Thursday, July 31, 2008

South Carolina: Ah Do Declare, Ah Believe Ah've Got The Vapors

Chapter 20 in the newly revived "Know Limpy's States"

South Carolina is the 8th state, ratifying the Constitution on May 23, 1788. If only the country had stayed with the original government document, the Articles of Confederation, South Carolina would have been the first state, and then be as famous as, well, I guess they'd be as famous as Delaware. Of course, if the US had stayed with the good old AOC, we'd be as well governed as Mexico, and these days Canada would be building a great big old fence to keep American migrants from taking jobs from Canadiens.

And Labatt's can only emply so many people at once, eh?

South Carolina was also the first state to leave the Union, seceding on December 20, 1860. Not satisfied with just ripping up pieces of paper, South Carolina then started the shooting portion of the Civil War as well, serranding the Union troops of Fort Sumter with a lovely cannonade on April 12, 1861.

South Carolina is known as "The Palmetto State", and for once I actually know the reason why without looking it up. Give it up for me! Back in olden times, when the United States was but a tiny cog in the British Empire, there was some ugliness about taxes, and representation or lack thereof, and why you shouldn't throw someone else's tea in Boston Harbor while dressed up as Indians. The disagreement got heated to the point that shots were exchanged in various places within the colonies, including South Carolina. The British, who weren't all that great on dry land but who could shoot the shit out of you from the water, tried invading Charleston and shelled the bejesus out of the forts in the harbor. However, said forts weren't made out of the hardwoods, (-snicker- "hardwood"), but instead out of the spongy palmetto wood native to the area. As a result, the wood just absorbed the cannon shot, rather than shattering all over the place and giving the defenders some nasty splinters. To this day South Carolina has a palmetto palm on its flag.

According to Wikipedia, the first settlers were English from Barbados. Clearly this was before air conditioning, as that's pretty much the only reason I can think of to leave Barbados for South Carolina. Where I've never been and don't know what I'm talking about. Also according the same questionable article the largest group of immigrants were African slaves. Now, as I understand the concept of immigration it involves a willing move to a different country to start a new life. It does not mean getting yanked out of your peaceful village, stuffed in a ship's hold for a voyage straight out of Dante and then dropped off in a strange country for a new life full of involuntary servitude.
South Carolina did encourage Jewish immigrants, since they were seen as reliable citizens. Must have been a nice change of pace for the Jews. Up until 1830 South Carolina had the highest percentage of Jewish citizens in the country, but then someone discovered Miami.

South Carolina has had 7 Constitutions since it started writing them back in 1776. An altogether boring fact except that South Carolina is the only state that lists every single permissible reason to get a divorce. See S.C. Const. art. XVII, Section 3. Which is a legal way of saying "look it up yourself; I'm not doing all the work here" The legislature is prohibited from creating new reasons. Some day I need to look that up to see if "The bitch keeps burning the toast" is in there.

There are 4,321,249 people in South Carolina. All of them have a better than average chance of dying from a stroke. If it'd not clear, that link takes you to some boring ass government type paper which purportedly supports the contention that South Carolina has the highest rate of stroke deaths in the country. Somehow, that's not part of the state motto.

The state flower is the yellow jessamine, also known as the Carolina jessamine. This is a picture of what they look like. If this is an error and in fact not a picture of a yellow jessamine, and you feel compelled to point this out, fuck off. What's that? You're a horticulturist and simply can't live with the knowledge that some idiot with a blog that makes things up about states has posted the wrong picture of a plant? Oh, well, in that case, FUCK OFF!!!
We're not revisiting that whole dogwood fiasco again. The state bird is the Carolina wren. I've actually seen one of these things up close, at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. That's in Florida. The bird didn't seem all that upset at not being in South Carolina.

The highest point in South Carolina is Sassafrass Mountain, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwest portion of the state, and standing 3,560 feet high. Also, Sassafrass Mountain is the clubhouse leader so far for "gayest name for a mountain" among the 20 states. Other than homosexual names for mountains, South Carolina does have some neat geographic features such as Carolina Bays, which may have been created by meteor showers, and also the longest blackwater river in the US, the Edisto River. I have no idea if these rivers are given to flying into a rage and shooting civilians.
IF YOU'RE IN SOUTH CAROLINA YOU SHOULD: Golf. It's like mecca for golfers. When I was in college four of my friends were huge golfing fanatics. For spring break they would go to South Carolina to play for a week straight. None of them ever got laid. I'm not sure if there's a connection there. Another friend of mine told me that there was sign at the airport saying "We Love Our Cocks", so if you're a compulsive masturbator, apparnetly this is the state for you. Or they could be talking about their fervent support for their state university.

