“Demonstrate your skills!” commanded the Emperor.
The Chinese samurai stepped forward, opened a tiny box, and released a fly. He drew his samurai sword and *Swish!* the fly fell to the floor, neatly divided in two! “What a feat!” said the Emperor.
“Number Two Samurai, show me what you do.”
The Japanese samurai smiled confidently, stepped forward and opened a tiny box, releasing a fly. He drew his samurai sword and * Swish! * Swish! * The fly fell to the floor neatly quartered.
“That is skill!” nodded the Emperor.
“How are you going to top that, Number three Samurai?”
The Jewish samurai, Obi-wan Cohen, stepped forward, opened a tiny box releasing one fly, drew his samurai sword and *Swoooooosh! * flourished his sword so mightily that a gust of wind blew through the room. But the fly was still buzzing around!
In disappointment, the Emperor said, “What kind of skill is that? The fly isn’t even dead.”
“Dead,” replied the Jewish Samurai !! “Dead is easy. Circumcision… THAT takes skill!”
(AP) Police in Detroit last night announced the discovery of an arms cache of 200 semi-automatic rifles with 250,000 rounds of ammunition, 6 tons of heroin, $8 million in forged US banknotes and 25 trafficked Latino prostitutes (some of them under age) – all in a semi-detached house behind the Public Library on Woodward Ave.
Local residents were stunned, and a community spokesman said, “We’re all shocked; we never knew we had a library.”
This is a short video I put together that shows the pioneers of video, from Eadweard Muybridge (1870s), to 1907. This was created for a 2012 Oscar Party, not 2013. My narration is not recorded.
Sandro Botticelli eat your heart out.
Mr. Potato Head as Michelangelo’s David is on the way!
Write a word in each quadrant of the diagram.
Dave Winfield was a professional baseball player—a pitcher and fielder. Tall, 6′ 6″, muscular and athletic, he was a powerful force at bat. He compiled 3,110 hits during his major league career. 465 were home runs. He played for the San Diego Padres (1973-1980), the New York Yankees (1981-1990), California Angels (1990-1991), Toronto Blue Jays (1992), Minnesota Twins (1993-1994) and the Cleveland Indians (1995).
In 1957, when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, I became a Yankees fan. It was fun growing up rooting for Mickey Mantle, the awesome no. 7, the man who replaced Joe DiMaggio as the Yankees centerfielder. Back then Yankees games were freely televised on NY’s channel 11, WPIX. It was easy and free to be a Yankees fan until 1964 when CBS bought the Yankees and proceeded to run them into the ground. It was still free to be a fan, but it was painful to watch the team flounder year-after-year.
Then in 1973, George Steinbrenner, along with other investors, bought the NY Yankees and proceeded to make them champions again. It was great to be a Yankees fan again.
In 1981, Steinbrenner signed Winfield for the outrageous amount of $23 million for a 10 year contract. Steinbrenner thought he was only paying $16 million. Winfield was baseball’s highest paid player. In my mind, this marks the true beginning of the upward spiral in professional athletic compensation that continues unabated today.
During the 1983 season, while warming up before the 5th inning of a game in Toronto, Winfield accidentally killed a seagull when throwing a ball. After the game, Winfield was arrested by the Toronto police and charged with cruelty to animals. Billy Martin, the Yankees manager said, “It’s the first time he’s hit the cutoff man all season.” Charges were dropped the following day.
I never met Mr. Winfield. I once watched him taking batting practice, from 20 feet away. It was the early 1980s. The Yankees played their spring training from a home base in Fort Lauderdale, FL. My parents had moved to Coconut Creek, FL, a town next to Fort Lauderdale, in the late 1970s. My wife and I would visit them during spring training and go to Yankees games. The Fort Lauderdale stadium was a small, intimate ball park, where the spectators were never far away from the players on the field. Mr. Winfield was in the batting cage, which the spectators walked by on the ramp up to the seats.
I had an epiphany watching Winfield in the batting cage. I thought, “Why am I rooting for him? He should be rooting for me. He’s making $2.3 million a year playing a game for 8 months. I am making quite a bit less working the entire year.” I don’t root for one company over another, unless I own stock, so why should I root for these businesses? I have not rooted for a professional athlete or professional sports team since. More recently, I stopped rooting for college teams, as most of the major ones are really businesses masquerading as sports programs.
Businesses paying their key employees well is a capitalistic and nice thing to do. However, when I am paying their salaries, get no benefit, and cannot opt out of paying, I get angry. That is today’s world. The professional sports teams and leagues enter into multi-billion dollar, yearly contracts with sports channels like ESPN, Fox Sports or the MSG network. The sports channels charge the cable TV companies and the cable TV companies charge their subscribers, you and me, for the privilege of airing these athletic events. It is a tax system that should be illegal. It is not.
I would be okay with this system if I could easily opt out of sports channels on Cablevision, my cable provider, and still get other non-athletic channels, which I might want. But a significant part of my monthly cable TV bill is going to pay for sports channels, which I don’t ever watch. I am subsidizing every other subscriber who is interested in this stuff and all of the greedy mouths along the chain, all the way back to the athletes and their agents.
Today, I read in Bloomberg that Cablevision is instituting a $2.98 per month per subscriber surcharge to pay for the rising costs of these sports channels. This makes me angrier.
Since I will not give up Cablevision’s Internet and telephone services, I have four options:
- Grin and bear it.
- Reduce my cable TV to the Optimum Economy package.
- Cancel cable TV.
- Replace Optimum TV with DirecTV or DISH.
The second choice, changing to the Optimum Economy package, means giving up some cable-only channels I might watch but it means no sports channels, hence, no surcharge. I opted for that alternative. I feel that is a good interim choice. My wife and I mostly watch Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Both deliver much more video value than cable TV.
So I say, “Screw you Dave Winfield!”
Next time Cablevision raises cable TV rates, I will likely utter “Screw you Charles and James Dolan!” (Cablevision’s chairman and CEO, respectively.)
And then cancel my cable TV subscription.