Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some Music Stuff for the NBA Haters/My Morning Jacket Lovers Out There

There are not many folks who traffic this site who do not like the NBA, so this may fall on deaf ears, but I wanted to alert the music fans out there that My Morning Jacket is presenting a live concert stream of their 5/31/11 show on YouTube, starting at 9 PM EST. The show is in Louisville, KY, hometown of lead singer Jim James.

The link is allegedly this, although it is not active yet. Ifyou have problems accessing the concert, click here to be directed to the band's official website. Todd Haynes, who directed I'm Not There and Velvet Goldmine, among other projects, is directing the live concert. A trippy commercial is below.

I have been a big fan of MMJ since 2004 and I am very excited about this show, though very conflicted about this concert starting at the same time as the NBA Finals. Lead singer Jim James has a rustic Dylan-esque sensibility about his songwriting, with occasional leanings into hle love of metal as a youth. When he mentioned in an interview a few years ago that he loved Brazilian speed-metal band Sepultura as a youg teen, I was quite psyched.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Bought a six-pack of this last night to help ring in the holiday weekend. The beer's decent. The can is better.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Your (Rambling, Yet Somehow Abbreviated) Champions League Final Preview

The mainstream American media has been surprisingly on top of tomorrow's big club championship match between Barcelona and Manchester United. SI had a one-page preview in the mag and another good piece here, the WSJ has a big story in today's paper, and the NY tabloid papers are giving it a big mention (one is here). So I suggest you read those after this. My typing mojo has been suppressed by a 13-hour day on Thursday, a delayed train home last night and a short night of sleep thanks to the Heat's fourth-quarter slapdown. So here are some key points before my caffeine-induced energy fades into Bolivian:

Ruud van Nistelrooy - He is known for two things. First, he has the best name in the history of ever. Seriously. How could I miss an opportunity to type it? Pure awesomeness. Second, he set the record for goals in a Champions League tournament (12). Lionel Messi currently has 11, so he has a chance to make history, albeit a history that most Americans don't care about. Watch some of RvN's goals, including some tremendous post-up goals, here, in a video compilation set to what sounds like a terrible Oasis tune.

Lionel Messi - the diminutive striker is awesome to watch. The NY Post calls him a combination of Barry Sanders, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan. To those of you who doubt this uber-comparison, allow me to remind you he may be THAT GOOD. He is the world's best player now, and on pace to become one of the greatest of all-time. Don't believe me? Check out the video below. He's the best striker in the world, so good that he offsets Manchester United, which has two of the top ten in the world in Wayne Rooney and Chicharito. And the best thing about Messi - HE DOESN'T DIVE. His teammates collapse and writhe on the ground if you look at them funny, but Messi does not.

Nemanja Vidic - This Ivan Drago lookalike is the most bad-ass athlete from Serbia this side of Novak Djokovic. He is a stopper for Man U and will be tasked with chopping down Messi. It will look bad when he tackels Messi hard, which he will do until he gets a yellow card. Vidic will also be a force on set plays, when his height and elbows will cause match-up problems against a short Barcelona side.

Fox - This game is airing on the real Fox. I'm crossing my fingers they have announcers who don't suck. I know they'll have Brad Friedel in the booth, and I'm cautiously optimistic he won't be terrible. He's been a keeper in the EPL for a very long time and he knows Euro soccer well. But my biggest fear is that they "Americanize" the coverage. We don't need animated robots fighting each other on screen with sound effects, we don't need scrolling information and we don't need Joe Buck.

Wembley Stadium - This match is being played in London, which will be an advantage for the Red Devils. But Barca is as big and powerful of a club, with a huge fan base. I bet they will represent themselves pretty well. Since we're talking about Wembley, I have an excuse to embed the video of one of my favorite live music clips of all-time, Queen doing Radio Ga Ga at Wembley in '85 as a part of Live Aid. Freddy Mercury was at the height of his powers here and it's fascinating to watch him captivate over 100,00 fans, even if his performance is dated and sexually ambiguous, to say the least. The forgotten subtext to this video is how incredibly effeminate this tune is for a live rock anthem. There is nothing remotely heterosexual about the tune, yet it captivated a legion of Queen fans at that concert. That's the power of Freddy Mercury, who was fresh off his role as the villain in Commando. Don't believe me? Go to the 0:13 second mark of this clip. Or look at this picture.

Enjoy the match, folks. Go Red Devils.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hot Off the Presses: New Between Two Ferns

Will Ferrell and Zach act, well, as only Will and Zach would.

