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Berry's World
Saturday, November 22, 2003
 
BRAND BETHANY HAMILTON?

Bethany Hamilton is the 13-year-old surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. While you might think she would have had her fill of sharks, you'd be mistaken, as Hamilton has hired Roy Hofstetter to be her manager. In fact, Hofstetter was hired within 48 hours of the shark attack.

Hofstetter has big plans for the surfer.

"What I'm trying to do is make this 15 minutes of fame into Brand Bethany Hamilton," Hofstetter told the Associated Press.

In addition to Hamilton making media appearances on Good Morning America, 20/20, Inside Edition, The Today Show and guests spots on the respective talk shoes of Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Geraldo Rivera, Hofstetter claims he is in talks for Hamilton to get a movie deal, a reality show, a clothing line, a speaking tour, and a book deal.

Further, a website has been set up that has photos of Hamilton that can be downloaded, but only AFTER you agree to make a donation to Hamilton or the photographer who took the pictures. The photographer? Noah Hamilton, the brother of Bethany.

"This is a really amazing story that will last many years," Hofstetter said.

This brings to mind the great quote: "You'll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the average
American
". (I would attribute this quote, but checking around the net, I saw it attributed to J.P. Morgan, P.T. Barnum and H.L. Mencken.)
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WILL GERAGOS PLAY THE RACE CARD?

The opening discussion on The Chris Matthews Show concerned Michael Jackson, and whether his attorney, Mark Geragos, will play the race card.

My only question is, what race?
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SAY IT AIN'T SO, SPEEZ

In baseball news, the LA Times (among others) is reporting that the Anaheim Angels have signed or will soon sign free agent pitcher Kelvim Escobar to a three year contract at about 6 million a season. At first blush, this news did not thrill me, as I had Escobar on my fantasy baseball team (The Van Nuys Hamsters) both in 1999 and 2000 when the righthanded power pitcher had an ERA of about 5.50 and gave up dingers like he was going to the chair. However, Escobar's stats over the last three seasons, when he was both a closer and a starter, seems to show improvement. On the bright side, Escobar's price is right. For the three years of the contract Escobar will be paid about 18 million dollars, which isn't bad considering the Angels will pay Kevin Appier 12 million dollars to pitch for the Kansas City Royals next season. (Thanks again, Mo Vaughn).

In other, more dreadful news, it appears that fan favorite Scott Spezio, who hit the most important homerun in Angels history, appears to be heading elsewhere. The Angels don't want to offer Spezio arbitration as he will almost assuredly increase last seasons salary of 4.25 million dollars. The Halos figure they can sign somebody like Robert Fick to play firstbase for much less money.

Spezio cemented his place in the hearts of all Angel fans when he homered in the 7th inning of Game 6 of the 2002 World Series, cutting the San Francisco Giants lead to 5-3. The Angels rallied to win 6-5, and then beat the demoralized Giants in Game 7 to win their only World Series.
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THE THRILLER IS GONE

The Bloomington (Ind.) North High School marching band has nixed the song Thriller from their playlist for their appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Band Director Thomas Wilson said playing one of Michael Jackson's signature songs would not be 'appropriate'.

I don't know about that.

A bunch of underage kids playing a song in which the singer attempts to scare the listener to the point where the singer and listener '...cuddle close together all thru the night' actually seems perfectly 'appropriate' to me.
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GO BLUE!

Today's rivalry game between Ohio State and Michigan offers me a unique twofer. Usually, I root against Ohio State simply because I hate them. Today I get to root against them because I hate them AND a loss by the Buckeyes and a win by USC almost assuredly puts the Trojans in the BCS National Championship Game.

UPDATE: We're halfway home, as Michigan beat Ohio State 35-21. I guess it's true. Trees in Michigan do lean to the south because Ohio State sucks.

UPDATE: The Men of Troy beat UCLA like they stole something, 47-22, and barring an upset at the hands of Oregon State in two weeks, USC will face Oklahoma in the National Championship game. Memo to Bob Stoops: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
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Friday, November 21, 2003
 
WELL, THAT SAYS IT ALL, NOW DOESN'T IT?

