The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

RIP Patty Andrews

The last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters has past away. She died of natural causes at her home in Northridge, California at the age of 94. For those of you under 30, The Andrews Sisters were kind of a big deal in the 1930's & 40's. They were Rockstars of the era. Patty was the youngest and also the on stage personality of the trio.

Just look at the names of people they worked with:  Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Woody Herman, Guy Lombardo, Desi Arnaz, Russ Morgan, Dick Haymes, Carmen Miranda, Danny Kaye, Abbott & Costello, Al Jolson, Jimmy Durante and Red Foley. Impressive.

The names of people they influenced is to too long to list and continues to grow even today as they were included in the soundtrack of the recent video game Mafia II.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Krum's Caleb Moore Crashes at X-Games

Last Thursday at the Winter X-Games Caleb Moore failed to complete a snowmobile backflip and it ended badly. After initially walking away from the crash, Moore was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital with a concussion. He was later flown to Grand Junction's St. Mary's Hospital, where he underwent emergency heart surgery Friday morning after bleeding was discovered.

Now doctors are giving a grim prognosis. The bleeding caused complications to the brain injury. According to Moore's grandfather, Charles Moore, "It's almost certain he's not going to make it".

Moore's younger brother, Colten, was also injured at the games in Aspen on Thursday, suffering a separated pelvis.


UPDATE: Caleb Moore passed away Thursday morning. I started to pull the .gif of the crash in respect of the deceased, but decided to leave it up as a caution to anyone that might consider attempting this stunt. They need to fully understand the consequences.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

SNL Recap

This postmortem is a DVR edition. I crashed long before Kevin Cokley hit the air last. So much for a late breaking review but it is live from digital recording via sattelite. That said , away we go...

Cold open with Obama enjoying a beer after the innagoration and visited by the spirit of Martin Luther King who turns out to be much more of a brother interested in Beyonce's booty and Michelle's bangs than most would imagine. But hey, it's his day off ( that one made me snicker). Among things that need to be changed Dr. King listed "It's 2013 and there still hasn't been a black King of England".

As far as cold opens go, this one clears the high hurdle.
Tonight's Host: Adam Levine

The Maroon 5 singer's monologue was punctuated with cameos by Andy Samberg , Cameron Diaz and  Jerry Seinfeld in a "The Voice" style battle over whether Levin should take his shirt off for ratings. Andy was a bit more interested than the others...

Fake commercial for Rosetta Stone was very funny. Sometimes you really don't want to know why someone wants to learn another language. Especially if they are a middle aged creepy white guy and the language is Thai.

The Gay Network program Circle Work featured Keenan Thompson and Levine as hosts Tracy Allstar and Todd Anthony, It's a show where they take straight people and work out gay solutions to their problems... in a circle.

First guest Nancy Driscoll (Nasim Pederad) has an oversexed husband and she needs a break.
Solution: He's gay. Any man that wants sex that much is trying to prove something to this coworkers.

Next guest Doug Landers (Jason Sudeikis) is in his 30's and can't find the right woman.
Solution: He's gay. Your're as gay as a goose in a gay pride parade!

Fake promo for The Sopranos Diaries on The CW. Tony and the gang up to their hijinks in High School. Tony (Bobby Moynahan) Silvio (Bill Hader) and Paulie (Fred Armisen) as teenagers in the 80's. The guidance councilor is Mrs. Melfi (Kate McKinnon), we learn how Sal (Levine) gets his nick Big Pussy and meet Janet (Aidy Bryant). The boys even have a stripper stage in the cafeteria as they enjoy a lavish Italian meal. See Tony meet Carmella (Kate McKinnon in a dual role) in Science class. See Tony beat the snot of of a teacher (Tim Robinson) asking him to quiet down in the library. Very funny.

A NYFD fundraiser with trouble brewing as one firefighter Jerry (Levin) talks to some girl's while her ex Bryce (Hader) looks on.  Bryce is an overtly gay drama queen and it turns out that was the problem in their relationship. Hader gives a fantastic performance.

