Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
Skip Bayless Must Be Stopped
- "[F]or the first time, the Super Bowl features two underdogs, two Cinderellas, two teams that came from nowhere on destiny-kissed rolls."
Really, Skip? The Seahawks, who finished 13-3 and secured the #1 seed in the NFC, are an underdog? Do you have any idea what underdog means? And the Steelers, who went 15-1 last year and who went into an improbable mid-season funk this year because Tommy Maddox was prominently involved, came from nowhere? Skip, do you even follow the NFL? (Also, is this really "the first time" this has happened in the 40-year history of the Super Bowl?)
- "But would they have won their first playoff game, in Cincinnati, if Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer hadn't been hurt on his second play? Doubtful. Would they have finished off the season's most shocking upset, in Indianapolis, if Colts cornerback Nick Harper hadn't weaved back into a sprawling ankle tackle by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger? No. Would the Steelers have been able to win in Foxborough if the Broncos hadn't upset the Patriots the week before in Denver? Highly doubtful. Would the Steelers have won in Denver if an early poor pass by Roethlisberger had been picked off in the flat by Champ Bailey and returned for a stadium-rocking touchdown? Probably not."
Ok, so now it's "doubtful" that the Steelers would've beaten Cincinnati if Carson Palmer had played. I can accept "questionable" (since really, no one knows). But doubtful? Skip must be clairvoyant. Also, is it really "highly doubtful" that the Steelers would have beaten the Patriots if the Broncos didn't? Let's see, the Broncos decisively defeated the Patriots (twice, in fact), and then the Steelers decisively defeated the Broncos, so that must mean the Patriots would have most likely beaten the Steelers. That makes perfect fucking sense Skip, thanks for clearing that up for me.
And since we're playing the game of hypotheticals: If Tom Brady's fumble was correctly ruled a fumble instead of an incomplete pass in the infamous "tuck rule" game, no one's talking about a "Belichick-Brady dynasty."
In sum, it's unconscionable that Skip Bayless has a column on a web site sponsored by the so-called "worldwide leader in sports." His senseless diatribes are tantamount to a crime against the English language. As a writer, it's OK to be contrarian, but only if the contrarian perspective has some validity. Skip's positions are hardly ever valid (and if they are, they're almost never well-reasoned or well-articulated). He needs to be silenced.
Did You Know: Jerome Bettis is from Detroit
As you're probably aware, Steelers' legend Franco Harris played a fraction of a season with the Seahawks, where he averaged a paltry 2.5 yards per carry on 68 total rushing attempts before being released in October 1984.
Every true Steelers fan knows that Franco should have never donned that ugly, blue-and-silver uniform, not even for a couple of months. Every true Steelers fan knows that Franco should have retired a Steeler. Finally the Steelers organization will have an opportunity to avenge Franco's honor and bury the memory of that ignominious season with a decisive victory over the Seahawks this Sunday.
How's that for an angle?
Friday, January 27, 2006
Really Peurile Link of the Day
Super Bowl XL
I know it's a tired refrain at this point, but I'm not sure what to do this weekend without football. (Some people are so disoriented that they're already putting together mock drafts.) At the same time, I'm absolutely giddy that THE STEELERS ARE IN THE SUPERBOWL!! Golly gee, only one more week to go!! I can hardly wait. If the Seahawks were smart, they'd give Larry Brown a call (this one, not this one). Judging by the meager price his autographed picture is fetching, I'm sure he's available...
Update: For those of you who are mocking my Photoshop skills, joke's on you. I don't even have Photoshop. This is a Windows Paint job, baby.
You can take J.R. out of the Blazers, but you can't take the Blazer out of J.R.
"To the Extent" I Can't Stand That Phrase...
This short phrase has quickly gained traction in the vernacular, so widespread that our President has even used it to try to "stay hip with the kids" while "letting cities flood." I realized that the problem was out of control when I received an e-mail regarding helping people get jobs that read:
"To the extent that there are students that are still looking for summer jobs, I will help them to the extent that I can."
To hammer home the point I replied:
"If students still need summer jobs, I will try to help them, too."
