January 02, 2009

Happy New Year, bros . . .


Next Best Records 2009

So I was told that the official motto for 2009 is, "There's always room for one more."  The Next Best Records resolution for the year is, "Put out at least one record."  One would be more than 2008, right?

Hope 2009 is treats you fine.

(And if you're looking for 2008-year-end stuff from me, check my page on Agit Reader.)

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July 04, 2008

The Week of the Dog

It's been a good week for hotdogs.  First, I got my inaugural taste of the fine offerings from Columbus' new hot dog joint, Extreme Weiners.  I tried the Coney Dog and it was top quality.  Not only is it good to have Bourbon Street open again, but I won't go hungry during shows anymore.  There's a fairly extensive menu, so I'm looking forward to trying something different the next few times I'm there.

In other dog news, I thought it could never be done, but Joey Chestnut has repeated as the Hotdog Eating Champion, in the competition's first ever dog-off, no less.  Kobayashi's run as the Babe Ruth of hotdog eating was impressive, but I'm psyched to see Chestnut emerge as Roger Maris.

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May 05, 2008

Usually, I'm against designer coffins . . .

. . . but I'm thinking there's a market for this.

PBR Coffin

Illinois man designs PBR can coffin

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November 20, 2007

Nothin' like chili and football

Ohio State's fourth straight victory over Michigan wasn't the only notable event of this past weekend.  A friend of mine also hosted her third straight chili cookoff.  Not being much of a culinary prodigy (except maybe for making kick ass omelettes and having an uncanny knowledge of the varieties of generic brand mac & cheese), I played a vital role in convincing my compadre Bone Fresh to cook up his great chili.

Bone Fresh Valient Chili

Based on an ancient Nordic chili recipe, Bone Fresh Valient Chili took first prize.  After the awards ceremony, Bone Fresh may or may not have been heard to quip, "It's great to finally get some recognition, especially after our two 12-packs of Pabst were denied entry into the communal beer cooler and we were forced to have to go out onto the front porch to get a beer."  (Coincidentally, I agree -- it was kinda annoying that we had to go oustide to get our Pabsts, especially given that they were the only beers placed on the front porch, but it was all worth it when Fresh won.)

In all seriousness, though, it was good fun and all the chilis were great.  Fresh has got his work cut out for him if he wants to repeat next year.

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October 19, 2007

End of Exile / The Best Record of 2007?

So it's been a week or two now since I've officially re-relocated back to Columbus, effectively bringing an end to five months of exile from Ohio.  Perhaps predictably, the worst part about being out of Ohio for so long was going through rock withdrawl, as there's no discernable "scene" in South-Central Pennsylvania.

I was really bored during the exile, so I may or may not have made a list of the stupidest things I've done over the past three or four years.  In the interest of cutting to the chase, I'll skip numbers one and two on that list and jump to number three:  Missing so many shows in Columbus over the past couple of years.  My main excuse for my relative hermitism (compared to my glory days as an intrepid Cleveland teen in the mid-to-late-90's) is that I spent too much time worrying about the in's and out's of things like Younger abstention, CREXAC, fee tails, and the Best Interests of Baseball rule (and, maybe more accuarately, worrying about not worrying about these things).  But no more.  Everything's in proper order now, and I'm getting back to getting my regular doses of rock.

Anyway, one of the bands I've missed all-too-much is Psychedelic Horseshit, whose new album, Magic Flowers Droned, is out this month.

Psychedelic Horseshit's Magic Flowers Droned

While I haven't been able to give the record as much attention as it deserves, I can say it's a good one.  (Maybe, just maybe, a classic, but I guess only time will tell.)  Really, it's a good, well-constructed, old-fashioned rock album (with a beginning, middle, and end!) filtered through the classic Ohio lo-fi sheen.  Based on some of the reviews I've seen, the easy way out has been to compare PH to Times New Viking, based on general personal association, proximity, career arc (DIY-CDR-Siltbreeze), and the fact that TNV members are variously listed in the record's credits.  While I'd wager it's always a good thing to be mentioned alongside TNV, PH's got their own good thing going on.

My favorite stuff is the pop tunes, like "Can't Get Enough" and "Mouth Disciples", but it's all choice.  Production-wise, it's the best of lo-fi -- the sound is unique, tailor-made, and generally incapable of duplication.  Critically, phrases like "shit-gaze" and "practice rock" are thrown around, and I guess they make sense, but I stick with my time-honored, generic "good".  Dig the transcendent organ blasts and brilliant, sloppy guitar solo on "Portals".  Check the lines "We are all rather dull / Everything that you see, rather dull / And the people that you meet, rather dull" over an Ohio Wall of Sound that forms "Rather Dull", or lyrics like "An entire generation with no one to believe . . . they namecheck folk artists and sing with a sneeze" jiving with the trashy pop of "New Wave Hippies."

At first, the noisier stuff toward the end of the record (see "Radar Fences Again" and "Mash Up") can be a bit grating (duh), but I found on my third or fourth listen that there's a lot of nice stuff in there once you get the hang of riding the waves.  And speaking of catching waves, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention "Bad Vibrations", given my long-time Wilson Bros. allegiance.  While I can't think of where (or, maybe, if) I've heard the refrain's melody before (I suppose it might be Brian Wilson's seasoned with a bit of existential anguish, but, then again, maybe not), it's a great song in its own right, sorta the centerpiece to the record (a fate much more fitting and fortunate than that of its antonymous namesake on Smiley Smile).

After the afore-mentioned heavy-hitting duo of "Radar Fences Again" and "Mash Up", the record closes nicely with another great pop song (driven by a solid bass groove), "Can't Get Enough", which puts a nice bow on the proceedings.  Lyrically, the record's a reflection of the times, and with that in mind, I think it's a step in the right direction that PH's final words on Magic Flowers Droned are, "Let's turn the page, and find out what's in store," before, of course, another tasty barrage of guitar puts the proceedings to bed.

Seriously, listen to this record, and thank me -- or better yet, Psychedelic Horseshit -- later.

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October 15, 2007

Dennis the Menace represents

A few weeks after Hillary Clinton lamely declared that she would "alternate sides" and root for both the Yankees and the Cubs if they were to face each other in the World Series, Cleveland's own Dennis Kucinich did what LeBron James (or Hillary) would never do: he wore an Indians cap during a campaign stop in Red Sox country.

I suppose I'm what you would call a political independent (maybe political orphan would be better), but I think if the Democrats want their candidate in the White House, they'd be better served having Kucinich on their ticket over Hillary Rodham.  Why?  Check it:

For more reasons on why Dennis should (and why he won't) be the Democrats' candidate, check his appearance this week on the Colbert Report (either tonight or tomorrow . . . I'm not sure).

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August 18, 2007

They picked the wrong Ohioan to host The Price Is Right

Yesterday I randomly caught bits and pieces of Dan Patrick's last radio show as an ESPN employee.  'Twas nothing really profound or earth shattering, but it's still kind of strange to think that he won't appear on ESPN at any time for the foreseeable future.  After all, I'm a long-time admirer of Dan's, partly because it seems like I've been watching him on TV for forever, but mostly because we essentially had the same major at the University of Dayton.

I got my degree about 20 years after Dan, but I remember numerous classes in good ol' St. Joe's hall in which the professor would point to a seat in the classroom and say something like, "Dan Patrick took this class when he was here, and he sat at that desk."  In a world where national sports journalism seems to be dominated by Northwestern and Syracuse grads, it was always nice to know that one of our own had "made it."  UD remains a school where the engineering, business, and education schools got all the hype, so it's also kind of ironic that UD's most famous faces were (and remain) communication grads.  (John Gruden, anybody?)

So, as we continue to recover from a third-straight UD basketball season without a post-season appearance, we Flyers can look back fondly on Dan Patrick's ESPN career and hope that soon he'll do something else that will give me a good reason for continuing to tell people that he and I had the same major at UD.

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July 30, 2007

July 30 is a good day

Happy birthday to three of my personal favorites:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, 60 (!); Laurence "Larry" Fishburne, 46; and Tom "My bum is on the Swedish" Green, 36.

Today also marks the anniversary of the Treaty of Box Elder (1863), Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance (1975 -- though I guess this wasn't so good), the signing of the Sarbanes Oxley Act (2002), and Sarsfest (2003).

For your edification:

All-time classic Arnold


Pavement's Stephen Malkmus performing "Box Elder"

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June 17, 2007

How I spent my Saturday night

My final thoughts on the Cavs' 2006-07 season are yet to come.  For now, to give you something at least somewhat interesting to read on a Monday morning . . .

Last night, I went out with the folks.  We ended up spending some time hanging out at Donald Trump's birthday party at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.  Seriously.  Don't ask . . .

The stars of the evening -- besides Trump -- were Carmen Elektra and seven of the models from Deal or No Deal.  Carmen Elektra was supposed to read names off of a card, but she was having a tough time.  "This is a lot of work," she said at one point.  Probably to no one's suprise, she -- along with the models -- looked pretty good.  My mom (who watches every episode of Deal or No Deal) was especially pleased to get to see the models, and she was glad that one of her two favorites -- Lindsay -- was there.

I took the following photo with my cell phone on the way out.  I think I ended up only losing $25 or so at Taj Mahal.

Donald Trump's Birthday Party 

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June 06, 2007

Every vict'ry brings its fame you see, to you dear ol' U of D

Score another one for the school whose basketball team boasts the best all-time "second best brothers" team.  (Ever hear of Jim Paxson, the guy who won NBA championships with Jordan?  Or what about the 76er's Andre Iguodala?  Both have overshadowed their older brothers who played at the University of Dayton, even though Jim Paxson had a better NBA career numbers-wise -- he averaged 14 points a game over the course of his 11-year career and played in two All-Star games -- and was only a slightly worse GM than brother John.)

As I found out today, UD announced last week that former Ohio governor Bob Taft will be a part of the faculty beginning in August.  This puts UD in a good position in its quest to . . . um, uh . . . well, I'm not sure what UD's trying to do.  Apparently, Taft is trying to rekindle the flame that burned inside him when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania (seriously, read the article).  UD, for its part, appears to be trying to raise more money for research, which I guess can be a good thing.  And, if UD can secure more alumni contributions because of the hiring of Taft, maybe they'll be able to build more buildings.  Personally, I'd rather see them beat Xavier every other time they play (at the very least), but we all know how important building buildings is to higher education.

So far, there doesn't appear to have been any public comment from either Dan Patrick or Jon Gruden (both, like your humble narrator, former UD communication majors) on the Flyers' new addition, but I'm willing to bet they're both pumped.

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May 02, 2007

You know you've hit rock bottom when . . .

. . . you put off writing a paper that's due in a matter of hours by researching for another paper that's due in a matter of days.  20 years of school is enough.  What did Dylan say?  "Twenty years of schooling then they put you on the day shift."  If only.  In our case, they make you pay two grand more so you can take more classes so you can maybe actually use your degree.

I did learn one thing tonight, though.  NEU!'s first album is good to listen to when you're trying to churn out some paper.  Ooh ooh ooh that Motorik beat . . . .

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February 26, 2007

File under "hmm"

I was just browsing our logs to see how people get here through web searches.  Pretty interesting.  Unsurprisingly, Google is by far the number one referrer, accounting for 77% of the searches that end up here.  Yahoo comes in second, follwed by MSN, AskJeeves, and one lonely AOL search that ended up here.

By far, my entry listing my top five favorite coaching meltdowns has been this Blog's greatest hit.  That entry alone accounts for the three most common search phrases:

  • coaching meltdowns
  • famous coach meltdowns
  • famous hermans

Other notable searches:

  • osu sucks ut rules (Some unsuspecting disgruntled Longhorns fan must have been disappointed with my running diary.)
  • "gilmore girls", "talk too fast" (Looks like I'm not the only person who has trouble keeping up with the pace of the dialogue on that show.)
  • miller light girls ausin texas (In fact, last week I was just going on and on about how proud I was that I didn't give in to those sirens posed as sexy-librarians.)
  • wearing jerseys tucked in (I guess if I want more readers I should write more about sports.)
  • what is infinite resignation (Maybe I should post some of my scholarly analysis of Kierkegaard.)

I'm sure there's many other great ones, but I'm limited to viewing the top 50 searches on my weblog software, because we're too cheap to upgrade from the lite version.  Oh well.

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