Monthly Archives: April 2013

2013 NHL Playoff picks

Okay, I’ll say it.  I really didn’t believe there was going to be a season this year.  I was wrong.  Now that I said that, one of the writers for this blog has stated he has given up on the NHL and he’s sticking to his guns.  So no picks from Beer.  PB has filled in nicely and we have a guest picker from a hit podcast.  This is cool as it’s kind of like our crossover episode they use to have in the golden days of tv in the 70s.  Kind of like our version of Mork meets the Fonz.  Without further intro.. here are  our picks and the picks from the Cigar and Scotch podcast crew.

#1 Pittsburgh vs. #8 NY Islanders

PB – Welcome back to the playoffs Islanders!! That said I believe that (gulp!) I have to make a prediction on the way this one will go. The Pens were active again at the trade deadline but would that translate into a Stanley Cup? The Islanders had to trade for a player that would not play this year in Tim Thomas to meet the salary cap floor. How will this series go? I have to say the Pens owned the Islanders this season but once the playoffs start its anyones game. Damn you Cindy Crosby……Pens in 6

King-This was a weird year with the lockout and shorten season.  Even it without all those items, there is usually a decent number of “upsets” in the NHL.  That’s the one thing I love about this sport, it’s a new season come the playoffs.  I’m thinking that this series might be one of those upset series.  I like the way the Islanders are playing right now and I just think the Pens remind me a lot of the old Wings where they were bringing in high caliber players that never seemed to gel in the playoffs…..Islanders in 6

Cigars and Scotch….Penns take it in 5

#2 Montreal vs. #7 Ottawa

PB – Man who would have thought it? Ottawa losing their Norris Trophy defenseman their #1 goalie for long periods of the season and still make the playoffs? Montreal has played solid all year and can certainly put the puck in the net. This battle of Quebec will be a fun hard hitting one for sure. Ottawa battled hard to get in and Montreal was solid all year. Magic Eight Ball says Montreal in 7

King-Hang on, let me get a sip of my Tim Hortons’ coffee.  Ahhh….great to see two Canadian teams battle it out for Lord Stanley’s cup.  I really hate to see either team get bumped off so early in the playoffs, but that’s how things lined up.  It’s been a stellar year for the Sens and with all the injuries have really battled hard.  Can Anderson steal this series from Montreal?  Can we continue to see the greatest current NHL mustache in the second round?  As much as I wish these answers were yes, I have to say no…Montreal in 6

Cigars and Scotch…Guy Lalfeur comes out of retirement to help the Habs do it in 7

#3 Washington vs. #6 NY Rangers

PB – Washington finally convinced Ovechkin to show up and he put together some solid offensive numbers this year. One of my favorite players turned coach in Adam Oates has shown this team you do it the right way and you will have success. The Rangers had a really interesting season for sure. With Nash is finally back in the playoffs for only the second time in his career so he could be the wildcard for this series. I think this is a good series for sure and I see Ovechkin leading his team to the second round. Caps in 6

King-This one is easy for me.  NY Rangers did not impress me at all this year.  For a team that alot of people assumed were going to the Cup finals, they looked like a really weak team.  I think if it wasn’t for Lundqvist, Rangers would have a hard enough time making to the playoffs.  Plus, regular readers know my mancrush for 8….Caps in 5

Cigars and Scotch…Alex gets his beard to score goals.  Caps in 6

#4 Boston vs. #5 Toronto

PB – One team reeling and one team happy to be back in the playoffs. Anyone remember a trade that happened a few years back between these two teams? I do and you can ask my youngest son the results of that trade because one of his favorite players from the OHL plays for Boston. Toronto is playing………..well like Toronto. Up, down, and all around crazy at times. Both teams slipping a bit lately but I think the Bruins get it together and but with tight contests. Bruins in 5

King-Wait, the Leafs are in the playoffs?  Is this 2004?  Can someone grab me some Swiss Chalet?  Toronto is one of those teams that I absolutely love to hate.  I grew up watching them on Hockey Night in Canada.  Felix Potvin. Wendell “Wendy” Clark. Dougie Gilmour.  But that was back then, not now.  I personally am more interested in this series then any other match up.  I think this will be the best hockey you will see in the first round.  Old time hockey, that is. Unfortunately Leafnation, I’m going with the Bruins this round.  Although I think it’s going to be a harder series than my co-writer.  Bruins in 7

