Sunday, December 31, 2006

NFL Week 17

After yet another ugly week of 7-9, I am gladly at the last weekend of the season. This time last year heading in to week 17, I was 159-81. This year I stand at 139-101. A twenty win swing for the worse. Yuck. In comparison to the ESPN experts, I stand ahead of only Mortensen. And 11 games in back of Golic, the leader.

This season, for all its worth in Bears wins, will be gladly forgotten. I never was able to get in a groove and figure out the teams. So good riddance to 2006 in that sense.

Washington

Philadelphia

Baltimore

New Orleans

Houston

Dallas

Chicago

Kansas City

Indianapolis

New England

Jets

Cincinnati

Seattle

Minnesota

San Diego

Denver

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rocky Review


I've seen all the Rocky movies. The only one I didn't see in the theater is "Rocky V". Which, although by far the weakest in the series, still had its good moments.


When I first heard that Rocky Balboa was being made, I was more than a little skeptical. All I could think of was that scene in "Airplane! II" where there was a movie poster of "Rocky XXXVIII", with Rocky as an old man still fighting.


As the movie got closer to release, and the previews came on TV, however, they had me. I had to go see this thing.


So on Tuesday Lucy and I went to the theater. An action becoming more and more rare as the years pass, and as the movies in general stink even more and more.


A lot of the movie is spent in catchup mode. Filling in details of the man's life since he was last seen way back in 1990. I won't spoil it for anyone, but it is a lot like the first movie at its beginning. Slow starting. Getting to know the characters. Setting the stage for what is about to come.


And it was good. It did not disappoint. If you like Rocky, definitely go see it. Because I do think this is it. The way it ends is much better than the way it would have ended had "Rocky V" been the last of the series that was made.


I would not call the premise of the movie unrealistic, in the sense that any movie could be called unrealistic if you get right down to it.


On the grand scale of Rocky movies, it is not the best and certainly not the worst. But it does entertain.

So, having seen all of the movies, here is how I think they rank for posterity:

6. Rocky V- Rocky didn't even get in the ring for this one. What was up with that?

5. Rocky II- that baby/hospital stuff just dragged on too long.

4. Rocky IV- the "dark" Rocky movie. The only one where I didn't feel better leaving the theater than when I came in.

3. Rocky Balboa- a lot of similarity to the first movie

2. Rocky- probably "artistically" speaking, the best movie, but as thrilling as it was, not the most exciting one. Or the most quotable. Which is why I think the number 1 Rocky film is...

1. Rocky III- Mr. T's lines: "I pity the fool" and "Prediction: pain", among others. Pro wrestling with Hulk Hogan as "Thunderlips." Apollo Creed in Rocky's corner. This movie had it all.

For more Rocky stuff, including the great quotes from the movies, go here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Week 16

Last week 11-5. Overall 132-92. Just above Hoge and Mortensen at ESPN.

Green Bay

Kansas City

Pittsburgh

Atlanta

Chicago

Indianapolis

New England

Giants

Cleveland

Buffalo

St. Louis

San Francisco

Denver

San Diego

Dallas

Miami

Saturday, December 23, 2006



Seen a few of these. Thanks to TK of Katie's Beer for letting me borrow it.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Egg Nog, although only in small batches at a time. Come to think of it, hot chocolate nog sounds pretty good right now.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

He just tosses them under the tree unwrapped.

3. Colored or white lights on the tree and/or house?

I prefer white. We have colored, because everyone else likes colored. I did get a tree with white lights, though.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Hanging has been outlawed in Illinois for over 40 years. No. What a question.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Lucy prefers to keep snowmen up all year round. As far as Christmas goes, usually the Friday after Thanksgiving gives birth to Christmas decorations. The lights outside go up after Thanksgiving whenever a weekend's weather permits.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

I know of no holiday dish but desserts. Rum balls for me.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child.

The excitement building to a frenzy on Christmas Eve as the sun was going down and the actual "Eve" began.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

College freshmen don't usually need to learn the truth about Santa. Which is why I found out in 2nd grade. After talking about Santa to a classmate, I was asked incredulously if I still believed in Santa. Mustering up all my cool, and realizing at that instant that I had been had, I nonchalantly responded, "Of course not."

