Monday, April 30, 2007

4/30/07 I've Got An "O"!

As if our intelligence hasn't been insulted enough after watching, "Deal or No Deal" (NBC) and "Are you Smarter than a 5th grader?" (FOX), ABC decided they didn't want to be outdone - They are continuing to work its way down the food chain - So be sure to set your TiVos and DVRs for May 18th for a neuron churning episode of National Bingo Night. B-4. Not after. B-4.


I'm hoping to learn to play the ancient Chinese game "Go". I found it on Yahoo Games. So... If you're interested in learning with me, we can now play online together.


I've been having lots and lots of dreams lately, especially dreams with friends and family. One dream I had wasn't about friends and family though. It was about baseball. In the dreams the White Sox traded Joe Crede to the Angels for Kelvim Escobar. You're probably wondering why I'm telling you this. I guess the reason is this - If, by the slimmest of chances the trade actually happens, I can begin touting psychic dream abilities.


So gross. Yet so worth it. A big thanks to everyone who helped me out this past weekend...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

4/26/07 20/20 Vision

Ok, I've finally found a place to show you a recent video of Mel Kiper Jr., his hair and the extra red ESPN sign. It's here. I know for sure if you click on the Chicago Bears link and play the video, you can see it.


I don't have an easy time writing about tragedy. You probably noticed I haven't written a thing about the Virginia Tech shootings. Mostly because there's not really anything insightful that I could possibly say. That being said, I received an article from Hot Corner Heidi about the shootings. It is very detailed and touching and is worth sharing.


I don't expect that you'll miss reading this much. But I won't be writing for the next few days. So have yourselves a good weekend.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

4/25/07 The Average Life

Over the average life, a person "will eat over 10,000 bars of chocolate, shed 121 pints of tears and have sex more than 4,200 times". According to this new documentary...

"The show takes viewers on a journey from babyhood, when we get through 3,796 nappies and produce 254 litres of urine, through to old age and death, by which time we will have eaten 10,866 carrots, taken 7,163 baths and passed wind an average of 15 times a day."


In a follow up to the pluot confusion, I found out that Zaiger's Genetics has patented other hybrid fruits:

Aprium — a patented hybrid of apricot and plum
Nectaplum — a hybrid of nectarine and plum
Nectarcot — a hybrid of nectarine and apricot
Peacotum — a hybrid of peach, apricot and plum
Pluot — a patented hybrid of plum and apricot


Also, in a follow up to the Rex 84 postcard... well, it's real.


Monday, April 23, 2007

4/23/07 And Other Random Stuff

(Photo is from PostSecret, courtesy of No-longer Neighbor Natalie)

Some random thoughts:

  • I want to date a woman who plays a lot of poker. Then, the first time we're about to, uh, "get intimate", I'll look deep into her eyes and say, "Baby... This is your Degree all in moment". If she sticks around after that, she's definitely a keeper.
  • Speaking of procreation, I bought some plums yesterday. Only, when I pulled one out to eat it yesterday, the stickers on each one said "pluot". Pluot? What the hell's a pluot? Is that a brand? Or did a plum really bone an apricot? And how do plants bone without visible genitalia? Turns out, it really is a plum/apricot hybrid. But it looks just like a plum. So, just a suggestion here... the apricot may want to go on Springer and get a paternity test. Then again, maybe not. Because I'm going to eat its children either way.

  • Target seems like a good place to meet women. Even before you introduce yourself, you can learn a lot about them just by watching them shop. For example, I saw an attractive young lady walk into the cavernous aisle of toilet paper. She walked out with the bargain, 1-ply, swish-around-the-poop-without-getting-all-of-it and risk-poking-your-fingers-through brand. Rule #793 when it comes to dating: (Write these words of wisdom down kids)... "If she doesn't care enough about her butthole, she won't care enough about you either."