Cigars and Scotch…Boston is too fired up.  Bruins in 6

#1 Chicago vs. #8 Minnesota

PB – Well well well…….Enjoy the playoffs Suter and Parise. Hope you enjoy your early exit. Chicago is playing well from start to finish even with some injuries, the Wild……….well they have Parise and Suter. Guess we will see if money can buy you playoff success eh? Two solid goalies, top notch forwards on three lines, and a Stanley Cup winning coach vs. Parise, Suter and Mike Yeo. It pains me to say this but Chicago in 6

King-If the Leafs are my team I love to hate.  These two teams are teams I just purely…HATE.  I could care less for either of these two teams to advance.  I’m only making my pick on the fact that the owner for the Wild has to be the biggest jerk in pro sports.  I still hold him responsible for this lockout fiasco (yeah, I know Bettman deserves some credit).  Chicago in 5

Cigars and Scotch…Blackhawks sharpen the tomahowks on the NorthStars, I mean Wild.  Done in 5

#2 Anaheim vs. #7 Detroit

PB – This couldn’t have been a better matchup for the Wings. They have been in playoff mode for the last two weeks trying to secure a playoff spot. Finally won a couple back to back in regulation since early in the season. Anaheim is solid on two lines with the latest big money deals for Perry and Getzloff. The Ducks have been solid this season except for when they face the Red Wings. I believe the Ducks will play the win one for Teemu card but I just don’t know if that will translate into wins. They match up well and this could be a fun series for sure. I know my partner will pick the Wings but I just don’t know if they have enough this year. Ducks in 7

King– Well, Detroit..you made it.  I’m guessing that Zeke didn’t want to be the “captain” that broke the tradition of making the playoffs.  I don’t blame him.  I agree with my co-writers opinion that Anaheim is going to play up the “win one for The Finnish Flash” card.  I really don’t have a good vibe on this series.  Part of me thinks that the Wings are playing like some of the teams they’ve faced in the past.  Those hungry teams clawing and fighting to get into the playoffs.  Part of me is not sure they have enough firepower to win this round.  The good news is that in the playoffs you don’t have to score a ton to win, you just have to play solid.  Detroit in 7

Cigars and Scotch….Scotty Bowman enlisted to yell at players.  Wings get payback and take it in 6.

#3 Vancouver vs. #6 San Jose

PB – Well for those fantasy hockey people you know what I am going to say is all about the Sedin twins and their numbers. Oops wrong blog article. Anyway they have a goalie issue in Canuck land……………………….again, oh wait not again but still. San Jose got into the playoffs but man they really looked pedestrian in the final weeks. Both teams battle tested and hard working but one thing stands out to me on this series….Joe Thornton. He had not had success in the playoffs and I just don’t see it happening again this year. Canuckville in 7

King-This is my humble opinion, but I think this is the weakest of the series in the first round.  Vancouver at times looked great and then at other times looked very ordinary.  And before people say, well those ordinary times were Lou’s fault…remember the Schneider had more losses.  True he played more as well.  San Jose just looks like San Jose usually does.  They are just there.  Nothing special this year.  Vancouver riot after 6 wins

Cigars and Scotch….ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz.  Huh.  Flip coin and Sharks pull it out in 7

#4 St. Louis vs. #5 Los Angeles

PB – By far the winner of this matchup will have more bumps, bruises, and walking wounded than any other in my opinion. Both teams are big, skilled, and fast which should translate into a fun series for sure. Dustin Brown will be back from suspension and the Kings are healthy going into the series. The Blues are healthy and ready because Hitchcock said so and we all know if Kenny says it you better do it. One team on the rise in the Blues and one team already knowing how to win the Cup in the Kings. I see this one back and forth and a couple of OT’s……….Kings in 7 in OT

King – This is my second favorite series in this round.  I agree with PB as this will be one hard fought battle.  The Blues are one of those teams that just seems to be on the brink of greatness.  They have a great core and seem to buy into Kenny’s (Yeah, I called him Kenny)plan.  The Kings are quickly moving up my list of favorite teams.  They kind of snuck into the playoffs last year, but man they tore it up.  As an ex-NHL fan use to say (you know that other guy that does most of the writing on this blog), you have to win sometime in the playoffs to get the experience.  It doesn’t magically just appear.  I do believe that this is still the King’s cup to lose.  Kings in 7

Cigars and Scotch…Defending champs sharpen the crown and pull it out in 6. Kings.

