Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I know I'm going to sound like a curmudgeon, but is the baseball season ever going to end? They played 162 games...162!!!! And the season still isn't over yet. They have to play more games to determine wild card teams.

What the hell? Does the regular season mean anything in MLB?

Most of this has to do with my particular bias: Because your average regular season game doesn't mean shit, I don't start watching baseball until the playoffs---when the games have meaning. Therefore, I'm ready for the division series to start.

But no, they have to play more games before we even know who is going to be in the playoffs. Talk about watering down league play.

I know there are reasons for all this: Long seasons mean more money for the league...wild card teams mean that more cities retain hope for the playoffs. I understand all of that. It just seems to be that, if you are going to play 162 games, that ought to decide the fate of the teams in the league, but it doesn't.

As a result, they have lost me at the turnstiles.

Again, I realize I am an angry old man relating to this, but I used to be a huge Pirates fan. I used to listen to Pirate games on the radio (both in Erie and on KDKA when I lived in Pittsburgh).

But now that my Pirates have been eliminated from playoff contention for the rest of my life, I don't have much to root for. Then, when I try to figure out what the hell is going on in September, so I can begin watching, I am met with an array of IF/THEN statements on ESPN about who might or might not end up in the playoffs.

Are you kidding? We've endured 162 games and you still don't have it settled? Holy sheep shit.

Ya know, once upon a time, the regular season meant something because your team had to finish FIRST in order to win the division. It's not like that any more, so why play all those games. Why not have all the teams make the playoffs and play Round Robin? They've probably discussed that idea already.

What say you, Great Defender of the National Pastime?


Friday, September 26, 2008

Would-be VP Anagram

It's kind of an obvious one-meaning the letters are too jumbled, but my niece who's in fourth grade was over the other day with a book entitled "Sarah Plain and Tall." I just thought this was a curious coincidence.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Country for Old Men

Watched the best picture Coen brothers flick No Country last night for the first time. Now, I'm a huge fan of Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Barton Fink, and the Big Lebowski, but not so big on Fargo - although I liked it. I think I liked this one less than any of those four (but better than Intolerable Cruelty, which actually was watchable and kinda worked as a chick flick).

While I thought the "thriller" aspect of No Country was good, as I was on the edge of my seat a few times, and the actors were great in, particular Tommy Lee Jones and Kelly MacDonald, the story lacked some cohesionn. However, I forgive that in most Coen Bros. movies. The biggest thing lacking for me in No Country was humor.

Barton Fink, Fargo, and even the Big Lebowski all are pretty much dark comedies, which is probably my favorite genre of entertainment. I don't know what that says about me, but I really enjoy being able to find something humorous in an otherwise tragic situation. (Oh Bro' Where Art Thou had some dark themes as well, but the music kinda lightens the blows.) No Counrty, seemed totally lacking in humor (at least the first time through. I'll try to give it another watch).

It tried to be philisophical and presented some interesting ideas about the lines between good and evil and life and death- but I didn't think it was anything Sartrian. Maybe in these dry times for deep thought, as well as fairlly humorless times based on the war and financial crisis in the U.S., it's really the best we can get.

I'm still hoping I see something better if I get a chance to make it down to the Great Lakes Film Festival this weekend. This is an inde thing I've been wanting to go to for several years, but have either been traveling or too busy. I'm hoping to squeeze in a session or two to do some research on my theory that Big Hollywood is truly going out of vogue in today's movement toward narrowcasting.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wall Street Fat Cats or Congress To Blame?

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting - a concept unbeknownst to most of the blogsphere-here's an interesting column by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg that blames Congress for enabling some of these recent mortgage-related blow-ups. With many Republicans, it's hard to separate lies/pure spin from the truth, but I've found Goldberg to be a pretty good source over the past year or so that his stuff has appeared in the Erie paper. I'm posting this link mainly in response to some of the Kunstler stuff that really takes banking execs to task over the current government bailouts.

