Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2007 everyone. 2006 had it's ups and downs, but 2007 promises to be a great one. Thanks to everyone for reading LIFE ON THE EDGE and I'll be back blogging on January 3rd!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Chevy Who?

(Chevy Chase has to be the most talentless comic alive today, unless you actually count people like Pauly Shore, Andrew Dice Clay and Carrot Top as comedians. This schmuck is so unfunny that I almost get ill even talking about him. He got a lucky break when he was on Saturday Night Live, where people like John Belushi, Dan Akroyd and Gilda Radner were 1,000 times funnier than he was on their worst days. Think about this -- can you name ONE funny movie Chevy Chase has ever been in? I can name at least a dozen duds right off the top of my head (Can anyone say, "Fletch?") And don't say "Caddyshack," because that film was funny because of guys like Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield, so that one doesn't count. Gerald Ford was an All-American college football player at Michigan, and he tripped and almost fell a couple of times when he was President, primarily because he had a bum knee. To take that and turn it into a series of sketches was unfunny and unfair, but Ford took it in stride. For Chevy Chase's name to be spoken in the same breath as a great man like Gerald Ford is a disgrace and a travesty.)

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 27) - Comedian Chevy Chase, who became famous in the 1970s portraying Gerald Ford as an amiable klutz, praised the former president Wednesday and said they later became friendly in spite of the biting comedy routines. Chase, 63, was an original cast member on the trend-setting late-night comedy television show "Saturday Night Live" and frequently opened the show pretending to be Ford stumbling and falling. The parody in 1975-76 helped reinforce a popular image about Ford's clumsiness, even though the president had been a star athlete in college. "He had never been elected period, so I never felt that he deserved to be there to begin with," the actor said about Ford, who died on Tuesday at age 93. "That was just the way I felt then as a young man and as a writer and a liberal." "Later on we became friends and he was a very, very sweet man," Chase said in a telephone interview from a Colorado ski resort. "He took my wife and I on a whole lovely trip through Grand Rapids to show us where he had been as a child and what not. We kept in touch and he was just a terrific guy." Chase, who has since starred in many film comedies, said Ford helped boost his career, but said another politician could have just as easily become the comedic punching bag in such politically turbulent times. Chase was initially hired as a writer, not an actor, but the humor he wrote mocking Ford helped change that. "I wrote all those Gerald Ford jokes and (producer) Lorne (Michaels) put me on the air," he said. "Doing the stunt falls and stuff ... started me." "As far as making my career, it could have been anybody who had been a Republican after Nixon and pardoned him."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dear Santa: My Sports Christmas Wish List

My Sports Christmas Wish List is short and sweet, for one basic reason. I haven’t really been all that good this past year, so if Santa decides to put coal in my stocking he’ll be totally justified. In the hopes that Old St. Nick will forget my transgressions in 2006, here is what I wish for in the world of sports in 2007.

I wish that….

The City of Los Angeles finally gets an NFL expansion team. It’s a shame and a travesty that one of the country’s biggest markets doesn’t have a football team they can call their own.

Ken Griffey plays a full season without getting injured…again. This poor guy has been on the disabled list eight times since coming to Cincy. How do you break your hand playing with your kids, anyway?

Allan Iverson gets along with everybody in Denver and decides to show up at an occasional practice.

Barry Bonds breaks the all-time HR record outside of SF and gets soundly booed by opposing fans.

Mark McGwire gets into the Hall of Fame “Steroids Wing.”

T.O. grows up and stops acting like a kid who just lost his allowance for talking back to his parents.

The Boston Red Sox and LA Dodgers play in the World Series, payback for all of the aggressive free agent moves they made this past winter.

Annie Duke wins the World Series of Poker because I think she’s hot….and smart – a deadly combination.

Kobe scores 101 one night.

Somebody (Howard or Pujols?) hits five home runs in an MLB game.

An MLB pitcher wins 30 games for the first time since Denny McClain did it in 1968.

The New Orleans Saints show the world that their city is back after Katrina, with a Super Bowl win.

Florida upsets Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game, thereby creating more controversy and provoking serious talks about a playoff series.

The San Jose Sharks get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs (which will be tough with the Ducks playing like they are.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone: An Inspirational Message from LIFE ON THE EDGE


Make it a special Christmas this year. Tell someone you love them. Open lots of gifts. Take a minute to look at your beautiful Christmas tree. Put anger, anxiety and doubt aside for the entire day. Eat like a pig. Laugh your ass off. Smoke a cigar and break wind. The average person in this country only gets about 68-72 Christmas Days per lifetime, unless you happen to get hit by a moped or choke on a turkey bone, in which case the figure is considerably lower. So have a great Christmas (while you can.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On Christmas Vacation

I'm on vacation until January 3rd, 2007. If I get a chance, I might post something here, but my intention is to take a break and just relax. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and thanks for supporting LIFE ON THE EDGE in 2006!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Yuletide Yuckfest Photos


The Yuckfest Band, Chubby's All-Stars, rocked the house this year with Viv Savage, the keyboard player from the legendary band SPINAL TAP. Thanks again to all the members of Chubby's for the best performance yet! I can't wait for the 10th Annual Yuletide Yuckfest next year. It will be a blast, baby! And remember, as Viv always says, "Have a Good Time All the Time!"

