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?”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Marathons, Magic and Madness

This Friday, feel free to drop in here at NWOW as we will celebrate our 1 year anniversary of the blog with a special 75th column. You can even get it automatically delivered the minute it is posted through rss syndication.. And based on the quickness of some of the comments I know we have some subscribers out there.. Just type in at the rss prompt.

Here are a few entertaining things I have done over the last week… basically 2 movies and an international sporting event that many Americans outside of the New York Metropolitan Area seem to ignore… no it’s not soccer…

THE NY CITY MARATHON - This is the most puzzling sporting event that takes place in the United States. The Marathon is huge all across the world but mostly ignored here in the good ol’ U S of A.. EXCEPT for New York. .. It’s like soccer. .except the marathon is fun to watch..

The NYC Marathon was started in 1970 by Fred Lebow.. arguably one of the most important people in NY City history. He started the race as a few laps around Central Park and turned it into a multi million dollar operation that brings in tons and tons of money to the city’s economy. The race has come a long way since its humble beginnings.. The race goes through all 5 boros and has so many applicants that participants need to enter a lottery to draw a number to run the race.. Some of the elite runners are paid thousands of dollars in appearance fees, plus very generous prize money that comes from very generous corporate sponsors. Incidentally, Lebow whose original name was Fishel Lebowitz was raised in an observant Jewish household and changed the race to the first Sunday in November so it would never conflict with any of the Jewish holidays.

The marathon is now officially called the “ING NY City Marathon”… that’s the company with the nifty commercials (that apparently weren’t shown this year) where a person is sitting on a bench with an ING ad, and approached by a passerby asking “what is that?”… and as they explain what the company does, don’t realize that the passerby is speaking of some bizarre act going on behind the bench. For example one could ask .. “What is that”… and then says.. “Oh, ING yadda yadda yadda…” and then looking behind them says…”Oh that… that’s a homoerotic naked wrestling match between Borat and his giant producer sticking their tuchises in each other’s faces…” The scene did have a gay subtext, right?

My connection to the marathon - many years back I worked for a radio station that was affiliated with NBC Radio. I was able to hook up as a network freelancer covering NJ stories that might have a national interest… One Friday I called the network news desk to ask what kind of coverage would be available on Sunday night about the upcoming week’s marathon and was told.. “Uh we have nobody going.. You wanna go?”….. For the next few years, I was the man at the race. The network was able to hook me up with some press credentials, which involved my obtaining a press book outlining all kinds of interesting race related tidbits, including a tentative schedule of where lead runners would be at any given time during the race.

The race starts in Staten Island at the last exit before the Verrazano Bridge… I would park a few blocks away right near the payphone and make my way to the starting lane.. Keep in mind this was in the early 1990s pre cell phones.. although in ‘94 a friend kindly loaned me her cell phone for Marathon Weekend. You then walk through this enormous field filled with runners prepping for the race. The runners only do 2 things…. leave most of their clothes behind except for their racing outfits,….. and pish. Thanks to technology, their stuff left in Staten Island is now bar coded and retrieved by UPS and delivered to the finish line; other discarded clothing is donated to charity. There were tons of porta johns.. and a huge urinal that looked like a giant water slide! After leaving their clothes and taking care of the pre race pish, the runners would head to the bridge to await the start of the race.

After the race would start, it was a race for me to file my reports and get to the finish line to see the winners. As the runners ran through Hasidic Williamsburg.. (“Hey gib a kick Moishey… the goyishe women’s tuchises are sticking out of their shorts, like the tzitzis from Chaim Yankel… “), I went back to the payphone and filed 2 reports.. 1 of ‘em, about what just happened,… and a 2nd report that would air an hour later as a “live report” that according to the pr info would inform viewers.. “We are now a little more than an hour into the race and the lead runners are now crossing the 59th Street Bridge”… This gave me enough time to get to the finish line and not worry about finding a payphone.

I then jumped in the car and went to Manhattan taking the quickest possible route on Marathon Sunday… I drove through Staten Island back to NJ…. and then took the Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel. Once I was out of the Tunnel, I had to zip to the parking garage closest to the entrance to Central Park near Tavern on the Green. This was the only time I would ever park in a garage, but I was in a hurry, plus the network was reimbursing my expenses. The whole time I would be listening to the all news station so I could at least hear what was going on at the Marathon. After parking, it was off to the finish line where I would see my first part of the race…the wild scene at the finish line.

This week, I noticed a lot of runners had their names on their shirts… Usually they have a number. Back then a spotter would jot down the numbers as the runners entered the park and when enough time had elapsed, the PA announcer knew to announce the names of the probable finishers and congratulate them on their incredible feat. There is also a lot of post race puking going on at the Finish Line too. I would find a pay phone and do a report.. usually getting a phone line either at the Park or at the PR headquarters which back then was and still may be at the Jewish Guild for the Blind.. After my report was done.. I would feed some tape over the phone to the news desk and spend some time strolling around watching the foil jacketed finishers and there were masses of them board buses and subways as they went back to their everyday life. Then I would go home and watch ABC’s coverage which I had recorded on my VCR. The race is no longer carried live nationally, but is aired locally on Channel 4, and I have watched it every year except in 2004 when I was in Florida and couldn’t find ANY coverage.

There are some other interesting tidbits about the race.. In the first race in the post-Lebow era, 1994 winner German Silva almost blew it as he was about to enter Central Park, because he got distracted and ran in the wrong direction only to realize his error and get back on the right track. And you have to be 18 to run the race.. That rule was instituted after what I believe was the 1979 race when 9 year old Scott Black ran the race in 4:24... My recollection is so clear because we went to the same K-12 school; he was five grades behind me….. And now he even gets a mention in Wikipedia! And you should make it a point to be in NYC for Marathon weekend.. Just walking around Friday night through the City when all these people from all over the world are in town for the event is always a fun experience, and the people are always so friendly.

While everybody made a big deal about Lance Armstrong’s race last Sunday, and it was amazing how he hit his 3 hour goal… the most incredible performance by any runner was on November 1, 1992 when Fred Lebow ran his first NY City Marathon while suffering from brain cancer. Lebow ran the race with Grete Weitz at his side along with a multitude of other cancer victims in a major fundraising event. It took him 5 hours and 32 minutes, but Lebow finished that race and that was the year at the Guild for the Blind that every member of the press from every country would not leave the press room, listening to constant updates on how Fred was doing. Fred finished the race… and raised a ton of money. To this day a lot of people conduct their runs in conjunction with charity fund raisers… another tribute to one of the most incredible sporting events put together by possibly the most underrated person in New York City history.

Here is a radio report that I filed that day…

MOVIE NUMBER ONE - THE PRESTIGE - As Doug Henning used to say… “Magic… it’s an illusion”. This film directed by Christopher Nolan of Memento fame is definitely going to be considered for quite a few Oscars next year. It is hard to write about this movie without giving too much away since the film has a number of unexpected twists and turns. And I have decided not to include any spoilers in this column so I am very limited to what I can write. Basically, the film takes place in England in the early 1900s and tells the story of 2 magicians who were onetime best buds but end up developing a very very nasty rivalry. One of the magicians creates a trick where he puts 2 doors on opposite ends of a stage and is able to “teleport” himself in order to catch a ball thrown as he walks in one door and instantly walks out of the other door. The other magician figures out a way how to do the trick but becomes incredibly obsessed with how his rival does it. He actually kidnaps his rival’s assistant and offers a deal.. He releases his hostage in exchange for the secret behind the trick. His rival gives him a clue leading to a trip to the good ol’ US of A and introduces us to a very ambitious character who supposedly will spill the beans. You probably wont get it the first time you watch it.. But its always a good idea to pay a visit to IMDB afterwards to help understand it better. But wait till after you see it to go that site since there are so many spoilers there… it might take away from your enjoyment of an incredibly fantastic movie.

MOVIE NUMBER 2 - BORAT - Speaking of illusions… Borat is being pitched as documentary about a man from Kazakstan who travels across the country and meets “real people”. The young whippersnappers know the shtick from the Ali G Show, since Borat is actually Sacha Baron Cohen, an observant Jew just like Fishel Lebowitz. .Older fans will realize Cohen’s Borat shtick as the same stuff Tom Green used to do… and people in their 30s will know that this is all the same ambush interviewing that Stuttering John used to do on the Howard Stern show. IN reality this Candid Camera stuff was started by Allen Funt and Steve Allen back in the 1950s.

Mr. Cohen has done all of his publicity in character and you rarely even see the real Mr. Cohen. A former co worker of mine spent time on an Israel trip with him when they were in college, and didn’t even know he was funny. Cohen is now eliciting comparisons to Andy Kaufman… who also did a lot of appearances “in character” such as Tony Clifton, a man with bushy hair and a thick moustache who it turned out was not only Kaufman in disguise, but sometimes was actually one of Kaufman’s friends playing the same role. It’s cool to see that Kaufman is still inspiring a movie in 2006.

The illusion about the Borat movie is how many of these people he encounters are “real people“. The publicity surrounding the movie makes you think that this is “Coming to America” (this is beautiful - what is it? Velvet?) combined with a reality show. I started to wonder if some of this was staged when Borat was interviewed on an ABC affiliate’s morning show by a newscaster who looks exactly like the actor who played a dirty cop on a previous night’s USA Network rerun of “Law and Order SVU”. There have been press interviews with some of his “victims”… although one could speculate that those “victims” are actually actors in on the hoax and are part Cohen’s Kaufman-esque shtick.. The producer of the ABC affiliate’s news segment claims she was fired for booking Borat on the news show. On the other hand Alan Keyes makes a memorable appearance that just had to be spontaneous! Another terrific scene tales place at a rodeo shows how Borat walks the fine line of butchering the Star Spangled Banner without being offensive! You’ll want to hold on to your seat as you wait to see what happens… Equally brilliant was a scene at an evangelical revival church, although the participants were hilarious in their own right.. And Borat was just icing on the cake! The cool thing is you think you know what is going to happen, but then there is the unexpected twist…. As evidenced by a scene with a bear that looks like it’s a spoof of the shooting cow scene in Napoleon Dynamite; he also does a quick parody of the Blair Witch Project.

The movie is the funniest thing I have seen since Airplane! Borat has one incredibly abusrd encounter as he comes out of the shower in his hotel room and catches his chubby producer pleasuring himself to a picture of a woman Borat is madly in love with. (His encounter with this woman later in the movie is just plain jaw dropping) The two men get into a fight, and then chase each other naked through the hotel where they end up pummeling each other during a session of the Annual Mortgage Broker’s Convention! The fact that Cohen’s face gets so close to this guys naked tuchis… there’s more tuchis shown here than the goyishe wedgie women in Williamsburg - makes you wonder about how far a straight actor will go for his art…

Trophy Wife by the way called it a 4 bladder movie, and these 2 films might be up for some serious awards on Oscar Night.. Assuming the Academy has a sense of humor!

See ya Friday with our special one year anniversary column!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

2006 Election Preview

This past weekend, Trophy Wife and I went to a film festival where they were showing the classic movie "Goodbye Columbus".. After the movie we headed off to a diner where we struck up a conversation with some people at another table who had just come back from the Devils game where they had just blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0,... This made me wonder if at the end of the game they started to chant.... "Goodbye Columbus"

That was not the only Devil that night…before the movie started, the local Democrat Mayor dropped by en route to a Halloween party dressed in a devil costume, prompting one weisenheimer in the back row to yell out.. "Hey.. she's dressed as a Republican". Another more politically astute wiseacre would have guessed she was dressed as her mayoral opponent in the ‘99 Democratic Primary.. According to a local blogger‘s blog, after all these years, the mayor and her cohorts dislike this guy so much that they encourage Democrats to NOT vote for him in party races so that he ends up with the lowest vote total amongst all the Democrats.

It was good timing to see Goodbye Columbus the week before Election Day.. Even though the movie based on the Phillip Roth book is about 2 Jewish families, it really is about the Haves and The Have Nots… Richard Benjamin plays Neil Klugman.. (no relation to Jack who plays his girlfriend’s dad!) your typical Democrat struggling working class guy who is more concerned with stuff like his era’s rudeness and disrespect towards blacks. He also spends time listening to a wedding guest complain about how hard he works and makes virtually no money, while his less smart brother is so rich even though he is a self proclaimed “gonniff”.. literally meaning thief but in context… “not the most ethical businessman”…. Neil’s girlfriend Brenda Patimkin is played by Ali McGraw, and her whole family is more concerned with protecting their wealth, hiding their "furniture from when we were poor" , and making sure that the country club pool is properly chlorinated. The movie gets its title from Brenda’s incredibly shallow brother who always listens to his “Goodbye Columbus” record.

These party differences continue today… The GOP is shivering in their boots as the Democrats make their big moves in Congress. Hopefully Alberich and his liberal friends will keep a low profile over the next week to keep the "l" work out of the political rhetoric. But there are some interesting election notes coming down the stretch.

THE DEMOCRAT I WON’T VOTE FOR - I am breaking with one tradition this year.. I will not be voting for one of the Democrats who is running for a county seat. I had a little verbal exchange with him in 2004, and wrongly assumed he was a Republican until I was speaking with a local big macher Democrat about what a shmuck this guy is.. and was informed that he is actually.. gasp…. a fellow Democrat!

