Monthly Archives: January 2013

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Post Boondoggle” Edition

Howdy folks! Sad to think, but this past Saturday evening I was watching the Mardi Gras parades kick off in New Orleans (I was on the corner or Royal and St. Phillip streets, to be exact). Today I’m back in the office watching it snow out the window. Talk about a chilly (or to be more exact, ‘chilling’ reception). Anyways, on with the show!

  1. We’ll get to our picks for the SuperBowl The “Big Game” early next week. But it seems I was right about one thing in my picks. The Har-Bowl talk is already spiraling out of control. (Get it? Football… spiraling?) Anyhow, even through all of that, this one was pretty funny. Only question would have been if John Harbaugh’s (And Jim’s, too) would have fallen for the prank. Calling in as “John from Baltimore probably gave it away though”.
  2. I’m not gonna say that athletes are superstitious, but if the Ravens win after observing this rule, I could see it becoming a trend. Just like it is in hockey. You know, when they bother to play a full season once in a while. And besides… with the roll they’re on leading up to his last game… who’s gonna tell Ray Lewis “No”?
  3. Staying on a football kick a little bit here, I’m going to enjoy watching a lot of the CBS coverage from New Orleans. Because having just been down in the French Quarter, and especially down near Jackson Square, every time I see “CBS Super Bowl Park at Jackson Square” all I’ll be able to think about will be that giant line up of big tractor-trailer rigs that had to navigate down streets that were built barely wide enough for two horses, let alone modern trucks.
  4. 48 hours ago as I write this, I was still in the French Quarter. And yes, in true boondoggle fashion I was already at a bar. But even as I was enjoying the last bit of nice weather I could before heading home, a brutally cold weather system had people talking about what might happen next year with the Superbowl being playing outdoors in New Jersey. I say bring on a blizzard during the game. The reason everyone remembers the “Tuck Rule” game isn’t simply because of that call. It was because the Raiders and Patriots played it in a snowstorm!
  5. Lastly, and you had to know I’d get in on it a bit, too. This whole fake girlfriend story. Now, I honestly think it’s much ado about nothing, other than the fact that it’s such a bizarre train wreck that you can’t stop watching. But just when Don Banks from SI.com tweets “Not sure Te’o could look or sound worse if he was caught with inflatable doll. Dressed as Norman Bates’ mother. This story needs to go away.” Along come the Dallas Stars who just help keep the viral nature going with this classic

Okay folks, that’s it and I’m wrapping it up. Time to chill back and relax for the weekend. So on that note….

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

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Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez Boondoggle!” Edition

Good morning folks and welcome to this week’s Five Thoughts. As the title suggests, you’ve got me in full Boondoggle mode again. Where am I off to now? Well, the title should give a bit of a blatant hint, but if that doesn’t do it, just read on till the end and we’ll remove all doubt. Now, let’s see what’s up for today’s post!

  1. It’s usually not too hard to get people to roll their eyes or see them suffer a shiver running down their spine. All it usually takes is one word. Florida. But well, this time there’s more. As in an 800 person “python challenge” in the Everglades. Now before anyone gets too worried, there is some training required. “The training came down to common sense: Drink water, wear sunscreen, don’t get bitten by anything and don’t shoot anyone.” Now, I’d like to think that “Don’t shoot anyone” would be common sense, but again… Florida.
  2. Under the heading of “Your brilliant plan… You did not think it through”, we bring you the article about the woman who was arrested for stalking herself. There’s that lack of common sense thing again. Surprisingly, this one was NOT in Florida (Or would that be disturbingly?)
  3. The joke has been around for ages. Now Subway is getting drawn into the joke. What am I talking about? Well, it would appear that some of the Subway Footlongs, may not actually be a foot long. And that’s as close to that joke as I’m going to get in this post. I’m sure you can figure it out.
  4. And back down to Florida again, it appears there was what is being described as anywhere from a “Collision” to “clipping of wings” between two jet airliners at Miami International Airport. Good news, no one was hurt. But we did learn something though. What was it? Well, based on this line in the Detroit News article… “The Herald reports the passengers arriving from Argentina were allowed to get off the plane at the gate. The passengers heading to France had to pick up their luggage and wait in long lines to reschedule their flights.” Apparently it’s better to have your plane collide with another once you’ve arrived at your destination!
  5. I have to say I’ve been impressed with my picks so far for the NFL playoffs. The fact that I’m hanging on at the .500 mark is something I find impressive, considering that as much as I enjoy watching football, I don’t follow it all that closely all year long and really don’t know much of anything about the teams in the playoffs – other than most of them could (or did) beat the Lions this year.

