Wednesday, December 28, 2005

End of Year Tidbits

1. Something that you may not know about me is that I’m a fan of the Monkees. If you don’t know who they are, then you never had the pleasure of watching their T.V. show (I believe it was made in the 60’s, but has been shown on T.V. many times since). Unfortunately, EBAY is trying very hard (and becoming marginally successful) in combating my “fandom.” It seems like every commercial now is an EBAY commercial – you know, the ones where people are buying, playing with, or wearing an “IT.” Each of these commercials features the Monkees “Sleepy Jean” song. I used to love this song, but now I can’t stand it anymore. My hope is that no other company has any plans for using songs like “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Stepping Stone,” “I’m a Believer,” and “That was Then, This is Now.”

2. Can anybody believe that we have had to undergo the annoying career of Kobe Bryant for 10 years already? As luck would have it, he is only 27, so we will probably have to deal with the Diva for another 10 years. He scored 62 points a few nights ago, which shouldn’t be shocking because he hardly ever passes the ball (as can also be evidenced by his astounding 0 assists that same night). I can’t figure out why I find it so hard to watch pro basketball with all of the “teamwork” that goes on.

3. I hope 2006 will feature better movies than 2005 did. What a clunker. I went to about 4 movies this year, and I wasn’t bowled over by any of them (Batman, King Kong, Just Friends) except for “Walk the Line.” I didn’t even really like Johnny Cash prior to the movie, but after seeing it, my wife and I actually listened to AND enjoyed the greatest hits compilation that I for some reason purchased years ago.

4. I can’t believe another year has just zoomed by. Does anybody else enjoy watching those “Year in Review” specials that are being aired on a 25-hour-per-day basis the last week of the year? I love them, and I’m always astounded by how many things of significance actually occur in a given year.

5. Have a Happy New Year Everybody!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Acoustically Speaking ...

I’ve always prided myself on how well I can play air guitar. At times I can literally transform myself into Pete Townsend, Keith Richards, and even Jimmy Hendrix (when drunk enough). I have always wished that I would’ve taken guitar lessons when I was younger. I figure, with the previously mentioned air guitar moves I currently have, mixed with some actually musical skills, I’d be dangerous.

Now, I have my chance. My wife surprised me by purchasing an acoustic guitar for me for Christmas. I’ve been slowly practicing the last few days, and I’ve come to the shocking conclusion that actually learning to play the guitar is a wee bit tougher than learning how to play air guitar. Also, the air guitar skills do not transfer to actually playing guitar.

I can’t wait for the day when I can play some good “Keef” guitar riffs on songs like “Satisfaction,” “Start Me Up,” and other Stones classics. As of right now, however, I’m having trouble picking up “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Maybe the Saints’ football team will be respectable by the time I can actually play (of course, they’ll probably be located in L.A. by then).

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Deal or No Deal

Finally, a game show like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, only without that annoying Regis Philbin, and without any questions that make me feel inferior (stupid, retarded, brain dead, etc.). I discovered this game (thanks to Ken) last night, and my wife and I were both instantly hooked – which is kind of shocking because she likes every reality show ever made, and I’m a fan of sports and pro wrestling.

The show is simplistic in nature, but is very over-the top with regards to the stage, the lights, and the hot babes (will discuss shortly). The gist of this contest is for the contestant to pick one number out of 26. This number is his/hers to keep. This number can equal a money amount ranging from 1 penny to 1 million dollars. The contestant is not shown this number until the end. He/she has the opportunity to “sell” his number to a banker after each round of picking other numbers (in the first round, he picks 6 other numbers to see what the money amounts are behind each one – this will be directly associated with how munch money the banker offers to buy the contestants number).

However, to make this game more “sexy,” the numbers are actually on briefcases … these briefcases are being held by unbelievably sexy women … 26 of them on the stage at once!!! (Smart move, NBC!!).

Additionally, the host is none other than Howie Mandel – a hysterically funny comedian from the 1980’s who got less funny when he released that “Bobby’s World” cartoon. Howie does a great job as the host of Deal or No Deal, BUT he does not get to improvise and do any of his comedy schtick (which is unfortunate for the Mandel fans like myself). He is totally serious the entire show – hardly even smiling. And after each round, he uses the increasingly more annoying phrase, “Deal or no deal.” This is comparable to Regis and the phrase that made me want to punch him in the throat – “Is that your final answer?”

The stage and lighting are corny, but apparently not corny enough for the NBC executives, as they decided to add a “banker” who calls Howie Mandel after each round from a “simulated” office upstairs (you only see his shadow – how retarded!). He calls down to offer the contestant money for the briefcase (I believe it is based on a percentage chance of what the contestant could have in his/her briefcase, depending on what money amounts are left). I could do without this gimmick, but it does add some much-needed stress and suspense to the contest.

If you like game-shows, and are able to get past some of the corny nuances (if you are a fan of game-shows, you have obviously gotten past this before), then I think you will like this game. Much like Wheel of Fortune, there isn’t much along the lines of grey-matter usage needed for this game. So, if you like games like Jeopardy, you’ll hate it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More and More Nuggets

1. Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees yesterday. I guess it shouldn’t be a shock. With the way baseball is, if you are a good baseball player, sooner or later you’ll probably be playing with the Yankees. Certainly for small market teams, they have to find creative ways to even remotely stay competitive with a team that can basically buy every player in the league like the Yankees could. Some people claim this is good for baseball. I’ve heard the arguments, and I’m not sold on them. Sure pure capitalists and the far right-wingers (I consider myself a moderate) love this. It is what America is all about to them. Don’t worry about the rest of the baseball teams in Major League Baseball. Survival of the fittest. Screw revenue sharing. Forget about salary caps. Competition blows. Level playing fields????? F that! Parody is so bloody overrated. Who cares if the NFL is successful?

2. I just figured out another petty thing that I hate. I thought of this nugget this morning as I was getting out of the shower. I really, really hate getting out of the shower in the winter-time. The cold feels borderline unbearable. I know – I need some cheese with my whine. It certainly is colder in Siberia, Alaska, and the Clinton bedroom, but it still is a bit unbearable, at least in my mind.

3. Sue and I are going to Caesars in Atlantic City on Thursday night. We got a one-night stay comped, which is totally cool. I’m really excited, mainly because I am addicted to the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. Ever since Vegas, I have had “nightmares” about going to casinos and not being able to find this machine. I wake up in sweats screaming “No!!!!!!!!!” because of this. What’s that Gambler’s Anonymous number again?

4. Did I see a preview of a movie that involved Jim Carey, and was actually a comedy? Now, if we can only get Tom Hanks to do Bachelor Party 2, the universe will once again have a semblance of balance.

5. I read on cnn.com (I think) that Brittany Spears is suing US magazine for printing a story regarding Brittany being worried that one of her “posse” has a videotape of her and her husband doing some nasty sexual things on camera. I am torn on this. I am so repulsed by Brittany, her music, her marriage, her W.T. qualities. But, I usually enjoy watching these provocative videos of celebrities. I’m not sure if I should watch this if I happen to somehow receive a copy of it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Few More Nuggets

1. Was anyone else a little pissed that the President’s speech came on when Family Guy was supposed to be on? Why can’t the president pick another night – like maybe when American Idol is on?

2. Burger King is now selling the Triple Whopper. Do you get a free tombstone with this? You have to sort of admire BK for blatantly not giving a crap about healthy foods, instead of masking things like Wendy’s and McDonalds.

3. I saw King Kong this weekend. It was o.k., but certainly not “the best movie ever made,” which some commercials were claiming. It was about ½ hour too long, and Jack Black was annoying in the movie. Also, that actor with the big nose – there were too many close-ups on him. You could see his brain through his nostrils.

4. Since the Eagles’ season is basically over, and their backup qb’s suck, they should do a promotion to allow a lucky fan in the stands to be a qb for the first quarter. How much worse can it be?

Friday, December 16, 2005

What Makes a Good Coach?

My cousin and I had a “discussion” about NFL coaches last night, and the talk intrigued (annoyed) me. I shouldn’t be surprised by being annoyed when “discussing” certain subjects with my cousin, as she has also repeatedly defended Michael Jackson and his perverted escapades with children, claiming that even though he is eccentric and may step over the bounds of decency and, um, ethics with children, he is not guilty or at fault because he had a difficult childhood and his parents weren’t very nice. Arguing with her regarding this would be about as fruitful as arguing with a brick wall.

So, my cousin informs me last night that Andy Reid is a terrible football coach. Being a student of the game of football, I was thrown back by this statement. I thought maybe that she had perhaps forgotten about the past years in which Andy Reid has been head coach of the Eagles, or maybe that she had failed to realize that Reid was the coach since 1999 and not in fact a rookie coach. Armed with this knowledge, I tried to share it with her, informing her that Andy Reid had taken the Eagles to the NFC Championship game 4 years in a row, and even took them to a Super Bowl. She “reasoned” that he is a bad coach because he didn’t win the Super Bowl.

As ridiculous of a claim as this is, I decided to entertain myself by asking her who she thinks is a good coach. She said that Tony Dungy is a good coach. Now, I wouldn’t normally disagree with this assessment, but I was perplexed that she would anoint Dungy as a good coach even though he didn’t meet a single requirement she has for good coaches. In fact, I believe that Dungy never even made it to a championship game in his coaching tenure. I notified her of this, to which she shrugged and said he was different, so he does fit her “credentials.”

I decided to take a different path to try and discover just how many holes I could find in her argument. Since Super Bowl victories are at the top of her list for good coaches (or maybe not, who knows anymore), I asked her if she thought that Barry Switzer and Brian Billick were good coaches. She stared back at me with a glassy look. Then, I decided to ask her if Bill Bellicheck was a good coach, despite his Patriots struggling this season. Again, no response.

