Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jessica Alba is definite girlfriend material. It's science.

Jessica Alba is the prototype for what the American male wants in a girlfriend according to AskMen.com. AskMen.com has a top 99 list ranking female celebrities on their long term relationship material. “Readers of the online magazine were asked to vote according to the woman they would most want a relationship with, would consider marrying or thought best-suited to be the mother of their children.” Alba is the one, with Sienna Miller and Angelina Jolie at 2 and 3 respectively.

I want to know how all these men know that Alba is mother of your children material. I know nothing about her except that she may be the hottest woman on the planet. I have heard rumors of her alleged sexual past that doesn’t scream soul mate to me, but I am sure we could work things out. She does have a nice heinie, I mean, that thing is good. As weird as Angelina Jolie seems sometimes, she seems to be a true caring person and a good mother, if not a bit of a homewrecker. Sienna Miller would let you cheat on her with the baby-sitter at least one time, perhaps some guys are looking for that kind of woman.

Others in the top ten include: 4. Adriana Lima (Love those eyes.), 5. Maria Menounos, 6. Charlize Theron, 7. Jessica Biel (There she is again, do 50% of the male population know who she is?), 8. Amerie (A singer apparently.), 9. Natalie Portman (Yesssssss, very sexy with the short hair.), and 10. Eva Longoria (She seems like high, high maintenance to me.).

I am not sure what to think of this list. It’s a list of hot chicks but a list of good mates or good moms? Not so sure. This seems to me to be the most useless poll ever in the history of polls. It amazes me the amount of crap that makes news in the country.

Bubble's bursting is cheered by theater owners.

I believe that someone else on I-A has written about the Steven Soderbergh film called Bubble. The movie was shot in a small town and the cast was made up of non-actors. If that isn’t weird enough, 2929 Entertainment released it in theaters, on DVD, and on HDNet Movies on cable and satellite systems simultaneously. Studio heads believe that because the box office revenue is decreasing they can shrink the window of a film’s release in theaters and a film's release on video and make up the loss in revenue. Theaters owners are a bit worried about this. They are worried this would hurt the already declining revenues by encouraging even more people to wait for the DVD and stay home and watch movies.

This is why they think we don’t go to as many movies as we did, say, 5 years ago? DVDs? I am going to digress. The reason we don’t go to movies as much is because many of the movies are crap. Many of the people that attend movies are a-holes who can’t keep quiet and just enjoy the show. If you go at night in a town that has nothing else to do for entertainment, you get a theater full of yapping pubescent teenagers that cannot sit still and make you want to take you and them out suicide bomber style. And if that isn’t enough, you have to save up three weeks of pay to afford a ticket, popcorn and a drink. That is your problem, theater owners and Hollywood. Now back to my other rant on Bubble.

Well, good news, good news, the movie did horribly in theaters even after what some would say was millions of dollars of free publicity. Theater owners are overjoyed. That doesn’t really make that much sense. They are happy no one is coming to the theater to see this movie. I thought that was what they were afraid of. Anyway, all is right with the world.

Not really. If this movie starred George Clooney and Julia Roberts, I have to think it would have done a little better. I do not know what the makers of this film were expecting. Have you seen the trailer for this film? I have and it gives no clue whatsoever as to what to expect from this movie. I don’t know about you, but when I see a trailer that really doesn’t give me a hint of the story then I am not that excited to see it. In fact, I am usually not that excited to see movies that do give me a hint of the story in the trailer. Don’t get me wrong, I do not need big stars or a trailer that gives me the whole movie, but I do like a smart trailer that gives me enough to intrigue me to check it out. Bubble’s trailer gave me too much intrigue to never check it out.

I read that Soderbergh and 2929 Entertainment spent $1.6 million on this movie and were hoping to make $5 million. I think that is possible and if that was the true hope then they should not be disappointed with the week’s grosses. They only released it to 32 theaters. What did they expect? This is a small movie that has no big names and details about what it is about were not made clear. I think that if they make any money it is a good thing. The next time Steven Soderbergh or 2929 Entertainment wants to try something this ambitious, they should release Ocean’s 13 this same way. Then we will see if a mass release to all media is the wave of the future.

You think you know Chuck Norris, you have no idea.

I must apologize to those of you who do not like Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer, but I honestly cannot get enough of them. So, without further ado, more random facts about Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can hear silence.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.

If at first you don't succeed, you're obviously not Chuck Norris.

If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the f@*# down.

As a teen Chuck Norris impregnated every nun in a convent tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Nine months later the nuns gave birth to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only undefeated and untied team in professional football history.

They once made a Chuck Norris toilet paper, but it wouldn't take s*#@ from anybody.

Chuck Norris died ten years ago, but the Grim Reaper can't get up the courage to tell him.

Chuck Norris frequently donates blood to the Red Cross. Just not his blood.

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, Chuck Norris can actually roundhouse kick you yesterday.

Chuck Norris owns the greatest Poker Face of all-time. It helped him win the 1983 World Series of Poker despite him holding just a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoly card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.

Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell them there was a stripper in it.

Most reported Bigfoot sightings are just Chuck Norris with his shirt off. Loch Ness sightings, on the other hand, are Chuck with his pants off.

A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw, was a fatal roundhouse delivered by Chuck Norris.

Super Bowl Xtra Large is here and so is my take on the game.

The big game is here, Super Bowl Xtra Large. Perhaps the least hyped Super Bowl in history. You have a game that features two underdogs. You have the Seattle Seahawks, a team that people still cannot believe is in the Super Bowl and a number one seed no less. Then you have the number 6 seed Pittsburgh Steelers. Out of all the teams in the AFC, is this the team you expected to see in the final game of the season? To make things even wilder, the lower seeded surprise team is favored at the time of this writing. Seattle gets no respect and by all rights they should be the favorite.

I survived one week of Super Bowl hype because there seemed to be none. I am an avid listener of sports talk radio and I watch all the best shows on ESPN and you never seemed to hear anything about this game. There were only rumors that a game was even taking place. I have heard more about Brett Favre retiring and Terrell Owens meeting with the Denver Broncos than I have about the Super Bowl. The only thing you heard about the Super Bowl was that this game isn’t sexy enough; this game will be a huge disappointment. There are no stars in this game. This wasn’t hype, this was character assassination.

This just goes to show that the hype is not needed, especially two weeks of it. When the game starts, it all goes out the window and the two best teams left standing will play for the championship. As long as the game is good and fun to watch, you don’t need stars, you don’t need sexy teams. This game looks to be a game that will surprise people by how good it is. I feel like this could be a very exciting game.

The Steelers have got that crazy 3-4 defense that tries its best to get the quarterback out of rhythm and tries to flat out kill the running back. Fortunately for Seattle they have a great offensive line; maybe the best Pittsburgh’s defense will have gone up against all year. That is something to watch for in this game. Will the Pittsburgh defense that has stopped three high powered offenses to reach the Super Bowl be able to stop a Seattle defense that beat two very good defenses to reach the Super Bowl?

Don’t overlook the Seattle defense, a defense that did something the vaunted Chicago defense couldn’t do, stop Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger and the three headed running back monster of Willie Parker, Duce Staley and the “Bus” Jerome Bettis will be a handful for the Seattle defense because you never know just what they will do. They may come out and let Roethlisberger take the lead or they may start to pound that Seattle defense with the trio of running backs and then go to Roethlisberger. This is another thing to look for, how will Seattle’s defense respond to Pittsburgh opening salvo?

We now come to Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis. This is supposedly his last year and the Super Bowl is in his hometown. What better stage for a career ending game. It may take a tank to stop the bus on Sunday. It will be exciting to see if the Steelers have any more “karmic” moments such as the Roethlisberger tackle in the Indianapolis game or the Vanderjagt miss in the same game. It appeared then that Pittsburgh is the team of destiny.

We now look to the coaches, perhaps the only big names in this game. Bill Cowher has been here before, but he did not win. Mike Holmgren has won in this game before with the Green Bay Packers and has a chance to go into the history books as the only coach to win a Super Bowl with two different teams. That is an automatic trip to the Hall of Fame. Many believe that a win for Cowher will also guarantee his entry into the Hall of Fame. This game is not only a big game for 2006, but for both coaches this is a big game for their coaching legacy and how they will be remembered.

As for my predictions, I believe this game will surprise. I think it will be a higher scoring game than most would think. Both offenses seem to be on a roll and the quarterbacks have done no wrong leading up to this game. The running back battle will be won by Seattle because Kentucky’s native son Shaun Alexander will use this stage to introduce himself to the world.

I think the defense will give up their share of points but there will still be exciting play. Steelers’ safety Troy Polmalu will do something amazing because he always does. I think he will do something to change the course of the game. I also believe that Hines Ward is the X-factor for the Steelers and will have a big game that leads to a Super Bowl MVP. Why? I think that the Steelers and Seahawks are pretty even on just about everything, except Hines Ward is a much better receiver than anyone the Seahawks have. He will move the chains for Pittsburgh.

That ought to give you an idea of who I think will win the game. I am going with the favorite underdog in this one. Pittsburgh is favored by 4 points and by seeding are the “lesser” team. I think that the line is a little low. I see Pittsburgh winning this one by 6 or 7, but I believe that this will be a late touchdown in an exciting game. I just feel Pittsburgh has talent and destiny on its side. Talent is beatable, but destiny is invincible.

I could, of course, be way off and it wouldn’t be the first time. Whatever the case it is a good excuse to gather with family and friends and eat horrible food for a few hours that isn’t a national holiday. The bright side for the possibility of a bad game is that we will still have all the great commercials to keep us interested and when all is said and done, isn’t that the most important thing?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday means more random facts about Jack Bauer.

Slow day here because I actually have some work to do. I decided to take a break and because it is Monday, which means another episode of Fox’s 24, I decided to bless I-A with some more random facts about Jack Bauer. Enjoy!!!!!
Every time a cell phone rings, Jack Bauer has just put a bullet in a terrorists head.

Jack Bauer fought Cancer. Now it's safe to smoke.

In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Jack Bauer could use to kill you, including the room itself.

Jack Bauer's mom asked him who he loved more, her or his country. To this Jack chuckled and responded, "You know that answer" as he snapped her neck. Jack Bauer hates dumb people.

