Welcome! (I guess...)

For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Get Ready for Man Band!

Yes, it is almost finally here! Have you ever lamented the premature demise of your favorite boyband? Well who hasn't?! Over the last decade or so we have been treated to a seemingly endless list of extraordinarily talented young men who formed musical acts known as boybands. Now sure, it was pretty clear that none of them were playing actual instruments, but these were boybands and no one ever said that boybands had to play instruments. Despite their across the board popularity, however, the boybands started to die out, leaving the genre almost extinct as of the present day. Never fear, though, help is on the way!

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Jordan Knight, Nick Carter, Justin Timberlake, and Nick Lachey, respectively from New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees, formed a mega-boyband? Yes? No? Well wonder no longer because although Jordan Knight, Nick Carter, Justin Timberlake, and Nick Lachey apparently were not available (yes, it appears that even Nick Carter was busy with something else), you still get Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd, Rich Cronin of LFO**, Chris Kirkpatrick of *NSYNC, and Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Man Band!!!! Err, Mission Man Band!

Scheduled to premiere on August 6 on The VH1, Mission Man Band will bring together those aforementioned megastars from our favorite boybands, only get this, they are not boys anymore. They are men, and thus we have a man band. Do you follow the logic? It's genius! This is the sort of ingenious idea that only the likes of Lou Pearlman could envision. However, I'm so excited about this that I cannot focus enough to read about what to expect from this show, and so I'll just predict what I think we can expect. First of all, the senior member of the group, Bryan Abrams, can be counted on to bring style and video choreography advice as displayed in his Color Me Badd days. And I can think of no one better than Rich Cronin to write the lyrics for every song that Man Band develops. We all know that he has displayed unparalleled lyrical talent in the past. And as for Chris Kirkpatrick and Jeff Timmons... Well, I'll be honest, I never would have possibly remembered their names (or Abrams and Cronin either for that matter) if not for this show, and I certainly can't tell you what they look like, but I can assure you that they will bring all the talent and star power to the table that one might expect out of former boyband members that you can't possibly name or identify.

So let's get set for Man Band! Man Band! Yeah!!!!!

**In the interest of full disclosure, my sister did once claim to have attended an LFO concert. However, this was during the height of their "popularity," and so there is no telling if she would actually admit to this currently if questioned/interrogated.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - July 17, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Rankings for July 17, 2007

1. Britney Spears (1) - After a hard, months long charge, Britney Spears for the first time ever takes over the number one position in the Spears-Federline Rankings. She joins the likes of Kevin Federline and Lindsay Lohan who have held the top spot. Ms. Spears moves to the top for a number of reasons, including the thoughtful poem that she wrote for her mother. While true, this poem was written about two months after Mother's Day, it is still the thought that counts. Besides, Ms. Spears was likely occupied prior to this time with jail or rehab or something and just could not find the time. The Committee salutes Ms. Spears for thinking about her mother. Would this act of love have been enough to overtake the consistent Federline on its own? Who knows, but the Committee did not have to worry about such a tough decision once it was revealed that Britney Spears is big on child safety and is an animal lover. Okay sure, the no fun people at the Humane Society want to throw hissy fits because Ms. Spears acquired the $3000 pure bred puppy from some sort of high tech puppy manufacturing power plant, but come on here! If rich people aren't going to be allowed to buy $3000 puppies, then how are these puppies factories going to make enough money so that they can continue to produce $3000 puppies so that the human employees of these factories are able to put food on the table and buy Nintendo Wii's for each of their children? Come on, think Humane Society. You are not sounding very humane...

