Saturday, June 20, 2009

We don't need no stinking new stadium!

I finally took my ass out to the ballgame this week and checked out the newly-remodeled Kauffman Stadium and I was quite impressed with the renovations.  I knew there were lots of changes, but as I approached the stadium on foot, I overheard Kiss' "War Machine" playing on the P.A. and thought to myself, "This is not your father's Kauffman Stadium!"

Let's get the dumb stuff out of the way first—I don't get the point of these two big chunks they took out of the upper deck.  Ostensibly, they're supposed to be gathering spots for people to stand around and watch the game from, but was it really worth wiping out several hundred seats for?


I always wanted to see the famed fountains up close, and now we can!

New statuary has been added at the "K" since my last visit.  This would be the late Dick Howser...

...and Royals' Hall of Famer Frank White, who was a member of the original construction crew for then-Royals Stadium in the offseason back in the early '70s.

Now THAT'S a Hi-Def TV!

True to form, the Royals lost when I attended one of their games, but I was quite pleased to see that what was once the coolest stadium in Major League Baseball still is!

And across the parking lot, work continues on The 'Head.  Hope it turns out just as nice as its beisbol counterpart...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Where have all the bloggers gone?"

Seriously, where's everybody been lately?  Seems like no one’s writing much these days.  Please tell me this Twitter crap isn’t usurping blogdom…

That seems to be Sarah Palin’s mantra anymore.  Yes, David Letterman’s joke last week about A-Rod doinking her daughter(s) was in very poor taste, and I can see why Palin and her family would be offended, but she needs to knock off her “Woe is me” act every time someone pokes fun at her—you’re a politician, sweetheart, it goes with the territory!  Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi take their fair share of abuse (mostly at the hands of Faux News Channel) and they don’t whine about it.  And while I agree that a politician’s children should be off-limits (I already said the same thing on this blog regarding Obama’s kids), Ms. Winky-Dink sure didn’t help matters any by constantly trotting out her kids for all the world to see during the campaign—as if to say, “Hey, look—my husband’s dick works!”  Seems to me that one of the qualifications for being President is having a thick skin.  Quit your bitching, already…

I was watching a “Family Guy” rerun last night during which one of the flashbacks was something about Michael J. Fox being miscast in a new Zorro flick where when he leaves his “mark”, it’s a bunch of squiggly lines instead of a ‘Z’.  Memo to “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane:  Dude, if you’re out there reading this, I love your show to death—it’s wickedly funny and some of the best satire I’ve ever seen—but making fun of people’s illnesses is where I draw the line.  I realize that you guys are equal-opportunity disher-outers when it comes to lampooning celebrities—and many of them deserve it, like Dick Cheney, Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell, et al—but this puts you in the same league with ass-hats like Rush Limbaugh when you do this kind of crap, and you’re better than that.  What’s next, poking fun at Farrah Fawcett’s cancer?  No class!

Did ya see the mug shots of new jailbird Phil Spector last weekend, minus his infamous hairpieces?  Evidently, that’s a fashion accessory they don’t allow in the pokie, so here be PS au naturel.  Dude, get rid of that scraggly shit and shave your head already!

Meanwhile, Spector’s wife Rachelle, a 28-year-old woman who married this 69-year-old millionaire three years AFTER he was accused of murder—a clear case of A.N.S. (Anna Nicole Syndrome)—is whining about him being mistreated during his incarceration, saying “They took my husband’s freedom and dignity. So why not his hair?”  Uhhh, sweetheart, he murdered somebody!  And besides, you call THIS dignified?!?  This gal is a few fries shy of a Happy Meal anyway, claiming no remorse for marrying Spector in the very same foyer where he murdered Lana Clarkson, and claiming she sits in the chair where Clarkson died “all the time.”  She insists that Spector “couldn’t hurt a fly”, even though five different women testified at the trial that he would get royally ripped and pull guns on them.  Damn, Hollywood people are strange…

I’ll keep this short and sweet:  If you like Clint Eastwood, you’ll love this one.  I like Clint, so I enjoyed it, mucho.  Only thing I didn’t care for was Clint’s gravelly old-man voice (which he also used in Million Dollar Baby), which really grates on me after a while.  He speaks just fine in the special features on the DVD, though.  Good story, and good flick.  I give it a 7.5.

Man, was that a snoozer of a Finals series between the Lakers and Orlando?  Screw Sominex, this thing woulda put you to sleep naturally.  I used to love the Lakers back in the ‘70s when they had Wilt Chamberlain, Happy Hairston, Gail Goodrich, Jerry West and Jim McMillan, and still rooted for them in the ‘80s with Kareem, Magic and Worthy, et al, but I can’t stand them now because of Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson—two arrogant asses.  Yes, I give Jackson his due for winning ten championships—just like I give Billy Martin his due for producing winning teams—but that doesn’t mean I have to like him.  As for Kobe, he’s a great player, no question, but he’s also one of the most unlikable superstars in sports history.  One good thing, though—now that Kobe got his championship without Shaq, the media can finally shut up about that.  But they probably won’t…

At least the NHL had an exciting championship series this year, and I woulda bet the farm that Pittsburgh wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup the other night in Game 7 in Detroit—good thing I didn’t!  The home team had won all six previous games, and you figured the Red Wings would rule at home in Game 7, but the Pens scored first and controlled the game throughout.  You still have to give it up to Detroit—five Cups and seven Finals appearances in the last 14 years is nothing to sneeze at, and they have some future Hall of Famers on their roster, to boot, like Niklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk.  No offense to Pittsburgh and Detroit, but let’s get some new participants in next year’s finals—I’m getting tired of these guys already!

I spent part of my birthday afternoon the other day at the College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center downtown, and rather enjoyed it.  They have numerous interactive exhibits where you can shoot hoops, as well as a ¾ size basketball court you can play on.  I don’t think I’ve shot hoops on a regulation hardwood floor since, like, high school, and my brief session wound up being a nice little workout.  The rest of the displays and the College Basketball Hall of Fame itself were all well-worth the $10 admission.  A little tip, too:  go on a weekday when there’s hardly anyone around—much more enjoyable.

While I was in the area, I roamed around downtown K.C. on Thursday and was really impressed with all the changes brought on by the Power & Light District.  I worked downtown in the early and mid-‘90s, and even during the daytime, things seemed so dead everywhere, and when 5:00 rolled around, it turned into a virtual ghost town.  Now it seems a lot more alive, and I almost wish I worked down there again, given all the new options we have for eating out, even outside the P&L thing.  I sampled the new Chef Burger at P&L which had been highly-touted, and found it to be a tad overrated, but still not bad.  And if I still worked downtown, knowing me, I’d be chowing down at Famous Dave’s BBQ every other day.

Another feature I like is the covered/yet open-air K.C. Live pavilion across from Sprint Center that houses small concerts and other entertainment.

I also got my first in-person look at the newly-remodeled Empire Theater, which is now an AMC mega-plex.  I’m pleased that the wrecking ball spared this grand old theater, which had sat dormant for many many years and served mostly as a pigeon roost for the last two decades.  I’ve only been inside the Empire once that I can remember—we saw Porky’s there in ’82!—and I remember it being a cool old place back then.

…let it be said that Kansas City doesn’t have balls!