That would be the gamecocks.

You could also attend a peanut festival, which sounds like a rockin' good time, or attend Brew at the Zoo, which combines the best of drinking alcohol and taunting vicous animals penned up in a cage. Go get 'im big boy!

I'm told Charleston is a beautiful city and well worth checking out for the Old South architecture. Or just chase ghosts through the city. What harm could come from chasing things in white sheets through the south? Frankly, that kind of activity should be encouraged.
It looks a little off-kilter to me, but then, I've been drinking and this could be a sketch rather than a photo. Personally I've never forgiven the city for those wretched Charelston Chew candy bar. Christ those things were awful.

MISS SOUTH CAROLINA LOOKS LIKE THIS: I don't even care what her body looks like. Look at those eyes! What? Airbrushing? Pshaw I say. Next you'll tell me those stories in Penthouse are made up.
Of course, sometimes Miss South Carolina is asked to expound on topics like America's lack of geographic knowledge, and then she looks a little like this , which is to say, a stammering idiot.
LIMPY'S CONNECTION TO THE STATE: I know some people who live there. Other than that, none whatsoever.
Up next, it's Tennessee, home of whiskey, slightly dented houseboats and faisty redheads who will tell me that everything I write about the state is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Here's Your Fucking Dogwood

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

North Carolina: Fuck Duke!

Chapter 19 in the you-hoped-I'd-forgotten-about-it-by-now "Know Limpy's States"

North Carolina is the 12th state to enter the Union, ratifying the Constitution on November 21, 1789. The state nickname "The Tar Heel State" is apparently derived from the Civil War, when Stonewall Jackson observed North Carolina soldiers staying in their positions despite taking heavy fire, as though their heels were stuck in tar. Clearly Jackson was impressed by the bravery of the North Carolina soldiery. He was no doubt later less impressed by their brains, as they accidentally shot him, resulting in his subsequent death due to infection, after the Battle of Chancellorsville.
During the Civil War, North Carolina took the first Confederate casualty, (oddly enough a guy named "Henry" and not, as I would have guessed, something like Bufort T. Bumfucknoteeth), during the historic, (to anyone who was actually there) Battle of Big Bethel; got the farthest during Pickett's Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg; got the farthest during the Battle of Chickamauga; and fired the final shots of the Civil War at Appomattox Court House. Somewhat unbeleivably, they managed to fire these last shots without killing Gen. Lee, allowing him to live to a ripe old age and eventually turn into a bright orange car.

Although humans have lived in North Carolina for thousands of years, the first Europeans to explore the area were the Spanish. Apparently they were looking for another route to protect their silver transports from, you guessed it, Mexico. As the article says, putting it mildly, "the Spanish did not realize the distances involved." Fortunately for the chicken processing industry in present day North Carolina, Mexicans have since figured out ways to get to Carolina much quicker.

After the Spanish figured out that legging it from Mexico to North Carolina wasn't the most efficient way to transport anything, the next Europeans to stumble into the area were the English. They established a colony at Roanoke, which later disappeared, leading to one of the "great mysteries" in American history. Personally, to me it's about as much of a mystery as what happened to Amelia Earhart. Her plane ran out of gas and she's in the Pacific food chain. The folks on Roanoke pissed off the local Indians and got swatted like a bunch of pesky fleas.

The Aztecs could have learned something from them.

North carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, which is good for dissolving sink clogs, but really shouldn't be used for drinking. Especially when one has access to coke. The soda you freak. And this part is important, so I'm lifting it right from Wikipedia. Wouldn't want it to be more inaccurate than it already is. let's face it kids, I'm OK with insulting entire states, making up historical "facts", and in general engaging in questionable behvior in writing this little opus, but when it comes to barbeque, one simply does not fuck around:

