Monday, August 31, 2009

As you settle into work Monday morning..

Remember this, my friends:
Either you want it..

or you don't..
The choice is yours.

You can..
a) Have the opportunity to say "Want some ice?" and proceed to pour diamonds into a martini glass.

b) Or realize money causes problems. Hence on the course Mr. Daddy is only wearing two golf gloves, rather than the usual three most people wear while playing.
If this isn't the next Choose Your Own Adventure premise (probably number 9856 in the series but I doubt they can fit four numbers on the spine..) then I'll be shocked. Cheers (and PS: I'm noticing this blog makes no sense as I finish it. Do me a favor and just enjoy some moderately old school beats as you begin your work week. I know Mase Gumbel will be if he's reading the 'pad this morning..).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Memory Lane

I know, I know. It's Friday after 6pm so I'm sure a lot of you won't read this for a day or two. But I just have to get this awesomeness out there. I'm just constantly impressed by people who have even more time on my hands than I do and actually use this time for good. They don't just sit on their ass and do nothing. They get off their ass, get a video camera and create gold. Pure gold. See below:

Flawlessly produced. Accents are spot on. This thing is going to blow up soon. So while 190,000+ people have already seen it before me I hope that a couple of you out there who haven't seen this yet will smile and say, "Yeah! I hated those fucking blue shells, too." If only someone would create a Mario Golf video I'd wet my pants with excitement. I would, but I have neither the golf skills nor the coin to pony up for comparable costumes. FML, I suppose.


And this video was a little tricky to find, so while stumbling around the "internet" I happened upon another Mario gem:

Nothing says funny like a has-been Mario living in a shithole apartment with the Princess while battling a serious mushroom addiction.

Havea greata weekend every-body!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kicking it old school...

"Internet is still down at mi casa. An ISP switch is in the works...but I can't begin to describe how difficult it is to decide on a new "internet" provider is...without having access to the "internet." Eff. So I decided to throw it back and my alma mater's library for the afternoon. Ya. Is this awesome or pathetic? I'm not sure, I'd say pick'em right now. And seeing that I went to the library all of about 10 times during my academic career to use a computer if this "internet" sitch isn't resolved soon and I end up here over the next two weeks more than I was over my four years in school I think I'll be leaning more towards the pathetic side..

I haven't worked this week. I'd like to have called it a vacation but it was much more of work falling through (I would have much rather been working, believe it or not because when I'm working at least my folks feel that I'm contributing in some manner. When I don't I do absolutely nothing and while I'd like to believe they're not judging me I know that they're judging me..) so I've spent the last four days being an absolute slug. Monday I tried to watch Waking Life, which I had wanted to see for awhile and found used a couple of months ago but hadn't quite found the time in my busy schedule to watch it. It proved a little too existential for a Monday at 11am and I drifted back to sleep on my living room floor within 20 minutes of putting it on, slipping in and out of sleep until it finished and I woke back up to the menu screen repeating the same tune every 10 seconds. Eerily similar to the movie I'd say, at least from what I could gather from the first 20 minutes I was with it. O well, another day I'll get through it, I'm sure.

Many would say I should have used my days off to pursue constructive tasks like finishing my resume. Really, JUST finishing my resume. But I don't think I'm able to work without having distractions. Seriously, it's gotten that bad. When I'm at a computer I don't know how to function without the "internet." I'm a sad, pathetic human being. This is troubling. Well, it will be troubling until I get the 'net back at home and then I can pretend this period of time which opened my eyes to just how dependant I have become on instant knowledge can be forgotten and I can go back to the status quo. Ya, that sounds better. Either that or I need to find a doctor to say I have adult ADD that will give me good drugs. I don't like drugs and I believe that the overmedicalization our society has bought into with a pill to solve everything will ultimately lead us down a road to destruction, but since I KNOW this and would not lie to myself and say that these drugs will solve all of my problems that I could be trusted to use them appropriately. With great power comes great responsibility, right? This is really moot, because without health insurance there's no way I'll be seeing a doctor or filling a script any time soon. So I'll just throw this tidbit in my back pocket and save it for later..


While I haven't been using my computer for productive means lately I have been leaving iTunes on,playing at random while I lay about and that always proves a good time. I enjoy keeping it on random until an artist I haven't heard in awhile comes on and I say to myself (well, usually aloud because my odd habit of talking to myself at length has come back to life) "I haven't heard much (fill in said artist here) in awhile. Let's listen."

My act of the week has been Harry Chapin. I don't have a lot of his studio albums (just one, if I recall correctly from here) but I do have two of his live collections and I enjoy them both very much. He's a singer/songwriter from the 70's and many of his songs are more narratives than true songs. Onstage he's also quite a storyteller as he likes to talk about the subjects of many of his songs at length prior to their beginning. It can grow old at times but I guess it's his schtick and it seemed to work well for him.

Anyways this is one of my Harry Chapin favorites, titled "A Better Place to Be." It's been a facebook profile staple for quite some time now, though I doubt many people know where it came from without googling it. "Cat's in the Cradle" is a classic tune and I'm a fan but for whatever reason I'm drawn to the little man. If you've got ten minutes to kill then enjoy, it's worth it:

This is really all I've got for today. If you enjoy this try "Taxi," too. It's also a keeper.