Okay, that’s five and I can now set my otherwise occupied mind to some other tasks. Like concentrating on being in vacation mode. You see, after yesterdays picks to see who gets to go to New Orleans, well…. Lets just say I already know someone who’s going for sure. Yep. You see, I know this great place to get some cajun food…. Yep. Beer’s off to New Orleans! Cajun food and zydeco jazz here I come. In the meantime, just like the title of this post says… Let the Good Times Roll! I’ll save the zydeco for when I get back!

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

NFL Picks – Round 3!

Howdy folks! We’re back at it more picks for this week’s NFL playoffs. And we’re even back at full strength. We’ll see if that helps or hinders our performance. Quite a wild one last week, wasn’t it? It broke down like this:

PB  – Well, so much for that perfect record. He went 1 for 4. (5 for 8 overall)
Beer – . 2 for 4. Hey, 2 lucky guesses again! (4 for 8 overall)
Kingkielbasa – Didn’t get any wrong! Or right! Didn’t pick. (0 for 4 overall)

Now, the picks!
AFC
Baltimore at New England

Beer – One of the great draft day steals of all time (possibly the greatest) versus one of the greatest linebackers to play the game. Yep, I’m talking Tom Brady and Ray Lewis. You want star power? This one has it. Come to think of it, every game Baltimore has played in the playoffs has. Indy had Andrew Luck. Denver has Peyton Manning. And you know what they have in common? Baltimore sent them both home for the year sooner than those teams would have liked. Will it happen again this week? Well, if you’d have asked me theoretically before last week I would have said New England wins in a walk. Then the Pats lose their star TE to another broken arm, and with less than a minute to go in the game in Denver – Baltimore ties it up and goes on to win. There might be something to this “Rally ‘round the retiring star” thing. Baltimore with the win.

PB – Welcome back to reality is what my kid said when I went 1-3 last week. Oh well whatcha gonna do especially when I had $0 to be made from my picks. This will be the most physical game of the weekend and could end a streak. The key point is not either defense but one person on offense. If Flacco does what I think he will go back to himself and go all Joe Flacco against that Patriots D this one will be a close or not? Rock, Paper, Scissors for a Patriots victory.

King – Hey, what do you know.  I can actually write about this weeks games.  Sorry about last week folks, didn’t want to look like a sore loser, but it’s end of the year reporting time and budget time (geez King, what could you DO for a living?) and that was crazy.  Anyway, I have to admit that Baltimore looks like a team on a mission.  Are they doing it for the murd–  err Ray Lewis?  Who knows?  I do know you just never count out the Patriots and man, they have been looking good themselves.  Patriots for the win.

NFC
San Francisco at Atlanta

Beer – I completely missed the Seahawks / Falcons game last week. Didn’t see a single down of it. I didn’t realize it was an early start, and it was over before I noticed. And from the sound of it, the Seahawks didn’t realize it was an early start, and still almost ruined my sparkling .500 streak. The Falcons held on though, and now they get to host San Francisco. So, with all that rambling I’m going to go with what I know. In other words, I’m picking the team I saw win with my own eyes, over the team I didn’t see play at all. That’s a valid reason to pick San Francisco, right? And yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that I just predicted a Har-bowl. Yeah, that story won’t get old fast.

