Archive for November, 2007

Cum On Feel The Floor

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Kevin Dubrow died.

Hello and Goodbye, Class of 1997.

Monday, November 26th, 2007

So I had my 10 year High School reunion last Friday.  What a trip.

Nobody really changed, they simply became more of what they already were.

Sure some people got big, others got small, some got bald, some got boobs.  Overhearing conversations, it was a lot of people explaining where they were now… and adjusting it accordingly depending on who was at the other end of the beer.  Speaking of which… Budweiser, Miller Light, and Coors Light.  I felt like I was at a Nascar event.  Just because it’s a high school reunion doesn’t mean we should still drink that crap – don’t even get me started on the wine.  Deplorable.  I’ve tasted better from a box.

I’ll admit I felt like a cattle sitting in coach most of the evening, first having to move my car a whopping 10 feet from where I initially parked it as a gentleman explained in broken English why I couldn’t park where I had.  The open bar gradually became a bullpen as breathing room became a luxury, waiting tables remained vacant as everyone caught up on things.  Dautaj wasn’t really made for such an event.  Had we a crowd half the size, or both sides of the restaurant…  Sure.  However when I quizzed a waiter as to the title of the in-flight film – the ensuing laughter justified my irritation.

My prediction came true…  I ran into the 4 or 5 people I had planned on seeing, and spent dinner with them – but that wasn’t the prediction.  The prediction was that nobody would sit with us and I was right.  Everyone fell back to their old clicks from High School and nary did one deviate from the relative safety of prep, jock, or bubble heads.  The table we sat at was the last to fill as everyone scrambled to fill the adjacent rows.  Finally, when all the extra seats were exhausted – our table filled.

While the drink left much to be desired, the food was outstanding as was the company.  The waiters gradually served large plates of faire, allowing each person to take a bit before the next plate circulated.  My fiancee and I snuck out about a half hour before the event was to end – no real desire to explore and dessert options as everything for the most part seemed rushed and disorganized.

I just figure for $50 a head, we probably could have gotten a local legion hall or some larger venue with a bar and a buffet that would have allowed some more breathing room and a little more mingling…  Still, it was my first and last 10 year reunion, I got it out of the way – maybe in another 15 years I’ll consider seeing what the rest are up to.

Till then, Cheers.

Go 48!

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Now I’d not always been a Nascar fan, or even had a favorite driver.  I first got interested in the sport back in 2000 when my at the time favorite manufacturer was rejoining the race – Dodge.  Still, I couldn’t quite latch on to any specific team so I just rooted for the manufacturer in general.

Then Jimmie Johnson came along.  I’ve gotten more grief for being a Johnson fan than I can remember anyone else – and I love it.  My fiancee got me into racing again, her excitement at the prospect of each race was contageous, and soon enough I was rooting for the 48.

How can you not root for the 48?  The guy has the positive attitude of a saint and comes off as a genuinely honest and  straightforward individial.  He’s aggressive when he needs to be, but manages to avoid the stigma of drivers like Gordon, Stewart, even that prick Montoya.  Whether he’s in the lead or chewing up the rear-view of those in the lead, Johnson has provided many of the most exciting races over the past several years.

I never thought I’d see the day where I’m sitting on the edge of my seat with 10 laps to go and my team fighting to win. To heck with football, this is raw excitement, pure energy, and the best show in town!  My only regret is I now have to wait a few months for the ’08 series to start.  Tick…Tock.

Congrats to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knauss, and the entire Lowes #48 team for another job well done.  NOW GO DO IT AGAIN!

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Every year, Rush Limbaugh will read a few pages from his first book which tells the real story of the first Thanksgiving. It’s always a joy to hear – as this is the Thanksgiving history I was raised on – not the thoroughly revised version disseminated to the children of today.

Shamelessly stolen from RushLimbaugh.com

RUSH: Now, the real story of Thanksgiving: “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible,” and this is what’s not taught. This is what’s left out. “The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims — including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.”When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well.” They were collectivists! Now, “Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

“He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. … Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn’t work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson,” every kid gets. “If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.” Here’s what he wrote: “‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God,’ Bradford wrote.

“‘For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense…that was thought injustice.'” That was thought injustice. “Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?” ‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Bradford doesn’t sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? … In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. … So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.