Cheers (o, and PS: I left my headphones at home so I have absolutely no idea if this audio is decent quality or not. Though respectively, 80,000 and 460,000 people gives me a hint they're not that bad..).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crazy Life & Times

Really, not that crazy. My "internet" connection has been on the fritz again since about Tuesday afternoon. So I actually look like a genius for getting all of that shit typed up on Monday & Tuesday to allow all fifteen or 16 of you out there reading to be entertained for the week. It's been a weird week. When I'm away from my house I could care less about the "internet" and staying connected but when I'm home I'm used to it and I'm conditioned to have access to it so I rely on it pretty extensively. Every five minutes or so I think of something I'd like to investigate further like an exact definition, a song lyric, a book title, directions (or the fact I'm 25 and live with my parents so my main means of escape is hiding online..) and I'm unable to. I think "Oh, right." and then just go on living my life.

I try not to get frustrated with the present situation, but of course at times I get frustrated. O well. It looks like I'll be fantasy football drafting from Skip's office at Bates because I no longer have a laptop so I won't be able to just find a wireless hotspot and hunker down for awhile. I know, I know. I'm creative, but I'm certainly not happy about the present situation. I guess that's what they make coolers for, right? So this is a notice that my posts may again be sporatic until we are back online at the homefront. Hopefully this will be resolved by the middle of the week but I'm no expert on the inner workings of Fairpoint Communications, other than they suck at life. I'm over it; I hope each of you can also get over it, too.

Sidenot: I think the hit counter in the right column has been acting up lately and not always logging hits. So I'm pretty sure that while it says I've been visited by a hair over 6000 folks that the real number is a hair over 600,000. Thanks for visiting; you are all the coolest.

In other exciting news I'll be going to see Ms. Potter and the Nocturnals for the second time this summer on September 12th. Bummed I missed them in Brooklyn so I'm super-duper excited I'll be able to redeem myself in a couple of weeks. I hope Kath and her Hamiltonians are also super-duper excited. I won't be there for a long time; I'll be there for a good time. And if you don't like the sound of that then you probably have a big dump in your pants. Cheers (and good day to all..).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I watch music stations on television too much these days..

Not VH1 or MTV or any of those shitty stations that used to actually play music but now play trashy TV. I'm Talking Ovation TV when I'm home and Palladia HD when I have the chance, as I did this past weekend. And this past weekend Palladia HD did not disappoint. Caught an previously aired CMT Crossroads featuring Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. This amused me a little bit because Crossroads usually brings together two sort-of unrelated acts (Think Taylor Swift and...Def Leppard?), and while Robert Plant and Alison Krauss certainly qualify as sort-of unrelated (to say the least..) at the time of filming they had already won an album of the year Grammy for Raising Sand. It seemed kind of lazy to me, but whatever. They still make great music and this performance was no different. This opportunity allowed them to collaborate on more than just their Raising Sand material and included this super-duper version of "Black Dog:"

I was very impressed. Word on the street is a second album is in the works, too.

For awhile back in college, sophomore year especially, I got the Led out fairly frequently when I fell in love with a big Led Zeppelin fan (she, however, was little) in November then when she graduated in December (honestly, who pulls that shit at a school like Bates..?) I continued listening when I'd cry myself to sleep. You've all been there, I'm sure. Anyways I'm excited because T-Bone Burnett is producing Grace Potter & the Nocturnals' forthcoming album, due out this fall. I know nothing about T-Bone Burnett other than he produced Raising Sand and that album was/is/will always be very good (and actually he's playing guitar between Robert and Alison with a ridiculously awful haircut in the above video). I also expect the GP&theN's new album to be very good. Coincidence? Probably.


Palladia is also nice because when they have gaps in airtime due to show lengths they just play videos. So when they popped on Ben Harper's "Diamonds on the Inside" it got me smiley. I've mentioned before on here that I'm pro-Ben Harper (WHICH REMINDS ME! One of these days I'm going to get around to labeling all of my previous posts. I'm an all or nothing kind of a person. I'm sure it won't take me too long to label 175 posts, right? And I have no idea what it actually accomplishes but my hope is I'll be able to search more quickly so when I said "I'm pro-Ben Harper I could immediately pull up my old Ben Harper mention and link back to it. Stay tuned..). I'm also a good-sized fan of this song especially but I had never seen the video. And if you'd like to see the video you'll have to click here because Capitol Music, like most record companies, sucks and doesn't let you embed their youtube content. Jerks.

Harper's album of the same name is probably my favorite of his albums, not just because it's the only one I have in my vehicle. "With My Own Two Hands" is a great track, too, but again I cannot post the video directly due to aforementioned reasons. Don't go clicking anywhere, there's no link here. Today is about Diamonds, not Hands, you could say. Had I seen the latter on Saturday this would all be reversed and I would have retarded my more specific praise for "Diamonds" instead of retarding my more specific praise for "Hands". Life is just crazy sometimes, isn't it?

"Daimonds" also includes my favorite Ben Harper lyric and one of my favorite lyrics I can remember:
Make sure the fortune that you seek
is the fortune that you need.
Words to live by, I suppose.. Cheers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big News!

The Sam's Italian Sandwich Shop on Minot Ave in Auburn got a new big menu sign.

It's no longer the big board that hasn't changed (well, other than some incremental price increases) as long as I can remember and was simple and brown and effective at telling the price of their delicious spread. The "internet" tells me these signs are called "changeable letter boards." Interesting. Imagine the sign to your right to be brown with white lettering and say things like "HAM ITALIAN" and "PIZZA: 9" 12" 16" " and that this imaginary sign is about 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide and you will have what the Sam's menu board looked like.