Fox News has an Associated Press story with a headline that speaks volumes:

Officials: U.S. Short on Intelligence in Iraq
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I REALLY SHOULD DASH OUT TO BLOCKBUSTER

In celebration of her 40th birthday, Nichole over at Passenger Pachyderms gave us a list of the movies that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture in her lifetime. While looking over the list it dawned on me that, while Nichole has seen every winner over the last decade, I have only seen 4 of the 10 winners.

I've seen: Forrest Gump, Braveheart, American Beauty, and Gladiator.

I've missed: Schindler's List, The English Patient, Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, A Beautiful Mind, and Chicago.

In my defense, I started to watch A Beautiful Mind with my ex-girlfriend but we started messing around and, well, I never got around to watching the whole thing.
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AH, MY FANS

After a mention on Orcinus, I got several bizarre and mindless e-mails concerning my disgust with the invective fired at former First Lady Barbara Bush. Here is the winner:

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 16:22:58 -0500
To: chinmusic41@yahoo.com
From: "Michael DeWitt Adams" | Add to Address Book
Subject: Calling an Evil Fucking Cunt an Evil Fucking Cunt? What's the problem limp dick.

Calling an Evil Fucking Cunt an Evil Fucking Cunt? What's the problem
limp dick. Are you embarrassed by accuracy?

Ever So Sincerely,

Mike Adams
Erect Liberal


Is it just me, or does Mike have an unseemly preoccupation with human genitalia?
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YET ANOTHER REASON WHY DARRIN ERSTAD IS MY FAVORITE BASEBALL PLAYER

Anaheim Angels centerfielder Darrin Erstad has a clause in his contract that allows him to name 4 teams to which he cannot be traded. Last year the four teams he picked were the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Montreal Expos and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This year he put the New York Mets on the list in the place of the Dodgers.

Erstad says that the only reason he put the Dodgers on the list last year was to tweak a boyhood friend who rooted for them.
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I NEVER THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT THAT HUMAN LIFE COULD BE SO CHEAP

NBC4 in Los Angeles is the the only local station showing the memorial for slain rookie Burbank police officer Matthew Pavelka this morning. Pavelka, a 4 year veteran of the Air Force, was killed in a shootout in downtown Burbank following what should have been a routine traffic stop. He was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the 82 year history of the Burbank Police Department. He was 26.

Local authorities have been conducting a massive manhunt for the killer, David A. Garcia, who remains at large.

Hey, I know as well as anybody that times are tough, but if you happen to have a couple of extra bucks, a memorial fund has been established in Pavelka's name at Burbank City Employees Federal Credit Union, 1800 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506. The phone number is (818) 846-1710.
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DEAN BASHING IN DISGUISE

Harold Meyerson's new story over at The American Prospect carries this headline and sub-head:

Buckeye Bull's-eye

Why Democrats should target Ohio in 2004


As a former resident of the Buckeye State, I was very interested to read about our chances to grab the battleground state from President Bush in '04. Sadly, the story is far less about the Democrat's chances in Ohio as it is an explanation for why Governor Howard Dean simply can't, under any circumstances, win the general election if he's the nominee.

For the record: Meyerson's effort totals 14 paragraphs, or 834 words. The first mention of the word Ohio is the last word of paragraph number 10, or word number 607.
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LONE GUNMAN OR PATSY?

Frontline had a 3 hour examination of Lee Harvey Oswald's life and times tonight and it was fascinating. The documentary really drives home the idea that Oswald was, well, nuts. He comes off as sort of a criminal Walter Mitty. Of course, the idea that Oswald wasn't the sanest of individuals is sort of a given. One of the main themes of the show was proving that Oswald actually did fire shots at President Kennedy, although even the most conspiratorial mind wouldn't deny that. The bigger question, which Frontline tended to dance around, is whether he had any help.

As for me, I can't imagine that Oswald pulled off the biggest crime in American history all by his ownsome.
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Thursday, November 20, 2003
 
JUSTICE IS BLIND (BUT SHE LIKES HER POCKET MONEY)

OK, let's play another round of Just Suppose, shall we?

