Monday, March 31, 2008
1. George Washington- If baseball was around back then General Washington would have probably broken the catcher's hand on every single throw. I have no doubt he could reach 102 MPH with his fastball and buckle knees with his 68 MPH overhand curveball. Simply put, he would have been the greatest pitcher ever.
2. George Bush I- The first Bush was a hell of a ballplayer in his day. He was the first baseman and captain of Yale's baseball team in the late '40s and led them to two college world series. He's the second starter based on the fact that he's a lefty.
3. Teddy Roosevelt- The El Guapo of his day, Teddy Roosevelt used his generous bulk to his advantage with his fastball coming in at respectable 94 MPH. Combine that with his signature Bull-Moose Knuckleball and he was nearly unhittable.
4. Calvin Coolidge- Silent Cal didn't have the best stuff but what he lacked in talent he made up for in mound presence and intimidation. Coolidge OWNED the inside corner and had no fear beaning ambitious batsmen who tried to wrest it from him. Few people took issue with his hard-nosed pitching style because they were afraid of him, especially after he beat up Robin Ventura when he charged the mound.
5. John F. Kennedy- Just look at that face, no way he couldn't reach 96 MPH.
Closer- George Bush II- As discussed above, he's clearly played ball before and is in phenomenal shape for a president. And he certainly has the cocky-asshole/closer attitude down pat.
1. FDR- It's tough to throw a strike while sitting down. (Too soon?)
2. William Taft- Taft actually was the first president to throw out a first pitch at a ballgame. He was also morbidly obese.
3. James Madison- If you're wondering why Madison is on this list, try grabbing a basketball and playing baseball with it; that's what playing with an actual baseball was like for Madison, who had tiny carny hands and smelled like cabbage.
4. William H. Harrison- His body wasn't built for the rigors of a 162 game season.
5. Hillary Clinton (if elected)- no explanation necessary.
Closer- Warren G. Harding- The Teapot Dome was the Coors Field of its day, mainly because Harding gave up more go-ahead home runs than Byung-Hun Kim and John Wasdin combined.
Friday, March 28, 2008
During my sophomore year of college I needed to take a one credit bibliography course for my journalism degree. It was a painfully boring class; pretty much it was a librarian showing us how to use the library's website for an hour a week. It was the only class in which I have ever, in my entire academic career, fallen asleep (which was incredibly disorienting, by the way). Anyway as Mr. Librarian is cruising around the website I noticed a time stamp on the bottom of a page stating when it had last been modified. It read September 11th, 2001. Now I was kinda bugging out but I figured that the professor who had modified it had done it early in the morning before anything had gone down but to my amazement it said something like 11:34 a.m. So that means the professor (and head of the Journalism School) had been modifying a bibliography page on how to properly cite magazine articles in a scholarly paper right in the middle of when everything was happening (11:34 a.m. on September 11th, 2001). This isn't criticizing him at all, it was just curious as hell. I meant to ask him about it at some point but I'm not a big fan of talking about that day (other than this one anecdote that is absolutely mind-blowing which I may share here at some point) and I didn't want to open a can of worms. Anyway I was just hit with this memory and I figured it was time to share it with the world.
Weird, very very weird.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Last night the brackets were revealed and you all know what that means? Yes, March Madness! Whoa! Yeah! This is the GREATEST EVENT EVER. I know i just wrote that the Super Bowl is the GREATEST EVENT EVER just six weeks ago but that was then, this is March and its time for Madness. All you crazy cats out there will probably spend more time filling out your brackets this week than working. Ha ha ha, that's awesome. Work sucks. Although no matter how long you spend on your bracket you're going to end up losing to some chick in accounting who chose teams based on retarded girl-logic. That's OK, dude-bro. Here's my handy guide to filling out your bracket:
1. Choose based on mascots- Have you ever been trying to pick a winner in a sporting event and thought to yourself, "How can I make this pick while at the same time be as cool as that tool from Not Another Teen Movie?" Then this strategy is for you. Would a Wildcat beat a Golden Eagle? How about a Wildcat against a Mountaineer? Could a Bull Dog best a Jaguar? Bull Dog beat a Duck? Bull Dog top a Hill Topper? Bull Dog or Musketeer? What the hell happens when a Bull Dog goes after a Wildcat? Choose this method if you want to let everyone know how cool, funny, and unique you are. But first answer me this: What the heck is a Torero? (You see what I did there? Its an obscure, bizarre mascot and I asked you what it is because its funny. It would have been a lot better if Vermont made the BIG DANCE because that joke works waaaay better with Catamount.)
