Archive for September, 2010
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
I finally got to do the Easter Seals Drop Zone yesterday. Great event, tons of people taking part, at last count they had raised more than $65,000, which is terrific and well above their original goal. Thanks to everyone who sponsored me, and everyone who came out to see me not get hurt!
Our audio cut out just as I was going over the edge. Going over the edge is, by far, the scariest part of the whole thing. And because we had no audio, and we were trying desperately to get the phone back working, I hung there, over the empty space, with no control of my own, for about six minutes! It’s supposed to be five seconds of terror, followed by six minutes of descent. Instead, I got six minutes of terror followed by the quickest possible descent I could manage! There is, at least, a video. Even though we couldn’t manage to get it on the air! Here’s the video:
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
I have been puzzling for a while over the overall plan that Stephen Harper has leading into the next election. Which will take place in ninety years or something. It seems that the central platform of the Conservatives is rolling back all those things which are terrible invasions of the personal privacy of Canadians. There’s the census - telling the government how many bedrooms you have is a terrible infringement on your rights, and it will be done away with. Registering your guns – weapons whose only purpose is to kill things – is a terrible invasion of your privacy. Which is kind of odd…we spend 400 million dollars and seventy thousand man hours tracking down that guy who, before the G8 summit, bought an unusually large amount of fertilizer…only to find out he’s a farmer…but telling the government how many guns you have? Tyranny!
So I have a few suggestions for Mr. Harper and his government. If “invasion of privacy” is the way you’re going to go in the upcoming election cycle, there are many ways you can make sure people get behind you. Here are a few.
First of all, birqas for everyone! I find it to be a terribly invasive thing that when I go get a new drivers’ license photo, they demand to see my whole face. If the birqa were made mandatory in Canada for all drivers’ licenses, passports and health card photos, no one would feel this sting on their personal freedoms, and we would all breathe easier.
Second of all – you’d better make gay marriage entirely legal. I recently got married, and found it very intrusive when the good people at City Hall asked me who I was going to marry. Why should I divluge this sensitive information? What business is it of the govenrment what my spouse-to-be’s name is? And if you change the policy and make it unnecessary to provide all the appropriate names and details of a proposed spouse, then you won’t be able to check whether the marriage is gay or straight anyway, right? It’s just logical…
Don’t get me started on airplane security. Let me take three lighters, and not just two, through the little machine. Actually, no. Do away with the little machine altogether! What business is it of yours what’s in my carry-on? Or what I’m carrying on my person? Besides, the gun in my carry-on bag is properly registered…oh wait, not any more it isn’t.
You know what else really bugs me? Having to sign my name to take out a golf cart, in case I’m gonna wreck it up. Do something about that too, would you?
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
The more I hear about FOX News North, or, as it’s being called by Quebecor and Sun Media “a right wing network”, the more I am concerned. I get it though. We Canadians always like to follow the American example, a few years later. They elect a right-winger, so do we. Oh, you have a Reagan? We’ll give you a Mulroney. It’s Clinton now? Here’s our Jean Chretien. For about six weeks, there was a joke that Hillary, and not Bill, actually wore the pants in the family and was the REAL president. So we got Kim Campbell for six weeks. Ah, Bush I see. Well, we have a Harper. Yes, I agree, in most cases we gave the Americans a pretty poor copy of their guy. Or girl. But boy, we tried. You have a tea party? We have a Tea Party lite, this Alberta Rosey McRose Alliance or whatever it is.
Now, ten years later, we’re bringing FOX News to Canada. Oh, I know the arguments – this isn’t FOX, it won’t be a cynical sham of a news organization that functions only as a propaganda branch of the Conservative party and contains very little actual “news”. This will be…well…real news. I guess. But doesn’t the fact that this network is marketing itself AS conservative actually take away from the whole “news” thing? This is supposedly an attempt to combat the perceived left-wing bias of the existing major Canadian media. So…the mainstream Canadian media is totally left-wing, and the only way to balance that out is to run a specifically, branded right-wing media outlet!
