Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We Have To Go Back, Kate!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • How about Jared going Paulie Walnuts on "Kid Nation" and knocking over his competitor's store? And Pimp Jared? Wow.
    • Ptolemy from GW is in a Rachael Ray commercial for Nabisco. It's just weird to see someone you knew on TV like that.
    • I'm hoping I can squeeze in some time this weekend to see American Gangster. I haven't been this hyped up about a movie since The Departed.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Tomorrow, I have a meeting with Stan Kasten (President of the Nats) and a walk-through of the new stadium. Rumor is that Torii Hunter, the top free agent besides A-Rod, wants to come to D.C. How do I not ask him about that?
    • I don't think Hillary waffled last night as much as they say she did. Her explanation of why Spitzer needs to issue licenses to undocumented workers/illegal immigrants seems pretty reasonable to me.
    • History Channel tonight, on a show about the history of Halloween, showed a Wicca coven praying. I know TV had Samantha and Sabrina, but there are no hot witches in real life, right? It looked like the cast of Trekkies had decided to star in something else together.
  • Your List Sucks!:
    • I was going to do a rant on how contrived Halloween is and how it's just an excuse for repressed women to dress like sluts and get drunk enough not to remember anything the next morning. However, I decided to reintroduce something from the old Reisterspound site. So, here we go with the Top 5 Currently Running Network TV Shows:
      • 5. C.S.I.: -- Beats out "Grey's Anatomy" by a fairly close margin. The difference is that "Grey's" had a weak season last year, while "C.S.I.:" is unfailingly consistent. You always know you're going to get a minimum level of quality and every so often you get a big winner like the Liev Schreiber episodes last year.
      • 4. Heroes -- We gasped the first time we heard "Save the cheerleader, save the world." We were on the edge of our seats during the "Company Man" episode. The world of Peter, Hiro, Claire, and Sylar, swallowed us whole from episode one.
      • 3. Survivor -- The inarguably greatest reality show of all time is having one of its best seasons. The secret is that they keep bringing on intriguing personalities that, due to the nature of the show, keep it fresh, no matter what locales or twists they throw out.
      • 2. House -- Greg House is the single best character on TV, hands down. That's really all the explanation I need to give -- his pure charisma. The supporting performances are just very good icing on the misogynist, racist cake.
      • 1. Lost -- Everyone seemed to be losing patience after a weak mini-season last fall, but it turned out to be a foundation for what came next. And what came next is second only to "The Sopranos" in terms of quality TV over a given period of time. Who or what is Jacob and why was Ben so angry after the visit with him? The revelation of the fate of the Dharma Initiative. What the heck is the security system protecting if Dharma was keeping it out? And the last minutes of the season finale, that brilliant season finale, flipping everything we thought on its head! February can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

...And The Odds Are In My Favor!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • The Tipping Point is really an intriguing book. I had 100 pages yesterday for homework and it just flew by. Interesting theories that are fairly intuitive, written in a narrative style. Good To Great has maybe more interesting points, but the writing is so dry that everyone in my class is reading it first, so Tipping Point is kind of a reward for getting through it.
    • What We'll All Be Watching Dept.: What are the odds that Pats-Colts lives up to the hype? The office consensus is 10-1. I'm leaning Colts early -- how do you pick against the undefeated Super Bowl champions at home, who have moved the ball at will against the Pats in recent memory?
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
  • Daily Rant:
    • We pause today to honor Goulet. Any participant in an all-time great Elvis story deserves at least as much. Back tomorrow with more, including the triumphant return of Your List Sucks! I leave with a question -- do you want to participate in Random Babbles? Many blogs have "teams", where multiple people can post as they desire. If you're interested in becoming part of the Random Babbles team, drop me an e-mail. If you don't have my e-mail address, this offer isn't for you (sorry).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Excuse Me Sir, Your Nose Smells

Mondays are always a bit tough, since I have class after work. Plus, with my laptop down for the next day or two while we wait for a technician, I can't quite get the formatting right since the bullets don't indent right on any other computer (the tab button just switches between forms, but doesn't on the laptop for whatever reason).

  • Congrats to the Red Sox. They were the best team all year. And with the Yankees less stable than Britney, they'll probably continue next year. I'm pretty happy that I have Matt Holliday and Jonathan Papelbon in the keeper league after this postseason.
  • Another very strong "Curb Your Enthusiasm". I can't wait to get rid of the brothers and sisters. I know how you feel about the Blacks. Almost seems like the rest of the season was a set-up for this one.
  • I'll leave you with this super nerdy poster that a friend shared with me.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Crowning the New Evil Empire

· What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:

o Just can’t work it up for football today. The ugly games on TV don’t help too

o Some possible questions for the Republican candidates, from conservative Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

1.) "Would you have sex with a man to stop a terrorist attack?"

2.) "If lowering taxes results in increased revenues then would lowering taxes to zero result in
infinite revenues?"