2. The less you know the better- Sometimes too much knowledge is a bad thing. Just look at the cute secretary who wins the pool every year. So my advice to you is to don't read anything about the BIG DANCE (including this column). In fact it would be best if you didn't even know who was in the BIG DANCE. So what if you might choose Final Four teams who only won 10 games all year and are not in the tournament, you'll still be light years ahead of those suckers who did research and made their picks based on information. As we well know, knowledge is dumb, why else would the bosses' 11-year-old daughter win every year (In case you you couldn't tell I get paid based on how many references I make towards a no-nothing female winning office pools).
3. Choose based on schools Web site- Cruise around the net, bro, and check out all the schools Interweb sites. If their site is lame than their team is probably lame. If their sites are cool like me then their team is probably full of cool players. Also the more prominently the BIG DANCE is mentioned on their home page the worse the team will do. That is why I'm choosing Cornell to win it all. They don't even have an "Athletics" link on their site. Radical! (This theory may not be so great because I haven't heard it beat to death by all my fellow hack writers/broadcasters so proceed with caution otherwise you'll lose to that PR rep who knows nothing about basketball and may, in fact, be legally retarded).
Those are my pointers for filling out your brackets. Best of luck during the GREATEST EVENT EVER even though no matter what you do you're going to lose to the part-time secretary who's never seen a basketball game in her life. Smell ya later! -Dr. S.
Oh wait a sec, I didn't get my commission for joking about how great office pools are, here it is: I love office pools especially if there's a high dive. Zing!
(Note from Doug: This was our 100th post on Freglomerica. Celebration to follow shortly.)
Monday, March 10, 2008
1. Milwaukee Brewers- I was going to put the Cubs here but than I thought to myself, "Screw it. It's not like anyone is reading this crap anyway." So I'm going with the lovable Brew Crew (I don't think I have ever met anyone who dislikes the Brewers). Although I don't expect Prince Fielder to hit 50 bombs again he still will be a force (say 40-45 dingers). I feel the same way towards last years NL Rookie of the Year, the new Hebrew Hammer, Ryan Braun, who hit like 35 HR in 100 or so games. I think Braun will be good but I don't see more than 30 HR on the season. I do expect a lot from vastly underrated second baseman Rickie Weeks (check out his walk totals and ignore that aberration of a batting average from last year ) and OF Corey Hart. This team is going to hit a lot of homeruns but it's pitching will win it the division crown. Olympic gold medalist Ben Sheets will finally stay healthy and anchor an average, but deep and effective, staff. The Brewers' starters may be the best in the division top to bottom, although that is much more an indictment of the rest of the NL Central's pitchers than praise of Milwaukee's. The one question mark is the bullpen where Eric Gagne will try to close games. Gagne joining an already mediocre bullpen in homerun-happy Miller Park is could be like driving an oil tanker into a burning building.
2. Chicago Cubs- I think the Cubs will be very close to the Brewers but I see them either A). having a 3-15 stretch in August or B). never getting a prolonged hot streak going and ending up with 80 wins. Either way I think the Brewers have them beat. There lineup is very good with Alfonso Soriano as its centerpiece but there are a number of question marks such as, will Derrek Lee regain his 2005 form, can Kosuke Fukodome be effective in America, will Felix Pie and Geovany Soto be as good as hyped? These questions linger. There starters are OK; Carlos Zambrano is good, no doubt, and so is Rich Hill but I think Jason Marquis is going to suck. The bullpen is good but I'm not sure Carlos Marmol is a closer. Anyway their biggest issue is chemistry: I don't know if the team will continue to respond to Lou Pinnela and Zambrano is a jerk/headcase. Anyway a disappointing second-place finish seems about right for the Cubbies, although they may, but probably won't, compete for the wild-card.
