Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 31st

There's not much to write today, so let's do this thing.

The Lakers and Howard can part ways any time now.    He just isn't a reliable player.  What a farce.  Get rid of that goose.

Julia, Tom, and the Junk man were fantastic last night on the DITC podcast.   Can't thank them enough!  What a show.   Tebow wishes he had great missionary work like what Junkie did.  Many people out there in B-more only think they're as good a football fan as Julia is from MD.  And Tommy?  He once again brings the juice.  Great job by all!

I'm really starting to get fed up with my stupid phone.  It's a DROID but DROIDs are supposed to do things right.  And this one doesn't.  This has nothing to do with Android or even Motorola..  what I did was I cheaped out and paid the price.  I am positively livid about this hunk of crap.  It won't download anything on command, the downloads only work about half the time, the keyboard has more delays than the WFAN web stream, the thing crashes once a month, and any time I try to do more than 1 thing at a time, inevitably one of the 2-3 extra processes quits on me.  OH and whenever I start Live365, there's a bug that un-does my buzzer setting so that my ring tones play in the clear when I get a call rather than vibrate.  What a piece of garbage phone.    I'll stay with Android but I'm getting a legit phone next time.  There's barely any storage space on this thing anyway.  It's a mess.

Not only that, but I'm a little fed up with this slow as molasses DSL connection at home.  I'd like to spend less than 90 minutes to upload a meager 100MB file.  Is that too much to ask?!   Cities all around the world, even little two horse towns, are getting FIOS and big ole Los Angeles is stuck with the ratty cable or the painfully slower DSL.  Lucky me.

If FIOS ever comes to town, Directv is GONE.  No more Sunday Ticket but I can live with that.   I want cheaper cable service and faster internet -- well worth it.

I'm this close to dumping satellite altogether.   The Lakers season is over, football is over, there might be enough sports to occupy my time over the air.  I would save an enormous amount of money.  Enormous.

My goodness, have there been frustrations this week.  Last night was frustrating.  I had to re-upload the podcast episode twice to iTunes.  Crazy.

Whew... wow.  I was livid huh?   Hopefully better days are ahead.   My life is certainly not bad right now.  I was just having a few bad turbulent spots last night after a very good podcast.  Life still went on, thankfully.

I was frustrated at LVH Casino for giving me a very boring and uninspiring list of prop bets.  I thought they were the MECCA OF ALL SPORTS GAMBLING.   Be that as it may they were extremely disappointing with their list of prop bets.  All of them were straight laced "who will score xyz stats" bets.  This is not what I was looking for.  When I think "Prop Bets"  I think "who will win the coin toss", "How long is the national anthem," "is so and so in the audience," you know?  Really zany, nutty maybe even non-sports related bets!  So, instead, I once again turn to for all the essentials, which has been my go-to source for prop bets over the last three years.

On that note, a big finger to the people at for recommending LVH for prop bets.   LVH is amazing with regular betting but fun dopey joke bets are not their game.  There were none to be found.

Who would be good at serving a four-star quality steak at midnight?  I wonder if any superb steakhouses are open that late.   An interesting exercise.  I can look into it on Friday I suppose.

On a lighter note, LA traffic has been downright wonderful this week.  I was extremely impressed to have a reasonable commute home every night this week.   Thank the maker for such a comfortable return trip home.

I could use some real peaches right now.   Cannot wait for Peach season to start.

Grapes would be nice too, but they're still a little too expensive.  In due time.

I do want the 49ers to win.  However, I still am feeling the Ravens.  It hasn't changed much the whole time and I think that's a good sign that my pick will be accurate.   Time will tell.

That's all from here.  I don't have patience to write more.  I really wish the Lakers would get with the program and just rework the whole roster.    Have a good one everybody!

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 30th

Howdy pardners..

So far, so good this week.  I am feeling a small amount sicker every day but I am still in decent shape and my voice has held up the whole time.   I never felt sick enough to miss work so far this week, but I came close today.  

Now I'm at the office, and I feel all right.  I have to remember to pound the water and add some orange juice.  Thank goodness, for now.

Boy was this peanut butter jelly sandwich good.   It was so good I feel like having another one.  Good thing I packed two, do the dance!

I packed them an extra day early, meaning they sat in the fridge for an extra 24 hours.  I meant to eat them yesterday but then went with chicken leftovers instead, so I left the PBJ's for another day.    Here's the interesting thing about Peanut Butter/Jelly sandwiches:  when you leave the sandwiches set in the fridge for an extra day, the jam gets to really absorb into the bread.   Suddenly you have dry aged sandwiches.  Can you believe it?   Or maybe "marinated sandwiches."

Either way it gets you to thinking good thoughts of NY Strip and Porterhouse steaks.  Yum.  

The Lakers got hot for three games.  They are *still* not a good basketball team to me.  I think pundits need to calm down.   I liked what I saw, but I can't take much of anything from it, honestly.

Earl Clark has really come into his own however.   A surprisingly good bench player, who recently has started a few games.  He fits the D'antoni "system" nicely.

I can't stand systems... "Nellyball," "Triangles," "Run 'n Shoot," "Iso," etc.   Just give them the damn ball and play!   A few moves, some creativity, but these "systems" drive me mad.  I spoke about it with Coach last night before we did our 49ers roundtable podcast.  These so called systems and styles often hold teams back, not the other way around.

Anyone remember those Celtics teams in the 80's?    Their coach, K.C. Jones, had NO system... he basically said "Ok Larry, go run the offense," and he delivered.  I have to say his "less is more" attitude was effective.  Maybe he could have done better with end-of-game situations and maybe substitutions and not running all this starters into the ground, but he had the right idea, anyway.

I also, in a similar vein, thought it was amusing how around the same time, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson were just dopey nerd fellows who were along for the ride and tried to give the team energy.   Could you have conceived that both guys would be demanding basketball wunderkinds with huge egos?   In 1991, Phil Jackson could have done a music video alongside Steve Urkel (aka Jaleel White)... "Do the DID I DO THAT  heeehehehehehehe snort snort..."

Junk man is right, I do a *lot* of NBA talk on here.

First to go over .500:  LA Kings or NY Rangers?  Both are roughly at .500.  All it takes is one win.

How effective is orange juice in getting one through a cold/flu?   They always say to drink it, but I wondered if you could quantify its effectiveness.  There's a Jamba Juice blend called "Coldbuster" with orange juice and a bunch of other ingredients.  When I was in college, I drank one when I had a cold and it made me feel worse!  Oh man, that was funny.

I'm amazed that there are people who still don't know who Flo Rida is.    I should mention, no 80's song is safe from his path.   Watch out folks!   Pretty soon he'll be sampling Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride."  Maybe the Bangles too!

I think it was the other night when I went for a mocha before we did one of our Super Bowl podcasts, and I asked for it.  As it was being prepared, the owner, who really seems like this big shot jerk kind of guy, was getting into an argument with the barista.  I didn't pay attention to what they were saying but the owner guy seemed to be in Mike Francesa mode.   Just didn't give the other lady an inch.  I really felt bad for the girl.   The way they were arguing though, I wondered if they were married.  It's possible.

The owner guy at this place isn't doing it for me.  His cafe's coffee drinks are fantastic, but the man himself gives me the impression that he's hard to deal with.   I would come in sometimes to this place and say hi and he'd just hi-back and then brush me aside.   Tough spot.

It's a shame he has to be such a douche too, because everything about the place sells... comfortable and cozy, with tables that let you hang around a while and go online with the wifi.   Excellent beverages and we hear they even have live music sometimes.  Hard to decide what to do there.  Maintain the loyalty to the place or move onto something where you might get treated better?

As I leave you for the day, I want to cite some of the places that have THE best service anywhere:  There's the Peet's at Westwood Village, about Westwood and Lindbrook.  Amazing people and amazing coffee.   There's the KFC Chicken place at Wilshire and I forget the other street... its just East of Bundy.   No other fast food restaurant takes care of you like the KFC.  I'm amazed that a KFC would go to these lengths to make customers comfortable... with friendly faces and good attention made to the clientele.   Ah!  Let's not forget the Wendys in Culver City.    When you dine in, the people there actually bring the drink refills to you.  That is absolutely not necessary, and I was shocked when I saw it the first time.   People who care make a huge difference to me.   I wish I could do more to express my gratitude to these places.

One other place which was just amazing was the Houston's restaurant in Century City, but it since closed due to having the same restaurant in Santa Monica.

Down the road I could tell you all the places where I had the WORST service.  Oh get ready for some entertainment!  Until then, have a good one.  Back soon...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Super Bowl Questions...

More Super Bowl Trivia questions are to come on our respective Facebook and Twitter pages: and @diningwithdave on Twitter.    Join in on the fun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 29th

Some quick thoughts today.  At present I don't feel great.  In fact, it feels like I ingested a damp warm washcloth and its stuck in my intestine somewhere.  Ig... stomach flu or something?  No idea.

I knew I wasn't going to be 100% so I figured, might as well go out in a blaze of glory!  So -- KFC last night for dinner.   Good stuff.

I'm glad everyone's enjoying the Super Bowl Trivia.  I was pleasantly surprised at the response the two trivia questions got.  Two more questions coming today!

Who came up with the idea that a button was cute?  You know how they say "xyz is cute as a button?"   What kind of a button are they talking about anyway?  The button on a shrit?  The button you pin onto a sweater?   The button that turns on the TV?  I never once looked at my shirt and said "look how cute these little circles are."  Ah well.

Kansas is "KU" and Kentucky is "UK."   How crazy is that?

