Wednesday, May 30, 2007

actual hobbies

I guess they've been there for a while, but as part of The Renaissance of Dave Fymbo®, I now have legitimate hobbies. I mean, if a year ago someone asked if I had any hobbies, I would have stammered around like an idiot and probably wrote down tv or something stupid.

But now I feel like I have a bunch of things that I enjoy:


I especially enjoy photography of my cooking, but that doesn't meant that I'm going to start writing music. I published a collection of short stories, I'm converting back to CD's from digital music files, I've been cooking new healthy dishes and I've got some photography projects lined up in my head. Hopefully I'll get some good shots in New York.

dave takes manhattan

I'm off--bright and early--tomorrow morning for a 24-hour trip to New York City. It's my first business trip, hopefully everything works out. (I've been hoping that our softball game on Thursday would get rained out since I can't be there, and according to the forecast, it looks like I'll get my wish.)

I also wish I had more time to be there to see the sights, and eat the eats, but it's not up to me. (The last time I was there was the summer of '99)

Anyways, this is what I'm there to see, a pop-up retail that I helped create:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Forty Fucking Pounds

(click on the pictures or graph to enlarge)



To see how I did it, click here: foodasfuel™, and scroll to the bottom, then read your way up.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Softball 2007: Game Two

I was a little disappointed to see that I would not be the starting pitcher for week two. In order to get playing time for everyone, most people only get to play 3 and 1/2 innings. (I had assumed that I was going to be pitching every inning this year, and was looking forward to the extra at bats, but I might have to share the mound.)

We were the home team, facing the defending champions from the last two years. We knew even with a good team we had our work cut out for us. By the time I entered the game, in the bottom of the fourth, we were losing 10-2.

Batting Stats for Week Two:
1st AB: 1B
2nd AB: 1B

Average: 1.000
Slugging: 1.000
0 runs scored, 0 rbi

Pitching Stats for Week Two:
3 innings pitched
2 earned runs
1 K
0 BB

ERA: 4.66
no decision

Batting Stats on the Season:
3/5: 2 singles, 1 double. 2 runs scored, 0 rbi.
Average: .600
Slugging: .800

Pitching Stats on the Season:
8 innings pitched
8 earned runs
2 K
0 BB

ERA: 7.00
1-0 record

Our opponent has won the league two year straight for a reason, but I was proud of our team. We played hard, and it got a little chippy out there. We had a good rally in the 7th and I think we made them sweat a little out there.

And over the last 3 innings (when I was in the game) we outscored them 4-2. So there's nothing to be upset about.

I'm scheduled to be in New York on business next Thursday, so hopefully it rains so I don't have to miss a game.

Team Record: 1-1

Afternoon Scene: 311

What can I say about 311? They've been my favorite band, my only favorite band, ever since I got into music. For the last 10 years, I've been listening to them, watching them evolve their sound, not improving or getting worse, just staying excellent and making different styles of music.

And they are known for being a stellar live band. I've seen them 3 times and they always play long shows, and stick around for the fans after. And since 2000, every other year on March 11th, they have a special 3-11 day concert that lasts about 5 hours.

The one thing that's kind of funny, is for how much I love their CD's, their videos were always sort of lacking. Sort of weird, whatever. Anyways, they've produced 8 official albums, they've got 5 guys, and they're originally from Omaha.

If you're only going to watch one clip, watch this live video from March 11, 2004 in New Orleans, particularly from 3:17 remaining on.
"Applied Science" (live)


"Beyond the Gray Sky"

"Down, Frolic Room, Don't Tread on Me, Solar Flare, and Amber" (live)

Pop Quiz: Who is the Hottest Team in Baseball?

Right now, the morning of May 24th, what team has done the best over the last 10 games?

The Mets? The Angels? The Padres?


It must be ... The Kansas City Royals!

On an 8-2 tear, no one is hotter than KC. Watch out!


ESPN Has No Idea What The Public Wants

I know it's cliche to complain about ESPN, and I usually find myself defending them...but it's clear that just because they're the only fish in the sea, doesn't mean they make good decisions.

They hired Keyshawn Johnson to replace Michael Irvin. They finally get rid of Irvin and then they go and hire another idiot who no one want to hear talk. Why don't they just come out with ESPN 3: The Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith channel, while they're at it.

The funny thing is that they referred to it as a "substantial offer...a multi-year contract" and that Johnson said at least six teams were interested in him. So it sounds like ESPN went out and recruited him and that influenced his retirement.

To paraphrase from Arrested Development, "him?"

ESPN Motion Can Suck My C***

So watching SportsCenter highlights during Mike & Mike, I saw an interesting clip from a Royals game.

I'm reading the play-by-play now to find out that the situation was 2 outs, 2 guys in scoring position for the Royals, down by 3 in the first. Brown hits a hot grounder down the first-base line and the Indian first baseman makes a diving stop behind the bag to catch it. But his pitcher is not covering first base, so Brown will make it to first, and the run will score. He tries throwing it hard to home, but I think the ball hits Brown as he approaches first.

