TMS Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings 2010

2:29 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

I'm just starting to get my positional rankings together for the new season. Here are the first drafts for Catcher, First Base and Second Base. I will have the other positions up in the coming days.

CATCHER

RK PLAYER, TEAMRK
PLAYER, TEAM
1. Joe Mauer, MIN
16.
John Baker, FLA
2. Victor Martinez, CLE
17.
Kelly Shoppach, TB
3. Brian McCann, ATL
18.
Miguel Olivo, COL
4. Matt Wieters, BAL
19.
Carlos Ruiz, PHI
5. Russell Martin, LAD
20.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, TEX
6. Jorge Posada, NYY
21.
Ramon Hernandez, CIN
7. Kurt Suzuki, KC
22.
Rod Barajas, FA
8. Miguel Montero, ARI
23.
Jesus Flores, WAS
9. Mike Napoli, ANA
24.
Jeff Clement, SEA
10. Ryan Doumit, PIT
25.
John Buck, TOR
11. Geovany Soto, CHC
26.
Ivan Rodriguez, WAS
12. Bengie Molina, SF
27.
Buster Posey, SF
13. Yadier Molina, STL
28.
Gerald Laird, DET
14. A.J. Pierzynski, CHW
29.
Lou Marson, CLE
15. Chris Iannetta, COL
30.
Taylor Teagarden, TEX

On the edge of the radar: Jason Kendall KC, Nick Hundley SD, Dioner Navarro TB


FIRST BASE

RK PLAYER, TEAMRK
PLAYER, TEAM
1. Albert Pujols, STL
16.
Adam Dunn, WAS
2. Prince Fielder, MIL
17.
Carlos Pena, TB
3. Miguel Cabrera, DET
18.
Billy Butler, KC
4. Ryan Howard, PHI
19.
Michael Cuddyer, MIN
5. Mark Teixeira, NYY
20.
Jose Lopez, SEA
6. Mark Reynolds, ARI
21.
James Loney, LAD
7. Adrian Gonzalez, SD
22.
Jorge Cantu, FLA
8. Kevin Youkilis, BOS
23.
Garrett Jones, PIT
9. Pablo Sandoval, SF
24.
Adam LaRoche, ARI
10. Kendry Morales, ANA
25.
Todd Helton, COL
11. Justin Morneau, MIN
26.
Paul Konerko, CHW
12. Joey Votto, CIN
27.
Chris Davis, TEX
13. Victor Martinez, CLE
28.
Nick Swisher, NYY
14. Derrek Lee, CHC
29.
Nick Johnson, NYY
15. Lance Berkman, HOU
30.
Carlos Delgado, FA

On the edge of the radar: Martin Prado ATL, Aubrey Huff SF, Casey Kotchman SEA, Russell Branyan FA


SECOND BASE

RK PLAYER, TEAMRK
PLAYER, TEAM
1. Chase Utley, PHI
16.
Kelly Johnson, ARI
2. Ian Kinsler, TEX
17.
Clint Barmes, COL
3. Dustin Pedroia, BOS
18.
Martin Prado, ATL
4. Robinson Cano, NYY
19.
Scott Sizemore, DET
5. Aaron Hill, TOR
20.
Orlando Hudson, FA
6. Brian Roberts, BAL
21.
Felipe Lopez, FA
7. Brandon Phillips, CIN
22.
Alberto Callaspo, KC
8. Ben Zobrist, TB
23.
Luis Castillo, NYM
9. Dan Uggla, FLA
24.
Casey McGehee, MIL
10. Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
25.
Maicer Izturis, ANA
11. Howie Kendrick, ANA
26.
Mark Ellis, OAK
12. Jose Lopez, SEA
27.
Kazuo Matsui, HOU
13. Ian Stewart, COL
28.
Akinori Iwamura, PIT
14. Rickie Weeks, MIL
29.
Freddy Sanchez, SF
15. Placido Polanco, PHI
30.
Skip Schumaker, STL

On the edge of the radar: Adam Kennedy OAK, Luis Valbuena CLE, Ronnie Belliard LAD, Chris Getz CHW, Jeff Baker CHC, Eugenio Velez SF

It's Kurtains

2:50 PM | Comments (3) | by Chaim Witz


Today, the Sultan of Stubble called it a career, and a remarkable one at that. Unlike some other aging QB's, we can probably take this one at his word.

Always a TMS favorite (particularly of yours truly), Captain Kurt leaves behind a memorable and wholly unique, if inexplicable, legacy. Kurt was one of the good guys, which was both his blessing and his curse. He didn't have the pedigree of a Manning, the aw shucks charm of a Favre, the GQ suave of a Brady or the athleticism of...well, anyone really. His spiky haired wife (who has now settled into hot cougar mode) and huge mancrush on God made him an easy target for sarcastic bloggers and the like, and he never hosted SNL or starred in his own Mastercard commercial.

His career was an exercise in perseverance, where nothing came easy, even if at times he made playing his position seem that way. Because of this perseverance, he was not only able to resurrect his career, but two of the most downtrodden franchises in NFL history along the way. He retires one of the most accurate and feared passers in NFL history, whose storybook life, big game moxie and cache of records have assured him a place in Canton.

From one Panther to another, Kurt I salute you. Those wings at BW3's won't taste the same without you.

Cubs Condemned By Church Group

9:01 AM | Comments (3) | by Wolter

Oh good. Another redhead. The site is saved. After learning that the Chicago National League Base-Ball Club signed Chad Tracy to a minor league contract, the National Council of Churches condemned the organization for ethical transgressions.

According to an NCC spokesperson, the Chicago Cubs were guilty of "playing God," when they combined the DNA of poor fielding former Cub and Ginger Spokesmodel Matt Murton with the DNA of poor hitting former Cub and War Criminal Aaron Miles, to create an amalgamation that "stands as a mockery to the laws of both Nature and Our Lord. An OPS of .695 on a man whose primary position is first base is nothing short of Sinful."

The Cubs fired back with a press release, which began: "Dude, the guy was a pretty good hitter a few years ago. Give us a damn break," and concluded "it's not like God has done any favors for us up to now."

Cubs Sign Professor X

12:37 PM | Comments (2) | by Arcturus

In a bold move, today the Cubs agreed to terms with legendary leader of the X-Men, Professor X, Charles Xavier. My assumption is that he will take over the GM duties from human blob Jim Hendry, who will be released back into the wild.

Scratch that, I've just learned that the Cubs in fact signed outfielder Xavier Nady, who's coming off of his second Tommy John surgery. Hendry must have seen the words "second Tommy John" on Nady's resume and Krispey Kremed himself. Mutant.

Unless Nady's physical reveals something hinky (like aftereffects of 2 TJ surgeries), he'll join the Cubs as their fourth outfielder. Nady played in seven games for the Yankees in 2009, putting up a .286 average.

Thunder Matt's Saloon Best of 2009: Music

3:00 PM | Comments (14) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Well better late than never. As we did for 2008, and 2007 and even 2006, it's time for our Best of 2009: Music list. Like before, a handful of the TMS bartenders put together a list of their favorite albums from the past year.

This year may not seem as diverse as last year but that's only because we don't have Governor X here to exclaim how great Adam Lambert and Tokio Hotel are.

Anyway, on with the lists.

Arcturus - I'm shocked to see actual new music on this list.