PB – Last week both teams showed why the off week for the playoffs is so huge. Kaepernick ran crazy over the GB defense which I said last week would be the key to this game. Make no bones about it this comes down to defense once again. The two biggest thing for this game are the location (In ATL) and Matt Ryan knows he can win a playoff game now. This one will be back and forth with old timer Falcons wide out like Alfred Jenkins asking if he can come out of retirement and go on the field for one play. Lots of scoring with the Falcons heading to New Orleans.

King – Man, Kaepernick looked good in last weeks win.  He was just tearing apart
that Green Bay defense.  As much as I hate to pick them, I don’t see how Atlanta can beat San Fran.  Atlanta’s defense looked beatable last week and they almost were.  Ugh, hate to say it but San Fran for the win.

So there we go! We’ll find out this weekend how we did and start making plans to pick the winner will be in New Orleans.

NFL Picks round 2!

Good afternoon everyone,

Wow, somehow we managed to cobble together a .500 record for our picks last week. It broke down like this..

PB  -(A Steelers fan, so that means in most years he follows REAL football), well, PB gets the gold star. He went 4 for 4.
Beer – A former hockey fan who likes football. When it’s on. 2 for 4. Hey, 2 lucky guesses!
Kingkielbasa – 0 for 4. He was not happy.

On to this weeks picks! (A side note, Kingkielbasa wasn’t able to get his picks in as of this writing. We didn’t throw him out. We’ll try to get him back for the next round.)

AFC
Baltimore at Denver
Beer
– I like Baltimore, and I think they’ve gotten a big lift just from Ray Lewis coming back. EVen if it isn’t “in his prime” Ray Lewis. But there is no way I’m going against Peyton Manning at home in this game. That’s why they played to win all those games, and Denver wins it at home in this one.

PB – Well let’s see now Ray vs. Peyton is how the pundits have billed this one. The last ride for Ray and Peyton’s big comeback year. I don’t agree with this at all. Look at how things have shaped up between these two teams. Baltimore is outstanding at home in the playoffs and not so much on the road. The Broncos are the same way as is most of the NFL. It comes down to this, Denver’s Defense vs. Baltimore’s offense. I see this game going to the Bronco’s with a little extra whining by Ray Rice because he didn’t have more handoffs. Denver in a tight one.

Houston at New England
Beer – I watched a good chunk of last week’s ‘game’ where I had picked Cincinnati over Houston. I remarked after the game that I thought Houston had ‘survived’ the Bengals more than beaten them to won the game. Needless to say, I’m not a big fan of this year’s Texans. Heck, they almost lost to the Lions this year! Needless to say, I’m picking New England.

PB – Gary Kubiak as my friend so wisely stated “survived” last week’s game. I agree with that statement to a point. Thing is the Texans have a solid defense and a dynamic offense with arguably the best all around running back in the league. That said welcome to Bill Belichick’s world. The Patriots have excellent defense, special teams, oh and let’s not forget they have a three time Super Bowl winning QB in a guy some people have heard of named Brady. Magic Eight Ball says New England.

NFC
Seattle at Atlanta
Beer – I had to save picking this game until the end. On paper, it should be a stomp job by Atlanta. The Falcons were 7-1 at home, the Seahawks were 3-5 on the road. Seems easy, right? Except the Seahawks won on the road last weekend. And Atlanta’s Matt Ryan led performances thus far leave it with a record of… 0-3. Still, I think I’m going to go with Atlanta, at home for the win.

PB – Well Seattle won the same amount of playoff games this year as the Lion’s have in over 50 years. Just had to get that little dig in, sorry. Anyway, Russell Wilson is the QB everyone forgot about from the draft but guess what? He is the only one on to the next round in the playoffs. I see this game as a close, hard hitting contest because both defenses are very good. Atlanta is really tough at home and with time off Matt Ryan can be lethal after a break. One team road tested the other has not won a playoff game with their QB. Seattle with a last second field goal.

Green Bay at San Francisco
Beer – This one sees the packers leave the frozen tundra of Green bay for the City by the Bay in San Francisco, where the weather is noticeably better. And so is the resident football team. There’s an awful lot to like about this year’s 49er’s team. And I can see them winning here. That being said, I’m going to go with Green Bay, I just think they find a way to pull it out.

