Tuesday, June 22, 2010

RIP Manute Bol

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
I'm not going to lie. Not a whole lot to talk about personally...other than the usual uncertainty...and I don't want to jinx anything else...so I'll just go right into the news...

Manute Bol Dies – A few years ago, I shared with you one of my favorite stories in sports, a lithe 7-foot-7 shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and was dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa named Manute Bol. Unfortunately, he passed away on Saturday at the age of 47. Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition, Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise, said in an e-mail. “Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us. Manute, we’ll miss you. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all his family, and all who mourn his loss.” Bol played in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami, averaging 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks for his career. He led the league in blocks in 1985-86 with Washington (5.0 per game) and in 1988-89 with Golden State (4.3 a game). “Manute’s impact on this city, our franchise and the game of basketball cannot be put into words,” 76ers president and general manager Ed Stefanski said in a statement. “He … was continually giving of himself through his generosity and humanitarian efforts in order to make the world around him a much better place, for which he will always be remembered.” Bol joined the NBA with Washington in 1985 and played three seasons there (actually teamed up with 5-3 “Muggsy” Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history). He returned to the team briefly toward the end of his career. The Wizards lauded him as a “true humanitarian and an ambassador for the sport of basketball.” “Despite his accomplishments on the court, his lasting legacy will be the tireless work and causes he promoted in his native Sudan and the cities in which he played,” the club said in a statement. After the NBA, Bol worked closely as an advisory board member of Sudan Sunrise, which promotes reconciliation in Sudan. Over the years, he has been a prisoner by refugee forces in Sudan, been involved in a major car accident, and Bol was hospitalized in mid-May during a stopover in Washington after returning to the United States from Sudan. Prichard said then that Bol was in Sudan to help build a school in conjunction with Sudan Sunrise but stayed longer than anticipated after the president of southern Sudan asked him to make election appearances and use his influence to counter corruption in the county. He said Bol had undergone three dialysis treatments and developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that caused him to lose patches of skin. Prichard said the skin around Bol’s mouth was so sore he went 11 days without eating and could barely talk. Prichard said it’s believed Bol contracted the skin disease as a reaction to kidney medication he took while in Africa. Janis Ricker, operations manager of Sudan Sunrise, said Saturday the organization will continue its work building the school in Bol’s home village in southern Sudan. She said Bol’s goal was to build 41 schools throughout Sudan. I know last time I brought him up I asked you all to donate to his Ring One organization…but let’s go with Sudan Sunrise this time. Let’s help open a few dozen schools in the Sudan. If everybody who reads this blog gives ten bucks, then we could raise enough to buy a hammer & a few nails to start the first school. Then you tell your friends about Manute Bol, and they tell their friends, and so on, and so on…and before you know it, the Dr Love School may be opening up in Manute’s home village ready to teach the next generation of gigantic, skinny humanitarians and make the world a better place. How awesome would that be? My condolences go out to Manute’s family and all the lives that he has touched over the years.

Denver / Perky Cups Update – It’s time for a mood changer. Remember the cleverness of Perky Cups coffee & their advertising? Well, the suburban Denver coffee shop whose bikini-clad baristas prompted a boycott…and has now closed its doors. Perky Cups was evicted from its home in an Aurora shopping center for failing to pay rent and for violating terms of the lease, including operating outside the shop's premises (probably because there was a line around the block). Owner Jason Bernal sent women wearing bikinis onto city streets to advertise the shop (and get hit on by gentlemen). That prompted City Councilwoman Molly Markert (aka cockblocker) and at least 30 other people to sign a petition last month calling for a boycott of the shop and other businesses in the same shopping center. Bernal says he's relieved the shop has closed because of problems he's had with the landlord (hiring their daughter?). He plans to open a new location in the coming weeks. Landlord Greg Coleman wouldn't say how much money Bernal owed because their dispute is now in court. At least he’ll be able to open a new location. What the hell, Denver? I used to remember you being pretty cool. I’d say to bring a franchise out here to Truckee but…perky is not the best choice of word when winter sets in over here. Still, you’d be the place to go to warm up on a frigid winter night. Great place to get a Cup of Joe & a Peek at Joan.

