Sunday, February 25, 2007

Precarious NASCAR sponsorships

Richard Childress Racing runs 3 cars in the Nextel Cup series. All 3 have big bucks behind them from sponsors who expect maximum exposure at the track and on tv. The 07 Jack Daniel's car came on board as soon as NASCAR rescinded the ban on hard alcohol sponsors (that was only last year). The 31 Cingular car was already a sponsor when Nextel became the title sponsor of the series, but w/ the Cingular and AT&T merger they can't change the car to be sponsored by AT&T even though that will be the new company's name. And even Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick in the 29 Shell/Pennzoil car has to de-emphasize the Shell portion of his logo so as not to upset the official gasoline of NASCAR Sunoco. The unofficial cost to be the primary sponsor of a car is 10 to 20 million a year. I'd imagine getting 3 sponsors to pony up that kind of dough takes long hours of wining and dining, so replacing one can't be a spur of the moment thing. NASCAR claims that these things are between the owners and the sponsors, but all 3 cars in this organization are at the mercy of what NASCAR will and won't allow (no hard liquor, no mergers and acquisitions, and no gas from that giant Dutch conglomerate). There is one way to get NASCAR on their side. Jack, AT&T, and Shell need to buy plenty of commercial time during the races and NASCAR will go back to its "owners are independent operators" stance and therefore free to use any sponsor who will pay the bills.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Environmental Disaster

I was going to take my oil pan to the auto parts store to empty it and buy oil for an oil change. I wandered over to the far side of my garage to find the pan tipped over w/ the nozzle side pointed down and used motor oil all over my garage. It seems the cats knocked over a tool box that fell on the pan and let most of the oil escape. To compare my garage to Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill, the coast is covered from Anchorage to Juneau. And those cute little leaves that were blown against the wall, well they aren't cute anymore.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Rolling Thunder

Has anyone seen this movie Rolling Thunder? I saw recently that it is the source for the movie dialogue in the Superwolf song Blood Embrace (thank you wikipedia). The song makes the movie seem like it is an examination of a failing relationship. IMDB makes it sound like they get the failing relationship out of the way quickly and concentrate on maximizing revenge killings. I like movies about revenge killings a lot more than movies about failing relationships. Especially if a hand w/ a hook is doing the killing.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Symptoms may include blindness

One of my brothers used to get strep throat pretty frequently. Every time I went to get tested it always came back negative. However, it took 24 hours for the results to come back, so I would miss 2 days of school anyway. I went to the doctor yesterday b/c I had a sore throat and a fever. The new test for strep throat takes 7 minutes and for the first time ever I was positive. So the doctor prescribes some amoxicillin. I took one yesterday on the way home from the pharmacy and another last night before dinner. When I got up this morning to take one, I noticed the pills were pink. I could have sworn I had taken white pills yesterday. I even poured the whole bottle out to make sure I wasn't taking one of Izabella's princess vitamins. It must be a much more serious disease than I thought.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Slick Willie Strikes Again

I saw this article in the paper yesterday and it really pissed me off. Small business owners in our nation's heartland are being driven out of business b/c they can't compete w/ their Mexican counterparts b/c raw materials are easier to get down there. I think the local community college was offering certification to become an assistant meth lab technician and now those kids can't even get jobs. I think it's pretty obvious where the blame lies on this one, NAFTA.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why ESPN hates bloggers

I like Deadspin. The articles are usually pretty brief and witty. However the people at ESPN don't all feel the same way and I know why. What little I know about professional athletes includes this truism "what happens on the road stays on the road." When beat writers are following a team, they depend on the players to provide some talking points so they aren't likely to chronicle the after hours activities. And maybe some media types might want to do some of these same things on the road. When that is reported by bloggers, I can see why they might get a little upset. Now their alter-egos are on display for anyone w/ a computer, like say, your wife.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hall of Fame and Super Bowl

The Baseball Hall of Fame voting has gotten ridiculous. While Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn both deserved enshrinement, the historical perspective of Hall of Fame elections has become totally lost. If you look at the 1st ever voting results list from 1936, you might notice a few big names that didn't make it on their first opportunity. Some guys like Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby hadn't retired yet, but there are quite a few notables (Tris Speaker, George Sisler, and Cy Young) who are amongst the greatest players of all time and weren't elected. I know the rules of voting were a little different back then and now after 5 years of waiting you have a pretty good idea of who should be in, but Joe DiMaggio wasn't elected until his 3rd year of eligibility. On his hall of fame page it says that "At baseball's 1969 Centennial Celebration, he was named the game's greatest living player." Still sportswriters speculated that Ripken could be the first ever unanimous pick. BBWAA, please put your voting in a historical perspective. Baseball is the only sport where records from many years ago are still the gold standard. I don't see why HOF voting should be any different.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame seems to be a little bit better. My biggest problem w/ them is that only 6 people can be elected each year. This year and last year's classes included both people nominated by the seniors committee. That only leaves 4 guys to be enshrined. It seems like they are leaving out some guys who are eminently qualified.

Ah yes, the Super Bowl. I'm picking the Colts 27 Bears 10. The Bears defense has suffered some injuries and fallen off from what they were at the beginning of the season. The Colts defense has been stronger in the playoffs. The extra week will help the Colts more than the Bears. Both teams scored the same number of points in the regular season, but Chicago's offense had 38 offensive TDs while the Colts had 48. I think that will translate to a big win although I'm going to say it will be closer than 10 touchdowns.

Friday, February 02, 2007

New Furniture

Unlike people who nickname their car or favorite t-shirt, I have a hard time assigning names to objects. However I have a nickname for my mattress, Lumpy. Needless to say we've been searching for a replacement. And since the kids broke the bed frame, we need bedroom furniture too. The mattress isn't here yet, but we got a deal on some furniture from a friend of my Mom's friend. This of course has led to the realization that the rest of our furniture isn't up to snuff either. To compensate I've started calling my car old blue.