I was going to say one of the "things I like" is "telling my boss that I'm not coming in on weekends, not this weekend, not fucking ever", but she's probably used to the rejection by now, so I just ignore all such volunteer requests.
Instead, I'm going to vote for this, since I'm a sucker for chocolate anything: NEWMAN'S OWN ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS.
Man, these things are delicious, and they're made from all organic ingredients, which means . . . free-range peanuts and non-HGH injected cocoa beans, I suppose. Plus, Paul Newman's company has given $200 million to charity and was in Slap Shot, so you have to respect that.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I was going to say one of the "things I like" is "telling my boss that I'm not coming in on weekends, not this weekend, not fucking ever", but she's probably used to the rejection by now, so I just ignore all such volunteer requests.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
There was this big "dramatic" scene during last week's LOST, featuring two of the most uninteresting yet (unfortunately) pivotal characters: Jack and Kate. Near the conclusion of the scene, they pulled back to show there was a foosball table in the room, something the viewers had no idea would even be on the island. I thought to myself, "Ooo, they have foosball!", completely forgetting whatever the two characters had just said. Essentially, the foosball players were the most compelling actors in the scene.
One other TV note: for the big SCRUBS moment where a "longtime employee goes into a coma", they chose the sassy black nurse Laverne? Jeepers, who gives a crap?
Random thought: do birds ever get "dead wing"? I'll be sitting in front of the computer and suddenly my leg will fall asleep, for no good reason. Do animals ever get this?
Vertullo passed this along: SNOPES determined that indeed W's Texas ranch house is much more environmentally friendly than Gore's mansion in Tennessee.
God bless the Onion: Confident Phil Mickelson guarantees Tiger Woods will win Masters. After winning the Doral, Tiger said he was "very pleased" with his game heading into the Masters. Note to the rest of the field: be very afraid.
Why does Deadspin hate Jim Nantz? He's probably the nicest guy you could ever imagine, and I have absolutely no problem with him. It seems that sports fans and websites just have to hate someone or they would wither and die. Blech.
BTW, golf is all about tradition. That's why it irks me when these corporate sponsors change the name of the tournament at their whim. It's the "Doral", not the "WGC-CA Championship", whatever the fuck that is. And as much as I like Arnie, it's the "Bay Hill Invitational", okay? Stop it already.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
After the unfathomable mess I made of my bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament (Maryland in the final four? WTF?), as well as the NCAA Frozen Four (I brought that on myself, really), I swore I would never look at another bracket for the rest of the year. Then Band Madness came along and made me feel happy again, until Spoon lost in the first round and I felt shame, anger, and depression.
Well, this one is too good to pass up: NAME OF THE YEAR. This blog has created a bracket of some of the most unbelievable names they've come across this year (and they swear they're all true). Some of the names on this sheet had me literally laughing out loud (LLOL), and while some are merely unfortunate, the intentionally bad names are so incredible they make the parents who named Majestic and Scientific Mapp look like amateurs. To wit, here are your #1 seeds (I wish Chris Gumbel had announced these live on CBS):
Intelligent Infinite Botts, Mario Hilario, Vanilla Dong, Yourhighness Morgan.
Wow. It's Idiocracy come to life, except dumber (Beef Supreme wouldn't stand a chance in this tourney). In a few years, we're going to look back at the underappreciated Mike Judge as some sort of magical prophet. Seriously: Michelangelo X Ball Van Zee is only a 5 seed!
So please go check it out, and fill our your bracket today. And thank you, Name of the Year blog, for allowing me to enjoy brackets again.
(Really, this is the last one you're getting from me. I swear.)
Monday, March 26, 2007
I just love this word, especially pronounced the British way: feee-tid.
Pronunciation: 'fe-t&d, especially British 'fE-tid
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin foetidus, from foetEre to stink
: having a heavy offensive smell (a fetid swamp)
synonym: see MALODOROUS
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I just want to say some really short stuff.
The next time some whipper-snapper tries to convince me that "MTV is cool", I'll tell them that VIACOM is suing YouTube for $1 billion dollars, a decidedly uncool move. Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, you guys all deserve to die. Cable TV, in fact, is a dying technology and should really just go the way of the dinosaur. The owners know this, and that's why guys like Cablevision's Dolan are holding onto what little chips they have until their inevitable downfall.
The DirecTV commercial in which Turtle from Entourage says "I gotta have my Knicks in HD" is pure crap: Cablevision is the exclusive owner of MSG-HD, and has not given the rights to any other satellite, cable or FiOS company. So this is complete bullshit just like the Tiki Barber DISH TV football commercials, since Echostar does not have the NFL Sunday Ticket package. You're stupid if you sign up for these commercials, but smart if you switch to satellite, espcially since DirecTV says they will "have the capacity for 150 HD channels in 2007", whatever that means.
Speaking of HD, Cablevision added National Geographic HD and Discovery HD today. But I still hate Dolan.
Meanwhile, YouTube is apparently giving out awards for the best crappy videos of the year. I can only imagine some of the possible categories: Best Fake Video Featuring A 15 Year Old Lonely Occult-Loving Girls That Are Neither Lonely Nor 15, World's Stupidest Cat Owners, and Ow My Balls!
