Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: May 1st



I want so badly to unfollow @theroyalhalf (a Kings Fan Blog/Twitter) because he is such a troll with the other teams.   I can't... his tweets and retweets are so funny!

Stanley Cup Playoffs: What a bonehead loss for the Kings yesterday.  I'm glad to say that they did a tremendous job staying in it despite getting outworked the whole game.  Then in the overtime, Quick wastes too much time trying to clear the puck... behind the net... on a DOUBLE MINOR POWER PLAY IN OVERTIME.   That was curtains.  Blues win in OT 2-1.

Quick has done so much, I'm not going to get too hard on him for this.   The Kings are defending Stanley Cup Champions anyway.   That was Game 1.  The Stanley Cup Playoffs were intense.

Didn't anyone else like "Today's Special?"  I grew up on that show.  The lady comes into work at a Department Store and takes the mannequin upstairs to the childrens section.  Then, like magic, it turns into a real guy!  Strangely, the security guy happens to be a muppet.   I know they preach diversity in Canada but now they're getting synthetic fabrics into the mix.  It's a scene!

That was a good show.   Thank you so much, Nickelodeon, for rebroadcasting it for us in the States.

In other countries, especially British ones, they call the USA "the States" for short.  Sounds like something I would do.  In fact it is something I would do.  Who knew??

Everybody's moving.  People getting new jobs, people getting new apartments, people moving from place to place all the time... even the Subway sandwich shop in Westwood Village is moving somewhere after 25 years.

I'm moving to Coach's apartment soon.  He has a vacancy for a room mate and I thought it would be worth the extra savings and better location in Santa Monica.

I'm not sure *what* it means for the podcast.  I hope I can find room for the equipment over in the new apartment.  We'll see, right?

I tried Lucille's last night..  Lucille's was pretty good by the way.   Barbecue place... interesting appetizers.  Way too much sauce on their pulled pork, though.  I also think Jim's barbecue is better than Lucilles... it might be the quality of the meat that makes the difference at Jim's, but Lucille's is not bad AT ALL.

Rangers game tonight:  I have no comments.  In fact, I'll take it a step further and I won't log onto the message boards when the game starts.

I may soon institute "Steak Monday" thanks to the great steak specials at Ralphs on Monday evenings.  Somehow they charge some boffo good deals like $4.88 or something a pound for a NY Steak.  Usually the filet goes about 9 bones.   Grill that bad boy on the stove, and I don't bother with the stove searing deal, that's for jokers... all I do is heat the stove on medium-high heat, put in a coating of veggie oil, and just grill the thing on each side.   Seasoning is just salt and pepper... nothing more.  These items combine to create a simple, great steak.  No frills in the preparation but very satisfying for the price.  Consider that you could be paying five times that for the same steak at a restaurant.

I just use a regular frying pan... I can imagine an even better outcome when grilling the steak on a gas grill, or over charcoal.

Ooh!  I remember one time a guy had a huge chunk of meat, probably tri tip, on a circle grill at a nearby apartment.  It was over the wall in another building, but seeing that I'm on the second floor, I had a decent look at his grill.  The meat was huge and it just smelled so great.

I tried cooking tri tip in an oven, as grocery stores would suggest.   It's not the same.  The outer crust needs a true flame to broil and sear the edges correctly.  It just doesn't have the same feel, the same juice, without an open flame.  Now the oven tri tip is not bad!  It just doesn't have exactly the same texture that feels like home.

You know what?  This is a good time for a cookie.  It's also a good time for a podcast.  Good thing we have one tonight.  Hope this blog was able to entertain you.  Til tomorrow...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 30th

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are HERE!  I'm into it...

Can you get banned if you say something a moderator doesn't like on a different website?   Want me to try it??  ..I'm not trying it, I value my friends on the internet.

I literally didn't have anything bad to say anyway.   You see a lot of flame throwing on the internet, it's better to just sit back and enjoy it.   Those battles are the battles of others.  No point in piling on, right?

Cookies!  I like chocolate chip cookies...   do I get banned for saying I like Chocolate Chips?

A breakfast sandwich composed of chocolate chip cookies, eggs, ok maybe not eggs, but maybe some cream cheese or something, and strawberries.  Doesn't that sound great?   The chip-breakfastwich.   Or maybe, cookies, bacon, custard, and strawberries.   It's a winner.

I redeemed one of the three Subway coupons I got from the Padres game.   It was a strange setup:  you basically buy the equivalent of a footlong sub and get a free 30 oz drink.  But what you're really doing is buying a 6" sub, and the drink, and you get the second half of the foot-long for free.  The kicker is, you can make the second 6" sub a different style sandwich.   Noice feature, but it's still mediocre subway food.  I can dig -- can't beat the price.

Do you all enjoy the breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks?  The Sausage Sandwich is tremendous.  I've not attempted the others.   There was a bacon one with the egg whites they had once, and it was ok, but I don't think they have that now.  There's a similar one with bacon and regular egg if memory serves.

The egg in McDonald's Egg McMuffin is a real egg... cooked in a little mold and then served with the bread cheese and ham.  It's the only thing at McDonald's that isn't processed.  AND, might I add, it was invented by Herb Peterson in his McDonald's in Goleta!  Good stuff.

Baseball games... let's face it, they get tedious.  If people are at a game, and it drags on into the 7th, maybe 8th inning, you're not rooting for either team -- you're rooting for outs.   Get the outs... let's move the game *along!*   It's all part of the program.

I was thinking, in light of Jason Collins' announcement yesterday, where he revealed his sexuality, it pains me that people are not more open minded, on the whole.   Many of us are, and I'm glad for that, but there are people out there, even people I know who are set in their ways and refuse to accept that other people think differently.

It's one thing to like things one way or another way, but to expect everyone to fall in line doesn't evoke the human spirit.  If that truly happened, we would be ants... or cows...  that's no fun.

That's not so much a political statement, it's a statement of the human condition.  Imagine the ones who are stodgily set as baseball fans and can't adapt to enjoying other sports.  No, only baseball.   That doesn't seem like a way to live.  Or ones who just dismiss other sports like soccer, golf, or swimming as wastes of time.  Wouldn't one want to at least try it out first before judging?

Imagine?  I live in a good area for Mexican food and I don't know of a single great Breakfast Burrito between West LA and Westwood.   Tacos Por Favor had a decent one, but it didn't blow me away like George's Burgers did in SM or Frank's did in Hollywod.   It's too bad, hey?   Perhaps another restaurant can answer the bell later on.

I'd also like to try the NY Bagel and Deli (is that the name?) over on Wilshire and 23rd in Santa Monica.  People positively rave about this place, and compare it favorably to "the real thing" in New York.   That's a ringing endorsement!  I'll have to check it out.

Now I'm hungry.   Off I go into Tuesday.  Have a good one everybody!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 29th

I'll get this point out of the way because the weekend was otherwise tremendous:  In retrospect, the Lakers never had a chance.    There wasn't much they could do, however, and it was an injury riddled team that had only one bullet going up against the proverbial machine gun that was the Spurs.

I was fool to think they'd show some heart, and at least for 1.5 games, they did, but then when two MORE players hit the shelf, that was the final curtain.   I'm really hoping that this sets up Dwight Howard to bolt right out of town and go to another team.  Please... for the love of God... go to another team, F12.  See I used "F" because that's a worse grade than "D."   Silly school-based joke.

Would you believe F12 is a fun key on the keyboard?  I think you can go to system options on some computers using F12 on POST.  Onward.

The think the first rule of being a comedian is "You have to be funny."  Nothing personal, but Rob Delaney flunked that part.

Now *this* was a great weekend.  Sometimes the best weekends are the ones that don't use that much planning.  Coach and I traveled to San Diego to see a Padres a game and we made a weekend of it.  We also met my buddy Umberto's at the Padres game.

My mind is not right as I write this, on Sunday evening before the work-week.  I just got hammered that Saturday.  My brain feels like a dried out sponge.  I didn't think it'd hit me that hard but I was asleep for over 3 hours Sunday afternoon.   It hit me hard, but let's start from the beginning.

Part one:  the drive into town.  Traffic hiccup after traffic hiccup along the freeways rolling into San Diego on a Saturday  morning.   You cannot drive from LA to San Diego without a few traffic jams here and there.   It's incredible.  Even early in the morning, tons of cars, and little patches of slow traffic.  Ultimately it was fine, no biggie.   Coach and I made it downtown at about 11:40am.

First stop on a spectacular food weekend: Downtown Fish joint.   We got the fish tacos and these waffle fries, which took me by surprise.  Usually you get fish tacos and maybe there's a few chips, salsa, and some beans, but DFJ does it differently:  you get bigger fish tacos, nicely breaded and fried, some cole slaw and these large waffle fries.  The fish tacos were pretty good, sumptuous, not terribly meaty, but crispy fish.  The waffle fries were terrific.  A very filling meal.

Up next, we went down to the Gaslamp Quarter and stopped at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop.   We got these huge ice cream sundaes that would make Pablo Sandoval jealous.  Incredibly good!

Somewhere in between that and the Petco game, we went looking for a rooftop hotel bar.  Our first attempt was the Omni Hotel, but it didn't look like they had one.  They asked us to try Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, but the bar was closed at the time, so Marriott recommended the Andaz rooftop bar up the street.  It was a pretty healthy walk, and we almost quit on it, but Coach and I pressed on.

So we get there, an it doesn't look like a very tall building but we went up.   Fortunately it *was* a good view of the entire skyline.   Hell, once we got there we saw the scene.  It's a pool bar!   A pool bar during a weekend afternoon.  My goodness, the babes at this bar were un-believable.   Lots of skin and so on, and here I was with my dopey long sleeved shirt, jeans, and jacket.  Oii... but a great experience.

Coach was talking up this lady in the pink bikini and signaled that she was coming so I got in a peek.  She was clearly out for attention but had that "high maintenance" look on her face.  Folks, it was not about the face... what a bod.  Whoah baby... so I went back to my Droid phone to check scores and the message boards, and then Coach was like "she's right behind you!"

I laughed it off, thinking he made a funny but then I turned behind and SHE WAS RIGHT BEHIND ME!  Hahahahaha, couldn't believe it.  Well, friends, I had no words... I didn't know what to say to her but she looked a tad ornery anyway.  As if, all she wanted was her next  beverage to slosh on... she was stepping back and forth looking to get the bartender's attention.   Eventually she got her drink, but that was funny.  Everybody was eyeballing her too, it was a scene.  One of many at the pool bar.

Later on, we descended back to the Marriott and went up to the rooftop bar, called "Altitude."  Now the funny thing is, they also have a bar called "Latitude" on the ground floor.  Surely that would trick people walking in, no?  I bet it did.

We went up, found a number of Padres and Giants fans up on the roof.  Spectacular views were had.   Later, my buddy Umbertos joined Coach and I for pre-game drinks.  I introduced the two to each other.  Life was good.  We were rapping about the NBA Playoffs, Baseball, and other scenarios.  Coach went to order an appetizer, and the weird thing about ordering food there was that you had to go to this bullpen phone by the entrance to order.  Who uses a telephone to order food at a bar?!  So bizarre!   It worked, though, after a long wait.  Coach got his chips.  Later, Umberts went and ordered some slider and he got those.  Both items looked pretty good but I was far from hungry by then.

The Marriott Gaslamp Quarter Hotel is next door to Petco Park, with the gate and the Western Metal Supply building adjacent to it and a hot dog shop across the street.  No hot dogs this time, but we entered together, then checked out the lounge at the Western Metal building.  Pretty damn cool.   Later we went to our seats and found Coach's co-worker friend who came to join us.

Boy how about that Saturday Giants/Padres game?  Usually you see a 3-2 game or a 2-1 game, but that night both teams lit up the scoreboard.  The Giants went ahead 5-0... then I felt like getting ribs and asked Umbertos if he wanted to come with, and he did, so we left for the Phil's BBQ rib station behind Right Field.  So, it figures, the Padres scored SIX RUNS while we were gone in one inning!   Ah well, those ribs were amazing though.   Fall off the bone meat, and a zesty barbecue sauce on top.   Phil's BBQ really opened my eyes... the only other place I've had ribs that good was Houston's.   Excellent!

As for the baseball, the Pads went up 6-5, then San Francisco took the lead, 7-6, only to see the Padres tie it up.   We had to leave early so that Coach's car wouldn't have its parking expire... the parking was good for ten hours through 9:39 pm.   The game was entering the 9th inning at 9pm.  It turns out, the game went to TWELVE innings, and the Padres won in the extras, 8-7.

One other thing, the crowd at Petco was really feisty, and a huge crowd at that!  I couldn't get over how big the crowd was that night.  As we left the game we got these little coupons for Subway restaurants.  Apparently if the Padres score, you get a coupon for a free 6"sub with large soda purchase.   Score what, exactly?   I never figured that out, but if it's score at all, the Pads must give those things out every other game HAHA.

Umbertos gave me his Subway coupon citing his intense hatred of Subway restaurants (I hear him here, but I still dig it, despite the obvious inferority to other sandwich shops).   THEN, as we walked out, I found a third coupon sitting on the sidewalk... I picked that one up too.  I said so long to Umberts as he headed home while Coach and I headed for our hotel on the Marina.

Whatever happened the rest of the night is pretty foggy... there were a lot of drinks.  Taxi'd over to the Gaslamp again and hit the bar scene.  We were at one bar on the corner.   Pretty good neighborhood bar feel although I bet most of the crowd was from out of town.   Two guys with Kings Jerseys were sitting at a table on the outside patio.  I was intrigued!  But some other guy who was getting a smoke on the sidewalk chatted them up before I could.     Were those Kings fans at the game?  Impossible!  The game at Staples ended around 10pm and at the time it was only 11:30.  What would have had them put on full Kings gear in San Diego that night?

Coach, always the intrepid one, really wanted to see this other rooftop bar across the street so I let him check it out and text me the outcome.  Dude loved it and texted as much, so I elected to leave the corner bar and join him.

I went in through the wrong door and entered another ground-floor bar.  Lady in a dress walks across and I asked, "Hey, do you know where the rooftop bar is??"

Annoyed, she turned over to me, kept walking and said, "I don't work here!"  Haha, oops!

I went around the corner and entered the right door, boarded the elevator and found Coach.   It was a bar all right but with slightly older people, which is totally Coach's M.O.  He loves going after older women.  I went over there and Coach looked so excited, and I shook my head.

I went "I knew this bar would be to your liking... only the Coach."  Haha, but he was into it.  I was into it too... a few more drinks entered my mouth.  I forget what exactly... a beer of some sort (not a very good one... some wheat beer that was really hoppy).

I tried to scope the scene out and positioned myself in the middle of the bar, and by then I was out of it... just standing there, not sure where I was or what I was doing.   I see some lady with six assorted drinks trying to find her friends.  And she just walks up to me and goes  "can you help me find my friends?"  She was hammered too, so I offered to help her carry the drink and *eventually* she found her group.   Everyone there was so grateful and they urged the one lady to buy me a drink.

The whole thing was so odd... a lady asks for my assistance, and then buys ME a drink.  That has never happened in my bar hopping history.  Furthermore, she was *married*!  So despite her somewhat flirtatious behavior, her proximity to who I think was her husband within the group and that wedding ring she had on made me just want to move on.  However, I thanked her profusely for the free drink and kept my request simple... something basic and inexpensive so I went with the Whiskey and Coke.

I dug into the drink pretty well and Coach finds me and says "Dave you're not going to make it if you finish that!"   but I did... and he probably was right.   Not much else happened after that... I think I wrote some texts and tweets or something.

Coach wanted pizza, and you talk about a turning of the tables, that was it.  Usually I'm the one pushing to go get pizza but this time I was just along for the ride.  There was a place called Berkeley Pizza nearby and it was GREAT!   In a region that is sparse for Chicago Style pizza, Berkeley hit the nail on the head.  It was a WONDERFUL chicago style pizza.. not cheap, but totally worth it.  Crispy outer crust, doughy inside, tons of sauce piled on and the sausage and gobs of cheese in between.  It was fantastic.  I was still out of it at the time and saw some other whacked out babes and their dance partners come in for a few slices.  That was a good time.  No leftovers either.

We Taxi'd to the hotel and then called it a night.   Man!  That was a crazy one.

The next morning, I looked out onto the Marina from the hotel room's balcony... it was very calm and peaceful, really good.  Got some coffee brewed using the in-room coffee machine.  Pretty good.

That was essentially it, although Coach and I stopped at Old Town San Diego to see the historic buildings and Mexican restaurants.  He was really talking up a return trip to Old Town San Diego for Cinco de Mayo but I was playing it down... that would be outrageous to spend money like that two weeks in a row!  He might do it anyway, but the idea was inspired, for sure.

On the way back to LA, we stopped at Lolita's, further north, I believe it was  in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.  The big dish there is Carne Asada fries, and they were outstanding!  Really, everything they had there was quite good -- tacos, taquitos, burritos, it was a treat.  Afterward we went home.

The entire trip to San Diego was mad fun, and the food was clearly the star of the show.   So many great foods were had down there and I can't wait to go back.

I don't have a segue here, just some quickies.

The Lakers are out of the playoffs.  Can ESPN *please* stop talking about them now.   I'm a fan of the team and I've had enough!

The Steelers had a great, great draft and it has me pumped up for the season.  I think we got Le'Veon Bell from Michigan State for RB.   Tough, rugged RB, and a good fit for Pit.  Jarvis Jones, fantastic linebacker out of Georgia.  Some other components too.

Got some Stanley Cup Playoff predictions, which I wrote earlier in the evening, they're posted below.  

There's a girl I know from college who got married this weekend to her long-time boyfriend.  I wish her all the best up north.  Hoping for a harmonious matrimony between them!

Would you believe I had a myspace page?   I'm afraid to link it because I feel like websites would implode if I did.  It had its own blog, even all those years ago.

Long entry but that's all I've got for now.  Have a good Monday everyone!

Dave's Stanley Cup First Round Predictions! ...of the Week.

Even more than last year, I'm looking forward to all the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the NHL!   The Eastern Conference should have some excitement, but even more-so, I really like what I see in the West.  I gave it a look this year, and quite honestly, all eight teams in the Western Conference have a legit shot to make the Cup final.  

  • Chicago, you get 4-5 excellent goal scorers and a stifling defense, plus Crawford's good goaltending.
  • Anaheim, a rolodex of scoring threats, from Perry on down to the ageless Teemu Selanne, though Teemu slowed down somewhat this week.
  • Minnesota, a team that's made good strides each year now looks like a tough out thanks to Parise's enormous effort this year.
  • LA, the defending champs, got off to a brutal start but are on a roll thanks to Quick's tremendous goaltending, Carter's many goals, Kopitar's all-star effort, and some unsung heroes like Kyle Clifford, Jake Muzzin, and others.
  • San Jose, Antti Niemi is putting it together for a pretty darn good offense with great forward depth -- Thornton, Pavelski, Marleu, Couture, and others.
  • St. Louis, fewer big names, but once again, their defense comes to play, and Goalie Brian Elliott is red hot.
  • Detroit, fun team to watch, good offense, really turned it around, and who can't enjoy watching Pavel Datsyuk?
  • Vancouver, weaker season than usual, but the switch to Schneider helped them throughout the year, although now he's hurt.  Most of that offense, Sedin & Sedin, Hamius, Raymond, and the rest, is still aboard.
We'll get to the East Predictions in a moment but first, the West Predictions! 

Wild vs Blackhawks: I don't know if the Wild will have enough offense to take down the Blackhawks, and while the Hawks saw their unprecedented point streaks end, their tenacity defensively hasn't wavered.  This is a damn good hockey team and I have -- Blackhawks in 6.

Red Wings vs Ducks:  The Ducks have some amazing offensive players, but also an inexperienced goaltender w/ Viktor Fasth.   Coinflip series but usually the better defense/goalie win out so I've got Detroit in this one but it takes the whole 7.  Red Wings in 7. 

Sharks vs Canucks:  Most of these predictions I can't put much confidence in, but THIS ONE is a layup.  Can you imagine how fired up Vancouver will be after getting punked in back to back years during the playoffs?  They lost at home in Game 7 of the Cup Final, followed by the shock heard round the rink administered by LA the next year.   The Sharks wobbled to the finish line as well -- this is easy, Canucks in 5.

Kings vs Blues:  The Blues are many great things, but they're also pretty inexperienced.  Nonetheless, this should be a good one.   I'll take the Kings in 6 toughly fought games.

Now to the Eastern Conference matchups.  I don't have nearly as good a beat on these teams so take most of these East predictions with a grain of salt.  Here we go!

Islanders vs Penguins:  I'm really happy to see the Isles back in the playoffs, but this should be a very short playoff run for the Isles.   As long as Crosby's healthy for the Pens, this ends quickly.  Penguins in 5.

Senators vs Canadiens:   Honestly, who cares?   I'll go Canadiens, on the simple fact that the Senators just aren't that good AND they're injury riddled.  Canadiens in 6.

Capitals vs Rangers:  Tough call.   I honestly haven't paid much attention to the Capitals this year, but despite their usual foibles it's hard to select a team like New York that normally struggles to score goals.  The Ryane Clowe trade helped NYR but it's still an offensively lacking group.   With about 2 points on the ten point confidence meter I'll peg the Caps to win it.  Capitals in 7.

Leafs vs Bruins:  Boston in 7.  I don't want to pretend I know much about either of these teams, but as usual, Boston does very well in close games and shootouts.  Neither team finished the season well, incidentally.

That's the Stanley Cup Quarterfinal round in a nutshell.  Time to check out all the games!   Enjoy them, hockey fans.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 26th

Great NFL Draft last night!  Lots of highlights, and other good business.   Too much to say, and a lot of it was already said by others on the internet.  Let's get into the other things...

I am REALLY excited about the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year.  The Western Conference could have literally 8 contenders to make the Cup Final.   Great offensive threats on the Blackhawks, Canucks, Ducks, Red Wings, Sharks, Kings, and even Minnesota and St Louis are no slouches.

The only prediction I have, in such a wide open playoff, is that whoever Vancouver gets in the first round they are going to DESTROY.  Can you imagine the pent up rage they will have for getting punked in back to back years?  First, losing in a Game 7 at home to Boston, then the next year losing in the first round to the Kings in 5, getting eliminated at home.  I think Vancouver had enough... they want blood.  I pity the team that goes out to face them in the quarters.

Tomorrow, I make my descent onto San Diego with Coach.   The one thing I'm excited about, other than meeting my friends and the Petco baseball game, is fish tacos.  In San Diego, great fish tacos are as abundant as pizza is in NY, or tacos are in Los Angeles, or Rice-a-Roni is in San Francisco. 

When I go to the movies, I love big screens.  HUGE screens.   70 foot wide screens, my friends.  It's not the sort of thing you get in rinky dink Oxnard and Ventura.   When I see large screens like this out there, it's a treat.  

Over the years I've seen some good ones... The Village Theatre right here in Westwood.  The Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood (sadly it's seen better days [and movies for that matter -- I mean you have to be kidding me booking a freakin Tyler Perry movie in Grauman's, no offense to Tyler Perry of course as he's quite successful]).  The Cinerama Dome at the Arclight.  The IMAX screen at the Universal 18 at CityWalk.   The Fremont theatre way up in San Luis Obispo.   The Arlington at Santa Barbara was ornate, although underwhelming with screen size.  I may have not mentioned this, but I added a new one to the list: the cozy, but enormous Big Newport Theatre in Newport Beach.  Easy parking, great staff, and a FAN-TASTIC screen.  FANTASTIC.   It is HUGE!!   You can get drowned out by the screen.  I love it.

It's a little sad that movie theater companies don't want to build huge screens like this anymore, IMAX aside.   They're getting closer however.  For example, at L.A. Live, they now have their own version of the "Big Newport" but in a Stadium Seating configuration.   It's a little like an IMAX screen but they happen to use top down masking (meaning they cover the screen from the top down when showing wider films, really lame because 80% of movies today are the wider-screen scope movies).  Even so, it's about 70 feet wise I'm told.  That's good news!

We have to get back to making the big screen a BIG screen.   The "spaceship", i.e. the AMC Century 15 pleases me... now, their screens don't come close to 70 feet but I think their largest one might be around 50 feet wide, so it's pretty good.

Even so... I get a thrill out of those old school 1000 seat auditoria with scope screens from wall to wall... side masking and all.   I don't know if they will ever build a new one in the traditional style but the largest stadium auditorium at the Arclight is about 70% there, with side masking to boot.   Hopefully they continue with making enormous screens such as this.  This kind of cinema is my bag.

Now, most people from coast to coast are big supporters of the Stadium Seating auditorium.   I like the general idea of it, but the reason I like the traditional slope seating is this:   In stadium seating you're not letting the movie make a presence over you.   It's such a steep angle for most seats that you're looking DOWN on the picture.  That doesn't seem to be the same to me.   Sitting around the middle of the Big Newport two weeks ago, I realized what the impact was of a sloped auditorium:   when you sit on a gradual slope you're basically looking up (albeit slightly) at the screen.  You let the screen dominate your field of vision... the movie then takes over.  I saw "42" this way.. and it was like I was there -- in 1947 with the goofy looking cars and everything.

I never get the feeling that "I am there" with stadium seating.   It's more like I'm looking at the movie through a balcony window when I sit within a stadium.  So... that's all I had.

HOLY CRAP!  As I was writing this I heard the report that Russell Westbrook is out for the season!!  WOW!!!

That's all from here, have a good weekend...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 25th

I'm very disappointed.

Not in sports, DEFINITELY not in the podcast because it was outstanding with my buddy "Beebs" breaking down the NFL Draft.  My disappointment is with the UCLA Northern Lights Breakfast center... I went there yesterday morning to get a breakfast burrito and they wiped off "Steak" as one of the options.

Another cost cutting disappointment.  I *lived* for the steak in that burrito, it was wonderful.  Steak, Olives, Onions, Cheese, Eggs, Bacon, and a tortilla.     Very good and only three bucks.  Now it's three bucks but no steak.  You can still pick ham and sausage in both cases, but it's not going to be the same.

I'm not disappointed in the Dodgers... ok I am but I'm not, long term.   This is a bad team.   Right now, their pitching is pathetic aside from Kershaw and maybe one or two relievers.  The Offense is fine, in fact it should be pretty good.  ...I didn't even see the game last night.

I shouldn't be bothered so much by this loss.  So why am I?   This game is eating away at me more than it should.   It's so early in the season too.  Why am I so upset about this?

I'm not disappointed in the Kings.  I'm worried all right, but not "disappointed."   The Kings are about to lose three games in a row to end the season .   I think I care less about them getting home ice than I do about them slipping to 6th and playing the Canucks again.  On the other hand, I think the 'nucks are a better matchup.   The Sharks are 1-1-1 against the Kings with one more game to come on Saturday.   I don't know, fellas, I think the Sharks are going to be really tough to beat with all their forward depth.

Last night's game at Detroit was going to be tough to win anyway, and since Dustin Brown was suspended due to his hit in the Minnesota game, the Kings were already down a man before the start.  Brownie's out for the Sharks game as well, but that will be all, two games total.

I'd be really surprised if the Kings beat San Jose in Regulation on Saturday.   Not an end all be all, however.

The Lakers... ah forget the Lakers... bunch of nutjobs... but I still think they could sweep the two home games at Staples.  Why not, right?

They say that fat people sweat a lot.   Is that true?  I wonder why that is... do they just get hot more?  Is there more surface area to heat up?  Insulation of the fat maybe?   I'm intrigued by this condition.

I started to sweat in the midsection this morning...uh oh...

I had a cookie and coffee from starbucks for breakfast.  That cookie is really good.  Good times.

I'm sad to report this is all I have today.  It's been an uneventful week but I am still contemplating a move to coach's apartment.  There will be an extra room there for me.   I want to get rid of a lot of things to make this move easier.  He wants me to take my couch there... and that surprises me because my little couch is so *old.*  I thought nobody would care about it, but it's also light so I can manage a move.

What do I do with my record collection?    So many damn records... they get heavy.  I doubt I'd have room for a whole stereo setup in a tiny bedroom.   That's a tough call.  I've got some time to decide.

My old Harman Kardon 330c might be getting sold soon.   Thats my feel for it right now.  I think the speakers stay but I'd like to sell off the smaller secondary speakers that I don't even use.

Clothes.. I need to dump a lot of my oldest clothes.    I haven't done a clothes donation in over three years.  It's time.

DVDs... I think I can keep those.  

I'd like to get a booklet for my many recorded DVDs.    I'm tired of lugging around all those jewel cases... they're so bulky and inefficient.  Quite a lot of things are going to wind up straight in the trash.  Old documents, beat up threads, worn down socks and so on.

I don't even know if I'm actually going to move yet!  but it would be wise to carry on these pre-emptive measures.  It's a new chapter.   Don't forget to turn the page.

This is a good place to end.  Catch you all soon!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 24th

More late nights browsing and carousing on the internet...   Unproductive yet enjoyable...

If you remember sports broadcasts in the 1980's or so, I highly recommend an ensemble of production music called "Sportswrap" by "Network Music Ensemble."  You can search for it on Spotify, Amazon Store, and the iTunes music store.  If you watched sports on your local station or cable back then you'll find this music VERY familiar!  Some people use some of the themes (especially track 1 -- Champions) to this day.

A few quickies today as we head into a hump day.

I thought the Warriors were absolutely *finished* without David Lee.  I said, how the hell were they going to win at Denver without a 20 and 10 guy?   Well, they did!   In fact, they smoked the Nuggets!   I was amazed!!  Big ups to Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Steph Curry and the rest.

I thought Curry was done when he rolled his ankle, but he was good enough to finish the game.   That's a warrior, friends.  Ha!  I didn't even mean "Golden State Warrior" I meant warrior in the traditional ancient war sense. What a happy accident.

Today the Lakers take the court against San Antonio at AT&T Center.  Do they win?  Who knows!

Last night -- taco night at El Cholo.   You get three tacos for 4 bones, then when you're done, you can get three more tacos for four more bones.   I thought of doing three rounds but stopped at two, it was good enough.  

Really tender meat on those tacos.   Great salsa... I'm a fan.   Good ole Taco Tuesday!

The other day I figured out what town Vin Scully lived in by chance.  It *blew my mind!*

Why are the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs?  Hell... why are the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA?

Also yesterday I had Taco Bell for lunch.   Why the heck did it taste so good yesterday?  It's usually not that exciting.  All they did was start using white lime-cinaltro rice for their burritos.  Subtle change, but so amazing.

I have been summoned to try a new pop tart ice cream sandwich at Carl's Jr.  I'm on the case!

My Dad asked me this weekend if any of my friends tell jokes.   It's an unusual train of thought for my generation.   The reason is because I don't usually think up entire monologues to tell my friends.   Do any of you go "Hey you ever hear the one about the bartender and the rabbi and they walk into a bar, etc etc."  Jokes like that go on so long... and you wait and you wait for a payoff and it's usually a silly grins/adjusts mic moment.  I like funny lines that come to me naturally, in the spirit of the moment.  Long protracted jokes were never my thing.   That's probably why I find Mitch Hedberg so funny, because he threw away the setup and the premise and just gave you the *line.*  It was great!

Other comics can do it the old fashioned way and I love it, but in regular life most of my friends and I just do snappy lines or two.  Traditional "did you hear the one about?" jokes were never common among us.     I wonder:  what kind of jokes do you tell among your friends?

I don't understand Jay Leno.  His jokes are so simplistic... maybe it's because his jokes are too "jokey."  I think he has a few funny lines here and there, but meh, I can't put a finger on this one.  Jay's got his moments but I never understood his overwhelming popularity.  

No major cravings this week aside from the urge to eat another chocolate chip cookie.   An attainable goal, this week.

It's just been one of those weeks.  I don't have anything specific to rant or ramble about.   Ah well.   These are good weeks.  San Diego is waiting for me in a few days.

ah!  I did have a series of elongated discussions with Sheraton management about getting a room with two beds for this weekend.  Even though the Priceline bid I won didn't specify a type of room I wanted to check to make sure they could get a room with two beds.  It took a while and I was working my way up the chain of command but eventually the local Hotel Management assured me of a room with two beds.  NOICE!

San Diego public transportation is more disappointing than I expected.  Not much in the way of frequent buses or trains...   The nice thing is, traffic won't be a problem.  I look forward to the visit!

That's all for now.  Have a good Wednesday all.

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 23rd

What a night at Staples Center!

A tight game between the Grizzlies and Clippers in Game 2 of the First Round NBA Playoffs.   It came down to the last ten seconds and Chris Paul had the ball... he goes in and dodges his defender, rolls straight to the hoop, as if he created his *own* pick and roll with an invisible screen, then heaves a ball at the basket that connects with .1 sec left.   What a moment!  What a huge win for the Clippers.

...I was privileged to be in the building for this one.   Our story begins modestly, at the 'cow's Dining Room table.  I'm chatting with my buddies online and noticed that Stubhub had tickets listed at under 20 bucks.  For a playoff game, thats outrageously cheap.  I decided around 6:40pm -- I'm going to the game.   Watch out Clippers, here I come.

Took the car right down the road and then sat there on Bundy Drive for a good 20 minutes.  AFTER that, however, it was sublime.  Then I and a host of others waited an extra ten, maybe twelve, minutes for the next Expo Line train to arrive.  Finally, at roughly 20 after 7 we're on our way.    I had a limited window to work with, but I still decided to punt on the stubhub listings because I knew that the fees would make each ticket 30 bones.

30 bones is a great deal for a playoff game, even in the uppers, but I wanted to up the ante and go for a 20 dollar seat.  At 7:30 stubhub cut off ticket sales so I was on my own.   Train rolls into Pico Station at about 8pm and I head right for Barry's Tickets inside the Luxe Hotel on Figueroa.   I'm in their office, which they finally remodeled after about 18 years, and asked them for some cheapies.  No dice... they gave me some good deals, for instance, 10th row from the court for 100 bones and the 200  level section for 40, but I wanted TWENTY.  Barry's was doing nothing for me, so I left.

Then it gets interesting.  There's a rival ticket broker office called V.I.P. Tickets up one block on Figueroa and Olympic.  I go in and I can sense they're about to close, but I went to the door just in case.

I'm up against the door and I go "this is totally locked", putting a little tug just to confirm.   Lo and behold the door opened!  So I go in and half a dozen people putting their jackets on to leave asked if I needed help.  I said "yea, do you have any tickets to the game?  I'll take the cheapies."    They mentioned that they shut down the computers and everything so it had to be cash only BUT they had one seat in the upper level (first row of the upper concourse level, tremendous view).   It was 20 bones BUT I had to pay in cash, so I promised them to go find an ATM and return.

Anxiously, I went over to the adjacent restaurant and it had three people in it... and I shouted, "HEY!  DO YOU GUYS HAVE AN ATM?"  They said no, but there was one up the street.  I go up the street and find a stray ATM machine just sitting on the sidewalk with some hobo next to it.   I had to pass the hobo to get to the ATM and he does his usual "do you have any change?" routine.   At the ATM I noticed the fee was a whopping 3.50!  So I punted on it and went back the other way, but those guys at VIP Tickets were still looking out to find me.   So!  I looked over to the other side of the street and saw a Wells Fargo bank with two ATM machines.  I crossed over after waiting out an entire traffic light cycle and dozens of cars.   I felt bad the whole time too because all of these delays were keeping the ticket people waiting.   Finally I got some cash and brought it over.  BOOM, I slapped the bill on the counter and they gave me the ticket.  

That ended really well because I was close to settling for a 30 dollar seat, only to get a 20 dollar seat instead with no rows in front of you.  I tried to cheat and sit in the lower concourse to see if i could get away with it, but the Purple Shirts at staples had none of it.

I'm going in, and the lady asks "Do you need help finding your seat?"  and I say nah I'm fine don't worry about it, and I pretend to go find me seat.  Then the purple shirt comes *over* and says "Hey, let me help you find your seat, you got your ticket?"

At that point the jig was up so I pretended to not know where the seat was at all and handed her the ticket.... Kindly she directed me to the upper level.   Dang!   The Purple Shirts saw right through me!

So, with that done, I went to my actual seat: Section 323, Row 1.   Damn good corner seat in fact.  That was totally worth 20 bucks, especially since the game was so good.

Do you all think there will be a Game 5 at Staples Center for this series?  I think absolutely, but the Clippers still have huge control over these games.   The Grizzlies have a dismal team offense.  Tough spot.

That was a night at Staples to remember.   Good times had by all.  I could not believe how LOUD the Staples Center Crowd was that night.   Phenomenal!  Clipper fans need to give each other a hand.  Then the game continued, and it was halftime before we knew it.

We'll see how far the Clippers can go, but indeed, if you want to see an NBA playoff game, the Clips are the way to do it.  Who knew??

That's all from here... catch you all soon!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 22nd

Coach and I are prepping for a trip to SD with some of our buddies who we'll meet there.   It's a good time to be alive.

It was *hot* this weekend, anyone notice that in California?  Whew, temps well above 80, which isn't that hot honestly but it was hot for the month.   Now it seems like it's about 62.   I rather enjoyed it, actually, but some of my family were not into it.

This weekend I went back to the 'nard for the weekend.  It was my cousin's birthday, and he turned 13. I really enjoyed the weekend.   The party at my Aunt's house was pretty good.  The day before, Saturday, I was with my parents and spent some time with my older sister too.

My sister has her own apartment a couple miles from where my parents live in Oxnard.    Its a nice newer apartment complex, and we checked out a few youtubes.

Do any of you all remember the show called "Buy My That" on HBO?  It was a join production of HBO and Consumer Reports designed to de-bunk the claims of childrens toy commercials.  The first one aired in 1990 and it was such a hit, they produced two sequels:  Buy Me That Too and Buy Me That 3.   We saw BMT2 on Youtube that night and it was a hoot!

We both were reminded of how entertaining commercials were in the Early 90's.  Geez louise, did you have any idea that they were selling hoards of New Kids on the Block Merchandise in those days?   How bogus must those kids feel now with all their old NKOTB toys?  That was a scene too.

If you bought a box of Corn Flakes in 1991, you would have a 99 out of 100 shot of getting a Boog Powell Baseball card.  BMT2 was quick to point this out.  I have no idea why they went with such an old player for the time.  His last year in the bigs was 1977.

The Dodgers are coming undone.  It seems so very mean... I get killed for giving up on teams easily, and I've been very supportive of the Dodgers, by and large, and the more I trust them, the worse they get.   After a six game losing streak, I had a HUGE rant which I posted here on the blog, but I quickly deleted it, realizing that LA was still only two under .500.   So I wrote a followup and thought it'd be ok as long as they could win a series the next week.

Finally the Dodgers won on Sunday, but *now* Chad Billingsley is back on the shelf!  You have to be kidding!

You ever notice that these things never happen to the Yankees?  I know they have some big injuries but they magically always come out of it and make the playoffs anyway, or at least come close.   They're off to a good start this season let's be honest.  Their rotation is pretty good, in my eyes.  I know their offense is limited, but as long as their rotation can hold up, they'll be all right.

Nobody is expecting them to win a division or anything, but an above .500 year will be a good year for NYY.

Lakers...   I thought their defense was pretty good yesterday at San Antonio!   People might be expecting too much of the Lake Show these days.  This morning Colin Cowherd claims that nobody on the team gets along with each other.  Um, all right Colin, keep stirring the pot.   Whose to say how much anyone gets along with anyone on any team?  The truth is, if the team starts winning, I would see most of those concerns go by the wayside.   Any team that loses a bunch will have a tough time holding in their frustration and it *can* lead to internal strife.

Clippers...  wow, I am fully surprised how well they played on Saturday.   Moreover, the Grizzles' offensive woes were a big issue, and even though they have a nice frontcourt, Conley was not able to elevate the level of the Grizz.   Boy did I miscalculate that one.  If the Clips win tonight, they have complete control of the first round.  I really thought this series would be neck and neck... the Grizzlies did not seriously challenge the Clippers' lead at ALL in Game 1.

Kings... team is on a roll.  I'll say no more.   They're in the playoffs.  Great to see them back.

Revis...  I'm not a Jets fan.  I'll leave it to the Jets fanbase to evaluate.   If I had to make a ruling I'd peg it as a good move for both sides.   I doubt Revis sees all three years of that contract, though.

Last note... Jim's Fallbrook Market in Woodland Hills has the best barbecue I've eaten in months.  Months!  I had a 50/50 sandwich: pulled pork and tri tip.  It was the most luscious, amazing, delicious sandwich there was.  Fantastic.

That's all from here.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

....they'll be fine, but they could use a kick in the pants.

Dodgers season:  not a disaster, but I havent liked their attitude the whole time.   Only 2 under. 500 but their mental makeup has a long way to go.

Frankly, a manager change wont be enough to fix it.   LA needs to a break somewhere... a series win next week puts em back on track.  more to come...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 19th

It's just a crazy day in America, and the hunt is on for the second bomber who perpetrated the sad events on Monday during the Boston Marathon.   It's a crazy day.  Sending my best to all the cops in New England.

I'm out of it this morning.  My brain cells took a beating last night at the Kings game.  I had four pints of beer that night and I was in pretty bad shape when I got to bed.   I got in some water, and this morning I got the omelet  -- is that the spelling? -- with some orange juice.

It's helping.  I cannot spell omelet right.   I thought it was omlete once, then I tried omolette, or omelette... which may in fact *be* the spelling.  Too many of the same letters!

I got to try on the Kings championship ring last night at the Kings game!  A sales rep was watching the game and I went over and said "Hey very cool!  Are you with the team?"  etc etc then he offered it to our group to try on, so I gave it try-on.  OHHHHHHHH it was nice!

I posted a pic of me with the ring online, and one of my friends wrote "The Kings will never win a Stanley Cup ever again."  but if that is the last time the Kings win the Stanley cup for 900 years, that will still be more Stanley Cups than the Rangers got in the same time span.  Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!!

I think that's it for today.  It's hard to think of much else than the Boston metro today.  My sympathies to everyone out there *except* the suspect at large.   He needs to go, and I think we all agree.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 18th

Here we go, time for another big day.

The cold wind is really frigid, but it's masking the warm heat here in town.   It's actually getting really hot now, and once the wind dies down it will be very hot in Los Angeles.

Big news in local sports.  The Lakers got an enormous win last night *and* got some help from the Grizzlies to beat the Jazz to eliminate them from the playoffs.   They still had a shot to get the 7 seed and play San Antonio, so I checked out the first part of the game... they were down 7 at the half, so I shrugged and said "ah, they're still in the playoffs, no biggie."

Then I looked up San Diego hotels or something, and went to bed... my Dad texts me... asked if I was watching the game, and I went over to check the score.  The Lakers were up by three!  I checked the score on my phone because the computer was already off by then and it was the 4th quarter, so I listened to the rest of the game on the radio while in bed.

What a WILD finish, folks!   Chandler Parsons ties the game at the buzzer, and the Lakers go to overtime.  Then all sorts of turnovers and wildness, capped off by Dwight Howards big defense and some closeout offense at the free throw line.  Blake is playing big time in the last week, and it really came out of nowhere.  Lakers win in OT, 99-95.

Tonight, it's time for the LA Kings game.  Kings vs Columbus tonight and my pop will be in town to see it, and I'm invited!  Do the dance!  

That yields the incredibly challenging prospect of getting to Staples Center from work in a timely manner.  My Dad suggested picking me up at UCLA, but that's suicide.  Let's face it: to attempt to get into this traffic tempest is a TERRIBLE idea.   It's a wall of cars between here and downtown LA, you really don't want to be touching it.  They'll be coming from the north, and have a clear shot to Downtown if they just hit the 118, 5, then 110.  Meanwhile I have to figure out how to get out of this tempest without a car.   The best I could come up with is the local bus.  We'll see what happens.

Columbus is a bigger game than it seems on paper.  As you remember, Jeff Carter was traded *from* the Blue Jackets to get here to Los Angeles.  Since then he's lit-it-UP for the Kings.  He scored the OT winner in Game 2 in the Cup Final.  He had a hat trick against the Predators.   He's a top scorer for the team.  Obviously Columbus will have him in mind as the game starts tonight.  Columbus isn't doing too badly either.  They just beat the 2nd seeded Ducks in overtime and got that much needed 2nd point.   The Jackets are 8th in the West, but a bunch of teams are at their heels.  It's a tightly packed conference.  

To be honest, I don't see many of the Jackets' players as household names, but they are a tough out, and have been all year.  Gaborik and Prospal are the only recognizable names.

NBA Playoffs start this weekend.  Very nice and all, but I have about 4, maybe five series including the one with the Lakers in it, to keep an eye on.   It might be five, but I have full confidence the Clippers can take down the Grizzles so I doubt it.  Not to say it won't be a good series, but I'd be really surprised if after all the hulabaloo, the Clippers just lose in the first round.  WOW... imagine that?  It renders the whole Lob City thing as meaningless.

So... could it mean that a dunk equals.........................................................................


No way!  I thought it would have at least guaranteed two series wins.  Whoahhh..

Celtics/Knicks goes 7 games.  Can you really see it going any other way?

Spurs in 6 over LAL, but the Lakers will be in every game, I think.

The Bucks/Heat series shouldn't even be televised.  I refuse to watch a single minute of that series.

OKC/Houston won't amount to much, but I like the storyline of Harden facing his old team.

Warriors vs Nuggets will be a whole lot of fun to watch.  I still have the Nugs in 6.  That's an interesting watch because both teams have a great point guard (Curry/Lawson), both have tremendous athletes, both love to score tons of points, both have an *amazing* home court advantage.  It's as if both teams' strengths cancel each other out.  It's pretty hard to pick a winner, but I think the Nuggets have more experienced players i.e. Gallinari, Iguodala, I suppose even Wilson Chandler, and Andre Miller.   Kenneth Faried is the kind of energy guy they used to get with Chris Anderson or Nene.   Just to summarize, this series is almost like the same team playing itself:  Great PG play, high octane offense, balanced scoring, great home court advantage.  The media will pump up the Celtics/Knicks series, but I think Warriors/Nuggets could be even better!

So in so many words, there are your NBA First Round LOCKS of the Week.

That's all for now, have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don't Stop Relievin': Draft One

I write songs in my head and the other day another song just came to me, but I only have some of the big parts of it right now, now the whole thing...

but remember the song "Don't Stop Believin'?"   I have a version for baseball called "Don't Stop Relievin'!"  I got the idea for it from a news report on Jeremy Affeldt who hit the shelf again with an injury.  So I thought "oh boy, he's gonna STOP RELIIIIIVIN'!"  BOOOoooooom!

Here's the chorus:

"Don't STOP... Relivin'
Hold on to that inninnnnnnng
Two Strikes, Ground Balllllllllll"

And before that we have

"He comes out to a hokey tune...
Songs of sand from Metal dudes...
Takes a rosin bag to start the Ninth, and warms up and up and up and upppp"

"First pitch... fast ball
Works the count and finds his motion
Riding... sliders insiiiiide
Change-up, it's pulled
Right above the chalky baseline
Flyin, somewhere in the night"

and then here's the guitar solo.

That's what I have so far.  Got any ideas for lyrics?

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 17th

Just quickies today, we are short on time...

Did Giants fans ever think they'd say, "Oh we don't have to worry about the offense but MAN is our pitching a problem!"  Times are changin'.

I remember a big reason I made the first trip to NY was in order to see both Shea and Old Yankee Stadium before they both got demolished.   I said, "I am never going to get another chance" and I'm really glad I made the trip, in retrospect.

In light of this, I need to arrange a similar trip to Chicago in order to see the Cubs.  I want to talk to my Dad about this and see if he'd be willing to join in.   With a large renovation plan in place, there's no telling what the Cubs will do to Wrigley Field.  From what I read, it is not going to be nearly that bad, but when you have jokers in the SAME TOWN jack up Soldier Field and essentially build a different stadium in the shell of the old one, it makes you worry.  Might as well check out the "Old Wrigley" before it's too late.

Tickets to Chicago, round trip, are only 188 bones!!  It's Spirit Airlines, which probably means they'll fly the plane with a wing missing or something, but if it cuts the price in half I'm all for it.

In life, there are a number of other places I'd like to check out before it's all said and done:  I want to see Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  I want to go see the Steelers play a home game in Pittsburgh at Heinz.   I want to check out the magic of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.   I'd like to go to an SEC game if I can manage through the ongoing prejudices in the South.

I would *love* to see a game at Safeco Field with the Mariners.  I've heard great things.   I'd like to check out a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.   It'd be noice to go to Kauffman Stadium for a Royals game, and if I could do it, a Chiefs game at Arrowhead the next day.  There are many sports venues that are out there, and I'm intrigued to go see them all.

To close, I'd like to commemorate a life well lived for the late Pat Summerall, who died yesterday in Texas.   Boy was he great.   He did more with less words than verbose jokers like Cris Collinsworth could ever *dream* of.  Others have tried his style, like Joe Buck for instance, but no one captured the brilliance of the moment in a football game as Pat Summerall did.   His work with John Madden covering the NFC from 1981 through 2001 was a dream for many who watched the game.

I'm glad he ended his career when he did.   He actually seemed older to me than he actually was, and years of alcoholic issues may have created this paradigm.  Nonetheless, he was a true gentleman, a versatile talent, and one we will all remember.  Farewell, Pat.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 16th

I want to send my condolences and sympathies to all the persons afflicted, hurt, and in some cases killed, in the terrorist bombings yesterday at the Boston Marathon.  I'm so sad to see such a good event destroyed by a gutless coward.  My thoughts are with everyone who was there in Boston yesterday.  I hope everyone can cope and overcome these tragic moments, eventually.

Sometimes you see such a traumatic event and want to put the rest of your life on hold.  That's not the right way.  With respect to all those still in pain, the adage is that if we are scared into stopping our way of living, the terrorists win.  I hope that the blog entry coming up can help assuage the sorrow for our reading audience.

Be well, Boston.   All the love...  onward.


Now this little line I put here is called a "jump break."   I hope it works!  It's just a little division to indicate where the normal events of the Daveblog begin for today's entry.  I'm planning to use another one later on, more on that later!

When I was a kid, I saw commercials for hokey action movies with "Jean Claude Van Damme."  I used to think that was two guys.

Today is my first Dodgers game in person!  I've been waiting for this night for weeks.  I can't *wait* to see all the new improvements and especially the two new scoreboards.   I'm excited!

It could get *very* interesting today down there.   Even without Quentin in the lineup, the Dodgers may attempt to throw some "message pitches" at the Padres.   Stay tuned.

I wrote a mock sitcom about a decade ago, for my own personal enjoyment.  In the "sitcom" I had all sorts of weird ideas.  The premise was a group of middle-class young friends trying to get by amidst a very upscale population in Santa Barbara.  It's not terribly original, other than the Santa Barbara setting, but I made up for it by writing a lot of colorful characters and having them interact with each other.  So, while I was about to go through college, I wrote a lot of the episodes during idle time and the summer.  Over a few years, I got in 19 episodes.  I intended to do about 100 of them but I never could find the time nor the inspiration.

It was very strange to set a sitcom in Santa Barbara with very little prior experience (at the time) in the city.  Nonetheless, I had fun with it!   Eventually, I moved to Santa Barbara and had my own little sitcom in real life!  THAT would have been a great show of it's own.

There was the time Coach, Rosales, Big B, another friend and I were at Madison's, the sports bar in middle State Street during a Giants/Rockies game.  I saw Matt Cain at the plate.  Then I yelled "I'M GOING TO GIVE EACH ONE OF YOU 100 DOLLARS IF CAIN HITS A HOME RUN HERE!"  Next freaking *pitch!*  Cain SLUGS a ball deep to the left center field wall... it was a foot from going out and the whole time my heart stopped.  All my friends, meanwhile were going BANANAS!!  Then, when the guy finally caught it, we all were laughing our asses off.  *That* was a scene my friends!

Then there was the time our friends from SM came up to Santa Barbara.   We did our usual thing, go out at night, but then Big B suddenly got them into a really wild scene.  Really wild!   I have no idea how wild for real because I left the whole group to go get pizza.  Then I tried to find everyone but they went MIA, so I went home.  The next morning I get a call from Coach... everyone, a group of four, needed a ride back to my apartment where they parked their cars.  HAHA

You know what happened?  One of the SM friends got busy with a 50 year old lady... a *fifty* year old and all my buddies were along for the ride.  She was staying with some other older lady at an apartment in nearby Goleta, and all of those jokers went to the same place.  Apparently Big B started cooking breakfast there in the wee hours and they all crashed, with the SM friend hooking up with someone on borderline menopause.

It was nuts.  I drove over there to meet them all and they explained the whole thing.

Yesterday I was writing about how much I missed Santa Barbara... but did I really miss the *location* or did I miss my friends and the carefree days of my younger years?

You ever see those giant cookies at the grocery store, the ones that are the size of a pizza?   I said to myself, way back when, "one day I'm going to get this cookie."   It happened in those Santa Barbara years, but with a different group of friends: the bball guy, Mr. Needle, and some other folks by UCSB.   I was invited to watch the NBA All Star Game one weekend with a day off the following Monday so I went for it and got that giant cookie.  It was a hit!  There was also a Costco Pizza in effect.  That was a good night.

Don't lie!  When you were hitting puberty and you saw Katherine Heigl in "My Father the Hero" you were getting a little filler in the pants am I right?  That would have been entirely inappropriate, though, if one was older than 16.   Right place, right time my friends.

Katherine Heigl has gone on to some really great things in acting.  That totally surprised me!  I thought she'd be another child star one-hit-wonder, but no!  She has Grey's Anatomy, then a whole bunch of pretty good movies including Knocked Up.  She has had a really great career.

I'd argue that from 1994 up to now she's had way more success than Gerard Depardieu.

Good lord, what has gotten into me with all the French Actor references?  Let's roll with it.

Oddly, I never saw "Blossom" when I was young, but I saw quite a lot of this wanna-be Blossom show called "Phenom."  Ever hear of it?  It's about some girl who aspires to be a tennis sensation.  It only lasted a year on ABC.

What on Earth happened to Melissa Joan Hart?  And where did that East Coast accent come from?

Clarissa only thinks she can explain it all... there's no way she's explaining her latest acting/twitter/whatever project.  It's like a Kickstarter campaign for an adult movie.  Very weird.

Kickboxer to Kickstarter...  I think that's a good place to end.  Farewell for now...

...now as a special treat to those of you who were intrigued by the sitcom scripts I wrote ten years ago, here's an episode I wrote from back then, one of nineteen.  Notice the reference to a "Wednesday Night Lacrosse game on ESPN."   I was *shocked* to learn that this became an actual program!  It's on ESPNU:  http://insidelacrosse.com/news/2013/01/09/2013-espn-lacrosse-schedule

Can you believe it?!  Now, here's the episode for you, "The Lost Society" Episode 10...  (after the jump):

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming... (#010)

            The Lost Society was filmed before a dead studio audience...

            ...Most of them were walking up a local Santa Barbara street on a Thursday, right in broad daylight.  Among those denizens were a few more people who lived there (in town, not on the street).  Finally, we witnessed Tomlin and his trite little Press reporter’s hat, complete with his patented little piece of paper that supposedly makes him look important.
            He was just minding his own business, trying to rip off other people for his own personal gain, of course, when he waltzed up haplessly and bumped into big Anderson, himself just trying to have a nice day.  Bad idea.  Accidentally or not, Anderson and Tomlin clashed together and nearly fell to the ground.  Then they just leapt off the ground and threw punches at each other, and suddenly a hockey game broke out.  Wildly they flung their arms at each other, the other confrontations before just mere verbal sparring, but now facing a true physical war.  The other men and women around them huddled around the spectacle to get a good view.  The public was clearly enthralled by all this, and more came from around the corner, rushing as fast as they could to view the remarkable, unexpected fist fight in the middle of the sidewalk.  Lowly citizens everywhere cried “Fight! Fight!” as two bitter rivals finally let it all out, punching each other until they got tired.
            It was only a few minutes later that Jenkins was rolling down the freeway with Thomson in his car.  It happened to be the same strip of asphalt that only a week or so earlier was run on by the fabulous Hewitt and his bandit piece of crap car, running away from the cops.  Anyway, Jenkins noted a radio station’s news report of that very fight out on the nice part of town.
            “Oh my goodness,” Jenkins remarked, “You don’t suppose that’s ANDERSON and TOMLIN, now?!”
            “Hey, yo, we’d better go find out!” Thomson declared.
            Thomson drove his car off the freeway and swept it around a street corner.  However, his car sucked so much that the skidding halted the car momentarily, and it sounded like something fell out the back of it.
            Jenkins replied, “Forget about it.  Let’s go home.”
            Thomson shrugged and said, “Stupid car.”
            Miraculously, Thomson managed to get his car to move, albeit slowly, and rolled the vehicle back into the lane, headed towards Jenkins’ house.
            -and in another part of town...
            Martinez couldn’t get enough of hanging around Hewitt’s apartment, so he decided that he might as well go visit again.  Martinez jogged into the apartment building and up the steps.  He sauntered down the hall, arriving at Hewitt door, only to find a sign hanging on the door knob that read “FOR SALE.”
            “Give me a break, Hewitt!!” Martinez cried, wrestling the door knob with his two hands.  “You’re not gonna get caught by the cops!! Let me in!!”
            Martinez waited there, but there was still no response.  Still, he didn’t buy the “House for Sale” trick for a minute.
            “Open the door up, or else I’m gonna eat this door and get in anyway!” Martinez said.
            This got Hewitt’s attention.  Hewitt cracked the door open just a bit, only his eyes making it through the opening.
            “You sure no one’s gonna get me?” Hewitt coaxed.
            “Dammit, It’s just me, Hewitt!!” Martinez retorted, “The F.B.I. ain’t gonna give a crap about the speeding thing!!”
            Martinez opened his eyes and narrowed his face.  “Don’t you think the Feds have more IMPORTANT things to worry about right now?!”
            “Uh...” Hewitt pondered, “Uh..”
            “Uh what?” asked Martinez.
            “Do you think Mexico is gonna crack down on it’s border protection?”
            “What?!” Martinez snapped, rolling his eyes.
            Hewitt slammed the door shut.
            “Good God...” Martinez sighed, frustratingly, as he was leaving.
            Outside the apartment building, Thomson rolled by the main entrance and stopped his car.  He got out and tried to get into the building, but Martinez came out and stopped him.
            “Don’t even bother,” Martinez said, holding his hand out to stop him.  “We got ourselves a nutzo.”
            “Let’s roll,” said Thomson, shrugging and going back in his car.
            Martinez followed him, climbing into the passenger seat.
            “Vamos,” uttered Martinez, pointing forward with his arm stretched out.
            So the car started and went on forward.
            Jenkins was, of course, back at his humble home, hunched over a quaint wooden table in the living room.  He had a jar of dimes, nickels, and pennies tipped over so that most of the change spread out all over the table.  Jenkins was almost done counting all the coins.
            “Yes!” he exclaimed, “I WILL have enough money to go to the Toronto Film Festival.”
            He also added, “Let me go get the airline tickets.”
            Jenkins picked up his wallet and went out the door.
            Once outside, Jenkins walked down from his lawn to the sidewalk.  Then he saw Thomson’s car skidding back in front of his house.
            “What is this?” Jenkins asked.
            “C’mon, J-man, let’s ride,” Thomson said.
            “What?!  Didn’t you just drop me here!?” asked Jenkins.
            “Oh, come now, we can get back out, get jiggy with it!”
            “-but don’t you guys even know where you’re going [Hi Martinez]?”
            “Oh, we’ll figure that out later,” Thomson, “Hurry up, dude!”
            “[‘sup Jenkins?]” said Martinez.
            “All right, all right,” Jenkins conceded.
            Jenkins tumbled into the back seat of Thomson’s car.
            And with that, Thomson’s car left, and with it the dreams of attending the Toronto Film festival, for now...
            “We do everything in cars,” Martinez said.
            “Damn right!” Thomson agreed, “If you don’t have a car, you suck!”
            “Sometimes you can suck even with a car,” Jenkins observed.
            “Hey, where’re we going?” Thomson asked.
            “I thought YOU were supposed to figure that out, T-Dawg!!” Jenkins snapped.
            “Okay, hol, hol, hold,” Thomson coaxed, holding his hands out and gesturing for serenity.  “I’ll get something figured out.”
            “I only have 12 hours.” Jenkins said.
            “All right, all right!  You’re feisty today, ‘bro,” Thomson said.
“Dude,” Martinez added, looking at Thomson, “Aren’t you supposed to drive the car?”
            Thomson looked down at his hands, which were completely off the steering wheel.  Thomson saw the cows coming at him with the car pulled totally off the road.
            “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!” cried Thomson.
            “AGGGHHH!!” Martinez and Jenkins followed.
            Thomson’s car careened wildly out of order, swinging around within the herd of cows.  The rig bumped around and hit some cows on its side, with the side of car, fortunately limiting the damage to the body, and easily keeping the car operational.
            Thomson managed to escape the pasture relatively unharmed.
            “This is just not happening, guys,” said Jenkins, “Let’s go over to ‘Fresh Choice’.”
            “Not that place again!!” moaned Martinez, “All they sell is salads.”
            “But they have goooooooood salads!” Jenkins reiterated.
            “Forget the salads, fellas,” said Thomson, “We are gonna party tonight!”
            A pause.
            “Dude, Thomson,” said Martinez, “It’s 3:00 in the afternoon.”
            “Well, see, now, wait, hold, now, see, see, check, uh, see, -NOW, I KNEW THAT!!” Thomson replied, “I was just testing you.”
            Thomson turned his car around from the boonies and pulled his rig back on the path towards downtown.  The car whizzed off into the horizon as the threesome bickered with each other.
            “C’mon, let’s go check on the buddies,” Jenkins said.
            “No wait!” Martinez interjected, “Get some CHICKS first.”
            “Give me a break, Martinez.” Thomson quipped, “You getting chicks?!”
            “I did it at the dance club!” Martinez said.
            “Those girls were loaded, fool,” Thomson replied...
            “You couldn’t get chicks if you sat your butt down on chicken eggs,” cried Jenkins.
            “At least I wouldn’t crack them eggs like you with that bony ASS!” countered Martinez.
            “OOOOOOOOHHH... Jenkins got moded!” shouted Thomson.


            So it was with due cause that we check in with other areas of the Santa Barbara complex.  Mallory, for one, was a woman getting overlooked in all of this hubub.
            Well, as it turns out, Mallory was saddled in her cozy home, but Mal had a problem.  She was all alone at home with an invitation to the annual Central Coast Quilt Convention and she had nobody to babysit her baby.
            “What are we going to do Tyler?” Mallory asked in her typical cutsey voice (like most mothers).  She held the baby up in the air and rubbed her nose against his, making the little one giggle.
            Ding dong.
            “Hiyeeee!!” bounced Christine at the door.  The door flew open and her effervescence flooded the hallway.
            She donned a funky outfit today: a furry pink jacket with a puffy collar and puffy cuffs at her fists.  Let’s face it; she looked like a big poodle.
            “Ahh, it’s too bright,” Mallory cried, covering her eyes.
            “Let’s go to the quilt convention girl.  I’ve got wheels now, yay!!” she squeaked.
            “Why, sure, let’s just leave the baby in the basement,” Mallory quipped.
            “Oh noooooooooo,” Christine realized, “I sorry...”
            “Yeah, yeah, this is something,” Mallory said, “Who am I going to find at 4 o’clock in the afternoon?!”
            “I know...” Christine said, “Wowwww....”
            Mallory left to attend to the baby.
            “C’mon girls!” said Cassie.
            Christine looked back, delighted to see her knitting companion.
            “Oh yeahhh!” said Christine
            “Are you ready to roll?!” shouted Cassie.
            “Uh HUH!” Christine responded.
            “Hey, where’s Mal?” asked Cassie, wearing a light outfit (light on the scales, anyway)
            “Mal’s taking care of that baby again...” Christine said, “Wow, what a trooper.  I can’t imagine having a baby.”
            “I can’t imagine you having anything, with that tummy,” said Cassie.
            “Hey!  Lookit this gut,” Christine snapped, pulling up her shirt, “A quarter inch today, all fat! Yucky...”
            “Did you get full on your two crumbs for breakfast?!” Cassie retorted.
            “Hey!!” said Christine, “Stop making fun of me.”
            “Well you start something, like eating...” Cassie said.
            “Ooookay!” Mallory interjected, rushing in to prevent another brawl.
            “Didn’t you see that fight between Tomlin and Anderson?”
            “What?!” Cassie jumped in, “No way THOSE losers...”
            “They did it was all over the news on tv,” Mallory said.
            “Glory, I gotta see this!” Cassie cried, running over to the TV with Mallory following her.
            “We don’t get very much news here,” said Christine as an aside.
            Meanwhile, Thomson’s car clunked down Mallory’s street right on the verge of collapse.  Inside the car, Thomson, Martinez, and Jenkins could see all the lovely houses from outside their broken windows.
            “Hey, there’s Mallory’s house!” said Jenkins.  “Stop the car, Thomson.”
            “Oh c’mon, not Mallory’s!” Thomson said.
            “Stop the car!! Stop the car!!!” Jenkins cried. “Updates on the :28 and :58!!”
            “What?  Already?!” Martinez cried, looking at his watch.
            “You’re crazy, scud,” Thomson said.
            “Aggghh!! Stop the car, I have business to attend to!!” Jenkins said.
            No problem.  Thomson’s car made the decision for him.  It clunked right in front of Mallory’s and all of the pieces fell on the street (well, each one fell as the car dragged towards the house, leaving a trail of useless car junk).
            “Awwwooh, no... FOOL!!” Thomson said.  “This is your fault, Jenkins!”
            Thomson reached over to strangle Jenkins.
            “It’s not MY fault your car sucks!” Jenkins cried in agony.
            The car rocked back in forth until everybody just fell out onto the street (the seating area was the only part left standing anyway).
            “Well, we might as well go to Mallory’s house,” Martinez agreed.
            “Yeah, yeah,” Thomson grumbled.
            So they each walked up Mallory’s front lawn toward her door, some more reluctantly than others.
            “I think you’re right about sucking without a car...” Jenkins observed.
            “Shut up,” bickered Thomson.
            “Hey, who’s that?” said Mallory, hearing their footsteps while inside the house.
            Christine and Cassie were still sitting on the couch in the living room, watching the news report of Anderson and Tomlin fighting.
            “This is good stuff,” Cassie said, stuffing her mouth with a fist full of popcorn.
            “Wow,” said Christine, taking one microscopic nibble out of an M&M she had in her hand.
            “Girls?” Mallory said.  Then she just resigned and went over to the front door.
            “’Sup Mallory?” Thomson greeted, with Martinez right next to him.
            ...then Jenkins split between them and whizzed down Mallory’s hallway.
            “Much better,” Mallory said, “You guys are heroes.”
            “What?!  For jacking up the car?” Martinez asked, in a monotonous, skeptical tone.
            “No!” Mallory insisted, “I, uh, really, REALLY need a babysitter tonight.”
            “Oh, uh, we were just leaving...” said Thomson, sauntering out the door, literally grabbing Martinez just behind him.
            “HOLD IT,” Mallory intoned.  “C’mon just once, pleeease?  He’s a very good boy, hardly ever cries, and the diapers?  Hey, he won’t need the change until tomorrow.”
            “Would you pay me?” asked Thomson.
            Meanwhile, over in the living room Jenkins stood in front, hogging the remote and changing the channels.
            “C’mon, put it back, Jenkins!  We were watching,” moaned Christine.
            “Don’t make me go over there and sock you,” warned Cassie.
            “Just hold your horses for a minute, huh?” Jenkins replied, “All I want to do is go over to ESPN and check the scores.”
            “Argh..” said Cassie, “What are we doing here anyway?  Let’s go to the convention.”
            Cassie and Christine left, but not before Christine stuck her tongue out at Jenkins.
            The two girls sauntered down the hallway to where Mallory, Thomson, and Martinez were.
            “So I only have to go for three hours,” Thomson asked.
            “Yeah, until Stuart gets back.” Mallory replied.
            “Cool, I can live with that,” Thomson said.
            “Heyyyyeeeee, what is the deeeelio?” Christine asked.
            “Girls, I have just secured the babysitter,” Mallory replied.
            “Yessss!!” cried Cassie, jumping out the front door.
            “Yay!!!” shrieked Christine, jumping up for joy and waving her arms about.
            “Hurry up, we’re going to be late!” Mallory said.  With that, they all snatched their little purses, and ran out to their car.
            Screeeeeeeech.  Out went the car.
            “Lemme get a look at that baby...” Thomson said.
            Little Tyler toddled out into the hallway and ran up to Thomson who was still closing the front door.  He stood next to him, looked up and smiled.
            “Da,” he said.
            “Who, me??” asked Thomson, incredulous.
            Tyler just giggled.
            “Hey, brother, you got a lot to learn...” Thomson said, picking him up and carrying him down the hallway.
            Jenkins and Martinez were already settled... at the couch in the living room watching television.
            “There, there,” Martinez coaxed, patting Jenkins on the back as he sobbed in front of the T.V.
            “Whyyyy???  Why are the Red Sox so baaad?” bawled Jenkins as he took a tissue and mopped his face with it.
            “Dude, that’s a big waste of 5,000 bucks,” Martinez said, “Do you know how many hamburgers you could get with that?”
            Enter Thomson, toting the little baby.
            “Did the BoSox tank again?”
            “Yup, big time,” Martinez responded.
            “Aw, man, who cares Jenkins?  It’s just baseball,”  Thomson said.
            “No, no, no, it’s not just baseball,” Jenkins said.
            “Okay, so what is it?” asked Martinez.
            “It is...” Jenkins pondered, trying to put together all of his thoughts.
            “....It is a high risk.
                 It’s not just the wins and losses, the runs and errors.
                 It’s my future, my ambitions, because after all
                 I put all that money on the line, didn’t I?”
            “Fool, what is your POINT?” Thomson asked.
            “My point,” blunted Jenkins, and with that he continued.
            “Is that for years they called me a square.”
            “-that’s because you ARE one...” Martinez interjected.
            “Hey, let me finish,” Jenkins said.
            “...they called me a square, and they didn’t think I could do anything
                 that would stand out.  It was almost if I was labeled this way:
                as a man who’d only go through the motions.
                I didn’t have too many girlfriends, I don’t imagine myself having a lot of sex.
                Maybe a little bit, I hope, but my chances at nirvana are not high.
                In my lot in life, I don’t hold a lot of power.
                I do what other people tell me, and I am mostly stuck around this neck of the
               I’m just an average guy.
                So this bet, made in Las Vegas on the 17th day of June,
                was my one opportunity to... stand out from the crowd, be unique, and
                hopefully, be vindicated.
                -and now my big hopes are going down in flames.”
            Everyone stopped to ponder for a moment.
            “How many games are they out? Sixteen?” Martinez asked.
            “Yeah, they’re running out of time too,” said Jenkins.
            “Three or four months?”   Martinez asked, “Settle down, man.”
            “Yeah, I guess so, uh, anybody want to eat?”
            “Dude I’m huuuuungry,” Martinez said.
            “Boy, you’re always hungry,” shouted Thomson, who was now over in the other room.
            So, with Tyler about ready to sleep in his crib, and with the television turned off in the living room, Martinez, Thomson, and Jenkins met in the kitchen for, the moment they’d all be waiting for, dinnertime.
            A big chicken sat on the table, mostly butchered from previous eatings.  Around it lay a few crackers, some salad (in a big bowl), salami, ham, tuna, and bologna.  Cheese, breadsticks, some noodles, and breaded chicken patties rounded the table, and anything else you could think of as well, just name it.
            So the table was cluttered with food, and clearly all three guys were going to try to eat it.
            “Uh, Thomson,” said Jenkins, with food in his mouth.  “Lord, this tastes good... Oh, yeah, uh, Thomson this was actually a great idea.”
            “Mmf, yeah,” Thomson replied, stuffing some chicken in his mouth, “but I gotta give the mad props to you, J-Dude.  You’re the one that wanted to come so bad.”
            “Erg, yeah, huh?” said Jenkins with a grin, “Okay, I give me all the credit.”
            “Yum,” said Martinez and nothing more.  He just kept eating and eating and eating...
            “Arr, Hewitt’s gotta be here, what the heck could he be up to?” asked Jenkins, while consuming a roll of crackers.

