Apr 29, 2007

Thoughts on the Packers' Draft

When a team's fans are watching a draft, there are really only a couple of things that factor into their opinion of a pick:

1. Have we heard of the pick?
2. Does he play a position our team needs to improve?

Based on these two parameters, it is easy to predict how a team's fan base will react to any given pick. The math goes like this:

1. Heard of the pick + Fills a need = Fans cheer

2. Haven't heard of pick + Fills a need = Fans cautiously optimistic

3. Heard of the pick + Doesn't fill a need = Fans split

4. Haven't heard of the pick + Doesn't fill a need = Fans angry, swear words utilized.

Justin Harrell falls into category #4, which is why Ted Thompson is taking an absolute beating on some of the message boards. Packer fans are angry and confused, since they had fallen in love with Marshawn Lynch, and because Harrell had been projected a few picks lower. As a group, we're a little tired of Thompson drafting like he knows something that nobody else does.

But a lot of these fans also wanted the Packers to draft Brady Quinn, which would have been an absolute disaster. And why did they like Quinn? Well, because he was on TV every week. He must be good.

As Ron Smith in Whitefish Bay wrote:

"Thompson should be fired immediatley for his incompentence and inability to pick marquee names."
(Not sure how many "marquee names" were available at #16. Maybe Thompson could have taken Troy Smith there - he won the Heisman, after all!)

Incidentally, name recognition isn't always bad. At the time, I mocked Packer fans for insisting that the Packers take Chris Chambers over Robert Ferguson just because he played for the UW. As it turns out, they were right.

On the other hand, there were teams (like Cleveland), who were angling to move up to take Quinn. It would be interesting to see if they called the Packers and what they offered for the 16th pick. They gave Dallas their #1 pick in 2008 and a second rounder this year for the 22nd - they should have given up a little more for the 16th. I would have been happier with that scenario than Harrell. But who knows.

As for the other guys they took, I'm obviously happy they took a couple of Virginia Tech guys. I watch a lot of Hokie games, and I have always hoped Rouse would someday be a Packer. Of course, I wish that for any good Tech player, as I am hopelessly biased. I think Clowney is going to be good, too - he had a pretty shaky QB in college, and he has some talent. Could end up being like Ernest Wilford, who was drafted out of Tech pretty late and is now a solid receiver for Jacksonville.

I'm not really bothered that the Packers didn't end up with a big name running back. Aside from the truly elite, most RBs in the league are fairly interchangeable. I mean, Samkon Gado looked like an all-pro running behind a good offensive line. And since the Packers' line was really coalescing well at the end of the year last season, I have faith that they'll be able to find someone that can run the ball.

As for the Randy Moss situation, I'm certain it's more complicated than a lot of message board posters are making it out to be. Any team that traded for Moss would have to renegotiate his contract, plus he said he wanted to play for a Super Bowl contender. That pretty much means he could refuse to go to teams that he didn't want to play for, by refusing to re-negotiate. Plus, any team that traded for him would end up paying him a boatload of money - which is why the Raiders unloaded him for a 4th rounder. Sure, they don't get much back, but they also don't have to pay him now. That being said, when I found out that the Patriots had traded for Moss, it felt like I got a punch to the stomach. My daughter told me to stop yelling at the TV.

Depending on the status of Koren Robinson, who the Packers could re-sign before next year, maybe Thompson thought he had enough receivers for the time being. You may remember Brett Favre sticking up for Robinson after the NFL barred him from contact with the team during his suspension - that certainly may have been a move by Favre to convince Robinson to re-sign with the Pack.

I'm as willing as anyone to just crush the Packers for having a bad draft. I thought Ted Thompson's 2005 draft was an abomination for which he should be hauled before an international tribunal in the Hague for war crimes. But this one, I think we need to wait and see.

Blog Summit Wrapup

I attended the Wispolitics Blog Summit II yesterday, and had a good time meeting a lot of the people I had only gotten a chance to know via e-mail. I got the chance to chat with Rick Esenberg (my favorite), Terrence Berres, James Wigderson, Steve Eggleston, Owen Robinson, Amy Kant, Jo Egelhoff, Jay Bullock, Aaron Kreel, and a few other members of the Cheddarsphere. I apologize for leaving early, but I had to sneak out after the "Legalities of Blogging" section.

As for the actual presentations, I agree with Rick that they were a little self-referential. I don't know that anything was covered that hasn't been discussed over and over again on blogs themselves. But it really is a good event in that it gave me an excuse to get together and meet people I had met on the internet in person, without Chris Hansen of "Dateline NBC" in attendance (for a change).

My favorite part of the presentations was when Ed Garvey singled out the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (my employer) as the root of all evil in society. I can't wait to hear what he says when he finds out we keep a basement full of 7-year old Korean girls chained to typewriters to write my columns for me.

This Week's "Here and Now" Appearance

I think this might finally be the commentary that knocks "American Idol" out of the #1 spot in the ratings. Furthermore, got toothpaste on my jacket in the morning, so I hope you can't see it. No jokes, sorry.

You can watch the whole show by clicking here.

Apr 27, 2007

Me, 34

34 years today, I sprung forth from my mother's womb to unleash my dazzling array of sweater vests on the world. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, "old age only brings more things to shave."

34 isn't that old in the grand scheme of life, but it can be said that I'm now "middle age." I enjoy how we refer to 60 year olds as "middle age." Do you know anyone that's 120? Any non-turtles, that is?

Today gives me the chance to think back and reflect on my birth. Knowing the hurt and pain that today's world offers, I may have decided to stay in the womb for a more extended period of time. I mean, who is some "doctor" to serve me with an eviction notice? On the other hand, I really like waffles, and those are difficult to get in utero. So maybe I made the right decision.

Actually, I got lucky - I narrowly missed being a female by one measly chromosome. There's nothing wrong with being a girl, but it would cause problems for me - as I would sit at home all day looking at myself in the mirror without clothes. To hell with a job.

Early in life, there are all sorts of age milestones to look forward to. At 16, you can drive. At 21, you can drink. At 18, you can vote. At 23, you get to see your first naked woman. (Wait...that's not the law?) And from what I have learned, at 35 you can legally drive without wearing any pants. So attention Wendy's drive-through workers: consider yourself warned. 365 days.

Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad about being old. As they say in Hollywood, 34 is now the new 33. Plus, I'd be the oldest living male in inner city Milwaukee, so there's that. And I've managed to father two beautiful children who, in the event of my death, would immediately spend their inheritance on hypnosis to forget that I ever existed.

But let's be serious here - my life has passed me by, and I'm pretty much just running out the clock at this point. I may just quit my job, sit home, and wait to die.

A Note on Generations

Today, Charlie Sykes cites a USA Today article about helicopter parents choosing professions for their children:
As Generation Y enters the job force, parents of new hires are calling employers to negotiate salary and benefits, and some are even showing up at job fairs.
Here's my question:

I would imagine the children of Generation Y will be Generation Z. Once we get past that, do we go all the way back to Generation A? Or do we start doubling up, and make it Generation AA? And if that's the case, won't there eventually be a Generation XXX? Because that sounds like something I would want to be a part of.

Health Care Discrimination

Twice a week, I play basketball before work with a bunch of guys that I've known for a while. Seeing as we're mostly old guys, some of us pull a hamstring if we even imagine running faster than a jog.

Two weeks ago, we had a guy fall to the floor and start grabbing his ankle. After about two minutes of staring at each other in silence, someone finally asked him, "Uhhh... you all right?"

Fast forward to last week, when we were joined by the girl that sometimes shows up to play. Without getting myself into trouble, I can diplomatically say that she's better to look at than any of us old fat guys. Anyway, halfway through one of the games, she sprains her ankle and drops to the ground. And seriously - you would have thought it was the Kennedy assassination.

Immediately, there were four guys helping her up and encouraging her. Guys were sprinting to the locker room to be the first one to get her ice. Backrubs were offered. Grown men wept openly.

I am 100% certain that if I injured myself, the priest would be in the gym delivering my last rites before anyone even noticed I was laying on the ground. Totally unfair - someone pass a law.

Ted Leo at Club 770

Went to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Union South last night. I won't bore people with details, but the show was great. Surprising that he'd be playing such a small venue - I would think he could easily fill the Annex or High Noon. If he were in Chicago, he'd probably be playing the Metro or somewhere big. I'm anxiously awaiting my next milestone, when I go from only being twice as old as everyone else at these shows to being three times as old.

Anyway, if there's one good reason to support the war in Iraq, it's so it compels Ted Leo to write more really good anti-war albums. It seems to get his creative dander up. That's what was so disappointing about the last R.E.M. album - you think the starts would have all been aligned, with the U.S. being at war. It should have been right in Michael Stipe's wheelhouse, and he totally whiffed.

