Thursday, June 27, 2002

While we're on the subject of funny names, I should mention that Chris also posted last night about some of basketball's greatest names. I couldn't have said it better myself. However, we must not forget the man who owns the best name ever in all of sports: NASCAR driver Dick Trickle.

Also, we have a new frontrunner for the funniest sports injury of the year award: Two Jacksonville Jaguars (the kicker and punter, no less; you couldn't imagine a more perfect scenario) were burned in a horrible fondue-related mishap. I'm not making this up.

Finally, our friends over at -273 have graciously referred to this site as "Cooler than a large stuffed dinosaur". Darn tootin'.

Note: I'll be gone for the weekend so this will be my last post for a few days. I promise I'll have some non-sports-related posts when I get back.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Nothing beats the NBA draft for silly sounding names. Just look at these wonderful examples:

Nikolos Tskitishvili
Maybyner "Nene" Hilario
Bostjan Nachbar
Nenad Krstic

You can't make this stuff up. The NBA has even created its own page just for purposes of pronouncing some of these tongue twisters..

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Very few people cite spite as their primary motivation for doing something, although we all know that, in reality, it's often the justification for our most dubious actions. Because of this, when someone actually makes it perfectly clear they are doing something out of spite, it's exceptionally refreshing and hilarious. I mention all this because of a recent event during the world cup, wherein a player for the South Korean team, Ahn Jung-hwan, was cut from his professional club in Italy. It just so happened that this particular player scored a game-winning goal against Italy the day before, knocking them out of the tournament. Now this action was clearly the result of pure spite, but you'd expect the club's manager to give some "reasonable" explanation for the roster move. However, the manager came out and promptly stated "He was a phenomenon only when he played against Italy. I am a nationalist and I regard such behavior not only as an affront to Italian pride but also an offence to a country which two years ago opened its doors to him. I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian soccer." That was a few days ago and the two sides, obviously under outside pressure, have made nice since then, but for a brief moment we were treated to some of the finest childish behavior in recent memory.

Disclaimer: I am not a soccer fan. In fact, I really don't like watching it at all. And yet I've posted twice about the subject in the last two weeks. The only explanation I can offer is, in any event where some of the most athletic people in the world get together and act like a bunch of babies, there's going to be some humorous occurrences.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Ok, movie review time. I saw Vanilla Sky a little while ago, and am still exceptionally confused. The thing is, that seems to be exactly the message that the film apparently wanted to send. It didn't take a genius to figure out this was originally a Spanish film, as the whole concept just reeks of european-ish-ness (how's that for a word). American films confuse you and then try to make you piece things together. European films (and David Lynch films, for that matter) confuse you, and then end. The end of Vanilla Sky seems like an attempt to Americanize the film, that is, to present an explanation so viewers can say, "Ok, I get it now". Only I don't buy the explanation, and it doesn't seem to jive that well with the rest of the film. So in the end the film returns to its confusing and European roots. This is going to make me sound exceptionally dorky, but the tacked on ending reminded me of the last chapter of Apuleius's The Golden Ass, in an "ok, here's what you should take out of this" sort of way. On the other end of the spectrum, it's reality-bending ending is also eerily similar to Total Recall, minus the parts where Arnold Schwarzenegger says things like "now you're screwed", and then proceeds to put a giant drill into a villainís gut. Despite deductions for the forced ending and the fact that masks are creepy, I still give it 2 1/2 stars.

Discussion Question: Why did every single baseball video game, dating all the way back to the first generation consoles and up until very recently, use the exact same noise for a fly ball? You know what I'm talking about.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Tim Keown over at ESPN is right. Operation Shutdown is still ridiculously funny 3 months after the fact.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Answer to yesterday's Discussion Question: d) Its good, because Minnesota will no longer have to be a national laughing stock. Itís bad, because we can't laugh at Minnesota anymore. Plus, we all know you weren't paying attention.

Ventura should have been gone as soon as he jumped aboard the train wreck known as the XFL to do some of the worst football commentary ever heard (with apologies to Boomer Esiason). Any member of government that ever got within 100 feet of anything XFL-related should have been immediately and forcibly removed from office. For those of you thinking, "Ok, that's all fine and good, but how has the governor tackled the issues?Ē lets take a look at how Mr. Ventura weighed in on various important subjects.

