Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Lifetime Contract To Suck On Sports Radio

One aspect of the NYC metro area that exceeds anything around DC is in sports radio. Outside of Tony Kornheiser, WTEM (could its website be any busier?) offers a horrendous selection of sports personalities. Tony's show is excellent and it's not just because of what's around here for comparison. His humor, guests (especially Bob Ryan), and pop culture talk make for a nice combination. Though a little more sports knowledge would be nice, it's not a deal breaker.

Outside of Tony, WTEM airs ESPN Radio for the morning drive which was already documented in this blog entry. Dan Patrick gets on the mic after Tony, but he just tries too hard in creating conflict with his guests when there is none. There's also lots of Redskins talk and some guys who host after 5, but I never turn on AM for the drive home so I can't say for them.

I can't believe they pay me to suck so bad.

Despite these unlistenable (just go with it) hosts, the worst sports radio host in history (and the future) is John Thompson. The former G'town coach can coach ball, but he can't host a show to save his life. I don't have any issues with the sound of his voice. I just have an issue with what I hear out of it. Just to avoid any sound of his voice, even for a second, I won't even go by the 980 preset when he's on. Instead, I'll just go back the other way because it's just not worth the risk of wasting any of my life. And the worst part of WTEM and John Thompson is that he just signed a freakin' lifetime contract - to presumably stop any legit sports radio from airing between 3 and 5 PM. I know PR tends to stretch the truth, but this release must have been written by someone who doesn't have ears.

While he knows the game of basketball, he's not good at talking about it. When he tries talking about other sports it's just awful because he knows so little and forces us to listen to a rambling man. He asks questions to his guests that insult them and the listeners. Here's a paraphrased transcript that you'd typically hear on his show - in this case he's talking to, oh, I don't know, MD head football coach Ralph Friedgen.

I'm laughing all the way to the bank.

John Thompson (JT): Welcome back to the John Thompson show. I'm your host, John Thompson. Oh really? I wasn't sure if a show named after you would be hosted by you or that you'd actually speak on your own show or that people in the DC area wouldn't know the sound of your voice. I'm here with Rick "Doc" Walker and Smokin' Al Koken getting ready to talk a little Maryland Football.

(On a side note, I feel bad for Walker and Koken who have to answer Thompson's elementary questions and put up with his dumbing-down of topics. I don't listen enough to know if they're any good on the show, but I do know that Walker tries to overspeak during football game broadcasts.)

I hope nobody realizes how bad this show is. And yes, I'm getting by on my nickname.

Rick Walker (RW): I'm ready to go coach.

Al Koken (AK): It was a rough year so let's see what he has to say.

JT: And now we've got the head coach of the Maryland football program, Mr. Ralph Friedgen, the Fridge. Welcome to the show. I almost forgot to mention that JT speaks so slowly, it's as if he tries doing a 2-hour broadcast by stretching 45 minutes worth of content.

Ralph Friedgen (RF): Thanks coach for having me.

JT: Now coach Friedgen, your team didn't win all of its games last year. What do you think will happen next year? Ummm, coach, only one team won all of its games last years. Do you know anything about good questions?

RF: (generic coach speak)

JT: This is John Thompson and we're here with the head coach of the football team out there in College Park, the Fridge, Ralph Friedgen. JT has a most enjoyable habit of giving a programming ID every 3 minutes. Now coach, tell me about your recruits. What do you think they'll do for you this year? I'm giving JT a little too much credit for even asking these questions.

RF: (generic coach speak)

JT: You're listening to the John Thompson show, here on sportstalk 980. We're talking to the main man at Maryland, Ralph "the fridge" Friedgen.

Has it already been a whole 3 minutes since I last told you what you're listening too?

RW: Hey coach, this is Doc Walker, I'm a painfully average host of any TV or radio shows and never tell the viewer something that isn't already known, but somehow I'm on lots of different outlets. How will losing Vernon Davis hurt you this year? It was Walker who, in the middle of a great play by Davis this year, interrupted the play-by-play and just kept saying "Cyborg, cyborg, cyborg". It really sounded as strange as it reads.

