Saturday, April 30, 2005

Food chain in action

Last night was a prime example of the sports food chain and its rigid hierarchy. I got the kids to bed a little after nine. When I turned the tv on, I started watching a rerun of NASCAR qualifying. I had already looked at the results but that didn't stop me from spending quality time watching for myself. I flipped over to check the NBA playoffs, but I ended up watching the Cubs game featuring dueling 300 game winners. I did watch a little of the NBA and I enjoyed it (Allen Iverson is my favorite and the Suns are fun to watch (thanks for the tip Pete)). Still, the NBA will have a hard time moving up the food chain. Maybe there will be a strike in one of the other leagues and the NBA can move up that way.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Me vs. The ManĀ®

About 2 months ago I noticed the tail pipe on my car was pointing towards the ground. A day or so after that I noticed the tail pipe wasn't there any more. Then I noticed an hole in the muffler that the tail pipe was hiding. I knew it wouldn't pass inspection like that and I didn't want to sink the $$$ to buy a new muffler. I let it go until recently, but I needed that inspection renewed and it was up this month. I mentioned this to an unnamed engineer I know (he kept telling me stuff and saying "you didn't hear it from me" so I'll leave it at unnamed engineer) and he told me to take a beer can, cut a patch out of it, and use marine epoxy to seal the patch over the hole. I did all this and it worked great (well, it covered the hole. personally, I liked the sound of the car w/ the hole in the muffler a lot better). I took it to get inspected and of course the guy told me it needed a tail pipe and the muffler needed to be replaced to pass inspection. If only I had created a tail pipe out of tall boy cans, I might have saved myself a few hundred dollars.

No, You Play Guitar

I've heard this song by Tiger Bear Wolf 3 times on the radio now called "You Play Guitar." I usually just stare at the radio and think this sound can't possibly be from this band. The only thing I knew about them is that they used to be called Hooray for Everything and I couldn't figure out why they would want to change their name (if you think the Simpsons will sue you, wait until those cub scout people hear about the new name). This song is too cool. I don't know if you can get it on itunes or some place, but if you can't and the rest of the album is even remotely similar it has to be worth the cost. They are playing at Gate City Noise tomorrow night and Ace's Basement on June 3rd. I need a babysitter.

Monday, April 25, 2005

That damn Kurt Busch

For the 2nd time in 3 weeks I came in 2nd place in the NASCAR Fantasy League. This time it was Kurt Busch's fault. I could blame Travis Kvapil, but he hasn't been around long enough to get really angry at him. There's only 2 more races left in the game. If I win the pizza, I promise to share if you make a canned beer donation.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

NFL Draft

I've watched a lot of the NFL Draft over the last 2 days. I like the Panthers draft choices although I wish they would have got one of the local centers. Obviously, I have to defer to John Fox and company when it comes to getting these guys who play for them. They got some offensive and defensive linemen (always a good idea). The running back in the 2nd round makes sense. You'll have Stephen Davis who may have a couple of good seasons left in him, but he can't have too many. DeShaun Foster has had some injury problems. Rod Smart is there b/c of special teams, and Nick Goings and Brad Hoover are more suited for fullback. The Panthers want to run the ball, so another guy back there makes sense. Taking a QB is a pretty good idea. Chris Weinke is the backup and Rod Rutherford is the 3rd QB, so even if Jake Delhomme is the QB for the next 10 years the threat of injury is enough to spend a 4th round pick on a potential backup. And Thomas Davis will be on the field somewhere. I don't know what the Panthers have in mind for him other than making tackles. Hopefully, he'll do that all over the field and the position won't matter.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


This guy has the best NFL Europe name ever. If he wants to play in the states, he'll have to reach some kind of trademark agreement w/ the east side boyz. Yeah!

