The stars at night are big and bright...

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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ain't That A Kick In The Head

Big week coming up as The South 40 takes the show on the road to Las Vegas. (Insert Bing Crosby/Bob Hope song parody here.) I've about 98% convinced myself on staying the extra week for the Rickles show, btw. It will take some tight budgeting, but I think I can do it without dipping outside the vacation fund. Staying out of casinos will be the key. Or alternatively hitting it big in the casinos will solve all of life's little problems.

I'll stick with Plan A.

I want to look my best while I'm there so I upgraded my wardrobe with a couple DKNY tailored suits. In Las Vegas you'll find the gambit gamut of fashion from bedazzled sweats to tailored suits anywhere on The Strip anytime of day or night and that's OK. But I want to be on the higher end of that scale this time. This trip has an old school Rat Pack feel to it. Fear not, I will be rockin' the Tommy Bahama shirt and khakis most of the time. There's also a Tommy Bahama outlet at the mall in Pimm about 30 minutes south of Vegas so I can resup on casual wear.

While doing some research on men's style (you don't think I want to look like a schmuck) I stumbled across this fantastic website, The Art of Manliness and their tips on doing Vegas like a gentleman. They have a lot of great tips on many subjects. I probably should have read that before I chose black suits. But I look good in black and my last suit was from K&G over 10 years ago. It was time for an upgrade.

The plan so far is to leave Tuesday and make some miles. West Texas is flat and dull so we'll skim over that and push thru to Albuquerque.  I'll do some Breaking Bad shots there then head for Petrified Forest National Park. It's one of the most underrated National Parks. Admit it, you forgot it existed, did'nt ya? Well, it does and unless the sequester has the place locked up I plan on taking some pics to prove it.

From there it's on to Meteor Crater which is not a National Park and will be open, then on to the girl in a flatbed Ford in Winslow, Arizona, Hoover Dam and the final destination Sin City on Friday/Saturday. It will be a long drawn out schedule with a lot of planned and unplanned stops, but the photos will be worth it.

Don't forget you will see the good, bad and ugly.. well maybe not so much the ugly but you get my point. Lots o' pics right here in fabulous high fidelity South40Vision.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Decision, Decisions...

So tonight I find out that one week after I have my Las Vegas trip planned that Don Rickles is playing at the Orleans the very next weekend. Rickles! I had planned on taking the slow road back, but now I'm thinking about bunkering down for a week and catching El Matador's performance. Don Rickles is a legend. The fact he's still performing and doing a full Vegas show is mindboggling. That he's still sharp as a tack and hasn't lost a beat is a miracle. He won't be with us forever and the window to see him perform live is closing fast.

Which brings us to my quandary.  Do I take the long way home and do a photo safari thru Utah and Colorado or do I buy a cheap room for a week and hang out living off tourist buffets in Vegas to watch the Rickles show?

Life is hard.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Tax day around the South 40. Yeaaaaa! (not) Fortunately, I have a sharper mind than mine pencil whipping away at it. Still, it's no fun. How do you expect me to remember what I spent $24 on over a year ago? Have you ever met me? If so, you already know I haven't the foggiest what it was, but it was for work. I think. Pretty sure it was for work.

More fun was yet to come. I got home and decided I might as well put a bale of hay out before I went in and changed into my sweater and slippers. Bro-InLaw's Big Blue Tractor cranked right up and I grabbed a bale. When I got to the gate I didn't take it completely out of gear (rookie mistake) and stalled it. I hit the key and nothing. Hmmm. It's a little finicky sometimes so I double check everything. Neutral, check. Clutch in, check. Brake on, check. Hit the key, nothing.

OK, the cab still has power and all the lights work so the battery isn't dead. I try to jump the starter solenoid and get a few sparks but it wont turn over. I run jumper cables direct to the solenoid from my pickup. Nothing. My first thoughts are a bad solenoid or possibly even a bad starter. But I don't think it's the starter. We'll find out when I can get a mechanic (a/k/a Bro InLaw) over to look at it. BIL did make another offer to sell me the Ford 7710. Honestly, if I had a use for one that big I'd buy it because it's a helluva tractor. When you get it started.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

On The Radar: ESPN's 30 for 30 "Survive and Advance"


Laugh. Think. Cry.

I was never a huge college basketball fan, but I knew who Jimmy V was. He was pure. His infectious animated and articulated enthusiasm made Dick Vitale look like Droopy. He loved basketball, he loved his players and he loved the limelight. He loved life. His greatest gift was to make you realize how precious and fleeting a gift life really is.

ESPN has a fabulous pedigree with their 30 for 30 series, but they really raised the bar with their latest installment about the legendary NC State head coach Jim Valvano who led a squad of freshmen over national powerhouses like UNLV, Kentucky and eventually the famed University of Houston's Phi Slama Jama to win the NCAA National Championship in 1983. Jimmy said "My Mother who loves her 2nd son like no other took Houston and gave 8 points!"

Jimmy V's story is like a Greek tragedy. He guided a group of underdog underclassmen to the NCAA National Championship, becomes besieged with scandal and forced to resign, then is diagnosed with terminal bone cancer 2 years later. He was begrudgingly convinced to attend the fledgling ESPY awards ceremony by Dick Vitale and after being assisted to the stage by his old friend, Jimmy V gave one of the most moving speeches in history completely ad-lib. He waved off the telepromter warnings with "And that screen is flashing up there, 30 seconds, like I care about that screen right now, huh? I've got tumors all over my body and I'm worried about some guy in the back going, '30 seconds.'"

He announced the V Foundation which has to date awarded more than $100 to cancer research and died 2 weeks later.

Survive and Advance is more than an inspirational sports story. It's an inspirational life lesson. Even if you're not a college hoops fan, you'll be a fan of Jimmy V. You should strive to be like Jimmy V.

Survive and Advance is currently airing on the ESPN family of networks. Recommended viewing for the whole family.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roadtrip!


I've been itching to go back to Las Vegas. I had planned on being there Halloween to take part in the giant costume parade, but work pre-empted that. Today I got a surprise in my inbox from the Stratosphere Resort and Casino. Seems they were pleased with a survey I took and offered me 2 nights free and 2 free tickets to their new show Pin Up starring 2011 Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair.
Giggitty!

Took me all of 2 seconds to make up my mind. I called the Strat to book the reservations and to my delight they upgraded me to a suite. I like the way this is coming together.

I'm driving out again. Last year I took my SLK roadster and while it looked really cool, it wasn't the most comfortable car for a 2200 mile drive when you're 6'2". I now drive a C300 and it's much more conducive to a long trip, but I won't be able to cruise the strip with the top down. I can live with that. Considered taking the F350 which is rigged out for long trips but it would cost roughly the equivalent of the GNP of Ecuador in diesel. I'll take the Benz and 32mpg.

I plan on doing a better job of documenting the trip this time and doing some off the path exploring while out West. I've got a couple weeks to plan it out and decide what to investigate.

Rest assured you will see it all right here in beautiful South40vision.


On The Radar: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown



Not quite a sneak peek, just a promo for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. But it is the first look we've had of his new show on a new network.

I heard Tony talk a bit about this during his appearance at Bass Hall. He said CNN has global resources no other network could match. He plans to exploit those resources and go much deeper off the beaten path than in his previous shows. If you've watched No Reservations you know he's been pretty far off the path already. It will be interesting to see what he finds.

The series premiers 8pm Sunday night April 14th on CNN.

EDIT: CNN has just released this promo with a peek at some actual episode footage.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bad Mothershutyomouth!


Needless to say NSFW lyrics but kickass action! Umm, yeah, I watched it for the action...
That's the ticket!

If you like that, here's the prequel:

Sherman, Fire Up the WABAC Machine!


I grew up glued to the TV as a child, at least my Mother thought so. But compared to today's yutes and their media exposure I led a sheltered life on an Amish scale. Anyway, I have a knack for the obscure television reference (Really? We never knew...) but I was surprised at just how few of these 1960's "One Season Wonders" I remembered. Good Lord man, there were only 3 networks! How hard could it be?