Goldberg pretty much says that Congress encouraged/directed banks to write these high risk loans and then encouraged/directed Fannie Mae and Freddie/Mac to buy them, and then changed the rules of the game, causing the whole thing to come crashing down. It's an interesting alternative viewpoint that may hold some water. Check it out if you get a chance.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kunstler on Colbert

Here is a video of James Kunstler talking about his book, The Long Emergency on Colbert Report.

His premise is that life inthe US is going to change because we will not have the energy (oil) necessary to sustain all the cars and 18-wheelers and suburban living that we are currently used to.

He says that ethanol, sun, coal, and wind are not going to be enough.

I just hope we have enough energy to heat and cool our houses and our food.

To be sure, certain luxuries are going to go away...According to the Air Traffic Controllers Association, "on any given day, more than 87,000 flights are in the skies in the United States." That's clearly a luxury we won't be able to sustain.

Plus,recreational boating and such will viewed more as extreme luxuries as people pay more and more for energy.

This is a long time coming. I've been talking about sustainability for 15 years. Glad to see it finally hitting the mainstream. Maybe people will understand that the Earth is not an Everlasting Gobstopper (a Wonka candy that, despite how long you suck it, will not diminish).


John Adams and the Revolution

I am currently enjoying a biography on John Adams entitled "A Party of One." The theme is how Adams, despite being a fairly devout Whig, was not afraid to do his own thing and follow his principals, despite public opinion perhaps weighing against him. For example, he successfully defended the British officers charged in the Boston Massacre. Not that he wasn't a Revolutionary - he actually did tons of the dirty work (the paperwork and legal stuff) that helped pull off the Revolution. However, he felt the officers were being railroaded and that they were merely acting in self defense.

One of the underlying themes of the book is that Adams was a pretty serious guy, with Puritan values grounded in hard work. And while Franklin, Hancock, and even Couzin Sam may be more celebrated, John Adams' nose to the grindstone approach, along with his intelligence and truly Revolutionary spirit, helped get a lot done.

As I may have mentioned, I remain fascinated by the Founding Fathers of our Country. These were mostly well-to-do men (except for maybe Sam Adams, who was a rabble rousing radical), who risked everything to make this revolution succeed. Perhaps, they were just keen enough to sense that the American people were pushing toward a Revolution and smart enough to get in front of it, so as not to be swept under- but nonetheless, there were great risks involved and the Revolutionaries managed to triumph over one of the greatest powers in the world at the time.

It was a great upset, which today, I think still resonates in Americans habit of cheering for "the underdog" in a sports match. Which, of course, brings us to Iraq.... I'll let you draw your own parallels or paradoxicals, if you will


Clusterfuck Nation

Shimmons sent me this link to Jim Kunstler's blog, Clusterfuck Nation.

Here is also a link to Kunstler's website.

I was familiar with William Kunstler, who died in 1995. I don't know if there is any relation...I checked out Jim's bio and he makes no mention of William. Therefore, there is either no relation or he's trying to downplay his parentage in order to make his way on hiw own name.

In any event, Jim's latest blog entry is pretty solid. He writes some compelling stuff.

Busy today....gotta run.


Monday, September 22, 2008

NFL Round-up

I tried to post this last week, but kept getting error messages for some reason. It's my return to the AFC East Report, the place where I made my unfortunate predictions about the Tom Brady-Randy Moss combo last year. I've gone on record as admitting how wrong I was on this. Watching the Patriots, and Moss in particular struggle this year, reenforces what a wonderful combo Brady and Moss really are.

It's also interesting to note that whereas Brady was still a pro-Bowl player without Moss, Moss is really struggling so far without Brady. Related to that, if the Patriots continue to struggle, I think it will somewhat expose Belichick as a fraud. I'm not saying this is going to happen, but Miami sure put a thumping on them at home yesterday. This puts Belichick's career record in games when Brady was not his starting quarterback at 43-58. As I wrote last year, who's the real "genius?"

