Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Truck Balls

The three main differences between U.S. Balls and Canadian Balls is the higher cost of shipping, customs/tariffs charges to the buyer and the money exchange rates.

Neutral Lifestyle

Carbon offsets are only the beginning.

Now you can offset your adultery as well.

I'm sure they'll have plans more specifically designed for sex tourism within months.

"Sure I banged a bunch of Thai whores, but my donations to charities that stop human trafficking make it all right."

How about a drinker's offset where you pay into a organization that funds MADD, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Intercollegiate Prohibition Association, and the Mormon church.

Hmmmm, I currently sponsor a kid in Mongolia through World Vision...what kind of offset deal can I claim from that?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Teflon Turd

This guy is way too into the Kentucky Wildcats. Be patient with the video, it's worth the full seven minutes. I imagined J-Hole ranting about the Pink Ladies in a similar fashion, but then I realized he's too loyal to completely mutiny as this fan has done. For non-college basketball fans, Tubby Smith is the current coach of Kentucky.

I will soon own Woody Harrelson.

Well, Al Gore's carbon credits are a noble ideal, but I say "Too little, too late!" Using The Conservation Fund's carbon zero calculator , his jaunt to LA from Nashville (round trip of 3,580 miles) for the Oscars would result in 1.61 tons of CO2 emissions - assuming that's where he left from. To offset that, the Conservation Fund would need only to plant one tree, but it would take 70 years to "sequester" that amount of CO2. Hell, everything I entered takes 70 years. According to Gore, by that time we'll all be running from Dennis Hopper and the Smokers as we sail over Canada fighting for dead, bloated polar bears. And if they go, no more Icees. You know, with credit cards - and carbon credits - you got to pay up some time . The longer you defer the more you have to pay. I didn't think Mr. Gore thought we had 70 years, so I came up with a plan that attacks multiple sources immediately - The Methane Credit.

According to, ahem, EarthSave, methane emissions cause nearly half of the planet's human-induced warming and the major source of this is animal agriculture with 85% of that attributed to the digestive processes of livestock. Clearly something needs to be done and not surprisingly they suggest vegetarianism.

Not to worry. They'll be no veggies in this plan - at least not the way they would want. There are two distinct areas that need to be targeted: methane and carbon sinks. The veggies lose in both according to my plan.

Step 1: Switch all cattle-for-consumption to a high-grain diet. The Journal of Animal Science reports that pasture-grazed (grass fed) cattle produced an amount of CH4 (methane) 4 times greater than that of grain-fed cattle. What is the result? Collapse of the New Zealand beef industry and much of the Aussie's with an instant removal of millions of these eco-gasbags. And, better tasting beef for all of us.

Step 2: Issue methane credits to those who heed their environmental responsibility by eliminating (i.e., eating) these polluters (tasty corn-fed cattle). This forces environmental shirkers - the vegans - to buy credits from us who love the earth if they want to continue their destructive lifestyle. The results of this?

  • A serious decline in the number of bovine farting going on.
  • Beef prices gradually rising to luxury status with fewer being able to afford it.
  • I would not be one of those however. I figure that with Bread, a couple of buddies from Lubbock and myself, in one or two months we would have accumulated enough credits to 1) buy our own herd 2) stock away enough cash for the rest of our lives and 3) indenture several hundred vegans.
  • Said vegans would then be put to work clearing all hemp fields and replace them with forests of native trees, because it's the trees and not shrubbery that does most of the work of cleaning our air. A forest is more bio-diverse and beneficial than a field of cabbage. There would even be an increase of non-ruminant (not methane-spewing) critters to eat such as birds and squirrels. Never had squirrel, but I don't care because I have my herd.

So there. Instant (well,almost) and long-term solutions to global warming and more PowerPoint movies. Don't I win something?

Inconvenient Truth

1. Al Gore wants us all to wear hair shirts, but he will still wear silk, thankee sir.

Al Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
(For the record, I believe in global warming, though I think we should be mindful of skeptics and its causes, and that the best solution will be electric cars powered by nuclear reactors, not the Kyoto protocols. BTW, Europe's emissions are still rising and rising faster than the United States' in fact, and I don't even want to think about China or India.)

2. Chinese people are easily suckered into any scam involving medicine or health. I think I should start selling hydrogen dioxide tablets to them - IT'S A VITAL CHEMICAL FOR YOUR BODY!

