Saturday, May 31, 2008

WRIST SHOTS: GARY ROBERTS TRIBUTE VIDEO

I don't know if Gary Roberts will singlehandedly beat the Red Wings tonight in Game 3, but this tribute song/video to him is hilarious.



"When Gary Roberts plays Monopoly, it actually effects the world economy!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY: CANDANCE CORLETT

We've made it quite clear in the past they we kinda hate marketers. However, there is a form of life that falls below a marketing agent and that would be a consultant in marketing! Anyway, I don't know anything about Ms. Corlett or WSL Strategic Retail, but I do know that this quote from a NY Times story about deflation in consumer clothing perfectly epitomizes the "if you're in marketing go kill yourself" tag.

During a survey of shoppers in November, 60 percent of the respondents said they had recently begun to stop and reconsider clothing purchases before buying. “To me, that is the scariest thing for retail going forward, because that is a new habit,” Ms. Corlett said.
[NYTIMES]

Thursday, May 29, 2008

R.I.P.: HARVEY KORMAN (1927 - 2008)

Comedian Harvey Korman has passed away at the age of 81. He was an incredibly funny man and will be missed. At least we have his great movies and appearances on The Carol Burnett Show to remember him by.

Now pledge allegiance to Hedy LaMarr!



Sorry, that's HEDLEY.

QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST TROPHY CELEBRATION EVER

The WHL's Spokane Chiefs beat the OHL's Kitchener Rangers to win the 2008 Memorial Cup, awarded to the best Canadian Junior League Hockey team. But the biggest issue is not that they're not from Canada; the mishap that follows might be the most hilarious celebration I've ever seen.



The look on their faces are priceless. Even better: it was brought to you live on the NHL Network!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

OPEN LETTER TO PARISIAN CONCERT GOERS

DEAR PARIS:
A: Moshing is dead.
1. Moshing was invented in the late 70s or early 80s and was usually practiced by dead-beat punk-rock fans with nothing to lose.
2. Moshing was perfected by my generation around 1996 (there is some schools of thought that believe it's pinnacle was at Homerpalooza in Syracuse in July 1996).
3. Moshing fell out of favor and died in the early 2000s.
4. It is now 2008, there is no reason for you to be practicing this archaic art-form.
5. If you must mosh, do so at any of the "teen-friendly" acts, such as Hannah Montana or Justin Timberlake. Mature acts such as the Black Keys are for adults to go and have fun at, not dodge (or elbow) 15 year old juvie escapees.

Sincerely,
Your Superiors
(/Grampa Simpson)

The worst part of the Black Keys show was this horde of 15-18 year-olds who decided to mosh at the exact point (~10 feet in front of Dan) that we were standing. At least a couple of them got elbowed in the jaw and lost teeth and/or got crowd-surfed right onto their heads.

This show was fucking excellent. I got to Paris at around 3pm on Tuesday afternoon. Took the Metro to my buddy Alex's apartment and pulled a bottle of JD out of my bag. We had our first whiskey by 3:30 and in the next two-and-a-half hours, we finished 1/2 a bottle between us and while smoking cigarillos. A bite to eat and right to The Bataclan for Akron Ohio's own BLACK KEYS!

They had two opening acts, which dragged on for a bit, although the drummer (who unfortunately seems to like pants) for the second group (the Ettes) was lovely.

Finally around 9pm (after a 7pm start!) The Unabomber's brother and his drummer-accomplice took the stage. I don't know exactly what the play list was (they mixed in some good old stuff "10AM Automatic," "Stack-Shot Billy," "The Breaks"), but basically it was non-stop rock'n'roll for 20 minutes, followed by "You're the One" followed by non-stop rock'n'roll for another 30 minutes. Break. Encore of "Psychotic Girl" and "I Got Mine". Thank you, good night and by 11pm we were drinking beer in a bar. These boys really know how to rock. I expected the show to be more bluesy and while the blues are always there, Dan's concert guitar work is fucking hard and brilliant and in the manner that he beats on his Gibson, it's obvious that he learned a few things about beating objects from Ike Turner before his snowy train-ride to hell.

I tried to take a few pictures with the Blackberry, but the image quality is pretty damn shitty (and no video is available nor sound recording with "The Pearl"). I'll be monitoring the youtubes for videos from Bataclan that I'll pop up here if I find one.

All-in-all a great show and I would not hesitate to go seem them again. Now I have to decide if I'm going to drop 70E to see Tom Waits at The Grand Rex Theatre at the end of July.

[UPDATE]

"Stack Shot Billy" from last night (27 may 2008) with necessary shit-sound.


"Your Touch" - Sound is terrible as well

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

WRIST SHOTS: PANIC IN DETROIT

WTF happened to the "marquee matchup" we were supposed to get?

The Stanley Cup finals just started, but they already feel like they're over. They've only played two games in Detroit but it's already apparent who is the better team. I think Sidsburgh's ill-fated goal-free visit to Hockeytown can be summed up by Flipper's deal-sealing goal in last night's 3-0 Game 2 win.

The Red Wings have outshot, outworked, and outplayed the Penguins in every facet of the game. While Crosby has been working hard, Maklin has been invisible (being put on the 3rd line last night surely didn't help), the D has been spotty and mistake-prone, and Bloomin' Marc once again looks like his ordinary self.

Detroit is a talented team, there's no denying that. But man, once they get a lead they clamp down with that trap just as severely as the those NJ Devils Cup winning teams everyone complains about. I don't have a rooting interest here so I just want to see some great hockey (and I'm just hoping for a long series, which has all but slipped away) but that 3rd period in Game 1, and most of Game 2, was nearly impossible to watch.

Sure, it's only two games and a lot can still happen in this series (he said optimistically), but it turns out that the Campbell Conference competitors are simply stronger. I'd feel better if the Penguins played two well-played, close-fought games at the Joe, but that clearly hasn't happened. Nah, the Pens had a good run through the East (they certainly fooled me), but this is over. Now Western Pennsyltuckians can focus on the Pirates--D'OH!

Anyone for golf?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

CUP PICKS

Yes, I know, generally picking your choice for the winner happens before the series starts. Last round I sent my picks in after the Wings had beat Dallas in game 1 (although I still picked Dallas to win that series). I went a stunning 0-2 in the last round and 1-3 in the previous round. Therefore, my picks mean absolutely nothing.

I am going with the Wings. The Pittsburgh fans bug me to no end with their hero-worship and we're-better-than-youisms. Sidney Christ will most likely bring the cup to Pittsburgh sometime in the near future, but that time isn't now.

WINGS IN 5

I do know the wings won game 1.

Friday, May 23, 2008

2008 STANLEY CUP FINALS EXTRAVAGANZA

Soooo . . . who won the Stanley Cup? That should be over by now, right? What? It's not? Sources tell me the Stanley Cup Finals between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins starts tonight! Keeping with the Indy theme here on the blog, I stole the excellent Photoshop poster at left from the hilarious Pensblog: Quest for the Holy Grail. Sidney grew that "beard" a month ago merely to look like Harrison Ford's scruffy Indy character. It's all making sense now.

(I also love this girl's MAKLIN sweater. Fail indeed.)

Anyway, here's a quick guide to the nicknames we might be using here at the OH blog during this series:

Datsyuk = Gadzooks
Rafalski = Raffi
Franzen = Hanzenfranz
Osgood = Charles/various Ozzy Osbourne jokes
Hasek = The Benchwarminator
Valtteri Filppula = Flipper
Kris Draper = Curtains
Zetterberg = Zeppo
Niklas Lidstrom = The Lid

Sidney Crosby = Sidney Christ
MAF = Bloomin' Marc (his name means "In Bloom"; incidentally also a great Nirvana song)
Ruutu = Jerko Ruudetoo
George Laraque = Black Rock (no, I'm not being racist, it's a LOST reference)
Malkin = Russian Bride, Maklin
Gonchar = Gunshy
Sykora = Sicko
Marion Hossa = Marianne, or Marion Ravenswood (obligatory Indy Jones reference)
Jordan Staal = Staal III
Tyler Kennedy = TFK, Jr.

(Yeah, that's the best I could come up with. It's not great, but then again I've been half-assing everything lately.)

Overall this is a great matchup, the one the NHL probably wanted to see but not the one imagined by Canadian viewers. Regardless, it should be a good series: youth vs. experience, speedy forwards vs. solid blueliners, and two goalies playing way better than anyone expected.

PLAYERS TO WATCH. Everyone will be fixated on Christ and His Russian Bride, Zeppo, and Marianne. So I'm just going to tell you to watch out for Gadzooks and The Lid because good things happen when they're on the ice.

OFFENSIVE ADVANTAGE. Sidsburgh, with their combination of youth, speed and playmakers.

DEFENSIVE ADVANTAGE. Wings, with Raffi and the The Lid.

GOALTENDING ADVANTAGE. This is a surprisingly close matchup, but I give the nod to Ozzy because the D in front of him has been rock solid. And if the octopus hits the fan, they can always turn to the well-rested Benchwarminator.

ODDS ODDITIES. The odds are greater for the Wings winning in 5 games (4-1) than in 6 (5-1), which I found strange; I guess this is because they'd play Game 5 (if necessary, and it will be) at home. As of right now, the price is: Pittsburgh Penguins +145 Detroit Red Wings -165.

The "miscellaneous" odds are pretty funny.
  • Will Al Sabotka or any member of the Red Wings staff be fined by the NHL for improperly handling an octopus* during the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals? (Yes -700 (Yes Only))
  • Will there be an octopus thrown on ice at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh ? (Yes -700,
    No +350)
  • Will a player from the losing team in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals be awarded the 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy? (Yes +750, No -1500)
  • Will there be a 5 minute fighting major penalty called during the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals? (Yes +700, No -1400)
But honestly, you'd have to be a complete idiot/degenerate to bet on hockey.

*Bettman is an incredible douche (upgrade from his current status as "total douche") if he fines anyone for this harmless yet disgusting Red Wings tradition.

"EXPERT" PICKS.
Ashley (Ultimate Hat Trick): DET (in 6)
Buccigross (ESPN): PIT (in 6)
Going Five Hole: PIT (in 6)
Greg "Yahoo! Puck Daddy" Wyshynski: PIT (in 6)
Kukla: DET (in 7)
Maggie the Monkey: PIT
Barry Melrose: DET (in 6)
McKenzie (TSN): DET
Melrose Rocks: DET (in 7)
Milbury: DET
Mirtle: DET (in 6)

WTF? Bill Simmons actually mentioned the NHL in a positive light in his latest column.
Sid the Kid, the return of Don Cherry, the old Flyers uniforms, Montreal self-combusting, the four-OT game, Bucci and Barry, Chris Osgood clipping the dude with the butt of his stick, HD telecasts, a Wings-Pens Finals ... I have to admit, I'm enjoying the NHL playoffs. No, really. I even figured out how to find the games on my cable system and everything.
Uh huh. Naturally, he had to get a sideways jab at VERSUS in there. This is the same Beantown douche who wrote off the league a few years ago when the Bruins were in the dumpster. Suddenly, they're in the playoffs and he's watching again? Fuck off, Boston Sports Guy. Oh, and Giants 17, Pats 14.

BLOGNOSTICATION. Yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to do this but . . . PENGUINS IN 6.

Let's drop the puck already!

RANDOM YOUTUBERY: KIDS IN THE HALL "GIRL DRINK DRUNK"

Just one word of advice when drinking this Memorial Day weekend: don't turn into a Girl Drink Drunk.



Chocolate Choo-choo! Tastes like candy!

I came across this mixed drink recipe, and it's quite possibly the most awful drink I've ever heard of.

Baltimore Zoo
1 shot vodka
1 shot light rum
1 shot gin
1 shot triple sec
1 shot Southern Comfort® peach liqueur
1 shot amaretto almond liqueur
1 shot grenadine syrup
1 dash sweet and sour mix
1 splash beer
Add the liquors and grenadine to a highball glass with ice. Top off with sweet and sour mix, add a splash of beer, and stir.

Uggggggghhhhhhh. Not only must it be awful to drink, it's also incredibly, unabashedly gay! If you order this at a bar you deserved to get cockpunched.

DON'T YOU HATE PANTS? SWIMSUIT-MODEL-TURNED-ACTRESS EDITION

If I had a dime for every "swimsuit-model-turned-actress" there's ever been, I'd have a whole shitload of dimes. How many swimsuit-models-turned-actresses have won the Oscar? Zero. That's why next year they should have an award for Best Swimsuit Model Turned Actress; I might actually tune in.

Since the unofficial start of the summer season, Memorial Day, is upon us, what better time to declare your hatred for pants and sport that bikini, ladies? Here's SI swimsuit model Michelle Lombardo who has acted in something or other, probably.



She's got that smile that says, "You know, I don't really HATE pants, but I really prefer not to wear them, you know?"



Michelle Lombardo [#59 on AskMen's 2008 Top 99 Women]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

CLASSIC HOME VIDEOGAMES: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (ATARI 2600, 1982)

Since it's Indy 4th here in the States (which should be a national hoilday, but whatever), I decided to post the first in a series of tributes to video games that I spent a lot of time playing as a kid. These meant a lot to me growing up, and effected me in some way, probably negatively.

I had the Raiders of the Lost Ark videogame for the Atari 2600 back in 1982. Right off the bat, it was hard to understand and seemed to have very little to do with the movie. As I recall I could only get as far as the Map Room and couldn't figure it out what to do next. This game just made me feel like a dummy. This marked the first time a video game was so confounding that I couldn't solve it (I would later add many games to that list). But since there was no "internet" to help you walkthrough the game, you had to rely on word of mouth and some abstract logic to solve it.

Here's a helpful video guide showing someone beating this classic craptacular puzzle game in real time. I know you've all been waiting for this.



* The inventory system was pretty groundbreaking at the time, listing all the objects you were carrying along the bottom of the screen. Here it looks like Indy picks up his bullwhip, gun, flute (to charm the snakes, duh), key, grenade, clock, hourglass, an ankh, and all sorts of other things I can't remember. You could only use one at a time, though. The other thing that was irksome: the icon on the screen frequently looked different than the inventory icon (pile of coins becomes a sack), so you had to be paying attention.

* I love how back then a grenade was just a single pixel (0:53), and you didn't even get to see the explosion, you only heard an off-screen "beep". Nowadays, videogame grenades are photorealistic and can be used to blow yourself up in spectacular ways in Liberty City.

* Using the grappling hook (yes, that's what that blue circling dot is at 2:40) to get across the desert mesa tops was maddening.

* Ah, then there's the Map Room (3:30). No, not the amazing Chicago beer bar, but the crappy pixelated one that told you where to dig for the Ark of the Covenant. The most excruitating thing about this board was that, just like in the movie, you had to wait for the "sun" to point to the proper place. And wait. And wait. Here it takes well over 2 minutes (FF to 5:38) for the little flashing dot to pop up on the map. Just imagine a 12 year old just sitting and staring at the screen for that long! I didn't have the patience (or probably thought the game was broken) so this is where I stopped.

* You then to avoid the "thieves" in the marketplace who would steal your loot (a board that suspiciously resembled "Frogger") to the Black Market (6:22) to buy a shovel. That's right, guns and grenades are readily available in garbage cans 15 seconds into the game, but shovels are treated as illegal contraband.

* I also love how the bullwhip can break through walls (7:18) which I never knew was possible, and which certainly didn't happen in the movie.

* For some reason he buys three parachutes (8:55)? You lost me. (I guess you could miss and have to buy another, but he makes it on the first try.)

* Now to the convoluted endgame: with the ankh in hand, you have to parachute down to the tree limb, avoid more "thieves" and dig at the proper spot (9:23). Voila! There's the Ark! Come to think of it, it's easier to accomplish here than in the movie.

This guide explains everything up to the Map Room.



What a bizarre little puzzle game this was.

(I realize that I'm the only one who cares about this stuff. Yes, I'm queer for Indy.)

Raiders of the Lost Ark video game [Wikipedia]

STANLEY CUP COMMERCIAL

Since most of the time I'm on this blog making fun of the NHL's lousy commercials, this time I'm posting one they got right:



That's fantastic.

Penguins in 6.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

T-SHIRT OF THE DAY

Since playoff hockey doesn't resume until Saturday, and I don't feel compelled to write about anything else (good thing I don't get paid for this), here's a T-shirt from Thinkgeek that I like.



Meh. It's a t-shirt.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

JONESING FOR SOME MOVIE ENTERTAINMENT

It's finally here!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be in theaters on May 22. I have already declared my geekdom for all things Indy, as you might remember. While others might soak up every last drop of news and reviews, I refuse to read anything before seeing it in the theater because I want to go into it fresh and without any preconceptions. Because of the worldwide interwebs, everything gets spoiled and you can't possibly avoid hearing bits and pieces about it (NY Daily News gave it 4 out of 5 stars! The Onion is already making pithy jokes!) but I'm going to try my hardest to filter it all out, akin to shutting my eyes so my face doesn't melt.

So what exactly is a crystal skull? I'm glad you asked. Allegedly, they are pre-Columbian Mesoamerican (Mayan or Aztec) artifacts made of clear or milky quartz carved into the shape of a skull, purported by some to have paranormal powers. Several skulls have been found that were thought to have been authentic, but have later been determined to be of more modern origin (the two main ones, British Museum Skull and the Mitchell-Hedges Skull have dubious backstories). However, I predict that ace archaeologist Dr. Jones will find a real one with psychic healing powers that gives anyone who comes into contact with it eternal happiness, provides the Secrets of the Universe, and as a helpful side effect, eradicates Communism from the planet (not necessarily in that order).

Regardless, it will be impossible to watch this movie without thinking of those that came before it. However, I'm going to be realistic; as I said before, while it can't possibly beat the unrelenting fun of the original Raiders, I hope it will at least be better than the Temple of Doom.

What will today's teenagers think of this latest movie? I'm guessing that because of its nostalgic appeal and old fashioned adventure style that it's not going to be as embraced by that demographic as readily as the first two movies were. It doesn't have the smash 'em up CGI action of a Transformers, the comic book badassery of Batman or Iron Man, or the mystical magic of a Narnia or Harry Potter. However, when I was that age I ate this shit up; fittingly, my 9 and 11 year old nieces were intrigued by Raiders when I turned it on during USA's marathon a few weekends ago, so there is hope for them. Though, I would prefer it if the youngsters weren't in the theater bothering me this weekend. I don't want anything to get between me and my enjoyment of Indiana Jones, dammit. If I had a lawn, I'd yell at them to stay off of it.

Here's the trailer for the movie, which is pretty much all I know about it.



(What? No Nazis? I guess Cold War Commies are a fitting substitution.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

TRAILER: "TROPIC THUNDER" (2008)

I have to admit, Ben Stiller has not done much for me lately; he kind of lost me after the completely unnecessary Meet The Fockers. However, this (red line/R-rated) trailer for Tropic Thunder, a new action/comedy he wrote/directed, is pretty damn funny.

BOOK REVIEW: "DIARIES 1969-1979 THE PYTHON YEARS" BY MICHAEL PALIN

DIARIES 1969-1979: The Python Years by Michael Palin - Front CoverAnd now for something completely different: a book review. I recently read DIARIES 1969-1979: The Python Years by Michael Palin, a weighty tome (over 600 pages) of entries from his personal diaries. The bulk of the book is quite dry, and some of it is probably only meant for his own family to recollect, but much of the behind the scenes creative stuff is interesting for a Monty Python fan like myself.

Some things I learned:

* Michael seemed to be the most level-headed, sensible, and family-oriented of the bunch. I mean, the man went home and wrote a diary most days, so you're not going to find any really wild groupie stories here.

* There didn't seem to be any rampant drug use amongst the six Python members, just a lot of drinking and some occasional smoking of weed. Maybe he didn't really see most of what when on (he was and is devoted to his wife and kids), but I found that rather surprising considering their absurdist senses of humor.

* There were two main camps in Python: Eric and John, and Michael and Terry J, who were regular squash partners. Terry G did his own thing, and Graham Chapman's major allies were gin and tonic (always late for Python writing meetings, he suffered a nervous breakdown before filming Life of Brian and was told at the start of 1978 to never drink again).

* Though Michael doesn't really have a bad word to say about any of his colleagues, John Cleese comes off as an insufferable, arrogant asshole. The eldest and most selfish of the group, he basically wanted nothing to do with the Python show on BBC after the first two seasons, even before Channel 13 in New York premiered the show in US in April 1975 (he left after season 3). Never joining them on publicity tours in the States, he was content to make money on voice over and commercial work, and while writing Life of Brian he basically declared that the movie had better make him a lot of money. He was driving a Rolls Royce at the time, and in the midst of splitting up with his first of three wives, Connie Booth.

Of course, he is very good as a pitchman, as evidenced by the Compaq commercials that ran during the 1984 Olympics.



* Beatle George Harrison was a huge fan, and even had the group re-record "The Lumberjack Song" at his studio. He also appeared onstage with them (uncredited and unannounced) during a Live At City Center stage show in NYC in February 1975.

Here are a few great sketches featuring Michael Palin.

MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS - ARGUMENT SKETCH



MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS - CHEESE SHOP

NEWS: HILLARY WAS DEFEATED BY NON-RASCIST SEXISTS

The Obligatory "Hillary's Crazy" picture.
Fuck the NYT right in their old grey lady pants.

Has anyone, for one second, thought that maybe if Obama[-rama] wins the nomination it's because 1) the best possible candidate won and 2) people are sick of -the Clintons and -Hillary's bullshit politicking?

I don't have time to really delve into this, but I call major bullshit that Hillary's failed campaign represents an "incomplete triumph or a depressing reminder of why few [women] pursue high office in the first place."

Obviously there are still sex-based issues in most Western countries, but Obama's eventual nomination is purely a case of the best-possible candidate winning.

Friday, May 16, 2008

NHL.COM: THE INTERVIEW THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN

The guys at MYFO like to make up elaborate certain conversations; like the one in the Modano/Ford marital bed or what Offspace would have been if it took place in Canada. This is a great idea because 1) fact-checking takes much less time and 2) It's even easier to make fun of Gary Bettman.

Anyway, some say mimicry is the best form of flattery. All I know is it's easier to steal MYFO's idea than it is to come up one of my own.

NHL.com. If you knew [the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh] series was going to end with Sidney Christ going home, would you do something different?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: No. I always hate to speculate about what might happen. So even my mere answering your perfectly appropriate question would suggest that we even think in those terms.

But depending on how these series end, we have a variety of contingency plans that deal with whether or not we would waive the trade deadline to allow Malkin and Crosby to play on a finals team.

Q. Very well said.

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Thank you (smiling).
[...]
Q. Going forward, is there any talk about expansion, especially some potentially attractive markets out there, Las Vegas, Mexico City?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: There are expressions of interest that we've been getting from a variety of places, Vegas, Cancun, Istanbul. We're looking into a number of different methods to attain maximal market saturation using a push-pull method of expansion through traditional and non-traditional consumer outreach.
Did you know that GOOOOOOOL! is Spanish for "goal" in hockey too?!?
[...]
Q. Is it important to have goalies on the goalie equipment committee?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: That was actually our thinking. Since our formally-binding decision may slightly affect their job, we felt the least we could do was allow goalies the impression of a involvement. Off the record, you realize we don't really care. The market will determine if they keep their pads or if we decide that the best move would involve Reebok...umm...RBK, working up some kind of "jogging pant" and a sort of T-shirt that would allow the true skill of the player to been seen.

Q. There's been a significant amount of criticism over the refereeing in this year's post season. How do you respond to these critics?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: I honestly haven't heard any more misplaced critiques than you tend to hear each post-season. As you know, the hockey fan-base is the absolute best in the world and when a team loses, there will always been certain kind of fan who will never be happy with the result.

Additionally, we are seeing the rise of unprecedented levels of blogging and everyone knows that while bloggers on a basic level are good, they are not true professionals. You mustn't confuse what these jobless folks do in their mother's basements and what the true heros do in the War Room in Toronto.
It's a start. Hopefully, it's be funnier in the future.

DON'T YOU HATE PANTS? PART ASIAN EDITION

I don't know who Misa Campo is, and I don't care. All I know is she's 50% Phillipino, 50% Dutch, and 100% hot.


It also appears that she hates pants and steadfastly refuses to wear them.


LET'S GO HABS! (Whoops, too late.)


Yeah, I'm exhausted after that too.

Misa Campo [MySpace site]
Official Site

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MY OFFICIAL STANCE ON NHL OFFICIATING

Game 3 Pens/Penguins disallowed goalOkay, this is the last time I'm going to say it: I'm so sick of people crying about the officiating in the playoffs.

Everyone sitting in their living room that has a huge HD screen providing them multiple camera angles and instant replays, as well as those watching NHL.TV on their computers and awful-quality replays on YouTube, obviously know better than the trained professionals who are watching the game in real time, skating up and down the ice, and communicating directly with the players and coaches to try to insure the two teams are playing a clean game. Give me a break.

Much has been made about "goalie interference" in this postseason. Here's the main problem with this infraction: despite what you might think, it's no longer a black and white "in the crease or not" foul, it's a judgment call that depends on the interpretation of the referee. Here's an excerpt from Rule 78: Protection of Goalkeeper:

The rule is based on the premise that an attacking player's position,
whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a
goal should be allowed or disallowed - i.e., goals scored while attacking
players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed.
Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his
positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to move freely
within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates more
than incidental contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal
crease.

Yes, the way it's written is vague, and therefore the calls are going to vary depending on the situation, the flow of the game, the ref who makes the call and whether or not he's in the position to witness it. But if your team gets penalized for it once, I guarantee that there are 5 or 6 times it WASN'T seen and/or called. It's the ultimate "hindsight is 20/20" bullshit argument to go back and compare slo-mo replays of two different plays 5000 times and critique the refs. But it's just not realistic, and taken out of context, it's not fair.

I think a bigger problem is the NHL giving the officials specific instructions regarding which calls they should be focusing on. I heard on XM Home Ice the other day that there were something like 13 goalie interference calls in the first round, and only 2 in the second round (albeit, there are less games, but that's still a large difference). While it's possible the players "learned their lesson", I would be willing to bet that the NHL told their officials to "let them play" in most instances and allow more of those goals to count. After all, a 7-5 game is much better than a 1-0 OT game, right? (Right, Gary?)

Back in the day, the two teams would find out who was refereeing that night ("Crap, we got Kerry Fraser tonight!") and they knew what to expect. But they're no longer allowed to have their own refereeing "style", to call the game the way they see it and use penalties to control a game. The league wants them to be "consistent" throughout the playoffs, and I argue that it's impossible to do that if they're constantly being instructed, second-guessed and closely monitored in some secret room in Toronto.

The bottom line is this: the game moves incredibly fast, and everything can't possibly be called the way you think it should. If you think a team got jobbed on one call, there's an equally good chance they also got away with something during the same game. Just deal with it.

(But how did they wave off that goal in the Penguins/Flyers Game 3 (see picture)? Hey, it could be worse: you could have the IIHF officiating crew who allowed a goal in the Finland vs. USA game that went THROUGH the outside of the net.)

NHL.COM: HARD HITTING INTERVIEWS

I was flipping through NHL.com today trying to see if they showed the replay of the fake goalie interference on Holmstrom (whose ass was over-the-line although nothing was touching the paint) and the uncalled (yet real) interference on Loui Eriksson.

Enough virtual ink has been spilled on the bullshit-refereeing this post season and I'm not going to waste more, but I did see that NHL.com had a "Gary Bettman Transcript" link on the home page. I thought maybe Bettman addressed his horribly-inconsistent ref crew. Alas, the interview was before the game (lucky Gary!), but he did have to answer some difficult questions:

Q. If these series do end today, tomorrow, Saturday, is there a provision to move the Stanley Cup Final up or do we have to wait till the 26th?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: No. I always hate to speculate about what might happen. So even my mere answering your perfectly appropriate question would suggest that we even think in those terms.

But depending on when these series end, we have a variety of contingency plans that deal with whether or not the series go the distance or whether or not they don't.

Q. Very well said.

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Thank you (smiling).
[...]
Q. Going forward, is there any talk about expansion, especially some potentially attractive markets out there, Las Vegas, Seattle?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: There are expressions of interest that we've been getting from a variety of places, which have been well-chronicled: Kansas City, Seattle, Winnipeg, Las Vegas.
[...]
Q. Is it important to have scorers on the goalie equipment committee?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: That was actually our thinking. Both the Players' Association members are a mix of goaltenders and shooters, and we did the same thing. All of our members are GMs who were former players, both as skaters and as goaltenders. So we're going to try and get a balance of view as to the best way to proceed.
Honestly, I've seen beer-league softballs thrown harder than that. This entire "transcript" is just a way to all Gary Asshat to play the politician and answer questions with varying levels of bullshit.

[That drawing is part of a collection by Ken Henderson. He had a bunch of different NHL/Bettman Sucks related images on his site]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PUTTING THE BISCUIT IN THE SHOPPING BASKET

Selling the NHL has been a tricky business. They seem to use two approaches when creating NHL commercials: dead serious with an emphasis on tradition, and incredibly silly. Personally, I tend to prefer the latter, like the ones shown in this montage.



"Swedish twins? I thought that was just a myth!"

The GAME ON! commercials from 2005 declaring the NHL's return from the lockout were also very funny, like this one from that campaign featuring Marty Turco.



And why don't they make some more like NHL ROAD TRIP
? That was the last decent hockey commercial anyone has ever made.



However, the NHL and VERSUS seemingly has lost its sense of humor this time around. Though I was literally laughing out loud at one of the latest VERSUS commercials for the Pens/Lyers series last night, it was for a different reason. It was basically a loving B/W* montage of HOCKEY JESUS and a freeze frame that read "Sidney Crosby" for extra emphasis (as if we didn't already know). They then showed a bunch of shots of those nobodies over in Philly, whatever who cares, TUNE IN TO SEE SIDNEY PLAY SOME OTHER TEAM IN GAME 3 TONIGHT! Yes, the ratings on VERSUS have been on the upswing, and I realize that Sid is a big part of the selling of the league but that's ridiculous. And those high ratings, the best for the network since they began showing the NHL 3 years ago, have everything to do with two cities (Philly and Pittsburgh) that have firmly entrenched hockey fan bases and little to do with marketing.
(*Why do the latest batch of VERSUS commericals use that "black and white" gimmick? I feel like I'm watching a 1947 newsreel before the latest "talkie" begins. How about you use some HIGH DEFINITION FOOTAGE? There might be some of it laying around somewhere.)

Meanwhile,
ESPN is doing its part to undermine the appeal of the NHL by featuring Don Cherry on SportsCenter as their "hockey expert", and I'm beginning to long for the good old days (last week) when they barely acknowledged that the league existed. For his new job, he apparently decided to buy some even LOUDER suits. (Think about that one for a minute.) They've only provided the league with negative publicity as they've already had to "edit" some of Cherry's characteristically off-color commentary. I can only assume no one from ESPN listened to his previous body of work before hiring him, and instead some Bristol bigwig just picked up the phone and screamed: "Operator, get me Canada! [pause] Hello, Canada? Get us that hockey guy that dresses even more like a pimp than Barry Melrose and Stewart Scott combined, and tell him he's hired!"

The last time ESPN did right by hockey was this commercial from 1996, featuring Rob Ray as a security guard.



"NEXT TIME! HAVE SOME! I.D.!"

Even FOX had a good NHL ad (before they screwed the pooch with the glow puck).


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WRIST SHOTS: WHY I'M THE KISS OF DEATH

DALLAS - MAY 12: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings scores a first period goal past goaltender Marty Turco #35 of the Dallas Stars during game tthree of the Western Conference Finals of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 12, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. The Red Wings defeated the Stars 5-2 to set the series at 3-0 Red Wings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)The Stanley Cup Playoffs are humming right along, with both Detroit and Pittsburgh holding commanding leads in their respective series. Once again, I really hope no one listens to me or reads my horrendous blognostications, as everything I've said has been a complete kiss of death. Let's wrap up what damage I've done so far.

CALLED BRIERE "DAN THE MAN" -- In 40:41 of ice time in 2 games, Danny has 2 shots, no points, a -3, and 2 PIM, as he's been hounded by Jordan Staal.

SAID FRANZEN WOULD "DISAPPEAR" -- Johan has been out since Game 1 with a concussion. (Hey, I was right about that one. No, I'm not proud of that.)

PRAISED MARTY TURCO'S POSTSEASON PERFORMANCE -- In 3 games vs. Red Wings, 3.71 GAA, 11 goals allowed on 86 shots (.872 SV%).

PROCLAIMED OSGOOD WOULDN'T STEP UP -- 1.33 GAA, 53 of 57 shots stopped (.930).

PREDICTED THAT DALLAS WOULD WIN -- They are down 3-0 and on the verge of being swept.

LIKED PASCAL DUPUIS -- 0 points, 4 PIM, 3 SOG.

SAID TO WATCH MODANO -- 2 total shots on goal (0 in Game 3).

Blech.

In other words, I'm done with the blognosticating and I'm just going to watch hockey from now on.

Happy golf season, everyone!

NHL FATHEADS!

There's something about the Fathead, those giant lifesize wall hangings, that is intriguing. It is simultaneously the ultimate way to declare your fandom and a hideous interior decorating choice. The Steelers' Big Ben was the initial "spokes"person for this idea, and his subsequent championship helped boost sales and put the company on the map. Additionally, his helmetless motorcycle accident proved his head is fatter than most.

If you must decorate your abode (or office, though I can't imagine any corporate environment allows this) with a massive sports figure or logo, and assuming you already own Homer Says, why not choose the NHL?

Though Kris does not agree (he probably wants Maxim "For Men" Afinogenov, which is sadly not available) how great would it be to have Sidney Christ, the Hockey Jesus, staring down at you giving you guidance and warmth throughout all of your days?

SID THE KID FATHEAD

You can even get Sid The Kid, way back in his pre-Messianic days in 2005, or Year 1 A.C. (After Crosby).

As always Rob had a much better idea: Maria Sharapova.

SHARAPOVA FATHEAD

Hey, watch the coffee table! Though I would have chosen one of her many bikini shots (are these things stain resistant?), this easily beats his idea of getting Tiki Barber a few years ago (do they have an updated one with him wearing an NBC Today Show blazer on it?).

However, this one I don't understand: The Stanley Cup. It's not a team or an athlete, so what are you rooting for exactly? The Cup itself? If so, you win every year!

Of course, this one rules them all:



Gary Bettman: the Ultimate NHL Fathead.

This just in: Bettman sucks.

Monday, May 12, 2008

WRIST SHOTS: HIT BY THE RIBEIRO TRUCK

I spent the weekend at my sister's VERSUS-free household to see the family for Mother's Day and didn't see ONE SECOND of hockey: not a highlight, not a mention on ESPN (shocking!) or the local news, not a single online highlight reel. It was probably for the best, since the only thing that anyone is talking about is the ridiculous Game 2 Osgood butt-end/Ribeiro two-handed baseball swing to the chest protector/Osgood's excellent "I've just been shot by a sniper in the rafters" acting job. A stupid play by both of them.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't post Henrik Zetterberg's spectacular goal from the previous round (Game 4 vs. Colorado on 5/1/2008).



Egads! That might be the goal of the year. (And he's from EUROPE!)

I did get to listen to the Penguins radio call (via XM) of the Game 2 win against vs. the Lyers last night, featuring the imitable play-by-play announcer Mike Lange. After "Mad" Maxime Talbot scored what proved to be the winning goal he declared, "Oh, she wants to sell my monkey!"



I have no idea what that means but it cracked me up. For all those people who rant about his colorful calls, I say: GET A SENSE OF HUMOR. If you take away personality from hockey, you'd end up with something like the NBA or arena league football. (I suppose this is a backhanded endorsement of Don "Holy Crap What Is He Wearing?" Cherry, but so be it. Oh, I do agree with those annoyed by Tampa Bay's Dave Mishkin's screeching, though.)

One other note: VERSUS did end up showing the hockey game in HD on Friday. Whether or not it was due to voluminous fan complaints or a fleeting moment of common sense on the network's part, it was good to see. (Of course, I didn't actually get to see it but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.) Any praise I give VERSUS will essentially be nullified if they decide to re-visit "puck tracking technology". Did you learn nothing from the horrid FOX glow puck?

Hey, if you weren't sick of Seth "Apatow's Bitch" Rogan already, he apparently plays hockey (or at least dresses the part, complete with Hanson Brothers-esque glasses) in Kevin Smith's new movie.

Friday, May 9, 2008

RANDOM YOUTUBERY: RUFF STUFF (HA HA BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS)

This clip was one of those related to the "Have Another Doughnut" post from a few days ago, and I thought it was funny and interesting enough to post. The Flyers' Craig Berube, in his attempt to punch Rangers Lindy Ruff, catches (and bloodies) linesman Kevin Collins instead.



Interesting notes:
* Lindy Ruff is currently the coach of the Sabres, and is still a feisty competitor even if his team isn't;
* The commentary is by Mike "Doc" Emrick and Bill "Hands of Cement" Clement;
* Craig "The Chief" Berube is the current coach of the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms, who are currently at the brink of elimination down 3-1 at the hands of that other Penguins team from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (sponsored by Dunder-Mifflin) in the Calder Cup playoffs.

If you ever get annoyed at the playoff referees you can always watch this meleé instead.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

DON'T YOU HATE PANTS? UK EDITION

After spending way too much time (yes, it is possible) in a strip club over the weekend, I have a new sense of appreciation for the natural female form. Keeley Hazell, who gained notoriety as a 'Page 3' girl in England's The Sun, is one such "natural" woman, if you know what I'm saying. I hope this illustration helps:



Google image searches of her are not only among the LEAST SAFE FOR WORK, they also confirm her all-consuming hatred for pants.



Since she's overtly flaunting her assets in every photo ever taken of her, it's possible she merely harbors distrust or apathy towards pants. However, she doesn't seem to hate shirts that are at least 3 sizes too small for her. Whatever the case may be, it's landed her at #13 on the 2008 AskMen Top 99 internet spank-fodder list.

Keeley Hazell [Official Site]

2008 STANLEY CUP CONFERENCE FINALS PREVIEW

And then there were four.

Though I only guessed two correctly last time around (Sidsburgh and Detroit), and seriously waffled on my choice of Dallas, I therefore give myself a grade of 2½/4. (It's my blog, so I can do that.) Kris only got 1/4 but let's face it: he's in France illegally bootlegging pirated NHL games through WorldWide interwebs file sharing (or so Congress understands it)--he's a menace to société. Anyway, let's once again reset the teams and look at the conference finals:

Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco speaks with reporters in preparation for Game 1 of the NHL hockey Western Conference finals against the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit, Wednesday, May 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Clarence Campbell [Western] Conference
(1) Detroit vs. (5) Dallas

PLAYER YOU WILL BE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT: Johan Franzen. He's from Europe! He will disappear this round, as Turc 1.73 is 1000% better than Josie Theodoormat.
PLAYER THEY SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT: Mike Modano. Last time I checked we're in America dammit, and now that the Canadians have already turned their attention to the IIHF, curling and competitive drinking, it's time to salute the "best American born forward married to a hot wife".
PLAYER THAT WILL MAKE YOU HATE NHL HOCKEY: Chris Chelios. I don't hate him per sé, just the fact that he's worn out his welcome and really should retire already. I am currently tied for playoff points with him, and I haven't skated in over a year.
PLAYER THAT WILL BREAK OUT THIS ROUND: Brad Richards. He's been lurking, but he's going to be a force in this series.
BEST PLAYOFF BEARD: Marty Turco, who is looking positively Steven Segalian.
X-FACTOR: Chris Osgood. Now that The Dominator has been relegated to bench warmer, it will be up to Ozzy to step up. He won't.
BLOGNOSTICATION: Stars in 7.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates by during drills at practice at Mellon Arena, in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 7, 2008 before they face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference final playoff hockey series later this week. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)Prince of Wales [Eastern] Conference
(2) Pittsburgh vs. (6) Philadelphia

PLAYER YOU WILL BE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT: Sidney Crosby. Yeah, that's redundant since everyone but Penguins fans are sick of him (even though he lives up to the hype).
PLAYER THEY SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT: Dan "The Man" Briere. How is he not even on the Yahoo! NEB Top 10 Conn Smythe watch list (whatever the hell that is)? Oh, I see you're all in love with R.J. "Grilled" Umberger, who might one day be inducted into the Hall of Nice, but he's no Dan.
PLAYER THAT WILL MAKE YOU HATE NHL HOCKEY: Jarkko Ruutu is every bit a sharp pain in the spleen as Sean Avery, and now the entire country people who get VERSUS will get to meet him. Tied for first: nearly the entire Philthy Lyers squad, led by head douchebag Darien Hatcher.
PLAYER THAT WILL BREAK OUT THIS ROUND: Pascal Dupuis, mainly because I like saying his name. Try it with me: DOOO-PWEE. That's nice, isn't it?
BEST/WORST PLAYOFF BEARD: Dan "The Man" Briere/Sid "The Kid" Crosby. Their sad attempts to grow facial hair make Jack White look like Iron & Wine's Samuel Beam.
X-FACTOR: MAF. Has the #1 pick finally arrived? I'm not convinced he has, but the talent in front of him is scary good and he won't need to stand on his head (as Biron has been doing for Philthy) in order to win.
BLOGNOSTICATION: Penguins in 6.

BROADCAST SCHEDULE: [NHL] [VERSUS] [FRENCH TV]

UPDATE (3:36 PM): Game 1 of the Philthy @ Sidsburgh series will NOT be broadcast in HD on VERSUS, instead pre-empted in the US by a standard def golf show/replay of the TPC. What a complete joke. I was going to say that this is a case for ESPN/ESPN2 picking up the NHL, but that would mean we'd have to see Don Cherry's grotesque zoot suits in HD. Once again, Bettman sucks.

UPDATE (12:32 AM): Kris, The Biggest Sabres Fan In France, finally chimed in with his picks, and they look quite familiar:

Dallas over Wings
Sidsburgh over PHILTHY

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

20 YEARS AGO: HAVE ANOTHER DOUGHNUT!

Has it really been 20 years?

The Great Greg W! from Y! posted a story about the Schoenfeld/Koharski "have another doughnut" incident from the playoffs in 1988, and I just had to comment on it. Here's a clip:



At the time this happened I was in high school suffering from a horrible case of senioritis, and recall doing very little that spring besides drive to the Strathmore Twin to watch [free] movies, play Earl Weaver Baseball on my IBM "Portable" PC, and watch the New Jersey Devils. We were still euphoric due to the team notching their first playoff appearance (thanks to 23 year old Johnny MacLean's OT goal on the last day of regulation) AND the team capturing the Patrick Division banner . . . and then this happened. I remember the circus surrounding Schoenfeld calling Koharski a "fat pig", the coach being suspended without a trial, and the bizarre "amateur referee" game that followed, which added an element to this postseason that was both hilarious and strange. Certainly, Devils hockey had never had this much coverage on New York news programs before this.

That was a feisty team under Jim Schoenfeld, who was named coach midseason. For better or worse, behind upstart GM Lou Lamoriello, this incident illustrated that this team was no longer to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, they eventually lost the series to Boston, narrowly missing the opportunity to get blown away by the Oilers slap Gretzky around for calling them a "Mickey Mouse franchise" just a few years earlier. But man, that was crazy at the time, and it was memorable for being the furthest into the playoffs a New Jersey team had ever gone.

Half the fun of reliving this incident was going through the NYT archives:

Devils Are Overmatched (May 7, 1988 - By ALEX YANNIS)
Schoenfeld Is Penalized (May 7, 1988)
N.H.L. PLAYOFFS; Devils Are Facing Their Toughest Challenge (May 8, 1988 - By ROBIN FINN)
Suspension of Devils' Coach Causes Uproar, Delays Game (May 9, 1988 - By ROBIN FINN)
Sports of The Times; Devils Made Their Points in Semifinal Series (May 16, 1988 - By GEORGE VECSEY)

BLOGGER FOR JAGR

NEW YORK - MAY 01: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the New York Ranger acknowledges the crowd after being named the second star after his team defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 1, 2008 in New York City. The Penguins lead the series 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)I haven't really read everything concerning Jaromir Jagr and his possible departure from the New York Rangers and/or the NHL for greener European pastures, and have long ago stopped trying to extract any worthwhile information out of the New York Post, Daily "Avery's Heart Stopped" News, or The New York "Hired A Woman As The Team's Beat Reporter" Times. Currently, everyone in the Metro Area seems to be split as to whether or not he should return next season, a decision complicated by his fiery intensity and regained scoring touch during the series against the Penguins. While his decision to hint at his desire to leave during the playoffs is questionable, it simply underlies just how much he is misunderstood. As for his future endeavors I will merely say this: if you love Jagr, set him free.

Starting his career under Super Mario's wing, he thrived; however, when he became the main focus in Washington and forced to carry the team, he struggled. During his tenure as a Ranger, the veteran winger has done everything he could possibly do for the team, short of a legitimate Cup run. But in the biggest media market in the US, that's never enough. From the day he was named captain of this current squad he has been skating in the shadow of Mark Messier, a player who raised the bar for what a team leader exemplified. While he has the talent and the poise, I just don't think Jagr has the personality to match (and honestly, very few players do). While he is undoubtedly respected as a team leader by his teammates and coaches and vice versa, the media and fans have different (and unfairly inflated) expectations of him. Sorry to break it to you, but the definition of "captain" is not someone who makes wild proclamations like guarantee a win (and score two goals in the process), and wins the Cup every year simply due to his magnanimous nature.

Over the past few seasons, people have pointed to his recent unwillingness to shoot the puck, and his inability to score in the shootout (and dislike of it as well, which I agree with). I think this is a result of the massive pressure he's under in New York; here, if you don't score every nearly time you take a shot, especially in the shootout or in a clutch situation, your playing ability will be analyzed and questioned ad nauseum. While he proved he could still score, he began to play more unselfishly and tried to help his team by setting up his teammates, which was construed as a lack of confidence. Everyone seemed to expect the 35 year old, still a dangerous but no longer dominant offensive threat, to play like the freewheeling 25 year old he once was. There's really no way he can win in this kind of atmosphere.

Deep down, I believe that Jagr is simply not happy here, both professionally and personally. Additionally, he's not married and all of his friends and family live in Europe, which has to be a constant drain on him. All he wants to do is play hockey, and he probably feels that his current situation doesn't allow him to do so on his terms. Some might even argue that the current state of play in the NHL, with opposing players allowed to constantly shadow and harass at will, and minor penalties being called seemingly at random, doesn't fit his definition of 'playing hockey'. So while he may garner a lot of attention in Omsk or wherever he decides to play next year, he won't be under the biggest microscope in the world where he is expected to be his new team's saviour. If he decides to turn down offers to continue playing in the NHL, I can't say that I blame him.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

RANDOM YOUTUBERY: THE BELGIAN TOM WAITS

I may have talked about this guy, Arno, before. I can't remember. Anyway, I've got a French friend that likes Tom a lot and he had been telling me that I had to listen to Arno because it was good music and resembled Tom Waits without being a blatant copy of him. The problem with French-language singers is that it's hard to share with Americans because we like to "understand" the words. My favorite song by Arno is "Dans les yeux de ma mère" (In My Mother's Eyes). It's in French, but Babelfish can automatically [almost-]translate the lyrics (it's actually not too bad for an automatic translation).

Anyway, flipping around Youtube, I found a version by Arno of "Mother's Little Helper" (he does seem to have a bit of an Oedipus thing going on). If you can past by the the French/Belgian accent, you can see why he's been compared to Tom Waits.




He may have a small drinking problem. Just a possibility mind you.

IIHF: USA vs CANADA PSEUDO-LIVEBLOG

I didn't live blog this yesterday, but I was live-emailing updates to the US. You'll find a cleaned up version below.

5:06pm KS: I may be able to watch it in Slovakian...that should be fun!
http://www3.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=11731&part=sports

9:27pm KS: Well it looks like I'm going to get the USA/Canada game in Danish...mmmm Danish.
Who knew that Denmark was a hotbed of hockey activity?
9:29pm RV: I hear Copehagen is just one giant hot bed
9:33pm KS: Good news. I"ve got the english-language broadcast from some random Chinese TV station!
The refs in IIHF hockey have ads on their jerseys...it looks stupid as hell
9:35pm RV: The ads should be for optometrists and seeing eye dogs and stuff like that
9:48 KS: C. M. [Brent] Burns scores on grandpa Thomas to put the Canucks ahead early!
9:49 RV: Al Lewis in in goal for the US?
9:52 KS: Hard to tell, he's got a big mask on.
I actually thought Tim Thomas was much older than 34, based on people's comments during the BOS/MON series.
Why isn't Miller playing? Anyone know? It's not like he's been busy for the last 3 weeks
10:02 KS: Dany Heatley makes it 2-0 with his 5th goal. 10 seconds left in the period
10:05 JK: The Heatley is ON!
He scored 5 goals, but only got credit for 2? Or do goals count for 2.5 points in the IIHF?
10:22 KS: Wow! Toews just Toed the line...3-0 20 seconds into the second.
ok, I suck at those...
WHOA! Parise from Pominville makes it 3-1, still under 1 minute into the 2nd.
10:24 KS: International hockey could grow on me, I think...
3-2
[...email not in use for a Derek Roy goal, 4-2, then Parise to Brown 4-3, then Kane to Pominville 4-4]
11:39 JK: WHERE'S MY DAMN SCORE UPDATE?!?
11:41 KS: Pominville tied it up at 4.
2:30 left in the game
11:46 KS: FUCK! Heatley just scored with 46 seconds left
shit. I thought the US was going to pull this one off
11:47 KS: Mad dash by the US, Penalty Delay of game Roy
11:48 KS: 6-on-4 [US goalie pulled]. 10 seconds, canada clears! wow!

Final 5-4 Canada on some Heatley heroics.

I honestly thought the US was going to pull this off. I like this young US squad. I haven't seen a lot of these guys play, but they've got these speedy young guys in Kane and Pominville and Parise. Dustin Brown (from lovely Ithaca, NY) had some real nice moves too. Nothing against Canada, they played great hockey, but it's nice to see a US-national that does something other than lose and trash hotel rooms.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

CAVEAT EMPTOR, ASSHAT

I'm cynical, probably too cynical. In any case, I know that I pay more attention than most and I usually see things from a jaded point of view. But even when I can step back and try to not allow my cynicism to cloud every aspect of my judgment of others, I still wonder how people can be naive.

Here in France the consumer (for the seller) rates somewhere between a rock and that piece of shit that you stepped in on your way to the store, but the government fully protects your right to be ignorant, stupid and otherwise worthless. However, people still manage to feel like they've been taken advantage. Case in point: TVs.

When I bought my SORNY, I did the research, I looked around, I found the right price for the right TV. I tried to inform myself as much as possible about the different norms and such. The current norm for SD digital TV broadcasts is mpeg2. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV, I guess), HD can not be broadcast over the mpeg2 norm. I don't know why. I don't give a flying fuck why. For the roll-out (scheduled for early summer 2008) of HD OTA broadcasts a new mpeg4 norm is going to be used. The digital tuners that were in 99% of the flat screen TVs sold until the end of 2007 only process mpeg2. Which means that you can't get HD OTA on most TVs. Allegedly they are going to start selling mpeg4 tuners (or converters or something) that will slide into the PCMCIA slot on the back of most recent-generation TVs.

This isn't enough for some people, who cry foul. They claim that the TV manufacturers purposefully sold under-equipped their equipment to try to get more money from you later on. Despite the fact that this is absolutely idiotic because the TV manufacturers will not manufacture or distribute these cards, so fucking what if they did? As with anything, the point is to sell the product. Just because a product is classed "HD Ready" or "Full HD" (which like gas mileage estimates are government-determined classifications), doesn't mean that it can wash your laundry or act as a sexual aide in the bedroom (which BTW are now sold in the toothbrush aisle at my local supermarket, no shitting).

My problem is two-fold: 1) The government couldn't pull their heads out of their asses for long enough to decide until mid-2007 what standardized norm they were going to use for HD OTA broadcasts and 2) French consumers spent 4 billion euros on HD "products" in 2007. At least a few of those people must have been well-enough informed to know that their mpeg2 tuner wouldn't work, yet they pulled the trigger (I knew and I did it too). Yet you have these asshats whose sole goal in life is to bitch and whine and moan and claim that everything that has happened to them is the fault of others. It's called capitalism asshole. The companies do not have you in mind when they sell you that product. They have the almighty ollar in mind.

These are the same people who buy the cheapest TV or car or Total Excellium and then they bitch because it doesn't work.

Man, I hate people.

PICTURE OF THE DAY: HAVE ANOTHER BANANA, FATTIE

Someone, anyone, top this as the picture-of-the-day or the picture-of-the-week or even the picture-of-ChiMAY! I don't think you can. There are a few other pictures of obese Japanese monkeys in the Daily Mail story, but this one is by far the best.

Look Lisa, monkeys!

There's probably a Brodeur joke lingering around somewhere, but I'm not going to look for it.
























[The Daily Mail via Fark]