Thursday, May 28, 2009

Friday Diversion

A little something to pass the time as you contemplate exactly what Lebron James will do Saturday night... As always, here is some of the best stuff I've come across over the past few weeks.

Up On The Roof
By Verlyn Klinkenborg

National Geographic's look into the world of Green Roofing. This is a great primer for those looking to get the Coles Notes version of the benefits of vegetated roof assemblies.

The Break of the Curveball

Professor Art Shapiro shows us how the spin of the curveball acts as an optical illusion. What is not an optical illusion, however, is Barry Zito's 9 figure salary.

It's Made of 100% Cotton; It's Sales are 99% Ironic
By Mike Musgrove

A more thorough look into the magic behing the phenomenon of the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt...

Thanks to Llibs for the link

Asbury Park Club From Springsteen's Glory Days Set for Auction
By David M. Levitt

If I had any kind of money laying around, I'd be in Asbury Park June 18th... Why can't I just be independently wealthy?

Thanks to DJ Smitty for the Real Estate tip

Ava's Apartment
By Jonathan Lethem

For those who are into the work of Jonathan Lethem... Or for those who ever just wanted to leave it all behind... Or for those who are fascinated by 3-legged pitbulls...

The YouTube clip of the week comes courtesy of Allan Cross and The Ongoing History of New Music. I was driving home from softball (of the co-ed, non-competitive variety) Monday night and heard this track... My question is: how have I gone the duration of my life without ever having heard Steinski & The Mass Media's The Motorcade Sped On? This is one of the greatest mashups of all-time.

Saturday, May 23, 2009



What more can you say about Lebron James? I think that the confession of my mancrush is perfectly acceptable at this point.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Must-Have Consumer Product Showdown

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work
(NSFW Language)


Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt

Before you make you're decision, you need to be aware of the powers of the Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt. The following are taken from the comments section of

Exhibit A - This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to 'howl at the moon' from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn't have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn't settle for the first thing that comes to him.

I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women

Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

Exhibit B - Unfortunately I already had this exact picture tattooed on my chest, but this shirt is very useful in colder weather.

Exhibit C - I am getting married this August and this is the only item on my registry. I hope to get hundreds of them.

Wow, those are some pretty glowing reviews for both products. But I think in this case, I'd have to go with the Wolf Shirt. Because let me tell you, I once received a similarly emblazoned wolf blanket in one of those family Chirstmas gift exchange deals, and I can tell you first hand that the powers of the blanket are strikingly similar to those which are being described with regards to the shirt... The bottom line is, when girls see the Wolves, they invariably remove their panties.

By the way, since when did begin selling clothing?

Thanks to Micah and DJ Smitty for passing along these two indispensible products.

Winnebago Man

(Language is NSFW... Obviously)

We'll go ahead and call this a sneak peek into a day in the life of a lowly blogger.

How I've gone the duration of my life without seeing this clip before defies explanation... And coming from a family who once owned one of these luxury machines (1978 Minnie Winnie), believe me when I say that my dad would be able to sympathize with each and every last F-bomb.

I believe the director of Winnebago Man put it best when he said of Jack Rebney: "He works in swear words the way some men work with oils..."

Thanks to Leigha for the tip.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We've Found Our Intern...

For quite some time now, we here at have been toiling long and hard with the prospect of hiring an intern to help carry the load. Up until now, it's been an impossible decision. Do I risk compromising the *Quality* of the content at the reward of a little extra free time with which to drink $10 beers in the 500 level at the Rogers Centre? What if the new intern writes something offensive and gets me in a whack of legal and moral trouble? Or most importantly, what if the Dotcomrades simply don't like his/her brand of humour?

Fortunately for everyone involved, however; through an act of what can only be described as divine intervention; the perfect candidate has fallen into our laps, all but making the decision for us.

His name is Nicholas G. Christakis.

