Spongetech, exactly what I think of when I watch baseball

Spongetech, exactly what I think of when I watch baseball

This has been bugging me for some time. Actually, it had just been kinda bugging me, and then I got MLB TV, and it started really bugging me. Here’s some background.

If I said, ‘Spongetech’ to you, and you are a Phillies fan, you might say something like, ‘that sounds familiar’. Or maybe you don’t recognize it at all. In any event, Spongetech.com has been advertising at every single Phillies home game, as far as I know. I cannot completely substantiate that, but I have a strong feeling that they have advertised for a half inning during every single home game this season, right behind home plate.

At first I just figured this was some local Philly company that cleans up after your parties or something, and they scraped together what they could to advertise during the Phils game. That would be really cool if you were a small business that did that, because you’re certainly going to get a lot of eyes on the sign. Further confirming that argument was that the sign is … simple. I mean, in other innings, Tastykake and Ford and other big companies have colorful signs with those picture things, describing products made for humans. No, not Spongetech. They just have the web address, and a thing that says they are America’s cleaning company. So maybe ‘America’s cleaning company’ is a clue that it wasn’t local, but America isn’t America without Philadelphia, so I thought they were just appealing to our sentimentality about the Declaration of Independence.

Then I got MLB TV. I started dabbling in other games that meant something to the Phillies or affected Catherine’s fantasy baseball team (my fantasy baseball team became irrelevant at approximately the same time as the Washington Nationals). And suddenly I saw Spongetech again. And again and again. It became time to do some investigative research.

OMG stocks are up at Spongetech!  Pulled from their actual website

OMG stocks are up at Spongetech! Pulled from their actual website

I typed Spongetech into google, because I didn’t want to hear from Spongetech what Spongetech is. The first article of note that I found was this detailing that Spongetech was having a little trouble filing certain important documents with the SEC. This may have something to do with the graphic above, and the fact that they have clearly spent a lot of money advertising during MLB games.
This evening, I was on the phone with multi-time blog ignorer, and sister, Liz, who said the following:

Maybe they’re called Spongetech because they clean out your financial records.

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A last goodbye for JJW

September 28, 2009

Last week, I had to print the sad news that Grandpa Jimmy, aka the Japanese John Wayne, passed away.  His funeral is today, and Catherine suggested that I put up some pictures of him as a last goodbye.  Luckily her brother, who I unfortunately lumped into the ‘etc.’ category of her family members (which is really ridiculous on my part because he’s her older brother, and you should never mess with an older brother), posted a bunch of pictures of him on facebook.

As a final note, Catherine told me that there will be a deck of cards in his coffin when he is laid to rest today.  I’m pretty sure that not even John Wayne was that cool.

A smile!

A smile!

He loved fishing.  Catherine even loved fishing, just because Grandpa did.  Crap, now I'm going to cry again.

He loved fishing. Catherine even loved fishing, just because Grandpa did. Crap, now I'm going to cry again.

Dollars, The Currency

September 27, 2009

20 US Dollars

20 US Dollars

Name: Dollar
Age: 217 years
Face Design: Former US Presidents
Weight: Doesn’t answer such questions
Keys to the game:

  • Old
  • Will try to use Fed Chairman to confuse opponent
  • Not afraid to admit recession to scare other currency
  • Solid passing attack

Game plan:

The dollar has seen just about everything, including civil war, depressions, booms, and the West Coast offense. It has always been able to adjust its gameplan. Look for the dollar to spend some time feeling out the opponent, only to call on the Fed Chairman to make the necessary corrections for the second half. The dollar is willing to make design changes, issue collectible coins, and even change color to get the job done. Also, it is willing to take the 4-5 yard completions, if that’s all the defense is going to give it.

