As usual, FIFA sucks

What is it about the international football association that makes it think it’s more infallible than the Pope? The Women’s 2015 World Cup is to be played in Canada, and right now it’s scheduled to be played entirely on artificial turf.

The top women in the world object to this, saying the turf causes injuries that grass fields don’t, and that if this were the Men’s World Cup there wouldn’t even be a discussion about playing on turf. So they’ve sued FIFA, alleging gender discrimination.

What’s history say?

The World Cup finals for men and women, contested every four years, have always been played on natural grass.

What’s FIFA say?

Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s deputy director of the competitions and head of women’s competitions, told reporters after a tour of one of the stadiums that there is no Plan B and the tournament will go ahead as planned and be played on artificial turf.

“No plans to change that decision,” said Haenni. “I can’t answer if that is fair but that is the way it is going to be.

“It is according to the competition regulations, it is according to laws of the game so all matches will be on artificial turf.”

I’m on the side of the women here. I’m pretty sure there are grass venues available throughout Canada.

You’d think FIFA would be anxious to avoid this uproar right now, since it’s already dealing with allegations of corruption in regard to the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. In fact, that report is apparently now in the hands of FIFA’s President, Sepp Blatter. There have been calls from members of FIFA’s own governing body to make the report public, but Blatter has so far refused.

Blatter said that the report, carried out by Michael Garcia, the head of the investigatory arm of Fifa’s ethics committee, will not be made public because no one on the Fifa executive committee had asked for it to be published, despite contradictory pronouncements from several members of the committee in previous weeks.

In the midst of all this Mr. Blatter has also stated that he plans to run for a fifth term as President of world football (soccer). At age 78, if it were me and I had all this in my face, I’d retire with my millions, I think.

Irony abounds

I am bitterly amused that the Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee tried very hard to show how concerned they were about the personal safety of this President and his family while grilling the Secret Service Director today.

I say bitterly amused because we all know that Darrell Issa (the Chairman of the Committee) has invested thousands of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of hours trying to make the case that that same President is incompetent and not worthy of the job, whether investigating Fast and Furious gun schemes which actually started under President Bush or trying to find something (anything!) to show the President and his Secretary of State were guilty of malfeasance or misfeasance in the Benghazi! affair.

Ah, but today, Issa and his crowd were oh-so-concerned for the well-being of President and Mrs. Obama and their two daughters.

Gag me with a spoon.


From Events

These are Java Sparrows. I got a new feeder to replace the old rotting one a couple of weeks ago, and they took an hour or two to get accustomed to it. Now they’re happy because more of them can fit on the rail than could on the old one. The picture was taken through glass, which partly explains its fuzziness.

Dumb and dumber

Dear Bayer Back and Body:

Did you design your current commercial to imply the average male airline passenger is a completely unintelligent idiot, or was that just happenstance?

I mean, here’s a guy who is supposed to be a middle-aged American who’s asking the flight attendant on an international flight to Asia (his stupid pictograms have what look to be Korean characters below the illustration) if she has anything for his back pain. In perfect English she offers him Bayer Back and Body. That’s all right as far as it goes, but: he obviously thinks that Bayer aspirin is only for heart attacks and tells her (as though she were an idiot herself) that he’s not having one, that he’s got a sore back.

What middle-aged American wasn’t introduced to Bayer aspirin as a headache and mild pain reliever long before the medicos determined we should take it to preclude heart trouble? There can’t be any such dummies in the entire country!

Calendar notice

My mom and I each use an Oral-B battery toothbrush. I change batteries in hers about every six months. Mine needs to have new batteries installed every month or six weeks. I even bought a new toothbrush to see if the old one was a lemon, but the new one is running down just as quickly.

So I’m making a note. Today I installed two new Duracell AA batteries in the thing. The packaging says they have a 10-year guarantee. We’ll see how long they last.

Gout? GOUT?!?

North Korea officially acknowledges that Kim Jong Un isn’t feeling very well, report says

In July, North Korean state television showed a video of Kim appearing to limp during a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. The unusual footage prompted many to speculate about Kim’s health.

That speculation only increased in recent days; although Kim is usually a fixture of North Korean state media, his most recent public appearance was on Sept. 3, when he attended a concert with his wife.

Although the report did not elaborate on the nature of Kim’s “discomfort,” South Korean media and other North Korea watchers are full of ideas of what might be wrong with the dictator.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, for instance, reported that the North Korean leader could be suffering from gout, based on the limp, citing an unnamed source and the history of gout in Kim’s family.

Suffering with gout for three months? Jeebus. Don’t you idiots have access to indomethacin or colchizine or prednisone? With a few doses of one of those his gout should be gone.

I’ve had a half-dozen bouts of gout. I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy. Can I be busted for trading with the enemy if I send the Dear Leader 10 or 20 50mg doses of indocin?


The car registration is due in September, and I’ve been sitting on the bill for three weeks, not because I didn’t want to pay it but because I shuddered at the line I’d have to stand in at the Satellite City Hall down the hill waiting to reach the cashier. I don’t think I’ve ever spent less than an hour, muttering, watching The Food Network, or chatting with my fellow standees while waiting to pay the City.

With grim reluctance I went down there today, arriving at 1:20PM. There were four people in front of me. I was out of there at 1:25PM, $274.35 poorer but done for a year.

I don’t have any idea why this went so smoothly, unless going mid-week and a week before the end of the month has an impact.

I still need to make an appointment to get it inspected (that’s not due till October).

Medical news

I went up to Tripler today for my quarterly exam by the ENT guys, and once again they admired their surgical work and post-operative care. Nearly two years have gone by now and there’s no sign of a recurrence of the mouth cancer. That’s good.

I then went over to the optical shop to pick up a new pair of glasses. I finally got a new prescription from the eye docs, who’d gotten sidetracked by the visual field test for glaucoma. I didn’t do well on it the first time I took it. My eyes kept wandering away from the center light.

Here’s what they look like:

I like the style because there’s no full frame around the lenses. These glasses are almost invisible on my face. But, I’m not sure they’re going to work. For one thing, they are much smaller than my previous pair. That means virtually 5/8 of each lens is made up of the bifocal section. So far that’s difficult to get accustomed to.

For another, I’m used to sitting back in my desk chair nearly three feet away from the monitor. For whatever reason, I can’t do that with these and see the screen clearly. I have to sit up straight and no more than two feet away or even closer, about 18 inches.

The optician transcribed the prescription onto her order form. I’m beginning to wonder if she wrote it down wrongly, or if the company which made the lenses screwed up. I’ll give it a couple of days and if it doesn’t improve I’ll make an appointment to see the eye doctors again.

This is frustrating.