3 Bankruptcies. 6 Civil Actions. And 1 Franchise Ice Cream Cafe... That, folks, is a resume that speaks for itself.

This was a no-brainer right from the start. I mean, the guy loves rockin' and rollin'... No more need be said. And did you see that camera work? I'm telling you, you won't recognize this blog by the time Nick Christakis is through with it. We'll be nationally franchised with so many connections and the best mentors money can buy, and you throw in the W2s and the 10-99s and whatever it is, and there's simply NO STOPPING US! I mean, you heard the man, didn't you? He takes one with two and makes three!!! And those BOOKS!!! In the past PM before the AM... The guy never stops.

You heard it from the man himself: he is the Donald Trump of the Future...

Thanks to Flats for the referral.

*Quality*, in this case, is a strictly relative term.

By the way, gun to your head, who do you hire first? Christakis or Spud? I think I'm going with the perfectionist.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sports Guy Chap Wrap

Just in case you didn't have a spare 7 hours to follow along at home last Thursday night, here are the highlights from the Sports Guy's marathon chat during one of the biggest (read: worst) days in the history of Boston sports. To refresh your memory, Thursday consisted of the Red Sox losing in 12-innings to the Angels, the Celtics blowing a huge lead in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, and the Bruins losing in OT to Scott Walker and the Carolina Hurricanes... As you might well imagine, in the hands of a die-hard Boston sports fan, this made for fantastic, misery-riddled writing.

The chat consisted, for the most part, of sports fans from around the world ripping on David Ortiz, comparing Stan Van Gundy to Ron Jeremy, and witnessing the re-emergence of playoff hockey on the ESPN stage. Listed below are some of the highlights.

(By the way, as great as this chat was, it was seriously tainted by the revelation that Bill Simmons is now available on Twitter... What the hell is the world coming to?)

Steve (Marlborough, MA): DEAR GOD. Ortiz has made the third out in the 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th innings, leaving runners stranded in scoring position each time. This reminds me of when I was a kid and my dog got so old that she couldn't make it up and down stairs anymore. What's the over/under on games before Ortiz gets a phantom injury and a trip to the DL? (Yes I sent this before Ortiz was officially out, but we both knew it was coming)

Bill Simmons: Papi just ended the inning with a 10-foot grounder. I will now light myself on fire.

Bill Simmons: What coffee table book would be shorter: "Dwight Howard's Most Effective Low Post Moves" or "Stan Van Gundy's Nicest Suits?"

Keith (Blacksburg, VA): Both those coffee books would be epic volumes compared to "Times Bill Simmons Thought Better of Making a 90210 Reference"

Bill Simmons: …Is it just me or does Paul Maurice look like he should be hanging around a playground in a van?

(moments after Milan Lucic tied the Bruins-Canes game at 2-2):

Bill Simmons: A game-winner from Looch followed by him cold-cocking Walker in the handshake line would make him the new Paul Revere in Boston.

Bill Simmons: Hold on, Carolina turned it up a notch... yeeeesh. Playoff hockey should be sponsored by Marlboro Reds.

Robbie (Pound Ridge, NY): On a scale of 1-10 how much more interested are you in this game if it's the whalers v. bruins? BRING BACK THE WHALE!

Zo, (Arlington, VA): Bill, do you think that Pau Gasol was named Paul as a kid, but some kid out-rebounded him for the the 'L' during a pick up game?

Josh (Hoboken, NJ): Bill-- just thought I'd bring up that every player on the ice tonight have as many HR's as David Ortiz...

Bill Simmons: Please stop. No more. I am waving the flag.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friday Diversion

A little something to help psych yourself up for your annual leap over a burning outhouse at an obscure private campground in Sauble Beach... Yep, it's the May long weekend in Canada, meaning that summer is officially here. As always, here is some of the best reading I've come across over the course of the past 7 days...

By Jonah Lehrer

Flying in the face of all things May Two-Four, here's a little piece explaining the virtues of self-control. Tom Petty famously wrote that the waiting is the hardest part; Lehrer explains why it's probably in your best interest to do so.

Gladwell-Simmons II: Ultimate Rematch
By Malcolm Gladwell and Bill Simmons

Two of my favourite writers go toe-to-toe in an email exchange discussing everything from Larry Holmes and Boxing Heavyweights to Jennifer Aniston and the NBA draft lottery.