Jack Bauer once went hunting. Alabama is now mounted on his wall.

Jack Bauer got Tyler Durden to talk about Fight Club. Then Jack beat the p@#s out of him.

In grade school, a little boy punched Kimberly Bauer, and Kimberly ran home to tell her dad. That little boy's name? Stephen Hawking.

While in Special Forces, Jack Bauer was captured and submitted to electro-shock torture to the testicles. He charged the battery.

Jack Bauer can smell carbon monoxide.

When Jack Bauer was a child, he made his mother finish his vegetables.

Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

What color is Jack Bauer's blood? Trick question. Jack Bauer does not bleed.

Jack Bauer is the leading cause of death in Middle Eastern men.

Jack Bauer’s calendar goes from March 31st to April 2nd, no one fools Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.

Jack Bauer once killed so many terrorists that at one point, the #5 CIA Most Wanted fugitive was an 18-year-old teenager in Malaysia who downloaded the movie Dodgeball.

Jack Bauer invented misery.

People with amnesia still remember Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer's family threw him a surprise birthday party when he was a child. Once.

Jack Bauer once killed a group of Samurai Warriors with only a ball point pen. This lead to the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword."

If it tastes like chicken, looks like chicken, and feels like chicken, but Jack Bauer says its beef. Then it's f*@#ing beef.

Changing my oil

I'm a stubborn sort. I was raised with the belief if you can do something yourself and not screw it up, that's better than paying someone else to do it.

These days, an oil change is hardly worth doing at home. You can get one done just about anywhere for $20-$25. Even less if you go with el cheapo oil or don't have a high mileage engine. I can do it myself for about $15. So it's probably not worth my time and effort to save $5. And if I truly thought critically about it, I would see that.

But as I mentioned, I'm stubborn. So I change my own oil.

The good people at Nissan do not want you to change your own oil. I can say this without hesitation because I currently own my second Nissan vehicle. I previously owned a 2000 Xterra which required you to remove the skid plate from the bottom and contort your arm in a way that would make a Chinese acrobat cringe just to get the oil filter off. But I did it, and got pretty good at it. I'm also the only man in America that has a joint in his arm midway down the forearm. Evolution moves fast.

I now own a 2000 Altima. I performed my first oil change on the Altima this weekend. I had no problem getting to the oil pan and draining it. It only required jacking up the car enough to get the catch pan underneath it. Then, as the oil was draining I began searching for the oil filter. It was not on the front of the engine, as on the Xterra. It was not anywhere that could be seen from above the engine.

I consulted the manual.

The manual indicated it was on the back of the engine, about 1/3 of the way up the block, on the passenger side. I had absolutely no way of reaching it from above. No hole surrounding the back of the engine was large enough for me to sqeeze my double jointed forearm through. So I jacked it up even more. (Side note, I hate getting under a jacked up car. I just don't trust those wimpy jacks they have these days.) I looked and looked and still could not see it. Only by blindly running my hands around the back of the engine did I finally find it.

Ah, a space large enough to get my hands around the filter, but small enough to not allow a filter wrench on it. (Side note #2, when you get your oil changed somewhere, there must be a contest to see who can get the filter on the tightest.) LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG story short, my shoulder is killing me, and I got my oil changed. In just under an hour.

Friday, January 27, 2006

That's how Rajon Rondo rolls.

I thought some of you (Sivart) would love to see this little article I read courtesy of the Lexington Herald-Leader. It's a story about the vehicle that Rajon Rondo, point guard for the University of Kentucky, drives. It is a 2006 Yukon Denali with a suggested retail price of $50,000. Pretty sweet ride for a college sophomore.

Now here is the interesting part, if that wasn't interesting enough. The Yukon is registered to former UK Wildcat, Derek Anderson.

Dun, dun, duuuuun.

Looks like the Wildcats have some 'splainin' to do. Or do they? Apparently not. It seems that UK has cleared this with the NCAA. In fact, the NCAA has known that Rondo has had a mentor/protege relationship with Derek Anderson for years. UK even called the NCAA to clear this up when Rondo was still in high school.

While I enjoy the perks of being a fan of a big time school, such as sometimes getting away with minor violations, this seems a little creepy to me. I am sure the relationship is genuine, but it still seems wrong somehow for a college sophomore to drive around in a $50,000 car of a former alum and current NBA player. What I am most upset about is that the NCAA has no problem with this, but will kill people on stupid insignificant things. It makes me wonder what is going on in the ivory towers of the NCAA.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Ouija board: A child's game or the devil's game?

I am listening to last night’s edition of Coast to Coast AM and the guest is a medium and they are discussing how long she has been sensitive and when she knew she was a medium. They also discussed her experiences with an Ouija board. On Coast to Coast, George Noory, the host, always cringes and groans when anyone mentions an Ouija board. I guess he has had bad experiences. The medium was talking about how she contacted an African-American Civil War soldier and after she went to bed, her son knocked on her door petrified because there was an African-American man dressed in a Civil War uniform in the living room and she knew then that she could make contact with the spirit world. The host asked her about her worst experience with an Ouija board and she said a friend of hers had messed around with one and she started to experience a huge amount of bad luck. The friend then destroyed the board and her bad luck disappeared.

I may have asked this question before and I open it up to all. Do you think an Ouija board is real? Can you really talk to the dead? Is it really just a gateway to evil? If yes, yes, and yes, why would a game company put this out for kids to play with? I believe there are things in this world we cannot explain, but it is hard to believe that this piece of cardboard and plastic talisman can help people contact the spirit world. Any comments?

Good news for Lady Bird, the medium that was on the show just said she picks up on animals in the spirit world and says that religions that say that animals have no soul and do not go to heaven are incorrect.

My day in internet radio.

I am sitting here at work just about to finish up a project I thought would take me into February and I have successfully turned my computer into the world’s most expensive radio. I do this every day. I have hit on the perfect combo of talk radio to get me through the day. Let me share and maybe you too will come to enjoy these shows.

I begin the day with a certain yodeler named Mr. Tony Kornheiser. He has a show on Sportstalk 980 in Washington D. C. You can access it through the website, thiswebsitestinks.com. It is not just sports talk. It is more pop culture talk with sports sprinkled throughout. If you are a fan of Pardon the Interuption on ESPN you will love this show. The show is only two hours but it is replayed right after the original ends. It starts at 8 AM central and goes until 10 AM central or you can catch the replay from 10 AM to 12 AM(this is also the time you can catch it on XM 152 Extreme).

I then switch over to the David Lee Roth show at 10 AM central for a half hour or so. You can find DLR by clicking the link I have provided. DLR took over in most eastern markets for Howard Stern and has just begun his radio career and I enjoy monitoring his progress or lack there of. He is not great but there are much worse. I listen to his show out of Dallas on KLLI FM 105.3. Recommended if you are a Van Halen fan, but he can be kind of grating.

Around 10:30 AM I move on to LA and KLSX FM 97.1 and the Adam Carolla show, which I listen to until lunch time. You can also find Adam by clicking on the link provided. Adam has taken over for Howard Stern in the more western markets. You may know Adam from The Man Show and Loveline. Adam, unlike DLR is a natural and I find that this is the show I enjoy the most everyday. The humor is crude, but even the bits you think will stink seem to always end up being funny. Highly recommended for fans of Adam or Jimmy Kimmel or crude humor in general.

After lunch I go to The Dan Patrick show because at 1 PM central Keith Olberman joins Dan for the big show. This portion of the show is most like the Tony Kornheiser show. It is Dan and Keith fighting over everything and a little sports sprinkled throughout.

After this it is a free for all. I used to be a VIP subscriber to the Bob and Tom Show and would check them out, but I cancelled. I am now a VIP subscriber to Coast to Coast AM so I can catch up on all the UFO sightings and conspiracies I missed.

That is a look at how I waste my time at work. I recommend all of these shows and am on the look out for any others that are as good as the ones mentioned above. Enjoy!!!

I WAS DUPED!!!!! --Oprah

Another post about Lady Bird's favorite book "A Million Little lies... I mean Pieces" by James Frey.

The only thing better than going on Oprah Winfrey's show once, is going on twice. Unfortunately for James Frey he went on there because all of his lies caught up to him.

An iPod in my future

I can't stop now... They've got a hold of me!

I looked into an MP3 player not too long ago when I was looking for a new flash drive. You know, those little USB drives you plug into your computer to carry around files you need. I was looking for one that was also an MP3 player just because I thought it would be neat.

I've never thought about getting an iPod because they are ridiculously expensive for a device used solely for listening to music. And I never thought that anything like that would take off where I live because it is so expensive and it is somewhat religiously connected to Apple computers.

Well, last week I attended the Kentucky Press Association's annual convention in Lexington. While knocking back a few free drinks before the banquet, we were sitting around with some other newspaper folks and one of them was a photographer. She was talking about listening to music when she was shooting football games and that struck me as ingenius. I have no idea why I hadn't come up with this sooner.

Generally, I'm usually talking with coaches, players, trainers or doctors during most football games when I'm not broadcasting them, but music would add a little inspiration during those long football and basketball games I'm shooting. More basketball games for me because I'm usually standing around by myself. Doubleheaders are the worst.

Last night I was listening to some music on my Mac, in iTunes of course, and I had just sat down for a long session of MP3 player research. I love doing research for cool stuff I'm about to buy.

It just so happened that every song I was listening to was purchased through the iTunes Music Store and then it dawned on me. Nothing I buy through iTunes will play on anything other than a true iPod. Sure there are ways around the protection placed on the .m4p iTunes files, but that takes time and it will take up space for the extra copies.

My research was cut short because I'm not paying $200 for an iPod nano so the screen can get scratched up and I'm not going to spend more than $100 anyway.

So a 512 megabyte iPod Shuffle it will be when I get a chance. I now see the vicious cycle that Apple has created and I'm drinking the kool-aid.

The World Series of Pop Culture

If I were not such a hermit I would find two pop culturally smart guys such as myself and go on a road trip. Linked to the piece is information regarding a new game show that is looking for contestants. They are looking for 15 teams of three to be exact, to compete in The World Series of Pop Culture. If there was a game show that was for me this is it. I have been preparing for this my whole life by stuffing my brain with useless information regarding entertainment and other unimportant areas of society.