I thought that maybe now she would agree that Reid was a good coach, and of course I was wrong again. She said that he was not a good coach and the reason they won so many games was because of the quarterback. Seconds away from spontaneous combustion, I squeezed out the following question: Doesn’t Andy Reid have anything to do with how well the quarterback plays? Shockingly enough, her answer was yes and no. To the best of my recollection (insanity was slowly starting to creep in), her argument was that when the Eagles played well, McNabb was the reason, and when they played poorly, Andy Reid was the reason.

Because of rising blood pressure, and brain leakage out of my ears, I had to stop the dialogue there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Behold, the Samba!

Back in high school (before electricity), my preference in footwear was indoor soccer shoes. In my mind, they were trendy, fashionable, athletic, comfortable, and just plain cool. Diadora’s, to Puma’s, to Addidas Samba Classics – these were the brands I hungered for.

This fad continued in college for a while, but slowly died out for me, thanks to the addition of hiking boots, cross trainers, and a real job. The sheer haste in which these sneakers (and the desire to have them) drained from my brain was astounding. In fact, I had not even given a thought to these sneakers for years … until a friend of mine displayed the new Puma flats that he had recently purchased.

Within seconds, the burning for a pair of soccer flats returned to my cranium. For months, I had searched department stores for a pair of these all-of-a-sudden elusive soccer flats. I knew that I could always go to a sporting goods store in down-town Media if my “jones” got out of control, but I didn’t want to make the extra effort (when you are in your 30’s, extra effort becomes synonymous with migraine).

Then, last night it happened. Whilst doing some final Christmas (holiday to all the non-Christians) shopping at a local Kohls, I strolled by the athletic footwear department, and heard what I thought to be angels singing. I then saw an immensely bright light emanating from isle two. Sure enough, I began to make out the shape of what looked to be an Addidas Samba soccer flat. “Halleluiah,” the angels did sing. I hoped against hope that Kohls would come through in the clutch with a pair that was my size. “Halleluiah,” chimed the winged do-gooders a second time!

Of course, I won’t be able to wear these until the 25th, but maybe I’ll be able to find a pair of acid washed jeans and a hideously blue Oakley windbreaker to complete the ensemble (mullet, anyone?).

Monday, December 12, 2005

1. I was very saddened by the announcement that Richard Pryor passed on Saturday. It was not a surprise, as he had been rapidly declining in health for nearly 20 years. As I said in my other blog, I remember somehow convincing my mom to buy me an album of his back when I was 10 or 11. My mom asked if it was dirty, and I guess I used the Jedi mind-trick to somehow get her to make that fateful purchase. What an eye-opener the album was – talk about eatin’ pussy, and turds, and his father beating the crap out of him – all of it delivered in an absolutely uniquely comedic way. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard about such troubling issues. He will be missed. Here are my 5 favorite Richard Pryor movies:
A. Silver Streak
B. Stir Crazy
C. Hear No Evil, See No Evil
D. Brewster’s Millions
E. The Toy

2. I got my hair cut this weekend – of course there are many punchlines that one could use after this sentence. Some of my favorities are:
A. So, did you get both hairs cut?
B. Did the barber offer you a discount?
C. What did you do with the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of your day?
D. How much extra did the shine cost?
Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that I am probably the best customer of all time. I know how to tilt my head just right for each position (starting to sound like a porn – ugh). The barber even compliments me. I rule.

3. You know the football season is going bad when you say after an Eagles loss, “They really played well. I was proud of them.”

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

1. I am really getting irritated by that Pepsi commercial where the New England Patriots draft a Pepsi machine. Does this make me want to (a) buy a Pepsi, and (b) root for the Patriots? The answer is an emphatic NO! My first question is what does a Pepsi machine that catches footballs have to do with the taste of a Pepsi? My gut reaction is that it has nothing to do with it, but you might have other opinions. Secondly, would I ever root for an organization that drafts a Pepsi machine? Again, the answer is no … although a Pepsi machine would probably be better than Jerome McDougle.

2. Simon Cowell (sp?) just received a new 5-season contract from FOX. Thank goodness. I am so happy that American Idol will continue to grace television screens across the country, and continue to help in rapidly decaying people’s minds, as well as killing off terrestrial radio. Certainly, contestants on this show have great voices, BUT, there is no creativity outside of that. They sing other people’s songs -usually ones that are overplayed, so I’m sure we’ll hear gems like Photograph from Nickleback, and fecal loads from Three-Doors Down. Where is the creativity in this? Shouldn’t these “idols” be judged on songs they write and arrange themselves? Wouldn’t this be a better show than watching glorified wedding singers? Is FOX’s audience this dumb?

3. I am really getting sick of these “Red Tag” sales that Ford and GM are running. Hey guys, are you getting the picture yet? Nobody likes cars that are shaped like boxes.

4. Anyone else annoyed with any KFC commercial that has the “Sweet Home Alabama” song playing in it? KFC stands for Kentucky – Fried – Chicken. Most people outside of Alabama and Kentucky know that Alabama is not located in Kentucky. Stop playing this song, dammit! You are starting to sound like a GM commercial (playing old, overplayed rock songs to sell your product).

5. The thing I hate most about snow is the salting and over-salting of the streets. I know it is done as a safety precaution, but there is more salt on the street in front of my house than in the Dead Sea. On a positive note, I have learned a new word. That word is Brine. Apparently, brine is a mixture of 25% salt and 75% water, and this brine is useful in preventing ice build-up and melting ice. I learned this after the 82nd time it was mentioned by all of the local news stations. Thank goodness for local news. I am sure I will only hear this about 7,437 more times during this winter season.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Some Brief Nuggets

1. I came up with yet another fantastic underrated moment in life – finding a parking spot that is really close to the main entrance of either a department store or a mall. In the 6 hour marathon of Christmas shopping that my wife and I “indulged” in on Saturday, this happened a few times. You walk with a kind of a swagger when this happens … especially on a frigid day.

2. On Friday night, my wife’s office had a holiday happy hour at a restaurant in Olde City, Philadelphia. It was a great time until a coworker’s husband had his car towed by the city’s towing “service.” Of course, since I’m a helluva nice guy (hold back the snickering), I drove the guy to the lot, and waited around to make sure everything was o.k. Now, I know that Philly is very bass-ackwards about stuff, but they are absolutely retarded when it comes to what needs to be done to get your car back from the lot. One has to stand in three different lines in this routine. Efficiency is certainly not something the city is striving for with this. There needs to be a complaint filed about this, so that the city will get off of its lazy ass and redesign this “experience.”

3. Penn State vs. Florida State in the Orange Bowl????? You gotta be kidding me! As much as I want to see Joe Paterno’s team skull f**k the criminals, this is an outrage. Penn State has 1 loss and Florida State has 4 losses. Penn State is ranked 3rd in the country, while Florida State is ranked 23rd. How can the BCS logically explain that their system is not flawed? Remember, I want logical answers, not answers like “Well, Florida State did win the ACC title game, so technically they are entitled to this.” That answer is not good enough for me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Battle of the Bands

A friend of mine who shall remain nameless, came up with this story, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. I had to share this with all (both?) of you:

I am interested in the success of bands like Nickelback, and others like them regardless of genre. Not in the way the millions of people who inexplicably purchased their albums are interested; presumably they appreciate the music. No, it is a wonder of biology that a human can squat over a cd and leave a steaming pile of turdsong; I am interested in how bands, Nickelback for example, achieved fame crafting such shit songs. Not since Train’s 2001 single, “Drops of Jupiter”, has a song caused me to wince to the degree Nickelback’s latest fingernails-across-a-chalkboard, guy-snagging-his-balls-on-top-of-a-chainlink-fence effort, “Photograph”, does. Very nearly was I the first person in history to throw up through his ears after hearing that melodramatic, turgid mess[1].

Equally nauseating is the gravitas with which this soulless band announced that they are straight up hard rock, not post-grunge. Wow. Thanks for the clarification guys. How stupid of me to overlook the fact that there are many kinds of dogshit. I certainly do not wish to diminish your effort by assuming you simply add lyrics created from the Magnetic Poetry Word Magnet set on the studio fridge, to the generic guitar chord scheme you used for all previous songs and share with 3 Doors Down.

Never having been a musician, I have no appreciation for the creative process involved with making music. Obviously the music produced by Nickelback and the rest of Satan’s house bands – Creed and the aforementioned 3 Doors Down (with apologies to all death metal bands out there, the Dark Prince more effectively possesses your soul if you listen to this crap, than if you listen to songs singing his praise) - comes by way of much blood, sweat and tears, and not squeezed from the giant pus-filled pimple found on the ass of their respective record companies. Of course, I could be completely wrong about the process. It may be as simple as the long black fingernail of His Dark Majesty scraping this song smegma from the foreskin of his festering cock.

So, with the creative input from Hell’s recording industry firmly established, we should examine how this music actually gets to our ears…

The Clear Channel Communications empire – with over 1,200 “listening outposts” in 247 of the 250 largest US markets – currently orbits the earth in their Death Star, destroying entire radio markets with their powerful song-repeating beam. Effectively, this beam - capable of shooting over a wide area, say the United States, a concentrated stream of mind-numbing songs, repeated hourly – saps an individual’s willpower to discover new music. For those of you who doubt the weapon’s effectiveness, I present the Billboard Top 10 Albums (week of November 26, 2005):

1. Kenny Chesney, Road & The Radio: Gay cowboy music. Every genre has its pop music and country is no different.

2. Various Artists, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ [original soundtrack]: Is anyone else bothered by the fact that 50 Cent looks like he plucks his eyebrows?

3. Various Artists, Now, vol. 20: This series’ popularity is baffling. Franz Ferdinand fan absentmindedly picks up the disc, probably horrified to see one of their songs included, then decides it must not be so bad since they included The Pussycat Dolls.

4. Neil Diamond, 12 Songs: Really no complaints here. Not a devoted fan but I give credit to anyone who is still popular after nearly 40 years in the business.

5. Nickelback, All The Right Reasons: Ah yes. Why we are here. I have yet to meet anyone who has admitted owning this disc. I’m sure rockin’ out the fuckin’ house as only “Gimme My” Nickelback can or, slutting around your bedroom pretending to be Britney Spears’ (or worse, Janet Jackson the Floppy Meatbag) is exciting, but if you are reduced to smuggling those respective CDs into your home like they are copies of “Little Boy Blew [Me]” or “Prison Rape: A Photographic History” then you probably shouldn’t waste your money.

6. Black Eyed Peas, Monkey Business: Classic case of a band who use to make good music until they taste enormous success and the dull hand of the record company executive vanilla-izes their creativity. Whitey strikes again.

7. Floetry, Flo’Ology: Have not yet heard this album, but their past work earns them a free pass.

8. Santana, All That I Am: “Now Sucks Due To My Temporary Insanity During Which I Agreed To Collaborate with The Crown Prince of Bland Music, Rob Thomas” is probably how the full title of Santana’s latest should read. Don’t get me wrong, Santana is a very talented musician, but Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty?! I have not seen a more unfortunate pairing since Alois Hitler and Klara Pƶlzl (and if you cannot figure out what they produced, please step in front of the next bus).

9. Destiny’s Child, #1’s: They are certainly atop one of my lists.

10. Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway: I won’t deny her ability to sing, but if songs of this sort by artists of this ilk were released without the massive support of record companies’ publicity departments would anyone ever notice? Many artists like this succeed because they are rammed down our throats, rather than on pure merit.

There are a few other notables in the Top 25 – Mariah Carey at #15 (so terrible that she was actually paid $23 million to NOT make music); Ashlee Simpson at #16 (do I really need to comment on this?); and the aforementioned Pussycat Dolls at #21 (Do we really need another group of pretty girls pretending to sing crap music? Didn’t N’Sync fill that role?).

Yet, after all that, I know this rant is an exercise in futility. Next month there will be another gob of thick mucous sliding down the Billboard chart; American Idol will continue churning out warm bodies for network holiday specials and anthologies filled with songs already covered 5,768 times; and Nickelback will release their next hit, “Try To Ignore The Fact That This Song Sounds Exactly Like The Others, Only Worse (If Such A Thing Is Possible)”.

Cheers.

[1] Fear of legal action due to unauthorized reprinting of lyrics prevents me from listing a sample. That and fear of my legs involuntarily kicking my own ass.

Some End-of-Year Lists and Awards:

Since I have nothing else important to write about today, I figured I’d put together some lists and awards, since 2005 is almost expired. I’ll probably have more in the coming weeks.

Karl’s X-mas Wish List of Items That Are Too Expensive For Him.
Mind you, I expect to get none of these presents, BUT if you ever come into a lot of money that you have no idea to spend, think of me kindly:
1. Rolling Stones personal concert. Do you realize that you can actually get the Stones to play a concert for you? Sure, the price is a little high, around $3 million, but the fact that you can actually reserve the world’s greatest rock band is pretty remarkable. I’m wondering if they take requests?
2. Megatouch Machine. I’m guessing that I have put around $1,000 into Megatouch machines over the course of my “career.” I would love to have one of these for my basement bar. Unfortunately, they run around $3,000 new, and $1,200 used. I can’t believe that they haven’t designed one of these for home use yet.
3. Indoor Virtual Golf Game. This causes a few issues. First, I don’t have the room in my current house for this (nor the ceiling space). Second, something like this would cost, at the very least, $30,000 –for the software alone.

Best Albums That I Purchased This Year.
With the continuing death of radio in the Philadelphia area, I figured I’d share some really good cds that would be worth purchasing for the people who are bored with the “same ol’, same’ ol.”
The Caesars “Thirty Nine Minutes of Bliss:” You’ve probably heard the one song on the I-Pod commercials. This group is very much part of the garage rock/punk wave that has, unfortunately, not really been heard in the Philadelphia market since Y-100 turned into urban crap. If you like groups like the Hives and the Vines, you’ll dig these guys. Great riffs and hooks, and a sound that is a little raw (which is a breath of fresh air, compared to the massively overproduced dung that is being played on the radio now).
Block Party “Silent Alarm:” This group is going to take the world by storm … that is, if satellite radio or internet radio really takes off (no stations in Philly support modern rock, and apparently this is the case around the country). The best song on the album is a song called “Banquet,” which sounds a lot like some earlier Police songs. Very catchy, even if you can’t understand what the lead singer is saying.
The Capes “Hello:” I don’t have this album yet, as cd stores in the area have been slow to update their selections. I discovered this group on one of the internet radio stations that I listened to. I have since heard all of the songs on their album and they are absolutely addicting. They sound like a cross between punk music, new wave, The Cars, and the Police.

Biggest Sports Disappointment of the Year:
Wow, living in Philly, we have so many choices. Should we go with the Phillies missing the playoffs yet again, but this time on the very last day of the season? Even though that one is very spicy, how about the fact that no Stanley Cup was awarded at all this year? Ouch – even though the Flyers annually let us down, the fact that the NHL didn’t play for an entire year is mind-boggling. My vote goes with the Eagles for not only losing the Super Bowl, but for the circus-like offseason, and the hideously bad regular season. It has not been a good year to be a Philadelphian.

Biggest Sports Surprise (positive) of the Year:
Not many to choose from here. I guess it was nice to see Afleet Alex do well, but I can’t give this award to a horse. Villanova had a great run in the basketball tournament last season, and it was nice to see Big 5 basketball alive and well (at least for Villanova and St. Joes.). I have to go with JoePa and the Penn State Nittany Lions football team this year. This team went a dismal 4-7 last season, and people were actually calling for Paterno’s head. This season, they are at the doorstep of a possible national championship game (Let’s hope that Texas AND USC lose, in addition to LSU losing). Joe-Pa was 1 second away from an undefeated season. Yes, Happy Valley is not located in Philly, but there are enough branch campuses and alumni in this area for it to be considered a “Philly” thing. Plus, nothing else good happened in Philly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cable Bundles A Thing of the Past?

For those of you who watch a lot of cable television, this news should be of interest to you. Somebody in congress has come up with a bill that would prevent cable companies from making it mandatory for customers to buy cable channels in bundles. In other words, the idea of the bill is to allow customers to buy only the channels they want.

At first glance, this seems like a great idea, doesn’t it? I mean, how cool would it be to buy only the channels you really use, so you can get rid of festering crap like MTV, BET, Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, CSPAN, PAX, Lifetime, Oxygen, and other channels like this, and only pay for the good ones.

Who wouldn’t like to see less Disney and Nickelodeon channels? Wouldn’t it be great to see smaller numbers of political news channels? Or not so many “golden oldies” TV channels – I’m really getting sick of channels calling the Cosby Show, Golden Girls, and the Jeffersons as classics.

However, I smell a rat. When bundled, each channel probably costs an average of 50 cents (or something like that). However, unbundled, some stations may jack up their costs – like ESPN and the Comedy Channel (two channels I love). I can see this ending up in us having to pay more for the TV we want to see. The cable companies probably secretly love this.

Additionally, channels that still provide us with creative and thought-provoking television may be left for dead, and will simply go away. Channels like the History Channel, Bravo, A&E, Discovery Channel (and channels of this ilk) will probably become a thing of the past. The few channels that are left over will probably be bought out by super-corporations, who will market to the lowest common denominators – ensuring that we HAVE to watch thought-siphoning programming like Fear Factor, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Yes Dear forever.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I Can See Why They Call it Black Friday

I’ve never been one to attempt the perilous act of journeying to the local malls and department stores on Black Friday – mainly because of our annual day-after-Thanksgiving football game (by the way, we finally smartened up this year – we played touch football instead of tackle … and I’m still really f-in sore).

But after seeing the footage of some local discount stores, and the absolute lack of civility at said locations, I don’t think you could pay me to go out and do my shopping on Black Friday. I understand there were some really great deals – Best Buy had laptops for $200, and I think that Target was selling 20-inch flat screen tvs with dvd players for $80 – but I probably would be thrown in jail after my complete breakdown at one of these stores.

Thank goodness I got most of my shopping done early. Don’t get me wrong – I still have stuff to buy, but I’ve learned to be smart and buy a little early.

I think some of these lunatics who go out at 4:30 in the morning, and fight tooth-and-nail for some of these items should really take a look in the mirror and have a heart-to-heart with the idiot that is looking back to see if this is truly what the Christmas season is all about.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Are ya Ready for Some Turkey!!!!

Thanksgiving is once again upon us. There is nothing like a nice turkey dinner with family, watching the stinkin’ Cowboys get their butts handed to them. It can only be sweeter in Delco if the Interboro Bucs can knock off the Ridley Green Raiders.

In addition to the main things I’m thankful for (family, friends, health), I wanted to share some “odd” things I’m thankful for:

1. I am very thankful for the fact that turkey is traditionally served for Thanksgiving, and not ham. I can’t stand ham. The mere thought of it makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

2. Plumbing, and especially flushable toilets, are very important to me. I have family (on my mom’s side) that live in the mountains of Bavaria, and up until recently (maybe 15 years ago), they had no plumbing in their house. This meant using an outhouse. Let me tell you, this was won of the absolute most-sobering experiences (related to going to the bathroom) that I’ve had to go through. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a faster growler in my life.

