Friday, December 21, 2007

An HM Christmas Story

Happy Holidays to all. An HM Christmas tale, circa 1984:

The Setup
When I was in college, I roomed with a guy named Tim for 4 years. Tim was/is a great guy and we had all sorts of wacky adventures like 1) crawling over 8 foot snowdrifts during a snow emergency to get to a keg party across campus; 2) Tim taking a giant sample bag full of Nyquil that had been left in the 2nd floor walkways and bringing it to the room; 3) a 30-day "preventative medical program" of a shot of Nyquil each before bed during cold-and-flu season; and 4) summer trips to Albany where we would attend concerts like Fabulous Thunderbirds and Bob Sieger or Talking Heads or Bryan Adams and drink massive quantities of beer. Oh, the good old days....

Anyway, more often we would sit in the dorm room and study while listening to Tim's collection of cassette tapes (old Genesis was a fave, I would beg for Springsteen, but would get Jackson Browne). But that could become tiring, so we turned to the radio at times.

One particularly bad night, the tapes weren't happening and the radio was completely crappy. I called three stations with requests and was told that there was no way they were playing "I Don't Know" by Ozzy "Eat the Rich" by Krokus, or anything by Iron Maiden. So around 11:30 p.m. I turned to AM radio and found a new station -- 1400 AM, "14 Rock." It was a drippy pop station where they played nothing outside the current top 20. That is where we stayed for that night.

"To HM and Tim Out At UB"
So, we called into 14 Rock and requested a bunch of songs -- they wouldn't play any. So I finally said to the DJ, "Shelly Wild" -- what the hell will you play. She said, "Only really drippy top 40 songs." So I said, "How about John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band's 'On The Darkside'"?

We can do that. I said I wanted a shout out to "HM and Tim and UB." Absolutely can't. I will get fired.

So once a night for a week we would dial up 14 Rock and request some pop tune we could stand and that they might play. Always got our request, never got a dedication. So around night #8 I call up and say, "I need the HM and Tim deal or we call no more. I am serious."

Next up, "On the Dark Side, Going out to HM and Tim at UB."

We had won. Now Tim had a serious girlfriend, so the person left to flirt with the VERY sexy-voiced Shelly Wild was me. Heck, I was 20 and had no girl, glad to take over. I would go down to the pay phones (we had about 20 in the bottom of the dorm) and talk to "Wild" for about an hour every night -- her shift started about 11PM. She was an odd girl, but oh the voice...

So I decided to ask her out, sight unseen. Answer -- Sure.

The Date Prep
So it is just about Christmas break, and I am headed off to Albany for January 1985-June 1985 on an internship program. But I just gotta see who this girl is and have a date.

Ask my sis, "Hey, can I borrow your car?"
Why?
"Got a date."
Really, huh? Who?
"Just some girl."
Is it the radio DJ?
"How do you know about that?"
Tim tells me things.
"Well, no, of course not."
You only get the car if you admit it is the radio DJ you are dating.
"OK, fine. It is."
You are a sad, sad, little man, HM, here are the keys..........

I love my sis. By the way -- Merry Christmas, sis.

Put on my best sweater and my cords, spray on half a bottle of cologne. Drive to the city of Buffalo. We are going to meet at 6PM outside her apartment building, go to Niagara Falls and see the Festival of Lights, and then have her back by 11PM to do her radio show.

The Christmas-y Date
I get to the appointed place at 5:55 p.m. No one there. Walk into the entryway of the place -- surprisingly no one named "Wild" there on the mailboxes, so I ask a woman coming out -- "Shelly Wild live here?" Yeah, #8. Buzz #8, no reply. Go sit out in the car. Woman walks into the place 10 minutes later, long hair, kinda young, I will try again.

Buzz #8 -- Wild it is HM. "Oh, HM, I am so sorry I am late, come on in." Walk in, bills on the table say "Susan Michell Lorshabaugh" or some such name. Wild is, on facebook rating scale (face, body, doability) 6/9/10. Now, it is 1984 and I am an absolute dating dunce. I have had one girlfriend my whole life and she was unbelievably aggressive. So when Wild doesn't immediately dive on top of me, my response is to sit down and start reading her mail. She steps about 8 steps away, just barely inside a doorway and puts on a new top. I turn away, to which she responds, "You could have looked if you wanted. It is a good show." Again, dating dunce. And WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY over my head here. She is 27, I am 20.

Drive to Niagara Falls (around 25 minutes).

The Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls in 1984 was very corny, but definitely a great first date romantic event. Cold weather, lights, Christmas trees, food booths, hot chocolate, lots of benches to sit on, paths to walk around, etc. Oh, and you can see Niagara Falls lit up.

We have a really nice time for 2-3 hours. Christmas songs are playing over the PA system. We walk arm in arm and drink cocoa. Her clothes are seemingly painted on and she keeps her jacket unzipped to reveal her greatest assets. I sing along to "O Holy Night" and she tells me that I should be a professional singer and that I have made her entire Christmas season, then she gives me a very romantic kiss.

I would say that as first dates go, we did awfully well.

Drive her directly to the radio station and we make out in the car a little. She says, "Oh, HM, YOU are the Wild one!" Drive home. First song of her shift, "On the Darkside."

Long-Distance Dedication/Christmas Wish
So, Ms. Shelly Wild, wherever you are, Merry Christmas. I will always remember our Christmas-y date. So long ago, in such a different world. Happy 50th birthday, by the by. That must have been a rough one. Hope you still have that voice....

HM







Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Boom Goes the Dynamite"

No matter what you do, do not give up on this guy until the bitter end. I almost fell off my chair when he starts his ad-libbed highlights.

"Now let's check out some of the scores from tonight.................................................................................................................................."


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Harvard -- the Affordable Option

http://money.aol.com/news/articles/_a/harvard-to-reduce-tuition-costs/20071210161809990001

This is really amazing. Sure you need a 4.0 and a 1520 SAT to even be considered, but for the kids who actually can and do get in to Harvard, this is an unbelievable benefit for less-than-rich families. There are VERY mediocre private schools out here in the Midwest charging $40,000 a year to attend. If I can send my gifted kid to Harvard for $10,000 to 18,000 a year, that is an unbelievable benefit.

Having toured Harvard on my own last year, I think that this might also be a nod to getting some "diversity" in the applicant pool. As I think I reported on my Blog, I saw VERY few white males in my walk through campus. Maybe if their parents see the opportunity for a price break, more upper-middle-class white males apply?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Coaching 8B Basketball

Oh, woe is me, coaching 8th grade girls hoops, blah, blah, blah (there, for those of you who want to skip, you just got a good summary of this entry).................................But I got a couple stories: 1) girl starts, literally, walking during a practice scrimmage "I am tired" I say, "well, I guess we need to run more to get you in shape" response, "Not tired as in out of breath, tired as in sleepy." Um, OK... 2) a girl had a birthday the other day so I asked her what she got -- "mostly cash" -- my reply "oh bring some of that to the tourney, I could use some cash." (straight face) "What? I am not giving you my birthday cash!" (um, hey, only kidding there...) "Did you get any non-cash items?" Yes, I got a tote bag for my makeup from (name of lingerie store); that's a place that you probably don't know anything about but it is a nice place. "Yeah, never heard of that." "I didn't think you would...".............................................................................................................So, summary -- I am a nerd whose sarcasm isn't apparent, and who doesn't know very basic things about national chain stores; and I have players who need a nap while playing hoops...........I am pumped up for this weekend's tourney like you can't believe!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is Tarvaris Jackson Any Better Than Spurgeon Wynn?

I think he is marginally better than Wynn. Hopefully T Jack is better at reacting to the rush:




And hopefully (if he ever scores again) T Jack will be better at spiking the ball than Kerwin Bell:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Isiah To Pay Zero, Knicks, MSG and Dolan Get Burned

Oh well, certainly a better investment than the $58MM that they are still required to pay Jerome James, Malik Rose and Quentin Richardson.

In an end to a salacious three-week trial, a jury ordered the owners of the New York Knicks to pay $11.6 million to a former team executive who endured crude insults and unwanted advances from coach Isiah Thomas.
...........................................................................................................................
In a lawsuit filed last January, the 44-year-old Browne Sanders sought $10 million in punitive damages, but the jury was free to deviate from that figure.
..........................................................................................................................
The verdict also means the judge will determine and award compensatory damages in the coming weeks.

The harassment verdict was expected after the jury sent a note to the judge Monday indicating it believed Thomas, the Garden and Dolan sexually harassed Browne Sanders, a married mother of three and former vice president for marketing.

Browne Sanders is currently an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at the University of Buffalo.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Isiah Thomas Liable For Sexual Harassment

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022007/news/regionalnews/isiah_thomas_found_guilty_of_s.htm

I have looked on espn.com, cnn.com and nypost.com. All three just use the basic wire service story. How about a little analysis here???

1) No report is made of what the woman's "compensatory damages" were set at by the jury. Wouldn't you think this is a pretty crucial piece of the story to report? She made $260,000 a year. If she has lost 2 years of income, her wage loss is $520,000. What did the jury award? If it didn't make an award, when will that award be made?

2) How about pain and suffering damages? No mention of these. Pain and suffering damages are compensatory in nature. They are not punitive damages. How much was awarded here? No info.

3) Zeke and Madison Square Garden ("MSG") corp. are both found liable for sexual harassment, but only MSG may be liable for punitive damages.

How about reporting the practical impact of this verdict for Zeke? Nope.

The practical impact of this verdict is that the plaintiff is almost certainly never going to seek a dime out of Isiah's actual pocket. She now knows she will get her judgment paid (if she wins on appeal) by MSG. Had she won punitives against Isiah, she probably had the right to bankrupt him by pursuing the punitive damages he would be liable for.

Now, Zeke basically walks away and lets MSG pick up the tab for his screw ups. Classic Isiah. Ask fans of Toronto, Indiana and the CBA what that feels like.

Terrible reporting.

4) I guess that now the "She is too tall to be harassed" defense will not become a staple of sexual harassment defense in years to come....