Why are people killing me for taking interest in Kansas basketball?  Last night, I tweeted that they are mush proof.  I didn't say I was a huge devoted fan!  I just thought they were interesting to watch.

That team will be #1 soon, I can feel it!

This weekend I was thinking of the idea of going to an open mic session at some night club.  Just go up there and maybe repeat some of the lines from this blog.  Will it be a hit?   Throw a few quick hitters and see if anyone laughs.   Maybe get into the bus rant or the Pink's hot dog rant.  Who knows?

For the last 12 out of 15 days at work, I've had a peanut butter/jelly sandwich for breakfast and one for lunch.  Is this good for my health?

Who will get to above .500 first: Lakers or LA Kings?  Or neither?  Neither is a very realistic option.

--but good win last night for the Kings.  I thought they were done.  I was like "Dammit, here we go another loss at home."  Then with like 20 seconds left, the Kings tied the game on Voynov's goal with the Empty Net behind him.   THEN the Kings won in a shootout.  To go from an outright loss to an overtime win is a hell of a turnaround!

That's all from here.   See you all tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll have energy for a longer entry tomorrow.  Not feeling 100% but hope to make for a good podcast later tonight.  Til then!

Super Bowl Trivia Question #2

Super Bowl Trivia Question #2:  In NFL history, four domed stadiums, past or present, have never hosted a Super Bowl.  Can you name the four stadiums?

To answer, you can go to or @diningwithdave on Twitter!  Good luck!

Super Bowl Trivia Question #1

Who has the longest kickoff return in Super Bowl history?

Answer correctly and win a chance to air your 5 minute audio salvo/karaoke/rant/etc on the DITC podcast!   Good luck!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 28th

Hidee ho!  My goodness, my Mom's recital was a smashing success, and there was no drama at all.  Boy was I wrong about that one!   It went really smoothly and the weekend was a great time.  It was the smoothest running recital ever.   It's good that we all hit our spots so well.

Onward... it's SUPER BOWL WEEK!

Who's not excited about this?

Ok, so we will have a lot to discuss about football but today we're going to tap into everything else.  First of all, what happened to my buddy Jacob "El Hebrew Hammer?"   I swear to you I am not lying, THIS is who he saw last night by choice!  And with much enthusiasm on his fb page:

Jacob, Jacob, Jacob... ohhhhhhhhhhh Jacob, Jacob, Jacob... I used to think you were different, man.  What happened to you?  Did SF hijack your personality?  Now it's one thing when a goofball joker like me gets into the group "Pentatonix", a hit on NBC's "The Sing-Off" TV show, but when my man Hammer gets into it, it makes my head spin.

For all I know, Pentatonix is a great band, but Jacob once schooled me on things like Tupac and Biggie, and all sorts of good hip hop.   He used to clown me because I liked "Oingo Boingo."  But *this?*   They make One Direction look like a hardcore metal group!  Color me shocked today, fellas.   I am shocked.  Our man Hammer is becoming a hipster before our eyes.

Maybe Jake got delirious when his beloved 49ers made the Super Bowl.  Excessive joy can make people do strange things.

I'm starting to really worry about my health.  I picked up my sister and drove her an hour from her college to our parents' house for the weekend, but she's fighting this nasty kind of flu.  And she and my mom were coughing up a storm, as they both caught it.  Now **I'm** coughing up a storm.  This is not good, folks.  Not good, not good.   This could de-rail Super Bowl week on the podcast.  I'm very worried.

I got two lottery scratchers from my parents over the weekend.  Pretty cool!  Nobody wins any real money from these things though, watch this, I'm going to use them now.


Nope, didn't win anything, but I came close on a couple numbers.

Can we calm down with that Lakers win yesterday?  I'm happy they won but they haven't really done anything other than get lucky and beat another good team.   I find it interesting how effective the Lakers looked when Dwight Howard was out of the picture.

I can't say much more because I was unable to watch the game yesterday, but if one thinks it's a sign of better things to come, that guy's crazy.

I would be shocked if Kansas did not get at least the #2 AP Ranking by the end of the day.  Duke lost, Syracuse lost, Kansas was already ranked #3 going in, and Michigan destroyed Illinois.   I see Michigan moving up to #1 and Kansas #2 in College Basketball.  It's been a crazy year in College B-Ball, but I like it!  A whole lot of jostling for those top five spots.

I still haven't *seen* a whole Michigan basketball game.  I know they're good, in fact, I know they're great, but I need to watch a game.  Seeing is believing.

I feel coffee deficient today, which I don't think is a good thing.  I may have to curtail this coffee addiction before it's too late.  --but it's sooooo good!

More than anything, I hope I make it to the end of the week without getting sick.  However, it might be too late.

Not much else to report: with my weekend being spent at my parents' helping them out, I didn't have much else going on.  HOWEVER, I got my electronic piano for my apartment.  I'm trying it out now.  I'm not sure whether I'll keep it for real or just return it in a week or two.   I'm having fun riffing on it right now.   To start, I sampled some backbeats from an "Easybeats" song "Friday on my Mind":

Good times that was.  I was just riffing there based on the sheet music I saw for the tune.  I also wrote out the basic melody line for "Story of a Plumber" (the Super Mario Brothers tribute song).   I guess I could post it on youtube if anyone wanted to see it.

That's all for now.  Happy Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 25th

Good to have Friday here.  I'm going to assist with my Mom's annual piano recital again this weekend.  As usual, I'm not "giddy" about it, but it should be a rewarding affair.

There's a lot of stress and pressure that goes into any stage presentation and the key is to just get through it.   Hopefully all goes well.

Freakish night in dreams for a Friday.   I had two bad dreams.  First I was on a bicycle and made an illegal left turn as the light was turning red against (this is hard to explain) a beat up Volkswagen car taht was an undercover cop.   I think I actually made the turn *behind* his car as he was making a left from the other side of the road.  Then he pulled me over.  

What was I doing on a bicycle?  I have no idea.

Then, later on I had a dream about going to the theater and nearly falling asleep, and as I was getting outside to the lobby I fell to the floor because I was so tired, THEN I saw these little blue circles sprinkled on the carpet.  They were blue confetti dots!   This was the nightmare of the year.  I got up somewhat, but couldn't get out of bed for an hour with the rain outside.

Speaking of nightmares, the Kings season is off to such a bad start.  This is what I deserve... I changed the entire landscape of the NHL last year and it's only fair to have them get hosed like they did last night at Edmonton.   Go to to see how it ended.   0-3 so far.   I shouldn't even complain if they start 0-10, because with karma it always evens out in the end.  So, no complaints.  I'd still rather have it this way than without the cup.

Man, I jovially predicted they'd miss the playoffs, but it's really starting to look that way after a week.  I don't even think they're playing all in all miserable hockey but they just seem to have mental lapses that yield game tying (and losing) goals.  Quick has been pretty remarkable on this road trip, but the issue is that the defense is not helping out very much.  The only thing that's carried over so far from last year is the Kings' penalty kill.   That fourth line is a sight to watch too, but again, the Kings really gotta get it going offensively.  You can't score 1 goal per game and expect to win, period.

Last night, I was at Cafe 50's with a friend.   Good times were had.   We chatted up the NBA and some other things, and in between I had a noice blueberry milkshake and the classic Mushroom and Jack Cheese Burger.   Now *that* was a good hamburger.  I forgot how good it really was.  In fact, it might even have improved.  Something about the seasoning they used in the meat last night was hitting the sweet spot.  Highly recommended.

Remember how in "Back to the Future Part II" they had a "Cafe 80's" in their depicted 2015?   We're only two years away from 2015 and it would seem like an obvious move for someone out here to start an 80's cafe.  You could construct it to function literally the way the one in the movie does, although I would *gauge* you'd still want actual people serving the food.

That Sports Almanac that went up to the Year 2000 would be entirely useless today.

BTTFP2 was surprisingly accurate with a lot of future "innovations" depicted in the movie, including the multiple channels, digital communications, and things like that.   Two major items they got wrong: the popularity of laserdiscs and the Cubs winning a World Series.

People, the Cubs are a loser organization.  They will *never* win a World Series in the next several decades and I don't even have to worry about jinxing that one.  In 2003,they had the NL title handed to them on a silver platter and five outs left and still blew it.  That pretty much ends my confidence in them.  They would need a complete overhaul in the culture of their franchise to evoke any change.    Even Theo Epstein can't save them... yet.

One of the fun things to do for a Super Bowl is to try the signature foods of the two teams.  Last year we had NY and NE and their foods were easy to set up.   A slice of pizza or a bagel for NYC and Clam Chowder for NE.   This year we have San Francisco and Baltimore.   B-more is going to be good with the Crab Cakes or any kind of Crab.   San Francisco is a little tougher, but a sourdough bread bowl or garlic fries are good choices.  Those who thought "Rice-a-Roni" are a little off.

The real fun starts next week:  SUPER BOWL WEEK my friends!  It's on!  See you on Monday...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 24th

I'm still so impressed that a) Gerry in Piscataway played ball against Earl Clark and b) Junkie played ball against Elton Brand.  Both of those guys proved themselves in the NBA and I think it's really cool that they could hang with either one.

Last night in the final half hour of the podcast with Junkie, I looked over and saw zero, literally ZERO people in the chat room.  I was really worried.  I thought people were upset with me.  

After the show I settled down.  I realized that it was *really* cold on the East Coast and most people didn't want to bother with a dopey podcast in favor of warm blankets and warm heating vents.  I just hope everyone is ok.   It was *extremely* cold on the East Coast and legitimate cold weather.

