The Garden

A squash-friendly blog for our times

Saturday, July 31, 2004


Weekend Reading

  • Jane Ellen of Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus explains her state's schizophrenic relationship with time. There's fast time and slow time in Indiana....

    By the way, it's long overdue, but I finally added the interesting Hoosier Musings to the blogroll. Jane Ellen is a seminarian, and I can't help but be interested in her, well, musings on a lifestyle that's so different (is it really, though?) than my own.

  • Today, I stumbled onto For Girls Only, a smart poem written by Laura Sims. The poem consists only of words from a 1956 book by the same name. I particularly enjoyed a section entitled "Tom, Dick or Harold," containing the coolest refrain: His selection of lamps made her sad. Indeed.

  • Sunday's New York Times has a story about college recruitment of Native Americans. It's an interesting read anyway, but I was floored (and distracted?) by a story recounted in the lead (or lede, as journalism-types insist—puzzlingly—on writing). During a family vacation to Yellowstone, it seems, one Navajo family was surrounded by camera-toting tourists, who acted as though they'd stumbled onto something as foreign as a herd of elk. Good grief!

  • Also in the Sunday Times is a piece that asks whether Fox's highly-regarded but lightly-watched Arrested Development can save the genre of the sitcom. Among the ideas that writers are considering for the upcoming season is this gem:
    [Executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz] would like Michael, [Jason] Bateman's character, to chew out his son for being attracted to a cousin, then fall in love with a woman who will be played by Mr. Bateman's real-life sister, the actress Justine Bateman.
    If that idea isn't inspired, nothing is.
  • Friday, July 30, 2004


    Cole Porter, Cabbage, and Vermouth: Yes, I'm Back!

  • Alan Dale's review at The Kitchen Cabinet of De-Lovely, the new-ish Cole Porter biopic starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, is absolutely de-licious. Here's a snippet:
    Kline doesn't even register as homosexual, which should be a minimum requirement for the movie.... Kline lacks the insouciance, the predatory gleam, the tentacles, of a gentleman who openly and successfully chases pretty young men.... Actually, Kline doesn't seem sexual at all. He moves his imposing frame through the crowded scenes as if he were carrying a door--i.e., he's stiff in every way except the one that would count.
    By the way, I just can't get enough of Alanis Morissette's version of "Let's Do It" on the De-Lovely soundtrack. Given Alan Dale's review, you should probably just buy the soundtrack and sit the movie out.

  • Heather of Dooce explains why it might be a good idea to put cabbage in your bra. I had no idea.

  • Today, my Gold Box contained the Misto Martini Vermouth Sprayer, a silly little device that allows you to prepare dry, dry, dry martinis. Happily enough, I don't need a vermouth sprayer, but I was nevertheless taken with this customer review of the product:
    I saw this item, thought 'hey, I can impress my friends with this!' and bought it. Well, the item itself is decent. Quality sprayer and very fashionable. However, DO NOT TAKE THIS TO A CLUB! I was at a local club when an undercover cop saw my spray this into my drink. Immediately I had my legs ripped out from under me, my head hit the bar, and I dropped my martini. I dragged from the club with beers and martini on me, a horrible headache, and everyone pointing and laughing. Turns out, he thought I was spraying an illegal substance in there but later found out it was nothing. He then offered to buy me a drink to make up for what he did, but I refused. I think he was trying to trick me into thinking he was my friend. Makes a great birthday gift!
    It's hard to know what to say about that, huh? The sprayer might get you arrested, but—hey—it makes a great birthday present.

    Even if that review isn't legit, it's sheer genius.
  • Thursday, July 29, 2004


    What Kind of Snob Am I?

    Name the era, and you can name every artist from it. You've got an eye for design and a knack for feng shui. Color schemes, architecture, and objets d'art - these are all your fortes.

    What people love: You're the perfect person to shop with.
    What people hate: They have to clean their house whenever you come over.

    What Kind of Elitist Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    (Quiz-taking prompted by Bookslut.)

    How I Spent My Summer "Vacation"

    Well, I guess I lied when I said I'd be back to blogging on Monday. I did return to "normal life" on Monday; it just took me a few days to recover from the, um, abnormal life.

    Anyway, here's how I spent the time away:
  • I spent a couple of days in Salt Lake City, where I rode the rails (psst: check out the [not my] cool pictures), stayed at a cool turn-of-the-last-century hotel, attended a minor-league ballgame, and explored.

  • I learned all about the golden spike.

  • I spent a week in gorgeous Park City, Utah, where I survived a week of continuing education, ate at lots of restaurants, shopped at galleries, and discovered a new favorite beer (raspberry wheat).

  • And, oh, I went on a bobsled ride. Honestly, it was just about the most fun I've ever had in 65 seconds. I can't wait to do it again—in winter.

  • At the airport, I outlined some ideas for a novel. A novel about someone who works at an airport. Really. I wonder if I'll ever work on it again....

  • I enjoyed my first-row seat at a Cirque du Soleil show. It sounds trite, I know, but I actually felt like I was a part of an experience.

  • I decided not to move to an apartment closer to my office. I guess I'm addicted to all that commuting time. (As a consolation prize, I bought myself a new 205-hour TiVo unit.)

    It may take me another day or two to get caught up enough to blog much. Sometimes, it's hell getting caught up from being away.
  • Saturday, July 17, 2004


    Programming Note

    I've decided to take a few days off from "normal" life, including the Garden. I'm not planning to do anything too exciting. I'm going to do some continuing legal education, maybe drink a margarita or two, read magazines and mystery novels, confuse my pooch by messing with "her" routine, and—well—just rest. Doesn't that sound nice? It does to me. I'm pooped.

    Look for me to return, maybe with a story or two from the quiet life, sometime on Monday, July 26.

    Friday, July 16, 2004


    I really wish you'd do that good deed.

    I got the sweetest thank-you bookmark this week from the good people at the San Diego County Library's Alpine branch. As you may recall, I'm participating in Pamie's campaign to help out the library, which has been struggling with budget cuts and closings and other things you really wouldn't want friendly librarians to have to endure. Since Pamie began this year's campaign on June 25, 325 books have been donated.

    Once again, if you're able, I'd like to encourage you to send a book or two to one of the library branches. You can find links to the various branches' Amazon wishlists here. I know the Alpine branch would be grateful.

    I may only have four-and-one-half regular readers, but I'm pretty sure there's only a little overlap (hi, Matthew!) between Pamie's readership and mine. It would be awfully, awfully cool if I could help spread word of her campaign to a new region of Blogistan. If you have a blog or an online journal, even one that's pretty darn different from Pamie's or mine, I hope you'll consider mentioning this good cause.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004


    Bare Midriffs, Modern Pentathlon, Greenland, and More!

    I apologize to my four-and-one-half regular readers for ignoring you since Sunday. As occasionally happens, I got a little bit swallowed up by actual, real, non-virtual life. So inconsiderate, I know. I have done a little bit of web surfing since Sunday, though. Are you surprised?
  • I stumbled onto this post on the economics and anthropology of the bare midriff at This Blog Sits at the... (link via Darren Barefoot). Although I absolutely agree with the first commenter that the post views men more than a bit reductionistically, I have to respect a blog that attempts to bring to Blogistan a systematic, social-scientific view of everyday life. For instance, the blog has recently looked at the economics of a fancy vinegar, Montreal traffic, and whether payola is really so bad after all. Good, good stuff.

    Now why do I take issue with the view of men taken in the post on bare midriffs? Well, despite what the post suggests, men, just as surely as women, are subject to cultural forces about what's "sexy." This Blog Sits suggests that men—er, straight men—always want to see more skin on women; they only happen to get it during some fashion cycles. But that can't always be so, can it? There have surely been times and places (Victorian times is an example given by the first commenter) when more skin would have been so scandalous that well-socialized men would have found it distasteful and, therefore, un-sexy. If fashion is a cultural complex, and it is, and if women must negotiate that social reality when presenting themselves, then so surely must men filter their sexual interests through that social lens. Men simply can't be quasi-Neanderthals who are immune from (or even mildly indifferent to) the fashion norms of their times.

  • Cinema 24, the interesting blog that's accompanying the birth of an independent, art-house theater somewhere in the Midwest, has announced that the theater will be named The Moxie. Is that a cool name or what? (The other choice was Criterion Cinema.) I want to patronize The Moxie just so I can validate the irresistible, playful name....

  • Skip at The Sports Economist bemoans American television's reliance on "personal interest" stories when covering the Olympics. He's definitely got a point. NBC's coverage of the last games was downright awful, as the network forced us to sit through endless pieces about the personal lives of athletes and only showed us actual sporting events long after they'd occurred (beyond the point that even the time difference between Sydney and the States might've necessitated).

    But it's all a matter of degree, right? I'm not sure I'd want to watch Olympics coverage that had way too little of the up-close-and-personal stories. Would you like to settle down and watch a few hours of archery or modern pentathlon without being told a little something about the competitors? I wouldn't. If I'm going to root, and that's one of the primary spectating pleasures (and the one I tend to rely on when I don't have a preexisting attachment or know only a tiny bit about the technical side of a sport), I need to know something about the competitors in order to choose a favorite. That said, I sure hope NBC errs this time on the side of giving us more nuts-and-bolts coverage of the Games. It's fascinating, I know, to learn about Ukrainian grandmas who sacrifice for their tiny, gymnast granddaughters, but it all seems a little pointless when you get to see little of the actual performances.

  • I always enjoy Will Baude's posts at Crescat Sententia on etiquette. This one about thank-you notes, and whether it's ok for attendees of a bridal shower to be roped into addressing their own thank-you notes (it isn't, of course), is a treat. But, hey, is Will dissing Slate's Prudence more than a little bit? I absolutely adore her; she gives reliable and shockingly-up-to-date advice about playing nicely with others....

  • Maybe this is just my mid-life crisis talking—hey, I haven't mentioned that in a long, long time—but I'm really taken with the idea of riding across the country on a Segway. The website for the adventure, which begins August 5, is awfully cool (link via Kottke).

  • Finally, of course, isn't it about time that we all traveled to Greenland? And, yes, I'm serious! I think.

  • Sunday, July 11, 2004


    [Insert Your Own Meaningless Title Here]

    These two items have nothing in common, really, but you surely know my philosophy by now: any bulleted list is better than separate, lonely entries. (I have abandonment issues, I guess.)
  • Only Connect gets all Joan of Arcadia on us. Actually, I fully expect to see Joan IMing with someone very much like Only Connect's inspired BigGuy2004 next season.

  • Off Wing Opinion explains how ESPN (especially its SportsCenter) has lost its way.
  • Saturday, July 10, 2004


    Looking for some weekend reading?

  • I'm not sure who comes off worst in this New York Times piece on being a hostess at a trendy nightspot. Is it Star Jones, who makes a scene at the door, gets a little too playful with her boyfriend, and then doesn't leave a tip; the owner, obsessed with models and other beautiful people; the snobby waitstaff, which conjures up a reason to ask Monica Lewinsky to leave; one of the Bush twins, who is louder (and sweatier?) than she needs to be; or the shallow (really, shallow is too kind a word) hostess herself? Egad.

  • Also in the Times: A piece on our continuing fascination with airports. I love the suggestion "that airports are not separate locations but nodes in a network of similar terminals, which collectively are crossed by currents of information, commerce, disease and risk."

  • According to a study conducted by a physicist, atonal music is challenging to some listeners because "the atonal composition has less structure and less context; it is like a story whose characters are constantly changing" (link via The Kitchen Cabinet). To enjoy atonal music, which I do, the listener "may need to look for coherence in different aspects of the composition." I don't think I do anything like that when listening to Schoenberg, but maybe some listeners do....

    By the way, the news @ piece linked here treats the story as a success of math and hard science. If you read the entire piece, though, you'll see that social scientists have been the driving forces in this kind of research.

  • And in case you were wondering, yes, it wasn't easy to translate Harry Potter into ancient Greek. This essay by the translator is a lot more interesting than I thought it would be (link via Kottke).
  • Friday, July 09, 2004


    Mimes?! Yes, mimes.

    How can a reader resist a New York Times column containing a passage like this?
    Mimes were part of [Bogotá mayor Antanas] Mockus's diabolical plan. He first hired 20 professionals to follow, imitate and mock citizens who committed public incivilities like jaywalking, picking pockets and driving recklessly. So successful were the first mimes that 400 more were trained as 'traffic mimes' to monitor pedestrians at street corners.

