Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mardi Gras and Lawyers That Suck

Mardi Gras has always had a large satiric component to it, but whatever big political and news stories that may have provided fodder for costumes this year were dwarfed by the jubilation this city has been experiencing since the Saints won the Super Bowl!

But even in the midst of all the black and gold, we found this costume:

Miss Hap at Mardi Gras

At first, yes - great, clever, funny. Even better was her companion, dressed as the truck that ran her over:

Miss Hap at Mardi Gras with the Truck that Hit Her

But, even better was his bumper sticker:

Mardi Gras - Michael Hingle Sucks

Michael Hingle, of course, is one of the local ambulance chasers with those ever-present commercials on late-night television. Many of his spiels start out with “If you get caught in a wreck with an eighteen-wheeler...”

That reminds me of an example of why these types of ads may promise just a bit too much. I forgot where I heard this, but it was a story about a father and daughter asking one of these types of attorneys to represent them. After seeing the commercial promising a big check after getting in a wreck with an eighteen-wheeler, they go to see the attorney. The daughter had luckily survived a near-head-on collision with a big rig, and she and her father wanted to know how much they could recover from the trucking company. So the attorney started asking his questions, one of the first being “What were you doing at the time?” To which the daughter said, “well, I had accidentally crossed into the oncoming traffic...”

That’s not verbatim, but I swear I read that somewhere. I’ll try and find it some other time.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

New Peyton Manning Breakfast Cereal

Peyton Manning has a new breakfast cereal coming out after his resounding loss to the New Orleans Saints in Superbowl XXIV!

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

January 2010 Netflix Report

January 2010 Netflix SummaryArrived at HomeReceived at NetflixDays at HomeMonthly Average Days at HomeCost Per Movie
The Crazies (1973) 1/06 1/13 7
The Comfort of Strangers 1/08 1/27 19
All That Jazz 1/14 1/27 13
The Hurt Locker 1/16 1/27 11
Hounddog 1/28 02/04 7
The Small Back Room 1/28 02/05 8
Splendor in the Grass 1/28 02/04 7
10.3 $2.65

Damn, only seven movies from Netflix this month? I’m slipping, gotta buck you and get going. Watched The Crazies because I heard it was being remade - pretty much what it sounded like it would be, fun but forgettable. Finally got around to watching All That Jazz - fantastic movie! I didn’t think I’d be able to buy Roy Scheider as a song-and-dance choreographer/director, but wow - he was amazing and this is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.

Finally saw The Hurt Locker and it may be the best war movie of recent vintage I’ve seen, and I think I’m now close to having seen all the big ones. Very understated (take a hint, Irwin Winkler - if you had taken Home of the Brave down a couple of dozen notches, it might have been a decent movie), and I would pair it with The Lucky Ones as perhaps the best two recent war movies, with Stop-Loss a third, but a distant third.

Coincidentally, soon after The Hurt Locker I watched The Small Back Room, which is an EOD tale from another place and war: England during World War II. Very good, very British, very detailed and technical war picture. I get the impression that it might be revered as one of the best and most accurate “bomb squad” movies by whoever out there has researched and watched movies like that in detail.

There wasn’t much to Hound Dog: the shock value got it all the publicity it deserved when it was being made. My one classic movie this month was Splendor in the Grass: very good, and very much a period piece, both in its setting - the 1920s - and when it was made - the early 1960s. It makes me want to watch more Natalie Wood movies - I might have to dig out my copy of This Property Is Condemned.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Saints Superbowl Countdown and the NFL's Lack of Overseas Trademark Enforcement

If you don't live here, you can't imagine what the Saints winning the NFC Championship and going to the Superbowl for the first time in its 42 year franchise history has done for this city. When Hartley kicked that field goal in overtime, the entire city transformed into a giant block party: like everyone else not in the Superdome that night, our regular game day party crew streamed out shouting and yelling and started randomly hugging our neighbors and high-fiving strangers. Its been impossible to get much work done and all of us real fans are listening to WWL-AM 24/7 and its seems the local TV stations are in a ongoing duel to see who's coverage on Sunday will start the earliest - 7:00am local is what one of them announced tonight: that's ten and a half hours before the game actually begins. The other day I surprised my wife with a second cable box for our kitchen TV so that she can watch the NFL network while cooking, and now I'm hooked myself and have been watching it 2-3 hours a day.

In the middle of all this - four days after the championship - my mother, who has been spending her golden years globe-trotting all over the planet (50+ countries so far, extra pages needed for her passport, etc., etc.) came back from a three week trip to Jordan and Israel and when I called her she said that she would wait to give us most of the knick-knack gifts that she picked up for us, but that she was mailing one that she wanted us to have right away.

I thought nothing about that until Wednesday when a small but thick envelope came in the mail. I opened it but couldn't figure out what it was before my wife realized - "It's a Saints yarmulke!" she said.

New Orleans Saints Yarmulke

Oh my freaking Yahweh! My mom enclosed a note that said she didn't want me to convert, but I wish there was a fast track slip-the-rabbi-a-few-bucks express lane route to Judaism so I could go to services at one of the local temples Saturday just to wear this!

With all her traveling, generosity and shopping prowess, this was not, however, my mother's first experience with circumventing the NFL's licensing police by finding non-sanctioned Saints swag overseas. Last summer she went to Russia and bought us a set of Russian nesting "matryoshka" dolls:

New Orleans Saints Nesting Russian Matryoshka Dolls

As with the yarmulke, I wish she had grabbed a dozen of these - I would have split the profits with her 50/50: the NFL lawyers can't catch EVERYTHING, no matter how much they try to muscle local entrepreneurs over half-assed overly expansive trademark claims.

The matryoshka dolls are part of our Saints shrine below our TV:

New Orleans Saints Shrine

And all this compliments my favorite Saints memorabilia: the neon Budweiser Saints sign that I purchased - late in the afternoon when, amazingly, no one else had snagged it (but, it was before the current season when we only 8-8 the previous year) - from the old Rock and Bowl.

New Orleans Saints Budweiser Sign

And so, given as superstitious as all Saints fans are, I know that the combination of Saints memorabilia is why we are going go KICK THE COLTS ASS on Sunday! Who Dat!!!!!!!

Full blog post...

Monday, February 1, 2010

WestlawNext Anticipation (Zzzzzzzzz....)

Our rep hasn't told us anything about WestlawNext, so I'm just learning about it second hand from various sources. Someone posted the link to the preview page:

and the first thing that strikes me is the photo on the page:

WestlawNext puts customers to sleep
WestlawNext is so exciting and revolutionary that it puts customers to sleep while they wait for it...

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