Archive for February, 2009

That other summer blockbuster

Friday, February 27th, 2009

I MUST see this movie with my son this summer.

And the best part of it is, I KNOW he’s going to want to see it too. Now we just have to find a theater that’ll have it, but we will.

I’m guessing it’s going to be along the lines of an old school Godzilla film. But even if it’s not, it’s got “camp” written all over it.

Woohoo… “Big… Man… Japan…” I can’t wait.  I wonder if they make action figures.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other consequence of upgrading WordPress

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Just before Christmas 2008, we updated this blog from WordPress 2.1 to WordPress 2.7.  One consequence was the insertion of nearly a dozen ” Â ” characters into each of the existing posts on our site.

We thought we’d cleaned them all out, but it came to our attention last night that we had missed quite a few. Hopefully they are all gone now.

Another music quotation for you all to mull over: “I don’t want the world, I just want your half.” (Ana Ng by They Might Be Giants)

That other bit of cosplay

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

No pic of me available (sorry), but I have to say that the shirt I was wearing today made me look like Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman from Spiderman 3.

I should admit, he’s got me beat a little bit on the physique, but from a distance and with me sucking in the stomach/puffing out the chest… I am Flint Marko, aka “the Sandman,” when I wear that shirt.

Haha, um, maybe I shouldn’t exactly be bragging about that.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other bar fight that did NOT happen

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Hello 2 AM.

I find myself not sleeping, again. I can’t really explain why. Too much on my mind, I guess… it happens a lot. And while you would think “go vent on your blog” is an answer, it’s really not. These demons I’ve got to wrestle with on my own, and so there you go… 2 AM comes (again) and I’m sitting awake.

I could work on wrapping up my reread of the Watchmen, but I’m not really in the mood.

I’ve got plenty of “organizing” I need to do (soon), but no, that’s not going to do much more than frustrate me further.

I could work on various pet projects I’ve got in mind, but I’m somewhat limited by the time it is. Maybe if I’m still up later, I’ll work on a few.

No, I think tonight I’ll share the events of Thursday night. [NOTE: this is NOT what's keeping me awake, it's just an anecdote and perhaps sharing it will be cathartic in its own way].

So, Thursday… well, for the last six weeks or so, my wife and I have been making Thursday night a “date night.” She works until 9 PM, so we have a sitter come around 8:30 and I zip out to meet her somewhere for a late dinner.  We’d done the same kind of thing in the summer (on a different night), but since Christmas it’s been Thursdays.

We meet at a local bar, and it’s nice. The same bartender works every Thursday, she recognizes us by now, and we sit at the bar, get a light dinner, have a few drinks, and then we’re home before The Daily Show is on. I usually arrive about a half hour before my wife does, and I just hang out and wait.

Well, this past Thursday, the bar was more crowded than usual. No particular reason, just coincidence I think. I walked in, sat at the bar, and to my right were three guys … being loud. I’m in my 30′s, the bartender’s in her 30′s, these guys were probably 1 in his late 20′s 1 in his 30′s, and one in his 40′s.  I could be wrong, but the important part is that we’re talking all adults, no college students or anything involved.

The three, I’ll call them “dudes,” were going on and on about how the 20-something dude needed to lay down the law with his wife. The standard ignorant “you never admit you’re wrong” / “you don’t need to call and check in with her” garbage that they’d never say if their wives were there. 30-something dude was the loudest of all, giving advice right out of the 1920′s manual of marriage with 40-something dude cheering him on.  Annoying and obnoxious? Yes, but I tried my best to block it out and watched the college basketball on TV.

After about 10 minutes, the conversation turned to the go-go bar they were going to hit next: where it was, how expensive it was, how they needed to drink more here, blah blah blah… . They were pretty liquored-up as it was, and loud.. but again – ignorable.

So, then the bartender comes by to wait on someone who’d just come to the bar next to me, and the dudes began to whisper. Not real whispers, but that drunken loud whisper that’s full volume+. They were talking about the bartender, and what they would do to her if she wasn’t such a b**ch.

Now, I don’t even know this bartender’s name, but I think she’s really nice. She’s exactly what you’d want your bartender to be if you owned a bar… knowledgeable, nice but not flirty, and tough enough to hold her own without getting complaints. I’m sure she’s dealt with her share of jerks and drunks just fine.

But anyway, these morons started talking about how they’d “take her” and do this to her and that to her. Crass, annoying, but just talk… and although I (and the 20-something woman who’d placed the order next to me) couldn’t help but hear it, the bartender didn’t even know it was going on.

Then 30-something dude starts getting real aggressive.  He’s gonna do it… “dare me… double dare me… ” he’s gonna go around the bar and do something (what doesn’t have to be outlined here, but he was explicit).  He knows he’ll get kicked out or arrested for it, he’s trying to get his buddies to guarantee they’ll bail him out.  More drunken bravado and noise?

Well, out comes $300 “bail money” laid on the bar counter. He’s drinking more, getting louder, 20- and 40-something dudes are calling his bluff… “you don’t think I’m gonna do it, watch me”

I’m giving the short version here, but this is all happening pretty quickly none the less.  And their moving beyond talk to actual planning.  “wait for me outside” etc.,

I’m sitting there trying to decide what to do.  The 20-something woman has gone back to her table, and there’s two other women down the very end of the bar. On the other side of the dudes from me are a couple of small groups, oblivious to what’s being planned. The bar owner, who’s often there, is not there tonight, I think the bartender’s in charge basically.

I think to myself, maybe I’m overreacting. It’s just noise, just talk.  I probably had stupid conversations like that when I was younger and drunk (ummm, not like that, but you get the point).  But I’m concerned. I was a bouncer in a bar back in the day, and I’ve got a pretty good feel for the difference between noise and a real threat. This is bothering me.

Then, I wonder what I can really do.  There’re three of them, I’m one. They haven’t done anything yet, so if I said something or intervene in any way at this point I’m going to be the bad guy. I’ve got my own set of issues, and the last thing I need is to be getting into a bar fight… but still.

The fact the bartender has always been nice to my wife and I is not a factor, and yet it is… I feel protective in a way, but I would even if it were a guy or someone I didn’t know. I’m pleased that she’s old enough to react to anything that happens maturely, not with a flirty deflecting attitude. If these guys do anything, she’s going to kick them out and not worry about her boss’ reaction or how she’ll be perceived.

But still, it’s just noise.

And then 30-something dude gets up. The bartender’s back is turned, the “bail money” is on the bar and has been counted twice… he’s going to make his move and lick her XXXX well, it doesn’t matter what part of her he was going to lick but suffice to say he doesn’t need to lick her at all.

He walks from where he was sitting toward the access to behind the bar, and he’s coming my way. I decide he’s not getting behind the bar. He’s got to turn the corner and walk a total of about 5 stools to me, and then another 6 stools to the access. I’m going to stop him at the access. I don’t know what I’ll do, I’m thinking stepping in front of him and saying “hey, buddy, don’t do it” is probably not going to be enough, but it’s a start, and maybe it draws enough attention that he stops or I get some back up. And, I figure as long as he hits me first, I’m okay.

He comes my way, turns the corner, gets right next to but not past me, and I tense up. I’ve got one foot on the ground. He’s not running or anything, so as soon as he passes me I’m going to get up and catch him before the end of the bar. This probably means tapping his shoulder or grabbing his arm, which could be a problem… but whatever.

He’s behind me, walks one step farther, and as I resign myself to get up, he stops.

Now, I’m not saying he stopped because of me. In fact, as much as I knew what I was doing, he may not have even noticed I did anything. 30-something dude stops and turns to his friends and he’s wuss-ing out. (that’s not the right way to say it…. he’s doing the right thing, but he’s not doing it for the right reasons, he’s doing it because he’s scared… ). Anyway, he scurries (yes, scurries) back to his seat.. and he and the other dudes talk about how “the bartender wants it”.  Ugh.

So now, coincidentally the waitress walks past them, and to my surprise they basically tell her everything they were going to do. She is not in her 30′s. She’s young, and she handles it with the flirty, nervous laughing off that makes things worse sometimes. They have her ear for a good 5 minutes, and she’s trying to handle it by saying how crazy their idea was…. “no, throw them out” I’m thinking.

My wife text messages me to say she’s en route, and I text back something along the lines of “good, can’t wait to see you, hurry ‘cuz I’m close to getting into trouble” I don’t remember exactly, but it was along those lines.