  • My friend mentioned the Lionel Richie "Hello" video today. (If I remember, I'll tell you why later this week). And it reminded me of my favorite Starburst commercial.
  • Out of Rolling Stone's top ten songs on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, I really don't like half of them.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

4/22/07 Nacho Noshers

Nachos are in the news again. (This time I'm not involved, nor is the poor quality and upkeep of my website mentioned). But this article is way cooler than the other one. It has to do with a high school fight over nachos and a girl who wants to eat nachos at every place in Boston that serves them. And, even though the fight puts a dent in my vision for nachos and world peace, the article ends - "Actually, I'm surprised more fights don't break out over nachos."


I guess this was just a sports weekend for me. It's not often that I watch this much sports on TV. But I'm currently watching the Yankees vs. Red Sox on ESPN - Mostly since I was interested in seeing Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch. The first thing I noticed is that he has a really goofy windup. He takes the normal step backwards, then he stops and wiggles his butt, then he slowly continues the windup. It almost seemed illegal. So I looked up the rules. Rule 8.01(a) states:

Rule 8.01(a) Comment: In the Windup Position, a pitcher is permitted to have his “free” foot on the rubber, in front of the rubber, behind the rubber or off the side of the rubber. From the Windup Position, the pitcher may: (1) deliver the ball to the batter, or (2) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or (3) disengage the rubber (if he does he must drop his hand to his sides). In disengaging the rubber the pitcher must step off with his pivot foot and not his free foot first. He may not go into a set or stretch position—if he does it is a balk.

So there's no rule against the butt wiggle. For those not familiar with Daisuke, he's known by the pronunciation of "Dice-K". And since "K" is the symbol for strikeout, it's a little extra cool. People in the stands have posters showing one side of a die and a K, supporting their new pitcher. Which is cool, too. Except that their signs are reading as "Dyke". Sure, it's one of those dick-ish things to notice. But still. If you're going to 1) buy tickets to a game 2) set aside your evening for the game and 3) spend the time to make a poster for the game... the least you can do is put 2 dice in front of the "K". That's all I'm saying. (I realize that they may be using those posters to count total strikeouts.... But, for example, after the 3rd strikeout, use the 2 and 1 dice instead of the 3 die.)


Friday, April 20, 2007

4/20/07 Mel Kiper Jr.'s Hair

I'm a sports fan, as you know. I wouldn't consider myself one of those excessive sports nuts. But I do follow a few teams, I attend events every so often and I even play some of those sports at a very, very, very amateur level. I record ESPN's Pardon the Interruption everyday to keep up with the latest sports news. And I'll even follow that up on occasion with a dose of SportsCenter. I'm excited for the NBA playoffs to start. I'm enjoying the early goings of the baseball season. And I'm finally recovering from the Bears loss in the Superbowl more than 2 months ago.

What I'm not very fond of is the NFL Draft coverage. We're still more than a week away from the draft itself and, for at least the last 10 days, I've seen excessive amounts of coverage on it. To help prove my point, name 5 guys that will be drafted in the first round. How many did you come up with? Four? Okay. Good job. Ok, now how many of those guys could you have named a month ago before this ridiculous coverage started? It's like they're teaching you what to think about these players without you realizing what's happening. Instead, you show up at work, acting like you're some sort of athletic talent expert, spouting off names like JaMarcus Russell and Calvin Johnson. It works the same way with politics, as they spoon feed us topics of discussion and debate on the TV news and we then act like we're some sort of expert the next day, getting ourselves all hot and bothered over something we didn't give two shits about the day before. (I've save the political discussion for another day, perhaps over a nice cup of coffee. But the point remains valid and I hope you take some time to think about that.)

I'm sure that I'll check sometime next weekend and find some article about the top few guys drafted and who the Bears picked up. But I won't know who they are. And neither will you. But I'll read a bio on the first round pick and hope that he'll fill some void and then I'll forget about him until the fall. And they're overall grade will be a B-, given by some other guy I've never heard of and I'll pretend to care again.

This has been a real long, roundabout way of getting to my main point... which is.... Mel Kiper Jr. scares the shit out of me. I don't know if it's his hair. Or the fact that he just shows up once a year, absolutely basking in these few weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. Or maybe it's the recent footage with the super red ESPN sign which accentuates his shaking head when he gets excited and talks about something. Flip on ESPN when they're doing something NFL related this week - you'll see what I'm talking about.


