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April 19, 2006

"How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct."
-Benjamin Disraeli

I'm having mixed emotions right now as a Yankees fan. There's a new pitcher who has come up in the Boston Red Sox system named Jonathan Papelbon. Normally I'd cheer against the guy, since he's on the Red Sox. But he played three seasons for Mississippi State (2001-2003), and he was there while my bro Matt was in school there. In fact, had things worked out differently on Super Bulldog Weekend 2002 or 2003, I might have even seen him pitch in person for Mississippi State. But they didn't... so I didn't.

Also, I have Papelbon on my fantasy baseball team. To be fair, fantasy baseball means very little to me. It's a slight distraction to get me through the lean months during the NFL's off-season. Fantasy football is where it's at, to be sure. But, on the advice of Bill Simmons, I traded in my league to get Papelbon. I had to give up John Smoltz to do it (I also got Kevin Foulke in the deal, but only because the other guy threw him in), but it was worth it. I just now looked up [corverre "it was worth it"] on Google to try and find what Beavis & Butt-head episode the line of "I had to pull my kids out of school to pay for the upkeep, but it was woooooorth it" came from, and the only entry came from a commentary I wrote nearly five years ago. The episode (this took some digging) was titled Carwash, airing in season three of the show. says: "Needing money to replace the batteries in their TV remote control, Beavis and Butt-head offer to wash a neighbor's vintage car. They take it for a drive to air dry it, and get into an accident with Mr. Anderson." Good times! I hope that before the show King of the Hill ends its run on FOX that it will be revealed that Tom Anderson is Hank Hill's uncle or something (their voices, both performed by Mike Judge, are almost identical.)

As for Papelbon, he's been woooooorth it for my fantasy team, he played at Mississippi State, and he even played a season of Single-A minor league ball in Sarasota in 2004, so for those reasons I should cheer for him. But he just happens to be on the one team in sports that I despise more than all others. Such is life.

I might go to a Braves game or two this year. Back in 1989 I saw the Braves at the old Fulton-County Stadium, and I've been inside their current ballpark (Turner Field) during the 1996 Olympics... But I haven't seen the Braves play at their new stadium yet, though I hear it's a nice place to see a ball game. Any place has to be better than Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, though, which is what I had to go through to see MLB action over the past five years.

There's a term in the radio industry when you're referring to a demographic that includes both men and women (i.e. 25-54 year old) called persons. That always annoyed me, as I didn't understand why the word people wasn't used, instead. Today I found this page, which explains that persons used to be the common word used for the plural of person in old English, but beginning with the author Chaucer that the word people began to be used instead. Now it's only used "largely in formal or legal contexts" where "each member of a group is being considered as an individual." Since an Arbitron diary considers each entry of the P25-49 (Persons 25-49) demographic, for example, I suppose that's why it's done that way. Yet another reason to love the power of the internet...

On the topic of the English language, a word that has evolved in the past ten years is blog (a derivative of weblog.) I don't particularly like this word; it makes it too easy to dismiss thoughtful, or thought-provoking, writings made online. I found myself in an argument in January about if a blog required a comments section. Of course, it doesn't, and I found that the strict definition on backs me up: "Weblog: A website that displays in chronological order the postings by one or more individuals and usually has links to comments on specific postings." I suppose this site meets most of those criteria, though the main page serves as a list of the most recent posts (versus a long string of information posted all in a row, and then cataloged later by some computer program.) My point though is that a weblog, by definition, doesn't require a comments section.

Alabaster (the town in Alabama where I live) continues to grow. On the city's official website I found a link to this article about a new hotel that is in the works for the Alabaster I-65 exit. I also found that a Target is in the works for the Promenade area part two; the Wal-Mart anchors part one (sorry to Jim Anthony, but how can I not talk about the place?)

I'm starting to pick up on the social pecking order around here... and some people see Alabaster as the "rich" area. I laugh at that, particularly when I drive down the road that takes me to my apartment complex, but I suppose everything is relative. This is a nice place to live, though. People here are, by and large, very friendly. The whole "Southern Hospitality" thing might seem like a stereotype, and I suppose it is, but it's a positive one. I know that my co-worker Randle was a bit taken aback when I got stiff on the phone with the J-Mar truck rental guy in Tampa last week. Part of that has to do with the way things are normally done around here... but then again I think most people get taken aback when my dark side comes out. Treat me well, and I'll do my best to do the same to you. Cause me problems for long enough, and I'll turn into a pit bull on you. I do have patience, but every man has his limits.

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