Or is it? I will acknowledge that there may be a small lean to the left in our bigger networks, specifically CBC. But what exactly defines that lean? The big offender, if you listen to the hard right, is the CBC. Watch their news and try to figure out where the left-wing bias argument originates. I really don’t see it. And when people complain about the crazy-left CBC, what do they cite? David Suzuki? Debatable as it may be whether Global Warming is a left-wing issue (and I think it’s utterly insane that it has become that), just having David Suzuki makes you left wing? Was it reporting on the abuse of Afghan detainees makes them left wing? Or was that just facts?
I think I might defer to Jon Stewart and the Daily Show on this one. His skewering of FOX News is brilliant – although he acknowledges a modicum of left-wing bias on the part of the mainstream media, he suggests that the FOX News response to that perceived imbalance is WAY out of proportion. This is hilarious:
And that’s the danger I see in FOX News North. I think it will start out as an attempt to “balance” news coverage in Canada. But it’s only right-wingers that actually see that “bias” in the first place. So the only thing this new network will do is add a previously-unheard conservative voice. Which will be fine to begin with. Like FOX News was OK to begin with. They started out as a minor cable “news” network. But now they are the single biggest wedge dividing the American political discourse, polarizing the climate to an unconscionable degree. The longer FOX News runs, the more the debate becomes increasingly polarized. And the crazier and more vicious commentators have to be to cut through the more moderate rhetoric that’s out there – that’s what produces Andrew Breitbart and Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter and Bernie Goldberg and all the other nutters who claim to have some kind of expertise in domestic affairs.
So that’s where we’re headed. But here’s the thing. I don’t think FOX News North should be stopped. I don’t even think it should be protested. All I ask is this – don’t call it “news”. You are obviously going out of your way to produce a television product that plays to a certain demographic base (the same one that listens to all of that right-wing talk radio…quick, name a left-wing talk radio station…) with admittedly slanted and one-sided coverage.
That’s fine. Have your network and run whatever programs you want. I’ll probably even watch! I watch O’Reilly and Glenn Beck and occasionally even that hack Sean Hannity on a regular basis! (I watch because they amuse me, but that’s beside the point.) Just don’t pretend it’s “news”. Calling something “news” implies at least an effort to make coverage balanced and fair and nonpartisan. And your very mission statement is proof enough that this is not, at all, what you intend to do. You intend to present the right-wing side of everything. And truly, as someone who leans far more left than right, I welcome that. But let’s avoid falling into that awful, disgusting polarizing pile of crap that is the American political system at the moment. And the best way to do that is to make sure that you don’t refer to your new television network as “news”.
Friday, September 24th, 2010
On Monday, Fat Man will finally emerge from his Fat Cave to take on the Delta Hotel tower on Sparks street. Which means that I have three days to get really nervous about it. Early Monday morning, the rappeling begins. Still looking for pledges – any amount helps – for the Easter Seals and kids with disabilities. Just click on the picture of big-fat-me to the right on the screen.
Friday, September 24th, 2010
This past week, I lost to a trash-talking creepy little doll. This week I will do better. I’m sitting at 18-14 overall, and 16-13-3 against the spread.
Tennessee at New York Giants (3) - The Giants are reeling after getting hammered by the Colts, and a bit of a short week gives them little time to lick their wounds. The Titans ran into a buzzsaw Steelers defense, one that the Giants can’t match. Chris Johnson and Vince Young rebound, Titans in the upset. Titans, 24-20.
Real final score: Titans, 29-10. The Titans are simply a better team.
Buffalo at New England (13) - The Patriots need to get back up after taking a beating from the Jets. Buffalo is an easy opponent against whom they should be able to take out some frustration, and New England is much, much stronger at home. They win and cover. Patriots, 33-17.
Real final score: Patriots, 38-30. The Bills showed a lot of backbone in making this a real game. But they just aren’t good.