Waitress is still chatting up the dudes, and the bartender comes by and says something to me about how loud they are. I think she can tell I’m agitated but she can’t hear them, only that they’re being loud and obnoxious.  I can’t remember what she said exactly, but it was basically that they’ve got lots to say and I answered “yeah, but it’s about you.”

That got her attention. She signaled her waitress over, who filled her in, and the threat was averted. The dudes got all embarrassed “she’s tattling on us” (I don’t think they had any idea I was involved), but continued to mutter under their breath how “give me 3 weeks and I’ll have her…. blah blah, but that waitress, I can have her now blah blah ” UGH….

Bartender woman (I think I know her name, but I’m not sure) shows her maturity and basically makes it clear it’s time for them to go without actually being rude. She owns the space and shows no sign of being uncomfortable around them, just disdainful towards them (I think she knows one of the guys as a semi-regular, “Tom?”).

At this point my wife arrives. I was not just concerned for the bartender, but I was also nervous of how these tools might react to my wife. I could ignore their comments toward the bartender because she could not hear them, but if they “whispered” about my wife that same way I would have to act.

Thankfully, the dudes were in near retreat mode. On the one hand, it made my wife feel like I was overreacting, as she was only seeing them tail between their legs. But on the other hand, the threat was over.

The bartender assured me later that she could handle herself, and I never doubted that. But had he advanced on her, he would have caught her completely unaware, and it concerned me that they had a premeditated plan for dealing with any consequences of their actions.

So, they left, and my wife and I enjoyed a relaxing late dinner together and it was “date night” as usual.

I think I’m pleased with how I handled myself: what I did, didn’t, and was prepared to do. But, ultimately, it’s all moot as nothing happened in the end.

It’s nearly 3 AM now. This is probably a lengthy narrative. Well, I’ll leave it up there. Was sharing it cathartic? Maybe, we’ll see how I feel later. I don’t get a lot of validation on things like this. You can imagine my wife’s reaction and expectations. And most everyone else was oblivous.

I don’t know. Hahah, cheery. Where’s Elton, I need a moral of the story like we do in our podcasts “don’t go to bars early” or something along those lines. To quote Elton, “cheers.”

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other song about pi

Friday, February 20th, 2009

There are so many things both right and wrong about this:

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other set of loose ends

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

A quick post to update you readers on some loose ends alluded to here in That Other Blog.

First of all, Elton and I have been producing a podcast: An Apotheosis of a Bombast, on a nearly weekly basis. As of this post, there are 5 episodes available through podbean or itunes. We occasionally do a themed show, but the general format is a bit of an audio blog entry, followed by some weird news, web finds, and then a ranking or quiz. (Hmm, that doesn’t sound nearly as interesting as the podcasts are, haha, but you should check them out.) Woopra suggests that most of you who visit this site already are (yay!), Google Analytics says maybe not so much (boo!)… I hope you will.

On a related note, if you missed the blog post about the origin of that title, you can read it here in the archives.  I should probably organize this site better (and I will at some point), but if you’re relatively new to the site take some time to read some of the older posts.  There are some good things buried in there, if I do say so myself.

I also want to take a moment to encourage you to explore Elton’s website and the podcast he’s been doing with his “missus.” Elton’s been a lot of fun to work with, and I think you’ll enjoy the content he produces.

After several references to my son’s hockey games, the season has ended. His team finished as the league runners-up. The Rangers went 14-2 during the regular season (sweeping every team 3-0 except for the 15 -1 Flyers whom they beat once but lost two twice). The team had a first round bye, and defeated the #3 seed 10-9  to advance to the finals against the Flyers. The Rangers won the first game of a best of three series but lost the next two.

Jay scored a goal in game three to tie the score at 3-3 (he was so excited, and I was so proud) but the Rangers couldn’t pull out the win.

Lacrosse is next on the slate, with the season starting in early March. Lacrosse was the big thing back at Wilton High School (where I grew up), but I never played the sport. So, I guess I’m going to learn.

On a sad note, I recently learned that, Sandy Ryerson, the mother of my friend, Fauna, and her sister Tashaleigh, has died of cancer. I’m embarrassed to say I only learned this a week ago, but Ms. Ryerson passed away in 2006.  Regardless, I want to say that Sandy Ryerson was a very good hearted woman, and my heart goes out to Fauna, Tashaleigh, and their family as a whole. I am sure Ms. Ryerson is sorely missed.

Thank you all for your continued interest in this blog. Please check back, as I hope to update more regularly.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other set of “say what?” comments

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Overheard at today’s game 3 of the best-2-out-of-3 Hockey Championship game between the Penguin Division Flyers and Rangers… (it should noted the Penguin Division athletes are age 7 – 9)

[Rangers player to coach] – Who are we playing today?

[mother of a Rangers player to her son] – Run fast like when a girl tries to kiss you!

[mother of a Flyers player to Flyers team] – Pay attention, you Dou***bags, and play some defense!

[coach of Rangers to his child who is on the team and was hanging upside down in the goal during a team meeting] – Stop being a monkey and pay attention.

[mother of Flyers player to her son] – Play like you did last game and ignore everything I say.

There were other comments, which I’m forgetting at the moment.  We thought it’d be tough to find one that topped the comment made by one of the coaches of the Coyotes after a Coyote player was called for a penalty – “Next time hit him harder.”  (That got the coach a 5  minute penalty of his own). However, Flyers mom, we think you might’ve won the prize.  Especially given that you regularly made comments like that during the season.

Oh the joys of being a youth sports parent.

That other reminder of my own childhood

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I should’ve mentioned in the earlier post…

as cute as Jackie’s song is, it keeps making me think of

He’s a Teeny Little Super Guy” from Sesame Street in the 1970′s.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other song stuck in my head

Monday, February 9th, 2009

A song sung by Jackie and her class at their 1st Grade music show at the end of January…

(Valentine Vendor – by Teresa and Paul Jennings)

Buy-yi… buy-yi…
Would you like to buy a little valentine? Just a little, teeny, tiny valentine?
Would you like to buy a little valentine? Just a little, teeny, tiny valentine?
For just a penny, maybe two? For just a penny, maybe two?
Would you, would you, like to buy? Teeny, little valentine?
Would you, would you, like to buy? Teeny, little valentine?
Buy-yi-yi-yi-yi-yiiiii

[and it repeats two more times (shock, huh?)]

You can listen to a sample of the song here until I can get the audio from her actual show up onto the net.

It’s a cute song, and kinda catchy.  Jackie and I were singing it and making up alternate lyrics to that and One-Zero-Zero (also in the school muscial) during our bike ride to and from the Shore Mall this afternoon.

[One more mile, One mo-ore mile, One more mile... just one more mile to go...]

Oh, the joys of being a dorky dad with a little girl who still thinks it’s funny.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)

That other nuisance from spammers

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Those of you who are legitimate vistors to the site, may want to skip reading this entry: it is directed at a select group of scum affectionally known as “spammers.”  If this label does not apply to you, then you may as well wait for our next update.

To the rest of you, we appreciate the fact that we get approximately 20 comments per day submitted for consideration to be posted on the site – it’d be nice if they weren’t ALL SPAM. As of 6:17 PM, we have 1316 comments flagged as spam, and more than 900 others which we’ve deleted in lieu of blacklisting.

Things we would never endorse, never allow to be posted on the site, and quite frankly things/links we don’t even feel comfortable saying out loud or retyping here. (You get the point what they’re all about.)

And how many “true” comments do we have? … um… let’s see… in the last month or so… hmm, um…  ZERO.

Actually, that’s a misleading statetment. We get plenty of feedback from other sources (email, forums, tweets, in person, etc.,) and that’s wasn’t our main the point. Our issue is with the relentless stream of annoying, obscene comments sitting in our que.

Someone, somewhere must be allowing comments like that to get through – for the spammers to keep trying.  We just don’t get it. Our guess is people are lazy and either have all comments allowed to pass through or blindly click “accept.”

Ugh.  Ugh and a half, we say.

We’re not interested in your *bleep* *bleep*s and your *bleep* *bleep*s with *bleep*ing *bleeps*, you filthy spammers, and throwing in a compliment such as “nice site” or “great information” isn’t effective at winning us over.

To the rest of you, thank you for visiting the site.

Feh.