Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'd buy that

CSI has been around for ten years now, a top 10 ratings juggernaut for CBS (coming in at #10, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 4, and 7 each season), spawning 2 spin-offs in Miami and New York, and the basis of 8 video games across the three shows.

However, I prefer NCIS. The characters are more personable, the show has more humor, Gibbs is sexy; I could go on. I also think Spike TV killed CSI by airing 30 episodes every night for the last 7 years. And no episode will ever be as great as the Quentin Tarantino-directed fifth season finale Grave Danger... I'm getting off-topic again.

Like I was saying, I like NCIS. It's slowly been building up a fan base over the last 7 years, climbing up the ratings (#26, 22, 16, 18, 10, 5, and now #1 through the current '09-'10 season). It has one spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles (also excellent for many of the same reasons). But no video games yet. Kinda disappointing.

You could totally do it. Borrow elements from the CSI games, throw in some Star Trek-like team assembly (Gibbs needs to go interview a witness or suspect; do you grab the charasmatic DiNozzo, the tech-savvy McGee, or the cold-blooded warrior David?). Maybe add some Grand Theft Auto sandbox action (you could follow a storyline, or just going around solving random crimes). Get the folks in L.A. involved as well.

That'd work so well. Someone call EA or RockStar or Ubisoft and have them pickup my cash cow pinata so they can take a few whacks at it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

No... More... Pie...

How many more American Pie movies are they going to make?

The first one was good. It gave us Shannon Elizabeth, but what has it done for us since then? How much more can they milk from that cow?

Seven movies over ten years... Might be time to put down the pie. I hear cake is good...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've learned something today...

I truly believe that I do learn something everyday.

I should be making a list of those things, for posterity's sake. Maybe start another blog with those things.

Today's learnedness: That's not a guy standing in the background in the individual shot of The Donnas bassist Maya Ford in the CD insert for their "Spend the Night" album. That's a Freddy Krueger cardboard cutout!! Don't believe me? Check out and compare that picture with the back cover insert.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


BCS: Bullshit "Championship" System. Broken Clusterfuck System. Bowl Catastrophe System. Get the picture?

Nearly everyone I know and listen to agrees. The system we use to determine who plays for the national championship of college football is crap.

And yes, I've complained about this before. There was USC getting snuffed in 2003 after going undefeated, but the Sugar Bowl picked one-loss Oklahoma to play LSU for the title. Playing as the Golden Gophers in Super Play Action Football on my SNES. Agreeing with ESPN's Rick Reilly that the true national champion for the 2008 season should be the University of Utah, last year's only undefeated team after it was all said and done.

"OK, Paul, let's see YOU come up with a better system..." I thought you'd never ask!!

Obvious solution: a playoff. Every other sport, at every other level in the NCAA, uses a playoff and bracket system to deliver two teams to a true national championship game. Do you know who awards the championships for Division I-A football? The Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association. A news agency and a couple handfuls of college coaches. You know who should be deciding it? The kids on the field busting their asses to win! There is no official NCAA Division I-A champion, but there are for Divisions I-AA, II, and III.

And just think, what an honor it would be to be able to claim to be the FIRST NCAA Champion? You don't think a Michigan or Texas or USC or Florida wouldn't want that? I know I would. That'd be huge!! The recruits you would bring in, the annuls of history you'd be included in, the press, the exposure, the stardom. Who wouldn't want that?

We can still keep the BCS Standings, but let's use them in the same way college basketball uses RPI to seed the bracket. March Madness generates buzz after Selection Sunday about teams that maybe don't deserve to be in and those who should be but aren't. You'd get about the same amount of discussion after the NCAA football tourney is filled out.

"But what about the traditional bowl system? Some of those games have been around for decades! You're not going to throw away all that history, are you?" Of course not. Teams that get knocked out the playoffs can still go to bowl games.

I've got two ways the playoff can be done:

Solution A: Ten teams. Automatic bids given to the six BCS conferences. Four at-large bids based on BCS rankings. Teams seeded 1-6 get first round byes. 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9, winners play the 2 and 1 seeds, respectively. Four rounds, with a bye week between the semifinals and championship game. As teams are knocked out, they receive invites to their traditional bowls. In this situation, your bowls are Rose, Fiesta, Cotton (the next most prestigious bowl after the current BCS 4, IMO), Sugar, and Orange. The championship game rotates between those five.

For 2009, your ten teams in the playoffs would be the top 10 from the BCS standings, seeded as follows (highest to lowest): Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU, Florida, Boise State, Oregon, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, and Iowa. First round is Oregon against Iowa and Ohio State versus Georgia Tech. Winners of those games face Texas and Alabama, respectively. The other two quarterfinals have Cincinnati/Boise St. and TCU/Florida.

Side note: if the BCS conferences wanted to cheat and only give the first through sixth seeds to their conference champions, Nos. 3-9 would be Oregon, Ohio St., Georgia Tech, TCU, Florida, Boise State. It'd be dirty, but I might be able to live with that.

Solution B: Sixteen teams. Automatic bids are given to ALL 11 Division I-A conference champions. Five at-large bids and overall seeding are again determined by BCS standings. The national champion game is a separate game from the rest of the bowls, but rotates between multiple locations (as is the current practice).

This year, in addition to the top ten teams in the BCS standings making the playoffs (as described above), the 16-team field would include the next top three, Virginia Tech, LSU, and Penn State, in addition to conference champions East Carolina (Conference USA), Central Michigan (MAC), and Troy (Sun Belt). Those three teams would be ranked 14-16, in some order (none were included in the top 25 in the BCS). Again, traditional bowl invites are handed out as teams are eliminated.

In both scenarios, traditional bowls are played during the bye week between the final two rounds. You also give teams from the non-BCS conferences a shot at the championship, which has been a real issue over the last 5 years with the success of teams like Boise State, Utah, TCU, and Hawai'i.

I'd also like to propose the additional changes to college football in general:

1. The Big Ten either plays a full conference schedule or split into two divisions. Just like every other BCS conference. Currently, Big Ten teams only play eight intra-conference games a year. Either way, this would eliminate the possibility of a shared conference championship between two teams who'd go undefeated.

Yes, I am aware that the Big Ten has 11 teams, and would therefore have unbalanced divisions (6 and 5). However, the Mid-American Conference has 7 and 6 for their divisions, so it wouldn't be unprecedented. I propose a Big Ten East with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, and Penn State and a Big Ten West with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Northwestern. If you absolutely need a 12th team, try to get Norte Dame and put them out West.

This would also remove another pet peeve of mine caused by Big Ten football. Their football season pretty much ends the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Mostly everyone else is still playing into the first week of December (mostly just conference championship games).

2. Regular season runs from the first Saturday in September until the first Saturday in December. That last week is reserved for conference championships, or for those conferences without divisions, finishing a full conference schedule. That's 14 weeks of games, with 1-2 off weeks for each team. Playoffs start the following weekend and run through the rest of the year. Bowl games for teams that did not make the playoffs begin the same week the second round is played. Bowl games for eliminated teams do not begin until January 1st. The National Championship game is the last game of the season.

3. No bowl games for any team that does not win at least 8 games or is not a conference champion. Sorry Wyoming, Southern Miss., SMU, Marshall, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Georgia, Army/UCLA (one of them would otherwise be in the EagleBank Bowl), Bowling Green, Idaho, Air Force, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa St., Tennessee, Auburn, Florida St., South Florida, Northern Illinois, UConn, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Michigan St. You'd be staying home this year. Since it'd be an uneven 23 teams, an eight-win team would also lose a bowl bid.

That would leave you with 44 eligible teams and 22 bowls. I'd still say that's too many. Cut it down even further. If you get rid off all the eight-win teams this year, you're left with 28 teams for 14 games. I'd be fine with 15-20 bowls. But no more than 20. Ever. Get rid of the newer ones and just keep those that have been around longer.

4. No more cupcakes!! Limit each team to one (1) Division I-AA opponent per season. Sure, App. State's upset of Michigan in the Big House in 2007 was awesome, but that's not happening ever again. This would also help whittle down the number of bowl-eligible teams by making them schedule tougher opponents.

5. I strongly suggest that Notre Dame joins a conference. Sure they can stay independent, but it may help them rebuild their program to be able to win a conference championship and make the playoffs. In my opinion, the Irish have fallen from the top ranks of college football since that 1993 loss to Boston College, one week after beating Florida State in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. They've only won two of the eleven bowl games they appeared in since then (1994 Cotton and 2008 Hawai'i). They don't have to join a conference, but I'd recommend the Big Ten or Big East.

That pretty much covers everything that I think is wrong with college football. Love it? Hate it? I'd like to hear what you think.

Until then, just turn those bowl games off and watch something else. That'll teach 'em to fix it. Maybe if we act like we don't care, they will fix it...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

If you have doubts about using social networking websites, let this story convince you that they are worth your time. Or convince you that I've finally lost it...

Over this past summer, especially the July/August timeframe, I was being more and more vocal about my abhorrence (extreme hatred) for social networking sites. I thought they had nothing to offer me, and I had nothing to offer to them. It was like "Why bother? Who cares? I never do anything exciting ever."

After a late night discussion with my buddy Travis in early September, I slowly became convinced that it may not be as bad as I thought it would be. About a week and a half later, I was on Facebook. I was unimpressed, at first. But I put it to use for me. Getting the word out about my blog. Posting pictures. Locating people. Even found a fan of my video game FAQ's. You know, the usual.

"So, now I'm on Facebook." I was going to leave it at that. "What more would other services, like Twitter, accomplish?"

Well, I joined Twitter a month after I got on Facebook. I proceeded to use it in the same way. Partly to further readership of my blog (Seriously, who reads this shit? Wait, don't answer that...). Partly because Travis (@trav) would "be interested in following your twitter." But let's not kid ourselves here. I did it so I could #AskTheDonnas!!

The concept is pretty simple. Send them a question over Twitter with the tag #AskTheDonnas. Roughly every other Friday, they pick 8 questions and post the answers to their iLike blog (which then gets propagated to their Facebook and Twitter pages).

Yes, I'm still obsessed with them. And I'm proud to admit it. They rock. You can't avoid it, might as well enjoy it, 'cuz I do. But this isn't about them. It is, but it's not... We're getting off topic here...

I wanted to come up with a good question to ask @the_donnas. Something normal, something interesting, maybe a little humorous. I gave this a GREAT deal of thought. Do I ask something innocuous, as not to scare them away? Do I try to be a smartass and potentially (hell, DEFINITELY) make a fool of myself? Do I ask a question that I think they'd enjoy answering, "guaranteeing" (in my mind) a response? I spent weeks trying to come up with something.

I finally decided on one about a week and half ago. Asking which of their videos is their favorite, and which one they enjoyed making the most. Lame, I know. I thought it was the safe play. An innocent question, which, if answered, could potentially open the door to something a little more... aggressive (by that, I mean maybe get them to reveal even a mundane, yet fascinating, slightly personal detail).

Round 5 of #AskTheDonnas came around yesterday and they didn't answer my question. "No big deal, I'll live. It was a dumb question anyways." I had a much better one ready to go.

Before I even became obsessed with The Donnas, they had announced that drummer Torry Castellano would not be touring with them this summer (technically, it would appear her replacement, Amy Cesari, broke the news on 5/7/09 on her band's website; I couldn't find anything earlier than that on the Interweb). When I found this out during my descent into Donnadom, I was disappointed in the lack of Torrance, but gradually warmed up to the idea of Amy, and even started to like it. "Hey, if it keeps the band going, I'm gonna support it." Eventually, I did my due diligence to get to know her, maybe not as much as the regular Donnas, but enough.

Anywho, when Amy performs with The Demonics, she's sporting red face paint and devil horns on her forehead. Odd, but hey, whatever works for you.

Then I had watched The Donnas' "Who Invited You" video for the bazillionth time this past weekend. BAM!! It hit me. Like I suddenly put 2 and 2 together. "Wait a minute... That girl with face paint and horns on her forehead... (check out the 1:54 mark of the video) Is that Amy?"

Bingo. I had my question. So after Round 5 was finished and the bell rang, I came out swinging for Round 6. I asked...

And ye shall receive! Hell, I got something even better. My question was so good, The Donnas didn't even bother with waiting.

They responded with an empathic "Yes!" and retweeting my question on Twitter.

How fuckin' awesome is that? Getting RT'ed by one of your favorite bands, for the whole world to see? When I saw that on my phone during my lunch break today, I was beside myself. Arms raised in victory as I walked to my car. Cranking up that song on my radio during the drive back to work. Laughing like a mad man from my cubicle, with a huge grin on my face. That made my day. Literally. I'm gonna ride this high for the rest of the week and through the weekend. I'm tellin' everyone!! This is THAT good.

This one event erased every reservation I had about social networking. Travis, your infinite wisdom has shown me the way once again. Thanks. Again. I could never repay you, but I'll spend the rest of my life trying. Even it's from the looney bin after they come to take me away.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My head hurts just trying to comprehend it...

Whoa, wait a minute. Fall Out Boy's been around for 4 years, have released three albums, and NOW they've got a greatest hits?

No, that's... NO!! Why did they even bother? Please, for the love of god, get them some more emo juice so they can make new albums. I can live with that; I've got all of them. I might buy that, but...

Ow. Just think these things out next time...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yet another reason I need to leave Fargo...

The music scene here sucks. Among the many problems...

  • Too much country music. WE Fest. Two country radio stations is one too many. Yuck.
  • All the rest of the radio stations here suck. Y94 blows goats. They keep shuffling the deck with every other station up here, so I never know what station is playing which format. Thank god for my iPod's FM transmitter.
  • We only get one good concert a year. This summer was Green Day. Bon Jovi's coming in March. That's about it within the next 18-24 months.
  • No good music stores. Best Buy is horrible; they keep reducing their music inventories in favor of more profitable items. Disc-Go-Round and Cheapo are gone. And I've bought all three of the decent CD's from PawnAmerica.

I could go on, but I think those points alone cover all the bases.

It's not gonna get better. Ever. Sorry.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Democrats are ruining America

President Barack Obama and his cronies are running this country into the ground.

I, like many conservatives, are worried that the Democrats are going to "fix" America by redistributing wealth. Going all Robin Hood-style on the rich and giving to the poor. Punishing financial success. Not allowing capitalism to do its job.

This would be all fine and dandy, but there's one area where they won't do a thing about it. One industry where they'll let the big spenders run rampant. Doing nothing to level the playing, both figuratively AND literally.

Major League Baseball.

Obama's been in office for one year, and the New York Yankees are the 2009 World Series champions. And they have the biggest payroll in baseball, and a new billion dollar stadium to go with it.

Those Democrats are fuckin' hypocrites...

You think I'm crazy? You be the judge...

In the Reagan-Bush years, from 1981 to 1992, the New York Yankees only appeared in the '81 World Series, losing in 6 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the Republicans' time in the White House, 17 different teams appeared World Series (9 A.L. and 8 N.L.). Ten different champions during that time, with only Los Angeles and Minnesota winning multiple titles. There was no crazy free agent spending. Every team had players worthy of being on the All Star team. 20 teams would come into spring training each year with a reasonable chance of winning the World Series. It was wide open. Available to anyone for the taking, the way it should be. What a glorious time for baseball...

Then, Bill Clinton took office in 1993, and everything went to hell. That season, the Yankees went from a 76 win team to an 88 win team, a twelve-game turnaround, finishing 7 back of eventual World Series champion Toronto. In 1994, they were in first place in the A.L. East by 6.5 games over Baltimore before the strike cancelled the season. They made the playoffs every year through the rest of Clinton's two terms, winning four division titles (and two wild card spots). Each time they won the East, they went on to win the World Series, going 16-3 in those four contests. No one else had a chance. New York was loading up on free agents, getting the best that money could buy. Small-market teams who had great success in the 80's, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Milwaukee; they didn't even have a chance. I was disgusted.

Fortunately, it all came to an end in 2000. George W. Bush took control, and the Yankees were over. Only two world series appearances; 2001 and 2003. Lost 'em both. To expansion teams from the 90's!! It was great. The Yankees continued to attempt to buy the championship each year, but to no success. The Republican from Texas had fixed baseball, and all was right with the world once again.

Still think I'm nuts? I'll go on!!

The Yankees won twice while Jimmy Carter was in the White House, back-to-back in '77 and '78. They were swept in '76 while Gerald Ford was at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and didn't even get there when Richard Nixon was living at that address. And although New York did not get to the World Series with Lyndon Johnson in office, they won twice in three appearances under the Kennedy administration. In fact, the last time the Yankees won a World Series while the GOP held power in the executive branch? 1958, during the Eisenhower administation, when they beat the Milwaukee Braves in seven games.

Fuckin' Democrats. If it means keeping the Yankees out of the White House, I'll gladly vote Republican for the rest of my life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I don't get it

Every time I watch a cop show on TV, and they're walking through dark areas with their guns drawn, the officers will hold the gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other.

Why is that? Don't they make something where you can mount a small flashlight on top of their pistols? Would a device like that throw off the firing mechanics of the gun and prevent them from being accurate? Do they do this so the gun is easily holsterable in case it's not needed (for example, if they find a missing person who needs medical attention and the scene has been cleared)? Or maybe it's to have the ability to blind a suspect without having to point the gun at him/her?

Can ANYONE explain this to me? Please? Kthnxbai.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Am I nearing extinction?

I'm considering a trip down to the Twin Cities this weekend because, well, just because I can. I got this Friday off. No plans for Halloween yet. Why not?

I proceed to e-mail my friends down there to see what everyone else would be up to and if they'd want to get together. And... let's just say the responses have been less than... Plentiful...

