Thursday, June 24, 2010

Minister Singh

Mallrats: The other day I was at the Dallas mall, Northpark Mall for the first time in about 5 years or so (I was killing time waiting for my comic book shop to open). You can't walk into the place without feeling like money is just being sucked right out of your wallet. It doesn't have security guards inside, they have Dallas police officers there. I did like the idea of getting my car washed while doing some shopping if I so desired, I didn't desire. Sometimes they have a piano player there. It isn't the biggest mall around, but it has to have the highest ratio of jewelery stores of the Metroplex. I counted 13 myself.

The shop that actually got me to go inside? The toy store that had both a Batman and Superman plastic statue. It was a neat place that even had some of the old original Star Wars in a glass case along the back wall.

I also saw an Original Soup Man stand there. This sign made me chuckle: "The Soup ThatMmade Seinfeld Famous" Sure thing buddy.

Father's Day: This year I think I finally got a winning present for my dad. It was a scanner that has a special tray to scan slides and film from a 35mm camera. My dad was pretty excited to get, even if he has "about 1000 slides" to scan now. I set it up for him, and scanned in the first two batches, and it looked really good. I figure it is a project he can work on and avoid the 100 degree heat.

A Movie: Monday I was flipping around and found a movie called The Night of the White Pants. I first turned it on to see Selma Blair, who is the quintessential girl next door type. I was watching it and my ears perked up when I heard one character say his band was playing at a club called the Double Wide. I thought, "Does this take place in Dallas?" Once they showed the place I knew it was. We get a decent amount of films and television filmed here, but unless it is a JFK movie very little actually has taken place in Dallas since the old TV show. It was a neat little movie, and I really like movies that take place over the course of about a 24 hour period. IE Dazed and Confused, American Graffiti, and Suburbia.

Sports: A local sports radio guy has decided to give soccer a full seasons chance to capture his attention. He is a better than than me. He blog post is here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Legion Sketch #32

We're back again:

This is Timber Wolf as drawn by Paul Milligan. He did this for me at the last Wizard World Texas at the end on Sunday because he was so bored, and "man, I just want to draw something." Hey anyone who signs their initials in Interlac is okay by me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Can I Keep My Jersey?

I recently finished reading Paul Shirley’s Can I Keep My Jersey? It details 4 years in his life as a “basketball vagabond”. I enjoyed quite a bit for the most part. His writing has a very appealing quality. At points you really feel sorry for Paul. The endless travels in lesser leagues made me feel weary after reading about it. The horrible hotel rooms he stayed in doing an EA Sports basketball tour, and the room he had when he played in Russia with a bed that consisted of a mattress on the floor. It really is an emotional roller coaster.

One of my problems with the book though, is that a lot of the time he isn’t a sympathetic person. He recognizes that fact, but it doesn’t endear you to him either. It got tiresome reading about him trying not to laugh at his teammates who were religious. You may not have the same beliefs as them, but to constantly ridicule them behind their back was pretty uncool.

My biggest problem with him though, was his constant grousing of people not speaking English whenever he was playing in Europe. Apparently he did make some attempts to learn the language, but since there were a lot of obstacles in communication, it seems like he could have tried harder. When he was playing in Spain, he complained about how the Spaniards put canned tuna on everything. Well I sure as hell would have learned how to say “no tuna” in Catalan, but apparently he never did. By his third time in Europe when was playing in Russia and was still bellyaching about no English, I wanted to pull my hair out. Speaking of Russia, he also complained about how cold it was in the city he played in, Kazan. No crap dude, its Russia.

Not to totally rail on the guy. There were also plenty of times I felt bad for him. How he is literally unable to have a normal relationship with a woman. When he leads such a transient lifestyle were he is taking buses to play games in Mexico, and then he might get a 10 day contract in Chicago, followed by a couple of months in Europe it makes it impossible to start a stable relationship. You feel his pain when he laments meeting a girl that he is certain he could have had some sort of long term deal with.

I was excited for him when he went to the Bulls and they agree to a contract until the end of the season. I was also crushed when he got a season ending injury there before signing that contract. That was one more thing that was bothersome. He seemed to get injured a lot. Its hard to get a professional career on track if you are constantly sitting on the bench injured. He just never seemed to be injury free at any place of the decent places he played except for his time with the Suns. Of course he barely got to play with them at all, as he was at the very end of the bench.

Further, I liked how matter of fact he was about the people he played with (he didn’t like most of them), his coaches, the trainers, and I really liked his relationship with his agent. His agent, Keith Glass, was brutally honest with him, telling Paul from the beginning he may never get to the NBA. That was refreshingly honest.

It was certainly educational as well. Seeing how the tryouts worked in the NBA, and it was a lesson in how hard it was to make a team. The rules they have in the European basketball leagues. Like no more than 2

Americans per team, and they way the teams get around it. Fascinating reading. I do wonder if his openness about the NBA shut the door on his future there. It is possible, or maybe teams just weren’t that impressed with his brand of ball playing. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2005 season with the Phoenix Suns. Maybe they tired of his arrogance. I know I did. It was wearing me out about him talking about all of the “white trash” and such. I wanted to yell at him, “You are from Merdian, Kansas! You aren’t from some cultural mecca!”

The book is a stellar read. I highly recommend it for any sports fan. It has been often compared to Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crumbling to dust

With Nebraska bolting for the Big 10, and Colorado not waiting around to see what they rest of the conference does going to the Pac-10 it looks like the days of the Big 12 is numbered. It looks the rest of the south division sans Baylor will also join the Pac-10, making the first super conference. There are some people grousing about the loss of the conference, and I just don't feel it. It isn't like when the Southwest Conference folded. That had a lot more years of tradition, and it was the one I grew up with. That made me sad, this, not so much.

Another complaint I hear about is the loss of some rivalries. Well the formation of the Big 12 initially killed one of my favorite rivalries in college football. OU-Nebraska. The had legendary games until the Big 12 came about, and they no longer played each other every since they weren't in the same division. Speaking of the north division this new conference just seems to be replacing the north division with 8 teams from the Pac-10. That makes it such a much better conference that it was previously. Oregon, USC, and Cal is so much more appealing than Iowa State, Kansas State, and yes even Nebraska who hasn't been good in years. Where would you rather watch games at?

It will also let some of the B-list schools recruit better players. Like allow Texas Tech and Oklahoma State get some of the California players. And vice versa it lets Arizona State and Washington have a better chance at Texas players.

A question, now that the Big 10 is going to add nebraska are they now the Big 12? Will they stupidly keep the Big 10 name? Will they have to pick something besides the Big 12 if that is a trademarked name?

What happens to the teams left out? Where does Baylor go? Or Kansas? Etc.

I just heard on the radio that the acrimony towards Missouri was so bad when they made an overture to the Big 10, they were almost kicked out of the Big 12. They started it, but weren't able to finish it.

Wow, this stuff is happening fast and furious. It is fascinating.