Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009

This book has nothing to do with The Wu-Tang Clan. Don't be fooled.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009

The folks at So Good Blog ( have come up with a March Madness-style bracket tournament to determine the Ultimate Meat.

How could I NOT post that on here?

Ok, so the ‘meats’ are grouped into regions (Red Meat, Poultry, Pork, and Seafood), which I don’t really agree with, nor do I agree with a number of the numerical seeds awarded to certain meats, or seafood being included, but I didn’t create it, so I’ll just roll with the punches here.

For those of you who aren’t bracket nerds, and cant figure out how it works, pick your favourite in each matchup, and they advance on to the next round. Repeat until there is only one left. That is your personal Ultimate Meat Champion.

A few things:

- Rabbits in ‘Poultry’? Seriously? I heard that the USDA was considering re-classifying it, but can’t find any confirmation on this. Seems very wrong to me.

- Ribs are a #7 seed? And Crab is a #6? Outrageous!

- Please don’t let the recent swine flu outbreak taint your opinion of the Pork Region. It’s all safe.

So make your picks, and post your results in the Comments section below. Feel free to share your championship match (both meats), and for those super-keeners out there, give us your Final Four.

My Final Four is Steak, Crab, Duck, and Bacon. And Bacon just narrowly defeated Ribs, which had just come off of back-to-back double-overtime victories against Sausage and Prosciutto.

My final matchup is Duck against Crab…with Duck taking the overall title.

I look forward to seeing yours.

Happy Meat-ing.

(Thanks to Matt for sending this in.)

April 29, 2009

- First of all, I'm excited for the new episode of Lost tonight, should be fantastic!
- WNP is a record field of 44 players tonight, it's going to be awesome.
- In the 'worst news' category, I saw that Creed is reuniting and going on tour.
- I was looking at my People You May Know report on Facebook, and my ex-wife's name came up. Um, yes...I know her.
- The season final of Heroes was horrible...painful, actually. I'm done.
- Thanks to my friend Nicki (formerly Nikki), who coined the new term 'Red Cross Lady', which makes me laugh every time I think of it.
- I wish I was as smart as Alton Brown.
- I saw that The Kooks, Oasis, and The Killers are all playing together at a music festival in Italy. Wish I could go. Since I can't, here's some Kooks...enjoy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

At the beginning of Survivor, my friend Becki and I picked players to last longer.

She picked Joe.Becki Lost.

I won Swiss Chalet.

Mmmmmm….so good.
Thanks Becki!

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

Monday’s posts are usually pretty generic on my blog: What I did on the weekend + random poker story + Amazing Race thoughts + a link to Josh Wolk recaps. Shake well and serve over ice.

This week was shaping up to be more of the same…all of the above…until I watched Celebrity Apprentice last night, and now I feel compelled to write on the amazing phenomenon that is Melissa Rivers.

First of all, I’ve found her to be exceptionally annoying all season long, and I’m shocked that she hasn’t been fired already for her boardroom antics, including teaming up with her mother to constantly attack other contestants, and SIDING WITH THE OTHER TEAM! Last week, I thought she should have been fired on the spot for that, but clearly The Donald had other things in mind. And this week, she decided to cut Trump off so SHE could finish her point.

I don’t know what it is about her that makes me want to punch her in the face. (And to be fair, there are only a select few people who fall in that category: Haley Joel Osment, Chad Kroeger, and Rosie Perez to name a few. Not even Geddy Lee.) Maybe it’s her incessant whining. Maybe it’s her horse-shaped jawline. Maybe it’s the ridiculous sense of entitlement she clearly has being Joan Rivers’ daughter. Maybe it’s because she looks like she's having a stroke every time she speaks.

Or maybe it’s because she’s one of those talentless celebrities who are famous just for being famous, like Paris Hilton, Kevin Federline, or anyone named Kardashian.

So last night, as I’m watching, I’m listening to her rant and complain about Brande Roderick and Annie Duke, and I’m thinking to myself that she’s acting like a high school girl complaining about the pretty girls, and the smart girls, and the popular girls. It’s so pathetic. Then, she goes on to make the same comparison…telling them that it’s like in high school, and that ‘high school wasn’t fun for her’. Yeah, I’m sure it was really rough having a celebrity mother who was immensely popular in the 80s. I’m sure poor little Melissa had to sit in the corner at lunchtime by herself with no one to talk to, and then maybe get beat up by the red-headed kids on the way home who smashed her glasses and bent her headgear.


But the high school comparisons notwithstanding, let’s take a moment and acknowledge the fact that she is FORTY-THREE years old, and not a teenager. But regardless of the age, she’s still clearly tied to Mommy’s apron strings, huh? So she gets fired last night in what I think it was the only fair firing based on overall performance so far, and what ensued was what I can only describe as “the greatest tantrum in Reality Television history.”

The snarky and sarcastic ‘Thank-You!’ and storm out of the room was laughable, because trying to briskly escape the boardroom while one foot was in a cast was funny enough, but then she went batshit insane after leaving. Swearing at anyone in sight, the producers, the camera, the receptionist…I thought she was going to punch the elevator doorman, who must have been only too happy when she refused to get in. Then she ran--and I mean ‘ran’, hair blowing like a slow-motion scene from Chariots of Fire, the one-legged edition--up to tell Mommy and complain about what just happened, apparently forgetting that they were watching it on the TV! So Mommy defends her and she continues ranting, refusing interviews, and swearing like an Andrew Dice Clay routine (you like how I worked that one in?), calling the other players liars, whores, and other names which I won’t repeat here.


Joan, you must be so proud. Your daughter had an infantile tantrum in front of millions of people, most of whom would have been mortified to see their child act in that manner, but you instead ‘packed up your stuff and left’, proclaiming that the Charity aspect that the show is based around ‘isn’t that important’. Of course not. Not when you can sit around comparing competent players to Hitler…why focus on working to raise money for charity?

Make no mistake, it’s good TV. But it’s a pretty weak statement on celebrity behaviour. Of course, if it’s Melissa Rivers, does it still count as ‘celebrity behaviour’?

Maybe not.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009

I hate pocket eights.

I hate when my KK loses to 88 when Christopher flops a set in the first orbit of the tournament.

I hate when the flop comes 998 when I have 88, and Gord looks to bluff into me, but decides against it, and I don't get paid off.

I hate when I limp reraise all-in for 79K with AA and Dwayne calls me with 88, and flops a set to cripple me and set up my elimination.

I hate pocket eights.

Friggin' snowmen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

The 100th Post
When I started this blog last year, I probably wouldn’t have thought I would make it to 100 posts, but here I am. Turns out I’m actually enjoying writing again, whether it’s trivial thoughts on TV shows, or more in-depth topic like Condiments or proper hand-washing techniques. It’s been enjoyable, especially since the ‘re-launch’ at the beginning of 2009. When I look back at good decisions I’ve made, that will definitely be on the list.

So I wanted to take a moment to say thanks to everyone who has been reading…all the tens and tens of you regular readers out there! Thanks for the feedback, it’s been helpful, and I’m happy that we’re all building a budding community here where we can comment freely on the drivel that I spout in my posts. To date, there have been visits from 18 different countries, 5 Canadian provinces, and 30 U.S. States.

Keep an eye out in the upcoming weeks, I have a list of things that I will be writing about, aside from the regular TV stuff. (What am I going to do after all of the season finales??) You’ll hear a lot more about Lucas, a few rants about various pet peeves, a special Meat-A-Palooza, and about the time I met a Duke Baskeball icon. And lots more… Also, I’d like to take a moment to specifically mention and thank Josh Wolk and Erika Olson (Long Live Locke), whose respective writing has inspired me to return to my own writing. Take a moment and visit both of their blogs, there are links on the sidebar.

Any suggestions or comments? Email me or post in the Comments section below.

And thanks again.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009

Last Thursday night, I was out for the evening and had to record Survivor. I got back around midnight and before I settled in to watch Survivor before going to sleep, I came online to check my email. When I signed on to Facebook, I saw that my friend Becki had written on my wall that Brendan had been eliminated. Well, to be fair, she didn’t explicitly say it in the form of ‘Hey Sean, Brendan was voted off tonight’, but she was commenting on the fact that he was eliminated, which spoiled the ending for me, as well as a mutual friend of ours who hadn’t watched it yet either. So, this led to a comment on yesterday’s post (to be explained further below), and an ensuing conversation about rules and courtesies involved in not spoiling results for people, whether it be television, sports, or pretty much anything.

In this era of digital media, and online access to almost everything, the world has become familiar with the term SPOILER ALERT. I try my best to avoid spoilers, because for me, the entertainment is in getting there, not just the result. Sure, I can read in a boxscore that Duke lost a basketball game, but how was the game? I prefer to watch it. And I know that with all these reality shows, which are pre-taped, there is information out there on who makes it to the end, but I don’t want to know. If I invest in a season of watching a television program, I want to earn the payoff at the end, not just find out what happens by someone who happened to run into the final 3 Amazing Race teams in an airport in China. I avoid spoilers as if they’re a trip to the dentist’s office (that one’s for you, Mike), and that’s why I’m so militant about not wanting to ruin Season 5 of Lost for those readers who aren’t caught up yet.

But it brings up a good question regarding protocol. Using TV shows as an example, if I’m going to talk to someone about a show, I always start off by asking if they’ve seen the last episode. If not, then no harm, no foul. But if I open up with something like “Can you believe they killed off Adriana last night?”, then there’s really no point of return after that. It’s out there. I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry.

My friend Tracy and I used to talk about Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice on Friday mornings last year, and we would always start off by asking if the other one had seen the episode. Seemed like we had a pretty good system going, until out of the blue, on a morning after I had watched Survivor but not Celebrity Apprentice, my messenger window pops open with a message from her saying, “Woo-hoo! The witch Omarosa is gone!”

What the hell? I thought we had a system, and then…..BOOOOM! Blindside. It was like Trump fired me, I was so shocked. So I told her I hadn’t watched it yet, and as she’s apologizing, she tells me she hasn’t watched Survivor yet, and not to ruin it for her! I immediately said, “Well, I won’t tell you what happens, but don’t get too attached to Amanda.” It was a lie, of course, because even though she had just snuffed my torch, I couldn’t turn around and do the same to her. But she didn’t know that until she watched the episode, so it was kind of worth it.

With sports, if I can’t be home to watch a game, I’ll record it and watch it later. If it’s something big, I try to let certain people know in advance that I won’t be watching it live so that they don’t ruin it for me. During NCAA Basketball season, I even sometimes answer the phone with “I haven’t seen the Duke game yet!” when I pick up. And here’s why… Years ago, Duke was playing Michigan, and I wasn’t home, but I was taping it to watch right after it ended. So the phone rings, and it’s my father-in-law, and as soon as I pick up the phone, he says “Well, Duke really BLEW IT this afternoon, huh?”

Or then there was the time that I wanted to see M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, and knew that there would be a twist ending, as there usually is in his movies, so I avoided all reviews and conversation of the film. I didn’t get to see it at theatres, so I waited patiently for the DVD release without having anything spoiled for me. Then, I was reading a Maxim Magazine talking about upcoming DVD releases in one sentence, and the sentence for The Village said “M. Night Shyamalan’s newest movie, and oh yeah, they’re in the present.”


And then there was that time a number of years ago at work, when we were having a discussion about the HBO show Oz. I had just started watching Season 5, and was only a couple of episodes in, when Matt said to me, “Season 5? Is that the one where Augustus Hill dies in the finale? Or was that Season 4?” The look on my face told him clearly that it was NOT season 4, and I was not impressed. To his credit, Matt felt horrible, and still shows remorse to this day. That’s what prompted his comment on yesterday’s post, which is funny now in retrospect, but most definitely was not funny at the time.

I did get Matt back (albeit accidentally) in 2001 during the NFL playoffs. Matt is a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan and during their playoff run in 2001, there was a big game that he was watching at his place, while I was watching at mine. I can’t remember the full details of what happened, but it was near the end of the game and there was a huge play that I knew he would have been excited about, so I called him right after it happened and excitedly blurted it in to the phone, and he responded. “Dude, I’m on satellite. There’s a delay!” And then the play happened while he was on the phone with me and I know he would have strangled me through the phone if he could.

So what’s my point? I guess I’m just trying to establish the foundation for the preservation of the element of surprise. Nobody in any of these examples intended to reveal anything on purpose (I don’t think), so it’s not like there was any malicious intent. But in the future, if you’re talking about something that may be a ‘revealing’ surprise or result, take the extra few seconds to see if they’ve seen it yet.

And oh yeah….Bruce Willis is dead in The Sixth Sense.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009

- Sorry for the long gap between posts. It's a been a busy week, but I'm back with a number of things to catch up on, so I'll start with my TV ramblings...
- Survivor was a bit of a surprise, since I thought Brendan was smart enough to have seen this potentially coming and use the hidden immunity idol, but I guess he didn't. Still shocking to me that he didn't toss it to Sierra as he was leaving. Let me re-phrase what just said there, The Result of Survivor was a surprise, because the actual elimination was far from it. I came home that night after being out, and before I watched my taped Survivor, I happened to check my Facebook, where Becki had written on my wall that he had been the episode was far from shocking. (For future reference, please don't spoil results for me until you know I've seen the episode) But back to the show itself, I'm enjoying Coach more and more every day, in a pathological-liar-animated-this-guy-can't-be-for-real sort of way.
- Amazing Race was full of drama with the shoving fiasco between Luke and Jen. My take on it is that it is 100% Luke's fault, and I don't think Jen was out of line saying what she said, while it was 'less than ideal'. Luke clearly hip-checked her, then elbowed her, and then shoved her into the next clue box. And there was no need for any of the above, much less all three. And then Margie made a huge scene at the Pit Stop which was out of line as well, claiming that Luke didn't deserve it because he was deaf, while they have maintained the entire race that they are just like anyone else and don't need special treatment. Very hypocritical, and then to play the (irrelevant and inaccurate) race card was just unacceptable in my eyes. Too much drama. And I don't think Kisha and Jen were laughing at Luke, so much as laughing as a way to not participate in the drama. It will be interesting to see what happens next week.
- Heroes is painful to watch...just painful.
- I'm going to talk briefly about Lost, and I was just told by another friend that he is starting the older seasons of Lost and isn't watching the new season yet, so the 'Jenn Stop Reading' warnings have been helpful to him as well. So...on that note...


- I was happy to see some backstory on Miles, even if we all knew that he was going to end up being Pierre Chang's son. I loved the Star Wars references, and Hurley's monologue on what happens if you don't talk about things..."you get Ewoks, and let's face it, Ewoks suck, dude." With all the buildup leading to the finale, which is called The Incident, I'm wondering if maybe older Miles touches baby Miles and something cataclysmic happens. In the off-season, we saw the Dharma video where Chang freaks out when the two time-traveling bunnies are too close together, so it's got to be relevant somehow.


(and Jeff, nice play with the 78 (ahem...QQ) on Saturday night.)

- Had a fun night out on Friday night in Cambridge for Dick's birthday. He was definitely surprised, and the food, poker, and company was great.
- Lucas and I spent the afternoon in Guelph yesterday at a family gathering for my new niece Sophia, and my new cousin Gianluca. It was nice to see everyone again, and Lucas had a blast playing with his cousin Lilli. The food was wonderful as usual, and I had a great plate of leftovers today for lunch. There truly is nothing better than homemade pasta.
- Check out the spectacular error on this Washington Nationals uniform last week. And no, the 'O', is not tucked in behind the's missing. I can't make this stuff up!
- On our way to Guelph yesterday, I stopped at 7-11 to pick up a drink and a snack for Lucas and I in the car. I picked up an iced tea, and two small 55g bags of chips, and when the guy rang it up and told me $6.87, I nearly fell down. He insisted it was right and I told him there was no way that could be right. Well it turns out he accidentally charged me $2.22 for one of the bags of chips, so that was off by about a dollar, but I was still shocked that it was $5.50. I know I'm treading on 'When I was young, things only cost...' territory, but....well, when I was young, that would have cost about $1.50. Chips were a quarter, and a pop or an iced tea wasn't more than 35 to 50 cents. I'm not saying I'm shocked that it's not like that anymore, but I feel like I missed the entire gradual progression in between.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19, 2009

Thanks to Teach for telling me about this hilarious commercial.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

Star Wars nerds will appreciate this a little bit more than regular folk. This is taken from


Slumber in the Belly of the Beast

In the sub-zero wasteland of the planet Hoth, only the strong survive... and of course those lucky Jedi protected by the thick skin of a Tauntaun. Now after exhaustive movie viewing research and analysis ThinkGeek Labs has isolated the exact synthetic compounds needed to re-create Tauntaun fur. What have we done with this supreme knowledge? Created a Tauntaun sleeping bag of course.

This high-quality sleeping bag looks just like a Tauntaun, complete with saddle, internal intestines and glowing lightsaber zipper pull. Now when your kids tell you their favorite Star Wars movie is "Attack of the Clones" you can nestle the wee-ones snug in simulated Tauntaun fur while regaling them with the amazing tale of "Empire Strikes Back".

Use the glowing lightsaber zipper pull on the Tauntaun sleeping bag to illustrate how Han Solo saved Luke Skywalker from certain death in the freezing climate of Hoth by slitting open the belly of a dead Tauntaun and placing Luke inside the stinking (but warm) carcass. If your kids don't change their tune on which Star Wars film is the greatest ever, you can do your best Jar Jar impression until they repent.

Product Features

  • Classic Star Wars sleeping bag simulates the warmth of a Tauntaun carcass
  • Built-in embroidered Tauntaun head pillow
  • Glowing Lightsaber zipper pull
  • Great for playing pretend "Save Luke from the Wampa" games
  • Teach your children about the best Star Wars movie ever
  • Fully Licensed Lucasfilm™ Collectable
  • Fits children (and small adults)
  • 100% Polyester construction, Machine washable
  • Exterior Dimensions - 32" x 60"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

