You gotta love John Daly's look, even if your eyes and stomach don't

Let no one say bad boy pro golfer John Daly longs to stalk the earth when dignity reigned.
For starters, he usually looks like a guy who just shot up a convenience store.
Whether he’s wearing pants louder than a posse of jackhammers, like he did Wednesday at a pro-am in Spain, or going topless, Daly’s always a man wrapped inside himself.
He definitely is a hoot in a sport with no sense of humor.

It's tough to talk about percentages of the gross when you could inhale the swine flu with your next breath

On a postcard-perfect day (OK, perhaps a tad toasty for April), we should be blinded by a sky bluer than technicolor.
But with heads hung low in despair, who can squint at the sun today?
That’s because dread is pouring into all our senses.
Our wallets have been on sick beds for months. And now a swine flu pandemic could be pop up even more than dandelions around here.
With everybody busy washing their hands 24/7 and handcuffing their wrists to keep from touching their faces, who can concentrate on business now? The bottom line was so much macaroni. Now it’s gonna be reduced to linguini.
Yikes! If life is supposed to be a funny old possum, what the hell happened to its sense of humor?
My mind right now can’t get a grip on all of this because it’s been reduced to dark woods full of lightning bugs.

Eagles shockingly catch some offensive rejuvenation in the draft

OK, what the hell kind of Kool-Aid was Andy Reid drinking over the weekend?
Every year the Eagles draft a bunch of flaccid linemen who love to scrape the vats down at the pizza parlor. And the Birds discard any considerations about the skill positions like pieces of wrapping paper.
But not this year, baby! Andy was plucking ATHLETES with washboard stomachs and pecs that scream under their jerseys.
This time Eagles Nation was rupturing in oohs, not boos.
They traded up to draft turbo-charged Missouri wideout Jeremy Maclin in the first round; took flashy Pitt running back LeSean McCoy in the second round to backstop Brian Westbrook when he starts losing limbs; and they also took a vertical-threat tight end in Florida’s Cornelius Ingram and another wideout in Washington State’s Brandon Gibson.
Factor in the offseason acquisitions of offensive tackles Jason Peters and Stacy Andrews and fullback Leonard Weaver, and suddenly quarterback Donovan McNabb has more toys than ever to play with. And that’s without even mentioning last year’s rookie wideout whiz kid, DeSean Jackson.
Revving up the offense should be a real treat for Eagles’ fans this season.
And the Birds still had time over the weekend to trade for Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs in case the disgruntled Sheldon Brown’s attitude goes farther south than New Zealand.

If Hitler could have made it as an artist, perhaps he wouldn't have painted Europe blood red

The young Adolf Hitler fancied himself to be a painter. Which is why he grew a mustache that looked like a paintbrush.
Perhaps Hitler might have been an OK house painter if the home was mostly stone, but an artist he wasn’t.
He wasn’t exactly overlaid with artistic ability. Which apparently put him in a nasty mood for life and made him allergic to art galleries. He broke out in hives whenever he goose-stepped within 50 meters of one.
When art critics gave him the brush-off, Hitler reached the snapping point.
Instead of wielding brushstrokes of beauty, he grabbed fistfuls of malice and became the genocidal German dictator who butchered millions and lit the powder keg that was World War II.
It’s a damn shame Hitler couldn’t paint better. The fate of the 20th century world may have swung like a knockwurst pendulum if he could have been a budding Picasso or Rembrandt.
Of course, the irony is now thick enough to be cut with a steak knife. Because of his abominable legacy, his paintings now sell.
Hitler’s 1910 self-portrait of a lonely guy peering into wine-colored waters was just sold as part of a 15-piece collection at a British auction for $143,358.
In that painting Hitler hardly comes across as a colossal freak frozen in malevolence.
But he still appears to be an outcast from the mainstream.
To paraphrase the cliche, one painting is worth a thousand words.

It's tough to talk when you've just swallowed hot lead

Another night in Reading when the nocturnal serenity was violated by the roar of gunfire and the scream of ambulances.
Three men, who would have been better off staying home and watching the Sixers and the Phillies lose, were shot Wednesday night in a parking lot at 11th and Amity.
The headline in today’s Reading Eagle said the victims weren’t talking … an obvious indication they may have been partaking in a bit of mischief.
Of course, one guy could be excused for not talking. According to police, the dude was shot in the mouth.
Unless he sports a concrete chin and the tendons in his jaw are made of wrought iron, it’s perfectly understandable that he wouldn’t be singing like a canary.

The sweetest sounding organ is a donor organ

The bliss of the womb, where we are warm and protected, has a limited shelf life.
Then we are born and face potential peril — subject to genetics, lifestyle and the fickle finger of fate.
People die. People get sick. There is no serendipity to that cycle, only the metronome of consistency.
But death can spawn life. Or at least instill a second chance at life.
That’s what organ donors do. Amidst all the wreckage of their demise, they prevent deathly sick people from dying — at least for the here and now.
If you for some unfathomable reason still are sprinkled with small fingers of doubt about signing up to be an organ donor, you should have been at the IMAX Theatre Tuesday night.
Dozens of organ donor families were there to raise organ donor awareness. Families of donors and organ recipients mingled with a brimming enthusiasm for life that was heartwarming and compelling.
I was there and was profoundly moved.
Nobody can accurately read the future’s tea leaves. Do the right thing — for a loved one, a neighbor, a stranger. For anyone.
Pennsylvanians with a valid driver’s license or photo identification card can register online at any time to become an organ donor via the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Driver and Vehicle Services web site.

Eagles leave disenchanted Sheldon Brown hanging out on the corner

Guys who play corner in the NFL have a feeling of abandonment when some wideout leaves skid marks on their back en route to a long touchdown reception.

But guys who play corner for the Eagles have a feeling of abandonment when it comes to the organization.

Last year Lito Sheppard soured worse than month-old milk over his contract and then pouted worse than a 17-year-old girl without a prom date before being exiled to the Jets in the offseason.

Now it’s Sheldon Brown’s turn. His contract apparently is gagging him green to the gills, but the color he’s evidently seeing is red.

”I’ve always been treated like the redheaded stepchild, ever since I was drafted,” Brown said about his trade request Monday.

So much for those who had thought Brown was a good soldier and that his discontent suddenly had burst out of nowhere like a hormone surge.

With a passion bordering on the pathological, the Birds emphatically say they will neither trade Brown nor rework his contract.

Actually, the operative color here is green. As in greenbacks. As in envy.

Last year the Eagles forked over $57.14 million over six years to cornerback Asante Samuel.

And last week Philadelphia traded for left offensive tackle Jason Peters, giving him a four-year contract extension worth $53 million that will earn Donovan McNabb’s expensive new bodyguard $60 million over the next six years, $25 million guaranteed.
Brown did the comparative math and didn’t like how the numbers stacked up. He inked (these contracts are never signed with pencils, of course) a six-year contract extension potentially worth $30 million in the middle of the Eagles’ 2004 run to the Super Bowl.
Boxcar numbers then. Chump change now.
But the dude locked himself into a corner then and the Eagles aren’t about to offer him a new set of keys.

Need to pour gasoline on a fire? Iranian nut job Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is your guy!

The United Nations these days is about as relevant as the League of Nations once was. The U.N., like its predecessor, is irrelevant because it’s impotent. Perhaps they should put all U.N. diplomats on Viagra.
The latest example why the U.N. has become a farce happened today at its racism conference in Geneva.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hardly a cuddly teddy bear by nature, accused Israel of being the “most cruel and racist regime.”
This, of course, went over like a turd in a punch bowl in certain sectors and sparked a walkout by angry Western diplomats.
U.S. diplomats didn’t have to bother walking out since they were smart enough not to attend.
OK, if you were having a racism conference, would you invite a hard-line zealot like Ahmadinejad?
This dude is straight out of a Tarantino bloodbath. Some people mince words. This tyrant uses words like pruning shears cutting through a thicket. He’s viciously volatile and is always drowning in the turbulence of uncontrolled urges. Courtly and cosmopolitan he is not.
The U.N. was dumber than a stump to invite this whacko. Even dumber than inviting Hitler to a conference on sexy mustaches.
By the way, the U.N.’s last racism gathering also descended into anti-Semitic rants.
You would think the U.N. would get it by now. But thinking and the U.N. seem to be allergic to each other.

Twitter in a dither over Ashton Kutcher

I know there are some of you out there who just might have a grotesque indifference regarding the cosmic implications of this post, but Ashton Kutcher is the first member of Twitter to have over one million followers.
You all can now exhale.
In an incongruously grand but close race, Kutcher reached the coveted (yeah, right) milestone shortly after 11 p.m. Pacific Thursday night, nosing out staid CNN Breaking News as most of America snored through it.
I guess the actor/producer/Demi Moore boy toy now is officially the town crier of personal networking. He is everybody’s personal Iago, a real soul mate. Actually, I think too many folks with nothing better to do simply have caught a bad case of celeb fever.

With staff cuts at Reading Hospital, it might be wise to postpone that elective surgery and just live with that 13-pound wart on the tip of your nose

More gloom on the economic front hit home today with the news that Reading Hospital is taking a scalpel to its work force, slicing 250 positions.
I just hope they don’t start cross-training folks to make up for the personnel losses.
You don’t want to be lying on the table for open heart and/or brain surgery (if you’re having both, best of luck) and find out moments before they knock you out that the guy wielding the knife really needed to scrub up because he just finished cleaning all the toilets in E Building.
And if you survive the operation, you had better hope there’s somebody still around who can empty your bedpan.