My Facebook Thoughts

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Were We Thinking?

Happy Halloween everybody.
Last night and the night before that we, as a family, sat down and watched the Halloween classic, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Afterward, my wife and I were like, why is this a kids classic? My four year old son liked it so much the first time he wanted to see it again and then again the next day. So I had to step back and figure out why my son liked it and why my wife and I said, why?

An adult classic.

Watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as an adult in a politically correct world is weird. Charlie Brown is basically the neighborhood punching bag. Everybody calls him blockhead and he takes it. Dr. Phil could help him I think. Lucy, well she is the neighborhood bully. Yet, nobody ever stands up to her. And where is DCFS when you need them? Pigpen hasn't had a bath in who knows how long and Linus stays out all night until 4am laying in a pumpkin patch unnoticed by any adults. Then you have the war loving Snoopy flying around during WWI shooting his guns like a wild man.

A kids classic.

Any parent knows that when you tell your child not to do something, they automatically want to do that exact thing. We tell our son not to use "ugly" words. Words like shut-up, stupid, and poopy head to name a few. Our guy does pretty well and we believe he understands why. We also know that if he hears others using a designated "ugly" word it means he has found a loophole in the policy. Which is why I think he likes It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The show is full of shut-ups and stupids. He never heard blockhead before, but now that he knows it is an ugly word I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing that around the house. Mind you, our son is smart enough not to call anyone a blockhead. I just feel bad for the self-esteem of his stuffed animals.

I'm not saying I'm never going to watch this cartoon again. I still like it. I just find it funny how times change. This cartoon would probably never make it to air today as an original kid cartoon. I think as a whole we should realize we a wound way to tight.

I'll have to remember that when my son tells me, "shut-up blockhead".

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Mean Blogger Versus The Hawaiian Bore

If you haven't heard, yawner Steve Dahl is changing stations. Ironically, this whole chain of events started right after I pointed out that Mr. Dahl was boring. Coincidence? Maybe. But, the facts, that I'll use, point to me causing this crazy turn of events.

Fact 1.
I blog about Mr. Dahl being on WGN Morning News. I describe his "act" as tired and boring.

Fact 2.
9/28/07(Later that day....)
In a clear move of insecurity, Mr. Dahl, reads my blog and, as per usual, turns the criticism into a bit about me being "wheelchair mean" instead of dead-on accurate.

Fact 3.
Sun-Times article by Robert Feder , Deathwatch, sites poor ratings for WCKG as a whole and told of a future format change, including a new home for Mr. Dahl. Mr. Dahl in his blog responded by jumping all over Robert Feder. He didn't deny anything however.

Fact 4.
Sun-Times' Robert Feder confirms what he predicted three weeks earlier, Mr. Dahl is moving.

The point I'm trying to make is, Watch Out! This blog has shown it has the power to make things change. Remember the Cubs?

My blog 2
Cubs 0
Dahl 0.

Who's next?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hey Prince, I Got Your Lawsuit Right Here Pal

We all know there are way too many lawsuits in this country. Some suits are legit, while most are just a cash grab. Some are just a huge waste of everybody's time. To that end I give you Prince.

Prince saw a video on YouTube and felt his vast musical empire was being violated. I will show you this video, but I warn you,


It is 29 seconds that will shock your inner core.

The Video(Click Link)

Let's Go Crazy Baby

Now that you have seen the video you understand.

Those 29 seconds prompted one of the most successful artists in music history to call his legal team who then contacted YouTube who then contacted the video owner and told them,

"Your video is illegal and we're taking it down".

The owner of this vile video then contact another lawyer who contacted YouTube who then contacted Prince's legal army who told Prince,

"No it's not! We are putting it back up".

According to a story by ABC Prince scours the internet looking for people or web sites misusing his material. Prince sounds like Googleholic. I can just imagine him Googling every title of every song he has ever written. I'm guessing he gets a lot of car dealerships when searching Little Red Corvette (my Google found 1.7 million sites).

I just wonder why the Raspberry Beret guy does this. Does he not have enough money? Maybe when he partied in 1999 he lost all his money.