- I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend, and a good Easter with your families and loved ones. Lucas and I had a great day in Guelph today with my family, and a wonderful meal. It was nice to see my Uncle Frank who was here from Montreal, and great to spend some time with Uncle David on Skype since he couldn't make it. Lucas and I made a homemade key lime pie yesterday to bring, and it was tasty! Lucas did some major work squeezing limes and grating the zest for the pie. He is a great helper.
- My Survivor prediction was correct, so seeya Joe, and thanks for the Double Leg dinner you won me by having an infected leg. Sure was a close call, though, considering my pick Brendan likely would have been gone if joe hadn't been evacuated. (On that note, I'm reminded of the scene from the first episode on Season 5 of The Wire regarding the definition of a person 'being evacuated'. Look it up...)
- Kudos to Sean A. at Brantford for turning my session around in the last half hour before I left. And nice work on the zingers. Three-for-three. Well done. I love playing with that guy that was in seat 5, who criticized me for being sarcastic as he was sarcastically criticizing. Beautiful irony.
- I was watching Flight of the Conchords the other night and recognized Eliza Coupe, who plays Denise on Scrubs (Jo the chubby chasin' intern). Funny to see her in another role...her character Lisa was quite entertaining.
- I was flipping around on TV on Saturday Night and came across Bob Saget at the Just for Laughs Festival, so I thought I'd watch a bit because he's now this cult icon who everyone thinks is hilarious for his profane comedy, so I stopped and watched a bit. Um....not funny at all. It was just brutal. So I flipped past, and here's the fun part. The show was on the Comedy Network (channel 46), and when I flipped forward, it went to channel 47, which just happened to be showing an old episode of America's Funniest Home Videos. So I had a laugh flipping back and forth as he's making some lame family joke on AFHV, and then flipping to him on screen saying 'F*ck, C*ck, Sh*t!' (no joke, that's actually what he said as I flipped.)
- An animated series of Bob and Doug MacKenzie? Seriously? Is this how we celebrate classic Canadian comedy?
- I posted last week that SNL was getting pretty bad again. Well, the Zac Efron episode was weak, but not horrible. I do have to give credit where it's due, however, and mention that Weekend Update made me laugh out loud at least 4 times.
- Amy Poehler's new show Parks and Recreation was ok, but I anticipate it being much better in the future, and getting rid of some of that 'Pilot Rust'. I'll give it a shot.
- Amazing Race was entertaining tonight. How do you forget to bring your bags??? Unreal. The karaoke trannies were hilarious, especially when the Hobbits apparently had no idea they were men! And they sure are editing Jaime and Cara into the hated team, which is ridiculous because if anything, Jaime is the only one who is saying anything controversial at all. Cara looks embarrassed every time Jaime flies off the handle. How awesome is it that the Hobbits have racked up five hours of penalties in 2 episodes?
- Well, I would have hoped for more response to Saturday's post requesting readers to comment and introduce yourself in the Comments section. I understand some of you want to read in private, and that's fine, I'm just happy you're reading at all. I was just hoping to give an oppurtunity to create somewhat of a community in the comments for future posts. I hope some of you will come out of your shell eventually. :)

April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11, 2009

Well, to celebrate the fact that we've passed 3,000 hits this week, I've taken an idea that I saw over at DarkUFO and proposed it for this weekend. Easter Weekend is 'No Lurking Weekend'. What that means is for you anonymous readers, now is the time to leave a comment, give feedback (positive or negative), or just introduce yourself. Make a comment below, or even just say hi in the comments section. Consider it a team-building exercise for all of us. If you want to remain anonymous or not leave a comment, that's fine, but I'm hoping to get some response from you wonderful readers, since I never anticipated this blog reaching 3,000 hits.

Have a great weekend, post away below!

(Come on, it's not that tough, you can do it. Just one of you needs to start it off...)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009

- I'll start off, regrettably, with the NCAA Tournament and the Final Four this past weekend. For the second year in a row, we've had our monthly HPA tournament on the Saturday night and I've essentially missed the games. I'm hoping the HPA event gets moved to the second weekend of the month next year. Are you listening, Jeremy? North Carolina was clearly the best team in the tournament (and most of you know how much that pains me to say), so it's not a travesty that they won, but it was so disappointing to see how poorly Michigan State played. When you're playing what is essentially a home game for the National Championship in front of over 70,000 people, you would think you wouldn't come out as flat as they did. Trailing 31-11 after ten minutes is a pretty big hole to dig out of, but they came out strong in the second half. Clark Kellogg said it best to start the second half that they needed to break the game into four-minute segments and win each segment, which they were on pace to do for the first 8 minutes of the game. Then I saw one of the most disappointing things I've ever seen in a big game like that. After cutting the lead to 16 points, MSU stole the ball and had a 3-on-1 break. Instead of a smart pass or two, they tried for an alley-oop dunk. Who showboats on an attempted alley-oop dunk when you're trailing that much??? What a poor decision. Of course, it was a turnover, one of 21 on the game for MSU, and it typified what was a pretty weak effort. I'm surprised I didn't see Tom Izzo blowing a gasket at the bad decisions his team was making. It's almost as if he had resigned himself to the fact that they would lose before they even started. Very uncharacteristic.
- I've had quite a bit of response to my Bobby Flay post from last weekend. The hits on the blog went skyrocketing thanks to Wizened-Cynic, who has a blog on Live Journal, and posted a link to my encounter with the Iron Chef. It seems Wizened-Cynic is not a fan of Mrs. Throwdown, Stephanie March. Whatever the reason, thanks for the increased traffic.
- Speaking of the Iron Chef, I've been watching The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network, a reality show that aired last year to pick a new Iron Chef for the show. The show itself is enjoyable, and the challenges are great to watch, even if I already know that Michael Symon is the winner. But here's the odd thing, the Food Network is showing it on Sunday nights, and the show on immediately before it is....yep, you guessed it...Iron Chef America. So, when you're watching Michael Symon competing on Iron Chef at 9 pm, then watching him compete to try and become an Iron Chef at 10 pm, well, I guess some of the suspense is gone, isn't it?
- I recently discovered Kings of Leon and I'm really enjoying their music. I'm disappointed I didn't discover them sooner.
- Now Snow Patrol is opening for Coldplay too? Too funny!
- I went to Guelph on Sunday night for a blast from the past as I watched Wrestlemania with the old crew from years ago. Nice to hang out with the gang again, even if Jeff still is that little bit crazy. (Jeff, what on earth were you talking about?) The show wasn't great, and I don't really understand why 8 matches needed to be stretched out over four hours, but it was still a fun night. I can't believe how many close calls there were in the matches, though, in terms of people almost getting seriously injured. There were some big misses where I was sure someone broke their neck. Very sloppy. The highlight was definitely the horrible Kid Rock performance that tanked. The best part was where he was singing Bawitdaba and threw out the mike towards the audience for them to sing part of the song, and you could hear total silence. Awesome!
- WNP last night was another good tournament. Sorry I woke up with JJ in my big blind, Dave. I finished 3rd, but was hoping to go heads-up with either Marco or Gord again since I played both of them heads up at the end of a tournament in the past year. Congrats Gord, good tournament. Great gesture with regards to the WAF as well, so if I had to lose to someone, I'm glad it was you on that night.
- Josh Wolk has a hilarious new blog post up about an encounter he had at an airport with regards to his missing 'baggage'. You can click the link to his blog on the sidebar, or the direct link to the post here.
- Thursday night is rapidly becoming the busiest TV night of the week for me, with Survivor, CSI, 30 Rock, and Hell's Kitchen all on the same night. Now Amy Poehler's new show Parks and Recreation premieres tonight, and I'll have to check that out too since it looks pretty funny. If it's good, it will be nice to watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on NBC together again, kind of like a Weekend Update flashback from SNL.
- New episode of Survivor tonight, and I generally don't make predictions, but I will predict that Joe gets eliminated from the game due to his infected leg. I think there was a reason they made a point of showing it last week, so that's what I think will happen. Maybe it's just my optimistic and hopeful prediction since if he does get eliminated, then I win my bet with Becki (double leg dinner at Swiss Chalet, baby!). I have Brendan, and I still think he's going to win. Tonight is the merge, and I think the secret alliance of Brendan, Sierra, Taj, and Stephen will control the game from here on out (with or without J.T.) Here's why: despite being down 6-4 in numbers, if the majority of 6 wants to vote one of them out, they simply use the idol and vote out whoever they want with 4 votes. Even if the group of six split their votes 3-3, they would be outvoted 4-3. This could happen two weeks in a row to bring it down to 8 players, and that's the worst-case scenario. So, considering the have J.T., it's a no-brainer that these 5 should be cruising to the end.


- I've mentioned it numerous times before, but again, I highly recommend Doc Jensen's video show Totally Lost with Dan Snierson. Here is a link to this week's episode which features them talking to Sterling Beaumon who plays creepy young Ben, who took a bullet in the chest from Sayid two weeks ago.
- This week's episode was downright mind-blowing. I thought the scene at the end with Ben and the Smoke Monster was fantastic, even if a lot of fans are considering it a tad cheesy. I've read a lot of theories that John Locke is actually dead and that the Smoke Monster is appearing in his form. I don't buy it, and I think the episode title, Dead is Dead, is intended to mislead the theorists. The scene on the dock at the marina was tense, and it was great to see Desmond come to the rescue. All season long, the producers have been telling us that two main characters are dying by the end of the season, and in that final scene in the Temple, I was starting to become very concerned that Ben was about to die, which would have shocked the whole Lost Universe. Definitely a lot to take in from last night's episode. I think it deserves a second viewing.


- Over 3,000 hits and counting now...thanks for reading, everyone. Now let's see some more activity in the Comments section below!
- Happy Easter. Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8, 2009

It was 15 years ago today that Kurt Cobain's body was found.
(not the day he died, but the day he was found.)

Let's all take a moment and thank the world for the Foo Fighters

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5, 2009


As some of you who know me personally or read here regularly already know, I'm a bit of a Food Network junkie. I love many of the shows, and I've always loved Iron Chef, dating back to years ago when we would watch the old dubbed Japanese version or the orginal show. It took me a while to warm up to Iron Chef America (Alton Brown takes some getting used to, but now I enjoy all of his shows, and think he's one of the smartest guys around), but now I'm a die-hard.

I was in Las Vegas last February, and as I wrote in my March 3rd post, I happened to walk by Bobby Flay filming part of The Next Food Network Star. In that post, I promised another story regarding the Iron Chef, so I figured it was time to share it.

So, it's Saturday night in Las Vegas, and we're heading over to Caesar's Palace to play poker. When we get there, we see that there is a HUGE crowd outside Pure Nightclub. We find out (from the giant floor-to-ceiling banner in theis cavernous room) that it is Paris Hilton's Birthday Party, and that she's going to be performing on stage with the Pussycat Dolls at Pure.

I'll pause while you get your head around that one.

Now, let's clarify that she's not performing with the recording act The Pussycat Dolls, but the offshoot (and somewhat originating) burlesque show that has taken up residency in Pure. Here's a link to a photo gallery of her 'performance' that night from Popcrunch, where she is accurately decribed as looking 'like a Danish hooker.'

So, there's a big red carpet for entrances, and reserved spots for E!, and Entertainment Tonight, and all the other gossip and entertainment media outlets. It's a pretty big deal. And poker room is right beside Pure, separated and secluded from the rest of the casino floor so that poker players can play in a quieter, reserved atmosphere (because, you know, we're all introspective types who can't stand noise.) But to get into the poker room, you have to get through this crowd of people, and actually walk across the entrance to the 'Red Carpet' photo-op strip. So there's a security barricade blocking the path to the poker room, and you only get through if you're playing in there, so we got through fine, but it was a madhouse.

As we're entering the poker room, some of the celebs are on the red carpet, and who walks by but Mr. Iron Chef Bobby Flay (whose restaurant Mesa Grill is right in Caesar's Palace), and his wife, Stephanie March, who is on Law & Order SVU. Side note: I had no idea at the time who his wife was, but I knew I recognized her from somewhere, and I couldn't place it at the time. I thought at first it was Monica Potter, but found out later that night that it was Stephanie March. Honest mistake, take a look.

So, I see them head into the club and don't really think much of it. I just head into the poker room and settle into my Omaha Hi-Lo table. We could hear 'the performance' throughout the night due to our proximity to the nightclub, and it sounded horrible. (Shocking, I know.)

Now, here's where the story gets interesting. I take a break from my table and I'm in the restroom, which is just at the entrance to the poker room. Well, apparently people 'in the know' don't use the Pure restroom since it is always so packed, and instead step outside for a minute and use the poker room restroom. So, I'm standing at the urinal (you're welcome for the image, but it's an integral part of the story), and who appears at the urinal right beside me?

I know you see it coming...

Yes, of course, it's Bobby Flay. Now I'm not an autograph kind of guy, or really even a 'take a picture with me' type of guy, but if I like a celebrity, if I'm a fan, then I'd like to at least speak to them. And I'm a fan of Bobby Flay, I mean, who doesn't love a good Throwdown? But here's my conundrum. When I saw him filming the TV show at Planet Hollywood, that really wasn't the best time to talk to him. And this is even LESS ideal. When you're standing alone at a urinal, that's 'your' time, and I'm not confortable interfering with that. So I decide I'll say hello to him after he's done, maybe at the sink or as we're leaving.

So I finish, and go to the sink to wash my hands. There's only one other person in this tiny bathroom other than the Iron Chef and I, and he leaves as I'm washing my hands. So, as I'm drying my hands, he comes over to wash his. I'm just about to say something when I see him completely bypass the soap, and just give his hands a quick rinse under the water.


Hold on a second. Did that just happen? Did Mr. Celebrity Chef....Mr. Food Network Celebrity Food Handler just not wash his hands after using the restroom? Um.....yes he did. (Look, I know this is starting to sound like a Seinfeld episode, but these are the facts.)

So I'm stunned. And I immediately decide not to say anything and just let him go on his way. Primarily because I know that if I introduce myself to him, even outside of the bathroom, the first thing that's going to happen is that he's likely going to offer to shake my hand! And after what I just witnessed, I'm going to try to avoid that.

Three times I happen to 'run into' Bobby Flay while I'm in Las Vegas, and I never met the man. What a shame. But what triggered my mind on this story was his new book that came out this week.

We got it in at work, and I started looking through it. In the introduction, there is no mention of proper hand-washing procedures, especially when handling raw meat (insert your own joke here, it's too easy...), and then I turn the page and see a picture of him happily making burger patties with his bare hands.

Now I'm not saying this is a trend with him. On the contrary, I'm quite happy to believe this was an isolated incident. I'm sure he takes every precaution necessary when handling food. But it's almost as if he was looking at me from the page and laughing, as if we shared in a common secret.

If only I would have run into Cat Cora instead. This never would have happened...

April 5, 2009

- Great to see Michigan State win last night at the Final Four and advance to the championship game on Monday night. What a thrill it must be for them to be playing for the championship in Detroit. I correctly picked North Carolina vs. Michigan State as the championship game in my bracket, but still finished second in the pool by a measly two points.
- I saw that Seth Rogen was hosting SNL last night, so that seemed like it had a lot of potential. I recorded it and it was one of the worst episodes I've seen. It was painful. It's shocking to me how the show can have such a resurgence at the beginning of the season, and then be so horrible. And it wasn't just the Sarah Palin-Tina Fey stuff that made it great again, the other parts were solid too. I don't understand it.
- Snow Patrol is opening for U2 in Toronto? I couldn't stop laughing when I saw that. Oh, the irony!
- Nice to have a new episode of Survivor after 2 weeks off, but they really need to do a better job on the editing. This season it's painfully obvious every episode which team is going to lose and go to Tribal Council just based on how much airtime the tribes are getting. It's like they've decided to build the story for the tribe that loses, and then show one meaningless scene from the other tribe. Coach is quickly becoming the most hated contestant ever....I can't stand him. Even more than fake-accent Ace from last season.
- Lost was a good episode, and a turning point for Kate's character. She was quickly becoming a background entity who was losing anything interesting and compelling about her, but this episode really turned that around. The final scene with her and Aaron was heartbreaking. I have a couple of theories that I think might be close to what is happening, but I'm not going to post them because, frankly, I don't want to be right. I'd much rather not know and be surprised, which is why I try not to theorize. I've tried not to look at previews for upcoming episodes so that I just go in blind each week, but I happened to see next week's preview, Can't wait.
- I got a pretty good response to my Condiments post. I'm going to try and post more single topic, longer posts instead of these rapid-fire, bullet-point posts. I'll still do these, but going to try and expand a bit.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

The Trouble With CondimentsI'm not particularly a fan of anything on my food. Yes, I know that's a blanket statement, and there will be more on that later, but in general, I prefer my food as is. That is to say, I don't really like condiments. So for the sake of my argument, let's use the tried, tested, and true hamburger as an example.

For people like me, ordering a burger can sometime be a ridiculously painful experience, because generally the default burger comes with a multitude of condiments on it, and it requires a special order to have these condiments not put on the burger. From the basest fast food burger from McDonald's or Burger King or Wendy's, to homestyle diner burgers, to gourmet burgers, the person who prefers a plain (or near-plain) burger can never assume that that's what they'll get when they order. And depending on the level of intelligence of the person you're dealing with, the ordering process can be trying. So, if I order an Angus Burger With Bacon & Cheese (which costs $1.70 more than the Angus Burger alone), and ask for it plain, it's often a comedy of errors explaining that I still want the cheese and bacon. And this is a necessity since I'm likely going to pay $1.70 for the air on my burger if I don't specify.

Why isn't the default burger 'plain' and you just work upward with toppings from there? The pizza industry seems to have a grasp on this concept. The only place that seems to have caught on that this is a proper strategy is Harvey's, except that their burgers taste like crap, so it's a moot point for me. And let's forget for a moment about the freaks like me that pretty much don't like anything on their burger...isn't it safe to assume that not everyone likes the same thing? So why start with pickles, ketchup, mustard, and onions for example? Makes no sense to me.

So, when I'm out somewhere, and I'm ordering food, invariably someone asks me about my affinity for a 'plain' item. I usually respond with "I don't like condiments' and that's pretty much it. However, a select few don't seem to accept this answer and proceed to try to poke holes in my preference, almost as if instead of saying 'I don't like condiments', I said "There is not a single condiment on this planet that I will eat under any circumstances, and I challenge you to find fool!"

My friend Neil spent the better part of four hours one night peppering me with condiments while we were playing poker, insistent that he would find one that I liked. Months later, we were in Las Vegas having Prime Rib at The Victorian, and I asked for my salad without dressing, and he launched back into it. Then last year, I was in Vancouver, and my friend Matt did the same thing, firing condiment after condiment at me trying to dis-prove my if finding one would immediately brand me a liar, and the skies would open up dropping piles of money on him as if he had just won the grand prize on a game show.

Neil doesn't really ask anymore, but Matt still works on it constantly...and that has raised the following question:

What Constitutes A Condiment?

To me, a condiment is something that you add to a completed item that alters the taste. To others, it's any sort of addition at all. This main disagreement in logic is what prompts most of the discourse in my defensive stands against people like Neil and Matt. Neil insisted to me that croutons were a condiment (?!?), and Matt called me yesterday, and pretty much screamed in the phone "Butter!" as if he had just discovered penicillin.

Look at the table below, called the Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad. I have a big problem with a lot of them being classified as condiments. Salt? Pepper? Jalapenos? Aspartame? Maraschino Cherries? Come on! And Gravy? I mean, gravies and sauces should be a category all their own.

If you cook with it, I wouldn't consider it a condiment (in that usage), but if you put it on something after you're done cooking, then I think it is. Matt tried to tell me that when I got Roasted Garlic (full cloves) or sauteed mushrooms on a burger at Vera's in Vancouver, that they are condiments. According to him, anything on the burger is a condiment. So, by his logic, the cheese would be a condiment, as would lettuce, and damn...if I got a double burger, I guess that second patty would be a condiment too!

Yes it's a grey area. Yes, the definition means different things to different people, so let's just say that I don't like The Usual Suspects in the Condiment World: Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Relish, and many many more. There are things I will eat that you may classify as condiments, but I don't think that they are. And if you find one I like, all the power to you, you don't win a prize.

So let me ask you, what constitutes a condiment to you? Discuss in the comments section.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Jenn. This one's for you!