Friday, December 29, 2006

The Return of Pumpstradamus and The Bird - A Multimedia Extravaganza

Well folks, today December 29th is the 5th anniversary of the day I met Trophy Wife! Details about that fateful day are in the archives “Jemimah and the Sugar Plums” see January 24, 2006… Today is also the one year anniversary of the day I got hit in the head by a dead bird while driving through Florida. Therefore… we present that video clip, and more clips of other road trips throughout the year where my lovely wife always seems to remind me of my unfortunate Audubon encounter…

Also as part of our annual tradition, the Great Pumpstradamus visits us today for a chat about his predictions for the upcoming year. Today you will learn about Pump’s 2007 predictions…. After the panty less hijinks of Britney Spears and Lloyd Lindsay Lohan I asked the Great One who would be the next celebrity in 2007 to get caught without panties on. Sayeth the Pump: "Richard Simmons!" To hear the rest of the 2007 prognostications.. Click play!

Now time for the final week of regular season NFL picks… Last week we went 10-5-1... (The same as Pumpstradamus’s season to date record!) and we have improved to 13 games under .500 at 110-123-7.. Not bad considering we were a horrific -25 in the beginning of December… Here we go…

Giants 3 point faves over WASHINGTON - Not sure exactly why they are road favorites, but they do have a winning record away from Giants Stadium. A win here pretty much clinches a playoff spot..;. They could get in with a loss too if the other NFC 7-8 teams lose their road games.

Raiders 13 doggies over THE JETS - Remember, the Raiders always cover the huge spreads..

BENGALS 6 faves over Pittsburgh - Can you believe the Bengals might miss the playoffs because of that missed point after attempt last week? (They also might have lost that game in OT)

DALLAS 12 faves over Detroit - It would be nice to see the Boys lose, but I cant stand the Eagles either.

HOUSTON 4 faves over Cleveland - Did you see how bad that Houston field looked during the Rutgers bowl game? And will the Texans march out to the field holding hands like Rockettes like the Kansas State team?

Jacksonville 3 doggies over KANSAS CITY - The Chiefs historically play well at home in December, but they really arent too good this year.

Rams 2 faves over MINNESOTA - If the Giants lose, the Rams pretty much earn the spot with a win.. If the Giants win, the game means nothing and St. Louis will just play half assed like all the other wild card NFC pretenders have done for the past 4 months.

NEW ORLEANS 3 doggies over Carolina - Don’t forget if you send checks out for Katrina victims this weekend, it still counts as a 2006 tax deduction.

Seattle 3 ½ doggies to TAMPA BAY - At least Tampa Bay signed Chris Simms to a contract so fans there have something to look forward to.. If Seattle loses they would win the division with an 8-8 record.

New England 3 doggies at TENNESEE - Nice bounce back by the Titans.. But the Patriots are better.

Atlanta 8 doggies over PHILADELPHIA - Eagles also bounced back but I think the spread is a bit large.

BALTIMORE 9 ½ faves over Buffalo - I would have taken Buffalo to cover, but the Ravens are still playing for home field in the 2nd round.

COLTS 9 faves over Miami - The NFL has moved all the AFC relevant games to 4:15... Which means all the CBS shows are gonna start late Sunday Night! (Don’t get too involved in Without a Trace… you might miss midnight!)

San Fran 10 ½ doggies over DENVER - The Broncos need this for a playoff spot.. But the niners are a much better team than the last few years….. I think they will cover.

SAN DIEGO 13 ½ faves over Arizona - To paraphrase Pumpstradamus - The Cardinals pick the Pope.. So I pick the Chargers.

CHICAGO 3 faves over Green Bay - IN a bizarre twist, if the Giants and the other 7-8 teams lose, the Packers can earn a playoff spot if they win. If Green Bay loses, the inevitable Giants canning Coughlin press conference is postponed for another week. The game has no meaning to the Bears by the way….

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - Pumpie is 10-5-1.. This weeks pick is only available via the pod cast.. (Oh quit kvetching.. Its free!)


Thursday, December 21, 2006

TV 4th Quarter Report - 14 Shows That Entertained Me in 2006 - Part II

Well folks.. … Christmas is almost here.. Instead of repeating last year’s column about A Jewish Guide to Christmas Movies, just Click Here to go back to the archives where I write about my 3 traditional holiday movies. This year I don’t have an elf picture.. but we have Something Even Better!

By the way, Scrooged will air at 12 midnight Sat. night/Sunday Morning on The Family Channel., TBS will run a 24 hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” and NBC runs “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Sunday Night at 8pm.

I will have to skip IAWL this year.. because Sunday night I will be going to an Avi Maza concert… It‘s a fundraiser for The Highland Park Conservative Temple and Center (where I met Trophy Wife 5 years ago) which readers of this blog know was badly damaged in a fire last August. Here is more concert info - … And of course, they will be serving Chinese food - as they said in “A Christmas Story”…. fa ra ra ra ra. The Chinese PC Police say that everyone is allowed to laugh at that scene… except Rosie O’Donnell! Now I see she is in a war of words with Donald Trump after her comments on "The View" about his treatment of "troubled" Miss USA. That whole thing was a publicity stunt for his new season of The Apprentice. Now he wants to sue sweet Rosie for her comments about his $ problems in the early 90's, and he called her fat. Heck his dad ended up buying a ton of casino chips to get some cash into Donald's troubled casino. By the way, on that same episode that right wing nutjob Ms. Haselbeck goofball while speaking to Senator Clinton compared our staying in Iraq to taking an antibiotic - you have to keep doing it till the infection is gone. Huh?

Now time for part 2 of our “14 Shows that Entertained Me in 2006”… Today, we cover the cable shows.

1. MATCH GAME ON GSN - My favorite TV show of all time, it is a cultural phenomenon that just can’t be duplicated or explained. T’was the night before Thanksgiving, the Match Game DVD had just been released, and I visited 7 different stores in a futile attempt to buy it, only to end up in eBay hell! I bought it from this goofball on eBay and 22 long days later it finally arrived…and then I discovered that the 4th of the 4 disks… is defective! I cant blame the “power seller“ for that…. but I was quite ticked that it took so long to get here! The seller is one of those people who went to one of those “Make Money on eBay” seminars and ended up selling DVDs by hooking up with a dvd warehouse and a shipping company. The seller sets up the eBay auctions himself and then tries to make sure that the warehouse gets the stuff shipped out and delivered before the buyer gets antsy and goes for the negative feedback! Selling dvd's on eBay was a concept I mentioned in this column back on July 29th, (see the archives).

What really grinds my gears about this particular power seller is his policy that he will not leave positive feedback until he gets positive feedback from the buyer.. And.. if you give him a negative, . he sends one right back at you.. which is incredibly absurd because if you check his profile, he has sold about 70,000 items and you will see that in the last month alone he has 350 negatives and 350 neutrals… This means that people who paid him, didn’t get their product, and then complained in negative feedback, will find their percentage score take a bigger hit than the seller, even though the buyer lost his money!! It is so totally absurd that eBay allows this kind of practice! Anyway after numerous emails and some lying on the sellers part, I did get my dvd and being the positive feedback ho that I am, left him a snarky positive comment: “Good guy to buy from if you are not in a hurry to get your product; my dvd took 22 days to get here”. I’m sure some might criticize my positive score for this scoundrel.

Anyway, rumor has it that a new syndicated Match Game is coming out next fall - but I don’t know if this will really see the light of day. Deal or no Deal has spawned a big game show revival just like Regis’s Millionaire did a few years back. This week's 5 day run of "Identiy" is a good example - but don't you think it jumped the shark in the 2nd episode when Penn Jilette had that little guy on who won the jackpot? And didnt seeing the little guy standing next to the towering Penn make you realize that you now have the new Mr. Roarke and Tattoo for the next remake of Fantasy Island?

The 70’s Match Game worked because they got a well known host, who was smart enough to put his ego aside to play straight man to the B Listers who adorned the 6 seats. But it’s impossible to duplicate the Match Game magic from the mid to late 70s… because with the exception of Kathy Griffin, B list celebrities don’t want to admit that they are B-listers. Hollywood Squares had Peter Marshall playing straight man to his panel, but the Squares usually booked more famous celebrities.

Now if you get a host who is willing to play straight man, you might have a chance of having a show. Ryan Seacrest actually does this well when he plays 2nd banana to the singers and Simon Cowell.... But no remake will ever be as good as the original. And for those of you who weren’t around in the 70s, the premise of the show is very simple.. A sentence is read with a word left out and replaced with a “blank”.. Six stars jot down an answer; the contestant then has to give the same answer. Could it be any simpler? Check out this clip for an example…

2. THE FAMILY GUY - (Cartoon Network and TBS) - Absolutely brilliant and was left off last week’s network list because the Fox episodes get rerun pretty quickly on cable. Seth MacFarlane is a genius and his tale of a doofus of a father with a loving wife and 3 kids is a warped Simpsons featuring bizarre flashbacks and a talking baby and dog who happen to be the 2 smart characters on the show. Everyone hears the dog speak, but only the dog understands the baby….I just got on the show’s bandwagon last summer,… even the supporting characters are hysterical, the wheelchair bound Joe the Cop, the sexually confused soft talking Cleveland Brown, and the man ho Quagmire.

3. LARRY KING - CNN - The king of 70s talk radio and talk tv, his nightly chat fest may have a dull guest or two, but that doesn’t stop Larry from conducting the best interviews. He was ranked # 3 on my Top 14 Talk Show rankings.. behind Letterman and Carson. Over the years he has had his share of bizarre interviews such as Tammy Faye Bakker who sadly appears to be at the end of her rope with her battle against cancer. Larry holds his own with all kinds of guests including Roseanne Barr who got him to admit that he doesn’t have a clue about how the internet works. Its kind of strange - Larry is a great interviewer, because of the combination of his lack of preparation - and his natural curiosity.. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten curious about all the porn he can get free on-line!

4. DATING SHOWS ON MTV - Family Guy was my show in Summer ‘05 and Next and Parental Control were the TV highlights of Summer ‘06… along with “Why Can’t I Be You?” with Nick Zano which was THE best makeover show and seems to have disappeared off the network.. Of course if there was a regional TV Guide, I would know when its on.. But whatever the case may be.. all these dating shows owe their popularity to Chuck Barris who created the original Dating Game. Next is fun for its pure chutzpah and Parental Control gives the parents the big thrill forcing their kid’s detested boyfriend/girlfriend to watch a video of their kid on a date with a person the parents would prefer to see as the new paramour.

5. SHALOM IN THE HOME - I always like watching the Chabad Telethon for the Dancing Rabbis and the Ultra Orthodox hosts who are not very savvy about camera angles and video production in general due to the fact that they don’t watch TV. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who is the coolest Lubavitcher has been racking up the shekels with his books.. starting with Kosher Sex…. Now he gets a new wardrobe and an RV and gets to head out for a little Dr. Phil Orthodox Jewish style.

I really have to give Shmuley credit for tackling issues that undoubtedly make him uncomfortable.. He counseled a family with a Jewish guy that gave up his religion and converted.. And then there was the episode with the lesbian couple who was invited to the Boteach home.... with his 10 chasidisih kids. Well as it turns out, Shmuley informed us he has a gay brother, and it was nice to see that he is a lot more open minded to these people than what we saw in “Trembling Before God”. I haven’t seen SITH in awhile, so I don’t know if it is coming back again. I checked his website and there is no mention of new episodes,.

6. ENTOURAGE - The story of a Hollywood actor who hits it big and still has his 3 childhood buddies hanging out with him all the time. Matt Dillon’s brother Kevin is actually a great actor playing the ego maniacal frustrated actor “Drama”. In one of the funniest scenes on TV this year, Drama runs into some gangsters who hang him over a hotel balcony but as he faces possible death, he is thrilled when the guy who is threatening to kill him recognizes him from a past acting job.

7. THE SOPRANOS - Yep this was the year we got HBO and I was not sure I wanted to like this show.. But interestingly enough having also seen all 3 Godfather movies this year, and now a full season of The Sopranos, it appears that the program really does not glorify gangsters. I’m not that emotionally attached to the characters , but I did watch the season to see what all the hype was about.. And I guess the show is OK… It’s a total waste of newsprint that the Ledger had a weekly recap.. yet they don’t have a New York Rangers beat writer! The Rangers have been much improved the past 2 seasons.. yet the paper chooses to have a beat writer covering the Knicks… who are absolutely awful. By the way the reason Isiah Thomas wasn’t suspended for that disgusting fight that he instigated was because NBA Commissioner David Stern doesn’t want to suspend the man who will be doing the post game locker room interviews at the NBA Finals, after the Knicks fire that slimy smooth talking used car salesman sleazebag.

Three that would be here if it was a Top Ten List..- The now cancelled Rita Cosby and Lucky Louie plus Password on GSN. Cosby was a walking train wreck.. You just cant look away when she is on a roll.. Especially with her breathless excitement about stories created by news producers who have nothing better to do.. ie Natalie Holloway, the guy that fell off the cruise ship, etc. Nothing about the Holocaust going on in Darfur, or other important stuff. Nonetheless, her show was very freaking watchable.. especially her golly gee shazam fascination with the BTK killer who used the “k” from a kosher symbol for one of his taunting ransom style letters.

Lucky Louie was a sitcom that was so adult, I cringed for the parents of the actress who played the little kid. It was strange to hear the f word followed by a laugh track.. But the scene where the Kramer esque neighbor used Louie’s shower, and then walked right past poor Louie with his shmeckle sticking out was just so unexpectedly hysterical, especially since it had never ever happened on a sitcom before.. except behind the scenes on the Different Strokes episode with the molester in the bike shop. This is the same “I can’t believe I just saw this on a sitcom” shock viewers felt in the 70s when Archie Bunker was constantly shooting off his mouth with his “politically incorrect“ commentary. Incidentally, Lucky Louie was cancelled after one season.

Finally, Password is just a fun game..… I’m surprised they don’t try to remake it.. Its always amusing to see the same star appear on GSN reruns of Password Plus the same week as Super Password - Last week, John Astin was on both shows.. showing up with a big bald spot on Password Plus from the early 80s, but a full head of hair in the early 90‘s Super Password! Then again Entourage’s Jeremy Piven also has a lot more hair than he did in the Seinfeld episode he appeared on in 1993. It’s a Christmas Miracle!

Ok folks.. time for the wkly NFL picks.. last week we had our 2nd straight winning week going 9-7 and now we are 18 games under (we were –25 2 wks ago!) at 100-118-6. The Amazing Pumpstradamus lost last week and is 9-5-1. Here we go!

Minnesota 3 ½ point doggies over GREEN BAY – The game nobody sees on the wacky NFL Network that will air that wacky Rutgers bowl that no Cablevision customers will see.

Kansas City 6 1/2 faves over OAKLAND – Not even sure KC deserves this much respect… this may be the toughest pick of the week.

GIANTS 3 over New Orleans – I am still on the bandwagon for another week.

Titans 4 ½ doggies over BUFFALO – 2 teams streaking to the finish that should look even better in 2007.

Carolina 6 ½ doggies over ATLANTA – IF the Giants are winning, this will be a HUGE game for the scoreboard watchers.

ST. LOUIS 2 faves over Washington – The locals must be happy that Jason Marquis went to the Cubs.

Colts 9 faves over HOUSTON – Blame the Texans for the Rutgers TV fiasco – they own that wacky bowl game.

Baltimore 3 doggies over PITTSBURGH – That oughta put the kibosh officially on the Steelers much to the chagrin of Steelers fans and my buddy Brian whose father in law created the Nate the Dancing Elf video.

CLEVELAND 3 faves over Tampa Bay – Is this gonna be the Gus Johnson game? Great call on the miracle Lee shot in the Knick game Wed. night!

DETROIT 5 doggies over Chicago – Do the Bears really have anything to play for now that they have iced home field?

New England 2 ½ doggies over JACKSONVILLE – THE game of the week for Jets fans who should want the Jags to lose while Denver and the Bengals beat up each other in the wild card race. See Pumpstradamus below.

Bengals 3 doggies over DENVER – Im really down on the AFC West wanna-bes. Hopefully the airport is shoveled out so the Bengals get home for Christmas.

SAN FRAN 4 faves over Arizona – Another pair of mediocre teams that are still amazingly alive in the pathetic NFC Wild Card race.

San Diego 4 ½ faves over SEATTLE – The AFC teams are just so much better plus we could have an 8-8 team win the NFC West.

The Jets 2 ½ doggies over MIAMI – Huge game for the well coached team whose home field is Giants Stadium.

Philadelphia 7 doggies over DALLAS – The Eagles may win more games than the 76ers and the Flyers – combined!

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: Pump lost last week to fall to 9-5-1. This week in honor of the Family Guy's hometown of Quahog we will go to.. New England for the Patriots-Jaguar game. Sayeth the Pump: "Take New England because they are closer to The North Pole and Santa Claus. New England is 2nd in distance only to Seattle."

Next week: A special podcast chat with... Pumpstradamus

Thursday, December 14, 2006

TV 4th Quarter Report - 14 Shows That Entertained Me In 2006 - Part I

As we prepare to wrap up the year, its time for the annual traditions at NWOW.. first the final TV quarterly report of '06... and later this month.. the great psychic Pumpstradamus will appear to take a look into the future for what we will be seeing in 2007. This time for the TV quarterly report, we will do it as a Top 14 list... 14 shows that entertained us in '06... Part I features 7 shows from regular ol tv.. Part II features the other 7 on cable.

Back in the good ol’ days there used to be a little magazine called “TV Guide” which published regional editions each week that included local TV listings. In the early to mid 80’s the focus of the magazine’s articles started to change as an increasing number of TV consumers spent more time taping shows on their VCR’s and cable was becoming increasingly more popular…Remember when there was Wometco Home Theater - WHT - The Movie Network, or when TBS started all its shows at 5 minutes past the hour so it would get its own separate time listing?

TV Guide realized that people weren’t watching shows the way they used to… The local channels on 2-13 were facing increasing competition, and more people were taping shows for later viewing… assuming they knew how to program those pre-TIVO VCRs. And as TV Guide changed, so did we. DVDs have replaced videotapes, and since DVDs are so cheap to produce, TV shows now come out on collectors disks (Don’t even ask me about the Match Game dvd that I ordered 3 weeks ago on eBay and still hasn’t arrived!) As a result, “appointment TV” has virtually vanished. In addition, over the past year or two as more of us have dumped dial up for high speed modems, we are also watching more shows on network’s websites and/or itunes. Basically, listing a “time” for a show has become irrelevant,… TIVOs now just does the taping for you…. And sadly the idea of “listings” has succumbed to computerized color coded grids.

On to the list we go...

Broadcast -

1. 24 - Hands down the most intense show on TV - its serialized format has been imitated by a lot of other shows.. but now as it gets ready to launch season #6.. it has the copyright on action packed fun as the whole season takes place over 24 nail biting hours... And as the show gets older, the writers have learned how to make the 60 minute episodes more self contained.. yet they leave themselves enough wiggle room to allow themselves to change course mid stream while making the ending of episode 24 match up to episode 1.

One odd drawback for FOX... after trying to drag 24’s episodes over a September to May "traditional" season, the producers realized its better to just run the show 24 weeks in a row.. so it now starts in January and runs straight through May. However, its other hit show.. the mega popular American Idol (which did not make my list) also can only run through a finite number of episodes, so Fox has to contend with its annual dinky Fall schedule and then wait until AI and 24 come back in January to pick up the ratings slack of the first 4 months of the season. Survivor and The Amazing Race have been able to split its season into 2 competitions.. ... I know it would be impossible with 24... but maybe AI? Or maybe pair it up with the AI/Gong Show copycat with Regis - NBC’s America’s Got Talent? Heck, an AI episode got higher ratings when it went up against the Grammys, while one of the old AI winners was performing on that prestigious awards show!!

2. Heroes - The BEST new show of the new season is picking up in the ratings.. and if I’m FOX.. I’d do a major tivo ad campaign because 24 is gonna face a run for its money when it starts airing opposite Heroes. I plan to watch 24 live, and then watch Heroes on-line on Tuesday… I can‘t watch it right after 24... that hour after 24 is an hour of decompression... and my blood pressure cant take any more stress.. so unless its some fluffy lightweight David Caruso acting on CSI Miami.. I would just as soon catch Heroes the following night.

