Monday, December 2, 2013

They all can't be legen (wait for it) dary

Three weeks ago was my 48th birthday. Over the years that date in my life has had memorable experiences good and bad and I have found out they can happen anywhere, anytime during that date.

Over the past decade, I have attended a con and partied during the second weekend of November but this year turned out different. My 13 year old daughter was with me at the con when I was there and since staying at the hotel was too expensive as I live 20 minutes away, my plan was to take her home by 10:30, go back to the hotel, then party since I have experienced three legendary con parties that weekend over the past ten years and a few other good ones.

Unlike last year, I was able to take that Friday off work but due to bad timing, I aggravated the same injury in my left leg I have had for the past twenty years and spent the night before the con barely able to sleep due to the pain and most of my time there limping around even considering getting a cane to help walking. On Friday and Saturday I got very tired while driving my daughter home and realized I was in no shape to return to the con to party.

Last month, I noticed a flat card from a local casino offering me a free buffet on my birthday. Since everyone at my work now gets an email the first of every month advertising birthdays, I knew I could not work on my birthday without many people reminding me that I was working on my birthday and made sure I had a vacation day left to take it off.

Deciding to not donate blood that date realizing I have to state my date of birth multiple times during the donation, I made it to the casino at 10 AM to enjoy their breakfast buffet. I then realize they don't offer a breakfast buffet on Wednesday and it opens for lunch at 11:30.

I walked the sparse casino floor eventually stopping at an empty craps table. It turns out dice do not care if the person throwing them was celebrating his birthday. I went to a card table which pays like video poker. I found out those cards also did not care it was my birthday (unlike 20 years before when I was dealt a $910 winning hand of four nines in Caribbean Stud) even getting into a frustrated argument with the dealer about the odds of two cards being a pair, two cards of three matching, three cards making three of a kind, and getting a 2 (or any card) out of two cards in one hand, then getting a 2 in four two-card hands in a row like I did. (answers: 17-1, 5.8-1, 425-1, 7.62-1, 3358-1) all of which I figured out at the table with minimal use of a calculator.

Having lost my bankroll the second fastest I ever have at a casino, I still had 40 minutes before the buffet opened. Walking around I pass a three card poker table and see someone was dealt three aces. Anyway, after the people old enough to be my parents who were waiting in line for it to open went through, I presented my coupon and entered the buffet after showing the person my ID.

Being hungry, I attempted to make up my loss in very tasty food and had much more than I should. As I left the casino still bummed about my lack of luck, I was burping as I have done before after overindulging in buffet food. As I was walking to my car, I paused at the railing, leaned over, and vomited much of the buffet contents into the Fox River.

That was not the first time I vomited on my birthday but like the previous two, they were not party related. I figured a chart is in order:

At least that is now balanced.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Those 6 glorious weeks

In September 1987, I saw a help wanted ad in the local paper for a place called Universal Bowling located near downtown Chicago. I was familiar with the place as it was where I got my first bowling ball in 1973 and that it sponsored a local bowling contest that is shown on tv on Dec 25.

I was hired and started to learn how to do everything from measuring and drilling bowling balls to engraving and assembling trophies. After one person retired and another was caught shipping bowling balls to his home, I ended up in the shipping and receiving portion as they were a world wide distributor of bowling merchandise. Anything used for bowling other than the machines and the lanes itself could have been purchased there by bowling centers and pro shops for industrial or resale use.

One advantage of working there at that time was being at the forefront to the new technology in making bowling balls. Once or twice a year, a manufacturer which was introducing a new ball would with Universal hold a seminar for pro shop owners in the Chicago area. One time the company rep asked, "What is the most important factor in determining how much a ball will hook?" The other attendees (many of whom were the top amateur bowlers in the area) were responding with so many factors from ball surface to weight to oil on the lanes and then I blurted out the correct answer, "The bowler."

I was above average at bowling in the leagues but usually only had brief moments of top play. In December 1993, I was looking through one of the books about how to bowl better when I was reading a part about getting the left leg in front during the slide and it showed a black and white picture of someone with his left leg in front of him.

After a couple of weeks focusing on that, all of a sudden the ball was going where I aimed almost every shot and would react strong enough to consistently get a strike when it hit the pocket as opposed to leaving a 7 pin or 10 pin (which I earlier that year left 12 times in three games).

