Friday, May 28, 2004

Summer preview?

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be the unofficial beginning of summer here in New England. Let's hope the weather improves because the last week or so has suck-diddly-ucked. Rainy and temps in the 50s. Went for a run today at lunch and got soaked. Forecasts call for a sunny weekend in the 70s, but they also say this crappy weather is coming back next week. Maybe it's just getting me ready for my trip to Phoenix next Sunday. Phoenix in June; it'll be 110, but it'll be a dry 110.

The Stanley Cup finals are here and it looks like a good series. Calgary and Tampa Bay are tied 1-1 going into tomorrow night's game 3. I'm rooting for the Flames, but I like TB as well. They're an exciting team. It's nice to see Calgary's Jarome Iginla finally get some ink. He's probably the best all-around player in the league right now (Peter Forsberg is better, but he's hurt too often) and he reminds me of a young Mark Messier. The fact that he's black is cool because hopefully he'll inspire more minorities to play, although in Canada, you're already starting to see the melting pot atmospheres in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver resulting in more players of color ending up in the pros. Case in point: my Indian homey, Manny Malhotra, who was a high pick of the Rangers six years ago and hasn't yet reached his potential. But he's now on Columbus and got more playing time and had a decent season. He's also from Mississauga, Ontario, where my uncle and his family live. Anyway, Iginla's the man and I hope the Flames win the Cup and he gets the Conn Smythe as MVP.

I was doing a little research on Malhotra and discovered that he wasn't the first player of (East) Indian descent to play in the NHL. Robin Bawa played for a bunch of teams in the early '90s and he was a goon, no less. I had heard the name, but never saw a picture of the guy or had any inkling he was Indian until now. He only scored six goals and was mainly a minor league player, but still, he made it to the NHL. Learn something new every day, I guess.

Every week there are more photos of prisoner abuse making their way out of Iraq. I prefer this take on the controversy by some funny bastids in NYC.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Burma Shave

Hoo-ah. Today was a different kind of day for me. As I mentioned previously, Deb went back to work and took Hannah to daycare, while I stayed home with Lily. It was a pretty miserable day out, which made it easy to stay inside and catch up on my TiVo'ed shows and on the three Netflix DVDs that had been gathering dust the last few weeks. Lily followed the pattern of eat, spit up all over me, and snooze, but she wouldn't let me put her down for too long before she woke up. Still, I watched the last two-thirds of "Super Troopers" and all of "Kill Bill, Vol. 1," which I had been wanting to see since it came out. "Kill Bill" in particular was awesome, but definitely not a film I could watch with the wife, who doesn't appreciate the cartoonish violence that Tarantino doles out in spades in this movie. We're talking a body count in the hundreds, Hong Kong martial arts, Uma, an anime segment, a soundtrack by the RZA, and enough fake blood to fill a Red Cross drive. Can't wait to see Vol. 2, more than likely when it comes out on DVD.

The softball team's doing well. We're 6-2 after this weekend, although I've already missed three games and will miss a bunch more in the weeks to come. The new blood has really helped. Who knows, maybe we'll do some damage this year.

Speaking of the RZA, who if you don't know is a member of the hip-hop collective, the Wu Tang Clan, I just found out that my old Webnoize colleague Christian "Big Audio" Douglass was hanging with the Wu doods in Albania of all places. Guess he went to a hip-hop show and they were headlining. I can't wait for him to get back stateside and tell us all about it. The guys knows how to tell a story, that's for sure. And if you're wondering, and I know you are, my Wu name is Bitter Wizard.

So the reason I missed Saturday night's softball game is because I ventured into the city to see the legendary Mission of Burma at Avalon. They were one of the most influential post-punk acts to emerge in the early '80s, even if they only recorded one full-length album and an EP. They broke up after guitarist-singer Roger Miller's tinnitus grew to be too much for him to continue. They reunited a few years ago to do a couple of shows (with Miller wearing industrial headphones and keeping a plexiglass shield between him and drummer Peter Prescott--I guess the drums are really what messed up his ears) and I had the good fortune to see them then, and now they're back with a new album, OnOffOn, which is totally smokin'. Saturday's show was amazingly good, a scorching performance that saw them play most of the new CD and a bunch of old classics. These guys are in their 50s now and sound just as good as they did back in tha day. I wish I had seen them back then, but they had broken up before I had ever heard of them. Thankfully, they're back doing what they do best. Another great reunited band following suit is the Pixies, who I hope to see when they play Boston later this year.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Back in Bizness

I'm back, baby! Got the Verizon DSL hooked up tonight after doing some judicious repairs to the phone jack nearest my computer; only one of the four wires was connected to the jack. Anyhoo, it's nice to have online access again. I felt so deprived for the last week. What did we do before the Internet? I think it had something to do with going outside, but I'm not sure.

