Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm Donn Hairball--damn glad to know ya!

(That‘s an anagram for Brian Holland)

Don’t you just love this story about ousted Merrill-Lynch CEO John Thain and his corporate spending spree that took place all the while as M-L begged for a government bailout?  $1,200 for a trash can?  Billions of dollars in bonuses to other executives?  I think it’s high-time for our government to get a grip on these corporate cocksuckers and regulate them.  I’m not saying these guys should take vows of poverty, but Wall Street blood suckers like Thain are totally out of control.  Is it any wonder our economy is so utterly fucked?

The Big Cuban, Fidel Castro, says he fears he won’t be lucid in four years.  I wasn’t aware that he ever was…

Well, the inevitable occurred yesterday and the Chefs finally fired coach Herm Edwards.  It was really about the only thing they could do at this point.  Herm’s a great guy, but I think he’s much better off as a defensive coordinator for some other team instead of as a head coach.  Rumors are flying like bodies in a mosh pit that former Denver head coach Mike Shanahan will become the next Chefs head coach, but I’m having trouble envisioning that, for some reason.  ESPN keeps playing it up like Shanahan wants to join the Chiefs so he can exact revenge on the Broncos, just like when he joined the Broncos to show up Al Davis for firing him from the Raiders a few years ago.  Just one problem with that theory—the Broncos treated Shanahan well, for the most part.  It’s time ESPN stuck to reporting the news instead of making it up.

Meanwhile, K.C. Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock continues to contradict himself with his own words.  Earlier this week, the Flatulent One went to great lengths to criticize new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and his methodical and deliberate handling of the coaching situation:  “The secrecy surrounding the Chiefs’ next head football coach is beginning to look arrogant, juvenile, unfair and stupid.  Short of Scott Pioli landing his father-in-law, Bill Parcells, I cannot see the upside in Pioli’s handling of his first week on the job”  Now, flash ahead to today’s headline in his column that read, “For Pioli, taking it slow was the way to go in dismissing Edwards.”  Oh, and JW has already bestowed one of his cute little nicknames on Pioli, “Slo-Po.”  I still can’t believe the Star pays this hypocritical jackass over $200,000 a year to write such drivel…

Ever wonder why the Pittsburgh Steelers only have logos on the right side of their helmets?  Someone posed that question the other day, and I just happened to know the answer.  According to the Steelers website, “…this was a temporary measure because the Steelers weren't sure they would like the look of the logo on an all-gold helmet.  They wanted to test them before going all-out.  Equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to put the logo only on one side of the helmetthe right side.  The 1962 Steelers finished 9-5 and became the winningest team in franchise history to date.  The team finished second in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the Playoff Bowl.  They wanted to do something special for their first postseason game, so they changed the color of their helmets from gold to black, which helped to highlight the new logo.  Because of the interest generated by having the logo on only one side of their helmets and because of their team's new success, the Steelers decided to leave it that way permanently.  Today's helmet reflects the way the logo was originally applied and it has never been changed.”

And oh yes, those diamond thingies in their logo are officially called hypocycloids.  I seem to remember drawing those on my Super Spirograph when I was a kid…

What do Johnny Cash, Donny Osmond, J.J. Cale and Lonnie Mack all have in common?  [Scroll down for answer]

...the following words don't exist in the English language?


After all, we have disheveled, nonchalant, non-sequitur, unkempt and incontinence...

I was reminded the other day of a chain called Mr. Quick that I really liked, even though I only got to experience them once.  During a road trip when I was a kid, we stopped in to their location in Blytheville, AR—just a stone’s throw east of Jim Dandy’s hometown of Black Oak, and just a way’s north of Memphis on I-55 near the Missouri boot heel.  This was back in the day when even at fast food places, you still had to wait a spell to get your food, so I was amazed at how Mr. Quick lived up to its name by whipping out our order in no time flat.  I also remember the vanilla shake I had was to die for.  Mr. Q had locations scattered about in the south and upper Midwest, but never made it to Kansas City.  I understand there are a handful of Mr. Quick’s still operating in Michigan, according to this tribute site.

“Power Of Love”—HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS (1985)  “Change a hawk into a little white dove...”  Not me, this time, but whoever it was that did the subtitles for the Back To The Future DVD who thought Brother Huey sang, “Change a heart into a little white dove.”

Johnny Cash, Donny Osmond, J.J. Cale and Lonnie Mack are all mentioned by name in the 1974 novelty hit “Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)” by Reunion, which featured Ohio Express lead singer Joey Levine.  The song also mentions everyone from Z.Z. Top to B. Bumble & The Stingers.

Almost without fail, in anything produced by Hollywood-types, people wait until December 24th to put up and decorate their Christmas tree.  And it always—ALWAYS—snows on Christmas Day.  Even if the story’s set in Guadalajara, it always snows on Christmas.  Hell, in my 44.5-plus years on this planet, we’ve only had like two white Christmases here in K.C., and the last one was over 30 years ago.

I was reminded of this humorous TV gaffe the other day, courtesy of ESPN’s Steve Levy.  It’s reminiscent of the time on local radio legend Dick Wilson’s morning show on Oldies 95 that Katey McGuckin read the sports and reported that the Royals’ Mike Sweeney “missed last night’s game with a stiff back. And, Dick…” [Not making that up, it really happened!]

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And Jerry Mathers as the Blogger...

The Oscar nominations came out today, and for the first time ever, all five flicks up for Best Picture are films that I actually wouldn’t mind seeing.  Milk and Frost/Nixon are already lined up in my Netflix queue for when they come out on DVD, and you know I’ll watch anything Kate Winslet’s in (The Reader).  ...Benjamin Button has also piqued my curiosity (even though Brad Pitt’s in it) and even this Slumdog Millionaire thing looks halfway interesting.  As expected, the late Heath Ledger is up for Best Supporting Actor for Dark Knight, and as usual Meryl Streep is nominated for something—I swear, that woman could play a damn speed bump in a movie and be nominated for an Oscar.  Also predictably, Angelina Jolie is up for Best Actress—I hope my girl Kate kicks her scrawny little overrated ass in the voting in that category!

I was also pleased to see my other girl, Marisa Tomei, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Wrestler.  I’m a bit miffed, though, that Terrell Owens wasn’t nominated for his enthralling performance in his remake of The Crying Game.

While I’m on movies, I watched Mamma Mia last night, and was quite underwhelmed.  I thought the story was pretty hokey, and being a big ABBA fan, I had great difficulty in digesting Razzie Award nominee Pierce Brosnan warbling one of my all-time favorite ABBA songs ("S.O.S."), as well as that older gal vamping to "Take A Chance On Me".  Much to my surprise, Meryl Streep can actually sing, but still our real ABBA girls Agnetha and Frida have nothing to fear from her.  One thing I did like was how the musicians re-created the songs—I initially thought they were just using the backing tracks from the original ABBA records with new vocals overdubbed, until I listened a little more closely for the subtle differences.  They also made a few alterations to the lyrics to fit the storyline, but I’m surprised they didn’t eliminate that silly cringe-inducing bon mot "you’re a doggone beast" from "Honey, Honey".  I imagine the Broadway musical version of MM is probably a lot more entertaining and would hold my interest a lot longer than this movie did.  I gave it about a 5.5 out of ten.

Damn, I wish I’d plunked down a few bucks on the Arizona Cardinals to make it to the Stupor Bowl before the season started—I’d be poopin’ in tall cotton right about now.  Is there any doubt now that Kurt Warner has had the oddest successful career in NFL history?  Let’s review:  While laboring in obscurity as an Arena League QB, he gets pulled out of his moonlighting grocery store job and winds up leading the St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowls (winning one of them), then his career goes into decline with the Rams and he’s replaced by Mark Bulger.  He then spends a year in purgatory looking like a total has-been with the Giants while tutoring young Eli Manning.  He ultimately lands in Phoenix, and just as I was about to write him off altogether, he winds up leading the team that used to be in St. Louis to its first Super Bowl!  Certainly a most circuitous route for a potential future Hall of Famer to take, and since Warner is nearing retirement age, what a storybook ending this would be if he goes out on top by knocking off Pittsburgh next weekend.  Nothing personal against the Steelers, but having grown up watching the St. Louis football Cardinals on TV every Sunday back in the ‘70s, I’d love to see the Redbirds win this one for the likes of Jim Hart, Dan Dierdorf, Jim Bakken, Conrad Dobler, Mel Gray, Roger Wehrli and the late J.V. Cain.  Go Big Red!

What do Michael Jackson, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Moore, Timothy Leary, Bobby Brown and Ricky Nelson all have in common?  [Scroll down for the answer]

BOB MAY, 1932-2009
The man inside the robot on TV’s "Lost In Space", actor Bob May, died earlier this week.  May did the Robot’s twisting-torso movements and arm-flailing during all those "Danger! No, Will Robinson!" moments, but not the Robot’s voice—that was provided by the show’s narrator, Dick Tufeld.  The all-time classic for me was the time when the Robot played acoustic guitar with his hooks!  Because it was so difficult getting in and out of the costume’s shell, during breaks in the shooting schedule, May would often remain inside the Robot and smoke cigarettes, which kept the cast and crew entertained with the smoke seeping through the openings.  Must have been quite a sight.  Danger!  Danger!

While I’m on ‘60s TV Sci-Fi shows, I read a trivial tidbit the other day that I’m having trouble believing.  Seems that George "Goober" Lindsey was actually considered for the role of Mr. Spock on "Star Trek".  I know he always wore that dorky pointed Jughead hat, but I just can’t picture him with pointy ears!  I can picture Goober on "Star Trek" about as readily as I can picture Leonard Nimoy on "Mayberry, RFD".  As our aforementioned friend the Robot might say, "That does not compute!"

And in a related piece of Trekkie trivia, I also read that the late Jack Lord of "Hawaii Five-O" fame was in contention for the role of Captain Kirk.  Now that I can kinda see:  "Book ‘em, Scotty!"

It’s time they dispose of the annoyingly perky Progressive Insurance chick on their TV ads.  She was kinda semi-cute to me at first, but now these commercials have become grating and stupid, so it’s time for her to join the "Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell" geek, Joe Isuzu, Suzie Chapstick, the Domino’s Pizza ‘Noid, et al, in the irritating commercial spokesperson/character retirement home.  Same goes for that "Smilin’ Bob" goomer on those dumbass erectile dysfunction ads, the Geico gecko (and cavemen), the "Can you hear me now?" Verizon Wireless geek and the two dorks in the mini-van on the Sonic commercials.

Ever notice when they show people driving a car or truck on TV or in movies, 90% of the time the rear view mirror on the windshield is missing?  It’s also amazing in the parallel universe that is Hollywood how at night the dashboard lights in these vehicles are usually bright enough to perform surgery by.

Don’t believe me?  Then click here!

Michael Jackson, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Moore, Timothy Leary, Bobby Brown and Ricky Nelson are each on the all-time roster of the Seattle Mariners.  MJ only used one batting glove, naturally...

It’s Cougars vs. Cougars!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There's a new sheriff in town...

Can someone explain to me why all of a sudden this Barack Obama guy is considered a potential candidate for President in ’08? Don’t get me wrong—I am certainly ALL FOR some fresh faces and new ideas in Washington, but why is this guy suddenly everyone's sexy choice to be Prez? I realize the Democraps are desperate for someone—ANYONE—to trot out there and lead them, but this guy with the terrible initials has only been in Congress a short while, so what’s so special about him? Surely, it’s not just on the strength of the big speech he gave at the Dem. Convention in ’04 alone, is it? The fact that he’s black doesn’t bother me at all (hell, I’ll take a PLAID President at this point, if he’s worth a damn!), but I just don’t get how someone can just suddenly come along out of nowhere and get everyone’s tongues wagging over him when he hasn’t really done anything.—B. Holland, January, 18, 2007

I guess we’re about to find out, huh?  It was almost two years ago today that I posted the above remarks, and we’ve come a long way since then.  While I’m still not completely sold on whether Obama can cut the proverbial cheese as our Commander-In-Chief, I can’t believe he could possibly be any worse than the Village Idiot he’s replacing.  Even if Obama is a mediocre President, that’s still a step in the right direction.  One issue I have already, though:  I saw where today’s inauguration cost us taxpayers anywhere from 150-170 million semolians to execute.  I’m sure if McCain had been elected, it would’ve been just as exorbitant, but given today’s economic climate, it seems to me that it would’ve been more appropriate to do a slightly more frugal swearing-in ceremony…

Anyway, I was in a fairly celebratory mood at work today around the 11:00 hour, not so much because #44 was sworn in, but because I was finally able to literally utter the phrase “Former President Bush”.  The news media this week kept reporting about a “wistful” George W. Bush in his final days in office—an oxymoron on a par with “wistful” Charles Manson, "wistful" O.J. Simpson and “wistful” Jeffrey Dahmer.  Many of the news stories I’ve read this week are about the Bush apologists saying that history will vindicate Dubya in the long run as it did Harry Truman, but I ain’t buyin’ it.  Neither are some historians quoted at History News Network, who feel that #43 will finish 43rd in the Best President of All-Time standings.

Like this one:  “No individual president can compare to the second Bush…Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world’s goodwill.  In short, no other president’s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.”

And this one:  “With his unprovoked and disastrous war of aggression in Iraq and his monstrous deficits, Bush has set this country on a course that will take decades to correct…When future historians look back to identify the moment at which the United States began to lose its position of world leadership, they will point—rightly—to the Bush presidency.  Thanks to his policies, it is now easy to see America losing out to its competitors in any number of area:  China is rapidly becoming the manufacturing powerhouse of the next century, India the high tech and services leader, and Europe the region with the best quality of life.”

And this one:  “George Bush has combined mediocrity with malevolent policies and has thus seriously damaged the welfare and standing of the United States…Bush does only two things wellHe knows how to make the very rich very much richer, and he has an amazing talent for fucking up everything else he even approaches.  His administration has been the most reckless, dangerous, irresponsible, mendacious, arrogant, self-righteous, incompetent, and deeply corrupt one in all of American history.”

Another historian indicated that his reason for rating Bush as worst is that the current president combines traits of some of his failed predecessors:  the paranoia of Nixon, the ethics of Harding and the good sense of Herbert Hoover. . . . . God willing, this will go down as the nadir of American politics.”  Yet another remarked that Bush’s “denial of any personal responsibility can only be described as silly.”  Still another (and my personal favorite) classified Bush as “an ideologue who got the nation into a totally unnecessary war, and has broken the Constitution more often than even Nixon. He is not a conservative, nor a Christian, just an immoral man . . . .”  I can’t possibly top any of that, nor do I need to try—the man's work speaks for itself.  All I know is we can all exhale now...

As for Barack Obama, in the words of Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin:  "From here on, sonny, sonny, sonny—it's a long and lonely climb..."