Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Road rage.

You- in the Camry? You know, the one who went around me out of the Ted's parking lot in Buckhead to make the same right turn I was patiently waiting to make? You know who you are, you malignant twat.
A) You're lucky you then went the opposite direction from the one I was taking. 2)Here's some advice for you: Stay far, far away from my car. Next time, your fuckery will yield grievous consequences.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spam- it's not just for dinner anymore.

I used to love to read the headers in my junk mail folders. It was great fun- and I rarely had to write my own punchlines. Now, though- they need a little punching up. Or maybe (probably) I'm just retarded...

raksua_1970: Rock her so hard tonight? - Broken images? Open web page 75% OFF (c) 2009 Izsubwtw Company. 7408 Seatoqdbgbdu Street … Just how do you pronounce Izsubwtw? How about Seatoqdbgbdu?

Ohne Diäten abzumagern: Die schöne Figur - ohne Diäten.? - Die neuesten Technologien der Bearbeitung und der Erhaltung der Qualität, Haben zugelassen, das … Maybe this one actually is funny. I wish I spoke German. Or whatever this is…

Studs: Awaken your animal instinct and every girl will see good candidate for a hot night in you.? This could probably be on Engrish…

Alfie Curry: Your weekend will not be good without good nights.? I don’t know- will it not?

Addie Arnold: Hey, are you the guy who cannot make love?? Who’s been talking? I was drunk…

Jvos: Can not you find necessary you treatment? We will help you!? How about the unnecessary “me” treatment?

Liberteje: To you already is there a lot of years? It to love a not occasion rarer the woman!? I’m so confused. Maybe it’s because to me already is there a lot of years…

Bacondd: Feel free to drink with no consequence for tomorrow.? As Homer Simpson would say “WOOHOO!”

Lampyrid: Magic pills for happy life!? Ask Alice…

Kristen: The new antibiotics are more effective now! Does that mean your little “problem” has cleared up?

Kukuruku: How to become a super-star ? How did this not come from Mary Katherine Gallagher?

And that concludes this bout of stupidity...

Print edition for 02/20/09

Let’s dip into the mailbag, where Sean sends in this: "Chris Berman lost 40 pounds on NutriSystem so I guess he is doing his part to cut back on the free lunches."
Maybe so, but I still think ESPN should fire him…

"No duh" trivia: The more money a person makes, the less likely they are to buy lottery tickets…

Did you hear about the woman in Iowa who was arrested because her library book was overdue? She was charged with a misdemeanor count of fifth-degree theft for failing to return "The Freedom Writers Diary" to the Jesup Public Library last April.
The woman was released after posting $250 bond. She said she would "be glad to pay for the book or do whatever I need to do to make it right…Maybe I'll tell the judge I'm a slow reader."
Yeah, 'cause being a wiseacre to the judge is always a good idea…

Not that I really care, but don't you think they could've actually gotten 500 miles in if they hadn't waited until something like 3:45 to start Sunday's race?

Liquor industry execs took a page out of the founding fathers' playbook and staged an anti-tax rally on the steps of the Kentucky state capitol to protest a recent state House committee's approval of a 6 percent tax on alcoholic beverages in stores. It was a Boston Tea Party-like event. Except it was in Kentucky, and I seriously doubt the tea was 90 proof.
"If this tax is left to stand, if you can believe it, Kentucky bourbon will be taxed more in Kentucky than any other state in the country and that's pretty ridiculous," said Maker's Mark CEO Bill Samuels.
The state's current taxes on spirits: 11 percent wholesale tax on packaged liquor; 6 percent tax on drinks purchased in bars and restaurants, an 8 cent per gallon tax on beer, a 50 cent per gallon tax on wine and a $1.92 per gallon tax on distilled spirits.
Man, I thought $6.50 for a beer at the baseball game was pricey…

While we're talking booze- an Iowa man showed at the local lock up last week to serve his sentence and was hit with new charges after Johnson County Sheriff officials said they smelled alcohol on his breath.
The 19 year old was set to serve a three day sentence on a public intoxication conviction when he was charged with an aggravated misdemeanor count of third and subsequent public intoxication. His initial test showed a blood alcohol content of .101.
Obviously the third time isn't always a charm…

Tom Glavine, Kenny Griffey- the Braves are gonna need an AARP rep on the team instead of a MLBPA rep…

Ten years ago- heck, five year ago- I'd have been all for bringing Junior's bat to the Braves. Now, though- I don't know. Maybe he can recapture some magic, but who knows?
Also, over the past five seasons, Junior has averaged just over 121 games per year. And people get on Larry's back about being fragile. No doubt Junior is a great hitter, but he's been bitten by the injury bug most every year of his career.
Granted, the Braves would likely play Griffey in a platoon with Matt Diaz in right, but what happens if Diaz can't find his stroke and Junior has to run out there every day? How long would it be before we're hearing about a tweaked hamstring?
Griffey is a great player, but I have my doubts (and I hope I'm wrong). But, do we really want Atlanta to be the golden years home of baseball? Of course, the team hasn't signed him yet, so don't rush out to get that Geritol stock just yet…

