The Spectacle Blog

No Runs, No Hits, No Arrests

By on 11.3.15 | 11:12AM

The Midwest-nice burghers of Kansas City have been celebrating their team’s World Series victory since early Monday morning when a Wade Davis fastball nailed down the Royals’ first world championship since 1985. But while joy has been unconfined in KC, celebrations have been peaceful if noisy.

Things may return to what passes for normal after today’s downtown parade. Schools are closed for the occasion and 200K are expected to show up to honor this very talented, very young, and very entertaining team.

Celebrating to this point has including some fireworks, lots of driving around and whooping, as well as some dancing in the streets. Surely a fair amount of adult beverage has been consumed. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn of a hangover or two. See some Kansas City Star photos here of Royals boosters making a joyful noise.

Go Ahead, Have a Lasik!

By on 11.2.15 | 4:54PM

This morning, I saw a TV ad for Lasik eye surgery and that got me wondering, “What’s happened to the price of Lasik since I had my procedure 10 years ago?” We hear a lot about the rising cost of healthcare. (By the way, how is that Obamacare working out for you?) But, what about elective medical procedures – you know, the ones that patients pay for themselves? And so I called the ophthalmologist who performed my Lasik operation (with superb results, I might add) to find out the details. 

Back in 2005, he charged $3,500 for fixing nearsightedness and astigmatism in both eyes, or $4,264 in 2015 dollars. Today, he charges $3,000. That amounts to a real price reduction of 30 percent. In the meantime, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees (a close approximation to the quintessential “blue collar worker”), rose from $15.91 in January 2005 to $20.80 in January 2015. So, an ordinary American needed to work for 220 hours to afford a Lasik surgery in 2005. S/he needs to work 144 hours to afford the same procedure today. That’s a 35 percent decrease in terms of work time.

Carly Fiorina Books The View After Hosts Criticize Her Looks

By on 11.2.15 | 4:22PM

Oh, Spectators, how I've missed you! But I'm back from Disney World and ready to inform you, once again. 

While I was gone, The View, apparently, tackled the important issues surrounding last week's Presidential debate, such as the face Carly Fiorina makes when she's getting serious about an issue. Now, I don't feel bad for not having seen the clip because I'm hardly the only person who doesn't watch The View on a regular basis (their audience is limited to people in dentists chairs who can't change the channel on the in-room television because they're dosed up on Novacaine, and homebound invalids without cable), but it seems the hosts, including the ever-intelligent Joy Behar, piled on Fiorina, calling her "demented"-looking and comparing her face to a "Halloween mask" as they cackled around their coffee table. 

Be Careful What You Ask For

By on 11.2.15 | 1:19PM

In stating his case with Mets manager Terry Collins to be allowed to go back to the mound in the 9th against the Kansas City Royals last night, pitcher Matt Harvey pleaded, “I want this game in the worst way.” That’s exactly what he and the Mets got.

Royals Win 1st World Series in 30 Years

By on 11.2.15 | 1:07AM

It took 12 innings, but the Kansas City Royals have done it. They have won their first World Series title since 1985 with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5.

The Mets had a 2-0 lead going into the ninth with Matt Harvey only giving up four hits. Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen had told Harvey he was out, but he talked them into leaving him in the game. Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain and gave up a double to Eric Hosmer which scored Cain. It was then that Collins removed Harvey in favor of closer Jeurys Familia who had already blown two save opportunities in this World Series. It's not Familia pitched badly. He got Mike Moustakas to ground out to first, but that advanced Hosmer to third. With the infield brought in, Salvador Perez grounded out to David Wright who held Hosmer at third. But then Hosmer made a mad dash for home and reached safely when Mets first baseman Lucas Duda made an errant throw home. While Duda was not charged with an error, Familia was chraged with his third blown save and the game was tied just the same.

Welcome to the Ball

By on 11.2.15 | 1:05AM

It took until past midnight. And their glass slippers have cleats attached. But, America, meet your new Cinderella team, the Kansas City Royals. They’re never out of the game, no matter how long they trail. They put the ball in play and don’t wait for the three-run home run while piling up the Ks. They have a bullpen that’s tougher than real bulls. They catch and throw with the best. They come from a small market town, closer to the Ozarks than to the Great White Way. But today they’re champions of the baseball world. And no one out of the five boroughs who watched this very entertaining World Series would deny that they are the best team on the planet. Congrats to Ned Yost and the boys. I’m sure they’ll have a very enjoyable winter.

Fred Thompson, R.I.P.

By on 11.1.15 | 7:02PM

Actor, attorney, former U.S. Senator and one-time GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson has passed away following a recurrence of lymphoma. He was 73.

Thompson first came to national fame during the Watergate hearings in 1973 after he learned the existence of President Nixon's White House tapes. The existence of these tapes was confirmed when Thompson asked Nixon White House aide Alexander Butterfield about them and Butterfield confirmed their existence.

Erdogan Regains Power in Turkish Elections

By on 11.1.15 | 6:24PM

Five months after losing their parliamentary majority to the Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice & Development Party (AKP) has regained power in new parliamentary elections.

Of course, it could be said that the AKP never truly lost power as it prevented the HDP from officially taking power. There is no doubt that increased tensions with Syria played a big factor especially with Russia's overt presence in the region. You might recall that Russian aircraft entered Turkish airspace last month which were met by two Turkish F16s.

Then there were the bombings in Ankara nine days later which claimed the lives of nearly 100 people. The Turkish government blamed the attacks on both ISIS and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). These seems implausible given that the PKK has been actively fighting ISIS for over a year now. As I wrote at the time:

Al Molinaro, R.I.P.

By on 11.1.15 | 3:35PM

Actor Al Molinaro passed away at the age of 96 on Friday due to gall stones.

Molinaro is best known to TV audiences for his portrayal of Murray the Cop on The Odd Couple and Big Al Delvecchio on Happy Days and its shortlived spin-off Joanie & Chachi. I was most familiar with the latter role and his trademark phrase, "Yup! Yup! Yup!"

Molinaro took a somewhat unusual path to acting. For many years while living in California, Molinaro ran a collection agency and would eventually get involved in real estate. These ventures would made him independently wealthy. Upon achieving this wealth, Molinaro would pursue his dream of acting and his dream came true.

He also did many TV commercials as you can see here with Super Bowl champion William "The Refrigerator" Perry.