Thursday, July 30, 2009

The End of the Invincibles

From 7 May 2003 to 16 October 2004, Arsenal went 49 league matches w/o a loss. The squad of the 03/04 season was dubbed "The Invincibles" since they were the 1st team since Preston North End to go an entire season w/o losing a game... & by the '90s, the season was 16 matches longer than it had been in the 1880s. Their 26 wins & 12 draws that year obviously sent them to the top of the league w/ a line-up that has yet to be matched by any other team... or by Arsenal themselves. Yesterday, Kolo Toure was sold to Man City (where he will join up w/ Adebayor) for a rumored £14m as he became the last of the Invincibles to leave Arsenal.
*"Mad" Jens Lehmann: Goalie, sold to Stuttgart (summer of 2008)
*Sol Campbell: Defender, sold to Portsmouth (summer 2006)
*Ashley Cole: Defender, sold to Chelsea [cash plus Gallas] (summer 2006)
*Lauren: Defender, sold to Portsmouth (January of 2007)
*Freddie Ljungberg: Midfielder, sold to West Ham (summer of 2007)
*Patrick Viera: Midfielder (Captain), sold to Juventus (summer of 2005)
*Gilberto Silva: Midfielder, sold to Panathinaikos (summer of 2008)
*Robert Pires: Midfielder, sold to Villarreal (summer of 2006)
*Thierry Henry: Striker, sold to Barcelona (summer of 2007)
*Dennis Bergkamp: Striker, retired (summer of 2006)

In hindsight, the departure of every one of these players seems to have happened @ the right time. Only Henry (& to a lesser extent, Viera) have had success since they've left... & only Henry's 2nd season in Barcelona was successful. Hopefully, Wenger uses the money they've made this summer well. A new striker & another defender look set to come in & maybe another central midfielder too. We'll see. The current squad is looking strong again though w/ the arrival of Nasri, Ashavin, & Vermaelen over the last year & Eduardo & Rosicky finally fit again after long injury problems. Perhaps this season will finally see the reawakening of the fire power of this fully armed & operational Gunner's team.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Big Big Mud Hens trip

We rolled out of Ypsi yesterday afternoon around 3:00ish & got to Tony Packo's around quarter to 4:00. We by-passed the place across from the field & went straight to the original location on Front St. on the south side of the river. Aiden claimed they have the best hot dogs he's ever eaten, & I have to agree. I hadn't had a chili dog in about 3 years, so I took it upon myself to eat 2. They're great. I've been feeling it ever since, but I'm glad I finally got to enjoy a Packo's dog. I'd always wanted to go there... ever since I saw Klinger talking about it when I was a little kid. Once we finished eating, we went to a nice park along the river for a little while before wee headed to the game here's a full game report from the Toledo Blade). Scranton won the 1st game 7-2, & then The Mud Hens evened things up w/ a 2-0 victory in the 2nd game. There were some ridiculous errors & the pitching left something to be desired, but it was definitely a fun time. In fact, I'm sure we'll be going back soon. Aiden & I got hats & he also got a mini bat & a Cub scouts Mud Hens Sleep Over shirt that he's loving. He also scored a mini-batting helmet w/ an ice-cream Sunday in it. Since I'd already had hot-dogs, I went for another, but it wasn't nearly as good as the Packo's one.

After the games, there was a small fire-works display & then they showed Bolt on the big screens while we set up the tent & relaxed. sleeping on the grass got my allergies going something awful, but we slept pretty well until we were awakened @ 7:00 by someone say we had an hour to get out. The packing up went quickly & we stopped @ Waffle House for breakfast in Sylvania, OH before making it home by 9:30.
@ Tony Packo's
the view from our seats
tents in the outfield
Aiden @ the tent
dawn @ the ball-park

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Skip Gates is a friend of mine"

Obama said that... I've never actually met him, but his 1st couple books were really influential on my approach to teaching African American Lit... just like they are on almost everyone who teaches the course.
A fun reading of a few "central" texts in the African American literary tradition. Each chapter addresses a different text w/ from a different theoretical standpoint.

A brilliant analysis of the literary tradition going back to Western Africa. A tradition that was brought over w/ slaves but is often overlooked while discussing the history of African American Lit.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another post regarding my car

  • Flat Tire

  • Fixed Car

  • When it died

  • Along w/ these posts on Visions of Ypsi, there were also a couple some rather faithful readers might remember on Lesh Lush. That blog's defunct status makes it impossible to link to those posts, but I'm sure you can reconstruct them in you mind's eye. That said, here's the new info... possibly the final post about that car ever (there might be an update once I get a little more info.)

    I saw my Dad this afternoon, his last afternoon in the hospital before moving to a rehab center in Canton tomorrow. I brought Solstice & Aiden & met up w/ Elizabeth who is taking them to the Tigers' game tonight so we all had a nice visit & then I was heading to the grocery store on my way home. I was heading West on Ford Rd in Westland about 1/2 way between Venoy & Wayne when the guy in the pick-up in front of me stopped @ a red light. I proceeded to hit the brakes, but the pedal went all the way to the floor w/o slowing in the least... until I made contact w/ his rear bumper (& tailgate). We got that car in August of 2002. This was only the 2nd accident (the first you may remember occurred on Michigan Ave West of Clinton in the Irish Hills when Stephanie got her neck injury). It was a good car. I always liked the way it handled... and other than the fact that I used to prefer a manual transmission, this was my favorite car that I've ever owned. Perhaps now I can get the '68 Yellow Corvette Stingray I've always wanted.
    Let's all mourn the Escape together.

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    A Big Week

    On Saturday, I'm taking Aiden down to Toledo for the big Cub Scouts Father/Son Mudhens Camping Trip. We're seeing a double header against Scranton which will be followed by a fireworks show & then camping in the outfield. The first game starts @ 5:30, but I'm not certain Aiden will be able to stand 2 whole games so we might go a little late. I think we may make a stop @ Tony Packo's beforehand for the full Klinger experience. I've always wanted to go there, so this might be the perfect reason. Speaking of baseball, Elizabeth & Dan are taking Solstice & Aiden to the Tigers game tomorrow night against the Mariners. They've never been to a Tigers game before & they're soooo excited. They're bouncing off the walls over it... or @ least doing their equivalent of bouncing off the wall... talking about it a lot & laying on the couch.In unrelated news, I started the Premier League Fantasy League this week. For those of you who are dying to get involved, go here to make your team & then join the Private League DB2 w/ this code: 261267-65351 . At this point, we're still waiting for Jason, Aiden, & my father to join. I imagine my dad will be a later addition since he's in the hospital right now; Aiden will join whenever he gets me to help him some time this week; however, Jason's late registration is confounding me. Get on it! Those of you who choose to enter but then neglect your team will be removed from the league by October. That will give you a month & a 1/2 to get up to speed... it takes about 2 minutes to register, 10-15 minutes to make your team, & then about 5 minutes a week once the season starts on August 15.The final news of the week comes in the form of a Schwarzenegger-a-thon update. We watched the beginning of True Lies last night: it's good. (Here's a link to his complete filmography.) This brings the Schwarzenegger-a-thon count to 8.
    * The Terminator 41/2 out of 5 Stars
    * Terminator 2: Judgement Day 5 Stars
    * Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 4 Stars
    * Total Recall 2 1/2 Stars
    * The Last Action Hero 2 1/2 Stars
    * The Running Man 4 Stars
    * The 6th Day 3 1/2 Stars
    * True Lies 4 1/2 Stars (contingent on the 2nd half tonight)
    Stay tuned to Visions of Ypsi for the summer Schwarzenegger recap. I will give a full review of each of the films we view by the end of August.And for the other final news of the week, the Ypsi City Council has its final vote over the chicken issue tomorrow evening. Be sure to contact your Council-Person & urge her or him to support this effort. What is a city w/o chickens? Hopefully, this will lead the way to allowing llamas, bees, & pigs too, but I'm not holding my breath for a hippo. Though Huron River Hippos would be pretty sweet... if not a little dangerous for the local canoers/kayakers.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009


    Follow this link to find more fantastic pictures like this one:

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Some Music For You

    Hartford, Rice, Clements, Douglas: "Steam Powered Aeroplane"

    Levon Helm w/ Larry Campbell: Tennessee Jed"

    Tony Rice Unit: "Tipper"

    Waylon: "Luckenback, Texas"

    Uncle Tupelo: "No Depression
    Ryan Adams: "Come Pic Me Up"

    Thursday, July 16, 2009


    My dad went into the hospital yesterday morning to have his right knee replaced. The surgery went well, & he was up & about a little today. I saw him for a few hours, let him beat me in a game of gin, & watched some Sky Sports w/ him where we learned all about the rumored Adebayor move from Arsenal to Man City. I'm going back tomorrow afternoon w/ the kids so they'll get a chance to say hi too. While the physical therapy people were getting him up & moving, I went down to the hospital cafeteria for a snack... I love hospital cafeterias! I scored perogies, egg noodles w/ sauerkraut, a big salad, a pudding, & a Diet Pepsi for 4 bucks. Awesome! I only get hospital cafeteria food once every year or two, so when I get it... I get it good!

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Big Guns... & other assorted weaponry

    Friday Night:
    After a brief outing to the Rugby matches on Thursday, the saline Celtic festival really got going Friday night. We met up w/ Wendy & Pete in Fest Beer Tent for an evening of Murphy's Irish Stout, bagpipe music, & all around debauchery. Stephanie got to be a judge in this year's Mr. Pretty Legs contest & my 1st place finish in 2007 seems to be a free pass into the festival indefinitely. They treat me like a minor celebrity out there. I'm kind of like Timothy Stack on My Name is Earl. We also got to see Tartanic again; they're a fun pipe & drum group we saw last summer in Livonia. Stephanie worked hard to ensure anyone kilt wearers w/ obvious undergarments were quickly disqualified. The tool w/ his kilt on backwards didn't fare too well either... it was clear that he had no idea how to wear it, but I preferred thinking that maybe it was a tribute to Kris Kross (he looked more like he'd be paying tribute to Christopher Cross though).

    We were invited to walk in the pre-festival Parade, but it was canceled due to lightening which actually ended & totally cleared up about a 1/2 hour before the parade was scheduled to start. Which was fine w/ me. Getting there that early though, we were able to check stuff out before it got crowded which was nice. I scored a new sgian dubh & sporran on the cheap so I gave my old ones to Aiden... he fancied himself quite the bad-ass walking around w/ a knife. Solstice also enjoyed the vendor area... she scored a new dress & a book. Isaiah loved the animals... sheep dogs, horses, & most of all the birds of prey... & he got a little soccer ball about which he then started saying the word "ball" (or @ least "ba").

    Around 3:00ish, Solstice & Aiden left w/ my mom & we hung out in the tent, drank some Newcastle & watched Tartanic again. They covered Iron Man" on the pipes which was pretty cool. Once we got home, we continued our Schwarzeneggerian marathon w/ a viewing of The Last Action Hero. It starts strong w/ a nice self-referencial 1st act, but nose-dives by the 3rd. I imagine that the execs who develop the movie let the kernel of a good idea get washed away under the tide of big-budget ridiculousness. Oh well... we still have The 6th Day & True Lies to look forward to.

    Isaiah's Big B-Day Bash
    He turned 1 on Sunday so we had the family over for some cake & ice cream. He had a great time & even seemed to understand the concept of wrapping paper... something neither Solstice nor Aiden figured had figured out yet. It's pretty amazing what one can say w/ just 5 words (3 names, ball, & a general animal noise). You'd think there'd be some sort of communication break down, but he's usually pretty clear.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    W/ Your Bitch Slap Rapping & Your Cocaine Tongue

    In July of 1992, I went to The Silverdome w/ a friend from high school to see the circus that was the Guns n Roses/Metallica tour. Faith No More opened to a rather empty arena but when Metallica came out, the place was nuts. I was really there to see GnR, but Metallica were definitely the better live act. They played for a couple hours as we (in our youthful glory) got wasted... afterwards, I puked out the car door in the parking lot & then some dude walked by & slipped in it. That was pretty great. What wasn't so great was the GnR set. It could have simply come down to the fact that we'd just watched 4 hours of heavy metal & were a bit exhausted, but there was something missing from the energy of their set. Axl, in true douchebag form, did costume changes in between each song so as to wear what he wore in the videos while performing the singles, & if you'll recall, there were a lot of GnR singles back then. One of the more popular ones that year was the theme song to Terminator 2, "You Could Be Mine." While I was loving the song, I'd never actually seen the film... or any other Terminator film for that matter until last week. We recorded the movies & have had ourselves a little Schwarzenegger mini-marathon of late. As it turns out, I kind of loved the movies, even the 3rd one which has been almost universally panned. I love the time-travel stuff, I love the historical implications of attempting to change the past, I love that that dude from Tombstone plays Kyle Reese. It appears that I'm going to need to see the new one & maybe check out that short-lived series too. It also appears that I need to rethink my top 10 Schwarzenegger. Until last night, Total Recall sat atop that list, but we watched it last night (I hadn't seen it since 1990) & it kind of sucks. It certainly doesn't hold up after 20 years.
    10) Twins
    9) Red Sonja
    8) The Running Man
    7) Predator
    6) Conan the Barbarian
    5) Commando
    4) Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines
    3) Conan the Destroyer
    2) Terminator 2: Judgement Night
    1) The Terminator
    (Along w/ the Axl Rose info, there is a second kilt-wearing FYI for y'all... Friday night in Saline is the 3rd Annual Mr. Pretty Legs in a Kilt Contest @ the Saline Celtic Festival. Stephanie & I will be there drinking pitchers of Guinness so you should press your kilt &join us for a rockin' good time!)

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Blood Subs & Sin Binnings

    The USA Rugby team qualified for the Rugby World Cup yesterday in what was a rather slow, boring match against Canada in S. Carolina. I haven't watched a lot of Rugby, but the matches I've seen before yesterday have been a lot more entertaining. Stupid mistakes coupled w/ a lot of fouls made for tough viewing, but I can only think of 7 or 8 ways to better spend Independence Day than cheering on the US Team. The mediocreness of the game didn't stop me from picking My Eagle though: Chris Wyles is a strong fullback who plays for Saracens FC in Watford... & he was sporting a SWEAT mustache.
    w/o the stache

    In other Rugby news, The Saline Celtic Fest is next weekend which means the Mr. Pretty Legs in a Kilt Contest will be Friday night in the bar tent & on Thursday there wil be an evening of Rugby matches in downtown Saline. Be sure to press your kilt & meet us out there for beer.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Andre's Big 37

    We just got back from the Ypsi parade which was about that same as it always is. As always, we ended up choosing our spot rather poorly. I hadn't been to the parade in a couple years, but that last time I ended up next to some crazy war supporter. Today it was some tool who kept trying to chat up Stephanie about the various parade entrants. of course, the random church floats were ridiculous as always... particularly the New Grace Church... "WHEN I SAY NEW, YOU SAY GRACE!" At least they have an ethos, unlike the other thing that really stood out which was a float publicizing some haunted hayride which will take place in October. I have nothing against the hayrides, but it seems a bit odd to have a float in the 4th of July parade for it. It's be different if it were connected to some sort of year-round orchard like Wiards or something, but as a stand-alone haunted hayride, it's weird. That said, I think I'm going to enter a float next year... something equally ridiculous & self-promoting. It's gonna remind people about my Big 37th B-day which will be coming up just 50 short weeks after the parade. If I do it every year leading up to my 40th, but the time it rolls around everyone in town will be able to say, "Oh, it's that one asshole's birthday... I'm not going anywhere near that party." In which case, it will have sort of back-fired, but @ least nobody will be able to suggest that I didn't make the most of my attention-whoreness.