Thursday, May 31, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 27: Spreading the Disease

Check it: I actually recorded another episode of CC before another three weeks went by. It was only eight days between shows this time. I tried something different this time around, essentially working without a script. Just took me too long to actually write the whole thing out. It wasn't a total train wreck, IMHO. I'll get better at this, honest. You can download it here (right click and "save as").

Da show notes:

- The threat of infectious disease
- Campaign theme songs
- Doc Martens commissions a lame ad campaign
- The scourge of American Idol
- Weightlifting makes you younger?
- The extremely long seasons of the NHL and NBA
- Pinhead of the Week

- Stars - Ageless Beauty
- The Zambonis - My Back Hurts

- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The song from Stars is on the album Set Yourself On Fire on the Arts and Crafts label; find out more here. The song from the Zambonis is on the Chippy Sessions album on Exotic Recordings; find out more here. Both songs were provided by IODA Promonet; find out more here.

Set Yourself On Fire

Download "Ageless Beauty" (mp3)
from "Set Yourself On Fire"
by Stars
Arts & Crafts

More On This Album

Chippy Sessions

Download "My Back Hurts" (mp3)
from "Chippy Sessions"
by The Zambonis
Exotic Recordings

More On This Album

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling here. And the incidental music used in the show was "Clibopb (Fosco Groove)" by Me and Boris the Bull. Find out more about Me and Boris the Bull here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Monday, May 28, 2007

On and On and On

Happy Memorial Day, peoples. Just enjoying some quiet time between whiny outbursts from my daughters. Other than a thunderstorm last night, we've had some great weather this weekend. I headed into the city early yesterday morning for the Boston's Run to Remember half marathon. I met up with my friends John and Kerry, who were also running. The race started at the World Trade Center in South Boston and weaved through the city onto Memorial Drive in Cambridge, where we ran along the Charles River. It was kind of cloudy and cool when I got there, but as the race started, the sun came out and warmed everything up. Still, it was never too hot. I felt pretty good and kept a sub-8 minute pace for the whole race, finishing in 1:41, a PR by two minutes from my previous best in New Hampshire last month. I had a shot at breaking 1:40, but at the end I kicked it in a little earlier than I should have and wasn't able to keep it up. Still, I was pretty happy with the finish.

I haven't officially signed up for a fall marathon yet, but I'm leaning towards the Maine Marathon in Portland, which I ran in 2002.

We spent the rest of the day having some friends over for a BBQ. I was so wiped by 8 p.m. that I ended up snoozing on the couch for about three hours. Ask my wife: I NEVER do that. It was a combination of the race, lack of sleep and several Harpoon Summers. More grillage today.

Want fries with that?
  • This kid bagged himself one big-ass hog: nine feet long and over 1,000 pounds. That's a lot of pork chops.
  • Starting in the fall, Kuwait is switching to a Friday-Saturday weekend, from it's current Thursday-Friday. I have to admit I had no idea that they had a different weekend. Of course, they've got so much oil over there they could probably afford to have a Wednesday through Sunday weekend.
  • The Stanley Cup finals between Ottawa and Anaheim finally starts tonight. Should be a good series, even if hardly anyone will be watching. I think the Ducks will take it in seven, but I wouldn't be shocked if Ottawa wins. Both teams are excellent.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 26: Break Out the Popcorn

So after another 20-plus day gap between shows, I came to the conclusion that I needed to streamline things a bit. Hence, I've cut back on the number of segments in the hopes of getting this thing back on a regular schedule. You download the latest episode here (right click and "save as").

On with the show notes:

- The outsourcing of local journalism jobs
- Summer blockbuster season
- Outstanding Press Release
- Pinhead of the Week

- Elliott Smith - High Times
- Jesse Malin - Don't Let Them Take You Down

- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The song from Elliott Smith is on the new album of unreleased tracks New Moon on the Kill Rock Stars label; find out more here. It was provided by IODA Promonet.

New Moon

Download "High Times" (mp3)
from "New Moon"
by Elliott Smith
Kill Rock Stars

More On This Album

The song from Jesse Malin is on his new album Glitter in the Gutter on Adeline Records; find out more here. It was provided courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network; find out more here.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Read his fine music blog here. And the incidental music used in the show was "Clibopb (Fosco Groove)" by Me and Boris the Bull. Find out more about Me and Boris the Bull here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Era Vulgaris

Another weekend gone in an instant. Although it was raw and rainy most of the time, so good riddance to it. Things are looking up, however, because it's nice out right now and the rest of the week is only supposed to get better. My half marathon next Sunday could be pretty toasty, possibly in the 80s.