3.) "If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time and abort Bin Laden?"

4.) "Would you torture and kill Jesus to ensure mankind’s salvation? And how does that work?"

o Pretty funny.

· Random Thoughts/Links:

o The Patriots are pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

o The 0-8 (now) teams actually showed some life today. Well, not enough to win, but A for effort, guys.

o Not so for the Bengals. They are not that good. And the Jets? Even the Bengals beat the Jets.

· Daily Rant:

o Is it too much to ask to get a climactic World Series? This is just no fun.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Eat It, Lick It, Snort It, F*** It!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I think I’m as depressed as Joel McHale that “Viva Laughlin” has already been cancelled. From the clips they showed on “The Soup”, it looked really, really bad to a funny level.
    • Watched two movies today:
      • Jaws: The Revenge – It’s not as bad as Jaws III, for whatever that’s worth. The plot (I’m not making this up) is that a great white shark is chasing the Brody family one by one to get revenge for the many sharks they’ve killed. Mario Van Peebles is ridiculous as a Bahamian native and Michael Caine is in it? Starring Lance Guest (The Last Starfighter), who is the homeless man’s Jason Patric.
      • 3 Days of the Condor – A Pollack film made in 1975, starring Redford and Dunaway in their primes and Max Von Sydow, always a great villain. Gripping, funny,complicated; I highly recommend this one. It concerns a CIA analyst who comes back from lunch to find his entire office murdered and some sort of conspiracy in the works. The big conclusion with what the conspiracy was planning is, to say the least, ironic considering today’s world.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • O’Reilly is against tolerance for gays. Oh, wow. Yeah, he actually says that in this clip.
    • Heads-up. Small blind. K-9, I raise to double the big blind. He calls. Flop comes A-K-J. I check, he bets 500. I call. Turn 9. I check. He bets 700, I raise all-in. He calls and shows Q-10. River doesn’t help me. I think I’d make that same play every time. What are the odds he has that?
    • NFL picks (last week: 9-5, overall: 13-13-1):
      • Chicago (-5) vs. Detroit: The Lions are starting to fall apart and Griese is starting to play well.
      • St. Louis (+3) vs. Cleveland. They have to win one.
      • Indianapolis (-6.5) vs. Carolina. No letdown between big games.
      • Washington (+16) vs. New England. Just have a feeling. The Skins have the best defense the Pats have faced by a mile.
      • San Francisco (+2) vs. New Orleans. The Saints are good enough to be
        road favorites now?
      • N.Y. Jets (-3) vs. Buffalo. They have to have some pride.
      • N.Y. Giants (-9.5) vs. Miami in London. Miami’s secondary will allow Eli to have the greatest air attack in Great Britain since the 1940s.
      • Minnesota (+1) vs. Philadelphia. What is with all of these home dogs vs. mediocre teams?
      • Cincinnati (+3.5) vs. Pittsburgh. Division game.
      • Houston (+9) vs. San Diego. I’m not saying they’ll lose, but the Bolts can’t have their minds only on football.
      • Tampa Bay (+3.5) vs. Jacksonville. Do you know who’s starting at QB for the Jaguars?
      • Tennessee (-7) vs. Oakland. Yawner.
      • Denver (-3) vs. Green Bay. Super yawner.
  • Daily Rant:
    • We all know that people are selfish, lazy, and generally hate-able. You can easily see all of these traits any time you walk into Costco. I don’t particularly like going to the store. The parking stinks with people blocking lanes to wait for someone whose car may or may not be in that row. You walk inside and everybody is pushing past you with no concern that they just pancaked you with a dolly full of pudding cups. You have to fight past a line of people who are waiting 5 minutes for a piece of chicken with a toothpick. Russians didn’t wait as eagerly for bread in the late ‘80s. And the worst of them all? The fat women riding the motorized shopping carts. No discernable disability, yet they lack the perceived ability or motivation to walk to get their 5 pounds of frozen buffalo wings. We need to test cancer drugs or makeup or Iran’s nuclear program on them. They’ve obviously given up on making any kind of real contribution to society. I don’t think this is an overstatement.

So Tired...

It's about 1:15 and I said I would post every day, so here's Friday's. Nothing new today, basically. I apologize for the brevity and nothingness. I'll be back tomorrow (later today) with NFL picks and other random babbles. Until then, signing off. Enjoy the national anthem, performed by Tony Bennett. No, Tony, we mean the real national anthem.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Baby Chicken Fetus

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • Very good and weird episode of "Survivor". I don't think the grand plan will be too messed up.
    • "I'm waiting for the whole surgery." "Hole surgery? Is that what they're calling it these days?" "No, it's a vaginaplasty." Ha!
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Work until about 10 tonight. Been a long couple of weeks.
  • Daily Rant:
    • There was an estimate today that, by 2017, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (with all related costs) will total as much as $2.4 trillion. $1.9 trillion of that will be for Iraq. $1.9 trillion for Iraq and $500 billion for Afghanistan. Which one is Osama Bin Laden in? Oh, that's right, WE HAVE NO F***ING IDEA!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All of the Fruits and Vegetables You Can Imagine

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • "Pushing Daisies" is very well-written. I didn't love the second episode, but the third was very funny in spots. I don't love a lot of new shows this year and this one might be a keeper. But...
    • The race for best new show of the year is over. Somehow, with maybe 15-20 minutes left in tonight's episode, "Kid Nation" went from being a great source of mockery to just plain great. The ending at town council was very compelling. Plus, Taylor is one of the great reality show villains.
    • So who is the killer on "Heroes"? I've heard a theory that it's Kensei, which I find interesting.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Is Wakefield really hurt or do they not want him because his knuckler won't work in Denver?
    • Is it me or is delegation maybe the hardest thing in the workplace?
    • This is the video that really brought the impact of the wildfires to me.
    • Carlin on "Countdown" last night. Good stuff.
  • Daily Rant:
    • I think I'm too tired to put in a long rant because traffic was so bad today. Why, oh why, must people slow to a crawl when the skies are gray? Is it because they're too bummed to drive right? I know it's not to be safe, because they drive like insane a-holes in every other type of weather. We have magical things called grooves in our tires that help channel the water so we don't skid easily. Did you miss all of the commercials?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Literature as Social Commentary

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • This past Sunday's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" was easily one of the top five in the run of the series.
    • Very interesting interview on "Hardball" this evening with the Lt. Gov. of California. He talked about the distraction of Bush coming to visit San Diego and how control of the disaster might be a lot easier if many of their National Guard troops were not in Iraq.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • How the heck did Arnold Schwarzenegger become one of the most highly-regarded politicians in the country?
    • Why does Rahm Emanuel always look/sound so defensive whenever I see him?
    • Have you seen this? Is the government even crazier than we think?
    • Which is the worst group of people on the planet: skinheads or kids from Kansas (or anywhere not in New England) who go to college in Boston and are now die-hard Red Sox fans?
    • Am I crazy to think that this weekend will be New England's first real test?
    • If San Diego, arguably the most heavenly place in the country, is being ravaged by wildfires, do you think that there is money falling from the sky somewhere over Mississippi?
  • Daily Rant:
    • I was going to sneak it in yesterday, but I wanted to take the time to really lay out my thoughts on this. Not since Lucas was so openly anti-Iraq War in Episode III have I been so delighted with something from pop culture. At a reading at Carnegie Hall, J.K. Rowling revealed that Albus Dumbledore was gay. Least importantly, this adds depth to his sadness over the end of his relationship with Grindelwald in the final Harry Potter book and only makes the work greater than it already was. Most importantly, it brings homosexuality to the mainstream discussion and into a place its never been quite so publicly -- the discussion with children. It's about time that kids had an openly gay role model. It shows children who may be ashamed of their sexuality that it's okay to just be who they are. It helps show all kids that sexual orientation is not a badge or a label -- it's just something that people are, like their ethnicity. The fight for homosexual rights is simply a civil rights issue. There is a class of citizens in our nation who are not afforded the same rights as others. It's as simple as that. Many people denied that blacks were deserving of full rights because of science, such as eugenics, or because of religion, by saying that they came from a heathen people. Many of my rants are tongue-in-cheek, but I feel very strongly about this. A line must be drawn in the sand between those who desire equal rights for all and those who do not. A few years ago, I had a lesbian co-worker who said to me, "I am not allowed to marry the person I love." The sadness in her eyes was gut-wrenching. I can only imagine it as the equal of the sadness in the eyes of a Cherokee, forced to leave their home of a thousand years; the sadness in the eyes of an African-American watching my grandmother, when she was young, being berated for willingly giving up her seat on a bus. Are you willing to perpetuate that type of feeling?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Take Stock in Your Beliefs