I started watching The Amazing Race All-Stars Show once CBS started to advertise that the wicked insufferable Rob and Amber were eliminated from the race (marketing that works!). Of course I forgot that the irritating Charla and Mirna are also on TARASS; one of them is certifiably insane and treats her teammate cousin, a midget, like a child. When they placed first and won an Aruba trip featuring a free massage, I wondered: do midgets get a discount on a full-body massage? I mean, there's not a lot of area to cover compared to, say, someone like me. Is it wrong to wonder that?
The show SCRUBS is very funny, but I think it's run its course. They've used every "HEY LOOK AT ME" gimmick in the TV book: a pregnancy, a musical episode, a clip show, and tonight one of the stars (I say Dr. Kelso, but don't rule out Dr. Cox) is going into a life-threatening coma--and that's just since January! Egads. I'd say "It's over", but NBC might renew the show for a 7th season and make Zach Braff one of the richest sitcom stars on TV. So they're going to milk this goat for all its worth. These guys could learn something from Ricky Gervais, whose The Office and Extras ended while still on top (12 episodes, making it England's longest running series!).
As it stands now, Rangers will meet the Devils in the first round of the playoffs . . . but I don't think it will end that way. They peaked too early and are playing like crap, and will not win the division, and will instead end up in 4th or 5th . . . and probably still play the Rangers.
If overrated Memphis beats Texas A&M tonight, I am officially done with running a NCAA bracket. And I think it's about time that Kansas Bill-Self-destructs and blew up everyone's bracket.
And screw you, CBS, for starting the late games after 10 PM. I'm going to bed.
(That was a lot longer than I expected.)
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Calvert DeForest, better known as Larry "Bud" Melman from David Letterman's stellar NBC years, died on Monday at the age of 85. This skit, where he's giving away hot towels at the Port Authority bus terminal, makes me laugh uncontrollably.
So would you rather have that, or Adam Sandler? Wait, America, don't answer that. Rest in peace, Larry "Bud".
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I don't really have a lot of interesting hockey comments, because I've been watching mostly the maddening NCAA this week. All I know is that the playoff picture is starting to come into focus. I woke up this morning and the Rangers are in 7th place, thanks to a late Jagr goal to beat the Penguins last night. Hello, Blueshirts! Welcome back from the dead! Of course, if the season ended today (and it should already, honestly), they'd meet the Devils in the first round once again. Egads! Of course, the way the Devils have been playing as of late (only 2 points behind the Pens) they could easily slip to 4th or 5th. They play tonight in Toronto, and the Leaves will be fired up after the last game which featured that stupid-ass Janssen hit (although Kaberle isn't playing, do you think Belak might fight Janssen?).
The Isles' 15 year man Rick DiPi is hurt, and Mike Dunham is starting in his place. Yes, his name is on the Cup thanks to his buddy Marty, but he's not good, giving up 16 goals in the last 3 games going 0-3 with a 6.58 GAA and a .828 SV%. OUCH! So who is Dunham's backup? Wade Dubielewicz. Oh sweet Jebus. So can GM Garth Snow sign himself and get between the pipes? (Mario was owner/player for the Pens, so why not? I always thought he should have wore an "O" on his sweater, but I digress.)
Meanwhile, cooler heads have prevailed and charges will not be filed against Simon for his stick attack on Hollweg on March 8, but that's about the only good news. Do you think Ryan Smith misses Edmonton right now? He could have stayed home and missed the playoffs just as easily.
The Sabres are plugging away, and still in first despite losing 5 of their last 7. At the other end of the playoff spectrum, 8th place Carolina has 80 points, and in a 9th place logjam are Montreal, Toronto and the Isles (with 2 games at hand, with 2 more each on the schedule vs. NYR and NJ) are at 78.
Meanwhile in the West, the Predators are on top, and lead the NHL with 100 points. The Ducks are still in 2nd, and Bertuzzi returns with the Red Wings tonight. The rest of the playoff field looks set, unless the Avs and Son of Statsny can make a late push (they have 80 pts, 4 behind 8th place Calgary).
What happened to the NHL on NBC? Did they give up already? For that matter, where is The Office and Heroes? I haven't had a single reason to turn on that channel in two weeks (and their golf coverage is an unwatchable HD/SD mess).
Who am I kidding? I really just wanted to post this picture of Rockland County's own Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) licking the Stanley Cup.
(I would say that I'd let her lick my Cup any time, but she doesn't turn 18 until August 21 so that might be wrong.)
(Photo courtesy of Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Monday, March 19, 2007
Another NCAA tournament weekend has come and gone, and it was enjoyable, even if it was not completely earth-shattering. In the first round, besides VCU upsetting Duke, Winthrop knocking off Notre Dame, and ignoring the 8/9 games, all the games went to chalk. This almost never happens, and it made for a pretty dull set of games. Usually you have a 12, 13, or 14 seed prevail: this year not one surprise Cinderella in the bunch. The second round had a few games go to OT, but I didn't really feel that excited about any of them, and there wasn't a single buzzer beater.
