Saturday, April 23, 2005

You Cant Spell Mullet without Mule

Mrs. Village Idiot and I went to see Gov't Mule in concert last Thursday night and the resulting loss of sleep, albeit only slight, still has me cranky. The Village Idiot is old. Soon I'll be wearing my pants just under my armpits.

Gov't Mule, for those of you who don't know, is a great band featuring guitarist extraordinaire Warren Haynes. Mr. Haynes, in addition to playing with the Mule, plays with the Allman Brothers and occasionally with the Dead. He is absolutely fantastic on guitar and is also a talented singer. He is also a poster boy for the "Body by Cheetos" lifestyle.

The 1980s is often hailed as the very apex of achievement with regard to rock star hair styling. Bands from the '80s came to be known as "hair bands" and people were said to be sporting "arena hair". After watching Warren cut it up, though, I've decided that there is a far more powerful force in the rock world; Allman Hair.

Think about it, all those Southern Rockers have kept the same awful hairstyle since the late sixties, and Mr. Warren Haynes sports the Allman hair beautifully. Warren's hair has what I like to call a Van Zant Wave, named in honor of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant. (Might I also note here that Mr. Haynes has a guitar tech who looks almost exactly like him, right down to the Van Zant). Allman hair has outlived all the great rock and roll hairstyles: the duck-tail, the pompador, mod hair, white men with afros, arena hair, and all the rest. Allman hair is the great rock and roll hairstyle, and Gov't Mule brings it to the people along with a solid dose of kick-ass rock and roll.

To honor the tradition, the Village Idiot is contemplating growing a classic Allman, which is to say I'll just let it grow until my wife shoots me.

The Village Idiot With Rock Star Hair

The show itself was great. Mrs. Village Idiot was a little testy, what with the fact that I told a couple of fibs to get her there. (I told her that the band doesn't jam much anymore, and that since they play mostly covers she'd know a lot of the songs. I also told her that under no circumstances would Warren play any Allman Brothers songs, because for some strange reason Mrs. Idiot hates the Allmans and their jammy ways). (It was, as I said, a thin carpet of lies on the dancefloor of our evening).

(Actually, she admitted that she liked Gov't Mule and said she'd go see them again, though probably only with her next husband. I can understand this, because The Mule did happen to play a substantial portion of the Allman Brothers' Mountain Jam, which is kind of jammy, in the middle of one of the jams in one of Mule's own original songs). (Yes, I am that big an idiot. They proved me a liar three times with one song).

(I was able to partially buy my way back into her good graces by introducing her to the peanut-butter deliciousness of Drake's Funny Bones snack cakes on the way home. Guys, I can't underestimate the power of Drake and Hostess products as serious tools in the building of a solid marriage. Of course, this comes from a guy who told his wife that Gov't Mule isn't really a jam band).


Blind Man In The Dark
Thorazine Shuffle
Temporary Saint
Patchwork Quilt
Banks Of The Deep End
Game Face->
Mountain Jam->
Game Face Reprise
Little Toy Brain
Perfect Shelter
Wandering Child
Just Got Paid
Other One Jam->
Bad Man Walking
Trouble Everyday->
Worried Down With The Blues->
Slackjaw Jezabel

30 Days In The Hole
New World Blues

If you get a chance, go see Gov't Mule. They absolutely rock.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ok, Maybe Cats Aren't So Bad

Right after my last post, this was a headline on Yahoo!

Elephants Rampage Through South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - Six elephants escaped from a zoo and roamed around the South Korean capital Wednesday, briefly crashing their way into a restaurant before being rounded up, police and zoo officials said.

If they'd had Mildred Luce there with her aluminum shovel, this never would have happened.

Here there be Lions

Yahoo! News Today had a story from the AP Wire about a 90 year old lady, Mildred Luce, who rescued her cat from a bobcat.