And what a brilliantly executed format.. it sounds silly as its premise. a bunch of people have super powers.. but it comes off far more sophisticated than the typical comic book mythology. The show is blessed with some charming actors like the time bending Hiro.. and some not so nice guys such as Nathan the sleazy politican and his brother Peter... who seems to have a jail bait thing going with that cute little cheerleader who also has a superpower that she may or may not remember since her dad has a way of erasing people's memories... That was the December cliffhanger as lovely young Claire realized that anybody who knew about her self healing powers.. seemed to have totally forgotten about it. The Lost fans are flocking over to Heroes because it does something else.. it moves the plot along and ANSWERS questions... while simultaneously creating new head scratching mysteries.

3. Lost - Speaking of which.. I watched every episode in 2006 and for the life of me.. I can’t figure out why. The plot really goes nowhere and the whole “Others” plot has turned into a massive sado masochist torture chamber. I did get a kick out of the cliffhanger at the end of the 1st half of the season where Jack performs life saving surgery on Ben (plastics Benjamin plastics) and stops mid stream and announces he’s just gonna leave him hanging there until he knows his pal and fellow prisoner Kate has been freed. The fact that Jack saw Kate doing the ol’ hocus mcpocus with Sawyer on a hidden cam? Priceless! However my patience continues to wear thin with this show.

4. Desperate Housewives - Another serialized show and the 4th of 4 shows whose recaps I read the day after on and The show seems to have found its way this season by focusing more on the craziness that envelops Marcia Cross’s Bree character including her wacky hubby Orson.

I also wonder what will happen with the storyline involving Lynette after she found some creepy pseudo kiddy porn in her new neighbor’s basement. I was hoping that she would go into the basement and find Betty Applewhite’s son chained down there like he was during Season 2.

5. The CSI Trio- Miami, NY and the Original - I usually catch the first two much more frequently than the Thursday night original. Miami has the legendary David Caruso - and this season the show has given a higher profile to Eva LaRue.. . She‘s not quite Emily Procter.. but they do give her some odd outfits which draws more attention to the silly crime stories that seem to always be solved during the same day .. Just like NYPD Blue used to do… It’s either that or LaRue‘s character has hygiene problems and doesn’t change her clothes!.

By the way did you know that in the 90s La Rue was married to John O’Hurley who played Peterman on Seinfeld and currently hosts Family Feud? Actually, the lovely LaRue is much older than she looks - she and O’Hurley are only 12 years apart. Also, LaRues sister Nika was one of many women photographed by convicted serial killer William Richard Bradford…. He had a thing for photographing women he met in bars.. His ruse? (or La Rues?) He would promise these young ladies that he would help them with their aspiring modeling careers… This story came out on the news just this past summer and CSI Miami producers were so sensitive to LaRue’s connection to this sordid criminal that they made a whole episode about it, and cast LaRue’s sister in that episode!

CSI NY might just be the best one - Gary Sinise is an excellent actor.. Not as much sex appeal as Miami.. but better acting and more interesting storylines. I really haven’t watched too much of the original lately.. I see that Grissom shaved off his beard.

6. The Law and Order trio - By a show of hands can anyone tell me who Steven Zirnkilton is? No googling allowed.. When it comes to this franchise, my L and O of choice is SVU with the Vincent Donofrio Criminal Intents running a close 2nd...

Here is one question about SVU… How much money does Richard Belzer earn… and why??? I happen to think Belzer is very talented.... He was great on Homicide,… but on SVU he has been delegated so far to the back burner that he makes only the occasional wisecrack and reminds me of old Hollywood Squares episodes where Peter Marshall would apologize at the end of the show to any stars who weren’t called on. (Sorry Wayland Flowers - I guess our contestants preferred Lester because Willie Tyler.... HAS TALENT!) By the way speaking of Hollywood Squares.. check out the panel on this clip from You Tube... The CBS FM oldies fans are gonna love this..., and check out the living legend in the Center Square!

Getting back to SVU, it has changed quite a bit since it first started - I think they had 6 detectives back then. But now its only the main 2 with occasional cameos by the other actors… and Belzer taking home more money each week than most of us make in a year.. for doing zippo! And as for the original… they probably should have retired the show when Jerry Orbach died a couple of years ago.. And I’m not such a big fan of the platooning they do with CI.. But I guess I can live with it… Donofrio’s the best TV detective since the days of Columbo,

7. How I Met Your Mother - the only network sitcom to make this list.. I recently went back to it after a brief dalliance with that absurd Deal or No Deal.. the game show that inspired NBC to dedicate its nightly 8pm hour to game shows and reality TV. D or No D has the dopiest contestants who simply don’t understand how to incorporate statistics into their choice to continue playing or quit… . One thing I have noticed while watching the show… I know all the model’s names.. even before Howie Mandel asks them to open the case. I must admit that Howie does a great job hosting this otherwise dopey game, and its popularity might lead to a game show resurgence that CBS was hoping for during last summer’s Game Show Marathon.

HIMYM is quite amusing - some feel it’s the best sitcom on TV although its ratings are not quite as good as the one joke Two and a Half Men. Neil Patrick Harris has hit a career resurgence ever since Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.. Imagine if they went to the one in South Plainfield instead and found it closed.. Would they have gone to Taco Bell instead and spent the rest of the movie sick on the toilet?

Three Shows that would have made the list if it was a Top 10 List:

American Dad, Game Show Marathon and The Nine. American Dad has not drained Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane of all of his creativity! Thank God! What other show has a Republican dad… two teenagers,… a captured alien that sounds like Paul Lynde and a goldfish with a German accent. Game Show Marathon also gets an honorable mention for bringing back some classic game shows on their old retro sets.

The Nine is a perfect example of how the continuing storyline/flashback genre has jumped the shark - the show started out with a bang.. Nine bank robbery hostages and how their lives intertwine after they are freed.. But all the big hullaballoo about the mystery involving one character and his pregnant girlfriend’s breakup during the siege turned into a big disappointment at his parent’s Friday night Shabbat dinner when he reveals he tried to escape the bank and left her behind. And the father is a Rabbi.. Yet they only say the blessing over the wine and challah on Friday Night? What kind of a Rabbi doesn’t say Kiddush? V’Shabbat Kodshachah b’ahavah oovratzon - Key the Zirnkilton baritone HINCHALTONOOOOO….. Zirnkilton by the way is the narrator whose voice you hear at the beginning of all the Law and Order episodes.

Happy Hannukah! And next week - The Seven Cable shows…

Now time for the weekly NFL picks.. Last week we were 10-6.. Now 20 games under .500 at 91-111-6. Pumpstradamus is 9-4-1... and has clinched a winning record.

SEATTLE 9 1/2 point faves over San Fran – The weekly NFL Network game that nobody gets.

ATLANTA 3 doggies over Dallas – Is this gonna be another NFL Network game? I like watching Cowboy losses – and Atlanta may be getting hot.

Philadelphia 5 ½ doggies over THE GIANTS – Fear not, fellow Giants fans.. Our boys will win.. but I think the spread is a just a bit steep, especially against the resurgent Eagles who know that the 9-17 choke job against the Giants may have killed their season.

Jets 3 doggies over MINNESOTA – Bounce back week for the jets in that wacky roller coaster AFC.

BALTIMORE 11 faves over Cleveland – Not a big fan of these huge spreads… or the Browns for that matter…

NEW ENGLAND 11 faves of Houston – Another biiiiig spread.

Miami 1 doggies over BUFFALO – They’re both so mediocre, the game will probably finish in a tie.

Pittsburgh 3 ½ doggies over CAROLINA – No line on this one in the Thursday Ledger due to the Carolina QB situation – so I’m using a friends office pool spread. Notice how nobody consults me for football pool advice? The Steelers may run the table and finish out of the playoffs at 9-7.. but look how much better the Penguins are doing!!

NEW ORLEANS 9 ½ faves over Washington – I just saw in the Washington Post this week that Skins owner Dan Snyder bought the last DC classical music station and flipped the format – now the football AND classical fans cant stand him.

TITANS 3 ½ doggies over Jacksonville – See Steelers running the table theory above plus Nashville fans have the Predators to root for – and theyre in first place!

CHICAGO 13 ½ faves over Tampa Bay – The Bears special teams alone will outscore the bucs.

GREEN BAY 5 faves over Detroit – yawn

Denver 2 ½ faves over ARIZONA – Don’t look now but the Cardinals have their first hot streak since Ford was in office – Not Gerald Ford – Im talking about Henry Ford when he ran the car company!

Kansas City 9 doggies over SAN DIEGO – just a wild hunch…

Rams 2 ½ doggies over OAKLAND – The Raiders are favorites? Woweee!

INDIANAPOLIS 3 faves over Cincy – I get the feeling a lot of people are going with the Bengals on this one.. but this game may not be as predicable as a long in booth chat Monday Night with Archie Manning.

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: This week we go to NJ.. The site of the origins of the Taco Bell e coli outbreak as the Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Sayeth the Pump: “Go with the Giants, in honor of the late Peter Boyle, who played a giant monster in “Young Frankenstein”.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Who's Sane for Person of the Year?

Its that time of the year again.. The big Time Life empire starts to give out their end of the year awards through its magazines, so let the speculation begin. Entertainment Weekly has its Entertainer of the Year.. maybe the cast of Heroes? Or how about Jerry Bruckheimer.. of the time travel flick "Deja Vu" who is singlehadedly putting CBS at the top of the Nielsen ratings? Or Dakota Fanning? Is she a real person or did they invent a time machine in the early 90s and she's really little Christina Ricci traveling here from the past?

I was also about to write a column questioning who would get the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award when I heard that they had already issued it to Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. That kind of surprised me - I had a few other people in mind including Tony LaRussa or Albert Pujols of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, or possibly LaDamian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers who is making everyone who owns him in fantasy football truly happy. Up until this weekend, I would have also made an argument for Rutgers coach Greg Schiano who was thisclose to getting onetime laughingstock Rutgers into a BCS Bowl - but the triple overtime loss last weekend kinda knocked him out of contention for that award. Nonetheless, Wade seems to be a rather surprising choice - Mad Dog Russo on WFAN speculated the other day that they would have given it to tennis player Roger Federer but he was out of the country and couldn’t make it to the award ceremony.