PB – Well Frisco caught lightning in a bottle with a QB change (Sorry Alex Smith). The Niners have time off to prepare for the second coming of The Greatest Show On Any Turf in the Packers offense. Not sure how the Niners will react with a guy starting at QB for his first NFL playoff game. Niners have a really good defense but not as good as last years was. Aaron Rogers is coming home and is excellent as a road playoff QB. It all comes down to GB’s defense and if they can show up. See this one coming down to a Rogers last 55 seconds drive from his 12 yard line and throwing a strike to Jordy Nelson for the game winner. Green Bay on to the Conference Finals.

So there you go folks. Our far from expect picks guesses on who’s going to win this weekend. Let’s see how we do this time. Enjoy the games!

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Need to Pack” Edition

Good morning everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Five Thoughts.  We’re going to try to have our review of our less than stellar picks in last weeks NFL playoff games, as well as our guesses for this weeks games up this afternoon. In the meantime, let’s see what sill stuff is rattling around inside Beer’s brain this morning, shall we?

  1. Well, college football season is pretty much over. I say pretty much because we still get a few ‘bowl’ games like the senior bowl and the like, but the real games are done. And out of all the games comes a very cool story. I sometimes think we get so much bad news all the time (Because that’s what sells) that we forget that every now and then, some people do some very cool things. Like faking an injury in a bowl game. Yes, this time it’s cool. Because by faking that injury he allowed his backup, a non-scholarship ‘Rudy’ type guy, to get into the game. See, there is still some good news in the world. Plus, it’s a Rudy reference that lets me use one of my favorite commercials from the bowl games. Tim Brown and ‘Rudy’ going to the Heisman House.
  2. And while we’re talking about college football and the end of the season, I have to bring this up. I’m I big fan of statistics and measurements, and computerized analysis and all that, but when it comes to sports, well… “That’s why they play the games”. You never know what could happen and it gives you “The eyeball test”. Case in point, the BCS championship game. Alabama in a rout. Yet one BCS computer… picked Notre Dame as the #1 team even after its loss to Alabama.
  3. This past week, David R. Ellis passed away. You might know him better as the director of “Snakes on a Plane”. In one of the more fitting tributes… A large python boarded the outside of a Quantas flight from Australia to New Guinea. And it also gives me a reason to go with… “Snakes on a Plane”‘s signature moment.  (Warning, foul language)
  4. I was drawn to this next headline by the simple absurdity of it., “Sweden seeks 2 Britons for smuggling garlic“. And apparently I’m out of the loop as far as how lucrative and widespread the garlic smuggling industry is. Those guys were smuggling millions of dollars worth of garlic. Here at home, I can by a bulb of garlic cloves for less than a buck – and that’s retail! Just how much demand for garlic is there in Sweden??? I mean, the Swedish Chef never struck me as the type to use a lot of Garlic.
  5. And lastly. I wanted to note there that yes, I have head and noticed that “Hockey is back!”. First off, hockey never left – just the idiotic No Hockey League did with their lockout. And second – no, I am still not going back. And oh, by the way… there are already articles talking about impending labor trouble again before this CBA is over… So yeah, losing most of a season and a bunch of fans… to once again not really fix it for good, totally worth it, right No Hockey League? Me, I’m good without hockey. We have the Superbowl coming up, and then in Mid February come the words to signal the end of winter.. Pitchers and Catchers report. Play Ball! (Or at least… “Do… Baseball!

Okay, that’s five and I need to get going. I have a Boondoggle to start planning. Yes, another one. More details soon. No, I don’t have a problem. I can stop traveling whenever I want. I just don’t want to. I’m not an addict.

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

 

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Back to Work” Edition

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our first Five Thoughts of the new year. We’ve got a bit of a mixed bag here today, but before I get started let me thank Kingkielbasa for filling in for me last week (even though he did take a shot or two at me in his post) while I was out of town. No, let’s see what we can dig up for this week.

