Monday, February 28, 2011


I like this old Bible my mom had and eventually gave to me.

In it, the words of Christ are all in red. The rest of the book is o.k., but to me it is those words in red that are what the book is really about. Why do so many people forget about those words in red and focus on the ones written by others? And those written by the hallucinating guy whose verses supposedly forecast "end times"?

I have always thought that if more people followed the example of Christ, the world would be a much better place. I am not what most people would call a Christian, but I believe there is a bit of Christ in all of us, and we can know this if we bother to look around inside ourselves and find it.

Read the words in red. Do all the other words really matter as much?

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” - Mahatma Gandhi


A union member, a Tea Party member & a CEO are seated at a table, where there's a plate with a dozen cookies. The CEO reaches across the table & grabs 11 cookies. Then he turns to the Tea Party guy and says "Watch out for that union guy; he wants part of your cookie!"

Monday, February 21, 2011


In the picture, the Los Angeles Clippers' 6-foot-10 power forward Blake Griffin is dunking over the New York Knicks' 7-foot-1 center Timofey Mozgov. I feel sorry for Mozgov, because this dunk and pictures of it are quickly becoming iconic in the NBA! It would be no fun to be the player who got dunked on in one of the most spectacular dunks in league history... !

I seem to have lost the ability or the wherewithal to provide you with working links in my blog posts, so my apologies to you.

But if you like great slam dunks, you might not mind copying the following and pasting it into your web browser.

The video takes three minutes, and if you're a basketball fan, this kid is an absolute joy to watch!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Thursday, February 17, 2011


Reprinted by unpopular non-demand, this article appeared here at my blog in July of 2004:

Ages ago when I was in Middle School, our baseball team was playing a road doubleheader. We finished up around dinnertime, and got something to eat from a local greaseburger joint called "The Hand Out". The folks preparing the food were dripping with sweat. They wore soiled white undershirts which exposed armpits that exploded with hair. Hamburger buns were heated on a filthy-looking grill, then slathered with some oily liquid via basting brushes. This was not an appetizing scene, and many of us found ourselves disgusted as we watched. Our stomachs were full of afternoon junk food; red vines, candy bars and chocolates... but we ate our dinner anyway.

The trip home took us over a mountain pass. It was March, and there was still a fair amount of snow on the summit. Our ancient school bus had a problem with its heater, so the heat was the all-or-nothing. To keep ourselves from suffocating, the windows were all lowered six inches along the sides of the bus.

Being prone to motion sickness, I sat in one of the front seats near the window. My friend Bill was concerned about my pale, sweaty appearance.

"Snave, are you o.k.?" he asked.

Before I could answer, my head was out the window. The wind was icy through my hair, and as I puked my guts out the pain forced a tear or two. However, the misery quickly turned to laughter as I pulled my head back in and heard anguished cries from all those on my side of the bus!

"God!! Who Puked?!"

"Awww, man!!"

I turned to face my friend Dave, seated directly behind me. His wiry hair and his eyebrows were coated with a fine misting of light-colored, foul-smelling vomit. He shouted in disgust as he wiped the stuff from his face. Not only had I soiled Dave... I had soiled about 20 other people as well! Not a bad accomplishment, if I say so myself. (To Dave's credit, we are still friends!)

Several weeks later I went to my friend Marty's house after school, and the school bus we rode happened to be the Bus of Infamy. Believe it or not, the windows still had not been cleaned! For the benefit of all the other bus riders that day, I pointed out different food fragments that were still glued to the window... bits of hamburger, lettuce, licorice rope, you name it.

Afterward, for some time to come, I was appropriately known to many around the school as "Mr. Gross-Out".


A couple of months after the above atrocity appeared in what was known at the time as "Various Miseries", this was submitted disrespectfully by yours truly... as if the original post a couple months earlier was not enough:

a poem by Snave, arranged by Martin Klammer

Dripping with sweat
Their soiled white undershirts exposed armpits exploding with hair
Hamburger buns heated on a filthy grill
Slathered with oily liquid via basting brushes.

