Thursday, June 28, 2007


This format is kind of fun when I can't think of a reason to do a full blog post. So here I go again, on my own, with another lame list.

10. Don't you hate when you start the day off with your underwear all bunched up and not quite on straight, and for the rest of the day it just doesn't feel right?

9. Jill Nicolini, who does the CW11 New York traffic report, posed for Playboy back in 2001 (NSFW) as "Jill Nikki". I'll never watch the news the same way again. That is, with my pants on.

8. Among other things, it's nice to know that the The Chinese also make crappy tires, which so far have killed 2 people leading to the recall of 450,000 tires. The best news: this company makes tires for Yokohoma, which are the crap tires on my car (one blew out with only 4000 miles on it--coincedence?).

This news comes hot on the heels of the killer pet food debacle, child toys discovered made with lead paint, and now the closure of 180 food plants for safety violations--is there anything they can't screw up? This sentence from a NY Times article neatly sums it up: "The incidents are the latest indications that cutting corners or producing fake goods is not just a legacy of China’s initial rush toward the free market three decades ago but still woven into the fabric of the nation’s thriving industrial economy." Oh boy.

7. My current favorite porn star name: Bolivia Samsonite. What the hell? Were all the good ones taken? And what if your luggage is lost on the way back from South America? That would be quite an eye-opening Google search.

6. This is quite possibly the ugliest hockey uniform I've ever seen: it's the Sheffield Steelers, from the British Elite Ice Hockey League (which I had no idea even existed):
Ugh, I bet when you buy that jersey they give you a free bowl of soup. I almost chose the Coors Belfast Giants because of the hideous color scheme/ginormous Coors ads, but they've redesigned their jerseys and they'll probably be much better--nah, they'll still be hideous. Oh, and there are no goalies in this league, only "netminders".

5. Protesters torch Iran gas stations. Huh, that's interesting. Maybe the country will destroy itself, and save us the hassle. Let me guess: this will somehow make the price of gas skyrocket just in time for the 4th of July!

4. Geeks die of heat stroke waiting for iPods. Okay, this hasn't happened . . . yet. This is my official last post about Apple / iPhone / iPod / iCrap. Here's my favorite part of the NY Times review of the iPhone:

"Making a call, though, can take as many as six steps: wake the phone, unlock its buttons, summon the Home screen, open the Phone program, view the Recent Calls or speed-dial list, and select a name."
Six steps? By that time, I'll forget what I was calling about. In other words, it's a phone that's not very convenient to use as a phone. Wait, it's called the iPHONE--phone is right in the NAME!

The thing is if it were any other company announcing they were releasing a cool phone, say Nokia or Samsung, I'd be okay with it. But Apple (and their fanbase) is just so damn smug about it that you almost root for them to fail. They're nothing but a shrewd company who has successfully brainwashed millions convincing them to purchase their overpriced, hip consumer electronics. Sure, their gadgets are fairly well designed and packed with innovative technology, but spending $600 on an iPhone will not validate your existence. Thanks. I'm done.

3. I am currently reading "Innocent When You Dream", an excellent compendium of Tom Waits interviews and articles from 1974-2005. I've flipped through it the last few days and read different parts of it and it's already eminently quotable. Here's an excerpt from a pre-Rain Dogs interview (p. 88) where he talks about New York City:
"When you see a leg come out of a cab with a $150 stocking and a $700 shoe and step in a pool of blood, piss, and beer left by a guy who died a half hour before and is now lying cold somewhere on a slab, you just take it all in. But it doesn't really apply anywhere else. I don't know how you go from New York to anywhere else. It's like being in a very bizarre branch of the service. "I was in four years." I read that there's a barge that goes out into the Atlantic with all the limbs from all the hospitals, and it got into a storm and capsized, and all the limbs washed up on Jones Beach. People were swimming and all of a sudden things got a little odd, a little dark. You've got to love it here, though."
I might have to make this a regular OH blog feature, "Tom Waits quote of the week".

2. The Pocono Record is known for its hard-hitting journalism; well, in a perfect world it would be. Just check out this article, which would make the New York Post editors blush:


How can you NOT click on that? (Note to self: get subscription to this newspaper.) I love the long haired guy teeing off in the middle of it--how could you possibly hit a nice drive under those conditions? And I've been to Stroudsburg and sweet Jebus, there's not a damn thing to do up there--let them have a little fun.

My favorite line from the police cops, of course: "This is an ongoing investigation." Probably followed by: "We may have to deploy several officers to CR Fanny's Gentleman's Club to investigate, and the fact-finding process may take several months or even years. Yes, I am aware that the establishment's name is a ribald pun." Personally, I'm appalled by the fact that they had "threesomes". Everyone knows that for a golf outing everyone should be in FOURSOMES. I find it disgusting and offensive that no one follows golf etiquette.

1. T-Shirt of the Week: twoeightnine's MASSHOLE (you know who you are).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I don't do this often, but I have an enthusiastic TV show recommendation: Flight of the Conchords. This is one of the funniest shows I've seen in a while, and it was produced by Troy Miller (Mr. Show with Bob and David), so that explains a lot. The show revolves around two guys (Jemaine Clement and Brit McKenzie) from a New Zealand "digi-folk" band who move to New York, to presumably make some money playing gigs. Of course, it doesn't turn out exactly as planned (one problem being their clueless agent, reminiscent of Stephen Merchant on Extras), and they begin to feel the "Inner City Pressure".

I gather that these guys have been a big comedy/music act for a few years, sort of the Tenacious D of New Zealand, if you will. If you like the music videos, also check out "She's So Hot (BOOM)".

"We're gonna boom boom boom 'til the break of boom! Who's the BOOM KING? I'm the BOOM KING!"

I just watched episode 2 on HBO tonight, very funny stuff. There are numerous standalone clips of the "music videos", which are the centerpiece of the eps, but they're much funnier in context since they come out of nowhere. Through the magic of the InterWebs, you don't need HBO to watch the pilot episode: it's on YouTube!
[Part 1][Part 2][Part 3]

Flight of the Conchords [HBO]
Flight of the Conchords [Official MySpace]


Cablevision is finally starting to do something right. They just added 15 HD channels to their cable lineup. These channels are actually from the Dolans' failed satellite venture, VOOM. Get ready and strap yourselves in, here's the full list:

HDNews- The only HD source for 24/7 news, sports and weather, HDNews offers news headlines, sports highlights, in-depth features and national weather reports supported by five news bureaus across the nation.
Equator HD - The first high-definition channel dedicated to exploring the world's most intriguing people and amazing places with intelligent programs about global adventure and green living.
Gallery HD - Stunning imagery and stories from the front line of the art world. Gallery HD is the first and only HD channel that defines the most talked-about artists of today and tomorrow.
Rush HD - Life on the edge with adrenaline junkies of adventure sports.
Rave HD - Live music as a whole new experience in crystal clear HD and 5.1 surround sound.
Ultra HD - The hottest fashion, the coolest styles and insight into the 'luxe' life from around the world. Ultra HD delivers coverage of the fashion industry's hottest events, shopping, cuisine and interior design.
Animania HD - Eye-popping HD animation from the groundbreaking to the classic.
Monsters HD - The masters of movie horror in terrifying HD clarity.
Gameplay HD - Enter the virtual worlds of video gaming for the first time in HD.
Treasure HD - A channel dedicated to pursuing stories about people and their passions. Original, innovative, entertaining, it's a high-definition look at what people treasure in life, from antiques to adventures.
Worldsport HD - Live sports coverage from premier arenas around the globe.
Family Room HD - Movies, series and specials suitable for the whole family.
Film Fest HD - A non-stop film festival for movie fans, remastered in HD.
Kung Fu HD - All martial arts action, all the time. From Bruce Lee to Jet Li, all in HD.
World Cinema HD - Award-winning and top-performing movies without borders, featuring award-wining movies and stars from around the globe.

Some of this stuff is cool and has been available for years (and the Dolans are just getting around to making it available for CV subs, probably because DirecTV is kicking their asses). Between watching the Mets and Yanks lose in HD last night, I've already seen a little of GALLERY, MONSTERS, WORLD CINEMA, RAVE and RUSH, and briefly checked out HDNews. But watching other people play videogames? 24 hours of kung fu movies? Really? Most of this just sounds like stuff you would watch while firing up the bong.

They also say that "500 HD channels" are on the way. At this rate they roll them out, that will be in 2021. But at least this is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Many internet radio stations have declared today a "National Day of Silence". Several stations are not broadcasting today (my favorite,, being one) to protest the impending bill that will substantially increase music royalties (a 300 - 1200% increase!) and could subsequently put many small stations out of business on July 15, 2007.

