May 19 - Sein-blog So the other day, I hit the local mega-electronics store and picked up a new DVD. I've been waiting for this one to come out for a while.....it is the 4th season of "Seinfeld".
When seasons 1 through 3 came out, Keri and I opted not to get them. The show is always on TV, so we thought it was silly. But season 4 of "Seinfeld" might very well be the single greatest season of any show in TV history. And if you don't believe me, just take a quick look through the list of some of the episodes from that season:
--The Bubble Boy --The Contest --The Airport --The Pick --The Outing --The Implant --The Handicap Spot --The Junior Mint --The Smelly Car
You don't need to be a diehard fan of the show to know exactly which episodes those are, and even semi-casual fans know the tag lines and subplots from each of those shows. And each episode is the original NBC one, not the edited, syndicated version that is a minute or two shorter.
I haven't popped the DVDs in yet, but I'm also looking forward to the bonus features - bloopers, commentaries and deleted scenes abound.
I haven't been this excited about a DVD in a long time (maybe Live Aid and the Monty Python series, but that is about it). And I know I sound like a commercial. But this is a must-own for any DVD collection - "Seinfeld" fan or not.
May 5 - Riding the Bus Have I ever told you about my commute?
I ride the bus to and from work. It is the most direct route from home to the office. No long trek to the subway - the longest I walk is one avenue. The length of the commute is about the same, so I'll take the convenience. However, we are talking about New York City buses here, so the stupidity factor I face every day is through the roof.
Let me tell you about my trip home Monday. I was riding with Jess, a co-worker who has a similar commute and who leaves at the same time as I do. We waited about ten minutes for a bus. It was raining, but our stop has a shelter, so it was fine. We get the bus at 19th Street and ride it straight up to our respective homes (me at 74th, Jess in the 100s). When we get to 34th, however, the bus starts experiencing problems. What the problems are, we didn't know, though, since th driver wasn't telling us anything. She was still taking fares from new riders, while trying to figure out the problem. This went on for about ten minutes, when we noticed another bus pull up at the stop. Of course, instead of telling us to get on that bus, the driver just kept trying to figure out the problem. Finally, after the second bus was long gone, did she say, "This bus isn't going anywhere." We all had to get off. In the rain (on a day it wasn't supposed to rain, so no one had an umbrella). At a stop without a bus shelter. As the rain got very heavy.
So we all got off the bus and stood in the rain. No other bus came by, though. After about five minutes, the driver finally got her bus working again. And closed the door and started to drive away without all of us that opted to wait outside (some of the riders opted to wait on the dry bus instead of squeezing under the thin awning the rest of us were using to stay dry). Knowing the bus would have probably been overturned by rioting riders left behind, though, she stopped and let us all back on and we continued our commute home.
Stories like this are nothing new to Manhattan commuters. I've seen fights between old ladies, fare jumpers, and many other idiots on the bus. But as the MTA continues to raise the bus fare, riders have the right to expect that the stupidity not extend to the drivers.
But since we have no choice but to pay, why should they care, right?
April 28 - I'm Baaaaaaack!!!!! Redux Well, so much for that last promise. It has been a whole 18 days since my last blog. I have to apologize for disappearing lately, but all my free blogging time has been spent working on The Writers.
So, where are we these days. Let me see, since there is so much to catch up on.....
--Baseball is in full swing. Football just had its draft, The NBA Playoffs are underway. And the NHL is still committing suicide. The longer this whole lockout goes on, the more it befuddles me. At some point, don't you think common sense would just kick in and the powers that be in the league and the union would stop and say, "Wait a minute. We are probably now losing more money than any of us will ever have the opportunity to remake?" Revenues and salaries that have been lost cannot be recouped. The public perception of the NHL as a league that can't get out of its own way will remain for an indeterminate amount of time. Those are negatives that no spin doctor can ever fix. They are now tangible and irreversible. But I'm not saying anything that any level headed sports fan doesn't already know. --As for those NBA Playoffs, I'm looking for a Detroit versus San Antonio Finals, even with San Antonio tied in their First Round series against Denver. --NFL Draft? Ho hum. I just never really get into it. I guess that it part of not being a college football fan. This is just one of those events that never really appealed to me. I watch the first few picks for the curiosity factor, but since I've never heard of two thirds of the players in the first round, let alone the rounds after that, I just can't get excited over it. The Jets drafted a kicker with their first selection (in the second round), signalling the end of the Doug Brien era (THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!). Every Jet fan should be very happy about that pick. --The big stuff in baseball focuses on A-Rod these days. A 3 HR, 10 RBI game the other night? Amazing. I was there last week when he went 5 for 6 with 5 runs scored and 6 RBI and thought it was possibly the best offensive game I'd ever seen.....until a week later, that is. He is finally earning his paycheck. Too bad that team still needs pitching. As for my Mets, the bullpen still stinks, but the starters, outside of Pedro, are underperforming. And they can't win on the road. Looks like an 85 to 90 win season at Shea.
