Bonds. Barry Bonds.

April 22nd, 2015

Holy crap!

A federal appeals court Wednesday overturned Barry Bonds’ felony conviction for obstructing justice, a development that could help the former San Francisco Giants slugger win a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

“Making everyone who participates in our justice system a potential criminal defendant for conduct that is nothing more than the ordinary tug and pull of litigation risks chilling zealous advocacy,” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in a concurring opinion, signed by four other judges. “It also gives prosecutors the immense and unreviewable power to reward friends and punish enemies by prosecuting the latter and giving the former a pass.”

I’m writing this in haste, on my coffee break at work, so I haven’t had time to digest this. Possibly more later.

Random notes: April 22, 2015.

April 22nd, 2015

You know, I’m a little tired of this geocentric crud. Why just “Earth Day”? Why not a day for each of the other eight planets as well? I’d try to organize “Pluto Day” on March 13th, but that’s too close to Pi Day. Maybe Neptune Day on September 23rd?

Edited to add: Mike the Musicologist responds.

It’s not Earth as in the planet. It’s earth as in dirt. Or the element.

We need Fire Day, Wind and Waters Days.

Or maybe just an Earth, Wind and Fire Day. But then people would call for a Kool & The Gang Day. Imagine the furor when Average White Band Day is celebrated.

As I told Mike, I’m not sure I can get into Earth, Wind, and Fire Day. But Parliament Funkadelic Day? I’m there.

Serdar Argic, call your office, please.

Stolen bourbon. And anabolic steroids. That seems like an odd mix.

Happy Patriot’s Day!

April 20th, 2015

Enjoy your day off, folks in Massachusetts and Maine. (Hi, Weer’d!)

In other news, it seems that I am now 50 years old. I’m trying to make some time to work on a longer post about childhood memories, nostalgia, and the gun I bought in Tulsa, but things are so busy (gun show this past weekend, followed by dinner, followed by more kicking around on Sunday, etc.) that I’m not sure when that’s going to go up. I’m hoping that I’ll have more time this week to blog in general, but that post is going to require some photography…

Your loser update: April 17, 2015.

April 17th, 2015

The end of the NBA regular season has snuck up on us.

Early in the season, it seemed like Philadelphia was the favorite to go 0-82, or at least set a record for futility.

How did that work out for them? Well, they finished 18-64. Which is bad.

But it isn’t as bad as the New York Knicks, who finished 17-65. Philadelphia didn’t even lose their own division. Which I think says something about the team, but I’m not sure what.

But, surprisingly, the Knicks weren’t the worst NBA team this year. That honor goes to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who finished the season at 16-66, for a winning percentage of 0.195. ESPN has a very nice list of the worst NBA teams, which currently includes the Timberwolves, and lets you do side-by-side comparisons with the legendary 72-73 Philadelphia team.

By the way, the Lakers finished 21-61. Just saying.

Norts spews.

April 14th, 2015

Lawrence Phillips, former NFL running back who is serving out a 31-year prison sentence, may have killed his cellmate.

Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental.

Nigalidze is suspected of stashing an iPhone in a men’s room stall and using it to cheat during games.

“When confronted, Nigalidze denied he owned the device,” according to the tournament’s Web site. “But officials opened the smart device and found it was logged into a social networking site under Nigalidze’s account. They also found his game being analyzed in one of the chess applications.”

Obit watch: April 14, 2015.

April 14th, 2015

Günter Grass, noted German writer.

Somehow, I managed to miss his admission that he was an SS member during the war.

(Sorry for the radio silence the past few days. I’ve been on the road and just got home last night. More about this later.)

Obit watch: play Freberg!

April 8th, 2015

Oh, come on, he would have laughed, too.

A/V Club. NYT.

Just for the heck of it:

Take me out to the ball game…

April 6th, 2015

It appears that opening day has snuck up on me again.

It also looks like the Cubs will be unable to sell beer at Wrigley Field this year.*

However, I still have faith; that’s one game out of 162. And, yes, I’ve bet Lawrence $5 that the Cubs will win the World Series this year.

* Because they lost the home opener.

Edited to add: Giggle. Snort.

More tags that I don’t get to use together enough.

April 3rd, 2015

This would be the “Food->Beef” and “Austin->Politics” tags.

Lawrence wrote earlier this week about the city’s proposed “code change to limit barbecue smoke in residential areas”.

The council meeting was last night. And?

At today’s meeting, the Austin City Council voted to start a stakeholder input process on possibly regulating barbecue smoke from restaurants.

So we’ve gone from a code change to “starting a process to get input from stakeholders”.

Recommendations will be made by the city manager to the Health and Human Services Committee and the Economic Opportunity Committee. After July 31, there will be another chance for public comment.

“Recommendations will be made”. Nice use of the passive voice there.

I was actually in favor of the original version of the resolution, and I’m kind of sad to see it watered down. Why? Well, I’ve never seen an entire city council tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail…

Alligators? In my retention pond?

April 3rd, 2015

It’s more likely than you think.

(I know the linked article refers to a singular alligator, but there are other articles behind the Statesman pay wall that state there’s evidence of at least two gators.)

(That reminds me: did you know you can get “Gator” on blu-ray? You do now. You can also get “Operation C.I.A.” on DVD, but it’s one of those “produced on demand” DVDs.)

Obit watch: April 2, 2015.

April 2nd, 2015

Rev. Robert H. Schuller, Crystal Cathedral founder. NYT. LAT.

You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#19 in a series)

April 2nd, 2015

Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on bribery charges on Wednesday in what prosecutors said was a scheme to trade political favors for luxury vacations, golf outings, campaign donations and expensive flights.

More:

Through his company, Vitreo-Retinal Consultants, Dr. Melgen directed $700,000 in corporate contributions to Majority PAC, a super PAC intended to help Democrats retain control of the Senate. Dr. Melgen instructed the group to use those contributions to aid Mr. Menendez’s 2012 re-election campaign.
Among the favors for Dr. Melgen, the department said, Mr. Menendez encouraged the Obama administration to change the Medicare reimbursement policy in a way that would make millions for the doctor. Prosecutors said he also tried to push a port security deal that Dr. Melgen was involved in, and helped the surgeon’s foreign girlfriends obtain travel visas to the United States.