If you enjoy music like I do, it's about time you clicked on and did something about it! I've already contacted my senators (Chuck & Hillary!) about it and hope something can be done to amend this bill. The first stations to fold will likely be "personalized" ones like Pandora and Finetune (although probably not, who was just bought by CBS). The music industry is so backwards, they don't realize that these stations actually HELP stimulate music sales (I know I've found some great new stuff just from listening to net radio). In trying to create more revenue for musicians, instead this could have the unintended effect of driving music listeners to turn to illegal ways of obtaining music. Good work, idiots!

Here's a good article from a legal website (hey, not all lawyers are useless!) that agrees that this is a horrible idea:

A Look at Radio Silence: When Copyright Law Reform Goes Terribly Wrong


(Otherwise, I might have to listen to my coworkers all day instead. *shiver*)

Sunday, June 24, 2007


This is my new lazy-ass blogging technique: a week end wrapup top 10 list. I'm sure I'll probably never do this again.

10. Nothing says unwanted pregnancy and shame like a bottle of blackberry brandy.

9. Bebo. I have no idea what that means, but it's the next MySpace. Hopefully, it doesn't suck as hard as MySpace.

8. (Yeah, this has become a hackeneyed cliche, but here goes.)
An upper deck box seat in Shea, one of the dumpiest ballparks on the planet: $29
Parking your car in a miserable unpaved dirt field next to Northern Blvd: $14
A Miller Lite in a plastic bottle: $7.25
Being consumed by my seething white-hot hatred for everything concerning Major League Baseball: Priceless.

7. People who sleep out to buy an iPhone really should re-evaluate their lives. I have decided that I will never buy an iPod.

6. It's never too early to get your "Huck Fillary" gear. I might go for the teddy bear.

5. The Pittsburgh Pirates may not have a real team, but at least they have a sense of humor. I think the parrot gets whacked.

4. The Whiskey Bottle PC. We all know what to do with a full whiskey bottle, but what about an empty one? This guy cut one in half and put a complete PC inside. Pretty amazing.

3. For the first time ever in NHL draft history, the top 2 players were Americans. Take that Canada, you freakin' hosers! Bettman still sucks.

2. Congratulations to Angel Cabrera for winning the 2007 US Open. As Rob said, "The sight of Angel lighting up a heater every hole is sure to get some undies in a bunch." Hey, and at least it wasn't a filthy Euro. Speaking of, that awesome world-beating European 2006 Ryder Cup team did great at Oakmont: only 3 of 9 made the cut (Casey, Olazabal, Westwood), and all the big names missed the cut (Monty, Stenson, Donald, Sergio, Harrington, Karlsson). Meanwhile, 8 out of 12 Americans were makin' money, with only FIGJAM, Wetterich, Taylor, and Cink missing the cut. In other words, when it's every man for himself, the US team is the best!

1. Weird-O-Matic has a great collection of creepy ads. If I had to choose the creepiest one, it would be this Lysol ad.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I'm looking at this blog, and man do I hate it. It just all seems so pointless. I really have nothing interesting to say, including this post right here.

Today, I thought about putting up another post about hockey (Brodeur getting another Vezina, ho hum), or golf (Tiger having a baby girl and naming it after Sam Snead?), or the Mets (I'm going to the game tonight, and god have they truly sucked lately), or how the College World Series is 2 months long and impossible to follow, or that health care "documentary" about health care and how evil pharmaceutical companies are (ugh). I thought about looking for another Looney Tunes cartoon, or some music or sports video (which, because it's on YouTube, looks like complete and utter crap, the sound is poorly synched, and 572 stupid kids have commented unintelligibly about it for no apparent reason). Maybe I'll write a drinky drinky column about something I'd like to be drinking right now, but I can't because I'm at work (which is the ultimate torture).

But I've got nothing. I'm not just in a rut. I think I'm officially spent.

This is it. I need to make a move, I'm not happy with my job, my apartment, my high blood pressure which was brought on suddenly by god knows what. Most of all, I'm not happy with this fucking lame blog. It doesn't serve a purpose anymore, and no one reads it but me (and maybe Rob). Maybe I'll feel motivated to post something down the line, but right now my time would be better spent focusing on getting myself out of this.

So if you actually DO read this, oh well. I guess you can go find some other free entertainment/complaining out in the InterWebs. Cheers.

P.S. Bettman sucks.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


This is the video for one of my all time favorite songs, "Cloudbusting" by Kate Bush, from the excellent Hounds Of Love album from 1985. From Wikipedia:

The song is a look at a special relationship between a boy and his father. It describes psychologist Wilhelm Reich's arrest and incarceration through the eyes of his son, Peter, who wrote his father's story in A Book Of Dreams, published in 1973, on which the song is based. Wilhelm Reich is the inventor of the cloudbuster, which is the device pictured on the cover of this single.
Donald Sutherland plays Dr. Reich in the video, while Kate plays his son, Peter. It was directed by Julian Doyle and conceived by Terry Gilliam and Kate Bush. One of the best of the 80s.