HM

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Missing John Candy

A tribute is scheduled for November of 2007 in Toronto to honor the great John Candy -- one of the greatest comedic actors of all-time (I don't care what anyone says):
http://www.cflgreycup.ca/toronto/news_052807.php

Here are a couple clips of John Candy. Candy died on March 4, 1994 at age 43 years, 4 months, 4 days. On September 4, I was 43 years, 5 months, so I made it past Big John.







Sunday, September 16, 2007

Orenthal -- Arrested

http://news.aol.com/story/ar/_a/simpson-faces-charges-in-robbery-case/20070914101509990001

My opinion -- I think O.J. probably did hire people to steal back what he viewed to be "his" property, but I think the prosecutor will have a hard time proving the case based upon testimony of low-life Vegas witnesses.

In an unusal move, Nevada authorities have agreed to give O.J. the same fair playing field he had in his criminal murder trial: the case will be tried in East St. Louis with Marcia Clark and Chris Darden prosecuting; Clark and Darden will consult with Kobe's bulldog-like prosecutors from Eagle, Colorado on how to be most effective and aggressive prosecuting the matter.

Friday, September 14, 2007

O.J. Simpson -- Thief?

http://news.aol.com/story/ar/_a/police-call-oj-a-suspect-in-break-in/20070914101509990001

I am a bit concerned that such rumors about Orenthal may tarnish his otherwise-sterling image. Watch for supportive comments soon to come from Donavan McNabb and Stephon Marbury.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All Summer League Squad

Clear some room on the mantle, you have just been named All Summer League!!!

NBA.com:

First Team:Aaron Brooks – G, Houston Rockets -- so small that people could not see him

Al Thornton – F, Los Angeles Clippers -- has found his niche at age 30 (or whatever he is, it goes up every day) -- dunking on people in the summer league

Craig Smith – F, Minnesota Timberwolves -- when everyone who is good on the court is under 6'8", Craig Smith thrives

Javaris Crittenton – G, Los Angeles Lakers -- no idea who he is, but he is Kobe's backup, so he gets.......6 minutes a game??

Jose Juan Barea – G, Dallas Mavericks -- 3rd string Dallas point guard

Kyle Lowry – G, Memphis Grizzlies -- Will they now cut Mike Conley?

Louis Williams – G, Philadelphia 76ers -- no idea

Marco Belinelli – G, Golden State Warriors -- the star of the Summer League, getting 37 in one game. This guy may actually be a real find.

Rodney Stuckey – G, Detroit Pistons -- gets to back up Rip Hamilton and play for a coach who never plays his bench......enjoy that 4 minutes a night you will get

Rudy Gay – F, Memphis Grizzlies -- I should hope so, he is a 40-game NBA starter

Randy Foye – G, Minnesota Timberwolves -- See Gay

Spencer Hawes – C, Sacramento Kings -- give the guy some credit (but see also Craig Smith comment)

Von Wafer – G, Denver Nuggets -- His D-League stats are also VERY impressive. Not impressive enough to up his NBA minutes played total above, say, 80, but still very impressive. Possibly his generation's Billy Ray Bates!!! (look that one up my friends......)

Monday, July 16, 2007

20-Year Old Woman Told She Was Too Sexy For Her Bus

Was the bus driver from "Right Said Fred"? http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSL161097420070716?feedType=RSS

The best pic we have: http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/news/2007/07/16/schock-linienbus/frau-bu-sen,geo=2154796.html

How can you post the pic online and crop out the requisite evidence? This is like someone hiring Tommy Lee to do porn based upon a chest-up photo!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

http://www.theputdown.com/theputdown/2007/06/simpsonize.html

http://www.theputdown.com/ was a great, great Blog. It was then taken over and became about the crappiest site on the Internet. But I now learn it has been re-acquired by Andy!! Welcome back, Andy. And thanks for the Simpsonizing link!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Famous Pro Wrestlers Since 1985 Who Have Died Before the Age of 50

Source: http://prowrestling.about.com/od/whatsrealwhatsfake/a/wrestlersdeaths.htm

A number of these guys were named to Pro Wrestling Illustrated's 2003 list of the best wrestlers of all-time: http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi500yr.htm

Chris Von Erich - 21
Mike Von Erich - 23
Louie Spiccoli - 27
Art Barr - 28
Gino Hernandez - 29
Jay Youngblood - 30
Rick McGraw - 30
Joey Marella - 30
Ed Gatner - 31
Buzz Sawyer - 32
Crash Holly - 32
Kerry Von Erich - 33
D.J. Peterson - 33
Eddie Gilbert - 33
The Renegade - 33
Owen Hart - 33
Chris Candido - 33
Adrian Adonis - 34
Gary Albright - 34
Bobby Duncum Jr. - 34
Yokozuna - 34
Big Dick Dudley - 34
Brian Pillman - 35
Marianna Komlos - 35
Pitbull #2 - 36
The Wall/Malice - 36
Leroy Brown - 38
Mark Curtis - 38
Eddie Guerrero - 38
Davey Boy Smith - 39
Johnny Grunge - 39
Vivian Vachon - 40
Jeep Swenson - 40
Brady Boone - 40
Terry Gordy - 40
Bertha Faye - 40
Billy Joe Travis - 40
Chris Benoit - 40
Larry Cameron - 41
Rick Rude - 41
Randy Anderson - 41
Bruiser Brody - 42
Miss Elizabeth - 42
Big Boss Man - 42
Earthquake - 42
Mike Awesome - 42
Ray Candy - 43
Nancy Benoit (Woman) - 43
Dino Bravo - 44
Curt Hennig - 44
Bam Bam Bigelow - 45
Jerry Blackwell - 45
Junkyard Dog - 45
Hercules - 45
Andre the Giant - 46
Big John Studd - 46
Chris Adams - 46
Mike Davis - 46
Hawk - 46
Dick Murdoch - 49
Jumbo Tsuruta - 49
Rocco Rock - 49
Sherri Martel - 49