  1. It’s been a while since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. And even the great lakes area (Toronto, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Chicago, etc..). But the brunt of the damage was definitely on the eastern seaboard, where it became known as “Superstorm Sandy”. The damage was massive, to the point of being hard to quantify. I think this may help a bit though. Keep in mind, these are runways for commercial air traffic, just to provided some scale / reference. And they are jammed full of cars that were flooded and/or damaged by the storm.
  2. Seeing as how we just posted our NFL playoff picks yesterday (And since we don’t really expect to be picking any NHL playoffs anytime soon) I figured I might talk a little bit more football here today. Last Monday was “Black Monday” in the NFL with 7 head coaches being let go. Now, it’s no secret that our local team is not so good. But I have to laugh. There are people around here who want our coach fired. There is pleading for one of two established coaches that just hit the market to be brought in. The thing is… this two coaches run systems that the fans here just a few seasons back screamed to the heavens to get rid of! Now they want them back? Sheesh!
  3. When I saw this one, I thought maybe it was going to be about the John Lennon Christmas Song at first. But no, it’s not. And I have to say, I’m shocked, SHOCKED! to find out that there was a false article on Wikipedia. I thought if it was on the internet, it had to be true!
  4. I can’t help but go with this one. It seems the Vatican has gone ‘Cash Only’ for tourists after its electronic payment systems were blocked by their processing bank. Now, say what you want about them needing to comply with banking rules an all that, but really – shouldn’t a faith based institution trust you when you say you’re good for it on an IOU? Ba-dum-bum!
  5. I don’t think a rimshot is quite right for this next one. Hey, I know the joke is that Utah is behind the times and all, but when school officials are trying to shut down a school play due to racy lyrics from the Elvis song ‘All Shook Up’ well…  What, they’re stuck in the 1950’s? I didn’t think it was that bad out there. And for them, we don’t go with the rimshot. Fortunately, I do know what to go with. Sorry Utah, You lose.

Okay, that’s five and I’m out of here. I’m off to enjoy the weekend and some football. And just for those folks in Utah, here you go.

Have great weekend folks!
-Beer

NFL Playoff Picks! Round One

Howdy folks!

Since we had some fun last spring making playoff picks for the Stanley Cup, before the No Hockey League went and shot itself in the foot head, we figured we’d take a shot at picking something we’re even more UN-knowledgeable about! We’re picking NFL playoff picks this time! That’s right, football. A sport that’s still being played. So without any further rambling… here we go!

AFC:
No. 6 seed: Cincinnati Bengals at No. 3 seed: Houston Texans
Kingkielbasa – Since I’m out of my element dealing with NHL playoffs and picking NFL playoffs, I’ll try to do my best in not embarrassing myself here.  I personally think the Houston Texans are a fluke here at the number 3 seed, but I don’t think that Cincinnati is that great of a team either.  Cincinnati has won more games of late with a great defense and I believe Houston is going into the playoffs only winning one of the last four games of the season.  Cincinnati for the win.

Beer – This is truly going to prove to be an exercise in me realizing that despite how much football I watch, I really don’t follow the other teams. I know next to nothing about either of these teams. I mean, I can name a few players on each side but I don’t know much about them other than recently reading that after all the firings recently, Marvin Lewis is now the 2nd longest tenured coach in the NFL. I saw the Texans get trucked in some big games this year. I’m going with Cincinnati on this one.

PB – Well it is that time again where we get to pick the winners of the Super Bowl. One thing for sure is I know it won’t be the Lions yet again. As my co-bloggers have so show their knowledge of the AFC I can say I see the NFL in trends. One team is trending downward in Houston losing four of their last five games while Cincinnati won four of their last five. Houston was tough as nails at home and they have a pretty good player on Defense called JJ Watt but I don’t know if he will be enough. Cincinnati is a well balanced on both sides of the ball. This one is a toss up and the coin reluctantly lands with Houston winning.