Any time we claim to be "cold" we should just slap ourselves on the face and kick ourselves in the pants.   We Californians are hot stuff calling 35 degrees at night a "Cold Day."  Seriously?  I'm ashamed at myself for complaining about cooler temperatures about two weeks ago.

I am so happy to learn that my buddy Kevin on the Cape aka Junkie is reading this blog now.  I thought it was great that he printed the blog entries each day and brought them home.  That's dedication.

You'd be surprised how effective two peanut butter/jelly sandwiches are for breakfast and lunch.  It must cost about 65 cents to make each sandwich and yet they're rather good for the whole day.  TWO was the key.  I started out trying to last on just one sandwich and I had no chance.

Another key difference is that I use this wider whole wheat bread instead of the regular, narrorwer slices.  Tremendous bread!

I'll tabulate the totals later but I hope I kept my expenditures  to about 20-30 bucks for the week in food.   Dinner has gone very well.  Penne, $2 for a box.  Sauce, $2.50.  Meatballs, $3.70.   All together: $9.20 for four dinner meals.   If I was more conservative about portion sizes, I could presumably stretch it for a fifth meal.

In a twist, I'm meeting a friend of mine at Cafe 50's tonight and I'll spend at least $9.20 in one shot.  Dang.

Are you one of those folks who holds out for free cookies at work?  So, say a co worker brings a dozen cookies or some cookies come to the office as leftovers from a big meeting.  Those are good days, aren't they?

Even with all that restraint, one will get the urge to eat things like BBQ Pork sandwiches, chicken sandwiches from Burger King, and so on.   

OH, and finally the Wendy's in Santa Monica opened.  It took them long *enough* didn't it?   Finally it opens, and I cannot tell you for the life of me why they decided to build the smallest Wendy's imaginable.   I think you can only fit four tables in there.   Soon enough I'll be able to check it out for real.

However big the restaurant is, it is so great to have Wendy's nearby at last.   I said the same of Del Taco and then suddenly I stopped going.   The "eat in" thing kept me from Del Taco a lot.

I had to have posted about this before but does anyone, and I mean *anyone* remember this show on WGN called "Bozo the Clown?"  It was a "modern edition" of the show that used to come on at 5am through to 7am.   In Chicago, that would be 7am til 9.   Back in those days, WGN on Cable was *the* WGN that aired on Chicago TV.  We got it all:  Blues Brothers movie, Cubs baseball, Perfect Strangers re-runs, and this Bozo show.

When I was younger, I was the kind of freak that liked to get up ridiculously early.  I kept pushing the bar, and it started with me getting up at 6am.  Then it was 5, and 4 when I'd pop on TBS and watch Gilligans Island reruns.  Then I'd be challenging the test patterns.  Sometimes I'd watch the test pattern and stare at it, waiting for it to end.

Ok, ANYWAY, moving on, I'd flip around and one of the shows was the Bozo the Clown show with his sidekick Cooky.   In the middle of the show, they'd do the GRAND PRIZE GAME where you had six little buckets and a ping pong ball.  You start by trying to drop the ball in the first bucket right next to you.   The next bucket was a little farther away and you try to toss it in there, and on and on til you got to the 6th bucket.  Each bucket was worth a prize that was greater and greater in value.   By the end of it you were going for an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii with a bike and a whole TV entertainment system.  I'd see little kids try the grand prize game and it was just so intense.  Yes, six buckets and a ping pong ball was intense, I was 8!  I don't know if anybody nailed the sixth bucket, but man there were some close calls.

It was always a dream of mine to compete for a sick prize like that.   Later on I got a show that was above and beyond any buckets.. and it was called "The Price is Right." 

Do you remember those contests for prizes on TV where you had to dial the 1900 number or something?  I think for one of them it was a 1-800 number.   Oh baby, the day they announced on TV they were giving away a Super Nintendo, I was on it like white on rice, but then I got so sad when I would dial and it was way too late.   Never occurred to me that millions of other little kids would have tried the number already.

I never did get a Super Nintendo.  After I went nuts with the original Nintendo, playing it every waking moment, my Mom refused to allow video games in my house.   It probably was for the best, because at least it didn't leave me as completely anti-social.

I can't even play modern day video games.  Too many turns and twists and a lot of killing.  I can't get into it.   Why would I be in the mood to kill hundreds of people every day?

Those games are so complicated anyhow, so I don't mind being detached from gaming.  The best I can do is write a song about a video game in the style of Buckner and Garcia.  I came up with "Story of a Plumber," a tribute to the original Super Mario Bros. game.

I have the whole song written out in my head and *that* is a big reason I was looking for a piano keyboard.  I want to commit my ideas to music.  I think I can do it if I can find the time and skills.

That's all from here.  Have a great one folks!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 23rd

I play Solitaire on the computer nowadays to pass the time.  I started it up again around the Christmas Break, and at the time I could not win a game for days.  Then I realized, I should not draw from the upper left pile unless the card can subsequently move another stack over.  THEN, I realized that I should take out stacks on the right side of the field first not the other way around.   The objective, as I saw it, was to reveal all the face down cards.  Since implementing those two strategies, Solitaire has become much more successful.

In fact, I now play the game and my goal is to win at least one game EVERY night, however long it takes.  I've gotten pretty good at it, so now I can get to a Solitaire win about once an hour.  I don't know how well that fares against the league average.

The Kings got destroyed in the 3rd period last night.  How could they not get in any serious goals against Varlaamov?   That's hideous... and I could sense immediately that the rust was still in effect.  Fourth line was great, but how about lines 1, 2, and 3?

Can we please stop with the Howard/Lopez/Love trade talks?  Now the rumor is picking up steam with other NBA sites, and I just plead with everyone:  Stop.  Let's calm down and think with our heads for a moment.   I'm not ruling out a Dwight Howard trade, in fact, I feel like there could be one imminent, but to think that he'd get traded for *another* high profile NBA superstar would be outrageous.  And Minnesota will agree to all of this in exchange for the less than mediocre Brook Lopez?  Let's not go crazy now!

I was going at it with Andrew and Jacob, resident 49ers fans, yesterday about the Niners defense.   They thought they handled the Packers offense well.  Be that as it may, the defense isn't that great and while they haven't statistically "given up the big play" they've given up a lot of field in smaller chunks.   Julio Jones had his *way* against the 49ers.  I fail to see how Flacco/Boldin/Smith and Ray Rice don't do the same thing on Super Sunday.  More to come from the Super Bowl a later on.

I'm sad to see the end of the "Super Six" era, i.e. the same six quarterbacks that represented the last three Super Bowls and also a group for which at least one of them played in every Super Bowl going back to the 2002 season.

INTERESTINGLY, 2002 was the same year of Raiders/Bucs which is only now being discussed because of possible allegations that Raiders Coach Bill Callahan threw the game with a radically different game plan.

First of all, what difference does it make?  That Raider team was not very good and despite going off on everyone in the AFC Playoffs, they seemed pretty weak.  The whole NFL was pretty weak in 2002.  The Super Bowl that year between the aformentioned teams had to be the worst one I've seen yet.

Nothing about that Super Bowl was good... even Shania Twain couldn't save it.   Some other joker was performing with her at half time and I forgot who it was.  Oh yes, and great job by the NFL getting someone who was already in the twilight of her career.

Speaking of THAT, looky here, Beyonce is this year's Halftime Show.   To be fair, Beyonce is not in her twilight but she's getting close.  What was the last big hit she had and when was it?  Two years ago?  Five years ago?   I think she peaked with her pop hits around 2006 or so?

Lady Gaga... does it seem like we haven't heard from her in a while?  It might be for good reason.  She only recently returned to the U.S.A. after a massive tour of the globe.   She had her mini cameo with the Rolling Stones in Brooklyn.  Then, just the other night, she performed for two nights at Staples Center.  Little did we know that her concert would be the best performance at Staples Center in the last five days!

Clippers got spanked last night.  Kings got destroyed by the Blackhawks a few days earlier.  If you want to back a few more days, the Lakers were shut down by the Heat at Staples last Thursday Night.  A 98 pound freak outperformed the Defending Stanley Cup Champions, a roster of former all stars, and the most exciting team in the NBA.  Imagine that?

I mean where the HELL is LA sports right now?   I think the Kings are in good shape long term, but can they finally win a game please?   Thankfully the Oilers are next for them.  At last a victory is imminent.

Lakers, ugh... forget it.

Clips, that wasn't such a bad loss when you consider they were without Chris Paul.  All it did was show everyone how important he is to the team.  The Clippers were lost without Paul.  They had no idea how to find open shots, and many times, the ball handler would go iso and settle for some off balance jumper.  Some of them went in like some of Blake Griffin's fadeaways from 15.

Griffin's jumper is improving each year, and I think he could be deadly from there with enough practice.

There are a lot of people who love to email NY Columnist Phil Mushnick about Mike Francesa's show.  Perhaps they do it to act as a whistle blower.  Now imagine if you wanted to contact Mushnick and you found out his home phone number?  I bet it would blow your MIND.

A buffet would sound really good this week.  I'd love to try a buffet that offers porterhouse steaks as part of their menu.  Unlimited porterhouse steak chops would be divine.

Ah!  And on the subject of meat I'm happy to report that meatballs are readily available from the deli counter should you so desire.   I didn't realize it was available at regular grocery stores too.  The last time I got meatballs was at this fancy place called "Bay Cities Italian Deli."  Scary good deli, but it's good to know I can go to the local Vons or Ralphs and pick up a meatball or two.

I got the half dozen meatballs and took em home.  Then I reheated the penne pasta and marinara sauce with a meatball in the bowl.   Boy was that good!