1. Middle Cyclone by Neko Case. I did a review of this album earlier in the year which pretty much says every thing I want to say about it. In my opinion, it's still the best album of 2009. The cover with her with a sword on the hood of a classic Mercury is pretty righteous in and of itself.

Check Out: "This Tornado Loves You", "Magpie to the Morning", "Prison Girls", "People Got a Lotta Nerve"

2. The Beatles Remasters. All of these albums are classics and the remastering job is fantastic. These recordings have never sounded as good, as least not since the vinyl era. I was really impressed by the sonic clarity, as each instrument is more sharply defined than on the 1990 CD versions.

Check Out: It's The Beatles, numbnuts. Aside from some of the dippy country covers where they let Ringo sing, it's pretty much all money.

3. The Fall by Norah Jones. Norah Jones is a big Tom Waits fan, especially of the album Mule Variations, to the point where she enlisted Jacquire King, one of the engineers on MV, to produce The Fall. King brought in some of the musicians from the album, including guitarists Smokey Hormel and Marc Ribot. The result is a slow burn of an album, with Jones's smoky voice set over an eclectic art-rock background. The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

Check Out: "Young Blood" (co-written by Okkervill River's Will Sheff), "Even Though", "Chasing Pirates", "Light as a Feather" (co-written by Ryan Adams). Also, make sure to download the Amazon bonus track "Can't Stop", which was too damn good to leave off the album, in my opinion. Also noteworthy is her subdued cover of Wilco's "Jesus Etc." from the deluxe version available on iTunes.

4. Coltrane by John Coltrane. Also known as Prestige 7105 or First Trane, this was Coltrane's first album recorded under his name for Prestige Records and released in 1957. While this was before Coltrane became a big name in jazz and before his evolution into one of the greatest jazz innovators in history, this is nonetheless a fantastic album. Coltrane's big tone is there and while he broke no new ground with this recording, it's one of my favorites of his.

Check Out: "Violets For Your Furs", "Chronic Blues", "Bakai", "While My Lady Sleeps"

5. By a Thread by Gov't Mule. The Mule's first studio album in three years. Gov't Mule have a new bass player, Jorgen Carlsson, who proves a muscular addition to the group consisting of Warren Haynes (guitar, vocals), Matt Abts (drums), and Danny Louis (keyboardist, guitar). Recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio.

Check Out: "Broke Down on the Brazos" (featuring ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons), the traditional "Railroad Boy", "Steppin' Lightly", "Gordon James"

6. Rollin' With Leo by Leo Parker. 2009 remaster of a 1961 session, baritone sax player Parker's second with Blue Note Records. Sadly, it would be his last, as he died from a heart attack four months after recording it. The album itself is a real burner, straight ahead bop with some real swing. Parker's baritone growl is well suited for the material and the various ensembles that back him.

Check Out: "The Lion's Roar", "Rollin' with Leo", "Mad Lad", "Talkin' the Blues"

7. Bible Belt by Diane Birch. Diane Birch's debut album has a nice Carole King, blues/gospel/soul kind of feel to it. Some of the horns are even provided by members of the Blues Brothers Band. I was surprised that this was her first album, as the songs are well written and very soulful. Worth looking into.

Check Out: "Rewind", "Rise Up", "Fire Escape"


Wolter - The Top and Only Four Albums Wolter Has Heard in 2009.

Mastodon - Crack the Skye: The best "prog-drenched metal album loosely based on Rasputin's life" of 2009. Not quite as good as Leviathan, but not much else is.

Zu - Carboniferous: The best "largely instrumental metal-jazz fusion album with a Mike Patton guest appearance" of 2009. Though Patton's by far the weakest link on this one.

Art Brut - Art Brut vs. Satan: The best "Art Brut album" of 2009. They really haven't changed the formula at all for this one. But I like the formula, so I really don't care.

Assjack - Assjack: The best EVERYTHING of 2009. It's also my vote for Best Picture, Best Detective Fiction, and Best Local Pizza. Hank Williams III plays all the instruments. If you don't own and love this album, I strongly suspect you have a vagina. And that your vagina has it's own vagina. Also you are deaf. Redneck punk-metal-violence fusion. Sure, the songs all sound alike. That's the point, Sally.


Brant Brown - This music is best served while eating your daily lunch of a turkey sandwich, chips and an apple.

1) Chris Cornell - Scream: For my money, this was the most exciting release of the year. I was floored when I first heard it, as I had found his previous effort, Carry On, absolutely stale. I applaud his daring effort to throw rock convention to the side. More artists need to take chances these days. Did it work out for him? Probably not, as he was widely ridiculed. But it worked for me, and if nothing else, it may have provided the necessary kick in the ass to regroup Soundgarden for a summer tour.

2) 7 Worlds Collide - The Sun Came Out: This double album is a collaboration of original songs by Neil Finn's friends throughout the industry. Joining Finn in the effort were members of Radiohead, Wilco, Johnny Marr, KT Tunstall, Bic Runga, and Neil's son Liam and brother Tim. All proceeds from the album sales go to Oxfam. A fantastic collection of music, all geared toward a good cause. Can't go wrong with that.

3) Richard Swift - The Atlantic Ocean: Swift is solo musician and multi-instrumentalist who specializes in tight, catchy numbers that make you want to tap your feet. Drum machines and effects give the record a brittle, poppy sound that gets stuck in your head and makes you whistle. A very enjoyable album.

4) Stereophonics - Keep Calm and Carry On: Certainly not their most ambitious effort, these songs get much better with repeat listens. There may be no satisfying guitar solos, but Kelly Jones' voice lifts many of these tunes to arena-worthy rockers.

5) Wilco - Wilco (the album): Laugh if choose, call them pretentious. They make no bones about this album having cosmic importance. This is no Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but it's not supposed to be. Jeff Tweedy brings a light, refreshing airiness to this collection of songs. There are a few really worthy lite-rock tracks found here. That's all it is, nothing more, nothing less. It's fun.

Rounding out the Top Ten...
6) White Rabbits - It's Frightening
7) M Ward - Hold Time
8) Pearl Jam - Backspacer
9) Blakroc - Blakroc
10) Flaming Lips - Embryonic

Honorable mention:
Don McGlashan and the Seven Sisters - Marvellous Year
I haven't heard this album yet, so it can't make my list. It's an import from Australia, and Amazon and Amoeba Records can't help me out in obtaining it at this time. I will keep looking for it in 2010.


The Hundley - May have just reposted his 2008 list and changed the album names.

1. Black Crowes - Before the Frost...Until The Freeze
I'm including both of the albums here. ...Until The Freeze was a free add-on when you purchased Before the Frost. Seems to me that the Black Crowes keep getting better with age. They really seem to have developed their own sound with the past few releases as opposed to the Faces-clones they were before. They even decided to "roots" it up here, specifically on the second album, which could be called a bluegrass/Americana album. An amazing tight band and album.

Tight Cuts: Good Morning Captain, A Train Still Makes a Lonely Sound, What is Home, Roll Old Jeremiah

2. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
The Black Keys front-man steps out on his own here. Gone is the two-instrument arrangements of the former band, here arrive more low-key songs that are accompanied by bass, drums, and organ. Keep It Hid is surely a choice album for those that love the stoner rock genre. Consistent, looping hooks and mellow vocals will do that. An amazing tour accompanied this album as well, with Texas-based, Hacienda, stepping in as Dan's backing band.

