This would be funny ...

... the part highlighted in red ... the comment from vooch21 ... if it wasn't true.

Stolen from ESPN.com

(click the picture for a full-size view)

I've watched both games of the Stanley Cup Finals. And they are entertaining ... hell, Game 2 scoreless for 55 minutes ... there's NOTHING more exciting than a 0-0 hockey game, if you're a fan and understand the sport.

And the games have been fast-paced and hard-hitting, but as Vooch21 pointed out ... and it's sad to say ... the NHL blew their shot in the mid 90's at becoming the third-most-watched sport in the US and is probably ... right now ... ninth ... behind NFL, NCAA Football, MLB, NCAA Basketball, the NBA, NASCAR, MMA and Poker, with soccer coming up close.

I think it's time for Gary Bettman to go back to the NBA where he came from. He's done David Stern's bidding and killed the NHL in America.


Oh yes, he did.

Ladies and Gentlemen ... the winner, by knockout at 1:53 of the very first round .... and NEW UFC Light Heavyweight Champion ...

Quinton "Rampage Jackson

(I was 1-for-4 on the other picks, but I got Rampage right!)

Next up for Rampage ... a MAJOR confrontation with Pride Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Dan "Hollywood" Henderson to see who the best 205-pound MMA fighter in the world is.

What's funny - six months ago everyone was expecting Chuck Liddell and Vanderlai Silva to be the two in that dream matchup.

Funny how things change.


Talk about life imitating art

This is some serious muthafuckin snakes trying to get on a muthfuckin plane. Damn.

From CNN:

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Customs officers at Cairo's airport have detained a man bound for Saudi Arabia who was trying to smuggle 700 live snakes on a plane, airport authorities said.

The officers were stunned when a passenger, identified as Yahia Rahim Tulba, told them his carryon bag contained live snakes after he was asked to open it.

Tulba opened his bag to show the snakes to the police and asked the officers, who held a safe distance, not to come close. Among the various snakes, hidden in small cloth sacks, were two poisonous cobras, authorities said.

The Egyptian said he had hoped to sell the snakes in Saudi Arabia. Police confiscated the snakes and turned Tulba over to the prosecutor's office, accusing him of violating export laws and endangering the lives of other passengers.

According to the customs officials, Tulba claimed the snakes are wanted by Saudis who display them in glass jars in shops, keep them as pets or sell them to research centers.

The value of the snakes was not immediately known.

UFC 71 ... join me at BW3's

Soooo .... if you're bored on Saturday ... I'll be at the BW3's in Austintown watching UFC 71 ... where Quinton "Rampage" Jackson *should* take the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship off of Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell.


Yeah, I said it. I see Chuck going down.

For some of the same reasons that Rampage demolished Liddell in 2003 when they fought in Pride's 2003 Middleweight GP Semi-Finals (Pride considers the 205-pound weight class Middleweight; UFC considers it Light Heavyweight). Rampage took Liddell to task ... he beat his ass. Rampage is a top-notch striker who can take the fury from Chuck as he works his way inside for the trademark Rampage Slam. Just like he did in Japan.

I see that happening again.

Because Rampage is deep inside Chuck's head ... and so is Chuck's hype.

Chuck wants revenge for the only loss he has yet to avenge. He's been unstoppablesince the loss to Rampage ... and has avenged two of his three losses (Randy Couture and Jeremy Horn) and has been pretty much invincible ... and he's the poster child of the UFC ... on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and all the sports talk shows ... everyone talking about how great he is ... all of which leads to over confidence.

The four other fights on the main event card also have some great match-ups, too:

Terry Martin Vs. Ivan Salaverry
Match-up of two old-timers ... Salaverry is hit or miss ... he's either really good or really bland. Terry Martin can stone cold knock a bitch out. I see Salaverry getting KTFO'd, unless he can get Martin down and submit him. Nope, Martin. KO.

Josh Burkman Vs. Karo Parisyan
This is my choice for the show-stealer ... Karo "The Heat" versus "The People's Warrior." I have no idea which way this will go ... Burkman's a fighter, but Parisyan is a Judo master who can throw Buicks if needed. Styles make fights ... and I see Parisyan trying to stand with Burkman, which is a bad idea. Why? Well, here's a highlight from Burkman's Q&A:

Q: What is your favorite technique?
A: Punching people in the face."