I'm probably confused because some of the clips are in color and I never watched a color TV until 1973.



Gidget is a no-brainer, My Mother the Car is a reach and Captain Nice is the proverbial long shot. But I was actually a fan of these shows and surprised to find out they only lasted 1 season. Seemed longer to me, but back then a year was an eternity. The rest... neva heard of 'em. 2 outa 17 ain't so good.

I did do better at the 70's Lightning Round with 4 out of 9. CPO Sharkey is another no-brainer, it's Rickles fer cryin' out loud! Roll Out is totally obscure and The Bob Crane Show was just an excuse to have a bunch of college age actresses hanging around the set to take "shmile" pics with Bob in his dressing room between takes. But we didn't learn about that until later. Still, I remember all of them. The shows, not the shmile pics.


When Things Were Rotten was pure Mel Brooks genius and as much as I don't care for Dick Gautier he was perfect for the role and had an excellent supporting cast. POP QUIZ: What was Misty Rowe's claim to fame? NO Googling!

Unfortunately, Mel Brooks wit and 1970's TV Standards & Practices departments didn't mix well even though he was hired to recreate his success with Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles on the small screen. By the time the network censors were finished with the scripts the funny had been sucked clean from their marrow and the series was series was doomed. It was worse than watching Blazing Saddles on TBS. Mel stuck with the idea and finally morphed it into Robin Hood: Men In Tights. While not the most successful film in his repertoire, it made Mel millions. ABC... not so much.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I added a bit of bling to my F350 today

 Most people won't get it, but hopefully those that do will get a snicker out of it. First a quick history lesson (and as we all know that's always a good sign when telling a joke). The Powerstroke diesel engine Ford used until 2007 was built by Navistar who manufacture International trucks, formerly International Harvester who also built Farmall tractors which were in the movie Jayne Mansfield's Car with Kevin Bacon.

I know, it's a long way to go for a joke but I am the King of the obscure movie reference. 

I also have a long history with International Harvester and Farmall. After trading in his prized draft team my Grandfather bought a Farmall H and later a Super M. I plowed many an acre with that Super M standing on it's rear wheels well into the 1990's.

I also hauled many a load with an International Eagle. It was the nicest truck in the fleet and I got it as a reward for hard work from my boss. So you can see Cornbinders and I go way back.

I actually wanted a hood ornament off a Sightliner or Emeryville, but those things are rarer than rare. They had a face only a Mother could love.

I considered using one off a Transtar, but as you can see they fit a curved surface.

International pickup ornaments were also made for a curved surface. But they sure look cool!

Most of the Farmall tractor IH emblems are too small and would be out of proportion on the grille, plus to be completely honest they are cheap looking stamped metal. I settled for a happy medium and went for a billet aluminum receiver hitch cover that surprisingly turned out rather well other than being slightly off center thanks to the grid of the brush guard. The angle of the picture makes it look even worse but it's actually level with the Ford emblem.

Oh yeah, one last thing I forgot to mention. Before he switched to Ford, my Granddad drove International trucks. He switched in the early 50's after my Dad hit a mule with the truck head on late one night (The Godfather pales in comparison that scene from what I was told) and the Ford dealer made him a better offer on the trade-in. Free mule head removal?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Got the Google Reader Blues?

I've heard several people wonder what they were going to use now that Google is pulling the plug on Google Reader. When one door closes another one opens:

Feedly announced that Google Reader users would be able to seamlessly migrate their RSS feeds over to its service. The service even offers similar features to Google Reader, alongside its own special features. The service allows you to view your RSS feed in a condensed style (Title View) for those of you who have so many updates in your Google Reader feed that you have no time to scan through them individually.