It was a neat play, and a crucial one, as the Royals would get 2 in that inning, where it could have been zero. So I'd love to really be able to watch it and see what happened...

Then I get to work, load Deadspin, and find out there was a crazy blown rundown in the Orioles-Blue Jays game.

So I thought to myself, I'd love to see both of these plays...why don't I go over to ESPN Motion and watch some highlights.

So what do they have as their baseball videos for today?
  • Clemens Makes 2nd Minor League Start
  • Clemens Confident After Minors Start
  • Pettitte, Yankees Top Red Sox 8-3
  • A's Blank White Sox in Chicago
  • Mets Shut Out Division Rival Braves
  • Tigers Hold On With Solid Offense
  • Benches Clear, But No Brawl in L.A.
  • Great Defense Not Enough For Cubs
  • Is Clemens Ready for the Major League?
So of their 9 videos, 3 of them are covering Clemens, as if the entire baseball population really gives a shit about how Roger is making his way through the minors. Fuck him and fuck ESPN Motion too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Don't Let Your Kids Become EMO!

Live Blog: UEFA Champions Final

45th Minute: Goal by AC Milan
82nd Minute: Goal by AC Milan
89th Minute: Goal by Liverpool

Afternoon Scene: Brand New

I was almost shocked that I hadn't covered Brand New already, one of my current favorites. They're from Long Island and they have a rivalry with Taking Back Sunday.

This video was made by a fan, and the video retells the origin of the rivalry with TBS. (Red = Brand New, Green = TBS) This is also the song that is the final song in my running routine, and I know when i get to the part with :44 remaining that I've made it. I love that part.
"Seventy Times 7"

"Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades"

"The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows"

Another fan made video, this one kind of sucks. But the last 1:30 of the song is fantastic anyways.
"Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gut Reaction to Lottery

The funny thing about the Lottery, specifically from say the Celtics perspective...they had less than 50% odds of getting one of the top 2 picks. Even though they had better odds that most of the other individual teams, versus the field, they were expected NOT to get Oden/Durant.

So both top picks are going to sucky, unremarkable teams in the West. Even with some young talent, are the Blazers really going to contend anytime soon with the Spurs, Mavs, Suns, Jazz, Rockets, Warriors, Nuggets, Lakers?

I mean the Wolves have a dominant franchise player, and not much has happenned there. The Rockets have 2 and haven't gotten out of the first round. So why should we believe the Blazers or Sonics will become the cream of the West?

That line of thinking got me thinking about LeBron. Perhaps he hasn't been the next Jordan yet, but he's turned around a franchise, essentially single-handedly. Getting his team to a better record than Kobe's team, Iverson's team, Garnett's team. Is it possible that LeBron is underrated? Perhaps not, just because he's already rated so highly, but it's something to consider.

Also, it's pretty funny that Simmons has made me care so much about the lottery, and it blows up in his face. I can't wait to read some of his columns or hear his next podcast.


So it's been almost 5 full months, and I'm still going strong. As far as the scale is concerned, I've reached my goals--I don't need that number to go down anymore. But I'm not finished. There's something I've always wanted. And now they are slowly but surely coming into fruition...abs.

Even when I wasn't more than 10 pounds overweight in high school, I was always pudgy around the middle. And I've always wanted abs. Cut stomach muscles. Six-pack. And it's not there yet, but it will be.

An Enthralling 8 Minutes

I'm not a fan of watching other animals eat other animals, so I almost didn't bother starting this clip because I assumed that's what this was. That's not what this clip is about. It's not too graphic, and I found it captivating. This is reality tv.

The Best BBQ Sauce in the World

Some things in life aren't worth paying a little bit extra. This is not one of those things. Buy the best. Buy Stubbs.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Afternoon Scene: Unwritten Law

Unwritten Law is a San Diego band that formed in 1990 and became more popular because of some singles, that are mostly mediocre. I think their best stuff is on their 1998 self-titled CD. Here's 3 videos from that. (I also love Sound Siren from Elva, but couldn't find any version of the song online.)

"Teenage Suicide"



The State of the NBA

I've never been a huge NBA fan.

I watched some of the playoffs with Jordan. I remember rooting for Utah to upset the Bulls in 98. I remember rooting for the Kings to knock off the Lakers during their dynasty. Throughout college I fell even more in love with the NCAA tournament, and the NBA was always second fiddle.

Until this year when the Warriors provided some May Madness and stunned Dallas. And Deron's Jazz pulled out a game 7 win on the road. The bar was set high for the Conference Semifinals. This is what it should have been:
  • A rebirth of a classic Eastern rivalry: is this the year when the youth of the Bulls takes over from the talented team success of the Pistons.
  • An Eastern shootout between teams led by All-Stars.
  • A wild showdown in the west between two rebuilding teams.
  • An epic 7-game battle between the best two teams still alive in the playoffs.
In case you didn't notice, none of those came true. The NBA playoffs fell flat, and doesn't seem to have much juice left in the tank.

Here's a recap of my Conf. Semifinal picks, with what really happenned.

Pistons in 5 (Pistons in 6)
Cavs in 6 (Cavs in 6)
Spurs in 7 (Spurs in 6)
Warriors in 6 (Jazz in 5)

Well, looking forward I think it's going to be:

Spurs in 5
Pistons in 6

Excuse me while I barf on my keyboard.

I'm back. Unless the Jazz magically have a run in them, or LeBron becomes LEBRON, I'm officially over the 07 playoffs.

But...It's probably just because of Simmons, but I'm very interested in the Lottery tomorrow. Will the tanking payoff for Memphis and Boston? The only good team with a lottery pick is the Bulls, what if they land a top-2 spot? It should be interesting.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Afternoon Scene: Incubus

Incubus is a 5-piece band from California that formed in 1991. They've really evolved, and I really like their stuff from Make Yourself on. Here's a sampling.

"Pardon Me" 1999

"Warning" 2001

"Talk Show on Mute" 2004

"Love Hurts" 2006

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Softball 2007: Game One

First, some notes: We got new uniforms, they are 3/4 sleeve baseball jerseys, white with navy sleeves, blank on the front, company logo on the back. Also part of the uniform: victory socks. Full calf socks, navy with two white diamonds. They're pretty sweet, and serve a double purpose of protection on slides. (Although my left knee did get a little scraped, since they don't go over the knee.)

On to the recap. I was batting 2nd in the order, and we were the home team:

The game was called partially because of the Mercy Rule, partially because the other team was late getting there.

Batting Stats for Week One:
1st AB: 2B, run
2nd AB: line out
3rd AB: FC, run

Average: .333
Slugging: .666
2 runs scored, 0 rbi

Pitching Stats for Week One:
5 innings pitched
6 earned runs
1 K
0 BB

ERA: 8.40 (I'm multiplying ER by 7, since that's how many innings we play)
1 win (complete game)

I wanted to keep track of my WHIP, but it was too hard to record how many hits I gave up. It was probably around 15. Once our defense settled down, we were pretty good in the field. And our bats really came alive. Ironically, our 7-run first inning started with our solid lead off batter striking out on fouls. I ripped a double down the right field line, and scored on the next batter. The next time up, the lead off man turned a double into a triple into a home run. I thought that he had cost me a rbi, but I ended up lining out to the first basewoman. Our bats are pretty solid, and our defense is pretty good, we should finish above .500.

Oh yeah, and were obnoxious and brought a boombox, so everyone could have personalized batting music. Mine is the last 10 seconds from this, in support of my nickname that was inspired by how I eat buffalo wings (Wingman.)

Team Record: 1-0

Super Tecmo Bowl...2008?

As I learned from the FanHouse, there is a new Tecmo Bowl in the works. Does this have any chance of being cool? Not likely. Am I still holding out an ounce of optimism/excitement? You betcha.

Amazon Blows My Mind

On the morning of May 15th, I arrived at work and ordered something on Amazon. It was elgible for the Free Super Saver Shipping that typically takes about a week and a half to arrive, from the order date. But it's free, and I'm usually not in a hurry.

So I order it, and it in the automatic email, it says:
Shipping Estimate: May 21
Arrival Estimate: May 29-June 4

Okay, fine, whatever.

Less than 3 hours after I ordered it, still on May 15th, I get another email. It's a notice that the product has shipped! And it's updated the arrival estimate to May 21.

Wow, cool.

Then May 16th rolls around. I check the tracking number just for fun, and it says that it's out for delivery! And sure enough, when I get home, there it is. 1-day shipping for free. A full 13-19 days ahead of their original estimate. Well played.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Afternoon Scene: Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire is a 7-piece group from Montreal. Funeral is my go-to album when I want to write at work and listen to something peaceful, over and over again on repeat. Tunnels is my favorite song by them, and the video just happens to be pretty intriguing. Neat stuff.

"Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"

"Rebellion (Lies)"

"Wake Up" (live featuring David Bowie)


Before the playoffs began, if you were picking the team to be the first to secure a spot on the conference finals, your list would probably look like:

1. Mavericks
2. Pistons
3. Cavs
4. Spurs
5. Suns
6. Raptors
7. Nets
8. Rockets
9. Bulls
10. Heat
11. Jazz
12. Nuggets
13. Lakers
14. Warriors
15. Magic
16. Wizards

But after coming down from 3-2 against the Rockets (including a Game 7 win in Houston) the Jazz won their second series in 5. Something even the Pistons weren't able to do.

Perhaps T-Mac, Dirk and Yao should get together for dinner and say, "Wha happenned?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Review: Light Up Bowling

When I get a $2.99 miniature bowling game, I expect a lot.

The pins are fantastic. They have a surprising heft, which provides the necessary pin action. A+

The ball lights up. Sounds great, right? Except that it because the lighting mechanism is not centered, it doesn't roll so much as it wobbles. D-

Championship Gear!

Just in time to celebrate last summer's tournament victory!

Afternoon Scene: Cartel

Cartel is a 5-piece group from Atlanta. I only found about them last year, but have already listened to Chroma more times than I can count. They're set to record their follow-up in a bubble (!) starting May 23rd.


"Say Anything (Else)"

"The Mistrel's Prayer" (acoustic, live)


What does it feel like to accomplish something that I've never done before?


I finished 3.11 miles at a constant rate of 5 mph for an official time of 37:15.

The first mile was easy. I got the first urge to quit around 1.5. My right calf was hurting but I kept going. Once I got to the second mile marker, I just kept counting down how many minutes to go. 12 minutes, 9 minutes. I kept thinking that once I reached 2.5 I would feel like I was on the home stretch. But it didn't feel like that at all. My whole body was tingling, as if a body part had fallen asleep. I knew that "feeling" happens when you cut off circulation to your foot or something, so it wasn't comforting thinking that my body had shut off circulation to my extremities.

There's a reason I hadn't done this before. I had been expecting to come to this blog and post on how easy it was, and how surprising that was. But it wasn't. Around 2.75 my shoes didn't feel right--they felt like I was running in heavy boots. I think that's because my feet had the "fallen asleep" sensation.

Around 2.96 I finally realized that I was going to finish. I had been telling myself the whole time that I can't quit, but once I reached the 3rd mile marker, I knew that I had done it. And then I finally felt like I was on the homestrech, and then I felt a lot better and there's that brief moment when you think that you can keep going past your goal. And then you see 3.11 on the display and every part of you says "stop."

Last night, the only part that was sore was my right calf. I iced it down using a bag of frozen peas. I cooled down, I stretched, I took a shower that briefly alternated cool/hot/cool. I got about 8 hours of sleep, and I feel pretty good. My right calf is still sore, but not really that bad. I think the ice helped. Anyways, no matter what happens, I'll be able to say I ran 5k. And hopefully the next time it's a little easier.

Dirty Bruce

Bruce Achilles Shot on Stoudemire

Bruce Undercuts Francis and Crawford

Bruce Kicks Ray Allen

Bruce Knees Nash with Funny Japanese Commentary

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spurs not doing a stellar job of proving they're not a dirty team

So we know Bowen's a dirty player, and based on how Manu and Duncan react, you would think that they've never committed a foul in their life, and now Cheap Shot Rob body checks the puny Canadian into the boards. You'd think that when someone calls you out as a dirty team, you'd go out of your way to prove them wrong.

Well, Steve Nash (who rocks my socks) and Stoudemire came up big in the clutch...and this was after I considered going to bed when the Spurs were up 85-75. But I knew better, never, ever doubt the Suns.

I would love a Jazz-Suns West and I'd love to see the LeBrons come out of the East, but I know the Pistons will again be in the finals. The funny thing is that when I was little I became a Spurs fan, led by David Robinson, but also featuring such stars as Sean Elliot, Terry Cummings, and Vinny del Negro. And now, the Spurs are mostly just irritating.

Here's a picture of Horry biting Jerry Stackhouse:

Afternoon Scene: Alkaline Trio

What can you say about Alk3? I first heard them in 2000 and was hooked. They were down with death before it became cool. They're from Chicago. And they have too many great songs to list.

"Stupid Kid"

"Mercy Me"

"Radio" (live)

"Time to Waste"

"We've Had Enough"

"Nose Over Tail" (live)

NBA Playoffs Hamper Dump

The Pistons lost to the Bulls, only so that my prediction of Pistons in 5 could come true. And I'm still feeling good about my pick of Cavs in 6.

That fulfills my obligation to mention the Eastern Conference.

Bruce Bowen, what are you thinking? You can't knee a two-time MVP in the balls the game after you get called out as a dirty player. Once someone says that you have to be on your best behavior in order to make the other guy look like a whiner. Now you've exposed yourself, and should get suspended for a pivotal game 4. How pivotal, you ask?

If the Suns win, they had back to Phoenix with home-court advantage, and momentum.
If the Spurs win, it's 3-1 and essentially over.

That Golden State/Utah series is crazy. Even after going down 0-2, I thought the Warriors were in good shape. Because they don't lose at home, and they showed they can play close enough in Utah to win. I was sure they could win both games at home, and put the pressure on Utah in game 5. But they didn't...but I'm not counting them out.

Yeah, I'm rooting for the Jazz, and I think the Jazz are playing better now, they've got to close out a team that is playing like they have nothing to lose. If GSW wins game 5, they can win game 6 at home, and that will be a crazy game 7.

Notes on the actual game: With .3 left to go in a quarter, the Jazz decided not to attempt a shot. True Hoop criticized this call. Well, any team with Derek Fisher knows that you need .4 to catch and shoot. And deep in your own end, trying to attempt an alley-oop tip in, is much likelier to result in a out of bounds turnover than a basket. Plus, no need to rile up the crowd.

Speaking of the crowd, one thing really impressed me last night. At 8:18 in the third, GS was up 60-54. Utah went on a 10-0 run to take the lead 64-60. (Nelson took a timeout at 60-60, but couldn't stop the run.) So what did the crowd do? Usually in that case, the crowd shrinks, worrying about losing. But not the Warriors crowd. They rose to their feet, cheering them on, knowing they needed to score. And they did. It was really a sight to see, a crowd on the wrong end of a 10-0 run, pulling it's team up.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


In this issue:
  • Parmigiano Reggianito
  • Newman's Own
  • a semi-Italian, semi-American foodasfuel™ dinner
  • and breaking records
Until about a year ago, I had never heard of Parmigiano Reggiano. It is simply put, real parmesan, aged for a minimum of 12 months in Italy. It is real. It is really good. It is also really expensive. This picture shows wheels of it that cost 490 euro ($661). It's usually sells for about 9 or 10 dollars a pound around here.

But yesterday, I found a new cheese with the taste of Reggiano, but at the price of our American grated version. It's called Parmigiano Reggianito, an Argentinian import, named because it is made in smaller wheels than Italian version. I didn't have Reggiano to compare it to, but it was delicious. And at 4.49/pound, I bought 8 oz. at a lower price than the Kraft green bottle. And just like guacamole, parmesan tastes so much better when it is fresh (in this case freshly grated).

Incidentally, parmesan is much better for you than soft cheeses. It has less calories, and you generally use less, too.

I'm not strictly loyal to that many the top of my head--Gillette face moisturizer, Suave for Men shampoo, Old Navy for jeans, Skippy Honey Nut peanut butter, South Beach protein bars. I buy a lot of store brand groceries and can't think of any bad purchases--even things like olive oil or steak sauce have been pleasant surprises. But I think I'm adding Newman's Own to that list for salsa and pasta saue

Plain and simple, his sauces taste so much better, so much fresher than anything else I've had in a jar. It's usually about 50 cents more, but that's where the savings from store brands on other products comes in. Sure, it also feels good knowing that you're helping give to charity through buying pasta sauce, but ultimately it comes down to taste. And he's got it.

For a Sunday evening dinner, I was inspired my Reggianito cheese to put an Italian twist on an American favorite: burger and fries. It's a bunless burger topped with grated Reggianito and Newman's Own Sockarooni sauce, along side oven baked garlic and parmesan fries.

(click for tasty close-up goodness)

Without the bun, it's a whole lot easier to taste the meat. The fries took about 25 minutes at 450 degrees, tossed in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then finished with garlic and reggianito when they came out. The smaller ones only take about 20 minutes, so pull those before they burn.

And lastly, I've been breaking some personal records. 5 weeks ago, Brittany walked longer than we had ever done continuously: 9.5 miles. Then over the next 3 weeks, we did it again and again--our first time was 3:45, our fastest was 3:14.

On Friday, I ran 2 miles, which I've done before. But I have my eye on running a personal 5k, a distance I'm pretty sure I've never done. Perhaps tomorrow, when my legs are less sore.

And in general, some time soon I will definitively say that I'm in the best shape of my life. Perhaps I already am, it's hard to remember things from high school, but soon I'm confident that I'll reach a fitness level that I've never achieved before. And that's pretty exciting.

Friday, May 11, 2007

17th NFL Game?

My main problem is that that it will make it easier for players to break single-season records. Just as Dickerson was able to break O.J.'s rushing record because Eric had 16 instead of 14 games. But I guess that single-season records aren't that big of deal, but it still rubs me the wrong way.

You globalize games by getting the kids to play it. Now maybe, kids won't play football in china because they don't have any reason to. But if we like the game so much, I don't see why kids from all over won't gravitate towards the game.

Eh, whatever. It's Friday. I kinda lost my outrage halfway through this. Who cares.

Afternoon Scene: theAUDITION

Officially, theAUDITION is from Chicago, although their wikipedia entry currently reads that "theAUDITION is from ELMHURST and are a buncha sally's trying to sound tough, saying they're from Chicago."

So there you go, they might be a bunch of Sally's. Either way, their album came out in 2005 and it rocks.

"You've Made Us Conscious"

"Approach the Bench" (fan-made)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Afternoon Scene: Dashboard Confessional

I first heard Dashboard Confessional during my senior year of high school, 2000-01. Just a guy with an acoustic guitar and I hadn't heard anything like it. There were nights where I slept on the couch downstairs, so I could fall asleep to this album. On the last day of high school, I remember writing the lyrics to the end of "Swiss Army Romance" on the chalkboard in calculus class.

We're not twenty-one,
but the sooner we are,
the sooner the fun will begin,
so get out your fake eyelashes,
and fake IDs,
and real disasters ensue.
It's cool to take these chances.
It's cool to fake romances.
And grow up fast,
and grow up fast.