Now the food is still delicious but the menu is a bit more colorful. And picturous.
While I fear change I will look the other way at this because of the goodness which they make:

Be jealous that I had Sam's for dinner last night, and you did not. And I don't know what they did but their meatballs were especially tasty on the pizza we had last evening. Seemed to be a little big more well-cooked and a little bit more italian spices. More hearty overall. Whatever the difference was it certainly made my day.
If you'd like me to tell you more about Sam's and their Whoopie Pies and chicken salad italians and their meatball subs and their buckets of spaghetti feel free to click on the top right link, donate to my sorry ass and let me know what you'd like me to sample for you. Yes, I have not forgotten about this magical feature, and neither should you. Cheers.


Editor's Note(s):

Yesterday evening when I typed out the Once blog which aired this afternoon I erroneously stated that Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were married. They never married, they dated for a couple of years post-Once and called it quits or whatever you'd like to call it circa 2008. They still currently make great music, that statement was/is fact.

I apologize to those of you who take my words as the ultimate truth. (Though very, very seldom..) I do, in fact, err and misspeak at times. As Josh Hamilton would say: I'm human.

Also, I'm trying to spread my posting out a little bit more than usual. Monday (wait for it, and be impressed..) I complied both my Monday night post and Tuesday's post in one binge but decided better of posting it all together. This way I can give the people what they want, (bullsh... er, high quality and insightful content and commentary concerning my comings and goings...........) on more days of the week. I never know how I'm going to feel in the evenings after work or what I'm going to want to be doing after work so if I feel like pounding out a bunch of thoughts I can balance nights when I just want to sit down and crack my toes with spreading the Gospel of the 'Pad. Win-win, I know.

Don't think for a second I haven't done this before. For whatever reason I just felt like being honest and forthright with my actions today. And if you think for a second I'm somehow posting from a roof at 9:15 this morning or 2:15 some afternoons then you're just silly. Cheers (again..).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Music/Movie recommendation(s)

This probably would have been a couple weeks in the waiting, but lucky enough for me Portsmouth has a Bull Moose location downtown so before I departed for the north country of my homeland I took a walk down and in to check out their selection. Happy to find a Gov't Mule CD I had been looking for (High & Mighty) for less than the $15 it was priced at in Lewiston and found it for just ten big ones. This makes absolutely no sense, how can the "same" store differ in price by 33% with no special sale going on? But, whatever, glad I waited. I thought I was going to have to order it on Amazon. I did not, so the Amazon order can wait until I have more than seventy Washingtons in my account. Good listen; it's on right now. Warren Haynes never seems to disappoint. Sad to have missed him a couple weeks ago in Boston, but I'll track them down again..


Time for a random, sort-of unrelated but still sort-of related narration:

This is a "Berman throw back" (back, back, back..) from the Oscars in 2006 or 2007, I don't really remember. There was this foreign film titled Once that had quite a buzz attached to it, set in Ireland around a street musician hoping to finally catch a break having a chance encounter with a young, pretty (the pretty's not really relevant, other than the fact she's pretty) Czech immigrant who hit it off and then make beautiful music together. And then in real life these two actors/musicians fell in love while making the movie and got married and still make and perform beautiful music together. A song from the movie(there were many throughout) , "Falling Slowly," won the Oscar for best song in whatever year it was nominated. I'm too lazy to look it up and its irrelevant to my story so don't worry to much about it.

So while I've had their first cd for about a year now (I enjoy it very much; it's beautiful. Very simple, very passionate. Very heartfelt. Think broken-hearted lover, mostly. About half of the songs from the cd were featured in some capacity in the film. The duo also scored the film, but I do not own the soundtrack. But beautiful music. And simple. Like I said to begin with..) and I had kind of forgotten about not seeing the movie until I flipped to the Ovation channel and they were performing. The guy is/was the lead singer for the Frames, a band I know nothing about. But they played some newer stuff and also some of their older stuff off of the cd which I have (titled The Swell Season. Their names are Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I believe they actually call themselves "The Swell Season;" I don't remember exactly what the cd was listed under alphabetically when I bought it. But track it down all the same..)

So with all that being said, while at Bull Moose in Portsmouth Sunday I found a copy of Once and purchased it and watched it with Marie Sunday afternoon prior to the track and field (which I slept through...Usain is quick) and golf (which I was awake for the back nine) playing on television. And I have to say that I was very, very impressed. The music told much more of the story than the words spoken by the characters. If I try to describe it much more than that I'll probably ruin it, so all I can really say is if you have not seen it then you should. I just found it to have that quality where I watched it and when the credits rolled at the end I said "That is a good movie." I couldn't add a "because..." to it; I just felt it in my belly. And I trust my belly. You should, too.

It certainly qualifies as more of a chick flick. But not an awful, Hugh Grant chick flick. It's a chick flick because (in my opinion..) if it involves a (sort-of, which makes this particular film better, also in my opinion) love story and doesn't involve cars exploding, then it is usually a chick flick. But it's well-acted and very funny. I laughed harder and more often than Marie, but that should be expected because I seem to find awkwardness more humorous than she does.

One last point of information. The main characters are Irish and Czech. Really Irish and really Czech. So you need to listen closely. Well, you don't need to listen closely, you just need to listen closely if you're not quick with accents and want to pick up what their saying. So I needed to listen closely because I'm not quick with accents and wanted to pick up what they were saying.

