Feb 29, 2012

Memory Fail

I generally have a pretty good memory for the important things. And for the not-so-important things. As in anything to do with the movies. The other night on our radio show, my co-host was shocked when he asked me who was the other actor to play Shoeless Joe Jackson in a film besides Ray Liotta. I replied that it was D.B. Sweeney without a moment's hesitation.  That kind of shit, I'm good at.

But sometimes my memory fails me in craptastic ways.

Two recent examples of my that happened just yesterday.

First, I was watching TV late at night and the film Resident Evil: Afterlife (don't judge me!) was just about to start on one of the movie channels.  I looked at the brief plot description on the screen, did a mental inventory and decided that I hadn't seen it yet.  And for the first five minutes of the film, I was happy as a pig in shit. A pig in shit watching an awful movie, but I was in the mood for an awful movie.  So there.

Then the prelude ended and our hero was flying a WWII era Russian fighter plane up to Alaska to meet her friends and I was like "Wait a minute here...".  Yup, I had seen this shit.  And I remember it was awful.  Everything came flooding back at once.  The brief scene in Alaska.  The prison in LA. The huge axe-wielding mutant zombie. The finale on the ship.

But that first 5 minutes?  Nope...none of that was familiar at all.  And (since it came out in 2010) I had, most likely, watched this film less than a year ago! Maybe I was watching it while I was futzing around on the Internet late at night while drinking bourbon or something, but I don't remember that first 5 minutes at all.  So weird.

Then I sat down to right a post about something I found on Youtube! a while back.  I have a sticky note application on my laptop, and one of them is for blog post ideas.  I had jotted this one down a long time ago.  Maybe as long as a year ago.  But I suddenly got jazzed to write about it.  So I did.

About a third of the way through the post, I started getting this deja-vu feeling.  Did I write about this already? Nah...I would have deleted it off my sticky note. But these words do feel pretty familiar.  Hmm...lemme check.  And, sure enough, I had written about it before.  A little over a year ago.  Ur-dur!

So you get this post about that failed process instead. 

"You're a handsome devil.  What's your name?" - Mary Blank

Feb 28, 2012

Late Winter Funk

Anyone else out there going through a late Winter funk?

Seems to be going around in these parts. Not really sure why. It was, by far, the mildest Winter I can remember.  We had exactly one snowstorm that required actual shoveling this year. And even then, the snow was gone in two days due to unseasonably warm weather and a rainstorm.  So we haven't had that cold, dark, hopeless Winter like we had last year.

And the days are getting longer and even warmer still. So Spring and hope and baseball and all that good stuff are all so close I can smell them. Plus I have a trip to Key West coming up in April, and some other fun stuff on the horizon.  So a late Winter funk didn't exactly fit into my plans, if you know what I mean.  If anything, I should be riding a bit of a high.

But every time you turn on the news, there is some politician hating on some other politician or some religious group or women or men or gays or whatever demographic group they happen to point their evil eye towards that particular day. Or kids coming to school with guns and shooting up their classmates.  Or journalists being killed in a far-away land. Or weapons of mass destruction in the hands of our enemies. How about just the concept that we STILL have enemies in this day and age of relative enlightenment?  Ugh.

Whatever the cause, I hope it goes away soon.  March is a couple of short days away, and maybe a better mood will arrive along with it.  Maybe we just need some real funk instead of this sad bastard crap.

Yeah...let's give that a try, shall we?

Feb 26, 2012

Live Chat - The Oscars

We are in full-on multi-task mode tonight in the Cornfield.

I'm going to open up the chat room at 8PM EST so that we can live-blog the Oscars broadcast.  I should have lots to offer since I've seen all of two of the films that have been nominated. Hehe.

Then at 9PM, I'll start the radio show where the Colonel and I will offer witty and not-so-witty commentary.  We'll also talk about baseball during the commercial breaks and that segment where the accountants discuss the voting procedures.  Maybe during the silly musical numbers as well.  We'll see.

So if you are watching the show tonight and you plan on having your computer in front of you, why not join us in the Cornfield for a true community experience.

Plus as many pee jokes as we can think of.  Urine for a special evening.  See what I did there?

Feb 24, 2012

Oscars in the Cornfield

Hey kids!