I got my pupils dilated today for like 4 hours. So I think the inability to see clearly, combined with the vampire sensitivity to light, short circuited something in my head.


Sticking with sports and drafts - Cousin Eric sends an article about the 1985 NBA draft lottery. If you're not familiar with it, back then all of the teams that didn't make the playoffs got an equal shot of earning the top pick in the draft. So, they just put 7 envelopes in a lottery barrel and picked them "at random". The conspiracy was that Commissioner David Stern wanted so badly to save basketball (The Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan thing hadn't happened yet), that he rigged the lottery so that the New York Knicks (A big market team) would get the first pick (which everyone knew would be Patrick Ewing). The conspiracy I always heard is that he froze the envelope so he'd know which one to pick.

"When an accountant from Ernst & Whinney throws the seven envelopes into the glass drum, he bangs the fourth one against the side of the drum to create a creased corner (we'll explain why this is relevant in a second). Then he pulls a handle and turns the drum around a couple of times to "mix" the envelopes up. At the 5:23 mark of the clip, Stern heads over to the drum, unlocks it and awkwardly reaches inside for the first envelope (the No. 1 pick). He grabs three envelopes that are bunched together, pretends not to look (although he does) and flips the three envelopes so the one on the bottom ends up in his hand. Then he pulls that envelope out at the 5:32 mark ... and, of course, it's the Knicks envelope."

The video is here.


4/19/07 150 Stories

Just last night I began thinking about the technological marvels of the past 100 years or so. Actually, I should word that differently... I didn't "begin" thinking about it last night. But it was on my mind. Then the thought process took off on some tangent - Without boring you, I'll try and give you a brief synopsis. The thought process was as such - Many of the world's tallest buildings, specifically the ones here in the U.S., were built between 40 and 80 years ago. (For those keeping track at home, the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building were built in 1930 and 1931. The World Trade Center and Sears Tower were built in 1972 and 1974.)

Then I started thinking, why? Why did we, as a country, stop large skyscraper construction? And does large construction really have any value? Is it purely based upon ego? Or have we moved from a society based on doing what feels right to one that is purely based on dollars and cents. Why was the I Luv You not listed in Ludwig's records? And if it was, did he know about it? And if he didn't, who did? And where the hell was I?

Then today, I read that Chicago has approved the construction of a 150 story building. And all I could think was - That's awesome.


The plan was to put a video of Mark Buehrle's no hitter here. But, in their infinite wisdom, Major League Baseball continued to remove those videos off of the internet throughout the day. You know, because they'd somehow lose revenue and interest if people watched highlights of their sport and one of the greatest feats in said sport. I shouldn't be pissed. But it's just ridiculous - At the very least it might spread extra interest in baseball to people who might not otherwise watch it.

That being said, congratulations to Mark Buehrle and the first White Sox no hitter in 16 years. And since I can't find a video of that feat, I leave you with this instead... Good old fashioned cartoon racism.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

4/17/07 Nachos in the News

It's not everyday that nachos headline the news. According to the article, the nacho obsession is just starting to hit the web. I'll just sit back, relax and know that the Nacho Expert and I were nearly a decade ahead of our time.


The dollar is getting weaker. And Leon's getting Laaarrrggggerr.


Monday, April 16, 2007

4/16/07 Butte Blast

Some headlines just write themselves - "Butte Blast Blamed on Leaking Gas."
(Photo Credit - My Parents, Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

4/15/07 Chicago 2016

Congratulations to the city of Chicago for winning the USOC's final bid for the 2016 Olympics.


If you've been reading this for many years, you know that I love peeps. In honor of peeps, you can vote on your favorite peeps in action.


I'm normally not outwardly envious of many people. But Fighter Pilot Jeremy sent me a link that really got me thinking. It's about a professional video game player. Who has made over $500,000. But then I kept reading and didn't feel so envious....

"Pereira says top gamers like Wendel devote 12-16 hours a day practicing. They keep themselves in shape mentally and physically so they can compete in tournaments that can go on for days."