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I’m done with all of the NFL pregame shows – they all give me a headache at
      this point. I get my injuryreports from Yahoo or and that’s pretty much all I need going into the games. My Sunday routine – “Fantasy Insider” on ESPNNews at 11 (I watch a movie until then if I get up by 9 or just watch History Channel or “Meet The Press” if not) and Friday’s Bill Maher at noon, leading up to the games.
    • Speaking of “Meet The Press”, Stephen Colbert was on yesterday morning. I think – and this is a co-worker’s statement, but I agree – that he is a bit like Sasha Baron Cohen in that he’s so great at staying in character no matter what is thrown at him.
      Tim Russert made him crack a little smile every so often, but he was able to keep his composure.
    • I don’t watch this every week, but had a conversation in the office today about “Deal or No Deal”. It really is fascinating from a statistics point of view. The algorithm they use and how it incorporates some quantification of risk-aversion must be amazing.
      I’ve seen some professors try to crack it on various web sites, but they can’t get the psychological portions quite right.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • This is either going to be a great World Series like 2001 or everyone is really overestimating Colorado. I don’t have the slightest idea which, but I’m actually pretty excited to find out.
    • SAT practice hint of the day – Explosive:Dud::Rockies Offense:Ravens Offense.
  • Daily Rant:
    • There was a long conversation on the Junkies this morning about the effect of the volatile stock market on a 401(k) account and how you’d be crazy to check the stock market every day. This makes me think about my investment strategy and how crazy the news gets about a daily fluctuation on Wall Street. I’m sure it affects lots of day traders when the stock market has a big change on a given day, but it affects nobody else. I don’t know if it’s the news trying to scare everyone or if it’s – no, it really is the news trying to scare everyone. If you are not a day trader and
      you are younger than, say, 50 or 55 (and I know the 3-5 people that read this, so I know you fall into this category), it should not make a difference what the stock market does on any given day, week, or year. I legitimately care about the 20-year performance of the stock market. And guess what, I’m not even concerned about that, because it always goes up. Always. It’s called inflation. Barring all of your retirement money being in an Enron or a WorldCom (and there’s not a damn thing
      you can do about that), it pays to be risk-neutral or even risk-seeking at a relatively early age. No pain, no gain. Instead of worrying about the market going down 2% on a day 29 years before you can touch your retirement fund, worry about how medicine has made it so you’ll live way past what you’re saving for.

Tessie in Rocktober

Just a quick post today with no real format. Watch this past week's Bill Maher. It includes a funny heckling situation, a great hidden joke by Chris Mathews who says that it is too soon to make Hitler jokes, and a great interview with former chess champion Gary Kasparov. Kasparov is running for Russian President and he is so much more impressive than any of our own politicians. Fascinating interview. One quick link -- we know it's not great to live in Iowa, so this is no huge surprise.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Puttin' On The Ritz!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I'm late for my Saturday post because we were in NYC to see the new Young Frankenstein musical. Hilarious, filthy, amazing special effects for a stage show. It's the only thing I saw today, so that's it.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Quick Week 7 picks. (4-8-1 last week).
      • Baltimore (-3) vs. Buffalo. The Ravens D is looking very hungry right now.
      • Cincinnati (-6.5) vs. N.Y. Jets. They have to have some pride, right?
      • Minnesota (+9) vs. Dallas. Too many points for a good defense/running game combo.
      • Detroit (-2.5) vs. Tampa Bay. Who the hell knows? Who the hell cares?
      • New England (-16) vs. Miami. Don't know if I really buy this, but have to keep picking them.
      • New Orleans (-8.5) vs. Atlanta. I really do think the Saints are back.
      • N.Y. Giants (-9) vs. San Francisco. The 49ers aren't so good.
      • Kansas City (+2.5) vs. Oakland. I also believe that Larry Johnson is back.
      • Chicago (+5.5) vs. Philadelphia. I think a field goal is right here.
      • Pittsburgh (-3.5) vs. Denver. Man, I wish I lived in Vegas right about now.
      • Seattle (-8.5) vs. St. Louis. The Rams are really, really bad.
      • Houston (+1.5) vs. Tennessee. I'll take a home dog in a divisional matchup.
      • Arizona (+8.5) vs. Washington. Big, big line.
      • Indianapolis (-3) vs. Jacksonville. Peyton comes out to play in primetime.
    • I've been up for 21 straight hours right now after 3 hours of sleep last night.
    • The M&M store in Times Square had super long lines and in order to get free candy, you basically had to pick it up off the floor as people dropped it. The Hershey store gave away multiple pieces of free chocolate. Not real close in terms of enjoyment.
  • Daily Rant:
    • One of the people we were with today attempted to start a conversation at one point by remarking, "Hey, do you see all of those yellow taxis?" Do you really need to talk so badly? What happened to "Better to close your mouth and seem a fool than to open it and remove all doubt?" We're in freaking Times Square! You can't find some random sign or ad to remark on? Taxis? Hoo boy, there sure are a lot in New York City. I also saw some homeless people, some people handing out flyers, and, imagine this, met a Jew. This New York place is nuts!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Not Even Voting Booths in Minnesota Are Safe

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • "Survivor" continues to be very good, but that was one damn frustrating episode.
    • Great "Earl" -- the only sitcom on network TV that I'll watch.
    • I was stuck in traffic for a while today around 1 and turned to ESPN radio to listen to Dan Patrick. Except I forgot that Dan Patrick isn't on anymore. The people filling in for Mike Tirico were pretty bad. Pretty, pretty, pretty bad.
    • I run hot and cold on Jim Rome, but he's obviously not the worst thing on the air.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • You wonder why Larry Craig is staying in the Senate through the convention next year? Wonder no more.
    • How much you want to bet that he drives in, or flies into Duluth and grabs a limo from there?
    • How in God's name is Billboard going to list Nas' new album? And will Wal-Mart or Target carry it? This will definitely bear watching.
    • Horrible Sunday night game in football makes me hope for an ALCS Game 7.
    • On my Cookie Monster becoming healthy bit from yesterday, check out this song. So sad.
  • Daily Rant:
    • I'm totally ripping off a Chuck Klosterman thing here, but I feel strongly about it. Lots of people say this or that is a guilty pleasure. No such thing. Full disclosure: I really really like "Grey's Anatomy" this season. I think "Kid Nation" is the funniest show on TV this season. Linkin Park has some good songs. I'll turn the station from an old Green Day song to listen to an old Journey song any day. Using the term "guilty pleasure" says two things about you. First, it says that you think you're too cool to like things that other people deem to be uncool. Second, it says that you are willing to disrespect yourself by saying that something you like isn't all that good. If you like something, you like it. Why put anything in categories or insult something that you obviously enjoy in some way? Be honest with yourself. Don't pay attention to what other people think. Their houses are as glass as yours is. They all have guilty pleasures of their own and I feel bad for them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No Jerusalem!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • Saw the new movie O Jerusalem tonight in a screening. Craptacularly bad acting. I had a serious problem overcoming the giggles at one point.
    • Looking forwards to "Survivor" tonight -- solid season with very good personalities.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Lots of controversy in the office today about the fact that Cookie Monster doesn't actually eat cookies all the time anymore. The civilization run by our children will easily be conquered.
    • Dice-K in Game 7? Yikes.
  • Daily Rant:
    • Do you know how hard it is to come up with something to rant about day after day? It's actually not real difficult and there's my rant for today. Why does so much in this world have to piss me off? People can be so stupid in so many ways. Just think for once, or twice, or how about every minute you're awake. Would that be so hard?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You Shook Me All Night Long

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • It just doesn't sound right without Bob Barker, but Drew Carey is jive enough that I think he'll do okay in the long run.
    • If you haven't seen Transformers, Netflix it. It's everything you look for in a cheesy action movie.
    • "Kid Nation" seriously gets funnier and funnier each week.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • I often feel like I might be one of, say, 10 baseball fans left. But at a meeting tonight, a rabbi bemoaned the extra off-day in the ALCS and several people nodded in agreement.
    • Really burned out this week... Sorry if I'm dragging on what to say tonight.
    • 18th anniversary today of the Loma Prieta quake that postponed the World Series. Definitely one of those "you know where you were" events.
  • Daily Rant:
    • It doesn't make life too easy when people don't do what they're supposed to do, but even more so when they don't even know they're supposed to be doing it. I don't have much more to say than that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Even God Rested on the Seventh Day

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I just can not get the song "...And Justice For All" out of my head. "Justice" is arguably Metallica's most underrated album. Sporting mostly eight-to-ten-minute power ballads (before Whitesnake and company made power ballads mainstream and delightfully lame) including Metallica's greatest song, "One", you have to really like metal to engross yourself and find the surprisingly political messages. Find another song, period, based on a Dalton Trumbo book.
    • Some discussion at work over the song "Crank That" by Soulja Boy. Really popular among the kids, apparently. Look up some of the lyrics at Urban Dictionary and you might fear greatly for the kids.
    • Saw Nick Hornby has a new book out. Who knows who reads this, but it goes without saying really -- if you haven't read (and I mean read, not seen the movie) High Fidelity, make it the next book you read. No piece of writing has ever captured exactly how a guy thinks with more accuracy. Just a tip for the ladies...
    • My one night home all week and I've been able to spend it watching "Hardball" and "Countdown". The 7PM-9PM block on MSNBC is a haven for all of us centrist liberals out there.
    • If for no better reason, I hope the Tribe advances so they keep playing that "Cleveland Rocks" song by the Presidents of the USA. I've always loved that one.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • The Russians and Iranians are working against the U.S., Transformers is the big release today, and there's a Bush in the White House. Radical.
    • Sometimes, when I'm writing my rant and using questions to move it along, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw as the questions show up on the screen (there's a bit of a lag between the typing and the appearance of letters in this program sometimes).
    • So apparently, some generals in Iraq feel that our armed forces have made such progress against Al-Qaeda that we should declare victory. Didn't that happen 1,628 days ago?
    • Read that last link. I'm sick to my stomach right now.
    • Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are related. You can't choose your family.
  • Daily Rant:
    • Ok, so I have a solution for the Iran and Russia problems. Here's what we do. The government in Iraq loves us, right? After all, we got them their jobs. So we fund them and give them weapons so they can fight Iran. And maybe we should secretly encourage the Chechens to keep the Russians off-guard. I mean, it has to work out well in the end, right? We give them money, they're our BFFs. Fool-proof. Ok, maybe not "fool"-proof, but 1% competent-proof. The more I think about it -- and I try not to, if I can help it -- I wonder if it wasn't 9/11 that changed my view of the country and world for good, but the aftermath. Am I damaged goods? Nothing inside me says no.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, Monday

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I guess the strength in an ensemble show like "Heroes" or "Lost" is that you can do an episode without your two biggest stars and it doesn't detract from the show.
    • Cleveland has the upper hand now, but at this point, I don't know if I'd be surprised if Colorado won tonight, 4 straight in the Series, and all 162 next year.
    • Let's see, Elliott has his obsession with the Caps and now the Junkies are spending time talking about MMA. Somehow, I don't think Donnie Simpson is talking about second(at best)-rate sports.
    • Caught the series premiere of "Pushing Daisies" yesterday. I am very, very impressed. Very Burton-esque.
    • Have to actually read for a class I just started taking. Homework? Wow-wow-wee-wow.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Brian Westbrook. Warrick Dunn. Tiki Barber. All guys who experts said couldn't carry the load between the tackles and later became stars. All I'm saying is that Reggie Bush looked pretty strong inside last night.
    • I think my dog may be homeless... He keeps using paper to curl up on and likes hiding under things. If he holds up a sign that says, "Will Sit for Food," he's out the door and on his way to meeting Katow-Jo.
    • Trader Joe's makes/sells some pretty good snacky stuff, even if I feel like a dirty hippie every time I step inside.
  • Daily Rant:
    • Ok, so apparently I'm a Kucinich guy, or something. I'm all for civil rights and all, but can we get over this idea that the government wants to track all of us all of the time? I saw a story on CNN today about how Maryland is in the forefront of using license plate-scanning to catch people who are running EZ-Pass lanes. The ACLU is protesting a bit because they feel that it will lead to the government knowing where we are. Well, you know what? People who don't feel like they should pay tolls or wait in line because they are better somehow should be tracked so we can all find them and tell them what a-holes they are.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • The St. Louis offense. Oy. I find it hard to believe that there's a worse team in the league. At least the Dolphins may outscore someone at some point.
    • Bill Maher had a funny bit this week on sex toys in Alabama. Good ol' state #49!
    • Did I miss ESPN firing Bill Simmons and he went back to only doing Boston Sports Guy stuff?
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • I said I would post every day, so I am, even if I don't have much to say.
    • Pretty deep bullpen there, Boston. Pretty clutch, Sabathia and Carmona.
    • Looks like LT has the first Bundy of the year. Meanwhile, Stephen Jackson is sitting on his couch, wearing leopard print and eating bon-bons.
  • Daily Rant:
    • Someone throws a beer on Ron Artest and hell breaks out. A couple of rednecks rush a first base coach. A fan reaches out and grabs the hat off of a player in the bullpen at Wrigley. All of these fans were dealt with by the law. But they are in no way a few minority wackos. Today, some drunk fans, while walking into the stadium, yelled obscenities at Rams fans. Late in the game, a fan to my left almost started a fight while yelling derogatory names about his perceived sexual orientation of another fan. This behavior isn't okay in daily life, so why is it okay in or around a stadium? The cops don't allow fighting, but fighting words (an actual legal term) are just fine. Maybe alcohol needs to be banned, as has been suggested. Maybe people need to take personal responsibility for themselves (yeah, good luck with that). If one pays to get into a movie or to go to a play or a museum or a zoo or a plane, and so on, they don't think they have the right to act like an extra from Mad Max, so why at a sporting event?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fore, no Eight!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • Thanks NLCS for ending at 2:45 A.M.! When, by my count, Troy Tulowitzki is the 4th biggest star in the series (Holliday, Helton, Webb, in no particular order), you're looking at a winner in the ratings!
    • I'm disappointed in Sabathia... He nibbled and then overthrew after he walked guys. Bad combination. If the Sox get to Carmona tonight, the LCS round will be about as exciting as the LDS round. The playoff one, not the one where all of the Mormon players square off.
    • If you're not watching "The Soup", you're seriously missing out. It's a must-DVR at this point.
    • A poll in this week's EW shows that 73% of people asked said that the original "CSI:" is their favorite. No word on whether the 15% or so who said "CSI: Miami" or "CSI: NY" were from Mississippi.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Here are my most likely wrong Week 6 picks:
      • Arizona (-4.5) vs. Carolina. Vinny. Vinny? No, seriously, Vinny?
      • St. Louis (+9.5) vs. Baltimore. Can the Ravens score 9.5 points?
      • Chicago (-5) vs. Minnesota. Deep down, Vikes fans wish they had Vinny.
      • Cincinnati (-3) vs. Kansas City. The Bengals have had 14 days to prepare for the Chiefs' offense. Which is about 13 days and 23 hours too much.
      • Cleveland (-4.5) vs. Miami. Fins fans wish they had Tarvaris Jackson.
      • Push in Washington (+3) at Green Bay. A field goal sounds about right in that one.
      • Houston (+6.5) vs. Jacksonville. Those upstart Texans tend to keep it close.
      • New England (-5.5) vs. Dallas. Call this a heat check -- I'll pick them to cover until they don't.
      • N.Y. Jets (+3.5) vs. Philadelphia. They both stink, so I'll take the home team.
      • Oakland (+9.5) vs. San Diego. That's quite a big line for Team Turner (Norv, not Michael).
      • Seattle (-6.5) vs. New Orleans. The Saints get the exact opposite treatment of the Pats.
      • Tennessee (+3) vs. Tampa Bay. Really? The Titans are underdogs?
      • N.Y. Giants (-3.5) vs. Atlanta. Yawn.
    • Played golf today for the first time this year. That boded well going in. I went right more than Sam Brownback.
  • Daily Rant:
    • "Borat" premieres on HBO tonight. No need to sell it, we all know it's one of the funnier movies ever. But it makes me think back to the argument when the movie came out. Is it exposing how stupid people can be or how nice they can be? Maybe people are just playing along because they don't want to come off as obnoxious to a foreigner? I say that's a ridiculous question. We routinely teach our children to question things. We show how people like Galileo and Martin Luther King are admired for wondering if the conventional wisdom is the correct way, no matter the cost. Face it -- cynicism is a sign of intelligence. We should always be questioning everything around us. To accept anything at face value is to not think. Unabashed, open kindness is the lazy route. So "Borat" is showing us that many Americans are lazy and stupid. Who's going to argue with that? (In any case, as I write this, the "Throw The Jew Down The Well" episode is on. That most certainly wasn't people being so nice.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel: Dy-no-mite!