Just Suppose you have had allegations of child molestation made against you in the last decade, but no charges were filed because you bought off the witness. And, Just Suppose, new charges have been filed against you by another child.

Don't you think that the cops would have kicked down your apartment door, or walked into your office, slammed you on the nearest table and cuffed your sorry ass?

You bet. Of course, you're not Michael Jackson.
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BERRY'S WORLD POLL OF ONE

My current leanings: (Last week's leanings in parenthesis, margin of error 100%)

GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN---22 (18)---After a brief drop into second place, Governor Dean jumps back on top.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK---18 (20)---He was solid on Meet The Press, but I'm starting to wonder if the General's main appeal is that we think he can win the general election.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY---11 (15)---I wonder what Senator Kerry's record is for the longest time he's gone without mentioning Governor Dean. I'm guessing around 15 seconds.

SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS---10 (10)---I'm sure he has a plan. What it is, I have no idea, but I'm sure he's got one.

REPRESENTATIVE DICK GEPHARDT---7 (7)---When you are the big union candidate, and the big unions don't endorse you, well, I tend to think there might be a lesson there.

REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS KUCINICH---6 (5)---I love the guy's ideas, but, deep down, even I can't see him sitting in the oval office.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON---4 (3)---Put Al's sense of humor in any other big-time candidate and it would be worth 10 percentage points.

AMBASSADOR CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN---0 (0)---Who is funding Carol's excellent adventure?

SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN---0 (0)---Senator Lieberman is threatening to actually get negative support from me.
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I'M ANTI-MIDDLE INITIAL, AND I VOTE!

Adding to the already lengthy list of changes I will make when I take over, allow me to inform you that on my first day I will ban the use of middle initials. Throwing in the middle initial is superfluous, pompous, and arrogant and I won't stand for it.

Oh yeah, throw in first initials too.

When I was in college, I took a class by a guy named H. P. Monroe. Seriously. That's what he put on the syllabus. H. P. Monroe. Late in the semester, I had to call Professor Monroe's home to discuss a final project, and he answered the phone not by saying 'hello', but by announcing 'H. P. Monroe'.

I swear, when I heard him answer the phone that way, I realized I would have disliked the man even if he hadn't given me a D+ that was marked down a full letter because of excessive absences.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
 
I'M NOT SURE HE WAS TRYING TO BE FUNNY

Tim Kurkjian takes a look at the possibility of Pete Rose being reinstated to baseball, and gives us this accidental gem:

Rose wants to manage again, but at this point, the chances of that appear, at best, minimal. Selig has the power to rule that Rose would not be allowed to manage as long as he is commissioner; Rose likely would not sign an agreement that includes such a clause.

Considering that Pete signed a lifetime ban from baseball, I'm not all that sure that he understands that to most people a signature means something.
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JUST WHEN I STARTED TO TRUST THE WEST WING AGAIN

After two pretty good episodes of The West Wing, tonight's offering, Shutdown, was a return to the drab, uninspired, and unfocused writing that overwhelmed the first 4 weeks of the season. The entire show led up to a showdown between the Speaker and the President, and we never get to see the deal made!

Aaron, come back! All is forgiven! You can snort coke, smoke pot, chew shrooms, and mainline heroin for all I care as long as you are pumping out a show a week.
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CAUSING A MAN TO TAKE STOCK

It must really make a guy think when his employer is willing to pay him a ton of money not to work. That's what is facing Keyshawn Johnson today after the NFL wide receiver was deactivated for the rest of the season by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not only will Johnson not play in the final 6 games of the season, but he's not even allowed on team property.

Think Johnson will learn anything?

Me either.
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Monday, November 17, 2003
 
MY FAVORITE NFL QUARTERBACK

My favorite NFL quarterback is not the starting QB on his team. He hasn't played in weeks. He's more than likely going to be traded after this season to a team where he can play. My favorite NFL quarterback is Kurt Warner.

And if this story doesn't make you an even bigger fan of Warner's than you already are, well there's something wrong with you.
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Sunday, November 16, 2003
 
WANNA READ SHELLEY JACKSON'S NEW BOOK?

Well, she'll give you a copy for free. But, there's a catch.
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