Which brings me back to the Bills and Trent Edwards. Yesterday, for the second game in a row, Edwards led the Bills to an awesome fourth-quarter comeback win. Without Edwards... well I was going to say the Bills would be 1-2, instead of 3-0. But he did stink the joint up for three quarters, before turning it on. Like Brady, and perhaps Joe Montana even, Edwards seems to have that ability to turn it on when he needs to to win a game. This has always been my favorite trait in a QB. It's an intangible that's real hard to quantify. Granted, the Bills did barely beat the lowly Raiders at home, so not all was peaches and cream, but they did pull it off. It's always the mark of a good/great team, when they can win if they are not playing their best, and the Bills certainly made enough mistakes yesterday to give the Raiders the game. Hopefully, the mistake part is not a trend.

One final note - both Brady and Edwards grew up in Northern California, where Montana played most of this career.

Also, Dr.D, maybe Frerotte is your savior. He also did just enough to help the Vikes pull out a win. Perhaps the ole Kittanning Kid is ready for one last run...



Friday, September 19, 2008

Bowie is King

I know I've said it here before, but Bowie is the King.

I sent away for Best of Bowie and it has so many terrific songs on it...Moonage Daydream, Suffragette City, Ziggy Stardust, Let's Dance, I'm Afraid of Americans. It is a must-have.

Really, there's not many people who rank with Bowie. His lyrics, rhythm, collaborations, voice, strings, piano, kungas...it goes on and on.

I never realized--all those years ago when I bought Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (on vinyl)--that I would be coming back to Bowie with a who new appreciation. He would be fantastic to work with.

In contrast, I also bought Talking Heads Greatest Hits and it sounds dated. Some of the songs are fun: "I gotta girlfriend who wears bows in her hair; and nothing is better than that...Is it?" That's fun stuff. Plus, it has a whole big bounce thing going on---but, really, it's not even in the same galaxy as Bowie.

I think that says it.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Joe Posnanski

This guy is my new favoritate sports columnist. He had a great piece comparing Pete Rose to Derek Jeter the other day. Today, he followed up with a wonderful article on Manny Ramirez.
Check him out if you get a chance.

American Money

Just a quick note on the Wall Street calamities during the past several days...

Many of these problems got their start during the Reagan administration. If you remember, Ronald Reagan was very good at convincing the American People that Government was BAD. He pledged to shrink government and "get it out of the way" of the private markets.

This set off a trend of deregulation that spanned the next several decades and included the Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II administrations. Basically, it was political suicide to suggest that such private interests as the banking industry should be regulated.

Oddly, it still is dangerous to make such a suggestion. I watched a speech by Sarah Palin the other night where she said (paraphrased): The regulatory system in this country is broken and outdated. Then, moments later, she contradicted herself and said that government should get out of the way of the private sector. Huh?

You can't have it both ways, but Palin knows that she's treading a fine line.

The issue, as I see it, is a deep-seated American belief that problems in life can be permanently "solved." Personally, I don't believe this is true. We are, as Joe Campbell writes, living along the razor's edge, all of the time. There are no panaceas; there is no "correct" ideology or methodology. There are only balances.

So, the best we can do it attempt to strike a balance between liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, government and private interest...it is ALWAYS a negotiation, eternally.

Therefore, the idea that government is bad and free markets are good is false (as is the reverse). The idea that liberals are wrong and conservatives are right is false (as is the reverse).

Just look at all of the Hillary Clinton bashers who now find themselves in the odd position of crying "sexism" any time someone critiques Sarah Palin. I find that funny (and sad...and ironic). The pendulum ALWAYS swings.

Anyway, the problems of Wall Street are a direct result of the lack of regulation. We basically said: "We can let the wolves run the hen house--because we think that government is evil" and now we're in tough shape.

We better hope that benevolent (European) friends invest in our banking system...or we're going to have to learn to speak Chinese very soon.

I've written it here before: One of the reasons so many in government have pushed for such a strong American military is because they know about our tenuous financial situation. Therefore, when the country goes bankrupt, we can try to hang on to our assets by sheer force.


Vikings Bench Jackson for Frerotte

This is no surprise: The Vikings have benched Tarvaris Jackson in favor of Gus Frerotte (see article from Sports Illustrated).

There is simply too much pressure to win NOW in the NFL, so Brad Childress had little choice. This is particualrly true when you consider the amount of money that Ziggie Wolf spent ($60 million) to patch holes in the Vikings' roster during the off-season.

