Monday, May 21, 2007

Dandelions covering the grass, birds chirping in the morning, the Phillies playing mediocre baseball. Sure all these things are signs that summer is officially here, but I got my first real taste of summer today, courtesy of The Funky Freezer. More after the jump.

Mister Softee and Jack and Jill were the ice cream trucks of my childhood. Sure, we had plenty of ice cream in the freezer, but there's just something about buying ice cream related products from a stranger off a truck. Yummy!

But in the 21st century ice cream trucks have to outdo each other. Dare I say, The Funky Freezer outdoes all of them with it's cerulean and neon yellow color scheme.

But in all honesty, how can you resist visiting a ice cream truck called The Funky Freezer? Unfortunately there wasn't much "funky" about it. I at least expected Cameo to be running it.

Word Up! indeed.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

6 Fingers on each hand ... still can't pitch

Despite one of my previous posts, I have still been watching the Phillies. Unfortunately it's just not summer unless I'm sitting in front of the TV listening to Harry Kalas and watching the Phillies blow a lead in the eigth inning. That a guy 12 fingers is blowing the lead just makes it all the better. More polydactyly fun after the jump.

First of all, I am by no means blaming Phillies reliever Antonio Alfonseca for all the Phillies problems this season, there's plenty of blame to go around, and around and around and around. But, Alfonseca does stick out like a sore thumb, er sixth finger. When he comes onto the field, he looks more like my my dad than a major league pitcher. I know basball has had it's fair share of seemingly out-of-shape players, but do you think maybe that beer gut has something to do with his 4.86 ERA?

In the last three games Alfonseca has an ERA over 20.00, and last year his ERA was 5.63. So why is he employed still? I think it's because, year after year, he leads the major's in one very under-reported category.

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Scantron? My favorite Japanese cartoon!

What the hell happened? We were going along at a pretty good pace there. Darn close to that one-post-per-day goal that we had set up. Then WHAM!, nothing for almost two weeks. There's an explanation ... like you care. More after the jump.

Being back at college has it's perks: student loans, zero disposable income, buying $100 textbooks that you don't need. But the best is tests. This being finals week at Penn State, I've been hunkered down studying and writing papers for the past two weeks, and my blog has suffered - sorry pal. Hey, at least my excuse isn't as lame as some people.

But from this point on, we're back in full swing. One more test and this semester's over. What else would I do with myself this summer. Might as well write on a blog no one reads.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

The Presidential Candidates of Comedy

(Image by Digi^3)

Yesterday, John McCain spoke to members of a VFW Hall in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Being a veteran and POW, this seems like a good audience for McCain, basically his “base,” so the speech wasn’t surprising. But who knew he was going to break out his stand-up routine. Another candidate who wants to be a comedian. Here's an idea, leave the jokes to comedians ... or racist radio personalities. More after the jump.

According to this story in the Georgetown Times, McCain was asked by a member of the crowd of over 500 people when America is going to “send an air mail message to Tehran,” in reference to the talk of war with Iran. Of course, the proper answer to that question is something like "We're watching the Iran situation closely, blah blah blah." But, McCain, with the comic timing he has gained from years in Congress began his answer with, "That old Beach Boys song, 'Bomb Iran,' Bomb bomb bomb,” sung to the Beach Boys tune “Barbara Ann." Here's the clip.

I'm just waiting for the next comic tour to come to my town. I can see it now, McCain and his song parodies, John Kerry doing his "get stuck in Iraq" routine, Rudy Giuliani bringing back his Italian-American "youze guys" impressions and Joe Biden with his Indians at the 7-11 sketch.

Plus they can use McCain’s tour bus, the “Straight Talk Express” … Comedy genius!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

One last time ... with feeling

Here is the definitive piece on the Don Imus situation. Ok, I'm probably a little biased. Oh, and ignore the picture that goes with the story ... yowza, that's almost as bad as the one that goes with this post. Can you say a face for radio?

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And you thought laptops catching fire was bad?

