Craig's Blog of Destiny
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    Religious war at its very simplest is killing each other over who has the best imaginary friend.
    - Anonymous

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    Cool or Creepy?

    Lately I’ve come across some things that have me a little perplexed.  The first was this sign during one of my bike rides:

    I’m not sure what to think about touring cemeteries.  At first I thought “eweuuu, that’s a bunch of dead people in there, why would I want to tour dead people, or worse, the place the dead people have settled into.”  But the more I thought about it I began to wonder if I was off – it could be very historically entertaining, I’m an antique fan and generally like old things, perhaps old burial plots could prove interesting…I don’t know, having a hard time coming down on one or the other side of this one, cool or creepy.
    So it was in that mindset that I came across this picture:

     

    Someone must think this is a cool picture, either the photographer or the folks in the picture.  To me, it’s just creepy.  I don’t know why it’s creepy, but it’s creepy.  However, I’m trying to have sympathy for the faction that votes cool on this one.
    Then on another bike ride, an organized one where I rode with lots of other riders, many of whom were men; I saw lots of men wearing bicycle shorts.  And once again, I found myself a little befuddled.   I know how I feel about this guy in the blue ones, but some guys probably look pretty good in bicycle shorts, like guys in football uniforms – I’ve been told by my female friends that those tight pants football players wear has some kind of appeal.  However, unlike football pants, when the guy in bicycle shorts turns around and faces me I’m always a little uncomfortable.  I’m not sure what the deal is, but bicycle shorts seem to ‘present’ a little more than I want to deal with.  So, I don’t know: bicycle shorts, cool or creepy?

    The most recent one was an image I came across while watching tv.  It was Lady Gaga and Cher at the VMAs.   Lady Gaga’s meat dress has me a little flummoxed (is that a flank steak on her head?) but what has me confused is Cher.  In that outfit.  Do I need to remind you that she’s 64?  Yes, 64.  In that outfit.  I just can’t decide –  is that cool, or is that creepy.

     

    Last Comic Standing

    For a few years now I’ve wanted to like the television show Last Comic Standing.  I’ve been interested in the entertainment form (comedy) and follow some of the nationally known comedians, primarily through radio and television appearances.  However, Last Comic Standing just never was able to hook me, struggling through several years of format changes and weak participants.  Never the less, I thought this season might be the one I could get into, primarily because instead of going with a more amateur type approach they used veteran comedians.  In fact, of the ten finalists, I knew of and was quite familiar with four of them, Tommy Johnagin, Rachel Feinstein, Roy Wood Jr, and Laurie Kilmartin.  I actually thought this year the show would rock.  
    So I tried to watch a few times.  It was difficult; the segments were so short it was hard to feel like any of the performances were strong.  For the most part the judges were good, with the exception of the one judge that no one has ever heard of.  The public voted each week on who got to stay, which I initially thought would be a good idea.  However….
    I’m not going to mess with Last Comic Standing anymore.  Last week on their morning radio program Bob and Tom interviewed the final two comics, runner up Tommy Johnagin and the winner, Felipe Esparza.  While it is true that Bob and Tom didn’t know Felipe as well as they know Tommy, I believe the contrast of the two illustrate very well why I’m giving up on Last Comic Standing.  Remember while you’re listening to these clips, Tommy Johnagin lost to Felipe Esparza.

    (Editor’s note:  each of these clips is about 3 1/2  minutes.  If you’d like to hear the entire Tommy Johnagin clip – about 21 minutes – let me know and I’ll get it to you.)

    Bob and Tom – Felipe Esparza segment
    Bob and Tom – Tommy Johnagin segment

    If it makes you feel any better, you can vote for your favorite here:  Click here to take survey

    I Want One

    There’s not much to say here….I met this guy during my bike ride today (you can see the top of my Bike E back there behind him), it’s called a Rhoades Car, a 4 wheel bicycle.  This particularly one is the four seat model, with reinforced tires and cool fenders.   And I want one.