This Sunday, during our regularly scheduled recording of Just Talking to the Cornfield at 9PM EST, we are going to attempt to live-blog the Oscars broadcast at the same time. I know the Oscars start before then, but we'll catch everyone up on what happened before.

And we'll fill the down-time with our usual baseball drivel. Including as many urine jokes as possible in honor of Ryan Braun getting his 50-game suspension overturned yesterday.  So...urine for a great time.  Get it?

Uh...sorry about that. Join us Sunday night in the Cornfield, and I'll try to make it up to you.

Feb 22, 2012

A Plea

To those of you/us using Blogger as your blogging platform,

Please figure out a way to turn off Word Verification on your blog.  Please, please, please.

Recently, Blogger decided to enable Word Verification on every single blog.  And, unlike the previous voluntary Word Verification captchkas, they've made them nearly impossible to decipher.  Here's a random example of one that is almost legible.

imprison (?), ackgreer (?)

Go ahead. Make it bigger. It's still not going to make it any more legible. Why they felt the need to make one word all fuzzy and then use back-color to make the second word harder to see, I'll never know. And, like I said, this is one of the easier ones I've seen.  Sometimes it takes me 2 or 3 tries to get one that I can actually read. It's ridiculous!

So I figured out how to disable it on my blog. I hate that I hate to figure out how to disable something I never enabled in the first place, but that's another story.  There's a catch, though. You have to switch your Blogger editor back to the old editor to change the Settings on your Comments. The new Blogger Editor doesn't even have the option to turn Word Verification either on or off. It's ridiculous times two!

Wanna know what is really bugging me about this? I was using the Beta version of the new Blogger Editor called "Blogger in Draft".  So I always had the choice to switch back to the old Editor.  But since I did this, I inadvertently switched back to the new Editor which is no longer in Beta testing. So now I have no way of getting back to the old Editor should the need ever arise.  It's ridiculous to the third power!

So please, try to figure out a way to turn off your Word Verification if you can.  I know some of you have had issues with spam, as I have in the past. But I fixed that by selecting Comment Moderation on posts older than 7 days. If spammers want to hit me on my most recent posts...well, I guess I'll have to live with that. Because this new Word Verification system sucks ass!

Fantasy Baseball Update - Still waiting to hear if more than 2 of you want to do this. I could open it up to some others how might be interested, but I kinda wanted this to be for my Bloggy and Tweety buds. Joining a league with folks you don't know can lead to some awkward moments.

Case in point, a couple of years ago I joined a league with a bunch of people at Gia's former job. I didn't know any of them, but I did it as a favor to her and her friend who ran the league.. Because I didn't know any of them, it was more difficult for me to engage them in trades or what-not. Then I was able to convince one of them to complete a trade with me (it was actually his suggestion) late in May. Like all my trade offers, I thought it would help both of our teams. I'm never one of those guys looking to rip someone off. I hate that. But I hate being accused of it even more. Which is exactly what happened in this case. Not by the guy I was dealing with, but another owner. This league had a veto rule. If half the league vetoed a trade, it wouldn't go through. Initially, this one owner was the only one who vetoed it. Then he started an email protest campaign against it and me, convincing the other owners in the league that I was ripping off the other guy and that it was THE WORST TRADE IN THE HISTORY OF FANTASY BASEBALL!!!  I wasn't even the one who initiated the trade in the first place, yet I was the asshole here. So he convinced the rest of the league to nix the trade. Whatever. But at the end of the year, he posted a note on the league message board that we were all saps. The trade he got vetoed was fair...beyond fair.  He just didn't want to see it happen for whatever reason.  He thought that was real funny that he was able to do that. I told him it made him look like a little bitch. He wasn't happy with that. Whatever. I wasn't re-upping for the next year anyway and Gia was leaving that job. So fuck that guy. Anyway, that's one of the reasons why I don't like being in leagues with people I don't know. Ya know?

Feb 21, 2012

Music Tuesdays

Not that I normally post music on Tuesdays. I mostly do that on Fridays, but what the hell.

Here's Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with "Red Right Hand".  Heard this yesterday on Pandora, and it seems like forever since I had heard it. I remember it was used on The X-Files back in the late 90's.  Very cool tune.

Directly after that song, Pandora put up one of my favorite tunes from The Airborne Toxic Event, "It Doesn't Mean A Thing". I dig the version from this video below as well. Dig.

The songs really have nothing do with one another. I just dig that Pandora knows what I like. You're okay in my book, Pandora!

Feb 19, 2012

New Episode of JTTTC: Tonight 9PM EST

Today is the semi-official start of the baseball season as pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. And the Colonel and I couldn't be more excited.  We are also nearing the one-year anniversary of Just Talking to the Cornfield. My, how time flies.

So in honor of the beginning of the season and the 1st anniversary of our show, we are having a special episode (in our normal time-slot) of Just Talking to the Cornfield tonight at 9PM EST.  Why is it special? Well, for many reasons.  But mostly because it is our second annual "Top 20 Things We Are Excited About for the Upcoming Season" episode.  Yay!

Join the Colonel and I, and find out what we are jazzed about for the 2012 MLB season.  We will also discuss the Linsanity that is taking over New York and the NBA.  And we may have our drink on.  It's a little after 5PM right now, and I just poured myself a big cocktail.  So I may or may not be coherent by the time the show begins.

You probably wanna check that out either way.


Fantasy Baseball Update: - So far, I've only had one person respond positively to my inquiry about starting a fantasy baseball league for this here blogging crowd.  I'll post several reminders during the next two weeks and we'll see where we are on March 1st. I'll keep you posted.

Feb 17, 2012

Anyone interested in Fantasy Baseball?

So I belong to a competitive Fantasy Baseball league that a friend of mine runs, and it's a blast! For those of you who don't know what Fantasy Baseball is, here is a wiki link.

Fantasy Baseball, and the most popular variety called Rotisserie, has been around for around 30 years now. I've been participating in leagues for about 22 years, and they are always fun for the baseball fan.  The league I participate in now is a keeper weekly Head-to-Heat points league with playoffs.  The "keeper" there means that we can offer players on our teams 2 or 3 year contracts within the rule structures of the league.  We choose players in an auction and each team has a salary cap.  So you have to fill your fantasy roster with real players using fake money. Basically, if you really want Albert Pujols on your team you can spend the most money to get him, but it's probably gonna hurt the overall team you "field".  It's all kinda complicated, but fun.

But I've been thinking back to a simpler time and I think I'd like to participate in an old-school 5X5 Roto league with a plain, old draft.  Just for shits and giggles.  So I thought I'd see if there was anyone here who reads this pathetic blog who would like to join me in this endeavor.  I figure if I get another 9 or so people who want to join, then I will go ahead and do it.

My Rules
  • You don't have to be a big baseball fan to join. Just someone who thinks they might enjoy interacting and playing along with other like-minded folk.  It's all in good fun.
  • It will be a 5X5 Rotisserie League, probably run through Yahoo! Sports. If you don't know what a 5X5 Roto League is, but you are interested, you can email me and I will edumacate you.
  • It will be an online draft.  I'll select a time that is agreeable to all.  All you will need is a couple of hours in front of your computer sometime in late March to be involved.  There is an option with these leagues to set your draft order and let the software auto-draft for you, but what fun is that?
  • The draft order will be randomly selected. Basically, I will randomly select the preference order and then ask each team, in order, where they want to pick. If there are 10 teams, then the team that picks #1 overall gets the 1st pick in the 1st round, the last pick in the 2nd round, the 1st pick in the third round, etc...  The team that picks last gets the last pick in the 1st round, but the 1st pick in the second round.  It's called a "snake draft". There is some strategy here. Some people prefer to pick in the middle of a round, some at the beginning, some at the end.  
  • This league will only be for fun. No money or prizes. Just something to make the long baseball league a bit more interesting for those involved.
That's it. Everything else will be determined once I see if there are enough folks interested.  

Even if you aren't interested, maybe you can forward this around to some of your bloggy friends who might be interested.  I can't imagine getting 9 other people from just my small number of readers. But I'll ask through Twitter as well, and maybe some of you kind folks can re-Tweet that shit and we'll see where we wind up. If there is enough interest after a week or so, I'll contact those who want to be involved and set the whole thing up.  Easy peasy.

So what say you? Anyone interested?

