Thursday, December 29, 2005


Today I put the finishing touches on three days of golf, split between Myrtle Beach (TPC, Tidewater) and Kiawah (Ocean Course). All three rounds delivered scores in the mid-80's, and have helped prop up my handicap heading into 2006 (a minor gift to myself). I may at some point describe the rounds in detail, but in summation:

1.) I've returned to the SW from bunkers, as opposed to the 60', as I can easily control both the flight and distance.

2.) My driver is in shambles, I have no idea where it is going. I made good use of the dozen Pro V1Xs that I received as a Christmas gift.

3.) I chap easily.

4.) If anyone has any putting tips, I am all ears. I also need a suggestion on a decent 3W, and not from anyone named Owens.

5.) Coming to Myrtle for golf between March - August is pointless, as gorgeous as the week unfolded. Temperatures in the mid '60s and reasonable rounds on excellent courses (save Kiawah).

Thursday, December 22, 2005


After months of searching, ending in a foraging effort through bins at Best Buy (a flea market in December) I found and purchased 'Better Off Dead' on DVD. It was just what I wanted for Christmas. I certainly ain't holding my breath on a Virginia bowl win.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Not the 25th, but today, the shortest day of the year, cementing my vampire-like existence when I leave work at 5:30 and it is pitch black. Looking foward to WD40'ing the joints next week for 3-4 days of golf after a two month layoff. December in DC has really sucked, between the cold and first week snow.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Secret Santa

Nothing exudes class like purchasing a six-pack of Miller Lite and ten Lottery scratch-off tickets at 9:15 on a snowy Thursday morning. It was extra classy to inquire whether 7-11 took a credit card for the purchase.

I know it is a gift I would like to receive.

Monday, December 12, 2005


I don't understand how RIM (Blackberry) has been unable to settle their patent-realted suit with NTP. $450M is quite a write-down, but could easily be withstood by RIM, and the days that pass without settlement only serve to eventually eat into the market monopoly enjoyed by RIM.

RIM should offer a mixed settlement of $$$ (<$450M) and equipping all goverment employees (underprivileged children, etc.) with Blackberries cost-free for two years. The cash hit to the company would decrease, they would be able to expand the market share of their brand, and NTP would be cast in a negative light for not accepting a deal that would assist a government/non-profit/positive association.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Expressively Frustrating

On weekends I really enjoy being able to watch European Tour golf tournaments. While watching an event from South Africa I was finally able to pinpoint somthing that had been bothering me for a while, the reactions/expressions of frustration that tour pros exhibit on most of their shots.

Not once after missing a putt from within 20 feet did a player not make some sort of outwaard gesture as an expression of annoyance (kicked putter, head shake, wince). While golfers rely on their game and expect to make every putt, their propensity to whine after missed shots has become cliche'. If I were to sum up a tour event in one word, it would be annoyance. For a gentleman's game, the prevalence of sneers, sighs, and other immature expressions of grief are unacceptable. Obviously, a golfer is going to miss more putts under 20 feet then they are going to make, and it should be treated as such, the expressive nature of professional golfers has lent itself to poor form.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Random Friday Shizz

- Why is it that when I start to accumulate a number of file folders dedicated to a single subject at work I always find myself thinking, "I am building quite the Penske file."

- Heard that Alanis Morissette (I hope I misspelled it) is now covering "Crazy" in her repertoire. I love it when my most hated artist sings my most hated song. Maybe I can catch her act at The Cheesecake Factory and see how long it takes before my head explodes.

- Why has no one created a website that tracks plane ticket costs over time? I sure would be interested in how much ticket X on flight Y cost since the flight was scheduled. A no frills, simple line graph. I wouldn't be surprised if orbitz, sidestep, eg. had agreements with airlines limiting the display of their data for the rights to extract from their databases.

- What happened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Playing Hooky

With the marginal dusting of snow in the DC area last night, the majority of the area opted to stay home, rather than come into work. Those ignoring work are easily smarter than I, left to do battle with the mental midgets on the highways who are unable to drive with the added variable of Mother Nature.

I never claimed to be the greatest driver, but I don't put others in jeopardy by making myself a slow-moving target on 95 at 40 mph. I try to maintain my normal driving tendencies, with the small exception of cutting turns and stopping short in the attempt to shake the snow off my car. Probably not the smartest.

And it is only December.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tax Cut Wariness

I applaud Congressional efforts to aid in the restoration of Katrina ravaged areas, and support US troops serving in Iraq, but raise my eyebrows at the benefits offered to the affluent, which reeks of pork barrel legislation.

While money collected through taxes has increased, it has not matched economic growth, and the notion that tax breaks directly fund expansion is foggy, at best.

Government expenditures and taxation processed need to be subject to a Lean event. Until we can escape from our current budget defecit tax cuts should be a zero sum game.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I've Added...

...'The Tuna Melt' to my pertinent links. Please have a view. The author has come a long way since riding The Short Bus in elementary school, being called slow, and having to take speech class in his retainer.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Someone Please Suggest...

...a song/album/compilation that defines Wilco and why they are considered to be so great. I've searched for something (anything) I find to be decent, but all I have encountered sound rambling and whiney. Might it be because I am a Jay Farrar disciple and am inclined to Sun Volt that I find Wilco to be disappointing?

One that was passed my way that I am currently enjoying is Cool Calm Pete.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Random Shizz

I was very happy that I took the time to connect my Christmas tree. Nothing fancy, the 6'6" $24.99 Walmart model that comes pre-strung with lights and takes three minutes from start to finish to concoct. I never really give much of thought to Christmas, and am always upset when January hits and I haven't been festive. The tree isn't much, but it is enough to remind me of the season, which is all I need.

Found out this week my sister was accepted early to the college of her choice. Many prayers were uttered that things would work themselves out, and her dedication to schoolwork and accomplishments (much better than my extracurriculars, which involved paying $5 to join every club possible) was deserving of early admission. Looking forward and am extremely proud to watch her live a portion of her life I remember so vividly from my own experiences.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Metro Woes

After months of research and brainstorming the Metro board delivered its plan for improving Metro transit and decreasing wait time;

Sadly, the effort probably received decent funding to amass ideas I could have concocted in five minutes, proving the more people involved in a decision, the less the chance of majority agreement, resulting in passage of the LCD of options, for mass appeasment.

Metro prices have been rising, and riders have been increasing, would it be too difficult to spend the $$$ on more trains? Is the Metro budget readily available through FOIA? I am sure the line items would be sickening, such as paying an overstaffed Metro board for nominal changes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Flotsam and jetsam Enthusiasts

How can I go wrong with the following bets? Having a more intimate knowledge of gambling than I, I am soliciting opinions:

Colorado + 28 - Texas would rather give Bush the Heisman than play VY into the 4th quarter of a noncompetitive game and risk injury.
FSU + 14 - FSU has been kicked around recently, and could have a serious chip on their shoulder and put something (anything) together against VT. I would love to take the money line, but I cannot find it anywhere.


As quality network television has gone the way of the dodo, one of the few shows I watch with any regularity is The Food Network's '$40-a-Day' with Rachael Ray. I love to hate her perky banter, which is both trite and repetitive. She acts the part of a prude, but has posed for FM and shot airbrush futures to all-time highs. If I were to bash the show to anyone over 45, I am sure it would be considered sacrilege. Thankfully, there are people who do it better than I could imagine.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I was just briefed on a meeting I missed, where a warfare center based its estimated cost on historical expenditures, which is good, unless they were blowing through money recklessly, and the estimations are awry. When trying to inform the client as to why estimations based on historical expenditures were a bad idea, I would have been hard pressed not to pull out,

"Because they know all they solda ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is. Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for right now, for your sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality item from me. "

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bowl Projections

The build up towards a USC v. Texas Rose Bowl has blinded me from the mediocrity prevalent in college football in 2005. Granted, bowl selections are a the output of a biased assessment of what school will bring the most fans to the game, but the projected BCS Bowls (with the exception of the Rose) look awful.

January 2, 2006, at 4:30 p.m. ET ABC
Sun Devil Stadium: 73,471
CFN Projection: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State

Commment: I hate ND in their resplendent glory, especially for a team that has won the games it was supposed to win. So they played USC close and lost. Who cares. OSU fans travel well, read not-so-well.

NOKIA SUGAR BOWL - Atlanta, Georgia
January 2, 2006, at 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
BCS (SEC Champion if not in national title) vs. BCS
CFN Projection: LSU vs. West Virginia
Comments: LSU is a great team, so great I have watched 0% of their games, including highlights. WVU, enjoy the last Big East BCS bid. It is probably a good thing this game was moved from NOLA, as having a city flooded and burned down in a six month span would be unthinkable.

FEDEX ORANGE BOWL - Miami, Florida
January 3, 2006, at 8 p.m. ET ABC
Pro Player Stadium 72,230
CFN Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Penn State
Comments: I hate them both.

Friday, November 25, 2005

You Have got to be Kidding Me

I ordered a jacket from Moosejaw on 11/07 as a gift, that I needed to receive by 12/01. As the jacket was on backorder and would not ship until 11/15, I was assured if any problems were to arise, I would receive a prompt phone call and explanation.

11/25, no call, no jacket.

I called moosejaw, and was told the jacket had yet to be shipped, although it was now in stock, and could be shipped in two days.

Normally, the terrible service would leave me steamed, but somehow the holiday spirit kept me from giving grief to the moosejaw phone representatives. Also, I was backed in a corner and forced to cooperate, should I wish to receive the jacket. All I can ask is never order from moosejaw; their shipping operation is a joke. I will be saying silent prayers every night their jobs are outsourced.

Shaking my head and smirking...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Outstanding (What Work is Really For)

Sent: Tue 11/22/2005 4:41 PM
To: Ryan
Subject: ?

here's the way i see it.

in MJ (sacrilegious, i know) you have a #1 receiver (depth chart only, #2 if you count algernon) going up against detroit and a dre bly-less secondary.

in BJ (sacrilegious as well because any BJ is better than BJ) you have a teams #2 receiver who often gets the single coverage thanks to the attention even an injured drew bennett commands.

both teams like to check down to their tight ends quite often and both have quarterbacks capable of pulling the ball down and moving.

it's encouraging that MJ had a pretty good showing last week against a tampa defense that's usually pretty stout against the pass.

it's also encouraging on the flipside that BJ is going up against what is arguably the worst secondary in the league in SF this weekend.

atlanta is away at detroit while tennessee has SF at home. away teams from my experience try to take the crowd out of the game by pounding the ball if they can and it's more common for home teams to be able to run the ball...

all of these things make them seem like somewhat equal choices maybe leaning slightly toward BJ in my mind at this point.

the next question is gameplan. after losing two in a row at home (one to a terrible GB team) while trying to pass the ball more will atl try to revert to what they do best? pound the ball with duckett, juke 'em with dunn and outrun 'em with vick? who knows... what will the gameplan be? ten. on the other hand frequently has issues running the ball and SF has shown that if they dedicate the personnel to it they can stop even a good runner (tiki for 71 yds, julius to 85) so the mediocre chris brown could be in for a long day and mcnair could put it up 35 times with great success...

then you have to look at which team has the most potential to end up throwing the ball more regardless of the initial gameplan (who is most likely to end up down 17 at halftime). my vote in this category would have to be ten. with the emerging dorsey-lloyd combo but then there's the frank gore/kevan barlow medical issues. on the other side you have detroit with one of the most powerful offenses in the league if they could ever get their sh!t straight. the roy williams/charles rogers/mike williams combo is pretty sick if they can find a way to score...

the final thing i'd look at are the early over/under indicators. i always go where the points are when i can't make a decision any other way. as it stands -- both games are at 42.5

what a b!tch...

i'm glad i don't have to choose (although i have some similarly sh!tty choices).

if it were me... i'd choose jones but it's really a coin toss in my mind...

From: Ryan [mailto:]
Sent: Tue 11/22/2005 3:48 PM
Subject: ?

Who do I start, Michael Jenkins or Brandon Jones?

I am leaning towards Jenkins.

I'm Over It

Last weekend I went to Charlottesville to view UVA taken behind the woodshed by VT. All the Hokies were in their glory, and I realized the great distance UVA will have to overcome to match VT's football ability.

While the loss was humbling, from a macro prospective I don't at all mind. A comparison between UVA and VT is no comparison, as UVA possesses the higher rankings (with the exception of engineering), greater prestige, a bucolic grounds and more successful alumni. I had a wonderful time as a student at UVA and have no regrets.

All VT has is football. I understand why it is their biggest source of pride.

In standard VT fashion, I was appalled by their 'Stick It In' chant, on the heels of convictions for sex with minors for their cuurent QB and RB, in addition to the Supreme Court ruling involving VT football players and the Violence Against Women Act.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Does anyone else...?

Gesture a fist pump when they realize they are in a month having 30 days (November), as opposed to 31, resulting in being paid a day earlier, or, so not to have to stretch out a paycheck an additional day?

I can't even describe the February joy for cheap and poor bastards like me.


As the leaves have fallen off the tree the sports media turns its attention from the over-exaggeration of Mike Vick's skills to the verbal fellatio of Duke basketball. How can you not stifle laughter while 'validating' why Duke is running its starters with 6:00 left in a game against hapless Seton Hall, up by 50. I was saying prayers that JJ Redick would be undercut on a drive to the hoop.

Great to see Duke has recruited another white slap-the-floor point guard we will have to withstand for the next four years. Coach K has sacrificed athleticism and the best available recruits for system guys he can brainwash during their time spent in the Duke program. Duke players are components of an overall system, which does not translate to NBA success.

I cannot wait to see the kickback K receives when coaching the Olympic team.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I, once again, did not win the Mega Millions jackpot. However, it did get me to thinking what I would do to celebrate if I won.

Most likely, I would buy a house in the country, with a large acreage, somewhere between Fredericksburg and Charlottesville. The plot would have to include a heated pool, for the celebration, where I would have the Drive By Truckers open, followed by Poison. I would spring for decent beer (MGD, Molson Ice) and the throw-down would be catered by Chick-Fil-A AND Baja Fresh. As the night wore on, a bonfire would be built, but it couldn't be too close to the moon-bounce (rented), lest it pop/melt.

The country terrain, and night sky would provide the perfect backdrop for the midnight go-kart races.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lasts Fall Run

After work, I partook in one of my favorite activities, a run on Capitol Hill. From my office in SE, I run up to the Capitol, make a left and run down the Mall, to the Washington Monument, curl around past the Jefferson Monument, along the Potomac, past the Lincoln Monument, up the Eillipse, past the WW2 monument, back past the Washington and the Capitol and back to the office.*

Sadly, my failing eyesight (near-sightedness) doesn't allow much of a view of distant scenery with a naked eye. Hopefully I will spring for contacts over the winter to more enjoy the run. It is a gorgeous run, paired today by fantastic weather for November.

*Today's run was abbreviated based on impending darkness and my Moby's lunch of a kubideh platter.


Has the chronic short-mindedness from which most of us suffer, which, in small aspects, has led the economic bubble of the late 1990's, early 2000's to become a parenthetical footnote, leading us down a specialized, but similar path?

I do not believe the bursting of the bubble was a terrible event, the market correction did not negate the billions of dollars that funneled into internet research and expansion of bandwidth, for which we are currently reaping benefits. I view the real estate boom as an output of the bursting tech bubble, as money was funneled to investment options that offered more tangible returns.

Has collective amnesia led us to overvalue Google, current market cap of $110 billion? Google is a contributor into my daily routine, but is not integral, and I have yet to see plans for long term Google strategy, other than hiring talent and advancing a 'shoot at everything that moves' mentality that spans geographical mapping and information processing, medical and genome research. Is Google the sure thing the flow of money indicates? Will Google investment reap corollary benefits that are received industry-wide? Regardless, I look forward to reading "The Google Story", by David P. Vise, to be released tomorrow.

Also a great read:

Friday, November 11, 2005

VD and Mudsugar

While it sounds like a before/after effect, I am actually referring to two separate entities.

VD - Veteran's Day. My commute to the office was fantastic, I crossed the 14th Street Bridge at 70 mph, and no Mini Coopers for miles. I was so ecstatic I drove home-and-back six times for enjoyment purposes.

Mudsugar - I've accepted the opportunity to contribute to a recently launched DC webzine that is the convergence of numerous talented DC minds to cover and opine on local entertainment and points of interest. My initial review of the Immortal Lee County Killers at IOTA should be posted shortly. I invite you all to review/comment/heckle.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mario Andretti in a MC

My commute to work normally renders me tense and upset; this morning I was witness to an act that brightened my day, which happens on @ 1% of my commutes.

Crossing the 14th Street Bridge into DC between 7 - 9 AM requires me to be stuck in complete gridlock; cars are bumper-to-bumper, travelling @ 2 mph and trying not to allow anyone to merge into traffic.

From the periphery, a Mini-Cooper came darting off the on-ramp and attempted to cross from the far right to far left lanes as quickly as possible. The guy entered the interstate doing @ 50, and actually crossed the first lane while being perpendiclar to the oncoming traffic. Foot glued to the gas pedal and acting out his deathwish, he can to a halt when he almost t-boned the Accord in the 2nd lane, who was laying on his horn. Undaunted, the Mini-Cooper made a 90' right turn to get into the actual flow of traffic and proceeded as if his brazen actg was a common occurence.

I was highly impressed. I am fortunate to drive an SUV, if I owned a Mini, I'd be pulling the same act.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Common Man

From today's WP in regards to President Bush campaigning for candidate Jerry kilgore:

"The thing I like about this fella is he's from Virginia and he grew up on a farm," Bush continued. "That means he's a down-to-earth person. He doesn't have a lot of fancy airs, a person who knows how the common man thinks."

So, what is more pressing on Kilgore's mind? Making it home from work in time to catch The Simpsons on FOX, or how much he really thinks 'My Name is Earl' has a good premise, and hopes it catches on to the mainstream to get picked up for next season.

Isn't it great how Bush characterized American leaders based on pre-Monroe doctrine characteristics? In a time of horizontal intergration, Bush is trying his damndest to insulate the US from external influences.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Shiftless and Lazy

Below is my correspondence with a defense industry writer for the WP (answered only after it was Cc:ed to the ombudsman) The response of the writer I find to be greatly annoying, as if my inquiry can be flippantly disregarded, based on their 'experience'. Anyone with 1/2 a brain would realize I was asking a baited question, and concoct a thoughtful response (or at least name sources) so as not to piss me off. It is on account of worthless reporters that generalize statements to fill columns that students can no longer use newspaper articles as source material for research projects.

Ms. Merle,

Being an employee for a private defense firm and responsible for responding to RFPs, FRQs, etc., there are a myriad of options for contract funding, including FFP, T&M, CPFF and the contract vehicles for acquisition award require specific details related to manyears, personnel/resumes, and COS. In many cases profits are fixed for the life of contracts, which span multiple lines of funding. In summation, to generalize R&D maximizes profits is a misstatement of fact, in light of varying contract options, and would require quotation for validation.


-----Original Message-----
From: Renae Merle
Sent: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 14:57:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Fwd: Inquiry regarding 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

Mr. Drewniak,

Thanks for your interest. I have been covering the industry for several
years and that is the general consensus of company executives, industry
analysts, etc.

Renae Merle
The Washington Post
phone: 202-334-7446
11/07/2005 02:45 cc:
PM Subject: Fwd: Inquiry regarding
'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

-----Original Message-----
From: RRD96
To: RRD96;
Sent: Sun, 06 Nov 2005 17:58:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Inquiry regarding 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

To the ombudsman of the Washington Post,

I have yet to receive a response to an earlier email inquiring as to
the source of a quote regarding defense firm profitability. I was
hoping you could assist to rectify the situation to my satisfaction.