Importing your Google Reader feed into Feedly is very painless. All you have to do is sign into your Google Account and Feedly will automatically sync your Reader’s feeds. You will have to do this before Google Reader is cut off on July 1st.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sunset Texas Sunset






















My feeble attempt at capturing a Texas sunset. I'm really pissed because I missed the perfect shot by 2 minutes as I ran in to get my camera. Still, it's a Texas sunset (ironically just outside Sunset, Texas) and that ain't bad.

WOOO!


You're an idiot and I'm going to kill you!

This apparently came out a while back and I just stumbled across it. A lot of folks are calling BS on it being real. Personally, I don't care if it was staged.  I'm not a Jeff Gordon fan, a Chevy fan or a Pepsi fan... but I haven't laughed this hard in years!

WOOO!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

From our "What could possibly go wrong?" Department


Last October the Ukrainian Navy announced it's plan to arm dolphins with frikkin' pistols on their heads to kill enemy divers:

Dolphins were trained at Sevastopol for the Soviet Navy as far back as 1973. They were trained to find military equipment such as sea mines on the seabed as well as attacking divers and even carrying explosives on their heads to plant on enemy ships.
After the breakup of the USSR and division of the Black Sea Fleet into Ukrainian and Russian fleets, the dolphin training section and its specialists were given to the Ukrainian Navy. They were then used for civilian tasks such as working with disabled children, in order to keep the unit intact.
The killer-dolphins will be trained to attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads, the source said. "We are now planning training exercises for counter-combat swimmer tasks in order to defend ships in port and on raids," he said.


What could possibly go wrong?


SEVASTOPOL, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - Three of the Ukrainian navy's “killer” dolphins that swam away from their handlers during training exercises probably left to look for mates, an expert said on Tuesday.
Ukrainian media reported earlier this month that only two of five military-trained dolphins returned to their base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol after a recent exercise.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry denied the reports, while refusing to confirm the navy makes use of dolphins, despite the frequent appearance in Ukrainian media of photographs of dolphins with military equipment strapped to them.

Sex crazed 007 dolphins, that's what.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

SNL Recap

Tonight's cold open,  the memorial service for Hugo Chavez. Special guest mourner, Elton John (Timberlake) sang a completely true song about Chavez to the tune of Candle in the Wind. Capitalism killed Mars? He really said that.

Very funny.

Justin's monologue focused on his admission to the most ultra-exclusive club in New York, The Five Timers Club. Only those who have hosted SNL 5 times are allowed to be members.

I was really hoping they would recycle this bit. It's predictably funny and chock full of old friends. Paul Simon welcomed Justin to the club and introduced him to Steve Martin. Steve led him on a little tour where they met Dan Ackroyd who was forced to be bartender since he's only hosted once. Justin asked if they cut Ackroyd some slack for being an original Not Ready For Primetime Player. Steve Martin replied "Ha ha ha, You're adorable! Now let's keep the chit-chat to a minimum Danny."

Next they ran into Chevy Chase and waiter Martin Short (he's not a 5 timer). Justin suddenly realizes he's standing next to... The Three Amigos!

Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks enter the room and invite Justin to watch current cast members Bobby Moynihan and Taran Killam fight barefisted to the death for their amusement. Candice Bergen, the first female member of the Five Timers Club also stopped by to ask the guys to please put the toilet seat down when they leave the bathroom.

Very funny.

The night's first skit, It's a Date, the only dating gameshow still on TV. Host Dirk Ellington (Bill Hader) introduced the contestants, Bachelorette Judy Peterman (Vanessa Bayer) and the hidden Bachelors #1 (Moynihan), #2 is actually a duo, Lonely Island (Timberlake and Andy Samberg) and #3 is actually another duo, George and Yortuk Festrunk, Two Wild and Crazy Guys (Dan Ackroyd and Steve Martin).  Bachelor #1 never had a chance.

Very funny.

Up next a street salesman for The Sausage Depot (Moynihan) meets his match when the street salesman for Veganville (Timberlake) shows up.
 "Bring it on down to Veganville!"

Very funny.

A fake commercial for NuvaBling jewel encrusted birth control. It's 70% effective at preventing pregnancy and 100% effective at gettin' dat swag on!