In one of the leagues I was bowling, I had my highest three game score in 5 years there and the other one I had three game scores of 699, 716, and 704 over a 4 week stretch. I was even doing well the times I was bowling in unfamiliar places. Overall I was averaging over 215 per game when otherwise I was 188-190.

After talking to my supervisor about my success, we went to Miami Bowl on Archer and Pulaski one night after work since he wanted to see what I was doing and shot 625 which was my highest ever three game total in that very difficult place to bowl. When I got to my fiancee's house, she wanted to go bowling so I reluctantly went back.

On my second shot there, I felt a pop on the outside of my left leg halfway between my knee and hip. I thought nothing of it and bowled through the discomfort. A few weeks later, it became very painful and I had to see a doctor as I could no longer bowl. After a month of rehab, I was back but was rusty the rest of the year.

That summer, I bowled in a league with many of the people from that seminar and struggled initially. One night I figured it out and actually had the best score among 40 of the best amateurs in the Chicago area for one game. The following week, the leg popped again and this time the leg failed and I ended up falling on the lane to the disgusted look of those people.

Every time since then I tried to bowl in a league or a couple of weeks in a row has involved discomfort, then pain, then failure of my left leg. I could no longer bowl in a league. Though I am aware my injury could have happened any time had I not bowled that night, I still could no longer look at my fiancee without feeling resentment towards her. Bowling to me was not an activity. It wasn't even a sport. It was what DEFINED me. Because of her, that was gone. When I discovered there was another female who was interested in me, I realized it was time to move on.

A couple of weeks ago I heard that former professional bowler Billy Hardwick (considered the second best bowler on the 1960s whom my father bowled against in a tournament once) passed away. I met him one time as he visited Sam Weinstein, the Ten Pin Tattler, who owned Universal Bowling. Most people are more familiar with his son, Chris and his work with the Nerdist Channel. I did Tweet Chris my condolences and on Facebook saw pictures of Billy Hardwick when he was in his prime displayed at the memorial at the bowling center in Memphis that bears his name.

I saw the same picture that was in the book I read almost 20 years ago. Though I met the man, I did not realize it was him as the arthritis that caused him to retire from competitive bowling in his early 30s had taken its toll in 25 years.

While I was waiting to see the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, Chris Hardwick Tweeted he was now the ultimate answer. I was in shock. He was born the exact same day as my ex-fiancee.

As I sit here with the throbbing in my left leg that caused me to limp at a convention 3 weeks ago and not party since the pain from it kept me from sleeping the previous night, I remember those 6 weeks in 1994 when I could answer the question that everyone would first ask of me (Ken. How are you bowling?) with the confidence and optimism and I also feel compelled to ask myself "What if?"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sports go Sports

Garfunkel and Oates are the most famous and best of the two person female comedy music duos of which I have seen a lot of different ones recently. They won the 2012 Logan Award for best original song with 29/31 which the NSFW video can be seen here:

Since my RPG group has switched from Sunday evenings to Friday evenings, (something I prefer since playing until near midnight on Sunday makes things difficult when my alarm rings at 5:30AM) I won't be able to see them perform in Chicago this Friday and it bummed me out a bit. (note: Even though the gaming night was canceled, I was still unable to go as I needed to stay home in case there were deliveries to make and there were two so at least it was not a total loss.)

At least until this video was released last Sunday:

I understand the deliberate ignorance to sports and the catchy phrase "sportsball" but that does not mean I like it. As a son of a former football coach who is writing this in a room with various sports equipment my body does not have much ability to use anymore under pictures of championship teams and banners from winning fantasy sports leagues, it bothers me. Though the last team sports related item I bought for me has the phrase 2005 American League Champs on it and that I stopped playing fantasy sports as they became too time consuming and too easy for me, that does not mean that sports are no longer an important part of who I am.

As the NFL season began last month, I saw numerous people post a meme with a picture of Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music stating this is them not caring about football. I decided to start creating ones with pictures of me playing various sports not caring about things those people like.

Even though I am still a fan of Garfunkel and Oates, this HAD to be made:

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I had to make this.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pizza (and chicken) Time!


 Last May, I stopped at a place called Pastavino's and there was a sign stating "Driver Wanted". I asked and then reached an agreement that I can be on call in the afternoon and evening for deliveries since I live less than 10 minutes away.

Usually I make $5-10 per delivery (including tip) and have between 5 and 10 deliveries per week. Though it does not solve my financial situation (as someone actually thought it did as I need to leave a party to make a delivery) it helps. The only time I made significant money was during the town fair when I was delivering food to their booth all weekend.

I have discovered over the past 4 months that weather will play a part in the number of deliveries I have. When we had a storm last week, I was expecting a call but did not get one.

After the storm passed, I got a call for a delivery which was later than usual. On my way there on Irving Park Road, I notice police lights at Wood Dale Road and a three car accident. There was a traffic cop directing people going my direction to turn south as the road was blocked. Since I needed to go three blocks further east, I was considering going back around to get back on Irving but noticed police were now blocking traffic as I hear a fire truck arrive.

Knowing the streets in the residential area, I knew where to turn to avoid speed bumps and driving around fallen branches and other debris got to the point where there is a street to get back to Irving. However, construction over the railroad tracks that started that day blocked it.

I continued around a large fallen branch forcing me to drive on the curb to pass and notice the street was blocked by a fallen tree. I turned around and knew I had to head south a ways to get to a street that connects to Route 83 so I could head back north to get to Irving to head west.

What usually took a couple minutes took 15. Where was the delivery? On the same street as the closed railroad crossing. Fortunately I noticed the fallen tree was being removed as I passed it on route 83 and was able to make the delivery with a slight detour to get a $3 tip plus the $2.50 delivery fee.

Here is the map:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Luke Ski Con wrapup

It has been about 2 weeks since the awesomeness of Luke Ski Con happened and due to recovery time and the holiday, I finally got the time to post a couple of charts related to it.

This first one shows from where people came to attend. If by any chance you see this and know of a state I omitted, please let me know and I will correct it. (Note: I only reference those who had actual concerts in the chart and did not include those who either did a podcast or appeared on stage in someone else's concert on Saturday.)

The second chart is based on the Luke Ski tribute CD Worst Tribute Ever. This lists the source material for the 25 performance tracks on the CD. The dates listed are those of the album the track covered was originally released.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fictional list of numbers 15-42

As I stated in the first list, this only applies to fictional characters and not those based on real ones.

Starting with 14 and through much of the remainder of the list, there are numbers that I could not find a significant character who wore it. As with the other list, if you see an omission, let me know.

15 - Bart Simpson (Springfield Elementary)
Honorable Mention - Jmmy Chitwood (Hickory HS)

When I saw the Simpsons episode for the first time, I correctly determined that the episode title would be "Bart Star" since (Green Bay Packers hall of fame quarterback) Bart Starr wore number 15. Though Hoosiers is based on a championship Indiana high school team, the movie was not the story of that team but based on it.

16,17,18 - Jack, Steve, and Jeff Hanson (Charlestown Chiefs)
Honorable mention - 16 - Sam Malone (Boston Red Sox), Shane Falco (Washington Sentinels)
Honorable mention - 17 - Doug Remer (Milwaukee Beers), Richie Cunningham (Jefferson High)
Honorable mention - 18 - Curly Howard (hunchback)

All the honorable mentions are good enough characters to warrant being the best at their number but there is only one Hanson Brothers.

20 - Gavin Grey (LSU, Washington Redskins) - The grey ghost - Everybody's All American

22 - Paul Kreue (Mean Machine)
Honorable mention - Moe Howard (quarterback)

Though The Longest Yard was remade, the original is far better.

23 - Kit Keller (Racine Belles)


24 - Roger Dorn (Cleveland Indians)

The movie Major League probably is among the top in producing by number as many major characters than any other sports movie.

26 - Hawkeye Pierce (M*A*S*H 4077th)
Honorable mention - Ricky Bobby

The movie version of M*A*S*H finishes with a football game against an army unit.

28 - The Pie (Grand National Steeplechase)
Honorable Mention - John McIntyre (M*A*S*H 4077th)

The horse ridden by the Elizabeth Taylor character in the movie. It won the race but was disqualified as the jockey passed out after crossing the finish line.

30 - Larry Fine (halfback)

The 1940 Three Stooges episode "No Census, No Feeling" involved them working as census takers and they decide to crash a football game wearing jerseys in an attempt to collect information about everyone there.

33 - Al Bundy (Polk High School)
Honorable mention - Foghorn Leghorn (Tune Squad)

Al Bundy would remind people he scored 4 touchdowns in the 1966 city championship game.

34 - Spearchucker Jones (M*A*S*H 4077th)
Honorable mention - Lou Brown (Cleveland Indians)
also - Elliott Richards (Diablos)

The ringer from the infamous football game. Though Spearchucker was played by former football player Fred Williamson, he was not based on the player. That today the brain surgeon would have had a different name than the one used in the 1970 movie.

