Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year

My favorite episode of MASH begins on New Year's Eve 1950.
As it's about to become 1951 Colonel Potter says "Here's to the New Year. May she be a damned sight better than the old one and may we all be home before she's over."
The episode goes on an hilarious recounting of the 1951 baseball season with Winchester betting on the Dodgers.
The 4077th goes nuts when Russ Hodges exclaims "the Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"
And the episode ends on New Year's Eve 1951.
As it's about to become 1952 Colonel Potter says "Here's to the New Year. May she be a damned sight better than the old one and may we all be home before she's over."

For me personally 2008 was a great one. My little boy grew from a little baby who didn't do much to a walking, talking menace. Watching him grow each day and remembering all the fun things we did this year will always bring fond memories of 2008.
But some bad things did happen this year. I lost my job (though hopefully in 2009's recap I'll be able to consider that a blessing), Mrs. Poop's grandfather passed away, and on a much less important note, the Mets choked again.

But this year in my life was that much richer for being able to share it with all of you.

So no matter how 2008 turned out for you I still wish that this New Year "be a damned sight better than the old one" and to all the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan "may [you] all be home before she's over."

Friday, January 02, 2009

Weekly Picks

We bounced back from three bad weeks in a row thanks to a gutsy pick of the Cardinals. If I were in the pool this year I’d be in money position right now. But you make your name in the playoffs. And this is an interesting week with no spreads bigger than a field goal and three road favorites.

atlanta -2 ARIZONA
This is a styles makes fights pick. In the playoffs I’m going to go with the team with the better defense and running game over the passing team, even though the game is being played in favorable weather conditions.

baltimore -3 MIAMI
I think this game will be so low scoring that a field goal margin here is very likely. And while I love what Chad Pennington has done with this team I think the Ravens defense will be able to take advantage of him. They’ll get pressure on him because he’s not very mobile, and they pick him off by sitting on his routes because they know he can’t throw over the top.

MINNESOTA +3 philadelphia
I just don't trust the Eagles. They've shown flashes, then they've looked like shit. But I'm picking this based on the running game of the Vikings. And the fact that I think Andy Reid will be stupid and pass too much. When he does that, the Eagles lose.

BEST BET
indianapolis +1 SAN DIEGO

I still don't trust the Chargers. Even though they won 4 must win games in a row I still don't believe in their toughness in a crucial game. And I really like the way the Colts are playing right now. Plus they have the revenge factor working since the Chargers knocked them out last year.

Last Week: 3-2 (4 points)
Season: 44-41 (49 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (11-6)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (10-16)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (4-1)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (19-8)
Road Underdogs: 1-2 (10-15)
Road Pickems: 0-0 (1-1)

Was It Worth It?

Even though I never posted about it explicitly, I was always very skeptical about the Jets acquisition of Brett Favre. Hearing from Jets fans after the trade the only phrase that came to mind was the Wolf's classic line from Pulp Fiction, "let's not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet."
Now that the season is over we can look back on a 9-7 season in which Brett Favre threw 22 interceptions (including 9 against 2 touchdowns in the fateful 5-game stretch to end the season) and even the most positive Jet fan would have to say the move didn't work out.
The acquisition of Favre cost the Jets Chad Pennington who was always a good quarterback when healthy. he should have been given a chance to work with the Jets other new additions (Faneca, Woody). Instead he went to the Dolphins had a better year than Brett Favre in every significant category (except TD passes, but only marginally) and led the biggest one-season turnaround in NFL history.
But it wasn't what the Jets lost that makes the Favre move a mistake. It's what they got.
A ticket on the Brett Favre carousel.
The Packers had to cut ties with Favre because going round-and-round with him every offseason was setting back the franchise and it threatens to do the same to the Jets.
The Jets desired coaching replacement for the fired Eric Mangini (who deserves about 25% of the blame for this season's disaster and only for not reining in Favre), Bill Cowher, turned down the job, reportedly because he doesn't want to coach Brett Favre, or spend an offseason waiting for Favre to make up his mind.
Also, Favre may hamper the Jets efforts to get the quarterback they want (maybe Matt Cassel) because who in their right mind would go to a team that Favre may want to come back to).
And the Jets don't really have a quarterback of the future on their roster, so they have to draft one. And if they do he will either have to play before he's ready, or spend a year learning bad habits from Favre.
The Jets need to come out right now, today and say "we don't want Favre back next season."
Riding his carousel, or worse bringing him back next year and hoping for different results, is just going to add to the immeasurable pain Jets fans already feel.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

All He Wanted Was a "Blow Job"

