Monday, July 28, 2008

Halloween Parties Are Almost Here!

I love Halloween! It's one of my favorite times of the year, with all the inventive costumes, awesome parties and trick or treating. I remember how much I loved the Halloween season when I was a kid. I was amazed that you could actually walk up to someone's house and that they would GIVE you FREE candy! What a great tradition. When I was about 10, I even went back to a couple of houses in our neighborhood the day after Halloween to see if they would give me candy again. Of course, the didn't--but you can't fault a guy for trying! Anyway, now is the time to start thinking about sending out Halloween invitations if you're having a costume party! Whether you're a boy or a ghoul, Halloween is one of the best nights of the year!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My 2008 NFL Fantasy Team: Am I Dreaming?

Last week I did my 16th annual NFL Fantasy Draft on my annual Houseboat Lowlife Weekend. I won the first year (1992) and again in 1998, but I have not won since. I seem to have lost my touch.

Last season I was in first place but then dropped my last six games (Ouch!)

The main reason for my demise was the fact that my first two picks got hurt.

(RB Larry Johnson and WR Marvin Harrison)

In last week's draft, I chose 7th and was surprised when Brian Westbrook (pictured) was still available.

With my second pick, I selected Terrell Owens. (If he doesn't get suspended for over celebrating or tries to committ suicide, I think he'll have a great year.)

I went with a RB with my third pick and took Lawrence Maroney (I think New England will run more in '08 and that he will get most of the carries)

I then had to go for a QB, so I took Derek Anderson from the Browns (I think Cleveland makes the playoffs this season)

Some of my other risky picks:

Trent Edwards, QB, Buffalo

Frank Taylor, RB, Jaguars

Donte Stallworth, WR, Browns

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons (do you think he'll get to start?)

Hines Ward, WR, Steelers

NY Giants Defense

Any fantasy gurus out there? Let me know what you think of this team.

Sales Make People Happy!

Why is this guy (or girl) smiling ear-to-ear? (Well, he or she would be if they had ears) Well, because they heard about the great sale taking place right now on, the web site where you can find some of the greatest deals in the entire universe. Sales are an everyday thing at; they're the tradition rather than the exception. You can $ave big bucks by accessing this site and ordering things from electronics to jewelry. So, if you want to smile like the person in the photo above, get online and get to right now. To wait would be frivolous and foolish!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Birds of Summer

The parrots have been back across the street feeding on juniper berries just like they do every summer starting around the Fourth of July and ending around the first week of August. They've stripped the bushes pretty well by now. I'll miss them when they don't come around anymore. It's an annual neighborhood event--kind of like our own swallows of San Juan Capistrano. Except these guys (or gals) hang out for five weeks and make the whole place a little brighter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Chihuly Shots

Chihuly at the De Young

I recently went to this exhibition at the de Young museum in San Francisco and it is absolutely incredible. The glass work that this man does is some of the most amazing stuff I have EVER seen. The exhibition runs through the end of September, so you still have some time to see it. I cannot recommend it more!
Chihuly at the de Young is Dale Chihuly’s first major exhibition in San Francisco, and includes eleven galleries of new and archival works representing the breadth and scope of the artist’s creative vision over the last four decades. The de Young Museum is the only venue for this exhibition.
Chihuly at the de Young takes a comprehensive view of the artist’s dramatic, colorful, and textured works that generate instant international recognition. This exhibition represents all the creative periods of the artist’s career, from drawings to single vessels to architectural installations. Included in the exhibition:
Glass Forest #3 recreates one of Chihuly’s earliest installations. Comprised of white milk-glass and neon, the first version of this work was exhibited in New York at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Arts & Design), and has not been viewed in the U.S. since 1972.
Five Chandeliers will dramatically transform an entire gallery. Their titles suggest a feast of color and form, characteristic of one of Chihuly’s most celebrated series: Ruby Red, Turquoise Icicle, Orange Hornet and Eelgrass, Chiostro di Sant’ Apollonia, and Palazzo de Loredana Balboni.
The Tabac Baskets will be displayed in the context of objects that have served as sources of inspiration to the artist.
A 56-foot-long Mille Fiori garden of glass composed of bold forms in vibrant colors provides a powerful conclusion to the exhibition.
(Portions of this article were gleaned from the SF Examiner and the de Young museum Web site.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Diet Pills

