• Occasional Quote: What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning?

    These quotes come from “Brockmire,” a new IFC television show about a one-time major-league baseball announcer, now attempting to revive his career after an epic, on-air meltdown.

    He’s working as the public address announcer in Morristown, PA, and living with the woman who owns the struggling team, Jules (Amanda Peet).

    Both Jules and Jim (the names might be an homage to the eponymous movie) drink all day but still seem to function.


    Jules to Jim: What do really want?

    What gets you out of bed in the morning?

    Jim: The urge to pee, usually.


    The IT guy at the stadium–the wonderful nerd, Charles (Tyrel Jackson Williams)–comes up with an idea to create a podcast around Brockmire telling stories.

    The podcast becomes a huge hit when Ira Glass says he loves it, which brings all fans of This American Life to the stadium in rural Pennsylvania to see Jim Brockmire.

    Jim Brockmire to Jules: Who are all these bespectacled, ironicially-dressed people?

    Jules: You got [Ira Glass’] fans: Rich, white people who feel bad about being rich and white.

    And want an authentic experience that doesn’t scare them.


    The cast:


  • How to know when gov’t regulations go too far? When they ban GRITS

    9comments No tags Permalink 2

    A silly story with a deeper meaning

    The silly part:

    Federal regulations effectively prevent schools from serving grits, which Southern kids enjoy eating. I sure do.

    The deeper meaning part:

    How a good-hearted program to help feed school children morphed into complete Washington control over all school lunches, with no federal laws ever making that explicit choice.

    Read and Enjoy the story and a lagniappe–the Perfect Blues Song (about Grits) at the bottom


    First the came for the grits. And I said nothing.

    Then they came for the biscuits and gravy,

    And there was no one left at Waffle House to defend me.


    Todd Starnes writes

    When President Obama promised to fundamentally transform America, we had no idea he was secretly plotting to ban biscuits and grits.

    The 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act strictly limited calories, fat, salt, sugar and just about everything else that makes food edible – including grits. . . .

    We could originally serve half whole grains but that changed in 2012 when we had to start serving 100 percent whole grains,” said Stephanie Dillard, the child nutrition director for Geneva County Schools in Alabama.

    That meant no more grits.

    “And grits are a staple in the South,” Ms. Dillard told me. “Students really want to eat their grits.” –Todd Starnes


    Comment: Here’s a genuine question–and an important one politically. When, exactly, did the United States make an explicit political decision that Washington and not local schools should decide what all children eat?

    Answer: We never made such a self-conscious decision.

    This was the creeping effect of Washington control. It always works the same way.

    Here is the generic sequence by which local control is eliminated and moved to Washington without the peoples’ representatives ever making an explicit democratic decision to do so 

    1. The country perceives a problem, such as poor kids needing additional nutrition
      • We make a political decision to solve or manage the problem by passing a law and appropriating funding.
    2. Congress passes a general law saying, “Here’s some money for these kids’ nutrition.”
      • The goal, we hypothesize here, is worthy. In this case, it certainly is.
      • The President and his staff, who helped write the law sign it.
    3. Because the law needs implementation, a federal agency sets out rules and regulations with explicit criteria for key terms such as
      • Who is eligible? (“All children whose families are less than 4 (or 6 or 8) times the poverty level.”
        • Many of the key terms, such as “poverty level in 2017,” are defined by another bureaucracy
      • How much money goes to each school district
      • What foods the district has to serve to receive the money–and what foods it cannot serve. This restriction will apply to ALL their federal funds
    4. QED: All control over school lunches has been snatched away from local control without Congress and the President explicitly deciding on this change.

    To put it another way, this is how the country ends up being ruled by mid-level bureaucrats, whose regulatory control has grown exponentially.


    Here’s the music to accompany the story: “If I don’t love you baby, grits ain’t groceries.” Little Milton and Bonnie Raitt do it right. Stay around for Little Milton’s interview about the early days at Sun Records.

  • Today in WTF. Literally

    0 No tags Permalink 0

    “Hey, we’re trying to play a tennis match here.”

    Two pros are playing at the Sarasota Open when the match was interrupted, amusingly, by a couple having very loud sex nearby.

    The NY Post has the story and the video of the players breaking up.

    At first, the announcers thought it must be someone’s cell phone.

    But, no.

    They soon realized that this was real.


    Naturally, it occurred in Florida.

    Tiger Woods had no comment.

  • A Fake Policeman flashes his lights and pulls over a car. The wrong car

    0 No tags Permalink 1

    It was 7:02. The weather was muggy, but the skies were clear. We needed some rain, but we wouldn’t get it today.

    I was working out of traffic. My partner was Bill Gannon. The captain was Jim Hamilton. I was riding undercover, when I spotted the blue lights behind me. I pulled over.

    I’ll let the press take it from here. They know how to write. I just fill out forms in triplicate. After filling out these forms, I could use some coffee. Bill says the machine’s not working. Figures.

    Authorities say a man packing a blue light and a BB gun pulled over a non-descript car on Interstate 95 [in Florida], ready to play “traffic cop” again.

    Bad move: the driver he pulled over is a real police detective. AP story at WJLA, Washington

    My report says Pacheco Bustamente had impersonated police officers before, a felony in Florida.

    He’s 46 years years old. He ought to know better. You tell them, “Don’t do it again.” But they never listen.

    Now, he’s looking for a lawyer.

    Here’s how I figure it.

    He probably wants a real one.


    We’ll be back in 11 months with the results of that trial.

    Comment: My favorite attorney, Lionel Hutz, is rested and ready.

    Thanks to Jihan Varisco for finding this treat.

  • Wildly funny new series about minor league baseball . . . and sex: “Brockmire”

    0 No tags Permalink 0

    I laughed out loud at the first two episodes, all that IFC has telecast so far.

    The Simpsons‘ Hank Azaria is brilliant, playing a washed-up baseball announcer. Amanda Peet is excellent as the team owner, trying to revive the forlorn team in a forlorn town.

    If you liked “Bull Durham” and like raunchy humor, you’ll love it. Here’s the New York Times’ very positive review.

    (I wonder how long I’ll enjoy it, but that’s another matter. Won’t know til I try.)

    The premise is simple. Brockmire is a great major-league announcer (think “Bob Uecker”) until, on his anniversary, he comes home to surprise his wife and finds her (we are told) in the midst of a sexual Bacchanalia. He goes back to the stadium, broadcasts the game, but gets drunk and goes into a career-ending rant about what his wife did.

    A decade later, we find him back at a minor-league baseball park in a declining small town, making one last stab at getting back in the broadcasting booth. His self-pity hysterically funny, matched, as it is, with his pitch-perfect announcer’s voice.

    This clip is not from the series itself–it’s from the Funny or Die shorts that preceded it–but it gives you a sense of Brockmire’s life before he ended up in Pennsylvania, broadcasting for the “Frackers.”






  • Today’s Best Lawsuit: Potato Chips

    0 No tags Permalink 0

    Pair files lawsuit against potato chip company’s half-filled bags. This is a real lawsuit.

    Sameline Alce and Desiré Nugent . . . instead of just finishing off the remnants in disappointment, they’re now suing Wise Foods on the grounds that their air-filled bags deceived them into overpaying.

    The pair filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court on Monday night, claiming the Pennsylvania-based chip company was “misleading” customers by intentionally leaving their bags 58% to 75% empty. –Fox News

    The weight of the bags is accurate, they acknowledgebut the size of the bags is misleading.

    Comment: They are also suing Kevin Costner and Bull Durham for the grossly-misleading song, “Sixty Minute Man.”