May 31, 2009

Outdoor Photo of the Week: Mailbox Peak

From the summit of Mailbox Peak, Casey gazes off at Mount Rainier in the distance. The hike was about 6 miles round trip. 2.5 miles up at over 4,000 elevation gain. And despite the warm weather, there was still snow at the top. The small gray road below the rock Casey is sitting on is Interstate 90. Photo taken May 27, 2009. (Photo by Jeff Hudspeth, Issaquah, WA)

Click on the photo to make it larger.

Think you've got a great outdoor photo? Want to see it hosted on Just South of North? Send your submissions to

Please include your name, a short caption about the photo (date, location, and what makes it special) and your location.

Check back each Sunday for a new Outdoor Photo of the Week.

Worst places to clean

Today I had to clean. Spring clean. Which, is not much fun. Unless you like cleaning (which I do not).

Here's the JustSON Top 10 WORST places to have to clean:

1. An elephants butt. Pretty much self explanatory.

2. A college dorm room. My first roommate in college used to wash his dirty clothes, then bring the wet clothes up in a hamper, put it under his bed and leave it. The stench was overwhelming.

3. The kitchen in the photo above. Who knows what would be growing in there!

4. A high school bathroom. That place was disgusting. I remember that kids would smear poop on the walls. I feel very bad for high school janitors.

5. A pig farm. Pigs are gross. Pigs like their own filth. Pigs stink.

6. Between John Madden's ears. So much hair. So little time.

7. Under a roller coaster. Think of all the neat things you'd find there. Watches, change, wallets. Oh, and the not so neat things, partially digested corn dogs.

8. Frat bathroom. Two words, vomit and poop. Oh wait, one more. DISGUSTING.

9. The fattest guy in the world. You'd have to lift up all the rolls and make sure you scrubbed really really under them. You never know what you might find hiding in there.

10. The cat lady's house. Tons of fur, hairballs, cat urine and cat poop. Not a fun place to be. Not a fun place to be at all.

Lester lets loose

After giving up five earned runs in six innings in his last start, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester appears to be back on track after throwing six innings against the Toronto Blue Jays today, giving up one run and striking out 12. Yowza.

The Sox won 8-2, and if Lester gets it going in the rotation (he has a 4-5 record with 5.65 ERA), the pitching becomes real ferocious for Boston.

The next test will be for tomorrow's starting pitcher, Dice-K. Will he be able to shake off that post-World Baseball Classic hangover? Are we going to see Dice-8.82 ERA? We'll see.

Sounders elbow their way to a fifth straight draw

Well at least it isn't five straight losses. And the Columbus Crew are the defending MLS Champions.

A lackluster start gave way to a wild finish Saturday night at Qwest Field, and when the final whistle blew, nothing was settled.

Sounders FC rallied to earn a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew, but defender Tyrone Marshall, who had played every minute of every Major League Soccer regular-season game before last night, was issued a red card and ejected in extra time of the second half.

So Seattle (4-2-5) had to play out the last couple of minutes with 10 players and yet survived for its fifth straight draw, hardly the result it sought playing at home for the first time in three weeks. The tie didn't necessarily make the players, the crowd of 29,126 and especially coach Sigi Schmid very happy, as Schmid had some choice words for his team about its focus and being overly concerned about the referee's calls.

And here's the good part, concerning Marshall's ejection...

Marshall's ejection came when the assistant referee came to the conclusion that Marshall threw a punch at the Crew's Steven Lenhart, as Schmid understood it. Marshall fumed after the game and was incredulous that the call came so late in the match.

"He ran into me with his elbow," Marshall said of Lenhart. "Being the competitor I am, I'm not going to take that ... I guess the retaliation, the linesman saw that part, and didn't see the first part of it."

A few seconds further into his diatribe, Marshall stopped. "I probably shouldn't say anymore, because then I'll be getting more fines."

Well said. Although a soccer player throwing a punch instead of falling down and faking an injury is awesome. Maybe next we can have some of the Tri-City Americans skate out onto the pitch and throw a few shoulders into some guys.

At 4-2-5, the Sounders FC are in third place of the Western Conference behind Chivas USA and Houston.

Epic Photo: I guess this Tri-Cities fan wasn't happy

... or he's saying the Shock are No. 1.