    Just how the good citizens of Bogotá responded to mimes holding up signs chiding their manners, I cannot say. To my knowledge no mimes met an untimely end. But the experiment was successful enough to be replicated in Lima, Peru.
    I hate to think what would happen if 400-plus mimes were unleashed on Philadelphia....

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Two of my favorite blogs are celebrating today. Daily Dose of Imagery, one of the best photoblogs around, is marking its very first birthday with a cool collage, which you can use as desktop wallpaper. (The collage is downright beautiful, and I'd absolutely use it if I knew I'd be able to find my icons!) DDI's proprietor, Sam Javanrouh, is a helluva photographer.

    Meanwhile, Reality Blurred turns four! There aren't too many blogs that have that kind of longevity, of course. A four-year-old blog is probably the equivalent of a 100-year-old magazine.... If you're at all interested in reality television, though, you already understand why RB is a must-read every day.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004



    Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. If you've ever stumbled onto some kiddo's site, or particularly some (Asian?) kiddo's LiveJournal website, you may well have seen entire pages of text WriTtEn SoRtA LiKe ThiS. If you're like me, you didn't know what to make of it, and you certainly didn't want to wade through a page of it.

    Anyway, in two posts, see here and here, Apophenia asked what the CaPiTaLiZaTiOn—apparently known sometimes as Azn style—was about and found some answers. It turns out, duh, that it's mostly about kids trying to personalize their text in an online world where there are a limited number of oh-so-boring fonts.

    Particularly helpful to me was AsianGuy's comment to the first post.

    Reality TV shouldn't have to be this real.

    Michael Tata, the deliciously demanding vice president of hotel operations at the resort featured on Discovery Channel's American Casino, has died (link via Fresh Hell). As I mentioned just a few days ago, Tata was one of the reasons why American Casino has been so compelling.

    Very shocking. And very, very sad.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004


    Several things have captured my attention this week:

  • If you love something, you probably shouldn't take a job reviewing it (link via Bookslut).

  • In one of the best blog posts I've read in awhile, Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes argues that art museums are the churches for secular Americans and that minimalism is currently the theology of those churches. It's really thought-provoking stuff. If the current fascination with minimalism interests you, you'll also want to read Blake Gopnik's treatment of minimalism as a thriving social movement.

  • Waddling Thunder decries International Kissing Day. This sums up his view pretty succinctly:
    Frankly, if it was up to me, what we would actually be celebrating are things like the Peace of Utrecht, or the day Frederick the Great invaded Silesia, perhaps by sitting on daisies and having people play Handel for us. That seems like a fun time. But kissing? Feh.
    I'm not sure whether I (dis)agree, but I have to respect someone who has a definite point of view and owns it.

  • Kimarites are the techniques sumo wrestlers use to win matches. There's an incredible variety of them, as this page from Japan Times Online demonstrates. As it turns out, though, most matches are won via yorikiri or oshidashi or one of the other handful of fairly common kimarites. This past week, though, sumo viewers got to see something special, when Takamisakari used ushiromotare in a thrilling victory. According to Sumo Now!, this kimarite hadn't ever been seen before in the real world.

  • A New York Times review made me really want to read History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History. Here's a snippet from Daniel Swift's review:
    Interesting history is interested history, so the secondary school texts excerpted here generally relate international events as they reflect local concerns. French textbooks recount the Suez Canal crisis of 1956 through the prism of growing nationalism in their own troublesome colony, Algeria. Caribbean textbooks are sugar-centric, gauging the effects of the Monroe Doctrine and the Great Depression on sugar prices. The Canadians, meanwhile, rarely miss an opportunity to insert their own countrymen into global events....
    Dana Lindaman and Kyle Ward's book just might be a must-read for me.

  • Something else I need to read is Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization (which was mentioned in the Slate article I blogged about here a few days ago). Via Bookslut, here's a link to an Atlantic interview with Foer. For some reason, though, the interview actually made me a bit less interested in Foer's book. Surely the book goes a little deeper than the interview suggests?
  • Monday, July 05, 2004


    Post-Wimbledon Blues

    There's one thing worse than being blue because it's raining at Wimbledon: being blue because the tournament is over. Sigh. What will I do with myself now?

