Monday, September 01, 2014

I Don't Want to Change the World

A mix of the political with the sublime on this, the day we in the USA celebrate the working man. Something I haven't been, if I'm being honest, since I was 18. For that I both give thanks, and confess some measure of regret.

One of these is fitting, one is one of my favorite songs ever, and one is the first song that I ever heard on my very first iPod, equipped as it was with 25,000 songs, courtesy of Clarence.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Mark and Danimal Pickarama Returns

Those first few Saturdays in February are hard, sobering. Reality sets in. It starts in early January when the bowl games docket thins. The long-term forecast?  Really Dark. Depressing. You yearn for that FBS game cuz it’s gonna be a good one, yet you don’t want it to arrive because of the inevitable. It’s probably exactly like the walk to the chamber, but way different, ya know, with not as much finality or the death thing. You hear me though. You know what I’m sayin. With that one final whistle goes your hope and dreams, your Saturday mornings filled with giddiness and afternoons of burrrbins. What are those replaced with? Dread motherfuckers, that’s what. So unfair. EIGHT (8) MONTHS is the length of the college football off-season.  Technically it’s a hair under 8 months, but we are still talking about days that number well into the 200’s. Twoooooo……………hundreds.

Well it has finally returned and it will be welcomed indeed. And best of all, it brings with it locked at the elbows the weekly football picks by Bad News Hughes and yours, Danimal. We weren’t going to let you down. You had faith in us, right? Many of you likely thought otherwise with so many unanswered letters and autograph requests during our little respite. Apologies, but we are pretty busy guys. Lots of stuff going on up in here. Well, you can simmer your asses down now. Grab a seat and relax. Systems are a go.

The inaugural season of “Mark & Dan’s College Football Picks,” (catchy name) finished with a Mark dubwa. By week 5 and down 6 games it was going to be a grind, but very doable. The headwind couldn’t contain me forever though, could it? Ultimately, yes, it could, and it did. Some old fashioned grinding however got me within one game about halfway through the bowl schedule before the Hughester shut me down permanently. Effer.  Well, another season begins….now.   And p.s., if you’ve never read Wright Thompson’s piece on CFB, get after it.

Danimal’s Picks

Penn State +2 vs Central Florida (Dooblin, Ireland!)
Like my other picks, I don’t know much about these teams. Here is what I do know:
1) CFU is without 2 of its studs from last year, Storm Johnson and Blake Bortles. How do I know that? Because they play for my Jags now stupid! Not too late to jump on the Bortles bus! Come on over to Jaguar Town!
2) It’s in Ireland.
3) George O’LEARY coaches CFU. He’s Irish – his last name could be Pewterschmidt but you’d still know he’s Irish just by looking at him. The map of Ireland is drawn on his face for the love of Pete. At tis writing, it’s dinnertime over in the motherland and George, sources tell me, is knee deep into da corned beef and a bottle of Paddy’s. He’s pissed drunk and enjoyin da craic! As he should be for chrissakes! He’ll finish his session at half midnight and get up with a bit of da pressure and as a result make a poor decision or two and lose the match!
Penn State wins by tree!

These dudes are the f'ing worst.
UCLA -21 vs YOU! VEE! Meh.
12:00 PM EST
The Bruins travel east to take on a team from Charlottesville that spent all year getting made fun of after an abysmal showing in 2013. What’d they win, like, two games last year? They blew. Mike London – how’s that swamp ass treating you from the heat on your seat? UCLA can’t possibly travel east and play a game at a time they are normally kicking tan-legged blondes out of their bed and cover a 21 point spread can they? And UVa is supposed to be a much improved team this year with lots and lots of returning players. So what’s that mean? 6-6? 7-5? UCLA is a Top-10 team with not one but possibly 2 Heisman candidates on the squad, one on either side of the ball. You UVa boys better place a kerchief in those blazer pockets.
Bruins Ruin!

Rice +21 vs ND
3:30 pm
Ha ha ha!  Just kidding! New Rule: No betting on ND in 2014 under ANY circumstances.

FSU -17.5 vs Oklahoma State (Arlington, TX)
I made the mistake of betting against the ‘Noles last year a couple of times due to the many a points they were always giving. Not this year pal. Do I think they’re going to be as good this year? Yes, yes I do. Who doesn’t? I’m just going by what every pundit out there is saying, that they will be as good and maybe even better than last year.  Despite that, I REALLY believe they will falter at some point and hopefully against the cheating Irish. But they won’t falter this week toughy. No siree.  Though Gundy is even more so of  “a man!” …he’s got a little less spring in his step and more webs in the old noggin.


