Showing 11 - 20 of 32 posts found matching keyword: randy

Wisconsin Curds come to Newnan GA

Culver's pulled a sneaky Grand Opening on Monday, August 1. I wouldn't have known about it if not for friend Randy's text notification. That's true friendship. Thanks, Randy.

For future reference, I'll just leave this here. (As a former Boy Scout, I know the value in being prepared. You never can tell when the urgent need for a ButterBurger® may arise.)

I need someone to build a more direct road

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We left the season-opening University Louisiana Monroe/UGA football game with 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. But so did everyone else. The game was called after its second lightning delay with Georgia ahead, 14-51.

ULM 14, UGA 51

The first lightning delay was called at 8:35 remaining in the third (ULM 14, UGA 35), and the game wouldn't restart for another hour. Friend Randy and I took shelter in the stadium concourse while it rained. It was hard to tell how long it might last. Even in the middle of the heaviest downpour, Randy's WeatherBug® app insisted that there was a 0% chance of rain in Athens, GA.

The second delay was called completely unexpectedly during a period of sunny skies. The few of us left in the stadium watched as the two head coaches met on the 20-yard line. It was obvious to all of us what they must be talking about. Sure enough, they soon announced that the game was called. UGA win!

I've been a season ticket holder for over a decade, and this was the first time I've seen either a lightning delay or a called game. Just when you think you've seen everything....

(P.S. Today's game was also the unofficial debut of Uga X-elect, Que. I didn't know this before I arrived at the game, but when I saw that the mascot had no brown spot on his rump, I knew it wasn't Russ. I hope that the rest of Que's tenure produces many more games just as memorable.)

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Before I painted the outside of my house, I helped a friend with the inside of his. We stripped some wallpaper, repaired a fence, replaced some worm plumbing, and then we tiled the bathroom. Take, for example, this tile tub border:

Randy had to make sure that the tiny accent tiles were distributed randomly

That pattern was repeated, more or less, around the shower off camera to the left. All in all, I think it came out nicely, even if I would have chosen different colors. (Should a bathroom look like it's at the bottom of the sea?)

Anyway, it's been a busy month, so I'm taking a few days off from diy projects before I start on painting the garage Twilight Gray, Quartz Stone, and Firecracker Red. Painting won't be so much trouble, but before I can begin that, I have to move everything out of the garage. Then at some point I'll have to move it all back in.... And that can all just wait a few days.

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At dinner the other day, I made the comment that Pringles were made of an extruded potato paste and couldn't be called potato chips in England. A fellow diner responded by saying that in "some countries," it is illegal to sell McDonald's hamburgers to dogs. Needless to say, that raised some eyebrows at the table.

She had read the statement somewhere that she insisted was "not Facebook." She claimed that the source of the quote was celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Could this be true? Were McDonald's hamburgers not good enough for dog food? This demanded research. To the Internet, Robin!

The source for the statement seems to have been an episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution quoted by the Daily Mail in its 2012 report that McDonald's had eliminated so-called "Pink Slime" from its American burgers. Oliver decried the Pink Slime as dog food sold to humans, not the other way around. It turns out that the European Union bans the use of Pink Slime in anything other than dog food. So Pink Slime is okay for dogs; that's what it is intended for.

Personally, I think it's cruel and inhumane to serve McDonald's hamburgers to dogs, but I can't find any evidence that it is illegal anywhere. It is certainly acceptable in America, and so far as I can tell, is also allowed in Canada, England, Russia, China, or any of the 116 other countries with a McDonald's restaurant. That doesn't mean that "some countries" don't ban it, but I can't find one. So next time you're stopping for a Big Mac in Kuala Lumpur, it's probably safe to give a bite to Fido.

But I can't give my dining mate too much of a hard time. It turns out that all the fun food facts we discussed the other day were wrong. I was right once upon a time, but in 2009, a British appeals court declared that denying that Pringles were potato chips was costing the country £20 million (about $30 million) in annual tax revenue. So now Pringles are legally recognized as potato chips in the U.K. no matter how much actual potato they have in them. Yum.

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On Friday, August 2, The Newnan Times-Herald published a feature piece on Heroes, the town's only comic book shop. The article describes the owner as "friendly and... a dedicated comic collector since eighth grade. When he says Heroes just had its best two months in store history, coinciding with his taking over, it doesn't sound like chest-puffing."

Now, it happens that I know the owner of Heroes. We graduated from high school together. We've been roommates. I've met his kids (who think I'm great!). I can say with 100% certainty that even if it didn't sound like "chest-puffing" to the writer of that article, it totally was.

I was prepared to write a point-by-point response to the article here at A salacious expose of the underbelly of the local comic and gaming scene might be just what this dull blog needs. Sex, drugs, rock and roll! I'll be like TMZ: Newnan Edition!

But when I went to Heroes to tell the owner what I planned, he gave me a great deal on some backstock comics. I'm not stupid. I know a bribe when I see one.

Therefore, I'm not going to say anything negative about the "hotshot" owner or his store. I'll even endorse Heroes as the best place to buy comic books in Newnan, GA. But that store manager guy, Tim? What a slob.

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Movies from May, part 2 of 3:

77. (384.) Out of the Past (1947)
After watching 200 Cigarettes last year (movie 195 of 307 in 2012), I read Roger Ebert's review of that movie. In his review, Ebert spent more time talking about how much better cigarette smoke was filmed in Out of the Past. He's right, of course, but everything about Out of the Past is superior to everything in 200 Cigarettes. Out of the Past is film noir crime drama, and it's even funnier than 200 Cigarettes.

78. (385.) Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
This movie exists just to take up a few hours of time. Its a by-the-numbers action/fairy tale with no subtext or context, and what little backstory is included for the Evil Queen (to lure Charlize Theron to the part?) seems an entirely unnecessary exercise that is just adding extra running time. I'm still not sure why the Huntsman gets a name drop in the title. The one "twist" (that the Huntsman and not the Prince is her true love) isn't important to events or followed through on. I don't know how Kristen Stewart could fall for the director of this kind of drivel. I admit the CGI is pretty impressive, but it just isn't enough to keep me looking at the screen.

79. (386.) Mrs. Miniver (1942)
"World War II propaganda that won Academy Awards" gives the impression that the movie will be a little more exciting than it actually is. Not bad, just bland. In hindsight, I feel that The Americanization of Emily owed this movie a great debt. Emily warps the same fabric to create its own overt anti-war message by disparaging all warriors. (Of course, Emily was made two decades later, and that sort of distance changes the perspective of filmmakers and audiences significantly, but it's worth wondering how Mrs. Miniver would have turned out if it was made at the start of Vietnam.)

80. (387.) The Miniver Story (1950)
This direct sequel to Mrs. Miniver completely ignores important characters from the first film without so much as a reference. This might not have been such a big deal if you watched it in theaters after the 8 years hiatus in between them, but when you watch them back-to-back, you can't help wondering "whatever happened to the RAF pilot son?" for the duration of the movie. (Behind the scenes, the actor who played the "missing" character had married and divorced the actress who played "Mrs. Miniver," and it was determined best by all involved to discard the character and pretend it all never happened. Ah, old Hollywood. They really do make them like the used to.)

81. (388.) JCVD (2008)
Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself — sort of — in a movie about the very movie you're watching. The best film of Van Damme's career by far. How had I missed this? Thanks to Jorell and Randy for insisting I watch this.

82. (389.) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
As I've said many times, I don't care for vampires, but neither does Abraham Lincoln! I was shocked to find myself enjoying this carefree mock biopic. I love being surprised by movies. This one was a winner.

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For the first time in 38 years, I opened no gifts on Christmas Day. Mom and I celebrated on Christmas Eve so that I would have plenty of time to get Dad to the hospital by 6 AM this morning for his scheduled angiogram. He'll likely be in the hospital until tomorrow, which is also his birthday. That's my birthday present to him; I figure a trip home from a hospital stay is probably as good a gift as any.

Not that our Christmas Eve celebration was exactly a big deal. Mom and I had a brief gift exchange and some homemade hamburgers (we forgot to make the french fries we had in the freezer) before working on a jigsaw puzzle. Other than the case of 20-oz Cokes given to me by my new bff Randy, everything I got for the holiday fits in a single, moderately-sized cardboard box. And not a single video game! A quiet evening with mom and no video games? I must be getting old.

I should probably point out that fewer people gave me gifts than ever before. I used to get presents from my aunt, but earlier this month she declared that she is in financial straits this season and wouldn't be exchanging gifts with anyone. I was worried about her until she showed up at our house with the brand new Kindle Fire she bought herself. The worst part was that she only came over because she wanted me to teach her how to use the Kindle. Add that to the time I spent installing Dad's new Blu-Ray player last weekend, and it's been a very Tech Support Christmas.

Still no word from my brother. Presents are wrapped and waiting for him and his new bride, should they ever decide to communicate with us again. Trey's defection from the family certainly remains a bummer, but on the upside, a small holiday gathering of just Mom and me prevented a recurrence of our dysfunctional family's most cherished tradition: our annual shouting matches. I have to say, it was a kind of a nice change of pace.

For the record, this post isn't meant to describe how shitty my Christmas was. In fact, I quite enjoyed myself. It was certainly among the best holidays I've had in the many years since Santa Claus stopped visiting. I only list these things and point out that they combine to something of a high-water mark in my experience so that you, my dear reader, can establish a metric by which to compare your own Christmases to mine. It is my dream that one day we can all have better Christmases through Science. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

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The middle of three lists of movies for October.

241. Exporting Raymond (2010)
I must be the exception that proves the rule that Everybody Loves Raymond, but I did very much enjoy this documentary of the attempt to adapt the American sitcom for a Russian audience. Thanks for that recommendation, Randy.

242. Mean Girls (2004)
This was the movie that launched Tina Fey into the popular consciousness. It's not a bad teen comedy, but it's not an outstanding teen comedy, either. (Teen comedies, romantic comedies, and Frank Capra movies: if you've seen one, you've seen all of them.)

243. Blind Alibi (1938)
A sculptor interested in recovering some sensitive documents hidden in some art decides to pose as a blind man and buy a seeing-eye dog so that the museum will give him 24-hour, unfettered access to the museum collection. Yeah, it could happen.

244. Black Swan (2010)
Every shot in this film was a close-up of something, making the whole thing feel hideously claustrophobic. I thought this approach was odd in a movie set in the world of ballet, an art I typically associate with plenty of open space. I'm filing this in the category of "good movies I never want to see again."

245. Bewitched (2005)
The first of 3 television-to-movie adaptations that I watched this month (not counting the documentary mentioned above), and the least artistically successful of the three. This film spends so much time paying homage to the source material, it never really establishes its own identity as a separate story. It just sort of... is.

246. The Tuxedo (2002)
I caught this movie almost accidentally one night while trying to meet a deadline at work. Given its rather bland action scenes and broad humor, I would have expected it to be made for children except for the frequent sex jokes. Maybe it was meant immature adults. That's a pretty large audience, I guess.

247. The Great McGinty (1940)
A very enjoyable send-up of big city city politics. Highly recommended.

248. This is Cinerama (1952)
Cinerama was a precursor to Imax. This documentary promoting the concept leads with its strength, a roller coaster ride (specifically the Atom Smasher from Playland at Rockaway Beach, NY, which was dismantled in 1985) then limps through another hour-and-a-half of opera singers, landscapes, and tourist footage of Cypress Gardens (that closed on September 23, 2009, to be replaced by Legoland Florida on October 15, 2011). The film is generally booor-ring, but obviously I find the amusement park connections interesting.

249. Contraband (2012)
Mark Wahlberg stars as exactly the kind of character you expect to find Mark Wahlberg cast in a film that was somewhat better than I was expecting. There are no "good guys" in this film pitting bad guys against bad guys. I don't know if this is an endorsement, but I'm sure my father would like it.