(For the youngsters out there, that's Jack Bauer's dad.)


(I hadn't seen this in about 10 years and I'll admit, I got a little misty at the end. Yeah I know, I'm a giant sissy.)

Kate Bush Official Site
Kate Bush Hounds of Love [Amazon]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Do you like fast greens, deep rough, and high scores? If so, you'll be happy to know that it's that time again: the 2007 US Open is here!

I'm honestly not as fired up for this one as I was last year (since I was at Winged Foot), but once the balls start flying I'll be into it. Here are the vital stats for the 107th US Open, which is becoming toughest (or most unfair, depending on who you ask) major:

COURSE: Oakmont Country Club
LOCATION: Oakmont, PA (weather)
PAR: 35-35-70
YARDAGE: 7,355
DESIGNER: Henry C. Fownes (his only course)
FAIRWAYS/TEES: poa/bentgrass
GREENS: poanna (perennial)
ROUGH: graduated to 1.5" inches the first cut, 3" from 8-10 yards off the fairway, and 5 to 5.5" at the deepest, with fescue along each fairway

Opened in 1903, Oakmont is located 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh in western PA, depending on how fast you drive. This was also the site for the 1994 US Open, won by fresh faced youngster Ernie Els (age 24) in a 20 hole playoff. This time around, par is 70 even though the course is normally a par 71 (the 9th, a 477 yard par 5, is now a par 4), because "the USGA likes messing with your mind", as Johnny Miller (who shot a 63 in 1973 at Oakmont) put it. Somehow, they also added 100 yards to the 2nd hole (340 to 440, or is that a typo?). While a lot of trees have been removed, there are now a total of 210 bunkers, one of them between #3 and #4 is the dreaded "Church Pew" bunker. Overall, the course prides itself on beating up all those who come to play, which is typical of fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The toughest hole is the 1st (482 yard, par 4), but the 12th (667 yard, par 5, with a front to back sloping green) is no slouch either. I also don't know how these guys will get a ball to stick to the green on the 8th (288 yard, par 3), but that's why they're the pros. (As I was typing this, I found out Trevor Immelman aced this hole in a Tuesday practice round using a 3 wood.)

As for the contenders, Tiger is already whining about the conditions being incredibly tough. This may just be a ploy to scare off the rest of the field, because if it's tough for him, what about everyone else?

Phil "FIGJAM" Mickelson may have trained TOO hard for this one: he hurt his wrist practicing chipping out of the rough at Oakmont a month ago, and must wear a brace on his left hand. He's never really been injured during the season, so we'll see if he's able to play through it. If nothing else, he can use it as an excuse.

As for the defending champ, as solid and stoic as he is I don't see Geoff Ogilvy repeating. I also don't see Masters winner Zach Johnson being a factor. Is this Monty's chance to win a major? It's very possible. I see the winner coming from this group: Woods, Appleby, Toms, Goosen, Donald, Immelman, O'Hair.

6/14 (Hole #1), 6/15 (Hole #10)
7:55 a.m.-1:25 p.m. -- Jose Maria Olazabal, Spain; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Pablo Martin, Spain
Leave it to the Democrats to let the Spaniards back in the pantry.

8:06 a.m.-1:36 p.m. -- Tiger Woods, Windermere, Fla.; A-Richie Ramsay, Scotland; Geoff Ogilvy, Australia
Since Tiger missed the cut at Winged Foot in '06, he was probably on his yacht watching Geoff win it (or should I say, Monty/Phil/Furyk blow it), so they should have plenty to talk about. Never mind, they won't talk at all.

1:14 p.m.-7:44 a.m. -- Vijay Singh, Fiji; Davis Love III, Sea Island, Ga.; Henrik Stenson, Sweden
The most formidable trio, with Stenson having the best shot.

6/14 (#10), 6/15 (#1)
7:11 a.m.-12:41 p.m. -- Boo Weekley, Milton, Fla.; Nobuhiro Masuda, Japan; Bubba Watson, Bagdad, Fla.
It's Bubba, Boo And Nobu! I don't know why that cracks me up, but it does.
7:44 a.m.-1:14 p.m. -- Ernie Els, South Africa; Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Padraig Harrington, Ireland
The most likeable trio; too bad I don't see any of them winning it.

1:36 p.m.-8:06 a.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Adam Scott, Australia; Jim Furyk, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Actually, this is a tough trio as well, if Phillis' left wrist is serviceable.

Kaname Yokoo of Japan. Jason Dufner from Alabama gets an honorable mention.

Let's give it up for assistant pro Frank Bensel from Purchase, N.Y. Woo hoo!

Thursday 6/14: ESPN 10 AM–3 PM, NBC 3–5 PM, ESPN 5–7 PM
Friday 6/15: ESPN 10 AM–3 PM, NBC 3–5 PM, ESPN 5–7 PM
Saturday 6/16, Sunday 6/17: NBC 1 - 7 PM

(Man, I don't know which I hate more: ESPN or NBC Sports. It remains to be seen if the entire thing will be in HD.)

SENTIMENTAL PICK: Tiger Woods, on Father's Day right before he's about to become a daddy. Awwww. /collective sigh

MY PICK: Luke Donald. (I know, I chose a stinkin' Euro, which would be the first since Tony Jacklin won in 1970.)


To help with your hockey withdrawal, here's a great compilation of the best goals from the NHL 2006-2007 season. Yes, believe it or not there are other players in the NHL besides Crosby (although he is featured twice).

10. Bill Guerin (STL, vs. NAS)
9. Sidney Crosby (PIT, vs. TB)
8. Jordan Staal (PIT, vs. PHI)
7. Maxim Afinogenov (BUF, vs. PHI)
6. Pavel Datsyuk (DET, vs. EDM)
5. Martin Havlat (CHI, vs. CLB)
4. Vermette (OTT, vs. TB)
3. Crosby (PIT, vs. PHX)
2. Ales Hemsky (EDM, vs. DAL)
1. Evgeni Malkin (PIT, vs. NJD)

Off the top of my head, I remembered the Havlat and Malkin goals, the latter being the first time I saw Malkin play when he was terrorizing the league last October (and it was scored against Brodeur). The Vermette one was just crazy, and the Hemsky goal amazing because of the circumstances. Well done.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


"Don't look so perplexed. Why must you be vexed? Can't you see you're next? Yes, you're next, you're so next!" It's Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd starring in "Rabbit of Seville" (1950).

Bonus video! It's Two for Cartoonsday, as we also have the newest "The Simpsons Movie" TV commercial, coming July 27, 2007.

This film is not yet rated or finished.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Since you just gave your loyal viewers of "The Sopranos" a big "fuck you" with your pointless, plotless, and ponderous series finale, I thought I'd return the favor:


If you really want to read about this pile of garbage, go elsewhere as there will be a billion other blogs/websites/people with nothing better to do discussing it.

I would have said "spoiler alert" at the beginning of this post, but that warning is only used when something actually happens, whereas nothing happened on this show.

As I had predicted, there was no closure, no climax, no resolution. It's just like life. Well, I've got news for you, this isn't life, IT'S (supposedly) ENTERTAINMENT.


(Seriously, after all the great music featured in this series, you chose "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey as the final song?)

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Anaheim Ducks' captain Scott Niedermeyer hands over the Stanley Cup to his brother Rob Niedermeyer (R) after Game 5 of the 2007 NHL Stanley Cup Finals hockey series in Anaheim, California, June 6, 2007. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES) Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks for winning the 2006-2007 Stanley Cup! They're the first West Coast team to win the Cup since the NHL started giving it out in 1926 (and the first West Coast champion since the 1924-25 Victoria Cougars--what a juggernaut that team was, eh?).

The Ducks were excellent while snuffing out the Ottawa Canada Geese in only 5 games, a series the latter should have nightmares about all summer. In last night's 6-2 finale, the Sens basically imploded; Alfie was the only one to show up for the Sens as Spezza and Heatley disappeared, the team only got 12 shots on goal, and Emery and the defense in front of him had a horrible night. They had a good postseason, but didn't have enough in the end. There was a nice moment afterwards as team captain and Conn Smythe winner Scott "Ol' Graybeard" Neidermayer handed off the Cup to his brother, Rob. I didn't realize that, after Scottie, every single Duck player was a first time Cup winner. That's amazing. And man, I wish I owned a bar in Anaheim right now.

One quick note to all the lazy ass journalists/bloggers out there: DISNEY NO LONGER OWNS THE TEAM. They sold it over 2 years ago! So you can stop making oh-so-funny Mickey Mouse jokes. However, the Linda Cohn comment to lead off ESPN Sportscenter (hockey? On ESPN?) was funny: "Somewhere Emilio Estevez is smiling."

Of course, the happy celebration was momentarily suspended as Gary "Fucking" Bettman walked to center ice to give out the hardware, and he was once again heartily and lustily booed. Starting with the 1995 Devils Cup win (I'm so proud) where the fans were angered about the team possibly relocating to Nashville, this has become an annual tradition, a rite of spring if you will, much like dumping the Gatorade bucket over the winning football coach's head. In fact, the ever-slippery Bettman even had a quick line ready to quiet the crowd ("Sounds like hockey's doing pretty well in California, don't ya think? Uhm, SURF'S UP, DUDES!") Do you understand what this means? Every year he gets booed, and every year he knows this and tries to sidestep it. Doesn't anyone realize how ridiculous and sad this is for the NHL? He's the commissioner of the sport, and he is universally loathed by its most ardent fans. Why isn't he gone already? Anyway, I'm going to put a positive spin on it, and call the annual "Bettman cheer" the official start of summer!


(The US Open starts in approximately 6 days, 20 hours, and 9 minutes.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


GooTube is going to be the death of me. Every time I look on there and decide that 99.99% of it is a craptacular waste of space, I find a gem. Believe it or not, I've been looking for this clip.

Before his Late Night stint, David Letterman appeared in various sitcoms over the years (along with Jay Leno, which I remember seeing on "Good Times"). Here, Dave plays an obnoxious, abusive self-help motivational speaker named Ellsworth (of "Revitalization Konditioning" fame, apparently), on an episode from the first season of "Mork and Mindy" (1978-79).

"Perhaps you can understand this: sit down, and shut up." You have to love the word "scuzz", I haven't heard anyone use that since the 70s. And that couch is a vritual who's who of, well, something: Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Morgan Fairchild, and Tom Poston.

Okay, if you didn't like that one, here's a classic "Late Night With David Letterman" moment from 2/28/1984: THE VELCRO SUIT!

See also:
SUIT OF SPONGES (2/14/1985)
SUIT OF CHIPS (11/21/1985)
SUIT OF MAGNETS (11/25/1986)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I'm assuming everyone north of the border and south of Greenland (not including Alaska) is talking about Cap'n Daniel Alfredsson's ill-timed boner* last night, in what appears to be the Ottawa Senators penultimate Stanley Cup finals loss. I saw it happen, and it was incredibly odd and absolutely intentional: with less than 10 seconds left in the he skated up across his own blue line with the puck, and instead of clearing it down the ice as time expired, he looked up at the clock and then at Niedermayer skating towards him, changed his angle, and fired it right at his legs. While I wouldn't go so far as to say "I lost a lot of respect for Alfie" (I'll leave that hyperbole to the Brett Hulls of the world), it certainly is a dick move to shoot at an opposing player like that. In turn, that probably fired up the Ducks en route to a 3-2 win in Game 4, thanks to Andy McDonald's double cheeseburger goal attack.

As for last night's broadcast, I can only assume NBC Sports hates their viewers, as they decided to put Don Cherry on during the second intermission. He said that fighting is an integral part of the NHL and management is making a big mistake trying to eradicate it in order to make it more "family friendly", as evidenced by the poor ratings in the US. "What about NASCAR? There are car crashes! The NFL? It's 'kill the quarterback'! And what about Ultimate Fighting? Gimme a break!" While I don't wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Hockey Night In Canada's stance, I have to admit that he has a point; we sure do love our violence. Personally, I don't care about ratings; as long as it's on somewhere, I'll watch it--as long as I don't have to see Don Cherry's hideous zoot suits, which looked positively frightening in HD.

The only point I'm going to make about the current state of the NHL and its "goonery" (which Kris accurately ranted about) is this: they have to be consistent with their calls and decisions, both on the ice and off. The "distinct kicking motion" rule doesn't seem to be called the same way twice, and questionable hits like Neil vs. McDonald, and blatant ones like Pronger vs. McAmmond (what's with only hitting the Irish guys?) weren't even considered to be penalties by the on-ice officials. That's a problem right there. I also think that there has to be a better way of handing out disciplinary action after the fact as well. Unfortunately, it all comes down to a judgment call on which hits are more "flagrant" than others, and it's not so clear cut in a contact sport. But how about something like this: hitting an opponent in the head ("legally" or not) = automatic 1 game suspension? Do it twice = 3 game suspension. That's a start, and it would certainly cut down on the number of concussions and these atrocious acts of headhunting.

It's a shame that this tangential stuff, along with the slightly higher but still struggling ratings, is making more news than the actual game play, as this has been a well-played series minus Pronger's and Alfredsson's respective douchebaggery. As for the dastardly Ducks, though it can't be proved, I believe they could have beaten anyone in the East including the mighty Sabres; they are much bigger and faster, and their defense is a lot deeper than previously thought, which means that haven't had to rely solely on Giguere as they did in 2003. In closing, it looks as though the Ducks are going to get this done.

* I'm trying to bring the word "boner" back, using its original meaning: a "blunder, an embarrassing mistake".


Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck go head-to-head in the classic Merrie Melodies cartoon "Rabbit Seasoning" from 1951. "No more for me, thanks, I'm driving!"

Bugs Bunny in "Rabbit Seasoning" (1951) [Daily Motion]

Monday, June 4, 2007


Nostalgia is a ridiculously huge market; it seems like I can't turn around without someone reminding me of some anniversary of something, and providing a link where I can buy my memory back. Therefore here are a bunch of milestones you may have had forced down your throat this month, along with some that only I care about.

5 years ago: I got LASIK laser eye surgery (2/14/2002). Okay, it's not exactly five years ago, but I was reminded about it because I just had a checkup last week.

10 years ago: Jeff Buckley died at the age of 30 (5/29/1997), tragically drowning while taking a break from working on his second studio album.

12 years ago: I saw the aforementioned Jeff Buckley live in concert for the first time (6/1/1995), opening for Juliana Hatfield, of all people, at Tradewinds in Sea Bright, NJ. After he was done the crowd was still buzzing about his performance; perhaps sensing that he may have upstaged Juliana's set, Jeff jumped onstage during "Universal Heartbeat" and pumped his fists and dove off the stage to wake up the crowd.

15 years ago: I graduated from Villanova University (5/31/1992). Man, that was a long time ago.

20 years ago: I saw U2 on the Joshua Tree Tour, at the Brendan Byrne Meadowlands Arena, section 234, row 17 (5/16/1987). They also had the #1 single in the land that week, "With Or Without You". My friend Phil reminded me of this, as I drove us all to the show in my giant black 1975 Chevy Monte Carlo. The tickets were $16.50. (Ha!)

30 years ago: Star Wars was released (5/27/1977). Even though I was only 7 years old, I vaguely remember seeing it over the summer at the Leavitt Theater in Ogunquit, Maine. It's a shame that Lucas had to go make those 3 sh!tty prequel movies to ruin the franchise forever. I heard there was some massive geekfest out in California to mark the occasion, but I prefer this video from 5 years ago, where Triumph the Insult Comic Dog takes on the geeks on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, May 2002.

"Here's a spoiler: you will die alone." Classic.

40 years ago: The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (in the US on 6/2/1967). Though I wasn't alive for this, my dad played this album quite a lot when I was a youngster to the point where I know it backwards and forwards. BBC has some interesting stuff about this classic album on their BBC Radio 2 site. (Oasis are Beatles fans? Shocking!)


Apparently Pronger can't help his elbow-to-the-head behavior because according to him he doesn't "think [he] can make wholesale changes and still be the type of player [he] can be." So basically the NHL can take Pronger as the ugly dirty sob that he is, or they can't, but suspending him one game won't do a bit of difference.

I think that the 1 game suspension is total BS. I am not a Sens fan...everyone knows that I would be happy to see them lose again...even in 5 games. I have no really opinion on the Ducks either, but Pronger's second objectively very dirty play in these playoffs, where there is no possible way that there was no intent to injure, deserves more than just a game. I think Pronger should be done for the season. Of course, the NHL Disciplinary Committee is in Toronto, Pronger is Canadian...what more explanation do you need.

The NHL is [once again] showing how absolutely terrible the management of this league is. If we are to believe Brian Burke (and that's a big if), the league, Colon Campbell to be exact told him that because Chris Neil didn't injure Sean O'Donnell with a full-speed, blind-side hit into the boards, there was no reason for the league to look into it. I know that Burke's got a bone to pick, but seeing how this league has operated for the last 6 or 7 years at least...well since Bettman got in there, it wouldn't surprise me that this is their blood, no foul. Allowing goons, even slightly talented goons like Neil, to run rampant at any time, no less in the Stanley Cup Finals is complete and utter bullshit. Chris Neil just became a daddy, why not give him a couple days off to be with his family.

I love the game of hockey, but I hate the NHL for every single mismanaged decision that they always seem to make.

Don't get me wrong, this has nothing to do with the Sabres underperformance. The league had nothing to do with their poor play or their ass-kicking by the Sens. There are always things to complain about, waved off goals, non-calls, etc...but nothing the league did changed the result for the Sabres. This is truly about the state of the league and the idiocy of Campbell, Bettman and the rest of the cadre of Marketeers up there in Toronto.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I've never been a big stout fan. While other posting-members of this blog are content to pass their evenings swilling Guinness, I usually go for Harp or something or have a Black-and-Tan or Half-and-Half when I want to join the Guinness fun.

Anyway, getting to the business at hand, after having prefaced this review as "Not-a-Stout-Fan":

Oc'Ale is brewed in LaFrançaise, Tarn-et-Garonne, France, which is basically equivalent to East Bumblefuck, Kansas by Jack Courmont. I'm pretty sure that this is more or less the same as if Wagner started selling his brews. They're definitely barn-made, each batch probably tastes slightly different and I doubt they're pasteurized. There's nothing wrong with any of this and I would rather drink 10 beers that I don't like from artisan brewers than allow one fucking AB product touch my lips.

It comes in a 50cl bottle with the manual closure, like Grolsch or Fischer. I don't fully understand the process of beer-making, Mr. Wagner, care to weigh in, but I think, if it's possible, that this continued to ferment in the bottle. A loud pop was heard upon opening and a huge number of bubbles were present after first pouring.

First sniff, holy Molasses! First taste, sweet, no sour, no sweet, no dry...umm wait. Holy christ this stuff is strange. First off it's very "light tasting" (not to be confused with Cold Tasting) on the tongue...unlike other stouts that have always given me the impression of being more than just liquid. Oc'Ale is quite watery. The first taste is extreme lemon zest to the maxxxxxx! Then get ready for the sweet and sour ride of you life. The lemon and molasses kind of compete (in an ungood way) for your attention as it passes through your mouth. I can't say that I like it, but the after taste is better than anything that precedes it...what other beer can say that. With such a dry finish, you're really only left with the taste of lemon (it's a good thing) when the beer is gone. If they notch down the lemon extract/zest in the next batch, I think this beer could really have promise...It'll still be too sweet, but you won't be blown over by the sweet and sour/tart mix that you are now.

You'll never find it in New York or Paris for that matter, but if you happen to be at my local beer store in Merignac France, pick up a bottle to try.

Friday, June 1, 2007


It's June 1st, and in the New York City area it's already 90 freaking degrees; my continuing search for the Best Summer Brew might start a little early this year. Meanwhile, what alcoholic drink would be the best choice on a sweltering day? Should I just drink a Brooklyn Lager and pour a Bud Light down my pants? That's a tempting choice and the only practical use for an A-B product I can think of; to save money, make sure you do it during the 2-for-1 happy hour deals.

Firstly, I do know what NOT to drink. A few weeks ago, I went to an Aztec (read: expensive, trendy Mexican) restaurant in Philly, and was trying hard to avoid drinking anything containing the 465 types of tequila they had. Since I like beer and spicy food the bartender talked me into trying a
michelada. Just imagine a Bloody Mary on ice, with Mexican beer instead of vodka, and with limes and salt on the rim like a margarita. Oh, the horror. GQ even suggests the chelata for a hot day (basically the same drink minus the hot sauces), but I'm just not into this trend especially because it's too salty and fruity. After I braved my way through one of those spicy mistakes I switched to the caipirinha, which was a hell of a lot more enjoyable, as didn't burn my lips at all.

1⅔ fl. oz.
½ fresh lime, cut into 4 wedges
2 teaspoons sugar

Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon). Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cachaça.

(Wouldn't the Muddler make a good Batman villain? But I digress.)

Considered the national cocktail of Brazil, it tasted very much like a sweeter version of vodka with lime, not quite as fruity as other tropical drinks.
Cachaça is similar to rum except it's made from sugarcane juice, and not from molasses, a by-product of the sugar manufacturing process. I'm not a big rum fan, so this alternative was pretty enjoyable. Until other people find out that it's officially considered a "fancy drink" by the IBA*, I think it's safe to order one at your local Mexican restaurant that stocks cachaça, as it certainly goes well with guacamole and spicy food. If only I knew how to pronounce it correctly.

* The International Bartender's Association splits up cocktails into four categories: Before-Dinner Cocktail - Dry or Medium, After-Dinner Cocktail - Sweet, Long Drink - Collins Type, Fancy Drink - Long, medium, short. Who knew?