Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This morning, I took my dog into the yard to poop, pee, and play (for him to do those things, I should say).  However, being near a lake, there were mosquitoes outside.  Several bit me, which pissed me off, as I knew that I would soon be itchy.  It should be noted though that I don't lose to mosquitoes without a fight.  It's blood for blood so to speak.

Anyway, I saw one on my leg, so I clapped at it just as it started to fly away after having a little FSG Grade A positive breakfast.  Then, I opened my hands, and two truths were immediately revealed:

1. I caught the bastard.
2. The quantity of blood taken

I had to go wash my hands, as they were weren't exactly soaking in ivory liquid.

My first thought after washing my hands was, "This will probably be the only red thing I get on me today."  Oh, if I only knew what the future had in store for me.  At lunch, the person next to me was unveiling a delicious condiment (that just happens to be red), and it shot out all over my shirt!  I'm not an expert of lunch etiquette by any means, but I believe that condimentifying your eating compadre's clothing is slightly ahead of belching the alphabet (very worth watching) between salad and entree on the scale of "things that are uncouth."


Monday, September 26, 2011

Biggest NFL Surprise

There are a lot of surprises in the NFL this year, and they all deserve consideration for the most unforeseen.  The Lions are 3-0 for the first time since the Roman empire collapsed (is that too morbid a joke?).  The Washington Redskins are 2-0, and they're proving to be all the Cowboys can handle right now in the Dallas home opener.  Conversely, there are some less exciting surprises like the 1-2 start of a pair of bird teams, Atlanta and "The Dream Team."

There are a handful of individual (as opposed to team) surprises as well.  I'd be skewered by one of my buddies if I didn't mention Torrey Smith in this category.  During the draft, I know for a fact that he dropped a profanity laced tirade about how it was a horrible waste of a pick (before eventually deferring to Ozzy Newsome's wisdom and taking a more "wait and see" approach).  Well, three touchdowns and a mile of receiving yards later in his first start, I think it's fair to say this is a surprise.  There is also the story of Cam Newton, who after his first two games (not so much in the third, but with that weather, it's hard to blame him) has McShay and Kiper seeing stars and reevaluating their professions.

That said, I think the biggest surprise to this point in the nascent season (and I can't claim complete objectivity here) has to be the 2011 Buffalo Bills.  This is a team that was ridiculed during the draft for not taking Gabbert by a lot of draft sites as well as ignoring the offensive line till round four.  By nearly all accounts, they were supposed to be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.  Somebody forgot to give this team the memo.  Lead by a 7th round pick from Harvard, Ryan Fitzpatrick (aka The Amish Rifle), an undrafted RB from Coe College, Fred Jackson, and a trio of WRs comprised of a 7th rounder and two undrafted free agents, Stevie Johnson, David Nelson, and Donald Jones, this team has proven to be a handful for opposing defenses.  Further, the much maligned offensive line has allowed exactly 1 sack and only a handful of QB hits through three games.  It is pretty easy to see some major holes (specifically with the defense), so it's not entirely clear whether the team can keep it up, but for now, I put them ahead of the Lions for the most surprising start because they beat a team nobody gave them a chance against...The New England Patriots.  For reference, the last time that Buffalo beat the Pats, Marcell Dareus was in eighth grade.  Below is the release of eight years of Buffalonian frustration as Lindell finished off the game:


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eclectic Lunch

This afternoon, I was talking to my grandpa, and in the conversation, the topic of lunch arose.  I tend to ask about food because I'm quite the renowned fatty, and food is of great imprtance to me.  Anyway, I thought that some of my meals were slightly themeless.  However, today, I learned that my meals all jive perfectly in comparison to some others'.

In response to my inquisition, my grandpa said, "I had pastrami and Swiss cheese."

I mentioned that it sounded delicious, but it turned out that was only the beginning of the meal.

He proceeded:  "...and liverwurst, herring, sour cream, and a piece of chocolate."

I must say, I'm impressed.  There's no way I would have been able to keep that mix down, and I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed it less (if that's possible) coming back up (which it undoubtedly would have done) then going down.

What's the weirdest mix of food you've ever had?


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Driving home after work today, I saw something that one doesn't get to see every day.  It's the one thing that causes me to lose my ability to control the urge to yell out, "BUSTED!"  I'm of course talking about seeing someone getting arrested.

Today, I saw some police lights flashing behind a car.  I originally thought it was just a ticket being issued.  Then, I saw the driver being put into the back of the cop car with handcuffs on!  Now, I'm left wondering the natural thoughts:  What did he do?  I've narrowed it down to three things, but I'm not sure that any are correct.

1.  He is an organ thief.  I'm not talking about those thieves you hear stories about who leave people in ice baths with stitches.  I'm talking about people who abscond with church organs.