His Irish Diaspora
By Alex Witchel

A beautiful look into the life and work of Colm Toibin. How's this for a poetic description of the Irish disposition?

In a public symposium about 9/11 at the library he used the expression “an Irish face.” An audience member asked what that meant. “I said, ‘I mean someone whose eyes are soft but his jaw is hard, who can look very stubborn, who can remain silent for a very long time, who’s capable of immense love but never mentioning it and capable also of resentments, who’s never much owned anything and is happier looking at the horizon than other possessions.’ ”

Thanks to Unkle Mike for the piece.

Canada's Dan Dawson named NLL MVP
The Canadian Press

What. A. Legend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Night Baseball Returned to Toronto

Last night was one of the most satisfying Jays victories in a long, LONG time. And forget the fact that Doc Halladay was looking like the second coming of... well, Doc Halladay, as he was feeding it to "the human contract year" all night long. This win went waaaaaay beyond glorious retribution.

Every year, it seems, the Jays have one of those games where the entire city is buzzing. It usually involves either the Yankees or the Red Sox, and it is usually early in the year when the faintest glimmer of hope for the current season is still precariously hanging in the balance. The sports talk radio stations are all onboard, the fairweather fans pack the stadium, and then invariably, the Jays go out and get their asses handed to them. People break their ankles jumping off the bandwagon, the Dome goes back to hosting the customary 17,000 fans per game, and the Jays fade into Toronto sports obscurity. It happens every year...

But it did not happen this year.

Before the season began, my buddy Browner and I were discussing the Jays prospects for the upcoming campaign. I figured they'd be lucky to win 70 games. He predicted 90 wins. His rationale?

"Because the Jays bats are a year better, and because I believe Brad Arnsberg is a genius."

I'm beginning to believe him.

Here are a few highlights from last night's festivities; AKA: The night baseball returned to Toronto.

- Riding the subway downtown at 5:30 pm and having each car absolutely rammed with people sporting throwback Jays lids, drinking tall boys in full view, and talking... wait for it... Baseball. It was surreal. It was glorious.

- Piling into The Loose Moose, tossing back a few pints with the rowdy pre-gamers, and having the entire place erupt into a chorus of boos when A.J. Burnett appeared on the TV screen...

- Missing the entire 1st inning because it took so long to get into the stadium... Wait... This is actually a low-light. Also, the roof was closed on one of the most perfect night's for baseball you will ever come across. Maybe the low-light of the year.

- Sitting in the wrong section by myself for half an inning and telling some lady that she had no idea what she was talking about when she said had a ticket for my seat... At what age is it OK to admit that you might be suffering the first signs of senility?

- Seeing the world's longest beer line in the 500-level concession stands and momentarily considering the possibility of going an entire ballgame without refreshments. Another low-light. Luckily, this temporary insanity quickly dissipated and we devised a plan. But needless to say, the Rogers Centre staff were slightly ill-prepared for the onslaught of 43,000 thirsty fans.

- Booing A.J. Burnett with a loathing customarily reserved for Vince Carter. I was thrilled with the ferocity of the crowd last night. At one point, I turned to the guy sitting next to me (I was in the right section by this point), and wondered why it couldn't be like this for every game? Because really, there's no reason it couldn't. Why not get on the pitcher and ride him all game long? Why not derisively chant his name when he gives up a run? Why not get on the other team's best player and chant "Sterrrr-Roooiiiiids!!!" every time he comes to the plate? That reminds me...

- After A-Rod fouled off a pitch in the later innings, the fan who caught the foul ball up the first base line tossed it back onto the field. This really could become the greatest tradition in all of Toronto sports. Foul ball tainted by A-Rod? I'd rather get kicked out for throwing it into the field of play. As long as we don't let this guy into the stadium, this could actually catch on.

- Coming to the realization that Aaron Hill looks like a poor man's Mickey Mantle... Seriously.