And who would I give the Time Magazine Person of the Year Award to if I had a vote? Well its definitely somebody who wont be in the country to receive the award!

Last year I posthumously picked Teri Schiavo because her feeding tube turned into a gigantic political hot potato. This year I would pick someone else who made an impact.

One of my favorite movies this time of year is “It’s a Wonderful Life” where the angel Clarence takes our hero on a tour of how life would have been had he never been born. Clarence could have taken the person who invented panties, but he would see he had no impact on Britney Spears. But if there was one person who really made an impact on 2006.. How about the person whose presence was a major issue in this years midterm elections that swung Congressional control from the Republicans back to the Democrats? Plus his trial was quite interesting for those of you like DAS who actually listen to NPR….

Therefore I would pick,….

Saddam Hussein! Just imagine how different life would have been this year if he wasn’t around. His trial was pretty captivating.. Hes gonna get hung sometime next year - hopefully that event will get into more homes than the NFL Network. And this whole disaster in Iraq which was the defining issue in this year’s election never would have been going on if he didn't create the mess there in the first place? Did anyone else really make as much of an impact this year?

Now on to the picks where we are 81-105-6 a pathetic 24 games under .500.... which reminds me.. 24 is back next month. Woo Hoo. Pumpstradamus has clinched at least .500 at 8-4-1.

This week for the hideous football picks we are doing something different.,… We are taking all the road teams on Sunday except for the Chargers! Maybe that might change our luck..

Giants 3 point road doggies at Carolina – I haven’t given up on ‘em yet! But one more loss and I think it’s hockey time.

Bills 4 point road doggies at The Jets – Have you noticed that every year the Bills or Dolphins always seem to have a late season hot streak? Sorry Jets fans especially after last wks losses by the Wild Card contenders out west.

Ravens 3 point road doggies over KC – This one I’m not too sure about, but the Chiefs have not been playing that well lately.

Atlanta 3 point road doggies over Tampa Bay– Any day now the Bucs will get Chris Simms signed to a long term deal so the Tampa fans have something to look forward to in the future!

Vikings 2 point road doggies over Detroit – Another yawner…. Only the fantasy footballers will watch on the dish.

Titans pick em at Houston – Notice how I raved last week about the Titans covering the spread and then picked the Colts – that’s called a Nate boo boo…

Colts pick em at Jacksonville – This week I don’t have to worry about the Colts covering!

Saints 7 ½ road doggies at Dallas – They barely escaped the Meadowlands last week.. I don’t think they can cover by a TD over the Saints.

Eagles 1 road faves over Washington – Great win on Monday Night! I wouldn’t want to be in Snyder’s luxury box at 4pm on Sunday afternoon….

Raiders 11 ½ road doggies over Cincy – If there is one thing I have done right this season, it’s taking the Raiders to cover the big spreads! This is the Gus Johnson game by the way – The Post says he and Clyde Frazier had a little off the air tiff last week during a Knick game.

New England 3 ½ point road faves over Miami – Keep in mind a Patriot loss combined with a Jet win… See Pumpstrasamus below…

Packers 4 road doggies at San Francisco – I have now left the 49er bandwagon although NFC teams at 6-7 after this week will still be contenders… The lucky announcers assigned to this one are Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson, Tim Ryan, and Laura Okmin. Laura Okmin?

Seahawks 3 ½ road faves over Arizona – Well at least the weather will be nice.

And the lone home team pick for Sunday – San Diego 7 ½ home faves over Denver – My impression of a Fan at the Jet Game Sunday – J-E-T- hey look the Chargers scored again!

Rams 6 ½ doggies over the Bears – Home doggies on Monday Night… And speaking of Monday Night.. what do I watch at 9pm Mondays in January since Heroes and 24 will be on against each other? Do I watch 24 and tape heroes? Or do I watch Heroes on the next day:? After all you need some time to decompress after these shows… Oy what a dilemma.

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: This week we go to Miami where Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano spurned the University of Miami and Donna Shalala and decided to stay at Rutgers. Sayeth the Pump: “Gotta go with Miami - they have my favorite store AND Dwayne Wade who I predicted would win the SI Sportsman of the Year award even though I never heard of him” Note from Nate: Miami Pump is actually in Fort Lauderdale! (On Power Line Road if you don't believe me)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

(Corle)One is the Loneliest Number: A Movie Club Column

Sung to the tune of “Oh Mickey”:

“Oh Britney you’re so fine
Your unpantied legs should intertwine
Oh Britney Oh Britney ”

Talk about a tough job.. How does a movie franchise that made 2 awesome movies in the 70s.. bounce back with a sequel in the 90s to a much loved piece of work? This was a question facing George Lucas when he tried to make the Star Wars Phantom Menace movie in 1999... But, from an NWOW perspective, that movie is soooo 2005... Kind of like the days when Britney Spears used to wear panties and all the universe didn’t know her personal grooming habits. And why is she partying with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan instead of taking care of her kiddies?

Today we are talking about another sequel that had a lot to live up to.. The Godfather Part III. This movie came out in the very early 90s…and it definitely pales in comparison to the first two films. Back in 1990 when this came out, a lot of critics blasted Francis Ford Coppola for casting his daughter Sofia in a major role in this movie,… As Mary, the daughter of Michael Corleone, many of the die hards consider her the Jar Jar Binks of this movie..

The first issue with this film comes in the very beginning with a timeline shot of our old pal The Twin Towers establishing that the movie takes place in New York City in 1979, some 20 years after the end of Godfather II when Michael Corleone killed his brother while on a fishing trip. The movie also features a nasty shootout in Atlantic City which is ironic since 2 columns back we featured a fishing headline and an Atlantic City trip. The issue with 1979 is did they make a mistake? Or is the movie taking poetic license by introducing a storyline involving the deaths of 2 Popes which actually happened.. but in 1978? Of course shows like The West Wing and 24 have “Presidents“. But these are not the real President,…. Those are examples of the writer using poetic license to create a fictional Prez like this movie may have done by creating fictional Popes. On the other hand, the 2001 sitcom That’s My Bush which amazingly is easier to find on DVD than the new oh so elusive Match Game DVD (released 2 weeks ago and still IMPOSSIBLE to find in NJ!) featured a moronic buffoon named Bush as President which is obviously very true. Speaking of That’s My Bush, do you think Kevin Federline will use those recent Britney Spears pics when he tries to get custody of their kids?

The movie starts like the other 2.. The Corleone Family hosts a big party and makes a 10 million dollar donation to a Catholic Charity. This film features prominent new characters including Don Altobello played by Eli Wallach who is still working in 2006 and will celebrate his 91st birthday this Thursday! There are also some striking similarities between this film’s opening party and the first movie. Both Godfather’s sons say “no” to a life of crime. And when an older teen idol Johnny Fontaine comes out to sing a song, the head of the family again retreats to his office to work… this time Michael has to address a dispute between his nephew and mobster Joey Zasa.. a scene that culminates with an ear biting performance that shows that Godfather III was on Mike Tyson’s Netflix list before his fight with Evander Holyfield.

The film focuses on Michael Corleone’s 2 kids.. .. now grown and possible heirs to daddy’s life of organized crime. His daughter Mary starts the movie by blatantly flirting with Sonny Corleone’s son… Sonny’s sonny.. Sounds like the catch phrase that catapulted Tom Hanks to stardom in Bosom Buddies. However, Sonny’s son Vinny is also Mary’s first cousin which makes the budding romance kind of creepy. Of course it works for Vinny since he aspires to rise within the ranks of the Corleone organization.

Sonny, played in the original by James Caan of Brian’s Song fame, was gunned down in the original movie at a toll plaza in a violent gun battle that seems to have replayed over Thanksgiving weekend outside that Queens nightclub when a man leaving his bachelor party died after 50 shots were fired by undercover cops investigating nightclub shenanigans, . Isn’t it interesting how Al Sharpton came in and got everyone all riled up BEFORE he knew the facts involved in the case? Now there are reports that there may have been a person with a gun in that entourage…. . And did Sharpton jump on the bandwagon because the young man was gunned down by 50 bullets OR because of another headline grabbing twist… that he was killed on his wedding day. I wonder if Shapton would have started his marches and protests if this gentleman had been killed by just one bullet. I think so because he could always seize the “gunned down on his wedding day“ angle. . Sharpton never met a headline he couldn’t resist; one of his protests was held outside a hospital where sick people need to rest and recuperate!

First of all… you shouldn’t have a bachelor party the day before the wedding.. You need to be sober and well rested to keep track of all the guests and the dancing and of course the envelopes! Secondly, the guy drove his car right into an undercover cop and then rammed his car twice! So maybe he was up to something involving the undercover investigation, or he was seriously intoxicated. Let’s say he was drunk…. While Sharpton talks about the young man’s legacy, its very likely that based on statistics of drunk driving car crashes, that another scenario was very likely to unfold. Based on his difficulty in getting the car out of its parking spot without striking a man and another car is it unreasonable to believe that he likely would have gotten into a deadly accident with his car? And what would his legacy have been then? Or the legacy of the young kid on a bicycle or innocent pedestrian who would have been hit?

Getting back to the movie, Michael’s son Anthony also has his scene announcing his decision to distance himself from the family business, by telling his padre in the beginning of the movie that he will not become a lawyer.. ostensibly groomed by Michael to replace Tom Hagen who “died” because Robert Duvall demanded too much money to appear in this film. Anthony instead decides to follow his dream to become a singer, yet his premiere night at the opera in Italy is like an episode of 24.. capped off with a massive shootout on the steps outside.. the most action seen on steps outside a building since the singles meat market that used to congregate outside of Bnai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side back in my single days.

Its interesting to compare Anthony to his dad in the very beginning of the first movie. Keep in mind that the first movie started with Michael Corleone telling his girlfriend (who would be the kid’s mom) that he would never get involved in his dad’s line of work. Would the kids succeed where Dad failed and steer clear of all the craziness? Unlike his dad, Anthony was able to follow through and stay away from all of the Corleone shenanigans, although hypothetically you wonder if there was a G4 movie, would he actually be working for the family?- What opera company would hire him after his family’s behavior at his Italian premiere? Shootouts on the steps? Another guy poisoned to death in his balcony seats?

