Baseball Toaster Catfish Stew
STOP CASTING POROSITY! An Oakland Athletics blog.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Catfish Stew

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  01 

12  09  08  01 

12  11  10  09  08 
Email Us

Ken: catfish AT zombia d.o.t. com
Ryan: rarmbrust AT gmail d.o.t. com
Philip: kingchimp AT alamedanet d.o.t net

Ken's Greatest Hits
28 Aug 2003
12 Jan 2004
31 May 2005
11 May 2005
29 Jun 2005
8 Jun 2005
19 Jul 2005
11 Aug 2005
7 Sep 2005
20 Sep 2005
22 Sep 2005
26 Sep 2005
28 Sep 2005
29 Sep 2005
18 Oct 2005
9 Nov 2005
15 Nov 2005
20 Nov 2005

13 Dec 2005
19 Jan 2006
28 Jan 2006
21 Feb 2006
10 Apr 2006
16 Apr 2006
22 Apr 2006
7 May 2006
25 May 2006
31 May 2006
18 Jun 2006
22 Jun 2006
6 Jul 2006
17 Jul 2006
13 Aug 2006
15 Aug 2006
16 Aug 2006
20 Aug 2006
11 Oct 2006
31 Oct 2006
29 Dec 2006
4 Jan 2006
12 Jan 2006
27 Jan 2007
17 Feb 2007
30 Apr 2007
27 Aug 2007
5 Sep 2007
19 Oct 2007
23 Nov 2007
5 Jan 2008
16 Jan 2008
4 Feb 2008
7 May 2008
20 Jun 2008
4 Feb 2008
Studies in Scandinavian Language and Literature
2008-07-17 14:34
by Ken Arneson

Trivia question: How do you say "Timmermann's Griddle" in Swedish?

* * *

Free trivia: The Danish province of Greenland is almost completely covered by a snow-white ice cap. So why is the island named so colorfully? Is it because the natives all wear A's caps? Contrary to popular belief, no, it is not. The name derives from the color your face turns when you eat contaminated chicken while flying above it.

Here's a travel tip: try to avoid contracting food poisoning on long, intercontinental flights. You may not have known this, but there are many better ways to begin your vacation. Like, say, doing anything else.

* * *

More trivia: A list of people poisoned in or above or on their way to Denmark:

  • Hamlet, Sr.
  • Hamlet, Jr.
  • Gertrude
  • Claudius
  • Laertes
  • Ken Arneson

* * *

No wonder Danes are the happiest people on earth. They could be poisoned at any moment. When you start with such low expectations, anything else is a happy surprise. I survived my Danish poisoning! Life is great!

* * *

In 1992, Denmark won the European Soccer Championships. Two years later, Danish happiness levels plummeted, because Danes started expecting success. When the Danish team returned to previous levels of failure, Danish expectations returned to near-zero, and the Danes regained their happiness titles.

* * *

As for our Greenland Athletics, until my actual encounter with Greenland, I was pretty happy. Perhaps because, like the Danes, I came into this season with incredibly low expectations. I expected disaster, and instead, it's been kinda not bad. Look, the A's are pretty much having the same season as the Yankees, likely to finish above .500 but out of the playoffs, but the Yankee fans are much more miserable about it.

Then I met Greenland, puked on the plane, landed in Copenhagen, barely missed a train to my Swedish destination while my stomach gurgled, finally arrived my brother's home, where I promptly puked a bunch more. I thought, well, this vacation can't get much worse than this. What's worse than being poisoned? I couldn't eat for two days. Shortly after I had regained my strength, Rich Harden was traded for much less in return than I had been expecting, and I felt miserable again. Then a couple days after that, my baby daughter got sick with fever, and cried inconsolably for hours and hours until she finally fell asleep and the fever broke the next day. And to top things off, a few days later, my 17-year-old nephew went out to a party at a friend's house, and as he left the party, he was robbed, kidnapped and driven to multiple ATMs and made to drain his account, and then beaten up and left on the street with a shiner, a broken nose, and a concussion. (Yes, this happened in Sweden.) But hey, other than those things, it's been a wunnerful, wunnerful show.

* * *

Tomorrow, I depart Sweden for New York City, where the weather forecast calls for muggy, 95 degree East Coast heat all weekend long. We're scheduled to see Justin Duchscherer pitch on Sunday in my first and only visit to Yankee Stadium, so the odds are good I'll at least witness a competitive game. But then again, given my recent fortunes, Duchscherer will be traded or injured before then, and/or the game will be cancelled on account of thunderstorms or some other random act of God. That is, of course, assuming I even survive the flight out of Stockholm. Perhaps I should reaquaint myself with some August Strindberg scripts before I order my in-flight meals.

* * *

My expectations right now are about as low as they can be. If the A's go on a 15-game losing streak out of the all-star break, for example, I won't be heartbroken; I'm fully expecting such misery. And if anything uncatastrophic happens, I am pleasantly and happily surprised, such as this afternoon when I discovered to my great joy the answer to the above trivia question:




2008-07-17 16:08:46
1.   trainwreck
The Athletics get second baseman Adrian Cardenas, pitcher Josh Outman and outfielder Matthew Spencer, all minor leaguers.

Cardenas is the jewel of the group. A's all of a sudden have a glut of middle infielders.

2008-07-17 16:18:20
2.   jwb
Sorry about all the bad things that have happened (so far) on your vacation. Cool picture, though.

The Greenland/Iceland thing was strictly PR: "Don't go to Iceland! Brr! Cold and icy all year! Go to Greenland! Spring 12 months a year! Bring lots of food so you don't starve that first spring-like October to June time, though."

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.