10. I put a mirror in my living room so I can quickly poke my head out of the kitchen while I'm cooking to see what's on TV. This was a genius move, and I don't know why it took me 6 years of living in my apartment to figure this out.
9. Kris put up a fuckatively funny post the other day which made me think about, among other things, the Rotten Tomatoes "Tomatometer" ratings. Regardless of the fact that he didn't like "Knocked Up", I think we should use the percentages to pay the actors for their work. For example, if someone signs a $1 million contract to star in a flick, a 87% rating would net them 87% of that amount ($870,000), while a 3% rating would earn them only $30,000. That's still decent pay day, and they could also get a percentage of the box office receipts if they so choose, but it would make actors think twice before agreeing to make a piece of shit movie.
8. There's officially no difference in value between the US dollar and the Canadian loonie, as US$1.00000 now equals C$1.00507. I guess the Quebecois strippers won't be getting my money after all--they're probably all Russians anyway.
7. It's Halloween candy buying time, and it's already an undisputed fact that Brach's makes the best candy corn; it's not open for debate. But I discovered that they also make a fantastic "caramel candy corn", which I give 9 thumbs up.
6. I'm not sure why I didn't look into this before: Planet Fitness only charges $10 a month (after a $59 initiation fee, at the newly opened Nanuet location). Wow, I was paying $57 at my previous gym before I quit. Plus, they're open 24 hours on the weekdays, so I can run on the treadmill at 2 AM! Finally! Okay, maybe not. I'll still hate the gym, but the lower price will make it much less painful.
5. Here's a fantastic golf story. Bruce Crampton, who had a reputation as being a bit ornery, was partnered at a pro-am with a woman. At the beginning of the round she told him that a friend bet her $10 that he wouldn't say 5 words to her all day. His response was: "Sorry lady, you lose". He didn't speak to her again. A perfect demonstration of douchebaggery if I've ever heard one.
4. The season premiere of HEROES featured one of the more egregious product placements that I've ever seen. When dropping off Claire at her new cliche-ridden high school (the head cheerleader is so mean to newbies!), the camera sweeps across the front bumper of the family car in such a way that not only can we tell it's a NISSAN their driving, but it fills my entire widescreen HDTV and obscures the actors. Then he hands her the keys and she excitedly shrieks, "The Rogue?!?" Uhm, the what? Why, it's the new NISSAN Rogue crossover vehicle, which 3 identical commercials in a row informed us several minutes later. The trade-off for less ads is more NISSAN logos shoved in your face during the show? Pretty disgusting.
3. I read this with alarm: ad blocking plug-ins like AdBlock might be illegal. Fuck you, internet advertisers, I'll block ads in Firefox if I want to. The only thing that incessant web ads do is make me NOT want to buy your product (or tune into your show, like NBC's Chuck). You know what I hate? Those irritating Lowermybills.com ads with some dancing thing on it telling me I can easily put my house into foreclosure RIGHT FROM MY COMPUTER! Ugh.
2. Tiger Woods will be playing this weekend in the "USA vs. The Others" Presidents Cup. I guess I'll tune in, but I'm honestly worn out after the "playoffs". So since that's over, is this like the PGA equivalent of the Pro Bowl?
1. AMAZON has finally announced its online digital music download service called, well, AMAZONmp3. There are several things that make it better than iTunes: the tracks are DRM-free to use on any player, nice sounding 256kbps mp3s, the tracks are always cheaper (ranging from $0.49-$0.99), and you get a discount for buying the entire album at once. It's just been released into public beta and several record companies haven't signed on, but the selection is growing every day. Very promising, and a welcome alternative to the iAppleTunes.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
10. I put a mirror in my living room so I can quickly poke my head out of the kitchen while I'm cooking to see what's on TV. This was a genius move, and I don't know why it took me 6 years of living in my apartment to figure this out.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Welcome to my first (of what will most likely be many) hockey post that will illustrate just how much NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sucks. Hot on the heels of the NHL's "let's make the jerseys a little more gay", here's another brilliant marketing ploy: NHL's trip to England about selling the game.
This weekend, the NHL is forcing the Ducks and Kings to play two games in England in order to "sell the game" to people in the UK who can't even watch the regular season. Fantastic. What's the reason? "We have to extend our brand." How about "extending your brand visibility" right here in your biggest market, where 24 of the 30 teams are located, you may have heard of it--the United States of America! You know, where the vast majority of the public doesn't even know the NHL exists?
