Friday, August 31, 2007

Just like X-Mas...

...Except that we can prove that Larry Munson is real.

I've been getting up early, but today was ridiculous. I woke up at 4:30, sans alarm, giddy with anticipation over the kickoff of UGA football. Today is much different than any of the other home game weekends since 1983, since it is in essence, for me, an "away" game. There won't be any adorning the ride with magnetic helmets and logos and tattered window flags that make that annoying "flap flap" sound down 85. Instead, I'll be wondering which of the items on my "gameday checklist" will pass through airport security. (Good news? I can bring the Zippo. And breast milk). Though I doubt Delta will allow me to hang a Bulldog flag out the window of a 737, even if I'm in First Class. (I'm sure the "flap flap" sound wouldn't last long after take off, and I'd probably wind up sucked out the tiny window like the awful "alien hybrid child" in the wretched Alien Resurrection. But not before knocking down a few Crowns!)

Speaking of Munson, here's a nice article from the AJC on his generation of broadcasters.

Check out ESPNs pretty boy Kirk Herbstreit's "Herbie" awards here
. Hardly any UGA mentions, as we seem to have low expectations this year and be flying under the radar of many pundits. Stafford is mentioned in the "what a difference a year makes" section about QBs, and to that, I say "yep!" Hell, what a difference a few weeks made. The #7 we saw in first half of the season didn't resemble the #7 that lit up the last few opponents on the schedule as the Dawgs finished strong. We do top the list of hottest coeds (again, "yep!") and it's interesting to note that 8 of the top 10 in this category are SEC schools. Great education. Great football. The rest is just a bonus. But UGA not on his list of "best gameday experience?" Were he and Corso hanging out in Winder all day? However, Brent Layton would be pleased with his band assessment.

Knowshon (that's really going to be a problem for the spell checker this year) brings the "Wow." Will he be another Sterling Boyd? Or another Garrison Hearst? I'm leaning toward believing the hype with this one, providing he gets enough carries.

For readers of this new blog (and not my old one over on the Space), I'll be back later this weekend with my thoughts and observations from the tailgate and the game. Until then, Go Dawgs!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Morning Geeky News

Tim Minear will be doing a new show for Fox Studios for the ABC network. Sounds similar in theme to the quickly cancelled show Miracles (whose cleverest conceit was the right there in front of your face but basically unnoticed "God is Nowhere" / "God is Now Here" storyline), which ironically, was from another Buffyverse vet David Greenwalt. Click here to read more about what quirkly, quality show will be killed in 4 to 6 episodes. (And yes, those Minear/Fox/Dushku/"Faith" suggestions just seemed way to good to be true).

Speaking of Faith, here's a blurb at TV Guide about the upcoming Faith arc in the Season 8 Buffy comics. If you're not reading these, you're truly missing out on a spectactular tale well told. Get thee to the Dark Horse site for a subscription, or maybe you can see this guy.

You can vote on the cover of the Battlestar Galactica "Razor" DVD cover, and be rewarded with a clip of the uber-awesome Michelle Forbes as Admiral Helena Cain explaining the film's title. For the record, A. I think she has some solid advice. I'm pulling out the sharpening stone, and B. I voted for the third one, which captures the fractious nature of the situation visually.

Not only is she talented, funny and hot -- Kristen Bell is geeky and humble too. See what I mean here at EW.

Speaking of talented, geeky, funny and humble, here's a good interview with Nathan Fillion answering fan submitted questions. (Although I'm sure Captain Tightpants is considered "hot," too, I'll leave that judgment to the female TNRLM readers. And Republican congressmen). Bonus points for Nathan loving Arrested Development, as should anyone with a modicum of taste, discretion and humor.

Monday, August 27, 2007

If you're trying to get some cock in a bathroom stall...

...there are probably worse times to admit it than the day Vick pleads guilty, the Attorney General resigns, the housing market continues to spiral into hell, baseball pennant races heat up and college football is only a few days away.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who the hell is Nick Folk? And I like tomatoes and vodka.

Yes, it's that time that everyone hangs on the edge of their seat for: reading about someone else's fantasy football team. While you may not be enthralled with the details, at least those of you who play the game can soldier on through the next few paragraphs, confident in the knowldege that your team, no matter who you picked, is probably better than mine.

Quick History: I play in a "keeper" league, where each year we can protect up to 3 players on the previous year's roster. Your "protection" acts as a draft pick, so typically, much of the first three rounds of the draft consists of owners selecting their "keepers." This prevents point scoring studs like Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Larry Johnson and Steven Jackson from entering the draft pool. However, in the first three rounds, all your protected players that you haven't yet drafted go back into the common pool if you take a player from the board not on your protected list. Several years ago, I scrapped my whole protected list and drafted LaDanian Tomlinson in the first round, Michael Vick in the second (both as rookies) and took Tiki Barber in the third (who then was known more for fumbling, before he became known for being a top 5 fantasy back, and before he became known for trading bon mots with Matt Lauer and insulting Eli Manning's cojones). This triumvirate was a solid, solid core and regularly put up enough points to get me comfortably into the playoffs, and brought me a playoff championship, a regular season points championship, a few runner up finishes and some serious cash. Well, we all know what happened in the offseason. LT is still LT, but Vick will now be starring in an off, off Broadway revival of "The Longest Yard" and Tiki retired because Tom Coughlin is mean, Brandon Jacobs poached his touchdowns and Eli is a pussy.

In the weeks leading up the draft, I panicked at the thought of not having a QB, so I traded a 6th round pick for Jay Cutler. My goal was to assemble another "trio" of talent that could carry me through several seasons, with LT, Cutler and then a young, stud RB. I had my sights set on 3 potential Tiki replacements: Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson and the less well known Brandon Jackson. Surely with all the established, protected talent, I could get Lynch or Peterson in the third round. It didn't quite work out that way.