Lately I haven't had a ton of reason to eat out much during the week, but I do miss it.  However, I'm hoping that my sparse trips to the takeout window are paying dividends to health and finance.  It doesn't seem like it, but I think it is.

I like that I don't have to go out every night to find food to eat.   I'm such a fool for not thinking of this strategy sooner.  Hopefully I can someday go get a new car with the money I save.

I may need to move to a smaller town.  Emergency Ambulance sirens and fire trucks can be tough to take every single night.   A quieter neighborhood would not kill me.

Trust me, it's not a dangerous neighborhood at all.  The only thing is, I'm very close to one major thoroughfare, Santa Monica Blvd, and pretty close to another one, Wilshire Blvd.  The odds of having either one of those vehicles on the road once a night is pretty high.

I rib on my home town of Oxnard, but I don't think I realize how dangerous the rest of the world is compared to my hometown.  Santa Barbara was also really nice, and very safe.  Santa Barbara had one death a year due to foul play.  Only one.

Imagine if your town had just one death a year?   How amazing would that be?  If the town was more than say 20,000 people, that is. 

I hope to someday move back to Santa Barbara, even if in retirement.  I hope I can make it that far too.

Can the Clippers make it far enough to make the Finals?   If Chris Paul's health can't get it together they have *no* chance.   Given the choice of Make the Finals, Win the Title, and get bounced in the first round, I still think the third choice is the most likely to happen.   No question about it!

Beef ribs sound amazing right now, don't they?   Again with the beef: I know this is not good for my health.

The search for a keyboard continues but I laxed off of it some realizing I dont have much for piano skills.  Ah well.

Til tomorrow!  Have a good Wednesday.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 22nd

Can you believe both NFL Conference Championship picks hit on Sunday?   I got Baltimore +9 and nailed that... in fact Baltimore won outright.  I also selected the Atlanta game correctly, even though the Falcons lost by four.   Nonetheless, they covered the +5.

More on football in a bit, but first I had to share a story with you all.

I had the day off yesterday but the UCLA Park pool was still in session.  In fact, the schedule indicated open diving in the afternoon.  I wanted to try a few dives, channeling my springboard dive lessons from a few years ago and I thought it'd be pretty dead at the pool with it being a holiday.

So, I drove over to the Park Pool and to my shock, there were literally hundreds of babes in bikinis getting their tan on at the nearby lawn.  The lawn has a clear shot of the pool and the diving boards.   Now that was intimidating... suddenly I was like "Now what am I going to do?!"

Furthermore, the lifeguards did not block off the last lane for diving at all.  Nobody else was going on that board, but I pressed on.  I had to ask the lady at the lifeguard tower what to do about the last swimming lane, and she told me I had to run some small lane line across it to block it off.  So I did.

Now I'm going up on these diving boards, a 1m and a 3m with over 200 coeds nearby as I tried to do some basic dives.  First few dives were pretty good, which were just me leaning over and trying to fall into the water vertically.   I tried a few forward dives and backwards dives, but nothing fancy.  Then I started with the 3m... and you could see the whole crowd on that board.    So again, I did the forward lean and bingo, I hit the water fine.

Then it starts to get embarrassing... once I started attempting somersaults and tucks, things like that, I got beat around pretty good by the water.  The worst ones were when I folded over in the pike position but then FELL in hunched over.  It was as if a giant punching glove socked you straight into the gut, and to an extent a sock to the groin as well, oiiii...

That hurt, but recovery was quick.  The embarrassment though?  Oof, that didn't end too quickly.  I hope most of those ladies on the lawn weren't paying attention but ya know that board can get pretty loud.  Hopefully I can get better at the diving and then do some olympic level stuff and when I get back to the UCLA Park pool, I can put on a real show!

All in all, I thought it was fun, but it was a very humbling experience.  My backwards dives were epic fails.. that felt like getting my back kicked in by some dude from "The Sopranos."   Then I got out and some old joker was yelling for them to unblock the swimming lane again so I told the lifeguard I'd take the lane line out for her, and she was grateful for me offering.

Goodness gracious.. I did not think there would be so much work involved in getting some dives... you literally have to take out 1/8th of the pool to keep wayward swimmers from getting clocked by the diver.

Indeed, the weather is very warm once again in Los Angeles.   If it had been about a week and a half ago, this entire story would never take place because it would have bee 55 degrees at the time.  Yesterday, 80 degrees and clear skies.

I used to go to this little coffee house near Westgate and Santa Monica called something or other Kona Coffee House.  They were big on the Kona coffee and it was a very simple place to be.  I enjoyed each of my trips there.  Sadly I returned over the weekend and the place was taken over by a new owner.  Not only did the new owner take over, but he completely changed the design and the objective of the place.  Now it's not just a simple cafe, but a pretty cushy, comfy old school espresso house called "8 Espressos."  Why 8?  I have literally no idea.  I did not count only 8 items on the menu.  They even have a small stage there now for live music and such.  Seriously, you can now go to this place and re-enact an episode of "Friends" before your very eyes!

At any rate, the name of the game there was Lattes and Capuccinos, so I asked for one.  I talked to the owner and he asked if I ever had been there before.  WELL... I explained that the last time I was there it was a different place with a different name, etc.  I couldn't believe how dramatically it changed and I asked him "when did you guys take over?"  He said they took over eight months ago.  EIGHT MONTHS?!   I could not believe it had been eight months since I last went to that place, I was shocked.

At that point I assumed the worst.   I loved the old place and the old crew there and was not expecting much.   Once I got the capuccino my tune changed completely.   This was quite honestly the best capuccino I've had in 12 months.  It was simply *amazing*.   To think I've missed out all this time, and even better, it costs about the same as a capuccino at Starbucks.  If the price is the same and the quality is twice as good, there is NO way I would settle for Starbucks from now on.  8 Espressos wins me over, and I recommend it to any coffee lover in LA.

I loved that place so much I went to it three days in a row.  They also can serve espresso/lattes/what have you in ceramic mugs if you get it "for here."  That's how Starbucks used to operate many years ago.  I rather enjoyed this back-to-basics formula.  I look forward to futue business with them.

Eh, I was so excited about the espresso and the other elements of life that sports didn't hold as much interest to me this weekend, but with that said I had a blast watching the two NFL Championship games on Sunday.   I dreaded seeing Baltimore and that attention whore Ray Lewis in the Super Bowl, but in retrospect it really isn't that bad.  There's plenty to like with B-more, like Ray Rice, John Harbaugh, and Joe Flacco who has come around in a big way.

The 49ers, who won the NFC Title game, are a great story as well.  I won't waste any time breaking down X's and O's, but let's just say that Colin Kapernick has been *the* difference for the team this season.  Without him, the Niners are sitting in some country club somewhere, instead of on a plane to New Orleans.  I'm really happy for the entire 49ers organization and their fans who had to suffer through a decade of crap football.

If you were to block out Ray Lewis and his act from the equation, you could really see either team being very likeable in this spot.  I know a lot of people are annoyed with Jim Harbaugh, the outspoken 49ers head coach, but somehow I'm soaking in his act as pure entertainment.

That said, it wouldn't kill me to see him get served too, but regardless of his theatrics, the dude is a good coach.  I won't say "great" because he tightens up like the rest of them and some of his cute playcalling gets on my nerves.  With that said, SF would be even worse off with a lesser coach.

Two great stories, two dramatic victories, two brothers, all in the Super Bowl this year for all the marbles.   It's going to be over-hyped to hell but I think it's worth it.   My initial feel is that SF wins the game, but in all honesty, I'm giving Baltimore more than a fair shake.   The thing here is that the Ravens are a pretty physical team and if you can believe this, physical teams give the 49ers a *really* hard time.    It happened with the Seahawks and the Ravens won't be much different.

By the end of the week, I might be going confidently with Baltimore and the points, especially if SF is favored by more than 3.5.

College Basketball is getting really juicy, and mad props to Syracuse for unseating #1 this weekend with that thriller in Lousiville.  More to come with College BBall as we go along.

I want to get a really cheap digital/electronic piano keyboard to noodle around with at home.  I seem to have a better knack for reproducing music that I hear and I have all sorts of songs and melodies I've written in my head.  It'd be a shame to not flesh all that out on a keyboard.  I'd like something extremely cheap, like a used Casio keyboard for under 50 bones.  However, if money were no object I'd go after one of two stage pianos:

1. The Yamaha P-105 digital, portable stage piano.   I sampled this baby at a nearby piano store and it's actually priced quite affordably for its caliber.  It's $599, and it includes a full 88 key weighted keyboard with keyboard pedals to boot.  It's the perfect sized keyboard for an apartment.  I really would be down to get something like this if there was some possible payment plan I could enact.

2. The golden goose aka the Yamaha CP-70, CP-80, or CP-70b, which are all the same piano but with slightly larger keyboard setup for the '80.   It's an electric baby grand piano that's small enough to fit in most spaces but quite heavy.  The CP-70/80 has been featured on countless pop music recordings from the mid 70's through the mid 80's.   Genesis, Stevie Wonder, Simple Minds, The Go-Go's, Split Enz, U2, and on and on.  Keane actually uses one of these today for their music.  It's a signature sound I've loved forever.   To own one would be a dream come true.  I suppose I could also find one of these for $500 used if I look hard enough.  The only drawback is that this piano is EXTREMELY heavy.

In the meanwhile, I'll carry on and continue to live as I have been.   The next two weeks should be good times ahead.  Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 18th

Here comes the three day weekend!