And while I would usually say to characters: "You're in America, speak American," they were not, in fact, in America and thus they can do whatever they please and I will not be the one to pass judgment (And I would only say this to be funny and annoy the worldly and cultured people in the room, anyways. Because it seems to piss most of them off like few other statements can..) And of course the legitimate accents made the story much more believable compared to the usual big-budget, American film company sham job (probably starring Nicolas Cage..) accents. Just don't watch it if you're sleepy. I think that would make it difficult to watch. It makes most movies difficult to watch. So I don't see why this particular movie would be any different.

Go Netflix it. That is all.


My personal favorite from their first album, a song titled "This Low." I couldn't find the Ovation TV one so the quality is a little less on point. But still very good:

If/when I get around to acquiring their second album I will let you know my thoughts. Cheers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Update

Spent the past weekend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was a swell time. Made the trip down Friday afternoon, starting in the sweltering heat but timing it right so that the last 40-50 miles or so it was relatively cool, comparatively at least. Nothing a few road sodas couldn't fix, right, Ma? I kid. But seriously..

And I have to say that driving to Portsmouth is about 600 times better than driving to Boston. I drove for a little over an hour, I got off the highway, and 2 minutes later I was parked, unmetered, and ready to go for the weekend. I don't care how many more people Boston has than Portsmouth, parking restrictions suck and they are the bane of my existence. I can handle decent drives, I can handle traffic, but what I can handle is having to park 60 fudging miles (give or take..) and 5 "towns" or whatever the fuck the different sections of greater Boston are called just so I can park on the street. That's horseshit, and another excellent reason to hate Assachusetts. Fucking Commonwealths. And I started by saying fudging because I'm trying to cut back on swearing. I guess Assacusetts just pushed the right buttons..

At any rate, a great time was had. Old roommates Ken and Noah can up and we stayed with Ken's brother and his excellent girlfriend about a mile and a half from downtown Portsmouth. Ken and I were in Portsmouth Friday night and I had my first experience playing "Apples to Apples." I caught on quickly because if there's one thing I am, it's creative humorous (to some) and inappropriate (to most) manner. And the only thing better than playing drinking games is playing drinking games with Mark and rocks. So Friday was a good night.

While I may ramble a bit here I just have to say that breakfast was a rewarding treat Saturday morning full of bacon and scrambled eggs cooked in the same pan but not at the same time. Bacon, then eggs. There's nothing better than eggs cooked with bacon grease. Seriously, nothing. That may explain how my waistline is slowing inching outward, but I really don't care about that. I didn't ramble. Nicely done.

Beach happened Saturday, following breakfast. First time hitting up the beach this summer, not that you'd guess that by looking at my sweet tan and hot bod (yes to the former, HAH! to the latter). I don't think I can burn anymore this summer, no matter how hard I could try to get one. I did attempt to get rid of my white man thighs but that wasn't very successful. To those of you who say I should wear more sunscreen I ask how you're going to feel when all of your magic potions are proven to cause cancer in 15 years. If I'm going to get it, I'll take my chances with the old fashioned way, thanks. And this isn't to say I don't wear sunscreen, it's just I don't wear it "as often as I should..."

Beach beverage of the week:

Firefly vodka with lemonade. A dirty Arnold Palmer, if you will (and I would, if I were you..). This is not to be confused with the John Daly, which is just lemonade with citrus vodka. Both are delicious, but I digress. If you haven't tried Firefly yet then you should. This little gem was shown to me by young Samuel during a trip south to VA. Slowly but surely it's made its way north. NH liquor stores have it stocked (this weekend was my second time purchasing it up this way) but I haven't checked Roopers yet or those types of places close to home.

My recommendation: Mix 50/50 over ice. Drink. Enjoy. Unreal concoction. Less sweet than Twisted Teas, but better at twisting. And make sure you don't skimp on the lemonade. This isn't jungle juice we're talking about here when you can drop in a $2 gallon of Hawaiian Punch and a dash of Tang and call it a day. Get Newman's Own, Simply Lemonade, or a comparable product. Juice from concentrate is for suckers. However, once you purchase the the good lemonade it is certainlyy OK to skimp on it when you're mixing.

I wasn't mad at the bar scene. Drinks were priced manageable. I wore my dancing shoes. A good time was had by all (well, I had a good time. So, that's all I can control..)

Quote of the week:
Delivered from Noah, in reference to me:
"You're life is like one walking "...that's what she said" joke."
He was serious. And rightfully so. There's something to what Ms. Lever and Harder say concerning my incessant movie/lyric/otherwise citations. And let me let you in on a little secret: Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe go fuck yourself. (Departed). You're not wrong, you're just an asshole (Lebowski). This may be a bad habit that I have, but it's a bad habit that I enjoy having. So be it. But I and others (well, me specifically as a somewhat inside joke with how much Kath and Jenny are irritated by it..) certainly found it amusing.


Humorous and unrelated music video that needs no explanation other than to say I posted it because it's humorous and unrelated:

FUDGE! I hate when music videos cannot be embedded from youtube. Mr. Son of Bitch. The above video is unrelated, but certainly not humorous. For unrelatedness AND humor, see below. This is certainly not a fresh maker...

Well, Cheers anyways (and here's hoping for a reunion up here in September..)..

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Double Dipping

Threw this on the ol' Facebook profile first, but this is about all you're getting tonight. I'm le tired:

Pending death over the next 4-5 days, if Mike Lowell is not the everyday DH when Youkilis returns then Francona should get fired. Or shot.

