Wonderful Yuri Day!

As someone who has been interested in space travel since I was a very young boy, I have always known the name of Yuri Gagarin. As we all probably know by now, today is the fifty year anniversary of the citizenry of Earth sending a human being into the unknown. I say citizenry of Earth, because although the CCCP was reponsible for putting Mr. Gagarin into orbit in Vostok 1 (according to maps I have seen, he completed just one orbit, if maybe a little short, depending on specific launch and re-entry co-ords), it is the culmination of the entirety of human achievement. Without the instruction of Kepler, Newton, Von Braun, and many others, modern-day rocketry and orbital mechanics would not be possible. It was Newton himself who said,"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

And Gagarin certainly rode on the shoulder of Giants. He was a young kid, a smiling face, a great centerpiece for the former Soviet Republic. I personally think he was also thought of as a bit disposable should anything go wrong. But it didn’t and he returned alive and probably a bit drunk according to some reports. But hey, who wouldn’t be? He had sausages and according to him, "a little moonshine." There are of course detractors that say the whole thing was staged, as were the Apollo 11 moon landings and 9/11 and so on and so forth. If one follows Occam’s Razor, given the evidence of technology at the time, there is no reason to suspect the launch and orbit were not legit. On one hand, this is rocket science, but on the other, it is really not. Lots of fuel, a big round steel capsule, O2, and a parachute. No problems. We can drop fools into the depths of the ocean and they do not implode; there is no reason we can’t put a man in space, much less on the moon. It is really just engineering.

So let us celebrate today, fifty years after a rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and left poor Yuri floating weightless (which he apparently enjoyed) for one hundred-eight minutes, marking the single most important milestone in the evolution of our species. Yes, I think this was more important than the moon landing, which in my humble opinion was really just the next logical step, no matter who did it.

Okay, I admit Watson and Crick were onto something with the whole double-helix thing, but still… floating in space, dude! You gotta love it! If the Beatles wrote a song about him, it would be thus:

If was fifty years ago today
Korolev told his boy to stay
In space for an hour or two
Everyone’ll be in love with you
Goddamned Russians kick some ass agaaaaiiiinnn…

For all you Sci-Fi geeks out there, I recommend the short story The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan, which is a pseudo-fic narrative of Korolev’s time with the CCCP rocket program. Excellent reading.

Welcome back baseball.

Yes, it is time for the MCHY annual "Welcome back, Baseball!" article. If you don’t like the baseball, go back to China and your ping-a-pong-a table, you filthy red! Take a slow boat to Antarctica for some penguin bowling, you God-less heathen! Find a cave in Afghanistan to play sand checkers with your camel, nasty infidel!

My new hometown baseball team, Baltimore’s Orioles, start their season tonight against my most recent hometown team, Tampa Bay’s "Devil" Rays. I shall watch the game and root for Baltimore’s Orioles, which now contain one of my former hometown team’s, Seattle’s Mariners, arch enemies, one Vladimir Guererro. Here is a pic I am linking to, that exists elsewhere on the Arpanet, that I have not copied to a local server. It is Vlad accepting the "Gifts to Humanity" award for the two bats he gave to some poor Christian kids in Algeria.

Last night I watched the first game of the year of my first hometown team (yes – I have four hometown teams now), Los Angeles’ Dodgers, originally from Brooklyn. Before the game Tommy Lasorda, manager extraordinaire, pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, and Mayor Villaraigosa were on hand to introduce the new season.

Unfortunately, the post-game party was marred by violence between L.A. fans and fans of the team from San Francisco, who we just beat on the diamond. The fans of the Dodgers intentionally beat up some fans of the San Francisco team, leaving one critical. This disturbs me. I have been in the parking lot at Chavez Ravine probably one hundred times in my life, and never had one single problem. Actually, now that I think about it, one guy did bump into the back of my Ford Falcon when I wasn’t moving fast enough in the 4-mile line of traffic. I have to offer apologies to the fans of the team from San Francisco on behalf of the fans of Los Angeles who do not wish to break noses and pound toes. This is not how Angelenos should conduct themselves. They are NOT New Yorkers after all.

Of course, when the fans of the team from San Francisco pull shit like THIS, you gotta wonder. This was flown during the Opening Day game over Chavez Ravine – which is where Dodger Stadium is located.

Interesting note about Chavez Ravine that those not from L.A. probably don’t know: back in the day, the 40’s and 50’s, the eponymous ravine was the home of many poor Mexican families, including migrant agricultural workers. As L.A. grew in size, the ravine was targeted for public housing, and our favorite monster, eminent domain, showed up and got rid of the undesirables. Eventually, the ravine was used for the construction of Dodger Stadium, thus any chicano worth his/her rice in SoCal is an Angels fan as retribution for mistreatment of their people. If you remember the "NO UVAS" bumper stickers on cars in the 80’s, then you know of Cesar Chavez, for whom the area is named. I have met many Mexicanos during my 20 years in L.A. that have told this very truth: if you are a Mexican, you are for the Angels.

Here is my boy Fernando V. in the early days:

And Fernando’s famous "Looking to Jehovah for a Strike" wind-up. When number 34 came north across the border, he inadvertently started Fernando-Mania, which was not localized to Los Angeles only. He was a thrill to watch as a pitcher and enjoyable as a personality. The pics are in black and white cause back in the day, Fernando was too poor to afford colors.

Does anyone remember Steve "Popeye" Garvey? The slugging Dodgers’ first baseman who, on a throw to first, would take the ball out of his glove and lean over and touch the baserunner as he lay safe across first base, having just slid back after taking a lead bigger than he should. I do. I loved Garvey. And Ron Cey and Steve Sax and Mike Marshall and current Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim manager Mike Scoscia.

Happy baseball note: A great retirement to Baltimore’s Orioles Randy Winn, a onetime Seattle and Tampa Bay outfielder that I remember always being good for a hit when you really needed one. He was a hitting machine! Happy retirement Randy.

Sad baseball note: Lou Gormon, the first General Manager of Seattle’s Mariners (’77-’80) died today on their 2011 season Opening Day.

So, today is the first game for a lot of teams, my Orioles, my ex-Mariners (shhh… I still want them to win the division), and others. This will be the first opening day that I know of in Mariners history that Hall of Fame Announcer Dave Neihaus will not be calling the first pitch of the game. Dave passed away November 10; we had a little memorium for him here at MCHY. Duff McKagan (Seattleite and bass player for GnR and Jane’s) talks about Dave being gone and what to do about it. I have been trying to find out who will be announcing the game and am supposing it will be Rick Rizzs. Dave Sims, Mike Blowers, Ron Fairly.


Apparently Seattle’s Mariners are wearing DAVE patches on their right arms for the season as a tribute to Neihaus. Also, Rick Rizzs and Ron Fairly stayed silent during the first pitch of the game saying, "Dave is going to call that first pitch." as he has done for over 30 years. Rizzs also says that when the M’s hit their first grand slam of the year, he is going to replace his traditional "goodbye baseball" with Dave’s "Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it’s grand salami time!" If you haven’t heard that, it is kinda wonderful. Needless to say, the M’s won their first game against the Athletics of Oakland, with King Felix pitching the first ever complete game on opening day in team history. The boys are back… and hopefully not up to their old ways, which is to say, sucking. Click HERE for the tribute page for Dave and a great video of his 9 best calls in M’s history. Totally worth watching even if you are not a baseball fan.

Detroit lost Ernie Harwell last year, Seattle lost Dave; there aren’t a lot of the old timers left. Since I was born in ’69, the only L.A. voice I have even known has been Fall of Famer Vin Scully. Now 83, he has been the voice of the Dodgers for over 60 years. It will be a sad sad day when Vin passes on… I will cry. How do you fill those shoes? I dunno about y’all, but I really like Peter Coyote.

My man Vin – the only person I know who can talk more than me. If you ever get a chance to listen to him, he is amazing. He calls the play-by-play AND does color at the same time. Someone comes up to bat and he will give you their life story in the 3 minutes the sucker is at the plate AND call the balls and strikes and let you know the history of some third-world country cause he can fit that in there, too. After 60 years, you know, you got a LOT to say and Vin Scully says it all. He was with the boys in blue back in Brooklyn for God’s sake. He is MY American Idol!

Nation building?

What the heck is going on over in Libya? Is America back in the nation building game? They say… no… but yet, what the heck are we doing over there? Keeping a no-fly zone so rebels can go get Gaddafi? Huh. The Prez says Gaddafi has to go, but why now all of a sudden? Why not last year? Because his people are making a ruckus in the street? Well, shitfuck… I remember when Americans made a ruckus in the street over the Iraq war with the Impeach Bush signs and all. Where was the international community then? Why did they not come and save us? Me = NOT happy with the administration’s response to Libya. Just saying.

Train Tracks

Aren’t train tracks cool? Whenever I see them, I want to walk them. Think back to 150 years ago when they were the only way to really get around the U.S. of A. How cool was that? Now they crisscross the whole country, most unused, left over from some heyday of a small mining town or a route that petered out from desertion of cities along the way. That is a lot of steel laying around! I think we, the all of us, should go out there and dig it all up and recycle it. Probably a million miles of steel rails unused. I demand a survey!

Our prayers are with Japan.

As much of the world watches the situation in Japan, so do we here at MyCatHatesYou. I have never felt so sick to my stomach as I did when I lay in bed and watched live on CNN the tsunami wash over the coast of the country and wipe out God knows how many people. It was simply disgusting and horrific. What is hitting us here at MCHY so hard is the news, again on CNN, that Kello Kitty has been reported missing. Her village on the coast in Saito was obliterated and has shown no signs of survivors. With our President, we are praying for the miracle that living persons may be found in the ruins throughout the nation. If you are alive, Kello Kitty, we await your return to the world. Your trademark whiskers and ribbon have kept us smiling for so long, the thoughts of the MCHY nation are with you. Hello Kitty, we love you. Below is a picture of her and I when she visited town for the International Pensacola Famous Cat People Conference.

Within 24 hours of the disaster in Japan, which is about the size of California, we sent our top reporter Nigel to the scene, arriving even before the ubiquitous King of Drama Anderson Cooper. Below is a link to his report from our local newsroom in the region.

In all seriousness, as George Takei (shown below in his wedding picture) said on CNN yesterday, “Right now, we are all Japanese.” Well said, Lieutenant Sulu!

Welcome Piper.

Hello, my droogies!

There is yet another addition to the Baxivanos/Edgar family in the feline realm and what a story there is to be told. Not too many months ago we adopted little Nigel from the Hotel for Cats and Dogs here in Pensacola. He was found in a box on the corner of Davis Highway and Olive Rd. There was naught in the box save for some wet food that had dried into crumbles. This is July in Pensacola, mind you. Think: Phoenix, AZ with a meelion percent humidity. Poor little guy is lucky to have made it, but he did. And the minute Athena took him from the secret cage room of quarantine he was all over her, eating her up and she him. So, there is that story as I have already told. But now… but NOW there is PIPER!

Piper made news in Baltimore after being spotted by a passerby being beaten by two teens with sticks and brought to BARC, a local rescue. Her leg was broken and she needed surgery. We have our own theories as to why she was in the predicament she was in. It could have been it was her owner that found her and decided not to suffer the wrath of others by admitting that he let the kitten escape and get beaten. Hard to say. Doesn’t matter, eh… Athena adopted her and brought her home, shaved leg and all. According to Athena, Piper (our name for her – the shelter named her Marilyn, as in Maryland?) is the most rambunctious and lovable kitten ever. She jumps all over the place, broken leg and all. Well, it has a rod in it now. So, I want to introduce our new girl, Piper. Say hi, Piper! SAYYYY ITTT!!! Kudos to my soon to be wife for rescuing another kitty cat in distress. She apparently loves to stick her tongue out, as you can see. Piper, not Athena, though Athena sticks her tongue out as well when she feels the need.

Here is a link to her story: HER STORY

When I get up to Maryland with Nigel and the rest of the menagerie, it will be interesting times indeed. :)

I have a huge list of stuff to post to the news here cause I think… well, I think a lot, and I can’t fill up your minds with useless garbage. But here is a good one.

I call it… Six Degrees Of Barack Obama. We have all heard of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game, yes? Of course we have. That is like… soooooo last millenium. Anyway, I posit the next incarnation: SDOBO! And I have to say with a little bit of artistic license that I am only ONE FUCKING DEGREE away. How so, Jim, HOW SO?

Let me tell you, oh my lovelies! Back in the mid nineties, Strabo and I (I can’t give away his real name or he will kill me, but anyone who visits the forums knows him) had season tickets for the Seattle Mariners. Ahhh, what a waste of money. OR WAS IT? Sure Seattle sucked for years and we spent thousands of dollars a year for the privilege of watching them suck away. But hey, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez and A-Rod (before steroids). You gotta love these guys, as the motto went. So, Strabo and I used to go the Kingdome for almost every home game and drink crappy whiskey and smoke cigarettes while our team toiled to make the last place slot in the AL West. Many years were spent at the Kingdome before it was blowed up!

We then moved over to the Safeco Field when the Kingdome got blowed up. As season ticket holders, we had first dibs on great season seats and tickets for the inaugural game, July 15, 1999, attended by ~47000 folks. I still have the ticket. Lifelong and recently departed broadcaster Dave Niehaus threw the first pitch in the new stadium. I remember this brightly because there was a big mystery around who was going to throw the first pitch. Usually you would have some political figure or local baseball great come out and make the big pitch. This is not a small thing, mind you. It is not every day much less every year that a MLB stadium opens to the public, having only thirty-something stadia in the country. As I recall, everyone, both teams, were down on the field waiting… and Dave is called to the mound in his tux and man was that something! Dave was crying, the fans were crying, it was quite a moment. Here is our announcer who faithfully sat in the box for twenty-two years, since the inception in 1977 of the Mariners, through thick and thin, calling every play for the worst team in history. Fucking awesome. Anyway, that game was rolling along great for us, beating the San Diego Padres until the evil that is Jose Mesa came in as a saver and BLEW the god-blessed game for us. Yeah, well where is HE now? Exactly.

Dave Niehaus passed away Nov 10, 2010, from a heart attack during a bbq at his home in Bellevue, WA. Dave, us Mariners fans thank you for three decades of service to the Northwest. If you are in heaven, please say hi to Jackie Robinson for us. If you are in hell, say hi to Babe Ruth. I remember sitting in a bar in Chico, CA, watching the one-game playoff between the then California Angels and the Seattle Mariners that had fought so valiantly down the stretch to come back fifteen games down. 1995, what a season, and the only feed we had in the bar was from Seattle, and I was the only Seattle fan present. Dave called the game and we won 9-1 and I snuck out the back door.

MY oh MY, Dave, MY oh MY. You will be missed my friend.

So, there we are, Strabo and I, at the first ever game in Safeco Field, drinking the beers and being the fans we always were. Woo hoo and all that shit. We run out of beer and go to get more and I stumble about and bump into this little Chinese guy and almost spill what is left of my swill all over him and his nice suit. Then I recognize him and stumble over my apology, "I am so sorry, Governor Locke, my bad, etc." He is gracious and smiles and goes back to getting his own beer. Our Washington state governor, Gary Locke, almost gets my beer all over him. And that was just the first time I had a run-in with him at a Mariners’ game. Being that our seats were right behind home plate, I saw him a few times, sitting right in front of me, almost spilling beer upon him again. So, there is my 1 degree of Barack Obama. My Governor was brought on to the Obama administration as the Commerce Secretary and now he is going to be the U.S. Ambassador to China. Go Gary! I really like the guy as a politician and even more so as a Mariners fan!