3. If Red-A says he won't be blogging for a while, he probably is lying.

WIFE UPDATE: I cannot tell if her foot is getting better or worse, but help is on the way in the form of my mother.

I could post a photo of her infected foot, but would it gross everyone out?

GORACLE UPDATE: My point about the Goracle's electric bill isn't really that he's a potential hypocrite or that we all should be living like a ten year-old vegan Indian boy living in a 20sqm 'green design residence' with no electricity and a family of more than 7, but that the solution is going to be some reduction of emissions via conservation/education/markets, but a whole lot more through technology like using nuclear power and electric cars.

You will not be able to convince the Al Gore's of this world to give up their private jets or their 10,000 sq. ft. homes anymore than we could ask the average foreigner in Taiwan to give up his Thailand vacations or 2 stroke scooter. Plus, you know the J-Hole will find some evidence that beer production is kilo for kilo the least efficient use of grain, and we should all be drinking NT$ 50 Kaoliang instead. (Hey it cures canker sores!)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Da Du ( 大肚) Day


The Berlin Pet Club sits on top of 大 肚 (Big Belly) Mountain in Taichung near the DMV. Pet clubs, restaurants and spas for pets and owners are very popular in Taiwan at the time. I've been to several and most are either a fenced-in area with tables and chairs or indoor businesses that are filthy and horrid smelling. This one is a bit different. It has a big grassy area with ramps, jumps and things like that. There is also a swimming pool that is kept clean and has a operating filtration system - something that many apartment pools do not have. There are DIY washing and drying facilities, kennels which offer A/C in the summer, a patio and main office / kitchen / dining room. Dogs are allowed everywhere except the latter, something that most other dog clubs do not enforce. The grounds are kept very clean with attendants standing by to mop up and spray bleach water on any pee that happens outside of the field. The patrons are very good about policing the grounds also as doo bags are stationed throughout the grounds. It's $100 NT for small dogs and their owners and this is credited to anything you would like to order. The food is surprisingly good. Their chicken sandwich beats most that I've had at restaurants in town. Take your dog and relax or just go to watch the others play. On the way up the mountain, you can stop and view the Taichung Women's Prison and the Taichung Juvenile Detention Center.
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Who says the Taiwanese aren't taking the Chinese threat seriously? I think denying them food and drink is a good first step.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bad News

My wife sprained her ankle right before Chinese New Year. Then she went to the Chinese Medical practicioner for a fix, but the poultice they used infected her foot very severely. As in horror movie nasty and very serious. It's advancing up and down her foot.

Thus probably no more blogging for me for a while.

Also, please be careful with Chinese medicine. They don't sterilize it and it can contain poisons like arsenic.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Caption Contest

The Hot Tea PJ


The HTPJ is a recap of the accumulated wisdom from the various savants that drop by PJ's.

  • Our friend, Daniel (far left in pic), returned for CNY. He now has his own company, still in China. He can re-confirm for all that Dongguan, China, is still an industrial-sized turd with factories and streets.

I heard the words Noam Chomsky and good together at a bar. Shots should have been bought for all.

I also heard about Gore's proposed honorary doctorate. I countered that others thought he was a gasbag. Not having seen his movie, I was not listened to by the others who had not seen it either. This is what happens when we hit the lull of no NFL and the NBA break. There should always be sports or live music at a bar. I almost asked PJ to put on the Pro Bowl, but caught myself, and started working on anagrams for Romo.

On the health front, PJ instructed us that it was difficult to lose weight if one drank 3-5 bottles of wine a night.

Daniel's new business centers on selling machines that make shoe-making machines. You get a lot of that over here, machines that make other machines that make other things.

Finally, Frenchie and Captain Beer, log back on or let me know if you don't want to do it anymore.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

American Celebrates Chinese New Year

Yaaaaay! I washed some clothes and was surprised to find my cell phone in the washing machine afterwards. Remarkably clean, but alas, no longer functioning.

LOWDOWN: The USA just made some agreement with North Korea. One of the things that got North Korea all angry was we froze US$ 24 million of their assets at a bank in Macau.

At the time I read about that, I thought, so what?

I now have new information that says Kim Jong-Il's son lives in Macau.

OOOOOH, now it makes sense. How do you keep your gambling/Russian hooker habit going when your funds are frozen?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Google seems to be really quick

Monday photo links

What would you put inside this? One of these, perhaps?

