Archive for May, 2011

Houston who?

May 25th, 2011 No comments

The rivalry between Houston and Dallas isn’t anything new. For decades these two cities have sniped at each other over a variety of topics that both either feel important to be best at, or deny being worst at. All-in-all some pretty basic civic rivalry.

In 2005 Houston joined Dallas in the MLS when the San Jose Earthquakes shook themselves over to the gulf changing their name to the Dynamo in the process (I still like the originally planned name of “Houston 1836,” but apparently it was offensive to Hispanic fans).

It was always figured that FC Dallas and the Dynamo would have a pretty good rivalry, but Dallas already had been butting heads with the Chicago Fire since the beginning of the MLS and fans were pretty invested in that. Top that with a hatred for the Colorado Rapids that started up around the same time that the Dynamo hit the stage and the Dallas/Houston thing just got rather marginalized.

Flash forward a couple of years. Houston had already come out really strong by winning the MLS Cup in their inaugural year of 2006 and followed up with a repeat in 2007 while FC Dallas just couldn’t get their act together.

From a fan’s perspective, things were just nasty. At a couple of the FCD/Dynamo matches I attended at Pizza Hut Park (Dallas’ home turf), things were downright nasty. I watched in awe as Houston fans paraded up and down the concourse, ripped out seats in their designated section and even, after one match, attacked a FCD fan. Hell, even me and my friends were hassled by a couple of Houston fans in what has got to be one of the funniest war of words I’ve ever seen (more on that at a later date).

The 2010 season, however, changed everything. FC Dallas started out by winning the Texas Derby (which claimed El Capitán) and then pushed their way to the MLS Cup Final while Houston did not even qualify for the playoffs.

To say this didn’t sit right with the Dynamo organization and their fans is an understatement.

At the beginning of the 2011 season, this lovely billboard was put up on the tollway leading to Pizza Hut Park. It annoyed the hell out of me, but I thought it was pretty funny.

When it didn’t get the reaction Houston was looking for, they followed up with this gem of a commercial.

That’s what finally got people pissed off. We are allowed to joke about things like our home stadium being way up in Oklahoma, but we don’t need the stinkin’ Dynamo making cracks about it.

Dallas quickly retaliated by putting up this banner at Robertson Stadium (the Dynamo’s home turf). Funny right?
Dallas then turned around and got the San Jose Earthquakes involved with this little stunt

All of this “frivolity” leads up to Dallas taking on Houston at Houston on Saturday, May 28. FCD will be coming off a Wednesday away game in Seattle, and Houston will be coming off a Wednesday away game in LA against the Galaxy.

Needless to say, both teams will be sufficiently riled up for this match. Who can say what will happen out there, but it’ll be a doozy of a match with FC Dallas leading the Dynamo going into the match by four points (that doesn’t include the result of the matches that both teams have tonight).

Houston who?

In case of Rapture, I’ll be right here

May 20th, 2011 No comments

Well, the Rapture is upon us (again). Harold Camping of Family Radio has freakin’ “guaranteed” that the Bible says we’ve got until around 5PM EDT on Saturday, May 21, 2011 and then that’s it for all the “chosen.”

Part of me really hopes Mr. Camping is right. Aside from his predictions about massive earthquakes and the world splitting and all sorts of unpleasantness, I really can’t wait for a little more elbow room. I, being the terrible heathen I am, will be right here like I always am. If I were a smarter man, I would have gone door to door offering to take care of people’s pets for a nominal fee (paid up front, of course).

As is, I’ll just have to make do with some of the post-Rapture looting. According to the event on Facebook, I’ll be among the almost 500,000 folks who clicked the “attending” button on this Facebook event. Come on along, it’ll be fun!

Here’s the thing, though. Harold Camping made the same prediction in 1994. Hell, lots of people have predicted the end of the world over the past bunch of years. When the time for all Hell to break loose comes and goes, we typically get the “We calculated wrong.” or “God, in his infinite mercy, has chosen to spare us” answer. I am very curious to see what Harold Camping will have to say around 9PM EDT when we are all still sitting here twiddling our thumbs.

This is, however, a great time to screw with people. Here’s an easy one: lay out a full set of clothes (including shoes) on the sidewalk outside your house. Another good one is to write your kids a note to the effect of “Been raptured, food is in the fridge,” hide somewhere in the house, and watch the hilarity ensue when they find the note.

Needless to say, I have a strong feeling that Mr. Camping is going to have to eat a whole lot of crow tomorrow afternoon. In the way way way off-hand chance he is correct, however, you will be pleased to know that this blog will continue (sporadically) as it always has. That’s just my dedication to you, the reader.