Ryan Drewniak

-----Original Message-----
From: RRD96
Sent: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 09:29:41 -0500
Subject: Inquiry regarding 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets'

Good morning, Ms. Merle,

In your most recent article 'Military Ordered To Trim Budgets' I was
hoping you would provide clarification in response to the line (which
already contains a typographical error),

"The military's procurement and research and development programs,
from which defense companies most of their profits, are considered
vulnerable, especially those that are behind schedule or over budget."

What research did you perform to confirm R&D efforts reap defense
companies the highest profits?

Thank you for your time, I look forward to a response,


Saturday, November 05, 2005


Another WP article that made me sick to my stomach:

If legislators responsible for running the country were held to the same fiscal responsibilities as CEOs, the US would be under indictment. We are drawing ourselves farther from reality and common sense to a caste-based appropriation system where Republican party members who fall in line are rewarded (monetarily) in their districts, leading ultimately to re-election. Constituencies are left in the dark regarding daily Congressional interactions, that dip into their pockets for pork-barrel funding.

Washington needs more practical occupations (engineers, etc.) elected, who understand the bottom line and cumulative statistics, rather than having en egotistical focus and trying to allot maximum spending to their district.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Nothing Going On

Is it just me, or is everything really slow this time of year? Headlines revolving around the Bird Flu and the judges in the Tom Delay case wouldn't even make the cut for 'I Love the '00s - 3D'.

Usually I fawn over the repartee' surrounding a VH1 special, but the current installment of abreviated years is truly lacking. The spots are weak (Fruit Roll Ups?) and the commentary is horrible, I don't think Biz Markie even speaks english.

Circumstances are getting desparate, miserable TV and a slow week at work have thrysted my attention to my Fantasy Basketball team, which I cannot decipher to be decent or miserable. I've got Lebron, Carmelo, Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Rip Hamilton, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood, Darius Miles, Emeka Okafor, Smush Parker. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Great Wizards win tonight. I love how the Wizards have become a likeable/marketable team, dumping Kwame and not chasing Larry Hughes at $13M/per and allowing him to play second fiddle to Lebron.

I am soliciting advice for my Fantasy Basketball League, as I have no clue what I am doing. I ended up having the first pick, and took Lebron, with no knowledge of how pre-rankings are established (S. Marion #3?).

While not my team, it bears mentioning the way one team's draft played out. I think he had a better chance at winning Powerball.

RD Player
1 Steve Nash
2 Yao Ming
3 Andrew Bogut
4 Paul Gasol
5 Kyle Corver
6 Tony Parker
7 Raef Lafrentz
8 Mike Miller
9 Jason Williams
10 Troy Murphy
11 Keith Van Horn

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What the?

At what point did Mars shrink the dimensions of its 'Fun Size' Halloween candy? I was extremely disappointed, and somewhat angry, while distributing candy to trick-or-treaters to discover the size reduction. When I was of the age to trick-or-treat, one fun size bar was a decent take, which has since become miserable, as 5/6 current fun size treats have the cumulative size of one normal candy bar.

I have great respect for Reese's, whose size has remainded constant.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Sirius blows XM away. This weekend I had my first experience with Sirius, and the quality and depth of musical choices was outstanding. As a friend put it, "Sirius is the David Letterman, compared to the XM Jay Leno, of XM choices", and it makes complete sense. Sirius is a little more edgy in its station selection, which was most likely a play for market share, and it succeeds as it puts greater emphasis on the music, to augment a smaller selection of talk stations than XM. Sirius was intelligent to focus on music, as those who have a talk preference, normally opt for the local AM dial, over a syndicated show.

I let my complimentary XM station expire, I am considering a Sirius purchase.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thank You

Just got back into DC after a quick weekend run to Dallas for a wedding. Will elaborate tomorrow, but to be included:

- Being at a strip mall bar, having two fights break out, and not having a friend being involved in either.

- Cruising Dallas in my standard issue Avis Buick LeSabre.

- The largest woman I have ever seen, at BWI.

Much love to KB for the effort, which is both expected, but always appreciated.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Christmas Screwing

It was announced this week our company Christmas party had been sacked, on account of our efforts to return to stability/profitability in light of accounting errors accumulated over time. From a fiscal/thrift perspective, the move makes complete sense, but is still the wrong decision.

- People begin planning for the Christmas blackout @ September/early October, as it always falls on the 2nd weekend in December. Addressing the situation this late in the game is tacctless and gauche, as people are now scrambling for plans.

- The CEO addressed the issue from the perspective of, "we have so many other important issues to address, of course we are not having the Christmas party". It is an event many employees anticipate, and shouldn't be discarded flippantly.

- Sometimes, in light of troubles, you just have to say 'f*ck it' and go for the morale boost, which we need, after months of ominous correspondence, deflated stock prices, and lack of progress in rectifying our errors.

I would be in favor of ditching the party for a quid pro quo end of the year salary bump ($50, whatever). Any sign of goodwill would be appreciated. Unfortunately, we get nothing, and I hope Uncle Eddie ties a big red bow around our CEO.

The Perfect Storm

Today on the street, I was at a stoplight as a stout woman approached carrying five pizzas. Her heel caught in the sidewalk, and she began to teeter. Her inability to regain balance led the pizzas to fall to the sidewalk. She followed suit by lurching onto the pizzas, rolling to her side, and flailed her arms like a turtle placed on its shell. The slow developing sequence took @ 30 seconds.

Oddly, an event that normally would leave me in stitches barely registered. I am convinced the components of the sequence all reached my laughing reflex at the same time, causing a bottleneck that prevented me from uttering a chuckle. The confluence of events rendered me without an emotive response.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'll bet your Socks don't match, Either

Miserable, dreary day in DC. Anyone familiar with the area will recognize the rain particles, that blow sideways like lint, rather than droplets. During inclement weather it astounds me how many people refuse to buy a decent umbrella. Businessmen in slick suits, draped overcoats, and have a rusty umbrella with broken webbing that is smaller in diameter than a dinner plate.

Having a great umbrella is vastly underrated. I took great pleasure in college wielding my 64" Titleist monster on the way to class, while most students perched a UVA bookstore issue blue/orange toothpick that couldn't cover both shoulders. Currently I have an AC Delco Gustbuster of of the same size/girth that was a gift, with the advisement, "AC Delco makes quality everything".

I have a problem with people who skimp on their umbrella. It is rational to believe they are also the type who neglect collar stays, drive their car on 1/8 tank of gas, over-withdraw from the Give/Take a penny, refuse to get their shoes shined, and vote for Jerry Kilgore.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


The going rate for a taxi to drive a total of 2.5 miles, from Georgetown to Arlington. The trip does not include passage through a $9.00 toll, which would make the fee reasonable.

It is a complete joke that taxis can get away with gouging, as DC cabs do not have meters. Thankfully, they are being installed to end the nonsense. Sadly, if I am paying $15 for a cab, I am going to get at least $10 worth of verbally berating the bastard. I don't condone nastiness, but for the inflated fare and profit, he is going to get an earful of my stream of bull----.

Someone could make a killing starting a taxi business in DC that charges a reasonable rate, with nice drivers. I would relish the opportunity to tip generously if such a franchise existed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Musical Mediocrity

I just don't get how everyone seems to be enthralled with Coldplay. I find their music to be bland, repetitive, and all their albums sound alike, but they go on tour and tickets are outrageously expensive and they are treated like the 2nd coming. They have succeeded in packaging and marketing a sound that is so lacking flavor that no one can really dislike what they produce, it falls within the standard deviation of all music fans, and completely lacks imagination. It would not surprise me if they had already recorded their next five albums, to be released on a bi-annual basis, which they grow rich and prosper doing essentially nothing.

Also, when did the current U2 Tour become the hot ticket? U2's music has been uninspiring since Achtung Baby, yet their appeal has reached an apex. I don't remember any prior tours being such a commodity, yet everyone I know was clamoring for tickets. Don't they tour every year, what are you going to miss by waiting until 2006 to see them in DC? I am sure 90% of their show will mimic their current output.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Blue Dog - RIP

I'd like to mourn the passing of The Blue Dog, in my hometown of Fredericksburg. For the uninformed, TBD was a downtown music store that had been in existence since I entered high school, so @ 12-14 years. The atmosphere at TBD was laid back, the guys who owned the place were extremely cool and knowledgeable, and the place allowed for lounging and listening to music, creating a relaxed atmosphere.

TDB was one of the first places to sell Used CDs, which led to many a visit with my Slaughter/Silver Chair/AC DC gems that they refused to buy back. Additionally TBD marketed for local acts and was the true hub of promotion for the barely existent Fredericksburg music scene.

The tastes of the employees at TBD was diverse, ranging from bluegrass to techno-pop, but they guys were always quick with a suggestion, and the laid back scene was a perfect destination on a cold and rainy afternoon. What I most liked was TBD carved their niche in what has become a commoditized industry, and slowed the money/profit juggernaut to actually enjoy the music, discuss the music, and let their customers in on secret bands/upcoming shows that instilled a sense of belonging. With its passing, commercial radio is essentially dead to me, and I will miss the valuable time wasted behind its poster laden doors and below its CD dangled ceiling.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Blink / The Tipping Point

Blink and The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, fit into the mold I consider to be the normal arch of success for literature, appeal to the masses, while approaching their respective subjects from a number of atypical angles that are thought-provoking while avoiding the pitfall of full disclosure and explanation. I'm not going to rehash the premises of the books, rather, there are certain areas that were amazing reading.

Gladwell's revelation in 'Blink' that the expressions of the face are controlled by both conscious and subconscious emotions makes for an easy grasp of the idea, but leaves open the avenue for further thought to the ramification of the idea. Flipping TV channels and viewing facial expressions, coupled with dialogue gives a fantastic insight into the actual emotions of the individual. My first thoughts go to using the face-reading ability in a gambling setting, where the "tell" isn't the sustained mien of an opponent/dealer (controlled by conscious thought), but the instantaneous expression of emotion, based on circumstance. Plainly put, I'd imagine if you were to concentrate on a few facial tics of an opponent as his situation (cards) are revealed, you'd have an advantage (coupled with percentages, and your hand).