Well, there you have it folks.  Check back after this round and we’ll let you know how we all did.  And if we can lie convince Cigars and Scotch that this is fun, we’ll bring you them back for round 2.  In the meantime, check out their podcast:

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Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Back from the Beach” Edition

Happy Friday everyone! Beer’s back from the islands, and boy did he have a good time. More of that later though. For now, let me thank Kingkielbasa for filling in for me last week. Now that I’m back… let’s see what’s going on…

  1. Unless you live under a rock – and even if you do, they probably still found a way to make sure you found out – the NFL draft started last night. I get a kick out of it – for several reasons. First, I like football, and I think it’s fun to watch. Possibly even more fun though, is listening to all the ‘fans’ that either start making Superbowl reservation, or screaming bloody murder about the pick their team just made. And then the very next day come the “grades”. Really? These kids haven’t even gotten to the city where they’ll play yet, and they’re being graded? Good luck with that.
  2. Bouncing back to travel, and no – this isn’t going to be about another of my boondoggles…. Virgin America is basically introducing in-flight dating. Okay, maybe not quite that extreme. But then again, when the feature is rolled out in a video called “Sir Richard Branson’s Guide to Getting Lucky“, well…
  3. Coming back from a trip… I am reminded at just how fast, and how easy it is to become unplugged, and enjoy it. I’ve also come to realize how hard that makes it to keep up with interesting stories to use when writing a post like this at the end of the week. Then you watch a baseball game and see a player decide risking his surgically repaired knee by slamming into the catcher on a frigid cold April night isn’t even remotely close to being worth it. And that’s what Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers did this week.
  4. A fun story in the news this week has been about a giant (foam) head that came floating down the Hudson River. Of course, all the hoopla as I’ve read it has been about people trying to find out where it came from. Meanwhile, I have another question. How do you misplace a 7-foot foam head, and not notice it’s gone missing???
  5. Lastly, I’m not sure why this came up under the finance headlines, but that’s where I found it. And any of you that hate hospitals, and bugs? Welcome to a your latest nightmare. Hospitals – that have bed bugs. Think about it, you’re lying there trying to heal up from whatever injury or illness landed you in a hospital bed to begin with, when you realize those little buggers are starting to bite. Pleasant thought, no? And for those of you whose skin is crawling now? You’re welcome.

Okay folks. That’s five, and I’m off to try to get caught up from not being home last weekend. In the meantime though, as I was celebrating getting to add yet another year to my age while I was on my latest boondoggle, I realized that age is indeed starting to catch up with me. And the twenty-somethings at the bar that night? They learned something too. Just like the Toby Kieth song… “I’m not as good as I once was, But…

Five Thoughts on a Friday -“Hello Everybody”

Hello everybody!  I’ve finally been able to make a return appearance writing for the blog.  So since, Beer is off on one of his famous boondoggles, I’m starting this blog off with a video to just say hello everybody….

1.  Since it’s been a very somber week, I really don’t want
to bring anyone else down any further. However, after reading about this individual I need to let people know about him.  I do have to admit that I’m not sure I’d be hanging out with this guy though going forward. I mean I’ve heard of bad luck, but I think this fella needs to lock himself in his house and not leave for a little while.

2.  It’s a miracle.  How could 2 teams, unknown “experts” and sports fans have not figured out the problem?  Man, I’m glad this guy knew what to do and why is he not employeed by a team somewhere if this is true??

3. Yeah, I got nothing for this clip.  It just cracks me up.

4. You know, you’d think as humans we’d learn from our mistakes. Heck, you’d think that we’d learn from others mistakes even better because we all know we like to say stuff like, “Man, what were they thinking?” In the wake of some dumb advertising choices lately, you’d think you’d really watch your procedures and protocols. I’m guessing this ad agency wasn’t doing that.

5.  Okay, I’d like to take a moment and apologizes to our normal readers.  Those that have been with us through the years know my hatred for Hollywoods remakes.  I’m about to eat crow people….this looks like a fantastic summer “shut the brain down” enjoyable movie that I can’t wait for:

Okay folks.  Sorry as this is not up to the normal Beer standards as he’s off on his boondoggle and I’ve got to get my typing fingers back in the groove of things.  I think I need to finish this post though with a song in honor of the Beer having fun. Hmmm, I think he’ll be using this song title alot:

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Need More Beer” Edition

Howdy folks, and welcome to another edition of Five Thoughts! I’m back again this week to guide you through another silly post. So, let’s get started rambling through another one of Beermaker’s rambling rants about what’s going on in the news of the weird (at least according to Beer’s Brain) this week.