On the way to the concert, I seriously missed being hit by a car by inches while crossing Regent Street. After the show, my buddy Barrett and I discussed whether it would be better to be run over by a car going really fast or really slow. Think about it - if the car was going fast, the tires would hit you from the front more quickly, but there's a chance that the initial blow might pop the car into the air a little - and the car would actually be on to of you for less time. With the slow car, the actual hit wouldn't be as bad, but the tires would be on top of you crushing your ribs for a longer period of time.

Personal preference, I guess.

Watch a live solo performance of "Bottle of Buckie" here.

Apr 25, 2007

My Schedule

I'm on "Here and Now" this Friday - you can probably guess what I'll be talking about. It's my birthday on Friday, so feel free to send cake to the studio.

Also, I'll be at the Wispolitics blog summit in Milwaukee on Saturday. Stop by and say hi. It means I'll miss the Crazylegs run in Madison, but I'd probably collapse anyway - skipping it may save my life.

I expect the Packers to make their first draft choice at about 1:00 PM on Saturday, which means I will be complaining bitterly about whoever they pick at approximately 1:01.

As I have been busy writing for work, you may have noticed Mr. Noodle dropping by occasionally to post stuff. He'll keep stopping by, as far as I know.

Apr 23, 2007

It is Now Official...

At this time, I would now like to announce my official retirement from watching "24." It's just too much. I can't take it anymore. I would rather watch Sanjaya as a new panelist on "The View" than watch another evil foreigner just slip through the grasp of CTU. Tonight, I was praying that Jack's C4 explosives would go off, blowing up both he and Audrey. I mean, come on. Nothing even makes sense anymore. I'm hoping that Fayed really isn't dead and that he sneaks into CTU and pummels Morris, Milo, Chloe, and every other of those whiny bastards. Apparently Chad Lowe gets to escape the death penalty for trying to blow up the president because he had some information... that everyone knew already? So the Department of Justice, in order to look good politically, cuts a deal with a guy that just tried to kill the president? I'm so angry, I can't even break my rant up into paragraphs. So there you have it. I'll finish out this season, then I'll have my papers on your desk immediately.

With the First Pick in the NBDL Draft...

When Todd Rosiak reported tonight that Marquette's Dominic James was leaning towards declaring himself eligible for the draft, I wondered what draft he was talking about. The Turkish professional league, maybe?

Actually, I hear short, athletic point guards that can't shoot or pass are a hot commodity in the NBA now. What team wouldn't want someone capable of a 6 for 24 shooting clinic on any given night?

Going 'In Burrito"

Greetings! My boy Mr. Schneider has offered some space in his new blog, and I've decided to take him up on the offer. Hopefully, this experience won't end up sucking, and I'll be able to impart some of my insights onto his regular readers (both of you). I've told Chris I'll post randomly, and try to be as witty and topical as possible. I won't even sniff his level of humor and insight, as I've come to realize he's pretty good at this. Also, I'm working under the "Mr. Noodle" title, both to hide my identity and give a shout out to the dude who tirelessly entertains my kids with his wacky antics each day.

I've jotted down a few topics I'd like to post on, including: why I'm not so sure my two-year old son is really mine, why Chris is closing in on becoming one of the top 5 Schneiders of all time, and why I never miss a movie with a sword fight in it. However, the idea for my inaugural post on Atomic Trousers came to me today while I was out to lunch.

I live and work on the trendy east side, so I pass numerous 5-star restaurants every day I'm in the car (Hardee's, Applebee's, IHop just to name a few). Today, while my original noon hour plan was to go burger shopping, I dropped in on my friends at the neighborhood La Bamba on East Washington Ave.

First off, as I walk in, I ask myself what kind of business must this place be doing if they are completely empty at 12:15pm on a Tuesday? I'll bet not 1% of the restaurants on the planet don't get at least one patron by noon on a weekday.

I settled on the Super Nachos for $7, figuring if they were legit, I'd be done eating for the day. Not so. One small spoonful of bean slop, next to no cheese and only a couple of skinny strands of chicken greeted me as I opened up my styrofoam bowl. If those are Super Nachos, Taco Bell's Nachos Bell Grande should win an award or something. I'm nacho average Mexican food guy too, so believe me when I say they were weak. I should've played it safe and buried a burrito like everyone else does.

Shortly after sitting down (in front of a tv showing muted soccer highlights on Telemundo), in walks a super fat lady, which obviously grabbed my attention a bit. With only her and me in the entire restaurant, I could easily overhear her order, which sucked for her, since she ordered enough food to feed a submarine crew. It went something like this, "Yah, (breathless from almost running to the counter) Hi, I'll have two steak burritos, each with a side of beans and rice for here, then (in damn near a whisper), I'd like an order of your tamales to go." As someone who tries not to ever overhear what others are ordering, or watch them as they eat, I was saddened by the fact I knew she was about to eat the equivalent of three burritos as big as my head. To borrow a line from David Spade, I could almost hear her getting fat.

Then, not two minutes later, as I was settling in and reading the movie reviews in latest edition of Voz Latina, in walks a younger hispanic guy and his young son. Nothing out of the ordinary there, except for the fact the little boy had on these sweet sunglasses. My first thought was that daddy might be letting Junior hold his shades while he orders their lunch, but no, the kid kept them on until they sat down to eat. My two year old son doesn't even let me put on his coat! I wonder if it is a cultural thing?

Finally, as I was leaving, I made a pit stop at the soda machine for a refill, the guy at the counter, grimacing like the angry dude who mugs Patrick Swayze in "Ghost", yells out that refills are 35 cents. I smile and tell him, "yep, gotcha" purely as a defense mechanism. Thinking he was joking, since NOBODY charges for refills anymore. I fill up my cup and begin to walk out, when I hear him hollar, "Amigo, you must pay for refills!". With about 10 people now in the restaurant, I turned around, smile and say, "you've got to be sh*tting me". Then, I toss my full cup in the garbage and walk out wondering if all this craziness would be a good topic for my maiden voyage on Atomic Trousers....

Apr 21, 2007

More Kid Stuff

Sadly, I count this as one of my son's greatest accomplishments:

That's right, honkies - he keeps it real!

For the white people in my readership who don't get the reference, here it is.

And searching for that last file, I came upon the epic "Black Bush" skit from Chappelle's show:

Apr 20, 2007

Give, Give, Give

The Wisconsin chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association has set up a website to contribute to the families and students at Virginia Tech. Please go to:

And show the people at Virginia Tech that Wisconsin is behind them. Donate, even if it's just a little bit.

Apr 19, 2007

Why the Bucks Were Tanking

For those of you wondering why the Bucks tanked the last 20 games of the season, here's why:

And with the third pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select...

Schneider's kid!

Apr 18, 2007

Taking Sides

I have to admit, I was a little surprised during American Idol last night when Chris Richardson offered his condolences to the students at Virginia Tech and Simon Cowell rolled his eyes. Clearly, Simon thought Richardson was trying to deflect his criticism and I'm certain Cowell wasn't making light of the whole situation.

However, Richardson is from Virginia, and I'm certain he has plenty of friends at Tech. It is a big state school. Plus, the whole discussion regarding his nasally singing had concluded and they were about to move on. The fact that Simon would be flippant about a contestant offering condolences to his friends after a tragedy is a little disappointing. It wasn't nearly as bad as Phil Stacey (A.K.A. "Nosferatu") saying his three month old kid named a toy cow "Simon Cow."

In the end, of course, it doesn't mean a damn thing. And I think Cowell realized his mistake by offering his own condolences later in the show.

Winner: Richardson

Apr 16, 2007

A Senseless Massacre of Good Taste

This morning, 15 Virginia Tech students walked into a German class in Norris Hall, not realizing that for some of them, they would never walk out. They didn’t know at the time that they would soon become subjects of the most deadly shooting spree in American history – an event so horrific, that the nation would have to stop and catch its breath to understand what happened.

Undeterred by the gravity of the event, liberal columnist John Nichols of The Nation had it all figured out within hours. At 5:35, he had already written a blog post pre-emptively criticizing the National Rifle Association for their “rapid response,” which has yet to materialize. In his post, replete with misspellings and grammatical errors, Nichols decries “one dimensional explanations” of the violence today, then immediately offers… an explanation that can barely be ascribed one dimension.

Nichols goes on to blame corporate gun companies, the NRA, and anyone that supports owning “deadly weapons” for our “culture of violence.” (Incidentally, if you purchase a gun, and it’s not “deadly,” then you got ripped off.) He says:

Do not doubt that the National Rifle Association is preparing its "this-had-nothing-to-do-with-guns" press release. The group has no compunctions about living up to its reputation for being beyond shame -- or education -- when it comes to peddling its spin on days when it would be better to simply remain silent.
Of course, criticizing imaginary press releases from the NRA certainly doesn’t smack of “peddling spin.” John Nichols is clearly above offering his boiler-plate opinions on days “when it would be better to simply remain silent.” Perhaps Nichols should move to downtown Detroit, where nobody is an NRA member, and therefore completely free from the threat of gun violence.

Yet lo, before the blood had even dried on the Norris Hall floor, Nichols had the answer to reverse this trend of violence: Everyone should be forced to watch Bowling For Columbine, Michael Moore’s anti-gun screed where he ridicules people with Alzheimer’s. If only the young man who shot 32 others on the Virginia Tech campus today had seen that movie, they’d all be alive today. Michael Moore has the cure for all jilted lovers who feel like they have no more reason to live. Even better, maybe we should make everyone watch "March of the Penguins," to teach people about the value of life. Seems about as plausible.

Even more incredibly, Nichols writes:

Moore certainly does not let apologists for the gun industry off the hook. But he does not stop there. "Bowling for Columbine" explores the role that America's mad foreign policies and obscene expenditures on weapons of mass destruction might play in fostering a culture of violence.
There you have it – it’s American foreign policy that caused the massacre today. Silly of you to think George W. Bush didn't play a role in this. Clearly this young man was a student of foreign relations and had tired of the United States exerting its will on the rest of the world, which is why he decided to start shooting up a university campus. Things like this never happened when America was respected in the world under the Clinton administration. Oh, except for Columbine.

Nichols and his ilk will likely ignore an inconvenient fact: Virginia actually has a “concealed carry" law. Yet there was no gun anywhere on campus to stop this shooter. Does anyone honestly believe that an event like today's is any less likely to happen at the University of Wisconsin because we ban concealed weapons? I thought that if we allowed people to carry firearms, everyone would be packing heat and our campuses would be the Wild West revisited? In fact, only one person on the Virginia Tech campus was aware of our “culture of violence,” and he was the one pulling the trigger.

It’s good to know liberals have lunatics like Nichols on-call to destroy good taste within hours, if necessary. Somebody get his beeper number so we can call him to blame Bush for the next time a baby falls down a well. One thing is clear – Nichols had this blog post written long ago, whether he actually had typed it out or not. I’m just happy the 33 corpses that turned up today gave him an excuse to write it.

UPDATE: The NRA did put out a written statement. It simply says: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families. We will not have further comment until all the facts are known."

The Virginia Tech Shootings

As some of you may remember, I actually went to Virginia Tech - so today's shootings still have me shaken up a little bit. I lived in Pritchard Hall, which is the all-male dorm right next to Ambler-Johnston, where the early morning shootings took place. I only remember being in that dorm once, to pick up notes from this girl for biology class.

Obviously, I haven't been on campus there for 14 years, so I don't really have any personal connection to what happened today. I don't think I know anyone still there, but my heart goes out to the students and faculty. Otherwise, I'm just like everyone else, trying to figure out how a shooting takes place in a dorm early in the morning, then the same shooter opens fire in a different building two and a half hours later. Details are still trickling in, but that's the thing that's going to have to be explained to me.

I tried watching a little of CNN's coverage this afternoon, but I couldn't take it anymore. They essentially were just letting random Tech students call in and talk about how they felt, while replaying the cell phone captured-video of the shootings. It was all just time filler.

I'm sure there will be plenty of debate in the next few days about gun control and all the societal issues that this event presents. But for now, I'm just going to sit here and be numb for a little while.

UPDATE: Here's a map of the Tech campus - you can see Pritchard Hall (where I lived) in relation to Ambler-Johnston (where the first shootings occurred). On the other side is Cochrane Hall, which was the dorm where all the athletes lived (I think I remember them doing away with the whole idea of a "jock dorm," but I'm not sure.) That's likely where Antonio Freeman lived while we were both there.

Deaths up to 32 now, according to reports.

UPDATE: Just talked to my former roommate, and he said he had talked to a friend whose dad is a Dean at Tech. The theory going around down there is that the kid shot his girlfriend and the RA in Ambler-Johnston and then went over and hid in Norris until classes started and then unloaded on all of them. That makes sense, given the press accounts to this point.

Still curious why classes were held and the buildings kept open with the knowledge that there was a shooter running free on campus.

Apr 15, 2007

Maturity Check

I was at Home Depot a couple days ago, and I have to admit I chuckled when I saw the name of this product. Did I mention I'm in my mid-30's?

Six Feet Over and Out

We don't have any cable movie channels, so my wife and I spend a lot of time going back and watching HBO shows on DVD. I still haven't ever seen a single episode of the Sopranos, and I don't really feel like I'm missing a whole lot.

My wife and I had heard good things about Six Feet Under, so we started watching the first season this week. And I have to say - I'm pretty close to giving up after the first three episodes. Who wants to watch a bunch of unlikeable whiners yell at each other hour after hour? The whole juxtaposition of those peoples' lives against a new dead person every week is just too easy of a plot device. And any show that relies heavily on people having childhood flashbacks and talking to dead people is just being lazy. I feel strongly about this.

That being said, if anyone who watches the show can talk me into sticking with it, I'm all ears.

Yo La Tengo at the Barrymore

I hadn’t planned on going to see Yo La Tengo at the Barrymore on Saturday night, but my buddy Barrett came up with some tickets at the last minute. A few thoughts:

When the show started, the Barrymore was about 2/3rds full. This seemed a little strange, given that it was a Saturday night, and Neko Case had sold the place out on a Monday night just five days earlier. Perhaps that's just a testament to the Power of Neko.

I have to remember not to wear button fly jeans to concerts. It really makes repeat trips to the bathroom a hassle. It’s your job to remind me next time.

The Barrymore is selling New Glarus Coffee Stout, which is phenomenal, especially in large amounts.

Yo La Tengo has been around for 23 years, and sounded every bit of it – in a good way. They drifted seamlessly between soft, layered songs and some hard rockers. Seeing a band live really gives you a new appreciation for how hard it is to actually put some of these songs together. For instance, a song like “The Room Got Heavy” never really stood out for me on their CD, but the fuzzy, repetitive bass line coupled with two of the band members playing drums was a revelation. The timing was impeccable.

Somewhere around the third song, the girl directly in front of me fired up her pipe. As my friend Gooch says, that takes stones the size of Jupiter – to openly smoke weed at an indoor concert in a venue where all smoking is banned. Of course nobody cared, so I guess it worked out for her.

The best part of the show for me was the last 30 minutes or so of the first set. They played a loud, aggressive version of the Beach Boys’ “Little Honda,” interspersed with about 10 minutes of thunderous feedback. Had I walked out of the concert after that finale, I would have been amazed at what I just saw. But then they came back for two mediocre encores that kind were a little disappointing, including a collaboration with their less than stellar opening band.

I tend to be more of a fan of songs that Georgia Hubley sings, and I have to admit that for their live songs, her drumming affected her singing somewhat. But I can't even imagine how hard it is to drum and sing at the same time, Phil Collins-style.

Generally, our strategy at the Barrymore is to sneak down to the right side of the stage and stand there – there’s usually plenty of room, and you get really close to the stage. The downside is that you’re standing right next to the speaker on the side of the stage. I certainly don’t mind loud music, but I still can’t hear out of my right ear this morning.

After the show, we were hit up for change by a homeless guy on a bike, which led to a discussion about why anyone would want to be homeless in Wisconsin. I mean, seriously – if you’re going to be homeless, isn’t it just as easy to do it in a place like San Diego, where the weather’s nice all the time? We also discussed what he would likely be purchasing with our contribution, and Barrett told me about bumwine.com, a fantastic website that rates the various "fortified wines" (AKA, bumwines).

From their review of Wild Irish Rose:

Another web page claims that this foul beverage is a conspiracy by the republicans to kill the homeless. Bums ask a liquor store clerk for Wild Irish rose by saying, "gimme a pint of rosie with a skirt," a skirt being a paper bag. Some don't want it cold either. It's called "wild" for a good reason, and bystanders should beware. Wild Irish Rose is sure to light a fire of drunken rage in your soul. A guy named "Richards" is mentioned on the label.
After stops at the Come Back Inn and Essen Haus, we capped the night off with La Bamba steak burritos. It’s amazing to me that La Bamba couldn’t stay open on State Street, but it somehow does fine in suburban western Madison. This trip will virtually guarantee my place in the bathroom for most of Sunday.