Police in Sacramento arrested a man in a red cape and American flag hat with sequins carrying a wooden sword after he robbed an adult store there. Officers said the man still in costume, but had dropped the sword.
So many jokes to make, and nary a one suited for the paper…

Former Falcons running back Jamal Anderson was arrested in Atlanta last week and charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana.
Anderson and another man were arrested at a bar in Buckhead early last Sunday morning. An APD spokesperson said both men had powder cocaine in their possession and Anderson had a joint in his pocket. Both were taken to the Fulton County Jail…

So now we can call him A-Roid. I can't say I'm surprised Alex Rodriguez got caught. I can say, though, that I never understood why people thought he was so great? As it turns out, I was right to doubt…

Okay, so a dude in Boyton Beach, Florida leads officers on a two city chase, drives the wrong way on I-95 and plows into another car- then ends up with 50 traffic citations? Wait, that's not even the best part. Turns out the guy's license has been revoked SIX times and suspended 28 times.
How in the name of Richard Petty hasn't this yahoo been thrown UNDER the jail? I mean, great googly moogly…

Then, there was the St. Petersburg woman who was arrested on battery charges after striking one of her male acquaintances. With a bagel.
Seriously? The guy got beat up with pastry. I'm surprised he actually had the cojones to report it…

British researchers says that high caffeine consumption might be linked to a greater tendency to hallucinate.
Durham University researchers say caffeine users who consumed more than the equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee a day are three times more likely to have heard a person's voice when there was no one there.
One of the researchers pointed out that "hallucinations are not necessarily a sign of mental illness. Most people will have had brief experiences of hearing voices when there is no one there, and around 3 percent of people regularly hear such voices."
What? If you REGULARLY hear voices, there's some mental something going on in there.
As for myself, I drink decaf. Even a couple of cups of Shelby's regular coffee makes me all jittery…

The Falcons are looking to trade the rights to Michael Vick. The Cowboys don't want him. I guess they figure Terrell Owens is enough of a distraction.
Falcons' GM Thomas Dimitroff said the Falcons hadn't had any trade discussions, but "feel a trade is the best move for the Falcons, and it's also in the best interest for Michael." ('Cause, you know, we should REALLY be concerned about Mike's best interests.)
Really, though- what team is going to be stupid enough to take a chance on Vick? Any ideas?

Long time Jaguars running back Fred Taylor was released by the team Monday.
There's word that the team may try to re-sign Taylor, but he believes he can still be an NFL starter. He has been relegated to playing behind Maurice Jones-Drew for Jacksonville.
Taylor is 16th on the NFL's all time rushing list with 11,271 yards…

You wanna know another one commercial that irritates me? The Pizza Hut one where they give the pasta to the people in the restaurant in Italy.
Look, if I don’t go INTO the restaurant with the Pizza Hut sign hanging outside and you foist off their pasta on me, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be PO’d. And if I was Italian, in Italy, and knew what good past actually was? Fuhgeddaboudit!

That’s it for this week. I'll be back next time with more general silliness.
As always, send your questions, praises, or gripes to BeanSpouts@gmail.com, or via snail mail to:
Bean Spouts
c/o Spirit Newspapers
P.O. Box 33
Pooler, GA 31322

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday musings...

Man, I hate being sick. I mean, I’ve been accused of being a miserable S.O.B. when I’m healthy. But when I’m sick? Forget it.
I’ve been fighting a head cold for the past week. Or maybe it’s a chest cold. I’m not sure. I was coughing Monday, weak Tuesday, itchy throat Wednesday, sneezing Thursday, and I’m back to coughing again today. Fuckery, plain and simple.
It’s one of those colds that makes your head feel not-quite-right. You know- kind of spinny and slightly imbalanced? (Yes, I know that some might accuse me of being more than slightly imbalanced.) That’s what I’ve got. Along with the coughing. Or sneezing. Or coughing. Depending on what day it is.
Oh yeah- let’s not forget the sniffles. I’ve already run through most all of my handkerchiefs (am I the only guy who uses those anymore- other than 800 year old caretakers in Stephen King stories?) and Julie’s put a hurting on the TP (she has a cold, too).
And then there’s my favorite- the fever. ‘Cause, you know, I’m not loopy enough when normal- or when I’m dizzy from a head cold- so let’s toss fever delirium onto the list. My normal temperature is around 96.4 (I like to be different). I made it to 99.7 yesterday. Not my all time best by any means, but still high for a “reptile” (thanks, Sandra J). My high, if you're curious, was a 101 something last year. Shelby made me lie on the couch for two days.
I managed about three quarters of a day’s work Monday, had my normal Tuesday off (I wanted to go see the King Tut exhibit on Tuesday, but was overruled), worked all day Wednesday, relapsed Thursday and now- Friday- I can’t decide how I feel. A little light-headed, yes. Not feverish, though. It’s early yet.

Then there's Valentine’s Day. I don’t recall ever having really gone all out for one (mostly because I’ve always been single). This year, I’m torn. I was instructed not to get a gift. Problem is, I know I’ll be on the receiving end of one. When I factor in my slight disorientation from my cold along with the conflicting elements of wanting to be a good boyfriend who remembers to do nice things and wanting to be the good boyfriend who pays attention to what she says, my head starts spinning like a pinwheel in a hurricane (I suck at analogies).
I think I used the “I’m sick” excuse last February 14th, though.

I like to blame my colds on Savannah. It seems like every time I go for a visit, I come back with the creeping crud. Sandi says it has something to do with the shit hole bars I go in. She’s probably right (smart girl, that Sandra J). Last weekend, it was not one, but two said holes- one downtown and one on the Southside.
“Well, dumbass,” you may be asking, “why do you go to these places?”
The reason is pretty simple- my friends hang out there. See, they like karaoke (I like it more when I’m getting paid to do it) and that’s where they hang out. So, every time I’m in Savannah, I end up sitting in this smoky bar for three or four hours, clogging up my lungs with secondhand smoke and listening to people mangle Billy Joel songs (oh- wait… that was me). I do it because I like hanging out with my friends. I just don’t like the aftereffects (smelly clothes, coughing up bits of lung butter for a week or two afterwards, etc.).
After we closed that one down, Shelby wanted to go say “hi” at her old hangout downtown. That was fine with me- her old hangout was a place I'd hung out, too- oh so many years ago when I thought I would make a career for myself in broadcasting.
We get in the place and it was like be hit in the face with a roundhouse from Ali in his prime except, instead of a glove, Ali’s covering your mouth and forcing you to suck in a thick lungful of secondhand smoke (like I said, bad at analogy). I mean, there was a haze in there so thick you almost needed to use a machete to cut your way through to the bar for a drink.
And the people? Fuck me running. Back in the days when we’d hit this place at 11:45 or so after the late news, it was a sparsely populated dive. Guess what? It’s still a dive, but the population had expanded.
Where Julie and I once saw an unsuccessful mayoral candidate passed out after drowning his election night sorrows were a couple of posers sporting “rat pack” fedoras and Misfits tee-shirts while discussing their dislike for mainstream Swedish cinema like Bergman. Pick a fucking theme, will ya?
At the bar, where six or so of us would sit and nurse drinks until well past closing time sat some douche talking on his cell phone about what a “righteous time” he was having and how we was “totally gonna get laid” by the hoochie sitting next to him (I’m guessing she said “no”, barfed in his dad’s Audi, and then cried because he made her walk back to her dorm alone).
I never had the patience for those types.
And if they’re just being themselves? Guess what- assrag? You’re a douche. You’re maybe 21 years old. Mommy and Daddy pay for you to go to school. And your food. And your housing. And they‘ll probably pay the balance on the credit card you‘re using to knock back PBR and Jaeger until you puke. You have nothing to mope about, no cause for angst.

I guess I’m just getting old. Wait, who am I kidding? I know I am. The world has moved on. Out with the old (me), in with the new (them). I should’ve coughed on them…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Print edition for 02/13/09

Have I ever mentioned that there’s a unicycle in my office? I’m not exactly sure why. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t be riding it. At least with a bicycle there are TWO wheels to carry the weight. Also, there’s the balance problem.
In my younger days (before the separated shoulder) I probably wouldn’t given it a second thought before hopping on and testing my luck. Now, though? Well, that particular injury hurt too danged much to consider tweaking it. It’s the same reason I’ll go to Centennial Park and WATCH the ice skaters, but am hesitant to lace up a pair myself.
That still doesn’t explain WHY there’s a unicycle in my office. And no one at work seems to know. It was here when I got here. It’ll be here when I leave (IF I ever leave, IF I ever win the lottery- ‘cause it sure doesn’t seem like I’m ever going to be able to afford to retire)…

You know another thing I don’t get? (And yes- I know there are so many to choose from).
The whole debate about putting the transition to digital television on hold. I mean, haven’t the networks, stations and government been talking about this for three years or so now? Haven’t they warned- repeatedly- that old sets wouldn’t work with over the air signals without a converter box during every other commercial break on most every channel (even cable and satellite- which are unaffected) since?
If viewers without cable or satellite aren’t prepared yet, really- whose fault is that?

From the mailbag, Sandi pointed out that “Some Wendy's are open for breakfast. Bluffton and HHI ones are.” I think I knew that. But, Shelby’s story about the guy passing out at the drive thru and getting busted waiting for biscuits because it wasn’t makes it a lot funnier…

Barbara added her take on falling asleep behind the wheel: “Picture this… small town Colchester, Connecticut, some years back. Ronnie (her husband) coming home for the weekend from somewhere like Maine. Stops at the stop sign in the center of town. Wakes up about an hour later.”
She said “maybe it isn't so strange, after all it is Ronnie I am talking about.”
(Ronnie does nod off rather- um- easily)…

Steve had this to add about the Super Bowl’s super boring pregame hoopla: “…(Did) you see Journey perform during the pregame show? An Oriental guy replaced Steve Perry... not even close. Missed some parts by at least an octave. Make that an octave and a half. If he missed it by just an octave, it would have still been in key!” (Thankfully, I missed that.)

And, for favorite announcers, Steve asked “What about Gary McCord with the bikini wax greens at Augusta?” That’s a good one I’d forgotten about. That comment got McCord the axe from Masters’ coverage- to which McCord told a reporter from Golf Magazine he didn’t “give a (darn, hoot, flip, pick your adjective).”
McCord added he gets more exposure by not being an analyst at the tournament.

Wally from Decatur had some comments about his favorite announcers, agreeing with “36. Chris Schenkel (hey, how many of these announcers could do bowling, ya know?).”
He also concurred on my inclusion of Skip and Pete and added his own to the list:
“51. Lloyd Pettit - Chicago Blackhawks Hockey”
“52. John Rooney - National Radio MLB Playoff announcer and current Cardinals play by play man. Sets a scene with the best of anybody working today.”
“53. Harry Kalas - Not in the top 50? In what universe do you leave him out?” (Man, I completely forgot about Kalas. Boo me!)
“54. Brad Nessler - Smooth, smart, funny. More ESPN announcers should be this good.
“55/56. Mary Carillo/Cliff Drysdale - Clearly love the game of tennis, funny…, good on long one sided matches; great on five set nailbiters.”
“57. Al McGuire - Made the unlikely double analyst pairing with Billy Packer a winner. The dynamic of them together eclipsed anything they did apart.”
“OK, so I've listened to a few announcers in my time. The great ones transcend their sports and draw you in because they belong in front of a microphone.”

Now, let’s take a look at the list of the supposed “50 worst announcers in sports today”
1. Billy Packer (Can’t comment, not a basketball fan. But, as I said last week, the lists are subjective. Wally named Packer along with McGuire- who also made this list.)
2. Chris Berman (Oh, man- I am SO in agreement here. Berman’s shtick got old twenty years ago, when it was still relatively new.)
3. Joe Morgan (Oh yeah. Morgan is the first one on this list who’s also listed in the supposed “Best” list as well.)
4. Tony Kornheiser (The most amazing thing about his inclusion on the list is that anyone still watches Monday Night Football since it moved to ESPN.)
5. Dick Vitale
6. Bill Walton (Wasn’t he a basketball player or something?)
7. Mike Patrick
8. Tim McCarver (On the “best of” list, the people who compiled that one praised McCarver by quoting an SI story from years ago, saying (paraphrasing here) “If you asked McCarver what time it was, he’d tell you how a watch worked.” I mean, THAT’S praise? NO- it just illustrates what a rambling nincompoop McCarver is- droning on about stuff that has a tenuous connection- at best- to the topic at hand.)
9. Joe Buck (See last week’s comments, re Buck’s boredom.)
10. Bob Costas (Yep)
11. Stuart Scott (“Tired as this side of the pillow” was the description the list maker used.)
12. Tony Siragusa (Yeah. Shut up, you lumbering goof.)
13. Gus Johnson
14. Paul Maguire
15. Stephen A. Smith
16. Troy Aikman (Aikman has his moments of being really good. Unfortunately, they’re followed by far too many of his being really bad. Being paired with Joe Buck doesn’t help his cause, either.)
17. John Sterling (Remember when he was a Braves’ announcer? Yeah, I didn’t really care for him then, either.)
18. Thom Brennaman (okay- but how was his dad not on the “best” list?)
19. John Madden (On a “worst” list, Madden should be ranked higher. Or lower, depending on you perspective.)
20. Emmitt Smith
21. Johnny Miller
22. Lee Corso (They should name a brook somewhere after Corso.)
23. Jim Gray (I think his interview with Pete Rose at Game Two of the ’99 World Series was one of the best.)
24. Merril Hoge
25. Digger Phelps
26. Tiki Barber (Listening to Tiki- and Michael Irvin and Shannon Sharpe and countless other ex-players- reminds me of the character Orlando Jones played in “Office Space.”)
27. Darren Pang
28. Dick Stockton
29. Dick Enberg (Another surprising one, to me. I think his pairing with Merlin Olsen was a great one. And how did I forget Olsen- a fine example of how good a former player can be.)
30. Darrell Walt rip (Seriously- crying because your brother wins a race? Dude.)
31. Kelly Wightman (People actually watch the Golf Channel?)
32. Mike Francesa
33. Steve Phillips
34. Pam Ward (Better than a lot of her male counterparts. Of course, faint praise and all that.)
35. Shannon Sharpe (See 26.)
36. Skip Bayless
37. Warren Sapp
38. Lamar Thomas
39. Paul Allen
40. Ken Harrelson (What, you don’t like the “Hawk“? Eh, me neither.)
41. Magic Johnson
42. Chip Caray (Amen to this one. Another that should be ranked “higher”- especially considering his heritage.)
43. Dave Mishkin
44. Joe Theismann
45. Dan Dierdorf
46. John Kruk (I kind of like Kruk. He knows the game, and isn’t afraid to call players out. He just doesn’t do it enough.)
47. Jenn Sterger
48. Larry Merchant
49. Michael Kay
50. Lou Holtz (I just always want to punch Lou, for some reason.)
So, same as last week- who don’t you like? Who makes you want to punch out your own eardrums as soon as they opening their throat-holes? (Or, is that just me?) Send your nominations to the usual place…

Another accolade for the Falcons as GM Thomas Dimitroff was named NFL Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.
Dimitroff helped lead the charge as Atlanta rose from the ashes of 2007 to snare a playoff spot last year…

PETA has withdrawn an offer to shoot an anti-dogfighting public service announcement with Michael Vick when he’s released from prison after Vick’s lawyers sought the group’s support of Vick’s return to the NFL.
“Saying sorry and getting his ball back after being caught enjoying killing dogs in hideously cruel ways for many years doesn’t cut it,” said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Commissioner Goodell knows that he has an obligation to the league and to millions of fans, including children who look up to ballplayers as idols, to make sure that Michael Vick is mentally capable of remorse before he can touch, let alone wear, an NFL uniform again.”
PETA wants Vick to undergo a brain scan and a full psychiatric evaluation. They also released these “highlights” from Vick’s answers to their “Developing Empathy for Animals” test that Vick took right after he pled guilty to criminal charges (all spelling and grammatical errors are Vick’s):
He says "The Golden Rule" is doing "on to others as u want them to do on to u… (as long the feeling is mutual)." (Firm grasp there, huh? He must have missed that whole “turn the other cheek” sermon.)
“I think If people can’t provide adequate living conditions for the dog then it should be taken to a animal shelter or taken into custody by a someone who posses Empathy for all animals.”
“People who abuse animals dont have a heart and find it amusing to see animals suffer.” (Hmm- a little self analysis there, Mike?)
"My aunt Tina own a Rotti name Tico. Once my aunt and her boyfriend Wayne was having an intense fight ... [Tico] jump through a glass window & pinned my aunt boyfriend Wayne to the ground just growling ... Now that's loyalty."
Vick summed up his final essay question saying “I have the upmost respect for all living creatures and I wish I could have took this course 5 years ago.” (Translate that one, I guess, into “before I got caught.”)…

ABC/ESPN brass announced last week that the network had implemented a hiring freeze and wouldn’t be giving any raises to top executives because of slumping profits. The networks’ sports chief George Bodenheimer added that some 200 jobs will be cut within the next year, mostly by eliminating unfilled positions.
I’d imagine they could cut their catering bill in half if they fired Chris Berman…

That’s it for this week. I'll be back next time with more news, notes, and rumors from the sports world.
As always, send your questions, praises, or gripes to BeanSpouts@gmail.com, or via snail mail to:
Bean Spouts
c/o Spirit Newspapers
P.O. Box 33
Pooler, GA 31322

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Phil Donahue, I'm not

Back when I started in radio, oh so many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be befriended by a guy by the name of Stan whose shift proceeded mine.
He was co-host of a show called Love Lines- one of those "call-in-and-tell-us-how-pathetic-your-love-life-is-and-we'll-dispense-advice-that-ridicules-your-problem and-makes-people-laugh-at-you-while-making-you-think-we're-actually-trying-to-help-you" shows. It was pretty popular in the city we lived in, what with being on the top rated station in the area and being proceeded by the immensely popular All Request & Dedication Show (‘cause, you know, what 12-18 year old girl- or guy- doesn’t want to send out whatever sappy ballad is popular at the time to their "one true love?").
Anyway, Stan would have me fake call-ins using whatever retarded character we could come up with for me to do (and for some reason, I remember having to imitate Robin Leach a lot) and pose ridiculous “problems” in my character’s love life to be solved. Then, I’d be part of the gang that was “helping”- often by portraying another character and myself at the same time (it was radio- not TV- and switching voices is easy).
When Love Lines ended and Stan moved to an earlier shift, my late show was expanded to five hours. It wasn’t a big deal- I was still just the overnight guy. I had a slightly expanded music library and was able to play the 'racy" stuff (it was a Top 40 station, so that’s not saying all that much) and my friends could come hang out without the boss coming by and wondering what the hell was going on. It was fun.
Still, it was a blast to do shows with Stan, who had me continue portray the lineup of characters I’d created for Love Lines during his version of the All Request & Dedication Show- and his Top Ten at 10 show.

I wasn’t a particularly successful deejay, though. I had fun, but I wasn’t making any money. I ended up getting a “real” job.

Some years later on, I ended up at a country station in the same market, they had a show called The Phone Zone- in the same vein as Love Lines, except with country music listeners. Calls often involved fights in the trailer park. I wasn’t involved in that one. I was part- time, just there to make some extra cash.
Of course, I ended up being on overnights again. Until the 7-midnight guy quit. Then, I got shifted to that slot. It sucked.
First off, I don’t care much for modern country music. Too often, it’s far too “pop” sounding (i.e. Shania Twain) for my tastes (and we didn’t play any "oldies" like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings or classics like Patsy Cline or Hank Senior). On overnights, it wasn’t a big deal. You’d do some voice overs, read the weather, chat about whatever a bit- but, by 2:30 or so, you could pretty much coast. And keep the volume down most all of the time.
But now, here I was with a lame ass call in show that I didn’t really care about and playing a lot of music I couldn’t stand.
Still, my ratings were good. I won four hours (out of the five) in my time slot for my first two ratings periods, despite the fact that I had little interest in keeping the call in show going in the whiny, “my girlfriend is sleeping with my brother,” Jerry Springer-like format it existed in.
I started steering topics get away from that kind of thing. I’d mention politics (mostly local stuff- once generating some pretty funny, irate calls from listeners when I called his honor “Jabba the Mayor”), celebrity stupidity (and this was before there TMZ and other web sites devoted to every detail) and crafting the bullshit out of the Weekly World News into faux news briefs (a favorite from the pop station that I resurrected).

Ratings aside, though- the show still wasn’t particularly good. It was tough to get people out of the habit of calling in about “the girl across the street had my dad’s baby and now she’s coming on to me” kind of stuff. More involved stuff (I am loathe to use any word that implies intelligence) just wasn’t too popular.
My best shows continued to usually involve someone else. Friends who came by to visit could make a comment and I’d run with it. Shortly before Christmas, the girl who did overnights came in early and we ended up doing most of my show as a team. She was a perfect “straight man” (albeit one with great curves) who had great timing. The phone lines stayed lit that night, even well into her shift, and- more important (to me, anyway)- we didn’t have any of the normal “my life sucks” calls.

Unfortunately, the boss called me into his office the next day and said not to have anyone on my show again. Evidently someone at the station thought it might distract from the morning show. Like having another funny show on my somehow damage their ratings? People would realize they actually weren’t very funny? Who knows?

After that, it was back to the boring show, which continued to lose steam and led me to the realization that- unlike my good buddy Stan- I just wasn’t a very good solo act. Give me someone or something to play off of, and I’m like Dean Martin- tossing out one-liners, non-sequiturs, jokes or whatever the situation calls for (or doesn't, which is often even funnier).
Put me in a booth by myself and- well, I was kind of like Art Garfunkel’s solo career. Sure I had my moments, but it just wasn’t as satisfying to the listeners.

I ended up getting canned from the station a few months later because of an off air incident (a story for another time), and that ended my radio career (so far, anyway). I realized I just wasn't going to be successful in "the business" because I had something missing. I loved making people laugh. I enjoying the “acting” facet of broadcasting. I just lacked the desire to be famous (or the drive to be a backstabbing fuckling just to get ahead like so many that I came across in the business were). That was about ten years ago.

My buddy Stanley, by the way, is still going strong in broadcasting. In fact, he’s kind of famous. Stanley is Stanley T. Evans of the Morning Mash Up on the Sirius Hits 1 channel…

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Some random thoughts.

I'm wondering about the whole debate about putting the transition to digital television on hold.
I mean, haven’t the networks, stations and government been talking about this for three years or so now? Haven’t they droned on about old sets not working with over the air signals without a converter box during every other commercial break on most every channel (even cable and satellite- which are unaffected) since?
If you're so slack that you haven't bothered to get a digital converter for your Philco, then you deserve to miss Springer...

I'm not a fan of politics or politicians. And having the government put their two cents in on private business would normally cause a knot in my stomach. That said- the news that President Obama wants to mandate institutions receiving bailout money limit executive pay is a freaking brilliant idea.
Of course, I'd go one step further and offer we should all get a say in how much these asshats get paid. After all, it's our money the government is giving them...