Spokane Shock vs. Tri Cities Game Photos

The Shock crushed the Tri-City Fever 60-21 in a game that was pretty much in hand after the Fever fumbled on two straight possessions out of the gate. I got to take the trip down to Kennewick and shoot the game, so here are the photos from the matchup...

May 30, 2009

Off to Tri-Cities for the Shock game

I'm super pumped to be headed down to the Tri-Cities for the Shock game today. Not only will I be able to watch an arena football game be played in Costco (a.k.a. the Toyota Center) but I'll also be getting you all some game photos.

Here's the game advance from Spokane Shock Director of Communications Kevin Maloney

And somebody please pray that my car doesn't explode on the way down to Kennewick.

Epic Photo: Had to get his dig in on the Yankees


This is a big match ladies and gentlemen, the head coach of the Seattle Sounders FC, Sigi Schmid, will be facing his old team - the Columbus Crew - in the first ever meeting between the two teams. Things are going to be rocking at Qwest Field because the Crew are the defending MLS champions.

Here's a short game advance from

One of the more highly anticipated matches of the 2009 season is ahead at Qwest Field on Saturday night when Seattle Sounders FC entertain defending MLS champions Columbus Crew. It will be the first meeting of the team coached by Sigi Schmid against the club he took to its first league championship a season ago. Both teams come in having not lost in more than a month; Sounders FC are on a five-game undefeated streak with four consecutive draws, while the Crew haven't lost in six in a row, with two wins in their last three.

We'll keep you posted after the game, once I get back from the Tri-Cities tonight or tomorrow.

Giant blob found under Nevada

Okay, it's not Charlie Weis. But it's pretty weird.

Hidden beneath the U.S. West's Great Basin, scientists have spied a giant blob of rocky material dripping like honey.

The Great Basin consists of small mountain ranges separated by valleys and includes most of Nevada, the western half of Utah and portions of other nearby states.

How do you find a giant blob of rocky material though? Do they drill into the ground? Radar or Sonar the area? I remember the time Casey thought he had found a giant blob from underground and it turned out to be dog crap.

Here's how it works: "The Earth's mantle, which lies below the thin outer crust we live on, consists of rock which deforms plastically on very long time scales due to the heat and pressure at depth," West said. "In any material which can flow (including the mantle), a heavy object will tend to sink through lighter material."

And this is what the scientists think is happening with the lithospheric drip. A region of heavier material trapped in the lithosphere gets warmed up and begins to sink into the lighter, less dense mantle beneath, pulling a long tail of material after it.

To me, this thing sounds pretty sinister. Like all of a sudden this blob with start trying to communicate with Humpback Whales and in the process destroy the Human Race.

...the blob is between about 30 miles and 60 miles in diameter (between 50 km and 100 km) and extends from a depth of about 47 miles to at least 310 miles (75 km to 500 km) beneath Earth's surface.

I'm dumb, so I still really don't know what they're talking about. Sounds like something from a bad movie. And if we know anything about bad movies, the ginger always dies first. So I'm not moving to Nevada. Unless it's Vegas. Then I don't care if a blob kills me. Because I'll be high rolling.

And the Sox are back in second place

(Pitcured above is the only 55-year old playing in the majors, Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo.)

The JustSON curse is alive and well. After gushed about knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield and mentioning that the Red Sox were in first place of the AL East, they immediately go out and drop a 6-3 game to the Toronto Blue Jays in a game that Wake didn't really pitch that well in.

Now guess who's in first place of the division? That's right, the evil empire itself.

Well that's just plain annoying.

May 29, 2009

The Bang Bang Club

I got my new issue of Outside Magazine in the mail today and the cover features Taylor Kitsch of Friday Night Lights and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The article was about him fly fishing in Texas, but what really caught my attention in the article is the part about one of his up coming movies about The Bang Bang Club.

Now unless you know photojournalism, chances are you've never heard of the Bang Bang Club. And the same chances are even less that you will have heard of Kevin Carter. Kitsch will be playing Carter in the movie.

Carter is best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning photograph I've posted above. The photo features a small Sudanese toddler on the ground. She is suffering from famine and a vulture is standing watch behind.

I have a feeling that this movie will be released in very select theaters. Much like one of my favorite movies (and best movies of all time) Into The Wild.

Despite the small-scale theater release, Into The Wild, and the story of Christopher McCandless, has drawn praise and awards worldwide.