RF: (generic coach speak)

JT: Well thanks coach Friedgen for joining us here today on WTEM sportstalk 980. Now it's time to talk a little baseball. The ol'pastime. Now tell me Al, we've got the Nationals here in Washington D.C. and the Orioles in Baltimore. Are they looking good this year? Explain to me this whole Sammy Sosa deal. Is he a good player? DC is having some trouble with the stadium so what's the latest with that? In the game of baseball, what does it mean when someone hits a triple?

AK: (does his best to answer the elementary school questions with elementary school answers so JT doesn't get overwhelmed)

JT: This is John Thompson, on sportstalk 980, WTEM. Here in Washington D.C. I'm here with Smokin' Al Koken and Doc Walker and we're talking a little baseball here.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Words People Mispronounce In These Parts

I'm from Jersey. You wanna fight about it? Since I've been living in the deep south (well as far south as metro DC), I've noticed folks don't speak with the same "accent" as me. For the record, anything south of the Jersey shore might as well be the deep south for me. Can I get a Point Pleasant shoutout? (Sorry, that was pathetic.) My Jersey accent isn't really that strong, but it does make an appearance in some words. Here is a list of words that people from these parts mispronounce, since it's clear that my speaking manner is surely (not) the right one.

You say orange (or-inj)...I say arnj

You say carmel (car-mel)...I say cayr-a-mel

You say pecan (pe-con)...I say pee-con (this might be closer to tomayto/tomahto and not location-based)

You say water (wa-ter)...I say wer-ter (I get the most grief for this one)

You say egg (eh-gg)...I say ay-gg

I've also had trouble distinguishing between Mary, merry, and marry. Perhaps I just have a speech impediment, or perhaps it's just an accent, or perhaps anyone not from my hometown thinks my accent is a speech impediment. Whatever the case, let it be known that I've never heard any Jerseyite call our state Joy-zee.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Since it's Friday and I'm in a good mood, I'm going to let you know about the greatest DC metro area map ever. I'm sure you've heard claims for the greatness of other maps, but none compares to this one:

It allows you to overlay accomodations, attractions, dining, entertainment, nightlife, and peforming arts locations over the entire area. Best of all, it will overlay the entire Metro system on the map so you know if you're anywhere near a stop. You can also place and label you own places of interest. This is so great that it's like Channukah (or whatever holiday you want) in February. Just because some of you like pictures (and I'll take any google images visitors I can get), the map, at the very least, combines the following (Enjoy!):


Get Your Ferrari - Now 50% Off!

On Tuesday morning, a really expensive Ferrari (as if there is such a thing as an inexpensive model) hit a telephone pole and split in half. Police are looking for the driver who survived thanks to airbag deployment. The Ferrari Enzo was one of only 400 made and worth between $600K and $1 million. The passenger, Stefan Eriksson, said the driver fled on foot. Eyewitnesses say the crash resulted from racing. Eriksson said he only knew the first name of the driver, yet despite his bloodied lip, there's no blood on "his" airbag, but blood was found on the driver's airbag. Other Enzo owners will say they're sad another piece of art has been destroyed, but I'm sure they're happy because this just makes their models more valuable.

I can't even afford 1/2 of a wrecked Ferrari.

Well of course there was a crash, it's clear the car never even had a rear axle.

R.I.P. Ferrari Enzo Engine. We'll miss your 660-HP, V-12 engine that goes 0-60 in four seconds, and has a top speed of 217 MPH.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lactose Friendly to the Last Drop

I usually start my workday with a bowl of cereal. It's part of my small snacks throughout the day diet (SSTTDD) that will eventually get detailed in another blog, probably around the same time I exercise on a regular basis again which will be around the same time it's regularly over 60 degrees in these parts which will be around the same time that there's no ice on my car each morning. Anyway, I went to get my carton of Lactaid milk only to realize there may not be enough left for this morning's bowl. I told myself to relax. I've dealt with this problem before. I know what to do. Though I am a professional, you should do this at home since it'll work for you too.

