Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pull The Thread

     There is always a fad, right Company?  Always.  One person, or a small group of people, decide to do something a little different and eccentric and all of the sudden, before you know it, everyone in Austin and Williamsburg are wearing Buddy Holly glasses and people who will never go outside when it is below thirty are wearing North Face fleeces.  If you are from and stuck in the 90s, please allow me to translate for you:  Suddenly, everyone in Seattle is wearing plaid.
     And so we have come to the latest fad for the Christmas season: the ugly sweater party.  In case you are not familiar with this fad and all of its idiocy, here is the gist of it:  People go out to thrift shops like they are Macklemore or something and buy holiday sweaters that are maybe a little tacky or over the top, and purchase them with money. 
A hipster in his natural winter coat. 
Then, they wake up in their post-industrial loft apartments, put on their skinny jeans, their aforementioned Buddy Holly glasses, knit caps and ugly Christmas sweaters, and get together to be sarcastic and talk about iPhones and drink eggnog or whatever.  Unless of course you live in Middle America, in which case you just go down in the basement, take your maybe a little tacky or over the top Christmas sweater out of the box marked "Christmas sweaters," and wear it when you get together to eat funeral potatoes and calico beans while playing Apples to Apples.  Either way, it is the big trend.  And either way it has to stop.  Immediately.
     There are so many problems with this whole ugly Christmas sweater thing that I am not even sure where to begin.  First of all - like everything - it has gone commercial and people have figured out how to make a buck off of it.  Back in the day you did just like above - purchased your ugly Christmas sweater at Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul, so the only entities that were making money off of it were charitable organizations.  Or maybe someone who was having a rummage sale.  And they deserved it because everyone knows rummage sales occur in the summertime, and if you are moving Christmas items at your Memorial Day rummage sale, you are a hell of a salesperson and deserve the three dollars you charged for it.  But now, now you can buy Christmas sweaters that are purposely make to be maybe a little tacky or over the top just for the sake of being a part of this stupid fad, which really takes away what the fad is about.  The whole idea behind the thing is that hipsters and snarky and sarcastic, and they bought sweaters that someone thought were nice and joyous and wore them to make fun of.  But when you go down to Younkers and buy a sweater that is manufactured solely to be snarky and sarcastic, you have totally taken the air out of the balloon.  You know how when teenagers are into something, and then as soon as the parents do it one time it is suddenly, deeply uncool?  That is exactly what this is like.
      The number two problem?  We should be nice to our grandmas.  Because, let's face it, you got your maybe a little tacky or over the top Christmas sweater from your grandma.  Or maybe your mother.  But in either case, it was given with real thoughtfulness.  Grandma Betty did not think that it was maybe a little tacky.  She thought it was lovely, because, why not?  Of course a sweater that looks like this

could and would only be loved by a grandma.  She really, truly though that was nice.  And here you are making fun of her.  For shame.  I know that you are in San Francisco there, groovy hipster, but you know what?  Grandma Betty has Facebook too, you know.  And she thinks you are a dick.  She is spitting in your Christmas cookies right now.
     The last thing?  It is just sort of unfair.  Not everyone has the ability to just go out and find or purchase an ugly Christmas sweater.  If you are an odd-shaped person there is no just going down to the thrift shop and getting one.  You would have to search fifteen thousand different thrift shops only to end up having to pay seventy dollars American for a brand new one from a specialty store or catalog.  For something you are only going to wear once.  That is ridiculous.  That is the problem with tuxedos, which is why you can rent a tuxedo.  Oh, you can rent an ugly Christmas sweater as it turns out, but only if you live in a major American city, in which case you are probably a hipster and don't need to rent one anyway.  Oh - and by the way - it really will be a one-off when you buy the thing to wear this year, because some of the hipster websites are saying that the ugly Christmas sweater fad has already run its course.  So maybe I should be happy about that.
       The point is this, Company: The whole thing is stupid.  In the words of Weezer, I do, desperately, want to destroy your sweater.  And so I will gladly pull the thread, macrame, iron-on felt decal, jungle bell, mismatched button, or whatever other thing I can find on this fad as it fades away into oblivion.  Because it is stupid and lame.  Maybe we can finally get back to the point where this guy

is lame and feeling ashamed.  Just like nature and Lois and I am pretty sure Weezer - but not your grandma - intended.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Jeff Winger Speeches: Advanced Gay

For those of you who don't know, I am a big fan of the television series "Community" which aired for five (5) seasons on NBC before being cancelled permanently.  Recently, it was picked up by Yahoo! Screen.  Since the mantra of the small but devoted fan base of the show has been that it should or will run for six seasons and that there will be a movie (#sixseasonsandamovie), this was a big deal.  In honor of this, I have decided to post the text of what I feel are the five most impressive Jeff Winger speeches from the show.  For those of you who are fans you will get it, for everyone else, you probably won't.  But I don't care, because this is my blog and I want to do it.  Also, I didn't have any other ideas for what to post and this sort of took care of that problem for me.  So anyway, we will continue with Jeff Winger's speech from Season 4, Episode 6, entitled "Advanced Gay."

Listen up, Colonel Cryptkeeper.  I could live a million years, and I could spend every minute of it doing important things, but at the end of it all I would have only lived half a life if I had not raised a son.  This was a gift that was handed to you - you squandered it.  And the reason you have so much hatred in your heart is because you're trying to fill the hole where your kid was supposed to go.  And now?  It's too late.  Now, you're just stomping around trying to prove you exist.  Well, mission accomplished.  But here's a question I'd like to pass on to you, from every son of every crap dad that ever lived: So what?  I'm done with you.  He's done with you.  The world is done with you.  J

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jeff Winger Speeches: Asian Population Studies

For those of you who don't know, I am a big fan of the television series "Community" which aired for five (5) seasons on NBC before being cancelled permanently.  Recently, it was picked up by Yahoo! Screen.  Since the mantra of the small but devoted fan base of the show has been that it should or will run for six seasons and that there will be a movie (#sixseasonsandamovie), this was a big deal.  In honor of this, I have decided to post the text of what I feel are the five most impressive Jeff Winger speeches from the show.  For those of you who are fans you will get it, for everyone else, you probably won't.  But I don't care, because this is my blog and I want to do it.  Also, I didn't have any other ideas for what to post and this sort of took care of that problem for me.  So anyway, we will start with Jeff Winger's first speech from Season 2, Episode 12, entitled "Asian Population Studies.

Jeff:    Did someone say case?  Because I haven't made mine yet.

Annie:     What?  What's your case?

Jeff:     Ben Chang in my case.

Annie:     You can't be serious.

Jeff:    Oh I am serious.  I am Yahoo! serious.  I am Serious FM.  Welcome to the World Series of Seriousness sponsored by Honey Nut Serieos.

Annie:     Are you stalling right now?

Jeff:     Stalling?  Hahahaha.  Stalling.  No Annie, in fact, you're going to wish I was stalling...I just go it.  Get out of here.      I want to say some names to you.  Jeffrey Dahmer.  Ted Bundy.  Rich.  What do they have in common?  We don't know them very well.  What do we know about Ben Chang?  We know he's nuts.  We know he's dangerous, unpredictable, selfish.  We know he uses his name to make bad puns.  Wen he talks, he over, and under emphasises words seemingly at random.  When he eats, he holds his fork like a murderer's knife, gnawing at its skewered payload like a deranged woodland rodent.  We know he smells like Band-Aids, we know he dresses like a Cuban cab driver, we know he exhibits - nay - flaunts proudly, obvious symptoms of over half a dozen disorders you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy's pets.  we know these things about Ben Chang.  And so much more than we ever wanted to know about him.  Why?  Because it's there.  It's on the surface.  What you see may be what you don't want, but it's also what you get.  Who is this kettle corn popping phantom?  This human question mark. This number eight scoop of vanilla tapioca, with a PhD in being swell, and masters in "everybody loves me."  Who is it?  We may never know.  I only know one thing.  Nobody is this good a person.    And nobody, can get any worse than this.  Who's voting for Chang?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jeff Winger Speeches: Advanced Criminal Law

For those of you who don't know, I am a big fan of the television series "Community" which aired for five (5) seasons on NBC before being cancelled permanently.  Recently, it was picked up by Yahoo! Screen.  Since the mantra of the small but devoted fan base of the show has been that it should or will run for six seasons and that there will be a movie (#sixseasonsandamovie), this was a big deal.  In honor of this, I have decided to post the text of what I feel are the five most impressive Jeff Winger speeches from the show.  For those of you who are fans you will get it, for everyone else, you probably won't.  But I don't care, because this is my blog and I want to do it.  Also, I didn't have any other ideas for what to post and this sort of took care of that problem for me.  So anyway, we will start with Jeff Winger's first speech from Season 1, Episode 5, entitled "Advanced Criminal Law."

