if voice recognition exists, why isn't it everywhere?  


my cellphone can call someone based on me saying "name dial"....."fat tony". of course, it says "fat tony, calling" instead of "calling fat tony", but i can live with that.

why can't i push a button on my computer and then say "open excel document fantasy draft 2006"? that's ridiculous. why can i push a one button remote and then say "yankee game" or "YES network" or "89"?

what are people waiting for?

United States of Artie  


Embarrassingly, I often miss metaphors in art. Whether it was scoring a 1 out of 5 on my Advanced English Placement test in Highschool or completely missing the fact that Maggie was the “blue bird of happiness” in season 5 of Six Feet Under, I’m not good at connecting abstract dots. But, I think I finally caught something on Sopranos this week, and I want to get all my thoughts out before I look up online as to whether or not I’m “right”. I think Arte’s story arc was a metaphor for the United States fall from grace.

The Bucco family’s early success was the stereotypical American Dream. In many ways, their success could be connected to early American in general. Through hard work and almost a na├»ve belief in self determination, they became a respected entity.

Somewhere along the line, though, Arte lost his way. He became consumed by success and greed, and got lazy. He started to care more about himself than his customers. Insecurity manifested itself as egotism, as he became a self defeating influence over his own business. Although he refused to admit it, he lost his dominance in the market and overall power.

Specifically, his competition (the new restaurant) represents the European Union. At first, Arte (America) tries to dismiss the upstart power as inferior, and even resorts to petty name calling instead of trying to compete on a qualitative level. He tries in vain to keep old markets open resorting to past success/friendships.

Suppliers (like the meat guy) begin losing faith in Arte, but he can’t understand why. The faith in the American product detoriates.

The United States helps third world countries only when it’s self beneficial. Arte was helping the Albanian hostess (specifically with governmental stuff such as green cards and housing) just because he wants to sleep with her. In fact, he even makes a comment about how it’s a small price to pay for freedom and says “we’re the leading power when it comes to data collection in the world” or something like that. He’s essentially referring to himself as the United States in that scene.

One of the reasons that Arte’s business suffers is because he is outsourcing his work. Tony tells him that he shouldn’t let the Mexicans do all the cooking in the restaurant. Arte is trying to cut costs (read: his own valuable time) by such outsourcing, but his product suffers. The general disdain that he feels towards his workers could also be correlated with our governments lack of concern over the dwindling middle class. The only thing that big business (which essentially IS the government) is concerned with is the bottom line. Comments regarding the size and inefficiency of American Express (a huge corporation) were also interesting, when taken in this context.

Arte increasingly becomes more irrational, which could be connected to the Bush administration. He dismisses the sound advice of Charmaine (the “far left”?), and instead chooses to believe his own hype regarding and outdated review of his restaurant (“they hate us for our freedom”?).

The trouble he suffers is in fact a result of his greed, and “associating with a certain element”. That’s Cheney, Karl Rove, etc. He then goes and burns the bridges of his most loyal allies (Tony) in order for a quick short term fix, which inevitably creates later problems.

Just in general, Arte’s refusal to adapt and change is directly on point with the current state of our government / society / country. We keep telling ourselves that “we’re the best” and that everyone loves us, when that’s clearly not the case. Economically, we’re falling apart, and yet we hold onto this false sense of superiority (Arte’s refusal to use coupons, our country’s moral naivety). You can even connect the B story of Christopher’s observations of the decadence in LA with America’s deterioration. The rich get richer, to the point of absurdity. I thought was interesting that the two famous actors were British (I’m assuming that woman was British). The last scene, where the two Italian guys were joking about the weak American dollar and how the items they purchased would have cost more in Italy was very telling. I think Chase was warning the country with this episode that you can only rest on your reputation for so long.

Then again, the Sopranos is the worst example of product placement I have ever witnessed on television, so maybe I’m completely wrong.

small ball  


read from bottom to top

Dye walked, Cintron to third, Thome to second.
Konerko popped out to shortstop.
Thome walked, Cintron to second.
Cintron singled to center.
Podsednik caught stealing, catcher to shortstop.
Podsednik walked.

three walks in the first inning, AND a hit, and still no runs.

i can't keep up with this 10 pm fox 5 new york news  


i gotta write this timeline down first before i miss something.

10:00-10:10 - interviewed the texas girl.

10:10-10:12 - duke lax players are from ny/nj area

10:12-10:21 - the cherry drink

10:21-10:24 - back to the train, teasers for more train stuff, and american idol controversy.


circa 10:26 - train, then cruise baby born.

10:29 back to commercials.


more details to come when my blood pressure lessens.



Kayne West going to some kid's birthday to sing Goldigger.

small ball vs. fundamentals  


not only is moneyball mis-labeled by the MSM, but so is small ball. For some reason, everything that is classified as "fundamental baseball" is also known as "small ball". It's kind of an unfair battle between moneyball and small ball when PITCHING is labeled as small ball.

The way i see it, the decision when to bunt is a moneyball vs. smallball debate. whether or not the person can successfully lay down that bunt is fundamentals. There's some overlap in that moneyball teams tend to collect players who's skills are more in the take and rake catagory and not the bunting, speed catagory. But, that doesn't mean that moneyballers wouldn't want guys who could also bunt.

this is such a intro 101 post that adds nothing to the discussion, but it's just frustrating to continue to see moneyball vs. smallball continue to be distorted in the MSM. i shouldn't have fallen asleep with sportscenter on.

holy 1990, batman  


The foxsports.com article discussing michael keaton ripping on the pirates management was titled "batman takes some swings". he hasn't been batman in 15 years.