Are you pumped for the NBA playoffs???

Thursday, April 12, 2007

4/12/07 Tickets

I didn't post anything yesterday, so there's a double dose for today. Instead of being something cool, this dose is more of an annoucement. (No, I'm not getting married or anything - don't get your panties in a bunch).

I just got a few tickets to see the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play on Thurday, April 26th at 12:35pm. If you'd like to join me, they're free. First come, first serve. Whatever that means.

And while we're talking sports, the Bears are opening the 2007 season in San Diego. I'm all about going to the game if possible. If you have serious interest too, let me know and I'll do my best to find tickets.



4/12/07 So It Goes

So It Goes.


Game Over - I'm finally done with that Japanese Game. Four hours, 16 minutes of my life wasted. Well, even more time if you count the phone calls and IMs I was getting from friends looking for help. Thanks to "skooky" for commenting yesterday that he/she finished too. That makes the grand total of 4 people who have finished it. Teacher Bob has the best time - somewhere around 3 hours.


In case you finished the game and are looking for another challenge, here's something out of the old files - The Dark Room.


I had the distinct pleasure of losing my "Irish Nacho" virginity last night. If you haven't done so, I would highly recommend it.


Bill Gates remains the world's wealthiest man. I bet you can't name the dude in 2nd place. (Hint: It's not the IKEA guy).

Trogdor was a man
I mean, he was a dragon man
Or maybe he was just a dragon
But he was still TROGDOR!
Burninating the countryside,
Burninating the peasants
Burninating all the peoples
And their thatched-roof COTTAGES!
(Whoa, this has wicked dueling guitar solos!
It's like, Squeadly versus Meadley over here.
Go Squeadly!
Go Squeadly!
Squeadly WINS!)
When all the land is in ruin,
And burnination has forsaken the countryside,
Only one guy will remain.
My money's on TROGDOR!
And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIGHT...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

4/10/07 The Ewok Song

I got home tonight and remembered that I'd get to watch the White Sox on WGN. But the game wasn't starting for another 15 minutes. And I have severe ADD, so I felt like I HAD to find something else to watch. Then I remembered that I have HBO and Cinemax for free until tomorrow. So I went up to those channels and decided I'd watch "Return of the Jedi" until the game started. It had been a real long time since I had seen that movie (which will become even more evident in a minute).

Maybe it's just me, but the movie was un-turn-offable. Especially since I started watching an hour before the end. It may also be that other than E.T., this was one of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater as a kid. (Ok, at this point if I ruin the ending for you, you've had nearly a quarter century to watch it and I don't feel bad). The lasting memory of the final scene in the Ewok Village always got to me. With the cremation of Darth Vader and that awesome song. Except I was watching the updated version of the movie. And they changed the song! What the hell, dude?! Even worse - Cinemax has the choice to air the original, awesome version or the redone, no Ewok song version... and well, what the hell?

I know you probably don't want to think about this, but I've always wanted that song played at my funeral. For no reason - I just thought it would lighten the mood and people could dance and sing instead of being all funeral like.

(I realize that I'm complaining almost a decade too late. But still. It ruined what was already a stellar ending to a movie.) Turns out, I'm not the only one who's upset:

"As much as Star Wars fans bitch about the Ewoks, we realize that they are indeed unavoidable. And over the years, we've come to enjoy our little victory celebration song at the end of the trilogy. Sing it with me: Yub-yub, ee-cha, yub-yub. So what the hell do they do in the Special Editions, but replace the song with some stupid Yanni-sounding New Age thing that, if at all possible, sucks worse than the original Ewok song ever dreamed of sucking. I think what cheeses me off the most is that they took the time and effort to delete the Ewok song, why not just delete the Ewoks altogether? If you're gonna change things, at least change the things that need to be changed."


Did you try the game from yesterday? Have you gotten more than 9 items? Uh, if you did... can you tell me how?


Monday, April 09, 2007

4/9/07 The Red Button

The Red Button. Don't press it.


For those of you interested in the finest Republican wardrobe and accessories - Ronald Reagan Gear.


