Mark McGwire owes us an apology

Nearly 5 years ago I wrote a post titled “Apologies are owed to Mark McGwire”.  It was the first post that I had written to gain any sort of attention. The point of the story was that even though Mark McGwire hadn’t told Congress that he had taken steroids, he didn’t lie on the stand, and he should be respected for that, especially in light of Raphael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa. I defended him for that. Watching Palmeiro and Sosa up there, lying under oath, I respected that he didn’t lie. That’s all undone tonight.

I watched Mark McGwire go on the MLB Network and lie to the fans and that is unforgivable. McGwire stated that he didn’t take steroids for performance enhancing benefits, just to get back out on the field sooner. He also stated that was able to hit because he had God given talent. Maybe he believes this, but Mark, you benefited from taken steroids, whether you wanted to, or not.  It’s not as if you can tell the steroids to only make you feel better and not make home runs go 25 feet further.

Either McGwire lies or he’s stupid, and I don’t think he’s stupid. What I don’t understand is why come this far just to screw it up at this point. What’s worse is that when McGwire stated that he wishes that he didn’t play in that “era”, he basically threw every player that played in the 90’s under the bus. It’s one thing for writers and fans to do that, it’s another thing entirely for McGwire to do so.

Good for Mark McGwire coming clean after all these years, I wish him the best of luck as a hitting coach. Let’s hope he teaches his players how to play on the field, and that those same players learn from his example of how not to behave off the field.

Top 10 List of Late Night Talk Show Hosts Better than Leno

It’s been 4 short months since Jay Leno single handedly ruined NBC television. So now he goes and ruins late night once again. The fact that Leno won the battle against Letterman had nothing to do with quality, it was luck and following Johnny Carson. To prove my point, here’s a top 10 list of late night talk show hosts better than Jay Leno.

  1. Jon Stewart
  2. David Letterman
  3. Conan O’Brien
  4. Craig Ferguson
  5. Stephen Colbert
  6. Wanda Sykes
  7. Jimmy Fallon
  8. Jimmy Kimmel
  9. Carson Daly
  10. Mike “The Situation” (from the Jersey Shore)

OK – maybe it’s a stretch on those last two, but honestly I enjoy Jersey Shore more than Leno.

I’d like to give Conan O’Brien a little advice – don’t take the 12:05 spot. Settle with them, take the money, and run to Fox. There you can bring back your old show, and clean his clock.

Where are the Philly police

I recently returned to work for a non-profit in Center City Philadelphia. It’s great to be back in the city, it makes me feel more a part of things. Because of the cold, my walk has been limited to about seven blocks. What’s crazy is what I haven’t seen in this time.

It’s been a little more than 3 weeks and I’ve yet to see my first police officer aside from those whizzing by in their cars. Not one policeman or woman walking a beat. No directing of traffic, no standing on the corner making sure there’s no trouble.

It’s not like there isn’t a need – there is a total disregard for traffic laws by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. There are intersections where blocking the box is the rule. And what happened to the blitz on renegade bicyclists? Seems like it lasted a day. And while they’re at it, there are too many pedestrians that could use a jaywalking ticket. And maybe a visible presence on the streets would prevent the bank robberies that happened downtown recently.

It seems to me that policing shouldn’t be limited to cars, subways, airports, and ghettos. It seems that the Philadelphia Police are only focused on anyone carrying a gun or selling drugs. That’s all well and good, but for the other 99% of situations that deserve their attention, it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.

RIP CSI Miami

So CSI Miami has decided to mimic the other CSIs only without the talent or quality. They were tired of people laughing at them (I thought they were laughing with us). So now CSI Miami might as well be NCIS (that’s not a complement). How have they changed?

  • No more snappy Horatio one liners
  • No more quick removal of the sunglasses
  • No more Alex making mental love to her corpses
  • No more Horatio talking to Eric – because there’s no Eric

They even added more ugly – er – normal looking CSIs. (Of course the guy they replaced Delko with could be a model).

The problem here is that the scripts are still ridiculous and the acting still horrible, but without the pithy humor to distract us from all that. I often said that I liked CSI  Miami because I thought the writers and actors were in on the joke. I mean seriously, Elizabeth Berkley? Mala noche justice? Do you think we can respect you after 8 years of that kind of cheese? As Whitney would say – “Hell to the no”.

CSI Miami – I’ll miss you.