Monday, December 18, 2006

The T.O. Show is Getting Old

I have to say that I am so very, very tired of Terrell Owens, his attitude, his issues and the circus he creates wherever he goes. If the man wasn’t an amazing athlete, he’d be just another self-centered, immature punk. T.O. should wake up every morning and thank God that he possesses the ability that he does. Last night during the Cowboys’ 38-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Owens became frustrated when defensive back DeAngelo Hall talked some trash, so he spit in his face. (or is it spat?) This would be shocking if some other player did it, but with T.O., it’s just another incident in a long list of stupid things the man has done. Every time he comes to play for a new NFL team, it’s the same scenario with T.O. – he starts out okay, but within a very short period of time, he’s whining, arguing with teammates and coaches, sulking and then acting a fool. When he was with the San Francisco 49ers, I know for a fact that there were a bunch of guys on that team who wanted nothing more than to kick T.O.’s ass. After his escapades in Philly, The Eagles held a parade leading him right out of town. When it’s all said and done, the NFL will have to allow expansion franchises to enter the league, because at this rate, T.O. will have played for every team currently in existence within the next several years. Pretty soon no one will want to have anything to do with this self-absorbed prima donna, regardless of how good he is at catching passes. One of the main problems is that the guy has the ability to completely destroy team chemistry. He’s just not a team player, bottom line. There were instances in SF when the team would win, but Owens would be in a funk because he didn’t get enough catches. It’s always all about T.O. The man has an ego the size of Texas, and for a while it looked as though Coach Bill Parcells might be able to rein him in. But, that’s basically impossible. Eventually, T.O. will screw the pooch no matter where he’s playing, because football is a team sport and the man is only looking out for himself. His outstanding ability as a wide receiver attracts teams looking for some instant offense. But, once they get to know him as a person, they realize that his instant offense comes with a price that’s instantly offensive – both on and off the playing field. It’s called an ego. T.O. needs a timeout. He needs to learn how to play with others. And he must realize that the football world does not revolve around him. His boorish behavior is getting old and soon he’ll be history in Dallas. Stay tuned for more excitement from T.O. This last incident is just a spit in the well. The Terrell Owens Show is a strange combination of Punk’d, Jackass and Teletubbies. It was entertaining for a while, but the ratings are dropping fast!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Goodbye & Good Riddance to Judith Regan -- She's Our Douche Bag of the Month!

(I was so happy to read this yesterday. Judith Regan has specialized in publishing sleaze for a long, long time, and her complete lack of class finally caught up with her. Regan has been responsible for the trashiest, most low-class pieces of so-called "literature" ever printed. The woman earned zillions of dollars publishing garbage. The O.J. Simpson debacle was the final straw and now she's history. The sad thing is -- she'll probably show up somewhere else pretty quickly, with another publisher that covets her crap, maybe someone like Larry Flynt. There's no doubt about it, Judith Regan is our Douche Bag of the Month!)
NEW YORK (Dec. 15) - O.J. Simpson's would-be publisher, Judith Regan, was fired Friday, her sensational, scandalous tenure at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. ending with the tersest of announcements. "Judith Regan's employment with HarperCollins has been terminated effective immediately," HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman said in a statement. "The REGAN publishing program and staff will continue as part of the HarperCollins General Books Group."
Regan's firing comes less than a month after Murdoch's cancellation of Simpson's hypothetical murder confession, "If I Did It," a planned book and Fox television interview that was greeted with instant and near-universal disgust when announced.
An industry force since the 1980s, when she produced best-sellers by Drew Barrymore and Kathie Lee Gifford for Simon & Schuster, Regan has been labeled a "foul-mouthed tyrant" and the "enfant terrible of American publishing." She is also widely envied - if not admired - for her gift of attracting attention to her books and to herself.
Since 1994, she has headed the ReganBooks imprint at News Corp.'s HarperCollins, an ideal fit for Murdoch's tabloid tastes. Regan has published a long list of racy best-sellers, including Jose Canseco's "Juiced" and Jenna Jameson's "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star," and is the rare publisher of interest to gossip columnists, notably for a rumored affair with former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
She often clashed with her more temperate peers and is widely believed to have had tense relations with Friedman. Last year, Regan moved her offices to Los Angeles, further distancing herself from corporate officials in New York.
Regan has often complained that her more literary side has been overlooked, pointing out that she has published books by Wally Lamb, Douglas Coupland and novelist Jess Walter, whose "The Zero" was a finalist for the National Book Award in November. The Simpson project, announced the day before the awards ceremony, quickly overshadowed the nomination.

