Friday, May 30, 2008



If you're a Lost watcher and haven't watched the season finale, stop reading now. You can watch it on And here's a gratuitous shot of Kate on the beach:


What did you think? The portal to the ice cave? Sun joining forces with Widmore? How did Jin survive the crash? What happened to the people left on the island ("it's not your fault" Jack)? Jack's dad and Claire are like angels now or something? Besides the Others who was left on the island: Sawyer, Doctor lady, psychic asian dude, redhead, Bernard and his wife? So the next season is going to be all about Jack trying to convince them to go back to the island with Ben's assistance? Jack and Sayid want to go, Hurley's a wild card, Kate (and Aaron) and Sun don't want to go? Or Sun will go as a spy for Widmore? What the hell is Jin doing now?

Not as mind blowing as the last couple season finales, but pretty good TV. Still not any closer to a satisfying explanation for everything. I'm starting to think there isn't going to be a satisfying conclusion. Are there two or three more seasons.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Monkey Controls Robot Arm With Its Thoughts

I don't have much time for a proper post right now because I'm holed up in the Four Seasons in Philadelphia working on an emergency commission of former UN Weapons Inspector, Scott Ritter. However, this news demands immediate mention, no matter how brief. After all, when I started this blog, there were five subjects I hoped to cover on a semi-regular basis: sports, politics, arts, humorous stories, and the ongoing quest to allow monkeys to control robot arms with their thoughts. Because, really, what's more important than developing the technology to facilitate monkeys to operate robots with their minds. Because there are millions of quadriplegic monkeys out there that we could be strapping into a stomach area cockpit of robots and sending to work. No longer will these poor limb challenged monkeys be relegated to hors d'oeuvres status (tasty monkey brains!!). Now they will be able to serve their countries proudly in the global war on terror (their = ours). Those stupid cave dwelling terrorists don't stand a chance against our super monkey-thought-controlled robot armies. The monkeys can also be used as nannies during peace time. This is going to be great.

oops, wrong video. Here's the right one.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The day after a tremendous Champions League Final seems like a good day to do a soccer post, reviewing the match, reviewing the State of the Hammers, and previewing the upcoming Euro 08 Championships.

The Champions League Final

It didn’t really seem like a Champions League Final at first, with two familiar English Premier League rivals facing eachother (as they have so many times over the last two years), rather than two mega-teams from two different mega-leagues. Nevertheless, there was little doubt in my mind that these were the two best teams in Europe and deserving of this one game shot at the Cup. And they didn’t disappoint. I’m no Chelsea fan by any stretch, but my well documented hatred of Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo (and a beer bet with my dad) set me to rooting for the Blues. The match started off as a grind-it-out English match on a wet pitch, with Man U looking the slightly stronger team over the first 25 minutes. Then they cracked it open with some nice one-two touch passing from Scholes and Wes Brown, who then crossed beautifully to the lethal Red Devil Ronaldo whose big head perfectly redirected the ball into the back of the net. The better team had taken the lead. It looked as if 1-0 would be the score going into the 2nd half, but Chelsea’s Frank Lampard poked one in just before halftime to reset the drama. Chelsea stepped up their game in the second half but both teams were stymied by the keepers and their best friends, the goalposts, which left us at 1-1 at the end of regulation time. Both teams started the first extra period explosively, but no goals bulged the old onion bag, as Tommy Smythe would say. The second period brought more exciting play and a confusing shoving match, which Didier Drogba idiotically took as an invitation to swipe a bitch slap at Vidic. A soccer finger wag and a red card for you DD. Man U was unable to capitalize on their man advantage in the last 3 minutes and the game went to penalty kicks to decide the champion. It’s cliché to say and no, I don’t have a better suggestion on how to end final matches, but it sucks to have it decided by PKs. At least that’s what I thought until the 5th PK taken, which was missed by a certain arrogant punk. Now let the record show that I am officially admitting that Ronaldo is the greatest player in the world right now, so he’s getting his due. But good god almighty do I love it when he fucks up. And once Chelsea put in their 3rd and 4th PKs, it looked as if he was going to go down in history as an epic goat, losing Man U a deserved double on his cocky little hitch move penalty kick. At that point, you could not have convinced me that ending a match in this fashion was a bad idea. But, not to be outdone, John Terry slipped and missed Chelsea’s 5th PK and they went to sudden death PKs, which Man U eventually won on a fine Van Der Saar save. So, I’m right back to thinking that it sucks. But they are the best team in the world in my estimation so it’s fair enough I guess. Plus I’m happy my boy Carlos Tevez got to hoist the Cup. Not his best game, though not for lack of effort, but you know what, Ronaldo? He made his PK.

West Ham United Football Club

As some of you might remember, it was Tevez who led me to the Hammers, only to quickly leave for the big stage that he found in yesterday’s Final, leaving me with an affection for a team from East London that I really didn’t know anything about. Fair play to everyone's favorite scalded Argentian bat, though. It was enough that he saved West Ham from relegation so that I could follow them this year in the best league in the world (giving me an organically selected favorite team, free of any bandwagon accusations). This year was definitely the closest I’ve followed the Premier League in my life, as close as one can follow it without having Fox Soccer Channel in their home anyway. Despite this handicap, I was able to watch a handful of West Ham games and follow them online. The pre-season made me very optimistic about their prospects after their acquisitions of Parker, Faubert, Bellamy, Ljungberg, and Dyer. Unfortunately all of them were injured for large stretches of the season, so the Irons never had their full first roster on the field at the same time. Still, they managed to play an impressive first 2/3 of the season, highlighted by a win over the aforementioned Red Devils, which put them in the top half of the table. Everything was coming up aces for me. I had legitimately chosen a favorite Premier League team with a cool nickname (the Hammers) and a cool secondary nickname (the Irons) to follow, just as they were beginning their rise to prominence. No bandwagon here. I wore my recently acquired WHUFC scarf, hat, and polo shirt proudly. They were even well ahead of city rivals, the hated Hotspurs of Tottenham (they're who I'm supposed to hate, right? Or was it Arsenal? Or Chelsea? Not Fulham, surely. I can't be dissing Team America). Shortly thereafter, the wheels came off the Iron Bus (or sedan, as it were). Back to back to back 4-0 losses destroyed their goal differential and put to rest any dreams of qualifying for UEFA Cup. A couple more unexpected losses to relegation candidates and all of a sudden, the Hammers were in danger of slipping back into the bottom half of the table, and being replaced by the hated Hotspurs (yes, hated). But England international striker Dean Ashton scored late in their last match to earn a draw against the Villains (very cool nickname) of Aston Villa and secure their 10th place top half of the table finish. Not too shabby. The owner has made it clear that he expects them to cut payroll, so they may lose a player or two to transfers, but if the rest of them come back healthy, this should be a formidable team next year, with youngsters Freddie Sears and James Tomkins contributing. Up the Irons!

European Championships 2008

Arguably the second best soccer tournament in the game, the Euros bring all the great play of the World Cup, without the mediocre teams like Saudi Arabia and Trinidad & Tobago. Even the crappy teams are good and have a chance (see Euro 04 when Greece pulled one of the biggest upsets in my memory by winning the whole thing over the perennial superpowers). This year should be even more enjoyable to watch as we'll be spared all the unbearably biased pro-England coverage. I don't care if they have the best league in the world right now (not always the case) and they speak the same language as us; those aren't reasons for them to be the default national team of the American sports fan. Maybe that's the Irish in me popping off, but ha-ha, England. Have a nice vacation. Right. Got that out of the way. So, the action gets underway at noon on Saturday, June 7th with co-host Switzerland taking on Czech Republic, followed by the likely more exciting match-up of Portugal vs. Turkey. (please note that I am not taking any shots at Portugal here and am going into the tournament with an open mind just like I did last World Cup.) See the full Euro 08 schedule here. And here are the groups. Take special note of the group of Death, group C. All 4 teams are ranked in the FIFA World Rankings top 12 teams. Romania, the worst team in the group, is ranked the 12th best team in the world. Wow. The Group C games are on June 9, 13, and 17 and then the runner up in that group will likely face #4 in the world (#2 in Europe) Spain in the quarterfinals on Sunday, June 22. You'd have to think that if a team can make it out of that group and then beat Spain, they'd be looking like a strong contender to win it all. My predictions are as follows:

1A - Portugal
2A - Czech Repub
1B - Germany
2B - Poland (upset. world meet Artur Boruc)
1C - France
2C - Italy
1D - Spain
2D - Sweden (upset. world meet Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

Quarters - Portugal beats Poland, Germany beats Czech Republic (Joba Chamberlain gives his OK), Italy beats Spain, France beats Sweden.