Very funny.

Justin Timberlake performed Suit & Tie with an appearance of surprise musical guest Jay-Z.

Weekend Update reminded us that tonight is Daylight Savings Time so the clock on your oven will be wrong for 6 months.  City Correspondent Stefon (Bill Hader) stopped by for tips on where to go this Spring.

Very funny.

The next skit was an evening with Caligula (Timberlake) who suddenly realizes he's an alcoholic sex addict and needs help. The Tales of Sober Caligula.  Instead of the drunken orgy everyone was expecting they got Game Night with iced tea.

First foul ball of the night. This could have been much funnier.

Up next from WLBZ Bangor, it's Maine Justice with Judge Marshal T. Boudreaux (Jason Sudeikis). A recycled skit about displaced Katrina victims that have taken over Maine much to the confusion of old time locals. The case involved Miss Deveroux (Kate McKinnon) and Mr. Goldstein (Samberg). The court was heavily in the favor of the displaced debutante.

Not the funniest skit they've done and I question the wisdom in recycling the bit just to relive Timberlake's role as Baliff Jessup.

The Three Amigos in full mariachi introduced Justin for his encore number, Mirrors.


The Digital Short was a movie trailer for the romantic date flick She's got a D!%k. Starring Justin Timberlake and a girl with a D!%k (Pedrad).

Funny.

The night's final skit was a commercial for Moet & Chandon with ex-pornstars (Bayer/ Cecily Strong/Timberlake). They can't pronounce it, but they can sure drink a lot of it.

Very funny.

Tonight's show unbelievably exceeded it's hype. The bar was set high for Timberlake and he nailed it. There were a couple low points but no real bombs among the skits. The numerous cameos were funny and in a couple cases (Three Amigos/Two Wild & Crazy Guys) very rare on-air reunions which makes this episode an instant classic.

A+

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On The Radar: Family Band



Talk about a fascinating documentary! Family Band: The Cowsills Story is the true tale of 60's pop sensation family act The Cowsills and it's spellbinding. A bunch of "Navy brats" from Newport, Rhode Island hit the big time and all the trap doors that go along with it.

They were an "establishment friendly" counterculture band that was easy to market. Bubblegum psychedelic  How popular were they? In 1967, the Cowsills first MGM release, “The Rain, The Park & Other Things,” sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold record. This song would ultimately reach No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 in Cash Box and Record World.

One year later, the band scored another near million-selling hit with the song “Indian Lake,” reaching No. 10 on the charts and in 1968, the band hit No. 1 again with their version of “Hair,” a three-million seller which brought them a nomination for 16 Magazine’s Best Group of 1970. “Hair” was banned from Armed Forces radio in Viet Nam for being too controversial, while ironically Richard Cowsill was serving there.

This string of hits opened the door for other "family acts" to go mainstream like The Osmonds and The Jackson Five. The Partridge Family was directly modeled from The Cowsills. When Shirley Jones asked why the actual family wasn't used on the series, the producers told her "They can't act".

Man, were they wrong.

While everyone thought they were the blessed perfect family living a charmed life onstage, there was a dark story unfolding backstage. Drugs & alcohol along with physical and mental abuse. The film is like an intervention and recovery as told by the Cowsill children themselves.

It's a fantastic inside look at their lives. Then and now.

Family Band: The Cowsills Story is currently running on the Showtime family of channels and available at Showtime Anytime after that. Definitely worth watching.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done


I've always wanted to take a rail journey. It's possibly the most unvarnished look you will ever get of America. This story from Nathaniel Rich of the New York Times details the wonders still to be found by rail. How could you possibly find out that much about your fellow passengers on a 737 flight?

Growing up in the 60's when the jet age overtook the travel market by force, you didn't even think of going anywhere by train. That was crazy talk. Yet, all my life I was exposed to rail travel thru music, film and TV.  Can you imagine pulling off the sleeper berth party scene from Some Like It Hot in an airplane? It just wouldn't work. Hell, we even had it in a pop song that went classic with Arlo Guthrie's City of New Orleans.