If you think that's stupid, I just found out that the Saturday game won't be televised nationally in the US. It's on CBC in Canada and HDNet on DirecTV (and I don't get either channel). That's right! The game that officially kicks off the NHL season WILL NOT BE TELEVISED NATIONALLY IN THE US (except maybe in notorious hockey hotbed California); NBC has golf, and Versus is showing the pivotal Baylor/Texas A&M football game. However, they will begrudgingly show the 2nd game on Sunday at noon, where I'm sure it will do well in the ratings against NFL football and Tiger Woods. While the NFL manages to turn most games into a must-watch event (for better or worse: see "NFL Kickoff"), the NHL routinely sabotages any chance of increasing its viewership. Why not choose a Friday night, when nothing else is on? Even a Saturday night game has more of a chance than this one.
Once again, the NHL is completely clueless on how to market their sport. Bettman, you fucking suck. But please, enjoy the games across the pond, mates! Cheerio!
(BTW, how did England get an NFL game AND an NHL game in the space of one month? Did we lose a bet with them or something?)
Friday, September 21, 2007
Here's the deal. Kammann's the only one that posts to this blog, therefore, one could presume that he's the only one with an axe to grind against the world in general...not true. Having taken a nice 3-week vacation that consisted on totally ignoring the a) radio, b) TV news and c) newspaper left me in a bliss that is only experienced by 97% of Americans. Coming back not only meant working, or giving the semblance of working, but also learning that the rest of the world didn't stop turning, it's still a shitty place. Anyway, I should do 10, but I fucking hate top-10 lists, so I'm going to do 5 things that I absolutely, fuckatively hate.
1. I watched Knocked Up the other day (it may have been yesterday, it's still relatively fresh in my mind) and I laughed a couple of times; then started searching online for Judd Apatow's home so I could go and beat the living shit out of him ruining my time that could've been spent, oh I don't know, staring at a brick wall. How the fuck did this get a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes? If there is one thing that I hate, it's making socio-political statements in films. Listen, I don't care if you're for or against abortion, this film just pussied out on the whole issue and since the fact that they "kept" the baby is kind of a main plot point in this film, it's fucking idiotic...They never even really discuss the whole keep it or not...They address it just enough so most of the idiotic reviewers give them a pass, but they never get anywhere near dealing with the issue. I know it's not an abortion film...but come on: They keep the baby and live happily ever after...James Dobson in 2008.
Beyond that what did I learn? Hanging out with your buddies is immature. If you don't do 9-to-5, you're not a "man". Oh yeah, and threating a woman with physical and/or mental assault is the best way to calm her down (and probably attract her too).
1a: Why the fuck does Rotten Tomatoes make me go to their UK site? I don't want to go to their UK site, I want to go to the US site...just because I have a European IP address doesn't mean that I should be forced to go to the Blighty site...what the fuck did the Brits ever do for me anyway?
2. Crisis management and slimy marketing advertised (and believed) as "Doing the Right Thing."Mattel apologizes to China for toy recalls. Ok...where to start? Should I start with the fact that it does no use apologizing to China because it should be their government that actually keeps an eye on things and makes sure that foreign companies don't export lead-paint based toys? Or should it be the fact that Mattel should spend less time apologizing to China and more time apologizing the the parents of lead poisoning victims? Oh, and Mr. Thomas A. Debrowski, executive vice president for worldwide operations, did you apologize the workers who inhaled lead paint in their menial few-dollar a week jobs who made this shit in the first place? Fuck it. My kid's going to play with local made, hand carved, wood toys...and s/he's going to like it.
3. French trade unions who are going to make my life a living hell starting on October 18th. I like Sarkozy, but I don't love him. He's a politician and he's got his shtick and all that...good for him. And I like the fact that he's got the balls to go up against the trade unions. And I like the fact that [I hope/think/believe] that he's going to stare down this strike and figuratively (and maybe literally) give these dinosaur unions the finger. But the unions are going to try to push back. If they block the highways like in '95, I hope Sarko calls in the army and busts some heads, really. These unions have no respect for the law and no respect for their fellow Frenchmen...there are people here who want to bust their balls and make money...if you don't, just get the fuck out of the way, but don't stop the rest of us from getting to work, or getting food and gasoline, or whatever. I'm so sorry that you have to wait until you're 57 to retire and you can't retire at 50 anymore, you fucking louses.
4. I can't even get my bile up for this. This is more a wholly depressed kinda rage, but the people spend their time following celebrities. You know, the whole People Culture, but I just, I don't know...I try to convince myself that its just people's way of forgetting about their terrible little lives, but then you realize that the majority of Americans do this, and, fuck me, these people vote? That's why John Edwards spends $400 on his hair. Does anyone vote on political beliefs, ever?