The guy owns a company that "managed" the condo complex I used to live in. The moral of the story is, there were some board members who were just absolutely horrible people... and it is the job of a condo management company to look out for the best interests of the condo community first , and to work around sleazy board members when the situation arises. Heck, the board tampered with election results while the management company just sat and watched… so I am sure some laws were broken too.

In my situation, due to his poor leadership, this condo management company made numerous billing mistakes.. .. and these evil condo board members took advantage of these mistakes by fining residents and booting cars and all kinds of other insanity. As I mentioned in a previous column I filed a complaint against those board members at the state capitol, and have spoken with lawmakers about legislation to put an end to this madness. . For more info… see the Feb. 27th column in the archives. I also found out that one of those idiot board members recently sold his condo - hopefully he bought a house so he won’t annoy other condo residents.

I admit that the management company was not 100 percent at fault here.. however, there is a point where a condo mgmt company has to step in and just say "enough!". For example, my current condo complex has a good board, but at a meeting some residents were going off on a tangent about a silly issue that was beyond the scope of the board and management company.. (It had to do with owners who rent their units not paying fines). At one point, as residents tried to loudly find a scapegoat, the person from the condo management company just got up and said... "enough!" …………..and then calmly explained how residents, boards, and management companies have to work together and outlined that rules spell out exactly what boards and management companies‘ responsibilities are..

The errors of the old condo’s management company finally reached their peak and I had enough. Not only was this corrupt board breaking rules in the bylaws, but I was getting fines for sloppy billing mistakes, so I went to the company's office and this politician came outside to speak with me where I asked him in no uncertain terms. "How do you allow your company to be run so poorly?" He had no satisfying answer.. Whereas my follow up question was “If people vote for you, will you run the county and/or state into the ground as badly as your company?”…

Next Tuesday when it is time to vote.. I will keep my word… Unfortunately there are no independents on the ballots so I will vote for a Republican. This Republican is a huge underdog and won't win.. but he will get that one extra vote from me. Hopefully if this person ever decides to run in a future election, enough of us who know the real story, will step forward to volunteer for his primary opponent.

THE DIRTY NJ SENATE RACE - Menendez vs Kean - What exactly has Tom Kean Jr. accomplished? And, did you know the seats he held in the state government were jobs he "earned" by appointment.. Kind of like Gerald Ford. The only election he ran.. he lost.. and how can he possibly win if his entire advertising campaign is based on negative Menendez ads? Kean also busted Menendez’s chops when Menendez stepped into a quagmire at a Jewish forum at a Livingston synagogue when he said he would be supporting Joe Lieberman’s independent Connecticut Senate bid.. He later back pedaled when the Dem bigshots told him it’s a no no to speak out against the Democrat candidate Ned Lamont. Some Jewish voters got annoyed, and Kean had a field day with that one..

One thing to Kean's credit.. he has separated himself from Bush and criticized this useless war.. and if he were to win.. which he won't.. it would be amusing to see how ostracized he would be by the other Senate Republicans.

THE FILTHY TENNESEE RACE - This one is getting national attention with the cheap shot ads produced by the Republicans supporting Bob Corker in his race against Democrat Harold Ford. The ads imply that Ford was involved with porn and loose babes. Corker claims he had nothing to do with the ads… and the Republican National Committee which paid for the commercial claims it “had no control” over it. That’s a bunch of bull… if the commercial they “control” had shown a little boy sharing his Coke with Mean Joe Greene.. they would have pulled that off the air in a Tennessee minute! Just further evidence that the RNC is a disgraceful dishonest cowardly organization!

THE KERRY COMMENTS - I actually agree with Kerry’s point - he in no way implied that only dumb kids join the military. Actually, a lot of people who need to make a livelihood enroll in the military as a way to support their families. And of course it is very admirable for people to serve our country, and they deserve to be saluted. However, one would think that military enrollment is currently down, since people don’t want to fight in a war that we have no business being involved in! Kerry’s point was you might want to find another vocation.. otherwise you might end up in Iraq and eventually dead like our other heroic soldiers who are only dead due to the incompetence of our current President. Then your heartbroken mom can be ridiculed by Bush’s media cronies just like Cindy Sheehan…

THE O’REILLY AND LIMBAUGH FACTOR - Rush Limbaugh made an ass out of himself making fun of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson related shaking and his inability to stand up straight.. remember the painkiller addicted Limbaugh was caught with an illegal supply of Viagra... he should be lucky if he could get his limp biscuit to stand up straight!