Tight Cuts: I Want Some More, Real Desire, Street Walkin

3. Emmit-Nershi Band - New Country Blues
Take the main guys from Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident and put them together to make a traditional bluegrass album. A pretty basic concept, yes, but they really pull it off with aplomb. Both Drew Emmitt and Billy Nershi handle lead vocal duties for the versatile band. Acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass guitar and some occasional drums are all that are present. Full of instrumentals, ballad-y stuff, and knee slapping jigs, hey, it's a fun album.

Tight Cuts: New Country Blues, These Days, Wait Until Tomorrow

4. Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy
If you like classic Built to Spill, then you'll be happy with There is No Enemy. Not sure what else to say. It isn't groundbreaking, it certainly isn't their best effort (though closer to the top than the bottom), but it's better than subjecting yourself to Bon Iver or Grizzly Bear. It may not rock out quite as much as some of their earlier stuff, but even this more ballad-y album still has plenty of catchy hooks and layer upon layer of guitars. Like I said, classic Built to Spill.

Tight Cuts: Aisle 13, Nowhere Lullaby, Pat

5. Bowerbirds - Upper Air
I'll admit it, I'm a homer. I went to school with the main dude, Phil Moore. Even so, this is an incredible album. Sometimes you just want to get home and chill the fuck out. When this urge has struck me in the past few months, my go-to album is Upper Air. I really like that they've added more instruments to the fold, going with violin, piano, and organ in addition to their conventional acoustic guitar and accordion. Friend or not, Phil Moore really is a poet, and he writes some great lyrics. There are no weak songs here.

Tight Cuts: Northern Lights, Teeth, Beneath Your Tree

OK, I think this is supposed to be a Top 10 list or a Top 20 list, but I'm not filling them out with description because I just don't see them being all that strong, certainly not enough to be spoken about in such an eloquent tone that I throw down. Let's say they were OK in some aspects, but nothing to brag about. You'd need beer goggles, wait, EAR-goggles to enjoy them. In no particular order:

Pearl Jam - Backspacer
Relentless7 - White Lies for Dark Times
Decemberists - Hazards of Love
Umphrey's McGee - Mantis
Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

John Mayer - Battle Studies (Go ahead and make fun of me. Yeah, I like John Mayer!)
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic


Adam Blank - Tunes for the unemployed.

1. Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band - Between My Head & the Sky: I know I have a weird obsession with Yoko Ono, and I'm going to get help. Regardless of my unnatural fixation, this is how I wish more of today's music sounded. Whether she's pouring out her aging heart in slow lounge tunes or rapping nonsensical refrains in surreal dance songs, Yoko isn't afraid to try new & different things. Somehow, the clusterfuck of textures create a cohesive album that's more insightful, experimental and downright interesting than anything made by people fifty years younger than her.

2. Sonic Youth - The Eternal: It's 2010. By now, you know whether you're a fan of Sonic Youth or not. If you aren't a fan yet, The Eternal offers nothing to convert you. If you are a fan, then you probably already know that this is easily their best album since the early 90's. After a decade and a half of mediocrity, I'm just happy that Sonic Youth finally released an album that doesn't make me feel embarrassed for them. Now, please retire before you make another NYC Ghosts & Flowers.

3. Dinosaur Jr.- Farm: Everybody is making a huge deal about this album and I'm not sure why. It sounds just like the Dinosaur Jr. I remember from high school. That's not a bad thing. It just goes to show you that distorted guitars & competent solos will never go out of style.


4. Micachu - Jewellry: The most positive thing I can say about Micachu is that she reminds of The Raincoats on downers. The simplest tracks tend to be the best. Luckily for us, she keeps most of it fairly simple.

5. Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum: There's nothing extraordinary about this album, but it's fun picking out their influences. Everything from Paul Revere & The Raiders and early Zeppelin to the techno bullshit of today is hinted at in their songs. It's more interesting than it is good.

6. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Through the Devil Softly: This album makes the cut only because Hope Sandoval has the most awesomely haunting voice ever. Although both of her post-Mazzy Star albums sound pretty much like Mazzy Star albums, they lack some intangible quality that made the originals classics. As such, this isn't a bad album, but it's no Mazzy Star.

7. The Dead Weather - Horehound: This is really close to being a great album. Unfortunately, it's weighted down with too many songs full of obnoxious frat boy-style choruses that are reminiscent of the dark days of Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock.

8. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures: Who knew if you took a guy from Led Zeppelin, a guy from Queens of the Stone Age, and a guy from Nirvana that you'd get the best Alice In Chains album since Facelift?

9. The xx - xx: If your album cover consists only of a giant 'X', I'm going to assume that the criminally underrated Los Angeles punk band came out with a new album, and track it down. When I finally discovered that this was some new band, I decided to give them a day in court anyway. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what I think of the album. The first time I listened to it, I was underwhelmed. The second time, it blew me away. The third time, I hated it. Subsequent listening evoked the same range of emotions.

10. Girls - Girls: I was lamenting how my taste in music seems to be permanently stuck in the punk/post-punk era of the 70's and 80's, and a friend suggested I go on Pitchfork to see what bands the cool kids were currently raving about. At the time, they were raving about this album. I have no idea why. Whereas I thought Kasabian was interesting because they borrowed from their influences, Girls goes out of their way to copy every nuance from their heroes and we're left with a predictable and jumbled album. But goddamn it if it isn't full of catchy songs. Fuck you, self-titled debut from Girls!

Chaim Witz - His ten favorite of 2009, aside from Cymbals Eat Guitars of course.

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz! - The punky rockers deliver a imminently danceable yet utterly rocking masterpiece. Kicks yours ass and then kisses you on the mouth, without a false note.
Choice Cuts: Heads Will Roll, Dull Life, Hysteric

2. KISS - Sonic Boom
- The face painted rockers eschew musical growth for an a throwback album of good time party rock, with blistering Ace Frehley solos not performed by Ace Frehley. If you can get past the dilemma of hearing a 60 year old man sing, "Baby feel my tower of power", you're in for a treat.
Choice Cuts: Modern Day Delilah, Russian Roulette, Say Yeah

3. Pearl Jam - Backspacer - The newly gregarious Eddie Vedder and his gang of flannel wearing Neil Young proteges deliver their best album of the decade. Upbeat and energetic, it contains the secret ingredient that was sorely lacking from their last few albums: memorable hooks.
Choice Cuts: Speed of Sound, The End, Got Some

4. Them Crooked Vultures - Self Titled - Probably not as kick ass it should be, but sometimes 'good enough' is still great. The good stuff is really, really good.
Choice Cuts: Mind Eraser/No Chaser, New Fang, Elephants

5. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young - The Strokes frontman puts together a crafty album of electro pop-rock (Strokes style), that is equal parts dance rock and music for the morning after. Beware of this post-hype sleeper.
Choice Cuts: 11th Dimension, Ludlow Street, Tourist

6. XX - Self Titled - Yet another dude/chick combo, but this one is British, ambient and not nearly as good looking as Pete and Scarlett. None-the-less, this hauntingly sparse production is chill in the best sense of the word.
Choice Cuts: Crystalised, Islands, Basic Space

7. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Extremely catchy rock album from the French of all people. It loses steam towards the end but the first 3 songs are a combo not to be trifled with.
Choice Cuts: Lisztomania, 1901, Fences

8 Ace Frehley - Anomaly - Ace counters KISS with an album with fewer Ace Frehley solos than the KISS album he didn't play on, and instead delivers a (relatively) mature, polished album.
Choice Cuts: Change the World, Sister, It's A Great Life

9. Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue - No Layne Staley, no problem. AICN don't miss a beat on their latest gem, delivering the sludge-y yet melodic sound that made them everyone's favorite Nirvana alternative in the mid-90's.
Choice Cuts: Check My Brain, A Looking In View, Private Hell

10. Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson - Break Up - Consider it the poor man's She and Him if you must, but 'Realtor' is a perfect pop song, and the rest of the album is completely inoffensive and at times divine.
Choice Cuts: Realtor, I Don't Know What to Do, Wear and Tear

Other albums I enjoyed to an extent:

Silversun Pickups - Swoon - Choice Cut: Panic Switch
The Black Crowes - Before the Frost...Until the Freeze - Choice Cut: Been a Long Time
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest - Choice Cut: Two Weeks

Biggest Disappointments

Muse - The Resistence
- I hoped this would grow on me, I really did. I loved Black Holes and Revelations like an adopted son, but besides Uprising, none of these songs make my privates tingle.