Our plans to go to the Sox-Braves game Friday were foiled by the weather. The game was rained out and rescheduled for Saturday night; the only problem was, we didn't have babysitting coverage for Saturday. We went out to dinner instead, which was fun. On Saturday, I started calling friends of mine to see if anyone wanted to sit in the rain with me. It took several hours, but my buddy Mike said he'd go. I've had worse weather experiences at the ballpark. It was a constant mist for the first six innings or so. Things opened up a little more in the seventh, so we headed down to the concourse to watch on TV. The Braves added a few more runs to make it 11-0, so we decided to bolt after the eighth. It ended up being a 14-0 whitewash, one of the few bad games the Sox have had lately.

It was more of the same Sunday as I headed out on an 11-mile run. It was misty until I was about 2.5 miles from home and then it turned into a steady drizzle. I was pretty soaked by the time I got home, but I was glad to get the run in.

Slice and dice:
  • I watched some good playoff hockey this weekend, although that meant seeing my pick for the Cup, Buffalo, get bumped off by Ottawa in overtime Saturday. NBC had another "Heidi" moment (i.e., cutting away from a game for other programming) when at the end of regulation, it gave its affiliates the opportunity to drop the game and switch over to coverage of the Preakness horse race. The coverage moved over to Versus, which had been showing a strongman competition. Needless to say, the move pissed off a lot of hockey fans. If you had stepped away from your TV for a moment, you were probably pretty confused when all of a sudden, there was pre-race Preakness coverage on. I bet the horse racing rans were probably still mad from a few weekends ago when the Barbaro tribute was bumped because of hockey OT. The Senators prevailed when Daniel Alfredsson scored a nice goal with three defenders on him; he's probably the odds-on favorite for playoff MVP right now. Quite a change from last year, when he was burned by Buffalo forward Ryan Pominville on the series-ending goal. Yesterday, Anaheim was outplayed in every facet of the game, but still managed to walk away with an overtime win after a horrendous giveaway in front of the net led to a sweet Teemu Selanne goal. The Ducks are up 3-2.
  • Well, now we know how Sly Stallone has stayed in such good shape as he continues making Rocky and Rambo movies into his 60s: He was fined for bringing human growth hormone into Australia.
  • I enjoy watching the Letterman and Conan shows thanks to TiVo, because I can't stay up that late anymore. I usually fast-forward through a lot of stuff to check out monologues, guests and bands I like, but this scene of navel-gazing by Conan, Tom Selleck and John Stamos was downright hilarious.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Looking Over My Shoulder

Greetings, fellow travelers. Just checking in real quick-like with some bloggage. Things have been pretty hectic lately. Work is mondo busy. Around here, we just had the Mother's Day extravaganza, which basically had me taking the girls up to see my mom while Deb got to hang out with hers. Deb's birthday is Friday; we're going to the Sox-Braves game at Fenway (and praying for good weather).

I haven't mentioned the diet for a while. I've eased up on the more extreme parts of it, like the no alcohol part. I like to have a few beers on the weekend, what can I say? But I'm still rocking the salads at lunch and staying away from soda. I was down to 159 after my run yesterday morning. I suspect a few more long runs in warmer temps will cause me to shed a few more pounds.

I've had to lay off the chest and triceps workouts because I've got a slight tendon strain in my right elbow. Nothing serious, but something that in the past I would stupidly try to work my way through and just make things worse.

Do you know the muffin man?
  • The Blue Jays have had a rough month of May so far, losing their first nine games. But they've bounced back a bit, winning four of their last five. Moments ago, they beat the Orioles 2-1 on a superb major league debut by Jesse Litsch, who was promoted from Double A New Hampshire to replace staff ace Roy Halladay, who had to have an emergency appendectomy. He pitched 8.2 innings of one-run ball; not too shabby for a kid who was Tampa Bay's ball boy five years ago. The cool thing is, I saw him pitch in Manchester two weekends ago when I went up for my buddy Rob's birthday party. He was pretty good that day, too, shutting down the Bowie BaySox, 3-1. Little did he, or anybody else, know that he'd be facing the parent club 10 days later.
  • Boy, was I dead wrong with my picks for the NHL Eastern conference finals. Ottawa has raced to a 3-0 series lead, with superb goaltending from Ray Emery, stifling defense and clutch offense led by captain Daniel Alfredsson. As much as I hope otherwise, they're pretty much a lock to make the finals. Detroit and Anaheim are tied at 1 and are playing right now in what looks to be a competitive series.
  • Metal guitar gawd Yngwie Malmsteen is unleashing his fookin' Ferrari...on eBay. Known more these days for the legendary recording of his outburst on a flight to Japan ("You've unleashed the fookin' fury!") than for his classically-inspired wank soloing, Yngwie's looking to unload his 1983 Ferrari. It was up to 19,100 at last check. Looks like it's got some engine problems, though. Buyer beware!
  • A happy 52nd birthday to the one and only Lee Horsley, mustachioed star of the '80s private eye show Matt Houston and the subject of probably my favorite Onion article of all time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Threshold Apprehension

Well, we jumped right into the sweaty, humid 80-degree temps of mid-summer this week. I'll take it. I need to get some hot-weather runs in before the Run to Remember half marathon on Memorial Day weekend. It definitely takes a few times running in sweltering heat to get accustomed to it again.