- Coming to the realization that, unlike most other Jays-Yankees games, the ratio of Jays-to-Yankees fans last night was approximately 10-to-1 (whereas in the past, the stadium was usually 1/3 Yankoffs). You could probably attribute this to the fact that it was a Tuesday night, and that nobody in their right mind would travel to see this current version of the Bronx Bombers, but still... It felt good to have a true home crowd in the seats.

- Having Joe Girardi leave A.J. Burnett in for the 8th inning, giving us one last chance to send him off in style:

- Watching Roy Halladay throw an absolute gem, and having the crowd get behind him every time he ran the count to two strikes. There were times where you would have sworn you were in a baseball city...

- Leaving the stadium and coming to the realization that, unlike back in the glory years of 1992-1993, this was a much younger and raucous crowd than I could ever remember. Back in the early years of the SkyDome, it was virtually impossible to get tickets. It was nothing but business people and the privileged few who managed to know someone with access. Unfortunately, that's what happens when you're the hottest ticket in town, and it almost invariably results in a morgue-like atmosphere. I vividly remember the Dome being referred to as the world's biggest library during those years.

But it's funny how 15-years of futility can alter a fan base. Because now, not only can you get a ticket to any game you want, you can actually afford to go to the games. $12 tickets throughout the entire 500-level is probably the best marketing ploy the Jays brass has come up with since Flashback Fridays. And the plain truth of it is that you would have never had a crowd with the demographics of like last night's crowd (young, rowdy, predominantly working class, drunk... everything a good baseball crowd should be) back in 1993. And believe me when I say that that is a good thing; not only for baseball in Toronto, but for the city as a whole.

I can't sit here and tell you that this season will end up with a World Series appearance or even a playoff berth. But what I can tell you is that it will be a hell of a lot more fun going along for the ride than it has been in years past. Because, as of last night, baseball has officially returned to the city of Toronto.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How To Touch as Many Balls as Possible

I really don't know what to make of this guy... Sure, I'd like to get my hands on as many balls as possible... I mean, who wouldn't? But really, wearing two different hats to a game? If some dude sitting in front of me at the Jays-Yankees game tonight tries to pull that stunt he can surely expect a Delgado bath and a swift kick to the groin.

As for learning the different languages, we'll chalk it up to a gross missallocation of resources on this guy's part and suggest that somebody have a chat with him about his priorities (for all intents and purposes, this dude might as well have the word VIRGIN tattooed across his forehead). Because I can tell you that I've attempted this "learning a catchy phrase in the native tongue" approach with girls in foreign countries and I can say with complete certainty that 60% of the time it works every time...

The best explanation for this guy's success, however, comes from the YouTube comment section:

No self respecting adult brings a glove to a game. They must think this kid is retarded thats why they give him a ball.

Thanks to Flats for the tip.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Diversion

In the past 48 hours, I have managed to acquire 4 tickets for the first two rounds of the NCAAs in New Orleans in March, my hockey team capped off a dream season by winning the third and decisive game of the OTHL finals in double-OT, and I caught Springsteen and the E Street Band absolutely rocking the shit out of the ACC (Louie Louie...? Are you kidding me?). In each case, alcohol was prominently involved. You'll have to forgive my lack of personalized write-up for each piece.

As always, here is some of the best writing I've come across over the course of the past little while.

How David Beats Goliath
By Malcolm Gladwell

A simple handbook describing how to play "insurgent basketball". Needless to say, The City All-Stars will be looking to implement the full court press next year. Because if a group of 12-year old girls can ride this style to the championship, just imagine what a group of finely tuned athletes like ourselves would be able to accomplish...

(There's much more going on in this piece than simply basketball, but you get the idea)

Confronting My Worst Nightmare
By Bill Simmons

The perfect account of just how Manny's positive test will affect Red Sox Nation. This is brilliant.

Prison Awaiting Hostile Bloggers
By David Kravets

Duly noted.

Thanks to Flats for the tip.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Springsteen at the ACC - Tonight at 8pm

A little something to get the juices flowing...

