Friday, August 31, 2007

Schadenfreude - making the world a better place to be! 

David Beckham, brought over to the U.S. at a cost of somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 badrillion dollars, may miss the rest of the season with his crummy, non-playoff bound team.

I like soccer, I really do, and I really hope that MLS can make a go of it as an actual major sports league.


I'm not proud of that.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I don't have a license, but I drive very well, officer! 

Intoxicated woman enlists her five year old son to drive her around. Best line:
"I asked her, 'Ma'am, are you OK? Do you need some help? Is this your toddler?' She admitted, 'Yes, but he's a good driver,'" Barrett recalled.
The young driver said he wants to be a race car driver when he grows up.

Fallback profession: Chauffeur to Lindsey Lohan.

Tip - Dawn Summers, who thinks Mom should get a couple points for thinking outside the box.

You know, I do have a birthday coming up... 

Diamond-encrusted skull sells for $100 million.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't get ideas... 

Leona Helmsley's will leaves $12 million to her dog.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
"Are you feeling OK, daddy? You look a little pale."

Not going to happen, Koshka.

On a side note, I swear we have a rule in our house about not putting clothes on the dogs, but Koshka had just been in for a liver biopsy and putting a shirt on her was the simplest way to keep her away from her stitches.

And I hate to admit it, but she looked adorable in the shirt. (She's fine, her stitches are out and the shirt is gone.)

I must remind myself of the rules of dog ownership: First rule of dog ownership, you do not put clothes on dogs.

Second rule of dog ownership, you do not put clothes on dogs. (Unless medically necessary.)

Third rule of dog ownership - insert cheap Michael Vick joke here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who rules the world? 

Georgia rules the world.

Today's lesson 

Do not try to give a stripper counterfeit money.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fantasy Football - the rest of the story... 

And here are the rest of the positions...

Tight End

Must Have: Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) - By far the best of the, at most, 3 or 4 tight ends who will put up receiving numbers comprable to a starting WR.
Sleeper: Owen Daniels (Houston Texans) - The same problems that will keep Matt Schaub's numbers down also mean he'll have to dump the ball off in a hurry a lot, and Daniels is a good bet to be the dumpee.
Overrated: Bo Scaife/Ben Troupe (Tennessee Titans) - Two good recieving tight ends - sadly, neither is a reliable bet to rack up good numbers with the other around. If you're allowed to draft "TE - Tennessee" - go for it. If they make you pick one, look elsewhere for your starter. (Scaife is the better bet of the two as backups go.)


Must Have: Jeff Wilkins (St. Louis Rams) - Active offense, strong leg, dome. He's got everything.
Sleeper: Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears) - Last year's top fantasy kicker probably won't jump up too much, due to the distrust of the Bears' offense and the crappy weather in Soldier Field. Still, the Bears won't finish as many drives as they probably should, and Gould has the leg and the understanding of conditions in the Windy City to get 3 out it most of the time.
Overrated: Jason Elam (Denver Broncos) - One of the most reliable names in football, but Denver's uncertain offense may not give him many chances.


Must Have: Chicago Bears - You've heard of Fred Thompson Facts? Here's a fact: Fred Thompson's nickname for Brian Urlacher is "Sir."
Sleeper: Miami Dolphins - The Fish don't come up much when talking about good fantasy options, but the defense is starter worthy if you don't get the Bears, Ravens, or the like.
Overrated: Carolina Panthers - They'll be drafted higher than they should be because of what they've done in the past.

As usual, happy drafting, and good luck to everyone not currently married to me.

Happy now, Summers? 

By popular demand, by which I mean "pretty much just Dawn Summers", I now present this year's Fantasy Football draft guide, hopefully too late to do anyone any harm. Bob's Top 100 players would also serve as a good guide to the first few rounds. Anyways, here goes...


Must Have: Payton Manning (Indianapolis Colts) - His durability and consistently staggering totals make him worthy of a first round draft pick - the only non-RB to merit such a spot.
Sleeper: Jon Kitna (Detroit Lions) - Quality recievers + an otherwise crappy team that's going to need to throw a lot = points.
Overrated: Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) - Here in Atlanta, the conventional wisdom has been that we'll have to watch Schaub go to the Pro Bowl while Michael Vick goes to prison. The only problem with that theory is Schaub has the supporting cast that nearly got David Carr killed.

