Thursday, August 25, 2005

At least it's not Poodle....

or Modano, or Roy or anyone from Detroit. But somehow, my hockey fantasy involves being from Mile 40, Saskatchewan, running a donut shop and being a former penalty-minute record holder. Touché.

Props to Dave and Pat for the link:
Take the Which NHL Star Are You? Quiz

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Don't Blame It On The Rain...

...blame Saparmurat Niyazov, president of Turkmenistan! He has now banned lip-synching in the mid-asian country, and had this to say about his edict:

"Don't kill talents by using lip synching... Create our new culture."

Sir, I couldn't agree with you more. Your message is too late to save some from the wreckage of a public skewering, but gives hope that those American Idol kids might just think twice before trying least in Turkmenistan!

Just say No!

Monday, August 22, 2005

You'll Never Make a Monkey Out of Me!

or: "Charles D, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me!"

This weekend featured the Air and Water Show in good old Chi-Town, and living underneath it for the weekend, has motivated me to travel the 3rd week of August 2006. I can now fully commiserate with anyone who has done time on an aircraft carrier, and thus also camped out beneath a runway.

This event also apparently brought in the best and the brightest crop of tourists and suburbanites to wander aimlessly about my fair home (Sarcasm level: Colossal). Some my find this level of scorn highly unusual in your dear writer, and it is. With very few exceptions, I can usually summon up my basketful of "Minnesota Niceness" and dole out every possible rationalization to avoid being unkind to someone who might be new or maybe just a little off that particular day.

Not this weekend, though. The basket runneth dry, and you have a girl who is quickly losing her faith in science..."Natural Selection" my posterior!

A trip to the Museum of Science and Industry featured an exhausting bike ride of idiots on parade, a clue to everyone that balked about moving out of the way when politely asked "Passing left, please", what you were walking on is a BIKE PATH, it is used for the recreation of the entire City of Chicago and is not your personal property to dump sand or beer or God knows what else on while performing acrobatics or behaviors commonly practiced by a yard full of schoolchildren.... of which you are a long-time retired member!

Two highlighted incidents:

Tha'll Learn Her
Two fairly sloshed fellows ignored my request to move left and continued to swing their cooler, swerving all over the outbound lane. Apparently, pissed at me for still managing to finagle around them, they offered Bosco (who was following me) $5 to throw a beer at me.

Attack of the Flying Rats
Riding back from an unfortunately unsuccessful Museum trip, (it was for all intensive purposes, sold out) the bike path was scrapped in favor of the deserted downtown streets. A tourist crossing one of the bridges decided he could not coexist with a pigeon that was 4 feet away, harmlessly sitting on a curb. The fellow in question proceeded to run screaming at the bird, just as I was passing the intersection and it flew into my wheel. Luckily, my bike, the bird and my person were all okay. I yelled at the guy about the idiocy of such an action and asked if he was trying to cause an accident or get someone/something killed? His reponse "They're just flying rats, no'body miss it."

Grrrr. Snarl. Curses, that large rocks didn't materialize over the former parties in question and remove them from the gene pool. Not that I'd want to return to prehistoric days, but there is something amiss in a world where the natural perpetuation of species is not allowed to reject the terminally stupid. If this was 70 million years AD, they'd be Raptor Rations!

If this entry has left you looking for more maniacal mayhem, there’s always the 2005 Darwins…

Friday, August 19, 2005

SuperQBs, Is the one you love right for you?

Last night witnessed the very first time I live drafted my fantasy foot ball team.... well, by 'live' I refer to everyone hunched over monitors around the Chicagoland area (hopefully, with pulses) submitting their picks in real time.

It was rather different that I had imagined, and certainly highlighted my lackadaisical formula for selection. While I had pre-ranked players, that method ended up being only useful in the sense that you can see who's been cruelly plucked out of your carefully (HA!) constructed list. Upon arrival at the draft area I was "awarded" the 6th pick overall out of 10. This position quickly served to highlight any mistake I made, and forced me to relieve it.... I must have missed the memo that we were drafting kickers in the 7th round and spent an agonizing time waiting for my turn to pick up a scrap (Sebastian Janakowski, nothing like a veteran drunk!)

