Showing 1 - 10 of 11 posts found matching keyword: 2011 sucks

I mentioned last year that DC Comics relaunched their entire line of comics and in the process re-introduced Batman as the kind of fellow who liked to shoot guns grappling hooks through the bodies of fleeing suspects. Skip ahead one year and things aren't any better, but at least DC has stopped pretending that this Dark Knight is the same as the one I grew up with.

In this month's Batman #0, Batman's origin is retold for the forty-five millionth time. More importantly, Batman's first appearance is now listed as "Justice League #1 (2011)" rather than the traditional (and legally more accurate) Detective Comics #27 (1938). I'm sure that if either Bob Kane or Bill Finger were still alive, they'd have something to say about this.

This means that this Batman didn't exist before I was 35 years old. Whew. Now I can hate this newfangled Batman worrying whether my own cynicism had turned on me, corrupting my hobbies into hate-bies. My Batman is still good. It's just this New Batman that's so damn wrong.

Could this steroid-chewing, anger-spewing modern Batman beat my Batman? Yeah, probably. New Batman -- and I am going to insist from here on out on calling this dark perversion of my hero "New Batman," using the same derogatory tone of voice I use when I speak of "New Coke" -- New Batman is an asshole without rules, ethics, or personality. He's not a clever detective so much as he's a dialogue-laden deus ex machina plot device. Worst of all, he's simply no fun anymore.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I still prefer a little comic in my books. So you can keep your New Batman of 2011, DC. My Batman of 1938 and I have better things to do.

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Good riddance, 2011!

I'll have another post tomorrow, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to kick Old Man 2011 in the nuts as he limps out the door. Call it a learning experience for Baby New Year. Shape up, young man, or you'll get more of the same in 12 months. Punk.

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While browsing the internet to find the etymology for the neologism "trickeration" -- currently my least favorite word in the English language -- I discovered that Jason Taylor has announced that he will retire after Sunday's game. So the horrible 2011 season will claim one last player before it's all over.

Taylor will retire with the second most starts ever as a Miami Dolphin. If Taylor hadn't spent one season each with the Redskins and Jets, he'd need only 1 more season to pass Dan Marino's 242 games as a Dolphins' starter. Seeing as this is the year that the most significant of Marino's remaining passing records falls, it seems a missed opportunity not to eliminate his other records from the books. At the rate that the Dolphins discard their players these days, perhaps that's the Marino record that is truly unbeatable.

This is the fifth time I've blogged about Jason Taylor. It will probably be the last, if Taylor is smart enough to stay away from an organization that rewarded him with a trade to the Redskins just 1 year after the NFL made Taylor into a 26-feet tall robot. It's a shame that Taylor can't ride off into the sunset with a championship ring, but that's what happens to modern Hall of Famers in Miami. It sucks, Jason, but you just sort of get used to it.

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Alright, Randy. You want it, you got it.

The Miami Dolphins are currently 0-7, staring down the barrel of a potentially win-less season. The remaining schedule is, in a single word, difficult. Some say the silver lining of the second-worst season in franchise history is the opportunity to draft first in the 2012 NFL Draft. The media calls this phenomenon "Suck 4 Luck" in honor of apparent first-overall pick Andrew Luck.

The Dolphins were terrible in 2007, too. That year the team narrowly avoided becoming the worst team in NFL history in their third-from-last game of the season by beating the hapless 4-9 Baltimore Ravens. The team had the first pick in the following year's draft and used it to select Offensive Tackle Jake Long. Long is pretty good, but is hardly a single-handed game-changer. In 2007, no one said the Dolphins should "Suck 4 Long," but certainly the team did (and still does).

Just for the record, Andrew Luck isn't a senior. He was projected as the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, should he have chosen to leave college, but he didn't. Another year later, and he's still the best quarterback in college sports. Will he go pro? Maybe. But why would he want to play for the Miami Dolphins? I wouldn't.

There are currently 7 players on the 2011 Miami Dolphins roster who were on the 2007 Miami Dolphins team that finished the season 1-15. One of those players is Jason Taylor. Said Taylor to the Miami Sun-Sentinel:

"You do your best to ignore it, but sure, there's an elephant in the room, and you have to realize you have nothing to do with it. You can't control it. The only thing you can do to control it is play well and win games. It's something that's hanging out there, and people are going to talk about it because people love to talk."