Fashion sense from Taichung, part 1.

Fashion sense from Taichung part 2. Warning! Sexual content. After viewing this you will never be content with sex again.

Friday, February 16, 2007

"An Inconvenient Truth"



I watched the Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth, A Global Warning, over the last couple of days. It should be required watching for everyone. The facts are well presented and easy to understand. It's a landmark film on environmental science and climate change and if nothing else it will give you an idea of what to expect as we age... like no more glaciers, or an ice free Arctic Ocean, a complete redrawing of the Earth's maps due to rising sea levels... and more ! Inform yourself!

I haven't seen it at Blockbuster but there's a little DVD shop on Mei Cun near the Holiday KTV on Xiang Shang that has 3 copies...

Chinese New Year Gift

Now available at local 7-11s: Lucky Great Underwear. They have two styles, boxers and panties. The large character on the box, 鴻, could also be translated as wild goose or swan. But 鴻 is a homophone for 紅, meaning red, which is an auspicious color over here in these parts. I've seen the 鴻 character also translated as grand or vast. So guys, buy a pair and translate as needed to your girlfriend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

An Aggie Greeting

Valentine's Day is big in Taiwan. We have about 3 of them, I think. This Valentine's falls 4 days before Chinese New Year's Day, so most people are already off work, clogging the restaurants for holiday delicacies such as The Splendor's "INCREDI-POT" in a Neo-Zen decor or Healthy Gelatin Substance Noodles at Pebbles Restaurant.

Wednesday while on my scooter waiting at a traffic light, I was approached by another driver who stopped on my right. Evidently, he had seen the Texas Tech logo on the back of my helmet. He then looked at me, smiled and introduced himself by saying, " Texas A&M, class of 2006" and making a gun gesture with two hands and "shooting" me. I don't know if he had already seen the results of Tech's victory in College Station and was trying to be polite in his expression of dissatisfaction or just giving me a neighborly capping (I suspect the latter because his "gun" was in the classic gang grip - two handed, parallel to the ground, with a half limp wrist).

Well, we talked just briefly at the next light and he seemed a good guy. But he couldn't get away without doing something to prove his Aggie credentials. Sure enough, coming to a stop at the next light he starts rubbing his face. It looked as though he was using a classic two-handed domino shake to rid himself of some demon or hangover. However, he was not stopped, just in the process of coming to a stop. He went a good 4 seconds of driving blind, with no hands, on a major road and not dying. That my friends, is an Aggie waiting to happen.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fun Links

For you unmarried guys, please consider this option when you finally find your true love.

It's funny, because its sort of a test to see if she really is your true love.

Now some advice for you married guys...watch what you do with that wedding ring.

A game to waste some time with here.

Watch videos of Trebuchets in action.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A boxing match

When I was a child I was subjected to watching boxing with my father on a fairly regular basis. Though not much of a fan, I can still appreciate it when the fight is right. This famous fight from 2000 is the best I have ever seen. Two guys just wailing on each other for twelve rounds. I've linked them in order, so if you get the time, watch it in its entirety. I imagine Ponce is the only one truly interested in this fight, unless bigEll is still a reader. Round 5 and Round 10 are amazing, but the whole match was phenomenal. I think the ref had to separate them a mere five times in the entire fight.

1-2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXjE33jHTiA
3-4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc4xivGpI40
5-6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzrQt81_qpg
7-8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvFAuS3OBrQ
9-10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tapd7r5g1wA
11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUZQ_DwxaoM
12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vsQeQOSS3g

That S**t ain't funny!

Little joke for all our readers (both of them).

Little David was in his 5th grade class when the teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living. All the typical answers came up: doctor, fireman, policeman, salesman, etc. David was being uncharacteristically quiet and so the teacher asked him about his father. "My father's an exotic dancer in a gay bar and takes off all his clothes in front of other men. Sometimes, if the offer's really good, he'll go out to the alley with some guy and make love with him for money. "The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some coloring, and took Little David aside to ask him, "Is that really true about your father?" "No," said David, "He plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."

