Saturday, October 29, 2005

Are You Ready For Some...: Football picks are up over at Blogcritics. So it begins.

What a hellacious Friday. Pretty much everything that could've gone wrong did. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, worked the way it was supposed to. Either I screwed up or the rest of the bloody world screwed me up. It started with a flat tire and a blown out spare. Continued with my grand scheme to transmit internet radio from my laptop to my home stereo failing due to assclown manufacturers. Similarly, my humidifier ceased to work (a humdifier is an absolute necessity here once the wondows are shut up and the forced air heat goes on full time).

Then, to add insult to injury today, Best Buy has refused to honor the rebates I sent in because of a missing document that Best Buy claims doesn't exist. Biggest group of incompetant assclowns in the known universe. Nice of them to take the time to club me with their customer appreciation baseball bat. This one, I am not going to let rest. Bastards. Tomorrow, their customer service department will rue the day.

If there was one saving grace to the weekend is was that I was able to get out with a freind for a drink and take in Chrissy Burns at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. Wickedly funny stuff (R-rated, BTW). Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The 411: First, you can read my review of HBO's latest original drama, Rome, over at Blogcritics. Second, when I was in DC recently, I had the pleasure of staying at The Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City. I've written about it in my travel journals before, so this time I wrote it up officially for Hotel Chatter. Lastly, later this week begin the heartily anticipated and heavily feared football picks. You may safely exhale now.
What a Disaster!: Speaking of the Ritz-Carlton, the one in Naples was recently hit by hurricane Wilma (scroll down a bit). When Katrina hit New Orleans nobody was prepared. When Wilma hit the R-C in Naples, they hung a little plastic bag with a flashlight and a glow stick on everyone's door. In New Orleans, people were desperate for food and water. At the R-C Naples, people had to navigate the buffet with their flashlights after which they were met at their linen covered tables with pitchers of water and fruit juice. In New Orleans, the city was pretty much underwater. At the R-C Naples, they had a "minor water intrusion." That pretty much settles the question of who should be running FEMA.
Do You Know What It Means...: The NYT (reg. req.) rounded up the recent hotel re-openings down in the Crescent City. Time to make good on my promise to go back to The Quarter as soon as possible. If I don't, the hurricane wins. I suspect more up to date info can be found at the N.O. Convention and Visitors Bureau, where they claim the NEW New Orleans will arrive in January 2006. I don't think I can wait that long.
Meanwhile, in the City That Can Do No Wrong...: That would be Vegas. Frommers has done a great round-up of this year's developments and announced projects (and a few rumors). It looks like most of the older, run down properties, primarily on the North Strip, are living on short time. That's not surprising, but the big beneficiary will likely be The Stratosphere, a decent place that has been stuck out in crudest section of the Strip.

I have to admit I'm somewhat surprised New Orleans didn't choose to rebuild itself in Las Vegas. They could have had the Bellagio fountain flood the casino every hour or so. Hey, it beats Sirens of the Caribbean.
Stupid Promo Hall of Fame: So I'm watching Monday Night Football and they run this little promo featuring Mike Vick, where they ask him a couple of glib questions and he answers with all the urban cool he can work up. The last question was, "What's the best way to manage having two girlfriends at once?" I am not making that up. Some Einstein in the NFL PR office actually thought that was a good question to ask Mike Vick. The answer he gave was something about having two cell phones. I would have paid $500 to hear him say, "Just be sure to use a pornstar name when you have to see the doctor."

Next up, the League sells airtime during the Vikings game to Carnival Cruise Lines.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Gone and Back: I spent the first half of last week in Washington DC again -- an occurrence so common that it barely merits a mention. In fairness, however, I have to mention that Northwest Airlines came to my rescue when I screwed up my flight times. I mistakenly thought that my flight left Detroit at 5pm, when in fact it was scheduled to arrive in DC at 5pm. Imagine my surprise when I reached the gate.

But the attendant was on the ball. She got me on standby for the next three flights, just in case. Then managed to get me on the first one and didn’t bat an eye about giving me the only available seat, whish happened to be in first class.

Then, my conference finished early so a hightailed it to the airport to see if I could get on an earlier flight back home and once again, the Northwest agent did me proud. Not only did I get on an earlier flight, but I had a row of seats all to myself.

So I owe Northwest as big a thank you, at least the size of my gripes when they screw up (and that’s pretty sizeable).

I have to say that messing up my flight times really rattled me. I can be fairly spacey, but there are few people who are as consistently on top of their travel arrangements as I am. People who are disorganized tend to have one or two things that they keep in order, just so there is some semblance of sanity in their lives and for me, travel plans are one of those. It made me worry about getting old. It could be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. More likely though, the reason is simply that I am a complete moron. Which is much better.
Reversal of Fortune: How bad can it get for my bets? I want Cincy and Jacksonville to lose and Pittsburgh to win. Not only does Cincy win, but Jacksonville beats Pittsburgh. Not only that, the Giants are looking good in the NFC and Philly is struggling, so my hopes of Philly getting to the Super Bowl are declining.

It gets worse: the Cardinals are now three outs away from going down 3-1 in the NLCS. Update: Now they are down 3-1. They don’t deserve to win. How can a team that had the best record in the majors put guys on 1st and 3rd with nobody out and the season pretty much on the line and not get a single run to tie the game. Had they come back in the 9th and won the game, that could’ve turned it all around. Tey would have had the momentum going forward. Instead, they just added some drama to Houston’s victory. Stick a fork in ‘em.

I don’t know if the above words make any sense. I’m still a little dizzy from banging my head against the wall for a full three minutes. I’ve gone from having a decent chance to come out ahead to being only slightly less than six feet under in the span of a few days. Why do I bet these futures? Why do I violate my own rationally derived rules and take these wild chances? The reason, once again, is that I am complete moron.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hanawannabe: Just a quick note to let you know that those wacky travellers over at Hotel Chatter have posted both my Hana hotel reviews: Hana Kai Maui Resort, and Hotel Hana Maui. Do check them out.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Getting There: You can read a brief review of the TV show House I knocked off over at Blogcritics. I have some other articles coming, specifically a couple of hotel review for Hotel Chatter (submitted but not posted just yet), then my write up of my recent trip to Hawaii. All coming real soon.
Ramblin’ and Gambin’: As you know I have some sports futures bets outstanding. My baseball bets that I made last yea, are close to resolved. My 8-1 bet on the Twins to win the AL went down the toilet, but my 3-1 on the Cardinals to win the NL is still on. They just have to beat the winner of the Astros-Braves series and I’ll be cool.

My football futures are hanging in there. Well, except for my +130 on Cincinnati to have less than 8 wins, which is looking laughably bad right now. Having started 4-0, they’ll have to go 3-9 through the rest of the season for me to get a payoff. Alas. My +110 on Jacksonville to do no better than .500 is OK -- they’re currently 2-2. My +110 on the Steelers to win 11+ is looking OK also. My 6-1 on Philly winning the Super Bowl remains, I think, a good prospect. I still don’t see another team from the NFC beating them to get there, especially considering Ron Mexico is proving to be a bit fragile. Tampa Bay is a little scary, though.

Anyway, weekly picks begin in earnest around week 8. I think I’ll be posting them over at Blogcritics just so I can be embarrassed on a much larger scale if I’m wrong.
Preview: Although I haven’t even started my Hawaii article, I want to share a few pics with you as an appetizer.
Required Reading: The Care and Feeding of Your Introvert. This should be required reading for extroverts everywhere. Including fines and jail time for failure to comply.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Aloha: Well I'm just back from an altogether too brief sojourn over to Hawaii. Spent a few days on Kauai, on the splendidly laid back south shore, then a couple of days in the "heavenly" town of Hana. I am back and fighting mild jet lag, but I have a bunch of stuff to write about, including a couple of reviews and travel articles so I'm hoping that the upcoming week or so will be productive. But for now, I need to get my jet-lagged self to bed for a while. Back soon.