Will this be me in ten years?  


My understanding of the internet decreases every day. Not in the aggregate, but rather comparative to the younger generation. I wonder how long it will take to pass me by.

I'm listening to the Coffeehouse on Sirius and an accoustic version of "Change" comes on. It made me think of the HBO commercial that used it, so I try to find the video. The first link I get is this:


No need to actually click on it, as it's pretty straight forward. It's a Q and A...

Q: Anyone know the song that plays on the hbo commercial, the lyrics are _____?

A: It's ____. Next time, just google the lyrics with the word "lyrics" after it and you'll get the song.

Q: Oh wow, never thought of that. Good idea.

Holy Moses. If you're using the internet in the way as the original poster, you're doing it wrong. But then again, I know I'm not being fully optimal either. Please, if/when I ever become that bad, put me in a home.

The ending of The Shawshank Redemption  


I've long argued that the last scene of The Shawshank Redemption doesn't fit and should be removed. In short, the theme of the movie is that hope can set you free. Red becomes free the second he has hope of finding his friend Andy; whether or not he finds him is immaterial. Wrapping the story up with a big red bow at the end felt cheap and too "Hollywood".

Today I learned that I was right (as is often the case). From Reddit...

And this ending was written by Frank Darabont. The Stephen King story ends with Red on the Bus with the lines:

I hope Andy is down there.

I hope I can make it across the border.

I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.

I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.

I hope.

The movie ended this way until Darabont had the idea for the final scene of the two men meeting each other on the beach. After getting King's permission, they shot the scene and then tested both endings with audiences. The test audiences went crazy for the new ending and that's how it became part of the film.

This really saddens me. The book had it right. And those "test audiences" didn't really understand the theme of the movie. I'll continue to shut the movie off at the second to last scene, but my "hope" in humanity just dropped a little bit.

*Note: I tried to confirm the reddit-comment, but the details are vague. On IMDB, it says that the director fought against the change, but Castle Rock insisted.

Gabrielle Christian is a terrible actress  


I normally can't notice "bad acting", but Gabrielle's performance in House's "Unplanned Parenthood" was truly draw dropping. Make an effort to find the episode on Hulu. In particular, pay attention to her voice-over work in the opening scene. The scene is supposed to be her character filming her mother giving birth, but comes across as if we're watching a bad student-film.

I spent that entire opening sequence waiting for someone to yell "cut! can we do this again, except without the stilted, monotone dialogue?"

Highlights vs. Recap...tWWL gets it wrong again  


I always kick myself for not using mlb.com's videos more. If I had the time, I'd watch the recaps of all their games. I say recaps, because not only do they show the highlights, but they also tell the "story" of the game.

tWWL, on the other hand, gets it all wrong. Sure, they talk about the story, but it's just a voiceover while the highlights are being shown in quick succession.

Take, for example, last night's fake fieldgoal by Michigan State over Norte Dame. Clearly, when they got to this play, they should have built it up beforehand, and then gone silent. I want to see the tension as the players are waiting for the snap...to see each second in real time. Even though I know it's going to be a fake, I want to experience the moment on the field when it stops being a field goal attempt and starts being a pass play. Those few seconds are key.

But all we got is a sprint to the finish of the higlight reel.

I don't like brown M&M's in my TV shows.  

Posted in

As a kid, I barely knew who Van Halen was, but I was acutely aware of their "demand" for brown M&M's to be removed from backstage at their concerts. Like many, I mistook this as the ultimate in prima donna behavior. It was only years later that I understood their motives: it was their litmus test to see if the venue had met their more important requests in their rider. Such demands were often complicated and involved equipment and safety, and the band's confidence rested on their ability to see that this minor detail to candy was attended to.

When a TV show has continuity errors, relies on deus ex machina, or fails to adhere to the rules that they've created in their own universe, it makes me fear what lies beneath. These brown M&M's, a glaring admission to lazy preparation, deny me the ability to trust the writers. In the end, whether a vampire has the ability to glamor their way to a human-invitation into their home is meaningless. But if the writers don't care about that, do they really care about about staying true to the nature of their characters? Is there really anyone manning the ship?

In a behind the scenes look at Six Feet Under, we got to witness how the stories develop. A dry erase board had a list of characters, with potential story arcs and writers attached. Those writers were interviewed, and explained how they wrote for each character; it was quite obvious they viewed them as "real people". And as a result, you never saw Claire or Nate eating brown M&M's.

I missed the first five minutes, so I'll to double back on HBO West to confirm the rules, but it feels like there are two main rules:

1) You can't lie. and
2) Witholding information is lying.

I didn't think the writers had the intelligence to stay true to this. I was correct.

A) On the first date, Garner says "I'm sorry about that" to Gervais after hanging up the phone (with her mother). I don't think she was sorry. That's a weak one, i know. So I kept watching.

B) When he calls her later on, to go on a second date, she says "I gotta go". She didn't have to go. She wanted to go. EPIC FAIL.

C) For icing on the cake, after Gervais reads his fake play to the crowd, the Rob Lowe character rolls his eyes, but applauds. That applause was fake. He was hiding his feelings of jealousy.

Nobody reads this blog, and nobody cares about the fact that The Invention of Lying broke its rules, but this was very important to me.

Ok, I actually took the time to write down this Tim McCarver quote  


There are so many dumb things said by announcers, that I usually don't have the energy to remember them. But this one was something special.

Felipe Lopez, a position player, is now pitching for the Cardinals b/c they are out of pitchers. With a runner on first, he's forgetting to pitch from the stretch.

"Lopez has never done this before. He's only seen it on TV".

Watch HBO just for the extended "You Don't Know Jack" commercial  


You HAVE to see Pacino's hair when he's being interviewed. It's unbelievable. I don't think I'm going to be able to watch The Godfather for a long time.

Even Yahoo's TV Listing search is terrible  


What a joke of a company! I have my cable package loaded into their tv listings website, so I typed in "soccer" to see what channel Real Madrid was on today. Here are the results:


The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom (Documentary, Kids, 2007 - 2008)
Reality series will following stay at home moms, devoted to their families and secretly take on a new career. They are then given a choice of returning to their family full time or continue living the career life.
* Original Network: n/a
* Episodes
* Cast
* Reviews
* When is it on?
3.5 stars
Past Lies (Drama, 2008 - 2009)
Kim Furst appears to be an ordinary soccer mom living in the suburbs. But one day, a chance visitor from a stranger threatens to reveal her sordid past and drag her back into a world of crime.
* Original Network: n/a
* Cast
* Reviews
* When is it on?
* Rating: not yet rated
Mr. Troop Mom (Comedy, Kids, 2008 - 2009)
Desperate to connect with his 13-year-old daughter Naomi, Eddie Serrano volunteers to chaperone her troop at the Spring Action Classic at Hulkas Rock unaware he'll be the only guy in a world of girls. Treacherous rope courses, cutthroat canoe soccer and slippery slimeball wars are just the start of Eddie's introduction to the great outdoors…
* Original Network: n/a
* Cast
* Reviews
* When is it on?
4 stars

Excellent blog post about how a comedy ages  

Posted in

A Modern Family rerun led to me searching out Alan's old review of it, which led to him linking to this blog. In short, the guy shows a clip of the Honeymooners and asks his readers if they find it funny. Watch it, then read the comments.

It leaves more questions than answers for me, but it's exactly the kind of stuff I've wondered about before.


He had Mitre, not Mo, warming up in the top of the 9th.

If the yankees scored one run, it would be a tie game going into the bottom of the 9th.

If they scored more than one run, it would be a save situation.

If they scored zero runs, the game would be over.

In all three situations, Mo >>>>>>>>>>> Mitre.

Managers manage to avoid being blamed for losses.

...it wasn't "product placement". Product placement is when everyone at the table is drinking Snapple, and all the bottles conveniently face the camera ever so perfectly to expose the label. Product placement is distracting because you see Carmela Soprano holding her shopping bag in an awkward way to expose the name of the store, or because characters crowbar brand names into conversation unnaturally.

In last week's Modern Family, a plot point developed as the result of a unique product, the Ipad. The character has already been established as a geek/nerd, so it was very natural that he would be an "early adopter" of the product. Furthermore, this whole Apple Fanboy phenomonan is very common in our current society; such a storyline shouldn't be avoided just because it involves a product. We, as viewers, know people who'd wait in line for an Ipad. The character is that type of person. The storyline "fits".

Finally, the "image" of the Ipad wasn't manipulated artificially. The character who craved one is considered the "doofus" of the family, so his desire for one isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the product. This is not Jack Bauer saving the world using a Sprint phone or the President watching Fox News to get updated on the situation.

