October 2006 Archives

The Future Season


This is what I wish I had to report if I had a time travelling machine...

Washington: Lots of Eagle drama on this rainy day. Boo-birds are out in full force. 1st quarter it looks like Clinton Portis is going to kill us, running for 2 TDs and 54 yards. But hold on. Eagles, down 14-3, start to claw back, starting with a bomb to Hank Baskett for a 61 yard TD catch (I think, it was hard to remember but it was nice he was in single coverage) to go into the half 14-10. McNabb and Westy take the lead in the 3rd, and the Eagles don't look back. Final score 14-31.

Eagles are 5-4 and play the Titans.

Tenn: Vince Young is coming along, winning against Houston and squeaking past Jacksonville. They are 4-5 and have a chip on their shoulder. That chip gets knocked the f-out by our bliztes. Vince gets sacked 5 times in the first half alone. Eagles dominate and cruise to a 24-10 victory, with McNabb racking up 300 yards again in the air. Now Eagles are 6-4.

Indy: The Colts are 9-1, after losing to the Pats on Nov 5th, but they beat Buffalo and Dallas. Philly comes to town and they are already ready to get into double digit wins. Petyon uses a great audible mix & run package to destroy us in the first half up 28-0. Its horrible. Eagle fans are booing and during halftime the analysts consider the game over. It could be called the "Game That Changed History" when the birds come out throwing, like they always do. A nice pass interference call on the first play sets up a 30 yard TD run by Westbrook. Next series has the colts out after 6 plays, and the Eagles score again - down 28-14. Peyton tries and aerial attack and gets intercepted by Dawkins who runs for a 39 yard return. Its 21-28 and the mid fourth quarter. Eagles stall a bit but do get 3 points with an Akers 47 yard field goal. 24-28. A fumble recovery on the kickoff and the Eagles feel that momentum change, but can't score again. They get 3. 27-28. Peyton isn't done and rolls down the field for his own 34 yard FG. They get to 27-31. Buckhalter comes up huge. You don't think there is gas in his tank until he rumbles a 43 yard bolt down up the middle, shedding two tackles and stiff arming the strong safety until he is run down by the free safety (he was fast, just not that fast). Eagles are on the 10, there are 46 second on the clock and the Colts are pumped. 1st play is a knocked down pass to LJ Smith. Second play is a Westbrook scamper for 4 yards, with even McNabb trying to block for him. Third play it is 6th and Goal. Buckhalter in. Buckhalter gets the ball, flips it back to McNabb, McNabb rolls out, fakes the pass to the end zone and barrels in for his own TD. The place goes BALLISTIC. Fans screaming and jumping up and down. Time expires off the clock after Akers boots the TD. Eagles are 7-4 and everyone in ESPN-land who wrote off the Eagles are preparing some crow pie.

Carolina: People are talking about an "emotional let down" if the Eagles can't get it together for Carolina. It is a Monday night game, and the hype is HUGE. Carolina has been playing great football the last few weeks beating Tampa, Rams and Washington - off their own bye week they are 7-4 now also. This could be the division decided right here. The game is actually a bore. McNabb and Co don't do very much the first half, scoring 3 points. Carolina scored 6. For all the hype before this game, it was BORING. We get a TD in the late 3rd quarter and hold on to win 10-6. McNabb throws for about 180 yards and 1 TD. Westbrook is held to 36 yards. A lot of 3 and outs on either side and a battle of field position. Oh, interestingly enough we catch, with Pakisatan's help, Osama Bin Laden this night, so a lot of people are happy about that.

Washington: We are 8-4. We go into Redskin country and its a bloodbath. Eagles get the lead early and never look back (which is helpful in stoppin Clinton Portis in being effective). McNabb throws for 400 yards and 5 TDs. Greg Lewis is the man today, with 175 yards and 3 TDs alone. Westbrook has a great day, 121 yards rushing, and 1 TD. Eagles are 9-4 and then comes the greatest game of the season:

New York Giants.

You heard it here first from your future time traveller. This game was awesome. First off, the Giants lost a few games game, but still doing good. Houston (loss), Chicago (loss), Jacksonvile (win), Tennessee (win), Dallas (win) and Carolina (loss). They are 8-5 and comping at the bit to beat the Birds. The game is mayhem. Eagles play a solid game, but the Giants are swarming them. McNabb is sacked 3 times in the 1st quarter. Eagles offense is sputtering. Eli, with thanks to good field positions on those sacks, manages 10 points in the first half. Eagles are blanked. Word has it that from the locker room, Andy Ried took a chair and threw it across the room in anger, which is very unlike him. He has a half-time pep talk out of a Notre Dame movie talking about character, fight the good fight and this is your entire season, blah, blah, blah. The Eagles repond with some good news and bad (sort of). I never like to see players get hurt, but Eli's leg bent very awkward on a sack by Trent Cole. Eli is taken off the field. Sorry Giants fans, he is done for the year. Eagles take advantage of this and win 14-10 in a hard-fought, smash mouth ending.

Merry Christmas! Its Dallas. Ho ho ho. Terrell Owens hosts the Eagles and Romo gives a gift of 0 TDs in the first half. McNabb and company play great, maybe they have some extra pickle juice from 2003. Westbrook has a great day, rushing for 108 yards, catching for 71 and 2 TDs. Buckhalter also is impressive for 76 yards. McNabb is good enough, 256 yards, 1 TD (Westy) and 1 interception return for a TD. Final score 17-7.

Atlanta comes up for the New Year and the Eagles play 8 in the box, forcing Vick to throw and making sure he has no room to run. Falcons have a miserable 7-8 record at this point and are already out of playoff contention. It is a cold, snowy day at the Linc. Hank Baskett and Reggie Brown get 2 TDs each. Westbrook is contained for only 71 yards on 15 carries. We get a scare when McNabb gets a late 2nd quarter hit that he looks like he got his hand stepped on. He appears to be ok, but they put in Garcia just in case. Eagles cruise to a win and finish the season 12-4, winning the NFC East.

Unfortunately the Bears win the conference with a perfect season (16-0).

Halloween '06



Friday night I had a dog get together. A long time reader of my site emailed about getting Layla and her two Bernese Mountain Dogs together (Desi and Callie). They came over and our apartment became a puppy playground, with a 8 pound cocker spaniel trying to hold her own with a very large puppy (Desi). Callie was a 3 year old, and of an even keel temperment. She just watched Layla and Desi play most of the time.

While the puppy play time went on, Kristen and I carved some pumpkins. I should have pics up later this week of our latest creations. They are similar to what we carved 2 years ago.

Saturday was another year of bartending a Halloween party.

I'm a bit put out. I had a costume ordered (SWAT team outfit) and ready to-go, but it never got to my house on time. I wasn't about to rush around trying to find a costume for Saturday night, so I bartended in my regular clothes. Francia, as you can see next to me, got into the spirit of things with her school girl outfit. For the record I was trying to look like the tough guy "Zoolander" poses they do on NJguido.com. I think I looked like a pseudo-Baldwin brother. Pic courtesy of Hoboken411.com.

It was a good night. But I have to talk, once again, about how customers can annoy bartenders. Yes, it has been written here before, but maybe it is time for a refresher course with an example.

A customer order a Irish Car Bomb shot. For those who don't know, it is a half filled glass of Guinness that is combined with a shot glass with 1/2 Jameison and 1/2 Bailey's. Drop in glass and chug.

To give you the setting, the bar is packed. I'm very very busy making drinks and a car bomb is a bit of a chore (when compared to "easier" stuff like grabbing a beer or making a mixed drink). I'm making the drink and filling up the shot glass and run out of Jameison. It is about 1/3 filled. I shout to my barback for another Jameison. I fill up the shot glass with Bailey's and serve the customer his drink.

He curiously looks at the shot glass and slurs, "Ish ther enny Jameishun in thar?"

He didn't slur that badly, but I knew it was coming before he said it.

It is busy. Other customers are giving me the "LOOK". All bartenders can see you, on the corners of our eyes, staring at us with that pleading "I need a drink NOW" look. I usually try not to look around, because once you make eye contact with someone - you're fucked. They try to order/yell something to you and you have to be like "OK, in a second."

I'm still waiting for the barback and I ring up this guy's shot. I grab the Jameison. Now the shot glass is already filled. I overfill it with some Jameison, some of it spilling on to the bar in my haste, and the drunk is content now that he got his extra 18% of Irish Wiskey.

I dunno, it was just annoying to me. I mean did this guy REALLY need that extra bit of whiskey? I just can't stand people who are like that. I'm sure he is the same kind of guy who goes to the restaurant with friends and inspects the bill, "James, you had the cracked crab appetizer and owe an extra $10", instead of just splitting the bill down the middle.

Annoyance #2, and I have written about things like this before, are customers who insist on getting my attention when it is clear that i'm busy.

Killing Me Softly


Saturday morning at 11am.


That's all I hear from downstairs, in a muffled sort of way.

Layla is alone. She doesn't like being alone. She is like Kristen's shadow.

The barking intermittently changes to a strange yelp whine. Sounds like someone is strangling the dog. The back to more BarkBarkBarkBarkBarkBarkBark!!

Well, so much for sleeping. I get up and turn on the TV, trying to turn up the volume to stop hearing the dog. It sort of works, except between commericials I get more "BarkBarkBarkBarkBarkBarkBark".

I could let Layla out and hang with me. But I really don't want to be responsible for her. It's Saturday and I have to bartend at 6:30. I just want to vegetate.


I like Layla, don't get me wrong. Just don't like loud noises in the apartment. I suggested to Kristen a muzzle, so she couldn't bark while in her crate. Is that wrong? I don't think it is. I started to read up on the internet about sprays that can be used when dogs bark. Not sure if I am that determined to start that. I'm hoping the puppy grows out of this or Cesar Milan will be getting an email from me.

Here's some other random observations about Layla, dogs and dog walking*:

1. Is there some strange unwritten rule of dog walking and meeting other people walking dogs? Let dogs approach, snif each other while both walkers have a introduction session to each other. Wait about 1 minute and continue.

2. I used to think dogs were chick magnets. I'm starting to re-think that since the only people that Layla attracts when I walk her are children. I haven't taken Layla up to Washington Street, however. I'll be on Garden, Layla sees someone (guy or girl) and goes bonkers. She tugs at the leash and I have to hold her back lest she kiss someone's leg to death. Layla is like a cheerleader in dog form. Peppy, full of spirit and wants everyone to notice her.

3. Layla's other annoying habit is "I'm done walking". I walk down the street when she just stops dead in her tracks. Like a mule, she refuses to move. Sometimes she sits. Sometimes she lies down. Two ways to fix are bending down to her eye level and she usually approaches me and we continue our walk. Or, I don't stop walking and she grudingly walks/tugs from behind me. I can feel her trying some kind of Ghandi passive resistance from behind me. I have zero tolerance for this.

4. There is nothing more annoying to me than watching women treat their dogs like children. Talk in baby voices or cuddle them when they get scared. They are dogs, people. Not little children with fur. Dogs don't understand when you cuddle them - they start to think they are the pack leader and walk all over their owners.

5. 75% of people in Hoboken walk their dogs incorrectly. Everyone lets their dog lead them. This is a big no-no. You lead the dog. The dog walks to your side, not in front of you (unless sniffing to go to the bathroom).

6. A criteria that I would judge a girl would be the kind of dog they have. I know isn't that bad? But seriously, if any girl had a toy dog, it would be like a black mark on my book. Not a deal breaker. Also maybe true if the girl had like a Great Dane. I'd be wary of that, too. Oh, if any girl I met didn't like dogs or cats, that would be...bad. Sorry I just couldn't imagine being with someone who didn't like animals. I think it says a lot about people how they treat pets and animals.

7. I toyed with the idea of getting a dog, but now having Layla as my 4th roommate, I see how much work they are. Every day Kristen has to get home from work and walk Layla. She spends money on that dog walker every day. Any thing she wants to do on the "spur of the moment" needs to take Layla into consideration for the next 12-15 years. I'd get a dog if I was in a committed relationship, but doubt that i'd do it while i'm single. But who knows, I have been known to change my mind.

8. I'm very attentive about picking up Layla's "droppings" when I walk her. I did have a nightmarish moment once. We were walking and she did her business. I cleaned it up and threw away the plastic bag. We walked about another block and she WENT AGAIN. Fuck! I didn't have any more bags. So it was late, i'm on Garden Street and looking around for witnesses. None seen. I scurry away. I get home and get another plastic bag and clean it up. But for that one moment while I was running home to get a plastic bag I was half waiting for someone to sceam bloody murder at me for not cleaning up the mess.

9. Tell me that this wouldn't make a tremendous amount of money in Hoboken. Set up about 14 dispensers on Washington St. (one every other block on both sides of the street) and one at each dog park (set up something with the City of Hoboken, where they get a % profit for allowing the machines to be in the park). There are SO MANY dog owners in town that shower their dogs with toys. I fully expect someone to jump all over this idea. I expect to see these in about 6 weeks from this post.

*For the record I grew up with my own dog, Princess Leia. My sisters were veternarian assistants before college and they have raised multiple dogs between them and my brother owns a dog also. My family knows a lot about proper dog rearing.

Yes, Kathleen, I fully expect your expert advice after I post this. LOL.

Brunch: Mikie Squared


One of my favorite meals is brunch. My last report was about Court Street's brunch. My next report is about Mikie Squared, owned by Michael and Cindy Fasciano, who also own Margarita's on 8th and Washington. 101606b.jpg

Of course you can take this review with a grain of salt, I do work at this restaurant, but I don't work during brunch. I have been working Saturday nights there for the last few months and eating at the restaurant at least once or twice a week for dinner or brunch. The brunch at Mikie's is every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm. They regularly get a sizeable crowd, depending on what college or NFL game is on television.

The brunch menu has quite a few interesting and eclectic choices. You should know that nearly everything they serve is made from scratch. Unlike many restaurants in Hoboken, Mikie Squared takes the raw ingredients of every dish and prepares it on the premises. What they don't make in the restaurant, they only serve the highest quality ingredients and their attention to detail is what will win you over.

I have sampled many of them, and this is what I can tell you. The Huevos Rancheros ($10) is by far my favorite dish. It is a symphony of ingredients, including two sunny side eggs, on top of a crisp tortilla shell, with melted monterrey jack cheese and refried beans, a touch of homemade fresh guacamole and diced tomatoes, along with a Ranchero sauce complete the dish . It is served with homefries.

The Eggs Benedict ($11) comes as a close second favorite for me. The simplicity of the meal, with poached eggs over Canadian bacon and english muffins is what I like most about it. One of my biggest peeves with eggs Benedict at other restaurants is the Hollandiase sauce. Some restaurants make them too buttery and others are heavy with the lemon juice. The sauce they use I think is a wonderful balance between the two and its subtle effect on the palate is what makes me order this time and again. 101606c.jpg

I have tried the Pancakes ($10) and the French Toast ($11), also. The pancakes remind me of French crepes I have tried in Paris, with its light, fluffy, thin texture. The pancakes are served with fresh sliced bananas and strawberries. Also note that the syrup is real maple, not some nameless industrial processed syrup.

The french toast is made with brioche bread dipped in battered eggs and cinnamon, then pan fried and dusted with powdered sugar. A sweet amaretto strawberry sauce is drizzled over top, and it is served with fresh bananas and strawberries, along with real maple syrup. As one person commented to me, "They are to die for!"

I have tried the Steak and Eggs ($12), and its a great power breakfast for those looking for a protein infusion to start their day. Made with marinated hangar steak and sunny side up eggs, I think of it as the "hangover cure". Wolf that down to start your day and soak up the alcohol from the night before, and you will be right as rain. 101606a.jpg

They have also added a few new dishes in the last few days. "The Bambino" Italian Omelet ($11 - With homemade mozzarella, red bell peppers, sliced fresh tomatoes, with homefries and toast), Fabulous Shrimp Frittata ($12 - tomato, scallions, and shrimp with homefries and toast), The Defibrillator Omelet ($11 - Not for the feint of heart! ham, sausage, bacon, jalapeno & pepperjack cheese, with homefries and toast), Mikie's Breakfast Burrito Wrap ($11 - A tortilla wrap filled with two eggs, sausage, homefries, peppers, onions, and homemade guacamole).

I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. Certainly some people are going to read the prices at Mikie's and say, "Wow! That's expensive. I can go to a diner and it only costs "$XXX" for "XYZ"!"

I agree that there are cheaper alternatives in Hoboken. But I seriously question the quality of those ingredients, the way that the food is prepared and the attention to detail. Sure, eggs are eggs, but Mikie's bacon is large, fresh and have a smoky, crisp flavor. The hollandaise sauce, mozzarella, guacamole, homefries, along with a multitude of other ingredients are made fresh in the kitchen. They only buy the highest quality shrimp, beef and pork. The fruits that accompany many dishes are freshly sliced, the sauces are homemade and maple syrup is of the highest quality and fantastic with the pancakes or French toast.

But, to each their own. Mikie's is easily one of the top tier brunches that Hoboken has to offer. Looking to bring your family in for an impressive brunch or maybe a choice for someone special in your life? I'd choose Mikie's.

How To Install A Tivo Series 3 In Hoboken

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I wrote a while back that I was getting a Tivo Series 3.

I was very excited to get it for various reasons, but let me tell you - it was a nightmare.

I had a tech from Cablevision scheduled to come to my house on September 26th. I was told the tech would be there from 8am to 11am. Fine, I took a partial day off from work to meet them.

At 10:55am I get a phone call. The tech didn't have enough cablecards and had to order some from the factory. Of course I was extremely angry - I took a partial day off from work and they decided to inform me the same day they couldn't make my appointment.

I asked for a supervisor and they got one on the phone. I told him that I took a partial day from work, and this was unacceptable. They told me the next time they would visit they could do it at 5pm and I would be a first priority. He would call me by Thursday to inform me when they get the new cablecards.

The next day, Wednesday, the supervisor calls me with good news. They have the cablecards and are ready to install. I had them come on Thursday afternoon, my roommate Matt was home, and I would be at work. I figured that it would be easy to install, since Tivo provided an easy step-by-step guide for technicians. I left it on top of the Tivo and went to work.

I get home and the Tivo is working! Horray! Both cablecards are displaying my video. Except there is an odd problem. Channels #23-100 are showing video & audio, but don't display the information. Normally with Tivo when you tune in any channel, it provides the channel #, the show playing, and other relevant information (like recording options). Channels #2-22 and 101-700 were all fine (except channel #736, which was ESPNHD). I put in a ticket with Tivo because I thought it was an issue they were having.

The weekend progresses and Sunday morning i'm watching ESPNHD. I start hitting the channel up botton and get to HBOHD when my screen goes black. I wait. I wait some more. Nothing. Oh well, I think, the channel must have konked out. I change the channel back to ESPNHD and its still black. I try Cablecard 2 and it is on channel 2, and that's showing fine. I switch back to Cablecard 1, still black.

A message pops up: "You are not authorized to receive this channel. Please contact your retailer."

I start looking at the Tivo settings, under the cable cards and see that "The Cablecard is not authorized".

Hmmm. Strange.

Then begins a series of phone calls with Cablevision. Unfortunately, many of the people answering the phone didn't understand my problem, due to unfamiliarity with the Series 3 and that they couldn't understand if I had video and sound what the problem was. I finally convinced them to dispatch on a weekend, so I could show a tech what the problem was all about. I wasn't happy with most of the customer service people. They weren't very helpful except for one person who I spoke to on Sunday named Shirley. She was outstanding. But I talked to about 5 different people and the other 4 were fairly terrible.

They sent a senior tech to my apartment to look it over. I must say that I was very impressed with the technician's attention to detail while I was there, and another tech showed up to assist. They went over the signal from the pole to my apartment and found out that the higher-end channels signal were off. So they were very methodical as to where the problem could be coming from. First they tested from the pole to the apartment, then inside the apartment, and then up to the Tivo.

It wasn't my Tivo causing the problem. The signal at the pole to the apartment was split once for the first floor TV & first floor bedroom to the second floor bedrooms. Then it was split again, between the two bedrooms. Then split a third time between my TV and my router (for internet). They proceeded to recrimp all the connections, and replacing the connections outside with everything new. Again, I was seriously impressed with how thorough these guys were at Cablevision.

They re-tested the signals and everything was then clean up to my Tivo. Awesome.

We then re-ran the set up for Tivo, following the step-by-step instructions. We inserted the first cablecard, and the tech worked with his service agent to authorize the first card. That took a few minutes. Then we inserted the second card and did the same. I followed the set-up, and downloaded the guide and everything worked great.

I won't say this was easy. Certainly any new technology, especially a first release, is going to have a lot of growing pains. I think the two most important lessons learned in the install are twofold:

1. When the tech comes to your site make sure he tests the levels from inside your house to the pole. If they are off, the Cable Cards won't be able to download the authorization properly.

2. Make sure you follow the Tivo instructions exactly. Do not install both cable cards at the same time. Put the first one in, authorize, and then put the second card in and authorize.

Here's an interesting side benefit to this whole fiasco. Before the install my internet router kept losing connection to the internet. It would happen about 3-4 times a week, and I would have to reset the router in order to get the internet working again. Ever since they re-did the wiring my internet connection has been perfect.

I'll always be a dreamer


I always dream of new ideas that I could invent. When I was about 10, around 1982, I told my mother about an idea I had. I liked to drink cold Pepsi, but didn't like ice. I didn't like it when ice melted in my drink and made it watery. I did like to have a cold drink, however, and figured out a way to make that.

I wanted to get a large plastic mug and surround it (fused) with another large plastic mug. Between the two vessels would be water. You take the mug, and put it in a freezer. The water would freeze, and then you can pour soda into the glass and it would stay cold.

I remember drawing the whole thing out to her, and she thought it was a novel idea but it didn't go any further than that.

10 years later i'm in college and i'm watching Home Shopping Network and they are advertising the same thing, basically. Instead of water they created the mug with some kind of silicon gel that you might use in ice packs for medical injuries. I thought it was a great idea, and wondered if it ever made any money.

So that happens often in my life. In 1994 I wanted to start a company with a college buddy of mine. We were going approach every restaurant in Philadelphia and say, "Let us have your menu". We would scan the menu, their address and some pictures and put it on the web. We could do this with not only restaurants but all stores, and we could write reviews on the places and such. I told my father my idea and tried to see if he would fund us. He wasn't interested and told me to get a real job.

I went to the city and got my present day job. Imagine my surprise in 1995 when I stumble across citysearch.com. It was bought out in later years by Excite.com, which was in turn bought out by Ask Jeeves. Ask Jeeves was acquired by Interactive Corp. Interactive Corp owns other companies and websites such as Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Evite, Match.com and Lending Tree.

I always wondered what would have happened if my father said, "Sounds good!"

I'm sure there were lots of guys out there with good ideas, but remember this was 1994. The internet was barely a blip on anyone's radar.

Ok, so this is my next idea, but not sure about the legality of it.

Lets say you own an authentic Terrell Owens Jersey. Owens is gone and you are stuck with a $265 Jersey you got to wear like 10 times.

You send it to (this is a made up name) "Rejersey.com" and fill out an application. You tell Rejersey.com that you want the numbers reversed to 18 and "Owens" removed and add "Stallworth".

Rejersey.com has the numbers and the lettering that the Eagles use for their jerseys (or simply make their own, it can't be THAT hard to replicate it). For a small charge, like $40, Rejersey.com will unstitch the old numbers and letters, reorganize them into a new number & lettering system.

Now before everyone says "THAT'S ILLEGAL!!!!"

Think about if you did it yourself. You OWN the jersey. You certainly could do this yourself. Again - you OWN the jersey. Once you own it, you can have a local tailor un-do the stitching if you want and flip the numbers. Who would know?

Anyhow, that's my idea for old jerseys. I just don't know how legal it would be.

I'd like to see where it is printed that someone couldn't restitch the lettering of a jersey they own.

To me its a big crock that I bought a Owens jersey, expecting him to be playing for 5-7 years and I get stuck holding a jersey that is essentially worthless now. I also own an authentic Corey Simon jersey, too!

The Eagles should do something for their fans. Like you can return an authentic jersey and get 10% off the next one. Look at Apple computer - if you return an iPod they give you 10% off the next one you buy.

Anyhow, that's my idea. I fully expect to see some joker launch it and make a couple of million (or billion) when they are acquired by NFL.com.

Why I Don't Cry For Yankee Fans


I was going to write this on Karen's blog, but I figured i'd just post it here for all to see:

As a long suffering fan of another team, The Philadelphia Eagles, I feel your pain for being villified as a fan.

Two very different teams, with two very different reasons for hating, but we still have to bear the burden of rooting for the team we love.

I won't get into a Philadelphia rant here about how a few bad apples make the 99% of the normal fans look like idiots, I will get into a semi-rant about why, I hate the Yankees and don't cry for their fans.

First, I don't hate the Yankee fans. I think your passion is great.

Second, I have no hatred towards the organization itself, I think Steinbrenner is simply doing everything in his power to make your team contenders.

I don't like the baseball system, and no salary cap. Yes, we can go into the adage "You can't buy championships". Once again, it was proven this year by the Yankees.

Yes, we have had seen certain teams rise to win Championships (Marlins, Diamondbacks) - but how many can keep that together with the current system? When a small-market team raises a great player from their farm system, they can never keep those players due to the big payday lure of larger-market teams, like the Yankees.

How can you blame the Marlins for having "cheap" owners? Do you really compare the earning potentional of small market teams to the Yankees? Do you think that in a city like Miami, which has a population of about 1 million people that can even generate the same revenue as New York City? We are talking about millions and millions of fans and the money that they pay to watch their favorite team.

No, I know, it isn't your fault. I know you are going to say "We didn't make the rules!"

But you know why I like football better? Because of the salary cap. My Eagles have done a fantastic job of finding good talent (ok, lets not talk about TO), diamonds in the rough, and cobbling together a couple of "A" players surrounded by a decent amount of "B" players.

I think the same would make baseball a great sport of, instead of one or two powerhouse All-Star teams, you were to spread that talent out amongst the other teams.

Really you have a two tier system in baseball right now. You have certain teams that most years will field a good competitive team that will be in a *position* to make it to the post season.

Again, is that the fault of the Yankees, their fans, or the players?


I think its an extremely poor arguement to use the tired "But when the Yankees come to town ticket sales go up!"

Of course the sales go up. The Yankees basically have an all-star team. From top to bottom, they have an incredible amount of talent. Of course people want to see that, much like people in the world want to see Team USA basketball get knocked off by another country. Much like we savored beating the Soviet Union hockey team in 1980.

It's a classic case of trying to beat the bullies.

Look, I feel for you as a fan, but most Yankee fans don't see the big picture of baseball. To them they just point at dollar signs and attendance when the rest of us simply want a fair system, much like the NFL.

The system works great for the NFL. Players get paid, owners get money, fans get to see bottom barrel teams rise to the top (Bengals, anyone?). If a organization plays their cards right you can find your team in the mix of a playoff race every year, barring major injuries or player squabbles (Eagles). Or you can also be an NFL team that keeps trying to buy championships and failing (Redskins, Raiders).

I'm a Phillies fan. It's been 26 years since we had a championship, so I can't say we are "long suffering". I certainly can't say it's the fault of anyone but the organization for our woes. Fortunately in the last 4 years I do like the direction our team is headed, and being able to identify young talent (Utley, Rollins, Howard) and shedding expensive players of questionable team value to salary ratio (Abreu, Thome).

I have heard the responses plenty of times from my other Yankee fans. The say the same things "It isn't our fault" or "Baseball is making money, why change it?"

Again, not looking at the "big picture" of why fans like myself hate the Yankees. They simply represent everything that is wrong with baseball, from those fans who are continually disappointed with their own teams. One way, in our minds, to fix that would simply be spreading the talent out by creating a salary cap. Seems like it would be fair to everyone, to get the good players on multiple teams, rather than just a few "haves" and many, many "have-nots".

Case in point: Where do you think Zito will be playing next year? My guess is in pinstripes.

Train of Thought


This was written just with me as stream of consciousness. Sorry if it seems rambling or incoherient, but i'm just trying something different.

After living in Hoboken all these years, as a mostly single man, working every day in the corporate world I have a lot of time to my thoughts.

I get a lot of time to think. I'm sure we all "think", but for me, a lot of who I am is about being introspective and trying to understand people and myself. Sometimes I overthink situations, I try to analyze every possible angle to a situation. Sometimes I come to very relevant conclusions and sometimes I make erronous leaps of logic that result in troubling consequences.

Over the last few weeks, I keep having the same thoughts about my life in Hoboken. It feels like an "Endless Summer". I sort of do the same thing at my job. Get up every morning around the same time, rushing to make it into work as close to on-time as possible, but mostly getting there about 10 minutes late.

My day usually begins the same at the office. I get some food from our cafeteria. I sit and read some emails and check my voicemails. Try to wake up from the night before. I don't drink coffee very often, except when I am really tired. Mostly drink water and some cereal or a bagel.

Work, which I really don't want to go into detail here, is all right. I like the people I work with, for the most part. It sort of reminds me of high school. You have various cliques of people in the office, but everyone generally gets along. I mostly keep to myself at the office and don't really have any friends at my office.

It very much reminds me of my high school days at LaSalle. I was friendly with some people in my grade, but really didn't have any friends that I would "hang out" with. At lunch I would hackeysack with some people. After school I would take the bus home, or drive home when I was old enough.

I never really felt lonely. I always found myself to be my best entertainment. On bus rides, I would get lost in reading a good book. I mostly liked fantasy books, I can easily say that in my room I have about 200 books sitting on bookshelves or my floor that I read over the last few years. Some I finished. Some I didn't.

I'd love to be one of those guys that read really cool sounding literature for fun. Like Hemingway or Salinger or Faulkner. Sure, I read them in high school or college. Never really got into it.

Right now i'm reading "iWoz", by Steve Wozniack, one of the founders of Apple with Steve Jobs. In some ways, I can really identify with Steve, especially his shyness.

I consider myself to be shy. Oh, I know that to some of you who know me it may sound strange, but I think I am shy. I'm not good at the whole icebreaker thing. I'm especially bad at trying to strike up conversation with a woman that i'm interested in. When I see a pretty girl in a bar looking at me, I get embarassed, rather than flattered. I think that she can't really be looking at me, and rarely will do anything about it.

I don't consider myself to be picky. I just think that I don't have whatever the rest of the guys of the world learned when they were in high school. I think that's one of my biggest regrets, that I went to LaSalle. I think it provided a great education, but I ended up lacking in many social experiences that many other high school students may have been a part of. I was living in Gwynedd Valley, on a isolated street. My "old neighborhood" friends were in Richboro, about a 30 minute drive away. Many, many, many weekends once I was a Junior I would drive to see them, but I still think I missed out on a lot of "normal" stuff that everyone else was a part of.

I have found that now that i'm older, I really am the product of those experiences. At work I am that same loner from high school. I certainly can, and have, made friends, but I keep everyone at arms length. I only confide in a few people, some to lesser or greater degrees.

I think i'm fairly happy in life, but do wish I could have a few things to make it "better". I think one would be a nicer place to live. My apartment now is nice enough, but at 34 years old and living with two roommates, I have recently begun to wonder about this situation. I like both my roommates well enough, but I start to feel my age a bit.

I remember the last time I felt my age was when in college I tried to ride my skateboard one day. I was a sophomore, and drive to a local shopping center, which was mostly empty, and tried to skate a bit. Quickly it dawned on me that I was seriously too old to be skateboarding around a shopping center (Although i'm sure Tony Hawk would disagree). After about 15 minutes, I put the skateboard back into my Jeep and haven't tried to ride one since.

The same feeling has been creeping over me for the last year. Certainly I wish I bought 5 years ago. Hindsight is a bitch sometimes. I remember in 1997 I was warning my father about the stock market crashing and how markets were cyclical. Doesn't he remember 1988? He didn't listen to me, and watched his stocks rise and rise. I knew that one day i'd be right. I was. The market corrected itself. It wasn't like I was some wise sage. I watched as the housing market started to overheat and, once again, predicted a correction.

Sadly, I was woefully incorrect when that correction would occur. I was very much expecting it to correct in 2003. I watched on the sidelines as my friends and ex-roommates watched their purchases quadruple in price, while I rented.

Now here I am. Still renting. Still working at the same job. Its that feeling of the "endless summer", the years keep passing and i'm doing the same thing.

This doesn't feel like a mid life crisis exactly. I just feel like I wish I could just afford a nicer place to live in Hoboken. People keep on suggesting places like Weehawken or Jersey City to move, but I simply am a man of routines. I'm a "nester". I like my little nest and don't like changing things if I can help it. I also am very picky about the type of condo i'd like to live in. I don't have very good handy skills to fix anything up, so i'd like some new place to live that doesn't make me broke.

I'm good at saving money, but terrible with my finances. Oh, I have the 401K and max that sucker out, and have plenty of money stashed away for a rainy day. Not to sound like a terrible snob, but money isn't a problem in my life - but don't let me fool you into thinking i'm wealthy, i'm not. I am not a man of extravagant tastes. I know when I have enough to splurge on a plasma TV or a new camera or a Tivo or a nice dinner at The Strip House or buying a nice bottle of wine. I sort of have an internal way of keeping my spending in check. As much as I bitterly complain about my housing situation, I certainly could buy a condo in Hoboken. But I don't want to be living in an expensive condo and eating Ramen noodles every night for dinner. I'll take my roommates and my cheap rent and happily wolf down an expensive steak with a fine wine each month.

Every fall I do the same thing. I look through the J. Crew catalog and pick out some nice sweaters, shirts or other clothes I like (except pants, because I always had a poor success rate with J. Crew and pants). I will spend a fairly hefty amount of money in one phone call and that's it. I get my new clothes in a week, and i'm set for the season, with maybe one or two minor shops at Bloomingdale's Men's Section.

I also wish I had a better system to deal with all the clutter in my apartment. I have a hard time letting things go, like the 200+ books that sit in my room. Here's my thought process: I don't want to throw the books out because I think they have some value and it would be a waste. I don't have the energy or interest to sell them on Ebay. I don't want to give them away (like that used bookstore on Washington Street) because, again, I feel like i'm losing money when I do that.

So there the books sit. And other items. Like my old computer games. I have all my old computer games for years and years sitting in a closet in my room. I mean old games like Commander Keen and the original Doom to new games like World of Warcraft or Civilization 4. I could just throw them out, but maybe I could sell those games to someone at a yard sale? I feel like if I threw them away i'd be just throwing money away. Again, I have zero interest in trying some auction site like Ebay.

So there the games sit.

I don't want to become one of those guys who has stacks of newspapers in his apartment and one of them topples over and then I become trapped and die from dehydration or something. No, i'm not seriously thinking this will be me, I was just joking.

But still, isn't it strange for me to hold on to these books and computer games? I was able to clean my closet last spring and it did feel pretty good. I basically looked at everything I had in my closet and said "Do I like to wear this?" or "Have I worn this in the last year?".

I took everything that didn't make the cut and put them into six garbage bags. I walked down the street and gave them to a Salvation Army-type store. There was some seriously nice clothes I gave away, brand name stuff. But I didn't wear it.

I think I gotta do the same with everything else I own. Just resolve myself past the idea that i'm really gonna get money for my L. Ron Hubbard 10 book "Mission Earth" series. I just checked ebay and each book is selling for .99 cents. I would love to just set up a little stand on Washington Street and try to sell all my books. $1 for every softcover and $3 for each hard cover.

See, there I go again. That's how my mind will go back around and around. Eventually I will just realize that I don't have a solution that I like and ignore that problem until another day.

That's it for now. Just playing around with a different way of writing. Btw, if you read this far - what do you think I should do about all these books? Just give 'em away? You can email me if you don't want to leave a comment.


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I know, I have been boring. No updates. I hope to have something this week. Sit tight.

Also, get ready for Dallas. Woot!

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