2. Kevin Federline - The Committee finally decided that Kevin Federline could no longer get a free ride to the top of the rankings. Or better yet, the Committee was not imaginative enough on the occasion of these rankings to make up what Federline might have been doing that just was not being reported by the media. While it does appear that Federline gets along much better with Ms. Spears's mother than does Ms. Spears, the Committee is certain that this sort of thing happens all of the time. No bonus points for you here Mr. Federline. Now since Mr. Federline is certainly a competitor, what sort of things might he do to regain the coveted number one spot? Starting rumors that he has impregnated Shar Jackson or some other pseudo-celebrity wouldn't hurt. And though the Committee likes to remain completely impartial in this race for number one, it will on this occasion make the suggestion that saving injured thoroughbred horses from incessant and overreactive attention (see Barbaro) is always a plus because $3000 puppies deserve the best selection of horse meats so that washed up pop stars can continue to buy them so that more $3000 puppies can continue to be churned out in $3000 a puppy puppy factories so that employees at the factories can continue to have enough means to put food on the plates of their families and put Playstation 3's in the hands of their children.

Also receiving votes: Lindsay Lohan (recently eliminated both reasons for not being able to drink: being in rehab and being under twenty-one years of age), Paris Hilton (avid reader of the Bible and excellent display of civic responsibility: voting for the President of the US in 2006)

Can Kevin Federline return to the top?

UPDATE - July 18, 2007, 6:30 am PDT - It seems one of the Committee members inadvertantly allowed an assistant to cast the vote on his behalf. The actual corrected rankings are as follows:

1. Kevin Federline (1)
2. Britney Spears

The Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy

Superman is without a doubt the greatest superhero ever created. How do we know this? Well, Superman is the most powerful superhero and that naturally means that he must be the greatest. Let’s see, Superman can fly, he has super breath, x-ray vision, heat vision, virtual invulnerability, super speed, and so on and so forth. But those are only his most commonly used abilities. Did you know that Superman is capable of time travel? It’s true! He did it in Superman: the Movie, and in the course also violated many laws of physics. Superman is also capable of creating illusions of himself (he did it in Superman II) and telekinesis (okay maybe he didn’t do this himself in Superman II, but one of the other Kryptonians did so and this must mean that Superman can do it). And then of course one can make the claim that he is capable of actually replicating himself (did it in Superman III), but this may have actually just been a war within his own head without Clark Kent and the evil Superman actually fighting. But I have not mentioned Superman’s greatest power – one that is always overlooked. His greatest power is his ability to wear red briefs over full body covering blue tights. This ability no other superhero has been able to duplicate.

Whew! That was a mouthful. Superman often wonders what life would have been like if he had not been such a boy scout, but rather, was “bad to the bone.” Luckily enough, I have discovered Superman’s very own diary about these subjects, and now I present to you an excerpt from the Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy if He Could be a Boy Again…

07-17-xxxx - I've been feeling depressed lately. Yes, that's right Superman does get depressed sometimes. It's hard going through life knowing that you are the best and not being able to show everyone else how much you enjoy knowing you are the best. You know what I'm talking about, right? Ha! Of course you don't know what I'm talking about since you are not Superman and you are not the best. Wait a minute. Who am I talking to here? Since this is Superman's diary, anyone caught reading it would be dead. (And resistance would be futile since Superman has no weaknesses.) That is, anyone who isn't a hot chick who is caught reading this would be dead. I have other ways of dealing with hot chicks caught reading this diary, namely, making out with them to cause them to forget. But I am depressed and I need to find some sort of remedy. Let me see, how did I deal with this sort of thing in the past? I know how to find out. Let me get my trusty blue tights and red briefs out and do flying back into the past to find out. I'll take the diary along with me. I'll put it in my briefs since it will be protected from the heat there...

Oh wait, I see myself over there looking a little depressed. Let's see, I can vaguely remember this happening. I had just been turned down on a date to the school dance by this really hot chick. Instead, she went with some meathead. If anyone should have gone to the dance with this chick and stood on the opposite side of the gym with the guys while she stood on the opposite side of the gym with the other girls, it should have been me. Okay, I have to go talk some sense into me.

