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New location, same lame blog

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Presidential travel troubles

So it looks like Kucinich is out of the Presidential race. And I was so sure that this was his year, too...   On a related note, during an endless, boring day of "online training" at work last week, I was scanning TSM and noticed a thread called "A Presidential Quiz" on the main forum page under 'last post info' in the CE folder. Thinking this would be a fun little way to test my knowledge of our Chief Executives and/or kill some time, I stepped into the abyss and clicked the link. What did I find? This page, which isn't really a "Presidential quiz" at all.   The results of said quiz and the guy (and I say "guy" because Hillary has no chance) who should get my vote for President this year?   That's fitting--that result is pretty much a perfect summary of how I feel about the Republican field this year.   Incidentally, my "top Dem" was Obama. Of course, when the alternative is Edwards, Hillary, Kucinich, etc., well, that's not really saying much.   ------------------------------   So kkk was forced to get out and about amongst the flying public last week. Reading his entry caused me to reflect on some of my recent air travel experiences. Allow me to reminisce for a moment...   Christmas Day 2007: On our flight home from Kansas City, sfaJill and I witness a guy a few rows in front of us have a mini-meltdown because his GIANT WINTER COAT wouldn't fit in the overhead bin and the flight attendant told him he would have to either check it or hold it in his lap.   April 2007: Moments before our honeymoon flight to Orlando was supposed to take off, we were told that there would be a "slight delay" because some light came on in the cockpit and maintenance had to come check it out. Two hours later, we're still sitting there. And this is after being told that it was not a safety issue and that the problem could be fixed upon landing in Orlando but "someone downtown" wanted to fix it now. So...yea. By the time it was fixed, the later 7:30 flight to Orlando had arrived just prior to our 4:00 flight...   August 2007: On our way to Boston, I am the fortunate winner of the "have a screaming 3-year-old sit in his mom's lap in the seat behind you" sweepstakes. That little bastard was relentless. Three solid hours of whining and crying, all the while his mom just sat there saying "Shhhh!" When we were over Tennessee, I couldn't take it anymore and resorted to the childish act of putting my seat back just to make their flight a little more cramped. Not one of my better moments, I'll admit...   August 2006: Another friend and I are going to Chicago for the weekend. The plane is taxiing down the runway when it suddenly comes to a complete stop. Pilot comes on and says that there is some "congestion" on the runway and that we are 33rd in line to take off, so it will be a while.   What he didn't mention was that it would be an hour and a half and that they would be shutting the engines off while we waited. On an August afternoon. In Houston. Hot times in Texas!   January 2007: I was in Amsterdam waiting to catch my connecting flight to Cairo that was supposed to depart at 8:45 p.m. The weather outside was horrible; winds are blowing ridiculously hard and it's about 35 degrees. I'm tired--I'd arrived from Houston at 7:30 local time that morning and had only slept three hours since waking up in Houston the day before (I can't sleep on planes). 8:45 passes with no call for us to even board the plane. Another hour...then another. All of this time in the terminal is made worse by the fact that all the restaurants/shops closed around 9:30 so I couldn't even walk around and look at anything. Finally, just before midnight we are ready to go.   Wrong.   We had barely pulled away from the gate when the pilot announces that we've got a flat tire and can't take off with that. It will be "10 minutes" to fix it. Five minutes later, he comes back on and says that there's actually two flat tires and it will be more like "one hour" before we are ready to go. Finally, just past 1 in the morning, we depart--a few minutes after we were already supposed to have arrived in Cairo.   I was uncomfortable, tired and very annoyed to say the least (how could no one notice TWO flat tires when they're doing all their loading/inspections of the planes in preparation for our flight??). Even the hot Dutch girl in the seat next to me wasn't enough to distract me and boost my spirits. I felt bad for the driver waiting to pick me up in Cairo though--he had to wait an extra five hours for me.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Home Makeover: Jack Edition