2.  He peed in a Dunkin' Donuts coffee pot.  That one's pretty self explanatory...and I'd imagine doing anything illegal at a Dunkin' Donuts would be begging for an easy arrest to be made.

3.  He molested Bigfoot.  I think this is the least likely because it is common knowledge that Bigfoot is celibate and strong enough to fight off anyone threatening to change that.  If you disagree with the last claim made there, I suggest watching some Jack Links commercials.

That's all I have, but I'd love to hear other theories if you've got any.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Road to Prosperity

Today, I was thinking about how to get the economy back on track and to grow consumer confidence and the stock market indecies (and consequently, 401k account values).  It's clearly a multidimensional issue, and there are a myriad of viewpoints about how to address this goal.

However, sitting on my couch, the solution hit me.  It is simple, elegant, and it would be more effective than anything we've seen in the past.  Further, the solution is cheap, and it involves just two things that are both easy to find.  One need only purchase a muzzle or a Hannibal Lecter mask and then find the Ben Bernanke.

The rationale is quite obvious.  Every time the man opens his mouth, money evaporates.  Perhaps he does this to offset all the money he prints, but this post isn't about motivational speculation.

The above chart is of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday, September 21, and it tracks the index from open at 9:30 to close at 4:00.  I will leave as an exercise to the reader to determine when the Ben Bernanke gave his address today.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This will be short and sweet because I'm exhausted, but I'd like to offer a PSA to the New York Giants:

In America, we play FOOTBALL, not futbol.

What do you think?  Which sport above is this?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Crazy Eights

After this weekend, I must say that I'm not enthused about getting old.  I was kicking back a beer with a small group of guys, and one was on the cusp of his 91st birthday.  The group had just finished a round of golf, and they were recounting a tale from the round they'd just played for me.  Apparently, the older man announced that he had to go to the bathroom by saying, "I have to do a #8."

Now, to be clear, I know exactly what a #1 is, and I'm well versed in the ways of #2 as well.  However, beyond that, the concepts are foggy.  I won't lie, I'm a little curious about what bodily functions I'll discover as I age with respect to #3 (although I suspect, it may be a "shart"), #4, #5, and possibly #6.  However, I'm terrified beyond belief about what the Hell my body will be doing to make a #7 or a #8.  What do you think?  What could a #8 entail, and how much will it hurt?


Friday, September 16, 2011

Microwave Conspiracy

I'm not generally a conspiracy theorist, but I have uncovered something big.  It's incredibly diabolical, yet it's subtle enough that it has gone under the radar for decades.  When I detail it for you, you'll imediately recognize what I'm talking about, and you'll likely wonder why you hadn't noticed it despite it being right in front of your nose the whole time.

We often take it for granted that microwaves have different power capabilities; a better quality microwave is expected to be more powerful than a cheaper one.  Heuristically, it makes sense, and it is a compelling tale.  However, when one peels the layers of this rotten onion away, one will discover a truly treacherous situation.  The lack of power uniformity has nothing to do with quality.  You read that correctly.  Tell me your world is not rocked!

The real reason that some microwaves are more powerful than others is so us commoners (defined as not being in the microwave business) make incredible messes when we try to make oatmeal.

I hope I didn't ruin your views on humanity...I'm just trying to keep it real here on the blog.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daily Ponderings from a Thursday

Today, I'm proud to announce that I had more thoughts than usual (not that that's a huge accomplishment, as the bar I defined is lower than Filbert's self esteem).  Anyway, I figured I'd list them below in the order that they occurred:

1. Only a complete hippie d-bag would put their blinker on to cross two lanes of traffic to make a left turn into a Produce Junction at 7:05am?  Further, why does said hippie crapsack have to be in front of me, put their blinker on late, and do it when the lane to my right is moving quickly with no breaks in the traffic?  This set of thoughts lasted about 3 minutes while I sat behind the bastard waiting to go on my merry way.  Needless to say, my way was less merry because of this ordeal.

2.  It's almost pumpkin ale/USA Megyn season!  I'll explain the latter in a later post when I have my first one of the season.  It's an intense story ending with a delicious alcoholic drink.

3.  The problem with working in an office with a receptionist is that there's always one person in the office who knows when I'm pooping.  They see when you leave, and they know when you get back.  I have a hard time making eye contact after "downloading a memo" because I know that the receptionist knows what went down (pun intended).

4.  Petsmart is spying on me.  Three weeks ago, I bought a big bag of a specific kind of dog food.  Today (one day before that supply is exhausted, mind you), I get a coupon in an email from Petsmart offering $6 off on that same brand!  This made me quite happy.  I guess that means my privacy is worth no more than $6 to me.