The Swell Season - Strict Joy - Once is one of my favorite movies of the decade, possibly ever, so I had high hopes for the follow up from Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Alas, it's all pretty same-y, uninspired and quite frankly, boring.

U2 - No Line on the Horizon - Apparently all of Bono's efforts went into saving Africa and not writing good music.


Chip Wesley - Because I was told putting "New Moon" down 20 times wasn't acceptable.

1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest: Overall an outstanding album. Hauntingly beautiful, it's a great album to relax with.

2. White Denim - Fits: More kick ass tracks from White Denim. Unlike last year's release Exposion, Fits is not compiled from various EP tracks and singles they had previously released. Therefore as an album it's much more cohesive. I highly recommend you check them out. If you hate it whatever, but at least you heard them.

3. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns: I'm sure no one will notice, or most likely care, but I had this album on my 2008 list ranked 17th. However, since it was still relatively new at that time and that it had an official U.S. release in 2009 I decided to include it again and give it the proper recognition it deserves. Definitely another one to seriously seek out.

4. Richard Swift - The Atlantic Ocean: Another great release from Swift. Who knew depressing sad bastard music could be so damn fun?

5. Radio Moscow - Brain Cycles: Seriously heavy psychedelic blues rock from a two-man outfit from the middle of Iowa. Their debut album two years ago was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. If you dig the Keys then you'll certainly dig Radio Moscow.

6. The Dead Weather - Horehound: "It's not like the Raconteurs." That was one excuse I heard as to why someone didn't like Horehound. Seriously? Why on Earth would they assemble a new band to sound just like the one they were just in? This album is an all-around badass mix of sleazy rock and grimy blues.

7. Scott H. Biram - Something's Wrong/Lost Forever: If you haven't experienced the awesomeness of Scott H. Biram yet then it's about high time you did. This is the way I wish all country music today sounded.

8. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid: Speak of the devil. Auerbach's solo album doesn't steer too far from the Black Keys sound we've grown to love, but there's hints of a softer more personal side to this album that really make it a nice listen.

9. Sonic Youth - The Eternal: Honest to God fact: I have never fully listened to a Sonic Youth album until this one. I can't say I fell in love with it right away, but after a couple listens I started to realize how much The Eternal really fucking rocks. With so many indie acts doing throwbacks to post-punk 80's sounds, Sonic Youth does a throwback as well, except that it's a throwback to Sonic Youth.

10. White Rabbits - It's Frightening: Being a fan of Spoon it only seems fitting that I would enjoy this album as well. The opening track, "Percussion Gun" may well be the best song of 2009.

OK, I'm not going to bore you more with writeups for the rest of my list, so here they are in simple list form.

11. Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
12. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
13. The Veils - Sun Gangs
14. Beirut - March of the Zapotec and Realpeople: Holland
15. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg
16. Royal Bangs - Let It Beep
17. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
18. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
19. M. Ward - Hold Time
20. Bowerbirds - Upper Air

Honorable Mention:
William Elliott Whitmore - Animals in the Dark
Art Brut - Art Brut vs. Satan
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Gomez - A New Tide
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

Albums that I just never got around to giving them enough of a listen to rank them but would have likely made the list if I had:
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Langhorne Slim - Be Set Free
Heartless Bastards - The Mountain

The 'I was wrong about this album last year' Award: Fleet Foxes. I just didn't care for this album at all and noted it last year by awarding it with the Interpol Award for the band the critics adore but I don't get the big deal. Well after several more listens the album really grew on me and I would like to retract my previous statements.

2009 Interpol Award: Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I have this album in my top 20 I know. It's a good album but I'm seeing this make #1 on a lot of lists, even making some best of the decade lists. Seriously? It's got some great tracks on it but it's really not that much different than Oracular Spectacular from MGMT. It opens strong with some great songs but completely fizzles out in the second half of the album. I guess I just don't see how it can be considered that great when half of it seems like filler.

Biggest Disappointment: Wilco - Wilco. What's the sound of thousands of listeners being bored to death? I'm by no means a Wilco hater either. I liked Sky Blue Sky. But this last album seems to really only appeal to Brant Brown and hipster dads in their late 30s that have lost any sense of being edgy.

Best Album Reissue of 2009: Beck - One Foot in the Grave. Recorded before Mellow Gold, this awesome lo-fi basement folk gem got a deluxe re-release this year with a whole second disc full of tracks.


*Comics from Married to the Sea and Superpoop


The 4th Outfielder Conundrum

10:52 AM | Comments (2) | by Arcturus

Apparently, one of Jim Hendry's remaining goals for the offseason is finding a fourth outfielder, the idea being that we need someone who can out hit Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld (right) off the bench. Shouldn't be too hard. Let's take a look at the array of suckage currently floating around out in free agent land. At least the Royals took a bullet and signed Rick Ankiel, thus removing him as an option. Thank you, Dayton Moore. Here are some losers who are still available:

1. Jermaine Dye: Derrek Lee and Dye are apparently buddies, so obviously Dye would be super awesome, right? Dye got off to a hot start in 2009, but tanked in the last two months of the season. He can play a little first base, but watching an outfield of Soriano, Byrd, and Dye would be like watching your mom give Rush Limbaugh head.

2. Jonny Gomes: Gomes is intriguing. He's flashed some power in the past and isn't a horrible outfielder. He's also coming off of an injury, which I'm sure gives ol' Jimbo a sweet chubby. Of all the guys on this list, he could make the most impact, provided his 80 year old body doesn't fall apart.

3. Reed Johnson: Now that DeRosa is a Giant, his stalkers have turned their attention to Reed Johnson. Reed's a cool guy and he certainly fills the Cubs' need for a guy who can grow facial hair between innings, but he's really not much of an upgrade over guys like Fuld. Unlike Fuld, however, Reed can actually hit the ball when there are runners on base, so he's got that going for him.

4. Jim Edmonds: This worked out once. I don't see it working out again. But hell, I thought Edmonds was finished when the Cubs signed him the last time and he proved me wrong. I still really want to hate him though, so I hope he doesn't come back.


5. Xavier Nady: Nady's coming off Tommy John surgery. If he were a mediocre pitcher, I'd say he was guaranteed to sign with the Cubs. We know how Hendry loves his reclamation projects. If he's healthy, he hits pretty good and he has a cool name. He could easily be the new DeRo for the Trixie set.


