Friday, June 29, 2007

Congratulations Craig Biggio

Last night, Craig Biggio got his 3000th hit. In somewhat typical Biggio fashion, he got thrown out at second hustling to try and stretch his single to a double. Later in the game, also in typical Biggio fashion, he beat out a slow grounder with two outs,

I was a Biggio fan long before I was an Astros fan, long before it ever occurred to me that Houston was a city I'd ever even visit. He captured my attention when I first became a baseball fan because he was a great defensive catcher who could also hit and run, which has always been an extremely rare thing. (I admit the bright orange uniforms the Astros wore at the time were also, for better or worse, attention grabbers.)

During his career, Biggio was moved from catcher to second to save his knees. Later, as necessity demanded, he transitioned from second to the outfield. I can think of only one other baseball player who underwent the exact same sequence of transitions: me. And I'm sure I complained more than Biggio did, because Biggio didn't complain at all. He just did it, because he was a team player, because it was his job.

Congratulations Bigg, on joining the most exclusive and important club in baseball. (Please, someone feel free to argue the 500 HR is more exclusive, I can't wait to prove you wrong. Which isn't to take anything away from Frank Thomas, who also deserves congratulations, but still: 3000 is where it's at.)

Song lyric of the day:
"Can we go, because I'm always searching for more
And it never makes it clearer than it was before
But I won't ever believe until I live inside"
- Army Navy, Dark as Days

Monday, June 18, 2007

Correcting a gross oversight

So, I just realized about a minute ago that there is an exceedingly important topic that has been woefully underdiscussed - nay, dare I say, neglected - on this blog. And that topic, of course, is Chex Mix. This oversight must be remedied immediately.

Now, as at least one reader can attest, I am well qualified to discuss the subtleties, nuances, and redundancies of Chex Mix. Ergo, to my readership, I posit the following opinions concerning this subject:

  1. Pretzels are monstrously overused, and said overuse is to the detriment of an overall mix.
  2. Contrariwise, the brown chip thingies utterly rock, and pretzels of all shapes pale in comparison to such rockage. In spite of this, their overuse would likewise be detrimental.
  3. Flavored Chex Mix (e.g. the cheddar cheese variety) is tantamount to blasphemy.
  4. The brown (wheat) Chex are vastly superior to the others; however, each flavor needs to exist in equitable amounts to truly make for the perfect batch of Chex Mix.

Please feel free to discuss openly. However, as I know this is a sensitive topic, I ask my readership to avoid name-calling and swearing. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Song lyric of the day:
"We’ll stay inside 'til somebody finds us
And do whatever the TV tells us"
- the National, Apartment Story

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Children passing tests, still being left behind

Because I haven't posted in a while, I just want to take a brief moment to say that I love it that apparently test scores have gone up in the wake of the "No Child Left Behind" act. Wait, you mean to tell me that an act that bases funding for public schools on test scores causes test scores to go up? Really, that surprises the hell out of me. Because certainly, that wouldn't make schools teach to tests now, would it? Perish the thought.

You cannot judge the success of a student or a school on test scores alone; some of the smartest people I know don't test worth crap. And no, I don't have a better metric, but perhaps we could avoid such a singularly simplistic one. Also, while schools must be held accountable for educating students, restricting funding to schools where students are failing tests in order to improve student achievement is tantamount to feeding the poor by giving more food to the rich.

And thus my libertarian bents grow, as I become increasingly of the mind that perhaps the federal government shouldn't be worried about funding public schools except in dire circumstances. After all, most of the people currently running the thing appear to have less knowledge of American and human history than just about everyone I know.

Song lyric of the day:
"Hardly education
All them books I didn't read
They just sat there on my shelf
Looking much smarter than me"
- Modest Mouse, Education