I remember seeing him live--as an opening act--before he became popular. After his set which no one was really singing along, I was buying one of his shirts and he came over to the merch table. I told him, "I know the rest of the crowd wasn't really into you, but we came to see you, you were great." I really meant it as a compliment. But he responded "the crowd wasn't into me?" Whoops.

Years later, and countless late night conversations where his albums were the soundtrack, I proposed to the song "Hands Down." And then a year after that, our wedding ended with that same song.

"Swiss Army Romance" (2000 song performed live in 2002)

"Screaming Infidelities" (2001)

"Hands Down" (2003)

"Stolen" (2006)

"So Long, So Long" (2006 fan-made version)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


You don't want none of this!


The Trials and Tribulations of my Motherfucking Headphones

Tuesday, May 8th. A day like any other. But when I put on my headphones, only my right ear was satisfied. Overnight, the left speaker had died. RIP, my sonic friend.

These particular headphones are the kind that wrap around your neck. I've worn these black-corded headphones for a while, spiting the white earbuds that came with the iPod because those earbuds hurt my ears. I know that the wrap around your neck style hurt some people's ears, depending on the size of your head, but I've never had any problems.

I wish I could wear earbuds because that way I could wear glasses at the same time, as the wrap around your neck interfere with glasses wearing. And as for those big monstrosity headphones that go across the top of your head with the big earcups, those seem like overkill. Plus, they mess up your hair.

But with my wrap around headphones out of commission, I needed a quick fix. A-ha! Along with the new hp-laptop came a pair of glossy black earbuds. Perhaps they wouldn't hurt my ears like the Ipod buds. So I tried them on.

And they weren't bad, but the left ear was a little irritated. That wouldn't do so well for hours a time. But wait...what's that in the bag? Little black foam covers? Could they really make a difference?

The bigger question is could I get them on the earbuds at all? My fingers struggled and struggled and yet I felt like I was going to tear them before I got them on there. So naturally I asked my wife for assistance. And she tried for about 10 seconds before declaring it impossible. So I sat and stared at the foam covers. Would it even matter? But I wouldn't give up that easily. I sat there, pulling the tiny foam apart and managed to slip it on.

And sure enough, it didn't hurt at all. Great Scott! I put the other one on, and I exclaimed that I had found a new set of headphones. I wouldn't need to buy new ones. I could wear my glasses. And they even have a volume control built into the cord. How convenient!

The only hard part was that I couldn't tell them apart, which was left and which was right, without looking at them up close. It might not seem like much, because usually songs are playing the same thing through both channels, but when they're not, I want to know that I'm getting the intended effect.

So I strutted off to work on Wednesday, May 9th, proud of my new buds, my new sonic friends. And at work I was listening to some music when all of a sudden...plop. My left earbud fell out. No problem, right? I'll just put it back in, right?

The foam cover was gone. I checked on my lap, on the floor, and I didn't see it. I put it back in my ear without it, and it felt wrong. I definitely had it in my ear just moments ago, it didn't feel like this. So where did it go?

I proceeded to spend about 15 minutes under my desk, off and on. Giving up, then saying it must be here, only to never find it. It had vanished. Just hours into it's new role of starting headphones.

Ultimately, I stared at my new earbuds, with one foam cover between the two of them, and I had would could only be described as an epiphany. My left ear was the one that hurt. So if I put the cover on the left, then everything would be fine. Plus, I could tell them apart without having to analyze them.

And everthing is perfect...for now.

Update: Actually pretty soon after I finished this post, both ears started hurting. Why do they make the buds so wide?

Afternoon Scene: The Get Up Kids

An emo band before being called emo was something that people denied. They released albums from 97-04, were from Kansas City, and have been credited to influencing many modern bands. Sadly, I couldn't find some of my favorite songs, especially "Mass Pike" and "Don't Hate Me."

"Action and Action"

"Anne Arbour" (live)

"I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel"

Update: Niraj added 2 links in the comments, the "don't hate me" I had found, but audio quality is so rough that I didn't bother with it. The "mass pike" video is equally rough, but I hadn't seen it. It's a shame, because that song in particular, and some others are really beautiful, but you can't tell at a poor quality.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Afternoon Scene: Saves the Day

I found some nice examples to show the evolution of Saves the Day, from New Jersey. Here's one video from each of their last four studio albums. (My favorite is the 2001 epic, Stay What You Are)

"Shoulder to the Wheel" 1999

"At Your Funeral" 2001

"Anywhere With You" 2003

"The End" 2006

Jazz Warriors

This was a team victory.

But if you wanted to pass out some credit, you could start with Deron Williams. How he contained Baron Davis and led all players with 31 points, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.

You could credit Carlos Boozer with getting 20 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass, including the biggest one with the putback with 17 seconds left.

You could credit Matt Harpring for securing the last rebound with 7 seconds left, and making both free throws for the win.

You could credit Mehmet Okur for hitting two long jumpers as part of a 7-2 run in the fourth.

But I'm going to credit Dee Brown.

After playing only 451 minutes in the regular season (5.5 per 82 games) and scoring 94 points all year, he came up with some big minutes and big points.

With 6 minutes to go in the game, the Jazz were down 4. Deron had to sit with his 5th foul, and the Warriors had the ball. It would be too easy for Golden State to go on a run, putting the game away.

Over the next minute and half, Dee was aggressive and scored 2 layups, drew the 5th foul on Baron Davis, and limited Baron to 3-point attempts that didn't fall.

Dee tied the game, so when Deron entered the game he didn't have to come from behind.

Brown only had 6 points overall, but those 4 were crucial when the Jazz needed him. I guess it didn't hurt that Bruce Weber was in the crowd watching.

By the way, ESPN states that Dee made $412,000 this year, more than the president. That's a lot. Although not as much as Deron's 3.8 million. Luther makes over a million and Augustine makes the same as Dee.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Best T-Shirts On Earth

After recently being dissatisfied with the selection of shirts at Old Navy, specifically how they didn't have any that weren't paper thin, I stumbled upon Threadless. These are great shirts with designs you can't find anywhere else.

If you're in the mood, buy one through this link, and I'll save on my next shirt.

Afternoon Scene: The Impossibles

Here's some live stuff from The Impossibles, a now-defunct band from Austin, Texas. This was filmed at their last show: 6/1/02 in Austin.

"(Never) Say Goodbye"


"Stand Up > Fall Down > Get Crushed"

"This Is Fucking Tragic"

Seriously: American Standard Time

This idea keeps getting better and better: America needs one national time zone.

I've shown the hours of daylight would be acceptable:

National Time of UTC-6 on December 1st
New York: 6am - 3:30pm
Chicago: 7am - 4:20pm
LA: 8:40am - 6:45pm

National Time of UTC-5 on June 1st
New York: 4:30am - 7:20pm
Chicago: 5:30am - 8:20pm
LA: 7:43am - 10pm

And now I've found a precedent: China! They used to span 5 time zones, and now they whole country is unified under one time. Think about all the benefits. Plus, I think this chart will clear everything up.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

NBA Playoffs: Round One Finally Over

After two weeks of first round action, it's finally over. And there's really no good reason that the first round has to be best of 7--and I know T-Mac would agree with me, but more on him later.

The East is pretty boring, 3 sweeps and a Toronto-New Jersey matchup that sounds better on paper than it actually was. Looking forward it's going to be Pistons (in 5)-Cavs (in 6) and I think Detroit will easily advance to the Finals.

In the West, the Warriors are the story. That was an incredible series and really shakes things up. In a normal circumstance, the winner of the Jazz-Rockets series wouldn't have much to look forward to (getting swept by the Mavs) but now who's going to be the favorite in the Warriors-Jazz series? My gut says the Warriors and I think they'll win in 6 or less.

But the real after effect is that the NBA Championship is going to be decided in the conference semifinals: Spurs vs Suns. Make no mistake, this series determines the title. I bet it's going 7, and my money's on the Spurs, even though I'd prefer for the Suns to advance.

Oh yeah, Deron Williams has gotten further than Tracy-McGrady and Yao Ming (and Stephon Marbury, btw) in the playoffs. For the second time T-Mac has lost a first-round series after having won 3 games. He's had 9 years in the league, and he's now 0-6 in the playoffs.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Afternoon Scene: The Stereo

It's hard to find stuff on bands that broke up before the YouTube era. Here's a song from The Stereo, a great band out of Minneapolis. The video is a fan creation, but it's better than nothing.

"Three Hundred"

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pirate Master

The premise sounds amazing, people dressed as pirates finding hidden treasure, and one of them is Christian Okoye. SIGN ME UP!

But after watching the trailer, it's clear that is just a Survivor-ripoff from the same jagoff that created Survivor in the first place. Surprising to no one, there are 16 people, divided into two camps, and they vote out people each week. And it's in the caribbean. And there's a smarmy host that will ask stupid questions. Survivor already had a season that was pirate-themed. Burnett isn't even trying anymore:

Sure I'll tune it to watch the Nigerian Nightmare, but it doesn't sound nearly as cool as it could have been.

(story broken by Fanhouse/Deadspin)

Afternoon Scene: Jimmy Eat World

A few thoughts on Jimmy Eat World, from Mesa, Arizona. It was hard to find actual videos, and when they were, they weren't their best songs. So that's why I'm going with mostly live performances and one instance of just the song. Also, their 2001 album was called Bleed American, which is an awesome name, but after 9/11 they changed it to be self-titled. Lame.

Also, the success of their song "The Middle" brings up a point related to online social sites, like Reddit, that rank stories based on collective up and down votes. The problem is that things that are very interesting to some people, might be unappealing to others. The stories that rise to the top are the ones that appeal to everyone, even if they aren't that great. Well, the analogy comes up sometimes in music, where the song that a band gets known for because it appeals to a lot of people, isn't their best work, or even is among their worst.