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Steve Aschburner -- Ranking the Coaches

http://sports.aol.com/nba/story/nbafinals/_a/popovich-marches-to-front-of-nba/20070613130609990001



Ranking ANYONE below Mike Woodson is a cruel, cruel shot (not that Wittman deserves much better, but come on! No one has crippled his team's chances of winning more than Woodson).



Proving that Asch used to follow the Wolves, he absolutely DETROYS Flip Saunders (8 spots below Nate McMillan, 10+ below Lawrence Frank!). Let's see, hmmm, Flip's career -- three overall #1 seeds, three overall conference finals. Nate's? Um, not so much -- played Stephen Graham over Martell Webster and then cut Graham!

Asch's 10, 9, 7 -- Nate McMillan, Sam Mitchell, Lawrence Frank. Um, OK. Total NBA Conference Finals for those guys -----that would be ZERO. Byron Scott -- 2 NBA finals. Larry Frank takes over for him and immediately gets the squad eliminated in the conference semis. Nets add Vince Carter for basically nothing -- get worse.

I am sure that Boston and Philly fans will be surprised to learn of the wizardry of Jim O'Brien -- place in the same category as Rick Adelman, George Karl and Don Nelson!!!!!!!! Whoa!! Rick Adelman -- teams won 50 games 9 times. Career .610 winning percentage, 2 NBA finals.

O'Brien -- teams never won 50 games in a season. Career playoff record is sub-.500. Fired after one year with Philly. Almost as good as three potential HOF coaches? Um, doubtful.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bill Simmons -- Didn't Call LeBron All Hype; Won't Apologize

I guess that someone in Ohio echoed my statement that Simmons should apologize to LeBron or stop supporting him now.
Simmons' reply? He never said that, plus he won't apologize for saying it:


Decide for yourself:


Item 1 -- Key Quotes from Simmons' "Thumbs Down" on LeBron after the all-star game, Feb. 2007:

Here's what I know. I had four conversations with connected NBA people over the weekend that centered around the same themes:

LeBron isn't playing nearly as hard as he did last season;

it looks like his only goal right now is to get his coach fired;

he's regressing as a basketball player ......................;

he has an overrated sense of his own worth and his own impact in the sports world...................;

[he has benefitted from puff pieces written to suck up to him]

he doesn't have the same relentless drive to keep dominating everyone like Wade and Kobe have;

we're much closer to LeBron re-enacting the career arc of Martina Hingis, Eric Lindros and Junior Griffey than anyone realizes.

Simmons ends with -- This will evolve into THE dominant NBA story of the next two months. You watch.

So, correct me if I am wrong, but Simmons said in February of 2007 that LeBron doesn't play hard, is getting worse as a basketball player, has a big head, basically is lazy while on the court (or at least not driven to play up to whatever limited ability he has left), and that the dominant story in the NBA from Feb. to April would be that LeBron basically sucks and his career arc will be similar to Martina Hingis and Eric Lindros!!!

There is no denying it. That is what he said.

Item 2 -- Simmons Gets Called On His Abuse of LeBron

Speaking of Bron, Kevin from Cleveland passed this along: "Here's a link from the News-Herald, a local paper just east of Cleveland, in which sportswriter Roger Brown puts you at No. 3 on the list of the six people who have done the most damage to their reputations since the Cavs-Pistons series. Here's what he wrote:


"Simmons spent months ripping and mocking James as an overhyped fraud -- and gained lots of national attention in the process. But after James' historic Game 5 performance, Simmons scrambled to save face in embarrassing fashion. He wrote a column on LeBron that was more slobbering and fawning than a 13-year-old girl writing a fan letter to Justin Timberlake."


Sorry, I have to respond to this one. First of all, if Roger can produce anything I've ever written that called him LeBron an "overhyped fraud," I will send him a $200 check to double the salary that the News-Herald is paying him every week. I think he has me confused with Charley Rosen.


Second, I love the idea that me "ripping" LeBron gained me national attention ... really? From who? Did I happen to be in a coma at the time? I criticized him in my Anna K. column from Miami (and rightfully so, Bron mailed in a game on national TV); my All-Star column from Vegas (where Bron's lack of enthusiasm for the season was a major topic, and if you don't believe me, check out the ESPN.com column by Brian Windhorst from March once LeBron started playing hard again, and this from a writer who's covered LeBron for his entire career); when LeBron made the absurd "global icon" comment; and a couple of times during the playoffs when Bron-Bron didn't seem properly enthused by the proceedings (and he wasn't). I don't regret a single thing I wrote about LeBron in the past year. Everything still stands.