"A nationally-famous cuisine from North Carolina is pork barbecue. However, there are strong regional differences and rivalries over the sauces and method of preparation used in making the barbecue. Eastern North Carolina pork barbecue uses a vinegar-based sauce and the "whole hog" is cooked, thus using both white and dark meat. The "capital" of eastern Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the town of Wilson, near Raleigh. Western North Carolina pork barbecue uses a ketchup-based sauce and only the pork shoulder (dark meat) is used. The "capital" of western Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the town of Lexington, south of Winston-Salem. A third type of pork barbecue, using a sauce which is a combination of ketchup and vinegar, is "Shelby" barbecue which is made in the town of Shelby." mmmmmmm, pork barbecue. If only I had a Coke to wash it down with.
There are 8,049,313 people in North Carolina. Some of them play lacrosse. They're also real big on NASCAR and professional wrestling, which, unlike their fascination with BBQ, really isn't something to brag about. Fortunately, they don't seem all that big on hockey, so maybe that fat pigfucker Karmanos will go bankrupt. Go Whalers!
North Carolina is also the home to Duke University. I have known several graduates of Duke. Not a single one of them wasn't a pretentious asshole. I don't know anyone that likes people from Duke, other than other people from Duke. Fuck them.
The state flower is the dogwood.

not to be confused with the Dagwood. Seriously, it's been like 75 years. Retire the comic strip. Or at least show Blondie naked.

North Carolina has a varied geography, from the sand bars of the Outer Banks to the highest point, out on the western border, where Mount Mitchell stands at 6,684 feet , the highest point in the state. And, as far as I know, the highest point east of the Mississippi. (Waits for Tysgirl to correct this.)

The state bird is the cardinal. I think that's like 7 out of 18 states. We get it, it looks pretty. Can't someone take the pigeon and just throw that homely looking thing a bone.

IF YOU'RE IN NORTH CAROLINA YOU SHOULD: Rape and kill Peter Karmanos. However, if getting arrested for buggery and murder isn't your thing, there's no shortage of other things to do. For instance, you're never far from a sporting event, with North Carolina home to professional teams in basketball and football. They also have a hockey team, but you should not, under any circumstances, patronize them or otherwise give them any money. You may, however, give them the finger. With my blessing.

If sports aren't your thing, there's always professional wrestling or NASCAR. Or golf if you're really not athletic.

If you're into men in skirts, (Hello Maggie), there's always Ceud Mile Fáilte and the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Nothing says an afternoon well spent than consuming mass quantities of McEwan's Scotch Ale and watching large sweaty men toss telephone poles around.


I'm pretty sure she's the one on the left. Caught by Sheriff Killjoy over there just as she was about to hop a train and get the hell out of North Carolina.

LIMPY'S CONNECTION TO STATE: I've flown through the lovely Charlotte airport on numerous occasions, and once I even went outside. That's about it. Some friends of mine moved down there and found out that Connecticut won't accept your teaching degree from certain North Carolina colleges. That's about it.
HAS LIMPY EVER GOTTEN LAID IN THIS STATE: No, but only because I turned down that senator in the airport bathroom.
Up next it's South Carolina, because you can never have too many Carolinas. Unlike Dakotas of which one, quite frankly, would have been plenty.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eastern Promises I Would Have Been OK With Them Not Keeping

I should be back to more regular writing shortly, after I catch up with all of the work I was blowing off for Little League. But last night I watched the movie "Eastern Promises", and I have to say, if I never see Viggo Mortenson's penis again, it will be too soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Not With A Bang So Much As A Whimper

The title of this post should give you some small idea as to how our team faired in the Pool Championship game. For those of you who can't quite figure it out, let's just say that by the third inning I was really hoping that those looming thunderclouds would open up and we could get a do-over. No such luck.

To make a long story short, we lost 8-1 and it really wasn't that close. To make a long story longer, we were in trouble from the first inning on. Our first hitter got on base due to an error. Our manager had him try to steal on the first pitch to the next batter, even though the last time we played this team their catcher threw out three of our runners. And now he's 4-4. Maybe not the decision I would have made. At any rate, our next two hitters grounded out, foreshadowing our offense for the rest of the day.

We started our potentially best pitcher. And I say "potentially" while really hoping his parents never ever stumble across this atrocity of a blog because while he has million dollar athletic ability, he has a .10 head. I've thrown him out of practice before for being a dick to his teammates, and more problematic for him, and us, if he gets in trouble in a game he can't handle it and starts to sulk. Which I loathe. I am not the manager and due to a number's game I didn't get to sit in the dugout, but if I had been, (and it's probably better for everyone I wasn't since I don't keep my thoughts to myself), he'd have blisters on his ears. From the yelling people; it's not like I'm going to set fire to his ears. Probably.

At any rate, naturally he couldn't find the plate with a road map during the game and issued walks as though he were selling beer the day before Prohibition came back. And when he did find the strike zone, the other team usually hit the ball. Hard. Where our guys weren't.

Let me be clear about this. The other team was flat better than us. All things being equal, no way we win that game. They were bigger, more experienced and more skilled. They deserved to win. Sure, I hope they all get hepatitis this week, (and since they play their games behind the local sewage treatment plant, they could!), but they did deserve to win.

After one inning it was 1-0. After 2, 3-0. After 3, 5-1 (our comeback fell short), after 4 it was 7-1, and after 5, it was 8-1. They didn't bat in the sixth.

As for my son, I thought he played well. In the first inning our catcher tried throwing someone out at second, much less successfully than the catcher for the other team had. He tossed the ball about 4' over the head of our shortstop, who, to be fair, is in fact short. Usually that means the base stealer can get to third, if not actually score. The coach started to yell for him to run, but then noticed that some kid playing centerfield had, by some miracle, actually listened to his own coaches during practice, had run in to back up the play, and was standing there with the ball just begging the kid to try to get third.

In the third inning our pitcher threw a strike and, as had been the pattern, said strike was sent hurtling into centerfield, over the centerfielders head, a sure double, maybe a triple. Suddenly, much to the home team's chagrin, that same goddamn kid in centerfield was seen tracking down the ball, running to where it was going to land, and, perhaps most unsettling of all in a Little League game, actually catching it for an out. Even the other coach yelled "Nice play center"

Our centerfielder is named Kevin, and he's my son.

Then he got pulled out of the game so we could meet league reuirements and make sure our two bench guys got in for three outs and one at bat. Kevin's probably our best outfielder, but he hits 8th for a reason. So, needing offense he and the 9th hitter got pulled . He was pretty upset, but I just explained it was league rules, and while we had to put the other two kids in the field, there was no way we could put them in the infield. They'd be killed. Also I pointed out that regardless of what happened we'd be going to Yankee Stadium the next day and sitting in the front row, so who gave a shit? Cheered him right up.

So naturally, not only did his center-field replacement strike out, (just like Kevin had earlier), but in the 4th inning one of the other hitters hit a line-drive into center. Replacement Boy charges in, the ball bounces towards him, and then, as I had told my brother minutes before was going to happen, the two kept charging in opposite directions. The ball wound up at the fence, two more runs scored, and my son could be heard muttering "No way I miss that" Oh wait, that was me. I think my kid was stealing Gatorade in the dugout.

Next inning the same kid failed to catch an easy pop-up, letting another run score.

I like this kid, but he's been doing this all season, and in fact he did it in warm-ups that day and I had told him he couldn't do it in a game or else something bad would happen. Which is pretty much what did happen, and why Little Leaguers will make you turn to crack.

At any rate, if Kevin stayed in center, it would have been a different outcome. Specifcally, we'd have lost 5-1 instead of 8-1.

So that's the season. Now we'll rest up for a few weeks, and then probably do it all again for Fall Ball.

Now where's Amy Winehouse and my crack?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Season Update!

Such excitement! I know you've been as anxious to find out how our season is going as I am for it to end.

uh, I mean continue until we win the championship.

The team is 2-1, and unless something goes drastically wrong on Saturday, should steamroll through our last game on Saturday to go 3-1 and then have, uh, I mean "get", to play for the Division Sectional Championship next Tuesday. If we win that, (and we already lost to that team once, but only after blowing a 7 run lead and going to extra innings), we would play yet another game for the right to play for the Divisional Championship. Our Division is broken up into three sections. Before the season Division A got a bye for the first round of the play-offs. We're in B. So if, (and that's a mighty big if), we win B, we then play the champions from C for the right to play A for the whole ball of wax. Got that so far? Yeah, I don't either. What I do know is that the team currently leading C has only played two games, has already scored as many runs as we have in three games, shut one team out, and mercyed both teams they played. So I'm thinking best case scenario, (worst case?), we've got 3 games left. Because I suspect that C is going to roll through the whole division like Mack trucks on a puppy farm.

As for number one son he's playing solid centerfield defense and as for his offense, couldn't hit water if he fell out of a fucking boat. Such is life.

As for coaching, let's just say that if I never have to deal with Little League parents again, it will be too soon. How hard is it to figure out that if you have two unexcused absences, your kid is off the team? You know how you get around that? FUCKING CALL US!!!!!!!!!!!!