Here were the issues:
  • There were some "technical difficulties" with the wireless network at the live site of the draft (back home in Atlanta) and the first pick was delayed for 40+ minutes. (This did not sit well with my carefully timed and calibrated intake of pitchers of bloody marys).
  • These difficulties also led to the "protected list" not being fully loaded into the system, so it was harder to see who was actually available and when someone went "off the reservation" and cast their protected players back into the available pool.
  • I dramatically underestimated the desire some owners would have for Lynch and Peterson.
  • I dramatically underestimated the number of quality QBs that would be available in rounds 2 - 6, making my panicky move for a Vanderbilt Commodore seem even more desperate. Yet, I couldn't toss Cutler back into the common pool in the 2nd round to grab a RB, and essentially waste the pick I traded for him.
  • I finished second last year, so my pick was typically at the ass end of a round.
  • Did I mention the bloody marys?

So, bottom line, after two rounds, I was drunk, confused, anxious and filled with self-loathing and second guessing.

Of course, I kept LT -- perhaps the best NFL RB of his generation and on his way to Canton. He's also a fantasy scoring legend and probably the unanimous number 1 pick in leagues across the country. However, I kept Cutler (25th pick overall) and saw many other quality fantasy QBs available at the same time, including Mark Bulger, Jon Kitna, Phillip Rivers, Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Leinart. By protecting Cutler so early, I missed out on both Lynch and Peterson, and wound up taking Brandon Jackson as my second starting RB in the third round. The problem is, that's probably too early for him (I'll have to check other leagues to see his average draft position) AND he has the same fucking bye week as my other starter, LT. So in week 7, I'll have to rest both my starting RBs, play Len Dale White (who may not even be the starter in Tennessee -- and may have committed hari-kari at a Sizzler buffet by then) and some other RB that I pick up off the scrap heap.

Every time I had someone targeted for future potential (Calvin Johnson) or homer interests (Reggie Brown), the person 1 or 2 picks in front of me snagged them, sending me into a tizzy as I tried to A. find a replacement, B. not conflict with the numerous bye week problems I had caused myself and C. add just the right dash of Worcestershire sauce to the bloodies. On top of that, outside of LT (and maybe Cutler), there are huge question marks with each of my other starters.

Here is the 2007 Edition of Area 51:

QB: Jay Cutler (despite the trade and panic, I still feel good about his consistent production in a Mike Shanahan offense).
QB: Joey Harrington (at least I know he'll be starting. Who is going to take his job? Chris Redman? Plus, he'll be available to play the piano at weddings and bar mitzvahs).

RB: LT (stud)
RB: Brandon Jackson (same bye as LT. Under the radar rookie who could flourish in GB's system, providing Farve stays healthy and doesn't throw 39 picks, necessitating pass, pass, pass comebacks. But third round? Ye Gods.).
RB: Len Dale White (what will be his playing time? What's his attitude? And believe me -- he was actually the "best" available at pick 129, along with his Titan RB brethren).

WR: Andre Johnson (I had him last year, and he caught more balls than a Columbus stripper. But had few touchdowns, as David Carr had difficulty throwing into the end zone from his back and through the tears. Will Matt Schaub make a difference?)
WR: Plaxico Burress (despite his obvious physical gifts, I actually dislike his prima donna attitude and poor work ethic. But who else does Eli have to throw to -- besides the team in the other color jerseys, of course?)
WR: Kevin Curtis (have any of the "greatest show on turf" wonder receivers flourished outside that system? Az Hakim, anyone? Will McNabb stay healthy? I really wanted Reggie Brown here, but he got snagged)

TE: Heath Miller (how will "Steely McBeam's" new O-Coordinator feature the tight end?)
TE: Eric Johnson (will he even play? Hell, it was pick 180)

D: Jacksonville (put up good numbers, but will they stay healthy? How many picks will their corners have?)
D: Carolina (will they be the force up front they've always been? Can their secondary do anything? On the upside, they play Joey Harrington twice).

K: Josh Scobee (I'm okay with this).
K: Nick Folk (I have no idea who this is. Purportedly, he plays for Dallas. He was one selection away from being the AFFL "Mr. Irrelevant.")

So there you have it. I have LT, and a bunch of questions, desperation and hope. Like the "real" Area 51, it's a mystery and no one is quite sure of the contents. Good thing I perfected the mix for the bloody marys.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We'll find the next Deion Sanders hidden in Lincoln Nebraska!

Gearing up for the fantasy draft, coffee in one hand and bloody mary in the other, what subject would be on my mind other than "draft busts?"

Here was an article I stumbled across recently outlining some of the all time worst draft busts. Yes, you'll see the usual collection of Penn State running backs and receivers picked by the Lions, but toward the end, there's another subset typically recalled only by scarred Falcons fans: cornerbacks taken by Atlanta out of Nebraska. Why anyone thought that CBs playing in a "run, run, run" program in a "run, run, run" conference would have NFL cover skills is beyond me.

Back to school shopping and love games

Interesting article on back to school shopping for girls over on Slate. While there is no "fault" in a true free-market economy -- companies can manufacture and market whatever they want, and consumers can select and purchase whatever they want -- it is sad that the options mentioned in the article are viable for a large portion of the population. Obviously, there's a middle ground between dressing in head to toe "prairie wear" like Nikki Henrickson and auditioning to be the next Pussycat hooker, but impressionable teens and tweens get their cues from the pop culture media, and hopefully, from their parents.

Scan the headlines of any pop/gossip website and you'll see all you need to know about examples set by Lindsay, Britney, Paris and their ilk. And it probably doesn't help if mom makes those tarts all look like Elizabeth I. I'm sure some of these back to school shopping questions have arisen in suburbs all across the country, like this one, for example. However, it's probably hard to have any parental moral authority on the subject when mom's own "wardrobe" was frequently found wadded up the next morning on the floor of random apartments, trailers and backseats, ostensibly for business ("pay for play"), pleasure ("I'm sorry, your name was....?") or economic security (Two Step Financial Planning for college flunk outs: 1. Lie. 2. Open knees).

On a quasi-related note, too bad I didn't know there were "simulations" like this a couple of years ago. Hell, even the Sims would have been smarter than I was.

Morning Entertainment Nuggets

How close is Big Love to real life? Check out EW's "ask an expert" series, where they speak with a reporter from Utah who has covered polygamy. Personally, I think season two is even better than season one, and I really enjoyed season one. While the cast is uniformly excellent, the three wives (Ginnifer Goodwin, Chloe Sevigny and Jeanne Tripplehorn) have all turned in stellar, nuanced performances for the whole of the season.

Good interview with creator of quality euthanized television shows, Tim Minear, over on E!. Mainly, it talks about what it's like to have an "overall deal," and not so much about how it feels to have promising show after promising show held underwater like an underperforming dog at Ron Mexico's house.

Finally, here's an audio interview with Joss Whedon at
(it's at the bottom of the opening info block, just to the left of the "tell a friend" icon). Primarily about the release of the Serenity special edition, he also has an interesting response to a question about "best show on TV." Quickly, without hesitation and in a split second, he says (you guessed it) "Battlestar Galactica." And goes on to add, that he thinks it's one of the best EVER, by a country mile. I know that, and if you watch the show, you know that too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Snootchie Bootches, Cylon motherfuckers

Holy shit. Kevin Smith is completing a geek TV trifecta. First, we learned he has directed the pilot of the new CW series Reaper. Then, he's going to write and direct an episode of Heroes: Origins. And now for the capper: Silent Bob himself will direct an episode of the final season of The.Best.Show.On.TV, Battlestar Galactica.

You can read all about his involvement with those three shows in this interview with AOL Television.

He's obviously humbled by the opportunity, and clearly recognizes that BSG rocks. He's not writing the show he's directing, or we might see dialogue like this:

Baltar, about Gaeta: ....Just for the record, I'm not gay, but my tubby man servant....he loves the cock..."

Anders to Tyrol: "There's a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of 'em just cheat on you."

Gaius Baltar: "In a world gone mad, we will not spank the monkey, but the monkey will spank us. "

Saul Tigh, about the Cylons: "All you motherfuckers are gonna pay. You are the ones who are the ball-lickers. We're gonna fuck your mothers while you watch and cry like little bitches."

Lee: "Your shit is really getting tired, Kara."
Kara: "Call me 'Boo-Boo-Kitty-Fuck', bitch. "

Thursday, August 23, 2007

UGA Broadcast Team on the Road

I'm sure all good Dawg fans already know this, but a new radio broadcast team was just named for the road games. Living Legend Larry Munson will only be working the home games this year for health reasons. On the away games, longtime UGA radio presence Scott Howard will do the play by play, with my second favorite Bulldog player ever Eric Zeier handling the analysis.

("Second favorite" is no slight whatsoever. I can't imagine ANY Dawg fan not having #34 at the top of their list. That's like calling Jackie Brown or Reservoir Dogs your "second favorite" Tarantino movie. If you don't have Pulp Fiction at the top of the list, then I'm not even sure what to think about you. That, of course, doesn't diminish your love and appreciation forReservoir Dogs).

More here from the AJC. And from David Ching's Blog. And here, too, from Ching's Blog, from Loran.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Make plans for Sunday

Personally, I'll probably be sleeping off a wicked hangover after having doused my sorrows over drafting a pitiable, probably soon to suffer debilitating injuries, underachieving, poorly scoring fantasy football team to surround The Lord Thy God LaDanian Tomlinson.

However, if you haven't been watching AMC's new instant classic drama, Mad Men, then here's your chance.

Read this pimpmercial from esteemed professional television critic Maureen Ryan (just in case you haven't been listening to yours truly, an amateur television critic who brings you these brilliant recommendations for free) touting Sunday's Mad Men marathon. Mad Men is definitively the best show of the summer, and instantly entered the pantheon of classic, complex and multifaceted dramas.

Edited to Add: I'm a moron. I was breezing through the link above in my newsreader and missed all the references to "Labor Day." I thought the marathon was this coming Sunday, not the Sunday after next. But that's not the worst of it. I got confused about episodes being shown in the marathon -- and wondered why they were showing a "new" episode as part of the marathon instead of its regular time on Thursday. (Which wouldn't be the case if I could use a calendar. Or read). So if you click the link, you'll find a post from yours truly demonstrating my idiocy, and getting a helpful reminder from Maureen that the marathon is indeed NEXT Sunday -- Labor Day weekend. (See? That's why I'm an amateur television critic and not a professional). In that case, I probably will have stopped whining about my fantasy team, and will instead be working off the hangover from the first UGA game of the season, a win over the Cowboys from OSU, and enjoying some time in the "motherland." However, if you haven't yet watched Mad Men, then you should be tuning in to this terrific new show.

James T. Kirk laughs in the face of your insurance plan

Here's an amusing headline and post, courtesy of The Trek Movie Report.

Hey, I work in marketing, and right off the bat I would have realized that this billboard and "customer care" program concept would instantly amuse and possibly exclude the large segment of the population known as Trekkies (or Trekkers, as some prefer). Hell, even friends of mine who don't know the difference between Klingons and Vulcans are familiar with the term "redshirt."

Which got me thinking. Is the concept of redshirt deaths just a pop culture meme, or was there really something to it? Of course, almost anything you can wonder has probably been analyzed somewhere, and thanks to the usefulness of these here interwebs, we have an answer.

In three years of the Original Trek, 43 redshirts took the big galactic dirt nap. How do I know this? Check this out.

You have got to love it when statistical analysis is used to examine the death rate of red-shirted crewmen on the USS Enterprise. Complete with a fucking Starfleet Powerpoint, for crissakes! Brilliant!

And the conclusion: We can reliably improve the survivability of the red-shirted crewmen by only exploring peaceful, female-only planets (android and alien females included).

Of course, let's hope their insurance carrier wasn't (or rather, isn't going to be) "Independent Health."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

There are just so many poorly chosen words in that sentence.

