27 September 2007

Still not right.

Last night I took a break from watching The War, with a bike ride to the new and near home Dunkin' Donuts location* and around Camby, followed by a quick browsing of Quentin Jerome Tarantino's Deathproof (just the gorey car crashes and lap dances, really), followed up by Top Chef and then a couple episodes of Robot Chicken.

For those of you not familiar with Robot Chicken... well... what's wrong with you.

Anyway, after watching and for some reason laughing way more than I should at the car crashes in Deathproof, I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that the bit titled "Crazy Monkeys on Landmine Island" set me into an uncontrollable laughing fit...

And the clip isn't on youtube. Damnit. Though a search for "Monkey Landmine" did turn up this clip..


*For those of you reading from Illinois - was Dunkin' Donuts ever a big deal back home? I remember one in Fairview, but I don't recall it being a big deal... apparently Dunkin' Donuts is a big deal now. Though it may have something do to with cheap coffee

26 September 2007

War is Hell (and Boring)

The Nielsen people came calling again this week, and Gina answered the phone. She was quite pleased that they had caught her at a moment when we were busy watching Ken Burns' "The War" documentary mini-series on PBS. If you recall our earlier experiences with the Nielsens, you'll know that our male-heavy household - Gina vs John (the tenant and touring comedian) and I - put a lot of sports viewing into the little ratings book, making us look like unrefined neanderthals, I guess. This time we're like college graduates or people who drink wine.

So that's been one of the benefits of taking 2+ hours nightly to learn about WWII, a subject that I'd have to admit I know surprisingly little about. Like that whole Africa leg? I had no idea.

Watching the war develop, my only frame of reference is the HBO series Band of Brothers. I don't really remember where the Band of Brothers guys went (I definitely remember they went somewhere with David Schwimmer), so I keep hoping to catch a glimpse of Marky Mark's brother so I can put the whole puzzle together.

The War doesn't move quite as fast as Band of Brothers - the stories are just as interesting and worth telling, but it seems like they're more drawn out, and I find myself wondering why I keep coming back to watch the show. Part of it is some sort of self-imposed patriotic duty, and the other part is probably because if I record it to the Tivo I'll have it deleted by the end of the week, knowing I'll never watch it.

Ironically enough, I've had experience with a Ken Burns documentary before - "Baseball". I wonder what the Nielsens though of that one.

24 September 2007

here we go again

I love writing about Fulham, because I had (maybe) two readers who care (barely). Anyway.

Saturday the Cottagers took on the new and exciting Manchester City in a match that was sure to be a good test. Fulham scored early on a Simon Davies (good hair) header/deflection, and then immediately got to losing the lead. Chris "LOOK I'M FUCKING OVERMATCHED OUT HERE" Baird was to blame for backing off Larry (not his real first name) Petrov's toe poke nutmeg goal. The ball got through 2 defenders before hopping up and over Anti "just put on Kasey Keller already" Neimi's arm and into the back of the net. This was just the start of Petrov's run of terror, which was only fitting since I dropped him from my truly horrible fantasy team just last week.

Everything that happened after this was a blur - Bouazza (who looks like a character from a Disney film about escaped zoo animals) hit a fantastic knuckling bullet of a free kick to beat the City wall and goaltender Casper (real name) Schmichael, City came roaring back a minute later and scored... so now we're at 2-2. Then City scored again (3-2) and Fulhum subbed on Danny Murphy and The Korean Ki-hyeon (last name also works as a nickname), and Murphy promptly introduced himself to his new team and fans by scoring. 3-3. Another tie. Here we are in 17th place, one above relegation.

On the plus side, this team seems to have quite a bit of spark, a real attacking flair, and although the results don't show it, the defense seems to be a lot more sturdy than last year. I think Bocangra and Konchesky's side is pretty sure, I'm not sure about the other. On the negative side, the endless parade of ties are what got Fulham into the relegation battle last year, and I'm already nervous. Looking ahead at the schedule (Chelsea next week...) and the rest of the table makes me think there just aren't any easy points out there for the taking.

SO... yeah. Dempsey didn't do anything the week, by the way. He looks about like he always does - in the mix, lacking on the defensive end. Then again, he's a forward now. I guess.

I need to order a jersey.

congrats, franey

21 September 2007

Franeytown + 1

This weekend I'll be headed back to the wonderful and charming Trenton, Illinois area for what is sure to be the second wedding event of the summer, when James and Sarah get married and another Franey is added to the mix. Too many Franeys is never a bad thing - it helps with the Franeytown tax base - soon we will be able to afford my official city Chevy Lumina (the one with the golden hawk riding atop a flaming bear (not a homosexual joke) or whatever).

Then late Saturday evening Gina and I will head back to Indy, because Sunday we're going to a'brewin' (one word) and I've gotta work that around Chelsea/Man U @ 11 AM. Yar.

Went to Brugge last night. Hmm. Nothin' doin' here.

Also, did you know that I run every other day now? It's true. I haven't said much about it because I wasn't sure I'd stick with it, but I'm starting to learn to enjoy it so I think it's safe to mention. I'm on this training program. I'm due to start week 5 today. That may get delayed a bit.

I've got proper fitted shoes and everything. The folks at Gray Goat must love my consistent outpouring of dollars. Hi Jason. I know a lot of Jasons.

I'm using the Nike+ thing (which we've rigged to work with my Asics shoes) and almost every time I get an encouraging post-workout message from someone truly inspirational, such as Lance Armstrong, who says stuff like "way to go you just completed your longest workout yet". Sometimes it's a gal, but I'm not sure who she is because I missed her saying her name. That's not very inspirational at all. Nike + is kinda cool though, because it logs how far I've gone and pace and all of that, and I don't have to bother typing things out like I do when I log bike miles on bikejournal.com (99 rides this year, 2,610.25 miles, 17.29 mph avg).

I'm a bit embarrassed that my mileage and speeds are that low.

So yeah. I'm riding to work as much as my sleep schedule will let me (23 miles round trip), running, and eating a ton of crap and not losing any weight whatsoever (185 seems to be where I'm stuck.)

Wow this was rambling. I'm gonna hire a trainer after the year rolls over, I think. That's expensive. Anyway. I've got what I'd call a "fat jacket" on my torso that I'm trying to destroy. I wonder if I'm sorta getting too old and I'm supposed to have a fat jacket. F you, fat jacket.

19 September 2007

No, Jason, I am not right

One of the fun things about Hoosier Beer Geek is slowly revealing my true personality to people who are now affiliated with me in ways they cannot easily dissolve.

I'm kidding. But I realize that not everyone is going to find an email with the subject "Fun with the AIDS virus" as entertaining as I do. And jokes about the catholic church and religious holidays can easily be taken a bit too far - in my defense, I grew up in the catholic church - when I suggest that I won't be available for a weekend get together because of the catholic holiday "where we chose our young boys for the upcoming year".

I know some of my fellow HBG's weren't readers when I went on this rant back in 05 (I'm better now, thanks).

And what about this news story from ridehorsey of old?
Trenton, IL - The Shutttz family was woke by a strange sort of muttering that only grew louder and louder, they say.

"Those people that moved in next door always seemed so nice. But when he started coming outside in his underwear, with two hedgehogs held over his nipples, I thought it was a little strange," said Don Shutttz. "But then again, we eat dog biscuits."

The muttering was coming from the house next door, from the same strange man, in the same strange underwear/hedgehog attire.

"He had the prettiest smile on his face," said Pena Shuttz. "So innocent and childlike. Like a baby bird's smile."
Not normal.

But nothing really tops this old page, in which I reviewed all sorts of things - sort of a warm up for Hoosier Beer Geek, I now realize. Though I suspect if my fellow beer geeks had read my reviews back then, I may not be reviewing beer with them now. Why? Because I reviewed strange things, like kicking babies:
Disclaimer: When I write something like this, I'm picturing everything as a cartoon. So picture cartoon babies.

Kicking Babies

When you tell people you're into kicking babies, alot of the time they get all offended and say things like "My word! You are a horrible man!" but the truth is that if they had kicked a baby themselves, they'd know true joy.

I started kicking babies as a hobby in gradeschool. My parents helped me along the way by buying me special baby kicking shoes and a shirt that said "#1 Baby Kicker". I think it was awfully nice of them to support my dreams.

As I matured into the professional baby kicker I am today, I've often taken the time to think back to those early days, when my technique was lacking (for example, I always used the outside of my foot, with made the babies fly off with a certain sideways arc, which was horrible on my ability to kick a baby at a predetermined target). If there's one thing baby kicking has taught me, it's that if you work hard to accomplish your dreams (spending as much as 10 hours a day kicking babies of all sizes and shapes), things CAN HAPPEN. Great things.

I'd have to say that being known as the world's formost expert on baby kicking comes with it's rewards. Often when I am out of town on a baby kicking exhibition people will come up to me and offer to buy me lunch. They say things like "I've always admired your work, but I was always afraid to try it myself." To these people I say: It's never too late for anything. Baby kicking is a learned skill, and just because you're older doesn't mean that you can't become proficient. I'm still not at the level of baby kicking I'd like to be, but I know that if I continue to work at it, I can reach my goals.

And I've found out that I've inspired many young people. Because I do alot of my baby kicking exhibitions at hospitals, I often run into unfortunate or ill children who just need someone to help them through their day. Many of these children have spent their whole lives near the hospital, being that I kicked them at an early age and they still need medical attention. One boy, Robbie, who I made severly retarded, came up to me and said "Banana Yellow". I quickly corrected him and said "Robbie, bananas can also be green. You're retarded." I know these words of wisdom were just what Robbie needed.

All in all, Baby kicking has been a rewarding experience. I wouldn't trade the minutes and hours of joy it has given me for anything.

SO.... yeah. I still think the kicking babies thing is funny. Sorry, can't help it.

17 September 2007

Hey Mark, heads up

Tell the English guy at work that he can check out all American television soccer listings at soccertv.com. DirecTV has Fox Soccer Channel (Premiership, a bit of the championship, german league), Sentanta (EPL, umm... I don't remember. They've got most the EPL games now), GOL (Spanish League, German I think...) the ESPN networks (ESPN2, ESPN Classic) have Champions League, but not all the games - I think they're also on GOL, but Champions League coverage is a bit more spotty over here.

Sentanta is currently only available with DirecTV, as far as I know.

Soccertv.com is his best resource, though it is a bit difficult to navigate.

I just read that Sentanta has some of the games - I guess that's a fact.

13 September 2007

Here's a good idea...

Look, I like art maybe more than the next guy - In fact, my middle name is Art (ok... My middle name is actually Hubert, but Hubert in Spanish means Art).

Having said that, I'm not so sure about the Geostationary Banana Over Texas. One one hand, it's a $1,000,000 giant banana in the sky over Texas for a whole month. On the other hand, it's a $1,000,000 giant banana in the sky over Texas for a whole month. Sounds kind of dangerous.

Maybe I'm just too old for this shit.

Unrelated Title

Last night in honor of Gina and my* 45th anniversary or whatever (and Jim's new daughter) I sat down and watched RSL play DC United.

I haven't followed RSL all that much lately - my DirectKick MLS TV package was actually turned off for a few weeks and I didn't realize - but I do know that they've continued making changes after the Beckerman/Ballouchy deal (the deal that pushed me over the ledge).

For example, I know they recently had a bunch of Argentinian guys come in on trial, and that they ended up signing all of them. So I turn on the game last night, and I don't recognize like half the team.

Half the team, really.

Anyway, it was a wide open attacking game, with RSL showing a spark that they never had before. Interesting. They lost anyway. But at least there was a spark.

If you catch the right MLS game, they really are every bit as entertaining as a lot of Premiership matches. Like say Pompy vs. Wigan or something.

*Whats the correct grammar here?

12 September 2007

September 12th - The day the terrorists had bacon

Today we celebrate bacon day, in remembrance of...

well, bacon.

A day well worth celebrating.

11 September 2007


Explanation: When I was a high school senior, I took a speech class that required that we get together in groups and shoot a movie. My friends and I took the opportunity to film our own version of an episode of the Dukes of Hazard. It is now available in DVD form, if you're interested.

Back on my old site I one day decided to write a new version of the script. Then I got bored...

The Dukes of Hazard (a remix of a highschool project): By Mike

Matt Miller - Luke Duke
John Garrett - Bo Duke
Brent Maue - Uncle Jesse
James Brown (no, not that James Brown) - Roscoe
Mike - Boss Hog

I can't remember who else was actually involved. This is a remix, anyway.

Overweight Robot - Nate Book
Slim Robot - Dave Youngman
Mysterious Stranger - Mark Brown
Mysterious Stranger's Companion - Dave Huffman

I believe that's the whole cast of the original film, minus Buddy Stumph, whose roll has been filled by Mark Brown.


We pan across a rolling desert. There are miles upon miles of dunes, and not a tree in sight. Think of Star Wars IV, A New Hope.
The camera scans the dunes until we see two robots standing atop a dune.

Slim Robot: I hate myself and want to die. If only I had some sort of weapon.

Overweight Robot: I just happen to have a baseball bat. Beep Beep. Boop.

Slim Robot: I don't think that will work. Let's keep walking.


Slim Robot: Say, I think that's where we want to go.

Overweight Robot: It's about fucking time. Boop.

Slim Robot: What's the chance this is going to be funny?

Overweight Robot: Slim, slim. Beep beep BOOP! BEEP! Boop.



We are now in a bustling city. People are selling things in the street. Dirty children are running everywhere.

Mysterious Stranger: Sure are alot of dirty children running everywhere.

Mysterious Stranger's Companion: Hey look! A fat robot!

Mysterious Stranger: And a slim robot. Kinda like Star Wars.

Mysterious Stranger's Companion: RAAAAAWR!

Mysterious Stranger: Nice Chewbacca.

Mysterious Stranger: Thanks.



We are on the Duke Farm, but for the first time we realize that it's far into the future. Uncle Jessies' house is made of shiny metal.

Uncle Jessie: Say you two idiots... I can't believe your parents just dumped you on me like this.

Luke Duke: Mom and dad have been dead for years. I can't believe the global AIDS epidemic has had such a profound effect on our lives.

Bo Duke: Yeah, they never should have gone swimming in that pool of blood, what with their open sores and such.

Luke: But that sure has taught me a lesson; cover your open sores.

Uncle Jessie: Anyway, Boss Hogg was by the farm today and he said we've got to come up with $10,000 to pay back taxes or we're going to lose the farm to two mysterious strangers. They might even be gay guys.

Luke: You mean like queers?

Bo: We're they cute?

Uncle Jessie: How the hell should I know? I didn't see them. Sounds pretty mysterious, don't it?



Bo: I wonder if they're cute.

Uncle Jessie: I'm sure they're cute, Bo. Anyway, we need to come up with ten grand quick.

Luke: I've got an idea.


Bo: You hear that Jessie? He's got an idea!

Jessie: Let's hear your idea.

Luke: Well..


Luke: I'M BLIND!

Bo: Liar.

Luke: I'M BLIND!

Bo: We'll see about that.


Luke: What was that?

Bo: I guess you are blind.



We are on the edge of town; the two robots are hiding behind a building. Someone is shooting at them.

Overweight Robot: This sure is a strange twist of events!

Slim Robot: Yeah.


Luke: I've been hit!


Bo: You motherfuckers shot my blind brother! I'm never going to forget this!

Mysterious Stranger: Like it matters anyway. Nobody cares about cripples.

Roscoe: Coo coo (or whatever Roscoe says).

Boss Hogg: Well I guess we've learned an important lesson. Haven't we?


Mysterious Stranger's Companion: Nice shot.

Bo: Thanks.


Overweight Robot: Beep beep. (Now sadder) Boop. (Even sadder) Beeeeep.


