Thursday, July 31, 2008

NEBTDTRT Exclusive!!

Big scoop!! Picture of the Phillies' front office during the trade deadline!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mixing it up

Last night I had the extreme pleasure of seeing my old friend Andy aka Mister Odney for the 1st time in 15 years. We went to the Police concert at the Wachovia center and had a super fun time. I had a moment of feeling old upon seeing Sting's gray beard and Andy Summer's old man hands with bulging blue veins and translucent skin covered with age spots up close on the huge video screen playing his guitar. They played alot of good b-side sings that I haven't heard in ages and truly enjoyed. Sting's voice had lost an octave but he was still Sting. Stuart Copeland, the drummer, was, as always, abso-fan-fucking-tastic-lutely amazing. In alot of ways I'm glad they haven't recreated any more new music for the studio as it was good to hear all of the old classic Police.

I had a few surreal and funny moments last night as my mind seemed to combine things that shouldn't be combined. For starters before the show began, the lighted advertisements kept repeating the upcoming acts, among them was the Wiggles and Nine Inch Nails. I pointed that out to Andy and he asked if they were touring together. Of course, I started to imagine a concert where the 2 groups played songs together like, Get Ready to Fuck You Like an Animal. At that point I had to get a beer and I wandered out onto the concourse.

The first concession stand I came across was a Carvell. Not in the mood for ice cream, I was about to walk by until I noticed that they were selling cans of beer and no ice cream at all. I got in line and was met by a blank stare from the clerk when I asked for a Heineken and a Cookiepuss. Some people just can't seem to find humor in their jobs, I suppose.

Eventually, after the show started they played one of my favorite Police songs, I Can't Stand Losing You. The song was completely ruined for me because for some reason after they had close up of Sting's smiling face all I could think of was his bit role in the movie Dune. In particular the scene where he emotes the line repeatedly, "I will kill him!". If you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about. The acting was terrible and for the life of me I could not get that image of my head. I started to uncontrollably giggle through the whole song.

Some things aren't meant to be combined, fortunately a good time with an old friend wasn't one of those instances.

Too brilliant for TV

Some TV shows gather a cult following and critical acclaim but never seem to get the ratings needed to keep executives happy and the money flowing to produce said shows.

FireFly, Arrested Development and Jericho are a few examples of this. While I loved all of those shows, the one that really was super edgy and twistedly funny and I really miss these days is a show called, Wonder Showzen.

The show aired on MTV2 and usually ran in a late night time slot as the show was definitely made for an adult audience and was truly disturbing at times. The basic premise was a Sesame Street and Electric Company type of format that lampooned everything from sex changes to drugs and death. Since the format was a parody of a children's show the show was intensely disturbing. No subject was taboo and they even had a recurring sketch where kids did on the street reporting that was called, "Beat Kids".

Once you got over the initial shock of watching puppets take drugs and hire hookers the show was astoundingly funny and the satire was top notch. My favorite character was a cloyishly cute blue puppet reminiscent of Elmo that asked incredibly inappropriate questions of real people on the street. He was so obnoxious that some people would actually chase after the puppet in anger. One guy even put his cigarette out in his mouth.

I wouldn't recommend this show to everyone and there are only a few friends of mine who would "get it". But, if you're one of those sick bastards like me, buy the DVD's or go watch some clips here.

EDIT: apparently there's some problems with the videos so here's some clips I found on the web-

Monday, July 28, 2008

The magnificent return of Kelly Leak!!!

When they announced the cast of The Watchmen last year (was it during Comicon 07?) I didn't recognize anyone right off the bat. I checked some of the IMDB pages and when it came to Rorschach I saw that a Jackie Earle Haley was playing the uber-cool vigilante gone paranoid. I looked at his picture quickly, didn't instantly recognize his face and saw a bunch of bit roles and TV credits to his name. I didn't scan all the way down the list.