First of all to save time with the posts, I'll post my two NFL Championship Round predictions here.  Now, this might be cheating but I did see the lines this way a few days ago and jumped on it.  Here we go:

I have Baltimore +9 and
Atlanta +5

Atlanta *+5* is outrageous!   I know how well the 49ers have played but just in general, that is way too many points to give a home team, let alone a home team that had a divisional round bye and the #1 seed.   This isn't to say Atlanta wins, but to think they'd lose by 6+ points is nuts.   I don't care much for Atlanta myself, but they **should** be in this game most of the way.  The betting public completely forgot about turnover potential with the Niners and QB Colin Kaepernick is a loose canon so to speak.  I love his arm, but he is so loose out there that he's still prone to the intecerption.

B'more +9 is obvious:  We know how this game goes... Baltimore plays New England tough and then they do something stupid to hand over the game to the Patriots.  Movie sequels are enough, do we need sequels to AFC Championship games?

50/50 is a restaurant in the area that's getting all the rage (rage?  I always thought rage implied anger but I mean to imply excitment).   Their most famous burger there is a burger with 50% beef and 50% bacon.  Now how good is that, fellas??   The only thing is, it's way the hell over in Pasadena so I'd have to make a big trip of it.  I don't think I could do it Saturday per se, but if they had a TV with the Kings Season opener on, maybe I'd go.

My actual, intended plan for the Kings' season opener is to get a kebab plate somewhere nearby and then watch it on TV at home.   It would be truly the best way to honor the 2012 Championship banner ceremony.   As far as the game itself against Chicago, who knows?  So many of the Kings are  hurt right now including Kopitar and Quick.  We might as well just watch and see it unfold.

I thought about seeing a movie as well this weekend to start up the ole popcorn pants again.  I honestly, I swear, wanted to go back to the same AMC theater just so I could get popcorn pants with a film.   Ideally, I could go and watch one of those satellite delivered operas produced at the Met in New York.  There's a few of them that are pretty good.   Those opears look really good on the big screen. 

Last night, for a moment, I looked into a Yamaha CP 70 "stage piano."  It's a kind of electric piano that was big in the post-punk era.  By my recollection, Tony Banks, Billy Joel, and quite a few others used it.  It's also pretty compact so it'd fit really nicely into the apartment.  I don't play piano for a living but I have *enough* talent to get in a few chords and riffs, and maybe by practicing I could get even better.

People always say musicians get all the girls.   I tend to say they're right.

Lance Armstrong on Oprah last night.  Who cares?  Next topic.

Lakers, ugh.   Next topic.

Well ok one word about the Lakers.  They played very hard last night and gave a big effort.  That's pretty much all I could hope for, is for them to be in the game through to the end.  Then the Heat schooled LA and kept them without a point.  I'm just sick of this mess.   There needs to be some serious change and not running out and getting another big-name free agent.

Can you believe my buddy "the Coach" Andrew saw James Worthy at his local grocery store last week?   Worthy is a cool cat... he apparently initiated a convo about the Niners game since my buddy had his 49ers shirt on.   It's too bad more former/retired athletes aren't this kind and outgoing.

If you could choose anyone you'd want to see or talk to at the grocery store, who would it be?  Cap meets Kate Upton at the Grocery store, now that's a story!

Is Kate Upton even that popular any more?   Talk about a flavor of the week model.  Ohhhhhh, I wonder if I ruffled some feathers with that one!

I like Kate Upton... I do!  Yet, it was funny how everyone moved on after about a year.  The best all-time models are models who are still making an impact many decades later.  Two great examples: Christie Brinkley and Cindy Crawford.   Oh right, and how about Heidi Klum, a pretty obvious example.

I think that's all that's on my mind right now.  Hope all's well with all of you.  Catch you all soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 17th

Have any of you figured out the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story yet?    Me neither.

Last night people brought up a very good point:  How do we know anybody we meet online is real?   Thankfully I've managed to have many friends contact me over the phone and even on the Dave podcast.   It's been good.  I've met a number of the fellas in person.

Another good question: even with the little blue checkmark on twitter, how do we know how real the accounts of any famous name is?

The Te'o fake girlfriend story reminds me so much of an obscure show I saw on youtube from the 80's: It's Your Move.  Their finest moment was the two part episode entitled "The Dregs of Humanity," where the main character and his buddy try to stage a band for the local dance, BUT the original band can't make it, so the two characters try to make up their own band using some trickery.  Here's how it went:

Here's the twist!  The fake band got so popular that the two jokers tried to keep them going as a legitimate music act, all while concealing their actual identity, which is, invisible.  A big concert promotional company got them a gig at the Palladium for thousands of dollars!   What a well written piece of television, fellas.   Little did we know it was way, and I mean WAY ahead of its time.

This (Te'o) story got so big that nobody cares about LeBron James' 20,000th point.

This story got so big that Lance Armstrong is suddenly shifted to the back burner.  In fact, I wonder if this is some conspiracy to take the heat off of Armstrong.  Nahhhhh!

This story got so big, USC for the first time in years, looks like the lesser of the jokers.  Notre Dame and their AD really put on a show at that press conference last night.  Jack Swarbrick and his George Costanza esque attire, and his George Costanza esque appearance, put on a whole three part production of lies and dramatization.  Bra-vo, sir.  You had some of America convinced.

I don't blame Notre Dame for taking Te'o's side.  I don't really know what else they could do.  Throw him under the bus?  Nah, it's sensible.  However, going all in like that is going to set them up for a massive fail if Te'o gets outed.

"Outed"... hoo man that brings up a whole other possible angle with Mantsies...   not that there's anything wrong with that.

After watching both Swarbrick and Teo's interviews (Te'o from a few months ago) in context, I am just a little suspect there's some acting involved.  It might have to do with being here in LA and being surrounded by aspiring thespians who are good at fake acting.  I'm not sure.

I'm curious:  is a porterhouse steak sandwich possible?  Or maybe a T-Bone like cut seared with crusty edges the way they do it at Wolfgang's Steakhouse.  I dare say I've fallen in love with their steak, but this time, it's *real.*

An online relationship with a steak would be so pointless.

However, a real dinner at Souplantation is in the works.  Do the dance!

It's been about a month since I last went.  I've been in a meaty mood lately and for all the virtues I've made of Souplantation, I do think they're sorely lacking in the meat department.  This is by design, to keep it healthy.   However, a salad/soup based dinner is not a bad idea.

Still loving ATL, though the line was at +5 and it went down to +4.5.  Man, I should have made my first ever online bet and jumped on ATL +5 when I had the chance.   Online bets... now how do we know *those* are real?

I just had a real peanut butter sandwich... or DID I?  How will you ever know?

What is real?  What isn't?   How do you know I'm writing this and now some ghost writer?

No, I can tell you it's me.   However, it is fun to keep people guessing.   That was the ongoing plot of "It's Your Move" too for a while, then the PC police got involved.  The guys who made that show never made it through the season.  It was quickly cancelled.  Some guys named Moye and Levitt.

So how'd they recover from that?  They did this little show called "Married... with Children."  Ever hear of it?

Wink wink nudge nudge!  See ya soon, everybody...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 16th

Traffic coming home last night... BRUTAL.   One car has an accident on the 405 by the Getty Center and a whole clustermess clogs every major thoroughfare on the Westside.  What a pain getting home last night... that was a 90 minute bus ride.

I should have sensed something bad was happening when the bus was nearly full at the bus *terminal*.  Yoi!!!!!

Today is off to an odd start... there are no paper coffee cups at the front desk today.  I won't get to use a cup for the Keurig machine.  I used to have my own permanent travel mug, you know, one of those plastic and chrome dealies, and then I took it to the bathroom to rinse it, took a leak, and then forgot to take it back.   Hours later I realized I left it there, so I went back to the bathroom at work and it was gone.  GONE baby gone!   I did my best to query UCLA Lost and Found but no dice.  Some joker out in the universe now rides around with a coffee mug with "Dave in the City" podcast logo.

Anyway, I'll have to go to the cafe for coffee until the staff can get in some new paper cups.  Dang.

There is no stopping the Clippers.  None.

I stand by my statement that I think Kansas basketball will be ranked Number 1 before season's end.  I didn't mean they'd be #1 for a very long time, but for at least one week they'll be tops.

I stand by my statement that the Lakers suck.   Now Earl Clark and Jodie Meeks are supposed to rescue the team.   It was good to see D12 back in the lineup however and score 31 pts.   BUT, thats not changing my tune.   This is a bad bad basketball team.

I'm running out of ideas.   I did however absorb a half a bottle of fine wine last night.  It was tremendous!

Planters now makes their own peanut butter, did you know?  I am trying it right now.  Not bad... not bad.

This peanut butter sandwich would have been a lot better with coffee.  Oi.

I couldn't take any more of ESPN riding this Lance Armstrong story.  What a chore.  Even this morning, I had to change the station.   Yo, ESPN.  GET OVER IT!  

Anyone remember the Anonymous PR Guy chat with the people at Deadspin?  One ongoing theme I took from all that:  Most athletes are really stupid people.   Stupid people from all walks of life too..

Hockey is back, and so will I be!   I'm considering a special kebab lunch to honor the return of Kings Hockey on Saturday afternoon.   Chicken and beef!   and then they drop the puck.   Woo hoo!

Imagine Dragons: cool new band.

Yep, I think that's it for today.    Time to catch up on the other things.   Catch you all soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Daves's Thoughts of the Day: January 15th

Howdy folks.

This is the first morning blog post in a few days.   I tried doing the blog the night before but the results haven't been what I want.  I think there's something to having a fresh mind each morning that helps you write.

For instance, I think all the ideas you had in your mind get a chance to settle down with rest.  Pieces come together, and that sort of thing.