Another reason for me to be upset about the Cubs' getting bounced from the playoffs this past Saturday night:   I (stupidly) had promised sfaJill that, after the Cubs had completed their World Series run, we would begin work on painting and re-doing our guest bathroom (sans the bubble towels we she registered for but didn't get as a wedding gift) before moving on to the rest of the house. Barely three hours after the Cubs lost on Saturday, she turns to me and says, "We should go buy some paint tomorrow."   Oh, goody.   A little backstory:   I bought/built the house four years ago because I'd grown weary of both apartment life and renting and basically haven't done anything to it in regards to decoration since then (i.e. all the walls inside are white and there isn't much of anyting hanging on them to liven the place up a little bit). I'm fine with it. Every room is furnished with nice stuff and there isn't much clutter clogging things up. I also kept the place pretty neat and tidy, as is my nature.   sfaJill, however, is not fine with it. And that is where the conflict lies. She HATES the plain white walls and the nice, neat way I had things organized. Apparently, the house doesn't look "lived in" enough and is "boring." Whatever.   I've been successfully delaying this whole remodeling thing since she moved in last December, but now I'm out of excuses that she will accept.   So, yesterday, we spent two hours of prime football watching time wandering around Lowes. We picked out shades of blue, green, brown, and "sand" color paints. We looked at new light fixtures, towel rods, shower heads, etc. She tried to start picking out stuff for our bathroom (which we are going to pay someone to overhaul), our bedroom, and the kitchen, but I was able to put the kibosh on that by convincing her that we should probably just start with the guest bath and see what happens from there.   $300 later, we returned home with paint, a new light fixture, shower head, two towel rods, a paper holder, and a whole list of other crap she wants for other rooms.   Now...do I know anything about electrical wiring and/or hanging a light fixture? No.   Do I know how to take apart a toilet so we can paint behind it? No.   I should be able to change out the shower head, but is it likely to take me less than hour's worth of cursing and breaking shit before I get it right? No.   I have painted before and do a pretty good job at it, but it's a tedious chore I'd rather just skip. Plus, I just know that if there is the slightest hint of a streak in any area I paint, I will be asked to do it again.   This should be fun!  

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

PC Santas, raining on our moving parade

Well, at least this latest example of ridiculous PC bullshit isn't happening in America.   Yet.   Link     -----------------------------   So how did the second part of helping my brother move go this past weekend?   Since the heavy furniture was already gone, it was mostly boxes left to move. Boxes are always easier, especially when you have the help of a dolly. There was a still a little too much disorganization, in that the kitchen hadn't been packed at all and the few remaining furniture pieces still had stuff in them and thus couldn't be moved without having to be cleaned out first, but, to my great surprise, it was a pretty easy day.   Well, unless you factor in these events:   - sfaJill wanting to kill my sister-in-law, who, for the second week in a row, perfected the art of sitting on her ass doing nothing all day (using the excuse of "I'm watching the kid") while sfaJill packed box after box of crap in the kitchen. (Note: sfaJill found no less than NINE crock pots in the one cabinet).   - Despite a few menacing clouds earlier in the morning, the rain held off and the sky cleared...right until brother and I were making a run to the storage unit to drop off the first load of crap. At that point the heavens opened completely, dumping an insane amount of rain on us for 5-10 minutes. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that we hadn't covered anything (because there were no rain clouds at the house!), so every box and piece of furniture we had packed was left completely soaked. Among the wreckage was the queen sized pillowtop mattress they paid $700 for just last year...   - I got into a fender bender on the drive over Saturday morning, leaving my truck with a busted turn signal and an estimate of $2,500 to replace the bumper and fix the dent in the hood. Fucking people who don't use turn signals...