Cleveland at Baltimore (10.5) – Ten points? The Ravens are 1-1, and didn’t look great against the Bengals. They should be able to win this game fairly easily, but to cover the ten and a half, they’ll have to score a lot of points. I don’t see it. Ravens win, Browns cover. Ravens, 16-10.
Real final score: Ravens, 24-17. That’s about right. The Ravens scored more than I thought, with Boldin having a big game. But the Browns kept pace.
Pittsburgh (2) at Tampa Bay – I can’t imagine why this point spread is so low. The Steelers are so great on defense that it doesn’t matter (against the Bucs) who their QB is. Charlie Batch? Whoever? Doesn’t matter. Steelers to win and cover. Steelers, 14-6.
Real final score: Steelers, 38-13. Charlie Batch. Charlie Batch! Who predicted 38 from Charlie Batch? No one but Charlie Batch.
Cincinnati (3.5) at Carolina – The Panthers look good, then they look bad, often within the same series. The Bengals could be on their way to the division title after their big win over the Ravens. Bengals, 21-20.
Real final score: Bengals, 20-7. The Panthers looked good again. But mostly they looked like losers in the end.
Atlanta at New Orleans (6) – The Saints are 2-0. But both games were squeakers, and the Falcons looked amazing last week. So…I still think the Saints are better, but this will be another squeaker in New Orleans. Saints, 20-17.
Real final score: Falcons, 27-24. If the Saints could just kick a field goal…well, I would have been right. As it is, I was right about the spread. And that’s it.
San Francisco at Kansas City (1.5) – I think the Niners put a lot of good things together on Monday night against the Saints. And I think they will be confident and desperate against a much weaker opponent. Niners to win and cover in a small upset. Niners, 16-14.
Real final score: Chiefs, 31-10. Looks like the Niners 0-3 record is…apt. I still think they’ll win their division, maybe at 7-9. Imagine a 6-10 division winner. It could happen. Unless the Seahawks are for real.
Detroit at Minnesota (11) – The Vikings are 0-2. And the Lions look much better this season. So I wouldn’t use this game as my “lock” pick this week because an upset is certainly possible. But I wouldn’t count on it. Vikings, 23-21.
Real final score: Vikings, 24-10. Minnesota final got off the slide with a victory, but losing Shiancoe could spell disaster down the stretch.
Dallas at Houston (3) – Imagine before the season, if someone told you the Texans would be 2-0 with a win over the Colts and the Cowboys would be 0-2 with a loss to the Bears. How unlikely would that be? About as unlikely as a Dallas win this week. Texans, 27-21.
Real final score: Cowboys, 27-13. The Texans just don’t have the killer instinct to put the boots to a team that’s down and out. Which means they’re not on the next level yet. And I would question some of their coaching, when they’re playing a QB who can be forced into some really bad decision making with good defense.
Washington (3.5) at St. Louis – The Skins are flying high at 2-0, the Rams are a tough 0-2. Donovan McNabb has really changed the fortunes of this team, who could well challenge for a surprising division title this season. Skins win and cover. Redskins, 27-23.
Real final score: Rams, 30-16. The Eagles are the only team in the NFC East with a winning record. Could be a long year for this division.
Philadelphia (3) at Jacksonville – Did the Jags blow their wad entirely in Week One? It looks possible. I think the Eagles have made the right choice by going with Michael Vick. Vick has been able to cover for their mistakes so far. It will take a half for them to adjust again, which will make this one close. Eagles win, Jags cover. Eagles, 21-20.
Real final score: Eagles, 28-3. Michael Vick could have the best season of his career. Which would put the Eagles in the playoffs, and make them very, very dangerous.
Denver at Indianapolis (6) – The Colts are back on top. And six points is not enough here, as Denver will get blown out in Indy. Colts, 35-23.
Real final score: Colts, 27-13. The Broncos are not even close to good enough to hang with the Colts.
Oakland at Arizona (4.5) - Both teams are 1-1, but I think Oakland is actually a slightly better team. Slightly. An upset as they win. Raiders, 14-13.
