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Baseball on Basic Cable

While John Kerry goes to bat for cable subscribing baseball fans and the MLB tries to take their Extra Innings exclusively to DirecTV, I've done a little research to get a feel for the ball-and-stick coverage we're "stuck" with. For those Comcast subscribers in the South Central PA area the news is actually pretty good, especially for the senior circuit fans. We can expect to see the following:
  • 162 Orioles games on MASN/MASN2
  • 161 Nationals games on MASN/MASN2
  • 118 Pirates games on FSN
  • 70 Braves games on TBS
  • 70 Cubs games on WGN
  • 46 Phillies games on UPN
These numbers do not consider blackouts (I'm sure there will be a few). This also does not consider ESPN/ESPN2 Yankees/Red Sox or WGN White Sox telecasts.

Download the spreadsheet I compiled for the bulleted teams/networks above by clicking here.

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Not the Slowskys

I received a postcard last week announcing the addition of MASN2 to my channel lineup in order to make all Orioles and Nationals baseball games available on cable this season. The card got tossed before the details sank in, and I wanted to clarify things since I often get direct mail from Comcast and Verizon that promote things that do not apply to me.

After my inside connection (Flood) dropped the ball, I thought I'd use one of them web-forms Comcast provides on their web site (since the actual information isn't included on their web site) figuring my chances of receiving an actual response were slim. I was wrong:
Dear Brett,

Thank you for contacting Comcast Cable.

MASN has launched two channels ? MASN and MASN 2. The second channel, MASN 2 was created to ensure that fans of the Orioles and Nationals could see their favorite team play, even when they were both playing the same day at about the same time. These are being launched on your channel line-up on March 29, 2007.

- The Orioles and Nationals each play 162 games, often at the same time.
- To accommodate and ensure fans can see their favorite team, MASN has scheduled more than 200 games on its main channel, MASN.
- An additional 100+ games will appear on MASN 2

MASN is a 24 x 7 sports network, and airs on channel 62 at all times in your area.

MASN 2 is an ?overflow? channel for Nationals/Orioles games that overlap and, as such, will have only occasional, live pre-game, game, and post-game programming.

TV Guide Channel and MASN 2 will now share channel space at channel 8 in your area. What this means is that when there is an overlapping game, pre-game shows, the game and post-game programming will air on channel 8 where TV Guide Channel normally appears. At all other times, this channel will deliver TV Guide Channel programming.

Digital customers who want 24 x 7 access to TV Guide Channel need not worry ? TV Guide Channel is available in its entirety with 100% TV Guide Channel programming at all times on channel 100 for TV Guide.

* Note: The interactive program guide will display ?MASN 2? on the analog TV Guide Channel and ?TV Guide? on channel 100, the full time TV Guide Channel digital channel.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions.

Thank you for choosing Comcast.


Comcast Customer Care Specialist
Thorough. And I received this response in less than an hour after submitting the form.

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SMC: Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels

Geico's got nothing on Hanna-Barbera...

Wiki Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels



How many can some possibly be?

As seen on Yahoo!...




AI6: Not like basketball

Let last night's bottom two of Stephanie Edwards and Chris Richardson serve as a reminder of who's Idol this is. I get the feeling the creators of this show, known as "Pop Idol" in other countries, knew exactly what they were doing when they made the name change for the United States version. After all, we're a land of cynics, pranksters and racists... and they were putting us in charge of a talent show?

This call-out isn't a direct response to my AI6 pick getting the boot 10 weeks earlier than predicted. I realize Stephanie has steadily regressed since her round of 24 effort and I have since admitted that she might be hard-pressed to last longer than a 7th place finish. Of course had she not been eliminated before several less-impressive contestants, she might have once again found her groove and began to regain the momentum she had lost. But probably not, since it appeared that she was just a bit out of her league.

Rather my disappointment lies in the fact that the combination of Stephanie AND Chris represented the 2 lowest vote-getters this week. For one or the other to slip through the cracks and potentially be sent home early has become a standard of the show... the bottom 3 has its surprises. But to think that the motley crew of Malakar, Stacy, Scarnato, Sligh & Glockson (get your tour tickets now!) were comfortably seated while either standing contestant wasn't even going to crack the top 10 is a farce. Shame on a country.

The good news is the Wizards are in the middle of a west-coast swing and "all that is right with the world" aired on Comcast Sports Net shortly after Idol. The WashWiz/SuperSonics tilt had its ups and downs, its highlights and lulls. But at the contest's close, with less than fractions of time remaining on the game-clock and the scoreboard's dueling focal points harmoniously exact, Agent 0's floating essay embraced Key Arena's northern window and incontrovertibly caromed through the goal for a two point basket. Wizards win. No strings attached.

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Traveling Violation

PennDOT's at it again. Let me start by reminding you that I have a half-hour drive to and from work each day and an even longer ride home on Fridays. Let me also get the link to the malicious source out of the way.

Now, you know where I live, right?

Traffic will be restricted to a single lane in each direction on Route 30 between Kenneth Road and Market Street.

Seriously, you know where I live, don't you?
Drivers using Route 116... may be restricted to a single lane with flaggers assisting drivers through the work area using an alternating traffic pattern.
In July, Roths Church Road will be closed on one weekend as will Route 116 on a separate weekend for the final paving of the roadway.
Without an appealing alternate route, I may be forced to suck up the atrocious MPG and wonder what might have been made of displaced moments.

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The Magnificent Maracas

Possible marketing slogans for the 2007 Magnificent Maracas:
  • No runs, no ribs, no ERRORS!
  • Just Nook it
  • We're the Magnificent with the sensational style
  • Our manager has no idea what he's doing... but neither did Don Muraco's!
  • What a tangled web of ties we'll weave
Basically, I've got a few burners and reserves on offense, maximizing my odds of winning the SB and E categories. On the mound I've got the 2 best closers in the senior circuit and a stable of veteran starters with a few young guns sprinkled in. My dream is to play to a 5-5 tie every week and let the chips fall where they may in the post-season. My reality is that I'll average 4 wins per week and miss the playoffs by 8 to 10 games.



Saturday Morning Cartoons: Schoolhouse Rock

It's an all request Saturday morning...

Read about Schoolhouse Rock on Wiki.



On the D.L.

After our candid logo discussions earlier in the week, I was pleased to come across the artwork above representing the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League. Now this is the way to depict a Wizard. The WashWiz would creep opponents right out of the phone booth with this graphic emblazoning center court.

Dakota's eye for design, plus a certain something I've washed my hands clean of that's captivating hoops fans at the moment, has sparked my interest in taking a closer look at the NBA's D-League. I got my first real taste a few weeks ago while watching the D-League All-Star game as part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend. The most familiar name to me was Bakersfield Jam guard Gerry McNamera, but game MVP Pops Mensah-Bonsu has made the most of the occasion having recently been called up by the Dallas Mavericks. Here are a few links to open your eyes to the D.L.:
  • The league's created a nice little promotion with Gatorade, calling players acquired by NBA franchises Gatorade Call-Ups. Luke Schenscher's the latest Gatorade Call-Up.

  • Randy Livingston proves the D-League ain't just for rookies.

  • In true minor league tradition, the Arkansas RimRockers are giving away Bill Clinton bobbleheads tomorrow night.

  • While few D-Leaguers have yet to make a major impact in the NBA, there have been a few to latch on and play prominent roles.

  • Looks like tomorrow night's Jam/Flyers tilt will feature more than one Syracuse alum.

  • And don't miss this opportunity to get a tee with a real Wizards logo on it.

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When I saw the headline to this article on Digg, I thought one of the following had to be true:
  • This Digg "Top Ten" thing has gone too far.
  • This has to be a joke, you can't possibly rank numbers. That would be dumber than ranking U.S. currency.
Well, I was wrong on both counts. When the guy started throwing out "canonicality" and giving props to 1729 for being the third Carmichael number, I figured he was dead serious. And while nearly all of this is way over my head, it was a pretty entertaining read. I kind of dug it.

Now having stated that I have no grasp whatsoever on the content, I still must cry foul for not including 1 (preferably in the top 5) or 5318008 (for my elementary school calculator wizards).




Choose your favorite from the Steve Buckhantz lexicon: Backbreaker! Dagger! How do you like that?!? They all applied unfavorably to the Washington Wizards this weekend after consecutive buzzer-beating losses. Here are a few observations after a weekend with the Wiz:
  • Add Steve Francis (remember him?) and Udonis Haslem to the long list of players to unexpectedly torch the Wizards. It's been happening all year from the likes of Ryan Gomes, Zaza Pachulia, Devin Brown, so on and so on.

  • Not to beat up Fast Eddie Jordan, but two coaching decisions played a big role in last night's loss. First, Jordan decided not to foul Shaq within the final 3 minutes of a close game, rather opted to double-team him and allow Shaq to use his passing skills, finding teammates for easy buckets. Pat Riley's play-call with 3 seconds to go was great. He drafted a play for the player facing Washington's worst defender rather than automatically going with one of Miami's top offensive players.

  • The Wizards are great entertainment. Everytime I think I've got a clear thought about them, the opposite happens. Plus, darned near all of their games go down to the wire.

  • Gilbert Arenas has to be the most clutch offensive player in the game today. Prior to Haslem's heroics last night, "Keep Shootin'" canned all 3 of his free throws with 3 seconds left to tie up the game. He also hit a running 3 at the halftime buzzer. Agent Icewater!

  • The Wizards still aren't a complete enough team to be taken too seriously, and a lot of that goes back to the drafting board. Watching Jared Jeffries suddenly become an aggressive force against the Wiz on Saturday got me to thinking of how the Wizards haven't drafted a player to have a significant impact on the team since Juwan Howard was drafted in '94. The few "names" they've drafted in the last 15 years such as Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace were traded away for veterans before an impact was made. Others that could fill roles such as Devin Harris, Jared Jeffries and Kwame Brown weren't kept around long enough to develop. The point is this - elite teams build through the draft (save for the '04 Pistons).

  • Looking at that draft list, Washington does clean up on drafting future NBA coaching legends. Doug Moe, Don Nelson and Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan were all selected in their first 4 drafts.

  • Quite frankly, we've got the worst logo in all of sport.

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Saturday Morning Cartoons: Tennessee Tuxedo

I've found that cartoons seem to maintain decent quality through all of the compression necessary to post video on YouTube. So each Saturday morning, I think I'll find a classic cartoon to highlight from the YT.

Read about: Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales



American Idol's Assault on Business Radio

10:09 - Just To Feel That Way - Taylor Hicks
Hicks kicks off The Rose's 9-to-5 business radio Idol coverage. This song is a great improvement over "Do I Make You Proud," but I still expect it to be the day's worst Idol offering.

11:03 - I Wanna Be Inside Your Heaven - Carrie Underwood
While her finale-winning single is occasionally spun, The Rose is mum on any of Underwood's award-winning country tunes. I think the adults would bump the twang, hopefully The Rose will reconsider.

11:10 - Waitin' On The World To Change - John Mayer
John Mayer can't be pleased to have this otherwise decent pop tune associated with Sanjaya Malakar. I hope it's a temporary association.

11:21 - Because of You - Kelly Clarkson
The original A.I. gets a play. Her voice hasn't dominated the workplace airwaves as much lately. Either The Rose has cut back on Clarkson joints, possibly due to the arrival of new business radio friendly Idol releases, or I am confusing them with that other highly repetitive station.

11:33 - It's Not Over - Daughtry
The Rose started rocking Daughtry's premier effort just last week. While it pushes the business radio format, it's a nice, fresh addition. Unless Patsy dusts off 'Tasia's "Baby Mama," "It's Not Over" will be the day's best Idol track.

1:24 - Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
I really liked this song the first year it was out, but it's second-wind is wearing me out. Thanks for unveiling it to the adult-contemporary audience Ayla Brown!!

2:10 - Change - Kimberly Locke
Season 2's Locke had a great, underrated debut single with "8th Wonder." I consider newly-released "Change" a sophomore slump.

2:24 - Black Horse and a Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
's performance of this song down the stretch of AI5 helped her reach the finals. But to a greater extent, it put KT Tunstall on the charts. Throw in solid follow-up "Suddenly I See" and Tunstall is hitting her stride. McPhee? Haven't heard from her (although others have).

3:10 - Street Corner Symphony - Rob Thomas
This song has nothing to do with American Idol. I just thought I'd highlight it as the most horrible song to be played at least twice a day on business radio stations across the U.S.

4:09 - Just to Feel That Way - Taylor Hicks
What? Will Hicks and his lousy ditty be the only repeat Idol performer today? Every Rose has its thorn I guess.

4:33 - Since You've Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Well, this kind of shoots holes in my earlier KC comment. It's a solid tune at least.

What did they miss?
  • I understand that "Sorry for 2004" and "Truth Is" are probably too R&B, too old and never popular enough to find spots on business radio playlists, but I would like to occasionally hear either Ruben or Fantasia's season finale feel-gooders. The other 3 seem to wind their way into the mix from time to time.

  • I downloaded Elliot Yamin's debut single "Movin' On" last week and surprisingly dig it. It would be a clutch addition to the Assault, but it's probably not adult-contemporary enough.

  • It's not that I'm achin' for him, but Clay Aiken was not to be heard from today. Surprising since his new song gets plenty of run and is actually listenable.

  • After thankfully being replaced as the Idol send-off soundtrack, "Bad Day" has been losing some steam. Will Daughtry's "Home" catch on and eventually become a mainstay?

  • "Paula is missing." So said Seacrest last night and so says The Rose today. Her various hits have pretty consistently popped up at least once a day. She'll be featured on "All 80's Friday" I'm sure, but I would've preferred a little "Cold Hearted" today.

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The problem with Sunday?
No Wheel.



Flood Watch

With my sump-pump running all night I got to thinking about the flood watch... which got me to thinking about Matt Foley... and how apprehending he must find these conditions.


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