''Being able to put two rounds into the same hole from 25 meters! That's gun control." -- on gun control

''Anyway, I've done way more stupid things on alcohol than I have on pot."-- on the decriminalization of marijuana

"If you were to come to Minnesota, I could have you locked up like that. That's power." -- while on marijuana, evidently

Do these sound like the words of someone who is supposed to be running an entire state? I'm wondering if he's qualified to run a dishwasher. By the way, the first two quotes were stated before he was elected, while campaigning. Minnesota, you have a lot of explaining to do.....

Friday, June 21, 2002

The U.S. is out of the World Cup. America can now start worrying about baseball and NFL training camp, and stop acting like a bunch of Europeans, minus the tight pants. Speaking of the NFL, you heard it here first: The Packers are Super Bowl Bound. I just have that feeling. If you don't agree with me now, you're going to look awfully silly come January. I'm just trying to save you the embarrassment.

Discussion Question: Jesse Ventura isn't running for reelection. Is this:
a) good
b) bad
c) sorry, I wasn't paying attention
d) all of the above

Thursday, June 20, 2002

I feel I can go no longer without informing you, my esteemed readers, of an important breakthrough in the field of personal health. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to stumble onto a product named Ostrim in a smoothie store, of all places. Ostrim is, to quote its label, the "#1 Sports Nutrition Meat Snack". Now you might be asking yourself, what exactly constitutes a Sports Nutrition Meat Snack? Well, these are the facts I was able to gather in the limited time I was able to spend with the product:

1) It has Ostrich in it
2) It has some other meat in it
3) It looks like a slim jim
4) It is extremely expensive (compared to a slim jim, at least)
5) It has an star (sort of) spokesman, Kurt Angle, who is evidently some kind of actual wrester - turned - WWF character. Now that's a perfect match if I've ever seen one.

Evidently Ostrim has its roots in the new "all-protien diet" craze that's currently sweeping the nation, or at least that's what they tell me. It's sold right between the power bars and (I promise I'm not making this up) the creatine. At the smoothie place. Instead of bringing a bottle of gatorade to your next mid-summer basketball outing, you can bring a meat stick. Isn't science wonderful?

If you still don't believe me, I found the website. Order your Ostrim today!
Tony Blair likes corn dogs. The less I say about this the better.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

I have a hotmail account. However, I don't really use it to send or receive email. I got the account to store various things online in the form of attachments, but I've found that it has a very entertaining secondary use. Hotmail is, of course, the consistently spammed email service in the galaxy, and if you have enough patience to wade through the seemingly endless quagmire of boring junk mail that ends up in your inbox, you can find some real jewels. Every day I get about 15 new messages in my inbox (not the junk mail folder, mind you), which break down roughly as follows:

40% Debt Consolidation - Bad Credit, No Credit, Illegal Alien, Convicted Murderer ..... it's no obstacle.
20% Really foreign women who really want to meet you, for some reason...
20% Something involving Viagra
10% Nigerian Scam Emails - Check out Chris' page for a full discussion of the topic
10% Miscellaneous items

It's from this last group that the best stuff usually comes from. Two of my favorites from the past week or so are:

Lucas_fox Bigger breasts in 30 days. All natural and safe.

Hypnotize Women Into Bed
Fat, bald, ugly, frustrated, broke?
You can hypnotize women into bed!

Wow, my 2 lifelong dreams have come true!

Monday, June 17, 2002

I must apologize for my lack of posting this past weekend, I promise I'll make it up to you. Anyway, lets get down to business.....

Random Notes from this Weekend:

Friday: I saw a guy power drill a deadbolt lock. It's more noisy than you can imagine and less interesting than you would expect. Or mabey the guy just wasn't doing it right, he never did get the thing open.

Sunday: I went with my girlfriend to see a free outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in forest park. Despite the fact that I'm not exactly a huge Shakespeare fan, as well as the fact that I couldn't see anything on stage from where we were sitting during the first two acts, I actually found the performance to be worth my money (and yes, Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm aware I said it was free). Anyway, I nearly doubled over laughing a few times, in large part due to one particular scene wherein a fat man pretends to be viciously attacked in the private parts by a stuffed dog. Now that's Shakespeare.

From the Reality is Funnier than Fiction Department: I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but Britney Spears is going to star in an upcoming movie about NASCAR.

