Thursday, July 31, 2008

Faster Service Coming Soon!

As I prepare to finally get cable modem access (a freebie from my employer), the one thing I won't miss about dial-up (besides paying for it) is ISP's that take your money and give you no level of service. I used to do a ton of Usenet, but I'm down to one newsgroup now for the very reason that the news server I am presently using likes to poop out after reading about four messages. So maybe I can go back to those obscure groups I used to haunt.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Carlos Delgado has just been playing some amazing baseball. Just socked another home run. I'm now sorry I gave Robair my Delgado shirt.

And we have learned that Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher John Lackey is no better than any pitcher who ever played for the Mets, as he failed to convert his no-no against Boston with one out in the ninth.

Closed For Good Department

Bennigan's and Steak and Ale have filed for Chapter 7 and have closed their restaurants nationwide.

Weird, because on Sunday I passed by the closest unit of theirs to my house - a Steak and Ale in Middletown - and remarked to my wife how I've never in my life eaten at a Steak and Ale. Now, I never will.

I blame Applebees and that damn apple voiced by Wanda Sykes that sounds like Gary Coleman 30 years ago.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Beetle Bailey

Would you believe that Joe Oriolo was one of the producers of the Comic Kings cartoons? I had not an idea until I saw this Beetle Bailey cartoon called "Labor Shortage" (which is not presented here in English). It's directed by Steve Muffatti, animated by George Rufle, and scenics by Frank Dorso. It carries a 1960 copyright date, but I think that may be in error. I would love to see an English-language print of this.

Somehow, Pat Sullivan's name is also on the credits. As the elder Pat Sullivan died in 1933, I'm guessing it's probably his son.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yes, It Was A GREAT Day For A Ball Game!

My wife woke me up at 6:00 a.m. to tell me it was raining.

"You're still going to try to go to the game?" Not wanting to eat the tickets, I said, "Yes."

Weathercasters on channels 11 and 5 were predicting a total washout. Boomer Esiason on WFAN was talking in terms of "if the game were to be played today", and were even predicting an early call to the game due to the swarm of day campers due to take advantage of the 12:10 first pitch. Nevertheless, Robair and I boarded the 8:28 train out of Long Branch. We shared a lot of our experiences today with a wonderful mother-daughter duo, both Mets fans. The daughter impressed me with her Tidewater Tides commemorative shirt.

We got to Shea roughly an hour before Oliver Perez threw the first pitch. With Citi Field rising majestically beyond the outfield fences, we took our loge seats.

The game was a very tight pitcher's duel, with few big bombs from the bats of either team. The Mets only got four hits, but the last of those four mattered the most - a massive double by Carlos Delgado, which turned out to be the Mets' last AB, as Delgado was thrown out trying to go to third on the play. Billy Wagner shut the door, getting out the final batter - pinch-hitter Jimmy Rollins, pulled from the lineup just 15 minutes before game time.

This is just the way I want to remember Shea. Next time we get to a Mets game, we will most likely do it at Citi Field, which is a ball park that is going to truly rock.

Great Day For A Ball Game... Maybe

We have tickets for today's Mets game. The weather is downright crappy, but Robair and I are going to make a stab at it. We have pretty good seats (Loge 13), so we're looking forward to seeing the Mets go into first place (they're tied right now with the Phillies).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two Chips and a Miss

This is a nice cartoon. It's from 1951, featuring Chip, Dale, and their friend Clarice. Apparently, it starts with Chip and Dale feigning going to bed when each wants to sneak out on the other to meet up with Clarice at a nightclub. There are some good Tex Avery-type arousal gags, and it ends with a real ho-yay moment. Clarice, Chip and Dale are all in good voice in this cartoon, and one can't help thinking of Ross Bagdasarian watching this cartoon in a theatre in the mid-1950's and hearing the wheels turning in his head.

Directed by Jack Hannah, who was responsible for Disney's best short cartoons of the 1950's, when Donald Duck pretty much supplanted Mickey Mouse as the studio's star character (Hannah would later work his same magic for the Walter Lantz studios). But Chip and Dale came a pretty close second.

End of A TV Era

Roger Ebert announced today via his website that he is leaving "Ebert and Roeper" after over 33 years of thumbs, mostly with late partner Gene Siskel, but more recently with Richard Roeper (UPDATE: Roeper turned down Disney's renewal offer, so there's pretty much no more show). The last two years of cancer surgeries have made it impossible for him to continue in an on-camera role (most notably, he can not speak), so he's simply saying ta-ta to the format. (Ebert had to miss his film festival this year, because of, of all things, a broken hip.)

I think Disney would be best served by hiring A.O. Scott, the film critic for the New York Times, to soldier on in Ebert's absence.

Speaking of film critics, has Peter Travers ever seen a movie he didn't like?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All Star Home Run Derby

I would think that in the future, there should be some sort of minimum threshold for hitters in this contest, none of this "it hurts my swing" babyishness. Seeing Eva Longoria with her 14 career home runs trying to beat some of these other guys just doesn't cut it for me.

Oh, it's EVAN Longoria. Sorry.

But how about this Josh Hamilton guy and his septugenarian pitcher? He could have wound up hitting more home runs last night than in his entire career (40 so far)! And some of those shots were massive. But he used up all his dingers in the first round, it seems, and was runner up to Justin Morneau. It was most impressive to see those moon shots of his trying to make it over the famed Yankee Stadium facade.

My money (figuratively) was on Dan Uggla and Grady Sizemore, both of whom hit six home runs but didn't make it out of the first round.

Personal to RG: You really need one of these on top of that balding head of yours.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

STILL too early for Back To School!

So I got my first issue, post-McCracken, of the PC World magazine in the mail, about a week ago (only now am I out of shock enough to blog about this), and the very first page I turn to has an ad that prominently features the phrase that appears in the heading that I dare not type again, for fear of foreshortening my summer vacation more than it already has.

Maybe I'll get over it enough to keep from cancelling.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Baseball...Then And Now

1991: "Hey, Jose Canseco! How's Madonna?"

2008: "Hey, A-Rod! How's Madonna?"

This just in: Madonna is now scouting out the Little Leagues.