Saturday, July 28, 2007

Emil Brown

Emil Brown

Emil was my favorite player to root for when he was playing for the Nashville Sounds. He's got one of the best names to shout at the top of your lungs.

And once upon a time, when playing right for the Sounds, he pulled up on a ball that looked like it was arching foul along the right field fould line, only to watch it hit two inches on the fair side of the foul, leading to a triple for the player who'd hit the ball (my mind wants to say Mark Quinn, then a Triple A player in the Royals system, but I may be wrong....). As Emil (pronounced EEEE-MEAL!, loudly, by the way), went bounding into the wall right were my buddy Steven and I were sitting, he said, most calmly: "Oh...Shit...."

That's my Emil story. I like yelling his name, and he once cursed in front of me after he gave up on a play.

He's made a quiet career for himself with the Pirates and Royals. He's had a couple of decent if not spectacular seasons in Kansas City, the last couple of years, hitting .280 or so and driving in 80+ runs. I'd had silent hopes that he'd be the Royals representative in an All-Star game, which is not necessarily as far-fetched as it first sounded.

Anyway. Emil hit a reporter in the eye with a pellet from a pellet gun. I don't know why he did that. But given the judgment he displayed on the grounds of Relatively Lovely Greer Stadium a decade (holy shit) ago, it was a simple misfire of motor neurons followed by a dispassionate, almost disinterested "Oh...shit...."

Addendum: This is neither here nor there, but at my peak, I was hitting 12 or 15 Sounds games a year in the late 90's. The Pirates have sucked for a while, but a few good players ran through Nashville while I watched....the one that pops to mind is Aramis Ramirez, who's now at third for the Cubs. Craig and Jack Wilson come to mind...Craig just missed a four-homer game one rainy night at Greer...what would have been the fourth curved foul around the left field foul pole, and he then popped weakly to short. Chad Hermannson is another name that pops to mind--he wasn't great in the Majors, but I remember that he was a hammer for the Sounds...a Wikipedia check of the Sounds shows that he's their franchise homer record holder....



This is not even me being glib. If you're going to strap a few million pounds of explosives to my rear end, and shoot me like a bullet into outer space, then excuse the hell out of me if I want to have a drink or two, too.

Why couldn't we have been founded by heathens, and not those crazy buckle-headed puritans?

Bloggers doing cool things...

Bloggers doing cool things...

Want to go help a couple folks out?

Blogathon starts today, within the hour I believe. I've thrown some sponsorship behind a couple of efforts. Just wanted to point you in that direction, and as you to consider doing the same:

Tish, of The Kat House, and Mike of Ordinary Folk are blogging at their joint site Blogs We Luv. They're doing so in support of the Glaucoma Foundation

And overover here, Barry of Inn of the Last Home, Cathy of Domestic Psychology, Rich of Shots Across the Bow and Doug of Reality Me are blogging for STAR.

Now, each of these folks will be blogging at least every half hour for the next 24. There will be lots of great stuff to read, and they're helping a couple really cool organizations. Go check them out....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Google Searches

Google Searches

Yesterday, one of you cretins created a search string that caught my eye in my referral log.

Somebody out in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, got to this site via the google search "big stuPid Tommy naked."

I am very flattered. That, or Gunny Walker just really creeped me the hell out.



Classic, y'all. Fark linked to it. It's one of my favorites....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In which you annoy your co-workers

In which you annoy your co-workers

Anybody here read this blog from a cubicle somewhere? Or do you have somebody nearby you just want to bug the living, breathing shit out of?

Turn the volume on the computer up.

Go here, and play until your heart's content.

Warning: This is liable to start a fight or two.

Edit: Just a couple of tips to enhance your co-worker's irritation

1.) Get really, irrationally angry when your pod gets blown up.
2.) Learn the lyrics, which apparently contain just the one verse:

"I want chicken
I want liver
Meow Mix, Meow Mix
Please Deliver."

Repeat them over and over. Not singing, just under your breath, as you stare intently at the game.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Post #2600

Post #2600

For my 2600th post, I would like to answer a ponderance issued by the fine folks at MSN, when they ask in a headline: What's in Steve Buscemi's DVD Player?

Upon careful consideration of the question, I have decided that the only logical answer is: Teeth.

Many, many teeth. Dozens, up into the hundreds. The gains of Steve Buscemi's nightly "Tooth Fairy" raids.

Drew Carey, the new host of Price is Right

Drew Carey, the new host of Price is Right

Once upon a time, for a few short weeks, I got close to three hundred hits a day for my Price is Right updates. Look around three years ago (holy shit, three effing years?)* in the spring, and you'll find them. I was working third shift, and Price is Right is what I was watching before I'd bed down for the day.

There's something cathartic about Price is Right, especially since I now manage retail for a living. One, I feel like a whiz at most of the pricing games. Two, I get to yell at the at the botards on the teevee--something I'm not allowed to do (expressly) at my job.

Anyway, it was with some sadness that I watched Bob Barker's retirement this spring and summer. It was a minor wish, but I wish I'd gotten to see a taping of Price is Right with Bob Barker hosting.

Anyway, we hear news today that Drew Carey is the new host.

I can live with that. He's no Bob. But then, who is? Hell, Bob was barely Bob in his waning years.

Plus, Drew Carey has the advantage of having introduced the phrase "race with the devil" into my lexicon as a descriptor for a hurried rush to get to the toilet after eating at Denny's.

And at least he's not Rosie O'Donnell. I'd almost want to heave Rosie underneath the big wheel.

Drew seems like he might be fun to have a beer with, so I can live with him hosting Price is Right....

*yeah, I said "shit," but didn't say "fucking." Go figure.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Weird: Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

Weird: Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

About an hour ago, just after I'd slipped into that deepest layer of sleep, I got jarred awake by my phone ringing. I woke up, and struggled with this thing we call reality, one that was especially troublesome considering that the relative reality I usually find upon waking wasn't there.

My folks have gone to Florida. I'm at their house, dogsitting. The phone is ringing, and I'm trying to figure out why it feels like I'm sleeping on a bamboo sofa and my phone is halfway across the room.

Mostly it feels that way because I've fallen asleep on a bamboo sofa, and my phone is actually all the way across the room.

Well, I find my phone. I call the closing manager at the store, whose call I'd missed by seconds. There's an alarm problem at the store. Meanwhile, I'm still struggling with little questions like "where am I?" and "where are my glasses?" and what is at the time most important: "what time is it?"

"12:40" Matt tells me. He goes through the problem. I listen, trying to get the fog to lift--I'm fine just about any other time you wake me up, but if you get me just after I've gone to sleep, I'm ricockulous to try to converse with. I can't make sense out of the simplest statements, such as the one Matt keeps trying to get me to understand: "I can't get the alarms to set."

As he's explaining things to me for a second time, my mind catches up, making the leap from wondering why Matt's trying to set alarms at his house to work, where the alarm won't set.

I walk him through a solution, as best as my mind can muster having been roused after 45 minutes or so of sleep--on top of the three hours I'd had last night.

It bothers me something he'd said when I stopped by the store earlier to complete a work schedule for the coming week.

We've all seen "ghosts" in the store.

And I don't mean undead spirits, necessarily. Though there are times your mind can't quite wrap itself around anything less than a phantasm.

We've all had it, though. Closing managers in back rooms by themselves are prone to seeing things around corners or hearing noises in the other parts of the backroom. I've done it on more than a couple of occasions. It's a big empty building, with steam pipes and cooling systems and drainage ducts running willy nilly, all covered by a big metal roof that contracts and expands with the heat of the day. It's quiet at night, and you hear the noises that you don't during the day, as they're covered by the goings on that go with a retail establishment filled with people.

In short, your mind works a little overtime.

Which is not to say it doesn't mess with you. The most jarring was a night where I would have sworn on any holy book you could have put in front of me that I'd seen somebody duck behind the cardboard baler as I did my final security check of the store. Almost equally disconcerting was the night I made my closing office worker walk a circle with me on the store floor, because I swore I saw somebody duck behind a sales display in our deli--the only thing missing from that latter occasion was the distinct feeling I had of being watched as I searched behind the baler and backstock floats for this phantom person who runs around the store. Those were the creepier two occasions....

Anyway, tonight, when I went in to finish a department schedule, my grocery manager told me that he'd had one of those experiences: he heard a metal float moving, he thought, and could have sworn that he saw the swinging door between the grocery and produce departments moving. He went so far as to walk to produce to check the back room of the produce department, finding nothing. He did what I've done, and called it "the ghost."

Well, he calls with his alarm trouble. I direct him to call the security office for our company. They give him direction. He calls back, and I tell him how much I hate those ghosts your mind create, because I'm needing him and the office assistant to double and triple check the store, to make sure some nutball kid isn't trying to prank us, or that one of the one or two homeless folks that have popped up in our little town isn't trying to bed down in a cooler for the night. Or, worse yet, make sure somebody isn't trying to set up a thieving experience.

They find nothing, and here at 1:45 in the morning, I've heard nothing else from him or from our store's security, them screaming that alarms are going off at the store.

Anyway. I wrote all that to write this:

Now, here I sit, wide awake, listening to the sounds of a big old house in the woods settling in cooling summer night. Heat lightning flashes in the sky, outside the glass room, where I was attempting to bed down for the night.

I walk around the house, listening to sounds. The plumbing has been acting up--the folks are having some work done in the house, and the plumbing seems to want to hiss and bump, from time to time. Also, I've noticed the water sometimes takes a second or two to decide to flow. I go to get a drink of water, and no water comes out.

Shit, I think. The pump's gone out.

A try a few second later yields water. But I've not ruled out the possibility that something's off with the pump. We've had to turn the house's water on and off a few times.....

And here I sit, my mind still working, little things are acting weird.

For some reason, after my telephone conversation, I'm not getting good mobile reception. Normally, even though my folks live just a half a mile past the middle of nowhere, we still get excellent reception, owing to the coverage from the nice folks at Verizon.

But tonight, I get one bar, and as I look now, an Analog signal.


Maybe the power's out somewhere along their network of towers, and thusly I get diminished signal.

It still feels weird.

Add to that all the little noises I'm not used to anymore, when I'm sitting up, staring into the summer night. Like I said, the house settles. If I'm quiet, and I can hear Max and Sally, my folks' dogs, making their gentle, sleeping noises.

And then: There's nothing that will make a feller leap out of a paranoid musing more grotesquely than having a hickory nut fall 50 feet from the top of a tree onto a tin roof. It's like a bomb going off, except instead of exploding outward, the noise implodes all the way into your bones, bouncing off the base of your skull and zapping into your soft tissue like an electric shock.

I think a grenade going off would be a little more subtle.

So, I decide to wander the interweb, and find that my folks' computer isn't showing the last couple blog posts I made, even when I reload. Gotta wonder if Blogger's eaten them, now, because now that I think about it, I didn't check to see if they loaded after I wrote them at the asscrack of dawn this morning.

Anyway. Just a little weird.

This has bene a long, involved post in which I've simply let the words pour out of my head, to see if I can find sleepytimeland before long.

A lot of this blog is like verbal flatulence, in the case you haven't guessed that by this point, and my theory on all things such as those: Better Out than In....

So. Instead of having these words rattling around in my head, I've put them here to computer pixel, for your bemusement.

Y'all have a pleasant evening....

Edit: Noises? How's about having a cat decide to climb up the screen in the sun room as a surprise noise you gotta figure out in the middle of the night? Sheesh. I know one cat that just missed getting thrown into a rock pond....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007



I'm not plural. I maybe should be, but I'm not.


It's 2007. Let's use the internet for something besides searching for pictures, measurements of and stories about Tommy Lee's private parts. I don't feel ashamed of us all very much, but this constant societal infatuation really leads me down that road.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In which I recommend a beer

In which I recommend a beer

I wandered up toward Knoxville today. Though it wasn't originally the intent, I did end up purchasing a couple beers, one a favorite, one I'd never tried.

The favorite was the Dead Guy Ale, from Rogue Breweries. Do yourself the favor, pick it up.

The other caught my eye while picking up the first.

I'd never had a blueberry ale.

Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale, from the nice folks at the Atlantic Brewing Company is very nice. I recommend it. I don't have the technical terms of your upper echelon beer snobs at my disposal, but I'll attempt to describe....

It's kinda wheaty, which I normally take as a minus--I'm not a big fan of wheat ales in general, as they seem to miss something on their own, and are often overpowered when some manner of flavoring is added (citrus seems to be the norm). But this one's alright--the blueberry complements rather than overpowers.

It's got a bit of a bitter edge to it. It's not IPA bitter, but it's within yelling distance. I may not have mentioned it on these pages, I like my beer as bitter as my soul.

(It was once joked that Tommy likes his beer like he likes his women--cold and bitter. I did not like that joke, though looking back, there may very much be a spiny truth to that particular matter...but perhaps that's a post for another day....)

The beer finishes with a nice blueberry aftertaste.

(Thus far, none of my attempts at relationships have ended thusly.)

If I had to compare it to anything, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is similar, though this Blueberry Ale isn't as strong on its blueberry as Sam is on his Cherry.

Anyway. I like the beer. It seems like one that'd be good to go with a baseball game on a hot afternoon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday Afternoon

Monday Afternoon

Tommy = Busy Sunuvagun

Relatively little posting in the last week, aside from the scary giant chimpanzee story. Got a link to another scary regular-sized chimpanzee story, and I'm not denying the power of a regular sized chimpanzee--indeed, the media has taught me not to put my fingers, face, feet or genitals anywhere near our little hairy friends (that means you, Danny DeVito).

But the idea of watching a giant chimpanzee run down the King of Beasts, kill it and then eat it? That's awesome.

Reason being: It is concievable, however unlikely, that I could suddenly go insane and maul a person to death, costing them fingers, noses, ears, etc. Unlikely, but if push came to shove and I had to maul a person to death, I think I'd get the job done, and nicely.

But I could not run down a Lion, a Leopard, or any other big cat, no matter how insane I'd gone, or how threatened over birthday cake I'd become. I say again, I do not want these big primates over on this side of the ocean. My place in the food chain is tenuous enough as it is.


A few other things:

Last week was hella-busy.

Closed the store Monday, opened it Tuesday. Went to watch the All-Star game Tuesday night, lost my life savings on the National League. Again.

Went to sleep at 1 Wednesday morning, got up at 5:30, went to work, went to my second Chattanooga Lookouts game of the year. This one did not feature the blistering sunburn that the first of this season did. My friend Shyam recounts the action.

It went down much like she said, except that as I remember it, the sun went down out of fear that I might maul its fingers and genitals off.


It irks me very much that I haven't been up to see the Smokies play this year, in their first season as the Cubs AA affiliate. What the hell is wrong with me?

Kerry Wood's starting the rehab rounds. Perhaps that'll be motivation enough to get me off my ass and up to Kodak....


At some point, I went to see Live Free or Die Hard, which I ended up liking more than I'd really thought. I love the first Die Hard, but the second and third left me a little perturbed, each for their own little reasons, both of which amounted to "It's not the First Die Hard."

This one isn't either, but it's got Kevin Smith, and it's got an intangible quality about it that amounts only to: Tommy liked it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In which I link to a story about leopard-eating apes

In which I link to a story about leopard-eating apes

I'd heard something about this before, but Coast to Coast had a link to this story which tells of the leopard-eating apes of the Congo....

I have nothing else to say here, mostly out of fear that these giant-cat-killing monsters will leap the Atlantic and beat the snot out of me. And eat me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007



Yeah, watch it before they take it down...

It's a good trailer.

But then, The Village had one of the best trailers ever. The Village was a hammy movie, but I don't think it would have gotten the quite backlash from people that it did were it not for the trailer that had people leaning so completely in one direction.

So, I'll enjoy the trailer, and I'll anticipate simply because I like disaster movies, and if there's anything that spells disaster movie in my book, it's the head of the Statue of Liberty flying through the sky....

Sunday, July 08, 2007



Ever wander across a song in your music collection, a song that you've probably owned for years and listened to a handful of times (if not dozens or even hundreds of times), and suddenly find it anew?

Maybe it's got something in the lyrics that appeals to you on that particular day, or it's got a riff that catches your ear for the first time.

But for whatever reason, it strikes your fancy when, for years, you'd ignored it?

That was tonight, as I wandered around downtown Athens on my walk....

Tonight, it was "No Roads Here," by the Corb Lund Band...

There are no roads here;
there are no signposts
to guide a man through this dark land.

There are no roads here;
There is no History,
No Written Law to stay one's hand.

Well there's a growed over wagon trail
that's headed for the west
There's a teepee ring out to Purple Springs
if your ponies need their rest

There's a shepherd out in Vauxhall
in the coulees who may know
But the sheep shack's old and leaning
and that was sixty years ago

Well, I see handcarts pulled by desperate settlers
bent under the yoke
Fleeing lives of certain serfdom
for this new faith of which he spoke

Trekking 'cross the desert
with a few intrepid Danes
There's times I still think I can feel
the blood of Vikings in my veins

I hear "Strawberry Roan" and there's
bison bones been bleached out in the sun
South of Raymond, whiskey trade,
the antelope still run

Hidden family reasons
at the edge of consciousness
Silhouettes of grazing cattle
on that olde Milk River Ridge

No real reason, except that I did wait for that line about trekkin' cross the desert and still feeling the blood of Vikings in my veins.

I like that one....



So, I wasn't insulted.

The movie itself was a glorious mess of unnecessary subplots, one-dimensional characters and implausible leaps of faith and/or logic.

But it was plenty violent, it made me smile from time to time, and they got Optimus Prime mostly right.

I really missed the late Chris Latta, the little bit Starscream was on screen.

On the whole, I kinda liked it.

There's no logic underlying that conclusion. It's just the way is.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In which I read about a neighbor on Fark

In which I read about a neighbor on Fark

This guy lives a stone's throw from me. He's been all over the local paper. Imagine my surprise and pleasure to find a neighbor on Fark....

After getting struck by a car Sunday and beaten by an intruder Monday, Tony Hicks returned to a hospital a third straight day when police investigating a convenience store robbery in Athens shot him.

A McMinn County judge today set a $100,000 bond for Hicks. He is charged with aggravated robbery and attempted first degree murder.

Police say Hicks was shot after making "aggressive movements" toward officers who were looking to question him as part of an investigation of a Tuesday night convenience store robbery.

Hicks was treated at a Knoxville hospital and has been released. He is back in jail.

Police reports show that before dawn Sunday, Hicks was struck outside his apartment by a car driven by a woman who had been revving the engine. Police say Hicks went on his own to a hospital.

On Monday night, Hicks' apartment was broken into by a knife-wielding burglar. He was robbed after being struck in the face with a coffee mug. Hicks was taken to a hospital for treatment.

An Athens investigator says the unrelated sequence of hospitalizations--Sunday, Monday and Tuesday--is not the first time police have dealt with Hicks.
I think that last part simply proves that everything indeed does happen in threes.

Also, I have to ask...isn't it funny how the best laid plans of mice and men go awry? The guy robbing Hicks, sending him to the hospital for the second time, broke into his apartment with a knife but Hicks was robbed after being hit with a coffee cup. I'd kinda like to see how that little ballet played out.

So anyway, this dude's not living far from my house (at least, I think--personally, I'd evict Mr. Arrest Trifecta in a half a heartbeat). Just a few streets over. Like I said, a stone's throw.

A stone's throw, if I could throw a stone a quarter of a mile.

And if I could do that shit, do you think I'd be managing a store and sitting here writing little missives about how I look up to Optimus Prime in my spare time?

Shit no. I'd be playing Major League Baseball, or in the NFL. Or deriving some sort of living out of the notoriety of being able to heave a rock some 1300 feet with my bare hands.

And making millions of dollars doing it.

Don't get me wrong: I'd still write missives about how much Optimus Prime means to me. In fact, I think I'd have more spare time, and therefore write even more of them. Only difference being, I think more people would read them. Perhaps I'd have my own Sporting News Column, or something.

But you take my meaning.

Or do you?

Your Pal,

"Black Superman" Tony Atlas

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Big Two-Thirty-One...

The Big Two-Thirty-One...

For the first time in my life, I'm not buying America a present for its birthday. America didn't get me a birthday present last year...or the year before, or any of the years before, for that matter.

I'm not a petty person. But I'm also no dope, realizing the name of the blog indicating toward the contrary....

But lately, it seems like America has been keeping me at arm's reach. I'll call, and say "Hey! You want to do something?"

But America will be busy.

And lately, without my asking, America has been going out of its way to let me know how busy its been. "I have so little free time...."

So, I think I'll let America be for now.

Which sucks. Because I don't want to marry America. Don't want to sleep with America, necessarily. Just want to hang out, you know. See what happens.

But I'm a little tired of feeling like an ass, you know? Little tired of getting turned down, made to feel like America has better things to deal with.

So, no birthday present for America.

And maybe I won't spend my night wondering why America never calls....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007



In my post Sunday, I said: "If I were to take the time to list all the people, real or imagined, who upheld the ideals that I wish that I could uphold myself on a consistent basis, Optimus Prime would find his way to the top of that list."

I apologize for being vague in my statement, and would like to clarify just a touch:

I said that I'd like to emulate a person, real or imagined, who upheld the ideals I wish I could....

The ideals that Optimus Prime upheld: Quiet honor; a desire to protect; benevolent; the ability to educate; a belief in equality; the ability to transform into a transfer truck.

Now, if I had to rank those ideals, I would rank them thusly, from least to most important:

6. His Belief in Equality
5. Quiet Honor
4. Benevolent
3. The Ability to Educate
2. The Ability to Transform into a Transfer Truck
1. A Desire to Protect

It's a self explanatory list. That second item is really badass, especially since I have only been able to transform into anything twice in my life, and then it was only into a fire hydrant (first time) and into a dune buggy that broke down on Clearwater Road (second time).

And as it concerns the list of people who uphold ideals that I value, Optimus Prime ranks just behind two people in their ability to transform into vehicles: George F. Will (A-Team Van) and Eudora Welty (Orbiting Space Laser Platform).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

An Admission

An Admission

It's easy to look back, some 20 years or so after the fact, and see that the whole shebang was little more than the world's most overblown toy commercial.

And in that time, I've not only seen that the whole Transformers mythos was derived from so many different sources, I've also taken the time to disect those things they were derived from, and the sources those things were derived from, as well.

That said, I want to say that there weren't many fictional characters I more admired in my childhood than Optimus Prime.

But that's not the admission, Hulkamaniacs.

The admission is this:

If I were to take the time to list all the people, real or imagined, who upheld the ideals that I wish that I could uphold myself on a consistent basis, Optimus Prime would find his way to the top of that list.

As crazy as it sounds, there is still a part of me that looks at Optimus Prime very much as a role model.

Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Prime

I'm oddly excited about the Transformers movie. My overbrain is pessimistic, as it seems to be about a lot of things in life, lately. But in the Thesaurus-That-Is-My-Personal-Lexicon, under synonyms for Michael Bay, you'd find "barely coherent shit." And I say that as the guy who can often find something good in the most ridiculous shit ever put to culluloid (or digital media, what have you...)

But the kid in me would punch a puppy to hear Peter Cullen's Optimus Prime speak one more time.

That alone is enough.

Thanks, and good night.