Since Danimal did all the heavy lifting and crafted a nice little intro to welcome he and I back this year I'll keep it simple and say that I too am overjoyed at the return of College Football. My Saturdays once again have meaning. Well, a meaning besides yard work and home improvement followed by thinking of an excuse to go have a few beers by myself at the bar late in the afternoon. Don't judge me. There's nothing but women/girls in my house. A man needs a break. Said man may have a bit of a drinking problem as well but we're not here to discuss that. We're here to pick winners.

UCLA (-21) @ Virginia- UCLA is this year's trendy pick to make the College Football's Final Four. For that reason alone I see them slipping up at least once and maybe twice this season. That will happen during their run in the PAC-12 though, certainly not in Charlottesville against Mike London's bunch (he's, somehow, still the coach their, right?). Virginia's best offensive player, Jake McGee, is now starting at TE for Florida (he should be a significant upgrade over either of the two converted DE's who started for Florida last year...) and Virginia hasnt exactly been bringing a load of 4 and 5 star skill position players over the past few years. UCLA can score in bunches. Brett Hundley might be the best NFL QB prospect in College Football and two-way wonderbeast Myles Jack is poised for a monster season after breaking out midway through his freshman season last year. Three TDs is a bunch of points to give up. Less so when you're giving it up to an ACC team that sucks out loud. UCLA.

Arkansas @ Auburn (-19.5)- Once again, I'm giving up a bunch of points. Once again, I don't GIVEAFUCK (Smokey Voice). Bret Bielema's first year in Fayetteville was a disaster and while he's starting to recruit well he can't make up for the lack of talent left to him by Bobby Petrino. Petrino is a hell of a coach but he's a dick with a bad reputation. Not a great recipe for competing with the rest of the SEC West in recruiting. Arkansas, quite simply, doesn't have the horses to run with Auburn. The Tigers are now in Year 2 of running Gus Malzahn's system and should be even more explosive than they were the second half of last year. Nick Marshall's weed arrest means he won't start the home opener but he'll play plenty. Writers who've been down on the Plains to see Auburn practice say they might be the most athletic team in the SEC. Auburn is going to score early and often. I'd advise you to bet the first half line for Auburn and this line. There's no rule against making too much money.  War Eagle.

Utah State (+5.5) at Tennessee- After the disastrous Derek Dooley Era (read some of the quotes on Dooley from former Vols), Tennessee showed some legitimate signs of life last year. Losing to Georgia at home by a FG and then knocking off South Carolina a couple weeks later. Butch Jones followed that up by bringing in a top 10 recruiting class to Knoxville. The Volunteers, much to my chagrin, are on the rise. There's one (actually two) big problem though. Tennessee is the only FBS school replacing every starter on it's Offensive AND Defensive lines this season. That's, um, bad. Meanwhile, Utah State gets the one man show known as Chuckie Keeton back after tearing and ACL last season. If you're not familiar with Mr. Keeton's work, take a few minutes.

I think there's a shot that Utah State wins outright in Knoxville tomorrow night and few things would make me happier. That doesn't matter for these purposes though. Vegas is giving us 5.5 points, so take them and root for the Fighting Chuckie Keetons.

Sweet Jeebus it's nice to have football back.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Day We've All Been Waiting For Might Never Happen

When I first started writing about Jack Urbont's lawsuit against Sony Music and Ghostface Killah, I said:
The best part of this case is yet to come: discovery. I salivate at the thought of getting to review Ghostface Killah's emails over the past 11+ years. And can you imagine what his deposition will be like? I envision a transcript peppered with "C'mon son," "Nah mean," and "Word is bond God."
Unfortunately, the "best part" may never happen. Mr. Urbont recently filed a motion for sanctions against Pretty Tone for completely blowing off all of his discovery obligations, including several emails attached as exhibits. It's a bit of a hoot (although they thankfully refer to Ghostface as "Coles").

The firm representing Mr. Urbont sent an associate named Andrew Coffman to take Ghost's deposition. Mr. Coffman has an impressive resume and he looks like a nice enough guy.

He does not, however, look like the type of guy who regularly spends 7 hours locked in a conference room with this guy:

Note that we have photographic evidence that GFK still uses a Blackberry; maybe he and Mr. Coffman have that in common. Anyway, Mr. Coffman flew up to NYC from Nashville and he showed up for the deposition. So did counsel for Sony. As did the court reporter and presumably the videographer. The only person who failed to make it? Ghostdini! They even recorded the world's shortest transcript to document his absence.

