Monday, August 27, 2012

Taking the week off.

Dear Readers:

Try not to miss me too much.

It's not that I've exhausted all of my possible blog topics--far from it. It's more that I have been creatively, physically and mentally exhausted lately. Between ongoing commitments, the 9-to-5 grind and other obligations this week, I just don't want to post for the sake of posting.

As a friend of mine once told me: You are lazy and should be ashamed.

True words. 

I will return following the Labor Day holiday. Until then.


That Tad Guy

Friday, August 24, 2012

How to defeat me at Fantasy Football

Forget the expensive magazines. Ignore the so-called experts. Eye the rankings with healthy skepticism. Because as a three-time champion, I can tell you everything you need to know about drafting a solid fantasy football team.  

1.     Print out the starting line-ups and/or depth charts of all of the teams. Rankings are based on what a guy did last year. But with players, like stocks, past performance is not a guarantee of future success. Get to know who the number one guys are, the number twos, etc. The more familiar you are with who’s been promoted and demoted, the better you can judge if a guy will get the ball early and often.
2.     Look for teams, or “programs”, with a history of year-after-year success. The third guy on the best team is oftentimes better than the best player on the worst team. I don’t know who the third wide receivers on the Packers/Patriots/Giants currently are, but they’ll probably be on my team. 
3.     Running backs have a short shelf life, like three years. The running back position is physically brutal because most bad teams will just run the ball to slow down the clock. The rushing champion from the previous year could be retired the next. So be cautious about drafting a running back, especially with a high pick, in the league for more than three years.
4.     Draft running backs liberally and often. Rookies, goal line guys, guys with girly-sounding first names. It doesn’t matter. The more running backs from any team, the better your chances of finding a winner.
5.     Don’t underestimate team chemistry. Quarterbacks oftentimes look for “their” guys when they’re facing 3rd-and-22. Look for QB-WR combos and try to get one or both halves of any high-scoring duo.
6.     Don’t overestimate rookies. Everyone loves the rookies because everyone loves to say, “I told you so”. But most rookies take a good three years to develop (Cam Newton aside). So unless you have a keeper league, keep your rookie picks to the fourth round or beyond.
7.     Don’t draft any Seahawks before the 5th round. Draft day is no day to play favorites. You are always going to overvalue the players from your favorite team, so just vow never to draft them until the later rounds, when they can’t hurt you as much.
8.     Once, just once, draft a kicker in the third round. You’ll get laughed out of the room and no one will take you seriously ever again. Perfect. That means the guys on either side of you will try to take players later than they normally would because they assume you won’t take them. Suckers.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Did you know there is a word for “excessive devotion to one’s wife”? Not spouse but wife. It’s “uxorious”. Triple word score. I came across it in a book like an explorer in the wild. “What is this strange, heretofore unknown object?”

Likewise with the word “ewer”. It makes sense to have a term for a “wide-mouthed pitcher for holding water”, and it is closely related to the word “sewer”, but it’s not a word to which I was previously acquainted.

“Slipperlick”, “oubliette”, “rumbustious” these are words which I have stumbled upon and over. And for the curious, they are essentially a suck up in a secret dungeon with an opening in its ceiling who is feeling rather boisterous and/or unruly.

And how can the word “lugubrious” be so fun to say and yet mean “dismal or mournful”?

It is all so very LOL.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Album Review: Hulk Rules by Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band

The Premise:
Professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan, sings and raps his way through 10 Hulk-tastic tracks with help from the musical stylings of the Wrestling Boot Band.

The Good:
If you thought this album would be one note, then brother, you’ve got another thing comin’. This album has more musical changes than the Hulkster has finishing moves. From rockin’ American ballads to heartfelt tributes to downright groovy melodies, man, this album has something for everyone. There’s even a tribute called “Hulkster in Heaven” and an inspirational song called “I want to be a Hulkamaniac” that gives away some of Hulk’s success secrets (don’t do drugs, stay in school, take your vitamins too).

The Bad:
The song, “Beach Patrol”, lacks a certain amount of “Hulkness” to it and the song, “Wrestling Boot Traveling Band”, is just a self-serving play to get attention by the backing band. Also, as music, this album is terrible.

The Verdict:
The best dollar I’ve ever spent.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I run so I can run.

