Friday, July 29, 2005

Good news for me!





You Are 5% Redneck









I'll slap you so hard, your clothes will be outta style.

You ain't no redneck - you're all Yankee!


The Sports Guy On Hockey

I'm willing to consider giving the NHL another chance, and here's why:



After peaking as a Red Sox fan (October, 2004), Celtics fan (the Bird Era) and Patriots fan (the Brady Era, ongoing), only one hurdle remains: The Stanley Cup. There was a time when I loved the Bruins as much as any other Boston team, but owner Jeremy Jacobs sucked the life out of me. If he didn't care about the Bruins, why should I? Also, the game was changing, and not for the better -- once the Devils rolled out that hideous zone trap in '95, the NHL should have just outlawed fighting, power-plays and rowdy drunk chicks in hockey jerseys. What a disaster.



And so hockey faded out of my life. In retrospect, I wasn't alone. After the NHL disappeared last fall -- a victim of overexpansion, skyrocketing ticket prices, absurd salaries and comically bad leadership -- the silence was deafening. Few people cared. Last winter and spring, when ESPN replaced hockey with random college basketball games (and I mean, really random, like Cadwallader State taking on Kahua Community College), women's softball, college lacrosse and just about anything else: "Up Close and Personal with the Sklar Brothers," "The Spelling Bee: Quarterfinal Regionals," "Budweiser Hot Seat: The Series," "Stu Yeah!" … you name it, the show would top the NHL's ratings from the previous season.



Clearly, this sport wasn't just in disarray -- it was being dismissed altogether. After 301 days, a canceled season and sweeping indifference, the NHL and its players came to a sobering conclusion: Let's fix this thing. And it was about damned time.



Without further ado, an Idiot's Guide to the NHL Lockout:



Q: What was the point? What was gained?



A salary cap. That was the biggie. The owners needed to completely overhaul their system under the premise, "Come on! It's hockey! You guys would be playing for $20 an hour! Who are you kidding?" Of course, the players' union was prepared to sit out two full seasons to prevent the cap from happening … at least, that was the plan. Once those bills started piling up and public pressure mounted -- oh, wait, there wasn't any public pressure -- they folded and accepted a considerably worse deal than they were offered six months ago. You know, the one that could have saved the season.



So to recap: Canceled season, lost wages, angry fans, worst deal possible. Ladies and gentleman, the NHL players' union!



(In a related story, union head Bob Goodenow resigned Thursday. At least we didn't find him in his garage with the car running. But seriously, imagine trying to find another job if you're Bob Goodenow? Can we stick him in a reality-TV house with Scott Layden, Wally Backman, Mike Price, Jim Paxson, Larry Eustachy and Mike Ovitz?)



Q: What was the biggest mistake the players' union made?



You mean, other than canceling an entire season, then caving? The players' biggest mistake was trying to protect a salary structure that made no sense in the first place. Look, we all knew hockey players in high school and college -- they're good guys and hard workers, they stink like sweaty hockey equipment, they can drink until the cows come home, they have no problem walking around naked in front of other guys, and they would absolutely be happy playing professionally for $20 an hour. This is a blue-collar sport for blue-collar fans, people who should never have to pay more than $35 to $40 for a ticket. And the players fit right into that. So why pretend that hockey players should be getting $10 million to $12 million per year?



For instance, let's say you have a favorite diner near your house. What do we love about diners? They're inexpensive. The food comes out fast. The coffee is always good. The chef in the kitchen has an "I hope these customers didn't see me on 'America's Most Wanted' look on his face. The gum-snapping waitress is in her 50's, but there's still something sexy about her, despite the smoking wrinkles and the missing left index finger. And you can kick back, read your newspaper, enjoy a decent omelet, home fries and some buttered toast, and flirt with a 53-year-old woman who was probably Patient X for Hepatitis B back in 1971. What's better than that?



Well, imagine if they quadrupled the price at the diner, the food took three times as long, you couldn't see the chef, all the waitresses looked like Kathy Bates, and they added so many breakfast items to the menu that you almost needed a translator to read the menu? Would you ever go there again? Of course not. And that's what the NHL never realized until it was too late. It was the breakfast diner of professional sports leagues, nothing more. Unfortunately, it took a 301-day lockout -- as well as every cable channel basically saying, "Thanks, but no thanks" -- for everyone to realize this.



Q: Was the players' union happy with how everything unfolded?



Of course not. Here's what three of the biggest stars said:



Jeremy Roenick: "I still think [it's] brutal. But we want to play again."



Brett Hull: "It's a terrible deal."



Chris Chelios: "This deal is not good for any of the players and everybody realizes that."



And I empathize with these guys. Really, I do. If ESPN.com came to me this week and said, "Look, we're losing money, we need to renegotiate your contract or we'll have to fold the Web site," would I be upset about it? Absolutely. But what can you do? So I have to sell one of my houses and a few of my sports cars, and maybe I can't stay in the Rain Man suite at the Hard Rock anymore. Them's the breaks.



Q: What's the coolest part of the deal?



That they installed a cap and completely revamped the salary structure. Eventually, this might even show up in lowered ticket prices (cross your fingers).



The nitty-gritty facts: All remaining contracts were rolled back 24 percent, with teams having an option to then buy out those contracts for two-thirds the total … the cap is directly tied to the league's revenue projection, so higher-end teams can't spend more than $39 million, and lower-end teams have to spend at least $22 million … you can't spend more than 20 percent of your cap on one player, meaning that no hockey player can make more than $8 million per season … and with the bumped-up minimum (from $175,000 to $400,000), it's nearly impossible for a team to have two or three $8 million guys (so long, competitive advantage for the Wings and 'Lanche).



Note: Personally, I would have made the high end of the cap $2 million and the low end $1 million, with no player able to make more than $350,000 per season, and the league minimum being the aforementioned $20 an hour … with players getting time and a half for overtime games. But that's just me.)



Q: What's the second-coolest part of the deal?



One word: Shootouts!



No more ties, no more standings that look like Lotto numbers, no more kissing your sister. Some purists are dead-set against the shootout concept, which is perplexing to me. Why would you be against something that makes the sport more exciting? I'm going to apply my time-proven "Channel Flick Test" introduced last February, when I was arguing the merits of a "Teammate Half-court Shot" at NBA's All-Star Weekend. Forget about how dumb it would be to watch teammates like Shaq and D-Wade launching as many half-court shots in 90 seconds for a second, desperately trying to top Kobe and Odom's score of eight. Would you turn the channel? Of course not.



The same goes for shootouts. If I'm flicking channels and stumble across a random hockey game, only four things are going to stop me in my tracks: A penalty shot, a fight, a shootout, or a mullet. And I don't think I'm alone.



Q: Wait, shootouts? How does this affect gambling on hockey games?



The team that wins the shootout will be credited with one more goal. So if you have the Islanders in a parlay with the over of six, and it's 3-3 heading into OT, and they win the shootout … not only is the final score "4-3 Islanders" but you just covered your bet. See, aren't you glad I'm here?



Q: What's the worst part of the deal?



For whatever reason, they didn't jettison any franchises (even though they overexpanded in the '90s faster than Krispy Kreme, one of the main reasons we're in this mess). If I were running the NHL, I would have insisted on dumping our franchises in New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Columbus, San Jose, Anaheim, Sacramento, Fresno, Omaha, Ithaca and Anchorage -- that's more than one-third of the current league. Then, I would have given back teams to Quebec and Winnipeg (if Degrassi High can return to Canada, so can the Nordiques and Jets) and added one in Vegas (under the "every league should have a team in Vegas" corollary). That would have given us 24 teams, including eight in Canada (the only country on the planet that cares about hockey). Perfect number.



Q: What's the second-worst part of the deal?



As the owner of eight hockey fight tapes from the '70s and '80s, as well as someone who still regards Stan Jonathan's beating of Pierre Bouchard as the highlight of my childhood, I was outraged with the new fighting rules. Not only will anyone who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game receive a game misconduct and automatic one-game suspension, the length of the suspension doubles for each additional incident. Basically, they're imploring us to turn the channel with five minutes left if either team is up by three goals.



(It's almost like they're openly taunting Vince McMahon to start the XHL at this point. I know I've written this a million times, but if the XHL goes head-to-head against the NHL on Tuesday nights … well, which league would you watch? I know where I would be.)



Q. How will the quality of play be different?



Nearly every rule change was made to speed up games, encourage more scoring chances and prevent 2-1 games and scoring champions with 79 points for the entire season. For instance …



• They extended the blue lines and decreased the neutral zones, making it easier to maintain control of the puck onsides, and allowing more room to operate on power plays (just nod and pretend you know what I'm talking about).



• Two-line passes are now legal, which makes it easier for good passers and forwards to sneak away from their own end for potential breakaways. At least that's the plan. Just remember, when R. Kelly was telling his music company, "So I want to make a series of videos based on these songs from the new album, and the actors in the videos will actually pretend to say the words to the songs," that sounded like a good plan, too.



• Not only will goalies draw penalties for freezing the puck unnecessarily, but anyone who intentionally flips the puck into the crowd gets a penalty. (Note: I'm against this rule because it means less pucks for the fans.) Also, defenders won't be allowed to interfere/hook/hold/obstruct anymore (although they say this every year). And if you cowardly ice the puck, you can't change lines (but the other team can). I like that last rule -- the thought of a worn-out team accidentally icing the puck eight times in a row, then players slowly beginning to collapse on the ice sounds tremendous.



Q: If you're an NHL goalie, should you be frightened right now?



Absolutely. Every one of those aforementioned wrinkles was designed to increase scoring and make your life a living hell. Plus, remember the era of the giant goalie pads? Gone. Now their equipment will be reduced by 10 to 15 percent, with any violations triggering a two-game suspension for the goalie, a $25,000 fine for the team and even a $1,000 fine for the equipment manager (who's probably thinking to himself, "Wait, how did I get dragged into this?").



One more thing: They moved the nets closer to the boards and changed it so goalies can only play the puck within a 28-foot, trapezoidal area behind the net that extends 6 feet from either goal post. If you skate beyond that area, it's an automatic two-minute penalty, which will be fun if only to hear what they call the penalty. Two minutes for trapezoidal desertion?



(Confused? So am I. They should have gone with Plan B -- tying the goalie to the net with a 10-foot chain, almost like how you would tie up your pet rottweiler outside. Wouldn't that be fun to see goalies occasionally forgetting about the chain, skating towards an errant puck, then cruelly getting yanked backward when the chain extends too far? Plus, they could potentially get caught up in the chain, or use it to trip other players … really, I see no downside here. Although it will be loads of fun to hear Barry Melrose pronounce the word "Trapezoid.")



Q: What's the Claude Lemieux Rule?



The name I bestowed on the following new rule: if an offensive player clearly dives to get a call, not only will he receive a two-minute penalty during the game, but the league's office will review game tapes and dole out after-the-fact fines to any scumbags -- err, players who embellish a fall or fake an injury. Wait, it gets better. The first offense gets a warning letter. The second and third offenses draw $1,000 and $2,000 fines. The fourth offense results in a game suspension. And with the fifth offense, you get sent to Shawshank and Warden Norton casts you down with the sodomites.



Q: What are the new drug testing rules?



Best described like this: "Um, we don't really have a drug problem in hockey -- these guys are too hungover to do drugs. Please don't bring this up again."



Q: What will happen to the unpopular Jeremy Roenick and the wildly unpopular Todd Bertuzzi?



I think they should fight to the death to kick off the season, but that's probably not happening. Anyway, it looks like Bertuzzi will be suspended for 20 more games while Roenick assumes the mantle of "most vilified player in every opposing arena." And if this leads to JR's own SportsCentury episode in which I get to remember what it was like to play him in "NHL '94" back in the day, I'm all for it.



Q: What happened to the NHL Draft?



Well, they skipped the last two, but they get to make up for it with Saturday's "we haven't had a draft in two years, so this baby is especially loaded with talented players you've never heard of!" belated draft, which will be highlighted by Sidney Crosby (billed as the best prospect since Mario Lemieux, which seems interesting because apparently, we all agreed to agree that the Eric Lindros Era never happened, only I never got the memo) going first to the Penguins and moody singer/guitarist Jack Johnson going second to Vancouver.



(And yes, the Penguins landed the No. 1 pick after an emergency drawing last week in which Gary Bettman proved that he was so inept, he couldn't even rig a lottery to make sure Crosby ended up in a major market. Like anyone would have cared. Shouldn't WNBA rules have applied here? "Um, Crosby has an aunt who lives in Winnetka … that means we have decided to award him to the Chicago Blackhawks!" No offense to the good people of the 'Burgh, but hasn't that franchise been on the ropes for about 15 years? Hell, Mark Cuban hails from Pittsburgh and even he won't buy them. And this is a guy who once gave Raef LaFrentz a $60 million contract extension. Now we're sending the future of the league there? I'm concerned.)



Q: Did they forget to do anything with the lockout agreement?



Other than dumping the entire regular season for an eight-month playoff format? I think they missed three things. First, I would have shortened the penalty boxes so that, if there were ever more than three players in there, somebody would have had to sit on someone else's lap. Second, I would have hired a manager for every enforcer (like in pro wrestling) so that the between-period interviews would have been more fun. And third, to steal a joke from reader Jason in San Francisco, I would have forced ESPN's Bill Clement to speak and act like Ron Burgundy at all times, even if it meant he had to say "I will punch you in the ovaries" to Gary Thorne at the end of every telecast.



Q: Anything else we forgot to mention?



Nothing major. You can't become a free agent until you turn 31, although that will eventually drop to 27. There's something called two-way arbitration (don't ask). They're shutting down operations next February for the Winter Olympics, as a way of showcasing the game's top stars … which would have been an interesting idea if it didn't completely fail four years ago. They're making the game more accessible -- miked players, cameras in the locker room, maybe even cameras on the referees and players. Oh, and every NHL team needs to sign between 15-20 players apiece. Thank God Chad Ford doesn't cover the NHL -- he would have had a nervous breakdown by now.



(They still don't have a TV contract (except for the last 5 games of the Finals on NBC), which is funny because even the Tour de France has a TV contract at this point. And there you see Armstrong … he's the guy in the pack of 20 bikers… and, um, they're riding … and, um, Armstrong just drank some water … and this heat means absolutely nothing because there are like 75 stages to this thing, so as long as he doesn't fall down, he's going to win again … and, um, we're going uphill now … You're telling me that competitive cycling has a TV deal and professional ice hockey doesn't? What's happening to this country?)



Q: All right, let's test you and see if you're genuine about following hockey again -- what moves are the Bruins planning to make this summer?



Ahhhhhh, yes. You want to see if I'm paying attention again. Well, we only had three guys under contract when the dust cleared, so it has basically been a free-for-all. The big dilemma has been figuring out a way to keep Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov while having enough cap flexibility to sign everyone else. It's almost like watching a fantasy draft unfold online -- the possibilities are limitless. Plus, we have a guy named Sully coaching the team, as well as an honest chance to compete now that the cap prevents big market teams from outspending our cheapskate owner. I'm cautiously optimistic. Not optimistic enough to splurge for the "Center Ice" package, but cautiously optimistic.



Because here's the thing: Hockey should work. You couldn't draw up a better HDTV sport. It's impossible. You can see the numbers, see the faces under the helmets, see the puck, even see the faces in the crowd. It's perfect. Throw in the inevitable scoring surge, have shootouts deciding games and a Bruins team with a genuine chance to compete for a Cup … and you know what? I just might start following hockey again.



(On second thought … nahhhhhhhh.)



Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

One Down, One To Go

The pieces from the NHL lockout are starting to fall. My hope was both Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman would fade away. Well, we are halfway there now...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

There's no crying in football

As if I needed a reason to make fun of the Dolphins, I just found this gem on ESPN.com. Maybe they should change the team name to The Rockford Peaches.

I'm wicked smaht!!

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Exceptional
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Bring on the Ducks

The NHL just released the schedule for the upcoming season and the Blackhawks will open at home against the Mighty Ducks. Sadly there will be no visit from my Bruins. It looks like I'll have to venture home to catch the B's this season.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Boscopalooza

Well I finally went to my first Lollapalooza. I never thought I'd get the chance since it shut down only to be revived this year in Chicago.

After the whole ticket fiasco, I biked over to Grant Park on Thursday to pick up our wristbands before heading over to a gelatofest at the old Rock & Roll McDonalds. I'd like to say it was fun, but come on...it was McDonalds. My official review was that the gelato was "surprisingly good." I was one of the few people in our group that abstained from any of the alleged food there and opted for some Portillo's to go before heading home for some fine dining.

Saturday was an early rise day to grab much needed carbs before heading over to Day 1. We arrived with water bottles in tow and cruised through security past the fountain and to 5 stages where only softball fields used to stand. We bounced around at the beginning between The Warlocks and M83 before settling in for And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of the Dead. Kaiser Chiefs put on a nice display going so far as to apologize for a strained voice and bring some fans on stage to "help out." After Kaiser was done, we met up with Dave who had been at Liz Phair.

We milled about until Cake came on at 4:30. At some point, Jen's ankles decided that they no longer wanted to play. Being the trooper she is, she made it through the Cake show and then we headed for some food and sit down time. We spent our down time wolfing down some pizza and listening to a combo of Billy Idol and Blonde Redhead. After our rest period, it was time for Primus, the Pixies and Weezer. We were lucky enough to find a bus outside the park that turned into a shuttle to Chez Bosco. Upon trying to leave the bus, Jen discovered that she was no longer among the walking. After providing a much needed crutch, rest was in order for day 2.

Day 2 was nothing short of a sweat box. I headed over early to catch OK-Go. I wanted to hear the band that graced Madden 2003. After trying to sit on the field, we headed for shadier pastures and came across a hose. With 100 degree temps, it only made sense to douse each other with the hose. We pretty much spent most of the day in shade. We ventured back out to catch Tegan & Sara. Unfortunately, they had to cut their set short due to heat sickness. We then headed over to Jamba Juice for some much needed refreshment. I contemplated heading home at this point, but decided to suck it up and head back into the oven. Dave, Jen and I just pulled up some shade and watched what we could. By the time The Dandy Warhols started playing, the sun had started to fall in the sky to allow us back on our feet and in front of the stage. We decided that we would rather go home than stick around for Death Cab For Cutie and grabbed some White Hen sandwiches and much needed showers.

I was never so excited to come home to an air conditioned apartment. Now I hear it's going to be in the 70's tomorrow. Looks like Bosco is leaving work early!!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Central air, there really is no subsitute

Well, I just heard yesterday was the hottest day in Chicago since 1995. Lucky me, I was outside all day at Lollpalooza. I've never been so happy to have an apartment with air conditioning.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Welcome back NHL

Let's Go Red Sox

So last night I continued my quest to see as many Red Sox games in Chicago as I possibly could this year. To date, I have now seen 3, which is more than I used to be able to get to in Boston due to ticket availability being what it is. A few months back I had planned on catching at least 3 of the games in the ghetto this weekend, but along came Lollapalooza. That shot Saturday and Sunday out the window, but I wasn't going to miss it either.
The Red Sox games at Wrigley were a good time. I sat behind home plate(about 30 rows behind) for one game and in the world's biggest beer garden(also known as the bleachers) for the Sunday night game. I love Wrigley, but the majority of the fans are there to be seen and drink beer. Sort of the anti-Fenway crowd.
Well, last night my good friend C and myself headed to the Cell early to try to get into the Bullpen Bar. Upon entering the Bullpen Bar, you are given the choice of first come, first serve seating below or paying and additional $15 for a wristband and your very own table. We wound up about 10 feet from the right field foul pole and came very close to several batting practice homeruns landing in our 24 ounce bottles of beer. The other nice part about these seats was being so close to the Red Sox bullpen. Upon returning from a bladder draining in the restroom, I ducked at what I thought was a gunshot. It seems it was nothing more than a warmup pitch from Curt Schilling landing squarely in the glove of Doug Mirabelli. I will definitely try these seats when we go see the White Sox take on the Evil Empire.
Oh yeah...the Red Sox beat the White Sox 6-5. Take that C!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Google, you're so silly

To honor the 35th anniversary of the moon landing, you can now see a satellite picture of that floating orb. At first glance it seems just so-so. Go ahead and zoom all the way in to see what really makes the moon tick.

Show me da moon

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I've figured it out

For those of us wondering why a room where I work costs in excess of 800 bucks for a bed and a few pillows, I may have some insight.

My co-worker M just spent about 20 minutes researching our ordering system to uncover where exactly her boss L can get his hands on the turkey burgers served today in the cafeteria. When you pay someone what she makes to perform this important research it only makes sense to pass the cost on to the consumer.

But then again, we do offer turndown service for dolls.

Your tax dollars at work?

Last week while Jen's little bro was occupying the couch and remote control, he happened upon the movie Men Of Honor about Navy divers. I don't know if it was dialogue or the Miller Lite, but it got me reminiscing about the good ole days. Before I knew it, I was on my way to the website of the USS Nimitz. Yes, yours truly was an aircraft carrier dweller. Perhaps sleeping just a few feet under heavily armed jets landing on steel has enabled me to consider sleeping throught a little wind to be child's play.

I still can't believe some of the stuff we got away with while I was on the government's dime. There is more than just a couple things we no longer considered needed sitting on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. For that matter, some of it is resting peacefully on the floor of the Puget Sound. Don't get me wrong now. This is not "official Navy procedure." We were just too lazy to bring our trash to the proper dumping place. We would time it so that our trash bags would make their splash into a watery grave at the same time a 25 ton aircraft would land. The plane tends to make a bit more noise.

Then of course, there is the officer who didn't "play the game" according to our rules. We decided that he was just the way he was due to a lack of reading material. Well, 250-300 subscription cards later and he had plenty to read. Quick side note: They don't necessarily throw those cards away. Yours truly found himself in the midst of a fraud investigation with copies of those cards presented as evidence. Fortunately the investigation was headed by a good pal and the charges somehow disappeared. Once again my networking skills pay great dividends.

In case you're wondering, the magazines that good ole Lt. R. received weren't exactly G rated. Lesson #1 is don't piss off Team Lens. We won't make you eat your parents like Eric Cartman would, but we did enjoy getting revenge on people who made our lives unpleasant. Whether it was overflowing your mailbox with magazines or throwing a stinkbomb into your ventilation system, we let the punishment fit the crime. About that stinkbomb. Our apologies to Mongo from VS-33. He was good people. Too bad the same can't be said about the rest of his squadron.

There's plenty more I can admit to doing, but it's all classified. Only myself and my good friends A & T will know.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Ha Ha Fed Ex...I win!




They finally came!! Due to a shipping screw up, I never thought I was going to Lollapalooza. They were first delivered to 9777 N. Michigan Ave even though it doesn't exist. After that, they apparently brought them to my building under Jen's name. Since she doesn't live here, they sat behind the desk for nearly a week. After finally getting a straight answer from Fed Ex yesterday, I just had them delivered to work. I literally ran when the Concierge called to tell me they were here. Now if only the Presidents were playing next weekend. A boy can dream, can't he?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Oh, the places I've been

I just stumbled across this. Looks like I need to get out of the country a bit more. I don't know that I'll ever get all 50 states. Alabama and North Dakota are not high on my "must visit" list.






create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

Monday, July 11, 2005

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

You know it's a busy weekend when you don't have time to sleep. My friend's goodbye party was a great time. It started on the roof in the pool even though some people forgot their swimming clothes. After the rest of the people arrived, we moved it downstairs to my apartment for liquor and I got to introduce everyone to Happy Tree Friends. The combination of watching Toothy & Cuddles suffer agonizing deaths mixed with the Bacardi made for a great time. We closed out the night playing old school Nintendo until about 3.

On Saturday our hero awoke at 8AM to find two houseguests sprawled on the couch and floor. Apparently my floor passed C's sleep test with flying colors. I couldn't fall back asleep, so I just stayed up. After finally prying myself away from Cheers, I headed over to Jen's to grab my bike for the L.A.T.E. Ride. The ride itself was alright, but the sheer number of people made going anything over 10MPH seem like an epic achievement. We got back to the fountain around 4 and just hung out waiting for the sun to make it's scheduled appearance at 5:24 AM. Only 2 more hours until Gingers is open for donuts and Lance!

Gingers was closed, relocate to Melrose diner for eggs and took my tired self to Jen's couch. I threw in Slapshot and it acted like a beacon because about 20 minutes into the movie, in walks Dave to work on Pub Quiz. After watching the Hanson brothers goon it up, we headed over to Gingers(which was now open) for a quick snack and maybe a beer. 7 beers later and barely able to keep my head up, I pedaled home and collapsed in bed. I'm so glad to be at work today...I need to relax!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bye bye Katie

Happy Friday! Today was a short day at work since I was one of the lucky ones to work on Monday. I headed over to Jen's to help her get ready for her trip east to hang out with the fam in Ohio. With Jen planning to be out of town, I found myself with no plans for the evening.

Enter my good friend K back from Denver for the day before embarking on a month long trek through Alaska. After a quick lunch at Foodlife, it was determined that we should have people over to finish what is left of her alcohol stash. By having it at Chez Bosco, the leftover booze belongs to me. How will I ever dispose of leftover alcohol? I'm sure I'll find a way. After all, I was in charge of the beer committee for Team Mopundow a couple weeks ago.

Now to get some mixers at Walgreens...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Listen to the bottle

If the bottle speaks, will you listen?

I had always told myself that when the wine talks to me, it's time to stop drinking. I can just picture it now. I'm sitting at a movie in the park and just as Luke finds out that not only is Vader his father, but Leia is his sister, my wine starts yapping away about what foods to pair with it.

The last thing I need is being told what to do by a bottle. Now if the bottle was to hand out advice on job openings in downtown Chicago, maybe I could get into that.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sell Sell Sell!!!!!

So apparently every hotel in Chicago is for sale these days. About a month ago I was "invited" to a mandatory meeting for all employees. I figured it was one of those ego stroking meetings about some award we received. Speculation was that we got back our 5th diamond from AAA. It turns out that our illustrious general manager informed us that our primary owner, JMB Realty had decided to sell our quaint little inn.

In preparation(and to avoid a relocation from Chi-town, I have started paying attention to job openings within walking distance of Chez Bosco. One of these opportunities came up this week and I headed over to the Omni Ambassador East Hotel. I was informed that they were too on the trading block and could offer no guarantees of continuing operation post-sale.

Well, there's always DC....

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Stanley Spadowski anyone?

So here I'm sitting here at work and realizing I just had a total UHF moment. I was looking for a piece of paper that someone was supposed to have left on my desk over the weekend. After not being able to find said paper, I called our trusty beverage manager demanding his inventory numbers. He called his guy(and woke him up) to ensure it was dropped off. After me going off on him and letting him know I never received it, he spent about an hour recreating it. In the meantime, I found what I was looking for underneath my copy of the Redeye.

For those of you not "in the know" there is a classic scene in UHF when Stanley is accused of losing an important report and publicly fired and humiliated. Upon his exit from his former place of employment, it seems R.J. Fletcher was sitting on it the whole time. I took his cue and elected not to admit my mistake.

Just all part of working at The Four Seasons.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 229th USA!!!

I'm among the lucky ones that "get" to work on this birthday party for this great nation. I can't really complain too much. At least I was getting paid for my effort. The weekend in itself was much more relaxing than last week's MS150. I may not have ridden, but was one of the team volunteers in charge of campsite duty.

I was able to get back on my bike this weekend and do some riding. I started out on a casual bike with with Jen and a couple of friends. After doing about 8mph for awhile with them, we got frustrated and took off. I took my first "non-path" ride in Chicago and wound up being introduced to Microcenter. Once we got there, I directed the purchase and set up a much appreciated network between Jen's trusty Mac and PC. She was happy as punch to blog from her Mac from home for the first time.

Now off to enjoy the rest of Independence Day...