Me and My Nine Iron

February 26, 2010

South Korean Skating DQ: The Push, the History and James Hewish

Someone should write a novel, and credit me for the title and following excerpt.

As you may know, the South Korean team was stripped of its gold medal in the women’s 3000-meter relay final Wednesday as a result of a disqualification, moving second-place China up to the top of the podium. In what has been a dysfunctional Olympics (from the luging death to the poor TV coverage from NBC to the disorganization of events up in Vancouver), the controversy of this year’s Games may go down in history as this very event.

It’s indisputable that there was contact on the turn that slowed down the

Chinese woman considerably and eventually decided the race, but if speed skating rules were as simple as “the initiator of contact is automatically disqualified,” then judge James Hewish wouldn’t have had to deliberate with his crew for three minutes before making his decision (more about him later). I think Chris Chase, Yahoo! sports writer, best states my opinion when he wrote that “the offending bump was obvious, but it wasn’t clear that it should lead to a disqualification. Relays tend to be judged a little looser than regular short track events, so there was thought that Hewish might let the contact go.”

I’m not trying to contest that an egregious act should be ignored because it’s a relay, but the push was about as harmless as Michael Jordan‘s controversial off-hand push off of Bryon Russell for the game-winning shot in the NBA championship (depending on how you feel about the play). It also doesn’t help that the Chinese woman’s skate made contact with the Korean’s at the exact same time as the push, and I can’t imagine her not losing a step from the skate miscue so it’s unfortunate that the Korean’s push was likely unnecessary.

But enough of breaking down the video footage, let’s introduce a key player at this time – Australian judge James Hewish. The man who made the decision to DQ the Korean team is infamous in Korea, but even before this event. In the 2002 Winter Olympics, Hewish was the presiding judge in another DQ of a Korean when our hometown hero, Apolo Anton Ohno, who finished second in the race, was awarded the gold after Hewish decided the victorious Korean was cross-skating across Ohno on the final lap. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to let this contact go.

Is Hewish racist against Koreans? I don’t know, and neither do you. He’s not dumb where he’s going to flat-out admit his prejudice, if he were to have one, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and agree that Koreans are sometimes overly aggressive speed skaters (but who isn’t?). But I don’t think you can bring up the history of the specific female skaters involved because an incident should be judged on its own. And, no active member of the IOC is going to call out Hewish because that would be treason. You always have to support the decision of your staff and especially, your superior. That’s why you can quickly discredit all of the supporting comments, with some being completely irrational and making you wonder if these people were even watching the same video.

Like this one by an IOC member: “The South Korean affected Sun Linlin‘s route at a very crucial moment when China had the chance to win. The fault judging may not have come if it happened during the starting laps. The ISU (International Skating Union) ruled that the skater trying to pass takes the full responsibility when there is physical interference. Sun Linlin was skating in her route when nudged by Kim Min-jung outside.”

First of all, you’re telling me you’re allowed to do that in the beginning, but not in the end? The worst thing you can ask for in sports is inconsistent ruling. Also, the underlying theme in all of the opinions is that the Korean cut her off. Am I the only one that saw the Korean on the inside the entire time while the Chinese lunged with her left hand like she had no idea she was going to make contact with the Korean? It’s almost like she didn’t even see her. Simply put, it’s all bunk, and the main part is that putting Hewish in that position of power was the critical mistake for a subjective call. I don’t know what his title is, but they couldn’t have someone else judge the final?

I really hope that when they were deliberating, they were able to view the incident from all angles. Believe it or not, judges/referees/officials sometimes have less angles to review a play from than we TV viewers do. Nonsensical, I know, but true. Also, I’m sure it wasn’t, but I just have to mention that I hope they didn’t catch the Chinese’s bloody face (who got cut from the skate of her own teammate trying to climb the wall, and it was shown all over TV) and sympathize or think anything of it, but I would think they’re smart enough to know that a push to the chest didn’t cause that gash.

Call me biased, but I wish it was a non-call because there was the skating contact, and the fact that it could’ve gone either way at a really important time. I think most sports fans would prefer the questionable non-call at the end of games. But maybe, they should institute some alternative penalties like tacking on a couple of seconds to isolated, non-crashing incidents like these, as I’ll display in my poll below. Maybe then, we wouldn’t have to possibly serve three years for phony bomb threats directed at Hewish. (By the way, the bomberman was only identified as Kim, which is about as identifiable as John Doe here in the States.) It would also help to prevent something like a poor U.S. performance from medaling. They finished last of the four teams (I read they got lapped, which is downright pathetic), and they walk away with the bronze over the Koreans’ empty-handedness. Right.

But we’ll let Korea submit a meaningless appeal and the system play itself out.

BJ

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February 25, 2010

Shutter Island review

Filed under: Movie reviews — BJ @ 12:46 pm
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If I were to describe “Shutter Island” in one word, I would say it’s “perfect.” From the brilliant writing from Laeta Kalogridis to the classical soundtrack fitting the maddening atmosphere to the continued successful execution from the LeoScorsese collaboration, this movie truly delivers on all cylinders. I’m quick to put this up there with “The Departed,” and they even share plenty of portent.

I can’t make out what the commercial trailer’s about, but as mysteriously appealing as it looks, it’s even better. Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley offer convincing supporting roles, and this is quite simply a must-watch. We’re only in February, but this movie should hold up as one of the year’s best.

4 stars out of 4

If you don’t know what a lobotomy is, you might want to watch this before you go see it.

BJ

February 24, 2010

Fast food review

Filed under: Food reviews — BJ @ 5:20 pm
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Every time I see a commercial for a new fast food item, I want to try it. Unfortunately, I rarely actually do. Yesterday, I promoted Jack in the box‘s free grilled sandwich special, and I’m happy to say, “Here is my fast food review.”

$4.19. The price of a grilled sandwich at a fast food joint. I don’t understand the logic behind that pricing. Are they trying to compete with Carl’s Jr.’s $6 burger for highest-priced fast food items? As far as non-dollar menu items go, I’d probably be quick to classify them all as overpriced, and I’m telling you I wouldn’t pay more than the $2.01 I paid for the large drink (which probably has a serving size of 8).

I tried both the Turkey, Bacon, & Cheddar Grilled Sandwich and the Deli Trio Grilled Sandwich, with the former being better. The main knock on the Deli Trio is that it’s salty, but the pickles are pleasant (if you like them) and I will praise the toastiness to perfection. It’s not that the portions are small that I hate the pricing, I’m sure you could do much worse when eating out for lunch, but it’s just unspectacular for me to get again at that price.

I also played around with Jack’s “office” and found that he’ll make a call for you, if you know what I mean. I’ve yet to be daring enough to try this with anyone, but let me know if you do.

Back to my running experience real quick. So we had to pick up our packet at

AKA rash preventer.

the Pasadena Convention Center the day before the race, and there were booths everywhere selling their health products. I don’t have running shoes, but I was thinking I’m not going to buy a new pair just for this event nor will I suffer any foot injuries from running 3.1 miles. I came across anti-chafing sticks, and I made a cheap joke about it as I walked on. My feet are fine, but guess who got the last laugh.

BJ

February 23, 2010

“Blue Note Bandit” captured

The “Blue Note Bandit,” the most prolific bank robber in Orange County history, was arrested last Wednesday on an unrelated warrant for fraud. If convicted, he could face 18 years in prison and pleaded not guilty on Monday to robbing 14 Orange County banks. He wasn’t credited with a 15th holdup because the cameras weren’t working when it was robbed.

Poor guy’s secretly mad that they’re taking that 15th one away from him. Check out ABC’s coverage here.

Priests and pediatricians. Name two professions where the world is the

A fitting method of capital punishment: death by sodomy.

opportunity to touch little kids. Come in for a sore throat and get your vagina penetrated by this Delaware pediatrician, who was indicted Monday in the rapes of 102 girls and one boy he treated, far more than the nine he was charged in December with raping. In total, he was charged with 471 counts of sexual abuse with more expected. The sick bastard, who videotaped most of his attacks, is being held on $2.9 million cash bail in what is one of the most heinous allegations of patient sexual abuse against a doctor in American history.

The worst that I read was a girl who was raped more than a dozen times over a period that lasted more than a year. Shudder.

Fritz Henderson, who resigned as president and CEO of General Motors

Fritzie.

in December, is back as a consultant on international operations. And if you know how lucrative the consulting business is (as well as corporate compensation), Henderson set his fee at $59,090 a month for 20 hours of work a month, or almost $3,000 an hour. His half-a-week pay might net him more than you do in an entire year!

Where do I start with Tuesday Special day? How about National Pancake Day at IHOP? They’re giving away a free short stack (three) of pancakes from 7a-10p today for an optional donation. Buy a large drink at Jack in the box and get a free grilled sandwich today as well. Mountain High is offering 2-for-1 lift tickets every Tuesday until March 30th. Glen Ivy hot springs spa in Corona is offering half off the normal admission price of $38 on Tuesday and Thursday and $18.60 admission on Wednesday, which would be nice if I had someone to go with. And finally, no one can top Jetblue prices if you can afford a day or two off work. Long Beach to San Francisco is $29 if you leave on Saturday and return on Monday or Tuesday while Long Beach to New York City or Los Angeles to Boston are $99 each! Hurry, there are only 25 seats available for each flight, and the offer runs while seats last or 3p PST.

BJ

February 22, 2010

Running is my weakness

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 5:28 pm

Yesterday morning was the date of Pasadena Marathon 2010, and in it, I ran my very first 5k. When I finished the race, I was lightheaded and probably could have garnered a lot of attention if I just pretended that my knees buckled and I closed my eyes, but I didn’t. It was the first time I ever felt that way from a run, but that’s probably because I never ran 3.1 miles straight, which was one of my goals for the race. It also left me sore today from my calves up to my back and made me realize that a 10k and half marathon would be brutal and challenging while a marathon would be undesirable altogether. Besides, my running partner, who ran a 10k before, put it best when he said, “You just go slower. Nothing revolutionary happens.”

My other goal was to break 30 minutes. When I finished, I felt good that, having run the entire time, I was able to achieve this feat, but I didn’t even come close. My finish time was 32:45 for a pace of 10:33 a mile. Here’s the part where you can enjoy yourselves fully at my expense while I spit out some more split statistics from the results.

Overall: 387 out of 994
Men: 198 out of 362
M 20-24: 19 out of 23
M 24: 11 out of 11

Every which way you look at it, it’s pretty disappointing not being able to be in the top half of any of the male categories. Granted, I was unable to train for the event, leaving me far from top shape, but I guess it gave me a goal to reach next time I hit the 5k. Whether that’s my next race is undetermined, with the following also of interest.

5k obstacle course mud run
And if I ever make it out to Boston again, the 5k where you drink a pint of beer and eat a hot dog every ‘k,’ aka the Big Man run.

BJ

February 19, 2010

The (unnecessary) dangers of life

Filed under: For your pleasure,On the 6 o'clock news — BJ @ 2:33 pm

I think the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili put it best when, in

Easy there, sport.

response to his athlete’s luging death, he said, “They said that what happened yesterday was because of human error. Well, with all due respect … one thing I know for sure, that no sports mistake is supposed to lead to a death.”

The 2010 Winter Olympics will be remembered partly by the tragedy from this sport and in lesser part, the chipped tooth of the German silver medalist. The luger was asked by a photographer to bite his medal but got a little hungry and made an emergency visit to the dentist.

Jay Leno‘s late-night show may be cancelled, but that doesn’t mean we can’t borrow his “Headlines” segment. This is from an L.A. Times article yesterday.

Deputies chasing armed suspects ordered to be more cautious

In a policy change, the L.A. County Sheriff Department says deputies should try to contain dangerous suspects and wait for assistance.

Wait, I thought the police were the assistance.

Losing a good chunk of your team to a tragedy is something I can’t even fathom. Like the 1970 plane crash, when 37 football players and eight coaches from Marshall University died. Like the 2007 bus crash that left five Bluffton University baseball players dead. The reason why the president and the vice president never fly together. We know schools aren’t safe anymore, and now we have to fear professors shooting at each other?

Said a faculty member from the University of Alabama-Huntsville biology department, “With three professors dead, two wounded and one charged with murder, our department has pretty much been cut in half. It’s devastating.”

A private plane deliberately crashed into an IRS field office in Texas on Thursday, killing at least two, for the same reason rappers always say “fuck the police.” Because we don’t like to follow the rules.

BJ

February 18, 2010

Get Motivated!

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 3:19 pm
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I went to the Get Motivated! seminar, the world’s largest business seminar, yesterday at the Honda Center and was rather skeptical at first. It was a low-cost, all-day event (as low as $5 for individuals) and featured a star-studded lineup that included a footnote that appearances were subject to significant change. Well, with the exception of former college basketball coach Lou Holtz, everyone showed up, and while not all of the speakers stayed true to the theme of the seminar, it’s always pleasant to hear such iconic figures be candid for a change.

Michael Phelps was the only speaker not to be alone on stage, lacking such

"Sponsors drop Tiger for Michael."

speaking skills that he required a Q&A interview format, which was uninspiring and trite (although, he did get the only shout-out from a girl who screamed, “I love you, Michael”). He said that he’d be the first to admit he’s had his fair share of problems – both in the pool and out. (I know you’re thinking the same thing I am. Man loves his greens. And I don’t mean vegetables.) But do know that he had one hell of a work ethic and pushed himself immensely to be as prepared as one could possibly be, working out an unconventional eight days in a row for five years straight with no breaks. He went off to Vancouver to check out the Olympics later that night, and I just read today that he signed a multimillion dollar endorsement deal with Under Armour. Good for you, Michael. Good for you.

Colin Powell won the day’s award for Most Different Personality From the Public’s Perception of Him. The 72-year-old was visibly out of breath by the time he got up on stage and was humorous throughout his speech, complaining that the thing he misses most is his private plane. Imagine how funny it’d be for the four-star general to make pouty faces and say “Papi” in his grandson’s voice. It’s even funnier.

