Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Well, 2008 begins in less than 24 hours, so I thought I would share my resolutions with you. In addition to working out regularly, which I've been moderately successful in doing in the past few months, I want to try eating healthier also. No diets or anything...just being more mindful of the fact that salads can coexist on a menu with double bacon cheeseburgers.

One of my main resolutions, however, is to read more. This will prove difficult with the addition of a Nintendo Wii to my bedroom, on top of my father's HD flatscreen in the family room with multiple movie channels. I'm one of those people who needs close to complete silence to truly focus on reading...otherwise I get very distracted. So...relative to the book...I'm going to try to get through a book every 1-2 weeks. I figure that will give me some sort of deadline as I transition into this revived hobby...hoping that it will morph into a routine. I have a couple stacks of books that should keep me occupied for a while...but please feel free to suggest books now or throughout the year...

Oh...and of blog more. Happy New Year!

P.S. I thought of another pick up my damn bass guitar and start playing again!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. Santa was good to me this year...among many other great gifts, I got a Wii (now you get the title of the post, right? It would be Whoopee, but since I got a Wii, it's Whoopii...get it? ha...ha...ok, sorry that was lame). My next step is to get some games, but my brother was nice enough to lend me some games for a few days. I dedicated the better half of my day off yesterday to playing, and chances are that this will become a trend. I do have a Gamestop giftcard to spend...anyone have any suggestions for a game that I should get?

Another gift that I got for Christmas was beer (surprise!). My parents got me some, and Hilary's parents got me some. With the variety of beer that I drink, I have always felt a need to keep track of the various brews that I consume. A while ago, I started saving bottles...eventually, I realized that I would be crawling through bottles in my bedroom if I kept that up. Hilary's Mom inspired me, however, to save the labels...which is exactly what I started doing (unfortunately, the label for "Santa's Butt Porter" ripped as I tried to get it off). If you have any ideas with what to do with the labels once I get a good collection, let me know...

One of the highlights of my time off was playing Cranium with my brother Dan and my parents (my Dad and I vs. Dan and my Mom). If you enjoy board games, and have never played Cranium, you should definitely go pick it up. I've mentioned how competitive my family is before, so board games can sometimes evolve into wrestling and yelling at each other. However, we managed to get through the game with no serious injuries...

Friday, December 21, 2007

World Series Ball Destroyed!

As you are all (hopefully) aware, the Red Sox won the World Series this year. In game four against the Colorado Rockies, closer Jonathan Papelbon threw the last pitch to win the series. Naturally, Varitek gave him that ball. And naturally, his dog ate it.

Personally, I think it's just perfect (whether it's true or not). Papelbon is a nut...he defines the whole "jokin' around and having fun but playing good ball" philosophy that the Red Sox capture. Of course he would have a bulldog named "Boss." While some people may think, "how could you let that happen?," I think it's really not an issue. The ball from the 2004 World Series was important...that broke the curse. This ball was for Papelbon, and if anything were to accidentally happen to it...what better way to go than in a dog's mouth?

This would only happen to someone from the Red Sox. This wouldn't happen to the Yankees. They probably all own cats.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Headline should have been..."Sex Eduction Works to Delay Intercourse but Increases Spelling Errors." Fox News...typical.

If that headline (spelling error aside) is true...I suppose Britney Spears' little sister didn't get any sexual education. Zing!


I just wanted to bring a website to everyone's attention in case you have never been to it before...

[Warning: In case you happen to work at the same place that I do, you can't look at that site while on the network.]

The concept of the site is very interesting, and I think it is a genius business plan. It's been around for a few years, but I just caught on to it in the past couple months. They sell electronic-type items, ranging from headphones to sound systems to vacuums. A lot of these items are cool gadgets or unique items that you don't typically see, and they all have awesome prices (example - I bought a bluetooth this morning for $13 and that includes $5 shipping). By the way, $5 is what they charge for shipping regardless of what you get.

The kicker is that they only sell one item per day, until it sells out or until the clock strikes midnight...and the cycle continues...a new item every day. They have dubbed Tuesdays "2-for" or sometimes "3-for" Tuesdays, meaning they'll sell 2 or 3 of whatever it is they're offering for very cheap (this past Tuesday was 3 FM transmitters for what I think was about $15). They have also expanded into a wine-woot (selling wine and wine accessories) and tee-shirt-woot (selling graphic tees, a lot of which are user ideas). I've gotten into the habit of checking all 3 pretty much everyday. I think it's genius because I see how it's hooked me wants people to make the site a daily check because it's fresh and exciting.