The diet pill market is changing all of the time, with new innovations that are taking full advantage of the technology and coming up with healthier, safer and more reliable ways to use the new diet pills to lose weight. I have come across some very effective diet pill solutions and I credit them with helping me lose approximately 30 lbs. since January 1st. These pills are proven and will help take away your hunger and lose that excess baggage. Remember: ALWAYS consult your doctor prior to taking any diet pill. But, once you fine the one that's right for you--good luck and happy weight loss, baby!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Who are the REAL MLB All-Stars?

I am always torn by the selection process that is used to pick the MLB All-Star teams. Since the game is in the middle of the season, a lot of times it obviously comes down to who is having the better first half. Why not take the second half of the prior season into account as well? To me, a sizzling first half does not an all-star make.
Then, you figure in the fan factor and it gets even more confusing. The fans end up picking the name players, even though they may not be having that great a year. So, between the two, you end up getting a lot of players on both squads that probably don’t deserve to be there.
One of the problems is due to the fact that there is such a glut of talent in the American League. For every superstar in the NL, there are two or more in the AL.
Another problem comes from the disparity in interest between big-market and small-market teams, illustrated by how many Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are on this year’s rosters. Deserving players on small market teams don’t get the nod because people (including the managers who pick the players) don’t see them enough. Plus, the media would rather write about Alex Rodriguez and Madonna, as opposed to what a great year Jorge Cantu or Aubrey Huff is having, so people just don’t hear about these rising stars as much.
And finally, there is the “one player per team” rule where every MLB team has to be represented by at least one player. I think that’s dumb, because there are several teams out there right now who aren’t worthy. Thus, a guy who should be there (like Yunel Escobar from the Braves or Ryan Doumit from the Pirates) doesn’t get in.
Here are starting picks for the All-Star game, to be held Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium:

American League
Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins
First Base: Kevin Youklis, Red Sox
Shortstop: Michael Young, Rangers
Second Base: Ian Kinsler, Rangers
Third Base: Mike Lowell, Red Sox
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Rangers
Outfield: Grady Sizemore, Indians
Outfield: Carlos Quentin, White Sox
Starting Pitcher: Justin Duchscherer, A’s
Relief Picher: Francisco Rodriguez, Angels

National League
Catcher: Brian McCann, Braves
First Base: Lance Berkman, Astros
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
Second Base: Chase Utley, Phillies
Third Base: Chipper Jones, Braves
Outfield: Ryan Braun, Brewers
Outfield: Xavier Nady, Pirates
Outfield: Matt Holliday, Rockies
Starting Pitcher: Edinson Volquez, Reds
Relief Picher: Kerry Wood, Cubs

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Water Purifiers: Because Clean Water is a MUST!

How do you really know what's in your drinkin water? To be quite honest, unless you want to pay an water analyst bucko bucks to test your water, you have no idea what's in it. You could be drinking harnmful toxins and not even know it. That is, until you get a huge growth on your face that makes you look like Rosie O'Donnell. But, by then it's really just too late! That's why you should really take the time and make the effort to look into purchasing one or more water purifiers for your home and/or office. Don't let bad water mess with your health--get a water purifier!

Will this Joker Get the Last Laugh?

I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about seeing the new Batman movie. Early reviews are in and people are raving about it. They’re really hyping Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, saying he might have a legitimate shot at winning an Oscar.
Batman has always been my favorite superhero. I grew up on the semi-lame ‘60’s TV series and have seen all of the movies, even the really bad ones starring George Clooney with perky nipples on his bat suit. To me, the classic Batman is the one from the ‘50s. I haven’t been a huge fan of “The Dark Knight” graphic novel series, but this film looks like it might really deliver.
There have basically been two Jokers until Ledger’s version—Cesar Romero, who did the TV show Joker and, of course, Jack Nicholson’s take on the character. But, those Jokers are very different from this new one. They were essentially cackling clowns compared to this dark, brooding “Dark Knight” Joker.
Only time will tell is the Oscar buzz is real or just a knee-jerk reaction to Ledger’s death. Either way, you can be sure that I will be at a midnight screening of this film next Thursday to see what all the hoopla is about!
This appeared recently on
Jack Nicholson's Joker was a blast. Heath Ledger's Joker is as dark and anarchic a figure as Randle McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the role that brought Nicholson his first Academy Award.
Ledger's performance in the Batman tale "The Dark Knight" is so remarkable that next January 22, the one-year anniversary of his death, he could become just the seventh actor in Oscar history to earn a posthumous nomination.
"I do think that Heath has created an iconic villain that will stand for the ages, and of course, I would love to see him get an award," said Christian Bale, who reprises his "Batman Begins" role as the tormented crime fighter. "But you know, to me, you can witness his talent, celebrate his talent within this movie. Anything else is gravy."
Superhero flicks usually are not the stuff Oscar dreams are made of. Yet Ledger delivered so far beyond anyone's expectations that he could end up as the second performer to win Hollywood's top honor after his death.
"He may be the first actor since Peter Finch. He may even win the damn thing," said Gary Oldman, who co-stars as noble cop Jim Gordon in "The Dark Knight," which hits theaters July 18.
Finch is the only person to win posthumously, earning the best-actor prize for 1976's "Network" two months after he died.
News of Ledger's death at age 28 from an accidental drug overdose broke just hours after the Oscar nominations were announced last January, darkening what normally is one of Hollywood's happiest days. The nominations next year fall on the same date because they were moved back two days from their traditional Tuesday announcement to avoid conflicting with the presidential inauguration.
With nothing remotely like the maniacal Joker among his credits beforehand, Ledger had been a surprising choice to fans, some feeling he was too young, others sensing he would not live up to the campy but earnest performance Nicholson gave in 1989's "Batman." (The role earned Nicholson a Golden Globe nomination, though he did not make the Oscar cut.)
As filming progressed last year, word began leaking from the set about the feverishly psychotic persona Ledger was creating.
With a marketing campaign heavily focused on the Joker, the movie trailers that followed presented a Joker with sloppy, ominous clown makeup that looked as though it had been applied in a windstorm. The brief footage revealed a character whose cackling humor cannot conceal the malevolent soul beneath.
"Whatever Heath channeled into, he's found something quite extraordinary," Oldman said. "It's arguably one of the greatest screen villains I think I've ever seen."
Fans were hooked, but some were skeptical when Oscar buzz for the performance started circulating after Ledger's death. Comic-book tales and other big action flicks rarely are taken seriously by awards voters, who are willing to honor them for technical achievements but generally not for acting.
Skepticism dissolved once Warner Bros. began screenings for "The Dark Knight." Will you see 'Dark Knight' because of Ledger?
"Heath Ledger didn't so much give a performance as he disappeared completely into the role," filmmaker and lifelong comics fan Kevin Smith said on his MySpace blog after seeing "The Dark Knight." "I know I'm not the first to suggest this, but he'll likely get at least an Oscar nod (if not the win) for best supporting actor."
Ledger's performance is surpassing even the sky-high expectations hardcore fans have going in.
"He was better than I thought he was going to be," said Bill Ramey, founder of the fan Web site, who caught an advance press screening. "I think he legitimately would deserve an Oscar nomination, not just out of sympathy to his passing, but because he was just fantastic in the movie. ... It's right up there with Hannibal Lecter," which earned Anthony Hopkins an Oscar for "The Silence of the Lambs."
Along with Finch, past posthumous Oscar contenders include James Dean, who was nominated for best actor twice after his death, with 1955's "East of Eden" and 1956's "Giant."
The other actors nominated after their deaths were Spencer Tracy (1967's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"); Ralph Richardson (1984's "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes"); Massimo Troisi (1995's "The Postman"); and Jeanne Eagels (1929's "The Letter").
The aura surrounding Ledger since his death is a sign that, like Dean, he could endure as a mythic figure of talent silenced before his time. Ledger had a best-actor nomination for 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" and was considered a gifted performer just coming into his own.
That will not necessarily improve his Oscar chances. Dean had two shots after his death and lost both.
"The fact that only one actor has ever won an Oscar from the grave tells us that in general at the Oscars, the feeling is when you're dead, you're dead," said Tom O'Neil, a columnist for, an awards Web site. "Maybe the point is that the Oscars are all about hugs. Nobody wants to hug a dead guy."
Oscar voters tend to hand out the trophies for heroic or sympathetic roles, so Ledger's supremely evil characterization could prove a drawback along with the action-genre stigma.
Yet there are notable instances when actors playing villains made such an impression that academy members could not resist voting for them.
Besides Hopkins as cannibalistic killer Lecter, bad guys who won include Fredric March in the title role of 1932's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"; F. Murray Abraham as Mozart's mortal enemy in 1984's "Amadeus"; Kathy Bates as a novelist's demented fan in 1990's "Misery"; Denzel Washington as a corrupt cop in 2001's "Training Day"; and Charlize Theron as a serial killer in 2003's "Monster."
The last two years have brought Oscar wins by Forest Whitaker as brutal dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland," Tilda Swinton as a murderously ruthless attorney in "Michael Clayton," Daniel Day-Lewis as a savage oilman in "There Will Be Blood" and Javier Bardem as a psychopathic killer in "No Country for Old Men."
"When a performance as a villain is that memorable, it can be held up as being that much more special," said Chuck Walton, managing editor of online movie-ticket site "Oscar voters have a lot of respect for actors willing to really let themselves go and inhabit darker roles."
Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are profuse in their praise of Ledger but have been diplomatic about the Oscar talk. Awards publicity generally pads a movie's box-office and DVD receipts, and the studio has cautiously avoided any appearance of profiting from the added attention Ledger's death has brought to the film.
"The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan sidestepped the Oscar question, saying that he was simply happy that early viewers were responding to the performance the way Ledger would have liked.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hit It with Your Best Powershot with Canon