Apr 13, 2007

Abstinence Breakthrough!

A new study released today demonstrates that the $176 million annually the government spends on teen abstinence programs is completely ineffective. The study, however, suggested that the best way to remain abstinent as a teen is to look like this:

SIDE NOTE: In describing how the programs were evaluated, the report on page 14 talks about the "Abstinence Program Duration and Intensity." It's no wonder nobody can stay abstinent when even the report describing the programs is filthy.


As long as we're still talking about the Neko Case concert the other night, a friend of mine found this on her website. That's right - you can buy some Neko Case underwear for your loved one:

Just think of all the sick men that probably order them online thinking that they're actually Neko's. I, on the other hand, would actually demand verification that she wore them, because I'm not a sicko like the rest of those guys.

The King of Ray's

Popular Madison East Side gay bar Ray's is closing its doors, prompting this story from the Capital Times. This section caught my eye:

Ray's Bar patrons remember the tavern fondly as a local gathering place "for all different kinds of people, straight and gay," Jeremy O'Sullivan, 31, said recently in a phone interview. "It was like a public sitting room and it's definitely going to be missed."

O'Sullivan, a native of Cork, Ireland, has lived in Madison the past seven years and jokes that he frequented Ray's despite its lack of Guinness on tap. He said he loved to put the Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away" on the jukebox and sing along with friends.

That sound you heard is thousands of gay Madisonians cringing. Come on, Jeremy. Seriously. It couldn't have been like, "Jeremy is a computer technician who works with disadvantaged children in his spare time." It had to be the most stereotypical quote of all time.

And exactly what do you have to do to be labeled "the guy to talk to" about Ray's? Like, the bartender was "oh, man - you totally have to talk to Jeremy." If you are "the gay guy" at Ray's, there is likely a sitcom in development for you. So it will be a soft landing for Jeremy.

Apr 12, 2007

The Gnarliest Gladiator

And then there's this classic...

Hat tip for both to Bill Simmons.

Apr 10, 2007

Neko at Night

Fans of the old blog may remember that I'm a die-hard Neko Case loyalist, so it should surprise nobody that I went to see her at the Barrymore last night. The show was sensational - and I can't really describe what it was like for fear of sounding too much like a lovestruck teenager. Let's just say I was catatonic - other people in my area were dancing and clapping, and I stood frozen with my hands jammed into my pockets. She's just impossibly good.

I was torn about whether to throw the underwear I was wearing onto stage, or bring an extra clean pair to throw. I figured the ones I was wearing would be a little more personal. I actually considered throwing them up on the stage while I was still wearing them.

I was able to get really close to the stage. How close, you ask? Try this close:

Before the show, we had a couple of tacos at Tex Tubbs'. A special appearance at Tex's was made by none other than Chuck Chvala, who I assume was going to the show as well. Mad props to Chuck for having good taste in music.

Apr 5, 2007

My Apologies...

I haven't had the time to really devote to this blog lately, as I've been working on the WPRI blog quite a bit. Just sit tight - I'll be back soon.

Apr 2, 2007

Beard of Bees

In October of 2005, Eef Barzelay (lead singer of my favorite group, Clem Snide), played a live solo show at Indie Coffee here in Madison. Here's a video clip of the song "Beard of Bees" that he performed at that show - an amazing song that has yet to show up on one of his CDs.

Need Tax Advice?

So I drive on Park Street here in Madison during the day quite a bit - usually when I'm heading down to the Capitol. If you've made the drive during the day, then you've seen the crazy guy dressed as Uncle Sam that stands out on the sidewalk and waves to cars - all day every day - as a promotion for a local tax preparer. I've seen him out there in the pouring rain and the freezing cold, always smilin' and wavin.'

My question, though: How does this help bring them business? Have you ever said to yourself the following:

"Money's tight, so I really need the best refund I can get, so I want to make sure I'm getting all the deductions I need, and I want to make sure it's accurate. Hey, maybe that escaped mental patient over there in the Uncle Sam suit can help me out."

Happy Opening Day!

I was in Chicago over the weekend, and my buddy Hal gave me a Robin Yount bobblehead that he got at a Brewer game last year. So Robin will be watching over me at work today while the Brew Crew begin the first ever 162-0 season. He can be seen here with my autographed photo of The Kid from Brooklyn.

Of ESPN's 18 "experts," six of them pick the Brew Crew to win the NL Central. Which means they will likely win 60 games.