37 - Herman Munster (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Honorable mention - Nuke LaRouche (Durham Bulls)

Though The Munsters tv series was a repeat of the same joke, the episode where Herman destroys the baseball field and injures players where the Dodgers train is a classic.

42 - Scott Howard (the Beavers)

I could not find the name of the high school where the Teen Wolf played basketball.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Please help

Even after discovering that my hearing like a color blind person sees really makes it inadvisable to sing, I have always dreamed that I could do the lead vocals on a CD or even a song on one.

In February, Carrie Dahlby told me she is creating a tribute CD for the great Luke Ski to be given to those at Luke Ski con and stated she wanted me to contribute a track. My response was why knowing my limited ability and Carrie got me to reluctantly agree to do it as long as it only appears as a bonus track.

One of my first thoughts was the song Jack Bauer which I have a cameo as a henchman being interrogated. However, I realized that at 6 minutes, 24 seconds, it is way too long for me to attempt. I did figure a way to do a shortened version of the song and after going through the lyrics way too many times in my head recorded the main part of the song in one take spending less than one hour total to record the song. My initial plan was to call it "You Probably Shouldn't Listen to This." but realize it would be best called by its position on the CD, "Track 24". I appreciate Devo Spice, the man who mastered and organized the CD, editing a bonus track into multiple segments allowing mine to be the 24th track (and last one) on the second CD of the 2 CD set.

The con has come and gone and he was shocked by the CD. Though I did not get a chance to perform the track live, I saw a Facebook entry complimenting me on it which was liked by some of the artists who produced much better quality tracks on the CD.

Anyway, this is how I could use help: DJ Particle hosts an Internet show called the Dementia Top 20 that is determined my people voting. The website is Voters have to register on the site before they can vote. The third item under the features part on the page is for the Dementia Top 20 which will show links to MP3 files of past shows and has a link to the ballot for the current show which lists the top 20 from the previous week plus tracks from other sources to consider. In the left column under the name Track 24 is my song. Please vote for that and others if you are so inclined. Clicking the sound bar will allow people to listen to a sample of the track.

If you have any questions please reply or ask me personally. Thank you.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fictional list of numbers 0-13

Earlier, I posted an explaination of what is included and not included. If you see an error or omission let me know and I will add or fix it.

0 - Moron Mountain Monstars (Space Jam)
other - Stan Smith (Langley Falls), Millhouse Van Huesen (Springfield kids football)

Though the Monstars were based on 5 NBA players, they were not voiced by them and they did not have the same jersey number as the players they emulated so I decided to include them

00 - Dick Dastardly (Wacky Races)
Honorable mention - Clark Griswald (Chicago Blackhawks) Willie Mays Hayes (Cleveland Indians)

The ultimate incompetent bad guy. His car had a jet engine and was racing against vehicles made from rock, a tank, one with a steam powered engine, and one with blades for wheels among others. He did not have to cheat to win.

01 - General Lee (Dukes of Hazard)

I always wanted the car to wreck just once after making a jump.

1 - Henry Rowengarter (Chicago Cubs)
Honorable mention - Tommy Hanrahan (Long Island Ducks), Bugs Bunny (Tune Squad),
others - Lucy Draper (Texas State Armadillos) Slagg Brothers (Wacky Races)

One of my toughest choices but the way the Rookie of the Year's name on the jersey ended up on the sleeves overcame some of the horrible things that happened in the movie which could have been made a whole lot better.

2 - Ogie Oglethorpe (Syracuse Nationals)
Honorable menton - Daffy Duck (Tune Squad), Nelson Muntz (Springfeld kids football)

Though the Slap Shot character started the season on a different team and it was never pointed out that he was traded, his introduction during the title game and how he looked was enough it for me.

3 - George Bailey (unknown)
others Kelly Leak (Bad News Bears) Nigel Gruff (Washington Sentinels)

In the movie It's a Wonderful Life, George wears a generic jersey with the number 3.

4 - Steve Stifler (East Great Falls High)
other - The Red Max (Wacky Races)

To my surprise, I could not find any other significant fictional character that wore number 4.

5 - Speed Racer
Honorbale Mention - Ray Finkle (Miami Dolphins), Penelope Pitstop (Wacky Races)

Speed Racer won a race through an active volcano covering 800 miles in 5 hours on one tank of gas. If Pops Racer could head to Detroit to design passenger cars, the world would be a far better place.