I have a Canon SLR Digital camera, and I have to say that it is one of the very best cameras I have ever owned. I use it for my job as a writer and I have been able to get some beautiful photos (some of which I am displaying here). has some great deals right now on the Canon Powershot--another outstanding product from the fine folks at Canon. If you're going on vacation this summer, you'll want to have a good camera. And guess what--Canon has it and is featuring it online RIGHT NOW!!

Personalized DVDs for young kids...It's the new thing!

If you have a small child, you should jump on the new personalized gifts bandwagon. They have these new DVD's where you can put your child's name into the story. It's proven that children will learn more and learn faster with these amazing new innovative tapes and DVD's. Entertain the little nippers (they go crazy when they hear these things because they're essentially the "star" of the story) and give yourself a little respite from the hectic life that is raising kids. Check out

Don't Get Mad...Get an External Hard Drive!

You see the poor guy in this photo? Why is he so upset? What happened to this sap that has angered him so thoroughly? Well, I will tell you-he didn't buy an external hard drive and he lost a bunch of vital data. Oh, man-this is a tough situation for anyone to be in. So, be smart and do the right thing. Get a reliable, sturdy and high-quality external drive and back up your stuff today. A little free advice from the fine folks at Life On the Edge.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I am a Huge Fan of RAM

Do you have enough ram on your computer? I am asking all of my good friends the same question. Many people are walking around right now and they're dangerously low on ram and they aren't aware of it. They're in deep trouble potentially and are clueless about the fact that they're super short on ram. If you're one of these accidents waiting to happen, you should access a Web site called They have all the ram you'll ever need. They can save your life. So, click on through to the other side and visit them today!

Faucets Go With the Flow

We have a few faucets in our house that need to be replaced and we found a great web site that I feel strongly compelled to tell you about. It's called and they have one of the widest, most complete selection of high-quality, top-tier faucets and other bathroom fixtures. Don't go with a poor quality, badly designed faucet--in the end it will cost you big bucks wehen you have to replace it. Check out www.faucetoutlet right away and get back into the flow of things!