Love me some LaLa

I just reviewed Lala over at SlyMiser. I know I’m late to this particular game, but Lala is still worth crowing about. Of course now that Apple has purchased Lala – everyone will be hearing about them. Amazon MP3 is still my store of choice, but I’m keeping my eye on Lala.

What do you do for music? iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, something decidedly less legal? Let me know in the comments section.

Top Albums of Decade (2000-2009): 1-10

The top albums of the decade. This is opinion and for some reason 2005 was my favorite year of the decade in music. It shows in this list. I could listen to these albums, and only these albums, from now to the end of time and continue to find something wonderful and new in each one. The funny thing is that 3 of these albums had trouble getting released and another one skipped labels all together and decided to release it on the internet.

1

wilco-yankeehotelfoxtrotYankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) – Wilco

The story of this album is amazing. That it had to be leaked to the internet because the label didn’t hear a single is amazing. Simply a gorgeous album – one of my all-time favorites, and this says a lot: one of Wilco’s best.

My Favorites: Jesus Etc., Kamera, I’m the Man Who Loves You

2

elliott_smith_figure_8Figure 8 (2000) – Elliott Smith

At the time this album came out many of Smith’s fans thought this album was over produced. Compared to Smith’s previous albums, it was. This is also one of Smith’s best. Unfortunately it was his last before his death.

My Favorites: Son of Sam, Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud, Can’t Make a Sound

3

aimee-mann-bachno2Bachelor No. 2 (2000) – Aimee Mann – Another album that waited on someone’s desk because they didn’t hear a single. Fucking record execs are morons.

My Favorites: Red Vines, Deathly, Calling it Quits

4

fiona-apple-extraordinary-machineExtraordinary Machine (2005) – Fiona Apple

Whoa, yet another album where the execs didn’t hear a single. Jon Brion stirred Apple out of a funk and produced album and then the execs “didn’t hear a single”. A joy to listen to. Brilliantly unique.

My Favorites: Extraordinary Machine, Used to Love Him (Tymps)

5

radiohead-in-rainbowsIn Rainbows (2007) – Radiohead

Radiohead set the world on its head by releasing this over the internet, for free. It is their best album since OK Computer. It brings together elements of their best work of the past two decades.

My Favorites: 15 Steps, Bodysnatchers, Reckoner

6

pjharvey-stories_from_the_cityStories from the City – Stories from the Sea (2000) – PJ Harvey

I missed this album when it was released and now I get to rectify that mistake.

My Favorites: W***es Hustle and the Hustlers W***e, The Mess We’re In

7

green-day-american_idiotAmerican Idiot (2004) – Green Day

I never took this band seriously until this album. Full of angst and serious while maintaining their distinct sound. Took me months to realize how great this was.

My Favorites: Holiday, Wake Me Up When September Ends

8

kathleen-edwards-back-to-meBack to Me (2005) – Kathleen Edward

Three brilliant albums – I had a hard time figuring out which was the best, but after listening a few times, this is the most complete – and has the big songs. She will go down as one of the best. She keeps knocking them out of the park.

My Favorites: In State, Copied Keys, Back to Me

9

elbow-leaders-free-worldLeaders of the Free World (2005) – Elbow

I don’t get why people don’t know this band. They are THE brit pop band around today (outside of Radiohead that is). Start listening to this band.

My favorites: Station Approach, Forget Myself

10

andrew_bird-armchair-apocryphaAndrew Bird (2007) –  Armchair Apocrypha

This album is truly amazing. The more I listened, the better it got.

My Favorites: Fiery Crash, Darkmatter

That’s it. Thanks for indulging me. I finished in just enough time to start working on my best of 2009 list. Share your favorites and comments in the comment section.

The running list can be found here:  Top 100 Albums: 2000-2009.

SlyMiser.com launches

slymiserWhat have I been doing while laid off? Well I decided to join a few friends in creating a website. After months of work, SlyMiser.com has launched. Our tagline is “Life in Style. Budget in Check.” Our goal is to provide information to help people maintain their sense of style and being in trying financial times. We figured that these are the times when people most need distractions in their lives, and when the economy does turn around – you still want advice on how to spend money wisely.

Please visit our site. It’s in phase 1, so any feedback you might have is greatly appreciated. Hopefully you’ll find the site of enough use to come back, join our community, and share it with your friends.