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • Is Amanda the cutest female Survivor ever? Something has to balance out how many women I know that love James.
    • One thing about working at Seattle Grace Hospital I never could stomach, all the damn vampires. First person besides Elisha to understand that horribly obscure two-part reference wins the (non-existent)prize.
    • Random movie recommendation of the day: “Rope” by Alfred Hitchcock. The first Hitchcock movie starring James Stewart, it deals with two young men who decide, based on a former professor’s theories, that there are those in society who are better than others, and therefore can murder a lesser. They strangle a classmate, hide his body in a chest, and then hold a dinner party for the victim’s fiancĂ©e and family. Stewart plays the former professor who comes to the party and begins to suspect something. Hitchcock uses long takes and an interesting mix of sound to build suspense throughout. By the end, I was on the edge of my seat and leaning forwards, hanging on every word.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • I’d love for Al Gore to run for President. And I’m pretty sure that nobody has won a Grammy, Oscar, and Nobel Peace Prize in the same year (Jamie Foxx was only missing the Grammy, I think). It doesn’t change the fact that his movie is WAY overrated.
    • So the Mets are done in, in part, by the Nats. And
      the Yankees are done in, in part, by the gnats. I don’t think Misters King Cole and Turner would be welcome in New York if they were to rise from the dead.
  • Daily Rant:
    • Why does the weather have to jump so much? 90 one day, approximately 20 below zero the next. Isn’t God all about moderation? That’s what some flyer or other I saw somewhere told me. A nice smooth transition would be great. This is like jumping from ultra-conservative Nixon to ultra-liberal Carter with no worthless Ford in between. It’s like watching an Aronofsky movie followed by a Farrelly Brothers movie. Your brain turns to that stuff they used to make the Statue of Liberty dance in Ghostbusters II, just without the Jackie Wilson music and the whole sort-of-haunted angle. Damn, that movie made no sense. And speaking of movies, this whole weather thing can be blamed on the Nobel Laureate from Tennessee himself. He invented global warming just like he invented the Internet. It’s just for the Internet, all he got was an e-mail saying he might have won a Nobel Peace Prize, but he’ll have to deposit a small sum of $1,000 into a bank account to help secure it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Taylor Must Be Stopped

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I might take on the battle to have people watch "Kid Nation", but I know it's hopeless. I'm sure that to many, it just looks like another stupid, staged reality show. And you're right, it is. But it's also very likely the funniest new show on TV if you look at it the right way. My DVR might break from all the times I have to rewind something and watch it 2-3 times. If you're not watching "Kid Nation", you've missed:
      • Lots of crying. Is it funny when a 9-year-old cries? Not usually. Is it funny when a 9-year-old cries because he misses his girlfriend that he's been "going out with since third grade"? Yes.
      • The opportunity to make more Chris Hanson jokes than you've ever made in your life. See, there's this adult host who shows up every so often. And though, practically, we know there are always cameramen and producers around, the show has this one guy with 40 kids. It's just too easy, but the jokes must be made.
      • Last week, a 15-year-old brutally cursed out a large group of younger kids. This week, religious discussion led some kids to proclaim that they were the "Jew Crew" while other kids said that "Christians are better" and later questioned whether Jews prayed. There is a 10-year-old who openly and repeatedly states that she doesn't have to do anything because she is a pageant queen. THERE ARE KIDS WHO USE SHOTS OF WATER AND PUT THEM IN GLASSES OF ROOT BEER TO CREATE NON-ALCOHOLIC JAGER-BOMBS!
      • But nothing at all can compare to the comedy force that is "The Retarded Kid". He's probably not retarded, just really spazzy, but that doesn't diminish his aura of hilarity. Every line he says needs to be re-watched multiple times. Every action is funny on all kinds of different levels. The kid shoots off comedy like Angelina Jolie shoots off pheromones. Watch him or not, you're only hurting yourself by missing out.
    • I got taken to task for not saying what I was reading. I'm not really reading anything -- finding it hard to get into books lately. For the football fans, Michael Silver's columns on Yahoo are pretty strong. He has amazing inside info from players.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • My work computer broke and I have a board meeting tonight, so I can't put a lot of time into this today unfortunately. But I'm still posting.
    • The Gipper gets exhumed. I'll forego the Reagan jokes. Does Notre Dame need the offense that badly?
    • There's a report that Reggie Bush took $280,000 when he was at USC. He's stealing a heck of a lot more than that from the Saints.
  • Daily Rant:
    • How about adjustable speed limits? I got nailed by speed camera outside of a high school a few weeks ago. $40 fine -- not bad. But why does the road have to go from 40 to 25 all the time around a school? Sure, when kids are coming and going in the morning and afternoon, make it whatever you want. But you can't tell me that I need to slow down when school is already in or late or night or any time when there aren't pedestrians around. They've invented digital technology -- why can't they have signs that change at certain times? Look, any kid who's late to school deserves to have to put up with traffic, cars, whatever. We coddle them too much anyway.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Welcome. So the goal of this thing is to post daily with a few standard categories and thoughts. Will I actually live up to the commitment? Who the hell knows... I'll try.... This first one will probably be a little longer than usual as I catch up on some random things. So here we go:

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • All the fall TV is back and so far no huge disappointments. The standouts?
      • Think about what last week's "My Name is Earl" says about society today -- a mainstream sitcom that involved multiple scenes of men kissing and homo-eroticism. Sure, America is repressed, but the show wasn't in the least bit controversial in the news. We've come a ways. Plus, it was damn funny as usual.
      • Strong "Heroes" this past Monday -- Tim Kring let the writers throw a shout-out to the nerds. Peter going Darth Vader on the Irish gangster? Good stuff.
      • Make fun of me if you will -- for my money, I don't think there's a more underrated actor than Eric Dane (Sloane on "Grey's Anatomy") on TV. More so than even Rex Lee (Lloyd on "Entourage"), Jack Coleman (Bennett on "Heroes"), or Michael K. Williams (Omar on "The Wire"). He's either a good actor or one smarmy m-f-er in real life.
    • New shows? I'll save the uber-comedy phenomenon known as "Kid Nation" for later.
    • "The Reminder" by Feist. Yeah, that Video iPod Nano commercial sucked me in... These "alt-folk" chicks like Leslie Feist and K.T. Tunstall have a pretty good sound.
    • "Graduation" by Kanye West. A friend called it a "grower". The first time through it was just alright in spots. Now, the who-knows-how-many-times through? Noah Webster invented "tight" for just this purpose. Arguably his best.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Kudos to Dear Abby
    • I took a test to see which candidate I most match up with. It came back as Dennis Kucinich, followed by Mike Gravel. I guess I'm more liberal than I thought. Here's the link to the test (thanks to Angie).
    • I think Sabathia and Carmona (the C.C. & C Pitching Factory) are too much for Boston. I know Papi and Manny are hot, but Travis Hafner has come alive lately also. Can Colorado shock the world and blow through Arizona and the AL? Yes and no. I like the Tribe to take home the title.
  • Daily Rant:
    • I'm just going to go sports on this one. Nice and easy. My fantasy team is the hard-luck team this year -- seems like I score in the top 3 or 4 each week, but always play someone who scored just a bit higher. Has to even out at some point. But I'm more concerned with the real-life fantasy team known as the New England Patriots. I find it funny to no end that so many Red Sox fans are basically rooting for the Yankees. Yeah, sorry, Bill Simmons. You sound like so many Yankees fans that you've mocked over the years. Some cocky, slightly obnoxious fans? Check. Evil tendencies of the organization? Check. I mean, geez, he even bashes Vince Carter for what he pulled in Toronto and then welcomes Randy Moss with open arms? Shameful. It's good to have an Evil Empire in a sport -- it makes rooting against them that much more fun. Even a Baltimore fan has to root for Luke Skywalker and his laser rocket arm against Jeter, er, Brady and company.