Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ugh, a Meme!

Superstar asked that I do this Meme, and even though I normally don’t do these, I figured what the heck.

1. My favorite Holiday: I have to say Christmas, although Halloween is a close second, because I love to dress up (but not in drag).

2. My least favorite thing to do: Hmmmm … I guess it would have to be dust and vacuum – I do it every two weeks and can’t stand it. Second on the list is wash the car.

3. My first childhood memory – I remember a lot of weird things. I think my earliest memory was when I was approaching 3, and still crapping my diapers – my mom wouldn’t let me go outside again until I used the toilet. I didn’t crap for 3 days.

4. My most memorable moment at a wedding: Geez, that’s tough. I usually am asked to do the Mick Jagger at some point. I remember one wedding in which the DJ put the bride in the center of the dance floor, and had all the guys kneel around her to sing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” Well, somehow, I got the microphone, and was singing and putting the microphone in other’s faces, and everybody was singing. However, when it got to the second part, nobody knew the words, so I just sat there in silence for a few seconds, and then uttered this most provocative word into the microphone (very loud, mind you): “Yeeeaaaahhhh!” The DJ promptly took the microphone from me.

5. Most dangerous stunt: Hmmmm, I don’t take too many risks – I remember the first time I ever went skiing, and did it without any lessons. The bunny slope wasn’t bad, but my friend took me up to the “big people’s” slopes – I think I hit every mogul on the slope … and fell every time.

6. Most spontaneous moment – Going to the Rolling Stones concert in Toronto (Sars Fest) in 2003. It was a few months before our wedding – we were at a bar, and heard the Stones would be playing there, along with AC/DC, Rush, and Justin Timberlake (my wife was thrilled with this). We just decided we’d go at that moment. I think it was a few weeks away.

7. Most frightening event: When I was a youngster, I was afraid to go down in the basement. We had a very loud heater, and even though I never knew what a monster sounded like, I swore it was similar to my heater.

8. Something you know how to do that would never guess about you: I know how to cook. Even though I’m a huge fan of fast food (and doing a good job of staying away from it, somehow), I love to cook, and am getting more creative as time goes on (my wife helps me with this).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Meet the What?????

I heard something sort of interesting today on the radio … go figure! Apparently, the movie “Meet the Spartans” was the number 1 grossing movie of the weekend in the U.S. How is this remotely possible? I’m pretty sure everybody knew that this movie was done by the guys who did “Epic Movie” and “Date Movie,” possibly two of the worst spoof movies since “Dracula, Dead and Loving It.”

There was a time in the early 1990’s when movie producers got lazy, and would green-light any spoof movie that featured Leslie Nielson (thanks to his success in the Naked Gun trilogy). Most of these spoofs were downright awful, and quite a few of them ended up going straight to video … which was probably for the best.

Movie companies decided to phase these movies out for a while – that is until Scary Movie came out. The first one was rather funny, if not totally disgusting. The second one, also produced by the Wayans brothers, was just disgusting and not funny (in fact, there really wasn’t a story line at all). The Zucker Brothers, legends with regards to spoof movies (more on them later), took over Scary Movie 3 and 4 – neither was a “classic,” but both were funny in their own right.

There was another movie in the early 2000’s called “Not Another Teen Movie,” which, in my opinion, is an absolutely fantastic spoof. An actually story? Check! Great movie spoofs woven into the movie without just being thrown in there? Check! No slow parts? Check! This movie spoofed over 25 teen flicks from the 80’s on – quite a feat in itself. However, unlike Date Movie and Epic Movie, the spoofs were totally relevant and actually added to the movie.

The Epic and Date Movie chain of movies seems to just throw a bunch of spoofs together without relying even a little bit on a plot. Plus, the spoofs are SO obvious, that they actually detract from the humor. I just can’t believe people are still going out to view this dreck.

How come nobody has taken the actual torch from the Zuckers and Mel Brooks and created incredible spoofs like Airplane, Top Secret, Naked Gun, Blazing Saddles, and Space Balls? Has the movie industry really gotten this lazy? I beg some bright young director to attempt to make a great quality spoof again … PLEASE!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Random Items ...