Wow, that was close it's a good thing that I put on that disguise before going over there. But it was a really close call when I asked me what my name and how I knew that I had powers. Luckily, I was able to think quickly and come up with 'El-Kal' for a name and I seemed to be satisfied enough with this. So I told myself I really should start using my powers to sabotage this meathead so that I could get the hot chicks. I mean, what good are powers if you aren't using them to pick up chicks? Come to think of it, I vaguely remember my depression ending after I ran into some mysterious stranger so many years ago...

Oh well, I've done my good here on this day. I probably should head back to the present.

Now where did I put those red briefs...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fifty-Four Miles Per Hour

Everyone, I've done it! I have made the greatest discovery of my life to date, and perhaps ever. This is the sort of discovery that will place my name in text books for children to read about for generations to come. Brace yourselves... Last night I discovered that the speed at which one must be traveling by automobile is in the range of 53-55 mph to ensure that a roach will not be able to maintain contact with your side window!

This discovery was a long time in the making. I first envisioned the idea for determining this years ago when I saw a roach inside my apartment. I quickly grabbed my can of Raid, somersaulted into position, and blasted away at the roach with my "kills bugs dead" can. But as I jumped to my feet and celebrated as if I were a gymnast who had just "stuck" the landing, I noticed something. That roach did not die right away, but was stumbling around in a fashion not unlike the one in which I see countless bar patrons at closing time. The first thought that immediately came to mind was at what speed must one travel to cause a roach to lose contact with your side window?

It was going to be a difficult discovery to make. First of all, roaches are disgusting. I generally do not get anywhere close to the repulsive creatures, and hence the can of Raid. Even after the filthy cretins are dead, I'll generally wait until my mom comes back to town and allow her to deal with them. However, yesterday evening fortune smiled upon me as the perfect circumstance arose. I was at the grocery store doing a little shopping, and upon exiting the store I placed my items in the back area of my car. Everything was fine as I went and opened the driver's door and got inside. It wasn't until I had closed the door that I realized that this filthy thing was on my window. Ordinarily I probably would have just taken the local streets back home, but I was afraid that 40-45 mph just wasn't going to be good enough. So, I decided that I had to take a minor detour to the highway. And so I got on the highway entrance ramp and pushed the pace. The entire time that this was going on I glanced over at my enemy. It did a good job of holding on for a while, but finally I saw it struggling. I have estimated that somewhere between 53 mph and 55 mph was the point where it could hold on no longer. It was a worthy opponent as at the point where it fell off I was getting very close to my exit. However, on that night I would have been more than willing to bypass my exit and push the pace to 75-80 mph to get that thing off. I just didn't want to have to sleep in my car that night.

So where does this discovery that I made rank with the all time great discoveries and the all time great records? Well, I would say that it deserves about as much or slightly more esteem as the recently set record of eating sixty-six hot dogs and buns in twelve minutes. These are both incredible feats of which to be proud.

Wimbledon Wrap-up

So Wimbledon has finally concluded and so I thought that it would be good to share some post tournament thoughts. Though I will focus on the men's tournament. I will say a few brief words about the women's tournament. Venus Williams played outstandingly of course to win it all. However, the narrative that many of the commentators (the "experts") were creating became quite tiresome. While true, Williams was only seeded 23 in the tournament, but it became rather annoying when the commentators talked about her being favored to win particular matches against higher seeds and then acted as if it were among the greatest accomplishments ever when she went on to beat those higher seeds. I mean seriously, you just told us that we should expect Venus Williams to win the match, and so why should we act as if the result was a surprise? Going into the tournament Williams was already a three-time champion at the event. Commentators have frequently said that we should ignore seeds when it comes to the Williams sisters and they are healthy. Venus Williams seemed to be plenty healthy for this tournament so there did not seem to be any need to be over dramatic (and really is there ever a need to be over dramatic about something?) about her having won the title.

