04.14.10 – A Wednesday

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word

pastiche [pa-steesh, pah-] n. 1. a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources 2. an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources; hodgepodge

birthday

Anne Sullivan (1866), Thomas Schelling (1921), Rod Steiger (1925), Loretta Lynn (1935), Pete Rose (1941), Richard Jeni (1957), Brad Garrett (1960), Robert Carlyle (1961), Anthony Michael Hall (1968), Adrien Brody (1973), Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977), Win Butler (1980),

standpoint

Tomorrow, the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. And I’m certain not too many of you are overly concerned about that but I thought I’d share some facts here anyway.

→ No team has repeated as Stanley Cup Champs since the Detroit Red Wings did it back in 1997 and 1998.

→ The Chicago Blackhawks are in possession of the longest streak of not winning a Stanley Cup – 47 years. They’re the second seed in the Western Conference this year, and it’s not out of the question they could make a run for it.

→ The Philadelphia FlyersBlair Betts is the current owner of the individual streak for games without a playoff point at 24. He hasn’t registered on the score sheet since April 12th, 2007.

→ Teams trailing 3-1 in a seven games series have come back to win it only 8.97% of the time. Flyers fans would like to forget when the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia’s current first-round opponent, did it back in 2000. I still don’t have the strength to get into the Scott Stevens hit on Eric Lindros.

→ The record holder for most overtime playoff goals in NHL history is Joe Sakic with 8. Of players actually in this year’s playoffs, the leader is the New Jersey Devils’ Jamie Langenbrunner with 4.

→ Of this year’s playoff goaltenders, the Washington CapitalsJose Theodore has the highest winning percentage at .630, 17 wins and 10 losses.

Those are stats I thought pretty interesting. Of course, the stats don’t matter much in hockey.

My prediction, I’ll be shocked as hell if the Washington Capitals don’t win the Cup. But, even though I know more about hockey than you, the knowledge never translates into being right.

quotation

If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change. John A. Simone, Sr.

tune

I’m aware of the lack of love out there for in the hipster music community for North Carolina band Jump, Little Children. But I think they’re pretty damn solid, especially in lyrical terms. The part of  “The House Our Father Knew” where Jay Clifford shouts out, “Don’t you hear the deafening roar?,” is something I know I’m supposed to dismiss as cheesy, but I just can’t.

gallimaufry

→ What was Ben Roethlisberger thinking? After the authorities failed to bring him up on charges no one was going to come out and say what we all know he did was wrong? Usually, I think Terry Bradshaw is a windbag, but he I think he got it on the money here.

This country is facing a shorting of 150,000 doctors in 15 years? It’s just one thing after another, isn’t it?

→ I, for one, wouldn’t have blamed Donovan McNabb if he’d actually said all of this. It would’ve been completely understandable if he’d “apologized for his failure to shore up the Eagles defense and his inability to keep Brian Westbrook healthy while leading the team to five NFC Championship games.”

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02.03.10 – A Wednesday

WORD

quibble [kwibuhl] n. 1. an instance of the use of ambiguous, prevaricating, or irrelevant language or arguments to evade a point at issue 2. the general use of such arguments 3. petty or carping criticism; a minor objection v. (used w/o object) 4. to equivocate 5. to carp; cavil

BIRTHDAY

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821), Gertrude Stein (1864), Norman Rockwell (1894), Pretty Boy Floyd (1904), James Michener (1907), Joey Bishop (1918), Nathan Lane (1956), Maura Tierney (1965), Sean Kingston (1990)

STANDPOINT

Today, I’ve got nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true. There’s tons and tons of garbage that’s bothering me but I need to further organize my thoughts. Thanks for reading. Come back tomorrow for some more.

QUOTATION

Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.Howard Zinn

TUNE

Hipsters everywhere simply love themselves some Arcade Fire. And maybe I do, too. But only to a point. I’m not particularly gushing over everything the band does. (I’m sure, somehow, that makes me a bad person.) But I still really get into the first song I ever heard by Win Butler and crew – “Rebellion (Lies)”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I think some of the reason “Calvin and Hobbes” still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it. That’s one of the statements Bill Watterson made in a recent interview, his first in about 15 years. I’m one of the millions of people who wish he was still creating “Calvin and Hobbes,” but after reading what he had to say, I’m kind of glad he stopped. But only kind of.