Real final score: Cardinals, 24-23. Like the Saints, it all came down to a missed field goal. Only Janikowski’s was a relative chip shot. 32 yards? Raiders deserved this win.
San Diego (5.5) at Seattle – The Chargers have figured it out, the Seahawks have forgotten it all, ever since both posted shocking results in Week One. Now that the world is right side up again, the Chargers should handle this one handily. Chargers, 26-18.
Real final score: Seahawks, 27-20. The Chargers offense is firing on all cylinders…except for that habit of turning it over. And their defense is playing very well too. Too bad they can’t cover a kick to save their lives.
New York Jets at Miami (2) – The Dolphins are 2-0, yes. And they are at home, and they beat a great Minnesota team. But they’ve scored only 20 points on offense. And the Jets are playing great takeaway D, while their offense is coming together. I hesitate to call this an “upset”, but the Jets will win. Jets, 20-13.
Real final score: Jets, 31-23. The Dolphins look good. They could end up with a wild card. The Jets are, clearly, the class of the East early this year.
Green Bay (3) at Chicago – Division game for the Packers, first one of the season. Time to make a statement on Monday night. This is their division, this is their year. And the Bears aren’t close, despite their 2-0 record. Packers, 30-14.
Real final score: Bears, 20-17. Packers score! Oh no…penalty. Packers sack Cutler! Oh no…that’s a penalty. Intercep – penalty. Can’t win a game that way, folks. Packers still the better team. But without discipline, won’t go far.
This week I went a weak-ass 9-7. Making me 27-21 overall. Also I went a weak-ass 7-9 against the spread, making me an awful 23-22-3 overall. Bad year through three weeks!
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
There is a long, long explanation of this song. It comes from a movie called The Wild Life, starring Chris Penn, from 1984. The movie is out on VHS, but not on DVD. And…there’s a lot more. If you care, click here. If you just want to hear the song, here it is (believed to be called “Ripley”):
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Looks like I screwed up. That whole wipeout thing? Yeah, it was supposed to be a video under 30 seconds. And I uploaded a video that was 32 seconds. So I have been disqualified from the…qualifying. It took me four hours to figure out how to do this, I was at work seven hours after my shift ended…they don’t call me Eric the Internet, because computers make me stupid. Anyway, thanks to everyone who voted, maybe next time!
In the meantime, the video of me getting hit in the junk will remain nothing more than a painful reminder of the time I got hit in the junk. And that is all. For now. I suppose I better post it here, so people can stop wading through my unfortunately convoluted facebook page. Here ya go!
A couple of people have emailed or phoned in this morning, saying that although I am an idiot and was unable to figure out how to get my video up properly, they were able to do so. So if you’d like to vote for either of these people (who know how to get a video online properly), click the following links:
Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
There are only a few days where you can vote for someone to get on the TV show Wipeout Canada. The voting starts today, and ends on Monday the 20th. It’s all done through facebook, and you can click here to see my video and vote for me! That’s my facebook page, you have to find the video marked “Motrin Last Call for Wickedest Wipeout”, and then click “like” underneath.
If I’m one of the top vote-getters, I get to compete at a competition in Toronto. If I then win that one, I will get to compete on television. Yay.
We chose the video of me getting hit in the junk by a tennis ball several years ago. Until now, that video has served as nothing but a painful memory (I almost had to have surgery on the ol’ junk afterward). Hopefully, if it gets me on Wipeout, the video will be useful as more than just a reminder of the event that led to my eventual appreciation for painkillers. So vote for me! Thanks! Here’s the link again
Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
After the first week, thanks to some disappointing games from the likes of the Colts and Chargers and the Niners, I am 9-7 straight up, 8-6-2 against the spread. Let’s go for better this time around.