Just a few random items from the weekend:

* Barbara Peapod and Davey Doggz came over on Friday night – we had a good time playing Nintendo Wii and chatting about nothing in particular. Babs is fantastic – check out her blog (near the bottom of my blog roll).

* We went to a surprise 30th birthday party for Ray-Ray’s fiancĂ© on Saturday night – it was a lot of fun, and the DJ, for the most part, played some fantastic music. And, yes, I once again was asked to do a dance with an umbrella during “It’s Raining Men.” Hope you enjoy the pic!

* Also, Ray-Ray asked that I be in his wedding, which of course, is an honor for me. I hear his fiancé is going to buy a bunch of umbrellas so I can once again do the dance.

* My parents came over on Sunday to “help” me put in ceramic tiles in my bathroom. Now, when I say help, I mean that they basically took over the entire project, and I pretty much just made sure the TV was working properly. But hey, the floor looks great!

* My cousin-in-law, Neffman, sent over a link to a really funny You-Tube video – it’s basically of Hitler getting pissed off that the Cowboys lost yet another playoff game. Very funny stuff … and I’m pretty sure, if Hitler was a fan of the NFL, he would most certainly root for the Cowboys. Check out the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJHb9m4ccmQ

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Great Video to Share

This is an absolutely funny video of Schue's parents playing Nintendo Wii.



video

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Podcasting, Part 2

So, a few friends of mine and I decided to start a podcast, because we feel like talking … basically, about nothing in particular. As some of you know, the Reverend and I had a podcast going about a year ago, but we just haven’t been able to get together to do any more podcasts. Let me stress that I would like to continue the Los and Smoke show, and that this new podcast “venture” is not replacing Los and Smoke.

My friends Slant and The Maverick think we have some funny things to talk about – heck, we make each other laugh all the time … I’m not sure if that is a good enough reason to start a podcast, but we thought we’d give it a try. Slant and I podcasted this weekend – our goal was to talk about the NFL playoffs, but we quickly moved away from that, and talked about anything and everything for close to 50 minutes! Some of the topics included reasons behind my poor taste in music back in college, the night I strained boiling noodles onto my feet, and a phone call from the Reverend himself (sure, you couldn’t hear him, but still …).

Sure, the sound quality leaves something to be desired – we basically spoke into one microphone whilst trying to watch the Chargers vs. Patriots game – so there were pops and buzzes …. I didn’t really clean it up too much, because … well, because I wanted to get the podcast up before it became irrelevant … and, yes, because I’m also lazy. I promise we’ll try to make it sound more professional down the line.

One of the tough things about this podcast is trying to make sure the show runs smoothly. The Reverend was great at this, and I didn’t realize how difficult it actually is. I’ll get better, I promise. I’ll have to go back and listen to old Los and Smoke podcasts and take notes.

In case you’re interested, have a listen. Let me know what you think: http://losrulz2002.podomatic.com/.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Odds and Ends ...

1. So, Heath Ledger died of an apparent drug overdose today. My first thought was – well, I guess he couldn’t get over the fact that most people thought he was “alternative,” after seeing Brokeback Mountain. However, I think we need to look further into these celebrity drug stories and celebrate the celebrities that area apparently immune to drug overdoses, like Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. Shouldn’t they be doing celebrity seminars, teaching other celebrities how to avoid overdosing whilst taking massive quantities of drugs?

2. The big story right before Super Bowl week in the U.S. is about Tom Brady walking around with a bouquet of flowers, with some sort of protective boot on his leg. Most people think the guy has some sort of foot injury. I want to offer my own theory – I think Bill Belichik came up with this plan to have Brady walk around in this boot, making the Giants believe he is injured and “vulnerable.” I want put it by Bill – he’s one of the greatest in the game at mind games. He would make a terrific wrestling manager … possibly along the lines of Captain Lou Albano or Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. What would his nickname be, though?