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

When my father's parents were still alive, we opened presents on Christmas Eve with them. We waited then for Santa's gifts Christmas morning and my mother's parents and family later on Christmas day. Now we open one gift Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

Just look at the picture. Are you that lazy you can't scroll up a few lines? Gee whizz! Ahem.

White lights, red beads, red and gold bulbs, and gold and red bows.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

If it's going to be cold anyway, let there be snow. Otherwise, I prefer warm days.

12. Can you ice skate?

Can I ice skate? Did I just get asked if I can ice skate? Can I ice skate? Actually, no, I'm terrible. But I've never fallen, either.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

No, I don't have a favorite. Too many good ones. GI Joes, Big Jims, action doll knights with plastic armor, army men, Fort Apache, medieval forts, farm stuff; I can't choose a favorite.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?

It used to be the getting presents, definitely. Now it's just time to relax from working and spend time with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Piy. What everyone else might spell p-i-e. Long story.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Besides this? I would have to say Christmas Eve service.

17. What tops your tree?

A large bow that matches the other bows on the tree.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

I've always been an All-Star receiver.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

"Parade of the Wooden Soldiers".

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or yum?

Canes made of candy rock! Yum.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nice Job


So, you won Person Of The Year. I'm proud of you. It was a long time coming, but you persevered.


Yeah, sure, I was hoping it would be me. Or at the very least, us. But, anyway, congratulations on your achievement...you!


My only consolation is that he didn't win. Or her. Or him, either. If they would have won, I wouldn't have had the will to live.


We might have pulled it off, but I think she had a hand in that.


And thank God, yes, thank God, it wasn't them.

Art Of The Day



For more real art, visit this link. Pretty great stuff.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Week 15 Picks

9-7 week last week. Overall 121-87, still trailing everyone but Mortensen.

Seattle
Dallas
Baltimore
Green Bay
New England
Tennessee
Bufalo
Jets
Giants
Carolina
Chicago
New Orleans
Denver
San Diego
Oakland
Indianapolis

Friday, December 15, 2006

And You Also Have The Deuce!

Because of my own feeblity, or because I've spent too much of my life watching sports, I just told somebody they had ESPN.



What I meant to say was they had ESP because they called me right before I picked up the phone to call them.





Note to self: early to bed tonight.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Barack Hussein, Lutherans, Ears, Albums, And The Other Paul Simon

If you're from Illinois, Paul Simon means this guy.




If you're from anywhere else, he means this guy, although around here we often call him Al.




Senator Simon was the son of a Lutheran pastor who lived in southern Illinois, which I firmly believe should be our 51st state. He lived in or near Makanda; I'm not sure which is accurate.

When I, and later Lucy, lived in Carbondale in the 1980s, he would attend Our Savior Lutheran Church when home from Washington D.C. The church also served as the Lutheran Student Center at SIU, one of my alma maters.

Like a regular guy, he'd drive up in his car Sunday morning, attend service, and then drive home, often waving as I would arrive late for Bible Class. Seemingly not a pretentious bone in his body. How an LCMS Lutheran had such liberal political ideas is beyond me, but I never saw anything that made me doubt his faith.


Now, there's no other way to say this, so I'm just going to put it out there. He had the biggest ears I ever saw.


Which brings me to what I heard today about Barack Hussein Obama, president-elect of the United States. He has big ears also (it must be the corn they grow here). Only Obama is apparently very sensitive about his humongoid ears. Evidently he has taken offense to someone named Maureen Dowd for commenting about them.


Overheard by a stray microphone, Obama told Ms. Dowd he was putting her "on notice" for her comments. He was evidently "teased" about his ears as a child.

On notice? What the heck does that mean? What is he, the Senate Principal? I've haven't heard that line since high school. On notice? This man wants to be our president? Ooops, I mean, this man is going to be our president?


This is just the kind of man we need in these tough times. A man so thin skinned about his physical appearance that to mention a flaw puts one "on notice".