Feb 16, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen...Tony Plush

I've generally ignored the "Shit ____ Say" meme or trend or phenomena or whatever. The first couple I saw were kinda funny, but they degenerated quickly into a tiresome form of comedy that just wasn't funny. And I generally like my comedy to be of the funny variety.

Enter Tony Plush.

First, a little background. Tony Plush is the online/social media altar-ego of Major League Ballplayer and current Milwaukee Brewer Nyjer Morgan.  Now, his name was already cool to begin with. Nyjer. He was also already the coolest cat to interview after a game.  And he is one of the growing number of young, black men in this country who also could have had a career playing hockey professionally.  He played semi-pro hockey as recently as 11 years ago before turning his attention to baseball full-time. Pretty damn cool.

But, really, it's when he slips into the Tony Plush persona that Nyjer Morgan really shines. His "gentleman's name", as he likes to call it. His Twitter feed is often hilarious (just as often...not), regaling us with his gentlemanly adventures. Either on his own or with his adopted cat, Slick Willy.

Since it's the off-season, he decided that Tony Plush needed to jump in on the "Shit ____ Say" bandwagon with a video of his own.

For your viewing pleasure, here's Tony Plush with "Shit Black Guys Do".  You won't regret watching this. Even if you don't enjoy Nyjer Morgan's fun energy or rather impressive baseball skillz.

Feb 15, 2012


For those of you with Netflix accounts, check out the full first season of Lilyhammer. The first original programming offered by Netflix, and a damn fine offering at that.

It tells the tale of a mob guy named Frankie the Fixer and his relocation to Lillehammer, Norway as a part of the Witness Protection Services.  He was forced to turn rat after an unsuccessful attempt was made on his life by his co-horts in crime.  He chose Lillehammer because of his fascination with the 1994 Winter Olympics that were held in and near that town.  It's a classic "fish out of water" story.  Definitely a comedy, but not outrageously so. The comedy comes more from the situations that arise when a tough NY mob guy has to adjust to life in idyllic, rural-sh Norway.

Steve Van Zandt riffs off of his character from The Sopranos as Frankie the Fixer turned Giovanni Henrikksen. And even though he is basically playing the same character, he gets to stretch his wings quite a bit more in this one.  His Frankie/Giovanni is much more interesting than Silvio Dante. Less and more dangerous at the same time, he is a man who falls in love with a town, a people, a woman and her son. Offering wiseguy advice and logic and learning a thing or two himself.

One of the interesting things about the show is the Norwegian cast. Van Zandt plays the only character who speaks English on a full-time basis. As a part of his relocation, he learned the language but not enough to speak it himself. So he understands everyone and they all understand him, even though they speak Norwegian most of the time. So it's basically a foreign show in subtitles. Don't worry, it's not distracting at all.

It's not the most original concept in the world. It's been done time and time again from Northern Exposure to My Cousin Vinny. But it works. And I'm fascinated by Norway, so it offered that extra appeal for me. 

The show has been getting good reviews and it has been renewed for another season.  But you can check out the first 8 episodes online right now.  Capisce?

Feb 10, 2012

Early in the Morning

I don't know a hell of a lot about Papa Mali yet. But I plan on digging a little deeper as he seems like a cool cat. Check him and the band doing "Early in the Morning" down below.


Feb 8, 2012

Etymology of a Nickname - pt II

Bennington and Gogo
I did this a while back with our Avery and how his name somehow morphed into Bootsy Collins. It happens with all of them. Avery becomes Bootsy. Wolowitz becomes Dr. Wu. Bennington becomes LG...short for Little Guy. Even though he's probably the biggest of the pride now.  But he is he youngest, and at one point he was the littlest.

But Gogo's nickname transformation makes me laugh all the time. Somehow, she has become Feta Cheese. Yeah...Gogo to Feta Cheese. How does that happen?  Let's take a look, shall we?

  • Gogo becomes Gogo-Nut, because she's bat-shit crazy. That didn't stick.
  • Then we start calling her Bobo, for some reason. Didn't stick either.
  • But the "Bobo" gave us inspiration for Gogo Fett. Well, Boba Fett helped a bit with that one.
  • From there it's easy. Goga Fett becomes Gogo Feta which, of course, becomes Feta Cheese.
See? That wasn't so difficult.

