Monday, September 30, 2013

Apocalypse Now 2: The Republicans on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Yes, for the very first time in the history of "The Daily Vampire," we are using four images as the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress, which is controlled by the likes of far right figures, such as Cong. Eric Cantor (R-Va., pictured top), is likely to close down the federal government.

This means that real-life Ranger Smiths (middle image, from "Yogi Bear") and the actors in the Ford's Theater production of "The Laramie Project," about a riveting anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming, may not go to work when the sun rises in the morning (this is just speculation, especially with regards to Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, though it is a national park).

So, here are some tweets from the right and the left and maybe even one or two from the center:

1. LOLGOP: "If House Speaker John Boehner is really going to ofer a clean bill, all Freedwomworks is going to break loose."

2. WXII News (NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, NC): "Panda cam at the National Zoo to go dark in shutdown."

 3. Southpaw: "The Speaker just did an impression of the President of the United States on the House floor."

4. DenverPost: "#CoFlood: Colorado National Guard flood work could be delayed by shutdown."

5. Ford's Theatre: "'The Laramie Project' is so real. It'll be a real treat to everyone who comes to see it,' Cokie Roberts."

6. WashingtonPost: "Employees who witnessed the Navy Yard shooting will be exempt from shutdown furloughs."

7. Philly City Paper: "Republicans succeed in taking away the Liberty Bell because of Obamacare or something."

8.National Review (a conservative publication): "Obamacare's operating system might be fixable; it's faulty economic logic sure isn't."

9. Markos Moulitsas (liberal editor of "The Daily Kos"): "Reminder: Obamacare more popular than shutdown, Congressional Republicans."

10. Huffington Post: "Government shutdown looms after moderate GOP rebellion fails."

UPDATE: Oct. 1, 2013..........It now appears that Ford's Theatre will not be able to perform "The Laramie Project" at the Ford's Theatre because the theatre itself is a national park and the U.S. federal government has shut down. The matter is made more confusing by the fact that the theatre, as a stage group, is private. Ford's Theatre put a Facebook message up that it was looking for alternative stages for the production of the play, which was well-praised in the DC-media. Our sincerest thoughts go out to the actors, stage-hands and set designers as they work through this difficult situation.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Image to Fill Space: Le Car

Tomorrow will start the official kick-off for a short blog week: Among the items, we will discuss are ways to contact your Congressional representative on Capitol Hill to prevent a government shutdown, results from college volleyball games across the nation and perhaps some international soccer scores.

For now, we leave with image of Le Car, a French car that was popular around the world some 30-40 years ago.

Greetings to our blog readers in Gabon, Guyana and Sri Lanka: These were the three remote countries that came to mind!

UPDATE: It just came to our minds: That if we mention "Breaking Bad," Bob Odenkirk and 'pink teddy bear' that our hits may increase somewhat.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Image to Fill Space: A Vintage VW Bug

It is hard to believe, but when I was a child circa 1977, my late father Mehmet Gokbudak, actually drove us from Frankfurt, West Germany, to Istanbul, Turkey. To my recollection, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria were among the countries we drove.

And, of course, we drove through the former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia), where we encountered some very hilly roads.

Friday, September 27, 2013

In Honor of Banned Book Week: Passages from Six Books (not all of them were banned)

There is always a thin line between knowing which books or films were outright banned, or if some were just banned in certain parts of the world or country. I am virtually 100-percent that the film version of the Gunter Grass novel "The Tin Drum" was banned in Oklahoma, but perhaps now one can find a copy at the Tulsa Public Library:

My friend Tommy Trull, a playwright in Greensboro, NC, made a suggestion on Facebook this week, that everyone should take a book (I suppose it can be either fiction of nonfiction) and go to page 52 of that book and write down the fifth sentence from that book.

Well, here this evening, we are going to do that with 12 books: Six of them will be here, the other six will be on our sister blog:

The answers will be at the very end of the entry

1) When we asked him to sum up his impression of the girls' emotional state at that point, he said, "Buffered but not broken."

2) You learn to stay away from fat citizens in python suits, any swelling or protuberance is something to avoid and pregnant women have the streets to themselves.

3) "He knows," Jody said.

4) "W-who did it, Lou?"

5) The container had been packed half full of steel cylinders of some sort, each with a protective wooden box with a lid.

6) 'Well, said Georgie, 'if you must have it, have it then.'