I guess I should give a Writers update. It is still a work in progress, as an regular visitor can see. It gets better every day, however, and the latest (and most radical) change is a huge step forward. I'm working on getting networked and getting listed on lots of websites these days. We've been listed in a 3000 circulation newsletter, which gave us a quick bump, but it is time for some longer lasting things. Keep spreading the word. We can use all the word of mouth you can provide.
OK. That is the quickie catch-up for me. I'll be back much more often from now on.
April 10 - I'm Baaaaaaack!!!!! Wow. Has it been a week already? I have really been ignoring my blogging duties, but The Writers took priority for the last couple weeks. And I have to say that site has gotten off to a nice start.
15 writers including myself. Almost 1,000 hits o the first day. Nice numbers, but numbers that need to be sustained and increased. And this is the hard part. However, a few things have already happened to help make that possible. I've gotten my first phone call from a new potential contributor. I've been asked to become a weekly guest on a radio show in Montreal. These details still haven't been worked out, but the groundwork is starting to get put down on the beginning of some promotional stuff. A radio station in Detroit has become a member of the mailing list. The other writers have been spreading the word, obviously.
Where do we go from here? Who knows. Its going to be a fun ride, though.
On to two observations from around the sports world.....
--For anyone who watch Tiger Woods putt a ball off the green into a creek on Thursday at the Masters, I have one question.....How awesome was that? Even we Duffers like myself don't do that. Of course, now that he has taken the lead after three rounds, we can only sit in awe of the best player of our generation. I was actually going to write my article for the other site Friday on that putt until the John Rocker thing fell into my lap. --Baseball has started and how great is that? Not only does Opening Day signify the beginning of one of America's sports seasons, it also signifies the end of winter. Warm weather, beautiful days and the urge to pend time outdoors is beginning to arrive. And for those in cold weather cities, what a welcome site all of that is.
So, that is the deal. I promise to keep this up to date more now that I've gotten The Writers up and running.
April 3 - Quickie My blogs have been few and far between lately. Lots of work is the main reason. I've also been spening most of my free time geting The Writers ready to go. So until the launch, it is going to be tough to do both. I will try to do this as much as possible, but it is going to be tough.
It is Opening Day. Yankees and Red Sox in the best opened imaginable. I'm in my chair, ready to watch. Enjoy the season.
March 31 - Jets Win! Jets Win! So, a big step have been taken towards the building of a stadium and convention center on the West Side of Manhattan. It isn't a done deal yet, but it is looking good. So who are the winners and losers in all this:
WINNERS: New York Jets - Finally, the Jets can return to New York. And finally, they will have a stadium to call their home. Maybe one of the reasons they haven't won a Super Bowl in my lifetime is that they play in a stadium named FOR ANOTHER TEAM. Those days look like they are coming to an end. NYC 2012 - The bid to host the Olympics lives on. If the stadium fell through, the bid was doomed. But now, with it looking like the stadium will be built, the last snag in the city's bid has been eliminated. Now let's hope the IOC actually votes to give the city the Games in 2012. Mayor Bloomberg - Should the stadium get built, Mayor Mike's legacy is set. Let's just hope it isn't called Bloomberg Stadium.
LOSERS: Cablevision - Their move to block the stadium has failed. Good. They only blocked it out of greed. They don't want the competition for events? Too bad. A little competition never hurt anyone. And in the big picture, they were attempting to keep major events, such as the Super Bowl and the Olympics, out of New York. They gained nothing by doing that. Their motives for bidding on the land were selfish and far from altruistic. Couldn't happen to a nicer company. 10th Avenue commuters - And yes, I am one. Traffic, Construction congestion. More traffic. 10th Avenue looks like it will be even more of a mess than it is now. But all good things come at a price that includes things other than dollar signs. We'll deal with it.
And this doesn't even factor in the jobs that will be created or the money that a Super Bowl or an Olympics will pump into the New York City economy.
I've always been a fan of building this stadium. Today, we are a step closer. New York SHOULD be very happy today.
March 29 - Roto Draft Results I just realized I never blogged about the results from the first of my two fantasy baseball drafts. This is the one from the AL/NL combined leagues with keepers. I introduce.......New Mirl Order.
1B - Jim Thome (round 2) 2B - Jose Reyes (15 - keeper) SS - Jack Wilson (17) 3B - Aramis Ramirez (10 - keeper) CM - Ben Broussard (23) MM - Mark Bellhorn (25) OF - Carl Crawford (1) OF - Hideki Matsui (4) OF - Brian Giles (5) OF - Jose Guillen (8) OF - Craig Biggio (21) C - Jorge Posada (6) C - John Buck (19) U - David DeJesus (24)
SP - Carlos Zambrano (3) SP - Odalis Perez (7) SP - Brad Radke (9) SP - Zack Greinke (11) SP - Jeremy Bonderman (13) SP - Brian Lawrence (20) RP - Danys Baez (12) RP - Danny Kolb (14 - keeper) RP - Guillermo Mota (27 - keeper)
Farm - Clint Barmes (SS - 22) Farm - Jose Capellan (SP - 26) Farm - Ryan Freel (U - 28....since traded for SS Jose Valentin) Farm - Adam Eaton (SP - 29) Farm - Jeff Francis (SP - 30) Farm/DL - Lance Berkman (OF - 16) Farm/DL - Wade Miller (SP - 18)
So that is the first team, with my NL team still to be drafted. I like this team a lot. I think I could use one more starting pitcher, but that is the only hole I see on this team. The bullpen is strong, I have lots of power and lots of speed. And if either Bermkan or Miller come off the DL and are as good as they were before their injuries, then I'm sitting very nicely in the top part of the league.
I'll get the NL results up faster.....if we ever have the draft. I'm still waiting on a date. We'll find out when it is one of these days.
March 27 - My Sweet Redemption I had lousy results with my bracket this year in the NCAA Tournament. Two teams right in the Elite Eight. One in the Final Four. Not my finest hour for predictions. But it all worked out for me the second time around.
Scroll down just a hair to my March 25 blog and click on the link. In that article that I wrote for CSTV.com, I placed my tongue firmly in my cheek and devised a new way to choose the Final Four teams from those in the Sweet Sixteen. It was a different way to do things and poked some fun at all the analysts who made their predictions the conventional way. And guess what....I hit all four. Don't ask me how, but I did. I can honestly tell you that I wasn't taking the whole selection process I used seriously. I was having some fun. In fact, I made it harder on myself by thinking Villanova was a four seed instead of the five they actually were (by the way, if I was right and did the whole thing with them as a five, they would have been eliminated even easier, since no Big East team has ever made the Final Four as a five seed, so I actually did make it more difficult for myself).
Of course, now I'm right. I had all Final Four teams. Considering how poorly I picked before the Tourney started, I am going to take a short second to pat myself on the back. Next year, I guess I'll just have to pick the entire Tournament this way. Maybe I'll get all 63 games right.
March 25 - Oh, What A Week I've only got a few minutes, but it has been so long since I've had a chance to blog that I need to get something up here.
I'm out of breath just writing all that. I also ran into a bout a half dozen people I hadn't seen in ages (or at least months). All I know is that I can't wait for Sunday. I can't do my laundry, since the laundromat is closer for Easter Sunday. Actually, since most places are closed Sunday, Keri is going to have a very tough time getting me to do anything that involves leaving the apartment.
I promise I'll have lots more over the weekend. The Writers site is really shaping up to be something more than I anticipated and I can't wait for the launch on April 7. Including myself, we are up to 18 writers. Couple that with the Baseball Card area I am putting together (complete with press releases from Upper Deck and Topps) and, hopefully, the Round Tables and there is going to be lots of content to update, which will definitely keep everything fresh for reading. The Round Table is on shaky ground right now, though. Lots of scheduling issues, unfortunately. I'm still hopeful and am giving it through the weekend to see if I can still whip it up. But I'm still very hopeful, considering I have one commitment and invitations out to four or five others.
So that is the deal right now. Back with more over the weekend. I promise.
March 21 - Busted OK, OK. I know. My predictions were WAY off. I've only got one Final Four team left and only had eight of the 16 Sweet Sixteen teams right. So shoot me. Most people are way off, so I am not the only one in this boat.
After a really slow start, this Tournament has been sensational. It picked up Friday night with the two big upsets. How great was that Vermont-Syracuse game? The three pointer T.J. Sorrentine made becomes one of the legendary shots in tourney history. That was followed up by the biggest upset of the weekend when Bucknell knocked off Kansas. And on Saturday and Sunday, it was just all-around great stuff. The West Virginia-Wake Forest double overtime game was an instant classic. Wisconsin-Milwaukee has taken the Cinderella slipper this year and now takes on the mighty No. 1 Illinois. I usually don't look at the second weekend of the tourney with as much excitement as I look at the first weekend. This year is a bit different. I'm blocking off as much time for games as I can, although I'll be working Nets Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, so I'll miss parts of those games.
One other weekend thought:
--Did you happen to see the highlights from the Minnesota High School Championship game? It featured what might have been the greatest shot I have even seen in a game, especially when the context is taken into consideration. It is the State Championship game, being played in Minneapolis' Taget Center, home of the Timberwolves. With just a couple seconds left in OT of a two point ame, the ball is inbounded with a pass the full length of the court. After a scramble, one of the players on the team trailing by two ends up with possession of the ball, but is on his ass, right in front of the three-point line (picture the line dissecting his back and you'll have the exact distance. While attempting to sit up, he heaves the ball at the basket as time expires - and it goes in to send the ball into a second overtime. It really has to be seen to be believed and is just a remarkable bit of footage. Try and check it out if you can.