Running Back:

Must Have: LaDanian Thomlinson (San Diego Chargers) - I would love to meet, or at least read an interview with, any person who has the overall #1 pick in their draft who does not select LT.
Sleeper: Jerious Norwood (Atlanta Falcons) - Some question about whether he can shoulder a #1 RB's workload, but a fragile Warrick Dunn is likely to see a lot less action this year, and a successful start to the season could cement Norwood as the top guy on a team with no offense save the run.
Overrated: Clinton Portis (Washington Redskins) - He's fragile, his team sucks, and he hitched his wagon to Michael Vick. What more do you need? Jackass.

Wide Receivers:

Must Have: Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) - Three WR's are potential second-round picks if you want to try an unconventional draft strategy. Smith takes the top spot by a small margin over Marvin Harrison and Chad Johnson.
Sleeper: Bernard Berrien (Chicago Bears) - Granted, anyone who depends on Rex Grossman's arm for numbers is going to be sketchy, but with Berrian's speed and hands, he only needs 3-4 catches a game to put up a decent point total.
Overrated: Randy Moss (New England Patriots) - Tom Brady's strength is in his ability to spread the wealth. Every eligible receiver is a potential target with him. If Moss can be a grownup about sharing looks, he can be productive, but Randy Moss isn't exactly the first name that pops to mind when you think "grownup."

What, no Zan and Jayna? 

A movie based on the Justice League looks to be a go. However, the actors currently playing Batman and Superman, (Christian Bale and Brandon Routh, respectively), will not apparently be involved. This is kind of a surprising development because it'd been reported previously that both men's contracts contemplated their appearance in a JLA movie, should Warner Brothers deign to get off their duffs and make one.

This may be because the movie won't be live action at all, but instead either CGI or motion-capture. That would seem likely, since a Justice League movie without Batman or Superman would seem kind of like the Superhero B-Team. Think Atlanta Falcons, sans Michael Vick. It would also spare the WB from having to cast name actors in each role, since the live-action version was supposed to jump-start solo films for Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern.

So - the big question - who's on the roster? A non-live-action version can have Batman and Superman, and one figures Wonder Woman has a lock on a spot. They'll probably have the John Stewart Green Lantern for the same reasons the Justice League cartoon did. Flash and the Martian Manhunter are the most frequently mentioned, but I think Hawkman and Green Arrow would be more interesting. (They don't get along so good in the comic books due to political differences, plus Smallville may raise GA's profile somewhat, certainly the show did more for the Arrow than it did for the Martian Manhunter.) Hawkgirl's also a possibility if they want to follow the excellent Justice League cartoon series (reviewed here and here. There are plenty of good episodes from Justice League, and frankly, "Starcrossed", the season 2 finale, is probably better than the movie will turn out to be.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Never marry a forensic scientist 

Forensic scientist fired for using state materials to test her husband's underwear to find out if he was cheating on her.

According to her testimony in a divorce hearing, she found another woman's DNA.

While no longer employed with the state crime lab, methinks there's an opening in the private sector for her consulting on divorce cases.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Celebrate good times, come on! 

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms the conviction of former Governor/Illinois State Insect George Ryan.

The opinion, which may be read here if you have some time to kill, deals primarily with issues relating to the jury deliberation process, and how jurors were dismissed from the panel. They didn't really deal with the jury's finding, because:
"In the end, the evidence supporting the jury's verdict was overwhelming."
As to the jury issues, as well as various evidentiary matters, the Court of Appeals found that the trial judge managed the chaos well enough to affirm the result.

The current order allowing Ryan to remain free pending his appeal would require him to report to prison within 72 hours. Ryan's attorneys are planning to ask the Court of Appeals for an en banc hearing (by the whole court instead of the three judge panel that issued today's ruling), and will ask for a modified order allowing him to remain free until then.

A long time ago, we used to be friends... 

Kristen "Veronica Mars" Bell will appear on "Heroes" this fall.

Speaking of which, fall really can't come soon enough. I had no idea how much summer TV sucked until yesterday, when we had no Netflix in the house.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dog day afternoon... 

Michael Vick will plead guilty in federal court on August 27.