Houston Alexander Vs. Keith Jardine
Jardine ... who was knicknamed "KlanMan" by Rebecca and I when he was on the Ultimate Fighter (he has that White Supremacist look about him). His opponent is a black man from East St. Louis, IL ... where race is a way of life. Alexander is making his UFC debut, but he is 6-1 in his MMA career. I see Jardine putting a beating on Alexander like he did Forrest Griffin in what yet another surprise in what has been an eventful year for favorites in the UFC. Alexander likes to punch, so this will be a stand-up war until someone falls down.

Kalib Starnes Vs. Chris Leben
I'm no fan of Chris Leban and his mouth writing checks his body can't cash, but at least he's not a whiny bitch like Kalib "I broke my rib" Starnes. I see Leban beating down Starnes like the whiny bitch he is. And I see Starnes crying all the way back to Canada, while Leban runs his mouth until his next beatdown against real competition.

There ... now we'll find out Sunday if I was right or wrong! Or ... Saturday ... if you're joining me.


Dumbasses in the News

Dumbasses in the News:

Evonne D. Maurice apparently wanted to get away in style.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to trying to rob a bank at a drive-up window while traveling in a hired limousine. Authorities said Maurice had a limousine take her to a Citizens Bank branch in Cranston and told the driver she needed to withdraw cash to pay for the ride.

Then she walked up to the window and handed the teller an envelope with a note demanding money and saying there were two bombs in the bank. The teller triggered an alarm, and Maurice got back in the limo without any money and was driven away.

A thief fleeing a jewelry store was killed when his bicycle was struck by a bus, police said.

Authorities said the 42-year-old man snatched a $2,000 gold chain from the Bronx jewelry store on Friday and was making his getaway. A store clerk and two bystanders were chasing the man on foot when he pedaled into an intersection and was hit by a fast-moving bus, police said.

The suspect was taken to a hospital, where he died from head injuries. Five passengers who were jostled when the bus slammed on its brakes were also examined at the hospital.

"He lost his life for $2,000," said the store's owner, Lakhwinder Singh. "He'd sell it for maybe only two or three hundred. That makes no sense."

The necklace was still missing, and may have been thrown from the scene or grabbed by a bystander after the accident.


Song of the Day

Beating of Your Heart
~ Minus Ted

And in the end you look for answers
Scribbled on the entries for the days
We grew weary like to dancers
And we both left the stage
But only fools can give life meaning
Sometimes love just goes away
Feel like a man leaning into the tide
When you try to make love stay
And it won't stay

Each somebody needs a someone
That's one way we are the same
To be a love you must become one
And you cannot play games

With the beating of a heart
The beating of a heart

Pick up
And move on down the raising river of your life
And try to make a start
With just the beating of your heart

Now all my friends say I'm much brighter
Much easier to be around
And I must say I'm feeling lighter
Sometimes my feet don't touch the ground
When I walk through the town
It all comes down to moving forward
It's either that or you're standing still
But getting used to feeling awkward after changes
So deep, is an act of will

Each somebody needs a someone
That's one way we are the same
To be a love you must become one
And you cannot play games

With the beating of a heart
Each somebody needs a someone
That's one way we are the same
To be a love you must become one
And you cannot play games

With the beating of a heart
The beating of a heart

Pick up
And move on down the raising river of your life
And try to make a start
With just the beating of your heart
Just the beating of your heart
Just the beating of your heart


Random Thoughts

So I'm on a 3-hour conference call ... yeah. Time for some random thoughts:

Quote of the day: "Using windows products is like being ass raped by a ghost. Your ass sure hurts but you just can't see where the pain is coming from."

I've recently started playing with Ubuntu (well, actually Ubuntustudio cause it has all the cool multimedia apps nerds like me dig) and I gotta tell you ... it's quite impressive. The download links for Ubuntustudio are up and down because it's getting hammered ... if you want a copy of the regular or souped up version, lemme know. It's easy load, and absolutely free, and secure and solid and an amazing operating system. If you just like to surf the web, email and do some word processing ... it's quite the thing for you.

Also started using Opera 9.2 as my primary browser on Windows ... and it rocks as well. It browses significantly faster with multimedia, chat and regular browsing than Internet Exploder 7 or Firefox ... as well as a very kick-ass thing called Speed Dial that allows you to park your favorite websites for quick loading. And all sorts of other features. And yeah, that browser on the Nintendo Wii ... that's Opera.

Have a couple of new blogs I'm reading ... trying to find some cool bands I've run across I Rock Cleveland ... and how can you not love a guy who has a podcast called "Michael Stanley Made Me Do It" ... click here for Details.

Others I'm reading:
... always good reviews, always good tunes, and all sorts of different types of music.

Little Brothers in Columbus is closing. Columbus is becoming a mecca of trendy hipster chain stores, restaurants and malls Fashion Places.

FINALLY got my allergies under control ... changed medications in November, seemed to be going well, then spring finally arrived, the blooming started, the air was pollinated and I was decimated. Took me about a week to realize how bad I was (and spent three days in my apartment without going outside sitting in front of the air conditioner or standing under a cold shower). Only problem with the old medication is I sleep about 5 hours a night. Regardless of what time I go to bed, I'm up 5 hours after I fall asleep.

Had a really bad food experience with chicken fried rice that has me back on 'safe' foods ... I had a long night of misery, pain and nausea ... ugh. It's been more than three years since I had the surgery, I still have issues with some things.

And finally, I scheduled all my elective courses to work with my required classes to finish my degree by the end of 2008! It was pretty cool ... I was able to add a bunch of interesting classes:
  • Com/301 - Proposal Writing
  • Hum/150 - Introduction to Film Studies
  • Eng/492 - American Literature Since 1860
  • Sci/151 - Astronomy
  • His/145 - The American Experience
  • His/301 - US Constitution


I soooo have a new band I like

It's no big secret I'm a huge fan of bands most have not, and will not, ever experience. And every so often I cross paths with others and we share suggestions on the best band you've not heard of. Most of the time, my band kicks the ass of their band.


My new friend Dea - a couple of times - told me to check out this band called Minus Ted. And, a couple of times, I said, sure, I'll do that, expecting, like most recommendations, for them to be marginal, at best.

Well, sitting at work on Sunday with nothing to while a server rebuilt, I pulled up their website ... and saw they had some MP3's to download ... so I did.

And ...

... in the words of the wonderfully talented and funny Mark Nye:



I have three solid rules about what constitutes the music I love:

1. I need to have good lyrics.

"And when I arrived I was alone
And looking up I heard the car door shut
And I saw the blackest sky
And before I went inside I thought
There is nothing so sweet as the opening of two hearts
In the place where fear and freedom meet."
~ River of My Day
(click to download the song)

Well, that's a solid check in the YES column.

2. I need to have a distinct sound.

There are nine other songs on their website to download ... you can decide, but since I bought both albums on iTunes, that's two solid checks in my YES column, and $20 in their pocket.

3. The simpler the better.

Check. In a big way. Wow. Great great stuff. Listen for free at their website. Then buy that shit.

Because they're three for three.

And Dea's one for one.

(For the record, I just found out that Minus Ted is lead by Skipp Sudduth ("Sully" from "Third Watch", actor/musician Brian O'Neill on vocals and guitars, Tom McGrath (percussions), Kohl Sudduth (bass) and Terry Pender (mandolin, electric leads.)

Yeah, they're in my top 20 and moving up.

Bad Love Songs, Take 2

And this song is popular .... why? I mean, if she's not much of a girlfriend, why do you write the campy corny shit about her?

"Cupid's Chokehold" by Gym Class Heroes

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

It's been some time since we last spoke
This is gonna sound like a bad joke
But momma I fell in love again
It's safe to say I have a new girlfriend

And I know it sounds so old
But cupid got me in a chokehold
And I'm afraid I might give in
Towels on the mat my white flag is wavin'

I mean she even cooks me pancakes
And Alka Seltzer when my tummy aches
If that ain't love then I don't know what love is

We even got a secret handshake
And she loves the music that my band makes
I know I'm young but if I had to choose her or the sun
I'd be one nocturnal son of a gun

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

It's been awhile since we talked last and I'm tryin' hard not to talk fast
But dad I'm finally thinkin' I may have found the one
Type of girl that will make you way proud of your son

And I know you heard the last song about the girls that didn't last long
But I promise this is on a whole new plane
I can tell by the way she says my name (ba ba da da)

I love it when she calls my phone
She even got her very own ringtone
If that ain't love then I don't know what love is (ba ba da da)