Friday, June 14, 2002

I finally got around to watching Ocean's Eleven last night. There's nothing really wrong with the film, and all and all, its pretty well done, but for some reason it just wasn't that satisfying. The fact that the cast was so big and full of so many famous faces actually hurt the movie, in my opinion, as it seemed like everyone had to justify their existence, which kept any single character from being fully fleshed out. Brad Pitt had basically no character for someone who was on the screen for so much time, and even George Clooney and Andy Garcia's characters weren't very complex. I know its hard to create interesting, complex, personalities in this kind of movie, but it can be done, as some older ensemble-cast movies (The Great Escape and The Dirty Dozen come to mind) prove. However, most of these were significantly longer than Ocean's Eleven, and I think another half hour or so would have helped "11" become a better movie.

Outside of all criticism, it was still fun to watch, though. I'm a sucker for caper movies. Therefore, I'm giving it 2 1/2 stars. Recommended if you're a sucker for caper movies too.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Disclaimer: This is a sports-related post. If you do not like sports, this probably won't be interesting. Don't worry, though, I promise I'll write about something different tomorrow.

Shaquille O'Neal and the Lakers are killing the NBA, and not in a good way. The whole league has turned into a joke, with every game completely controlled by the attitude of the refs. Unless the officiating improves immensely, the league is going to slowly die. No wonder ratings for the finals were the lowest in over a decade. Three of my biggest gripes, which all need to be addressed if basketball is ever going to be played in the NBA (as opposed to whatever the heck they're doing now) are:

1) Officials giving star players "star treatment". Players like Kobe Bryant are good enough already without constant help from the refs. And if they can't get it done without help, then they probably don't deserve to be stars anyway.

2) There's a rule in basketball about traveling. The refs should enforce it. I'm so sick of watching a player grab the ball like a running back, take 6 steps down the lane, stop, fake, take 2 more steps, then shoot.

3) In real basketball, if someone pushes you, its a foul. I know the game is more physical nowadays but the amount of contact players get away with, especially in the post, is ridiculous. If someone is in your way, you can't continue to go in that direction. It's really that simple.

Oh yeah, and Bill Walton is an idiot.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Answer to Yesterday's Discussion Question: There is no valid answer. Nobody on earth wants to see America Online founder Steve Case's feet. And that's a guarantee.

I went to grocery store today, but I felt like I was going to the grocery store of tomorrow. You see, the place I go to now has these super-spiffy automatic checkout machines, at which you can check out your groceries without having to deal with surly store employees. This may not be a big deal to those of you who live on the cutting edge of technology, living in your spaceships, walking your robot dogs, and looking at your "computer" ( or whatever "with it" people do nowadays), but I for one felt like I was shopping in a futuristic wonderworld. The checkout machine is smart as hell, too. It has this weight-sensor thingamabob that makes sure you don't put anything in your bag that you haven't paid for. It's also very bossy, and tells you what to do about every five seconds, in case you forgot what you just did the last 30 items you scanned an item. It even reminds you to put each item in a bag after you have scanned it. Now that's technology.

I just hope those things don't evolve into killer robots. I'd feel a little more secure if they weren't so uppity.

Random news item of the day: One of the largest, most respected newspapers in China, The Beijing Evening News, evidently picked up an article from The Onion, mistook it as an actual story, and published it. Read about the embarrassing truth here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Man, I hate getting my haircut. Not that I mind the process itself all that much; I just feel like there are so many other ways I'd be better spending my time. However, I must admit that my haircut tolerance has improved as I have gotten older. I used to cry and scream every time I went to the barbershop as a little kid. Now I only quietly sob and pout. I should probably stop trying to kick the barber, though.

Random Note: There are only a few movies that get exponentially funnier each time you watch them. This is Spinal Tap is one of those movies.

Discussion Question: Why is every celebrity on every magazine cover pictured in bare feet?

Monday, June 10, 2002

From the Countries With Massive Inferiority Complexes Department (CWMICD): I just recently watched a replay of the World Cup match between the U.S. and Korea. Nothing much interesting happened in the entire match (hey, it's soccer, no one should be surprised) except for the post-celebration antics of the player who scored South Korea's only goal. In this celebration, the player imitated a speed skater, a reference to Apollo Ohno beating out some Korean speed skater on a technicality in the 2002 Olympics. In Korea, this evidently is still a source of much lingering hatred towards the U.S, that annoying country that they owe their very existence to. In the United States, everyone forgot about this incident approximately three days after it happened. Apollo Ohno would now would now most likely be identified as the showy african-american boxer who married John Lennon and destroyed the Beatles.

To put in inter-nation dialogue form:
South Korea: Ha Ha! Take THAT, you notorious american dogs! We are avenged!
U.S.: Huh?

The match ended 1-1, and is already forgotten the U.S., while "Victorious Death to Short Track Speed-Skating Satan Week" is now well underway in Seoul.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

I'm new to this whole web logging thing, so if you're looking for a more developed blogging experience, take a look at The Chris Hill Festival. If you don't like my blog, blame him. He's the one that got me interested in this thing in the first place. But seriously, check it out. It's the T.G.I. Friday's to my Taco Bell.
I saw Star Wars yesterday, and I actually liked it more the second time around. Sure Anakin and Padme are wooden, occasionally annoying, and have lines that seem to have been written by grade schoolers, but all that can be pretty easily ignored. It's close enough to believable that I don't mind. The nice part is, to offset this, Ewan McGregor and Christopher Lee are both great. McGregor has Obi-Wan down perfectly and Lee does a nice job with the very complex Count Dooku. Plus, the movie is worth watching for the action scenes alone. Sure, everyone talks about the Yoda scene, and deservedly so, but the entire last 45 minutes are really nicely done, as are the Courescant chase scenes in the beginning of the movie. My rating now is 3 stars, up from 2.5 on the first viewing.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

A great scene in an otherwise mediocre movie: John Cusack hits Tim Robbins in the face with a phone in High Fidelity. Highly recommended viewing (just that part, It's up to you whether or not you want to sit through the rest of it)

Friday, June 07, 2002

Answer to yesterday's discussion question: Steroids.

Speaking of steroids, Jose Canseco has (suprise, suprise) has become one of the infamous "50%" of the MLB and admitted that he's poked needles into his butt and other places. This, when combined with Jose's limited mathematical background, probably accounts for why Jose's personal estimate is 85% (More on baseball players and math below). Now, although this news in itself is not very shocking, Jose has also promised to "name names" of other players using muscle candy in his book. Assuming Jose Canseco is the person who will be writing the autobiography of Jose Canseco (this is no forgone conclusion, folks), one can only imagine the literary merit of the book ....


Now,as for baseball players and math, I present for your amusement the following Ricky Henderson quote for this week's SI:

Well, I'm not one of [the 50% of major leaguers who use steroids], so that's 49% right there.

One more random baseball note: It has been brought to my attention that Carl Everett doesn't believe in dinosaurs.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Is it a requirement for collect call commercial spokesmen to be exceptionally annoying? Is this going to want to make as little at 10 cents a minute on nights and weekends? Well, they certainly do seem to stick in your head, in a rage-inducing sort of way. Just look at some examples:

Chris Rock - Can be annoying at times
Marlon Wayans - Annoying, but could be worse
David Spade - Tiny and can easily be ignored, yet annoying
David Arquette - Really annoying. Can someone remind me why he's a celebrity again?
Terry Bradshaw - Loud, annoying, and not too bright
Carrot Top - The living, breathing embodiment of annoying

At least Jack in the Box got it right ...LT and Brian Boitano had such amazing chemistry together

Discussion Question: Why is Carrot Top so *#@$ ripped!?
"MindTrap", by its very name, implies that it is to some degree a thinking man's game. The problem is, it's not. A few questions are ok, but most of them, especially, the long, "Detective" style questions, starring the infamous Shadow, are basically "guess what the writer of this stupid question was thinking". There are always plently of valid answers, you just have to find the least intuitive one, one that any intelligent,rational person would not come up with. And some of them are just plain dumb. Any game where you regularly say that "that was stupid" is probably not worth playing.

For example:
Q: How can it be that a man was once married to the sister of his widow?
A: The man married his wife's sister first

THERE IS NO TRICK. The question basically is, "Explain the concept of 'before'." The fact is, it's so simple and just plain stupid that it becomes more confusing the more you think about it. You feel the need to ask other people to validate its stupidity, that you aren't alone, that something isn't wrong with you. If this is what the game was aiming for, then yes, I guess my mind has been trapped...

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Someone just rocked the house, playing Risk, The Game of Global Domination. No one can stop my uncontrollable hordes....
Ah, my very first post....So much potential....Things can only go down from here....

Nothing much new to report right now, I'll talk about how I came up with the name some other time (It's pretty darn dorky).