250. I Spy (2002)
Ever seen Shanghai Noon? Replace Jackie Chan with Eddie Murphy, bring the movie into the 21st century, and you've seen this movie. I think it's weird that this movie is more like another movie than the television series it was based on, but I guess this is more loyal to the source material than Starsky & Hutch. Maybe Wilson should just stay away from tv-to-movie properties.

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Several times a year, I help a comic-shop owning friend of mine open and sort shipments of Magic cards. For those of you who don't know, Magic is the social activity of choice for youths who aren't athletic enough for sports, smart enough for chess, or socially aware enough for girls.

Back in his day, they slept in their ties

Naturally, most of the people who work in this sweatshop operation are Magic players interested in getting a first look at the new cards. Rare is the migrant employee who, like me, focuses on the job and not the cards. Rarer still is the employee on Social Security benefits. In fact, there's only one.

Pat Todd is the tortoise of the Magic-sorting game. He has two speeds: slow and slower. I suspect that part of his efficiency problem is that he has to squint at all the cards.

That said, I'll take working with Pat Todd over the average Magic player any day. While Pat Todd doesn't move fast enough to work up a sweat, at least he understands the value of hygiene.

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The fellow who pays me to open Magic cards was disappointed that I didn't mention him by name in my last post. That fellow's name is Randy, and this is my way of apologizing for not mentioning him earlier.

Randy loves to gamble. He'll bet on anything. That's not to say that Randy has a problem. I'm sure he could quit any time he could no longer find someone willing to take his money. He's preparing to have a second child, I suspect, because he's already lost the rights to his first kid.

Randy is excited about today's Super Bowl. He'll certainly be wagering on the game. That doesn't make Randy unique: it is estimated that about half of all adult American -- probably the male half -- will be gambling today's game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants. And like Randy, most of those bettors will be gambling not on the game's outcome, but on its details.

Proposition bets are wildly popular, Randy assures me. These "prop" bets are for the outcome of curiously specific events. Randy's personal favorite prop is to gamble on whether the first turnover of the game will be a fumble or interception. (Randy prefers fumble, but interception is the big favorite. [Actual outcome: interception]) Other examples of props for Super Bowl XLVI:

  • Will Tom Brady's first pass of the game be complete, incomplete, or intercepted?
    (Favorite: incomplete)[Actual: incomplete]
  • Will Eli Manning throw a touchdown pass in the first quarter of the game?
    (Favorite: no) [Actual: yes]
  • Which quarterback will throw an interception first?
    (Favorite: Manning) [Actual: Brady]
  • Will more or fewer than 2.5 players attempt a pass during the game?
    (Favorite: fewer) [Actual: fewer]
  • Which team will cross the 50 yard line on offense first?
    (Favorite: Giants) [Actual: Giants]
  • Will any player draw a penalty for excessive celebration after a touchdown?
    (Favorite: no) [Actual: no]
  • Will the jersey number be of the first player to score a touchdown be higher or lower than 80.5?
    (Favorite: lower) [Actual: lower (80)]
  • Will the Patriots convert a 4th down?
    (Favorite: no) [Actual: yes]
  • Will the first missed field goal of the game miss left, miss right, or be blocked?
    (Favorite: miss left) [Actual: none missed]
  • Will the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach be yellow, orange, clear, red, green, or blue?
    (Favorite: yellow) [Actual: purple!]
  • If Tom Brady's son is shown on TV during the game, will he be wearing a Tom Brady Jersey?
    (Favorite: yes) [Actual: not shown]
  • Will Kelly Clarkson's bare belly be showing when she sings the National Anthem?
    (Favorite: no) [Actual: no]
  • Will Madonna wear an NFL jersey or shirt at any point during the Super Bowl halftime show?
    (Favorite: no) [Actual: no]
  • Which number will be higher: the gross passing yards accrued by Tom Brady plus 63.5 yards or the number of points accrued by the college basketball teams of Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Illinois, and Northwestern on February 5 minus 63.5 points?
    (Favorite: even) [Actual: Brady]

I think Randy was going to tell me that the last bet is a sure thing for Brady, but he barely got through reading it when he excused himself to make a phone call. Don't worry, though. I made sure that he paid me in cash as soon as he came back.

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To be continued...