Lord of the Highway


Joe Ely celebrated his birthday this Friday, turning 60. I grew up knowing and singing his songs before I even knew exactly who Joe Ely was. I was able to see him in small venues like Fat Dawgs and much bigger ones like the Tornado Jam, pictured above. I love the photo and still have the concert t-shirt with the same picture. I saw him play in a cotton field that was fenced-off with a stage and a place to sell drinks. I saw him on a local TV station opening up for the Clash in London. Regardless of the venue everyone would turn out - grits, frats, suits, bikers and people without any convenient handle. I could write for a long spell about growing up in Lubbock and the music that came from there (and will later), but for now let the entertainment editor for The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, William Kerns give you a much better introduction to Joe Ely.
Joe's own web site is mainly about his music and other works, but the FAQ section has a lot of little known tidbits concerning Joe's life.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gettin' Busy


Ponce has got to quit drinking!

The King is dead.


Eddie Feigner, of "The King and His Court", the best softball pitcher ever, died Friday, February 9, at age 81. I never got to see him play, but remember my dad telling me about him when i was just a wee lad.


(excerpts from espn)

With a fastball once clocked at 104 mph, Feigner, a former Marine, threw 930 no-hitters and 238 perfect games and struck out 141,517 batters while playing more than 10,000 games. Feigner not only pitched from the standard mound, 46 feet from home plate, but also from second base, behind his back, on his knees, between his legs, from center field and blindfolded. In a nationally televised exhibition against major-leaguers at Dodger Stadium in 1964, he struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills, Harmon Killebrew, Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson in order. (un-freakin-believable!) Feigner began "The King and His Court" in 1946 on a dare in his hometown of Walla Walla, Wash. He had just thrown a shutout in his nine-man team's rout of a team from Pendleton, Ore., and the Oregon team challenged him to another game. Backed by just a catcher, first baseman and shortstop, Feigner pitched a perfect game, winning 7-0.


Anybody see him play? Please comment.


I'm the Juggernaut video

You can link here or google it. Lots and lots of the bad type of language that my wife could chastise me about if she read the blog, but she doesn't. They also have a Power Ranger's one.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Not My Beer Stash

If you are going to have 9 days of in-law hell for Chinese New Year (yes that's you Kevlar) consider heading over to GoWest Enterprise, the importers of all those Brit beers. Their Taichung office is behind my house, and Derek can set you up with some good deals on beer.

If you get a crew of people to visit, you probably can get some tasters first.

May I suggest the Ruddles County ale, which tastes reminiscent of a West Coast Pale Ale or IPA with a nice pine hop flavor. There's also a special on Hen's Tooth Ale (6.5%) for all of you value-for-money drinkers, i.e. Canadianers.

Tel: 04-2451-4520
Address: Behind my House.

NFL.com(mie)

Are you like me? Love football, live in Asia and have a chance to see the NFL for the first time in your life? Well, it is only a pre-season game, but it's in China! Whoopee! The China Bowl is coming to town - not yours or mine - but a big, dirty one with a baker's-buttload of people, Beijing. True, the star athletes will most likely be hermetically sealed on the sidelines fighting-off jet lag and civet-kabobs, but still, the NFL!

Want to go with me? I'd like to go with me also, but it was pretty dang hard to find any info about tickets, so I went to NFL.com. Picture nothing. That is what you will find when looking for (not searching, because the site does not allow it) any thing about the game.

Okay, best to contact them directly and let them know of their omission. Surely they want people (those who know that this football is the one where players really hurt each other and fans only attack hot dogs and beer - Oops again. Forgot about Philly) in the stands. I shall hail them using the Comments frequency. Whoops! No-can-do. You can only contact them about the web site itself for tech help. Google me this. What's computer geekese for utter suckage of a web site?

Well, at least I have a fallback option. Taichung's American Chamber of Commerce. Surely they will take heed of my email suggesting that they organize a travel package for us Taiwaners. While I await their reply I will be taking other offers from scalpers and/or snakeheads.

superbowl dandy

until the more professional shots get published, here's this...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Panda-Hugger

J-Hole turned me on to the Yahoo Bi-Lingual dictionary (does bi-lingual mean you hired two hookers instead of one?)

For some reason, they had the word Panda-Hugger in their example section:

panda-hugger顯示/隱藏例句

n. (名詞 noun)

1.
熊貓擁抱者 (這個貶義成分居多的詞係由tree-hugger衍生而來, 指那些認為中國不會對美國構成軍事威脅的分析家或學者)

This seems like a very useful term, but I could not quite understand the Chinese. I am sure one of our Nihowdlings could help me out. Feel free to update the post instead of in the comments.

downloading vs. streaming

Someone was telling me a while back that there was a way to download youtube vids as opposed to streaming them.