The St. Patrick’s Day Dash. The Zombie Run. The Color Run. It seems like you can’t lace up a pair of sneakers anymore without also draping yourself in a theme. So why fight it? Let’s embrace the race.

Top 5 runs I hope to see soon:
1.     The Run Run—You just run. And at the end … you stop.
2.     The Tax Dodge—IRS agents chase you. If you can cross the finish line without getting tackled to the ground, you don’t have to pay taxes that year.
3.     The Presidential Race—Literally a foot race among the candidates. Or would you really rather have them run their mouths for a few more months?
4.     The Paparazzi Run—10 celebrities; 100 photographers. The first celebrity across the finish line wins a year of un-photographed privacy.
5.     The Backwards Run—Everyone runs a fun run backwards while music is also played backwards. Wait … Paul is dead?  

Monday, August 20, 2012

A saw the sign.

I don't know what this means.
I came across this sign this past weekend and, while I understand all of the words individually, when they are put together in this sentence, I don't know what it means.

My best guess is that it's a play on words between "cool" and "hottie", but none of the definitions of either word make sense. Aren't flowers suppose to heat up a romance and not cool it off? I could see flowers cooling off a hotheaded person, maybe? Is the hottie too cool for school and is in danger of flunking out?

All I know is that a rose by any other name wouldn't be as cool.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Buying Music

I recently bought a super awesome 80s song on Amazon for 25-cents and thought it was a fair price. Much more reasonable than the de facto 99-cents charged by iTunes for the same song. Which got me thinking: What if music stores used a graduated pricing model based on decade? That way good, honest people could still buy music they love, but not have to pay today’s prices for yesterday’s hits (which they most likely bought on cassette or gramophone).

This Year:                 $1.29 / Market Price
2011+:                       $.99 / Market Price
2000-2010:                $.99/$9.99 album
1990s:                        $.90/$9 album
1980s:                        $.80/$8 album
1970s:                        $.70/$7 album
1960s:                        $.60/$6 album
1950s:                        $.50/$5 album
1940s:                        $.40/$4 album
1930s:                        $.30/$3 album
1920s:                        $.20/$2 album
1910s:                        $.10/$1 album
1900s:                        $.01/$.25 album

But the problem with this model is that the prices are still too high. So I propose a more competitive model with prices designed to be more enticing than outright stealing.

This Year:                 $.99 - $1.29 / $10 album
2011+:                       $.89 / $5 album
2000-2010:                $.50/$3 album
1990s:                        $.35/$2 album
1980s:                        $.25/$1 album
1970s:                        $.25/$1 album
1960s:                        $.25/$1 album
1950s:                        $.10/$.75 album
1940s:                        $.01/$.05 album
1930s:                        $.01/$.05 album
1920s:                        $.01/$.05 album
1910s:                        $.01/$.05 album
1900s:                        FREE

Now that’s music to your ears! Woo! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Historic Photobombs

For some reason, I find the idea of historic photobombs funny. Also, I don't own the rights to these photos, so if the original owners want me to take them down (or transform more of them into super-awesome photobombs), e-mail me.

To wit:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brought to you by the letter “S”

The following is a smattering of things that start with the letter “S” that I’ve found enjoyable lately:
·      Stash Licorice Spice Caffeine Free Tea*—I’ve been looking for this blend for a while and I’m stoked that I finally found it.
·      Swing-around Fun Town—If only I had known this place existed before a recent bachelor party. Go-carts! Or when I was 7.
·      Sprint Stock—After languishing in the $2 range, this stock is up around $5 … wha?????
·      Standee (pictured)—Yes, that’s Clyde “the Glide” Drexler. A friend of mine** rescued it/him from the trash and gave him to me. Guess who’s getting dunked on at the 8’ hoops soon?

*Introduced to me by That Sister Gal
**Thanks One Tough Broad!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fecal Matters

They’re starting up a rag at work that will be posted exclusively in the bathrooms. And since my reputation is that I am #1 at #2, I was approached for some possible names. Some co-workers threw out some pretty awesome suggestions, but here are mine. Most fun I’ve had all week (so far):
·      The Poopie Post
·      The Tinkle Times
·      Defecation pontification (yes, I get that “information” would work, too)
·      Information in a pinch
·      Peanuts
·      The Toilet Tattler
·      Courtesy Flush
·      Colonic Chronicle
·      Odds and rear ends
·      Dr. Noisewater’s Weekly
·      Corporate Crap

Monday, August 13, 2012

Knock. Knock.