Friday, December 15, 2006

This Week's Restaurant Review: Juban in SF


Every so often, I enjoy eating at a restaurant that involves a little more than just sitting there and being served. I call these places participation restaurants. Fondue restaurants and places where you get to grill your own food are two types that come to mind. The standard modus operandi for eating out can get old. You sit down, order some things off of a menu, and then your server brings the food to you. Granted, it’s a tried and true method with a centuries-old track record of success, but it can get stale just the same. The other night we went to a place called Juban, located in San Francisco’s Japantown. Juban is a Japanese barbecue restaurant where you get to grill your own food at the table. This experience can best be described as “the thrill of the grill and the agony of burnt meat.” To some people, this is a cool experience, while other folks go out to eat so that they don’t have to cook, in which case they won’t like Juban. I personally enjoy cooking, so for me it’s like making dinner at someone else’s house. Besides, they do all the prep work and all you have to do is the grilling part. Juban is what they call a Yakiniku House in Japan. The way it works is that you order a bunch of raw items and then grill them. You end up eating things in small batches after they’re done being grilled. The extensive menu features everything from Beef (Waygu: rich in marbling and very tender); Filet Mignon (marinated in miso sauce); Pork Kalbi (pork garnished with lemon); Kobe Beef (these cows are treated better than most people while they’re being raised, living in small cattle condos and eating only the best produce); Beef Ribeye; Yokussen Kalbi (short ribs); Tan Shio (beef tongue, most definitely an acquired taste); Yaki-Shabu (thinly sliced beef); Liver; Ika (marinated calamari): Garlic Steak (cubed steak marinated in a Shio-Negi garlic sauce); Chicken; Ebi (prawns); Hotate (scallops); Lobster Tail; Veggies (including Shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, onions, carrots and bell peppers), and Ninniku (garlic roasted in butter.) At Juban, they advise you to flip the items that you’re grilling just once, don’t ask me why. Since we were rookies, we burnt a few things until we got the hang of it. Because everything is sliced paper thin, it cooks really fast. Also, if you crowd too many items onto the grill, you can get flare ups. Burning down the restaurant is considered very bad taste in Japan. If you order one of Juban’s dinner combinations, you get soup, salad and steamed rice along with your meal. The salad was mediocre and the egg drop soup forgettable. The meat, poultry and seafood are excellent, however. You can tell the beef especially is of high quality. The only criticism I have about the place is that it’s pretty pricey. Dinner for three with tip was roughly $140.00, and we didn’t even order any wine. I could almost hear my credit card screaming out in pain. But, in a tourist trap like Japantown, what do you expect? I imagine that if we ordered the same meal in the country of Japan itself, it probably would have cost more! Juban is at 1581 Webster Street in San Francisco. Their phone number is: (415) 776-5822. I am told they also have locations in Burlingame and Menlo Park.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wow Bao! The Tallest Man in the World is So Cool! He Saved Two Dolphins!


(This is such a great story. This guy stepped up and saved these animals' lives. Bao Xishun isn't just tall, but the man has a huge heart as well.)
BEIJING (Dec. 14) - The long arms of the world's tallest man reached in and saved two dolphins by pulling out plastic from their stomachs, state media and an aquarium official said Thursday.

The dolphins got sick after nibbling on plastic from the edge of their pool at an aquarium in Liaoning province. Attempts to use surgical instruments to remove the plastic failed because the dolphins' stomachs contracted in response to the instruments, the China Daily newspaper reported. Veterinarians then decided to ask for help from Bao Xishun, a 7-foot-9 herdsman from Inner Mongolia with 41.7-inch arms, state media said. Bao, 54, was confirmed last year by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest living man. Chen Lujun, the manager of the Royal Jidi Ocean World aquarium, told The Associated Press that the shape of the dolphins' stomachs made it difficult to push an instrument very far in without hurting the animals. People with shorter arms could not reach the plastic, he said.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bush, Young & Leinart: Proving Themselves in the NFL