Personally, and I can say this without being browbeaten I hope, I would like to see him run for President in 2016. He is a smart guy and being the first ever Chinese-American Governor, and the Governor of a Pacific Rim state, he might be able to put Taiwan in their place, wherever that may be.

One more thing before I go: welcome home for the last time Space Shuttle Discovery!! Only two launches left. Sort of sad, I think. I have been alive for all the launches and two of the failures. The shuttle program has been the most successful of any space program in the short history of such Endeavors. (no pun) Godspeed and safe returns to the next two missions. On Feb 1, 2003 I posted a news entry about the destruction of the Columbia that was, with all blessings, passed along to the families of the astronauts that died that day. Don’t ask me how that happened, but one of our fans was related to one of the pilots. From Apollo-1 to STS-107, I pray that we never lose another person in our quest to explore our universe.

Hello cat-worshippers in Egypt.

The trouble in Egypt – a parody.

When things started looking bad for the President of Egypt seventeen days ago, I felt obliged to give my old buddy a call and see how he was doing. I held off. My thoughts were that the populace of Cairo, which is only a fraction of the entirety of the country, would take a collective chill pill and return to the huts from whence they erupted… play some backgammon or something.

It was not to be. Some demonic cabal was at work… of this I had no doubt. The air would be thick with their unseen tendrils, filtering throughout the city, entering sacred sleeping chabmers, lashing at their unwitting inhabitants and corrupting their minds.

During the last few days, I saw that my concerns were well-founded. Driven by Facebook – created by well-known Zionist Mark Zuckerberg – the crowds reappeared, as a multi-headed beast intent on the destruction of its own lair, its soul black and crusted from the residence of evil inside. I knew it was time for me to make the call. I told my buddy I would only post this transcript after such time that he would not be in office anymore. "Why add the insult to the injury?" he said.

Me: Hosni please. (waiting) Hosni, please. (waiting) Yes, tell him it is Jim, President of MyCatHatesYou. (some beeping like the call is being recorded)

Hosni: Jeem.(as he likes to call me) Jeem, I am not knowing what to be saying.

Me: Hosni, my friend. I have been watching the television and…

Hosni: But not… the satellite television?

Me: Huh? Oh, no. No, of course not. I have the cable television.

Hosni: Jeem, the satellite television is the television of infidel. You understand, yes?

Me: Of course I do, Hosni-dah. (That was sort of my name of respect for him. Like I called my grandfather Grand-pappy-Joe) The satellite television brings turmoil to your country.

Hosni: (sounding forlorn) Oh, Jeem, no idea you have. Is sheet! Very much sheet. I am too old to be beaten about my face, head, and neck areas. Last week I had a fart I thought would take my ass with it!

Me: What are you planing to do? It is looking crazy out there. You have some money?

Hosni: Well, you know Jeem. I have a lot of money I have stolen from the banks, so I don’t need Egypt-Care. My health is guaranteed by Allah and gold. ‘Nuff said.

Me: Do you still have your property in Sharm el-Sheikh?

Hosni: Of course! Do you think I have the brain of a camel?

Me: Maybe it would be good to take a vacation there for… the rest of your life. You have money, a million people are in the streets of Cairo and they seem to want you gone. Thirty years is a long time my old friend. I think you should leave and retire in style.

Hosni: (sighing) Yes, Jeem, my old friend. I have many monies in my Swiss accounts. Perhaps I will leave my country to their own, how do you say, devices.

Me: Hosni, have you thought about building another pyramid for your grave, should you ever die? Maybe put your face on the top with a large light that shines across all of Egypt.

