Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A new year, a new post...

I hope you all had good holidays, and weren't suffering too much when you finally roused yourselves on New Year's Day. Since I'm going to try (once again) to post on a more regular basis, what say we get to it?

I get up this morning and checked out Weatherscan (one of our too many channels that aids in keeping me glued to the couch)- which is pretty much the Weather Channel's “Local on the 8's” segment, repeated over and over and over. I wanted to see if snow was still in the forecast for Thursday and Friday.
I caught the channel just in time for today's forecast: “Abundant sunshine. Cold. High of 33.”
Are you shitting me? Cold? I never would've guessed if they hadn't told me that I'm so glad I didn't just toss on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt and head outside to work in the yard- like I'd planned to do. Those insightful geniuses probably saved me from frostbite and extreme hypothermia!
I should send them a thank you note, or gift, or something.
All kidding aside, though- the forecast highs for Norcross don't leave the 30s until Monday (when we're forecast to hit the low 40s). I went to work yesterday (and will for the rest of the week, too) wearing two long-sleeved shirts, a pair of sweatpants under my blue jeans, and two pairs of socks. And I work inside. Of course, I also work a good portion of the day in the coldest room in the building- which has zero insulation.
By the way, the forecast is still calling for snow Thursday afternoon into Friday (when our morning low is supposed to be all of 11). And again next Tuesday and Wednesday. Which makes me even happier that I live less than two miles from work. I can't imagine how hellish the commute will be the last two days of this week if there's snow or ice on the roads- considering what a circus it is in good weather.
And I love it when people say “I'm from (insert whatever cold weather state you want)- we drive in snow 46' deep!”
That's great. You know what? There are more than five and a half million people in Atlanta- most of them not from cold weather states. They might have four wheel drive vehicles. They might know the theory. But, most of them have no freaking clue how to drive in snowy and/or icy conditions! Those are the people I'm worried about being next to on the road (well, actually, about Shelby being next to on the road- she takes the Interstate to work)...

Okay, maybe Cincinnati was proved to be a pretender by Florida. Or, maybe the Gators were really pissed about losing to Alabama and took it out on the Bearcats. Either way, there are now (as of Tuesday morning) three teams with just one loss and six teams with just two losses.
Oh yeah- and there are still three undefeated teams. Come Friday morning, we'll have the supposed national champion, but there will still be a Boise State team standing- with no blemish on their record.
Some national championship. I still think they should do a "Bad News Bears" style sandlot game for bragging rights...

The Falcons managed to get a huge monkey off their back Sunday, beating Tampa Bay to wrap the season at 9-7 and securing their second consecutive winning season- something that really didn't seem possible three weeks ago, when they lost a close one to New Orleans.
Still- I see the season overall as a loss. This team (on paper) was talented enough to make the playoffs (and yes, I was on the bandwagon believing a Super Bowl run was likely) but lacked- I don't know- the heart?
The last couple of games seemed to provide some answers in the secondary, but the team still needs a pass rush on the defensive side of the ball, and a healthy Michael Turner in the backfield- not to mention some steel-toed cleats for Matt Ryan (or something to protect him from turf toe)...

I think I watched at least 20 hours of the 46 hours of the SyFy channel's "Twilight Zone" marathon on New Year's Eve/Day and weekend. What a great show- and sad commentary on the "fare" offered on the other 200 channels that a 50 year old anthology series is better than most of the shite they foist on us...

At my day job, we were shut down the week after Christmas in a money-saving move. No big deal, really (except not getting paid, except for the holiday) sucked.
What sucked more, though, was that I'd already taken the week of Christmas off so I could come to Savannah to see family and friends for the holiday- meaning I'd be off work for two weeks.
Now, I know you're probably thinking "Rob, you're an idiot- being off work for two weeks doesn't suck, it rules." Well, you're almost right, but here's the thing.
I have a bad habit of just sitting on my ever-expanding rear and doing nothing, when the opportunity arises. And two weeks away from work raises plenty of said opportunity (like watching 20 hours worth of "Twilight Zone", along with "The Blues Brothers" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" during Encore's 80s movie marathon New Year's week, and I don't know how many bowl games I surfed through).
I pretty much accomplished nothing (although I did, at least, take down the Christmas tree and decorations from the inside of the house. The lights on the house outside will have to wait- didn't you catch the first paragraph? The Weather Channel says it's cold. Shelby says I can leave them up all year, for all she cares, but I just can't bring myself to be quite that lazy. Besides, getting the ladder out to take down the lights also means that- while I'm right there- I can clean the gutters, too- something I'm not as diligent about as I should be...

So, one of the bowl games I caught part of was the Outback between Northwestern and Auburn. It wasn't a bad game, really- but I had to wonder what the refs were thinking, calling a roughing the kicker penalty on Auburn late in the game.
I mean, I know the kicker is vulnerable with his leg out in the air like that, but the guy who got flagged had slid about three yards on the ground before he hit the punter's planting foot. Give me a break...

You know, I'm sure some people will take offense, but I know I'm not the only person who thinks it's pretty typical of the type of guy that plays in the NBA that Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittendon pulled guns on each other in the locker room. Loaded or not.
And Arenas' explanation that it was just a joke gone awry? Well, it doesn't speak highly of his intelligence- but volumes on his lack thereof. And even more so on the fans that actually buy that pant-load of- well, you know...

I did have karaoke gigs the two Saturday nights of those weeks. Boxing Day, there were all of- let's see- maybe six people in the place. By around 11:30 or so- the bartender, waitress and I were sitting down in front of the fireplace just shooting the breeze because we were the only ones in the building besides the cook, who- I'm sure- was cleaning the kitchen and hoping no one else came in before 1:00.
There were a few people there when I got there. They were joined, after a bit, by this weird, Ted Kaczynski looking guy who I'd seen in the place a couple of times.
Ted was obviously already soused (or high) when he came in and Jason- the bartender- refused to serve him. This caused Ted no end of irritation. After Ted buzzed around the bar, annoying the few paying customers who decided to come out- Jason was forced to call the police.
Now, the police station here in Norcross is in City Hall- which is across the parking lot from the bar (kind of like if the bar was the US Custom's House on Bay Street and City Hall still housed the police department in Savannah). Ted decided- as Jason was on the phone with the police, that he'd walk over to the police department and somehow prove to them he wasn't drunk- and therefore get Jason to serve him. (Anyone seeing the flaw in this plan?)
So, two minutes later, as the two Norcross officers are talking to Jason about Ted (and Bobbi- the waitress- and I are sitting by the fire, listening), the officers' radios broadcast a call from dispatch for them to come back to the station, as an apparently inebriated, possibly homeless (I forgot the part where Ted looks like a homeless guy) man is pounding on the doors of the police station, demanding a breathalyzer test. Awesome...

It was cool that it was a close game and all, but- seriously- FSU playing on New Year's Day? Remember when a New Year's Day bowl game was a reward for an outstanding season?
There's just no way a six loss team should be playing on the first. No way. I don't care if it was Bobby Bowden's last game...

And while we're at it- I'm pretty sure I mentioned it last year, but Fox only covers college football during bowls- except on their regional sports channels. The regional coverage isn't bad. But it's nothing special, either.
"Big" Fox, though? Well, it's just terrible. Much like they've done to the Super Bowl, World Series, and every other supposedly big sporting event they cover, they've managed to turn their bowl coverage into one ginormous pageant of fuckery, rife with overlong pre-game "festivities" and in-game assholishness spewing from the announcers' faceholes.
And, speaking of announcers, they dug up Pat Summerall from whatever crypt they were keeping him in to call the Cotton Bowl (remember when that was a semi-important bowl game?). He's not a blast from the past- but he's definitely a moldy oldie...

Okay, another commercial that just irritates the bejeebers out of me is the catheter commercial. You know the one I mean? Some woman with one of those annoying, Suutherrrrn ax-scennnnces, telling us how emmmmbarrassed she wussss, having to reuse caaaaatheterssss?
Seriously, she's embarrassed about having to reuse catheters, or call a company to order new ones, but she's okay going before the cameras to tell us about recurring urinary tract infections? Am I missing something? How is that less embarassing?
One commercial that just makes me laugh, though, is the Ally Bank commercial with the two little girls and the stuffy, banker type.
Banker type asks the one girl if she'd like a pony. She does. He gives her a plastic one.
He asks the other little girl. She does, too. He clicks his tongue, calling a pony out from behind a wall.
The look on the first little girl's face when she says "you didn't say I could have a real one" and he answers "well, you didn't ask" just kills me. She looks like she's ready to rip off her head with her bare hands and use it as a soccer ball..

After the Falcons' game ended Sunday, Fox veiwers here in Atlanta were "treated" to "Bonus Coverage" of the Bears-Lions game. To me, that isn't a bonus- it's more like punishment...

If you're in the Norcross area, come out for Karaoke on Saturday the 16th. Look here for more details.

That's it for now. More soon. This time, I mean it, damnit!

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