Cafe 227

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It Sure Beats Playing "Fur Elise" on the Piano.

I've got to admit, this talent show routine is kind of impressive.

Introducing Ether Breather

A good friend of mine recently introduced a new blog focused on social media and current trends in speed/thrash metal. (Actually, it's only focused on social media - I just wanted an excuse to link to the disturbingly well-researched Wikipedia entry for "Slayer.") The blog's name is "Ether Breather," and I encourage you to check it out and add it to your RSS readers.

How to Improve your Finances.

Here's an idea - how about not buying so much needless shit on eBay?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Who Said It Didn't Pay to Drive Drunk?

From my wonderful home state of Georgia, Kathy Jefcoats reports in this story that 3 guys who were angry with their designated driver's directions (or lack thereof) took the next logical step. They STABBED HIM. What a great country.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rappers Run out of '70s Songs to Steal, Move onto the '80s

I've previously expressed my disdain for popular hip-hop. The lyrics are uninspired and lethargic; the beats are mostly recycled wholesale, primarily from old Isley Brothers songs. Of course, this has been going on for some time now.

But recently, I've noticed a somewhat more unsettling trend. (I'm not sure if this trend itself is recent, just that I've noticed it recently.) I guess that contemporary hip-hop beat-makers have run out of old Isley Brothers tracks to steal loops from, so now they've moved onto a different oeuvre - songs of the 1980s. Some of the victims of this beat-stealing are easy to identify, such as Afrika Bambaataa's "Looking for the Perfect Beat" (blantantly ripped off by DJ Khaled and Jermaine Dupri) and Paul Engemann's theme song for Scarface, "Push it to the Limit" (appropriated by Rick Ross, who barely changed the name.) It's harder for me to identify the "creative inspiration" for other songs, such as UNK's "Walk it Out" or anything by Pretty Ricky, but it's clear that they have a distinctly '80s sound.

On the face of it, I have nothing against the sampling of songs from any era. I mean, that's kind of how it's done, right? That's why DJs spend hours and hours digging through crates of LPs to find that perfect snippet of a song, which they can then spin into a dope beat.

But some songs, in my opinion, are strictly off limits. One such song is Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock." Now, I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain the cultural significance of "Planet Rock" in this space - go do some web research on Zulu Nation if you're curious. All you need to know is that "Planet Rock" created the foundation for hip-hop. Which is why Lil Wayne's recent pilfering of it - in a trifling song called "Pump that Bass" - is completely unforgiveable.

I implore all of you fans of real hip-hop out there to join me in shunning Lil Wayne.

Friday, January 26, 2007

How to Have Fun on Long Flights

I'm pretty sure this reinforces every single negative Arab stereotype. But it's pretty funny nonetheless. Thanks to Conor for passing this along.

If you are sitting next to somone who irritates you on a plane or train follow these instructions:

1. Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case.

2. Remove your laptop.

3. Start up

4. Make sure the guy who is annoying you, can see the screen.

5. Close your eyes and tilt your head up to the sky.

7. Then hit this link:

Dixie Liquors Closes it Doors; Tequila Grill Becomes a Lame Bookstore

Today is a sad day, indeed. I just found out that Dixie Liquors, which provided me with a steady flow of Mad Dog 20/20 for four glorious years while I was in college, is shuttering its doors for good. After Eagle Liquors closed in 1999, Dixie was the only remaining liquor story on M Street west of Wisconcin Ave. I'm not sure what the Georgetown student body is going to do now - I wonder if Wagner's still delivers.

In other depressing alcohol related news, the space formerly known as Tequila Grill - which use to serve cheap margaritas and free tacos at happy hour - is being turned into an incredibly lame bookstore. An ignominious end to such a storied watering hole.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Return of the Shades

So, you have probably been wondering where I've been for the past month or so. (Actually, since I have precisely ZERO readers now, I'm sure you haven't.) If you must know, I've been interviewing for the Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach vacancy. I had a six-hour interview last week, which I thought went pretty well. Unfortunately, I found out Monday that I didn't get the job, which is par for the course these days:

Dear Mr. Shades:

The MBA Admissions Board [of a super-elitist, East coast, Arab-hating university] appreciates your interest in our MBA Program and the considerable effort evident in your application. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a place in the MBA Class of 2009.

Managing Director, MBA Admissions & Financial Aid [and Player Hater]

Hey, thanks guys! Although those four months I spent frantically working on my application amid 70-hour work weeks are lost forever, it sure was an awesome character builder. We'll have to do it again sometime.

Sensing my profound disappointment, my significant out-of-town guest (who sadly returned to her temporary residence in Zamunda last week) dropped me the following note, which put things in perspective and really cheered me up:

Dear Mr. Shades:

This letter is to inform you that by not attending [super-elitist, East coast, Arab-hating university] you will save a boatload of money, two years, and your dignity.

All the very best,
your superego

So, thank you, significant out-of-town guest from Zamunda. You're truly the best.

Johnny Shades has returned, and he's ready to face the world again. (And by "world," I mean "this tiny virtual network of like-minded individuals, most of whom I went to college with.") So keep your eyes on Cafe 227 for a whole slew of fun stuff, such as the following television commercial for a video game retailer. (Make sure you watch it until the end. I refuse to believe this actually aired.)

Wiz Khalifa

Who knew hip-hop represented the burgh? This kid isn't so bad.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"24" Demonizes Arabs, and I Won't Stand for it.

Actually, I'm much more offended by the fact that they tried to pass Kumar off as an Arab. Everyone knows he's of Gujarati Indian descent.

Nonetheless, check out the ADC's very own Tony Kutayli - a good friend of Cafe 227 - on the Paula Zahn NOW show from a few nights ago. It's hard to argue with him. I mean, I love 24, but we're only five episodes into the season and every Arab (and Indian) on the show has turned out to be sinister. (Except for Hamir Al-Assad, and that's only because he's half British.)

