Thursday, April 28, 2005

Not Another Repeat

OTP will be on hiatus for a week while DC-Giant goes on holiday. Please enjoy 'best of' clips from past episodes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Traffic Facilitation Associates’ Appreciation Week

It’s Administrative Professionals week (the observance formerly known as Secretaries Day) and my company chose to give administrative professionals a George Foreman Grill.

I was not eligible to receive the gift because I still have amateur status. However, I have entered my name in the draft, although I have not yet hired an agent.

Kind of a weird gift. Looks like someone went to and bought in bulk.

A colleague remarked that something that is featured in an infomercial should not be given as gifts.

If the listings for kitchen appliances on eBay increases dramatically this week, you will know why.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ

In describing his politics once, Will Rogers quipped, “I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat.”

Apparently, this disorganization also applies to news reports on Democratic party activities. Yesterday, the Post had a story about how Congressional Democrats have been united, persistent, and resilient in opposing Republican initiatives. On the same day, the Washington publication Roll Call, the self-described newspaper of Capitol Hill, reported that a major rift between moderates and liberals has developed within the House Democratic Caucus.

If you are wondering which publication to believe, it depends. The Post article focused on how Democrats have united in the battle over the Shrub’s Social Security reform plan and judicial nominees. While the Roll Call piece acknowledged that the Dems have stuck together on these issues, it also correctly pointed out that the party is not as united when it comes to such issues as bankruptcy reform and energy policy.

Bickering among party members is nothing new. Conservatives, moderates and liberals within the Democratic party clash all the time. The various factions within the Republican party also tend to have disagreements on a consistent basis.

The difference is that the right-wing wacko conservatives in the Republican party usually tell their moderates and liberals to fuck off . These moderate and liberal Republicans then meekly acquiesce and walk away with their heads up their asses. Democrats just continue to bicker endlessly and that exacerbates the impression of disorganization; it’s difficult to organize when you can’t stop arguing.

And some wonder why most people hate politics.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Obstructed View Seats Still Available

My television was showing the strangest thing yesterday. It was an NBA playoff game involving the Washington Wizards. I’m sure it felt strange for the TV to show it, so imagine what would have happened had the Wizards actually won. That concept is even way beyond Bizarro world. The TV probably would have a similar reaction if the Shrub ever sounded lucid when giving a speech.

Also this weekend, the 49ers fortunately didn’t screw things up with the first overall pick in the draft and went with the best quarterback in Alex Smith. Unfortunately, the Niners weren’t able to fill the myriad holes that they have with one pick, but at least they didn’t drop the ball on it.

I was worried because if anyone could find a way screw it up, it would be owner John York, who aspires to be another Danny Snyder. The Danny isn’t satisfied unless he gives up too much for a player, whether it’s straight cash, homey, or draft picks.

The sentimental pick for the Niners would have been Aaron Rodgers since he is a Bay Area boy who went to Cal, but scouts preferred Smith’s size and intelligence. Of course, some scouts preferred Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning. Smith’s intelligence was appealing to many scouts because he graduated college in two years and has demonstrated an ability in workouts to process information quickly, an essential trait for an NFL quarterback.

The only thing I worry about is whether he is too smart to be a football player, as smart people playing sports tend to have a lot of self-awareness. As Annie Savoy said in Bull Durham, “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”

I didn’t do any damage to your Ponce fantasy baseball team this weekend as both games were rainouts. Very disappointing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope Vicks XLIV

Running on a platform that promised, ‘My views will be more antiquated than yours,’ Cardinal Ratzinger was elected the 265th Pope and took the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Reaction among American Catholics was immediate.

“Benedict XVI - sounds like a cough formula,” said one.

An American Catholic insider declared that the Rat is a “horrible person” and described his election as a lost opportunity. “I think he's a tyrant who probably intimidated people into voting for him,” the insider added.

Yet another American Catholic insider exclaimed, “It's going to be hard to follow a Pope who's clearly going to Hell.”

A top-ranking American Catholic official reminded people of the Rat’s strident views against homosexuality and his attempt to minimize the priest sex scandal, describing it as a conspiracy to destroy the church. “I think he is evil,” the official asserted.

Other American Catholics attempted to console themselves by noting the Rat’s age and implying that he might die soon. Yet another indicated that maybe the mob won’t like him and assassinate him. That person clearly has watched the ‘Godfather’ movies too many times.