    I'm trying to focus on the bright side: I did awfully well with my Wimbledon picks this year. On both the men's and the women's side, I correctly picked three of the four semifinalists. As for the women, I failed to put No. 5 Lindsay Davenport in the semis, thinking that Venus Williams—who'd made the finals four years running—would surely make at least the semis. Well, Karolina Sprem had other ideas. I can forgive myself that, though, because I correctly put eventual winner and No. 13 seed Maria Sharapova in the semis and the final. No, I didn't pick her to win it all, but I bet you didn't either. In a normal year, it would be crazy to put a No. 13 seed into the final. Maybe I'm crazy, but I got that part right this year.

    On the men's side, the only semifinalist I failed to pick was the unseeded Mario Ancic. And you know what? I had the big-serving Croatian in the quarterfinals. Plus, as with the women, I correctly picked both finalists—and, hey, this time I got the eventual winner right, too. Obviously, though, picking Roger Federer to win Wimbledon this year was no great feat of prognostication, but I can't be blamed for that, can I? The players are simply who they are.... That said, during the men's final, I was awfully, awfully impressed with Andy Roddick, and I thought he might win it all. In the first couple of sets, he looked determined to find a way to defeat Federer. He served at amazing speeds, and he just kept hitting winners. That's how good you have to play, apparently, to beat Federer on grass. As the final demonstrated, it'll be awfully hard for anyone to put together the three near-perfect sets necessary to defeat Federer at Wimbledon.

    But what am I going to do with my time now?

    Do a good deed!

    One of the best things I did last year (I should obviously do more good works!) was participate in Pamie's campaign to help the Oakland Public Library. Well, this year, Pamie's book drive benefits the struggling San Diego County Library. In a little over a week since Pamie announced this year's campaign, over 250 books have been sent to various branches of the library. I did my part today, purchasing the following three books from the wishlist for the library's Alpine branch:This is an awfully good cause—one of Blogistan's best. If you're able, please take part.

    Sunday, July 04, 2004


    It's Independence Day!

    Saturday, July 03, 2004


    Go west (and, yes, that includes Oklahoma)!

    I'm not sure why this annoyed me so much, but it did, so now I'm blogging about it. In response to something I said in the comments to this post on the most excellent Fresh Hell, another commenter challenged my statement that Oklahoma is in the American West. In fact, she presented my statement as geographic ignorance or some kind of amusing foible. My first thought was that only someone from California could have such an insular view of what the West is. A look at the other commenter's website suggests she's actually from Oregon. I guess that sorta makes my point, though.

    Anyway, having grown up in Oklahoma, and having gone to college with the aid of an Oklahoma history scholarship, I think I'm pretty darn qualified to explain why at least many Oklahomans can rightfully claim to be from the West. Here are a few things that spring immediately to mind:Had enough? Truly, I could keep going. I won't, though. I'll just say this. I'm grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, and—admittedly—we Green Country types tend to be more southern than western. We often don't feel like we have that much in common with our brethren from Oklahoma City, Enid, Lawton, and the Panhandle. But that's the point. We may be more Southern than Western, but they're more Western than Southern.

    Ok, the prosecution rests.

    Saturday Observations

  • Futility Infielder has got to be the best possible name for a baseball website.

  • Sisters Talk endorses the new Wonder Woman DVD set (click on the link for a real blast from the past). The set contains the first season of the show. Although I was a kid when the show was on, I didn't realize the show lasted three seasons. I think I must've gotten bored after the first season and moved on. I did love the invisible airplane and those bullet-repulsing bracelets, though.

    By the way, Lynda Carter, who—of course—played Wonder Woman, disses the invisible airplane in this week's Entertainment Weekly. "[I]t looked like a big plastic plane with a Greyhound bus seat!" she says. Hmph.

  • How about that Maria Sharapova? I thought I was pushing things by making the No. 13 seed my pick to reach the Wimbledon final. I could've been even bolder. What's truly remarkable is how much composure she showed in her win over Serena Williams. After Sharapova took the first set, amazingly at 6-1, and even when she was down a service break in the second set, I never really had the sense she might let things spiral out of control. Compare that with the choke-fest at this year's French Open, where Elena Dementieva's nerves handed the title to merely-still-standing Anastasia Myskina. Sharapova, by contrast, earned the title, and that's awfully good for tennis (and tennis fans).

  • Because it's the weekend and—in the States—a holiday weekend, Blogistan is particularly quiet. Here's one highlight, though: Costa Tsiokos of The Critical 'I' blogs about his just-completed experience as a juror in a murder trial. It's interesting stuff.
  • Friday, July 02, 2004


    NPR's Ombudsman—Too Square to Be Fair?

    I've seen several mentions of this today, see, e.g., here and here, but I've been fuming about this since I saw it yesterday: NPR's ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin has criticized the network, and especially its All Things Considered, for music commentary that is "incomprehensible" and "too hip." Now, I think it's great that NPR has an ombudsman, and I don't expect to agree with him about everything, but—in this case—Dvorkin's criticism is silly. What he writes just doesn't make sense. It's his criticism that's incomprehensible.

    Here's an example. Dvorkin says this snippet, from a review of the new Wilco CD, exemplifies the problematic commentary:
    These extended explorations and others, like the five minutes of abrasive dental-drill feedback drone near the end of the disc, give Wilco's music an entirely new dimension. The guitar isn't here to make things pretty. Tweedy uses savage, wild lunges to punctuate the verses and sometimes to inject a little danger into otherwise lovely songs.
    What exactly is incomprehensible about this? The reviewer says, in vivid but perfectly plain language, that Wilco is using some dissonant guitar sounds to give a rough edge to what would otherwise be (too?) pretty songs. Is the phrase "dental-drill feedback drone" too hip? I don't see how. After all, it explicitly describes some harsh sounds (dental drills and feedback) that everybody understands.

    Let's look at another of Dvorkin's example. This is from a review of The Magentic Fields:
    The songs themselves are the draw. They're disciplined little gems of composition, poison-pen letters set in the first person and caustic, coffee-shop observations propelled by not particularly heroic desires. The best of them tell about being deluded in love or not being able to let go of an old flame. And even under Merritt's dour storm clouds, they gleam.
    Now, I don't know this band, but I completely understand this review. Don't you? The review says, directly, that the band has some well-written songs, told from the not-so-noblest point of view, about love. The songs stand out, we're told, even through the potent emotions.

    Obviously, I don't think the language in either of these reviews is "incomprehensible." The words are evocative, sure, but isn't that good? Doesn't that cause us to pay better attention—both to the review and to the music? Anyone who speaks English got the gist of these two "problem" reviews. And the language certainly wasn't incomprehensible to the average NPR listener.

    What Dvorkin really seems to be saying, it seems to me, is just that he doesn't know enough about popular music to put these reviews into any kind of context. He says these reviews make "many listeners feel like cultural outsiders." But anyone might feel a bit lost when listening to a review about some field or genre they don't normally enjoy. I'm sure there are non-moviegoing NPR listeners who don't get all of the comparisons made in Bob Mondello's film reviews. I'm sure, too, that those who rarely read contemporary fiction don't get all the nuances of every Alan Cheuse book review. Why isn't Dvorkin complaining that those reviews are "incomprehensible" and "too hip?" Really, why?

    I'd bet it's because Dvorkin enjoys books and film.

    Thursday, July 01, 2004


    I can't concentrate on just one thing.

  • Art Addict knows why it's sometimes intimidating to visit an art gallery, and she provides 10 good questions to use to get a conversation started there.

  • Cinema 24 asks whether you should give the "butt flash" or the "crotch flash" when squeezing through a crowded movie aisle. (The same dilemma faces you at the ballpark, too, of course.) Well, are you ready for this? I'm a butt flash man.

  • TLC thinks its flagship show, Trading Spaces, might just be a wee, little, tiny bit overexposed (link via Reality Blurred)? Wow, that's truly perceptive. There must be some true programming geniuses at TLC. (P.S. Kim at Fresh Hell explained all this to TLC months and months ago.)

  • In one of the smartest things I've read in a long, long, long time, Slate's Daniel Gross explains why American professional team sports aren't nearly as "American" as their commissioners might have us believe (link via Kottke). The problem? Unlike European soccer leagues, which relegate the worst teams to lower divisions, American franchises suffer few consequences even from persistent on-the-field failure. Really, I ask, isn't it about time the Montreal Expos got relegated to, say, AA baseball?

    By the way, The Sports Economist has a good post on Gross's article.

  • Heather of Dooce explains, hilariously, that her blog may be a bad influence on a young relative who's a reader.
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