3. Internet Radio. You’ve seen some of my rants with regards to terrestrial radio (by the way, couldn’t they come up with a better word to describe normal radio than “terrestrial?” They may as well call it “steaming pile of” radio.)

4. Heaters and air conditioners are a godsend. It was colder than the relationship between democrats and republicans this morning. The heater in my car made me quickly forget that feeling.

5. A bar right up the street from my house is a nice “luxury” as I won’t have to drive anywhere tonight for a Thanksgiving toast.

6. Certainly a 4-day weekend is a wonderful thing. This is the time of year we get to act like the French (sub-30-hour work week).

7. I’m thankful for the few remaining creative people in movies and TV who have given us such wonderful shows as: My Name is Earl; The Office; Arrested Development; Family Guy … as well as movies like: Anchorman; Napoleon Dynamite; and Old School.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Monday, November 21, 2005

An Empty Roll ... NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I discovered yet another one of those overlooked great feelings this weekend … I ran out of toilet paper when I was taking a growler, and to my surprise (and good fortune), I had remembered to bring a spare roll up previously. Isn’t that a great feeling when you realize that there is another roll? It’s almost like finding a $10 bill in your jacket or pants pocket … almost.

Of course, running out of toilet paper and not having any backup toilet paper is one of the worst feelings. Sometimes you could get by with tissues, but the paper is so thin, and sometimes your finger goes right through and you get that disgusting moist feeling on your fingertips, and you know that you are going to have to overload on soap and a scrubber.

But, if there is no more toilet paper AND no tissue paper, then what? You could pull up your pants and go to the closet to get another roll, having to do that Fred Sanford walk to make sure that your underwear does not get anywhere near the mud. Or, you could use a towel in the bathroom and immediately throw it in the hamper. Or, you can just use your underwear and throw that in the hamper (or in the trash, I guess). This could be one of those “NFL – You Make the Call” commercials.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Turn Signals Are There For A Reason, Dammit!

I’ve ranted about this before, but I swear that less and less people are using their turn-signals. Apparently, these misguided people think that most of the population have some form of ESP that enables them to come to some sort of divine understanding that the person not using the turn signal is indeed going to turn. Unfortunately, we don’t have this at our disposal, but we do have the turn signal, so use it, dammit!

Look, if you are in the turning lane, I’m not as upset with you, because I know that you are going to turn. BUT, if you are in a lane next to me and all of the sudden start veering into my lane without using your turn signal, it bothers me … for a number of reasons. First, it is extremely dangerous. If, for some reason, I am not paying attention to the road that very minute, I could be ramming my car up your ass. That is not cool, and potentially costly. Second, I feel that you don’t have enough respect for me to even offer me a turn signal before entering my lane. Thirdly, you basically piss me off, which makes me more aggressive and potentially dangerous. Do us all a favor and use the signal, OK?

Another driving issue I have is with passive and slow drivers who, for some reason or another, decide that they MUST be in the left lane of a highway. Most people of average intelligence or above know that the left lane is usually designated as the passing lane … or the lane for people with lead feet. But some mongoloids who found a loophole in the system to be able to secure a drivers license, still continue to clog up the left lane, which, in times of rush hour, causes massive delays AND potential for accidents. Stay in the right lane, douchebags.

Finally, I believe we should have separate roads for old people. They are a danger on the road (not all, but quite a few). Oh, how I love to be behind a car where I see only blue, frail knuckles on the steering wheel. These people basically don’t even give a crap anymore. If they get into a car accident, oh well – it gives them something to talk about when they are playing Earl in chess at the local park. “Guess what happened to me today Earl? I caused a 10-car pile up, killing 12 people, and worst of all, I crapped my new shiny pants that I bought from K-Mart.”

Yes – thank goodness its Friday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Christmas Shopping Blues

It’s creeping up on us. That time of year. You know, that time where you spend frivolously on gifts and presents, and try to reach expert-status with regards to your gift-wrapping skills

** On a side note, I suck at wrapping gifts … or at the very least, I’m inconsistent at it. My mom once made me rewrap my presents after she glimpsed the wrapping train wreck that I had produced.**

I normally love buying gifts for family and close friends. Unlike most others, I actually enjoy the whole Christmas shopping experience – even shopping at crowded stores with precious few parking spots.

However, I do not enjoy shopping for my parents. They are practically impossible to shop for. I once bought a wok for my mom when I was 13. I thought it was the coolest gift in the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account that my mom was German, and would never have any use for a wok. Fortunately, she took me aside after she opened the present and informed me that my purchase was indeed stupid. I took the wok to college unopened.

I remember the “Santa’s Workshops” our Elementary School used to have around Christmas. This would be like a mini Christmas shopping experience for students. I bought my dad a screwdriver set once from this workshop. The screwdrivers were all the same, but they had multi-colored handles. I thought, at the time, that this might be the greatest gift ever purchased.

Why do I bring this stuff up? Well, I need help. I need some ideas and suggestions on something to get my parents for Christmas. Let me add, that they do not like gift certificates. They think this is a cop-out. Any suggestions (both serious and humorous) are greatly appreciated.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Heart of the Civil War

Have you ever gotten the feeling that (a) somebody is watching you, and (b) that person doesn’t want you around? That’s the feeling I got in Gettysburg this weekend – not the whole time, mind you, but definitely on a few occasions.

My wife and I traveled to Gettysburg to celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary. We did the same last year, and it looks like it will become a tradition for us. My wife fell in love with the place when we drove through it on the way to Mont Alto a few years ago.

Obviously, Gettysburg is bursting at the seams with history. For those of you not familiar (possibly retarded), this was the scene of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Many people lost their lives not only on the battlefield, but also in downtown Gettysburg.

There are so many tours of not only the battlefield, but also of some of the houses, cemeteries, and locations that will forever be “historic” and possibly cursed, thanks to the civil war.

I love history, and I love hearing stories and legends, so Gettysburg is always a welcome destination to me. But, I’ll tell ya, walking through the Schriver house gave me a bad feeling. Thankfully, I walked through it during the day, because had we done this at night, I may have screamed like a little baby.

This probably would’ve been the same result, had my wife and I done the ghost-hunting tour at one of the many cemeteries in Gettsyburg (I vow to do this next year, though!).

Friday, November 11, 2005

Love Those Tidbits!

Thank goodness it is Friday. And because of that, I am too happy to rant on anything, so I’ll share some random thoughts.

1. Hey, finally a reason to visit New Jersey besides Atlantic City and the beaches! Gas prices have fallen to under $2.00, the site of this left me misty-eyed.

2. The SEPTA strike is finally over, and traffic is much more manageable again. I am guessing that there probably is corruption in SEPTA (it seems like corruption runs rampant in businesses and companies that have no direct competition), so I’m wondering what, if anything, can be done to prevent these strikes that seem to loom over our heads every 4 years or so.

3. Ryk and I were talking the other day about a stupid topic – no surprise there. I thought I’d share it with you and see if you can help us answer this vital question – If a pack of clowns fought a pack of mimes, who would win?

4. I’m not sure if any of you heard this, but something monumental is going to happen at the Sixers game tonight. A new form of entertainment will grace the presence everyone in attendance at the Wachovia Center. A group called “The Beefcakes (I think) will perform. The interesting twist is that the Beefcakes are a group of obese men. I hope to see highlights of this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

An Enlightening Discover

So, I was at work the other day, getting bored with listening to WMMR playing Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Nickleback, and Three Doors Down for the third hour in a row, and I decided to look up some modern rock streaming audio on the internet. To my pleasant surprise, I found a station in London that played great-sounding songs that I have never heard before. It was refreshing to not hear the same monotonous crap over and over again.

I’ve openly complained about the lack of creativity that local radio stations in the Philadelphia market have, and I’ve known that a good alternative to this would maybe be internet radio streams (or just internet radio stations), but I’ve never had the time nor the motivation to try to find a good one. Little did I know, it is incredibly easy – just by typing in streaming modern rock (or streaming classic rock, or streaming heavy metal), one can have a seemingly endless selection of music at his/her fingertips.

I know that satellite radio is the big rage, but with increasing hot spots and Wi-Fi availability, I’m guessing that this could be a huge market – especially if an automobile manufacturer would jump on board and put in some sort of internet radio device (I’m sure somebody has thought of this … if not, I just gave up a billion-dollar idea … your welcome).

Another neat product that can make any/all of us our own DJ’s and program directors is a program called “Pirate Radio.” It basically is a program that creates an internet radio station on your computer. The program itself is only $29.99, and can be found at www.pirateradio.com (great Christmas gift, if one does not know what to get for Karl). I’ve listened to a few of the stations here, and although not all of them are good, there are some really creative outlets here.

Monday, November 07, 2005

1. Anyone else think the BCS system in college football is retarded? Seriously. Why no playoff system? Obviously, the short answer is money. They make a ton of money on all of these crazy bowl games (The Weed-Eater Bowl, Blockbuster Bowl, Outback Bowl), and they fear they would lose money if they ‘did the right thing’ by creating some sort of playoff format. Hey, even if the NCAA did a 4-team playoff, it would be better than the muck they have now.

2. I had the pleasure of seeing Brian Regan this weekend. I believe I mentioned that in a previous post. He is one of my top-5 favorite comedians of all-time, so needless to say, I was stoked to see him, and he did not disappoint. In case you are interested, the other 4 on the list (in no particular order) are as follows:
a. Bill Cosby – He was one of the first comedians I remember seeing. His “Himself” show was (and still is) one of the absolute all-time greatest stand-up shows I’ve ever seen. Yes, he sucks now, and his Cosby Show was not so good, but he was awesome once.
b. Eddie Murphy – Speaking of being awesome once, has there ever been a comedian that had 3 huge hit shows in a row (Comedian, Delirious, and RAW)? Yes, he was much different than Cosby, and he cursed a ton. But, man, those shows were gold. Maybe he should put another one of these out, now that his career stinks.
c. Richard Prior – Talkin’ about shaking up the industry. This guy was a pioneer when it came to both sexual and political humor. I remember buying an album of his when I was like 10 years old. I had to put the volume really low, because not a sentence went by that he didn’t curse. Brilliant insight, though.
d. Bill Hicks – It is a shame this guy died so early. He could’ve been the best (in my mind, he was the best). Very political in his viewpoints, but his stories always had a point, and they were always funny (even though sometimes you felt guilty laughing at them).

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sick of Politics

Look, I’m not on the left, and I’m not on the right, and maybe that is why I get so sick of politics so quickly. Obviously, nobody is ever going to agree with everything somebody does in office (unless you are so far to the left or right, that you don’t give a flying f**k what the person does in office, as long as he/she is your man/woman). All I ask for is competence. I know, it seems easy enough, but why can’t we get anyone from any side who is competent enough for office?

Just in case you think I’m picking on one specific person, this goes for every level of the political system, from the grass roots all the way up to the big house. I am so sick and tired of hearing about controversies, scandals, lobbying, and the whole “us against them” mentality that the liberals and conservatives have. Aren’t you supposed to be working for the people you represent, and not your own stupid political parties? Isn’t it easier to work together to get things accomplished, instead of using the party-line as an excuse why you won’t work with others?

Is there anybody in politics who is not corrupt? Why can’t respectable people run for office, and not get thoroughly embarrassed because the political machine was able to dig up something that the person did when he/she was a teenager?

I know this will never work, but I want the 2 or 3 people who read my website to make a conscious effort to only vote for politicians who promise to work together with other people. I don’t care about which side of the fence you are on, as long as you make sure that the person running isn’t a total stubborn jerk who doesn’t care about you, but is only concerned about the company line (also, it would help if the person doesn’t owe any people/companies a lot of favors).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Just a Few Notes...

Got a little busy at work, but I didn't forget about you guys. Here are a few thoughts to keep you amused:


1. My fantasy football team has now lost 3 games in a row by 1 point. Is this a new modern-day fantasy football record for despair? Funny thing is that I was either tied or in the lead going into Monday night, and was winning until the last quarter of the game. Life sucks sometimes, doesn’t it?

2. In my humble opinion, NBC should be moving the shows “My Name is Earl” and “The Office” to Thursday night to bring themselves back to the hey-day of Thursday night comedy on NBC. Those two shows are possibly the best comedy shows on network television right now (along with Arrested Development, the Simpsons, and Family Guy).

3. I’m going to see Brian Regan on Saturday night. If you’ve never heard of this guy, Google his name, and go to his website. Here’s the problem – Penn State plays probably the most important game of their season against Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. I gotta hope the game is in hand by 7:00 p.m. (this is when we have to leave for the Brian Regan show).

Monday, October 31, 2005

I thought I’d pass along some more thoughts, brief observations, concerns, etc.:

1. I discovered another thing I truly hate, and that is throwing a party in which only half of the people who responded that they were showing up to said party actually come, and most of the people who don’t show up, don’t even bother to call to let you know they won’t be there. I think it is beyond rude, and goes as far as being very disrespectful. Instead of purchasing a ½ keg of beer, I could’ve bought a few cases of beer and saved money (and not wasted so much beer – something I really hate to do). I believe in Karma, so I’m really hoping that “what comes around, goes around.”

2. Can Penn State win the Big 10 title? As of right now, their destiny is in their hands. Of course, this was also the case in 1999, when they fumbled the ball (no pun intended) around the same time. I hope this year’s team is different. Wouldn’t it be great for Joe-Pa to get one more Big-10 title under his illustrious belt? If this happens, he might very well retire, but at least the program is in good hands again.

3. A few more things I really hate/fear:
a.Noticing the roll of toilet paper is empty after taking a “growler.”
b. Cutting too much of your finger-nail off.
c. Chewing on tin-foil

4. I hear Paris Hilton’s new cd is out. I’m wondering if this will outsell William Hung’s cd, or her porno dvd, for that matter.

5. I can’t believe it is already Halloween. It feels like just a few weeks ago, I was in shorts and a t-shirt with the air-conditioning on … now granted, the fall has been on the warmer side, so that may have only been a few weeks ago, but still…

Friday, October 28, 2005

Ghoulish Tidbits

Since I don’t have anything really important to talk about (I know – since when have I ever had anything important to talk about), I’ll set you up with some tidbits:

1. I love Halloween – I love dressing up for Halloween. I guess it may be because my mom never let me get cool costumes as a child. I was the guy dressed up as a hobo every year – my mom would save the pants that I put holes in, and she would patch them up and save the clothes for Halloween. Other people got to be vampires, and ghosts, and He-Man – I was the hobo. Here are the five costumes I’m most proud of (that I developed):
* Mick Jagger – I dressed like him in college. I borrowed a girl’s purple stretch pants, and put make-up on and everything. I even lip-synched to “Start Me Up” at a party. Very cool.
* Drew Carey – I borrowed my dads pants, shirt, and jacket; used a pillow, and got black glasses. I won for best costume.
* Ric Flair – My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I got a black robe, put all kinds of sequins on it, I got a blond wig, black boxers, and a championship belt. I ruled.
* Heino – If you don’t know who this is, google him. I got a blonde wig, red suit-jacket, little guitar, and a picture of mountains that I attached to the suit jacket. It ruled!
* Napoleon Dynomite – I’m dressing like him this year, because I rule!

2. I think one of the biggest fears I have is the toilet bowl overflowing. I’ve never actually had this happen to me, but I’ve been close on more than a few occasions. God, what a rush when the toilet finally flushes!

3. Besides Forsberg and Gagne, are there any other Flyers that can score?

4. Am I the only one who thinks that naming Hurricanes after the Greek Alphabet is stupid? Hurricane Beta??? C’mon! I have some suggestions:
* Name them after fast food restaurants: “Hurricane Bob’s Big Boy just rammed into the Gulf Coast.”
* How about naming them after animals, but really cool ones like “Hurricane Wolverine.”
* Name them after cool movie characters, like “Hurricane Boba Fett.”

5. Does anyone else feel ripped off that after Howard Stern leaves, the east coast gets David Lee Roth, while the west coast gets Adam Carolla? Has any rock legend (besides Gary Glitter) dropped so quickly?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

Well, it looks like the volatile Philadelphia radio landscape has claimed another casualty. 94 WYSP has changed formats from a rock station to – get this – an FM talk station. As if this radio market was already suffering from a lack of musical choices, it was dealt another blow. Now, I admit that I haven’t listened to WYSP a lot for many reasons. A big reason is because Stern was getting monotonous with his daily “Sirius Satellite Radio” banter (and Preston and Steve are much more compelling and interesting on 93.3).

But, WYSP’s musical selection has been dropping quicker than Paris Hilton at a sausage convention. The station really should’ve considered naming itself the “Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica station with a touch of Stained and any other band that sound like Limp Biskit.” I think if WYSP tweaked their music to include a larger variety of groups that didn’t sound exactly the same, they would’ve had more success, but when a company is corporate owned, creativity is usually the first thing to go. It’s all about the bottom line and reaching the common denominator, and that means if Limp Biskit has a great new song, we need to find bands that sound exactly the same, because they will probably produce hits as well.

I like WMMR, but sometimes they play too much Zeppelin and Ozzy too. I wish I had variety. 102.9 is ok for a classic rock fix, but after about 15 minutes, it gets old. I wish somebody would get the balls to put on a station again like WDRE (back in the early 1990’s). Did I like every song that was on this station? No. But, I did like the fact that I could put this station on, and know that I wouldn’t be hearing the “same old, same old” over and over again.

Terrestrial radio is reeling because of the increasing popularity of satellite radio. They don’t know why it is so popular. Maybe, if they just stepped back and looked from an outsider’s perspective, they’d realize that terrestrial radio is no longer creative and all of the channels are starting to sound the same. Niche markets are no longer cultivated like they used to be by terrestrial radio. These niche markets are now being exploited by satellite radio, and people are willing to put up the $12 a month in order to get this programming. This warning sign has unfortunately not been noticed, and the landscape will continue to change to try and get the “new packaged” thing.

** By the way, I though BEN-FM was cool at first, but it sucks. They are obviously competing with other bland stations like B-101 and 104.5. The “variety” they tout is crap. I hate Philly radio.

Monday, October 24, 2005

You Go, Jason Bateman!

I've always been a Jason Bateman fan - all the way back to the time he was making appearances as Ricky Schroeder's "Eddie-Haskall-like" friend on Silver Spoons. He, of course, moved on to be a compelling character on such semi-hits as "It's Your Move" and "Valerie's Family," but then, for some reason, he seemed to have fallen off the face of the Earth for more than a decade.

Then, thanks to the grace of God ... and maybe Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, he made a triumphant return as a supporting actor in such funny hits as "Starsky and Hutch" and "Dodgeball." Now, his career recovery, which is almost Travolta-like, is reaching new heights with a hilarious sit-com called "Arrested Development." The good news is that it is that the critics love it. However, for some reason (maybe it is because FOX promoted it about as about as strongly as PBS shows are promoted on network television). The cast is top-notch, and Bateman - as the central character - plays an amazing straight man. The premise is nothing new - a dysfunctional family - but the writing and camera work is excellent. This show is one of the best sit coms currently on network television, along with Family Guy, My Name Is Earl, and The Office.

I have two suggestions. First, to Justine Bateman - the once hot sister of Jason Bateman (I haven't seen her in a while, so I don't know if she is still hot - I suggest that she find a way to sleep with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, either of the Wilson brothers, or Will Ferrell. Maybe this will get her parts in movies that could help revitalize her career.

Second, if the Zucker brothers start getting heavy into the spoof comedies again, Jason would make a great straight man.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Slime, Slime, Slime.

After the last few years of “He said, he said” crap going on in our nation, I’m sick of politics. However, an interesting situation occurred in our great city of Philadelphia yesterday involving a city councilman, who is the target of a federal investigation, who had to be escorted down from City Hall's glass-enclosed observation deck by the police commissioner Thursday. The councilman’s name is Rick Mariano, and he seems to be a lightning rod for controversies – of course this seems to be a prerequisite to be a city councilman or to hold any sort of government-related job in the city.

From everything I’ve read and heard about, not just with this case, but with anything going on in Philly, it is not shocking that Philly dropped the ball when it came to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Aquarium that is now located in Camden, and any of the other venues that are now along the Camden Waterfront. The corruption in this city makes city corruption in New York and Chicago look like jay-walking violations.

I know there is no easy answer to this question, but why can’t anyone get elected to a government position in Philly who isn’t a slime-ball, and who isn’t corrupted? Certainly, money talks, and people in these positions have the backing of very rich people (just like our federal government – isn’t that funny). I just hold out the hope that enough people get fed up with the crap shoveling that is going on in the City of Brotherly Love (yeah, right).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quick Hits

I feel uninspired today, so I must apologize. I guess it was the combination of playing Mario Golf and watching the World Series of Poker last night. But I do have some quick thoughts that may or may not be of interest. Here goes:

1. Does anybody else besides me think that Hamburger Helper rules? I used to laugh and belittle those commercials with that “Chef’s Hand.” Actually, they probably still are stupid, but man, the creations taste so good, and they only take a little time to make. I made the Cheeseburger Macaroni one last night, and it was scrumtralescent (a word that Will Ferrell made up).
2. There are so many acorns in my back yard, that the squirrels are now wearing stretch-pants and elastic flannel shirts.
3. Christmas is almost two months away, but the stores (such as Macy’s) are in full holiday swing already. Screw Halloween and Thanksgiving, let’s make Christmas 3 months long!
4. With all these remakes out or in the process of coming out, why not just shut the doors to movie companies altogether? Obviously, they’ve lost their desire to be creative, so why not just re-release the originals in the theatres? First, this would be way less expensive, and second, the originals are so much better than the remakes. Maybe the $10 ticket prices could come down to a more reasonable level .. ah, I guess I’m not making any sense.
5. Is anybody out there thrilled with the idea of David Lee Roth replacing Howard Stern? I know, Stern has been getting really boring in the last year or so, talking about his move to satellite radio. What is Dave gonna talk about? Unless he brings in Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar and stages elaborate fist-fights with them, I don’t think his “schtick” will last very long. Hey Philly, try Preston and Steve on 93.3 WMMR – they really do rock.
6. I'm currently listening to a cd called "39 Minutes of Bliss" by a group called "The Caesars" in my car. I absolutely love this cd, and yes, I know it has been out since 2003, but I just got it. You may recognize the one song from a commercial - it is called "Jerk Out," and it is way too addicting. The group sounds somewhere between an early Beatles or Stones and the Hives or Vines.

Monday, October 17, 2005

What Gives with the ND Rankiing????

I’m sick of Notre Dame and the privileges that they receive from the NCAA, especially in college football. Does anybody realize that they have lost 2 games and are in the top 10? How is this possible? Did God have a vote for the Irish? Is there some conspiracy with the IRA that we haven’t been told of?

The Irish lost to USC this weekend in the very last seconds. Yes, this was pretty impressive, but THIS was Notre Dame’s Super Bowl. They’ve been preparing for this one for two weeks, and the game was a HOME game. That means that Notre Dame has lost both of its games at home this season. Does this sound like a team that should be in the running for a BCS bowl???? I am thoroughly disgusted.

Notre Dame came into Saturday’s game ranked ninth in the country. I have no problem with that ranking – ND has won some impressive game. But after the LOSS, Notre Dame is still ranked 9? Has this ever happened in college football history – a team losing and still being ranked 9th? I’m pretty sure some people were toying with the idea of actually putting ND at 8 or 7 after the loss. If the Irish won that game, they probably would’ve been ranked 1. I am so sick of this school and all of the liberties that are given to it.

Maybe it is the fact that they have an exclusive contract with NBC. What is NBC thinking on this one? They cannot show any other college football games because of this. Also, Notre Dame plays about half their games a year on the road, which means NBC can’t cover those games either. Is it worth the 5 or 6 games a year? Half of those games are against teams that aren’t even that good.

I like Charlie Weis, and I think he’s a great coach. But, man, do I hope that he fails miserably at Notre Dame. I want this arrogant college to finally have to choose a conference to play in, instead of waving that annoying “We are independent, and we love it” banter around.

Oh yea, and they lost on Saturday even though they wore those precious green jerseys. Shouldn’t that knock them out of the top 20?

Friday, October 14, 2005

John Mayer Trio Opening for the Stones? What Gives?

First, I’d like to apologize to all of you John Mayer fans, as this will not be flattering to the young pop-folk star (or whatever he is).

When I heard that the Stones were going on tour again, needless to say, I was quite excited, and of course, happy in my pants. I got even more excited when I heard some of the possible opening bands – Beck, Pear Jam, Metallica? How cool would that be to see any of these three bands? Surely, Philly is an important-enough city for a super-show like this to be planned for.

Then, I read that John Mayer would be opening for the Stones in Philly. The blood rushed from my head, as I tried to comprehend such a terrible choice for an opening band for a Stones show. Were they serious? Would there be a second, more intriguing opening band? Unfortunately, no. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh get Pearl Jam, and Hershey Park gets Beck. What’s with that? Why do these two second-rate towns (sorry, guys) get first-rate opening bands? Why does Philly always get the crap bands? I was obviously pissed.

People told me that John Mayer did a nice job at the show, but I had no motivation to go see the guy. Couldn’t they get Bon Jovi? What was Thorogood doing that night? Hell, even the Hooters woulda been better than Mayer. Why does Philly always get the shaft? I want answers, dammit!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones!!!!

I remember the moment I got hooked on the Stones. I was a pre-pubescent seventh grader who liked to listen 98-WCAU Hot-Hits. Groups like Kook and the Gang and the Go-Go's were songs that I would sing along to. I knew nothing about the good music that was being played just down the dial, other than I saw a lot of vandalism that included references to Van Halen, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. In my mind, these groups were evil (I made the connection because I knew that vandalism was evil), and not as wholesome as Michael Jackson and Rockwell.

I began hanging out with a couple of friends at school, and they informed me that the music that I cherished so, was really just crap. I questioned them about how Tommy Tutone could be considered dog-shit. They informed me that it was true, and began turning me on to classic rock. At first, I was a little apprehensive. I mean, would I have to start wearing bell-bottoms and stop washing my hair in order to "get it?" As it turned out, all they needed to do was spin a Stones record, and I was hooked. The album - Tattoo You. From the opening riff of Start Me Up, to the masterful ending of Waiting on a Friend, this album had me begging for more.

Now, more than 20 years later, I somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 Rolling Stones cds, and probably another 20 Stones-related cds (not to mention many bootleg cassette tapes). Tonight, I am going to my seventh Stones concert, and on February 1, I will be heading to an 8th show. I figure these two will be part of the last tour the Stones will ever do ... although I've been saying that since 1989. They are touring in support of their new album "A Bigger Bang," in which they go back to their roots. It probably doesn't have as many defining pop songs as some of their early ones, but does display a bluesy grit that has been lacking in recent years. I, for one, love it - which is not unusual, because if the Stones packaged up a pile of dog-crap and sold it, I probably would love that too. But, it is, as always, something I look forward to with much anticipation. I'm still amazed that these guys can put out quality music and play with enthusiasm more than 40 years after they started.

As one of my co-workers said after hearing the first single, Rough Justice, "Man, some of these up-and-coming bands should be ashamed of themselves with the crap that they are releasing. They should listen to this and start taking notes." My sentiments exactly. Go Stones!

Monday, October 10, 2005

What is the Deal with Homefries?

My wife and I went out to breakfast on Saturday to a local restaurant that we like to frequent. As I looked on the menu, I noticed that no matter what was ordered, home-fries would be provided "on the side." This miffed me, as I am not a big fan of home-fries. I don't hate, them, but I really don't like them, and it got me to thinking (oh boy, that's always trouble). What is the deal with homefries?

I really wish that some of these restaurans - especially the ones that focus mostly on breakfast/lunch - would get a little more creative with their breakfasts - especially their sides. Can't there be a choice? How difficult would it be to provide options like tater tots, grits, or even french fries? Instead, I'm stuck with a half-plate of half-cooked potato slices. Ugh, can't I just pay a dollar more and get more eggs and less home-fries? Why is that not an option? Are you f**kers just too lazy? Why do you insist on "no substitutions?" Do you really want me to never set foot in your place again (don't answer that)?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Weird Things That Make Me Feel Good

No, this will not be a dirty post (get your minds out of the gutters!). I just didn't know what else to call it, so I came up with this lame-ass title. Anyway, what spurred this post on was what happened to me last night ... again, get your minds of those stinkin' gutters. I had to get up to take a piss (I didn't want to see "I had to get up and pee, because that would sound gay .... and I'm not gay ... not that there's anything wrong with being gay, but I choose not to be gay ... not that people have choices like this ..... ah, now I'm rambling. Back to the story). I was afraid that it might be like 6:00 a.m., which would mean that I would only have 1/2 hour left before I actually have to wake up, and I hate that, because it is almost pointless to go back to sleep at that point.

But, to my pleasant surprise, it was 1:30 a.m. Isn't that awesome when you wake up to go to the bathroom and you check the time, and you still have 3 or more hours of good sleeping time left? It's one of my favorite weird things. I decided to come up with a list. Please add some if you have any.

1. Waking up to go to the bathroom and realizing you still have 3+ hours of sleep left (as discussed above).
2. The smell of rain hitting asphalt on a summer day - I'm not sure why I like this, but I do.
3. The smell of pipe smoke - especially tobacco with a cherry flavor.
4. Realizing that there are more french fries left in the McDonalds bag after you are finished with the ones in the container/holder.
5. Putting on jeans that you haven't worn in a few months and finding money in them (preferably $10 or higher).

There are more, but I'll leave those for another time.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A few Random Thoughts

1. Finally, hockey is back. I know some of you may have lost your zeal for the greatest sport on ice (sorry, all you curlers). Comcast has done a great job marketing the NHL, but I still fear that the move to the OLN network was not in their best interests ... that is, unless they decide to make this channel (or a future channel) into a rival of ESPN.

2. I'm not remotely interested in baseball at this point. The same teams made it in again, and since the Red Sox won the title last year, I have no real rooting interest - I guess I'll root for the White Sox and Padres, because they usually don't make the playoffs. Thank goodness for hockey.

3. I'm going to see the Stones in a week - this will be the 7th time that I have seen them. It's hard to have great expectations for a band that is no longer in their prime (and are over 60 years old), but the new album is excellent, and the show reviews have been promising. I also will be seeing them on February 1 in Baltimore. I'm guessing this will probably be their last tour (I've been saying that since 1989).

4. I know I've harped on this before, but can somebody PLEASE put on a good radio station in Philly? Ben has become way to feminine - they may as well use the B-101 logo now. 93.3 is probably the best, but that isn't saying much. Both WMMR and WYSP should use the slogan "We can't play enough Ozzy and Zeppelin." 102.9 just sounds old way too often - not enough deep cuts on any of these stations. It is really making me consider looking into getting satellite radio. I love hearing new music (and I mean new good music, not new music that is playing on 102.1, 96.5, Power 99, 100.3). Somebody needs to start thinking out of the box instead of trying to package music into small playlists (and I know, that is what big media conglomerates do).

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Phillies with a Successful Season?

No, the the Fightin' Phils did not "phinally" put a merciful end to the sweltering 12+ year playoff drought. Yes, the Phils once again reached fans' expectations of coming up short in the playoff race. But this year was still different, and "phinally" in a good way.

Prior to the start of the season, I predicted that the Phils would not only miss the playoffs, but would be lucky if they won 75 games. I also predicted that ownership would change the name of the team to the Underachievers, so that nobody ever got the wrong idea. My prediction (about the record, not the name change) was based on a number of factors - hiring an incompetent (in my opinion) coach, not bringing in any marquee players that would help put them over the top - particularly an ace (my apologies to Lieber).

The 2004 team had many holes - an overpaid, underperforming catcher, a very inconsistent pitching staff, a third-basemen on his las wheels, a suspect bullpen, and too many strikeouts in the lineup. That, combined with the Phillies choosing to hire a very player friendly manager as opposed to one with a World Series ring, provoked me to send an e-mail to the Phillies informing them that I had no confidence in their organization, that I wasn't going to go to any games this season, and asking them to provide me with a suggestion for another professional baseball team to follow that actually gave a flying f**k about winning.

But, the Phitin's did prove me very wrong this season. Yes, the manager made some mistakes (probably more than a professional manager should have), but he did some good things too. Particularly, he got the players interested in playing ball again (something Bowa apparently took away from them - although I am still a Bowa fan). The Phils were also blessed with some luck - being able to survive a season-ending injury to Randy Wolf - their only left-handed starting pitcher - and being able to find some good young arms to replace him. Jim Thome's season-ending elbow injury, and the blossoming of Ryan Howard at first base. Chase Utley becoming the best clutch hitter on this team (Ryan Howard is probably a close second). Jimmy Rollins, no only learning how to hit correctly, but doing an incredible jog down the stretch.

This team kept me interested until the very last day. Now, they have to answer some questions in the offseason:
1. Who's on First? If they stick with Thome and get rid of Howard, they better get some major value in return - such as an ace-starting pitcher, and a very productive utility infielder (or a starting catcher). I sincerely hope that they get rid of Thome for many reasons - Howard is the future, Thome will be booed here and he doesn't deserve that, youth is important on this aging team.
2. Centerfield ? Lofton probably won't be back, and even though he is whiny, he was a helluva player. I'm hoping they either bring in somebody or platoon Jason Michaels and Shane Victorino (it's time to pull the plug on the Endy Chavez experiment).
3. 3rd base - catcher? Probably the weakest part of this team. Bell and Lieberthal played more than adequately down the stretch, but can we honestly expect another adequate season from these two dinosaurs?
4. Starting Pitching - Are you excited with Myers, Lidle, Lieber, Padilla, and Wolf-Brito-Tejeda? I'll take Lieber and Myers, no question. Even Lidle produces enough wins. But, Padilla was very inconsistent, and I'd love to replace him with a number 1 (which would make this team a playoff contender). I'm guesing the last spot will be open to Cole Hammills or Gavin Floyd, and I hope that one of these young studs (according to Wade) will step up.
5. Bullpen - Arron Fultz was a nice player. Obviously the 3-inning closers were awesome. Other than that, you can burn up the rest of them. Plus, rumor has it that Wagner will go to the Mets. If that happens, what now? Do we resign Urbina to big money and make him a closer again? It would be a step down from Wagner. Is Madsen good enough to close? Again, a step down. Can this team afford to take a step down?

Lots of questions, and these are only 5. But hey, at least I'm talkin' about the Phils in a "what-if" style instead of a "who cares" style.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why Don't I Like Italian Food?

I've recently come to the conclusion that outside of pizza (I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Pizza!), I don't really like Italian food that much. I mean, I'll eat the stuff, but I'm never excited to go to an Italian restaurant. Of course, this poses a small problem, as my wife, who happens to be Irish, craves Italian food all the time. I don't know what it is - I guess its the fact that most Italian dishes include a pound of cheese, and even though i like cheese, I don't like that much cheese. Additionally, if it isn't elbow macaroni noodles, I'm not crazy about the pasta. That's probably why I dread having to eat Lasagna.

I like Italian seafood, like spaghetti and clam sauce, and even the mussels in wine sauce (it matters not which kind of wine sauce it is in, it is still scrumptious), and of course the salads, soup, and bread at Italian restaurants are usually quite delicious. But, the main courses just get to me.

My wife complains that I am a tough person to prepare dinner for, not only because of my disinterest in Italian foods, but also because I detest ham, and I'm not craze about any kinds of potato products outside of potato chips and thin french fries.

Monday, September 26, 2005

INXS Finally Has A New Lead Singer...

I liked INXS once ... actually, I still enjoy listening to their music - I have their greatest hits CD (which shouldn't come as a shock to all of you - as I have about 1000 cds, of which 66% are greatest hits cds). I was also saddened to hear that Michael Hutchins had died ... although I giggled when I heard how he died (That might be the most embarrassing way to go). I was sort of hoping that I'd be able to catch INXS, maybe at a small venue like the Tower or the TLA or something like that.

As it turns out, now I might get my chance. By reviewing the ratings of the INXS Lead Singer Search "reality" show, most of you probably didn't know that INXS was still actively looking to replace the deceased-masturbating-former lead singer. But, even though only 3 people watched the show, INXS does have a lead singer and is planning on doing a world tour ... Um, I'm guessing this will go over like a bucket of farts. First of all, a reality show to find a lead singer? C'mon INXS, you guys are better than that, aren't you? Second, why soil the legacy of INXS (is their an INXS legacy?).

Maybe it would've been cooler to have a more relevant band like Van Halen do this show. It would've really been funny to see how the arrogant Eddie Van Halen would interact with this lead-singing hopefulls. Maybe Dave would've snuck in to try and win the band over again ... is Dave still alive?

Anyway, I really didn't have much of a point in this post, other than to point out that the networks will come up with all kinds of ideas for really stupid reality shows.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Interesting Question

I was having a conversation with some of my coworkers, and the subject of high school was brought up. I came up with an interesting question/scenario - if you were able to go back to high school (the years you were there) with everything you know now, would high school be better? I'm not sure the answer. I said that I probably would end up the same way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

NFL Commercials

With the NFL using more and more commercials and advertising in order to make more and more money, we fans suffer more and more, because of these breaks in action. It is nice to have a break in order to make some food, get another beer from the fridge, or take care of some important business at the "oval office," but too many of these commercials will create major alcohol and "urinary" epidemics in the United States.

I do have a solution for the NFL, and it doesn't involve less commercials, because Lord knows that they will nix that idea immediately. Instead, my solution involves the NFL making a rule that allows advertisers to only advertise funny commercials during NFL games. This is the only way that these advertisers will keep my attention. I don't want to see boring luxury car commercials, or depressing Viagra commercials (I guess I should state here that the Hurricane Katrina fundraising commercials would be an exception to the rules). Instead, I want to see funny beer and fast food commercials.

Additionally, the rule should have a caveat that advertisers can only show the same commercial no more than two times a game. How many times have we seen that same Miller Lite referee commercial for what seems to be the 50th time in the first half of a game? It is downright ridiculous, and makes me consider purchasing Coors Light instead (but, unfortunately, the Coors Light commercials suck - but I'll get to that later). And, I love the Burger King commercials with the King running the ball in the endzone, but there are only two of them that I know of, and they play those two about 37 times each during a game.

Also, there should be a "fan voting" element in which fans get to vote whether a commercial is funny and should be aired during an NFL game or not. I have a feeling that the aforementioned Coors Light commercials with the "Silver Bullet Train" entering the stadium would probably not make the cut, because of the sheer annoying-ness of the commercial. Also, the Miller Lite referee commercial might finally be retired. One would've thought that they would've retired the commercial last year, after Budweiser developed their own referee commercial that basically goosed the Miller Lite marketing and advertising screen.

My guess is that none of this will happen, because the NFL depends too much on the advertisers, but this would be one way that advertisers might be able to reach the fans.

Monday, September 19, 2005

What's Bugging Me, you ask?

Hopefully you Philly people are familiar with the FOX channel in Philly and have maybe seen one of the news shows on this channel. Generally, I enjoy the news on Fox - especially Good Day Philadelphia ... although Jennaphr Fredericks is more annoying than Merrill Hodge. Anyway, if you have never watched this show or the news at 10:00 p.m., this channel has a "What's Bugging You" segment, in which viewers can call or send an e-mail to Fox Philadelphia detailing something that is bugging them - such as poor city snow removal, and the agonizingly slow pace of the Girard Point Bridge repairs,

Well, I have something that is bugging me, and it deals directly with Fox Philadelphia. You see, FOX's TV studios are located in the building right on the corner of 5th and Market Streets. About a year ago (maybe less), FOX decided to upgrade their building. However, this meant that construction would be taking place outside of the building (for some reason) and that the 5th Street sidewalk in front of the FOX building has been closed, AND they have narrowed the lanes on 5th Street.

This presents numerous problems. First, because the lanes have shift and narrowed, it is now a pain in the butt to figure out which lane you are actually in when driving on 5th Street. I have seen many almost-accidents take place already.

Second, since the sidewalk is closed, pedestrians have decided that instead of walking across the street to the adjacent sidewalk, they would instead walk head-on into approaching traffic in the left-lane of 5th Street.

Third, cars AND delivery trucks are parking in the left lane on 5th Street, so only one lane can get through, causing some really fun traffic in this area.

FOX, how long is this renovation going to take? I mean, you guys announced months ago that your new studio is up and running, yet I don't see any end to this logistical and traffic nightmare. Should I be trying to contact the city on this one (I'm sure that it'll be about as easy to get in touch with someone in city government as it is to take a spaceship to the moon)?

Oh, and please don't let Jenaphr Fredericks back after her maternity time is over. She annoys me too much.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fast Food Filth

There are people that are self-proclaimed connoisseurs of music, art, wine, beer, and even gourmet foods. Me, I’m a connoisseur of fast food. Now, I don’t overdo it with fast food – if I go to a fast-food restaurant more than once a week, it is a lot, BUT when I see commercials for new fast-food gimmicks, I get that crazy “Ralph Macchio whooping crane” look in my eyes. I like “testing” all of these “limited time only” specials, and many of my friends will call me to get my “reviews” on any new fast-food items on the market. For instance, the Burger King Chicken Fries release seemed really awesome. I thought to myself, “how cool would it be to get a whopper with chicken fries…” But, alas, it is an entre, and you can get regular fries with the chicken fries – which seems kind of odd – too many fries in my book.

Anyway, I thought I’d bring up a few of the “failed” fast food gimmicks, at least in my book. For instance, one of the worst items I’ve ever ordered was tacos off of a Burger King 99-cent menu. Obviously, I should’ve known – why order Mexican food from a burger joint? I had to give it a try, and to say that I was disappointed would’ve been comparable to saying I was slightly unhappy when the Eagles lost the Super Bowl last season. If even part of this taco was cooked, it would’ve been nice. And the worst news is that they gave you TWO tacos for 99-cents. I guess the second one you could save for later in case you weren’t sure just how bad the tacos were the first time.

Another flop for me was the McDonalds cheese-steak. I know, I know – I live in Philly, I should know better. The best places to get cheese-steaks are the mom-and-pop joints (second time I used that word) in the area, not from a place with a clown as its mascot. However, because McDonalds makes irresistibly yummy foods, I thought I’d throw caution to the wind, and give this bad-boy a shot. The only redeeming quality of this cheese-steak was that it came with the orgasmic McDonalds French fries. Besides that, it was greasier than a John Travolta character, ridiculously small, and the “roll” wasn’t even authentic. Plus, the price was much more than the price of a regular cheese-steak at local Philly places.
There are a bunch more, but I wanted to see if you could share your experiences (plus I didn’t want to bore you to death).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Barry-Ball

As most of you (sports fans) probably know, watermelon-headed Barry Bonds made his "triumphant" return to baseball last night, almost hitting a home-run for the lowly San Francisco Giants. I'm guessing the Bay-area fans are pretty excited that their superstar slugger is finally back. But, I'm probably speaking for the vast majority of the public when I say that I hope his knee falls off - the sooner, the better.

I will not argue that Bonds is probably the best player I've seen (I'm hoping Utley, Pujlhols, or even A-Rod eclipse him, because I hate admitting it). But, the combination of his arrogance, his alleged sterroid abuse (the man is more guilty than O.J. in my opinion), and that huge plated-armor elbow pad he is still allowed to wear to protect him from an injury in 1992 - I just can't stand the man. Plus, now he is close to setting the home-run record. Somebody has to stop him. If I were a starting pitcher, I would aim the ball at the big beachball on top of his shoulders with every pitch. I hate him.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Church Chat

I would like to start this "rant" off by saying that I am a Lutheran, and even though I do not regularly go to church, I am a God-fearing human being, and I believe in God and Jesus. That being said, I think I finally realize why I have never been a big fan of going to church (not just in the fall, when I could be in danger of missing valuable NFL pregame shows). I came to this realization this past Sunday, as one of Sue's nieces was being Christened.

Sue's nephew, Evan, who is around 2 years old, was on the grumpy side, and wanted the company of his pacifier and teddybear. However, his mother informed him that these "friends" would not be accompanying him into the church. It immediately connected with me. I remember going through similar circumstances as a youngster - not being allowed to bring my favorite toy train or teddybear to church. Unfortunately for me, I also had to dress up in some sort of three-piece swinger suit that was about as comfortable as sitting on a cactus. What kind of motivation is this for kids who are encouraged to go to church? Yes, I understand the reasoning that it is a duty and obligation to go to church and it is not meant to be fun (and, yes, I've also heard the saying "was Jesus comfortable on the cross?").

My point is that I believe that church is very important, especially in teaching young kids morales. However, somebody needs to start thinking outside the box and making it fun, and even relevent to modern times (just my opinion). I would love to have other reasons or motivations in going to church, other than, because I have to (again, just my opinion). When my wife and I decide to have kids, I will take them to church or Sunday School, because I value teaching them morales and ethics and this is a great way to do so. But, I will not make them wear goofy tan suits, and make them keep their teddy bears and pacifiers in the car. I just hope it is less boring than I remember.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reality T.V. - Enough Already!

I can honestly say that I watch no reality TV whatsoever ... and that is becoming a difficult task, considering that the networks and cable companies continue to try and ram this pig slop down our throats every single day. Consider this - American Idol, one of my least favorite shows in the entire world, concluded their annual dung-fest in early summer. Fox, in its infinite wisdom, put on a dancing show in its time slot for the entire summer. Unfortunately for me, people are watching this, particularly my wife. I hate it! Additionally, I hate the Real World, Road Rules, the Apprentice (although not as much), Wife Swap (or whatever the heck it is called), Nanny 911, or any of the shows that follow stars around (started by Ozzie Ozzbourne - and because of this show, I no longer can stand Ozzie or any of his music). I keep hoping that at some point, the reality thing will pass, kind of like acid-washed jeans. Sadly, I do not see any relief in sight. It is getting harder and harder for me to find good programming on TV. Thank goodness the NHL lockout is over.;

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

An Intriguing Question.

After one of our normally weird conversations, Ryk and I came up with an intriguing question. which is more dangerous - a smart insane person or a dumb insane person? I'm not sure the answer, because I'm sure both could create a lot of damage and destruction. However, Ryk said that it is kind of like comparing a mad scientist and a deranged lunatic ... but again, we didn't come up with which is worse. If any of you have an opinion on this matter, please share it, and let me know how you came upon your answer.

Friday, September 02, 2005

What is Plethora?

I chose the name "Plethora" because I plan on using this blog as a place where I can write about anything I feel like. Some days, it may be just a statement or two about something that I noticed. Others, it may be a rant. The sky is the limit.

For instance, one of the items of interest to me currently is the Farrelly Brothers and their bone-headed decision to make a three-stooges flick, but center the movie around women stooges. I can certainly understand thinking outside the box, but I'm having a difficult time swallowing this. The idea to remake a stooges movie, in my mind, is fantastic and long overdue. I would hope that the integrity of the Stooges would be upheld (the Curley-Shemp days), and I thought the Farrelly brothers would be able to incorporate the Stooges into modern times. But making the Stooges female - I don't get it. If they wanted to do something in the same breath as the Stooges, but with females, that is fine with me. But to actually use the title "The Three Stooges" whilst doing this is beyond me. Maybe it will be successful. Maybe it will be funny. But there ain't no way that it will be the Three Stooges. I think I hear Curley nyucking in his grave.