Friday, July 31, 2009

Another well placed but misguided attempt by Under Armour...

I'm an Under Armour guy. I've told you all this (I know I should link you back to my original UA blog here but I'm just too damn lazy. I don't use tags and my memory is atrocious. I'm sorry. If you read it already then you know my feelings. If you didn't then just take my word for it.) before but I'm using to set the stage. Because I'm an old school Under Armour guy. A functional Under Armour guy. I liked Under Armour because it felt good and kept me from chaffing under my sweet (read: shitty) fooseball pads before I retired. I a not a guy who wears tight fitting UA down the street. That being said, I liked the idea of the newly released reversible Under Armour long sleeve top that has one side acting more like heat gear wicking sweat from your skin to keep you cool and the other side acting more All-Season and insulating with a little more texture and substance to that particular side. Seems like a fine idea in theory. They even look nice:

Until I read the fine print (Not the $50 price tag. That's ashtray money, bro.):

  • Light, smooth side of UA AllSeasonGear®, stays flat against skin to enhance cooling and accelerate dry time.
  • Dark, textured side of UA AllSeasonGear® fabric is to be worn on body to keep you warm and dry through superior moisture transport and evaporative cooling.
  • What's wrong with this picture, I asked myself. Wait a minute! No...Wait a minute! No, that's not it either...Wait a minute! Yes! If the smooth side is the heat gear side wicking moisturethen why the F isn't that the dark fabric? From what I've heard in "science" class heat (generally) = sun, and darker colors absorb the sun's rays (read: heat) more than light colors do.

    Why would you not put the dark colored fabric as heat gear so when it's...wait for it...HOT, the darker fabric is not as exposed because it's...underneath the light colored fabric! And when you're trying to stay WARMER in cooler temps then the darker color WOULD BE EXPOSED, gaining additional heat from absorbing the sun's rays if it is sunny out. What the f is the UA R&D thinking?! Honestly. It just seems like common sense. They look like nice shirts, they really do, but on a hot summer day the last thing I want to be in is a black long sleeve shirt. Unless, of course, these shirts really don't work as advertised and are just a crock of shit designed the same as all of their others, just called something different, and are only designed to make big bucks (NO WHAMMY! NO WHAMMY! NO WHAMMY!...)..

    Maybe they know something that I don't, but I doubt it. Cheers.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Dog days of summer are here..

    Finally, summer feels like summer in the State of Maine! About f-ing time. Now I can bitch incessantly about how it's entirely too hot to roof instead of bitching about how it's not sunny enough and I'm losing my tan. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday found me working damn near 28 hours (finishing on Wednesday at 1:15pm, I'll have you know. Ew.), and about six of those hours with a shirt on. For those of you who saw me last weekend: If you thought I was dark then, you should see me now. Granted, a good tan is about the only perk of laying shingles. Other than that it involves way to much lifting and carrying of 65-75+lb items up and down and all around. So, while I do look stunning I'd much rather have gotten this color by hanging out on a beach sipping spirits. O well, so it goes.

    Speaking of work...I was off today and I'm off tomorrow because my super cool boss wanted to check out a FOUR DAY ROCK FESTIVAL. Christian rock festival. Hey, to each their own, right? At least I had some time to do a little much needed work around the house. This way I can pretend my three hours of labor today translates into a three extra months rent. It is nice to have some days off and do relatively nothing, even when I'm unable to sleep past 7:30am.

    But on roofing, Think about this. We're working on a roof that one side is 90 feet long by 45 feet high. We cover it going up 5 inches at a time and over 36 inches. Do the math. Is that disgusting, or what?


    Today while shopping for the first time in a couple of weeks (and probably the third time since the middle of June) I realized that I've forgotten all of my good habits of being an environmentally conscious shopper. Really, it was just one thing: I've forgotten my reusable bags at home three straight trips. Most places I get away with it because I'm just swinging in to buy one or two items and I can walk out with items and receipt in hand. Food shopping, however, is a different story. Cashiers hate it when I try to walk out with four items in hand, let alone 15 or 20. And they also hate stuffing bags, so even if I could fit them in one bag they find it necessary to use four or five. "You're sure you want your one box of crackers and one onion in the same bag?" Why yes, sir, I am.