Ok, here's a new game/distraction for today. You may think I'm posting this out of kindness. I'm not. The game is driving me crazy. And now, it's going to drive you crazy. Perhaps, together, we can figure this puppy out. As of this post, I can get 3 items and trap myself in a move that reminds me of the original Zelda... You know, where the only way out was to have the candle and burn yourself alive? Admit it, you know what I'm talking about. And even if you don't, you're gonna check out the game now.


You know that super collider I mention every so often? The one that's being built by the greatest scientific minds near Geneva, Switzerland? Yeah, uh, it's gonna be delayed. Due to, uh, mathematical errors in its construction. (Thanks again to Mike for the article).

This sort of reminds me of "Raiders of the Lost Ark"... Where God is getting all kinds of angry, spewing down thunder and lightening when they were digging for the universal secrets of the ark. Well, if you're into that whole divine intervention warning system that might make sense.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

4/8/07 Half Day Inn

The Half Day Inn is closed. After 164 years. Thanks to Mike for letting me know. And thanks to the Half Day Inn for the memories.


The US Air Guitar Championships, coming to a city near you. (Yes, near ALL of you - Chicago, LA, Columbus, Austin, New York... I think that covers just about everyone who admits to reading this).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

4/4/07 I Got Nothing

Looks like Jose Contreras might have a future as mayor.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

4/3/07 Baby Metallica

Couple is fighting to allow their baby to keep the name "Metallica" - Thank to Poker Jason for the article.


My new thing is to finish each post with some feel good video. Hopefully something that'll make you smile, at least for a few seconds. This began yesterday with some comedy. As you know, I'm not real good at keeping my promises. But I'll try and keep this up - at least for a while. Here's more from the same guy as yesterday, Pablo Francisco.

Monday, April 02, 2007

4/2/07 Win Expectancy

Since the major league baseball season has kicked off, I'm sure I'll be talking baseball for at least the next few weeks. Today I came across my new favorite "statistic". It's "Win Expectancy". It might not quite be what you're expecting. At any point during a game, you can go to this page, and enter the score, where the runners are, what inning, how many outs, etc... And it will dig through decades of games to determine, based on past results, the likelihood that your team will win. Some dude was keeping track on my favorite White Sox blog today. When the number got below 10% I stopped keeping track.


Once again I have a story about shopping at Target. But it's not like the other ones. You've already heard me bitch and moan plenty about spending too much money there. This story is about checkout time. This particular Target has 22 checkout lanes. Four of them were open. Two of those four were express "10 Items or Less" lanes. Leaving 2 lanes for the rest of us. Each of those 2 remaining lanes had 4 or 5 people in line. Apparently at Target, that is unacceptable. Two ladies were on their poor-excuse-for-secret-service communicator device dealies, frantically yelling, "We need one person from the green zone and another from the blue zone up front now." As a customer, I can appreciate the urgency. Personally, I had nowhere to be, so waiting an additional 6 minutes wasn't my utmost concern. But here's what did concern me. They were looking for 2 cashiers to fill in for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, right? Just to get through this particular rush. And there were two of them looking for other Target employees to come up front? Why didn't they just help out instead? If you're a long-time, trained employee, I would imagine that you could fill in as a cashier for a few minutes.


Cousin Andy emails a BBC documentary of Los Angeles in 1972. He says that the film, in part, may persuade him to come visit. I always welcome visitors. So, if it worked for him, perhaps it'll do the same for you.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

4/1/07 April Fool

A few years ago I tried doing an April Fool's joke here. And it sucked. So I've vowed not to try it again. Besides, by the time you read this, it'll be April 2nd. Or 3rd. Or 9th. Christ, I don't know how often you read this. Point being, you're probably asleep already. Instead, here are the Top Ten April Fool's Hoaxes.


In honor of the 2007 Major League Baseball Season, I've found a page that combines two of my favorite things.... The Chicago White Sox and Oregon Trail.


Who says Americans are no good at anything anymore? Congratulations to Thomas Snyder for winning the World Sudoku Title.