This happened the last two times I planned a trip to the Cities. And it's got me thinking. Have I become an IT dinosaur before I even turned 30? Just because I'm still trying to use e-mail for personal purposes?

I can picture it now. Schoolchildren walking through a museum and approaching a Fritzasaurus Rex, as the teacher explains "He died out because he didn't adapt to new techology in his day. He made phone calls instead of sending text messages. He didn't like the taste of Facebook or Twitter. 'Paul' didn't evolve or procreate, so he just passed away quietly, because the others couldn't hear his roars."

Make sure you get some good pictures of my skeleton and my ancient iPod classic when you're visiting my display.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

If you've ever checked out my music collection, you may be thinking "Wow, this guy is all over the map. He has a little bit of everything." Probably more like "Who the hell listens to X AND Y AND Z? How can he like all those? They just don't belong with each other." Something along those lines.

How did we get here? I'm glad you asked. I'd be happy to walk you through it.

I have almost no loyalty to bands. In my mind, you're only as good as your last album. The slate gets wiped clean when the new release hits stores. Then I do my research. Listen to the songs. Compare prices. Maybe read some reviews (though I don't know why, I'd like to decide for myself and don't care what anyone else may think). After you're presented your case, I pass my judgement.

It's a roughly exponential scale, where the rating of an artist is equal to the log of the amount of time and money I'd be willing to spend on that artist in my lifetime to the base of some unknown number x (it's somewhere around 10, but it doesn't really matter because it's not an absolute value; just an example to get my point across). If you're not as mathematically inclined as I am, this will make more sense as I explain the ratings.

Level 0: I'm either indifferent to an artist (because I've never heard of you) or I don't like (possibly even hate) them. I'm not buying your music. Maybe later. Maybe NEVER. Just not now. And if I hate you, I'm going to avoid you like the plague. You'll get nothing and like it.

Level 1: Congratulations. You've got a good song. That's about it. I'll add it to the list, and either purchase it individually online, or wait until a compilation album/soundtrack comes around with it on there. I may even LOVE the song, but I'm still not buying your album.

Level 2: Nice work. There are at least a couple of good songs on your album, so I'll buy it. I'm only going to listen to those songs though. I may have tried to listen to the album, but found myself pressing the Next button most of the time. But hey, you got $10 ± 4 from me. Can you really complain about that?

You can reach Level 2 if you have multiple Level 1 songs on an album, but it's no guarantee. If I don't care for you, I'll avoid buying your album and only pick off the good songs. For example, I wasn't willing to buy TLC's greatest hits album, but I liked "Waterfalls" and "No Scrubs". What did I do? Just buy those two songs on iTunes. We're done here, you can go now. Go on, get!

Level 3: You reached level 2, I decided to give your album a chance, and I admit, it's solid. Most of songs are pretty good. I like it. I could start warming up to you. Don't forget we reset the scores after the next record comes out. You may have won Game 1, but it's a five/seven/nine-game series. It's not over yet; you've still got work to do.

Examples of Level 3's: "Throwing Copper" by Live, "Modified" by Save Ferris, and Show and Tell" by Silvertide.

Most soundtracks and compilation albums will fall somewhere between Levels 2 and 3, depending on how many good songs are on it, as a percentage of total songs on the album.

Level 4: Sweet. You have multiple albums meeting the requirements for Level 2. At this point, I'm starting to like your band. I may or may not state that publicly; it could be embarassing to me. You may have 2-0 or a 3-1 lead in this series, but you haven't WON anything yet. You could fall apart at the end, and all I'll be talking about is how you blew it. You still need to keep the momentum going, or I'll kick you back down to Level 3. Perhaps even Level 2 or Level 1.

Examples of Level 4's: Audioslave, Sheryl Crow, Eminem, Linkin Park, Reel Big Fish, Yellowcard. You get the point. Check out the complete list of songs in my collection and you can figure it out.

Level 5: Multiple albums meeting the Level 3 conditions. I officially like you. Heck, I may even LOVE you. At this point, I'm looking to buy additional merchandise from your group. Maybe some shirts, posters, DVD's, etc. You're looking at a triple-digit income from my spending habits. It takes a lot of hard work, and some luck, to get here. You should feel good about yourself. Even if you release a not-so-good album, you'll probably stay here.

Examples of Level 5's: Barenaked Ladies, Everclear, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, John Mayer, The Offspring, Staind.

There's a number of bands stratling the line between 4 and 5. They include blink-182, Nickelback, Saliva, Sum 41. But all is not lost if you're stuck in this limbo. If I'm starting to consider you for promotion, I'm looking to buy concert tickets if/when you come to town. But you DO have to come, and when you do, the price has to be right. For example, Saliva played in Fargo in Sept. 2007, and tickets were $10. It was an amazing show, and I ended up buying two of their albums that night after it all was over.

Level 6: The pinnacle. Top of the mountain. This is unconditional love. I'll buy your new album without question. I don't even have to listen to any of the songs on it. I'm planning to buy individual songs that you've collaborated with other artists on. You're THAT good. I've also descended in obsession with you. Spending hundreds of hours online, looking for any information I can find on you. Videos, interviews, live performances, whatever I can get my hands on. 'Cuz I want to know everything. I sound creepy saying that, but I'm not sure how else I can explain how much I like your band.

Let's get one thing clear, though. YOU WILL NEVER GET HERE!! It's just not a realistic goal. That's like me trying to get to the major leagues of baseball; it ain't happenin'. Just look at Green Day, 5 albums with a pair of singles. Barenaked Ladies, 6 albums and a single. John Mayer, 5 albums, two of which are live double albums. These guys are very good, but they haven't quite made it yet. Will they? Will YOU? Anything's possible, but honestly... I don't see it. I just don't.

As of this date, only two groups have gotten this far in 15 years. Weezer and The Donnas. That's it. Weezer got there with the release of their Video Capture Device DVD in 2004. The Donnas only recently got here, after I realized that my "obsession" that began in late August was just me rapidly becoming a fan of them.

One last comment about Level 6. Brett, Brian, Torry, Rivers, Maya, Allison, Scott, Patrick (and if you're listening, Amy, Josh, and Karl). It's possible that you could get booted from Level 6. You may be league champions, you may have had a lavish victory parade, you may have that shiny trophy up in a highly-secured glass case in the entryway to your stadium. But guess what? You're going to have to defend that trophy next season. Good luck. You may be the favorites, but there's gonna be some people gunnin' for you. Just a fair warning.

That's how it works. How I approach the appreication and the acquisition of music. I know it really isn't one of those things you can quantify and rationalize. But I did, 'cuz that's how I roll. Where you really expecting any different of me?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friends in Low Places

Blame it all on my roots.

Nearly 4 years ago, I started playing World of Warcraft at the suggestion of a couple of buddies from college who had moved away from the Fargo-Moorhead area. It was great. I was able to interact AND play video games with these people on a daily basis, like we were still in school. Like they had never left.

I also met some new people through the game. Some were douchebags (I think we all know who they are...), but others were really awesome. Or, should I say, ARE awesome. People whom I can call and talk shit about for an hour. On a regular basis. AND they'll call me. Or we'll talk over IM. Shoot e-mails back and forth. About anything and everything. Make jokes, tell stories, open up to.

It still seems a little weird to me, though. These people are essentially complete strangers, whom I've never met in person (or only just once), but I feel like I can talk to them about things I couldn't with my other friends (no offense). They won't judge me. They totally accept me for who I am, which makes me feel great.

Friends like Chris, Clint, Cynthia, Duane, Kara (lots of love to all of you). Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for letting me into your lives. Thank you for being a part of mine. I don't know what I'd do without you. I hope nothing ever changes between us, because I don't want to lose you.

(My apologies to anyone I may have forgotten from Azeroth. And my apologies to my other friends as well. Please don't take this to mean that I don't love you, 'cuz you're just as special to me.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How exactly do you define happiness?

Over the last week or so, I've been thinking a lot about my own happiness. I've been feeling pretty good, even though not much has changed for me in the last month. I'm way behind at work, I still don't have a girlfriend, I haven't made much (if any) progress in moving down to the Twin Cities. I've started applying a new philosophy to life: "Fuck it, who cares?" I'm trying to not get worked up over the little things. Not care what people think. Just let it all happen, and whatever will be, will be. Take things one day at a time.

In general, I'm feeling better. More confident. More engaging in conversations with people, even those I don't much care for. But there's a nagging part of me that asks "Am I really happy?" IS there a difference between feeling happy and being happy? If not, why do I still have this empty feeling, like something's missing...?

I'm sure I'll figure it out soon. Until then, "Fake it 'til you make it."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I can't speak for him

"Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" - Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

I don't know if you ever came up with an answer to that question, Rob, but personally, I'd say I do the former. I use pop music to pick me up, with varying degrees of success. To get pumped up for athletic competition. To escape from the stress of work. To get my brain churning. To make me happy.

On the other hand, my pursuit of acquiring pop music makes me miserable. Well, maybe not, but it can make me unhappy. I put a lot of effort into buying CD's, getting MP3's, researching albums and bands, making sure I get the best deal possible. It drives me nuts sometimes. No matter how much progress I make, there's still more to be done. It's one of those finish lines that keeps moving further away from me as I approach it. I'm not miserable from listening to pop music, I'm miserable for WANTING to own pop music.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Now is the winter of our discontent

I don't ask for much in this world. A woman to love me. A job I don't hate. Enough money where I can do almost anything I want (within the limits of the law). Immortality.

But for now, I'd settle for a Minnesota Twins World Series Championship. Yes, it's happened twice in my lifetime, but I was 6 and 10 when they won it all. I don't remember watching any of those games, I have no memory of those wins. It's almost as if it didn't happen.

I've seen my football team win the Super Bowl. I've seen my hockey team win a Stanley Cup. I'd like to complete the trifecta in my adult lifetime. Philadelphia did it. St. Louis did it. Boston did it. Florida did it. Even the goddamn Chicago White Sox did it. Why can't Minnesota?

I'll do anything to see it just ONCE. I'll give up all my worldly possessions. I'll find God. I'll sell my soul to Satan. Hell, I'll even become a Vikings fan...

It's going to be a LONG and COLD winter...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How much longer will I have to wait?

When am I going to get my True Lies sequel? It's been 15 years now, it's WAY overdue. Arnold Schwarzenegger should be out of office in a couple of years. James Cameron has been talking to him about it the last few years. Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold could return as well.

But the biggest reason I want to see True Lies 2 would be Eliza Dushku. Watching her kick some ass on-screen, in nice outfits, saving the day? I'll pay full price to see that in the theatres.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This could solve a lot of problems...

Ever since he blew out his knee his rookie season, people are saying that the Minnesota Twins move catcher Joe Mauer to first base. Of course, with Justin Morneau, that's not an option. You're not going to fire your hometown star player's best friend and give him his old job. That wouldn't end well.

If you're seriously going to move Joe from behind the plate, put him at 3rd. He played it in high school, and the Twins haven't had a real third baseman since Corey Koskie. You could solve everyone's problems. Keep Justin at first, get a power-hitting third baseman, keep Cuddyer in right, Kubel DH'ing. Just do it already.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two birds with one stone

After watching large portions of it over the last week, I have decided that Jerry Maguire IS NOT a football movie.

However, I will add it to my list of good Tom Cruise movies. That brings the total to 3.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I wish I could grow (and shed) my facial hair at will. Just instantly grow a goatee or mutton chops. Then as soon as I was bored of it or needed to clean myself up for a special occasion, POOF!! All gone. No more shaving, no more itchiness when it grows in, none of that. So nice...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What does it all mean?

Had another rough night last night...

Woke up around 3 AM, and I was having this strange dream where I was trying to write a jingle for a TV commercial. I think it was for some kind of department store, like a Macy's or a JCPenney's. The lyrics for the song were kinda absurd, but the only line I remember is "from oversocks to overclocks" (it was the last line I thought of before I awoke).

I know what overclocking is, I'm a tech geek. But oversocks? Are those bigger socks that go over your normal socks? Are they shoe-like? Am I overthinking this? (Yes, but that's not the point...)

So I got up to get a drink, but all I had was Pepsi. I didn't go buy groceries last night because I didn't feel like it. Some milk really woulda hit the spot... Pepsi did not. Wasn't cold enough and kinda flat (it was in a 2-liter bottle, about half full, opened over the past weekend).

After my less-than-refreshing refreshment, I went back to bed. Then I started thinking about this idea I had for a Beavis and Butt-Head episode where Butt-Head was a contestant on Jeopardy! I wondered what happened to the Word document I was typing up for that...

Anywho, I musta fallen asleep pretty quickly, since I don't remember the music stopping on my iPod alarm clock.

Did I stay asleep? Nope. I think I woke up once or twice more, around 5 and 6 AM. Suck.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If This Is It...

Please let me know.

It's been roughly 100 hours since this Facebook experiment began. And so far, I'm not all that impressed.

Regular readers of my blog (which consists of me, and that's about it) know I had some concerns about using these social networking websites. I'm starting to think I was right...

Of course, you're probably sitting there and thinking "You've been on Facebook for 4 days, Paul. What did you think was gonna happen?" Let me walk you through it.

I sign up on Monday night. Using nothing but my first and last name, it found 8 friends for me right off the bat. I'm thinking, "How did it know who my friends would be? Something doesn't seem right about that. Something doesn't FEEL right about that..."

And they came from a few different "generations" of friends (a generation of friends is defined as the circle I was a part of during a significant historical period of my life; e.g. my NDSU friends, my Service Center friends, my high school friends, etc.). One appeared to be someone I knew from my last summer in the Marshall Islands 6 years ago and haven't seen or even spoken to since (I did not confirm this by sending that person a friend request, but I never felt like we were friends, even though we had a few mutual friends). A couple were names I didn't even recognize (I didn't even bother with friending them, because I would expect they'd have same reaction). But there were a couple of real, actual friends from my NDSU and Service Center generations, too.

Then I filled out some information about myself and saw names of people who disappeared from my life after I moved onto the next social circle. From all generations of friends, going back to high school. This concerned me as well. Not because they were on Facebook, but I felt like I'd be falling into a trap of spending numerous hours tracking them all down (I've been resisting the urge to whip out my high school yearbooks and Googling them for months now).

I've been posting a little something every day since Monday. My dear friend Sandy (Sandy, if you're out there, I mean that) made a typical Sandy-esque comment about my Facebook concerns, then we fired a couple shots back at each other. Since then? No comments on anything. I posted a link to a funny video, a couple of my recent blog posts, and some status updates. No comments. Do I need to make a first move here? I thought I did that already with some of my comments to my friends. It could be the "lack" of friends so far (as of this moment, I'm only up to 24).

Slightly more concerning, I'm not seeing regular updates from nearly any of them either. A majority of what I'm seeing is updates from a few friends on the progress they're making in their Facebook games. Is that all you're gonna post? I know when I was playing World of Warcraft, anyone who wasn't playing it with me didn't care how I was working my way through Azeroth. What else are you up to? Pics? Stories? Blog posts? Links? Anything?

Maybe I need to go find more friends. There are a number of suggestions from Facebook as to who could be my friends (for the most part, the list was quasi-accurate; a better term for those people would be acquientences). Some of them, I'm waiting for them to make the first move (lame, I know, trying to judge how much I really mean to these people by seeing if they friend me on Facebook).

Then again, one person came out of DEEP left field to be my friend. Someone I wasn't ever expecting to hear from ever again in my entire life. Someone I just wrote off 4-5 years ago. Someone I had a huge crush on as I was wrapping up my education at NDSU. Someone that gave me a very disturbing dream a few years back because of that. I wasn't sure how to respond. I've moved on from my issues with her, and she's married now (it appears). I accepted the friend request, but... I don't know... The initial shock of seeing her and her request has since worn off, so I guess it's a moot point now.

Not all of Facebook has been bad so far. I was able to find a way to import my blog posts. Pretty happy about that. One of the big reasons I signed up; I wanted more readers. I was able to lock down my profile, which is kinda ironic, since for the most part, I don't care the personal information about myself on the Internet. But I've got this small concern that someone on Facebook will see me say something that makes me a dick, and respond as such. I also don't want my co-workers to find me (sorry, almost all of them are customers, even the ones I am on very friendly terms with). I'm not spending every waking moment on it either. I don't check Facebook at work, and when I get home, I open it in my web browser and leave it open. Kind of like leaving the TV on in the background.

I think we can all agree it's probably too early to pass judgement on Facebook. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, there's more to it than this. But if this is it... what was the point to begin with?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Drummin' it up

It's been one week. One freakin' week, since I got my drum pads back from EA. And they're already fallin' apart. ONE WEEK!!

The red pad is bubbling up, just like it did before I opened my RMA with EA. One week of playing on Medium "accomplished" the same thing that 5-6 weeks of Easy did.

You certaintly do get what you pay for...

This time, I'll let it come completely off, then reglue it myself. Until then, I'll continue to improve my skills, kill my right wrist and elbow, and have a good time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to normal... relatively speaking...

I think my The Donnas obsession has runs its course. This was just a temporary thing. Sure, I still want them to come to Fargo or the Twin Cities, and I'd like to meet them, and I really like their music, and I need to buy their CD's, and I want to make a pass at one or more of them...

Well, the point is, I'm not CONSTANTLY thinking about them anymore. Got other things on my mind. Moving to the Twin Cities. Today. Using Facebook, despite my concerns. Drumming in Rock Band 2. Fantasy Baseball.

Back to as much of my normal self as I ever was. And you know, I'm pretty content about it. Almost happy, even. I think I'm gonna be... OK.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

This is even worse than I thought...

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know the issues I've had after I got my Rock Band 2 set for my Wii. I knew it would be coming as soon as I got that game. What it would have led to, I did not expect. I couldn't have prepared for it. I was doomed to fall so far, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I wish it would have been something simple, like getting addicted to Heroin Hero. This is way worse. Here's how it all went down...

On July 9th, I posted this after I got my first full clear (100% Flawless performance) playing drums in RB2. Yes, it was on Easy difficulty. "So what? Big deal." At the time, I was pretty impressed with myself. Pleased with my performance. Thinking I would be moving onto bigger and better things (read: higher difficulties). Over the next month, I did it at least 10 more times (that I can prove with photographic evidence, some additional ones were done during multi-song sets, so I could not confirm it like you can at the end of set).

In early August, I was starting to get concerns that my drum set was falling apart. My red drum pad was starting to bubble, becoming unglued from the apparatus. Concerned it might affect my performance and cheat me out of further full clears, I did a bit of research to find out how I could fix it, but considering it would require disassembly, thereby voiding my warranty, I decided against it.

About this same time, I was starting to move up to Medium difficulty. I was using the Drum Trainer, in addition to playing songs, to get used to the increased hand and foot coordination required to play at that level. The first song I played at Medium was "Today" by The Smashing Pumpkins. At the time, it was my favorite song of the moment (FSotM). I did pretty well. I scored 97% for a tier-2 drum song. I was happy.

A day later, my drum pedal broke. Suck. "Well, since my pedal is broken, I might as well get the whole thing repaired/replaced." I called EA. Although I never bought my Rock Band gear, the support rep. I spoke to on the phone was kind enough to speak to his supervisor and create a couple of RMA's to resolve my issues (Lots of love to you, Alan, if you're out there reading this). One for the pedal, one for the pads. A week to get two empty boxes to send them in, another to get replacements back from EA. "I can live without my drum set for two weeks. I can sing or play guitar while I wait."

I could not play guitar (and I doubt I ever will with any proficiency). I could sing. Singing in Rock Band, in your living room, by yourself, is BORING!! Tried it for a day or two and stopped. Even after I redeemed some instant wins for downloadable content (additional songs) from Pepsi/Yahoo!/Rock Band's promotion. "Great. Well, it's only a couple of weeks, I can wait. I'll find other things to do."

Wrong again. A few days later, I lifted my self-imposed ban on Tuesday night hockey due to my back problems. But a week later, they came back. To help ensure I would be in good enough shape to play in the upcoming winter and the Novice Hockey League in Fargo, I would stop playing for the summer. I got in some rounds of golf, but golfing by yourself isn't very fulfilling (for me, golf has always been a social engagement first, and a fun game second). I tried calling friends to hang with, but I was having issues with that too. Greg and his wife just had a kid. Jason and his wife were expecting twins. Paul didn't have any energy to do anything after working at his own fencing business at the end of day. Casey is busy with his dental practice, his new gas station, and hanging out at his lake place. Jeff moved to Iowa in May. And I'm not really friends with anyone at work (sorry if you work with me, but I can't get on beyond the customer-support tech relationship with you). I worked on my website a bit, but since I was doing menial, tedious tasks, and not development, I got bored very quickly. Worked on my PC's a bit, compiling complete lists of all my hardware. I completed that project.

With each day that passed, spending time at work, prepping for our IT audit (and then actually going through it), I was growing more and more anxious to have my drums back. I wanted that to be my release at the end of the day.

After two weeks and no drum pads, I called EA, looking for an update. The second support rep. told me to wait another week, then call again if I hadn't received them. Running additional salt into the wound, I got a new pedal a week after I opened RMA's with Electronic Arts. A drum pedal with no pads; real useful...

I started hunting for more outlets for my drumlessness. Music-related stuff. Ordered some more CD's, some containing my favorite RB2 songs. Also redeemed some My Coke Reward points for Rhapsody credit, which became even more songs to listen too. After I got all that music, I researched more songs and albums to purchase. Rebuilt my shopping lists.

Then, it happened. This past weekend (8/28-8/30), I just could not take it anymore. I needed a stronger RB2 fix. I searched for full drum clears in RB2 on YouTube. I found one that I just got hooked on, and it spiraled out of control from there...

"New Kid in School" by The Donnas.

The same song I had "performed" for my first drum clear in RB2. I spent the rest of that weekend entranced by those four sirens. Singer Brett Anderson. Drummer Torry Castellano. Bassist Maya Ford. Guitarist Allison Robertson.

Before we continue, let's get one thing straight. This is NOT (and I repeat, NOT) just because they are attractive young women (despite what you may believe to be evidence to the contrary). It goes WAY beyond that.

Ever since that weekend, I can't stop listening to clips of their last four albums. I can't stop watching their music videos. I can't stop checking out their website, or their Facebook pages, or their YouTube channel. Google search after Google search for articles, interviews, fan sites, photos, both as a group and individually. Downloading videos from their "official" media site (look, that site may be violating IP laws, but if you're linking to it from your official MySpace page, you've given it your blessing and I can download as many videos as I want from it without repercussions). I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't stop thinking about them. I need to see them. I need to meet them. I want them to be my friends, and I want to be their friend too.

After that weekend, I still had no drum pads, so I called EA for the third time. They created a new RMA to send me pads, which I should have next week. It didn't fix my problem NOW. Although we just finished our IT audit on the 28th, before my weekend of descent into Donnaholism, I'm still struggling to get caught up at work, and each night this past week, the girls have been my comfort system after a stressful day. Spend an hour on the 'net with them, and I'm OK. Good enough to help me wind down for the evening, smile, and forget about work. Spend a few more obsessing over them, and I'm fucked...

What am I gonna do? I've tried to rationalize this. I've been down this road before. A little more than 5 years ago, Weezer released Video Capture Device, a DVD of their music videos and other rare footage of the band in the 90's and early 00's, and they became my favorite band FOR LIFE. But something about this feels a little different... And I can't put my finger on it... I don't know if it's because I'm older. Or if it's because Weezer are guys and The Donnas are girls. Or if it's much worse (I won't go into details because it scares me, and it would likely scare you too)...

I've spoke to a few friends about it. It's helped a little bit. To the point that we were making jokes about it last night at dinner. I'll have my drum pads back in a couple days, so I can continue drumming in RB2. Maybe after I get back into my old habits, this most recent obsession of mine will pass. I hope it can, because I don't know what to do next if it doesn't...

Damn you, Pandora...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I never thought of it that way

I was talking to my good friend Travis last night. We were arguing over MySpace/Facebook/Twitter (or, as I will refer it as a collective unit from now on, MyTwitFace).

He convinced me it may not be as stupid and worthless as I thought. I still have doubts, but I'm more willing to give it a shot.

I was worried that signing up for MyTwitFace would make me a hypocrite (rant here). But he brought up an excellent point (like he almost always does)...

"Changing your opinion based on new information isn't hypocrisy, it's wisdom."

Makes me less worried about becoming a biter if/when I do sign up for MyTwitFace.

My next biggest concern is how to port my existing data over. I want to continue to maintain my blog here on Blogger, but have it appear on MyTwitFace. Same for the pics on my website.

In other words, MyTwitFace has to be a complement to PFritz21.NET, not a replacement. I'm not gonna give up on my website; I just won't have that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Is that an invitation?

The Donnas are a hard rock band from Palo Alto, CA, consisting for four attractive 30 year-old women.

If given the chance, I think I would hit that. Doesn't matter who; I'd take any (and, heck, ALL) of them. Singer Brett Anderson, drummer Torry Castellano, guitarist Allison Robertson, bassist Maya Ford. I don't care. All excellent choices. Few things are sexier than a woman who can rock.

So ladies, if you're in Fargo, you can Take Me to the Backseat. It'll be Bitchin'.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tom Cruise only made two good movies. Top Gun and A Few Good Men.

That's it. This isn't up for debate. It's fact. Don't even waste your time trying to argue. Just accept it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No thanks

If you want to know what I'm up to, e-mail or call me. If I want you to know what I've been doing, I'll do the same. You can also check out this blog or my website. And if you want to see my pictures, view my gallery, which I regularly update. OK, I haven't updated it in a couple of years, but I don't think that makes my point any less valid...

Please don't ask me to join MySpace. I don't want your invitation to Facebook. And I don't twit. I've got better things to do. Now, if you're excuse me, I'll go back to watching my paint dry on growing grass. It's really fascinating stuff...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


For years, I've been doing nearly everything in my power to stay compliant with copyright protection laws. That means buying CD's instead of downloading them from file sharing networks (to be honest, I only stopped after NDSU threatened the smackdown on students using them). And I'm damn proud of myself. I'm not going to self-incriminate by doing into details, but almost every song I have I obtained through legal copying of my own compact disks.

One problem though: I've run out of space on my shelving unit for them. 7 shelves, 40 discs per shelf. 280 albums (on 298 discs according to my music page). And 4 more on the way from I need more space.

It's gonna cost me. I figure I need to upgrade to something that holds 400. Gonna run me at least 80 dollars. Should tie me over for another decade. I don't have many more albums to pick up to finish off my collection.

I guess that's the trade-off for keeping a legal music collection. Storage space. And the money... But mostly the storage space.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I've mentioned before that my favorite Cleveland Indian of all time is Pedro Cerrano.

If I ever meet Dennis Haysbert, I'm going to tell him straight-faced...

Is very bad to steal Jobu's rum. Is very bad.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hooray for EA!!

If you're having issues with your Rock Band equipment, check out EA's official service site.

They were very helpful for me. I was missing my drum sticks, and they told me to check ALL the boxes! I never would've thought of that. Thank you, EA, you saved my game!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Not even close...

Sure, you could argue that the best song on the Foo Fighters' album The Colour and the Shape is Everlong. Or maybe My Hero. Or even Monkey Wrench. And I'll admit, they are all very good songs. But none of them even come close.

THE best song off that album is Hey, Johnny Park!. Best drums parts, best lyrics, best guitar riffs.

Wind Up is a distant second. Distant like the way the sun is distant from Neptune.

Everything fades in time; it's true. But not this song. Not now, not ever.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I think Bill Engvall is the funniest out of all the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

Sure, Jeff was able to breakthrough first and lay a path for those guys, and Ron is a dirty old man, and Larry has been the big star of that group in recent years. But Bill seems the most normal out of all 4 of them. He's the everyman of the group. His stories on stage, about the day-to-day lives of him and his family? It can't be beat, IMO.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's just not natural

I love symmetry. When things don't look symmetric, it just bothers the hell out of me.

And no assymetrical things bother me more than major league baseball stadiums. I don't mind the fact that Wrigley Field != Fenway Park != Miller Park. But when left and right fields have completely different dimensions? Ugh...

Thank god for Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, and Rogers Centre in Toronto.

I don't know why lefties and righties have to contend with different depths in the outfield to hit balls out...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Damn you, Kennedy...

You just HAD to get me hooked on Journey before you moved to Des Moines.

I liked them a little bit, but not enough to admit it. I was kinda ashamed of the fact that I liked a few of their songs. But you had to play their DVD at your New Year's Eve party this year and suckered me in. I bought their Greatest Hits for you, buddy.

So, I'm calling you out. The next time you're in Fargo, come over to my place and we'll throw down. "Any Way You Want It" on Rock Band 2. Me on drums. You on guitar (and possibly even singing). It'll be awesome when I smack you down with my dope beats.

Who's crying now? You. Don't stop believing, and accept it with open arms.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And away we go?

More and more lately, I've been thinking about leaving Fargo for greener pastures. There's not much left for me here. No girl, job I'm not happy with, most of my friends have moved away. I don't know when I'll leave or why, but I gotta go...

If I go to a major metropolitan area, here's the short list of places to go and short descriptions on why:

** St. Louis - New Busch Stadium is beautiful, and the Cardinals fans know their stuff. What better place to hang out with forty thousand people who love baseball as much as you?
** Minneapolis/St. Paul - The pros? My friends from college live here. The cons? My "friends" from college live here. Additional pluses? Target Field will be awesome, and the U of M rocks.
** Atlanta - I'm told this is the place to go if you're single and about 30. Plenty of single ladies there, ripe for the pickin'.
** Dallas/San Antonio - Dallas isn't as high on my list as it once was, 'cuz I don't like pro hockey as much as I did ten years ago. My good friend Travis lives in San Antonio.
** San Diego - Awesome weather, great golf courses, military presence.
** Seattle - My friend Duane lives here. Space Needle and Pike's Place would be cool to see.
** Chicago - Travis and I are going to start a consulting business here, and we're putting it right next to Wrigleyville!
** Denver - John Elway, greatest quarterback ever.
** Lawrence/Kansas City, Kansas - Two of my best friends, Chris and Cynthia live in Lawrence. Not a big city itself (it's Fargo-sized), but close enough to KC to count.

I haven't made my mind up yet. I'm just not sure what to do, where to go, why. Maybe when I grow up, I'll figure it out...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My REAL problem with Barack Obama

It's not that he's a democrat. Or that he's black. Or that he's going to run this country into the ground.

My REAL problem is that he's a goddamn White Sox fan.

Forget you, Mr. President. My Twins are going to whoop on you and your pale hosers in the second half. And I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure of that...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Really? Seriously?

Did we really need a fourth Final Destination film?

How many times can you go through the motions and still make a "quality" filck?

Lemme tell you how it happens. Someone has a premonition about death, cheats it, then all the friends die except for one or two.

The End. Consider yourself up to speed. That'll be $9, please pay at the second window.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Do you have the time... listen to me whine?

Went to the Green Day concert last night with my friends Greg and Jen. It was excellent!! Well worth the $62. I gave it a 9 out of 10.

My only complaint was that they didn't play When I Come Around. They played Basket Case, Longview, and She from Dookie. The played my favorite song, Hitchin' a Ride (which I was not expecting). They played a bunch of songs from their new album, 21st Century Breakdown (it's why they're on tour in the first place). But how could they not play the song that helped them break through in the mid-90's? I just don't get it.

Other than that, it was a great show. Billie Joe in a helluva entertainer and stage presence. Dropping F-bombs and acting more like he's 17, not 37. Tre Cool zooming around the Fargodome before the show on a motor bike. And Mike Dirnt tearing it up on bass guitar. I can't wait for the next one.

And they're from Fargo!! Who knew?! That's awesome to have them back home again!

Hey, anyone wanna go to Minneapolis tonight? Green Day's at the Target Center, and tickets are still on sale...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What was I thinking?

After two weeks of playing with the contents of Pandora's Box, I've realized something.

I should have played drums in band. No messing around with a trumpet or a clarinet.

I don't know what I was thinking...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Danger, Will Robinson

Now that I'm in my mid-to-late 20's, and all my friends from college are having kids, I've realized something.

Your life is OVER after you have kids.

It doesn't matter if you're a teenager, or a college kid, or a full-blown adult. You can't live for yourself anymore and do what you want, when you want.

Getting married is NOWHERE near as bad. Sure, a ball and chain may be a hinderance, but it's not a anchor with a diaper. A married person can still get permission to leave the house. A person with a kid is obligated to stay home and take care of the little spawn.

Don't believe me? Go ask Kyle.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Don't open that!!

In Greek mythology, Pandora opened a box and unleashed many evils into world.

On June 23, 2009, I received my copy of Rock Band 2 and proceeded to do the exact same thing.

Two weeks ago today, I had an 8 AM conference call at work. Before going to that meeting, I got a 20 oz. Pepsi out of one of the vending machines. It had a red cap on it, instead of the standard dark blue. That cap was part of a promotional contest that Pepsi, Yahoo!, and EA were running. It contained a 12-character alphanumeric code that could be entered on their website to enter drawings for Rock Band 2 Special Edition packages (for your choice of game system) and downloadable content, among other things.

Later that night, maybe around 10 or 11 PM, I entered my code onto the website. Since I didn't already own the game, I used it to enter the hourly drawing for a package for a Wii. One shot, one kill; I won.

The website stated it would take 6-8 weeks for delivery. Which was fine with me. I suck at Rock Band. My friends Casey and Jason have the game, and I had only played it a few times. I never played Guitar Hero, which was never released for a Nintendo console until GH3 came out on Wii in late 2007. Besides, I don't have the finger dexterity to be very good at it. But when the original Rock Band came out around the same time, I was intrigued. Drumming? Singing? Things that I suck less at? Sign me up!

Harmonix, the developers of Rock Band, announced the sequel in summer 2008 (about 4 months before I ever played it for the first time at Jason's place on Halloween), so I was going to wait for that release before getting it for myself. And even then, I wanted to wait until AFTER this summer was over. I had too much going on. Weddings, golf, vacations, hockey, etc. If I got Rock Band 2, I'd spend nearly every waking moment playing it. Not leaving the house. Not spending time with friends. Wasting hundreds of hours just trying to unlock all the content for all my friends to come over and play it with me (or more realistically, take it to their places). And we all know what happened with the last game I spent a kajillion hours on...

So anyway, I get home from work on Tuesday and there's a UPS delivery notice on the front door of my apartment building. I assume it's for my new check blanks, so I go to pick them up on my way to my hockey scrimmage that night. I get to UPS, give them the delivery notice, flash the badge (photo ID, but badge sounds sexier), and they give me this large box. My initial reaction? "What the hell?" I must have said it 2-3 times before I walk out with it to my car. I open the box. There's my Rock Band 2 Special Edition for Wii. The box was shorter (height-wise) and longer than I expected. And it arrived in 6-8 DAYS, not weeks. Hence, my initial confusion.

I go and play hockey, and after I'm done, I went home, ate, showered, then unpacked the equipment and assembled it. Drum kit, microphone, and guitar (only one guitar, but that's another story for another day). I don't play it, 'cuz it was getting close to 1 AM and I had to work in the morning. But Wednesday, at lunch, I went home and booted it up, created my band and character, and played a few songs. A little singing, but a lot of drumming.

It's only been 72 hours. My left hand hurts from drumming. Every time I close my eyes, I can picture the gameplay and the drumming portions. Many of the game's songs are stuck in my head. I needed to watch "High Fidelity" on DVD. Why? Because I named my band "Sonic Death Monkey" (Let 'em riot, we're Sonic-fuckin'-Death Monkey). I had to make an iTunes mix of all the songs in the Rock Band series (the games, track packs, and downloadable content). I have an overwhelming urge to purchase the MP3's I don't already own of the songs that appear in the game series. And another urge to buy additional game content (the original game, track packs, and songs).

Could I have avoided this? Maybe, but doubtful. A special edition of Rock Band 2 comes in at around $190, plus tax and/or shipping. An extra guitar to get a full set of instruments is around 50 to 75 bucks (depending on the manufacturer). The original game is $50, plus $5 for a code to let me import them into #2. Track packs are $30 for 20 additional songs. Individual songs for download are $2. I knew I was going to open this can of worms at some point; the question was when.

Pandora, you have my sympathies. I can't blame you for what you did, because I'm guilty myself. Nothing left to do but start a club and order some sweaters.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Better lucky than good

This never should have happened, but it did.

USA 2, Spain 0.

America upset the #1 team in the world. Just watch the video highlights from this match. Both goals and over a half dozen saves by goalkeeper Tim Howard. Amazing play by my fellow Yanks.

If they can keep this up for the next 14-15 months and NOT SUCK at the World Cup next year... Maybe 2010 is our year...

Monday, June 22, 2009


If Albert Pujols does get to 800 home runs (see rant here), I say forgo the 5-year wait for him to go into the Hall of Fame. Just to rub some extra salt into the wounds of those who may not get there, due to their tainted accomplishments.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Golden Age

Almost all the best role-playing games EVER were made for the Super Nintendo. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy II and III, Earthbound, Soul Blazer, Robotrek, Super Mario RPG, Zelda III, and Secret of Mana, just to name a few. Sure, the NES had the original Final Fantasy, the original Dragon Warrior, and Zelda 1 and 2. I was addicted to World of Warcraft for a while. And Super Paper Mario was fun to go all retro-style on the Wii. But it's the SNES RPG's that I keep finding myself going back to. The classics just never get old...

(UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot one of my favorites, Robotrek. What is wrong with me?)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A handful of redemption

Ever since I was 9 or 10, the town of Carrington, ND turned on me. I hate that place. Still do. Not so much the location itself, but all the assholes that used to live there and give me a hard time. There's fewer things I'd love to do more than cause physical pain and destruction to those who inflicted emotional pain on me.

But this story isn't about them. Not really. My dad's 50th birthday is tomorrow, so I drove to Carrington this morning to take him and his best friend Pete golfing at Cross Roads, the fairly new 18-hole course in town.

I must say, I was impressed. It was a really nice course. Good condition. Wide open. Green. A lot nicer than the rest of town (which looks small and run down).

Ironically, it also turned out to be the site of my first birdie. EVER!! On the par-4 13th, I drove my tee shot about 200 yards (but to the right of the fairway), put my second shot with my sand wedge within a few feet of the hole, and nailed the putt for the bird.

I shot a 103, but I'm happy. My dad got a birdie on the final hole as well. Good times were had by all.

I may still have a bitter taste in my mouth from all Carrington has done to me. But I'll play golf there again. I think I can break 100...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A $5 on the 5

I'm calling it now. The Machine will get to 400 home runs before the end of the '10 season.

I think 500 and 600 are locks (provided he stays healthy). I'd like to think that 700 is a likelyhood. I'm willing to sacrifice several goats to make sure he passes the 800 mark, and Bonds and A-Roid as well. And I hope he hits every single one of them in a St. Louis jersey (though if he wants to play for the Twins at some point, I won't complain...).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This is going to work out nicely...

It's only been 3 nights, but Conan O'Brien's new job looks like it'll be just as good as his old one. I was concerned that he'd have to leave behind some of the best sketches, but after he and Andy talked about the year 3000, I have faith. I kinda wished they kept it the exact same, but what can you do?

I can't wait to see what else they'll be bring over. I just hope that Masturbating Bear, Horny Manatee, and Evil Puppy will be appearing as well. Maybe some Celebrity Secrets or If They Mated. And they gotta get Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage and the Walker, Texas Ranger lever.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Best. Song. Ever.

In a small, sad way, I'm almost glad that Audioslave broke up a couple of years ago. Because there was NO WAY they'd ever make a song as good as Be Yourself. The intro, the bassline, the drums, Chris Cornell's vocals, the lyrics, the chorus, the solo, the WHOLE DAMN THING. The video is excellent too. And let's not forget its use in the conclusion of the season 6 premiere of Scrubs.

If someone could only get it added into Rock Band as downloadable content... *DROOL...*

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Every song, by every band, on every album, from every country, should be available to me to purchase individually on the Internet. No "album only" crap, no songs that aren't available to me because I live in America, no artists that don't want me picking and choosing my favorite songs, no studios not putting obscure artists online because it's not cost effective.

Just give me what I want, and no one will get hurt.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Please, no

I really hope we're not headed to several years worth of Red Wings-Penguins Stanley Cup Finals. It might be great for the NHL, but I just have no interest in seeing it. Not the first time, not this time, not any future times.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why bother?

I don't know why companies like New Era and Zephyr even bother with making non-fitted baseball caps. I hate velcro hats. I hate hats with the plastic stuff (those knobs break off so easily when you slam your hat down in anger). I hate those little adjustable buckles on hats too.

I'll gladly pay the extra money for a fitted hat.

Oh, and don't use black for the under-bill color. That just doesn't look right.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

10 Things I Hate About You. The Series.

Heath Ledger must be rolling in his grave... I know I would...

Don't do me like that...

9 home runs and it's still May? 9 home runs in only 21 games? 9 home runs, after a kindey blockage and back problems since the end of the 2008 season?

God, please don't tease me... But can this really be true?

Look, I had my doubts about Joe Mauer ever since he became Minnesota's starting catcher. I loved A. J. Pierzynski. He was clutch. I hated to see him go to San Francisco. And I thought too many people in the Upper Midwest were doting on Joe because he was a local boy. Overestimated. Practically treating him like a savior. Bringing Joe up, in Spring Training, with no one behind him, was a mistake. Those concerns became much greater when Mauer was hurt in the 2nd game of the 2004 season and again later that same summer.

Even if Joe finishes with only 30 home runs this year (and remain healthy the whole time)... I'll take back everything I said about this guy. I just don't want to get my hopes up; I've been disappointed by too many men before him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another golden opportunity lost...

I've always said that Major League Baseball lost a great marketing opportunity in 2003...

OK, I've never said that, but I've always thought it.

MVP Baseball 2003 from EA Sports was a good game, mostly because of the awesome soundtrack. MLB should have taken a handful of these songs to make video montages of live-game footage to promote the league and the sport.

ArtistSong NameMontage Contents
The All-American RejectsSwing, Swinghome runs
The DonnasWho Invited Youclose plays that throw out runners
RevisCaught in the Raingame-ending celebrations
PacifierBullitproofstrikeout pitches
OK GoDon't Ask Meheated confrontations on the field
ShinedownFly From the Insidegreat diving/leaping catches

Heck, you could make a montage with any song on the list and a number of clips and it'd come out great. It'd be free money for MLB.

What a waste, what a loss...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Um, duh

Instead of trying to remove the idea ball, why didn't the staff at Family Guy just discard ALL jokes about Muhammad? The writers would stop working if idea balls were removed, not if they weren't being used. Theoretically, they wouldn't have done anything about it. Problem averted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wish you were here...

Fargo needs more Gopher fans. Just enough so that we (yes, we) can take over one bar in town. Where we would feel welcome. Where we can watch the U of M play on TV. Where stupid UND fans could try to brave the lions' den, only to leave wounded.

Hmmm... That voice that was talking to Kevin Costner... Maybe I should build it...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

That's my boy!!

OK, Care Bears might be kinda girly. Maybe really girly. But I'm secure enough in my masculinity to say this.

Out of all them, Grumpy has to be my favorite. He's blue, one of my many favorite colors. He's grumpy, like me. In recent years, he's become a techie. And lastly, he's huggably soft, like yours truly.

I should really get one. Or ask someone to get me one. He'll never replace my favorite teddy bear, but he'd be my close second.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Come on down!!

One of the greatest things in the world. The Double Showcase Winner. How can you not watch it and smile?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pulling the goalie while down 2 with only 3 minutes to go? Tying it up with 2 goals in the final minute of regulation? Winning it in overtime?

In the most bizarre season EVER, the Boston University Terriers are your 2008-09 NCAA Divison I Men's Hockey National Champions.