            It was a good thing he asked, because Hewitt was still over at his apartment.  In fact, he was nestled in his workchair over at his lab room.
            All of the T.V.s were off.  No radio broadcasts tonight either.  His lights were still on, but other than that, any electric devices were disabled.  Hewitt sat there in his chair, shuddering, looking around him, and sweating profusely from his forehead.
            “Mmmmm.... ugghhh...” muttered Hewitt.
            “They’re out to get me....”
            A little marble fell to the floor, the marble hitting the hard wood and making a loud clack.
            “AAAAAAGHH!!” yelled Hewittt, jittering around, jumping out of his chair, and slamming his head against the hanging lamp over on his low ceiling.
            “Oww!” he yelled.  Then he sat down again, pausing for another few seconds.
            “Maybe it’s safe now...” Hewitt said.  He looked out his small window.
            “Yeah, it’s safe... I’ll... go, now...”
            Hewitt slowly protected himself by the door.  He twisted the little doorknob carefully, making sure not to make too much noise.  Then he slowly opened the door with his body to the door’s side.  He peeped out into the hallway, looking for kidnappers were there were none.  At long last, he tiptoed out onto the living room... and sat down on his easy chair.
            “Whew!” he said, trembling, smiling (nervously), as he wiped his brow. “That was a close one!”
            And then Hewitt cowered in his easy chair for the next umpteen hours...
            Thomson sat at the table, back at Mallory’s kitchen, rubbing his stomach and resting back on his chair.  Jenkins was trying to fit more salami, chicken, and tuna into his two slices of bread.  Martinez was through; he ate so much that he didn’t know what to do, so he jammed a few more crackers into his mouth.
            “You’re real subdued tonight, Thomson,” said Martinez, if anyone could hear him through the munching of his crackers.
            “Think so?” Thomson replied, “Got to be the baby.  I’m a real softy for the little ones...”
            “You really like kids, huh?” Jenkins concluded. “Yeah, because you’ve been taking care of Tyler a lot.”
            “Oh yeeeahh,” Thomson agreed, “Kids are great, fun little dudes.  You know, when I was growing up, I never had any little brothers and sisters.  Most of them were already going off to college.”
            “Geez, I remember having peanut siblings,” Martinez replied, “They were mostly annoying to me.  Do you find little kids irritating sorta?”
            “Sure, brother,” Thomson said, “but it’s not too bad.  I can live with it usually.”
            “Wow... That’s all right, Thomson,” said Martinez.
            “A little baby is just great,” Thomson continued.  “To see his little arms and legs, and you know he don’t know the half of what goes on in the news....  It’s beautiful.”
            “Mmm,” Jenkins concurred.
            “...when I have a child, I know that whoever it is, a boy or girl, it’s gonna be real special.”
            “Do you think you’ll get to have one?” asked Jenkins.
            “I don’t know,” said Thomson, musing, “but it’s like they always say: ‘That’s why they play the game.’”

            Tomlin was running, just running.  He was floundering around someplace downtown, where maybe he’d hide in obscurity.  He was looking for safe harbor, for he had no friends right now.  He hung onto his precious press hat, because that was about all he had going for him.
            Tomlin knew that in his mind, he was not the starter of the fight, merely the recipient.  In fact, it was Anderson who refused to let be what needs let be, and therefore had to throw a punch at him.  There, that’s right, it was Anderson all along.  Damn fool, what did he know.
            Was there ANYONE out to help Tomlin out tonight?  A scumbag of 31 years (though he’d say it was only 27), Tomlin was now getting his worth.  Alone, all alone, with only a few bucks (in his wallet) a brain (in his head, so we think), and ambitions.  Of course, everyone had ambitions.  The only difference was that he didn’t care much for respecting others and their wishes.  So it was by his corrupted design that he make his rise to the top.  So far, he’s made it to field reporter for the Santa Barbara gazette.
            ...and now he was running, just running.
            At this point it was roughly 6:24 p.m., but still quite bright outside.  Now what?
            “I’ve got to find someone who’d help me out...”
            -but of course, no one could realistically tell who really started the melee.  Tomlin, being the hyperactive, neurotic being that he was, wasn’t going to take any chances.
            Meanwhile, Kelvin was standing by a street corner on one of the busiest parts of town.  Kelvin sure seemed to hang out there a lot, as Hewitt, Jenkins, Mallory, and others might note from previous observations.
            He was standing there this time with his good companion, Chestnut.   Yet again, they were up to another one of their dumb ideas.  They had a huge crate that was filled with all sorts of odd rubber parts.  Where they obtained them from, the world will never know, but there were all kinds of odd, ridiculous, and even nasty rubber toys.
            “Can I interest you in a huge rubber nipple?” asked Kelvin as the passers-by grossed out over these over-the-top items.
            “Only 1.99! One ninety-nine-ninety-nine-ninety-nine.  That’s one niney-niney-niney-niney-ninerrrrrrr!  Get ‘em while they’re hot!” Chestnut shouted to the crowd.
            Kelvin felt the rubber... things, a little bit.
            “Yeah, these are pretty hot, aren’t they?”  Kelvin said.
            Tomlin rode in, basically on his own two feet, plus his many fears.
            “Good lord,” Tomlin lamented, upon seeing the many rubber parts.
            “Tomlin, well what a pleasant surprise,” said Kelvin, again, his eyes lighting up; his eyebrows raised up to the roof.
            “It blows to admit this, but... I’m happy to see you, Kel,” said Tomlin, a bit disgusted.
            “There’s no need to admit the joy of seeing me, the Kelvin,” Kelvin said.
            The Kelvin?”
            “Why of course.  Dude, you’re talking about the 213th most fun loving guy in America,” he teased, “Now, can I interest you a huge rubber ‘sausage’?  It’s only HALF-OFF!
            “Which half?” asked Tomlin, soon shaking himself vigorously after realizing how dumb he was to fall for Kelvin’s pitch.  “Now wait a minute, I’m supposed to be asking for help here!”
            “You need help Tomlin?” asked Chestnut.
            “Yes, and I’ll be brief,” said Tomlin.  “I want you guys to help me out, if you can.  Just get me a place to hide and I’ll be happy forever and I won’t bother you anymore.”
            “Why don’t be shady, man,” Chestnut replied.
            “Yeah, dude, you don’t bother us,” Kelvin said.  “Just get some of our rubber cock-a-doos...  No problem, at just-whoop!- Ninety Nine cents.”
            “Holy crap!  Are you out of your mind?!” asked Chestnut.
            “Why no!  We have some of that too...” said Kelvin, digging out a pile of fake rubber poop from the big box.
            “Okay, I’ve seen enough,” said Tomlin.
            “Oh wait, bra!” shouted Kelvin, “I have a solution.”
            “Shoot,” Tomlin agreed.
            “Well, all right...” Kelvin said, taking out a gun.
            “No no no!!!  Not me, doofus!” Tomlin said, cowering in fear.
            “No, listen, man,” Kelvin said in his typical laid-back slacker tones.  “I have a place down the road, that I go to.”
            “A place where he goes to..” repeated Chestunt.
            “Where people hide...”
            “...YES!!  Where they HIDE!!” Chestnut shouted.
            “It’s a coffee shop, down in the bricks...”
            “Oh those BRICKS!  Down in them NASTY bricks!!!” cried Chestnut.
            “So no one will find you there, dude.”
            “Oh, so NO, one will FIND, you, OH NO, NO one...” intoned Chestnut.
            “Shhh!!!  I’m trying to tell him something,” said Kelvin.
            “So it’s like right around the corner and down a few blocks, and then down a few other blocks that way...” Kelvin said, pointing in the appropriate directions.
            “Oooh, wonderful.  Great!  Thanks a million!  I’m outa here.” Tomlin said, running as fast as he could.
            Chestnut looked over at Kelvin.
            “Why did he have to go hiding?” Chestnut asked.
            “Er... maybe he has to go play ‘Hide and Go Seek,’” Kelvin answered.
            Chestnut raised his arm out and yelled “WESTSIDE!!!”

            Thomson heard a car screeching in the distance.
            “That’s Richardson!  Clean this mother up!!” Thomson announced, rushing to throw his paper dishes into the trash can.
            “Smokes, let’s go,” Jenkins sniped, running to the fridge to stuff all of the leftovers in it.
            The trio worked quickly.  They cleared the chicken and the pizza off of the table, swiped the used napkins and threw them away, and drank all of the drinks that were left.
            Martinez looked there and saw the other two doing most of the work.  He did put a few things away, but it looked like there was nothing left.
            “Uh, I’ll go to the couch!” Martinez shouted.  He jumped over to the living room and landed on the couch.
            Jenkins and Thomson threw the last remains into the cabinets and then rushed out towards the couch themselves.
            Richardson, last name first, jammed his keys into the door and opened it up.  He walked in, put away his jacket, and took off his shoes.  Richardson didn’t really need a jacket, but he just wore so he looked good.  Anyway, he went down that fabled hallway into the living room; something was suspicious.
            “Are YOU the guys who left that big wreck on the sidewalk?” he asked the threesome down at the couch.
            “Richardson!!” they shouted, so happy and everything.
            “Great to see you, buddy!” Martinez cried, giving him a hug.  “It’s been so long, like what, 78 hours?”
            “All right, that’s enough,” Richardson said, shrugging Martinez away, “I do have a first name, people.”
            “You don’t deserve the first name, mon,” Thomson said.
            “I don’t, huh?” he asked, “What the heck is the deal with calling everybody by their surnames?”
            “Listen, Richardson,” Jenkins explained, “We’re men, well, most of us...”
            “Except you, right?” quipped Thomson.
            “Thomson, not now, huh?” Jenkins sniped back, “Anyway, we can’t call each other by the first name basis thing, because in the big picture, we’re just scrubs.  It’s just not tradition...”
            “-but what about women?”
            “See, women are worthy of the first name treatment, man,” Martinez added, “That’s different.”
            “Exceptions??  Provisos???”
            “Of course, Richardson,” Jenkins said, putting his arm around him.  “It’s just like everything else.”
            “Okay, I got it,” Richardson understood, “So what the hell are you doing in my house.”
            “Baby,” said Martinez
            “Baby,” said Thomson.
            “Yeah... baby,” said Jenkins pointing over to the nearby bedroom.
            “Oh, the baby,” said Richardson, “You took care of him for Mallory?”
            “What else would we do with him?” Jenkins asked.
            “Mmm.  Swell.  Thank you, guys,” Richardson.
            “You need anything else, bro?” Thomson asked.
            “Nope, nothing, nope.  You guys can vamoose...”
            “Oh, good, I’m outa here,” Martinez cut in, lumbering his ass out of the living room.
            “Yeah, me too.  Thanks for nothing, because, well, you didn’t do anything.” Jenkins said, walking out the door.
            Thomson followed.
            “Oh, yeah, thanks a lot for helping my wife out.  I do appreciate it.” Richardson said.
            Each of the others turned around and pointed at Richardson.
            “Don’t mention it,” they said, cool and calmly.


            Tomlin ran down a nearby empty street, a shadowy flight down a vacant corridor was all it was.  In his head was nothing but thoughts of a venegeful Anderson, his fat face smiling with pure evil (in his mind) as he bowled to his delight.  Meanwhile, Tomlin himself was the ultimate roving reporter fearing for his life.
            Whatever Tomlin’s motivations were, he found his place of refuge.  Rounding a corner, Tomlin spotted a facade, and somewhere in that facade lay the entrance to a robust little joint with a sign that said THE ESCAPE CLUB.
            Tomlin kept on running, this time he went into THE ESCAPE CLUB.  Kelvin was right, the joint was indeed a small coffee shop, with not much more than a counter and a few run down booths and tables.
            Tomlin went over to a woman manning the counter.
            “Why the hell do you name a coffee shop the Escape CLUB??” he asked.
            “I don’t know, sir.  You tell me.  That’s just how they named it.”
            “Well, that’s okay, but... why didn’t they just name it the Escape CAFE?” asked Tomlin.
            “Look, baby, let ME ask the questions, and YOU go sit down,” she retorted.
            “Sheesh, tough customer service,” Tomlin shrugged as he retreated.
            Tomlin settled for a booth next to a window and sunk into it’s big plush seat.  He took out a few cards from his jacket and threw them out onto the table to shuffle them around.  Tomlin didn’t have any other options but to stay in hiding... for now.  He just moved on and said to himself, “It’s a living.”

            -And then a big fist grabbed Tomlin’s collar and yanked him up out of the booth and left him hanging over the floor.
            “It’s gonna be a dying in just a minute!” the man said holding him up to a choking halt.
            Gasping for breath, Tomlin feared for his life.  Of course it was Anderson yanking Tomlin out like a worn weed.  Does any one else care enough to do anything like that?
            Tomlin went on gagging on his own breath.
            “You liberal puss [gag]!” Tomlin cried, still choking, “How did you FIND me??”
            “You see a place obviously named the ESCAPE club and you’re sure that a moron like you will stupidly waltz into it.”  Anderson responded.  “You taking that cheap shot on ME.  Who’s the real puss now, tightwad?!”
            “Kelvin told you!!!” Tomlin grunted.
            “That Kelvin guy told me nothing... except a 2 for 1 deal on rubber things,” said Anderson.
            “He still has that going?” Tomlin asked, curiously.
            “Yeah, 2 for 1, and he’ll throw the dildo in for free,” Anderson said, matter of factly, loosening his grip on Tomlin.
            “That’d be perfect for my wife.  If I had one...” Tomlin said, still in captivity.  “Come now, let’s have a drink.”
            “You want a DRINK now jackass?!” Anderson asked, throwing Tomlin to the wall.
            “Oh no! I thought you forgot!!” Tomlin whimpered, close to tears.
            “And now, it is time for YOU to get the perverbial... how do I say it?... ASS KICKING!”
            So Anderson threw Tomlin across the room, flailing like a defenseless rag doll, flipping on top of several tables and crashing into the OTHER wall, across the way.
            “No!! Lord have mercy!!” Tomlin cried, desperately.           
            “Ah, but alas,” said Anderson, hovering over Tomlin’s face.  “There is no Lord.  Just my fist...”

            POW!!  BANG!! BOFF!! WHACK!!  Those were the spectacular fireworks seen and heard inside and out of the Escape Club, with Anderson doing most of the work and Tomlin getting most of the punishment.

            Meanwhile in another part of town...
            Hewitt was still on the inside, crouched, shivering, as he stared at the icy television in front of him.
            “See?  TV is not so bad.” he rationalized, all the while covered up in a blanket, with one hand out pointing at the screen.  “The TV won’t turn me in.”
            Now all of his hi-tech junk was largely shut down.  His little security cameras were turned off.  The control-panel of television monitors in his lab sat idle, and even his prized gumball machine lay on the lab table, unfinished.
            Most of the lights were off in his place, and so were his sensors, automatic door openers, and everything else.  The only thing left that was on was Hewitt’s television, which he still managed to watch, even in his time of paranoia.
            “Ha, ha, ha, ha!  Funny!!” Hewitt remarked.  He was lying.  There couldn’t be anything worse on television than this:
            “Catch the all-new Prime Time Television EVENT!  Bean Counting!!  Witness the drama of the beans getting separated one by one...”
            The picture showed a man seated at a table, counting the beans, and then screwing up his count, somewhere around the 200th bean.
            “Two hundred and.... DOOOHH!! My life is ruined!!”
            “Can anyone survive counting all of them?!!” the announcer continued,  “You have to see it to believe it!  NBC Tuesday...”
- Zap! -
            “The battle for grass ball supremacy continues!” said the announcer, “Watch the Picaccta Boilermakers face the Terra Haute Pizza Deliverers on Wednesday Night Lacrsosse.... again!!  Live 8pm Eastern on ESPN.”
- Zap! –
            “It was a brutal fight that erupted at about 2 p.m. this afternoon.  Two men spontaneously went after each other and triggered a melee that spread for four blocks!”  said the News Reporter.
            “I guess they don’t fight like fags after all,” Hewitt quipped, noting the televised footage of Tomlin and Anderson’s fight from earlier that day.
            Outside the apartment building, Thomson, Jenkins, and Martinez, cruised down the sidewalk, walking, headed for Hewitt’s apartment.
            “I think the dude’s ready for us now,” Thomson said, looking at the others for approval.
            Jenkins and Martinez followed Thomson as he ran into Hewitt’s apartment building and up the stairs.
            Then they ran down to Hewitt’s door, and quickly rushed over to bang on it repeatedly.
            “Nooo!! Noooooooo!!!  What do you want people?!!  I didn’t do it!!!” Hewitt cried, as he sank into his blanket, all while still in his lazy chair.
            “It’s US!!” all three guys shouted from the outside.
            “Screw you all!!” yelped Hewitt.  “I hope all of you and Dubya go to hell!!”
            “No, Hewitt, get a hold of yourself, dude!” cried Thomson, “It’s Tommy Boy, now, open up!”
            “Yeah, and it’s Jenkins, too!  Open Sesame!!” Jenkins cried.
            “Uh, yeah, I’m uh... The Grim Reaper,” said Martinez from the door’s crack.
            “Shut up, Martinez.” quipped Hewitt.  “All right, dopes, I’ll let you in.”
            Hewitt cracked a smile on his face, the first one all day.  He lumbered over to the door and opened it up.
            “Guys.... How I missed you knuckleheads...” Hewitt said, with open arms.
            “Aww, guys, let’s give him a big hug!” Thomson said in his sarcastic cutsey voice.
            All four guys opened their arms for embrace, but what they did was just reach their arms around each other’s back and lightly patted their hands on each other’s back.  It was sort of a “halfsie hug.”
            “Are you doing okay, now, Hewitt?” Jenkins asked politely.
            “Eh, I’m fine, now,” Hewitt said, “Sort of.  I still think I’m getting watched by the government.”
            “Watched?  For what, dawg?” asked Thomson.
            “No, see, whenever you go out, they have the cameras on you, and the IDs you scan and the credit cards, they all have your information, baby.”
            “So?” asked Martinez.
            “So?!  Don’t you get it?  It’s the Republican security police!!”
            “Oh, don’t blame this on the Republicans again...” cried Jenkins, rolling his eyes.
            “No, I’m gonna blame them.  See all those cameras and IDs and things...   It’s like ‘Every breath you take... every step you make... they’ll be watching you.’”
            “Oh, and I suppose you know what they are saying....” Thomson said, surprised.
            “Yeah, they’re saying, ‘Oh can’t you see??  You belong... to me!’” Hewitt sang, reprising a verse from The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”
            “Whatever, man,” said Martinez, “We’re just glad you’re back ‘open to the media.’”
            “I guess I’ll be safe now,” Hewitt said, “but now I need to get a car.”
            “Oh dude!! That’s right,” said Martinez, “What the hell happened to your car?”
            “The hoodlum ran off with it,” quipped Hewitt, “He’s done.  The cops must’ve clobbered that fool.”
            “Hoodlum?!” asked Thomson.
            “Uh oh...” Hewitt surmised, “This is gonna be a loooooooong story...”
            With that, the other guys sat down around tables, counters, wherever one could find a seat.  Martinez, Thomson, Jenkins, and Hewitt (in his easy chair now) shared stories from that point on, up until the end of the night.
            It was a calmer, more peaceful place now, justice having prevailed at the Escape Club, Hewitt back in his groove again, and with the Mallory’s baby under careful watch from his father.  Santa Barbara’s streetlights lighted up.  People basked in the warmth and the glow of Downtown’s busy avenues.  Houses and apartments rested peacefully.  That was the end of that story, for the time being.

*The End*