Monday, October 30, 2006

Busy Weekend

It was a barnburner of a weekend here in North Florida this past weekend.
We started with Trep blowing back through the area after his pilgrimage to Brunswick Ga.
We caught a quick lunch at Chili's up on Duval Rd, near The Worst Airport in the World, then we headed over to the Jacksonville Gun Club and proceeded to empty an entire case (250 rounds) of 12 gauge shotgun shells...

Trep- armed and dangerous

Station 8; Half the reaction time...and he still hit the target!

We shot several rounds of skeet and trap...and we learned that shooting at fast moving, small clay targets is completely different than using a shotgun to break down a door, or standing sentry over a group of Cuban Refugees.

April 2004 - Proper shotgun technique. Danica's Ponytail-and-M16 is not bad either...

We parted company after a fun afternoon of destruction and depravity- and it should be noted, just for the record, that The Captain did not join in the festivities...
It was a conscious effort, just to prove that it is possible to have a fun afternoon with firearms without alcoholic beverages...

Anyone who knows anything at all about NCAA football knows this was Florida-Georgia Weekend here in Jacksonville...

The Woman Who Knows Most Things is a Georgia graduate, whereas I have ties to that shithole of a school in Gainesville...
TWWKMT's friends tend to make more of a big deal about the game, only because they have been on the losing side of the stick more often than not in recent history.
That doesn't keep them from coming down and partying over the weekend...
I try to avoid the entire thing if I possibly can... I'm much happier if I can watch it from the comfort of a bar, or better yet, in my humble abode.
It would take alot to get me to actually go down to the stadium and voluntarily mix it up with the crowds at Alltel Stadium... I pretty much stay out at the Beaches if at all possible.
Less chance of being involved in, or causing an Incident.

So, TWWKMT's friends and kin come down...
Some family (neice and SO) came down from Atlanta and spent some quality family time with TWWKMT and the PC; We also hosted TWWKMT's friend from her days at UGA, Robert and his SO, Allison, who came down from the NY/NJ area...

Robert Allison (right) and his current flame, Allison Katz (left).
Nope, that's not a typo.

And of course, the Perfect Child will cheer for anyone, given the opportunity to go to a football game... Here she is in her UGA Bulldog regalia...

Too cool to associate with mere mortals...

What was I doing on Saturday afternoon?
Cooking, of course...Bar-b-qued beef, Cuban subs, fried chicken fingers, and Key Lime Pie... tasty fare for the die-hard fans that braved the crowds and travails of attending the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
(And there is no way anyone will ever change that perception.)
I sat watching horror movies on AMC all afternoon, occasionally checking the score of the game, waiting for The Fans to return from the inevitable Gator victory.

The Georgia fans retreated with the oft-repeated mantra- "Wait 'til next year!"

Yeah- Whatever.

Famous, out-

Friday, October 27, 2006


1. Yo! P-Squared!
Be advised... Just because I haven't retaliated yet, doesn't mean I'm not going to...
I collect my debts...with interest.
You might want to have someone else start your car for the next few days...
And don't start reading any long books or novels.

2. Just some thoughts that have been building up in the
"To be Blogged" file...

  • The # 2 pencil is by far the most popular pencil out on the market.
    Why is it still #2?

  • Wal-Mart bashing #1:
    Have you been to Wal-Mart lately?
    You have to weigh 300 pounds to get the automatic doors to open.

  • Wal-Mart bashing #2:
    If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, why isn't anything in the store is free yet?

  • There is a solution to everything:
    One of the developers at the company I work for has a watch that is
    3 hours slow. It can't be fixed, so instead, he's moving to California.

  • There is no "I" in "Team", but there are four in "Platitude-Quoting Idiot".

  • IDS travel rule #4:
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

  • I'm a little concerned about teaching Hunter to be polite and courteous...
    When she grows up, she'll never be able to edge her car onto the freeway.

  • When blondes have more fun, do they know it?

  • Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

  • If you think there is good in everybody then you obviously haven't met everybody.

  • From the "Danny Rollins deserved it" department:
    Capital punishment isn't for making examples, it's for making bad people dead.

  • Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

  • My mind is like a steel trap - rusty, and illegal in 37 states.

    And finally:
  • Follow your dreams.
    (Except for that one where you're naked at work.)
Famous, out-

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The End of Florida never fails.
You do something funny and some idiot will copy you.

(Warning- NSFW-Language)
The End of Florida

You need to have seen the previous post to really appreciate this...

Famous out-

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The end of the world

The End of The World

Just a little something I stole from the Myspace video section...


Famous, out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh dear... Not again.

I got an e-mail from my friend Trep...
"Hey man, I'm passing through your area on Sunday- Lets do dinner or something."

Well, haven't seen Trep in over a year because of disparities in our travel and work schedules. I missed seeing him by one day back in July; He was sliding into home as I was on the seaplane heading out, and prior to that is was like... July of 2005?
So aside from buying pornographic action figures and WWF memorabilia for him and leaving them in his quarters (where I stayed while he was TDY elsewhere) we've been chatting via e-mail.

Little Red Riding Hood?

So, when the opportunity to sit and shoot (heh) the breeze for a while arises, the occasion is not to be wasted.
After a few phone calls and some minor planning, Sunday afternoon found us in a local (Jacksonville) sports bar, telling war stories and catching up on the Coconut Telegraph- island news, gossip on our friends and those not-so-friendsome, discussions of ballistics and edged-weapon offensive know, fun stuff.

As we were drinking with the Captain, (and you know the Captain always urges one to "Drink Responsibly, Captain's Orders! wink wink") things were deteriorating rapidly...

Is there a little Captain in you?

Conversation went from a discussion of small arms and bladed weapons to takedown techniques and demonstrations (aided by a oh-so-willing waitress in a cheerleader outfit), to an impromptu display of WWF wrestling moves, including one particularly impressive coreography involving two pool cues, an orange traffic cone, a dozen Buffalo wings and a garden hose, performed barefoot and wearing a waitress's thong panties as an eyepatch that was a real crowd favorite.
For such a big guy, Trep is suprisingly graceful...

...And not unlike last week in Germany, where a couple of us fell into a lens grinding machine in the eyeglass factory, we were making a specatcle of ourselves at the bar.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, (and how many times have I said that whilst sitting in a holding cell or in front of a judge?!) that we should endeavor to test the first-responder time for the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office...

Good idea? Yeah...No, not so much.

And try as we might, all efforts at getting a call into the JSO were naught... Trep did a body shot of tequila off a somewhat recalcitrant waitress...
(Initially she was very indignant, but it seemed like her sense of injured decorum was a bit feigned, since she later clandestinely passed Trep her phone number scribbled on a napkin...)

Wanting to go him one better, I pulled the infamous "Double Offensive": I picked out a couple that was watching the Houston game, a guy almost big as I am with a huge walrus moustache that looked he might have played for the Houston Texans at one time; Ms. Moustache was, let's say, overly well endowed, and I'll have to give her credit- at least all of her (exposed) tattoos were spelled correctly...

"Hey Moustache!... Hold my drink while I do a shot out of your daughter's cleavage." I said, handing off my beverage to the amazed ex-linebacker. Trep watched for the bartender to make a move for the phone or the Moustache to pull out a weapon.
Alas, it was not to be... The bartender poured a double shot of Dirty Sanchez tequila and Ms. Moustache willingly, nay, eagerly nestled the shot glass in her decolletage. (For the benefit of our Constant Readers in North Florida, that'd be between her boobs.)

In a series of graceless movements, I snorted a line of salt up one nostril, squeezed the juice of a half a lime into my left eye and slurped the tequila, most of it soaking my beard and moustache and Ms. Moustache's tank top.

Unfortunately, it did not have the desired effect of a barroom brawl and/or a visit from Jacksonville's Finest. The Moustache cheered the effort then ordered another round of tequila for everyone in earshot in celebration (of what, I have no idea), and one of the Moustache's compatriots prattled off unintelligibly for a few moments, waving a cocktail napkin in one hand and a empty martini glass in the other, gesturing at Ms. Moustache and then me...
As he finished I got the impression we were either married, divorced, or we had been ordained clergy in Great Greasy Gonads Church and Pediatric Hospital...
I never found out exactly what kind of degree had been conferred, as the Bishop quickly passed out and slipped into a coma.

Trep looked at me through eyes so bloodshot they looked like two baseballs made from lean bacon...
"Lissen, Big Guy... Nex time the Saints score a touchdown" he said, indicating the screen behind the bar "I'm going to pull one of my signature show stoppers- if this doesn't rate a call to 911, nothing does."

As the score changed on the screen in the NOLA/Philly game, Trep up-ended his drink, then reached over the bar and took the bottle of Captian Morgan out of the well, splashed a little in his hand then dabbed the alcohol behind each ear, like he was using Eau de Ruhm...

"Here goes nothin'..."

I stepped back from the bar, knowing it wasn't going to be pretty- The bartender was finally dialing the phone.

Trep stood atop the bar in a lime green speedo and a t-shirt reading "Baaaaa means Noooo!", a Cuban cigar in one hand, the bottle of Captain Morgan in the other annointing the crowd; he was reciting "Beowulf", in old English of course, as he urinated on the collective heads of the Moustache and his compadres... Trep was juggling 3 billiard balls as he finished singing the last stanza of the Saga; On the closing notes, he sailed the balls over his shoulder into the mirror on the bar-back, shattering the glass...
The crowd, including the management and the wait staff cheered and requested an encore.
(With one waiter exhorting him to "Take it off, take it ALL off, Big Boy!")

The bartender was not calling 911... He was just ordering up another case of Captain Morgan from the bar manager.
He could tell it was going to be along night...

The cops were never called... We finally threw in the towel and sat back to finish watching the game and waited several hours for the alcohol to wear off before we headed to our respective vehicles; Me with a purloined bottle of Grey Goose in my shorts, Trep with a waitress under each arm.... Bastard.

Another wasted evening in North Florida.

Famous, out-

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Köln, It's a wrap...or is it a wurst?

It was the best of wursts, it was the worst of wursts;

...and if I don't see another bratwurst for 6 months or so I wouldn't be disappointed.

Brats were everywhere...

Yes, dinner in Köln is vaguely obscene...

Man, the brats are everywhere...

Jeff "Phoneman" Tyler: "Leave me alone when I'm cuttin' my brat..."

Yes, everyone loves the wurst...

So... What did I have on a wurst-filled evening?

Pickled Herring...(I'm a sucker for marinated fish. Go figure.)
Sorry, no pic. It's even more suggestive than the brats...

And one last picture from the evening:


Let's see... Elsewhere at Eurogames Live...

Scott Berman and David Munoz (keeper of the Evil Minions) and Kaiser Wilheim hard at work during Game 3.

All good things have to end eventually...

Breakdown was uneventful and after one more (very tame) evening in Köln, I made it back to Jax safe and sound. One german taxi ride, 2 flights and a quick trip down 9A and I was home.

Köln by the numbers:

1.5 - Price, in Euros, for a glass of beer just about everywhere in Köln.

2 - Triple shots of Bacardi 8 that I consumed in the hotel bar, after drinking 15 or 20 beers at some other random beergarden

4 - NBA games played in Köln

7 - Great people to work with: David, Jeff, Michael, James, Andrea, Ariana, and Brett

8 - Bulkhead row on a 757-200, which I shared with two of the most flamboyantly gay guys I have ever seen, let alone sat next to for 8 hours. There was so much lisping going on it sounded like steam escaping.

17 - Minutes, from the time I got off the plane to make it through immigration and get my bags in Köln

19 - Minutes, from the time I got off the plane to make it through immigration and get my bags re-checked for Jacksonville in Newark

44 - Number of beers consumed by James Stawecki, Jeff Tyler & Yours Truly in one sitting

49 - Minutes, from the time I got off the plane to get my bags in Jacksonville

107 - Network connections that David and his guys set up in the Kölnarena

240 - Volts, normal A/C wall current in Germany. Which is 20 more volts than a Dell desktop server can survive before the power supply blows up

1,265 - Credentials, most of which were created on one laptop after the server blew up and David, Michael & Andrea pulled an all-nighter to fix & play catch-up.

Really great lines from Köln:

What's that burning smell?

Früh? What the hell is a früh?

We need more beers... Bring us 12 more beers please.

Two color lasers, two laptops, two cameras, a Dell server and an ethernet switch. Yeah... No. Too many amps for this circuit.

Hi Dick... Dick, are you there?

They have specific player IDs for us to use? Were they planning on sending them to us sometime before the end of the 4th game?

For such a big man, you drink like a little girl...

All right... one more round of beers... Bring us ten more beers please.

So... NBA Eurogames Live is over for 2006...

One final pic from Köln

The Dom by night

Famous, out-

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Koln Cam... Kolnarena, Cologne Garmany.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Game day # 2

"Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
Were so glad you could attend
Come inside! come inside!
There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass.
Move along! move along!
Come inside, the shows about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart"
(Emerson Lake & Palmer - Karn Evil 9 - Just like back in Torino, Baby)

The second game is at 3:00 PM (EDT) today on ESPN; tune in and you can see Yours Truly sitting courtside calling stats for the game.
I'm the ogre sitting 4 seats left of center court...

I have a great view of the action, it's tough to call stats without it.

And, carrying on that long-time Listen2UncleJay tradition,
these are the obligatory Cheerleader/Dancer pictures.

Baby Got Back?

The Phoenix Suns Dancers

T-Shirt Toss 1

T-Shirt Toss 2

Glad we got that outta the way...

One thing about being at courtside is the horrible feeling that you're being watched. Nothing like a couple hundred people looking over your shoulder as your working...

The view directly behind me at gametime.

Just like living in a fishbowl... I couldn't do this on a nightly basis...

Oh well... Onward- through the fog.

Two games more games and it's a wrap.

Famous, aus.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cologne, Koln, Colon... Pick one...

It's been crazy this week in Germany.
Fortunately I'm only on the one-city gig, four games here in Koln, rather than the multi-city tours some of the NBA guys have been working. Poor bastards...

I got here with a minimum of difficulty- the plane from Newark to Koln was pretty empty- I had a bulkhead seat but changed at the last minute to an empty row... Marginally better, but biz class would have been mo' better.

Koln is a nice city-
They have the ever-present ornate cathedral in the middle of town, just like every other European city.

The Dom

Our hotel- (the Hyatt) is right on the Rhine river, and a short walk across the bridge puts us down in the bar/restaurant section of town...

The Hyatt- full moon rising

The NBA guys (and girls) take every opportunity to enjoy the local scene.

Ariana and Andrea (and the ever-present Crackberry)

M&M - Munoz & Martin

Chia Bret, or rather Non-chia Bret...

And this is what happens when you leave your digital camera unattended...

Kevin Breen - Self Portrait

More Fun on the Menu

I'm not sure *why* they are classifying it as "art".

And I KNOW this isn't art...

So, it's game day here at the Kolnarena...

I'm here at courtside waiting for Peter Skrodelis to show up with a roll of scotch tape and an e-mail that I neglected to reply to...
Last night during a spirited discussion (vodka was the spirit of choice) I was accused of ignoring a technical discussion via e-mail because I was too busy doing something trivial like, oh, sitting on an airplane or, Allah forbid, working at a non-NBA event...
If I got it and ignored it he said he'd print it out and tape it to my forehead...
If he didn't CC me on it, he's just going to put the tape there, but not the e-mail.
One way or another, I'm going to wind up with tape on my head.

The fun never stops here in Koln.

One more pic, just to round out the day...

Write your own caption.

Famous, out.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Skunks & Groupers & Brats (Oh my.)

Greetings Constant Readers...

I have a few goodies to share with you before tiffin...
(And we take tiffin pretty durn early in these parts, Buckaroo...)

James B, known far and wide as The Skunk, maniacal sports boffin and surfer-dude has taken an option on some real estate in the Blogosphere...
I've worked with The Skunk and his Minions (especially Christo) at a couple US Open events during my tenure at IDS... He has an interesting (but very valid) take on some service vendors in our industry.
His rantings can be found at The Mighty Skunk. You can also find his business site here...

Welcome to the party, Skunk-man.

(And thanks to Spongemark for the tip...)

I got the hankering for some fish the other night and decided instead of going to the local seafood joint, ordering grouper and getting some overpriced mystery fish, I'd make my own fried grouper.
I went up to Safe Harbor Seafood in Mayport and picked up a couple nice fillets at about half what the more convenient fish markets were charging....
They don't have a website that I could find, but listen to Uncle Jay: You want great shrimp or fish- go to Safe Harbor Seafood Market, 4378 Ocean St, up in Mayport.
(904 246-4911)

How'd I cook it?
A couple different ways...
A dusting of flour on the fillet, heat up butter and a tablespoon of canola oil in a heavy frying pan on Med-Hi heat, and pan fry for about 3 minutes on one side. Flip and fry for two more minutes and then check to see if it's done- toothpick in the thickest part of the fillet...
If there is any resistance going through the fillet it needs more time...
A squeeze of lime juice and a few capers thrown on at the last minute- and when you plate it, make sure you put some of the pan sauce on the top of the fillet...

Option two was deep fried grouper fingers...
(Bet you didn't know groupers had fingers, did ya?)
Cut the fillet into thick finger portions.
Mix some of your favorite seasoning and a cup or two of flour in a large zip-top bag...
Throw the the fingers in the bag, zip it up and shake to coat the fingers in flour.
beat two eggs in a wide shallow bowl and dip the fingers in the egg mixture, then dredge them in panko bread flakes...
(I get my panko at Publix in the international food section.)
Fry the fingers a few at a time in canola or peanut oil at 350 for 5 or 6 minutes.
Remove from the oil and let them dry and cool just a bit on a rack.
Don't stack them on top of each other immediately, or let them sit on paper towels; They'll just re-absorb any residual oil that is coming off the surface.
The panko is a great crust- the texture is amazing. And for leftovers, it reheats really well. Try the panko next time you fry some fish... Great stuff.

Well, you don't go looking for sushi in Germany...

So... I'm off to Koln.

The NBA is doing 4 games in Cologne Germany next week, so I'm off to make sure that all will be right in ESPN-world, and the overall scoring and stats for the game.
Looked at a calendar lately?
Can you say "Oktoberfest?"

Well... Constant Readers will know I'm not exactly a beer guy, and I'll probably be forced to drag along an emergency stash of Captain Morgan, but I can guarantee there will be some misbehavior in Koln next week.

And there will be photos.

Stay tuned.

Berühmt, aus!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Libel in the Blogosphere

Big Brother is watching what you write....

Read USA Today's article on libel in the Blogosphere...