That would be really cool 'cause lately I've been waiting forever for some of those videos to stream, and some never come... is anyone else having this problem?

This site, boomvid, claims to allow downloads from various video sites inc. youtube, google, daily motion and others. All you need to do is follow these simple instructions at their HOW TO DOWNLOAD page...

I tried several times but was unsuccessful each time.

I'd love to know if anyone else has any success with this site...

Free Beer! Is he in prison or something?

Congratulations to Taiwan's women's softball team. They swept New Zealand in a best-of-three to win the Asia/Oceania qualifier for the 2008 Beiping Olympics. They went through the tourney with a perfect 10-0 record. Because the IOC seems to prefer RMB to NT dollars, athletes representing Taiwan must accept the "Chinese Taipei" moniker or be forced to sit out events. So if they can't change the name, how about the font size?

3Old 3New

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I feel that I did not do Yahoo's bilingual dictionary the service it deserves. It does have romanization, sound and Chinese phonetics. It has words that send you scurrying for your Webster's and even those who don't read Chinese characters can benefit. For example, let us say you want to explain how the venerable China Post will not conjure up news with a political slant, but don't know the Chinese for slant. Simple. First, type in the word and find an example that is appropriate.

Using example 2 from below, cut and paste the character(s) in to the search box. For our purposes, the third grouping is the one we want. Enter and you will get the results on the bottom.





Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"國歌"


I've been asking my students what they call their national anthem and the answer I keep getting is simply "guo ge" or 中華民國國歌. I tried assigning a translation exercise to some of my brighter students but they balked at the idea, pleading with me, "Oh teacher, too difficult." So I searched on Wikipedia and as expected it's basically a KMT song about the 3 Principles of the People, first heard in a speech given by Dr. Sun in 1924 at the Whampoa Military Academy. Apparently it is written in classical literary Chinese which is probably why my students had zero interest in translating it for me.

There's a decent write up on it here, including the writers, the lyrics and its history.

Totally off topic but JW and D-Wayne wore dresses at the Super Bowl last night.
I only got one grainy shot of JW 'cause he was a little shy and wouldn't let me get a good one. I'm pretty sure Winnie, wife of D-Wayne, got some good ones though.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Taiwan's anthem still alive in Grenada

In 2005 Grenada abandoned diplomatic ties with Taiwan, recognizing China instead. Part of the deal was a brand new stadium to be bought and paid for by Beijing, replacing one destroyed by a hurricane in 2004. At the inauguration, attended by a Chinese envoy, the Royal Grenada Police Band launched into a rendition of Taiwan's national anthem by mistake... the Chinese envoy was apparently "visibly uncomfortable."

BBC story here.

and get this - the PM was reportedly "saddened" and said that the incident "breaks his heart". Really? Heartbroken? I guess when you're a diplomat you have to say these things...

I feel like I should know this but does anyone know the name of Taiwan's anthem?
I hear it almost every day at school, I'll try to pay more attention tomorrow...

btw, anyone remember the Jays - Braves 1992 World Series game in Atlanta when they flew the Canadian flag upside down? Hardly heartbreaking but hey these things must happen all the time.

Truth in Advertising

Every week I have to go do the shopping for my family.

One of my stops is a famous Taiwanese restaurant that sells pigs feet.

Today I just noticed they have a website...

www.assfood.com.tw

I guess they are saying if you eat their pigs feet, it will go straight to your waistline so to speak.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

R.I.P.

How can Molly Ivins have died and I missed it? Way too much time in the Law Library this week. A brief tribute and some quotes from the lady herself. One thing's for sure: When God screws up, Molly will be there to give her hell...

By the way Ponce, you dedicated column space to the death of Reagan a couple of years ago but neglected poor Molly entirely. Populism is truly dead over at Chaon I see. Old age does breed complacency I know, but honestly man, how does Mr. Nominator of Antonio Scalia, sender of missiles to Iran, cut government support of students get press time, but Molly, defender of every downtrodden S.O.B. in the world, get nothing?

Vader Sessions

Watch it here.

