Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Screws just fall out all the time; the world is an imperfect place

Which 80's Teen Movie Are You?

St. Elmo's Fire
St. Elmo's Fire: You have a close group of friends
who have diverse personalities; your favorite
hangout is St. Elmo's Bar.

Sounds about right. Of course, in high school that meant contests at Taco Bell where you refill as many Cokes as possible without going to the bathroom, then racing around the restaurant at 1 a.m.

This would also figure to be a good time for another installment of Jeff’s Top Fives!

Today, the Top 5 Brat Pack movies:

1. The Breakfast Club - The ultimate High School Stereotype movie. You know you fit the preconceived notion of belonging to particular cliques. Actually, I always figured I fit in between Anthony Michael Hall’s unpopular geeky brain and Emilio Estevez’s popular prankster athlete.

2. St. Elmo’s Fire - One of the best title songs to any movie, creating a movie of post-college doldrums as our Packers struggle with adulthood. Of course, the movie was made the same year as No. 1 on my list, so there was a little fudging going on with ages, obviously. Doesn’t matter. This is still a better “growing up sucks” twenty-something movie than the one most of my generation claims as their own, Singles.

3. Weird Science - How hot was Kelly LeBrock? And now she's on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. Sad, how the years have passed. It's awesome to watch this movie now that Bill Paxton is the "every man" in movies, whereas he was the a**hole brother Chet back then.

4. Sixteen Candles - Teen angst back when it didn't have to involve date rape, hard drugs and abusive parents. Just teens fretting about high school, the opposite sex and free-wheeling booze parties. Oh, and Long Duk Dong.

5. About Last Night - This is the movie that made me a man at just 10 years old in the summer of ‘86. Dad had no idea it was going to involve so much sex when he took me to see it, and let me just say that I still tingle when thinking about it. (Check out the movies that came out that year: Top Gun, Short Circuit, Pretty in Pink, Aliens, 9 ½ Weeks, Space Camp, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off … just a gold mine for the teen set. And that’s not even counting Flight of the Navigator, Stand By Me, Hoosiers, Heartbreak Ridge, Platoon and Crocodile Dundee. What a great year for cinema.)


(Previously we looked at my favorite Minutes Of The Weekday, Secular Concerts, Best and Worst Jobs, my cars, LPGA babes, movie scores and TV theme songs.)

Ashes to ashes, dust to the end zone

A man arrested for running onto the field at Sunday's Philadelphia Eagles game said he was spreading his late mother's ashes at Lincoln Financial Field, police said.

Referees said later that it was obvious the man didn't belong on the field because no Eagles running back had run that far all season without falling down.

Ba-ZING!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Frickin' lasers

The US Air Force has unveiled its first hand-held laser weapon that gives security forces a non-lethal option for controlling crowds and protecting areas like checkpoints, according to service officials.

No word on if you have to make “pyew pyew!” and “zap!” sounds when firing the weapon.

Vents

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- You know your gutters need cleaning when the squirrels start hiding nuts in them.
- A German newspaper just reported that the U.S. used bad data to invade Iraq. I wonder what data the Germans used to invade Poland.
- Never put a self-adhesive panty liner on upside-down. (Jeff note: I don’t know what that means, but it sounds painful.)
- I love the new aquarium, but where’s the mermaid touch tank?
- (Ex-FEMA head Mike) Brownie is starting a disaster preparedness consulting business? I hear Elizabeth Taylor is going to become a marriage counselor.
- You know it’s time to worry when the men your daughter is dating are all amateur tattoo artists.
- The bad news is that a military vehicle carrying three U.S. congressmen overturned in Iraq. The good news is that two of them were Democrats, so they’re USED to seeing things upside down.
- There is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax.

Vents I Sent:

- Kudos to the House GOP for finally having the gravitas to make Democrats put their votes where their big mouths are.
- When talking behind someone’s back, as long as you finish with "bless their heart,” it’s OK, right?
- After six decades, isn't it time we came up with a withdrawal timetable for our troops in Germany and Japan?
- What’s the employee discount at the dollar store? (Stole that from a comedian.)
- I never thought I'd see the day when Democrats decided civilian control of the military was a bad thing.
- If Bill Clinton had toppled the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, liberals would hail him as the greatest humanitarian of all time.
- What’s the over/under on jokes about eating the fish in the aquarium by the end of the year? 100? 200?
- I was the only person in line at the Post Office at 5 a.m. Friday. I thought it was the busiest shipping day of the year?
- I find that if I picture liberals wearing tinfoil hats and barking “The sky is falling!” it makes their vents easier to read.
- Deer are the dumbest living things on the planet, aside from Cynthia McKinney voters and Atlanta Hawks season-ticket holders.

Gobble glee

And this is why vegetarians will all die out according to Darwin’s laws:
Man uses turkey to rescue 2 from car

Mark Copsy saw the smoke inside the car, and watched as the vehicle careered into a curb in Northlake on Sunday afternoon. It took him only a moment to realize the horror--the car was on fire, and there were people inside. Copsy and his 12-year-old son ran the half-block to help.

When they got to the car, Copsy, 42, said he couldn't open the door. Inside, he could see an elderly man in the driver's seat. A female passenger sat next to him, her face white. He tried to smash the glass with his foot, but couldn't do it. In his hands, he held a 20-pound frozen Norbest turkey he and his son had just bought for Thanksgiving.

"I said, `Hell, I'll just use the damn turkey.' And that's what I did," Copsy said. He yelled for the driver to cover his face, and used the turkey to smash out three
windows.

Monday, November 28, 2005

See Nemo live!

This weekend I purchased an annual pass to the new Georgia Aquarium, the largest of its kind in the world. Now I can go anytime, plus it won’t cost me extra when all of you family and friends come visit me and want to see our newest attraction. (Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

Sure, it will cost adults $21 and kids five bucks less, but I’m providing the Braves tickets for free, so we’re good, right? I’ll even pay your way into CNN Center for a tour. Oh, wait, I work there. Already free! Ha ha!

To make you feel extra guilty, let’s go over the entire list of people visiting me in Atlanta since I moved here in February of 1998:

- Stacy and Joe in the summer of 1998.
- Mom and Aunt Lynn in the summer of 1999.
- Sydney while driving over with friends to see the Braves.
- Scott and Jenn came for a couple of days, went to Stone Mountain.
- Nana came over with Polly to see Kimberly.
- Steve, Jenny, Austin and Linda to see the Braves-Cards playoff game, October 2000.
- Dad, for a couple of days before driving up to Knoxville for Amy and Phil’s wedding.
- Scott to help me move and see Vanderbilt play at Georgia Tech, August 2003.
- Dad to see the Red Sox, June 2004.

That’s it. That’s the list. Do I even need to mention the number of times I've visited Memphis, Louisville, Nashville, Waco (twice in one year!) and even Miami in the meantime?

Now, at least, may I lure you with what Atlanta has to offer? Lots of fish! Baseball! Hockey! Basketball! Football! A big stone some would say is a mountain! Centennial Olympic Park! An art museum with a brand new addition! A Krispy Kreme store! My employer!

Did I mention the fish? My first visit will be Thursday. Hopefully I’ll have pictures to further entice you.

Iggles still have feelings for T.O.

The Philadelphia Eagles have filed a tampering complaint against the Dallas Cowboys after Dallas owner Jerry Jones suggested on a radio show that his team is often interested in players such as suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Ah, yes, that old cock-and-bull story. “I don’t want to go out with you, but I don’t want anyone else going out with you, either.”

Bruce

Last week in my review of Jarhead I rolled my eyes at the anti-war Hollywood types who still feel they're being original by slamming the U.S., the military and every conflict every fought.

I both congratulate and wish good luck, then, to Bruce Willis for his interest in making a pro-war movie about Iraq.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Aphrodisiacs

Can this guy ever get another date?
A 15-year-old girl in Quebec's Saguenay region is believed to have died as a result of an allergic reaction to her boyfriend's kiss.

An autopsy will be performed on the body of the teen, who was allergic to peanuts.

Officials said she did not consume the nuts, but they believe she had a reaction to kissing her boyfriend, who had eaten peanut butter.
And I thought it was bad enough that women I kiss usually just have to vomit after they taste chili dogs on my lips.

Speaking of, Forbes has a list of what it claims are ten aphrodisiacs that really work:

• Barry White tunes
• A few stiff drinks
• A dozen oysters
• Promises, promises
• A little skin
• Manolo Blahniks
• Backrubs
• Perfume
• Money
• A diamond engagement ring

Thankfully the women I date (stop laughing) have lowered expectations. My top ten list would include a few different details, like:

• Neil Diamond tunes
• Dozens of stiff drinks (for her)
• A dozen court orders
• Promises not to blog the awkward stuff (on my part)
• A lot of clothes left on
• Jogging shoes for quick getaways
• Knows where all the right parts of the body are (though not necessarily what to do with them)
• Lysol
• Cash on delivery
• One of those candy pacifier rings

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bring it on!

How many five-year-olds can you take in a fight?

(Warning: Link requires a sense of humor and tolerance of cursing, so don't come to me with your "you're a sick moron" comments. Besides, I've already stipulated to that many times.)

Phone home, eh?

A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.”

Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67, warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning."

Here is a first look at one of the weapons in use. That would certain stop me from trying to destroy the planet. Here is another. Let's hope our new masters aren't feline.

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

Saturday bits

- All the good ones die before their time is up. Today we celebrate the life of Pat “Mr. Miyagi” Morita, dead Thursday at the age of 73. Now he can catch angels with chopsticks in the great dojo in the sky.

- Inmates in Canada can now get tattoos while in prison. You know, if you just have to get that “Property of Bruno” from a professional.

- When did the media start acknowledging an uptick in the economy? I thought Chimpy McHitlerburton had led the American economy down the tubes? It was on all the major news networks except for Fox, so it was true, right?

UPDATE: Not that I'll have to worry about getting such a tattoo, since apparently "I'm too delicate for prison" works as a defense strategy.

Gooooaaallllllll!!!!!!!!

New Mexico governor and former Clinton ambassador to the U.N., Bill Richardson, has been uncovered as a big fat liar for claiming to be drafted by the Kansas City Athletics MLB team in 1966.

Hmmm, if I know newspapers are going to dig for truthful information like this, I guess I should remove from my resume before I run for the Senate that I made the winning goal against Colombia in the 1994 World Cup.

Go ahead, prove it! I dare you!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The turkey is in Atlanta

(And I don't mean leftovers.)

I’m back in Coldlanta, rooting for Memphis against Duke in the preseason NIT on ESPN2. Not looking good for the Tigers.

Even though I was only in Chapel Hill for 36 hours, it was a filling trip. You could say we were stuffed with fun and food. And babies. And one deer.

On my way Wednesday during the late-night drive, about five seconds after I reminded myself of Mom’s email warning me of frisky deer in the area, on one of the side roads between I-24 and Chapel Hill a deer came running from the woods and up onto the road. I saw it in time to veer left enough that all I heard was a “CLUNK” on the back right of the Aztek. I didn’t stop to see if venison would be on tap for Thanksgiving, but I think the deer just hit me hard enough to stun it, not kill it. When I got to Mom-Mom and Granddad’s all I could see was a teeny tiny dent and little scratch, not a splat of blood and hair like I expected.

Didn’t the deer see my lights? I had my brights on, for frack’s sake. Besides Green Party voters and Atlanta Hawks season ticket holders, are deer the dumbest living things on the planet?

And I ensure you that in no way was I distracted by my XM Radio playing a special program dissecting the top 25 scores of the AFI Top 100 soundtracks on the Cinemagic channel. Really, I promise.

Nor was I oblivious to animals on the side of the road while downing three Krystals and popcorn chicken with a big bottle of Aquafina. (Which is the best bottled water, by the way. I won’t even argue about this. Dasani is for punks. And yet, Dasani is made by Coke and Aquafina by Pepsi, whose soft drinks are made by Satan, or at least Yankees. Same thing.)

Anyway, Thursday was a good day for football and feasting. I don’t know how the food was prepared, although I’m sure it was magic since I was glued to the couch watching the Falcons whip Detroit in the annual NFL Turkey Day game. Once Mom and Aunt Lynn finished conjuring up the food I had so much in one sitting that I was too full to eat the rest of the day. Except the slice of pumpkin pie around 5. And the bowl of leftover potato salad around 7. Other than that, though, I was too full to eat.

We should make this a yearly tradition of family gathering for meals and watching men pummel each other for entertainment. Spread the word.

Back to work tomorrow!

(Unfortunately, however, I realize that I was a big fat liar when I said my shopping was done. Turns out, I have a few more gifts to get. Joyfully, of course. For instance, I realized that Gavin is now into Star Wars, so he deserves either a lightsaber or the Clone Wars DVD. It's the least I can do to make sure it takes as long for him to get married as it has me, although that probably has less to do with Star Wars and more about lack of hygiene and eating less than two bags of M&Ms in one sitting.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gobble Gobble


Here's last year's post of the things for which I’m thankful.

What am I thankful for today? That I'm done with Christmas shopping. Yep. All done. *Feels cold stares directed at him.* Nothing left to do but chow down on the big popcorn tin that’s separated into three sides for butter, cheese or caramel goodness.

Okay, that's a lie. I was done, until tonight when I learned my cousin purchased one of the gifts on my nephew's list that I had bought a week ago. I didn't send an email out announcing what I bought, so it's okay, I'll go to Target this weekend and rectify the situation. I always enjoy an excuse to shop at Target, so no worries at all.

After work tonight I'm driving up to Chapel Hill for a couple of days. Posts could be sparse or none at all, so everyone enjoy the holiday!

Celebrity directions

A car navigation system signed a deal to deliver celebrity voice content for turn-by-turn driving directions. Some of the stars signed already include Mr. T, Burt Reynolds, and Dennis Hopper. That sounds awesome enough (Mr. T: “I pity the fool who doesn’t turn left on Sunset!”), but I think I can come up with my own preferences:

1. Rachel Weisz – Is it illegal to drive naked? I think I’d find out.
2. Sean Connery – “If Q had installed rockets you wouldn’t be waiting in traffic.”
3. James Earl Jones – “This … is CNN Center. Welcome to work.”
4. The actress who plays Cho Chang with an awesome Scottish accent in the new Harry Potter movie.
5. Bill Murray - “If someone asks you to go through three lights, you say YES!”

Absolutely NOT on my list:

1. Crazy Frog with its annoying dee-bee-dee-bee-bee-bee music.
2. Queen Elizabeth – Low talker, hard to understand, too aristocratic.
3. Tony Kornheiser – I never miss “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN, but I don’t need him yelling at me when I’m driving.
4. Sandra Bernhard – How many times do you think she would say “vagina” on a trip to the store?
5. Butterfly McQueen (Prissy in Gone With the Wind) – “I don’t know nothin’ about no driving directions!”

(Link and idea courtesy The Intern.)

I'm cool with that





Your Famous Blogger Twin is Dave Barry





Funny, witty, and clever!
You always have a ton of offbeat links to share



(Link courtesy Semaj.)

Jarhead review

Hollywood has been making cynical anti-war movies longer than their antagonist, the gung-ho John Wayne-era films. It’s not fresh anymore. (Idea stolen from Instapundit.)

The reason? They say a country is always fighting the last war. For baby boomers - especially those left of center politically - it's always Vietnam. My generation, however, was introduced to war in the Gulf War, so hopefully we're fighting with a winning attitude.

I didn’t expect Jarhead to be any different, and of course, left in the hands of Hollywood this could have become a political movie. Thankfully, however, it is adapted from a book written by a soldier (Anthony Swofford) who served in the Gulf War about his experiences, and sticks to his script. So Jarhead is an anti-war movie about a soldier who goes to war and doesn’t do anything.

Thus, I am content to say that my initial concerns were wrong, that this would turn into a “no blood for Halliburton” condemnation of the current conflict in Iraq. Jarhead did not.

There were a couple of bizarre moments but overall the movie is a compelling study of what the military culture and war can do to you psychologically. Maybe it depends on where you’re coming from. Watching Marines cheering American troops raking the village in Apocalypse Now to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries, I don't know if Mendes was trying to make unconditional patriotism look bad, but I know I was rooting for the U.S., too.

Even if Jarhead didn’t turn into a statement on today’s war, I still can’t recommend seeing it during a busy holiday season. There’s really not much of a story, and if you’ve seen two anti-war military movies before, you’ve seen Jarhead without the sand and burning oil. Every single cliché, from the overbearing yet hilarious drill sergeant to a soldier’s mental breakdown with a rifle aimed at a fellow soldier, makes it on screen.

Director Sam Mendes goes for his own surreal moments, like a horse wandering under burning oil wells, and he tries to be cutely ironic with Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Ha ha, they’re in 4,000-degree heat and could die tomorrow. Ha ha, stick it to The Man!

Starring in Swofford’s shoes is Jake Gyllenhaal, a monotonous presence who hasn’t reached larger audiences yet. Gyllenhaal was fine, but he’s a one-note actor. He has brief bits of passion, but otherwise he has the same blank expression, whether in Jarhead or Moonlight Mile. He does pick his roles well, at least, since his dry personality fits the parts.

The film follows Gyllenhaal from his first grilling in Marine Corps boot camp to his selection as a prestigious Scout/Sniper and on to Iraq when it invaded Kuwait. There he and the other jarheads wait in the desert, and wait, and wait, until finally they cross the border only to … clean up. The majority never even fire their guns in battle during Operation Desert Storm. It’s like an actor taking a week to shoot scenes for a movie and then find your entire part ended up edited out. Was it all for nothing?

In support of Gyllenhaal is a strong cast including Peter Sarsgaard as his scout partner, Oscar winners Jamie Foxx as his Staff Sergeant and Chris Cooper as the Lieutenant Colonel in charge of the battalion. Nothing wrong with their performances. Brilliant as always.