Toto Ltd., which claims to be "the industry leader of plumbing-related products in Japan" (hey, everyone's got to be #1 at something), has offered free repairs to 180,000 Z Series toilet bidets which they say may catch fire because of wiring problems. Gives new meaning to "hot seat." HA! Get it? Hot Seat ... cause where you sit would be ... oh forget it. More after the jump.

So it seems Japan has some sort of obsession with toilet related technology including toilets with heated seats, water jets, blow dryers, remote control flushing (why?) and music to drown out any unpleasant noises. Here just watch this, it'll give you the idea.
But perhaps all of this technology has come up to bite them in the (ahem) ... as electronic devices in the toilets began to smoke in 26 incidents and actually caught fire in three others. Emi Tanaka, spokesperson for Toto Ltd., said, "Fortunately, nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out and there were no injuries. The fire would have been just under your buttocks."

But this just brings up a larger issue of the ever growing world of toilets and toilet accessories. These Z Series toilet bidets cost upwards of $2,600. For that kind of scratch you expect a warm seat, but not that warm.

Maybe more shocking - in November, the who's who of the bathroom world will gather in New Delhi, India for the 2007 World Toilet Summit. No, seriously, there's a website and everything. Anyway, this year's theme (yes, this is a yearly event) is "Toilets for Health, Hygiene, Comfort and Dignity."

Yup. Nothing says dignity like third degree ass burns.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Philadelphia Philles - losers since 1947

Considering the history the Philadelphia Phillies have had regarding Jackie Robinson and African-American ballplayers in general, I guess it's fitting that today's game, which was to honor the 60th anniversary of Robinson's breaking the color barrier, was rained out. More after the jump.

Today's Philles game against the Houston Astros, like all games across the country, was to commemorate Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers becoming the first African American to play in a Major League Baseball game on April 15, 1947. In addition to some pregame fesitivites, all players from both teams were to wear #42 as a tribute to Robinson. But as with games in Pittsburgh, Boston, Baltimore and New York, rain cancelled the game. After reading about the treatment the Phillies gave Robinson in 1947, maybe they should have just had a game-long apology session.

Yesterday I read a New York Times column by Stuart Miller, author of The 100 Greatest Days in New York Sports. In it he documented the truth vs. the myth of Robinson's first year in the major leagues, and mentioned the especially harsh treatment Robinson received in Philadelphia.

"The Dodgers played three games against the Philadelphia Phillies, who spewed so much racist vitriol - including aiming bats machine-gun-style at Robinson - that it drove him to the brink of abandoning the "noble experiment" in pacifism for a full-out attack."

Apparently Phillies manager Ben Chapman was the ringleader in this act, which reportedly got him suspended and fined. When the Dodgers came to Philadelphia later in the season, Chapman posed with Robinson for the above picture. But it doesn't sound like he was very contrite.

Well, ok you say, but that's just one incident. Well, guess which team was the last in the National League to integrate. That's right, it was the Phillies. But, hey, it only took them 10 years.

When asked why they never claimed another NL pennant after the 1950 Wiz Kids team, Phillies Center Fielder Richie Ashburn reportedly said, "We were all white." Guess that's why they called him Whitey.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

He's just unstuck in time

My favorite author (not that I read much), Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday at age 84. Well, they say he died, he's actually probably somewhere in a zoo on Tralfamadore with a porn star. More after the jump.

I was first introduced to Kurt Vonnegut in high school in my freshman honors English class (someone obviously mixed up my transcript with some other kid). I had one of those "cool" teachers. You know, he wore sportscoats with no tie, had crazy hair, and let us call him Chuck. One of our first readings was Slaughterhouse-Five, a scary title for a 13-year-old, and pretty shocking for an all-boys Catholic high school (that probably explains a lot about me). But after being introduced to Billy Pilgrim and his travels through time and space I was hooked.

I'm not a big fan of science-fiction, I still haven't seen Star Wars for god's sake, but I just couldn't get enough of Vonnegut's writing. It's probably a little blasphemous to even talk about Vonnegut and Sci-Fi in the same sentence, but what else to you call novels about time travel, space ships and ice that melts at 114.4 degreed Fahrenheit?

I have to say Vonnegut and his novels helped shaped me and my opinions. Some would say I shouldn't have read them. I would say I always read them.

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Rap Skills 101

Obviously Penn State University is known as a pretty good school academically. And although things have been a little iffy lately, athletics are usually top notch ... ok, maybe not the men's basketball team ... oh yea, and there's that whole women's basketball thing ... and yeah, now a football scandal too. But who knew attending Penn State could actually help your burgeoning rap career. More after the jump.

Next Friday and Saturday (April 20 & 21) marks Blue & White Weekend here at Penn State, which will culminate in the Blue & White game on Saturday afternoon. Thousands of PSU football fans will descend upon the area and plenty of alumni will use this as an excuse to re-live their college glory years (look who's talking, that's essentially my life these days). To help celebrate, The Daily Collegian and Penn State Football are sponsoring The (blue-white) Rapper Show, which will give some student the opportunity to perform their rap "skills" at the first home football game on September 1, next season. I am already embarrassed for them.

Although i'm impressed with their audio/video skills, there's a reason not everyone has a record deal.

The horrific videos can be seen here, and people can vote for their favorites here. The top eight vote-getters will be performing at the HUB next week, and the top four from that group will perform outside Beaver Stadium next Friday after the Blue & White game.

Let the boos and sarcastic cheers begin.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Well, I mean what does "livable" mean anyway ...?

It's always fun to look at those lists that magazines put out: Top 100 albums, The best companies to work for, Top 50 Gays. But it's especially fun to see where your city ends up on lists like the recent World's Most Livable Cities. So, where's your city end up? Here's a hint, if you're in the United States and you're reading this ... go past the top 20 ... actually go past the top 25.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which on their website claims to be "the global leader for trusted HR and related financial advice, products, and services" put together this list of the World's Most Livable Cities for executives and their families. And the top American city on the list is Vancouver at #3, that's North America (goddamn Canadians beating us at our own game). If you're looking for a U.S. city, you have to go all the way down to # 27 to find Honolulu, Hawaii.

Of course, Philadelphia is nowhere to be found on the list. Hmmm, I wonder why that is. Could it be this, or this, or this, or this, or this? Yea, it's probably just the Phillies ruining it for everyone again.

By the way, the top city on the list is Zurich, Switzerland. And bringing up the rear on the list as the worst places are Brazzaville, capitol of The Republic of the Congo (#214) and, shockingly, Baghdad (#215).

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Did Imus Eat His Hat?

So, after Don Imus called the Rutgers women's basketball team ... well, see here for yourself ... plenty of people and organizations have jumped on the case and are attempting to get him fired. They're right, he should be fired ... but not because of those comments. More after the jump.

For years, Imus has insisted on wearing a cowboy hat to work every day. Some people have even wondered if it was sewn to his head. It seemed that nothing could get that ridiculous hat off of his head ... well except maybe making some racially insensitive comments about female basketball players. Here's a picture from yesterday's "apology" filled broadcast.

So proof that Imus does in fact have a full head of hair.

But now that Imus has been suspended for his comments, the question is should he be fired. I say go for it, but not necessarily for these comments, or even any previous ones.

No I say fire him because he's unfunny, and a fake cowboy.

While some people have used this to embrace their "nappy heads," I think we should use this to get Imus off of MSNBC and get some actual news coverage on there in the morning. I'm a big fan of MSNBC - I try to make a point to watch Keith Olbermann every night and I have to give "props" to Philly native Chris Matthews, even if I just think of Darrell Hammond's impression on SNL every time I see him. But I have never been able to sit through more than five minutes of Imus and his "comedy" show.

So, as an eternal optimist that I am, let's look at the positives that have come from this horrible situation. Imus has lost his hat. Some actual news on MSNBC in the morning, and maybe the most amazing thing, Fred "Eric" Norris actually still can speak.

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