbour's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician.

By the way....a South American scientist after a lengthy study has discovered that people with low IQ who don't have enough sex, always read their emails while holding the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.
Regards,


Well...... I thought it was funny!




Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.


Stabbing, and on a Scale of One to 10, It's a Seven

What is the deal with Rick Moranis?

He's so Rick Moranis-y.

That will make a lot more sense later.  Maybe.

In the course of holiday socializing, the conversation often turns to life and what, in particular, you are doing with yours.  When this happens, I usually try to look like I can't be bothered to contribute because I'm listening so hard.  My gaze burns into the side of Boyfriend's head and I nod and squint my eyes like I was previously unaware of his occupation.  Oh my God!  That's where you go every day? I thought you were out giving blow jobs to support your crack habit... what a relief!

I start to panic because I know I'm next.  After Boyfriend has informed everyone that he is working on curing cancer, using phrases like "retrovirus vector" and "endogenous," someone will turn to me and say  "So Allie, what are you doing for work these days?"

Me:  "Me?  Oh... uh... I'm blogging?" 

I usually say it like I'm asking a question, like I am completely unsure of whether or not it is true.  Blogging?  Maybe.  It depends on how you feel about the subject.  I do know that there aren't any retrovirus vectors involved.

Friend:  "What?"

Me:  "I write a blog? On the internet?"

Friend:  "Oh... what is it called?"

In this moment, I frantically try to determine whether the people around me are the type to be easily offended by the word "fuck."  I try to think of some way I could test it.  Like maybe I could say "it's fucking called Hyperbole and a Half, motherfucker!!" But that might come off as rude.  I could lie.  I could tell them that I write a blog called "The Awesome Charity for Cancer and AIDS and Diabetes and Ebola and Other Deadly Things That Need Awareness Too Blog," but they'd find me out sooner or later and then I would never be able to see them again without having some long, awkward discussion about how they tried to check out my website but, for some reason, Google didn't show any results for "The Awesome Charity for Cancer and AIDS and Diabetes and Ebola and Other Deadly Things That Need Awareness Too Blog."  At that point, I'd pretty much have to bank on the fact that maybe they don't understand the internet and make up something about Google boycotting AIDS awareness.   No.  I have to tell the truth.

Me:  "Hypermehehshs nnd a Hsss...."

I try to say it really fast out of the corner of my mouth.

Friend:  "What?"

Me:  "Hyperbole and a smfl."

Friend:  "Hyperbole and a what?"

Me:  "and a Half?"

Friend:  "Oh!  What's it about?"

Me:  "Humor?"

Friend:  "Like what kind of humor?"

This part kind of feels like when you're in the doctor's office because your whole body hurts and you are pretty sure that you have ebola, but you don't want to offend the doctor by diagnosing yourself, so you just say "I'm in pain" and the doctor says "describe the pain..." and you say "it's pain-y" and the doctor says "okay... but where?"  And you say "Everywhere" and the doctor says "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?"  And you say "Eight?" because you have no idea where the scale starts or ends, but you've never given birth, so you're pretty sure it isn't a 10, and maybe that one time you shut your fingers in the door was a nine and the time you got kicked in the arm by a horse was a seven, and eights sound reasonable, so you just blurt it out - but with a question mark in case you're wrong.  Then the doctor says "Is it a throbbing pain or a stabbing pain?" and you want to shout "IT FEELS EXACTLY LIKE AN EBOLA PAIN AND WE CAN'T WASTE ANY MORE TIME DISCUSSING IT BECAUSE I'M GOING TO BLEED OUT AND TURN INTO A ZOMBIE IN LIKE, FIVE SECONDS!!!!" Then the doctor says "Ebola doesn't turn you into a zombie..." and you say "What the hell kind of medical school did you go to??  They didn't even prepare you for a zombie massacre??"

But instead of trying to lead a doctor to the conclusion that I have ebola, I'm trying to lead my friends to the conclusion that I am funny.  Only I can't just tell them that I am "stabbing funny and on a scale of one to 10, it's a seven."  Because that doesn't make sense.

I usually end up saying something like "observational humor" and my friend says "Like Seinfeld?"

And then the conversation derails and suddenly we're talking about how I should start every post by saying "What is the deal with ________??" And I didn't even get to convince them that I'm funny and they are going to visit my blog expecting Seinfeld, but they aren't going to get Seinfeld.  They are going to get clown AIDS and Wolverine and Rick Moranis.

So I've decided that I need to come up with a good description.  Something that says "I'm funny, but that's just what other people think and I would never say that about myself because I'm modest.  And if you are terribly offended by Jesus jokes and the word 'fuck,' you may be disappointed with me, but can we still be friends?"  It needs to sound as cool as "retrovirus vector," but not quite as serious.  Like if you were to put a little hat on it and make it dance around to Ragtime.  Something that lets people know that I am not really at all like Seinfeld, but I appreciate his comedy and I hope to one day be famous like him which will definitely happen so they should watch their backs because pretty soon I'll be rich enough to hire my own mafia and then I won't need to explain my blog.

Truthfulness


I feel as though I have been collecting thoughts about truthfulness lately. First there was the work on Bernard Williams and my paper about his great truthfulness and realism, and since then there has been Isak Dinesen on truthfulness, Andre Gide on truthfulness, and now the Oresteia -- also about truthfulness and deception.