Blanco Stripes

It's pretty exciting to see the White Stripes are playing in Bogata. Since a show at Dana Auditorium on the Guilford College campus might be the only way I get to see them, I have to wait for exotic DVDs to show up on ebay. After watching the History Channel special on organized crime in Columbia, I'm starting to fear for Meg White's safety. Let's hope she doesn't read News of a Kidnapping before she goes. My mother in law who's from Bogata loaned it to me, and I think it was to make sure I never let my family go to Columbia. You're much safer on a nice quiet Quaker campus.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pootie Tang - directors cut

I was watching Apocalypse Now Redux recently and I realized what it had in common w/ the Blade Runner director's cut edition. They both have lost the narration that kind of makes the story flow. That reminded me of the interview Louis C.K. did w/ the Onion where he discussed the studio adding the narration over the top of Pootie Tang. I can't wait for the director's cut of Pootie. Sadday Tay!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Dan Smith Sports Food Chain

After watching the DC United vs. Columbus Crew MLS match on Friday and then flipping over to the Cleveland Cavaliers game, I realized I had watched more MLS in 3 weeks (and only 3 days of games) than I had watched NBA games all year. I even ended up switching to ESPN classic to watch the 1979 NCAA men's basketball championship b/w Indiana St and Michigan St after about 10 minutes of the NBA. I figured it was time to list my sporting preferences in case I come over to your house soon and you want to make me comfortable (I'll bring the beer).

1. THE NFL - Hands down this is what I dig the most. To continue the NBA bashing, I've read more about the NFL schedule than I have about the NBA playoffs. And the really big news the NFL draft? Let's just say if you called me Mel Kiper, Jr., jr. I would consider it the highest compliment anyone ever paid me.

2. NASCAR - I wouldn't have guessed this was my #2, but since I watch the Cup races, the Busch series, and the truck races I'm going to have to put this near the top. Maybe those 3 things alone don't push it past college basketball, but when you factor in watching qualifying, happy hour, and pretty much anything the Speed Channel shows dealing w/ NASCAR, it gives the guys making left turns all day the edge.

3. College Basketball - Let's just say that this gets a big boost b/c of a certain team in the southern part of heaven. But I do watch most of the ACC games (Clemson vs Florida St? There's 2 hours of my life I'll never see again). And the NCAA tournament is #2 behind the NFL playoffs in terms of sporting events.

4. College Football - This ranking may be slightly skewed b/c it's not football season. I certainly watch a lot more than the ACC when it comes to football season (thank you Hawaii for the midnight eastern start times). Still, after a Carolina national championship I can't say I like the football better than the basketball.

5. U.S. Soccer - I watch some soccer from the rest of the world, and I can tell that it's of a higher caliber than what we have here in the USA, but I don't care. I like watching the US national team, and MLS has me (and apparently only me) in its grip.

6. Baseball - Over the course of my life, I've probably watched more baseball than any other sport. I don't dislike baseball, but I'd rather watch a good pitchers duel and they don't make pitchers like they used to.

7. Professional Wrestling - You can say it's not a sport, but it is on my tv right now. It's not about the wins and losses like other sports. It's all about attitude. Have I mentioned that I have an attitude?

8. NBA - I like basketball as a sport a lot, but the NBA is just boring. When they got rid of the illegal defense call a few years ago, I thought it would lead to more team play. In many ways it did like the Pistons winning last year's championship. Still this is a league that lives for the one on one play but can't match And 1 Street Ball in that department. When my brother was talking about New Jersey and Philly battling for the last playoff spot, I had no idea what the league standings were. I don't have that same problem w/ NASCAR.

9. NHL - The NHL playoffs are great. That said, I don't watch the regular season and there aren't any playoffs this year.

There you go. Let me know when I can come over some weekend afternoon and if you provide child care. If you want to watch a sport not on this list, I'm game as long as you provide the beer.

Grab your stuff and go and nobody goes to jail

I went to the WUAG show w/ Magnolia Electric Co. last night. I caught the very last song by what I think was Dawn Chorus and it made me wish I had seen a lot more of them. However, I got held up putting the kids to bed and watching the season finale of Arrested Development, so I'll have to go see them another time. The Magnolia Electric Co. portion of the show was really good, but it ended rather abruptly. The UNCG police were there b/c of noise complaints at about 10:30. I know you could hear it from places that maybe weren't real appreciative (Jackson library, Spencer dorms), but I can't imagine that the good people at the UNCG radio station didn't get clearance to hold an outdoor concert on campus from the UNCG authorities. Maybe it was supposed to end at a certain time, but I figured that time was 11. Oh well, at least I didn't have to demand a refund.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Volunteer of the Year

Maria and I did our volunteer work for the year on Thursday. We helped out w/ field day at Desmond's school. His class was in charge of the parachute. There were 6 classes w/ kids b/w the ages of 2 and 5. All of them went crazy when we threw balls on the parachute for them to bounce. They screamed and violently flapped their arms. It was a little bit scary for me. I don't know how teachers spend the whole day dealing w/ kids of any age. God bless them.

Monday, April 11, 2005

That damn Jeff Gordon

I don't hate Jeff Gordon the way a lot of people do. But he ruined my chance to win the weekly prize in the fantasy NASCAR league I'm in. You have to pick one driver in 8 different pools of 5 drivers. I had the highest scoring driver in 7 or the 8 pools. The only one I missed was picking Ryan Newman over race winner Jeff Gordon (who was 3 laps down at one point and I question how anyone could make up this deficit. I can show you a diagram involving 3 peas sometime to prove my point). So I missed the absolute max by 20 points. That was good enough for 2nd place but not for the $25 Papa John's gift certificate that goes to the winner (who finished 10 points ahead of me). There were a couple of other close calls in those brackets, but I know the dude who won picked the 24. That makes me hungry.

Free Show

WUAG is putting together a free outdoor concert this Sunday evening. Magnolia Electric Co. is playing the Stone Lawn on the UNCG campus. That's an actual lawn and not some campus coffee bar or gravel pit. I liked the guy's voice in Songs: Ohia, but I don't know too much about the new band. It has one big thing going for it that other shows would be wise to emulate. I can go and still get home before midnight. I know you thought I was going to say free, but I've loaded my response to meet many criteria that merit a reasonable cover charge. First, it's in Greensboro. I don't like driving to Winston much less the places more than an hour from here. Second, it starts at 7:30. I have to get up w/ kids everyday. If I can get a solid 4 + 2 hours of sleep, I can make sure Desmond isn't wondering out in the woods by himself (or at least be conscious that he is and look out the window occasionally). Finally, it's on a night Maria isn't working. I have a hard time getting a baby sitter when I'm the only one going out. Maybe it would be easier on the grandmas, but I would have this whole guilt complex about leaving the wife at work while I went out and enjoyed listening to other people's sad songs. To me, all those things add up to a $5+ cover charge that I won't have to pay.

Fresh Cut Grass

I mowed my grass for the first time yesterday. This will be the 5th season I've had to mow grass in the new house and thus the 5th season I've used my lawn mower (hard to believe people who live in apartments don't have lawn mowers. what do they do when they want to work on a small engine?). Anyway, I'm real good about doing the maintenance on the engine. I get to use lots of different sized ratchets, so I feel like my tools are serving a purpose. This year, however, was the first time I got the blade sharpened. Wow, what a difference! I didn't have to retrace my steps to get the yard looking even. The thing never threatened to cut off b/c of thick grass slowing the blade down. I should have done that every year. It was cheap ($10) and took the guy about 5 minutes, but then I started thinking that I could do it myself if I got my hands on a grinder. Luckily my dad stepped in and talked some sense into me. He has a grinder and will do it for me, so I can keep up w/ my nancy boy pastimes like blogging.

Desmond Update

I've been informed by child services that I must give equal blog time to both of my children. Maria is back to working nights so I get to handle the kids from the time I get home until they are in bed (about 8). Last Tuesday was an extremely difficult day w/ Desmond. There was lots of spanking and yelling. When he finally fell asleep, I was not very happy w/ him. I came to realize that he is a real Smith b/c he's mean and uses that passive/aggressive approach to try to manipulate people. That made me appreciate him a little more. Sure there are things I don't like about him like the whining and the constant demands to watch some nonsense on television, but I now know I'll be able to guilt him into things and play on his emotions for my own diabolical purposes. It made me feel like a real dad.

Ok, ok, I'll say some nice things about the kid. He likes to be funny, and he's willing to go w/ me to places other people would never agree to go. It's going to get him in trouble soon when we go to the NASCAR truck race, but I'm sure he'll have a lifetime of funny stories about the event.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Izzy Update

I turned on the ceiling fans for the 1st time today. It's like 80 degrees here, and I just managed to turn the heat down from 72 yesterday (although I also got the gas bill yesterday so it wasn't just the outside temperature). Izabella is fascinated w/ those fans. She stared into the living room from her high chair looking at the blades spin while I fed her tonight. I put her on the bed in our room and she didn't try to roll off the bed. She just stared up at the fan. She didn't like the one in her room when I tried to leave her in her crib for a few minutes, but when I was carrying her out of there she seemed to notice it in a more positive light.

The most interesting part of her development now is watching her eyes change colors. Desmond's eyes are blue, so they didn't change. But baby girl is going to have hazel eyes like her daddy (I hope). It seems like a really slow process b/c of the days and weeks of cloudy eyes, so I can't say for sure. I did get an A in high school biology when we did genetics. That makes me somewhat qualified to say that they are changing from that bluish color that doesn't match Maria's to a nice hazel like her old man's. I'd put up pictures, but you really need to see it in person. She'll be making appearances at Harris Teeter Saturday morning at 11am for a soda buying and Sunday morning at the 9am in the Biscuitville drive thru. She will not leave her car seat during the Biscuitville appearance, however she will sign officially licensed Biscuitville merchandise for a limited time.

Go Heels!

In case you haven't heard, Carolina won the men's college basketball national championship. I spent late Sunday and early Monday in the bathroom w/ a nasty virus. I was feeling much better by Monday afternoon, but I swore off medication so I'd be conscious during the game. It probably worked out for the best b/c I would have only been semi-conscious from excessive beer drinking if I had been healthy. Anyway, I'm very happy for Roy Williams and the 3 seniors from the 8-20 team. The other guys worked hard and did a great job (I'm looking at you Sean May), but you have to experience the low lows like Jawad, Jackie, and Melvin or be unfairly tagged as a good but not great coach like Roy if you really want to appreciate the high highs (I prefer the creamy middles but...). Personally, I didn't enjoy it as much as 93, but I was a student then and there was a big Mudhoney concert after the game. I liked it better than 82 but I didn't really watch basketball then b/c it wasn't allowed in Pennsylvania (I think they actually showed a repeat of Super Bowl XIII instead of the Carolina game). I look forward to buying a t-shirt and drinking some Carolina blue soda.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Saturday Night Taped

I'm excited about 2 upcoming episodes of Austin City Limits. Next week it's Modest Mouse and Guided By Voices. The week after that it's The Pixies. I've been staying up late on Fridays watching SCTV on TV Land, but I think I might be able to swing 2 late nights of television. It will be like I'm in high school again. Except I'll have to get up w/ small children the next morning.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Show me to the Pete Townsend exhibit

I saw this place on today. I would have just kept it to myself that I think windmills are really cool, but I saw the upcoming events included Bruiser Wrestling from Fort Wayne, IN. I think everyone can agree that professional wrestling at a windmill museum is what America is all about. Since it's Indiana, I'm sure John Cougar Mellencamp was playing Pink Houses in the parking lot.