    So today upon my return from some errands I threw my favorite green Hannaford bag in the back of the Blue Goose. Hopefully now I'll just remember to take it out of the back seat when I arrive at a shopping center. There are few worse feelings in teh world than arriving to a register with a cart of groceries to realize you left your favorite green Hannaford bag in your car. Let me tell you..


    I have quite a bit more to discuss but I don't have quite a bit more time right now to get it out. So have a coke and a smile and I'll get back to you tomorrow. Cheers.

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    Question for the audience:

    I was driving home up Minot Avenue in Auburn this evening from my usual Thursday night hot spot, and this came to my attention:
    Minot Ave has been being re-paved for the last few weeks, and it has been present in a tore up state since about July 1st..

    They tear up road by running a magical machine over the top which strips up and grooves the top layers of asphalt before they lay two new coats of hot top over it and call it a "road" again (SIDENOTE: when they stripped Minot Ave...a gem of a road, already...there were quite a few spots where this aforementioned strippage didn't "quite" tear all the way down to old(er) asphalt, but left some of the already present potholes, too (therefore no adhesion for new hot top..well done..). I expect this "new" road to last less than five years. Anyways, I Love Auburn and Obama money!)
    But while that's funny, it's neither here nore there. To make a long story short my question to you is this:
    Once they laid down a new coat of hot top (this happened earlier this week..) they put two of the little plastic lane marker bastards that sick up and you drive over and they slap your tire in the color white to mark the lane lines (FYI: it's a two lane northbound and a two lane southbound road with no natural divider..), and put one of the plastic lane marker bastards that sick up and you drive over and they slap your tire in the color yellow to mark the median line (Another FYI: There's no turning lane. Just four lanes of hotly contested traffic..). Why would they do this, when, from first observation, it seems ass backwards?
    Respond by comment with the correct answer ASAP for a prize, maybe even a pat on the back. I will post the correct answer by 5pm (ish..) Friday so let your cranium work while your at the office ending your week. Cheers.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    This is in the Blue Goose right now:

    It kicks in after about :25. The video is a little squirly but the audio is quality. Got to hold on to a piece of dry land. Cheers.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Something is better than nothing..

    I had planned (and actually started) an elaborate conclusion blog for Bonnaroo, highlighting my favorite performances (other than GP&theN's, of course..) and also the shows I was a little disappointed in but I've lost some serious steam between last night and tonight and don't really think I feel up to it. It'll come, but not within a month of its conclusion. So be it. Instead, I'll leave you with a tip or two and some other random thoughts.

    Don't go on a weeklong bender prior to rolling into Manchester, TN. That may seem like an obvious statement, as Bonnaroo is a 20+ hour a day party for four days. Let's just say our eyes were bigger than what we were actually able to maintain for days 10 and 11 of said road trip. By Saturday we had both grown a little tired. I'm not disappointed. I had my first night on the town in Manhattan, which was a little overwhelming but I guess everyone needs that every once in a while. I had (another) great time in Charlottesville (I've never had a bad time down there, in all seriousness. Nothing surprises me down there anymore.), and Nashville was a great two days which wouldn't have happened had we not gone there beforehand. Everything fit up correctly with the trip planned out the way we traveled, so that's how it went. If/when I make it back down I'll tentatively say today that the journey down will be a bit more subdued. Hindsight is 20/20. But, just a bit. No worries.

    This is just a guess but I think four guys going together would be an optimal number. This would allow for two 2somes if there are disagreements on shows and also would provide a nice camp setting. Two tents, two cars, and thus two spots combined to make a home away from home for four days. Also, the person(s) you're going with shouldn't be a dinkus (or dinkuses) and decide not to pick up a cigarette lighter car charger for their cellular telephone. Let's just say its easy to get separated inside and cells make things fairly easily to communicate. And this is coming from a guy who is certainly anti-cellular telephones. Even I was dropping texts like it was my job (and constantly hating myself for doing it but that's besides the point...if I made it through then you can, too..). Cell batteries aren't what they used to be. It just saves a lot of headaches (Well, it would have..).