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Thanksgiving fallout

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and what a glorious day it was. The Cowboys rolled over the Jets, the temperature outside FINALLY dropped out of the 80's around here, and I enjoyed a tremendous Thanksgiving sirloin at Benigan's (the only thing open in Dallas on Turkey Day, besides IHOP, which sucks). What about all the family stuff? Well...   At the last moment Thursday morning, sfaJill decided that she'd rather go with me and my dad to Dallas to watch the Cowboys than to her sister's house to hang out with that clan. Her reasoning was some crap about being together on our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife, but I think she just didn't want to deal with all the potential drama I wrote about last time. The plan was for us to go to the game and then hook up with her family upon getting back to Houston on Friday, which sounds easy enough.   So Friday morning rolls around; her dad calls about 10:30 to find that we're still a few miles north of Houston's far northern suburbs. Plans are made for us to go home, get unpacked and call them back when we're ready to meet up (note: it took sfaJill nearly 15 minutes on the phone to decide THAT because God forbid anybody on her side make a decision about anything ever). Whatever. We've still got nearly an hour's drive to get home.   Around noon, after we've gotten home and my dad has headed off to work, sfaJill and I are ready. She calls her dad back and thus begins another 20 minutes of that world-famous game "where do you want to eat?" The choices are finally narrowed down to Golden Corral (which is awesome) and this Chinese buffet near the house (which is also awesome), so, really, we can't lose either way. After some back and forth crap on the subject, I'm asked for my "opinion" (translation: nobody wants to decide everyone else's fate so they're going to try to get me to do it); I reply that since I had just eaten breakfast a few hours earlier, I'm not really hungry and thus don't really care where we go since I probably won't eat much either way (which actually was true). That frustrates sfaJill to no end, but it is somehow finally decided that Golden Corral is the choice.   Not five minutes later, while sfaJill is still running around the house frantically searching for a hair brush to toss in her purse, the phone rings. I answer. It's my father-in-law.   "Hello, Jack."   "Hey, Martin."   "We've got a change of plans."   "Oh?"   "Yeah, your mother-in-law wants to go to the Chinese place instead."   Sigh. I swear...   So, anyway, we all meet up at the Chinese place to find her dad, mom, brother, and 3-year-old nephew. No sign of sister or brother-in-law. We were told they didn't want to come. Good. That made the lunch actually kind of enjoyable because there is always less tension without sister there. Father-in-law even pcks up the check (score!).   It was going really well...and then sfaJill invited everyone over to our house for the afternoon. The problem? They're not allowed to bring the nephew to our house, says mother-in-law. Apparently, sister has decided that since we had such a problem with his behavior the last time he was there that it's best if he just not go over to our house anymore. Thus, my in-laws are afraid of taking him here, out of fear he will mention to mommy that he was at Uncle Jack and Aunt Jill's house and then they will catch hell about it.   (I should note that the "problem" with nephew's behavior last time was that he kept pulling cushions off our couches, jumping all over them/throwing them everywhere , and then didn't put them back on the couches after both sfaJill and I told him to stop. Sister wrote that off as "He's three! What, you think he can sit still for 10 minutes?" and after I told her "Uh, yeah" and sfaJill backed me up, sister's been "punishing" us for it ever since. This happened back in June, by the way.)   sfaJill was PISSED.   We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Sam's Club in an effort to spend some quality time together, but I wouldn't call it that. sfaJill and her mom did nothing but bitch about sister the whole time, which just made everyone but the kid unhappy. It was a long day that ended with an invitation (from the in-laws) to us to come to sister's house today for something called "turkey pie." I have no idea what that is. sfaJill said she doesn't want to go if she's not welcome there, to which her dad said "Well, I'M welcoming you". So, I think we're gonna go. Should be awkward silences for everyone!   Yesterday was not a total waste though. I did find 7lbs of 90% lean ground beef for $16 at Sam's Club yesterday. Can't pass up a deal like that.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Scrap Iron to the scrap heap; I'm going on vacation!