With this change, I won't be surprised if the Vikings beat Carolina this Sunday. The game is in Minnesota and the Vikings could have renewed energy if Frerotte can perform competently.

The Vikes, by the way, are a 3.5-point favorite. Philly is a 3.5-point favorite over the Steelers, and the Bills are a 9.5-point favorite over the Raiders.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Afterword from the play, Androcles and the Lion, by GB Shaw

I'm not the biggest fan of Shaw's plays, because he typically wraps his art around a not-so-subtle political agenda. The effect, for me, is like being clubbed to death by ideology posing as art.

So, if you think that art should be used to achieve political purposes, you'll like Shaw. If, however, you believe that a work of art tends to suffer as it is bent toward a political agenda, then you might prefer other authors.

Despite my reticence on Shaw, I recognize his strong contributions to the world of letters and offer this short piece for consideration. Do not be surprised if you see connections between Shaw's comments and the current US administration.

In this play I have represented one of the Roman persecutions of the early Christians, not as the conflict of a false theology with a true, but as what all such persecutions essentially are: an attempt to suppress a propaganda that seemed to threaten the interests involved in the established law and order, organized and maintained in the name of religion and justice by politicians who are pure opportunist Have-and-Holders.

People who are shown by their inner light the possibility of a better world based on the demand of the spirit for a nobler and more abundant life, not for themselves at the expense of others, but for everybody, are naturally dreaded and therefore hated by the Have-and-Holders, who keep always in reserve two sure weapons against them.

The first is a persecution effected by the provocation, organization, and arming of that herd instinct which makes men abhor all departures from custom, and, by the most cruel punishments and the wildest calumnies, force eccentric people to behave and profess exactly as other people do.

The second is by leading the herd to war, which immediately and infallibly makes them forget everything, even their most cherished and hardwon public liberties and private interests, in the irresistible surge of their pugnacity and the tense pre-occupation of their terror.


Devil Rays, Tampa, and Mike & Mike

This morning, on Mike and Mike in the Morning, Mike Greenberg was upset with the attendance at last night's Devil Ray's game. It seems attendance was 32,079 in a stadium that holds 44,000+.

At first, I thought What are they talking about? 32,000 fans is a good turnout for a baseball game.

Then I did some research. Did you know that the greater Tampa bay area is home to more than 4 million people? It is the 19th largest metro area in the US. I knew that area was growing, but I didn't have any feel for the numbers.

So, now I see their point. You'd think that the stadium would be packed for a game against division rival Boston Red Sox in mid-September, but it clearly wasn't.

Oh, by the way, the Devil Rays won, 2-1, to take a one-game lead over the Red Sox.

Any predictions on who is going to win the World Series this year, Ralph? Will it be a cross-town battle in Chicago, or will the Cubs fold?

Looks like the Phils are on the comeback this year, too. They rallied last year just to lose in the first round of the playoffs.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Vikings, Steelers, Bills

I watched (and cringed) all week as Mike Greenberg (from Mike and Mike in the Morning) predicted that the Vikings would defeat the Colts.

All the while, it was clear to me that "Greenie" hasn't been following the Vikes for long enough. The Vikings' Achille Heel for this year: They have no passing game (and, as a result, can't score TDs).

While it's true that Minnesota pounded the Colts physicall and should have won the game, they found a way to lose just before the final gun sounded.

After Adrian Peterson ran for 160 yards on the Colts defense, and after Joseph Addai--at one point--had 10 yards on 14 carries, the Vikings could only manage a pathetic five field goals.

If they would have scored one TD out of all those chances, they would have won the game.

Viking's next loss: Carolina.


Glad to see the Steelers get out of Cleveland with a win.

The Browns seem to make the silliest mistakes when the Steelers come to town. If you saw the end of the first half, you'll know what I'm talking about. They mismanaged the clock like they were a bad Pop Warner team.

Then, when they had the chance to tie the game with 3 or 4 minutes left, they decided to kick a field goal. I was amazed! Thanks for the gift! There's no way you take the FG at that point. That serves no purpose whatsoever.

Did Romeo Crennel think that his offense was really going to get the ball again with enough time to drive all the way downfield against the Steelers? That's crazy talk.