Didn’t change my mind. Jarhead is the cinematic equivalent of a Scud missile. It packs a punch, but never hits the intended target.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hot Stove Report

Looks like the Red Sox are making a deal with Florida to get Dang Yankee killer Josh Beckett, winner of the deciding game six in the 2003 World Series. The writers at the New York Post sure aren't happy about the trade:



What would Boston give up? A few prospects, while also gaining third baseman Mike Lowell, whose production has been off but his potential remains high.

From Boston.com sports blogger Eric Wilbur:
For Boston, this could possibly be the most significant trade for the franchise's long-term health (Curt Schilling isn't exactly going to be around for another decade) since Dan Duquette landed Martinez from the Montreal Expos for Tony Armas Jr. and Carl Pavano, Beckett's former teammate in Florida. For comparison's sake, in his fifth season in the major leagues, Martinez was 13-10 with a 3.70 ERA. In 2005, Beckett went a similar 15-8, with a 3.38 ERA. A year later, in 1997, Martinez opened the world up to his dominance, when he was 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA. By December, he was in Boston.
Who needs a GM? No question this deal could keep the Sox in the playoff hunt and bring in more young talent. Beckett is only 25 and could be the staff ace once Curt Schilling’s ankle falls off, unless of course Matt Clement remembers that the season continues after July 1.

Mr. Wizard

Jeff learns really important science:

Why do we get brain freeze?
When cold stuff (like popsicles, ice cream or slushies) touches the roof of your mouth it can set off a nerve reaction (in the spheno-palantine ganglion, to be precise), that causes the blood vessels in your brain to swell. When the blood vessels swell, you get a headache. The headache usually lasts less than a minute.

Light spectacular

Sydney emailed me this link to the coolest Christmas lights ever set to music.

Not sure I’d want this as a neighbor, though, unless the show only comes on a few times a night. Otherwise the next Cool F’ing Video on this page would be me setting the display on fire.

p.s. – The music is from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, called Wizards in Winter. (Find it on iTunes.)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Atlanta traffic

My Monday was dictated by Atlanta traffic, which is like saying the sun dictates whether the day begins and ends. It’s a big “duh” around here. Today more so than usual, though. My schedule was 9-5, and if I ever have this schedule regularly in this town, shoot me in the frackin’ head.

Leaving at 8:30 I went a mile in fifteen minutes, turned around and went out of my way the long way around downtown, fifteen miles that took, hey, fifteen minutes! It’s like symmetry!

After work I went down to the Turner Athletic Club for a workout, then headed home. I didn’t get far.

As much as I enjoy chilly, windy and rainy weather, apparently my Atlanta brethren don’t feel the same. Traffic was backed up at every major intersection downtown. I was not going to make the 7p showing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire near my apartment.

Instead, I used the back roads to go to the new super-duper community residential/shopping/business district in midtown, Atlantic Station and its fancy Regal megascreen theater for the 7:20 showing. (There were also 7 and 7:40 showings.) Either because of the weather, being a Monday evening or just undiscovered yet the theater was only a quarter full at best, mostly of Georgia Tech students driving down the street from campus.

So while the rest of Atlanta clogged up downtown, I kicked back in the big comfy chair with nachos and funny tasting cheese, a jumbo hot dog and washed it down with a Diet Coke to make it a low-fat dinner, and took in my second viewing of wholesome dorky fun. Good times. I even utilized the valet service to make it that much more luxurious. Yes sir, please park my car for me. I need not concern myself with such problematic deeds. Please, take two crisp one-dollar bills for your troubles.

I would have made the 7 o’clock show except for one problem. As much as I complained about traffic when I ventured out of work, there’s nothing to set your priorities like seeing the “low fuel” light ding on. Sitting in motionless traffic at that moment sets the mind in a pure primal panic and you wouldn’t care if giant robots invaded right then and there, you need gas. Now. And finding it in downtown Atlanta is not easy. Thankfully most folks around here don’t know the backroads and stick to the thoroughfares. Suckers. If you can’t go against a one-way street, you don’t deserve a license in this town. (Kidding. Mostly.)

I really need to take my camera next time I go to Atlantic Station. It’s unbelievable, how this ginormous development was built smack dab in the middle of town and within it seems like that happy-go-lucky town in The Truman Show. It’s also where IKEA dropped their Swedish behemoth a few months back. Check the link for pictures. I still haven’t gone back to try the meatballs.

BigFatLiars.com

The world of online dating contains frauds. I'm shocked! Shocked, and appalled:
Match.com, a unit of IAC/Interactive Corp., is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees. In some instances, the suit contends, people on the Match payroll even went on sham dates with subscribers as a marketing ploy.
Yeah, but did the Match.com people put out? ‘Cause if so, then frankly I have no problem with this. Heck, I’d even accept something less, like being able to touch a side boob.

Brent's Continent

Holy cow, Brent made a post. It’s like Night of the Living Dead, without the brain eating and all.

Maybe if Brent makes another post within three weeks I can re-add him to my blogroll. Until then, he's dead to me. Hear me, Brent? Dead!

...

Sorry. I'm really just jealous that he's got a fiancee and thus no time to worry about silly stuff like daily updates about how the Cubs suck. We can all stipulate to that without his help.

The heavenly pastime

(Been a little out of the loop the last few days with work. Sorry.)

Courtesy Grif.net, Baseball in Heaven:

Two ninety-year old men, Moe and Sam, have been friends all their lives. It seems that Sam is dying, so Moe comes to visit him.

"Sam," says Moe, "You know how we have both loved and played baseball all our lives. Sam, you gotta' do me one favor. When you get there, somehow you've got to tell me if there's baseball in heaven."

Sam looks up at Moe from his deathbed and says, "Moe, you've been my lifelong friend. This favor I'll do for you." And with that, Sam passes on.

It is midnight a couple nights later. Moe is sound asleep when a distant voice calls out to him, Moe....Moe...."

"Who is it?" says Moe sitting up suddenly. Who is it?"

"Moe, it's Sam."

"Come on. Are you really Sam? Sam died"

"I'm telling you," insists the voice. "It's me, Sam! I'm in heaven and I've got to tell you, I've got some good news and some bad news.

"Tell me the good news first," says Moe.

"The good news," says Sam "is that there IS baseball in heaven!"

"Really?" says Moe, "That's wonderful! What's the bad news?"

"You're pitching Tuesday!"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Virgin eyes

A teacher here in the Atlanta area was fired for showing Elizabeth to his class, supposedly because he didn’t tell the parents that he was showing an R-rated film.

That’s about the dumbest thing I ever heard. What objections would anyone have to the masterpiece? Heck, we watched Excalibur in high school, and that’s not even based on real events! It’s just a legend about some harlot in a lake thrusting swords at people to set up a system of government that oppresses the people. I only came away slightly more depraved, so no harm, right?

Actually I was in my goody-goody new Christian phase and closed my eyes during the sex scenes. It was all for show, of course, for my classmates' sake, since at home there was no way I was closing my eyes during that scene. In fact, it would have earned Super Slow-Motion status on the VCR. (Kids, a "VCR" is an older device that used bulky "tapes" to record shows on and watch movies.)

Of course, I am biased to this story, since Elizabeth is one of my favorite movies and among the very rare that garnered five stars from me, the movie where Cate Blanchett became "The Lovely Cate Blanchett."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

iTunes

My night through iTunes.

What were some of the songs I downloaded tonight? I rectified a glaring hole with several of Queen’s greatest hits. For instance, how you can you have “We Will Rock You” without it immediately followed by “We Are The Champions”? When I was younger I thought they were the same song, the way they played back to back at sporting events.

Don McLean’s original version of “American Pie” is finally available to buy individually. You used to have to purchase the whole album, but really, what else of McLean’s do you want?

In the tradition of bands named after places, Kansas and Boston deserve another song or two in my collection. Don’t know why I never had Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son,” but I do now, and same goes for Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.”

For some relaxing driving music to add to my Garden State soundtrack goes “Orange Sky,” which is good even if I did have to buy it off the soundtrack for “The O.C.”

In the meantime, my On-The-Go collection needed some spice, so let’s head back to my high school hip-hop days with Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.” I’m down with it.

Speaking earlier of songs at sporting events, I’m already ready for baseball season, so let’s download John Fogerty’s “Centerfield.”

Should I go back to my collection, I could listen to Sweet Caroline, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These), Sweet Home Alabama, Sweet Lullaby or Sweetest Thing.

Where am I? Here I Am To Worship, Here I Go Again, Here In America, Here In My Heart and Here They Come.

If I’m feeling like some tanning music for this chilly November night, how about California Girls, California Dreamin’ or California Sun?

We’ve all got questions, such as Do You Dream Of Me? Do You Wanna Dance? Do You Hear The People Sing?

We’re not in the mood for questions, we demand action. Don’t Be Cruel, Don’t Be Stupid, Don’t Give Up, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Don’t Look Away, Don’t Panic, Don’t Phunk With My Heart, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Don’t Stop Believin’, Don’t Worry Baby and Don’t You (Forget About Me). Apparently we can’t make up our minds.

Know why? Because Everybody’s Talkin’, Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Everybody Hurts and Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

Who am I, anyway? I am … I Said, I Am A Walrus, I Am A Rock and I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow.

Maybe someday I can be a man of respect, like Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Brightside or Mr. Rance.

What’s it all about? Probably something touchy feely, like that four letter word: Love, a two-headed snake. Love Bites, Love Comes Quickly, Love Gets Me Every Time, Love Me Do, Love Me Tender, Love On The Rocks, Lovefool and Love To Be Loved.

UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: What the heck was that all about? Sheesh. I could really use some color in my life. You know, an Orange Sky, Forever In Blue Jeans, Blue Moon, Yellow Submarine, Red Rain or even Green Hornet.

403-3

Good for the House GOP for finally having the gravitas to make Democrats put their votes where their big mouths are in Friday night’s session.

GOP leaders put up a nonbinding resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of forces from Iraq. You know, pretty much what all the Dems have been calling for to try and win talking points in the media. Only three Democrats were honest enough to vote for the measure, which was defeated 403-3, including six Democrats voting “present,” meaning they didn’t have the guts to show their constituents what they really think.

Kudos, Speaker Hastert, for proving that Democrats think Americans are big dummies.

Sibling share time

Scott's review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire makes mine look like it was written for Highlights.

Stacy and Stephanie, feel free to post your own reviews that put my immature drivel to shame. (But hey, it's MY immature drivel, so nah!)

No U2 for the Jeffster

*sigh* I'm working 11a-7p today, and just wandered down to the atrium for lunch. People are already milling about for tonight's U2 show. (CNN Center is attached to Philips Arena, so it's easy to tell when big events are in town.) Alas, I still have no ticket, so I'll be fighting traffic to get home. Maybe I'll listen to U2 on the iPod, and turn it up real loud and cheer and yell to get the effect.

Oh, to be so fortunate to attend a U2 concert.

Trailer Park

A lot of previews for the 2006 movie season tonight, except the first one, which will only be the biggest grossing film of this year:

King Kong - I remain underwhelmed, even as this film’s trailers get more fancy and computer generated (or because of it). I know, I know, trust Peter Jackson, and all will be well.

Superman Returns - Yep. The Man Boy of Steel (that’s how it looks, anyway) is back in this teaser for next summer’s most anticipated comic book comeback since, well, Batman Begins this summer. And that turned out well, didn’t it? Just listening to the music in this teaser gave me chills.

Happy Feet - Think March of the Penguins animated, full of dancing and one-liners and without the freezing death. Pretty funny trailer.

Lady In The Water - You should have heard the reaction to this one in my midnight showing full of high schoolers. The first ¾ is Paul Giamatti (Sideways) living a dull life while violins play, suggesting this as an adult film with serious undertones. Then we see something in the pool behind him, Paul walks out, and then The Name comes over the screen, M. Night Shyamalan. At once the crowd goes, “Ohhhhhh.” Then, “Booooo.” Awful trailer. A mess.

The Shaggy Dog - A remake starring Tim Allen that received a lot more laughs than I would have expected. Still, the trailer’s got some funny bits when Allen is acting like a dog while still in human form.

Monster House - I’m not even sure how this animated feature will be over thirty minutes long. Seems that the trailer itself could have been a short film. Something about a creepy house that’s alive and some mettling kids to take care of things.

Over the Hedge - From the makers of Shrek and Madagascar, a study of suburbia through the eyes (and stomachs) of the furry little creatures outside. Several hilarious gags here.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday

Captain Free Time here, reporting in on an inconsequential Friday. I could have gone to see Walk the Line, but not just a day after Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Those two shouldn’t be mixed, so I’ll give the latter a few days more to prosper in my belly. (Editor’s note: I have no idea what that means.)

Instead, more shopping, yet I’m still not done with Christmas, even after I went to work yesterday for the gym and to buy gifts for nephew Nate and cousin Karla’s daughter, Evie. Both are eleven months old, so I was going for some CNN gifts for their birthdays. Seeing as how Evie is the only girl thus far in our family’s new generation, it’s kinda fun to shop for girlie stuff for her.

Since I’m having trouble finding my gift idea for Mom-Mom (a talking clock, seeing as how her eyesight is nearly gone), I even made my way to the (dum-dum-DUMMMM) mall. There was one clock at Radio Shack, but none in a box. Just the one on display. Thanks a bunch. Since I was already there, might as well get breakfast in the food court (mind you, I slept until Noon after last night’s late viewing), and people watch, i.e., ogle cute chicks.

I got me some new slippers, too! This is a big deal, because finding any big enough for my boats is not easy. Not that I could accomplish this without being made to feel like an idiot. Silly me, I went to the shoe section of Sears. You know, where all the footwear is kept. There was a big stand for women’s software, and I looked around, scratched my head, finally sucked it up and asked someone who works there, and she gives me the “look in menswear” directions tinged with a healthy dose of “duh” attitude. Gee, thanks, I can’t believe I was looking in the shoe section!

Or I’m just touchy.

LPGA: These Girls Rock

How long do you think the Golf Channel writers have been waiting to pull this title out of the bag: Han Solo After Sorenstam Stumble. Bravo.

By the way, did anyone catch that hot tiff between rookie Paula Creamer and superstar Annika Sorenstam yesterday? Apparently there was a difference of opinion in the rules, and the 19-year-old wasn’t backing down. Rowr.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire review

[Written after the midnight showing Thursday night/Friday morning. Why wait eight hours to write the review when I can write a rambling incoherent mess now while listening to the soundtrack? My thoughts exactly. The main version of my review, with pictures, is here.]



I can't imagine anything I say here can change a reader's mind one way or the other. We are on the fourth adaptation of the series; are there any fence-sitters anymore? You’re either under the spell or you have no soul. That’s your choice, not mine.

Not that it matters. Goblet of Fire is an excellent and nearly flawless movie regardless of being part of a series, even as the series gets better every time out. It behooves me to tell you to see Goblet of Fire. Yes, I'm behooving over here, so pay attention!

This book was when the entire series really opened the world of magic and at the same time provided emotional heft with the return of the Dark Lord, Lord Voldemort, who is played by Ralph Feinnes though you wouldn’t know it with all the makeup. The dude is evil, we sure get that, even if he does fall into the “keep the bad guy talking” ego trap.

Director Mike Newell figures you know what’s going on, so Goblet of Fire wastes no time with exposition, skipping past the obligatory comedic summer at the Dursleys and heading straight for the impressive Quidditch World Cup. Those witching folk put on a good show, even if the game absolutely makes no sense. (Yeah, I said it, what of it?)

At two hours and thirty minutes long and then some, normally one would expect time to spread out and not just rush from important scene to important scene, unless you’ve read the book. Considering the book was like a bazillion pages long, that was a real concern. For the most part, all of the major bits are included, and yet Goblet of Fire takes time to breathe and fit in plenty of seemingly non-essential story lines and all kinds of humor. Really, really, funny stuff. The kind where I need to see it again in a quiet theater to hear dialogue I missed because of the crowd laughing.

As for our heroes, the darling threesome remains unchanged for the most part, aside from a bit of rivalry and unsaid feelings. Oh, wait, they've done that every movie already. At least when they make up it's a teensy more grown-up. All three start to feel those tingles when seeing the opposite sex, but growing up also means dealing with death. Ain't nothing - even Voldemort - more scary than puberty, am I right?

Harry is starting to realize his life will never be normal though he fights it, Ron gets more awkward and Hermione gets one year nearer official babe status.

Yeah, yeah, enough with the Hermione references. I know. Good thing we get the Beauxbatons this year, eh? After all, they’re French, and thus fair game, right? Babe city, all of ‘em. Topping them all, however, is Cho Chang, a cutie who is Asian and then talks with an English accent. That knocked me out of my chair. Dang, I need help.

As if all the high school girls in front of me didn’t go “oh my” when Cedric jumped down for the first time. I know they did, I heard them. Then again, they're his age, so I'll shut up.

The most substantial difference in Potter Number Four was in the personalities of the characters. The Big Three show more, of course, but more important we get personality popping from their classmates and teachers like never seen before. They give the film weight, it feels like there's more at stake.

Look at the cast of names: Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Feinnes, Jason Isaacs, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Miranda Richardson, all rolling off the tongue in supporting roles.

Even so, the standouts are Ron’s older twin brothers, Fred and George Weasley, who are a hoot, no more so than when Professor McGonagall is instructing the students on dancing for the Yule Ball.

Speaking of, Harry and Ron forget the first rule of taking a date to a party of any kind: Don’t sit on the sidelines and sulk. It doesn’t matter if you can dance. Get up and boogy badly and women couldn’t care less so long as you’re trying and having a good time, which in turn leads to the girls having a good time. I learned this at my first fraternity party in college, and never forget the lesson. Then dropped out of the fraternity and never went to another party, and was never asked to a sorority party. (Altogether now, “Awwwww.” Bugger.)

For fans of the books, let's shun the non-readers (stupidheads) and talk spoilers.

Mad-Eye Moody is an even better character in the movie than the written word. He works on every level, and you kind of forget what’s going to happen with him eventually.

The end with Voldemort, the Death Eaters and Cedric doesn’t pull any punches. I wasn’t sure how to picture the meeting of the wands, and on screen that comes to life where you think, “yes, that must be how it would look.”

The special effects are brilliant. Not once did I think, “that dragon isn’t real.” Or, “Ron’s hair can’t do that on its own, can it?”

Moaning Myrtle steals the scene where Harry figures out the egg in the bath. Saucy minx, that ghost is.

Draco is nearly absent, save for being the foil of Moody’s temper. He's not even missed, because there's plenty else to torment Harry this year.

That being said, knowing the events of Book Six, you kind of see where everything is starting to lead, and it makes me sad. And excited. Let's get on with the "Order of the Phoenix" and "Half-Blood Prince," eh?

By the way, if you’re looking for something at the end of the credits, they didn’t do it this time.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random Musings

On a Thursday night while waiting until the new Harry Potter debuts at midnight …

I read this entire Lindsay Lohan story, so now you have to.

Tim, please tell me that she is your cousin, likes awkward overweight guys who spend too much time on their blog and hopes to move to Atlanta someday?

I don’t know what’s funnier, The Shocker hand gesture or reading Richard Roeper (yes, that Roeper) trying to describe it, unsure whether to condemn the young’uns using it and end up risking the loss of cool points.

Frank Zappa's daughter Moon Unit has topped a list of celebrity offspring with the most bizarre names, according to an online poll. Surprisingly, none of the Phoenix kids makes the list. I am sure, though, that my future wife will be named Zowie Bowie.

A tooth believed to have been pulled from Napoleon's mouth was sold at auction in London for about $22,600. Reports from Hollywood this week reveal that Paris Hilton’s diaphragm was sold for three cigarettes and a Whataburger with fries.

Thursday Vents

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- I used to think drinking was bad for me, so I gave up thinking.
- Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
- The federal and state governments make more money off of a gallon of gas than the oil companies. Who is doing the gouging?
- A couple of Democratic governors being replaced by other Democrats cannot be regarded as a repudiation of George Bush.
- If we can blame Bush for the high gas prices, can we not thank him for the recent reduction in prices?
- If we free France for the third time, do we get to keep it?
- Protests like the one in France don’t happen in countries with shotguns.
- I must be the only Democrat in my neighborhood. Everyone else leaves for work.
- Would these commercials that promise to take us to a whole ‘nother level, please tell me where the ‘nother level is?
- All of you who keep your icicles up all year, your season is near.
- The terrorists might have beaten the Democrats, but that doesn’t mean they’ve beaten the rest of us.
- Liberal Utopia: one-third of the population on welfare, one-third working for the government and one-third paying all the bills.
- No more forcing Christian holidays on you. Go to work on Dec. 25.

Vents I Sent:

- If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him? (Courtesy Grif.net)
- Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter have found more time to say negative things about President Bush than they ever did about Saddam Hussein.
- Hollywood has been making cynical anti-war movies longer than their antagonist, the gung-ho John Wayne-era films. It’s not fresh anymore. (Stolen from )
- “Jarhead” is as much the Gulf War edition of “Platoon” as “Hot Shots!” was to “Full Metal Jacket.”
- People who have spent two years claiming Bush took us to war to enrich Halliburton now think it's beyond the bounds of civilized discussion to question motives against the war.
- I get it. If the president defends his policies he’s “whining,” but if Democrats lie about being lied to, they’re “speaking truth to power.”
- If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that Acme stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner? (Courtesy Grif.net)
- Liberal college administrators are former hippies who stopped supporting campus protest shortly after becoming administrators.
- If “achieving what needs to be achieved in Iraq” is key, how does one avoid the requirement to “stay for as long as it takes”?
- Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat? (Courtesy Grif.net)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A worthy hump day

It’s been a productive day for the Jeffster! I got some Christmas shopping done and slipped in to see Jarhead in between trips to Best Buy, Target, Linens & Things and Toys ‘R Us before coming home to top off a couple of gifts on Amazon.com.

Remember when the new Star Wars game, Battlefront II, wasn’t compatible with my computer? Instead of spending the extra $100 on a new video card I decided, “screw it.” I returned the game, got my $50 back and used it to buy gifts.

By the way, since I spent much of my time trying to figure out what to get one of my nephews and two of my cousins’ children for both their birthday and Christmas, can we all agree to try in the future to have offspring in, say, June? I’ll do my part if y’all will.

The highlight of my day? Buying tickets for tomorrow’s midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Only 27 more hours and Abracadabra, magic will be on the screen!

The Superstar Diva ... Extraordinaire

Tons going on over at Kimberly’s site. She’s got a good temp job, her neighbor is certifiable, and she’s going to get married next summer! See, some people are actually living their lives. Me? I got DVR!

UPDATE: By the way, how is Life With DVR so far? Well, by Day Three, I find myself recording ESPN Hollywood every night just to see how co-host Thea Andrews is looking (hot, as always), able to keep up with the totally awesome final season of “Deep Space 9” airing on Spike TV from Noon to 2 p.m. weekdays, and I can dedicate myself to the new reality show following LPGA super babe Natalie Gulbis on the Golf Channel.

No Tiger love

ESPN.com’s Page 2 has one of their fantasy tournaments starting today, pitting the all-time best lineups of schools playing head-to-head. Well, at least in the heads of ESPN’s college hoops analysts.

North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, Duke, etc., these were no-brainers. Further down the list, however, somehow ESPN decided that Providence and Big Ten powerhouses Iowa and Minnesota (/sarcasm), for starters, should be included yet U. of Memphis/Memphis State should not.

Fine, call me a homer for picking my hometown’s school and Dad’s alma mater, but look at the names the Tigers bring to the table. And I don’t just mean Baskerville Holmes, who has the best name ever in sports history. I should know, I spent all my years growing up watching many of these guys at the Mid-South Coliseum and The Pyramid. Iowa? Minnesota? Pshaw.

Forest Arnold - 1952-56, the first All-American in school history. During his career, Arnold helped lead the Tigers to 62 wins, including the school's first-ever NCAA appearance in 1955. School's fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,854 career points and ranks as Memphis's second career rebounding leader with 1,109. One of just three players in Memphis basketball history to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds.

Win Wilfong - Averaged 21.5 points and 12.3 rebounds a game from 1955-57 and ranks 17th on The University of Memphis' all-time scoring list with 1,203 points.

Larry Finch - Third on the all-time scoring list with 1,869 points. Finch was the catalyst in The University of Memphis reaching the NCAA Final Four for the first time ever in 1973, when the Tigers lost to UCLA in the championship. During the '73 tournament, Finch averaged 26.8 points a game, including 29 against the Bruins. In Finch's three years at The University of Memphis, the Tigers put together a record of 63-21 and either won or tied for two Missouri Valley Conference Championships. He earned honorable mention All-American honors from both the Associated Press and United Press International and was named to four other All-American teams his senior season after breaking nine individual The U of M records. Finch was also the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year two years in a row.

Ronnie Robinson - A three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and received All-America honors (Converse and Basketball News) as a senior. Robinson still holds the school record for highest field goal percentage in a career (57.7) and is the second all-time leading rebounder with 1,066. In The U of M's run to the title game against UCLA, Robinson averaged 14.0 rebounds a game and had three double-doubles in the Tigers' four tournament outings.

Keith Lee - Lee was an AP All-American four years in a row, a consensus first team All-American in 1985, the Metro Conference Player of the Year in 1982 and 1985, the Metro Conference Tournament MVP in 1982 and 1984, the Metro Conference Freshman of the Year in 1982 and was first team All-Metro all four years. Also during his career, Lee was chosen to All-America teams by UPI, Converse, The Sporting News, Basketball Weekly, USBWA, Basketball Times, ESPN and NABC. Lee was taken in the first round of the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls as the 11th overall pick. During his four-year career, the Tigers went 104-24, made the NCAA Tournament four times, including one Final Four appearance in 1985, and claimed three Metro Tournament titles. “In the second round of the 1983 NCAA Tournament, Memphis took on Georgetown in a game that will never be forgotten by Tiger fans. It would be a battle of Lee against Patrick Ewing. Lee owned Ewing on this day, scoring 28 points and grabbing 15 rebounds to lead the Tigers to a 66-57 victory.”

Elliot Perry – The second all-time leading scorer in U of M history and wearer of awesome goggles and knee-high socks. For his career, Perry is the Tigers' career leader in three-pointers made (143) and steals (304) and is ranked in the top 10 in 29 different statistical categories.

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway - Was the only player in Division I-A, in 1991-92 and 1992-93, to rank in the top five in his respective conference in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots. A two-time Great Midwest Conference MVP. National Player of the Year finalist for John Wooden, Dr. James Naismith, Adolph Rupp and U.S. Basketball Writers. Named to six different first team All-American squads. Voted GMC Player of the Week a conference record four times his junior year. His 729 points as a junior were the most ever scored in a single-season at Memphis and his 73 three-pointers were also a new school mark. Is the only player in Tiger history to score over 700 points, grab more than 200 rebounds, hand out 200-plus assists and collect 70 steals in a single-season. Highest drafted Memphis player ever when Golden State picked him as the third player in the first round of the '93 NBA draft, traded to Orlando.

Lorenzen Wright - Taken as the seventh overall pick in the '96 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cedric Henderson - Second round pick in the ‘97 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Dajuan Wagner – The first Memphis freshman to garner AP All-America honors since Keith Lee was named to AP's second team in 1982. In 2002 Wagner ranked 24th nationally in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game, and set a Memphis school record, scoring 762 points.

Let’s not forget Andre Turner, William Bedford, and David Vaughn, either. All productive players for Memphis who went on to the NBA.

Source: U. of Memphis

Tiny Jefflets of Love

- I’m less careful buying life insurance than when I’m trying to hit the mark of a drive-through car wash. I NEED the approval of that honking sound telling me I’ve done good and stop for a minute to rest as my Aztek gets a reaffirming purification through the medium of soap and water.

- I’ve seen most else Louisville has to offer, so next time I’m there to visit my siblings and nephews, maybe we can check out the Muhammad Ali museum opening Nov. 21. The article doesn’t say where in town the museum is, though.

- President Jacques Chirac said Monday that more than two weeks of violence in the poor suburbs of France is the sign of a "profound malaise." He then blamed Muslim rioting on giant rabbits.

- Playing the role of $25 million-per-year martyr, A-Fraud defended his trips to illegal poker clubs in New York by saying he went with friends because he was "trying to be a human being" and have "a little fun." Yep, that proves it, The Cooler is either a robot or an alien and he has been programmed to learn the ways of the Earthlings.

- Just when you thought his life couldn’t get any weirder, everyone’s favorite pop star wacko slash potential child molester was seen in the ladies bathroom in a Dubai mall, with his head covered with the local women’s traditional head scarf. You can’t make this stuff up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Nobody puts my investment in a corner

A poster for the classic 1920s film Metropolis has been sold for a world record $690,000.

Kind of makes you wish you’d hung on to that poster for Dirty Dancing, eh?

They do know he can't run again, right?

I can’t wait until the 2008 Democrat platform is read at the convention:

“Mr. and Mrs. Chairman (same person, part of their reaching out to GLBT), the great state of New York would like to add a domestic policy initiative guaranteed to woo moderate voters: Bush is a poopyhead.

iCan't believe this

I have no problems with most of the contemporary Christian entrepreneurs using American pop culture for their own purposes. You know, the “What would Jesus do?” bracelets and clever t-shirts that say Got Jesus? or bumper stickers that read, For all you do His blood’s for you.

With that said, the iBelieve may be going too far. It’s an attachment for the Shuffle that makes it in the shape of a cross, as if Jesus was dying so that you may listen to Godcasts around your neck.

What’s even stranger is that it seems like the designer is mocking Christians who would want to buy it.

New World order

New archaeological revelations are shining the light of doubt on the theory that the first Americans came to North America 13,000 years ago across a land bridge from Siberia into Alaska.
"I think we had human activity here 40,000 to 50,000 years ago," said University of South Carolina archaeologist Albert Goodyear, who has, over the last few years, found signs of prehistoric toolmaking from deeper and deeper excavations along the Savannah River in Allendale County, S.C.

"The old ideas on New World origins are based on informed speculation and not supported by evidence," said Smithsonian Institution archaeologist Dennis Stanford. "Through time and repetition --- and in the absence of clear alternatives --- the theory became dogma, and ultimately ideology."
I’m just posting this. No ulterior motive. At all. Nothing about global warming and evolution/intelligent design. … *Whistling and walking away*

Presto, no more red tape!

Who knew that the Harry Potter books were a metaphor for the ineptness of government bureaucracy?

Hat tip: Instapundit

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Evil Empire wins again

It’s not that I’m ticked off that A-Fraud won the AL MVP award, announced this afternoon. It’s that, well, A-Fraud won the MVP over David “El Natural” Ortiz.

Sure, discount me as a Red Sox fan and avowed enemy of the Dang Yanks, but the numbers in crunch time are difficult to ignore:
In late-inning, close-game situations (seventh inning or later with the batting team ahead by one, tied or having the tying run on base, at bat or on deck), Ortiz came through with far greater efficiency than Rodriguez this past season, batting .346, driving in 33 runs, 11 home runs, and -- get this -- an .846 slugging percentage, almost double A-Rod’s in the same category. Rodriguez, meanwhile, drove in 12 and hit four home runs in late, close games for the Yankees.
Yes, those statistics only count in crunch time, but they’re important since the two had very similar numbers overall. What does that tell me, then? That voters gave the award to A-Fraud simply because Ortiz serves mainly as a DH and doesn’t play in the field.

Whatever. As if Jose Canseco won the award for his defense. Let the Dang Yanks celebrate this award; they still haven't won the World Series since last century, and A-Fraud will always be known as Slappy McChoker.

UPDATE: Not to belabor the "woe is us" victimization at the hands of the Dang Yanks, but this bit from The Shaughnessy says it all:
Ted Williams finished second to a Yankee in MVP voting four times. When he hit .406 in 1941, he finished second to Joe DiMaggio. When he won the Triple Crown the next year, he finished second to Yankee second baseman Joe Gordon. When Ted won the Triple Crown again in 1947, he finished second again to Joe D. In 1957, Ted hit .388 but finished second to Mickey Mantle. Imagine. The Kid went 0 for 4 in MVP races in seasons in which he either won the Triple Crown or hit at least .388. Now that is ridiculous.

Then there's the case of Pedro Martinez. He had a Koufaxian summer for the Red Sox in 1999 but finished a close second in the MVP voting to Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Still, there was a New York connection. Two voters did not list Pedro in the top 10 on their ballots, claiming they didn't believe in voting for a pitcher for MVP. One of those voters writes for the New York Post and had voted for pitchers in the past. Bag job.

One CD set to rule them all

Ya know, it’s not like I didn’t have enough to buy this Christmas, what with Serenity and the first half of the second season of “Battlestar Galactica” coming out in mid-December. Now, though, I find out that The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Complete Recordings will be released on December 13. Yes, it’s the complete score for the first film in the trilogy. Awesome.

Obviously I already own all three of Howard Shore’s award-winning scores that were released with the films, but like all LOTR fans I’ve been selfishly yearning for the entire collection of music, and for $60 a pop it looks like our wish will be granted.

Why is it certain that I’ll buy it? Just hearing the score on the Cinemagic XM Radio station was enough to get me to pop in the extended DVD of Fellowship this afternoon.

Not even the spies of the dark lord will keep me from purchasing this CD set or The Two Towers and Return of the King collections when they are released. Release the inner geek, I say!

Shards of the past

Some cool news from religious archaeology:

US archaeologists say they have found what could be the immediate precursor to the Hebrew alphabet - dating back from the 10th Century BC. The two rows of letters were found on a stone in Israel near Jerusalem.

An Israeli researcher said he has made a Goliath of a find — the first archaeological evidence suggesting the biblical story of David slaying the Philistine giant actually took place. A shard of pottery unearthed in a decade-old dig in southern Israel carried an inscription in early Semitic style spelling "Alwat and "Wlt," likely Philistine renderings of the name Goliath, said Aren Maeir, who directed the excavation.

Funny, or funny ha-ha?

Today’s edition of “yes, people get paid for this,” research that has determined men and women process humor differently.
While there is a lot of overlap between how men and women process humor, the differences can help account for the fact that men gravitate more to one-liners and slapstick while women tend to use humor more in narrative form and stories, (Dr. Allan L. Reiss of the Stanford University School of Medicine) said.
In other words, see: Stooges, Three.

Strangely enough, though, the research determined that “women seem more likely than men to enjoy a good joke, mainly because they don't always expect it to be funny. … The funnier the cartoon the more the reward center in the women's brain responded, unlike men who seemed to expect the cartoons to be funny from the beginning, the researchers said.”

Figure it out yourself, whether it's good to be looking for humor all the time or better to be discerning when flipping on SpongeBob.

Hat tip: Mark at The Jagged Edge.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Jefflets

- Fox’s scheme to get rid of every show on their network that I like continues unabated with the news that Arrested Development is doomed.

- Go figure, the US has actually gotten cleaner under the tyrannical governance of tree-cutting, SUV-hugging Bush. Still, I think we all know that if Gore were elected in 2000, none of these natural disasters and quirky weather would be happening.

- An Icelandic company says it has discovered a version of a gene that indicates an increased risk of heart attack in African-Americans. I’m guessing Jesse Jackson will be contacting DeCode Genetics any day now to shake them down until they adjust their racist research to give more white Americans heart disease.

- Those On*Star ads are convincing, aren’t they? Problem is, how often will you use the service for its intended purpose, like when you’re unconscious and upside down in an accident? More likely, the operators are taking calls from drivers looking for the yellow pages or the occasional query, “Is it illegal to kill hooker hitchhikers in Arizona and drive through Utah with them in my trunk?”

- The media would never “report” the news in any way that’s considered slanted, right. Hogwash. One of France’s leading TV news executives has admitted censoring his coverage of the riots in the country for fear of encouraging support for far-right politicians. (Even worse, they’re more afraid of seeing right-wing politicians elected than tackling the issue of pissed off Muslims.)

- Al-Qaeda christened Queen Elizabeth II an an ‘enemy of Islam.’ Apparently she’s a royal pain the butt.

- A member of the Kentucky Turkey Hunters Hall of Fame fatally shot an alleged intruder in his home early today, Kentucky State Police said. When asked to explain his actions, the hunter said he heard the crook talk about gobbling up his possessions. I know, that’s the best I can do? And there’s a Turkey Hunters Hall of Fame set aside for Kentuckians? (Hat tip: Tim Blair.)

- Don’t you hate it when Republicans use God in politics? Seriously, this Senator the other day was using His name:
"As a Christian, as a Catholic, I think hard about those responsibilities that are moral and how you translate them into public life … There is not anywhere in the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ, anything that remotely suggests--not one miracle, not one parable, not one utterance--that says you ought to cut children's health care or take money from the poorest people in our nation to give it to the wealthiest people in our nation," he said.
Oh, wait, that was John Kerry. Never mind.

Pharmacy babe

Note to self: When the cute girl in the pharmacy goes out of her way (around the counter and practically yelling “can I help you?”) to seek you out, this is NOT the time to be honest and ask where to find those odor-rid balls that go in a gym bag. Ask for anything other than something that acknowledges to this potentially fertile young woman that I am capable of manufacturing a smell that should be hidden.

Speaking of Target (which is where I was at the time), what took me so long to buy a wireless optical mouse? Was it necessary to be constrained to a cord all these years? No. And it only cost $20 for a GE product that is working just fine, if too sensitive to my nimble hand movements.

Somehow I have a feeling I’ll be saying the exact same thing tomorrow when Comcast installs my DVR. Welcome to the 21st Century, Jeff, we’ve been looking for you. One more year until androids can be perfected to be ideal female companions, and life will be set.

Large families

On a lazy Sunday morning (well, I'm at work, so not that lazy, but you know what I mean) ... Courtesy Grif.net, dedicated to my big happy family:

You know you've got a large family when...

...You count your children by multiples of two or more.

...Washing underwear takes more than one washer load.

...You mock 'economy size' boxes.

...The IRS doesn't question you anymore when you add dependents.

...Your children think that all families get a new child every year or so.

...You think a minivan is a compact vehicle.

...Attendance drops by 20% when you don't show up for church.

...You have more shoes than Imelda Marcos, but yours are varied sizes.

...One room is no longer an option when you go to a hotel.

...You think matched socks means two socks that are the same size.

...You see a mom of three and you wonder what she does with all her time.

...The new pediatrician asks you for advice about childhood illnesses.

...Diapers are a line item on your household budget.

...Size doesn't matter when shopping, because the clothes will fit 'someone'.

...You never worry about what to do with leftovers.

...You wonder if they mislabeled your 'extra large capacity' washer.

...People ask you if you run a daycare or school.

...You read the fine print on those 'kids eat free' offers.

And the best? ..You laugh hysterically when someone asks you if you 'work'.

She's the Ping to my Pong

The things you discover watching ESPN2 at 2:30 in the morning. Did you know that the world of table tennis has a babe? Check out Biba, my new obsession.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Go Tigers

I’m really beginning to wish I’d paid the twenty bucks for the pay-per-view of Memphis at (cue Imperial March music) Tennessee this afternoon. The Tigers are up 13-0 early in the second quarter. Good times.

(If you're not from the state, let me clue you in on a secret: Vols fans are obnoxious. Non UT fans love to see them lose as much as possible. Ask Vandy grads, too. Seriously, Memphis is like a five to six hour drive away, barely in the same state as Knoxville, so no one cares that they're rooting against their main home state school.)

UPDATE 3:12 - Dang, that was fast. Vols score, still down 13-7 to the Good Guys in blue.

UPDATE 4:20 - UT went up 14-13 at half, but as I stepped out of the apartment to change my driver's side headlight, Memphis answered in the third with another field goal, up 16-14. Eye of the Tiger, baby! They're doing it apparently without NCAA leading rusher DeAngelo Williams, too. I haven't figured out what happened, but his name isn't in the stats.

UPDATE 4:49 - Still 16-14, but Tennessee is inside the Memphis 20. Ooh, the drama! Who knew you could sweat just waiting for the 30-second refresh?

UPDATE 4:53 - Figures. I'm a jinx. UT up 17-16.

UPDATE 5:25 - Oh well, it was a nice thought. The Vols pounded away for over six of the last seven minutes, kicked a field goal to go up 20-16, and the Tigers couldn't make a drive in the last 41 seconds. I'm going to bed. Gotta be up at 3 and to work by 4a again tomorrow.

Oh my

In Saturday’s edition of “Jeff is a selfish, soulless freak,” we go to Taco Bell for lunch. We even go inside, because the drive-thru is notorious for leaving out a taco, burrito and a Mexican pizza, and every time it happens I don’t check until I’m on the road again.

It could be worse. One time we stopped at the drive-thru to get dinner for Scott (the rest of us apparently left him alone like Lord of the Flies or something), and Dad drove away after paying and before he got the food. Ouch.

But I digress.

So I buy my food, receive it in a bag and walk over to the condiment area to grab some mild sauce (my taste buds are wusses, too), napkins and a couple of sporks.

There’s a Taco Bell worker restocking the napkins, and he says “how’s your day?” I reply all friendly like, “Great, how’s yours?” After all, you have to make nice while stealing extra sporks, right?

Uh, no. He takes a second to answer, so I jokingly interject, “Took a second to answer, must not be too great, eh?” “Yeah,” he says, then proceeds to tell me it could be worse since he almost died last week. Something to do with pancreatitis. In detail.

This is where my brain starts yelling at me, "get out. Get out. GET OUT, GET OUT, RUN."

I didn’t really care what this guy’s day was like. I’m hungry. We just wanted empty pap, not a Shakespearean tragedy!

I’m not alone here, am I?

Unintelligent designs

I don't know if there's a god or if Darwin was right, so I fail to see the problem in teaching both evolution and creationism intelligent design.

Wouldn't it be nice, then, if the people who claim to be so tolerant and open-minded actually were when it comes to letting students learn about every theory available when asking where we come from?

Hat tip: Instapundit

Is it late Friday or early Saturday?

Sorry for the erratic posting the last few days.

Thursday and Friday I had a headache something fierce, and I’ve been battling the sniffles between one week and thirty years. Thus, I spent my weekend at home watching DVDs all day.

I’ve also been trying to reset my sleep schedule since I’m working the 4a to Noon shift today right now and tomorrow. To accomplish this, I did what most of you would do in my stead: Drugs. Specifically, a swig of Nyquil about 4 p.m. Friday so as to conk out by 5. Worked like a charm.

Now, let’s go through my dreams last night, in chronological order …

Kidding.

I wouldn’t make y’all study my dreams, no matter if they involved me, Neil Young, Cindy Crawford and ten pizzas on a glacier in Iceland.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day

A warm Veterans Day salute to all those who have suited up for the U.S. armed forces, especially my father and grandfather, both Navy men.

Dad, in particular, was aboard the USS Putnam, seen in the first picture on the linked page steaming into Monaco. I’m sure Dad can embellish this with his story of greeting Grace Kelly or where he bested British agents at Baccarat.

Granddad was among the bravest of the brave, serving on submarines during World War II. If I remember correctly one of his posts was on the USS Redfish. He served on many ships in his Navy career, and because of his post in Rhode Island in the late 50s, so rises the legacy of Red Sox fandom in the family.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Too bad Murray can't pitch

Being a Red Sox fan in the offseason is worse than Groundhog Day. At least Bill Murray could improve his talents as he went. Instead, we’re just bored by the never-ending stories on the same subjects.

Oh look, Manny’s requesting a trade. Never heard that one before. (This is where Murray learns to step over the freezing puddle at the end of the curb.)

Boston better not let our best free-agent hitter and/or pitcher sign elsewhere, especially not to the Damn Yankees. (Here’s where Murray saves the boy from falling out of the tree all the time, but never gets thanked.)

Will the Sox sign any major free-agent pitchers? Yes, no, maybe. What’s most important, will the Damn Yankees get them instead? (And here we find ourselves learning to ice sculpt in order to win the love of Andie MacDowell, who ain’t “all that” but is also the only cute and single person in this world every day.)

Will we get the biggest slugger available? Damn the Yankees if they get him instead. (This is where we steal the groundhog and drive off a cliff.)

In the end, though, we wind up with a halfway decently attractive new girlfriend who may or may not be the answer until next Groundhog Day.

This town needs an enema

I would like to thank Warner Brothers for not making me purchase the entire Batman Anthology when all I really want is Tim Burton’s opening salvo in the franchise that was never equaled, the 1989 Batman.

Okay, maybe I’ll also get Batman Forever, but we’ll see. Either way I’ll save money by skipping the godawful Batman Returns and Batman & Robin.

Even better, while releasing the individual titles WB also included all of the extras that are in the anthology. Hours of them. It’s taken me all day to watch, and that’s awesome.

Could someone please ask the James Bond people to do likewise, please?

Now they've gone too far

Now the riots in France are getting serious. The agitators are going after giant Rubik's Cubes. Someone hide the giant Slinky!



Sydney emailed this funny satire today, and I have no idea whom to credit so I'll just post it anyway:

President Bush May Send Up To 5 Marines For French Assistance

President Bush has authorized the Joint Chiefs to begin drawing up a battle plan to pull France's ass out of the fire again. Facing an apparent overwhelming force of up to 400 pissed off teenagers Mr. Bush doubts France's ability to hold off the little pissants. "Hell, if the last two world wars are any indication, I would expect France to surrender any day now", said Bush.

Joint Chiefs head, Gen. Peter Pace, warned the President that it might be necessary to send up to 5 marines to get things under control. The general admitted that 5 marines may be overkill but he wanted to get this thing under control within 24 hours of arriving on scene. He stated he was having a hard time finding even one marine to help those ungrateful bastards out for a third time but thought that he could persuade a few women marines to do the job before they went on pregnancy leave.

President Bush asked Gen. Pace to get our marines out of there as soon as possible after order was restored. He also reminded Gen. Pace to make sure the marines did not take soap, razors, or deodorant with them. The least they stand out the better.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gay marriage

I'm fully aware that this post could be like that surreal moment when Dick Van Dyke jumps into the street art in Mary Poppins, and I don't know what this means, but I finally admitted to myself that I've reversed my stance against gay marriage.

As usually happens, when you actually know someone involved it makes a big difference. One of my female co-workers plays for the other team, and it doesn't bother me at all when we discuss her spouse/partner or whatever you choose to call her. They're the nicest people and frankly deserve to be happy.

I don't know if it matters that my religious beliefs are in doubt at the moment of this revelation, but I'm well-versed in all the arguments for the anti-marriage side even when the Bible isn't involved, and none makes as much difference to me as what I noted above.

So maybe I'm becoming a softy in my old age? Losing my convictions?

I should note that I still find men being intimate with one another icky (to be technical). Plus, I’m vehemently against the leading gay lobby groups, though only in the same way I’m against any liberal group under the Democrats’ increasingly pathetic tent full of nutjobs.

So who wants to take a spoon full of sugar and discuss?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

This is the dam Detour

Tonight’s “Amazing Race” stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, which means this is the perfect time for another installment of Jeff's Vacation Memories!

I flew out to Las Vegas to meet up with Dad, Danielle and her nephew, Nick, in August ‘98, and it probably says a lot about how much of a gambler I am when I say that the trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the raft trip at Glen Canyon were the highlights of the trip. (Not to mention the best part of Vegas was the Star Trek exhibit at the Hilton.)



When you’re drifting down the cold river (seriously, that water was awesomely freezing since it was sluiced from the bottom of the dam so it hadn’t seen the desert sun), it feels like you’re seeing God’s creation as it was at the beginning. Of course, that’s a big fat lie, since the Colorado River would be fifteen feet higher and treacherous if the dam wasn’t blocking it.



On the right is Mandy, our babe-alicious guide. Unlike the Amazing Racers, we had plenty of time to hop off the rafts and explore the primitive Indian markings carved in the rock. If you look closely, on the right you can see where Daddy Indian is telling Teen Indian that if the teen is caught sneaking into the teepee after curfew, he’s grounded. Parental angst is so universal.

Me-yow

The Smoking Gun has the mug shots, grabs of their team bios and the police report of the ex-Carolina Panther cheerleaders that we gawked at here.



If I wasn't 100 percent sure of my heterosexuality (I will kick the crap out of anyone who makes fun of me for downloading that "Seasons of Love" song from Rent), I am after this story came to light. There is nothing that doesn't titillate me here. We're talking cheerleaders, sex and fighting. Merry Christmas to me!

(Okay, so the dark-haired one is a bowzer, but the blonde? Hummina hummina!)

Baltimore

The city of Baltimore wants a makeover to revamp the city's image, including a new slogan.

I have two suggestions. Feel free to use them:

Baltimore: We've Got Crabs ... Cakes

Baltimore: Never More (You know, 'cause Poe's from there and the NFL team is the Ravens.)

Tight security

Authorities say escaped killer Charles Victor Thompson "will face tight security once he returns to death row."

Oh, so now he'll have tight security. As opposed to, I guess, being guarded by the cast of "Desperate Housewives" and free time to run to the local Taco Bell before?

Boring Tuesday, eh?

Sure, grabbing the phone and ordering food is so simple. These people bring the food to you! Bah, humbug. I think we all know that is filled with hazards, too. Here’s why you (meaning “I”) should always choose the “carry-out” option. Twice this week I had delivery problems, and I only had two deliveries total.

First, could someone tell Papa Johns that Coke Zero is not the same as Diet Coke.

Then last night, the Chinese place forgot my mushrooms, so the delivery guy had to drive back and pick them up, because he couldn’t just deduct the cost of them and forget it. No, he doesn’t know the prices or taxes, so I have to pay for the mushrooms that aren’t in my hands, hoping he doesn’t forget to drive back and deliver them while I’m finishing with the chicken and rice. (/rant)

Next week, we’ll discuss why drive-thru is never easier than actually going into a fast-food joint.

Monday, November 07, 2005

What if Cujo was a Shih Tzu?

If I told you six people were mauled by three dogs this weekend, you’d know right away I was referring to pit bulls, wouldn’t you?

Somehow these stories never seem to go like this: “A 10-year-old boy was in critical condition Sunday after three Yorkies escaped from a home and went on a rampage, attacking six people before police shot and killed dogs, authorities said.”

Anyone who buys a pit bull should be investigated by the police. There is something wrong with such a person, either selling drugs, running a chop shop or so naïve and/or stupid that they require supervision.

Cat fight!

Every day we have at least one story on our news that makes working here more fun than should be allowed. Today it was this heartwarming tale and the pictures of the women walking back to their cars, one with a dirty butt on her white pants, presumably leftover from the scuffle:
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders were arrested after a bar dispute that broke out early Sunday after patrons complained the women were having sex in a bathroom stall [Jeff note: With each other!], a police arrest report said.
That may be the best sentence I’ve ever read in the whole wide world.

Her next number was "Call 911 You Idiots"

Okay, so I'm definitely not a Calvinist, but sometimes you have to wonder:

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Actress Sutton Foster was rehearsing a number called "I'm An Accident Waiting to Happen" earlier this week when she fell and broke her arm.

Vents

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- Before bacteria invade the body, do they plot strategy in staph meetings?
- Lord, help me be the person my dog thinks I am.
- Harriet didn’t have many ad-Miers.
- Answers to yesterday’s vents: Yes, no, huh? No, and sometimes it’s OK to do that.
- All trick-or-treaters coming to my house this year will be required to show photo ID.
- Somebody has to support those poor girls at the strip clubs. All they can afford is shoes.
- We may or may not have a bird flu pandemic, but the media have assured that we will have a bird flu panic.
- Evian flu? I knew that fancy bottled water was gonna cause a problem!
- I long for the old days, when you could buy bedsheets without worrying about the thread count.
- Samuel Alito: Born on April Fool’s Day and nominated on Halloween. Is that some kind of omen?
- We must live in a Republican neighborhood. All the trick-or-treaters said thank you.
- Please, no math jokes. It will only cause division.
- iPod, therefore I am.
- You know why men like Blackberries so much? It’s like walking around with a TV remote control all day long.
- I must live in a Democrat neighborhood. I ran out of candy on Halloween and got slapped with a lawsuit.
- Politicians are like baby diapers. They should be changed frequently and for the same reasons.

Vents I Sent:

- If Scooter Libby had just lied about sex, he’d be in the clear.
- How sad that Democrats didn’t get Rove so they have to pretend to be happy that a guy named Scooter was indicted.
- Show me someone who never gossips, and I'll show you someone who isn't interested in people. (Stolen from Barbara Walters)
- The Democrat Party's 2006 slogan for mid-term elections: "Vote for us, we got duped into voting for the Iraq war!"
- Why would anyone riot in France? Aren’t they a utopia free of racism and committed social welfare programs to ensure humane behavior?
- Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster? (Courtesy Grif.net)
- Of course Jimmy Carter didn’t govern based on his principles. That’s why he ran as a Democrat.