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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Pudgy's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, August 15th, 2007
10:34 pm
It is time to go.

Yes, this is probably the final entry in this long-running Live Journal weblog. {Look on the User Info page when it was created.}

I had better get it all out of my system here and now.
I know there are only a clutch of LJ'ers who actually ever read this; probably not even enough to suit up for an indoor soccer game. (If you don't know what number that is, then you haven't been reading here, and I am not going to tell you now.)
But that is not the reason why I am moving out. In fact, I am going into the settings here and opening up this LJ to search engines. I shall leave this LJ as an artifact of what could have been done here at one point in time. A time which, it seems very obvious to me now, is gone - and never to return.
Most of my posts here are Public, obviously including this one. I believe there are only eight entries here which are Friends-locked. I have copies of all my LJ entries on an off-line medium; so even if a search engine doesn't completely spider them for its archives, they shall live on.

First, I make an unusual remark here directed to one of the persons who has friended me on this LJ. I can't specially privatize it just for her. I would hope only she clicks on this LJ-Cut. But I can't stop you.

Artvamp (only) should click here.Collapse )

{Why did I not simply E-Mail these paragraphs to Kristie? I did E-Mail her. I know I am on her whitelist for E-Mail. I got no response.}

The actions of LJ | Six Apart are decidely hostile toward any "controversial" content and | or opinions. Six Apart wants to remodel LJ into an advertiser-friendly, "PG-13" wallpaper.
I submit that any content falling into a more restrictive rating group is under threat of future termination. All LJ accounts, both users and communities, expressing an interest in any of these topics are facing the scythe.

  • Bondage / Domination / Sadism / Masochism (BDSM)
  • Erotica
  • Fan Fiction
  • "Leather"
  • Polyamory
  • [Regular] pr0n
  • [On-Line] Roleplaying
Yes, users and | or communities such as kaizersoze125, orgasmoids, all three of robonts LJs, and including the eponymous polyamory, are in the scope. (Anti-erotica vigilantés consider "polyamory" to be a Politically Correct code word for “sexual perversion”.)
Three Communities: ljincest, __loli_lovin, and rape_porn, were terminated for what has turned out to be that Six Apart did not like the content. But it tried to obfuscate its decision by blurbing that the material being referred into those communities was “illegal”. My lie detector went bonkers on that statement. LJ's host servers are in San Francisco, CA., one of the most liberal and tolerant community areas of the entire United States of America. If something on somebody's LJ was hauled into the Federal District Court for Northern California; it would have a very good chance at being ruled to comport to the "community standards" of San Francisco County. Then, the impetus to prove [in the Federal Appellate Court] that it was actually "obscene" or “illegal” would fall upon the shoulders, and into the wallet, of whomever was trying to ban it.
The obvious message being sent here is that Six Apart is intent on censoring "controversial" content and | or opinions.

As somebody who loathes censorship, this is something of which I can no longer remain silent. But I also realize that I shall probably not be allowed to express this viewpoint here, or on any World-Wide Web site maintained by Six Apart.
I shall wind up for now at Insane Journal. But that may be merely temporary.

Ultimately, what everybody needs to realize is the U.S.A. is not the only country on the W-WW. Other countries, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, or the Republic of Korea, have more reasonable and tolerant laws and beliefs concerning "controversial" content and | or opinions, and copyrights. The content needs to migrate to one of these other countries. (For example: Imagery involving zoophilia is legal in Denmark & Brazil. I shall append that zoophilia is one wing of erotica which I do not find arousing. I make this point for demonstrative effect.) Somewhere beyond the long arm of the U.S.A., where cries of “illegality”, and | or "copyright violation" are not automatically and instantly accepted. [I would not consider Canada or Mexico to be sufficiently distant.]

I submit that the main reason LJ | Six Apart is going after fan fiction is not due to any perceived imagery of “underage” characters in sexual situations; but due to fear of future lawsuits brought against whomever owns the servers on which such imagery resides by copyright holders. The illustration of Harry Potter and Snipe would not necessarily have to depict any sexual situation. Just that the copyrighted indicia of [Who owns the illustration rights?] Harry Potter were “infringed”. Similarly, were I ever to concoct and post a drawing or an illustration of Daffy Duck® finally delivering the comeuppance to Bugs Bunny® that that scwewy wabbit so wichwy deserred, an attorney for Warner Bros. would likely have this LJ terminated within thirty-six hours. And the copyright holder would probably go after not only the individual who created the illustration, but after Six Apart for hosting the illustration. Take a guess which defendant would have more money, and would provide the bigger payout to the copyright holder? [Follow the money trail, people. It will always lead to the genuine antagonist.] So that is why LJ | Six Apart is being so zealous and scrupulous about fan fiction and illustrations.