No word on how he will plead on his charge of failing to wear a seat belt.

Romance isn't dead - but it's lucky to be alive... 

Teen couple planning their first time together finds the experience cut short when the candles lit to set the mood cause the house to catch fire and burn down.

For some people, apparently "safe sex" involves asbestos.

Tip - Hubs and Spokes.

I think it was the word "youngling" that lost everyone... 

Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman top a list of movie couples with the least on-screen chemistry.

That's only kind of funny. It was a pretty lousy script, after all. What's funny is couple #2 - Ben Affleck/J-Lo from Gigli, was an actual couple at the time of the movie being made. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise also made the list from their days as an item from Eyes Wide Shut, where we saw the truly unprecedented cinematic achievement of making a movie with Nicole Kidman naked in it boring.

Tip - Kevin Drum.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The mystery is solved... 

Italian soccer player Marco Materazzi has finally come clean about what he said to French star Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup that caused him to snap and deliver the head butt heard round the world.

Go ahead and watch it again. It's still a pretty cool move, as cheapshots go.

Anyway, Materazzi, who coincidentally has a book coming out, has now said he made an inappropriate remark about Zidane's sister.

Given that the crack pretty much cost France the World Cup, what could the coach say?
France coach Raymond Domenech this month lauded Materazzi's strategy for getting Zidane out of the game.

"I say 'bravo' to him," the coach said.

It's your fault they weren't cold 

Hundreds pose naked on a Swiss glacier to call attention to global warming.

Note to Al Gore: I'll believe whatever you want. Just don't do this.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Southern Stereotype Department 

Arkansas accidentally passes law allowing children of any age to marry.

Go ahead, say it. You know you want to.

"Sure. Accidentally."

Now don't you feel better?

Anyways, that sound you hear is Mike Huckabee's momentum crashing to a halt.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On the meaning of "everywhere"... 

"I think you threw my wedding ring in the trash." - Crazy Redhead, shortly before 11:00 a.m. yesterday.

Wednesday is trash day. Tuesday night I gathered up the garbage in the house, put it in the big giant trash can out back, and put the trash can out front for pickup. The next day, my wife calls, quite upset. She had looked everywhere (remember that word) for her rings and couldn't find them. The only conclusion she could reach was that, when picking up around her position, I must have inadvertently gathered up her rings and threw them out. After all, that's where she usually puts them, and of course...

...all together now...

...she looked everywhere for them.

So before she goes to work, she pulls the trash can back so it doesn't get picked up. Guess who is asked to perform the somewhat less glamorous task of going through a week's worth of trash to try and find these symbols of our eternal love?

"But," you say, sounding almost reasonable, "You were the one who accidentally threw them away! She looked everywhere!"

Well, if she looked everywhere...I did do a cursory search of a couple out of the way places, but since she sounded so sure, I sigh with resignation and drag the garbage can into the backyard. Fair penance for my negligence, right?

Before we begin this next part - take a moment to view yesterday's weather report. ONE HUNDRED AND TWO FREAKING DEGREES. Keep that in mind. So, in record heat, I begin to dig through the refuse. This is not fun. Do you want to know what happens to yogurt that sits in a plastic container in 102-degree heat?

Answer: No, no you do not.

I spend several minutes sifting through the past few days. Otchki watches through the back door, fascinated. "When I do that, I get yelled at," he thinks. I search long and hard. Does anyone who's seen the movie Saw remember when Shawnee Smith had to search through that guy's body to find the key to her death trap? Does anyone who's seen Saw II & III remember how she turned out after that?

Just saying, is all.

Anyway, the search continues. Boy, we throw a lot of food away. Perhaps too much. I do not, however, find the rings.

I would say consternation begins to set in at this point, but that would not be true. As you'll recall from the beginning of this post, I've been aware since late that morning that I had misplaced the symbol of our eternal love, and this has been weighing on me all day. It's bad enough to have accidentally thrown away your wife's wedding ring, but to face her having failed to retrieve them? This is horrible. Almost as horrible as the smell. I come inside the house, and move a few papers on the kitchen counter.

Well. I'll. Be. Damned.

"Everywhere" apparently has evolved in meaning since last I checked the dictionary. Shortly after this, a phone call is made.

"You know, honey, if the opportunity to have an affair arises on your way home, you may want to go ahead and take it, because you really couldn't be in more trouble."

She then asks if I plan to shower before she gets home. I think she should see what she hath wrought, but that wouldn't be fair to the dogs or the plants, so I go ahead and shower.

And why not? She's smart, she's beautiful, she goes to comic book conventions, and despite my earlier statement, she does not, in fact, have an affair on her way home from work that day.

Which she could have, very easily. After all, if a guy had looked at her hand to see if she was wearing a ring...

...well, you know.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Maybe you should mow more often... 

Man discovers dead body while mowing yard.

Clock striking midnight? 

AJC reports Michael Vick is likely to join his co-defendants in pleading guilty if an arrangement can be worked out with the NFL to preserve his career.

None of which suggests you should add him to your fantasy draft sheets.

Hope he's got a comfy couch... 

Sheriff's deputy pulls over his own wife, who is later arrested for DUI by a backup officer who arrives at the scene.

He should send her flowers, and he should use 1-800-Flowers, the florist of faithful men everywhere.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On the one hand... 

...the idea that I'm married to a woman who is so in touch with her inner geek that she sets up a quick weekend trip to Chicago for the primary purpose of attending the Wizard World convention there is, without doubt, a very good thing.

The...shall we say...less good thing is requires air travel with the spouse, if you're not hearing the Looney Tunes theme playing as you read that, you simply haven't been paying attention.

We are to meet at the airport. This means my wife is solely responsible for getting herself out of the house and to the airport on time. People who have never met my wife knew there was no way this was going to happen, why did I think differently?

Hope: 1. Experience: 0.

So, after we miss our scheduled flight, and stagger into Chicago and seek out food. The rooftop on the Plymouth Bar and Grill by the Harold Washington Library is worth visiting, should you be in the area.

Anyway, on to the convention. The primary purpose is shopping for the toy collection, so we hit Mattel's booth and pick up a convention exclusive Man-Bat Figure, as well as this Justice League Unlimited 3-pack that the spouse was very keen to get:

You see, normally, figures of Hawkgirl show her wearing her mask. The convention figure has her unmasked, as well as packaged with Green Lantern and the hard-to-find Ray. So this was obviously very important.

What? It's a cool set.

We picked up a few other things roaming the booths, then wandered the artist's section, where independant comic book artists tried gamely to sell people on the idea that "THERE'S MORE TO THIS WORLD THAN JUST BATMAN AND SPIDER-MAN, PEOPLE!"

Good luck with that. You could also purchase original sketches by actual comic book artists. One guy had a sign by his booth that said "I will draw anything you want. Yes, even that."

Price you pay for an underfunded NEA, I suppose.

We listened to a guy from Mattel talk about their upcoming DC figures. He listed an upcoming line that would include several figures from the Justice League, including Flash, Hawkman, and Green Lantern. A few rows up, a woman in a Wonder Woman costume threw up her hands in frustration at not being included.

Which brings us to the real fun of a comic book convention - people in costumes.

This guy was there on business, as he was dressed as a character in some video game somebody was previewing. These guys were pretty much the only ones we saw with in-character costumes, except for the booth babes at the booth for Zenescope selling Grimm's Fairy Tales. I do not, unfortunately, have a picture of them, as my wife forgot the camera for our first trip through the exhibit hall, and once we had it, I couldn't think of a way to say "Hey, can we swing back by the Zenescope booth and get a picture of Little Miss Muffet?" that wouldn't have gotten me in trouble.

This guy was dressed a Tusken Raider, and he looked really cool, until he got killed by a guy dressed as a crummy actor.

Here's a guy dressed as Canadian superhero Northstar.

Being unable to think of any jokes that wouldn't reference John Edwards, I'll simply note that he won a gift certificate at the Tonner booth, where we also saw Poison Ivy.

This was a pretty good costume, when compared to Tonner's take on the character:

Available this fall, although since Tonner pieces can't really be displayed in-box, we'll pass on them in favor of something we did buy, like the Buffy Palz version of the Gentlemen.

Back on the costume front, we were just about to leave when we met the X-Men.

That's Emma Frost, Mystique, Rogue, and Storm, from left to right. Behind them is a guy in an Iceman costume that didn't have near this level of detail. That being said, that guy is truly a super-hero.

Anyway, it was fun, and you should all come down to Atlanta over Labor Day so we can go to Dragon Con. This year, they have Parker Lewis and Frank Stallone!

That's right. Frank. F'n. Stallone.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Now everyone will believe he's not a kook candidate... 

Former WWE champion, and star of the truly wretched horror film See No Evil, Kane is supporting Ron Paul's presidential campaign.

Tip - Steve Silver.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Trial of the century - talentless rock star edition 

Marilyn Manson sued by his keyboard player (aka Madonna Wayne Gacy) for allegedly hiding profits to purchase, among other things, a handbag formerly owned by Eva Braun, masks made of human skin, and the full skeleton of a 4-year old Chinese girl.

For his part, Manson is denying the allegations:
"The fact that he's claiming that I've treated him unfairly, financially, is really ridiculous," the singer said. "And I would never spend my money on a Chinese girl skeleton. That would be crossing the line. It's a Chinese boy, for the record."
Thank goodness that's all cleared up.

Mystery surgeon removes man's testicles - police baffled. 

Ummm...that's apparently pretty much what happened.
According to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday, the man complained of chronic pain and turned to conventional medical personnel to remove his testicles.

When they refused, the 62-year-old man said he hired other "professionals" to do the surgery. He would not tell officers who they were, saying he didn't want to get them into trouble.
And while I haven't seen the movie Sicko, I'll bet Michael Moore doesn't even discuss the fact that in Canada, people have to wait months to get their testicles removed.

Years, even.

Job opening in airport security 

Man sneaks marmoset onto airplane.

Best line of the story - after the monkey was discovered sitting on the guy's head:
"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.
"I have a what? AHHHH!!!!! GET IT OFF ME! GET IT OFF ME!"

In defense of the airport people, it's not like it was a big monkey.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Line of the day... 

Teeth on Pride & Prejudice:
Perhaps all the critics got this one wrong, because the genius of Austen isn't her "biting satire and irony", it's creating a universe of characters that people of all generations can despise. If there was any cast of characters that belong in the next Hostel movie then this is it, because they truly deserve to be tortured the way they've tortured millions of students throughout the decades.
Man, I hated that book.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The really important question: Do we have to put the money back in his freezer? 

William Jefferson scores a partial win in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jefferson had previously been shot down hard in his claim that he should get to decide what documents were relevant to the investigation and which were privileged under the Speech or Debate clause. In a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeals gives him a bit of help.
Accordingly, we hold that a search that allows agents of the
Executive to review privileged materials without the Member’s
consent violates the Clause.
Basically - the Court's problem was that the procedures set up by the FBI to search and review the records did not permit the possibility of asserting a legislative privilege before the Justice Deparment (The Executive Branch) viewed records to which they were not potentially entitled. Jefferson's proposed remedy - that he be given back everything seized - was not endorsed by the Court.
...we conclude that the
Congressman is entitled, as the district court may in the first
instance determine pursuant to the Remand Order, to the return
of all materials (including copies) that are privileged legislative
materials under the Speech or Debate Clause. Where the Clause
applies its protection is absolute. For the reasons stated, absent
any claim of disruption of the congressional office by reason of
lack of original versions, it is unnecessary to order the return of
non-privileged materials as a further remedy for the violation of
the Clause. The Congressman has suggested no other reason
why return of the non-privileged documents is required pursuant
to Rule 41(g), and, in any event, it is doubtful that the court has
jurisdiction to entertain such arguments following the return of
the indictment.
The opinion may be read here.

Normally, this type of thing would be a lead-pipe cinch for Supreme Court review - this is the first time such a search has been conducted after all, and depending on what documents are ultimately determined to be privileged, could severely impact the government's case. The Justice Department claimed there would be no negative consequence on Jefferson's prosecution, but this decision could theoretically lead to the loss of potentially incriminating documents, presuming Jefferson encourages the judge to take an expansive view of the privilege. Assuming there are documents of significant import to the government's case whose admissibility is now at risk, I'd say a request for review is a virtual certainty, which means Jefferson's trial will almost certainly be put off.

Tip - Teeth

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