5. This kind of ties in with #4 and #2: The media buying whatever it is that the people (politicians, celebrities, spinmen, handlers...) feed them. This story about Rudy taking a call from his wife is case-in-point; of course that was staged. At least it only took 4 comments to come to the same conclusion as me, but CNN "blogs" doesn't even talk about that...isn't that the point of a blog? To be able to say things that you wouldn't be able to say in a news report? Time and again you see this. I like to read about cars, but even Jalopnik.com, which I think is the best of the automotive blogs, falls for the old company line. Time-and-again...just regurgitate the shit that the marketing departments feed you. Fuck you all. I'll see you in Hell.
PS: I saw a Ron Paul sticker on a Cadillac...vintage 1975, purple with velvet seats...I don't know what that means, but it made me smile.
Oh and I hate Harlan Coben too and his cliqued, worthless, contrite drivel. I have rarely read an author that sells so many books, but is such a bad writer.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
As it turns out, NY Brewfest was a total trainwreck--or due to its location at the Seaport, maybe I should say total shipwreck. Short review: too many people and not enough beer, poorly planned and set up, and a giant waste of time.
Longer review: This was billed as taking place from 5-10 PM, but many of the booths were out of beer before 8 PM (much to the chagrin of the Manhattan "fashionably late" crowd). Due to Friday rush hour, our cab didn't get us there until 6:30 PM, so we barely got to taste anything. Each brewery had 2 offerings, and most were disappointingly middle of the road stuff: either an uninspired pale ale, wheat beer, or nut brown ale (but the choices weren't posted anywhere so you had to wait on line only to be disappointed at the end). The best thing there that I hadn't tried before was Smuttynose Imperial Stout and Goose Island Honker's Ale. There were also "cask" offerings from 6:30 - 8:30, but I ended up getting a very ordinary Ipswich Dark Ale.
After most places were out of beer, to get a sample of the Belgians that they promised from 8:30 - 9:30, you naturally had to fight an army of drunken college idiots to get . . . a thimble full of Chimay Red, Lindemans Frambroise (did someone just make a beer run to Stop and Shop?), or a third awful choice that tasted like balsamic vinegar.
Since they gave you only 2 oz at a time (in a 4 oz taster glass), I spent over $50 on what amounted to 2 pints. And they made you pay for food on top of that. I'm honestly thinking about trying to get my money back, it was such a ripoff. Everyone tells me Brewtopia is better, but I'm honestly not going to waste my time if it's anything like this disaster.
We cut our losses and went to the amazing Ginger Man on E. 36th, where the friendly waitstaff (a rarity for midtown) provided us with some cave aged 2005 Ommegang and Guinness stew. That saved the night!
Friday, September 14, 2007
10. Will there be an outdoor hockey in Buffalo on New Years Day? Stay tuned! That would rock, minus the harsh reality of being in Buffalo on New Years.
9. The new Indy movie due out Memorial Day 2008 has been granted a title: INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Sheesh, that's a mouthful. Wasn't that a King Crimson song?
8. Rob noted that the most disturbing thing is not that bin Laden made a new videotape (which we know is authentic, because he commented about chubby Britney's listless MTV appearance), it's that he had time to DYE HIS BEARD BLACK. How does he find the time? He probably doesn't have WiFi and a Sony PS3 in his cave, so he might have nothing BUT time to kill doing such things. We envisioned ol' Osama having a conversation with one of his intern gofers: "I want to look good for my new video, so please buy me some of that stuff that Clyde Frazier uses--JUST FOR MEN. And get me a Kit Kat. That's the only good thing those evil American devils have ever made."
7. The new HBO show "Tell Me You Love Me" is so insufferably bad and its characters so incredibly unlikable, even the prosthetic genitals won't make me keep watching. You read that correctly. I have just three words for HBO: BRING BACK DEADWOOD! Even if it's Al Swearengen running a bar with no other original cast members, that would be fine.
6. I stumbled across Jonathan Katz' podcast "Hey, We're Back" recently. It's not quite "Dr. Katz"--in fact, it's hard to follow and rather odd, like Woody Allen's new book--but it's good to hear his voice again. If they wanted to start a channel with nothing but Dr. Katz and MST3k, I'd tune in.
5. While waiting for "The Daily Show" to come on Monday night, I regretfully stopped at MNFF on ESPN. For some reason they chose Mike & Mike & Mike (Golic/Greenburg, and Ditka) to do the commentary, which is about 2 too many Mikes. For about 2 straight minutes while the game was going on THEY WOULD NOT FUCKING SHUT UP. And whatever they WERE saying was completely incomprehensible. It was horrendous.
4. A Chinese worker at Nanuet's "Great" China Buffet was caught CRUSHING GARLIC WITH HIS SHOES a few weeks ago. This happened in the parking lot behind the strip mall, and an AT&T store employee took a photo of him doing it. I'm so glad I've sworn off eating at those awful places years ago. I mean, imagine what they do behind closed doors? Ugh.
Gay Overly sensitive Apple iPhone owners were whining and complaining this past week about the $200 price drop announced by the company, a mere 2 months after the gadget's release. Well guess what? This happens all the time in technology, and I guarantee the same thing will happen before I even get my laptop. Hey, you wanted to be the first to have the phone, so why shouldn't you pay for it? You're part of the Apple club and bowed down to their marketing machine, so you get what you deserve. I have three words for Apple fanboys (and girls) regarding the price cut: TOO FUCKING BAD.
(Now I'm disappointed that Steve Jobs decided to coddle his creepy cult disciples and grant them $100 store credits as a sort of "rebate". What a bunch of pansies.)
Meanwhile, the newly announced Apple iPod touch (what a sissy name) has a touchscreen, only 16 GB of storage and costs $400. The Archos 605 has a touchscreen, 160 GB (10 times the storage) and also costs $400. But naturally, everyone wants the iPod because it's been shoved down their throats. Hooray, marketing!
2. God bless VENEFICUS.NET and their streaming MST3K episodes! Although I frequently can't get it to work using Winamp/Shoutcast, it's worth it when "Gamera" or "Alien from L.A." randomly pops up on my screen. Rob said this site was one of the highlights of his year--maybe his entire life.
1. The NY Brewfest is today at South Street Seaport in NYC! This will be the first "fest" I've ever attended, so I'm looking forward to it. There are a bunch of breweries slated to attend, but my short list includes: Captain Lawrence Brewing (Pleasantville, NY), Defiant Brewery (Pearl River, NY), Southern Tier, Ommegang, Sixpoint Craft Ales. There's also Rochefort, Maredsous, Duvel, Smuttynose, Unibroue, Victory. So many choices, but I can't drink them all . . . or can I? Stay tuned!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Everyone has their own thoughts and prayers on a day like this. Naturally, I turn to humor in these situations, and have chosen to link to a classic article from The Onion's triumphant post-9/11 return, the HOLY FUCKING SHIT issue from 9/26/2001.
Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves in Hell
Six years later, this map is still pretty appropriate.
Monday, September 10, 2007
• Before the Week 1 games started, Rob & I could rattle off over a dozen teams off the top of our heads that we couldn't name the starting QB for: Minnesota, Houston, Oakland, Miami, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Denver, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Kansas City. That's 14 teams out of 32 that don't even have a recognizable player leading their offense! Sad, but true. I'm not saying that every QB in the 1990s was a world beater, but at least they were household names, either in the pros or college or both.
• Because of the ridiculous size and speed of NFL players, I commented that someone is going to suffer a horrible crippling injury this year, or perhaps even die on the field during a game. Sure enough, Buffalo tight end Kevin Everett suffered a severe spinal injury during their Week 1 vs. Denver. When you have 280 pound HGH-fueled behemoths who can run 4.6 second 40-yard dashes collide at full speed, things like this are bound to happen.
• CBS does the best job of all the networks, especially with the NFL. They have the best announcers (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Gus Johnson, Chris Gumbel, etc), the nicest looking HD broadcast, and the least caustic pregame show (for those who feel the need to watch them). ESPN treats Monday Night Football like it's the Video Music Awards; NBC has determined you need 17 analysts to properly deliver the game to you (Keith Olbermann? Really?); FOX's pregame circus is irritating, as is their endless in-game promos and distracting (and unnecessarily noisy) game graphics.
(Add to this that CBS hosts The Masters and the NCAA tournament, and there's no contest.)
• No one gives a fuck what Tiki Barber has to say. No one. Wait, let me count again. Nope, still zero.
• Putting a captain's C on various NFL players is pretty stupid. There's also no rhyme or reason to it: it might be an offensive player, 2 defensive players, or both, or neither. Note to NFL: the captaincy thing only works in NHL hockey.
• For my money (e.g., for free), Kissing Suzy Kolber is the funniest goddam NFL site out there, bar none. In fact, I can't read regular non-humorous sports websites anymore.
• Last and least: The Giants. As they proved last night what we already knew: their secondary is among the worst in the league, they can't rush the QB, and their running game is a huge question mark (and Jacobs is now hurt), putting the load mostly on Eli Womanning's fragile, supple shoulders. The Giants will finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs, and Coach Screaming Coughlin will finally have his ass canned. Yep, I foresee another crap season for BIG BLEW!
2007 NFL BLOGNOSTICATIONS!
• Biggest surprises: New Orleans will not make the playoffs, while Cincinnati finally will . . . if they post bail. ZING! (I am officially the 1 millionth blog to make that joke. Thanks.)
• NFC playoff teams: Dallas, Chicago, Carolina, Seattle, Philly, Green Bay
• AFC playoff teams: Indy, Pittsburgh, NE, Cincy, SD, Denver
• Super Bowl: San Diego over Seattle
UPDATE: Eli injured his shoulder, and may be out next week--I told you he had fragile shoulders. Bring on the Pillsbury Throwboy! Also hurting: Jets QB Chad Paperthin!
Everyone always uses the expression "To Hell and Back" to describe a horrible endeavor or experience, without the need to quantify it. But according to Google Maps, if you want to go to Hell and Back, it's only a 1,200 mile drive from Hell, Michigan to Back, Texas, which you could do in under a day. I didn't say it would be pleasant, since after all you have to drive through two Springfields (Illinois and Missouri), Gary, Indiana, St. Louis, the entire state of Oklahoma, and you end up in the Texas panhandle. But if you have a vehicle with air conditioning and some good music, it's manageable.
(Okay, that's the funniest post I could concoct on a Monday.)
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
9. Just like everything else, GM managed to screw up Saturn as well. Meanwhile, there's a bunch of sissified blogulation regarding the iCar, a possible joint venture between Apple and Volkswagen. Personally, I think they're made for each other--both of them preach style over substance, and are overpriced for what you get.
8. I'm Freaking Old Moment #356: I realized that the neck tattoo is not just for prisoners anymore, after seeing an otherwise attractive female sporting a rather conspicuous one. I found it hideous, but I imagine someone out there must like that look.
7. After his much-ballyhooed win at the
6. I have decided to buy a Dell Vostro laptop, because it sounds like an Eastern bloc tennis player. Oh, and because you can get a well-loaded computer at a reasonable price, and there's no "bloatware" (my new favorite word) installed on it. Extended warranty? How can I lose? (Actually, this is one of those rare moments I will actually buy one. I've never owned a laptop, and I guarantee that it will fall apart after 1 day after the normal warranty runs out.)
5. Speaking of tennis, there are only 3 American men in the Top 50 ATP rankings. James Blake and Andy Roddick (and the latter is about to get schooled by Roger Federer tonight) are in the Top 10, and they're not even that spectacular. The other one? Mardy Fish at #41. Yikes. Meanwhile, where is the Russian factory that is churning out these tennis playing girls? (Yeah I know, she lost already, but any excuse to get a Maria Sharapova picture up here.)
4. I'm Freaking Old Moment #443: when asked about the show "The Hills", I realized that I'd never even heard of the show, or knew that it was on MTV for three seasons already. In fact, along with ESPN, I don't remember the last time I voluntarily turned on MTV. Sorry, I'm out of your target demo.
3. I am actually more looking forward to the upcoming hockey season than the NFL season (which starts tomorrow night), maybe because the Devils have more of a fighting chance than the Giants do. In fact, I even know that the Devils play their first 9 games on the road, mainly because of a slew of concerts by Bon Fucking Jovi (that's right, they don't even get to open their own arena). Meanwhile, I just found out that the Giants start their season this Sunday night. Ugh, what a way to kill my interest almost immediately. And that's only the first of FIVE games at 8:15 PM this season. As for the NHL, contrary to the word on the street and what may have been said here in the blogodome, I might actually attend a Devils game at "The Rock", if NJ Transit figures out that new weekend train schedule this fall. There's nothing like live hockey, and I'm sure I'll be sucked in . . . to Newark? Ugh.
2. I'll come right out and say it: I really dislike the work of Kevin Smith. I was even at the legendary Hazlet Multiplex premiere of the original Clerks, and left thoroughly hating the movie. So if you try to sell me a TV show or movie with the caveat "DIRECTED BY KEVIN SMITH!", I will run in the other direction.
1. Have you ever found yourself in France without the means to order a replica of a 1940's Texaco gas pump? Did you ever suffer a summer heat wave in the south of France without a Coca-Cola thermometer? Does your Parisian American-themed restaurant lack that certain art deco je ne sais quoi? Personally, I haven't had any of these problems . . . yet. But if you do, I'm quite certain that there's only one place to go: US-Connection. The authentic (yes, actually made in the USA) American diner furniture looks great, and reminds me of a time when every restaurant wasn't a TGI Applechili's Garden Bistro. And I personally love the decorative enamel signs (if I had my own bar, I would cover the walls with these things). Visit the US-Connection website right now if you're interested!