But Michael so incredibly unlikeable in the second movie is the focal point in G3. Now that some 20 years have gone by since the brutal killing of his brother… (as opposed to the original where he brutally killed his brother in law in the end), Michael has a craving to legitimize the family business. He offers to make a deal with the struggling Vatican bank where he will bail them out with several hundred million dollars, if they use their board of director votes to catapult him to the head of Immobilare- an international real estate company that will make him a Gates-ian multi gazillionaire. And how did the Vatican Bank get into this pickle? Did they make a bunch of bad loans? Was their slogan - “When the Protestant Bank says no.. the Vatican says… Yes!” Of course things don’t go according to plan and we watch the unfolding of the 3 Popes era of 1978... Or 1979?.

Michael also faces his own mortality as his health starts going downhill. He is actually civil to his ex wife and at times sweet. His dealing with the Vatican is part of his attempt at redemption - he himself rationalizes his deal with the Vatican Bank by weighing the power to absolve debt vs. the power of forgiveness. But his attempt to escape the family business is short lived as his nephew Vinny continues to drag him in.. and Michael can only watch helplessly as his little ho daughter goes skipping around town showing off “My Cousin Vinny”.

Overall when you give this movie a rating it really isn’t fair to compare it to the 2 masterpieces that preceded it… But even if you look at it on its own merits its still way too long clocking on at more than 3 hours.. And the opera scene which had so much potential… enough to add a half or full bladder to the final rating…. lets us down by going on and on and on… Therefore on a scale of 1 to 4 bladders meaning how less likely you would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom.. Godfather III gets 2 bladders.

And now folks its time to announce our movie club‘s next anthology: A salute to the late Robert Altman with a look back at four of his classics. (assuming I can find them at Blockbuster)… M*A*S*H, Nashville, Short Cuts and The Player. To paraphrase Lindsay Lohan - I just hope the Altman columns are adiquate!

For Thursday’s NFL Pick - Take the Browns as 7 point doggies.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Houston! We Have a Problem!

Thanks to the NFL's decision to add a Thursday game on a network that nobody can pick up, we are moving our weekly football picks to Thursday….

It is quite a privelege to live in the NY Metropolitan Area - the sports capital of the USA. While other markets are lucky to have a professional team, we have 2 baseball teams, 2 football teams, 2 basketball teams and 3 hockey teams! Heck, even that wacko NASCAR wrecked rush hour traffic yesterday morning so these alleged athletes could drive through Times Square. It's all part of auto racing's attempt to give their alleged sport some big exposure in the NY City area.

This brings us to another point - College Football. I’m not a fan of the sport… I actually grew up in a home where we didn’t watch TV on Saturday so I never really got to see many games, and with all the other local sports teams who really had time to care? In addition, there never really was a big time college football team locally, so fans here are pretty lackadaisacal about the local colleges.

Now a strange situation has come up here in NJ… Due to budget cuts Rutgers had to lay off a lot of workers, and get rid of some of the sports programs there. But as all this is going on, the football team just gets better and better.

This weekend as Rutgers gears up for another big game, there are a lot of people affiliated with the university who are not too thrilled with all the shekels that go to the football program while the other teams are the real Cinderella stories.. I'm talking about Cinderella's day to day life before she went to the ball. If Rutgers wins, they go to a big New Years Bowl.. Probably the Sugar or the Orange. It might actually drag me away from the Honeymooners Marathon on Channel 11.

And if they lose?

Its on to the Texas Bowl, a rookie bowl whose first ever game will be played in Houston, and televised on the NFL Network.. The very same network many people futilely try to find on their cable boxes on Thursday nights to see the weekly game. I don’t even think its on any cable system here in NJ. I believe that NFL Network's NFL games involving local teams are simulcast on regular TV just like when Channel 9 carries the ESPN games when there is a game involving the Giants or Jets. I don’t know if that will be the case for the Rutgers game though. Basically this means that Rutgers will cap off one of their best seasons by going to a bowl that local residents won’t be able to watch. It’s all part of a big mega deal made between the bowls and The Big East football conference that in retrospect is rather boneheaded because it ends up keeping the game out of the NY Metropolitan market.

And if I am not mistaken that will probably be the ONLY bowl not shown in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Now time for the Pro Picks… we actually had a winning week last week going 9-7, but the season to date record is a lowly 75-95-6... Pumpstradamus is 7-4-1, and is a loss or tie away from clinching at least a .500 record!!

Here are the picks.. from the Thursday Star Ledger point spreads.,..

Ravens 3 point doggies over BENGALS – Until further notice I am on the Raven and Charger bandwagons.

GIANTS 3 ½ doggies over Dallas – This is the game of the year for the Giants.. if they pull another floperoo like last week, the season is pretty much done.. if they win.. they move back to first place in the division.

Jets 1 ½ faves over GREEN BAY – Have the Jets ever been road favorites in Green Bay?

CHICAGO 9 faves over Minnesota – Bears try to secure home field through the playoffs.

Tampa Bay 7 ½ doggies over PITTSBURGH – The Steelers more than a TD favorites? Heck no despite the Bucs lousy season.

RAMS 6 ½ faves over Arizona – Why do I get the feeling that the FOX pregame show will not be originating in St. Louis this week?

Indianapolis 7 ½ faves over TITANS – Tennesee has played a lot better over the last several weeks.. so I think they will cover.. but I doubt the Colts will blow a 21-0 4th quarter lead like another unmentionable team did last week.

MIAMI 1 ½ FAVES OVER Jacksonville – The battle of FL – Miami seems to be the team du jour.. but they will probably lull us all into picking them… and then lose.

San Francisico 7 doggies over NEW ORLEANS - I love the Saints at home. But I don’t think they will cover against these much improved 9ers..

Atlanta 2 doggies over WASHINGTON – Could be the week the falcons slump ends.

Kansas City 5 faves over CLEVELAND – Jets fans will be rooting for another lucky Brown win.

NEW ENGLAND 13 ½ faves over Detroit – They may have the spread covered in the first quarter.

San Diego 6 faves over BUFFALO – See the Ravens game above.

Texans 3 doggies over OAKLAND – Another CBS classic.. is this the game poor Knicks announcer Gus Johnson gets assigned to? Actually, the Knicks are just 1 game out of 1st place! (I don’t find out the announcers till the Friday USA Today comes out) See Pumpstradamus below

DENVER 3 ½ faves over Seattle – New QB at the helm.. for the Sunday Night NBC Primetimers - that new Grease reality show looks entertaining, don’t you think?

EAGLES 3 doggies over Carolina – Home doggies on Monday… Ill join the fun at 10 after Heroes… is this the neatest show or what? And what happens in January when 24 comes back??

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK – Pump attempts to secure at least a 500 record by going to Houston this week.. site of the aforementioned Texas Bowl where the hometown Houston Texans travel to the Oakland Raiders.. Sayeth the Pump: “I gotta go with Houston because I always watched Matt Houston with Lee Horsley back in the 80’s"

Friday, November 24, 2006

Fishing for Business? Try Casting a Pod!

Greetings from Atlantic City… the site of today’s column as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2006 here in beautiful South Jersey. Aside from the casinos, most shops were closed on Thursday, but after munching down some turkey brunch it was off to the Showboat. Trophy Wife plays the game show slots and I ventured over to the Taj to take some of Mr. Trump's money after a quick trip to the Boardwalk Dollar Store. By the way - keen observation about the Taj's blackjack tables on Thanksgiving afternoon - Was there anybody still in China on Thursday?

Today’s title reminds me of the hullaballoo about the government getting access to Google’s search records. Most guys google sexual terms and their names which is a clear giveaway to not only a person’s interests but his identity also! I googled my name one time and found an Australian fly fisherman who has the same name! Hence, today’s headline with the fishing analogy.

So one day I was sitting in my office minding my own business and I got a phone call from a gentleman named Pete Davis.. and the next thing you know I was a guest on the premiere episode of his podcast!

Lets be like Heroes and travel back in time a few months to the summer.. I had already done a few occasional pod casts on NWOW, and as I got the hang of it I decided I wanted to launch a new business related podcast too. I wrote up a few scripts about mortgages and finances with an eye towards an August premiere. The point of the podcast would be a regularly scheduled 2-3 minute commentary which would then be posted here on Blogspot after premiering a day earlier on Clickcaster..

I feel an odd kind of loyalty towards Clickcaster. I discovered that website in a very odd way. After I started syndicating my podcast through rss.. . I googled “Nate’s World of Words” one day and found my blog and pod cast episodes were being carried on the website. Boy was I honored; and the more I saw of that site, the more impressed I was. Y'see when I do a podcast here on NWOW, I store my audio files at a site called Streamload, and then I type in html codes into my blog which creates the handy dandy embedded player - or the option to click the column's title to get to the audio and/or video on the reader's default media player. The problem is…. Streamload was recently taken over by a company called Media max, and during the transition period I was having a lot of trouble with the embedded files I have here that link directly there. I still can’t get Jacquie Jordan part II back on-line via media max because the file has a mix of audio and video.. Yet it worked perfectly well when it was on Streamload.

One of the cool things about Clickcaster - you just upload audio or video files directly to their website and they do the rest... no html codes to type,.,... its easy as can be! Woo hoo. it was almost like Apple computer had invented it.. it was so easy.. yet an incredibly copy-able concept!

I have been doing the new podcast for the last few months.. I carry a microphone in my computer bag and my co workers know that when my office door is closed, I am probably recording a new episode. The audio file is then uploaded to Clickcaster, and then a day later here on blogspot. One advantage for Blogspot that Clickcaster doesn't do anymore - I can program the audio file so it plays on a listener's windows media player and displays my contact info as part of the name of the audio file! This is a very important component to drum up business. While the listener hears the episode - the phone number shows up in the official title when its downloaded to an mp3/ipod or zune. Pretty nifty, eh? All I do is include the contact info when I name the audio file.

I just started it a few months ago, and this kind of venture takes awhile to catch on, so it is still too early to see if this is going to work out. However I still monitor the demographics on MySpace, and as the age group there edges past the under 25 crowd, I can foresee a lot of businesses posting podcasts there too. - Heck, Charles Nelson Reilly has a myspace page… and he is in his mid seventies! Keep in mind, the music industry has been using myspace as a marketing tool for quite awhile and has made a lot of money from it!

One day I get a call at my office from a guy named Pete Davis who said he had just heard my podcast! I knew it wasn’t an NWOW Podcast because I have never given out my work number on it. He told me that he just started doing a podcast about businesses that use podcasts to bring in new customers. He also is a big shot with Clickcaster and he invited me to be a guest on his show. We taped it, and it has now been posted at Interestingly enough, he was very interested in this blog, even though the show was about the mortgage podcast. That interview is now available for your listening pleasure by CLICKING HERE . Special thanks to my old radio pal Jacquie Jordan who wrote the book "Get on TV", for providing me with some excellent pointers on how to be a good guest.

I hope you enjoy it.. And now lets go to the football picks…

66-88 so far this season….and after thurs 1-2 for the week. Blech!

JETS 6 faves over Houston - The spread is a tad large but the Jets are still clinging to a slim playoff hope.

Giants 3 faves over TITANS - Keep in mind that if the Giants win and remain tied with Dallas, a win against the Cowboys next week would ice the division. As long as the Giants don’t look ahead like I am….

Saints 3 doggies over ATLANTA - 2 very enigmatic teams.. The Saints do play decently on the road however…

BALTIMORE 3 faves over Pittsburgh - Last night’s Chief victory puts the Steelers in a tough spot since they pretty much would need to run the table to make the playoffs.. Nine wins in the AFC wont be enough and it looks like it all ends in Baltimore.

Jacksonville 3 faves over BUFFALO - After what they did to the Giants.. What kind of chance would you give the Bills?

NEW ENGLAND 3 faves over Chicago - This has been a heckuva road trip for the Bears.. But New England is no Giants Stadium… See Pumpstradamus below

Bengals 3 faves over CLEVELAND - The Bengals also have a tough road to the Wild Card… but it looks less unlikely than the Steelers plight.

MINNESOTA 6 faves over Arizona - Amazingly the Vikes like the other 4-6 NFC teams are still very much alive for a wild card.

San Francisco 5 ½ doggies over ST. LOUIS - Another team whose bandwagon I have jumped on - San Fran actually has a shot at a playoff berth in that oh so mediocre NFC.

Carolina 4 ½ faves over WASHINGTON - Long day for the Skins fans… Anybody notice the Capitols are tied for the most overtime losses in the NHL? And only 3 teams in the league have not lost in OT and they are all in the Pacific Division.

Raiders 13 ½ doggies over SAN DIEGO - Notice how the Raiders always lose but cover the big spreads?

Philadelphia 9 doggies over COLTS - My theory about teams that lose their QB and then face a huge deficit the following week? There are other players on the team also…and I think they will rise to the occasion! Therefore, the Eagles will lose.. but will make it respectable.

SEATTLE 9 ½ over Green Bay - Is Heroes a repeat on Monday? Did they save the right cheerleader??

Today in honor of Thanksgiving weekend we present the Pocahantostradamus Pick of the Week: Pump is 7-3-1 and with a win this week will clinch at least a .500 record! For the game we travel to Plymouth Rock where the Mayflower arrived - and the New England - Chicago game.. Sayeth the Pump: "Plymouth Shlymouth - Lets hear it for those heroic cops who put their lives on the line over Thanksgiving during that Chicago hostage standoff - in their honor, I take the Bears!"

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thoughts for Thanksgiving 2006

Boy do I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.. First and foremost - Trophy Wife!! Then there is other stuff.. Like the new Match Game DVD which came out this week and is quite impossible to find,… and of course for FOX for canceling that absurd OJ Simpson “let me pat myself on the back for getting away with murder” special… and ... the focus of today’s column… 2 fellow Jewish men….… one who I appreciate.. The other - a man whose opponents I appreciate. Both men are nice Jewish boys.. Multi gazillionaires,…. keep Kosher, and try their best to have Shabbat meals with their family.

I’m very thankful for the first person - Sacha Baron Cohen - I’m still cracking up after seeing Borat. The movie has been out for about three weeks, and the more “lawsuits” I see being filed against him, the more I think he has outsmarted his audience with a totally scripted “spontaneous” movie, as it appears to me that these suits are all part of his shtick. USA Network should not have run that old Law and Order SVU rerun the same wknd of the film’s premiere since it looks like the actor playing the news anchor was the same guy playing the dirty cop - thus tipping me off that this movie may not quite be as ad libbed as one would think!

But even though I am still chuckling about the last shot at the rodeo some three weeks later, I still must admit that there may be some misguided fans who think the movie is Anti-Semitic. I agree that even though the actor playing Borat is Jewish, it doesn’t give him a free pass to make Anti-Semitic comments. However the context shows me that Cohen is not being a self hating Jew.. And don’t get me wrong.. we have a lot of those!. Back when Saturday Night Live was funny, Eddie Murphy did a memorable bit where he put on white makeup and watched people on a bus react negatively to the presence of other black people. That’s the same shtick Borat does - he makes bizarrely anti-semitic (or anti-gay) comments with a straight face and baits the other person into wholeheartedly agreeing with him, and expanding on the topic.. all this going on while the audience sits in shock amazed at how this kind of Jew hatred exists in 2006 America. . Its almost like getting the kind of confessions that Mike Wallace used to do in his 60 Minutes heyday… get the person comfortable and then manipulate him into speaking his mind, (And I see 60 Minutes has already removed Ed Bradley from the opening sequence!)

I only wonder who Cohen’s next undercover character is going to be… and what new confessions he will extract.

Speaking of people speaking their minds without using their brains first… can you believe Michael Richards n-word on stage meltdown last weekend? I’ve been watching the reaction to his comments that were sparked by hecklers who kept interrupting his stand up routine at a West Coast comedy club. (Keep in mind if you went to a persons place of work and kept heckling and interrupting while he was trying to do his job he would probably smack you in the head!) I had been looking to make a point in today’s column and the Richards situation is a perfect example..

With that in mind, note the reaction when Fox came to its senses and decided to cancel its 2 hour sweeps special interview with OJ Simpson. I am surprised that they also cancelled the publication of his book too. The Simpson case has been so racially polarizing… and I just don’t understand it. To this day, it still makes no sense why anyone white or black would support this guy who is guilty with a capitol G and only got off because a moronic jury just sat there blank faced and refused to even discuss the DNA evidence that pinned him to the scene of the crime.

And what is more offensive? Richards nasty comments at the hecklers, or Simpson sitting in front of a TV camera boasting about how he would have killed the mother of his children and this poor Ronald Goldman. Personally I find the Simpson commentary to be a nasty mean spirited attack on the Brown and Goldman families, yet many who still stand behind Simpson all these years later may be more offended by Richards, because he used the most offensive word in the black community. Personally, I find it strange when blacks call each other “N Word”.. but I think the c word is more offensive, except for the Cat song on the Triumph the Insult Dog CD. Do you ever see 2 women in an elevator saying.. “Hey C-word.. Whats happening sister?”…. “Oh nothing c-word.. How about you?”…

The 2nd person for today’s Thanksgiving column… is the reason why Edison and other towns are voting down eminent domain. . Now I am not singling out developer Jack Morris but he is a symbol of the problems with Eminent Domain in New Jersey. The Sunday Star Ledger did a whole profile about Mr. Morris that revealed some interesting tidbits. He graduated from Highland Park High School… just like the former pitcher Jack Morris whose 10 inning Game 7 shutout helped the Twins win the 1991 World Series. Morris the Pitcher’s school is in Minnesota and is called Highland Park SENIOR High School.. But nonetheless, it’s a nifty coincidence. He is also only 41... I always thought he was much older like in his 50s…. 41 is young.. I think that’s around my age.. but I forget.. I think I was born the same day and same year as Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights.

For those of you not aware of how horrible eminent domain is.. here is a quick lesson: You have a house.. A developer comes along and wants to build something there that will make him a lot of money… He donates a lot of money to politicians, next thing you know the town comes in to buy your home so it can be knocked down and then the developer gets his way. Sometimes these homes are knocked down for other alleged reasons,…. But there is almost always a more profitable project waiting in the wings. They recently tossed out a family from their Piscataway farm - now every time I drive by I see big signs erected on this farm about Open Space for Piscataway.. I wont tell you what the bookies have set for the over/under before Morris or one of his cronies get their mitts on that piece of land.

CSI Miami did a show about a crime victim who was using eminent domain to toss people out of their homes. But the developer in the episode was a bit of an extreme caricature of the real thing.. Almost like the villainous Mr. Potter from It’s A Wonderful Life, he would mock the residents as he offered them lowball offers for their homes. Developers don’t mock the residents when they make lowball offers… at least not to their faces.

Here are some tidbits from The Ledger article about Morris:

*Eats Kosher lunches prepared by his mom.

*Spends Shabbat meals with his family.

*He has donated a lot of charity to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and an organization that helps the mentally disabled.

* Seniors living in South Plainfield have been threatened with a lawsuit if they continue to oppose his new development that they feel is too close to gas lines… And when a person with deeper pockets threatens a lawsuit.. regular folks know they wont be able to afford the growing legal bills. By the way houses blow up when pipes are laid too close to gas lines.

*His old hometown of Highland Park is also being threatened by a lawsuit.. (can’t wait to see the tax bills needed to pay those legal fees)… He wants to build 22 houses in a wooded area there.. But the town wants to keep the woods just the way they are. Here come the Morris lawyers… this has been going on since 2001.

*The mysterious reappearance of PCB laced concrete from the now closed Edison Ford plant is now showing up on the grounds of other projects he is building.


*Franklin Township in Middlesex County was minding its own business…. Morris comes along and wants to build a Home Depot and a townhouse community. The town said nope, because there was other stuff on that land that Morris wanted them to take away through…. Drum roll… Eminent Domain. All subsequent Morris requests were shot down by the Mayor who was also campaigning for re-election. Well the next thing you know.. 125,000 dollars were donated to the Mayor’s opponent for his own advertising campaign …. The mayor eked out a win by 150 votes.. But the makeup of the board went from 5-4 to 7-2 giving Morris a little more leverage, not to mention a barrage of moving truck ads sent to any resident who has the audacity to live in a home on land coveted by Mr. Morris and his co-horts.

In the last paragraph of this fine fine article written by Matthew Futterman and Suleman Din, Morris says that if there was a pill he could take to stop buying and selling real estate he would take it. That pill might be the only motivator to get him to stop what he is doing. How about this for a motivation? Is this kind of lifestyle MORAL? How many people will not be at their homes this Thanksgiving, because they lost them due to eminent domain that tossed them out on their asses because a rich developer wanted to get another million dollar notch on his belt? Incidentally, this all started for Morris when he took his Bar Mitzvah money and bought his first property. How many guests from that fateful day in 1978 wished they had gotten him a fountain pen instead?

That’s why this Thanksgiving.. I am thankful for the happiness brought on by SBC… and the homes that are being saved by the people who fight Eminent Domain.

Now on to the picks….

We are now 66-88 after yet another 7-9 losing week!! For the Turkey Day Tripleheader lets go with the Lions (3 point home doggies against Miami), the evil Cowboys (11 home faves over Tampa Bay) and The Broncos.. (a pick 'em on the road over Kansas City) in the Thanksgiving Night game on The NFL Network which I don’t think I have on my cable system. I’ll probably be watching the Match Game DVD.. Assuming I can find it!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! And if you want a profitable one.. don’t use my picks on Thursday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Nate's World of Words Bloggiversary - Two Dozen Classics Part II

As part of our celebrations of our 1 year anniversary here in the blogosphere we continue our look back at 24 classic columns here at NWOW. Today, Part II of the second dozen classics culled from a look back at our first year here.

1. April 18-21, 2006 - PODCAST CHAT WITH JACQUIE JORDAN PART ONE. a two part extravaganza with my old radio broadcasting chum Jacquie Jordan who wrote a fantastic book called Get on TV. PART TWO features the infamous Soap Opera Softball that Jacquie spoke about in the first part of our chat. In an upcoming column, I will tell the story of how I was picked to be a guest on a pod cast hosted by a gentleman named Pete Davis. My ability to sound like I knew what I was talking about was thanks to the tips from Jacquie’s book, a must read for anyone who is a guest on a TV show, radio show or pod cast. Take a look at our new format for audio podcasts!

2. April 28, 2006 - THE NEWSCAST WITH GILBERT GOTTFRIED - In conjunction with Gilbert Gottfried being annointed the World’s Most Unsexiest Man, we presented this infamous radio show from the 1990s when I attempted to deliver a straight newscast while Gilbert was heckling me in the background.

3. May 12-17, 2006 - THE TOP FOURTEEN TALK SHOW HOSTS PART ONE Following in the tradition of Top Fourteen lists, this two part column was inspired by an article on MSN that Danger Spouse emailed me to with a giant question mark!. PART TWO included a trip down memory lane with the live Donahue episode where I sat in the audience looking bored. . I think the Leno and Oprah fans will disagree with my rankings. Its gonna be a long time before legends like Carson and Letterman come around again.. Did you catch Impressionists Week on Letterman? Did Rich Little and Fred Travalena have plastic surgery? They look younger than when they did on Hollywood Squares back in the 70s!.

4. May 25, 2006 - MY WACKY LOST THEORIES - Ok is the current three month hiatus the shark jumper for Lost?.. Personally, I am growing increasingly frustrated with the layers of unsolved mysteries. Maybe the Lost writers should start watching Heroes during the 3 month hiatus, so they will see firsthand how a show resolves some of its mysteries to keep the audience happy. The May 25 column unveiled my theory of what the show is about… Nowadays, I’m more reluctant to reveal any more theories since it appears that the writers make this crap up as they go along. Nonetheless, I still think the Others are not really bad.. Kind of like the Cheerleader‘s Dad on Heroes.. Oh wait.. They answered that question already, didn’t they?. I did get a kick out of ABC’s promo that used the Others underground set with the closed circuit television monitors to show scenes of the new Taye Diggs show - “Groundhog Day - The TV Series“..

5. June 28, 2006 - THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL COLUMN! Never in a million years did I realize that friends of one of the nominees for the Ann Coulter Jerk of the Week Award would google their way to my little ol’ blog! One of the nominees… but not the winner… was the family of a gentleman who disappeared last summer, and now some relatives want him declared dead, meaning the step mothers marriage would not exceed the magical pre nupped 5 year mark causing her to lose millions of dollars. . Forty one comments were posted here.. and even more were posted on a very popular hippity hop blog where this “friend“ posts comments.. Here at NWOW, all comments go through my email first, and I had to delete more than half of them due to some pretty vile language. The man who organized the onslaught also posted comments on the other blog trying to rally his pals to attack my blog - but cooler heads prevailed on that message board as other posters convinced this character that here in America a person is entitled to his own opinion. I still stand by my original opinion. . By the way those relatives were just nominees.. Can you imagine what would have happened had he actually won the award??

6. July 17 and 20, 2006 - MY CHAT WITH DAS FROM DAS BLOG PART ONE and PART TWO Luckily I timed this chat a few months before the election as we chatted about the difference between liberal Democrats like DAS and normal Democrats like me. Just kidding, DAS is actually a very nice guy and just in case you missed his comment a couple of weeks ago.. he actually has voted Republican more times than me! Here stacked like bunkbeds are Parts I and II

7. August 10, 2006 FAIR-Y TALES - A MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA This was the column featuring tales from the infamous Sussex County Farm and Horse Show featuring video files of Johnny Maestro of The Brooklyn Bridge and an audio file of some of the strange characters I found at the Fair back in the radio days of the early 90s.. Plus thoughts of the fair by radio and blog legend Danger Spouse. .

8. August 24, 2006 - A RARE PERSONAL COLUMN - I am not one to use a blog as a personal diary.. But August 24th got off to a crummy start when I got word that my Temple was on fire. That was the building where I met Trophy Wife!! I decided to jot down my thoughts throughout the day as more news was unfolding about the damage caused by the blaze. Now, three months later the building is still closed, although it appears at least part of the building could be usable in 2007, but no word yet on the future use of the badly damaged sanctuary which has a gaping hole in the floor. .

9. September 14, 2006 - TIME MANAGEMENT - Another true story -a happy one this time… showing yet another reason why Trophy Wife is the best wife! Once again, she outsmarted me. By the way as a result of the aforementioned Time Management seminar I have gotten a lot better managing my time, I’d love to tell you what I’ve done in that regard but I am running late and I still need to do my football picks so the column is up by Friday afternoon.!

10. September 20, 2006 - THE LUST COLUMN - I never ever ever wanted to be a Rabbi… but if I was.. This would have been my speech at the High Holy Days. This was my argument about how our drooling over hot women should be put in the proper perspective. . Some people might disagree with my ideas here, but I think this column made some very good points.

11. September 28, 2006 - THE PODCASTING TUTORIAL Another one of my favorites… I decided to do my part to make the complicated process of pod casting a bit easier. Once you get the hang of it, pod casting is not as complex as it looks. We don’t help with subjects for future podcasters, but we tell you step by step how to get it from your microphone to your mp3/ipod/zune (for those who bought one the first day!). As I mentioned earlier I will be doing a column next week about how I ended up on a pod cast about pod casting…

12. October 26, 2006 - And finally to wrap up the Bloggiversary…. THE NWOW TV FALL PREVIEW Here's irony.. the 24th column on the list is about the TV season, yet it doesn't mention the best show - "24"! Didn’t it suck this year that there is no more TV Guide Fall Preview like the good old days? Granted the TV Guide website is quite entertaining.. but life isn’t the same since they dumped the regional listings format. Once the Mets season ended.. it was time to look at the new shows of which only 2 caught my attention. Heroes is just fantastic and gets better and better each week.. The Nine is a soap opera about the ongoing story of 9 people who survived a hostage ordeal during a bank robbery, but the show’s best parts are the flashbacks to the hostage drama which just contrasts how plodding the rest of the plot is. And what’s the deal with the pregnant girl making sweetie eyes at the bank robber while her boyfriend welcomes impending fatherhood while doing the ol’ hoochie mcscoochie with another ex-hostage?

And there you have it.. 24 columns that define this blog… Now its time to embark on year #2... We will soon have our Godfather III Review.. And then the announcement of our new movie anthology,.. Plus more of Pumpstradamus.. We‘ll chat with him next month about his 2007 predictions..

Now time for the football picks where last week we were 5-11 dropping to a humiliating 59-79 Pumpstradamus is 6-3-1 By the way, not to make excuses.. but I am.. look how even all these teams have become. Check out the standings Monday to see how many teams will be 6-4, 5-5, and 4-6. That’s parity!!

Bears 7 faves over THE JETS – Wow, what a win for the Jets last week. But the Bears gave the Giants a can of whoop-ass last Sunday and now they are returning to the scene of the crime!

BALTIMORE 4 faves over Atlanta – Hello everybody else on the Ravens bandwagon; my name is Nate and I am a new member here.

DENVER 3 faves over San Diego - If the Chargers pull this one out.. I may jump on their bandwagon too.

St. Louis 7 doggies over CAROLINA - I don’t think the Panthers will cover by a TD.

Pittsburgh 3 ½ faves over CLEVELAND – OK… the Steelers bounced back last week.. Can they make a race for a wild card in a conference where the Jets are contenders?

New England 5 ½ faves over GREEN BAY – The Patriots lose 2 in a row and sign Vinny Testaverde? They shoulda signed Peter Griffin…. Shipoopie Shipoopie!!

Minnesota 3 ½ doggies over MIAMI – All of a sudden the Dolphins are such a great team? The Vikes are one of 8 NFC teams that are either 5-4 or 4-5 which makes this a big game for their wild card hopes.

Buffalo 2 point doggies over HOUSTON – The guy in the Ledger has a great line about the Texans.. “they’re just a step below mediocrity, and once you’re mediocre… you’re a contender”… Imagine if DeNiro had said…”I coulda been …. mediocre!”

Raiders 10 point doggies over KANSAS CITY – The Raiders are .500 against the spread… and the Chiefs are welcoming back Trent Green.. that oughta give The Raiders a decent chance to cover.

NEW ORLEANS 3 ½ faves over the Bengals – Pick against America’s Sweethearts at home? Never. See Pumpstradamus below…

PHILADELPHIA 13 faves over Tennesee – Ya think the Eagles are still kicking themselves for the September 17th meltdown against The Giants? They look strong and that loss could mean the difference between wild card and division winner.

