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Archive for December, 2012

Before I close out the year I forgot to give Serge a BD shout out last Thursday. I did drop by his 50th BD celebration the other night and a lot of his great friends were there.  Happy Birthday last Thursday to my good friend Sergio Davila!

Talk about a colossal collapse.  If we don’t advance to the AFC Championship game, I expect the owner to make major changes.  We’re a very lousy 12-4 team – go figure!  I think you can call it the curse of the letter jackets.  They ought to put them in a pile over on Kirby Drive and put a match to them – good riddance!

This is going to be another anxious week – drats!

Who led the MLB in stolen bases last season?

It looks like Riddle-My-This is backing off picking on paperless folks.  I guess they are finally learning their lessons.

Check this out.

Burkablog has an honest take on the Lite Guv and his bad year including his campaign fund getting ripped off:

One has to feel sorry for David Dewhurst. Has any recent Texas politician ever suffered through a worse year? He lost a Senate race that he was heavily favored to win; his campaign account is missing hundreds of thousands of dollars, allegedly due to the actions of his own campaign manager; he put his future, to the extent that he has one, in the hands of Dan Patrick and Michael Quinn Sullivan; he compromised himself by announcing to one and all that he was going to sell out to the far right.

Dewhurst has been lieutenant governor for ten years, but what does he have to show for it? What monument solidifies his place in the political firmament? He is a decent man, but he is lacking in core beliefs and basic political skills. For example: No shrewd politician would announce that he is moving hard to the right (or to the left, for that matter). You don’t voluntarily put yourself in a box; you keep your options open. The right is not going to embrace him; they’re going to use him. They know he is still fundamentally an establishment politician.

I don’t feel sorry for the Lite Guv.  He made his choices.  He deserves all that he got.

The Fiesta a few yards from me is now closed.  Talk about a major change in how I go about shopping for grub.

Mike Trout of the Angels of course had 49 stolen bases last season to lead the majors.

I was by The Yard the other night and they still have the brick red up.

Take it easy tonight. I am.  Happy New Year and let’s hope 2013 is a good one!

 

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Yesterday at 5 pm was the filing deadline for the State Senate District 6 Special Election.  It looks like there could be around four to six candidates.   The Texas Secretary of State will certify the list of candidates this morning and then will announce the field.   One candidate doesn’t live in SD 6 and in fact still has his voter registration outside of SD 6.  Heck, he can’t even vote for himself.  Oh, well!

How many MLBers have reached the 400 career dinger plateau?

Fellow ‘Stros fan, 41, is under the weather and is spending the holidays in the hospital.  I hope he gets to feeling better because spring training starts in a few weeks.

Some group announced the Most Annoying Word of 2012 – whatever.  Whatever!

From TMZ:

Spike Lee says he REFUSES to see Quentin Tarantino‘s new flick, "Django Unchained" when it opens tomorrow … claiming the slavery-revenge movie is "disrespectful to my ancestors."

Lee first went off on "Django" during an interview with Vibe Magazine … when he was asked for his thoughts on the subject matter and gave the following response:

"I can’t speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it … All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me … I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else."

I don’t know about that.  Jamie Fox and Samuel L. Jackson are in the flick.  I think Spike Lee is just in a sour mood because he didn’t think of writing and directing this flick  Whatever!

50 MLBers of course have reached the 400 dinger plateau.

The team announced yesterday that the players will be wearing new batting practice lids this season.

 

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Sooner or later this had to happen:

A newspaper’s publication of the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two New York counties has sparked online discussions — and a healthy dose of outrage.

Here is the entire article.

It is the First Amendment versus the Second Amendment.

How about publishing the retail outlet where a weapon was purchased after a crime has been committed with the weapon?

Name the MLBer with the most career dingers as a second baseman?

The Carol Alvarado Campaign is running a TV spot.

Go to the website to check it out.

I went by the Sports Authority Christmas shopping and I wanted to check out ‘Stros gear.  There were only two measly items.  It wasn’t much better at Academy.  On Christmas Eve I stopped by The Yard to check out The Team Store but it was closed.  A receptionist at The Yard told me that they had a kiosk at the Galleria where you could get limited gear.  I went over to the Galleria kiosk and sure enough the gear was limited.  I guess the ‘Stros really weren’t interested in promoting their gear this Christmas season.