Jeff:     Gentlemen.  I am sure that you suspected that Miss Perry was pretty odd before the recess.  But if you could have heard all the stuff she just told me in the shower, you would realize that she is all the way out of her entire damn mind.  She doesn't want to succeed, because she doesn't think she can.  So she goes out of her way to fail.  That's crazy.  But, do we really want to make it a crime to be crazy at Greendale?  I mean look at us.  You two are arguing about status at a college that correspondence schools make fun of.  Dean, you want do bad for this place to be Ivy League that you are putting us at risk of electrocution.  Because everyone on this campus is nuts.

Leonard, from in the pool:     Not me!

Jeff:     Oh come on, Leonard.  If you're going to argue with me, put on a bathing suit.

Leonard:  Busted!  Hahaha!

Jeff:     If you want to rehabilitate your fellow inmate, you need to sentence her to staying here with us.  Because if crazy people can't be at Greendale, where are we supposed to go?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Jeff Winger Speeches: Pilot

For those of you who don't know, I am a big fan of the television series "Community" which aired for five (5) seasons on NBC before being cancelled permanently.  Recently, it was picked up by Yahoo! Screen.  Since the mantra of the small but devoted fan base of the show has been that it should or will run for six seasons and that there will be a movie (#sixseasonsandamovie), this was a big deal.  In honor of this, I have decided to post the text of what I feel are the five most impressive Jeff Winger speeches from the show.  For those of you who are fans you will get it, for everyone else, you probably won't.  But I don't care, because this is my blog and I want to do it.  Also, I didn't have any other ideas for what to post and this sort of took care of that problem for me.  So anyway, we will start with Jeff Winger's first speech from Season 1, Episode 1, simply entitled "Pilot."

Jeff:     Alright everybody!  I want to say something. Sit down. You know what makes humans different from other animals?  We're the only species on earth that observes Shark Week.  Sharks don't even observe Shark Week, but we do.  For the same reason that I can pick up this pencil, tell you it's name is Steve, and go like this, and a little part of you dies just a little bit on the inside.  Because people can connect with anything.  We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck an Academy Award for screenwriting,  People can find the good in just about anything but themselves.  Look at me.  It is clear to all of you that I am awesome, but I can never admit that because that would make me an ass.  What I can do, is see what makes Annie awesome.  She's driven.  We need driven people, or the lights go out and the ice cream melts.  And Pierce - we need guys like Pierce. This guy has wisdom to offer.  We should listen to him sometime, we wouldn't regret it.  And Shirley.  Shirley has earned our respect, not as a wife, not as a mother, but as a woman.  And don't test her on that, because that thing about the jukebox was way to specific to be improvised.  And Troy, who cares if Troy thinks he's all that?  Maybe he is.  You think astronauts go to the moon because they hate oxygen?  No, they're trying to impress their high school's prom king.  And Abed.  Abed is a shaman.  You ask him to pass the salt, he gives you a bowl of soup.  Because, you know what?  Soup is better.  Abed is better.  You are all better than you think you are, you are just designed not the believe it when you hear it from yourself.  I want you to look to the person to your left.  Sorry, look at the person next to you.  I want you to extend to that person the same compassion that you extend to sharks, pencils, and Ben Affleck. I want you to say to that person "I forgive you."

All:     I forgive you.

Jeff:     You've just stopped being a study group.  You have become something unstoppable.  I hereby pronounce you a community.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

All Aboard the Amtrak

     'This is the most terribly thing that I have ever seen."  Those are the words that I just uttered as I plowed through the second half hour of a 90 minute podcast.  Of course, this was not the Big Dave and Company Podcast, because no one would ever say that about the Big Dave and Company Podcast, but it was a different one and it was a train wreck, but not an adorable train wreck like we always were.  This was just terrible.  But you have to say "terrible" as if you were Charles Barkley in order to get the same effect. 
Gillian Jacobs
So anyway, it was terrible but I was enthralled, and it was not just because the bewitching Gillian Jacobs was on it.  There was just something about it that made me unable to look away.
     Why are we like that?  What is wrong with us as humans, Company, that we just can't seem to look away from a train wreck.  Is that the state of the human condition?  Gaper's block?  Is that what we have come to?  We are at the point in humanity where the number one thing in our day is slowing down on the freeway to stare over at the other side of the median at the result of what happens when a guy in a Kia Rio decided to cut off a semi.  And then we go home and talk about it.
    But we don't just talk about it at home.  That is what is on our news.  Awful, awful things are on the news.  There is a reason why the national news reporter is always embedded with the Army unit and not Doctors Without Borders.  Because we don't care that much about the good things.  For some reason, we do not want to watch a half hour of good news and positive things at 6 PM.  We want to watch a half hour of train wrecks, blood and gore, people fighting, with a little weather and a live spot from the Dolphins' training camp and then one single, solitary good story just to remind us that we really are good as people.  That maybe we really are okay and do like puppies.  It sort of just allows us enough of a sliver of hope to believe that we aren't terrible people who are into the gore.
     We are though, and that is the problem.  Ever seen news footage of an Amtrak train crash?  It seemed like it was happening once a week during the 90s and I am sure you could YouYube the hell out of it.  What you will notice is fifty people standing around watching what it happening and three people running towards the wreckage to help someone.  And if it were happening today each of those hundred people would have their cell phone out to record what was going on.  Because that is the way we are.  We don't want to watch, but we can't turn away, and we know it.  We know that we will watch over and over those three people running towards what is left of those train cars, and someone has to provide the video.  We don't want to watch but we can't turn away.  We need the puppy parade section of the news to make remind us that we don't want to watch.  But the embedded reporter is the part that can not turn away.
     And we are getting worse, too.  Look at the video of the Hindenburg burning.  How many people are running towards that thing despite the fact that it is clearly not going to end well?  Well, no one at first because it is a fireball falling from the sky.  But once it settles there they all go, running towards it.  Way more than would be today.  There they go, full steam ahead, just like we as humanity are.  Full steam ahead towards the next Amtrack crash so we can gawk and get our sick, cheap, thrills.  All aboard!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Non-Dairy Communications

     Charter Communications is non-dairy creamer, Company.  And I can prove it.
     Little Jeffy and I have a tradition.  When we go out to eat, we always a.) pay the bill at the end of the day, b.) each drink a creamer, and c.) put something from the table down in front of the other person to eat.  For example, I grab a packet of sugar and put it in front of him and he has to eat it.  And Little Jeffy, because he is kind of a dick, finds the one little packet of Vegemite in the bottom of the jelly tray that the Australian minstrels left there last week and puts it in front of me and I have to eat that.  I know, you wish you had thought of that awesome game.  Sorry, sometimes you have to let someone else be awesome.
     Anyway, here we sit, Little Jeffy and I, at a Pizza Hut in Warsaw, Missouri.  And he finds, among the packets, the solitary packet of powered non-dairy creamer, because - as we discussed earlier - he is a dick.  So me, being a manly man and a media mogul, I eat it, fully knowing that it was going to be terrible.  And it was.  It was a little bitter but also milky and had the texture of wet drywall.  Then, for one shining moment, for one, brief, glorious, amazing moment, it was almost sickly sweet.  It was delicious.  Like cotton candy wrapped in marshmallow fluff.  And then it went back to drywall.  But it was in there, that one delicious moment, that wasn't enough to make you want to wade through the rest of the shit, but that if you knew it was coming it made the rest not quite so bad.
    So fast forward to Charter Communications, one of the giant cable companies that roams our great land preying on our desire to watch reruns of Mad About You.  A company whose ego and desire for subscribers is so large that it actually advertises on ITSELF which is the most ridiculous thing ever.  Anyway, it runs all these commercials (could you even imagine how cheap your cable bill would be if they would just kill it with all the advertisements?), and they are just about evenly split between commercials attacking Direct TV and commercials with jaunty songs that are really, just terrible.  They are catchy but lame and awful, and they air so much that in time they act like an earwig and get into your brain until such time as you just want to stab yourself, and everyone at Charter.  They very, very quickly become the drywall part of the non-dairy creamer.  You hate them.  You mute them.  You scream and scorn them.  You slog your way through their awfulness because you really like Mad About You apparently.  And then it happens.
     The commercial changes.  The one with the guys on the motorcycles is gone, and in its place is one with a noticeably diverse group of Charter operators who sing and dance, which I would guess is completely made up except for the part with the cubicles.  And it is SO FANTASTIC to have this new commercial.  You watch.  You might even sing.  You pay attention enough to see that the phone number to call has changed (also, how much is is costing them to keep getting all these phone numbers?).  It is so great.  Suddenly, you are out of the red when it comes to Charter and for a split second you consider actually subscribing even though you know they don't have service at your house. 
     You have reached that moment in the packet of non-dairy creamer when it tastes good.  And I think that we all know how the story goes from here.  I think we can extrapolate and figure out what happens.  I think that we all should also know that I have always wanted to use the word "extrapolate" in a blog post.  you like the commercial, but then it comes on approximately nine times during the half hour episode of Mad About You, and then another, oh I don't know, eleventy billion times during Bones, and all the sudden you hate it.  You have gone down the back side of the hill and are into drywall territory again.And you hate it.  But you live through it because you don't remember which version of Law & Order is on next, despite hating it.  The cycle begins again, and the only thing that keeps you going is that one sweet moment that you know is on the horizon when the commercial changes again.  It is not enough to make you want to watch the commercial - it really isn't.  But it IS just enough to get you by.

Monday, August 04, 2014


     So there is this thing called Urban Dictionary.  Have you heard of this, Company?  It is a website that one can edit - Wikipedia style - where you can put all sorts of popular slang terms.  It's neat.  So, let's look at some of the recent words of the day and I am going to tell you what I think about them.  How does that sound to you?

Intern Lunch - A lunch that takes two or more hours.
What the hell is this about?  Back in the 80s, when everyone wore really skinny ties and apparently we weren't quite so uptight about everything, this was called a three martini lunch because executives took long lunches and they would drink like three martinis or something.  Because you could get all drunked up during the day apparently.  Anyway, now it is applied to interns, because one must be an intern who is so insignificant at a company that you wouldn't be missed for two hours in the middle of the day.   But bosses take these lunches too, so we can see who is doing the work in the average American company.  Also, what sort of shitty company has interns who have two free hours a day?  I could teach these companies a thing or two about how to treat an intern, especially an unpaid intern.

Hashtag Abuser - One who overuses the hashtag symbol, especially on non-Twitter or Instagram apps.
#hashtag #nofuckingshit #settlewiththehashtages #onmyfreakinggod #stopwiththehashtags #hashtagabuser

Banana Hammock - 
You know what this is.  And no one should wear one.  Not ever.  Except maybe Borat.  One should always have more of a grocery bag vibe going when concerning one's hammock.  Even in Europe.

Clink Sink Drink - While drinking an alcoholic shot, the act of clinking your glass with a partner, sinking the glass to the table, and then raising and drinking the shot.
1.) Just because it rhymes doesn't mean that it needs to be said.
2.) Yeah, there is nothing that every bartender wants to do more than wipe booze up off the table and/or bar.  Just take the shot fuck knuckle.

Sober Drunk - The feeling of being drunk with the rest of your friends while you are actually completely sober.
Why fucking bother?  That was my first thought.  But then I started thinking about this concept, and I realize that it is really pretty amazing.  So you are telling me that you can go out and essentially get shitfaced - or at least get the feeling of being shitfaced - without paying all the money and taking all the risk of being drunk in public.  AND you get to drive around when you are done?  That is the absolute best.

Bropinion - Your bro's opinion.
Enough said, but to be honest, one doesn't have to put the word bro into every situation in which it fits and in which your good male friend is involved.  I like it though.  I feel, though, like I should be wearing a hat with a really straight brim including sticker when saying it.  Very Jersey Shore in a way.

Steppin on My Dick - When someone disrespects your manhood.
I feel like this is a term that is unnecessary.  I wouldn't think that someone would step on one's dick to disrespect someone's manhood.  Can you even think about the logistics that would be involved with stepping on someone's dick?  Like, actually, physically stepping on someone's dick?  Like, how does one even go about that?  Do you just ask them nicely?  "Excuse me, can you just lie down on the ground for a minute so that I can step on your dick?"  I am not sure that would work.  You could always just like kick the guy in the back of the knees to get him down but then why not just kick the shit out of him.  Wouldn't that work just as well?  I mean, to step on his dick you would still have to sort of position him correctly.  And if you weren't wearing shoes, like if you were at the beach or something, then would you have to go obtain some form of footwear?  Can you step on a man's dick barefoot?  There are a lot of practical and ethical conflicts that would have to be sorted out.  I am thinking this needs to be done over drinks.  Clink, sink, drink.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Hello, Caller

     So here I sit, Company, on a lazy warm Sunday morning, sucking down coffee and wondering why my space bar seems to be working only intermittently.  While all of this hot action (I am sure that this look behind the curtain at the fascinating life of a media mogul is almost more than you can stand) is going on I am listening to a radio show called A Way With Words.  This is a show on which two linguists take phone calls and e-mails for an hour or so about words and phrases and what they mean and where they come from, etc.  So I am sitting here and listening to the people call in and I suddenly realize how big of a deal it would be for me to do that.  Seriously.  And I am a media mogul.  But let's me honest, I just don't call in to the radio on a daily basis.  But there are people who do, and that blows my mind.  The more I think about it, I see two main groups of people when it comes to radio call in folks.
     There is a group of people who call into radio shows all the time.  Seriously.  They pick up the phone and ask questions or scream opinions at hosts on sometimes a daily basis.  If one listens to a lot of talk radio or sports radio you know the type.  The hosts know their name and story without prompts.  And the callers don't think twice about picking up the phone and getting it on with the professional talkers.  I can not even fathom that.
     I site squarely in the middle of the second group, and I suspect that most of you do too, Company.  For me to call a radio show would be a big deal.  A big deal.  I would be nervous as hell and I would most likely stammer over my words at least a little.  And the phone call and appearance would be the culmination of a long, arduous process.  I would have to think it over for a long time.  I would have to discuss it with my friends, family, and co-workers, but not the Unpaid Interns because I don't care what they have to say.  I would worry and obsess about whether or not my question was dumb, or whether or not the radio hosts would have to think about it or if they would dismiss it as not being worthy of discussion.
     Once that was all sorted out, then I would have to sit and consider whether a tweet or text or e-mail to the show might be a more appropriate than a phone call.  Those can be composed in advance and screened prior to pushing send, but then again they might not be used on the show.  I might never get my answer.  So is my point so poignant or my question so important that I need to risk making a fool out of myself on a nationally syndicated radio show?  Or even a local show? 
     It's all so hard to me, Company.  It really is.  And as I sit here listening no longer to A Way With Words but to America's Test Kitchen, I can't help but to think that the people who are calling in are squarely in my camp.  I imagine that they have made careful (if maybe not as neurotic) consideration as I have before making the call to get their answer.  And maybe that is a function of the shows I am listening to on this particular morning, but I just don't see any of these folks as serial callers.  I believe they have a problem and don't know where else to turn.  But my goodness, it would take a long time for me to get to that point.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One Weird Guy

     One weird guy.  One weird guy.  There is always one weird guy every night when I work at the bar.  You see, Company, like any good media mogul, I work regular, everyday Joe jobs in order to keep in touch with the people who consume the many, many products my empire creates.  Smart, I know.  So anyway, I have been bartending recently and I have noticed that there is always that one weird guy hanging out at the bar.  And for some reason, he always seems to stiff me on the tip.  But that is neither here nor there, I think that what we need to address is the weirdness.
This is a ghost ninja.  Or the one weird guy.
     Why, weird guy?  Are you not familiar with the fact that you are weird?  Lately, there have been a lot of twenty-somethings out having fun at my bar.  And that is fine.  Celebrating a birthday.  Girls night out, etc.  No big deal.  And in a tourist town there are always some folks on vacation who wander in from the boat or a pack of middle aged men who just can't stand to be drug through ONE MORE STORE by their families, and those folks are no problem, because they tend to travel in packs and usually only have a drink or two.  So they filter through while the younger set camps out with their phones and plugs the jukebox.  But then, somewhere along the way, that one weird guy filters in. 
     He never sneaks in the back door, which is strange.  He always comes in the front so I can see him coming from a mile away.  But nobody else sees him coming because they are having fun, I see everything, and he operates somewhere on the spectrum between ghost and ninja, at least when he is entering a bar.  Once in the bar, though, the one weird guy sticks out like a sore freaking thumb.  And once he sits down and orders a beer - the one weird guy always drinks beer - the whole tone of the place
See if you can find the one weird guy in this photo.  He is in there somewhere.  It's like "Where's Waldo?"
changes.  Sure, the jukebox is still pumping.  And sure, the phones are still out (because your are at the bar with your friends but either not ALL of the friends or not the RIGHT friends and there might be something better out there).  And sure, the drinks are still flowing.  And sure, the jokes are still being made.  But it gets different.  The tone drops a notch because you don't want the one weird guy to hear.  The groups turn inward towards one another and stop interacting with one another because the one weird guy is usually sitting in between.  And any dancing that might be taking place stops too because the one weird guy is watching.
      He is always watching, because he wants to be part of the action.  But he can't be.  There is always something keeping him from being part.  He is either too shy or too old or something.  Or maybe he just likes watching.  But that is what he does.  He watches.  Even when he wants you to think he is watching SportsCenter on the big TV he is really watching all the twenty-somethings.  And it is painfully obvious.  To everyone.
     Just about the time that the mood has settled significantly, the one weird guy disappears.  He slinks out just like he came in - silently.  Or, he stays long, long after all the other folks have left.  But that is okay, because in a weird and strange way there is value to the service that this ghost of the party provides to any bar scene.  He comes in at the height of the party precisely because he sees the party going on full tilt.  And simply through his presence he starts the process of winding down the party.  It causes the groups to filter out to their ultimate destinations.  He starts the end of the night.  He serves a purpose.  And of course, he always gives a shitty tip, despite the eight beers he has drunk.  And for that I will always dislike you, one weird guy.  Just like all of the twenty-somethings in the bar. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Random Thoughts

    Do you remember Doogie Howser, M.D.?  Both the show and the kid?  At the end of every episode, which was the end of every day in the life of that kid, he sat down at what back then was a pretty state of the art desktop with sweet but unrealistic white on blue graphics and typed out his diary, describing what he learned, growing up little by little with each word that followed that white cursor.  And that was crazy for back then, because back in the late 80s and early 90s you just didn't do shit like that.  You still had the old notebook and if you were a girl there was a lock on the front so your parents and little and big brother didn't find out.  Because that was in the days of discretion, back before Big Brother meant a show on which you did all of those old diary things on camera because it made for good ratings and everyone would talk about you at the water cooler the next morning.  And that in itself is strange because there was a time not too long ago where one didn't want people talking about them at the water cooler.  God, do I sound old.
     But I digress.  Although I definitely feel that there is a certain romance to the written word - the physical, actual written word - in which one drags an inkpen or even pencil across a piece of paper, actually writing stuff down takes a long, long time.  And there isn't even any spell check at all.  So when I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe taking a few minutes to spill out some of the things that are collecting in my head each day would be a good idea, I quickly came to the realization that if I wrote in in, oh say a Black and Red book for example, I wouldn't actually get much accomplished because I would only get in a paragraph or two, and it would all be in undeciperable chicken scratch that even I can't read sometimes.  Plus, no matter how many times I write a word and underline it with blue pen on a piece of paper it doesn't magically become a link so some other relevent content that explains the shit out of things so I don't have to.
     So the now much improved over Doogie Howser times computer seemed to be the answer for me, and I immediately began to think about how it was that I would format a word document so that I could write what would essentially be a journal entry every single day.  But Word, for as functional as it is, and for a revolutionary as it has been for the modern American office, sort of sucks butt.  It is soulless, at least until one pumps some soul into it.  So why not pump some soul into the Internet, right Company?  I mean, there is nothing interesting or even remotely creative on that thing.  99.87% of it is porn and I am pretty sure that the rest of it is just Facebook and YouTube and whatever else Google permits to be on the Internet these days.  But I am here, and I always have been.  Sometimes I might go away, and you might think that you are safe from me but you are not.  I am like the West Nile virus, except that there are easier ways to tell if I am around than cutting open every dead crow that one finds on the roadside.
     Which by the way, how messed up is that?  The only way that the health officials in this country can tell if the West Nile virus is beginning to run rampant in your community is to test dead crows.  First of all, how do they know which crows to test?  There are approximately eleventy billion dead crows out there, and I just have this vision of public health workers screeching to a halt on the side of an Iowa highway and scooping up dead crows into their cars.  And in my vision there is a really intense thunderstorm threatening and they are almost more like storm chasers who are screeching to a halt to pick up dead crows.  But things always tend to get sort of skewed in our heads, not don't they, Company?
     Anyway, the second thought I have when we are out searching for West Nile on the highways and byways and in the backyards of this great land is this: Who the hell came up with that test?  Like, what individual was sitting around a conference room at the CDC or Johns Hopkins and was like "Let's test some crow's blood?"  That's messed up.  I assure you that wasn't developed in Salem, MA because only a witch would think of that shit.  But then again, how does anything get developed?  You know chocolate?  Yeah, that chocolate.  It comes from roasting the bean of a pod that only grows on one type of plant in a place far, far away.  On Good Eats they told me that animals and early man came for the fruit of the pod.  But somewhere along the way someone had to look at that bean and be like "Let's heat it up!" or they had to pick a bean out of a fire and eat it.
     Who does that?  Back in the day we used to make fun of the kid who sat on the playground and ate asphalt, but maybe it is time to rethink that strategy, because that is the guy who is going to discover the next chocolate, and he is going to be rich as hell.  And he is not going to invite any of us to his sexy parties.  And yes, I say "he" and not "she" or whatever, because I just don't care.  Okay?  Dear females: it doesn't matter if I write "he" or "she" because when I write in the masculine it is just because I am lazy and it saves me a letter.  A woman could do any of those things.  A woman could absolutely discover the next chocolate and get super rich and famous.  And more power to her.  I wish her well.  Except that now the men are mad because the don't get to invent chocolate and now everyone is pissed and we are stuck with current chocolate forever.  And that is okay.  Because chocolate is delicious.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blog Classic: An Open Letter to Augusta National Golf Club

With The Masters upon us, I think it is time to take a look back at my thoughts on that particular golf tournament and those who put it on.

Dear Augusta National Golf Club,

     The annual golf tournament that spotlights all that you are is in full swing this week with the actual golf part starting today, and as such a lot of your little quirks are being exposed to the world, or at least exposed as much as you allow them to be.  A lot is made of the fact that you are all the things that the golf courses that the rest of the world plays on (read, public courses) are not.  You are meticulously groomed.  You have 1.4 million rules, approximately half of which are unwritten.  You are covered with Jim Nantz's special sauce.  And mostly you are super exclusive.  I can't tell you how many times this week I have had to hear about how to wear one of your awful and pretentious green jackets you have to be rich as hell, how you don't admit people who come asking, how you only have thirty members, etc, etc. How the amount of tickets to watch your events are even incredibly scarce.  There was even an article on Yahoo! about how your food is affordable precisely because you don't need the money.  The point of all of this is to make it clear to me, and to 99.99999999999999999999999999999% of America, not to mention the rest of the world, that you simply don't care about us.  And that is just fine.  But here is the deal Augusta National Golf Club, I am just writing this open letter to you in order to let you know in front of everybody that I don't care about you.
      In fact, it goes a little deeper than that.  I don't give a shit about you.  Not one bit.  I don't even hate you.  I have nothing against you.  But I have no special feelings towards you.  I am totally ambivilent about your policies, practices, positions, members, etc.  I just simply do not care.  Aside from this week when CBS takes you and force feeds you to me, I do not devote a single moment of time to thinking about you ever.  The only exception would be if I were in Augusta and driving by I might mention to whomever is in the car that we were passing Augusta National, but other than that you don't even register a blip on my radar.
      I know that this doesn't matter to you.  Except that I also know that is a lie.  Just like it is a lie when I tell you that I don't care.  I obviously care because I am taking the time to write this letter and leave it open for everyone to read.  And you obviously care because you allow everyone to know just how exclusive you are.  That is why you - as rumor has it but if it were true it wouldn't surprise me one bit - you held up Bill Gates' membership for a couple of extra years.  Because he said that he wanted to be in.  And you don't respond to people who want to be in.  You make them wait and come to them.  You play very hard to get, because you desperately want to be wanted.  Scratch that, you desperately want to be needed.  Just like me.  Just like Mike-a-licious.  And just like Jean Pearson of Cascade Locks, OR.  We all need to be needed.  And so do you.  So very badly.
    The sad thing though is that it won't matter.  So many people fall victim to your little game.  So many people desperately want to be in.  So many want your hideous green jacket.  It just feeds your ego and strokes your..well, we will leave that to the imagination.  But I am not going to fall into the trap.  I am not going to play your game.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB.  I just don't.  So there.  Go focus on everyone else.  I am not interested.  You have been given notice.  And truth be told, if you were to send me an invitation I would not accept it.  So don't bother.  Enjoy your taste of your own medicine.  I will just sit back and wait for my invitation to come in the mail.