It's gonna be a long drive home but I know as soon as I arrive home
And I open the door take off my coat and throw my bag on the floor
She'll be back into my arms once more for sure

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

She's got a smile that would make the most senile
Annoying old man bite his tongue
I'm not done
She's got eyes comparable to sunrise
And it doesn't stop there
Man I swear
She's got porcelain skin of course she's a ten
And now she's even got her own song
But movin' on
She's got the cutest laugh I ever heard
And we can be on the phone for three hours
Not sayin' one word
And I would still cherish every moment
And when I start to build my future she's the main component
Call it dumb call it luck call it love or whatever you call it but
Everywhere I go I keep her picture in my wallet like here

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)


So, can I get some of that?

I wrote about attraction being a funny thing a while ago ... about what makes one person attractive to another ... or not attractive. And how it can be the same thing. Cause life's all about preferences.

That prompted some dialog with friends that led to these two questions:
  1. Is who you're physically attracted to a reflection of your own view of your own attractiveness? Do you feel pretty, oh so pretty, as pretty as pretty can be? (or handsome, or hot, or whatever phrase you choose.)

  2. Does the intelligence of who you're attracted to show the level of intelligence you think you have.
Basically, just how much of a role does how you see yourself impact how you look at others with in the "can I get some of that?" way.

Well, it's pretty big role.

How I view myself, and who I'm attracted to, has changed a lot in the past three years since I've had weight-loss surgery, dropped 130+ pounds, 14 inches off my waist, and a whole shitload of doubt and insecurity that comes hand-in-hand with a low self opinion. Especially in the past four months.

For the first time since my early 20's, I see me as physically attractive, and that's really had a whole lot more of an impact on me mentally that I expected, and it's taking me a long time to come to grips with it.

Like anything of that magnitude would.

I looked back at the two solid relationships I had after my divorce. Both are attractive women, who physically appeal to me. Both are intelligent. One was based on that physical spark, and after that spark turned into fire and then turned into cooling embers, there was nothing else to build on. The second was a solid mental attraction on top of a physical one. It ended initially for a lot of reasons - lack of communication on my part was perhaps the biggest. It ended the second and final time because I moved away from Columbus.

Since then, I've had a series of bad first dates - and non-dates - that have both amused and baffled me. Frustrated me beyond belief as to what I'm doing wrong, or doing too right, to cause this parade of bizarre dates - or prevent a date from even happening.

With the help of a friend who has no problem telling me what I'm doing wrong, I finally realized what was causing me to be attracted to the wrong types for me since moving out of Columbus:

When you have a low self opinion, you find you'll take any kind of attention - any kind of affection - even if it comes with unattractive qualities, because you feel your own issues balance it out.

As long as the scales are even, or not too warped in one direction or the other.

On the flip side, however, when you have a solid self-opinion of yourself, you find you won't put up with much extra on the scale at all.

In fact, as soon as you feel your side of the scales rising ... as their baggage or issues or subscriptions reveal themselves, odds are you find a way to quickly get off that ride - gracefully walking away, or jumping off without a look over your shoulder.

I've done both this year.


I guess I've realized if I'm going to get involved, it's going to be with someone deserving of who I am today. Who I am now.

Not what I have been.

And I won't settle for anything, or anyone, less.

Wanna get rocked?

Friday - May 11 - Brillo Box - Pittsburgh
Semi Precious Weapons

Saturday - May 12 - Little Brothers - Columbus
Two Cow Garage

Um, be there.

Or not.

But if you're not, you're gonna miss out.

That's all I'm sayin'.


You never saw this on "Home Improvement"

From our friends at Fox News:

California Man Cuts Off Mom's Head With Saw, Dies Trying to Cut Off His Own

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


LA HABRA, Calif. —

An Orange County man cut off his mother's head with a circular saw and then died after trying to decapitate himself, authorities said.

Police answered a 911 report of a family dispute at a Pinehurst Avenue home just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, entered a locked bedroom and found the body of 60-year-old Guadalupe Ruiz on a bed, police spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said.

Arthur Ruiz Jr., 32, was on another bed with the saw nearby. He had died of neck injuries, police said.

It was unclear why Ruiz attacked his mother, police said.

A child and three other adults were in the three-bedroom home when police arrived. Several families rented rooms in the home, Knapp said.

A neighbor, Paula Sanchez, said she heard the saw before going on a daily walk but thought someone was doing work in the house or yard.

"If it would have been a gunshot or something, I would have called the police," she said.

Authorities said Ruiz pleaded guilty to driving drunk in Garden Grove in 1999, was sentenced to 45 days in jail for being under the influence of drugs in Fullerton in 2000 and was given 18 days in jail for refusing to leave a home in 2004.


Song of the Day

Julia Fordham

Hey you, pushing the river
With the world there on your shoulders
Don't you remember a single thing
The good book told you?

Hey you, treading the water
With your head dipping out of the clouds
Sinking down, down, down, down
Waving to the old crowd

And they send these things to try us
And try us they do
Don't push the river, let it carry you

I know that I'm a fine one
To be talking this way
I've been dragging the whole darn world
Behind me all day

No-one said it would be easy
And they never warned how hard
And I've been licking brand new wounds
And tending old scars

And they send these things to try us
And try us they do
Don't push the river, let it carry you

Over the endless troubles, over the trying times
These are the words of wisdom from a restless mind

Don't push the river, let it carry you


Random Thoughts # (whatever)

Well I'm finishing my second class now since returning to school. I know this sounds lame, but I picked my school because I won't have to take a statistics class to finish my degree ... they've accepted both of my math classes and I've met the requirement.

Statistics, to me, makes no sense. Math is math. Numbers never lie, only liars do. Statistics, however, tells you that numbers do lie. That's where I got lost. That's why I failed the course. Twice.

I don't really care about factoring probability. I don't care about the odds. As we learned from that great galactic savior Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds."

I was invited to go to New York City to do photography for Aaron Tashjian's recording sessions for his solo album. That was quite flattering. I'm going to if I can squeeze a couple of days off and make the trek ... and if I do it right, I'll be able to see two Semi Precious Weapons shows in the process ... May 11th in Pittsburgh, May 12th in NYC (or Boston, I forget). And he's offered to let me crash at his place,which is even cooler ... because when you have a free place to stay, NYC's a cool place to visit.

And I've never actually been in a recording studio, and I do love finding new adventures ...

Speaking of Aaron, last weekend my daughter and I were trying to find somewhere to bowl early on a Saturday morning ... and we found nothing open. As we're driving back into Niles hoping something would open at 11 ... Aaron's song "Firecracker" came on in the car on my MP3 mix CD. I look in the mirror, my daughter is rocking out, as nine-year-olds will, to music that has a great beat and fast tempo. I said, "Do you like this song?" She said, "Yep. Who is it?" I said, "This is my friend Aaron." About that time the chorus was over, and Aaron started on the harmonica. She said, "Is he a professional harmonica player?"

Speaking of being in the car with my daughter, and listening to music, you have to admire the timelessness of a song that you play for your daughter and she likes ... that was a song your mother played for you, and you liked. That also happened Saturday morning.

I was born in 1968; I loved listening to music and could often be found in a stack of my mom's kick-ass albums and 8-track tapes ... Jim Croce, John Denver, Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel ... the good 70's music. Jim Croce, was then, and still is today, one of my all time favorite artists. He his a reason I love singer-songwriters. So on Saturday, on the MP3 mix CD I had in the car, "Photographs and Memories" came on, and I said to my daughter, "This is one of my favorite songs ever. And guess what." She said, "What?" I said, "Grandma Barb [my mom] used to play this album for me all the time when I was younger than you." She said, "This song's that old? That's cool." I said, "You like it?" She said, "It's okay." (And believe me, she'd say no if she didn't like it).

So yeah, there's something special about a song getting passed on through the generations.

And finally, in a different sort of special ... there's a local chain of restaurants out of Pittsburgh called Eat 'n Park. That's good food, and cheap. But you know they're losing their touch with what made them big (being Pittsburgh) when you see this on their Latte menu:

A double shot of decaf with 3 scoops of low carb lactose free no sugar added vanilla ice cream and a shot of sugar free Torani syrup.

Hmmm .... let's look at what's wrong with this:

1. Decaf Coffee
2. Low Carb Ice Cream
3. Lactose Free Ice Cream
4. No Sugar Added Ice Cream
5. Sugar Free Torani Syrup

Can I get a chemical compound ruling from the judges? Is this instant cancer or just enough to add five years to your life?