Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Sydney - A Reflection!

It's different for me to spend time in Australia or any other country in the southern hemisphere during the Christmas season. Frankly, it's a tad bit odd to walk around during the onset of summer with all of the spark and energy that is characteristic of that warm season and know Christmas is knocking at my door back in the U.S. Somehow, the warm and tropical weather makes me feel like something other than Christmas is going on .... Yeah, I know I'm merely a product of my environment. I'm frequently reminded by friends and family members that Jesus, the religious epicenter of this holiday, was born in Bethlehem, and it seldom snows in that part of the world. That usually brings up the whole St. Nick story and the commercial discussion..... you know the rest of that story.

Never less, having spent most of my life living in cool to colder climates, I suppose I just grew to equate Christmas with snow and colder temperatures. The whole Los Angeles thing hasn't really resonated with me either. It's a bit warm here in the winter time. But at least it cools down at night and we get the occasional rain during the season making it a bit more wintry. (Can I admit that seeing all of the photos at Dickster's and Bowie Mike's blogs has made me a bit homesick?)

I'm sure I've been a victim of all of the commercialization as well. Years of television and media influences have convinced me that -

Christmas = Icicles, snow, and cold!

Not so in Sydney, Australia.
Christmas = shorts, tank tops, sandals, and swimming pools. It's the beginning of summer.

A Christmas tree in Darling Harbor. The center of social activity and a great place to stroll and people watch.

It was 75 degrees F.

But if it's Christmas, there's shopping to be done. And one of the big destinations for shoppers in Sydney is Paddy's Markets.

Lots of retail items for sale by a variety of vendors.

So many T-shirts for sale. I couldn't force myself to buy one. I need another T-shirt like I need another bear market. I'm guessing none of my friends or family members are longing for a shirt that says Sydney either. But I could be wrong.

Another shopping destination is the Queen Victoria Building. AKA, the QVB. The QVB is a late nineteenth century building designed by the architect George McRae and constructed in the central business district of Sydney, Australia.

A photo of the southern side of the QVB which opens to Bicentennial Plaza facing Sydney Town Hall.

The inside of the QVB.
In addition to retail shops, there are eateries and coffee shops.

Note the summer attire.

So the bottom line is this: Many people live in the Southern Hemisphere or in warm and tropical climates. For those that celebrate Christmas, it's quite normal for it to be nice and warm during the Holiday season.

But for me, I'll keep dreaming of a White Christmas and hoping for snow!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas - 2009

Here's Wishing you Joy, Peace, and Happiness!

Merry Christmas!

Here's a clip from the movie Elf starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and

Zoey Deschanel.

If you're looking for a silly and fun movie to watch during this Holiday season, take a break and watch Elf. I think you'll find it entertaining.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at the Grove

Ten years ago, in 1999, the real estate firm Caruso Affiliated broke ground on a great undertaking. Their goal was to create a 575,000 sq ft. retail and entertainment center directly in the heart of Los Angeles. In 2002, their dream was realized when The Grove opened it's doors.
Featuring an animated water fountain and a trolley in addition to great restaurants and shopping venues, The Grove has become a popular destination for just about everyone. I seem to stop by every other month or so to eat, catch a movie, or just unwind. The Grove's many restaurants include Maggiano's Little Italy, Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill, Morels French Steakhouse, The Whisper Lounge, The Farm of Beverly Hills, La Piazza and The Cheesecake Factory...... just to name a few.

In 2003, I went to the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony which featured Kenny G, BeBe Winans, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown and Joe Lawrence. The show also featured live snow and culminated with Santa arriving in his sleigh. It was a nice touch and a great opportunity to share the Holiday spirit!

Since then, I try to pop by at least once during the Christmas Season. Here are a few shots from my visit this year:

Lots of lights and lots of people. It was an enjoyable night!
Continue to enjoy the Season where ever you are!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Time is Here! Prep and Landing!

A Charlie Brown Christmas on Blue Ray.... Isn't that exactly what you want in your stocking?

Don't get me started on the whole Blu Ray thing... but I am a big fan of " A Charlie Brown Christmas." I usually try to catch it every Christmas season.

It's special in it's own way.

I've been slowly catching up on my Christmas specials, including Charlie Brown, and tonight, I watched a new Christmas special - Prep & Landing.

Prep & Landing is a 30 minute animated story based on an idea by Chris Williams at Walt Disney Animation Studios and developed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton. It first aired December 8, 2009 on ABC. I missed it then but I recorded it and just got around to watching it tonight. It was cute. It's about an elite unit of elves, Prep and Landing, who ensure that homes around the world are properly prepared to be visited by Santa. You can catch it again Thursday December 24, 2009 on ABC.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creative Minds strike again! Elin Woods goes a clubbin'

When a picture is worth 1000 words.

Or several hundred million dollars in endorsements!

Okay, some of you got it right away. Yet, some of you really had to think about it and look at the photo over and over before it made sense. You probably asked yourself: Why is that lady chasing that mascot with a sand wedge? "Oh, wait a second! I get it!" Then the laugh......

So is that what you'll say the next time you see a Gillette Ad, or Nike commercial without Tiger Woods in it? - "Now I Get It" - Will you stop drinking Gatorade because Tiger endorsed it and now he seems to be out of public favor? What about you Buick drivers? Will you turn your car in for a different make?

I find this whole Tiger Woods event fascinating. Frankly, it's kinda been background noise in my life for the past few weeks. I've been so preoccupied (once again) with the trivial happenings in my life that I haven't really thought much about it. Sure, I've had the occasional laugh and joke, but today, I actually took a minute or two and reflected on his situation. I know it was over a minute because I looked down at my watch and noticed the second hand sweeping along the black background through at least two rotations. Don't be alarmed, I don't plan to delve deeply into the psychological or social implications of the event but I'll briefly share my thoughts with you.

I'm not sure I've ever purchased or used a product just because Tiger Woods endorsed it per se. Partial exception - I think Nike makes some cool stuff, and I'll concede that Tiger has helped to perpetuate and universalize the brand. I won't discount his effect on the branding of Nike and my subsequent purchase of Nike products. You can bet that I'll keep wearing and buying Nike stuff as long as it looks good and plays well. I am certain, however, that I've never relied on Tiger Woods to calibrate my moral compass. My successes and failures, like most people, have been independent of Tiger. I've viewed him as a Guy who takes no prisoners on the golf course. He's passionate about the game of golf and he's great at it. He wins and he does it in an exciting and convincing fashion. He takes a pretty boring spectator sport and infuses it with excitement. It was a bonus that he seemed to be socially conscious and a good role model. It's tragic that Tiger and Elin will now have to deal with issues of trust in order for their relationship to survive. Elin will have to believe that Tiger will no longer be unfaithful, and Tiger will have to believe that Elin won't club him to death while he's sleeping. Both difficult issues to overcome.

All this aside and at the end of the day, If Tiger comes back and kicks butt on the golf course, people will watch him and pull for him. Sure, he'll lose a couple of fans here and there because of his infidelity. But sports fans care about winning! People will look elsewhere for moral guidance and role models. Tiger has fallen off of that pedestal and will be viewed primarily as a sports figure. Should he get his head together and win some big tournaments again, the endorsements will follow!

As for me, I'm keeping my Tag Heuer Watch. Not because Tiger endorsed it or wears one. But because it's a great watch and it looks good!

That's just the way it is!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free Christmas music Downloads! -Free Holiday Music Sampler!

That's right, you heard it here! Free Christmas Music Downloads. In fact, it's an entire sampler album.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, and hoping to perpetuate the belief that it is "Better To Give Than to Receive," I'm hoping to give everyone an early Holiday present!

Read below:

In keeping with the season’s theme of spreading goodwill and holiday cheer, Apple is offering an ITunes album packed with 20 Yuletide tunes performed by various artists, all for free!

The iTunes Holiday Sampler includes renditions of such holiday classics as We Wish You a Merry Christmas, performed by Weezer, and The First Noel, sung by David Archuleta, as well as original Christmas songs by comedian Stephen Colbert and Glasgow band Glasvegas. The album also comes with iTunes LP, so you can check out lyrics, view photos and read more about the artists associated with the album. Here’s the complete roster of tracks in the sampler:

1.O Come All Ye Faithful by Amy Grant
2.The First Noel by David Archuleta
3.Silent Night by Sarah McLachlan
4.Carol of the Bells / Jingle Bells by Barry Manilow
5.It Snowed by Meaghan Smith
6.Above the Northern Lights by Mannheim Steamroller7.Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Lady Antebellum
8.We Three Kings by Toby Keith
9.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Rascal Flatts
10.Silent Night by Wynonna
11.Twelve Days of Christmas by Mexicani Marimba Band
12.We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Weezer
13.A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like a Kiss) by Glasvegas
14.Another Christmas Song by Stephen Colbert
15.Greensleeves by Vince Guaraldi Trio
16.Dream a Dream by Charlotte Church
17.The Nutcracker, Op 71, Act 2: Character Dances (Divertissement) by Kirov Orchestra & Valery Gergiev
18.Angels We Have Heard on High by Aretha Franklin
19.O Holy Night by Musiq Soulchild
20.Auld Lang Syne by The Lonesome Travelers

You can download the free album here Itunes free Holiday Sampler:

Note that this offer is valid until December 17, 2009 and is available from the US ITunes Store only.

You will need to have Itunes installed on your computer with an active Itunes account to enjoy the album.

Good Luck....

And pass this link on. Keep in mind the expiration date.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Creative Ads - Beer Goggles!

This one is short and cute!

Beer goggles" is a slang term for a phenomenon in which consumption of alcohol lowers sexual inhibitions to the point that very little or no discretion is used when approaching or choosing sexual partners.

Boys will be boys!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tiger Woods Photo! Ooouch!

See it here first. Tiger Woods in post-accident photos!

Okay, that was a cheap shot.... Someone clearly got creative with photoshop software and manipulated a photo of Tiger and his wife Elin. I received this in an email. (I'm not mentioning any names) It just goes to show you that people love you when you're winning and on top, but as soon as you stumble - they kick you a few times and pull out their photoshop software and make fun of you.

Once again..... Life isn't fair!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday! Bright and Sunny for Max Martini - A Little Shady for Tiger Woods!

Millions of American shoppers hit the pavement today and juiced up the economy a bit.

Did you Survive Black Friday?

In recent years, you really needed to have your game face on to mix it up with the crowds. In some cases, having the face wasn't enough. Pads and protective equipment were necessary to avoid injury or death.

This year, I hit the bricks for a few hours but mostly just to run a few errands. The shopping I did today was mostly coincidental and by accident. I walked into a local sporting store to buy one item that was advertised in the newspaper for half price. I walked out of the store with two big bags filled with 5 items and a big smile on my face.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, I wasn't really smiling at the savings - It was more of a smile to embrace and welcome "the spirit of man." In my 35 minute shopping spree, I was fortunate enough to share a wonderful moment with actor Max Martini. Those of you who know me are aware that I was/am a huge fan of "The Unit"

You may recall my outrage when I learned that the show had been cancelled! In my humble opinion, the show was just starting to reach its' stride. The actors were starting to gel and the landscape was opening up.

One of the characters in "The Unit" who was particularly starting to find his way into the hearts of the viewers was "Mack 'Dirt Diver' Gerhardt." His character was shrouded in a bit of mystery initially and traveled between fighter, soldier, father, husband, and friend. But ultimately, as the episodes flowed - you had to fall in love with him.

Today as I chatted with him briefly, I learned that his charisma and charm are sincere. He's "For Real" folks! He took time out of his day to chat with a fan (me) and by doing so, I became a bigger fan. I passed on that I loved the show, hated to see it get cancelled, and admired his work as an actor.

I'm certainly pulling for a re-birth of "The Unit" in some capacity but failing that - I'll be sure to catch Max Martini's future projects and hope you guys will too.

Be sure to catch Trooper - (official trailer) and Unearthed when they hit the screen.

On a shadier note,

According to (CNN) -- Golfer Tiger Woods was treated and released after suffering minor injuries in a car accident early Friday in his central Florida neighborhood.

It seems Tiger, who is 33 and just about a month shy of a birthday, was in a minor accident outside his home. The details of the accident are a bit sketchy but it appears he is in good condition with a few cuts and abrasions to his face.

The single-vehicle accident occurred about 2:25 a.m. in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, according to police. Woods pulled out of his driveway in a 2009 Cadillac SUV and struck a fire hydrant and then a tree. (Yep, Tiger is having another tough day driving! He's in the trees again! - You know the jokes are coming! figured I'd get mine in quick)

Police Chief Daniel Saylor said two Windermere police officers were the first to arrive on the scene.

"There was Tiger Woods laying on the ground in front of the vehicle, with his wife over him rendering first aid," he said.

"He was in and out of consciousness with lacerations to his upper and lower lip," Saylor said. "He was mumbling but didn't say anything coherent."

Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, told police she was inside the house when she heard the accident. She went outside and used a golf club to break out the rear window of the vehicle, then pulled him from the SUV.

Hang in there Tiger.... here's to a speedy recovery!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving - Watch It Here

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for the Thanksgiving Holiday to arrive. Not because I was looking forward to giving thanks or eating myself into some ridiculous transcendental gluttonous state, but because I knew that when Thanksgiving arrived - Christmas was officially right around the corner!

One of the true hallmarks of Thanksgiving in our home was watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It pretty much set the mood for a laid back and fun-loving Holiday Season.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network in 1973, and won an Emmy Award the following year. The special was directed by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman. In the special, Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving. Never deterred, "Good ole Chuck" with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

I'd love to invite you all over to my blog for some Turkey, hospitality, and more.... But since I havn't figured out how to upload pumpkin pie, I figured it's not too realistic; Therefore, feel free to stop on by to check out A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I'm streaming the entire episode (compliments of below.

I hope you'll enjoy it and have a wonderful Thanksgiving where ever you may be!

Here's Wishing You A Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reliable Crane and Rigging? Maybe Not! Accidents Do Happen!

Talk about a bad day at the office!

Fortunately, no one was injured in this accident but it's clear to me that the "Numbers" didn't quite add up.

Crane Smashes House

Let's see.... How does that equation go again?

(Total Weight of tree) x (Moment Arm) < (Total weight of cab) x (Moment Arm)

Ah, forget it.... I can't remember that stuff anymore

It's been a few years since I've had to make these computations but I guess there really is a practical application to all of the engineering mechanics I studied in college. I hate to see the effects of miscalculations when it results in bent metal, splintered wood, or injuries and casualties.

I'm relieved that no one was harmed when the crane smashed through this house in Santa Rosa, California and it's a little bit easier to giggle at it all and laugh it off knowing it's not my house and not my company that owned the crane, and no one got hurt. But I wonder how it's all going to get cleaned up. I'm sure the owners of the home will get their home repaired and all their furnishings will be replaced or fixed. That's what insurance is for right?

I'm a tad bit curious about the mistake that was made to allow this accident to happen. Clearly, someone decided it was okay to try to lift the tree over the house with the crane. I'm not completely sure what went wrong to allow the crane to tip over and smash the home but I'm sure it will be fully investigated and someone will be held accountable.

Here are a few details about the accident:

The accident happened at about 2:20 p.m. last Monday at a home on Molly Court, a small cul-de-sac in west Santa Rosa, according to fire Battalion Chief Andy Pforsich.

Apparently, they were using a crane to remove a tree from the back yard of the home. The weight of the tree was more than the crane could handle and the crane tipped backward and crashed into (through) the home. The cab portion of the crane remained suspended in the air Tuesday morning.

Dennis Olson, a neighbor who lives nearby on Nightingale Drive, said he was near the crane and saw it fall into the home.

"My first reaction was to get out of the way, and I ran to get clear in case it tipped sideways," Olson said. "Then I thought, Why didn't I hit the video button on my camera?"

Yep Mr Olson, it would have been nice to see the crash first hand. And I'm sure some network would have paid you big bucks for the rights to the video as well. But luckily you're safe. I read that Kevin and Michelle McCarthy, who had just moved in to the home in August, had gotten into a car accident earlier Monday, and the couple was in Marin County dealing with the crash when they got the call about their house. Sad news about their car accident .... but at least it kept them away from their house and away from danger.

Here's the news story:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Creative Education - The Electric Company - Spidey

Since we're talking about the friendly neighborhood web-slinger.....

The Electric Company really made the most of this character. Marvel Comics provided the Spiderman character to Children's Television Workshop/PBS free of charge.

Here's a longer clip. See if you can pick out a very young Morgan Freeman.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spidey Goes to Jail! Spiderman in cuffs?

About two weeks ago I met with a friend in Hollywood. While it's true that I drive through Hollywood frequently, it's rare for me to find myself walking smack in the middle of all of the activity. It was a summerish kind of afternoon with temperatures approaching 90 degrees F and the streets were bustling with tourists. As I walked to my meeting place, I dodged scantily clad girls zooming by on roller blades. I bypassed a ten foot tall man on stilts. In between my side-steps, I marveled at the many different languages and dialects being spoken. Hollywood Boulevard was particularly alive that day. I joked out loud, "It must be a full moon."