→ A website called IJustMadeLove.com? Are you fucking joking? Oh, you’re not? Christ.

→ When I read pieces like “New Spider-Man Device Could Let Humans Walk on Walls,” it’s one of the rare instances I feel like, all right, someone out there’s listening.

05.06.09 – Wednesday

Word: levity [lev-i-tee] n. 1. lightness of mind, character or behavior; lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness 2. an instance or exhibition of this 3. fickleness 4. lightness in weight

Birthday: Maxmilien Robespierre (1758), Sigmund Freud (1856), Christian Morgenstern (1871), Rudolph Valentino (1896), Orson Welles (1915), Willie Mays (1931), Rubin Carter (1937), Jimmie Dale Gilmore (1945), Bob Seger (1945), Tony Blair (1953), Roma Downey (1960), John Flansburgh (1960), George Clooney (1961)

Standpoint: Recently, I moved from the City of Philadelphia to one of its suburbs, East Norriton. I grew up in the ‘burbs and, throughout my adult life, have gone through several suburban stints. But mostly, in the past decade and a half, I’ve lived in some section of Philadelphia. Obviously, there are differences. Here are three that I’ve noticed so far this time around.

  • Driving – There are  sidewalks out here but they’re used about as often as that Snuggie you got last Christmas. No one walks anywhere from what I can tell. In the city, pedestrian traffic almost drove me insane. Now, it’s the other cars on the road that are filling that hole in my life. Because hardly anyone demonstrates a sense of urgency. Also, gratuitous use of one’s horn is frowned upon. I’m not asking my fellow drivers to hop the curb or run a red light. But the other day I was driving behind a woman talking on her phone and not moving after the light had been green for about five seconds. I was only looking for a little understanding when I gave a little honk, informing her I’d be agreeable if she put down the cell phone and pushed the gas pedal. She did put the phone down. Then she gave me the finger. Then she pushed the gas pedal. In that order. The next morning, the guy in front of me, driving what looked like the first pickup truck made by Ford, didn’t use his turn signal while pulling into the Sears Hardware at a speed that would’ve made a parade procession appear supersonic by comparison. Apparently, I missed the memo about Fred not having to worry about the proper rules of the road when he’s going to drink coffee in the Sears parking lot with the rest of the guys who feel that using a turn signal is just plain bothersome/uncool. Again, my horn use was met with the middle finger. OK. Message received loud and clear. No honking of the horn. Let’s move on.
  • Civility – In the city, I can remember going to Wawa, the local convenience store, collecting my targeted items, taking them to the counter, paying for them and walking out the door. Without uttering a single word. I didn’t know anything about any of the people who worked in a store I frequented at least once a day. And – I’m sure this’ll sound ruder than I intend it -but I really didn’t want to get familiar with the crew at Wawa. I’ve always felt that idle small-talk in a convenience store makes it significantly less convenient. Out here in the suburbs, it appears there is some expectation of chit-chat during the customer-clerk exchange. My first day here, I was in line at 7-Eleven behind a woman who the clerk referred to as “Liz.” She was probably about 30 years older than he and affectionately called the clerk, “Mitchy,” although the name on his shirt clearly read “Mitch.” After their five-minute conversation about her ambitious gardening enterprises and the latest shenanigans of a dog she was “about ten seconds away from driving out to the goddam country,” Liz managed to make her way out of the store. Mitch turned to me, “How’re you doing today, sir?” “Doing well,” was all I could get out. The rest of my time with Mitch was spent in uncomfortable silence. Next.
  • Hours of Operation – Gone are the days of random 3am gunshots from the low-income housing behind my bedroom. No more coming home at midnight to find half the neighborhood still awake, yelling at the television or each other. Besides the McDonald’s and the APlus, it’s tough work finding something open after 10pm. Lights off. It’s bedtime. I’m sure you can imagine how troubling that might be for a night-owl like myself. Last night, I was in bed at 11pm. I don’t think that’s happened since I was actually 11. My only options for going out somewhere were to either (a) do about 50 round trips through the Mickey D’s drive-thru or (b) head down to the 7-Eleven and engage Mitch in a discussion about Liz’s misbehaving canine. Thanks, but no. On the upside, I’ve never gotten better sleep. Hmmm. Think there’s something to that?

That’s all I got for now but I’m sure I’ll be making more discoveries in the course of readjusting to suburban life. Stay tuned.   

Quotation: And all this means you can expect an unrelenting, unyielding effort from this administration to strengthen our prosperity and our security – in the second hundred days and the third hundred days and all the days after.President Obama

Tune: A while back, I heard Marching Band‘s “For Your Love” on an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” Having a song featured on a TV show or a movie has become the new “making it big.”

Gallimaufry: Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke informed Congress that the economy should experience an upswing in the second half of this year. He went on to say that all would still not be right with the economy but there would be mild improvement. Hey. It’s a start. ∞ Everyone can rest easy. The Wayne Coyne-Win Butler brouhaha is now officially over. You might recall I covered this back in March. Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, has apologized: “I wish whatever had been said wouldn’t have been taken as such a defiant statement by The Flaming Lips because it wasn’t…I was talking about the dudes running their stages.” Weird. Compare that with his previous statement: “Whenever I’ve been around them, I’ve found that they not only treated their crew like shit, they treated the audience like shit.” Whatever happened to real rock feuds? I mean, neither Axl Rose nor Vince Neil looked like they could’ve beaten their way out of a wet paper bag, but at least they talked a good game. As of yet, there’s no official response from Butler and Arcade Fire to Coyne’s back-pedaling. ∞ After what must have seemed like an eternity (I know it did to me), the 13th Annual Webby Awards, “honoring excellence on the internet,” were announced. Among this years Special Achievement Award Winners, Jimmy Fallon for Webby Person of the Year and Twitter for Webby Breakout of the Year. No word yet on where I fell in the voting. I’m sure I’ll be receiving a call sometime soon. ∞ After completing this post, I found out that Dom DeLuise died yesterday at the age of 76. My immediate reaction was to watch the outtakes from Cannonball Run. I’m not sure why. Rest in peace, Dom.

Incoming: TomorrowAnnoying Sayings & Misused Words Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and some other interesting stuff.

04.14.09 – Tuesday

[Note: Today’s post is a little longer than usual due to the passing of Philadelphia’s legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas – a man who will forever be remembered as “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.”]

Word: sycophant [sikuh-fuhnt, – fant, sahy-kuh-] n. a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite

Birthday: Shorty Rogers (1924), Rod Steiger (1925), Loretta Lynn (1935), Pete Rose (1941), Richard Jeni (1957), Brad Garrett (1960), Robert Carlyle (1961), Anthony Michael Hall (1968), Adrien Brody (1973), Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977), Win Butler (1980)

Occurence: 1865Abraham Lincoln is shot from behind by in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

Standpoint: I remember one afternoon in college. My buddy Joe Taylor and I were watching NFL Films. I mentioned that the narrator’s voice sounded kind of familiar. Joe sat up from the couch. “You don’t know who that is?” I told my friend I didn’t. “It’s Harry Kalas! The guy who calls Phillies games with Richie Ashburn!  Are you shitting me?”I wasn’t “shitting” him. I just wasn’t an avid Phillies fan. At that point, I saw no reason to stir Joe up any further by explaining to him I didn’t know who Richie Ashburn was.

Harry Kalas died yesterday at the age of 73 while preparing to call a Phillies-Nationals game in Washington D.C. Before that afternoon with Joe, I did know who he was. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a baseball fan. Growing up in Philadelphia, it was nearly impossible to not know the man who could’ve patented the phrase, “It’s outta here!”  After college, I eventually did get into baseball and came to share the common reverence held for “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.” He was one of those rare announcers whose love for the game and his team oozed out into the living rooms of all watching. His soothing voice could go from completely relaxed to incredibly excited with the swing of a bat.

The game of baseball lost a true living legend yesterday. The one silver lining being repeated everywhere was that at least Kalas lived long enough to see one more Phillies World Championship last October. I was actually outside Citizens Bank Park when it happened and heard Kalas call it live when Brad Lidge got that third out. Simultaneously, I heard the roar from the crowd in the stadium. My friends out in the parking lot, looked toward the ballpark and lamented the fact that we weren’t inside to experience the ensuing euphoria. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I got to hear the best broadcaster in baseball history call the final out of the World Series. It was the people inside who missed out.

Further Reading.

Quotation: Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side and it holds the universe together. Carl Zwanzig

Tune: I first heard this song back on MTV’s 120 Minutes. (Remember when MTV played good songs?) “Mr E.’s Beautiful Blues” immediately made me buy everything I could by Eels.

Gallimaufry: Amazon.com is under fire for their new “adult” policy. The online bookstore has being accused of removing only “adult” literature dealing with homosexuality. (Amazon is claiming a glitch on the site.) Click here to learn more and sign the petition. (Thanks to Beth Treisner)…I suspect that “Facebook Users Get Worse Grades in College” is the first of many articles I’ll read in the next year about the negative effects of the popular social networking site…Al Franken is still not a United States Senator but it appears to be a matter of time until he is. Hey, Minnesota, let the guy in already. Jesse “The Body” Ventura used to be your governor. I mean, seriously.

Incoming: Tomorrow – What’s StumbleUpon?  Thursday – More of your Annoying Sayings/Misused Words (This is now going to be a permanent Thursday thing.) Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet.

03.16.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: syllogism [siluh-jiz-uhm] noun 1. Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”   2. deductive reasoning  3. an extremely subtle, suggestive or deceptive argument

Birthday: James Madison (1751), Marlin Perkins (1905), Henny Youngman (1906), Pat Nixon (1912), Jerry Lewis (1926), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927), Tommy Flanagan (1930), Chuck Woolery (1941), Erik Estrada (1949), Nancy Wilson (1954), Flavor Flav (1959), Todd MacFarlane (1961), Patty Griffin (1964), Alan Tudyk (1971), Wolfgang Van Halen (1991)

Occurrence: 1995 – Mississippi becomes the last state to formally ratify the 13th Amendment, officially banning slavery nationwide. It only took Ole Miss 130 years to jump on that bandwagon. Guess they were waiting to see if the rest of us were going to change our minds about the whole people-not-owning-people issue. Maybe they thought it was going to make a comeback?

Standpoint: We need to start a movement or an online petition or something. You, me and everyone we know need to unite and become a collective consciousness whose sole purpose is the elimination of ONE THING: CAPTCHAS. OK, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic but they are annoying. The folks at captcha.net have this to say about their invention, “a captcha is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot.” I have news for you, captcha.net, most humans have trouble passing them, too. Take a look at this example. Why so squiggly and elongated? Is all that necessary? It seems that every time I go to make some snarky comment on some poor soul’s blog, I’m confronted with a captcha that looks like something I’m pretty sure must’ve been close to Salvadore Dali’s handwriting. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure out if that one letter is a lowercase “J” or a stretched-out lowercase “I”, I’m no longer impressed with the comment I was going to make and my attention wanders elsewhere.

Quotation: Art is the lie that enables us to reveal the truthPablo Picasso

Soupçon: The Beatles got the idea for the name of their band after John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw Buddy Holly and The Crickets at a show in Liverpool in 1958.

Tune: I’m not a huge singer-songwriter fan anymore but Jeb Loy Nichols is still one of the best around. Have a listen to “As the Rain.”

Link: Pipl – Want to see something spooky? Go this site, type in your name and see how much information there is about you on the internet. Eye-opening.

Gallimaufry: ESPN’s John Buccigross knows more about hockey than you do. Also, the man knows a ton about music and often references a band or artist he likes both on-air and in his weekly hockey column. Overall, Mr. Buccigross is a top-notch guy. Click HERE to see an entertaining video he did with the band Guster…This past Friday night, during a college basketball game, there was an altercation between the mascots of Utah State and New Mexico State. Apparently, a fan offered “Big Blue” (Utah State) $100 to rip off the moustache of “Pistol Pete” (New Mexico State). Utah State officials have stated that the money their mascot collected will be donated to charity…What is with all of these music artists dissin’ each other? In a recent post, I wrote about the feud between Miley Cyrus and Radiohead.  Now Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips is smack-talking Arcade Fire. Click HERE to read what Coyne said and then HERE to read Arcade Fire’s Win Butler’s response…According to this article, a recent breakthrough in battery technology might make it possible to recharge your cell phone in ten seconds…I caved this weekend. I’m now on Twitter. My hypocrisy knows no bounds…Just found this out as I was ready to post, Ron Silver has passed away. Great actor. He will be missed.