Print edition for the week of 02/06/09

Okay, my quickie takes on Super Bowl stuff- since that's the buzz this Monday morning:
- Faith Hill looked skanky and "I Hate Myself for Loving You" wasn't a good song BEFORE they reworked the lyrics.
- "America, the Beautiful" AND "The Star-Spangled Banner"? Really?
- The pre-game hoo-ha lasts WAY too long. Shelby and I turned it on at 6:00 and I was ready to drive to Tampa and choke an NBC executive by the time kick off finally rolled around.
- If kickoff is scheduled for 6:15, KICK OFF AT 6:15!
- Too many ridiculous penalties called, and some really glaring ones overlooked.
- Hey, I like Springsteen and all. I even considered getting tickets to his show at Philips in April (despite seeing him last year) - but half time is supposed to be 15 minutes. Fifteen. Not 14. Not 16. Certainly not 25! Isn't this whole
thing supposed to be about the game?
- Wait, no. Of COURSE it's not about the game. How else would you explain NBC hyping the fact you could watch the commercials online at TWO DIFFERENT WEB SITES? (Yes, I know a ridiculous number of people watch the game for the commercials, but come on.)
- That said, I would've like to have seen all of the "Star Trek" commercial. I just wasn't paying attention. And I
certainly wasn't watching the game to see it.
- Two hours to play one half of football is entirely too long. A four hour game that doesn't involve OT is worse. The NFL must be taking a play out of MLB's "How-to-let-the-networks-ruin-your-championship-telecast-by-having-too-danged-many-commercials" playbook.
- Too bad they couldn't have skipped all the preliminaries and just played the fourth quarter.
- Shelby was probably just being polite, but I evidently make pretty good hot wings. The chili she made for lunch was seriously good, though. For dinner, too. And lunch Monday.
- I'm sure the 3-D was cool and all- but four or five minutes of it?
- Until his idiotic play on a Cardinal punt kept an Arizona drive alive, James Harrison- already the NFL defensive player of the year- was a shoo-in to be the game's MVP after returning an interception 100 yards for a TD to close out the first half.
- Harrison's INT return now stands as the longest yardage play in Super Bowl history. Probably the longest time-wise, too. You could certainly tell it was a lineman doing the running.
- Incredible catch by Santonio Holmes for the game winner. (Seriously, though- Santonio? Is that his name or did someone misspell where he was born AND write it in the "First Name" spot on his birth certificate?)
My first thought when I looked up from the book I was reading was "aw, man- out of bounds." Once I saw the replay, though. Well, as I said- incredible catch, which locked up the game's MVP trophy for Holmes
- Seriously, though- during that runback- pushing Kurt Warner down doesn't cut it. If you're a defensive player and you get a chance at free shot on a QB like that, you FLATTEN him. I forget who it was that just kind of pushed Warner away, but I was HOWLING at the TV.
- Overall, a good football game. You know, when there was football being shown.
- As much as I think they didn't belong there, they were. Props to the Cardinals for putting up a heck of a fight
against a great defense.

For once, I managed to actually stay awake for the entire thing- and even watched a lot of it. Granted, I had ear phones in, aggravating Shelby, but keeping me from listening to too much of the incessant drivel pouring out of the mouths of Madden and Michaels...

