Column about Walt Weiss’ hiring contains seven references to Colorado’s new marijuana policy

The good folks of Colorado voted on Tuesday to legalize marijuana….

Forget OBP and WAR. The Rockies surely lead the league in empty Cheetos bags littering the offices….

Cheech and Chong would be proud.

What are they, high?…

Who’s on the short list to succeed Weiss? Willie Nelson?…

You would think after all these years, they would have an app for that. Or a medication for that (Tuesday’s vote in Colorado, ahem, notwithstanding)….

Through the haze, it’s hard to tell.

Scott Miller, CBS Sports.

The rest of the column is actually worth a read, as Miller outlines the Rockies’ struggles with a problem only they face: Altitude (get it? they’re high). The Rockies’ geographic isolation from the rest of the baseball-watching country probably helps us ignore or gloss over some of the oddities of their circumstance, but they go way beyond fly balls flying further. Pitches break differently and muscles suffer from the relative lack of oxygen, for two.

You’ll see a lot of Rockies post pretty extreme home-road splits, and when their names come up in trade or free-agent talk, you’ll hear their road splits emphasized with the suggestion that they’d be inferior players outside that environment who get bongs and pipes you can buy at Smokewire headshops. But I suspect there’s a lot more to it than that, and that Carlos Gonzalez would not collapse to a .735 OPS if he had the opportunity to adjust to a season playing at or near season.

My former roommate and namesake Ted Burke is a Rockies fan from Colorado, and we’ve spent hours trying to come up with ways they could get over the hurdle. We never figured a certain solution, but there’s no almost no doubt they need to do things a bit differently than everybody else.

Friday Q&A, pt. 2: Randos

A lot. Man, I hate running. I don’t hate cardio-vascular exercise so much, though I hardly do enough of it. I can get on the elliptical for an hour or ride 20 miles on my bike and actually enjoy it. And I love walking. But the idea of running even a mile is so distasteful to me that I can’t imagine enduring 26.2 of them without some life-changing reward.

I suspect the issue is two-fold. For one thing, I played football for 10 years and I am and always have been a massive wiseass. And when you’re a massive wiseass to football coaches, you are punished by being forced to run laps. Since my formative years, running has always felt like a punishment or at the very least like a chore.

Second, I’m awful at it. I’m so slow, and when you run as poorly as I do, it feels awkward and terrible. In high school I ran enough to make myself passable for football purposes, but now that I never have much reason to run, I get progressively worse at it every year. I still maintain other physical strengths and skills, so I’m cool with it. But in a fight-or-flight scenario, I’m definitely fighting.

So, offhand, I’d say it’d probably take the promise of about $25,000 to convince me to train for and complete a marathon. But if for some stupid reason anybody’s willing to offer up that much, I might very well up my rate or guilt you into giving it to charity.

I discuss this a lot. Everyone says the Chrysler Building and some people even suggest the Chrysler Building is underrated, but I think the Chrysler Building is adequately rated. If New York City were a chessboard, the Chrysler Building would be the queen. It’s easily the prettiest of the very tall buildings, and it is without a doubt very shiny and awesome. Plus, it’s a useful landmark for anyone looking for Grand Central Station and it doesn’t get enough credit for its use of automobile-inspired gargoyles.

But for me, it’s the king, baby, the king. Empire State Building or GTFO. And you might think that’s cliched, except no one ever says the Empire State Building even though it’s clearly the best building. Look at that thing! That’s what massive buildings should look like. None of this asymmetrical, post-modern b.s. for the most identifiable building in the center of the biggest city in the country, just towering, tapering art-deco glory. It’s monumental.

Even the name is perfect: Empire State Building. That’s f-ing right. What’s the name of the tallest building in Chicago? The Willis Tower? What the hell is that?

The only disappointing thing about the Empire State Building is that its mast was initially (supposedly) intended to be a dirigible docking station, which never happened. If it did, this blog wouldn’t exist, as I’d long since have been fired for spending all of my time at my desk watching the airships come and go.

Also, if you live here and you haven’t been up to the Empire State Building’s observation deck, you should probably get on that. It’s expensive and touristy, obviously, but it’s exciting as anything.

Other buildings in New York City that I like include the Woolworth Building and the irrepressibly creepy American Radiator Building. And I don’t typically have much patience for Frank Gehry but I do really like the IAC Building in Chelsea.

Let’s see: No, maybe, definitely, and no. And thanks. But our living room’s tight to begin with and it could be crowded right now due to some displaced family, so you’d probably have to sit on our Shea Stadium seats. That doesn’t sound terrible, but they’re not anchored down, so if you lean forward they topple over and dump you out on the floor. Happens all the time. Still funny when it does.

A long time. There might still be some in the crevices of my ear. And I’ve got Tobias Funke stuff happening in my apartment: I keep finding yellow handprints in random places.

T-shirt cannon technology finally used to launch tacos

Huge news out of Texas, courtesy real-life friend Ron:

The Torchy’s Tacos taco cannon stands proudly on all-terrain wheels. It is coated in jet black paint, with its long barrel pointing high towards the sky. The cannon’s controller shoots off three tacos in rapid succession. The explosion excites cheers and claps from people hoping to catch one of the tacos. One by one each taco is grabbed, unwrapped and eaten. The smell of drizzled cheese, sizzled chilies and grilled chicken invade the nostrils of its catcher….

“I seriously envisioned a warlike cannon shooting tacos at people,” biology senior Waytao Shing said.

Shing, who attended the FFF Aqua Olympics, an event catered to getting FFF patrons excited for the festival, was surprised to see what the cannon really was: a 12-chambered T-shirt cannon, redesigned to project delectable tacos.