Kansas City at Cleveland (1.5) – I think Cleveland is better this year than last. I think Kansas City is NOT much better, and they were feeding off the energy of a home crowd opening a refurbished stadium in game one against the Chargers. Even so, I have to go with the Chiefs. Fluke or not, they beat the Chargers. And the Browns lost to the Bucs. Kansas City in a squeaker, thanks to good field position from their special teams. Chiefs, 16-14.
Real final score: Chiefs, 16-14. Could I start the week any better? I was so right here that it hurts…if only all the other games were similar.
Buffalo at Green Bay (13) - Yes, it’s the biggest mismatch of the week. The Packers should be winning their division and are favourites for the Super Bowl. The Bills may not win a game all season. In week two, the Packers are still not going to take anyone lightly. They steamroll. Packers, 31-10. This is the lock pick this week without question.
Real final score: Packers, 34-7. The Bills hung in there for a while, but the Pack are just too strong and the Bills are definitively weak.
Baltimore (2) at Cincinnati – The Bengals looked weak against the Patriots, and even with a late surge they couldn’t make it close. Their defense is weaker than the Ravens’ offense, and the Ravens defense is much stronger than the one they saw in New England last week. Ravens, 17-10.
Real final score: Bengals, 15-10. The Bengals have won eight in a row against division opponents. That must count for something. Their season could turn around entirely on this game.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee (5) – The Titans looked like world-beaters in Week One, but that was against the awful Raiders. The Steelers squeaked out a win in their first game, but I don’t think they can stop Chris Johnson. This will be close, but Tennessee is the better team right now. Titans, 23-21.
Real final score: Steelers, 19-11. Without Vince Young, the Titans have no secondary running threat and are not at all the same team. Polamalu is once again the dominant force in the NFL on defense.
Philadelphia (4) at Detroit – Frankly, I don’t see the Eagles being as good as they looked in the second half against Green Bay. Now they have a QB controversy, and the Lions will likely game plan for both Kolb and Vick. That being said, the Lions are still the Lions and they do not travel well at all. Eagles, 26-17.
Real final score: Eagles, 35-32. Once again, the Lions last second magic falls short. When Kevin Kolb comes back to the lineup, the Eagles are going to have QB questions – and by extension, trouble.
Chicago at Dallas (8) – Eight points? Really? I get the the Cowboys are at home, and that they are supposed to be a great team. But Romo still has a pretty poor decision making process, his offensive line looks dreadful, and the Bears are coming off a week one victory. I think Dallas should win, but it won’t be a blowout. Cowboys, 17-14.
Real final score: Bears, 27-20. This game says more about the Cowboys than it does the Bears. Dallas is really, truly in trouble here early in the season. With that talent, they should be an easy 2-0. Romo still looks pretty bad.
Tampa Bay at Carolina (2.5) – The Panthers defense looks pretty aggressive, with their three picks against Eli Manning in week one. They don’t look particularly good though, having given up 31 points. The Bucs remain bad. The line is about right. Panthers, 16-13.
Real final score: Buccaneers, 20-7. Tampa looked better this week than last. The Panthers might just not have the talent to make a move this season. But Tampa, at 2-0? Who could have predicted that?
Arizona at Atlanta (6.5) – Good line again. The Cardinals got really lucky against a really bad team in week one, and needed career games from several players just to eke out a victory. Atlanta’s loss was a bad one, but they can (and ought to) bounce back. Falcons to win, Cards to just barely cover. Falcons, 24-18.
Real final score: Falcons, 41-7. I should have picked the Falcons to cover, I guess. Matt Ryan looked like Peyton Manning, the defense made a statement, and the Falcons have re-taken their position of “dark horse contender”. I like ‘em.
Miami at Minnesota (5.5) – Not a gimme, by any means. Yes, the Dolphins looked bad against a bad team, while the Vikings looked good against a good team. But the Fish won, and Minnesota lost. This one will be close. Vikings, 17-14.
Real final score: Dolphins, 14-10. Can the Vikings score, at all? Brett Favre seems to really confuse his own team with the opposition…lotsa picks so far…I think Sidney Rice is the big difference - without him, Favre is just throwing the ball up and hoping. Hope gets you, in the NFL…0-2.