    Other than that I think we did a pretty good job of taking her easy. It was certainly a vacation. Good times.


    In other news, packaging companies are sneaky bitches. I've been paying attention to this for awhile now but I haven't got the word out. While food prices are staying the same/increasing in supermarkets, the portion/package sizes are shrinking. Mother. Fuckers.
    -Ice cream, formerly of the 2 quart package sizes are now 1.75's or 1.5's. Assholes.
    -Charcoal Bags, you know, a 20lb bag of charcoal? 18 lbs these days. Same goes for LP cylinders. Are you shitting me?
    -I used to be able to get a 50 yard roll of dental floss that would last me awhile. Now, a 40 yard roll only lasts...about 4 fifths the time the 50 yard roll did...but still, this shit is ridiculous.
    Something's rotting in Denmark, people. These are three distinct markets so I have to say this is a prevalent and pervasive issue in every aisle. I say don't stand for this kind of aggression, but find other ways to do it than cutting out dental floss. I hate to floss but let's just say, hypothetically, that if you stop flossing for 3-4 years and don't bother to see a dentist during that time when you finally get back in that miserable chair your experience will be even more miserable than usual. Maybe that just occurred because I told the hygienist that I hate dentists and she decided to teach me a lesson in honesty not always being the best policy. Pick'em.

    So, now I floss. I don't plan to see a dentist again for awhile (read: ever again..), but I floss regularly. Self-medication is the best medication.


    It's the All Star game, and who saw Obama's first pitch? Oh, yeah, NO ONE. BECAUSE FOX DECIDED TO KEEP AN ON-FIELD CAMERA DIRECTED DIRECTLY AT MR. PRESIDENT RATHER THAN THE TRADITIONAL OUTFIELD VIEW IN TO THE BACKSTOP, ALLOWING NO ONE TO KNOW IF HE THREW A LEGIT PITCH OR NOT. Horseshit. I'd expect that shit out of CNN or MSNBC or some other (severely) left-leaning media outlet, but FOX? Really? I'm shocked. What's funny is I think it was a pretty good pitch so having our fearless leader cover up for potentially inadequacies may have actually ruined another instance of "Him" yet again demonstrating his god-like powers (Here's a good chance for you all to remember the difference between God and Obama..). Not only can the guy kill flies like Mr. Miyagi, he can also throw cheese and paint the black, a la Dennis Eckersley.
    This is also a chance for me to shit on Eck and his now-tired stint as an analyst. I really think the guy just makes shit up on the fly and pretends it's baseball lingo form the 80's. If Orsillo had some stones he'd call him on it one of these days. Remy, get well soon. If I have to hear Eck say "punch-out" instead of strike out" another 600,000,000,000 times before the season is up I may lose my shit (well, lose more of my shit..).

    Bonnaroo Video of the day: Proof David Byrne still has "it".. and while he sounds great it's his live dancers that really set the tone and steal the show..


    This router is the best forty Washingtons I've spent in some time. My efficiency is now legitimate. I have no plans to add a television, I've got my music and I've got my "internet" and that's all I really need. It's a good day to be me.

    Last: The blue bird will be making its way to craigslist sometime in the next week or so. I'm not really interested in selling it, but if I can move it then moves I will make. Gotta feel things out. Just call me Butch.

    If you know of anyone interested in this gem you send them my way. 1986. 157,000miles (+/- 13,000 of them mine). Stick shift. I love her. Cheers.