We learned more from a three minute record, baby, than we ever learned in school...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fun Times in Cleveland

Over the course of the past two years, I have spent roughly 8 weeks of my life in Cleveland, Ohio. And I have to be honest: I'm kind of a fan. And really, what's not to love? The Jake is a great place to catch a ballgame, the streets are buzzing with Lebron-fever, and you can buy a vodoo doll of Art Modell on any corner. It was also the city that Rick "The Wild Thing" Vaughn made famous, and it just happens to house one of the 10-best tourist attractions in the United States. But the gentleman who was commissioned to create the following "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video" has a somewhat conflicting view.

In his own words:

The Cleveland Tourism Board gave me 14 million dollars about 8 months ago to make a promotional video to bring people to Cleveland. As usual, I waited till the last minute and I ended up having to shoot and edit it in about an hour yesterday afternoon. I probably should have invested more time.

My favourite selling features for the Forest City (Mistake on the Lake?) include:

- You should come on down to West 6th Street... It's the perfect place if you're a douchebag.
- Our economy is based on Lebron James
- Our main export is crippling depression

First attempt:

Second try:

Fun times in Cleveland, indeed.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Art of Driving

Editor's Note: Last month, we here at reluctantly ventured into the shady world of copyright infringement. 35 Days later, with no sign of an impending lawsuit, we're continuing on with the aforementioned experiment. So enjoy the reading while it's free, and keep this service in mind should I ever approach you looking for help with my bail bond.

I vividly remember taking my driver's test when I was 16 years old. Foster, my driving instructer; who, ironically, I would share many, many alcoholic beverages with in the coming years in my buddy Sully's basement; left me with his car for the morning, and I passed without incident. To that point, it was one of my proudest achievements. I couldn't wait to pile into the family station wagon with all of my friends and cruise the hopping mad suburban streets of Oakville, ON, impressing girls with our mobility while attempting to somehow relive the scenes of a latter-day American Graffiti. And how did I celebrate this glorious newfound freedom? By taking the bus back home, because nobody came to pick me up.

In any event, I vividly remember how terrifying it was trying to learn how to drive. As you might imagine, my parents had completely opposite schools of thought where driving instruction was concerned. My mom would take me out in the family sation wagon; an '81 Buick Electra; and would basically have a heart attack at every turn, giving terified warnings of potential hazards miles in advance and screaming for me to keep my eyes on the road to the point where I'd eventually just pull over and let her drive... My dad, on the other hand, would get in the passenger seat of his 1980 VW Rabbit that had neither 1st gear, 5th gear, nor Reverse, and would basically crank the radio and fall asleep, leaving me struggle with stalling the car at every stop light... There was also the one time he famously made me the designated driver while having had a few too many drinks at my grandparents' place, but that's another blog entry altogether (to be filed under the illegal-things-we-did-while-in-the-care-of-my-parents category).

But none of the stories I've ever come across with regards to driving even come close to what Peter Hessler encounters in China.

This is one of my favourite articles of all-time, and it chronicles one American's experiences with the fledgling culture of cars in the far east. It is hysterical, informative, and terrifying, all at the same time. I simply can't get enough of the ways in which the car rental agencies in China operate, as evidenced in the following exchange:

...Mr. Liu inspected the Jetta and noted cheefully that the plastic cover for the right signal light had been smashed. He asked what I had hit.
"A dog," I said.
"Gou mei wenti?" he said. "The dog didn't have a problem, did it?"
"The dog had a problem," I said. "It died."
Mr. Liu's smile got bigger. "Did you eat it?"

And I'm not sure what is more frightening: the fact that as of the time of this article's publication (November, 2007), China had approximately 28 automobiles for every 1,000 people (approximately the same rate the U.S. had in 1915) and that that number will only continue to increase with time (the implications for global oil consumption could be staggering); or that Hessler recounts an episode where he attends a driving school which is forced to cancel their afternoon lesson after the entire class; including the instructor; gets completely wasted at lunch.

Basically, all you need to know is that, despite the fact that China has only 3% of the world's vehicles, that same country accounts for 21% of the world's traffic fatalities... And this piece explains exactly why.

By Peter Hessler