Anyways, he's a block of rock times five, spanning three albums, from JEW:

"Table for Glasses" (live)

"Bleed American"

"For Me This Is Heaven" (live from a warehouse in 1998)

"Sweetness" (live from Australia)

"Night Drive" (no video)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Chicago Out My Window

(click to zoom, where you can save as wallpaper)

Timely Questions

1. Why don't we have Daylight Savings year-round?
2. What would happen if the continental U.S. had only one time zone, instead of four?


Using rough data for Greenwich, England, here's what daylight would look like:

Winter 8am - 4pm
Summer 4am - 8pm

Winter 9am - 5pm
Summer 5am - 9pm

In italics, is the current system, no DST in the winter, DST in the summer. In summer it makes sense because losing the hour of daylight from 4am to 5pm is small potatoes, compared to gaining a valuable hour of daylight from 8pm to 9pm.

In the winter though, would we rather have daylight from 8am to 9am, when people are driving to work, or from 4pm to 5pm, when people are driving home? I'd say it's a toss up, but personally, I don't think it's worth the switch off of DST, just to move it up.

That would in effect make the East Coast UTC-4 all year, and Central UTC-5...etc.


Are time zones worth it?

Let's look at the possibilities for the new American Standard Time (AST).

Here's the best case scenario:

National Time of UTC-6 on December 1st
New York: 6am - 3:30pm
Chicago: 7am - 4:20pm
LA: 8:40am - 6:45pm

National Time of UTC-5 on June 1st
New York: 4:30am - 7:20pm
Chicago: 5:30am - 8:20pm
LA: 7:43am - 10pm

Here's the deal with time zones: sunrises and sunsets are local events. But other events: sports, TV shows, everything else really, is happening at the same instant, no matter where you are.

Does it makes sense to say that a basketball game is tipping off at 7:15 in New York, and only 6:15 in Chicago? No.

It's not worth it for the business confusion, flight times, and everything else.

Ironically, this was the best case scenario for summer and winter nationally, and this happens to be central time with daylight savings. So Chicago won't have to do anything different.

I think we could either get rid of Daylight Saving Time or get rid of American time zones, but not both.

Afternoon Scene: My Chemical Romance

Three videos off their concept album, The Black Parade. My Chemical Romance from New Jersey.

"Welcome to the Black Parade"

"I Don' t Love You"

"Famous Last Words"

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

When You Want Entourage Quotes, I'll Give You Entourage Quotes

Is that something you might be interested in?

Home Shopping Screw-ups

Afternoon Scene: Motion City Soundtrack

Triple threat from Motion City Soundtrack from Minneapolis. New album drops July 17th.

"The Future Freaks Me Out"

"Everything Is Alright"


All Eyes on Big D

At this point, the only series the matters, in the Warriors-Mavericks. The Mavericks are 8.5 point favorites on their home floor. And if they can get it back to Dallas for a game 7, they would have the momentum and home court and should win there. So the Warriors aren't home safe yet, but the only player on the floor that looks like an MVP candidate, is the one banking in 50 footers at the buzzer:

Plus, and I think I'm breaking an exclusive here: The real reason the Warriors are winning: PLAYOFF BEARDS! Baron vs Dirk is no contest. All I'm saying is that if Dirk really wanted to win in the playoffs, he would grow a better beard. Too little, too late.

(taken from Monday's game)

Update: Deadspin later published their own playoff beard story, but without a Baron/Dirk photo comparisom. For the record my story was published at 10:36 am, judging from Deadspin comments, their story was published at 10:51 am CST.

Smooth Hands

Luther Head: 3
Deron and Dee: 2

Considering Augustine has only played 7 minutes in the NBA, it's fair to say that the Utah-Houston series features all the NBA talent from the '05 Fighting Illini.

Utah again had the lead going into the 4th quarter in Houston, but couldn't hold on. The fact is, 84% of teams who win game 5, after being tied 2-2, go on to win the series. And Home Court has held, and Houston has the advantage there too.

But who am I rooting for?
Well, Luther may be good, but he doesn't have the smoothest hands:

Have you heard the one...

I've heard people making fun of people who order a cheeseburger, fries and then a Diet Coke. (In fact I just heard it brought up on the radio this morning) Cause that's so funny, because it's pointless, right?

Well, a large Coke is usually 32 oz., and that's 400 calories. Plus, let's say you get a little refill for the road, so it's an even 500. You go out to fast food once a week ( a very conservative estimate for some people.) So 500 extra calories a week x 52 weeks a year = 26,000 extra calories a year just on Coke.

Is that a lot? Well, 3,500 calories is a pound on your body. So that's 7.5 pounds a year, just in switching from Coke to Diet Coke, once a week at fast food.

America isn't going to cut out fast food overnight, so if you're going to get a burger and fries, you had better get the Diet Coke, and let other people laugh their head off.

Rick Reilly on Rooting for the Yankees

"It's like hoping Bill Gates wins the lotto, it's like rooting for Brad Pitt to get laid."