So the Astros fired both Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura earlier this week. Cecil Cooper took over managerial duties last night but fared no better as the Cardinals beat down the Astros 7-0.   Most people here were caught by surprise--not because they got fired, but rather because it happened at such an odd point in the season. Personally, I don't see much use in letting them go with only 31 games left in what is a lost season, but since Drayton McLane does what Drayton McLane wants to do, they are gone.   That leaves the question of what happens now. The Astros are a horrible team with few big time prospects ready to go in the minors. There is very little reason to think that they're suddenly going to return to contention next year with or without Garner and/or Purpura so, really, it seems to be an empty move. I guess they did it so they can tell their fans "See! We're doing something about it!", but until they commit to no longer trotting out mediocre (at best) talents like Adam Everett, Brad Ausmus, Luke Scott, etc., their bottom-dwelling days likely aren't over.   Then again the Astros are only 3-9 against the Pirates this year. That fact alone is probably enough to get anyone fired.   ---------------------   Rafer Alston isn't handling his transition to the unemployment line very well.     A pro athlete got arrested after an altercation at a night club? I'm shocked. At least there wasn't any gun play involved. I think the rule states there has to be a strip club involved before you can open fire though.   ---------------------   The wife and I leave tomorrow morning for a long weekend in Boston. I'm excited. For one, it means we're getting the hell out of this town for a few days. Secondly, the furthest I've ever traveled north and east in this country is Washington D.C., so this will be new territory for me.   I'm sure we'll hit a lot of the touristy shit that everyone does, like the Cheers bar, that Freedom Trail, Paul Revere's old house, etc., along with soaking up the sights and sounds of a new city. Plus she wants to go on a whale-watching harbor tour. That should be a nice six hours of my life. And I'll probably have to get on one of those swan boats. I don't know.   The highlight for me though will be the Red Sox and Orioles game on Sunday at Fenway Park. Fenway will be the eighth different MLB park I've been to and has always been #2 on my list of parks I've most wanted to visit. Our seats are in the Loge box (section 137) which should give a good view. Dice-K is scheduled to pitch for the Sox, so that's a nice bonus. Daniel Cabrera is supposed to throw for the O's; I wish it was Erik Bedard instead, but we rarely get everything we want in life.   The worst part about this vacation thing is getting through today. I have a BAD case of vacation-itis and totally don't care about any of the work on my desk today. It's only 9:10 and I'm already dying to go home. Maybe I'll take the afternoon off...  

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Birthday crap, Redball's staying

My birthday is a week from today. Hooray. I really haven't cared about my birthday much since I was 18. So last night while watching TV, this conversation happens. I'm sure you can guess who's who:   "What do you want to do for your birthday?"   "I don't know."   "Oh, come on. There's got to be something you want to do."   "I might take the day off work, I guess."   "That's it? You don't want to go eat or do something fun?"   "Like what?"   "I don't know! You decide. It's your birthday!"   "I'll think it over."   *two minutes later*   "Ok, well, what do you WANT for your birthday? I have no idea what to get you."   "Nothing." (note: with sfaJill, 'nothing' is never an acceptable answer to this question)   "What if I got you a pair of fuzzy pink slippers then? You'd be ok with that?"   "Only if you think I really need a pair of fuzzy pink slippers..."   "Well, if you don't tell me what you want, you just might get some then."   "Did you see that Circuit City is offering 36 months of no interest financing on all TV's $999 and up?"   "No. So what?"   "So there you go. That's what I want."   *she thinks this over for moment*   "You want me to buy you a big TV for your birthday?"   "Yes."   "Hmfph. Good luck with that one."   Ah, wedded bliss...   ---------------------   Jason Garrett has apparently turned down both the Falcons and Ravens head coaching jobs and will stay on as Offensive Coordinator in Dallas for at least one more year. Good. After four years of Bill Parcells's conservative style and the overall futility of the offense the five years before that, it was refreshing to see Redball (as he's affectionately known) open the playbook wide open and actually use all of the weapons available to him.   Sure he didn't run the ball enough at times and apparently went insane in the fourth quarter of this last Sunday's loss to the Giants (calling a 65-yard bomb into triple coverage on 3rd & 20 from your own 40 with just over 4 minutes to go when you must score a touchdown and then sending everyone into the endzone against a dime defense on 4th & 11 instead of having one guy run underneath the defense and get the first down when you still had time to spike the ball and run at least one play into the endzone before the game ended is the definition of insanity), but there aren't too many guys I'd rather have running the Cowboys' offense for the near future than Garrett. Good move, Jerry Jones.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