Then you have the Bill O'Reilly appearance on Letterman. I cant believe O’Reilly used to be a vanilla Channel 2 news anchor in the 80s! Despite what the right wingers were spinning.. Letterman was quite humorous... but the fact is Dave sees O’Reilly for what he is - a big mouth loser. Letterman asked him what is the big deal if we take our troops out of Iraq, and we ended the unnecessary deaths of our military heroes, To which O"Reilly chimed in that Iran would then invade a weakened Iraq and then oil prices would shoot up....

"Oil prices" chimed in Letterman... "our boys are dying because oil prices might go up?..."

If O'Reilly wasn’t such a buffoon he would have said there are grave dangers to other countries if Iran gets more powerful... but instead he took the evil Bush party line about oil prices and how they hurt the Bush pocket book.

And if this conversation took place at the Patinkin house in Goodbye Columbus... Neil's character would have been more concerned with the lives lost there, while Brenda’s family would have worried about oil. And her brother would go into his room to listen to his Goodbye Columbus record.

This is why on Election day... we should get our priorities straight and send a message to Bush that we don’t want our boys dying for his family's oil money... Last week, Columbus couldn’t beat the Devils.. But Tuesday is the day for us to beat the Republican Devils. It‘s time to say “Goodbye Columbus“….. and Goodbye Republicans!.

Now time for the pro picks...

Last week we went a disgraceful 4-10 while the season to date record is a lowly 12 games under .500 at 48-60-6. Amazingly, we predicted The Cardinals would win the World Series back in March, and that Dave Price would be a candidate to replace Bob Barker back on February 17th! Pumpstradamus has his pick of the week below...

GIANTS 13 faves over Houston – I am back on the Giants bandwagon. Leave a lot of time to get to the game if you are coming from NY since Sunday is also the NY City Marathon.

Atlanta 5 faves over DETROIT – The Falcons seem to have righted the ship after the Giant metldown.

Cincinnati 3 doggies over BALTIMORE – One would think that this would be the Bengals year due to the Steeler swoon, but if they don’t put away the Ravens, they will be 2 games back in the division.

WASHINGTON 3 doggies over Dallas – I’m not sold on Romo just yet.. and could the Skins really be this bad?

Green Bay 3 doggies over BUFFALO – The Pack looks better.. and they are actually 2-1 on the road.

Minnesota 5 faves over SAN FRANSISCO – A huge game for the Vikings if they want to contend for the Wild Card.

Indianapolis 3 doggies over NEW ENGLAND – Jeepers… I went against the Colts last wk in Denver and got burned… how do you pick against them? On the other hand the Patriots are looking damn good. Lets stick with the Colts.

Kansas City 2 doggies over ST. LOUIS – Those St. Louis fans are still celebrating the Cardinals lucky World Series win. Mediocre teams don’t win Super Bowls in the NFL and at the close of business Sunday, the rams will be 4-4.

CHICAGO 13 ½ faves over Miami – I’m not getting fooled again by the big spreads. Crummy teams have no chance against the Bears.. Let ‘em win this one.. then next wknd, Rutgers and The Giants can both defeat unbeaten teams.

TAMPA BAY 1 doggies over New Orleans – The Saints are America’s Team.. but only when they play at home. The Bucs are the only losing team in their division by the way.

JACKSONVILLE 9 ½ faves over Tennessee – Make sure the Titans get back in time for Tuesday so they can vote for Harold Ford.

SAN DIEGO 12 ½ over Cleveland – I am not a big Charger fan and Cleveland looked pretty good in their referee assisted win over The Jets. I think they will cover. See Pumpstradamus’s pick below

Denver 2 ½ doggies over PITTSBURGH – Last one still on the Steelers bandwagon should turn out the lights.

Oakland 7 ½ doggies over SEATTLE – Last week all the prognosticators (except me) went anti-Seattle because of their injuiries. Now everybody loves ‘em. I think the Raiders will cover this one.

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK (so far 4-3-1 after last weeks Rams loss) – In honor of Goodbye Columbus… we go to the Buckeye State of Ohio for this week’s pick – and Pump says…. Let's go with the Browns, since Election Day is coming up and I have sudden horrific flashbacks of the 1992 campaign of California's "Governor Moonbeam" Jerry Brown. What's he up to these days??