Jeff Kent of course leads all second basemen with 351 career dingers.

The Team Store is closed at The Yard and will reopen next year. 

 

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I found an AP story in the Star Telegram about the Lite Guv wanting go right or get right or wrong – whatever.  Here is from the piece:

In an interview with The Associated Press, Dewhurst said he wants Texas to be "the most fiscally and socially conservative state in the country."

And:

For Dewhurst, that means even tougher restrictions on abortion, new public school choice measures, drug tests for welfare and unemployment aid recipients and keeping Texas among the lowest in the nation in per-capita public spending when the Legislature convenes its 140-day session on Jan. 8.

It looks like this fella is going to bend over, errr, bend over backwards in order to get some love from the Tea Baggers.  Stay tuned!

Here is the entire piece.

Name the player with the most dingers in a season by a DH?

Jack Klugman is no longer with us.  A lot of folks liked him in “The Odd Couple.”  I liked him as Juror #5 in “12 Angry Men.”

Charles Durning also left us.  He was in a bunch of great movies like “The Sting,” “Tootsie,” and “Dog Day Afternoon.”

David “Big Papi” Ortiz of course had 47 dingers as a DH in 2006 to set the DH single season dinger record.

There is nothing else to say today other than work for some and time off for others.

The Team Store was closed Christmas Eve – huh!

 

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Here is what columnist and author Mike Lupica had to say today in the NY Daily News:

So now Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, who attacks the mental health system in this country even as he sounds like he needs to be in it, goes on “Meet the Press” and …….
I don’t know how this LaPierre areshole can wake up on Christmas Day and feel good.  He makes the Grinch and Scrooge look like saints.

Mitt Romney’s oldest said his dad really didn’t want to run for president.  Oh, yeah!  Then how come he sold out his core to get the GOP nomination.  Somebody needs to tell Tagg to go away.

How many MLB players have more than 1,000 career stolen bases?

Christmas Bonus:  Who won the AL MVP Award in 1959?

For obvious reasons Commentary finally got around to doing Christmas shopping this past Saturday.  You know what?  I saw a lot of clothes out on the shelves that were made in China.  

Well the Texans gave us something to worry about this week.  There will be a lot of anxious Texans talk around the Christmas tree tomorrow.  They didn’t look like a 12-3 team yesterday.  It was very ugly.

Well the good news is I’m not working today!

Hall of Fame great Rickey Henderson of course is the only player with over 1,000 stolen bases – 1,406 to be exact.  Rickey Henderson will be celebrating his 54th BD on Christmas Day.

Hall of Fame great Nellie Fox (also a former Colt 45 and ‘Stro) won the 1959 AL MVP Award of course.  Nellie Fox is no longer with us.  He was also born on Christmas Day in 1927 – nearly 85 years ago.

I think I’ll drop by the Team Store today at The Yard.

Merry Christmas!

 

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Commentary thinks we are heading over the fiscal cliff unless the GOP wakes up.  The GOP will take the blame.  In order to avoid the cliff, the GOP is going to have to get a leader that can lead.  It is pretty obvious that Boehner’s “Plan B” ain’t getting it done.

Speaking of gutless, if you are going to support vouchers then go on ahead and say you are supporting vouchers.    State Sen. Dan Patrick and the Lite Guv want to cannibalize public education funding and they are calling it school choice when in fact it is vouchers because they don’t have the guts to call it vouchers.  They must think we are all a bunch of dumbarses.

There are only two ‘Stros with 20 or more dingers in their rookie season.  Name the two?

Commentary is still around today and so are you.

The former METRO CEO’s silence has been bought for six months for $117,500 and the former METRO Police Chief is now running the transit system.   Your guess is as good as mine. 

You actually think the former CEO s going to consult?

The Big Puma (21 in 2000) and Glenn Davis (20 in 1985) of course are the only two ‘Stros with 20 or more dingers in their rookie seasons.

There is nothing to say about The Yard these days.