I'm trying use a lot of Prince's song titles so he might find my blog next time he's Googling. That way he can explain to me why his Purple Rain is not enough for him. I would also ask him if the band KISS ever gave him a hard time about his song Kiss?

I figure if I can get under Steve Dahl's skin I should be able to get under Prince's skin When Doves Cry. I would be Delirious if he contacted me.

Maybe he's just frustrated that he hasn't had a #1 song since 1991. Hard to party like it's 1991 I guess.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Rest of The Story

I'm online all day. I'm talking from 6:30am until 8:30pm and longer on weekends. I have an addiction to news web sites. Mostly I just read the headlines, which I admit, is not a good thing. But, I'm a busy man doing high-tech things and sometimes headlines are all I have time for.

Certain headlines will make me slam on the breaks and read.
For example on the Chicago Tribune web site today;

Bird-watchers vs. gay men seeking sex in area woods
Who knew bird-watcher were so horny!

A 9-year-old girl's playmate is swept out of a jet's open cargo door over Chicago
Why are kids playing in the cargo area of a jet?

When I get the time I'll go back and get the rest of the story.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This Way To Your Table

For those of you who regularly read my blog you know I am a sports fan. I am a fan of baseball and football first and foremost. There were a couple of quotes related to those sports that I would like to comment on.

Baseball first.
With his Boston Red Sox down 3-1, one loss away from the World Series, Manny Ramirez was quoted saying,

"who cares?" if the Red Sox don't get to the World Series. "It's not like it's the end of the world."

I will preface(you know I mean business when I say preface) my comments by saying Manny Ramirez is one of the best hitters ever to play major league baseball. And yes the sun would have risen had the Red Sox not won their place in the World Series. But to say, "who cares ?", is a slap in the face to every kid and adult who have played the game.

Right or wrong, fans live and die by their sports teams. Only 50 out of 300 million people get to play in a World Series each year. So it should be considered an honor to play in one. Boston, alone, had an attendance of
2.9 million people pay to watch them play in person this season. And as any fan knows, going to see a baseball game is not cheap. Who cares? Lot of people that's who.

Football is next.
My Chicago Bears are not having the season many predicted they would have. Some have blamed it on something called the Super Bowl hangover. Tommie Harris, Bears defensive lineman, said that maybe they lost their hunger just being in the Super Bowl last season.

Excuse me?

How do you lose your hunger by losing the big game? That's like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and having a bowl of soup. If anything they should be more hungry. The winners of the Super Bowl, the Indianapolis Colts, still seem hungry as they are 6-0.

As a fan I live vicariously through my sports figures. I believe had I not been disabled I would have played football and baseball. It hurts to see talented athletes waste or not appreciate the talents God has given them. I wonder if any of those athletes live vicariously through bloggers?

Monday, October 22, 2007

To Pee Or Not To Pee

I thought all those FAMILY restrooms popping up were being created for me. I don't mind sharing MY family restrooms with mothers or fathers who have kids in tow. But the needs are growing, read on.

When my wife and I are out and nature calls me it can be a problem. If we are at a mall, for example, we will check to see if the women's restroom is accessible. If it is, I then will swiftly follow her to the targeted stall while trying not to make eye contact with any ladies that might already be in there. I'm not embarrassed for myself mind you, but for the women who now see a man in their most sacred of territories. The looks I get range from total avoidance to complete bewilderment.

SIDENOTE: To all men who are weirdly curious about the inner workings of the womens restroom, forget all your fantasies. There are, amazingly, no long legged super models lounging around in lingerie or college cheerleaders prancing about. It's all a sham! Their restrooms stink just as bad as ours do or worse. My theory is that because women are not expected to, shall we say, lower their internal air pressure, in public. They save all their efforts for the ladies room. Thus concentrating their output. Whereas, men are not held to such a high standard so they will dissipate air more freely.