5.  Rocko's Modern Life was a good show.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breaking All Illusions

Now that I've had a chance to give A Dramatic Turn of Events a listen through in its entirety, I must say that I'm impressed.  I love how Jordan is increasingly featured on the albums as they come out.  He was fantastic, James sounded better than usual, John and John were their normal amazing selves, and New Mike was on his game.  Yes, we are all on a first name basis...Although, that is not necessarily a two way street.
Anyway, as with most Dream Theater albums (Black Clouds and Silver Linings being the only exception), I was not terribly enthralled by the first listen.  I think it's because there is so much intracacy in the music that I can't comprehend it all on just one listen.  The album got off to a fantastic start with On the Backs of Angels.  After that, I wasn't too thrilled with the next two songs (although they've since grown on me a bit).  I don't think my dog enjoyed the start of Bridges in the Sky very much, as he kept tilting his head in complete bewilderment with the opening noises.  I'm not going to lie, I too was confused, but I put up a stoic front for him.

As the album progressed away from the second and third songs, I really enjoyed what I was hearing.  I was delighted to hear undertones of Images and Words, and I was pleasantly surprised with John Petrucci's lyrics.  I wasn't sure what to expect from either a sound or lyrical standpoint since this is the first album released by the band without their main influence, leader, and lyracist, Mike Portnoy.

Anyway, without further ado, I'd like to just let you listen to two songs from the album.  The first is a beautiful song that flows very well and is easy to listen to.  The second is probably my favourite on the album to this point.  It showcases all that DT is about, and it flows extremely well from one passage to the next.  Enjoy:

Beneath the Surface

Breaking all Illusions


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Dramatic Turn of Events

On my run today, I ran past the sign board at my local fire department, and it said, "Always Rembember 9/11.  All gave some, and some gave all."  Those words, while simple, gave me goosebumps.  In lighter news, I also ran past a Taco Bell, and I wasn't even remotely tempted!  Woohoo!  I used to run past a Fuddruckers, and the smell would taunt my soul.

Anyway, in the most exciting news of the day, Dream Theater put out its eleventh studio album today.  I picked up a copy of A Dramatic Turn of Events on my way home from work, and I started to listen.  There were a few songs that didn't do it for me upon first listen, but others were amazing.  I'll have a writeup to review it in the next few days after I've had time to listen a few times.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Republican Debate 9/12/11

I'm flipping back and forth between the CNN Tea Party Express (seems like an odd juxtaposition, no?) Republican Primary Debate, so I won't be able to give complete commentary, but below will be my take on each candidate from what I see.

Michele Bachmann - I was quite surprised that she had so much less face time than Romney and perry.  That said, I think her comments on the HPV vaccine directed at Perry might well have brought him right back to the pack.

Rick Perry - Dislikes Romney...Intensely.  I can't say that I support his ideas to this point, but he seems like he'll not shy away from difficult issues.  That said, he seems to put his feet in his mouth by oversensationalizing a bit for effect.  He would be better served by using arguments to support his beliefs, not grandiose statements that seem more to capture headlines.  If that is the way he legislates (and the HPV vaccine may be indicative of that), it is dangerous.  I don't understand how he says how he is so pro-small government and pro-Constitution yet talk about using executive orders (even going so far as to using one to repeal parts of Obamacare)...Even AFTER Ron Paul had just talked about the abuse of executive orders.  That said, I agree with his stated stance on illegal immigration, and I respect that he said it despite its unpopularity among the audience.  I don't understand why the Hell anyone wouldn't want to encourage people to be productive members of society (coughcoughRomneycoughcough).

Mitt Romney - Dislikes Perry...Intensely.  With the opening topic of Social Security, he seems more like an attack dog than he does someone who wants to tackle issues or take them head on.  Rather than offer an idea, he went right after Perry.  It wouldn't surprise me to see the same tactic on other topics as well.  Additionally, I feel he'll say anything for a vote.  To me, he's just as slimy as I remember in 2007.

Ron Paul - The peace candidate.  I do like that he differentiates between defense spending and military spending.  It seems like he is the candidate with the most concrete ideas.  However, he tends to come off as that crazy uncle who walks around in underwear and boots.  While from an idea standpoint, I find him one of the more compelling candidates, he just doesn't strike me as electable.  That said, I think he might be the most sincere, and I don't believe that he's saying anything to get a vote.  He's saying it because he truly believes it.  Not saying that I agree with all he says, but I respect that he just says it.

"She turned me into a" Newt Gingrich - He always comes off as being condescending and professorial.  When he's not that, he's busy making jokes and ripping on the President.  Based on what I'm hearing, he is the embodiment of the politics I can't stand.  I'd prefer to see him stand toe to toe with his fellow candidates and the President rather than to claim that between he and Barack Obama, he is the least bad choice.  That said, attacking the incumbent did prove to be a successful strategy in 2008...

Herman "Hurri" Cain - I'm hearing some good idea and some bad ideas from him here.  He seems like one of the more pro-business candidates up there, BUT I wish that I could hear more of his thoughts fleshed out to a greater degree.  Unfortunately, Perry and Romney seem to betting the lion's share of the spotlight.

Jon Huntsman - See Cain.  I would be quite happy seeing a side debate between these two candidates.

Rick Santorum - I really haven't heard much from him other than trying to drag down the current frontrunners.  I'd like him to focus more on ideas (much like Newty).  Another thing I notice is that he answers the question he wants to answer rather than the question asked.  Case in point: Immigration question.

One thing that I wish the candidates would do differently is use fewer statistics in their arguments.  Those of you who know me are probably shocked by this comment because I quite enjoy statistics.  However, politicians generally use statistics that are misleading or plainly false because a zinging sound bite sticks with people more than anything else, and since other candidates usually can't decipher where the heck the statistic came from and what the truth is in the moment, the perpetrators don't get called out till it's too late.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds

I can't believe it's been ten years already; it still feels as stunning, fresh, and painful as it was a decade ago.  The shock, the anger, the sorrow, the sadness, the disbelief, the inability to comprehend why, the fear...Those things have not faded with time.  In fact, as I write this, I've already had to wipe away some tears, unclench my fists after my hands involuntarily closed into a defensive yet aggressive configuration, and close my eyes and take deep breaths to try to corral my focus.

I was a junior in high school sitting in the second row of the fourth aisle from the classroom door in Mrs. Waite's second period British Literature class.  That morning, walking into school from the bus, it was a gorgeous day, excepting the fact that it was the day of the summer reading essay test.  As I sat in my chair scribbling my thoughts on the lined paper, Mrs. Waite left the room momentarily.  I barely noticed because I was so focused on my task.  Shortly thereafter, the door opened, and she came back in.  She told us that a plane had hit one of the towers and that we should keep working.  I tried to keep my focus, but I was utterly incapable.  Thoughts about what might have happened and why consumed me. 

During fifth period orchestra class, Mr. Schaberg had a television in the room tooned into CNN.  This was by far the most heartwrenching experience I've ever had.  I sat there watching in a state of emotional paralysis; I didn't know what I was feeling, and I wish I could do a better job of describing it, but words capable of conveying it simply do not exist.  Some classmates around me broke down crying as the footage rolled, unsure whether they would ever see their loved ones again.  It is by far the most helpless I've ever felt.  Seeing friends in such need where I could do nothing to help was awful.

As the day progressed, my feelings started to come together and evolve.  Watching first responders running to a near certain death to try to help their fellow countrymen filled me with an incredible pride and a completely new respect for all of them.  Their instinctive bravery inspires me to this day.  The same can be said for those aboard United 93.  They willingly sacrificed themselves to protect you and to protect me...all of us.

I wanted to leave this part out when I began to write, but I am unable to keep the anger and frustration at bay.  I find it barbaric to celebrate anyone's death, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have one of the best sleeps of my life on May 2, 2011.

I pray that I never have to experience anything like this ever again.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Opposites Attract?

We all know about how "flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing, as that's generally taught from an early age because of its counterintuitivity (if you'll pardon my fabricated word).

However, there is a pair of phrases that troubles me far beyond the ability of the aforementioned contradiction.  Look in any self respecting thesaurus, and you will find that the opposite of "up" is "down" and vice versa.  Why then, I ask you, can one describe something that is a little further away on a particular course as being both "up the road" and "down the road?"  That bothers me.  If one means that it's ahead of you, the other should mean that the destination is behind you!

Aren't you all so glad that my sparks of lunacy are now available for you to experience?


Unlikely Alliance

It's official!  The blog is back!  I definitely have lots to say, but most of my notes aren't with me now, so I think I'll just dive back into things with a youtube link!  Be sure to pay extra attention at the 1:18 mark, as a third animal that I shall call a "cantalope" (for reasons you'll find patently obvioius) appears!  It is important to note however that "cantalope" is not to be confused with "cantaloupe," which is in fact not an animal at all.

Without further delay, I present to you the exploits of Spike and Visa:


Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Return

My internet and cable installation is scheduled for Friday, 9/9.  The natural consequent is somewhat unfortunate for humanity: DOPP Lure Effect posts will once again be appearing for the world to see on a nearly daily basis once again!  For the past several months, I've been percolating, and hear you me, I have a LOT of things to share, and now you're going to hear about them!

I've also decided to make a permanent feature out of NFL weekly previews due to the popularity of the playoff preview posts.

See you all soon,