Semis - I'm not sure who's facing who, but I see Portugal and France advancing (or Portugal and Italy if Portugal faces France)

Youro Champo - I guess I gave it away. It's Portugal. Congratulations dewy24, CJ, N-Lo, Somerville, and Westport. You've finally dove it! Er, that's "done it". Sorry about that. The tournament hasn't even started and I'm taking shots already.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can't Spell VTK Without TK


We love you, Ted. All the best. Send best wishes here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BCSDDB Mailbag - Actual Reader eMail

The following is an email I got last night from someone I don't know:

Hey there,

I just discovered and finished reading your graphic novel, "Business
Casual Stag Devil Death Boy." I don't know whether or not it was your
intention, but I found it to be absolutely haunting and disturbing. I
don't really know what more to say of it. There are parts of it that,
actually, I'd rather "un-read" because now there are points in my
daily life that have been somewhat infected by it. Maybe I can
eventually work through this, to go back to seeing my daily routines
exactly the way I have for many years, rather than from this new
terrifying alternate vantage point.

The story is ostensibly about office life - though it *isn't* really, is it?

I started reading the story on Saturday. I was interrupted by a phone
call from a former co-worker. We had worked together in a small
corporate cafe several years ago. We met up for the first time since
2005 in a different small corporate cafe from the one we had worked
in. I told her I liked her new hair color. She told me I made her
feel as if her life wasn't so bad, after all. After two hours of this
sort of thing, I still didn't catch what she had been doing over that
time frame. We basically exchanged thinly-veiled insults and
unrealized unspoken fantasies. We promised to do this more often. We
were both lying, though. We'll probably never reconnect with each
other again - not unless one of us gets a negative prognosis or
something else "life-changing."

Anyway, I went back to reading the story yesterday (Sunday). Life
kicked me in the teeth, though (figuratively speaking, obviously), and
I wound up consoling myself by walking through the closest mall. I
didn't buy anything. No, actually, I did buy something - a fruit
smoothie (I wanted to know what all the fuss was about regarding those
things). It wasn't very good.

This evening, I finished reading the last half of the story.
Actually, before I finished reading it, I should tell you that I fired
an email off to my boss. My supervisor, my manager, my department
head (she goes by all three interchangable titles, plus a few others
that aren't coming to me right now)... Anyway, late this afternoon, I
emailed her my desire to leave my position at the office. I was vague
in my explanation - quite frankly because I had no real explanation.
I told her I felt as if I had a "different calling," not really
knowing what that calling is precisely (but of course I didn't share
this detail with her). Clicked on the SEND button, then clocked out
for the day. I made a beeline for my vehicle and drove home. I live
ten minutes away from work by car. I've been wondering whether or not
she received that email yet. I wish I had been brave enough to tell
her to her face that I can't tolerate working there anymore. It's not
such a bad place, but after five years of such work and finding that
I'm still treading the same waters that were there when I began...

I guess it's not all that important, really. I'll continue living.
Just because I have no idea of what tomorrow will bring doesn't
preclude some vast personal deterioration, right?

And then I came home, took a nap, and then finished reading your
story. I think it had a greater impact upon me because I suddenly
have this surreal feeling surrounding me, having quit my job in so
cowardly a fashion and all. But I also think that I did what was
right for me, at least what was right for me at that specific time.

Thank you for creating such a brilliant work. I should probably go
back and reread it in a few years. I really should. Right now,
though, I don't think I will. I'm going to have enough trouble
sleeping as it is, what with having taken that nap earlier and all...

- [name redacted]

Friday, May 16, 2008


Not free as in free him from captivity, but free as in no charge, no fee, no pennies, no nickels, no dimes. Free. I'm giving the milk away for free and hoping you'll buy the cow down the road. Not literally. I don't want you to buy the cow down the road, owned by my neighbor. I want you to buy my cow, down the proverbial time road. Except I don't have a cow. And you won't be getting any milk when you click on this link. You'll be getting a free copy of Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy in downloadable pdf format. Udderly free.

Here is the deal: BCSDDB is currently being published online for free on Wowio allows authors/publishers (me) to put their works online for free and allows readers (you) to download them for free. And every time the book is downloaded, the author/publisher gets paid 25 cents. How is this possible, you ask? Each book has a sponsor that puts two pages of ads at the beginning and end of the book. The sponsorship deal generates money for both wowio and the author/publishers. Not a bad deal. All you have to do is take a few minutes to register and you can download up to 3 books a day and 30 a month. Comics and graphic novels are just a small part of the pool of books available through wowio. In order to protect the content of the publishers, wowio authenticates the identity of their members, so you'll have to use a non-anonymous email (non gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc.) to register. They don't spam or anything like that (nor do the sponsors), so you can use work or school emails. Or you can give them your credit card number (authentication only; it won't be charged).