Back to my main point. More and more we have been seeing the FAMILY restroom. This is generally a single use bathroom with a lockable door. Finally, I don't have slither into a ladies room fearful some Grandmother might keel over seeing a man in the restroom. Or worse, Grandma forgets to close the stall door. I found these restrooms to be a God send for both sexes.

But now I'm reading that MY FAMILY restroom is also being used by Gender Challenged individuals. You see there are some people who feel the need, be it biologically or socially, to dress as the opposite sex. And they gather confused looks from fellow restroom users who don't understand that Johnny Linebacker needs to dress like his Aunt Sophie. Hey, I'm a hip guy. I'm all for people feeling comfortable in their own skin. But, if Johnny Linebacker still looks like Dick Butkus after he's all dolled up, maybe dressing up like Aunt Sophie is not a good idea after all.

I'm also selfish. If the fact that there are more and more Johnny Linebacker's out there garners me more FAMILY restrooms I'm all for your fruffy idiosyncrasies. To help us all there is even a web site, Safe 2 Pee, that will help us all plot out out potty stops.

Go forth young men and women or vise versa to be free to pee.
(Insert Star-Spangled Banner here)

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Nobel Prize For Apologies

In the past I have apologized for comments I might make in the future. I try not to offend people, but its a good probability my opinions might clash with others. I have also been critical of celebrities and athletes that do that, "I'm sorry to anyone who might have been offended", apology. My future apology and the famous-person apology now have to take a back seat to the Nobel Prize Winner apology.

Let me explain.

James D. Watson. If you know who that is without a quick Google you're one smart Ritz cracker.

James D. Watson won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material".

In other words, he was responsible for discovering that DNA was really cool and important to all living things. I have his bobble-head doll.

Well, it turns out recently Watson made some comments that were racially insensitive.

(From Wikipedia)
Watson said in an article for the
Sunday Times Magazine published on October 14, 2007, that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really." He claims to hope that everyone is equal, but he counters that "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true." He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because "there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don’t promote them when they haven’t succeeded at the lower level."

(Insert Cricket Sounds Here)

What I want to discuss is his reply to the obvious uproar.

(From the Chicago Tribune)
Watson had expressed regret for the remarks earlier Thursday, saying he was "mortified by what had happened."
"I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said," he said in a statement to the Associated Press. "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

My man Watson is apologizing by being shocked by what he himself said.
Kinda like he was possessed and an evil doer was making him say things beyond his control. I think I saw an episode of Scooby Do where this happened. Or even better, maybe it was his evil twin. Hanna Montana just had an episode like that, but it was Miley's cousin Luanne who looked just like her and was jealous of her cousin's success.
(I think I've revealed too much.)

I predict you will see Mr. Watson's apology technique being used by many in the future.

Imagine the Maury Povich Show, "I can't figure out how my sperm got connected to her egg!"

In politics, "There is no reason why our soldiers should have been killed!"

In sports, "I'm bewildered by the fact there are drugs, steroids, alcohol, and kitty litter in my urine!"

Just as Mr. Watson's efforts in science changed the world 45 years ago his apology style will change all apologies in the future.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Settle Down

I have to say the above two words to my son a lot. He's very energetic and gets excited at times and needs to be reeled in for his own good. The same could be said about the flak surrounding Ellen Degeneres dog adoption flap.

Here's a quick overview.
  • Ellen adopts dog from shelter.
  • New dog and old cats don't get along.
  • Ellen gives her adopted dog to hairdresser with two kids.
  • Dog Shelter discovers change of address for new dog.
  • Adoption policy broken.
  • Dog shelter takes dog away from hairdresser and kids.
  • Ellen cries on TV.
  • People threaten dog shelter.
  • Mark writes blog about ordeal.
There are a lot of different opinions I have on this, but I'm going to shake my head at those threatening the dog shelter. Why?
We can disagree with their policies.
We can disagree with their actions.
We can dance,
We can dance everybody's takin' the chance
Oh Well the safety dance
Ah yes the safety dance.


Oh yeah, we can disagree with their actions. But where does it say, that because a company is doing busy legally, we have the right to threaten them with all types of violence?