Flash forward to last month where my Blockbuster movie mail service sent me Semi-pro. Yes, yes, I admit watching that turd but I do have a soft spot for Will Ferrell. One of the only funny moments in the movie was when a drugged out homeless man won $10,000 from making an unlikely full court shot. Will Ferrell's character didn't actually have the money and dodged the druggie repeatedly throughout the film when he would complain that the banks wouldn't cash his oversized check. The homeless druggie just started looking really familiar to me and I thought that he looked like the kid from The Bad News Bears.

After watching the movie I popped on over to and confirmed that my suspicions were indeed true. And then I spotted it. The kid who played Kelly Leak is the same guy who will be playing Rorschach.

Good to see the old slugger getting some work. I hope he's good. The character of Rorschach is probably the most pivotal of all the roles in Watchmen.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bride of Grandson of 6 Degrees of Napster

Okay, same rules as before, but this time we'll start with the innocuous and harmless, The Wiggles and see if we can get to hard core rap. Tipper Gore and the like may want to get their branding irons out...

We'll start with a children's music group that have their own show on the Disney channel- The Wiggles. My kids watched the show with glee as they sang their popular songs such as Hot Potato, Big Red Car and Fruit Salad. It's as tame as you can get.

1) People who enjoy The Wiggles also enjoy The Archies.

Move over Gorillaz, wikipedia claims that The Archies and Alvin and the Chipmunks were the original virtual bands. The Archies are still rather tame. They may appeal to people to over 5 years old but their only hit, Sugar, Sugar, was bubble gum pop and as innocent as Sally Field's Gidget.

2) People who enjoy The Archies also enjoy Fats Domino.

Ahh yes, I can see a little controversy is making its way to our list. Back in his day, Fats would play the devil's music. Certainly tame by today's standards, Blueberry Hill, is about teens schnogging and sucking face in their cars. Make no mistake, Richie Cunningham was a horny guy on Happy Days. The Fonz may have gotten all the action in Milwaukee but Richie used this song to try and get some.

3) People who enjoy Fats Domino also enjoy Smokey Robinson.

The Tracks of my Tears is a great song and Smokey is certainly not tame. But it's not exactly hard core stuff yet, we're halfway there and I wonder of we'll get there...

4) People who enjoy Smokey Robinson also enjoy Stevie Wonder.

Stevie Wonder is a fantastic song writer and performer. He's about as good as they come. He may be adult oriented in his themes but You Are the Sunshine of my Life isn't exactly hard core. This is my best bet for a good link, however, as many rappers have sampled Stevie thru the years.

5) People who enjoy Stevie Wonder also enjoy Busta Rhymes.

Finally a parental advisory label! Busta Rhymes is not full on hard core yet, but we cerainly have some explicit lyrics. Gimme Some More!!

6) People who enjoy Busta Rhymes also enjoy 2Pac.

Success!! We are so hard core that we have ourselves some actual real life gang violence associated with our artist, 2Pac. We made it from Wags the Dog to 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted. Tipper and crew never would have guessed that those Australians for kiddies were so related to hard core.

Whatever happened to fruit gum?

I like to chew gum. I usually get sugarless gum instead of the Hubba Bubba, Juicy Fruit, and Bazooka varieties. I like the fruity flavors on occasion as minty gums can get tedious. But lately all of the sugarless fruity gums are always being mixed with mint. I don't know if it's because it extends the flavor or if one company did it first and then the rest are copycatting it because they were successful. Whatever the reason, I'm getting sick of it.

I was sick of the mint marketing mafia (which we will now deem MMM for the rest of this blog post) even before they infiltrated our fruit gums. Mint is mint, right? Personally, I think there's a subtle difference between peppermint and spearmint but I can't tell the difference between artic mint and ice mint. Apparently, there must exist a multitude of mint sommeliers because the list of mint flavors is exceedingly long. The MMM has come up with mint, sweet mint, peppermint, spearmint, ice mint, artic mint, velamint, cool mint, fresh mint, cactus mint, cinnamon mint, fire mint, hot mint, spicy mint, and doublemint. (what a predica-mint!!)