Mikey's hitting piss rockets right now. Ortiz couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag. How does it make sense a .300 hitter will sit multiple games in a row so David can bat sub-.220? Short answer: It does not. Lowell deserves just as much loyalty and respect as Ortiz.

I need to stop blogging about sports. I think that this week I've doubled the cumulative output of sports-related blogs. So be it, I suppose. It's what's been on my mind.

O, sidenote: For those of you who don't get NESN it was great to see the RemDog back in the booth last night, if only for an interview. Still didn't sound great. Sounded pretty tired, seemed like he had been all over the park during the afternoon. But hopefully this is a good sign Jerry will be back with Orsillo soon. Eck, it was a nice run. Go paint black and punch out somewhere else. You gotta have that..


UPDATE: I've grown tired of Eck's schitck, but he can pull out some impressive word choices at times. Tonight's gem occurred in the bottom of the 5th inning with the Sox busting things wide open. The Tigers' relief pitcher couldn't find the strike zone, and when he did the Sox put a bat on it. Anyways, Score gets to 6-1 and the bases are loaded and Eck says this:
The kid can't find the strike zone with his off speed pitches. And they're groping his fastball.
Now, Eck might have said "roped" and I just misheard. But if you think I'm not going to try to work "grope" into more situations then you're 100% incorrect. That was perfect, and true. The Sox did have their hands all over those fastballs...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snack-tastic snack of the week:

Dark chocolate M&M's. Or Peanut Butter M&M's. Or Almond M&M's. I guess just about any M&M will do. Ma likes to buy a pound bag or two (Well, my money says they're no longer pounders. Fucking recession scale-backs..) every now and again and leave them in a candy dish in our kitchen. Needless to say my inner fat kid needs no excuse to come out and I spend the next 24 hours popping a handful every time I mosey into the kitchen. It makes every day a celebration, and I'm never mad about that. And they taste just like they smell: DELICIOUS.


So I finally convinced Ma to call our "internet" service provider to discuss our recent "internet" issues, and sure enough they're at fault. Bastards. And of course they need to send someone out, and of course they cannot arrive on the scene for 2-3 days. And once on the premises if anything actually has to be done then we'll need to schedule another appointment? Is it just me or is this ridiculous? Shouldn't whoever is going to investigate a problem BE PREPARED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM?! This isn't a black ops mission that requires scouting, just figure you why I can't check my email whenever my little heart desires. So hopefully by next week I won't still feel like I have 56k dial up anymore. That would be a nice change.


Basically sums up my summer:

I've been working in Turner for damn near seven weeks now. Needless to say I have grown tired of driving to Turner every morning. So it is with a smiling face that I declare Wednesday will be thee last day I'll be on the roof of a school in Turner, Maine. Yippy-f-ing-skippy. This picture is supposed to make me look cool and reckless. I'm not lying when I say that yellow harness I'm wearing is attached to absolutely nothing. But I look safe, don't I?

This picture doesn't really do the location justice. We were up about 60 feet at this time, which is a pretty interesting feeling. I guess, except for the fact I don't really like heights. Back in my youth I wouldn't even jump off of five foot tall slides into swimming pools. Though I suppose nothing's really changed. I wouldn't jump off of here into a swimming pool, either. But, this has pretty much been my summer. Tons of fun, right?


Idol throw back

Just received word that Allsion brought the house down on that "American Idol Live" tour that goes on after the season ends. Am I surprised? What do you think? America got it wrong. Par for the course, I suppose. Allison will be a star. O, yes. She will be a star. And that's all I have to say about that.


One last football-related comment before I go to bed:

Enough with this "Wildcat Formation" bullshit. Every sports-talk person and commentator and SportsCenter host loves to say "wildcat." Call it what it is: Single wing football that has been around for, well, 90 years. This is Pop Warner shit right here. No, not the youth league...THE GUY, Pop Warner. He revolutionized football with the single wing in the early 1900's before Delaware modernized the single wing with what came to be known as the T and wing-T in the 1940's.

The shit the Dolphins run isn't anything new. It hasn't revolutionized the game. It just goes to show that option football is effective. NFL minds can't even stop the option because it's based on players carrying out assignments and trusting the other 10 guys on defense to do their job, too. The defense needs to play their assignment rather than just be athletes. It slows a defense down. I doubt anyone reading this actually cares, but this shit bugs me. It's series football in that you only have six or eight different plays that can be run out of multiple formations and the plays all look about the same, just different people get the ball. It's based around timing and play fakes. This is middle school football here. Which is exactly the genius of it.

From here it's just zone read, with the "tailback" reading the playside end and either handing off to the other back or taking it himself based on what the end does. Kansas State ran this a ton in the late 90's with Michael Bishop. Or they fake the handoff and the "tailback" drops back to pass. Or one of the two outside receivers, generally the slot will run a reverse action. Last, but not least, would be student body right or left if the slot motions into the backfield and acts as a blocking back.

Simple enough, right? Formations don't matter; you can motion into any formation or out of any formation and still run the same plays with the same action every time so everything looks similar at the snap. Same with the wing-T beginning with trap/buck sweep action, which lead to waggle pass and some other passing plays. It's not rocket surgery. Any team can run this; it just works best with a big, fast back that can also throw, so run/pass options are balanced. This is why some well-versed minds consider Tim Tebow a single wing tailback and not a "quarterback," because so much of what Florida runs out of their spread-option offense is almost entirely single wing principles in the backfield (They zone block up front which never would have been done in the 1910's...and a story for another day, I suppose).