I understand and share your frustration, Jason, but we would rather win than talk. We be talking about "it" at all if you would actually win a few games. Or even a game. If you want us, the fans, to stop calling for the head of the coach, try winning for a change.

The Miami Dolphins have 20 individuals listed as coaches on the official team website, and none of them appear to be doing a very good job. One of those 20 coaches is the Head Coach's son, Tony Sparano, Jr. There can't be any nepotism involved in his position: unlike the other coaches, Jr. seems to be living up to his job title, "Offensive Quality Control," because the team is very offensive right now.

The problem here is that either the team doesn't have players good enough to compete or the team doesn't have coaches good enough to prepare the players to compete. The solution to both of those problems lies in the front office, which holds the purse strings and makes the tough decisions. Since buying the team in 2008 from a desperate-to-sell Wayne Huizenga, the Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross has demonstrated a management style of paying ridiculous salaries to players and coaches for which the adjective "mediocre" is too kind. I'm sure that style is what made him the billionaire he is today.

It's past time for someone to do something to fix this season. Like the 2007 season, this one is already in the tank. But it sure would be nice if we could look forward to something next year other than the prospect of letting our career-destroying coaches get their hands on another potentially franchise-defining player. That just plain sucks.

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I've mentioned before that 2011 is the Year of the Suck. Unfortunately, it's not over yet.

As some of my 12 readers probably know, I've always preferred Wendy's hamburgers. There isn't really a Wendy's nearby my house, but I'm always willing to drive out of my way for their burgers. Their 1/4-lb Single is a very tasty treat that can make even the worst day a slight bit better. Or at least it used to.

Late last month, Wendy's rolled out it's reinvented hamburger, "Dave's Hot 'N Juicy," in a media blitz. It's advertised as a better burger made with "premium" ingredients. And it's significantly more expensive than before. Too bad it doesn't taste any better.

I tried my first one yesterday, picking up a pair for my father and me to enjoy while watching the latest Dolphins' loss. Before I could even take my second bite to confirm that the first bite was as bad as I thought it was, my father turned up his nose and said, "didn't these used to be good?" Yikes.

The burger may be juicier, but it is also more bland. The buttered bun tasted thick and unpleasantly heavy. The tomato slice I had on my sandwich still had the stem on it. The burger had enough cheese on it to glue the whole thing together, but it failed to provide any extra taste. There were all bad signs, and do not encourage me to ever have another.

Like everything else this year, it sucks. I'd say that at least they still have tasty chicken sandwiches, but rumor has it that they will be changing that recipe in 2012. I guess at least from now on I'll be saving gas.

[UPDATE 10/05/11: I decided to give Wendy's the benefit of the doubt, and ordered a Single combo at the location different from the one I ate at on Sunday. This burger was better, much better, than the last one. It tasted more similar to the Wendy's hamburgers that I loved in the past. Maybe that crappy burger was a one-time aberration. Perhaps this crisis has been averted. For now.]

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Welcome to the 6th Annual Batman and Football Month. Since last year, DC Comics has relaunched their entire line of comics in a desperate bid to stave off complete irrelevancy to the youth of the 21st century. They published their first new comic yesterday, and introduced us to a new Batman, grimmer and grittier than ever.

Batman 2011: I use guns now.

Yes, that's Batman on the left in his new, hi-tech costume sure to appeal to 14-year-old boys, shooting a grappling hook out of a gun through the leg of a... something. Um, ok. I guess that will make someone want to buy this issue.

From 1940 until the 2000s, Batman didn't use guns. Ever. But the kids of today like guns, I guess, so like any good pusher, DC is going where the action is. "Hey kid, want to see Batman shoot a guy? You got it!"

I'm sure that somebody would try to justify this by saying that "it's not a gun because it doesn't shoot bullets!" That excuse, of course, is bullshit. Just because Batman's new gun shoots fancy hooked bullets with strings attached doesn't mean it's not a gun. That's like saying that dripping water up a helpless person's nose isn't torture. Only a super villain would be stupid enough to try to make that argument!

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Now that the NFL has finally resolved their labor dispute, teams have been moving at a break-neck pace to shore up their rosters. This includes the Miami Dolphins, who in addition to signing all of their draft picks in the past week have also signed quarterback Matt Moore of the Panthers and traded for Reggie Bush of the Saints. That's... awesome?