When you do what you did, I guess you certaintly deserve being the national champions. Congratulations.

At least, you weren't those numbnuts from Grand Forks...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Even better than Mr. Pibb plus Red Vines

Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups + Rolo's = THE craziest deliciousness!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I wonder if there are any supermarkets out there with wireless access points. Maybe you surf the 'net and buy groceries at the same time. They could also try to bombard you with advertisements on product specials. Just a thought...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Out here in the field

If I was a closer in the major leagues, I'd want to come out to the mound in the ninth inning to The Who's "Baba O'Riley".

I'd want the entire stadium to go dark for the intro. When the piano comes in, a video highlight reel of me pitching comes up on the Jumbotron, and a single spotlight (or possibly more) would shine down on the entrance to the bullpen (NOTE: this would only really work at a place where the bullpen is behind the outfield fence, like Dodger Stadium or Busch Stadium).

Then, as the drums join in, I emerge from the bullpen and start walking towards the mound. The spotlight follows me until I arrive, then the stadium lights come back on and I start throwing my warm up pitches.

How AWESOME would that be? To be in the stands and see that? Full of awe. Maybe even get goosebumps as the music increases in its intensity. It'd be a little nerve-wracking at first, since the stadium lights would be going out. There may even be a bit of panic. But once you've heard about it, seen it on TV a couple of times, you'd want to be there in person.

And how pissed off would the opponents be, coming up to bat in the top of the ninth, trying to score a couple of runs on me to tie the game or take the lead? Wouldn't you be fuming if you were the visiting team? Especially if you were due up? You'd want to swing with all your power and crush the ball, in hopes of embarassing me. That's the beauty of it; I'd be inside your head with my cocky entrance. I would have already won at that point because you'd be off your game. Not playing the way you normally would.

It'd be a thing of beauty. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to start getting ready for the majors, so I can make this dream come true...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Problem... SOLUTION!!

Got a problem with those massive AIG bonuses? Here's what you do: cancel ALL your policies with AIG (if you have any). Switch to a different insurance company. There's plenty of options out there.

What is this going to fix? If they lose an asston of customers within the next year, then the dickheads who work at AIG won't meet their quotas, and they don't get their bonuses AT ALL!!

Brilliant, is it not?

Friday, March 20, 2009

You know how bars have free snacks, like peanuts or pretzels? If I ever get my own bar/(bar/(grill/restaurant)), I'm going to serve free sunflower seeds.

I'm addicted to those things. I can't get enough of them. And if I had my own bar, I can eat as many as I wanted to, any time I wanted to. They'd be a business expense, so they wouldn't cost me a thing. Score!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In the House

Well, we're in the home stretch now. The last 6-8 episodes of Season 5. In my opinion, it's been some of the best stuff ever. But I still have some questions about which of the House guests will be staying...

Where is Wilson? He's been greatly missed this year. Even after he came back to PPTH, his on-screen appearances have been few and far between. The House/Wilson dynamic is one of the best parts of the show, especially episodes 4 and 5 where James takes Greg to his father's funeral, then returns to Princeton. We need more of that!

What about the ducklings? Foreman is still a part of the team, so no major concern there. Chase is the go-to surgeon, basically taking over a generic role. Cameron... where is she? Too many episodes with her absent! She's being wasted away down in the ER. And Omar, Jesse, and Jennifer are still listed in the main credits. How much longer are they going to be around? It's not that I don't like the new staff; I love them. I just miss the old crew.

Speaking of, why is everyone leaving or being fired? First, Thirteen for missing the diagnosis on her one-night stand, then Foreman for choosing to stay with Thirteen, then House after he went on methadone, and finally Taub last night when he wanted to go work for his "friend" from high school. Doesn't anyone love their job anymore?

And why haven't they updated the opening credits yet? Why are Olivia, Kal, and Peter still listed under "Also Starring"? They've been on the show for a year now (1.5 if you count the games at the beginning of season 4 to whittle the field of 40 to those 3). Shouldn't they get equal billing at this point? We see more of them than the Mod Squad.

Lastly, what happened to Lucas, P.I.? He fell off the face of the earth after Wilson returned. Weren't they going to do a spinoff with him? That's what the rumors on the Internet said. He was an OK guy; he had an interesting, yet fresh relation to the entire cast. I wouldn't mind seeing him make occasional appearances on the show.

I'd give the writers and producers two months to figure it all out, but they've probably wrapped up filming for the year. Or maybe they've gotten it all written down and won't make any further changes. I'm interested in how it plays out, as long as they don't make it any more confusing than it already is.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The March is on!!

Tomorrow is March, which can only mean one thing...

No, not that. But good guess.

It's the Road to Wrestlemania 25. If you pay attention to WWE, you know that the two main events have esentially been set. It's going to be John Cena/Edge for the World Heavyweight title and Randy Orton/Triple H for the WWE title.

And I'm SO looking forward to it. Not those main events so much, but all the possible match ups on Raw and Smackdown over the next month. Among the potention scenarios:

  • Cena vs. Triple H (face vs. face)
  • Orton vs. Edge (heel vs. heel)
  • Cena vs. Orton (challenger vs. challenger)
  • Triple H vs. Edge (champion vs. champion)
  • Cena and Orton vs. Edge and Triple H (challengers vs. champions)
  • Cena and Triple H vs. Edge and Orton (not only would it be faces vs. heels, it's a reunion of Rated-RKO)
  • Cena and Edge vs. Triple H and Orton (World Heavyweight vs. WWE)

I'd also like to see some DX vs. Rated-RKO, or maybe some Edge and Christian action, perhaps a six-man tag action with wild cards like Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, The Big Show, the McMahons. That'd be awesome.

Will it happen? Anything's possible. I'm smart enough to see most things coming when I watch WWE programming, but not everything. I'd like to believe that the WWE is also smart enough to get me what I want, but that can be hit-or-miss.

I dunno. We'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let the fountains flow

I really wish the grocery store down the street from my house had a soda fountain in it. Very few restaurants and gas stations are open 24 hours in Fargo. Those restaurants that are (Denny's, Perkins, etc.) aren't exactly take out/drive thru places, and the gas stations that are are not close to my place.

Maybe I should buy my own fountain. And a kit to have it pour cola into my body intravenously.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Don't call it a comeback!

I gave up on SNL several years ago, about the same time that Will Ferrell left (maybe a little before that, maybe a bit after that).

I might have to start watching again. Old standby players like Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, and Amy Poehler. Rising stars like Andy Samberg, Will Forte, Bill Hader, and Jason Sudeikis. And hottie featured players Abby Elliot and Casey Wilson.

Less is more. A smaller cast equals greater laughs. Concentrated for 33% stronger cleaning power. Lorne Michaels and his crew are definitely back on the upswing.

Friday, February 20, 2009


First, he plays a sick priest who lost his faith. Then he reads off the list. Lastly, he works with Santa Barbara's greatest fake psychic.

Jimmi Simpson. Three appearances in one week. Wow.

Well, you've got a new fan in me. Keep it coming.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lyle does it with style

I frequently daydream about having my own late night talk show. The guests I'd have, the comedy, the music, the format, the control, the fun.

I just hope that once I do get my own show, I can have an intern half as cool as Lyle the Intern.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Signed, sealed, delivered

I hate the electronic signature pads that retailers have when you pay by credit card. Just print me a receipt and give me a pen to sign it with. Do they think that paper grows on trees?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are you ready for the Fall Out?

I like Fall Out Boy. But I'm ashamed to admit it. No, not because they're emo (Weezer is my favorite band, and their early stuff, which is awesome, is considered emo).

It's because bassist/primary lyricist Pete Wentz is a giant whiney little douche. He's a little bitch, and he pisses me off.

You've been warned Pete. If we ever meet, I'm going to beat the crap out of you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I don't get it

For as log as I can remember, my family has always had a bank account. Mostly checking accounts, but some savings too. I've had a savings account since I was 8, a checking account since I was 18. It's been the norm.

So, why do so many check cashing places exist? I can understand if some people do not trust banks at all. Seems odd, IMO, but whatever. But are some people using check cashing services because they are unable to get a savings and/or checking account? Is there some type of qualification that they don't meet?

These check cashing places charge people a small percentage or a flat fee for this service. Why pay a fee when you can cash a check at your bank for free?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gotta get away

The tallest building in Fargo is barely over 200 ft.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Don't quit your day job

Zach Braff is an above-average comedic actor (although the material he's had to work with for the past two to three years has been very subpar; another rant for another day). But he should stick to sitcoms and movies. He just doesn't work as a voiceover guy for commercials. Thomas R. Callahan III has a better chance of selling me a ketchup-flavored popsicle while I'm wearing white gloves.

Sorry Zach, I'm not interested in your water filters or toilet paper. Do what you do best. Try to make me laugh.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Rick is right.

Your true national champions for 2008? The U of U. Thirteen wins. No losses.

Give them the damn trophy already. They earned it.
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