SNL Digital Short featured Levine and Samberg in the boy band Lonely Island Crew video You Only Live Once. You can't be too cautious and need sound financial planning and adapting a Howard Hughes type lifestyle. It featured appearances by Kendrick Lamar and Danny McBride. Well put together bit, but then it was Samberg at the helm.

Musical Guest Kendrick Lamar performed "Swimming Pools (Drank)".

Weekend Updaye opened with the Inagural liberal tone, especially the part where Obama showered the crowd with birth control pills. To comment on Hillary's congressional visit and politics in general Arriana Huffington (Nasim Pedrad) stopped by. To comment on the Super Bowl a pumped up and emotional Ray Lewis (Keenan Thompson) paid a visit.

Levin plays himself along with Maroon 5 in a bar in the next skit when Train (Taran Killam)walks in on their turf. Rumble ensues. Actually more of a dance party. Jason Moran (Sudekis), John Mayer (Hader) and Hootie (Thompson) show up.

A parody of MTV's Catfish featuring Levin as host Nieve. First guest Jazz (Aidy Bryant) has been in a 10 year online relationship with hot guy Ace but has never met him. Turns out Ace is not a Bryan Williams look-alike. He's a black guy (Jay Pharoh) that follows UPS trucks around and steals packages off porches.

Musical guest Kendrick Lamar performed Poetic Justice in his encore.

In a Law & Order style skit, Adam Levine hooks up with middle aged Janet (Bobby Moynihan) after a Maroon 5 concert.

The night's final skit was a commercial for the post Inauguration Biden Bash at Dover Motor Speedway with Joe Biden (Sudeikis).

In the Local People Meters, "Saturday Night Live" matched its highest adult 18-49 rating since November 3 (with a telecast hosted by Louis C.K. with musical guest fun, 3.0).

All in all, it was a very good episode. The writing was much improved from last week and the performances were sharp. Not every skit was a "knock it out of the park" hit. But there weren't any gutterballs, either. Levine did a great job as host. I give it an A-.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel Gets Bumped

Did you catch last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live SUCKS? If you didn't, you were in the minority. 

After being bumped 1,205 times, Matt Damon finally bumped back by gagging and duct taping Jimmy Kimmel to a chair and hosting the show himself. He also brought his own cast of characters to replace Kimmel's regular crew. Sidekick Guillermo was replaced by Andy Garcia, bandleader Cleto Escobedo III was booted in favor of Sheryl Crow and Robin Williams did the monologue.

The night's A-List guests included Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon and Demi Moore. Cameos by Oprah, Don Chedle, Ben Afflek, Emily Blunt, Greg Kinnear, Sally Field, John Krasinski and Robert De Niro were scattered throughout the show.

The final guest was Kimmel's ex-girlfriend Sarah Silverman who likened dating Kimmel to eating a dirtywater hotdog from a New York street vendor. "Why did I put this inside my body?"

It was pure comedy genius and solid ratings gold. "JKL" beat Leno by 62% and David Letterman by 120%. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "JKL" ranked No. 1 in 9 of the Top 10 U.S. markets in Adults 18-49, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The show was such a huge hit ABC is going to reair it in primetime next Tuesday at 9pm. Or you can click on the link and watch it online at Jimmy Kimmel Live right now.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Father Pat, He stepped over the line!

In a case of life imitating art, Fairfield University fan John Queenan won the opportunity to sink a half-court shot for a free car from the Tri-State Chevy dealers during halftime of the Stags game vs Loyola. He took a hop-step forward, and BAM!

Free car, right? Not so fast...

Queenan had to wait almost a day for his brand-new car, because an insurance company wanted to verify the shot on video.

At issue was whether Queenan had stepped over the halfcourt line -- which ran through and blended into the Stags' logo -- when taking the shot.

Before the insurance company made a ruling, the dealers decided to give him the car after Twitter and Facebook responses began to flood in as the video went viral.

"It was the right thing to do," said Leo Karl, the president of Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan, who watched the video several times. "We decided to award him the car regardless of the what the insurance company does."

"It looks like everything turned out great," Queenan said. "It's a win-win."

Jackie Moon would disagree.

You've just won a giant check that says Ten Thousand Dollars! Look at the size of that thing!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beetlejuice Crashes a Bar

No, it's not a sequel to Tim Burton's 1988 blockbuster. It's real:

 Earth's nearest supergiant red star Betelgeuse is on its way to a spectacular collision when it smacks into a "nearby" dust bar. The whole process will take thousands of years, however.

The European Space Agency's Herschel telescope has snapped a new image of Betelgeuse, which sits just above and to the left of the Orion constellation in the visible night sky, showing an obstacle in the path of the brightly shining sun.

The orange-red star is a thousand times the diameter of our Sun and shines a hundred thousand times more brightly, but its expansion into supergiant hunk has come at a cost. The body has shed a significant amount of its outer layers, which can be seen in Hershel's picture.

The infrared view shows how the star's fierce winds are whipping across the surrounding space, creating a bow shock around Betelgeuse as it hurtles through the cosmos at 30km a second. This series of broken dusty arcs lie in front of the star, showing its direction of motion. Around the star itself lies a lopsided halo of material, likely to have resulted from localised, clumps of dusty debris.

But further out in space, a bar of what appears to be more dust is lying right across Betelgeuse's path. Boffins have previously thought that this bar could also have originally come from the star, but analysis of this image suggests that it's either a linear filament linked to the galaxy's magnetic field or the edge of a nearby interstellar cloud, lit up by the star's bright light.

If the bar is a completely separate object, Betelgeuse's outer arc will crash into it in just 5,000 years and the red star itself will follow, around 12,500 years later.

The supergiant is expected to approach supernova within the next million years.
By Brid-Aine Parnell

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SNL Recap is Back!

Piers Morgan for the cold open tonight. Taran Killiam did a reasonable job as Morgan since I don't watch his show. His guest was Lance Armstrong (Jason Sudeikis). "Am I sorry I did it? Yes-ish."
The second guest was Manti Te'o (Bobby Moynahan). "I became suspicious when she called me and told me she was dead."  The final guest was Jodie Foster (Kate McKinnon) and clearing up her semi coming out. There wasn't anything remotely resembling funny to quote from it.

Tonight's Host: Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer looked a tiny bit "deer in the headlights" walking out on stage, which is surprising considering her mega stardom, but this is her first time performing on live TV. Any fears were soon put to rest as she did a funny Tommy Lee Jones bit with Bill Hader and followed it up with an equally funny smackdown of her Oscar rivals.

The fake Starbucks Home Brewing system commercial featuring built in don't give a damn urban barristas programming was funny. Bring the Starbucks experience home!

Up next Girlfriends Talk Show with Morgan and Kiera(Aidy Bryant/ Cecily Strong). The 3rd wheel this time is the new coolest girl in school Jesse (Lawrence). She's in a punk band. Thankfully this recurring skit was kept short because it flopped like Tony Romo in a clutch game.

Naturally a Hunger Games skit was in order. This focused on the post game press conference. Brilliant idea. Especially the golf reporter who was just filling in for one of the regular Hunger Games beat guys. "Did you have a chance to speak with your fellow competitors after you won, and if so, what was their mood?" They're ALL dead! "Really?? Is that unusual??"

Fake Lord of the Rings commercial announcing Peter Jackson has split the remaining 2 movies into 18 sequel movies. Moderately funny, not being a LOTR guy.

A visit to Johnny Two Tone's throwback diner featuring intentionally rude waitstaff. One waitress (Lawrence) really didn't grasp the sarcasm aspect of the deal. But she really enjoyed tearing the soul out of her customers. Sadly the skit ended on a rather flat sight gag. They almost had something brilliant there...