But what's not surprising is that my bracket picks are garbage. I took chances on George Washington, Holy Cross, Old Dominion, Gonzaga, Arkansas, Creighton, Texas Tech, and Albany and they let me down. Come to think of it, why did I choose eight teams with a 10 or worse seeding? I really don't know what I was smoking, but I really thought that this was a wide open field with no real favorites. I tend to overthink my picks, and then think some more and go back and change it a bit. But this year's was the topper, as I decided at the last minute that Vanderbilt and Tennessee were crap (despite saying earlier that the latter could surprise), that Maryland was a legit Final Four team because Darryl Strawberry's kid is on it, that Butler completely stinks, and that Boston College was going to lose because I didn't like the way coach Al Skinner looks. Even Kansas and Memphis look competent, and the PAC-10 teams truly kicked my ass. And fuck you Gonzaga! (And let's not talk about Villanova, who didn't even show up. Mike Nardi, who was hurt and shouldn't have played that second half, we hardly knew ye. "Moving without the basketball" will take on a new meaning, as he moves back into his parents' house this May.)
Good lord, I stink.
Yes, I can still win the pot if Texas A&M gets the title (I still have NC and Pitt alive for my final 4), but I really don't see that happening. Basically, it comes down to this: I will not be running a bracket pool for 2008, and probably won't even fill out a sheet. It's embarrassing to organize this thing every year and be soundly thrashed. Instead, I'm going to focus on just enjoying NCAA Friday, during which my only worries are drinking, eating, and watching basketball. Just a few notes:
As far as sports viewing goes, Nyack is a complete and fucking utter waste of time. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, judging by the large gay population, but it's unbelievable. On Thursday night it was simply unfathomable that Black Bear Saloon and their "26 flat screens" was showing ESPN figure skating on 5 TVs and ESPN News on several others, instead of ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SPORTING EVENTS OF THE YEAR. They were on notice, now they're dead to me.
On the other hand, The Sports Page Pub in White Plains "gets it". They have all the games in HD, and know when they're on. And while the place is nothing to look at from the outside, it has a nice big room with countless TVs to choose from. Plus, it's filled with sports fans and just has a great atmosphere. We had dinner at James Joyce, but they just could not compare, as they were in full "calm before the St. Pat's storm" mode.
The Page even had a bunch of Villanova alumni gather in a back room with a big non-HD big screen to watch the game, which led to this awkward exchange with one of them:
Alumni: So do we have anyone else here who went to Villanova?
Me: Uhm, I did.
Alumni: I graduated in 1984.
Me: Oh. I graduated in 1992.
He quickly turned around before I got to introduce myself. Yes, it turns out that it's true: most Villanova alums are stuck-up snobs. Whatever. I quickly sauntered back into the main room to watch the games with the real fans, most of them rooting for Holy Cross (the owner's son apparently went there). I didn't find this out until now, but most of them were fans of senior point guard Torey Thomas from White Plains. Regardless of the respective fan support, both Catholic schools bit the dust. I guess God hates basketball.
I'm still surprised at how many "sports fans" have no idea that the tournament is NOT ON ESPN. It's been on CBS for years! People seem to think that if it's a sporting event, it's on ESPN; conversely, if it's not on ESPN, then it's not a sport. Apparently, the brainwashing is working.
CBS's HD coverage was fine, considering the sheer breadth of this tournament there weren't any major foul ups. As long as they weren't switching around too much and doing that weird "live look-in" thing where the entire screen had a huge frame around it (bad choice). I did notice that the picture was a bit muddy at times, and although it wasn't good as "looking through a window", it was not as bad as looking like it was "underwater" (like some complained); it was somewhere in between. However, what is with the microphones on the rims? Do we have to hear a loud rattling sound with every basket? Jeepers.
I just want to announce: I've never found Tracy Morgan funny. Not even remotely. I haven't seen a funny SNL skit, interview, or standup performance of his . . . and now he's doing DiGiorno's commercials. Uh huh. I just don't get the allure, and that 30 Rock show where he does a parody of himself is also NOT funny.
Once last thing: thanks to the New York DOT for not plowing I-287 all the way from White Plains to Nyack, even though it was snowing/sleeting in the area for 15 hours straight. It was atrocious, and I'm really wondering where the hell my tax money is actually going. We even passed 12 plow trucks in WP and NOT ONE OF THEM HAD THE PLOW ON THE GROUND; I hope they got paid OT for that. Although if they'd actually done their job, Vertullo would not have been able to make a snow angel in the middle of Church Street. So that was worth it.
All in all, another enjoyable NCAA Friday. (Let's just forget about the brackets.)
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I'm in a training session right now. (Ah, the magic of blogging on the InterWebs.) Basically, a guy is doing a presentation for some laboratory software, and right now we're watching an HPLC system equilibrate. For those non-separation scientists out there, it's like watching methanol dry. This was supposed to be a hands-on training, but my cheap-ass company only has 3 computers allocated for 12 people; meanwhile, we pay 174 VPs over 6 figures and 10000 stock options a year. What a complete joke. So anyway, this is my revenge. BWAA-HAA-HAA-HAAAA!!!
Sometimes I look like I was drunk when I shaved, and other days I actually AM drunk while shaving (NOT RECOMMENDED). Today, it's the former; I have a quarter-inch stripe on my chin with 2 days worth of stubble on it, which I didn't even see until I went to the bathroom at 10 AM. The problem could be that I quickly shave at night before going in the shower, and in the morning I only look at myself in the mirror to make sure I'm not bleeding. I also switched the bulbs in my bathroom light to the crappiest of compact fluorescents (thanks IKEA!), which I highly recommend if you want to slip on something and brain yourself. I also use the same blade for 2 months or so because I don't grow a thick beard, and I'm annoyingly frugal and each MACH3 blade costs $11. Some days I think, "Fuck everything, I'm going to five blades", but nah, those things cost $14 each. No thanks.
