The Gray Pages

Friday, April 28, 2006

Class warfare

Oh, wait. It's only called that when poor people vote with their pocket books.

18 rich families pay for campaign to kill estate taxes

Sabrina Eaton
Plain Dealer Bureau

Washington -- Eighteen of America's wealthiest families, including the Timkens of Canton, are bankrolling efforts to permanently repeal estate taxes that would save their families a total of $71.6 billion.

... [F]amilies including those that founded Wal-Mart, Gallo wineries, Nordstrom's department stores, Wegman's grocery stores, the Mars candy company, Cox media chain and Campbell Soup Co. joined the Timkens in bankrolling an effort the groups' report called "one of the biggest con jobs in recent history."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Me? I take Metro to work.

But if I drove and was upset about gas prices, I might be more bothered by this:

It's a chart of Exxon's contributions to Republicans and to Democrats.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

No comment on whether or economy is limping forward

Attack against DeWine overlooks his disability

The Columbus Dispatch
Saturday, April 22, 2006 8:46 AM

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee thought it was using a snappy cliche when it charged in a news release Thursday that GOP Sen. Mike DeWine, of Ohio, is turning a "blind eye" to soaring gas prices.

DeWine actually does have a blind eye, or at least close to it. DeWine lost almost all sight in his right eye, leaving him with very limited peripheral vision, after cataract surgery as a young boy.

Dear Chili's

[First email lost. I told them they should include prices on their website.]

April 26, 2006

Thank you for taking the time to send us an email and for your interest in Chili's. We certainly appreciate your feedback, which is vital to our success.

Our menu pricing varies by location depending on local market conditions, whether the location is company or franchise owned and whether there are new products featured or test product introductions. As such, Chili's made a decision to not include pricing on the Chili's website to minimize any potential errors that could be incurred trying to correctly represent all of the various pricing scenarios. We recommend you call the location you are interested in to inquire about specific prices. You can also ask that they fax a menu to you. We hope this is not an inconvenience but rather a way to accurately communicate prices to you our customer.

To obtain a telephone number please revisit our website at and then click on "Menu and Locations".

Again, we appreciate your interest in Chili's and we hope we have the opportunity to see you in one of our restaurants soon. It will be our pleasure to serve you.

Guest Relations
Ref # 517909


No, no, no.

This is all mumbo-jumbo. The fact is, there IS a menu at each location, and there ARE prices written on that menu. All such pricing scenarios, as you call them, have been worked out AT EACH LOCATION. If it is possible -- as you suggest -- for me to call the restaurant and have them fax me a copy of their menu, cannot YOU do the same? And why the heck not?

The singular advantage of the world-wide web is the ability to update your publications as conditions change. Seafood restaurants are able to update their prices daily using the web. In ye olde days -- you know, five years ago -- they did this with a chalk board and and an eraser. There is no reason (none that you have given) why you cannot update your website.

Honestly: how often do prices change? Menus? Is it hourly? Daily? Of course not. Items may float on and off your menu, and prices may fluxuate, but there is stability. Please stop making excuses and just fix it.

Joshua Rovner

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why wins and losses are stupid statistics

I'm supposed to believe that John Lackey, not Esteban Yan, lost this game for the Angels?

I wonder if they have matching jackets

Gonzalez joins 300 HR-500 double club

PHOENIX (AP) -- Luis Gonzalez got his wish.

Gonzalez became the 21st player with 300 home runs and 500 doubles on Tuesday night, hitting an RBI double off the wall in the sixth inning of Arizona's 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants.

I like to imagine there's a secret hand shake or something.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


It was euphoric. What's struck me about Fenway was there wasn't any drop-off [in excitement] from Opening Day to the next day to the next day to the next. I've played in a lot of places where we'd have 55,000 people Opening Day and have about 8,000 the next day. If anything, the intensity here just continues to build. That's what people told me it was going to be like but until you experience it, you have no idea.

-- Mark Loretta

I've been here six games now, I gotta tell you this is a totally different feel. This is really the major, major leagues. Red Sox Nation, you can't describe it. It's one thing to say 'Red Sox Nation' as a term, but it's another thing to just feel the vibrancy, the energy this whole thing has. ... Oh my God, this was one of the greatest events of my life.

-- his dad

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dead Fish-Laden Barrel Found

Still, a good speech from Al Franken:

I think we should talk about the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress and what it has accomplished over the past five years. I’m talking, of course, about well over two trillion dollars added to the national debt, the increase in poverty in our country and the added millions of Americans, including children, without health insurance. I’m talking about the sale of our democracy to corporate interests that pollute our water and our air. I’m talking about the widening gap between the haves and the have nots in this country. And I’m talking about the war in Iraq.

I’m talking about an increasingly corrupt, secretive, and incompetent federal government that rewards cronies, a Republican majority in Congress that’s acted as a rubber stamp, that has performed virtually no oversight and which excludes the minority party from the legislative process in a way unprecedented in our recent history.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


... and Tom DeLay has just won a massive victory in his career.

Monday, April 03, 2006

God Bless America

They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they'll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.

Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

Opening Day predictions

Here's what I thought on Feb. 28.

ALE: BOS, NYY, TOR, BAL, TB (dropping TOR because of pitching questions, flipping BAL-TB)
NLE: NYM, ATL, PHI, WAS, FLA (flipping ATL-PHI, because ATL always comes through)
Wild Cards: NYY, MIL (adding NYY, because this is a team built to win in the regular season)

World Series: CHW over NYM