How can you listen to this and not want to ride the rails?

The longest rail trip I've taken is from Ft. Worth to Dallas on the TRE. I tried to take a train from Seattle to Fort Worth when I was in the Coast Guard, but it cost over $1500 and took 14 days. Instead. I took a connecting flight thru San Francisco and got jacked by Air Marshals pre-9/11. But that's another story.

I also hopped a freight train from Federal Way to the opposite side of the Kingdome in Seattle after seriously mistaking which track it was going to take. I did an amazing 6 Million Dollar Man impersonation dismounting around 35 mph, but that is yet another story. I digress...

I plan on taking The Sunset Limited someday just to say I did. I've been to LA numerous times, just never by rail. It's kind of like a driving Route 66 thing. That's on my list as well even tho I've already covered most of it in bits and pieces, especially thru Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Just not Chicago to LA complete, which brings us back to rail.

Possibly the most famous passenger train ever is the Santa Fe Chief. It ran from Chicago to LA and boasted the finest of amenities. In an era when you had to enjoy being stuck in a box for several days from Point A to Point B, they actually tried to make you enjoy the experience.

The City of New Orleans and Sunset Limited are still around, but they probably won't be for much longer. The trip is much less luxurious and still overpriced. But the experience, along with the view, is still priceless.

SNL Recap

Tonight's cold open is a speech by President Obama (Jay Pharoh) about the sequester. In showing who the cuts would affect he brought on an air traffic controller (Cecily Strong) who explained now they have to watch a Doritos commercial on their screen before landing aircraft. Also "full body scanners are out, so please take a pick down the front of your pants and text us!" A border Patrol agent (Bill Hader) who explained now they have to let every 10th Mexican just run across the border. An Astronaut (Kate McKinnon) who explained now their space helmets no longer have glass, so now when they spacewalk they just have to hold their breath. The zookepper from the National Zoo (Jason Sudeikis) explained that now they will have to fire 3 of their monkeys and turn them loose on the street. "Good news is Ikea and Taco Bell have made very lucrative offers on some of the horses".  A USDA Inspector (Bobby Moynihan) then came on to remind the President that there will be fewer meat inspections and was quickly hussled off stage. The president also brought on some employees that will be permanently affected like an inner-city school teacher from Philadelphia (Aidy Bryant) who said "This is the greatest day of my entire life!"

Next an assortment of people that will be affected like sailors, police, construction workers and grants to Native Americans. (Taran Killam, Tim Robinson,Keenan Thompson and Fred Armisen) that coincidentally happened to resemble The Village People. Funny.

Tonight's host: Kevin Hart

Kevin's monologue was predictably hilarious. He explained the evolution of homeless tactics to steal your sandwich and went on to explain he didn't harbor any ill will from being turned down for an opening at SNL.

The night's first skit was The Steve Harvey Show. The subject as phobias, or pho-bi-as as Steve (Thompson) pronounced it. He welcomed guest Dennis Rains (Hart) to the show to talk about his fear of horses. Then psychologist Leslie Stiffle (Nasim Pedrad) came on to help by bringing a stuffed horse. Suddenly Steve had a fear of horses.

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (Sudeikis) was next. They went to the Vatican where reporter Erin Carbonal (Strong) reported white smoke and introduced new the Pope, 9 year old Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (Hart). Blitzer said, "Wow, don't think anyone saw this coming!"

A fake Starbucks commercial for their home brewing system that confuses your name and order just like the real Starbucks.

A Barnes and Nobles crew meeting featuring Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong as two employees going off on fellow crewmembers. This is a recycled bit and it's still really funny. Hart unexplicably lost it and went full Harvey Korman when he had to fire Carl (Tim Robinson).

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed Thrift Shop.

Weekend Update welcomed Dennis Rodman (Pharoh) and Kim Jong-un (Moynihan) to talk about Rodman's trip to North Korea. Kim explained how they are best buds now. "He like Mark Walberg. I like bear from Ted!"

The proposed repeal of the Voting Rights Act triggered a "Really!?!" comeback with Kevin Hart sitting in alongside Seth Meyers. The SCOTUS thinks racism is over, really?? Hart listed several southern states he wouldn't go outside in after dark. "And to be honest I'd stay inside if it's really cloudy in Mississippi! Really!!"

A parody of The Walking Dead was up next with Rick (Killam), Carl (Pedrad), Daryl (Hader) and Maggie (McKinnon) running into a stranger, Lyle (Hart). After determining he hadn't been biten, the group huddles to make a decision on accepting into the group and a "Walker" sneaks up and bites the Lyle. They decide to accept him but tell him if he's ever bitten they won't hesitate to kill him. Lyle then begins to deflect all the observations that he's turning into a zombie into racist attacks even when he eats Maggie. Funny. I predict a recurrence of this bit. Pedrad as Carl was brilliant.

A parody of Shark Tank with self made millionares Kevin O'Leary (Sudeikis), Barbara Corcoran (McKinnon), Daymond John (Thompson) and Mark Cuban (Hader). First contestant Bryan McShay (Hart) pitched a company called We Put Sunglasses on Lamps-Crafters for those people who's lightbulbs are too bright. Unfortunately, the writing wasn't too bright in this case.

A fake commercial for the new "Z"-Shirt with Hart and Robinson as pumped up hip spokespersons. It quickly got drawn out as Hart started going thru the alphabet in order. "Is it an A-Shirt? Is it a B-Shirt?..." His partner walks off the set somewhere around L-Shirt or M-Shirt. They should have bailed on this skit at B-Shirt.

A voiceover audition in the recording studio pitted 2 people reading the same feminine copy for a Dove Chocolates commercial, a black man (Hart) with a loud urban voice and a white woman (Bayer) with a soft and flowery voice. They went with the black man.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed Can't Hold Us for their encore.

The next skit was at a funeral as mourners got up to speak. The first speaker was interrupted by a man that turned out to be his partner from the Z-Shirt commercial who picked up where he left off. "Is it a W-Shirt?"

The night's final skit was 360 News with Hal Sumner (Hart). They give you the news from every angle (with quick camera changes). Unfortunately Hal was rearended on the way to work and had to wear a neck brace. That made those quick camera swaps rough. Taking the brace off didn't help.

Overall this episode was lacking. Hart had constant problems with his lines (probably why SNL didn't hire him as a castmember) and the writing was flat. Let's hope things will be much different next week when Justin Timberlake hosts. The best I can give this show is a very generous B-.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hey Donald


I seem to remember you saying you'd like to have a Gelenvagen. Well lookie what Mercedes-Benz has built for you!

Postcard from the Edge


  • I haven't done one of these bullet point "Random Thoughts" style posts in a while. Thought I'd remedy that today.
  • One Day At a Time's Bonnie Franklin has passed away due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 69. 
  • AMC ran Airport and Airport 1975 back to back this morning. They should have stopped making those movies right there.
  • Joe Patroni (George Kennedy) had an interesting career in those films. He went from Chief A&P mechanic to Airline CEO to "corporate liason" to Concorde pilot. All in the span of 9 years. He was also the only character to be in all of the Airport films.
  • Gordon Keith has a very interesting column in today's Dallas Morning News. Unusually deep stuff coming from The Great Gordo. h/t Bag of Nothing
  • I seem to have a knack for finding outdated parts prices online. Last month I bought a set of air springs and a set of high performance brakes for my F350. I paid over $100 less for each of them than current market pricing.  They also immediately changed the prices online after my purchase.
  • Somebody in charge of updating websites is very unhappy with me, I'm sure.
  • I conned my number crunching little sister into doing my taxes this year. She can squeeze two nickles together and make a dollar fall out. I told her "I got the looks, you got the brains". She agreed to do them anyway.
  • She explained that I had been going about my recordkeeping completely wrong. Hey, it made sense to me.
  • Houston, we have a problem.
  • And finally... There may be some good news because of the sequester.