While I'm thinking about it (what with the droning of John Madden fresh in my mind since I couldn't block him out completely), I read this list some folks had compiled of the best and worst broadcasters last week and- shockingly- Madden only showed up on one of the lists. And guess which one?
"Worst" list, you say? Well, no. Because the guys who came up with this list must ENJOY excessive hyperbole (although you- dear reader- must, a little, 'cause you're engrossed in this drivel) and the type of commentary that would have us trying to escape the senior citizen stuck behind us in line at the bank.
That's right, the necrotic appearance and frequent shouts of exclamations like "BOOM" and "SMASH MOUTH FOOTBALL" landed Madden a spot on the "Best" list.
Amazingly, Tim McCarver made the "Best" list, too. He also made the worst list, which leads me to wonder what the criteria was. Oh, that's right- there was none. The lists are completely subjective. (Hey, opinions are like… well, you know.)
Anyway here's the rundown of the supposed 50 Best Announcers of all time. Most of the names I know, though some, like hockey announcer Mike Emrick, I'm not too familiar with:
1. Howard Cosell (Uh- okay.)
2. John Madden (This one's just stunning to me.)
3. Brent Musburger (Another puzzler.)
4. Al Michaels (Yikes, three in a row.)
5. Dick Enberg (Finally, one I'm fully behind.)
6. Curt Gowdy (A mini-streak.)
7. Keith Jackson (Twenty years ago, sure.)
8. Bob Costas (Absolutely. Not.)
9. Jim McKay (Definitely.)
10. Pat Summerall (At least he finally had the good sense to retire, unlike his former booth-mate.)
11. Jim Nantz
12. Dick Vitale
13. Joe Buck (Really? He always sounds like he'd rather be somewhere else- no matter the event.)
14. Marv Albert (YES! Uh, no- actually.)
15. Frank Gifford (Mr. Kathy Lee was good when paired with Cosell and Meredith. That's as generous as I can be.)
16. Vin Scully (Much as I hate the Dodgers, Scully is a gem to listen to. He should be in the top ten.)
17. Mike Tirico
18. Chris Berman (You've got to be kidding.)
19. Billy Packer
20. Dan Patrick (Unlike many of his ESPN brethren, has never really developed the smarmy attitude.)
21. Greg Gumbel
22. Tim McCarver (The guys who made this list were high, obviously.)
23. Jon Miller (Paired with anyone but Joe Morgan, I might actually agree with this one. But since he only seems to fawn over Joe's every word, I've got to vote no here.)
24. Mel Allen (How about that! Another guy that should be ranked higher.)
25. Joe Garagiola (A golden voice from days past. NBC afternoon baseball with Garagiola and Scully was a Saturday afternoon staple for my dad.)
26. Bryant Gumbel (Remember when he was a sports guy instead of a pretentious cable talk show host?)
27. Don Meredith
28. Joe Morgan (Great players don't always make great announcers.)
29. Phyllis George (Still better than most of the women she opened the door for.)
30. Ray Scott
31. Terry Bradshaw (Sure, if you like screaming- and a backwoods hick act that always makes you think of the banjo playing kid from "Deliverance."
32. Jack Whitaker
33. Al McGuire
34. Dick Stockton (Should be ranked much higher.)
35. Tony Kubek
36. Chris Schenkel
37. Mike Emrick
38. James Brown (I like him a lot better now, on CBS, than I did when he was on Fox.)
39. Hubie Brown
40. Lindsey Nelson (Another voice from the past.)
41. Jim Simpson
42. Verne Lundquist
43. Jim Lampley (Not bad, considering he kept getting saddled with Olympic coverage.)
44. Ernie Johnson (Mislabeled, though. These guys are actually referring to EJ Jr. but he's not bad, either.)
45. Don Criqui (Ah, back to my childhood again. Dolphins' games on WSAV most every week. And he's still going strong.)
46. Tom Hammond
47. Bud Collins
48. Ken Venturi
49. Jim Gray
50. Harry Wismer
Again, I've got no clue what the criteria was. I would've included Jack Buck (not his dullard offspring) and Ernie Johnson (senior). And Skip and Pete, of course (pure bias there). How about Dan Fouts? Jerry Punch? (Yes, I actually know who Jerry Punch is.) Cris Collinsworth?
So, who are your favorites? (You don't have to have 50.) Send in your thoughts to the regular place. We'll go over the "Worst "list next week…

Speaking of announcers I don't like, with Sutton returning to the booth for the Braves, there was a bit of commentary on AJC.com regarding his second tour with Atlanta- including this one from "EW" regarding Sutton and columnist Mark Bradley's opinion of Tim McCarver's abilities:
"(The Braves) have had two losing seasons since Sutton left. I don't know if they are connected but it is great to have him back. I have to disagree with you about McCarver. He is the one who wrote the book on smugness and how to talk too much. When I hear McCarver doing a game it makes me want to drive my car off a cliff. Maybe it goes back to Deion."
To which I say- if McCarver wrote the book, you can be darned sure Sutton sure penned the sequel- at least on talking too much. And McCarver doesn't make me want to drive my car off a cliff. McCarver makes me want to drive HIS car off a cliff…

I saw a rumor that Bobby Knight is interested in the men's basketball coaching slot open at UGA.
Just what the school needs- a frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic in charge…

The Atlanta area doctor who prescribed steroids to wrestler Chris Benoit pled guilty to illegally dispensing drugs last week. That reverses Phil Astin's original not guilty plea on 175 counts of unlawful drug distribution. He faces up to 20 years in 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines for each count.
Benoit, in a steroid induced rage, killed himself after killing his wife and seven year old son.
US Attorney David Nahmias said the "case demonstrates the irreparable damage that can be done when a doctor violates his oath to help others and instead chooses the path of illegal drug dealing."
Astin is scheduled for sentencing May 12...

The Braves' pitching camp is underway at Turner Field. That means spring training can't be far behind. The first game comes on the 25 against Detroit…

When Shelby read about Seattle lineman Roy Hill's arrest, she told me a little story about a friend of hers named Scotty.
Scotty fell asleep in the drive thru at Wendy's waiting for them to open because he evidently wanted a biscuit.
When the workers got there, he was parked in the drive thru lane. He got a D.U.I. while asleep, and parked with his keys in the ignition.
All while waiting for a biscuit, which Wendy's doesn't even serve…

Shelby said I was out of luck if I was expecting her to do my mending (for the record, I wasn't) while Sandra J. said she'd be happy to do it for me if I wanted to send it to her. (I do appreciate that, but it would probably be cheaper to buy a sewing machine.)
Michelle said she almost failed "home ec" in high school because she "couldn't run a freaking sewing machine. I only passed because I could make some good cookies."
"I got a freaking D in home ec...who gets a D in home ec ???"
Evidently, you did (yes, friends are for helping add humor to my complaining)…

And, finally- happy birthday to Eddie and Lea- who are celebrating on Thursday and Friday- and my mom, who celebrates next Thursday…