I gotta hand it to the Browns, they did have a couple of very good drives. They worked very hard to get the ball into the Red Zone, but going against the Steelers is hard work, and you don't get too many chances. Most of all, it's time-consuming. Romeo must have been watching a different game than me if he thought he was going to get another shot at a TD.

Steelers face the Eagles next week in the Battle of PA. The Eagles look tough. The Steelers will have to play mistake-free football in order to beat Philly.


Finally, I'm glad to see the Bills winning. They looked pysically tough during the preseason and I was impressed. I have a lot of friends who are Bills fans, including my brother and Ralph, so I have a soft spot for them. I hope they do well this season and unseat the Pats.


Thanks DrD

Just want to thank the good doctor of his series of solid posts over the past few days. I haven't been online, as I've been busy at the home front. Here was my weekend schedule, just for kicks (it was a lot of fun):
1. Friday night - went shopping for couches and home theatre/receiver units
2. Saturday morning - golfed nine holes in the rain at Millcreek.
3. Saturday afternoon - removed carpet and tack boards from living room floor, choosing to go with the hard wood that has been covered since we bought the house. It's in pretty good shape. As a sidenote, you probably don't want to know how much dirt is buried underneath your carpet.
4. Saturday night: Second round of couch and home theatre/receiver shopping, as well as food shoppinig for two-year old's birthday party on Sunday.
5. Satruday late night
: Ate trememdous Permanti Bros. style sandwich from Steel City.
6. Sunday morning. Check paper for deals on home theatre/receive units. Drive to Circuit city to purchase one.
7. Sunday late morning/early afternoon: Hooked up home theatre receive unit and reassembled living room, while watching the bigging of the Bills-Jags game.
8. Sunday afternoon: Thoroughly enjoyed the Bills win, while taking breaks to cut lawn and set up tables and chairs for late afternoon/evening party.
9. Evening: Grilled hamburgs, bratwusrt, and dogs for party, after stopping at liquor store, beer distributor, and Six-pack shop to secure libations.
10. late evening: Watched Browns-Steelers game while wind gusted at 40 mph outside my house.
11. later evening: Was lying on the couch in my underwear to beat the heat, when I was surprised by my brother-in-law and his family, who were headed to Buffalo Wild Wings when the power went out on upper Peach.

So, I'm finally back online.



Friday, September 12, 2008

CHROME (part two)

There's a good article on CHROME on today's wire. I thought it was a fair evaluation.

I've been using CHROME and I find that I like the multi-threaded nature. Each tab functions separately, so if you have a tab running a small app (like a video or JavaScript) and the app is taking up too much processor, you can shut down the individual tab to restore bandwidth to the processor. My computer is six years old, so that helps me a lot.

Overall, CHROME seems to use less of my processor than IE or FireFox. Whereas IE feels like a heavy hog, CHROME feels light, with FireFox somewhere in the middle.

I like it, but it all comes down to what you want in a browser.

Last thought: If you're looking for bells and whistles, you won't find them on CHROME. This product was build for funtionality. It is designed to get you where you're going and get out of the way. I doubt that will change as they move beyond BETA.

So, if that's what you want in a browser, then you want CHROME.


Current tire recycling efforts make new plant unnecessary

From Jim Carroll at the Times-News:

...those in the industry say things have changed since the days when used tires were tossed in landfills or stacked in dangerous stockpiles.

Those hazardous stockpiles are disappearing quickly.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection officials this month said the last of what was once a pile of 6 million waste tires in Columbia County has been shredded and hauled away by recyclers.

"We cleaned up over 30 million tires in Ohio ourselves," Kendall said.

High Tread International, of Buffalo, collects many of Erie's scrap tires, and General Manager Rick Johnson said those tires are ground up for use as tire-derived fuel in industrial plants, but also for things such as doormats, flooring and building products, roofing and artificial turf. Some of it even goes into asphalt and some is used to make new tires.

"It is our experience that most of the currently generated tires in Pennsylvania and New York -- well over 90 percent -- are probably being recycled in one form or another right now," he said."