Is this what we can look forward to when President-elect Obama takes office? Will he put Kim Jong Il on notice? How about that wacko Iranian President?


Nothing strikes fear in the heart than being "on notice". That is one spine-tingling threat. Will Ms. Dowd recover?

I'm sorry, Mr. Obama, but JUST LOOK at Mr. Simon's ears. What are YOU whining about? Your head COULDN'T HOLD Mr. Simon's ears.



But, to get to the point of and to end another almost-yet-not-quite-incoherent post, I would like to say a few words about the "other" Paul Simon.


The first music I ever purchased with my own money was in early 1980. The album was "Simon And Garfunkel's Greatest Hits." I had bought sports related albums and tapes in my life, but never music.


So here's to that album. And I'd be interested to hear from others- what was the first music you ever purchased?



Channel Changing And Station Seeking


Certain songs and certain artists make me frequency modulate my radio stations.

Instead of simply measuring the popularity of an artist by sales, let's ask Nielsen and Arbitron to start measuring their anti-approval. Such as who causes more channel flipping to occur.

Here are my top movers and shakers as of today. (Michael Jackson doesn't count. Too easy.)

Peter Frampton.
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Any artist.
Blue Oyster Cult.
Jackson Browne.
"Everybody Loves Raymond". (Except me)
The "Bob And Tom Show".
Matthew Lesko commercials (that guy with the question mark suit and millions in grant money).
"Santa Baby".
Phil Collins.
"South Park".
"Across The Universe" by The Beatles.
Bruce Springsteen. Although I do sort of like "Born In The USA".
Anything with Jim Carrey except "Dumb and Dumber".
Kenny G.
Michael Bolton.
Jon Stewart.
That "Songs of Worship and Praise" CD commercial.
"Happy Days" episodes featuring Joannie or Chachi.

I know there are lots more. But that's all I can think of for now.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Scottius Maximus Word Of The Month

For December, it's "clueless."

TO THE DICTIONARY
...


...Webster's Online, that is.


Clueless:
" Pronunciation: 'kl├╝-l&s

Function: adjective

1 : having or providing no clue; clueless case for the police to solve

2 : completely or hopelessly bewildered, unaware, ignorant, or foolish; clueless about what they want"


Definition number one is self explanatory. But not the one we're most interested in.


Definition number two is the one I want to focus in on for our word of the month. Completely or hopelessly bewildered, unaware, ignorant, or foolish.


And here to illustrate it beautifully is a nice 22 second video mined from the catacombs of YouTube.




My guess is, judging from the angle with the old courthouse dome taking out 1/4 of the picture, and looking in a southwesterly direction, that this is shot from the Adam's Mark Hotel, about 1800 feet from Busch Stadium. I'm amazed you can hear the crowd that well that far away through the glass. It's where most, if not all, visiting teams stay when playing in St. Louis.

Yeah, that's right folks. Something amazing is happening out your hotel window. It's called winning the World Series. Some people live their whole lives without seeing one, and one opportunity has just been wasted on y'all.

And yes, turning on the TV to find out what's happening would not be a bad idea.

"Clueless". SHEESH!!!!!

Week 14 NFL Picks

Due to internet outages, I was unable to post last weeks picks. Which was a blessing, because I was 7-9. The week before I was 9-7. Leaving me for the year at 112-80. Pittsburgh has already won, so I'm 1-0, overall 113-80. Better only than Mortensen. Ugh.


Pittsburgh

Atlanta

Kansas City

Jets

Jacksonville

Minnesota

New England

Dallas

Carolina

Cincinnati

Philadelphia

Tennessee

San Francisco

Seattle

San Diego

Chicago

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Brilliance In Humor


If you like to laugh, and you haven't heard this, click on this link, which takes you to This American Life, WBEZ Chicago. Click to listen to the program called "Them", episode 201.

Skip to the 25 minute mark. Then sit back and prepare to laugh out loud as humorist David Sedaris gives a 7 minute explanation of how the Dutch view of St. Nicholas is different from ours.

Hat Tip To Kletos at Amor et Labor.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Challenge For You


Every year I hear a certain song in December. It's a "Christmas" song in the generic American sense, not in a religious sense.

