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Tom Nakashima's Blog

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Posts from October 2011


The World's Creepiest Places...
Yahoo Travel has revealed some of the most disturbing places on the planet. How about The Chapel of Bones in Portugal? The walls of this chapel are covered in artistically composed designs of bones from more than 5,000 human exhumed skeletons. On one wall, a child’s dried corpse hangs from a chain. Yikes. And there’s the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. It features a collection of anatomical oddities. And there’s a surgical amphitheater where amputations, tumor removals and hernia repairs were performed without anesthesia. Please. And how about the Chernobyl Amusement Park in Pripyat, Ukraine? The amusement park was built for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers and their families and was scheduled to open May 1, 1986. Unfortunately, five days earlier the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred. No one ever returned. That’s not too creepy, is it? I guess it’s all in good clean fun. Happy Halloween….
 
 
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The Video Is Graphic.. I Get It...
Sometimes if it says “extremely graphic video”… I’ll admit that I have to take a look.  So I’m not complaining that there are gruesome scenes showing the capture and death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi....  I’m the one who clicked on it, but I didn’t enjoy it.  Times have certainly changed.  Scenes that were unattainable a few years ago are now everywhere on internet sites and blogs from around the world.  I can imagine that there are plenty of newsrooms conflicted over whether to air some of this stuff.  The inevitable technology has brought us a close up view of some exhilarating things… and some awful things.  I’m fine with a prime time network show refusing to air lurid video.  But I believe that anyone over the age of 5 will see it, if he or she wants to.  Gadhafi was a criminal… we get it.  And we seem to have more tolerance for a violent demise, as long as he’s “a bad guy.”  But the uncontrolled frenzy, the mob mentality of those who surrounded him in his last moments… gave me the chills. Brq photo
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Alex Smith.. At Last...
I just want good things to happen to this guy.  No, I didn’t expect him to return to the 49ers this season.  He’s been vilified, spit on, virtually tarred and feathered… and blamed for everything including the Lindbergh kidnapping.  To say his first six seasons were a little rocky is the understatement of the year.  But look what’s happened.  Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter says Alex is “reborn.”  With Jim Harbaugh on board… and with essentially the same roster as last year… the Niners are 5-1.  I thought if Alex Smith was just decent this year, it would be a confidence boost for him.  He’s been better than that.  And this humble kid (who’s the same age as Tim Lincecum), still gives credit to his teammates.  And his guys love him back.  The other day, Frank Gore said “Number 11’s coming!  You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”  If Alex keeps this up, he’ll be more than the Comeback Player of the Year… he’ll be Comeback Player of The Decade.  No, Alex Smith is not Joe Montana.  The good news is…. he doesn’t have to be.  In this week’s SI, Peter King suggests that Alex Smith vs. Aaron Rodgers in the NFC title game is not impossible.  Yes, this is the same Peter King who picked the Rams to win the West. monica’sdad photo
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Bryant Gumbel.. What Were You Thinking?
One of my favorite shows is Real Sports on HBO, which seems to pop up once a month.  Investigative pieces, player profiles, behind the scenes stories.. they’re always top notch, and well worth finding.  But this month’s commentary by Bryant Gumbel on the status of the NBA lockout is what’s drawing a lot of heat.  He made reference to NBA Commissioner David Stern as “a modern day plantation overseer.”  Yikes.  Are you kidding?  A slavery reference?  You obviously knew that would light a fire.  Well, if you just wanted to get Real Sports some attention… you certainly got your wish.  I don’t suppose this discussion will die down anytime soon.  Shaun Powell of ESPNNewYork.com writes, “You can disagree with his tactics and his strategy and his idea of what makes for a financially stable NBA.  But you can’t, under any circumstances, compare the most progressive commissioner in sports to a slave owner.” otterman56 photo
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The Handshake = The Season...
I know, you’ve heard about the overblown Harbaugh-Schwartz incident a hundred times this week.  But I realized that the Handshake and ensuing melee, which took all of about 12 seconds… is a microcosm of what the 49ers have done to most of their opponents this season.  They get under your skin, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Getting beat by a bunch of no-names is so humiliating that afterward you chase them across the field and yell, “You ruined my day!”  They not only refuse to apologize.. they’re laughing all the way to the locker room.  xoque photo
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Dan Wheldon.. 1978 - 2011
IndyCar racing star Dan Wheldon is gone, following one of the worst crashes in the history of the sport… at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  He was a husband, a father… a champion and friend to many.  Along with millions, I love the sport of auto racing.  Of course, there’s risk and danger.  And some will say that any race track is an accident waiting to happen.  But there have been serious doubts about the safety of the steeply banked Las Vegas layout for years.. that it’s too fast, too dangerous.  When someone as experienced as Dario Franchitti says, “IndyCars shouldn’t be racing here”..  someone should listen.  macahanC6R photo
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The Handshake.. Get Over It...
Let’s face it, the 49ers shocked the Detroit Lions, the team the rest of America has been fawning over for weeks.  Most of the NFL reporters wouldn’t know Delanie Walker from Delaney and Bonnie… and yet that fourth down slant play to the 49ers tight end sealed the deal in a thriller.  But all anyone wants to talk about is The Handshake. Hilarious.  Here’s what I saw:  America’s darling got punched in the mouth by a bunch of no-names.  Well, they do have names.  Like Anthony Davis, Chilo Rachal, Aldon Smith and Teddy Ginn.  And Lions coach Jim Schwartz?  I knew you were in trouble when you implied that the 49ers were intimidated by deferring the kickoff.  From what I can gather, you’re a cocky loudmouth coach who even trash talks other players.  Oh, you heard an obscenity?  Get over it.  A hard back slap?  Wow.  After having your ass kicked for four hours, you’re lucky that’s all you got. monica’sdad photo
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Detroit Disaster.. Black Sunday...
I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.  Well, actually I would.  How about this unlikely scenario for this Sunday… It would be the ultimate challenge for those giddy Detroit fans, who are obviously basking in all this attention.  The Tigers fall to Texas, and miss out on their chance at World Series glory.  Within 15 minutes, the upstart San Francisco 49ers stick a dagger in the heart of America’s new darlings, and shock the Detroit Lions.  Immediately following that, the new owner of the Motor City’s NBA franchise announces he’ll be relocating the team to the West Coast.  After the lockout ends, they’ll be known as the Huntington Beach Pistons.  Eat that.  Well, at least you still have the Red Wings. keithallison photo
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Bank Heist Goes Awry.. Bad Handwriting...
You can’t make this up.  A crook in Delaware handed a bank teller a demand note for cash.  When the clerk couldn’t make out what it said, she slid it back and demanded he re-write it and submit it again.  Instead, he bolted out the door… and was arrested a few blocks away.  I guess he should have invested in a laser printer.  There’s a scene in Woody Allen’s Take The Money and Run, where Woody’s character attempts to rob a bank.  The teller can’t read the demand note and argues over the sentence.. “I’m pointing a gun at you.”  The teller says, “That looks like ‘gub.’  It doesn’t look like ‘gun.’” Michael1952 photo
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Boston Cleans House...
Wait… didn’t Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein help the Boston Red Sox win two World Series after they hadn’t sniffed a Championship in a hundred years?  Oh well, anyone can have a good decade.  Rick Adelman was there for the Kings’ best years.  Let’s run him out.  Steve Mariucci?  The last guy to take the 49ers to a playoff win.  We’re making some changes.  Bill Neukom?  Ten months after The Parade down Market Street… who does he think he is?  I know, you raise the bar so high… expectations change.  Everybody gets hypercritical.  Fans, sportswriters, the big wigs.  Even Christopher Columbus, after opening the door to the New World… was shackled and sent to prison.  I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. keithallison photo
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Bathfitter.. The Real Deal... 231-7255...
A shower renovation with a One Day install?  That doesn’t even sound possible.  But Bathfitter will custom fit a gorgeous new shower over your existing one… with all new fixtures and doors… in a day.  It just happened in my home.. and I’m gonna tell all my friends about it.  Here’s the simple process...  an estimator will take precise measurements and assess whatever special plumbing needs you may have.  Choose from hundreds of styles and fixtures that fit your taste.  Then, it’s off to the Bathfitter plant to create your masterpiece.  When they return.. you arrange the install, which takes about a day.  You’ll have a  marvelous new shower, created with the best materials in the business…. and a lifetime warranty.  To arrange a free no-obligation in home estimate, call Bathfitter… 916-231-7255.
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Thuuhhhh Yankees Wiiinnnnn!.. Oh Wait...