  1. Let’s start with this one. I’m really trying to figure this one out. A woman in Chicago is fighting a $100,000 parking fine. It appears her ex-boyfriend abandoned a car at an airport parking lot, where it piled up the fines over three years. So… you didn’t notice the car was gone for three years? You didn’t report it stolen? One day three years on you suddenly remembered “Oh! I know where we left the car!”??? Or you just wanted to get rid of it, and dumping it an at airport parking lot seemed easier than calling one of those charities that will come get it from your house??? This is definitely one where there’s got to be more to this story.
  2. There are times during everyone’s life when they wonder if someone is even paying attention. Like when someone tries to merge into your lane on the expressway – right into the spot your vehicle is currently occupying. Or, you know… when it turns out that those toy poodles you bought after wanting them for so long… turn out to be ferrets on steroids. Yes, you read that right. Ferrets. On Steroids. Sounds like a bad B movie title (You know, like Snakes on a Plane). They didn’t look odd to you at all when you bought them, right?
  3. Speaking of not paying attention. When I read this article and watched the video I thought most of it was very cool. How else would you describe a close encounter with a huge shark while you’re on a kayak doing some fishing? But then there’s a the part in the video where he brings (what’s left of) the fish up towards and almost onto the kayak. And so I have to ask… were you not paying attention? Did you not see the size of the shark? Did you not notice that it likes that fish, and is roughly the same size as your kayak? I really don’t think you want it coming aboard.
  4. Changing gears… We’ve made no secret that we like old cars around here. And when something comes along that can combine some the vehicles we thought were cool growing up with the TV shows and movies we thought were cool? Even better. And when they’re from Hot Wheels, which means we don’t have to plan on hitting the lottery to afford them? Well, that gets mentioned here. Because This is cool. Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment series memorializes your favorite Hollywood cars. The link is worth a click just for the picture in the article.
  5. Lastly, despite all of my boondoggles I don’t really consider myself a worldly person. I certainly don’t consider myself a diplomat or a peacemaker. That being said..I think I finally have it figured out. I know why North Korea is always so cranky. Turns out, there’s a BEER SHORTAGE in North Korea. I was reading an article about a group that tried to set up a brewery in North Korea and this line caught my eye, “They can’t produce enough for the domestic market”. Don’t they know beer promotes love? And not just the beer-goggle type. I’m talking down to earth “I love you, man” statements.

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m out of here. And then I mean out of here. I mean “Look for a guest writer next week because I’m off on another boondoggle” gone. Yep, As a late winter storm draws a bead on our state I’m drawing a line in the sand. On a beach. Someplace warm. You know, down in that One Particular Harbor.

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Day of Many Titles” Edition

Howdy folks! Beer’s back from yet another boondoggle to bring you this week’s edition of Five Thoughts. A big thank you to PB for filling in for me last week while I was out of town. I came back with an idea of what I wanted to call this week’s post, and then life decided to trow even more ideas at me – until I had more titles for this post than I could use. And that’s how we landed where we did. So, what’s going on today? Well, let’s find out!

  1. A lot going on here in town today as it’s the home opener for the Detroit Tigers. The home opener is virtually a holiday here. Always a huge crowd at the ballpark, and an even bigger crowd downtown outside the ballpark. And that’s great for the team, great for the city, great for almost everyone. One person lost out today though. Last night a young man from the University of Detroit won the NCAA college basketball slam dunk competition. And while Yahoo Sports has a story on it, it was nowhere to be seen on the front pages of the local Detroit paper sites. So I’m putting it here. Because I can.
  2. On a completely different note – I saw this story in the news lately. Talk about a company bound and determined to put itself in bankruptcy. After everything that’s gone wrong lately, when I read a headline that says “Crews corral cruise ship that tore loose“, I could only think of one cruise line. And yep, if you said Carnival you would be correct. I think people would be more willing to cruise on the Exxon Valdez if it were still around than they would be to get on a Carnival cruise at this point.
  3. Staying on the water for a moment. You aren’t gonna need a bigger boat this time. You might however, just give up on going in the water altogether. Especially when you see the nearly 7 foot long, 102 pound barracuda this guy caught. Barracuda are bad news at 10-20 pounds. At 100? Eek. Come to the great lakes folks – our fish don’t (and aren’t capable of it) try to eat you!
  4. Slowly but surely, and despite the massive ice flows I saw on the Straights of Mackinac last weekend all the signs of spring are slowly arriving. The robins are back, baseball is back, and I’m getting the annual hot rod bug. And seeing that ‘Eleanor‘ from “Gone in 60 Secondsis going up for auction certainly isn’t helping.
  5. Lastly, since I just love ‘news of the odd, I have to include this one. Of course, sometimes the odd stuff can be a bit scary. Or hairy. Or in this case, both. Now, what could be both? How about a large species of tarantula, roughly the size of an adult human face? Yeah. That’s what I thought, too. To anyone who has a real fear of spiders? Sorry about the nightmares. You um…. might want to avoid Sri Lanka.

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m off to enjoy the opening day festivities. And really, given the events of today, there’s only one song to go with. I just wish I was sitting out there in Centerfield.

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer