Archive for August, 2012

RNC">Random Thoughts on the RNC

- My favorite speech of the three nights was Florida Sen­a­tor Marco Rubio’s.  He would have been a much more stel­lar keynote address maker than New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie.

- Noth­ing against Christie’s speech, if had it’s moments (espe­cially his lines on school choice and school reform), but keynotes are sup­posed to be about what the ideals of the party are and how they are exem­pli­fied in the nom­i­nee. Christie did fine in the first part, but seemed to for­get he was there to pro­mote Mitt Romney.

- Going with the above, and how much Bill Clin­ton hates Barack Obama, you won­der how the hell he’s going to be able to stop him­self from being all “Remem­ber me?  Remem­ber how awe­some I was?  LOVE ME!” next Tuesday.

- Ann Rom­ney was stel­lar.  She truly is the secret weapon she was said to be.

- She may never be Pres­i­dent of the United States some­day, but I really hope Condi Rice is elected to pub­lic office in the future.  She is intel­li­gent, full of grace, and a mod­ern woman in every sense of the phrase.

- The War of Talk­ing Points over Paul Ryan and the Janesville GM plant amuses me.  Lib­er­als are fight­ing about try­ing to deter­mine a time­line, all the while con­ser­v­a­tive are going…“You know that plant is still closed right?  You’re com­plain­ing about ‘When’ and not about ‘How do we get those peo­ple in Janesville back to work?’  How in the tank for Barack Obama are you that you’d rather fight seman­tics than accept the real­ity on the ground?”

- Part of the rea­son why the left if try­ing to dem­a­gogue the Ryan speech is that few peo­ple if ever remem­ber any­thing from a vice pres­i­den­tial nominee’s speech?  Do you remem­ber any­thing about Biden’s from 2008?  I don’t?  Cheney’s in 2000? Me either.  By try­ing to put the “liar” moniker on the press is try­ing to do all they can to help Biden out in a Vice Pres­i­den­tial debate he is likely to get clubbed to death in.  10–11-12 will be a fun night.

– The Oparowskis are gen­uine peo­ple.  God bless them. May God keep the soul of their son David until they are rejoined with him in the next life.  Their story showed what kind of a guy Mitt Rom­ney is when no one is watch­ing.  That’s the kind of guy all of us should hope to be someday.

- Everyone’s try­ing to call Clint East­wood a senile, old man after last night’s speech.  Frankly, I’ve seen stranger $#!+ done by Will Far­rell in the name of com­edy and he’s sup­posed to be some sort of “left-wing comic genius.”

- My only riff with the East­wood thing was that it should have been done ear­lier — I would have switched him with the Olympic ath­letes in the night’s cal­en­dar if I ran the show, Mike “Rizzo” Eruzione and Derek Parra were great  — and that it was too cute by half.  Some­one in back must have been like, “Hey, it’s Clint East­wood.  Let the man do what he wants!  We’re the Repub­li­can Party, the one Hol­ly­wood hates, vil­lainizes in their prod­ucts, and labels “uncool.”  When are we going to get an “A-lister” like East­wood again?”

- But all-in-all, what he said was dead on“I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there’s 23 mil­lion unem­ployed peo­ple. That is some­thing to cry for, because that is a dis­grace, a national dis­grace, and we haven’t done enough, this admin­is­tra­tion hasn’t done enough to cure that.” — It’s true.  Chal­lenge it with facts and logic if you dare!

- Or this? — “It’s not politi­cians own­ing [this coun­try], politi­cians are employ­ees of ours.” — Curse the man out for point­ing out the essence of our very democracy!

- And this? — “I never thought it was a good idea for attor­neys to be pres­i­dent any­way… I think maybe it’s time for a businessman.”

Yeah…I don’t know how the hell that one would ever work to anyone’s advantage…

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Cartoon of the Day

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There’s Hope for Western Civilization Yet…

MTV is can­cel­ing “The Jer­sey Shore.”

MTV is end­ing fist-pumping TV phe­nom­e­non “Jer­sey Shore” after this sea­son, the net­work has confirmed.

MTV announced today that the series will end after its sixth sea­son, which pre­mieres Oct. 4.

MTV said it will start farewell pro­gram­ming next Thurs­day with a one-hour ret­ro­spec­tive to be called “Gym, Tan, Look Back.”

The series, which has fol­lowed a group of self-proclaimed “gui­dos” and “guidettes” from the Jer­sey Shore to Italy, made stars of char­ac­ters Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Mike “The Sit­u­a­tion” Sor­rentino and Jen­nifer “J WOWW” Far­ley. It has given us new phrases such as as “grenade” (an unat­trac­tive per­son) and “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry).

The deci­sion comes as cast mem­bers grow up: Polizzi has just given birth to a son and The Sit­u­a­tion recently com­pleted a stint in rehab.

The rest of us, have just com­pleted a stint in Tele­vi­sion Hell.