With Williams I thought of one of the final lines in Shame and Necessity, where he writes that of all the modern ideals we have (many of which are flawed, misleading and harmful), there is one we may hold on to -- that human beings should live without lies. I've been thinking about this and thinking about how harmful it can be to tell oneself falsehoods about oneself, one's actions and one's world. But I also must recognize that it cannot always be harmful. Dinesen gives us two ways of thinking of this --

In the story "The Roads Round Pisa," the main character begins --

How difficult it is to know the truth. I wonder if it is really possible to be always truthful when you are alone. Truth, like time, is an idea arising from, and dependent upon human intercourse. What is the truth of a mountain in Africa that has no name and not even a footpath across it?

And if truth needs human intercourse, truthfulness about oneself and one's world must also need human intercourse -- and so we have a reliance on others -- a need for friendship and love--

So your own self, your personality and existence are reflected with the mind of each of the people whom you meet and live with, into a likeness, a caricature of yourself, which still lives on and pretends to be, in some way, the truth about you. Even a flattering picture is a caricature and a lie. A friendly and sympathetic mind, like Karl's, he thought, is like a true mirror to the soul, and that is what made his friendship so precious to me. Love ought to be even more so. It ought to mean, along the roads of life, the companionship of another mind, reflecting your won fortune and misfortunes, and proving to you that all is not a dream. The idea of marriage has been to me the presence in my life of a person with whom I could talk, tomorrow, of the things that happened today.
And in a different story we see a different way of approaching truth and truthfulness. In "The Poet," the Councilor notices his young bride's "extreme disregard of truth."

He himself was a rearranger of existence, and in many ways in sympathy with her; also he found her methods to fall in well with his own plans. But more than once this talent of hers impressed him. It was, he reflected, an especially feminine trick, a code de femme of practical economy, proved by innumerable generations. Women, wanting to be happy, are up against a force majeure. Hence they may be justified in taking a short cut to happiness by declaring things to be, in fact, that which they want them to be.


And at the end of the book, when she ends the life which is already ebbing from him, she thinks --

Just because it suited him that the world should be lovely, he meant to conjure it into being so. Perhaps he would hold forth on the beauty of the landscape. He had done that to her before. Perhaps he would tell her that it was her wedding day, and that heaven and earth were smiling to her. But that was the world in which they meant to hang Anders.

And so she kills him.

What do these passages show us? I'm not sure yet, but I do think that these are themes that are immensely important -- what is it to be truthful and how far must one be truthful? What does it mean to seek the truth, especially when it is about life and human interactions? It cannot mean what Gide accuses the philosophers of doing -- the "mathematicians or neo-Kantians" who "kept as far away as possible from troublesome reality, and were no more concerned with life than the algebrist with the existence of the quantities he is measuring." Seeking truth and being truthful must not require a step away from life -- whatever that means.

But can we still be rearrangers of existence? I think it's probably unavoidable -- but how should it be done? I used to rearrange existence in a way that was not healthy, I can recognize that now, but I cannot now know whether the small moves I make to understand and deal with my world -- the small adjustments of existence -- are also healthy. It seems I cannot easily (or ever?) evaluate my own truthfulness. And perhaps this is the reason for thinking of truth and truthfulness as dependent upon others -- that to be truthful about oneself we must have others to confirm our assessments and to teach us where we have gone wrong.

In another story of Dinesen's, a character notes that he does not trust a certain priest, for he was wary of those in life who had "neither taken part in an orgy nor gone through the experience of childbirth, for they are dangerous people." I think this captures something I am mistrustful of in many philosophies, something which Williams has also given me good reasons to suspect (among others). The philosophies that seek to detach themselves from life, or seek to condemn the messy bits of life -- they are misguided and they are antithetical to living itself. What value in a philosophy which has no power over life, which closes its eyes to life and contemplates something it finds more pristine, more manageable? There is something ridiculous and excessive about life -- which Dinesen writes of well -- who, if they were making up the world, fresh out of her own imagination, would make up the bits about love, forgiveness, and the sufferings of creativity?

Truthfulness


I feel as though I have been collecting thoughts about truthfulness lately. First there was the work on Bernard Williams and my paper about his great truthfulness and realism, and since then there has been Isak Dinesen on truthfulness, Andre Gide on truthfulness, and now the Oresteia -- also about truthfulness and deception.

With Williams I thought of one of the final lines in Shame and Necessity, where he writes that of all the modern ideals we have (many of which are flawed, misleading and harmful), there is one we may hold on to -- that human beings should live without lies. I've been thinking about this and thinking about how harmful it can be to tell oneself falsehoods about oneself, one's actions and one's world. But I also must recognize that it cannot always be harmful. Dinesen gives us two ways of thinking of this --

In the story "The Roads Round Pisa," the main character begins --

How difficult it is to know the truth. I wonder if it is really possible to be always truthful when you are alone. Truth, like time, is an idea arising from, and dependent upon human intercourse. What is the truth of a mountain in Africa that has no name and not even a footpath across it?