One year ago, I was the subject of an article in the Chicago Reader. I have not discovered who tipped off the newspaper to what I had (and have) been doing on Saturday nights. Not that that person(s) has anything to fear from me.
If you read the article; you absorbed my reasons for keeping that aspect of my life in the shadows. But finally, about five months ago, the article was released from the Reader's pay archive, and I felt it was probably o.k. to let selected persons know that it was out here. [I must adhere to my plank that I will not discuss the subject on this LJ. However, if you go to Yahoo!® Search and type in my full name, the article should be found.] Concurrent with that, I began posting in chicago_cheap (and only chicago_cheap) what we would show.
The verbiage I scribe in those posts is most definitely at a "PG" level.
But I have the perception that even a notice like that is going to be problematic for LJ | Six Apart. I do not want chicago_cheap to be terminated because of my posts.

So I am ready to step down from the soap box here in ‘Bughouse Square’. To the clutch of you who are my genuine LJ Friends, whether it was from one of your film festivals, a long-ago Tuesday night assemblage, or even a more recent post-Wednesday workday get-together, or anywhere else; my farewell remark to you is to bail out of here before you are forced to walk the plank (or are suspended from the yardarms). Get that back-up completed. Find another location where to habitué.
Live Journal | Six Apart is gunning for the lowest common denominator. It wants nothing but plain, placid journals from vanilla people. Ones which will not cause any threats of a boycott aimed at its advertisers from an anti-erotica vigilanté gang, or any threats of a lawsuit from a copyright holder.

Of course, you and I know that real life is not like this. If anything, it is the eccentric and off-beat people like you (& me, if I may be so assertive) which get us through another day, week, fortnight, month, season, or year. I may be fifty-one years of age; but I am not through yet. I just know that here on LJ is not where it is going to happen. I am off to find another battle which can be won equitably.
I am through playing a game in which I do not know all the rules, in which the ones about which I know are changed at the whim of the opponent, and in which the officials in charge of enforcing those rules are biased in favor of the opposition.
I did not care for the episodes when this happened to one of my soccer teams. But I really cannot accept this in everyday life.

(Replies are screened. It might be a long time before I revisit here to see what has been scrawled. But the odds are that even if you decide to take the opportunity to utter, "Good riddance to bad rubbish."; it will probably be unscreened. But then, I would be noticing when and if something untoward happens to you, when you mention it on your LJ. I could probably scrawl, "I told you so.", or "Schadenfreude"; but it would be fruitless, because I know you do not allow non-Friends to reply to your LJ.)

Bye bye, everybody.

Current Mood: discontent
Monday, June 25th, 2007
6:29 pm
Is it lucky to be good?

This report could be swiped by Hollywood the next time it deigns to tap the soccer booster audience in North America. Take your typical amalgam of old & experienced veterans, mix into them some raw recruits, include the unavailability of a key player, and top it liberally with an atmosphere where the “bunker mentality” of "everybody is against us" is allowed to flourish.

I know you've seen a movie like this. But I doubt you ever viewed it occurring live.
This was the backdrop for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007 Final. A sellout crowd of 60,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL., where fans of the U.S.A. were outnumbered by the supporters of Mexico by a ratio of 29 to 1, could likely not believe their eyes as the U.S.A. overcame a 1-nil halftime deficit to win by 1-2.

The U.S.A. had goals from Landon Donovan [from the penalty spot] in minute 62 after Brian Ching was taken down in the penalty box; and the game-winner was a screaming first-time shot on the full volley from twenty yards out by Benny Feilhaber in minute 73. (If this goal does not place in everybody's list of the "Top 5" goals of the year, anti-American bias must still malinger in libraries of soccer reportage.)
Mexico's goal in the first half [minute 44] came about when U.S.A. defender Oguchi Onyewu was beaten on the dribble by Mexico's Nery Castillo to the right wing by-line, from where he crossed to a completely unmarked Jose Andres Guardado in the goal box. I suspect J. A. Guardado's marker should have been the U.S.A.'s Pablo Mastroeni; and this was the clinching reason for his substitution at halftime (for Ricardo Clark). O. Onyewu again did not inspire confidence in his playing. The U.S.A. need to find another dominating central defender.

The U.S.A. played much better in the second half. But again, they could not get the goal which would have settled the outcome before the final whistle. In the 76th minute, a ball out of the back was in pace for B. Ching. He got away from his defender, and then faked Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez out of his jock. He turned his body toward the open goal, and rolled his shot into the right post from fourteen yards.

Mexico pressed for the equalizer. In minute 89, a cross from the right wing became an episode of "indoor soccer". It struck numerous players in the U.S.A. penalty box and then fell to the feet of N. Castillo eight yards out in the center of the pitch. U.S.A. goalkeeper Tim Howard reacted swiftly to his blast heading for the upper left corner.
On the ensuing corner kick, Mexico had a total breakdown in reaction coverage. L. Donovan & DaMarcus Beasley came back up the pitch in a two-v.-goalkeeper foray. L. Donovan drew O. Sanchez to his wing and then made the killer ground cross to D-M. Beasley on the left. D-M. Beasley hit the crossbar. I bet even Jim Egan would have sunk this chance. {Happy birthday, Jim.}
But it did not matter this time. Full time came, and the U.S.A. were the Champions of CONCACAF.

