Friday, May 16, 2008

Around the Web

Two quick stories I read on Reuters today:

Game of cat and mouse blacks out city

TIRANA (Reuters) - A cat chasing a mouse in Tirana's main power station caused a 72-hour blackout across parts of the Albanian capital, the electricity company said on Friday.

"A cat and a mouse ran into the high-voltage cables," a company spokeswoman said, showing pictures of the electrocuted animals. "We took pictures because we've never had anything like this."

Albanians complain bitterly about the power cuts that have plagued them for decades, and are mostly blamed on drought and the dilapidation of the communist-era grid. Most homes and shops in Tirana rely on petrol generators.

And we worry about terrorists cutting our power. We need to reexamine our priorities. Have we learned nothing from Tom & Jerry?

Oh deer! Man cops wrath of amorous stag

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian man was gored in the thigh on Friday by an amorous stag after entering a deer paddock in the middle of the breeding season.

The 26-year-old worker at the tourist farm near Sydney ignored signs on the paddock gate warning people to keep out and was charged by the stag, the husband of the farm's owner told Reuters.

"It was the middle of the rut (breeding season), that is why the animal was acting like it did," Barry Hibbard told Reuters.

The man, who was apparently trying to feed some grass cuttings to the deer, was taken to hospital after the incident and is expected to be sent home later on Friday, Hibbard said.

Hibbard said the animal was usually very docile, but did not take kindly to the intrusion of another male into its territory.

"He had six or seven girlfriends, you can imagine he would be protective in those circumstances," Hibbard said.

"I know I would be if I was that lucky."

I'll add this story to my brain bank as I study up on the country for my fellowship application. As the adage goes, don't hate the player, hate the deer during rut.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

They've Got The Hustle. They've Got The Muscle.

The Chicago Cubs are on their way. As were my mom and I for last night's game against the San Diego Padres.

Surprisingly, in my 15 years of going to games and nearly 23 years cheering and drooling for the Cubbies I had never been to a game with my mom.

The game consisted of nearly all of the requisite Cubs experiences, excruciating drive into the city, scavenging for a place to park, being offered multiple copies of Streetwise, public drunkenness, hot dogs, cheering and high-fiving.

You may have noticed an omission in the list of Wrigley experiences. As per my advice to those who like clean restrooms, AVOID Wrigley's facilities if at all possible. I recommend the McDonald's across the street, unless of course you enjoy waiting 20 minutes and sloshing around the pool that doubles as a washroom.

As to the game, my mom scored us seats in the Terrace reserved outfield section. They were decent seats save the steel support beam and the woman double fisting Mai Tai's. Also a credit to my mom, in my years of going I have never seen batting practice. She managed to get us down to Wrigley in enough time to see the Padres take some swings.

The first few innings went quickly with the Cubs taking an early lead off of a Derrek Lee double. SD answered in the top of the 3rd and went ahead in the top of the 5th on a solo home run. But this year's team isn't like those of the past. The Cubs exploded with 6 runs in the 5th and another 5 in the 6th.

We took off after the 5th and headed for the car. It was a little cold and the Cubs seemed to have this one in the bag.

So, for the statisticians keeping track, the Cubs are 1-0 when my mom and I go to Wrigley.

You Sing It

As the angelic choir chirped in with the Rolling Stones that you can't always get what you want I wondered if I could just get what I want every once and a while.

On that upbeat note, my efforts to secure a job as a writer/director with Jellyvision have, at this point, been foiled. After completing a unique writing audition/assessment regarding how gliders work my prose didn't make the cut. I'm growing tired of these feats of strength and brilliance that companies put you through. Let's just skip all that and have a Darwinian extreme elimination obstacle course.

The prospective employers can stand by while jeering and throwing rotten fruit. There could be hurdles, a three-legged race, pie eating, a writing assessment, something from that British show where you had to urinate in order to buzz in. Let's make it one HUGE, ludicrous spectacle. There could be judges and those not chosen get exiled to Elba. Trump could oversee the festivities. Oh the possibilities.

Subsequently, I am seeking funding for this ridiculous reality show, so if you know anyone...

By the Rolling Stones logic, it looks like I need to be unemployed.
Listening to: The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
via FoxyTunes