Ok so Lance Armstrong!   I don't care.   Doping in sports is practically commonplace.  The real issue is that he went over the top with his multiple championships, so he was going to have to answer eventually.  Furthermore, his issue is that he bullied so many people behind the scenes trying to cover it up.  That's the real problem with Armstrong -- renders him to be an egotistical lying malcontent.  Personally, it doesn't affect me a whole lot.

I think there usually needs to be a connection with the person's occupation to get into a story like this.  The only cycling I did was as a little kid to ride around the neighborhood.  Then I started driving.

If Michael Phelps, champion swimmer, got pegged for PEDs, that would affect me a whole lot more.  BOY would that suck.  Probably wouldn't surprise anyone, but to think such a relatively humble dude could stoop so low as to juice up would be a disgrace.   Ya know what though?  I highly doubt it happens because we already saw signs of him slowing down during the last Olympics.  The natural break-down a body incurs at older age is appropriate, so I think Phelpsies is clean.

ESPN is rich getting so touchy-feely with the Lance Armstrong subject.  Those jokers wouldn't know a cyclist if he crash landed in the Sportscenter Studio.  What a farce!   Stop pretending to care about cycling, losers.  Go back to pumping up LeBron James, geez.

Ever go on the bus and find "that dude" or "that woman" on the bus?   There's this lady who boards the bus around 5:15 or so at SM/Westwood and nobody likes her.  She claims shes from the East Coast and all she does is complain.   Moan about this.  Moan about that.   People are getting familiar with this loser and this time out she and the bus driver had an argument about something.  I don't know what they were talking about because I was listening to 80's music on the DROID.

Then we got to my stop and a few extra people got off.  I know of some familiar faces who normally don't get off this early but there they were getting out at the Federal Ave stop.  Insane, right?

20,000 points is good, but it's not *that* big a deal.  When Kobe was going after 30,000 points, I saw that LeBron James was getting pretty close to 20,000 himself.   I mean when he gets it, he still holds company with 32 other NBA players (not including those who have 30k+).   Tom Chambers scored 20,000 points, folks.   Effectively, if you're a good NBA player, a franchise player, and you can make it 10-12 seasons, you'll score 20,000 points.  It's a good accomplishment but not worth a ton of coverage.  As a matter of fact, I think ESPN is spending more time covering LeBron's 20k than they did covering Kobe's 30k.

I wonder if ESPN goes into each day and gets their programming chiefs together.  Then I wonder if they get into a meeting room and brainstorm ways to piss off their audience each night.

Why does Chris Berman still have a job?  Oi.

Brent Musburger bringing up the NFL's Championship Game point spreads at the end of a BAYLOR/KANSAS BASKETBALL GAME, was a real riot!  I laughed.

Anyone else think Bonnie Tyler's "Hero" and Paula Cole's "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" are songs about the same thing.

I'm late to the party but can you believe Taylor Swift tried to do a pop/rock album?   Pretty weird.

I contend Country is the new Adult Contemporary.  Country music today is so polished, so over-produced that you really could just interchange an AC song for a new Country song between stations and nobody would know.  There's not much "Country" about country music lately.   I'd listen to iono Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, maybe a lil Buck Owens and Patsy Cline.  It seemed real.  Then the glossy superstars came into play, guys like Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, and so on.  You got guys like Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and Shania Twain who elevated country to a whole new level.  By then it just got more and more glossy.

Country music has always been great, and still is.  It's just a little less country than it used to be, from my perspective.  I could argue the same of every genre.  Hip Hop is too bouncy and dance oriented.   Rock is too mundane and juvenile.   Even so-called "Indie" music is only as independent as the megaconglomerate parent label.  It's just the industry, isn't it?

Yesterday I ate my apple and then had my coffee and peanut butter/jelly sandwich.  Today I ate the PBJ first with coffee and then the apple.  The palette likes this sequence much better!

Tried to make popcorn last night with a standard grade 4 oz popcorn packet designed for small commercial popcorn machines.   ...*but* I tried to pop it in my whirley pop stovetop kettle.   All went well until the popcorn started to burst out of the kettle!!   I thought at the time "It's only 4 ounces, I bet we only get half of the kettle full," but no!!    The amount of popcorn I got was massive.   There was no way I was eating it all in one sitting.

Popcorn pants will return.  I promise you it will, on my next trip to the movies.

That's all from here, have a good one!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 14th

We have a new heater in effect!

I was out of town this weekend for my Aunt's Birthday, and while I was gone, the landcouple and the handyman set up the new heater.  The new heater is pretty tall!  It's about an inch shorter than me.   Very tall, and impressive no less.   It can heat things up in a hurry.

I probably won't use it much this week, because the temperatures are heating up out here.   We had a *very* cold weekend in California.  Each night this weekend, the temperatures went as low as 35 degrees, which is pretty frigid for these parts.  Highs were hovering around 55 degrees all weekend.  It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.   I only needed my long sleeved shirt and this semi thick jacket.   Pants too.  

I can't waste too much time breaking down all the NFL games this weekend, as I'll be doing the same on  All I want to say is:

Peyton Manning -- never trust this guy in the playoffs.   I knew it from the moment he locked up that 1 seed with the Broncos.   Something was going to go wrong.  I didn't think the Broncos would lose per se but I had a BIG feeling the Ravens were going to play them tough.  I had that feeling for nearly a week.

I just want to hear what the excuses are this time.   Manning has a better defense now than he ever had with Indy, at least on paper.  He has a great home field advantage.   He has a mostly likeable coach like John Fox.   He had plenty of time to rest.   He had a worn down, old, and pretty mediocre Ravens team to play against.   NOW what?   If Manning and his Broncos were so good, then what are they doing at home?   Same ole Manning.   Which is exactly why I saw it coming.   Seemed to me that Manning's "act" was largely unaccounted for in most football experts' predictions.

Likewise, Pete Carroll and the Adderall Jokers of the Northwest can SMELL IT!  Team of destiny my ass!   After making a big comeback like that, what group of morons would allow 70 yards in 30 seconds to set up the Falcons' winning field goal.  The Falcons were spent and that soft defense Carroll put out there ruined the game!  That was so satisfying, my friends.   This is Carroll in a nutshell... he rah-rahs his teams to big things, but when it's time to COACH, ya know, make a good decision, he is clueless at the wheel.  Take your dirty team back to Seattle and go suck on some more frapuccinos you clowns!  Better luck next year, Seachickens!

Why the unbridled, irrational hate of the Seahawks?   I saw Carroll punk his guys at SC and it started a resentment for the Seahawks that grew over time.  Now I'm just doing it because there's no going back.  The Seahawks truly had the better team out there and somehow they blew the game anyway.   Well... not sure what else to do with that.  

My buddy Chris in Syracuse and I were breaking down favorite sandwiches last night.  I came up with this top five, in no particular order:

  • Philly Cheesesteak sandwich -- many places do it well, including spots in LA as a matter of fact.
  • Godmother Sandwich -- cappy, salami, provolone, some other sliced meats, with all the Italian fixings, hot peppers, and so on.  Bay Cities is a master at making this sandwich.
  • Pastrami Sandwich -- the creme de la creme:  Langer's in Los Angeles, Katz's in NYC, and a whole lot of other places who do pretty well but only come into the neighborhood of these two.   Some say "get it with the cheese and coleslaw."  I say just go plain with some mustard. It's the best.
  • Tri Tip Sandwich, Just BBQ Style -- my favorite Tri Tip Sandwich is made at Just BBQ in Ventura.  I've eaten it numerous times over 15 years.  It's wonderful.  The way they smoke the meat and craft the bbq sauce is one of a kind.  Nobody and I mean *nobody* in LA can make a tri tip sandwich this good (and sure as hell can't do it for $6.50).
  • McDonald's McRib sandwich -- need I say more?
The McRib is a joy and treasure... it's sold so rarely throughout the year.   When it's available, and I have the urge, I take it home, open the box and I'm like "LOOK WHO'S BACK IN TOWN!!"  God, I love the McRib.   Of course it's not quality cuisine.  Yet, when I get a taste, it just feels right.

Huell Howser died last week, and I hope to carry on in a way similar to his loopy unedited observations of the world.  He was great at it on "California's Gold" (KCET):

I'm gonna miss that guy.

 I can't get that excited about the start of baseball season like other people I know.  The only problem is that baseball goes on for-ever.   Once it gets here you can't get rid of it!   It is a long, long season.   I like just waking up one day and seeing baseball in action.   Then I can absorb it like a sponge, roll through the season and then look at who the Yankees and Red Sox will face in the playoffs.

One of my all time running pipe dreams is a postseason without either the Yankees or Red Sox.  Since the Wild Card Era began, I don't think we've had a postseason without at least one of the two.   You can bet that's the exact reason Bud Selig *used* a wild card.  I bet Selig likes that either of those two teams is a lock for the playoffs every year.

I've grown to accept it.   I'm not going to gripe about the value of either Boston or New York to baseball, as they're both tremendous assets to the sport.   I just feel like both of those groups are already pretty good, and they don't need the extra help.  Still, we're in a good spot now with where baseball is.  May we usher in a new year... but eventually, I'm patient enough to just focus on other things for now.

Here's the thing:  All I want is for the NFL to somehow avoid hosting Baltimore *and* Atlanta in the Super Bowl.   That is going to be a chore for a lot of people and frankly, I would have no interest watching that game.    Both of those teams together would be impossible to root for.  There are people on both the Ravens and Falcons that I enjoy.   However, seeing a game where one has to win would be a farce.  I don't think I could take two full weeks of Ray Lewis saying that either they are the chosen team or that nobody is giving them a chance.   Of course he couldn't just retire gracefully!  He had to make the entire playoffs some giant running story about how it's *his* farewell tour.   These are the kinds of things Favre would do.  Oi.