No. 5 seed: Indianapolis Colts at No. 4 seed: Baltimore Ravens
Kingkielbasa – Hmmmm, this one is a tough one.  I’m totally taking a guess on this one and going for Indianapolis.  Wait for it….wait for it…okay…hopefully, my “Luck” holds out.  Indianapolis wins.

Beer – I really like the Colts, and think they’ve been great story all year long. And this morning I may have even picked them. As I write this though, the news is breaking that Ray Lewis is retiring after the playoffs. Additional fuel for the emotional fire of a veteran, battle tested team that almost went to the Super Bowl last year. We saw the Steelers rally around Jerome “The Bus” Bettis a few years ago, and I think you might see some of that here as well. Baltimore.

PB – This is a crazy one to pick. Remember what happened to a certain team that seemed to get a lot of breaks last year and go owned in the first round in a team from Southeastern Michigan last year? Indy has played really well and had plenty of motivation with Coach Pagano driving this. Let’s not forget the drive for the Ravens of their motivation in the announced retirement of Ray Lewis at season’s end. With the Ravens being home and not having to play my favorite team the Steelers in the playoffs this still can go either way. But home field holds true again and I hate to say it but Baltimore wins a close one.

NFC:
No. 6 seed: Minnesota Vikings at No. 3 seed: Green Bay Packers
Kingkielbasa – Once again, since there isn’t going to be a hockey season this year (not official at this time though), I’m going to apply some of my NHL logic to this pick.  Although Aaron Rodgers can do the “discount double check” all he wants, I think Minnesota is my underdog of the playoffs.  No one expected them to be here at the beginning of the season, heck they were tons of people who thought the Lions were going to be ahead of them, but I feel they have something to prove.  Minnesota for the win.

Beer – This has to be the worst matchup possible for the Vikings. Why, you may ask? Is it because they have to travel to the vaunted “Frozen Tundra”? Well, yes and no. The Frozen Tundra doesn’t seem to be as big a home field advantage in the playoffs as it once was, but yes that is indeed part of the problem. After beating the Packers in the season finale the Vikings travel to Green Bay and the tundra once again to take on the Packers. Again. It’s hard enough to beat a team once in the NFL. To do it twice in a row, when you have to go to their stadium? I don’t like the Vikings chances in this one. Green Bay.

PB – Let me say “Hey Rogers!! Discount Double Check!” Now that’s out of the way this game should be a fun one to watch but not to play. The average temp of Green Bay is what -50C in January? The Vikings are a tough squad that without A.P. would not be the same team for sure and kudos to his recovery from major surgery on his knee. Hope the snow is flying and so will the footballs because everyone knows the Packers are not going to run the ball since they have not had a 100 yard rusher in 43 games. I get to be the spoiler and say believe it or not I hate to say this but the Packers are on a roll with offense and getting healthy on defense. Packers with a last minute TD.

No. 5 seed: Seattle Seahawks at No. 4 seed: Washington Redskins
Kingkielbasa–  This choice is not based on any facts, this is based on pure opinion.  I hate Seattle and dig the Redskins.  I hate Pete Carroll and dig RGIII….so don’t hate me bro…  Washington for the win.

Beer – There’s just something about Seattle. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the distance from me, the lack of coverage they seem to get, etc. but I just don’t have a great feel for them. Of course, even with a bit more coverage, I can say the same about Washington. I’m going with Washington on this one.

PB – Well well well… the game of the weekend that matches two rookie QBs and two coaches I can’t stand. Throw out all that you know about offense and defense and let’s just look at the QBs. One has had more success then the other one and I think that will be the deciding factor. RGIII will be good but Russell Wilson will be just a little better. The Seahawks move on to lose in the next round.

So, there we go! As a quick recap, here are the picks by blogger:
Kingkielbasa – Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Washington
Beer – Cincinnati, Baltimore, Green Bay, Washington
PB – Houston, Baltimore, Green Bay, Seattle

We’ll be back on Monday to make fun of how badly we did.

Enjoy the games!