...this is an AWESOME Firefox add-on!
For example, look at this:
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I entirely agree that the flood of megastores on the Champs-Elysees is terrible and I just love this quote from the article:
Many other merchants lament that the move to save the avenue has come too late. “High-class Parisians don’t want to come to the Champs-Élysées,” said Serge Ghnassia, owner of the fur shop Milady, which opened on the Champs-Élysées in 1933. “It’s not prestigious; it’s not pleasant. The people who come are very common, very ordinary, very cheap. They come for a kebab sandwich and a five-euro T-shirt.”
Don't these fools know that there are better kebabs and cheaper t-shirts elsewhere?
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
When asked to describe a family in 2nd grade, I wrote: "A family is a big group of people who are all related. I love my family because they take me on vacation."
Monday, January 29, 2007
Writing used to come so easy to me. To wit, check out this story from 2nd grade (one of a 3-part series on killers):
The Serial Killer
One day there was a person named Dan Luthor. He was walking down the street and suddenly out of nowhere someone killed him by shooting him. Then one day the same person killed the president and then the next day he killed the mayor. They had been after him for a year. He kept on killing more and more people. In the next 5 days he killed over 50 people. Then one day he shot 100 people. But then a very good police officer went over to his house and blew it up but he wasn't inside. Then the next day someone saw him unarmored and shot and killed him.
See Hitler as a boy (no moustache), a proud papa Putin, W with a buzz cut, and much much more over at this collection of World Leader youth pictures.
Doesn't Putin look like Macaulay Culkin here? Thanks MR.
Apparently, someone else agrees with me on the Macaulay thing.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Starting today (but normally every Friday), I will post my restaurant of the week. This will be a way to highlight some of the best picks from my guide. So here is the first choice:
Le Miu [107 Avenue A (bet. 6th and 7th Sts.) 212-473-3100]
An absolute gem of a restaurant in the East Village, Le Miu offers Japanese food with a twist. By that I mean that Le Miu provides its patrons with a creative array of dishes that you won't find at any ordinary Japanese joint. And when you combine excellent food with a sleek, modern atmosphere and good service, you have a place worth returning to multiple times. For appetizers, my dining companion and I began with the Grilled Marinated Duck Breast and the Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab, which was particularly delicious. For main courses, we split the Miso Marinated Baby Lamb Chops and the Chef's Sushi Platter. Both were exquisite and presented beautifully. The only thing that might scare people away from here would be the prices, but the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food and I highly recommend that anyone who reads this review pays the restaurant a visit.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Yes, Nostra and I went to MSG tonight (after a surprisingly wonderful trip to Nathan's across the street) and watched the Knicks take on the most exciting team in the NBA. The Knicks were even ahead at one point!
Actually they were ahead for much of the first half, before a disastrous third quarter in which they played very sloppily and gave up the lead for good. Let me say this though: Knicks fans absolutely adore David Lee. And with good reason. Lee had a monstrous 14 rebounds to go along with 17 points, including many impressive dunks. This kid is for real and he should be playing as many minutes as possible. On the other hand, although Nate Robinson plays very hard, he is just not a very good shooter. He needs to work on his jump shot, but if he develops that, he has some potential to be a dangerous player. Eddy Curry dominated much of the first half, but he struggled with foul trouble and eventually an injury in the second half. He is a tantalizing talent who has yet to put it all together.
Also, not surprisingly, Steve Nash was incredibly impressive. His shot is so pure. He seemed to be in control of the tempo of the game at all times, to the point that when he made mistakes it was legitimately a big surprise. Finally, the Knicks really have to work on their defense. They gave Phoenix far too many open shots and were honestly lucky not to lose by more than five.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Frank Bruni has an interesting article in the New York Times today about the increasingly pompous attitude of chefs and restaurants in New York (thanks Mom). I have only been to two of the restaurants he mentions (Eleven Madison Park and Tabla), and at this point I could not imagine going to any more of them. That's not to say that the food was not fantastic at these two places, because it was. It's more the fact that upon further reflection, it just seems absurd to spend so much money on these tasting menus when there are SO many excellent New York restaurants that cost so much less. And I'm hardly Mr. Moderation. I spend way too much money going out to eat as it is. The heart of the matter is that if these chefs can get away with this bullshit, more power to them, but I'm just not going to support it (unless of course they are willing to have me in as a restaurant critic).