Perhaps the MMM has a huge surplus of mint stored somewhere because now they are pushing their mint products alongside the fruit flavorings. Want berry gum? Sorry, it's berrymint now. There's even a bubblemint, where they mix their mint with good old fashioned bubble gum flavor. I've had melon mint and cool colada. Both of which were equally disturbing to my palette. Damn it all! I just want to get my sweet on! I don't need to bring mint to the flavor party. If I want mint I'll just go buy one of those super strong mints that they sell now.

The MMM's mint campaign had a serious escalation at the turn of the century when they came out with those super powerful mints. It seemed that the smaller the mint was the more minty it would make your mouth feel. It was akin to putting a tab of acid on your tongue. We all looked drug users in 2002 when you could even put a strip of cellophane on your tongue that turned to super minty goo upon direct contact with saliva. I surmised back then that eventually mints will be microscopic and make one's breath be able to refrigerate your beer.

Perhaps the MMM should go back to pushing their super mints and leave my fruit gums alone. If we don't make a stand now and boycott the artic pineapple mint gums of the world then they will most certainly try to push their way into our entire grocery selection. If you want Cool Rice-a-Minty or spearmint potato chips then by all means, keep on buying.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I hate poker

well....not really, but it sure has been frustrating lately when I keep getting cold cards.

I mentioned that I played poorly in a tourney last Saturday. My demise came when my AK met pocket queens and didn't improve. Last night at Lottery Larry's tournament of champions game, I had deja vu when I was short stacked and was faced with 5 limpers and I was in the small blind with jack seven suited. My hand was meaningless as there was 25% of my stack in the pot including the blinds and if I could use my short stack while it still had fold equity I could make a push and pick up a nice pot. Even if I get called by one of the limpers It's very likely I have 2 "live cards". It's doubtful I was facing a big pair as no one but the first limper would try to foray into a limped pot with a big pair. So I made it look like I had a good hand and pushed all in and the big blind, the only person that I had no reasonable read on, woke up with pocket queens and went all in himself. The others folded and even though I technically hit a full house (the board was 88833), he had a better full house and I was on the rail.

I can at least claim that my early night was due to grief. My wife called me just as the tournament started to let me know that our last goldfish, Michael, had finally succumbed to whatever ailment his two compatriots had fallen to.


While the fish were dying at my house, the fish seemed to be thriving at Lottery Larry's house. I am reluctant to mention hands and names as Lottery Larry has recently taken passages from my blog without permission and put it into his trip report. (he'll be hearing from my lawyers Dewey, Phuc M, Goode, & Howe) I don't wish to publicly call anyone a bad player and criticize their hands. Especially since I am no big shakes myself. I like to think I am always improving in poker, but I most certainly don't make all the right moves nor claim to be an expert. I'll just say that worst hand kept winning. Over and over and over again. Even in the low limit cash game I played in afterwards, I had my aces cracked by 67 with a CAPPED PREFLOP POT! (in other words, the bets were raised and reraised 4 times- the most allowed.)

I can't complain all that much, I had fun joking around and I didn't lose very much money. The best line of the night came from the razz specialist, Dan. A player came over to the cash game from the tourney and started complaining that he was knocked out on the bubble. He started playing alot of crappy hands like 10 4 off suit and was winning big pots. He then claimed in defense of his bad play-

"I was a two-thirds favorite to win that hand on the bubble and I lost, so why should I play good hands if that doesn't seem to work?"

Dan quickly remarked, "Because two out of three times you aren't going out on the bubble?"

ahhh...nerd humor...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

High Stakes Poker will be back for season 5!

I can't seem to find the official confirmation but according to several blogs from poker players and 2+2 it appears that the show High Stakes Poker will tape it's fifth season in September and air on GSN in February. Originally the option for HSP wasn't renewed and the World Poker Tour was also let go on the Game show Network. It looked bleak for poker on TV as the only shows that were being produced was a time buy in Poker After Dark airing at 2:30AM, The World Series on ESPN and the Heads Up challenge that airs once a year on NBC.

PAD did fill the void of the lack of cash game play by airing a week of cash games last week but it's regular format is a 6 person sit and go. I think that cash is ultimately more interesting to watch and play than a tournament where increasing blinds create variance and dictate action. I suppose the TV execs want the all in action but I think if done well with a good commentator cash games can make for a more interesting show.

Why GSN had the change of heart? I have no idea, but nonetheless, I'm glad it will be back. I will also personally hunt down males aged 18-35 with neilson boxes and make them watch the show. I should've done this years ago for Arrested Development and Firefly.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Phils win in a big comeback, no thanks to Blanton

The Phils could hardly muster but 2 runs against Mets staff ace Johan Santana tonight. Blanton didn't pitch all that well (surprise, surprise) in his debut for the Phillies as he let up 5 runs in 6innings. Although I still contend that we will regret this trade for years, it was great to see a magnificent comeback 9th inning win.

Down by 5-2 and no Billy Wagner available for the Mets to close out the game, the Phillies had the following players go on base without making an out-


Not the players you'd expect to mount a huge comeback as there wasn't any real power hitters in there. The biggest hit was a bases loaded double that came off the bat of Mr. Awful this year himself, So Taguchi.

When the inning finally ended they were up by 8-5. Lidge successfully closed it out and the Phils won 8-6.

This was one of those games that you look back on as one the top 3 or 4 games of the year that make you look back and smile big. Whenever you beat your divisional rival in an unlikely come from behind win to take sole possession of 1st place, I think it becomes one of those moments where you're overcome with wonderful feelings of being a baseball fan.

Thanks So, I'm sorry I bad mouthed you so many times this year. I'm sure come the next game I'll be bad mouthing you again, but you were key tonight. Let's pull for 2 more big wins!!!

The Darker Knight

tsk tsk tsk

Christian Bale, the actor that plays Batman, was arrested recently for allegedly assaulting his own mother. Wow, If true I guess all that money from his percentage of gross from this weekend's record breaking box office had made him so angry and violent that he would hit his own Ma. If this isn't proof that fame and money don't buy happiness then I don't know what does. Celebrities are just as infallible as we are and perhaps more so. I'd argue that you have to be a crazy wack job to be in the public spot light. So perhaps their proclivities make them more apt to do things most of us wouldn't even consider.

Just look at Mel Gibson's anti-semitic drunken rants, Britney Spear's umbrella attacks and head shaving adventures, and murderous rampages by OJ Simpson. Well, okay so maybe the last example was a bit extreme, but you get the point. We see actors act on television and movies and asume that they have their shit together when in fact it may even be worse for them.

It's hard to be in control when you aren't.

Butt Glue

Since I was ordered to rest my foot by my doctor I am confined to my chair in my office right now. I can't really skip work as our sole employee already had requested the day off. Thus I am answering the phones and emails as my brother gets some much needed exercise in the warehouse as he puts together the orders.

While I will be helping out I won't have all that much to do. It's bad enough when I have lulls at work when I'm out in the warehouse but it'll be even worse with me stuck in a chair. So look out blog posts, facebook, and internet message boards!!

Aside from it's incredible utility, the internet is a huge waste of time. But time killing is what cures my ails right now. Like most of us, I've always required some sort of mental stimuli in order for me to function. Which, of course, brings us back to "what did we ever do without the internet?" feeling.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dark Knight


I promised a review but I feel that I can't give this movie it's proper due as it will just come across as me gushing on and on about how great it was.

Just go see it. It's worth your 10 bucks.

In some ways I feel that any superhero story that comes out now will pale in comparison to this movie.

I can die happy now. My inner nerd is sated.

Good old self-medication!

One of the main symptoms of mood disorders is drug or alcohol abuse. The reason for this is that the unaware bipolar person ends up self-medicating themselves to regulate their moods. The unfortunate consequence is that their friends and family tend to focus solely on the drug problem and blame the behavior on the drugs or alcohol. Those who aren't addicted quit the drugs rather easily but still suffer the mood swings and thus end up using again or over indulging.

It was no secret that the past week was a bit manic for me. (well, I did blog as such) I admit that instead of going back on proper medication I over indulged in alcohol this past weekend. Alcohol is a depressant and it for the most part it quells my racing thoughts. I knew what I was doing and I figured it would be "fun" instead of feeling foggy on Zyprexa. Gotta love mania induced logic as I paid the price.

For starters I performed horribly in the Saturday poker tournament. I was basically hung over by the time I got there. I grew impatient rather quickly and was the 2nd to bust out as I overplayed AK vs. QQ. After being inebriated for most of the remainder of the weekend I woke last night with horrible foot pain. I can't even walk on it. The worst part is that I have no idea as to what the heck I did to it. I'm guessing in my drunken state I must've stumbled enough to cause some damage. My x-rays revealed nothing today so it appears I have sprained ligaments of my metatarsals.


During my doctor appointment I got a renewal of mood stabilizing medications. Hopefully, I can have the control to make a better decision the next time I get as "up" as I did this past week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The triumphant return of the comic book nerd!!

If the Simpsons character to the right (aptly named the "Comic Book Guy") makes you laugh then you must have met a comic book nerd somewhere along your travels. While I like to think that I am a bit more socially adept; I am at times a full blown comic book nerd. At one point in my life I had over 25 boxes of comic books! I had to grow up eventually after having kids, so I sold them all (at a loss). However, I still get uppity when it comes to the recent rush of comic book characters showing up in movies. All of which, I would read in my bedroom in Richboro or my dorm room in College Park Maryland.

The really good stuff like A History of Violence, Road to Perdition and Persepolis is not even known by most people to be comic book errr...ahem!!...excuse me... graphic novel material. Thus I won't include that material in this discussion. I am referring to, of course, super heroes.

Let's face it, it's hard to explain to a girl you have sexual interest in that Spiderman, the X-men, and Batman have some really good and thought-provoking stories. I'll readily admit that there's more chaff than wheat in the industry as a whole, but writers like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Frank Miller could make some damn good superhero comic books that would appeal to a mature audience. The only thing you could do was give someone a copy of Batman: Year One or The Watchmen and hope that would actually read it because if they did, you'd have a convert. But, alas, even my own wife can't get through The Watchmen. She has a hard deciphering which panel to read next and I don't think she has the nerd gene that allows her to read comic books.

Which brings us to the current rush of movies.

In a way, it started with the Tim Burton Batman movie. Today that movie looks silly compared to Batman Begins despite it's initial lauded reaction by the general masses. Movies like Spiderman, Iron Man and X-men are not only getting people to see how good a superhero story can be but they are also becoming very profitable for Hollywood. There are some clunkers like Daredevil and Fantastic Four and also some near misses like Superman Returns but if you let Hollywood get a hold of any printed material they will most likely screw it up. The ratio of good movies vs. bad superhero movies is actually quite good compared to most of your popular fiction novels that have been given the movie treatment. I suppose the fact that comic books are essentially story boards is what lends itself to better translation. It just becomes a matter of good writing and the fact that special effect technology is there to create "plausibility".

Tonight, I am seeing a movie in the theater without the kids for the 1st time in over a year. I have been psyched to see Dark Knight ever since the ending scene of Batman Begins. Based on the reviews I have been seeing, Dark Knight appears to be that movie that will justify my comic book nerdom. It is the movie that will let the general masses see that even a superhero story can have substance and meat and thoughtful art. It is the movie that will make my 30 years of reading in shame all worthwhile. I know my expectations are high but I know they will met. I'll try and put in my own personal review sometime this weekend.

Personally, I think The Watchmen is the greatest superhero story told in graphic novels and I'm very excited to see the movie next year. But I fear that a 2.5 hour movie will not do it justice. A good Batman and Joker story doesn't need to be longer than 2.5 hours whereas The Watchmen is a complete story and not a serial comic. Nonetheless, good stories are making their way to the big screen. Me and my fellow comic book nerds are in a golden age.

Best comic movie era ever!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fuck you Pat Gillick

Joe Blanton sucks donkey balls, he is NOT an upgrade. Yes we need pitching, yes we should trade away premium prospects like Cardenas to get said pitching. BUT NOT FOR BLANTON WHO SUCKS THIS YEAR JUST AS MUCH AS ADAM FUCKING EATON.

You make it hard to be a Phillies fan today.

Watchmen preview


they removed it from youtube!! Dammit!!

EDIT on the EDIT-

as posted by Mr. Odney himself- Preview in glorious HD


7 hours sleep in the last 2 nights and I'm revved up and raring to go!


Damn, it feels great at times but I sure could use a breather...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Manic mania

The past 2 days I've definitely been manic. Although you might think when I'm manic I would post up a storm on the blog but the contrary is quite true. It's just hard to concentrate and focus long enough to even make a 2 paragraph blog post. I may be fun to chat with but I'm certainly in no shape to make whimsical blog entries.

I'm sure things will get ugly in a few days, so in the meantime I'm going to enjoy myself while trying not to get myself into debt or trouble.

Until then-


Monday, July 14, 2008

Rooting for the hotness

The World Series of Poker Main Event is down to the final 3 tables of 27 players. The only two "recognizable" names are actress and poker hostess Tiffany Michelle and known pro Brandon Cantu. I can't say that I knew of Tiffany Michelle other than her hosting on camera for I have no idea if she is a good player or not. Quite frankly, with past winners like Jerry Yang and Jamie Gold, I don't think it will be required. Apparently she has some minor acting roles to go along with her poker hosting duties.

While it isn't definite, it is very possible for her to make the final table with her currently being in 3rd place out the 27. Sure, she could have an epic meltdown like me last Saturday but her odds are good she'll make the final table. She'll be the 1st woman to make the final 9 since Barbara Enright did it for the 1st time in 1995. This year they are taking a 4 month break after the final 9 is set so ESPN can air the final table 2 days after showing all of their coverage up til then. That way they can keep the winner more suspenseful. The extra media coverage will also make the final 9 stars instead of unknowns (and more marketable). If Tiffany makes it she will have the spotlight thrust on her the brightest.

Which in my opinion is a very good thing. In some ways it's a shame that her good looks will be a part of that fact but it will perhaps encourage women to not be so intimidated at the poker table. Plus the extra ratings will be a very good thing for those who enjoy watching poker on television as lately the ratings have not been stellar. Shows like High Stakes Poker haven't been renewed and I miss that show terribly.

So if a nice looking female can play decently or get lucky and thus gets some extra press for poker, it's all good. Poker could use some more positive stories after two big cheating scandals in Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. (look for 60 minutes this September) Plus it's better than watching Phil Hellmuth throw another tantrum and berate players.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tie a yellow ribbon...

Charities are good. Charities need to advertise in some fashion as it helps them get more donations. Whomever invented the ribbon idea was a genius. Everyone knows a yellow ribbon is for hostages or vets, pink ribbons are for breast cancer. But after that it starts to get a bit hazy.

Nowadays you need a color coordination chart to know what color ribbon represents which charity.

"Honey, the car in front of us has a mauve ribbon!"

(scans the chart) "Oh! That's habitat for humanity!"

I guess, it's not the worst thing to have a ribbon for every charity, but really, wouldn't it be more memorable for that charity to have their own symbol or reminder?

Heads up melt downs

This past weekend's poker tourney I cruised into the final two with a 7 to 1 chip lead.

I came in 2nd.

It's the 2nd such meltdown this year. I know anyone can win heads up due to higher variances but it is certainly disappointing and it makes me wonder if I have a serious weak spot.

I do feel I get somewhat impatient heads up and my aggressive play may be too strong. But then again, the short stack is usually 10 big blinds or less so any action taken needs to be forceful or else you're just giving away chips.

While I doubt myself at my heads up skills I do think when I play live my table talk gets people to call me down when I have the goods. The fact that I joke alot and perform some antics gives people the impression I am playing too many hands when in fact I'm playing rather tight.

I guess if I were to take 2nd in every tourney I wouldn't be so upset but it smarts when you have such a commanding lead and can't hold on. I have yet another tourney this coming weekend, here's hoping I get a chance to practice my heads up play.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TJ Cookier

This is old time poker player and degenerate gambler TJ Cloutier...

Someone on the poker fan website pocket 5's saw this cookie....

...and thought that if he were to combine the 2 pictures the resulting picture would be funny. (and it was!!)

Now I know it may seem stupid to you, but I've literally been laughing at this picture for over a week now. So, I feel compelled to share. They've even started a whole thread dedicated to putting TJ Cookier in different situations and movie posters over at 2+2. Enjoy!!

(snicker...TJ Cookier...guffaw!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The fish are dropping like flies!!


Yet another dead fish in the tank this morning. I didn't say anything to kids this time as I needed to drop them off at camp and get to work. My lack of being up front with the news of their pet's passing was based solely on their previous over the top reaction to the death of their first fish. I would have been at least a half hour late if I informed them of Leo's demise. But really, I do think Leo would have wanted it that way. I am the main fish food dispenser after all, so one can logically assume that he did like me. Thus, I'm positive he wouldn't want me to be late for work on his account. The least I can do is respect the wishes of a dead fish. Besides, Lynn can break it to them when she picks them up.

That leaves Michael as the sole survivor of the upstairs tank. We have a Betta named Fabio in a small bowl downstairs. You can't put the Bettas in with the goldfish as they will continue to attack them until they are dead. Had I known Leo was so close to meet his maker I would have put him in the bowl with Fabio. That way he could have gone out with some panache and style. Plus it would entertain poor Fabio who seems rather bored with his existence lately.

I'm debating whether or not to get more fish. If the kids have another wailing fest like they did last time I don't think I could handle any more pet deaths. The little hypocrites hardly ever fed the fish or merely gaze at them in their tank very often. I think we should give them fish sticks for dinner as we break the news to them so the event would be compete with irony.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vote for Pat

Pat "the Bat" Burrell got snubbed for the all-star game this year. If you look at the starting outfield for the National League you would laugh. The names are all recognizable but they're all having rather mediocre years. Pat is having one of his best years and I will contend that he plays very well and ranks among the top left fielders year in and year out. Sure he's a touch slow in the field but he has a good arm and knows how to take a pitch and most importantly, get on base.

So, if you have a few spare moments, go here and vote as many times as you wish for Pat. It might be his last year as a Phillie, so let's see him leave in style.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A year without a cigarette

If I sound like one of those pain in the ass ex-smokers who annoy the crap out of you because I constantly talk about the fact that I quit smoking and feel so much better now, well then, tough shit. For starters, it was hard. the actual time I quit wasn't that bad (thank you Chantix), but it took me at least 15 tries before I finally did it. My pride can't be contained because it's a huge accomplishment to me. (just as it was one of the dumbest things for me to ever do in the first place)

Also, it truly is a very healthful thing for me. Even after only a year I notice the differences. Just last Monday I got a cold. When I was smoking the congestion would linger up to 2-3 weeks. The major sniffles from my current cold subsided Thursday and by this morning the excess mucus is all but gone. Plus, it's really an awful thing when you are sick and you just have to grab a smoke. Nothing worse than having all sorts of congestion in your chest and adding the tar and smoke from a nasty habit. My sense of smell has improved and I'm able to breathe better when I exercise or do strenuous activity.

Lastly, I don't stink any more. I always knew that smokers have that smell, but never realized the full extent until after I quit and my sense of smell improved. It was in my clothes for months after I quit. I had no idea how much I reeked. It's nice to be neutral smelling these days and not offensive to some people.

July 5th 2007 was the last time I had a cigarette. It's been one year for me and hopefully I am never weak or dumb enough to smoke again. Please allow me this self-indulgence as I enjoy this moment.

I did it! I did it! I did it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dreams of insomnia

Last night I had the weirdest dream that I was awake and I couldn't get to sleep. I was lying in bed watching TV and tossing and turning and getting upset that I wouldn't go to sleep when it was 4:25AM. Then I heard my alarm go off and, of course, it was real life letting me know it was in reality time to get up.

This is about the 3rd or 4th time that I've had this kind of dream. It's really disconcerting to be dreaming that you're all anxious because you can't get to sleep and the next that happens is that your alarm is blaring to wake you up. As a result you don't even feel like you've slept those 8 hours at all. The line between feeling normal and feeling disconnected from reality becomes awfully blurry as a result. It takes at least 2 hours to recover from this sort of dream. I've had horrible nightmares of being stabbed to death or being stalked by a killer chainsaw wielding maniac and those dreams don't affect me past 15 minutes of wakefulness like this stupid dream has.

One of the ways that I know that I'm slipping into a manic mood is that I don't need as much sleep or can't get to sleep. So, if I'm dreaming about not being able to sleep is that a cue that I will be having some manic dreams? What sucks even more is that I can't remember the last time that I had a sex dream. I guess I'm past my sexual prime and my subconscious mind knows it.

I suppose the weirdest moment in dreams is when you realize that you are indeed dreaming but don't wake up. Nonetheless, I still don't have that ability to control my dreams when I have the mental awareness of being in REM. The only control that I seem to exhibit is that if something scary or bad happens I can tell myself it's just a dream and wake myself up. The ultimate nightmare scenario would be if I couldn't wake myself.

That sentiment, of course, goes back to my fear of sleep since I relate sleeping to death. Back when my anxiety was full blown I had terrible insomnia and was afraid to go to sleep just because I was concerned that I might not ever wake up. Letting go of your conscious mind is somewhat like dying, at least it is to me. Slipping into sleep is a mental release that I still need to do to this day. I essentially give myself permission to sleep.

Yeah, I'm pretty fucked in the head, aren't I?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Slow ball offerings

Shortly after the announcement that the Phillies announced Myers assignment to the minors they announced the promotion of left handed relief pitcher, RJ Swindle.

I can hear most of you now-


Well for starters- he's not Myers replacement in the rotation. He's filling in the bullpen for Clay Condrey who is on paternity leave. Secondly, he's a guy who isn't considered by many professional baseball scouts to be a good prospect or even a major leaguer.

"Why?" You ask?

He's a tad old as he's turning age 25 this Monday (Happy Birthday RJ!!) and his best pitch is a curve ball that travels at the speed of 51 mph. Yes, you read that right; that's not a typo. He throws a ball at a speed that you and I can throw without much effort. His fastball can reach speeds up to a Jamie Moyeresue 84 mph.

"He sounds like he sucks, are the Phillies' minor league system that bad that they have to call up this guy?!"

Well, while the upper tiers of the system don't exactly inpire confidence, RJ's performance has forced the Phillies' hand to make this move. His numbers are very, very good despite having what you would might consider an unimpressive repetoire of pitches. He's struck out 48 batters in 40 innings for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and has an ERA around 2. If you didn't know what he throws you might think we have another Lidge waiting in the wings. Funny thing is- if you look at his stats throughout his career he has very similar numbers. Yet he keeps getting dropped by teams like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

I highly recommend that you read this interview that was conducted at The Good Phight about a month ago when his stats started to receive some attention. I guess scouts and talent evaluators don't know everything and I truly hope that he has a chance to show his stuff and has success at the major league level with the Phillies. Pitching is often about changing speeds and location and pure speed isn't everything. Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer are proof of this.

Congrats RJ!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Excuse me while I pick up my jaw off from the floor....

Just when you think you have the Phillies pegged...

Brett Myers has been awful this year, but you figured the Phillies had too much money invested in him to do much about it.


Wow, just wow.