If I haven't scared you off, and you fancy a milky treat, please enjoy a free copy of my first graphic novel:

Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy

And if you like it, please consider buying the cow when the print version comes to a store near you in a couple months.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Sorry, non-sports-fan-vtkids. The Celtics are in the playoffs with their best chance of doing something in 20 years; there might be a few extra basketball posts this year.

For those of you sports-fan-vtkids who don't always read the comments section, I just wanted to share this:

Great game from Rondo last night. Maybe all the Rondo critics (Doug Collins, LeBron, Doc Rivers, The Media) will shut the fuck up now about him being an offensive liability. He shot 49% from the field this year. Great point guard career FG percentages:

Cousy = 38%
Isiah = 45%
Jackson = 45%
Stockton = 52%
Magic = 47%
Tiny = 47%

Sam Cassell = 45%
Doc Rivers = 44%

For this team, I'll take Rondo, thank you very much. Critics, stop reading the 2007 preseason scouting report.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dear Boston Celtics,

Dear Boston Celtics,



Thursday, May 08, 2008

Nail, Meet Coffin


"Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening" - Hillary Clinton, 05/07/08 (source)

Nice one, HC. Way to spell out for us exactly what you're doing. This is it, superdelegates. C'mon. After that? You're going to continue to let this drag out? End it for Chrissake. I was elated on Tuesday night and yesterday morning and even spent an hour on youtube looking for the perfect rub-it-in music video. But then I thought that would be like doing a parody video of that dude from a couple posts ago: too easy. Yet, every time I feel like taking it easy on HC, she says something remarkably obnoxious to remind me of why I hate her.

Remember the Titans, Hillary. Remember the Titans.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Orleans Null Set


Things I didn't do this weekend:

1. Eat crawfish remoulade, crawfish etouffee, crawfish monica, gumbo, oysters rockerfeller, soft shell crab po boys, alligator po boys, meaty white beans and ribs, fried okra, red beans and rice, sweet potato pone.

2. Drink $3 Miller Lites in the sunshine at the Fairgrounds or $6 cocktails on the streets of the French Quarter

3. Listen and dance to live zydeco, blues, rock, reggae, country, etc., fat drunk and happy with friends.

4. Enjoy my 9th consecutive Jazzfest in New Orleans. The streak is over.

Things I did do this weekend:

1. Eat jambalaya (made by yours truly) and muffalettas (made by the mostess hostess TL)

2. Drink 50 cent Miller High Lives and free Hurricanes in Cambridge, Lynn, and Sandwich, MA.

3. Listen and dance to live R&B in Lynn and (not live) New Orleans' Brass Band Jazz in Sandwich, fat drunk and happy with friends.

4. Party Jazzfest style in absentia.

I couldn't really afford it last year but went anyways. This year I really couldn't really afford it and had to pass. Since the beginning of the current millenium, the New Orleans' Jazzfest has been a big part of my winters (looking forward to) and springs (enjoying and recovering from). My yearly reboot. I couldn't make it this year but a couple fellow Fest veterans and I decided to have our own celebration. Friday night brought many beers and a disappointing Celtics' game. Saturday brought a stopover at the Lynn Yacht Club for a benefit gig for Joel's cover band (4 hours with Lynn's finest) and late night partying, chowing, drinking, hottubbing, etc at the compound in Sandwich. Sunday brought a New Orleans level hangover, a leftover jambalaya omelette, and an extremely gratifying Celtics' game*. It wasn't New Orleans, but it was a good time. And I won't be sick for a week like last year.

* The Celtics are a total mystery to me right now. How can you win 4 home games by an average margin of 25 points and then lose all 3 road games against a sub-500 team when you had the best road record in the NBA. Is the fix in? The refs did make some pretty shocking decisions in the two of those road games that I saw. And how did Atlanta all of a sudden become the loudest arena in the NBA? Their attendance has been mediocre all year and the last time they were in the playoffs they couldn't even sell out any of their games. I'm thinking they may have been piping in the extra noise. There's really no excuse though. They better get this sorted if they don't want to go 7 with LeBron (or worse). Cleveland's given them fits all year, but I still like them to take it in 6. Hopefully Orlando can give Detroit some problems and stretch out that series. With the exception of the Cavs, I was spot on with my round one predictions (though I was off with some of the predictions of how many games it would take).