Thursday, February 19, 2009

BLACK & GOLD POTPOURRI

RAY SHERO. OCCUPATION: SCAPEGOAT-MAKER




Above: As the songs goes, "They smile in your face, all the time they wanna take your place, the back stabbers, back stabbers....."

I have a few things that I'd like to addresss today and I'll start off with the Penguins. Dan Bylsma can very well be the best coach to come around since sliced bread was invented, but I'm very disturbed at the raw deal that Mike Therrien got just a few months after taking the team to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Mike Therrien didn't get stupid all of a sudden, nor did he "lose the team" as people like to say. His boss fired him because he didn't win with a different set of players than he had last year...a far different cast of players. Not only did he lose his grit players like Ryan Malone, Jarko Ruutu, Georges LaRoque and Gary Roberts but also talented winger Marian Hossa. Look at the players that were brought in by Ray Shero to replace them. They were far below what was lost. In addition, this team has had a myriad of injuries, starting with Segei Gonchar who quarterbacked their now-anemic power play last year.

How can a team go through this much roster upheaval and not be affected? Given the circumstances, I think it's amazing that Therrien had this team still above .500 when he was fired...and who do you think brought in these players, Therrien? Hardly.

I listened to an interview today where Therrien felt the team was really starting to come around and was just starting to get over some of the major injuries. He felt that, the Toronto game aside, that the team was ready to start making a move. Therrien and his family were obviously crushed over this move by Ray Shero which certainly strikes me as being highly unjust.

I guess in a city where the Rooney's have always exemplified the ultimate in patience with these types of situations, the move by the Penguins sticks out like an even bigger sore thumb. I really feel sorry for Mike Therrien and I hope for his sake that he gets another opportunity to coach. I especially felt bad hearing him speak so glowingly about Pittsburgh, how he sold his home in Montreal and how his kids want to stay here. He also strongly believes that this team is going to make the playoffs.

You didn't deserve this Mike. Ray Shero should be ashamed of himself for making you into his scapegoat. Maybe his bosses will someday treat him just as unfairly as he treated you. Let's hope not, because no human being deserves that.

McDonald's: Sad To Say, Apparently I've Eaten
My Last Big Mac


Above: Apparently McDonalds would go to the moon if they thought they could get cheaper beef there.

Can you believe that McDonald's is making a move now to begin buying all of their beef from South American producers? McDonalds says it's because American producers can't keep up, but the reality is that they can get cheaper, less regulated beef in countries like Argentina that don't have the same level of regulations that American producers have to work within.

This is just another example of an American corporation that makes its' money in America, shifting either its' buying or manufacturing overseas where the profit is bigger. This is how our country got into its' present mess and until people who run these companies start to display even the least sense of a moral compass, our country will continue to slide. Hey, I've eaten at McDonalds a million times, but they can forget it now as far as I'm concerned. American cattlemen have to support their families too! I'll buy my burgers from companies that buy American beef.

And on a lighter note...


Above: Buddha's probably rolling over in his grave right now...

THAILAND'S BUDDHIST MONKS PLAY

"CAN YOU TOP THIS?"

You probably remember the story that appeared in "P. B. & G." about a month ago about the guy who built a house made entirely out of beer cans in Houston. He drank a six pack per day for 16 years until he amassed something like 35,000 beer cans and decided to build a house with them.

Above: Beer bottle temple in Thailand required that the local populace drink 375,000 gallons of beer (in 16 ounce bottles of course). This means that many Thais are either 1) Not Buddhist or 2) Don't care about the rule against drinking alcoholic beverages in Buddhism. Oh well, at least the bottles ended up being used for something good.


Well in North East Thailand comes this story about a group of Buddhist monks who have built an entire temple to Buddha using beer bottles! What really makes this story fascinating is that drinking alcohol is a sin in Buddhism. Apparently in 1984 the monks started collecting the beer bottles and amassed a staggering 1.5 million bottles.


Above: Buddhist monk stands in front of amazing beer bottle temple. Nice touch with the water and all.
Today you can visit the impressive "Wat Lan Kuad" temple located in Wat Pa Maha Chedikaew, Thailand. Okay, who's gonna top this? I think it'll have to be built out of empty beer kegs though!

One final thought: Just imagine for a minute if Thais were Steeler fans? They'd be building skyscrapers!

Below: Inside the beer bottle temple. Very impressive inside and out. You can never underestimate the value of alcoholism, either in Houston or Thailand!