 

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Check this out from an AP story:

Three senators have written to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment criticizing the movie “Zero Dark Thirty" as "grossly inaccurate and misleading" in its suggestion that torture produced the tip that led to Osama bin Laden.

The three members of the Senate Intelligence committee — Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain — told the president and CEO of Sony, Michael Lynton, that he has an obligation to say that torture in the hunt for bin Laden was fiction and not based on fact.

The lawmakers said the CIA detainee who provided significant information about bin Laden did so before any harsh interrogation.

The three described themselves as fans of Sony movies. But they warned that Americans will see the film and believe the events are factual.

The last thing members of Congress ought to be doing is telling Hollywood how to make movies

I don’t believe in torture.  It is just not my style but both 43 and Little Dick Cheney said it worked and after Bin Laden was tossed into the sea, one of the first calls The President made was to 43.  

I have not seen the movie but I want to.  I do find it interesting is that the liberal media elite are calling “Zero Dark Thirty” one of the best of the year.  Are they endorsing torture or just good movie making.  If the flick takes home the Oscar, are the three Senators going to take to the Senate floor and chastise the Academy?

Name the ‘Stros skipper that has managed the most games?

I’m not going to say much about State Sen. Dan Patrick and the Lite Guv’s latest public education scheme, err, scam.  I’ll just let you see this from the Chron:

Former Cypress- Fairbanks ISD Superintendent David Anthony, the CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas, called it a subsidy for private schools and "a distraction (that) will slow progress on other needed reforms."

"It is regrettable that Senator Patrick chose to burden some otherwise sound proposals with the poison pill of school vouchers. Though the proposal is couched as a tax credit, make no mistake, this is a private school voucher," Anthony declared.

Here is the entire Chron piece.

It is good to see The President step it up on trying to curb gun violence. 

Yesterday was my pal Mike Sullivan’s last H-Town City Council meeting. 

Bill Virdon of course managed 1,066 games for the ‘Stros from 1975-1982.

I don’t have anything to say about the team signing up a bunch of no names.

 

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Last night I dropped by the Fiesta down the street and I noticed that one lottery gizmo was missing and the other self serve lottery kiosk was unplugged.  It turns out they are being returned because the store is closing in 11 days.  The store is a goner.  That is way too bad.  It is real!

Commentary said the following a couple of weeks ago:

I don’t have a problem with what Bob Costas said the other night on guns and violence.  Of course, it ain’t going anywhere.  There are multiple murders in movie theaters, post offices, shopping malls, schools, college campuses, and restaurants and nothing changes.   The shootings continue.  To some folks it is not even a big deal.

Maybe now it is a bigger deal but who is next?

This past October 3, 2012 was the last time the team wore the brick red.  They lost to the Cubbies up at Wrigley.  Who made the last out for the ‘Stros?

Here is a Chron story about Wayne Dolcefino today by David Barron that is in the hard copy but not to everyone online:

December 18, 2012 05:22 PM

Wayne Dolcefino has not gone undercover. He can still be seen around lunchtime at any number of Asian restaurants between Houston and his home in Katy, in keeping with his half-joking commentary on life and journalism – "I like a little sweet with my sour."

He still mingles with government workers and politicians, speaking to a luncheon meeting of women in government recently, and joins former co-workers at weekly gatherings at a Midtown restaurant.

But he’s no longer presenting journalism with a show-business flair on KTRK (Channel 13), and he won’t be appearing in that role on any other Houston media outlet for months, if ever.

Instead, Dolcefino has staked out a new career path following last month’s announcement that he had left Channel 13 after 26 years. He has formed a company called Dolcefino Communications that will deal with media training, crisis communications, political consulting and opposition research.

In short, he said, "I’m now going to help people deal with jerks like me. If I haven’t perfected that, I’m in trouble."

That doesn’t mean Dolcefino has given up the nose for news that made him arguably Houston’s best-known TV reporter for more than a quarter-century, and it doesn’t mean he’s gone soft on public employees who misuse the public’s trust.

"I haven’t lost my passion for exposing people who do bad things," he said. "I got just as much enjoyment out of the last month of doing that as I did when I first started."