Dear God...I've become an insane cat person. Help. Me.

PS - Can you handle the redonk cuteness of that pic above? Now Bennington is large and Gogo is tiny, but that picture really highlights the difference. What you can't see is that he is basically sitting ON her. A situation that would normally turn her into Black Annis. All fury and claws. But she was oddly content for 15 minutes or so like this.

Feb 6, 2012

Nobody But Me

I don't know when it happened, but somehow Twilight Zone: The Movie went from "Holy Shit...that's the flick where John Landis killed Vic Morrow!" to that flick with Dan Ackroyd and Albert Brooks were singing "Midnight Special". I mean, I guess Landis didn't really kill Morrow (along with two others) HIMSELF. And he was eventually found Not Guilty in the trial. But, c'mon...that was the flick that Vic Morrow was decapitated, and there is no reason that I should have forgotten that. At the very least, that memory shouldn't have been replaced by another memory of two actors singing along to Creedance.

Memory is a weird thing like that.

I re-watched it the other night. Probably for the first time in nearly 20 years. And damn if it didn't start off right away with Creedance, Ackroyd and Brooks singing "Midnight Special". Just like my dominant memory, um, remembered. Then came the Burgess Meredith voice-over mentioning the angriest man in the world, and all of a sudden the forgotten memory of Vic Morrow's death came flooding back.

Now I'm set for the next dozen years or so.

But really, Ackroyd and Brooks singing together is a much happier memory. Until that damned tape deck eats the cassette. Thank God those things don't really exist anymore. Ruining a perfectly happy memory like that. And who knows? If it hadn't eaten that cassette, maybe Ackroyd wouldn't have turned into some feral creature and eaten Brooks.  Then again, it WAS a movie. I probably shouldn't wonder about "real-life" timeline changes like that.

Although that would be a fun thing too, wouldn't it? What would have happened if Beatrix Kiddo had just told Bill that the baby was his a bit earlier on? Maybe all those folks wouldn't have had to die at her hands.  And the movie would have probably sucked. I really have no idea where I was going with this.

Oh, there was a television show as well. I guess most people remember the television show over the movie. That's another place where my memory goes all spastic. I should remember the television show first, but my first thought always seems to be "Let the Midnight Special....". Blah blah blah.

Do you remember the Dutch band Golden Earring? They had a modest hit with a song called "Twilight Zone" in the mid-80's as well. They are more well-known for their mega-hit "Radar Love". I remember that there was this rumor that they spoke no English at all and they recorded that song phonetically. I dunno if that's true or not. I do know that I had the album, "Moontan", that the song came from and there were other songs on it. All in English. I also know that whenever anyone looked at my music collection back then, they would wonder why I had a Golden Earring album from 1973. No one I've ever met has owned that album.

Nobody but me.

Fuck it. Let's just watch Uma (and Zoe Bell) fuck some shit up. Tarantino-style.

Feb 2, 2012

I can see it!

"Pitchers and catchers."  Those three little words mean just as much to obsessive baseball fans as those other"three little words everyone knows about. I'm talking about "bacon and bourbon", of course.

We've hit February, and February is the month that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, and baseball begins anew.  We are less the three weeks away. I can see February 19th on my calendar.  I can see it! It's coming!

And I can't wait.

In the meantime, here's a little story about a good-guy outfielder with a history of some bad game. Except for his exceptional arm in right field and the extraordinary optimism about his own talents. His name is Jeff Francoeur, nickname "Frenchy", and he plays for the Kansas City Royals.  Last year, he had his finest year in the bigs since his out-of-the-blue rookie season in 2005 for his hometown Atlanta Braves. The expectations many had for him after that excellent rookie season have largely gone down the drain along with his high strikeout rates and low OBP skills. Yet, he keeps trying. And teams keep giving him chances. He still doesn't know how to take a walk, but he hit for average and power last year. All while playing an excellent RF.

That story should bring a smile to anyone who enjoys baseball. And bacon, for that matter.  Yes, bacon is involved. Oddly.  And I actually watched the second game in the story last year, for one reason or another. I remember because the play described in the last sentence is one of the defensive highlights of the past year.  Something you rarely see, but something you always wish would happen. Very cool stuff.