Bite My Swimsuit Area,

Big Dave

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Major League: An Anniversary

    In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the release of one of the greatest movies of all time: Major League 2: back to the Minors, we are going...oh wait.  That movie sucked balls.  And it didn't come out 25 years ago.  But the original Major League did.  The one with Corbin Burnsen and Wesley Snipes and Charlie Sheen (this was when he started "winning" I think).  That one came out 25 years ago.  So in honor of that we are going to look at the twenty-five (pretty classy of me to spell that out, don't you think?) best one liners from the movie.  Except that we are only going to do 20, because 25 is a lot.  All ranked by me, Big Dave, except that they are in no particular order.

Mr. Butler: (Pointing to roster of players) This guy here is dead.
Mrs. Phelps: Cross him off then.

Charlie Donovan:  This looks like Jake Taylor.
Lou Brown: He was an All-Star in Boston, wasn't he?
Charlie Donovan: Yeah.
Pepper Leach:  Wish we had him two years ago.
Charlie Donovan: We did.
Pepper Leach: Four years then.

Lou Brown:  Thought you didn't have any high-priced talent.
Charlie Donovan:  Forget about Dorn 'cause he's only high priced.

Willy Mays Hayes:  What the hell league you been playin' in?
Rick Vaughn:  California Penal.


Willy Mays Hayes:  Shit, I've been cut already?

Lou Brown:  Well, you may run like Mays, but you hit like shit.


Harry Doyle: Just a bit outside!

Harry Doyle:  Haywood swings and crushed it towards South America.  Tomlinson's gonna need a visa to catch that one!

Harry Doyle:  The Post Game show is brought to you by...Christ.  I can't find it.  The hell with it.


Harry Doyle:  For the Indians, one run, and let's see, one hit.  Is that all we got, one Goddamn hit?
Stat Man:  You can't say that on air."
Harry Doyle, brushing him off.  Ahh...nobody's listening.

Jake Taylor:  Uh oh Rexie. I don't think that one's got the distance.

Jake Taylor:  Well, then, I guess there's only one thing to do.
Willy Mays Hayes:  What's that?
Jake Taylor:  Win the whole fucking thing.


The entire American Express commercial.

Roger Dorn: I've only got one thing to say to you.  Strike this f&*#er out.

Pedro Cerrano: I pissed off now, Jobu.  I good to you. I stand up for you. I you no help me now, I say fuck you, Jobu.  I do it myself.

Harry Doyle:  Haywood's a convicted felon, isn't it, Marty?
Monty:  It doesn't say here.
Harry Doyle:  Well he should be.

Charlie Donovan:  [Lou], How would you like to manage the Indians this year?
Lou Brown:  I don't know...
Charlie Donovan:  What do ya mean you don't know?  This is a chance to manage in the big leagues.
Lou Brown:  Lemme think it over, will ya, Charlie?  I got a guy on the other line about some white walls.  I'll talk to ya later.

All of this, because it deserves three:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Riverboat Gamblers: Following the Current

    Company, I want to share with you, verbatim, the conversation that I had with the venerable Pins McGee last night, because you deserve it.  I warn you though, it is not appropriate for children.  Or anyone who is into political correctness.  Or anyone who is into just plain correctness.  Or anyone who hates grown, bearded men acting like lame, goateed college douches.  Or really anyone at all.  You've been warned

BD: What do you think about a TV show about us living on a Mississippi River houseboat?

P:  I think there's six TV networks that would jump all over that!  As would I.  There's a lot of potential there.

BD:  Like we just go around having adventures.  Visit all the college town along the river from New Orleans to Bemidji and up the Ohio and Missouri.

P:  That actually sounds really fun.  Where do I sign up and where did you get this idea?

BD:  I saw a bunch of houseboats for sale on Craigslist and I was like "A guy could get laid a lot with one of those things.  Plus MacGyver lived on one of those and he kicked ass." And you are the only other person I know who would appreciate the lifestyle.

P:  1.) If there was ever one text that basically summed up our friendship that would probably be it. 2.)  I like being in a situation where I can pretend to be MacGyver and also get laid a lot. 3.) So if we're pitching this to a network it goes something like "Two guys with a wily sense of humor travel around the central US on a houseboat visiting various night life hotspots wherever they find port!"

BD:  And going to every sporting event they can get their hands on.

P:  I'm dead serious about pursuing this, we can make a pitch video and just start pounding different networks until one of them bites.  TruTV comes to mind.

BD:  Yes, they would dig it.

P:  I didn't even think of that.  That's even more potential for excitement.

BD:  And w could try for some sort of tie in with Maxim where we write a monthly column about what we do as well.

P:  Oooh now that's being a true media mogul! Riverboat Gamblers: Following the Current of something like that.

BD:  Yeah.  Nothing gets you laid faster than a houseboat with a Maxim tie-in.  I feel we need to interview those All Hockey Hair Team guys at least once.

P:  For sure.  Find obscure internet celebrities along the banks and do a little podcast or blog with them for BD&C and also get it on camera for the show.  Starting with the All Hockey Hair guys.  That will set a strong base for what we're about.

BD:   Yeah. It is going to be spectacular.

P:  Now I'm looking up houseboats too.  Potential everywhere.  Haha! (Editor's Note:  Pins spent hours scouring the Internet and sent me his preferred houseboat late this morning. - BD)

BD:  I know.  And the best thing is that you only need a sort of nice one and there will be nothing but coeds in bikinis all over the place.

P:  Exactly.  As long as it doesn't remind them of a frat basement they're all over it.  Think of all the girls jumping on our boat who can't afford to go to Panama City or wherever.

BD:  For sure.  "Come down below and I can show you where Pins interviews people for TruTV."  That will be my pickup line.

P:  "If you ask Captain Dave nicely, he might let you take a spin in his Captain's Chair."  Plus with my culinary expertise we can have huge cookouts and whatnot. (Editor's Note: Pins McGee looks resplendent in an cookout apron. - BD

BD:  We would also have a first class bar.

P:  That should go without saying.  Haha.  Just saw one with a whole second level captains cabin that would make a great HQ for the show.  Would probably have to do a little retro fitting to any one of them to give us both our own little space though.

BD:  And we must have a dinghy in tow at all times.  Or like a little Zodiac.  There are two bedroom houseboats out there.

P:  The same boat I just mentioned actually had a dinghy lift on the back!  Great minds...hahaha.  And I've seen a few, kind of hard to tell on some how the layout is.  Wouldn't be hard to make one either if the space was already there.  A jetski would be nice too but I would never be sober enough to safely operate it.

BD:  We put the jetski on the dinghy life and tow the Zodiac.

P:  Done and done.  I was going to ask about bringing along a skipper for when we're taking care of coeds but then I realized, where the hell do we really have to be?  Just drop anchor and wait 'til we're good and ready to leave.

BD:  Oh yeah.  You have to anchor on a sand bar or something so people can swim and mingle.  Because I assume we will have a party flotilla following us around after the first week or so.

P:  Good call, maybe we need more of a rotating local navigator then to show us some sweet places to drop anchor at.  Spring Break Sweeps Week is going to be crazy for us.  Probably get invited to DJ some college parties/night clubs too.

BD:  Well yeah.  And we would have people calling us to be in their VIP rooms because it would increase the gate.

P:  There's really no ceiling for what we could do with this.

He is so right.  I know you can't wait, Company.  Send us your applications for important crew positions now.  We need a qualified key grip and best boy ASAP.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

That is Priceless Milestone

     I don't know if you realize this, Company, but I really, really love this competing blog called That is Priceless.  I have actually taken the time to write about it before.  If you don't want to go back and read all of that stuff, I understand.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.  Some genius has taken the liberty of co-opting pieces of art, and there are a lot of them, and giving them more appropriate titles based on the actual painting.  For instance, here is one ripped directly from the digital pages of That is Priceless.


Guercino Visione, Italian

Douchebag Blowing Trumpet at 4 in the Morning, 1629

      I know, right?  Freaking genius.  Because that painting is not named Douchebag Blowing Trumpet at 4 in the Morning, it is called...well, I don't know.  Something else.  But I know it is not called that.  I do know that it is hanging in The Louvre.  Or at least it was at one time.  Some other not quite so famous titles:

     Those are all staff favorites of the folks over at That is Priceless.  So why are we taking all this time and space to talk about a blog that is competing for your attention, and by all right should be winning, a la Charlie Sheen?  Well: a.) I wanted to write a blog but had approximately zero ideas as to what to write and b.) They are coming up on an important milestone.  On Sunday, they posted Masterpiece #995, which means that sometime in the next two weeks or so they are going to come to Masterpiece #1000, and that, Company, deserves some recognition. 
     They are also hawking a book, e-book, and greeting cards on their site.  And as you know, the management here at Big Dave and Company love anyone who is out to shamelessly make money.  So go check them out today.  There is really no reason not to.  And congratulate them on their upcoming big milestone.

Monday, March 24, 2014

No Night at the Museum

   Sometimes, Company, even with the best of intentions one misses the point.  Take, for example, the good folks at the United States Secret Service.  They do a fantastic job of making sure that the political "leaders" of this country are safe and secure.  They do an equally fantastic job of looking good and running in suits.  Barney Stinson would be proud.  And I assume that they do an equally fantastic job fighting the counterfeiting of US currency, although no one ever seems to remember that is what they were originally created to do.
    And while they also do a fantastic job of literally interpreting the meaning of the word "museum," they sort of, in a way, fail at the spirit of the whole thing.  Let's start with the dictionary meaning:

museum (n) - an institution, building, etc. for preserving and exhibiting artistic or historical objects.

Okay, simple enough.  But that is a pretty broad definition.  If you want to get technical - and I do - my family was right when we called the old dance hall above my grandparents bar "the museum" because it was filled with "historical objects" that were being "exhibited."  In reality it was just filled with old junk and wasn't yet full enough to prevent anyone from looking at everything up there, even an eight year old kid.  But we were not correct in the spirit of what a museum is.  Because there were no purposefully erected exhibits or displays, and it wasn't really intended for people to see.
Secret Service - all of them.  They just want you to think "Matrix"
     That is where I take objection to the United States Secret Service Museum in Washington, D.C.  They have what appears to be a very, very nice museum in the basement of their headquarters there. Very, very nice, and it's filled with cool stuff too (they have the window from the limo that Reagan was riding in when an assassination attempt was carried out against him in 1981).  You have to be a.) a member of the Secret Service or b.) invited by a member of the Secret Service in order to visit, and that sort of just goes against the whole reason for having a museum.  It is one thing to preserve the important artifacts from your past, that is what archives are for.  But to spend all of the time, effort, and expense to create such a great place really should be open to the public.  Nay, needs to be, otherwise it can never really, truly serve its purpose.
      I mean, I get it.  I really do.  I completely and totally understand the reasoning as to why it is not open to the public.  The argument goes approximately like this: "There are items and displays in the museum that give away the secrets of how the Secret Service operates and having that knowledge in the public sphere could jeopardize the safety of our agents and those they are bound to protect.  Also, it will make our job really, really hard."  I agree.  You have a hard enough job, Secret Service, I don't want to make it any harder.  But I assume that somewhere in your budget there are line items to run the museum, create displays, acquire material, and pay the salary and benefits of a curator and probably at least one other staff person.  So put away a little money for reorganization.  Put all that sensitive stuff in a separate VIP invitation only room behind a door.  Commercial doors are only like $3000 these days so get it done.
     Let us see all the cool stuff in your museum.  Okay, let me rephrase that.  Let us see all the cool stuff in your museum up close and personal, and not through a video on Yahoo! News, although thank you for at least letting us see that.  But we want more.  We deserve more.  I am not afraid to whip out the "taxpayer" card, although in reality these days that is kind of like trying to win a pot by playing a pair of fives.  But live up to the spirit and intention behind any museum.  Open it up for us all. Because I really want to spend some time up close and personal with that interactive Wall of Heroes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 All Hockey Hair Team Review

The last few days, we have checked out the following piles of awesome:

2011 All Hockey Hair Team
2012 All Hockey Hair Team
2013 All Hockey Hair Team

So let's see what is in store for this year's edition of the All Hockey Hair Team as compiled by the good folks at Pulltab Productions, shall we?

0:08 - Great analysis right off the bat, as we would come to expect.  Or shall we say, right off the stick.

0:11 - The beginning of an epic story of struggle.  This is cinema at its best.

0:19 - Determination in the face of rejection from "Big Worldwide Company, Inc."  Classic scenario.

 0:29 - The exclamation point seals the comeback.

0:40 - Sportwrap.  Sportwrap.  Sportwrap.  Sportwrap. Braid. Sportwrap.

0:58 - Founding Fathers of Flow.  In today speak, this would translate as All Hockey Hair: Origins.

1:01 - I do love the clear boards.

1:17 - "They really had stripes because they wanted to have stripes."  Disconcerting to think that the stripes will come back as a look someday.

1:24 - That guy really does look like Keith Hernandez.

1:42 - Studz.  It just seems more appropriate with a "z"

1:47 - You don't see the headband much anymore these days.  Except in girls hockey, and now it is called a Sportwrap.

1:57 - That guy looks like the villain in every 80s teen action movie.  Or the hero.

2:10 - For all those hockey nostalgia people out there amongst the Company, notice the old, original Minnesota Northstars logo in the face off circle.

2:22 -The hashtag would be helpful.  And I love your choices.  I prefer #hashtag.

2:30 - An in-depth analysis of the wink.  This is almost like a pre game show before the All Hockey Hair Team.  It is sort of like the recently passed Selection Sunday in a way.  I am into it.

2:24 - Fros meet flow.  How about #fromeetsflow.  I like that a lot.

2:58 - You don't create something this phenomenal without doing your research prior to game time.

3:09 - "Yeah, it's curled."

3:15 - Now THAT guy can watch Magnum, P.I. anytime he wants.  Also, what would that be?  Do the drape ties match the drapes?  What comes between the carpet and drapes?  Does anyone know the answers to these life affirming questions?

3:34 - The brush of the hair while in line when the camera is looking straight down the line at everyone?  That is representing the All Hockey Hair Team like a boss.

3:35 - Okay, last year there was a kid names Wyatt, then a baby faced kid.  This year, there is a baby-faced kid named Wyatt.  I actually went back and checked the historical record because I thought Wyatt was the first two-time winner in the history of the AHHT.

4:05 - "Dual exhaust pipes."  That was almost the term of the year.

4:09 - "Austin.  C for Captain.  Or was that C for coif?"

4:42 - Anthony Keidis sighting!  Seriously, I would not be surprised one bit if he was hanging around an event of this magnitude. 

4:43 - I don't know if Zacharey does the slow motion on purpose or if Pulltab slowed it down (if they did, that is hockey hair editing at its finest), but it really is majestic.  Even though you have an extra "e" and no one knows why.

5:04 - "What's that space in the middle for?  Is that called the Spacebar?  It is now."  There is your Term of the Year.

5:36 - "Wow.  Orange mullet?  Ginger flow?  Love it."

6:00 - The panning of the newspaper stories on the tournament.  That is so classic AHHT.  So classic.  Great job.

6:25 - I miss the golden combs.

Friday, March 14, 2014

2013 All Hockey Hair Team Reveiw

As you know, over the last couple of days we have looked at the 2011 and 2012 All Hockey Hair Teams from the fabulous folks over at Pulltab Productions.  So now, in the grand tradition, let's look at what's on tap for 2013.  I assure you that it is spectacular.

0:03 - The prizes get bigger and better every year.  This year we are into consumer electronics, as we should be.  And for some reason there appears to be a glue stick involved.

0:04 - "People were wondering if I divide up into private and public school for the hockey hair team..."  No they weren't.

0:17 - Color slides.  I am impressed how every year they up the ante with the graphics.  I expect to see a star wipe before we get the All Hockey Hair Team X. (As an aside, why aren't we giving these roman numeral designations?  Because they really are the Super Bowl® Champions of hockey hair  Something to think about Pulltab.)

0:25 -This kid looks like a kid from a TV show from my youth.  I am thinking either the friend from Boy Meets World or one of the boyfriends from Roseanne, but I know neither of them is right.

0:41 - That kid is smirking because he lost a bet and the guys who made it with him never thought he would go through with it.  Well he won.  In more ways than one.

0:55 - The t-sunami.  BRILLIANT! Only Peroxide Jesus can stop the t-sunami.

0:57 - "That's called Hurricane Wyatt right there."  In all fairness that is a kickass nickname to have, especially for a hockey player.  Or a boxer.  Or a TV weatherman.

1:07 - I can't take Dallas' mullet seriously because of his baby face.  #fact.

1:30 - This might be the only time that a player's hair led a player to be disqualified from a high school hockey tournament. 

1:42 - Playing hockey with product and a hair dryer.  Inspired but I am not sure this type of action sequence fits in at this juncture.  It just comes out of nowhere.

1:54 - This just in: The Harlem Shake has nothing to do with the Hermantown Holy Trinity.  But I do like the cultural reference, though.

2:00 - How can you be so spray bottle in 2013 when you almost DQ'd someone in 2010 for blow drying!?  Looks like the lobby for Big Water got to the fine folks at Pulltab Productions.

2:05 - The Cotton Candy.  Amazing.  I love how they coin a new term every year.

2:18 - Was that a Jesus reference?

2:26 - That kid really did want the slow motion something fierce.  That is why he took to time to make sure his hair blew up as he skated in.  Sometimes you have to bow to the hair and give it what it wants.

2:32 - "You gotta read it, not write it, buddy."

2:57 - "He's the Irish Pat Riley."  That is funny on so many levels.

3:13 - Who comes up with the concept of adding blow drying directly into the team fees?  That is the most hilarious thing I have ever heard.  So great.

3:35 - It is the beard that earned him the Captain's letter.

4:28 - Siri fails epically here.  Epically.

4:46 - This kid reminds me of the hockey kids from the movie Dogma.  They are representing the Stygian Triplets in the movie whereas this kid is representing what every Minnesota kid does from Thanksgiving though St. Patrick's Day, but whatever.

We will look at the latest iteration next week.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2012 All Hockey Hair Team Review

Yesterday we looked at the 2011 All Hockey Hair Team as chosen by the good folks over at Pulltab Productions, and it was awesome.  So today let's take a gander at 2012.


0:01 - I can't tell you, Company, just how much I like the slow panning shot of the newspapers with brackets and hair prize combs and hockey tape.

0:15 - I feel like Rust-o-leum is not necessary on plastic combs.

0:21 - Props in the introductions?  Not in year two.  In a few more years once this becomes super popular - and it will be - the players will catch on and start using the props.  Just be patient young grasshopper.

0:42 - The goalie sprint has been a staple of hockey introductions for years.  It never once occurred to me that they were doing it to make their hair blow.  It all makes sense to me now.

0:53 - As we have come to expect for the All Hockey Hair Team broadcast, great color commentary, noting that the amount of product kept the young man from getting the hair movement he was obviously striving for.

1:04 - Hair-mantown!  It could also have been Her-MANE - town.  That would have been good, too.

1:18 - Half of the Combo Platter is nothing but forehead. 

1:30 - The stare and the hair. 

1:30 - "Part shower cap with a little bit of fro."  That is right on the money.  I am disappointed they did not comment on the pseudo beard facial treasure trail that the kid has going on his face.

1:47 - The coach does have perfect hockey coach hair.

1:53 - This guy doesn't have a mustache, so I know he doesn't watch Magnum, P.I.  In fact, I am pretty sure that your TV has technology built into it these days that can sense what you look like, and if you aren't sporting a glorious 'stache or wearing super short shorts or named T.C. it will block out the Magnum, P.I. channel.

2:05 - "If he said "hi" to anyone it would be his stylist." Brilliant!  I almost lost my shit on that one.

2:15 - Good catch on the unevenness of the classic mullet. I am continually impressed by the quality of the color commentary. As long as the narrator is wearing a Don Cherry jacket.

2:23 - I am going to try the Pop Tart.

2:42 - A team award for the first time ever!  Hair team shocker!  And it all starts with their coach, right?

3:00 - Music!?  NO WAY!  Rockin out like all the great hairstyles.  Special props to the Pulltab crew though because they did not go for the usual hair song suspects - "Whip My Hair", or anything from the musical Hair.  So they made a solid choice.  Anything by Blondie would have also been appropriate for this application but I am not sure everyone would have gotten the reference.

3:55 - Good note on the mustache.  "It's not thick enough to block shots yet..."  Hilarious!  It is also not thick enough to watch Magnum, P.I.

3:55 - I am also a little concerned about this kids sort of weird, off centered and strange sized multiple soul patches he has going on.  What the hell, guy?

4:02 - Surprised by the Clark Gable.  Good recovery though.  The narrator is a pro.

4:18 - Applies the term "Combo Platter" to a completely different situation than it was before.  They need to get someone in to control their continuity.  But I do suppose there are millions of different kinds of combo platters in this world, so we will let it slide.  This one is the always popular head/facial hair combo platter.

4:40 - Planning for next year.  Solid.  Also, I want someone to carve me in butter.  It seems only appropriate.

The last three minutes of this video are just the hair song playing.  I wish they would have put a montage behind it.  That would have been glorious.  But oh well.  Still a great video.  Tomorrow we will look at the 2013 All Hockey Hair Team.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2011 All Hockey Hair Team Review

    Every once in a while you stumble upon something so fantastic, so amazing, so life changing yet affirming that you just can't keep it to yourself, no matter what the most influential blogger in the history of the world tells you about keeping things to yourself. So, in the spirit of sharing things that are great, let's talk about the All Hockey Hair Team.

     The good folks at Pulltab Productions somewhere up in Minnesota have struck greatness gold.  Somewhere along the way, they decided to do in depth research and commentary on the magnificent hair styles sported by the high school hockey players in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Playoffs.  Seeing as these commentaries affected us in glorious ways that we didn't even know possible, we thought it only right that we comment on them ourselves.


 0:01 - Scrolling titles.  Classy.

1:11 - TOSSING THE SALAD!  That has a different meaning in Minnesota than I am used to I guess.  Bonus points for the slow motion because the slow motion salad toss makes this kid look super dreamy.  Man, my therapist is going to have a field day with that comment.

1:23 - Appreciation of the "straight, old-school mullet."  Solid.  MacGyver would be proud.

1:35 - Did he just compare Derek to a Christmas tree?  How many kids named Derek do you think where in the tournament that year?  If I ever get the opportunity to trash talk that guy after seeing this, I am just going to keep calling him "Jackpine."

1:50 - "I am surprised he was able to play with that heavy dose of Bieber Fever."  I weep for the greatness of that line.

Seriously, that was color commentary of the highest order.

1:58 - Cutting to slow motion for the "proper flop."  Sign of a talented director who appreciates the finer things in life.

2:22 - Dez brings the mustache and the perfect look for his future career as a really low end used car dealer.

2:29 - "We struggled to find a coach of the All Hockey Hair Team; most of these guys don't even have hair."

2:38 - Bruce from Hermantown powers his way into #3 on the All Hockey Hair Team just by flaunting his totally ordinary mane.  Like a boss.  How could the guys at Pulltab not have put him on the team with a powerful move like that?  Also, this: "Just flaunting to the other coaches that he even still has hair."  Genius.

2:52 - They almost disqualify David because of potential blow drying.  Scandal rocks the All Hockey Hair Team.  Also, it is absolutely fabulous how the narrator explains why they did not disqualify him. 

3:02 - "He's Peroxide Jesus."

3:10 - They bleach it up for us.

3:16 - It is the look that seals the tournament for Mike.  It is definitely the look.  Kudos to the narrator for alerting us to that fact, because if he hadn't have pointed it out I never would have even noticed it.

3:27 - Honorable mentions!  The best of the losers.

3:38 - The Skating Tomato.

3:52 - Did that goalie just blow us a kiss?  How does not that give him the title?

3:59 - Eddie Rabbitt reference.  Because I love a rainy night.

4:02 - The biggest worry is being prejudice against curls?  Is that even on the on the radar of the NAACP?  You bet it is: the National Association for the Advancement of Curled Pompadours.

4:18 - "Obviously St. Thomas is never going to win this thing."  Obviously.  That is hilarious if you follow Minnesota high school hockey.  For the rest of us, it doesn't become hilarious until I tell you that St. Thomas is a Roman Catholic military school.  And now you've wet your pants.

4:20 - I love that they have a sponsor and a promotion.  Ripped from the heart of Big Dave himself.  But I contend that the guys on the All Hair Hockey Team already have their hair styled pretty greatly and probably don't need much help.  Although I suppose it takes a lot of work to look that good...

Amazing, right?  Life. Altered.  Great job Pulltab Productions! I think you deserve a hockey tape wrapped mixing board or something. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

In Defense of Daylight Savings Time

     I want to take a minute today, Company, to comment on Daylight Savings Time.  Today is Sunday, March 9, 2014 and Daylight Savings Time began early this morning for this year.  Now, I understand that it is complicated and somewhat archaic the way we have chosen to tell unified time in the United States, but people have been taking pot shots at Daylight Savings Time lately and I feel as if I should defend it.
      Lately, this meme - or some similar variation thereof - has been showing up on a fair number of Facebook profiles:

First of all, I don't know if this is a true story or not, so let's just get that out of the way.  And while I understand that this is the type of thinking that at time has been employed by our government, I can't help but feel that all this meme does is show a fundamental misunderstanding of what Daylight Savings Time really is.
     Switching to and from Daylight Savings Time in order to maximize the amount of daylight that the bulk of the population is exposed to is nothing like the blanket analogy shown in the meme, okay?  It is not like trying to remove sunlight from the beginning of the day and moving it to the end.  It is simple a change in the way that we humans arbitrarily place value on a natural physical phenomenon, namely time.  Time - as the saying goes - is relative.  The only reason that the sun comes up at, say 6AM for instance, is because we have happened to apply the label 6 AM to the time that the sun is coming up.  And we can choose to give that particular point in the movement of the sun across the sky any label we choose.  So if we choose - twice a year - to switch all the labels that we arbitrarily apply to certain points of the day for any reason we have the ability to do so.
     The enactment of Daylight Savings Time actually shows the exact opposite of what the meme is trying to impart.  One of the juxtapositions of Native American vs. White culture is that Native Americans have historically bent their society to the will of nature and the lay of the land, whereas White culture has always just blasted into nature head on.  Creating complex engineering schemes to grow crops in marginal areas instead of just growing them where the conditions are good.  Building elaborate bridges and tunnels instead of just putting the road where it is easiest to do so.  Building buildings to withstand avalanches instead of just not putting buildings in that place.  That kind of thing.  But Daylight Savings Time shows that we understand that at the most basic level nature is always the constant that cannot ever be totally tamed.  Daylight Savings Time is us showing that we are willing to move the way we mark time, and ALL OF THE ELEMENTS OF LIFE, SOCIETY, CULTURE, ETC. that depend on that arbitrary system of labels.  We take the time and effort to switch all of those things AND their connections in order to simple utilize what nature provides us in a more efficient and useful manner.  So maybe, just maybe the thinking isn't as skewed as it seems on the surface.
     In the end, my biggest problem with the meme is simple that the comparison is flawed.  Daylight Savings Time is not like cutting the top off the blanket and sewing it back on the bottom and expecting the blanket to be longer.  We understand that the amount of daylight is finite.  It is not like chopping hours off the morning and slapping them on the afternoon.  No.  What Daylight Savings Time is like is pulling the blanket up to your neck because you are already wearing socks.  It is putting the resource to the area that you can best use it.  Having daylight at 5 AM doesn't do a whole lot of good for the bulk of the "civilized" world, just like a blanket covering feet wearing socks is just overkill.  But having daylight later in the evening is like using that blanket to cover your bare upper chest.  It gets a lot more done.
     All I know is that yesterday at 6:00 PM it was dark outside.  Today at 6:00 PM it is light outside.  And it is not because the day suddenly became longer.  It is because we have chosen to move the arbitrary markers of time that we have applied to the natural day.  And if the price of my getting more done in the afternoon, and turning the lamp on a little less, is simple to change my clocks around twice a year and losing an hour of sleep in the spring, I am not sure that I can complain.

Friday, March 07, 2014

An Open Letter to Mr. Belvedere

Dear Mr. Belvedere,

     Where have you gone?  Things have become so complicated since you went away.  Way back then, things were so simple on TV.  Hugh Downs was everywhere, as long as everywhere was 20/20.  There were only like three channels.  Plots were so simple:  A funny or eccentric father.  A mom who means well.  Some kid who is always getting into hijinks.  And always a sister who REALLY liked the mall.  Hilarity would ensue.  Once a year, during sweeps, you would take on a special issue.  Then, in the second sweeps period you would do a two part episode, or maybe a crossover so for some reason you go to Hawaii for a little bit to be the butler for Magnum, P.I.  Except that he was on CBS and you were on ABC so that one would never happen unless it was in my dreams.  Which it has many, many times.
     But now, I just don't know.  There are approximately one hundred million channels and there are zombies on every one.  Zombies are really, really popular.  So are shows about fairy tales it seems.  And there are these things called "reality shows" that are scripted and sort of staged in a way.  They are to reality what the WWF is to high school wrestling.  Also, it is not called the WWF anymore, but that is a story for another time.  I just called it that because I wanted you to know what I was talking about.  And everything is meta now.  And I don't even know what meta means!
      There are more children on television right now on my satellite dish than there were in all of the 80s combined (and by the way, the satellite dish is only like a foot across).  There are 14 year old kids on Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon West, Disney Channel, , ABC Family, and like six other networks that I can't even name.  And all of them are living in situations that aren't really based, you know, in reality.  I don't think that are a whole lot of single parent families with really involved and understanding parents living in industrial lofts in New York City that have kids who are pop stars.  But then again I could be wrong.  Oh, and every one of those teens on TV have also released a pop album.  And no, none of them are any good.  Streaks on the china, indeed!
      So take me back.  Please, let's go back.  I want things to be simple.  I don't want edgy shows on networks that have nothing to do with what their names say anymore (try to find anything about the Arts or Entertainment on A&E or a historical documentary on The History Channel).  Take me back to where there are no more shows about people down South who don't live with electricity or a million shows about people running pawn shops in a gruff but likeable manner.   Back when everyone was watching what I was watching because that is all that was on.  Back when cable boxes had mechanical push buttons. I want that back, Mr. Belvedere.  And you can make it happen.


Big Dave

P.S.  Brocktoon.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Keeping the Day

     The other day, my mom called me.  Yeah, my mom, the real, bona-fide person who gave birth to me.  She was concerned about the amount of snow on the deck of her vacation home in the Great White North.  And, since I am a good son, and I have both a corporate jet and snowshoes - oh, and a shovel - I saddled up and decided that I would check it out for her.  Except there wasn't a horse involved.  I didn't use a horse, so strange with the saddle, no?
     Anyway, I went to this place to check on the deck and clean it off.  I should note to you that the snow is not plowed from the driveway of this house, and it has been shut down since the fall.  Oh, and it has been a really snowy winter there.  And there was some ice somewhere along the way.  And I knew that, so I was prepared for what I was facing.  But then again, I wasn't.
      I got there and strapped on my snowshoes and set off over the plow wash from the road.  For those of you who don't know what plow wash is, here is the the Wikipedia entry for it.  Wait, that is the Wikipedia entry for Centennial, Colorado.  I guess they don't have a Wikipedia entry for plow wash.  Anyway, it is the big mound of snow alongside the road that is created when the plow pushes the snow off to the side of the road.  So I went over the plow wash and all was good, until I got beyond the plow wash and the snow was really dry and fluffy and I sank into it.  Down to me knees.  With my snowshoes on.  It sucked.  But I waded my way through it until I got to the house and deck.  I walked onto the third step because the snow was so deep.  I saw that the snow on the deck was piled up to the top of the railings.  So I got to work, breaking through the ice and crust and compacted snow (perfect igloo or snow fort snow, by the way) and hurled it over the side until it was all removed.  And it sucked.  But somewhere in the middle, about the point where the deck curves around the side of the house, I stopped to take a break and realized that it didn't really suck at all.
     It was cold outside - like hovering around zero cold - and not zero Celsius you European or Latin American or Canadian or Asian or African or member of the scientific community or anyone other than everyday American freak.  Zero degrees Fahrenheit, which is cold.  But the sun was out, it was midday, and the sky was a color blue that summer just can't replicate.  The house sits high on a hill overlooking a lake that is rimmed with a mixture of pine and deciduous trees.  The mixing of the colors was awesome.  Blue sky.  Green trees.  Brown leafless trees.  White snow.  Yellow sun.  Yellow snow where I just peed.  It was stupendous.  Then looking back towards the road up the hill, the same landscape but with one deep, well defined path where I had come in.  And deep the deep red of the siding on the house. It looked a little bit like a postcard that you would send someone who had never seen winter before.  Or like something that Norman Rockwell was about to paint.
     My thought immediately snapped to my cell phone and its attached camera.  The application that allows a picture to be posted, for the location to be attached, with a time and comment for all of the world to see.  Snap some photos in each direction, maybe a couple of the shoveling work in progress and everyone could see.  The phone was back in the car, tucked safely into the compartment below the stereo, and now that the trail was packed down it would be a cinch to run back and get it.  I went for my snowshoes but I stopped.
This is not a photo of that day.   I am trying to you.
that I learned about in kindergarten.  None of those people where there to see that.  None of them were there putting in the work with me, although in all fairness to my friends a ride on the corporate jet is usually enough to get people to help me with just about anything.  And in all fairness to the Unpaid Interns, the threat of whatever I am threatening to do to them is usually enough to make them help me with just about anything.  But they weren't there shoveling Patsy's deck in the freezing cold, about two months too late.  I was.  So I earned the day.  I was greedy and wanted it for myself.  And I kept it for myself.  Like a rat.
     The point here, Company, is that sometimes you have to keep the day for yourself.  The Internet is great.  Super great.  And sharing with your friends is great.  Super great.  But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to keep a little something for yourself.  Dinner with your significant other where you don't check in on Foursquare.  A photo of the kids blowing bubbles at one another that doesn't make it onto Instagram.  Maybe updating your parents on a status that never finds its way onto Facebook.  A great one liner that Twitter never, ever sees.  You've gotta have a little something to keep to yourself before you lose all your individuality.  Sometimes you just have to keep the day.