As confusing as the last paragraph is to those who haven't read the books, I recommend them both. Not outstanding reading, but some of the best reading I have encountered this year. I look forward to reading the source material.

Monday, October 17, 2005


As TV has decreased its impact on my life (can anyone recommend a good sitcom/show that isn't Lost or on HBO?), I was taken to thought on what I do in the creases between work, sleep, and work, and realize I do a great deal more magazine reading than in the past. Below is a list of old favorites and new interests:

Forbes - Concise, good articles. Essentially a People for those who consider themselves intelligent
Golf Digest - Excellent interviews, course ratings, but has gone downhill as advertising has saturated the content.
Golf - Greater content than GD, but too many articles related to golf instruction
Sports Illustrated - Reduced to bathroom reading, articles lack interest and information is often outdated on arrival. I keep reading for nostalgia.
Harvard Business Review - Average 1-2 good articles an issue, but way overpriced for overall quality.
Baseline - Great industry read. In depth case studies and keeps reader interest on otherwise boring topics.
Washington Technology - No real material of insight, simply the DC business roundup.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Vote Tim Kaine

Tired after a long weekend in Charlottesville, capped off by a Hoos victory.

I try to avoid any subjects dealing with my political affiliation, but the VA governor's race goes beyond beliefs, to common sense.

Kilgore is crazy, he's also run ads where VA Police widows cry to the camera and say their husbands' assailants won't be brought to justice if Kaine is elected.

If you live in Virginia, vote Tim Kaine.

Friday, October 14, 2005

C-Note / Food

Didn't realize my last post was #100. I wish offered more insightful metrics, including:

- Blogs materializing between 2AM - 5AM.
- Mental capacity at the time of blog submission.
- Ridiculed/insulted non-UVA graduates.

And from the last metric, I am expecting the standard repartee.

Dined out with friends last night at a local favorite. I, like most, really cradle the idea of having a "go-to" restaurant/bar, much as the allure of a local college bar led to ideas of free drinks/cool scene/good music. I was happy to realize my choice had a very relaxed upstairs for pre-dinner libations, that was overtaken by a band as the night progressed. Additionally, I am looking for a place that has good beers on tap, good wines, a menu with turnover, preventing multiple orders of the same entree' and the occasional pleasant surprise dish (i.e. a good rockfish or interstingly prepared meat dish).

For dinner I went with the ribeye, which I have never ordered in a restaurant (striking it off the list, which now contains only ribs). I realized why. No thickness and taste was lacking. I don't blame the resturant, as there is little that can be done to the particular cut of meat. Sides were shrimp, grilled zuchini, and a casserole/quiche'esque mashed potato/sausage combination that was the highlight. Overall, good night, in spite of the weather that descended off the Thames into Arlington.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sad State of Affairs

Intent on following the seasonal progress of the Washington Capitals, I went to to see their latest score, and had to stifle a laugh at the miserable state of the NHL website. The MSN header and personal ads that slide down the sides of the screen gave it the appearance of a completed high school assignment, in no way as dynamic as the MLB or NFL sites. How is hockey expected to survive (let alone expand) with a miserable website and distant, odd-angled camerawork on its flagship station...OLN?

Has hockey been passed by the MLS in the pantheon of American sports?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

JD 20/20

If anyone is interested in reading a worthless article that regurgitates John Daly's past troubles, and labels him as a gimmick, feel free:

I find it shameful that golf columnists have to rehash the "holier than thou" party line when it comes to Daly, who is one of golf's best players. Period. He is a multiple major winner who is on the cusp of qualifying for the Tour Championship.

Additionally, JD has a huge heart, and has made multiple donations to charities/individuals, and dedicates a good amount of time to community service. Hell, his chapter in "Who's your Caddie" by Rick Reilly was the only chapter worth reading, a miracle accomplishment.

To bash JD based on incidents that happened over 6 years ago is trite and does not qualify as journalism of merit.

Monday, October 10, 2005


While channel-flipping this weekend I ran across an old SNL on E! where U2 was the musical guest. It reminded me of one of my ingenious antics of the last five years, where a good friend an I exchange identical Christmas gifts, we give each other the worst three CDs in our collection. I've also made it a point to go the extra mile and concoct a theme to my gift, with prior themes being, "great single, awful CD", "I shouldn't have been allowed to spend my money in middle school on CDs" (ABC - Playground, BBD), and "terrible metal bands" (Slaughter, Testament, Metal Church), but the best theme ever was "bad CD by an otherwise great band".

I don't think a band as good as U2 has ever released a CD as bad as Zooropa, which almost single-handedly broke up the band and relegated singles from 'The Joshua Tree' to serve as filler on Time-Life compilations for eternity. That CD was so bad it had to be wrapped in newspaper. It stunk.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Which is worse?

Not sure if I have ever addressed the subject in a previous post, but last night's discovery of the body of Taylor Behl, and the arrest of the 38 year old suspected of committing the crime led me to forecast his punishment, and how in VA he could receive the death penalty.

Growing up in the mold of Alex P. Keaton, where all issues were blank/white, I had no problem buying into the death penalty, as horrible crimes deserved just punishment.

However, I've come to sour on the death penalty, but for all the wrong reasons. Taking one's life for murder is too easy an escape for the culprit. Those responsible for murder should be placed in a cell too small to stand or lie down, in solitary confinement, with no light and barely enough food to survive, until they waste away. While the death penalty takes away one's life, a protracted decline would waste away one's spirit. Death for the crime is inevitable, why not string it out and make them feel earth-contrived hell for as long as possible?

I realize my thoughts are just as morbid as execution, if not worse, which saddens me, but it seems to be a deserved end for horrendous deeds.

Also, give it time, but Dave Leitao is going to do some great things to UVA basketball.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Somebody had to do It

After a hard fought victory last night, the Washington Capitals are endefeated and in first place in their division (I have no idea of the actual name). The Caps were paced by their phenom rookie, Alexander Ovechkin, who scored two of their three goals;

""It feel very good," said Ovechkin, who became the first Washington player to score two goals in his NHL debut. "I must thank my [teammates] for giving me two excellent passes. It was just a shot. I must only shoot and I score two goals.

"It's my first game in the NHL, we win and I score two goals. It's nice start."

In my head, I hear the Ovechkin quote receiving a voice-over from the late Phil Hartman. With the NHL being relegated to OLN and being squeezed in print between boat shows and high-school golf scored, I figured it my duty to carry the banner. The Caps are predicted to be awful this year, but having not played in a year, how can anyone make a credible guess as to a team's success? Already the Caps have been set up to overacheive, and as baseball draws to a close, I need something to follow, rather than Allen Iverson refusing to dress appropriately.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I took three minutes to scroll through the songs on my iTunes that are just miserable. They include:

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" - Bonnie Tyler
"Relax" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
"Power of Love" - Huey Lewis (I remember searching and being unable to find the studio version)
"Falls Apart" - Sugar Ray

Anyone else care to mention songs that make a normal person cringe, but are personal favorites?

Monday, October 03, 2005


Great tidbit of information:

Newly approved Chief Justice Roberts met his wife at Dewey Beach. Six years ago.


Back from an extended weekend at Hilton Head Island for a wedding and figured I'd toss out a few notes of remembrance:

- There is nothing more awkward/anachronistic than watching old people eat chicken wings.
- Charleston is overrated as a city, in terms of food, aesthetics, commerce, and societal intermingling.
- If you are at a reception and are hungry, no one is going to make a fuss if you head for the buffet line. If questioned, just mention you were told it was time for your table to get food.
- XM radio still sucks as bad as it did before my trial subscription expired.
- I may schedule a vacation every year during the Maryland v. UVA game, missing it was a godsend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


For reasons I cannot mention, I have officially given up all hope with the current adminstration. I had remained quiet in my disenchantment for some time, but I've past the breaking point. GW is clueless as to what his long term country goals entail, and it shudders me to think he actually has paid advisors pushing his policy further from reality. Essentially:

- we are fighting a war in Iraq
- we have pledged to rebuild NOLA ($250B +)
- we are not raising taxes to accomplish the aforementioned two goals.

The money has to come from somewhere. It is going to come from arenas that will choose to sustain current capacity, without planning for the future. We are going to look back in 2025 and realize how GW screwed the long-term advancement of the country for short-term goals. I am sick of it.

Monday, September 26, 2005

White Spot

What a bunch of crap, really doesn't embody what I left in 2000. For $5, as opposed to my customary eat and leave, I got a Gus (no Spot Specials is garbage) and fries. Sadly, the burger and the egg were preprepared, and just slopped on the bun. I attribute the drop in quality to the fact the place is now run by the demographic that has an inclination towards driving 1992 Toyota 4Runners.

Also, I can't believe both Skid Row and Motley Crue would have songs called 'Rattlesnake Shake' within a two year period, how drugged out were their publicists?

Friday, September 23, 2005

PC v. RC

The President's Cup got underweay yesterday in Gainsville, and while I won't be paying for tickets, I will follow the event, as it is good drama and, in my opinion, on par with the Ryder Cup. Granted, it is not without flaws, including the miserable traffic situation on 66, 29 in Gainsville, RTJ losing 1/3 of its greens this summer, and the blatant attempt at exposure by stretching the event to four days, but it does have its advantages, which in combination with the Ryder Cup being overly trumped up, makes the two equivalent.

While the PC lacks the history of the RC, what venerable history are we talking about? The most remembered event causes the most acrimony between teams, in 1999 at Brookline. What else is there? 80 years where the Americans were dominant, a miserable stint where they played at PGA National, possibly the worst course to host an event of this caliber, and the US getting smoked when in Europe. Besides Valderrama and The Belfry, I can't name another European venue that has hosted the Ryder Cup.

What I like about the President's Cup is that it chooses a Captain who was integral to the game. I will gladly watch an event with is supported by Nicklaus and Player, two true gentlemen. RC captaincy is a process of elimination, not selection, based on unwritten criteria that is unfounded. Be between 45-52 in the twilight of your PGA career, and have won a major. The idea has led to miserable US Captains, most recently Hal Sutton, and most notably Curtis Strange, the biggest prick in golf of the last 20 years.