The search for the contestants begins in March and is going to LA, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and New York. The good news for me is that the 16th team will be cast online at vh1. com. Don’t think that I am not going to look into this and perhaps one or two of you will be lucky enough to join my team and ride my brain to the championship.

Track Jack Bauer's movements throughout LA.

I have already posted my daily Chuck Norris piece so I figured I would give Jack Bauer equal time. Click the link for a map of Jack’s movement throughout LA, as well as major locations and plot points for the show. If you are a fan of 24 you may find this interesting, if not a little sad.

Is this the "dreaded" vote of confidence for Invasion?

For those of you who love the show Invasion, it looks like you may be getting another season. ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson called Invasion a "great, great televison show." Does this mean the Invasion fans have nothing to be concerned about? Invasion started off hot but since its debut, it has dropped in the ratings and is not able to hold on to all of Lost's audience.

I think I know why. For all the Lost haters who like to complain about Lost not moving forward or moving fast enough, look at Invasion. It has a soap opera pace, as in the same story happens every episode. The blonde docter asks her husband to tell her the truth about her being a "hybrid" and he does, somewhat. Then the next episode the doctor finds out something else that makes her question her husband and asks for the truth, which he gives her, somewhat. It took over half the season for everyone to kind of get on the same page and agree something weird is going on.

Invasion can stay on, I don't care. But if it goes, I will not be starting any letter writing campaigns or marching on ABC.

Young Chuck Norris

I know I-A has become a Chuck Norris-Jack Bauer shrine as of late, but I can't help it. Those are two great Americans. Click the link to see what Chuck Norris was like in his younger days courtesy of Saturday Night Live. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Kobe vs. Wilt: Which is more impressive?

After Kobe Bryant had his 81 point game the other night everyone immediately started comparing it to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game. This is something that happens all of the time in this day and age in sports. Something like Kobe's 81 points or Barry Bonds hitting 70 homeruns. People and the media try to blow things up by comparing it to a near mythical record set back when players played more for the love than for the money.

Kobe's 81 is insane, but comparing it to Wilt's 100 is legitimately silly and I'll tell you why. Because basketball is a team sport and watching Kobe dribbling around like a chicken with his head cut off before shooting an off-balance jumper isn't appealing to me and it means that all his team is doing is setting an occasional screen and getting out of the way.

Wilt Chamberlain was 7 feet 1 inch tall. Needless to say his 100 points required the help of his team because 7-footers don't generally bring the ball up the floor, especially in 1962.

Here's where Philly's Guy Rodgers comes into the play. He had 20 assists in that game. The Lakers as a team only had 18 assists in Kobe's game. The rest of the Philly team added what looks to be another 18 assists on top of Rodgers 20(the writing is a little fuzzy from the boxscore). Philly also had 4 other players in double-digit scoring compared to Kobe's 2 other teammates with double-figures. So at the end of the game the reporters could actually ask other teammates of Chamberlain a question other than "how did it feel to be out on the court away from Kobe and watch him score all of those points?"

Chamberlain went 28 of 32 from the foul line too. Not bad for a career 51 percent free throw shooter and he had 25 rebounds as if the 100 points wasn't enough. Then on top of that Chamberlain's game was just a more fun game to watch. New York 147-Philly-169 that's 316 points 90 more points than the Lakers/Raptors game. That's like free basketball folks.

Anyway, Wilt averaged 40 and 50 points for entire seasons and never once had the opportunity to shoot a 3-pointer, so let's not call Kobe the greatest just yet. What Kobe did was a great individual accomplishment in a very selfish era of basketball that no one saw because football was on. I'd rather watch the Pistons score 81 as a team than Kobe score it all alone.

Besides, Kobe will need a few more 80 point games before he'll be remembered as anything more than the guy who decided he was bigger than a dynasty of championships.

Donations for What?

Well, since I am not gainfully employed I have volunteered myself to take up donations for the Green River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and let me tell you about this experience.
Big Bird and I are into this whole Ducks Unlimited organization, him because he's a duck hunter, me because I like the decor that the sculptures and prints offer to my house. Although we sponsor the program and attend the dinner/auction every year, we really don't put a lot into it. This year, my husband informs me that I am a committee member because you get some extra perks as an organization if you have so many committee members. Since I am not a fan of being anything in name only, I told him that would be fine, but as a committee member I wanted to be active, so I would go out, in all my new found spare time, and solicit donations for the auction.
Long story short, after spending two full days out in the county begging for the charity of businesses of the community, I have decided that I probably should have stuck to being a committee member in name only. Although I have managed to secure several decent donations from supportive people, I often come away feeling inadequate about my cause. This most often happened when people told me that they'd been overwhelmed with people wanting donations lately, then asked me what my "cause" was. Hurricane victims? No. Spinal bifida? No. AIDS victims? No. Starving children in Cambodia? No. Ducks? YES! Okay, the conversations didn't really go like that, but you get the idea.
Don't get me wrong, I feel that the preservation of the wetlands is important (although, if I were being honest with myself, I would have to admit that I am probably more interested in the decor than the cause---I know, I'm Satan), it doesn't seem to hold a candle to all the other important issues we face in America, or in the world.
Again, don't get me wrong, I don't regret doing this because I feel like I've done the best I can for a good cause, but the bottom line is, there are great causes out there that I am not putting hours and hours into helping, and maybe I should begin thinking about which ones of those are important to me, and begin laboring a little for them (though maybe not in this same fashion--I am pretty sure, or at least I hope, that my donation soliciting days are coming to a screeching halt---immediately following the completion of this commitment).
Anyhow--that's what I've been up to between sporadically working when a school calls me to sub for them!
I hope all is having a great week!
Lady Bird

Subway Nazi

Ok, that's a bit harsh. I'm not dealing with a Subway Nazi, but I am dealing with a type of elitism. Why is it, that people seem shocked and genuinely disappointed in you if you order a sandwich without veggies? Listen, I like salad. I enjoy a nice caesar. I love a salad at Rafferty's where they have that hot bacon/honey mustard dressing. I like a Mariah's salad with the toasted black eyed peas. But I like my sandwiches without veggies. Am I less than human because of it?

Yesterday I pulled through the Subway drive-through and ordered a foot long tuna sub (on wheat, of course.)
The Subway employee with a nice southern accent asked, "What would you like on that sweetheart?"
I replied, "Provolone cheese. "
"Is that it?"
"Yes, thank you."
"You don't want any veggies on it?"
"No, thank you."
"No pickles? No lettuce? No peppers?"
"No, thanks."
"No dressings or anything?"
"No, ma'm"
"Well, alright."

Sheesh. I like tuna salad. I don't need to dress it up. Why is that so taboo? I'm a guy who likes to enjoy simple flavors. When I get a burger, I don't load it down. When I get a steak, I abhor steak sauce (steak sauce is for bad cuts of meat, or overcooked meat.) When I order salmon, I don't want a sauce on it. I want it cooked. Period. I like it that way.

But instead I have a Subway employee, making the big bucks at $6.25/hour, giving me the third degree and making me feel like a lousy human being. Implying through her disgusted tone that I am unpatriotic because I chose that moment to not support America's vegetable farmers! I have a stigma attached to me because when I get a sandwich I just want meat, cheese, and bread.

In the end, I folded and got pickles. She won this battle, but there will be others. I am far from defeated.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A few random facts about CTU agent Jack Bauer.

If you know me, you know that one of my favorite shows on TV right now is 24. Jack Bauer is the best government agent America has to offer. He makes Chuck Norris look like a wussy. In honor of the return of 24 and the return of Jack Bauer from “death,” I have found a few random facts about Jack Bauer. Click the link for more.

If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.

Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.

Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.

Jack Bauer played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.

When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.

Jack Bauer makes onions cry.

And one more for you real 24 fans, if Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.

If you haven’t figured out by now, do not get on Jack Bauer’s bad side.

Hodge podge: AFC-NFC Championships, U of L, and Kobe Bean Bryant

Championship Sunday has come and gone and it was overshadowed by one guy in the NBA. That’s right it’s time for a little hodge podge. Let’s hunt.

Championship Sunday

Sunday saw two NFL championship games and neither one were worth watching. I even resorted to watching Iron Chef America during the Pittsburgh-Seattle game. If you have good memories you will remember that I picked both winners but I was off a little in the scoring, mainly because I thought that Denver and Carolina would show up to play. I guess they had a case of the “just glad to be heres.” The story of the day was (I’m stealing this from about fifty people), The Two Jakes.

Jake Plummer is known to be a wild quarterback, but this year for Denver he has stayed under control and played the best he had ever played. He didn’t try to do more than was asked of him. Then came the biggest game of his career. He threw two big interceptions and the running game was not as effective as the Broncos were hoping, which meant that The Snake had to do more than was asked of him. The Steelers, much like they did with Peyton Manning, got after Plummer and forced him to play horribly. The Steelers just attack a team and they try their best to force you to make mistakes, and Plummer really helped the Steelers out, just like I thought he would.

Jake Delhomme played even worse, but the real bad news for the Carolina quarterback was that he had no running game whatsoever to help him out. Nick Goings went on a trip to La-La Land after a helmet to helmet shot early in the game. Another thing that doomed Delhomme was the fact that Seattle realized they needed to cover wide receiver Steve Smith, a tactic the Chicago Bears should have used. Delhomme looked out of sorts the whole game and that can be chalked up to the Seattle defense. I believe that until the fourth quarter he had completed more passes to the Seattle defense than to his own receivers. I just wonder why, if Steve Smith was covered at times by four defenders, you don’t throw to someone else? Someone had to be open.

While Pittsburgh and Seattle are not the teams the advertisers would want in the game, I think this will be a very interesting game. Both teams have a great running game and very good quarterbacks. Pittsburgh’s defense is one that likes to terrify and run wild, but Seattle has a much underrated defense that does not get a lot of publicity. I hope this game is as good as I think it can be, but I am always leery of a two week hype period. I hope that the extra week in between games does not take these teams out of rhythm causing the fans to have to watch two stale teams in an uninteresting game.

Kentucky basketball, it’s not fantastic.

It seems that UK is not the only team struggling to survive. Just as the country was sounding the death knell for the University of Kentucky, they win two games to get to .500 in the SEC. Now the University of Louisville has lost 4 of their last 5 games as of this writing.