Musical Guests The Lumineers performed Ho Hey.

Weekend Update opened with a combo Lance Armstrong/Manti Te'o joke. Greatness. Secondhand News correspondent Anthony Crispino (Moynahan) paid a visit. "Did you hear the Golden Globe went to Fargo? That film didn't even come out this year!" No, that was Argo. "Pretty sure they said it was Fargo..."

There was no second WU guest.

Top Dog Chef on The Dog Channel (think: Planet of the Apes Dogs) was surprisingly funny. Very original. Unless they run out of dog jokes, this may have shot at a recurring bit.

The best and only (not to mention whitest) hip-hop morning team of "Richard and The Buffalo"on B108 (Killiam/Moynahan) in Shackopee, Minnesota were next. Side kick Busty Rhymes (Lawrence) can't rap. News Anchor MC Jigglebutt (Vanessa Bayer) is a female Les Nessman. Funny, but hasn't the dysfunctional radio bit been done?

The Lumineers performed Stubborn Love for their encore.

The voice dubbed 1975 French art film Danielle was next. It featured Lawrence as Danielle. As with all 1975 French art films, everything was a double entendre unless it was a direct proposition for sex.

The nights final skit focused Ken Burns style on the love letters between a Union soldier (Tim Robinson) and his sweetheart (Lawrence). Her prose was that of the Civil War era. His of the American Pie "Stiffler" era. Lawrence almost broke character laughing after flubbing a line, but trudged thru like a trooper. The skit was funny overall.

As a Rookie SNL Host, Jennifer did above average. But the show felt a bit off kilter. I have a feeling there was some sort of technical foul up that caused them to scramble. There was the missing 2nd WU guest and the unusual 1 skit and go to break after Girlfriend Talk Show. If that's the case, even more kudos to Miss Lawrence for pulling it off.

I give it a solid B.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stock Show Time!

(Credit: Ron T. Ennis /Star Telegram)

The 2013 Ft. Worth Stock Show (I still want to call it The Southwest Exposition and Fat Stock Show) got underway today with the traditional non-motorized parade thru Downtown Cowtown. The turnout was tremendous! I've heard reports of over 100,000 people there.

I normally have no problem parking my car near the train station and moving around the parade route for pictures. Today it took me nearly an hour to find a spot and it was all the way down by the courthouse. The crowd was so thick I couldn't get a decent shooting position and forget about crossing the street. But to be honest that shows my lack of skill as a photographer. There's always a shot, you just have to find it.

I was mad/happy at the same time. Mad that I couldn't get any good pictures, but happy there was such a huge turnout for the parade. Some years it's been pretty sparse, crowd wise. This year it was packed and the number of small kids was heartwarming. You know this will stick with them for life and keep the tradition alive.

There was no shortage of people at the Stock Show, either. The show barns were packed with both participants and casual observer. I got a kick out of one little girl about 4 that had obviously never ever seen a goat before in her life. The look on that kid's face was priceless. A mixture of horror, joy and excitement all rolled into one. Of course my camera was in the car. Goodbye Pulitzer...

One bit of advice. If you don't already have rodeo tickets don't expect to just walk up and buy seats for that day's performance. It ain't gonna happen, especially on opening weekend. Trust me when I say they don't care how far you drove from to get there. I heard that sob story several times and could have made a small fortune scalping rodeo tickets today, if I had any.

So go enjoy the Stock Show with your kids while the weather's unseasonably nice. They don't call an Arctic blast "Stock Show Weather" for nothing.

And not to brag, cough... but my niece took 7th in the Goat Costume Contest! (I don't get it, either. So you're in good company.)
(Credit: Joe Duty/WCM)

Hey, the Conference Championships are this weekend!

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Too Soon?

This one made me LOL.

h/t Nipsey

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm Loving It!

I gotta get me one of these!

Break Time is Over

A scant 3 days into the new year and I'm already getting calls to work. Time to shake off that holiday lazy and get serious!