04.19.10 – A Monday

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word

proxy [prok-see] n. 1. the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another 2. the person so authorized; substitute; agent 3. a written authorization empowering another person to vote or act for the signer, as a meeting of stockholders 4. an ally or confederate who can be relied upon to speak or act in one’s behalf

birthday

Roger Sherman (1721), Eliot Ness (1903), Dick Sargent (1930), Jayne Mansfield (1933), Dudley Moore (1935), Tim Curry (1946), Mary Jo Slater (1946), Paloma Picasso (1949), Suge Knight (1965), Dar Williams (1967), Ashley Judd (1968), Jesse James (1969), Kate Hudson (1979), Hayden Christensen (1981), Maria Sharapova (1987)

standpoint

I’ll admit I didn’t think the Philadelphia Flyers, after barely squeaking in, would do much of anything in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. After last night’s 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils, it appears I may have been mistaken. The Flyers look hungry and, unlike the last couple weeks of the regular season, ready to play like a team.

So I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my Top Five Flyers Of All Time. I do want to concede here that I only got into the Orange and Black fifteen years ago, so my list isn’t going to include fan favorites like Bobby Clarke, Tim Kerr or Pelle Lindbergh. But, it’s my list and not yours, so deal with it.

5. Roman Cechmanek – Drafted by the Flyers at ripe age of 29 in 2000, he played three seasons before being shipped out to the Los Angeles Kings. During his short stint he had 92 wins, 20 shutouts and GAA of 1.96 and was the Vezina Trophy runner-up in his first season.

4. Jody Hull – The right wing played from 1998 – 2001 and wasn’t exactly a scoring machine but was the consummate defensive forward, one of many I feel the team discarded too soon.

3. Eric Desjardins – Coming to the Flyers in the historical 1995 trade with the Montreal Canadiens that brought him, John LeClair and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Recchi, he became one of the best ever blueliners, finishing only second in overall points behind the legendary Mark Howe with 396 points in 738 games.

2. Shjon Podein – November 12, 1998 was one of the saddest of all the days I’ve been a Flyers fan. That was the date Podein was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for Keith Jones, another player I became a big fan of. But I’ve always missed the personality and grit “Pods” brought to every game. A truly stand up individual.

1. Eric Lindros – I’ll just say this about Lindros: If he started out now in today’s NHL, with Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, he may just be the guy to break all the unbreakable records set by Wayne Gretzky.

You may agree or disagree with my picks but, hey, you’re entitled to your opinion.

quotation

The bed is a bundle of a paradoxes: we go at it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it, but me make up our bodies to keep it late. ↔ Charles Caleb Colton

tune

As far as jazz goes nowadays, there’s not much new being brought to the table. One band who’s bucking that trend is The Bad Plus. At least, the last time I checked in on them, they were. Here’s “Big Eater.”

gallimaufry

→ As soon as everyone involved in this debacle realizes it’s not going away, the quicker it actually will. Just come clean, Lower Merion Township.

→ A few weeks ago, we were all joking around about this but I think it’s time we got a little more focused. No Thomas Jefferson?

→ Why this dude is trying to admit to this is something I’ll never understand.

09.17.09 – A Thursday

Word

logorrhea [law-guhreeuh, log-uh-] n. 1. pathologically incoherent, repetitious speech 2. incessant or compulsive talkativeness; wearisome volubility

Birthday

Jonathan Alder (1773), William Carlos Williams (1883), John Willard Marriott (1900), Warren Burger (1907), Hank Williams (1923), Roddy McDowall (1928), Anne Bancroft (1931), Ken Kesey (1935), Reinhold Messner (1944), Phil Jackson (1945), John Ritter (1948), Rita Rudner (1956), Baz Luhrmann (1962), Dustin Nguyen (1962), Bryan Singer (1965), Doug E. Fresh (1966), Anastacia (1968), Bobby Lee (1972), Mirah (1974), Constantine Maroulis (1975), Alexander Ovechkin (1985)

Standpoint

It’s pretty much a universal belief that the iPhone is the single greatest invention of this, or any other, era. Maybe. They seem pretty great. The whole bumpin’-iPhones-to-exchange pics app looks maybe somehow maybe somewhat useful. The holding-your-iPhone-to-a-speaker-in-a-public-place-to-find-out-who-is-performing app seems more than useful, if not a blatant attempt by Apple to get iPhone users to buy songs while inebriated in a bar. I bet it works more often than not. Kudos, Apple geniuses. I don’t own an iPhone, so I don’t truly know what it is everyone is yammering about.

However, I do know this: the iPhone is destroying something near and dear to my heart. Being both a bartender and an avid bar customer, I’m a huge fan of the mostly meaningless, often illogical and mainly unfulfilling pastime of bullshitting from a bar stool. Once upon a time, you could go to a local watering hole with a group of your buddies, and, after a few drinks, start up some nonsensical debate, usually about (a) sports, (b) music, (c) movies, and, even sometimes, (d) historical events. These are the kinds of debates that, even when highly intelligent individuals are involved, can go on for hours due to the emphatic way each person “swears to God” they’re right, and the increasing amounts of alcohol consumed.

