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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The return of Grace Park?

I'm not talking about the actress on Battlestar Gallactica. From the Arizona Republic-

Back injuries have ruined Grace Park's past three seasons on the LPGA Tour, but you can always count on her to go low at least once during the Safeway International, displaying the game that once made her one of the tour's top talents.

It happened again Saturday when Park shot a bogey-free round of 65, jumping from a tie for 68th to a tie for 20th at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club at 7-under 209.

It was Park's best round since she shot 65 in the third round of the same event last year.

"For some reason, I think I've shot 65 or 66 here every year," Park said. "Maybe it's a good thing. This is definitely a great confidence booster."

Park fired a 67 in the 2005 Safeway event and carded a 65 in 2004 when she tied for third, one week before winning her only major in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Park appeared to be on her way to stardom that year as she also won the Vare Trophy for low-scoring average, but a back injury hit her early in the '05 season and has nagged her since.
I sincerely hope Grace is back. One round doesn't prove anything, as I noted with this golfer. Why aren't Ron Sirak and Beth Ann Badry right now singing the praises about Grace? They did so after one-time LPGA winner and career journeywoman Kelli Keunhe shot a opening round 65 in Hawaii. Grace's resume is far superior, A Vare trophy and a major championship.(Kelli and Grace both won the US amateur) Ron is out there in Arizona right now, where is the article on Grace? I'm guessing it has something to do with Park's skin color but I'll give Sirak a few days to catch up in order to prove me wrong plus let Grace put up another strong round to show she could be on the comeback trail. See there is a double standard for the Golf MSM when it comes to Asian versus White players.

Back to the lovely Ms. Park, she is a top 10 player or arguably top 5 when healthy. I truly hope Grace is back. We'll need more proof before passing judgment.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Like oreo cookies without the cream filling

From the 'You got to be kidding me files'- Playboy magazine without the nudity.

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines will get its own edition of Playboy magazine -- only without the nudity that made the US version famous, the editor-in-chief of the local edition said Thursday.

The Philippine edition will be launched on April 2 as a "mature lifestyle magazine", said veteran journalist Beting Laygo Dolor.

While the magazine will offer pictorials of beautiful women, it will not include nudity. "It will be tamer than the US edition but not as tame as the Indonesian edition," Lagyo Dolor said in a television interview.

He said it would be aimed at a more mature, affluent readership than "lad magazines" such as FHM and Maxim which already have Philippine editions.

It will be the 25th international edition of the US-based magazine which was launched more than 50 years ago.
Playboy was never on my list of reading materials. If you seen tasted one cookie recipie, there is no need to sample any more.

All snark aside, how profitable will it be to publish Playboy in the PI? Without the nudity, I wouldn''t think there would be much of a market for the publication. The magazine is published in the Muslim country of Indonesia without the nudity. What works in that country(Assuming Playboy is successful there) doesn't mean the same business model will work in a country without with a very different culture.

Note- Before anyone tries to remind me how Roman Catholic The Philippines are, I will remind readers I'm married to a Filipina. Plus lived in that country for two years of my life.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Sarasota Florida Police Chief Peter Abbott. He gets the award for the following.

SARASOTA -- Driving with your car stereo too loud here can already get you a ticket. If Sarasota police have their way it could also get your car impounded and cost you at least $500 to get it back.

Sarasota police want the authority to tow away drivers' cars if they are caught playing the stereo too loud, driving with a suspended license or leaving the scene of a minor crash -- all misdemeanor charges.

Sarasota police Lt. Steve Breakstone said towing a car and charging the owner a $500 fine to pick it up is an effective crime-fighting tool that will make people think twice about breaking the law again.

"There are certain people in the community who don't care how many times police arrest them or issue a citation," Breakstone said. "But they care if you impound their car."
Guilty till proven innocent is the mantra of law enforcement across much of the United States. Unless you're fellow law enforcement, then you'll be given a helping hand after your DUI and driving on the wrong side of the interstate kills two people.

Sarasota Police Chief Peter Abbott dismissed any notion that the measure is intended to raise money for the city, pointing out that it is against the law to enact an ordinance just to collect revenue.

He said expanding his department's ability to impound cars would address "quality of life" issues -- such as noise pollution -- that residents complain about citywide.
If you're police have enough time Chief to arrest people for playing music too loudly, you and your department is overstaffed. Get off your backside, put down those donuts, and start busting real criminals. But before that, I name Sarasota Florida Police Chief Peter Abbott today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is announcer Bob Costas. Speaking at a sports auction this week, Costas said he couldn't understand what compelled nonjournalists to seek a forum for their opinions. Barry Jackson wrote this at today's Miami Herald.

Costas, speaking before he emceed (and donated $50,000) at Tuesday's Make-a-Wish sports auction at the Broward County Convention Center, doesn't understand what compels so many nonjournalist sports fans to seek a forum for their opinions.
Ever heard of free speech Bob? We're all welcome to have opinions and to write them down on paper or write them on the internet. It's a free world after all.

That is just a small taste of what Costas thinks about sports bloggers. There's more.

''Today, I saw on ESPN a poll about which Western Conference teams would not make the playoffs,'' Costas said. ``Well, 46 percent said the Denver Nuggets, which has zero percent influence on anything. No reasonable person who cares about the NBA should care about that. Who has the time or the inclination to do this, even if you're sitting on your computer? Why would you weigh in on it?''
Who would have the time or inclination? A NBA basketball fan after a hard day of work, they may want to prognosticate on who will make the next playoffs. Just a little over a month ago I wrote two posts on who I thought may make the NHL playoffs.

Why would we weigh in on it? It's a free world and we're sports fans.

Bob goes on.

''I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,'' Costas said. 'But it's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.''
First of all I don't live in Albuquerque, but Florida. My house has no basement, and my mother has been dead for 23 years next month.(Today is actually the 11th anniversary of my father's passing)

Are James Joyner and Steven Taylor, people both with a PHD, and James who served in the first Gulf War low-life losers? When did you get shots fired at you Bob? Or win a Bronze Star? Both Steven and James are Sports bloggers. They allow me, like Kevin Aylward the owner of Wizbang does, to write at their blogs. Kevin, James, or Steven am I low-life loser?

It seems to me Bob knows little about Sports bloggers. Should ignorant low-life announcers who are full of invective talk about us? Sure its a free world.

Bob isn't done yet.

What bothers Costas -- and he's not alone -- is Internet and talk radio commentary that ``confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn't mean I'm insightful or tough and edgy. It means I'm an idiot.
Bob did you just call someone a name? Doesn't that make you an idiot?

``It's just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men's room walls in gas stations. That doesn't mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it.''
Brain tumors or no brain tumors I have a brain. A fully functional one, that can point out the clear ignorance and stupidity of people in the mainstream media who know so little about bloggers but feel threatened by us. It is idiotic ignorant comments like those made this week, that makes Bob Costas today's Knucklehead of the Day.

I'm going to make some further non-Costas related comments on the Herald article this weekend.

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All wet

Eliot Spitzer may very well still be in office if he only was Finnish.

Finland's foreign minister yesterday admitted being involved with a topless dancer and her porn star sister.

Ilkka Kanerva, 60, confirmed today that he has sent text messages to Johanna Tukiainen, a member of the erotic dance group Dolls, and to her sister.


"Men are men," she is quoted as saying. "I think that Kanerva has good taste in women in other respects as well."
Does the Foreign Minister really have good taste?

Not bad, even if I admit a preference for Asian women. Any theories on what the symbolism of the hose is?

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

John McCain. The New York Times, and malignant melanoma

Malignant melanoma(MM) is the deadliest skin cancer. One in four people diagnosed with the disease end up dying from it. It is the most prevalent cancer for women age 25-29, and second most common for ages 30-34. If caught in its early stages, MM can be easily fought. Once it spreads to most distant sites, lymph nodes, or other organs, the survival rate drops. Take for instance those with lymph node involvement(Stage III), the average 5-year survival is around 50%. Stage IV patients with brain metastisis have less than year median survival rate.

I know a great deal about MM. In 1993 I had one of these cancers diagnosed. Then in 1994 I had three more removed. I was fortunate through 2006. A detailing of my more recent struggles with MM can be found here and here. I'm stage IV now with brain mets.

Lawrence K. Altman M.D. writes a lengthy article in New York Times. The article beginning about the puffiness in the Senator's face and the noticeable scars.

The marks are cosmetic reminders of the melanoma surgery he underwent in August 2000. Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, sometimes tells audiences that he has “more scars than Frankenstein.”

The operation was performed mainly to determine whether the melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, had spread from his left temple to a key lymph node in his neck; a preliminary pathology test at the time showed that it had not.
First the operation was done with the purpose(drop the word mainly) to determine if the MM had spread. Been there done that myself only last summer.

The puffiness is a common side effect from having lymph node surgery. I had the same area operated on last year and the puffiness will always be there.

But because such a test cannot be definitive, the surgeons, with Mr. McCain’s advance permission, removed the surrounding lymph nodes and part of the parotid gland, which produces saliva, in the same operation, which lasted five and a half hours.

The final pathology analysis showed no evidence of spread of the melanoma, his staff said at the time. Mr. McCain, of Arizona, has said he did not need chemotherapy or radiation.

Two comments on the above. Dr. Altman is being a little wordy, patients, United States Senators or sarcastic Florida bloggers alike, sign a recent consent before having surgery. We all give advance permission.

The most common therapy for Stage III melanoma is immuneotherapy involving interferon. This in order to stimulate the patient's immune system.

I underwent this beginning last October. The most common side effect of this treatment is chills, and fever. Some people weather interferon better than others, I was able to partake in most activities I like including covering a golf tournament while being treated. Others go through a year of hell.

The Times goes on to say Sen. McCain hasn't released his medical records of late. He did back in 1999, before running for the Republican nomination in 2000. So Dr. Altman writes-

So Mr. McCain’s prognosis for the recurrence of melanoma can be gauged only by talking to experts not connected with his case. Those experts say his prospects appear favorable.
330 plus words into the article the author comes out and says the odds are favorable for Sen. McCain. I'll let others judge if this article is a NY Times 'hit piece' or not. The article headline, 'On the Campaign Trail, Few Mentions of McCain’s Bout With Melanoma', would make readers think we're learning of some dark, dangerous health secret about the Senator. It takes over 300 words, or about a page, to learn McCain is past the most dangerous time for a Stage II MM patient.

The melanoma removed in 2000 was Stage IIa on a standard classification that makes Stage IV the most serious. For Stage IIa melanoma, the survival rate 10 years after diagnosis is about 65 percent. But the outlook is much better for patients like Mr. McCain, who have already survived more than seven years.

For patients with a melanoma like Mr. McCain’s who remained free of the disease for the first five years after diagnosis, the probability of recurrence during the next five years was 14 percent and death 9 percent, a study published in 1992 found.
A MM as far along as McCain, is considered to be almost out of danger for the chance of the disease spread. Still a Stage II patient needs to have regular dermatologist checkups(I go 3 times a year) and a annual checkup with the oncologist. A blood screening and chest x-ray are the tests a Stage II patient will undergo yearly.

I went 13 years disease free. In my case, a new MM was discovered last fall and it was the cause of the disease spreading in my body. I had five melanoma in all. A patient with multiple MM isn't common. But......

Mr. McCain has had four melanomas.

In 1993, he waited more than six months before seeking care after a Navy doctor recommended that he consult a dermatologist for a lesion on his left shoulder that turned out to be his first melanoma. It was excised and has not recurred.

Pathology tests showed that the two other melanomas — detected on his upper left arm in 2000 and on his nose in 2002 — were of the least dangerous kind, in situ. In that type the malignant cells are confined to the outer layer of skin.
In situ melanomas almost never spread. Called Stage 0 melanomas, they are totally within the outer most layer of skin and very superficial.

The most serious melanoma was spotted on his temple in 2000 by the attending physician at the United States Capitol after it had escaped the eye of Mr. McCain’s personal physician at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale. (The Capitol physician also spotted another melanoma that was in situ.)

The melanoma on Mr. McCain’s left temple was 2 centimeters in diameter and 0.22 centimeters deep, and was fully excised with wide margins, 2 centimeters in each direction, his campaign staff said.
A .22 depth melanoma, also known as a Clark Level II, is about the same depth as three of the five melanomas I've had diagnosed(.2 to .26)in the 1990's. The MM being excised with wide margins is standard procedure for this stage of melanoma. Based on the depth of his MM only, He is a Stage IA patient.

I'm just making some educated guesses, based on my 14 plus years experience as a Melanoma patient. Without knowing the Senator's detailed health history, you could conclude the Senator is pretty safe from further trouble with MM. I'd bet McCain takes his checkups seriously.

Dr. Altman on the other hand has to raise fears, only because we don't know all that happened in 2000.

Since the 2008 campaign began, doctors not connected with Mr. McCain’s case have expressed intense interest in the extent of the face and neck surgery that he underwent on Aug. 19, 2000, at the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale in Arizona.

Some of these doctors have noted in e-mail messages and in comments to reporters that the surgery appeared to be so extensive that they were surprised his melanoma was not more serious — perhaps Stage III, which would give him a bleaker prognosis. These doctors said they would be surprised to learn that such an operation would be performed without evidence that the melanoma had spread.

But a number of melanoma experts said in interviews that such an operation was understandable according to the medical standards of 2000 and that the extensive surgery did not necessarily imply Stage III melanoma.

“It was not out of line,” said one of the experts, Dr. Richard L. Shapiro, a melanoma surgeon at New York University. Dr. Shapiro added that he would feel more comfortable in making a judgment if he saw a full pathology report.
I've had friends who had lymph nodes removed, but no disease was found. Everyone, myself plus the author of the article and the nameless doctors with their fears, is guessing. The article is educational about malignant melanoma. If read in depth, it can teach people that the disease is hardly a death sentence.

Most recurrences of melanoma occur in the first few years after detection. Survival figures for melanomas are often measured in 10-year periods rather than the 5-year periods for many other cancers.

“With melanoma, a patient is never completely clear,” said Dr. Shapiro, the N.Y.U. expert.

If melanomas do recur, standard treatment options are limited for many to surgery and a difficult form of chemotherapy. The chances of long-term survival diminish.
Everything said above is true. A recurrence of any cancer makes diminishes long-term survival.

No one with Stage IV mm is going to run for President, first of all because the treatment needed for the disease is too time consuming. A Stage III patient could run, if the diagnosis was in the past. People have lived for many years with that level of disease.

Mr. McCain is occasionally asked on the campaign trail about his age. But he is almost never asked about his health.
If the press, including the NYT is so concerned about McCain's MM history, they should be badgering the candidate.(I'd side with the Senator if he told them to get lost. Who wants uneducated or educated reporters digging through your personal health history to make ill informed medical diagnosis without seeing the patient)If no one is asking, the media has only themselves to blame.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Fun with maps

Survey USA polled 600 voters in all 50 states and then drew up electoral maps based on the data they received. Both polls showing whether it was Obama or Hillary running against McCain in November, that the Democrats will win. I'm not going to take issue with that, I predicted a Democratic victory when I did my 2008 crystal ball gazing at the end of 2007.

First Survey USA issues these caveats

There are specific limitations to this exercise. The winner’s margin in each state is not always outside of the survey’s margin of sampling error. Rather than show states where the results are inside of the margin of sampling error as “leaning” or “toss-ups,” SurveyUSA for this illustration assigned Electoral Votes to the candidate with the larger share of the vote, no matter how small the winner’s margin. The Democratic nominee is not yet known. Running mates on neither side are known. These are not surveys of likely voters, these are surveys of registered voters. Those caveats stated, the exercise is a remarkable foreshadowing of how contested, and how fiercely fought, the general election in November may be, regardless of who the Democratic nominee is. And the exercise speaks to which states may vote one way or the other, depending on who the Democrats nominate.

Here are the actual maps.


Some things pop to mind as soon as you take a close look at either map.

Obama winning North Dakota? The last time this state went Democratic was the LBJ-Goldwater landslide of 1964. Here are the head to head results of the last four Presidential elections.


Bush 62 Kerry 35


Bush 61 Gore 33


Dole 47 Clinton 40


Bush 44 Clinton 32

Any reasonable analyst think ND will go Democratic in 2008? Don't think so, and if it did, Obama would certainly win PA and NJ which this same map has going Republican.

How about Nebraska giving two electoral votes to Obama in 2008. Like ND, Nebraska hasn't gone for a Democrat in the general election since 2008.

In Nebraska the electoral votes are alloted based on the results of the individual congressional seat results. Let us check out the results of these districts in 2000.

1st CD- 59-36 for Bush
2nd CD- 57-38 for Bush
3rd CD- 71-27 for Bush

Any reasonable analyst see any of these races going Democratic in 2008? I didn't think so.

The Hillary map has its own problems. Like WA and OR going Republican while at the same time WV and AR going democratic. If the later two go Democratic, WA and OR would also.

James Joyner at OTB writes-

If nothing else, it’s a useful reminder (as if we needed one after the last two elections) that we elect presidents on a state-by-state basis rather than a national popular vote.

What’s truly remarkable about these results is not the close margins but rather the variance between the two projected races. My initial reaction was “What state does Obama take that Clinton doesn’t?” It turns out that the maps are markedly different:


I’m frankly dubious that all those states are truly going to be in play. Then again, McCain is a different kind of Republican and Obama a different kind of Democrat than we’ve seen in several cycles. And Clinton is a uniquely polarizing figure.
Both maps have states in play that won't be in November.

Note- I copied the above data on NE and ND from my comments at OTB. Rufus T Firefly is a joke alias I use sometimes. That's the name of Groucho Marx's character in Duck Soup.

Bottom line- Survery USA map and polling results should be placed in the trash, or at the very least taken with a pound of salt.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

They are just too big

Being married to a Filipina and having lived and traveled in Asia, I like to keep up with news in the region. That includes the reading of blogs.

Japundit is a blog I discovered less than a year ago. Its a mostly irreverent place. Good for finding all sorts of odd news. Something I like posting to my blog.

Here is some recent news concerning Japanese model Serena Kozakura.

Serena Kozakura, a Japanese model, proves size DOES matter when a court threw out the model’s case based on her breast size.

Serena was found guilty of breaking and entering into a man’s apartment, kicking a hole in a door and crawling through. On her appeal, the defense held up a cutout size of the hole, showing the impossibility of Serena’s 44 inch boobs going through.

Serena rejoiced in the verdict: “I used to hate my body so much, but it was my breasts that won in court”
If she hated her body, she would get a reduction. Definitely put Serena's legal victory in the crazy but successful legal defense strategy files.

As much as I like Asian women, I don't find Serena very appealing. That crazed look in her eyes. If I want big breasts, give me Rio Natsume any day. J hope these women have good chiropractors.

Thanks to Japundit and Weird Asia News.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the New Zealand group ASH aka Action on Smoking and Health. They get the award for the adjoining advertising. To say it is in bad taste doesn't do it justice.

Andrew Sullivan writes- "The anti-smoking nannies hit a new advertizing low."

Wonkette writes- "This smokin' hot new anti-smoking ad for ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) is, well, very very inappropriate!"

Doug at Below the Beltway writes- "Truly Tasteless Advertising"

I can agree with all the above and further add ASH aka Action on Smoking and Health is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Loud and clear

Super Mex begins her 2008 LPGA season the way she left off in 2007.

SINGAPORE - Lorena Ochoa completed a runaway victory in her first tournament of the year, closing with a 4-under 68 to leave Annika Sorenstam 11 strokes behind Sunday in the rain-slowed HSBC Women's Champions.

Competing for the first time since winning the ADT Championship in November for her eighth 2006 victory, Ochoa finished at 20-under 268 on Tanah Merah's Garden Course. The top-ranked Mexican star earned $300,000 for her 18th career LPGA Tour victory.

Sorenstam won the B-flight, shooting a 71 in the rainy afternoon conditions for her third straight top-four finish. Slowed by neck and back injuries last year, she won the season-opening SBS Open in Hawaii for her 70th LPGA Tour title and first since September 2006, then finished fourth last week in the Fields Open.

Paula Creamer, the Fields Open winner, shot a 73 to finish third at 7 under. Laura Diaz (71) was another stroke back in the first-year tournament, and Karrie Webb (74) and Stacy Prammanasudh (71) followed at 5 under

In an event where only 13 players finished under par, Ochoa opened with rounds of 66, 65 and 69 to take an eight-stroke lead over Sorenstam and Creamer into the final round. Ochoa missed a chance to break Cindy Mackey's 72-hole record for margin of victory of 14, but topped her own mark of 10 in the 2006 Tournament of Champions.
I was a credentialed member of the media when Ochoa won the ADT Championship last November. She dominated that tournament too, but ADT's format where scores reset doesn't reflect it.

Lorena could win tournaments in double digits this year. The first major, The Kraft Nabisco is a month away, Lorena will be gunning to win that after having chances there the last few years.

*- This was the LPGA's first ever visit to Singapore. Next year the tour will have a Hawaii/Asia swing consisting of two events in Hawaii followed by Singapore and Thailand.

*- Rumor has it the LPGA Tour may visit China in 2008. On a week this fall where there is no tournament scheduled. There is a market for ladies professional golf in Asia.

*- How about that Suzann Pettersen? Winner of five tournaments in 2007, after coming up with zero prior to last year, she has finished 14th, 15th, and 30th in 2008.

It is kind of dumb to think a golfer is great just based on one year(or making a comeback based on one round). All those golf prognosticators who though Suzann would tear things up again in 2008 are liable to be eating crow at the end of year over the Norwegian(She's could be this year's version of Julieta Granada), and ignoring Hee Won Han. Hee Won BTW who didn't play in Singapore, was 11th on the money list going into the tournament. Are you ever going to answer those emails Ron Sirak or Golf World or are you going to never admit you were idiots for leaving Han off your list? I'm expecting too much again from the golf media.

Before someone says I may be reading too much into Ochoa's win, we have two previous years worth of proof to see how dominating Super Mex has become on the LPGA.

*- Annika Sorenstam finishes second this week. A win, a second, and a top five. No question, Annika is back.

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