6 - Number 6 (The Prisoner)
other - Yosemite Sam (Tune Squad)

He is not a prisoner, he's a free man. Another number with few people.

7 - Harry Potter (Gryffindor Quidditch)
honorable mention - Reggie Dunlop (Charlestown Chiefs), Jake Taylor (Cleveland Indians)
other - Ant Hill Mob (Wacky Races)

Three characters all deserving but one clear choice.

8 - Crash Davis (Durham Bulls)
Honorable mention - Porky Pig (Tune Squad), Dottie Hinton (Rockord Peaches)

Though Crash Davis is the name of an actual former major league player, the player in the movie was not based on him just named after him.

9 - Roy Hobbs (New York Knights)
Honorable mention - Racer X (Speed Racer), Peter Perfect (Wacky Races)
others - Johnny Utah (Ohio State), Bobby Boucher Jr (University of Lousiana)

As much as I despise the fact that the ending of the movie The Natural was 100% the opposite of the book, the way Hobbs looked in that jersey overcomes that.

10 - Lola Bunny (Tune Squad)
other - The Buzzwagon (Wacky Races)

Could not find any other important charater that had that number.

11 - Amanda Wurlitzer (Bad News Bears)

Same as above. No other choice I coud find.

12 - Paul Blake (Texas State Armidillos)
Honorable Mention - Tanner Boyle (Bad News Bears)

Better of once again a few options

13 - Pedro Cerrano (Cleveland Indians)
Honorable Mention - Kenny McCormick (South Park Cows), Wile E. Coyote (Tune Squad)
others - Willie Beamen (Miami Sharks), pipe wrench guy (Take on Me video)

A tough choice but I had to go with the character who had to overcome bad luck to succeed.

As stated before, this is subject to edit.

Fictional numbers explaination

I recently decided to determine the best all time fictonal character player numbes (movies, tv, cartoons) and decided to compile a list. I took suggestions by others and will be posting results over the next couple of weeks.

First, this is what will not be on the list:

1) Any real player number. There have been many stories of real players portrayed by others in movies and tv and as they are real, they do not belong on the list. So Rudy, Lou Gherig, Jackie Robinson and others like them do not count. If a story is based on real life events but the names and details of them are changed, I will include them.

2) A real player (or person) in a fictional story. Michael Jordan, Dan Marino, Tom Brady and others have appeared in stories with fictional characters. The fictional characters would count but the actual players won't.

3) A fictional player portrayed by a real one. Occasionally an athlete will portray a player based on himself sometimes even havng the same number. So the Texas prison football team which had Jerry Rice, Dick Butkus, Barry Sanders among others don't count.

4) Miscellaneous characters. I am only going to include the important ones and not every player on teams. If you believe I missed a significant character from a movie or tv show, let me know.

Note: The list is subject to change. If you see something omitted, let me know and I would change or add it. When there are more than one that wore a number, I will select what I believe is the best and include Honorable mention and others for those not at the top. Since there are over 100 possible entries, I will be making the list in multiple parts. Also if a character wore multiple numbers, I will only include the number worn most or most significantly. There will be a seperate list of those whose number has a letter or character in it.

Monday, April 29, 2013

NHL playoff preview and prediction.

Yesterday the shortened 2013 NHL regular season ended and it is time for what I call the dreaded playoffs to start. Why do I not like them? Over the past three years, the top team in the regular season lost in the first round twice and the one that won had to go to overtime in game 7 to advance. Also in the 45 series over the last 3 years, the lesser team has won 22 of them so home ice advantage has been non existent. Even in game 7 of the NHL finals 2 seasons ago, the road team won.

I have 2 theories: The difference between the teams is small a lucky break or bad play can make a difference. Having playoffs during late spring creates poor ice quality evening the field.

Anyway, I determined who will win by the only logical way I know for this scenario: random chance. I rolled dice with 8 numbers on it 15 times and that determined the winner of each seies and the number of games. Here is the results:

Since the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins had by far the most wins in each conference, I will be rooting for them to meet in the final and not what happened with the dice. I am also glad that unlike last year, every playoff team has at least won 24 or half of its games so at least this year's champion will not have a losing record.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How ABT won the 2013 Masters

In professional golf, when applicable I root for ABT or anyone but Tiger (Woods). It used to be out of pure jealousy for what he had as a kid (and I didn't) but now so he does not beat Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles.
Even though my fast paced, instintive game which feature hitting low hooks was the exact opposite of Nicklaus's deliberate, calculating, high fade style, he was the golfer whom I rooted for many years and I do not want his record beaten.