It's sung by Elton John. I've posted about his unintelligible songs before.

However, I think this one song is nearly the "cream of the hill", so to speak.

It's actually called "Step Into Christmas". Why, I don't know. Because the word Christmas is about the only word I can definitely make out.

Presented here are the unofficial lyrics to the song, as I hear them.

Now, listen to the song on this video as you read my interpretation:


(Must be sung loudly with an English accent)

"Welcome to my Christmas saw
I'd like to thank you for the ear
So I'm a sendin' you this Christmas car
To state it's nice to have your hair
I'd like to sing about all
the things- your eye that's blind can't see
So hop aboard the turkey boy- ohhh

Stamp it to Christmas with me- yeah!

Chorus:
Stamp it to Christmas
Babble together
Reefers watch the snowfall forever and ever
Eel cake- a feelin',
Come along with me
Stamp it to Christmas
The odd fishing's free.

Take care in all you do next year
And keep it smilin' through the days
It's even hell to entertain you
Ohhhh ho- we refine the ways
So merry Christmas- won it all
A snow place- I'd rather be
Than askin' you if you look strange
Stampin' it to Christmas with me

Repeat Chorus:
Stamp it to Christmas
Babble together
Reefers watch the snowfall forever and ever
Eel cake- a feelin'
Come along with me
Stamp it to Christmas
The odd fishing's free- ohhh ohhh ohhhhh!
(Repeat first verse and chorus)"



Can anyone out there do better with this than me?


And don't even get me started on Yellow Brick Road.

Is it just me, or does anyone else have an Elton John mumbling lyrics block? He has catchy tunes, but my goodness, how did he ever convince someone to let him sing them?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm Back


And I'm definitely in black. Actually, in black today, but not everyday. And definitely not back in "the black", if you know what I mean. Of course my fur is a little black. Depends on the sunlight. Although in a black light I glow a bluish gray hue. Which is weird because you can also see a lot of dandruff when you do that. I've seen ringworm glow under a black light, but that's a fluorescent green. And how come there aren't more fluorescent colors. Like fluorescent taupe. Which I always thought was the oddest name for a color. Taupe? What is that? Reminds me of toes, not just in the sound of the word, but I guess also it's a little flesh colored. If you're white. Toes, though, being part of feet, should never be brought up in conversation except with your doctor. I have an aversion to feet. Not that we shouldn't have them, just that we shouldn't be talking about them. Remember when Kramer's girlfriend lost her pinky toe in a freak traffic accident? And Kramer grabbed the toe and commandeered a bus to get it to the hospital so the doctor's could sew it back on? And Jerry thought at one time that one of his girlfriend's had her big toes sewed on her hands to replace her thumbs? Or maybe that was George. Anyway, does George magazine even exist anymore? I like Better Homes and Gardens magazine. And Sports Illustrated, only without all the ads. My favorite used to be the Sporting News. It used to look like a newspaper, because it used to be one. Now it's just another picture magazine. I've lost interest in it. Probably like what you've done reading this post up to this point.
Anyway, the cable's on again, and I'm back.

Monday, December 04, 2006

This Sums Up My Past 3 Days Perfectly



Before going any further, I must give a shout out to the website I "borrowed" this drawing from:

http://www.joelcarlo.net/gallery/albums/sketches/normal_mhc-blizzard.jpg.

We've been trapped without any internet access. Ice storm Thursday night and Friday morning put the cable down and out. I almost wish for the days of dial up right now. No, scratch that. Actually, I still don't miss those days.

At least we have power. My parents, along with thousands of others, do not have electricity right now. At least they have a gas fireplace and stove. When it's single digits, it can get cold fast. Some are living in hotels or shelters. So I could be griping about things that are a lot worse than not being able to access the internet for a few days.

Anyhow, if posting, visiting and commenting seem a bit scarce, it will hopefully be corrected soon.

In the meantime, I leave you with some pictures of myself from the weekend. It is amazing what you can do with all the free time from not blogging. Like ice skating and snowboarding, or just hanging around.