Although it’s taken pretty much the entire season to transpire, last year’s Big Three draft picks– Reggie Bush, Vince Young and Matt Leinart -- have stepped up and emerged as top-tier rookies in the NFL. All of them came along with huge expectations, but as anyone with any knowledge of the concept of potential vs. reality can tell you, just because you did well playing college football doesn’t mean you’ll make it in the NFL. As former coach Jerry Glanville once said, the NFL stands for “Not for long” if you can’t adapt to the speed and fierce competition of the Greatest Show on Turf. Just ask guys like Ryan Leaf, Brian Bosworth, Lawrence Phillips, and Andre Ware, just to name a few. First there’s Reggie Bush, the player that the Houston Texans didn’t covet. Not only has Bush brought a new excitement to the New Orleans Saints – he’s also done everything he could to embrace a city that really needs him. He’s selflessly donated his time and money to help the state that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. He gave a local high school a new football field, and has tirelessly made himself available to help the city heal. If his performances against the 49ers and the Cowboys over the past couple weeks are any indication of what Bush is capable of doing in this league -- well, we’re in for a lot of exciting moments. Vince Young, who many NFL teams passed on, has also come into his own, putting the Tennessee Titans on his back and carrying them through a modest winning streak. A one-man show, Young is learning the game more quickly than many people thought he could. The rap on him during last year’s draft was that the man wasn’t that smart. Well, he’s bright enough to win games, and at this level, that’s all that really matters. The man can throw, he can run and he has a football instinct you can’t teach. With the Titans’ recent winning binge, he may have also saved Head Coach Jeff Fischer’s job. Leinart may not be able to save Dennis Green’s job as coach of the Cardinals, but he sure is on his way to making a name for himself in Arizona. It’s “I told you so” time for all the teams who passed on him. Leinart is a prototype QB with all the skills required to take Arizona to the Promised Land. He makes quick decisions, has learned to read the complex defensive schemes in the NFL, and is improving every quarter. Last week, Arizona beat the Seattle Seahawks, the caliber of team that in the past they had no clue against. With a new stadium and young talent throughout their roster, the Cardinals are chirping about next year already. Bush, Young and Leinart – they should have been selected 1-2-3. They’re doing it for their teams, the ones who were smart enough to pick them, while those clubs who passed on this talented and rapidly improving trio are left crying in their beers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Fat Flush Diet -- Will It Work for My Fat Ass?

Right after the new year, I'm starting a diet called The Fat Flush Diet. I sure hope I can do it. A good friend of mine swears by it. I need to do something, because I'm getting fatter again. At one time I was hugely obese (340 lbs.-plus). Then, I started working out (swimming, primarily) and eating less, and in just five months I got down to 270 lbs. Now, I'm back to 280. I have to get back on the right track, and I'm hoping this diet will do the trick. In exactly 21 days, I will embark on this diet. Until then, I will eat like a PIG!! If anyone out there has had success with this diet, please let me know!

DAY ONE (1/3/2007)

Wake up: 8 oz cranwater + 1 tsp psyllium husk

Before breakfast: Hot Lemon water

Breakfast: One piece sprouted bread with a veggie scramble: two eggs, spinach, green peppers, scallions, parsley, and cranwater to drink.

Mid morning snack: ½ grapefruit

20 min. before lunch: 8 oz. cranwater

Lunch: 4 oz. salmon with lemon and garlic; warm asparagus; green salad with broccoli florets and cucumber and Flush dressing. 8 oz. cranwater to drink.

Snack: one apple (men add 2-4 oz. leftover salmon from lunch)

20 min. before dinner: 8 oz. cranwater

Dinner: 4 oz. cider turkey (1 lb. skinless turkey breast cut into 1 in. cubes and cooked fully in 2 tbsp no-salt –added chicken broth. Then add mushrooms, red peppers, and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and cook until veggies are soft. Garnish with parsley if you like.) Add to that steamed zucchini and a green salad with flush dressing, sliced carrots and tomatoes.

After Dinner: Hard boil some eggs for the week.

Before bed: 8 oz cranwater + 1 tsp psylium husk

Fat Flush Shopping List

Most of these items can be found at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s
· Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted grain or essential flax bread
· Unsweetened cranberry juice (Trader Joe’s is best deal)
· Apple cider vinegar
· 32 oz water bottle with measurement markings (REI is a good place for this)
· Spices, seasonings, herbs: cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, parsley
· Fruit (organic): apples, grapefruit, pears, tomatoes, nectarines
· Fresh and Frozen organic berries: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.
· Veggies (organic): Lettuce (romaine or spring mix baby greens), asparagus, artichokes, fresh spinach, peppers (any color), scallions, broccoli, cucumber, radishes, zucchini, mushrooms, baby carrots, Chinese greens, bok choy, water chestnuts, bean sprouts.
· omega-3 enriched eggs
· Organic salmon filets
· Organic lean beef: London Broil or Top sirloin
· Organic turkey breast and organic ground turkey
· Organic low sodium (no-salt-added) veg, chicken, and beef broth
· Lemons and Limes

These items are ready for you to pick up at VitaSport downtown Los Gatos between Double D’s and Pedro’s on N. Santa Cruz Ave.
· GLA supplement (one 1000 mg capsule of borage oil twice daily)
· high lignan organic flax seed oil
· Optional: Cromium Picolonate (follow directions on bottle)
· Optional: L-Carnitine (follow directions on bottle)
· multi vitamin (follow directions on bottle)
· Stevia Plus sweetener
· whey protein (vanilla bioplex is good)
· Powdered psyllium husk

Fat Flush Dressing: Even parts apple cider vinegar and flax seed oil (one tblsp of each will serve two people)+ add garlic (fresh is best) and lemon juice to taste.

Cranwater: In a 32 oz bottle mix 4 oz unsweetened cranberry juice and 28 oz water. Add stevia to taste

Long life cocktail: Add 1tsp psyllium husk to 8 oz. cranwater morning and night. This is a high fiber plant so if you’re on birth control or other prescription medications, take them at least 2 hours before or after the long life cocktail. The fiber can interfere with the absorption of the medication.