There's your football history lesson/chalk talk for the day. And sorry for the poor artwork, I don't have Playmaker on my desktop. Cheers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Training camp story that some people are trying to make seem funny or ironical when it is neither funny nor ironical...

From Peter King's Monday Morning QB blog on (and I quote from page 2..):

9:45 a.m., Wednesday (Chiefs camp, River Falls, Wisc.): You're not going to believe this. It's midway through Kansas City's first of two daily practices and Matt Cassel Tom Brady's longtime understudy now on his own in the heartland, fades back to pass. Quarterbacks in training camp are not supposed to be hit in camp, but in this pass drill, with Cassel setting up in the pocket, safety Bernard Pollard comes on a blitz.

You remember Pollard. He's the guy who tumbled/dove into Brady's planted left leg on an identical rush last September, collapsing the knee, shredding Brady's ACL and knocking him out for the season. Now, on a sun-baked field miles from anywhere in western Wisconsin, here came Pollard at the man who replaced Brady and who, ironically, became Pollard's teammate after New England traded Cassel to Kansas City in February.

What makes the play even more amazing is that Brady got hit last year when a back missed a block on the onrushing Pollard. And as I'm watching, I can't believe what I see: Again, a back (I didn't catch his number) throws an ¡Ole!block, and precisely the same thing that happened a year ago happens now: Pollard thought he was going to be blocked by a running back last year against New England, got low to take on the block, wasn't blocked, and fell into Brady. Now, he thought he was going to be blocked by a running back, got low, wasn't blocked, and stumbled and tried to avoid hitting Cassel, yelling at the last moment, "Move!" It was too late. He fell hard and rolled into Cassel's left leg.


Pollard was able to put on the brakes enough so that he only tapped Cassel's left leg. Cassel flexed it a couple of times and was fine. A couple of his offensive mates hustled in to defend him against Pollard. Words were exchanged, but that was it. No harm, no foul.

"Pretty weird," a smiling Cassel told me an hour later. "Yeah, I realized it."

I caught Pollard after lunch on campus. His eyes got wide when I asked him about the play. "I got to the sidelines after that play," Pollard said, "and I realized what happened, and I thought, -- OH MY GOD! It's like a replay.''

As I said, Cassel was fine, and held no grudge against Pollard. That's football. But it's such happenstance. How history would have been changed if Pollard tapped Brady's knee the way he tapped Cassel's. If it had happened like that, what would have happened to Cassel? Would he still be the permanent backup to Brady? Or would Cassel, whose contract expired at the end of last year, have been picked off by new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, who was behind Cassel's drafting in the seventh round five years ago by the Patriots? My money's on the Chiefs taking him off New England's hands -- money being the key word. He parlayed his opportunity with the Patriots last year into a six-year, $63-million contract in Kansas City.

What might Cassel have gotten had he never played? Well, a parallel player to Cassel a year ago at this time -- a totally unproven backup with a little marketability -- was Brian St. Pierre, the third-stringer on Arizona who re-signed with the Cardinals this offseason: For one year and $1 million.

So, Pollard's hit was a $62-million whack, give or take a million, for Cassel. On this morning, double jeopardy almost struck. Football is a funny game.

I don't see what the big deal is here. This is how a guy gets labeled a cheap shot artist. Hell, the NFL changed its rules and plans to now penalize all low hits on quarterbacks because the Golden Boy got hurt for a season last year. And this Pollard guy looks like a shithead for expecting to get hit...and having a back not do his job...TWICE. Had Cassel got hurt last week it should have been the scrub getting shit on and losing his job. No mention should have been made of Pollard.

People get hit in football. People get hurt in football. That's just the way it is. This is also why football is an absolute pain in the ass to coach. If one person out of 11 messes up someone can get clobbered. I don't remember the last time I used clobbered. It's a good word. I think I'll use it more.

Peter King, in my opinion, usually has a good head located three feet above his ass and does a fine job writing about the game (No way is he better than Dr Z, and I'm choosing to ignore the fact he would father BrettFarve's children if BrettFarve asked him to...and yes I stole the BrettFarve thing from Jerry Thorton. Jerry's a much better sportswriter than I am), but in this case this run-by from Pollard is a non-story. I will guarantee Matt Cassel was not the first QB that was struck by a defensive player in training camp this preseason. Shit happens. Go on amongst your business and let the guy keep playing hard.

While I'm on the subject of football someone in the NFL needs to sign Michael Vick ASAP. Teams worrying about the PR hit need to just suck it up for the last three weeks of preseason because after he touches the ball seven times and has a passing TD and a rushing TD (for 16 fantasy points) in his first game back people will shut the hell up and remember why he was liked in the first place: HE'S GOOD AT FOOTBALL. You don't need to be a good human to be a good football player. That's the long and the short of it.

I'm not the first to say this, but Leonard Little got EIGHT GAMES for KILLING A PERSON. And Vick's been out of the game for well over two years. Donte Stallworth got 23 DAYS for KILLING A PERSON. Vick got 23 MONTHS for killing dogs. What's wrong with this picture? Man's best friend is not MAN. If Stallworth isn't out of the game for at least two years then Goddell's "get tough" talk is pure bullshit. And he should get clobbered (nice usage, right?) by MADD and folks in the media. And that's all I have to say about that.

Go Giants.

And chances are this will be my last football-related blog until fantasy fooseball begins with the annual Auburn Football League draft on August 30th. Getcha popcorn ready (And to those in the AFL: Prepare to get...CLOBBERED!! K, that's enough of clobbered for the year..). Cheers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"internet" sucks..

Well, not THE "internet," I guess. But my house connection has been misfiring lately which has made it rather difficult for me to post anything of significant substance. My parents haven't said anything directly but I know they blame me because they think it's due to my router set up. This is incorrect. It's due to Fairpoint Communications sucking balls.

It's not this! It's this!

About 70% of the time I've been home over the past week the "internet" has drifted in and out of consciousness. Which is the opposite of awesome for me, as I do not have a television in my room. Every now and then I head down to the BASSment but since the only thing to sit on is a bed I tend to fall asleep less than five minutes after turning the television on (Stripes was on last night. The first ten minutes were awesome, probably because I think that there is very little that's more sexy than a striking blonde wearing only a men's buttondown shirt. Sue me. I guess I'll have to see the other two hours and twenty minutes another time before I make a final judgment on the movie. Stay tuned, I'll come back to this in three days to five years..). This doesn't bother me.

So, that's how I've been living for the last week or so. Whatever.

Have a fun Monday. Cheers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On compact discs

I just had an apple. Apples are delicious. One of the nice things about Maine is that all throughout the fall fresh Maine apples are everywhere for next to nothing. McIntosh's are my personal favorite. I like to pick my own. I like smallish, medium sized ones. They're a nice quick fix of ENERGY. And if you're still hungry then you can have a 2nd. Because they're smallish. If you pick HUGE apples and you're not that hungry then a lot of times you may not finish the apple, probably by going light around the core. That's not my style. So oftentimes I take two, because they're small.

Anyways, I like CD's more than I like downloading music on the newfangled itunes store. Granted I listen to a ton of music on my computer, and I have a ton of music on my computer; I would just prefer to have CD's. I'd like to say it's because of the higher fidelity which CD audio provides compared to the compressed mp3 or m4a or wma or aac file formats but none of my audio players are technologically advanced enough for those subtle nuances to be audible (Actually I really like LP's. Vinyl. I took a class in college titled The Physics of Electronic Sounds and we looked at, well, listened to a lot of this. Vinyl is warm. Inviting. Imperfect. Delightful. I actually have an Ol' Dirty Bastard LP somewhere around here. Not many folks can say that. But CD's are OK, too..). Maybe it's in my 5 year plan to have a stereo with speakers so powerful they'll blow a woman's clothes off. But, probably not.

My favorite parts of CD's are the cases and liner notes. I like to read the lyrics (if they're in there) and look at the pictures. I like to have my CD's organized in the Case Logic cases which have their liner notes in them, too. Keeps my car a bit tidier. So, really I only use half of the spaces in the big CD casse because half of the slots are filled up with paper. I don't mind, it's worth it to quell my anal-retentiveness.

This also means when I take a CD out of my CD player in the Volv' the CD must return to its correct slot above or below its appropriate liner notes. This can, at times, get a bit tricky to do while driving but I don't really worry about trivial details like that. I'm a pro; it's a gift.

Some of the reasons CD's are handy, too, is that I travel a fair amount on the road (I know I could listen to an ipod, too. To those of you thinking that I say: Shut up. Ipods are for walking. Cd's are for driving. That's how I do my living). For the past month plus it's pretty much been a CD a day for the commute to and from lovely Turner, Maine. It smells beautiful in Turner this time of year, too (No joke, for three days last week it smelled like 100 people took a steamy dump together at the base of the roof. DeCoster's chicken shit is potent, and it was laid a few miles form the school..).

So with all the driving I've been doing I don't feel bad about picking up a CD or two every now and again. My problem it's never a CD or two, it's usually four or five at a go. Whatever, it's just money. Early, early, early on the 'Pad I talked of my love for used CD's, and this is still the case. My steal of last Friday was The Downward Spiral for $2.97 (I already have The Downward Spiral on my computer, but that's besides the point). It seems half the time I end up knowing very little about the CD's I am buying prior to my purchases. When I hear a song I like or someone suggests an artist or band I may like, I try to write it down. Then I get to Bull Moose and I have five or six little scraps of paper with 15 or so suggestions/reminders on there and I pick from what I've got. Most of the time there's really no rhyme or reason to my choices, though (you all could have guessed this) price can sometimes play a small deciding factor. Then I spend the next week or so playing them and seeing what I think.

With new (to me) CD's I like to listen to them straight through the first time or two. Not always all at once (because I seldom drive for an hour or more straight) but over the course of a day or two I like to start at track one and work through everything once or twice to see what it offers collectively. If I stop during a track I usually skip back to the beginning of the track really quickly as I'm shutting off the car so I can start the next trip with a whole track. I actually do that a lot of the time, new CD or not. I'm a nerd. But it gets me through the days.


NOTICE. I just upgraded my external hard drive because I needed more space to store all of the useless bullshit I keep piling up on my desktop. So now I have my old 80gig external which I would love to part with for a nominal fee of $40 (+/-). I'll even leave the 70-odd gigs of music I have stored on it, if you would like. Don't tell the RIAA or whatever (Hell, I'll probably have lawyers at my door tomorrow. Too bad they were ALL ACQUIRED LEGALLY...big F you to the man). But, let me know. It works great, I just needed wide open spaces for my many documents and papers and I happened to happen upon a good deal last week. Good evening to all of you. Cheers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Monday was here and the sun was here and it was a warm day up north of the ground. That being said, I've got some words that I'm looking to get out before I fall asleep in a little while. I enjoy being fully rested for days I am working way too hard in the hot sun. I had planned to get much of this out over the weekend but some things came up. Actually, it was the fact I was not busy that retarded my typing.

Tickets for the Mule show in the bean were more expensive than I anticipated so I decided on Wednesday not to take the trip down. This freed up my weekend to do absolutely nothing. Hells yes. Those are the weekends I can get behind. Actually doing nothing worked out well because I picked up my usual house/dog-sitting gig which allowed me to stay in town doing nothing but feel like I got away for the weekend. I'm never mad when that happens. But I finally had to return my laptop to my former employer on Friday afternoon (apparently the didn't forget about me...bastards) so I was offline for the duration of my weekend. With this all being said, here we go:

Finally my "tribute" to MJ by throwing it back to a middle school classic not sung by MJ at all:

Well, classic, in my opinion. This was Janet in her prime. The bangs were a nice touch, right? HAHA. At any rate it was nice to see that Michael was able to teach some of his pedophilia tricks to his younger sister before he passed on.
Honestly, at the age of thirteen or fourteen what pubescent male wouldn't dream of Janet showing up at their door dressed like that and stalking them for the night, with her sole goal being to take advantage of them? That's just awesome (That being said, Michael probably had this idea in the middle of his career but couldn't get his record company to sign off on him showing up at the door of an underage boy. So MJ just proves that there's nothing like living vicariously though your siblings.) Hell, I'd even get the haircut that looked like I was wearing a tarantula on my head, too, if it just got Janet to my front door (Maybe Kid&Play were still big in '98...I don't recall)..


Shout out to some new bloggers on the "internet:"

Two newbies to the blogging world, both of whom I feel I indirectly inspired to join the blog-o-sphere as they became more and more fascinated with the bullshit I spew on here on the regular. These are two of Kath's friends of the Hamiltonian persuasion. I've showed them the ropes of the blogging world so bear with them as they learn to tie knots (And I expect a return shout on each of your pages...nothing comes free in this world). They will soon become acutely aware of the blood, sweat, and beers that you need to put into these things. It's no easy task; I wish I was better at it. But I'm lazy, maybe they're not..

1.) Nature Woman's Wildlife Encounters
First of all try to ignore the title, I know it's a bit on the lame side...ANYWAYS..
"Nature Woman's" first blog discussed her sighting of a bobcat. No, not me in a 7 foot suit (that was so three years ago..), but the smallish, ferocious felines for which Bates College is nicknamed. These suckers are mean. Never look a bobcat in the eye, we always say. But I thought that was pretty cool that she saw a bobcat. They're pretty rare these days because they were hunted near extinction because their tears were thought to cure cancer. The problem was these tough bastards have never cried. But that's neither here nor there.
Tangent story (which obviously cycles back tot he only cool thing I've done this summer which may or may not have involved driving 2800 miles..): While in Nashville the day before Bonnaroo there was a pretty legit stage set up outside of one of the big venues where Country Fest was going to be taking place right down town. Jason Michael Carroll was playing a free show, which I must say was pretty cool even though I'm not a big fan of his work (As I've said before this really was an optimal time to be taking in the Nashville scene). At any rate Nick and I were watching the show from pretty far back and we happened to notice a bit of a commotion developing behind us so we turned to find some tatted-up crazy sitting on the roof of a brick building, letting his pet bobcat hang his (or her) paws over the edge.
This sucker was big. I'd say a good 15-20lbs. I've never seen paws that big before in my life, no joke. These paws looked bigger than my hands (Granted I have smallish hands, but still. HANDS on a 15 lb cat? That should be crazy talk).
I was too slow to take a picture of this, mainly because I kept silently hoping the cat would jump off and just wreak havoc on the 500 or so people who were at the show. If I was an unfortunate soul I would have taken my mauling like a man just for the comedy of it all. But it looked something like this:

Pretty crazy, in my opinion.
So, Nature Woman: Well done. Get back to posting. It's been three plus days. You're better than that..

2.) The Daily Meredith
Thus far this has been more or less a narration of daily activities. I appreciate autobiographical stories; they are generally difficult to write and can be embarrassing at times.
I've taken some heat from time to time from random folks feeling I don't show enough of what my true feelings are; that I waste too much time playing devil's advocate and providing social commentary that this little yellow notepad doesn't actually get to my own essence (my words, not theirs.) I say to these haters: Try is and see what it's like. It's not as easy as you seem to think it is.
So as for you, Meredith, I appreciate your openness and (at times) self-deprecating humor this early into the game. The thing to remember about embarrassing stories is that, oftentimes, it takes some shit to grow roses. Right? Right.

Well done thus far, ladies.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a hilarious movie. If you haven't seen it yet, see it. Same considerable amounts of profane, sexual innuendo which result in some form of self-discovery from an Apatow protagonist as any other of his movies, but it still provides many laughs. I'm going to assume that by now most everyone has seen the movie, so all I want to know (this is rhetorical so don't answer, jerks) is who possesses the ability to come up with a Dracula-themed rock opera performed by puppets (And people. But, mostly puppets)? ...Beer is good, people are crazy, I guess. That's all I'm really going to say on it. Cheers.