For the complete article, including information on the number of tires currently available for "burning," visit Times-News article on tire recycling.

Now, one thing that makes me really mad in all of this is the fact that Greg Rubino (in a recent Times-News article) has called opponents of the tire plant "hysterical."

(This is, itself, sexist, because "hyster" is the Greek word for "womb" so it automatically associates passionately held opinions with supposed feminine "irrationality"--in any event, it's a huge put-down and not a good choice of words. He's basically saying "you're all being a bunch of women," which should make everybody mad as hell).

So...now I'm hysterical? The Curtze owners are hysterical? Long-time friends and neighbors of mine on the East Side are hysterical? I don't think so. People have a right to express their views and they come breaing evidence, not just opinion and loud talk.

Besides, this shows you the kind of man we are dealing with in Greg Rubino. He's not at all shy about slandering the locals in order to get his way.

But regardless of etymologies, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the tire plant might be a bad idea not only from a environmental and sustainability standpoints, but also from a business-practice standpoint because they might not be able to get their hands on the 33 million tires that they want to burn (see Jim Carroll's article).

Mark my words, if they cannot get their hands on the requisite number of tires, they'll want to burn other stuff. They're not going to stand by as the furnaces sit idle...no matter what Greg Rubino might say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Joseph Campbell Quotes

There are so many great quotes by Joseph Campbell, that I can't being to account for all of them.

However, there is one that I came across today that reminded me of something Ralph once said: "You can choose to either embrace or reject your destiny."

I've always liked that.

Here's the same sentiment in Campbell's words: "The Fates lead him who will; him who won't, they drag."

Here's another: "One sure path into the world runs along the printed page."

Finally: "Instead of clearing his own heart, the zealot tries to clear the world."

I will spend the rest of my life reading Campbell. Alas, I fear I will be unable to comprehend all of it.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Poison Leeching into Lake Erie at the Former IP Site


By the way, I got a kick out of how the golf course that you mentioned in the previous blog was once a waste site. Shows me that former waste sites can be re-zoned and improved.

And speaking of waste sites, Hammermill (International Paper) was supposed to correct the environmental degradation on the south side of East Lake Road. Sadly, the field is leeching waste into the storm sewer and directly into Lake Erie (see photo below, taken under the viaduct on East Lake Road in July 2008).

To make matters worse, whoever bought that property cut down all the trees, so there isn't much hope that the soil will be anything more than waste for the foreseeable future.

So, who gets away with degrading the environment for profit? IP. Who loses? The people of Erie, who watch helplessly as the lake continues to be polluted even as IP is nothing but a memory.

And by the way, my Mom and Dad bought their house in 1958, before Hammermill went on its destructive environmental run.

I think people are starting to learn to put environmental issues ahead of so called "development"...development that profits a few while the remainder of the community suffers.

After all, what good are "profits" if your kids can't swim in the lake and the fish have tumors on them? Ask China. They're learning about the real costs of out-of-control manufacturing.


Erie Golf Course Could Be Open Next Year

This is great news for the golfer in me. I'm still not sure I get the financial logistics behind it, but I love playing golf on the hill up there. And there is that beautfully rennovated clubhosue and bar with the picture window looking north toward the lake.

But, here's the chronology of events in regards to the money spend on that place. You tell me who is going to end up footing the $2 million bill for the improvements that were made.

1. City of Erie builds golf course on land it go pretty cheap. By the 2000s, the course is considered a money loser because of lack of irrigation and tricky set up that causes right-handed golfers who slice (the majority of average and below average golfers) to hit an inordinate number of balls into the woods.
2. Millcreek builds golf course and learning center on old Harper Road Dump/Superfund site. I don't know what Millcreek paid to do this and how much money came in grants, but they did a great job turning a wasteland into a pretty decent golf facility, and from what I understand it has been fairly profitable, mainly due to the range, which is nice and fairly conveniently located for people living on the west side of the city, western Millcreek, and Fairview - in other words, probably the majority of golfers in Erie County.
3. Erie, under the direction of Mayor Rick Filippi and right-hand man Jimmy Casella decides to spend like $4-5 million on improvements on Erie. How they expect to earn this money back is beyond a casual observer like myself, but apparently, Council buys off on it, and the plan is passed.
4. Somehow, the investment gets cut down to like $2.5 million or less, and the city goes through with the first two phases of its planned development at Erie.
5. A few holes are shutdown, leading to a couple pretty lean seasons that presumably cause Erie Golf Course to lose even more money than it usually does, but the new course finally opens to great fanfare.
6. The course is nice, but apparently, at least according the Mayor Sinnott, is still losing money, so after he gets elected, he shuts it down and tries to sell it.
7. Of course, then the notorious deed restriction comes to light and Erie can't sell the course to real estate developers whose market is tanking anyhow.
8. Erie remains closed for a couple years. The City makes its debt payments on the course, and pays maitenance fees so they don't lose it as a usable golf course.
9. Finally, Millcreek comes to the rescue because their course is getting destroyed by this airport runway project and gets the County to agree to pay Erie like $2 million from this casino fund, which will pay off the City's debt on the course. Apparently, this money is compensation for the land the Airport is seizing from Millcreek in the name of progress.

So, everyone is happy, right. I guess. But, what about Brian McGowen and the Summit boys. Is this really responsible spending of the gaming revenue? As I said, I'm in favor of it, because I like to golf up there and as a result will likely get my share of the $2 million worth. But, what if I didn't golf? Is the land the Airport Authority purchasing from Millcreek really worth $2 million? I guess that is really what it comes down to.

Anyhow, I'll be interested to see how this ends up. Maybe it will all go smoothly, but if so, why? I mean, related to MTR and gaming money especially, we''ve seen quite a few stinks raised over less than $2 million.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Minnesota Vikings

Before the season began, the pundits said the Vikings were one QB shy of the Super Bowl. After watching last night's game against Green Bay, I'd say that they're a little more than a QB shy.

While Jackson's shortcomings were evident, the Vikes have more problems than that.

But let's begin with strengths: Run defense is awesome. Adrian Peterson is unreal. Plus, they seem to hit hard as a team.

Weaknesses? Pass defense, special teams, and, yes, Tarvaris Jackson.

The question is this: Is Brad Childress going to wake up and realize that Jackson is not the man for the job? I'm not hopeful. I'll bet the Vikes live and die with him (mostly die) for the entire season.

I hope it doesn't linger like the Kordell Stewart drama of the Bill Cowher days. Jackson doesn't have it, and the Vikings need to solve this dilemma.

They might as well make the commitment to Frerotte and look to next year's draft.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Google is poised to hurt Microsoft with the announcement of Google's new Web browser, Chrome (see full story from PC World).

There are a lot of factors at work here, but the basic idea is that today's Internet offers more "applications" than simple Web pages. In other words, when you go to YouTube, you launch video apps, when you go to MySpace, you launch other bots and gadgets.

Therefore, a Web browser that can take this kind of thing into account might be poised to take over the marketplace. For an excellent comic book description of the new browser, visit the Google "Chrome" Comic Book.

The new browser will enable applications to be multi-threaded--forming a new tab with each app--rather than being single threaded. Currently, if a single app goes haywire, it can crash the entire browser. With Chrome, if a single app fails, you simply close the tab.

There will also be a Task Manager, which enables users to monitor what is happening behind the scenes of the browser.

There's a lot more, but I have to move on with my day.

I will say that Google is in an excellent spot right now. They're using Open Source technology and they have the Web pages to test the browser, so they should release a product that is fast and secure.

But, returning to my opening point: if this migration from desktop applications to Web-based applications continues (and it will), Microsoft might be in trouble. I admit I haven't closely followed Microsoft for several years, so I don't know what they are currently working on. But Internet Explorer is a big, clumsy browser that has more patches than Emmett Kelly's jacket.

IE has also been famous for its vunerability. If Google can solve these issues, while maintaining Open Source and the ability to revise based on the Open Source Credo, then IE is definitely in trouble and will lose market share (currently estimated at approximately 74% of the market).

I wonder what Cringely has to say about CHROME. What does Ralph have to say?

More on this later, I'm sure.