I believe that, even before seeing it, Steven Silver will do the same with The Bang Bang Club.

Here's the synopsis of the film:

The Bang Bang Club was the name given to four young photographers; Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Ken Oosterbroek and Joao Silva, whose photographs captured the final bloody days of white rule in South Africa. Two were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their acclaimed work.

The film tells the remarkable and sometimes harrowing story of these young men - and the extraordinary extremes they went to in order to capture their pictures. Anna (Malin Akerman) is their photo-editor, who looked out for them, protected them and made sure their photographs were seen across the world.

Based on the book by Marinovich and Silva, The Bang Bang Club tells the true story of these four young men, recounting their relationships with each other and the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering.

The story of these four photojournalists is heart-wrenching and is sure to make an incredible journey across the big screen. The film is set to be released sometime in 2010.

JustSON the Numbers: Baltimore Orioles

This just in: Catcher Matt Wieters for the Baltimore Orioles is making his debut today at 7:05 pm eastern time at home against the Detroit Tigers.

Coming into the season Wieters was voted the #1 prospect by Baseball America. This will be Wieters first regular season game in the majors, he was called up from Triple A Norfolk after batting .305 with a .387 on base percentage, a .504 slugging percentage along with 5 home runs and 30 RBI. Many people are comparing the 6 foot 5 inch, 230 pound switch hitting catcher to the Minnesota Twins backstop Joe Mauer. Wieters, who is 23 years old, is being added to a batting lineup that boasts some very good, very young hitters.

The average age of the starting 8 Oriole position players as well as the designated hitter is 28.3 years old. Consider third baseman Melvin Mora is 37 years old himself, and that really shows how young this lineup is. Just the starting outfield which includes Adam Jones (23), Nick Markakis (25) and Nolan Reimold (25) are putting up some eye popping stats.

Jones is batting .357 with 11 home runs, 36 RBI and 40 runs scored while playing very good defense in centerfield. Nick Markakis (.297 average, 7 home runs, 39 RBI) is continuing the solid season he had last year when he hit .306 with 20 home runs and 87 RBI. Newcomer Reimold has played in only 14 games in the major leagues and is showing some serious power, 5 of his 14 hits have been home runs. You can add the 30 year Luke Scott who is the designated hitter to the mix as well, in just 31 games this season Scott is batting .318 with 8 home runs and 22 RBI.

Also add into the mix 31 year old second baseman Brian Roberts who is batting .306 and leading the team in runs scored with 42, along with the 32 year old Aubrey Huff (.273 average, 8 home runs and 38 RBI) who plays first base, and this is an offense heavy lineup.

The batters box isn't the only place to find youth on this team, the starting pitchers are not long in the tooth themselves. Three of the starters are under the age of 25. David Hernandez (24), made his major league debut yesterday with 5 2/3 innings allowing 5 hits and only 1 run in the victory. 26 year old Jason Berken debuted on May 26th against Toronto and got the win after going 5 innings allowing 7 hits and 2 runs. And 23 year old Brad Bergesen debuted back in April and is 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA in 7 starts.

With all these young players, the Orioles will be pushing for the postseason in the not to distant future after not making the playoffs since 1997. It would be tough for them to make it this year in the very competitive American League East but they will certainly be a factor in the coming years if they can keep this team together.

Good luck to Matt Wieters, he's got a big job ahead of him, what with handling a very young pitching staff and getting himself acclimated to major league pitching.

If anyone has any requests for this column let us know. I don't discriminate, no matter the sport or the stat.

End of an era for Spokane's Sports Show

Spokane's Sports Show went on the air for the last time yesterday as Sean Widmer is moving onto a different position in Radio Spokane. While it's great that he's moving on up and JustSON would like to wish him the best, the sports scene in Spokane just recieved a major blow.

I mean, what are we going to do now when we're driving home from work and want to talk about sports?

(1) Talk to the Spokies holding a sign near the off ramp.
(2) Listen to ESPN Radio and their wonderful "We're going to promote every single sport that's shown on our station but nothing else" motto. Love the WWL, except when it comes to pushing the WNBA and College Softball down our throat.
(3) Call up Dylan Kitzan and make a Mariners' fans comment. Should get things rolling.
(4) Do something illegal, like hit a cow.
(5) Play old shows of Sean's, but that might get old after a few months when the Mariners are 20 games out of first instead of just six. :D

Thanks for all the support Sean with the newspaper and the blog, you've been great and it's good that you'll still be around Spokane. Congrats on the promotion.