1) "The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides

2) "The Wild Boys" by William S. Burroughs

3) "You Suck: A Love Story" by Christopher Moore (pictured bottom)

4) "The Killer Inside Me" by Jim Thompson (pictured center)

5) "The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson

6) "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess (pictured top) (Bookstore in Asheville, NC) (Bookstore in Boulder, Colo.) (Bookstore in Washington, DC) (Hartford Public Library in Hartford, Conn.) (Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake City, Utah)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tweets Considering All Things Considering Washington DC: (2 of 2) The Great Train Robbery

With a government shutdown looming as the House Congressional Republicans are acting like great train robbers of the Wild West (pictured, forgive the editorial commentary, but we stand by it), we thought we'd look like at some tweets from all perspectives in the nation's capital.

Let's get started (not all tweets pertain to the train robbery):

1) Suzy Khimm ( a liberal journalist who has written for "Mother Jones" and "The Washington Post"): "Republicans have abandoned any pretense that the debt limit fight is about debt."

2) David Corn (a liberal journalist who is an editor for "Mother Jones"): "Obama: 'See what the prices are, and make up your mind. '//Letting the market work. What a socialist!" (Corn is referring to the Obamacare squabble)

3.) Washington Diplomat: "NSA spied on Indian embassy and U.N mission. Edward Snowden file reveals."

4.) Jeff A: "#GOPDemands: All people who work for the government should get Obamacare." (Ok, here's our token Republican here).

5) The Hill: "Senator Barb Mikulshki (D-Md.): GOP can huff and puff, but they won't blow Obamacare away."

6) Rudolf Benkirk (the Dutch ambassador to America): "Only feathers and a bird are natural than a Dutch man or woman on a bicycle. #ThinkBikeChicago"

UPDATE: We decided to add the black-footed ferret which was tweeted about by the National Zoo. To see that tweet, go to our sister blog:

Tweets Considering All Things Washington DC (1 of 2)

Just because we have a photo of Sen. Ted Cruz, that does NOT we are endorsing him.

Here are some tweets about Washington, DC, today, and not just Congress and the federal government (well, this entry is):

1. Politico: "Delay is not a major blow to Obamacare, exchanges for individuals are still expected to open on time."

2. Hunter: "Obama is supposed to negotiate with ppl who refuse to negotiate even with their own party. Yeah, that will work."

3. The Daily Show: "Ted Cruz cites a children's book about a stubborn jerk who decides he hates something until he's tried it."(They are referring to "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss)

4. Tea Party Cat/Top Conservative Cat: "#GOPDEMANDS: All liberals must watch all 21 hours of Ted Cruz's filibuster until they proclaim him as a savior."

5. Cong Virginia Foxx (R-NC): "Americans aren't interested in spin, they're concerned about whether they'll be paying more for health care on Jan.1"

6.The Onion: "It was a gamble, but 'it paid off'...............45th President of the United States: Ted Cruz."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

8 Things You Need to Know: DC Turkish Fetival, UNC Volleyball and Sen. Ted Cruz

1. The 11th Annual Washington D.C. Turkish Festival will be happening on Sunday. It will take place between 12th and 14th Street, two blocks from the White House. The event will feature folk dancing, musical performances, coffee fortune reading and (of course) very authentic ethnic cuisine (pictured top).

2. The University of North Carolina Tarheels' women's volleyball team will face ACC rival North Carolina on their home gym floor in Chapel Hill, NC, at Carmichael Arena, but the game, which starts at 8:00 p.m. tonight (eastern time) will also be televised on ESPN-U. Victoria McPherson (Number Seven, pictured center) was named ACC Player of the Week. The Tarheels are undefeated so far.

3) Though the game will not be nationally televised, the Yale Bulldogs will be facing their first Ivy League opponent when the Brown U Bears come to New Haven, Conn., on Sat. @ 5:00 p.m. Jesse Ebner of Yale was named co-Ivy League Player of the week.

4) In tragic news, Elif Yavuz, 33, a Dutch citizen of Turkish heritage was gunned down along with her Aussie boyfriend Ross Langdon, 33, at the Westgate Shopping Center in a violence rampage in Nairobi, Kenya, that has claimed at least 62 lives. The massacre/hostage situation started on Saturday. Yavuz was eight and a half months pregnant. She had performed work on behalf on the Clinton Foundation. Former president Bill Clinton praised Yavuz, who was also a Harvard alum.

5) The Salem Red Sox, the single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, won its first Carolina League title since 2001, and the first since the team joined the Red Sox family. The defeated the Potomac Nationals to win the title. Mugsy (pictured bottom) is the team mascot.