That attitude, however, leads to the first question people ask Dolcefino these days: Why did he resign? Not surprisingly, given the nature of separation agreements between TV stations and high-profile employees, his answers are guarded.

"The station’s comments in the press release that I left is it," he said. "I’m not at liberty to talk about why. Things end. Marriages end.

"I have been a reporter since I was 18 years old. Long time. Will I ever be a reporter again? I don’t know. I just don’t. My life is my family here. I’m a Houstonian first, and my family is more important than whether I work as a journalist or as a consultant or who knows.

"Someday I may have another TV life. I may have a radio life. I really don’t know. I really don’t."

He will not address the popular theories: that he was eased out through the influence of politicians or business leaders on whom he has reported over the years, or that Channel 13 was trying to limit the scope of his reporting or steer him back into daily reporting duties.

He does wish to make it clear, however, that health issues – Dolcefino has multiple sclerosis – were not a concern.

"I’m not sick, and I’m not retiring. I’ll be 56 this month, and I have two kids who are going to college," he said. "I have MS, but it doesn’t impact what I do or how I do it. It affects how I feel sometimes, and anyone with MS knows what I mean.

"But the last thing I want is for people with MS to think that my health had gotten me. I think when they see people like me and (Channel 13 colleague) Melanie Lawson and Neal Cavuto (of Fox News) and see us working through it, it gives them hope."

His reputation for relentless pursuit of a story survives in one odd fashion: Some have speculated, he said, that his departure from Channel 13 is a scam designed to gain the trust of clients who he will then expose on the air. That is not the case, he said.

Dolcefino’s time at Channel 13 was defined by two elements: his "Hurricane Wayne" era, covering storms along the Gulf Coast, and his "13 Undercover" pieces on topics ranging from the "cocaine trail" from South America to Houston to the misuse of public funds or improper conduct by city, county or school district employees.

The undercover efforts, he acknowledges, were made possible in large part because of Channel 13′s support in time and resources.

Dolcefino was known for show-business trappings like wearing a Hawaiian shirt and playing the song "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" to report on the Port of Houston’s cruise ship terminal. And he revels in stories such as the time he went Dumpster diving to obtain records about Houston ISD’s bilingual teacher program.

Mixing news with production was a technique Dolcefino said he learned from Channel 13′s legendary consumer reporter Marvin Zindler.

"Marvin used to say he was an entertainer, not a journalist. I was a journalist who liked to entertain," he said. "You want people to remember the stories, or they don’t have impact."

Dolcefino, of course, was not universally popular. He said he received taunts of "serves you right" when he was stricken a few years ago with Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis, and has received threats of various types over the years.

"A lot of people in government thought I was a jerk," he said. "But the reality is that the nice way didn’t work. They walk over nice people."

While KTRK has removed Dolcefino’s bio page from its website, the station’s 13 Undercover page still trumpets his Harris County investigations. Dolcefino said he hopes Channel 13 continues its "Undercover" brand.

"It would be a horrible mistake for TV stations to move away from the kind of investigative reporting like I did or the kind of consumer reporting that Marvin did," he said. "It’s about loyalty. People have to believe you care about them and you’re fighting for them.

"It’s invaluable. As a consultant, I would argue that it’s a necessity."

For now, however, Dolcefino plans to lend his news sense and experience to people and companies on the other side of the lens.

"I think I have a skill set that can help some people," he said. "There will be people who will want to hire me because they want the other side to know they have Wayne Dolcefino on their team.

"I hope that part of my company will be a place to help people right wrongs. I hope there are ways I can help people expose miscarriages of justice. And if somebody has a problem, if they’re not getting their message out or feel they’re unfairly being to taken to task, I think they deserve to be helped."

He has no aspirations to seek political office but retains strong feelings about the manner in which officeholders should conduct themselves.

"People should pay attention to who they put in office and make sure they deserve to stay there, not just because their name is familiar or they’ve been there for a long time, but because they are committed to doing the right thing for the public," he said.

"I hope that in whatever I do, I can stay engaged and stay in the public and find a way to fight those battles."