My vast football knowledge and ability to provide conventional answers to questions finally came in handy at the end of an interview recently when I was asked these two questions:
1. Who is going to win the Super Bowl and why?
2. What is the greatest college or pro football game of the past 10 years?
Answers in comments section.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
So now that I have started using Google Reader (after a brief stint over at Bloglines), I have discovered a very useful feature. There is a public sharing page available wherein I can "share" any blog posts or articles that I find of interest during my way too vast time spent reading things on the internet. Here is a link to my page (which will also be on the sidebar from now on). This is probably more efficient than me posting links all the time here and sending a lot of e-mails to people. BUT I will still post some links to articles on the blog if they have great excerpts or if I can make fun of Tom somehow.
Read this post by Glenn Greenwald about the increasing number of lies the Bush administration is spewing about Iran-Iraq links. We all know where they would like this to head, so it must be stopped. And the more awareness the better. For more info, read Actual Rod.
Now I know that we all love reality television, especially Kingspawn, but is reality television anything close to reality anymore these days, and was it ever? I don't know much about my readers, but I know that I don't enter 3-week long cooking competitions (Top Chef) or agree to spend 40 days on an island in the South Pacific with very little food and water (Survivor). Once a year, however, I do spend a few months living in a completely new city with a group of six 20-somethings who are complete strangers (The Real World). That's why that show really resonates with me. But I digress. Reality television isn't about real people in real situations. It's about very specific people in contrived game show-style situations. And it's often highly entertaining (although often not). Maybe it's just easier for everyone to call any show without trained actors a reality show, but I wish that there was a better name. Thoughts anyone?
Monday, January 22, 2007
E-books? They already exist, but think about how useful they will be when they become widespread! Although I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the regular book, e-books just make much more sense. Imagine carrying 5 books on vacation in one slim e-book reader. And no more worrying about hardcover and paperback, etc...
Also, another take on the iPhone. Why announce it 6 months early? Courtesy of Slashdot.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I said it before and I'll say it again, this is gonna be the year for the Indianapolis Colts. And the game today was like a microcosm of the 2004 ALCS. The Colts going down 21-3 was like the Red Sox going down 3 games to 0. What a comeback, right? Obviously it's a bit of a stretch, but it's a fun stretch. And after two weeks of mind-numbing hype, the Colts will walk away from Super Bowl XLI victorious. It won't be easy, but my early scoreline prediction is 24-17 Colts over Bears.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Well, the Indianapolis Colts pulled off the second leg of their Steelers-esque journey in Baltimore as predicted, but there is perhaps a superior sports parallel in the offing. I'm not the first to say this, but it's easy to see the Colts as the 2004 Boston Red Sox, which makes the Patriots the New York Yankees. And just as the Red Sox got the chance to do in 2004, the Colts now have the chance to knock off their most hated rival as the last step before FINALLY playing for a championship.
I say that the Colts will do it by a score of 27-20 and then go on to defeat the New Orleans Saints (who will beat the Bears 24-21 on Sunday) in Super Bowl XLI. And then people can finally shut up about Peyton Manning being overrated because he hasn't won a title.
Why does it seem like everyone's 3rd grade teacher was named Ms. Crabtree? According to O'Reilly, that was the case for little Steve Colbert (pronounce the "t")...Speaking of which, Colbert once again showed his brilliance last night with Papa Bear, although it was weird to watch him without a laugh track for the first segment. Luckily I provided my own. Here is Colbert on O'Reilly and here is O'Reilly on Colbert. A New York Times take on the showdown.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Due to good behavior, Rich was released from prison early as part of a work-study program (work on blogging/study hot dogs). But no one said anything to him about staying out of the picture business, so when a cameraman surprised him outside Pink's, Rich tried to re-create the magic. Sadly something was a little bit off. Will he ever be able to fully bring back the look that launched 10 browsers? Or does the pain of losing a loved one cut too deep?
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The famed Louis' Lunch (no ketchup!) from New Haven faces off against some punks from Athens, Texas.
“I don’t even think Texas has been around as long as this place has been serving hamburgers,” said David Ellner, 39, an East Haven native who has gobbled more burgers than he can count at Louis’. “No way were they first. No way should we let them take this away from us.”
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
More remarkable stuff, as excerpts of O.J.'s book have hit the newsstands.
That Simpson ever suggested this project—the idea was Simpson's, Fenjves says, not Regan's—makes me conclude that a killer is coming apart at the seams. Before he got involved, Fenjves told me, there "was talk he was going to do this as a straight confession." A working title for the book at one point was not If I Did It, but I Did It. The title was suggested not by Regan, but by Simpson. What do you have to do in this country to get yourself thrown in jail?
Monday, January 15, 2007
In parallel to That Girl, who is taking care of business in her wonderful way over at Delino, here are some other intermittent thoughts:
8:00 Why is this show not being broadcast in HD?
8:05 Let's hope Prince is busy gearing up for the Super Bowl XLI halftime show...
8:06 Props to JT for making the best of an awkward situation. I just watched the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show with Janet Jackson again, and things couldn't have been more different then.
8:11 Do you think Jack would start a relationship with his own daughter?
8:12 Funny to see Jeremy Irons walk past Jeremy Piven after beating him for the Globe and try to say sorry to E instead of Piven. And then make an absurd joke about the name "Ahmed."
8:18 Has anyone ever seen "The Closer"? I guess so.
8:21 The speeches have been long and rambling so far. Do we really need to give these people MORE time to make themselves sound bad?
8:26 Renee Zellweger just looks a bit off. She also looks a bit like Ellen Pompeo. And Pompeo reminds me of the girl Jerry dates who looks good in one light and bad in the other on that one episode of "Seinfeld."
8:27 Amazing shocked expression from Meryl Streep. This head of the Hollywood Foreign Press seems like he barely speaks English.
8:28 Will Ferrell is looking like Alex Jacob.
8:29 Diddy looks weird without sunglasses.
8:32 I like that Jason Lee still has that huge moustache he grew for My Name is Earl. Could you imagine Kiefer saying, "I don't think that's a good idea Mr. President" to the Hollywood Foreign Press after losing this award? Me neither, he's probably so smashed he doesn't even know what's going on. God bless him.
8:40 Wait, I can win $5000 for having a good fashion sense? Sick.
8:41 Gotta love the "Ma-Sheen" telling his brother to stand up and Emilio just looking befuddled.
8:43 I'm glad that I did not see Happy Feet.
8:48 Meryl Streep must be very drunk. Hasn't she won a ton of these awards before?
8:49 Reese Witherspoon looks great, she's available, right?
8:51 I hope Eddie Murphy wins for his performance as Jimmy 'Thunder' Early. He was wonderful, singing and acting in classic Murphy fashion.
8:53 Dinner Break. I'm DVRing the show, so I'll check back and see how things went.
8:55 I'm back and catching up (I'll use the real times of the show so as not to confuse people). I like that people are walking around in the front while Ben Stiller introduces Borat.
9:00 I'm confused, how could Ben Affleck possibly be a Supporting Actor in Hollywoodland? Or Jack Nicholson in The Departed (maybe this one makes sense)? Or Brad Pitt in Babel? What a weird category. Maybe I just don't understand what supporting means.
9:01 Eddie Murphy wins! He's playing the straight man in his speech, but he's still got that incredible smile.
9:08 Who did Sienna Miller wink at?!
9:09 Is Matthew Perry still deserving of a reaction shot?
9:10 Wow, the Brits have really dominated this show, right?
9:11 Annette Bening is smashed.
9:12 Another British winner. Pretty amazing that Helen Mirren played Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II in two award-winning performances in the same year! How does she get up for her daily life?
9:18 Cameron Diaz does NOT look her best. Couple my criticism with her JT break up and she's had a rough time of it recently.
9:20 Another award, another British winner. And this one is VERY political. Funny that he is the first one told to wrap his speech up early.
9:21 Break for 24. Will recap the rest of the Globes later (but as if they were in real-time).
9:22 24 was fairly intense to say the least. Vanessa Williams' hair is terrifying. Tim Allen just called 30 Rock, 3rd Rock. I think he still wishes (not surprisingly) that we were living in the mid-90s. Amazing Galaxy Quest reference though. Carell probably should have won, but Baldwin is pretty fun these days, so I don't mind too much.
9:32 I guess that it's nice for the Ugly Betty people to win. The Golden Globes are different from the Emmys in that the same shows and actors don't win every year. I guess that's nice, but I was still rooting for The Office.
9:34 Jamie Foxx is so arrogant it's scary.
9:36 Why is an off-camera announcer describing the foreign language films? Do they not trust Djimon Honsou and Sharon Stone? Interesting. Also, this might be the strongest Best Foreign Language Film category ever.
9:46 Good to see that Prince made it. I wonder if he saw JT's impression of him? Hmm, the announcer is back, I guess they don't trust anyone at this point...
9:49 Well, they can trust John Stamos and Jennifer Love-Hewitt to read out names. Is Ugly Betty a good show? Anyone?
9:51 Ironic that all these people obsessed with traditional exterior beauty are wildly cheering a speech extolling the virtues of inner beauty.
9:52 Stamos is chatting up Nicholson's daughter...think he ever hit on the Olson twins?
9:53 Most awkward interview of the night. But no one cares because Maria Menounos is hot. I guess it IS all about outer beauty.
10:04 Have I ever told you how much I love the movie Dick Tracy?
10:21 There's nothing like a good Ishtar joke.
10:28 Great to see Sacha Baron Cohen as a winner. Eeez niiiiice. Best joke of the night is about Ken Davitian (aka Azamat Bagatov). Azamat drinks straight from the bottle, the only way he knows how.
10:37 Everyone seems to want to see Borat win for best Comedy/Musical, but not surprising that Dreamgirls takes the prize.
10:43 No messing around now, they are speeding through this thing. It's funny how they always waste sooo much time in the early stages, then rush through the final more important awards. You would think that they would have learned from their mistakes by now in these shows, but I guess not.
10:45 Great color tie for Philip Seymour Hoffman...not sure if it belongs at a black-tie event, but who cares?
10:46 Helen Mirren seemed pretty ready to win again. Pretty amazing night for her, eh? But why didn't Hoffman hand her the award?
10:54 Does Forest Whitaker have a lazy left eye?
11:00 The GOVERNATOR! On crutches no less. What a trooper.
11:01 He definitely pronounced it BA-bel so people wouldn't think he said Bobby. Although I suppose only Charlie Sheen would have expected a win for Bobby. Sick immigration joke by Inarritu.
11:05 It's weird that there was no host for this show, but Arnold had a fitting conclusion: "We'll be back."
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Those are your only options in the back room at McSorley's Ale House (order the dark), and you wouldn't want it any other way. Tell Tommy Nolan that you want one dark and he'll come back with 2 mugs for everyone at your table. And if you go on a Friday night, you might be lucky enough to sit at a table with these guys. That was my fate with a few friends last night and we had a great time. Not sure if we'll come back every Friday night for the next 5 years, but you can bet we'll be back soon. Kenny and the gang will be there, and they will keep track of it at their web site, which is also their typical opening order. Don't forget to try the spicy mustard.
Friday, January 12, 2007
We'll find out more on Saturday, but I think they can do it. Everyone is selling them short against the Ravens and I think that they will pull off the upset. Jamal Lewis is not good anymore and the Colts offense is still dangerous against anybody, even the Ravens.
Colts 24, Ravens 20
In other games I like the Chargers, the Saints, and the Bears to win an ugly game over Seattle.
...in the Super Bowl ad contest! Check out the winning pitch right here. Congrats to Gino. But remember Tom, this could have been you.
You should also take a look at the Doritos ad contest. I don't love any of them, but I am impressed by the production values, considering that they were all "home-made." If pressed, I would say that I like "Mouse Trap" the best. Although my alternate ending would have had the guy finishing his bag of Doritos and then getting caught in the mouse trap himself because he just had to have that last chip.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
You can't keep a bad man down! Excerpt:
Originally, Hussein's self-promoted "Iraq-paq" style failed to make an impression on angst and war-ridden Iraqi teenagers, and his violent, tough-talking misogynistic lyrics failed to convey a clear message about living in inner-city Baghdad. But with Saddam Hussein's death, people are rushing to the black markets to buy copies of the Arab album.
(Hat tip to Dan)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I have to say that Troy Aikman is a very good football color commentator. These days, the supposed gold standard, John Madden, mostly says stuff like: "Look at how he hit him there, wow." or "Look at how he cuts back there, isn't that great?" Aikman, on the other hand, actually provides insightful and informative commentary. His playing days are a bonus instead of a drawback. In addition, he is not afraid to voice his opinion. For example, at the end of the Giants-Eagles came, he criticized the Eagles for setting up to kick on 3rd down with :20 left in the game (a point I entirely agreed with). Amazingly, as if they had heard what Aikman said, the Eagles elected to run one more play and kick the winning field goal on 4th down as time expired, giving the Giants no chance to come back (a result that I was not happy about). Pay attention to Aikman this weekend on Fox, because he's the best in the business right now. Pretty good for someone who retired after his 10th concussion!
Watch Chuck Berry do the Duck Walk in an animation on Wikipedia! I've been listening a lot to Berry, Sam Cooke, and The Platters recently. Some songs to listen to that you may have only heard 100 times instead of 1000 times: "The Great Pretender" by The Platters, "Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke, "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke, "Cupid" by Sam Cooke, "Roll Over Beethoven" by Chuck Berry.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
"We want to reinvent the phone," he reiterated. "What's the killer app? The killer app is making calls! It's amazing how hard it is to make calls on phones. We want you to use contacts like never before."
Monday, January 08, 2007
Series 2 starts this Sunday on HBO. I highly recommend watching it. It's Ricky Gervais' second major TV show. His first was a little thing called The Office. Season 1 was pretty good, while Season 2 is hilarious. Orlando Bloom is wonderful in the first episode and Daniel Radcliffe is brilliant in the third episode. Trust me, you'll be "havin' a laugh" with this show (an inside joke that you will only get if you watch the show).
Sunday, January 07, 2007
For some reason that I can't quite figure out, tourists in San Francisco are especially fond of penny-stretching machines.
These machines exist in other cities, but in San Francisco, they are EVERYWHERE. You can get a penny with an image of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, even my friend Sam's apartment. I'm not sure why these pennies are so popular, but I found something more interesting than the answer to that question when I visited Hearst Castle.
That's right. Instead of spending a 51 cents to get a stretched penny, here you can spend $1.25 to get a stretched quarter! Only big shots need apply. This is a rich man's game. What else could be a more obvious sign of wealth and power than this machine?
Posted by Rich at 1:00 PM
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Location: City Crab
Tom: Hey barkeep, lemme get half a dozen oysters.
Bartender: Well, what type are you gonna want? First things first: East Coast or West Coast?
Tom: I don't know, what's the difference, just give me whatever's better.
Bartender: Choosing between East and West Coast is like choosing between an oral and anal thermometer!
Tom: Fine, well I prefer anal...
Bartender: West Coast it is.
(For the record, the bartender did not hear Tom state his preference.)
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Saddam will get one in Libya. It's really terrible the way the Iraq war and Saddam's execution have gone down because Saddam is becoming a sympathetic figure in the minds of a lot people and that is simply outrageous. He was a terrible dictator and a despicable human being.
Location: Cosi on 45th Street
I go to pay for my sandwich and as I do, I hand over my Cosi card (buy 10, get 1 free) with 4 stamps on it.
Cashier: Sorry, we don't accept those anymore, you've gotta have one of the new cards.
Me: But, I've already got 4 stamps on it. Can't you just put a 5th one on and when I finish this card I'll get a new one?
Cashier: Nope, sorry I can't stamp that card at all anymore.
Me: I don't understand...how can I just lose 5 sandwich purchases?
Cashier (after brief contemplation): Alright, hold on a second.
(She comes back and stamps the card 6 times, filling it up completely, meaning that my next sandwich is free.)
Cashier: Now make sure to get a new card next time.
In other Cosi-related news, I asked for a glass of water, but the only water available was hot water for tea. So the woman behind the counter filled a cup with ice and poured the hot water into the cup. By the time I drank it, it was ice cold. Smart thinking.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
While catching up on my work e-mail yesterday, I stumbled upon one message that particularly caught my interest. Amazingly, my co-worker told me that I had won week 16 of the NFLatino.com Fantasy Football contest!
ELIGIBLE Week 16 Winner
City: New York
However, despite the fact that I beat something like 600 people to win, I could not collect my prize of a $100 gift certificate to the NFL Shop due to my employment with the league. At least I have my pride and I can brag to you all about it.
When I got onto the Pacific Coast Highway near Carmel, I saw a sign that warned me of squiggly roads for the next 74 miles. The sign was right, but it didn't tell me how beautiful the trip would be. I highly recommend that you all make the drive at least once in your life. I liked it better going North to South because it was easier to pull over right next to the edge of the water...