6. Marcus Thames: The former Tiger has some pop in his bat and can play the outfield and a little first base. He also strikes out a ton. The Cubs already had Craig Monroe once, they don't need him again. Pass.

7. Rocco Baldelli: This guy is still playing? Well, you can bet someone will be dumb enough to give him a contract. Let's just hope he's not a big fat white guy with the initials J.H. Sure Baldelli was on the Rays while Pinella was there, but he never actually played for Uncle Lou. He's the Mark Prior of outfielders.

8. Eric Byrnes: No. No-ho-ho. No. No.



Of these eight mouth breathers, if I had to pick one, I would probably take a chance on Gomes. He hit .267 with 20 homeruns in 98 games with the Reds last year. By comparison, the Hoff hit .239 with 10 HRs in 105 games and although Fuld hit .299, he only managed 2 RBIs and one HR. Fuld is basically Ryan Freel without Farney in his head. And Ryan Theriot already owns the "scrappy white guy" mantle on this team. Also on Jim Hendry's to do list is sign yet another relief pitcher. A few years ago, this team was dripping with second baseman. Couldn't we get at least one guy who might be considered a starting 2B before we add another crappy pitcher? Just a thought.

Hi Guys!

9:54 AM | Comments (1) | by T.R.

War Criminal: Commercials

5:33 PM | Comments (1) | by Ginger Russ

Not many things annoy me. I can handle the screaming baby on the plane, the flat tire in the rain (in AZ, nonetheless), and even shopping on the day before Christmas. But commercials annoy the living b'Jesus out of me. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology like Tivo and DV-R most the shows I watch are recorded so I can triple-f (fast-fucking-forward) right over them. But once in a while I have to watch something live. Like sporting events. And Jersey Shore. Here are a couple that piss me off the most.

Subway, Michael Phelps and the Winter Olympics
So Michael Phelps just smoked the biggest bag of weed ever. So much that he is SO hungry that he just keeps swimming and swimming, all the way to Subway, which unlike where I live is not right around the corner. No, Mr. Bongwater wants Subway from Canada. Why? Because it's the Olympics, dumbass. The ad whiz's at Subway figured that America is so stupid that we can only equate the Olympics with Michael Phelps, even though his Olympics won't be around for another 2 and half years.

The Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet

Taking directly from our previous brand, Taco Bell has launched it's all new diet menu. Yep, cause when I think healthy, I think Taco Bell. So they took off the cheese, big fucking deal. I still yo no quero Taco Bell. Unless it's 2 o'clock in the morning and I'm wasted, which is exactly the time that I am thinking about my girlish figure. How can the same restaurant offer a healthy menu and a fourth meal? Apparently eating only 3 times wasn't good enough for you fatty. Honestly though, four meals isn't enough for me. Brunch isn't only for Sundays anymore. But don't worry, one of those meals is off the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet Menu, so I'm eating healthy.

Ford F-150 and Reading
You know, I like Denis Leary (in spite of the fact that he spells his name like a douche). I like his stand-up. I like Rescue Me. But I can't stand his fucking commercial for the Ford F-150. A recent trend in commercials is to have a top named celebrity do the overdubbing. The theory is simple-you recognize the voice, but can't quite place it, so you think about more and more, thus making you so insane that you remember the product. Except you don't. I know J.D. from Scrubs is water, but I can't remember what fucking water to drink. DAMN IT! But I digress. The thing I hate most about the Ford F-150 commercials is that every time Denis Leary says something, the words he has just spoken fly onto the screen in some "hip and edgy" manner in a "grungy" and "manly" font. It's almost as cliche as a Michael Cerra movie title being in some hand drawn font. On the upside, if I was deaf I would still understand the commercial. If only there was some type of way they could get the words to what everyone was saying on the screen for all the other shows and commercials. Fuck, until then I guess I will just have to read the lips of everyone on TV. Was that, "I love you" or "elephant juice"?

Cialis
Even though I am on the fast track to needing this stuff, what with the heavy drinking, poor diet, chronic masturbation and all, I still hate thinking about old people boning down. It's gross. Unless you're talking about Kathy Bates in About Schmidt. HOT! But that's not what annoys me the most. How the fuck do these old people get those tubs everywhere? Oh, it's just a metaphor. I get it. Because when I think of sitting in a tepid pool of my own filth, I immediately get horny.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest loves my bags. You know how I know? Because they tell they do right in their commercials. Apparently the guys at my airport didn't get the memo though, as whenever I see my bags boarding the plane, they are being thrown about without a care in the world. And when I say my bags, I really mean your bags, because I'm a guy and even a 2 week vacation will not stop me from using only carry on luggage.

Well, I don't think I can take it anymore. Got any commercials you hate?

Have You Seen Me?

10:45 AM | Comments (4) | by White Chili

One of my friends has a coworker who recently went to the Cubs convention. Before she went he gave her a ball to collect a few signatures. It came back with a few obvious ones (Lou, Marshall, etc...). It also came with this signature. I have no idea who this could be. The first name starts with an S or a G and the last name looks like it begins with "Mc". Could it be that some random person just convinced this poor girl that they played for the Cubs?


Here are our guesses thus far:

Sark McGuire
Sammy McDonalds
Gammy McSosa
Sodd McHollandsworth
Sadaam McDreamy
Gary McCord
McG

The TMS Guide to Quitting Smoking

3:29 AM | Comments (4) | by Adam Blank

So you've decided that 2010 is the year to quit smoking? Good for you. But now, 2 1/2 weeks into the year, it seems like nicotine addiction is an uphill battle that you just can't win. Never fear, the TMS Guide to Quitting Smoking is here to help you beat your perfectly understandable cravings for the irreplaceable chemical known as nicotine.

Believe in yourself. Even though you've never done a damn thing with your life, you're probably more than capable of giving up one of the most addictive substances known to man.

Find a reason to quit. The so-called "experts" will provide you with many reasons to quit smoking. The commonly cited reasons include: improving one's health, not harming family & friends with second-hand smoke, saving money, cheaper health insurance premiums, etc. But really, unless you can make it about spite, you won't succeed. So be honest with yourself and take stock of your life. Who hates you? Who wants to see you fail? Who do you dislike so much that you'd give up tobacco in all it's glorious forms? If you have enough hate in your soul, you can accomplish anything.

Don't tell anyone you're quitting. I know all the "professional" advice tells you the exact opposite, but for your own good, DON'T TELL ANYONE. If you succeed in quitting, the next time somebody makes a disparaging remark about how you're nothing but a weak-willed smoker, you can throw the fact that you quit months ago in their face and completely blindside them; thus negating their argument entirely & making them look like an asshole! On the other hand, if you tell everyone that you quit and you end up failing, you'll be labeled a creepy loser that can't be trusted. You'll find yourself lumped in with that weird bald Wiccan chick your sister hangs out with who keeps insisting she was gang-raped in college. And nobody wants to be associated with that.

Get on a nicotine replacement therapy system. I recommend the patch. Not only is the patch cheaper than smoking, it asks the least of you. You don't have to chew it, swallow it, smoke it, or inhale it. In fact, the booklet that comes with the patch stresses that you shouldn't do any of those things to the patch. If possible, get the clear patches. That way you can watch the itchy red rash develop on your skin as you gradually wean yourself off of nicotine. BONUS: One of the side-effects of the patch is that the constant stream of nicotine entering your bloodstream will make you have insanely vivid dreams, sometimes about titties! Not only is the patch cheaper than cigarettes, it's cheaper than a strip club and the tits are just as real.

Save all the money you would have spent on cigarettes and buy yourself something nice. I recommend hookers and firearms.


Celebrate milestones. After every week without a cigarette, shoot off that fancy new gun of yours. After every month without cigarettes, get yourself a hooker. After an entire year without cigarettes, shoot a hooker.






Learn to stop romanticizing cigarettes. Even though all your favorite actors, musicians, authors and counterculture icons smoke cigarettes, keep in mind that you're a complete nobody who has already pissed away the best years of your life. That novel didn't get written when you smoked 2 packs a day and it isn't going to get written now that you've quit smoking. It's ok to give up on all your dreams. Besides, when you smoked, your complete lack of style & accomplishments actually made impressionable children less likely to start smoking in the first place.

If you ever reach the point where you'd be willing to sacrifice a limb in exchange for just one puff on a cigarette, don't search online for articles on how to get through the craving. It's nothing but a bunch of bullshit written by assholes who have never smoked but think it's within their power to suggest you join a support group, share your innermost feelings, keep a journal and generally become a bigger pussy than you already are. Take out your aggression on a small child or animal. If they aren't available, punch a pillow or mattress.

Understand that your smoker friends are plotting against you.
They want you to keep smoking so they'll never have to reflect upon their own pathetic lives. To combat this, make a list of all the negative traits that your smoker friends possess before you quit so you'll be ready to throw it back in their faces!


If you're one of those people who constantly needs to be doing something with their hands, examine why you need to express yourself that way. Are you Italian? Are you deaf? If you aren't either of those things, then quit it. You look ridiculous.


Don't drink for awhile. As you're well aware, smoking & drinking are a glorious combination that make life worth living. If you try to drink too soon after you quit smoking, you'll only remind yourself that a hollow, bland existence awaits you and that you'll never experience true happiness again.

Leave "Cold Turkey" to the junkies. Quitting cigarettes cold turkey is much harder than quitting heroin anyway. Do junkies shoot up after every meal? Do they shoot up 3 times in their car on their way to work and twice on their lunch breaks? Hell no they don't. Fuck 'em. Don't be a hero. Get on the patch, dream of titties, and settle in to your boring new life as a non-smoker.

The Great McGwire Mea Culpa Dilemma

8:12 AM | Comments (4) | by Arcturus

Bigger than the return of Greg Maddux to the Cubs organization yesterday, was Mark McGwire's announcement about his steroid use. The ginger behemoth admitted to the world that he did in fact use performance enhancing drugs, including in 1998 when he broke the single season home run record. In other news, water is wet, the sky is blue, and Jenna Jameson has seen more dick than the Boston Celtics' locker room. While I'm sure that for Cardinal fans, this comes as a bigger shock than finding out Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father, the rest of the baseball world lets out a collective meh. But I'm not here to talk about the past.

Oh, bullshit, yes I am. This announcement by McGwire might have had a little more meaning if he'd manned up and mentioned it in front of Congress. Oh, I know, he was advised by his lawyers not to speak, even though he now claims he wanted to come clean. And I'm sure that same lawyer had a gun in McGwire's back the whole time he was testifying or whatever it was that he did at that sorry excuse for a hearing. And Cardinal fans, I'm not giving the Cubs' own Slammin' Sammy a pass on this one either, as he was just as embarrassing as your boy. At least McGwire didn't have a lawyer read a written statement, claiming poor English as an excuse. Now that McGwire has owned up to his misdeeds, I would hope that Sammy has the good sense to follow suit.

What annoys me about the McGwire statement is that I personally believe that the only reason he's repenting now is because he's been given the position of hitting coach for the Cardinals this season. I'm sure he's only coming clean is so he won't have to answer questions about this for the entirety of the season. At this point in the whole steroid debacle, maybe it's a little ridiculous of me, but I think having a hitting coach who's an admitted cheater might just affect the credibility of whatever performance he gets from the players this season. What kind of example is he going to be setting for the kids who come up from AAA ball? "Make sure you practice your fundamentals, kids!" Wink wink nudge nudge. "It's what worked for me!" The Cubs find themselves in a somewhat similar situation, as Rudy Jaramillo comes over from the Rangers, a hotbed of PEDs at the height of the steroids era. However, Jaramillo never set a homerun record or served as a co-saviour of the sport. McGwire did.

If baseball is truly to put the specter of PEDs behind it once and for all, it needs to divest itself of those who profited the most from that era. Rewarding McGwire and others like him by allowing them to return to the game after sullying the sport and then lying about it sends the wrong kind of message. If you're going to do that, then you might as well allow Pete Rose in the Hall and just stop this nonsense about testing and maintaining the "purity" of the sport. What I see is this: McGwire cheated. He lied about cheating. Now he's given a chance to return to the game and the fans are expected to believe that he will do an honest job with the Cardinals' young players. Because he says so. Because Tony LaRussa says so. Because Bud Selig says so? It's not the past we should be talking about. It's the present and future of the credibility of the sport.

The Mad Dog Returns to Chicago

2:51 PM | Comments (2) | by Arcturus

Greg Maddux is returning to the Cubs, not to step back on the Wrigley Field mound, but as an assistant to GM Jim Hendry. Maddux will assist the coaches at the both major and minor league spring training and most notably will be "assisting in the development of Cubs minor leaguers during the regular season and assisting Hendry and the baseball operations department in talent evaluation." (per the MLB.com article).

Granted, Maddux might know shit-all about developing minor league talent. However, I'm more than willing to take that chance. This is probably the best goddamn move the Cubs have made in two seasons, which really says something about the trades and free agent acquisitions of the past couple offseasons. The only sucky thing is that they didn't hire him to be the pitching coach. Cub pitchers learned more from Maddux in his second tenure with Chicago then they ever did from Larry Rothschild. Welcome back to Chicago, Professor!

Pop Culture Gauntlet Results

7:17 AM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

Boba Fett (13 votes) vs. Fried Chicken (13 votes)
Remarkably, these two combatants tied in their duel. Instead of "two men enter, one man leaves", they just kind of got winded, shook hands, and limped out of Thunderdome bow-legged. Sure, Boba Fett carries a little too much of a nostalgic fanboy base. But seriously, fried chicken? Of course it tastes good, but man, it's just not good for you. Perhaps the fried chicken voters will get their cummupance when they resort to watching the Star Wars films whilst recouperating from their enevitable quadruple bypass surgery. Will we replay this battle due to the tie? C'mon, of course not.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (6 votes) vs. Boxer Briefs (15 votes)
This was a relative blowout. One of the most influential voices of dissent in the Soviet era lost his matchup to underwear. How embarrassing. OK, he may have been a bit cantankerous, but surely Solzhenitsyn's cultural contributions were more important than snug-fitting junk. But the people have spoken, and the result is honored. We attempted to get a quote out of Chip Wesley's boxer briefs, but they were busy around Chip's ankles as he wiped his ass while standing up.

The Karate Kid (14 votes) vs. Miles Davis (22 votes)
Our readers have spoken, and they indeed prove that The Karate Kid is overrated. Sure, it was a memorable film, and we were all at an impressionable age when it was released. But 25 years on, it's been relegated to fodder for Bill Simmons columns, it's overly misquoted by drunk thirty-something males, and it is being remade with Jackie Chan and Will Smith's son. Horrible! When you stand it up to the imcomparable Miles Davis, there is really no competition. If the Karate Kid were wiped from the Earth, no one would be the wiser. If Miles Davis' music was suddenly nonexistent, well, music just may not be what it is today.