3. St. Louis Cardinals- The Cards have the most players named in the Mitchell Report which unfortunately is not a statistic. Besides an overwhelming amount of juicers the Cardinals have one of the best hitters in baseball, Albert Pujols. Unfortunately he has a tear in his elbow and may miss a bunch of time this season. Besides him their offense is decent--I expect good things from Rick Ankiel (admitted HGH user), Chris Duncan (probable HGH user) and Troy Glaus (voted most likely to use HGH by the 1999 Anaheim Angels, although I don't know if he actually ever did). Their pitching stinks although youngster Adam Wainwright could have a good year.
4. Houston Astros- I think the 'Stros could finish higher and maybe even win the division. They have a great offense with Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee. However after Roy Oswalt their starters absolutely suck (Wandy Rodriguez is probably their No. 2, are you kidding me?) Also hurting Houston's chances is the fact that Toronto passed them in the all-important category of "5-11, 180 lbs White Guys Who Are Impossible to Tell Apart on the Diamond." (Yeah, that's right, I can't distinguish most white ball players from another. Does that make me racist? Probably.)
5. Cincinnati Reds- I like the Reds this year unfortunately they're not very good. New manager Dusty Baker is going to have Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo throw a combined 500 innings, which will be a problem down the road but I think both will have good years. The offense is pretty decent and hinges on how rookie first baseman Joey Votto does and if fellow rookie Jay Bruce makes the club and makes an impact. Pencil Adam Dunn in for 40 dingers and Ken Griffey Jr. for 110 games played.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates- I have no beef with Pittsburgh (they are one of two non-Red Sox teams whose hat I own (KC Royals is the other). I like former Sox farm hand Freddy Sanchez, unfortunately nobody values a .320 batting average with zero power and low OBP anymore. Sweet Swingin' Adam LaRoche has seen better days and their best pitcher, Ian Snell, is crazy. Still they have good young pitching with Snell and Tom Gorzelanny and it could be even better if Zach Duke gets his head out of his ass. Anyway this team will avoid 100 loses I think, but just barely.
Quick note about the NL Central: For some reason this division has more teams, six, than any other division. Now this would make sense if there were 31 teams in the majors but, alas, there are only 30. So this means that there is a division with only 4 teams, the AL West. Well, you say, "Doug, the MLB must not have wanted to make a team switch from one league to another because of the disadvantages that would pose." And I would say, "Yeah, you're right, good point." Except that the Brewers were originally in the AL and were moved to the NL in 1997. Bottom line is that the MLB has decided the best way to evenly divide 30 teams six ways is 5-5-5-5-6-4. One final point: This puts the teams in the NL Central at a disadvantage, and teams in the AL West at a corresponding advantage, because they have more/less teams vying for the division title, and playoff spot. Sports writers are shortsightedly bitching about the unfairness of the NBA playoffs giving 8 playoff spots to each conference regardless of record and ignoring this much more glaring, and permanent, problem. (My solution: Move the Brewers to the AL West. They're not that much further east than the Rangers). UPDATE: I just read that the reason for the NL having 16 and AL having 14 teams is because they want each league to be divisible by 2, to quote Wikipedia, "to continue primarily intraleague play." This doesn't make sense to me. While we're here this is my suggestion for realignment: eliminate two teams (let's say the Marlins and the Devil Rays), move the Brewers to the AL, and have two divisions of seven teams in each league. Winners of each division play in the A/NLCS for the pennant, like 20 years ago (you could also have each league have 2 wild cards and keep the current playoff format).
Thursday, March 6, 2008
(note: I'm probably going to post a different version of this video everyday, so get used to it)
1. Arizona Diamondbacks- I legitimately think Arizona has the best 1-2 punch in the Majors with Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. If the two of them stay healthy they could win a combined 45 games against the moribund competition in this league. Noted Jason Varitek-shover outfielder Eric Byrnes will come back to earth but phenom Justin Upton, brother of B.J., will be a spark for the offense.