Finally, the PC brings a better field of golfers to the table. If the 2005 matches are closely contested and end in a late Sunday afternoon finale' that could swing in either direction, I will be both satisfied and looking forward to 2007.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When not to Demand a Raise

While not on par with the Bacchus-like proceedings at Tyco, the sorry state of affairs at AU and the self-aggrandized motives of Ladner make me laugh. Essentially, his call for a raise ignited the spark that materialized into the fire that will eventually lead to his ouster. In keeping with the analogy, our modern-day Nero should have expended AU funds on research analysts to determine comparable salaries at similar Universities before demanding an increase.

Hopefully, like myself, you chuckled aloud at the alcohol expense he rang up, which would make an drunken undergraduate proud. At least his blatant disregard for thrift and decency was not abandoned when he attempted to settle the issue informally, without legal counseling. In truth, most likely unbeknownst to him, he was saving AU dollars with the suggestion, as legal counsel would have been expensed right back to the school.

To his credit, his contract riders would make any rock star jealous.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Did I ever mention how the Metro hates me as much as I hate the Metro. Returning from tonights kick-in-the-sack Nats game my card somehow became demagnitized after being in a pocket with nothing else, specifically so it wouldn't demagnitize. After trying in vain to swipe and enter, I decided to just slip through with my Father, and collided with a 6'3" Metro authority who wasn't too pleased. I was past the point of activing civil if asked my intentions, so I did the smartest thing, and kept my yap shut.

If ever driving by a Metro, scan the area for a man with a grimace on his face, shaking a cartoonish fist at the Metro sign. Feel free to give me a quarter, I'm probably crazier than the nearest homeless guy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sleeping Giant / Polls

Am I the only one who thinks FSU has a great chance to run the table? I cannot remember a year when FSU has received less hype. After winning as underdogs against Miami (at home) and BC , they look to have their half of the ACC wrapped up, and wins against Florida and the ACC Championship could have them heading to Pasadena.

While FSU is still growing into its young offense, its senior-laden defense is nasty, and will keep them in all games. As the offense catches up during the remainder of the season, they should hit their stride @ mid October (coinciding, as always, with the UVA game) and guarantee themselves a BCS bowl. They have great young talent (Xavier Lee, Fred Rouse, Antone Smith) and the speed and depth necessary to win it all.

As much as I enjoy NCAA football, it is a shame it has become an isolated event, with the joke that was/is the BCS, and now how miserable the polls have become. It has skewed an objective game to complete subjectivity. Case in point, in the current poll:

- Tennessee, losing to 7 Florida, on the road, in a close contest, falls just as far as Notre Dame, who lost at home, to an unranked team.

- Michigan is ranked higher than ND, by whom they were defeated, and Michigan State, who defeated ND.

- Clemson falls out of the polls after losing on 3OT to Miami, while ND only drops 6 spots, after losing to an unranked team.

- Virginia has looked awful in both wins, and currently belongs nowhere near any of the Top 25s.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Missing Brain

Is it possible for a person to be as ignorant as Skip Bayless?

I have never seen a sportswriter so impervious to intelligence. What scares me the most about Bayless is his schtick is a thinly veiled cover of what he truly is, an overzealous fan with a soapbox.

My response:

Mr. Bayless,

It sickens me that you can endorse the 'win at all costs' approach highlighted in your most recent piece. While I don't prescribe to the Pollyanna mentality that all athletes equally weigh athletics and academics, the mercenary approach to athletics you laud would polarize University communities and be serve only overzealous fans like yourself. Intuitively, you dismiss the underage drinking and assualt antics of OU players, choosing a self-centered approach without considering college atheletes do not operate in a vaccuum, and their actions/misdeeds influence others. I doubt you would take such a lenient approach if it was you our your son/daughter who was assaulted by an OU player, who was back on the sidelines thereafter.

Your depiction of athletes as being responsible to deliver a school wins degrades the hard work and dedication of true student athletes who sacrifice both in the classroom and on the field to be successful, and whose idea of success isn't a 10 win season, but a degree.

Sadly, your piece keeps with the tomes you have established, opting for sensational journalism over researched fact, and I made the mistake of reading/responding, at the cost of five minutes of my life. Thankfully, I will never make that mistake again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Random Musings

Last night I pulled a Rip Van Winkle after work, sleeping from 6:40pm until my alarm this morning. I heard the Eagles lost 14-10 and McNabb had a few turnovers. Turns out that is exactly the recap I needed from the game.

Shocking that friends I have who work for FBR (Halliburton) are being rushed to NOLA after Hurrican Katrina, as they have already been awarded no-bid contracts for recovery services. Did Bush not learn his lesson in Iraq? Is Cheney Co. really this greedy? Luckily, I've learned even under-estimation of the Bush administration results in sleepless nights. At what point does GW finally go Costanza-esque and start doing the opposite of what he and his politicos are thinking?

I am worried about UVA going to Syracuse this weekend. Very young, untested team on the road that barely slipped by Western (who?) Michigan, in a game that saw Lundy exit early with a high-ankle sprain. This is either a game that UVA wins or loses by 20.

I turned off last weekend's Maryland game after Hollenbach put the Terps up 24-14, thinking they had the game in the bag.

As those who have met me know, I don't buy into the UVA superiority complex like some, unless it involves ribbing of alumni of other ACC schools, but I ask anyone who doesn't think UVA has a leg-up on aesthetics to check out the October 2005 Playmate.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Not too Smart

I found it funny on Friday night, being at a bar, and seeing some poor schmuck teetering around on crutches, in a cast. Bars are noisy, smoky, packed areas I find difficult to navigate sober. Evidently, this guy can't take good enough care of himself normally (hence cast), so he thinks it would be a good idea to have a few drinks? God forbid he miss a night out at a miserable bar with his friends, in lieu of his injury. It was quite laughable.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Visor Tossing at its Finest

As college football resumes (finally) nothing makes me happier than Steve Spurrier coaching at South Carolina. After he ruined the Redskins, I delight in the fact he is resigned to toil in purgatory with a marginal team while the big boys of the SEC run it up on a weekly basis.

I can without reservation say he has no chance to succeed (i.e. BCS Bowl) at South Carolina. He will have no standout success recruiting against Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, and Clemson, and will not be able to take the Gamecocks to the 'next level', which entails both a team of superstars and superstar depth. He will be able to woo good QBs and WRs to USC-East, but will never build a defense capable of returning the football to the offense on a consistent basis.

The greatest part of USpurrierC was his rushed decision to take the job, and dig out from Lou Holtz sanctions, kept him from landing the LSU job, which would have been available if he waited for 10 days. Have fun going 5-7 for the forseeable future!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dream Job

A while back I was asked what I would choose to do as my dream job. What I thought would be an easy question turned into an introspective review of my likes and dislikes, and what would bring me true happiness. Like most everyone, I think it would be great to have tons of cash, but am not interested in the fame that comes with success in certain areas (sports, politics).

If I had the choice of any job, I would be a successful author. You are able to choose your subject, create your own schedule, live wherever you want, and live in total anonymity. Unlike sports, which involves a mind-numbing daily routine, and visits the same destinations, writing would be intellectually stimulating, and allow for expansive travel, related to researching book topics, or under one's free will.

Working under my own schedule would allow for outside interests (golf, reading, other pursuits). Lifestly could be urban or rural, and your work would be received by a higher common denominator of fans than a sports team or band. Most importantly, one could live in complete anonymity. I'd refuse to promote or do book shows.

Monday, August 29, 2005


I've got my Fantasy draft tonight, and with the 11th pick (of 14) I am left with limited options. After my 2RD pick, it is going to be a long wait (21 picks) until I pick again, so I figure I am forced to go with two running backs in the first two rounds. While a decent WR or QB could be available at 11, the deep crop of RBs will be gone by the 3rd round, and I don't want to be left picking at scraps looking for a sleeper, who may never wake up (Ricky Williams).

In 3RD, I plan on taking a good QB, as WRs drop off after the first 3-4, and TEs drop off after the first two, and the 2nd level available is of greater uncertainty at WR and TE than at QB. I think a 2nd tier QB has more value than a 2nd tier at the other positions, and there is a bigger gap between 2nd and 3rd tier QBs than 2nd/3rd WRs and TEs.

Finally, is there a draft this year where Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez don't go with subsequent picks? One of the two gets nabbed, and the next guy clams up and it afraid of passing on a proven points scorer and grabs the other. I guarantee it will happen tonight, probably around the start of 3RD.

Friday, August 26, 2005

US Amateur

3:30 at the office, and the place cleared out faster than the audience at 'Just Married'. Being I don't want to me the last man in the boat, I'll make this short and sweet.

Watch the US Amateur this weekend. Match play is great drama (when it isn't played by millionaires) and the venue is Merion, a revered course that has not hosted a US Open since 1981. It is the first I have seen of the place, and it looks phenominal, on par with the Oakmont/Country Club level of US golf courses, a step below Pine Valley and a step above Seminole.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tommy Lee Goes to College

I had a chance to view a television show of interest, ‘Tommy Lee Goes to College’. Having been a Motley Crue fan for years, my interest was piqued regarding the level of havoc Tommy could bring to Nebraska.

Unfortunately, the show has not, of yet, met expectations. Based on Tommy Lee’s history, you would think he would spend his time corrupting first-years and wrecking general havoc. Sadly, he is actually taking the experience seriously. Essentially, he is doing all the things I have no interest in watching.

When the show premiered, for an instant I thought it would be awful if he exceeded my college GPA, but he is doing all the things that I didn’t do (study, sleep, not drink excessively and often, to the point of blackout), so no real skin off my ass if he does. Best of luck to him, I look forward to the sequel where they send a dog to Maryland and he ends up being an honors student.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


This weekend I travelled between VA and NJ and had to subject myself to 9 tortuous hours on 95. The only thing keeping my sanity was the All-80's weekend on 106.5, which has reception from DC to Exit 2 on the NJ turnpike. I highly recommend.

