Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grunts, Traffic Control, MJ and Insurance

Did you get to watch the amazing final round of Wimbledon this year? Or were you too scared to hear hours of guttural noises as tiny felt balls were pummeled across the court at very high speeds? Either way you should check out this HILARIOUS video courtesy of ABC News: The Unstoppable Tennis Grunt

After yesterday's big build up to the scary traffic drama surrounding MJ's funeral I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the LAPD and their ability to contain the chaos. It was almost eerily empty in South Park yesterday (that's the area by Staples towards USC for those of you who are not LA neighborhood savvy). I even managed to order a Fatburger and have it in my possession in less than 10 minutes, which is typically a near impossible feat. And because there was so few bystanders, the LAPD was able to send a bunch of cops home and save the city some overtime money. Considering the budget situation these days, a huge congrats is in order to Chief Bratton and Co.

I listened to most of the memorial on KCRW and was surprised at how touching it was to hear Brooke Shields, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson pay their respects. I am especially sad for those kids who have lived such unimaginable lives thus far and now are being thrown into what must seem like an even stranger world. If it turns out that MJ's death was caused by abuse of prescription drugs, I can only hope it means we'll actually get a real debate on what's going on at the pharmacy. We've turned from the illegal street drugs of the 80s and 90s to the legal, but very dangerous pain and anxiety pills of the 21st century.

Which leads to me my last topic of discussion, the need for healthcare reform in this country and the hope that this Congress will actually make some headway in making this a reality. It seems that my favorite economist and those busy bean counters at the Congressional Budget Office have added up the costs of the most recent Senate Healthcare Plan and it's a) not that expensive and b) the money we would spend is a drop in the bucket in comparison to what we spend annually on healthcare already. The current system is certainly not benefiting many besides the insurance companies, so isn't it about time we spend money on helping everyone else out as well?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Such a bad blogger

Life has been overly crazy lately, and I blame it on the gradual warming of the temperature and lengthening of the day. It seems that now that it's sunlight until 8pm there are just so many more fun options of things to do and updating the blog isn't high on the list. So I was thinking should I just give up and quit the blogging business? But then again there are so many other things I still want to comment about and muse over, so I decided to forge ahead.

Item #1- Google Transit now includes Los Angeles County trip information! This means you can enter any two addresses in L.A. County in Google maps and receive trip planning options featuring a variety of service providers. This was already available in Orange County, but it seemed that Metro was going to do everything it could to prevent itself from joining the 21st century, and I'm glad to report the fight is over. Technology won!

Item #2- Michael Jackson's funeral. Tomorrow the King of Pop will be laid to rest and potentially hundreds of thousands (some predict even a million) will come out to witness the spectacle. I work very close to the Staples Center and the Laker parade of last month caused some definite traffic headaches, but this sounds like it's going to be A LOT worse. I miss MJ not because he affected me on a daily basis, but his music always makes me happy (especially at the club) and now when I hear it I'll have to remember that there will never be another MJ single or new album. Despite all the drama going on about whether he was a good person or should he be missed, there is no doubt that his music changed people's lives and the way we think about popular music forever.

Item #3- The return of Manny and the Dodgers. Yesterday was a tough game for the boys in blue as we eeked out a win in the 13th inning after our prized saver Jonathan Broxton, fell apart in the 9th, allowing 4 runs and forcing extra innings. Again, these troubles were not on the offense or defense side, but mainly from the bullpen (especially as Chad Billingsley pitched an excellent 8 innings). Mota and Belisario each had wild pitches and it was not until Weaver came in that we had some resemblance of control. I don't think this is a huge problem as I can almost guarantee that the main thing Colletti is looking for in the mid-season trade is some new pitching blood. Plus, everyone is allowed to have a bad day even the Ox. Pitching aside, Manny's return has been pretty uneventful and it was nice to see Pierre play so well on Sunday. He had 4 singles, but none of those turned into runs, which points to why Manny should play despite Pierre's current batting average. Manny hits doubles, and homers, while Juan bunts, singles and runs like a mad man to beat the throw. Manny just requires less from his teammates to get him home, and I'm pretty sure any pitcher would rather face Pierre over Manny further gaining some advantage for Mr. Ramirez.

Oh there's so much more to report on from the IOUs now being issued by the world's 8th largest economy to the fact that Minnesota finally has two senators and Alaska is down a governor, but these and other topics including the 21st century's first military coup must wait for further investigation and research. Until then, stay thirsty my friends.