Rudy Giuliani gave the day’s snoozer, but I blame that more on my lunch coma. His theme was us in the Information Age and said boneheaded things like “If you don’t know how to use a computer, learn. Take a two-day workshop if you have to.” You’re at a business seminar, Rudy. I doubt there’s a single person out of the 15,000 in attendance that doesn’t know how to use a freaking computer.

The awesomest success story belonged to Phil Town, a guy who played Into the Wild for a bit before hitting it big off of stock trading, making his first million in five years and retiring at the age of 31. I was tempted to sign up for his $99 two-day workshop, but I showed some self-control.

“Hollywood legend” Rob Lowe (I didn’t know he was a legend) was a late fill-in and maybe surprisingly, was the one who I was able to relate to the most. He told a great story of when he was doing a horrible song-and-dance with Snow White on the Oscars and caught big-time director Barry Levinson in his seat clearly say to his date, “What the fuck is Rob Lowe doing?” To bounce back from that on one of TV’s biggest events, that’s a winner in my book.

Condoleezza Rice, or Condee, as the other speakers referred to her, gave an impressive talk, as former Microsoft President and COO Rick Belluzzo and 83-year-old Zig Ziglar, who’s so old his birthday comes before his birthmonth on his Wiki, rounded out the rest of the big names.

For a more detailed read on the event, check out The OC Register’s article.

BJ

February 16, 2010

The Sitch cologne

The “Jersey Shore” cast is looking to brand products off their fame from clothing lines to fragrances, and they sure have the money to do so after MTV agreed to pay each of them $180,000 for the 12-episode second season. Mike “The Situation” wants to get a cologne on the market that smells like money dubbed “The Sitch.” I don’t know about you, but money doesn’t smell so good. I like the look of it and having it but not too crazy about the smell of it.

The International Space Station received a newly attached $27 million observation deck on Monday that will provide unprecedented 360-degree views of Earth, outer space and the space station itself. Aren’t there people that still believe humans being on the moon is a conspiracy? The world leaders can’t agree on any issue. I don’t see why they would come together to trick everyone that they’ve landed on the moon and built a joint space station.

Record a woman bleeding to death and receive a prestigious U.S. journalism prize. That’s what an anonymous group of people were bestowed when they uploaded a video of a 26-year-old Iranian woman dying in a Tehran street last year during an anti-government protest, which somehow became an iconic image of the Iranian resistance. And I thought Iran was the crazy country.

An 11-member European hit squad killed a Hamas commander last month, and Dubai is demanding an international manhunt of those involved. Land of paradise and breathtaking vacations? Boycott Dubai, they support terrorism.

BJ

February 15, 2010

Heidi who?

Hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day. I was busy last night sniffing

I think it's the makeup.

magazine cologne with five dudes.

Heidi Montag hit the red carpet on Saturday for the first time since her ten plastic surgery procedures done on November 20. Yes, you read that right. Among her other changes, she had her breast implants increased to DDDs, and she “still wants to improve” them. God help you, Heidi.

In other reality TV news, someone is doing Jersey Shore’s Snooki real dirty with the slow and painful release of a sex tape and nude pics of her. The sex tape, which I won’t post, is tough to identify her in it, as she’s mainly busy with her head down, if you know what I mean. The first nude pic went up Friday, and the second one‘s just been released with the promise of more. Don’t worry, you can’t see anything, something I can’t say the same for Greg Oden‘s recent pic.

Kevin Smith, the Silent Bob in Jay and Silent Bob, was taken off of a Southwest Airlines flight on Saturday because his weight was deemed a safety risk. Smith, who usually purchases two tickets, went on a Twitter rage about being removed after he was seated but was not without a critic.  A pilot wrote a piece about how Smith should understand that his obesity can crash a plane and wrote with such disdain that she implied the fate of that plane would have been the same as Aaliyah‘s fatal tragedy.

I can’t find a weight on Smith, but he doesn’t look like your typical this-guy-definitely-needs-two-seats-maybe-three 300+ pound beast you’d hate to sit next to but probably end up with. Suck it, Southwest, and your stupid rapping commercial.

BJ

February 12, 2010

Who is the “blue note bandit?”

The “blue note bandit” struck again Tuesday, his 15th target a Home Savings of America branch in Laguna Niguel. The most notorious bank robber in Orange County history has had an active two months and has people saying that it has all the makings of a movie.

Yeah, let’s celebrate criminals, Halle Berry. “Who is Doris Payne?” Get outta here.

The much-promoted “Valentine’s Day” opens today. Taylor Swift looks like a sweetie, but if she doesn’t win Razzie for worst supporting actress for this role, then acting as a whole has truly gone downhill.

And finally, I leave you with the quintessential weatherman. This guy could give Larry, the mattress king, a run for his money. “Or your mattress is FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

BJ

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