St. Louis at Oakland (3.5) – The Raiders (although you wouldn’t know it from last week) are an improved team this year. The Rams are tough, as they showed in week one. Another close game. Raiders, 12-10.
Real final score: Raiders, 16-14. Once again, I’m totally right. That takes the sting of the last three games away. A little.
Seattle at Denver (3.5) – The Seahawks beat the living hell out of the favourite in their division, and the Broncos got beaten pretty good by Jacksonville. And yet – the spread is this big in favour of Denver? I don’t get it. I think Seattle not only covers the spread, but wins outright. Seahawks, 24-17.
Real final score: Broncos, 31-14. Denver not only wins, but blows them out? Didn’t see that one coming…didn’t get a chance to watch the game…still don’t get it.
Houston (3) at Washington - You beat the Colts once, and suddenly you’re world-beaters? Well, kinda. The Skins beat a really unprepared Cowboys team, and aren’t as good as they seemed. Houston will be able to win, but it won’t be easy. Texans, 21-20.
Real final score: Texans, 30-27. The Skins really came apart at the end – they had this game IN HAND, but their defense forgot what their job was. You know, to stop Matt Schaub. Or, at least, slow him down enough that time could run out. 500 yards passing? Really? Ugly.
Jacksonville at San Diego (8) - The Chargers have to be reeling. The Jags are better than the Chiefs, and the Chargers don’t even think about getting good until October and November. Jaguars in a BIG upset here. Jaguars, 23-17.
Real final score: Chargers, 38-13. Could I have been more wrong? I guess no. I could not have been more wrong. And I guess that Chiefs opener was a fluke, after all.
New England (1.5) at New York Jets – Imagine seeing only a 1.5 point spread on this one just two years ago. I know, the Jets lost in week one, and New England looked sensational. But the Jets lost to the Ravens, and I think Baltimore is better than the Patriots this year. Also, the Jets are built to beat New England, not Baltimore. Revis vs. Moss is key – and Revis will win that matchup. Jets to cover and win. Jets, 24-20.
Real final score: Jets, 28-14. I would not have predicted the big margin, but the Jets were built for this game. Look for them to do the same once, maybe twice more this year.
New York Giants at Indianapolis (5.5) – Like the rest of the world, I’m not yet sold on the Giants, nor am I off the Colts bandwagon. Indy has played without Bob Sanders an awful lot the last few years, doesn’t affect Manning. Peyton, that is. Colts, 27-21.
Real final score: Colts, 38-14. Colts are back, Giants are not great. Imagine this – Dallas is 0-2…Redskins are 1-1, Giants are 1-1, Eagles are 1-1…imagine someone wins THAT division with a 9-7 record. Or 8-8.
New Orleans (4.5) at San Francisco – The Niners are in disarray after that embarassment against Seattle last week. They won’t right the ship in time to stop the Saints on Monday night. Saints, 30-20.
Real final score: Saints, 25-22. Whew! Close one, heartbreak for the Niners. But they sure rebounded from that week one humiliation. This could be the start of their turnaround this year. Or not.
So far this week I am 9-7 straight up, making me 18-14 overall. I’m 8-7-1 against the spread, making me 16-13-3 overall.
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
I’ll be scaling the gigantic Delta Hotel tower in downtown Ottawa on September 27th. My fatman costume is not yet finalized, but is apparently on the way. I sort of have a theme song, but have not yet settled on a catchphrase. Something along the lines of “not so fast, bad guys”, or “slow down while I catch my breath”. But better. It’s a work in progress.
At any rate, this is a friendly reminder that you can still pledge money to help the Easter Seals and, by extension, children with disabilities. It’s a great cause, and I haven’t yet made it to my fundraising goal. Big thanks to Adam, Curtis, Raymond, Ed, Christine, Desneiges and PureLogic IT Solutions for your donations! (Yes, I can see your name if you donate.) Just click here!