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Sunday · May 02 2004

» Fear Factor writers admit it's tough to keep it fresh
“As Mr. Kunitz says, 'there are only so many things you can do with a worm.' To date, contestants have had to eat worms, sit in a coffin filled with worms, bury their head in worms and shower with syrup-covered worms. What about having people stamp on thousands of night crawlers with their bare feet and then drink the resulting brown paste from a crystal goblet? It's been done.”

So what are they gonna do? They're going turkey bowling.

After ruling out turkey tongues (too hard to obtain turkey heads) and stuffing turkeys with gross foods (too predictable), the group settled on a game called “Turkey Bowling.” The concept: Using large frozen turkeys as bowling balls, contestants try to knock down pins. For each pin left standing, the contestant has to eat a different disgusting food such as maggot-filled cheese.

Fear Factor is the #3 rated show on TV among children age 2 to 11. Sit Jimmy in front of the tube and watch him laugh as turkey bowl losers eat maggot-filled cheese. I just finished The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver. In it, she writes, “It's funny how people don't give that much thought to what kids want, as long as they're being quiet.”

» The alternate biography of Walt Whitman
Pete is a ballsy kid.

» The Cubs-Cardinals games the last two nights have been fantastic. Great pitching on both sides, close final innings, and opposing fans filling the stadium and rooting against one another are making this series live up to the rivalry. Chicago lost on friday when LaTroy Hawkins walked in the final run. That was a tough one to watch, because all four men who reached base in that 9th inning were walked. We held St. Louis to 5 hits and lost 4-3. Last night, Aramis Ramirez provided the required offense with a 3-run shot and Matt Clement pitched his 2nd outstanding game in a row. Cubs won 4-2, escpaing a scary 9th inning. JoBo Sausage is keeping my nails short.

Cubs lead the all-time series 1,098 to 1,043. Carlos Zambrano vs. Matt Morris today and Maddux faces Jason Marquis tomorrow.

» American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?
One of the readings in this month's Harper's described similar happenings at Guantanamo via interviews with detainees by Human Rights Watch and Vivian White, a BBC reporter and director of Inside Guantanamo. I was talking with Dan about this before the prisoner abuse story in Iraq broke on CBS a week ago and he was shocked to hear what I had read. I've never been in combat, combat training, or anything remotely close, but I've read and heard enough to know that dehumanizing the enemy is a component to survival. I'm untrained in thinking that way and the pictures and personal stories of the abuse are chilling and impossible to witness unmoved.

I'd rather turn away and hope these are isolated incidents performed by misled soldiers. Those running this war, and any war, don't want their questionable methods to bubble to the surface. They don't want the citizens they swear to protect to identify them, the invincible warrior heroes of the country, with dehumanization and disrespect for human rights. Those are the labels we save for the enemy. Nothing explains these stories of prisoner abuse. I don't know what else to say because I don't understand. I don't have the experience to know what it is to fear for my life, hate the enemy, and pray to just get my ass home safe. I'm thankful for that and I want to believe the men and women who do have that experience are moral people even if they've been taught and trained not to be.

» Race and Place Matter for Major Chicago Area Grocers
“There are eight aldermanic wards in Chicago with no 'major player' grocery stores, and all of those wards are predominantly minority.” Interesting study on local grocery placement. Stace and I shop about 75% of the time at Clark St. Market at Clark and Wilson. They've improved quality and cleanliness since we've lived here and my only real complaint is that they don't sell cat treats.

» Creepy Olsen twins frighten me
Yeah, but the countdown to 18 is creepier. Their bulbous eyes and big heads on those tiny bodies are cartoonish. I saw the trailer for La Pucelle Tactics and that reminded me of the Olsen twins. Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills 90210) is listed in the English voice credits for La Pucelle, her third video game voice job. Gabrielle aside, Olsen twins — creepy, not hot.

Archived: Daily » May 2004
What you had to say:
May 02 2004

Um....why does Dusty Baker keep putting Kyle Farnsworth in the game? I am growing very weary after Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

May 02 2004

Lack of options, I suppose. He had Hawkins in for 2 innings and he's not going to put JoBo in in that situation, because if you're going to win, you have to get ahead in the top anyway. His other options were Francis Beltran or Todd Wellemeyer, two young guys have less experience in that situation. Farnsworth had been very good about walking people until this series (even though he was still awful by giving up lots of hits) and in these 2 games he didn't do his job.

By this time, Farnsworth should be a reliable setup guy and possibly a closer, but he hasn't lived up to the promise of his size and blazing heater. We've been waiting for Farnsworth to consistently amaze and he hasn't.

What do you suggest Dusty should have done? Tough losses, no doubt, but I think he made the right move given his choices.

May 02 2004

I haven't followed baseball for years, until the past two weeks where I have watched about 80% of the Cubs games. I say that to emphasize the point that I don't have a clue about what to do.

Why was Zambrano taken out in the first place? He was doing great, and though I understand the need to rest, with such a close game it seems risky to jump to someone else.

Is it against the rules to throw in a starter for an innning, like Wood or Clement who seemed to be laughing in the bullpen while Farnsworth was struggling on the mound? My note was basically a sigh of frustration after the two games - where the Cubs walked themselves to losses.

May 02 2004

Zambrano had thrown about 120 pitches if I recall. Critics have raked Dusty over the coals for overusing his starters and I tend to agree, especially since they are skipping Mitre (the 5th starter) this go round due to the day off last thursday. I can count the NL pitchers on one hand who can repeatedly go out and toss 120 pitches without strain. Wood is one of those guys and he's already been through season ending surgery in the past. The Cubs have an incredible group of strikeout pitchers, however as you've heard the announcers say many times, strikeout pitchers require more pitches to get their outs. (Compared to someone like Greg Maddux who is traditionally a quick groundball out sort of pitcher.)

Unless it's a playoff game or a game at the end of the season to get into the playoffs, you're not going to put a starter in in relief. Baker could have went with Sergio Mitre who is being skipped in the rotation this time through, as I said, but once a pitcher is on a starter's schedule, they tend to need more warmup time than a bullpen pitcher. Even so, Mitre hasn't been amazing and other options were available, so I wouldn't go there either.

I'm with you on the sigh of frustration. Losing to walks is Little League.

May 03 2004

I just want to say that I got into work early and now am sitting here waiting for the work that I got in early to work on. This permits me the leisure time to add that I love Market Place for veggies, but most other grocery items are a bit pricey.

May 03 2004

Where is Market Place?

May 03 2004

I believe we are talking about the same place. I am probably remembering the name wrong is all.

May 03 2004

I just slammed my desk at work when I thought Walker had striked for the third out. And I was just following along on - am I taking this too seriously?

Anyway, I was glad to see I was wrong Maddux stole a base, got to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Walker's single. The best part is that the St. Louis coach is visiting the mound because they are throwing too many balls!

May 03 2004

You're not gonna hear me say you're taking anything too seriously when it comes to baseball.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz