Some guy in Georgia shot and killed a 1,000 lb. feral pig. Do you know how much lechon asado that is?

Barack Obama, The Future of the Democratic Party

Bill Clinton was the star of the first night of the convention. On Monday night he did what Clinton always does. Electrify the crowd with his charisma, en point commentary, and down-to-earth anecdotes. In his inspiring and articulate speech he criticized the Bush Administration’s actions and did not go into personal attacks on George W. Bush. If you didn’t see it, you should read a transcript of his speech–it was excellent.

On Tuesday night, the night belonged to Barack Obama. Obama is a State Senator from Illinois who will soon become a U.S. Senator. He was running against Jack Ryan for the Senate, but Ryan dropped out of the race last month. His speech was awesome! He drew from his personal experience to explain that he is the son of a Kenyan immigrant who came to “a magical place” called America to study. Here he met his mother, a young lady from Kansas. He drew upon his diverse heritage to explain that his story, the story of “a skinny kid with a funny name,” is just a part of the larger American Story and that, in no other country on earth, is his story even possible.

As an immigrant from Puerto Rico, his speech struck a chord with me. He was charismatic, articulate, intelligent, and delivered a flawless speech. I found myself thinking that this man had the charisma to become the first Black President. Please take the time to read a transcript and see a video of his speech, you won’t be dissapointed. Barack Obama is the man to watch in the Democratic party in the next two decades. I wish him the best of luck.

At the San Diego Comic-Con yesterday, Lucasfilm announced the title of Episode III as “Revenge of the Sith.” George Lucas did not attend the event for the announcement and instead sent one of his lackeys, Steve Sansweet, Chief of Fan Relations, in his place. I guess George don’t like the Con. Anyway, in addition to the film title, the audience got a chance to see a concept drawing of the Wookie tree civilization that will be used in the film. Stay tuned.

After the dot-com bust there was a mass exodus of people leaving the Bay Area, many of them from the city and county of San Francisco. This caused a shortage of apartments to turn into a surplus of apartments, and with the laws of supply and demand the rents dropped dramatically even though real estate prices remained flat and then increased dramatically in the last two years. Bay Area home prices, including San Francisco, at are a two decade high. San Francisco county’s median home price in June was $695,000!

A new article shows that rents are slowly creeping back up, with the average one-bedroom in San Francisco renting at $1,786 per month in the last quarter. This is bad news for renters, but good news for property owners. With rents going back up perhaps rents will be able to cover the stratospheric mortgages in this area sometime soon. This may allow some home owners to rent their homes and purchase additional property. Well, one can hope anyway.

Lance won his 6th straight TdF. That is not a surprise.

Ricky Williams retired from the NFL and totally screwed the Miami Dolphins. Says he wants to travel and explore. Whatever. Once he runs out of cash for weed, he’ll throw those spikes back on. All I can really say is, “HA HA HA!!!” I hate the Dolphins.

The Cardinals beat the Giants adding another win to a magnificent season. If the Cards win the World Series, I’m going to cry tears of happiness.

Argentina choked and handed the Copa America championship to Brazil. Albeit, Brazil is the best soccer team on the planet, but letting them draw even in injury time then frittering away penalty kicks is a sure sign of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Shaquille O’Neal took out an ad in the LA Times giving props to all his fans on the West Side. Once again Shaq’s overwhelming charisma inundates innocent people. I still believe trading him was a mistake. Vlade != Shaq. Sorry, Fabe.

I sat down and watched a little live TV last night. This is something I haven’t done for a long time, especially after getting Tivo, but that’s another story. Since I wasn’t fast forwading the TV commercials, I came across this ad for Levitra which featured a good looking woman, possibly in her mid-thirties, starting off with “Can I tell you a secret? My man takes Levitra.”

She goes on to say that it gives him the “quality response he needs.” So I assume quality response means a quality hard on. Okay. It all sounds fine and dandy until the voice over at the end reads off a whole bunch of crap, finishing with “In the rare case that an erection lasts more than four hours, seek immediate medical attention.” Yeah, that’ll make you take notice–I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

So, it’s obvious that they are trying to market hard-on pills for recreational use now. I wonder how long it will take for the “four hour hard-on” to become a part of American pop culture. It’s only a matter of time.

Lance Armstrong

Remember when this guy was nearly 10 minutes back after Stage 9 of the Tour de France. Well, Lance Armstrong won Stage 17 of the TdF, his third straight stage victory and fourth of the Tour. He is now over 4 minutes clear of his closest competitor. Needless to say, he will win his 6th straight Tour de France barring catastrophe or divine intervention. What does it say about your athletic prowess when God has to step in to give other competitors a chance?