3. The Rev gave me a wonderful Christmas present the other day (hey, we haven’t had a chance to see each other much recently). It is the Rolling Stones Guitar Anthology – a book with the notes to some popular Stones songs. As some of you know, I’ve been practicing acoustic guitar a little over the past few years – basically trying to teach myself, with the help of some online guides (I’m still not very good, but hey – I’m having fun). In looking at this, it’s gonna take me quite a while to get a song down, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

4. Ed Snyder, who basically is the “ruler” of the Philadelphia Flyers and Sixers, announced plans to demolish the old Philadelphia Spectrum in order to put some kind of new entertainment area together in South Philly – I think he is calling it “Philly Live.” Believe me, I LOVE the old Spectrum – heck, it’s the last building that hosted a championship team from Philadelphia, now that the big toilet – a.k.a. Veteran’s Stadium, is no more. But, I think it’s high time somebody did something about putting entertainment – bars, restaurants and shopping – around the stadium complex. Seriously, there really isn’t anything to do when you go to a sports game in Philly. You drive to the stadium, go to the game, get back in the car (or train), and go home. It would be great to have something like Inner Harbor in Baltimore, or the entertainment around the stadiums in Cleveland. Philly just never planned anything like that, unfortunately (part of many things Philly has done wrong).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Random Stuff ...

Sorry guys and gals, I just haven’t been able to put a post together about one complete thought or story lately, so I hope you don’t mind these little observations.

1. You know what really annoys me? These “word verifications” areas – especially the ones required when posting on Blogger (on specific sites). I don’t mind retyping a word shown on screen, however, blogger makes it more difficult by zig-zagging and bending the letters, making it hard to see if the letters are j’s or i’s, or q’s or g’s. Isn’t there a better way?

2. I really am not thrilled about any of the presidential candidates so far, although if I was forced to choose, I would pick McCain from the right, and Obama from the left. I’m seriously considering voting for Chuck Norris at this point.

3. NFC and AFC championship games today! On the NFC side, who would’ve thought that either Green Bay or New York would make it. I’m pulling for Green Bay, but for some reason, I don’t detest this Giants team nearly as much as I should. In the AFC, an injured Chargers team tries to stop a freight train known as the Patriots. It looks like we’re going to have a rematch of 1997’s Super Bowl contenders. I predict this – If Favre can somehow lead the Packers to a Super Bowl victory, he’ll retire. Great career, my friend.

4. I have a friend who recently bought (actually, downloaded) the new Ringo Starr album. I had no idea Ringo was still creating music … and getting paid for it.

5. We went to Hooters last night to watch the Flyers game, enjoy some wings (I’m still not crazy about Hooters’ wings), and, of course, take in the beautiful sites. Midway through the 3rd period, the Hooters staff changes all the channels to the HBO boxing pay per view. I was livid! When was the last time there’s been a boxing ppv that was worth paying for? We somehow convinced them to turn one of the channels back to the Flyers game. Bastards!

6. Is everyone else as annoyed by that new McDonalds Chicken McNuggets commercial with those two guys “rapping” about it? I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!!! Worst of all, when I hear it, I can’t get it out of my mind! I keep hearing “McNugget Time, McNugget Time, McNugget Time …. Ketchup and mayo ....” I want to punch those guys in the throat …. On top of that, who dips their McNuggets in mayo? That’s just plain ridiculous. I would almost rather watch the Chevy commercial with the John Mellancamp song …. Almost.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Help!

So, we’re almost a year away from this big switch from analog to digital broadcast television. Apparently, February 17, 2009 will be last day for full-power television stations to broadcast in analog. To be honest, I’m not really sure how this will affect me, if at all. I mean, I have digital cable. Is this all I need? I’m still living in the 20th century when it comes to television sets – which means, I don’t have a plasma or LCD tv as of yet, just the old-fashioned CRT.

To be honest, I haven’t even given much thought to getting a new television (or new tv’s, if I have to), mainly because I still can’t justify paying that much for one. I don’t think I’ve spent more than $400 on a tv, but these HDTV’s start at around $900 (for one that is above 32 inches) – and that’s low-end, and bulky.

Which leads into the second thing – with all the different types of HDTV’s out there, I’m not really sure what I need to look for. Should I buy LCD or Plasma? Are there others on the horizon? What the hell does 720DP or 1080DP mean? What other extras should I keep in mind?

Getting back to the LCD and Plasma arguments, I’ve heard rumors. First, I heard that Plasma tv’s use a lot of energy – I mean, noticeable. And, although LCD’s are more “efficient,” apparently their picture isn’t as crisp, and they don’t last as long. Is this true? Please, help me, my fireinds!

Heck, I’ve seen those commercials from Circuit City and Best Buy where they push their installation services, and it scares me. How difficult is it to install one of these? What should I keep in mind? What about the cables – are there tons of them? Are they easy to hide? Should I buy one of those “new-fangled” remote controls? What about speakers? Ugh! So many questions.

So, now you get the idea on why I’m hesitant. Any info you can provide would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Stuff ...

Just a few random entertainment (and sports) thoughts.

Sly Stallone is releasing yet another Rambo movie – the first one in many years. He cashed in on the Rocky franchise, so I guess he decided he couldn’t pass up the guaranteed Rambo money. I’ve never seen any of the Rambo movies, but from what I’ve heard, he probably should’ve just left it alone. I mean, he basically should call this Rambo vs. Cocoon.

Will it be believable having a 60-something year old doing some huge freedom fighting? I guess it helps that he’s kept his body in some sort of shape via workouts … and probably some steroids. Here’s to hoping this guy doesn’t decide to do any sequels to Oscar or Tango and Cash.

So, Brittney Spears decided not to show up in court when she saw the circus in front of it. She decided to grab some coffee and go shopping instead. I don’t know about you guys, but this definitely sounds like a woman who wants her kids back. Sadly, Kevin Federline looks like the most normal parent … even with his ridiculous Mohawk. Those kids are screwed!

Maybe it’s just me, being a Philadelphia sports fan, but I got a certain amount of joy watching the Cowboys lose this weekend, even if it was against the Giants. Seeing Jerry Jones nearly swallow his tongue on the sidelines, and watching T.O. cry like a little baby during the press conference increased the joy that I felt. It was so funny to hear T.O. claim that he’s always had his quarterbacks’ back … yeah – he stands behind his quarterbacks, and then stabs them. The Cowboys should probably let him go at this point, he’s overdue for another team demolition.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Man, I'm Gettin' Old!

I woke up this morning, trying to think of a topic I could blog about, and it hit me …. Actually, a culmination of things over the past few weeks helped in this (like, my mom talking about technology exploding over the past 20 years when I dropped off my shirts) … So, I decided to put together a short list of … well … observations. Please add to them, if you want.

* I remember a time when a video game console had a controller (joystick) with only one button.
* I remember a time when postage stamps were only 13 cents.
* I remember a time when I had to get up and turn the knob to change tv channels.
* I remember a time when there were two “frequencies” for tv – VHF and UHF … and, we only had about 6 stations to view.
* I remember a time when a cable box had buttons and knobs on it to push (again, one would have to actually get up and change the channel on the box), and this box had a tuner on it, as well (this helped when trying to descramble the Playboy channel).
* I remember a time when fast food restaurants didn’t have “value menus.” I also remember a time when Wendy’s had a taco bar.
* I remember a time when cassette tapes were cool.
* I remember a time when phones had cords as well as not having pushbuttons (took forever to dial), and when the first two digits of a phone number were pronounced as letters.
* I remember a time when one had to make popcorn on a stove (I’ve seen Jiffy Pop bring this back, but most people probably microwave popcorn at this point).
* I remember a time when Billy Martin was making commercials for Captain Black, and Joe DiMaggio was making commercials for Mr. Coffee, and Pete Rose was making commercials for Wawa.
* I remember a time when cans of soda (and beer) had that annoying pull top – this system would always seem to produces cuts on my fingers.
* I remember a time when kids would go outside and play sports (heck, my friends and I would go out and play sports almost every day … even with the Atari 2600 or Commodore 64).

There, I feel better.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Odds and Ends ...

Odds and Ends


1. I cooked some bacon (low sodium) for dinner tonight – we put it in our salad. I think bacon cooking may be the best smelling scent of all time.

2. The Golden Globe awards show has been canceled … somehow, it won’t affect my tv watching this weekend.


3. Brittany Spears can’t get out of the news … Brittany is to tabloids like Captain Morgan’s is to soda.

4. It’s 60 degrees in PA in January … I’m guessing we won’t get above 30 in February.

5. The corner of our living room looks empty now that the Christmas tree is gone.

6. My wife thinks there are only 6 days in a week.

7. When we eat dinner at night, it sounds like tuba-town (I’ll let you decide why).

8. Why did time seem to go by a lot slower when we were kids? Remember when you were in grade school, and it was Halloween – it felt like Christmas was years away … sigh.

9. I need to find some new bands to get into … I just never seem to have the time.

10. I really need to go bowling on a more regular basis … I came to this conclusion whilst playing bowling on the Wii.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More and More Like Barry ...

The big news story over here in the States is this whole Roger Clemens steroids situation. For those of you unfamiliar, Roger Clemens is arguably the best baseball pitcher of our generation – he has played for over 24 years, and with the exception of a few bad years in the mid 1990’s, the man has been more dominant than a pack of pitbulls in a nursery school.

A few weeks ago, a report conducted by a former U.S. senator, named Mr. Clemens (among many others) as a steroid user. The evidence was “procured” from a former trainer of Clemens. This past Sunday night on 60 Minutes (a popular “journalism” show), Clemens proclaimed his innocence, and went on to discredit the trainer. Later that night, he filed a lawsuit against the trainer, and yesterday, he held a press conference in which he played a 17-minute “conversation” he had with the trainer (In case you are interested in finding out more, check out this link: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=3185451&sportCat=mlb).

When the Mitchell Report was first released, it didn’t shock me that Clemens was on this list. I mean, the guy is well into his 40’s, and was pitching some of the best baseball of his career at an age when most starting pitchers opt for middle relief. The allegation made sense to me, and I won’t apologize for this. After all, I reacted the same way with the Barry Bonds situation. However, I was willing to listen to Clemens because, frankly, I didn’t find him to be anywhere near the a$$hole that Bonds it.

I watched the 60 Minutes interview, and Clemens convinced me at the very least that it was possible he didn’t do steroids, and I genuinely felt bad for the guy – mainly because his credibility took a hit with the report. However, the shenanigans he pulled on Monday even made Bonds cringe. This phone call he played ruined his credibility in my eyes. What an absolute scumbag he is (and yes, I know, the trainer is probably a scumbag too, but I just didn’t expect Clemens to go to that level).

He secretly taped a phone call solely because he’s a self-centered jerk who will do anything and step on anyone’s throat to ensure that he gets his way. He is your typical grade school bully, except he was lucky enough to be allowed to continue being a bully even in adulthood. The trainer called to try and clear the air and to find a way to get Clemens’ forgiveness, even telling Clemens about his ailing son. Clemens “claims” this is why he agreed to talk to the trainer – absolute rubbish. What a jerk.

Clemens went on to answer some press questions – basically sticking his chest out and ruffling his feathers like a pissed off rooster (and yes, I deliberately made the cock reference), daring anybody to ask a controversial question. Hey, Roger, you say repeatedly that steroids are a short-term fix for people, and the health risks are too great to justify taking them – yet you freely admit that you took pain-killers like they were candy, repeatedly getting “shot-up” so that you can continue playing. Hey buddy, isn’t this a health risk? Sounds to me like you’d do anything (and yes, I mean anything) to continue pitching.

Seriously Roger, maybe you and Bonds can find a few more years in entertainment by signing on with the WWE as the “Scumbags,” or the “Needle Dicks.” Your legacy was even more tarnished by your childish behavior big guy.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2008 Predictions!

Whew! Another year gone by already. Before you know it, we’ll be putting balls on the trees (wait, that didn’t sound good), and ushering out another year (why does time go by so much quicker now than when we were kids? Eh, a topic for another blog, I guess!). Despite my poor showing with my 2007 predictions, I am going to give it another shot in 2008 (please, hold the applause!).

10. We’re gonna see the NHL on ESPN again. The Outdoor Life Network/Versus experience did nothing to help hockey, and probably set them back a bit (in addition to that horrific lockout). Sure, ESPN won’t offer as much money as Versus, but the publicity that the NHL will garner from being on the Worldwide sports leader will more than make up for that. Plus, the outdoor game that was played on January 1 did surprisingly well with regards to ratings. Can’t do any worse than the Bluebonnet bowl, can it?

9. Barry Bonds will not spend any time in jail. It saddens me to say so, but this guy is more slippery than an eel dipped in Vasoline. He’ll find some way (probably via the OJ Simpson expensive lawyer model) to avoid the iron bars (and male lovin’).

8. A Reality Show channel will appear on cable … sure, sure, MTV has already been working with this formula for some time now, but they haven’t quite been able to fill 24-hours with reality shows … yet.

7. A prominent politician, one running for president, will have to deal with some sort of scandal …. Hey, it happens every 4-years … like clock-work.

6. Philadelphia’s sports teams will once again let-down their city by not winning a championship (25 years and counting). The Flyers have made strides, but they are too inconsistent. The Phillies still have Pat Burrell and a bullpen that looks more like the insides of an outhouse. The Eagles seem to be content with being just good enough. And the Sixers seem to be at least 2 years away from serious contention.

5. Thanks to two of my best friends planning on getting married in 2008, I will be a lot lighter in the pockets … sigh.

4. The Rolling Stones will release another album, and start their 35th farewell tour … and of course, I’m all for it!

3. More groups that sound like Nickleback, My Chemical Romance, and Three Doors Down will sadly supersaturate our pathetic airwaves … whatever happened to creativity anyway?

2. Chevy will continue using annoying rock songs to push their mediocre cars and trucks … hey, why change a formula that doesn’t seem to work?

1. Every household in the U.S. will finally have a Nintendo Wii … but this won’t happen until late November … sadly.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 Predictions ... a Recap

I decided to go back and look at the predictions I made for 2007, and see how well I did. My next blog posting will probably be 2008 predictions … although if I do as poorly as I did with the 2007 predictions, maybe I should give it up.

10. I predicted that one of the 4 “F*ckhats would pass away – Nicole, Paris, Brittany, or Lindsay … unfortunately, I left out Anna Nicole … I would’ve been a genius!

9. I predicted that Barry Bonds’ knees would fall off during a baseball game. Sadly, this did not happen. But, he did get indicted, so maybe he’ll never smell a lick of freedom again … one can only hope!

8. I predicted that T.O. would get released from the Cowboys. I believe I heard somewhere that Parcells gave Jerry Jones an ultimatum that either T.O. goes or Parcells goes … sadly, it looks like the ‘Boys made the right decision.

7. I predicted that the Phillies would be in the wild card race until the last week of the season … like every year. Hey, I was partially right, they WERE in the wild card race until the end. However, the Mets collapsed, and the Phils somehow won the division.

6. I predicted that we would either get confirmation that we were successful in “terminating” Osama Bin Laden, or we would find out that he had died about a year ago … unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like either was the case.

5. I predicted that the Rolling Stones would finally end their “Bigger Bang” Tour that started in 2005, and shockingly, it did finally end … I think it was in November.

4. I predicted that there would be another “new” Tupac cd out, with “all new material” … even though the man has been dead for close to 10 years (or more) … truthfully, I have no idea if this happened, as I don’t follow Tupac.

3. I predicted that Burger King would be producing a 10 patty hamburger – I can’t verify this, but if anybody has tried to place an order for one of these, please let me know.

2. I predicted that the Reverend would post another blog entry on his site – basically meaning that he would have a new job … I was dead-on with this one. Nice work, Rev!

1. My final prediction was that there would be a “Best of” President Bush funny lines DVD out … and that it would be the best selling DVD of the year … I don’t know of an DVD produced, but somebody bought me the G.W. Bush funny quotes calendar … that’s gotta count for something, right?

So to recap, I think I got 2 absolutely correct, and another 2 could probably be debated (we’ll call them a tie). I finished with a 2-2-6 record … at least the Miami Dolphins are jealous.

Happy 2008 everyone!