Oh, and Frenchy has long been a favorite of mine and a favorite of others. Even with his lack of truly exceptional skills. Joe Posnanski wrote about him last spring. If you liked that first story, you should read Joe Poz' take on him as well.  Great stuff.

You might just become a fan of Frenchy after reading both of those. You should become a fan of his. Because he's one of the good ones. Even for occasional baseball cynics like me.

Feb 1, 2012

Kindle Fire Review

A few weeks back, Gia gave me the wonderful gift of a Kindle Fire from Amazon. She's been an Apple gal forever. A bunch of Mac computers in her past. On her third iPhone, but still using the first iPad like a fucking savage. ;)

But this Kindle Fire tablet is my first real gadget for the sake of having a gadget.  I NEED my laptop PC for work...and for play. I NEED my not-so-smart phone for work...and for play. But really the only reason I would get a tablet, of any kind, is for play and for play alone.

The Kindle Fire does that well. It does it very well. It ain't perfect, and I'm not saying it's as good as an iPad. But for my purposes, it works just as well.  Let's do a quick round of Sergio Leone's favorite game, shall we?

The Good
  • The e-reader it top notch. It's exactly what I wanted an e-reader to be when the first Kindles were introduced. No buttons, just swiping.  And the size of the screen is relatively the same as a paperback, which I what I normally read anyway. Sure, the e-reader (and the Kindle app) on the iPad work pretty much the same and look just as good. But for hundreds of dollars less, you get the same functionality. 
  • Watching films or TV shows thru Netflix or Amazon Instant is fast, bright and convenient.  The screen size is just about perfect for watching a film in bed or waiting in a reception area. It's much better than I thought it was going to be.
  • It's ultra-convenient to carry around. I haven't found the cover that I like yet, but I have a number of jackets that have a handy pocket or two that it slips into rather nicely.  And having it by my side when I'm watching a TV show and I want to quickly look something up on the Internet is ultra-convenient as well. Very easy to swipe it on and type a few characters for the answer. Much more so than opening up my laptop for the same exact thing.
  • Plenty of useful and free apps available from the Amazon Store. Too many for me to even consider reviewing right now. Mostly because I haven't done anything with them yet. But I will. I'm sure I will.
The Bad
  • For right now, I'm pretty much using it for brain candy right before I go to bed. A quick game of this or that, filtering through my feed reader, reading what my Tweeple are saying. And that's all fine.  The mobile versions of Twitter and Google Reader work great on it. But for a lot of other websites out there? Not so much. Even just a simple Google search is...awkward on the Kindle Fire.  Maybe iPad users experience the same thing. I don't know, but I much prefer serious web surfing on my laptop PC to the tablet experience so far.
  • No 3G. Oh well.
  • No camera, blue-tooth, GPS or mic either.  Oh well, again.
The Ugly
  • As I kinda alluded to above, I hate typing on the thing. I've always been a physical keyboard guy, and I'm finding the touchscreen keyboard difficult to get used to. Hell, even my phone has a physical keyboard for texting and what-not. I'm a touch typist, and a pretty darned fast one at that. So going back to the old hunt and peck for typing on the touchscreen always makes me shake my head a bit. 
  • The Android operating system is a bit buggy. Not overwhelmingly so, but enough to make the Ugly list for me. I've encountered several screen freezes or application problems that seem to be tied directly to the operating system. I don't know if Amazon will be doing any system upgrades or fixes, but for right now I'm not thrilled with the performance of the system itself. More to follow on this one.
  • Flash is supposed to be supported on the Kindle Fire, but most of the flash sites I've come across don't work or are EXTREMELY buggy. I think an operating system for a tablet, whether it's this one or iOS, should work with every internet site out there. Regardless of whether or not Flash is a good or bad product. I don't care. Everything that is on the Internet should be available on the device in full working condition. That's all I'm saying.
So that's it. My quick and mostly meaningless Kindle Fire review. It's a great toy, and just about perfect for what I intend to use it for.  It may not have all the bells and whistles of the iPad...I actually don't know because I've only used Gia's iPad on several occasions. But it seems to be an earnest attempt at a well-made, much cheaper alternative to Apple's tablet.