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    The Grace Gospel

    It's funny how life throws you a bone every once in awhile. I had been planning glorious things to say about Grace Potter and the Nocturnals well before I made it back to the 207 after my semi-southern state swing (Tennessee is the south but it's not the deep south..). I had made mental notes, once I got home I jotted down more hard notes so I wouldn't forget any of the good things I wanted to say, which proceeded to collect dust at the workstation in my efficiency. Tiredness from the trip led into a premature return to the working world as I was invited to gain from the bailout money (and may continue to gain if another bid goes through...blessing and a curse at the same time for multiple reasons, but none are a story for today) and never really felt like sitting down and putting fingers to keys for anything meaningful. I had no problem spouting bullshit on antics from my 10 or 12 days on the road and other random flashbulb insights since my return home, but the Grace Potter show meant something. I'm not really sure why. I was excited to see her prior to heading down. Everyone knew that. She was actually the first name I'd say when people would ask about who I was excited to see, even though she was a Friday afternoon act and by no means a headliner. But I liked her music and I liked what the band was about. I could sing along. I'd be semi-respectable in a concert setting. So with it having been a month since I saw GP&theN's perform I can now finally say this: I was absolutely blown away by what I witnessed.

    For starters, Grace is a dime-piece. Just beautiful in most every way. Beautiful eyes. Beautiful smile. Beautiful legs, too, which she loved to show off in a well-cut dress. She wasn't runway pretty, or model pretty, she was just beautiful. And she could flat out play. Guitar, organ, tambourine - you name it and she rocked the rock out of it. I liken it to something I (and many others) used to talk about in college called track goggles. Similar to beer goggles, only it caused you to be blinded to a certain extent by ability. A girl who is flat out busted may have graded out as a 6 because she could run a 12low hundred meter, and the girl who you would look at and say, "Oh, her? Yeah, she's okay. 6 or 7?" if you saw her in street clothes you'd be thinking about ways to propose at a meet without getting yourself arrested. Maybe that's a little too extreme, maybe this explains some of my poor performances in meet settings. Again, neither here nor there. But clearly the fact Ms. Potter could get after it on multiple instrument increased her sexiness exponentially above what it already would have been.

    The band was also well equipped, too. I'll steal a phrase from Mr. Lawler (speaking of Chik-Fil-A, but whatever) in that the Nocturnals had a touch of class to them. They were all dressed well; in a sense that they and Grace looked great together and all complimented each other well, but also allowed for plenty of their own rocker individuality to show through. There was the pretty boy lead guitarist who could get after it. A rhythm guitarist in a suit who had hair a bit longer than mine in my prime and a legit beard to go with it. A babe bass player who was sexy in her simplicity - perfect for a bassist imho. And their drummer had the thickest mustache I think I've ever seen and an ear to ear smile at all times. They were quite a trip.

    This cohesion led to an extreme feeling of emotion which built and built and built as the show went on. They performed all original songs which had all been written by either Ms. Potter or Ms. Potter and other band members, so I'd suspect all of the songs they played had significant meaning to them. This added to an emotional connection between their music and the audience. The fact the band cared about their music made the audience care about them, and in turn become emotionally invested in the music. As the audience got more revved up, the band ratcheted up its emotion and intensity and so on and so forth. This interaction and dynamic was brilliant. This very well could have been accentuated by all the red they had on. Very vibrant. Very passionate. Maybe that was just me, though.
    I'd like to poo-poo on the Roo planning department for giving GP&theN's a Friday afternoon slot; they were more than deserving of a Saturday slot on a stage. But I just can't because I think the tent allowed for a more intimate atmosphere. We were up close, 15 or 20ish rows back, but as the show went on you could feel people closing in towards the stage and the crowd growing and growing. It was pretty intense. So, while I would say it's a safe bet the next time they're at Bonnaroo they'll be on a stage (Which, hopefully. They'd do well there), I think the tent atmosphere was GREAT this time around.
    As luck would have it the AT&T broadcast some station or "internet" site had running included this set, and in turn much of the set has found its way onto youtube. So (As you can see..) this isn't your standard amateur video from a camera phone but legit shit with multiple camera angles and close ups and group shots and everything you'd want to remember a concert by. It also was pretty cool because Mr. Lawler walked away floored, as well. And I wasn't really sure how he would take their style of music. He wasn't feeling the "Ragged Company" vid I tossed up earlier in the year so I thought he was a bit skeptical. But I was persistent and I guess he figured even if he thought it sucked Jenny and Kath would be around, too, so he wouldn't be stuck alone.

    This was not the case, and since I returned north I've been preaching the gospel of Grace to all who will listen. I really don't care what kind of music you say that you like, I'll probably still say you'll like Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I may be right, I may be wrong. But I feel it is my duty. I had hoped to make it up to VT this weekend to see her perform today, actually, but with my dogsitting duties I was unable to escape for the day. O well, I'm over it. There will be other times, I can promise you that. But clearly the hype machine is in full force as they played during moe.'s four hour late night set Saturday night set (I have no idea what moe. plays. It didn't sound great when I walked by. NIN was a little too much so we called it a rather early night around 2:30 and missed the fun. Shucks.) and she and Scott Tournet (lead guitar) played with Mule during their Sunday set. They're on the map. Get up to speed and check them out. A new album drops this fall and you can bet that I'll pick it up not-so-long-after it hits stores.

    Come get some (and invite me when you choose to..Sounds like NYC in August, perchance? Happy Birthday, Asima...and thanks again for the invite to your birthday shindig last night...). Cheers.

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Another Saturday night...

    I did absolutely nothing today. That was a nice change. A free weekend. I don't feel like I ever do much of anything, it's just I always seem to have something to do. Something I should be doing. This is not the case this weekend. I have nothing on my plate and I plan to keep it that way.

    As of right now I am at 50% completion of that goal. Today I slept until noon. Because I could. Well, I woke up at 7am from my slumber on the couch, fed Ernie (my partner in crime until next Saturday), then proceeded upstairs to my bed for another five hours of uninterrupted sleep. Glorious. When I arose at noon:15 I flipped on the tube and finally watched the first season of Eastbound & Down. I ripped EB&D earlier this winter/spring for what I felt was a sad depiction in character for Rod Beck. That was in look only, and I knew that at the time. Really, this character was all John Rocker. I'm sure I'm not the first to have said this; it was patently obvious who they were trying to shit on. But that's neither here nor there.

    But having seen the six episode season in its entirety I have to say it was rather amusing. I was planning to watch it straight trough but i fell asleep during the 5th episode for about deuce hours, so I had to go back and watch five again before I finished up around 5:30. That wasn't because the 5th episode lacked anything, just because I figured I could use some more sleep. Hell of a day, in my opinion. Continuing on:

    Will Ferrell's character sucked. I'm sick of his shit. I may be the only one on the planet to say this but his shtick is played out and tired. Outside of Old School and some old SNL stuff I'll change the channel as quickly as possible if something of his is on. It's not that it's not funny, it's that it's the same shit over and over and over and over. I, for one, can't take it. Try something new, shithead.

    Kenny Powers is funny, but I get a little sick thinking that teacher is attracted to such a shithead. And the ending of the 6th episode, aka the season, is awful. It was like the writers had no way of concluding and had a pretty good idea there would be no second season, so they just quit. Well played, guys. But overall I give it three wings out of five stars.

    Hopefully tomorrow brings more of the same. I would very much like to wake up and not leave the house again. Chances are I will make it out; I'd enjoy hitting some golf balls. Other than that it will be another low key day. I'm not mad about that..


    In honor of Bonnaroo opening one month ago, here's my favorite performance from day one. Remember, it was raining cats and dogs at this time, but luckily we were tent covered.
    Zac Brown Band could flat-out play. Hell of a way to open up things, in my humble opinion. And how the top video only has 78 views is anyone's guess, that rendition was badass even with poor vid quality. And below was his set opener. Legit. Cheers (and enjoy..).

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Just joined the 21st (20.5, really) Century

    I did it. I finally broke down and bought a router for the Capone house. $40 well spent (I guess...I was in a spending mood today, more on that later). Of course because it is technology it couldn't be easy to set up, so I spent the better half of my afternoon and evening tinkering with it. I bought a wired router because neither of our desktops have wireless adapters and I had 60 feet of ethernet cables collecting dust so there was no damn way I was going to spend more money to get the same result (OBIOUSLY!). Maybe that made it slightly more complicated, but after getting up about 65 times to unplug wires and reconnect ethernet to ports and this that and the other thing, I had...SUCCESS. And you know what they say: Nothing says success like not ending up with a big dump in your pants.