Matt Moore could be considered injury-prone at best, a complete bust at worst. His 7-6 record over the last 4 years as an on-again-off-again starter for the Carolina Panthers is not much of an endorsement, but then again, he was playing for the Panthers. The arrival of first overall draft choice Cam "Pay-for-Play" Newton made all other Panthers' quarterbacks expendable, so the Dolphins took the opportunity to snatch up the players discarded from the last-place team in the NFL. The Dolphins settled for Moore only after the Denver Broncos demanded too much in trade for another middling quarterback, Kyle Orton. Though Orton is a far better quarterback than Moore (or any other Dolphins' quarterback), Denver has already named Tim "Touchdown Jesus" Tebow as their starting QB for 2011. It would seem that Denver could let Orton go cheap, but the Dolphins didn't want to spend the 3rd-round pick that the Broncos demanded in trade. Instead, the Dolphins got Moore, a better value in name only.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins have cleverly resolved their running back problem with the addition of a player who could at best be considered injury-prone, or at worst a complete bust. Reggie Bush is expected to replace the running back tandem of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Williams, like Bush, was a Heisman-award winning running back who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints only to fall short of living up to the impossible hype. Williams went on to sign a lucrative deal with the Dolphins and led the league in rushing only to become suspended following several failed drug tests, retire, and then return to pay off his debt. If Bush performs half as well for the Dolphins as Williams did, there are going to be a lot of happy drug dealers in Miami this year.

So there you have it, the 2011 Miami Dolphins. New year, same old suck.

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Kidney stone watch: Day 8

Early last Saturday morning, I woke up to extreme, vomit-inducing abdominal pain that migrated from left to right across my lower abdomen over the course of 4 hours. At the time, I assumed that the pain was associated with the pint of beef lo mein I had eaten the night before. By noon, I felt fatigued, but healthy again. I was completely wrong.

Despite the occasional feeling of constipation or urinary retention, everything seemed normal until 8PM Wednesday night, when the pain returned with its friends. It felt like I was being kicked in the groin over and over and over again. For 8 hours. When the groin pain was finally joined by a stabbing sensation in my right side, I cried uncle and went to the hospital emergency room. The attending physician diagnosed a kidney stone before I had even completed describing my symptoms.

I was completely unprepared for this diagnosis. I know three people who have had kidney stones in recent years, and somehow I'd missed the reports that kidney stones felt like someone would be using my testicles as a speed bag. I had assumed my problem was food poisoning or intestinal strangulation or maybe even appendicitis. But not kidney stones. I had no idea my kidneys hated my guts so much.

The hospital gave me some pain killers that made me so sick to my stomach that I begged for the stabbing pain to return. I was proscribed Flomax to enlarge my urethra and make passages of the stone easier. Then I was given a funnel-shaped "strainer" to catch the stone when I passed it out of my urine. I've spent the days since pissing like a hose into a funnel that functions like a shower head, spraying urine all over my bathroom floor.

Of course, this all happens during the one week this month when I had a chance to work up to 60 hours making good money sorting Magic cards for a friend's hobby shop. So instead of making enough money to pay my July bills, I pick up a mighty hospital tab and a huge sleep deficit. Awesome.

My new urologist tells me that he has no doubt I will pass this 2mm kidney stone, theoretically in time for my second appointment on Monday when he will analyse it and tell me what caused it. (Yes, I know you think it was Coke. Everyone tells me they think it was Coke. I get it. I drink a lot of Coke.) But no stone so far. I was feeling so good yesterday afternoon that I assumed I must have somehow passed the stone without noticing. That idea was murdered during an aborted trip to Lowe's to pick up material for ongoing kitchen repair for my mother's rental property that must be completed by the beginning of August. No pressure.

So here I sit, drinking as much fluid as I can stomach, trying to flush out a stone that seems to like me far more than I like it. 2011 sucks.

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After my mother chewed me out for my niggardly approach to home repair, I got off my bum and tore the cabinets out of the kitchen. This necessary work had been much delayed, party because I'm lazy, and partly because it was really a two-man job. If you've ever read any of my other DIY exploits, you can probably begin to guess where this is going.

The kitchen cabinets were low-quality to begin with, and over the years they had begin to come apart. More than one cabinet door had fallen off over time as the hinges succumbed to metal fatigue. When a shiftless computer programmer rips a cabinet door off its hinge, either the last Coca-Cola in the house is behind that door, or it's time to replace the cabinets.