As I strolled by Grauman's Chinese Theatre, I walked by a cluster of people speaking a strangely familiar language. Grauman's Theater is always a hot bed of tourist activity. There are usually 5 -10 impersonators walking around taking photos with the tourist and polishing up on their acting skills. I stopped and looked and listened. I couldn't quite make out the language right away but after a few seconds of watching and listening, I determined they were speaking Italian. It was now clear to me that a group of Italian tourist had surrounded "Spiderman" and several others were busy snapping photos as they all posed with the ever popular "homo-arachnid." I pondered the stories they would tell about the friendly neighborhood web-slinger when they returned to Italy.

Anyway, I walked on..... taking notice of Sylvester Stallone, Madonna, and Michael Jackson impersonators. I looked down at the many "STARS" that lined Hollywood Blvd. and briefly stepped back in time.

There were street performers singing, dancing, and playing a variety of instruments.

But I couldn't get that crazy Spiderman theme from the 60's cartoon out of my head.

"Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can...... Spins a web...."

Oh, that was a great cartoon series. I still watch it occasionally; in between Sponge Bob episodes of course.

So imagine my dismay when I learned of the recent arrest of this web-dwelling wonder.

Apparently, Christopher Loomis, 39, was arrested and is being held on outstanding misdemeanor warrants in lieu of $5,500 bail on November 11, 2009. The details of the arrest are still a bit unclear but it seems that LAPD patrol officers received a radio call reporting a battery by a man in a Spider-Man costume. When they arrived, they encountered four different people dressed as the web-slinging crusader. (LA Times Hollywood Spiderman caught in legal web)

"They stopped one, it wasn't him," LAPD Lt. Beverly Lewis said. "They stopped the second, and it was the suspect."

The victim, who said he was hit in the face and arms, refused to press charges against the costumed impersonator. But Lewis said that when they discovered the warrants, he was booked. She said it appeared the suspect and victim knew each other.

All of a sudden, that story the Italian tourists are telling just got a little more interesting.

You just never know who is hiding behind those masks.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Courageous or Dumb? "Lingerie Football League"

Are you ready for some football?

When I first heard about the Lingerie Football League, I thought it was a joke. As in, "there really can't be an entire league of women teams that compete in lingerie - it's all a facade! Right?


The Seattle Mist

The LFL is for real! The concept of the LFL originated from the Super Bowl halftime alternative television special called the Lingerie Bowl which draws millions of viewers worldwide. The event is a pay-per-view event which is shown annually directly opposite the Super Bowl halftime show. The show has become a staple for many and currently is broadcast in 85 countries. Sure, I remember the ads - But I wouldn't dare miss the halftime show to watch a "powder puff" game. At least that was my thinking back then. Now I know differently. It's more than a "powder puff" game.

The teams play full-contact football which is similar to other indoor football leagues. They play 7 on 7 players on a 50 yard field. Uniforms consist of helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, bras, and panties. (I wonder if they'll be wearing sports bras or padded bras?) There are no field goals and no punts. There is a kickoff to start the game and the second half.

There are currently two Conferences.

The Eastern Conference:

  1. Philadelphia Passion
  2. Chicago Bliss
  3. Miami Caliente
  4. New York Majesty
  5. Tampa Breeze

The Western Conference:

  1. Dallas Desire
  2. Denver Dream
  3. Los Angeles Temptation
  4. San Diego Seduction
  5. Seattle Mist

    (In 2010, Charlotte, North Carolina will be getting a team called the Charlotte Crush)

    The league was founded by Mitchell Mortaza, a 35-year-old sports marketer from Los Angeles about six years ago. The league's administrative offices are in West Hollywood, California.

Without a doubt, this league adds a whole new dimension to fantasy football! The kind where grown men sit around and hope for an equipment malfunction of some sort and the kind where High Definition television makes all the difference in the world. I still don't think I'll miss the halftime show but the next time I see a game on television, I might tune in for a few ummm Downs!

Truly a Courageous Idea! Learn more about the LFL by clicking here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Creative Ads - What Happens In Vegas.....

A few years back, Las Vegas gave up on it's quest to make "Sin City" a family destination. Instead, they decided to pursue the "What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas" theme. I think it's been a successful campaign.

Many people now see Las Vegas as an adult getaway spot where all is forgiven as long as you don't get caught. I think it adds to the mystique of the city and makes it more appealing to those who are looking for a scandalously good time.

To that end, someone came up with another bright idea to perpetuate the mystique.....

Taking flesh to the streets.

I wonder how these mobile exotic dance vans are affecting the flow of traffic...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Creative Minds! Hitler Finds Out Governor Palin Resigned

I know Sarah Palin resigned from office a few months ago, but I just saw this video and I howled! So After my "Sarah Palin and Tina Fey - Life Just Isn't Fair" post, I couldn't resist sharing this.......

Someone really has a whacked out sense of humor. But I like it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sesame Street Turns 40!

In five days, Sesame Street will be celebrating it's 40Th birthday. The show premiered on PBS on November 10, 1969. Sesame Street is well known for its Muppets characters created by Jim Henson. It is also the longest running children's program on US television. The show is produced in the United States by the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop (CTW), founded by Joan Ganz Cooney and Ralph Rogers.

CTW Original Logo

I think they've done a great job over the years combining entertainment and education and making learning fun for kids. In recognition of their 40 years of success, I'm streaming a few of my favorites.

Way to go Sesame Street! Many Happy returns!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sarah Palin and Tina Fey - Life Just Isn't Fair!

A year ago today, Americans went to the polls in great numbers. Voter turnout for the 2008 election was the highest in at least 40 years. We all know the outcome of the election, but what happened to two of the prominent figures of those days? Sarah Palin? and Tina Fey?

Sarah Palin, a little known Governor from the state of Alaska jumped out of the "Alaskan Bush" and onto our television and computer screens, literally overnight. The selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate, made her face and name common in most households. Everything from her sexuality to her "hockey mom-isms" were questioned, discussed, critiqued, and blogged about.

Palin's new popularity and mannerisms also made her an enormously popular target among some comediennes... In particular, Saturday Night Live actress - Tina Fey.

Tina Fey's Saturday Night Live Sarah Palin impressions thrust her into the spotlight in an unorthodox and cult-ish sort of way. Her impersonations were truly uncanny.

But just where are Sarah Palin and Tina Fey today?

Are they being treated fairly?

Let's ask Vanity Fair.

According to VF, Tina Fey has now reached "Rock Star" status. She's snared a $5 million dollar book deal and ignited the ratings of her sitcom, 30 Rock, with her universal appeal. In January 2010, she'll grace the pages of Vanity Fair as she becomes the focus of a photo shoot with the legendary Annie Leibovitz.

(see - "What Tina Wants," by Maureen Dowd.)

On the other hand, Sarah Palin's political future is in question as she waffles along. According to a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted Oct 16-18, 71 percent of the people polled don't think she's qualified to sit in the Oval Office. (Republicans believe she's qualified by 52 percent to 47 percent.)

After resigning from office this summer under suspicious circumstances to say the least, Palin's resignation speech was "assassinated" by most people who heard it. Vanity Fair obtained a copy of Sarah Palin's resignation speech and turned it over to one of their editors for review. The result was comical...... I had to go back and listen to some of her speech on YouTube just to verify that she actually said those things. Here's a brief look:

So let's revisit that book deal discussion.....

Tina Fey had a book deal - but so did Sarah Palin..... Some reports indicate that Palin received as much as a $7 million advance on her book. Is that enough to make you retire from office??? Is that fair enough?

Going Rogue - An American Life went on pre-order a few weeks ago and soon hit the top of's Top 100 list as well as Barnes & Noble orders. No doubt it will be a huge hit.

The book is scheduled for release Nov. 17, 2009. The book seems to be crushing the nearest competition, including Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. I'm sure it will be a popular Christmas gift this year among the "Hockey Mom" crowd. I actually hope Santa puts a copy in my stocking. I love reading gossipy, soap opera, scandalous stuff. Palin's 2008 run for the White House with John McCain was highlighted by reports of bickering, back-biting, criticism, and conflict. Sarah Palin has already revealed that she was writing the book to tell her "Fair" side of the story.

Latest reports indicate that McCain continues to be cautious in his assessment of what her book might unveil. I'm confident he will be fairly and accurately portrayed!

Don't you just wanna know how fair she'll be in her book?

My friend "Big AL' maintains that nothing is "Fair" and nothing is "Easy."

He goes on to say that both of those words are "Four Letter" words!

Perhaps he is right!

Life is not Fair!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Krispy Kreme Burger??? That's just sick!

Face it, Krispy Kreme Donuts are pretty good.

I like the glazed chocolate cake donuts slightly heated, with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. Dunking the donuts in the coffee is absolutely heavenly. Sometimes, it's even worth a second donut. Another one of my K.K. favorites is their Blueberry Fritter. Simply Delicious!

But this is absolutely disgusting!

Horrible! Shameless! and Contemptible!

I dare you to watch this.........

A Krispy Kreme Burger? with Bacon and Cheese?

That's Unbelievably Wrong!

Personally, I've never had one. But everyone knows it's wrong because
If you're gonna eat one of those.....

You'd better wash it down with one of these.......

Just makes sense. Forget the calorie count!

Here's the nutritional information for Krispy Kreme donuts: KKnutritionalinfo.

Beer, Beef Patties, bacon, and cheese are extra!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Really Scary Things! - Happy Halloween

The idea of spending any time at all in prison is pretty scary.

But this truly makes my skin crawl!

Byron Garcia was catapulted to international fame when he made 1,500 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) in the Philippines dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” - (How's that for punishment?)

Videos of the dance and exercise routines that he uploaded on YouTube have since had over 70 million hits.

Interested in more of the story? Click Here

Friday, October 30, 2009

So you want to play Tic Tac Toe?

I was bored and decided to goof off a bit.
A friend sent this to help me pass the time!
Be Careful - It's addictive!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cover your Mouth and Wash Your Hands! Here comes H1 N1 and other Viruses!

Next week I'll be hitting the road again. Traveling to Canada for a few days. I'm really not looking forward to security lines, possible flight delays, and much colder weather. I've been dusting off my overcoat, gloves, and scarf and psyching myself up for the change in temps. It's been unseasonably warm out here in Cali. Today it was in the 80's and that's just fine with me. I'll take the snow and cold at Christmas time and when I'm skiing, but the rest of the year - give me warm weather please! I know. I'm a wuss. All of you guys living in colder climates forgive me as I whine......

What further complicates my travel next week and gives me cause to whine, is the perceived onslaught of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus. At least that's what I'm hearing in the media coverage. I've had several friends who've been hit by H1N1 first hand. Fortunately, in all cases it hasn't been serious. A few days in bed and lots of rest and they were back at it. But listening to their reports, it does sound like it wipes you out pretty good when you get it.

Today I caught wind of an animation that shows what happens when you contract a virus. For all of you who loved high school or college Biology, this is going to make your mouth water. And for those of you who hated science, watch it anyway. There's no test afterwards and you can watch it as many times as you like until you understand it. (no one will know how many times you view it) The video was created by David Bolinsky and his team at XVIVO. It was nice to see that "David Bolinsky" actually has a sense of humor. See if you can catch his joke.

Follow the link to NPR

"It was interesting because we did it while he was sleeping"

A tad bit corny but he tried.

So anyway, wash your hands and cover your mouths when you sneeze. Try to keep your immune system strong by eating well and getting enough rest because you never know what's out there. And wish me luck..... I hate being sick more than I hate the cold!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sponge Bob Square Pants! Totally Rocks!

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Sponge Bob Square Pants of course....

Are you hip to Sponge Bob?

Among other things, it is currently Nickelodeon's highest rated show and the most distributed property of MTV Networks.

Frankly, the concept of a sponge hanging out in the underwater fictitious town of Bikini Bottom just totally scrambles my brain. As if I don't have enough animated stuff going on up there - you know what I mean? But the truth is, I like the show. Now don't get me wrong. I've only seen about 10 - 15 episodes and a movie or two so it's not like I sit around and watch episode after episode religiously. I'll confess though - one morning in Sydney Australia, I woke up early and turned on the tube. After catching up on the latest world news, I was looking for something mindless and refreshing. Low and behold, I stumbled upon a channel playing Sponge Bob. I plowed through about an hours worth. And that was before I had a cup of coffee.

After you get past the fact that some of the characters exceed the reasonable and tolerable level of stupidity, it's actually a pleasant and somewhat redeeming show!

So hear me out please; It's difficult for me to walk around being an advocate for a geeky nerdy guy with buck teeth, blue eyes, brown square trousers, and a bow tie. But I like the guy! We've all got our flaws.... He's just got about 9 or 10 really obvious ones. But I think he's cool!

Unfortunatley, the sad thing for me is - People are starting to question my credibility.

So just to be on the safe side, I started asking around to get an idea of what some other well-known and respected people thought of the little spongy guy.

I started by asking the "Black Eye Peas."

Here's what they thought:

Then I thought I'd ask the original "Slim Shady." Mr. Eminem!

Here's what he had to say:

So there you have it:

Sponge Bob Rocks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creative Ads! See U2 In Concert.....

U2’s performing in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl this weekend; Sunday, October 25th, 2009. Tickets are selling fast. You know it's going to be a great show. The Rose Bowl stadium is the proud home of the Tournament of Roses Football Game and UCLA Bruin Football. It's a National Historic Landmark that was built in 1922 and is also known for hosting five NFL Super Bowl Games, and the 1984 Olympic Soccer Matches. This has the makings of a tremendous performance. So get your tickets to see U2 before they sell out.....

But if you can't make it - Guess what?

Someone has come up with the great idea of streaming the concert live on YouTube.

Watch This:

Did you see the creative advertising?

First Global Concert Webcast on "U2ube"

Nice going guys!

The link for the concert is: October 25, 2009 - 8:30 PM (Pacific Time)

But here's the kicker!

Unfortunately, the concert is not available in some territories. Only YouTube users in the US, UK, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, India, Israel, South Korea, and the Netherlands will be able to see the live performance.

Unless of course, you're really - really - Creative!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ring "Da Bell" - Debell Golf Course Burbank, CA

A few weeks ago I had the chance to "Ring Da Bell." In other words, I played golf at Debell Golf Course in Burbank, CA. For years, locals have murdered the name "Debell" and called it "Da Bell." Kinda like "Da Bears!" I'm not mad at them; I think it's added a bit of charm and mystique to the course - sort of a Cheers flavor. And over time, the act of ringing "Da Bell" has become symbolic with playing golf there and something I look forward to doing.

About a few years ago, the course began renovations on a badly deteriorated clubhouse. And my recent visit was the first time I've played there since the renovations began. The renovations were completed in December 2008 and I've been eager to stop by since, so when a relative called and said he was in town I quickly arranged for a tee time.

The course sits high in the hills just above Burbank and you can usually get a last minute tee time unless there's a tournament going on. I've even had luck with walking on without much of a wait. As you drive up the canyon just past the shorter par 3 course, you can't help but notice the new construction. They did a nice job on the clubhouse. I guess that's what 9 million clams can buy you these days.

In the past, I've enjoyed playing at Debell. Generally the course is in good condition and it's secluded enough from the big city to allow you to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It's not uncommon to see all sorts of wildlife on the course. Anything from deer to rattlesnakes. I've even seen a coyote or two. It's a break from the typical Los Angeles municipal golf courses in design. There are a lot more trees in play and a dry ravine that runs through part of the course makes Debell an unforgiving experience for some golfers. Some of the par 4 holes are chopped up into 300 -400 yard tracks which are not suitable for a a driver off the tee box. I find myself taking two iron shots to get to the green. Sometimes it's a 6/8 iron combination and sometimes it's a 5/9 iron combination to reach the green. The greens are generally small and fun. I once heard Debell referred to as a "thinkers'" course. I think that's an accurate handle. It's very much a finesse course. Leave your driver in the bag for most holes. A tip if you ever play here - most of the balls break towards downtown Burbank. You'll know what I mean if/when you play here.

The 12th hole which used to be the 3rd hole- they've switched the front nine with the back nine- is the signature hole. It features a par 3 with a partially blind shot to the green. You'll either like this hole or hate it. Some players view it as a circus hole, others enjoy the challenge. I generally try to hit a high draw. I can usually avoid the face of the hill that obstructs the green. The problem is guessing where the flag is. Over the years, I've learned to take a look at the flag when I'm playing the prior hole.

So now comes the treat..... After you've putted out you get to ring "Da Bell" to signal waiting golfers that you have cleared the green. Remember, they can't see you from the tee box.

See that white dot out there? I love it when my drive is in the fairway...... I think I hit my next ball a bit fat.

This is the view from the #10 green looking back towards Burbank. You can see the Hollywood hills in the background.

A nice treat for all visitors is a newly added bronze statue.

The piece is titled Impact and was created by artist Shiela Cavalluzzi. After doing some research on the web, I found this link:

Cruise through the link, it tells a great story with nice photos.

Hole #18 finishes at the club house delivering a subliminal invitation for a nice refreshing beverage.

DeBell Golf Club is located at

1500 Walnut Ave. in Burbank.

(818) 845-0022