Epic Photo: It's OJ!

It appears that OJ Simpson is still looking for Nicole's killer. Good for him.

Note to self

Learn from other's mistakes. Take this guy for example. I learned from him that when you rob a house, wear pants. Or at least more than just a thong.

Yes, a thong.

A man in Andersonville, Tennessee, wearing only a woman's thong, was charged with burglarizing a house.

The police later found him, in the panties, in an abandoned farm house.

Not only is his man card revoked, but now he's going to jail to get beat up. And the only thing I can think of is, why?

It's the death of journalism... teams are canceling their media guides

The best part about being a journalist was getting a fresh media guide just before the first game, and thumbing through its various pages to see profiles, stats and the all important "Campus life at... insert school here."

However, it appears that some schools are doing away with their media guides. This is a sad, sad day in the world of journalism.

Michigan and Ohio State announced Thursday they will save up to $250,000 by eliminating print media guides, following the recommendations of other conferences.

Somebody shoot me. No Media Guides? Now what will I read when I'm on the john?

Actual things I overhead while watching my cousin's little league game

1. "Hit a grand slam!"
"No stupid, that's basketball!"

2. "Stop rolling down the hill and picking up grass, get a bat, you're on deck! And who gave you a McFlurry during the game?"

3. "Brandon, why are you sitting in a pink chair?" (this was true)

4. "Hey, the ball went through that kid's legs, kind of like that guy in the World Series, what's his name?"

5. "Swing the bat with TWO HANDS! TWO HANDS! Good god! Watch out, bat in the crowd!"

6. "Stop running with your hands in your pockets!"

Epic Photo: You tell him, Tito!

Umpire Todd Tichenor, fresh up from the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, make quite a name for himself behind the plate yesterday during the Red Sox-Twins game.

In the seventh inning of a 3-1 victory for Boston, Dustin Pedroia hit a sac fly that brought Jeff Bailey home, and Minnesota catcher Mike Redmond applied the tag (a tag he thought he beat Bailey on). Tichenor called him safe, causing a Redmond to protest.

Tichenor tossed him.

Then Twins manager Ron Gardenhire came out to defend his catcher and was also tossed.

But the young umpire wasn't done. In the bottom of the inning, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek protested a pitch thrown with Tichenor and was also tossed.

Out comes Red Sox Manager Terry Francona - who's not known for his emotional outbursts - came out of the dugout and was shown the door.

Final line - Nine innings, four tossed. Wow.

But hey! Varitek hit two home runs and the Red Sox are 28-20 and in first place of the AL East.

May 28, 2009

JustSON the Numbers: Dwight Howard

Here at Just South of North we have noticed a recent trend. That trend has been whatever person or team that has been featured on JustSON the Numbers has struggled after we have featured them.

Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, 1.65 ERA before being featured, he now sits at 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and his cat died. Then Kasey Keller, 0.19 goals against average before, it's now gone up to 0.60 goals against average.

Even more recently the San Diego Padres had a 10 game winning streak snapped by JustSON because we had to mention it, and Joe Mauer of the Twins was featured sporting a .429 batting average, well he is 1 for his last 7 since.

With all that being said I figured I'd help out the NBA to prolong the Orlando Magic versus Cleveland Cavalier series and focus this edition on Dwight Howard. Since Howard has been such a big factor in this series, as he goes so goes the Magic, which isn't strange since he is the star of the team.

In breaking down Howard's numbers one thing is apparent, if he doesn't score they don't win, at least in the Cleveland series. The only game the Magic have lost in this series is the game that Cleveland managed to control him and that was in game 2. Howard managed only 8 shots in that game converting on just 3 of them and he went 4 of 8 from the foul line, far and away his worst shooting game. The Cavaliers should consider themselves lucky because even though they held Howard to just 10 points (about 10 below his playoff average) in the game, it took a miracle three pointer by LeBron James at the buzzer to finish off Orlando.

If you throw out Howard's dismal game 2 scoring performance he would be averaging 27 points a game in this series as well as an average of 14.7 shots per game and his free throw percentage would be at about 77%.

It appears that if Howard can stay out of foul trouble the Magic should be able to hold off Cleveland tonight at 7:45 pm eastern time on ESPN to advance to their 2nd NBA Finals in the teams history.