More Lost Diary

12:33 AM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Did I also mention that I'm trying not to drink for the entire month? At any moment I may suddenly veer sharply away from the plot and start racially categorizing the work crew fixing the train tracks across from my window.

Season 1, Ep. 5

Sweet Jesus, enough with the eye zoom. Just once it would be nice to start an episode zooming away from Hurley's gaping belly button. Jack just had his ass handed to him trying to stick up for a schoolyard friend. And now he's awake and swimming out to rescue a woman in the ocean because Charlie can't swim. No one thinks to help him. Great job guys.

There's that guy in the suit again. And he's gone. Of course he is.

There are 46 people in the group? I keep forgetting that since only about ten of them have names. And they're running low on water. Back to Jack's memory. He's talking to his dad about making decisions. His dad "has what it takes". His dad doesn't think Jack does. That's a little harsh. Suit sighting number three. Hello Jack's dad.

Locke hasn't done something cool in over 15 minutes. I DEMAND SOMETHING AWESOME!


There, phew!

Now Jack's father has left home and his mother need Jack to go bring him back. From Australia. Claire fell down. Where's your astrology now, huh Claire? Someone stole the water and Locke is going to get it back. MOUNT UP!

Jack can't find his father in Australia or the jungle. There he is! Wait, no, that's a cliff. Does Jack "have what it takes" to climb up? Ah, Locke is there to save him.

We have another tattoo sighting, and this one's on Charlie. "Living is easy with eyes closed." For those keeping track, the Asian couple are both Korean and Chinese.

"A leader can't lead 'til he knows where he's going." Jack's father is dead. Now Jack is back in the jungle chasing a sound. Water! And...a doll? And...more dolls. And Jack's father's casket. Without Jack's father. OK, I didn't see that coming.

Turns out the lifeguard took the water. And before they can crucify him, Jack comes back and starts to lead. Yes we can!



Season 1, Ep. 6

Ah, we've reached the "previously on Lost" stage of the game. No turning back now. It looks like Kate is just as curious as I am about the meaning of tattoos. How terribly interesting.

House of the Rising Sun. Her name is Sun. I see what you did there. NICE form tackle! He didn't expect the weak-side Chinese blitz. No one ever does. Sayid to the rescue.

Drugs? DON'T MIND IF I DO! And after that, how about a whole mess of bees? BEES! THEY'RE RIPPING MY FLESH OFF! Quick, take refuge next to these mummified corpses. White and black again. Perhaps a doomed race of backgammon champions?



Aw, a puppy. And a workaholic! Jack wants to bring people into the mummy cave. Seems REASONable.

Oh man, the husband is a ninja. A management ninja!

I was totally right about Locke wanting to join Drive Shaft. Mark it. Wait, where did Sayid get an ax?

People are divided about what to do. Again. Uh oh, we've a runaway bride situation developing. A runaway bride that speaks English, no less.

Alright, Locke knows how everything works. Prepare yourselves for some face-melting acoustic guitar solos! From now on each episode will be given a Locke rating.

Oh man, there's no time like ax time! Did you feel that? Yeah, you felt it.

This episode wasn't great but it had its moments and took care of some necessary plot details. I award it three Lockes.

Lost Diary

4:24 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

After all the initial introductions, plot, etc...I'm back for more; this time armed with a fresh pot of coffee and a sandwich.

Season 1, Ep. 3

Back on the beach. The cop is talking to Jack about his missing handcuffs and Jack learns that Kate is the criminal. So much for that mystery. Sayid is giving us a geography lesson with a rock and a stick. Sawyer suggests that they turn their attention back to the haunting broadcast they heard a bit earlier. He looks like he should be working at PacSun. He's smarter than he looks. Sayid suggests they keep this nugget of information secret. I'm sure that won't have any repercussions. Hurley finds out about Kate.

More gun talk. I say they give it to Sawyer, who managed to kill a charging polar bear with a handgun. Smash-cut to Kate's backstory. Annie? She helped an old Australian farmer with a fake arm. Alrighty. Back to the present. Kate breaks the pact! That took less than ten minutes.

Surprise, Hurley doesn't want to go into the plane. Jack and Sawyer have an enlightening back-and-forth. Shellfish AND heavy lifting for the pregnant woman? At this pace she will give birth to a chicken burrito. Hurley is afraid of everything. With his shadow we would always have six more months of winter.

Back to the Kate/Annie story. She's leaving the farm but is persuadedto stay one more night. "Everyone deserves a fresh start."

Ominous music.

The marshall wakes up and strangles Kate until Jack intervenes. How hard can it be to defend yourself against a guy who just underwent major surgery on a beach with a straight razor? Kate wants Jack Kevorkian to off the guy. Jack doesn't respond well to this. Back to Kate being driven to the train station. There's a black (evil) suburban following them and we find out the farmer sold her out for the reward money. Bummer.

Now we know checkers' name is Mr. Locke. The secret was that a miracle happened to him. That doesn't help at all. The search for Vincent continues. That doesn't sound like a golden lab. NAKED! Locke is making a whistle. Perhaps he has a future in Drive Shaft. Why are they making 12 separate small fires instead of keeping one large one burning? There's only one bullet left in the gun. Back to the outback. Kate flips the truck and saves the one-armed man but gets caught. Hurley calls Kate "the fugitive" but she SAVED the one-armed man. GUNSHOT! I know what happened. Wait, I was wrong. Sawyer shot him...in the chest. Dumbass.


I bet Locke's whistle is to call the dog. Ha! I AM THE SMARTEST MAN ALIVE! Here we go: what Kate did. Or not. Again, starting over. I'm beginning to think that's some sort of "theme". Everyone is BFF now, even the Osmonds. F-A-T-E to L-A-T-E. SLOW MOTION RUN TO VINCENT! Wait, more ominous music and Locke. C'mon!

Season 1, Ep. 4

They really love using the "zoom in on the opening eye" shot. Vincent knows there's something afoot. What's in the plane? Wild boar. Jack thinks they should burn the bodies so they won't attracts more animals but Sayid protests saying that it would be disrespectful.

Sayid is like the professor on Gilligan's island. Next on the docket, a coconut iPod. A blue one, please. Hurley and Sawyer are fighting over the last peanuts. Food committee: fail. Things Locke knows a lot about: backgammon, whittling, throwing knives and wild boars.


Sayid

TPS reports. Nice.

C'mon people, put the knives on sticks and make spears. Doesn't anyone watch Man vs. Wild? Claire says her little burrito is doing well and thinks they should hold a memorial for the dead in the plane. Clearly Jack = Science and Claire/Sayid = Religion.

"Yes yes, I am the bass guitarist for..." Classic Charlie.

Back to the jungle. YES. Locke is like Danny from Predator. "Ain't no man." Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to talk instead of use signs. Is Locke playing Risk? His stock is rising by the minute. Locke's boss Randy is a gigantic asshole. "Don't tell me what I can't do."

Charlie and Hurley fishing was brilliant. Locke's first name is John? That's interesting. Perhaps Locke is also an empiricist? Yikes, Helen costs $89.95 an hour and doesn't want his extra walkabout ticket. That's awkward...um, does anyone need a refill on coffee?