We've had TiVo a week, and already I don't know how I lived without it for so long. What an awesome appliance. The DirecTV is cool, too. That was definitely a good move.

Deb goes back to work Monday for the last month of the school year. I'm staying home that day with Lily, but Deb's mom, god bless her, will be providing the lion's share of the Lily care for the next month. That woman deserves a medal or something.

The Calgary Flames are in the Stanley Cup finals, awaiting the winner of game 7 tomorrow night between Philly and Tampa Bay. I'm rooting for Tampa, even if the NHL isn't from a ratings standpoint. Although, let's face it, hockey's never going to catch on all over the U.S. like football, baseball or basketball; it's a regional sport. I wish it would, but it won't. So let's just enjoy it. Calgary's the first Canadian team to make it to the finals since Vancouver in '94. I think they have a great shot at winning it all; they haven't even won a series since 1989 when they won the Cup (which happened just after I graduated from college...yikes).

Gas prices are getting ridiculous. They're over $2 a gallon for regular around here. This guy has the right idea.

Good beer, bad billboard.

Man, Bush just has the knack for looking goofy in just about every photo taken of him. Not that Kerry's much better. But his daughter's another story altogether. Yowza.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Remote access


Well, just as I unveil my big redesign, I lose Internet access for about 10 days. After months of consideration and discussion, Deb and I decided to ditch Comcast cable and go with DirecTV. In addition to it being cheaper and recommended highly by Deb's brother Matt and her mom, the clincher was that they offer TiVo as part of the package. We get local channels (except New England Cable News), plus some cool ones we didn't get before (like the excellent VH1 Classics and MTV2), plus TiVo for less than we were paying for Comcast without TiVo. The problem was we also had Comcast's high-speed Internet service, but when they disconnected the cable, it also shut off our Internet access. We had planned to switch to Verizon DSL, so I signed up for that, but it won't start until next Monday. It's weird not having constant Internet access at home. But everything will be okay in a week, hopefully.

Lily's baptism was yesterday and it went off without a hitch. Much like her sister two years ago, Lily slept through much of the ceremony. We had family in from all over--my mom, my brother and his family, Deb's brother Matt and his family, Deb's dad and uncle Jim and his wife--and threw a little shindig afterwards. On Saturday, it was in the 80s and humid, and we set up an inflatable wading pool we got as a gift from Deb's co-workers. Hannah and her cuz Danny had a blast splashing around in there. Hannah had a rough weekend because she's cutting some molars and has had a fever, but her spirits were high when Danny was around.

If you have to get pulled over for speeding, I guess this is the way to go.

Saw the mighty Sloan at the Paradise last Tuesday. They rocked the house. The place was about 3/4 full with the crowd consisting of mainly dorks like me, cute college-age girls, and Canadians. Truly a great experience.

All right, since I'm doing this from work, time to actually do some work.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

On the beach Posted by Hello
How you like me now? Inspired by my man OJ's redesign, I checked out the new templates available through Blogger and decided to go with this one. The only problem is I have redo all my links, so that'll take a while. I've also enabled comments, so feel free to praise, concur or chastise. Maybe this will inspire me to blog more often. Hey, anything's possible.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Hey, I write some sort of blog, don't I? It's been over two weeks since my last posting. I saw my beloved Maple Leafs fall short once again in the playoffs, losing their second-round series to the Flyers in six games. Surprisingly, I'm not that broken up about it. They last won a cup in 1967, five months before I was born. I'm used to them losing. End of subject on that one.

At least I've got the Jays. Wow, now I really am bummed.

By the way, the conference finals have Philly vs. Tampa Bay and Calgary vs. San Jose. I'm rooting for a TB-Calgary final, with Calgary winning it all. Nice to see some new teams in there, and only one of the three is a big spender.

Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman is one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The dude took a slap shot to the eye, ending his season, but he says he plans to come back and play another year. If you don't think hockey players are tough, check this out. Yowch.

The girls are doing well. Hannah just turned 2, Lily just hit the two-month mark today, and Deb's getting ready to go back to work in a few weeks. Lily's starting to smile now, which is truly an awesome thing to behold.

The poop has hit the fan in Iraq, as photos of abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers have come out. I wasn't surprised so much that they did it, but that they were stupid enough to document it by posing for photos. What a bunch of morons.

The presidential race is shaping up as Bush vs. Kerry with Nader looking to take just enough votes away from Kerry to tip things in Bush's favor. In the interest of equal time, we should not forget some other important candidates: elfin metal legend Ronnie James Dio and IRS-hatin' country outlaw Willie Nelson. Hey, you can't make an informed decision without all the facts.

Here's something to think about the next time you fall off a roof onto a guy with a nail gun.