I don't know if people are using this phrase as a way of trying to sound smarter, trying to verbally waffle or if they all work Dickensian jobs where they are paid by the word, but it must stop. Some more phrases whose usage MUST be curtailed:
1.) "What's doin'?" Luckily this phrase is mainly confined to Long Island which means it should be phased out after the inevitable evolution of the popluation from homo neanderthalis to homo sapiens.
2.) "It is what it is." Oh really? It's not something else? It's just what you say it is? Hmm... I'll have to think about not only what you said, but the fact that its meaning is limited to... what you said... Profound.
3.) "Good people." She/he's good people. Is she/he really fat so as to require the third person plural? Or are you just being "punchy"? Either way, please stop talking.
I hope that through diligent blogging and long spans of silence after hearing these phrases, we will be able to eradicate them and allow society to move forward with fun buzzwords like "grammar."
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Can somebody tell me how the hell it is possible to patent something that has been around for more than 20 years?
I personally hope that Despair.com leads the fight on this one. I'd watch a public flogging of Cingular's lawyers on Pay-Per-View.
Quickly, Before Lunch...
- "This adorable baby Phoenician character is a super original gift concept packed with a heartwarming positive message of hope for a bright and united Lebanon. "
- There are a ton of Steelers songs on the airwaves right now, according to this article. And I know of at least one more (a knock-off of a popular muppets skit) that isn't mentioned in the article. Steelers fans are insane.
- Want to visit DC? Need a hotel? Check out this special at the Georgetown Suites: Stay one night at the regular rate, and the, um, "second's night [sic] rate is the temperature outside at check-in!" Farenheit? Celsius? The loophole possibilties are endless.
- Lynn Swann is one of the best receivers of all time. He's also a rich, white guy.
- An FDA panel approves an over-the-counter weight loss pill, ironically named "Alli."
- I present to you the Ron Mexico Name Generator. Johnny Shades = Peter Burkina Faso.
- I finally checked out the Science Club last night. Overall, I liked it. Chill atmosphere - exposed brick, dark, candles, etc. - think 18th Street Lounge without the pretention. The main floor is a little loungier, the basement's a little grungier, so there's something for everyone. The music was a bit loud, but not offensively so. And the food wasn't bad - the pompously-titled "maison frites" were excellent, and the hummus was pretty good (not as good as Salim's, but good nonetheless). On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it 3 gyros.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
A Minor Proposal
Conversely, though, I applaud these Mountaineers for their effort to create the exact opposite of Footloose.
Imitation of Life
So, now we've got snow in Hawaii, snow in Japan, rain in Seattle for like 40 days straight, severe cold in India, record cold in Siberia, people in new york in january bitching about the cold if its less than 45 degrees, whales in the Thames, and dogs and cats living together.
All of which proves my point: The Day After Tomorrow IS more realistic than Brokeback Mountain.
The Inanity of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll
Besides knocking off previously unbeaten and overhyped Duke on national TV, the Hoyas have had an impressive season, holding their own in the new Super-Conference, the Big Beast. Their only conference losses are on the road at #1 UConn and #13 West Virginia, and their other two losses are at #7 Illinois and against a very good Vanderbilt team. They should be rewarded by at least getting more votes than UNC, Syracuse, Louisville, or Wisconsin who are losing games faster than James Frey can lose his credibility.
D.C. Beware! If something is not done soon, you will be sentenced to having to see college basketball at the Foggy Bottom Federal Prison watching Georgetown Lite play another exciting match up against Stony Brook or Duquesne in front of 200 mildly restless students wearing "I Didn't Get Into Georgetown" faces and cheering for their beloved Colonials before they resume their solitary confinement or practice their curling.
Um, Bats and Balls
The thing is, the Economist wrote about this study almost two months ago (December 8, 2005, to be exact). And the headline of the Economist story? You got it - "Bats and Balls." (Unless you have a subscription to Economist.com, you'll just have to take my word for it.)
I know the subject matter naturally lends itself to this title, but come on guys, can't we exhibit a modicum of creative independence?
Still, you've got to admire their creativity. Patrick Henry would be proud.
Tailwinds and Happy Landings
Whatever happened to the days when passengers dressed up and didn't have to worry about other people needing to breathe? Or when you could count on your pilot to have taken the edge off a little bit? Now, for the major airlines, it's all about business and profit. While they're clearly well-run enterprises, surely they could enforce some type of dress code to reflect the niceties of air travel?
We can only hope...
Guess Who Forgot to Pay the Water Bill?
"Isn't this yours?" he asked, holding out an official-looking envelope. It was some sort of county correspondence addressed to my landlord, Barbara K, and did not look at all like the usual type of crap that I typically receive in the mail.
"The water bill," he reminded me. "Aren't you the one who's supposed to pay it?"
Shite. He was right. And I had completely forgotten.
I tore open the first of many similar envelopes, all of which contained bills that demanded immediate payment. The last bill informed me that my account was delinquent, and that if payment was not received on (fill in date from several weeks ago), my water would be shut off. TODAY. Goo!!!
In a state of red-hot panic, I dashed upstairs to pay the bill online. If the water was shut off, my 3 roommates would be furious. I felt horribly guilty. Can you imagine how angry you would be if, due to the idiocy of a roommate, you had to stink like a pig??! I idly wondered if I should empty out the economy-sized jug of popcorn in the den in the event that I would need to give myself a sponge bath in the morning.
Luckily, there was a message on the website stating that the date on which the bill was paid would be the date reflected on my account, even though the payment would take several days to process. I was safe.
Needless to say, the fact remains that this is the second time this month that I have neglected to pay a bill. The first incident was a trifling matter with my corporate credit card that could be dealt with later (it was their mistake, which in my mind meant I shouldn't have to worry about resolving it). I tucked the first bill neatly into my sock drawer for safekeeping; the subsequent bills I brought to the office to hide behind my potted plant. When I started getting calls from the collection agency, reality kicked in.
While fiscal responsibility has never been my strong suit, I had to ask myself why as of late I have been particularly naughty. I realized that the fact that I was never home, but was going out an average of 5 nights a week, probably had something to do with it. But what else do you do with yourself in DC in the winter? DC is particularly dismal during this season. It's not a tropical paradise, but it's not a winter wonderland either, and it kills all motivation. What do you do to keep it interesting in late January??
Having been in this city just a hair under a decade, I am bored. BORED BORED BORED. The other night I had a 10-minute long conversation with Doug about whether we could master the art of picking locks.
Readers, give me your suggestions. I need to motivate to try things besides bars so I can get my act together and pay my bills on time...otherwise, I will be dealing with gray bars when the IRS hauls me away.
1. The first is Grillz by Nelly, featuring Paul Wall and Ali & Gipp. It's not just because gold and diamond fronts are inherently funny (which they indisputably are). But it's also the verbal dexterity of Ali, who spits lines such as: "where i got'em you can spot them, on the top and in the bottom, got a bill in my mouth like I'm Hillary Rodham." This has got to be the first time the Clintons got a shout-out in a rap song since Tupac took Bill Clinton to task for being "too old to understand the way the game is told."
2. The second song I love is Touch It by Busta Rhymes. My love for this song (or any of Busta's songs, really) is somewhat inexplicable since I have absolutely no idea what he's saying.
Honorable mention: The infectious theme song of the Eastern Motors commercials has been transformed into a dance track, which you can listen to here. I suppose this was inevitable. Now, what's the drop date for the Shoe City club remixes?
Why Dan Shanoff is a Dolt
His critical folly is his gross underestimation of the size and intensity of Steeler Nation. For proof of its size, look no further than this article or these pictures from across the globe. (Yes, this "proof" is antecdotal at best, but as the axiom goes, "the plural of anecdote is data.") For evidence of its intensity, see (via Deadspin) this web site, this very disturbing web site, the well-publicized story about the heart attack guy, or the better-publicized story about the shamed Beaver Falls student (who still apparently refuses to take off his John Elway jersey.)
(As an aside, in response to the Beaver Falls student story, a friend of a friend wrote the following: "Speaking as a former high-school teacher, I can assure you that this was standard practice in my classroom when the Steelers were on their way to a Super Bowl. Indeed, in 1996 I beat a student to death for wearing a Michael Irvin jersey to my class. All in good fun, of course..." As if you needed more evidence of the intensity of Steeler fans.)