6) One of the most fun bands in the word the Red Elvises are on tour. On Thursday night, the band performs at Moe's (yes that is the actual name of the venue, we were thinking about "The Simpsons" too) in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday night. The venue's phone number is 303.781.0414

7) Along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) stands out among the Tea Party crazies who are gradually hijacking the Republican Party. Just a few hours ago, Cruz wrapped on his 21-hour speech, which included a reading of the Dr. Seuss classic "Green Eggs and Ham" (?!). He now gives new meaning to the term Ted Talks (TED Talks is a series of talks given about technology and socially relevant issues, such as education).

8) Teasers: In the coming days, we hope to have tweets about tweets relating to all things Washington, DC, which includes not just Congress, but the National Zoo. In addition, we are hoping to post some entries related to both Book Week and Banned Week (we believe both are going on this week). Stay tuned..............

Antiques Roadshow in Salem, Virginia

This weekend, my mom Lila Sullivan and myself will be among the antiques dealers participating in a Fall Open House at the Salem Antique Market (the old Lawrence's Market building), located at 2700 West Main Street in Salem, Va. (near Roanoke). The phone number for the store is 540-389-6559.

The festival will be this Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Refreshments will be served, and there are door prizes.

Here are some of the items you can find in the antique store (an * denotes items not available in our booths, but can still be found in the shop):

1) Comic books (pictured top)

2. Grandfather clocks * (pictured middle)

3. Blenko glass from West Virginia (pictured bottom)

4. Hardcover books (both fiction and non-fiction)

5. Vintage postcard

6. Vintage "Life" magazines

7. Vintage "Mad" magazines

8. Quilts

9. Sheet music

10. Depression glass

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Image to Fill Space: Maine Coon Cat

Ahhhh.....yet another time crunch today, so we hope you enjoy this image of a Maine Coon Cat.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Image to Fill Space: A Pug

Greetings to our blog-readers in Canada, El Salvador, Venezuela, Sweden, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Ghana, Malaysia, Tajikistan and The Bahamas.

We'll have something more substantial in tomorrow's blog entry.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Today We Mark Our 8th Year of Blogging

It was a very dark and stormy night (apologies to the late Charles Schultz, the creator of "Peanuts"), on that fateful day on Sept. 21, 2005.

Hmmm.....this reminds of my favorite comic strips is "Sherman's Lagoon" which has underwater creatures, such as sharks, sea turtles and crabs as its main characters; I'm not sure if I've seen an octopus yet (?!)

When we began blogging, there was no Facebook, there was no Twitter, no Miley Cyrus, no Sarah Palin, no "Breaking Bad," no "Mad Men" and no "Parks and Recreation." The oxy-moronic good Samaritan serial killer series "Dexter," which concludes tomorrow night, was on the air but it was a very new show at the time. 

One of our earliest entries on "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time," which is our sister (please visit it, we need the hits!) was a mere shopping list!

I'm sure like all shopping lists I've ever written it included bananas.

Here's to the next eight years............

(We used an octopus for our image because it has eight tentacles; one can see live octopuses at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, or the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Soccer Week (8 of 8): Suppose They Gave a Soccer Game in Cyprus, and No One Cared (plus 11 European teams you've never heard of)

Hmm....we were going to post a photo of Trabzonspor's Turkish soccer player Yusuf Erdogan, but what we got were photos of Turkish Prime Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is about as popular amongst Turks abroad as Porky Pig cartoons are in Dubai (forgive the political humor).

At any rate, this image is of Marco Streller, the Swiss international and captain of the Swiss team Basel, which is ranked 51st in UEFA club standings. He kicked the winning goal for Basel in the Champions League. Basel went into London on Tuesday and shocked the global soccer community with a 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Our lead though is in reference to today's soccer game in Limassol, Cyprus, between traditional Turkish soccer power Trabzonspor and Appolon Limassol, the team that surprised Europe last year by reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Even though Cyprus is just across the sea from Turkey, Trabzonspor traveled quite a ways for the game as Trabzon is located in northwestern Turkey.

For those who feel asleep in your history class at Cornell University (next time we'll pick on Princeton), Turkey and Greece had a short, but ugly war over Cyprus in 1974. Even though I was four years old at the time, I remember the Cyprus War quite well, or at least as well as the Vietnam War, for my late father Mehmet Gokbudak hailed from Turkey.

Thankfully, no one on either side of my family died in Famagusta or Hanoi.

Before we get to the ten European soccer teams you've never heard of, let's look at some scores that will help you the blog-reader get through this entry:

UEFA Champions League:

Sociedad (Spain) 0 Shkhar Donesk (Ukraine) 2

Chelsea 1 Basel 2

Benfica (Portugal) 2 Anderlecht (Belgium) 0

UEFA Europa League:

Apollon 1 Trabzonspor 2

Dynamo Zagreb (Croatia) 1 Odessa (Ukraine) 2

PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 0 Ludogorets (Bulgaria) 2

Standard Liege (Belgium) 1 Esberg (Denmark)  2

Freiburg (Germany) 2 Liberec (Czech) 2...........tie game

Rubin Kazan (Russia) 5 Maribor (Slovenia) 2

Now here on the 11 teams you've never heard of:

1. Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine): This was considered the second biggest upset in the Champions League. Brazilian international Alex Teixeira scored both goals for the Ukrainian club in their 2-0 win in Spain).

2. Basel (Switzerland)

3. Benfica (Portugal): They are seemingly a team which always sneaks up on other teams in European play.

4. Anderlecht (Belgium)

5. Apollon Limassol (Cyprus): "The Daily Hurriyet," an English-langauge newspaper in Turkey said Trabzonspor won in 'Greek Cyprus,' but we don't like to get into politics here. Well, at least, not when we are writing about soccer. Gaston Sangoy (Argentina) scored for the Cypriot team in the team's close loss to Trabzonspor.

6. Trabzonspor (Turkey): This squad is one of only two teams outside of Istanbul that has won a Turkish domestics championship; Bursasapr from Bursa is the other team.

7.Dyanmo Zagreb (Croatia)

8. Ludogorets (Bulgaria): Amazingly enough Virgil Misidja a Dutch international player for this Bulgarian team kicked in the second goal in his native country today to help Ludo upset PSV Eindhoven 2-0.

9. Esberg (Denmark): Not to be confused with Swedish team Elfsborg, which is also in the Europa League, this Danish squad celebrated a road win in Belgium thanks to the game-winning goal from Musaga Bakenga, a Norwegian player of Congolese heritage.

10. Rubin Kazan: This team which plays in the Tartar region  of Russia boasts Gokdeniz Karadeniz, one of Turkey's better exports. Today, he scored a goal today in their win over Maribor of Slovenia.

11. Maribor (Slovenia): Today's lop-sided loss to Rubin Kazan was apparently closer than the score sheet indicates. Maribor is a competitive team from the former Yugoslavia and today the team saw a goal from Slovenian national Martin Milec. (in Turkish)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Soccer Week (7 of 8): Dutch Soccer Game Has Three Cards

During domestic weekend action in the Eredivise (Dutch Premier League), one game between Heerenveen and Gromgen featured six goals and three red cards, one of which went to Dutch nationl Tjaronn Chery (pictured).

The game's other two red cards went to Mitchell Dijks of Heerenveen  and Jim Letschert of Gronngen.

Other highlights from Holland/The Netherlands included a two-goal performance form Belgian Steve de Ridder of Utrecht and two goals from Chery's teammate from Iceland, Alfred Finnbogason, who should have made our soccer players with long names list, who kicked in two goals for Heerenveen.

One lowlight which was shown on soccer highlights shows around the globe was Dutch player Maikel van der Werff's unfortunate own goal which helped his team Zwolle lose to traditional Dutch power Ajax Amsterdam 2-1.

Here are the scores:

Utrecht 2 Waalwijk 1

AZ Alkmaar 3 Go Ahead Eagles 0

Heerevveen 4 Gromgen 2

Roda 1 Breda 5

Njmegen 3 Feyrenoord 3 (tie)

Twente 2 PSV Einhoven 2 (tie)

Cambour 2 Heracles 0

Ajax Amsterdam 2 Zwolle 1

SIDENOTE: This marks our 1,500th entry on "The Daily Vampire"...........yes, we are surprised by how long we've stuck with this blog as well.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Soccer Week (6 of 8): Turkish Soccer Game Sees Seven Goals

Ali Adnan Kerim, who goes by Ali Adnan (pictured), is an Iraqi player who is a rising star in the Turkish Premiere. Kerim, who is known as the 'Asian Gareth Bale' scored one of five goals for Rziespor, located in the tea mecca of Rize, in the 12th minute of play. His Turkish teammate Sercan Kaya added two goals, including the game-winning penalty kick in the 80th minute, for Rizespor's electrifying 5-2 win over Gaziantepspor.

Sivasspor, located in the northwestern city of Sivas, defeated Eskisehirspor, located in Eskisehir, a western city where meerschaum pipes are made, by a 3-2 score. The game-winner for the Sivas side came from Moroccan player Aatif Chahechouhe, who somehow didn't make our players with long, long names list, in the 73rd minute of play.