Lemon water: 8oz hot water + juice of ½ fresh lemon (or lime if you prefer)
Fat Flush Shopping List

Most of these items can be found at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s
· Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted grain or essential flax bread
· Unsweetened cranberry juice (Trader Joe’s is best deal)
· Apple cider vinegar
· 32 oz water bottle with measurement markings (REI is a good place for this)
· Spices, seasonings, herbs: cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, parsley
· Fruit (organic): apples, grapefruit, pears, tomatoes, nectarines
· Fresh and Frozen organic berries: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.
· Veggies (organic): Lettuce (romaine or spring mix baby greens), asparagus, artichokes, fresh spinach, peppers (any color), scallions, broccoli, cucumber, radishes, zucchini, mushrooms, baby carrots, Chinese greens, bok choy, water chestnuts, bean sprouts.
· omega-3 enriched eggs
· Organic salmon filets
· Organic lean beef: London Broil or Top sirloin
· Organic turkey breast and organic ground turkey
· Organic low sodium (no-salt-added) veg, chicken, and beef broth
· Lemons and Limes

These items are ready for you to pick up at VitaSport downtown Los Gatos between Double D’s and Pedro’s on N. Santa Cruz Ave.
· GLA supplement (one 1000 mg capsule of borage oil twice daily)
· high lignan organic flax seed oil
· Optional: Cromium Picolonate (follow directions on bottle)
· Optional: L-Carnitine (follow directions on bottle)
· multi vitamin (follow directions on bottle)
· Stevia Plus sweetener
· whey protein (vanilla bioplex is good)
· Powdered psyllium husk

Fat Flush Dressing: Even parts apple cider vinegar and flax seed oil (one tblsp of each will serve two people)+ add garlic (fresh is best) and lemon juice to taste.

Cranwater: In a 32 oz bottle mix 4 oz unsweetened cranberry juice and 28 oz water. Add stevia to taste

Long life cocktail: Add 1tsp psyllium husk to 8 oz. cranwater morning and night. This is a high fiber plant so if you’re on birth control or other prescription medications, take them at least 2 hours before or after the long life cocktail. The fiber can interfere with the absorption of the medication.

Lemon water: 8oz hot water + juice of ½ fresh lemon (or lime if you prefer)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bash Brother Getting Bashed

Mark McGwire will never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame because 1.) He took steroids and 2.) He wasn’t honest about it. People as a rule are a pretty forgiving bunch. We forgive crooked politicians, philandering celebrities, drug-riddled athletes and all sorts of crimes committed by people in the news. But, if you aren’t honest and contrite after being caught or exposed for a wrongdoing, folks will hold it against you for life. Some prime examples are Pete Rose, O.J. Simpson and Richard Nixon. Pete Rose lied about gambling until he thought he had a shot at being in the Hall of Fame and getting back into baseball, but by then it was too late. O.J. has never admitted murdering Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, and America hates him now more than ever. And Nixon never clearly explained the Watergate situation and all that erased tape, so he goes down in history as a liar and an unforgiven man. The truth is that you can do crank with gay hookers while watching satanic porno and hitting on pages and people will forgive you if you come clean. But, McGwire chose another route and the end result is that he’ll never reach the pinnacle in Cooperstown. If it weren’t for the steroid issue, the former bash brother would probably be a first-ballot slam dunk selection. He hit 583 career homers, which by itself should be enough to get him there. But, if you analyze his stats a little more closely, there are arguments for his absence in the Hall. He played 16 seasons and got 1,626 hits. There are only 13 players currently in the HOF with less. Then, add in the fact that he hit .263 lifetime, and the case against him becomes stronger. A lot of players with lower averages are in the Hall, including huge names like Harmon Killebrew (.256) and Mike Schmidt (.267). But, both of them played longer than Mac did and had more career hits. When you look even more carefully at McGwire’s career, you’ll see he wasn’t a big doubles guy (252), nor was he much of an RBI man (1,414). The latter is an indication that the man hit a lot of solo dingers and/or wasn’t a real run-producing threat. When questioned by Congress Mark McGwire stated that he didn’t want to “talk about the past.” Big, big mistake. I’m not suggesting he should have pointed his finger and vehemently denied the entire affair like Rafael Palmeiro did, but I think he should have at least admitted to some culpability, like Jason Giambi did. Is anyone harping on Giambi now? Hell no. People think he’s a mensch. And they’ve lost all respect for McGwire, who just eight years ago was America’s darling and baseball’s savior. And that’s why he’ll never get into the Hall of Fame. Mac is destined to stand outside the sacred shrine of baseball superiority for an eternity, peering forlornly through the window, alone and uninvited to the big party. That is, of course, unless the powers that be decide to build a Wing of Shame sometime soon!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Beware of this Internet Scam

There are several companies out there who are scamming people over the Net with so-called "quick surveys". What they're doing is offering these very tempting gifts, like a $500 gift card from Best Buy, free iPODs, flatscreen TV's, etc. In their junk, unsolicited e-mails, they say all you have to do is answer a few questions and the gift is yours. Well, you know what they say -- when something seems too good to be true...Well, the scam part is that they make it literally impossible for you to complete the surveys. And if you don't sign up for stuff, you don't get the prize. Some of the surveys go so far as to request your social security number as required information they need in order for you to complete the survey. I spent at least 35 minutes going through this labyrinthe of surveys and offers for things like Columbia Music Club, Verizon, Coca-Cola, etc. The catch is that even after you're unable to jump through their obstacle course of hoops, and, of course, thereby fail to qualify for their dangling carrot of a prize, you are still signed up for all these offers. These companies now have your e-mail address, your home address, and, in some cases, your home phone and cell phone numbers. So, now you're going to be inundated with sales calls from companies bugging you, all because you went for a prize gift you had literally no chance of getting. I should know better!
The name of the place is:
Exclusive Gift Cards
13900 Jog Road, Suite 203-251
Delray, FL 33446
(561) 674-9700

They are a complete rip-off!! Beware!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

More of My Wacky Artwork



My art is getting mixed responses. The last time I posted some, people commented extensively. Some were surprisingly complimentary. Others were brutally critical. Here are some more of my pieces. Judge for yourself.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Bruination of USC


I still cannot believe that USC lost to UCLA. I’m always torn when the two teams play each other. My mom went to UCLA and my brother recently graduated from Southern Cal. But, there was no way I thought the Trojans were going to fold up like a cheese omelet the way they did last Saturday. It just proves a point – never underestimate the power of a long-time bitter rivalry. UCLA and USC hate each other. It goes all the way back to O.J. Simpson and Gary Beban and the fact that John Wooden’s Bruins basketball team spanked USC for so many years. The two schools are so different. You can see it in their student bodies, alumni and fans. USC people are more corporate. They wear their red sweaters and talk business when they’re not taking football. They’re more grounded and less creative. They are also a little arrogant. Bruin supporters are more whimsical. They’ve got a laid-back attitude, but are still very competitive. They are more likely to get a little wild and do crazy stuff. USC is like U.S. Steel. UCLA is like Google. USC fans drink wine and mixed drinks out of nice cups and eat steak and lobster at their tailgate parties. UCLA fans drink beer and Red Bull out of the can and prefer ribs or barbecued chicken at their tailgaters. This game was a classic example of how teams tend to look past an opponent they don’t respect. The Trojans were thinking about Ohio State in Arizona, not UCLA. They failed to finish, and nobody respects a non-finisher. The biggest surprise is that Pete Carroll let the team lose its focus at exactly the wrong time. You can talk about how Booty blew it, or how the Trojan’s defense didn’t step up, but the bottom line is that I blame the coach in a situation like this. So, now the Trojans get sloppy seconds and have to play a strong Michigan team that will be looking to take Southern Cal’s heads off. I predict a major letdown on the part of USC. They were so close, but they screwed the pooch by not being prepared to play a team that is obviously inferior. When we look back at the biggest upsets in college football history, this one will really stand out. In the end, I don’t think it matters, anyway. I believe that Ohio State is by far the most dominant team out there this season, and that no one ever had a chance to beat them in the championship game. I predict that they’ll spank Florida by at least 14 points. But, to think that USC’s season was essentially ruined by the Bruins is a tough one to swallow – they were so close and yet so far.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This Week's Restaurant Review: McCovey's in Walnut Creek

Sports bars are rarely known for their cuisine. We’re talking burgers, sandwiches, salads and a lot of finger food. People go to sports bars to drink and watch sports. If they get drunk enough or get the munchies, they’ll usually settle for sub-par food, as long as their favorite game is one on of the TV’s in the joint. I have never had spectacular food at a sports bar. Some of it has been pretty decent, but the majority would best be described as very mediocre. That’s why I’m not surprised but I am quite unhappy to say that I recently went to a highly renowned sports bar where the food can only be described as totally inedible. The place I am referring to is called McCovey’s, a trendy spot located in the yuppified section of downtown Walnut Creek. The atmosphere here is remarkable, with one of the most comprehensive collection of baseball memorabilia I’ve ever seen in one location, except maybe at the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame. I am a huge baseball fan, and when I go in McCovey’s I feel like I’m in a baseball museum. They have autographed bats, balls, jerseys, artifacts and artwork that is unsurpassed on the West Coast, in my opinion. But, that’s where the McCovey magic stops. First, let’s address the service. I am not a real complainer when it comes to restaurants, as anyone who reads my reviews knows. Give me decent food and fairly attentive service, and I am a happy camper. But, when service is really bad, I go out of my way to say something about it. If it occurs once, I can be somewhat forgiving, but I have been to McCovey’s 3-4 times to watch games and meet clients, and the service has been atrocious each and every time. The wait staff there seems to specialize is forgetting you exist. They make you wait a good 10-15 minutes before they realize you’re there and then they let you sit with nothing on your table for another 10. When they do take your order, it’s invariably wrong, and then you have to send stuff back and wait all over again. Then, the food is not good. They serve all of your basic sports bar items – from pizzas to burgers to hot dogs and the like. They also try to do some other higher-end items at McCovey’s like Ahi Tuna and Prime Rib. But, overall the food is less than all-star quality. The other day I was in there for lunch and I ordered the Fish & Chips. The fish was undercooked and the fries were limp, even though I requested that they be extra crispy. To add insult to injury, they had to be the most expensive Fish & Chips this side of London – a whopping $16.95! You would think that for that kind of money, you’d at least get something other than cold cod and potatoes. McCovey’s isn’t a total shutout – the beers on tap are decent and the drinks I’ve had were good. But, overall the place is surely not a home run. I would rate it somewhere between a pop up and a bunt single. Go in there to watch your favorite team and then venture down the street where Walnut Creek offers a plethora of superior food alternatives. McCovey’s is located at 1444 North California Avenue in Walnut Creek and their phone number is: (510) 268-7050.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Yuckfest photos




