Monday, May 30, 2005

Ultimate Match Game

I saw a fantastic line up on Match Game today. Willie Tyler and Lester, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly in a vintage Florida State mesh hat, either Lynn or Vanessa Redgrave, McLean Stevenson, and Mrs Krabappel herself Marcia Wallace. The show itself was terrible, but all of that 1970's star power was amazing. Marcia Wallace even chastised Gene Rayburn for using a woman's name for the ugly person in the "woman's name is so ugly" portion of the question. He pointed out that he had his ERA button. Like any sassy 70's woman she pointed out that his actions needed to match his button. And like any 70's game show I think I picked up on a sexual vibe in their banter. The rich subtextures of that show never cease to amaze me.

Memorial Day Action

I racked up big family points w/ my Memorial Day project. We lost the remote to the garage door a while back and all of my attempts to replace it have failed. It's the opener from the initial construction in 1972 and the house only came w/ one. I tried to get a replacement remote, but it is old and they figured out something in garage door opener technology b/w 1972 and now that prevented any new technology from working on this thing. Finally, I went to Lowe's and bought a replacement. My dad did all of the real work (as usual), but yesterday I managed to put the track together and it get it to the point where the old one needed to be removed. And today I had the power to that circuit turned off before he even got here. He told me I could drive the car slow in the driveway if I keep it up. Anyway, it wasn't too bad. This biggest problem was after we had it all set up, the remote would open it but not close it and the button on the wall would only close it if you held the button down the whole time (if you let it go it would go back up). It turns out we needed to have the Safe-T-Beams installed for the thing to close. Thankfully, Roy was up to the task b/c at that point the baby had finished napping and my project was walking her around the garage.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Target Audience Me

If I were to combine my many interests into one tv show, I think a History Channel show about cars hosted by a professional wrestler would be a pretty good start. I guess I better watch if I expect an ESPN talk show devoted to the Craftsman Truck Series and MLS.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The other Memorial Day weekend tradition

I liked the radio station countdown of the top 500 rock songs of all time on Memorial Day weekend. I don't think they do that kind of stuff any more since Clear Channel limits radio stations from playing more than 25 songs, but I always looked forward to the reassurance that Stairway was the #1 song of all time.

1100+ Miles of Racing

I didn't grow up watching NASCAR, but I've always watched the Indy 500. I'll watch a little open wheel racing throughout the year, but I make a point of watching the Indy race. NASCAR I'm hooked on so I try and watch every race. The longest race of the year is no exception. That makes for a long day of watching racing, but I've learned that the Speed Channel is showing the Formula One race live in the morning. Holy Cow! I don't think I could drink beer starting at 7:30am and keep going until 11pm or so when the 600 ends, but I'm going to try and watch as much of that as my wife and kids will let me. Although it seems reasonable that I should take a break and go to church b/w the F1 and Indy races to thank God for putting so much racing on tv. Tomorrow could be the perfect day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Grasshoppers Day Game

Desmond and I went to the day game the Grasshoppers played today. It seemed like the perfect time. His school finished last Friday, but public school doesn't finish until this Friday. We sat in the general admission section out in left field for a few innings. The whole time we were out there, Desmond kept telling me he wanted to go to the playground in right field. Luckily, he had a pepsi and a snow cone and I told him he had to finish one of them before we left the outfield. The playground wasn't crowded w/ kids like the last time we went, so he got to climb around the ropes w/o any trouble. It started to rain so we took cover, but Desmond decided he wanted to run around the empty seats. He had a rain coat on so I didn't worry about it too much. I got down to the end of the covered section and some Grasshopper employees were wondering who let that kid run by himself out in the seats. I assured them he was under strict supervision, but the half empty beer in my hand may have given them second thoughts. This must have been the first rain delay of the season b/c the grounds crew started unrolling the infield tarp way too early in right field. When it was fully opened the tarp covered the pitcher's mound but not home plate or the 3rd base area. It left a soggy mess in those places and unless they restart it as a night game, I was pretty sure the game was over. You can check here to find out otherwise.

Monday, May 23, 2005

This made me laugh. In fact, I'm still laughing looking at it right now. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Tiger Bear Wolf Update

There is an official Tiger Bear Wolf website now. And for everyone who didn't rush out to buy the album on my recommendation or receive a drunken phone call playing it on your answering machine (hi Pete!), they've put the MP3 for You Play Guitar out there.

On a personal note, it took me 4 trips to Gate City Noise (and a stop at BB's) to get the album, but last Saturday small scale capitalism was in action and I've listened to it nonstop since then. Why 4 trips? The first time was right before TBW played there and the album was sold out. The 2nd time I got there at 6:30ish and the store closes at 6 for summer hours now that UNCG is out of school. The 3rd time they were sold out, but the proprietor, Andrew, got on the phone w/ them and requested a new shipment. The 4th time was the charm, and Saturday afternoon turned into Saturday night and then Sunday morning and I was still listening. Seriously, if you are in Greensboro and buy records or cds, Gate City Noise is run by the nicest damn guy and you should take your business there. If they don't have it they will get it. In contrast when I went to BB's (no link b/c they were no help) and asked if they had the new Tiger Bear Wolf. I figured since it is the record store right across the street from Guilford College and TBW are all Guilford guys it would probably be there (and it's on my way home). Well, it wasn't, and the guy there told me that until TBW got a "real" distributor they would have to bring by some cds. A phone call from a store owner and a prompt delivery from the band seems like a "real" distribution channel to me. I guess some people like to have purchase orders in their hands and promotional key chains in their drawers to keep it real. I think they should bring the album by BB's one cd at a time.

And last but not least, I went to see Tiger Bear Wolf last night at the Werehouse in Winston-Salem. Dave was nice enough to go w/ me on a Thursday to Winston to see a band he had never heard of. I had never been to a show there despite the fact that this was the 3rd club name at this particular address. I don't think I saw the best show ever, but I saw enough that when I got home at 1:30 it seemed reasonable that if I didn't play it too loud I could listen to the record one more time and drink the last tall boy Icehouse before going to bed. Tiger Bear Wolf played at a volume that I don't think the sound guy was prepared for. The first 2 songs were accompanied by a high pitched wail (they fixed it or else something broke in my ear), and the vocals for the guy on the right were never at a level where you could hear him. Anyway, I'm nitpicking b/c Tiger Bear Wolf tore it up. I was so excited that I asked for a set list (Light, Winner, Silver, Body, Bed, Lens, Guitar) and then gushed like a schoolgirl to one of the guys. I'd be embarrassed, but I meant it when I said I loved their album. They're playing June 3rd at Ace's Basement. And then embarking on a national tour too sketchy for me to quit my job and follow them. Although Chicago is nice in the summer time and the Cubs are playing at home.

Last day of school

Today was Desmond's last day of school. They had all the kids in the school up in front of the parents and they sang the songs they've learned over the course of the year. On the songs Desmond knew like Jingle Bells, you could hear him yelling the words over the other little children singing. I think it had to do w/ the kind of music I make him listen to (his favorite is still KISS). Other parents asked us after the program if we could hear Desmond singing. I responded that everyone could hear Desmond singing. The summer should be fun. He's going to summer school for 12 days spread out over June, July, and August, and he's got a week of intensive Little Gym activities at the end of August. Maria thinks she has it bad b/c she'll be at home w/ him all day, but I can't come in to work at 9:30 3 days a week anymore. I'm sure she would trade w/ me pretty quickly.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Party Church

I really did go to Peace UCC this past weekend. And I really did read an insert in the bulletin about some UCC youth group in Maine w/ a quote from a minister saying "There's a party going on. It's called the United Church of Christ. And you're not only welcome, you are invited." I thought it was funny b/c we called the Toms River UCC the party church, and apparently the national UCC considers itself the party church. This ad (the video in the upper right hand corner) has the party vibe going on. I think they are trying to make church fun. That would make a lot of churches just da mentalists. That seems appropriate.

300 person party

I was happy that Summerfield approved serving liquor by the drink and a potential ABC store. According to the News and Record there are 5900 registered voters in Summerfield. Unofficially, 356 approved the ABC store and 388 approved the liquor by the drink measure. I think I can personally scrounge up enough votes to legalize anything you want in Summerfield if those are the vote counts you need. I'm thinking a casino (don't worry potheads, we're going to put the "high" back in High Point). We just need to make sure that it's an off-season election, and we keep mentioning reducing the burdensome Summerfield property tax (7 cents per $100? Greensboro can raise their property tax by that much in less than 3 years). Slots in '09 Summerfieldians!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

States Rights vs. Free Trade

I thought the Granhold v. Heald case was pretty interesting b/c Scalia and Thomas were on opposite sides of the opinion. You can say it came down to states rights vs interstate commerece, but I like to think free trade ideas influenced this decision. The federales don't want to get into the business of a national alcoholic beverage commission. Why would they want that headache when they already get tax revenue from the sale. To me it's about limiting free trade b/w the states. I don't look at all the Supreme Court decisions, so I don't know how unusual the composition of this 5-4 opinion is but it looks pretty weird to me. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Scalia, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. I think there are 2 dissenting opinions w/ Thomas writing one joined by O'Connor, Rehnquist, and Stevens, and Stevens writing one joined by O'Connor. I'm not 100% sure that there are 2 dissenting opinions but I paged through like 30 pages of this link and realized I wasn't a law scholar and should probably just wait for Dahlia Lithwick to let me know if that's the case. I definitely saw the 5-4 make-up on CNN. That's good enough for me. As for practical application of the law, I can use common sense and say checking ids over the internet can't be that hard. You enter a driver's license number and if the state is serious about not wanting underage drinking they can set up a way for the winery, brewery, or distillery to check that this purchaser is over 21. Maybe the shipment would have to go to the same address as the driver's license and if you could get some kind of credit card validation involved that's even better. In these tiered systems w/ retailers, wholesalers, and producers, you'll probably see either a new tier or adding out of state wineries to the producers category. Big deal. All I want to know is who am I supposed to call the activist judge? Scalia or Thomas?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Guilford College Football 4 months away

The 2005 Guilford College Football schedule came out recently. The craziest thing to me in D-3 football is the total schedule imbalance. The Quakers are playing 6 of 10 games at home and another game, the Soup Bowl, is right here in town against Greensboro College (I see Greensboro College calls it the "Souper Bowl" but you have to have some Quaker humility and not get caught up in what a college whose nickname is the Pride says and does). Last year they played 3 home games. These big D-1A football schools can't survive w/o 6 home games a year. I know by far football is the most expensive sport to compete in and at the 1-A level they rake in big bucks from an extra game w/ an extra 50-100K people in the house. But I'd be willing to bet Guilford makes more money from not having to charter buses 3 extra times than they make on the 3 extra home games.

The financial capital of New Garden Rd

There are 5 banks on New Garden Rd clustered b/w Hobbs Rd and Bryan Blvd. To be honest I'd never heard of any of them. FNB Southeast has their headquarters on the corner of Hobbs and New Garden. I guess one way of introducing yourself to potential customers is to put your name on top of the only multi-story building visable from the nature trails around Price Park. In their defense when I need to buy some office space, I'm going to rent a place in that building but only b/c I can walk there from my house. There's also a First Citizens and a Carolina Bank on that side of the street. Soon a Southern Community Bank and Trust will join them and a Bank of Oak Ridge branch will be right across the street (ok, my dad told me about Bank of Oak Ridge, but I swear I knew nothing about the rest of them). I guess there's a need for smaller banks since all the big one's have formed MegaBank of the Universe. That proverb about breaking a bundle of sticks versus breaking a single stick must be driving their business models.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Diablo Canyon 2 International

Usually, the comments on my blog are limited to Pete Smith championing the NBA at the expense of NASCAR, but despite having nothing to do w/ the actual post I got some good feedback on a recent post. If I had to guess, I would say this guy looked up keyword "canyon" and found me. Those are some beautiful pictures of a part of the world I'll probably never see. There's a slim chance that he knew I named my blog after a Simpson's episode. And if I'm to believe the Bush administration, he most certainly knew it was a nuclear reactor. Maybe I should expect an official visit soon. I'll have to find the college grade report w/ the mercy D in Physics 26.

Way to go Rusty

I'm not surprised Rusty Wallace would wreck Tony Danza to get a win in the Day Tony 500. I am surprised they were racing w/o helmets. If they are going to be on daytime tv racing, they need to give kids the right idea. I mean every kid I've seen riding a bike in the last 10 years has been wearing a helmet. I'm sure the all the ladies at home want to see Tony and Rusty's pretty faces, but if you tumble on your head like TD did, you won't be pretty any more. If Martin Short still had his daytime talk show and Mark Martin was his guest, they probably would have had on the HANS device.

Grasshoppers game

The whole family went to the Grasshopper's game on Sunday. As a special Mother's Day treat for Maria, I didn't complain about spending money the whole time we were there. Desmond had a good time playing on the playground, and Izabella crawled around in the grass w/o complaint. We started out sitting in left field at the grand stand tables, but you can't see squat out there. If you get up on the rail, it's ok but we were trying to lounge at a table and feed kids. From there I could see a sliver of the SS/3B area. We didn't check out the lawn out in left field, but there was a home run ball hit out there so I should be able to talk Desmond into skipping the playground for a few innings. The playground and general admission area on the 1st base line were where we spent most of the game. The stadium itself is a lot more event oriented than World War Memorial Stadium. They still have the same b/w inning promotions, but there are so many other things to do. Those promotions were the highlight for Desmond when we went to the games last year. This year I don't think he noticed except when Guilford the Grasshopper was on the field. We stayed until the 8th inning, and the only inning I really watched was the 7th and that was only my lame attempt to get Maria to stay by trying to prove I was really interested in the game. Then I found out they stop selling beer in the 8th inning and we hit the road. I've already planted the seed to go back for Father's day.

Monday, May 09, 2005

That damn Travis Kvapil

Well at least I didn't finish in 2nd this week, but I still picked 6 of the 8 highest fantasy NASCAR finishers. And while I've previously deflected blame from the rookie I have to curse Travis Kvapil. I finished 24 points out of 1st place, and out of these 5 drivers (Jason Leffler, Kyle Petty, Mike Wallace, Scott Wimmer, Travis Kvapil) I went w/ Mr. 58 points and ruined my free pizza chance. On top of that this free game ended w/ the race on Saturday. I think I win a free hat. I wanted pizza.

Smith Family Vacation

We took a spring beach trip last week. It was nice to just chill at the beach. Granted, it rained and was cold the days we were down there, but I can still relax. Izabella got to get on the beach for maybe 30 minutes, but when you are age 0 contemplating the vastness of the earth can be a little overwhelming. 30 minutes seems like more than enough. When we got there on Wednesday, the weather was sunny but a little cold. We went to the indoor pool for our main water time and only checked out the beach briefly. We spent a lot of time in the indoor pool on Thursday and even Friday before checking out. There was even a family nap during the Thursdaylong rain. That's good vacationing. When we left on Friday the sun was out. As we drove towards Friday night's destination it started to rain again. That night I stood in the garage grilling at Dude's house (not The Dude, just Dude) and maybe it was the chill that runs up my spine from drinking Icehouse but it was a cold rain. I realized why they build house's w/ one car garages as I stood in the dry confines talking to Scot Drummond. I went at this time of year in these conditions for the sole purpose of seeing Scot. He is one of the very few old school NJ people that I have had any contact w/ and like only a few others things pick up pretty much like they used to be. That's a good feeling. That was a good garage.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Lucky it's only a mile to my house

I went the Harris Teeter yesterday to pick up my lounger I "won" by doing most of my grocery shopping there. Anyway, I tried to put it in my front seat. It was too wide. I couldn't put the car in gear w/ that thing taking up half the car. It wouldn't fit in the back seat b/c the car seat is back there. It wouldn't fit in the trunk, so I had to take my cell phone charger and strap the trunk down w/ that and drive home w/ a big cardboard box sticking out of the back of my car. I'd curse the car, but it's paid for. The chair would have easily fit in the van, but I still have 3 more years to pay for that thing. The small car wins!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

No "You Play Guitar"

Ok, I've found some MP3's to back me up about the awesomeness of Tiger Bear Wolf. There is one on their record label's site. There are 3 on this review site. And there are 2 on this MP3 site. That's half the album. But savvy marketers that they are, there's no You Play Guitar. Genius.