So, in Bill Simmons' world, saying that someone isn't trying hard, is getting worse at basketball, isn't very driven to succeed, and has an overinflated view of his place in sports (powered in part by the media's articles rating him so highly) isn't calling him an overhyped fraud.

Well, I guess he didn't use the words "overhyped fraud" (note Simmons' decision to add quotation marks when he says that he never called LeBron an "overhyped fraud" -- Sure I said it, but I never used the exact words).

How about predicting that LeBron would melt down for two consecutive months and that it would be THE story of the NBA? How about stating that LeBron would follow the career path of Martina Hingis (no career major wins after age 19; basically out of contention at age 23) and Eric Lindros (best season at age 22, not a big factor in the league after age 26)? Isn't that basically stating that LBJ's best days are ALREADY behind him and if you haven't been paying attention you missed them?

What Simmons ought to say is, "My all-star column was wrong. LeBron has proven he isn't an overrated player who is getting worse and who will be a non-factor in the league very shortly." Instead he tries to waffle and play both sides........ala Kobe Bryant's recent "trade me don't trade me debacle." Embarrassing........

Friday, May 18, 2007

My 6 Worst Dating Experiences

Since I know PAR says he enjoys these tales of my past trials and tribulations:



5th & 6th Worst (tie) -- 1982, my sister's friend (also my first ever date) -- JD -- she was almost stalkerish and appeared to be one of those girls who might show up on the 3rd date in a wedding gown. I dumped her at an inopportune time (just as she was about to visit my sis for the weekend). Went to a house party with another girl, but JD was also there, she drank herself sick (age 16, not much liquor enforcement in upstate NY) in the woods, apparently french kissing every interested guy at the party, reportedly saying, "See what you are missing" out loud, even though I was not within sight or hearing range of her. One poor tipsy freshman kid (who idolized me b/c I was the high school QB and captain of the baseball team) came up to me and almost was crying, "I didn't know, man, I didn't know she was your girlfriend. I mean, she is just such an easy slut." It's OK, kid, I dumped her, go find her.....


1989 -- girl in my apartment complex -- CC -- went to a formal dance with her, her dancing made Elaine Benes look like Stacy Keibler. Having nothing better to do, we left to go make out at her place -- she was not overweight, but her body fat percentage had to be 25% plus. Like grabbing a garbage bag full of water. "Uh, well, I got a busy day tomorrow, better head on home...." Never dated again.


4th Worst -- 1985, fellow intern known as "Elvira" or "Joan Jett" -- real name EB -- after we had been interns together and she hadn't spoken to me once in 5 months, she came up to me in a bar and chastised me for not recognizing her subtle hints or asking her out. She was a heavy smoker, we "dated" once -- before things could properly proceed she drank 10 gin and tonics and ended up puking her guts out through the streets of Albany. I had to carry her home, place her in bed; her roommate came home and took over the death watch as I cleaned the vomit off the tile floor. She never spoke with me for the remaining 2 weeks of the internship and then left and went home.


3rd worst -- 1989, woman who lived at my apartment complex -- name was Lisa something -- "My boyfriend and I just broke up. You want to go out?" Sure. "Want to see a movie?" Sure. Get to the theater. "Oooh, 'Driving Miss Daisy'! Can we go, please?" Yuck, but OK, bonus points, HM, bonus points.... After the movie, "You know, it is all about sex with him. I do love him though. Well, thanks for the movie." Kisses, none, hugs, also none, holding hands -- nope. (Yes, I paid.)


2nd worst -- 1985, fellow intern, JC -- let's just say she was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more worldly than the 21 year old country bumpkin HM. We only ventured out in public together three times -- twice she announced quite loudly (once in a mall, once in a dance bar) that she really didn't want me standing close to her or hanging around her on the dates because she needed more space and my lack of independence "really is a problem for me." I became so confused during the mall visit that I really didn't know what to do. I didn't have a cell phone, and we took one car, so I really couldn't figure out how I would ever see her if I just started walking around other stores by myself. The dance floor created very little confusion -- she just started slow dancing with another guy intern and loudly complaining about me. Even I knew that this was a bad sign...but still a narrowly better dating experience than...............:


1st worst -- 1990, Jan. blind date set up -- Pam M. - I had the distinct feeling that the girl was calculating how little affection she could demonstrate and still get taken out on a date to someplace else expensive. When I called and asked her out on a second date she said, "well, where would we go?" These subtle hints turned out to be leading somewhere when when she broke up with me before Valentine's Day with the infamous, "It is just getting too close to that day and I really don't want to have to spend it with you." Well, uh, thanks for the honesty?? I guess??? What do The Police call that in their song? -- "a humiliating kick in the crotch"?


If I can recall any more, I will let PAR know.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

Blades of Glory


Saw "Blades of Glory" -- 8 out of 10. If you liked "Anchorman" you will like Blades of Glory.

