Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pet Happenings

It has been a few months since I railed on pets so I figure some words in that direction are due. It is about time the plight of the people that dislike pets gets more attention. Especially during an election year. Everyone else (no matter how lame their cause is, this one included) gets their voice heard. I may have left off with a black cat trying to challenge my authority as man of my house. Nothing quite that exciting has happened but the audacity of pet owners sure does pop up every now and then. Let’s see:

1. Back when our front yard was full of leaves I took it upon myself to rake the leaves. What a guy I am. Well, when I started some guy walked by with his dog and we exchanged hellos. Then about 30 minutes later he walks by again. Only this time he stops and so does his dog. And the dog does more than just stops, it takes a deuce. The dog owner thinks because it is dusk and because I am a champion raker of leaves that I didn’t even notice. I did and was appalled. Who in his/her right mind thinks its okay to let a dog poop in someone else’s lawn and not pick it up? Especially in a part of the lawn that I have yet to rake. So you know, as one who does not have/like pets I am offended by dogs pooping in my lawn even if it is picked up. Yet another story of jerk pet owners thinking they are special because they have taught their dog how to walk in a straight line. What an accomplishment! Have you thought about how much of a screw up your own kids are?

2. To show my softer side I will share the story of the dog that lives in the yard behind ours. Back when my wife first became pregnant and was sick far too much the neighbor dog found it enjoyable to bark all of the time. I suspect it barked when the owners were not home, which was from 8am to 5 pm, give or take a few minutes. I finally got sick and tired of the dog barking and decided to peak my head over the fence. It was a rainy day (one of the only ones in Eugene in the last 6 months if any football recruits are reading this) so I quickly ran outside and yelled at the dog in a very stern voice. The dog immediately obeyed but I felt sorry for it. It was tied to a stake in the middle of the yard under no tree or anything, just open to the rain. Again, it never rains in Eugene so I thought it sucked that the dog had to be wet for one afternoon. Needless to say I have never heard the dog bark again so I figured it only responds to stern words and it made me kind of sad, but not for too long.

3. I enjoy running and dislike dogs so you can imagine I have a grand time running around Eugene. Well, a few weeks ago I’m running along the river and some middle-aged new age-type guy is walking a pack of dogs. Okay, maybe two large dogs isn’t a pack but they were big. Neither of these dogs was on a leash though that rule is clearly stated on signs around the park. No one follows this rule so it is not as if he is alone in this practice. I mean come on with all of the transients in Eugene (again, if a recruit is reading this don’t think there are a lot of homeless people in Eugene even if there is) there are more important things to look out for. Who am I fooling; no one regulates anything around here. Back to the dogs, basically I had to dodge these dogs all around the trail. Mind you, there was a mulch trail 10 feet away but Mr. New Age Guy had to let his dogs roam the blacktop trail. How would he like it if I bothered him while he was campaigning for Ralph Nader by driving off the road and running him over?

4. This last little story takes the cake. My disdain for pompous pet owners has reached a new level. We live near a rather busy intersection, which sucks for a variety of reasons but I would have never thought of this one. Over the weekend some classy Eugene resident decided our trash can was the proper place to dispose of his dog’s 3-pound dump. I suspect it was a German Shepard but that it a total guess in the dark. Imagine my surprise when I opened the garbage to find that. I don’t need anyone telling me about the garbage stinking when I have a kid (it is not the same thing, when will pet owners get over the fact that dogs are not humans?) or it is better to have the poop in my garbage than on leaves. The only thing I distaste more than pets are the people that put them in sweaters and parade them around town as if they are contributing members of society.

5. FYI - A friend of mine told me today that he saw a lady walking a sheep near the hospital. This is not a joke and I believe his story. Not even the most creative of characters could come up with something like that. In an effort to be a great journalist I need a couple of more sources before I type up anything about this for others to read. Can anyone confirm this and if so do you have the number to U-Haul or any other company that can assist me in moving?

That is all I have about pets for now. I suspect I will only get more and more annoyed by pets and the privilege they live in this town once my kid starts going to school. That is if the schools suck, I don’t even know if they do but I do know some parents who lead the PTA around town are a little rough around the edges!

Having No Conscience

My wife was watching the new show on Fox about telling the truth while taking a lie detector test. For whatever reason the name escapes me and I am too lazy to try and find it. By the way, I am not trying to lie and say that my wife was watching it when in fact I was. I generally do give it a look (what can I say I love to see people’s lives ruined) but tonight I was doing something related to a small, and I mean small, business I own.

Anyway, apparently tonight’s contestant made it very close to the end by answering such questions as: Have you cheated on your husband?, Did you love someone else on your wedding day?, Do you still love your ex-boyfriend?, Do you know secrets about your dad your mom does not know? Now, it’s not that she answered them but she answered them all in a way that would lead you to believe her husband would never see it. On the contrary, he was looking her in the eye from about 15-feet away the entire time. So this lady completely ruined her marriage, though I think she did that a long time ago, and was going for $200,000 or so. Her question she had to answer truthfully was, “Do you think you are a good person?” Come on, with all of the questions she had answered they gave her a softball. She had spent a half hour answering this question. Unfortunately, for her, she thought she was a good person and the lie detector sent her home empty-handed, in more ways than one.