Here are the complete results from Week 4 in the TPL and (Spoiler Alert!), we have some UEFA Champions League scores, including how GalataSaray, a traditional Istanbul powerhouse, fared at home against Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid.

Here are the Turkish domestic scores from weekend (actually Friday-Monday) play:

GalataSaray 1 Antalyaspor 1 (tie)

Erciyes Kayseri 1 Akihisar 0

Gaziantepspor 2 Rizespor 5

Trabzonspor 1 Karabukspor 0 (Goal came from Brazilian Paulo Henrique in 76th minute)

Ankara Genclerbirligi 1 Kayseri 1 (tie)

Sivasspor 3 Eskisehir 2

Bursaspor 0 Besiktash (Istanbul) 3

Elazig 2 Konyaspor 0

Kasimpasha (IST) 2 Fenerbahce (IST) 3

Here are some UEFA Champion League scores:

It was a good day for Cristiano Ronaldo, as he scored a hat trick, in Istanbul in Real Madrid's 6-1 win over GalataSaray. But, it was not a good day for Greek team Olympiacos as they fell at home in Piraeus (a city outside Athens) to French powerhouse Paris St. Germain by a 4-1 score with two goals (scored within minutes of each other) by French player Thiago Motta.

Here is the complete UEFA Scoreboard:

Manchester United 4 Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) 2

Sociedad (Spain) 0 Shktar Donetsk (Ukraine) 2*

Benefica (Portugal) 2 Anderecht (Belgium) 0

Plzen (Czech Rep.) 0 Manchester City 3

GalataSaray 1 Real Madrid 6

Olympiacos 1 PSG 4

Bayern Munich 3 CSKA Moscow 0

Copenhagen 1 Juventus 1 (tie)

*- Shakthar Donestsk's win was considered the upset of the day. Brazilian player Alex Teixeira scored both goals in the victory. This team is not to be confused with Shakter Karagandy, a team from Kazakhstan, which will play in the Europa League on Thursday.

For more information on Turkish soccer, we highly recommend our good friend Ahmet Bob Turgut's blog (Paris St. Germain's web site, in English)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Soccer Week (5 of 8): Games of the Week Results

There were a handful of soccer games played tonight in Europe: Among them is the Turkish Super League match-up between two Istanbul teams, Fenerbahce and Kasimpasha. Thanks to two goals from Pierre Webo of Cameroon (pictured here) the Yellow Canaries came from behind for a 3-2 win over Kasimpasha. Yes, we are wondering why Webo is not wearing a yellow jersey with blue stripes (Fener's traditional uniform colors) too!

Here are the results from the Games of the Week entry posted on Friday:


Lille 0 Nice 2 (both goals came from Argentine national Daro Cvitanich)

Lyon 0 Rennes 0 (tie)

Also, Paris St. Germain won over Bordeaux 2-0


Bursapor 0 Besiktash 3 (Three international players: Hugo Almeida of Portugal; Tomas Sivak of Slovakia, who is also the team captain; and Julien Escade scored for BJK).

Kasimpasha 2 Fenerbahce 3

Also, GalataSaray tied Antalyaspor 1-1


Inter Milan 1 Juventus 1-1 (tie)

Napoli 2 Atalanta 0


Veria 1 PAOK 2 (Miguel Vitor of Portugal and Miroslav Stoch of Slovakia scored for PAOK)

OFI Crete 1 Asteras Tripolis 1 (tie)


Villareal 2 Real Madrid 2 (tie)

Atl. Madrid 4 Almeira 2 (Goals from Spanish stars David Villa and Koke for Atl Madrid) (Friday's entry)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Soccer Week (4 of 8): Players with Very Very Long Lastnames

Who is this Greek soccer player who plays for the Greek league team Panathinaikos? Well, you will have to find out by scrolling below because we don't want to try to spell his name twice.

We only needed to look a few European (UEFA) leagues to come up with this list. Among those who were eliminated from contention because of long surnames that were simply not long enough was Turkish soccer Gokhan Deirmeci of Kayserispor, a team that plays its games in Kayseri, Turkey.

Here are some last names you probably will not envy, but then again not all of us can be as luck as Dr. Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz......yes, that is his real last name, and most Turkish names, including our very own Tilly Gokbudak's are longer than that):

1. Jakub Blaszcykowski (Polish player with Bayern Leverkusen in Germany)

2. Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Greek player with Schalke 'O4 in Germany)

3. Konstantinos Triantafylloppoulos (Greek player with Panathinaikos in Greece; he is the mystery player who is see why I'm only spelling his name once!) *

4. Stefanos Kragiopoulos (Greek player with Iraklis in Greece)

5. Adrian Mierzejewski (Polish player with Trabzonspor in Turkey)

6. Oguz Daglaroglu (Turkish player with Akhisar Belediyespor in Turkey)

7. Tigran Gharabaghtsyan (Armenian player with Ararat Yerevan in Armenia)

8. Rey Mammadbayli (Azeri player with AZAL PFK in Azerbaijan)

9. Shimon Abudhatzira (Israeli player with Maccabi Haifa in Israel)

10. Sergei Parshivlyuk (Rusian player with Spartak Moscow, we almost didn't get his name right!)

11. Aleksandr Ryazanatsev (Russian player with Rubin Kazan in Russia)

*- Hopefully, we spelled the Greek player pictured correctly!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soccer Week (3 of 8): Turks Abroad

With this image of Omer Toprak who plays in the German Bundesliga, which is where more Turkish international players (many of them are born in Germany) play outside of Turkey, we take a look at Turkish soccer players who play overseas. Every single one of the players mentioned here does play in Europe. We will mark those players who were born in Europe with an *:

1. Erol Bulut* (Veria, Greece_ a Turkish player playing in Greece was once unthinkable).

2.Tolga Cigerci* (Hertha, Germany)

3. Mehmet Ekici* (Werder Bremen, Germany)

4. Mevlut Erdinc* (Saint-Etienne, France)

5. Gokdeniz Karadeniz (Rubin Kazan, Russia_ a Turkish player playing in Russia was also once unthinkable).

6. Alpaslan Ozturk* (Standard Liege, Belgium)

7. Sercan Sarae*r (Stuggart, Germany)

8. Omer Toprak* (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany-pictured)

9. Tunay Torum* (Stuggart, Germany)

10 Arda Turan (Athletico Madrid, Spain)

11. Deniz Turuc* (Go Ahead Eagles, Netherlands)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Soccer Week (2 of 8): Americans Abroad

We are going to present you with a list of 11 American soccer players, which is the same number of soccer players on a team. All of the players except Orozco Fiscal who plays for Puebla in the Mexican Premiere League play for European teams.

The player pictured is Aron Johannsson who plays for traditional Dutch power AZ Alkmaar.

Here is the list:

1) Jozy Altidore (Sunderland, English Premiere League)*

2) Tim Howard (goalkeeper, Everton, EPL)

3) Geoff Cameron (Stokes City, EPL)

4) Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna, Austria)

5) Michael Bradley (AS Roma, Italy)

6) Steve Clark (goalkeeper, Honefoss, Norway)

7) Orozco Fiscal (Puebla, Mexico)

8) Aron Johansson (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)

9) Jermaine Jones (Shalke '04, Germany)

10) Sacha Kljesten (Anderlecht, Belgium)

11) Tony Taylor (Omonia Nicosai, Cyprus) (Sister blog)

*-His name is (yikes!) not spelled correctly on our links....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Soccer Week (1 of 8): Games to Watch in Mediterranean Countries

This is the first entry in our first ever Soccer Week series (we were originally going to call it Futbol Week). For this entry, we look at ten games being played in Mediterranean countries. Alas, we didn't have room for Portugal or Israel. But, we do feature France, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain in this preview of what one might call dev machlar (giant games) in Turkish.

The three images above are of: 1) Pablo Batalla*, an Argentine international who is a star player for Bursaspor in Turkey; 2) Didier Digard who is a French international and a captain for OGC Nice in France and 3) Manolis Moniakis who has a short name (by Greek standards) the defender and Greek international plays for OFI Crete in Greece.

We hoped to provide you with the start times (as they would be in New York), but we realized that would cause much confusion. Keep in mind that Madrid and Paris are six hours ahead of New York and that Istanbul and Athens are seven hours ahead of Boston. Most games are played when it is morning or early afternoon in Baltimore or Tampa; we hope to provide you with the scores of these games on Monday:


Sun. Bursapor  vs.  Besiktash (Istanbul) 

Mon. Kasimpasha (Istanbul) vs. Fenerbahce (Istanbul)


Sun. Lille vs. OCG Nice

Sun. Lyon vs. Rennes


Sat. Veria vs. PAOK (Thessaloniki)

Sat. OFI Crete vs. Astera Tripolis (Tripoli)


Sat. Villareal vs. Real Madrid (this might be the best game in all of Europe)

Sat. Athletico Madrid vs. Almeira


Sat. Inter Milan vs. Juventus (Turin) (this might be the best game in Europe as well)

Sat. Napoli vs, Atalanta (French soccer)

*- Alas, we have Pablo's last name spelled incorrectly in our tags......