Photo 1: The Marines were out in full force.

Photo 2: Grateful Don kicked ass as lead vocalist for Chubby's All-Stars

Photo 3: Every year, it's great to see Mad Dog, the roadie for Chubby's All-Stars

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Yuckfest Was a Success!

Last night's Yuletide Yuckfest was a complete success. The comics were great, and Chubby's All-Star Band kicked ass. The highlight of the evening had to be the appearance of Spinal Tap's Viv Savage (pictured at right). Thanks to everyone who was there to help Toys for Tots!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Dine and Dash Olympics


(I did a little dining and dashing back in my crazy days. It's actually quite a rush. I remember one time I got my fat ass stuck in a bathroom window trying to flee from a Denny's. This waiter came in, saw me and grabbed one of my legs. I kicked him and the motion sent me right through the window and into the parking lot in the back. My friends were waiting in their Pinto to drive me to safety. Obviously, dining and dashing has developed into an art form in Qunicy, Massachusetts. This poor IHOP owner has decided to run his place using Gestapo-like tactics. If I was a 20-something d&d'er, I'd go to this place just for the challenge. The IHOP logo (pictured here) should say, "Come hungry. But, bring $$!")

QUINCY, Mass. - John Russo has been a victim of identity theft. So when he was asked to fork over a photo ID just to be seated at an IHOP pancake restaurant, he flipped.
"You want my license? I'm going for pancakes, I'm not buying the Hope diamond,' and they refused to seat us," Russo said, recounting his experience this week at the Quincy IHOP.
The restaurant now has agreed to reverse the policy of requiring customers to turn over their driver's licenses before they can order — a rule that was enacted to discourage "dine and dash" thefts.
WCVB-TV in Boston reported the Quincy restaurant's policy had been enacted without corporate approval.
IHOP Corp., based in Glendale, Calif., released a statement Monday night to WCVB that said an employee felt the policy could eliminate the problem of people leaving without paying.
"This was done without the knowledge or approval of management. ... We apologize to any guest who was inconvenienced," the statement said.
Russo said a security guard at the restaurant had "at least 40" licenses in hand when he arrived to eat.
"Identity theft is rampant. I wouldn't want to give my license, with my address or Social Security number to anyone that I'm not familiar with," Russo said. "I'm going just for breakfast."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Barry Bombs

The San Francisco Giants rejected Barry Bonds’ request for arbitration yesterday, which means there’s a very good chance they don’t want him back in 2007. Instead, the team is making a big play for Manny Ramirez, after losing out on bidding wars for players like Soriano, Carlos Lee, Gary Matthews and Juan Pierre. I really can’t blame them. Take away all of the steroid stuff, put the records aside, ignore all of the bad press the guy has received, and the bottom line is that Barry Bonds is no longer an everyday player. He can’t play in day games that follow night games, and last season he would always miss at least one game each weekend. He’s also become a real liability in the field and cost the Giants several games last year with his bad fielding. I live in San Francisco, so I got to see Barry a lot last season, and to be honest, he looks like a man who is sticking around just to break a record. With a career total of 734 home runs, he needs just 22 more to make history and pass Hank Aaron as the all-time leader. But, now it seems like no one wants to have anything to do with the guy. The way I look at it, he brought all of this upon himself. I have been in Barry’s presence a couple of times. I saw him play for Serra High School in San Mateo many years ago. He had an entourage way back then. I met him once when I was producing a TV commercial for Fox Sports and I sat down with him one time when I was covering a charity event for a newspaper I was writing for. Both times he seemed withdrawn, sullen, self-absorbed and acted like somewhat of a jerk, basically. I saw him ridicule people and refuse to sign autographs for little kids. I know he’s had a lot of problems with the press, but when I met him, I was totally willing to approach him like just another human being. He wanted none of it. So, the bottom line is this – where will Barry Bonds end up in 2007. The Oakland A’s showed interest at one point, but now it looks like they are going to sign catcher Mike Piazza instead. The Rangers were in the market a while back, but who knows now. The American League obviously makes more sense for Bonds, because he will be able to help a team a lot more as a designated hitter. Teams might be clamoring for the man a little more if he had shown any signs during his career of being more of a clubhouse leader. A club might sign him so that he could mentor their younger players. But, Barry’s attitude and reputation make that impossible. What on earth could any rookie learn from him? How to distance yourself from your teammates? How to assemble an entourage that will specialize in kissing your rear 24/7? How to be surly and snap at people? These are not the qualities of a person that anyone would ever want to be around, regardless of the profession. I hope Barry Bonds ends up with Kansas City or Tampa Bay. Let him get his tainted record with a last place team, because the man doesn’t deserve anything better. And he did it all to himself.

Friday, December 01, 2006

This Week's Restaurant Review: Consuelo In San Jose


Mexican food can either be magic or tragic. It’s rarely anywhere in between. Some of the best and worst meals I’ve ever had involved cuisine south of the border. I am not a big fan of the gelatinous combinations of cheese, rice, beans and mystery meat that you’ll find at many Mexican eateries in Northern California. I have eaten Mexican food at the most expensive restaurants in the Bay Area and have had horrible experiences, while I’ve also eaten at remote taco stands that can best be described as shacks in faraway places like Ixtapa and Mazatlan, and encountered some of the most delicious food on the planet there. Good Mexican food can cause me to wax poetic, while the bad kind can make me religious -- causing me to fervently worship the porcelain god to the point where I swear off the stuff forever. Fortunately, the Consuelo Mexican Bistro, located in San Jose’s Santana Row, serves the former. This food is muy, muy bueno, to say the least. Consuleo is a beautiful Mexican restaurant with about 120 seats both inside and outside on their well-appointed patio. They serve authentic Mexican cuisine using lesser known ingredients and they do it to perfection. Everything is served tapas style and meant to be shared. The place is lively and busy pretty much all the time, but that never bothers me. My fiancĂ©e hates loud places, but I figure it’s a trade-off situation. If a place is noisy, it usually means that A.) the patrons are chronically hard of hearing or B.) the place serves damn good food. Consuelo has a very high, red-tile ceiling with yellow walls and booths made out of wood and leather. When you walk in, it makes you feel like you’re in a really nice five-star restaurant in Mexico City or Acapulco. The whole atmosphere of the place says “class” – from the iron chandeliers to the beautiful plates and glassware – Consuelo is a feast for both the eyes and palate. The best thing about Consuelo is the tortillas. They make them on the premises and you can tell. They are soft and hot and works of art. The place doesn’t skimp on these little wonders, either – keep asking for them and they’ll keep ‘em coming! We started off with the Guacamole ($7), which they make for you tableside performance style. This incredible concoction consists of avocadoes (duh!) Serrano chiles, onions, tomatoes and a bunch of other amazing fresh ingredients you won’t find in any other guacamole. The Quesadillas ($7) are a flavorful combination of Oaxacan cheese, poblano chiles (semi-hot, so beware, you gringos!), accompanied by a trio of mouth watering salsas (mango, tomatillo and roasted chiles) that yell, “Fresh!” The Ceviche de Pescado ($10) is one of the best I’ve ever tasted, consisting of fresh chunks of white fish, marinated in lime juice mixed with diced tomato, jalapeno chile, onion, green olives, cilantro and olive oil. The soups are also fantastico. Try the Pozole Verde ($9), a chicken and hominy soup served Sinaloa style, with jalapeno chile, tomatillo, spices and topped with radish, avocado and onion or the Sopa de Tortilla ($7). I thought the best tortilla soup was served at a place called Pancho Villa’s in Los Cabos, but this is truly el superior. It’s a robust pasilla and spice puree with tortilla strips, avocado and cheese. For entrees or Especialidades, I recommend the Mole Poblano ($11), one of the legendary dishes at Consuelo. It’s a blend of spices, chiles, nuts and chocolate in a rich and flavorful sauce, served over chicken that is tender and moist. The Chamorro de Cordero ($14) is a Colorado lamb shank marinated in a spice Muscat paste, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection. Something I have every time is the Carnitas ($13), Michoacan style marinated tender chunks of pork, served with a chile guajillo and arbol salsa. If you want side dishes, you’ll have to order them, because nothing at Consuelo comes with the obligatory rice and beans. They have a wide selection of rice dishes, bean selections and more. Consuelo Mexican Bistro is at 277 Santana Row (right across from the movie theaters) Suite 1125 in San Jose. I would recommend always calling ahead for reservations. Their phone number is: (408) 260-7082. There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area, but Consuelo is head, shoulders and several sombreros above the rest. If I could, I’d eat there every week, which would mean my nickname would change back to Gordito in el minuto!