The Polo Zoo

Today I’d like to introduce you to the Polo Zoo, which is basically a collection of polos with embroidered animal logos that I have be striving to identify and acquire for a number of years now. If you must know, currently my collection stands at like…two. Because, look, some of these polos are ridiculously expensive. Seriously, what type of normal person has like $150 to spare for a polo shirt?

Here are some arbitrary rules I’ve made up to define the scope of this collection.

1) Short sleeve polo shirts that must be available for men. So for example this disqualifies things like this Brannan Bear polo from Gap, which has long sleeves. Also, it is for babies. Like literal children and infants, it’s not available in an adult size.

2) It must be an embroidered logo, without any additional fluff around it or text. So for example the Roots beaver is out, since I’ve yet to see the beaver logo on its own without the matching “Roots” text under it, nor have I seen it embroidered as opposed to screen printed. Also I don’t think I’ve ever seen a short sleeve polo shirt from Roots. This also disqualifies polo shirts where the logo is on a crest or a patch or something ironed on instead of embroidered directly on the shirt. Must also just contain just the animal logo with minimal extra decals, and no text surrounding the logo. For example this shirt from Paul & Shark which violates both of the previous rules – it is both on a crest instead of a logo embroidered directly on the shirt, and also contains the company title. Fortunately they have a plain shark logo offering which appears below.

3) Maintain the purity of the zoo concept. Imagine the whole logo could actually belong to a real zoo, as is. For example, no Ralph Lauren or Burberry, who both have logos of a man riding a horse. You could put a horse in a zoo, but not the man, this is not intended to be like a morbid intergalactic zoo owned by The Collector or something. Too high concept. For example Ferrari polos would be valid…except they violate Rule #2 as the horse is on a crest. Also no anthropomorphic animals. For example, Ralph Lauren’s anthropomorphic Polo Bear, who is commonly seen dressed like a human being (and in some cases with polo gear on, which makes you really wonder about the nature of the horses that a bear would ride). Anthropomorphic bears wearing human clothes implies sentience and I’m just not ready to answer the moral and ethical questions that would come with throwing such an intelligent bear in a zoo. This would also disqualify a polo with Mickey Mouse on it as a mouse logo, for example. Note that I have made exceptions below for Jack Wills and Original Penguin, which seem to both feature regular birds dressed (unwittingly by a human perhaps…?) in formal attire. Also for BAPE, who have based their logo on characters from Planet of the Apes. So although the logo could be interpreted as the face of a regular old chimpanzee…we are all keenly aware that this is not actually the case, and these apes are indeed sentient. Honestly I’m not sure how to feel about these choices. History may judge me harshly.

4) Reasonable availability. I should be able to go out and buy one with reasonable effort (if you can call dropping $150 on a polo shirt to be “reasonable”) so these can’t be from a limited collector item run or anything like that. For example, Thomas Pink’s Cheeky Fox or Marc Jacobs’ Stinky Rat are no longer available for sale, so those are off the list. If I have to go on eBay or third party sites to source your polo shirts, I can’t add you to the list. These should all be directly available from reasonably large, national or global brands. I can’t be expected to dig through every single Etsy shop or mom and pop apparel company with an embroidery machine for entrees to this list. Also, no custom build-it-yourself polos, which disqualifies Ralph Lauren’s custom polos which feature a few types of regular dogs. Listen, Ralph Lauren polo shirts are expensive, best believe I’m throwing all the made up rules I can at them to disqualify them from the collection.

5) Conformity. In order to establish a uniform look, it has to conform to the approximate standard size and position of all these other polo shirt logos. Say…I don’t know…an approximately coin-sized logo? So none of this craziness from KENZO, who also have a smaller logo that breaks Rule #2 for featuring text within the logo. Also no Fox Racing who put their oversized logos up at the shoulder.

6) No sports teams. I think it just goes against the core concept, and there’s just too much extra baggage that comes with wearing like a Chicago Bulls or Florida Panthers polo shirt around. What, am I a fan of their training staff…? I guess this could also apply to other non-apparel companies with animal logos, although I can’t think of any at the moment that would be reasonably available for purchase.

Okay, good? I mean there are numerous other exceptions and contradictions I’ve made to stretch the criteria, but that’s the general framework we’re working with here. It’s not an exact science, I’m talking about logos on polos.

Chimpanzee – A Bathing Ape

Crocodile – Lacoste

Eagle – American Eagle

Elephant – Banana Republic

Kangaroo – Kangol

Lion – Express

Moose – Abercrombie & Fitch

Penguin – Original Penguin

Pheasant – Jack Wills

Puma – Puma

Rabbit – Psycho Bunny

Rhinoceros – ECKO

Rooster – Le Coq Sportif

Sailfish – Tommy Bahama

Seagull – Hollister

Shark – Paul & Shark

Sheep – Brooks Brothers

Skipjack Tuna – Southern Tide

Turtle – Vilebrequin

Whale – Vineyard Vines

Zebra – Paul Smith

Some men hunt for sport,
Others hunt for food,
The only thing I’m hunting for,
Is an outfit that looks good…

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It is upon us!

Actually I think it may have snowed already earlier this week, but I didn’t actually see it happen. I’ve been home a lot and haven’t been outside much, you see. So for all I know it wasn’t actual snowfall and could have been instead like some sort of aggressive frost arising from the ground. I mean if I didn’t actually experience it myself, then who knows what really happened? Reality is subjective, right?

Snow dad’s better than no dad!

She Was Only 16 Years Old

It’s hard to think of a more fitting metaphor for the last 16 years here than this montage of The Rock continuously falling throughout the majority of the last two decades. What starts relatively slow and controlled just descends deeper and faster than what you thought possible, ultimately ends in a foolish misguided leap of ambition, face down in the concrete. And downward. Always downward.

One day I will find the courage to end this.

I mean this site, obviously, I don’t want police combing through my internet history after my death and ruling it all a suicide. If my death is not from murder or heart disease then consider it super fishy!

I have always toyed with the idea of starting a smaller sub-site, like something that would mirror the topics and interests of the original but finding it’s own way and path in the end to become a new, unique combination of good and bad. But it’s difficult to think in those terms, and I can imagine nothing else that really mirrors what I’m trying to express. Maybe something to think more about in the years to come.

Here’s to another.

“You thinking what I’m thinking partner?”
“Aim for the bushes.”

A Random June Post

What do you mean “am I still posting stuff to The WAMBAG?” What am I doing with my life? What are YOU doing with YOUR life? Why are YOU posting stuff on The WAMBAG still, huh!?!

– Look at this fucking shit, Mahjong “artisan” keycaps. Twenty American dollars for a piece of plastic created in the likeness of a Mahjong tile so that you can put it on a key on your keyboard. Fucking crazy right? I think it is the greatest thing ever and I want to buy like a dozen of them.

– Hey, remember when the Oscars happened like…three months ago? I’m sure this link to a Lonely Island song concept is still funny and relevant today, in June.

– Ah, posting a new Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis feels just like old times again. There’s a lot of the same motions here…which I think is good, people want to hear the classics. But the whole thing has a funny meta thing to it, being a video in the late 2010’s now, containing an icon of what was funny in the late 1990’s and his late 2000’s counterpart. Although Old Man Jerry’s crankiness is a hilarious angle he didn’t have before, which I would argue is the new fresh spin that makes it work. Hey, we live in a world where Sting and Shaggy got together somehow and it works great. Let’s mix more wacky things together, I’m all for it now. (Is this a weird veiled statement about interracial marriage? I will leave that up to your interpretation, dear reader!)

– And in keeping with the general temporal tone of this post, have I discovered a new fetish in watching Natalie Portman eat spicy food? And more importantly, how does this stack against watching Nicole Kidman enthusiastically eating insects? Honestly I could have written this entire post ten years ago. I mean, maybe I did already. Absolutely nothing has changed. There’s only so many permutations I’m capable of here.

– Here is a video titled Heartbreaking: Hibachi Chef Tries to Make Meal on a Regular Table and it is everything it says it is. It came out over a year ago but fuck it, I’m posting it anyway.

How dare you? You don’t think I know how much my wife weighs in dead animals?

What’s In The Box?

I have some stuff here that you should watch or click on.

– I just learned about a man called Chris Gethard who apparently has a show called The Chris Gethard Show which is either a real television show that is also posted on YouTube or maybe just a YouTube only production…? Fusion…? I don’t know, I’ve only just now seen this one episode with Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas called One Man’s Trash. The entire premise of this episode is that they try and guess what is inside a dumpster. That’s it. And it is the most riveting thing you will watch this year. It’s like waiting to see the outcome of a Anton Chigurh coin flip, but for like 43 fucking straight minutes. I can’t speak to the quality of a single second of this show outside of this episode, but (outside of that weird wrestling promo into the middle that I have no context for) every single second of this episode is amazing. Please, watch this.

– I am very confident in saying that this will be the best song you have heard yet with “terabyte of porn” as the hook. Although I’m not quite ready to proclaim it as the greatest song that you will ever hear with “terabyte of porn” as the hook. The future holds many possibilities. It’s got like a soulful, jazzy sR&BA channel with 114 subscribers should not be making videos this good. And by that I mean, they should have many more subscribers and this should have a lot more views (EDIT: whoa, it really took off after I wrote this). Two bonus things I also loved about this include the FBI badge made with blue ballpoint pen, and the disgusted and reluctant look on her face as she starts getting into the song at the end. Quality all around.

– Congratulations to everyone that called for the next guy to follow the Liam Neeson career arc from dramatic actor to grizzled 50+ year-old action star being…Bob Odenkirk! I mean…I have no idea how you looked at this guy and saw it all play out like this, but I’m sure some of you exist out there, and to you I say kudos.

In what has become something of a signature for Odenkirk, well-known his role as Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill, the actor will play everyday man who gets pushed past his limits.

Yes, like all of us everyday men who have the capability within us to become Keanu-like whirlwinds of horrific headshot violence. I mean…John Wick killed two guys with a pencil. Saul Goodman works at a Cinnabon in Nebraska!

“Lemon, do you think I’m a villain?”
“Well I have heard you say ‘Guards, seize him!'”
“I was a Knicks game, they needed to stop the clock.”

Stone Buddha, The Final Boss

This past Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays announced the signing of Seung-hwan Oh to a major league contract, likely signifying the end of their offseason moves. Reports are that he will be paid $1.75 million for 2018, with $1.5 million in possible incentives, and a $250K buyout for a 2019 option that will vest automatically for $2 million at 70 appearances. So basically $2 million guaranteed for 2018, and if he’s good enough to justify pitching in 70 games then that means keeping him for a tidy $2 million for next year will be pretty decent too. A depth signing for $2 million is not bad at all, but there’s a lot to like with Oh.

Oh was a dominant closer in his native Korea for nine seasons with the Samsung Lions, before crossing over to the NPB for another two with the Hanshin Tigers, posting an impressive 1.81 ERA and 10.7 K/9 over 11 professional seasons in Asia. He then came over to the big leagues with the St Louis Cardinals, debuting with an excellent 2016 season before a very meh 2017 season. Which then leads him here with the Toronto Blue Jays on a bargain deal, keeping his streak of playing for baseball clubs named after fearsome animals alive.

His history of emotionless domination on the mound closing out baseball games also earned him some all-time top notch nicknames, including “Final Boss” in Korea and “Stone Buddha” in Japan. I can’t wait for all the terrible headline puns to come as well. So there’s a lot to like about him.

He is also a 35 year-old pitcher who is coming off his worst professional season. He actually had a deal with the Texas Rangers lined up in early February for $2.75 million guaranteed, until a failed physical nixed the deal. Reportedly the Rangers didn’t like what they saw in an MRI of his arm. Oh, who has already had Tommy John surgery in 2001 while in college, and lost the majority of two seasons in the KBO shoulder and elbow injuries, is certainly no spring chicken.

Oh had a great MLB debut in 2016, eventually winning the closer job for a pretty good 86-win Cardinals team. He put up a 1.92 ERA while striking out 103 over 79.2 innings, good for almost 3 wins (2.6 fWAR and 2.8 bWAR) out of the bullpen. But then 2017 happened, and he stunk. His ERA ballooned up to 4.10, he allowed a ton more fly balls (GB% dropped from 40% to 28.7% and HR/9 tripled from 0.56 to 1.52), he stopped striking guys out (K/9 dropped from 11.64 to 8.19, swinging strike % from 18% to 12.9%) , and he was removed as a closer to become just one of many mediocre low leverage mini-bosses in the Cardinal bullpen.

But keeping in line with the rest of the Jays’ moves this offseason to raise the floor of the roster with small, cheap moves with upside (and to collect St Louis castoffs), there’s some optimism with this signing as well.

Between 2016 and 2017, his pitch velocities and walk numbers remained the same (BB% 5.8% to 5.7%). So there’s no obvious signs of aging in that area at least. And he actually allowed more soft contact (15.3% to 22.4%) and less hard contact (34.2% to 28.1%)…even though his BABIP went up 50 points (.270 to .319) so there’s some weirdness to his 2017 season. FanGraphs has a great article that I stole most of this from, about how Oh inadvertently changed his mechanics, causing a lower release point that prevented him from getting on top of his pitches, thus reducing the movement of his splitter and slider.

And indeed, when we look at these two frames of Oh’s release point on two random pitches from the 2016 and 2017 season…

…you can clearly see no discernible difference, because we are not professional baseball scouts and I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I actually may have even mixed up which one was from which year, I have no idea. Honestly…these might even be from the same year, who fucking knows.

But for $2 million and change, it’s a nice, low risk move to shore up some depth for what might be a surprisingly good Blue Jays bullpen. And there’s a non-zero chance this might turn out to be a pretty good move if Oh regains some of his 2016 form. Or he completely falls apart because maybe two decades of contorting his arm due to inhuman rotational speeds have just caught up to his 35 year-old tragically human body. Which is basically something you can say about almost any signing, so you have to wonder…why did I even bother saying it?

This isn’t even my final form!

It Is Fucking Cold Outside

As I stood in the record setting cold this morning waiting for public transportation, I struggled in a way that I’m sure many other of us in this city, on this cold morning struggled as well. As I kept my hands exposed to play games on my phone, they got colder and colder. And eventually I had to make that Sophian choice between boredom or frostbite. I chose boredom, electing to preserve the functionality of my hands and opposable thumbs for future mobile gaming opportunities.

I pray I made the right choice.

– Someone inserted Will Smith into the grand Star Wars mythos in this delightful Independence Day: A Star Wars Story mashup, and I am eternally grateful. I’ll never know why the universe took two decades to put this in front of me, but it doesn’t matter. I have realized my destiny.

– Much has been said here already about the merits The Big Bang Theory, so I don’t really want to ramble on again about how funny or unfunny the show is, I’m just here to make one last point about it. We’ve all pointed to these awkward scenes with the laugh track removed as “evidence” of how unfunny the show is, never mind the fact that removing a keep component of a comedy show’s format causing it’s pace and timing to be disrupted and make it feel kind of weird is not something that is necessarily unique to this show in particular. The laugh track serves the format of a multiple camera sitcom. I mean yes, the actual lines they’re ending on to elicit the audience laughter less punchlines and more…just general statements, but would Seinfeld still be funny without a laugh track? …actually yes, but okay, fine whatever. Anyway, my point is…replacing The Big Bang Theory‘s audience laugh track (or the legitimate sounds of oddly enthusiastic laughter arising from being “filmed in front of a live studio audience”) with the prerecorded sound of Ricky Gervais laughing raises it to a totally new height, transcending the sum of its parts. I would watch 18 to 22 minutes of this every week if it was available. I mean…some of it becomes like laughing at “him” because you’re wondering what he’s picking up on that’s so funny…and then the whole thing becomes even funnier. Layers upon delicious layers.

– Here’s an interesting article in which some dudes (researches, scientists, programmers?) are using deep learning and Google Street View to estimate the demographic makeup of neighborhoods across the United States. Pretty nifty correlations are seen when using 50 million images of Google Street View to identify objective visual details across neighbourhoods in 200 American cities. Cars in particularly seem to be the most useful to look at since “over 90% of American households own a motor vehicle, and their choice of automobile is influenced by disparate demographic factors including household needs, personal preferences, and economic wherewithal”…so you can tell a lot from a neighbourhood’s choice of car. As opposed to say…shrubbery or landscaping, spaces between houses, lot sizes, house exteriors, or blurry images of people on the street. So plug all the images into a machine learning algorithm, teach it how to identify makes and models of cars, reference it census and election voting data, and boom goes the dynamite. It’s a neat read, so you should go through it yourself, but some interesting details…

  • The strongest indicator that a neighbourhood was primarily Asian was the presence of Toyotas. Secondary indicators include…minivans, Hondas, and cars made in 1990-1994. Using all factors together their model was able to identify demographic attribute of “Asian” pretty accurately (r=0.87).
  • Strongest indicators for white neighbourhoods were Aston Martins, Volkswagens, minivans, Jeeps, and extended cabs. Was a bit harder to nail down the whites, as there’s some more scattering here, but still not bad (r=0.77).
  • They get better at predicting black neighbourhoods (r=0.81) which have top indicators of cars made in 2010-2014, sedans, and Chryslers, Buicks, and Oldsmobiles.
  • The indicators are actually better at predicting Asians (r=0.87) than at predicting median household income (r=0.82). The latter of which I would have thought would be easier to find based on just presumably a pretty strong correlation with the price of the car…but I guess Asians driving Toyotas are more likely than rich people having expensive cars.
  • Cities that have more pickup trucks than sedans were more likely to vote Republican (88% chance). On the flip side, cities that have more sedans than pickup trucks were more likely to vote Democrat (82% chance). It’s that simple, we’re all just numbers in the end.

I know we had stereotypes in our heads already, but now they can be collaborated against objective statistics! And this is all just based on studying 500 million pictures of questionable quality from Google Street View, which included 22 million identified vehicles, representing 32% of vehicles within these 200 cities, or just 8% of total vehicles in the United States. As self-driving cars that use cameras to navigate start to populate the roads – “Tesla vehicles currently take as many images as were studied here every single day” – there’s going to be a considerably larger sample size to study. So if a half dozen guys from Stanford University can put this together with what amounts to just a virtual stroll around American neighbourhoods, you gotta wonder what the genius tech giants out there have already figured out based on much deeper cuts of our lives available to them.

I have contained my rage for as long as possible, but I shall unleash my fury upon you like the crashing of a thousand waves! Begone, vile man! Begone from me! A starter car? This car is a finisher car! A transporter of gods! The golden god! I am untethered, and my rage knows no bounds!

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It is upon us!

Oops, this was actually for Friday, so I have backdated this post and just hoped no one would notice.

While we’re here, let’s all enjoy the classic Simpsons steamed hams scene which has also somehow simultaneously become a Guitar Hero song.

Snow dad’s better than no dad!

The Greatest Of All Time (1977-2017)

Oof. Man…I wasn’t ready for this. But who was?

I had expected to get a chance to celebrate when he would visit the SkyDome again and have his named added to the Level of Excellence as the greatest Blue Jay of all time. And then I had expected to get a chance to celebrate when he was voted into the Hall of Fame, becoming only the second player to be inducted as a Toronto Blue Jay. And then again when they would announce #32 would be retired, just like Alomar’s #12 when he was inducted.

But now he won’t be there when those things happen, we won’t be able to see him smile and wave to the crowd and drink up the loud, deafening, concrete-reverberated cheers of 50,000 people packed into that stadium to watch him do it. And that’s a tough thing that a lot of people, like me, are going to have to come to terms with this week.

I was watching the Dodgers two weeks ago in the World Series, and thinking about how they had such a grand, enjoyable history. In Game 1 at home they brought out Jackie Robinson’s family to throw out the first pitch. In Game 2 they had Vin Scully, Steve Yeagar, and Fernando Valenzuela. In Game 6 they had Orel Hershiser and Tommy Lasorda. In Game 7, Dodgers pitching legends Sandy Koufax and Don Newcombe. That’s a lot of Hall of Famers. And I kept thinking about how if the Jays ever made the World Series, we would eventually finally have our own Hall of Famer pitcher to bring onto the field in order to mooch off his mojo.

I typed up some words about Roy Halladay years ago when he retired, but I don’t really think it’s appropriate now to talk about his statistical accomplishments as a baseball player. The biggest single thing I remember about Doc was that he was always there. And he was always there. As long as his name was penciled in on the roster, there was some glimmer of hope for the season. For an absurd amount of innings every year, for a straight decade. He was there every four days, either extending a streak or busting a slump. And he was there on the mound for Opening Day to celebrate a new, fresh baseball season every year. For all those times we caught a game with those Star Passes after school and had the fortune to catch a brief, vintage two-hour long pitching clinic. He was a very bright spot on a team that didn’t collectively didn’t accomplish much during that time, which means he should be treasured even more. He was an unstoppable, emotionless, feared baseball playing robot.

And in retirement, turned out to be as much of a goofball as he was a terminator during his playing days.

And now…he’s not here any more. I’m not good enough of a writer to properly articulate this loss for this city and its fans. I’m not sure if anyone is really, although there have been a lot of nice articles these last two days written about him.

It was a sad day yesterday. And it’s a sad day today, and it’ll be sad for a bunch of days to come still.

It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise, the city and its fans.

The Juice Is Loose

I think I did it. I think I finally rid myself of a need to post. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, mind you. You could see a relative trend towards it over the last few years, but the drop off lately has been quite pronounced I’m happy to say. Usually when you are trying to immobilize a cat, you must hack away at the foundations that hold it up – namely it’s legs. And the pillars upon which this grotesque cat torso have historically rested upon have always mainly been stupid internet links and original material. And now everyone has their own source for funny videos and silly GIFs in 2017, and you will find that the need or the interest in expressing your own individual thoughts on the internet takes a sharp downturn when you turn 30.

It could just be cynicism. Or maybe more specific…a fatigue you acquire after realizing that it’s not always possible to make the world a more interesting place by opening your mouth. Or typing your fingers I guess, whatever. This is a fatigue that you acquire even faster when witnessing others opening their dumb mouths and seeing meaningless chatter spill out in their inane voices. But sometimes there’s a deep rooted need still to fill the void with matter. Any matter, just stuff something in there, create some crap and spread it on the walls. That’s still something I’m working on, which is where I find myself today.

Also metaphors. I’m working on metaphors. How to frame things in more relevant metaphors, but I have broken cat legs in my mind right now and it’s hard to shake.

Earlier this August, a date passed that would have marked the 15th anniversary of this site’s existence. And that would be a notable consideration if anything of significance ever happened here, but we’ve never really been about that. 15 years! That’s a long time to carry something around. You’d think things like this wouldn’t stain your life forever, and that you could eventually move on after a decade and a half. But life doesn’t work like that, and it’s unfair.

Just look at OJ Simpson.

He was the NFL MVP in 1973 (44 years ago!!!) and it’s still all anyone can talk about when the topic turns to OJ. Oh, no one had ever rushed for 2,000 yards before. Oh, it was the Bills’ first winning record since 1966. Oh, OJ led the league in rushing touchdowns, yards from scrimmage, and total rushing yards. Oh, he ran for 143.1 yards per game, 10 more than any other player in NFL history. Oh, he did it all in a 14-game season as well. I mean I’m sick of it, the man has a life outside of football, let’s move on already. Surely a man cannot be defined by such a singular act for the rest of their life.

I don’t remember what I was originally planning on expressing with this. Is there a metaphor here…? I will try again next post.

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them


Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.



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