Tigers in Toronto - A "delightful" Bengal tiger named Jonas, and two camels named Todd and Sean, have gone missing in eastern Canada after thieves drove off with the truck and trailer in which they were traveling. The three animals, en route to the Bowmanville Zoo on the outskirts of Toronto, were stolen, along with the vehicles, after their driver stopped for the night in the French-speaking province of Quebec, zoo director Michael Hackenberger said. "Our concern is that the animals were last watered at 11 o'clock at night and so that's over 12 hours ago, and the fact that it's turning into a very hot day up here in Canada means that unless the trailer is appropriately ventilated they could absolutely be compromised," Hackenberger told Reuters. Okay, just to interrupt, a hot day in Canada, is probably like 75-80 degrees this time of year…and we’re talking about a Bengal tiger…and two camels. You would think a zoo director would know more about their natural climates. Speaking by cell phone as he raced toward Quebec with medical supplies for when the animals are found, he added: "It's like an amber alert, the longer it lasts the less likely you are to get the animals back." That’s right, parents. He just compared your children to zoo animals. Send him your hate mail. Hackenberger described all three animals as "delightful" and friendly, and said the camels, used as ride animals at the zoo, were like good-natured horses. He said Jonas, who weighs in at around 400 pounds (180 kg), was trained and friendly and was locked behind several doors in an internal cage in the trailer. "But he is still a tiger," he cautioned. The animals could die of dehydration unless they get water soon, he said. Hackenberger said he did not believe thieves had targeted the animals, and the region where the trailer was stolen has had other similar vehicle thefts. "I don't think the thieves had any clue about what was inside," he said. Can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they find out though. Maybe it’s all off-shoot of those French art thieves & bank robbers that I’ve been following for the past few months. “What do you think it is, Jean-Pierre? Gold? Matisse paintings?” “If it’s anything like it smells it’s probably raw unearthed stones…enough talk, let’s find out.” “AH CAMELS!!! Cover your eyes, they spit!!!” “Whew… that was close. Wait, camels? Do you know what this means? Whatever’s in the box…is the property of some oil baron sheikh.” “Oh, I don’t know, Francois. Why would a sheikh have anything to do with Quebec?” “He must be a cultured man of the world. Hand me that crow bar.” And pieces of the thieves are found several days later as a well-fed tiger is introduced into the Great White North. May God have mercy on us all. We may have to send in some hunters to track Rajah down. Where will we ever find somebody with that kind of skill set? To track a tiger…in the harsh Canadian wilderness?

Mosquito Catching Contest – Probably not in Estonia. The mosquito population of Estonia is a little smaller after the Baltic state hosted its first mosquito-catching championship. A total of 37 participants gathered in a field in the city of Tartu and were given 10 minutes to catch as many mosquitoes as possible in a small, designated area. The competition rules did not state whether the collected mosquitoes had to be dead or alive (“The only good bug is a dead bug”) and competitors could work alone or in teams of three. "We have many mosquitoes and we must fight them somehow, so we decided to organize a mosquito-catching championship," said the event's organizer, Triinu Akkermann. One competitor, Jevgeny Serov, had a plan worked out in the lead-up to the contest. "We will warm up so we will start sweating a little then I will stand with bare hands and feet and my wife and daughter will pick mosquitoes off me," he told Reuters Television. But the winner of the first prize (a sailing trip on Estonia's Lake Peipus) was Rauno Luksepp who caught 38 mosquitoes but accumulated as many bites in the process. The idea of the contest came from Finland where there have been mosquito-catching championships in the past. I like the idea…and hope it grows exponentially. There’s nothing like a good competition slapping contest in Eastern Europe. I kinda liked Jevgeny’s (feel free to call him Big J if you have trouble with that name) plan of getting all sweaty and standing naked in a field as women pluck mosquitoes off your body. That’d probably be my plan. Only not with family members. “AH!!! They’re going for the moneymaker!!! Quick, getemgetemgetem… RAAAH!!! Don’t slap at ‘em when they’re on my junk, Sasha!!! No!!! No time to kiss it better. We’ve only got ten minutes. Focus!!! Veronika, you’re on ravine detail. They seem to like the equator.”

No Soup for You - Authorities arrested a Pennsylvania man who allegedly tried to smuggle more than four pounds of cocaine through Dulles International Airport using powdered soup packets. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested the man after he arrived on board a flight from El Salvador on Thursday. Authorities said a customs dog identified the man as carrying drugs (“That’s him! Get him guys!”). When authorities opened the soup packets the drugs were hidden and they found some still contained rice. It isn't the first time authorities at the airport have seen creative smugglers. Last year officers found heroin in juice boxes and cocaine in cooked chicken…which I’m sure was headed right to the coolest f**king 6th birthday party EVER!!! Dang, I guess that thwarts my ideas of smuggling in Crystal Light packets. “This makes my face feel funny.” “That’s because it’s raising your metabolism and flushing out the toxins in your body. By the way, that’ll be $60 for that packet & don’t drive or operate heavy machinery for at least two hours.”

Text Driving – What’s worse than driving on Crystal Light? Texting & driving. But parents, if you're about to warn your teenager about the dangers of texting or talking on the phone while driving, a new report suggests you look in the mirror first. A study released Friday by The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project (surprise, something with that name is based in San Francisco) says adults and teenagers are equally likely to have texted while driving…and adults are more likely to have chatted on their phones while driving (probably to their children who don’t have their own car). The study found that 47% of adults who text reported sending or reading texts while behind the wheel. In a 2009 Pew study, a lower number (34%) of 16- and 17-year-olds who send texts said that they did that while driving. Because not everyone has a phone or sends texts, the report said the findings indicate that 27% of all U.S. adults have sent or read texts while driving and 26% of all U.S. 16- and 17-year-olds have (admittedly) done so. The study also found that adults are much more likely to chat on their phones while driving: 75% of adults with mobile phones said they talked and drove, while 52% of teenagers with cell phones said they did so in last year's study. That would translate into a finding that 61% of all U.S. adults talk on the phone while driving, while the 2009 study indicates that 43% of all 16- and 17-year-olds do likewise. Mary Madden, a senior research specialist for Pew and the study's lead author, said that while many educational efforts that emphasize the dangers of distracted driving have targeted teens, the findings show a need to educate adults, too. "I think all of us can identify with that temptation to stay connected during those idle moments in the car. ... The reality is, even if the car isn't moving, a delayed response to a green light or at a stop sign can still result in an accident," she said. The Pew study didn't take into account that some drivers may be using hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets when they talk and drive, but Madden pointed out that simply having a conversation can be a distraction. Even when not driving, adults are still engrossed in their phones: The study said that 17% of adults who have cell phones reported walking into other people or things because they were so busy using their phones to text or chat. The survey used telephone interviews with 2,252 adults between April 29 and May 30. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4% points. So what’s my point? I don’t have one. I’m updating this thing from my cell phone as I cruise Donner Pass at 85 miles an hour. I’m a hypocrite. Okay, I guess it really is…please don’t text & drive. It’s up there with drinking & driving. I’ve lost too many friends & family members to drinking and/or driving. I only like wearing my black tux to weddings (and the occasional dinner party). If it’s really that important that you text (like directions that should’ve been sent to you hours ago, we’ve all been there) then please, just pull over to the shoulder.

Mannequin 3: Out to Sea – So what if my idea for a feasible sequel to the “Mannequin” movies has yet to be filmed? Seriously, if I had a superhot woman who loved me…but turned into a mannequin every time somebody else saw her, I would trade in all my worldly possessions for a houseboat and you would never see my silly ass again (and for the plot twist and conflict, of course there has to be pirates). Anyway, a reported "mummified" body on an abandoned boat in the Florida Keys turned out to be a mannequin. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says a young couple spotted what they thought was a dead body in an abandoned boat off Sugarloaf Key on Saturday night. They said it appeared to be mummified (wrapped in toilet paper?). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent a boat to take deputies to the scene. They found only a mannequin on the boat — no human remains were on board. Andrew McCartney was taken in for questioning but later released. Okay, that last sentence was a lie…but funny to one or two of you out there…and therefore well worth it.

Fox Update – Speaking of movies I’d watch and/or make, here’s the latest Fox update. Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard that she and her fiancĂ© Brian Austin Green (yes, that guy from 90210) are officially engaged…and now she’s saying that they always were engaged…and that what we had meant nothing to her other than a hot, passionate friendly tryst…but there’s news that’s much more interesting to me & my selective concept of reality. Now that Megan Fox has moved on from her days as Mikaela Banes in Michael Bay’s “Transformers” franchise (in which she was replaced within 48 hours by somebody with absolutely no acting experience other than “faking it”), it seems she’s ready to show us the true extent of her acting abilities. FOXNews.com (so you know it’s great journalism & completely unbiased with a firm sense of reality) reported on Monday that her dream role is a Native American lesbian comic book superhero (funny, I was thinking the same thing). Fox, an avid comic book fan, told FOXNews.com at last week’s premiere of her new film “Jonah Hex” that “I don’t want people to protest this, but I would like to be [Sarah] Rainmaker in ‘Gen 13‘ if they ever made that into a movie.” Apache born, Rainmaker is a fictional superhero from the "Gen 13" comic series who possesses the superpower of manipulating weather and the water with her thoughts, as well as having an innate aptitude for combat tactics. When not forced to fight supervillians, the peace-seeking activist, who was revealed as a lesbian in the second issue of the ongoing series (boioioioioioing!), spends her spare time leading protests on an array of issues, as well as preaching political correctness to her teammates (including the mighty Apache Chief and African-American Panther). But despite her fair complexion and light eyes, Fox is confident that physically transforming into Rainmaker is definitely doable. “She’s a Native American and I have a little bit of that blood in me. It would be a bit of a stretch -- but if Jake Gyllenhaal can be the Prince of Persia, I think that I can do that.” Definitely. And if you need a fellow mighty fair-skinned warrior with a little Ottawa blood & the ability to control the weather by your side, I’d like to introduce you to $teve Comes With A Thunder. Oh yeah, Sarah Rainmaker’s totally bi in my movie. Can’t alienate certain demographics. Anyway, I’m just gonna… drift off for a second. Hold all my calls.

Whew, that should do it for tonight. Tomorrow, I think I have a softball game…but I have no idea the time…and if not, I’ll probably go play some hoops while listening to some music at the park (we have our free summer concert series now a few blocks from my house). Tonight, probably the same without music. Starting to realize how much I miss playing basketball…but it’s just difficult to find people to play with and/or against…but hey, that’s what an imagination is for, right? Play a game with all my make-believe playmates. That’s safe for a man approaching thirty, right? Anyway, have a great day everybody!!!

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