Confession time: I appreciate the comedic genre of joke telling known as “the Knock-Knock joke”. This well-known joke structure is popular mainly with the ten-and-under crowd and can be found in tomes with such titles as “The Even Bigger Book of Knock-Knock Jokes, volume 7” and “Who’s there? The Unofficial History of the Knock-Knock Joke from 1854-1983”.

Its timeless versatility is the reason for its enduring popularity. If you’re not familiar with how a knock-knock joke works, welcome to this planet green bug-eyed overlords. But as a refresher, the structure is as follows:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
[Noun or phrase]
[Noun or phrase repeated] who?
[Punchline, oftentimes related to the noun or phrase provided]

Now that you know the structure, here are five of my current favorites that you can try out on your friends and or children.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Whom who?
Yeah, I don’t know the difference either.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Wu who?
Melissa Wu, diver for Australia

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Owl says
Owl says who?

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
I don’t know.
I don’t know, who?
I don’t know who* either!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan who?

*This should actually be “whom”, but comedy trumps grammar

Friday, August 10, 2012


This is a page, literally, from the book, Assault on Lake Casitas, by Brad Alan Lewis. It chronicles the training and preparation of two rowers hoping to bring home a gold medal in Olympic two-man crew during the 80s. I'd do a full review of it, but it's been a long time since I've read the book. I remember liking it and seemed to like this page so much that I scanned it in. I've posted it without permission, but do recommend that you check out the full book.

From Assault on Lake Casitas

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gluttony, thy name is Delicious

I recently went to Vegas. And, while I’m not supposed to talk about what happened there, I will tell you what I ate there. Buffets. Four in four days. Yes, dear readers, I indulged in the sin of gluttony. So, if you are so inclined to follow my feastings, I figured I’d share with you my rankings.
1.     Spice Market, Planet Hollywood Casino—Great variety and not a bad bite in the place. You know how you’ll take a few bites of something and go “eh, I’m not finishing this”? Not here. Everything was delectable. And the service was outstanding.
2.     Le Village Buffet, Paris Casino—This one had the best ambiance, but we were there for breakfast, so I had to skew it down a bit in the rankings. The highlight of this buffet was the crème bar—tres bien!
3.     Bellagio Buffet, Bellagio Casino—This is a solid buffet with a diverse selection, but the hour-and-a-half wait time made this one hard to praise. Great food, but eat ahead of time … for a buffet. I would recommend that they take a page out of the Disney handbook and make the wait in line as entertaining as the ride.
4.     All-World Buffet, Rio Casino—Billed at the “Best Buffet in Vegas, year over year”, it wasn’t. We had the second longest line and, while the food and selection were fine, the service was incredibly slow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This isn’t gay.

I find the Chik-fil-a controversy fascinating. Fascinating because people seemed so shocked by the CEO’s statement, even though America has been a predominantly Judeo-Christian society since its inception. Fascinating because people seemed so quick to condemn the opinions of either side and say so all over their social media pages. Fascinating because, despite all of the vitriol, it’s pretty much blown over already.

Remember KONY 2012? Yeah, what happened to him? Did we catch him? Elect him president? We were so passionate about that, too, remember?

But back to the issue at hand.

Most people mistakenly assume that the issue is Morality. Or Freedom of Speech. Or Gay Marriage.

It’s not.

This is a question of what constitutes an “individual” and to what rights that “individual” is entitled.

Under the law, corporations are considered individuals. This is both out of convenience and to protect the rights of the individuals who make up the corporation. Granted, this is an extreme oversimplification of a complex issue, but essentially corporations can’t vote, but they do have the legal right to make donations to charitable and political organizations. Why is this a problem? Well, per the basics of capitalism, they should be paying dividends to their shareholders or providing higher wages or better benefits for their employees. Also, while the corporations might be made up of individuals, it’s often a select few individuals who get to push various social agendas, which may or may not run counter to the financial and economic goals of the corporation.

In another part of the spectrum are Homosexuals. They actually ARE individual citizens, who can vote, but are denied the right to marry or civil unionize for some reason.

I say “for some reason” because there are other instances where the United States government can and does limit or deny the rights of individuals for specific reasons. Usually this is done to protect the individual, such as a child who’s too young to make their own decisions; to incentivize the individual, like the granting of voting rights to encourage citizenship; or to punish the individual, whereby a convicted felon forfeits the right to vote.

Now, some people would like to make homosexuality a felony offense. The flaw in that line of reasoning is that the government still shouldn’t be able to deny them the right to marry or civil unionize; it would only deny homosexuals the right to vote.

So unless a homosexual is an under-aged convicted felon named KONY, by law, they should be afforded the same rights as every other individual.

Or, at least, every monolithic corporation posing as an individual.

And maybe that’s the real solution: Individuals afforded the rights of corporations. Instead of marriage, how about an impromptu merger in Las Vegas? Or rather than a honeymoon in Barbados, you and your betrothed can enjoy a nice offshore, tax-deferred incorporation? It’s the same courthouse after all—just one floor up.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Scenes from a Las Vegas Vacation

I won this way, not once, but twice!
Would you have guessed "Criss Angel's Believe"? Me neither.

Art instead of cigarettes. No word on if you can smoke the art.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Also, in hair designs.

The spectacular Red Rocks of NV.
A scene from the direct to DVD movie: Burros in the Outfield.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Have you noticed?

In watching the Olympics, I've seen a lot of political ads. And the trend I've found most interesting is that few candidates are listing their political affiliation. Sure, each ad is still swathed in red, white and blue, but there isn't the customary "Candidate X, Office, Democrat/Independent/Republican". I'm not sure if this done in an earnest attempt to get voters to pay attention to the candidate and their message or a duplicitous way of hiding affiliation until the last minute. Probably a little of both.

What is refreshingly consistent is that the ads are aggressively negative. Candidate X may have murdered his own mother, but at least he's not a member of that one political party you don't like ... as far as you know.

Oh, and as a bonus, I've recently tried a new beer out of St. Louis, brewed in Wisconsin, called "American Patriot" beer. Their mission is "Taking back America ... one beer at a time". From whom? From beer burglars, I guess.

Does it taste like freedom? In a manner of speaking, yes. They say freedom isn't free and that your freedom incurs a cost. Well, my friends, I now know what that cost tastes like--Capitalism laced with opportunism. And it's disgusting.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

That Tad Guy's Unfinished Basement Cider

Sounds delicious and refreshing, right?

Well, a friend of a friend brews his own beer and recommended that I try brewing cider first. So that's what I'm trying to do in my basement. And, after a quick internet search, I already found a few guys who have done the heavy lifting for me:

The only two changes to their recipe that I'm making are that I'm using a different yeast, which I purchased at Worm's Way, and added vodka to the valve instead of water, for increased sterility.

Otherwise, things are already bubbling up. So in a few weeks I'll either have crisp delicious cider or a stomach ache and a hangover. And if it works, I might just have a juicer purchase in my future.

Get ready. Get excited. Get thirsty.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Series Review: The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher

Includes: The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire

The Premise:
In a distant future, humanity lives a peaceful and uncomplicated existence under the influence of The Tripods, towering three-legged machines with mysterious origins. During their thirteenth year, boys and girls are fitted with metallic caps as part of a celebration called Capping Day. Those who are capped come back loving their new masters even more, but a few come back changed.

One boy, a year out from his capping, begins to question the benevolence of his metallic masters when one of his close friends comes back a bit … off. So he sets off on an adventure that will lead him far from home and deep into the mysterious machinations of The Tripods!

The Good:
I remember reading this trilogy in Jr. High School and since its heroes were about my age, the books really resonated with me—much like, I’m sure, the Harry Potter books resonated with kids who were Harry’s age. But in re-reading it, the books still held up as compelling entertainment. Granted, I knew all of the words this time through, but Mr. Christopher’s strength as a storyteller is that he doesn’t waste a lot of time with extraneous details. He sets the stage and gets right into the action. Each character is distinctive and real tension and emotion develop as the adventure progresses. Plus, the books aren’t all that lengthy, so you can blow through them in a weekend or over the course of a long plane ride.

The Bad:
The narrator/main character can get a bit annoying. I’m not sure why Mr. Christopher made him such a hothead, but there are times when he strays into some unsympathetic territory, which can lessen the emotional investment.

The Verdict:
Buy it if you have a teenager or are looking for a fun and quick read (If you can find it; I found a used box-set online). Also, the message (yes, there is a bit of a message) actually holds up and is quite prescient for the times we live in.