Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » October 2004 » Interesting (no comment)....

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10/14/2004: Interesting (no comment)....

From the Billy-Ball email newsletter:

... in my informal polling I have been asking whether people would rather see a Red Sox victory or a John Kerry victory (voice your opinions at bill@billy-ball.com). The vast majority of the respondents have unhesitatingly chosen John Kerry. The next largest group hesitated before choosing John Kerry. That brings to mind the response of comedian Jack Benny, famed for being a tightwad, who gained one of his most famous laughs on radio came when Benny was accosted by a robber who demanded, "Your money or your life!" After an extended pause, the gunman reiterated the threat. Benny, replied, "I'm thinking, Iím thinking!"
Bill Chuck (the demented genius behind "Billy Ball") also has this comment about what may be one of the bigger online auctions in the history of the 'net):
Barry B*nds' 700th home run ball will go on sale in a nine-day Internet auction starting Monday, on Overstock.com. Bidding will start at $1, Billy-Ball plans to bid as high as $17. The auction will last from Oct. 18 to 27. Some appraisers have valued the ball at $1 million, and the Overstock.com Web site succinctly states that "though estimates of the ball's value are difficult to estimate, most agree six figures is a fair estimate." Okay, I may go as high as $49 in that case. I am also anticipating the auction of the junk removed from Mr. B*nds knee in his recent arthroscopic surgery.
I'm not going to bother bidding, then; Bill's planned bid of $49 would beat my highest bid hands down.

But taking a quick glance at the Overstock.com auction website, I am shocked to see that the bidding on the Bonds #700 ball starts at $1 with no reserve. I am almost mildly tempted to cast a bid just to say I did (just like I threw in an application to Harvard Law School, even though rejection was a virtual certainty there). Alas, a nanosecond after the bidding goes live I have no doubt that the Overstock.com site will slow to a glacial crawl. Think of it as a legitimate denial of service attack.

Len on 10.14.04 @ 10:39 AM CST


Replies: 2 comments

on Thursday, October 14th, 2004 at 11:40 AM CST, Angel said

Is there some reason that Old Bill uses an asterisk in place of an "O" when spelling out Barry's surname? That's what Hasidic Jews do when spelling out the name of God! :P

Sorry about that Harvard thing... but just think what the world would have missed had you become just another filthy rich lawyer :o)

on Thursday, October 14th, 2004 at 1:09 PM CST, Len Cleavelin said

Not just Hasidic Jews; I had a Jewish girlfriend (well, that's a bit of exaggeration; she and I fooled around a little, but she was quite willing to be "friendly" with a lot of guys) in college who did it too, and she was a very liberal Reform Jew.

I'm not sure whether in Billy-Ball's case the asterisk is a mark of respect, or more likely a mark of contempt. A number of baseball commentators I've read think that Bonds's hitting records of the last few years should be "asterisked" a la the Roger Maris "asterisk", on the grounds that Bonds's suspected steroid use makes his records less than legitimate as well.

But that's just a wild assed guess; I don't recall reading Billy-Ball's explanation, if he's ever given one, for the usage.

And don't be sorry about the Harvard Law thing; I specifically applied to HLS knowing that I'd be rejected, but I wanted the rejection letter (which I framed and displayed in my dorm room the first year of law school).

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