The trip took so long you go from just enjoying the songs at face value, to expending thought as to who would be most aptly suited to sing the song if it was currently remade. Some of the songs I remember dissecting:

Burning Down The House - 311
Dancing on the Ceiling - Robbie Williams
Pour Some Sugar on Me - Kid Rock

Also, did you know there is a he Man figure named Fisto? I think he was in my fraternity:

Monday, August 22, 2005

11th out of 15

In my fantasy draft. Snake draft, no keepers.

What the eff should I do? Credible advice will be entered into a drawing for $5 of expired McDonalds gift certificates.

Waste of Space

Funny/sad anecdote from the weekend:

I know of a couple, who after having been together for three years, and living together, broke up as the boyfriend was cheating on the girlfriend with a girl in Kansas City (they live in Colorado), who was to be his new girlfriend. Unfortunately, the two were in a wedding this weekend, and required to walk down the aisle together. For the sake/sanity of their friends, the bride and groom, they decided to keep the breakup a secret.

Everything went off according to plan, so well that the boyfriend, the stupidest man alive, felt so normal that he would approach his ex-girlfriend during conversations with family and friends, as if everything was normal, and went so far as to go to the post-reception hangout. The girlfriend kept it together remarkably well, save a few dashes to the bathorrom for explosive tear-letting.

How wretched of a human being would have the audacity to attend a wedding with an ex, who he had been cheating on for months? Both he and his new girlfriend must be real class acts, especially after resigning themselves to seaking around until he had the gall to tell his girlfriend. Finally, as the ultimate insult, he lacks the common sense to gracefully bow out of the wedding, to forge a new life with KC-harlot, instead making the ex-girlfriend's life a living hell.

I don't know how the girlfriend didn't call out her cheating ex, and embarass the hell out of him. If put in a similar situation, I would not go public while the bride and groom were still present, but immediately after their departure I would have gone Paul Revere until every cousin/grandmother/friend/college drinking buddy knew what an ass the cheater was. It is a shame spineless losers get off scot free. I hope I am missing some part of the story, like the girlfriend having VD and never telling the boyfriend.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Katie Couric

Yesterday on the Tony Kornheiser show, Tony railed Ms. Couric for her opening line in a piece on skyrocketing gasoline prices,

"I had to take out a loan to fill the tank in my minivan."

- Katie Couric doesn't own a minivan.
- Katie Couric doesn't drive her own car, hasn't in 15 years.
- Katie Couric makes $15M annually.

Sadly, the jab at Ms. Couric was repeated on sports message boards, populated by the demographic that listens to the Tony Kornheiser show (M, 18-45). People were up in arms that she could be so stupid to say something so completely off base with reality. Her writer should be fired, and she should be reprimanded.

'Today' is a fluff show, with fluff news pieces. The anchors are talking heads, rather than investigative journalists. She can say whatever she wants, and whatever is written for her. Stupid or not, she is the ultimate winner, getting paid $15M to not have to think.

Monday, August 15, 2005

PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson wins the PGA Championship, which makes me happy. The more majors he wins, the easier it is going to be to continue winning, as only 10-15 players are capable of winning, evidenced by the miserable efforts by those in contention. Sergio Garcia is not on the list.

My takeaway from the PGA is, like him or not (I straddle the fence, falling towards like), you cannot argue Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time. Simply, he hits shots no one else can hit. Ever. Which is not to say he is the most powerful golfer ever, which he is not, but his combination of finesse, power, and accuracy are unparalleled. His shots on 17 at Baltusrol, puncuated by his near-skim of the pin yesterday, will never be equaled. I've evolved over time from thinking Tiger was overexposed (which he is), to simply enjoying the shots he is able to pull off.

CBS, while still offering the best network coverage, I found to be slipping from its pedestal. No major flaws, just minor misses (throwing to the wrong announcer, mistaking how a golfer stood, displaying the wrong on-screen credentials). I noticed 7-9 throughout the week, probably meaning there were @ 15-20 overall. Is it possible to get good golf coverage in the US? I am spoiled by the Eurpoean Tour coverage on Saturday and Sunday mornings on the Golf Channel, by far the most underrated programming on television. Fantastic coverage, and great television at a pivotal point in the day when nothing else is worth watching.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mike Strantz

Just wanted to take a moment to honor the passing of a true visionary in his field, golf course architect Mike Strantz. It is a shame Mr. Strantz passed away, as his contributions to golf course architecture were unique in that they extended the boundaries of what could be accomplished in creating a course. His revolutionary designs were debated for their merit and contribution to the game, and any criticism was ignored, as Mr. Strantz continued to build courses that were extreme in design, and comparable to works of art, which he also created.

Mike Strantz's work is golf is matched by his decision to walk away from design, as a disciple of Tom Fazio, in the late 1980's to spend more time with his family. The hiatus allowed the quality time he cherished, and refueled his interest in golf course architecture.

Personally, it was as I began to see golf courses for more than just a score at the end of a round that Strantz's first designs were opening, and garnering a great deal of attention. Caledonia and True Blue, in addition to Royal New Kent and Stonehouse outside of Richmond are courses that leave an impression on a golfer. At the time I knew little about golf course architecture, and I still know little, but Mike Strantz was the first name I learned in the field, and will always remember, and have enjoyed on numerous occasions the output of his efforts.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

About $0.40

Today I had a Comcast appointment scheduled for 11am - 4pm. The technician didn't arrive until 5:30. The fact that I took off a half day of work that was wasted drew compensation of a $20 credit for the five hours. Apparently Comcast has equated my time to be worth $4/hour.

Despite my irate state, I cut the technician slack, as he was just pathetic, and it was somewhat amusing in a demeaning way to watch him slide on the hardwood floors in my apartment in the workboot booties they are required to wear to prevent scuffing.

As irked as I was, it is frustrating there is no reasonable alternative to Comcast. If there are, suggestions would be appreciated.

At least a day watching network channels on my gerryrigged pre-Comcast tv was better than the 36 yesterday at Worthington Manor. It is a minor miracle my putter is still intact. I was beating the hell out of that thing.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Money Wasted

Shortly after 8AM the space shuttle safely landed. I really don't care.

Is there any endeavor more pointless than than space shuttle? I canot think of one innovation that was fostered or spunoff from any space shuttle launch. I am assuming most satellites are launched from rockets.

I can't see the shuttle launches for anything other than a multimillion dollar expense. Is the underlying motive an international pissing contest? If shuttles serve any purpose, shouldn't we align funding and research with other nations for cumulative benefit?

Finally, why land the shuttle in Florida, essentially having picked the state with the most unpredictable summer weather in the nation?. After multiple delays, the shuttle landed in California (in the Mojave Desert), home of 35 rain-days annually, as opposed to the veritable swamp that is Cape Canaveral.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I Don't Get It

On Friday night, I took a break from novel-reading, poetry-writing, and creating a forumla to solve world hunger (Comcast has yet to hook up my TV) to view a critically-acclaimed play in which a good friend from high school and college was one of the starring actors.

The play was fantastic for a number of reasons, but it stood out on two accounts:

The language of the play was fast-paced and intelligent, and made no attempt to ensure the entire audience was "in on the joke". The result was personalized humor, as I understood most of the jokes, but I am sure there were many quips that I didn't get. I hold in high regard any production/piece of media that does not go to great lengths to ensure that everyone understands everything. The effect was a personalized account of the unfolding events, rather than any mass-produced effort that is lacking in insightful humor.

Sadly, most successful endeavors, while appearing intelligent, are easily understood and generally liked. In addition to all TV, books (did you meet anyone who didn't like The DiVinci Code?), and plays (Mama Mia, a musical, I realize, content poor) now cater to the lowest common denominator, to reach a broader audience, which offers a greater chance for success. I value a work that allows for personal interpretation, at the expense of being received with head-knodding approval.

The play was good because it simply appeared real and made me want to know what was going to happen next. I could care less if the acting was critically acceptable, it made me believe what was being depicted.

While the last sentence sounds stupid, it is not something I take for granted. As a result of all the movie critics, sports radio personalities, political analysts, I had started to view movies/sports/tv from an abstract view where "I disliked the movie because the acting was poor", rather than "I disliked the movie because it was a bad movie". Everyone expresses their opinion about everything, and what receives any airtime are ideas that are unique, to the point of absurdity, which has become the norm. I guess it is more prevalent in sports, which require an opinion on every subject, but to say "I just liked it" comes off as lacking thought. Ultimately, I have no problem saying I liked the play because it was funny, and it made me believe the story.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Am I missing some huge inside joke, as all my friends in DC think that Carvel is the best place on earth, and I only associate it with white trash birthday parties?

The ice cream gives me the runs like soft serve, has no taste, and the ice cream cakes go from being Cialis-hard to mush with no in-between time, and are 80% icing anyway. And Cookie Puss scares the shit out of me.

Someone please explain the allure of Carvel.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Quite the Distraction

The media attention Rafael Palmiero is receiving for testing positive for steroids is reaching heights not acheived since OJ was tooling around in his sweet Bronco. The specualtion on 980 today revolved around whether he should immediately retire, as the entire scenario has been both a burden on his children, and would serve as a distraction to the Orioles once he returns.

Unfortunately, Raffy wasn't too worried about his children when he was juicing. Truthfully, his kids should be happy he opted for steroids, as it lengthened his career to the point where they won't have to work a day in their lives.

"Distraction to the Orioles"? God forbid the aftermath of the Palmiero 'roid scandal take attention from how badly the O's stink, and how their hitting has fallen flat on its face. They should be encouraging the team to take steroids to boost their anemic offense, worst case scenario they get caught, and deflect the attention from their annual 4-32 finish.

As overscrutinized as the issue has become, it did result in the quote of the year from Mississippi redneck Will Clark, who has always maintained a strained relationship with Raffy. When asked what he would tell Palmiero regarding the situation, he responded,

"heh, heh, got caught, par'ner!"

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Biggest. Ripoff. Ever.

Tickets to the President's Cup at Robert Trent Jones on Lake Manassas are selling for $60 - $80, depending on the day. Purchasing a ticket entitles you to fighting crowds to watch one of four matches on the course at any given time, or the Sunday singles, which require the most expensive ticket, but may be anticlimatic to the outcome of the event.

In actuality the entire event is anticlimatic, as the US got smoked at the Ryder Cup last year, the only team competition that kinda matters, but really doesn't, as these guys compete every week and staged PGA team events have morphed into a marketing/moneymaking racket.

Nothing about the President's Cup appeals to me. Going to a PGA event is most fun on Thursday/Friday, when crowds are small, and you can follow golfers for a few holes, or pick a spot to watch oncoming shots/putts. The beauty is in the details, not a partisan crowd atmosphere.

Parking at the PC also sucks, as does the drive on RT 29 in Gainsville.

Monday, August 01, 2005

"Getting shot at ain't something nice."

Per today's article in the Washington Post, Sean Taylor reprorted to Redskins' Minicamp. In addition to his eye-opening declaration his summer run-ins with the law have also led him to realize, the dangerous situation heencountered.

I'm not talking about one or two bullets. I'm talking about a whole lot of bullets."

Went out to a bar on Saturday night, and have come to the realization that when I was 22-25 I did some stupid stuff, but feel today's 22-25 year olds act/dress more moronic than those of us five years earlier. In my opinion, the gaudy, huge sunglasses (either Aviators or the ridiculous pairs females wear) are complete garbage. Women go as far as to pair the sunglasses with some sort of an oversized purse every bit as foolish. The trendy/trashy fashion statment is awful.

On a side note, at the bar I saw three girls all wearing t-shirts with sayings on them, playing pool. It was my personal version of hell.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hoos - Defense

The UVA defense bears an eerie similarity to the UVA offense, areas of concern from last year have had an extra year to develop, and prior strengths have graduated contributors, leaving them weak.

DL - Running a 3-4 scheme, you would be wrong to think the DL would have any real depth. Luckily, the season-ending injury of Chris Canty in 2004 provided experience for some young DEs, so entering 2005 they have snaps under their belt. While the starters going into the fall are stalwarts from the end of last year, the position holds potential as Chris Long and Vince Redd have the ability to develop into beasts. At NT Virginia is extremely shallow, as Keenan Carter recovers from an injury plauged spring, and Kwake Robinson comes after a position shift where he filled in poorly for Canty.

Personal note - DL success is the direct link to how far UVA goes this year. Last year a combination of injuries and poor play resulted in opposing quarterbacks having long pockets and being able to pick on our inexperienced secondary. Secondary support was provided by dropping LBs Blackstock and Brooks into coverage, taking away their innate pass-rushing skills. In order to prevent big plays, UVA had to run more conservative schemes (i.e. no blitzing from the secondary), and the extra time QBs had helped them to advance their offenses. Good DL play pressures QBs and forces mistakes and allows more creativity from the overall defense, as opposed to basic zone coverage.

LB - For a position that has two of the best LBs in the ACC (Parham and Brooks) at ILB, the remaining spots are up for grabs and depth is an issue. Look for SO Jermaine Dias and Clint Stintim to secure starting positions at OLB.

Personal note - I find it ridiculous UVA has been unable to sign LBs from the current crop of recruits. Brooks is gone next year, opening his spot, and the Two Deep is filled with players with no game experience. A stud LB could start from Day One.

Secondary - The most glaring, and gaping hole from 2004 has improved, but only because of a year of experience. I forsee the emergence of younger players (SO - Nate Lyles, SO - Jamaal Jackson, possibly FR - Mike Brown and FR - Chris Cook) to supplant upperclassmen by the middle of the season, based on competition and athletic ability.

What scares me the most about the 2005 UVA team is the wide deviation between their potential and the result of underacheivement. Espically under Groh, in years past you could prognisticate UVA's wins +-1, but a combination of schedule and the emergence of key players makes it difficult to determine. I will address their upcoming season next.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Due to my borderline obsession, and the lurking Turtles on this site, I have been hesitant to make any posts regarding one of my true loves, UVA football, but as the season draws near, I must engage my sentiments, which will serve as an interesting point of reference as the season unfolds.

Membership to the numerous UVA message boards has given me a pretty clear indication of what type of fan posts on a message board (notice I didn't categorize as "roots for UVA"). Message board posters have an inflated sense of team worth and are never satisfied. I find it comical when UVA loses, (no undefeated seasons, to my knowledge) and the boards go into meltdown about wasted opportuities and "what ifs". I find it sad that someone could get emotional about a football game, albeit a damn great football game.

Personally, I am happy with the product that Al Groh produces, which is a consistent 7-8 wins, a bowl berth, and a team with players you can identify with/root for, who play to the best of their ability. What I really appreciate about the Groh tenure is UVA wins the games it is supposed to win. Give me a team that wins against worse teams, and occasionally beats a better team, and I am satisfied.

Going into 2005, I don't know what to make of the UVA squad. Although we return the majority of our starters (including D'brickashaw Ferguson and Ahmad Brooks, likely to both be top 15 picks), we lost 7 draftees and are anemically thin at a number of positions.

Offense - Biggest ? is at WR, where we have a crop of talented freshmen (Woods, Covington, Ogletree) vying for PT against a group of mediocre returnees (Ottawa Anderson, Fontel Mines, Deyon Williams, Bud Davis). I am hoping the competition reveals 2-3 who have a high level of intensity and give UVA the passing option that didn't exist in 2004. 15-20 passes a game is unacceptable, I would like the number to be @ 30, but am realistic with 25.

QB - Marques Hagans is a stud, who just makes people miss. It is a travesty he isn't 6'3" or he would be All-American. Had trouble last year seeing over the massive offensive line, but hopefully experience and being accustomed to shifting the pocket will open more passing lanes. Last year was too dependent on the run when plays broke down, but needs to have established WRs to build confidence in the pocket. Backup QBs are an unspectacular lot, from which I see Kevin McCabe emerging as 2nd string.

RB - Offensive strength. Hard to believe Wali Lundy is due for a "breakout" season, having rushed for nearly 3,000 yards in his first three years at UVA. Man on a mission. Michael Johnson has breakaway speed to complement WLs north-south style. I also envision Cedric Peerman (RF) making an impact. Although never mentioned, fullback Jason Snelling is a beast as a blocker and occasional runner, and I expect repetitions for Kevin Bradley as his backup.

OL - Huge, but not without problems, as the loss of All-American Elton Brown requires a few position shifts. Ian Yates-Cunningham is returning from missing all of last season, so it could take a game for the OL to become familiar with eachother's tendencies.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Movies, Movies, Movies

Had the opportunity to see 'Wedding Crashers' after receiving multiple glowing reviews from degenerate peers. Very funny movie, certainly worth the price of admission. While not giving anything away, Owen Wilson is funny, Vince Vaughn is superstar funny. OW is more suited for the introspective humor of his character in 'The Royal Tennenbaums', but succeeds in his role as the reactive sidekick.

Most likely will be the only movie I see in theatres this year.

I must again make reference to the F&J topic of underrated movies, a limitless topic, which combines everyone's heterogeneous taste in movies, with differing definitions of underrated. However, I think everyone knows what defines an overrated movie. Some movies I have found to be overrated:

Rush Hour
The Birdcage

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Crack Foods

Everyone has a small group of foods that they simply cannot resist, and will entirely finish, regardless of the situation of the circumstances. My top 3:

3. Baja Fresh brown salsa: Aesthetically lacking, yet an amazing taste with a slight bit of bite. I spackle the stuff all over my burrito, not to mention lathering up my chips (professionals always ask for extra). Should a gob happen to fall in my drink, I'm not at all bothered.

2. Subway cookies: Any variety, but mostly oatmeal-raisin or chocolate-chip. Perfect goo quotient in the middle to flaky cookie on the outside. I cannot remember the last time I went to Subway and did not purchase.

1. Combos: Pizza or cheddar. Combos have been my favorite snack since I was 5. I cannot open a bag and not finish. I've seen Combos brought to social gatherings, where they are the center of attention, as no one has seen them in ages, but they are so good. Have single-handedly pushed me to the edge of extreme hypertension.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Stupid College $hit

After reading on F&J the incident of walking out of class in college, it reminded me of a worthless story that barely deserves posting.

My entire college career can be summed up in the events that occured in first year Statistics. Our professor, (Something) Tran, spoke barely audible monotone english, never had my attention for more than a few minutes, and resulted in a class I skipped regularly (combination of the awful professor and being a MW 8:00am).

After skipping the class for the majority of the year, we (myself, friend, friend's roommmate from Temple, Texas) decided to attend the last class...after drinking a fifth. Normally, you couldn't roll me out of bed before 11, but I was up/showered/dressed/on the dorm entrance of my friends at 6:30 AM. One fifth of Abxsolut later, and I was drunk. Unfortunately, a few beers (Beast Ice) later, and I was blacked-out.

The three of us stumbled to the 8:00 hammered, sat down in our respective seats (in a class of 15), paid no attention, and felt obliged to read the Cavalier Daily rather than review (fully folded, completely blocking any view of the front of the room). The professor's voice was abruptly broken when Temple,TX cracked a Beast Ice in class. Finally, we were told to get the hell out.

After being kicked out, I treated myself to three omelets from the cafeteria, before passing out at 10 and waking up at 12:30 with the worst hangover ever.

...and we were laughing....

Monday, July 18, 2005

Dinner Party

It would be really sad to reread all of my posts, as I am sure over 50% deal with awful/boring subjects, from which this will not deviate.

On Saturday night, I had to attend a dinner party. At what point did DPs become acceptable, and what did they replace? Personally, I would much rather play four hours of beer pong while watching baseball than having a decent meal.

The couple hosting the party were newlyweds, with the bride being 24 and the husband being 30+. Not that it matters, only that the bride was all jazzed for the dinner party, which I found to be sad, since she'll be hosing them for the next 40 years of her life. What is the hurry?

It was blatantly obvious from the start of the party, that the theme was, "use all the random gifts off our registry", as the night started with fondue. Does anyone actually like fondue, and by "like", I mean think it is a worthwile investment of one's time to melt a Hershey bar for 45 minutes before combining with a graham cracker or a banana slice? Give me a break.

Post fondue, dinner was ravioli from a ravioli cranker (i.e. piece of garbage). Finally, dessert was a 2nd fondue.

Because one fondue wasn't enough.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Completely Useless Knowledge

Just finished a game of Trivial Pursuit, 'The 90's'. I wish I could be proud of winning, but it is somewhat embarassing when you can answer, "what musical artist was arrested for videotaping women in the bathroom of his restaurant", without even having to think.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Top Five Staffordonian Names

The top five last names that should be an alert you are dealing with someone from Stafford:

5.Payne: One of the Payne's went bogging last weekend and got his 1993 Ford Ranger stuck.

4.Bumbrey: The Stafford High School basketball team reached the regional finals due to double figures from Greg Bumbrey, Tyrone Bumbrey, and Romaine Bumbrey.

3.Shackelford: I used to pay to have my garbage picked up by Shackelford's Garbage, now I just take it to the landfill.

2. Shelton: The Sheltons couldn't srping for a babysitter, so they sent their kids outside to play hide-and-seek behind the cars on blocks in the front yard.

1. Shifflett: "We knew she wasn't from our side of the family when I married her, she's got a full set of teeth."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Schools Out for Summer

Excuse me if I excuse myself for the remainder of the afternoon, but word of the Kwame Brown/Caron Butler trade has the entire city exaulting, much like the 'Schools Out for Summer' scene is Dazed and Confused. I am off to chase him down with my 'FAH Q' paddle.

Seriously, can I pack his luggage, or book his flight, to make sure he is gone? I wish him the best of luck in LA, and am sure he and Kobe will establish a nuturing environment, and he will be a great component of the Triangle offense. Being that DC was a 'big' city for him, I am sure he will have no trouble adjusting to LA.

Truthfully, I don't care if he goes 20-10 every night (which would require outplaying a superior qualilty of centers in the West every night), he won't often cross the path of the Wiz, and Butler will fill the Larry Hughes 2-spot capably.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Goodbye Nichole, Hello Katie

Played a round of golf this morning at Westfields in our monthly SAGA tournament.

It is embarassing that traffic on 66E is bumper to bumper at 6:45 am, 20 miles outside of DC. Luckily I was doing 80 going west.

After three fantastic years, and six weeks after purchasing, I finally made the switch from my Mizuno MP-33s to the MP-37s. I have started the process for canonizing the 33s, they were the best set of clubs I will ever own. It is a set I will never get rid of. The 37s are a bit smaller with a slightly thicker topline, but I thought today would be a good introduction, as I haven't played in weeks and had no expectations. After a 7-iron shank on a par 3, I know it will be a while before I am fully comfortable, so I was left to smash driver to have a wedge in, as my Cleveland wedges are consistent.

What clubs do you guys have? My list:

Driver: Titleist 905, Grafalloy still, 2.8' tourque shaft 10.5'
3W: Titleist 983, Fujikara Speeder shaft, stiff, 13.0'
Irons: Mizuno MP-37s, Dynamic Gold stiff shafts
Wedges: Cleveland 56', 60'
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron, Studio Stainless Newport 2

Monday, July 11, 2005

Recipe for a Blackout

Again on the subject of the wedding I attended this weekend, the one thing that stood out (aside from the priest putting his cigar down on the alter during the rehersal, and skipping the reception for his usual Saturday poker game), was the guy in front of me in the bar line during cocktail hour, ordering a double Jim Beam and coke.

I immediately laughed, as the guy unknowingly called out the help for employing the standard watered-down wedding drink , that, and I always commend a rip-start on the festivities.

In a wedding setting, I can never settle on a drink that can be downed in mass quantities, yet remain palatable throughout the entire night. Slugging scotch is awful, and a mixture of cocktails (V&S, G&T, Jim Beam and rubbing alcohol) isn't the best option. I am open to suggestions for a game-plan for wedding imbibing.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Wedding in Baltimore

This weekend, and aside from the repeatedly miserable service at the Wyndham (FYI - if told you have an "exclusive corner room" only means you've got a ton of windows and got shafted on square-footage), the weekend was a blast. Ceremony was a "quick Catholic wedding" (35 minutes!) in Little Italy, followed by a reception on the 22nd floor of the World Trade Center.

Aside from the table of unlimited shrimp cocktail, the reception was punctuated by a Jager shot by the entire assembled party at the end of the night, the perfect way to draw the curtain on the evening. Having misplaced my affinity for the liquid asphalt, I was egged on while downing my shot in stages by an octagenerian who had finished hers.

Sunday was fantastic, gorgeous weather, a lunch on the Inner Harbor (sandwiches from across the street, not getting suckered into a $17 crab cake at Hooters) before walking to Camden and scoring face-value tickets to a 4-1 O's victory. The heat in right-field allowed me to sweat out the remainder of my hangover.

In summation, I was surprisingly impressed with Baltimore.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Shipping and Handling = $86.00

I know my recent posts have been of a pessimistic nature, but it can't go without saying how ridiculous shipping fees have become. I call them "fees" rather than charges, because I don't think I could make a purchase on ebay and pay less than $12, which is most cases is more expensive than the crappy '80s CDs I am purchasing. At what point did it become acceptable to take a cut off the $2.16 it costs to ship something, and jack it up to something audacious.

Many times I pay exorbinant fee for shipping, and get a box with the actual price on the package, which unnerves me to no end.

Sadly, it seems companies have now caught whiff of the phenomena and jumped on the bandwagon. I was on and about to purchase a $99 slipcover when I realized the shipping was $20, and tax was $5. Paying 25% extra to get it delivered is crap.

The real joke is Pottery Barn assesses shipping fees based on price of purchase, not actual product weight. You can buy picture frames from PB for $250, which would be a shipping fee in excess of $25. Essentially, you are over-paying for shipping on an overpriced, poorly made product, for which you can probably buy an overpriced warranty for when the POS inevitably breaks. Eff Pottery Barn.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I had lunch this afternoon at a place I enjoy, 'Noodles & Co.', but it is ironic as the establishment is bordering on the overkill style of TCF/Appleby's/Ruby Tuesday's/TGIF, that I absolutely hate. I noticed:

While the menu consists of mostly noodle dishes, the drinks include sodas, beer, and wine, in addition to the specialty bottled 'Jones' sodas.

The dining area, while being subdued in atmosphere, had 'Push It' pumping over the PAs.

The serving staff is overattentive, asking if I needed my drink refilled when I was 10 steps away from the soda fountain.

The cumulative result was somewhat disorienting, but as long as they keep my $5 Pan Fried Japanese noodles, no complaints.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Someone explain the appeal of Coors Light? It is a beer adored by the masses, most of my friends, but I consider it horrible. When it comes to the Lite beers, I prefer Miller Lite. All Coors Lite tastes skunked and like can, but nothing like beer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Adam Sandler Movies

My ranking of the top five Adam Sandler movies:

5. 50 First Dates. Barely edged Mr. Deeds and Big Daddy, and only because I picked it out of a hat.

4. The WaterBoy. Moments of laughter (not hilarity). Didn't care for the casting of Henry Winkler and Kathy Bates. Would have preferred Gar Heard and Carnie Wilson.

3. The Wedding Singer. Man the 1980's were tubular.

2. Happy Gilmore. Carl Weathers was perfect for Chubbs Peterson.

1. Billy Madison. Comic genius and a smoking Veronica Vaughn.

At What Point...

...did it become acceptable to wear one's cell-phone on a belt clip? Once cell phones began to proliferate, it was very annoying, after time I was innundated with the site and forgot about it, remembered it yesterday (for no reason) and how truly awful it is.

While on the topic of cell phone's I'll officially throw mine away when they go retro and people start carrying Star-Tacs again.

"Reversal of Fortune"

Is the best term I have heard in ages. I am seriously reconsidering renaming HIAH "Reversal of Fortune", and I fully expect the next Triple Crown winner to be of the same name.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Diamonds - The Rich get Richer

Before anyone decides to spend an exorbinant amount of money on any sort of diamond ring/necklace/etc. consider the following:

- Gem quality diamonds cost $50 a carat to manufacture

- 3 billion carats of diamonds are mined annually

So why doesn't every woman on earth get a one carat diamond every year? The marketing/hording tactics of diamond manufacturers. Debeers was only granted direct access to US markets in the last few years because of their monopoly on the market. They have warehouses stockpiled with diamonds they won't release to keep the market diamond-starved. Their "Diamond is Forever" slogan is a marketing ploy to sap the industry of any liquidity. In addition to their questinable labor practices, the diamond industry is an over-valued joke.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

HealthSouth and the NBA Draft

Former HealthSouth executive Richard M. Scrushy was acquitted today on three dozen various counts, mostly relating to fraud and money-laundering. If anyone has been following the indictment and case, this guy is the biggest sleaze/shrewdest criminal I can remember, surpassing Jacko.

The joker, in an effort to poison the jury pool, which he correctly guessed to be the entire state of Alabama, began lavish humanitarian spending once he was under investigation. Additionally, he regualry participated in an African American Gospel hour to convince the entire state of his "honesty" and candor. Turns out the blatant scheme worked and he got off.

I am starting to question the validity/accuracy of trial by jury. I don't think judges should be giving total court control, but potential jurors should be subject to an IQ test and tested for common sense. This case wasn't just a no-brainer, it was a brain-dead no-brainer, and the jury botched it.


With tonight being the Miss-Miss-Miss-Miss-Hit-Miss NBA Draft, would it be possible for a team to simply forefit their picks? What sense is it for a non-lottery team to pick a guy who will not crack an already-solid rotation and eat cap space? If I was an above .500 team, I would try to package/trade my picks up every year, or simply pass on the pick and use the accumulated money to offer a restricted contact to a proven NBA commodity after two/three years, aka Gilbert Arenas.

I am convinced Elgin Baylor was on the
Richard M. Scrushy jury.