I was expecting Tiger to win this weekend as it appeared the troubles he had a few years ago are now behind him and that he had won his two previous tournaments. However hole 15 on Friday made the diffrence as he was one shot out of the lead at that time.

With the wind in his face and the pin tucked on a small portion of the green providing little margin for error, trying to hit a long second shot was not advisable so Tiger hit his second shot to a spot on the right side of the fairway to create the best angle to hit his third to the green.

His third shot from 80 yards hit the flagstick on the fly causing the spin on the shot which would normally made it take one bounce and stop to instead back up fast into the water.

He was forced to take a penalty stroke and drop the ball to play his 5th shot. He had three choices: A: The drop area created for use on the hole. B: The spot where he hit his previous shot. C: Any point not closer to the hole on the line from the flagstick to the point where the ball entered the water.

Since Tiger knows exactly how far he can hit his clubs every time and realizing the drop area would create a poor angle to the green, he took his drop a few yards behind where he hit his previous shot actually combining choices B and C so the same hit shot would bounce before the hole and stop next to it and he did to salvage a 6.

Upon hearing a caller (not me) mention that Tiger might have wrongly dropped the ball behind where his previous shot was, the rules committee looked at the recording and decided there was not enough evidence to impose a 2 shot penalty for an imroper drop. However after hearing Tiger's intervew about moving a few yards back t hit his fifth shot, the rules committee met with Tiger and decided the 2 shot penalty would be enforced.

Having his third shot hit the flagstick and spin in to the water where 2 inches either way would have left him a 6-8 foot putt for a four cost him 3 or 4 shots and possibly one more since he was not the same on the 3 holes following that very unlucky break. He finished 4 shots out of a playoff for the title.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The last Marscon 2013 post

The video shown for opening ceremonies is here:

Again, I charted what people did at the convention last weekend.

I included those involved with making it separate from the three that appeared on stage before it was shown.
I only included those who provided live commentary for DSW wrestling.
I included those involved with Flat 29's podcast recording.
I did not include the fan showcase.

Lost a little of integrity within the photo having to constantly update and save after others noticed omissions.

As suggested, I also created a post about those not on stage who helped last weekend:

Table 27 is where the artists have their merchandise for sale.
Audio/video ranges from the performance to the recording and broadcasting of them.
The other programming in dementia track related only.
People donated money to help with travel, room party expenses and programmng.

This chart does not include the long hours spent over the previous 3 months by the great Luke Ski who for the 10th straight year put together the dementia track at Marscon since his oval would be as large as the entire chart.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The first post Marscon 2013 post

As the previous three years, here is a colored map showing where people originated to attend last weekend's Marscon 2013:

Two things of note: The Dementia music guest of honour, Flat 29, flew from England to Bloomington, Minnesota in winter to perform their third ever show and was amazing on and off the stage all weekend.  (Yes, that is why the British version of honor was used.) The only blank map of the area I could find was of England only and not of Great Britain so that is why it does not look as familiar as it should.

The opening ceremonies and the Logan Awards featured puppets of 4 musicians who were not there.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

T-19 days

While listening to the most recent episode of Luke and Carrie's Bad Rapport, it was announced that with the Logan Awards being presented at Marscon, there might be additions to the Marscon music lineup because artists that made the top 5 in voting for their category that were not already in the lineup might decide to make the trip. Since it would not be possible for the dementia track to get more mainstage time, the Dementia Smackdown would be canceled to make room for acts and though it would be sad to see it replaced, I understand. While the shedule was being arranged, I suggested leaving an open time slot in case a nominated artist wanted to attend but the convention wanted something more than artist TBA.

Looking at the list at, it is safe to determine that Eric Schwartz (the bald man with the glasses in the goDaddy ommercials), Garfunkel and Oates, Paul and Storm, and especially Tenacious D would not make the trip and that the other artists behind the videos would not be able to perform. As far as the others, here is how I would rate them being at Marscon 2013:

Devo Spice: (original song In the 80s; parody song Devo, are you ShoEboX?) A+ When hearing that due to a committment made the previous weekend he was not going to attend Marscon, I was very disappointed. Like others who I have not seen in a while, I miss seeing his show and I know my daughter who was too tired to see him at Marscon 2010 would really enjoy it.