Settle down people.
Ellen will settle her problem a lot easier without all the threats. If you have too much energy play this game to help you calm down.

The Free Rice Word Game

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Got Nothing

I've been asked from time to time, where do you get your ideas for your blog? Well, I like to write about whatever is going on in the world around me. I also try to pick subjects that I hope will be interesting to you, the reader. Some days are easier than others. Today, I'm stuck.

Nothing happening of great interest in sports. Cleveland went up 3 games to 1 over Boston.

In Chicago entertainment an aging Van Halen was in concert here. I didn't go. I would have liked to, but it's the middle of the week and we'd need a sitter. I'd be a little embarrassed getting a baby-sitter to go see a Van Halen concert. It doesn't quite have the same edge it did when I was in high school. To be honest I have no recollection if I've seen Van Halen or not. I remember seeing my first concert, Journey, in 1983(it was a school night too, ROCK N' ROLL!). And yes Scott and Mike, they did sing "Lovin, Touchin', Squeezin'." Funny, I don't recall my last concert. Does Disney's Toy Story on Ice count?

I'm not too interested in being controversial. So I wont talk about politics, the war, religion or who will loose more weight Kirstie Ally or Valerie Bertinelli.

Because I feel I owe my readers something, I give you this graphic. I stumbled upon this during my web surfing. Click on the figure of a spinning dancer. The question, is the dancer spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise? Can you make it change direction?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Buy Me Some Players And Crackerjacks....

Last night the Colorado Rockies won their spot in the World Series.
Last night the New York Yankees were home playing Mahjong while sipping on some green tea.
Last night the Boston Red Sox were on the losing side of the field.
Last night the Cleveland Indians were playing baseball and winning.
Last night the Chicago Cubs were packed away in boxes until next February.
(I include them because it has been 100 years since they won a World Series.)

It's fun to give the Yankees and Red Sox a hard time because they are the top two spenders in baseball. While the Rockies and the Indians are not. The Yankees and Red Sox feel that they have to buy the best players to assure a World Series victory. I was crunching the numbers this morning and here is what I found.

The Yankees last championship was in 2000. Since then the Yankees have spent $1.1 billion on players with no championships.

The Colorado Rockies have only been in existence since 1993. Their total payroll in that time frame has been $708 million. They are in their first World Series this year.

The Chicago Cubs since 1988 (that's as far back as my payroll sources go) have spent $1.02 billion.

This year alone the Boston Red Sox paid $51 million just for the rights to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. His salary this year is $6 million. In total, that's $57 million for one player. He was the losing pitcher last night by the way.

In contrast, the entire 2007 payroll for the Rockies was $54 million. The Indians 2007 payroll was $61 million. Together that comes to $115 million. The Red Sox' total payroll was $143 million.

In conclusion. It is clear that money cannot always buy a championship, the Cubs will never win another championship, and I have too much time on my hands.

(Payroll source USA TODAY)

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Wandering Mind

This weekend I had the great honor of being a Confirmation Sponsor for our dear friends' son, Matt. For those who might not know what that means I'll explain. In the Catholic church when you are baptized, usually as a baby, your parents let the church know you promise to raise the child to believe in God and all that the church believes. Then when that baby grows up to be around the age of 13, as in Matt's case, he/she himself will Confirm what his parents promised. The sponsor, in this case me, assures everyone is on the up and up. I presented Matt to Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, a high ranking priest, introducing him by his confirmation name, Joseph.

It was a very special day with lots of ceremony. As I stated earlier, I was honored to be a part of Matt's special day. I took my responsibility seriously. I was inspired by the words of Bishop Gustavo. We were one of the first to go. I didn't screw up Matt's name, I didn't run over the Bishop or Matt, and there was no inappropriate emissions of gas. I was feeling great. There were a lot of young adults making their confirmations as well. 45 minutes worth of young adults confirming themselves. We were done in the first 5 minutes. Which, meant there was going to be a lot of time I needed to occupy my mind for.

Since we sat up front all the people had to pass us. By nature I'm a people watcher, so for me this was a people watching jackpot. There was one thought that kept creeping back into my mind, shoes. Specifically, women's shoes. Not that I wanted to wear them, but why and how do women wear them. I saw young and old, flip flopping towards the Bishop, I saw young ladies desperately trying to balance on high heels, and I saw some women wearing things that probably would be banned by the Geneva Convention. Theses "shoes" had long pointed spikes that were intended to support the heal. Then they curved down six inches at an angle most roller coaster enthusiasts would hurl at. To be finished off with a pointed toe so sharp you could probably open a can of peaches with. The tip of the shoe extended a good 3 to 4 inches beyond the toes, why I ask? Then I started imagining people walking in church big clown shoes. That's what clown shoes do, but they extend about two feet past the toes.

Then I wonder if I'm being disrespectful in church making myself laugh in church. Finally, the regular part of the mass continued and my mind was pulled back. I thank God for all he provides me. I just wonder what He/She thinks when He/She sees that kind of footwear. Does God say, "Oh my Me!"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good Tech, Bad Tech

Being the computer geek that I am I always have my eyes open for technology. Yesterday I discovered, well not like Columbus discovered, but rather found in the paper and in my email box, two interesting websites.

I'll start with the good tech.
The Breast Cancer Site.
Just by clicking your mouse on this site you are helping raise money to fight breast cancer. In fact, people clicking at The Breast Cancer Site have helped raise the funds needed to provide 16,000 mammograms for woman in need since the year 2000. And while the site was originally designed to raise money for breast cancer you can additionally help raise money for other noble causes like,
The Hunger Site,
The Children's Health Site,
The Literacy Site,
The Rainforest Site,
and The Animal Rescue Site.

All that just by clicking your computer's mouse. It cannot be any easier to help others. That is what technology is all about.

Now for the bad tech.
I'm only mentioning this site because I saw the story the same day as I heard of the others above. The site, which I will not link to, is called My Free Implants. The site provides a place for women to "advertise" to people, mostly men, and have those people donate money for a future breast implant surgery. For free, men who register can see pictures, no nudity, of the women who desire to change themselves. For a fee, men can see more of the future patients via pictures they have posted. The site owners consider themselves providing a public service. After looking at the site, its just a virtual strip joint. I felt dirty. I'm no prude mind you, I just felt dirty.

So here we have two very different cases of how technology is being used. The internet has roots going as back as the 40's. I would love to know what those original geeks think of how technology is working today.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ho Hum, Another School Shooting

This morning I had intended to read the news about the Cleveland student who shot 4 people and then killed himself. The thing that kinda surprised me was, I had to dig for the story. Granted we are in Chicago and the shootings happened in Cleveland, but doesn't this warrant front page real estate?

The top story for the Sun-Times, Get that teacher an apple. Good stuff bravo. The Cleveland story was on the front, but down in the middle.

The top story for the Chicago Tribune, Stone could run the team. Steve Stone, former Cub announcer, is a possible general manger for a potential new owner. Whatever! The Cleveland story cannot be found on the front page.

This bothers me because that means a kid going into a school and shooting people is no longer an important story. Kids and guns should be a very important issue.

I don't like guns. Guns kill people. (Please don't give me the people kill people reply.) To often there will be a tragic event involving a gun. People will have marches, petitions will be signed, maybe a brief boycott or two. Change will be demanded and change will be promised. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years and nothing changes.

Then another tragedy.

People will have marches, petitions will be signed, maybe a brief boycott or two. Change will be demanded and change will be promised. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years and nothing changes.

I know people kill people. I know many times the people are disturbed and have many many issues that lead them own the path of death. I'm just saying, why make available to them the tools of death.

I don't have any answers. I just don't want what happen in Cleveland, Virginia, and all the other places to be forgotten.

A tragedy happens when we forget to learn from our past.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This Just In...

Sometimes as a witty blogger I have to put on my journalist's hat.

Some disturbing information has been sent to me regarding what was really behind the recent Chicago Marathon tragedy. A group calling themselves All-Catered has claimed responsibility for the dangerous situation. The group describes themselves as people who are against people who exercise, stay fit, and otherwise lead healthy lifestyles.

In, what can only be described as a Manafeasto, All-Catered is a group of apathetic sedentary overweight Frito munching couch potatoes. They are opposed to all things organic, green, fat-free, repetitive, pulse raising, motivational, and anything ending in "cise". They go on to say that if things can't be done via the phone, internet, delivery, drive-thru, room service, cable or satellite dish it ought not be done. (You know they are serious when they use a word like ought.) They continue with, the only type of marathons they acknowledge are Seinfeld, Beauty and the Geek, Rhoda, The Golden Girls, The Simpsons, and Cops.

Using WMD's ,weapons of mass dehydration, this group covertly spilled the cups of water that were meant for the runners. Thereby creating the dangerous situation.

I pressed their leader Asiago Bottom as to when they might strike again. He said probably never as doing another attack would be repetitive which goes against what they believe in. I was provided the their video. (The content might be disturbing to some.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why Are Some People Puckered At Both Ends?

Each morning I like to read the news online. I like to know what pressing matters are happening in the world. Just like traditional newspapers, online news sites put the most important news on the front page. I had to chuckle at this Chicago Tribune front page story, Google logos draw fire.

Apparently, some people thought this image was not very American.

Some feel Google should not be honoring the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. I'm so glad all of the world's real problems have been solved so we can start talking about this kind of thing.

While I don't claim to be an expert, I believe
the launch of Sputnik was an event that changed the course of modern history. Here is part of what NASA says about Sputnik;

History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.

Those are pretty big words from an organization that was once the main competitor of the U.S.S.R. space program.

Google is a giant in the world right now. I would venture to say that 85% people using a computer today will Google something. Small people fear giants. Really small people fear cartoons.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Why I Really Don't Like The Cubs.
I am White Sox fan. I was born and raised a White Sox fan. I do not like the Cubs.

I'm often asked, "Mark, why don't you like the Cubs?" Well, I'm not often asked, but I needed fodder for today's blog. It's still a valid question though. I have made no secret here and in the real world that I do not like the Cubs. People will also say, "It's Chicago, you have to support your own". I say, "No". My team for baseball, is the White Sox. Here are my thoughts.

First, would be tradition. I was raised as a White Sox fan and to root root root against the Cubs. I would guess this has to do with geography. My Dad's family was a south (sowf) side of Chicago family. My grandfather worked in the Stockyards. They were not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. So baseball was their luxury. The White Sox were within walking distance of where they lived so the White Sox became their team and thus my team.

Secondly, the Cubs honor losing. In 1998 when the Cubs won the National League Wild Card I remember a lot of talk about past great Cub teams. The focus was mostly on the 1969 Cubs team. A team that lost a sizable lead at the end of the season to miss the playoffs entirely. Little mention was made of the '84, '89 teams that actually made the playoffs.

Thirdly, Cubs fans (well not all, but most). Every team has good fans, bad fans, smart fans, dumb fans (sounds like a Dr. Suess book). The Cub fans you see most are the dumb ones. The ones that for the last hundred years keep coming back for more without question. They are like the guests on a Maury Povich show whose spouse has been caught cheating.
"Please baby take me back. I'll get better. I wont cheat again. I promise baby, pleeeeeease."
They kiss and make up and then five months later they are back on the show. Cub fans need to step back and take a long look at their relationship with their team.

Fourthly, Cubs ownership. The owners are probably the biggest reason I loath (nice word huh!) the Northsiders (Nortsiders). They know that they could put a team of Emperor Penguins in uniform and they will still sell 2 million tickets each year. As long as they have someone to butcher the Take Me Out To The Ballgame song, a savior, and there are bleacher seats available, the fans keep coming. Each year the owners give the fans a savior. The one player or coach that will carry them to the promise land. Former and current saviors. Lou, Soriano, Zambrano, Dusty, Lee, Prior, Wood, Sammy, Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Durham, Buckner, Kingman, and so on and so on.

Growing up my Dad always tried to emphasize how to play a game to win. Being disabled never got in the way of this philosophy. We found ways to play sports. Because my brother was disabled also, I had an opposition on the same level of play (although I was much better). If you play a sport, you play to win. The Cubs go against this. Which is why they are home for the holidays.

To all Cub fans. Yes, I know the Sox sucked this year.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Was It Worth It?

Don't you hate staying up late when you know you have to get up early the next morning? I, like many in Chicago, did last night. I had to. It was a very special occasion. It doesn't happen every year. I was with a big group of friends and family, so that made it fun too. The drinks were good. The food was good. People cheering for their favorites, it was fun.

Did you actually go to a bar and watch the Cubs lose last night?
Oh, hell no. But, that was great wasn't it?
I was at the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians Physician of the Year Awards.

My brother-in-law, Dr. Jim Valek, was named Physician of the Year. It is a very cool thing. I have been working with him for 5 years now. His practice, Vista Family Medicine, is the latest incarnation. I won't give him a hard time about not mentioning me in his speech. But, don't be surprised if his picture on his website becomes what some would described as incriminating.

The awards were very cool. A room full of doctors. Best place to be if you're gonna get sick. Funny thing though, in a room full of doctors you never hear the common greeting,
"How are you doing?" More like,
"Good to see you."

I was happy to be there. I'm glad to be associated with a great group of people known as Vista Family Medicine. I'm tired this morning. But, a good tired.

The Docs wons and the Cubs lost.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

How Quickly They Turn
I am White Sox fan. I was born and raised a White Sox fan. I do not like the Cubs.

Last night I was in bed at 8:45PM. Nearly 15 minutes BEFORE the Cubs were to start their historic drive to the World Series.

I slept great. I didn't even mind, too much, when the alarm went off at 4:30AM.

When I heard the news that the Cubs lost, I was happy and not surprised. I was surprised that Carlos Zambrano didn't have a mental breakdown. Good for him. He did a great job.

I was surprised at how fast the tables turned on Lou Piniella. (
Great Lou Song)

For the record, I like Lou. He is "Old School". He was a great pick to attempt to erase 99 years of FAILURE. Lou is a winner. His record proves that. He helped manage this team to 19 more wins than last season. One would think his 43 years in professional baseball would mean something.

But, there it was this morning. Nearly every news source was blaming Lou Piniella for pulling his ace pitcher after just 6 innings. Sports reporters love applying blame and raising doubts while ignoring facts.

The Arizona Diamondbacks won this game.
They shut down a good offensive ball club. Lou trusted his bullpen. He trusted a player with a 1.43 ERA, that's good. It didn't work out.

Now if Lou had brought in Steve Bartman to pitch, then you could criticize him.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cram A Square Peg Into A Round Hole

I am White Sox fan. I was born and raised a White Sox fan. I do not like the Cubs.

Today the baseball playoffs begin. In Chicago and across the country the buzz is all about the Cubs. The last time the Cubs were World Champions it was 1908. My Grandmother was just about to celebrate her 1st birthday. The first Ford Model T just rolled off the assembly line. Teddy Roosevelt was President. In other words, it was a LOOOOOOONG time ago.

People so badly want the Cubs to win they are forgetting the facts.

It is a fact that the Cubs have the worst record of all the playoff teams. There will be four teams with better records than the Cubs watching the playoffs from home.

It is a fact that Arizona has beaten the Cubs 19-12 over the last few seasons since 2003.

I predict Zambrano will collapse under the pressure of nearly 100 years of losing.

But, they have a 1 in 8 shot to win this year while my White Sox have a 1 in 30 to win it next year.

I am officially throwing my support behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

Have a listen to this Cubs song. Please Stop Believin'

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Did you not learn anything from Steve Bartman?

Dear Cub fans,

I'm writing you today out of concern. I see you celebrating now as if you have already won the World Series. Remember there are no trophies awarded for Central Division Champs. All you get is the right to buy over-priced T-shirts ($25), caps ($20), sweatshirts (over $50) and my favorite the Central Division Champs gold coin ($20).

Ask yourselves is this what you've been waiting your entire lives for?

In 1984 you were one game away from the World Series.
Only to lose 3 in
a row.
Nothing is guaranteed.

In 2003 you were 5 outs away from the World Series.

5 outs!

Nothing is guaranteed.
In 2004 the mighty overpaid Yankees were up 3 games to the Red Sox, and lost 4 in a row.
That was never supposed to happen, but it did.

Nothing is guaranteed.

At the Cubs pep rally yesterday they brought out a team member from each of the Cubs previous post-seasons. Essentially all losers. If you don't stop celebrating mediocrity you will never move forward.

When the Sox were bad Sox fans closed their wallets to the team, but not their hearts. It was tough love, but in the end we won the 2005 World Series. And then we gladly opened our wallets and our hearts even more.

I know what it feels like to support a World Champion. I've been moved to tears seeing the team my father and my grandfather rooted for win it all. My father only got to see a World Series, not a champion. My grandfather would have seen the 1917 World Champions.

I know nothing can replace the euphoria of winning it all.
Cub fans will say they are the best fans because they support their team win or lose. I ask, "How's that been working for ya?"


Monday, October 01, 2007

Hawaiian Boring.

On Friday I posted my opinion about Steve Dahl and how over the years I grew tired of his show. Well, I wanted to be fair, so I sent Steve Dahl an invitation to read my blog.

He accepted. He read it. He blogged about it. He devoted 13 minutes of his show to me.

I was honored, once I found out late Friday afternoon. Apparently, nobody I know listens to Mr. Dahl anymore either.

Here is what Mr. Dahl had to say about me in his blog;

I was checking my email at and I got an email from a guy named Mark Plocharczyk asking me to read his blog. So I did at I wasn’t ready to get completely dismissed by a guy in a wheelchair. I suppose that handicapped people are just as mean and opinionated as anybody else, but usually they tend to be a little bit more tolerant and accepting of me. Ironically, we were on Channel 9 yesterday to promote a charity event. The whole thing makes me feel like I’m in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. At least it's not the road-hogging cyclist coming after me again; it’s just a guy taking all of the good parking spaces.

If you want to hear exactly what he said on his show you can listen here; Hour 2 from 9/28/07.

I'm an honest guy. I was laughing at Steve while listening to the podcast. I'm glad I could provide him with some original material. I do, however, take issue with some points raised by Mr. Dahl and his listeners who commented on my blog.

The funniest thing Mr. Dahl said was that I was mean. Nowhere in my blog from Friday did I say anything that could be construed as mean. I could have been mean. I could have asked why Garry always looks like a man with bifocals staring into the sun. But, I didn't. I could have quipped about why Mr. Dahl is always wearing shorts, OK we get it you're a cool Hawaiian wannabe. But, I didn't.

What does my disability have to do with me having an opinion? Mr. Dahl didn't seem so taken aback by someone criticizing him, but by the fact that someone in a wheelchair was criticizing him. Yes, Mr. Dahl, people with disabilities do have opinions and sometimes they're negative. We don't just spin around in circles and drool all day.

To all Mr. Dahl's fans. No, I'm not jealous of Mr. Dahl. I was just pointing out what it feels like when you realize a former idol of yours has fallen. I respect the fact that he has been doing his "act" for 30 years. I just feel the last 15 were the same as the first 15. Even WCKG's slogan for Mr. Dahl's show is, Been There. Done That. The I'm willing to bet he has had a lot of turnover of fans in those years. I'm sure your fans that have been there from the beginning are great people. I'm also fairly certain they like to watch reruns of What's Happening, Three's Company, and Knight Rider?

I understand how popular radio shows work. Your Dahl's, Stern's, and Mancow's must appeal to the most common denominators. The "comedy" can't be so high brow as to leave out the masses. They thrive in perpetuating stereotypes for laughs. And, I admit for awhile it's funny. But then you grow up. Then the "bits" get old and boring.

And in Mr. Dahl's case he becomes "Hawaiian Boring".