I'm not sure why this is the case, but you have to click through at the bottom of the imbedded video to see the Between Two Ferns episode (click the writing in 6-point font). I would have fixed this issue, but I couldn't get a hold of anybody at the G:TB Help Desk.

And while you're at it, check out this video as well for The Landlord.

Your Image of the Day

There's a lot going on here:

[h/t to the Chive and the Uniblog]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

With The Sixth Pick In The 2011 NBA Draft...

...the Washington Wizards will most likely select a foreign dude who ends up as a huge bust (Jan Vesely, Jonas Valanciunas, etc.). It's what history demands.

This will be the fifth time in Bullets/Wizards history that the team has chosen sixth. Their previous four choices with the sixth pick?
Jerry Sloan in 1965
Mel Turpin in 1984
Tom Gugliotta in 1992
Calbert Cheaney in 1993

The history of the sixth pick is pretty entertaining. I embedded a screen grab below of all the sixth picks since 1980, and it's an eclectic mix of guys...with nary a superstar on the list. Who's the best guy on this list - Hawkins? Kenny the Jet? Um...Battier? And who the hell is Mike O'Koren?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Restaurant Review, Vol. 2

Once again, our eagle-eyed fans have come through for G:TB, traveling the world (or in this case, having their friends travel the world) to find amusing dining/drinking establishments for us to chuckle over from the comfort of our prison cells/offices. We've taken some liberties with this one, as the original image (courtesy of KQ) was captured on a Facebook page and I couldn't figure out how to save it to my hard drive.

But this gets to the essence. Let it never be said that our correspondents don't know our audience.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wild Blue Yonder

As an Army brat, I've long been partial to our ground-based military forces in the ongoing fraternal rivalry between services. This week, though, the flyboys got my attention, reaching out in compassion to a community that means a great deal to me.
U.S. Air Force Seeks Acoustic Squirrel-Detector

Predators of the threatened Mojave ground squirrel include badgers, coyotes, snakes, falcons, hawks -- and now U.S. military aerial strikes.

That's because the squirrel makes its home in a section of California's Mojave Desert also used by the Air Force as a practice area. But the military has to make sure not to accidentally bomb the squirrels, being threatened and all, and expends a lot of time and money trying to find them so as to avoid that.

Frustrated, the Air Force recently put out a call for proposals that might make tracking these animals -- and, in turn, lots of others -- easier.

The military specifically wants a sort of acoustic fingerprinting technology. Though often very effective, acoustic tracking -- registering the unique sounds animals make rather than, say, visual cues like zebra stripe bar codes -- is usually limited to birds and cetaceans (whales, dolphins).

There's no particular reason for that limitation, especially in this case, as Mojave ground squirrels (really, squirrels in general) are tremendously talkative animals, which should make them easy to track with sound.

The basic idea is to keep track of all of the Mojave ground squirrels within the Air Force's danger zone, identifying them based on their distinctive calls. That data could then be turned into a map, showing where to bomb and where to avoid.
A friend of the squirrel is a friend of mine. Well done, USAF.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

G.O.P. vs. C.R.E.A.M.

Further proof that the end of the world is upon us: 59-year-old Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Rodagno name-checked Raekwon on the Senate floor, and then mistakenly attributed Method Man's chorus from C.R.E.A.M. as a source of inspiration to fix what ails Illinois' budgetary woes. ODB is spinning in his grave. And I feel really old as this is further proof that the Wu-Tang Clan is the musical equivalent of classic rock to today's 25-year-olds.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Remain Calm. All is Well.

"Our planet is mortal. It's middle-aged and some day it will die."

So says Michael Moyar at Scientific American in an attempt to quash the doomsday theories of Harold Camping. The 89 year-old Camping is at the forefront of the movement declaring Saturday, May 21 to be the beginning of the end of times.

Me, I was kinda hoping for a more definitive and uplifting message from the debunking community. Shame, too - I was kinda looking forward to tomorrow morning's EPL games. Guess I'll hunker down tonight with a bottle of Louis XIV and put Blondie on the turntable.

See you all on the other side.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Preview of EPL Relegation Battle Sunday

With one week left in the 2010-11 EPL season, Manchester United has been crowned champion. But we're not here to talk about them. We're here to discuss the losers clubs in the league. Man U will field a squad of reserves to play a match this Sunday that is totally meaningless to them, yet profoundly important to their opponent, 17th place Blackpool. Blackpool is one of three teams tied for 17th-19th place with 39 points (others are Birmingham and Wigan Athletic). Two of these three teams will join West Ham and be relegated to the Championship League next year. In the event some teams remain tied in points, the first tiebreaker is goal differential. The three teams in the mix have goal differentials of -20 to -22. So all three of these teams will have to win big or cross their fingers they don't get dumped.

Our friend at the cyber-carcass once known as the Wheelhouse has discussed this process in more detail than me in the past, but it is worth repeating that the stakes are enormous for these teams. By keeping their membership in the EPL, the teams secure themselves a hefty revenue stream for TV rights, increased merchandise sales, larger-breasted groupies and all the other good stuff that comes from playing in a larger league.

So what do we have on tap this weekend? Here are the three matches affecting relegation. If you plan to watch any/all of these, be warned that all league matches will start at the same time (11 AM ET on Sunday) to avoid teams changing strategy based on prior results in the week.

Birmingham (-20 goal differential) @ Tottenham Hotspur. Unfortunately for Birmingham, this game has meaning for Tottenham, as it looks to lock up a 5th place finish and secure a place in next year's Europa League, the junior version of the Champions League. Despite possibly qualifying for this tourney, this year is disappointing for a squad that thought it could climb to the top four in the standings again and make a repeat showing at next year's Champions League tournament, after an impressive quarterfinals visit in this year's tourney. But the team still had an admirable year and will be playing in front of its home fans, who will likely be okay with the Europa League, where Spurs has the potential to dominate. Birmingham will need to sack up and show it belongs in the EPL. The squad has absolutely fallen apart to slide into the relegation zone. It has earned only 1 point in its last 5 matches. They will need to stop one of the best young players in the league, rising English star Gareth Bale. And they won't.
Prediction: 3-0 victory for Spurs.

Blackpool (-21 goal differential) @ Manchester United. Blackpool may have the toughest match-up of the teams in danger, but this game is merely a glorified exhibition for Man U. It has nothing to play for and will avoid exposing any valuable players to injury six days before the Champions League finals. But that said, Man U's reserves would probably be a mid-level squad in the EPL. And the match will be a rare showcase for some hungry youngsters auditioning for playing time next season. Blackpool has admirably fought over the last month to try to escape the cellar. It earned six points in its last four matches, including a 4-3 win last week against the (Michael) Bolton Wanderers. The team is showing some heart and some firepower, and we think it will hang in with the Man U back-ups.
Prediction: 2-2 tie.

Wigan Athletic (-22 goal differential) @ Stoke City. Stoke City is at the top of a log-jam in the middle of the standings, where the 9th-14th place teams are separated by only two points. They may have some financial motivation to hold down 9th place, but that would involve work on my end. And, as we know, this is difficult to do with the internet. And I am lazy. So we'll just assume they have little to play for. Stoke City has gone 2-2-2 in their last six, proving they are every bit as average as we think they are. Wigan Athletic, the worst positioned team facing relegation, has played pretty well recently, going 2-1-2 in its last five matches. It beat West Ham 3-2 last week to secure West Ham's relegation, which is like beating up a special ed kid to feel better about yourself. But Stoke City is no punching bag. It is more like Warren.
Prediction: 2-1 victory for Stoke City. Franks and beans, bitches.

Conclusion.Based on my inane and ignorant predictions, we have Blackpool edging out Birmingham and Wigan Athletic. So apologies to Birmingham, the city that spawned Black Sabbath, and Wigan, the city that spawned the World Pie Eating Competition. And Kajagoogoo. For reals.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Look for a Champions League preview post, which has a 40% chance of seeing the light of day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unwinnable New G:TB Contest

Jump in the comments and see if you can top the press release issued by Newt Gingrich's Presidential campaign in the wake of one of the worst opening weeks since Spiderman hit Broadway:
“The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding,” Press Secretary Rick Tyler wrote. “Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”
Framed copy of this picture to the winner.


David Kahn Hates Losing The NBA Draft Lottery

David Kahn is the president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. You might remember him from such training films as "You Can Never Draft Enough Point Guards" and "Have You Met My Media Whore Sycophant Power Forward?". Well, David Kahn is apparently sick of getting hosed at the NBA Draft Lottery, which of course is a yearly excursion for a boss of the T'Wolves. Here's what he had to say last night about the Cavs stealing the #1 pick, despite having only a 2.8% chance of doing so:
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
May I remind you this is the guy who signed Darko Milici to a 4 year/$20 million dollar deal last offseason. Darko. Milicic. He deserves zero karma breaks.  And now you're obligatory "KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHNNNN" reference:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy World Information Society Day

What exactly is World Information Society Day? Hell if I know. Wikipedia, care to explain?
World Information Society Day was proclaimed to be on 17 May by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, following the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis. The day had previously been known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies. It also aims to help reduce the Digital divide.
I'm all for reducing the digital divide. How 'bout a music video to begin the process?

For our non-YouTube fellas (Dave and Hoboken Mike), a picture:

Tuesday Morning Coming Up

In the second installation of our occasional series about moments of pure joy, live music style, we take you to Toronto. As he prepared to play 'Duncan' for a crowd at the Sound Academy ten days ago, Paul Simon heard Rayna Ford exclaim that she'd learned to play the guitar from the song. And in the best tradition of Billy Joe, Simon invited the shocked Ford onstage. What follows may well rank as the most thrilling moment of her life. Don't take it from me - her husband said as much in the video he uploaded. Stuff like this makes me happy.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2011 World Beard and Mustache champion, courtesy of @darrenrovell:

If only it had a squirrel, it'd be perfect.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


One of my colleagues on the editorial staff complained to me yesterday about the increasing Tumblrification of this fair blog. He's got a point.

But we have a plan. The school year is almost over, and with it, the hibernation of Summer Dave. We love Summer Dave and his blog epics. This year, he's planning to write a serialized novel in addition to his usual Atavist-style declaiming. Like Bart Scott, we can't wait.

Until then, enjoy Snoop listening to the Gourds.


We have a photo of rob shortly before today's altercation at his softball game.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Common Cause

Did y'all know Common is black? And somehow got invited to the White House? Thank goodness the stalwart defenders of cultural norms at Fox News continue to stand watch for all that's good and right. Otherwise, we might have to be exposed to filth like this:

The lesson, as always: negroes are scary.

Where's Waldo, Gheorghe Style

Can you find Gheorghe? Alternatively, can you caption this?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Operation Orange

Orioles fans and Redskins backers have become somewhat kindred spirits over the course of the Angelos/Snyder reigns of error. So it was with a note of solidarity that I received the news of the latest campaign by O's supporters to turn their home ballpark into, well, a home ballpark.

A group of enterprising black and orange sufferers have started Operation Orange in hopes of filling Camden Yards with real, live Orioles fans. I wish them luck, but I'm not holding my breath.

Several years ago, a far less kind and gentle me had a bit different take on one of Operation Orange's predecessors in the late, lamented Misery Loves Company. At least the O's fans of yesteryear had some righteous outrage. Now, they're just worn down by the combined weight of the dismal Angelos years. Kinda like a football fan base I know. Here's what those guys at MLC had to say back in 2007:

Orioles blog The Loss Column (aptly named, indeed) is mad as hell, and they aren't gonna take it any more. Fed up with invading "sewer rat" Red Sox and Yankee fans, they're fomenting a mass movement (and by mass in the context of O's fans, I'm guessing 8-10 doofuses hopped up on Natty Bo) to Take Back the Yard when the Sox visit Baltimore on September 8.

I appreciate the effort, honestly. And I get the frustration. I've written several times in this space about my mixed emotions regarding Sox fans and their behavior in visiting parks. The Nation ain't perfect by a long shot. But my admittedly biased worldview informs an opinion that the protest is targeted about as accurately as Dick Cheney's shotgun. There's a reason Sox and Yankee fans overrun Camden Yards, and it sits in the owner's box.

If Peter Angelos hadn't gutted a once-proud franchise to the point where hometown fans stay away in droves, and erstwhile fans from closer to the Beltway completely ignore his team now that they've got another option, tickets wouldn't be available for Sox and Yanks fans. Were I an O's fan, I'd be bitter, too. But I'd probably be smart enough to target that anger appropriately.

And another thing, Loss Column. Before you go tossing rocks at other cities, consider the glass house in which you live. Despite the nickname, Charm City it ain't. Boston accents are funny? How 'bout Nancy the barmaid, hon? Downa shore from Bawlteeeemore. You probably think The Wire is fiction. You may not want to go down that particular path, lest the Sox fans that almost certainly will outnumber those in black and orange take umbrage.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Now seriously, I've asked enough times, let's get rid of ALL. THOSE. WIRE. HANGERSSSS...

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Last-Minute Mother's Day Gift Advice

I'm a tired procrastinator who hasn't slept for more than 5 consecutive hours in almost 9 weeks, starting down the barrel of my wife's first Mother's Day with nary a gift in hand. If you're similary situated, come join me at the local bookstore to pick up a copy of "Go the Fuck to Sleep" by Adam Mansbach.

Our pediatrician says you can read anything to a baby and he will fall asleep, so long as you use a sing-song voice. Her exemplary bedtime reading material was the Gettysburg Address. Honest Abe isn't getting the job done in the zhome. Hopefully "Go the Fuck to Sleep" will be more effective.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Post Something

That's what I was told to do...so I'll post a question, which I have asked everyone I've encountered this week as I helped @baconbaking's 17 year old sister study for her AP American History exam:

"Who is your favorite U.S. President? And why?"

My answer? This guy of course...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Nothing but the Dog in Me

There's an ongoing debate about the identity of the lone non-human member of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday. The American Belgian Malinois Club is sure that one of their own join the bipedal badasses in executing the mission, while the German Shepard Dog Club of America is equally confident that "the most versatile dog on the planet" participated in the raid.

While either of those noble breeds (confession: before reading this, I had no idea that the Malinois even existed) are qualified for the job, it's really not hard to understand why military leadership chose to go a different route:

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Now you can spit hot fiyah just like Ghostface!

Are you an aspiring MC who's just an average joe with average flow doing average things with average hos? Is your sword solid as opposed to liquid? When you throw your darts do you miss the target? Do you lack the skills to pay the bills? Are you stuck on Laffy Taffy? Twisted Pine Brewing company has the cure for what ails (ales?) you. They will release their latest beer, Ghost Face Killah (not Ghostface Killah), on May 5th. I don't know if GFK greenlighted this product, but if you drink it you will be able to spit hot fiyah just like Pretty Toney himself.

And I mean that you will literally spit hot fire. According to their website:

GFK is brewed with 6 zany peppers. Anaheim, Fresno, Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero and Bhut Jolokia – Otherwise known as the Ghost Pepper. 200 times the heat of jalapenos, Bhut Jolokia are the hottest peppers in the world, a pepper so hot it can be weaponized. So hot that our brewers had to wear masks and gloves to cut them up.

Which provides the perfect segue into this mashup of "Cutting It Up" with The Harvey Averne Dozen's cover of "The Word".

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I bet President Obama reads G:TB

President Obama has a very Gheorghean approach to Donald Trump: he doesn't take The Donald too seriously.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Monday GIF Filler

It is Monday. It is a cloudy day in New York with a chance of rain. The death of Bin Laden means we may see a flurry of last-gasp attacks in several cities. My two kids are sick and aren't sleeping. I'm living in a house that may or may not be eligible for the location of Money Pit 2. And society says that having a drink right now is socially unacceptable.

You would think this would make me sad or grumpy. But I'm not. Because I found a way to share my favorite GIF of all-time with the tens of readers of this fine blog. It's been floating around the world wide web for a couple years, but it deserves some air-time here.

So enjoy JCVD's cameo from one of the Breakin' movies. May his spandex outfit and right-shoulder dip brighten up your day, as it has done to mine.

funny gifs

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Big Fat Bills Filler

As I noted in the comments the other day, Buffalo drafted a 398 pound guy named Leslie Michael Jasper in the 7th round of the draft. I learned the following disturbing information on Japser from these articles:

* Jasper played at 430 pounds last year for D-III Bethel University.
* Jasper weighed 448 pounds in January.
* Jasper weighed 378 pounds a week ago, so he lost 70 pounds in four months.
* It's not clear which side of the ball he'll play on.

Various other media outlets listed Jasper at 398, not 378, but I guess a 20 pound variance isn't a big deal on a 400 pound man -- it's only a 5% differential. Alternatively, Jasper can eat 20 pounds of food in one sitting so he could form a formidable competitive eating tandem with last year's second round pick Torell Troup.

I also learned that Jasper has a website with videos of him trying to blow his knees out:

He also has action photos that make him look impossibly large:

But if you look at other photos it appears that he looks so big because his running back is a midget, or because he's playing against D-III athletes, or both:

I am, however, completely sold on Jasper based solely on the following photo:

Who doesn't love a fat happy guy in a purple and gold sixty-nine jersey? Accordingly, if you're looking for a 7th round pick to follow and hope that he'll make an NFL roster, direct your positive vibes towards Michael Jasper, the big fat Bill in the fratty jersey.