Well good luck beating Cleveland tonight Orlando, if the JustSON Jinx holds up it's going to be tough.

If anyone has any requests for this column let us know. I don't discriminate, no matter the sport or the stat.

Management thinks the season is over for the Seattle Mariners

According to the USS Mariner, Seattle has officially given up on the season.

When the Mariners decided to recall Guillermo Quiroz from Double-A to backup Rob Johnson, passing over Jamie Burke, it signaled that a decision on the direction of the 2009 season has been made. Quoting Baker:

In what he termed “a difficult call to make” Wakamatsu had a phone conversation with Burke earlier today and told him the team is looking to go in a younger direction for now.

When the manager is telling the veteran players in the organization that playing time decisions are being based on age, rather than expected performance, it signals that the team has shifted the priority from winning this year to winning in the future. Given where they stand in the division (seven games out of first place, ~7% chance of making the playoffs), it’s the right call. It’s time to pull the plug on the 2009 season, and make moves that reflect the reality that the franchise is putting 2010 ahead of 2009.

What does that mean for fans? Well look for some of the current roster guys to be expendable, namely Bedard and Washburn. The USS Mariner also brought up the interesting point that they'll probably wait until Beltre gets on a hot streak and then try a move him to another team. Although the way he's hitting, that could be a long time from now.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Seattle Mariners!

Man Card Rules: You play softball

Seriously, with injuries like these (WARNING: Extremely graphic, we're talking an exposed skull - no joke), you get two man cards.

Spokane Shock No. 1 again!

For the 11th straight week, the Spokane Shock are tops in the af2 and really there's no surprise there. At 8-0, they're once again the only undefeated team in the league.

Looking at the statistical rankings, the Shock also have the third best defense in the league (allowing just 40.1 points per game) and the ninth best offense (57.5 points per game). While that doesn't pop out as much as you think they would - that's still a 17.5 point margin of victory and with the exception of a 64-62 game against Boise, the games haven't even been close.

So Shock fans, here's this week's coaches poll...

WEEK 10 TOP 16

1. Spokane
2. W-B/Scranton
3. Tulsa
4. Tennessee Valley
5. South Georgia
6. Arkansas
7. Boise
8. Rio Grande Valley
9. Iowa
10. Kentucky
11. Oklahoma City
12. Manchester
13. Green Bay
14. Quad City
15. Bossier-Shreveport
16. Albany

May 27, 2009

Northern Rangers: Mailbox Peak

Today we headed out to Mailbox Peak above North Bend, Washington. This hike is tough, but well worth the effort for the views from the top. Even the sign at the trailhead states this hike is for serious hikers only.

Well, seeing as how we are serious hikers, and we are the Northern Rangers, we took off. Here's what we found. 6 miles round trip, elevation 4,000 feet.

JustSON the Numbers: Joe Mauer

Even though getting Joe Mauer back from the disabled list has meant a lot of things to the Minnesota Twins, more victories so far hasn't been one of them. Since Mauer has returned to the Twins lineup Minnesota is 12-13 after starting out 11-11.

You can't place much blame on Mauer though. Since his return the Twins are scoring about 6.2 runs per game, compare that with the 4.2 they were scoring when he was out. Obviously since he is the catcher the pitching has suffered right? That would be false, since Mauer's return the Twins have given up 4.8 runs per game, when he was on the disabled list they were giving up 5.3 runs per game.

Mauer made his first appearance of the year on May 1st against Casey's Kansas City Royals. He went 2 for 3 with a double, home run and an RBI. The Twins won the game 7-5. Since that game Mauer hasn't slowed down, he is currently batting .429 with a .519 on base percentage. He has also contributed lots of power with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in just 84 at bats. If his home run total doesn't sound that amazing just remember that this is his 6th year in the Majors and he had only 44 career home runs before this season. Mauer is only 2 home runs shy of tying his single season high of 13 that he set during the 2006 season.

So far this season Mauer has played in 24 games. In 11 of those games he has collected 2 or more hits. Oh yeah and in two of the 24 games he didn't start and came in as a pinch hitter. In those two pinch hitting at bats he went 2 for 2.

I'm hoping for the Twins to get some sort of consistency and start winning some games to put some more pressure on the Royals, just not until Friday when they start a 3 game series against the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida.

Will the jinx continue tonight for Mauer against the Boston Red Sox? Anyone notice what happened to the San Diego Padres last night after I wrote about them and their 10 game winning streak?

If anyone has any requests for this column let us know. I don't discriminate, no matter the sport or the stat.

Epic Photo: Ginger Ninja

No this isn't Brandon playing for Manchester United while on loan from Cheetos Milan, it's actually Paul Scholes. He is a Midfielder for Manchester and has played for the team since 1994. He's in rare territory as he is one of a quartet of players to appear in 600 or more Man U competitions.

Unfortunately his team is about to lose the UEFA Champions League final to Barcelona, with just a few minutes left Man U is down 2-0.

Epic Photo: Yeti

This is why yeti scare me.

Epic Video: Mountain Biking

Teaser for the biking video New World Disorder 9.

JustSON at the Movies: Terminator Salvation

How long do we really have the drag out the Terminator series? When I saw the previews to the movie, I thought "Oh man, here we go, it's another Matrix Reloaded."

And for the most part it was. Great action scenes. Special effects. And absolutely nothing new. It throws in a little bit of "Cloverfield" to show you the up close feeling of fighting in a war against the machines, but it also jumps around to "yeah right" moments as well.

The draw of this movie, obviously, is to see Christian Bale play John Conner and his actually does an admirable job. However, one grip I have with this film is that if he's the leader of the human resistance... we're screwed. He sends more people to their slaughter than Custer and there's several times where if this were any sort of real-life situation, his soldiers would have turned on him.

This movie also doesn't really add anything to the saga of the Terminator series. The first movie obviously introduced us to the characters, the Terminator and brought up questions about a persons destiny. Terminator 2 shows that you could change a person's destiny and then Terminator 3 (which is actually a comedy) showed that a person's destiny is unavoidable. Now here comes along Terminator Salvation and it... shows us that Christian Bale likes to jump around and do a lot of stunts. Wonderful.

Had this been packaged as an action movie outside of the Terminator franchise, it would have been passable. But the fact that this somewhat decent idea for a movie has been squandered, makes it slightly unbearable.

Score 5/10. 1 very special cameo by you-know-who, 0 times somebody piloting an A-10 Warthog didn't get shot down, 1 slightly screwed up woman-machine love story, 13 years after being near a nuclear explosion and you can still jump cars and they'll do 80 mph, 0 times actual time travel occurs, Several times a pregnant woman goes into a warzone, 1 Michael Ironsides sighting.

Bear Grylls named UK's Chief Scout

For those of you who don't know, I'm an Eagle Scout. That's the highest rank a boy can obtain in the Boy Scouts of America.

Now scouting is not just an American organization, it's a worldwide group.

Scouting taught me many traits, and mainly opened the outdoors to me. Well, I came across this article today, and since JustSON is slowly becoming an unofficial Bear Grylls site, here's some information on the epic survivor. I didn't know that he was a scout:

An ex-special services soldier who has climbed Mount Everest and led an expedition across the Atlantic Arctic Ocean was named as new Chief Scout on Monday and said he was looking for more adult volunteers to help out.

Adventurer Bear Grylls, voted the seventh coolest British man in 2008, was himself a scout and as part of his survival television show "Man vs. Wild" killed, skinned and ate snakes as well as drank his own urine.

Grylls said during his five-year term he aimed to increase the number of 90,000 adult volunteers offering over 200 activities from canoeing to abseiling and to dispel the image of scouts just singing around campfires in old-fashioned uniforms.

"There are 33,000 kids desperate to join the Scouts and there are not enough leaders. I want to encourage adults to get in there and volunteer. The best message I can get out there is that if you want to be able to do the things I do, join the Scouts," Grylls told Reuters.

"People will not think scouts are as geeky as they did," said 13-year old Elliott Tugwell, a scout from east London. "Some might think he's crazy but it shows he is willing to do exciting things like we do."

The movement was founded by the Boer War soldier Robert Baden-Powell in 1907 following an experimental camp on Brownsea Island off the south east coast of England. It has been emulated in many other countries looking for ways to offer a healthy outdoor life to children often from smoky industrial cities.

Grylls, 34, crossed the Atlantic Arctic Ocean in an open rigid inflatable boat and served three years in the elite Special Air Service (SAS) during which time he broke his back in a parachuting accident. He made a full recovery.