Charles Barkley got arrested for DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Pretty routine stuff and I wasn't even planning to post about it until I read the police report.
Barkley was driving his black Infiniti SUV when an officer parked around the corner (sneaky bastard) saw him roll through a stop sign at 10 miles an hour (what a stickler!).
As the cop pulled out to get behind Barkley, a female got into Barkley's car.
The cop pulled him over, said Barkley smelled of alcohol and looked like he had been drinking. Barkley admitted to drinking, telling the cop he didn't want to give him a "bullshit answer."
After field sobriety tests, Barkley refused the breathalyzer saying his bodyguard advised him not to take one. The cop arrested him, brought him in, had the car towed and impounded the handgun that was later found in the car.
Pretty routine, until back at the station Barkley starts talking.
He told the cop he ran the stop sign because he was in a hurry to pick up the girl. He asked the cop to admit the girl was hot.
Then he said "I was going to drive around the corner and get a blow job."
He told the cop that girl gave him a "blow job" a week ago and it was the best one he ever had.

Note: the quotes around blow job are taken directly from the report. I guess that's viewed as slang or street lingo by the police.

Barkley tried to bribe a PD employee by saying "I'll tattoo my name on your ass" if he could get out of this. Then he corrected himself, saying "I'll tattoo your name on my ass."

A sweaty Charles Barkley just wanted some head

Now I can't fault the man for his pursuit of a blow job, especially if it was that good, but driving drunk is never the answer.

Also, considering how Barkley is the most self-righteous person on earth right now who basically makes his living criticizing everything everyone else does and says, he's got to be embarrassed by this incident.

The NFL is Poop - Week 17

No One Wants to Make the Playoffs
Once again we saw another week of desperate teams coming up short, when playing teams with nothing at stake. You had the Bears losing to the Texans, and the Bucs losing at home to the Raiders. How does this happen? Rare for a final week of the season but there were 3 games where both teams needed to win to get in. The Dolphins beat the Jets (thanks to Brett Favre) but the other two were complete blowouts. The Cowboys lost to the Eagles 44-6 and the Chargers demolished the Broncos 52-21. Not the way you should play with your season on the line.

Choke Jobs
Those final week losses completed 3 historic chokes by 3 teams that were sitting pretty just a few weeks ago.
The Jets: After beating New England and previously undefeated Tennessee (on the road) the Jets were 8-3 and in 2nd playoff position. Then they lost 4 out of 5 (and got lucky to win the other one) to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs.
The Broncos: After beating the Jets and the Chiefs, the Broncos were 8-5 with a 3-game lead in a horrible division. They dropped their next three getting embarrassed by the Chargers on national TV to end the seaseon.
The Buccanneers: They were 9-3 heading into a Monday night game against the Panthers. They got destroyed that night, lost a squeaker the next week then laid down like dogs and got booted out of the playoffs.
I think the biggest choke here actually belongs to the Jets. The Bucs are tempting because they lost 4 in a row, the last one to the Raiders, but their other 3 losses were to playoff teams (Carolina, Atlanta, San Diego).
The Jets on the other hand lost to San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Miami. But as it turned out the Jets probably would have needed to win two of those games to get in.
Whereas the Broncos could have used just one victory, but expectations for them were never that high anyway.
So congratulations to New York Jets fans, another bitter pill to swallow.

Insult to Injury
As if the city of Detroit is not suffering enough, they now have to endure the dignity of the Lions completing the first 0-16 season in NFL history. Now there may be some hope in the front office which was almost completely cleaned out (starting with Matt Millen and ending with Rod Marinelli) but on the field, I don't see much hope for the future.
Since 1978 when the NFL went to a 31 game schedule no team had ever won 16 games in the regular season, until last year, and no team and lost all 16 games, until this year.

Game of the Week
New England Patriots 13 Buffalo Bills 0

The gale-force winds (up to 70 miles an hour) made this game one for the history books. The winds were show strong they literally blew over the goal posts. When it came to kick towards one end they had to have a crew with ropes hold the goal posts in place. The Patriots tried 47 running plays and only 8 passes. The Bills ran it 35 times and threw it 25 times, but only because they had to. The longest pass play was 19 yards.



Game of Next Week
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

The Eagles are such a difficult team to predict. The tie the Bengals and hit rock bottom in a loss to the Ravens. Then they win 3 straight and look like world beaters. Following a loss to the Redskins in which they scored only 3 points, all hope seemed lost. But everything broke their way and they destroyed Dallas to earn the playoff spot and a date with Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. And they're actually favored in this one. I think Donovan McNabb's future with the team is at stake here. Maybe Andy Reid's too.

Cheerleader of the Week
Marlina Moreno of the San Diego Charger Girls
Marlina is in her 3rd year with the Charger girls and was one of 12 NFL Cheerleaders photographed for the SI Swimsuit issue (pictures below). When not cheering she runs her own cleaning business, with environmentally friendly practices.










A Brief Rant About the Redskins
A disappointing season comes to a disappointing end with another bad loss to an inferior team. They lost to the Bengals, Rams and 49ers this year, all horrible losses. I still think they have the basis of a really good team here, but they need to keep working with Campbell and make some improvements on defense. But really the talent is not the problem here. The inability to make the key play (on both sides of the ball) was the difference between winning and losing several games this year for this team.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
New York Giants 24 Tennessee Titans 13

I'm throwing out those week 17 performances for both teams, but the Colts and the Steelers are right on Tennessee's heels. The Giants seem to have an easier road unless Carolina is emboldened by that late season loss the way the Giants themselves were last year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Song of the Week

"Soldier Boy" - The Shirelles
And Papa Poop turns to Mama Poop and says "hey baby, they're playing our song."

Inspiration

I'd had this picture of Adam Bender saved as a drafted post for about 6 months, not knowing quite what to do with it. I guess you never know when you are going to need a little inspiration.



ESPN's E-60 also did an incredible piece on Adam Bender.
Warning: this piece will bother your allergies.



Maybe in 2009 we should all try to be a little more like Adam Bender and a little less like ourselves.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Even When He Was Little He Was Big

Hilarious picture of a young (12 year-old) Fat Scat and the ridiculously 80s (hair and dress) Razor at her Bat Mitzvah. Laugh at them.

Fat Scat and Razor at her Bat Mitzvah

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good News Bad News

Mello Yello is going to be ok.
But it's going to cost $2800 to fix her.
Now I know the Nissan dealership is a ripoff, that's why I stopped going there for service. But I don't want to go through the hassle of having it towed to another station for an estimate.
He said the problem was something with the distributor (not sure if any Poopheads know anything about cars) but it was going from 6 cylinders to 4 to 3 while I was driving.
A bitter pill to swallow but I'm glad my car is going to be ok.

I Think I Found My Purpose in Life

I've always been a big fan of vocabulary, and now I have a new passion, Bro-cabulary.

Here's a brief description of the book:

"Bro-cab-u-lary (n.): A revolutionary new lexicon for bonding with your bros
Put down your BlackBerry, you PDA-hole, and cancel that masturdate it's time for Brocabulary: a bawdy new dicktionary. This crucial addition to your guybrary will put you in the testosterzone, whether you're being fandiloquent at the game or barticulating during a fargone-versation. Find out how to:
Define your stripping point (the precise number of J├Ąger shots that make a woman want to get naked with you).
Elect yourself the next Abraham Drinkin' and make an Inebriation Proclamation ("Four whores and seven beers ago . . .").
Stop brocrastinating! It's time to become everyone's guydol by leaving your mark on dudescussions for generations to come."


While all that sounds nice, what really caught my attention was the chapter on wingmen called "Winglish." The book suggests that one of the best wingman you can find is the "cere-bro." The bro who is smart and always keeps his head and can talk to women for you. If this doesn't remind everyone of the time we were in Mexico and I was carrying on 5 different conversations with 5 different girls for 5 different guys (ALL IN SPANISH!) then you're not giving me enough credit. I even had to call a girl's house and speak to her father to find out when she'd be home.

Your bro-cabulary word for the day is cere-bro: the most awesome bro you know.

Paul and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

It all started when Grandpy fell.
Once that happened there was no choice but to move Mrs. Poop's grandfather to a nursing home.
That set off a chain reaction of events that resulted in the worst day ever.
Once Grandpy fell and had to go the nursing home, Nanny (Mrs. Poop's grandmother) was left alone, and she needed to go with him.
They finally got all this to happen and it seemed like it would be the best thing for both of them, they'd be together, they'd have constant care and Mrs. Poop's parents wouldn't have to worry about them anymore.
Until a stomach virus ripped through the nursing home.
Grandpy got it. Both of Mrs. Poop's parents got it and were laid up for several days.
But because Grandpy was 91 years old he wasn't able to fight it off as well. It turned into an infection and eventually pneumonia, and he died on Christmas Day.

Mrs. Poop went up to Connecticut with Chase and Diesel after work on Christmas Day, I did the same after working the following day.
It was good to hit the road because Mello Yello hadn't been driven in a while. Ever since I got laid off I hardly drove her, and even when I started the new job I took the train so she'd basically been sitting there for 6 weeks.

Everythiing seemed to be going fine until Mrs. Poop woke up Saturday morning with the stomach bug that had been going around. She stayed in her room during the Christmas brunch with the cousins so as not to get anyone else sick. But it didn't work. When I woke up Sunday morning, I had the poops.

Because Grandpy died on Christmas Day it complicated some of the logistics of laying him to rest. So it was decided that there would be a small family service on Wednesday (I planned to go home for 2 days then come back for it) where Grandpy would get the full military salute.

To truly honor Grandpy's memory a luncheon was arranged in his honor at one of his favorite places, the Polish National Home in Hartford. We'd had his 90th birthday there and he loved the kielbasa and all the other foods which comprise the Polish plate.

But because I woke up so sick Sunday morning I decided to skip the lunch just go home. I packed my car and headed out. When I stopped for gas (always shut off your motor) I couldn't get Mello Yello to start. I called Triple A but Mrs. Poop's dad suggested I try starting it with the car in neutral. It worked. But I foolishly decided to try to get it home, instead of having it fixed locally.

I made it three-quarters of the way home but I could tell there was something wrong. Every time I stepped on the gas the car shook. The RPM needle was fluttering. When I slowed to exit 684 and get onto 287, I couldn't get her back up to speed. She basically shut off and I rolled her to a stop in a very precarious position on a small shoulder between the highway and an exit ramp.

Once again I called Triple A, but they couldn't take me off the highway. Another tow truck got me off the highway, took me to a shopping center, then finally the Triple A truck came, and was able to bring me all the way to New Jersey. But this ordeal took about 5 hours.

It just so happens that in the same Stop N Shop parking lot where I was waiting in White Plains, NY another Triple A customer called because she was locked out of her car. So after getting my car on the flatbed the driver had to jimmy her door open. And as we were pulling away another person flagged down the tow truck, because his battery died and he needed a jump. So at least someone benefitted from my misfortune.

Right now Mello Yello sits at the Nissan dealer, the same dealer I stopped going to for service because they ripped me off the last time (charging me $100 to change a headlight).

And when I called Mrs. Poop to tell her what happened, I learned that Nanny fainted at the lunch and had to be taken to the emergency room and spent the night in the hospital.

Not a good way to go into a brand new year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One Bad Apple

Sometimes the actions of few, or even one bad individual can taint an entire race or group of people.
Jews who have spent the last 60 years calling all Germans "krauts" may now get a small taste of their own medicine.
Disgraced investment guru Bernard Madoff is accused of orchestrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
No, I'm not comparing him to Hitler, I'm just using an extreme example to illustrate my point.
Even though Madoff stole the majority of his money from fellow Jews and ruining several Jewish charities in the process, Madoff enforced some of the worst steretypes about Jews.
While delivering shockingly great returns for his clients, Madoff earned the nickname "The Jewish T-Bill."
But now that Madoff's fund collapsed and all the money is gone those in the community fear this case is fanning vicious stereotypes about Jews that go back to the Middle Ages.
The Anti-Defamation League cites a spike in anti-Semitic comments online after Madoff's Dec. 11 arrest. A columnist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz lamented the case as "the answer to every Jew-hater's wish list."
And the American Jewish Committee's executive director, David A. Harris, wrote a letter to The New York Times criticizing what he saw as "a striking emphasis" on Madoff's faith in one of the paper's many stories about the scandal.
The case is "fodder for the bigots," Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL's national director, said in an interview this week with The Associated Press. "It's both embarrassing and it's painful."

*****

It's difficult to describe the case in any detail without mentioning Madoff's religion. The 70-year-old money manager and former Nasdaq stock market chairman donated hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, much of it to Jewish causes. And many of the known victims of his business, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, are big names in Jewish life.
Yeshiva University, one of the nation's foremost Jewish institutions of higher education, lost $110 million; Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, lost $90 million; director Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation acknowledged unspecified losses; and a $15 million foundation established by Holocaust survivor and writer Elie Wiesel was wiped out. Jewish federations and hospitals have lost millions and some foundations have had to close.

*****

Adding to the sense of betrayal in the allegations against Madoff are worries about whether they feed into centuries-old, ugly caricatures of Jews.
Since Jews served as lenders in medieval Europe, where they were barred from many other occupations, they have sometimes been portrayed as miserly, greedy and obsessed with money. In just one example, Shakespeare's Shylock, the Jewish character who demands a pound of flesh in payment for a loan in "The Merchant of Venice," has become synonymous with usury.
Anti-Semitic broadsides have peppered the Internet in the wake of Madoff's arrest, some in highly visible public-comment sections of popular news sites.
Some get removed by the sites' administrators or draw replies noting there are bad apples of all creeds and in all walks of life. Victims also extend to all creeds and walks of life — banks, insurers, pension funds and even the International Olympic Committee are among those who say they've been taken by Madoff.
Still, the scandal has reverberated throughout the Jewish community. This week, representatives of about three dozen Jewish foundations met in New York City to come up with a plan to help Jewish nonprofits that lost money with Madoff, said Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. Solomon said the foundations agreed to contribute to a pool of money that will be distributed to hard-hit organizations.

Normally stereotypes such as the Irish are dunks, or black people like fried chicken are mostly harmless. But the reason this one hurts so much is because this is the exact rationalization Hitler gave to the Germans when explaining the need to exterminate all Jews. And 70 years later our own people are living down to Hitler's opinion of us.