Extra plus -- Jenna Fischer in a miniskirt and Jenna Fischer in a bustier. Well executed (as Jim Ross would say).

I wish I could find the recap of the exchange where the uber-innocent characters played by Jon Heder and Jenna Fischer are on the phone and being fed sexy lines by Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell. THAT was worth the price of admission. (Last exchange was something like: Heder, "Wanna get a sno cone?" Ferrell -- NO!!! Don't say that!! Jenna Fischer, "Sure." Amy Peohler -- Sno CONE! How about a sno BONE! Tell him you're up for that!


HM

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ernie "The Big Cat" Ladd, Dead at 68



Back when the world was young and the earth's crust was still forming (OK, circa 1972), I first discovered professional wrestling flickering onto my dad's 14 inch black and white TV on some obscure UHF station. With my 5 year old brother, I would watch the WWF matches out of Allentown, PA and we both loved Johnny Powers: http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingBios/powers_johnny.html and hated the heels Waldo Von Erich and Ernie "The Big Cat" Ladd.

Ladd was such a great performer that he really scared the bejesus out of a little 8 year old kid in upstate NY, and I often wondered how they ever let him play pro football when he was obviously such an awful bad-ass.
I only got to watch Ladd for 2 years before my mom made us stop watching wrestling (cuz bro got injured for about an hour -- we would return around 1977 and watch Greg Valentine and Ric Flair go at it on Channel 4), but it always mystified me as a kid why: 1) Ladd's injured thumb (from "an old football injury") never healed in the 2 years I watched, 2) Ladd treated the serious and chronic injury by just wrapping tape around the thumb; and 3) why if it hurt so much did he use it to jam it into his opponents' throats and choke out his opponents????
RIP, Big Cat..............

Monday, March 12, 2007

Charley Rosen -- No Fan of KG




Wow. I guess Charley won't be flying into MSP to have dinner with Kevin any time soon. And I thought that Shaq's 32 point performance was the key to the Heat victory!

A pretty good summary of Rosen's opinion: 1) KG is a puss; 2) KG pads his stats with meaningless technical free throws and stats garnered at the end of blowout games; 3) the main reason the Wolves lose is because KG won't fight Udonis Haslem for position; 4) KG would be better if he had a good player to carry the load as a star interior player like...........Nene (pictured -- a nene).........or Eddy Curry (also pictured).................

Friday, March 02, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

James Cameron Finds Jesus -- Literally!

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/scholars-clergy-criticize-jesus/20070226101109990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001. Perhaps stung by Hoop Ramblings' claim late last night that he has done nothing much since "Titanic," James Cameron is all over the place today declaring that he has found the bones of Jesus, Mary Magdelene and Jesus's son!!

I'd say that this effort ranks up there higher than "Solaris" on Cameron's post-97 activities...........

I always enjoy the terror that these sort of claims strike within the church. Summary of the positions taken by "religious scholars" or church spokesman in the linked article alone: 1) it doesn't say "Jesus", it probably says some other name; 2) it does say Jesus, but that was a pretty common name; 3) we've known about this for years (which, I guess, means it isn't true); 4) the Bible says he ascended up to heaven, so these couldn't be his bones; 5) it is all a lie to confuse people and make money (side note -- WE are the ones with the right to confuse people and make money! So stop it!).

When someone comes out 45 years from now and says that this Blog never won a Pulitzer prize, I hope that my successor's PR machine can keep such heresy from being accepted as fact.

HM

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dennis Johnson -- Dead at 52


"There's a steal by Bird, pass to DJ......."
Per wikipedia -- On February 22, 2007, Johnson suffered a heart attack while playing a pick-up game during a practice and collapsed. He was later pronounced dead. Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Johnson's passing.
HM note -- a very, very good player and a key cog on championship teams in Seattle and Boston. Was brought in by Boston to defend Magic Johnson. One could certainly argue that he deserves Hall of Fame consideration given his teams' success and stats nearly identical to those of HOFer Joe Dumars: http://www.basketball-reference.com/labs/comp.cgi?I=johnsde01%3ADennis+Johnson&y1=&C=dumarjo01%3AJoe+Dumars&y2=&s=r&t=g&submit=Compare.
Perhaps the best tribute to Dennis Johnson is this: in the 1978 Finals, Game 7, he went 0 for 14, basically single-handedly costing his team the NBA championship as they lost by 6 at home to the Bullets. We have all seen what a collapse on a huge stage can do to a player's career (Nick Anderson, Calvin Schiraldi, the Arizona reliever Kim, John Starks). Guys who fail at such key moments rarely get redemption and generally get far worse. Not DJ. His Sonics won the title the next year and he was all-NBA second team in 1980 and all-NBA first team in 1981. And then he went on to win two more titles with the Celtics.
RIP DJ..........

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tim Hardaway Fired By "NFL Star" Jay Fiedler

No truth to these rumors: 1) that Hardaway muttered as he packed his stuff, "Damn Jew football players anyway -- I hate them too! "NFL star," my ass..." and 2) Sam Cassell and Isiah Thomas have asked to be removed from Tim's web page at basketball-reference.com because it lists them as "similar" to Tim.

The story:
MLN Newswire - www.mlntherawfeed.com - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - February 15, 2007 – After learning of the remarks made by Tim Hardaway in a radio interview discussing Gays in the NBA, Trinity Sports and Entertainment Group, owners of the CBA Indiana Alleycats professional basketball franchise, spoke out today in reaction to Mr. Hardaway’s statements.
“First and foremost, there is not a single person in our organization who supports or shares Mr. Hardaway’s views,” stated Demetrius Ford, Trinity CEO. “I speak for the entire organization when I say we are truly sorry for the harm caused to anyone by Mr. Hardaway’s words. Effective immediately, Mr. Hardaway is removed from the position of Trinity Sports’ Chief Basketball Operations Advisor, as well as all other duties associated with the Company, its affiliates and subsidiaries.”


Trinity majority owner and NFL star Jay Fiedler added, “I was very surprised to learn of Tim’s insensitive remarks last night. The opinions, views and remarks expressed by Mr. Hardaway in no way reflect my views or those of anyone else in our organization, and we want to make that clear to our corporate partners, the CBA and all the fans of the Indiana Alleycats. Mr. Hardaway was instrumental in the startup phase of our basketball operations, but we must now move forward without his services or any association with him whatsoever.”

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oswego NY -- a lot of snow

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/six-feet-of-snow-blankets-upstate-new/20070208094109990001. There are two "Snow Belts" in upstate NY. The first is southeast of Buffalo where the NW wind howls over Lake Erie and dumps 4 inches a night onto places like Wyoming County. That is where I grew up -- 110 to 135 inches of snow a year back in the 1970s.

Then there is the snowbelt north of Rochester and Syracuse, right by Lake Ontario. Believe it or not, this is worse. You can get 150-300 inches of snow there in a winter. Oswego (mentioned in the link) is also the place where my first girlfriend was attending college when she unceremoniously dropped me like a bad habit in 1983. So, in a way, I guess Oswego deserves all of what it is getting for the pain that it inflicted upon me 24 years ago. I almost drank myself into unconsciousness the night of the dumping, including a bad decision to drink champagne and 7 ounce pony beers after starting with blackberry brandy and 7-Up -- and I am sorry to the young Jewish co-ed whom I threw up on as I was running out of the bar that night (the bathroom was full). My bad.........

Monday, February 05, 2007

Grossman and Inexplicable Strategies Doom Bears

This Super Bowl (Colts beat Bears 29-17) reminded me of Redskins/Dolphins (the Riggins run game) and Barry Switzer's Cowboys over Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. In all three games the losing squad hung around and hung around and hung around and had an opportunity to win, but all three were plagued by awful quarterback play (Woodley/O'Donnell-to-Larry Brown/Rex Grossman). In fact, in the Dolphin's Super Bowl loss Don Shula wanted to replace Woodley at halftime, but when the Dolphins ran back the second half kickoff for a touchdown he decided that he wouldn't switch QB's in a tie game.

Lovie Smith stuck with Rex Grossman, no doubt because the game was close. But look at the Bears' 17 points: 1) kick return for a TD, 3) field goal after getting a gift penalty on the kickoff to move the ball to the Colt's 40, and 2) long Thomas Jones run to set up a short pass that should have been defensed but for the crippled DB trying to play on one leg.

And a note to all those people who want to see Ron Rivera as an NFL head coach: when Phil Simms (my favorite Simms moment of the night, 3rd and 8: "It will either be a draw or a pass." I noted to the kids -- "Look out, kids, either a run or a pass coming!") can see that every time you blitz you stop Manning, maybe ya oughta give blitzing a chance. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne (except for one blown coverage) did not do much, but you really don't have to do much when the other team lets you throw three yard passes and you can fall forward for two extra yards. To steal from GC Boy, "He is trying to tell you something (Ron). He can complete that pass."

There were many failings, but in the Final Analysis (Kim Basinger flick) it was really Grossman's inept play that prevented a Bears from winning. Just as Woodley and O'Donnell each basically lost the Super Bowl for his squad, Rex's general awfulness did in Chicago. Throws the key pick 6 (I could have sworn I saw Al Davis in the stands readying a huge contract offer for the Colt DB). Throws another awful pick that looked like a punt. Drops the snap aqnd looks behind him while Dwight Freeney falls on the ball at the line of scrimmage. Drops the snap and then (possibly thinking that he had become a long snapper???) snaps the ball AGAIN between his legs back to no one. Before the Bears' field goal Grossman threw up another offering to the Colts secondary. Alas, they could not hold on to the gift and Robbie Gould actually got a chance to put 3 points on the board.

I was wrong on my football pick (as usual) but I guess I just underestimated the unbelievable suckiness of Rex Grossman, Lovie Smith's stubbornness, and Ron Rivera's ability to fiddle while Rome burned.

Mea culpa.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins, RIP

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/syndicated-columnist-molly-ivins-dies-at/20070131191809990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001. The great columnist died of breast cancer at age 62. The best quote in the article is Ivins' statement that cancer can kill you, but it doesn't make you a better person. She might also have added that being in a position of power doesn't make you a better person, but if you ever read her columns you know that she was not afraid to expose the faults of those in power, particularly the former C-student and party boy she unaffectionately called "Shrub."