About time, if you ask me. You may have seen similar cannons at basketball games. I know the Georgetown cheerleaders have one. They are awesome, but until now they have been pathetically devoid of taco ammunition. Check this sucker out:

Since the revelation at a Minor League game somewhere that hot dogs wrapped in foil with packets of mustard and ketchup were apparently the same gauge as rolled-up t-shirts, I’ve been quietly campaigning for Mr. Met to put his own gun to better use.

Now that tacos are in play — especially considering how good the Citi Field tacos are — it’s about time Mr. Met up his game. I already have more t-shirts than I need and there’s almost no chance anything fired at me from a hundred yards away will prove worthy of my t-shirt rotation. But I could pretty much always use a taco.

Great infomercial failures

I’ve spent enough time on the Internet today to say with some certainty that you’re not going to find anything more entertaining than this mesmerizing gallery of animated GIFs showing people in infomercials demonstrating whatever problem will be addressed by the product the infomercial is hawking. And who among us hasn’t spilled his giant bowl of cheese puffs while reaching for the remote control?

Via Boing Boing.

Oh, right: Happy Halloween!

I actually didn’t realize it was Halloween until about 10 minutes ago. I celebrated at a party on Friday and continued my longstanding tradition of dressing up as notable mustache men. I have been Burt Reynolds, Magnum P.I., Colonel Sanders and Wilford Brimley in the past.

This year, without having done much to prepare as of Thursday, I took Adam Rotter’s suggestion and went as Ned Flanders. I had a green sweater, pink collared shirt, glasses and fake mustache already, so the whole costume cost me $2.50 for the yellow makeup.

The only thing I failed to consider is that Ned Flanders in real life would look absolutely terrifying. Okely-dokely AHHH!:

I got two votes for “scariest costume” at the party from people who didn’t know I was supposed to be Ned Flanders. They just wrote “yellow mustache pervert” or whatever.

Twitterer Tomm Bauer passed along another costume in a similar vein this morning.

Taco hero Angel Pagan eats tacos

Due to the whole hurricane thing, I did not get to enjoy a free Doritos Locos Taco courtesy of Angel Pagan yesterday. I thought about making the trek to my nearest Taco Bell in the wind and rain, but I realized it was on account of like $1.39 or something and that if I injured myself in pursuit of a free Doritos Locos Taco in a hurricane, I’d never live down the LOLs.

Anyway, a Redwood City, Calif. Taco Bell invited Pagan himself to the restaurant for the occasion, and Pagan showed up. Here’s what he had to say:

“I grew up in the projects. If you believe, you can accomplish anything. Look at me.”

And indeed, look at him:

All you have to do is believe in yourself and someday you too can be signing autographs in a Taco Bell while wearing a Doritos Locos Taco shirt.

Also, it’s hard to imagine any athlete in the world pulling off that look better than Pagan does right there. Dude has verve. That might be history’s greatest instagram.

Furthermore, additional photos show Pagan wearing the very same style of Taco Bell hat favored by Mark Sanchez.

The aftermath

I’m lucky to say my area of Manhattan mostly escaped the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. Our Internet connection was spotty on Monday, so my wife and I watched movies and ate leftovers mostly unaware of the devastation a few miles away in practically every direction until I finally checked the news late in the evening.

On the south shore of Long Island, my parents lost some trees and are still without power. My uncle’s house, once on the water, is now more or less in the water. But everyone I’ve heard from is OK (knocking wood). I haven’t seen any of the worst damage first-hand and I have no real sad stories or hardships to share from the disaster, so I am not particularly fit to address or advise anyone in its wake. But since I’m back in the office today and would very much like to get back to writing about the Mets and Taco Bell and everything, and since it would feel weird to entirely ignore the storm on a blog so fueled by New York City, here’s this:

A few months after Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and most destructive natural disasters in the history of the United States, I toured the wreckage in New Orleans with a group from my grad school. Our guide, a 70-something lifelong Louisianan named Dottie, told us she had never uttered a single swear word in her life before the storm. After the storm, she locked herself in a room and yelled every one she could think of, and a few new ones she made up on the spot.

Dottie took us to her house, in what used to be a pretty little suburban neighborhood, emptied by the effects of the storm. She took us inside the gutted frame and showed us where her family photos had been, and her favorite plants, and where she used to sit and read after work. Then she showed us the spot in her backyard where the levee broke, and the last remaining life in her community: The handful of fish swimming in what had been her pool. Later, she took us to the Ninth Ward.

S!@# F!@#!@ C)(!&!@&@#&!!@#!!!!

This storm is not like that storm for a variety of reasons, from the preparation to the impact to the response. But I suspect the common thread among all disasters beyond our control, of every scale, is the way they can make us want to shut ourselves away and curse whoever or whatever we feel is responsible for bringing such reckless awfulness upon us, or upon the people we love.

I trust no one going through that now is reading this blog today. That’s for the best, I think, because in the immediate aftermath of such things, wild profanity is probably more productive than perspective.

But I know also — and I hope I’m not the first to deliver this news — that practically everyone will at some point suffer some terrible misfortune at the hands of some unforeseen force. And as a veteran of my fair share of that, at least by the relaxed standards for well-educated 31-year-old American dudes from the suburbs, I can say that only healthy takeaway I know of from any of it is this: Try to be thankful for what you have today, and understand always that there are no guarantees.

That’s about all I’ve got.


Hope you’re doing OK. Things actually seemed reasonably quiet in this neck of Manhattan, but I’m about to walk my wife to work to see for myself. If you’re still without power, good luck, and definitely don’t waste juice reading TedQuarters on your phone.