Friday, November 21, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 12 NFL Picks: November 21st

In the league where they play............................................................ for pay.

On to Week 12, where Mike Francesa has these NFL picks for us:

Browns +3 at Falcons
Patriots -7 vs Lions
Colts -14 vs Jags
Bucs +6 at Bears
Seahawks -7 vs Cardinals

Mike Francesa's Week 11 NFL Picks go 2-4, now 25-19-1 this season.

With some help from Brian Monzo, Mike Zaun producer on WFAN, we got word of Mike's picks from Week 11.  I was on vacay at the time so I didn't post it that day.  Also some props are in order to Andy in Seattle for denoting Monzo's tweeting of the picks.

...yes I realize this makes one wonder why does the 'Cow bother posting these on the blog, but the payoff is in the season record, which we can compile with tangible evidence.   Anyway here are the picks Mike made:

Mike's #NFL picks: Packers -5.5, Browns -3, Saints -7, Vikings +3, Bucs +7.5, Broncos -9.5 .. #PlayForPay ..

How'd they do?   Let's recap:

Mike hit with: Packers, Bucs
Mike missed with: Browns, Saints, Vikings, Broncos

Total: 2-4

That also puts his season total at 25-19-1 for the year.   We ran through several sources, archived audio, and numerous listeners to corroborate the record as we have it now.  Mike's still doing pretty well, but we're at a point of the year where his announced record may deviate from the actual one.   but, we're coming up on 5pm Eastern, and soon he will announce his latest NFL picks to extend his season record.  Good luck to his upcoming picks later this evening!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 21st

It looks like most of the archives on the DITCOW Blogtalkradio page got deleted this week!  I will check it again later, but I'm a very sad man.  I like to go back to old episodes to get a picture of how the show evolved, the guests we had and so on.   If they're gone for good, that's really too bad.

Tonight I had a special meeting with peanut M&M's.  This time around, I put them in the freezer before eating them.   Whatever the reasons, frozen M&M's are oh so good!   Incredible.  I wasn't going crazy like that lady in the "Mile High Hardees/Carl's Jr. cheeseburger" commercial, but they popped in my mouth and tasted great.

I also officially ran out of regular food.  I'm down to one can of Chipotle Chicken Chowder and a handful of peanut M&M's.  That's it!  It's time to go back to the grocery store.

One of my favorite sandwiches, and it's not a great sandwich overall, but I love it, and it's the Subway BLT footlong sub.  It's just vegetables, bacon, and cheese, with my choices of oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, then brown mustard and chipotle southwest sauce.   I enjoy it a lot, throw in some peppers and perpronchinis.  Yum!  NOW I wonder what would happen if I asked the fine folks at Jersey Mike's to create that same sandwich?  Would it taste even better?  What would happen if I mosey'd down to Bay Cities to ask guys to make a hero with those ingredients... maybe use their fine quality provolone as the cheese and use their special hot peppers blend as the topping.  It would truly amaze some folks.   I think I already had this sandwich once.. its their "capreese" sandwich but I'd also classify it as a Godmother Sandwich without meat.  Very good.  What I *didn't* do that time was ask them to add freshly toasted bacon.   With the bacon that sandwich would be outstanding!

It's been said many times before by many people, but doesn't bacon enhance everything?   I heard some people were grossed out by bacon covered chocolate but I had it once and I liked it.    I'd add bacon to cookies to see how that went.   One thing with me and bacon is that bacon has to be crispy... at least on the edges it must be.   You'll get what they call "thick sliced bacon" and its more like beef jerky.  It's not my thing.  People get so excited too about it: "ITS THICKER BACON!!"  but the difference is, that thicker bacon means less crispy bacon.   If the bacon was thicker but still as salty and crispy as usual, itd be fantastic, OR if it was more along the lines of the high grade pork bellies with succulent juicy centers, I'm all in.  Usually it's just the dried up portions of the pork made thicker, so again, its like chewing on bacon licorice or something - not quite the same effect.

I'll tell you what - I did not mention the reuben a friend and I shared at Las Vegas' Carnegie Deli location in the Mirage.  For those of you from New York, I am willing to gamble and say it duplicates the taste of their flagship location faithfully.  For me it's all about the pastrami, and it's so delightful.  The pastrami is moist, sumptuous, and full of flavor.  It falls off and melts in your mouth.  Really the only two places I know with better pastrami are Langer's in Los Angeles and Katz's Delicatessen over in New York City.  Technically I'm eating a fellow NYC sandwich, but with a much shorter distance to travel to get to it.

And, subconsciously, that might be what keeps me coming back to Las Vegas.   So many times a year, and every time I've been since about December 2013 I've made at least one stop at Carnegie Deli at the Mirage.  It's irresistible.   Every time I go after that pastrami during the trip.  On one or two occasions I hit it at a bad time, it wasn't that fresh and it tasted grainy, but still delicious.  Oooh, but on the other occasions it's just perfect.  Try it and see, then taste!

The Mirage, without really attempting it, made a casino designed especially for Dave. They said, "ok, what kind of Casino/Hotel would Dave live for?   We start with an enormous sports book, possibly the biggest one on the strip, let's put that up front.  Then we'll add a Starbucks on site.   We will add a burger place with customizable toppings, great fries, and shakes, plus excellent beer on tap.   If he's feeling it, we'll throw in a good buffet (which I havent even TRIED yet!), and a top notch steakhouse.   Let's add a chinese restaurant, then place some top 5 national pastrami right by the door.   Lastly we'll throw in fair slots, great blackjack and craps tables, a Beatles show, a Puppet Guy who does nights, a showroom with the best comics performing every weekend, rooms with views of the strip, the largest pool around, and easy access to the Venetian and Wynn.   Finally we want to charge reasonable rates, about 50 a night on slow dates.  It is... the Mirage."  And I keep going back there time after time.

McIntosh apples are my new thing.   Peach season is over, but it gives way to Apple Season, and McIntosh is at the head of the class.  I ran out of apples, so my new supply is on its way very soon.  I like McIntosh because it's tart but not overly sour.   Pretty much everything a Granny Smith was but better.   You ever notice, nobody tries to make a candy or an ice cream McIntosh flavored?  Missed opportunity here.   I think it'd be a nice change of pace.  McIntosh apples are incredibly fun to eat.   I don't really know why I was so late coming around to them, but the last year or so it's been grand.  It doesn't seem like my store really carries them until the Fall hits full stride.  Here we are!   Next trip I'm getting a huge bag of them.

How many apples can one person eat in one sitting?  Generally I'd imagine the person would get bored with apples after eating 3 ofthem.   Overall I think my ceiling is four apples, but if really pressed, I could go up to six of them.

That's all for the moment.  I always hoped that a health study would come out that said Peanut M&M's are healthy for you! 

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 20th

This one's for Beebs, Cap, and Lubsies.   I miss doing the personal blogs on a regular basis.

The issue for me lately is time.   Work is too busy, the apartment is too busy, sports are too busy, and often I don't have the time or the energy to compose a full persoblog.  Or a "daveblog" as I call it.  So here's what was on my mind in the weeks since my last personal entry.

You ever notice that when you shower the feet get left out?   Do any of you scrub your feet?   I never thought about it.  You soap down all the other parts of your body but then when it gets to the feet I always forget.  I keep thinking "well its gonna step on the floor again w all the other gunk, is it worth it?"   I haven't done it much.   Do the feet care?  I think there's a chance it can avoid disease by simply washing it w some soap... remarkable that this never came up before.

So I have a story to share with you all from a recent Vegas trip.   A friend of mine had an idea to go to a night club in Vegas to see Lil Jon there.   And, wouldn't you know, we're walking around the Wynn/Encore complex and there's a lil dude with the wild hair walking down the other way.  Lil guy too... yep, that dude was LIL JON.   Good stuff!   So the friend is like "let's go see him tonite at the club!"  So, for the first time ever, I thought "you know what?  That sounds like a good idea!"

Remarkably, we found the tickets... the concert didn't start until 10:30!!   Can you even imagine that?   They don't even open the doors til 10:30... so the two of us had to go back to the hotel into our respective rooms, then we return iono about 9, and I'm playing dollar slots at the Encore after winning two out of three NHL over/under bets at the Wynn casino.   The dollar slots weren't going so well -- I made the crucial mistake of trying a Double Diamond Machine with the stinkin' "Megabucks" Jackpot.  Do me a favor will you?  Don't ever play a Double Diamond w/ Megabucks Jackpot machine.  Man was that eating away at my money.  After a while, I gave up and tried the regular double diamond $1 machine while waiting for the Lil Jon Nightclub to let people in.   This time I put in only 20 bucks, but this $1 machine had some staying power!  I didn't win anything there either but I got a good vibe from it.   So we are dressed up here.. a bunch of #HelloDeahs in the line and we're ready to roll.  A bunch of douchebag clowns are right behind us, one of them drops his phone.  That group was getting instantly untrustworthy, but on we went into the club.   It was a good time, and it was apparently "early" by the club's standards.. we're all dancing at about 11... it was dark in there, some smoke machines in effect, drinks, even some black jack tables, but the ones with the auto-machines instead of the shoe.  Those auto-machine tables are bad news, so I avoided the blackjack completely and we all kept dancing...... but after a while it was like "when is Lil Jon going to get here?" and eventually we gave up.  I had no idea when he even showed up... for all I know he might have started at 2.   Alas, it wasn't to be.  I might consider trying it again on another date... he's at this nightclub fairly often, YEAHHHHH, OK!

and the buffets... OH the buffets!   Life is good when you can pick apart the nuances of the Wynn lunch buffet and the Cosmopolitan brunch buffet from Sunday.  For me the Cosmo was the clear winner.  Last time out, I tried both on the same weekend and the difference was closer.  The distinction was that this was the first look at a Cosmopolitan Wicked Spoon Sunday Brunch.  Man was it good!   They touted the thick sliced fresh bacon, but their regular bacon was also so amazing.   They don't do prime rib here, but they serve a pretty succulent beef culotte.   The culotte, as great as it is even with the creamy horseradish sauce ohhhhh so good, still gets lost within a whole arena of great foods.   The angry mac and cheese, now known as "Wicked Mac" is stupendous.   The French Toast blows me away.  The gingerbread pancakes with marshmallow topping hit the spot.   There was some "mystery juice" served to us along w/ the usuals: orange juice, coffee, and soda at your option.  I didn't take the soda, but the others were stellar as usual.  Now this "mystery juice" was revealed by our server as a raspberry puree with some passionfruit and other assorted fruits.   Amazing!  Then it was time for the desserts.  I didn't partake in too many of them this time, but the gelato guy, didn't really have much to say but he was very enthusiastic w/ his action and took great pride in his gelato, served up some vanilla for me to top it all off.  He would go "WHICH GELATO?  [after your pick] VANILLA YES?  OK"  Something like that, he used very few actual words but his communication was effective.  

To give you a picture of how expansive this buffet is:  you never even *touch* the Italian Pastas, the Chinese/Thai/Japanese cuisines, or anything else on the right hand side of the gallery.   It's best to focus on the left side anyway, because the primo breakfast foods and excellent carving station are all on that end.  I must not forget the braised pork eggs benedict.  Simply delicious!

One other note, going back to the Wynn Buffets... the Wynn buffet served the single greatest flank steak I've ever had.   I don't regard flank steak as very tasty, succulent, or even interesting, but Wynn nailed it.  They cooked the flank steak in a marvelous sweet glaze, and grilled it over mesquite flames.  I could see the chefs grilling each slab to perfection.  When I saw it the first time I said "hey how come they only have the end of the meat?"  I didn't realize it was a flank cut, which is already flat by its definition.  Best flank steak I've ever had.  So good that I want to go back and try it again.

When I retire, I will make it a point to go to vegas for a whole week, trying every dish in these two buffets, provided they're still around.  If they aren't, I'll attempt the same project for two similar buffets in town.   That would be a dream of mine.  Maybe one day I can play blackjack at a table with Lil Jon and Al Michaels.   Listen folks, I do believe in miracles and playing with those two would be a blast!

If we add Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift to that table, then we got a party.  Doncha think so?

Some other thoughts...

Mortadella is the grown up cousin of bologna.   Very good, and proving to be one of my favorite meats.

I have some seriously chapped lips right now that I've tried to fix with Chap Stick.  It works but then the lips dry out again.  I tried swimming on Tuesday and it made the lips even worse.   It's so painful that I can't even smile without my lips tearing and or bleeding.  Oof.  So I keep pounding the 'stick.   Eventually I hope the lips get enough moisture.

I think any situation, even ones with high tension, can be improved with cookies.

There may come a week soon down the line where I'll take a vacation from sports.  Just stop following it.  I'm interested to know how it'd be less to think about, anyway.

Nothing beats sleeping with several warm blankets on a cold night.   A very good feeling.

I think that's all for this time out.  Hope to see you again soon...

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 12: November 19th

Here they are!  The "Kids Club" picks for Week 12.  Thanks to John and Ottis for making the picks on-air on the @ditcow podcast (this week you can go to for the complete broadcast -- youtube didnt capture a full show). 

Here we go... good luck to the picks!

Ron in NJ (23-20-1) 
SDSU -4 vs Air Force
Boise St. -13 at Wyoming
Broncos -7 vs Dolphins
Cowboys -3 at Giants

Say Hello to Ottis (22-21-1) 
Notre Dame -3.5 vs Louisville
Oregon -34 vs Colorado
Bears -6 vs Bucs
Broncos -7 vs Dolphins

Ottis also likes Florida State -19 vs Boston College, but this will not count towards the contest.

Andy in Seattle (22-21-1) 
Kansas State +2.5 at West Virginia
Arizona State -16 vs Washington State
Patriots -7 vs Lions
Cowboys -3 at Giants

John in CT (21-23) 
Utah State -13 vs SJSU
Purdue -1 vs Northwestern
Eagles -11 vs Titans
Rams +4.5 at Chargers

Two notable Checker on Checkers this week:  Both Ron and Ottis like Broncos -7, and both Ron and Andy like Cowboys -3.   Both of these could prove to be popular picks all across America.  Good luck to all the picks and here's to a great Week 12!

Dave's LOCK of the Week: November 19th

This week, just one LOCK (blam!) of the Week.

Raiders +7.5 vs Chiefs.   Home teams getting points is a consistently good play.   This week, it could play out really well with the Chiefs not only coming off an emotional win over the Seahawks, but also on short rest.   The Raiders have gotten closer and closer to winning a game, and last week they lost to the Chargers by just 7 points.   So here it is -- Raiders to keep it interesting against the Chiefs.  I've been getting killed with Thursday night picks, but this time around, there may be a chance.  On we go!   Here's to a good week of, um, LOCK in the NFL.

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 11 Results: Andy climbs above .500, Ron stays in 1st

This was a big week for Andy in Seattle on the "Kids Club" picks.  After spending the whole year under .500, he goes 3-1 to climb to a winning record.  A tremendous job by Andy getting above .500.  Oat Man wins the week due to the tiebreakers, and Ron also hangs onto 1st place in the season standings.  Let's recap the picks:

Say Hello to Ottis (3-1) 
Hit with: Michigan State, Rams, 49ers
Missed with: Clemson

Andy in Seattle (3-1)
Hit with: Cincinnati, Packers, Cardinals
Missed with: Arizona

Ron in NJ (2-2) 
Hit with: Utah, 49ers
Missed with: Middle Tennessee State, Browns

John in CT (2-2) 
Hit with: Georgia, Chiefs
Missed with: Temple, Saints

The Kids Club is doing well so far in the second half, here are the up-to-date season standings:

Ron: 23-20-1
Ottis: 22-21-1
Andy: 22-21-1
John: 21-23