An author and public speaker, he will be the youngest Chief Scout in the organisation's 102-year history.
He will replace Peter Duncan, former presenter of BBC children's programme Blue Peter, later this year.

"I got a sense of identity and a sense of belonging from scouts," Grylls said. "My love of the outdoors started with scouting. It was a real confidence boost for me and opened a lot of doors."

Upon joining Britain's largest co-educational youth movement, some from the age of six, boys and girls promise to uphold core Scout values such as trustworthiness, loyalty and to "do their best" while also having fun. It currently numbers around 400,000 members.

"Scouting For Boys" written in 1908 by Baden-Powell is the fourth biggest selling book in the world after the Bible, the Koran and Mao's Little Red Book.

I watch "Man vs. Wild" all the time. And I am just about finished with Bear's book, "The Kid Who Climbed Everest." (I'll have a review up in a few days) I always had a load of respect for this man and what he can do in the wilderness, but I have even more respect now that I found out he was a scout. That is pretty neat.

And if anyone can dispel the image that scouts just sit around a campfire and sing, it's Bear.

May 26, 2009

Reasons why you're going to be single... NBA Finals tickets

The Eastern Conference Finals may not be over... yet ... but you're going have to explain to your wife why you spent over a thousand dollars buying advanced tickets to the NBA Finals in Cleveland.

Now the Cavs are down 3-1 to the Orlando Magic.

You'd better do a lot of lawn mowing.

(Side note: if you're one of those people who was "rooting" for Cleveland and LA not to make the Finals, are you going to watch the Magic and Nuggets if they both make it? Probably not. You're probably now going to complain about how boring the Finals are. Not calling you out on flip-flopping or anything. You suck.)

Intervention everyday

My brother-in-law was watching Intervention today. In case you've never watched this show, it is about people who are sat down for interventions for various things. Mainly drugs.

That got me thinking, what would be some interventions that have been overlooked.

1. Bert, it is getting out of hand that you wear those silly Micky Mouse ears everywhere. Intervention.

2. Bert, put away the World of Warcraft. We haven't seen you in 3 months. Intervention.

3. Bert, you haven't washed your feet in a month. You stink. Intervention.

4. Bert, when you eat burritos, you fart a lot. Those stink worse than your feet. Intervention.

5. Bert, you've taken the ceramic cat collection a bit far. You can't even get out of your house. Intervention.

6. Bert, you can't tap dance. Stop wearing the shoes around and trying on everything. Intervention.

7. Bert, Just South of North is a real Web site! Now I need an intervention on yelling!

8. Bert, you update your Twitter even in your sleep. Intervention.

9. Bert, along those same lines your facebook page is burned into the monitor. Intervention.

10. Bert, you do not look good in the tangerine speedo. Intervention.

Baby buys a digger

Never let kids near electrical outlets. Or phones. Or washing machines. But especially never near computers.

Why? Cause they'll buy a bulldozer when you're sleeping. Kids are trouble.

A toddler in New Zealand bought a $12,300 earth mover after his mom went to take a nap.

She had been on the site TradeMe and made some bids on some play toys. When she woke up, she had bought a bulldozer.

Yeah yeah, she called explained what had happened and got the purchase reversed, but what if she hadn't? Well, then I bet the kid would have grown up to be a construction workers.

Seriously, how awesome would it be to show up at the sandbox in a real digger? Seriously.

"Look at my new Tonka digger Tommy!"
"Billy, that is great. Look at my Bob the Builder doll."
"Wow, what could be greater than these?"

Beep, beep, beep.

"What's that noise Tommy?"
"Not my tummy. I don't know."
"HOLY BABY POOP! Is that Pipi in a real digger?!?!"
"Mom! I want one!"

JustSON the Numbers: Padres Winning Ways

If you are a gambling man or woman you are going to want to put money on the San Diego Padres losing tonight in Arizona when they face the Diamondbacks at 6:40 pm pacific time. The reason is because the Padres have won 10 in a row and I'm writing about it which will surely jinx them.
This streak really came out of nowhere as the Padres were coming off of losing 13 out of their last 15 games when the streak started back on Friday May 15th with a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. The biggest factor in this 10 game winning streak has been the great pitching San Diego has gotten. In the 10 games Padre pitchers have given up just 23 runs (2.3 runs allowed per game), they had a streak of 7 straight games giving up no more than 2 runs per in any one game.