For me, these deliberations are highly entertaining due to the simple fact it’s inconsequential who’s right and who’s wrong. The winner is the person who can convince everyone else involved they are, in fact, wrong, and he, in fact, is right. Even when he’s completely wrong and everyone else is exactly right. Whichever side of the bar I find myself on, it’s something I excel at. As a bartender, I love manipulating a bunch of drunk conversation in one way or another, nudging them along with supposedly innocous statements. As a bar customer, I more enjoy stating a fact or taking a position I know to be erroneous, and coaxing everyone to accept it as gospel truth. I’m kind of a dick that way.

IN ANY CASE, the iPhone has turned almost all of these disputes, once a nightlong event, into a simple matter of pulling a device out a pocket, and providing an irrefutable answer to whatever the hell it was everyone was discussing, reducing it to a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds.

The topic is trivial. Did Jason Bateman play a swarmy kid in the Ricky Schroeder sitcom “Silver Spoons?” Some people say yes, some say no. The argument could go on forever. Meanwhile, in the course of all that banter, the immediate topic gets put aside for a time, other topics emerge and are chewed on. Eventually, someone remembers how it all started and the original question is loudly thrown back onto the table. More hemming and hawing. No conclusion can be reached. But everyone had a helluva time trying to figure it out.

But now, when the Jason Bateman-“Silver Spoons” question comes up, at least three people, one of which was some loner eavesdropper no one knows, will whip out their iPhone (or its ugly cousin, the Blackberry), go to IMDb.com and tell everyone, yes, Jason Bateman was on the “Silver Spoons,” playing a characater named Derek for 23 episodes between 1982 and 1984.

And that’s it. End of discussion. Hours of fun averted.

I love all this technology, but there are some things that will go away because of it, that will make everything just a little less fun.

Quotation

The thing about being a professor is that if you can make just one student successful, if you can make just one student see the light, if you can make just one ready for the outside world, then you’re still stuck with nineteen failures. ← Mel Helitzer

Tune

Recently, someone described my music listening tastes as, “mostly lyric-driven.” OK, I’ll buy that. Probably true. Guess that’s why Brendan Benson‘s song, “What I’m Looking For” has been my on-again, off-again theme song for the past several years. I’m reasonably sure some of the most well-written lyrics ever.

Gallimaufry

Judging from my experiences with most of you out there in the world, some of you could really benefit from reading “10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp.” Seriously, people, take a look at it. For me.

According to some dude named Sam McCaig from THN.com, The Philadelphia Flyers have all but sewn it up for the upcoming season. No reason to play the games, fellas. We’ll just take The Cup whenever it’s convenient for you to run it down this way. I hate articles like this because they never ever come true.

→ Despite the fact that just about everyone was saying it would never happen, Pavement’s decided it’s time for a reunion. Indie-rocker nirvana starts now.

07.16.09 – Thursday

Word: aberrant [uhberuhnt, ab-er-] adj. 1. departing from the right, normal, or usual course 2. deviating from the ordinary, usual, or normal type; exceptional; abnormal n. 3. an aberrant person, thing, group, etc

Birthday: Samuel Huntington (1731), “Shoeless” Joe Jackson (1888), Orville Redenbacher (1907), Barbara Stanwyck (1907), Ginger Rogers (1911), Cal Tjader (1925), Dick Thornburgh (1932), Desmond Dekker (1941), Jimmy Johnson (1943), Stewart Copeland (1952), Tony Kushner (1956), Michael Flatley (1958), Phoebe Cates (1963), Phil Hellmuth (1964), Will Ferrell (1967), Barry Sanders (1968), Rain Pryor (1969), Ed Kowalczyk (1971), Corey Feldman (1971), Jeremy Enigk (1974), Taj Anwar (1978), Adam Scott (1980)

Quotation: In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing.  It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.Somerset Maugham

Tune: In many conversations/monologues I’ve been party to on the subject, I’ve often been referred to as a “music snob.” It’s an unfair accusation, however. Exhibit A? I still enjoy the entire musical catalog of 90’s alternative band Toad the Wet Sprocket. Judge me if you will. But only after you listen to “Crazy Life.” After you do, your opinion probably won’t have changed in the least bit. And you’re entitled to your (completely wrong) opinion.

Gallimaufry: Ever read something that makes you wonder how in the fucking world anyone ever saw fit to publish it? Well, if you haven’t, check out ESPN’s Scott Burnside’s “Winter Classic has right venue, wrong team.” In it, Burnside criticizes the NHL for picking the Philadelphia Flyers to play the Boston Bruins in Fenway Park for this year’s NHL Winter Classic. Instead, he’s arguing the Washington Capitals, and their star forward Alex Ovechkin, should’ve been the team chosen. He complains the Bruins-Flyers matchup isn’t in line with last year’s – a game that pitted two of the Original Six teams against each other, the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. So, in keeping with Burnside’s logic, how in the world does it make sense to pick the Capitals? Granted, they’ve had their good teams in the past, but they’ve got nothing in terms of hockey history and tradition held up next to the Flyers. Sorry. Usually, I try to stay clear of homer nonsense, but I need to make an exception here. Burnside, you’re flat-out wrong. Next. Ukraine is under fire by some for its decision to ban the movie Brüno. It’s a move perceived as a bit of uptight. But, really, maybe Ukrainians are just exercising their right to watch only worthwhile movies. I support the decision. Sacha Baron Cohen is not funny. He represents the basest, but unfortunately most popular, form of comedic entertainment – neither original or thoughtful, mainly inane.