Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who (Lu) Won Website of the Year?

Greetings and Happy Holidays as today's column originates from Atlantic City. I am pecking away at my laptop at the Showboat trying to see if history can repeat itself. Readers of this fine blog know that last Christmas, Trophy Wife and I went to AC and I won 500 bucks at the Taj Mahal when I hit a royal flush while playing Double Down Stud. We also came back for New Years and I won another 150... but since then my mastery of the game seems to have foshnizzled. We have been back a few times in 2008, and I have given back a very small percentage of my winnings... a small amount I refer to as my "entertainment fee" the money that would have been spent elsewhere if I wasn't playing cards. At the rate I play those quarter machines, Donald Trump and that Charles Kushner will be celebrating their grandson's bar mitzvah before Donald Trump gets that money back. And hopefully at some point I will get my mojo back and start winning some more jackpots. And I won't be distracted by the cleavagey miniskirted cocktail waitresses whose well timed decisions to bend over tends to throw my concentration off.

Anyway, Showboat mailed us an offer for a deeply discounted room and we decided to spend a couple of days here. Trophy Wife says they will be sending another one again in a month or two, so I told her we should spite them by coming back and NOT gamble so they don't take more money from us. But Trophy Wife makes a valid point - even though we stayed at Showboat... we do almost all of our gambling at Taj... so we really haven't been losing any money at Showboat.

Anyway, I see that Hulu has won the AP award for Website of the Year. Frankly I have only been on it a few times, so more than likely since I am a year or two behind the young hipsters who make these decisions I will be more into Hulu in around 2009 or 2010..... Is it agreed that 2010 is when we start the years with "twenty" instead of "two thousand and ....?". Hulu is the self fulfilling prophecy of Bill Gates who said many years ago that computers will be the centerpiece of our lives. They have already replaced appointment books, film cameras, newspapers and now apparently TV. The VCR is almost officially dead once the analog signals stop next month... all TV shows will be recorded on DVR's or DVD recorders which I just got for Hannukah...(just before the prices dropped by an astonishing 50% for the post Christmas clearance sales!)... and hulu is yet another site joining the amazing You Tube (which I said a couple of years ago was going to be the king of all websites) which is drawing more people away from the old fashioned method of watching television shows as they travel through the airwaves.

But since I am a little older than the typical person raised on demographics skew a bit differently. I actually didnt buy a PC till 2003 which puts me into dinosaur status as I held out with a really nifty Brother portable word processor that had very very limited web access through compuserve and its numbered email addresses (104145.3031 was mine) and then my little webtv gadget. So therefore I am a year or two behind the hip people, which makes the Hulu choice surprise me since I personally would nominate the social networking websites for that award.

Facebook seems to be the most popular, but I am also a big fan of Linked In. In May, I decided to see if Facebook would be a good way to bring in business. A couple of months later, I decided to see how Linked In would work and signed up for that too. Now, as we approach 2009 I have noticed some interesting trends.

I tend to use Linked In more often to bring in contacts, yet I rarely do so on Facebook... yet I have approximately 80 contacts for both of them. Facebook seems to be more for fun, while Linked In is more serious.. kind of like a Peak Fream. I like how LI pins a business card on all my friends contact list page and has my professional podcasts posted right on my page, but at the same time I am also addicted to the Facebook live feeds. It's almost like Page Six about my friends. But the most incredible aspect of FB and LI has been finding people I havent heard from in ages.

On both sites I have a list of current friends and business contacts... but then you start to see names popping up from way back. Here are some examples.

* Chris the Weather Wonder Boy - Back in my radio days, I had a high school intern who was obsessed with the weather so we gave him that nickname, Now 18 years later he is a weather producer for one of the NY TV stations! I found him on FB and now all these years later we are back in touch. It's a similar story where I reconnected with my former co worker Ron who also rented a house with me in Sparta, NJ in the early 1990s, and another guy named Scott whose name drew a blank when he found me on FB because like many others he used a "radio name" when he was a DJ so I really never knew what his real name was. I also re-connected with my old intern "Young Chuck" who bore an uncanny resemblance to Chuck Scarborough.

* Sue W from college - Back in my Montclair State days there were always fellow students who had video projects that needed actors. Some of these students wrote bizarre scripts and needed some offbeat people to play these roles. That is how Larry Bud Melman was first discovered by the way. I used to act in a lot of these videos just because I have a bizarre sense of humor and that is how I met Sue W who 20 years ago played Sunny von Bulow in a production I put together involving a show that had Claus von Bulow deciding to get his estranged wife TV jobs. You can see I was warped back then also. Sue W played Sunny von Bulow in that project - Sunny von Bulow actually just died a few weeks ago after some 20something years in a coma. I also did a skit for Sue which is today's Clip of the Week.

Incidentally, I had a Claus Von Bulow fascination back then. For a class we had to produce a short how to video, so I decided to play Claus in a "how to poison your wife" video. (And welcome to people who googled their way over here by typing in that phrase - don't bother going through with it - the cops will find out that you googled that term! Hopefully we just saved a life or two.) I didn't show anyone my "props" and at the last minute I could hear gasps coming out of the control room when I took my concoction and whipped an actual syringe out of my pocket. It was actually one of my mom's insulin syringes, but for a while there were rumors floating that I was a heroin addict.

I also reconnected with Dan B who I had forgotten about after all these years, but oddly enough remembered that you can see his parents house from The Parkway. And also an old friend from high school and my old synagogue who I have seen maybe one time in the last 12 years.

*Out of state relatives - Most of them are on Linked In... it's kind of like I am in touch with them more often since we see each other's updates.

*Liran Kapoano - You can see on the left that we link to his blog and we also wrote about him several months ago when he wrote an excellent expose about a guy who went on Birthright Israel's trip and complained a little too much about his ridiculous left wing Pro-Palestinian politics. One day I was looking at one of my friends friend list and I saw his name! I contacted him and sent him the link to my blog and told him I had written about him. Now his blog links here too, and hes a fb buddy although we have never met.

*My former campers from my day camp counselor days! - This is the most interesting of all of them by far. A couple of years ago I wrote about how I ran into my old camper Lon at my friend Steve's party. Lon friended me on FB and amazingly he is still friends with a bunch of people from old YAC camp from the summer of 1982 when I was the counselor for the B3 Pacmen!! (Pumpstradamus came up with the idea to name the group for Pacman Jones even though Jones had not been born yet, but then again, Pumpy probably doesnt know who Pacman Jones is).... To my amazement, somebody started a YAC Camp fb group that has the wackiest memories posted there.. One of Lon's friends Danny was also my camper... he friended me on FB and then proceeded to remind me that when I was his counselor I unfairly got him in trouble for doing something that somebody else did! Who remembers these things?? However, I still remember there was a kid who everybody used to pick on but I havent seen him on FB yet... I hope they dont still pick on him. He also was the worst tipper even though I constantly had to watch his back since he was always getting busted on by the other kids. Of course when you're the counselor you quietly laugh inside at some of the wisecracks launched at that poor kid, but outwardly you always defend him because ultimately you know you'll get a great tip. I can't recall the kids name anymore, and I am afraid to post it to the group just in case they start busting his chops again!

A year from now I will probably write about how I am addicted to Hulu while the AP will recognize some start up I have probably never heard of!


Last week we went 2-1 to reach 30-17-1.. not bad if I may say so myself. The Giants have the top seed locked up so this Sunday I'm skipping football and celebrating Hannukah! Nonetheless, we'll do some other picks and we will leave the Jets biggest game in years to Pumpstradamus.

Detroit 10 1/2 doggies over GREEN BAY - Can you believe the Lions started 6-2 last season? Will they be the first team ever to finish 0-16... Not only am I picking them to cover.. I think they're gonna win!

BUFFALO 6 doggies over New England - Either New England or Baltimore has to lose for the Jets to have a shot. I think this might be their better chance, but if not....

Jacksonville 12 1/2 doggies over BALTIMORE - This is a very big spread... If one or both lose... the Jets are in if they win. For that pick... I turn it over to Pumpstradamus!


Pumpy is 10-6 and after losing 2 straight he is still trying for that elusive 11th win. His career record with 10 wins is 0-8! How will he end '08?? Will this be the week he snaps the slump? We're letting Pumpy pick the Jets game... they are 3 point home faves over Miami as they must win to get in. Sayeth the Pump: "I see that Bush pardoned imprisoned real estate developer Isaac Robert Toussie this week and then revoked the pardon. This is yet another example of what I have always said - Dolphins are smarter than humans! Therefore, I pick the Dolphins!".


Here is the clip I mentioned earlier from my college days where I played Marty the Chef.

Have a Happy Hannukah and a Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Financial Fakery and a Controversial Bakery

With apologies to Dr. Seuss...

It's Christmas Eve
What Can You Do
If Like Me
You are a Jew
Do you find George W
and throw a Shoe??

These are the Tates - And these are the Campbells... and this is... My Blog!

Once again, ladies and gentleman it is time to present our annual....."Being a Jew on Christmas" column. First of all, if you don't celebrate Christmas and you are looking for something to do Christmas Eve (And we welcome people who fall into that category and googled themselves over here!) - here is a great idea. This year our Temple has a great idea for a terrific fundraising event. Years ago there was this hilarious comedian named Christopher Campbell. Campbell became interested in Judaism and underwent a Reform Conversion. Then he grew interested in Conservative Judaism and underwent a 2nd conversion. Finally, Orthodoxy intrigued him... and well you can figure it out. By the way each conversion required a separate Bris so you can imagine how painful this must have been. Campbell moved to Israel, changed his name to Yisrael, and his story is quite funny. He will perform his one man show "An Evening with Yisrael Campbell" next Wednesday Night at the Highland Park Conservative Temple. If you are in Joisey come on by. They will be serving food and advanced tickets are only 38 bucks. Proceeds go to help rebuild our Temple which was badly damaged in a fire in 2006. Here is a clip from You Tube:

As I have mentioned in prior years, each year I try to catch my three traditional Yule movies,. First is the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life" which of course features Sheldon Leonard, a cousin of Trophy Wife (who was born the day of the Manson murders at the home of Sharon Tate) It airs Wednesday Night on NBC.... and another favorite of mine is "Scrooged" with Bill Murray which will air on Christmas Morning on Cinemax.. Of course the highlight is my own Rocky Horror Picture Show - the cult favorite "A Christmas Story" which runs for 24 hours on TBS.... This is my chance to yell out.. "I see that the Bears are playing Green Bay on Sunday", ."You'll shoot your eye out"... (which I tried to get a mall Santa to yell at me for a You Tube video only to realize my cell phone camera battery had foshnizzled) and of course - "Fragilleeeee - It Must Be Italian".

Some of my fellows Hebrews and Shebrews say they felt left out with all the holiday hullaballoo. Usually this time of year, we have wrapped up Hannukah and we start thinking ahead to New Years....but this year Hanukah is late so it actually coincides with Christmas as it did in 2005. - In past Christmases, I either had a job that needed staffing for the day so I would fill in for my co workers that day or I would just hang around at home. Last year we went to Atlantic City and I hit a royal flush on video poker (Double Down Stud) and won 500 bucks! Nonetheless, while some people want stores to change their "Christmas-y" themes to "Holiday" themes, I dont care at all. I like Xmas decorations and besides, some of the best Christmas songs were written by Jews.

As soon as Christmas is over, all the media will start doing their year in review stuff and their 2009 previews. The economy is in the tank but thankfully we have a new President taking over and hopefully this bailout will infuse some much needed money into companies that provide credit and breathe life into housing, cars and high priced ticket items that people don't pay for with cash. The troubling story of Bernard Madoff emerged this past week.... and if you read the Washington Post on-line you will see the meticulous research conducted by journalist Julie Tate.

Madoff actually has me agreeing with Donald Trump.. He told CNN that Madoff is a sleaze bag Trump is 100% right. . Madoff wrecked the holiday season for hundreds if not thousands of people who have fallen victim to his Ponzi scam. I'm sure many people may quietly snicker about rich people that lost a lot of money, but there are a lot of people here whose entire life savings were wiped out because they bought into Madoff's fraudulent scam and unwisely gave him ALL their money. But it's not just rich people... Charitable foundations invested millions of dollars with that thief and now they have nothing.. which will devastate the people who were to benefit from those non profit groups. I am hearing that the wonderful Hadassah organization which my wife and mom have been very active in, lost approximately 70 million dollars!

How much can they force him to repay? And how many people were in on this scam? Nobody believes it for a minute that he acted alone... since highly detailed financial statements were sent to hundreds of his victims that could not have been prepared by one 70 year old man. Are we really supposed to believe that he fessed up to his sons and these honorable young men were so mortified by their father's shocking confession that they ran straight to the phone and called the cops? I'm not saying the sons were in on it too, but the scenario as it was told is very hard to believe. And how will this debt be repaid? Down the road, if it turns out the sons are found to be in on it, they should be forced sell their homes and then use all the money to repay the victims. And where will these people live after long prison sentences? I personally don't care, since I'm more concerned with the retirees who are now totally wiped out. But maybe if the judge wants to be fair he will force Madoff and his co defendants to live in the same kind of lifestyle as the worst victim of this scam. And if that victim ends up at the YMCA.. well it may be time to get some more cots for Madoff and his cronies.

And just when you thought the year would end with the Madoff story....

Earlier in the column I wrote about Yisrael Campbell and his fundraising show on December 24th. He is actually funny, but I find nothing amusing about Heath Campbell and his wife Deborah. As a matter of fact this couple is so physically ugly that when you look at a picture of both of them - it is hard to tell which is the man and which is the woman. This woman is allegedly 25 but looks 50 and is balding worse than I was when I was 35. But the ugliness is not only on the outside...

H. Campbell is very proud of himself. He loves Nazis so much that not only is his home decorated with Nazi memorabilia and swastikas but he decided to name his son Adolf Hitler Campbell.. and his younger kids are also stuck with similarly offensive names. A lot of people say little Adolf is going to have a rough life and will get picked on because of his name. However, in reality even if he had a normal name, young Adolf was doomed from the start when he was born to such hate filled parents. The crap he hears about from those parents is going to manifest itself into his day to day activities with other kids in school, unless he is home schooled and one can only imagine what he will learn about WWII. Basically, this kid is going to have a rough life. And how bizarre is it for a Christian to be Anti Semitic since Jesus was Jewish. And... if Heath Campbell hates Jews so much maybe he shouldn't immunize his kids with medications that were discovered by Jews. Kinda surprising DYFS doesnt swoop in and take those poor kids away.

Heath defends his Nazi crap with the usual stupidities we hear from the Nazi supporters. He talks about "other Nazi party accomplishments" not related to the Holocaust. But to me that is just a load of crap because all pre Holocaust Nazi accomplishments were the means to an end to achieve the ultimate goal of an Aryan Nation. Granted, Hitler got the trains to run on time, but it was all part of the grandiose bigger plan. Not that I'm comparing him to Hitler, but it's kind of similar to people who will say that they met Bernard Madoff at a country club and he was so nice to them. Of course he was... it was all part of the master plan to get into your wallet and steal your money!

And then the story took a bizarre twist. It was time for the kid's birthday and his parents went to Shop Rite and requested a birthday cake that said "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler". Shop Rite told him they would not sell such an offensive cake. And besides the kid's middle name is Hitler.. who other than Charles Nelson Reilly's parents ever ordered a cake with a kid's middle name on it too? The parents were obviously just doing it because of their lack of character, because frankly I doubt anyone would care if the cake just said "Happy Birthday Adolf".

Then...the story gets even sicker.

Heath Campbell claims he went to the Wal Mart in nearby Pa... (these rednecks live in the area of NJ near Easton PA) and he claims that Wal Mart baked a Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler cake for them. It isn't that they baked a blank cake and gave him the stuff to spell it out himself. He claims that a Wal Mart employee in their bakery thought it was pefectly ok to spell out those words on a birthday cake. As much as I applauded Shop Rite's decision, when I first heard this I was mortified that Walmart... as much as I hate that place for how they treat American business owners .... was being slandered by this Nazi wannabe.

But then came the shocker... in a statement issued by Anna Taylor of Wal Mart's PR department she admitted that they baked a Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler cake! While Heath Campbell thinks its so funny that he names his kid Adolf Hitler, Wal Mart should have followed Shop Rite's lead and sold him a cake and told him to write it himself. (I know people will make the argument that The Producers has a song called "Springtime for Hitler" but in that context, it makes sense because it is not glorifying a murderer but mocking people who would want to see such a musical.) And if a local Mom and Pop bakery baked such a cake, I am sure that the local Jewish community would be up in arms and protesting outside that bakery! But Wal Mart didn't think it was such a big deal to insult the memory of the millions who died at the hands of Hitler.. I don't expect much from Heath Campbell since he has proven himself to be an absolute idiot, but I expect more from a huge corporation like Wal Mart. And what is Wal Mart doing next? Baking Osama Bin Laden cakes with a burning World Trade Center for September 11th??

How can any relative of a Hitler victim or Holocaust survivor ever step foot into a store that seems to think a Hitler cake is funny? Think about this next time you are about to walk into a Wal Mart.

After posting this Friday afternoon, I later found out who paid for the cake. We did! That's right Heath Campbell and his wife REFUSE to work and are collecting welfare. He claims he has emphysema and she claims she has a bad back although she seems good at getting on it since she already has 3 kids. Hopefully somebody will google Heath Campbell and Welfare fraud and take away his free ride.... and hopefully take away his kids too and put them into a good home.

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - Pumpy has never won 11 games and last week in his first attempt at 11 he came up short.. as his record dropped to 10-5. This week we go to Illinois the home of the beleaguered Governor Blagojevich who just doesnt seem to go away. To quote A Christmas Story.... "The Bears are playing Green Bay". The Bears are 4 1/2 point faves. Sayeth the Pump: "Jean Shepherd wrote and narrated A Christmas Story and since he was born in Chicago - I gotta take the Bears!"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: Last week we went 1-1-1 and we are now at 28-16-1.

GIANTS 3 faves over Carolina - NBC flexed the game into prime time... I wonder if ESPN can flex the Rutgers bowl game too so it isn't on a Monday Afternoon!! If the Giants win they ice home field for the whole playoffs. If they lose they will get a first round bye if the Vikings lose one of their 2 games.... which creates a scenario that the Giants could finish 0-4 and still get the first weekend off. Not gonna happen. Jacobs is back and so are the Giants!

Atlanta 3 doggies over MINNESOTA - The Vikings are owned by the Wilf family of NJ. Wilf is the chant you hear at the games by fans who have a werewolf fetish. Go Falcons.

Jets 4 1/2 faves over SEATTLE - The Jets really really really need to win... nothing would be worse than missing the playoffs at the hands of their former QB in next week's finale against Miami.

CLIP OF THE WEEK - The Soap announcer was Rod Roddy who also was the announcer on The Price is Right. Here is a clip from a Price is Right this week where something incredibly bizarre happened! Many people have noted Drew Carey's very nonchalant reaction to an event that was quite incredible.

Friday, December 12, 2008

TV Quarterly Report - 14 Things To Watch in 2009

Originally I was going to do my Quarterly TV Report at the end of the month, but NBC's historical announcement this week led to my decision to juggle my columns around a little bit. And this column about 14 Things to Watch will start with one show I definitely plan NOT to watch.

Just in case you got too involved in the craziness involving the Illinois Governor and missed the news, Jay Leno is being pushed out of the Tonight Show and will be replaced by the better Conan O'Brien version of late night TV. In order to keep Leno's ratings, NBC decided to give up on coming up with new shows for the 10pm slot during the week and will move Leno's show to 10 pm... a move that essentially shuts NBC prime time down an hour earlier each night.

Personally, I don't think it's such a big deal.. Fox and CW also stop programming at 10 for the local 10pm news. Some people are saying that shows like Law and Order SVU will be moved to the earlier 9pm hour... and that show's type of adult content might not be appropriate for that time slot. However, have you heard some of the dialogue on some of the CBS Monday Night Sitcoms? Somehow I think SVU will do fine at 9pm.. assuming NBC renews it.

As for Leno, it has been many years since I was a fan of his. Back in the 80's I actually thought he was quite funny when he was a regular on Letterman's 12:30 show.. However, once he started guest hosting for Johnny Carson, I started losing interest.. especially since I thought Garry Shandling and Joan Rivers were better guest hosts. But once Leno became the regular guest host and then stabbed Letterman in the back to take Johnny's timeslot, I totally lost interest. On rare occasions, I will tune into his show if he has an outstanding guest... but once Leno basically got rid of his old edgy humor to be bland and vanilla, I stopped paying attention to him. Night after night, Letterman consistently delivers the same acerbic humor that made him famous 25 years ago, and amazingly Leno beats him in the ratings. I don't know what that says about the ratings...

Now here are 14 things to watch for in 2009....

1. 24 - I really didn't get into the TV movie a couple of weeks ago... it was too much drama too soon after a thrilling Giants game. Nonetheless, I am waiting for Jack Bauer and his amazing Cell phone for 2009 after not getting my fix of 24 last season due to the writers strike. I always get a kick out of the futuristic cellphones each season on 24... or as they say in Japan - the old clunker cell phones! Will this season's cellie core a apple?? Will it be able to send stuff directly to a printer? Will it have a good browser so he can update facebook during his day? Jack Bauer is... still chasing bad guys after 20 hours and is looking for a place to pish.

2. Lost - Here is another one that I haven't seen since May and I already forgot what happened. I joined this group called the Lost Time Loop theory fan club on Facebook... It has 2684 members, and is connected to this fantastic website I mentioned in the spring that has a very plausible explanation for all the stuff going on on that crazy island. Basically the island is not in the same "time" we are... time moves at a different pace there so you can actually be there and at another place simultaneously. Pretty cool, huh?