But I think I know what my problem is. I have a touch of the dreaded MADNESS.
For the last month it's been nothing but NCAA hoops. I've been breathing, eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, consuming, masticating, swallowing, digesting, processing, absorbing, excreting, defecating, cleaning, flushing and deodorizing NCAA hoops. I had it all at my fingertips: RPI, SOS, DNA, and many more acroynms. So with all this information at my disposal, the picks should be easy. I basically had it all figured out . . . and then I changed my picks about 6 times last night. That's never a good sign. I have no chance, and I would like to pre-congratulate one of the other people in my bracket pool for winning it all!
But then while reviewing my bracket for the 40th time, I had an
epiphury epiphany. I asked myself, WWJP? It was suddenly so clear to me. Villanova will meet Holy Cross, and Georgetown wil play Oral Roberts in the Saint Sixteen. Marquette, Creighton will most surely make it to the Holy Eight . . . it's what God would want. And who would be in the Divine Four? Nova, Norte Dame, Xavier, and Oral Roberts--this is the Word of the Lord. (Screw Georgetown, not even God is rooting for them. How many John Thompsons and Patrick Ewingses must we endure?)
Screw that. UNLV is going all the way. They play "Viva Las Vegas" before every game! I'm not going to win the pool, so basically I'm just psyched that the BEST TOURNAMENT IN SPORTS is almost underway. Tonight and tomorrow it's supposed to snow like a bitch, and I say bring it on! I won't be at work anyway, I'll be inside watching hoops, drinking, and eating, so who cares?
Good luck out there, Bracketeers.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Every year, somebody who gets paid more than me produces some ridiculous financial report to estimate how much money due to productivity decreases(oh, the irony) caused by employees following the NCAA tournament. Somehow, this figure is usually in the billions of dollars. But damn, this is the funniest thing I've read in a while: Does March Madness distract workers? They sum it up by saying that companies should embrace the NCAA tournament, and not blame it for lost work time. This section takes the cake:
" . . . companies should embrace the annual tournament by helping to organize events such as a company pool or team sweatshirt day. He also thinks employers should consider offering workers a flexible schedule so they can watch their favorite teams on their own time and then get back to work."
Are you kidding me? Is this for the employees of UTOPIACORP? This ARTICLE is complete madness. I guarantee that 95% of the corporations out there would do no such thing. Maybe I've worked for some crappy employers, but the slave labor camp that I work in would laugh at this notion. If I take 2 hours to go to a doctor's appointment, they make me take a half a sick day. FLEX TIME FOR A BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT? Are you out of your mind?
Of course, if my company actually embraced this, I'd probably learn to hate the NCAA tourney. As it stands now, I'm calling in sick on Friday.
Web news headlines crack me up. They have to be 7 words or less to sum up the story they link to, and also tease it just enough to make you want to click on it (like Whale kills would-be rescuer in Japan). The ones on my cell phone browser are even funnier; since they have to fit on a tiny screen, they're usually only 3 words long. Today I saw these two winners: "Pumps Are Faulty" and "Man Blames Unicorns". Unless you've already heard these stories, you can't possibly know what either one is referring to from those ridiculously succinct links. Personally, I'd like to think they're related to the same story; unicorns are always messing with the pumps, and it's about time someone spoke up about it. The pump don't work 'cause the unicorn stole the handle!
Anyway, I saw this news story link just now: FDA says pills can cause 'sleep-driving' - BusinessWeek. Being in the pharmaceutical business, I naturally had to click on it. Immediately, the article lost me with the first sentence: "All prescription sleeping pills may sometimes cause sleep-driving, federal health officials warned Wednesday, almost a year after the bizarre side effect first made headlines when Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed his car after taking Ambien."
Come on. Don't treat us like we're stupid. We're talking about a KENNEDY here, Patrick Kennedy, the son of Ted Kennedy! You expect me to believe he was "sleep driving" at 2:45 AM with his lights off because of a prescription drug? Police on the scene said he smelled of alcohol, he claimed to be "late for a vote" (6 hours earlier), and he even went to rehab immediately after this incident. What a complete and utter load of bullshit. If he was actually not driving drunk, if it was Phenergan and not Frangelico that made him crash into a barrier outside the Capitol, I will eat my shorts with a side of freedom fries.
The bigger story here hasn't been touched on here: the incredible laziness of the American people. If this story is to be believed, we don't even sleepwalk anymore, now we sleepdrive. At least if you sleepwalk, you might accidentally get some exercise. Regardless, this whole story can be summed up by "lawyers forcing companies to make even more warning labels".
WCBS actually replied to my request and sent me the primary games that they will be showing in New York on Thursday and Friday. Here it is:
THURSDAY, MARCH 15
12:00 p.m. -- Boston College (7) vs. Texas Tech (10)
2:45 p.m. -- Georgetown (2) vs. Belmont (12)
7:00 p.m. -- Duke (6) vs. Virginia Commonwealth University (11)
9:45 p.m. -- Indiana (7) vs. Gonzaga (10)
FRIDAY, MARCH 16
12:00 p.m. -- UNLV (7) vs. Georgia Tech (10)
2:35 p.m. -- Notre Dame (6) vs. Winthrop (11)
7:00 p.m. -- Kansas (1) vs. Niagra (16)
9:30 p.m. -- Kentucky (8) vs. Villanova (9)
At least Villanova will be on, but they dissed Albany as the first game on Friday. But the worst choice: they chose Duke! Why? Who gives a crap about Duke? As long as you're already ignoring local interest (C-Conn getting crushedf), why not show Michigan State vs. Marquette? I still haven't decided if I'm going to the Sports Page on Friday for the Mega March Madness, but I think I might have to.
Of course, the bigger story (to me) is that although CBS is broadcasting every game in HD, most of the local affiliates are NOT showing the local games in their entirety in HD! That's right! Instead, they are showing the national HD "flex feed", which interrupts games midstream according to the action. This sucks for several reasons. One: I will no longer get multiple games like I did last year (one in SD on Channel 2, and another in HD on 702). Two: some of the local stations, in order to get a constant feed of a game of local interest, will be upconverting to SD for their HD channels. Even the Mega March Madness package on DirecTV only allocated 4 HD channels for the tournament. CBS claims that "every game" will be in HD. Yeah, only if you're in the CBS control room! What a joke.
(Oh, and can everyone stop calling last night's 'play-in' game the first game of the tournament? That's bullshit. And why is it in Dayton every year? Someone please explain this.)
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Here's the schedule for the first round of the 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament!
Why are there so many East Coast schools playing late games (Villanova, Holy Cross, Kentucky, Florida, Pitt, NC)? And who put Stanford on at 9 AM on the West Coast?
The Monday after Selection Sunday has officially become "Bracket Bitching Day". I just heard Jim Boeheim whining on ESPN Radio (he was also on WFAN, and god knows where else), saying that he doesn't understand why they didn't get a bid. He was defending all of Syracuse's non-conference home games, saying "Football doesn't make as much money as it used to, so we schedule home games to generate more revenue." Exactly. They chose money over decent competition. That's why you're not in the NCAA tourney, and you're in the NIT (who didn't even give you a #1 seed)! You're not making any new fans by complaining to every major media outlet, you asshat. You'd probably lose in the first round anyway.
If Villanova didn't make it, I would have said that they should have won more games. Period. But let's face it: if there was a clear cut criteria for getting into the tournament, sports talk radio would have nothing to bitch about. How about you talk about the matchups instead, you assclowns? (Since I'm an alumni I might be a little biased, but Villanova being a #9 means that they consider #4 Southern Illinois, #5 USC, #5 Butler, and #7 BC to be significantly better teams--I'm not seeing it. They should have gotten a #7.)
By all accounts, K-State's Bob Huggins was drunk when they asked him on ESPN about not being selected. They thought he said "we don't have enough wins", but he actually said, "we don't have enough gin". Now THAT'S the way to go out.
Duke could easily lose to the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University, but we'd still have to watch all those Coach K AmEx commercials, so it'd be like he never left. Central Connecticut are also the Blue Devils, which doesn't bode well for them.
For those who make their picks by nicknames, in 2007 the Wildcats lead the way with 5 (Arizona, Davidson, Kentucky, Villanova, Weber State), followed by 2 Bruins, (Belmont, UCLA), 2 Bulldogs (Butler, Gonzaga), 2 Golden Eagles (Marquette, Oral Rob), 2 (regular) Eagles (BC, Winthrop), 1 Purple Eagles (Niagara), 2 Tigers (Jackson State, Memphis), 2 Cougars (BYU, Washington State), and 2 Blue Devils (CCSU, Duke), and only 1 Mean Green (N. Texas). We also have the Cardinal playing the Cardinals, and the Wildcats playing the Wildcats, which will lead to some confusing cheers.
How did Texas A&M Community College get in there? (Oh, that stands for Corpus Christi. Never mind.)
Apparently, the NCAA went back to naming the regions "Midwest", "East", "West" and "South", without telling anyone ahead of time. That's annoying for the graphic designers on all the major sports websites who designed their brackets with the city names on it instead.
What is the point of the local news break at around 6 PM during the first round of the NCAA tourney? Maybe to give you time to get some dinner, take a shit, walk the dog, or make a beer run? Does anyone seriously give a crap about the news at that point?
Ohio State and Florida could play each other for the national championship, just like they did in football. Has that ever happened in the same school year? Have we asked this question before? I think we have, and decided it probably hasn't.
BTW, I've got my VIP pass and I'm looking forward to the March Madness Online, since they upgraded my work computer with WMP 9.0. It had better work or I am tearing into IT on Thursday . . .
(I just realized that "salsa & seltzer" were on my shopping list. Please, Jerry Seinfeld, don't sue me.)
It's SHAMROCK SHAKE TIME! I haven't been to a McD's in about 3 years but I'm pretty sure they still have these. Or do they? You may not know this, but the McDonald's character Grimace is thought to represent their shakes, though he's not a "shake-based creature" (God bless you for your gleeful inanity, Wikipedia!). A few words about Grimace: he's actually known as "Shaky" in Brazil, and his Irish relative is named Uncle O'Grimacy (see photo).
I've heard someone say that saying St. "Patty's" Day is offensive, and that you should say "St. Patrick's Day" instead. And some people are annoyed by the decorations featuring leprechauns carrying mugs of beer, saying that they are "unfair stereotypes". Are we kidding? How did everyone get so whiny and sensitive about everything?
VIACOM is suing GooTube for $1 billion. Wait, isn't there an MTV channel on Google? So what's the difference? Stupid douchebags. In a related story I'm announcing that I will be suing VIACOM for 100 billion dollars in damages, just because. I'd have no need for them if it weren't for "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report". It seems that whole sections of the population now are self-appointed PC policemen, who seem to exist just to blow the whistle on who said the word "faggot", "nigger", "vagina" or whatever word is offensive this month. How did this country turn into a bunch of whiny tattletale assholes? And I've never been a Patti Smith fan, but I admire her for singing "Rock and Roll Nigger" as her final song after her Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame induction; I'm sure a few people got their panties in a bunch over that song selection. (Oh, and the original four members of R.E.M. performing "Gardening At Night" last night really took me back.)
Between heckling A-Rod incessantly for "only" driving in 120 runs, booing Beltran on opening day, and chanting "SHOOT THE PUCK" on the Rangers power play, I'm beginning to think New York fans are irritating, arrogant pricks. Just a thought.
Does Old Spice make a "LOW ENDURANCE" deodorant? Because I don't know what they think I can withstand, but I don't think I'm ready for a HIGH ENDURANCE PACIFIC SURGE. In fact, the whole Pacific coastline is incerdibly vulnerable in the case of a tsunami, so why would they even name their product something so horrible?
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The bracketologizing is over and the bracketologists have been put back in storage, as the official 2007 NCAA brackets have been set (reminder: gambling on the tourney is illegal). As usual, I just have a few thoughts:
It's obvious that the selection committee is more interested in greasing the palms of the big conference schools than putting smaller George Mason types in the Big Dance. This year, only 6 bids went to "mid-majors", and this number has gone steadily down since peaking at 12 in 2002. This is a shame, but that's show biz.
The #1 seeds, Florida, NC, Kansas and Ohio State are all inherently beatable. In fact, the most of the #3 seeds scare me more (Pitt, Oregon, Texas A&M).
No one is saying it, but I feel that Villanova got JOBBED by being stuck in the unforgiving 8/9 game as the #9 seed against #8 Kenutcky (I think the Wildcats are going to win!). But then I see #1 Kansas in the next round, who always foul up my bracket every year making heroes out of schools like Bradley and Bucknell. So I get to test my "Kansas Kills Your Bracket" theory once again, this time with Nova in the catbird seat. Awesome.
Of course, it's nice that Nova got in at all, since only 6 made it from the Big East. Everyone is crying around here about Syracuse getting snubbed, but I don't think their resume is that good. They played 14 of their first 15 games at home (the other was in Buffalo vs. Canisius), their RPI was 50 (below Virginia Commonwealth and Holy Cross), and Boeheim is a whiny asshole. Let's face it: Nova, Cuse and WVU were all about the same, and Nova beat Texas. So there.
Marquette (23-9, 10-6) was ranked #18 in the country before this week (they lost to Pitt in the Big East tourney), with an RPI of 24 and a SOS of 17, with wins @ Duke, @ Pitt, Texas Tech, and 4 point loss to Wisconsin . . . and they only got an #8 seed. Meanwhile, I couldn't even find USC on the RPI list (54) and they somehow garnered a #5 seed. What a screw job.
Speaking of the PAC 10, they somehow got 6 teams in there and I haven't really seen any of them play, except a little of UCLA. #3 Washington State and #3 Oregon scare me because I don't know if they're really that good. But put Syracuse and West Virginia up against Stanford and USC, and I bet the Big East teams win those games 4 times out of 5 times.
For some reason the selection committee also loves the Big 10, who also got 6 teams. Come on. Purdue, Indiana and Illinois all stink, and Michigan State was 8-8 in the conference. Sure, any one of them can beat Niagara, but give me a break.
Teams that are overrated: Wisconsin (#2), Memphis (#2), Duke (#6).
Teams that could surprise: Tennessee (#5), Creighton (#10).
Teams that I have no idea about: UNLV (#7). They have an RPI of 10 and 25 wins, and I think one of them was at Hawaii. And Washington State, with an RPI of 26, is a #3 seed? Really?
Team that can't fucking lose enough for me: Georgetown. Stop it with these lesser John Thompsons and Patrick Ewingses, you can't fool me.
Team that I wished made the dance: Kansas State, led by Bob "Huggy Bear" Huggins. He was wearing a black and purple ensemble the other night that made him look not unlike a blackjack dealer, and I heard he was drunk during his ESPN interview after they got snubbed. I miss Huggy Bear.
Team that I'm glad missed the dance: UConn, who didn't even make the NIT. It was nice of them to give Central Connecticut their time in the spotlight.
Best team name: North Texas Mean Green.
College name that always makes me giggle: Oral Roberts.
Potentially enjoyable matchups: Virginia and Albany, I really hope the Great Danes can pull this one off; Butler vs. Old Dominion, (two mid-majors playing each other is idiotic); Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Holy Cross Crusaders, leading to a Nova/HC Sweet 16 matchup: it's what God would have wanted.
Another great thing about the tourney: now I don't have to watch ESPN at all. Go choke on a Dick, Vitale.
Anyway, I can't wait for the tourney to begin, even though I suck at the bracket pool (9 out of 11 in 2006, woo hoo!). NCAA First Round Friday, which I take off every year, is one of the best days of the year. I think it's even better than St. Patrick's Day.
EDIT: I just found out Villanova plays Kentucky @ 9:30 PM on Friday. Man, that's going to be a long day. Of course, Holy Cross plays @ 8:30 that same night, so I don't know if we'll even get to see both.
Friday, March 9, 2007
QUICK NOTES about the NHL . . .
The Rangers/Islanders home-and-home this week was pretty enteraining. Monday's contest was a barnburner, with a total of 87 shots on goal between the two teams, including Rick DiPietro making an Islanders record 56 saves in the Rangers 2-1 shootout win. There was one sequence with about 14 minutes left in the 3rd where the Rangers were peppering DiPi with shot after shot after shot, and the Isles looked like the Barr Flys desperately trying to clear the puck, and failing--it was phenomenal hockey. (Of course, it was broadcast on the crappy-looking non-HD Versus, although we got Doc Emrick calling it as a bonus.)
However, last night's game on the Island ended ugly. It's not going to be in the NHL.com "highlight machine" (sorry Kris 'The Biggest Sabres Fan In France' Salo) but that Chris Simon hit on Hollweg last night was disgusting: he basically crosschecked him across the chin with his stick. I'm surprised, because he's a tough player but not a dirty one (same could have been said for Bertuzzi). I'm actually glad the Rangers responded by scoring the winning goal on the ensuing power play, but that penalty was just plain stupid. Along with the Devils' Cam Janssen "finishing his check" against Kaberle, this crap has to stop. It's not hockey, it's garbage. (BTW, the 8th place Rangers can thank me for saying they were DONE back on 2/21.)
As for players NOT USING THE STICK AS A WEAPON, Henrik saved the day for the Rangers by swatting away an Isles shot in the final minute. To me, the puck looked like it was across the line, but of course, the officials don't get to see it blown up and in high definition like the home viewers (why, I'll never know). Not only that, but the officials (along with the "home office" in Toronto) spent about 20 minutes reviewing this, and in the one camera angle that could help, the one from above the goal, there was a WATER BOTTLE IN THE WAY. Are you kidding? I think it's time the NHL went to the Food Network (check out this hilarious Onion article), even the Iron Chef has a better replay system. "Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking live at a sold out Kitchen Stadium for the game featuring the Detroit Frank's RedHot Wings and the New Jersey Devil Dogs . . . "
Speaking of the Devils, they're in the #2 spot in the East, only 3 points behind the Rochester Americans--uhm Buffalo Sabres, whom they play tomorrow night. They've looked a bit shaky lately (giving up 5 goals to Philly, losing to Toronto, "winning" in a shootout last night @ PIT despite a game-tying giveaway with 3 minutes left), and I think this is a game where they get ambushed. For some reason I'm seeing a 5-1 Sabres win at the
Crossroads Aud Marine Midland HSBC Arena.
This one came out of nowhere: the Pittsburgh Penguins are actually considering going to Las Vegas? This may just be a negotiation tactic, but if they actually relocated there it would be a complete joke. Of course, I can easily see it happening because this follows the old Bettman logic: don't bother putting a team where there are hockey fans, put it where the money is. Short term it will be an interesting novelty, but in the long term it will be a disaster. The perfect sport to move there would be the NBA, because just like Vegas it's flashy, loud, and has no substance.
With the playoff races heating up, I realize that without ESPN carrying the NHL that I barely get to see any of these Western Conference teams play. Back in the day I would tune into the odd midweek or Sunday night game featuring San Jose, Colorado, Vancouver, or Calgary, and now I realize that I haven't seen these teams play ONE GAME all season. Despite the fact that the NHL is dying for viewers, they continue to make the NHL Center Ice package is a huge ripoff. It's currently $119, which is not much of a bargain, considering 80% of the season is over and the full season price is $169. There's also no way to find out how many of these games will be in HD, and cable subscribers don't get HD games AT ALL. And what happened with NBC showing games on the weekend? So far, I've seen maybe 3, and last week's was in SD. Ugh.
One last note: everyone please stop saying "Luongo gets team record 39th win" and "Marty with another 40 win season". Because there are no ties in the NHL anymore, THESE MILESTONES ARE NOW MEANINGLESS! They give out a win for every game, so these records are not important, and neither are team point totals. Thanks.
In closing, in Bettman's NHL it's all about MARKETING, and this may be the best NHL related product I've come across lately. I don't think I can get it shipped to me in time for St. Patrick's Day, though. the NHL SHAMROCK FLASK!
Monday, March 5, 2007
Not only does science fiction entertain us, it informs us.
It all started with 1902's Le Voyage dans la lune (Trip To The Moon), a 14 minute black & white silent film that sagely predicted our setting foot on the Earth's lone rocky satellite. Not only was this 67 years ahead of time, it was stunningly accurate; from the beautiful women on the launch pad to the Moon inhabitants who would explode by the mere touch of an umbrella. Since then, author George Orwell predicted Big Brother (a crappy reality show now exists by that name) in his futuristic Nineteen Eighty-Four, featuring a bleak, totalitarian government highlighted by "Thought-Crimes", sexual repression, and blind nationalism--which is known today as "The Reagan Years".
So what does the future hold? Why, we only need look at the future timeline according to sci-fi! (I included the first three to show you just how scary accurate sci-fi can be.)