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tweets of the Day: "What Would Rodman Do?" (about Syria)

Full disclosure: NPR commentator David Brooks, who is known for his center-right politics, said that there seemingly few liberal hawks supporting military intervention in Syria, but I happen to be one of those people. Nevertheless, I am posting tweets from right, left and center, as well as many tweets which contradict my view of what Washington DC needs to do stop Syria's madman dictator Hafez al-Assad.

The images here are of 1) former NBA star/transvestite/unofficial diplomat Dennis Rodman (he has made several questionable trips to North Korea) 2) A tank in Syria 3) Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the Senate's fiercest hawks who has always supported military action against the Damascus regime.

Let's go:

1) National Review @NRO (a conservative magazine): "Obama's #Syria strategy threaten, retract and wander about the stage."

2) Adnan Abdullah @adnanish1(a Muslim activist): "U.S. Military strike on #Syria will add fuel to fire in the Middle East. May God prevent it and bring peace to the whole nations of #Islam."

3) Chris Wallace @foxpokerfox (the poker player, not the Fox News journalist): "Where is Dennis Rodman when we need him? #Syria."

4) David Corn @DavidCornDC (a liberal journalist): "Fantastic debate (for the most part) w/n my Twitter feed re #Syria. I'll keep asking as we get closer to a vote. Le me know if you switch."

5) Washington Diplomat @diplomatnews: "US orders embassy workers out of Beirut ahead of possible Syria strike."

6) Today's Zaman @todayszamancom, a Turkish newspaper: "US envoy to UN says Syria's Assad barely dented chemical weapons stockpile."

7) The Hill @thehilltweets: "Fashion designer Kenneth Cole ripped over controversial Syria tweets."

8) Daily Kos (@dailykos): ""McCain,, John Kerry cite WSJ op-ed written by advocate for Syrian rebels."

9) Mother Jones @MotherJones, a liberal magazine: "Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): Want my Syria Position? Wait Till Next Week."

10) TheAtlanticPolitics @TheAtlanticPOL: "Attacking Syria is the least popular intervention idea since Kosovo."

11) Sabrina Siqqui @SabrinaSiddiqui: "Cong. Gerry Connolly (D-Va) tells Bloomberg TV that Obama should hold of all military strike in Syria if Congress doesn't approve."

12) HurriyetDailyNews @HDNER, a Turkish newspaper: "#StateDepartment approves drawdown of non-emergency personnel who wish to leave #Adana (a major American military base in Incirlik, Turkey, is near Adana, which is Turkey's fifth largest city and fairly close to the Syrian border).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tweets of the Day: All Things Damascus

Here are a sample of tweets from objective and subjective sources including former Cong. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who was one of the most liberal members of the house, and Liz Cheney, the daughter of Dick Cheney, the 43rd president of the USA (forgive the political humor), both of whom are against a possible American military strike on Syria. Both Kucinich (top) and Ms. Cheney (bottom) are pictured here.

I will be put in my subjective view and openly state that while I am personally center-left politically, I am for military intervention in Syria, as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt are overwhelmed with refugees. The Turkish newspaper "Today's Zaman" said as many as one million refugees will have fled to Turkey from Syria by the end of the year.

Here are the tweets:

1) Dennis Kucinich @DennishKucinich: "#Syria: The threat to US credibility isn't what happens if we don't intervene, but what happens if we do, @SenMikeLee (yes, Kucinich acutally quoted far-right Tea Partier Sen. Mike Lee, Republican from Utah).

2) National Review @NRO (a conservative magazine): "If Obama isn't seeking permission to wage war, why is he in Congress at all?" #Syria

3) Politico @Politico: "Even as he makes the case for a military strike against #Syria, John Kerry is careful to keep the light on for Russia."

4) Mustafa Akyol @AkyolinEnglish  (Akyol is prominent Turkish journalist): "Al-Assad should be bombed soon and hard."

5) Syria Freedom @FreeingSyria: "Obama to make G20 push for #Syria strike_ US President Barack Obama gives a press conference in Stockholm."

6) Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation (She is the managing editor of the liberal magazine "The Nation"): "73% MoveOn members say Congress should oppose authorization to use military force in Syria."

7) The Hill @hillballotbox: Liz Cheney says she'd vote against Syrian strikes.

8) WeeklyStandard @weeklystandard (a conservative magazine): National Review: "Yes" to U.S. Action in Syria. The editors of National Review endorse military action in Syria."

9) JerodPolis @jaredpolis Cong. Jason Polis (D-Colo.): "Sounds like I will be voting on military action in Syria! Send me information/articles to read as I study the issue to make a decision."

10) TheDailyEdge @TheDailyEdge: "Rick Santorum: I wanted to strike #Syria right up to the moment Obama said we should. Now, I think it's a bad idea."

11) Roll Call @rollcall: "Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.): "Senators will get DVD of CIA evidence showing 'horrendous' effects of chemical weapons."

12) BBCWorld @BBCWorld: "US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power accuses Russia of holding security council hostage on #Syria." (Mustafa Akyol's web site)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Free Form Blogging: Famous Female Athletes

Greetings to our blog visitors in Dubai, Slovenia and Peru.

It has been a good while since we posted a free form blog where we just use words, topics, things which are trending on Twitter, yada, yada, yada, and tonight, we are going to come with a short piece involving female athletes, many of which we saw on ESPN's "Nine for IX" documentary on female athletes.

The six athletes we are using former American gold-medal winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton (pictured top), soccer star Mia Hamm who lead the USA to a World Cup title in 1999 (pictured center), Gabrielle Reece, a beach volleyball superstar (we expect she help us get hits from Dubai, Oman and Yemen), Indy race car driver Danica Patrick, East German gold-medal winning figure skater Katarina Witt and tennis Wonder Woman Martina Navratilova.

Witt and Reece both posed for "Playboy," Hamm posed for the cover of "Washingtonian Magazine" and Retton for those Wheaties boxes.

Here we go:

"Mary Lou Retton, a country girl from Fairmont, W.Va, won gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and assuredly if Twitter had been around back then, she would have trending for a full six weeks. Mia Hamm went on to play for the Turkish soccer team Fenerbahce, an Istanbul powerhouse, and she broke a huge gender barrier for women (this is a joke, but there is now a women's soccer league in Turkey and ironically not one in America). Gabrielle Reece is probably driving a Prius with a bumper sticker that says: "Real athletes don't wear shoes." Amazingly enough, she is now 43 years old. But, Katarina Witt and Martina Navratilova are older than that. Witt was manipulated by the East German regime. Navratilova is now a gay rights activist and a novelist/writer; we assume she doesn't live in Topeka, Kansas. Danica Patrick is the only one of these athletes who has competed directly with men
in a men's sport. Of course, lots of guys hate her for this, but we think they are really just jealous because she is sooo out of their league."

Hmm....yeah, I don't think we need to file a copyright for this.

And, kudos to our beloved Salem Red Sox who defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1-0 in Salem, Va., in the first game of a best of three playoff series. The winner plays for the Carolina League championship.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Coming This Week (we hope): Futbol Week

If all goes well, we are hoping to launch a seven-week series entitled Futbol Week. Our aim is to post lists, soccer results and perhaps Twitter feeds from soccer experts, such as Turkish soccer enthusiast Ahmet Bob Turgut and Grant Wuhl.

We will also be focusing on specific domestic league, and see how some of you favorite teams, including the Dutch futbol team Go Ahead Eagles (yes, that is their real name) with Turkish international Deniz Turuc (pictured above) who grew up in the Netherlands and Turkish soccer team BursaSpor with Argentine national Pablo Battalla (pictured below) perform as Week 4 gets underway in most UEFA-sanctioned domestic leagues.

Of course, the big news in the soccer world today is that Mesut Ozil, a German international player of Turkish heritage, has signed a 'cok para' (Turkish term for lots of loot) to transfer from Real Madrid to Arsenal.

Ironically, Aresnal ousted Turkish soccer team Fenerbahce from the UEFA playoffs just over a week ago without Ozil's help.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

7 Words in Turkish (7 of 7): The Word for Shrimp

Greetings to our blog visitors from Albania, Bahrain and Chile.

Though we have been busy binge watching "Breaking Bad,"AMC's surreal dark drama which is concluding in a few weeks, via Netflix, we did make time for this entry....(I sense the show has helped New Mexico's tourism industry, even though it is about meth dealers).

So, the Turkish word for shrimp is karides.

Shrimp and grits is a popular dish in Charleston, SC, which is arguably the cuisine capital of the South.

For the word for shrimp in Norwegian, go to our 7 Words in Norwegian series on our sister blog: