Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Kris went ahead and submitted the "official" OPEN HOCKEY BLOG entry in Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski's Gary Bettman Art Contest. However, he did not submit it for approval before doing so, which is in clear violation of the blog rules (which I just made). Though it was my suggestion I thought his work was a bit creepy, more pederasty than hockey. So this is my "unofficial" entry (that's right, it's war!).

God, I hate that little troll.

If it seems like we're picking on Messier, well, we are. (It's just that the hairlines match up really nicely.) May the best Mess win!


Over on Puck Daddy they're running a Gary Bettman: Portraits in Heroism art contest.

I saw it, and figured, yeah I could do something cool and then just forgot about it. But Jeff, in his tenacious hate for Bettman suggested a Bettman/Messier/Coleman mashup. 'Why not,' I said. It's Tuesday morning and anything that keeps the bottle of Scotch in the cubboard until after 12-noon works for me.

This may or may not be the official OH submission. If Jeff or Rob want to get something done, that'd be great too (even though I've now stolen Jeff's best idea.) Meh. He loves Vista, he deserves whatever he gets.

Without further ado, I present "Gary B: Potrait of an Ass Grabber"

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The two things I've enjoyed watching immensely this month are Mad Men and Italian Spiderman. I know what you're going to say, but oddly enough they have a lot more in common than you might think. They both were conceived and filmed in the past year, yet both take place in the 1960s in a carefree, misogynistic world that men (not so) secretly wish still existed. Both are focused around an enigmatic, suave, and powerful leading man who does what he wishes with females, smokes and drinks heavily, and will step on whomever he must to get ahead. One might be more Cary Grant while the other is more Jack Black, but both are unmistakably 100% man.

However, only one has a kick ass moustache.

That lascivious lady tickler belongs to Italian Spiderman, who parodies such movies as Turkish Star Wars (Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam), dubbed and circulated VHS tapes decades ago and given a second life on the internet. In his world in 1968, he treats women with respect yet simultaneously keeps them in their place, as he demands they prepare his macchiatos, pronto!

Mad Men's Don Draper is a mellifluous voiced mystery, sporting a Brylcreamed hairdo and a no-nonsense business acumen. In 1960, he and his Madison Avenue advertising cohorts are on the top of the world, living a swinging life of unlimited booze and broads. He keeps women in check telling them such things as, "What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons."

These two mavericks live in a world we can only enjoy vicariously. Which is a good thing, since if we tried to live like them now, we'd get kicked in the collective balls.

Season 2 of Mad Men premieres July 27 at 10 PM ET. Part Two of Italian Spiderman coming soon.

Even the Yankees' Jason Giambi is fashioning his look after The Italian Spiderman.

New York Yankees batter Jason Giambi walks to the dugout after striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto July 11, 2008.<br />REUTERS/ Mike Cassese (CANADA)

Mad Men [Official AMC Site]
Basket of Kisses - The Lipp Sisters' Unofficial Mad Men Blog
Alrugo Pictures Site
Alrugo Blog
Alrugo [MySpace]
Italian Spiderman [MySpace]

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Maybe it's just me being all old and cynical, but I simply didn't love The Dark Knight, the newest Batman movie that everyone is raving about. I'd like to say it's the most overrated movie of the year, but maybe I shouldn't be rating movies like this at all. It's obviously not aimed at me, since I'm neither a teenager or a comic book fan. I thought at the very least I'd enjoy this as a movie fan, but it wasn't satisfying even on that level. Basically, it was a huge disappointment. And screw it, this is my blog so here's my review.

When Tim Burton's Batman was released in 1989, his dark vision and the use of Jack Nicholson in the role of The Joker, it was universally loved by critics and audiences alike; today it seems it has lost a bit of its luster due to the exceedingly campy sequels that followed it. Critics are even retrospectively proclaiming Jack's Joker to be overacting nonsense, which really just means that we've now finally realized that Jack is merely acting like himself in every movie (see: The Departed, Something's Gotta Give, Mars Attacks!). When the Batman franchise was given a makeover in 2005 via the reinvention/rehash/regurgitation Batman Begins, it was hailed as a return to form for the Caped Crusader. I admit, I haven't seen it but I can't imagine it would have enhanced my enjoyment of this latest endeavour. If anything, this movie should have been more satisfying, as the back story was out of the way leaving nothing but storytelling and action.

However, it just seemed like a jam-packed mess to me, leaving me with a feeling akin to being pummeled in the dark for nearly 3 hours. While Heath Ledger was effectively creepy and deranged as The Joker, I can't say that any of the other actors stood out (hey, just like the previously mentioned Batman movie), especially Christian Bale and his scratchy "I just gargled glass" Batman voice. Aaron Eckhart's (as D.A. Harvey Dent) transformation into Two Face was treated as if a switch was flipped, and thus not really believable. Also not believeable or emotionally impacting was the love triangle between Dent, Bruce Wayne and Maggie Gyllenhaal's Brenda Dawes character. I used to like Gary Oldman, but here he had two acting modes, murmuring or screaming; meanwhile, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were wasted only being used sparingly as affable, smiling old guys.

I know, this is a big fantastical, exploderiffic summer blockbuster movie, so I should forget about the acting and focus on the other stuff like action and storyline--but even those elements left me scratching my head. There were no real jawdropping car chases or action sequences (minus one nifty trick with a tractor trailer), and the jump cuts and low lighting during fight sequences made it difficult to follow. During the entire movie, each scene followed the next so quickly with no establishing shots and little coherence, and the scenes themselves were edited so tightly, that half the time I thought I missed a few lines of dialogue or action. At one point I thought that maybe half the movie was explained in the first movie, or hopefully would be explained later (what did they go to Hong Kong for?), but that never happened. I thought that if I stuck with it, it would start to make sense and build to an effective ending, but it got more convoluted as it went on. And on. And on. No, it never "dragged" per se, it was just relentless. It was as if director Christopher Nolan was throwing expensive set pieces in your face with little regard for how they would propel the plot. After one and a half hours, I had had enough . . . and then realized it still had an hour to go.

David Denby's review in the New Yorker (one of the only 5% negative reviews on RT) sums it up nicely:

". . . this movie is grim and jammed together. The narrative isn't shaped
coherently to bring out contrasts and build toward a satisfying climax. "The
Dark Knight" is constant climax; it's always in a frenzy, and it goes on
forever. Nothing is prepared for, and people show up and disappear without
explanation; characters are eliminated with a casual nod."

Personally, I can't recall the last comic book movie adaptation that I've enjoyed. While Spiderman was entertaining, I almost felt like I forced myself into liking it, but looking back it was just a novelty and I have no desire to ever watch it again. (The novelty wore off with the exceedingly silly Spiderman 2, and I don't plan on sitting through Spiderman 3, or 4, when it inevitably comes out). The newest attempt at the Man of Steel story Superman Returns was brought nothing new to the table, and I still think the casting of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, which I haven't seen, is questionable at best. As for recent big screen adaptations of The Hulk (twice), The X-Men and Fantastic Four, none of them have interested me. I officially call this superhero trend over when Seth Rogen stars as the title character in The Green Lantern. (Yes, that's actually going to happen.)

While The Dark Knight had some well-crafted scenes and I respected the overall attempt at a more realistic, dark tone, I honestly didn't think it was anything special. Since the general consensus for this movie has been excellent, I guess it's just not my thing. Either way this is officially the last comic book movie I willingly see in the theater, unless they make the new and improved version 18 years from now, which seems inevitable.

Grade: C

Friday, July 18, 2008


I was thinking the other day, Open Hockey doesn't have enough rap on it, especially bad white rap. So in my desire to remedy this, I present to you TSA Gangstaz.

Ok, it's actually really bad, but hey, that's the name of the game. It's "random" youtubery.

For the record, this is better than Coldplay's new album.

NSFW, unless your boss digs f-bombs, dildos, and jiggly women in short shorts.

"Let me squeeze those titties or the terrorists have already won."

Classic line!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Phil Mickelson of the USA, center far left, and spectators look for his missing ball during the first round of the British Open Golf championship, at the Royal Birkdale golf course, Southport, England, Thursday, July 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Jon Super) If you're reading this, the Open at Royal Birkdale is already underway! It snuck up on me this year because the media doesn't pay attention to golf if Tiger isn't playing. It's a shame, but that's the truth. (I wonder what he's doing right now: banging his wife on his yacht or in his house. Hey, don't bang her TOO hard, you have to be careful with that knee.)

However, what little buzz there's been has been about FIGJAM! and Los Pantelones Feos, by the US and European press respectively, and the possibility of them stepping up in Tiger's absence and winning this major. But when the pressure is on, that's the last time I see these guys playing well. They are incredibly talented but only really excel when the stakes are low, like some random California tournament or in Tiger-free fake-majors like the "Players".

Today's weather looks downright nasty: rainy, windy, chilly. In a word: English. (No wonder Amy Winehouse has turned to crystal meth, it's depressing.) So I wouldn't expect big scores this weekend, but good performances by solid, all-around players.

Here's the skinny on the 3rd major of the year, the 137th Open at Royal Birkdale.

Course: Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Location: Southport, in northwest England
Par/Yardage: 34-36-70
Yardage: 3417-3753-7173
Purse: $8.24 million.
Winner's share: $1,487,000.
Description: The Open comes to Royal Birkdale for the ninth time this July, and competitors will find a course that is 155 yards longer than the challenge presented to them in 1998, the last time the event was played here. The extra length is relatively inconsequential, however, compared to the tightened bunkering, newly-introduced mounds and, in the case of some holes, altered playing lines. The philosophy of the changes – which affect 16 of the 18 holes – is to reward strategic play and accurate shotmaking.

Hole by hole info (Hole/Par/Yards/Rank):
1 4 450 2
2 4 421 4
3 4 451 9
4 3 201 17
5 4 346 11
6 4 499 1
7 3 178 8
8 4 457 14
9 4 414 7
10 4 408 5
11 4 436 6
12 3 184 15
13 4 499 13
14 3 201 12
15 5 544 16
16 4 439 3
17 5 572 18
18 4 473 10



Sergio Garcia 10-1
Ernie Els 12-1
Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson 16-1

MY PICKS: Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, Hitch Furyk.

MY MISSES: FIGJAM!, Los Pantelones Feos, The Kaiser.

Thursday 7/17: 7 AM - 3 PM (TNT)
Friday 7/18: 7 AM - 3 PM (TNT)
Saturday 7/19: 7 AM - 9 AM (TNT), 9 AM - 3 PM (ABC)
Sunday 7/20: 6 AM - 8 AM (TNT), 8 AM - 3 PM (ABC)

UPDATE: Unfortunately, ABC/TNT has taken a step backwards and will NOT BE BROADCASTING IN HD, and instead we get lovely SD upconverted crap. While it's certainly 'watchable' this is a MAJOR tournament, if I'm not mistaken, and therefore a major disappointment. I don't know if it's because England is behind on the technology (it's allegedly BBC's fault), but I'm guessing they cheaped out and just decided to use SD equipment over there. The kicker is that they don't say it's NOT in HD, they advertise it as being on "ABC and ABC HD". Seriously, fuck ABC/ESPN right in the pantalones, and BBC can take one up the trousers while we're at it. So if you haven't bought that HDTV yet (Rob, I'm looking at you), then there's no hurry. (At least I won't have to bust my ass looking for an HD screen at the bars this weekend.)

Friday, July 11, 2008


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I'm posting this information in case something happens to me.

You see, I'm attending a family reunion this weekend in the upstate New York's Catskill Mountains in a town called "Big Indian". I can only assume it was named that after a rather large Native American who used to oversee these lands, before the U.S. Government "relocated" him. Alternatively, maybe some tall guy from Bangalore recently bought the place. Whatever the origin of the name it doesn't change the fact that it's in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

There's something to be said for being far from civilization, but I'm not sure this really qualifies. After all we'll have running water, beds, electricity and refrigerators (filled with beer, hopefully), and as there are paved roads leading almost all the way up to the house it's not exactly "roughing it". It's merely an area of the state sporting a surplus of trees and bugs, and lacking reliable cell phone service or convenience stores. But I'm okay with that. For two nights. Maximum.

Last time I was here two years ago I recall thinking, "If you had to hide a body, this would be an ideal place for it." That's why I'm typing this. I've been known to put my foot in my mouth, and I occasionally come off as dickish to people who don't know me. I may say the wrong thing this weekend (like, "What you do mean, you don't have any ice? How am I supposed to keep my Belgian beer cold, you dumb redneck?") and end up in a ditch somewhere. So if you don't hear from me next week, the area surrounding the house we rented out is where to tell the police to send a search party.

Have a great weekend! Hope to see you here next week . . .

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This is a long (6+ minutes) video, but it's amazing the amount of work this guy put into his defacing of public property!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Independence Day is upon us here in the good ol' U.S. of A.
Why not celebrate this glorious extended summer weekend with a delicious treat?

I was talking about the ice cream, which for some reason tastes so much better without pants. Trust me.

Have a safe, fun weekend.*

Photo courtesy of Jimmy'z Ice Cream, Richmond, VA. I won't be in Richmond, but if YOU are try Jimmy'z! Where the 'z' stands for zavings!

*Not applicable in France

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Today is Unrestricted Free Agent signing day in the NHL, and it's like Christmas in July! I was getting excited seeing rumors of the Devils signing Brian Campbell or *gasp* Marian Hossa.

However, those haven't happened, as Campbell was given a monstrous 8 year deal by the Blackhawks, and I see my Marian walking away, possibly to Boston. Instead, TSN just announced these two doozies:

New Jersey Devils sign UFA forward Bobby Holik to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million
New Jersey signs UFA forward Brian Rolston to a four year deal worth $20.25-million
WTF? What year is this? Can Bruce Driver and Pat Verbeek be far behind? I think TSN is fucking with me.

UPDATE (7:40 PM): Nope. It's already changed on Wikipedia, so it must be true! It's also on the Devils' site. Dammit.

It's official: Lou has hit the sauce and is "drunk calling" all his former players. On that note, here are some other former Devils he could sign (with their "time served", as they say in Rahway):

Glenn "Chico" Resch

PROS: Considering he'll get virtually zero playing time as Marty's backup, his 4.00+ GAA won't be too much of a liability. (Hey, he couldn't be any scarier than Terreri.)
CONS: Since Chico has to eat something different at every home game, between him and "Fatso" there will be no food left at the Prudential Center for paying customers.

Mike D. Peluso

PROS: If Randy McKay comes out of retirement, 1995's famed "Crash Line" will finally be reunited (hey, the Ghostbusters are doing it for a videogame, so why not?). And thanks to new Tampa Bay coach Barry Melrose, the mullet is back in style. (Some say it never went out of style in Florida.)
CONS: The mullet is back in style. Oh sweet Jebus.

Brendan Shanahan

PROS: Drafted by the club in 1987 and currently on the Rangers' roster, he's already familiar with the NYC metro area.
CONS: There are none. His name is on the Cup more times than God (Shanny 3, God 0). Seriously, while we're getting all nostalgic, why the fuck not?