At his post-match conference, Mexico head coach Hugo Sanchez felt that it hurt to lose this match. But it did not hurt as badly as it could have because he felt his players outperformed the U.S.A.'s. If his players continue to play like they did [on Sunday], then one of these days they shall get the victory over the U.S.A.

Afterward, U.S.A. head coach Bob Bradley was not distinctly asked if he thought his players outplayed Mexico. He inferred his contention of H. Sanchez's proclamation by voicing that he had changed tactics, and a player, at halftime because of Mexico's success at finding space in the first half. Mexico had chances afterward, but not many scary ones.

I haven't answered the question I posed. Luck always has a place in games of sport. But it is not the be-all or end-all for those affected by it. Good teams achieve their objectives regardless of any “bad luck” they may encounter. Lesser teams ascribe their losses to “bad luck” because it distracts attention from the constitution, exertion, and coaching, of themselves.

I thank Mr. Steven Torres of CONCACAF for all his assistance in my coverage of the Gold Cup Tournament.
{An extraneous note: These reports may soon appear in print. But I cannot yet disclose the details.}

Interestingly enough, both the U.S.A. & Mexico will compete in CONMEBOL's [South America] "Copa America" tournament in Venezuela. [Telecasts on GolTV™.]
The U.S.A. roster for this tournament is significantly different from that of the Gold Cup. Copa America is going to be the tournament where the new, up-&-coming players for the U.S.A. are going to be dropped into the pressure cooker {or perhaps you prefer, ‘thrown to the wolves’}. The U.S.A. are in a group with Argentina, Paraguay, & Colombia. "Three-&-out" is quite probable.
Mexico are in the same group as Brazil. So they won't have an easy time either.

For myself, the melancholy aspect of the achievements of the U.S.A. National Team is that, through the 1990s and extending through the 2002 World Cup, we were raising the awareness of the quality of the players which we had, and putting people in the stands to cheer for them at the stadia where we played.
But since some dubious political and military decisions made by persons in offices (both elected and appointed), further complicated by their utter ignorance of soccer [This U.S.A. team should get an invitation to the White House. But they probably will not. And I am of split mind as to whether they should go if public outcry compels the issuance of a summons.], our players get no support from enough people in the stands wherever they go. The Ivory Coast was having a genuine civil war over a year ago. But when the national team qualified for the 2006 World Cup, a cease-fire was declared which still holds forth. Playing in a war-damaged, empty stadium must even be preferable to scenes such as the one this past Sunday in Chicago, IL., U.S.A. (or should I scribe the U.S.M.?)
The saddest aspect of which is being unable to remedy this.

Current Mood: melancholy
Friday, June 22nd, 2007
4:32 pm
An expected final. An unexpected procedure.

The results were simplistic. The U.S.A. defeated Canada by 2-1. Mexico defeated Guadeloupe by 1-nil. The patterns of the teams were much more complex.

One must contemplate that the U.S.A. National Team is transitioning. Of the 23 players on the roster for the U.S.A., six have played for it since the 1990s. Of those six, only two have a reasonable glimmer of hope of being on the roster should the U.S.A. qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

But unlike other nations with a deeper soccer heritage, soccer in the U.S.A. is unprepared to handle a downturn in the on-field record of the national team. For a comparison, look no further than Trinidad & Tobago. They qualified for the 2006 World Cup (they won a playoff tie versus Bahrain of Asia). But this year, T&T had a labor dispute. The players from last year who felt they didn't receive enough money from T&T's appearance refused to play in the Gold Cup. T&T effectively entered a “B” team into the tournament. They went three-&-out.
{Did I hear you utter, "That couldn't happen here."? It nearly did, in February 2005.}
Will there be a fallout from T&T's poor performance? Yes. But they'll get beyond it. It is not as though there is a horde of antagonistic fans of cricket in T&T's media who will pounce on any unsuccessful display from T&T's soccer team to try and regain lost linage.

Going back to last year; recall the short-term frenzy which accompanied the U.S.A.'s effort in Germany. Did it occur to you that everybody was grossly upset about the (admittedly pathetic) foray versus the Czech Republic? Including media members whose articles about soccer in their publications could have been counted on one hand?

There was a fallout. Head Coach Bruce Arena was informed that his contract would not be renewed.
The replacement? Bob Bradley, an ex-Chicago FIRE® head coach.
The Gold Cup is CONCACAF's prestige event. It is North America's equivalent to the European Nations' Championship, of which the qualification round for that is occurring as I scribe. You'll be awash in news and coverage of it next year at this time, even in North America.

It is a tournament which the United States Soccer Federation knows it has to do well; if not win. It ranks second only to World Cup qualifying.
Since the U.S.A. has risen in the F.I.F.A. rankings, it is now when we discover that the players who have gotten us to this point are past their peak playing days. They have to be supplanted. But not before we achieve a respectable result in the Gold Cup.
U.S.S.F. will never publicly express this; but getting to the Gold Cup Final has achieved its desire.

Immediately after this (& I do mean immediately), the U.S.A. will compete in CONMEBOL's [South America] "Copa America" tournament in Venezuela.
The U.S.A. roster for that tournament will look drastically different from that of the Gold Cup. Copa America is going to be the tournament where the new, up-&-coming players for the U.S.A. are going to be dropped into the pressure cooker {or perhaps you prefer, ‘thrown to the wolves’}. The U.S.A. are in a group with Argentina, Paraguay, & Colombia. "Three-&-out" is quite probable.

On the pitch, the amalgamation of the new and the old is showing in subtle ways, and not always for the good. The effort and desire of the team is a constant. But the capacity to score the goal, or prevent the opposition from scoring the goal, goes off-track at times. The cliché you would use is "a lack of the “killer instinct”". We have managed to get two goal leads on other nations, but do not get the key third goal; and in the quarter-final & semi-final games versus Panama & Canada, we allowed the opponent to get a goal while playing 10-v.-11 [Panama]; and were nearly caught in second-half stoppage time by Canada. (An assistant referee thought that a flick-on header came from a Canadian player and flagged for offside which was given, when it truly bounced off U.S.A. defender Oguchi Onyewu's head.)

Combined with Mexico head coach's Hugo Sanchez's post-match remark, "It is time for us to defeat the United States.", and the spectre of 95% of the 65,000 persons in the stands at Soldier Field [the game is an official sellout] rooting for Mexico (with a substantial portion of those supporters booing and whistling the U.S.A.'s Landon Donovan every time he touches the ball), I expect Mexico to win. I just hope it does not get ugly (either on the pitch or in the stands, or any combination thereof).

Mexico defeated Guadeloupe by 1-nil; but only by 1-nil. Guadeloupe goalkeeper Franck Grandel was superb. He made saves which should have been a second, third, and fourth goal for Mexico. The only time he was beaten was immediately after a Mexico substitution. The new player, Fernando Arce, played the ball shortly off to his right, where captain Pavel Pardo hit a ripper from over twenty yards out which found the upper left corner of the net [70']. Guadeloupe competed well. Their defense was solid and disciplined. But their chief offensive threat was their speed; which subsided throughout the game, and was expended by the time when they had to get the equalizer in the last twenty minutes.
It would be intriguing if this team had a future. Guadeloupe head coach Roger Salnot maintained his belief that since Guadeloupe is essentially another state of France [thus, its players carry dual citizenship - both Guadeloupe and France - and with the French citizenship, they can play for any club team in the European Union], CONCACAF is as far as the team can compete. And only as long as CONCACAF invites it to compete.

Current Mood: hopeful
Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
11:48 pm
Who are these guys? Where are they from?

The world may be becoming a smaller place. But I suspect that most of those who manage to read this article have no idea of the precise location of Guadeloupe. The afore-mentioned country is the surprise fourth semi-finalist of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007. [Are you studying yet? I will ask you for what CONCACAF stands later on.]
Guadeloupe has defeated a clutch of nations to get to this point; including Honduras by 2-1 this past Sunday in Houston, TX.

The ride may halt here. For their ‘reward’, they get to face Mexico in the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader semi-finals at Soldier Field. The promoters expect nearly 50,000 for the match, and 95% of those in attendance will be rooting for Mexico, whom many other prognosticators expect to win the Championship. This may be a bit too much for a nation whose most recent appearance at a Final Round tournament was when its Under-20 men's team competed at an event in Canada in 1992.

Part of the reason why you may not have heard of Guadeloupe is that, technically, it is not a nation. It is part of the overseas arrondissement of France. Fifty years ago, you would have referred to it as a "colony".
This does not prohibit it from competing in international soccer. Hong Kong was always entered in World Cup qualifying. You might even have a deep enough memory of when the U.S.A. had to face the Netherlands Antilles in a World Cup play-in round.

But Guadeloupe may not get to participate even should it come up with two more sensational upsets at Soldier Field on Thursday night and on Sunday afternoon. It has to do with its fees to F.I.F.A. The piece of gold awaiting the champion of this tournament is CONCACAF's entrant in F.I.F.A.'s Confederations' Cup 2009 South Africa. The Confederations' Cup is a “tune-up”, or a dry run (if you will), for the nation of South Africa before it hosts the World Cup in 2010. The six champions from each confederation will play a tournament very similar to this Gold Cup. Some politics is indubitably involved; but Guadeloupe, or some nation which is responsible for its debts, must get its finances in order lest F.I.F.A. dictate that it cannot represent North America.

Half of the Guadeloupe team play professionally for club teams outside of Guadeloupe. You get no croissant if you guessed that most of that half play in France. You might if you mentioned that some of the other teams which have Guadeloupean national team players are Sheffield United (England) & F.C. Utrecht (Netherlands). But it wouldn't help you were I to type the actual names of these guys. You've never heard of them, and neither have I.

This is where the weakness transforms into a strength.
If you're one of the starters for Mexico on Thursday night, what is occupying a space in your brain which will not be erased regardless of how much head coach Hugo Sanchez is preaching to you to dismiss it, is the viral thought, “Mexico is the strongest nation in North America. All the people in the stands will be rooting for Mexico. But who is the player on Guadeloupe for which to be most wary?
He cannot deduce.
Everybody in the region has seen Mexico play. They know what is going to be attempted.
But hardly anybody has seen Guadeloupe play. Guadeloupe did not have the predominant share of possession in their match versus Honduras on Sunday. They had only three shots at goal (and the third shot was in second-half stoppage time). Their first two shots on goal went in. They made that hold up for the victory.

The soccer gods are bizarre and perplexing creatures. When you roll the ball onto the pitch, anything can happen, and it frequently does. In a Gold Cup semi-final in 1998, the U.S.A. defeated Brazil by 1-nil [via a free-kick goal from Preki, and some incredible goalkeeping from Kasey Keller] (I was in the stands at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that night.). The prize we received? A match-up in the Final at the same stadium that Sunday versus Mexico. Yes - it was another Mexican “home game” in the U.S.A. We lost by 1-nil.
But in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup in 2000, in the same stadium, Canada managed to defeat Mexico by 1-2 in extra time, and they wound up winning the Gold Cup. (What is the other semi-final on Thursday night? The U.S.A. will contend Canada.)

Do you want me to make a prediction? Since I don't know you; I will be explicit and scribe that the way to act upon my predictions would be to bet the opposite way. If I had a “fantasy soccer” team; it would probably be relegated to the fourth division by week 39.
But here goes: If Guadeloupe defeat Mexico on Thursday, half the audience will not return on Sunday, and CONCACAF will not outdraw baseball on Sunday. The latter aspect would undoubtedly unsettle most media outlets were it to occur.

[CONCACAF stands for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. I was published in 1993 suggesting that CONCACAF should change its name to the easier-to-remember-and-pronounce "Society of North American Footballing Unions".]

Current Mood: working
Friday, June 15th, 2007
2:09 pm
Paucity of content

Hello. Due to the panic by Live Journal | Six Apart, which resulted in hundreds of LJ accounts (on all levels) being "permanently suspended" via a vigilanté gang's pressure; this LJ is being de-emphasized.

The “bean counters” at Six Apart are most assuredly running the operation.
“Bean counters” want no content or discussions which could scare away an advertiser's funds.
The next step will be the forced placement of advertisements on each and every LJ weblog.
If you are seeking a weblog service which does not censor, try Multiply or Greatest Journal.

Current Mood: moody
Sunday, May 13th, 2007
7:22 pm
I forgive, but I seldom forget.

I thank the confidential respondent who sent me this Live Journal entry scribed by somebody else who resides in Chicago.

Current Mood: pleased
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
3:58 pm
Upcoming highlights

I have to make an entry today. The 25th of April is one of a clutch of days in which my life changed. In particular, it was 25 April 1991. Unless you've gone into my soccer rubric (and due to the mainstream media's ignorance of the entire matter), you might not know that this was when we won the National Professional Soccer League Championship. Yes, we were the first Chicago franchise to win a championship in the 1990s (months ahead of some other team which grommed all the linage). I've scribed about the events of that day several times.
Myself, John Keller, and later, Jim Egan were in Fairborn, OH. that Thursday night. (I drove John in the 1987 Sprint. We had lunch at the relatively new Broad Ripple Brewpub in Indianapolis, IN. Jim had to work a little longer, so he drove separately.) I'll just note that, if you have ever seen the photograph taken by Sue Rubey on the turf of the Ervin J. Nutter Center @ Wright St. Univ. after our incredible overtime victory in game #3 versus the Dayton DYNAMO [Why can't Major League Soccer® use some original nicknames? Or does it just figure that no one will remember or notice?], you see the late Frank “Sarge” Kracher on the left edge of the photograph near Peter Wilt. But you will have to look very keenly to spot me. All you can see is my forehead and eyes. Jim, to my left, was completely obscured by some POWER players in front of us.
{I don't have the photograph in a convenient spot here, so I can't retrieve it to tell you who specifically it was.}
Might you have a reproduction of this photograph? Yes. It was given out one night in the summer of 2001 by the Chicago FIRE® when it saluted the 1981 STING & the 1991 POWER.

The other off-kilter corollary to 25 April? For a time circa 1978-1980, I was sporadically described as looking similar to Al Pacino (particularly in "Dog Day Afternoon"). (I have shaved; mostly for Sunday [c.v.].)

Tonight, I encourage you to watch the second leg of the Final of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup with Pachuca F.C. v. CHIVAS de Guadalajara [both of Mexico]. It will be at 20:30 hours on Fox Soccer Channel [English & Español]. The first leg at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara ended 2-2. I will go onto the limb here and scrawl that Pachuca should win tonight [N.B.: Away goals do not count double in this tournament.]; and that will qualify them for the F.I.F.A. Club World Cup Japan 2007 in December, which I shall again apply to cover.
{Yes, I have a problem with CONCACAF scheduling this competition during a span in which MLS teams are mostly dormant. The dates had better change in 2008.}

Here's my schedule for this weekend.
Friday night, at the University Center of Robert Morris Univ. @ 525 S. State St., David A. Wilson will present "The Returning Trolley: The Reintroduction of Streetcars in American Cities" at the Central Electric Railfans' Assoc.'s monthly meeting [19:00 hours]. The program, which is technically free only to members of C.E.R.A. (but of which it has been a long, long time since I encountered anyone checking I.D.'s at the door), will run between 80 and 120 minutes.

Late night on FridayCollapse )
Saturday night [no Bay City Rollers' references]Collapse )

On Sunday, it's time for another television taping of Chic-A-Go-Go! at 15:00 hours at Chicago Access Corporation's studio at Green St. & Van Buren St. Jake & Jackie block a three-hour time slot for this. I forget which bands will appear. Click through on the W-WW site for that info. (I compose these lengthy LJ entries off-line.)
I'm going to be bringing a bunch of old copies of both Bust and Giant Robot magazines. The stacks of publications at the domicile here are approaching Sears Tower levels. Still, I loathe merely tossing these into the trash bin. The issues do not have any addressing identifying me on them. I will dump these on the table in the hospitality room.
I will not be going to the FIRE match in Bridgeview afterward. I might wind up watching it on television at a tavern somewhere, though.
And that's it for the next five days.

Current Mood: okay
Friday, April 20th, 2007
9:53 pm
Friday's events

Just a small note: I had to take my dad to Resurrection Hospital for a catscan and some other diagnostic tests.
I went to Butera while he was being examined. Afterward (it took him only 2½ hours), mom wanted us to stop at Tony's Finer Foods for cannoli, and potatoes.
It didn't have the cannoli.

Current Mood: productive
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
9:37 pm
This weekend, and next.

I'll keep this brief.
Tomorrow, at 19:00 hours is the Central Electric Railfans' Assoc.'s monthly meeting at Robert Morris College on S. State St.
When that concludes, I'll amble over to Cal's Bar (@ Wells & Van Buren) to see The Strange Attractor play out [$5].

On Saturday, I'll view the documentary "Hot And Bothered" at 19:30 hours at the Leather Museum & Archives at 6418 N. Greenview Ave. [$5]
When that finishes, I'll head to the Twisted Spoke on Ogden Ave.

Next weekend, beginning on Friday (30 March), I'll be off to Strongsville, OH. for the Cinema Wasteland Movie Exposition.
I'm riding Megabus to Cleveland, will take the Cleveland Rapid Transit from downtown to Cleveland Airport, and then the Holiday Inn - Strongsville's courtesy van to the hotel, which is the exposition locale. I'll be there until Sunday afternoon. The bus will return me to Chicago on Sunday night (1 April).

Current Mood: nerdy
Friday, March 2nd, 2007
6:10 pm
Personal update

I want to do stuff this weekend. So I will start tonight. I am finally going to The Kinetic Playground, a newish place with a fabled name originally used for a music space in Chicago in the early 1970s. It is on Lawrence Ave. just off the Lawrence station of the Red Line “L”. It is a late-night place open until 04:00. I doubt I would last there that long (although I could, because both the Red Line & the #77 Belmont bus have Owl Service), but it means that at the least, I won't get there until around 21:30. I am hoping to meet some people there whom I may only know from the internet.

Tomorrow night, I am not going to the Chicago Beer Society's Night of the Living Ales at Goose Island Wrigleyville. (It is sold out anyway.) The reason being that having too many beers during the day on the night when I emcee at the Twisted Spoke tends to leave me quite tired by the time 03:00 hours occurs.

I will be doing something beer-oriented on Sunday.
The Logan Square Draught Beer Preservation Society shall have its 3rd Annual March 4th Internationale Hiking Day Pub Stroll. The origination point will be the Map Room Tavern (1949 N. Hoyne Ave. - @ Armitage Ave.) at 15:00 hours. Each pub stop shall be 45 minutes, and then a 15-minute hike to the next location. They will be:

  • 16:00-16:45 Green Eye Lounge (2403 W. Homer St.)
  • 17:00-17:45 Streetside (3201 W. Armitage Ave.)
  • 18:00-18:45 Dorothy's Liquor (3219 W. Armitage Ave. ~ this could be challenging)
  • 19:00-19:45 Weegee's Lounge (3659 W. Armitage Ave.)
And that's it for me.

Current Mood: ditzy
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
7:40 pm
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
2:44 am
Saturday, December 16th, 2006
10:16 pm
Tokyo: Take #2; Scenes 2-5.

Having a good map makes travelling through Tokyo a lot better.
For that, I keenly recommend this book. It is smaller in size than the Tokyo Metropolitan Atlas recommended by Steve Schultz at Tokyo Damage Report.

The soccer matches I've covered have been good games. It was mildly discouraging to see Club América so outclassed in their match versus Barcelona F.C.
Four-zero was comprehensive, and it nearly went to five when a late-minute chip came back from the crossbar.

I was thinking during this disassemblage, "What would be the reception a U.S.A. team would get here; presuming U.S.S.F. somehow got the qualifying rounds moved to a time when the teams in Major League Soccer® are playing?"
The crowd's cheering level during Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors F.C. matches was subdued. Was it because they were from South Korea? I wonder if the response to a U.S.A. side would be edging toward negative (especially if the side were D.C. UNITED®)?
At the open media conference last Saturday, a question was asked where will this tournament be in the future? It is set for Tokyo for 2007. The answer was along the lines of, "It would be difficult for another city & country to host this tournament". Of course, it was not so blatantly stated. The typical codespeak of needing accomodations for the teams, media and officials; and the stadia available; was uttered.
You might think a South American country like Brazil or Argentina would like the opportunity; or if Australia would attempt to put itself on the world soccer map by bidding for it. But if it continues to be hosted in Japan; I remain interested in covering it.
For more details about the matches, I encourage you to read the stories at FIFA.com.

It might surprise you to learn that I am not going to Yokohama to cover today's matches. I'll just scribe that on Thursday night, I had the closest call to last year insofar as getting back to Tokyo. With the larger crowds expected today, and especially if the match goes to extra time or penalty kicks; I fear I would not make my connections. Then I would be very upset and probably not in the mood to pack my bag; which is going to be full. It is not that I again plead for help getting back from O'Hare Airport; but that it is going to be bulky; and I have to walk the four blocks from here to the Toei Asakusa Line's station. The train runs direct to Narita, and there is a possibility I could catch a train which would not require even the across-the-platform transfer at Aoto. Once I get to Narita, there are free baggage roller carts which I can use to get to the counter and from there to the boarding gate.
They also exist in the international terminal at O'Hare; and yes, they're free there as well.
I'll take the Blue Line “L” to Jefferson Park, and the #X54 bus from there.

Instead, today I shall go to the Black Lion Pub's Black Beer Fiesta in Meduro. It will be serving a lot of stouts on draft. It's two Toei subway routes from here; the Asakusa to the Mita.

I have explored a number of neighborhoods in Tokyo this year. I did some shopping; and a good deal of window shopping. I was surprised I could not find an inexpensive portable audio cassette recorder to supplant the one I received from dad (because he wasn't using it). That's a General Electric model made in China. I saw one Sony model (also made in China) in one electronics department store, but it was ¥4,110 [$34.74]. It seems that cassette recorders are being phased out in favor of computer-based recorders.
I will bring back about $200 worth [$1 = ¥118] of items.

Current Mood: giddy
Tuesday, December 12th, 2006
9:32 pm
Tokyo - Take #2; Scene 1

Hello, people. I will not fall into the trap of taking so long to compose these LJ Entries from Tokyo that I do not get out into Tokyo.
I am staying at the Khaosan Tokyo Asakusa Annex.
Asakusa [pronounced "ah-sox-ah"] has a touristy portion, but that is across the Sumida River from here.
On Monday, I mailed off thirty picture postcards [¥80 postage each], most of which were the standard nightlife scenes.
But some people were sent a different card, obtained from a rack of free postcards from a bar in Shinjuku. (Who knew?) I think they'll enjoy that card, if it gets to them.

Things are much smoother here with a good map. I can definitely endorse Kodansha's Tokyo City Atlas.
It is better than the Tokyo Metropolitan Atlas recommended by Steve Schultz on his Tokyo Damage Report. (I bought it in Shinjuku where he mentioned it. It costs ¥2,000. It is larger and less easy to carry around and refer to.)

At the Annex here, there is a notebook denoting where are things in the vicinity. There is a 99 Yen Shop three blocks from here [across the river].
I've been buying its package lunches {They're actually ¥199 or ¥299.} and heating them here in the kitchen. They're good. And they're cheap. I also get a 1000 mL bottle of soda for another 99 yen.

The Annex gave very good instructions on how to get here from Narita Airport. People, if you have trouble discerning which Chicago Blue Line “L” trains originated at 54th | Cermak; you would get completely discombobulated trying to figure out which company's trains run on the trackage between Narita and Asakusa. All I'll scribe is that the Keisei Group has trackage rights to run on the Toei Asakusa Line. If you change at the Aoto station when coming from Narita (only on the Limited Express - the Skyliner does not stop there); which is an across-the-platform transfer like at Fullerton, & Belmont on the north side “L”; you will catch a subway train which will stop at the Asakusa station. This ride to | from Narita costs only ¥1,060.