    Also dropped some coin on a new driver this evening. The TaylorMade Burner '08. This isn't going to stop me from checking eBay to see if I can find a better deal on it (OBVIOUSLY!), but for now it'll do. I broke the shaft of my old Big Dog (a Callaway Great Big Bertha Hawkeye which had been very good to me since I started out on the course a few years ago) on the first hole last Sunday. Well, it cracked on the 1st. I teed it up again on #3 and the crack got worse. So I finished off the job with my hands. I was unimpressed.

    Chances are I'll get a new shaft on the Hawkeye because as I've been saying a lot lately: there's something special about your first. For now it'll just be acting as a nice paperweight.


    For the next 10 days or so I'll be doing my usual summer house/dog-sitting gig in a neighborhood across the way, so many nights I don't bother to log on the "internet" or any of that jazz. I have HBO and a lot to catch up on. That's all I need. What I'm saying is don't expect me to return to consist tent blogging any time soon. With the new connection set to go in my efficiency upon my return next weekend I'm cautiously optimistic that this will lead to the return of hard-hitting, humorous, and (every now and again...okay one or two thus far) insightful pieces on the 'pad in the not so distant future. For now I'll just keep on keeping on. Cheers.

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    It used to be like Christmas morning

    when in July during my formative years I'd see the mail come and my Eastbay football issue would be waiting for me in the mailbox. This was back before the internet was used for anything other than AOL chatting. There were web pages and stuff but they'd take forever to load and they were hit or miss. No one shopped online, at least around here. And around here we didn't have any nice Niketown stores or any of that garbage. Nothing more than Olympia Sports. And let's just say Olympia Sports generally sucks in it's supply of decent shit other than running shoes and we'll leave it at that. But seriously, I used to love the day that magazine would arrive. I'd spend a week or two just stewing over what I should get. And bang, a week's pay from Coastal T Shirts would be headed to ma'dukes so I could throw cleats, gloves and whatever else on her plastic money card.

    This is also a good time for me to remind everyone out there that I was the first person in the state of Maine to wear Under Armour. It was back as an eighth grader in the fall of 1998 (which is crazy, right? I mean, that was only 10ish years ago. And now Under Armour is EVERYWHERE. Polyester, moisture-wicking t's are just the thing to wear for any activity. That's pretty wild to me.) and the only place you could by Under Armour was by mail direct from Under Armour headquarters in Maryland. I saw their add in a Street & Smith's NFL preview magazine that Skip would always pick up around the 4th of July to read while we'd sit on the lake at my grandparents.

    They made t shirts. Period. They made two different shirt fits: Tight and loose. They had two different colors: white and black. You could get long sleeve in and short sleeve in both, but with the tight shirts you could get sleeveless and a half shirt. All "Heat Gear," all the time. Just shirts that would stay lightweight when they got wet.
    And look where we're at now. Under Armour makes 90000 (or so..) different things and every other clothing supllier has copied their design to one degree or another. Under Armour is a uniform and clothing supplier to a bunch of colleges and hell, they even make sneakers. Not bad, UA. But let the record show: It was me, baby. Me.

    It was really kind of funny because the year after I got a long sleeve and a short sleeve shirt was when they started offering new colors and different thicknesses. And most everyone else who played football around here started wearing it. '99 was the first year they offered their underoos, too. Not the underoos they sell now but their standard compression shorts. This redesign also lead to a slightly different (now current) chest logo. The first logo used to have little cutouts where the U and the A cross over one another. This allowed me to prove without a shadow of a doubt I brought this stuff into the area (Don't ask me why I remember [or care to remember...] this, I think it's pretty strange, too). Everyone remembers Miller as the Under Armour guy because he had 65 different shirts for all occasions. I had a couple of them, but dammit, my favorite was the one I got first. Sleeveless. As a sophomore it got torn in back so by the time I was a senior it was basically a half shirt. And it wasn't exactly white when it was all said and done. But there's something special about your first. It's like a new pair of underwear. At first, it's constrictive. But after awhile it becomes a part of you. Cheers.