Attempting to inject some reason and hope to the debate, one person said that Catholics should not look to the Pope for leadership because then no one would want to be Catholic.

That’s very true. If people looked to the Shrub for leadership, no one would want to be American.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Protestant Ambassador to the Vatican

The Shrub Administration’s efforts to reach out to the Islamic world have gotten off to a great start, according to a Post article today. I opined earlier about how great it was that the Shrub was sending a fat, southern white woman (Karen Hughes) to improve it image in Arab countries.

It turns out that Karen isn’t taking the job until the Fall, and the number two person isn’t starting for another two months.

Oh, it gets better. The number two person is an Arab woman who is christian.

Let’s improve our image with Arab countries with an Arab christian accompanying the fat, southern white woman. Jeez, how many ways can we say ‘fuck you’ through public diplomacy?

Maybe we can throw is some Mormon missionaries and really confuse the shit out of them. Even better, scientologists.

Speaking of religion, black smoke arose today, so there isn’t a new Pope yet. After the first round of voting by the 115 cardinals, there is a 115-way tie for first place.

Worse Than Debating Social Security

I had a potential third-rail situation this weekend. My wife wanted my input in shopping for swimwear for our Caribbean holiday. I could see no possible way of making it out of that circumstance unscathed; the quintessential lose-lose situation.

Fortunately, she was able to find something without getting me in trouble. Crisis averted, there was no touching of the third-rail.

My wife also had to pick up some cosmetics at the Clinique counter, which always produces good drama. The women who work at the Clinique counter at department stores always are very interested in pitching and promoting the products, but when it actually comes time to the transaction part, they suddenly become standoff-ish and exhibit diva-like behavior. It’s the strangest thing. It’s as if they are saying, ‘I’m above ringing up the sale.’

This Field, This Game

If you have me on your Ponce de Leon fantasy baseball team, I would consider dropping me. Had a tough day at the plate, going 1 for 3, one run scored, and a hit by a pitch. The one hit was a bloop single and of course the one ball I laced was right at someone.

It was a bad day for the team as well, as we lost 8-4, which is a very low score for Ponce in which football scores are the norm.

My pitching numbers were better, giving up three runs total (one earned) over five innings (the limit one can pitch) with four strikeouts. I might be a good value as a spot starter on your fantasy team.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I Said ‘Burrrrr’ It’s Cold in Here

The Washington Wizards made the playoffs.

A Washington, DC baseball team will play a home game tonight.

The Shrub learned how to read.

Just kidding on the last one.

Please Submit Forms in Triplicate

It occurred to me and my wife recently that, at some point, we are going to have to teach our son how to tie his shoes, go to the bathroom, dress himself, feed himself, and drive.

I don’t think we quite know what we are doing, so I think we are going to contract out this work and issue a request-for-proposal (RFP). All submissions, reasonable or otherwise, will be considered seriously.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Is He Part of the Furniture?

It’s no secret that I traded ambition for a little financial certainty and security. I had enough of uncertainty, having concluded that it is grossly overrated. I say this because I’m coming up on the 12th anniversary at my current job and that is considered a lifetime in Washington, where jumping from job-to-job is the norm.

I sometimes get strange looks when I say that I’ve been with the same company for this long, but I have no complaints or regrets for I am treated well, have been rewarded handsomely, and enjoy working with my colleagues.

One colleague described the situation as being in ‘golden hand-cuffs’ because you become reluctant to leave the pay and benefits you currently enjoy. There definitely is some truth to it.

Through my years at my office, I’ve been able to buy a wife (I shopped around and got a great deal), a kid, and a house. Also, other job opportunities did not offer as much money, flexibility, or autonomy, which all become necessities because you want to be able to enjoy the wife, kid, and house that you worked so hard to purchase.

It’s a good thing I oppose term-limits.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The One Constant

It was the rare occasion when the defense failed and gave up a load of unearned runs, as the Ponce de Leon baseball Team N lost its opener 14-10.

Unfortunately, I was the pitcher who gave up a lot of those unearned runs, which was a little frustrating considering that I was pitching very well and felt great.

I pitched four strong innings and located my pitches well, inducing a bunch of pop ups and weak ground balls. But, for some reason, the defense couldn’t grab anything and I ended up giving up six unearned runs. That’s the way it goes. I’m sure there will be a game when the defense will bail me out when I am pitching poorly.

Regardless of the game’s outcome, it was great to be playing baseball again because the one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers; it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Margaritas All Around

My wife and I took our 13-month old son to a popular Tex-Mex restaurant in DC with loads of outdoor seating to enjoy the fine weather that finally has engulfed the area. There was a group of these christian wackos at a table beside us, but I'm not going to make fun of them because they were nice to our son, engaging him and making him smile.

Fuck it. I can't help it.

First of all there was this dye-job blonde woman who was wearing a white top and pink lipstick. How cliche is that?! A white cabriolet to go, please.

The four of them prayed when their meals arrived. There just is something about that act in public that says 'Hey, look at me.' They certainly have the right to do this, but I have the right to make fun of them too.

In eavesdropping, I heard they were from Shrub's adopted home state of Texas (ignore his fake accent, Shrub's a yankee from Connecticut).

They were wondering why their governor (Rick Perry) was facing primary opposition from another Republican (Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison), who they dismissed as someone who promotes women's issues. It took so much for me to bite my tongue and not say that the reason is because Gov. Perry is gay and that it's the worst kept secret in politics, particularly among the Nazi conservatives. In case you missed the news items, and one of my previous posts, Gov. Perry's wife caught him in bed with his Secretary of State.

She became so paranoid that the next day she fired the butt-ler.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Does Your Husband Play Golf?

My wife almost won an NCAA tournament pool for the second consecutive year. She won a pool last year and missed out winning again this year by only one point. Meanwhile, I didn’t get even a sniff of the top 10, let alone come close to winning.

Clearly, she is aware of which teams and conferences are good, but she does sprinkle in a ‘that mascot is better’ pick sometimes, particularly when it comes to games involving teams with which she is not familiar. Whatever it is, it is working and I shall consult her for next year’s tournament. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Live Free or Uh, Whatever

Last week, three Denver residents were forcibly removed from a town meeting on Social Security hosted by the Shrub.

Did they disrupt the proceedings to protest the Shrub’s new Social Security reform proposal? No.

Did they throw a pie in his face? They should have, but didn’t.

They were forcibly removed because they arrived at the event in a car that displayed a bumper sticker that said ‘No More Blood for Oil.’

Meanwhile, on the same day in the supposedly free Iraq, Dhari Fayad, who was presiding over Iraq’s newly-elected National Assembly, instructed the media to leave the chamber so that the members could meet in secret session to choose a new speaker and fill other key assembly positions.

Well, I guess we can say we don't torture people. Shit, I forgot about Abu Grab.

Well, we don't hold people against their will. Shit, I forgot about Guantanamo Bay.

Okay, we have free and fair elections. God damn it, I forgot about the 2000 election.

Wait. As Americans, we never have to worry about our privacy being invaded. Fuck, I forgot about the Patriot Act.

With democracy like this, who needs brutal regimes?

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Pope is Listed as Questionable For Sunday

Time for OTP’s periodic examination into religious issues. Okay, there really is not a regular feature on religion, but it sounded like a good intro.

The population of christian wackos in Florida now has decreased significantly with the passing of Terry Schiavo. Just a sad story all around. I hope for Michael Schiavo’s case that an autopsy reveals that she truly was in a persistent vegetative state, otherwise these christian wackos are going to kill him, which of course would become the Most Ironic Story of the Year.

No one would want to live in a persistent vegetative state (although the Shrub somehow has found a way to do it) so one could understand Michael’s Schiavo’s point of view. However, it’s difficult to fault the Schindlers for wanting to do everything possible to maintain hope about their daughter. Anyone with children could relate.

I'll say it again, if Terry Schiavo were black, latin, or any other minority, the christian wackos certainly would not have gotten all lathered up about the situation.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to become an estate-planning attorney.

The Vatican keeps releasing breaking news bulletins about the Pope's condition. First, they said he was in grave condition. Then, they said his condition has worsened. Okay, we get it already, he's not feeling so hot.

Sometimes I get the sense that this Pope death watch is akin to a Mafia boss dying, with all sorts of people plotting and scheming behind the scenes in attempt to become the next pontiff. If I'm one of those vying for the position, I'm watching my back and hiring a food tester.