Our stomachs full of afternoon junk food--
red vines, candy bars and chocolates
We ate our dinner anyway.

My head was out the window
The wind icy through my hair
I puked my guts out
The pain forced a tear or two.
I heard anguished cries from those on my side of the bus.

Weeks later on the Bus of Infamy
Windows not cleaned
Food fragments glued to the window
Bits of hamburger, lettuce, licorice rope,
you name it.


My family will vividly recall me laughing out loud during the "parade" at Disney World six or seven years ago, when Mickey came by on a small float. He was smiling and waving, from inside a large (probably) plastic bubble. I was laughing because I imagined him suffocating inside that bubble... frantically pounding at the sides of the bubble with his white gloves, and slumping down, limp, as his air ran out. A sad, yet somehow pleasing image for me. And until now, only my family knew this. Now it is out here on the internets, for all of you to see. 8-)

Don't get me wrong, I had a wonderful time at Disney World! But as my kids were nearing the end of high school, I was at the end of about 15 years of non-stop Disney. So imagining Mickey suffering? I consider it my private reward.

Monday, February 07, 2011


Here is the 2011 Sasquatch lineup and what I am looking at re. priorities!

Foo Fighters are still on for headlining the Friday show as far as I know. The daily schedule won't be released for a while, so who else is on the Friday bill (or on for any of the other days at what times) is anybody's guess.

My guess is the other three headliners for the following three nights will be Wilco, Flaming Lips and either Death Cab or The Decemberists. (I'm a bit surprised Arcade Fire isn't doing Sasquatch this year, I think lots of people expected them.)

I think the acts supporting the headliners will probably come from a range of artists including either Death Cab or the Decemberists, Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst), Modest Mouse (I think those would be the top three supporting acts), and then the fourth would be from among Iron and Wine, Pink Martini, Beach House, Deerhunter, Wolf Parade...

It all looks good!


Wilco (will be a headliner)
The Flaming Lips (also will headline, and will play "The Soft Bulletin" in its entirety)
Beach House (I can't wait!)
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (I don't have anything but a few download tracks, but I think they will be great live)
Rodrigo y Gabriela (not something I listen to a lot on CDs but they are a must-see live)
Foo Fighters (Friday night headliner - I am not a major fan, but I understand they put on a terrific concert and am looking forward to hearing them!)

2. I WILL DEFINITELY TRY TO SEE THESE (I would only miss if one of the above acts was scheduled at the same time):

Black Mountain
Guided By Voices (!!!)
Local Natives
Old 97’s
Bright Eyes
Iron and Wine
Flying Lotus
Death From Above 1979
Pink Martini (the ultimate lounge act, replete with strings, etc.)
The Thermals
Bonobo (DJ set)
Wolf Parade
Archers of Loaf
Flogging Molly


The Decemberists
Death Cab For Cutie
Modest Mouse
Sleigh Bells

Matt and Kim
Cold War Kids
Against Me!
Best Coast
Major Lazer
Jenny and Johnny (this act is supposed to be very good from what I have heard and read)
Surfer Blood
Tokyo Police Club
Das Racist
Noah and the Whale (I have heard snippets of these guys, they don't sound bad)
The Radio Dept.
Reggie Watts
Fitz and the Tantrums
Smith Westerns
The Head and the Heart
The Antlers (with a name like this, they HAVE to be halfway decent)
The Drums
Sharon Van Etten
City and Colour
Young the Giant
Twin Shadow
Secret Sisters
Aloe Blacc
Sam Roberts Band
Wye Oak
Rival Schools
Foster the People
Alberta Cross
S. Carey
White Denim
Cotton Jones
Basia Bulat
Other Lives
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Bronx
Gold Panda
Tim Minchin
Pepper Rabbit

Thursday, February 03, 2011


The Seattle Mariners were a horrific 61-101 last season, and their offense was historically bad. They scored the fewest runs of any major league baseball team since the advent of the designated hitter! Can things be worse in 2011? Maybe... but I don't believe the Mariners can be that bad again.

As usual, they have some new faces on their roster. None are household names, but the newcomers could be helpful.

Seattle signed Jack Cust to be their designated hitter. He has been in the Oakland organization for a while, and he is known primarily for hitting home runs and for striking out. But despite the strikeouts, Cust had an on-base percentage of nearly .400 in 2010, so while he fans a lot he also knows how to take a walk. Look for 20-30 homers from Cust, with about 180 strikeouts and about 90-100 walks.

Miguel Olivo was signed to be the M's catcher for the next couple of years, and while he is a fairly bad hitter he does have a bit of power. Most of all, he will provide lots more offense than the M's got from youngsters Adam Moore and Rob Johnson last season. Look for 15-20 homers from Olivo.

Infielder Brendan Ryan was acquired from the Cardinals in a trade, and although he is known as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, he will likely begin the season as the Mariners' second baseman. His hitting was off last year, but in 2009 he hit pretty well. Look for a rebound from Ryan at the plate in 2011. Seattle also signed veteran utility man Adam Kennedy to provide some backup, and Josh Wilson (who saw extended time with the M's last season) is also around. Veteran Jack Wilson will probably be the starting shortstop, although he is injury-prone and it would not suprise me to see Ryan slide over to play short when Wilson inevitably gets hurt.

Chone Figgins was a bust at the plate last season, and he played out of position at second base. Now that the Mariners have traded the disappointing Jose Lopez (last year's Mariner third baseman) to the Colorado Rockies, Figgins will head back to play his natural position, third base. He is good defensively. Look for his bat to rebound this year, too. He will bat second in the order behind leadoff hitter Ichiro, and he will steal quite a few bases.

Franklin Gutierrez will be in center field, and his glove is one of the best in the game. His hitting was off last year too, but he ought to be able to hit 15-20 homers and bat around .275 this season while playing stellar defense. Ichiro is back in right field, of course. Look for him to get his usual 200 hits, bat over .300, and steal 30-40 bases. He is aging, but his skills have not diminished.

Other than Ichiro, the aforementioned veterans will all need to have comeback years in 2011, in part because the Mariners will be relying on youth at a few positions. Their regular first baseman will be young Justin Smoak, who came to Seattle in last year's Cliff Lee trade. Smoak will have growing pains, but he still ought to be able to hit 20-30 homers this season. Young left fielder Michael Saunders might be able to hit about that many home runs too, although he has had trouble hitting left-handed pitching during his first couple of stints in Seattle. (Erstwhile problem child Milton Bradley, if the Mariners have him back, will probably see some time in left field too.)

Another youngster to watch will be prize prospect Dustin Ackley, an outfielder in college but now being converted to a second baseman by the M's. Ackley is a pure hitter, one with a great swing. He will probably not become a classic power hitter, but look for lots of doubles and line drives off his bat. His rise through the minors has been quick and efficient. Expect Seattle to call him up this season, after he has had a bit more time in the minors with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers.

In the pitching department, Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award last season with only a 13-12 record... but yes, he was the best pitcher in baseball. With some better offense behind him this year, Felix ought to win 15-20 games. The rest of the Mariners starting rotation is questionable, though. The number two starting pitcher is probably lefthander Jason Vargas, acquired from the Mets a couple of years ago when General Manager Jack Zduriencik traded reliever J.J. Putz to New York. Vargas was 9-12 with a 3.78 earned run average last season. Look for him to have a good year in 2011.

Who will fill the #3 through #5 slots in the rotation? It's a big concern for the ball club. Since his arrival in a trade from Baltimore a few years ago, lefty Erik Bedard has been injured just about all of the time he has been with Seattle. He has battled through arm, hip and shoulder problems, but he is supposedly healthy now. If this is true, and if he can still pitch well, he could be a good #3 starter. After that, it's a crap shoot. Doug Fister, Luke French and rookie Michael Pineda will battle it out in Spring Training. Look for Pineda to become the #4 starter. Fister was decent in 2010, so I would expect him to round out the rotation for 2011. A young starting pitcher with an outside shot to contribute is Mauricio Robles, although it appears the team may be grooming him to be a relief pitcher.