The IM trash talk was somewhat amusing, but it lacked the pique of our normal posts.... we WERE, however, missing Logan's Dave and, I have a secret suspicion the other lads were up to there eyeballs in depth charts and fantasy mags! I did manage to snag two halfway decent quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Jake Delhomme), although by the looks, my team should be renamed the "Tiger Beat's Turf Toes" as I certainly have the teen dream equation down pat.

This adventure will hopefully parlay into a minimum of giggles at my NEXT draft (why have one team when you can have two?), which is REALLY LIVE, complete with draft board and stickers.... and the added bonus of sitting with a red face for a round while I'm asked why in the world did I pick a Packer?!? (No, I jest, that just wouldn't happen without a concussion being involved!!!)

Ah well, my QBs cheekbones are not only cuter; but much, MUCH stronger than Rex Grossman's overall bone density.... that’s my strategy and I'm stuck for '05 with it!

Win a lock of hair and 50 Fantasy points!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tell them what they've won Rod!

Let is not be said I can't take a little artistic criticism! (Logan's Dave was not kicking his heels up at my choice of game show host yesterday, so here's a revision....although to pull this on off, I think the white toupee is ESSENTIAL,maybe even his trademark carnation and a 70s plaid suit!)

86 of out 100 people know this is a toupee.
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This post is courtesy of one of last night's aside comments from Logan's Dave during Pub Quiz. I believe it went something like this:

"You all know I've always secretly wanted to be a game show host...."

Now really, you just shouldn't say such things around People With The Power of Photoshop. (In fact, I see the theme of our fall quiz promotion posters emerging; Trebek, Martindale, Sajack, Dawson...there's so many!!!!) Ah, well, enjoy this little nugget regardless!

To heck with Plinko, Give me "Bizarro World"!
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Monday, August 15, 2005

Brought to you by the letter 'D' for Dimwit

New tube and tire levers in hand, this weekend's project was to jaunt over to Bosco's and fix the lame bike that has been there for over a week. The hardest part turned out to be getting the tire off itself. Amazing, that such a simple technique is NOWHERE detailed on the web! There were websites with the very helpful instruction to "pop the tire off" or "remove the tire with the tire levers" (umm, DUH!) and several that even glossed over the whole procedure, jumping straight to removing the tube "After removing the tire...."

My PSA for the day "How to use a tire lever": When repairing a bike tire, place the fat end of one tire lever between the tire and the rim and pull towards you until part of the tire pops over the rim. Repeat this until you have a 2" section. Then wrangle the fat end under this section and pull it around the wheel like a zipper.... the whole tire will slip off effortlessly!

I take no credit for figuring this technique out; it was all Bosco...quite impressive considering it was his first tire change. Even more impressive was his pointing out my incredible folly. When inflating the new tube, I put my Presta valve adapter on the air compressor and fired it up. No air. More adjusting and refitting of the pieces commenced. Not even the slightest whiff of oxygen crawled into the tube. Bosco took a look at the setup, fiddled around a little bit and then had me turn the compressor on once more. Air flooded into the flaccid rubber, creating a giant black hula-hoop. To my horror, the "miracle" that had just been performed was courtesy of adjusting the top valve crown to its open position. Mensa-candidate that I am, I sheepishly asked, if since that let the air could possibly let the air OUT too?

Yes, it could in fact. When adding air to my tires, I had not closed the valve.... heck I didn't even realize the significance of said piece as this was probably only the 3rd time these tires had been filled; and the other 2 times weren't by me! We had just replaced a perfectly good tire!

And, since I apparently was too busy eating pudding during this episode of Sesame Street, here's a little refresher for everyone else out there. Sorry Bird Bird, I know you tried!

Even Grover didn't get it the first time around! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

my apples are [Lost in the Supermarket]

Blogger erroneously deleted my entry of grocery-store woes last week, and as last evening proved equally abominable, a revisit seems apropos.