It's really milk-flavored water.

When I have little milk left, I make it a point to pour in concentric circles around the bowl for even distribution. Panic spread as the milk pooled halfway below my normal milk line. I began eating my Raisin Bran by sifting the milk from each spoonful. This way my flakes were wet, but I didn't drink any extra milk that they couldn't absorb. It's times like this that really test your character. Sure I could be greedy and drink the extra milk on the spoon, but then the other flakes wouldn't have their moment in the sun, or in this case my mouth.

Desperate times call for desperate measures when you only have a cup of milk for cereal.

Plus, I wasn't about to eat dry cereal or I would have had to add water at that point. I don't think watered cereal would taste good, but some people swear by it. Then again, many people think my fat free lactaid milk is just flavored water. Thanks to my advanced milk-saving technique, there was enough milk to douse every flake and raisin with almost no leftover milk. The next test is remembering to buy another carton this evening before getting to work tomorrow and opening the fridge only to realize I have no milk at all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Humpty Dumpty Has Nothing On This Guy

The other day, 42-year-old Nick Flynn was visiting Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (UK), tripped on his shoelaces, fell down a flight of stairs into some late 17th century Chinese Qing dynasty vases. According to the article, museum director Duncan Robinson said "It was a most unfortunate and regrettable accident, but we are glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed." That is a nice PR way to hide the anger shared by the museum's staff and vase collectors around the world. The vases had been on a window sill along the stairs for 40 years - a "touchy" location, but that's no excuse for breakage. Officials believe they can put the vases back together.



Flynn said disaster struck after he realized he had gone up the wrong staircase and swung around to come down. He trod on his untied shoelace and fell forward. "I was trying to grab hold of something but the walls were smooth marble and I couldn't stop myself."

Fortunately museums don't have a "you break it you buy it" policy.

I'm sure the director really thought something like, "who was the f-ing idiot who couldn't walk down a flight of stairs? And of all the stairs in which to fall, he fell down this one? You've walked down stairs before so there's no reason for you to suddenly forget how to balance yourself. It couldn't have been that hard to double-knot your laces. Go learn how to tie your shoes and don't come back here. Oh don't worry, we'll clean this mess up right away. It's just like when there's a call for a cleanup in aisle 6 at the supermarket, except we're dealing with $175,000 artifacts that'll never be the same, but don't feel bad or anything."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bill Nye The Married Guy

I freely and openly admit to watching Billy Nye the Science Guy back in the day. It was on channel 13 - PBS where I was. PBS is like your people's WETA station here. Anyway, I read some great news the other day...Bill Nye got married! This should give you hope that if the omnidork can find his soulmate then you will too. He married a woman named Blair Tindall who is an oboist. That's a funny word to see in print. Something about the circular o, bottom part of the b, and then another o. I'm strange for noticing this.

I know you're thinking it too...she looks about his speed.

I really did get married to the woman I'm pointing to.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Did It...I watched Entertainment Tonight!

Yes folks, I managed to watch ET on my birthday. I taped it and fast forwarded through all of their stupid entertainment stories. Finally, I make it to the birthday segment and all I got was great disappointment. A teaser question asked, "which former sitcom mom used to host her own radio show?" (or something like that as I paraphrase). Nevermind that it's Florence Henderson who turned 72.

Was it too much to put this on screen with some more celebrity pictures?

After the commercial they showed a picture of her. I thought that that was fine since they had to give the answer and would then continue with other birthdays. I would at least see the clipart birthday cake and candles with the other celebrities who share my birthday. Yeah, um, not so much. No other celebrities were shown nor was the clipart. I waited ten years for this? After Florence's picture, ET had a quick two-shot and it was time for credits. That was it. Clearly ET believes the birthday segment is not the best way to keep viewers. While that's true and it would have been nice to see more than Mrs. Brady's picture, at least I don't have to say, "Damnit, I forgot to watch the birthday segment on ET again."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Must...Watch...Entertainment Tonight

In the days before the Internet (yes there was a time like that), the only way I thought I'd ever see what celebrities shared my birthday (yes, it's today) would be from watching something like "Entertainment Tonight" that showed that day's celebrity birthdays. Well, I had always wanted to find out who shared my birthday and realized watching the show was the only way. Though we had AOL and even Prodigy before that, it wasn't as easy as it is today to just visit a site like IMDB or Wikipedia and find out who shares your birthday. So for as long as I can remember I've always wanted to watch ET and see who has my birthday.

Having my own direct satellite feed would ensure I see today's celebrity birthdays.

Though I'm past the point of needing to see it because of the aforementioned sites, I want to see it because I had always wanted to see it. Did that make sense? Some years I haven't even thought of it until a few weeks after so it has always been in the back of my head. When I realize I've missed the show again, I've always said I'll catch it next year. Well this year I'm setting my cell phone alarm for 7:27 to make sure I'm able to catch the 7:30 broadcast. Actually, I'm going to tape it so I can skip the commercials and the other junk that you find in shows like "ET" and "Access Hollywood". I'd never watch the show otherwise, but tonight's a special exception. I know if I had TiVo (or a VCR whose preset recording actually worked) there wouldn't be any remembering to tape it issue, but until then, my VCR will help me see what I've always missed...as long as I remember this time.

Monday, February 13, 2006

DC's Newest Obstacle Course

If the storm was today, all of us could have left work early and had tomorrow off, um, I mean we would have worked from home. Today's drive wasn't too bad thanks to all of the major roads on my route, but removing my car's ice delayed me, just like everyone else. I'll have you know I'm above complaining about the ice on my car or that my socks finally dried around 9 after stepping in the snow.

Some people think this car's ready for 495.

Nope, I'm going to make a request to my fellow drivers...please clear all of the snow off your car before driving. Besides the danger that comes when you don't have the ability to see out some of your key windows, like the front, the remaining snow seems to fall at the most inopportune times. Would it have taken that much out of you to wipe your shovel, scraper, brush, or even you arm across the hood, roof, and trunk and knock the snow off before leaving?

Don't worry, you don't need a clean windshield in Georgetown.

While it's convenient to let it fall while driving, its falling (just go with it) is distracting to other drivers and shows you're just lazy and inconsiderate. You clearly took the time to clear your windows of snow so it wouldn't have been that hard to knock out the rest of the car. To the person driving his/her SUV on the Key Bridge into VA this morning with a few inches of snow on the roof and hood...do us all a favor and wipe off the snow so when it falls it doesn't make the road an instant obstacle course with cars swerving.

Gotta love homemade dustpan shovels.

On another note, a neighbor of mine used a dustpan for his shovel, only to break it while trying to get at some ice at the front of his car. I held in my laughter out of respect and because I knew his situation all too well. Back in college, I had to borrow a shovel to get my car out because I hadn't given enough domestic thought to living on my own and that I'd need a shovel. I remember some kids were using their pots and pans. It must have been much to ask a neighbor for a shovel like I did. As far as my current neighbor, he was barely able to drive out of his space and didn't ask for my shovel. I wouldn't have given it to him anyway since he still had a few inches of snow on his roof.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Elevator Rules Everyone Should Follow

While we're on the topic of elevators, I think a great study in human nature is how we act with other people onboard. There are a few unwritten rules of elevator conduct, some of which apply to the outside world as well. And yes, this is a weaker attempt than "Gym Rules That Everyone Should Follow."

1. Give strangers the most personal space possible. If you are with someone you don't know, you must stand no less than two inches from your opposite walls. Any closer and you enter the elevator's neutral zone used for entry and exit passing. Just like in football, don't enter the neutral zone until you're legally allowed to according to the Elevator Rules Handbook.

Let's hope you're not part of the sequel.

2. Never make eye contact with a stranger for more than 1 second. The best case scenario is zero eye contact, but we're all curious so it's natural to take a peek. You might as well see what you'd be up against should your elevator ride end like the movie Alive.

3. There is zero tolerance for bodily functions whether or not anyone else is riding. Even if you and the other rider are in some sort of Terrence and Phillip contest, it's not fair to everyone else's perfunctory (woohoo SATs!). You might think it's safe to do when you're by yourself, but since the ahem, scent, has no place to go, it just nails the next rider. I'm not sure if the door opening would act like a vacuum by replacing the elevator air with fresh lobby air, so just don't do it.

Though it's always funny, an elevator is not the place.

4. Do expect to share your food with other passengers in case you get stuck.

5. Just because I'm on the elevator with you doesn't mean I want to do the bogus dialogue about the weather. I'm not your friend and I'd never even look you way if we weren't standing in this metal box. So please, is it really worth your energy to ask me, "ya ready for the storm?" just to hear me acknowledge that there's snow on the way? I didn't think so. It's okay to have some silence while we ride.

6. Along with 5, don't start a conversation with me or anyone else on a topic that will take longer than the actual ride to finish. If you do this, it leads to an awkward exiting as you keep talking yet the doors are closing. Find a topic that's short and sweet and when it's time for you to leave, take your conversation with you. Wouldn't it be nice to have a set of doors available to us whenever we want to end any conversation? You could just say, "sorry but the doors are closing so you need to shutup."

A roll of "Shut Up" tape should be available on every elevator.

7. If you've taken more than one step outside the elevator on the wrong floor, don't walk back into the elevator. It's too embarrassing so just pretend that you meant that floor and wait for the next ride. There's nothing worse then having everyone else onboard think less of you eventhough they are strangers and you'll probably never see them again. Ok, so maybe you should just suck it up and get back onboard, but it'll be an awkward few seconds you could live without.

8. If you get on the elevator and your floor is already pushed, don't push it again. It won't speed up the elevator, nor close the doors any sooner. It's not like the original button presser's pressing was invalid. I guess you just HAD to put your mark on things. It's just like you don't need to push the call button in the lobby for the elevator more than once after it's lit.

9. You can tell who has zero patience if they regularly press the "close doors" button everytime someone enters/exits. I hope you use the extra second or two of your life really well now that you've saved soooo much time.

You don't want to ride this if you ever want ride a normal elevator again.

10. Along with taking a quick glance at other riders to size up your survivability percentage, I also enjoy listening to the awkward conversation to figure out if I'd ever be friends with these people, or if they're smart or funny. Just as I would if someone was using a cell phone. All of which helps let me know if we'd get along while waiting for the fire department to rescue us. For the record, I'm not worried every ride will get stuck between floors, but I know there's a chance. Perhaps I shouldn't have gone on the Tower of Terror.

11. Your ride will either be alone or with a full complement of people. The worst feeling is when you're on your last ride to the parking garage and it seems like the elevator is stopping at every other floor for more and more people. Sure it only adds 30 seconds or so to your ride, but it'd be great if there was a password you could enter on the keypad to make your ride an express to the parking garage. Until then, we'll just have to suffer.

Happy Riding!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Broken Elevator? At Least We Have Some Grub

Now that my office has moved up a few floors, my mind has had more time to think its quirky elevator thoughts. With a deli on the first floor, there's a good chance I'll ride the elevator with someone carrying some fresh food. Once he or she gets on, I think two things: 1) Based on first impressions, what kind of lunch food person are they? Maybe they try to be smart and frugal and go with that day's scheduled special, or they like variety and change it up by trying something new each time on the menu, or maybe they stick with the same thing each week because they're the kid who cried on the first day of kindergarten because they're homesick. For the record, that kid was me and when I get food from downstairs, it's gotta be the hamburger and fries, if for no other reason than the unlimited ketchup and Old Bay Seasoning.

Before getting on a potentially broken elevator, make sure the other people have good food.

After my superficial impressions are done, I become thankful that he or she stepped on the elevator. If we were to get stuck I'm relieved to know that we'd at least have some food to keep us going until we get saved. I wouldn't get picky about the person or really judge them for the food they chose since I'd be starving without them, but it should have some good flavor. The flipside is my assumption that the person would even offer me their food. I doubt they would if they had known about my presumptuous judgment, but then I'd at least try guilting them into it. Better yet, let's just hope the elevator doesn't get stuck in the first place so my overthinking becomes a moot point like always.

Our studies show this guy is an opposite-entry-side button pusher.

Next time you get on the elevator, take note of the side of the door you entered from and whether you made the sharp u-turn to the buttons on that same side or whether you went to the opposite side buttons. In other words, when the door opens and I enter closer to the right side of the door, I will continue walking from my right to the left-side buttons. I usually don't make the turn and stay on my entry-side. It is my theory that most people do the opposite-entry-side button push. Let me know what your research has shown and we'll publish a report...don't laugh, WTOP would report our health findings like their other aired findings that aren't completely finished or have any real value.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Steal From The Rich To Give To Myself

It's rare to find anyone like Robin Hood these days considering it's illegal to steal from anyone let alone the rich, and even if someone did steal, nobody would give away the loot. If you're going to steal something, you might as well reap the benefits. Jessica Hardy managed to do her own opposite Robin Hood impression. Hardy was the Northeast Chairperson of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Can you guess where this is going? She embezzeled over $100,000 by making up fake children whose wishes were all her own.

Funny how lots of ill kids wanted so many things to improve the regional director's house.

She created kids who were terminally ill and happened to want items that seemed to show up at her house. She invented 20 kids and kept the money for herself. Some "kids" wished for her to get a hot tub, new computer, Packers tickets, Super Bowl tickets, home remodeling, shopping sprees, the obligatory Disneyworld trip, and other lavish trips. She created false files and doctor notices for 9 years. Oh yeah, she also took money by changing post-auction bids all in honor of some deceased children.

A modern-day anti-Robin Hood.

Her friends who received gifts have been cleared, but how come they never had any desire to question how the gifts got there? They probably figured they were better off not asking because what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them. I'm surprised that lots of things were going to Hardy's address didn't automatically raise a red flag earlier than the 9-month surveillance. At least she has been caught and will get what she deserves which is everyone's wish. (I know it's a corny line, but I couldn't do much with this story.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Chuck Norris' Tears Cure Cancer

I'd like to take it easy with my blogging today and simply highlight one of the links over there in the right column. The website is Chuck Norris Facts. Before you dismiss it because you've never liked his "acting", you should know the site doesn't list real facts about him, but hilarious lines about his bravery, strength, and ass-kicking lifestyle. The inventive lines are a funny read as long as you enjoy sarcastic exaggerations which in turn means you also have a sense of humor and a pulse. I kid, sort of.

Of course, for my German-speaking fans, there's a list for you and a second page too.

A few of my favorites (though they're all great):
  • Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its decendants are known today as Giraffes.
  • The chemical formula for the highly toxic cyanide ion is CN-. These are also Chuck Norris' initials. This is not a coincidence.
  • Chuck Norris is the only person who can simultaneously hold and fire FIVE Uzis: One in each hand, one in each foot -- and the 5th one he roundhouse-kicks into the air, so that it sprays bullets.
  • Chuck Norris can unscramble an egg.
  • Chuck Norris’ 5 o’clock shadow appears yesterday.

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Super Bowl Wrapup Like Every Other Blogger

The NFL's regular season parity continued in its biggest game last night. I thought it was a decent game that was just entertaining enough as neither team was impressive and only a play or two changed the whole game. There seemed to be too many questionable calls for a Super Bowl crew. Granted, the better team did win the game (you have to give credit to Pittsburgh who had the toughest route anyone could have to the game by winning 3 games on the road), but still some of those calls left everyone shaking their heads. There was the holding penalty that negated a long Seattle pass down to the Pittsburgh 1-yard line, the 15-yard penalty on Hasselback's tackle after his interception, the no-call collar tackle, and the holding call on Warrick's long punt return. At least those are what I remember them, how I remember them.

It's always nice to be inside while it's a Detroit winter outside (though it only got 1.5 inches).

As far as Roethlisberger's rushing TD, I didn't think he clearly made it, but you have to go with the call on the field. It should be noted that the official who made the call first put his fist up to signal fourth down, and then changed it to a TD. Also, I have one conspiracy theory to throw out there...once the Seahawks realized they really weren't going to win, Holmgren went for the possible TD (instead of a field goal) so he could try for the 2-point conversion. Had the TD and conversion been successful, Seattle would have beaten the spread of Pittsburgh by 4. Sure it's doubtful, but it helps explain why the field goal wasn't kicked first (of course the Seattle kicker was only 1/3 that night, but it's fun to play with conspiracy theories).

The gatorade bath is overdone except when your team wins.

I had no vested interest in either team, but I'd hate to be a Seattle fan. Sure it was the best year in the franchise's history, but if only a few plays went their way and some of the phantom penalties had not been called, the outcome may have been different. It would have also helped their fans if their players held on to some key throws during the game after getting hit and if their punter could actually not kick have a touchback called on every punt. It's funny that in the three major sports (or four if you want to be kind to hockey), the losing Super Bowl team always seems to be the worst loser, yet they did finish in second place. The losing MLB or NBA team never seems to take it so bad that it lost in the finals.

You had a great run, but it's hard to beat a team of destiny with all of the Steelers' playoff breaks.

I understand the cheesy idea the NFL had with the National Anthem by bringing a New Orleans singer to Detroit to sing with one of its motown vocalists, but it didn't work. Nevermind that my short attention span already moved past New Orleans issues post-Katrina, but Aaron Neville and Dr. John (who is Dr. John? I know my musical knowledge is slim to none, but I've never heard of him) didn't do anything for the song's well-being. Detroit's Aretha Franklin proved she still has the pipes and should have sang by herself. Neville's falsetto voice is not right for the song while Franklin not only sounded better, but fortunately for us, she drowned his voice when they were singing together at the end.

If only the NFL had let Aretha sing the whole thing.

I also thought the halftime show was weak. The Rolling Stones made great music, but they can't perform it as well anymore. The sound was off, Mick Jagger showed his midriff to let us all know he has a woman's figure thanks to all of the illegal things he has ingested, and his voice sounded like his mouth was full of marbles. Would you have understood any of the words if you hadn't already heard the song a million times before? I also was surprised at the young'uns in the audience. I'm sure some of them were 1/3 of Mick's age. Look, I'd keep going if I could still get paid to rock when I'm that old, though you've gotta call it quits when you're more likely to break a hip trying to dance than have another hit song.

I know I'm way past my prime, but if the NFL's going to pay me, why not?

I felt the commercials were very strong this year, especially those in the first half. I didn't agree with some of USA Today's rankings, but then again, legit ad viewers (like ourselves) know it's always skewed toward earlier played ads. I had lots of favorites: beer ad where the bottles were hidden in the office, caveman/FedEx, streaking lamb(?), Ameriquest's we don't judge ads were funny, Bud's ad with the fan cards to show the beer pouring and drinking was really creative, touch football, stunt city (but it was a little too busy for a tv ad), and chimps celebrating a good or bad fiscal year. As usual, some of the best commercials made me not remember what it was for in the first place, but such is Super Bowl advertising. There were misses as well, but I've tried to forget them. Until next year when I resume my hatred of the TFW and hope the Giants fall on the good side of the league's parity.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Maybe it's just my bad luck, but everywhere I've worked in the last 10 years has had the worst smelling sponge by the kitchen sink. People seem to not care at work as much as they do at home (as I give them the benefit of the doubt) to wring out the dirty water and soap before replacing the sponge. Ya'll (you all) know the smell I'm talking about. I can't compare it to anything other then what it is - that mildewy sponge smell. The worst is when you clean your bowl or plate with it before the sponge's smell reaches you. Now you've got a clean plate that smells bad. Instead of smelling the sponge before I clean as you might suggest, I'm better off washing with some paper towels since I can just throw them out. I also avoid having to smell the sponge at all. So I ask you on this Friday before the Super Bowl, please don't forget to wring your sponges.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Skanktification of Kids Toys