All for one and one for...me

Inspired by kkk's latest bout of wedded bliss, here's one that happened yesterday afternoon:   (I'm in the kitchen eating one of those "fun size" 3 Musketeers bars when sfaJill walks in) "What are you eating?" "3 Musketeers." (flabbergasted) "Where'd you get that??" "From the bag in the pantry." "What bag in the pantry?" "The bag of 3 Musketeers on the second shelf in there." "I didn't know they where in there. When did we get those?" "Wednesday. I picked them up at Kroger. Remember when I stopped to grab that chicken on the way home from work that day?" "I can't believe you hid them from me." "I didn't hide them from you. They were on the freaking shelf in the pantry." "Well, you didn't tell me they were in there. You know I never look in there!!" "No, but I also didn't tell you that I bought some more milk that day, too." (pause) "Well, you know I love 3 Musketeers and you didn't tell me you bought some. You hid them so you could have them all to yourself." "Uh...yep. That's it."   She stomed off to our bedroom and slammed the door. I just went outside for a while and, when I came back in, she apologized and said that she didn't know what was wrong with her or why she was getting pissed off about "stupid stuff." I just told her it's part of that whole "being a chick" thing. Surprisingly, she didn't smack my arm.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Weekend wrap-up

Anybody show up for work/school an hour early today? If you did, you're a retard...   -----------------------------   I think the Patriots and Colts played a football game of some importance yesterday that apparently lived up to the hype. I can't be sure of this though as those of us in the Houston TV market were not allowed to see the game thanks to existence of the Houston Texans. Because of them, we were stuck with the scintillating Texans-Raiders contest which was, um, not as good as the Pats-Colts game.   Fortunately, I did not have to suffer through that game because, on Thursday, my brother called and asked if I would come out to his place on Sunday and help him move some furniture. They are building a house and will be moving in (hopefully) shortly before Christmas and I had promised him about six weeks ago that I would help once their current house sold. Well, this past week, they accepted a cash offer for their current house. That's the good news.   The bad news is that, in order for the deal to go through, they have to be completely moved out by the 12th of this month.   So when sfaJill and I show up yesterday ready to go, what do we find? Chaos. Nothing in the house has been packed and clothes are strewn about all over the place; if you didn't know they had sold the place, you'd have no idea they were moving. We spent two hours just clearing drawers and shelves of stuff so we could move it all the storage place.   Then, after we FINALLY get a load of furniture onto the trailer and make a run to the storage place, it is revealed that the unit they have rented is only 5' X 12' in size. Can you guess what happens next? Yep, we don't have enough room to fit the stuff we brought with us in there, much less the rest of the stuff still at the house.   They're supposed to call about renting another (bigger) unit today and I've been asked to go back out there Saturday to complete Phase Two of this big move. Brother is on notice that if they haven't finished packing up all their crap enough to where all we have to do is load up boxes and the remaining into the trailer, I'm walking. We'll see what happens.   Ah, family. Too bad you can't pick 'em.   -----------------------------   Friday night, I was suffering from a fairly severe case of insomnia. Bored and desperate for something to watch, I chose RV, which was running on Encore. What a mistake. Somebody get Robin Williams back on coke, stat.   The only redeeming thing about this movie is Kristin Chenoweth. Between this show and Pushing Daisies, I have developed quite the little crush on her.   -----------------------------   Election Day tomorrow for us Texans. It's expected that no more than 15% of voters will turn out statewide. I'm sure the other 85% will bitch incessantly about whatever the result is though.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Sports happenings

Today could be really historic in Major League Baseball as there is the possibility of three huge milestones being reached on the same day:   - Barroid ties Hank Aaron at 755 - Alex Rodriguez reaches 500 home runs faster than anyone in history - Tom Glavine gets his 300th win   I won’t bore anybody with my opinion on Bonds and his pursuit of the record because, frankly, there isn’t anything I can say that hasn’t already been said. He cheated, he knows it, we all know it…that’s it. No matter how disgraceful it might be, there will be no asterisk next to his name or any erasing of his statistics so getting too morally outraged over it seems pointless to me.   Instead, I’ll set my DVR to record the Giants/Dodgers game tonight because, as a baseball fan, I want to see history. The potential theatrics of Bonds not only finally tying Aaron but doing it in LA against the Dodgers where the crowd will be ridiculously hostile should be fantastic. I only wish the game didn’t start at 9:10 CDT tonight because, unless Bonds hits it in the first inning, I probably won’t get to see it live. You’d think that MLB would bump the start of the game up an hour so that a few more of their fans in the eastern and central parts of the country would get to see it, but the baseball powers that be aren’t known for making great decisions very often.   ------------------------------   Bill Walsh died yesterday. I didn’t really get into football until I was about 10 years old, so his great 49er teams were a little before my time but his impact on the NFL was tremendous. Not that I would have been a fan since ours was and is a Dallas Cowboys house, but I can’t deny how the game evolved because of him.   RIP Bill, but I’ll always wonder what would have happened if the Cowboys had had 30 more seconds in that 1982 NFC Championship game. They were at midfield and driving when time ran out as it was. 30 more seconds and I’m thinking they win and we don’t have to suffer through endless highlights of “The Catch” to this day…   ------------------------------   Finally, it looks like Kevin Garnett has been traded to the Celtics for a bunch of guys. The only NBA teams I pay any attention to are (in order) the Rockets, Spurs, and Mavericks so I have no idea if it’s a good trade or even who any of the players Minnesota got in return are. However, I hope it works out for Boston. I’ve always felt bad for Garnett because he’s been a great, selfless player stuck on some shitty teams in Minnesota for most of the last 12 years. I want to see him get another shot at winning big and, if this trade works out, he should have that shot. Good luck KG, and go Celtics.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

The NFL v. Comcast

Oh, yes. This is EXACTLY the sort of stuff I love to see the Texas Legislature get involved with...   Link     I have Comcast. I can get NFL Network if I want. I choose not to. Why? Because I don't think it's worth paying $7.95 a month for what amounts to eight (mostly crappy) regular season games and expanded combine/draft coverage (something we already get enough of thanks to ESPN and the bajillion draft websites that exist).   Would I watch the NFL Network if it were on basic cable? Yeah, probably, at least from time to time. Do I want the cable companies to be forced to put NFL Network on their basic packages, thus causing my cable bill to go up a couple of dollars a month? Hell no. Do the thousands of people that have no interest in the NFL at all want to pay that extra couple dollars a month? Definitely not.   There is no way that Comcast and their money-grubbing brethren should be forced to carry the NFL Network on their basic package. Not when the NFL wants an insane $0.70 per subscriber from the cable companies (more than CNN charges) that would just raise everyone's rates, and definitely not when there is no overwhelming public demand for the NFL Network. If that tide shifts one day and the public is suddenly in favor of the NFL Network being widely available, sure, bring it on. Until that happens though, keep the NFL Network exactly where it is. As with nearly everything else in this country, the market will dictate what should happen. Certainly there shouldn't be any legislation on this under any circumstance.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

99 years

.194   .087   37   6   What are these numbers? They are a quick summary of how completely incompetent the Cubs were against the Arizona Diamondbacks in their NLDS series that ended last night in a 3-0 Arizona sweep.   .194 = the Cubs' batting average for the series   .087 = their batting average with runners in scoring position (2-for-23), and one of those two was a weak infiled single   37 = the numbers of baserunners they had in the series   6 = the number of those baserunners that scored   How do you lose a playoff series and look completely pathetic in doing so? That's a really good start.   It also helps to have two of your biggest bats (Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez) combine for two hits, your best reliever over the second-half of the season implode, and to hit into about 14 rally-killing double plays.   I really don't know why I thought this year might be different for the Cubs. Maybe I'll never learn. Still...being swept in the first round is a better end to the season than finishing with the worst record in the league as they did last year.   At least that's what I've been telling myself for the last 12 hours...

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Trick or treat!

Halloween has come and gone again. Yea, I guess. I haven't been excited about Halloween for at least 15 years. sfaJill, however, is a BIG Halloween fan and really enjoys putting on a costume and greeting all the little monsters that knock on the door. Consequently, I spent half this last weekend helping decorate the front porch in a spider theme (i.e. cobweb, black lights, some glow-in-the-dark wall covering, etc) and standing in the candy section at Wal-Mart waiting for her to decide which is the best kind of candy to buy (my argument: who gives a shit? It's free; if the kids want to bitch about free candy, they don't have to come back next year).   Last night, sfaJill handled 95% of the trick-or-treat duty, meaning I bothered to get up out of my chair only two or three times when there was a knock at the door. Of course, after having a few kids walk right past our house without stopping, sfaJill was convinced that they didn't know we were offering candy (because, according to her, the house wasn't all lit up like a Christmas tree so it didn't look inviting and/or because there was nobody sitting outside waiting with a big dish of candy like many of the neighbors were) and decided to setup a camp on the front porch so that nobody would miss our house.   Since I had no interest in sitting outside getting bit by bugs, I retreated to my office in the house and popped in Freddy vs. Jason (yeah, I know it's a crappy movie, but I just chose a slasher at random) and waited for the end of the night. It was nearly 9:00 before she declared the night to be over and came in. I'm told Spiderman was the most popular boys' costume and Disney princesses were the most popular for girls. Sounds about right, but I'm disappointed nobody decked their kid out in this.   It's weird; every year I always hear a few folks lamenting how trick-or-treating is a dying tradition. I don't buy it. After a slow start, there were so many kids running through our neighborhood that it looked like a locust plague. I don't know. Maybe our neighborhood is the exception to the rule.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Putting swimsuit models on blast

Because sfaJill has moved into the next phase of our her home renovation process--a phase that requires us to buy all new towels for our bathroom (in colors that are almost exactly the same as what we currently have)--we spent yesterday morning at JC Penney. They were having a Veterans' Sale and, between that sale and the coupons we'd saved, we could get these towels at just more than 50% off. Score.   The highlight of the trip for me came later though, when we stopped in at Barnes & Noble to browse around for a bit. I was thumbing through some book about the Cowboys on the bargain table; sfaJill walked over, curious about what I was reading, when she noticed that on the table next to the Cowboys book was the Sports Illustrated "painted on" swimsuit book. No joking--she picked it up and spent the next 20 minutes dissecting each picture inside with such constructive remarks as "Oh, God how slutty is she?" and "Whore" and "Wow, look at that--another nipple!"   I have no idea if she did it solely for my benefit or not (I suspect not--she's very much the jealous type), but it was fucking hilarious.  

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

MLB Playoff Predictions

What a game last night between the Rockies and Padres to decide the NL wild card. I missed the ending because my need to get some sleep before work today forced me to go to bed...after the 12th inning (of course!). Another 15 minutes or so and I would have seen one hell of an ending.   Nevertheless, here are my official, non-scientific, mostly off-the-top-of-my-head picks for the MLB playoffs. I normally don't do these but since the Cubbies are in this year, I figure what the hell. Feel free to mock when I'm wrong about every single series:   NATIONAL LEAGUE:   NLDS: Chicago Cubs v. Arizona Diamondbacks The Cubs have the NL's best record since June and possibly the strongest rotation of any NL playoff team. Arizona's success this year is a mystery; 14th in the league in runs scored and a -20 run differential for the year really shouldn't translate to 90 wins, but here they are. The Dbacks bullpen is solid, partly evidenced by their exceptional record in 1-run games. The Dbacks also won the season series 4-2. What does all of that mean? I don't know. You could dig up all the stats in the world to show why Arizona is better than the Cubs and it wouldn't stop me from picking the CUBS in 4.   NLDS: Colorado Rockies v. Philadelphia Phillies The Rockies' rotation and bullpen is better than most people think and they're carrying a ton of momentum into the playoffs, having finished the season on a 14-1 roll. The Phillies squeaked past the Mets to get in (yeah!) and also bring a lot of momentum into the playoffs, finishing on a 16-7 roll themselves. Does season-ending momentum matter in the playoffs? Not really (see: Tigers v. Cardinals, 2006 World Series). What matters here is that these two teams led the National League in runs scored for the season and are capable of putting double-digits on the board at any time. However, given that the Rockies' bullpen does not completely suck, I'm going to pick the ROCKIES in 5.   NLCS: Colorado Rockies v. Chicago Cubs CUBS in 6     AMERICAN LEAGUE:   ALDS: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v. Boston Red Sox The Angels posted the best home record in all of baseball. Unfortunately, they don't have home field in this series, so who cares? Angels were 4th in the league in runs scored (822), just behind Boston (867). Angels finished 5th in the league in team ERA; Boston was 1st. The Angels have Vlad Guerrero and Garrett Anderson; Boston trumps them with Manny Ramirez/David Ortiz. Mike Scioscia's a better manager than Terry Francona but the Angels' lack of a high-priced, Japanese hired gun hurts them. But at least they have the "good" Weaver brother. On a bright note, the Angels did average nearly 5,000 more asses in the seats per game this season--that has to count for something other than extra bucks in the owner's pockets, right? Wrong. The Rally Monkey's gonna have to work some overtime. RED SOX in 5.   ALDS: New York Yankees v. Cleveland Indians Too bad the Indians blew their chance at having the AL's best record; the chance to possibly start C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona twice each in this series would really help them knock the EVIL~! Yankees out of this race and spare us all the horror of watching yet another Yankees/Red Sox ALCS. Instead, we'll have to hope that the Tribe can hold down the Yankees' vaunted offense long enough to take advantage of NY's mediocre pitching, featuring a washed-up Roger Clemens in Game 3, and win a few games. Cleveland's 0-6 mark against the Yankees this year would suggest that might be asking a bit much, but I'll pick them anyway because I'm sick of the Yankees and want them out of the way as soon as possible. INDIANS in 5.   ALCS: Cleveland Indians v. Boston Red Sox INDIANS in 7     WORLD SERIES: Chicago Cubs v. Cleveland Indians Nothing against the Indians, but I pick the Cubs to win the Series every year. Chicago Cubs in 5.

sfaJack

sfaJack

 

Dirty old man

A semi-humorous bit from this morning. I have to admit, occasionally, the people here can bring some entertainment.   There's this older guy here at the office that, according to a couple of my female coworkers, is a dirty old man. About the only things I know about him are, his name, the fact that he's worked here for over 30 years, and that his daughter just squirted out another kid (I know this because they had a cake party here to honor that glorious occassion a few months back). I really only speak to him when we exchange greetings when passing each other in the halls, so I've never seen this dirty side of him, but whatever.   So I'm at the copy machine this morning when he walks in. After exchanging our usual greeting, he starts this off:   "Man, sometimes I wish I was 25 again." "Really? Why's that?" "Have you seen that new chick in Billing? Lauren?" "Yeah, I've seen her." "She was over here earlier, getting water. Doing something with these people over here. Man...WOW."   (NOTE: Lauren is not that hot. There's nothing wrong with her, but she's not even close to being the hottest chick at this place.)   I continued: "She always looks angry to me. Like she'd be a total bitch about everything." "Yeah. But don't you think that's kind of hot?" "Depends." "Well, either way, I'd like to get some of that anger out of her. I know that." "Uh huh..." "You know what I mean, right?" *sighing* "Of course." "So yeah...you know."   I guess his reputation is well-earned.

sfaJack

sfaJack

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