Last weeks' trip to Jewel featured a cart-thief who absconded with my apples and grapes and left me 5lbs of tomatoes and a loaf of rye bread in exchange.... which were both quickly adjusted upon their discovery at checkout.

It's not entirely surprising that this transpired, as the Wrigleyville Jewel is SO bloody crowded! To plow through the swarm, I had resorted to dumping my cart at the end of an aisle and swooshing down for items, before returning to deposit them. Guess that's a sign to the other shoppers to pilfer and interchange at will!

I'd been dreading going back until now, if the store is not swamped, its shelves are empty of whatever you want or is on special.... attempting something so futile takes a certain mindset.

To alleviate some of my dread, I biked over to Trader Joe’s to complete the majority of my list before succumbing to Jewel for produce and household gear. I love TJ's and the only downside is they are now 3 miles away by bike instead of just scampering down the block like I used to. This trip was quite fruitful, and after a brief unloading I was really to strike out for the remainder of my list at the big conglomerate.

There was even a chicken leg up for me; friend K had advised me to try another Jewel location slightly further north to avoid the congestion, and paltry pickings. Feeling rosy, I had high hopes for a completed list and peaceful evening. Ha! What do we have for our loser Bob?

Well, Jack.... we have a lack of zucchini, grapes & water chestnuts, the inability to drive a cart down any given aisle due to throngs of shoppers and even a line infringer who tried to block an aisle to cut in at the checkout.

So much for a new solution to shopping! The evening’s misadventures even drove me to look into Peapod, which happens to be Bosco's favorite band-aid to this rather mundane task. This is a VERY tempting alternative and only a few strings (sparse employment and good weather) are keeping me from plunging right in.

I'm not a grocery-shopping "purist": I won't especially miss squeezing the fruit, or taking out every packet of eggs to get the one with the latest expiration date (yes, I am one of THOSE people), the personal interaction with the cashiers or untold joy at picking the most perfect plum...yea, can give me those 2-3hours back for $6-8 in delivery fees? Sold!

One minor gripe, I did notice when test-driving the service was its lack of a proper spell-checker. After a missed keystroke, the built-in search engine unfortunately does not return a handy list of clues:

"Hey, did you know there is no such thing as a 'Chiclin Breath'?....Could you perhaps have meant 'Chicken Breast'? or maybe 'Chiclets'? how about some Chitlins?

As a member of Ortographobics Anonymous (wow, there IS a word for this!?), the last place I need to be taunted about my lack of spelling dexterity is from an online grocer; nor, do I want my diet to become one monosyllabic food group as a consequence.

All in all, it's an interesting option, although still a little weak...guess I'm just over expectant having been coddled by Apple and Adobe with revolutionary computing products; lackluster electronics have no place in my world...MicroCenter makes me hunger for new toys; why can't Peapod make me crave to order groceries? Step up already fellas!

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Weekly Barometer

or "You know it's Monday when...."

....after getting fully-dressed (jersey, shorts, bandana, cycle socks, suntan lotion, sunglasses, iced water, Powerbar) for a long bike ride and pedaling for 20 feet you hear an evil grating sound and look down to discover a flat tire.

(for others unfortunate enought to meet the same fate, might I suggest my latest bookmark "How to Fix a Flat"?)

Monday, August 01, 2005

'palooza deux

Okay, so with a week's pause, on to Day Two! (Take that those of you who thought this would turn into another once of those serial entries that I dangle before you only to let become buried beneath papers, dates, work and other chattel.)

After a rather cadaverous-like catnap, Bosco and I awoke at the crack of much for meeting folks out at breakfast! While he scurried over to orange to attempt some nosh; I began the bike home to prepare my ankles for more persecution. Climbing the stairs to the lakefront path my ATFL balked at another day of callousness and collapsed under the weight of a very heavy Trek and me. Luckily, I caught some cement stairs and managed only a superficial knee bruise and removal of my ring finger tip. Bloody and bruised, I continued to Walgreen's for gel insoles, water and breakfast (as the line outside Einstein’s was 12 people deep!). A quick chow and strapping of my ankles into Docs with their new cushy soles commenced. Amazingly, I still made it down to the festival grounds by 1pm. [Side Note: when googling atfl for ankle you also get The American Task Force for Lebanon. No word on if they have flat feet as well.)

Now, for the reviews!

Kasabian: First, learn to pronounce the name of the band right or you will endure endless finger pointing. KA-SAAB-E-AN. I didn't really get a chance to see much of the band, as 10minutes in the infernal heat had me dizzy and nauseous. Shade was found to the left of the stage and the rest of the show was experienced eavesdrop-like through a veil of leaves. It wasn't a bad show, just very vanilla. They seem the sort of band to experience in a dank and smoky club and the sound was lost amidst the gargantuan carnival scale of the fest. Overall, when in the mood for English psychedelic punk pop I'd check out the likes of Inspiral Carpets instead.

Louis XIV: This was another band that had received much kudos from my chums, and I was quite keen to be rocked. Due to ankle issues (bootstraps were the only things holding me upright!) and the ridiculous fieriness of the temps, another leafy screen was sought out behind the stage. Once more, I was a little disappointed; while I really like the raucous sound it was just not the right venue for it.... especially for one not familiar with the songbook. Not being able to mentally fill in the riffs that wafted out onto the softball fields, I quickly became bored and in favor of becoming as wet as possible before the next show. After checking out some of their downloads, they aren’t half bad and if you hunger for new 70s glam rock it's worth checking out!

Tegan and Sarah: After thoroughly drenching myself, I headed out to the field for this concert; I have a penchant for Canadian bands and this duo is no exception! I had a slight omen of calamity when they took the stage and Sarah was dressed in all black. Having dealt with blistering temps before, I was uber-prepared with light and airy clothes, wet bandana for neck cooling, sunglasses, hat and full water bottle.... with all this I was still uncomfortable; but Canadians are hearty folks, so on with the show! The set was going quite well until Sarah mentioned "Being hot, like placing your shoes next to a campfire." Things went downhill from there, icepacks were brought out to cool the gals, but Sarah still had to leave twice in the middle of songs to apparently puke. While their crew chimed in to finish one of the songs with Tegan, she finally called an end to the show. I was incredibly bummed, and will be looking out for their tour to come through a Chicago club in the near future!

Boredom, a nap and a jaunt for Jamba Juice with Bosco and new fabulous femme L transpired for the next 1.5 hours as no one of any note was on the bill worth seeing.

G. Love and Special Sauce: Yet another exclusively auditory experience, due to the scalding sun still being up. Garret "G. Love" Dutton apparently walked out in a full suit "So you guys don't feel so hot." which, while idiotic, was sweet. I like the sound of this band considerably; problem is I liked it in 1994 with the debut album. The sound is great, but since it's so distinctive a little goes quite far. Perhaps at some point evolution will happen.... which could be absolutely amazing; a modern-day Muddy Waters? I have chills! Otherwise, stick to the older stuff and hope for a multi-band bill to prevent lethargy.

The Dandy Warhols/Killers: I was torn between who to see here...thankfully The Killers were loud enough I heard a sampling of their set while standing in front of the Warhols. Certain folks will lambaste me for even hesitating to choose; but I like a good catchy riff, and even though some of their songs are a tad formulaic, they're pretty dang good. The Killers might not be good for me, but I also like to occasionally sit in front of my TV watching Gilmore Girls while downing a 1/4 of B&Js....guilty little pleasures are good! Dandy Warhols were very disappointing. They had some bopping tunes, which started my toes-a-tapping for a good time. Then, Anton Newcombe of the BJM came out, good-bye good-times. More revolutionary drivel and incoherent credos were spouted; and 8minute long "jam-sessions". After 3 of these aggrandized and narcissistic tributes, Bosco and I left Lolla for good. I did snag a t-shirt on the way out, not so much as this was a musical triumph that needed documentation, as I really liked the typesetting swirl.... and the design geek lives on!

There it is, a consecutive 2-part entry. Huzzah!
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