    GFFL 2010

    Dateline – WASHINGTON (the state) – It’s that time of year – time to start thinking about FOOTBALL, and that means it’s time for the second season of the Greyhavens Fantasy Football League. After a successful first season, the league is once again poised to provide fun and excitement for everyone that wants to participate.

    Oddly enough, the original founding teams are all that currently have registered for the 2010 season: Dunedain, The Hand of David and Snowmen.  The league is still hoping to hear from some of last years’ teams, particularly the Bruisers, the Bulldogs, The Burning Legion and last years’ regular season leader the Wurstens6, as well as some new managers that have expressed interest in joining the league.

    There continues to be an emphasis on simplicity in the league, which will continue with the simplified draft which requires managers simply to rate players in order of preference – or even do nothing and rely on Yahoo Sports preference rankings.  Scoring will remain basic with some additional offensive ways to score points (points for receptions and completions, additional points for longer field goals) and some additional defensive points (increased points for interceptions, blocked kicks and fumble recoveries; points for defensive return yards and defensive return touchdowns).

    Team owners will need to register their teams soon in order to have time enough to reorder their draft preferences.  Registration is simple and requires only a yahoo id.  If interested in registering your team, simply send an email to craigthegrey@yahoo.com requesting registration information.  You’ll receive complete, easy to follow directions to register your team.  Any questions can be directed to Commissioner Cottle at craigthegrey@yahoo.com or via any of his web presences (Live, From Wherever I Am, All Cottles Great and Small, or Facebook.

    The GFFL draft will be conducted on or around September 5th.  All managers must be registered before 11:59 pm on September 4th.  Good luck!

    Despicable Me

    Last weekend we went to see Despicable Me, the latest animation project from Universal.  I’ve spent the week since then trying to come up with something to say besides “this is a great movie.”  I haven’t been too successful.

    This movie manages to capture strong emotions in completely absurd situations (the plan is to steal the moon!).  The characters are very, very compelling – we expect to fall in love with the orphan girls, however the level of adoration we have for the minions is off the charts.  Remember Pixar’s desk lamp and how you felt connected to it?  Take that times about ten and you have the effect the minions will have on you.

    Perhaps one of the reasons the movie comes across so well is that although there are many voices in the movie you should recognize, (Steve Carell, Julie Andrews, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Jason Segel) they’re done in such a way as to not at all distract from the movie.  I can’t watch any of the Shrek movies without an image of Eddie Murphy in my head.  And Fiona’s voice is Cameron Diaz’s voice, not Fiona’s.  I can’t see Alan Rickman in anything – including as Snape in Harry Potter movies – without hearing the Voice of God from Dogma.  Not so with Despicable Me.  The characters all have their own identity, there is no distraction from a voice clearly from outside the project.  Not once did I think of Maxwell Smart or Michael Scott, or any of those annoying characters Kristen Wiig does on SNL.

    Go see Despicable Me.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to have your own minion.  It is a great movie.

    Valerie Bertinelli

    Remember Valerie Bertinelli?  Unless you were comatose, you had to have had at least some level of crush on her in your youth.  She was one of the stars of “One Day at a Time.”  She was the cute, non-addicted one.  Of course, that she married Eddie Van Halen only made her more appealing.  For some time she’s been selling us on the virtues of the Jenny Craig diet plan.
    So, my latest sign of the apocalypse:  This month Valerie Bertinelli is on the cover of the AARP magazine.

     

    (I’m still not going to join the AARP….until I’m actually old….which I’m not….despite their regular offers….which have been coming to me for several years now.)

    The Future of Basketball

    I quite enjoy the NCAA tournament every year, but it’s been a long, long time since I paid any attention to the NBA.  If I do happen to catch a game I’m generally disappointed in the level and quality of play.  (Although, as I write this I have the third quarter of the NBA finals game 5 on, and I am somewhat impressed with the Celtics play; not so much the Lakers, their play can only be described as the “all Kobe, all the time, show”)  But this morning I saw something that did catch my attention.  At the turn around point of my bike ride (Marine Park this morning) there were six folks – I can’t be absolutely sure, but I believe it was co-ed – out on kayaks playing “basketball.”  You can’t see it too well (all I had was my phone camera) but the buoys in the picture actually have basketball type rims with a net at the top of them.  The ball they were using was a little smaller than a soccer ball,  easily palmed though they spent just as much time scooping it up and passing it with their oars.  None of them could shoot very well, I saw lots of missed shots, but they were obviously working hard.  Myself and a small crowd of about a dozen heartily cheered every score – at both ends.  I thoroughly enjoyed the fifteen or twenty minutes I spent watching them.

    By the way, in this NBA game that’s on we’re now in the fourth quarter and sure enough, the Celtics are looking as bad as the Lakers do…

    A Little Different

    This morning on my bike ride I rode down to a park I hadn’t been to before, Marine Park.  I decided to check it out because I hadn’t been there before and it marks the finish line for the annual Ski to Sea race which was being run today (much more on that later).  Of course, since it’s a big day for the park there were lots of vendors there, one of which was Pemco insurance.   As I rode by, I noticed that the guy from the Pemco booth took my picture.   I’m not sure how regional Pemco is, but if you’re in the Northwest, you may have heard some of their recent ads, the theme of which is “We’re a lot like you.  A little different.”  (You can check some of them out HERE.) So, his having taken my picture and me remembering the commercials, I had to go back and ask if I might be seeing myself as “little different” on an upcoming commercial.  He was non-committal.  However, he did take another picture of me and gave me a lanyard to wear home.  I just may not be “different” enough for TV…


    The Mural in the Park

    On my bike ride the other day I stopped for a brief rest at Boulevard Park  (one of Kristin and J’Neil’s favorite places to walk and to have hot chocolate), and found myself looking over this mural prominently displayed there at the park.  I was thinking “that’s not a bad piece of art – probably a local artist or artists….”  But then I realized “that’s a clothed bear sitting there.”  Then, “is that a naked guy walking in the background?”  Now I started looking closely and found the guy with a fish on his head.  And then the car in the sky.  The leaves morphing into birds is very MC Esher, but it’s the strange things all over that had me scratching my head.  I spent several minutes on a veritable “where’s waldo” examination of this mural. There’s a hiker with the head of an alligator, what looks a little like a bird wearing a native american head band, a mermaid type thing floating through the sky, lots of strange animals in strange places and lots more.  I just had to share.

    The other night I was flipping channels and came across an episode of Unwrapped on the Food Network (it’s funny how often I end up on the Food Network when I’m “flipping channels”).  I caught a segment on Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  They looked pretty good – reminded me of the Big H at Hires in SLC, which I’ve always considered as having about the best burgers and fries I’ve had.  So I thought I’d check out locations for Five Guys in Washington – on the off chance there was one I could stop into when I’m out and about.  I was surprised to see that “coming soon” there will be one in Bellingham, about 2 miles from our home.  The closest one that is already opened is in Marysville, just off the freeway.  This evening, I happened to be driving by there so I stopped in for a burger and fries.

    My oh my, what a wonderful burger place.  I still rank the Big H as a better burger – primarily because of the bun they use – however, the Five Guys burger is a very, very close second.   The regular burger is two patties of obviously hand crafted hamburger and can be dressed any way you’d like it – including my favorite burger compliment:  grilled onions.  They also have a smaller burger, which is just the one patty.  The fries, again obviously hand cut, were also very good, and very, very plentiful.  The girl at the register explained to me, the “regular cup of fries is enough for 1-3 people,” and indeed, I had had enough fries before I even got the cup – after putting the burger and cup in the bag, he dumped an incredible amount of fries in the bag over the top of everything.

    I was a little surprised to find that there are no “combo” offerings:  you pick your burger, you pick your fries and the drinks are self serve.  The décor was interesting, with bags of potatoes, and boxes of peanut oil prominently featured throughout.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of my father when I saw the bulk peanuts available for guests to open and consume while waiting for their burger and fries.

    I know that many of you out there have already had the Five Guys experience – for those that haven’t let me add my recommendation and encouragement to try them out.  I’m sure I’ll be going back often to that one opening in Bellingham – as it turns out it’ll be open this Monday!

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