God Bless the Endlessness of the Internet

It's always fun to find things you did a while ago...

I think I was trying to make some sort of profound statement or something... this is overthought. Anyway.

Duty Calls (And Gets My Voicemail)

There are only so many chances in a lifetime to prove your worth. Failure or success when faced with these opportunities defines who you truly are. The sum failure or success of the answer to this call often defines a generation.

For my Grandfather's generation, the opportunity came with World War II. His peers stood up, and with a clear goal, prevailed, defining itself as perhaps the greatest generation.

For my father's peers, the goal was not so clear. As a result, Vietnam may have ultimately defined how history will remember his generation.

One might argue that for my generation the opportunities are obvious. The war in Iraq and the war on terror are constantly defining who were are and what we believe in. But I have no real role in that outcome. Besides longer lines at airports, none of it really effects a person like myself. We spend our days behind desks, hoping to avoid any call to define our generation (of for that matter, any call at all). But there comes a time in almost every one's life when he or she has to step up and define themself. The question for me was not so much "Will my call come?", but instead, "How will I answer it?"

Last night I think I got a small taste of that answer. My call to duty came suddenly and unexpectedly at the intersection of State Road 135 and Stonegate, in the lounge of my favorite Starbucks.

There I was, tall white chocolate mocha in hand, about to make my way out to my car when I was met by three women who appeared to be about my age.

"Do you know how to change a tire?"

If I had realized the grand scale of what I was being asked, I may have taken a minute to ponder my answer. But much like those who immediately signed up with the army on September 12th, I jumped into action.


"Can you look at our car?"


What I should have done was pointed to my girlfriend Gina, who was with me, and said "She normally does stuff like this." But I didn't.

So we stepped outside, over some mounds of plowed snow, and over to a newer Pontiac Grand Prix. Here was my Everest, my WWII, parked in the Starbucks parking lot and sporting a badly broken front driver's side wheel.

"Ooh. That's going to be expensive" I said.

The girl didn't seem to mind. "Can we just put the spare on so I can drive it down to the Goodyear place?"

I said sure and began digging through her trunk for the spare. I pulled it out with little effort, and removed the jack. Working my way around to the front of the car, I asked her if she had her manual so I could find out the proper location for the mount of the jack.

As I flipped through the pages of the manual, little did I know that my battle was going to be more of a Vietnam than a WWII. But even calling it Vietnam is probably generous. The manual said something about putting the jack into the notch, and had an illustration of the bottom of the car with the words "18 inches" written below. While I secretly wondered I was supposed to do with those 18 inches (insert joke), I began to clear the packed snow away from the undercarriage. I loosened the lugs nuts on the wheel, felt around for some sort of clear indication of where the jack belonged, and then made a completely wild guess that the first undercarriage notch I found was my target.

After what seemed like hours, I had unpacked the jack enough to establish a firm fit between the snow covered parking lot and the snow covered undercarriage. I began winding the jack more enthusiastically now, knowing that I was getting closer to my goal. But after getting the jack about halfway up, I noticed that it didn't seem to be sitting straight.

I suppose it was at this point that I gave up on trying to keep my beltless pants up. In conversation later, Gina noted the I was hanging out the back of my pants, and I explained that I was so frustrated that I had given up on caring.

I now had a decision to make: either continue to jack the car up with a crooked jack (knowing full well that it could cause the car to fall), or lower the jack and start all over. After kicking the idea around in my head a bit, I decided to start over.

The jack wasn't having it. As I started to lower the car, I first heard a sort of crunch sound, which didn't really worry me (plastic cars make odd sounds sometimes). But then I noticed that the jack was getting more and more crooked. Slightly worried that something terrible had happened, I turned the lever faster and faster.

I guess really it didn't take long to realize I had bent and completely destroyed the jack. I should have know when it pushed sideways into the tire.

I said "So... do you want the bad news or the bad news?"

I'm sure that the girls already knew they had picked an idiot when my ass started creeping out of my pants. Now they had confirmation.

"Oh, that's all right. We'll just call somebody." They then offered me ten dollars, which I refused.