This past weekend I accompanied my cohort while she bought a toy for her niece. The niece requested a Bratz doll. I guess I've been out of the toy loop for way too long, but I was just a little putoff by these dolls. Have you seen them? They look like your run of the mill, overmakeuped, hooker/pornstar that wears no more clothing than the law requires. Not to be outdone, Mattel has its own line called "Flavas". When did the sleeziest toys become the most popular ones for young kids? I know teenagers try to look older than they are, but since when do 7-year-olds play with dolls that are all about cleavage and midriffs?

It's never too early to learn how to be a snow bunny. It makes lots of sense to wear a skirt outside in the winter.

The bigger picture is Bratz outsell Barbie in many parts of the world and simply reflect every kid's desire to act and do older things than they really are. Every generation is faced with the same suggestion that their toys will harm them, their mindset, and run society into the ground so the Bratz are really nothing new. As with my G.I. Joes, I'm sure plenty of complaints were lobbed toward them implying they'd make all of us raging violent kids. Of course there was one problem with the idea that we'd actually act out the toys stories...none of us owned missile silos nor any laser shooting rifles. While some of the Baby Bratz dolls actually wear skirts, some of them wear the obligatory thong as well. My toys were harder to recreate in real life, while girl toys, with their reliance on clothing and makeup, have much more accessible accessories so kids can realize their imaginations (like the Bratz electronic spin the bottle/truth or dare).

Is this one for real? Suddenly my blog isn't safe to view at work.

Maybe the Bratz dolls won't make an entire generation of girls into prostitutes, strippers, or A&E reality show fodder. I'd like to think that no matter the toys kids play with, it still comes down to their parents (and friends they're allowed to associate with) who must ensure their kids know right from wrong. I played with cap pistols and uzi and machinegun waterguns, etc., all of which looked like the real thing, but I seemed to make out just fine. I'm confident that just because your kid's doll shows lots of skin, wears a short skirt with nylons, and puts on a few pounds of makeup, doesn't mean she'll think that it's the best way to go through life.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Shoelaces and Fortune Cookie Fortunes

Last night I dined on the always reliable Chinese food from Golden House. We rocked some crab ragoons, wonton soup, chicken chow mein, shrimp with vegetables, and a free order of chicken wings. Are you hungry yet? I always look forward to the fortune cookies, but lately the Golden House's cookies haven't been so fortune-like. Last night we got two fortunes which I'll paraphrase:
  • Self improvement is a challenge for you.
  • God gave you one face, you determine the other.

If you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, than you know never to judge your takeout Chinese food place by its exterior.

Let me get this straight, the first fortune tells me that I have trouble improving myself. This means I will never get better than I am now. My health, job, and overall life will never improve. How is that a fortune? Maybe the fortune cookie fortune writers were bored of writing only good/positive things so they thought it was time to stick it to the readers.

Probably not too far from the truth.

The other "fortune" is just as confusing. It tells you that whatever God has in store for you doesn't matter because you control your destiny. This blog isn't about religion, but no matter your thoughts about the fortune, since when does a fortune cookie fortune contain religious speak? Suppose you look past that interpretation, then the fortune also tells you that you're two-faced...the one God apparently gave you and the one you also apparently have. Thanks fortune cookie writers for letting me know my life will never get better than it is now and that I'm two-faced.

Me hulk. Me break shoelace.

The other critical event occurred this morning when I tied my black shoes. Either I don't know my own strength or my shoelace revolted and didn't want to be tied anymore, but I ripped it apart while double-knoting. Luckily I stole a shoelace from my beatnik pair and I was on my way. I guess this isn't a big deal, but my shoelaces usually don't snap all that often and now I know when they last broke.