1999 - Due to his winning an Academy Award for his portrayal as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, 5 years later Martin Landau is trusted to run Moonbase Alpha. When the Moon is knocked out of orbit by a nuclear explosion, his movie career subsequently suffers.
2000 - Smellevision replaces television.
2001 - During the first manned space flight to Jupiter, glitches in the advanced HAL 9000 software causes massive system failure. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, responsible for glitches in Windows 2000 software, denies involvement during the odyssey.
2010 - In "The Year We Make Contact", somehow the Russians, who can't produce a working toaster, have developed the fastest spaceship known to man. HAL 9000 returns in an upgraded form ($199 with proof of ownership of any of the previous HAL versions) as HAL 9000 Service Pack 2.
2015 - Before heeding Huey Lewis' advice and going "Back In Time", Marty McFly discovers that the hoverboard is all the rage in Hill Valley, a Pepsi costs $50, and the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series.
2019 - A bleak, dreary Los Angeles becomes overrun with rogue replicants, genetically manufactured humanoids initially created for slave labor in the "off-world" colonies, who rebel to survive in the brutal dystopian world of show business.
2032 - After a massive earthquake hits California in 2010, the utopic megalopolis of San Angeles is created from the ruins of San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. In this soul-crushingly cheery society, Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes are mistaken for action movie stars, and Denis Leary is forced to take his ranting comedy stylings underground.
2084 - Former California Governor Schwarzenegger discovers mutants on a Mars colony including Sharon Stone who, despite being 126 years old, still looks like she's in her 30s. Oh, the horror.
2200 - Quantum mechanics are among those that visit the Forbidden Planet, where Leslie Nielsen finds an even more forbidden 19 year old hot chick.
2540 - It is a Brave New World, in which poverty and warfare are eliminated, and everyone lives in a happy, hedonistic society filled with rampant sex and drug use. Too bad I won't be around for this one, because it sounds fantastic. The first guy that calls this "dystopian" is getting punched in the face.
3000 - In the not-too-distant future, conflicts between the upper management of the Gizmonic Institute and employee Joel Robinson result in his being relocated to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. During his tenure aboard the "Satellite of Love", psychological tests were performed to monitor his reactions to substandard motion pictures; the creative and witty Mr. Robinson built robotic cohabitants to keep him company before escaping 6 years later.
I should repeat to myself, "It's just a show, I should really just relax." If only I could.
Friday, March 2, 2007
- Continuity: The bandage on Dunston's hand.
- Continuity: The cake on Mrs. Dubrow's gown changes between shots.
- Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Lionel gets his glasses off the cucumber woman's chest he is holding the end of them. When the camera changes he is not touching the glasses at all. When it goes back to the first camera he is touching them again.
- Continuity: When Dunston goes into the spa and takes the cucumber off of the woman's face, it remains missing. But when Mr. Grant comes in, the cucumber is back on her face.
So you're saying the makers of a movie starring an orangutan were lazy? What about a monkey going into a spa, no one has a problem with that? And also thanks for the monkey keyword search, it's going to save me loads of time while looking for monkey movies in Blockbuster. Of course, DCI (as it is known on the 'net') was far superior to that other monkey movie starring an NBC sitcom star that was released in 1996:
"Minor league. Major friendship." You can't beat that. I don't remember the plot too well but I think the signature pitch that he threw was the "feces ball". (Even harder to hit than the 'Ultimate Galactic Dragon Gyroball Pitch Power Explosion'.) LeBlanc's agent probably said, "Well, you have a couple of weeks off between filming episodes of Friends, how about we bang out a monkey movie? They said they'll pay cash."
Thursday, March 1, 2007
I put little clocks and counters up on the blog, just to remind you of the NCAA tourney and the Masters (like I'd overlook those without this). Villanova made one step closer to a possible tournament bid as they got their 20th win tonight at UConn (who can never lose enough for me), thanks to Scottie Reynolds' 40 points, a Wildcat freshman record. I don't know where Jay Wright finds these kids, but I hope he continues (and doesn't have evil guys like Larry Brown lure him to the NBA). Anyway, I already signed up for my March Madness On Demand--can't wait for Selection Sunday!
As for hockey news, I heard on XM Home Ice a bit of Ryan Smith's interview when he left Edmonton. Apparently, there was a crowd of people seeing him off at the airport (!) and he was talking about how much he was going to miss the city and thanking the organ-EYE-za-tion and everyone he's ever met for their support. He was crying (damn soft Canadians!) like he was being shipped off to the front lines or something. WTF? Hey, cheer up, you're only going to Long Island! Oooh wait, he might have a point. Anyway, sounds like he's not too happy about leaving home, which does not bode well for the Islanders. Besides that, there's not much else to talk about trade-wise (Bertuzzi to Detroit, Zubrus to Sabres, Biron to Philly--yawn). Predictably, the Devils made no moves, and the Rangers didn't unload Captain Jagr (get ready for the "FIRE SATHER" chants again).
For Jeffuary, I did get to see a Devils game last Saturday (naturally, they looked sluggish in a 4-2 loss to the Caps), probably the last one I'll see in the Continetnal Airlines Arena. With regards to the new Newark arena (WELCOME TO THE ROCK), and there's simply no easy way to get to a game from Rockland via train, and I'm certainly not driving down there. I know they're banking on corporate types to fill the new place, but I don't see regular middle-class families making the move. Maybe I'm wrong, but we'll see.