I was happy to see the Broncos choke, but seeing these Ravens clowns advance is the price we pay.  It's fine: as long as the Pats do their job, it won't be such a big deal. 

We've all said plenty about the Falcons.   They don't know how to win.  ATL has a 20 point lead and does everything in its power to give it away, only to see Seattle *give* them the game with a few seconds left.   I'm fine if ATL makes the Super Bowl on its own against NE, because they will be toast against a smart team like the Pats.  Against the Ravens, I would just as soon go to Disneyland.

I always used Disneyland as a leveraging chip:  if the Super Bowl was completely objectionable, I'd forget watching it and go to the happiest place on earth.   Fortunately that moment has not occurred yet.   I wanted to go to ditch Super Bowl XLII so badly, remember that one with NYG and NE?  The Perfect Season.  I was so fed up with the Perfect Season talk that I was ready to abort the SB altogether.   Then, after a few days, my friends convinced me to watch the game anyway.

Then a few days after that, I realized that the Giants might have a shot in this one.   They played NE tough to close out the regular season and at that time Jacob Rosales and I lived in Santa Barbara.  One day, when it was cold and overcast, we met at an In N Out and went over the matchup.  Both of us said "You know what?  Maybe the Giants could make a game of this."

The day of the Super Bowl, I'm at my parents house, and I told my little sister, who had no idea how point spreads worked, that the Patriots were 12.5 point favorites.  I went into the game's telecast, having fully come around to the Patriots as a dynasty, and ready to fully root them on to a historic win.   THEN...

The unbelievable happened.   The Giants fought like a gutty little boxing contender for the full 15 rounds, and as the game moved into the second half, my family, and I, and a couple dozen other people around the house who came over, were sensing the Patriots could lose this game.   Obviously we know the rest:  Giants came back and got a HUGE, world-shocking upset and unseated the Pats.  New England hasn't been the same since.  

It's early to get into this, but there are two streaks on the line for the Super Bowl this year: the Dave Super Bowl Prediction, which has been correct for every Super Bowl since 2008, and the "streak of close games in the Super Bowl."

I am fully convinced that both streaks will come to an end this year.  Interestingly, a third "streak" of sorts is about to end:

For three years, starting with Super Bowl XLIV, every Super Bowl had two quarterbacks from the same group of six:  Manning, Eli Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger.  Together, I called them the "Super Six."  It was a good era, and with so many good QBs involved, it's not surprising to see each of those games become good games.  If you take it a step further, at least *one* of the Super Six represented in every Super Bowl going back through the 2003 season.  That is a long, LONG time to have the same group of six QBs involved.

If the Patriots can't beat Baltimore this weekend, we will see the first Super Bowl not featuring a Super Six QB since the Bucs smashed the Raiders in SB XXXVII.  It can't be good news with respect to the quality of the game.

Even so, with good games stretching back through a decade, I will remember the "Super Six" era of the Super Bowl fondly.  Especially with the last four seasons, we've had some good games featuring some big moments from the 'Six.

My brain is out of gas.   I think I'll post some additional thoughts later on, but hope all is well for most of you.  Catch you soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 11th

I should be the last one to complain about temperatures on this planet.... but boy is it cold!   For Los Angeles, anyway.  And you know what else?  I bickered about it on facebook last night but I was just goofing.  I *love* this weather!    I live for days where you need three blankets to stay warm in bed.

Last night was night 3 without the heater.   I'm still so glad to have my health that I didn't mind having to wear a jacket the entire night.  No biggie.  It reminds me of what life was like back in Santa Barbara when my apartment didn't have a working heater.

In retrospect, I feel like a moron for never getting a space heater back then.  It was only 30-40 bucks.

Anyway, the night was good.   A little solitaire on the laptop.  A little Big Bang Theory on TV (great episode!).   In between, no night was complete without a little Knicks basketball.

So it was time to see what everyone was talking about with the Knickerbockers.  Unfortunately, I still don't know, because Carmelo Anthony was suspended for the game.   Instead I got to watch Duke Basketball plus Tyson Chandler.  I wasn't that impressed but on the other hand, Indiana has a good knack for defense, and remarkably, all they do is play a 2-3 zone.  Maybe even a 2-1-2 zone with their Hibbert coming towards the middle of the paint all the time.  Yes, I know, isn't that supposed to be a violation if he's there for 3 seconds?   Don't ask me how NBA refs operate.  Nobody knows.  Stern doesn't even know.

Then!  I got to see the leader of the jokers, J.R. Smith.  Ohhhhhhh baby have I missed that guy!  He never met a jump shot he didn't like.   I don't even know what all the fuss is about.  Dude can heat up like a microwave but he's equally as liable to have a night like tonight, where he chucked close to 50 shots and hit about ten of them.

The Knicks were dreadful from 3 point range.   Given that the Knicks lead the NBA in 3 point shot attempts, that ultimately did them in.  The Knicks still have a lot going for them, and once Melo returns they'll be fine, but last night simply showed some of their weaknesses.  Be careful with Smith, though.  If he gets into his "super ballhog mode," which is basically his regular style of play x 3, it could get dangerous for the Knicks.

In essence, I need more information to get a proper read on who the Knicks are and where they'll go.  I got a serious kick out of Charles Barkleys anti-Knicks comments at halftime.  Does anybody hate the Knicks more than Sir Charles?  What a hoot!   He thinks the Pacers are bettern than them?!  LOL...  The Bulls *without* Derrick Rose?!  Oh it is too much!

Now that NFL season is winding down and with College Football in the books, I'm extremely happy to re-acquaint myself with basketball.   College Basketball is a joy too.   I wouldn't sleep on the Pac 12, folks.  Perhaps they won't get in as many bids as say the Mountain West, but I could make a case for UCLA, Arizona, and maybe even Oregon to make some noise in the tournament.  It's early but they've looked good lately.

I got the omelette special here at UCLA for breakfast.   It never disappoints.   Peet's Coffee on the way over.  It's a good start to the day.

Actually, a funny story on the way here.   I went to Starbucks across the street from Peet's in Westwood to pick up a gift for my Aunt's birthday.   Very awkward moment at the Starubucks.   I asked to get this coffee cup and then the barista asked me if I wanted anything to drink.   After thinking about it for a second I said no, and she very awkwardly rung me up while getting a bag and and a box for the coffee cup.  THEN I took the bag with me as I went to Peet's.  Imagine this:  going to a competing coffee shop with a Starbucks bag of purchased items?  I tried my best to hide it while I ordered the Peet's coffee.

On an unrelated note:  Peet's does regular coffee really well, but their lattes are disappointing.  Say what you will about the giant corporate Starbucks, but they still beat the competing chains at Latte composition.  The only one that comes close is Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, based in SoCal.   Would you believe Starbucks is about to purchase Coffee Bean?   Thus, Starbucks will be the end all be all for lattes for quite some time.

In summary:  Peet's regular coffee is much better than Starbucks regular coffee, but Starbucks lattes are much better than Peet's lattes.

I *also* know of another friend of mine who we all call "Pitch & Catch" who will be in Vegas this weekend.  Now what would happen if I were to surprise him and drive out to Vegas?  Maybe even make a wager or two.   I would LOVE to try my NFL picks (see my previous post) for the weekend.  Ah well, it's fun to think about.

One other such friend will be here in LA next week.   Hopefully we can get some folks together and meet up someplace.

This weekend is feeling pretty good.   Good football ahead.  Perhaps I'll have some other surprises in store.   I look forward to it. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

NFL Divisional Round Predictions

These are far from LOCKS of the week, so here are my picks against the spread for the Divisional Round this weekend:

Baltimore +9.5
Green Bay +3
Atlanta -3
New England -9.5

I think Atlanta is going to give Seattle the game of their lives, folks.  However, with the point spread being so low, all the Seahawks have to do is win at all and they'll cover.  I'm a little surprised the Seahawks aren't road favorites with so much anticipation for a third Falcons playoff fail.

Apology to J-Woww

This is the first time I issued an apology to a "Jersey Shore" character.  I'm sorry Jenni.   My bad... and I'll be honest, I didn't think you were a porker or anything I was just comparing where you are now vs where you were in Season 1 of JS.   I miscalculated by a whole lot.

However, I will never issue an apology for "The Situation" for anything.  He's a character, folks!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 10th

I saw a two hour TV special on Celebrity Diving last night.  It was on FOX and they tried to stage the event similar to an actual dive meet.  Valiant effort but man it was way too long.   One hour would have been enough and they could have scrapped the syncrho dive portion or reduced it to highlights.

As predicted, I barely recognized anyone on this show.  In fact, someone had to tell me that Bethany Hamilton (the one armed shark survivor surfer lady) was the same Bethany Hamilton who had her commercial on WFAN's web stream all these years.  I completely tuned that out!

She did a remarkable job by the way, and imagine?  All with one arm? 

The best diver in the competition... wow, this is a tough call because I think a lot of people did an amazing job when you *consider* they had zero experience, trained for two weeks at UCLA, in fact at the same two pools I swim at regularly for Masters, and then went to North Carolina for the Finals.   Honestly, the dives they did were very credible Olympic level dives and I was really impressed.

So anyway best diver... wow... well Terrell Owens did a pretty good job.   That Antonio guy did very well too.  The winner to me was a stroke of irony: it was alternate diver and former Baywatch star Alexandra Paul.

Do you all realize how old she is?   She was in a movie like 28 years ago about bicycles!  Then Baywatch, and now this reality program.   Amazing athlete for her age or any age.  That bicycle movie was pretty damn good actually, but I was so sad when the brother of that one guy died and his ear bled.  I forget what specifically the illness was but he died during the final race in the movie.

Anyway back to topic:  The big epic fail of the show, no doubt about it, J-Woww.  What a joke... to think I used to think of her as "the hot one" on Jersey Shore.  She has to be the least athletic person I've seen in years.  First of all, she must have gained like 30 pounds in the last year or so.  Then she starts to moan and groan about going off the board (which is understandable, its pretty high).   Then she breaks her back during training.  Holy hell... you can't make it up!   It's actually better off that she was unable to perform.  I don't think she would be that good and it would have cheated us of Alexandra Paul's dives anyhow.

The HOFF should be proud of Alexandra.. I guess.   This diving special must have been watched by 3 million people tops how proud could anyone be here?

Now that I think of it, I don't think the brother died in that bicycle movie, but he did have to withdraw from the race.

I felt really vitamin deficient lately... I know why: not enough fruit or vegetables.  That's on me.   I am going to consider a good orange juice or something to make up for it.  Maybe some fresh fruit on my way home from work.  Something like that.

The London Broil was not sitting well with me lately. Every time I ate it my stomach felt like it was being kneaded like dough.   Not good.   After lunch yesterday I stopped using it.  I won't be eating any more of it.  Puts me in a tough spot however, because I  bought enough meat for the whole week.  What to do for lunch?

Still no heater, but I can't expect that after one night.   The electric heater is coming through in a big spot though in the bedroom.

My friends are right, I need to get a girl.   What am I doing?  Writing blogs about meat and reality aquatics competitions?

I am, however, due to do a new swim meet!  Stay tuned... no diving in effect for this one, haha.

Jersey Shore really was an abysmal show.  I made an honest attempt to watch it and had to turn it off after five minutes.   Those of you who managed to watch it all the way through are better folks than me.

Yet, I'm a regular devotee of "The Big Bang Theory."  Life is weird sometimes.

Everyone is getting sick!  My friend "Coach" was sick.  My entire family was sick.  My lady friend was sick.  People at work are sick.  How did I avoid getting sick?  The only defense I had was recent exercise and a flu shot I got a few weeks ago.

I miss gingerbread lattes.  Those were good times at Starbucks, but I also feel about 5-8 pounds lighter.  Yep those lattes were packing on a Latte Weight.

Maybe if J-Woww could quit any one of her indulgences... alcohol, lattes, ice cream, just one, her life could be different.

If Peyton Manning wins a Super Bowl this year, wow, I don't even know what I'd do.

I can't even explain why... but I just don't see it.   Did Kurt Warner win a SB in his first year with a new team?  It just doesn't happen much in sports, least of all in the NFL and even less at QB.

I think that's all I have.  R.I.P. Mitch Hedberg.  Peace and respect.

Til tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 9th

I'm feeling much better nowadays.

Last night, would you believe, my friends at alerted me to a potential gas leak.  Following up on it, I called the Gas Company to check it out.  After work I get home, nice dude named Frank comes in to inspect everything.

Frank opens up the heater and looks at the innards and surely enough there was a valve leak, and accumulated soot and another old valve, all sorts of problems within the heater.   Next I called the landlady and told her everything that happened and she elected to, most likely, replace the heater with a new one.  No riff raff fixing little parts here and there.  I thanked her profusely.

I also want to thank profusely.  They saved my life!  It's not often when your life is saved by a message board.


The Lakers are so bad... HOW BAD ARE THEY?  They're so bad the team broadcasters' analysis boiled down to one sentence:

Bill Macdonald and Stu Lantz break down the game: 'They're just not healthy.'
I could have done one better:  "They're just not GOOD."   The Lakers stink... let's face it.  My buddies have come to terms with it.  I've come to terms with it.  They're awful.  Plain awful.

It's going to take a lot to come back from this trainwreck.  I wish Jimmy Buss and company best wishes.

Today's the sort of day where coffee is very useful.  I'm quite glad to have reinforcements for the Keurig machine.   Easy to access coffee is essential.

Last night, after the Gas Company guy left and I prepared a new intro-montage for the DITC podcast, I cooked dinner.  It was past 9pm and I had no heater for the next 1-5 days.  So!  I went ahead and cooked up some penne pasta with sausage and marinara:

These meals are fun to make, and they give you enough food to last the rest of the week.  It was prepared late, but I was quite satisfied.

The heater was unnecessary last night.  It really wasn't that cold inside, so I managed fine for one night.  I imagine I'll be needing extra blankets a few days from now with the impending cold temperatures expected.

The one thing I could use right now is some oranges.  It was not smart to omit that purchase last Sunday.

I have a sneaky feeling about the Falcons this weekend.  I think they'll still lose but they are going to give Seattle the game of their lives.

Of all the teams left in the playoffs, I think I would be most shocked at the Texans winning at New England.  I mean, I don't even think the broadcasters have promos prepared for the Texans in the AFC Championship game.

"Next Week on CBS:  The [insert patriots graphic here] face the winner of Broncos/Ravens.  Can Tom Brady lead the Patriots to a second straight Super Bowl?   ONLY CBS."

Then imagine if the Texans won for real...   first five minutes of the AFC Championship game.

"Phil the Texans have... well what do they have?  Let me go read about it here, it's not on the teleprompter.   Friends, we're going to take a timeout."

and if the Texans won the AFC Championship.

"We're here to present the Lamar Hunt trophy to the owner of the Texans... excuse me, sir, what was your name again?"

"And now with the Most Valuable Player award, Congratulations Matt... how do you say this Matt?  Skobb?  Saab?"

Then imagine the Texans after the Super Bowl.

[Disneyland promo]  "Guy who I can't recognize, you just won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do next?"

[Texans punter] "I'm going to Golf n' Stuff!  ...oh am I not supposed to say tha--"

[Jingle] ...YOUR DREAMS... COME TRUE!!

Good thing we won't have to worry about that.  Haha!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 8th

First of all, congratulations to the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.  Nick Saban has completed quite a run with 3 championships in 4 years.

There's really nothing more to say about the game, the Tide won 42-14.  What can I possibly add to that?  The results speak for themselves.

It's tough to even look at a basketball when you see how much the Lakers have fallen.   It reminds me of teams like the Redskins and Clippers, and teams of their ilk many years ago.   Essentially, they're an organization that is going after attention more than winning lately.  I'm saddened by this.  I recognize that the Lakers need to keep the interest of their fans and create buzz in the city but this year above all years they were over the top.

Now the rumors start for a Dwight Howard trade *this* season.   That's hard to even fathom.   I'm all for it at this point, because he just seems like such a snake.  Howard seems like such a team killer that I would be just fine with dumping that bad seed while the Lakers have the chance.   Imagine how bad the Lakers got in only a few months of having him?  This is just 3 months of Dwight Howard.   Years of his presence on the team would quickly revert the Lakers into a circus.  Frankly we may already be there.

Truthfully, regardless of his personality, he's still hurt and the man is plain ineffective.  If D12 wants out, who are the Lakers to stop him?

Now that College Football is over, it's time to pick up College Basketball.   Wide open season.  So many teams are in the running this year.  Good teams, interesting teams.  Tons of teams.   I had no idea Duke was still this good.  Or Kansas for that matter.  UCLA is on a serious roll: they won seven straight games.

If ever a person deserved a reality TV show, it's Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte.  Dude is such a bonehead, but just the kind of goofy hilarious personality that TV needs.  I'm rather happy for him and wish him the best of luck with his new TV show.

Holy crap... I just got word that the Lakers are going to start Robert Sacre at Center with both Howard and Gasol out of the lineup.  ROBERT SACRE.  They call the man "Baby Joker."  I'm serious!  Here's a link to his highlight reel.

In fact the name came from Dwight Howard.  All right I gotta give D12 credit for one positive contribution... that name is a trip y'all.

AND, on Sunday while they had the Seahawks/Redskins game I flipped over to TWCSN and saw the LA D-fenders game in progress.  The D-Fenders are the Lakers' NBDL team.   First guy I noticed on there:  Sacre.  Baby Joker has a lot of heart but I laughed it off too and said "ahahahaha, I don't think any of these jokers have to worry about making the big club any time soon."

Funny how it works, isn't it?

Anyone notice how natural gas from the heater puts you to sleep?   Frequently I'd heat the house and start to get drowsy.  Ironically the noise from the heater is loud enough to keep me from sleeping if I let it run all night.  However, during the day the gas is powerful enough to put me out for a while if i let it.

Maybe NBA players need to do what musicians do, and forget trying to join real teams.  Some musicians have no chance forming an actual group i.e. "The Beatles," "Creedence Clearwater Revival," and "The Police."  Dwight Howard, as an example, is a guy who I think will never fit into any NBA roster in the league.  He's such an attention monger and a me-first guy that he barely ever makes an effort to become part of the team rather than exhort the team to become a part of him.  So!  My proposal is, forget Howard as a member of the Lakers.  Why doesn't he become a "solo artist?"   Howard can then pick up a few players from the And-1 league as backup and just tour the country as the "Dwight Howard Experience."  I feel that most star players would be much happier that way.   Solo artists can then play on their terms and the best part is, they don't have to force out any coaches or GM's.

The NBA was deprived of many such expansion franchises over the years:  The Starbury Miracles as an example.   Rodman's Rogues.   Joe Johnson and the Dreamers.   Nate Robinson's Wild Traveling Half Court Shots.  Alas.

This is a good place to end.  Enjoy your Tuesday everyone!