If you don't know what that quote is in response to, it's Michael Bluth, reacting to this:

Tobias: "Well, yes, but I’m afraid I prematurely shot my wad on what was supposed to be a dry run, if you will, so now I’m afraid I have something of a mess on my hands."

Isn't it great when two awesome things come together? Like whiskey and water? Coffee and cigarettes? Chocolate and Peanut butter? Heroes and Kristen Bell?

That happened this morning, when I stumbled across this simply magnificent post (hat tip, Dawg Sports) thematically fusing two of the best things in the known universe: Arrested Development and SEC Football.

Yes, it's long. But if you're even tangentially familiar with the Bluths and SEC football, you owe it to yourself to read every last word -- and click on every precious morsel of scriptage from the Best. Sitcom. Ever.

What a fun sexy time for you, indeed.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Canine Catastrophes

Fuck. First, the Falcons season becomes derailed when their starting QB is caught being less than hospitable to our canine friends. Now, the one hope for area fans -- that former UGA stud and general all around great guy, DJ Shockley, would get some significant PT -- comes crashing down.

According to the AJC, Shockley has torn up his knee and is done for the year.

How horribly sad for DJ and his many fans in the south. Get well soon, DJ.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Canon: Best Modern Credit Sequences

Television opening credit sequences have come a long way since the days of our youth. "Back in the day" (excuse me while I check on the earlybird dinner special and line up my bingo and shuffleboard games) credits almost always followed the same formula: catchy jingle, expository lyrics and images, list of players.

Sitcoms were particularly adept at this. Think about it. Who couldn't still break off a barroom rendition of The Beverly Hillbillies? Or Green Acres? The Brady Bunch? The Jeffersons? Gilligan's Island? Everything we needed to set up the story was right there in the first minute. While not adhering as strictly to formula, dramas also used the opening moments to give you what you needed. Who didn't know exactly what to expect after getting revved up by the opening of Hawaii Five O? Or Magnum PI? Or Classic Star Trek? Or even a more obscure show, like The Wild, Wild West?

Nowadays, the playing field has changed somewhat. There are more commercials and less time for 1-2 minutes of catchy theme music to play each week. There's the pressure to "hook" potential channel flippers, so the "cold open" has gathered steam as a marketing tool and storytelling device to capture your attention right off the bat. Full credits aren't actually contained within the "theme song" and many shows just show them on a crawl during the first act.

So before we get to the actual list, a few caveats.
  1. I'm only including current shows. So we won't be seeing the iconic images of Tony Soprano and the fabulous strains of "Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun." Or the first season of dearly departed Veronica Mars. Or Firefly. Or the late (lamented?) John From Cincinnati. Or the pitch perfect Buffy the Vampire Slayer opening.
  2. I'm only considering shows I watch with some regularity (i.e. "good" shows. That use a script). So I don't care if Beethoven and Prince collaborated on the opening credits of America's Next Top Model with Orson Welles and Martin Scorcese, you won't be seeing that here.
  3. The list also includes shows with actual "credit sequences." So while I love Lost's moody spinning logo and strange music, and The Closer's blues line interspersed with the opening of act one, those are not necessarily a credit sequence.

Got it?

Okay, here we go.

1. Battlestar Galactica

It's all right there. The set up. The premise. Gorgeous imagery. Emotion, drama, conflict -- all perfectly set to the music. Plus, the unusual tactic of split second images from the episode to follow.

2. Dexter

Beautiful. Disturbing images of seemingly innocuous everyday activities, highlighted by frequent splashes of blood and underscored by a whimsical to the point of creepy theme. What better way to kick off a show about a "good guy" moonlighting as a serial killer?

3. Monk

Randy Newman's sprightly ditty is one for the ages, perfectly capturing the essence of Adrian Monk.

4. Mad Men

The score here is terrific and the imagery even better. Evocative of the classic work by Saul Bass, the falling adman sets up the personal, professional and existential conflict of primary character Don Draper.

5. Rescue Me

Set to a driving uptempo rave by the Von Bondies, Rescue Me's credits also give you everything you need to know aurally and visually right away. The "smoking" player credits are a great touch.

6. Bones

This is from season 2, which improved on season 1 by synchronizing the actor names with their appearance onscreen. The music, by The Crystal Method, rhythmically suggests the creepy nature of the cases while the jittery visuals remind viewers of Se7en and set the tone of the show while never losing the focus on the two primary characters.

7. CSI

It's been around a while, and been "exported" thematically to sister shows New York and Miami, but the original is still the best. Combining the high energy music of The Who and lyrically on point in the search for the criminal, CSI is a great blend of song and image that sets up the "scientific" nature of the crime lab without sacrificing any of the drama.

8. Psych

Another perfect marriage of lyrical storytelling that suggests the premise while conveying the fun and farcical nature of the show, all in 20 seconds.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Murder is a "great choice!" Herpes and dog killing is not.

Came across this article by ESPN writer Gregg Easterbrook (TMQ), offering a rare "defense" of Michael Vick. Defense is probably a stretch, though he does express some sentiment for the situation Vick finds himself in, by his own choices, decisions and actions, as Easterbrook points out.

The item in the article that came screaming off the screen to me was this:

You cannot order a customized Falcons jersey from with the "Vick" or "7" on it. (Nor can you order one with "Mexico.")

However, you CAN order a Panthers jersey with "Carruth" and "89." Rae Carruth, as you may recall, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for shooting his 8-month pregnant girlfriend 4 times (she died). He was found hiding in a trunk with his own piss.

Another customizable gem you can pick up is a Bills jersey adorned with "32" and "Simpson." The Juice, as we all know, murdered Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, skated on criminal charges but was later found responsible in civil court. Personally, I would never have anything with "Simpson" on it (that didn't feature 3 fingers and yellow skin) and have long maintained that the wrong Nicole Simpson was beheaded.

"Great Choice!" says the site!

But what does it say that you can still order these two jerseys and NOT anything to do with Vick? I thought that might be some writer's creative license, but damned if I didn't go to the NFL shopping site and try it out it for myself.

I also tried and could order a Cardinals jersey for "Rozier." A Rams jersey for "Phillips." And because of where I now live, I won't even editorialize on how many purple 52 "Lewis" jerseys I see every single day.

Wow. Obviously, I have zero sympathy or compassion for Vick. Not only did he (alledgedly) commit inhumane and despicable acts, he tarnished my hometown franchise, made us feel comfortable dealing away Matt Schaub (9-12, 102 passer rating today for the Texans) and saddled us with British Open winner Padraig Harrington's less accomplished cousin. Plus, he fucked my fantasy team, and panicked me into trading for a Vanderbilt Commodore. The only good that can possibly come of this is if JD Stokely (er, sorry, Lou Holtz moment there) DJ Shockley wins the Falcons job and opens a center for abused animals and wayward STD victims.

But it seems that for all his welcome tough guy crackdown on crime and bad behavior, NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell should close this little web shopping loophole.

Buffyverse Desktops

Great selection of Buffyverse desktops for your computer can be found at the Dark Horse site here. They're fantastic images from the ridiculously good "Season 8" comics. I used the one of Willow for a while, and just recently switched to the "spray paint" Faith.

Of course, I'll switch to a UGA desktop during the upcoming season.

Nice day for the O

The "real" thing is still two weeks away, but waking up to see these stats was like morning wood.

(Those are from David Ching's great Bulldog beat blog, BTW).

Yes, it's only a scrimmage, but Stafford's numbers were insane. I like seeing the long TD passes (that obviously means that someone -- not in an opposing uni -- was actually catching those lasers, too). And all the pre-season hype leads one to believe this Moreno kid will be quite good.

Woof, Woof.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

William the Bloody looks for missing kids and Connor smokes

Earlier this week, it was reported all over the blogosphere that William the Bloody, AKA Spike, (James Marsters) will be joining the cast of Without a Trace. TV Guide's Aussiello notes it here. Though it's a recurring role, it could turn out to be series regular gig in time. At the bottom of this post, I briefly recounted my experience with the show, which I watched for a while as my "go to bed procedural." I gave up -- opting instead for the honey-baked properties of the Caruso ("You watch.....MY show........instead." YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH! screams Roger Daltrey). However, given the addition of the brilliant Marsters, I may check out WOAT again just to see what's going on. But if it turns out to be like watching the back of a milk carton for an hour again, even The Bloody Awful Poet won't keep me tuned in. Oh, and who saw Marsters recently on Saving Grace in a small role as the bad guy? Dark hair, no english accent. Guy is a solid actor and it's nice to see him pop up in some mainstream roles.

Speaking of the Whedonverse, Angel alum Vincent Kartheiser has been playing oily adman Pete on AMC's engrossing, richly drawn Mad Men (he had a chance to shine in last week's ep which further explored Pete's marriage, family life and precarious work situation -- adding some needed depth to the character). I was never the biggest fan of Connor the character (Shan's TV rule: no spawning) though at least we only suffered through a handful of "baby" episodes (including one of the bottom five of the series: "Provider") before Angel's son became a whiny teen, surrogate mom fucker (ew), acolyte of Jasmine and sporting goods store suicide bomber. The character was somewhat "redeemed" late in Season 5, but through it all, Kartheiser did a good job with the occasionally annoying material he was given. Here's a short TV Guide interview with VK.

And finally, after missing the appointment by 3 and a half hours last night, Comcast responded with a new DVR. "Oh," said the technician, "you had the older model. We had a lot of problems with those. When you described your symptoms, I knew what it was. This new one doesn't have nearly as many resets." Hmmm. "nearly as many." That is truly comforting. It reminds me a bit of Aliens:

Bishop: Well, that explains it then. The A2s always were a bit twitchy. That could never happen now with our behavioral inhibitors. It is impossible for me to harm or by omission of action, allow to be harmed, a human being.

We'll see if the new DVR follows the rules of robotics and doesn't allow anyone to be harmed (like, say, folks in a nearby apartment caught by a stray bullet as a deranged, over-the-edge viewer goes all Scarface on his malfunctioning DVR the next time PTI doesn't record).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Holy Cow! I think he's gonna make it!

Phil Rizzuto, the "Scooter," passed away yesterday. Rizzuto was a Yankees legend -- a shortstop for 13 years, an AL MVP, a 5 time All-Star, a 9 time world champion, a legendary broadcaster and a Baseball Hall of Famer.

For my generation, however, our first exposure to the Scooter probably came with this piece of classic rock:

Rest in peace, Scooter.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Are there stronger words that "fuck you" for Comcast?

I previously ranted about my multiple problems with customer-raping shit-box peddlers Comcast on Saturday morning.

Well, since then:

I tried to watch some of the Friday night shows I enjoy, that my "DVR" presumably recorded: Doctor Who, Psych and Monk. During the playback of Monk, the box crashed twice - each time requiring me to manually restart it and wait on it to "reboot." I did see the entire show, so it wasn't a total loss. It did not record Psych. My friendly, reliable old Tivo would have noticed that it "missed" a recording (left me a message in the menu telling me WHY it missed it), and AUTOMATICALLY recorded the next showing of the show in question. Which would have been easy, since USA conveniently airs multiple repeats. However, the Soul-Crushing Anal Raping Television Enjoyment Diminishment Device (tm) did not do this. Fortunately, I found a repeat of Psych and set the show to record. As I happened to be home, I also chose to watch it live. During live viewing, I once tried to hit the "repeat" button to catch a line of dialogue I missed. Crash. Off. Reboot. 10 minutes later, it crashed again. I was left with 3 "snippets" of program with "Reboot Gaps" (tm) for one hour show. Eventually, I stitched together the pieces of this program to make a Comcast Viewing Quilt (tm), which you can imagine only enhances the joy you feel watching a program. Doctor Who didn't record. No explanation. No warning. No attempt to schedule it in the future. (Skiffy is kinda stingy with their Who repeats).

I suffered through four more random crashes while watching various live TV shows on Saturday night, and finally called customer service. (Speed Dial #4). We went through 3 rounds of "I'll send a signal through the line," "unplug it for a minute and start it back up" over the course of 2 hours. Finally, fed up, I implored these douchebags to send a technician out and to bring me another box. That's scheduled for Wednesday, conveniently pinpointed at 6PM at 9PM.

Sunday, 5 more crashes and stitching together an "Entourage Quilt." Today I get home from a long day at work, and wanted to watch Monday's PTI. For which I set up a Season Pass -- or whatever the Comcast equivalent is: Give the Machine Some Instructions from a Logic Impaired Menu that May or May Not Actually Record What You Tell It (tm). No recording. Even though Sunday, I checked to see if all the shows I have set up to record for Monday (Big Love, The Closer, Saving Grace, PTI) and there they were, listed in the "scheduled" recordings. We'll see what happens tonight, and how many crashes I have to suffer through just to see what happens to Brenda Leigh Johnson and the Henrickson clan.

To make matters worse, they air all these Comcast commercials on the dead space they couldn't sell to legitimate advertisers. "It's Comcastic!" they keep saying. "It's Com-Fuck-You-In-The-Ass-Tastic!" I keep hearing.

Watch your cable news channels Thursday for reports of a mass shooting in a cable company office.

Here's how I......(pulls off sunglasses)....get an....Emmy.


I have no idea why I've been on this David Caruso kick lately, or why it took me this long (what? 5 seasons into CSI: Miami?) to discover the perplexing charms of the melodramatic, sugar-cured ham delivery of one Horatio Caine.

I came across this brilliant parody today on EW Online. Check it out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A number one I can agree with

The website UGO has listed their top 50 shows of all time.

Obviously, there's a geeky cult bend to the list, but it does include some terrific, solid choices. Nice to see the always underrated News Radio check in at 22. The X-Files at 13. Firefly at 11.

Notables in the top 10:

South Park at 9. Arrested Development at 5. The Sopranos at 4. Best show currently on TV, Battlestar Galactica, at 3. And (of course) everyone's favorite resident of Sunnydale at 1.

No Bell tolling for Lost

It appears that Kristen Bell will not be joining the cast of Lost after all. Hey, if it was about money, or the fit between actor and role, or if Vincent the dog kept sniffing her butt, then I could understand. But she didn't want to reolcate to Hawaii where they film the show? It's not like Lost is shot in Afghanistan. Or Columbus, Georgia.

That's too bad because it would have been a marriage made in cult TV heaven. Oh well. At least now there's no one to distract from my crush on Juliet.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fuck you, Comcast, and the cable you ride in on

One of the most traumatic things for me during this transition has been the loss of my beloved DirecTV and TiVo. Here in temp apartment land, Comcast Cable is the king of the world. And if this is what regular viewers and customers of cable go through, then I can only suggest this must account for some major factor in the world's suicide rate.

It started badly, when I got in late Friday and after examining the box in the TV console, realized that I didn't get the "Ti-Faux" DVR installed that I requested. It got worse when I tried to tune in to HBO on Sunday for JFC and Entourage, only to realize that I didn't get HBO as agreed upon. A call the Executive Stay management quickly brought out the cable repair dude Monday night with a DVR. (at the specific appointment time of "5 PM to 8 PM.") I was complaining that I couldn't really hear the dialogue coming from the TV, even with the sound cranked all the way up. And no, this isn't just because I'm used to surround sound coming from every room in my former house, including the bathroom. Cable dude says this was because of a bad connection and the "signal to noise" ratio. Oh, okay. He fixed it though, and I tune in to HBO. "Not Authorized." Shit. So he uses an annoying "walkie talkie" function on his phone to reach his dispatcher, and after going through 15 minutes of bullshit we arrive at the conclusion that I'm "not authorized." Sigh. Up the chain I go at Comcast and finally reach a supervisor who tells me that that I'm "not authorized." Thanks for the investigative reporting there, John Stossel. I offer to scan my Executive Stay agreement which CLEARLY spells out HBO and e-mail it to him. Or show him the apologetic e-mails from said management begging my forgiveness and giving me free Marriott points for not having HBO when I arrived on Friday. Nope, says the Comcast management ventriloquist dummy. They need a "voice recording authorizing" the addition, since their name is technically on the lease. Oh, that makes sense. A random voice -- recorded and all -- is much more authentic than a legal, signed agreement. Douchebag. So I miss Big Love on Monday night. Fortunately, Executive Stay folks are responsive and HBO is added Tuesday AM. And I catch up with Entourage, Big Love and JFC through repeat airings.

They also have this feature called "On Demand." It has shows in an online repository that you can view at your leisure, free of charge (if you are "authorized" of course). A lot of it is crap, but they do feature the HBO shows, and some CBS shows. So one evening, I decide to go to sleep to the dulcet tones of the Caruso. When I call up to view this program, it asks for a password. Pourquoi? Another call to Comast customer service (now occupying Speed Dial number 4 on my crackberry), another 15 minute wait for a live human being and we have to "reset" the box from afar. Okay. 5 minutes later, we try again, same shit. We try password "0000" and of course, it works now. Then we go through steps that can only be rivaled by Scotty trying to rebuild the warp engines with duct tape and bailing wire to remove the "parental locks." Finally, the locks are removed.

Wednesday evening, I try another On Demand program. Screen goes black and the box locks up. Hello, Speed Dial number 4. a message greets me, informing me that On Demand is not working in my zip code, but I should rest assured that technicians are working diligently on the problem. To no one in particular, I mumble (in my Best Caruso voice -- cock head to side and intone with deep seriousness): "Well..........Fuck you.........Comcast."

Thursday and Friday features 4 separate "box crashes" and reboots.

And I haven't even gotten to the interface for the DVR. Compared to TiVo, the controls and set up are about as intuitive as a life raft on a dune buggy. The menus are clunky and take too long to "load." Setting up "season passes" makes no mention of eliminating repeats and asks dumbass questions like "record this show at this time on this day in this timeslot." Did TiVo copyright protect LOGIC? Jesus H. Christ.

So rough Comcast totals for one week:

Incorrect orders: 2
Technician visits: 1
Box crashes and reboots: 6
Calls from Marriott to Comcast: 3
Signal to Noise problems: 2
New cable couplings installed: 4
Speed Dial 4 calls: 7
Minutes on hold: 258
Brain cells killed trying to transition from TiVo to "DVR:" 3,726
Parental locks activated for no reason: 2
TiVo remote controls previously programmed to easily operate a Sony TV: 1. Comcast remote controls programmed to easily operate a Sony TV: 0.

At this point, I'm considering contacting a good area lawyer to see if I have a lawsuit against Comcast for undue pain and suffering.


Some interesting things I've stumbled across lately:

Acclaimed comedy writer Ken Levine lists his favorite comedies. Those in his list that I agree with, own and worship: All About Eve (really one of the great screenplays of all time. He's right - it's timeless and still holds up well). His Girl Friday. Arthur. Tootsie. Take the Money and Run (the first "mockumentary" I remember seeing, and one of the laugh out loud funniest of the Woodman's flicks). Young Frankenstein (inspired the title of a blog you may be reading at this very moment, in fact). Annie Hall and Chasing Amy (who says "romantic comedies" always have to end well?). Dr. Strangelove. (Who knew Kubrick could do funny? Unless of course you count the rollicking comedy of Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket). Four Weddings and a Funeral. (Any movie that starts with multiple "fucks" usually has a place in my heart). Of course, I would add Animal House and just about anything by the Coen Brothers, but a good list nonetheless.

Speaking of funny, the great sports blog Every Day Should Be Saturday offers an inspired take on ESPN's mind-numbing "Who's Now:" Tom Brady vs. Galactus. Yes, it's a must read.

Looks like Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball's southern gothic vampire take will see the light of day (well, maybe not literally. I'm not sure about the rules for these bloodsuckers).

Good roundup of "action movie cliches."

You've read several of my posts about the upcoming adaptation of Watchmen. (If you haven't read it -- go get it. Really). Meanwhile, my geek heart beats a little faster: Personal Top 5 list resident Carla Gugino has been cast as Sally Jupiter.

TV Guide's Mike Aussiello reports/wishes on the addition of Kristen Bell to Lost? Wow. How cool would that be? He also notes that new summer season enjoyment Burn Notice has already gotten a second season order.

Great, long interview with Joss by the Onion AV Club.

Maureen Ryan pointed to this link, a defense of the oddly captivating Horatio Caine. Make sure to watch the video.

Good E! interview with Angie Harmon, who has a no-nonsense approach to work and takes it seriously. What a cool chick. No wonder she rates as the best Law and Order ADA.

Fun summary of best "opening lyrics."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

You've got mail!

I received my first mail today! (Well, not first mail ever, of course. Just first mail here). There were the usual coupons and flyers and "Money Mailer." Which oddly enough, I've been totally anticipating. Since I have no idea where I can call to get pizza, wings, chinese and other goodies brought to my door. (OCD Note: I even have a clear plastic, tabbed and labeled expandable folder that I store coupons and flyers in which is organized by "type" of delivery food. And I cleaned it out prior to my move, tossing all the Georgia coupons, with just this moment in mind. Yep, that's me -- and I have a big weekend planned organizing them).

And, I got my first "care package!" A DVD packed with some of the shows I'm sure I missed during the lengthy trip and dark days of no DVR. Wheeee! Thanks, y'all!

Okay, getting excited about mail. Welcome to Thunderdome.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dawg Fans - I need help with a license plate

Okay, y'all, as part of this transition one of the many beloved things I'm giving up is my UGA logo license plate. Here, you can get Chesapeake Bay and "agricultural heritage" among other things, but dammit, I want my Uga.

For some reason, wanting the "unattainable" reminds me of this Dwight Schrute comment:

Dwight: "Once I'm officially regional manager, my first order of business will be to demote Jim Halpert. So I will need a new number two. My ideal choice? Jack Bauer. But he is unavailable. Fictional. And overqualified."

Short of that, I can still get a "vanity" license plate to communicate my Bulldog heritage and pride here in ACC country. (Oddly, there seems to be more passion here for the Ravens and Redskins rather than the Terps, but it's not college hoops season. Oh, and everyone still hates Spurrier, so at least that feels familiar).

Okay, dear readers and fellow Dawg fans, here's your challenge. I need some combination of seven letters and numbers for which to apply. Obviously, I won't be the only Dawg here that's had this bright idea, so many of the obvious options (i.e. UGADAWG) will probably be taken. I'll show up at the DMV office and harrass some poor government drone into checking the availability of as many as I can before the people behind me in line (or the Borg itself) go postal. Here are the rules as they list them on their website:

  • You will have to really rack your brain to come up with words or phrases that you could live with attached to your vehicle.
  • Space is allotted to only seven slots (six on disabled and motorcycle plates).
  • Only letters and numbers are acceptable―no characters.

Now, I still need to verify if they accept LESS than seven; or accept spaces. And I think I have 60 or 90 days to do this. I'll update the post later this week once I've contacted my friendly DMV 4 of 9, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero to confirm the details.

But put on your thinking caps and give me some ideas. Send this link to other fellow tailgaters and Dawgs. You can leave your suggestions in the comments sections, or send them to me via e-mail. Perhaps this will be a good exercise during the long tailgate for the OSU game, when creativity will be flowing in numerous 12 ounce increments.

Here are a few I scribbled today during lunch to get you started:


Saturday, August 4, 2007

I'm here. Barely.

I'm here. I'm alive. Quick thoughts:

I never, ever want to pull a trailer or U-Haul of any kind, ever again. Entering a parking lot of any kind resulted in something closely resembling that scene in Austin Powers when he was turning the golf cart around in the narrow hallway. I'm used to driving 80 - 90 MPH in the left lane, whipping in and out of traffic like Tony Stewart. Yesterday? Glued to the right hand land like a fucking grandmother, and feeling my dignity slowly ebb as faux wood paneled mini-vans passed me like I was in reverse. And just for kicks, every 10 minutes or so, the U-Haul trailer decided to veer left and right for no reason at all like the back of a runaway fire truck, putting me on a slalom course in my tiny right lane. Overall, with numerous bladder breaks, what Google told me should be an 11 hour trip (and I always beat those estimates by at least 15%) took me 14 and a half.

Radio in the Carolinas seems to be limited to country music and 158 stations all praising Jesus.

Speaking of radio, in scanning the channels I noticed that American Idol alums are very popular. I can't count the number of times I heard Daughtry, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson's new song, "Walkaway." (Which I really like. Of course, I also liked "Never Again." I don't know what Clive Davis was bitching about).

The cats handled the trip relatively well. Oddly, skittish Willow adapted better than old pro Mulder. He growled and meowed nonstop until deep into the Carolinas. He finally settled down, but every time I opened a window, he started up again. Guess he didn't like the draft. Or he wanted a ciggie, too.

The interstate road conditions in the Carolinas suck, and made my drive feel like an epileptic on a freeway comprised entirely of logs and gravel. Guess all the free money in the state goes to building another radio tower to convert the heretics.

No major moving damage that I can find. (detailed inspection pending) Important? Cats are well. Wine and booze bottles didn't break. And as you can tell from this post, the PC and such arrived in fine shape.

I've slept 5 hours in the past 2 days.

I think investing in a GPS is definitely in my future.

With all the (shudder) manual labor, my hands look I've just come from a MMA fight with Ben Grimm.

Day one without Tivo makes me weep. Good thing I haven't unpacked the razor blades yet.

The temporary living conditions (supposedly one of the nicest in the area) remind me an awful lot of my very first apartment on Windy Hill (except Chip's shit isn't strewn all over the furniture). And even thought I packed (by my standards) lightly, I think I'll be using my golf clubs as standing decorations and looking at unpacked liquor boxes for a few months. I feel like I'm living in my old closet.

All the strangers I've met thus far are particularly nice. One retired cop who was helping his daughter move in spent 30 minutes with me last night helping me turn around and park the frakkin' trailer in a parking deck.

There was supposed to be a DVR with the cable, but it's MIA. Even so, cable menus, program grids and "on demand" look like DOS when compared to the Lord My God, Tivo and DirecTV.

Okay, time to unpack and organize. Stiff drinks required.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Now, more ways to get me!

Originating with a conversation I had Sunday (over way too many margaritas) about RSS feeds and blog "subscriptions," and then further elucidated by a post and link I found over on one the feeds I subscribe to (Georgia Sports Blog) , I've now made it even easier to follow this blog around.

You can, of course, click on the little orange feed icon in the upper right of the address window of your browser, and get this feed in your regular reader.

Or, there are two new handy tools, which hopefully work, over on the right side of this blog (below the "Previouslys") which enable you to add this blog via feedburner, or get postings via e-mail.

Or, you can simply just enter the blog address and click here everyday and forgo this newfangled interweb technostuff.


Geeky Interviews

EW has been running a few good interviews lately. I'm sure it had to do with epic convocation of nerds that was Comic Con. Get your geek on:

The Spocks speak. (New Spock Zachary Quinto, Original Recipe Spock Leonard Nimoy and JJ Abrams)

Joss on life after the Wonder Woman debacle. Yes, I'm loving the Buffy Season 8 comics. But it sounds like he's jonesing for the immediate impact of producing weekly TV. And to that, I say: produce it. We will watch. (My most fervent hope? That he goes to FX, HBO, Showtime or some other place free from network meddling and quick hooks).

Chris Carter on the X-Files script. Not much here, but seems to confirm what Duchovny said recently. (My hope? Completely stand alone adventure with Mulder and Scully. It can have aliens, monsters, or both -- but stay away largely from the impenetrable and incomprehensible "conspiracy." And add equal parts scary/creepy and funny).

Robert Downey Jr. on Iron Man. Everything I've read and seen on this film makes it seem like it's in perfect hands. CHUD also had a good interview with Terrence Howard.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It puts the baby in the basket

Things I'm thankful for today:

Google maps. I think I've mapped out every conceivable combination of starting point and destination in Maryland, and printed handy directions and maps for them all. When the world is right again, GPS unit here I come.

The Crackberry. Everything you might need, right in your hand, no matter where you go.

New labels on the Sterilite containers. Remember the old days, when you wanted to pull off the UPC label on your Sterilite container, so it would have that pristine, unblemished exterior? And the label would come off in pieces, and leave a sticky, haphazard residue that took hours of scrubbing, an exacto knife and Goo Gone to remove? No? Those labels didn't bother anyone else? Not at all? Oh, okay, chaos worshiper. But the new ones just peel right the hell off, no muss, no fuss.

Liquor stores that give you boxes for free. God knows I've done enough business at Jax to more than compensate.

Duct tape and Sharpies. Very handy for moving (and of course, writing the box inventory on the outside. Just below the "Bacardi" and "Hennessey" logos).

Large One Zip bags. Don't want the contents of your box co-mingling? Put them in large bags (that I still feel compelled to label in the solid white area with a Sharpie, even though I can obviously see what's in 'em). And yes, I was one of those kids who used a plate with dividers, just in case you were wondering.

Whiskey. Just because.

All the AJCs I saved anticipating this day. No better use for Furman Bisher or Terrance Moore than packing material, or lining for the litterbox.

And "safety labels" like this. While I don't have kids, thank GOD this label was here to warn me, or I might have packed a child inside one of the Sterilite containers and not remembered to poke some airholes and toss in a Bob The Builder toy bench. (Of course, an ex once forgot her toddler in the garage for a while, so I guess some mentally challenged folks really need these).