Jim & Marsha

In this leg of the race, teams made their way from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina, a 1000 mile journey. Charla & Mirna left early and thought that they had an alliance with Brandon & Nicole. Almost immediately, Brandon & Nicole get their car stuck in some mud. Charla & Mirna, as good allies, wait for Brandon & Nicole to get loose of the mud before continuing on to the airport.

Sadly though, Charla & Mirna make a wrong turn further down the road and Brandon & Nicole ditch them and continue to the airport. That’s just wrong! And this is the team that wears Christianity like a badge, straight-up Republican-style. Later, when Charla & Mirna finally arrive at the airport, they totally lie and say that “they waited for them.” The teams re-establish their alliance to buy tickets. Their alliance is supposedly so strong, that they defend it against questions from Marshall & Lance, which really pisses Marshall off. Marshall was so pissed that he vows revenge against Mirna. Big drama.

Incredibly, almost immediately as the ticket counters open, Brandon & Nicole ask the team in front of them to buy their tickets, dissolving their alliance with Charla & Mirna once again. Yeah, you heard right! Brandon & Nicole manage to screw the dwarf team not once, but twice, in only a matter of hours. That’s not very Christian-like. Man, I am going to be pissed if they win this thing.

Brandon & Nicole thought they were slick for ditching their alliance with Charla & Mirna once again, but they end up getting on the 9:40AM (second) flight, while Charla & Mirna get on the earlier 9:10AM (first) flight. It serves them right, the bastards! Sadly, Jim & Marsha fail to get on the third flight at 10:30AM sealing their fate on this leg of the race.

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This year’s incoming freshmen at Duke University will be receiving 20gb iPods to use as study tools. Apple will be shipping 1,650 iPods to Durham which will be handed out to incoming students free of charge. Of course, it costs around $40K a year to attend Duke, so a $300 mp3 player shouldn’t break the bank. In case you were wondering, 1,650 iPods is close to $500,000 in gear. I hope Apple cuts Duke a little price break for the bulk order.

Shaquille O’Neal took out a full page ad in Tuesday’s Miami Herald. The text:


“When I talk about my ‘new team’ in Miami I am including you, the fans. The love you have shown since it was announced that I was coming to Miami has been amazing, and it will not go unrewarded. Keep up that kind of support, and we might be printing invitations to a parade in June. D. Wade, Eddie, Dolie, Malik, Jerome, Udonis, Wang and Dorrell: The business begins. Together, we can bring the trophy to South Beach. Meet me at the gym … “

— Shaquille O’Neal

I haven’t seen this type of fan support for the Heat ever! Now Diesel is spreading some love. Needless to say, I will be purchasing a new Shaq jersey this weekend. I always looked good in black.

This is a hilarious parody of the song “This Land” based on the current election’s politics. I almost hurt myself as I fell to the floor laughing. Big ups to Benson Tran for sending me the link.

4 Stars

To you, a robot is just a robot. But you haven’t worked with them. You don’t know them. They’re a cleaner, better breed than we are.
— Dr. Susan Calvin, character in the book I, Robot

This film uses Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:

1. A robot must not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where those orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence, except where such protection would conflict with the First or Second Law.

Apart from the Three Laws, the film is a total departure from the collection of short stories that make up Asimov’s I, Robot. In short, this is not a film adaptation of the book, it is just loosely based on some of the stories, a couple of ideas from “Reason” and “Liar!” For example, Dr. Susan Calvin, the “robopsychologist,” is a beautiful young scientist and not a 70-year-old woman, which is a welcome change.

The film revolves around the life of Del Spooner, played by Will Smith, a robot-hating detective that investigates a mysterious death of a top robot scientist and his nightmarish discoveries about what’s going on at the company. The company is named U.S. Robotics, which is a bit nostalgic for me. I remember when a company named U.S. Robotics made the best modems in the world, but I guess I am aging myself.

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Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat for guard Caron Butler, forwards Lamar Odom and Brian Grant and a future draft pick. Shaq was more than a dominating force on the court, he was the Lakers’ best entertainer and biggest ambassador (pun intended). He will be missed by all Laker fans.

Luckily, Kobe Bryant announced that he intends to resign with the Lakers for a seven-year, $136.4 million contract. This is all well and good, but the possible starting lineup for next year is Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and Brian Grant. This is not dynasty material. The most consistent player other than Kobe is Karl Malone, who will most likely come off the bench. Adding insult to injury, the only Laker over 6’10” will be rookie Marcus Douthit. All Laker fans need to get ready to feel some pain, the beatdown is coming.

Alison & Donny

In the second leg of the race, teams made their way from Punta Ballena, Uruguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina via ferry. This was a pretty short leg by Amazing Race standards, since it did not include a plane ride. The first team to leave the pit stop was Alison & Donny and they were bickering from the start–a sign of things to come.