As I put my tail between my legs and walked back to the car, I started to drink my now cold mocha. I recalled a conversation with Gina earlier in the week when she had asked me "Who doesn't know how to change a tire?". Then I blamed it all on my girlfriend, much like those brave soldiers who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor.

"You cursed me!"

"No I didn't."


So there we have it. My call to duty felled by faulty equipment, or bad planning, or an evil woman out to destroy me. All in all, I guess it can't be my fault. But that didn't stop me from feeling cold and embarrassed, a lot like my overexposed ass in the Starbucks parking lot.

09 September 2007

07 September 2007


For those wondering (and that means none of you), Fulham played Tottenham Hopturds this past weekend, and somehow managed a 3-3 tie after being down 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 3-1. I think. Our man Clint Dempsey was a major player in the match, scoring goal 1 and assisting on two others.

In other news, I didn't watch too many other games - I'm sort of turning my attention to MLS, actually. Weird.

06 September 2007

Reaching Out.. Touching You... Touching MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Hey there Illinois. I know some of you may not be visiting Hoosier Beer Geek regularly, but seeing as that Gina and I both write there now, you have no excuse. Unless you hate everything good in life. This beer thing isn't going away, you're just going to have to keep suffering through whatever we bring home until we're all dead. So you might as well learn up. It only takes like a month to be able to pretend you know what you're talking about anyway.

Other than that, you're all crazy for having children.



04 September 2007

Let's take a minute to contemplate the brilliance of James Hetfield as a lyricist

I gotta tell you, for high school kids that really have nothing at all worth complaining about, this is GOLD.

Though I can't really remember ever thinking it related to anything in my life, well, if it did? Then FUCK YEAH.

I know that doesn't make any sense. Whatever. METALLICA!!!!

Dear Mother
Dear Father
What Is this Hell You Have Put Me Through
Day in Day out Live My Life Through You
Pushed onto Me What's Wrong or Right
Hidden from this Thing That They Call Life

Dear Mother
Dear Father
Every Thought I'd Think You'd Disapprove
Always Censoring My Every Move
Children Are Seen But Are Not Heard
Tear out Everything Inspired

Torn from Me Without Your Shelter
Barred Reality
I'm Living Blindly

Dear Mother
Dear Father
Time Has Frozen Still What's Left to Be
Hear Nothing
Say Nothing
Cannot Face the Fact I Think for Me
No Guarantee,it's Life as Is
But Damn You for Not Giving Me My Chance

Dear Mother
Dear Father
You Took My Wings Before I Learnt to Fly
I've Outgrown That Fucking Lullaby
Same Thing I've Always Heard from You
Do as I Say Not as I Do

Torn from Me Without Your Shelter
Barred Reality
I'm Living Blindly
I'm in Hell Without You
Cannot Cope Without You Too
Shocked at the World That I See
Innocent Victim Please Rescue Me

Dear Mother
Dear Father
Hidden in Your World You've Made for Me
I'm Seething
I'm Bleeding
Ripping Wounds in Me That Never Heal
Undying Spite I Feel for You
Living out this Hell You Always Knew

Sorry, it's almost 4 and time to leave work.

Oh awesome, "The Prince" is next on the playlist.

Asheville out, DC in

Decided to use my leftover airline miles and book a flight to DC - the only place that I had enough miles to actually fly to.

That's fine though, I've never been, and I think it's pretty exciting. We're looking into staying at the Brickskeller Inn, which is above the Brickskeller bar, which has a beer list that looks like this. And Holy Crap is that impressive.

And of course there's a bunch of monuments in DC and that stuff, which I really wanted to check out first and foremost. The beer discovery was just an added bonus.


A trip to Japan for next year is probably out, but I'm investigating Indiana to Deadwood to Devil's Tower to Yellowstone to all over which would look like this...

Googlemaps load slow, so I dumped it. It looked like a giant loop from Indy to Vegas and back by way of Yellowstone and a lot of Colorado. Your Mom.

It's another dream I sorta had. I've got a lot of logistics work to do. Anyway.