Even though the world has looked to the dollar for strength for some time, it is still very self conscious. Look for the euro to constantly remind the dollar that no one wants to use ‘dollar coins’, while also pressing the wide receivers. Dollar is going to have to rely on the core members of its team (Quarter, Dollar, Twenty) to get most of the work done, which can lead to a tired squad and some fumbling. There is also some division on the team concerning WR Hundred, who some feel has become a bit of diva after being mentioned in rap songs and gambling stories in recent years. Look for euro to limit Hundred’s production, which will cause him to whine at Dollar for most of the game.

Player quote:
Euro? Euro? Who that? Look, if some youngster thinks he’s the king now because a few chicks dig him, and he’s all the rage with international investors, that’s fine. But lemme just tell euro something. I heard the same shit from Spanish Dollar back in 1792 when I was first coming up. Priates, roughnecks, kings and shit were all using him. Can you still use a Spanish Dollar? Not unless it’s 1857 motherfucker.
And look at him with all his buildings and shit on his face. Oh cool, there’s even a map of Europe on the back. You know what’s really scary? Maps and buildings. That shit is terrifying. I’m always looking at maps and buildings thinking, that is some scary shit. You know, definitely scarier than George Washington. I mean, nevermind that Washington fucking dominated the British and sat through a cold-ass winter in Valley Forge, surviving on hard tack and frozen pee.
Speaking of the British, how are they liking the euro? Oh, they’re not? They have a special exemption? Not for nothing, but when Britain asked us for a special exemption to rule our asses and enforce taxes without representation, we kicked those motherfuckers out. Now they be all, ‘Can we playse ‘ave some of yore dollas?’
Here’s my last thought. I’m going to tell you what I tell all these whiny Americans who tell me that it costs too much when they travel in Europe because the dollar is so weak, blah blah. Shut the fuck up, and don’t go anywhere for the next 10-15 decades, and you’ll be fine. Well, I mean, not that part about don’t go anywhere. That part doesn’t really apply to euro. But definitely the first part, about shutting the fuck up. Just tell him that.

Catherine found what!

September 24, 2009

Catherine found this picture of the guy that Grandpa Jimmy shook hands with. Seriously, that is me. And I probably was dressed similarly. Wow. Thankfully, Grandpa Jimmy had seen a lot of things in his days, so this didn’t really register as a thing.

In fact, I think it would have registered as Nothing on his internal meter.


Nice hair

Nice hair

Grandpa Jimmy Shinoda

September 23, 2009

For the first day in a long time, the world is without Grandpa Jimmy Shinoda, aka Catherine’s Grandfather, James Shinoda.

And that is a damn shame.

So I thought I’d share a story about Grandpa Jimmy that will probably almost make me cry (EDIT: did. That’s twice in one year now) while writing and in subsequent readings of it. It’s not a sad story at all. It’s actually pretty awesome. But usually it’s the awesome stories that make you the saddest, because they remind you of how awesome something was that will never be again.

In 2006, I took my first trip out to meet Catherine’s family in California. I had never been to California, I was totally in to Catherine, and I was about to meet all the people that were important in her life. Needless to say, this was a big trip for me. We had also decided to tie-in a trip to the World Series of Poker so that I could play in a $1000 tournament. I get nervous for that tournament approximately 12 months in advance, so you know, no biggie.

Then I discovered that Catherine’s grandfather would be meeting us in Las Vegas. At this time, I barely knew Catherine’s mom, dad, sister, etc. let alone her grandfather. However, I did know that Grandpa was a big deal, and, like the godfather, if he thought I was cool, others would think that. Or at least that’s how I pictured it in my head.

I was really into this mohawk that I had at the time (photo not found), and the only thing I could think about when I arrived in Vegas was how I was going to make the final table of my tournament, I was going to get on TV, and I was going to have a mohawk while doing. How cool was I going to be?

I totally forgot that Grandpa Jimmy would be showing up at the tournament to meet Catherine, and that by meeting Catherine, I would be meeting him. Shortly after that, I realized that I had a mohawk, I was fairly shabbily dressed, I was playing in a poker tournament with a bunch of really really classy people who alternate between hurling things and obscenities, and I was playing with some of Catherine’s money since she had decided to help back such a classy guy like myself. I was also, of course, wearing shorts so that my tattoos were visible.

If I were Grandpa Jimmy, I probably would have punched me and rescued Catherine.

But he didn’t. He shook my hand and asked if we wanted to get something to eat. I was so wowed by this. Either Catherine had brought a slew of bad boyfriends before Grandpa Jimmy, and he was willing to accept whatever was put in front of him, or he was willing to judge me when he actually knew me.

As it turned out, I really hit the jackpot by meeting Grandpa Jimmy. I told Catherine later that I thought he was like John Wayne, if John Wayne were Japanese. He used to play poker in Vegas before every kid like me thought it was cool. He told me about playing 5 card draw in some of the casinos. Five card draw? Like, with six shooters too or just regular?

He said very little that night, but when he did, I was on the edge of my seat. And he had this walk. I can’t even explain it. I mean, he was John Wayne. That’s all I can say. In my mind, from that day on, I knew John Wayne, and he actually lived in Santa Ana, California, and he was Catherine’s grandfather. This is good.

Luckily for me, I got the chance to go back to Grandpa Jimmy’s house many times. In subsequent meetings, I learned that John Wayne liked to crack jokes, talked more than John Wayne and lots of other people do, and definitely enjoyed playing Spider Solitaire, almost as much as he loved being around his family. And even though Catherine thought my John Wayne assessment was way off, his house was the hub of activity for the whole family. I was definitely not the only one who thought Grandpa was cool.

I only knew Grandpa Jimmy for a few years, so I can imagine what the people who were close to him for a lifetime are feeling right now. I can only say that I have some sliver of understanding as to why you feel the way you do right now. I wish I could have known him longer.

Two things are certain. First, I will never cruise the strip in Vegas without thinking about him and that memorable first meeting. It’s hardly a bad thing to think of John Wayne when you’re in Vegas. And second, I’ll always remember to try to think like Grandpa Jimmy when my daughter or granddaughter brings a boy up for inspection.

I’m so glad he did that for me.

Grandpa Jimmy

Grandpa Jimmy

On opening Sunday of NFL season, it seems like time to analyze a matchup that never happened:

Otto von Bismarck vs. Abraham Lincoln

And because I’m unable to watch highly intelligent sportscasters break down the game into bullet points and highly intelligent remarks, I’ve done some of my own.  I’m not calling a winner or a loser here; you’ll have to make that judgment yourself.

Meanwhile I’ve got 4.5 hours until kickoff here.  Can’t wait.

Check out the matchup participants here, and here.

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Abraham Lincoln

September 13, 2009

Lincoln with ... dynamite?

Lincoln with ... dynamite?

Name:  Abraham Lincoln
Age:  200 years
Age before death: 56 years
US Capitals: 1 (Nebraska)
Keys to the game:

  • Great unifier
  • Has no problem ignoring law/constitution
  • Stove pipe hat
  • Motivator
  • Poor assassin detection ability
  • Good scrambler

Game plan:

Lincoln is going to look to unify his team, particularly if they have differing opinions concerning states rights.  Look for Lincoln to try to convince Robert E. Lee to sign with the Union, and also establish the line of scrimmage.  Also look for Lincoln to violate most of the rules of the game, claiming an executive exemption.  This makes him extremely hard to stop.


Lincoln has copious amounts of facial hair and an affinity for flowing coats, which can obviously slow him down in the open field.  The media has made a lot about Lincoln being susceptible to assassin attacks, but Lincoln recently responded to such criticisms:

Am I susceptible to assassins?  Sure.  And if the other guys have a hired assassin playing that day, it might end the same way.  But coach and I have talked a lot about what I can do in an assassin situation, and we’ve worked on a lot of audibles that are great for preventing assassinations and preserving the Union.  I just know that I’m going to take it one play at a time.

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