So they rescheduled the deposition about two-and-a-half months later. It was moved again to accommodate The Kid, only about five days but the back-and-forth between Mr. Coffman and the Wallabee Champ's manager Mike Caruso is fantastic. Mr. Caruso proudly rocks an AOL email handle and gives no fucks at all about grammar and spelling. He clearly doesn't understand what a deposition is or how it works because at one point he asked Mr. Coffman "and as far as the deposition can you take it from Dennis late today?" No, Mr. Coffman can't do it late today because (a) he's in Nashville, (b) the deposition is noticed for NYC, (c) he has to line up a court reporter and videographer, (d) he has to line up a conference room to hold the event, (e) he has to get all his exhibits there, and (f) he's entitled to 7 hours on the record, which doesn't include breaks, so if you start "late" you'll be there until midnight. And more importantly ... Dennis? Really? C'mon son.

Anyway, they eventually agreed to hold the deposition on June 24. On the night of June 23, Mr. Coffman, Mr. Caruso, and Ironman himself had a conference call where Toney Starks explained that he was in LA and would not be able to make his deposition the next morning. He essentially asked for a do over.

Since then, the parties haven't been able to schedule the deposition. And GFK still hasn't produced a single document.

Mr. Urbont is accordingly ripshit. He wants a default judgment and he wants to be comped for all the money he outlaid for these depositions that never happened. And he might get it given that the judge already threatened to sanction Cocaine Biceps if he didn't comply with his discovery obligations.

The biggest loser in all of this? Obviously, Mr. Coffman. Even if he had no idea who Ghostface Killah was before this case, a few minutes spent working the googles would make it plainly apparent that this deposition was the opportunity of a young barrister's lifetime. A few well-placed questions with Ghostfacian answers could land him on the homepages of Law360, WorldstarHipHop, Grantland, hell maybe even Gheorghe: The Blog! Unfortunately, it looks like it will never happen.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Something to Hear and See

The wizards of Gheorghe: The Blog have spent too much time cluttering Inboxes with e-mails and not enough time commenting, so here's what we've been talking about -- just so you know it wasn't important and it's not about you.

You can guess who is Les Coole.  Tune in not only to listen but to watch.  And feel free to make suggestions in the comments -- we have a playlist but it's not set in stone!


Pastor Rob and the Church of Pigskin

I snuck out to Loudoun County this morning to catch Pastor Rob's morning services.  The man/squirrel gives a hell of a sermon....

Our long national nightmare is over my friends.  It's morning in America.  It's the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.  Tonight at 6 PM the Johnny Football-less Aggies of Texas A&M take on the slackjawed ol' ballcoach led South Carolina Gamecocks.  "Who is going to win?" you ask.  Got me.  All I know is that we have honest to God real football back.  So put on your "Gig 'em Aggies" t-shirt or your mid-90's "COCKS" hat and let the good times wash over you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This would be funny if it wasn't an accurate representation of a significant portion of my life

Sometimes technology yields remarkably amazing and useful things like a vacuum-powered fish cannon or one-handed zippers or Large Hadron Colliders. Conference calls are not one of these things. They are, in fact, the bane of my existence. That's why this video makes me laugh and cry in 30 second alternating intervals.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Kingdom for a Man-Sized Fish Cannon

Alternate headline: Why Should Fruit and Salmon Have All the Fun?

For far too long, only fruit knew the joy of being placed into a flexible pneumatic tube and sucked gently, though rapidly over vast distances before landing comfortably. Today, thanks to the engineers at Whooshh, salmon and other fish are getting in on the action.

In many places in the world, human demand for electricity and predictable water supply have led to the creation of dams that have the unfortunate side effect of interfering with the migratory spawning habits of various species of fish. Though salmon, for example, can leap over barriers as high as 12 feet tall, that's often not enough.

Enter Whooshh, and their vacuum tube. Wildlife stewards, fisheries managers, and those lucky civilians with a need to shoot fish as far as 200 meters now have the mean. Fish are loaded into the safe, soft tube at one end, then propelled at 22 mph to their destination. Screaming their fishy heads off, rollercoaster-style, the entire way, I assume. (Like the little girl, not her dad.)

Here at G:TB, we're constantly seeking innovation, to repurpose the mundane in search of the sublime. Just last week, for example, we identified a way for humans to grow new appendages. (Has the engineering team completed that prototype yet? Who's in charge of the engineering team? Someone send a memo to someone.) 

And in that spirit of relentlessly seeking to improve the human experience, we've contacted Whooshh to explore the feasibility of the next, most obvious step in the evolution of vacuum-powered matter transport: the man-sized version. We're working on a name for it, but I've already volunteered by be a test subject. We'll start with simple tasks, like shooting people into a lake, but if our hunch is right, you'll be commuting this way within the decade. 

You know what Bart Scott has to say about that.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Squeaky Filler Submission

"This is amazing. Early Halloween for squirrel."