“The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.'” Now, aside from this program, have you heard this before? Is this “being taught to children — and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this?” What if Bill and Hillary Clinton had been exposed to these lessons in school? Do you realize what we face in next year’s election is the equivalent of people who want to set up these original collectivists communes that didn’t work, with nobody having incentive to do anything except get on the government dole somehow because the people running the government want that kind of power. So the Pilgrims decided to thank God for all of their good fortune. And that’s Thanksgiving. And read George Washington’s first Thanksgiving address and count the number of times God is mentioned and how many times he’s thanked. None of this is taught today. It should be. Have a happy Thanksgiving, folks. You deserve it. Do what you can to be happy, and especially do what you can to be thankful, because in this country you have more reasons than you’ve ever stopped to consider.

Superman 2 – The Richard Donner Cut

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Tried to type up a quick review the other night, but I got about one sentence in when the melatonin took hold and my ability to think was completely shut off.  In short – this movie is perfection.  As far as superheroes go, Superman is my personal favorite.  From the movies of the 80’s, to Lois & Clark, Smallville and his triumphant if not lackluster Return.  Comics, cartoons, and the recent Superman Doomsday (which was good but IMHO butchered the Death of Superman) top off my collection.

At first I had the same reaction as anyone to a remake – but this isn’t a remake.  What came out in 1980 was the remake.  Originally, Richard Donner shot and directed both Superman films at the same time.  Production efforts were focused on Superman I, and by the time Superman II came out – Donner was no longer involved.  Instead of the masterpeice that was intended, we got a campy plug and play Superman flick which set the tone for those which followed.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved all 4 Superman flicks, any time I can see a little further into the life of the Man of Steel, I’m happy.  Still – I can only imagine what turns the franchise could have taken if 3, 4, and 5 were sprung off of the Richard Donner director’s cut.  What do you get?  More footage which makes the movie dark as hell.  This is General Zod after all (or Jor-El if you’re a Smallville fan).  He’s the blackest motherf!@#er this side of Vader to grace the universe and Donner did him justice.

“Son of Jor El, KNEEL BEFORE ZOD” – before this film was a comical line easily surpassed by Jason Mewes in delivery.  After seeing this film though, the darkness, the attention to detail, and the respect given to the entire Superman franchise from 1938 on – they’ve reinvented Zod, reinvigorated Superman, and if anything – put the directors and producers of Returns who handed us 90 minutes of Kryptonian self-gratification that required no brain to watch – on notice.

SPOILER – SPOILER – SPOILER

My favorite scene overall?  Kal El in the Fortress of Solitude, giving up his superhuman abilities for love, arguing with Jor El who then proceeds to GLARE at Lois Lane when all hope is lost of Clark not making this near calamitous mistake.  If there’s a better screen demonstration of Jor El than his disembodied holographic head glaring at Lois who is standing there in nothing more than Superman’s shirt…  I haven’t seen it.

Rent it, buy it, love it.  This version of the classic should hold a special place in the heart and collection of any real Superman fan.

4 in a row!

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Looks like this could be another championship season for the #48 team.

Next week Johnson has to finish 18th or better to clinch it. 19th if he leads a lap.  21st if he leads the most.

Good luck!

Global What?

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

So last night I headed out at around 10pm to get some groceries (yes, I’m an odd one) and as I headed out the door I nearly slipped and fell on my ass.  Snow!  In November!  Before Thanksgiving!  Even if we have a real winter this time around, it will only shut the Global Warming shmucks until the first warm day – then none of the cold counts.

One of the things I always love about when it snows, are the jerks who refuse to clean their cars off.  They make a peep-hole through the snow in the glass and then hit the road.  I’ve always wanted to keep a sack of cement on my roof, so the next time some jackass in a Suburban drops 40lbs of wet snow on my car cos they’re too lazy to clean their truck… I can pass them and maybe cement their doors shut.

Another realization I made to day, the folks at the Chrysler corporation are a little bit confused with this whole retro thing.  First they cancel the Prowler, then they drop a panel truck on top of a Neon and give us the PT Cruiser… Then they tease us with a Charger concept that actually looks LIKE A CHARGER….and scrap it.  Finally, a ray of light, a piece of hope – the Challenger.  Still, there are a few folks at Chrysler who need to find a clue, rapidly.  They’ve redesigned the Caravan again, and it looks like a solid refresh of the 1992 model.  They’re boxy again.  Now I was never into their whole cloud phase of cars from the late 90s, and while I did like the old Caravans – give me a break.  I see these things and can picture nothing but the rusted pieces of crap roaming the 5 boroughs looking for a new dent.  The old minivans stood out – you could tell that they were a Chrysler.  Now they’re still a Chrysler, but they look like everything else – circa 15 years ago.

WTF HAPPENED TO JENNA?!

Friday, November 9th, 2007

K, for those of you with kids, send them to the other room, as I’m about to get graphically annoyed.

Back when I was ‘coming of age’ so to speak, one of my favorite women was Jenna Jameson. A porn star who would become THE porn star. She was hot. Even before she got the boob job, she was hot. Every single aspect of the women was just short of perfection.

So I’m going through a few sites and find a Cracked.com bit that covers the top 7 celebrities that went from hot to frightening. That’s when I saw it. Jenna, and then… OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK I’LL NEVER GET AN ERECTION AGAIN.

Here’s a link: The 7 Most Terrifying Celebrity Transformations

I don’t get it!  I seriously do not get why people have to butcher their bodies to achieve some ‘look.’  Maybe I’m blessed here, I got over my image problems when I started getting laid… I’d figure a woman who has started in hundreds of films and has throngs of fans would be happy with how she looked.

Before, she was Jenna Jameson.  Now she’s ‘fill in the blank’ former starlet.  I swear, any woman who thinks of getting a collagen treatment should be shown photographs of Jenna Jameson and Lara Flynn Boyle.  They went from women that guys think about while having sex to women that guys think about to avoid having sex.

Man… this stinks.

Al Gore Go Home.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

That’s what the Phillipines should’ve said to the Australian company who plans on dumping mass quantities of urea (aka the stuff that makes piss… piss) into the Sulu sea in order to combat high levels of CO2.

Environmentalists have raised an alarm due to the belief that effecting the environment based on possible junk science could have a negative impact on… the environment.

So the hysteria of global warming has now gone global, and surprise surprise when actual solutions are proposed to a fictional problem – the environmentalists are the first to cry ‘UNCLE!’  I’d say it irked me, but this sort of thing tickles me.  The things that irk me are when the cast of Heroes get together to plant trees to save the planet.  While planting trees will lessen the amount of CO2 on the planet – the idea that CO2 concentrations have anything to do with climate change have been proved wrong time and time again.

So plant a tree, make some air, and if you really want to be a rebel – piss in the Ocean.  It’ll do more to affect climate change than anything Al Gore has said or done in the past 20 years.

 Absorbing CO2 by Dumping Urea Into Ocean Pisses Off Activists

Fan blames Ozzy for lagging record sales.

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Heard on the radio today (Sirius Satellite Radio to be precise) that Ozzy Osbourne is blaming illegal music downloads on the poor showing of his latest record – Black Rain.  So I kicked back with a glass of red and read the entire article  of which his opinion on music downloading is a very SMALL part.

 

That said – illegal downloading is not the reason Ozzy’s album sales are tanking.

First and foremost, he’s sober.  Secondly, he’s old.  Third, his marketing stinks.

 

In the grand cavalcade of madness that is Ozzy Osbourne, what stands out?  The bat, the Alamo, oh yeah, and Crazy Train.  I haven’t bought an Ozzy Osbourne record since Ozzmosis, and since then I’ve bought maybe 4 or 5 tracks – tops; only one a single off his last record.  I haven’t heard squat off Black Rain on the radio, terrestrial or satellite.

 

I’ve spent more money at Ozzfest in the past 5 years than I have on his records in the past 15.  I could handle the $100 tickets, and the $10 beers and burritos.  It all fit.  Ozzy ramps up the corporate stink, eliminates the entry fee and all of a sudden… record sales matter.

 

Do you honestly believe that Ozzy bit the head off a bat or pissed on the Alamo just because he was drunk and oblivious?  You’d have to be crazy to think the Prince of Darkness didn’t have record sales on his mind with every outrageous gimmick.

 

The fact is – this is the twilight of the guy’s career.  He’s the antithesis to the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, and is likely just as successful as the other hard rockers in rockers.  Sadly he’s actually buying in to the music industry’s bullshit and as a result – he’s losing money.

 

The difference here is – Aerosmith and the Stones still remember where the real money was made on the way up – touring and promotion.  A free tour and no obvious promotion?  Only the hardcore fans are buying the records and nobody every got rich off of their hardcore fans.

 

They make their money off of fans like me, and I haven’t heard any innovation out of the Osbourne camp since the damned television show on MTV.