Trey had helped me take down the first two cabinets a few months ago. That operation had taken a considerable amount of blood and sweat, and had resulted in a pizza-sized hole in the wall. Alone, I was determined to be more careful with the 6 remaining cabinets and keep the walls intact. So the first thing I did was scratch the kitchen floor while moving the island out of the way for the safety ladder.

It quickly became apparent that the remaining cabinets weren't going to come off any easier than the first two. After 20 careful minutes with a drill, packing knife, hammer, and pry bar, I finally had a cabinet off the wall with no major structural damage to the wall, the cabinet, or me. The next cabinet was no easier. The third harder still. So much caulk had been used on installation, these suckers were practically glued to the wall. Mistake number one: never trust anything that was installed by someone who uses caulk like glue.

The fourth cabinet was potentially dangerous. It hung over the stove and had live electrical wires where the wall-mounted microwave had once been. (That microwave had died years earlier and long been removed to the garbage dump.) I carefully taped off the wire and unmounted the electrical box that had been installed inside the cabinet. I also removed the sheet metal screws holding the stove's exhaust vent in place. However, I still had to access the crawl space behind the bathroom upstairs to gently remove the exhaust pipe without damaging the exhaust vent on the roof, a vent which only last month I had repaired from leaking in the rain. No sooner had I fully dislodged the exhaust pipe than I heard a tremendous crash below me. I was holding the pipe, but someone should have been holding the cabinet.

When I extricated myself from the crawlspace and rushed downstairs (accompanied by my repeated and inventive profanity-laden exclaimations), I found what I expected: the cabinet had crashed down onto the range. It turns out that the exhaust pipe had been the only thing holding the cabinet in place. The caulk that had acted as cement for all the other cabinets had been destroyed by the now-repaired leak in the roof. The one cabinet that could really damage something if it fell had fallen and damaged something.

And I had planned on eating spaghetti tonight.

The glass range top was smashed, and the oven, the one large appliance in the kitchen that worked perfectly was now destroyed. Fortunately, the electrical wires weren't damaged in the fall. I could begin cleaning up without worrying about electrocution. And while I did immediately proceed to slice my finger open while cleaning up the mess, it wasn't on a piece of giant jagged glass, but on a small rusty nail. So thank goodness for that.

Naturally, the two remaining cabinets were the hardest of all to remove. I even had to smash the final cabinet above the refrigerator into its component pieces with a hammer to separate it from all the caulk and stripped screws holding it place. By the end, I did not for a minute worry about saving the wall.

If there is a moral to this story, I suspect that it's this: never do what your mother tells you. Either way you'll doom yourself to a future of cold dinners, so you might as well just avoid all that work.

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Have I mentioned that I am pulling for a lockout in the NFL next season?

After failing to recruit another head coach, Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross re-signed coach Tony Sparano -- who is responsible for 2 consecutive 7-9 seasons -- to a 2-year contract extension. Both of the Dolphins' starting running backs are free agents, and at least one will not return. The Dolphins' first string quarterback was among the worst in the NFL in all statistical categories in 2010. Despite being snapped like a twig on his first play in 2010, "Noodle-Arm" Chad Pennington is promising to make a comeback next season, stealing a roster spot from a potentially useful player. And now our departing Offensive Coordinator who thought it would be a good idea to throw on a majority of our plays despite producing the worst team passer rating in our conference, has been replaced with some shmuck named Brian Daboll.

Daboll was the Offensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He lost his job because every coach in Cleveland is getting fired following their second consecutive 5-11 season. But that's not the whole story. To give you an idea how good Daboll must be at his job, take a look at the Brown's stats compared to the other 31 NFL teams from 2010:

  • 20th in rushing yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
  • 29th in passing yards per game. The Dolphins were 16th.
  • 29th in total yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
  • 31st in total points per game. The Dolphins were 30th.

Of all the coaches in the League, we hired not only one who was worse than we were, but one of the worst in the entire League? Of course all of those numbers do rank as improvements over the Brown's success in 2009, Daboll's first year with the team. In 2009 the Browns ranked 32nd of 32 teams in passing yards and total yards. I suspect that we could have hired a ball boy with better coaching skills.

The only thing that can make this all make sense is if Ross is planning on positioning the team to draft Andrew Luck of Stanford. Luck is projected to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft when he graduates from college next season. I sure hope that kid looks good in aqua and orange.

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To be continued...


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