Kobi LaCroix: (parody song the Peddler - a Half Assed Translation) A- For the past couple of years, I was hoping he would be able to make the trip. The only reason the grade is not higher is that I am not sure how often he has performed live.

Smashy Claw: (parody song Carol of the Meh) B- The artist behind the act has performed before at Marscon and though his talents will embellish other acts there, his work is not at the level of more accomplished and experienced performers there.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Prop bets 2013

Yes, another SPORTSBALL entry. Sorry. This is who I am.

Tomorrow will officially mark the first time since the mid 1970s that an NFL season will pass without me having a wager on anything being parlay cards, line pools, square pools or fantasy football. Knowing my father's situation and being totally disgusted with how others play fantasy football, I realized the limited financial resources I have should be spent elsewhere.

However like last year, I determined what bets on the Super Bowl I would make if I had the funds so here is the long list:

Baltimore (BAL) +3 1/2 (-110) 220
Total u47.5 (-110) 220
BAL win (+145) 200
Ray Rice MVP (+1200) 100
BAL win 1-6 pt (+400) 100
BAL win 4-6 pt (+1100) 100
First half tie/ BAL win (+1500) 100
Longest TD over 46.5 td (-110) 110
Total TD under 5.5 (-110) 110
BAL over 22.5 pts (-105) 105
San Francisco (SF) under 26.5 pt (E) 100
BAL -3.5 (+210) 100
Total u42.5 (+150) 100
No lead 13 or more points (-110) 110
Pass yd Flaco u250 (-110) 110
Flacco pass TD=0 (+300) 100
Rice rush o69.5 (-110) 220
Rice total yd over 200 (+2500) 100
Kapernick pass yd u232.5 (-110) 110
Kap TD pass=1 (+180) 100
Kap rush TD=Y (+110) 100
First TD=Rice (+750) 100
Rice TD before Crabtree (-115) 115
Rice TD before Gore (+115) 100
Rice TD before Kap (-135) 135
Rice +15.5 rush/ Gore (E) 100
Rice -15.5 rush/Kap (-120) 120
Rice +5.5 rush/Lee Westwood final golf round (-115) 115
Game goes into overtime (+600) 100
BAL total points=23 (+1500) 100
SF total points=17 (+1500) 100

Total wagered $3,670

Total returned $2,170  balance  - $1,500

Note: The safety Baltimore took at the end of the game would have cost me $1,510

Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby got back

Most people associate the title with the Sir Mix-A-Lot song but I don't. Though I heard the original first, I know the soulful, love ballad version created by Jonathan Coulton in 2006. Here is a video of him performing it live with Paul and Storm in 2007:

Within the last 10 hours, it was discovered that on next week's episode of Glee, the high school chorus sings Baby Got Back using Coulton's complete soundtrack and slightly changed lyrics. People who know more about music than I do confirmed it and there is even a version where both Coulton's and Glee's version are played at the same time. Though it was released under a creative commons license and that anyone can download it for free, credit and permission must be granted for commercial use and it was never given.

Wonder what will happen next.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Zemeckis theory

The Houston Astros moving to the American League for the 2013 season now means that the mathematical odds of every team winning a pennant is now 15-1 and the World Series 30-1 including the Cubs who were 34.67-1 having been in a 6 team division.

Updating my chart from 3 years ago, the mathematical odds of the Cubs not winning a title since 1908 by chance are now 217.8-1 and a pennant since 1945 are 464.2-1.

I have also recently seen multiple incorrect posts stating it was the day Marty McFly visited the future in Back to the Future II. It is October 21, 2015.

How do these fit? On the news feed Marty McFly saw in the future Hill Valley, it stated the Cubs won the World Series beating Miami for the title. At the time it was a joke since there was no Miami team in baseball in 1989 and when the area got a team a little while later, it was called the Florida Marlins.

Last year the city of Miami  FINALLY (9 years too late for me) built a baseball only stadium. They also changed the name of the team to the Miami Marlins.

Since Miami is in the National League the Cubs can't beat the Marlins to win the World Series. However, they can beat the Marlins to win the NL pennant to get to the World Series. When the movie was made, there were two playoff rounds in baseball so October 21st was a plausible day for the playoffs to end. After an additional round was added in 1995, the World Series champion is crowned the last week of October if not in the first couple of days of November.

Therefore, I believe that the Cubs will beat Miami in 2015 to win the NL pennant since the 21st is just after the time the National League Championship Series would end and I will make sure I have a bet on it.

Do I hope to win that bet? NO! I never want to see the Cubs win a title. In 1998 and 2007, I made a bet believing the Cubs would make the playoffs and have a chance to win the title and my Cubs fan wife was annoyed that I made a bet for something I did not want to happen.

In September 2003, I won $2,000 in a baseball handicapping contest and my wife said that ruined her enjoyment of the Cubs winning the division title and their whole playoff run which infamously ended. I know that if I collect a bet on the Cubs winning the 2015 NL pennant, it would ruin my wife's enjoyment of the title since I would be correct in my predictions and she hates it when I'm right about anything.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

T minus 8 weeks

Eight weeks from now, I expect to be on my way to Bloomington, MN for Marscon 2013. This will be my 10th trip there for the convention which over the years has become the most special weekend of the year.

A couple of days ago, Luke Ski announced the schedule for the dementia track and as I have done over the past few years listed my opinion on the acts performing there this year which I know have been read by those who will be on stage. For some reason, I am unable to upload the pie chart which seperated by grade.

As I try to do, these grades are on how I feel about the performances on the main stage at the convention and I will list them in cronological order.

Possible Oscar - B: I have enjoyed their music first as part of the Nick Atoms and currently in this arrangement for years. The only reason I can't give an A is the venue itself with its low ceilings in the main stage room causes their music to be overwhelming at times.

Steve Goodie - A-: My recent financial situation makes attending out of town conventions fewer and far between. I am glad he is making the trip to Marscon as his music has evolved over the years to a more edgy tone.

Insane Ian - A-: Another artist who I have not seen since October 2011. My daughter's appreciation for his work has improved my outlook for his act since he parodies songs she knows.

TV's Kyle - B:  As I had hoped, he looked far more comfortable on stage at Marscon last year and know he will put in a solid set.

Worm Quartet - A+: Dammit, I need to see ShoEboX on stage more than once per year. I have been suffering nipple mention withdrawl. When I noticed there was an option for a house concert as a reward for the kickstarter for his new CD, I was considering donating but realized that if I had that money, I would have gone to Deep South Con last June. The situation which caused me to be unable to go there really has me annoyed. Anyway, I am going to take precautions so I won't burn out my voice and comment about it on Mr. Tuesday's recording.

the great Luke Ski - A: A couple of years ago, I would have not been disappointed had Luke decided to not have a Marscon concert since the preparation for his show there was overshadowed by his work in putting the convention together and would often leave him too tired to put on the best show that he could. Fortunately, the video version which debuted last Marscon has allowed him to use less on stage effort while maximizing his talents. I am not sure how well he would have been able to perform last year with his illness without the help from his video setup.

Music guests of honor Flat 29 - B: I overcame my initial disdain for the group due to their Sherlock Holmes bit on their podcast and really enjoy their music and podcast. So why only a B? They have to travel from the London area to Minnesota in winter and though the weather has usually been passable, anything can still happen. I am also concerned about the 7 hour time change and the fact that they have had little on stage time together. As a side note, I recently discovered one of their members was born on the same date in 1985 when the Dolphins defeated the Bears.

The 3rd annual Logan Whitehurst Awards for comedy music excellence - B+: I am not sure how the non hardcore fan audience will respond to this. As stated earlier, I am not happy about having to miss the presentation last year at Deep South Con. I do hope to one year be selected as one of the fan jurors though I understand why I have yet to be included even though the founder of the event stated things would be better in dementia if there were more fans like me.

Max DeGroot - D: In 2010, he came up with a song called Census which fit his personality perfectly and earned the #3 spot for the year on the Dr Demento Show and a Logan Award finalist. However, it is now 2013 and the rest of his material is not on that level.

Power Salad - B+: The Marscon Sunday slot always seems to fit his style of music and I am glad he will be there this year.

Mikey Mason - ?: All I know about his work in the clip from the promo and that Luke Ski considers his act worthy of the main stage.

The FuMP Jukebox - B: I am glad this was recently created as it allowed Insane Ian to show the people at Marscon his worth. There are acts worthy of a couple of songs each and this is the perfect setting for them.

Dementia Smackdown - B: It gets more difficult each year for artists to find unique songs to cover after 10 years and it has shown. Still a fun way for the music to end.