Before getting on the ferry, teams had to make their way to a foam-filled disco in the capital city of Montevideo, Uruguay. Most teams made their way to the disco without incident, except for Charla & Mirna, who were lost getting there! Their inability to find the disco almost made them lose the 4:30AM ferry to Argentina, but they made it on the boat.

Once in Argentina, the teams had to make their way to a route marker located at Evita Peron’s grave. Most teams made it there without incident, but a couple of teams went to the wrong cemetery first. But the dumbest move came from Jim & Marsha, who decided to get change from dollars to the local currency because another team, Linda & Karen, told them that the taxis wouldn’t take dollars. I don’t know if this is true, but that’s a pretty ruthless tactic! It’s their own fault for listening to the bullshit though.

The route marker at the grave site was a Detour, Perros or Tango. Teams had to choose to walk eight dogs through town checkpoints or identify tango dancers at a theater. Alison & Donny just broke down here. They yelled throughout the Perros challenge, insulting each other to the point of inaction. They couldn’t find the first checkpoint even though they had a map! Eventually, they turned back to do the Tango challenge. It was clear that Alison & Donny truly hated each other here, they were doomed.

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I just ordered an upgrade for my DirecTivo unit that will boost my recording capacity from 35 hours to 150+ hours from PTVUpgrade.com. Additionally, I will be able to access my Tivo from the Internet to change my settings, you know for last minute recordings, and download recorded shows onto my computer for burning to DVDs. Lastly, a cache card will allow for quicker updates to Season Pass listings, since the unit will read from RAM instead of the hard drive. Kickass!

Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars, the four-hour mini-series that will pick up the Farscape storyline where the series left off, will air on Sunday, October 17th.

A smuggler boarding a plane to Lima, Peru from Bogota, Colombia was caught with $47,500 in cash wrapped in plastic bags inside his stomach. Damn, even in rolls of hundreds that’s gotta be huge! Airport police said they X-rayed the suspect because he was acting nervous while preparing to board. That’s crazy!

As seen on Memepool, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns, “Many farm workers have died after entering manure pits.” Apparently the gases from the manure pit can be “oxygen-deficient, toxic and/or explosive” and can cause suffocation. Such a tough way to go, passing out and then drowning in shit.

A South African centenarian, Philip Rabinowitz, broke the 100m record for centenarians with a time of 30.86 seconds. The previous record of 36.19 seconds was previously held by Austrian Erwin Jaskulski. After watching Maurice Greene qualify in the 100m with a time of 10.06 seconds earlier today at the Olympic trials, it’s crazy to think that a 100-year-old can run a third as fast! Amazing!

California Education Secretary, Richard “Dick” Riordan, told a little girl that her name, Isis, meant “stupid, dirty girl.” The incident took place last Thursday at the Santa Barbara Central Library, where Riordan stopped in to promote a summer reading program. After reading a picture book to preschoolers and young elementary school pupils, he chatted with some of them as video cameras rolled to capture the event. According to the published reports, the exchange went something like this:

Little Girl: “Do you know my name means egyptian goddess?”
Riordan: “It means stupid, dirty girl.”
Little Girl: “It means egyptian goddess.”
Riordan: “Hey, that’s nifty.”

Yeah, that’s fucking nifty! Riordan apparently thought that the girl was asking him what her name meant and replied in (un)kind. Riordan must have come out of the library bathroom after chewing on some delicious crack! Everyone is up in arms and calling for his resignation. Because even after several big crack hits, that shit still isn’t funny.

Didn’t his handler tell him not to be an asshole before he went on the photo op!? You know, “Uh, Mr. Riordan, you really shouldn’t fuck with the kids this time, there’s cameras around.” What a dumbass!

A 68-year-old cleaning woman named Geraldin Williams won the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. History, $294 million. That’s $11 million a year for 26 years, or a lump sum of $168 million before taxes. Williams said she intended on keeping the appointments she scheduled prior to winning the lottery and then plans to travel extensively. That’s right, no more cleaning toilets, kickass! Big ups!

This will get me kicked off this blog, but the Lakers are sucking the big one. Note well, I have been a Lakers fan all my life, but the quickness with which this once mighty team has fallen from grace is astonishing. I blame it on Shaq’s greed, Kobe’s arrogance, and Buss’s denial. With no true leader and the possibility of seeing Kobe in a Clipper’s uniform and Shaq in Miami, it doesn’t leave Nugget and me with much to watch this winter. Is it too late to be a Timberwolves fan? I’d love to see KG win a ring and I’ve always fancied myself in blue…

Dennis & Erika

Well, after months of eager anticipation, The Amazing Race 5 started today with 11 teams racing around the world. One thing that I failed to mention earlier is what’s up with 11 teams? The race normally starts off with twelve. This could be due to the fact that one team mysteriously dropped off right before air time or perhaps there is another twist in the game. My guess is that one of the eliminated teams will be able to rejoin the race at a later time–a second chance survivor style challenge to get back in the race? We’ll see.

This race started on the Santa Monica Pier with teams racing to Uruguay. Just as I predicted, it was a sprint off the pier. And just as I predicted, the team with the midget was fucked! Short legs don’t win sprints people. In the ensuing mayhem of the sprint several people fell, with one player, Jim, cutting his knee up pretty badly. He’d have to get stitches and a bandage at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood before being allowed on the flight.

At the airport, drama ocurred when Dennis & Erika held up the ticket purchasing line for the slower American Airlines flight. Teams were pissed that Dennis & Erika stalled for nearly 20 minutes trying to buy tickets for other team members that probably wouldn’t do the same for them, it would be an omen for things to come later in the race.

After traveling almost 7,000 to Uruguay, the teams went to a beach and then onto an island. One team, Brandon & Nicole, decided to walk to the ferry to the island. Actually, Brandon decided to walk to “save money.” Now, every Amazing Race fan knows that you ALWAYS take a taxi whenever possible and you NEVER try and save money for a later time during the race. Rookie mistake, it cost them valuable time.

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Who knew that filming a Winnebago Commercial was so fucking hard? This made me laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair! Big ups to Memepool.

The Boston Herald just wrote a preview story about the first episode of The Amazing Race 5, which is set to air this Tuesday. Kick ass.

Fourth of July went off without a hitch here in San Francisco. Fog once again provided cover and obscured some of the fireworks at Fisherman’s Wharf. All in all, the community came together to celebrate the 228th birthday of our nation. Across the country, a commemorative ceremony was held at the World Trade Center site and the cornerstone for the new Freedom Tower was put in place. Pretty cool.

A 17-year-old girl named Maria Sharapova beat Serena Williams to win the Wimbledon title in straight sets earlier today. Ranked at almost 300th last year, Maria was ranked 15th this year and came out of virtually nowhere to win the championship and capture the hearts of tennis enthusiasts around the world.

Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
— Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), The Godfather, 1972

Marlon Brando, arguably one of the best actors of all time, died earlier today at the age of 80. He will always be remembered for his portral of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, for which he won and refused his second Oscar. He inspired, and will probably continue to inspire, generations of actors and actresses. He will be missed by legions of fans, but will live on in his films forever. May he rest in peace.

5 Stars

Spiderman 2 is the best super hero film of all time. I know it is hard to believe that it beats out Superman: The Movie and X-Men series, but it does. Spiderman 2 builds on everything we thought was great about the first one. The special effects are much better as are the acting performances by all involved. In short, a much better film with a great storyline.

Spiderman is much more vulnerable than other superheroes, and Tobey Maguire plays him perfectly. Also, Tobey adds just the right amount of humor to the character at key times. It would be hard to imagine another actor stepping in for Spiderman after this one.

In this film, Spiderman is stressed out at having a dual life. Pizza delivery guy, student, freelance photographer, and Spiderman. The stress of this fragmented existence is so great that his superpowers start to fade at key moments in the film. He’s unable to produce webbing, has trouble sticking to walls, and his eyesight even starts to fail him. Unable to keep up with everything, he gives up being Spiderman.

I don’t want to spoil the film for those that want to “go in fresh.” So let me say this, by the end of the film many people know of Spiderman’s secret identity. And thankfully, it is a plot ingredient that does not reset after the movie ends, setting up the anticipated next film in this series. Until then, this one does not disappoint.

I was on a flight from Denver to San Francisco on Wednesday night and realized that most people start off their lives craving a Window seat, but later tend to prefer the aisle. I was reminded of this when I saw a 4-year-old kid become extremely disappointed at not getting a window seat on the plane. As the kid sat sobbing in tears, I recalled that I loved being in the window seat as a kid, even at night. It was always fun to look out the window and contemplate being 6 miles off the ground.

But now as an adult, I prefer the aisle seat. The aisle seat has the most leg room, since you can put your feet in the aisle if necessary. Also, you don’t have to disturb anyone to go to the restroom. And lastly, and this is a small advantage, you are the first person in your row to get off the plane when the flight is over.

It’s one of life’s simple pleasures: love, sitting on the sand at the beach, and the aisle seat. One thing is for certain though, nobody likes the humbling middle seat. Especially sitting in between two big guys that smell like yaks–that’s never fun.