What would I would like to see it expand into? dvd-woot and video-game-woot :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

T.O. is a Baby

Ok, I know my superstition prevents me from writing about my favorite sports teams, but that doesn't prevent me from writing about the ones that I hate... (The Eagles are not really playoff bound this year whatever).

I just read an article that T.O. made a remark about the girlfriend of his QB, Tony Romo, who just happens to be Jessica Simpson (first of all, Jessica Simpson...are you serious? Tony Romo??) Jessica Simpson decided to support her boyfriend this past Sunday by going to the game. I forget who they were playing...oh yea! The Eagles! Long story short, the Eagles outplayed the so-called powerhouses of the NFC, the Cowboys, and won 10-6.

Looking back on the game, T.O. seems to think that they lost because Jessica Simpson was at the game. I'll give him a little credit...apparently all of the Cowboys fans and other teammates are into the conspiracy too. Well, you're all idiots. I'm superstitious...but I definitely would not place the blame of a loss on the appearance of someone's girlfriend. You lost because you were outplayed. The Eagles should have beaten you by MUCH more than 4 points (intentional knee by Westbrook at the end of the game aside)...they just could not capitalize on all of their red zone opportunities. And T.O...stop whining.

Movie News

I went to the movies on Monday for the first time in a while, to see I Am Legend. I was very intrigued by the movie from the previews, which gave you the impression that Will Smith was the last man on Earth (or atleast NYC), but did not really get into why that was the case. These days, movie previews can practically tell the whole plot, and what's the fun in knowing what will happen when you're watching a movie?

Anyway, the movie was awesome. Yes, CGI-created images of a barren NYC are impressive, but the progression and plot of the movie were both gripping as well. In retrospect, the movie was not all that original, combining aspects of what I saw as 28 days later and Castaway (a lethal virus and the survivalist persona who seems crazy from loneliness). However, it was shot very well and turned out to be quite suspenseful. And let's face it...what bad movie has Will Smith starred in? By the way, it's a good thing that they waited on this script and casted Will Smith, because apparently the script came onto the Hollywood scene about 10 years ago, and Will Smith was going to be Arnold Schwarzenegger (can you imagine Arnold being the last man on Earth? Scary.) Without giving away too much, the movie hints at the risk and disaster that man-made medicine can bring. If you're looking for some entertainment over the holidays, I would highly recommend seeing it - definitely a theater movie (as opposed to the "wait until it's out on DVD" movie).

In other movie news, after what apparently was a legal battle, Peter Jackson will be able to direct the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy...The Hobbit. Don't get too excited though...they're predicting the movie to be out in 2010, which means it probably won't come out until 2011-2012 (ok, it's weird typing new millenium years that are past 2009...I feel like George Jetson).

Just a reminder also...Jackass 2.5 should be streaming, starting today...I'm going to check it out later.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Ok, I just HAD to make a quick post about this because it's awesome. I was never a wrestling fan (WWF, WWE, nWo, all that fake crap), although I always liked Macho Man Randy Savage from his awesome Slim Jim commercials...and his incredible rap album (yes, he actually put one out...he makes Dr. Dre sound like Marie Osmond). But now I have a newfound respect for Hulk Hogan. His show on VH1 is pretty entertaining, and amidst all of the divorce gossip with him, he's the new host of the revived American Gladiators.

My respect has grown, however, because of a comment he made yesterday to the press. When asked which celebrity he would like to see a Gladiator "pummel," he said Rosie O'Donnell without hesitation, because someone needs to shut her up. I don't really have any valid reasons to dislike O'Donnell but for some reason, she annoys're the man!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't go to the theater for this one...

The newest installment of the Jackass series is premiering online. Starting on December 19th, for one week only, Jackass 2.5 will be streaming for free through Blockbuster's newly acquired Movielink. Reports suggest that this online release, the first studio film to be released online, will be an experiment to see how successful an online debut can be.

Now...maybe I've been in the dark for a while, but I check out the news online atleast a couple of times a day, and "Jackass" would definitely catch my eye, just as it did today. My point is that this release is less than a week away...didn't they think to promote this ahead of time? Now, I know traditional movie theaters are not going anywhere for a while...some movies just require the big screen and THX sound. However, this could have potential to catch on for certain types of movies...and I'm just hearing about it the week before? Don't get me wrong...I'm definitely going to watch the free stream...but not all consumers work like me (like a genius, that is).

Maybe this process is for good reason (and by reason, I mean revenue). Again, the free stream will only be for one week. Starting December 26th, the free stream will end, and it will be available to download for a price on iTunes and A DVD will also be on sale, with 45 minutes of extras (always gotta get you with the extras!) for a higher price. So the lacking promotion for this new concept is probably to reduce the amount of people who get a free watch...well you can't fool me Paramount!

So if you're looking for what's destined to be the feel-good holiday hit of the season, curl up by the fire with your laptop and some hot cocoa and watch someone tee off at the driving range off of Bam Margera's crotch!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It hasn't been a long time since they Rock & Rolled

Yes, last night in London, England, the legendary Led Zeppelin "reunited" for their first show since 1980, five years before I was born. The band broke up in 1980 when their drummer, John Bonham, died in his sleep. 27 years later, they're considered rock gods...I love listening to them and I wasn't even alive when they were together!

When artists are together for a long time, or some kind of show or event lasts for a long time, I normally think that they/it should end if something goes wrong. The Price is Right, for example, should have died when Bob Barker retired...but don't get me started on that one! In Led Zeppelin's case, however, John Bonham's own son, Jason, took over on drums for their show last night...which I think is perfect.

All of the reviews are raving about how they sounded awesome last night. Prior to the show, interviews pointed to the show as being a "test" for whether or not they should set out on a full tour. Well, if that is the case, it seems like a tour should be set in motion...and I'd try my very best to get my hands on tickets if they come around here. I wouldn't get my hopes up though - you never know what will happen. At the very least, I'll pick up the DVD that surely will be released from last night's show.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Weekend

Since I'm sure everyone was wondering, I did have a nice weekend...thank you for asking. I went up to Fairfield University, my alma mater (that was the first time I referred to it as my alma mater) to see my girlfriend Hilary. Once I arrived on campus Friday night, I had the pleasure of picking up Hilary after her few hours of fun at another Senior Mug Night (an occassional event held at The Levee, the on-campus bar, which promotes $1 beers to seniors). We decided to grab a bite at The Circle Diner, and head to a party at the apartments, where Hilary resides.

On Saturday, we did what most college kids do on Saturday afternoons - nothing. We eventually decided to experience sunlight as we got ready to go down to Norwalk to catch The Polar Express at the IMAX theater in the Maritime Aquarium. I realized that The Polar Express, which I had previously seen on DVD, is meant to be seen in IMAX...but then again, what isn't? IMAX rocks! We grabbed dinner at a restaurant across from the aquarium called Papaya Thai, which was fantastic. In case any of you were wondering how wild boar tastes, it's delicious.

Sunday was another "bumming around" day, which in my opinion, are the best kinds of days. We had the pleasure of watching the Eagles blow another game, which was 'a lot of fun!' (...he said sarcastically). In other football news, Michael Vick got a sentence of 23 months in prison for his dogfighting charges...personally, I think he deserves it...don't mess with dogs!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Everyone Loves Ninjas

As mentioned when I brought up the revival of American Gladiators, there is a Japanese competition show that would put Nitro, Gemini, Zap, Blaze, and without a doubt Malibu to shame. I'm talking about Sasuke, or, as televised in the U.S. on G4, Ninja Warrior.

The competition has no "gladiators," or any human obstacles. It consists of 4 stages, each stage having a different obstacle course, which progressively become more difficult. The first two stages have timed courses and they both have some tough obstacles. The third stage, if a competitor even makes it that far, is very difficult. It pretty much tests your upper body strength to the limit of what is humanly possible. From watching the show multiple times, the obstacle that a lot of contestants fail at is a very skinny ledge, which only has enough room for you to grab with your fingertips and scale across it, not to mention the middle section which is raised about a foot.

The very few who make it to the 4th stage have 30 seconds to get up the "spider climb" and then climb up a long rope, and the total height of both reaches about 74 feet. You can imagine the limited number of people who complete that. Here is a compilation of the 4 stages, all of which were completed by Makoto Nagano, a Japanese fisherman (and my hero). Long video but well worth the view...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Attraction to the Inaccessible

In this country, businessmen and women often look at the demand of their product and produce enough to easily meet that demand, in order to gain as much revenue as they can (I know, the first sentences of all of my other blog posts usually head in completely different directions - i.e., television, gladiators, soy sauce, etc.) That business model seems logical in terms of seeking profits, but look at some examples of businesses that have headed in different directions...

The Nintendo Wii. Almost impossible to find one right now. From reports, Nintendo execs insist that failing to meet the demand for the system is not something that they want to do (suuuuure). However, look at the buzz surrounding the Wii. The fact that it is hard to find one available definitely contributes to the attractiveness of it. You can easily find a PS3 anywhere, but do you want to shell out twice as much money for something that you can find without effort? The PS3's are sitting on shelves, while the Wii's are barely touching the shelves before someone buys one.

With Christmastime around the corner, it makes me think of the
classic holiday toy madness. Remember Furby? Tickle-me-Elmo? How about that awesome Schwarzenegger movie Jingle All The Way? Granted, the demand for some of these products was triggered by the puppy-dog eyes of begging children, but sometimes parents just follow the buzz of what the popular Christmas toy is for that year, regardless of what their children ask for.

The reason that this idea sparked into my mind is because of an article about a Belgian brewery (ahhh, now you all realize where I was headed with this one). As part of the several Trappist beers, Westvleteren beer is brewed by a monastery of monks. Never heard of it? You would think you would have since it rolls off the tongue...but you almost definitely have not heard of it and that's no accident. In order to get your hands on this beer, you have to travel to the gates of their monastery. But it's not even that simple. You have to call "the beer phone" in order to know when it is that you can get whichever beer that they have available. You are then instructed to call back at another time. Finally, you make a reservation day for when you are to go to the monastery to pick up the even have to give them the license plate number of the car that will be picking it up. THEN you go to the monastery to pick it up. It almost seems illegal how the process works. And the beer phone is ringing off the hook! They put traditional business models to shame.

It's all for good reason though. The monks are not looking to make any profit from their brewing. They definitely do not advertise...they don't even put labels on their bottles
(if they did advertise, I'd go with the slogan, "You'll be swearin'...unless you get some Westvleteren!") Obviously, people have tried to go through the lengthy process and then resell the beer at astronomical prices. However, the monks not only mildly discourage reselling...they seek out people who do it and try to get them to stop! Despite the tiresome process that is involved with getting Westvleteren beer, people are claiming that it is some of, if not the, best beer in the world. Again, an attraction to what's inaccessible. There is no doubt in my mind that the beer is fantastic, but other Belgian beers are readily accessible around the world (Delirium, Chimay, and Leffe to name a few), and my guess is that Westvleteren would be rated among those (all of which are excellent) if it were distributed widely. Hell, years ago, Coors wasn't distributed to the East Coast so it was "cool" to drink it because it was different than the norm. I admit I love to tap the Rockies once in a while but I'm not bragging when I pick up a case of it at one of the millions of places of where it's sold. The process of getting Westvleteren adds to its excellence. It's like the Mount Everest summit to beer-lovers...and I'll have to organize an expedition someday...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm not "Ha Ha Ha"ing

Apparently Santas in the land down under were recently instructed not to say "Ho Ho Ho" anymore. Why in the hell would they do that, you ask? It's because "Ho" is American slang for a prostitute. [News to me...I don't know anyone immature enough to make that connection] Personally, I think this is all ridiculous. As Peter Griffin would say, it really "grinds my gears." The suggestion that Santas should say, "Ha Ha Ha" instead of "Ho Ho Ho" is just bizarre. The triple "Ho" conveys the jolliness and tubby-old-white-bearded goodness that Santa is all about.

Changing the "Ho" to "Ha"?...imagine it in your head right now...creepy, right? It turns the jolliness into questionable looniness. The additional excuse that the Aussies are making is that the laughing scares children. Are we talking about the land that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin (RIP) came from? And Gladiator badass Russell Crowe? Man up Australian kids!

In other Christmas news, Google Earth is once again tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. They've teamed up with Norad this year to do it, and you can play games, etc. on their site until the games begin in 20 days. Personally, I'll be tracking Santa down, and once he hits the Lehigh Valley, I'm listening closely. If I hear "Ha Ha Ha," I'm chuckin' snowballs.