And now on to the men's tournament. I find it quite amazing how accurate my prediction was leading up to the men's final. As I stated then, there were very few people that believed Nadal would make the final again against Federer, and obviously even fewer who actually gave Nadal a chance to win. True enough, Federer was victorious. He showed a great will in gutting out the victory: 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2. However, looking at the score of the match alone (without having watched it) should demonstrate that Federer was far from dominant against Nadal as many of these hack experts would have had you believe leading up to the tournament. I think that the most infuriating thing to me entering this tournament was how many of these hacks said that Andy Roddick was the guy most likely to beat Federer. Oh, you mean Andy Roddick is more likely to beat Federer? The same Andy Roddick who is 1-13 lifetime against Federer? And he's more likely to beat Federer and not Rafael Nadal who is 8-4 (before Wimbledon) lifetime against Federer? Oh, but Andy Roddick has that huge serve they said. Well, they may have had a point if they could have guaranteed that Roddick would serve an ace on every single serve. If that were the case, clearly Federer would never win a point on Roddick's serve and thus Roddick could just wait until the tie breaker of each set for Federer to make a mistake serving. This is sheer lunacy and indicates to me a clear bias. In America, at the very least, these commentators have long desired to have an American challenge for the top, to challenge Federer and so they create these inplausible scenarios in their minds irrespective of observable facts. This sort of craziness was to me no different than Darren Cahill suggesting that Lleyton Hewitt had a chance of beating Rafael Nadal at the French Open.

These sorts of narratives that the commentators are creating are getting old. Now to be clear, I'm perfectly fine if they like Federer as a player better. I have no problem if they root for Federer, but please don't allow this to cloud your analysis of what is happening. I will give some of these people credit. Some of them did finally say what I had said prior to Wimbledon; Nadal is closer to defeating Federer on the grass at Wimbledon than Federer is to beating Nadal on the clay at Roland Garros. Up until now, the idiotic conventional wisdom out of these people was that the surface of Wimbledon (grass) was way too fast for Nadal to have a chance against the great Federer. But now that Nadal has shown an ability to hold his own against Federer on grass, now the story goes oh, Wimbledon is no longer the fastest of the surfaces, now it's the US Open. Nadal won't have a prayer of reaching the final or defeating Federer on the hardcourts of the US Open. These idiots again conveniently neglect the fact that lifetime on hardcourts Nadal and Federer are 2-2.

I still believe that all of these analysts see Nadal as some sort of a clay court freak. They don't want to believe that he could possibly be the best tennis player in the world. This would upset the narratives that they have created in their minds about Roger Federer. In truth, Federer may still be the best player in the world, but the gap between he and Nadal is much closer than they would like to admit, and hence Nadal does not get the respect from these "experts" that he deserves.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Magua Chronicles: Magua Goes to the UN

Many people who are fans of classic American literature know Magua to be the major villain of James Fenimore Cooper's 19th Century novel The Last of the Mohicans. And for those of you (okay us) who have never read that novel, he is still known as a legendary villain because of the brilliant 1992 film version of Cooper's story. More than anything, Magua was a man of words, a master orator. Consider this famous quote by Magua from the film:

Magua: "When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat his heart. Before he dies, Magua will put his children under the knife, so the Grey Hair will know his seed is wiped out forever."

Such manipulation of the spoken word! It makes one wonder how Magua would fare in other situations...

The scene: the United Nations General Assembly, October 12, 1960

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev has just given a speech in which he inexplicably yelled out what was translated to mean "we will bury you," while angrily banging his removed shoe on his desk. The next person to speak is Special Assistant Ambassador to the United Nations, Magua.

Special Ambassador Magua: "The Shoe Stamper is a fool to stamp his shoe in Magua's presence. Magua was unable to bring his tomahawk in and so the blade still shines. Magua will eat the heart of the Shoe Stamper. Before he dies, Magua will put all of the Shoe Stamper's blood brothers under the knife so that they will be as the buffalo on the plains of this great land. Magua will now return to his seat."

And history will show that the strong stance of Special Assistant Ambassador to the United Nations, Magua, and his exceptional oratory skills ultimately led to the downfall of Nikita Khrushchev.