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Two Weeks to Valentine's Day

I welcome thoughts on this list of 12 things that, per romanticlounge.com, are "what women want" in a date (edited down by me) ......................................................................................................: 1) Women want a man who is clean and well dressed. 2) Women want honesty and kindness. 3) Be kind and thoughtful. Don't be sappy. No woman likes a man who is falling all over himself trying to impress her. 4) Act natural and be yourself.
If acting natural and being yourself means you will forget to consider her comfort, you will have to work on that. 5) If you are setting the date up, try to set the stage to her likes. 6) Women like compliments. Tell her she looks nice. Look her in the eye when you tell her this. She will not be impressed if you are staring at her breasts when you say this. Don't get carried away with your compliments though. It isn't natural to do this and it can be down right embarrassing. 7) Women like thoughtful acts. 8) Women like to talk about themselves. 9) They also want you to be interested in what they have to say. Don't look around the restaurant while she is talking to you. Don't let your eyes glaze over. Take mental notes. She will expect you to remember all this if you get to the second date. 10) Never, ever talk about past dates with other women. Don't mention your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife. 11) Don't say "I'm Sorry". This is just pitiful. You can say excuse me or pardon me or Oops but never say I'm sorry. You will sound like a school boy trying to get mommies affection. Huge Turn Off! 12) Finally, women don't like to feel pressured on a first date. It would be nice if you could work something into the conversation, early on, that you are not interested in ending the date in bed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bill Walton On Garnett

I am informed that during last night's broadcast Bill Walton stated something to the effect that "Garnett needs to be more consistent. He needs to do this every night." Yeah, so Kevin needs to get 44 a night....um, OK.............To this ridiculous comment we add on the fact that Bill Walton was always hurt and never gave any of his NBA teams a consistent 82 game effort as a starter.......EVER...........But instead let's skew everything in Walton's favor -- let's take his best statistical year ever (although he only played 25 games) and compare it on a per game basis to KG's MVP year of 2003-04. http://www.basketball-reference.com/labs/comp.cgi?I=waltobi01%3ABill+Walton&y1=1978&C=garneke01%3AKevin+Garnett&y2=2004&s=r&t=g&submit=Compare. Walton is worse across the board in nearly every category. Summary -- KG has given his team years and years and years of great consistent play. The best Bill Walton ever gave his teams is 1.3 years of sub-KG play as a 33-34 minute a game starter (and Walton also had a year with Boston where the team was great and he played 19 minutes a game). If the Walton Effort is the sort of effort Bill Walton wants out of KG, the Wolves would be 22-60 every year.................................But let's be fair to the idiot Walton -- he is probably just repeating the media's common criticism of KG "He doesn't score enough. He needs to get 30 a night like Kobe." In the history of the NBA there have been 58 times when a guy has averaged 30 or more points per game for one season. Tossing out multiple efforts by guys like Wilt and Michael and Kareem, you find that 22 guys have scored 30+ in a year. But remember, the criticism of Garnett is NOT that he should sacrifice his rebounding for more scoring (rather it is that he should continue to board at a 12+ pace and also get 30 a night)............................So, the true inquiry is this - how many times has a guy gone for 30 points and also had either 12 boards or 12 assists a game over a whole season? Answer: 22 times -- Wilt -- 9 times, Kareem -- 4 times, Elgin Baylor -- 3 times, Bob McAdoo 2 times, Bob Petit 1 time, Moses Malone 1 time, Oscar Robertson 1 time, Walt Bellamy 1 time. Since Bird and Magic entered the league in 1979 (the date I consider to be the dawn of the modern NBA), one guy has gone for 30 and 12 -- Moses Malone in 1981-82. Guys have come close (David, Karl Malone, Shaq) but no one has gone for 30 and 12 over a full season since I was 18 years old and playing center field for my high school baseball team.............So maybe if we just step back and gain some perspective we will stop asking KG for the impossible. He isn't gonna get 44 a night. He isn't going to go for 30 and 12 over the course of a year. His upside stats at his current mileage are about 25-13-5, which is awfully damned good.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Michelle Bachmann Loving Up the Prez

http://www.kstp.com/article/stories/S26304.shtml?cat=1. My lord. Next time just pull him into a closet and dive on top of him, Michelle. We Minnesotans can be proud to have elected such an independent voice for our state! What does Laura Bush think about this? If I'm GWB, I think I prefer the surgically-enhanced Katherine Harris to her northern God-squad counterpart......

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scott Bigelow -- Dead



I think that his ranking as the #68 singles wrestler of all-time is far too generous, but it does demonstrate what a great personaility he became in his prime.............

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jason Kidd's Divorce Claims

http://sports.aol.com/nba/story/_a/kidd-accuses-wife-of-cruelty-in-divorce/20070109191109990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001. Kidd's counsel deleted this allegation -- "And when I try to smack her around like I did when I was a Sun she all of a sudden won't let me."