The Cards will be lucky to finish .500 in the new Big East. I bet many fans and administrators wish U of L was still in the Conference USA. Then they would only have Memphis to contend with for the top spot in the conference. The Big East is not the Conference USA, not by any means.

Here is U of L’s schedule over the next few weeks, Cincinnati, at Rutgers (not easy), at Villanova, Notre Dame, at Cincinnati, South Florida, at Syracuse, DePaul, at West Virginia, Marquette, at UConn. That is a brutal schedule and the Cardinals do not have the team to win on the road.

I’ll give them Cincinnati, Notre Dame, South Florida, and DePaul because they are home games. I’ll give them Rutgers even though all road games will be hard for Louisville this season. That puts them at 7-9 in the Big East and out of the NCAA tournament in my opinion. They will have to win at least one game that I do not have them winning to get to .500. They won’t make the tournament unless they finish at least .500 in the Big East and get one or two good quality wins.

As bad as UK has been, they still have a win over a ranked opponent in West Virginia. I do believe that U of L has a chance to pull off a major upset because I watched them play UConn on Saturday night and they had moments of good basketball. At times U of L seemed to really bother the Huskies and hung with them longer than I expected. U of L may have a bigger upside than UK, but UK is in the weaker league.

Kobe, Kobe, Kobe

The NFL is hardly overshadowed, especially during the conference championships, but Kobe Bryant did so with an unbelievable scoring display against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Kobe scored 81 points, the second all time high in NBA history. I know that most people do not like Kobe, most probably hate Kobe, but you need to put personal feelings aside.

Kobe Bryant is putting on a scoring display that has not been seen in years. I believe that Bryant is as good or better a scorer right now than Michael Jordan was. Jordan had all the intangibles that Kobe does not, but when it comes to putting the ball in the hoop Kobe is as good as anyone who has played the game. There has even been discussion that Kobe’s scoring display was more impressive than Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game. It’s hard to argue against Kobe.

Most of you are saying, “Of course he can score 80 a game, he is a selfish ball hog.” That is true, but with the team the Lakers put on the court every night he has to be. Kobe has to score all the points because nobody else can be counted on every night the way he can. Kobe will get hammered this week because of his selfishness, but I seem to remember when he had 62 points in three quarters and took himself out of the game, he got hammered for not scoring 80. Any way you slice it Kobe gets beat up, so he might as well get beat up for an all time great game than a very good game.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A bunch of random crap

So, Harry Potter, ultrasound, and ski vacation have all drastically cut into my blogging, but I hope to make a triumphant come back. I have read the first three Harry Potter's in the last few weeks, and I am somewhat more impressed than I expected to be. The movies do them justice for the first three, but I'll let you know about the fourth later.

I went skiing in Utah, last week and it was AWESOME. I have skiied for a total of 4 days and 3 of them were this past week. My sister-in-law and I were both learning and both have very different styles. She speeds straight down the hill and hopes it is soft at the bottom. On two separate occasions she got so far ahead of me I couldn't see her..... I did, however, find her in an explosion of skis face down at the bottom of the hill. It was great and am already excited about next year.

Most of you reading this know that my wife is now expecting. We had the first ultrasound last Thursday. All we know is that there is only one in there and it's heart is beating normallly so far. I have started a journal writing every day or two what is going on in the news and in our lives. It is kind of a mini blog for our child to read one day and have a better understanding of what our lives were like while she was in the womb.

In closing, I have two friends who have recently entered the blogging world. I will try to link them soon, but until then check out their blogs. One is in Chicago after moving from KY. THe other is here in SC and her partner in my residency program. Check them both out.

You think you Know Chuck Norris? You have no idea.

At one time in my life, I was a huge fan of Chuck Norris. If you are in my age group and are male, odds are you were too. Chuck Norris ruled in kicking people’s faces off and getting the girl. He also ruled in going into Vietnam and rescuing POWs. I lost my love of all things Chuck when he starred in a little show called Walker, Texas Ranger. This show was so bad, yet it found some way to stay on the air for 35 years. Norris was Walker a Texas Ranger who always broke out his kung fu to stop criminals. He rarely used a gun and most of the criminals also knew kung fu. Texas it seems is a hotbed for criminals trained in Kung Fu.

I have now found a new source for Chuck Norris news and it has reknidled my love and admiration for this great American. It is called …and now a random fact about Chuck Norris. It is a website and I have linked it in the title for fellow Chuck admirers. Every time you refresh the page a new fact about Chuck appears. For instance, did you know that Chuck Norris once on his way to fight Bruce Lee, had a layover in France for 3 hours? He impregnated the entire country. Did you know that the Civil War was stopped by Chuck Norris? That is why so many people died. They say it is impossible to breath in space. Tell that to Chuck Norris.

Want more? Chuck Norris becomes infuriated when he sees men cry or frown. Recently, he has been spotted at funerals, roundhousing grieving men in the face until their mouth is fixed in a cold, emotionless position. Chuck Norris is a real man, and real men do not react to life. Here’s another one. There is no such thing as shooting stars, only people who have been roundhouse kicked by Chuck Norris. Did you know that Chuck Norris has three birthdays a year? Here is one I didn’t know; every new U.S. currency has a watermark of Chuck Norris' face in the background. Knowing that Chuck is always watching, counterfeiting ceases to exist.

Check it out for more interesting facts about Chuck. I must warn you that some facts do contain profanity or phrases of a sexual nature. So if you are squeamish, beware. Enjoy!!!!

Jason Lee needs a shot of Earl Hickey's karma.

Well, it seems that karma is a b*#%h. Jason Lee the star of the great show My Name is Earl has adult onset chicken pox. This means that production of Earl will be shut down for weeks as Lee is quarantined. No one else is supposedly infected and Lee is deemed highly contagious. This would be a good story idea for the show. Jason Lee must have done something to wrong somebody and Carson Daly and karma has gotten revenge.

I guess we have the answer to the age old question. Who gets the chicken pox in their 30’s?

Amy and the Buttafuocos, together again.

Good news, good news, Amy Fisher and the Buttafuocos have signed up for a televised reunion. Man, I have been waiting for this. Unfortunately no television network has agreed to put this circus on TV. I assume agents are shopping the show to the networks as I write.

I hope for the sake of our country’s dignity that this trash does not make it onto prime time network TV. I can see this on E! or Bravo or the Jerry Springer Show, but not on NBC on Thursday night. There cannot be an audience for this. Who has been clamoring for a reunion of these morons? It’s not like they were a beloved threesome that were grieved by the world when they went their separate ways. This isn’t the reunion of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

The only way I would watch this is if the three of them were all to be shot in the kneecaps during some point of the show. Now that smells of ratings. I also believe that it would bring us closer together as a people.

Playoffs by Jake

I can't recall ever seeing two QBs play worse in their respective conference championship games. Between the Carolina Panthers' Jake Delhomme and the Denver Broncos Jake Plummer they threw two touchdowns (good) and had SEVEN turnovers (bad.)

Here are the lines of the losing QBs compared to the lines of winning QBs, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Hasselbeck of the Seahawks.

Two Jakes:
33/65 (51%) for 419 yards, 2 TDS, 5 interceptions, 2 fumbles lost

Two SuperBowl QBs:
41/57 (73%) for 492 yards, 4 touchdowns, zero interceptions, zero fumbles lost.

The sad part was we saw this coming for Jake Plummer. The nuveau Grizzly Adams is a career underachiever. He seemed to be beyond the turnover demons that haunted his years in Arizona and destined to be a leader at QB. Until the Broncos depended on him, then he folded like a wet newspaper.

For Delhomme it was much more of a surprise. Delhomme had been Mr. Dependable for a while at QB of the Panthers, but like Plummer, this Jake wasn't often asked to win games with his arm. When the time finally came for him to put the team on his shoulders, he couldn't get it done.

So what we ended up with was a sorry championship Sunday and Kobe Bryant getting most of the press for scoring 81 points (second most in league history, behind Wilt's 100) against the worst franchise in the NBA. Yawn.

And as good as Hasselbeck and Seahawks looked yesterday, you'd have to have your lips superglued to a crackpipe to pick against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has been far and away the most impressive team in the NFL postseason. As good as Roethlisberger has been, Troy Polamalu has been the man for the Steelers. Not since Ray Lewis in the Ravens Superbowl run (isn't it disgusting that the RAVENS won a Superbowl?) has a defensive player had such an impact on the NFL postseason.

So here's your early "AFFECT" line.

Pittsburgh by 6.5

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The future of RSS for getting your news...

Yesterday I attended the Kentucky Press Associaton Convention in Lexington and myself and my editor and our boss attended some seminars. On of them was on blogs, podcasting and RSS and how they are "invading our office space".

This particular seminar was conducted by a fairly well known syndicated columnist named Don McNay. His web site is linked in the title. The seminar was attended by many young people and a few "suits" that were looking at how to stay ahead of the game.

Anyway, the discussion of RSS(Really Simple Syndication) was focused mainly on text and I think that it's just silly to use RSS to go out and pull in your news so you don't have to visit a web site. Many news web sites offer RSS feeds so that you can "subscribe" to online news articles and have them pulled into one place for you to read. No pictures, no ads, no visiting a web site, just the text.

The advantage is that you get only what you want to get. However, in my opinion this is just overkill. My editor and I talked to a few people about RSS for news and the analogy I came up with was the history of cooking.

We started out cooking over an open flame. Then the stove top and oven were invented and finally we got the microwave oven.

In news, the newspaper is the open flame, TV is the oven and the internet is the microwave. So what RSS feeds are doing for text-based news is satisfying the few crazy people in this world who believe they don't have time for the endless seconds of a microwave. So they want something that can pop some popcorn in 2 seconds instead of 2 minutes.

While it would be great for grabbing the stories or columns done by a favorite writer, grabbing the top stories from large daily newspapers and CNN.com will bring you in nothing but the same AP story over and over again for 70 percent of the news. I'm sure you could refine your choices down to getting only local stories from different newspapers, but just visit the stinkin' website. You never know when you might stumble across something good. And besides, photos, design and color make getting the news enjoyable. Straight text is so early-1900s.

RSS simply paved the way for citizen journalism and especially podcasting. You know that newspapers are going to have news on the net every morning, news websites update by the minute, but people like you and I who have blogs or podcasts don't always get to update that frequently. And either way, most people don't have tons of blogs they have to visit so most just click their bookmarks and if sites are updated they'll read, if not they'll leave.

A few people will use it, but even though it's a "buzz-term" and really hot right now, few use it for grabbing news.

In fact, if any web site ever set up most or all of their content to be subscribed to through RSS is probably setting themselves up for a problem later on. How exactly can you guarantee advertisers that people will visit your site if you are offering them all of your content through RSS?

With RSS they don't have to, you are offering them a way to not visit your site.

Even with that being said, the bottom line is that RSS will forever be linked with podcasting and using it to get text will be a footnote, at best, in its history.

Unless they radically change it somehow. Then I reserve the right to change my opinion.

Yamma hamma, its fright night

I know that everyone pretty much knows that Whitney Houston had/has a healthy drug habit, but I at least wish she would stay out of the public eye. I'm the kind of person that gets embarrassed for people who have no idea that they should be really embarrassed. If you click on the title of this post, you'll see that I'm tremendously embarrassed for Whitney Houston. This photo ranks above Nick Nolte's mugshot photo in my opinion because at least he was in jail after doing God-knows-what. This photo is just Whitney running out for gas and chocolate.

Whitney is photographed at a local Atlanta gas station in a $50,000 fur coat and pajamas. Her hair appears to look like a Yorkshire terrier hanging on for dear life, but she has that smile on her face like she couldn't be happier to see the photographer. Like Winona Judd after she got picked up for a DUI.

I guess the good news for Whitney is that she'll be receiving more checks from Bravo since "Being Bobby Brown" (a.k.a. Watching Whitney Crash & Burn) has been picked up for another season. Apparently, the Browns are blowing through their money faster than the royalty checks can come in. Funny how the checks get smaller the more you make fools of yourself on national television.

The other problem they are having is that allegedly they are losing a lot of money paying for their "posse" of hangers-on.

Does that really surprise anyone?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kentucky, Louisville, and Western?

The writing is all over the wall. Western Kentucky will be transitioning into IA football competition. That sounds minor, but it's a major, major move. It will allow WKU the chance to perhaps move into a bigger athletic conference like CUSA or the MAC. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's review some of the signs.

1. WKU announces renovation and expansion of the football stadium. WKU has put a LOT of money into football in the last ten years. It's paid off with several trips to the IAA playoffs (only 16 teams make it nationally) and a national championship in 2002. Now the word comes that a 30+ million dollar renovation/expansion project that will include a new athletic/academic complex, new seats, possible luxury suites, and enclosure of the stadium.
2. WKU has long talks with the MAC about possibly joining the league.
3. WKU is asked by the Sun Belt to join in football (necessetating a move up to IA)
4. Head Coach David Elson receives an 8 year contract extension, raise, and the contract includes a provision to give Elson an addittional raise IF WKU goes IA.
5. A WKU recruit from Louisville Ballard mentions in interview with the Courier Journal that WKU is appealing because they're "going DI."

So could this change the perception of WKU statewide? Could this change the landscape of college sports in the state? Clearly my pipedream of WKU, UofL and UK all competing in the same conference will never happen since UofL is in the Bloated East, and UK is in the elite SEC. But if this happens will this mean WKU gets more chances to compete against UK and UofL in football, basketball and other sports? Let's hope so. It works well in other states like Indiana (IU, Purdue, Notre Dame) North Carolina (UNC, NCState, Duke, Wake Forest) and Tennessee (UT, Memphis, Vandy.) There's no reason we can't have those kinds of rivalries within Kentucky.

WKU's move to IA will likely not take place until 2007 or 2008, but it certainly appears to be a fast moving train.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Antonio Davis, while not Ron Artest, should be made into an example for the future.

Antonio Davis a forward for the New York Knicks went into the stands on Wednesday night to help his wife, Kendra, who to him appeared to be in distress. There are many reports as to what led to this incident. Some fans have said that a drunken fan had been yelling derogatory things about Davis all night and his wife asked him to refrain because she was there with kids and just wanted to enjoy the game. The fan then got into an argument with her and it got out of hand.

Another report has Kendra Davis yelling and standing during the game and a fan asked her to sit down so he could enjoy the game. She said no, the fan cussed her, and then she started standing directly in front of the fan to be a bit of a witch with a b. Whatever the case, the two of them got into a heated situation and Antonio Davis saw the trouble and went into the stands to help his wife or perhaps to help calm his wife down.

I am not sure what happened, but I do know that Antonio Davis should be suspended and should be suspended for more than just a couple of games. I realize that this is a totally different situation than that of Ron Artest in Detroit, but because of that situation, you have to come down hard on anyone who goes into the stands.

Davis did not appear to go into the stands for any other reason but to protect his wife or perhaps, to protect the fan from his wife. I do believe that because of this he should be shown some leniency. Davis should not be suspended for 60 games or 30 games like Artest and Stephen Jackson, but I would expect 10 to 15 games and I believe that is more than enough to get the message across. The message is under no circumstances should a player go into the stands.

I understand what Davis did and many of us would have done the same thing, but being on a rival team, going into a visiting crowd, and alcohol mixing in the crowd could have led to a much worse outcome than occurred. I believe that much like Artest was made into an example; Davis also needs to be made into an example so that no player will think of going into the stands.

"The Man Who Conned Oprah"

This one is for the Lady Bird. If you read Lady Bird's review on a "A Million Little Pieces," an Oprah Winfrey Book-of-the-Month club pick, you'll read that she really dislikes that book to a degree that it amazes me that she finished it. To Oprah it's a tear-jerker, but to Lady Bird its rear-wiper.

Luckily the good people over at The Smoking Gun did a little searching into the criminal records of James Frey, the author. From what I've read about the book, it's pretty detailed right down to the intricate details of Frey's own vomit and The Smoking Gun wanted to see if anything was... Let's just say embellished.

Maybe if Oprah has a good cry about it she can purchase Frey a better rap sheet made of fried gold. I'm wondering if Lady Bird's hatred for this book is due to the fact that it is a little too unbelievable. And to be honest, I find it hard to believe that someone in as much trouble as Frey seemed to be, that he didn't admit to any help from anyone. I know of people that have quit doing things cold turkey, but they weren't wanted in three states with a healthy crack addiction either. If God doesn't make an appearance, someone certainly did.

But remember all of you fledgling writers out there, the best fiction is always in the section labeled "nonfiction". And to quote George Costanza, "It's not a lie if you believe it."

Eat these jelly beans, if you got the guts.

I meant to write about this earlier but I forgot about it until a few minutes ago. This weekend I gathered with friends and family for a child’s birthday party. Before the party, Bratch and I went to the same residence for the horrible UK game. On the way there we stopped at the local bodega to pick up some lunch. We got some pretty good pizza and as I was approaching the check out, I noticed a display of jelly beans. These were not just ordinary jelly beans; these were Harry Potter jelly beans.

If you do not know the significance of that or have never seen the movies or read the books then you would not know that these jelly beans are not all good. Some of the jelly beans have different flavors than you might be used too. By that I mean jelly beans that taste like dirt, ear wax, earthworm, vomit and the worst by far, rotten eggs. I had seen these before, but never bought any. This time I did. I bought two boxes, simply for the fact that I knew I was going to be at a party with some kids and what better fun could a person have than to trick a child into eating a vomit flavored jelly bean.

During the UK game Bratch and I decided to try out the jelly beans, to really see if they did indeed taste like they were supposed to. There were 20 to 30 different flavors including those I mentioned earlier as well as, cherry, lemon, blueberry, soap, sardines, grass, green apple, booger, cinnamon, and more. We both started to just take one and eat it and see if the flavors were true. We found out pretty quickly they did in fact tasted like they were supposed to taste. In taste testing I decided to make a game of it by asking Bratch if he wanted the first or the second bean I shook out of the box. That seemed to work out better for him because as he was getting lemon and apple, I was getting sardines, vomit, soap, and dirt. I stopped the game because I couldn’t go on. I guess Bratch won that round.

Party time and I am ready to make kids cry. Instead, it’s the adults who want to eat the jelly beans. We get a community spit cup in case you get bad one and we start. Me, Bratch, LadyBird, Lil’ Bird and Lil’ Bird’s 7 year old daughter all got involved and all wanted to taste the worst as well as the best of the box. I believe most of us tasted them all and all agreed that rotten egg was the worst, followed closely by bacon and vomit. Only one child was tricked into eating a rotten egg jelly bean and that was by her sister, not me. If you want to try this out for yourself and you have a strong stomach and gag reflex look for Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s jelly beans in the candy aisle or click the link provided. Enjoy!!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Incredible!! Another Hulk movie on the way?

Can it be true? According to imdb.com, David Duchovny is set to take over for Eric Bana in the sequel to The Incredible Hulk. If I remember correctly, The Incredible Hulk was a bomb and there was never much talk about a sequel. That was premature according to the link.

The sequel will supposedly be a straight to DVD project which means that it will suck. Has there ever been a good straight to video movie? Why would David Duchovny want to be a part of what sounds to be a full blown fiasco in the making?

I am a fan of the Hulk. In fact the Hulk is my favorite comic superhero. I loved the old show with Bill Bixby. I even kinda enjoyed the movie. I do not however want to see a straight to DVD release that would kill any chance of another “real” attempt to make the Hulk into a feature film. I hope Duchovny does the same thing as Bana did when he learned it was a direct to DVD project, run away.

Fox's American Idol returns to dominate TV.

Fox has thrown the second of their late season one-two punch as American Idol season 206 premiered last night. It will also be on tonight (Wednesday) at 7 central. The first few shows are the audition phase of American Idol and my personal favorite of the season. You get to see the worst of the worst. Like Mr. Tony Kornheiser said earlier today on his radio show, when it gets down to the final 6 to 8 singers, they are all pretty good. Sure there may be one that stands out, but many of them will have their own record deal before the end of the show.

Last night was a two hour show and the audition took place in Chicago, my kind of town, Chicago. All three judges were there, Randy “Dog, Dude” Jackson, Paula Abdul, and the star of the show, Simon Cowell. Cowell is the star, especially during the audition phase because he likes to destroy bad singers. And last night was no exception. In fact, I almost could not take the abuse. It seemed like Idol had become extra mean. Don’t get me wrong, if a person comes on there and thinks they can sing, but they peel paint off walls, then they deserve to get some abuse, but last night it seemed to go over the edge. Even Randy and Paula seemed to be extra prickly during some moments of the show.

The best and worst moment was when a ditzy 16 year old girl who looked as though Paris Hilton was her American idol walked in. Right off the bat, Cowell started to make fun of the way she looked. Granted she had one of the worst spray on tans I have ever seen, but he just kept going on. After her horrible audition, Cowell continued to make fun of her and then asked to see her mother and proceeded to make fun of both of them. I thought that was a little over the edge, but as I said earlier, if you come on and do horribly then you should get some abuse. That is why the show is so good.

Other than some of the more uncomfortable moments like that, it was a good show. Quite a few singers were good, but that is not what you watch for. There were a couple of firsts on Idol last night. One was a person sang a song that had to have some words bleeped out. I have never seen a singer audition with a song filled with profanity. It suited the young lady who sang it because after she was told no, she cussed and cussed and cussed all the way out into the street. It was very entertaining.

Then we had some crazy bare footed farm boy who claimed to be able to talk to animals was really horrible. Randy for some crazy reason said yes, Cowell said never and then crazy old Paula said yes and sent this half a moron to Hollywood. Cowell actually looked p*&%^ed off and I thought he was going to walk off. All in all, the show was pretty good though much like Survivor, I am starting to get tired of it all. Surely this can’t last for much longer. I guess as long as there are idiots who will do anything to get on TV, we will continue to have shows like this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

More Old School songs...

The link is to my second installment which is linked to the first installment so feel free to look back at the explanations, but here is the list so far.

I Was Made To Love Her -- Stevie Wonder
Lay Down(Candles In the Rain) -- Melanie
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers
The Letter(LIVE) -- Joe Cocker
You Keep me Hangin' On -- Diana Ross & The Supremes
Along Comes Mary -- The Association
With A Little Help From My Friends -- Joe Cocker
Elenore -- The Turtles

Those are in no particular order in case you wondered. Actually that how they show up in iTunes.

I have a few more songs I added to old school list.

The first song is "Lightning Strikes" by Lou Christie. Who is Lou Christie you ask? Well, do you remember hearing songs from back in the day with some dude that could sing notes so high that Mariah Carey would be jealous? The Lion Sleeps Tonight-high? Granted Mariah can sing higher but her testosterone levels are considerable lower... For now anyway.

Anyway this song is great because of the horns and woodwinds. Also, how this dude can go from regular singing voice to curl-your-hair high pitches is truly amazing. And since the song is about his uncontrollable urges, when he switches over the high voice that is him losing control. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I actually learned of this song from the radio station Piccu and I used to work for. In case some of you don't know, small radio stations rarely put live DJs on because live DJs require live pay. So computers and satellite feeds are the tricks of the trade. The computers play the commercials at specified breaks when the satellite feed kicks off for the local commercial spots. However, when you don't have any commercials, much like we did back then, you would put a song or two in to fill the 4 minute gap. It just so happened that Lightning Strikes was a filler and it played 20 minutes past the hour every other hour.

My next song is a favorite for those of us who dig The Big Lebowski. The song is "Just Dropped In (to see what condition my condition was in)" by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition. What makes this song cool is the effects on the voices and the utter spacey-ness, to make up a word. It's just nuts. Background vocals along with the bass and bells are cool. It has some good guitar work as well and creepy organ which was a 60's stamp of approval.

The third song of this group is "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and Papas. You've heard it, you know why. It's a sing-a-long song really. In one of the half million ways Piccu and I can scare our father, Piccu did it by coming in hard on the "GOT DOWN ON MY KNEES" line and Dad has hated him ever since.

The last some I'm going to talk about really isn't obscure, but it follows the kind of music I'm looking for in that it has some emotion and rocks even though most of emotion is created with the music and not as much with vocals. The song is "Hush" by Deep Purple.

This song is a bonafied hit, but when you listen to it you can get the feeling that they just made it up as they went. Sure they probably planned it out a bit, but it has a sound like one of them said, "Screw it, let's just lay it down, or I'm quitting the band." It's like a big jam session and the drums and organ hook me. The drummer really orchestrates when the song moves and it builds through the drums until music builds up to the explosion. Best Deep Purple song EVER.

Jack is back from the dead and 24 has never been better.

Jack is back. The new season of Fox’s 24 kicked off this past Sunday with a 2 hour premiere and continued on Monday with another 2 hours. It appears that I am not the only one fired up about this season. The ratings have been good and Bob and Tom and Tony Kornheiser has been raving about the new season on the radio.

I have been a fan of 24 since the beginning and except for Jack Bauer’s daughter Kim fighting a panther in Season 2, most of the seasons have been good. This season has started of with a bang, literally. If you have DVRed and not watched it yet stop reading……..NOW.

Former President Palmer has been assassinated and Michelle Dessler has been killed and Tony Almaida is on death’s door. All three very good friends of Jack Bauer. Jack seems to be the one set up for it all and he is back from the dead to find out what is going on and avenge his friends' death.

Jack, if you do not remember, faked his death to get out of a life sentence in a Chinese prison for a mission that got out of hand at the Chinese embassy in LA. He was contacted by his friend Chloe and the she is the only one left alive or conscious who knows his death was faked. Jack tracked down the Palmer assassin and shot him in the face.

That was all in the first two hours. I didn’t even tell you about the new president’s wife being crazy and how the Russian president might be in danger. I have not watched the second part from Monday but I can’t wait to check it out.

If you have been a fan and dropped off, start back up again. I am not sure you can catch the first four episodes again, but check your local listings on Fox and FX. Jack is back and 24 is only getting better.

Did God forsake the Indianapolis Colts?

The Colts-Steelers game was without a doubt the craziest game this weekend with the interception-fumble-incomplete pass, Vanderjagt’s miss, Harper’s horrendous runback, and the refs cheating. The one thing I left out of my column this week (because I forgot about it and I’m not sure how it would have gone over in this neck of the woods) is how the Lord forgot about the Colts and allowed them to lose.

Where am I getting this? Well after the loss the Colts’ kicker Mike Vanderjagt said, “I guess the Lord forgot about the football team.” So why did the Lord forsake the Colts? Did the Lord forsake the Colts? Does the Lord really care who wins a football game? I have always wondered this because you will hear players on winning teams thank the Lord for their victory or for being “on their side.” Is this really how it works? Does God pick a team and help “His” team win the game?

I have a hard time believing that with all the things going on in the world that God would spend too much time worrying about a football game. I am sure he is capable of concentrating on billions and billions of different things at one time, but I think some things would be more important. I do believe that God gave the players the talent and ability to play the games and I like to believe that God would be with them when they play if only to keep them safe from injury. I think that the game is totally left up to the players and coaches.

What do you think? Do you think that God is with your team win they win? Do you also think He is against your team when they lose? Do you find yourself praying that your team will win a game? Is it alright to pray for a victory for your team? The Bible just does not make things clear when it comes to God and sporting events.

The NFL is heating up this winter.

In my defense, I wasn’t the only one who liked the New England Patriots. So, we have our final four in the NFL Playoffs. Seattle beat a hot Washington team this past Saturday. When I saw running back Shaun Alexander go down for the Seattle Seahawks, I was sure that would be the opening the Washington Redskins would need, but the Seahawks showed some heart and kept after them and put the game away.

The Seahawks will face the Carolina Panthers, a team that seems to play better on the road than most teams do at home. The Panthers beat a very defensive Chicago Bears team, at least up until last Sunday’s game the Bears were a defensive team. The Bears switched philosophies and put up points instead of keeping the other team from scoring them. Wide receiver Steve Smith is a monster for the Panthers, he will not be stopped. I have never seen so many defenders get twisted and tangled trying to cover one man. It makes you wonder why only one man was trying to stop Steve Smith.

The NFC championship game is at Seattle and for those of you who don’t know, Seattle has not lost a home game this season. The Carolina Panthers on the other hand do not seem to be worried about playing on the road. Ask New York and Chicago how the home field advantage worked out. I have questions about Seattle, mainly, “How can Seattle be trusted to win this big of a game?” They are the Seahags for crying out loud.

I would have more confidence in the Panthers if it were not for the fact that their two best running backs will be out for this game on Sunday. Deshaun Foster who was the primary back against the Bears broke his ankle and will not be able to compete; leaving someone named Nick Goings to be the man. This means that Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith are going to have to be brilliant again.

If Seattle watches any game tape, I have to believe that they will try to come up with a plan to stop or at least contain Smith, unlike the Bears. I am also concerned about an injury to Carolina’s defensive end Julius Peppers. He is a big part of that Panther defense and if he is not 100% then that should cause some concern for Carolina.

In the end I see the Seattle Seahawks finally putting the nail into the coffin of the Carolina Panthers and moving on to the Super Bowl. I know they are still the Seahawks and they are known for not doing anything, ever, but I believe this is their year. Shaun Alexander is almost certain to play and quarterback Matt Hasselback has shown himself to be a very good quarterback.

While Seattle has both a great running back and a very good quarterback, we are not sure about Carolina’s running back situation. I also believe that Seattle will be ready for Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith, which could be the Panthers’ only way of scoring. I still believe that game will be close because of the Panthers defense. Seattle 21 Carolina 17

In other games this past weekend we had some questionable calls made by the referees. In my big game of the week, New England at Denver was not a very good game to watch or to play in if you were a Patriots fan. Had I known that the Patriots would turn the ball over 33 times I would have never picked them to be my Super Bowl champion. That was their fault, the referees helped out by making some questionable calls including a pass interference call that probably should have been a no call. That being said, Denver proved they were the better team and showed why they have also gone undefeated at home this year.

In the other game, the Pittsburgh Steelers went into the dome in Indianapolis to take on the Colts in a game most people gave the Steelers no shot in winning. I had my doubts about the Colts but I thought they would win and apparently so did the referees. I have never seen a bigger blown call than the interception and fumble play by safety Troy Polamalu.

The referee watched the same tape we all did and determined that it was an incomplete pass and not an interception and fumble, overturning the call on the field. I am not saying the refs were “cheating” for the Colts, but this wasn’t just a blown call, this was a call that was so insane you had to question the motives of the officials. I couldn’t believe what I saw and a little piece of me hoped that the Colts would win the game just to see the fallout over this whole thing, but that did not happen.

The Steelers made the Colts, especially Peyton Manning, look rushed and hurried and got them out of their comfort zone. Unfortunately for the Colts, their coaching staff didn’t make the necessary adjustments until it was too late. That more than cornerback Nick Harper’s boneheaded fumble return and kicker Mike Vanderjagt’s miss was what decided the game. The Steelers adapted and changed their gameplan after their first meeting with Indianapolis and the Colts did not.

This brings up what I believe will be the best game this coming Sunday, Pittsburgh at Denver. Denver as I said earlier has not lost at home this season and Pittsburgh much like Carolina has won all their playoff games on the road. I know I should pick Denver; I already made a fool of myself by continuing to drink the New England clam chowder Kool-Aid. I will however pick the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have several reasons for this, none of which are really football reasons.

The Steelers beat my team, the Cincinnati Bengals, and I am of the belief that if the team that knocks you out of the playoffs wins it all, it doesn’t hurt so bad to lose to the eventual world champs. I also like running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis. I would like to see him go out with a Super Bowl win as it is rumored he will retire at the end of the season.

As for real reasons I think they will win? I believe that Pittsburgh is the tougher team. I think that Troy Polamalu makes plays every game and this game will not be different. I think that Pittsburgh’s run, run, and run again style will keep Denver’s defense on the field a long time while the Steelers’ defense can grab extra rest. I believe that it is Bill Cowher’s time and he will show why he is one of the best in the game. While I do think Denver quarterback Jake Plummer has a better beard than Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, he will do something that will make Denver fans scream and pull their hair out.
Pittsburgh 28 Denver 20

This gives us a Pittsburgh and Seattle Super Bowl. I am holding off on my thoughts on this game because I have a feeling that those two teams may not even be in the game by looking at my past performance. I will predict that this year’s game will be better than the commercials and that’s all anyone really cares about.

UK's Spiral May Keep Them N.I.T.

According to Cortney Basham of the Bracket Board blog (and Dan Lunardi of ESPN agrees) if the NCAA tournament field were picked today, the University of Kentucky would not be dancing. They would be "Not In Tournament." What an impressive demise. This team made the Elite Eight last year, lost two players of significance, and now are staring an NIT birth in the face.

It's still VERY early in conference play, but UK is 0-2 in the SEC after two games at Rupp Arena. That's put the Mildcats into an early hole that the team may not climb out of. The return of forward Randolph Morris looks to make the team more potent than pond water, but not much more. Tubby Smith is searching for answer and UK fans are contemplating suicide. It is possible that this season Western Kentucky, Louisville (have yet to prove much more than UK has), and Murray State may all make the dance while the Kitties stay home. An unprecedented turn of events.

So why do I bring this up? Because I'm a Western fan and we're 12-4 with the highest RPI in the state of Kentucky. Succintly, we have the best resume of any team in the Commonwealth.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Shelter Insurance, XM Radio, Wells Fargo and my love/hate relationship

I am currently involved in several love/hate relationship with all of these companies. I love them for different reasons, but hate them for a common reason. And that reason is that they want to make it hard for me to give them money. If you can actually believe that. Sounds stupid, right?

I'll start with XM radio. As you all know, Piccu and I love us some XM radio. It's something that I should have had a long time ago. I have 4 XM radio receivers on my account because some of my friends and family are getting a discount on my account and XM gets its payment through an automatic debit from my bank account. So they don't have any problem with getting their money, but it's completely random to me when they get the money. If I had them send me a bill that adds another $2 to the charge. And that might compound since I have 4 radios on my account, but who knows?

So I guess if I did the math I could somewhat figure out what is going on, but one time I had a random $12 and change taken from my account for what seemed like no reason. When I called them about it, they literally told me that they didn't know what it was for and that I wasn't going to get a bill or be informed about any charges unless I paid for a paper bill to be mailed of which they would be making an extra $1.61 for.

You can pay XM online, but when you do, all it does is pop up a screen for you to enter in all of your information and the amount of money you would like to give them. It doesn't tell you how much you owe, but you can give them as much as you want.

So if anyone affiliated with XM radio is reading this, why not step into the 20th century(yes the 20th) and actually have a computer generate an email to be sent to me informing me of what I'm about to be charged before the charge is made. Everything you do is online so technically your customers are doing all of your work, how about have a computer do some work for customers like myself.

Wells Fargo is even worse than XM radio in my book because Wells Fargo is probably a multi-billion dollar company. Piccu and I are linked to them through the awesome 2 years of free financing for our 62 inch wide screen HDTV. The payments are cheap, but every time I want to make a payment I have to do a check by phone. While it is certainly more convenient and informative than XM radio, shouldn't Wells Fargo have an online system set up? I mean, it's Wells Fargo for Pete's sake.

When it was time to make the first payment I called up customer service and asked a representative if I could make an online payment and she said that they "were looking into that", but had not implemented it yet. She then asked me if I understood the terms of my agreement and I told her that I most certainly did, but common sense told me that if Pete's Pawn Shop in Podunk, KY could have an online payment option that Wells Fargo could too.

Shelter Insurance is perhaps the most frustrating because it's a necessity since it is my auto insurance company. My insurance premium is due on Sunday. So yesterday I called up my agent to see if I could do a check over the phone since online payment isn't an option(of course) and every time I drive 30 minutes to his office all he does is run the check through a computer and hand it back to me.

I call and I get the answering machine. I kept calling and calling and I left a message and continued to call all day. Finally, I was ready to leave work and I was prepared to drive 30 minutes to his office, but then realized that if he was there he would have returned my call so he's obviously not there.

I thought maybe I could call the local Shelter Insurance agent in town and see if I could make my payment there. I was told by a friend that it wasn't possible, but it didn't matter because the local agent wasn't in her office either.

So finally I called the home office in Missouri to see if there was some way for me to give them $400. I can't tell you how stupid I felt and how stupid the customer service rep must have felt that I was almost pleading at this point for them to take my money, but there was no way for them to take it. I asked her about a check by phone and again they "are looking into it, but haven't decided if they are going to yet".

At that point I was just angry because if I couldn't pay them my coverage was going to be dropped by Monday all because I couldn't get anyone to take my stinkin' money. How stupid is that? Then she told me that I actually had a 10-day grace period after my deadline before I absolutely had to have the payment in or had to pay the $20 reactivation fee. Which I'm sure they make a lot of money on after this fiasco.

Shelter Insurance, XM Radio and Wells Fargo... Catch up with the times and try to make the receiving of payment a priority. Maybe not the top priority because we wouldn't want to inconvenience you, you morons.

P.S. Also, Blogger.com, how about offering some Mac support, you a-holes. How much do you think it sucks when Safari crashes 80 percent of the time I try to login? Wordpress is looking awfully tempting for the impending podcast.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pigs can't fly, but at least we won't trip over them in the night.

Check this pic out. Taiwan has successfully bred a transgenic fluorescent green pig. Thank goodness we have done it. I thought it would never get done. Second on the list is a cure for cancer. The pigs glow in the dark.

We might need to find the pig in this pic and make sure he just hasn’t been colored with a Hi-Liter. The last big genetic discovery turned out to be perpetrated by a man of questionable ethics, although he was Korean.

Steven Colbert steamed at the AP

I don’t usually watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and I have never watched the Colbert Report, but I saw something today on Yahoo that is pretty funny. It seems that Steven Colbert is calling for a jihad against the Associated Press (AP). Colbert has taken credit for making up the word truthiness and the American Dialect Society named truthiness the word of the year. The AP did a story on this and never gave credit to Colbert for the word and Colbert is steamed. Colbert placed the AP at the top of his list as the “No. 1 threat facing America.” No.2 of course was bears.

What does truthiness mean? Colbert defined it as truth that wouldn’t be held back by the facts. The Oxford English Dictionary has a definition for truthy dating back into the 1800s. So the AP said that Colbert is not the originator. Colbert says that the AP doesn’t get the concept of truthiness, “You don’t look up truthiness in a book, you look it up in your gut.” Brilliant. Maybe I should check this Colbert report out more often.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A couple of humorous tales...

When dealing with the public you can always run into a funny story and two things happened this week that made me chuckle.

When you are in the newspaper business people always want something for nothing. While some say any publicity is good publicity, around here the only good publicity is free publicity.

Monday morning the manager of one of our local banks called me up and wanted me to come take what is commonly referred to as a "grip and grin" photo. They were "making a donation to a charity" and if I wasn't busy he wanted me to come get a photo of them handing over the BIG check. I wasn't really into anything right then since nothing is going on in January because everyone is sitting still until their bank accounts get back into acceptable range after the Christmas hit.

I jumped in the truck and headed to this bank to meet up with everyone and I got there a little early. The bank manager comes out and greets me and is getting everything ready since the recipient of the check is running a little late.

He brings in the BIG check and set it up against a chair so he'll have it ready. This is one of those giant dry erase checks that everyone has seen before. They are like 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall or something like that, with the bank logos on them and all of that good stuff.

So I take a glance at the charity to which they are making the proud donation and then a glanced at the amount. Needless to say, I was bit surprised because banks, even small ones, can have as much as $100 million in assets and cash etc., and this particular bank was giving this very worthy charity $100.

I made a double take when I saw it. This bank has more than one branch in the county and all they could come up with was 100 bucks? And on top of that, they thought that this would be good publicity?

I realize that something is better than nothing, but I'm so strapped for cash right now I can barely breathe and I could have wiped off the big check and had the bank manager take my photo giving 100 bucks right then. So I got a good laugh out of that later.

The second funny thing that happened this week happened while at a basketball game. My editor and I went over to check out a local high school basketball game so we could get a photo or two. I love going to this venue because it's so big and no one sits on the floor. I can walk all around the court and get any photo I can dream of since there is probably 7 or 8 feet of wide open concrete floor around the actual hardwood court itself.

Unfortunately, cheerleaders were there and that sort of meant the endzones were kind of off limits, so I had to get into the corners. Anyway, my editor and I were chatting about the game as I snapped away some photos and there were a couple of guys watching the game in folding metal chairs on the floor.

Again, since I couldn't get into the endzone areas under the basket, we had worked our way around the court and we ended up blocking these guys' view which happened to be the place I needed to be in for the photo I actually got. While I'm working to get a photo one of them gets up and asks us to move because he can't see the game.

I kind of looked around and surveyed the empty seats and politely moved on since I'm used to people like that because they don't know any better and they just want to look important down on the floor anyway. What makes this funny is that he absolutely needed us to move because he couldn't watch the game from any other seat in that 5,000 seat arena we were in. But I guess we shouldn't put that kind of pressure on people like him because since there were probably 600+ people packed into that place, having to pick a single seat out of 4,400 seats is tough.

They all look so good.

Fugitve caught in Ohio County after worldwide manhunt and a story about me.

Yesterday or the day before there was a daring escape from the Green River Correctional Facility. Apparently somewhere between the hours of 9 PM and 12 AM a convict slipped out of the facility. A manhunt was on. This guy wasn’t in prison for anything crazy, I believe it was burglary. The convict made it to the little town of McHenry and started knocking on doors. He found some helpful people who let him make a couple of collect calls to Ohio, the state, not the county. The cops somehow found out he was at this certain house and tried to capture him but he was a slippery one. He escaped into the woods for the night.

Today I come in to work and the courthouse is abuzz with the news that we caught the escaped convict. It seems that Smarty McSmarty had continued his door knocking, as if he were a girl scout peddling her macaroons. He was given some refreshments at one house before heading back out to continue his walk to, I am assuming, Ohio. Some nice people even stopped and gave him directions to Beaver Dam. Unfortunately for this loser, the daughter of a person whose home he chilled at heard the news about him being on the loose and called the law and he was picked up and returned to his home. Bratch can add anything he knows to this case because I am just writing this from scuttlebutt around the courthouse.

This fool got long distance calls, food and drink, and some directions as he was in the midst of escaping. I dare anyone to say that the nicest people in the world don’t reside in Kentucky.

This reminds me of a time my cousin and I met a special someone at the local bowling alley. We used to hang out there and shoot pool and just loiter when we were younger, basically because there is nothing to do in this town if you are a teen. We started talking to this dude who was in town working construction. He wanted to play some pool, so my cousin, the better player of the two of us, said he would play him a dollar a game. Our new friend whipped him pretty good a couple of games and then we headed outside for a few minutes and then he left. My cousin and I entered the bowling alley minutes later.

We spent so much time there over our lives at this point, that we knew the owner and his wife pretty well. The owner comes up to us and is looking around and he asks us where the guy we were hanging out with had gone. We said we didn’t know. He had just left.

Even though this is a pretty run down looking bowling alley, it did have security cameras and one of them just happened to be in the pool room. We were in there pretty late and Bill, the owner, had been watching the 10 PM news on channel 14. Channel 14 used to have a segment where they would list and show the most wanted fugitives in the state of Indiana. They would pick one or two and give the story on them and give a number to call.

It turns out that on this night they profiled the most wanted fugitive in Indiana. As Bill was watching the TV, but he also kept an eye on the security cams monitors. He then realizes that Mr. Most Wanted is on both of the monitors he is watching. The guy shooting pool with us was the most wanted man in Indiana. Bill had already called the law and I guess when he was talking with them, we and our new best friend finished shooting and went outside. Mr. Most Wanted was an alright guy, didn’t seem like the most wanted man in Indiana. He was full of crap. I remember him telling us about things that you knew he had never done or things he didn’t have, but there are a lot of people like that around. To me he just seemed like good people. I guess Indiana felt differently. What do you expect from a bunch of Yankee Hoosiers?

Convergence Culture Consortium - C3

I've linked the title to the weblog of the Convergence Culture Consortium(C3) website. This is something that I learned about from a columnist and friend at the newspaper I work for. He is currently a grad student at MIT in the comparative media studies program there.

C3 is hard to explain. In fact, all I'm going to really say about it is that this hand full of grad students at MIT are blogging about what they see in advertising right now. Good things and bad things. They are attempting to shape the way we see advertising.

I guess the best way to explain it is that they are trying to help companies like Turner Broadcasting and MTV try to figure out how advertise in a way that reaches the viewer. For TV they are trying to figure how to combat TiVo and DVR(which are the same thing, TiVo is a brand name).

They are delving into all media though and are trying to shape advertising for this digital age we live in where timeshifting is all the rage. Piccu watches tons of TV, but rarely ever sees a commercial because his DVR has a 5 second skip button meaning for a 30 second commercial, 6 little clicks is a quick and easy bypass.

Hot momma, hot momma!!!... Sorry, my office is mostly glass.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, while the boys and girls at MIT are trying to shape advertising for the digital age, they should also think about the content as well. I hear Piccu saying all of the time that there are certain shows that might be an hour long and he can watch them in 20 minutes. So you can factor in just as much actual content as far as the TV show goes along with all of the commercial breaks. So the shows aren't as good either.

ITunes and podcasting are changing music and radio is just dead anyway unless you dig sports or talk, but I've already discussed that. Satellite radio is the only way to go.

So check out the C3 blog and Sam Ford's posts. If you ask me, he covers the widest range of subjects. From magazine ads to soap operas to professional wrestling and more.

A Million Little Pieces Should be Ripped into a Million Little Pieces

Good Morning Bloggers!

Before I get into my main topic, I'd like to say that I finally found a decent morning show. This morning I steered clear of Good Morning America, and tried a new one: Today. Although it still wasn't chalked full of political news (thank goodness, as too much of that crap sends my brain into overload), it did encompass a sufficient amount of it before launching into lighter headlines. There were two that interested me more than the others. The first was a short segment discussing the possibility that dogs may some day be used in detecting cancer in humans by smelling their breath. They even had some truly compelling research to support this notion. In almost 90% of test studies, dogs had REALLY been able to smell several breath samples (don't ask me how they got it into those containers)and detect which one belonged to that of the cancer patient. WOW!! I will be interested in seeing this research progress.

"A Million Little Pieces" (of Crap)
Now--for the second topic that interested me and proof of my BIG mistake! I fell for it, just as millions of other people around the world. I fell into the "Oprah Trap"! Oh-I am so embarrassed to admit it. Just how I feel about Oprah and her show (my opinions between the those two entities lie on opposite ends of the spectrums, a topic to be discussed at a later date) I will refrain from at this point, at least directly. However, as an avid reader, I was recently attracted to a book that she'd spend considerable time promoting. She even went as far as to spend a large part of another show interviewing her "entire staff" about how great this book was. Long story short: they were all riveted, moved to tears at times, an so intensely committed to reading this book that they did not put it down from the time they read the first page until they had read the last word. What book lover couldn't be intrigued, right? I mean, hey, Oprah herself said she'd stayed up ALL night reading this inspiring book.

Well, the first time I called BAM, a day or two after A Million Little Pieces and its author were the premiere feature (as it had been talked about several days ahead of time), not surprisingly, they were sold out. A week or two later they were completely re-stocked and I spent ten hard earned dollars on that book. I jumped into the book right away, hardly able to get home before I wanted to get right into this book. Let's just say that I won't bore you with the horrible details of this crappy book. I don't think it even had a SINGLE quotation mark around any of the dialogue, making it difficult to know when someone was speaking and who that was. However, I could excuse this foe pa, had it not been for the fact that I hated the main character--he was an ass who took ungrateful advantage of all that was freely offered or given to him. Because I'd seen him on Oprah, I could put a face to the author who was spilling out his memoir right before my eyes, and I guess that made it a little more personal to me. I won't say that there weren't some interesting parts to this book, but I also won't pretend that I didn't skim through some of the paragraphs and paragraphs of seemingly self-gloating details about how he overcame this pain (caused indirectly by his own addictions to drug and alcohol). Apparently Oprah ate up this great perseverance when all the odds were against him, but I found him to arrogant, pompous, and as a person perceiving himself above the help offered to him.
He painted a picture of himself as a person who didn't need a twelve step program or the help of any person affiliated with the top clinic HIS PARENTS paid to send him to. He only needed his own will and some twisted alliances with other loyal degenerates (patients of the clinic) to pull him through. Oh, what a hero he is! This jackass has the gall to act as if the Center itself, nor his parents, family (and by the way--his family is normal, providing every opportunity for him, yet not creating the over privileged environment that often lead children wayward) or "outside" friends, who supported him regardless of all the nasty, horrible things he'd done to them in the past---had nothing to do with his recuperation.
The whole time I was reading this book, I was frustrated with this character, and if there was ever a book that I would have quit reading, it would have been this one--but I can read about anything. However, Oprah suggested that if addiction has ever affected you or anyone you know (and who doesn't know someone), READ THIS BOOK! Well--shame on her. All this book does is support the resistance to twelve step programs that are so successful with most people that really do overcome addiction, AND perhaps most offensive, the ideas of the agnostic. Neither of these ideas are ones that I want instilled in my loved one that may be suffering from an addiction (even if he did do it this way--most would fail). The author of this book constantly cursed a God that he refuses to believe to exists (which in itself is ironic)---and even goes so far to write words before God's name, that I couldn't bring myself to quote either in print or vocally.
This book isn't worth the paper it's printed on and I shouldn't be wasting my time writing about it, but if only one person doesn't read this blasphemous book because of this review--then my job here is done. And further more, it is a shame that Oprah is using her power of popularity to promote such a poor (to put it kindly) piece of literature.
I know many of you, in this blog, may not be novel readers or Oprah watchers--so in this respect--you are the lucky ones, but if you know someone contemplating reading this book because of its sudden fame, let them read this so that they may be persuaded to reconsider. It's to late for me, I have already been trapped, but it may not be too late for your loved ones (okay, that's a little melodramatic).
And if it is the power of such a riveting autobiography that compels them, well as was reported on the Today show and CNN on Larry King, apparently there is a great controversy surrounding the authenticity of the book in the first place. Apparently the author "took liberties" in the details of this book--perhaps dealing with the extremity of his addition and the crimes for which he'd been charged. Therefore, since the book itself is crappy, and the authenticity of this man's experiences can't be trusted--why read it. Don't be trapped by Oprah or the controversial media coverage this book is getting! Don't support the ideas this book represents.
I hope all has a great day!