Other characters express skepticism about the product, calling it a toy. The only thing the Ipad is shown doing is to create a birthday cake that allows its "candles" to be blown out. Most people would roll their eyes at such a "feature". And while some have expressed a complaint about the show ending with the family oohing and ahhing over the gift, I think that's the perfect anti-feel-good message that this show is known for. The family cared more about the materialism than celebrating the birthday.

I hate product placement because it's so distracting. In order to appreciate a show, I have to forget that it's scripted. I have to believe in the characters, the scene, etc. The second I pause and say "hmm, why is that coke can placed there?" I'm taken out of the fantasy. But an actual story about something so common as Apple Fanboyism...that rings true to me.

Sorry Alan (who I rarely disagree with, but who hated the product placement), but I found nothing wrong with MF.

Game 1 out of 162 does in fact matter  

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I'm growing quite tired of the "don't worry, it's a long season" mentality swimming around the Internet today, after the Yankees opening night loss. While it is in fact only 1/162 of the season, 1/162 matters. And because it was against Boston, it matters twice as much, literally. Instead of being a game up against their toughest competition, they are now a game behind. That's a two game swing.

The Yankees will have to be two games better in 2010 than they would have had to been if they won a winnable game last night. Will those two games matter? Of course there's no way of knowing that now, but it's definitely possible. And because of the weakness of the human mind, we'll look at blown games in September if/when the Yankees should fall short. Because it won't be fresh in our minds, we'll forget about the game played on 4/4. But we shouldn't. That game was important.

Even more importantly, though, is that this game gave us a glimpse into the mind of Joe Girardi, and the image is not pretty. Although CC had only given up one hit through five innings, his control and effectiveness were decreasing. Going into the sixth, he was at about 86 pitches or so. While CC is a horse, he might not yet be in midseason form. Furthermore, the Redsox had their 2, 3 and 4 hitters due up, who would be facing CC for the third time. Each time a hitter faces a pitcher, he gains an advantage because he's becoming more familiar with the "stuff" the pitcher has on that particular night. He also learns how the pitcher wants to approach the at bats. And of course, a fatigued pitcher is less effective than a fresh one.

CC at 86 pitches, facing guys for a third time, is less of a pitcher than CC at 0 pitches facing batters for the first time. CC @ 86/3rd is also most likely < Robertson @ 0/1st.

But Girardi kept CC in to start the 6th. Pulling a pitcher who has only given up one hit would be so against conventional wisdom that I won't fault Girardi too much for leaving him in. But CC should have been on a short leash, and he wasn't. Two batters later, and there are guys on 2nd and 3rd with Youk coming up.

At this point, Girardi blew the game by leaving CC in. Sabs was closing in on 100 pitches, and we had more evidence that he was cooked. But Joe left him in because Ortiz, a lefty was on deck. Youk, the much better hitter, was effectively an afterthought just so Girardi could play the lefty/lefty matchup a batter later. After Youk doubled, Girardi got the lefty matchup that he wanted, but the damage was already done.

Robertson stopped the bleeding very quickly, but wasn't given the opportunity to pitch the 7th. He was pulled, instead for Chan Ho "are you kidding me?" Park.

When Park was signed, it was pointless at best, and a waste of a couple of million, but his damage would be minimized as the last man out of the Pen. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he'd be used in such a high leverage situation.

Robertson had only thrown a couple of pitches, Marte and Joba were available, and even Hughes was avaiable because he doesn't make his first start until April 14th. You have an off day tomm, so Mo is DEFINITELY available. Get through the 7th and 8th, and you have Mo close it out for the win.

Park immediately gives up the lead (which was reaquired the previous half inning) in extraordinary fashion, and is STILL left in the game to give up yet another double.

Marte and Joba proved mediocre last night as well, but at that point the damage was done. Besides, if your best relievers give up the lead, you tip your cap to the other team. What's unacceptable, however, is for your WORST relievers to give up the lead when they don't need to be in the game.

Park was mediocre to terrible for most of his career. He was decent in 2008, for the 2nd half of 2009 and then for 17 innings in spring training. He should not be on the 25 man roster, let alone pitching such high-leverage innings. Meanwhile, Mo never made it into the game.

I am NOT pleased.

YES! Network gets it right...  

Posted in

Pitchcounts listed on the top graphic. Always there looming. Love it.

Yahoo is terrible at googling  


If your computer doesn't have a Google Toolbar, you can just type your search terms in the URL bar and Google or Bing will pop up with the results. Most people don't realize that, but it's true. The other day, however, when I lazily did this, I must have been on a computer that had yahoo as its default search engine. The results were stunning.

Guess what I was looking for with these simple terms: "ny nj PATH".

If you think I was looking for the NY/NJ Port Authority Trans-Hudson website, you could work for Google or maybe even Microsoft. But not Yahoo. All of their results involved career paths for people living in NY or NJ. Colleges, getting your degree at home, etc etc. That kind of path.

After I got done laughing, I was still too lazy to go to google, so I added "train" to the search. To recap, I now had yahoo looking for this: "ny nj PATH train".

Information on when the band Train was playing in the NY/NJ area were the top results.


EDIT: After posting this entry, I tried to recreate the experience on Yahoo, but now it's giving me the proper results. Oh well, just take my word for it.

1834 Bar & Burger  

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Way back in Aught Nine, "1834 Bar & Burger" was a charming little wine-bar called "Perle". When news of its transformation spread, I was a bit apprehensive, as wine bars are rarer than burger joints in the area. However, their bacon-wrapped tater tots instantly hooked me, and "Perle" is now a distant memory. While there are some areas that could use improvement, I'll chalk that up to growing pains; the future looks bright for "the only sports bar in the financial district".

A review of 1834 absolutely must begin with their happy hour special. From 5 pm until close, you can get a burger and a beer for five dollars. FIVE DOLLARS. Other than street-meat and the five-dollar footlong, I challenge anyone to find a meal for that price. And while the beer may be limited to Bud-like variations, the burger is of high quality. A substantial patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a lightly toasted bun. It's really good, and worth the price of admission on its own. The beer is just the icing on the cake.

Have I mentioned the bacon-wrapped tater tots yet? Ok, just checking. In addition, their fries are decent and I've also enjoyed the pulled-pork sliders and mac-and-cheese. I've never had their fancier burgers, but my friends have been satisfied each and every time.

On one or two occasions, the service has been less than perfect, but I believe that's only because there are some new people working there. There is a difference between a server who tries, but makes a mistake, and a server who just doesn't care. Luckily, nobody from 1834 falls into that latter category. The intent of the new servers is clear, and they probably just need a little bit of experience under their belt before they become top-quality servers.

The only real negative of 1834 is subjective to me, and might actually be considered a selling-point to others. 1834 is a restaurant/bar on the top floor while the basement is more lounge/bar. We recently went to the basement part to watch March Madness and were subjected to a loud DJ that made watching the games impractical. I know this reeks of a "Get off my lawn" mentality, but the music was REALLY loud. And the music choices were, shall we say, interesting. It felt like someone grabbed an ipod and made a mix of all 3-starred songs. I heard music that I liked in the late 90's early 00's, but hadn't heard since. Because really, if I never hear James' "Laid" again, I think I'll survive.

But while the club-ish feel wasn't my cup of tea, there's always the upstairs restaurant as a sanctuary. So, this is really 2 bars for the price of 1. As 1834 becomes more established as THE sports bar in the area, it will be interesting to see if the basement evolves back into a sports-friendly vibe. There are a lot more TVs downstairs and they are situated in better locations.

As a final note, I had a small issue with 1834 during my last visit, and emailed them to explain my problem. I received a reply almost immediately and one phone call later everything was more than taken care of. It's that kind of customer-friendly atmosphere that has me going back there a couple of times a week. It also inspired me to write this review, as I have an active interest in seeing them succeed. And not just because I'm addicted to their 5 dollar burger/beer deal. Well, ok, that's a big part of it.

NBC really dislikes its audience (customers)  


I'll be brief, since many people have complained about this already...the way NBC time-shift their Thursday night comedies is beyond offensive. Instead of airing at 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, and 9:30, they all start and end two minutes later. While annoying, I don't begrudge them their right to make it more difficult for viewers to go watch other channels' shows.

The real crime, however, is that NBC fails to alert the cable companies of this change in scheduling. Thus, when you record one of their shows with your DVR, the last joke is cut off. Now, I happen to record all four shows on Thursday, but I watch them out of order.

So this is what my Thursday night viewing consists of:

A) Last joke of Community, almost all of Parks & Recrations

B) Almost all of Community

Then, on Friday, I watch...

C) Last joke of Parks & Recreations, almost all of the Office

D) Last joke of the Office, almost all of 30 Rock.

What gets lost for all eternity...

E) Last joke of 30 Rock.

This problem used to be much worse back when I was saving all my 30 Rocks (I was catching up on past seasons via Netflix).

I could manually add two minutes to each recording, but I don't want to. First, there's no guarantee how much longer each show will run, so it will just be a guess. And since it's a guess, I'd still have to start the next show "on time" just so the fronts don't get cut off. But if i did THAT, then I'd be using both tuners and couldn't watch another channel during that overlap.

Besides all that, I just don't want to do it mannually. That shouldn't be my job. Rather, I actually WANT to enjoy these shows incrementally less to spite NBC. Perhaps one day my interest in these shows will wane enough so I can cut them out of my life completely.

Then NBC will really get what it wants. Because clearly they aren't in the business of retaining customers.

Notes I took on the 1st half commercials for the Superbowl  


I'm not going to actually go back and write anything up though. Just a text dump. It was so much work. Reoccurring themes that are "funny": violence, men being miserable (both at work, and with their controlling wives), animals acting like people, and old people (especially if there is violence involved). Friend noted: "omg, that's absurd" is the overwhelming theme.

1. Company/Premise: Bud light – A man builds a house made out of budlight cans.
a. “Comedy” – People take the house apart house, to drink the beer. Final can exposes a woman in the shower.
b. Cliches – accidental nakedness is funny.
c. Notes: There’s a joke about the man being an environmentalist for recycling cans, but the guy refutes that (cans are full).
2. Snickers – Friendly game of football where two of the players are visually replaced with Betty White and Abe Vagoda, because they lack energy.
a. Comedy: Violence against old people is funny (Betty and Abe are tackled hard).
3. Tebow(?) – Timbow’s mom worries about her son.
a. Comedy: Violence against women is funny as the punchline is Tim tackling his mother
b. Notes: Was this the anti abortion commercial we read about?
4. CBS/Survivor – Standard commercial for their upcoming Heroes vs. Villains season.
5. Mercedes car – Their car is classy.
6. Boost mobile - superbowl shuffle – 1985 Bears come out to re-do their shuffle. The players are “old”, including Jim McMahon who comes out in an electric wheelchair.
7. Doritos – dog collar
a. Comedy: Man wants to torture dog by trying to make him bark for a Doritito (which would trigger an electric dog collar). Dog acts like a human, by undoing the collar and putting it on the man. Dog then barks, and man twitches like he’s been tazed. Dog eats Doritos.
8. Robinhood Trailer
9. Doritos – Man goes to pick up his date. Woman has a kid, who hits the guy and says “keep your hands off my mom and my doritos”.
a. Violence is funny, thinking of women as property is funny, and the single mom happens to be black..
10. bud light – Stuck up scientists think the world is ending when they see a meteor heading for Earth. They drink beer instead of worrying. Meteor is the size of a nut and the scientists laugh about being wrong. (Is Budweiser trying to discredit global warming?)
11. NCIS/CBS – NCIS must be known for headslaps, b/c all their fans slap each other in the head in various scenes. Violence = funny.
12. Coke – Billionaire Mr. Burns goes broke. But, after being given a coke, he’s happy again.
a. Multi billionaire corporation Coke makes light of the recession.
13. Godaddy.com – half naked woman gets a massage. Massuse gets half naked to be on go daddy.
14. Undercoverboss/CBS – New TV show where CEOS go undercover in their own companies.
a. Making CEOs sympathetic?
15. Doritos – Man fakes his death to eat a lot of Doritos. Casket falls over.
a. At first I thought the man was a little person, but he looked normal size when the casket fell.
16. Budlight – people talk in synthesized voices, like horrible pop/dance music. Some musician is at the end of the commercial.
17. Monster.com – Another animal (this time a badger) acts like a human by playing a fiddle. His skill is unique, but Monster found him a career.
18. Wolfman - trailer
19. NFL Halftime Show.
20. Bridgetown tires – whale in a truck.
21. shape-ups shoes – normal
22. cars.com – same as the old one, but with hot women
23. cbs – overall commercial. Shows headslap, and then shows two and a half men. Charlie Sheen beats women and gets away with it!
24. Budweiser – bridge is out, town rallies to save truck. Old man in wheelchair. Dog helps
25. Sanchez(?) Women’s heart attacks.
26. Letterman / oprha, jay.
27. amazing race.
28. casual Fridays – ugly people naked. Carreer builder
29. I wear no pants – dockers
30. brett farve – retiring honday insurance.
31. Budlight – people stuck on an island (Lost) prefer to party with beer instead of getting off the island.
32. Dove – fast song where a man’s entire life is shown.
33. NFL draft (arcade fire song)
34. NFL halftime commercial.
35. Men – voiceover about all the stuff men have to do. – dodge “Man’s last stand”. “I will drive the car I want to”
36. flowers in a box. Hot man gets bad flowers, but ugly woman gets nice flowers.
37. papajohns –
38. CSI in space (star wars and startrek reference)
39. Alice in wonderland
40. Kiss – Dr. Pepper – little kiss (?) little people.
41. Grounghog day, paulumolu sees his shadow – trutv 6 more weeks of football.
42. CBS tv commercial – how I met your mother? Maybe? Falling behind.
43. Harry potter at universal studios.
44. man has no spine – can’t watch the game. Live portable tv would mean he doesn’t have to wear a skirt.
45. intel core processor – robot’s feelings are hurt when guy says that the new processor is the best thing they’ve ever made.
47. Who commercial
48. ncis
49. pacific

2nd half
megan fox (violence – guys slapping)
motorolla – punchbuggy (old man punched in the crotch)
denny’s – chickens worried about having to lay a lot of eggs.

MLB 09: The Show might be the best sports game ever made  


I'm going to use bullet points instead of real sentences b/c I'm dying to get back to the game. 11 hours last Saturday, and a couple hours last sunday (and yesterday) just aint going to cut it. Superbowl is being skipped b/c quite frankly, it can't live up to this game.

Yankee specific awesomeness:

- They have both the new and old stadiums.

- They do the roll call for home games. Including the camera cutting away between batters to show a player (like Damon or Cano) waving to the crowd after their name is called.

- Red Sox fans HATE the Yankees, with a particular passion against Jeter, Arod, and Damon

- When Mariano comes out to close, the camera follows him from the bulpen, just like they do on ESPN. They even play a generic song that sounds like Enter Sandman

- Lots of yankee fans make it to road games in Baltimore, Tampa, etc.

- Everyone looks exactly as they do in real life. Both in terms of actual appearance (faces, body types), but also in stances, pitching motions, etc. Everyone. Andy stares from the tip of his glove, Ian Kennedy does his Moose impression when coming out of the stretch, etc etc.

General awesomeness:

- Say a pitcher has a B+ fastball and an B- slider. On any given game, there's variation, so that the fastball might start at a B, but the slider at a B+. Then, within the game, if you develop the fastball and throw it for strikes, it will get better. But if it gets hit, it will drop. So there's game strategy as to what to throw, and when.

- the computer learns your tendencies, both with hitting and pitching.

- you need to have plate discipline, or you are doomed.

- you can guess pitch location (nine choices, upper left, upper, upper right, etc etc) and pitch type (a typical starter will have 4-5 pitches and a reliever will have 3ish). So each pitch gives you a 1 in 36 chances of being perfect. The strike zone will glow in unique ways depending on which (if any) element you get right. Sooooo much strategy involved in that. With a power hitter, i'm looking high and tight for a 4-seem fastball. Behind in the count, i might look down in the strikezone. etc etc.

- The video presentation is just amazing. Animations are fluid and natural. Turning a double play is beautiful. Sometimes, if you really crush a homer, the camera lingers on the hitter instead of following the ball. I can't explain it, but this game has NAILED what it's like to watch a game on TV.

- You set ticket prices, tv contracts, building facilities like saunas, pay for scouts, decide who to scout, take out loans if need be, etc etc etc. Overwhelming number of choices.

- hitting a walk off home run is one of the most fun things i've ever experienced. There were no pies to the face, but the celebration at home plate was great none the less.

- YOU CAN UPLOAD SONGS INTO THE GAME. So, as soon as I'm done typing, I'm going to put in the real Enter Sandman and set it as Mariano's entrance music. Jeter's going to get Empire State of Mind, and then i'm going to spend a few hours to think of something good for Arod.

- You can fastfoward the game in seconds. Pushing up on the cross pad pauses the game AND gives you the most used options at that moment. So if you are pitching, you can go instantly to the bulpen to warm someone up or you can "skip to the next half inning"

- different umpires have different tendencies. And they mess up from time to time!

- When pitching, you can't be perfect. Aiming for the corner might result in being way off the plate. Some of that is random, but it's also based on the skill. Pitching is like old school tiger woods games. First tap starts the meter, second tap decides the power, and third tap decides accuracy.

- pitching from the stretch is much more difficult, as it should be!

- Bah, I'm boring myself, i must go back and play!

Why would anyone ever trust their eyes...or their brains  


When things like this exist?


Clearly our brains can be tricked into interpreting data incorrectly, and yet we take this unwavering pride in them, as though they are infallible.

[it's not letting me embed the picture directly...i'll try again later. EDIT: I was able to embed a still of the .gif, but click on the link to see the actual motion]

Carson Seacrest  


I haven't really followed Late Night television since college, but the Late Night Wars have caught my interest. And by caught my interest, I of course mean that I am obsessed and will read any and all articles on the subject. Color me surprised, then, when I learned that David Letterman was poking fun at Carson Daly and his 1:30 AM show. First, I didn't know even know there was a 1:30 AM show. More importantly, though, was the fact that the articles were portraying Carson Daly as a whipping boy of Late Night and not to be taken seriously. I wondered how this could be possible, considering how successful a career he had had since hosting American Idol.

It wasn't until listening Stern review the New Year Eve's shows that I started to put the pieces together. After bashing Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve*, with Ryan Seacrest, he then went into Carson Daly being apart of a different broadcast. Suddenly I was transported into the last scene of Usual Suspects where the detective realizes that the witness was Keyer Soze. Except in this case, my horrifying discovery was that Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly were two people.

Did you know that Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly are not the same person? Because I didn't. I mean, not really. I've heard of both names, of course, but for some reason I combined them into one super[annoying] celebrity. I pictured a career path where a no-talent hack started on TRL, and then moved onto American Idol, where he continued to lack talent. And because he excelled at saying "Welcome to American Idol", this Carson Seacrest fellow branched out into many other lucrative gigs.

The world is twice as annoying now that there are two Carson Seacrests walking around. These people are rewarded for mediocrity. They do not have talent, and are slowly taking over all of television. They are dangerous, and they are multiplying!

*[sidenote: Dick Clack does the exact same shtick every year for New Years. Dick teases Ryan for not having to endure bad weather, then says the EXACT same lines about wishing everyone a happy new year from the bottom of his heart. You can't really appreciate how unoriginal it is until you hear clips from the past three years all in a row]

Conan vs. Leno  

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Well, if Howard isn't God, then I guess neither am I  

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Attempting to give advice to JD, Howard recently explained a situation where he was awaken in the middle of the night by a wrong number calling. The old Howard, he said, would have been unable to go back to sleep and been furious at his situation. The new Howard, however, realizes that the human experience is filled with situations where you are faced with these "unfortunate" situations, and it's absurd to be angered by them. In fact, getting upset by them is an indication that the person has a God complex and thinks that bad things shouldn't happen to them.

This really hit home for me. Lots of little things bother me....a lot. The subtitle of this blog is about having a "furious anger and murderous rage"! And really, there's only been about two or three really bad things that have happened in my life. Mostly, it's the inconsequential stuff that bothers me.

And maybe it is the result of a God complex. That I sit around and think "life would be fine as long as nothing bad every happened to me...ever.

A couple of weeks ago, a woman bumped into me as I was walking, and as I tried to regain my balance, the wire to my headphones got caught in the door. Ultimately, my headphones broke, and while this was inconvenient (they were pretty good headphones and replacing them was going to take an effort), my rage was disproportionate to my actual inconvenience. It felt like the end of the world, just like it does if/when I spill something on a shirt I like.

I'm not one for New Year Resolutions normally (though, I am rushing through this post so I can submit it before midnight, to keep with my ONE NYR this year), but being able to better tolerate these little bumps in the road is definitely up there for 2010. So, my headphones are broken. Big deal. Buy a new pair, and move on.

Thanks Howard!


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Graham Nash should be kicked out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame  

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I'm finally getting around to watching HBO's presentation of the Hall of Fame concert from MSG, and Graham Nash is ruining the experience. I knew I was in for some uncomfortable awkwardness when he came out barefoot. I'm still haunted by Keller Williams doing the same thing in the first ever concert I attended live. How is someone supposed to enjoy music when the image of bare feet on a dirty stage is so overwhelming?

But let me backtrack. I appreciate music from that era as much as anyone. And CSN are legends. But let's not pretend that they are still cool. When Jerry Lee Lewis kicked off the show, he knew his role. He played Great Balls of Fire, and then humorously kicked the piano bench away. He wasn't trying to rock, he was having a little fun with the fact that he's an old man that used to rock.

But Nash looked delusional out there. An old man in fancy clothes but barefoot. How edgy! And then his singing was the most melodramatic overacting I've ever seen. Eyes closed, over the top hand gestures, and swaying. You really need to check it out to get the visual. Juxapossed against Crosby's stoic presence, it's truly a sight to behold.

After about the third song, I stopped feeling sorry for him and started to feel really uncomfortable. This guy is completely unaware. And he's ruining the music for me. Put some shoes on, and open your eyes when you sing.

Twenty > Two Thousand. End of story.  

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[the above article, which explains why we should be saying "twenty-ten" led to this email]

Ms. Asimov:

You just made my day, weekend, and year! I've been interested in this topic for the better part of the decade. In the 20th century, discussing the future (whether in movies, news, etc), people always referred to it as "Twenty-_____". However, they failed to consider the impact of the year 2000; people had to say "Two Thousand". And "Two Thousand and One" obviously comes after Two Thousand.

I waited with bated breath to see how 2010 would turn out. I wondered out-loud to friends who, if anyone, from our society was powerful enough to switch back to Twenty. Would it be entertainers on TV? Newscasters (dear God, anyone but Fox News)? Or maybe this was the change President Obama had in mind.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed the Grammar Police would be leading the revolution! Before even finishing, I forwarded your article to all of my friends, telling them that our long nightmare was finally over. Thus, I'm sure you can appreciate my panic when I finally got to the paragraph titled "Maybe not". Was all my excitement premature? Was this article going to leave more questions than answers? I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that your inclusion of Professor Lakoff's so-called "expert" opinion only hurt the oppositions' creditability. I heartily laughed as you brought the Linguistic professor to his knees using his own words against him.

Nevertheless, Lakoff predicted, " 'Twenty-ten' is gonna take over. It's shortest. It's easiest to understand." (emphasis added). I'm 'gonna' take Lakoff's opinion with a huge grain of salt!

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for your fantastic article. It might be a little premature, but you may have already written the most informative piece of the decade. The bar has definitely been raised for the "Twenty-Tens".


My first lie of 2010...(500) more by this Summer  

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This is just between you and me, so don't tell Netflix, but I hated (500) Days of Summer. I hated almost everything about it, and yet, I felt the need to lie to Netflix and give it 3 stars. First day of the new year, and I found myself facing a great moral dilemma. I'm still not sure if I made the right decision, and may live to regret it, but it had to be done.

Netflix's 5-Star system is inadequate in terms of capturing the many shades of grey I can feel towards a movie. 1 star (hated it) and 5 stars (loved it) are fine, and even 4 stars (really liked it) is really just "5 stars, but with flaws". But there's a whole spectrum between 2 and 3 stars.

Where does "I watched the movie, and don't regret watching it, but I don't recommend it, and didn't really like it" fit? (The Taking of Pelham 123, Taken)

Or "Wow, this movie was bad, and I know this because I've watched it on HBO three times this month"? (Sex and the City)

Or "Hmm, I think I really loved this movie, but I could see why someone else might hate it" (Funny People)

Or "This movie is so enragingly bad, that I'm going to get out of bed and email my friends insisting that they too watch it so I can have company in my misery" (Bride Wars)

Or "Ugh, This movie is so bad that I actually had to turn it off, BUT, I appreciate the effort and wish I did like it" (Slackers)

Like I said, I hated (500) Days of Summer and hated almost everything about it. I hated how they crowbarred hip music (Pixies, The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian) to mask the fact that they were telling the same old cliched story of unrequited-love. I hated how their attempt at humor involved a 10 year old girl being the "voice of wisdom" for her older brother. I hated the Momento-like gimmick of telling the story in non-chronological order. I hated the cheesy "50's Health Class Video" voiceover. But there was this great scene where the guy checks out his reflection and sees Han Solo wink back at him...

Sounds like a 2-Star rating, right? Wrong. Because if I squint, this movie can look a lot like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a movie I really liked. My fear is that Netflix won't be able to understand why I hated the former, but liked the latter. And I'm pretty confident that they won't be able to because I can't do it myself. Nick and Norah was too hip for it's own good, telling a cliched story with an ultra-hip soundtrack. So why one and not the other?

Where's my "disliked the movie, but don't read anything into that" rating? The "failed to execute, but let's not write off movies like that" star? So, Netflix, because I don't think you can handle the truth, I'm forced to lie to you. I'm sorry, but that's the way it's gotta be.