Move Over Ed Bradley, Here Comes Jim Vance...

My sources tell me that DC-area broadcasting legend, NBC-4's Jim Vance, was in Fatty's Custom Tattooz today for a piercing. Unfortunately, it was nothing too racy - just his left earlobe. Clearly, Jim Vance is trying to take over for the late, great Ed Bradley as the "Super-Cool Black News Guy with the Pierced Ear."

UPDATE: Apparently, the analogy to Ed Bradley wasn't all in my head. When I brought it up with my source, here's what he said: "Funny you should mention that. When I asked Vance why he was getting it done, he said that him and Ed Bradley go back 40 years. Jim said it was HIS idea to get an ear pierced first, but Bradley beat him to it. NO WAY could Vance get his ear pierced then. With Bradley now passed, the piercing is in part to remember his friend, in part to celebrate the fact that he can do it now without being accused of biting Ed's style."

PS - Johnny Shades is back, and badder than ever. Expect a whole slew of new posts over the next few days.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Shaquille O'Neal & MENSA

I found this interesting article regarding earning potential and height. Social psychologists have long suspected the reason taller people make more money than shorter people is because taller people are perceived to be smarter and more capable. Evolutionary psychologists would probably argue taller people are perceived to be stronger and more likely to survive (male deer with the bigger horns or peacocks with the most feathers).
Recent studies have shown, however, that taller people are just more intelligent than shorter people. All of this brings up an interesting point: if Yao Ming, Shaq, and Tim Duncan didn't play basketball and devoted more time to school, would they be geniuses? I cannot imagine Manute Bol would be president of MENSA or work for NASA as an astrophysicist.
The moral? Give your kids HGH to make them taller, or marry some Amazon woman.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shades is a Fraud

As one can see from my title, I have a bone to pick with the man, the myth known as Johnny Shades. While I was skimming down his list of things to check out, I saw something that caught my eye. At first I thought I was still asleep or had been drugged and fell into a deep semi-conscious state of awareness, but I was not mistaken: it was a link to an article about Allen Iverson and his (now-completed) trade. Feeling like Neo in "The Matrix" when he saw the same black cat twice, I said, "Whoa". Haven't I seen this article before? Yes I have, because I WAS THE ONE WHO WROTE ABOUT THE ARTICLE IN A PREVIOUS POST!!! I guess Shades doesn't take time to read posts from his indentured servants. As Huggy Lowdown would say, "Johnny Shades, you are Bama of the week, week, week...".

Now that my heart-rate has decreased to a rather calm 110 beats per minute, how about them Eagles??? The insane and futuristic idea of a playoff in sports is one of the reasons the NFL is better than the college system. While both entities are out to make money, at least the NFL doesn't hide its' intentions. The NCAA and Myles Brand mask their intentions by saying, "We are looking out for the students and their education." What a crock of fecal material.

The group of people who believe the students-athletes in BIG sports (football and basketball) are justly compensated with free tuition and an education are naive. Most of them are only playing ball so they can go to the next level: NBA or NFL. Most of them see college as a means to an end. They do not have any long-term thinking regarding their days after playing sports. Schools bring in these kids who can barely pass high school (despite having tutors and easy classes), use them up, and then forget about them. Then, the school presidents team with big corporations to create 487 bowl games in order to make money. There was an International Bowl this year in Toronto! What's next? ("Live from the sunny capital of Iraq is the first annual Baghdad Bowl between SouthWestern Louisiana State and the University of Buffalo. And what is sure to be a first in a sporting event, the fans in the stadium are also wearing helmets to protect them from flying shrapnel!").

What a racket. Albert Gonzalez should indict the NCAA and the college presidents under the RICO statute. Anyway, I would love to see Boise State and Florida play for the title. Maybe when I fall asleep tonight.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Support the Funniest Hoya We Know

and vote for him

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Spiders on Drugs

Posting will be sporadic (at least from me) over the next few weeks as I (1) entertain a rather significant out-of-town guest and (2) lament the Steelers' failure to make the post-season for the first time in years. Hopefully, my good-for-nothing "co-contributors" will step it up. (Already, I see that out newest contributor, mzp108, has added more value to Cafe 227 in one day than the others have in the past several months, with the notable exception of Big Worm.)

Until I can fully rededicate myself to Cafe 227, I will continue to post entertaining interweb-related links for your viewing pleasure, such as this fascinating mini-documentary about the effect of psychoactive drugs on the behavioral patterns of Canadian spiders.

Get Your Kicks On...Route 22?

Due to a tantilizing conversation with Johnny Shades and Pghgirl over Thanksgiving about the infamous "Drive Thru Strip Club" Climax on Route 22 outside of Pittsburgh, I became obsessed with the very premise of a drive-thru strip club. What exactly does the ride include, how much is it, do they have menus of girls you can choose from??? I promised Johnny Shades for the sake of research I would investigate first hand.

Well, I'm a pussy. Since Thanksgiving I've driven past Climax no less than 5 times (I like Pittsburgh) but I never got the courage to "drive-thru." Yesterday, my mother shared with me a news piece she saw about a man who was arrested for leaving his 3-year old child in the car for three hours while he went into this said strip club. Now, he was obviously not driving through but I looked on line for the article regardless. Unfortunately, I did not find anything but I did find this...

I am aware that this article is from 2005 but it answers so many burning questions. I hope you enjoy...and don't think I'm too weird, if you drove past a strip club advertised "Drive Thru" for 6 years of your life, you'd want to know more too. (PS - I know there is a better way to insert a link, sorry I'll do it next time!)