Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Imperially Dogged

I just sent out for The Imperial Dogs Live! At Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD featuring This Ain't the Summer of Love... Look for a review in a few weeks, or as soon as I receive it. Don Waller, the frontman for the band is very genuine and surprisingly accesible... Not a quality one would expect from a person who headed one of the prominent bands that carved a niche into the 70's pre-punk rock world.

I remember an incident I had in Austin Texas in  '98. I had been watching Robyn Hitchcock play a set at the Austin Music Hall, and was milling around in the lobby, filling in time between acts. It was the South by SouthWest Music Conference, and the line-up was unorthodox, as I remember. It seems to me that Robyn Hitchcock played, followed by Nanci Griffith, and then Jerry Jeff Walker... As I stood in the lobby between the sets of Nanci Griffith and Jerry Jeff Walker I suddenly came face to face with Robyn Hitchcock.

"Mr. Hitchcock," I said, "Great set! Would you mind posing for a photograph?"

Robyn Hitchcock stopped in his tracks, looked at me for a second, and then in his strong British accent said,

"Hell no! I hate fucking photographers. I would just assume punch you in the face if you take my picture."

I was so stunned that I just paused... And of course Robyn Hitchcock slipped away into the crowd.

So yeah... That is just one example of run-ins I have had with famous musicians, and it comes to mind as the only one that really didn't go as I would have hoped. That being said, it's nice to have that correspondance with Don Waller, who actually was a pioneer in his craft. His situation is unusual, because he came to me personally and left messages on this blog after I had written a post expressing my desire to hear his band. With that kind of integrity, of course I put out the twenty-four dollars to purchase his DVD. It comes with rave reviews, and is generating quite a stir of curiosity in the vortex that is my mind. I will anxiously await it's arrival in my mailbox... If you are a fan of the 70's punk and pre-punk genre' you should strongly consider making that purchase yourself. I hear that it is well worth the price and effort.

And if your name is Robyn Hitchcock, and YOU happen to be reading this blog... Yeah. Go FUCK yourself.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From the Archives: The Greatest Sport of All

As things wind down after Christmas, and we set the controls for the new year, I thought I would share a snipet of some of my favorite posts. This was first published on July 22, 2005 at my old site, the original Gooseneck.


No other sport in the world gets me more excited than women's beach volleyball. If I'm flipping through channels on the television and I happen to come across a women's beach volleyball match, an Army general might as well be yelling "A-10 Hut!" into my ear because I am instantly at attention.

I find myself gazing at the screen, marveling at the extreme level of competetion, the graceful athleticsm of the women involved, and the teamwork and drive of the ladies, intense with an un-yielding desire to reach that match point and snuff out the opponent.

By using crafty hidden signals to alert teammates of pending plays, the ladies rely on a moment's intuition to keep the opponent guessing what may be coming next.

Of course this keeps the defense on edge, as the signal is usually flashed out of their view from the back of the offensive leader to her teammates standing behind her. What a cunning stunt.

No other sport requires it's participants to wear less clothing, an obvious compliment to the agility and athleticsm of the women who play this wonderful game. It keeps them free to move around the court without feeling weighted down as it is a game of motion and endurance. Also it keeps their bodies cool in the hot sun. (The lack of clothing is also a reminder of the game's rich history, because afterall... Women's beach volleyball originated on the beach. Where it's usually very hot.)

A couple shots of hot beaches:

No sport is as exciting and flavorful as women's beach volleyball. It is visually virtually unmatched by every other sport in the world. And unlike my second favorite sport, baseball... It keeps my attention throughout it's entire duration. Sure, I might find myself spacing out into a day dream during a telecast, but the dreams are almost always in relation to the women's beach volleyball match, or at least it's participants... I couldn't say that about baseball.

Interestingly enough, I've heard that the Japanese feel the same way about Sumo Wrestling...

Hmmm. Weird fuckers, aren't they?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Videos dept. Ice Road Metro

In the spirit of reality television, Essie and I have decided to make our own TV program... Here is the trailer.

Coming soon to an icy highway near you...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Elements of Disaster

I just spent the last few days at my parents' house for the holidays. To beat some bad weather that was coming in, Essie and I decided to pack it up a day early and head out on Christmas Eve, as opposed to early on Christmas morning. The storm was promising to be a doozy, and we didn't want to be stranded away from the family over the holidays so we left early to beat the winter assault. Of course that meant an over-nighter at my parents' home as opposed to just an afternoon, and as it turned out, because of the severity of the storm, one night became two nights. That wasn't so bad within itself.

What was bad, or WHAT IS bad about staying at my parents' house is the fact that they do not have internet, and that there is not a wireless signal to be found anywhere within their neighborhood. The other pitfall is the ridiculous choices my parents make when it comes to television viewing.

Now I am a sports fan, and for the most part my parents understand this and would accomodate my request to watch any sporting event I would choose. However, my parents are not sports fans, and being the gracious guest to their house, I certainly do not expect them to sacrifice their normal viewing schedule for me. So as any gracious guest would do, I relinquished my own desires and subjected myself to the parents' schedule of normal programming.

Here is what that schedule is in a nutshell: News... Morning news, afternoon news, and evening news. In between newscasts, programming generally rotated through a cycle of the Weather Channel, afternoon talk shows, and an unusual (but moderate) selection of the embarrassing to watch programming that is on MTV.

First was the marathon of Punk'd, the Ashton Kutcher-beat-his-chest-ego-drama where he puts his friends in unfathomable conumdrums, only to rescue them when the conflicts reach their highest peak, usually to a throng of bizarre group hugs and f-bomb-laced high fives.

Each episode brought a list of questions from my father.

For example:

"Who is Too $hort?... Is he one of those rappers?"

"What band is he in? (Pete Wentz)  ...Fall-Out Boy? Never heard of 'em."

"What kind of name is Kellis?"

Then after watching what seemed like 45 episodes of  Punk'd, and me enduring at least one such question with each episode, my father asked me the ONE question that defined the entire two-night stay... "Have you ever watched Silent Library?"

Silent Library. No I have never even heard of this show.

Suddenly we were in the midst of a new marathon. For a show I have never heard of there sure did seem to be a lot of episodes of Silent Library. This show is ridiculous... No other word could truly define it. 6 friends gather in a library and draw cards. One person draws the skull and cross bones card, and therefore is chosen to take the punishment of the round.

Now... the object of this game is to remain as quiet as possible. Afterall, the contestants are in a library. And yes, there are also normal people in the library doing normal library things, such as reading books or magazines who looked alarmed when things get out of hand... And things ALWAYS get out of hand.

The punishment is always different at each card drawing. One never knows what the punishment will be until the skull and cross bones are drawn, and at it's revealing there are usually snickers and bouts of uncontrollable laughter, and of course the obligatory look of horror on the face of the person about to be punished. The punishments vary in cruelty, but are typically silly stunts like the team taking turns snapping a rubber band on the punishee's forehead, or forcing the unfortunate person to eat a popsicle laced with meal worms. Of course while this is going on, the boys are dancing around each other like a group of orangutans in a diabetic siezure, and can't seem to comprehend the fact that if they would just sit down and shut the fuck up, they would win more money.

Yes. They win money by "passing" these challenges which means finishing the task in the time frame indicated AND doing so quietly... As a group and as an individual. Of course this is a very rare occurance because the jackasses whom they get to be contestants aren't smart enough to just sit there silently, turn their laughter reflexes off, and collect stacks of money.

Side note: I'm sure that MTV goes out and combs college campuses to find the 6 most testosterone-filled boys that they can to be contestants in each episode of this stupid game show. Usually there is a long-hair stoner dude mixed in with a tattooed junkie, a frat boy or two, a farm boy and also typically someone who could probably be on the college wrestling team. Lots of testosterone... Lots of ego... But very few brains.

Silent Library is not for everybody, and it certainly is not for me. This experience has convinced me that in the unfortunate event that I am ever homeless, I will gladly choose the comforts of a cardboard box in a rat-infested  alley before I will seek refuge at the house of my parents.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reality Check: Hockey Meets Reality TV

I've been watching the Sharks/Blackhawks game for a little over an hour now, and really could give a shit I guess... For me watching the Sharks skate against the Blackhawks is the equivilent to watching the Oakland A's play the Kansas City Royals in baseball. It has no value to me from a fan's standpoint, only that it is indeed hockey, and thus automatically more entertaining than anything else that is on television.

What has my attention though is a commercial that keeps coming on at each network break. It's for a show called AX MEN and it airs on the History Channel. (I have never heard of this show, but apparently it is entering it's second season.) The commercial starts out in a swamp scene, with a man's head slowly raising up out of the water. Of course my first thought is that it might be an advertisement for the Army, or perhaps a movie about some renegade Navy Seals. But no... The man continues to rise up out of the water to a point where it is evident that he is carrying a GIANT chainsaw, which he immediately fires up and uses to dice up a fallen tree log. Then these words appear on the television screen:

AX MEN New Season Starting In January 2010.

Um... Really?

I never would have guessed that there was a market for viewers to watch giant bearded men slicing up lumber. But then again I never would have thought that there would be a market for watching fat people compete against eachother in a race to lose weight. Nonetheless this show does in fact exist, and for what it's worth it's pilot made it off of the cutting room floor and is now steamrolling into it's 2nd season. I'm trying to imagine what entertainment value this show could produce. Maybe these guys are out saving kittens from high tree tops and giving them back to little girls in a happily ever after world, or perhaps there is a scenario where a guy is trapped underneath a fallen tree and the AX MEN come to cut him free...

What I do not get is why an AX MAN would rise up out of a swamp in seemingly stealth mode then immediately fire up his blazingly loud chainsaw and start gnawing into the carcass of a fallen tree. The noise would be a dead give-away that he was in the area, ruining his chance at a surprise attack...

Maybe he came up out of the swamp Rambo-style in effect to sneak up on whatever it is that lumberjacks sneak up on, and in his pursuit of silent stalking he noticed the knocked-over tree, and just couldn't help himself. He is, afterall equiped with an over-sized chainsaw...

Whatever that man's motive, that commercial was an unintentional diversion to the hockey game, and though I was seeing the game, I wasn't watching it. It ended with me not knowing the score. All I've thought about this past hour is those damned AX MEN and the reality that reality television has gotten way out of hand... I can't imagine what they will think of next.

Whatever it is, I sure hope that there will be a hockey game showing on another channel...

A Shout Out To My Homies In Cell Block 6

Of all the Cubs blogs I read, there is one that I generally visit more often than the others.

College of Idiots is a stylistic blog modeled after the College of Coaches, a coaching philosophy once used by former Cubs owner P.K.Wrigley during the 1961 and 1962 seasons. It is written by three bloggers; Steve, Angry Mike, and perhaps most notably Ginger Russ. The philosophy is unique but quite simple: You take one product, and instead of having one great mind working all facets of the daily situations, you bring in several great minds, thus increasing your level of success. The guys at College of Idiots have a sense of humor, because as history has shown, sometimes this formula is a recipe for disaster.

Here is how it is explained on the College of Idiots sidebar:

The College of Coaches was an unorthodox strategy employed by the Chicago Cubs in 1961 and 1962. After the Cubs finished 60-94 in 1960, Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley announced that the Cubs would use eight coaches as managers, rather than the traditional one-manager approach. Wrigley argued at the time, "Managers are expendable. I believe there should be relief managers just like relief pitchers.

The original "faculty" of the College of Coaches consisted of El Tappe, Goldie Holt, Bobby Adams, Harry Craft, Verlon Walker, Rip Collins, Vedie Himsl and Charlie Grimm.

The 1962 season brought the worst record in Cubs history, as they finished 59-103.

After 3 more years of mediocre ball, in November of 1965, Wrigley hired Leo Durocher, ending the College of Coaches experiment by Durocher declaring himself manager, with Wrigley's blessing.The College of Coaches, which has never been attempted by another Major League Baseball team, remains widely ridiculed and is often cited as a prime example of the ineptitude of the Cubs' front office over the past 60 years.

They cover the Cubs as good as anybody over at the College of Idiots. The difference is they use a style that is fresh and fun, as opposed to the forum-style bitch sessions that most Cubs blogs use. Not to say that they do not bitch there... As Cubs fans, that goes along with the territory. But it's the way that they do it that makes their blog unique and a joy to read. With photos, and charts and absolutely hilarious posts, College of Idiots takes the on-going comedy that is the Chicago Cubs to the 2nd City level.

Which, at this juncture of my life I definitely appreciate. 101 years and counting... At least I'm enjoying the ride.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fantasies Aren't Supposed To End Like This

Brett Favre sucks again... But the Kansas City Chiefs suck even more.

Seriously. Is this how we in the kingdom of the Chiefs are supposed to chart progress, by losing to the Browns in week 15? I do not think so... I understand that Todd Haley is in his first season as the Chiefs head honcho but even I, way back this summer when the NFL schedules were first released, looked at this game as an easy victory. It's not the Indianapolis Colts for crying out loud... It's Cleveland. It seems to me that a team that was learning a new system under a new head coach would be systematically ready for the Cleveland Browns by week 15. If that isn't the opposite of progress then I don't know what is.

Along with the Chiefs losing to the Browns, I slipped out of the first seed in my fantasy football league playoffs with a devasting loss to the number 4 seed who is ironically named the KC Chefs... What a horrible coincidence that was. The best my team, The Skunk Apes can hope for now is to win next week to solidify 3rd place. Not bad for a 14 team league, but throw in the fact that I was 11-1 at one point, and then 11-2... Then I lost this week which happened to be the semi-finals of the playoffs... and yeah. The trend isn't hard to spot.

If that stupid Brett Favre could just show up to actually play one more game, then maybe I won't have to settle for 4th place.

Yeah. Wouldn't that be something?

I swear that sometimes I feel as displaced as a Nick Folk field goal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Video Must Be Worth 10,000 Words

I know this one is...

Ross is and always will be the Boss. Eat your heart out Springsteen!

A Photo is Worth a 1000 Words

In this case, it's 1000 cheeseballs.

My brain is turning orange just thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don Waller And The Imperial Dogs

It's not too late to buy Christmas gifts online, and I have a great selection if you happen to be buying for me this year... Yeah. I know that is wishful thinking, but maybe worth a try... With the literal 10's of readers I must have accrued  by now, maybe one of you suckers has it in you to pitch out $24.00 and buy me a copy of the DVD The Imperial Dogs Live! At Long Beach (October 30, 1974).

It has been on my list ever since I read Dave's review of it over at Driver 13 and the Immortal Boogaloo. It is everything I look for in a concert video... Raw and rare footage filmed in black and white, delivered in early 70's mono sound. (Kinda like The Cramps Live at the Napa State Mental Hospital... Without the element of legal insanity?) Throw in the aspect that until reading the review I had never heard of these guys... And understand why I am hooked with curiosity.

The pictures of the band are pure 70's pre-punk, and if I had stumbled across an album in a record store, I would have purchased it based off the photos of the band alone. It just LOOKS like something that would deserve a listen, and it sends the vibe that it is something to behold, like a rare gem found in a dried up river bed.

But alas... As far as I can tell, no such album exists and if I am to satisfy my curiosity, then I must settle for the DVD. I am thinking that settle isn't the right word here, because what could be better than getting a visual concert along with the soundtrack? Yes... those photos with motion... And you already know that the band is going to rock... Such pictures do not lie.

So yeah... It was already on my list. Then unexpectedly Don Waller, the front man of the band shows up at Dave's blog and verifies/recounts the story of the video to Dave in the comments section of his post. Now... I do not get too many comments on this blog for whatever reason. It could be that I have no readers... Or maybe you fuckers are just really quiet... Who knows... Anyway, I make a post about The Stooges (See below) and Don Waller, who knows The Stooges, shows up here and leaves ME comments.

Now I have met several rock stars in my day, even a couple of icons... But as far as I know Mr. Waller, you are the first rock star to acknowledge reading my blog. And for that I am eternally grateful, and if one of my readers doesn't pull the trigger and buy me that DVD for Christmas, I swear to you, that after the first of the year when Christmas has calmed down to a managable financial level, I WILL purchase myself a copy, and review it on this site.

So yeah... Any takers?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tommy and The Stooges

So... Apparently my readers aren't a real talkative bunch which I guess I do not mind, as long as they are a reading bunch. But it would be nice if you guys would step up once in a while and take charge when I ask you... There's SOOOO much to talk about, surely you could have come up with something...

Like... Did you get a Christmas card from Tommy?

I did. It warms my heart that perhaps the biggest and  stupidest Tommy on all the internet thought of me this holiday season. His card was funny too... It had a snow man with a angry but sad look on his face and a puppy walking away from it, who obviously just pissed... Then you open it up and it says I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. Pretty good stuff there Tommy.

I heard on the radio today that The Stooges are going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this next time around. Are they worthy? Absolutely... But I still can't look at it any other way except that it's an oxymoron... The Stooges ARE one of the great rock and roll bands of all time, but their anti-establishment attitude doesn't really seem to fit the mold that is the HOF... Especially when you throw in the fact that ABBA is headlining the class of 2010. If Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton hadn't already died last January, this surely would have killed him. It's a bit ironic that a band that was formed out of defiance against everything that would eventually become disco is taking a back seat to a band like ABBA now. Maybe it's no accident that The Stooges were invited in this year and not last... Last year of course was the 25th year anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the usual suspects (U2, Springsteen, Metallica, Jackson Browne, and Billy Joel to name a few) were invited to play as part of the anniversary's celebration. Maybe the organizers, or the people in charge of the inductions wanted to let the radio bands have their day knowing damn well that the Stooges would clash with that group... So they waited a year. Could you imagine peace junky Jackson Browne coming onto the stage after The Stooges ripped it apart? Of course not... The Stooges my friends are the perfect definition of Rock and Roll... Or at least what it should be. There has to be that element of fear, anxiety and panic... Everything most bands already inducted into the HOF are not.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Open Thread Sunday

Ok... I've spouted enough unconventional wisdom for one weekend... The floor is yours. What do YOU want to talk about?

UPDATE: Come on guys... REALLY!!!!???

2nd, and FINAL UPDATE: Oh for crying out loud! UNbelieeeeevable!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Deluge of Randomness

I've had a case of the anxieties lately... Not the real bad anxieties that require medication, but the anxieties that I generally get at this time of the year when it's just a few days to Christmas, it's freezing outside and  because life seems to be running at such a rapid pace, it's hard to determine if you are coming or going.

The blizzard we had three days ago knocked the phone out of commision and apparently it is at very bottom of the corporate Things to Worry About  list, as are the frozen water lines which are connected to my washing machine. But life isn't all bad... I've got this entire day off with no where to go, and nothing that needs to be done. Well... Except for the Chevy Impala-sized pile of laundry that continues to grow. I guess as long as the water pipes don't burst it's an excuse to be lazy, and I am OK with that.

I reset my Facebook page this morning... This will be my 2nd attempt at it. It was a drama factory for me in the past, and the last thing I need right now is drama of any kind. But because it is such an efficient way to communicate with people I know, I decided to reinstate it. I have the mind set that I can control the drama... Which I truly think I can, despite Essie's claim that I LOVE it.

She made pumpkin pies today and the cabin smells wonderful. I love it when Essie bakes... I am uniquely lucky in the fact that my girlfriend is a master at baking. During the summer she is famous with the staff here for her desserts, (see photo) and honestly, it is a part of my work that I do not mind surrendering. I know I am not as good at baking as she is, and as long as everybody else is happy, than I am more than willing to give up that dimension of my job. Besides it makes good practice for her and on days like today, I get to personally reap the benefits of her culinary skills.

Ahhhh... Yeah. Anyway.

Record Albums I Own And You Should Too dept.

I got this several years ago from a co-worker who gave it to me in a White Elephant gift exchange. It was a pretty decent trade, as I remember... I think I gave an assortment of shoe polish and a boomerang... Because the way it was explained to me was that a White Elephant gift is meant to be silly and fun, a little care package of greetings that generates some holiday laughter. So imagine my surprise and delight when I opened my gift (Obviously an audio CD, probably Terry Bradshaw singing lonely songs, I figured) and I got this Elvis Presley selection. It contains all the traditional favorites, done in pure Elvis fashion, plus some other stuff you may not be familiar with that are just incredible. The title track, If Every Day Was Like Christmas is the first song on the CD, and it is Christmas in it's purest form. King Elvis also rips out a couple of blusey numbers (real blues... I am not referring to Blue Christmas here, though that track is on the CD.) All in all there are 22 tracks, and each one is as delightful as the first. I have played this every Christmas morning since it was given to me back in '03, and it will continue to be a staple this year. If you are on the giving end of an office Christmas party gift exchange, you might consider giving this. It truly is a gift that will give year after year... Not unlike a boomerang.

Bigfoot? Only If He Is Wearing An Ape Suit...

There's a tall hairy creature wandering the woods in Minnesota, and it's not Brett Favre searching for the ideal spot to place his deer stand. It is some idiot in a gorilla suit pretending to be Bigfoot... And though it is painfully obvious to me that this is a person in a gorilla suit, the local media are eating it up and selling it as the real deal.
Didn't I just mention a few posts back that things tend to get a little boring up there in Minnesota? Yes...  I did... In fact, I think in that same post I also mentioned that doing dumb things up there will get your name in the papers. Now, as Minnesota fate would have it, I get to demonstrate how that works on BOTH sides of the fence. On one side you have atheletes idiots who are doing dumb things and not seeking attention from the media, but get it based off their stupid acts, and on the other side you have ding bats like the guy in this picture who can't handle their feeble existence as it is, and need that 15 minutes of fame. It's a reciprocating dumb-ass- no-win situation. There's not much we can do about it... Except ignore it.

Or... Take the path I've chosen here and expose them as the fraud they are, in hopes that they will just go away.

But even I know that is not a likely scenario. With this technological age we live in, we are seeing more and more cameras and ways to transmit photos. As long as that element exists... That ever anticipated 15 minutes of fame... We are going to have to deal with these wing nuts and their faked photos. However just as the technological age is a disadvantage for the reasons mentioned above, it does also serve as an advantage in the sense that we can just as quickly defraud these idiots of their sufferable attempts to rile the media into painting that big ugly Bigfoot is a fraud picture. It undermines the hard work and back breaking research the good guys have put into cryptozoological science.

(Oh, and check out Squatch Inc.. They seem to be on top of their game too.)

The good news is, Bigfoot is still smarter than we are and is able to elude capture, whether it be genuine or photographic. The people involved with the Minnesota photo are clearly amateurs... The creature doesn't even resemble something that is real, nor does it have muscle tone or anything else that would signal it is anything BUT a man in a shiny vinyl-haired suit.

Just a couple of quick observations:

The men in the article claim that this "creature"  is seven feet tall... Based off what? That small sapling next to him that is taller than he is?

And why, despite being a rainy night, do the men say nothing about scouring for footprints or other physical evidence? Surely a beast of that magnitude would leave impressions in the soft wet ground. Has anybody even mentioned that?

I think that if I were writing this story I'd be asking a lot more questions, and spending less time just taking their word for it. That's a real swell job of reporting there, Molly Miron. You should come down here to my nick of the woods. The Loch Ness Monster lives in my shower...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Did Curse the Caps, But At Least I Called It

It didn't take long for my bold prediction to come true, and yes... I will take full responsibility for it. That's what I get for blogging about the recent success of the Capitals. It could be worse, I assure you. I could give you my thoughts on the Tiger Woods mess, or my position on the Cubs trading away Milton Bradley.

But that's too easy, see...

I can't claim to be Contrary to the Ordinary and exhibit posts about such meager topics. Besides, nobody really cares what my take on the Tiger Woods fiasco is and frankly, nobody should. I'm sick of hearing about it, and that's honestly about as far I'm willing to go with it. Besides, I couldn't do a better job of writing about it than Tommy did.

The Milton Bradley situation... Just let me say this: Until the Cubs pull the trigger on a trade or do something to move him, I don't see the need to get involved. Besides, the last time I checked, this was December... Can we wait until at least March before I expell about the Cubs? In case you haven't been paying attention, the last century hasn't been too sweet for us Cubs fans. It's not like there's a lot to write about... Just speculation.

The Cubs will or will not make the play-offs next year, and if they do, they will probably get knocked out in the first round. It won't matter if Milton Bradley is on the team or not. Give me something to believe in, Chicago Cubs... And maybe I will celebrate your existence next December.

I've noticed a trend in sports blogging: Baseball bloggers are cocky, football bloggers are lazy, and hockey bloggers are smart. I'm not claiming to be smart because I blog about hockey once in awhile, but damn... At least it's timely.

Yeah.. The Capitals lost tonight... In a shut-out. I wasn't able to watch the game because Versus showed the Avalanche/Wild game, and besides, Essie was watching movies.  I did however find some time to come online, and accidently change the template of this blog. I was messing around inside the Blogger Dashboard, got to looking around, and forgot to save what I was doing... Or something. All I know for sure is that suddenly I have this new template, and luckily for me, I like it. Something I have noticed, however is that my spell checking tab seems to have disappearred. So, if you see mis-spellings, please let me know. I will appreciate the input, as will my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Ok... That's all. My other disorder... The sleeping one... Is tricking me into thinking I am tired. I guess we will see. Good night!

Record Albums I Will Never Own dept.

...And by record albums I mean record albums, CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, DVDs, MP3s, or any other functionality of audio.
I'm so disgusted I could puke.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Post in Which I (hope I don't) Curse the Caps

It's supposed to snow 14 inches tonight... Good thing I've decided to grow my beard out. I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate winter's arrival than by watching live hockey. The Islanders are currently getting beaten up by the Flyers. It's early in the third period and it's already 6-2. Not much of a game... And the highlight isn't even the scoring. It's amazing to me how Ian Laperriere throws his body in front of the puck like he does. Just last Friday, against the Sabres, he blocked a Jason Pominville shot with his mouth, knocking out seven of his teeth. The hit occurred in the first period, but after taking 50 stitches Laperriere returned to the game by the middle of the third. You won't be hearing Hines Ward calling this guy a pussy any time soon. The Capitals are hot, having won 6 in a row. I wasn't going to make mention of them in a blog post until they lost, so as not to curse them. But really now... Do I think I wield that much power? Probably not... But yeah maybe. I probably wouldn't rush out to make a wager that they will win tomorrow night... Even if it is against Buffalo. Things just have a knack of working that way for me... And now you Capitals fans will know who to blame if they lose. Even with Ovechkin suspended (inappropriately) and on the bench, the Caps were able to rampage. Without their star they still managed to outscore their opponents 14-4 over that two game span, and when Ovie resumed play last night against the Lightning, he scored 2 goals in a 3-0 shutout. Meanwhile, the Penguins have cooled off, and life seems to be good in Washington where the Caps have moved up from 4th to first in the Hockey News power rankings. The Tuxedos, despite having a better record in the last ten games have slipped to 5th, likely due to their recent losing streak. Nobody has a better record in the last 6 games than the Caps... Lets hope that it continues. The Caps don't play the Penguins until January 21st in Pittsburgh. Then they meet three more times, once in each consecutive month thereafter... Two in a row in Washington, then finally in Pittsburgh. The games that are really going to matter however will be the games afterwards, hopefully this year in the Eastern finals. Bring it on, old man Winter... Bring it on.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Orange Blossom Special

I love this time of the year...

The NCAA's Contibution to the Apocalypse

This morning I rushed to the news stand to pick up the morning paper.

Yesterday was BCS Sunday, and though I was quite titillated (God I love that word) that Iowa was chosen for the BCS Orange Bowl, I anxiously wanted to know who was chosen to play in the inaugural Yankee Bowl.

Ok... I'm getting a little ahead of myself here...

I thought that this was the inaugural year for the Yankee Bowl. And I was a little miffed that it was never mentioned once during the entire BCS Selection show that aired on Fox last night. It was one of the main reasons I tuned into the commercial-ridden broadcast... The other of course, was to see who Iowa faced in what bowl. That's one hour I will never get back.

First of all I'd like to say that Fox Sports could screw up a two car parade. Any outfit that would employ that dip-shit Terry Bradshaw and surround him with that band of merry retards should be blocked by the FCC.

Secondly, I am glad that he was in no way connected to the BCS broadcast because I would have not watched it.

Thirdly Fox, how many fucking commercials can you shove into a one hour broadcast? The entire show used up about 8 minutes... The rest of the hour consisted of ads for Cialis and Lexus.

And fourth, What about the Yankee Bowl?

Now, I realize that the Yankee Bowl is not a part of the BCS; it is more like a mockery... Of course it wasn't part of the broadcast. It is a renegade bowl game... Copper in a pile of gold... The NCAA's contribution to the apocalypse.

While the Fox Sports announcers are polishing their teeth with talks of sunshine and national championships, the Yankee Bowl sits out in the shadows... Like a big ugly thug in a New York dark alley.

It's the bowl game that pits together two teams that, if scheduled to play in the regular season nobody would watch... But through some weird twist of fate are chosen to compete against each other like Michael Vick's pit bulls. It brings these two teams together in a spectacle of how football was meant to be played... Outside in the frozen weather and without the glitz and glam that comes with the typical college football bowl game. The game has no color... Even in person it appears to be in black and white. Throngs of blood thirsty fans shout for annihilation like spectators at the ancient Rome Coliseum... Snow falls and the blizzardly wind blows...

But, as I just found out, it's not scheduled to be played until next year.

Here is how it plays out, as I read today from the NCAA Football Fanhouse:

The Big East would send its third or fourth selection to New York, while the Big 12 would likely send its seventh selection. The bowl game would be played at the new Yankee Stadium with a seating capacity of about 47,000.

This is the final year of the current bowl cycle with the new cycle running from 2010-13.

Now... When I first heard of this game a couple of months ago, I thought it was to be played this year... So that's the reason I rushed to the news stand this morning. I had to see who made the cut. It would be great to watch a college football bowl game played outside in nature's elements... Even if it was a game between UConn and Baylor.

It'd be the next best thing to the NHL Winter Classic, which this season is being played in Boston at Fenway Park on New Years Day. I would LOVE to go to that... But would settle for the poor man's version... The Yankee Bowl.

The fact that it is not being inducted into the bowl schedule until next year is promising... Because the chance of me going next year seems a hell of a lot better than me being able to swing it this year. Now I have an entire year to plan it out and make the proper provisions to see that it happens. I've never been to Yankee Stadium, old or new, and frankly until now, I really haven't had any desire to go. The Yankees can rot in hell, as far as I am concerned. If the Rapture occurred today, I am certain that the evil empire would be left behind... Along with that bastard Terry Bradshaw and his imbecilic cronies from Fox.

But even in an post-apocalyptic society, I hope Yankee Stadium stands tall amongst the ruins of a battered city... And remains the home of the most renegade college bowl game. Because if I am also left behind, it may be the only joy I will know.

Meanwhile... Go Hawks!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Berrian is Fast, but Peterson is Faster

What is it with the Minnesota Vikings? First, star RB Adrian Peterson was stopped a couple of weeks ago by police and ticketed for driving 109 mph in a 55 mph zone, and now it's come to light that his teammate Bernard Berrian was stopped for driving 104 in a 60 mph zone. I know Minneapolis is well... Um... Minneapolis and not say... the mecca that New Orleans is... But it's still a huge city with plenty to do in terms of entertainment. There's a hell of a lot more to do than drive around breaking land speed records. I understand boredom. Trust me, I live in Iowa. However, I am pretty cool with taking a walk into the woods or making a trek down to the river with my fishing gear when I get bored. (Ok... I haven't fished in years... But just go with me here, ok?) In Minnesota, at least with the Vikings, they take it to the next level. Who can easily forget the 'Love Boat' incident a few years ago on Lake Minnetonka that involved Duante Culpepper, Fred Smoot and a few others on the Vikings' squad who turned a night of sailing in a luxury yacht into a full blown porn-calibur hooker cruise? To this day I can't watch Duante Culpepper play, or even hear his name without immediately envision him long-cocking some broad on the stern of that boat. Unfortunately, the old mantra What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas doesn't apply in Minnesota. Maybe there is a locker room bet to see who can drive their cars the fastest and Peterson and Berrian just happened to get caught. But that's my point... The Vikings ALWAYS get caught. The cops in Minnesota are BORED... And have nothing better to do than monitor stupid activities, and stop those doing them. When you are a Minnesota Viking, getting caught doing stupid activities is going to get your name in the headlines. Maybe the Vikings need to find SOMETHING else to do to cure their boredom. At this rate, Brad Childress is going to have to charter a bus just to pick up his players to get them to the games on Sunday because nobody will have a drivers' license. Someone clearly needs to take a leadership role here... But don't look at QB Brett Favre to be that person. Apparently Tuesday this week in Mississippi, he was clocked driving 48 mph in a 35 zone. "It's about all the ol' GMC could muster." he said as he taped the citation to the inside of his locker. "I had it at full throttle in 4th gear."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Three Guys

Just heard on a commercial trailer for the new Clint Eastwood film Invictus: "Morgan Freeman was born to play Nelson Mandela..." So now I am left to wonder: Who the heck was Nelson Mandela born to play? Personally I think that Morgan Freeman was born to play Easy Reader on the Electric Company. Afterall, he isn't even from South Africa... And man, that character is SMOOOOTH.

Weekend Laughs at the Expense of The Onion

I saw this and immediately stole it from The Onion... Fired Charlie Weis Cleans Out His Desk Also: Charlie Weis's Most Notable Notre Dame Moments, again from The Onion

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Driver 13 is Back... With his Immortal Boogaloo

Check out Dave's blog... It's hilarious. His presence in the blogosphere has been MIA for quite awhile, much like mine was. But it looks like he has locked in some new plugs, tweaked the carburetor a bit and has the old machine fired up again. I couldn't be happier... Now I actually have somebody active in MY blogroll that I have had drinks with! Actually Dave and I go back quite a ways... If you have been with me for awhile, you might remember the Twisted and True series from when I was the blogmaster at The Umpire. It is the crazy true story of a trip Dave and I attempted to take to Chicago in 2006 that ended with an unexpected and shenanigan-filled extended stay in Iowa City. The story involves heavy drinking, the hijacking of a band, wrestling masks, and a vortex of lost time... Amongst other crazy entities that seemed out of our control. If you feel so inclined, you can read them here: Twisted and True Part One Twisted and True Part Two Twisted and True Part Three I swear to you that the blogosphere is a better place with Dave in it. Please stop by and check out his unique and interesting writing style... Yeah... All six of you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Number 58

In what has been a gloomy season for us Chiefs fans, it seems fitting that this weekend's game against Denver will bring closure to some of us. The Chiefs are set to retire #58, the jersey number of the late great Derrick Thomas. Derrick Thomas is probably my all time favorite player from the Chiefs organization. I was lucky to have seen him play a few times, and the combination of him at LB and Neil Smith at DE terrorized offenses for years. He had this quick water like ability to infiltrate offensive lines and get to the quarterback. When he wasn't making sacks he was dropping back in pass coverage or making tackles on the fly, and not too many offensive players were able to escape his grasp. As a kid I idolized Chiefs free safety Gary Barbaro, a player not too many people probably remember. I loved watching the Chiefs defense whenever I could catch them on TV (Which, as a kid was hardly ever) and I specifically remember Barbaro intercepting a Jim Zorn pass in the end zone against the Seahawks, and returning it 102 yards for a Chiefs TD. I idolized him ever since... Up until the days when I was able to watch the defensive powress of Derrick Thomas... Like the game in 1990 when he set the NFL record of 7 QB sacks in one game... Ironically, also against the Seahawks. Derrick Thomas died in a car accident on January 23, 2000, three days after the birth of my daughter. It was great to see him get into the NFL Hall of Fame in August, and it's definitely fitting to have his jersey number retired. I miss you Derrick, you were one of a kind. Your memory will always be enshrined.

My Brain-Force in Action

I had an epiphany this morning while taking a shower... I am not going to shave until next year. First Day: December 1st, 2009 That's right folks. I am going to leave alone what already is a tangled nest of black and grey hair, and let it continue to sprout into what will be in my own experience the GREATEST beard I have ever grown. Now... My eye brows are exempt from this experiment. I can't stand to look at somebody else's intrusive brow, and I'm not going to subject anyone near me (namely Essie) to endure mine. Also, my cheeks will be kept trimmed and neat, only because for some reason in my 42 years of existence, they haven't quite learned how to fill themselves in nicely. But my chin and my mustache will go untouched... Free to roam where ever their little follicles decide to take them. You might be wondering why I am doing this... Well I do not know. Sometimes I just do random shit, and this is one of those times. It's like once I get a thought in my head, I tend to go with it, like I am being driven by a phantom brain-force. I don't see the benefits of fighting this force... Just ride it out, ya know? Besides, it is winter and soon it will be getting cold. I might be able to use the extra cover. In fact, I encourage YOU TO DO THE SAME. Weekly picture updates will be coming... Tell your friends.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Steeler Fan sees image of Troy Polamalu on Iron

When Pittsburgh Steeler fan John Bandwagon set out to "press a few shirts" yesterday he was shocked to see the image of his favorite football player on the bottom of his iron. "I plugged it in to heat it up and walked away." he explained. "When I came back several minutes later, I was amazed to see the face of T.P. staring up at me."
"I took this as a sign," he continued, "I think that despite his being listed as 'OUT' for tomorrow's game against the Ravens, he will indeed play. We (The Steelers) are going to need him too... Roethlisberger got the shit canned out of him last week against the Chiefs and frankly, without these two players, we might as well be the Cleveland Browns." Dennis Dixon is scheduled to start the game in the quarterback slot for the Steelers. He has thrown one pass in his 2 year pro career which he completed for a 3 yard gain. The Ravens have one of the most ferocious defenses in the NFL and must be foaming at the mouth in anticipation of welcoming this young player to his first NFL start. "I think he will do OK," said Bandwagon. "But I do not think he will have his 100% completion rating when this game is over." Raven DB Ray Lewis disagrees. "I'm going to sack this guy, gouge his eyeballs out, and feed them to the guys in the defensive huddle." When asked what would happen if Dixon got knocked out of the game Bandwagon didn't seem concerned. After a slight pause a smile formed on his face and he said, "Well, if that image on my iron has any validity at all, then I'm guessing that they would bring Polamalu in to play quarterback!" Hmmm... Sorry John Bandwagon. Looks like the Super Bowl Chumps are going to be 6-5 at week's end.

Seperated at Birth dept.

Susan Boyle and Jack Black... This post clearly speaks for itself...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Photographic Proof: Black Friday is Real

Black Friday indeed...
My father and I made a venture into town to get some keys duplicated. When the cashier handed my father back his change, we were shocked to discover that in amongst the dimes and nickels he had handed my father a black quarter. Coincidence? No... Absolutely not. This Black Friday thing is REAL.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Post in Which I use the Word Anvil

Remember, a few years back, whenever you bought enough of something at a grocery store to require a bag the cashier would ask, "Paper or plastic?" That was a symptom of the modern 'green movement' in it's infancy. Of course the public perception at the time was that plastic was convenient and paper was enviro-friendly. Personally I chose convenience, unless it was early on a Sunday and I was picking up a six-pack amongst others who were going to church... Then I tended to take the camouflage that paper offered, though I knew I was fooling nobody. It seems weird to me that paper bags have become obsolete at most commercial grocery stores, even as the environmental movement has become more prevalent. Doesn't it make sense, that the paper bag should have made the cut... As the perception of global warming has become broader? 'Paper or plastic?' is just an after thought in this modern age. That old cliche has become all but forgotten. Grocery store cashiers have a new catch phrase that they use, and it too offers you a choice. Each time I hear it, it hits me like an anvil pushed Bugs Bunny style, out of a window above me. I cringe... It floors me every time. The catch phrase I am speaking of is, "Do you want your milk in a bag?" Whatever theory some corporate monster developed as a base to requiring his employees to ask this question is beyond me. Hell... Good Will Hunting couldn't figure that out that mystery. My answer is ALWAYS yes. Milk, to me is just as equal as the other groceries... Groceries that are being sacked without question. Why would I NOT want my milk in a sack? If it were to ride in my car unbagged, then wouldn't it tend to roll all over the seat and floorboard, absorbing dirt, dog hair, and God knows what else? Milk jugs sweat when temporarily left in warm temperatures... Perspiration forms on the outside of the jug and becomes a magnet for dirt and debris. Also, milk jugs are roundish in shape... Any sudden turn of the steering wheel or a quick hit on the brakes and the jug is bouncing around the interior of the car like a pinball. Or more precisely, a bowling ball. I was at the cashier to pay for some things that I was picking up for Thanksgiving dinner, and because of the enormous bounty I was unloading onto the cashier's counter, and the stress I endured while shopping on the busiest grocery buying day of the year, my mind wasn't prepared for the dreaded and inevitable question when she asked me... "Do you want your milk in a sack?" "No." I replied, looking up at her eyes. "I want it wrapped in fish paper and stored in a cardboard box." I must have had the look of the devil because her face quickly took on a look of horror. I creeped out a smile and gave my best just kidding look. It seemed to ease the tension a bit, but the conversation wasn't nearly as friendly and automatic as it had been just a few moments earlier. "Yes, please put it in a sack," I said, maintaining my smile, "Otherwise it will be all over my car like a rogue bowling ball." She said nothing. I cant wait till that cliche' wears it self out. I am also equally afraid of what the next one will be. Paying for my groceries shouldn't be the equivalent of a mental Rubik's Cube. I shouldn't have to think about the situation all the way home, so much that it becomes a subject on this blog. I long for the day when all of my groceries will be bagged without question, and my life will become a hell of a lot easier.

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Twas the Month before Christmas

Essie set up the tree tonight. It was a wonderful affair. Yes I am being serious.
She has this way about her that makes me marvel every time she sets out to do something. The jewelry she makes is amazing... One day she said she was going to try her hand at making jewelry and the next day she had a slew of these extremely impressive bracelets, earrings and necklaces that she was going to take to the school and sell to fellow teachers. She made a killing. So now she was adamant about getting this tree set up. It was one of those artificial ones, just a cheap $20 model from Wal-Mart that was given to us by her daughter. It came in it's original box, and the pic on the box showed this feeble little sapling that looked like it had been cut down during a typhoon induced hail storm. It was full of gaps and holes, and didn't have that "full" look at all. But I knew that Essie already had a vision in mind for it... And nothing was going to stop her from achieving the results of that vision. I admitted to her that I had no interest at all in helping with the set up... I am too easily distracted to take the time to sort out the artificial branches and place them into their self-identifiable color-coded holes. I find this job tedious at best, and I would rather find a snug spot on the couch underneath my Cubs blanket and watch episode after episode of Scare Tactics... Which is exactly what I did. That show is whack. I'm only admitting that I watched it to validate my point about hating to set up artificial trees. The host, Tracy Morgan might be the SINGLE MOST annoying person on Earth, and if you are one who thinks this dude is funny, then you really need to re-evaluate what is and what is not comedy. You probably also find Bobcat Goldthwait hilarious. But anyway, back to Essie. She put the tree together by herself, and applied the Christmas ornaments to it with some delicately sliced ribbons she cut, to give it a more "glamorous" look. I have to admit I was blown away. Deep down however, I wasn't at all surprised. Her knack for art supersedes anybody else's that I have ever known. I know it's a good thing I didn't help her... Anything I would have added only would have hindered the look she achieved, and made the tree that much less beautiful.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I am off for the rest of the week... Just made a 4 mile beer run in my pajamas. Also picked Essie up a potato bowl at KFC. But none for me. Never had one myself. I guess I like my mashed potatoes just fine without all that crap in them. Every once in awhile somebody creates something that is perfect and doesn't need to be tampered with. That point was made quite eloquently by the late great Funkomatic who said, 'Perfection don't need no correction'. A bowl of mashed potatoes is a tremendous feast by itself, and when ANY kind of gravy is added, it becomes a sacrament. Why go Jihad by adding corn, chicken and MSG to it? Beer is another one of those creations that can't be fixed. Yes, there are many varieties... Pale ales, wheat beers, bocks, dark beers, lime beers... And 200 other varieties for you to choose, each one a perfect potion of magical power like a genie in a bottle. I even found the Clamato beer Bud Lite offered last summer to be quite delicious and I hate tomato juice mixed with clam juice. But yeah. I am on vacation... Yesterday was near-perfect. Had I not had to return my daughter to her mother's house, I would probably rack it up right up there with my first birthday, the day I lost my virginity, and that one day back in '98. I watched the Chiefs topple the defending Super Bowl champions as I ate my Thanksgiving meal. There are enough Steeler fans in my family to make that situation interesting, and being the only legitimate Chiefs fan in the house, I caused a ruckus at meal time. The greatest moment during the entire meal was a conversation heard at the kids' table. "Whats going on?" "Tory's dad's team is beating Brianna's dad's team." "Oh." That's when I said that the Steelers' playing in the Super Bowl last year was a fluke... Which was a snappy answer to a point my sister was trying to make about... Well... Last year. The next thing that happened was an all-out brawl, with fisticuffs and flung food. Uncle Harvey managed to wheel Granny from the table before Thomas, my cousin, took a punch from my sister-in-law. He fell backward and crashed into the table, flinging food in every direction. My brother managed to fend himself from Aunt Jane while my sister was no where to be seen. (Later I heard she was in the bathroom.) My father was half way through a big bite of cheesy potatoes when my mother smacked my uncle Tim with a bowl of stuffing... "He 'fell' into me as the table exploded," she said, wiping gravy off of her shirt. The dining room was destroyed. Still, I felt an overload of joy from the Chiefs' victory. I was unscathed from the brawl, left entirely out of the fisticuffs. It was great to watch the Pittsburgh fans in my family beat each other up... Them Steeler fans are an emotional bunch. I wondered if there was a song out there named "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." I figured there probably was, and that would be the song of the day, if that song did indeed exist. It definitely applied to the Chiefs victory. I love my family... But I hate me some Steelers. And I sure hated taking Tory back to her mom's...

When was the last time...

...You tried to buy a good ol' fashioned potato masher? Mr. Ginger Russ at Thunder Matt's Saloon has written a GREAT account of just that and the perils of this modern civilization's race to simplify everything that is sacred. There is NOTHING left that you can take for granted. Seriously. It's a great read... Check it out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's a Wonderful Night for a Moon Dance

But it's been a pretty crappy week for blogs... Not just for writing on this one, but for reading yours too. I've just been too busy. I have been a POW since last weekend... A Prisoner of Work. I even missed my favorite TV show which, incidently, I can't remember the name of anyway. I just know it's on the Sy-Fy channel on Wednesday nights right after that show with those weirdos from TAPS. It has that one dude who dispells himself around the globe in search of strange crypto-phenonemon... I realize that it's probably fake for the most part... But it usually keeps my interest, which is more than I can say about most television that isn't sports related. That being said, I am way over due for three periods of professional hockey. But yeah... I am T-I-R-E-D, as Aretha would say. One more day until the weekend. I get my wonderful daughter and I couldn't be more anxious to get that ball rolling... Actually, I dont even think there is a moon out tonight...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Forest vs. City

One glaring difference from living in the city to living in the woods: Getting attacked by a cougar takes on an entirely different meaning.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Once in a Lifetime...

The only thing more beautiful than her jewelry is Essie herself... I love you Princess!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Wants Maintained

I have been asked for my Christmas list a few times now, but have yet to come up with anything hand written. My responses has been pretty evasive I must admit... Usually, "I don't need anything. My life is perfect!"... Which doesn't really help anybody out who might have me in mind when Christmas shopping, or had the misfortune of drawing my name out of a Secret Santa hat. I'm sure I'm a bugger to buy for because the Pisces in me shifts gears so often, that I'm likely to want something one day, and not at all the next. There are however, a couple of things that I have maintained on my want list that would fill the void in a holiday shopping spree if anybody was so inclined to fill that void. Nothing on the list is terribly expensive, but might be hard to locate, as there probably is a reason (especially with the music) that I do not have it already. It's really hard to find certain bands here in Iowa... I'm not sure why... It's quite weird actually. I'm not a big online shopper, which narrows down my search quite a bit. The stuff I have bought online has been mostly sports shirts/jerseys directly from the source. For all the right reasons I am a bit paranoid about buying CD's on Amazon, or through Ebay. So without further adieu... My list of wants maintained: CD's Iron Maiden (Anything) Rollins Band (Anything) Hemlock (Anything) Bevis Frond (Anything) Slayer (Anything) Neil Young (Prairie Wind) Junior Brown (Anything) 311 (Music) Grateful Dead (Mars Hotel) Queens of the Stone Age (Anything) The White Stripes (Anything) T-Shirts (XL) Johnny Cash Iron Maiden Rollins Band Washington Capitals DVD's Looney Tunes (Spotlight Collection Vol. 3) Grateful Dead (Downhill from Here) The Grateful Dead Movie Monty Python (Live at the Hollywood Bowl) (New) Land of the Lost So yeah. It's quite simple really. I am not that hard to shop for... This list is handy, and will be intact the next time my gears shift. In other words, it wont change. Thankyathankyathankyaverymuch...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another from the Consumer Reports dept.

This beautiful German Shepherd is Loo. We were fortunate enough to have him this week while his owner was out of town. He truly is one of the greatest dogs I have ever been associated with... Personality-wise and behavior-wise. While he was with us, he provided us great companionship. It also provided an opportunity for me test a product for the Consumer Products department. This is a package of Beggin Strips from Purina: See how the dog on the package is reacting to the product? He looks super excited, like he is crazy with anticipation about the taste of this bacon and cheese product. Sure... it's just a cartoon, but whenever I've seen this product, I've always wondered if that was a genuine reaction. Would Loo be equally excited when offered a Purina Beggin Strip? Could I get that same reaction from a real dog... Or is the cartoon dog just an exaggeration... A marketing ploy to sell an inferior product? I decided to show Loo the product, let him smell it, and then immediately take his picture. I was a little bit surprised by his reaction: Seems to me that this is a great product. The reaction I got from Loo was shockingly close to what the picture of the dog on the package represented. Loo actually loved the Beggin Strips so much, I sent a couple extra packages home with him. I (and Loo too) absolutely give this product a thumbs-up. Nice job Purina!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Great Commercial for NHL

I'm tired and going to bed. A friend posted this on Essie's Facebook account and I thought it was worthy of sharing. Good night!

R is for Redneck

Evey once in awhile a trip into town renders a chance meeting with some of the local folks which is always a delight, because of how ass-backward their perception of life is. I was pumping gas into the old Metro last night and heard a bass-thumpin stereo. That in itself wasn't unusual. The kids often deck their cars out with expensive speakers, and it's common to hear one of these high schoolers driving down the street with his shaded windows up and the bass a thumpin'. I always enjoy this actually, because you know in that kid's world he is the coolest cat in the country. Hell, we all need that chance in our life to be cool. So this feller last night drove into the gas station parking lot with his bass a thumpin'. I could see through his windows and this wasn't a kid. It was a middle aged man, bald, no tint on his windows. He had his stereo up very loud with his bass dial set to the highest level. The White GT he was driving was stylish... Nice mags... But as he opened his car door to pump his own gas, it became very clear he was just a bit um... Well, the word poser comes to mind. This guy missed his chance to be cool a long time ago. It wasn't 50 Cent or Too Short that was rockin' the bass from his speaker box... It was Toby Keith. Sorry pal... You just lost all street cred. And this is for you:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Meanderings

I woke up this morning at 5:30 to let Loo outside. He is a German Shepherd who is in our care this week until Thursday, and truly one of the greatest dogs of all time. He has a hankerin' for Beggin Strips and will do just about anything you ask of him to obtain one or two of those delicious treats. He's like Scooby Doo... Sometimes he has to be bribed with two "Scooby Snacks." But my point is, I swear this dog speaks English. If I tell him to make a goofy face for a Beggin' Strip, by golly he sticks out his tongue and crosses his eyes. Amazing. Essie and I made a video last night from the this blog's Consumer Reports dept. with Loo as the star. As soon as it gets edited, I will be sure to post it. Today is Veteran's day, and of course I want to acknowledge all of those who have done this country a wonderful service by serving in the Armed Forces. I appreciate the scarifices and the valor... I love this country with all my being, and I can't think of a way of life any different than the one I am living. This is all because of the Veterans and I am extremely thankful. I wish I had enough money to buy each and every one of you a beer today. By the way, Eric who was in the Marines has a great post at his site if you want some Veterans' Day inspiration. One of my favorite veterans is MIA so to speak... Haws left for Nairobi, Kenya last week, and I haven't heard from him for a few days. We chatted for a bit while he was in Dulles Airport awaiting his flight. He was to go on a safari this past weekend, and I totally anticipated hearing about it, or at least getting some pics in my inbox. But nothing yet... God's speed to you brother... Hope all is well in your base camp.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Burn After Reading

I was getting ready to post something truly amazing but... Essie can't find her notebook that has everything important in it. That in itself isn't a problem, at least for me, except that while that shenanigan is ensuing, I have absolutely NO ability to concentrate for more than a second or two at a time. She is swooping from room to room in a desperate search, and is obviously super inconvenienced by this tragic loss. Thus, every time I think I am going to begin this post, my attention is quickly diverted back to her and her lurid situation. I tried making a joke to relieve some of her stress. "John Muhammad is going to be executed in 19 minutes and you think you have stress?" It drew a feeble smile, but otherwise didn't make a ripple in the intensity of her search. She was already on her way to the kitchen to search through the silverware drawer again. Jumping at the chance to write with the two-second window she was giving me, I got back into position to start this post. I had thought of the perfect opening line for what I wanted to post about, and I was just about to apply it to words... "I found my jewelry notebook," she said as she rushed into the room. Her voice had a hint of relieved happiness to it but not total elation. "I still can't find the notebook with the kids' Christmas list in it." Her search continued. In an effort to help her out, I felt around on the keyboard shelf that was underneath the desk, just above my knees. The shelf, once slidable (and used) when I had a PC, has been broken for several months now. The slide rail doesn't work anymore and it just sits there sans keyboard. It has become a narrow cave in which things that get left out on the desk too long get shuffled away to. I could feel what was there... A CD without it's case, some loose papers, earphone wires... A pair of dice, my Zippo... Dust... But no notebook. It didn't matter. She was already back in the kitchen. I gathered my thoughts and just about started typing the first words of my amazing post. I was immediately interrupted by Essie again, who came into the room with a bowl and a spoon. Apparently she gave up her search, at least long enough to eat some instant oatmeal... And to talk to me. That was 10 minutes ago. I have no idea what we talked about because I am next to the television and it's volume is about 20% louder than she is when she talks, and I do not read lips. I literally maintained the conversation by reading her face and saying "Ok", and "Cool!" and nodding occasionally, and I was able to do this the entire 9 minutes it took her to eat her oatmeal. Now she is off drawing bath water, and it looks like I will finally have that golden window of time to write this incredible post. The unfortunate thing is... I have absolutely NO idea what I was going to post about.