And if truth needs human intercourse, truthfulness about oneself and one's world must also need human intercourse -- and so we have a reliance on others -- a need for friendship and love--

So your own self, your personality and existence are reflected with the mind of each of the people whom you meet and live with, into a likeness, a caricature of yourself, which still lives on and pretends to be, in some way, the truth about you. Even a flattering picture is a caricature and a lie. A friendly and sympathetic mind, like Karl's, he thought, is like a true mirror to the soul, and that is what made his friendship so precious to me. Love ought to be even more so. It ought to mean, along the roads of life, the companionship of another mind, reflecting your won fortune and misfortunes, and proving to you that all is not a dream. The idea of marriage has been to me the presence in my life of a person with whom I could talk, tomorrow, of the things that happened today.
And in a different story we see a different way of approaching truth and truthfulness. In "The Poet," the Councilor notices his young bride's "extreme disregard of truth."

He himself was a rearranger of existence, and in many ways in sympathy with her; also he found her methods to fall in well with his own plans. But more than once this talent of hers impressed him. It was, he reflected, an especially feminine trick, a code de femme of practical economy, proved by innumerable generations. Women, wanting to be happy, are up against a force majeure. Hence they may be justified in taking a short cut to happiness by declaring things to be, in fact, that which they want them to be.


And at the end of the book, when she ends the life which is already ebbing from him, she thinks --

Just because it suited him that the world should be lovely, he meant to conjure it into being so. Perhaps he would hold forth on the beauty of the landscape. He had done that to her before. Perhaps he would tell her that it was her wedding day, and that heaven and earth were smiling to her. But that was the world in which they meant to hang Anders.

And so she kills him.

What do these passages show us? I'm not sure yet, but I do think that these are themes that are immensely important -- what is it to be truthful and how far must one be truthful? What does it mean to seek the truth, especially when it is about life and human interactions? It cannot mean what Gide accuses the philosophers of doing -- the "mathematicians or neo-Kantians" who "kept as far away as possible from troublesome reality, and were no more concerned with life than the algebrist with the existence of the quantities he is measuring." Seeking truth and being truthful must not require a step away from life -- whatever that means.

But can we still be rearrangers of existence? I think it's probably unavoidable -- but how should it be done? I used to rearrange existence in a way that was not healthy, I can recognize that now, but I cannot now know whether the small moves I make to understand and deal with my world -- the small adjustments of existence -- are also healthy. It seems I cannot easily (or ever?) evaluate my own truthfulness. And perhaps this is the reason for thinking of truth and truthfulness as dependent upon others -- that to be truthful about oneself we must have others to confirm our assessments and to teach us where we have gone wrong.

In another story of Dinesen's, a character notes that he does not trust a certain priest, for he was wary of those in life who had "neither taken part in an orgy nor gone through the experience of childbirth, for they are dangerous people." I think this captures something I am mistrustful of in many philosophies, something which Williams has also given me good reasons to suspect (among others). The philosophies that seek to detach themselves from life, or seek to condemn the messy bits of life -- they are misguided and they are antithetical to living itself. What value in a philosophy which has no power over life, which closes its eyes to life and contemplates something it finds more pristine, more manageable? There is something ridiculous and excessive about life -- which Dinesen writes of well -- who, if they were making up the world, fresh out of her own imagination, would make up the bits about love, forgiveness, and the sufferings of creativity?

Wordweaving


[Serafini via Giornale Nuovo]


Long, long stretches of silence this year, and as it ends I think of how little I say here and how I am to think of that. I'm reading Anne Carson's Oresteia and relishing language again -- savoring words like dreamvisible, griefremembering pain, allenveloping doom. I love this and yet it pains me a bit because I think of how little time I have to soak up these words and to play with them. Yesterday, as I traveled home I slipped sideways into that travelmind which besets me and thought of beautiful phrases and important ideas and then they left me, gusted away and forgotten.

There will be time yet, I know, to dwell on these things and lay them out slow and careful and maybe sometimes fitfully -- the language I want to play with and weave and set down. But now I do these other kinds of thinking and writing and I must guard carefully those chances to lay my mind down upon beautiful language, terrible language. But still I wonder -- why are these things segregated? Why not describe Spinoza's theory of adequate knowledge using words like those Aiskhylos uses? Well, perhaps because that would take a greater mind than my own. I must compartment out my thoughts and words and relish those few moments where insight arcs across the space between and a true idea fires in my mind.

There is not a little nostalgia in the ending of this year -- nostalgia for a present that might have been -- but it is so heavily tangled up in great joy and satisfaction and abiding happiness that I must see it clearly and dismiss it as something for another time. Wordweaving and scenemaking for another time -- now is the time for peopleloving and crisp thought.

Wordweaving


[Serafini via Giornale Nuovo]


Long, long stretches of silence this year, and as it ends I think of how little I say here and how I am to think of that. I'm reading Anne Carson's Oresteia and relishing language again -- savoring words like dreamvisible, griefremembering pain, allenveloping doom. I love this and yet it pains me a bit because I think of how little time I have to soak up these words and to play with them. Yesterday, as I traveled home I slipped sideways into that travelmind which besets me and thought of beautiful phrases and important ideas and then they left me, gusted away and forgotten.

There will be time yet, I know, to dwell on these things and lay them out slow and careful and maybe sometimes fitfully -- the language I want to play with and weave and set down. But now I do these other kinds of thinking and writing and I must guard carefully those chances to lay my mind down upon beautiful language, terrible language. But still I wonder -- why are these things segregated? Why not describe Spinoza's theory of adequate knowledge using words like those Aiskhylos uses? Well, perhaps because that would take a greater mind than my own. I must compartment out my thoughts and words and relish those few moments where insight arcs across the space between and a true idea fires in my mind.

There is not a little nostalgia in the ending of this year -- nostalgia for a present that might have been -- but it is so heavily tangled up in great joy and satisfaction and abiding happiness that I must see it clearly and dismiss it as something for another time. Wordweaving and scenemaking for another time -- now is the time for peopleloving and crisp thought.

The DNR 25: #23 Todd Jones


Full Name
Todd Barton Givin Jones

DOB
4/24/68

College
Jacksonville State University

Drafted
1989, First Round (27th pick), Houston Astros

MLB Seasons
1993-2008

Tiger Seasons
1997-2000, 2006-2008

Career Stats
58-63, 319 SV, 3.97 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 111 ERA+

Career Leaderboard
2000 All Star
2000: 1st in saves (42)
2004: 1st in relief wins (11)
All Time: 14th in saves (319)


Best Tiger Season
Though 2000 was Jonesey’s year as an All-Star, I think ’97 was his best year as a Tiger. He only saved 31 games compared to the 42 in 2000, but his ERA was better (3.09 vs. 3.52), his WHIP was better (1.357 vs. 1.438), and his ERA+ was awesome in ’97 (148 vs. 133). Sadly, it would go overlooked as the Tigers were terrible for so long.

Little Known Fact
Although Todd is a right handed pitcher, he bats left handed. He never does anything the easy way.



Reason For Being On The List
More than any player I’ve ever watched (with the possible exception of Alan Trammell), there’s never been a guy more proud to be a Detroit Tiger. Jones actually cried in a press conference when he was traded to Minnesota in 2001 for Mark Redman. Granted, I wouldn’t want to play in the Metrodome, either, but for Todd it was upsetting because he loved Detroit and the Tiger fans so much. You don’t see that much anymore in today’s players.

And though I’ve made it clear that I think saves are overrated, Todd is the Tigers all-time leader in the category. When you mention the word “closer” to a Tiger fan, they’ll probably come up with the names of Hiller or Hernandez. But Jonesey has more saves than any of them.

He always had a great sense of humor (as you can see in the above pic imitating Magglio) and was always available to the fans. While the guy could be a roller coaster on the mound much of the time, Jones was a guy that you felt good rooting for. And he was a better pitcher than he got credit for, much of the time, too.

What Happened To Him?
Injuries and age caught up to Todd in 2008 leading him to retire before the end of the season, ushering in the brief Fernando Rodney era in Detroit. He still writes for “The Sporting News” in every issue and works as an advisor to the local high school and middle school baseball teams in Pell City, Alabama where he lives with his wife, Michelle, and their children, Alex and Abigail.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.

I'm Not Wolverine

Remember when I was like "I'm going to be the best blogger ever!  I'm going to post three times a day over the holidays!"

That's easy to say when you are ankle deep in a string of Rick Moranis posts and you're still filled with that Christmas optimism that says "I will be able to find the time.  Fourteen people staying in one house?  I'm staying in that house too?  Bring it on!  I'll find time to blog no matter what because I'm the awesomest blogger ever!  I'm unstoppable!  I'm like Wolverine!"

In hindsight, I can see that getting your hopes up was foolish.  I am a mortal blogger sharing a house with 14 people, several of which are small children, I've had a hangover for three days now and I'm pretty sure that I've succeeded in giving myself Type II diabetes, so that will need to be attended to as well.

What I'm trying to say is that I overestimated myself.  I'm not like Wolverine.  I'm more like that one guy whose only power is the ability to resemble a chicken.  Only I don't even have the ability to resemble a chicken.  At least not convincingly.  I mean, I can do a pretty awesome chicken impression, but I doubt I could fool anyone for even a second into believing that I am an actual chicken.

Crap.  Boyfriend just found me.  I've been hiding upstairs, huddled in the least trafficked corner of the house, trying to write as quickly as possible before I am called downstairs to eat something called a "Dutch Baby," which I am told it similar to a pancake, but I'm not buying it.  Why would it be called a Dutch Baby if there were no babies in it?  Either way, it sounds like a conspiracy to me and I'm probably going to be making my first foray into cannibalism.  Wish me luck.

Anyway, Boyfriend walked in on me blogging in my corner and it was kind of like I had been caught eating an entire cake by myself or shooting up heroin or something.   He was like "Are you blogging??"

Me:   "Yes.  And you can't stop me."

Boyfriend:  "I wasn't trying to stop you."

Me:  "Good.  Because if you did try, you would not succeed."

Boyfriend:  "What are you blogging about?"

Me:  "About how I'm like Wolverine but actually I'm not like Wolverine because I'm more like the guy who can turn into a chicken.  But I can't turn into a chicken."

Boyfriend:  "I see... so you can't turn into a chicken?"

Me:  "No.  But I can do a pretty good chicken impression."

Boyfriend:  "Prove it."

Me:  :>  (That's the emoticon for "impressively accurate chicken impression")

Boyfriend:  "If you don't put a picture of yourself doing that on your blog, I will be angry and I will stop loving you.  And I will set you on fire."

Well, he didn't actually say that last part, but that was my interpretation of what he meant when he said "You should put a picture of that on your blog."  His face is really what did all the talking.

At any rate, I don't know if it would be a good idea to try to cram my first experience of cannibalism, the realization that I am more like a chicken than Wolverine, the demise of my relationship and being set on fire all into one day... So I'm posting the chicken picture:



If you look really closely, you can tell I'm not actually a chicken.  I'm just pretending and it's nowhere near good enough to be considered a superpower.  Yet.

I Bet This is Exactly What Blogs are Intended For

Boyfriend was like "I don't know if multiple posts consisting almost entirely of the same picture of Rick Moranis is something that other people will find funny..."

I beg to differ...


Another Post on Christmas Eve? I'm Pretty Much a Hero



False alarm.  It's just another picture of Rick Moranis.

If This Post Doesn't Convince You To Subscribe to my Blog, I Don't Know What Will

Legend has it that many bloggers don't post very much during the holidays.  I was like "I'm not going to be like that... I'm going to be the best blogger ever!  I'm going to post three times a day!"

And here I am, on Christmas eve, posting a picture of Rick Moranis:



Consider it an early Christmas present.

You're welcome.

Christmas Eve 1881 ...


Hi Folks,


This is a great Christmas story, it's a long read - but very worth it ... enjoy !

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.

We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what..

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said.

"Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for an other armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up."

I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true.

I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face
again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.


At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say , May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.


Don't be too busy today. Share this inspiring message.

God bless you!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR



Lots of Love Kate xxx.

Available Free Agents

Quick post for now, my friends. I think we all can agree that the Tigers may/should still be looking for cheap options in the form of a left handed bat, as well as a right handed reliever. Here's a quick look at guys still on the free agent market that shouldn't be too expensive. (via MLB Trade Rumors)

Bats
Hank Blalock
Russell Branyan (maybe too expensive after last year?)
Jack Cust (already rumors connecting him to Detroit)
Eric Hinske
Mike Jacobs
Garret Anderson (Type B FA)
Cliff Floyd
Scott Podsednik (rumors...ugh)
Ryan Church
Jason Giambi
Jim Thome (how much can he demand anymore?)

Arms
Mike MacDougal
Danys Baez
Joaquin Benoit
DJ Carrasco
Chad Cordero
Kelvim Escobar (more Tiger connected rumors)
Bob Howry (Type B FA)
Jason Isringhausen (37 years old)
Justin Speier
Jeff Weaver (doubt it)

Any ideas from you kids? Is trade the better route?

Or do we need more lefties out of the pen? Harf, harf...be back in a couple days with #23 on the DNR 25. Hint: It's another fat guy.

12 Emoticons for the Advanced Writer

Have you ever been overcome with an emotion but unable to find the right emoticon to express yourself?  The answer is yes.  And I'm going to help you.

*:0 = "MY FACE IS ON FIRE!!!!"

!,! =  "Hi.  I am a rabbit"

% = "I feel like I am a mosquito looking directly at you."

|:( = "I am displeased with my unibrow."

<:( = "Pointy hats make me sad."

>:( = "Now my hat is upside-down and I don't feel any better about it."

(::::) = "I feel like I am the underside of a pregnant dog."

:0& = "I LOVE PRETZELS!!!! NOM! NOM! NOM!"

:*( = "You make me cry sparkly tears."

{:| = "I am a Frenchman."

Q:| = "I'm Davy fucking Crockett."

:$ = "I am trying to look unimpressed, but someone drew a squiggly mouth over my real mouth and this must be terribly confusing for you.  I am sorry."

My moans - again / A Soldier's Poem ...


Awww... filled photos ...





Hi Folks,


As I write this I'm totally fed up! 'ONCE AGAIN ', I have a flippen tooth abscess - the third in a year and I'm ready for climbing the walls ...... am scunnered, weepy, sore and feeling really sorry for myself because my face is 'fair loupin'. I know there are millions of folk who would swap with me and who would think an abscess was nothing, but this is Sunday and it has been going on since Friday night so I'm knackered too.

This then has been my weekend . I look forward to a third night tossing and turning with no sleep. Tomorrow ( hopefully) I will see my own doctor for antibiotics and perhaps then the ruddy great lump on my face will reduce and perhaps 'next' week I will be able to get the dentist to fix my teeth..... FLIPPEN NORA !!!

No wonder my blood pressure is high HUH ? By the way, in the Glasgow area loupin means throbbing or extremely sore - as in 'Ma heid's loupin.'
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

I received this in an email recently from my brother in law and it is so touching that I couldn't resist posting it here...... I should be ashamed of my previous moaning and rants in this post - having just reread the undernoted poem again ... God forgive me and God look after all the Servicemen and Servicewomen who are separated from their families and doing their jobs in the war zones of the world.

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE IN A
ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE...
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE AND TO SEE JUST WHO, IN THIS SMALL HOME DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE - NO TINSEL NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE... NO STOCKING BY THE MANTLE JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND ON
THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF A FAR AWAY LAND - WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS.THEN A SOBER THOUGHT CAME INTO MY MIND FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,T'WAS THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME...

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN DISORDER NOT HOW I PICTURED A LONE SOLDIER..WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ,CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED ? I REALISED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT OWED THEIR
LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS, WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT
AND SOON ROUND THE WORLD THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY AND
GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY .

THEY ALL ENJOY FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR BECAUSE
OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
I COULDN'T HELP BUT WONDER, HOW MANY ALONE,ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME?
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY THE SOLDIER AWAKENED, I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE "SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE. I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS"
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP. I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL AND WE BOTH SAT AND SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHTS CHILL.
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE, ON THAT COLD DARK NIGHT, THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR, SO WILLING TO FIGHT..

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE
WHISPERED "CARRY ON SANTA, CHRISTMAS DAY IS SECURE" ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT -
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND - AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!"

THIS POEM WAS WRITTEN BY A NEW ZEALAND PEACE KEEPING SOLDIER STATIONED OVERSEAS.

THE FOLLOWING IS HIS REQUEST - I THINK IT IS REASONABLE.

PLEASE WOULD YOU DO ME THE KIND FAVOUR OF SENDING THIS TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN ...

CHRISTMAS WILL BE COMING SOON AND MUCH CREDIT IS DUE TO OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN FROM 'ALL THE AIRTS AND PAIRTS' OF THE WORLD FOR OUR BEING ABLE TO CELEBRATE THESE FESTIVITIES. LET'S TRY IN THIS SMALL WAY TO PAY BACK A TINY BIT OF WHAT WE OWE!



Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.

Great Explanation 1 / Great Story 2 ...



Hi Folks,

As I sit here and take a glimpse out of the window the snow is falling steadily and it looks like we will have snow scenes here for the next few days according to the weather forecast...... If it wasn't for the fact that I still need to buy a few presents yet I would be for sitting in front of the fire ...... I must admit that my warm and cosy lounge does look rather inviting - will need to get the Christmas decorations and tree up later today too...... so much to do and so little time ! I always seem to be at the coo's tail these days.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
GREAT EXPLANATION ???
The wife came home early and found her husband in their bedroom making love to a very attractive young woman.
And she was somewhat upset. 'You are a disrespectful pig!' she cried. 'How dare you do this to me -- a faithful wife, the mother of your children! I'm leaving you. I want a divorce right away!'
The husband replied, 'Hang on just a minute love so at least I can tell you what happened.' 'Fine, go ahead,' she sobbed,' but they'll be the last words you'll say to me!'And the husband began -- 'Well, I was getting into the car to drive home, and this young lady here asked me for a lift. She looked so down and out and defenseless that I took pity on her and let her into the car. I noticed that she was very thin, not well dressed and very dirty She told me that she hadn't eaten for three days. So, in my compassion, I brought her home and warmed up the enchiladas I made for you last night, the ones you wouldn't eat because you're afraid you'll put on weight. The poor thing devoured them in moments.
Since she needed a good clean-up, I suggested a shower, and while she was doing that, I noticed her clothes were dirty and full of holes, so I threw them away. Then, as she needed clothes, I gave her the designer jeans that you have had for a few years, but don't wear because you say they are too tight. I also gave her the underwear that was your anniversary present, which you don't wear because I don't have good taste. I found the sexy blouse my sister gave you for Christmas that you don't wear just to annoy her, and I also donated those boots you bought at the expensive boutique and don't wear because someone at work has a pair the same.'
The husband took a quick breath and continued - 'She was so grateful for my understanding and help that as I walked her to the door, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said,

'Please .. Do you have anything else that your wife doesn't use??







Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.

Shit That's a Lot of Toys... (A Christmas Story)

When I was young, I always looked forward to receiving the Oriental Trading Company catalog in the mail.  The Oriental Trading Company catalog was magical.  You could get 200 toys for under twenty dollars.  Yes, they would probably be tiny, rubber pieces of fruit.  Or plastic whistles shaped like pianos.  And they would probably have faces.  And the faces would look like they were painted by a thumbless epileptic with a depth-perception problem, but you could get TWO-HUNDRED of them.  OH. MY. GOD.  How awesome would it be to have 200 toys?

My mom would hand us the Halloween or Thanksgiving edition of the Oriental Trading Company catalog and ask us to circle the toys that we wanted for Christmas.  She learned early on that if she waited for the Christmas edition to come out, we wouldn't get our toys until April and she would have to buy us emergency-replacement toys from K-Mart to keep us from leveraging the injustice whenever we wanted a puppy.

I spent hours studying the Oriental Trading Company catalog's glossy pages, trying to figure out how to obtain the most toys possible.  My mind raced with the possibilities:  "If my mom has one hundred dollars and I am willing to overlook the fact that my toys will probably be an assortment of random objects with monstrously deformed faces painted onto them, I can get... let's see... ONE THOUSAND TOYS!!!"





The situation became slightly more complicated when I reached the plush toy section of the catalog and noticed that I could get twelve zoo-animal puppets for twenty dollars.  I wanted the zoo animals.  I really did.  But for the same price, I could get almost ten times as many "assorted toys."  This was a weighty decision for a nine-year-old.



I would try to bargain with myself and work out exactly the right ratio of quality to quantity, but it is hard to argue with quantity and greed almost always won out.

On Christmas morning, I would feel so self-satisfied, knowing that I had maximized the number of presents I would get to unwrap.  I remember watching my sister unwrap the two or three expensive items that she selected from Oriental Trading Company and thinking "She's so stupid.  I'm going to get at least two-hundred times as many toys as her..."

Three days later, my sister would be playing contentedly with her super-deluxe farm animal play-set and I would be eyeing her with jealously, having run out of ideas for how to have fun with two hundred plastic banana-whistles.

Long Division Isn't Real


I was looking through my unpublished entries this morning and I found this:

4
th grade – The year I was homeschooled.  Mom had to bribe me with strawberry-orange-banana juice to get me to do my shoolwork.  

Mom had a psychological breakdown over teaching me long division.
  I hated long division because it looked more like dance-choreography than math and I was pretty sure that it wasn't actually real and my mom was just fucking with me for entertainment. 

My mom was like "First, you draw a line with a little hang-y tail!
  Then you write the big number inside the little half-box.  Then you write the little number on the outside!  Now, divide the the little number into the littlest part of the big number that is at least as big as the little number.  It probably won't fit exactly, but that's okay.  Figure out how many times it fits all the way and write that number on top of the box.  Now, write the number that the little number does fit into underneath the number that it doesn't fit into and subtract them.  Then draw a line.  Then write your answer under the line.  Then bring the next number in the big number down next to the number you just wrote.  Then hop on one foot and punch yourself in the face while singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star... "





IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!  Why would anyone do that with numbers?


To this day I am resentful of that stupid half-box with the little hang-y tail.  It should never have gotten involved in math.  It drastically altered my ability to take math seriously.

P.S. 
 I'll write a real post for you later today.   


Tis The Season To Be Surly


I run a sports bar in Southeast Michigan. And around the holidays, people are dicks. Shopping, traffic, family…it all is too much to bear for a lot of folks. So, they take it out on us. Needless to say, my job sucks this time of year. People are jerks and it’s made me cranky. I swear, one more dumb thing and I’m going to snap…

Oh. Hello, Jamie. Didn’t see you come in.

I wasn’t’ going to do this anymore, but geez…I’ll try to be nice.

What comes below ‘F’?

Not sure. But, I’m pretty sure “U” comes after it.

The Tigers entered the off-season needing to shore up the starting rotation

Done. Max Scherzer is, at worst, at Edwin Jackson’s level. And Phil Coke appears to be set to be given a shot at joining the rotation. He had good numbers as a starter in the minors. Plus, Jeremy Bonderman should finally be coming back. We’re paying over $20 million to Nate and Dontrelle, so they have to be given a shot. I don’t see them returning any money to find another starter. And of course, Verlander is God. There's really nothing more than can be done at this point.

and the bullpen

Daniel Schlereth and Brad Thomas have been added. Schlereth is being touted as a young Billy Wagner. Thomas has been very good overseas and could be this year’s Fu-Te Ni surprise. Joel Zumaya’s also coming back again. There’s a slew of young pitching talent from the minors that’s going to be trying to make the club. Plus, they’re looking at other players as we speak including Kevin Gregg, Kelvin Escobar, and others. Don’t forget, the World Series only ended a month ago. You don’t sign every free agent the moment the champagne is uncorked. Why are we grading the offseason after only 40 or so days?

and add a dependable bat to the lower third of the lineup.

Says who? Did I miss the memo where we were going to replace Laird, Everett, and Inge with Joe Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, and A-Rod? They still have their commitment to defense with the re-signings of Everett and Santiago. Laird’s role will be reduced next year in an increased role for Alex Avila or Robinzian Diaz. That can only help his production, not being forced to catch every day. And as much as I like to crap on Mr. Brandon Inge, he was hitting the ball pretty good last year before his knees blew up. He should be healthy again by springtime. With this crew, we almost finished in first. And at the very least, they aren’t going to be worse than last year.

Instead, they’ve subtracted.

Granderson and EJax were two guys. Add in Rodney and Lyon. That makes four. Scherzer, Coke, A-Jax, and Schlereth are four by themselves. So we’re even. Add in Diaz and Thomas. Now we’ve added two. Oh…Polanco. Still up one. I’m confused…who are we talking about in your math? Does the offseason suck because Dusty Ryan was DFA’d?

Gone are the top two guys from the lineup last season.

Who struggled to get on base all year. Which is why we couldn’t score runs.

Gone is the setup man.

If you were honestly behind topping the 3 years/$15 million that Houston gave to Lyon, please begin pounding your testicles with a hammer. It makes as much sense.

Gone is the No. 2 or No. 3 starter, depending on who you ask.

Jackson pitched like a #5 starter the second half of the season. He’s also pitched like that for his entire career with the exception of the first half of last year. We got a guy in Scherzer who many people, including myself, think is going to be awesome. Seeya, Edwin. Thanks for three good months.

And unsigned is the closer who saved 97% of the games he could.

That idiot wants $30 million over three years. And his 4.40 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 104 ERA+ don’t justify half of that. Saves are the most overrated stat in baseball, too. Who doesn’t know this by now?

So I’m having a hard time seeing how a team that fell just short of the playoffs in 2009 is somehow magically better.

We aren’t better. But who is in the Central? The Twins have lost their security blanket of the Metrodome which always added 10 or so wins to their total every year. The White Sox keep adding guys to the team (Pierre, Rios) that couldn’t get on base consistently if you set the ball on a tee for them. The Royals are still the Royals. Cleveland is an abortion. I’d say we’re still where we were last year. I’m sorry, but Curtis Granderson is not Manny Ramirez, okay? And with Nate, Dontrelle, Bondo, and possibly Magglio’s contracts going bye-bye after 2010, I’d say we’re looking REALLY sweet for the future.

Are they financially healthier? Perhaps. And that’s what this off-season is all about.

In that case, give them an “A”. Success!

As stunned as I was by the Curtis Granderson trade a few weeks ago, I was more stunned at the vitriol that spewed from fans and (some) media. All of a sudden, if you liked Granderson as a player, you were labeled a homer and a dope who doesn’t understand baseball. It almost seemed like there was a calculated effort to discredit Granderson and his accomplishments on his way out of town. That would be so unseemly, I couldn’t imagine it happening. Could it?

Yikes. Let’s start with the fans. Not (some) fans…all fans. Really, dude? Is there ANY Tiger fan out there that was happy to see Granderson leave? I’m the most bitter person I know, and I loved Curtis. But I understand the move, as I outlined in my last post. Every Tiger fan comment I’ve seen online has gone something like this: “GRANDYZ GONE? Dumbroski should be fired! Trade drunk Cabrera instead! LOLZ!”

As for the media, with the exception of Lynn Henning, I don’t get who you’re talking about. Most posts and articles I’ve seen have been of the “sky is falling” variety. Just not to the extent of yours.

But are they better? Please.

Haha…I just imagined you saying “n-word please”. Made me laugh. It’s funny when Dave Chappelle does it…why not Jamie Samuelsen?

Maybe Max Scherzer will be an upgrade over Edwin Jackson. Maybe. But remember, at the end of the season, the Tigers were forced to throw Alfredo Figaro in a crucial game, so they’re not exactly rich in starting pitching.

These two topics have nothing to do with each other. Um, if EJax was still in the D, does that mean Figaro doesn’t pitch? But he did…I don’t understand. And we got Coke, who’s going to get a shot to start. Two starters instead of one. Silly goose…

Maybe Scott Sizemore will end up being a good second baseman. Maybe. But he’s not better than Placido Polanco right now.

A week and a half ago, you said letting Polly go was a good idea. See? Well, which one is it, Mr. Smarty Pants?

Maybe Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth will be good additions to the bullpen. Maybe. But will they be better than Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney were last season? That’s a pretty tough standard to beat.

Maybe Jamie Samuelson will make a good argument one day. Maybe. But not in this article.

If you give Lyon what he got in Houston and give Captain Crookedhat what he wants, that is $45 million over three years. We’ve established that your math skills are goofy, but that is just insanity. And again, Rodney is terrible. If your idea of a “tough standard” is Fernando Rodney, then your standards are worse than Britney Spears’. I do miss K-Fed, though…

And maybe Austin Jackson will be better than Granderson. Maybe. But Jackson hasn’t even shown yet that he’s deserving of a spot on a big-league roster. So I’m not yet ready to elevate him past a player who hit 30 homers in 2009, even if he struggled against lefties and did all that pesky charity work that kept him away from the hitting cage.

Anyone that expects Austin Jackson to immediately step in, from his first ever at bat, and make people forget about Granderson has a severe learning disability. Comments like this are the kind of thing that are going to turn the sheep fans against the kid from the get-go.

I also like that you focused on the ONE stat of Granderson’s that hasn’t been rapidly declining over the past couple years. And as for the charity work? Is it too much to ask that for the duration of the baseball calendar that a guy you are paying millions to, I don’t know, focus on PLAYING F-ING BASEBALL? Save the charity work for the offseason. It’s cold in December…kids need the attention more then.

When you fall a game short, you owe it to your players and your fans to improve the team the following year.

The Tigers were in first all season and their attendance was down quite a bit. Less money in the bank and not much of a commitment from the fans, either. And with Magglio, Guillen, Nate, Dontrelle, Bondo, and Cabrera sucking up the cash that’s there, where are they supposed to be getting the money that it’s going to take to bring in free agents when other clubs are out there giving stupid contracts out like Lyon’s? And where is the “one game short” rulebook that you have? I have misplaced mine, it appears.

Instead, the Tigers chose to look to the future. And maybe this off-season will be deemed a huge success in 2012 or 2013. But in terms of contending in 2010, it’s a failure.

Whatever, man. Dombrowski did what he thinks is best for the team. We are going to contend in 2010. Our division is too poor for us not to…just like last year. I hate to break it to you, but the Detroit Tigers were not a very good baseball team in 2009. Wanting more of the same is just foolish. But these moves have given us a great head start on 2011, 2012, and beyond.

I understand that people are upset over losing a decent ballplayer and a wonderful guy in Curtis Granderson. I’m going to miss him, too. And it’s not going to be easy watching him hit 35 home runs in New York’s ridiculous ballpark. But Double D did the right thing here. If you have to give him an “F” for that, so be it. Your school sucks.

There. I feel better. And I wasn’t even that mean. My Christmas gift to you.