Yeah, the three highest payrolls in baseball are done.. finished for the season.  And though Alex Rodriguez took it like a man, to see the highest paid guy in the universe make the final out somehow felt righteous to the Yankee Haters.  And the Red Sox collapse?  Please.  Well, Terry Francona must’ve gotten stupid.  You won’t have him to kick around anymore.  Oh, and the Phillies?  I get the impression they’re still bitter that the San Francisco Giants embarrassed them last year.  The Giants had to have been a fluke, as if they stole their rightful crown.  So this year would be different… Philadelphia put together the best starting staff in baseball.  All that got you is a seat on the sidelines.  How do you like the view?  Now it’s down to the Tigers, Rangers, Brewers and Cardinals.  To be World Champions, just about everything has to go right in October.  For only one of them, everything will. gaspa photo
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I Have Jury Duty...
Well, almost.  I got the dreaded “Jury Summons,”.  This is my week to be available, so I had to check the court website every day to see if I had to report downtown.  I kept watching my number slide into the next box, until ultimately.. my service wasn’t needed.  Yes.  Joy.  Relief.  Thank You. It’s not that I tried to avoid jury service, but I didn’t exactly volunteer.  The last time I got called, I’d barely had time for a cup of coffee… and I’m in the box for a murder trial.  Yikes.  I’ll tell you, it was a fascinating, learning experience.  I saw first-hand how much work goes into prosecuting and defending someone whose life is on the line.   And it doesn’t all wrap up in 44 minutes, like on TV.  Well, it’s hard not to appreciate the system… and the judges, prosecutors, defenders and police who toil in it.  It's not lost on me.  Maybe I'll catch you next time. zzpza photo
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I Thought I Knew Something About Prohibition...
Well, it turns out I didn’t know squat.  Once again, I gladly enrolled at the University of Ken Burns.  After watching his stunning 5 ½ hour Prohibition documentary about a remarkable chapter of America’s history, I realized I’ve been uninformed at best.  At worst, I must be a complete dunce.  The story of alcoholism, morality and values spans more than a hundred years, so the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment didn’t happen overnight.  Prohibition was supposed to be the answer to so many of our problems.  It wasn’t.  Law-abiding citizens became criminals…. and thugs not only got rich, they became celebrities.  Catch this excellent film if you can.  You’ll see why Prohibition is a lot more than machine guns and Al Capone.  And why we’re still asking relevant questions about the role of government in people’s lives, and who is – and who is not – a real American. OrangeCountyArchives photo
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The Climbing Addict...
Lots of people like to go rock climbing.  The great outdoors, fresh air..  the exhilaration.  But after seeing Alex Honnold scale the face of a mountain, calling it climbing seems ridiculous.  Lara Logan featured Alex on 60 Minutes…. and it was fascinating, jaw-dropping and more than a little scary.  Alex, who’s 26, is from Sacramento… and he’s the Leonardo da Vinci of climbers.  What he does is called free-soloing.  He climbs mountain faces and rocks without ropes… no climbing gear, no hooks, harnesses… no nothing.  Of course, one little slip… one loose rock and you’re gone.  I know, it’s insane.  He’s the first person to free-solo climb up the northwest face of Half Dome, 2,000 feet straight up in Yosemite.  He’s climbed rock walls people wouldn’t tackle WITH ropes.  Alex, I’d rather you not do this anymore.  I’d like you to see age 30… but I don’t suppose you’ll take my advice.  Lara Logan.. thanks for the story.     ThirdLegReviews photo
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Dream Team Experiences.. A Nightmare...
Oh the 49ers didn’t do much.  They only came from 20 down midway through the third quarter to upset the Philadelphia Eagles on the road… and are now an unlikely 3-1.  Yeah the Eagles, known as The Dream Team, amassed a staggering 500 yards on offense… and Michael Vick is as dangerous as advertised.  So how in the world did this happen?  That’s what Philly coach Andy Reid is wondering.  His tight-lipped post game comments were priceless… he was STEAMING.  Did the Eagles aid in their embarrassment?  Of course… two field goals missed and a couple of big fumbles.  But the 49ers took advantage… and with every first down, every completed pass, every dive into the end zone…. their confidence grows.  And it looks like DeSean Jackson likes to trash talk before the game's over.  You know what that makes you?  1-3.  Hilarious. xoque photo
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