Washington 2 ½ faves over the TAMPA BAY – Woulda been the snoozer of the day, but…

ARIZONA 2 ½ over Detroit – Wow.. who are the lucky announcers for this one? Will the mothers of Ron Pitts, Kevin Donahue and Kevin McCabe even watch this?

Seattle 4 faves over SAN FRANCISCO – Another wannabe will drop to 4-6.

The Colts 1 faves over DALLAS – So the big machers that make the spreads think the Colts win streak ends here? Not so fast – plus Dallas better not get too beat up... they have another game 3 days later.

Giants 3 point doggies over JACKSONVILLE – You think Coach Couglin has feelings about his former team? I don’t think he has a sentimental bone in his body! And watch how his special teams will cover punt returns and missed field goals!

PUMPSTERDAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: Pumpie is now 6-3-1.... and this week in honor of Rutgers playing against Cincy, we go to Cinncinati for this week's pick in the Cinncinati-New Orleans game....Sayeth the wise one: "Take the Bengals just like that old song.. “Walk Like an Egyptian!”".. Note from Nate.. Uh that was the Bangles…

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Nate's World of Words Bloggiversary - Two Dozen Classics Part I

Greetings from Central New Jersey - the College Football Capitol of America! I am just applying the finishing touches to this column as the sound of celebration continues to emanate from nearby Rutgers Stadium. Mazel Tov to the Scarlet Knights for their huge win against the Cardinals! Do you realize that if they win their remaining 3 regular season games they could be playing for the national championship? My friend Mike Roth just bet me that Rutgers will be on the cover of next week's Sports Illustrated. Amazing!

It was exactly one year ago today that this blog premiered with my adventures of watching the Star Wars movies in chronological order. Today we present the 75th column! .. Feel free to count ‘em if you don’t believe me!… Last year, I had been thinking of writing a blog for awhile, AND I had also been thinking of seeing all 6 Star Wars movies. Who knew that the two concepts would merge thus leading to the creation of this blog! .

Oddly enough, or maybe as part of the celebration, tonight Cinemax will be showing all 6 Star Wars movies in chronological order! I think that is very noble of them and I appreciate the recognition. Coincidence? Nah.

Today we take a look back at the archives at the 24 columns that define this blog. All Six Star Wars Movies have been seen and written about…. Our movie club has now moved on to the Godfather Trilogy and I will be posting my Godfather III review soon, after which we will also be announcing the series of movies for our next anthology.

So without further ado… let’s take a walk down memory lane to see the columns that define Nate‘s World of Words:. Click the link to check out the column.. The audio and video files are embedded right here on the page! Enjoy!

1. November 10, 2005 - THE GRAND PREMIERE - My first trip to the blogosphere… . On the following day - November 11th was really when the fun started. That was when I started my rule of screening the comments section. I learned the lesson when an old chum who shall remain anonymous (hint: radio buddy Dangerspouse) posted a “funny” long forgotten comment that some might not have found so funny, and may have been a bit off color.. Nowadays all posted comments go through my email first. Don’t get me wrong,… Dangerspouse is a great guy.. But sometimes America is not quite ready for his humor…

2. November 21, 2005 - THE FIRST MOVIE REVIEW - My first movie review… of the 1st Star Wars movie.. And the reintroduction of the bladder scale that I used to use when I did reviews on the radio back in the early 90s.. Nowadays, I don’t review new movies on that scale since I don’t like including spoilers that might give away the plot, so the reviews are basically left for the older films, Incidentally this movie got 2 and a half bladders out of 4... And as you can see, I totally missed the point of … THE FORCE!

3. November 30, 2005 - MY FIRST TECHNOLOGY SCHMECKNOLOGY CONSUMER REVIEW This column also featured my first experiment at pod casting with an old radio clip with myself and Dangerspouse from the early 90s. Ironically it revolved around a story he told about a radio contest to see if people could remember our names. Was it true? Click below to hear it. The consumer review involved my adventures in purchasing my snazzy digital camera. Speaking of podcasting, this is where it really started. Today I do a regular podcast, and I was just a guest on another podcast talking about how to use podcasts for business promotions. I will talk more about that next week!

4. December 21, 2005 - THE FIRST FOUR BLADDER MOVIE REVIEW This was the column that featured a Jew’s Guide to Christmas Movies! Also, we showed that the camera reviewed in the 11/30 column had been put to good use as Trophy Wife went around doing interviews that would put Borat to shame!

5. December 25, 2005 - THE ARRIVAL OF PUMPSTRADAMUS This column marked the arrival to these pages of the great psychic Pumpstradamus. Listen closely to hear some of his great predictions for 2006.. None of which have actually come true!

6. January 6, 2006 - OUR WINTER VACATION MOVIE - So we went to Florida and brought our new video camera along. Click below to see all the craziness! After seeing this movie again, I think it’s time for us to take another vacation!

7. January 19, 2006 - MY RADIO INTERVIEW WITH THE LATE GREAT GENE RAYBURN This was the column where readers could get a little insight into my earlier career in radio. This column also included an interview I did with game show legend Gene Rayburn from 1990.

8. January 24, 2006 - THE JEMIMA AND THE SUGAR PLUMS STORY This was one of the more fun columns I have done… telling the story of how I met my wife with a bit of a twist. Is this really a true story??

9. January 29, 2006 - MY POLITICAL COLUMN This was the column designed to give the reader insight into what makes me tick politically. Based on last Tuesday’s results, it looks like a lot of other people thought the same way. It also shows that we Democrats are not a bunch of Pelosi-ans… as evidenced by the way I blasted the absurd newspaper comments made by a person who criticized a Rabbi for wishing that the evil President of Iran would drop dead.

10. February 10, 14, and 17, 2006 - THE THREE PART COLUMN OF MY LIST OF THE TOP 14 GAME SHOWS OF ALL TIME - As readers of this blog know by know I am a huge game show fan. This column ran in 3 parts with Part 1 featuring one of the few times Trophy Wife posted a comment on the blog She doesn’t read it - She hears enough of me talking about the column's ideas before I write them!

IN PART TWO I made an impassioned plea defending The Gong Show as the Number 9 pick and how it inspired the current phenomenon American Idol. It also featured a debate between myself and Belchie over the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire appearance by my former radio co-worker Young Chuck. I saw Belchie last week and amazingly he remembers the exact questions Young Chuck was asked… even though the show aired seven years ago.

PART THREE - THE TOP FOUR GAME SHOWS OF ALL TIME This was the column where I speculated about the possibility of Dave Price replacing Bob Barker as host of The Price is Right. Amazingly, with Barker’s retirement announcement last week, there has been quite a bit of speculation that Price will become the next host of the show!

11. March 16, 2006 THE MOST INCREDIBLE FIVE DAYS IN TELEVISION HISTORY This is the column that every TV programmer should read prior to unleashing the garbage they spew on us every Fall. So far this year only one new show - Heroes - is a huge hit and one other - Friday Night Lights - has gotten almost unanimous excellent reviews. Nonetheless, it’s amazing to read about the number of incredible classic shows that premiered that fateful week back in September of 1965.

12. March 27 and March 30, 2006 OUR BASEBALL PREVIEW PART ONE and PART TWO It’s always fun to look back and see how horrible my pre season picks came out! However I did hit the nail on the head when I predicted the Cardinals would win the World Series and that Mikes Piazza and Cameron would combine for more than 40 homers for the Padres. Interestingly enough I also mentioned that the Mets lack of starting pitching might come back and bite them in the tushie.

In Part 2 we will reveal the other Dozen columns. We will also have the story of my guest appearance on that other podcast.

Now time for the football picks where last week we were 6-8 dropping to a humiliating 54-68-6!

GIANTS Pick ‘em over The Bears – The Giants can complete a nifty weekend Giants Rutgers sweep in one of the best football weekends in local history.

NEW ENGLAND 10 ½ faves over The Jets – The Patriots coach Bill Bellichick seems obsessed with his feud with Jets coach Eric Mangini… Could it get to his head and allow the Jets to cover? Possibly but not likely.

CINNCINATI 1 doggies over San Diego – This is my last week on the Bengal bandwagon, unless they win against the Chargers who I dopily pick against each week.

DETROIT 6 faves over San Fran – The Lions are a decent home team in this ho hum affair. See Pumpstramus (now an impressive 5-3-1) for his pick below.

COLTS 12 faves over Buffalo – If the Colts win they will be the first team ever to start back to back seasons 9-0!

JACKSONVILLE 10 ½ faves over Houston – Home teams look good at 1pm on Sunday.

ATLANTA 8 faves over Cleveland – What the heck is the deal with Atlanta and Cleveland? These 2 teams are like yo yos. Is this the week they bring their A game?

Kansas City 1 fave over MIAMI – The run of 1 o’clock home faves comes to an end here.

MINNESOTA 5 faves over Green Bay – This would be a big statement if the Packers can pull this out. Is Favre going to the Monday Night booth next year replacing Kornheiser?

PHILADELPHIA 7 faves over Washington – Anybody else watching the live scoreboard on CBS last week notice the mass confusion on the final moments of the Skins game? No way they beat an angry underachieving Eagle team!

Baltimore 7 faves over TENNESSEE – Titans fans always have the Grand Ole Opry for entertainment.

OAKLAND 9 doggies over Denver – The Broncos only score 18 points a game.. that’s a tall order to expect them to win by 10. I used the same logic in the last Raider Bronco game and got the win on that game.

PITTSBURGH 4 faves over New Orleans – Why do I bother picking the Steelers? Why? Why? Why?

Dallas 7 faves over ARIZONA – Ya think the Cowboys are ticked about last weeks meltdown against Washington? Maybe Parcells and Favre in the booth on MNF in ’07?

SEATTLE 3 ½ faves over St. Louis – Oddly enough a Rams win ties ‘em for 1st.

CAROLINA 9 ½ faves over Tampa Bay – See ya after Heroes. Hey this is the episode that we find out if Cheer-Daddy is a good guy or bad guy? And when is that crazy blonde with the split personality gonna start oil wrestling the cheerleader?

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK – (5-3-1 so far this year!) This week in honor of The big Democrats win and San Francisco native Nancy Pelosi’s rise to power.. we go to San Fransisco where Pumpstradamus says.. “In honor of Pelosi I’m picking San Francisco over Detroit. Besides, Montana was a pivotal state in the GOP defeat, and doesn’t Joe Montana play for the 49ers?”