It's a tough time to be a Blue Jays fan. They've lost NINE in a row, getting swept by the Indians, Rangers and most painfully, the Red Sox. Even the mighty Roy Halladay has been getting knocked around in his last two starts. And the team just announced that lights-out closer B.J. Ryan is out for the year. They're 10.5 games out of first. And it's only May. Crap.

Now, let us visit the Halls of Mentholyptus:
  • The third round of the NHL playoffs began last night, with Ottawa knocking off Buffalo, 5-2. I still think (nay, hope) the Sabres will prevail in six games. In the other conference final, I predict that Anaheim will take out Detroit in seven games. Then I hope Buffalo beats the Ducks in the finals. I may have to submerge myself in these games to forget about the horrendous Jays.
  • Meanwhile, Milwaukee baseball fans are getting excited about their first-place Brewers. A little too excited.
  • I like the rock music, but there have been plenty of hit songs with idiotic lyrics over the years. The good folks at Jefitoblog offer up but a sampling. There's much more where that came from.
  • If you haven't been watching it or gave up on it, you're probably S.O.L., but Lost has been absolutely amazing lately. There are two more episodes this seasons and I wish I could watch them right now. This week's show was incredible. The show's creators are answering a lot of questions while raising even more, something the X-Files failed to deliver on after its first several excellent seasons. In other good news for fans of the show, ABC announced that Lost will run for three more seasons, concluding in 2010. But the key is they will be shorter (16-episode), uninterrupted seasons, so there won't be anymore of the stupid midseason hiatuses (hiati?) and endless reruns that the show has been plagued with the last few years. The best thing about this is the show's creators can plot out exactly how they want the show to end, without any worries about it being cancelled early or dragging on too long.
  • Queen Elizabeth's recent visit to the U.S. makes it more than appropriate to check out this classic punk video from one of my favorite TV shows ever (thanks to WFMU's Beware of the Blog).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Who Do You Love?

There's frost on the roof of my car this morning. Even so, the temps are supposed to hitting the 80s this week and I welcome them with open arms. I hope to be complaining about the sticky heat for the foreseeable future.

Another whirlwind weekend. Friday, I met up with my man OJ and his lovely wife Amy to check out the Ted Leo show. Senor Leo was a whirling dervish of energy, blasting out the punk-edged power pop for nearly two hours. Most of the material came from his latest muy excellente album Living With the Living, but he played stuff from his previous three albums as well. The guy's a great guitarist and ripped off some nice solos while pogoing around the stage. OJ thought he spotted Evan Dando watching the show sidestage; it was too far away for me to tell for sure, but it could have been him. At any rate, it was a terrific show and Ted and his band really rocked it.

Saturday, I took the kids to the open gym at the Y before heading up to Manchester, NH, for the 40th birthday bash for one of my college roommates, Rob. It was supposed to be a surprise, but he found out about it a few weeks ago. His wife had rented a roof box at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats game; the team is the Double A farm team of the Blue Jays. The stadium is right off 293 and is really nice. It was pretty windy up there, but we had a box to retreat to when necessary. I didn't know a whole lot of people other than Rob, his wife and his parents, but I had a good time. Yeah, let the 40th birthday bashes begin...

From there, I drove down to Charlestown, where I met Deb and the girls at a little shindig one of her co-workers was having to raise money for the Breast Cancer Walk. We hung out there for a few hours before heading home to put the girls to bed. Yesterday was another nonstop day. We went from church straight to a surprise 40th party for someone else who works at Deb's school and then went grocery shopping, so we didn't get home until close to 4. We had Chinese food for lunch, which made the long run I did rather difficult. I had hoped to do 10, but I kept getting indigestion burps and so shortened it to eight. Neither Deb nor I ate much in the way of dinner until close to 9.

Hopefully, this week won't be as crazy as last...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

D is for Dangerous

Hola. Wow, the week really slipped away from me. I've been busy, playing hockey Monday and last night and meeting up with some old friends Tuesday night. And on Sunday, I ran the Ring Around the Neck 5-mile race in Marblehead, which was fun. I started out pretty fast and slowed a bit on the hills going around Marblehead Neck, but finished strong in 36:49 (by my watch), 16 seconds off my PR set at Thanksgiving. I was passed in the last mile by a young kid and grumbled a bit, but then had to laugh when I came up to the final turn to find him standing in the middle of the road blowing chunks. That's what you get for passing me in a race, right? Right? Right.

I'm looking forward tomorrow night to attending the Ted Leo and the Pharmacists show at Avalon. I've been meaning to catch one of his shows for several years now and have always missed him, so this should be good.

Pass the peas: