12/28/05 - Damon

I swear the Yankees are just doing this to get the goat of all of the Sox fans out there!

12/24/05 - Boston

So I just got back from a three day trip to Boston. Here are some photos:

Boston Commons in the winter.

A view of the statehouse and Commons from my hotel window.

Faneiul Hall Marketplace last night was fantastic.

Why does it seem every time I visit we're losing a famous Red Sox player?

12/21/05 - Johnny Damon is a traitor.

So Johnny joins the ranks of Clemens, Boggs, Gordon and countless other TRAITORS TO YAWKEE WAY.


Never really liked him anyway.

12/21/05 - In the Courts We Trust

Phew. I'm glad that court case about Intelligent Design worked out in Dover, PA. These things are scary, all it takes is one court case and pretty soon high schools all over the country (or at the very least, the Red States) will be teaching Intelligent Design. Well, at least to the students who are still in school and don't have two or three kids already. Damned South.

So whoo-hoo Establishment Clause and whoo-hoo Evolution!

Now, is there any way we can get rid of "In God We Trust" on the money ...?

12/20/05 - New Muppet bits ...

I love me some Muppets. Even if the current Muppets are a pale shadow to their former glory, at least they're still better than 99% of the crap out there.

Take for example the movies.com series Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony.

Statler and Waldorf are those two hecklers in the wings of the theater who always give Fozzie (and the rest of the Muppets, actually) a hard time. True, they have different voices now (Jim Henson, who died in 1991, had created the voice for Statler and Richard Hunt, who died shortly thereafter, voiced Waldorf). But the gist is still the same, and seeing new bits with the Muppets is always welcome. (Remember how psyched I was for the Keep Fishin' video starring the Muppets?)

Anyway, these "From the Balcony" shorts are pretty funny, you have to check them out. The best, however, is Episode 8: Into the Blue, Two for the Money & Pepe goes to the Flightplan premiere.

The normal jokes are great, "Jessica Alba and Paul Walker star in 'Into the Blue'. They play beautiful people who hunt for treasure and are being hunted by other beautiful people. And of course the result is ... UGLY!"

But the Pepe the Prawn stuff is great. He's getting a kiss from Erika Christensen, hitting on some random actress who I don't know, chatting with Peter Sarsgaard about the afterparty, and talking to Jodie Foster about her earrings. I can't do it justice. Go watch it. Now.

And then watch the rest of them, too. You'll be happy you did.

12/20/05 - Tucker Carlson picks on Canada

This is positively infuriating. I mean, the whole France-bashing thing is one thing, and making fun of Hillary and the Democrats is another, but making fun of Canada is just too evil and uncalled for. What the hell did they ever do to us?

Man, the United States is the International Bully now - hands down. And people still wonder why the rest of the world hates us ...

12/19/05 - West Wing speculation ...

This morning I had a weird thought about John Spencer's death and how it will alter "The West Wing".

The first episode of this season started with a "Three Years Later" flash-forward. "Shit," I thought, "was Leo there in the future?! What are they going to do? They can't kill Leo if he's alive in the future, yet if he's not around when Santos wins, it'll be odd. Damn."

Finally tonight I've gotten around to checking the internets (what can I say, vacation is a busy time!) and apparently Leo wasn't in the lineup at the dedication of the Josiah Bartlet Presidential Library in the future.


What we did see was pretty great, though. Danny and CJ are together in S. California and have a baby, Toby and Bartlet are still at odds with each other - looks like they didn't really talk after what went down (and that's why I guessed that it was Toby who was the leak), Kate and Will are next to each other (and didn't they just go to the wedding together? Hmmm ...), Charlie is still around so I guess he's ... um, still around ... and Josh is the man of the hour. So I bet he doesn't get fired by Santos in the next few weeks.

My favorite part of the flash-forward? No Annabeth Schott. God, I fucking hate Kristin Chenoweth. And isn't it just fitting that now she shills for Old Navy, who have the worst ads in the history of ads?!?


12/`9/05 - "Lazy Sunday"

This is the funniest sketch I've seen on Saturday Night Live in a looooooong time:

Lazy Sunday

Wow, that new guy Andy Samberg is pretty freaking funny.

12/30/05 - Leo McGarry has died.

This is so sad! John Spencer who plays former Chief of Staff / current Vice Presidential candidate Leo McGarry on "The West Wing" died of a heart attack yesterday.

I wonder what's going to happen now in the "West Wing" universe? The show really was quite amazing last year, With Congressman Matt Santos winning the Democratic primary to run for President, as current president Martin Sheet's Jed Bartlet is at the end of his second term. Having McGarry get on the Santos ticket was always a bit ... random ... for me, just not realistic. I mean, he's too old to be VP, really, and the recovering alcoholic thing wouldn't really play in real life. Well, unless he found Jesus or something, the red states might like that. They loves them some Jeebus.

Anyway, McGarry had a heart attack last year on the show, although I sadly missed that one, and NBC hasn't put "The West Wing" on iTunes yet. Bastards. And apparently in the next episode to air - January 8th - in a Vice Presidential debate Leo references the fictional heart attack of the fictional character. I wonder if they'll change that?