New Links and Thanks

The switch to the new blogger was done with much less pain than anticipated, mainly because of Sherry at Beta Blogger Resources (also in sidebar). Usually, when people say to contact them for help you throw out an email and wait for an electronic reply of no help. Well, she contacted me withing half an hour and answered my questions. Oh, if any contributors cannot make the switch, let me know and I will re-invite you.

The other new link is Yahoo's Dictionary. It does not have romanization like Zhongwen, only Chinese characters. However, it is much, much more extensive. I was able to find oblivious, plasmapheresis and Brangelina with synonyms, usage and examples listed (if applicable).

For the Commander's thirst for music -First take a listen to Texas Rebel Radio online and pick your favorites. You could also check out Jason Boland and The Stragglers, Cooder Graw and Cory Morrow.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Chinese New Year boredom

I've had the past week off. Nice! It's been fun. Although I didn't get all the things on my todo list checked off, I did manage to waste most of my week reading useless facts on the internet, updating my fantasy teams and reading useless articles about nothing.

While surfing various parts of the net, I came across yahoo movies. A gateway to read about upcoming movies, current movies and movies of the past.

Anyways, I'll get to the point. Readers of NiHowdy! Help me with my task. Before the end of the year (and because I have too much time on my hands) I hope to alter the current ranking of The Shawshank Redemption the highest rated movie of all time to number 2. Although I enjoyed the movie very much, I believe that as a community here at NiHowdy we can serve a purpose. The purpose of altering internet data. Simply click on this link or the previous link and give it a rating of F.

Currenlty 70417 people have ranked this movie. Most of which have enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too, but! I don't think it is worthy of number 1! We have thousands of readers! Thousands of visitors every year. We must achieve this goal. Peter Jackson would appreciate it!

Power to the people!

Contributors - We're making the switch

I have just switched to the new blogger. You will have to also. If you haven't switched yet, read this for help. I had to revert to the classic to recover it the links. I will try to copy all the info for the links but would appreciate any help from those of us who know how to do it and won't screw up everything.

Update: We will have to add the links one-by-one. So your help in getting started would be appreciated. I have a backup so don't worry that we will lose one, just start. Please.

Durant

Normally I would rant about the destruction in Lubbock last night, but that's for another day. Mostly I am wondering about the benefit of forcing kids to attend a year of school prior to entry into the NBA. Though I would agree with the proposition that most kids aren't ready and are just in it for the bucks, isn't that the reason most of us would seek employment?

Kevin Durant is a man. He plays the game better than just about everyone in the country (as evidenced by his 15-29, 37 point, 23 rebound game last night). Is he better than most in the NBA? Maybe not, but he would hold his own. If he ends up with a career ending injury this year (extreme hypothetical obviously), then he has been deprived of serious bucks because of a blatantly discriminatory NBA rule (which theoretically has the power to enact whatever rules they want). Perhaps the NBA should quit using the colleges as a testing ground and actually put money into the developmental leagues. Then when there is a question regarding somebody's ability to hoop it up, there is a place for them. Under current rules, these athletes are forced to stumble through a year of college hoops and all the accompanying pitfalls. The NBA can minimize the financial side of this by simply writing better contracts, ones which enable high school cagers to get paid reasonably (versus the ridiculous sums thrown out to the likes of Kwame Brown).

It seems to me the NBA is telling the world we are so irresponsible that we cannot control our checkwriting ability. Though the country (and the world) may be ready to see Greg Oden and Kevin Durant hoop it up against NBA talent, the entry level flops (think Kwame Brown again), prohibit that. Strong developmental leagues would remedy this by giving Kwame a forum to improve while simeaultaneously allowing the ready for prime time Durant the ability to earn a dime. Isn't this what baseball has been doing for a century?

The obvious counterargument is that younger NBA stars create a less than stellar product. Agreed, thus the need for the developmental league. Another counterargument might be the dilution in the college game had become too much and the increased interest of having the Durants in college helps all college students by bringing income to the universities. Perhaps, but baseball faces the same problem, and has marketed the College World Series amazingly well in the past ten years. And does the NBA really care about that anyway? Seriously, wouldn't the NBA steal March Madness if they could? David Stern, Darth Vader himself?

Why am I writing this? Because I'm hooked on Durant and am pissed off he's only going to be a Longhorn for one year. Better not to have him the first place? Perhaps. Or better for him to ply his wares with reimbursement versus living in Jester Hall. Definitely.