Hosni: Because I am a Pharoah, of course I will have a pyramid. With solar power and baseboard heat. Do you know a good contractor?

Me: I will send you an email, Hosni-dah. Take my advice and get a good tan at Sharm el-Sheikh.

Hosni: I have to say, my friend, the Internets is a crazy place. I had Facebook and only had 4 friends. Not even my children. Some guys from Kentucky of your country. Now I have to go and eat some dates, fava beans, eggplants, lentils, and shawerma. And beer, of course.

Me: Good luck Hosni-dah. If I do not talk to you soon, please be careful.

Hosni: Of course. Allahu Akbar my friend and I will talk with you in the next life perhaps!

Me: Goodbye, Hosni.

Hosni: (sounding restrained) Let the fuck go of me! I am Pharoah of Egypt. (tussling in the background) What you are to putting a needle in my neck? GAH! Okay, I need lentil. Momma!

That is the transcript of my last call to Hosni Mubarek. I call his cellphone now and all I get is a recording in Arabic that says something like, "(beep… BeeP… BEEP!) Due to the revolution in our area, the dictator you are calling can not be reached at this time."

I hope Hosni-dah is doing okay. But I have to say at this moment that due to the Facebook, the Twitter, and of course, the MyCatHatesYou, Egypt is now free of their dictator government and is now under the control of the military which, being conscripted, probably do not want to massacre their own families and such. In America we have no problem with that. (see: Kent State, Berkeley, etc)

The trouble in Egypt – for real.

In all seriousness, which we are not well-known for, it is quite a monumentous day in Egypt, and very much so, the world. I am 41 years old and besides the fall of the Berlin Wall – which was symbolic of Communism, but was not Communism itself – this is the craziest shit I have ever seen. Without replaying all the punditry of the last 18 days, it is imperative to give credit to the Egyptian people for changing their country almost overnight. One thing I have not heard, from anyone, is the name M.K. Gandhi. There are parallels between the events of 65 years ago and the events of the last couple of weeks. Non-violence, strikes, relatively few lives lost, a great nation proclaiming their independence from tyranny.

We wish the best for the people of Egypt and pray to all the ancient gods that they are able to bring about a great democracy in the Middle East. It can be done and Allah willing, hopefully it will be done. What many are calling the largest Islamic nation has a long road ahead of it, but this is not unprecedented in the history of our planet. At the same time, the situation reminds us of the proverbial babe in the woods. A country that has been abused by native and non-native regimes, it is their time to shine and carefully script their future. And right now, there is really no one in charge, we know that, no news there. It reminds me of the time Compuserve was bought by AOL. The only thing that was sure for me was my paycheck and that was not even guaranteed. Good luck, oh my brothers in the Middle East! I still want to see your country. And don’t fuck Israel up too much, huh?

This may be a stretch to say, but as Jesus said, "The geeks will inherit the earth." Okay, he didn’t really say that, but I have to give a shout out the my fellow geeks that fostered change in Egypt. The Google executive, Wael Ghonim, who was imprisoned for 10 days, blindfolded, and set up a Facebook page to organize the protests, has been queried for a leadership, even Presidency, role in Egypt. He says no, but imagine getting back to work at Google. Just another day in the office. Without Facebook, Google, and Twitter, the revolution we have witnessed in real-time may not have been possible. It is such a different paradigm to revolutions past. No blood, no Generals, no armies; simply people armed with information, passion, and cellphones. Who would have ever thought?

Now, more hilarity!

I hope you will enjoy these Biblical parodies. It is all I have to offer at this moment.

There ya go! And never let us forget the great Tony Millionaire’s MAAKIES strip:

Need more cats!

I need a lot more cats. I lost one of my hard drives and need hi-res large images of your cats for a few books I be werkin’ on. Rock on, honkies! (and non-honkies)

Go to the CONTACT link on the main page and send me the goods. You know you got ’em… don’t hold back. I know people in the KGB.