Leading the charge for the pitching staff has been San Diego's ace Jake Peavy (pictured in one of the ugliest uniforms ever, reminds me of rotting banana) who threw a complete game May 17th against the Reds only giving up one run then followed that up with 6 innings of no run and two hit ball against the Chicago Cubs. Also pitching very well has been Chris Young, he followed up a 6 inning, 5 hit, 1 run performance against the San Francisco Giants, with a 7 inning, 4 hit, 2 run game against the Cubs.

Not to be outshone by the pitchers has been third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. During this streak he has raised his batting average 22 points, hit 3 home runs and knocked in 9 RBI.

I should also note that the schedule set up nicely for San Diego during this streak as they played 9 consecutive home games where they are now 17-6 on the year. The road has been far less successful for San Diego, they are 6-16 after coming from 6 runs behind in the 8th inning in Arizona on Monday.

If the Padres can win the rest of their games on this current 6 game road trip they are on they will surpass the franchise record winning streak which currently stands at 14 games set in 1999.
Like I said before, I had to write about this so I'm certain that they will lose tonight.

If anyone has any requests for this column let us know. I don't discriminate, no matter the sport or the stat.

WWE wins their fight against the NBA... sorta

This is why people that watch the WWE don't have hot girlfriends. Serious.

Vince McMahon got his takedown of Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke on the WWE television show Monday night.

Sort of.

During the World Wrestling Entertainment's "Monday Night Raw" show, McMahon shoved a mock Kroenke to the mat and the faux Kroenke fell out of the ring at the Staples Center. The wrestling card was switched from the Pepsi Center last week to Los Angeles because of Game 4 of the Lakers-Nuggets series being played in Denver. Originally, the date was held by the WWE.

And the following match... errr skit... just shows you what kind of intelligent storyline that an astute and classy organization such as the WWE can provide.

The imitation Kroenke then announced that he is "the owner of the soon-to-be NBA champion Denver Nuggets. And I cannot stand the WWE or its fans, for that matter."

"Do you think that I care that I screwed thousands of WWE fans? I do not. I have much more important things to do with my team than worry about you people."

McMahon then entered the fray, ambling into the ring and telling the pretend Kroenke, "None of this had to happen. All you had to do was pick up the phone, say `I didn't think my team would make the playoffs, I screwed up."

Seconds later, McMahon shoved "Kroenke" after warning him, "When you push the WWE universe, they push back."

The finale featured five-man tag teams wearing Nuggets and Lakers jerseys. The Lakers won, eliciting loud cheers from the Staples Center crowd.

Meanwhile, back in the real world where fans actually have jobs... the Nuggets beat the Lakers in Game 4. Now that Staples Center crowd might witness their team get eliminated, but hey, at least they got to see one heck of a wrassling match too.

Another former student EWU can be proud of

Remember the collapsed Dallas Cowboys practice facility? Well apparently an ex-con helped them upgrade that same building a year ago.

(He) served time in a federal prison for his actions while connected to a violent drug-trafficking ring, The Dallas Morning News has reported.

Jeffrey Lawrence Galland, the former engineering director of JCI, a Las Vegas-based company, pleaded guilty to using a firearm during a violent crime, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, according to court records, the newspaper reported.

Oh, and can we please bring up the fact that this guy has no formal engineering degree?

Galland acknowledged his troubled background, and his lack of an engineering license, to The Morning News but said it "had no bearing on his ability to help clients."

Of course not, your structure only collapsed with several people inside and paralyzed someone. No engineering degree needed here! However, where would an ex-con get such credentials if he were desperate? Look no further than Eastern Washington University.

Galland also falsified educational credentials he provided The Morning News, the paper said. Galland showed a résumé that said he received a bachelor's degree in physics from Eastern Washington University. The school, however, told the newspaper he completed coursework toward that degree but never graduated.

It's a great day to be an Eagle. Woo!

Reasons why you're still single... Denver Nuggets

You were a Denver Nuggets fan before they were actually good, and are excited that they have a chance to make their first NBA Finals ever.

Listen, we understand that the Nuggets are good now, but honestly before they got Carmelo - what was the big hype about them?

(Other than the No. 8 seed beating the No. 1 seed, a.k.a. Denver beating Seattle. But we'll never mention that again on this blog. NEVER)