 

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NFL to Go Into Season with Replacement Refs">NFL to Go Into Season with Replacement Refs

Get ready for blown calls, penal­ties for things nor­mally done in Pop Warner not the NFL, and longer than usual Sun­day after­noons in fall.  Replace­ment refs are here to stay for the fore­see­able future.

The NFL will open the reg­u­lar sea­son next week with replace­ment offi­cials and said it was pre­pared to use them “as much … as nec­es­sary” afterward.

Replace­ments will be on the field begin­ning next Wednes­day night when the Dal­las Cow­boys visit the New York Giants to open the sea­son, league exec­u­tive Ray Ander­son told the 32 teams. Nego­ti­a­tions are at a stand­still between the NFL and the offi­cials’ union.

The NFL Ref­er­ees Asso­ci­a­tion was locked out in early June and talks on a new col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment have gone nowhere. Replace­ments have been used through­out the pre­sea­son, with mixed results.

In 2001, the NFL used replace­ments for the first week of the reg­u­lar sea­son before a con­tract was final­ized. The speed of the game and the amount of time starters are on the field increase expo­nen­tially for real games, mak­ing the replace­ments’ task more challenging.

Ander­son, the NFL’s exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball oper­a­tions, told the clubs in a memo Wednes­day that the replace­ments will work “as much of the reg­u­lar sea­son as nec­es­sary,” adding that train­ing with each crew will continue.

The NFL noted it has expanded the use of instant replay as an offi­ci­at­ing tool this year to include all scor­ing plays and turnovers. Offi­ci­at­ing super­vi­sors will be on hand to assist the crews on game admin­is­tra­tion issues.

Mind you, this is a lock­out, not a strike.  The refs want to get paid more, the own­ers are unwill­ing to give them a raise.  Hence the standoff.

Won­der if we’re going to hear much from the #WIU­nion folks on this one next Sun­day.  That’s when the first Pack­ers home game is against the San Fran­cisco 49ers.

Mean­while, the play­ers’ union is vow­ing “Sol­i­dar­ity” with the locked out ref­er­ees.  One ques­tions how much “sol­i­dar­ity” can exist when the lowest-paid rookie on the kick return unit next Sun­day at Lam­beau Field is pulling down 6 to 7 times more than the ref will for that game.  Rookie minimum’s about $23,000 a week in the NFL.  Being the head of a ref­er­ee­ing crew gets you about $3,500 a game.

No won­der guys like Ed Hochuli, the most well-known ref (and upper body) in the NFL’s ref­er­ee­ing com­mu­nity, is a million-dollar trial lawyer the other six days of the week.

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Cartoon of the Day

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PA Man Assaults Teen, Then “Tebows” to Mock Victim">PA Man Assaults Teen, Then “Tebows” to Mock Victim

Talk about your “News of the Weird.”

After assault­ing a Penn­syl­va­nia teenager Mon­day morn­ing, a man paused to mock the vic­tim by “Tebow­ing,” accord­ing to cops.

Shenango Town­ship Police Depart­ment offi­cials report that the 17-year-old was on a rid­ing lawn mower cut­ting grass out­side his home when he “turned around on the road, appar­ently into the path of an oncom­ing vehicle.”

The car’s driver–who inves­ti­ga­tors describe as “a taller male, bald, wear­ing glasses”–exited his vehi­cle and approached the boy. The sus­pect then “knocked the juve­nile off the lawn mower and assaulted him in the front yard of the res­i­dence,” accord­ing to police.

As the sus­pect walked back to his car (“pos­si­bly a 1980’s Chrysler New Yorker maroon in color”), he was observed “stop­ping and kneel­ing down as if in prayer (a ‘Tebow’),” noted cops. The man then fled the New Cas­tle crime scene.

Police are seek­ing infor­ma­tion on the assailant.

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ABC Gives Greenlight to a “S.H.I.E.L.D” Series from Marvel">ABC Gives Greenlight to a “S.H.I.E.L.D” Series from Marvel

You gotta love synergy.

Dis­ney owns both Mar­vel and ABC.  Mar­vel pro­vides char­ac­ters and con­cepts for movies which makes bil­lions for “the Mouse,” and now moves them onto ABC for our weekly consumption.

And this appears to be what will be the project which gets Joss Whe­don back to tele­vi­sion after direct­ing the block­buster film, “The Avengers,” this summer.

ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D, a live-action series from The Avengers writer-director Joss Whe­don, Mar­vel TV and ABC Stu­dios. The project is based on Marvel’s peace­keep­ing orga­ni­za­tion S.H.I.E.L.D (which stands for Strate­gic Haz­ard Inter­ven­tion Espi­onage Logis­tics Direc­torate or Strate­gic Home­land Inter­ven­tion, Enforce­ment and Logis­tics Divi­sion) found in both the Mar­vel comic book and fea­ture film uni­verses, includ­ing the block­buster 2012 movie The Avengers, in which S.H.I.E.L.D direc­tor Nick Fury, recruits Iron Man, Cap­tain Amer­ica, the Hulk, and Thor to stop Thor’s adop­tive brother Loki from sub­ju­gat­ing Earth.

S.H.I.E.L.D. will be writ­ten by Whe­don and fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tors, his brother Jed Whe­don and Mau­rissa Tan­charoen. Joss Whe­don also is set to direct the pilot, sched­ule per­mit­ting. Pro­duc­tion on the pilot, which marks the first live-action Mar­vel TV project to get a green light, will start imme­di­ately. Joss Whe­don, Jed Whe­don and Tan­charoen exec­u­tive pro­duce with Jef­frey Bell and Mar­vel TV’s Jeph Loeb.

The project had been in the works at Mar­vel TV and ABC Stu­dios for some time. Ear­lier this month, Dis­ney CEO Bob Iger announced that it had signed an exclu­sive film and TV deal with Joss Whe­don, which included him writ­ing and direct­ing The Avengers sequel and develop a live-action series for Mar­vel TV and ABC, both owned by Disney.

Few things first.

1) The Whe­dons (Joss, Jed, and Tan­charoen, since she’s Jed’s wife) are busy work­ing on and wrap­ping up the sequel to “Dr. Hor­ri­ble” the suc­cess­ful web musi­cal they pro­duced dur­ing the 2008 Writer’s Strike.  TV shows (which “Hor­ri­ble” stars Neil Patrick Har­ris and Nathan Fil­lion have for day jobs) are back in pro­duc­tion for the upcom­ing fall sea­son, so the project is rumored to be in pro­duc­tion in the Spring of 2013.

2) There’s going to be a hang-up over Samuel L. Jack­son.  He’s “Nick Fury” in Marvel’s movie uni­verse, so not hav­ing him appear once or twice in the begin­ning of the series would seem strange.  No one knows if Jack­son has the rights to reprise the char­ac­ter or is con­tracted to do so.  That’s going to be a problem.

3) If I were advis­ing Whe­don — which every comic book geek on the planet will think they’re doing any­way — I’d sug­gest revolv­ing the show around Daisy “Quake” John­son, an estab­lished char­ac­ter in the comic books, but one that has never been in any of the movies.  Daisy has a com­pli­cated past (she’s a mutant, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, the per­sonal pro­tegee of Fury, and she’s the ille­git­i­mate daugh­ter of a super-villain), but she’s a tough as nails agent who gets the job done.  If you’re look­ing for a com­par­i­son of what the show could be like, think some­thing along the lines of the USA show “Covert Affairs,” but with much more explosions.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Duke Gets the Cone of Shame

You don’t know how much this bums me out.

I love my par­ents’ rat ter­rier “Duke” who we’ve had since 2005 when our pre­vi­ous rat ter­rier “Dusty” passed away from old age.  He’s had rather intense skin irri­ta­tion for years, but now it appar­ently has got­ten so bad he’s had a plas­tic cone put on so he stops scratch­ing around his eyes and gnaw­ing at his legs.

In the past, a sim­ple steroid shot usu­ally was enough to keep Duke’s aller­gies at bay, but as he’s aged it appar­ently is not enough any­more.  Here’s hop­ing the lit­tle guy gets some relief to his skin prob­lem and the cone removed in a few days or a week at most.

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Guess this Explains Bill Maher

New study posted in the Lon­don Daily Tele­graph high­lights that con­sis­tent, pro­longed use of pot will “per­ma­nently lower” one’s IQ.

Ain’t it great to have stud­ies around to tell us what hang­ing around with a pot­head for ten min­utes would also produce?

Researchers found per­sis­tent users of the drug, who started smok­ing it at school, had lower IQ scores as adults.

They were also sig­nif­i­cantly more likely to have atten­tion and mem­ory prob­lems in later life, than their peers who abstained.

Fur­ther­more, those who started as teenagers and used it heav­ily, but quit as adults, did not regain their full men­tal pow­ers, found aca­d­e­mics at King’s Col­lege Lon­don and Duke Uni­ver­sity in the US.

They looked at data from over 1,000 peo­ple from Dunedin in New Zealand, who have been fol­lowed through their lives since being born in 1972 or 1973.

Par­tic­i­pants were asked about cannabis usage when they were 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38. Their IQ was tested at 13 and 38. In addi­tion, each nom­i­nated a close friend or fam­ily mem­ber, who was asked about atten­tion and mem­ory problems.

About one in 20 admit­ted to start­ing cannabis use before the age of 18, while a fur­ther one in 10 took up the habit in the early or mid 20s.

Pro­fes­sor Ter­rie Mof­fitt, of KCL’s Insti­tute of Psy­chi­a­try, who con­tributed to the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Pro­ceed­ings of the National Acad­emy of Sci­ences, said “per­sis­tent users” who started as teenagers suf­fered a drop of eight IQ points at the age of 38, com­pared to when they were 13.

There’s noth­ing quite like sci­ence to tell us that smok­ing any­thing is going to dam­age you in some way, shape, or form?

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