I'll write some more, including some coverage of the soccer games for which I am credentialled, in upcoming entries.
The terse words for now are: Club América have to be more accurate on offense if they want to beat Barcelona on Thursday. They missed many chances, many of them off giveaways by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors F.C. on Monday. They should have won by 3-zero.
They will not get so many gifts from Barcelona. When they get into their offensive area, they need to be accurate, challenging, and seeking rebounds.

It is 12:30 hours [GMT + 9] here in Tokyo; and time for me to go get a cheap lunch.
Did I tell you it costs ¥399?

Current Mood: content
Friday, December 1st, 2006
8:18 pm
Friday, November 10th, 2006
3:58 pm
False positives

I am out the door here in another 100 minutes. I am going to this evening's N.C.A.A. men's Division I soccer first-round match with U. of Illinois - Chicago v. Western Illinois Univ. at Flames Field in central Chicago. [19:00 hours CT | GMT - 6]

When that finishes between 21:00 - 21:30 hours; I will motor north to the Music Box Theatre for a “midnight movie”. It is one I have never seen.
I must see it tonight, because tomorrow night, I'm attending something moderately prestigious instead. {It's not a beer event.}

I need to discuss something which corollates with the on-line experience.
I know all of you know that spam is a distressing problem which affects everybody out here on the internet. One ‘defense’ attempted by some ISPs and on-line fora is a blacklist of certain domains which they feel are devoted to spam.
But these have two significant problems:
° Most spammers use a forged E-Mail address ending in "hotmail.com", "yahoo.com", "gmail.com", "verizon.net", et cetera.
° They block E-Mails from legitimate domains like "spamgourmet.com", "swift-mail.com", "ananzi.co.za", & "fastmail.fm".
The result: Spam E-Mails get through; real E-Mails never get to the recipient's folder.

Go look at any of those legitimate E-Mail services I list. Most of my initial contact E-Mails are from "spamgourmet.com". Why? There are high-level spammers; and there are low-level wannabe spammers. The latter, after receiving what is a genuine E-Mail from me, might decide to add my E-Mail address to a list which he will try and sell to, or collect money from, a high-level spammer. {He|She will have an attitude, “Pudgy will never know that I submitted his E-Mail address to a spammer.”.} Guess what? If I send him|her an E-Mail via "spamgourmet.com"; and that E-Mail starts getting spam sent to it; guess who has just been outed?
(You would see a subsequent entry in this LJ reading, "______ _________ is a scuzzbucket who puts your E-Mail address on a spam list. Watch out!")

This is what I request from you, as an end user, and from forum administrators.
Please remove "spamgourmet.com" from your domain blacklist. Let your end user see for him | herself that my E-Mail is legitimate. The specific address may be long, but it is genuine. This makes much more sense than blocking me, but letting all those spam E-Mails from popular domains through.

Late soccer update: F.I.F.A. has issued me a credential for the 2006 Club World Cup Japan (10-17 December).
I am still waiting on one for the 2006-07 Chicago STORM [M.I.S.L.].

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
10:37 pm
Wednesday, October 18th, 2006
4:40 am
On-side this time

Here's how my extended weekend schedule is congealing.

Thursday night, 19 October, 19:00 hours CT: Humulus Lupulus: $15.00: The semi-annual beer tasting with complimentary buffet, free raffle, & a live 1980s cover band at Jak's Tap at Jackson Blvd. & Peoria St. (900 W.) [Blue Line “L” stop: UIC/Halsted].
Saturday, 21 October, 15:00 hours: Flossmoor Regalia at Flossmoor Station Brwg. Co. [Metra Electric University Park route / Flossmoor station {you can't miss it} Fare = $5.00 Metra Weekend Pass].
Flossmoor Station won the "Small Brewpub Company of the Year" honor at this year's Great American Beer Festival™ in Denver, CO.
22:00 hours (approx.): I emcee at the Twisted Spoke Tavern @ Ogden & Grand on Chicago's near northwest side. [Blue Line “L” stop: Chicago/Milwaukee]
Sunday, 22 October, 15:00 hours: Chic-A-Go-Go! videotaping at Chicago Access Network Studios at Green St. & Jackson Blvd. [Free!]

Usama Alshaibi is videotaping a dance production number for an upcoming video from him. It is on Sunday; but I do not yet know where and when it is. However, I believe Usama (& Kristie) live in the immediate neighborhood near C.A.N. Studios. So both could be possible.

Current Mood: exanimate
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
11:45 pm
¬¬ I am back ¬¬

I have a new internet service provider [ISP] which is hosting my World-Wide Web pages.
I am paying less per month than I did with my former ISP.

I have actually not yet logged on there; but I have configured my file transfer protocol [FTP] program, and re-uploaded all my W-WW pages to its server.

Please change your bookmarks for my W-WW pages to the following:

Current Mood: confident
Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
12:56 am
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