WYMAN TOWNSHIP, Maine - A 90-year-old woman grabbed a bobcat by the tail to free her beloved pet cat from the wildcat's mouth. Mildred Luce, who lives alone, said the action began one recent day when she looked outside her window and saw the bobcat lying on its side with the head of her 20-year-old cat, Smudge, in its mouth.

Luce ran out the door, grabbed an aluminum snow shovel and pushed it down on the bobcat's neck. But it held on tight.

"Then I took hold of its head with my hand and pulled on its tail, and Smudge popped out," she said.

Smudge hightailed into the house with the bobcat hot on her heels. Once inside, the wildcat calmed down and appeared more bewildered than aggressive, Luce said, wandering from room to room before walking into the bathroom.

"I had no fear of it — I was just interested in saving Smudge," she said.

A neighbor came over and helped hold the cat in the bathroom until a game warden arrived and killed the bobcat to test it for rabies. Did we mention that Mildred is 90 years old? Did we mention that Smudge is 20 years old? This Village Idiot might have had presence of mind enough to take a picture of the beast eating my cat, but never would have ventured forth on a rescue mission. Back to back episodes of Law and Order is about as much excitement as the residents of Chez Idiot can stand, so hopefully our pets know that when they cross the door’s threshold and enter the wilds of New England they are a) in play and b) on their freakin’ own.

This picture isn’t of a bobcat, it’s of a mountain lion, and the picture was supposedly taken from the back door of a Southern Maine home. Eek!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Spelling Spellings with Keef

I flipped through the paper soon after posting my last post, and found an article in USA Today that says the U.S. Education Department’s inspector general found no ethics breach in the fact that the U.S. Department of Education paid a syndicated columnist almost a quarter of a million dollars to say good things about No Child Left Behind. I find that there’s a lot wrong with this story, but that’s not what got me fired up. On the same page, was a big picture of our new Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings. I didn’t know that we had a new Secretary of Education, so I happened to go look her up, hoping I might find someone who is open to the ideas of the Village Idiot.
Instead, I found that as a nation, we’re in far more trouble than I suspected.

If you go to the U.S. department of education’s website you can see many pictures of our Secretary of Education doing stuff. They have pictures of her at meetings, pictures of her giving speeches, and pictures of her giving more speeches. There aren’t any pictures of her grading papers or planning lessons, because she doesn’t do that, and the worst part is, as far as I can tell, she’s never done that.

Here’s her resume, according to her official U.S. Dept. of Ed. Bio:
-During President George W. Bush's first term, Spellings served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy where she helped craft education policies, including the No Child Left Behind Act.
-Prior to her White House appointment, Spellings worked for six years as Governor George W. Bush's Senior Advisor with responsibility for developing and implementing the Governor's education policy.
-Previously, Spellings served as associate executive director of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Do you see teaching in there anywhere? I didn’t either. I kept reading, expecting her teaching credentials to pop up any second. Instead, here’s the next paragraph in its entirety:
Born in Michigan in 1957, Spellings moved with her family at a young age to Houston, Texas, where she attended public schools. She graduated from the University of Houston in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in political science and journalism.

Oh great, she’s never graded a research paper in her life and she’s making policy for all the teachers in America. Political science and journalism?
She is, however, the first mother of school children to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, as her official bio points out.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, (right). At a conference with Maryland Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. (left). Dr. Grasmick’s career in education began as a teacher of deaf children at the William S. Baer School in Baltimore City. She subsequently served as a classroom and resource teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent in the Baltimore County Public Schools. In 1989, Governor William Donald Schaeffer appointed her Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families and, in 1991, the State Board of Education appointed her State Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Grasmick received her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University, her master’s degree from Gallaudet University, and her bachelor’s degree from Towson University. Secretary Spellings has a B.A. in Poli Sci and Journalism.

So here's my candidate, the person that will head up edumacation when I'm King. I thought about this carefully, because I take education fairly seriously, and realized that since the government hasn't bothered to appoint a teacher, there's not reason I should either. I certainly wouldn't appoint an "educational consultant" or an "education expert" because they often don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. So instead of a teacher, I appointed someone I would like to hang out with. I figure that Keith and I can hang at the palace and we'll leave the educatin' to people who know what they're doing, teachers.

Rock On, Mr. Secretary

Fixing Education, One Salmon at a Time

I know I’m overdue on getting more of the platform of my campaign for king out, but I’ve been busy enjoying the fact that spring has finally arrived at Chez Idiot. Beautiful spring days should definitely have priority over work, or even pseudo-work. Write that one down, you can use that when I’m the king and your boss asks you why you didn’t come in to the office.

Actually, I had no idea what I was going to discuss, and then Yahoo News! came through with some help. First, there was an article about a Caribbean cruise that was hit by a giant wave. It was coming back to New York from the Bahamas when it was hit by a seven story wave that broke a couple of windows and flooded a bunch of cabins. The part that caught my eye was this:
James Fraley, who was taking a honeymoon cruise with his wife, said they called their loved ones as the wave pounded the boat because they thought the ship was going down.
"It was pure hell. We're talking 47-foot waves hitting
the 10th floor, knocking Jacuzzis on the 12th floor overboard — people sleeping in hallways in life jackets," Fraley told WCBD-TV in Charleston. "Just pure pandemonium."

And yet: Each passenger on the ship got a refund of half the trip's cost and a voucher for half the price of a future cruise, Robison said.
And also: Fraley said cruise ship employees also opened the bar. "They tried giving free alcohol away to make up for it," he said. "That's not going to do it."

Actually, I think Mr. Fraley is mistaken. Free alcohol, especially on a cruise ship, would go a long way with this Village Idiot. Throw in the fact that the company is also basically giving everyone on board a free cruise, and free drinks, and I think Mr. Fraley should quit whining. The Village Idiot got dysentery on his honeymoon. Now THAT was “pure pandemonium”.

The cruise ship’s peril was an interesting diversion, but the meat and potatoes of this morning’s news with regard to my campaign involves Albert Einstein. There were 200 years between super genius Isaac Newton and Mr. Einstein, and people are apparently on the lookout for the next super genius. The part of the article that I found compelling went like this:
One crucial aspect of Einstein's training that is overlooked, says Notre Dame science historian Don Howard, is the years of philosophy he read as a teenager — Kant, Schopenhauer and Spinoza, among others. It taught him to how to think independently and abstractly about space and time, Howard says, and it wasn't long before he became a philosopher himself. "The independence created by philosophical insight is — in my opinion — the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth," Einstein wrote in 1944.

Here in the U.S., we won’t be producing any philosophers anytime soon, because our schools have to spend most of their time preparing kids for standardized achievement tests. Politicians love to promise that they’ll fix the woes of education, which in the minds of the politicians means making kids take tests to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Many states require that kids pass some sort of proficiency test in order to graduate from high school, and as a result, many schools are sent into panic mode to ensure that they can get their kids through those tests. In the end, education suffers, primarily because teachers have to focus on material that is of no interest or relevance to anyone, namely, how to pass the graduation test. Think I’m exaggerating? Another story in Yahoo News! today is about the fact that Jayne Gibbs, Principal at Edward E. Parry Edison Junior Academy, was placed on a paid leave Thursday after eighth graders at the school said she had given them answers to questions on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment test. It’s not uncommon for American schools to spend most of their resources to get kids through the tests that states require them to pass, and with the No Child Left Behind law, the problems become even worse. Add the idiocy of the SAT, ACT and the various achievement tests and there’s very little education going on in our schools that can make kids excited about learning, let alone turn them into philosophers. Schools that don’t make certain standards lose money, and then they have to cut programs. Library programs, music programs and art programs are usually the first to go. I quote again from the Einstein article:
And he was an accomplished musician. The interplay between music and math is well-known. Einstein would furiously play his violin as a way to think through a knotty physics problem.
Great, we cut all those music programs so that our kids could focus on filling in bubbles.

My youngest kid’s teacher isn’t paying any attention to the silliness. She has the class exercise by making them walk around the school’s track. She has a worm farm in the classroom and the kids have learned about composting and vermiculture. She went out and got a grant and has hatched 300 atlantic salmon in a special tank in her room with the class this year. (Tomorrow night they’re having a bon voyage party for the salmon before they’re released into a local river). My kid absolutely loves school as a result. She gets up in a far better mood than past years and comes home excited about whatever it was they learned at school. This is the first year she’s been excited about reading, and I have to say that I owe it 100% to the teacher.

When I’m king, we’re going to throw out all standardized tests. Teacher salaries will go through the roof and school budgets will explode. We need teachers who are genuinely excited about what they teach, not teachers who are stressed out, depressed, and overloaded with silly and pointless paperwork. We need principals who are good at encouraging teachers to enrich our kids, not bureaucrats who hide in offices and fill out state forms. The SAT, ACT and all of the other standardized tests have been a cash cow for companies, consultants and gurus who do everything but teach. Those people will have to go out and find honest work when I’m king.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Ok, who brought THAT in here?

I was innocently careening through my blogstrocity this morning and noticed that the ads were not their normal bland selves. I kid you not, below you'll see an actual screen capture of the ads.

The rest of the ad column was equally robust. I refreshed and the ads went back to their normal selves. (Further refreshing brought an interesting mix of Papal momentoes and feminine hygiene remedies).

Which leads to the question, which one of y'all brought the smelly ads?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Campaign For King- Platform 1

My first act as King will probably be to go on a bender that will last for several weeks. My second act will probably be to recover from that bender. Knowing me as I do, I expect that during the course of the bender I will enact several hellaciously foolish pieces of legislation that will seem to be either brilliant or hilarious at the time. Hopefully I won’t enact anything that causes irreparable harm except maybe to Yankee or Laker fans.
So, with that out of the way, we can focus on my first acts as King not fueled by alcohol, which, though accurate, is an unwieldy title, and so as king I’m choosing to call it ‘the first thing I’ll do in office’.

I will dissolve all national borders.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Some of you are thinking, “Oh great, we’ve elected one of those freakin’ One World hippie people” Some of you are thinking “Oh great, we’ve elected one of those freakin’ One World hippie people,” and yet you’re excited about it. An alarmingly high number of you are thinking “I can’t wait until Matlock starts,” a few are wondering if my blog would be funnier if they drank more, and a couple of you are thinking simply “huh?” (See, I really DO know what you’re thinking).

Gaining favor with the One World people is not my objective here, and really having their support is not all that wise a political move in any context, unless your primary objective is to have a number of weed sources and hang around with girls who don’t like bras. Not that there’s anything wrong with those goals, but the Village Idiot is shooting for something slightly higher here, as well as something smelling less like patchouli.

First of all, I’m trying to avoid embarrassment. Imagine this: one of my top advisors comes crashing into the room and announces that there’s a massive outbreak of scurvy in Hugeturdistann. Being embarrassed that I don’t know where that is, I will probably try to cover my ignorance by lashing out at my poor advisor for bursting into the room, and then I’ll ignore the scurvy crisis until Newsweek comes out and provides me with a map. A far better scenario would be this: one of my top advisors bursts in holding a globe, he points and says “there’s a huge scurvy epidemic here.” I smile and send several planes full of orange juice to the Hot Zone and the day is saved. My top advisor, who once gave the patrons of his club pencils and sketch books so that his dancers could appear nude, remains happy and loyal. The region formerly known as Hugeturdistann gets their much needed fix of OJ, and I don’t have to read Newsweek.

Aside from my own self-interest, I think that there could be a lot of benefit for mankind with this concept. On the smallest scale, parents who scold their finicky kids by telling them about all the starving kids in China can make the crisis seem a little more immediate, since all those little hungry Chinamen will be our countrymen. Secondly, If you’ve ever had a crappy passport picture haunt you from border to border, this ought to make your day. Thirdly, we’ll get all those holidays! Ever looked at a calendar and felt a little twinge of jealousy over the fact that you’re at work and those wacky New Zealanders are getting yet another banker’s holiday? Ever felt like taking Guy Fawkes Day? Well, here’s your chance, come St. Patrick’s day, everyone, literally, will be Irish and we’ll have more national holidays than you could have ever imagined. Finally, there seem to be a lot of wars fought over turf, from the Irish and the English to the Palestinians and the Israelis, this seems like it might do something to calm them down.

I can see where this will cause some problems, too. The biggest problem is that people will be scared by the idea of change, and the No Borders idea might scare them needlessly.
People like traditions, especially cultural traditions. Let me assuage your fears by stating that I intend to change very little in the everyday comings and goings of most people on the planet, (except that they should get a lot more days off and have far more money to spend).
Your village likes electing a chief because he’s the most fabulously endowed or knows the most synonyms for sparrow? That’s fine.
Your country has been run by the same royal family for eighteen generations? Keep ‘em.
National garb, national anthems, national birds, national quirks- none of that has to change. Form a soccer team called the American Eagles and have a blast playing the Canadian Maple Leafs. Start using those symbols and those songs to get people fired up for war and I’ll put you in time-out, but healthy sports rivalries will be encouraged and supported.

The Olympics will seemingly have to undergo some major changes. In fact, if you watch the Olympic coverage, most of the medalists do their training in the United States anyway. Swimmers, track athletes, figure skaters; all of ‘em live and train here anyway, so it’s not all that huge a change to have them represent an ethnicity instead of a country. In fact, this will make the Olympics slightly less irksome form me, as I’m really tired of hearing about figure skaters who live in Connecticut and who skate to represent Russia. (Now, if only we could convince the networks that we’d actually rather watch the games than the crappy human interest soap operas they produce, Olympic coverage would be perfect). Also, under my new system, as will be elucidated later, we’ll have lots of televised competitions (such as between religious leaders, political party leaders, etc). My guiding idea here is that competition is good, and I will foster and encourage the human sense of competitiveness in all areas except those that require actual warfare to settle the score. “Sudden death” is good in golf and football, bad in most other instances.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Dirty Politics

I was busy preparing the opening salvo of my campaign for king of the world when I was derailed by interesting articles in the news. I suspect that these stories were planted in the newspapers by established governments simply to distract me from my task, but hey, the stories are entertaining, so it's one of those freakish Steven Covey win-win deals.

First, a story from Idaho of all places.
BOISE, Idaho (Reuters) - An Idaho strip club that attempted to get around a ban on full nudity by giving patrons sketch pads for special "art nights" was cited for violating the city's nudity rules, officials said on Tuesday.

Ok, the guy that thought up that idea will get a primo cabinet position in my government. That's genius.

Next up, a story I think we can all relate to.
Waverly, Iowa (USA Today) - Officials closed an elementary school for the rest of the school year because of a persistent foul odor. It's the second time in four months that the West Cedar Elementary School has been closed.

Having spent a lot of time in classrooms, I gotta say that that must have been one whopper of a smell. I've been witness to student-produced smells that could peel paint and never even got an early dismissal out of it.

Finally, this one
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Chinese food delivery man was found trapped in a broken elevator on Tuesday, more than three days after he was reported missing, police said.

The Village Idiot is proud to announce that he turned down several tasteless joke ideas, the best of which was that the poor guy kept looking for the "w" button to get to wobby. Instead, he merely points out that the poor delivery man had to go hungry for all but the first half hour of his time in the elevator.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

This Headline Scared Me

I apologize to any readers who were eagerly (anxiously?) awaiting the publication of my campaign platform in my bid to become King of the World. I'm still working on the details. Ok, actually, I haven't started on it yet.

The Pope died, which means I actually had to do some research on all things Papal, because the Pope and all the things Papal was a pretty hot topic. After many many hours of research, it turns out that:

-Yes, the Pope in fact was Catholic.
-None of the Papal Wonks who are making lists of possible successors has me even in the top ten!

In the course of my in-depth research, I came across the following poorly-phrased headline on Yahoo!


It turns out that when they said "moved" they didn't mean it moved by itself, which would either be creepy or a miracle or both.

I'll be back soon with that campaign platform, I promise.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Keeping America Nipple Free

I just read an article in Time that was either the funniest thing, or the scariest thing I've ever read. I haven't decided yet.
The article was called "The Decency Police" and it appeared in the March 28th,2005 issue. The article describes the activities of the Parents Television Council. The article describes their job thus:
"In the group's Alexandria, VA., offices, five analysts sit at desks with a VCR, a TV and a computer. They tape every hour of prime time network TV, and a lot of cable."

The PTC documents all cuss words and other assorted things they find offensive on television and enters the information into "the Entertainment Tracking System, the PTC's database on more than 100,000 hours of programming."

In the article, one of the 'analysts' entered the word "damn" into the database from an episode of Crossing Jordan. Said PTC supervisor Melissa Caldwell, "We track even those minor swears because it's a way of tracking trends."

Now Crossing Jordan IS offensive on many levels, primarily because of actor Steve Valentine's bad haircut and the fact that we're supposed to believe that forensic science is actually interesting enough to support four or five major network dramas. (I thought they were pushing the forensic envelope with Quincy).

We need a group to censor
haircuts like this

PTC Executive Director explained that they document "every incident of sexual content, violence, profanity, disrespect for authority and other negative content." As the author of the article, James Poniewozik noted, it's a good thing they don't monitor premium channels because, "an episode of Deadwood would presumably crash the system." (Deadwood is, by the way, the best show on television).

Ok, remember back when you were a kid and you kept track of all the swear words you heard?
Hey Mom! Jordan said 'H-E-double hockey stick!'

How about in Rainman, where Dustin Hoffman's character kept a book of all the little injuries done to him?

That's what the ETS sounds like, Rainman's book run by 3rd graders.

The ETS gets even more silly, it "is thoroughly indexed by theme- 'threesome', 'masturbation', 'obscene gesture'" That's just super, Rainman has gone high tech so the book is all cross referenced and organized and probably has circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one case.

Ok, when Friends was in full bloom and was on at 8:00, I was a tad miffed. I liked the show, my wife liked the show, but our kids were young and were still up at 8:00. As a result, we didn't watch Friends. I would have been happier if Friends was on at 9:00, so that we could watch it after we'd put the kids to bed. Did I form a group? Did I even write a letter? Nope, sorry, I just didn't watch the show. Huh, go figure.

I know enough American history to know that this "busy-body" trend is not something that's growing out of control, but rather something that's very ingrained in the American character and was far far worse in earlier times. It's really some guy's twisted version of "old time values", except the problem is that in this high-tech age, busy-bodies can get themselves heard, and with our Republican Party trying desperately to court the Conservative Christians, stupid things like a bare bottom on a cartoon* and Janet Jackson's desperate Superbowl cry for attention suddenly become issues. Have you seen the number of people who actually called to complain about Janet Jackson's boob by the way? Compared to the number of people who saw it, the number of complainers is almost infinitesimal. In my world we'd just tell those ten people to shut the hell up, not form committees to figure out ways to change television.

Apparently the Parents Television Council took the day
off, or we never would have been exposed to this kind of smut.

By definition, "busy-bodies" get involved in other people's business. They stick their noses in and they put their two cents worth in. One of the ways they do this is by writing letters to newspapers and calling television stations to complain. The most important way they act, though, is by voting. I would say that there's a massive number of Americans who don't give enough of a rat's ass to get out and vote, which is how we wind up with people like Michael Powell and now Kevin Martin, appointed as Chairmen of the FCC.

*Fox edited an episode of the Family Guy, a cartoon, when one of the characters (Baby Stewie!) bared his bottom! It's a frickin' cartoon!

Here's an example that scared me worse than the cartoon baby bottom.
According to the Time article:
"Last year, in response to viewer complaints, the FCC levied its largest TV fine ever, $1.2 million, against Fox for an episode of the reality show Married by America, which featured strippers covered in whipped cream. The commission said the broadcast had generated 159 letters of complaint. Jeff Jarvis, a former TV critic who writes the blog, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the letters. Because of multiple mailings, the letters came from just 23 people, 21 of whom used a form."

Oh my God! 23 busy bodies complained! We're a nation of how many people? You know that those 23 people voted. Did you?

This is why I'm running for King of the Frickin' World, to clear up this silliness. There have to be alien planets watching our idiocy as their version of reality tv, so it's about time we started at least having fun with the silliness.

Fantasy Update #1

The season starts tonight and I've already got two injured players, which to those who don't follow my team would seem exceptional, but is actually pretty normal for my fantasy teams.

Here are the reports:

1. Juan Gonzalez, Indians (who would have guessed he'd get hurt?)
Mar 31 In a stunning development, Juan Gonzalez couldn't even make it to Opening Day before landing on the DL. The Indians placed the right fielder on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday because of his strained right hamstring and recalled Grady Sizemore to take his place on the roster. "The silver lining is we'll get to see Grady play on this club and get Juan back healthy and strong," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro told the Associated Press. "At this point we've committed to him, so if he's healthy and the hamstring is fine, he's coming back."

2. Joe Borowski, Cubs
Apr 1 X-rays taken on Thursday revealed that Borowski is recovering quicker than expected, and there is a chance he could begin throwing as early as mid-April, instead of May 1, as had been estimated originally. The Cubs' righthander has been sidelined since suffering a hairline non-displaced fracture in his right ulna when he was hit by a comebacker in a Cactus League outing last Monday. He will begin the regular season on the 15-day disabled list.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm Throwing My Hat In The Ring

2004 was the first Presidential election in which The Village Idiot would have been old enough to be President. I toyed with the idea of running, then passed out.

A couple of weeks ago I published a post about how I would change the world of basketball if I were king. It got me thinking. After two weeks of occasional mulling, which is, I might add, a lot more mulling than I've heretofore done on any topic, I've decided to throw my hat into the ring and run for the position of King of the World.

I know that there isn't any such position currently. It is my goal to slowly elucidate the many reasons that I would make a fantastic King of the World that by popular acclamation I will be swept up on the collective arms of the nations of the world and given the title King. Or, possibly, someone will take pity on me and give me a free sleeve of golf balls or something. Either way, I'm better off than I was before my campaign, and I certainly couldn't screw up the world any more than it's currently screwed up.

So, firstly, I'll begin my campaign with a few reasons I'd make a good king.

1. I'm not very bright.
Intelligent people always out-think themselves. This will not be a problem with me.

2. The job will not cause me undue stress or worry.
If you look at the pictures of Lincoln before and after the war, it's like he'd, well, been through a war. Other presidents and leaders have come out of their leadership stint looking old and haggard. I don't care enough to let that happen to me.

The Village Idiot, as shown in this artist's
rendering, will barely notice he's king

3. I'll give the people what they want.
Unless they want something silly or mean or overly expensive.

4. I'm not afraid to make mistakes.
I've made a ton of them in my time, and usually they make for pretty amusing stories later on. As King, I'll probably make a bunch of horrendously stupid gaffes and blunders that will wreak havoc on all kinds of things. Still, I won't be afraid to make them, which must count for something.

5. I don't really need, or even want, the job.
I like my current job, and I've never really been motivated by money or status. I think I could be king and still continue my current job, though I might need a few extra personal days, which shouldn't be a problem since I'd be king of the world and all. As long as kinging doesn't get in the way of my goal of winning ten consecutive Superbowls on Madden, I think it will all be good.

6. My dog likes me.
Most of the time.

Well, gotta run. The future queen just returned to the Chez with Chinese food.
See, I'm multi-cultural in my everyday dealings already, I'll be perfect as King.