2. Colorado Rockies- That run they went on to end the year was phenomenal. They were playing incredible baseball, still the disparity of the leagues was shown when the Red Sox absolutely crushed them in the World Series. I expect the Rockies to compete, and probably, win the wild card but I don't think they'll win a playoff series. Not with Orville Redenbaucher as their ace. I expect Troy Tulowitzki to plummet back to earth, Todd Helton to have a very strong year, and their bullpen to be exceptional.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers- Andruw Jones will bounce back and their lineup is pretty decent but a shaky rotation and poor management will have this team scuffling to win 75 games. This will be the year when everyone realizes Torre won those world series' because his team out spent everybody.
4. San Diego Padres- Jake Peavy is a stud, and will win 20 games but that lineup absolutely sucks. Seriously, I think they will only have one player hit over 25 home runs. Jim Edmonds is washed up, Tad Iguchi isn't good, etc... etc... Also, how much longer can Trevor Hoffman be Trevor Hoffman, dudes like 50-years-old.
5. San Francisco Giants- Well the Barry Bonds era in the Bay is over, however now Giants fans have a new problem. Bengie Molina (yes, THE Bengie Molina) is batting clean-up for a team that may not win 50 games. Things are going to be laughably bad for San Francisco. I'll probably end up watching 10-15 innings of this team throughout the course of the year and I will be absolutely shocked if I see them get a hit, other than a two-out groundball through the middle. It's going to be bad. Very bad.
Of course, I’m talking about the giant cheeseburger on the Friendly’s billboard near my office. You can see it out of any of the five windows that face the east but looking out just any window isn’t fair to it. The one true and unobstructed view of it can only be obtained while standing at the urinal. So if you find yourself there, at the urinal in my office, turn your head to the right and you’ll see it. Out past the hotel’s small lawn and gazebo, past South Main Street, past the high school, then over highway 84. It’s there. A two-story tall piece of heaven on a bun, the writing on the sign obscured by one of the countless, dreary, brick office buildings that circle this downtrodden city like giants without a home. But at least the burger is there and it always will be, I think.
I sorely want that burger, I do. I don’t know why I don’t just go over and get it, or at least touch it. The walk over wouldn’t be tough, just a couple hundred yards, still that distance on a dreary day may as well be a couple hundred miles; I can’t commit to that. Even if I got there it would be a long, long climb up a cold ladder to reach my prize. Then what? Could I even take it? Would it be real or would I have to bring my own burger, would that be blasphemous? See, why would I even try. I kind of like it there in the distance, brightening my day whenever I take a piss. Maybe taking it would be a piece of Icarian buffoonery; another piece of humiliation to put with the others. Still would that be much worse than pissing in the same damned urinal, looking out the same damned window forever? Probably not, but I guess I’m not ready to go after the cheeseburger in the distance. Not yet anyway.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
1). His abuse of drugs was glossed over. In 1996 Favre became addicted to pain killers, had a seizure because of his addiction, subsequently fessed up, and eventually received treatment. Now I have no problems with Favre's struggles, everyone has serious personal problems from time to time. What I don't like is how the media conveniently forgets this dark chapter to the Favre legend while simultaneously vilifying other NFLers who have used drugs or were suspected of using drugs. Guys like Ricky Williams, Michael Vick, and Quincy Carter get skewered for allegedly smoking a little grass but Favre is allowed to pop much more potent and dangerous drugs and he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don't get it. (Actually, I think I do get it, unfortunately).
2). "He's just a regular guy, like me." I hate this one. He's not like me at all. He's a football legend from the deep south who makes money hand-over-fist, could sleep with any chick he wanted to, and is beloved by millions and millions of people. That doesn't sound like me. Let's re-examine that statement with my comparison to Favre in parenthesis:
He's a football legend (close, I was the punter on my college's D-III football team) from the deep south (I'm from New England, swing and a miss) who makes money hand-over-fist (living at home is a great way to save...), could sleep with any chick he wanted to (I'm just going to move on before I cut myself), and is beloved by millions and millions of people (maybe, maybe a dozen).
Ya see. It would be pretty hard for me to find somebody who is more different than me than Brett Favre. He's not a regular guy, he's a superstar quarterback! Get this through your head people.
3). "He's having fun out there." If you listen to any media-type person talk about Brett Favre within 10 seconds you will hear some variation of the above phrase. Listen, we get it, he likes playing football, good for him. I never really understood why this was such a big deal, it never allowed him to be better at his job, did it? Some guys who play professional sports love playing and are very happy to be paid for doing something they love; other guys just see it as a way to make a bunch of money. Why is it so much more important to be in the former group and not the latter? In the grand scheme of things it isn't. Also this just proves even more that he's not a regular guy. What type of jerk loves his job? The type of jerk that pisses me off, that's what type of jerk loves his job.
4). "His father died and he went out and had a great game a day later." I have to tip my hat here. He did play a hell of a game, however it was ruined by every media member not trapped under a rock proclaiming it being the BEST PERFORMANCE OF ALL TIME in the history of NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. I'm fortunate enough to still have my dad around (granted I'm half Favre's age) and I can imagine how tough it would be to go out and do anything for a while after he passes. Still people's dads die all the time and many of them are still able to perform their jobs. I just think it was blown way out of proportion. Also the media forget that Brett had a loving relationship with his father for most of his life (I assume) while a great many players had abusive/non-existent fathers. To me, making it to the NFL without a dad is much more impressive than having a great game shortly after your loving father passes.
5). Brett Favre. Not that good. He was a great, great quarterback but let's be real, there are a number of quarterback's who are significantly better than him. That's a fact. I'm not going to dig into stats or anything but Favre is what we in the business (not sure what business I'm referring to here) call a "compiler." Someone who accumulated statistics and records by playing a ton of games. I have nothing against compilers, sticking around and playing well in a sport is a skill/talent as surely as foot speed and hand-eye coordination are but for me it doesn't go hand and hand with greatness (not that any one skill/talent does).
Anyway, what it comes down to for me is his one championship. Winning just one championship in football is very difficult and deserves respect but if you want to be considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time I need at least two rings. I'm not saying he's in the same league as other one-time Super Bowl champions such as Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, Doug Williams, and Brad Johnson but he's a long way away from the likes of Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Otto Graham, and, of course, Tom Brady. Anyway I get my pro football information from Cold, Hard Football Facts and they have Favre at No. 10 on their greatest quarterback's list. I can live with that. I'd probably have him a bit lower because of his tendency to choke hard in playoff games: like his 6 pick game against St. Louis in 2002 and the 2008 NFC Championship game against the Giants where he gift-wrapped the victory for them. So like I said at the beginning I have him around 10-15 greatest QB's in history, very good but not deserving of the fly-your-flag-at-half-mast treatment most media members are giving his retirement.
One thing I learned about Favre that makes me like him more is that his middle name is Lorenzo. I probably wouldn't have written this article if he went by Lorenzo Favre.
I usually side with the players on these types of matters but I am 100% opposed to giving Papelbon an extension before this season. There aren't enough words to describe how well he has played over the last two years but I still think giving him a rich contract extension based on only one good, full year of work (in 2006 he got shut down at the end of the season because of some sort of arm trouble/fatigue) is a fool-hardy idea. Baseball closers have an incredibly high turnover rate, it's probably close to 50% from year to year, and based on how some closers have either just completely lose it (remember when Derek Lowe was a lights out closer?) and others have had catastrophic arm problems (how about Robb Nen?) I don't think giving a relatively inexperienced closer a ton of money when he is under contract for less than $500,000 makes sense. However, if he goes out and saves 40 games with a sub 2.50 ERA this year then I say give him whatever he wants. Its just I need one more good year before I'm ready to permanently give Paps elite closer status.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Get pumped. It is a mere 15 working days until my defending World Champion Boston Red Sox take on the sure-to-be-miserable Oakland Athletics in Tokyo to kick off the 2008 MLB season. Baseball is by far my favorite sport and it pains me that it is losing currency in America because of the ever-growing popularity of football. What does this tell me? That some people in America are idiots, just look at the clowns we have running this country and it's no surprise that baseball is waning in popularity. People who claim to not like baseball are either one of two things- a communist or a pussy/lacrosse player (it's hard for me to distinguish the two). It's that simple. People claim that it's too slow for them, that's because their twisted-pinko brains are used to watching flashy socialist propoganda films (and/or MTV) that are designed for weak-minded proles who demand instant gratification. Other complaints range from the season is too long to the disparity between the haves and the have-nots is too large. If you hear one of these loonies and want to stand up for your country the correct response to any and all of these complaints is this, "Shut up you anti-American scumbag. Go back to Russia and take your little basket on a stick with you. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."
Anyway, I'm not going to let these crazies bring me down. Baseball is America and America is baseball. I'm going to try to put up a baseball related post daily, these should range from previews to fantasy advice to unadulterated Yankee bashing (although I don't really mind Hank Steinbrenner, he makes me laugh).
Monday, March 3, 2008
Good lord, this is classic:
"We want to protect our city from the onslaught of the right wing," said Code Pink spokeswoman Zanne Joi. "We're facing people who are willing to kill or send other people's children to kill to get what they want. We understand the reality of that, and we're prepared to face that in a nonviolent way."
Protect your city from the onlaught of the right wing?!?!?!? Is the Republican party mobilizing some secret military force that no one knows about to attack Berkeley? Do you see people with guns running around with elephant flags? No, you silly communist/dejected hippie, no, you certainly don't. What you see is outraged US CITIZENS, fed up with you and your ridiculous animosity towards a government that protects your right be that stupid. Moreover, to be that stupid on purpose and outloud. The sad thing is, you people believe that our government is WRONG for using our VOLUNTEER MILITARY FORCE to protect our safety, interests and well-being. What is it exactly that you are going to "face in a nonviolent way?" I think you, Zanne Joi (can't be your real name), should put down your $9 organic, non-fat, mocha frappachino and go home. I'm sure there are people there that don't want to listen to you either. Kids, Husband, 50 cats......
D(2:31:55 PM): breasts
P (2:32:01 PM): whats up?
D (2:32:04 PM): nothing
D (2:32:10 PM): you're still not in doostang
D (2:32:16 PM): starting to anger the gorilla
P (2:32:20 PM): ill do it today
D (2:32:33 PM): and you don't read my blog
D (2:32:41 PM): which really hurts me in the pants
P (2:32:51 PM): you dont read mine
D (2:32:58 PM): you have blog status
D (2:33:02 PM): gimme the site
D (2:33:10 PM): i'll check it ten times a day
P (2:33:35 PM): http://www.iamahomosexualandineedasupportsystem.com/
D (2:33:50 PM): wow
Shut the fuck up about politics and the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. You have barely a foot to stand on, no valid points, and no idea the sacrifices that our VOLUNTEER standing military force takes on so that YOU can be crazy. Thanks for your compliance.
The Remaining Sanity in the World
I decided to look up these "Code Pink" looney tunes online and, once the general seething anger receded, I found something on their site that really pisses me off. (by the way, I hope I don't pegged as a commie for going to their site) They have a list of missions or goals that they are pursuing, including: impeaching our president, getting Mr. Cheney fired, blaming global warming (which isn't real) on the war in Iraq, saying that Ms. Rice has blood on her hands, and a plethora of anti-war propaganda and jargon. And towards the bottom I find this:
DARFUR: All Life is Sacred
"My heart aches when I think about tragedy in the lives of so many in Darfur, and how their cries for help go unheeded, especially by the leaders in this country. Our government should do everything in its power to stop the suffering, the pain, the violence." —Medea Benjamin.
IS THIS WOMAN SERIOUS?!?! I am not a military man, but I have friends that serve/have served as well as family members, and I have discussed military history over a cigar before with qualified intelligence officials. It seems to me that this woman is calling for us to take military action in Darfur! Wouldn't that situation be violent and destructive? Would it not cost the lives of Americans and locals? Isn't that what she is bitching about in Iraq? I am not saying go or don't go, but clearly she has no idea what it would take to go into Darfur and secure the region. I am not opposed to US military action solely based on the fact that I trust the people that run our country and our military and if those people deem military action necessary than who am I to argue?
But this woman is arguing that we should walk out of Iraq because she thinks its wrong, unjust and costing American lives and money. Then she has the guts to say we need to step into Darfur? Ridiculous and incongruent! Classic Communist BS!! This woman is clearly insane and is simply hellbent on hating freedom and causing unrest in our society for her own crazy reasons. Someone deport her.
