Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome To The Internets, Doris [Non-Sports]

Everyone has had a crazy neighbor. We knew she was a little strange when we first spotted the yellowed newspapers she had stuffed in the top corner of one of her (broken) windows visible from our apartment. Occasionally she would blast classical music out of her AM/FM-Radio/Tape Deck combo right on the window sill, which you could hear even if both of our windows were closed.

When my buddy Sampson and I were looking for a place down here, we wanted outside space. Non-negotiable. It is an incredibly valuable commodity in Manhattan and it allows us to grill year round, which is obviously essential. We pay through the nose for it, but it's honestly worth it, especially during the summer.

When we first moved in, it was July and the terrace was a death trap of silver tar. On the hottest days, you could leave footprints just by walking on it, and the railings oozed black tar that ruined more than a few articles of clothing.

Neither of us had a "job" at that point, so we spent about three days and three trips to the Home Depot in Secaucus transforming a worthless space into the selling point of our apartment.

We didn't go in blind. My Dad used to wake me up at 7:00AM on weekends when I was 8 years old to help him with carpentry projects around our house. Sampson and I both worked for my cousin in Lake George over summer breaks in high school building custom lake houses in Cleverdale.

Sampson came up with the design, and I took care of most of the logistics. We carried every board, nail, bucket of stain, and FastenMaster Screw up six flights of stairs and I don't regret a second of it.

The fact that we had people over somewhat frequently didn't sit well with most of our neighbors. The people who lived here before us were apparently never around, which was a stark contrast to two 22 year olds with no jobs and a propensity for late nights and generous pours of Johnny Walker Red.

Doris' terrace borders on ours, not shown to the left in that picture.

The first run-in we had with her was when she called the fire department on us and had them confiscate our propane tank. Common sense would dictate that like a mother bear and her cub, you don't come between a man and his grill. We still don't know what exactly precipitated this most despicable act, but despite our initial outrage, we never said anything to her or retaliated in any way. We just bought a charcoal grill and used the extra 15 minutes it took to sear a couple of sirloins to drink another beer.

Doris used to just assume that everything that ended up on her terrace was a direct result of us, so she would sweep it up and throw it over on our side. It could have been a dead pigeon and she probably still would have tossed it over. Newsflash: There are numerous explanations for why something ends up on your terrace. We don't just throw shit over there for fun.

She also thought it would be a good idea to create a barrier between our spaces using an upside down ceramic planter, a wicker basket and some lattice, all strung together with twine. One day, I actually saw her during the daylight, and sarcastically complimented her on her work. She went "Oh, I just work with what I have, like Caldas, down in Brazil there". Riiiiiiight.

We actually have had some decent conversations with her, but her weird side inevitably came out. One night, Sampson passed out on the terrace and woke up to her throwing bird seed on him at 4:00AM.

We eventually built some spruce boxes where her odd "artwork" used to be, and planted some Aborvitaes for noise cancellation and privacy purposes. Doris was thrilled that we did it and we even planted some flowers on her side.

We had a truce for quite some time... until this weekend.

Earlier in the Fall, we nabbed a pumpkin on a golf trip to Jersey. It sat on our picnic table until it collapsed in on itself in late December. We threw it in one of the boxes to compost and it lay decaying peacefully there, ready to fertilize our Myrtle.

On Sunday, we went out to grill some chicken skewers for the Super Bowl and the rotting pumpkin was smashed on our AstroTurf. We had some ladies over at the time, so we laughed it off, and gave them the background on how crazy she was.

That lasted for about .10 of BAC. Around midnight we went back upstairs and took the remnants of the pumpkin and threw it all back on her side.

Why? Cause fuck her, that's why. There was no reason at all for her to take OUR pumpkin from OUR box and throw that shit on OUR terrace.

Well, today, I got home from work and decided to survey the terrace situation. She returned every chunk and every seed of the pumpkin back on our side. HA. Fuuuuuck that.

I had some leftover posterboard from the "Look At It, Dave" experiment, and decided it was a good time to use it. I made the following sign and Zip Tied it to one of the haphazardly arranged Time Warner cables on her side of the terrace, above the pile of pumpkin remains I threw back on her side.

[It reads:]


I think we already know the answer to that question... There is absolutely no reason for you to throw a composting pumpkin onto our terrace, which explains why we threw it back. You really shouldn't be touching the boxes we built or anything in them. We haven't bothered you for a long time, so...


The 115 guys

Number of Days Until Spring Training: Buck Showalter (#11)

Fittingly, Buck Showalter got overshadowed today.

If the Super Bowl wasn't yesterday, this piece would have been written last night, and Buck would have had the 6:00AM slot. His career as Yankee Manager was similarly overshadowed and under appreciated.

Buck was born to be a baseball man. He has a very baseballey-sounding name. When he was growing up in Century, Florida, Little League games were the most popular summertime activity. Every night there was a game, a couple hundred residents would gather under the lights to take in the action. Buck didn't have to travel very far to catch the games, because his backyard butted up against scoreboard of the field. His father was the Principal of the local high school and coach of the baseball team, in case you were wondering where Buck got his stern demeanor.

Unfortunately, Showalter wasn't born to be a baseball player. He spent seven years in the Yankee organization and had relatively good minor league numbers, but never played a game on the big stage because he was blocked by Don Mattingly. William Nathaniel "Buck" Showalter got his nickname for the state of undress he used to walk around the locker room in.

After his playing career, Buck went on to manage in the Yankees system, starting with Oneonta, moving to Fort Lauderdale, and ending up with the Albany Colonie Yankees in 1989, who went (97-46) and won him the Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year. He was promoted to the Yankees major league coaching staff in 1990 and replaced Stump Merrill as Manager in 1992.

After going (76-86) in '92, Showalter guided the Yankees to a second place finish in 1993 with 88 wins. When the strike stopped the 1994 season, their winning percentage was even better (.619) and they were on pace to win over 100 games. The Yanks made the playoffs in 1995 for the first time since 1981 by earning a Wild Card berth.

His personal clashes with George Steinbrenner ultimately led to him leaving the team before the 1996 season. After losing to the Mariners in the '95 ALDS Steinbrenner wanted Buck to fire two of his coaches, and when he refused, Buck got the axe himself. After having set the table for St. Joe and the late 90's dominance, he moved on to the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks. He led them to a 100 win season in 1999 and left after 2000, just before the D-Backs unseated the Yanks in the 2001 World Series.

I was at a game earlier this year and they had Buck pull the Metlife countdown lever. There was a smattering of applause, but not real love for him. I was pretty surprised. Yankee fans pride themselves on their appreciation for the team's history, and to some extent, the indifferent reception to Buck's appearance that night makes me question that.

Selig Earned $18.5MM in 2007

According to Sam Borden (who is running the show at LoHud while Peter Abraham goes on vacation to chill with hobbits), Bud Selig made $18.5MM in the fiscal year that ended on October 31, 2007.

This includes $17.47MM in base compensation with an additional $461,540 in employee benefit contributions and $422,590 in expense accounts and additional benefits. The amount was a 22% increase over the previous year.

This begs the question: What has Selig done to deserve a 22% increase?

And are you telling me that in order to make this amount of money that all that I have to do is become a used car salesman and bitch about player salaries? Maybe law school was not the answer. Also, Jay, I'm sorry but I may have to start up my own blog at

Weed Is Good For You, Just Ask Santonio Holmes!

As you may recall, Santonio Holmes was arrested in late October:

Mr. Holmes did not have his driver's license but handed over his registration and insurance paperwork. Officers said they smelled marijuana in the SUV. Officer Kusenko asked Mr. Holmes if he had been smoking marijuana in the SUV that day.

"No," Mr. Holmes told officers, according to the affidavit, "but yesterday I was."

Police said Mr. Holmes told them he had marijuana in the vehicle. He pointed out two marijuana-filled cigars, known as "blunts," in a vehicle compartment. Officers recovered a third blunt from a pack of cigars in the center console.
That, my friends, is how you get arrested with some dignity. You hand over your stash, take your lumps and move on with your life. Not that I would know anything about that...

The fact that the NFL punishes people for smoking pot is so hypocritical and backwards its not even worth getting into. These guys have a life expectancy 20 years shorter than other American males, and its not because some of them occassionally take a toke of the green.

The Governor of Cully-fawn-ee-ah used to smoke back when he was Mr. Universe. He said it helped him get to sleep, the time when muscles repair themselves and become stronger. "That is not a drug. It's a leaf," Schwarzenegger told GQ. "My drug was pumping iron, trust me." It's actually not the leaf, it's the bud, but I like where his head is at.

NFL players beat the living hell out of their bodies on a daily basis and it's kind of retarded to say that they can take Percosets, Vicodin, and other insanely powerful painkillers we have probably have never even heard of, but can't roll up a dutch with their homies.

/Steps down from soapbox

Anyway, the Weeded Wonder was other-worldly last night. This catch in the 3rd quarter was downright dexterous (and the screen grab slightly trippy):

This one just barely went through his hands.

But not this one.

Santonio, you are the man, sir. And I didn't even have to mention this.

Larry Fitzgerald Did Me Proud

I might be a little biased because Larry Fitzgerald is my fantasy ex (I'm hoping we can work it out get back together at some point), but he is out of control. I'm sorry if you are already sick of me calling him "The Human-like Machine Referred To As "Larry Fitzgerald", but it is here to stay.

This was almost David Tyreesian:

And he looked like Usain Bolt on this 64 yard TD catch and run.

[Ed. Note: That is the reflection of a lampshade in our apartment (not a mysterious apparition) which will serve as our de-facto watermark, simply because these screen grabs are a big enough pain in the ass, and I'm not going to turn it off and on for every single one.

For this reason (and for the record), any screen grabs or other orginal pictures we post will be color, and for the most part, anything borrowed will be in black and white]

Look What Happens When You Look For A Picture Of Kurt Warner's Wife

That's the sixth search result. Jimmy Claussen.

"I sold my gold hip replacement"

Since we had people over last night, we watched the commercials, being that it was the Super Bowl and everything.

The big winner:

This is the absolute perfect situation for a Super Bowl ad. You have a marginally known company that has shady, borderline-infomercial advertisements and for $3M, you get instant credibility. The price of gold is up (well not today, they might have actually moved the market...) and people are probably looking to pawn some shit since the economy is terrible. Well played, To boot, it was hilarious, and obviously a seismic upgrade from this.

"Focus and finish"

[word for word, starting at 12:29AM]

Stuart Scott: "Someone once said, football is a game of the heart. Focus and Finish. The Steeler players and even the Steeler fans, focused, and finished, the entire game.

"Someone once said" is the worst way to being a sentence available in the English language. Either cite an influential, historical person, or just take the line for yourself. And obviously, the reason he didn't cite an actual person is that... NO ONE EVER FUCKING SAID THAT. Those 2 1/2 sentences are a heaping of mindless drivel. You know who that "someone" was? The geek in the truck who just wrote that line for him. And the Steelers fans? How the fuck did they "focus" or "finish" anything?

Stuart Scott: Guys, I want one word, that describes this Super game-this-Super Bowl for you...

Trent Dilfer: "Unreal"
Keyshawn Johnson: "Epic"
Cris Carter: [emphatically] "More"
Steve Levy: "I'm gonna go, Fitting"
Stuart Scott: "I'm gonna go, Deserved"

1. Hardly a word.
2. A cliche among cliches.

3. That doesn't even begin to make sense.
4. Fitting? Because the Cardinals lost in heartbreaking fashion?

5. Okay...

Hey, at least no one said "incredible".

I'll have some more screen grabs tomorrow and a more complete recap by the time everyone is sick of the whole subject (besides my buddy Greg), but that 4th quarter really was epic, deserved, unreal, fitting and more!

The Santonio Holmes catch in the corner of the endzone presents an argument against the David Tyree catch for greatest Super Bowl play of all time. It happened in the end zone with less time remaining on the clock. If you are a Steelers' fan, I know which one you are choosing.

[lil' color]