The bullpen will not be great, but the Mariners could do far worse. David Aardmsa has been the Mariners' stopper for the last two seasons, and after an offseason hip surgery it appears the righthander will be ready to go for Opening Day; if he is healthy, he is very good. Brandon League, also a righthander, will appear in a lot of games for Seattle; when his sinker gets going, he is very hard to hit. Seattle signed veteran righthander Chris Ray during this offseason, and if the former closer is healthy he should prove valuable. Some kids may figure into the bullpen mix this year, too. Josh Lueke and Dan Cortes are hard throwers who have the potential to be closers in the future. Brian Moran is a lefty who has made a rapid ascent through the minor leagues and who could be in Seattle soon. And if Shawn Kelley can come back from injury, the bullpen looks like it could be useful in 2011.

While Mariners will not be great in 2011, they won't be as horrible as they were in 2010. This year I look for them to win around 75 games. If they fire on all cylinders, they might win as many as 80.

It will be 2012 and 2013 when they will be closer to contending for the American League West Division title; Jack Zduriencik is drafting and stockpiling good young players, and soon the Mariners' minor league system will be the envy of all the other major league teams. Building strong minors means the team will have talented kids coming up to Seattle every year for a while, and that there will be enough good talent that Seattle can use some of it in trades for acquring the needed veteran players who can help solve trouble spots in the lineup.

Step by step the team is improving. I greatly look forward to witnessing more of this improvement, starting soon! Only 12 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training!


This is one of those times of years when this sports fan gets a bit antsy. College football bowl season is over, baseball hasn't started yet, college basketball's March Madness is still about six weeks away. The NBA? I'm antsy about all the Portland Trailblazers getting injured. Hockey? Who cares about hockey! 8-)

But even though the college football season is finally over (and it was a good one if you are an Oregon fan), things just keep getting better for the Ducks.

They were able to pick up some five-star recruits, they got a whole slew of four-stars, and they have also gotten some junior college players who should be able to step right in and contribute next season. I think I'm going to have a hard time waiting for that opening game against LSU in Dallas! That ought to be a good one! Too bad it won't be for about seven months!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I think it's a shame that FOX "News" has not been losing many viewers, but apparently a certain FOX pundit has.

Of course Glenn Beck has his angry supporters who basically claim he is unfairly picked on in the media, etc.

But Glenn Beck is no victim of persecution here. Facts about ratings are simply being presented.

Beck is just being pointed out more than the others in this article because his show has had the highest ratings and he is the most sensational of all these TV political pundits. If the others were as interesting as Beck, if they had as many bestselling books out as he does, and if they were actually in the public eye as much as he is? They would have received more prominent mention in the article. Beck is a bona fide celebrity; the others are all second-tier when it comes to star power.

I do not make this observation in support of Glenn Beck. Personally, I can't stand looking at him, let alone listening to him. I just fail to see how one could argue that anyone like Olbermann or Cooper is more popular than Beck (even in the media), or that Beck is a victim. If anything, add Beck's prominence to the fact that he is a fascinating personality and it is going to draw lots more attention to him than to the others. And all that extra attention he seeks and gets through his endless self-promotion is going to put him under the microscope more than it will the others.

The mainstream media may be critical of Beck. Or maybe to those who are being sensitive about it, it may seem like the mainstream media treats him unfairly. But think about it... when Glenn Beck makes a comment that may seem outlandish to most people, the media does him huge favors and lends credence to what he says simply by acknowledging what he says and prominently featuring it in the news. He often not only has FOX News working for him, but the mainstream media as well.

If we really had a "liberal media", they would just ignore Beck or we would see more things critical of him. Instead, we have a corporate media that pushes whatever "news" it thinks will sell... because they are all about their bottom line. The more sensational the news, the more it is likely to sell. Beck is a lightning rod in our political world. Because he energizes some sections of our society the way he does, you can bet he will be in the news, and what we hear about him in the news will not always be pretty.

He is not being persecuted. The things we hear and read about him are not much more than the trappings that go along with his being a celebrity.