I also found this on the "Code Pink" website (which I now refer to as "crazy irrational communist agitator headquarters") :
"October 4, 2007: Ann Wright, retired U.S. army colonel and former diplomat who quit in opposition to the Iraq war, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and founding director of Global Exchange, tested Canada's policy towards US peace activists on Thursday. They were on their way to Toronto at the invitation of the Toronto Stop the War Coalition but were denied entry into Canada due to previous arrests for demonstrating against the Iraq War outside the White House and in the Capitol. Their names have been added to FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database that apparently dictates Canadian border policy. The border agents at the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls who barred Medea and Ann said the mere fact that they were listed on the NCIC was sufficient to bar them from entry."
Good. Turns out Canada has a pair.
Slacking off at work is much more complicated than simply deciding to cruise the Interweb all day; doing so would be a short-sighted, risky, and fool-hardy approach. Slacking off is a long-con (like in the end of The Sting). It needs to be set up over the course of weeks and months to be perfected. So I'm going to begin this guide with a broad overview and then get more and more specific (in the writing world, we call this approach... umm... well I'm sure its called something). Here is what you need to do to set up your life-long dream of getting paid for nothing:
1). You should have as little experience with the type of work you will be doing as possible. This is essential as it will lower everyone's expectations for you and allow you to stretch jobs that should only take about 45 minutes into entire afternoon affairs. I am a journalism and history major who took exactly zero business/economics classes in school and am working as an accountant. I have no business working here but let's just say it's not what you know, it's who you know. (For me, I know my dad, the managing partner).
2). You need to be able to work hard intermittently. A couple times a week you're usually going to have to cram 5 hours of work into 1 hour. Those are the facts. Bottom line is work needs to get done and the best way to do it while maximizing your slack off time is to work in 60-90 minute frenzies and get as much volume done as possible. (note: quantity is more important than quality here. Remember you have no experience doing these things so you're going to have some slip-ups. Your superiors expect this from you and will be able to find and correct your errors quickly and easily. It also helps if you write down your questions in detail and act genuinely interested in their answers). Also a stretch of hard work shows your boss that you can/might be valuable.
3). You need to have some sort of responsibility outside of work. This can't be a softball league or a bowling night, this has to be legit. How legit? Like elderly relative to take care of or second job big. This will keep people off your back about being tired/out-of-it and allow people to make excuses for you. Hopefully when fellow employees are talking about you at the watercooler and someone says you don't pull your weight, another employee will chime in with something like, "Yeah, but did you know so-and-so is taking care of his great uncle?" or "Yeah, but so-and-so is also working nights to (make ends meet/pursue a passion/donate money to orphans, orphans with diseases)."
I myself work three nights a week writing sports for a Web site (my latest articles are usually on the top of right-hand sidebar but somebody decided to switch up the sidebar's order and buried my stories at the bottom, not that I'm upset or anything). My night job is pretty sweet. I write from home about something I enjoy. The only thing crappy thing is that the hours suck (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.) so I don't get a ton of sleep a couple nights a week. The key for me is using my lack of sleep to my advantage. About once or twice a month I'll drop a line like this one, "Man, I'm beat. I was up late writing about this whole Clemens scandal, blah blah blah." This lets whoever I'm talking to know that A) I have a second job, B) I can be an interesting (and therefore more likable) person to have a brief conversation with, and C) I have a valid reason for being tired. This step of having a legitimate outside responsibility is very important. It also highlights the fact that slacking off is not an easy thing to do and shouldn't be pursued by the weak of heart. You've got to fully commit to it, kinda like a D-10 combo from Jade Garden. In both slacking off at work and eating vast quantities of Chinese food if you leave anything on the table: you'll get called out for not working hard enough/being a pussy for not eating that last groddy-looking piece of General Tso's and then you'll eventually get fired/stabbed with the skewers that the beef teryaki came on. (For more real-life situations being compared to combo meals from crappy Chinese restaurants please pre-order mine and Ted's upcoming book "Extra MSG, Please: What Crab Rangoons and Crispy, Fried Dumplings Can Teach Us about Life." Hint: not much).
Parts II-LVII to come...