In fact, he has a suggestion for county commissioners: Would you believe Wayne Dolcefino, Harris County Inspector General?

"I think it would be fun to get that job and say to the county, ‘I will expose waste, and you give me a percentage of the money you save,’ " he said. "That would be so much fun. Can you imagine the looks on peoples’ faces when I showed up?

"Plus," he said, laughing, "I hear they have good pensions in government."

Wayne Dolcefino grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved with his family to Austin in 1968 as part of what he described as "the first wave of Yankee refugees."

He began working in radio during a five-year stay at the University of Texas, which ended 12 hours short of a degree, and worked for an Austin radio station before coming to Houston to work for KTRH (740 AM).

He has been married for 15 years, and time with his family has supplanted past outside pursuits such as his stint as percussionist with former state Rep. Ron Wilson’s band, Miss Francis and the Rhythm Fish.

We will see.  He’s pI__ed off a lot of folks and one pro told me yesterday she would never be on the side of folks that hired Wayne.  Do you hire Wayne at your own peril?  Stay tuned!

Tyler Green of course made the last out for the ‘Stros wearing the brick red.

Carlos Pena and his 2012 .197 batting average says he wants to be a leader in the clubhouse next season.  Oh, well!

 

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I may be way off base but I’m guessing the reason the METRO CEO is resigning his position is because he isn’t on the program.  You know, he didn’t like the deal or the ballot item that passed so he’s moving on.  In today’s Chron there is a story on maybe him getting a consultant gig with METRO after he leaves.  Why?  If he’s not on the program, it’s adios baby!   Don’t hand him a consultant gig to buy his silence!

Welcome to The Yard new ‘Stros DH Carlos Pena.  Name the best dinger season for Pena?

Talk about a sore loser, the ousted Tax Assessor Collector is refusing to cooperate in the transition with his successor Mike Sullivan, a Commentary pal and current H-Town Council member.    That’s BS and CS if you ask me.   I guess the ousted Assessor Collector forgot that the position belongs to the public. 

I would like to have shown you the articles on the METRO CEO and the lack of transition but it is getting harder to find stuff on Chron.com and it is getting frustrating.

In 2007 with Tampa Bay, Pena had 46 dingers of course.

Five years later (last season), Pena batted under the Mendoza line – .197 – oh, well!

 

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I saw this Saturday from a story:

Families as far away as Puerto Rico began to plan funerals for (20) victims who still had their baby teeth.

Their baby teeth! 

Their names:

Charlotte, Daniel , Olivia , Josephine , Ana , Dylan , Madeleine , Catherine , Chase , Jesse , James , Grace , Emilie , Jack , Noah , Caroline , Jessica , Avielle,  Benjamin ,and  Allison .

The gutless:

"Meet the Press" producer Betsy Fischer Martin tweeted Sunday that the show extended an invitation to 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to discuss the issue on the show and found no takers.

The Fox village idiot:

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,"(Former Arkansas Governor Mike) Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

What are the most dingers Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton have ever had in a season?

Elyse Lanier has resigned from the Port Commission and Harris County is fixing to name an Anglo male to replace her.  That means my good friend Janiece Longoria is the only female on the Port Commission.   Commentary heard that there were some folks over at City Hall trying to derail Janiece’s chances of getting the Port Chair position.  That’s kind of silly and shortsighted.  If she doesn’t get the Chair position then she will remain on the Commission and chances of replacing the only female on the Commission by the H-Town City Council is zilch.

In the hard copy of yesterday’s Chron, Nick Anderson’s cartoon would have been a lot more effective if they would have printed it in color.

The Electoral College meets today.  Commentary attended 1976 gathering in Austin in the State Senate chamber which was the last time Dems were electors.

My good pal Robert Miller has a take on the 2013 mayoral race today and potential candidate Ben Hall.  The most interesting part of the take is Wayne Dolcefino getting hired by Hall to handle communications.

Check out the take here.

Angels teammates Albert Pujols had 49 dingers in 2006 and Josh Hamilton had 43 dingers this past season of course.

I wonder if any ‘Stro will make it to the 20 dinger level this season?

 

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