This lady was so stupid, but you know she really thinks she is a good person even if her lie detector results tell otherwise. This relates to sports in a roundabout way. As stupid as this lady is, she is no more stupid than Roger Clemens. He truly believes he did not do anything wrong. Tie him up to a lie detector and he will tell you he did it the right way even if the buttocks in his slacks has blood stains while taking the test. Only folks that think Derek Jeter is a good shortstop could believe Clemens is innocent. I mean, who else on the day before Valentine’s Day would throw his wife under the bus when talking to Congress about steroids?

As an aside, after reading all of this you probably doubt that I did not watch this episode. If you are married you know getting a description about a show in this great of detail is par for the course!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Playing For The Win

ESPN was nice enough to provide 'bonus coverage' yesterday of the UConn (I have been on their jock for about 3 weeks now, watch for them to advance in the Tourney) and South Florida. The game was being played in South Florida so I'm not sure if the broadcasters were a part of USF or UConn. If forced to guess I would say UConn since they actually have a team that's good enough to have its own ESPN Plus agreement. That is not all that important though. What is important is that the rules of basketball must have changed since my decorated days in junior high school. I missed the part where a one-point field goal was added to the rules. Why do I say this? Well, a broadcaster asked a question to his partner that leads me to believe one-point field goals are possible.

With UConn leading 72-71 and 19.7 seconds remaining in the game the broadcaster asked, "What do you do, go for the win?" I went crazy and railed on this guy immediately so I was not able to get the reaction to such an insightful question. Needless to say, USF went for the win and made a daring two-point shot. Stan Heath, USF's coach, has huge balls for calling such a play when everyone in the building knew a one-pointer would send the game into overtime. The only problem is that UConn had enough time to make a buzzer beater so Heath's strategic genius was not rewarded.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

Apologies for the tacky title but it is appropriate. Many people probably watched the hearings today involving Roger Clemens and wondered who on earth is telling the truth. I, on the otherhand, wondered why all of the talking heads asking questions were so old. After seeing the U.S. Representatives in all of their shining glory I am certain I can be one. Not in 30 years, but tomorrow. Not a single one of them was overly impressive and none of them struck me as having any idea what the hell was going on. I’m sure friends of politicians want to tell me that sports are not their cup of tea and they are experts on other things but I don’t want to hear any of it. Taxpayers and voters elect these folks to have their acts together and do research if needed. Whether you think Congress should be grilling baseball players is up for debate but when a representative has a couple of weeks to get ready I should not here one of the blue hairs, Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA), wonder who went to Joe-see Can-sucko’s party.

In addition to screwing up the name of a player that has actually given testimony more than once, Kanjorski was lame. Instead of asking Clemens or McNamee a question he chickened out and asked Scheeler of the Mitchell Report some questions. In addition to asking the one guy present that did not need to answer any questions, Kanjorski was asking Scheeler questions that did not pertain to him. Kanjorski wanted Scheeler to describe inconsistencies in the Mitchell Report. The only problem was that the inconsistencies were a result of what was in the Mitchell Report and what was in a sworn deposition after the Mitchell Report came out. Kanjorski time for you to retire, you are terrible at reading and need to learn how to create a timeline so you don’t look like a buffoon.

Then we had Dan Burton (R-IN) get on his high horse and give a heartfelt story on how he felt Clemens was a titan in baseball and McNamee is the scum of the earth. Burton didn’t really get many questions out during his time but he had no reason to use the microphone due to his loud and emotional plea. His love for Clemens was a bit over the top even when it’s this close to Valentine’s Day. I do know that if I were a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, Burton would be my first target. All I need to do is take him out for lunch or pay for his commute on the Metro and he’ll sell his firstborn for my cause.

Tom Davis (R-VA) really got on my nerves. He had a starring role, in addition to being Clemens’ third attorney, because he was co-chairman or something. I realize that politicians as a rule are slick and probably sleazy but I got the impression he was in the front of that line. Davis knew he was going to be on TV a lot, probably because he loved Clemens so much, so he sported a pinstriped suit. I generally have nothing against pinstriped or attention-grabbing suits (see my Senior Ball outfit) but in this case he did not need to be or try to be the show. Just show up in a dark suit like everyone else and get to the bottom of the PED issue in baseball. Hey Davis, you’re not there to look like an NBA player or a nominee at the Grammy’s.

One of these days I’m going to consider putting my hat in the ring. I know how to read, do research and work my balls off. Aside from not having any money or the desire to be a sellout to any one political party or cause I think I’m perfect for a position in Congress. Well, I would also have to move because the letter after my name would make people in my current district want to get syphilis before voting for me but maybe I’ll just throw an ‘I’ after my name to make it work.

The NBA Is Screwed

The Dallas Mavericks appeared to have made a blockbuster trade until one of the players they tried to trade refused to waive his no-trade clause. Given only that information you would have to assume the player was Dirk Nowitzki. Who else on that team would you give that type of clause to? Josh Howard might fall into that category but that is it. Well, think again. Devean George has a no-trade clause and used it today.

Here I thought Mark Cuban had his act together. I was obviously wrong. With this news I would imagine Cubs fans are rethinking the idea of having Cuban as a potential owner. You can’t let someone that would give Devean George a no-trade clause buy the beloved Cubs. This day in age I am rarely stunned beyond belief with news about athletes. I admit that Devean George being the reason the Mavericks are not getting Jason Kidd is one of these times.

George is only in the NBA because he was able to hit a couple of wide-open, and I mean wide-open 3-pointers, when he played with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Can you imagine how many players would have a no-trade clause if it was given to all players that can hit an open 3-pointer with those two guys as teammates? I think David Stern needs to worry less about putting teams in Europe and worry more about the NBA being ruined. It is much healthier for a league to give A-Rod $300M than it is to have Devean George telling his owner he is not going to be traded.

Ridnour Played 4 Years At Oregon

It has been nearly a week since I heard this but it still bothers me so I had to mention it. As this season has gone on for the Oregon basketball team people have been up and down with the guard play. One day the guards are young and inexperienced and the next day they are playing really well due to excellent coaching. During nearly every broadcast the local broadcasters remind the viewers that Aaron Brooks and Luke Ridnour struggled in their first season as well. I’m not sure I totally agree with comparing Ridnour to the current point guards but that’s not the point.

During the California-Berkeley game on Saturday the esteemed Rob Kloss said something to the effect of, “Brooks and Ridnour did not come into their own until their senior seasons.” I did in fact rewind the TiVo to make sure I heard that right and I did. Of course, I do not dispute the Brooks part of that but I question why Ridnour has to be mentioned. The primary reason being he left for the NBA after his junior year. A senior year he never played. Does Kloss forget the epic Elite Eight run during Rid’s sophomore season? I am fired up for the next OSN broadcast because I am certain I will have something to write about.

Use Google Reader Now

I’m not sure if anyone reading this blog (that is, if anyone actually reads it) enjoys reading multiple blogs but if you do I hope you have found Google Reader. (Yes, I do realize I'm probably late to this party.) I came across it yesterday and it has already changed my life. Knowing Google there are probably a number of functions Google Reader has but to the layman (or woman, I suppose) it brings all of your favorite blogs to one place. For people with a blog addiction this is incredibly helpful. Instead of going to each blog 14 times a day you just go to Google Reader and all of the posts you haven’t read are presented. When I set this up yesterday I realized I go to a ton of blogs (23 or 24 to be nearly exact). This is somewhat embarrassing but I’m already married so I have nothing to worry about. I am not a blog expert but Google Reader can fill you in on how to set it up. Just be on the lookout for ‘RSS’ or an orange fan-looking thing in the right-hand corner of where you type in a website address on Firefox on your favorite blogs to add them to your list.

For your peace of mind this is not a paid advertisement, it's just me looking out for you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

'The Big Game' Ads

It has been a few days since 'The Big Game' so I think it is appropriate to name my Top 4 ads. Any advertiser worth his or her salt should be dying to know what I think a few days after. There are countless people out there with an immediate breakdown on the winners and losers but I gave all of the ads time to sink in (or to forget practically all of them). If they are paying $2M+ just to show the commercial they better hope it resonates for more than 17 minutes. Well, now that I have explained why my list is so important let’s take a look at them. In no particular order:

Fire Breath: This was an early ad from Bud Light but it was hilarious. Hilarious is generally what I am looking for. The part I liked best was that I think it is highly probable that the main character does not have pets since he was allergic to cats. I like people that don't have pets. I despise pets so I think the girlfriend deserved to have her place catch on fire due to a sneezing attack.

Unibrow Babe: If I remember correctly this was a Planters ad. I loved that the chick was clearly not attractive (unibrow, glasses, whacked outfit, weird gait, a bit portly, etc.) but was still able to attract the guys. You know that girl paid close attention to all of those stupid self-esteem assemblies in elementary school. For anyone that cares I do not have a fondness for the aroma of nuts.

Will Ferrell: Just as I don’t have a fondness for nuts, I generally am not all that excited about men in short shorts with a leg raised but this was an exception. I’m terrible at remembering lines so I can't give any examples but Ferrell used some great ones to describe his affection for Bud Light.

Victoria’s “Story I Don’t Want To Tell You”: If I’m not mistaken this was Victoria’s Secret’s first Super Bowl ad and they did a great job. This commercial will likely be used in advertising classes at journalism schools across the globe for years to come. Seeing the hot model in lingerie was nice and all but the truly redeeming part of this ad was that it got me thinking about Valentine’s Day. Here all along I thought that holiday was a bunch of crap. Who knew Victoria’s Secret would open my eyes to the necessity of such a holiday? Is it just me or is Valentine’s Day a much better holiday when Victoria’s Secret is reminding me about it and not some chocolates and flowers place?

Go here to view all of the commercials from 'The Big Game' if you so desire. Note, I use the term 'The Big Game' because the NFL is far more concerned about me using trademarked names than it is ensuring that teams are not blatantly cheating.