It's so sad, I mean, they killed the President's Secretary Mrs. Landingham on the show a few years ago, but the actress was still alive, so they used her a couple of flashback since. They were really powerful, really well done. But now they can't have anymore flashbacks with Leo, unless it's old footage or some digital hooba-joob, and, let's face it, old footage is hardly ever the right dialogue or the right emotion, and digital shit's just creepy.

Anyway, Spencer's other claim to fame in my book is as FBI Director James Womack in "The Rock". You know, the last GOOD Michael Bay movie? And Sean Connery to growl his best line in the last thirty years, "Womack! Why am I not surprised, you piece of shit!"

We'll miss you Leo and Womack, you piece of shit.

12/16/05 - Party hearty

Last night was the company party for my work, so today the whole office has been totally deserted. Except, of course, for the Creative Department. Yup, we're in full force today. Well, sans our three directors, vice president and two managers.

So with this lack of parental oversight want to know what we're doing right now? Listening to ESPN Presents: Jock Jams, Volume 1.

You know, "Whoomp! There It Is" and "Hip Hop Hooray," Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam" and Rob Base's "It Takes Two".

It's like a 1994 dance party up in this ...

12/15/05 - Baseball.

What else can you think about when it's three degrees out? Baseball. Fenway Park. 2006 season.

Red Sox fans around the world are over the high of winning the World Series in 2004. They're over the hype of 2005 - and the inevitable quote going around this fall - "there's always last year".

Yup, we're watching the news, waiting for '06.

The biggest news this week is that apparently the Yankees want to sign Johnny and Nomar. Not that Nomar's been around for a few, but still, he was part of that '04 crew ... well, until late July, he was.

Here's a quote from Alex Rodriguez about the possibility that the Yankees would sign Garciaparra.

"That would be kind of weird," A-Rod said. "I remember almost 10 years ago we made the cover of GQ, us three as the premier shortstops in the game coming up. And now all of us may be in the same infield. I think that's kind of funny."

God damn, is that guy smug. I can see him saying this, argh. I just want to pull a Varitek and get all up in his face. Argh.

And now the news from LA is that Bill Mueller has signed with the Dodgers. That's kind of sad. In fact, thirteen members of last year's Opening Day roster are no longer Red Sox - and that doesn't include Damon, David Wells or Manny.

I guess you have to put trust in the Sox. Granted, I'd feel safer if former-GM golden boy Theo Epstein was still around making these decisions, but hopefully he had good people.

And if it doesn't work out?

There's always next year ...

12/14/05 - Back-to-Back articles

These were fun to read back-to-back at lunch (which luckily was a turkey sandwich and a diet soda):

... and ...

12/14/05 - All I want for Christmas is more "Arrested Development"

Please please please please please ...

12/11/05 - Shawnee Peak is open!!

It's open! It's open! Winter can begin now, Shawnee Peak here in Bridgton is open!

Granted, there's only a handful of trails, and limited hours. (I'm just justifying why I'm not going up there today). And they did only get six inches of snow. Which, I must point out, they aren't lying about on their website. I was expecting them to say they got a foot. Nope. They're honest.

Well, other than saying you can get there from Portland in 55 minutes. That's just wrong.

12/10/05 - Final tally on yesterday's snow.

The Press Herald is saying that Portland got 11 inches of snow yesterday, and I for one believe them. Bridgton only got a few inches, maybe six. Maybe.

At work yesterday HR e-mailed us at 2:30 pm and said we were closing the Portland office at 4 pm. Then at 2:55 pm they came around and told everyone to leave right then. I left the garage on Free Street at 3:13 pm and got to Dan's coffee shop in Raymond at 4:32 pm. Seventy-nine minutes - for a twenty mile drive that should take under forty minutes.

Here's a photo at about 3:15 pm looking down Free Street toward the Nickelodeon (although you can't see it). The Civic Center is on the right. At 9 am there was no snow on the street.

12/09/05 - Whiteout.

It's a damn blizzard going on right now in Portland! They said 6-8 inches, but this has got to be more. Here's a photo taken of the Time and Temperature Building from my office. You can (kind of) see "11:41" on the clock, so this was just a few minutes ago ...

12/08/05 - Wind + Cold + Water = sideways icicles

It was a little chilly last night, so this morning I wasn't surprised to see icicles on the railing at Long Lake in Naples. It was a little goofy to see sideways icicles, though.

12/07/05 - DuMont Television Network

Gotta love the Simpsons. Just saw the one where Homer grows hair and becomes an executive for all of a few days. Mr. Burns mentions watching something on "the DuMont".

Had to look it up in wikipedia. Found this article about the long-lost 4th television network that also made TV sets that were better than RCA's. Interesting stuff.

12/07/05 - Coke Coffee?!?

What the hell is this?!?

12/06/05 - Apple iTunes Music Store adds NBC ...

No "My Name is Earl" ... but "Knight Rider"?!? Aw yeah ...

12/06/05 - X3 trailer online

If Brett Ratner screws this up I'm gonna be upset. Click here for the not so Dark Phoenix Saga.

12/04/05 - Arrested Development at 8 pm on Fox - Monday Night!

Everyone has to watch this show. Seriously. It's funny, and smart, and wickedly twisted. Genius. If you don't watch it, who will?

12/04/05 - The Cubes

One of my co-workers found The Cubes this week. I love office toys, and this is really the killer office toy ...

Finally, the drudgery of corporate life has been captured in a play set for adults! Joe spends eight hours a day, five days a week, at a tiny desk in a tiny cubicle in a giant room packed with countless similar cubicles in a giant building filled with countless similar rooms.

Each set has one 2-3/4" (7 cm) posable plastic figure and all the necessary plastic parts to build a classic corporate cube: four walls, desk, chair, file cabinet, in/out box, phone, and computer. Build one to look exactly like your current workspace or, better yet, construct a whole labyrinth of cubes to make your own miniature office where youre the boss! Comes with a sticker sheet of decor for your cube, complete with graphs, charts, screens for the computer and pithy office posters. Also includes a job title sticker sheet so you can create a convoluted and meaningless position for your employee.

12/02/05 - I forgot Scrubs!!

Wow, I can't believe that I forgot Scrubs!

And I also watch "The West Wing" and "Family Guy" on Sundays. So now we're up to three nights of TV a week. Oh well.

12/02/05 - My Name is Earl and The Office are moving ...

This is perfect. Perfect! Now, with Arrested Development being cancelled I'll only have ONE night of TV to watch a week! "The OC" at 8 pm, and "My Name Is Earl" at 9 pm and "The Office" at 9:30.

12/01/05 - Ski Dubai

UPDATED: 14:21, November 30, 2005

Snow falls under Dubai desert sun

DUBAI: Under the scorching desert sun of the Arabian city of Dubai, a new indoor
Alpine ski resort has risen up complete with the world's first indoor black-run,
glacial winds, icicles and not an avalanche in sight.

The powdery snow slopes have been intentionally laid in terraces to avoid the
risk of avalanches at the Ski Dubai dome due to hold 6,000 tonnes of real snow
when fully operational next month.

Tourists tan on nearby furnace-like beaches as children giggle in glacial
caverns and hide behind fir trees made of plastic at the ski dome nestled inside
the brand-new, gigantic Mall of the Emirates.

In the insulated dome, jets pulverize real snow onto the slopes, much to the
pleasure of the first visitors, many of whom are Gulf Arabs touching snow for
the first time.

The US$272 million resort is but the latest extravagant project in the Gulf
emirate seeking to become a major tourism hub, following on from the world's
tallest tower and only undersea hotel.

Ski Dubai, a manmade mountainous scene as big as three football fields that can
hold up to 1,500 visitors, will have five slopes of different degrees of
difficulty, the longest being 400 metres with a fall of 62 metres.

The lower level slopes will start welcoming skiers on Friday, and the upper runs
including the world's first indoor black run on December 14, said the resort's
chief executive, Phil Taylor.

Snowboarders can also test their skills on a 90-metre-long quarter pipe, as well
as jumps and rails.

The resort includes a snow park of ice caverns complete with howling wind where
the young and less young can daub graffiti with their fingers on a frosted wall
or play on a wall of acrylic icicles.

Apres-ski pleasures are also catered for, whether it be drinking a hot chocolate
or savouring a fondue by a crackling fireplace at either the Avalanche or St
Moritz cafes, perched on the slopes.

Teenagers with thick coats, woolly hats and warm gloves throw snowballs at each
other under the bemused eye of shoppers standing on the other side of large
window panels.

Wearing sandals and light summer clothes, a group of curious onlookers cool
their palates on ice creams while using their mobiles to shoot pictures of
teenagers sliding down bobsled rides.

Foreign tourists also snap souvenir pictures of Gulf nationals walking on snow
with their Arab headdresses dangling on rented black coats made intentionally
long to cover their traditional white robes.

"I may get married in the next few months and move to Europe. I am hoping this
experience will help me get accustomed to the cold weather," said 28-year-old
Emirati banker Alia.

Snow here is made the same way as in nature, with water atomized to create a
cloud of tiny ice particles that allow snow crystals to form and fall on the
slopes, lodges and trees.

"It looks like a Christmas postcard, a rather surreal feel especially with
people in the mall looking in from behind the glass as if it is an aquarium,"
said German tourist Hans.

"Snow in the desert is such a unique experience for locals who have never seen
snow" and for the nearly 6 million tourists who flock annually to Dubai and want
more than just beaches and malls, Taylor said.

"Ski Dubai is a good school for Gulf nationals and others, so that they learn
skiing in order to really enjoy skiing holidays abroad afterward," he said,
admitting he would be the first to take up lessons.

Source: China Daily

12/01/05 - Yo-ho-ho!

Coolio! The first trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is online here! I can't wait until next July!

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Last Updated on: December 28, 2005

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