3. Heroes - I'm so tired of all these people kvetching about this show. As far as I'm concerned.. if you don't like it... don't watch it! I think this season is not as good as Season 1.. but Season 1 was quite gripping due to its originality. I do agree with the critics that the show is bogged down with too many characters mixed in with too many simultaneous storylines. so here is my idea... Get rid of Mohinder and all the Petrellis except for the father. Robert Forster is doing a terrific job playing this character... I like how a New Yorker has a midwest accent! By the way he plays Nathan's father on Heroes and he also played Nathan's father in the amusing but underrated movie "Human Nature". Also, game show aficionados should check him out in the movie Rags to Riches.

Once they trim the cast they should take a core of Heroes... such as Claire, Hiro, Parkman and the girl with the crazy hair and make them the core characters for a story arc... and then take 2 of those heroes and toss in another two, and make them the core characters for the next storyline. I also must admit that despite what other fans have said, I actually like what they did to Sylar this year making him bad... but with a softer, more sensitive side that is easily manipulated.

4. The 2009 Mets - They added K-Rod for the 9th inning, Putz for the 8th inning and bring back Luis Ayala for the 7th inning! Thank you Omar Minaya for making the heist of the year sending away Aaron Heilman, Joe Smith and Endy Chavez who is great for one amazing catch a year for JJ Putz, The Gentile Sean Green and outfielder Jeremy Reed to replace Endy. Once we get past the holidays, it will just be a little more than a month till pitchers and catchers report!

5. Big Bang Theory/How I Met Joe Mama hour - CBS really has a pair of winners in the Monday Night 8pm hour... although I can never remember the characters names. I still forget which one is Sheldon and which one is Leonard... a similar problem that befell fans of former CBS sitcom Kate and Allie. The really skinny guy and the Jewish guy absolutely steal the show and Kaley Cuoco is turning into a very talented comedic actress playing straight man to her wacky neighbors. Also, HIMYM continues to crack me up with all kinds of bizarre hijinks. The cast is great and the storytelling is well presented too with its use of bouncing around the timeline. And Neil Patrick Harris is an absolute gem on this show.. picking up on the quirkiness he created in the original Harold and Kumar movie. Was this guy really Doogie Howser?? This could be the funniest hour on TV except for....

6. Family Guy/American Dad Hour - By far the funniest hour on tv as Entertainment Weekly's Top TV Genius Seth MacFarlane continues his Sunday night brilliance. Family Guy has the bizarre tangents and obscure pop culture references... I just watched an episode and Trophy Wife had to explain a couple of jokes that flew right past me! But anybody clever enough to have Stuie on a Big Wheel give a can of whoopass to Saddam Hussein and then trike through town to the theme song of "Police Squad" is one example of the crazy stuff that goes on there... American Dad doesn't have the flashbacks, but it cleverly utilizes the kooky family that also is lucky enough to have a talking goldfish and pet alien. On its best day, American Dad is competitively as funny as an average Family Guy episode.

7. People's Court - I think I'm turning into the guy from Rain man but this is a must watch show. Here in NJ it airs 2x a day.. 10 am on Channel 9 and 4pm on Channel 5. I work from home in the mornings so I make it a point to catch the 10 am airings. Unlike other Judges who are just blowhards and full of themselves, Judge Milian actually listens to the cases and her rulings are fair and make a lot of sense. The cases are also pretty entertaining and there always seems to be some bizarre twist. The show also uses the old traditional post trial interview that was made famous in the Wapner version by Doug Llewelyn. I'm not too sure she is too thrilled with the opening credits calling her TV's hottest judge. Hey, how about Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

8. Life on Mars - Another time traveling show that I got hooked on this fall.... The Mentalist is actually the most popular new show.. and last week it was the most popular show period.. However, quality wise, Life On Mars is absolutely awesome with its weekly salute to those crazy 1970s crime dramas. Mars takes place on the 70s because the main character woke up after being hit by a car and found himself living 35 years earlier. The show has some Watcha talking about Willis moments especially when he meets his young mom and sees himself as a kid.. Then again last week on Heroes, a time traveling Claire changed Baby Claire's diaper. Somewhere there exists a very perverse joke. Life on Mars will be back on in January - airing immediately after Lost which is going to make Wednesday Nights at 11 a time for lots of head scratching.

9. Monk early season reruns on Channel 4 - So this is what I missed? The show is the same except Monk has an assistant named Sharona whose departure was a big deal among the Monk fans back when it happened. I only started watching if after Natalie became Monk's very patient assistant. The Sharona Monk looks like every other 1980's hair girl from NJ... and the older episodes are pretty much the same as it they are now.... I also liked the most recent USA episode where Stottlemyre joined a monastery and shaved off his Geraldo mustache. Monk is like Encyclopedia Brown with a lot of psychological damage. I just wish it wasn't on so late on Sunday Nights... Channel 4 actually shortens the post football 11 O'clock News to get to Mike'd Up.... but I don't understand why they air some horrible local PM Magazine show after Mike'd Up pushing Monk back even later...

10. The 11 am wknd game show hour on Gsn - Every weekend... Match Game at 11 am and Password Plus at 11:30.

11. Law and Order SVU - I don't know why I watch this show every week... it is just soooo stressful with dark, dreary stories yet I keep coming back for more. I just hope that they don't alter the format when it moves to the 9pm slot next season when Leno takes over 10 pm. And I still don't know why they don't give more air time to Richard Belzer although I must admit that Ice T has been getting some funny lines.. especially last Tuesday when he instantly knew the bra size of a woman the cops were watching in a home made porn video. One cool aspect of this show.. it starts with unrelated characters in the first few minutes "stumbling" into a crime scene.... the first half hour is one storyline... then comes the twist and then the meat and potatoes of the episode. They also do a lot of good casting.. the guy with the eyepatch from Lost was on a few weeks ago.

12. CSI NY and Miami. - If it ain't L and O formula its the CBS crime shows which almost all seem to come from one Jerry Bruckheimer factory. I rarely watch regular CSI... and Miami is just so wacked out with the one day storylines and the horrific David Caruso acting... The stories are entertaining. CSI: NY is nowhere near as campy... although I was getting a little dizzy watching the episode that was taking place at the top of the Empire State Building. Sometimes they run stories spread over a few episodes and the writers just don't know how to properly edit in those little stories within the framework of the main story. But hey.. CSI is making it cool to be smart.

13. The American Idol Gong Show Auditions - Just the auditions.. not the show itself. Now that this unfortunately mentally ill auditioner killed herself in front of Paula Abdul's house... the weirdness factor take a stranger turn.. And since Paula Abdul is already bizarre... it's hard sometimes to tell if the auditioners are weirder.. or camouflaged by Abdul's bizarre behavior. Nonetheless, even though Comedy Central remade the Gong Show last summer.... this is the Gong Show of all Gong Shows... until they take the more talented people to California where I get bored with it and start to wonder why Ryan Seacrest is on the radio and TV all the freaking time. And whatever happened to Dunkleman?

14. HBO's Original Funny Shows - Entourage has the four boys and the incredibly funny Ari Gold... while Curb Your Enthusiasm has Seinfeld-esque storytelling thrown in with some bizarre ad libbing that creates dialogue patterns you never ever see on TV. Some of the comments thrown out by Funkhauser played by Super Dave Osborne are downright hilarious. One time he was talking about a senile relative and ad libbed a line that every time he'd fart he would call the fire department. How do the other actors keep a straight face?? Last season ended with Larry splitting with his wife.... and despite a wacky plot to win her over by "saving" her shrink from a "mugger".. he ended up hooking up with Viveka A Fox... I don't know when these shows will be returning in '09. Honorable Mention goes to Bill Maher's show which when it books the right guests for its panel can be an incredibly entertaining hour.

And there you have it - 14 things to keep an eye out for. Keep in mind that only 1 of those shows premiered this season, and only 1 other show came around in 2007. This might tell you quite a bit of the quality of the new programs coming out, and explains why NBC had no choice but to stick on a non funny show like Jay Leno's five nights a week.

PUMPSTRADAMUS NFL PICK OF THE WEEK: Pumpy racked up another win last week to improve to 10-4. Will this be the first time Pumpy gets 11 right? This week we go to Detroit which is on the brink of disaster as the automakers are holding their breath to see if bailout money is headed its way. The Lions are on the road as 17 point doggies to the Colts. Sayeth the Pump: "I'm picking Indianapolis because I like the Indy 500... even though they might have to race with bicycles if Detroit stops making cars."


Last week we went 2-1 to improve to 27-15. No matter what they say, the only game that matters is next week against Carolina. If the Giants win that game they have home field throughout the playoffs, no matter what Tampa Bay does since the Giants would hold the tie breaker over Carolina and Carolina would hold the tie breaker over Tampa if all 3 finish with the same record. But off the top of my head, I don't know the tie breaker if there is a 2 way tie between Tampa and The Giants.

Giants 3 doggies to DALLAS - The word "meaningless" does not exist in the Coach's vocabulary... the Giants played hard in last year's "meaningless" regular season finale against New England and they will do likewise on Sunday Night.

ATLANTA 3 faves over Tampa Bay - It would be nice if Tampa loses this week to avoid any complicated tie breakers for home field.

Bills 7 1/2 over THE JETS - I think the Jets will cover.

Friday, December 05, 2008

And The Moron of the Year Is... (Not to be Confused with Last Weeks Turkey Awards!)

I see that Entertainment Weekly has announced that the smartest person on TV is .... Seth McFarlane. No argument here... some of the stuff that I see on Family Guy and American Dad is laugh out loud absolute brilliance! And with EW announcing it's decision... I think it is time for NWOW to announce our winner for "Moron of the Year".... a terrific followup to last week's Turkey Awards. Turkeys are one thing.. but a Turkey on his worst day is better than a Moron on his best day. On with the nominees...


Lois is the poster child of how one evolves from Turkey to Moron! We introduced you to her last week... she and her husband went to the Minnesota - Iowa College Football game and after imbibing a few adult beverages at a friend's house prior to the game she arrived at the game intoxicated. Then shortly before halftime she informed her husband she needed to "go pishen before intermission". Shortly thereafter, Feldman was in the bathroom... but instead was in the Mens room and was caught having sex with a guy in the stall... a guy who was not her husband who was apparently still sitting in his seat!

A number of people were standing outside the stall cheering on Ms. Feldman with chants of "Blow us Lois". Security arrived followed by the police and Lois was arrested. However, the guy was just some fella who she had met and she told the Des Moines Register she didn't even know his name until she saw the story in the paper. Last week Lois was the winner of the Turkey Award... the Police announced the case was closed, and that was the end of the story.


Lois has decided to add a bizarre new chapter... telling the newspaper The Daily Times Herald that something she drank might have been tampered with leading to her sexual liason... and now she is alleging foul play. Puh-leeze... I will admit that I don't know how many minutes it took from the time she left her seat till she was caught with her proverbial pants down... but I find it hard to believe that she has the audacity to claim that this guy might have been up to some monkey business. Here he was at halftime... and he sees a drunk woman in the mens room willing to have sex with him... What would the typical single guy do? The cops closed the book on it after her arrest.. she should just let it go and get her life back in order. This earns her a nomination for Moron of the Year... and if she wins, she will have to abdicate her Turkey Crown to the first runner up.


Now here is a guy I have written about before... one excerpt from my column actually showed up on The Star Ledger's blog roundup column on their website and possibly their paper. Incidentally I am going to announce right here that I am defecting to the Daily News starting this Sunday after reading the Sunday Ledger since childhood. The Sports has declined so dramatically, I just had to make the switch!

I wrote about Zarinsky somewhat sympathetically back in early 2007 when I was one of the few people to give him some benefit of the doubt about the slew of murder accusations that he was facing. Oddly enough it was on January 11, 2007 when I predicted the beginning of this New York Giants dynasty that I told the story of Zarinsky... a rare voice who actually was not ganging up on him.

{He had accumulated a pretty large bank account because his mom's will left him a lot of money while his sister ended up with very little. Several years ago, while he was still serving time in prison for killing a teenage girl in the 1960s, his sister told police that he had also killed a cop in the late 1950s. It turns out the sister had been caught red handed stealing about 100k from her imprisoned brother's hefty bank account and “made a deal” that if they dropped the charges against her, she would testify against him because he was the culprit in an unsolved cop killing back in the late 50s.

Ultimately, 40 years later Zarinsky went on trial for the cop killing.. but he was acquitted. Some jurors felt he did it, but didn’t feel prosecutors proved their case. The officer's widow then filed a civil suit against him, sort of like the Goldman family filed against OJ Simpson… Zarinsky had trouble finding a lawyer and ended up representing himself at that trial and lost the case.. As a result of losing the case, he had to fork over all of his remaining money to the cop's widow}

However, after that... a judge overturned that verdict and told the widow she had to return the money to Zarinsky... but unfortunately she had spent it. She did manage to raise the funds... but when she returned it.. Zarinsky arrogantly demanded that she pay him back a larger sum to include penalties and interest. At that point, I too jumped on the anti Zarinsky bandwagon. There was no reason for him to be so nasty to this poor widow; and after reviewing the original court trial, although I wouldn't trust a word his vindictive sister had said, there were other witnesses at the scene who could have been a little more trustworthy. But even so, the case was almost impossible to prove so many years later, so I took the acquittal with a grain of salt. I had also read about his bullying tactics, and his treatment of the widow was no exception. What the heck was the big deal if he didn't get the interest on money she only had for a year? He got his money back after almost causing her to lose his house.. and that should have been the end of it. But his subsequent nastiness left a bitter taste in my mouth and others who had originally been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Several months ago, Zarinsky was again hauled into court for a hearing in another murder case.. but this time he was quite ill. Here is a clip from that January 25, 2008 column that shows I had enough of this loser...

{He apparently has a health problem that forced him to be wheeled into a courtroom hooked to an oxygen tank that was helping him breathe. I think I have been watching too much lighting up on Mad Men on AMC because here is my opinion: I dont know what the indoor smoking laws are... but I think if the judge, prosecutors, or jury need a cigarette during the trial... they should get to have one right there in the courtroom. Unfortunately, the oxygen tank poses a risk to all our smokers.. but I think their comfort is more important... so I say anytime somebody needs a smoke... simply take the oxygen tank out of the room and force Mr. Zarinsky to just figure out a way to get some air. So what if he struggles a little bit...}

Well the final chapter - last Friday Zarinsky kicked the bucket and died all alone... His body lies unclaimed and more than likely he will be cremated and buried in an unmarked grave.


This one has the potential to be turned into a great movie. A 46 year old Brooklyn woman named Doreen Giuliano watched her son get sent up the river when he was convicted of killing a 19 year old college student from Northwest New Jersey. The new issue of Vanity Fair is going to have a whole write up about this... but in a nutshell, sonny boy was sentenced to a 25 year to life sentence in connection with the death of 19 year old Michael Fisher. Doreen's son apparently got mad at poor young Mr. Fisher because he sat on a table instead of a chair! Well Mom was understandably upset that her boy was convicted and came up with a remarkable scheme that shows us how important it is to keep jurors anonymous.

Doreen went out and got a makeover and totally changed her appearance. Then, she got herself a list of the jurors and figured out who might be the biggest shlub in the bunch. Doreen made up a new name and moved near this one former juror. and started hanging out in his hood... wearing push up bras, tight shirts and short shorts. She even peeked into his window and saw a cat and figured that her new identity would be as a ... cat lover! Once she "accidentally bumped into" the juror, Doreen now using the name Dee Quinn caught his attention and became his new squeeze. She also provided him with plenty of alcohol and marijuana... and in her best Jack Bauer imitation, managed to get him to fess up to certain opinions he had about her sonny boy and certain aspects of the trial (including jury deliberation issues that he questioned) that she recorded on a hidden tape recorder. The tapes were turned over to a lawyer, and as a result of mama's detective work, the conviction is being appealed.

Here is an interesting tidbit... Doreen/Dee is married and her husband was in on the whole thing! However, he insisted on one rule... no sex with the juror! Now let's see this juror was just totally embarrassed by this crazy woman and here could be a perfect chance for some revenge. Why doesn't he just publicly announce that he was getting busy like he was in a Minnesota football stadium mens room? If he says he was sleeping with her... who exactly would you trust in this type of he said - she said situation? I know people google their way to these columns and might criticize me that encouraging the juror to brag about having sex with her could damage their marriage - but then again how about the pain Fisher's parents must be going through seeing that their son's killer might be freed because of his mother's tricky scheme??


All of the above nominees should have a chance to win... but every once in awhile somebody comes along that just blows everybody else out of the water. We as a society have a tendency to idolize people as they make their way up the ladder and kick them in the ass as they tumble down. This year's winner is Plaxico Burress. Here is a guy who was a major player on a Super Bowl winner and a team that has a shot at repeating... yet no matter what happens from hereon in... he will either be on the outside looking in at a potential championship, or will take a huge amount of blame if the team falls short. Did the Giants really need this distraction??

Here is my disclosure - I don't own a gun... never did... never will. I am not of the gun people. I used to live in rural Northwest NJ where there are neither sidewalks nor neighbors, and I know that out in the sticks guns are common tools for this adventure called "hunting". Hunters are activists, and they along with the NRA like to point out the constitutional rights of people to bear arms (or as dyslexic animal lovers like to say - the right to arm bears). But, it is hard to defend the use of guns in the inner cities and NY has taken major steps to make it very difficult to own and carry a gun.

Some athletes unfortunately have been the victims of violent crimes in their homes and feel its necessary to keep a gun at home for protection. Others, like former Net Jayson Williams are just stupid and play with them like they are toys. Nonetheless, with so many athletes being robbed I support Plaxico 100% that he wants a gun at home.

But when his gun accidentally went off and he shot himself in the thigh, he was not at home.. he was at a crowded nightclub in New York City. And the fact that he transported the aforementioned gun from his home to the club without the proper permit was ridiculous. And the concept that he carried a gun to a club because he needed it to feel safe? If i go in an unsafe area... I roll up the windows. lock the doors... and drive through the area as fast as I can. I sure as heck wouldn't hang out in an area I don't feel safe... and one would think Plaxico would know better...

The ensuing cover up has cast a bad light on a lot of innocent people who were just going about their business that fateful night last week. And, the Giants have already proven that they can do well without certain individual players who have not been playing since last year's big run including names such as Jeremy Shockey, Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber, and Usi Umiyora. You can add Plaxico to that list - because the Giants have played well in the games that he has missed. But there is that nagging doubt that if this run falls short of a 2nd straight Super Bowl, Plaxico might be overvalued and used as an excuse... and possibly considered as a key component for future seasons.

It really would be a travesty if this Burress situation derails this team... and it is so stupid of him to throw everything away like this. In addition, the media felt this story was supposed to be the big story for the holiday weekend when in reality the terrorist attacks in India should have been a bigger story.

And that is why Plaxico Burress is the Winner of the 2008 Moron of the Year Award!!

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - Pumpy lost last week dropping to a still impressive 9-4. This week we go to New York, the state with the strict gun laws that Plaxico Burress violated, the home for the only team that actually plays in NY - The Buffalo Bills. This week the Bills play Miami in Toronto as part of an annual trip The Bills makes to Canada arranged by Blue Jay owner Ted Rogers who just died this past week. The Bills are 1 point faves. Sayeth The Pump: "Even though Jet fan Walter Nagel wants me to pick Buffalo... I must say that since Former Bill OJ Simpson was a loser in court - the Bills will be losers too! Go Miami!"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK - Last week we went 2-1 to improve to 25-14 - 11 games over .500!

GIANTS 7 faves over the Eagles - What's the difference between the Giants and the Eagles? When the Giants went into OT against the Bengals, they knew the game could end in a tie!

PITTSBURGH 3 faves over Dallas - A Giants win combined with a Cowboys loss means the Giants win the NFC East.

NEW ORLEANS 3 faves over Atlanta - Im not sure if the Falcons loss combined with a Giant win gets the Giants in... but it's time for the Falcons to cool down.

Friday, November 28, 2008

2008 Turkey Awards

I have been taking a little vacation for the last few days and I am out of the loop newswise... so I am not as up to date with the news as I ordinarily would be... nonetheless, it's quite tragic to see that terrorists would attack a Chabad center. Chabad is an outreach organization run by the Lubavitcher Hasidim that presents the fun side of Judaism in a non-confrontational non-prosletyzing manner. The centers are set up in remote locations forcing the young families that run it to move away from their families and friends to plant the seeds with a little "Fields of Dreams" if you build it they will come philosophy. Their success is incredible... I live near the one at Rutgers.... and it's always tragic when any kind of religious organization or house of worship is targeted by these lunatics. I was hoping for another miraculous Entebbe-esque rescue.. but it was not meant to be. Kudos to the nanny at that Chabad House who heroically rescued the couple's young son. A fundraiser is being conducted for this boy through the website

Today's column originates from Atlantic City. To me Thanksgiving is every day... especially since I met my sweetie.... so I don't need a Thursday turkey meal to be thankful. We usually get a little turkey brunch and then head down to take Donald Trump's money. This year I was sitting at the Taj and it occurred to me that if I hit a big jackpot, would Trump be able to still pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding to the son of Charles Kushner? Kushner is the criminal real estate mogul who got into trouble a few years ago and decided to blackmail his brother in law who was set to testify in court about Kushner's activities. When the brother in law refused Kushner's requests to not tell the truth in court, Kushner got his revenge, and hired a hooker to seduce the brother in law... She took him to a hotel and unbeknownst to the poor shlemazel, the whole thing was videotaped with a hidden camera. Then in his own version of "You've been punked", Kushner arranged to have the incriminating video delivered during his brother in law's child's birthday party. Class act.

Now Kushner and Trump are the fathers in law for this upcoming wedding... I was thinking that instead of The Apprentice - The Donald should do a reality show about his wedding planning meetings with Charles Kushner! It also occurred to me that when they have the wedding, Trump's hoity toity friends will have to be polite while in the presence of this low life Kushner. And then I thought about the conversations The Donald must be having with The Videotaper. I was looking at the ceiling at the Taj, knowing that the security cameras there were watching all the activity going on at the casino - an important point that male patrons should keep in mind when they stare at the Taj's cleavagey cocktail waitresses. I wonder if Kushner ever gives Trump advice about how to arrange those hidden cameras. And what about the wedding planner? Does Kushner give him advice about how to shoot the wedding in such a way so people don't see the camera? That seems to be his field of expertise.

Nonetheless, I didn't think it would ever happen but having Kushner in the family makes Trump actually likeable. So without further ado... we present our nominees for the Charles Kushner Turkey of the Year Awards....

1. The 3rd of 3 Naked Man Copycats

Last Monday's How I Met Your Mother had an episode that might have moved it into "Legendary Episode" status. In the show's attempt to come up with Seinfeild-esque yadda yadda catch phrases, Monday's episode might have hit the jackpot. There are 2 characters 1 male 1 female named Ted and Robin who are roommates. Ted comes home and finds a naked man sitting on his couch. Ted apologizes for the intrusion and the naked man says he and Robin were on a first date but she stepped out to take a call. Ted walked out... and headed to the nearby watering hole and told his other pals that Robin must have hit it off with this guy. "Not so" said one of the friends..."She texted me and said she didnt like the guy". Alarmed Ted ran home, passed Robin still outside on the phone and ran inside to ask the Still Naked Man if he was sure Robin would be so receptive to this naked situation. At that point, the show took an interesting turn when Naked Man informed Ted of his Modus Operandi... He knew Robin didn' t like him but his bad date gimmick was he would ask good looking women to use their bathroom, and then once he would get into the apartment....he would emerge from the bathroom - buck naked! As Ted gave him a "Whatcha talking about Willis" look... Naked Man informed him that it actually worked 2 out of 3 times.

The story actually turned out to be quite amusing - Robin who had found Naked Man repulsive actually fell for the gimmick and he got lucky! One of Robins friends heard about this and called her a slut which led to a scene of Robin and Naked Man on a 2nd date where he looks very bored and finally tries to get her to admit that her friend called her a slut and she was only having the 2nd date to prove to herself that she is not a slut. Then 3 other characters try out the gimmick and amazingly it works 2 of the 3 times.

Will this lead to copycat Naked Man attempts? If so, our first nominee for The Turkey Award is the 3rd guy who is not able to pull it off.

2. McDonalds lawsuit

The lengths people will go to to win a lawsuit in our litigous happy society. A guy in Fayetteville, Ark went to Mickey D's and oops he left his cell phone there. He called them up and the manager assured him that he would take care of it. Well yadda yadda yadda.. ol' Naked man in Fayetteville must have had his cell camera clicking away of his naked wife because the aforementioned phone allegedly contained pics of her butt naked. These pics subsequently ended up on the internet - and now the guy in Arkanas is suing McDonalds for 3 million dollars! McDonalds has not commented yet.. but I am sure their lawyers are digging up the account holder that uploaded the video and if it is an employee.... his phone records will be subpenoaed to see if there is any connection between the uploader and the plaintiff... such as "Hey if you upload these pics. we'll split our lawsuit winnings with you".

3. Fun and Games in The Twin Cities

Special thanks to the Drudge Report for uncovering this incredible story out of the Des Moines Register for pointing out that they were doing more than counting votes in Minneapolis last weekend.

38 year old Lois Feldman of Iowa went to last weekends Iowa Minnesota game with her husband Kelly. Mrs. Feldman admits that she had quite a few drinks prior to and during the game and just before halftime told her husband that she had to pish. The next thing she knew - she was under arrest.... Police found her in a - Mens room! and not alone... she was in the midst of some wild fun with a "Naked Man" and yadda yadda yadda... it was NOT her husband! The other fella was a 26 year old guy who Feldman claims she had not met until just prior to their encounter and she told the newspaper that she didnt even know his name till she saw it in the paper! According to the paper, about a dozen people were outside the stall cheering them on.. some even got a front row seat by peering between the cracks in the stall door! Feldman gave police wrong identification information which kept them from finding her husband... She ultimately hitched a ride back to her hotel with a stranger leaving her puzzled hubby behind. She has told the paper her husband has been supportive... but I don't buy this "I was out of control because I was drunk" excuse... although I would rather she her caught behind a toilet stall as opposed to behind a wheel. And, frankly after seeing that article over the weekend, call me naive.. but I was surprised how quickly the guy in the bathroom was able to get some action! That is until Monday when I discovered The Legend of... Naked Man. Nonetheless, you gotta admit that this woman is this year's winner of The Charles Kushner Turkey Award!


Pumpy won again last week to improve to 9-3... and clinched a winning record for the 3rd straight season! This week we go to Minnesota the home of last weekends notorious Minnesota Iowa game where the Vikings are 3 point faves over Chicago. Sayeth the Pump: "I take the Bears because I was just listening to Barenaked Ladies.... not the Group.... the Iowa female football fans who do the ol' 1-2 cha cha with strange men in stadium mens rooms!"


For the first time ever we are 10 games over at 23-13 after going 2-1 last week.

Giants 3 1/2 doggies over WASHINGTON - This might be a tough one... but a Giant win gives them a 1st round bye if they go on to beat Dallas for the division.

New Orleans 4 1/2 doggies over TAMPA BAY - Don't these oddsmakers see the huge points Drew Brees has been putting on the board??

GREEN BAY 3 faves over Carolina - If the Giants secure home field for the playoffs, I might have to start picking Jets games!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Office of Homeland Financial Security

Well here we go with Year Number 4 of NWOW!

I think I have an idea of what President Obama should do the first day he is in office.... Well first he should spray some Lysol to get rid of the stench of George W's 8 years of failure. Looking back on the last time we had a competent President in the White House, I recall the first day of Clinton's administration. He went right to work to undo the Bush damage, and immediately changed the absurd Reagan-Bush era rule that cut off federal funding for any parenting clinic that mentioned legal abortion as an alternative. Now that Obama is ready to take over, I have some ideas.

By the way, I will admit that George W did one good thing while in office. In response to the 9-11 attacks, he created the Office of Homeland Security. Now, I can just see the first day at work for Obama. He calls in Rahm Emanuel..(just in case you missed it, his brother Ari Emanuel inspired "Entourage's" Ari Gold) . Emanuel calls in his "Lloyd" to take notes,.... smacks him around a little bit and gets down to brass tacks.

I doubt that President Obama reads blogs, but it would be cool on day 1 if he said..."You know that NWOW blog from November 21st.... I like that idea". That is because today I want to announce that I think America needs "The Office of Homeland Financial Security!".

Last week I criticized extreme Right Wing Republican Congressman Scott Garrett for his comments not supporting the auto bailout. If you read the comments you will notice that my old radio chum Dangerspouse reminisced about our old radio days when we used to have him on the air with us in the early 90s when he was known as Assemblyman E. Scott Garrett... I don't know what the "E" stands for... maybe "Eat my ass, poor people who need government help?" Garrett was not supporting the automakers bailout, and after thinking it over a bit more, I might be starting to agree.

The idea that these big shot CEO's each hopped on their private jets and headed off to Washington did not really look so good as they went to Capitol Hill to plead poverty. I believe ABC News broke the story but what really looked bad was when Congressman Brad Sherman asked each of those big shots who was there to ask for taxpayer money to raise their hand if they flew to Washington on a commercial airline. What a cringe worthy moment when he loudly pronounced "Let the record show - nobody raised their hand!"

That display did not make the auto CEO's look good, but nonetheless, I think we do need a bailout of some kind, although not one that will go directly to the Big 3 Automakers. Next Friday is Black Friday and unless ATM's start offering big bucks fast cash withdrawals, a lot of people are not going to be walking out of stores with high priced items. I see what has happened in 2008 for people trying to get mortgage loans, only to find out that the credit opportunities are gone. Subprime lenders offered 2 year arms so people could refi to a fixed within those 2 yrs, but those people looking for a fixed rate are finding out that the banks don't want to lend money.

And by the way, have you seen what has been going on with Citigroup? They announced mass layoffs, and their stock continues to drop. And what happens if they don't have the money to hold up their deal to pay for the naming rights for the Mets new stadium?? If the Citi money is supposed to pay to build Citi Field, where will the Mets play? Maybe they should have waited before they tore down Shea...

Last month on this blog and my podcast I floated an idea that all mortgage lenders should originate all new loans with a frozen line of credit worth 8 months of interest payments set up so only the lender can touch that money if the borrower is late with his monthly payment. This type of policy would drastically cut down on foreclosures. Right now an astoundingly high amount of families are losing their homes and many owe more than the house is worth. A couple of years ago, these people had equity. But unfortunately, they are now upside down because banks tough lending policies have forced sellers to accept lowball offers because they know another qualified buyer might be very hard to find. And this trend continues all across the USA, and unfortunately, the more sellers settle for less, the more the home values plummet.

Now auto financing is in deep trouble, and that is trickling down to other high ticket items that people buy on credit as we see that electronics giant Circuit City is filing for bankruptcy following in the footsteps of Tops, Nobody Beats the Wiz and Newmark and Lewis where the "Dick Lewis is watching" slogan was posted all over the place... including the mens room!

This may be the Christmas season that is all about cash. First it was the six figure home loans, now it's the five figure car loans. The companies financing auto loans are making them hard to get even with those amazingly unpopular Saved By Zero Toyota ads which could only be worse if Billy Mays started yelling in those commercials too. Back when I was a kid, people always seemed to buy cars with cash. But nowadays car prices are so high that almost everybody needs car financing....but if you are able to walk into a car dealership with a wad of cash... those commission hungry salesman are going to be all over you ... that is of course unless its like the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode where your salesman is Larry David and "Richard Lewis is watching" and barges in to mess up the sale.

Now Circuit City's bankruptcy is making the situation very scary if indeed this is a credit trickle down from mortgages to cars to electronics. The inability to sell products that are not paid for in cash is going to make it difficult for stores such as Best Buy and PC Richard to move along high ticket items. And if you don't have cash you may find it hard to get credit unless you have the most stellar FICO score This year people will be lucky if they can buy something using anything besides cash or my best friend - the Visa debit card which lets you buy stuff only if the money is already in the bank.

That is why it's time for our new President to create the Office of Homeland Financial Security. Even though Henry Paulson has tried to organize a 7 billion dollar bailout, every dollar has to go to exactly the right place - and I feel that money should protect companies providing credit. Send the money to Mortgage lenders, companies that provide auto financing and banks that offer credit for those items we like to drool over at Best Buy - let's use that money to give those companies some security. Let them be the ones who will be able to have reassurance that they will be protected. Up until recently, you needed good credit to get financing.... but right now that well is dry because lenders are just too scared to get burned again.

And if Obama can pick the right person to handle this task - and the money is appropriated correctly, it will breathe life into the mortgage companies, car financing companies and companies that provide credit to big box stores. And despite what people say about the sinking quality of American cars - the cars can sell themselves -with the help of car salesmen. And once auto financing kicks back into gear, sales will start to increase again, stock prices will go up and the Big 3 will start to make more money so their CEO''s wont be criticized anymore for using a $20,000 private jet to ask for more money.

And that is my idea for Day 1 of Obama.

Or he can buy a puppy.


Pumpy was a winner last week celebrating Rahm Emanuel's upcoming 49th b'day and watching his record improve to 8-3. This week we go to New York, home of the Yankees and the Jets. This week George Steinbrenner officially handed off his responsibilities to his son. Sunday, the NY Jets are in Tennesee to play the Titans. The Titans are 5 1/2 point faves. Sayeth the Pump: "In honor of the automaker CEO's method of travel - I pick the Jets".


Last week we went 2-1 to improve to a somewhat respectable 21-12.

Giants 3 faves over ARIZONA - This game is huge to give Big Blue a great shot at getting that oh so important week off after the regular season. If they win they would have a 3 game lead with 5 games left!

ATLANTA 1 fave over Carolina - Then we can root for home field throughout the playoffs.

San Fran 10 doggies over DALLAS - Hey this is in honor of Rahm Emanuel's 49th Birthday.


We haven't had a clip for about a month so today we give you 2. I saw this on Neil Best's fine blog - in honor of George Steinbrenner who has now totally given up all of his Yankee responsibilities. Fans of Seinfeld know that the aformentioned Larry David played George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld. But Steinbrenner never appeared on the show... or did he? Check out this never aired clip and keep an eye out for the now defunct Nobody Beats the Wiz ad in the background at :49. There's that crazy 49 again!


Here is the famous scene where Larry David becomes a car salesman only to be sabotaged by Richard Lewis.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bloggiversary #3: 20 Wisecracks Worth Repeating

Well folks, we did it! This week we celebrate 3 years of NWOW with our 164th column! Amazingly I still haven't run out of material! I decided that for this year's Bloggiversary I would re-read the columns from the last 12 months and pull out some wisecracks that were worth repeating - kind of like the quotes section in your favorite magazine or newspaper.

While looking back at the last 12 months, I saw the usual columns about tv, movies, and baseball but also noticed that as the election drew closer we included a lot of political talk and columns that addressed the mortgage crisis. Even this week, lame duck George W left his legacy intact by implementing a program that will save homes from foreclosure. But if you read the fine print it's not quite what it is touted out to be. When this crisis was first starting, I remember the words of a former co-worker who is a Scott Garrett-esque right wing Republican. (Garrett was just on CNN saying we shouldn't bail out the automakers - which mean more Japanese cars and more American job losses.) This co-worker said helping people in foreclosure doesn't make sense to him because it would screw over wealthy Wall Street investors.

Some mortgage loans are split among investors. Let's say Shemps loan is split into 3 pieces and they are bought by Larry, Moe and Curly. If Shemp defaults, then Larry Moe and Curly lose money. If you read the fine print of the Bush announcement, you will see that mortgages that qualify are those that were sold off to investors. Which means his "Shemp" bailout is really a "Larry Moe and Curly" bailout.

So without any further ado, let's get this party started and look back at 20 of my favorite wisecracks from the past year.

1. This comes from the Nov. 22, 2007 Thanksgiving column relating to the controversy involving members of the Hoboken SWAT team that got caught in some monkey business with some Hooters girls...

"One thing I am thankful for today... besides Trophy Wife.. is the Cops who make our streets safe! Thank you! Also kudos to the Hoboken SWAT Team who should be reinstated! Next time there's a hostage situation, all they need to do is toss in some Hooters Babes and everybody can go home happy."

2. This is from December 13 of last year as I recall a crazy delirious night after getting sick with a nasty bug that led me to take some medication that was apparently somewhat mind altering! It involves a dream I had about Bil Keane from The Family Circus whose wife the inspiration for the Mommy character passed away earlier this year...

"I decided that I needed to sleep so I popped in some comfort food into the dvd player... "The Sound of Music".... the legendary Rogers and Hammerstein musical and the cure to soothe all of us who have a fever. I also had been reading through an old book of cartoons written by the legendary Bil Keane of The Family Circus but as I drifted off to cough medicine induced sleepy-land, I had the strangest dream. It was like a long movie trailer with a narrator...

Bil Von Keane led the charmed life. A retired Navy Captain, his life was filled with structure and discipline. Every morning after he woke up at precisely 0600, he drew a circle and moments later had a funny cartoon about his kids. The early successes of his cartoons gave him the opportunity to publish many books along with book signings across the country including a Barnes and Noble in NJ where he had the opportunity to once meet Former NJ Governor Tom Kean prompting Von Keane to declare.. "Why the hell do you pronounce your name cane? It should be Keane!"

Buyers of his books noticed something very interesting. On the back covers it had a biography of Bil Von Keane which told people that he was the father of 5 kids. But in The Family Circus strip.. there was only Billy, Jeffy, Dolly and PJ. What happened to the 5th kid? Why wasn't the 5th kid in the strip? What could that kid have done that was so bad to be left out of the strip?? Did Von Keane once threaten.. ."Either you finish your Brussels Sprouts... or I am dropping you from the comic strip!" Did he hit Dolly in the head with a frying pan?

The kids were a bit much.. as was his wife. She always complained that she only had one hairstyle change since 1950. But Bil Von Keane was a strict disciplinarian and he knew he needed help with the kids and the house. He hired an ex nun named Maria to be their governess. He was always entertaining guests at his big house and every evening prior to bedtime all the children had to come to the steps to bid the guests Good Night. And every night it was the same. Von Keane stepped forward... blew his whistle and each child stepped forward and announced his name...





"The Fifth Kid"...

And then they would all join in... "So Long, Farewell, auf weedershen adieu... Adieu Adieu to You and You and You and You and You.... Doo doo doo doo doo.

But a lot of secrets were hidden in the Von Keane house. Dolly had a telegram delivery friend named Elmo who lived near Dagwood Bumstead. Elmo used to spend a lot of quiet moments with her in the Von Keane gazebo. But Dolly was starting to lose Elmo... as the delivery boy was getting seduced by a growing militia from the Evil German Empire. The Germans were trying to persuade Von Keane to show his support for the incoming German regime...and join their military... but he refused! Ultimately the Von Keanes had to leave town, but just as their escape was complete there facing them with a drawn pistol was... Elmo??"

3. From the December 13th TV Quarterly Report - a plot I hatched to save the late and lamented Journeyman including a very accurate prediction of the 2008 Mets!

"Last year, the Jericho fans sent nuts to CBS execs because it related to that show's plot and with all those nuts pouring in CBS relented and is bringing the show back. As I pointed out in the comments section on TV critic Alan Sepinwall's blog, Monday's episode revealed that the son on Journeyman was conceived when his parents got frisky during a SF Giants game. So on the heels of the CBS-nuts-Jericho mailing campaign, I think that since Barry Bonds played for The Giants, Journeyman fans should mail steroids to NBC. Can you imagine Journeyman fans sneaking into NBC headquarters and injecting corporate bigshots with a shot of steroids in the tushy? Unless NBC comes to its senses, the only journeyman I will get to see is the parade of drek that will come out of the Mets bullpen starting in April."

4. The Jan 18 Octopussy review which featured a shot of Enco, the former name of Exxon (in the south - up here it was called Esso) discussing the impact of all these Indians moving to our area...

"Interestingly enough this movie was filmed in the early 1980s when a lot of us thought of India as an exotic foreign country.... but as Esso/Enco shifted to the back burner of our memory banks... Indians living in my part of NJ shifted curry to the front burners of their stoves taking away a lot of the mystery of this oh so exotic land" .

5. Jan 25, 2008 - discussing my preparations in case I meet an untimely end after learning a valuable lesson from Heath Ledger.

"By the way The Ledger refers to the Newark Star Ledger not the late actor Heath Ledger. Oh and by the way, if anybody ever finds me unconscious... don't call Mary Kate Olson... call freakin' 911!! I have now deleted all Olson sisters from my speed dial just to avoid the temptation!"

6. As we hit Feb. 1, the excitement of the Giants in the Super Bowl reached NWOW... this is from our Super Bowl Preview column... including a very interesting comment from Obama Supporter Pumpstradamus...

"I am excited for my Boys... and I hope to be here next week kvelling about The Giants and trash talking my pal Barry who just goes on and on with his endless Patriot/Red Sox/Celtic trash talking! I even have banned any reference to that other quarterback.... the show with the blended family with six kids has now been renamed the Manning Bunch... and the gun safetly laws named for Ronald Reagan's press secretary shot by John Hinckley has been renamed The Manning Bill! Until Monday at least...

Both myself and Pumpstradamus are predicting... A Giant victory!! Actually Pumpy originally was going to stick to his original pick of ... The Colts.. and yes folks he has no clue that the Colts QB and Giants QB are brothers!! I asked him again... and sayeth The Pump:

I'm taking the Giants, because Giuliani (whose name also begins with "Gi") dropped out of the race this week to back McCain, who's from Arizona (and of course, the game will be played in Arizona) . Go Giants, and go McCain!"

7. Then we had this nugget about Mitt Romney from Feb, 7th...

"I think back to 1986 when The Mets beat The Red Sox in the World Series and I recall a great idea of a campaign commercial with Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.

"Hi this is Bill Buckner reminding you to Vote Romney For President - because everyone in America could use a good Mitt!!"

8. On Feb 15th we discussed the trend of self destructing celebrities and the importance of using words in the proper context...

"Thursday, was showing that hysterical clip of a live discussion of The Vagina Monologues on The Today Show where Jane Fonda drops the c word on a stunned and mortified Meredith Viera. Its a funny clip, and even though Jane says it was the title of a monologue, you would think that the daughter of Henry Fonda would be savvy enough to know that you can't say the c word on TV.. even though its ok to have James Bond movies with Pussy Galore and Octopussy... Of course, they can talk about The Vagina Monologues till they're blue in the testicles... but God forbid Jane Fonda drops the C-word! Now all hell breaks loose... (even though The Today Show airs out of 30 Rock... the same building which created Triumph the Insult Comic Dog who recorded a song called "Cats are C-words".)

And isn't language all about context?? Hey The James Bond characters Pussy Galore and Octopussy, and The Sopranos Big Pussy are ok... and MTV can have a show called "pimp my ride" which has nothing to do with hookers.. but if an MSNBC commentator makes a wisecrack that Chelsea Clinton is being "pimped" out,.. everybody goes nuts because the word pimp could be looked at possibly as connecting Chelsea to the world's oldest profession! Just like Imus's usage of the word ho's which got him into such hot water. It was used as slang.... not to imply the Rutgers women were hookers... but nonetheless, the PC Police were all out in full force."

9. On March 11th, singer Lipa Schmeltzer was a hot topic. The ultra Orthodox singer was forced to cancel a concert in a manner that evoked memories of an early 70s cinematic masterpiece...

"Ultimately, the newspaper proudly recounts what happened next. Some powerful Rabbis within that community called Lipa in... and apparently those extremist activists must have approached those clergymen on the day of their daughter's wedding because you can never turn someone away on the day of your daughter's wedding... As a result these Rabbis made Lipa an offer he could not refuse. He was called to the Brooklyn home of one of the Rabbis and asked to sign a document that he would not appear at this concert. Basically it was either his signature or his payis! Ultimately it was try the cholent but save the spongecake... (Is there a Jewish food that resembles canolis?) And the producer who lost a ton of money was figuratively dragged out to the middle of the lake for a Fredo-esque farewell.... because if the show was not canceled, he would be swimming with the gefilte fish... or wake up in the morning and find himself in bed with the head of a horse radish."

10. Coming in at No. 10 - hey I feel like Casey Kasem. March 30th - our baseball preview and a bizarre injury involving a former Met.

"The Astros also picked up former Met Kaz Matsui from Colorado... but he is out for now due to an Anal Fissure. Anal Fissure? Is that any relation to Ira Joe Fissure."

11. This clip from May 11th is pretty self contained...

"Speaking of the Devils, I saw in the newspaper this week that a judge has issued arrest warrants for 2 former Meadowlands based athletes... onetime NY Giant Bart Oates and former NJ Devil Ken Daneyko because they failed to show up to give depositions in a real estate lawsuit. The judge in Newark is Judge Michael Giles, who it was revealed a few weeks ago got into a bit of trouble for cursing in his courtroom. What happens if these 2 guys show up in court, and the judge roots for The Jets and The Rangers? Is he going to yell at them.... "You bastards....." etc.??"

12. More political yuks from June 4th

"Hillary appeared at Baruch College and added an atta adonay to pray that she can somehow not give up her race for the Democratic ticket"

13. From June 16th, discussing the death of Family Man Tim Russert where he was described here as...

"... a tough, well prepared interviewer who was notorious for being such a big family man especially to his dad Big Russ and son Luke who he talked about endlessly. And you can tell by NBC and MSNBC's weekend coverage that this was one well liked fella. Can you imagine him at the hospital introducing himself to his newborn son with a Vader-esque..."Luke I am your father".

14. On July 7th NWOW weighed in on the Christie Brinkley divorce trial from that kooky ex husband..

"And he pays for porn? Hey save your shekels.. there is a TON of free porn out there – at least that is what I have heard. I would think that this is only such a hot topic since Brinkley was a former model who has aged quite well now that she is in her 50s…. I woulda thought she would have started to look like David Brinkley by now…"

15. Here are a couple of nuggets about the All Star Game that I posted shortly after that marathon game ended including an observation about George Steinbrenner..

"Incidentally, George wore his sunglasses at night at a game that ended on a throw by... Corey Hart!"


"I think the Tampa Bay Rays have the right combo of hitting and starting pitching led by former Met Scott Kazmir. Therefore I pick the Rays for the Wild Card even though everyone still calls them by their old name of Devil Rays. Can we call them Blu Rays instead? And maybe refer to the Yankees as the HD-DVD of the 2008 season?"

16. On September 4th, it was time for the Republican convention - and our first introduction to Sara Palin!

"I watched Palin Friday and the first thing that came to mind was she was wearing Amy Winehouse's hair. (If you were born before 1970... she was wearing Ruth Buzzi's hair). Now she has let her hair down and looks pretty hot. That 18 year old boy who impregnated her jailbait daughter probably had a few "Stiffler's Mom" shrieks during his evenings of passion with the first daughter.

Now on Labor Day we heard that the older 17 year old daughter is pregnant by an 18 year old boyfriend whose hockey abilities obviously include being able to slip one past the goalie. The Republicans who think that pregnant teens only exist on The Maury Povich Show quickly announced that this girl's pregnancy has no relevance."

17. That same September 4th column also featured the 1st of 3 wacky observations about John King and his crazy CNN map... here we refer to a comment Roger Ebert made about his former co-worker, columnist Jay Mariotti... where he told his former colleague.... 'On your way out, don't let the door bang you on the ass."

"Also John King has his amazing little election map that he smacks with his hand..... you almost wish he would yell Big Bucks, No Whammies and Stop beforehand,.... to show how each area has voted. It was cool to see him at his map talking to Governors who might have lost a Geography Bee to King about regions of their own state. He even let some Governors touch the map....which they seemed to find very exciting. I wonder if he takes that map home at night.. throws fellow CNN colleague/fiance Dana Bash on top of it and does the ol' Hoochy McScoochy right on top of it. If Dana positions herself correctly on the midwest.. one could see Ebert making more wisecracks about being banged on the ass...."

This topic was revisited again on October 17th,....

"Dana married her first husband - a guy named Bash and took on his name. Now she is married to John King.. but still goes by the last name of her ex husband. It's kind of odd that John King will speak to her on the air and refer to her by her previous husband's last name! Imagine if she hyphenated her name... then divorced hubby #2 and married Tony Robbins... her name would be Dana Bash-King Robbins! By the way, just like the aforementioned Elizabeth Banks, John King converted to Judaism prior to the wedding, which is physically more painful for a man than a woman. Mazel tov to the King family and tune in later today on CNN as John King and Larry King will have a Shmini Atzeret trivia contest."

And again on Halloween, this time using his map as a teaching tool about other topics...

"Btw, can you imagine if he uses that map highlighter to teach his kids about the birds and the bees? Here on the east coats is the daddy and his shmeckle - Over in California, this is the mommy and her eggs. Now if the shmeckle juice ends up swimming through the midwest...."

18. The changes to Rutgers Football Stadium were mentioned on September 19th...

"I actually live near the new and improved Rutgers Stadium and it is pretty cool to drive past it during a game. The stands are positioned so that the fans appear to jut out almost on to River Road and as I drive by I see the fans cheering (well maybe not this season) and I can almost imagine them saying... "Great driving job Nate!... Great footwork on the gas pedal!"

19. Speaking of Stadiums, on October 3rd we had these comments about Shea and Yankee Stadiums

"I was kind of curious what the Shea finale would be like after seeing the great show that was put on at Yankee Stadium the previous week. It was neat to see Yogi Berra who had a key role for both franchises participate at both Stadium Closing ceremonies. Perhaps Yogi should be hired for other closings.... like bank closings? Hey join us this week as we close the doors on Wachovia... with a special appearance by Yogi Berra!!

At that point it was time for the last pitch - an incredibly clever idea which Tom Seaver tossed to Mike Piazza. The two then walked to the outfield to In My Life by The Beatles... don't forget The Beatles concert was an important part of Shea's history - and strolled to the center field wall... at which point they closed the wall behind them essentially closing the Stadium.

It would have been nice if right before that, they would have tossed a grenade into the bullpen and just blow it up... but that was not meant to be."

20. And finally from October 31 - some keen observations about Republicans right before the elections, including several late campaign speeches by Sarah Palin where she attempted to win the Jewish vote by making harsh comments about Palestinians.

"One campaign that caught my attention is the Republican hot bed in Northwest NJ where a blind Rabbi named Dennis Shulman is running for Congress against incumbent Scott Garrett. Hey, I'd rather have a blind Rabbi than a blind mohel.

And, with all this anti Palestinian talk, Sarah Palin is starting to look like Meir Kahane with boobs"

And there you have it.... 20 wisecracks from the last year.. incidentally the original version had it as Meir Kahane with a different female body part, but some people thought that might be too rough for the possible future VP... Well, Palin lost... although I get the feeling we haven't seen the last of her - and Bloggiversary #7 could very well be a recap of her Election Day loss to President Obama!

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - Pumpy tasted defeat last week to drop his record to 7-3. Two bloggiversaries ago, we started the tradition of picking the San Fransisco game after Nancy Pelosi's big showing in 2006. This week its the enthralling match up between the 49ers and The Rams. The Niners are 6 and a half point faves. Sayeth The Pump: "In honor of Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel I gotta go with the obvious - The 49ers, because Rahm will celebrate his 49th birthday in 2 weeks!".

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: Last week we went 1-2 to drop to 19-11.

GIANTS 6 1/2 point faves over Baltimore - I heard that a Jersey City Councilman got arrested for pishing off a balcony at a bar last week. I hope that if he attends this game his seats are in the pish proof lower deck!

Detroit 14 doggies to CAROLINA - Even though everybody thinks the Lions-Titans game will be 0-11 vs. 11-0, an 0-9 team can be very dangerous and shouldn't be taken for granted.

Vikings 3 1/2 doggies over TAMPA BAY - The more Tampa and Atlanta lose, the closer the Giants get to a playoff berth. I think Minnesota-ans are so tired of the Coleman-Franken race that they will welcome the distraction!

Friday, November 07, 2008

TV Quarterly - Obie-Wan, Obie-Won and Lost Meets Kojak

I just realized... no more elections.... no more baseball... now what do I do??

The election season that is now finally over was unlike any other we had ever seen... which is what we seem to say every 4 years. In '04 I was on a cruise ship with Trophy Wife watching CNN International with Wolf Blitzer and it took great restraint not to jump overboard as the concept of Bush II became a reality. Luckily we stayed afloat and didn't sink unlike the economy during Bush II.

The big change this time around was not only that blogs have become more popular - NWOW celebrates its 3rd bloggiversary next week - appears to be the instant messaging capabilities on Facebook. The time leading to election day was a bit annoying with people constantly repeating their political views and then right before Tuesday "donating their status" to their candidate! I donated mine to the local sandwich franchisee who let me cut in front of him in the voting line in exchange for this announcement - all subs are now 5 bucks!

Now I am seeing all the commentary about the decision to add Rahm Emanuel. Personally, I think Obama deserves a little vaca time after that endless campaign and you know the next 4 yrs are gonna be tough... Did you ever see the before and after pics of Presidents from Election Day to 4 years later? I'm curious how much he is going to age in that time - he might look like Redd Foxx in 2012!

Emanuel is an interesting choice for the post and that will put an end to any speculation that the Obama White House will be an Open House for Louis Farakhan. Emanuel reportedly has a short fuse and doesn't take crap from anybody. In addition, his talent agent brother Ari Emanuel is the inspiration for the Ari Gold character on "Entourage"! Apparently, Rahm has a similar Ari Goldesque temperament... I can just see him bringing Congressman Barney Frank to the White House to be his "Lloyd". All of a sudden this Obama administration looks like it could be entertaining!

Today we present our TV Quarterly Report. We will start with the Election Coverage and then go to the Fall Season which for me begins after the World Series. WE will talk about the fact that there are only 2 good nights of TV with one very notable exception. By the way, last week we moved one of the tvs into the bedroom which had been tv less since we moved into our house last year. I rarely watch TV in our bedroom, but Trophy Wife and I decided to move one there. As a child, my parents had a tv in their bedroom and here is a pic of a very young Nate the TV critic watching - probably a game show!


I mostly watched CNN even though I was kind of baffled by the glowing Will.I.Am hologram interview. Pretty cool idea - maybe that might be how news will be presented. Back in the old days, people were just as stunned that Huntley and Brinkley were anchoring the news from 2 different studios.. maybe Star Wars stuff is the wave of the future. But it still strikes me as being odd beaming somebody in like the Princess Leia scene in Star Wars - "Hey Obie Wan - Obie Won!" My friend Jake has an autographed pic of Adrienne Barbeau on his Facebook but I will now use my holographic powers to beam that pic right here.... Adrienne... welcome to NWOW

As things started to look good for Obama on Tuesday, I decided to tune over to Fox News to see how they were handling it. It was rather amusing to watch their long faces as 8 years of a Republican White House had come to an end. (Nauseatingly enough the GOP has been in the White House for 20 of the last 28 years - blech!) Watching the Fox News Channel the night Obama won the election was like watching the losing locker room interviews after the Super Bowl.

CNN didnt use as much as John King's magic map as I had anticipated... or maybe I just was not watching too closely. As part of the new generation of media coverage I found myself watching News Radio 88's camera coverage of its radio broadcasts that they were showing on their website. It was quite fascinating to see 2 anchormen sitting there playing commercials, going live to Tony Guida and basically holding down the fort with a lot of down time. One of the anchors seemed to spend a lot of time on his black berry while the other guy just kind of sat there looking at an unseen monitor. They rarely spoke to each other off air although one guy did get a drink for the other guy. On the radio it sounded smooth, but watching them made their job seem a tad dull.

I also found myself tuning it to ABC late at night.. .this was the first Presidential Election in the post Peter Jennings era... and I was mesmerized by how remarkably good Diane Sawyer was looking even though she must have been putting in a 20 hour day. I presume she was able to make it back the next morning for Good Morning America? I didn't bother getting up early to watch to see if she was back on.


Sunday has become one of the 2 best days on TV - after all the Sunday football I am ready for some yuks which is why Seth MacFarlane continues to be the King of Sunday Night cartoons! He rules the roost with the classic Family Guy and the extremely amusing American Dad. The episode with Roger the alien having a split personality and having one persona steal the id from the other one in order to get a credit card was quite hysterical. Now Family Guy is spinning off Cleveland into his own show as he bluntly pointed out to Quagmire while they were being held against their will in the Griffin's basement in the "Home Alone" episode. How often does a guy being held prisoner turn to his fellow captive and say - "Hey Im getting a spinoff!".

I have also noticed there is a bit of a Simpsons vs. Family Guy competition because McFarlane has been pointing out Family Guys pulling in a larger audience than The Simpsons in the weekly TV ratings. McFarlane is finally getting some long deserved credit but even though I think The Family Guy is funnier, I don't think it will last anywhere near as long as The Simpsons will. I used to watch Desperate Housewives, but now i have been watching it on later in the week. However, ABC did something with their video player and the audio and video never seems to be in synch, which makes it a bit difficult to watch. It could be an issue with my computer.

After The Fox cartoons its off to HBO to watch Entourage. The 4 guys and Ari Gold provide for a very amusing and entertaining show. Jeremy Piven is absolutely brilliant as Ari and the 4 boys interact with each other quite well. Even Turtle's character who is somewhat irrelevant has some big moments - his little handy run in on the plane with the girl from The Sopranos made him the butt of jokes from Drama - but when his bragging about his studliness came back to bite him and he got dumped, Drama was the first person to immediately step forward to defend his pal who he had been endlessly picking on for the last several episodes. Nice to see somebody has a heart. Its like a buddy movie with a nutty power hungry agent and a gay assistant (Lloyd) who seems to be the target of every gay joke that has ever been written.

After Entourage I tend to flip to the NFL game or Fox 5 Sports Extra. For those of you not in our tv market - sports caster Andy Adler is a woman and homina homina homina! You oughta see the outfits she wears. After that its over to Channel 4 for the night to see the late news... now anchored by Darlene Rodriguez although last Sunday Sue Simmons co anchored with Chuck Scarborough and Sue had the craziest looking perm I had ever seen! Her hair was back to its normal self Monday night. Maybe she was sending a message to management that she doesn't like working weekends??

After getting my sports wrapup with Mike'd Up with Mike Francesa - I just discovered that early seasons of Monk are being rerun on Channel 4. I had never seen the earlier seasons and everyone raves about his original assistant, so now I will get to see what I was missing.


Nothing is better on back to work Monday than coming home to get some yuks. CBS has the hysterical Big Bang Theory at 8 and then How I Met Your Mother at 8:30. Heroes follows at 9 - and even though there has been a lot of controversy swirling around the show this season - 2 producers were fired this week - I think the show is quite entertaining.

What will it take to fix Heroes? Well let's keep one concept intact - Heroes has a very good way of creating good guys and bad guys and then painting them with a shade of gray to make the bad guys look good and vice versa. This vagueness with who do you root for makes for some excellent storytelling you don't see too often on TV. The problem is what are these guys up to? Parkman meets Heroes version of Pumpstradamus and knows he will hook up with Daphne, while at the same time she has to abduct him for her bosses. At the moment they meet for the first time... they already know each other yet they have never met or spoken. But what is the end game to all this?? Well maybe the Heroes should be crime fighting superheroes - kind of like the Fantastic 4. Unfortunately the writers have created so many freaking characters with so many different tangents and time traveling time lines that its getting harder to get the plots under control. While I like the idea of not so bad bad guys and not so good good guys... it would be nice if they team up to fight a villain. The episode with Claire and her 2 moms teaming up to defeat the puppeteer was not only quite suspenseful but also set a good example of the kind of super hero team work that could make the show work even better.

The night wraps up at 10 with the silliness of CSI Miami..(what are they doing to Emily Procter? Did she get some collageon or something? She doesnt look right) and at the same time ABC is airing Boston Legal pitting David Caruso against William Shatner in the battle of the worst actors. Shatner has either gotten to be a better actor or a caricature of himself since we have gotten so used to his poor acting skills, that he seems to be just imitating himself.


I usually dont get too involved with the new fall shows because half the time they get canceled anyway. Last year's time traveling Journeyman was a typical example,. That is why when I heard another show involving a time traveling element would premiere this fall, I got a little nervous that I would get hooked. Well I got hooked on Life on Mars which is by far the best new TV show of the season.

Over the summer I started watching Swingtown on CBS - a show that took place in the 70s involving 3 couples... one swinging couple,... one square couple,.... and one couple sort of in the middle. While the "swingers in prime time" aspect got all the attention - in reality the show had a lot of heart warming moments and it turns out that as the season ended, the swinging couple emerged as having the strongest marriage.

Once the show wrapped up (and sadly probably for good) in September I had this nostalgia for the 70s that only seemed to be fulfilled by watching old game shows on GSN. Along came Life on Mars with this crazy concept about a cop who gets smacked in the head.. and wakes up living in the 1970s where he is working as.... a 1970's cop. And if you watched the crime shows in the 70s and the crime shows of today, you know that cops were different back then - at least on TV. Nobody really knows how he ended up back in the 70s.. much like the mystery surrounding the time traveling abilities of the main character on Journeyman.... so the premise of a 2008 cop on a 70s cop show with a bizarrely mysterious back story - is kind of like a cross between Lost and Kojak.

If you watch the old '70s cop show reruns, you kind of get a little nostalgic because the current era shows are basically out of the Law and Order and CSI format. And the occasional cop show involving a cop with an offbeat personality don't seem to do well. One case was Boomtown on NBC a few years back - the lead character in that show is the same actor who plays mysterious Dave Williams on Desperate Housewives.

The 70s cops on that show are well played by Havey Keitel and Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos. Imperioli's character has a pretty accurate 70s sideburns and mustache look while both cops are incredibly Archie Bunker-esque in their political incorrectness. The fact that they nicknamed a female cop No Nuts pretty much explains how these guys operate.

The other mystery is how did this guy bang his head and wake up 35 years ago? This show ran in England and already explained it... but nobody knows if the American version will follow the same path although I hear the first few episodes were strikingly similar. I don't know anything about the British Life on Mars so I will have to stay in suspense to see how all this falls into place. Nonetheless, the mystery combined with the old 70s cop show characters makes Life on Mars by far the best new show of the season!


Other than Life on Mars the non Sunday - Monday shows are pretty lame. I do catch a couple of other shows on Fox - Kitchen Nightmares is entertaining but it's the same thing every week. A restaurant is poorly run... Gordon comes for a visit, hates the food, curses a few times, fixes the place up, reopens it, watches them struggle with the crowds for the reopening, and then everybody is happy and sings cumbaya at the end.

Friday also has a couple of goodies - Don't Forget the Lyrics could bring in a lot of money if I can ever convince Trophy Wife to go on the show. Wayne Brady is the perfect host for this karaoke game show. And Bill Maher's show on HBO has been terrific when he gets a good panel - although I think the show's quality might drop a bit now that the elections are over.

One last show I have really started to enjoy - oddly enough I work from my home office in the mornings and Friday afternoons so I catch The People's Court. I think this is the best of all the court shows because Judge Milian is not only easy on the eyes but also seems to have a lot of common sense and doesn't yell at everybody like the more popular Judge Judy. I am also trying to figure out the logistics of how Harvey Levin balances his New York People's Court tapings with his LA TMZ daily show. And I recently found out on Wikipedia that Levin is openly gay. I never knew that - not that there is anything wrong with it of course. Unless you want to get married in California - but that my friends is a topic for another day!

PUMPSTRADAMUS NFL PICK OF THE WEEK - For the 6th time in 7 weeks, Pumpy was right again last week to improve to 7-2. This week we go to Chicago, home of President Elect Obama. The Bears are 3 point home dogs against Tennessee - Sayeth the Pump - "To paraphrase Oprah, I couldn't bare to watch the results if McCain would have won - take the Bears!"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK - We went 2-1 last week - we are actually 15-3 over the last 6 wks - the season record is now 18-9.

Giants 3 point doggies over PHILLY - A 3 point home favorite essentially means the oddsmakers feel the teams are very equal. I politely disagree with that.

RAIDERS 9 doggies over Carolina - The Giants and Carolina are battling for home field in the playoffs. Pumpy had his gutsy Raiders pick against the Jets a few weeks ago, and he won. They should at least cover.

Saints 1 doggie over ATLANTA - Each Philly and Atlanta loss gets the Giants closer to a playoff berth. GO Saints!