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I know Dewey's much younger and much whiter, but I think there's a resemblance nonetheless - kind of like how Tom Brady looks like Yao Ming or Harry Carson looked like Glenn Close.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Lessons Jack Bauer Could Learn from Tupac
If Jack Bauer really wanted to fake his death and disappear from society, why did he only move an hour away from LA? With his experience in clandesine ops coupled with his utter ruthlessness, couldn't he leave the country? Head to Eastern Europe or something? Or even cross the border and hunt antelope in the Yukon Territory (I don't even know if there are antelope in the Yukon Territory, but whatever)?
I mean, here's my point. If Tupac could fake his death and get away with it for all these years, why couldn't Jack Bauer? Jack's a hardened government agent with countless kills under his belt. Tupac was a ballet dancer.
Could someone explain this to me?
Where are They Now? Karim-Abdul Jabbar
On a somewhat related note, I saw the Bush twins working out there this past Friday at around 5pm (they were going pretty hard on the eliptical machines). Apparently, the Sports Club/LA is quite the haven for C-list celebrities.
Really Bad Advertisements
Apparently, there is something you can do - dope him up with this concoction, the growth supplement of choice for 12 to 25 year-olds. The web site says it all: "Perhaps, you girls wanted to be able to look your boyfriend in the eye when he kissed you. Perhaps, you just wanted to see over the steering wheel when you began to drive. Or perhaps you are a parent of an adolescent or young adult who is concerned about their [sic] height."
This sounds like a horrible idea for a plethora of reasons (safety, efficacy, the unintended consequences on your child's self esteem from forcing him or her to take an herbal growth supplement, etc). But this is not a forum to discuss the need for FDA regulation of dietary supplements. Rather, I'd like to point out the group of kids they're using to market this thing:
A marketing disaster, to say the least. I mean, say I'm a short kid, and I hear this advertisement on the radio. I'm sick of not being able to see over the steering wheel when I drive. So I go to the web site, as instructed, to get more information. All of the sudden, I'm confronted with this collection of social misfits. And I start thinking to myself: "Holy shit, if I take this pill, will I start to tuck in my tacky, pastel color T-shirts into my jeans? Will I grow a cheesy porn-stache like that doofus in the blue? This shit's definitely not for me."
So that reminded me of another really, really bad advertisement I saw recently - this one for Grand Marnier in the most recent issue of The Atlantic. It's part of their recent "the conversation is waiting" ad campaign. This particular ad poses the following question: "Are we the United States, or simply the red and blue states?" Pictured under the question is a bottle of Grand Marnier, with the aforementioned punchline (i.e., "the conversation...") superimposed over it.
Now, I know Grand Marnier. I am a friend of Grand Marnier (literally - check out its Friendster profile). And I can honestly say that no one is capable of having this conversation after a few shots of GM (which is, by the way, the only acceptable way of consuming it). In fact, no one would even want to have this conversation - it's a total fucking buzz-kill, even in DC. It's much easier to talk about that girl you could have almost hooked up with at TomTom last weekend before you got too drunk to communicate with her anymore, and hey, let's do another shot of GM! now what was I saying?, and so on. Besides, the backdrop of the ad is completely red, which sort of contradicts a Grand Marnier spokesperson's assertion that "[w]e’re not taking a position on any of the issues in the campaign." Sure you're not, Steve.
Why can't anyone make good advertisements anymore?
Long Ride Home . . .
Friday, January 20, 2006
Well, it was a good run. Maybe next year we'll get that one for the thumb.
What Blogs Cost American Businesses, and Other Fun Time-Wasters
- Here is a facial recognition application that matches your face with that of a celebrity. Apparently, I'm a dead-ringer for Cat Stevens. I suppose this makes sense since the government classifies both of us as national security threats.
- This is the Music Genome Project. You type in an artist or a song that you like, and they'll create a free playlist of similar artists and songs they recommend for you. For instance, I entered "David Banner" and learned that I would also like "Mike Jones" and "Lil Flip" because all of their songs feature "Southern rap roots, heavy use of slang, and a heavy use of chordal patterning." The internet - it's for more than just porn.
- Apropos of my Commodore 64 posting a few days ago, here's an on-line C64 game emulator.
- Ode to Polamalu: "Number 43 Glides Across the Field. His Sweet Hawaiian Hair Flows Behind Him. He Makes Great Interceptions Which Makes Me Cheer. He is Troy Polamalu. He is Great."
- After what this professor did, maybe UMD should change its nickname from the "Terps" to the "Twerks."
- I can't really describe this game, but I'll try. Basically, you and your team of apparently homosexual pixie elves have to finish your battle tower before the evil Vikings finish theirs by placing the building blocks in numerical order. My favorite part: when you win a round, the head pixie elf shouts "prepare to get blasted!" before destroying the Vikings' tower with what appears to be a ping-pong ball.
- Speaking of getting blasted, let's hope that Joey Porter doesn't get shot in the ass this weekend before the big game...
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Killing Time at Work.
- Apparently, the 3% federal excise tax charged on every cell phone bill in America is used to support our war efforts. The Spanish-American war, that is.
- No wonder pirates are so hip these days.
- Jack Bauer is a beast.
- Bill Simmons should be throttled. He writes a 5,000 word column about the football playoffs this past weekend, spends the majority of it talking about the Pats-Broncos game - which was the least compelling game of the weekend - and virtually ignores the Steelers. Clearly, even after 3 out of the last 4 Super Bowls, Bill Simmons still has penis envy over the Steelers' timeless legacy. Further evidence of this - in his discussion of the most famous NFL play of all time, conspicuously absent is any mention of the Immaculate Reception. Oh really? That's not that's not the most memorable play of all time? Bite me, Simmons.
- Washington, DC is the shizzle. And not just because of Chuck Brown.
- Happy anniversary Mr. Mayor.
- "About fucking time."
- I'm going here for dinner tonight. I know you're jealous.
Mahrn' Cope Sounds
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Best. Computer. Ever.
For the record, this was my favorite computer ever (and I'm not just saying that because I had one until 1993 because my parents were too cheap to buy a IBM-compatible PC). The games for the Commodore 64 were unparalleled, from Buggy Boy to Henry's House to 4th and Inches (all of which you can see here).
Monday, January 16, 2006
Green Fucking Pigs
"Even post-apostasy, I still think some things are crimes against nature. These motherfuckers are making green pigs(!?!).
(There's a terrible Dr. Seuss joke here that I have spared you. Don't ever say I never did anything for you.)"
Very Gratifying Indeed
Even more gratifying when you consider that the league clearly wanted Indianapolis to win, as evidenced by: (1) a very blatant pass interference on Randle-El in the first half that was completely ignored by the refs, almost as if the color of Randle-El's jersey was "invisible"; (2) the fourth-and-one, fourth quarter play where the entirety of Indy's defensive line jumped offsides and the officials ruled that there was no infraction; and (3) the unconscionable reversal of Polamalu's fourth-quarter interception for reasons I still do not completely understand (something about his knee being down, which I thought was the very definition of when posession is established). But, you ultimately can't trifle with the football gods, and their disdain for the poor officiating was evident when they pushed that liquored-up, idiot kicker's field goal attempt ridiculously right.
Now, onto Denver. Personally, I think the Steelers are going to get slaughtered. I mean, we were able to contain Peyton Manning, but Jake Plummer's a whole different animal. My early pick, a la Bill Simmons: Denver, 105, Pittsburgh, 3.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Ajit at Third Edition Tonight
This Just In: Pittsburgh Destitute
Unfortunately, I wouldn't expect Pittsburgh's median income level to increase much anytime soon...
In Franco We Trust
There he is! Franco Harris, in all of his immaculate glory, looking down at us from up top. Certainly it would be bad luck to dismantle Franco's tree in the midst of the playoffs, would it not? So, the Christmas tree will stay until the Steelers lose, and if it rots and starts to smell disgusting, then so be it. At Cafe 227, we call that "character."
Monday, January 09, 2006
in addition to the possible still fest on sunday, for which we should tailgate for on temperance ave and fry perogies at half time, there may be an ad-hoc beer drinking session after my soccer game tuesday. Game time 8pm at Cordoza high school, beer drinking to begin around 9.30.
also, i busted out my chemistry set this weekend and began the evolution of what could become my new favorite drink. it involves fresh ginger juice, a bitch to squeeze but mad kick in your drink. a cross between hot sauce and caffeine. goes well with rum, vodka and gin. that's as far as i've gotten. will resume experimentation this weekend. i may need some guinea pigs. - cappa
Friday, January 06, 2006
Welcome to Cafe 227
Welcome to Cafe 227. Where your job is your credit. More to come...