Jesus is coming. Look busy.

Categories: monkey, Ravings, Religion, Stupidity

Habitual Creature

May 5th, 2011 No comments

“Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late”
–The Beatles (A Day in the Life)

A routine, I haz it.

As much as I would like to believe that I have spontinatiy coursing through my entire existence, I have recently realized that much of my “get up and go” time is incredibly regimented. Unfortunately I think it has to be so I don’t end up “eaten by a grue” every morning (read: snoring loudly while the sun tracks across the sky).

It’s pretty simple (to me, at least). At 6AM (really it’s 5:51AM because I keep my clock nine minutes ahead) the alarm goes off. I don’t mess around with playing “snooze-tag” because that’s a likely way to be eaten by a grue. I pop up, turn on the shower and brush my teeth. Shower, shower, shower until the clock across the room (also wrong as can be) is around the 5:20 or 6:20 range (depending on Daylight Savings: I don’t believe in changing that clock), and then get slapped together so I’m decent for public consumption.

From there I plop myself down in front of my computer for a quick glance at email and weather. The weather check became necessary after I realized that I don’t actually see the great outdoors until I’m pulling out of the garage. This way I can grab the appropriate outer covering for the current climate.

Then it’s out the door and off to the office. Because I love me some god-awful earliness, I’m typically the first person in the office. I turn off the alarm, pull out the laptop and fire it up. While the gods of Windows go through their stretching routine known as “booting up,” I unlock the two back doors. I then come back to the laptop, log in and go to the kitchen to make the first pot of office coffee. Then the day can officially begin.

Deviation from this routine always throws me for a loop. I’ve gotten very used to the 45 to 50 minutes it takes me to get from slumberland to fully functional developer. On very rare occasions I run into snags such as fashion crises, falling asleep in the shower (more common than I’d like to admit) or dreaded Windows Updates that put small kinks in my kickoff, but, because those are few and far between, I can generally just roll with them.

What I find utterly facinating is that I am far from the only person locked into my morning track. I can always tell those individuals on my drive down the highway to work who have fouled their routine in some manner. You know the type: 85 miles per hour, weaving in and out of lanes while either stuffing their face with what passes for breakfast or gesticulating wildly at fellow drivers who don’t have the “courtesy” to accommodate their fellow commuter who is obviously late for something or the other. These people stick out like a sore thumb.

As for me, tomorrow my alarm will go off at 6AM (5:51) and I’ll start it all over again. Like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or the noon lunch whistle, it happens just because it does.

Categories: Deep Thinking, monkey, Ravings

May the Fourth (grumble, grumble, grumble…)

May 4th, 2011 No comments

So, basically all day today I’ve been trying to pithily pontificate the joys and wonders of Star Wars: this being the unofficial holiday of one of the greatest Sci-Fi properties in the history of Man.

For all that Star Wars means to me, it is a downright crime that I haven’t done much writing about the subject.

Basically stated, I’m a huge Star Wars nerd. I couldn’t tell you how many different copies of the original trilogy I have on VHS and DVD, and the amount of Star Wars ephemera that occupies my house borders on ridiculous.

I’ve read all of the novels of the Expanded Universe (and actually like those characters and scenarios better than what I’ve seen on the screen so far), collected trinkets from the four corners of the Earth with “Lucasfilm, LTD.” stamped on them and I’m a tad embarrassed at the amount of money I’ve spent on individual action figures.

All that and I find it incredibly hard to write about. It seems that only when I get hot under the collar (reference my “heated” Why, George, Why? blog from last year) do I delve into my Lucas-inspired nerdery.

To be honest, I often only talk about Star Wars to address the things I’m not happy with. I guess that’s all part of being a “critical” fan. Why can’t I just be happy with Wookies, Mandalorians, Jedi, Sith, etc. and ignore the horrible gaffs like Episodes I-III, the Marvel Comics and Rokur Gepta? To that end, why must I justify my love of the Expanded Universe to “purist” fans who find it anathema to look beyond the six movies (does the Christmas Special count?)?

Oh wait. I know. Star Wars fans just LOVE to complain. We bitch about “special editions,” proposed “ultimate editions,” lack of Blu-Rays, lack of the “Yub Yub” song, being a little short for a Stormtrooper and a bajillion other little things that just bug the ever-loving shit out of us. In general we will sit in awed silence for ninety minutes at a time, and many of us will still tear up at the “I know” line on Bespin during Empire Strikes Back, but when that is all over, it’s right back to the bitching.

Honestly, I should really focus my attentions on mocking continuity-lacking Trekkies or those freaks who stuck through Battlestar Galactica (and I don’t mean the one with Lorne Greene).