Kate climbs trees like a ring tailed lemur! Annnnnd Locke sees the huge thing in the jungle. But we don't. Charlie likes Shannon. That is, until he finds out he was used. Women are cruel.

GUY IN A WELL-TAILORED SUIT!

Kate thinks Locke is gone. Locke is not gone. There's Locke! With dinner! Names being read. Charlie is almost out of hash. Jack is not among those mourning the dead.

The walkabout company...LOCKE COULDN'T WALK AND NOW HE CAN!



Dammit, the Championship is on tonight. That's going to cut into this. I'll have to put in some OT tomorrow.

Pop Culture Gauntlet: William "Refrigerator" Perry vs. Cocktail Weiners

6:31 AM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

Welcome to Pop Culture Gauntlet, where people, places, and things from various subjects face off in a virtual cage match. As part of an ongoing series we will bring you new battles each week between randomly selected items from the Thunder Matt's PCG database. We will provide you with a brief background of both competitors. After reading, you can then vote on your choice in the poll located in the right sidebar column. Monday battles will run until 12am Thursday. Thursday battles will run until 12am Monday. Also we welcome any arguments for either competitor in our comments section. May the best man, thing, or whatever win.

Today's match: William "Refrigerator" Perry vs. Cocktail Weiners

William "Refrigerator" Perry
As most of you know, The Fridge was a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears from 1985-1993, followed by a season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was one of the most dominant and terrifying, yet charismatic players ever to grace the National Football League. His menacing physique (6' 2", 382 lbs) struck fear in the hearts of opposing offenses. Though he primarily played defense, Perry was occasionally used as a blocker for running back Walter Payton. He even scored two running touchdowns in his career, including one in Super Bowl XX.

Even before his playing career ended, The Fridge was a sought-after pop culture celebrity. Perry had a memorable guest spot in an episode of The A-Team, participated in Wrestlemania 2, and lent his considerable rapping skills to groups such as The Fat Boys, not to mention the infamous Superbowl Shuffle. In 2002, you may remember that he participated in a celebrity boxing match against former TMS Man of the Year, Manute Bol. Unfortunately, The Fridge lost that battle in the third round. More recently, Perry has suffered from complications due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an inflammation disorder which he was diagnosed with in 2008. Our sincerest hopes that The Fridge, one of our most beloved cultural icons, is doing well.

Strengths: intimidating size; beloved by an entire city, and most of the country; recorded a pro-peace, anti-drug rap song with Walter Payton called "Together" in 1999.

Weaknesses: appeared in an episode of According to Jim; only lasted five minutes in the 2003 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest; participated in the 2006 Lingerie Bowl.

Fun Fact: Perry had his own G.I. Joe action figure in the 1980's.


Cocktail Wieners
If there was ever a food item that cried "mystery meat", it is the cocktail wiener. In some regions, these miniature variations on a hot dog are known as Lil' Smokies; in Missouri, they are known as Christmas Dinner. Cocktail wieners are thought to have been created long ago by a farm wife in Iowa. Though your divorced and unemployed uncle eats these wieners as a meal unto their own, please note that you should only consume cocktail wieners if they are being served at a poker party or high school open house. You should never eat more than three in any one sitting. Despite their dainty size and shape, cocktail wieners should not be placed directly into the anus.

Traditionally, cocktail wieners are prepared in a crock pot. The general rule is one package of wieners per one bottle of barbecue sauce. Variations exist, however, such as using one can of cranberry sauce and 12 oz. of chili sauce in place of barbecue. At most grocery stores, one can find both beef and turkey wieners. You might be tempted to think that the turkey wieners are a healthy alternative. Think about that for a moment, then opt for the veggie tray. Regardless of the negative health and social ramifications, cocktail wieners are an explosion of taste in your mouth. Just ask your ghey cousin.

Strengths: bite size portions; often tangy taste; incredibly simple to prepare.

Weaknesses: the health factor; high probability of staining clothing if not handled properly; name is misleading, as they should never actually be served at a cocktail party.

Fun Fact: The number of wiener jokes you make at a party directly correlates with the likelihood that your wife will make you sleep on the couch.

Unemployed Blogger Watches Lost for the First Time

4:58 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Since the launch of the show Lost on ABC, I've been strongly encouraged by friends and enemies alike to start watching. Things began to get ugly until I finally gave in, due to lack of alternatives and a general coldness outside. In order to finish the 101 episodes before the premiere on Feb 2nd, I'll need to average 4 episodes per day. Hulu has posted every single episode online so I'll be watching them, alone, in my darkened apartment on my aging computer. I'll be writing up a little play-by-play as I watch and posting it here for all to enjoy. Let the insanity begin!

Season 1, Ep. 1

Dog shows up. Dog runs away. Disoriented guy with scratches on his face finds booze in his pocket. So far this is like me on a Tuesday. Evidence of some type of "plane" crash. LOUD NOISES. Hot girl in skirt. Seems like a pretty nice day out. Guy screaming for help. Pregnant girl on the beach. It's Go Time! Guy gets sucked into the engine. Fat guy looks like Raggedy Anne. KABOOM! Hobbit is unfazed.

Jack is hurt. Hurt real bad. He's got a tattoo, like Chaim. It's sewing time! Fear something something. These two like each other. Like like. F-A-T-E. Hot girl is kind of a bitch. Raggedy Anne is eating all the rations from the plane. Raggedy Anne will now be called Milhouse. The front and the back of the plane are missing. Smoke in the valley. Probably not important. Some pretty loud noises in the jungle and the trees are going crazy.

Back on the plane. Just a little turbulence, everything is fine. Just the masks, everything will be fine. Kate just stole that guy's Jordans! Kate and Charlie don't know each other...OR DO THEY? Charlie is in Drive Shaft. There's that damn dog again. The trees do not like the rain. Hello front of plane. How are you today? Pilots were in the cockpit. Not anymore. One pilot is alive. Transceiver! What's that sound? What's right outside? The dog? Is the dog right outside? OK nowwww the pilot is out of the cockpit. Running and then the 1-5 fear thing. Got it. Bloody pilot up in the tree.

Rub some dirt on it, pussy

Season 1, Ep. 2

Transceiver is still busted. Charlie death stare. Back to the plane. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Ah, drugs. Shockingly, the plane breaks apart again.

Ever seen a Hobbit...ON WEED?

Hot girl is sunbathing. I do not mind. Pregnant girl looks like she's thinking of sunbathing. I mind. Asian girl finally says something to the guy from the crappy Matrix movies. Oh the DOG belongs to the KID! It's the KID's DOG!

Smear the queer on the beach. Sayid and Milhouse are friends. Transceiver might work from the mountain. It will not work. Ha, yeah, the big guy needs some food. Charlie is trippin' balls. Hot girl is named Shannon. Shannon. I'm making a prediction now: the guy smoking all the time was the one that did it.

The "two players, two sides, one is light, one is dark" speech is important. Kid, don't listen to the crazy man who wants to tell you a secret.


Shouldn't pregnant women avoid shellfish? The "thing" is chasing the group in the jungle again. GUN! POLAR BEAR! What?

Down goes Milhouse! So KATE is the criminal. That's probably important. And Jack is working on the cop. Sayid has a bar! Something else is transmitting? Iteration 17294532. "Please help me, please come get me. I'm alone now, on the island alone. The other are dead. It killed them. It killed them all." It's been playing for 16 years and 5 months.

OMFG

Tune in tomorrow afternoon for the next bunch.