Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone's Christmas wishes come true! My Christmas miracle was finding my way out of the midwest despite ridiculous weather delays in Minneapolis and Chicago.

I had a blast in Duluth, though, and want to send out a ton of love and holiday wishes to all my friends and family back there who are the reason I go to northern Minnesota in the middle of winter (where I'm pretty sure it's eight months a year snow). To all of you here who read this and think I'm nuts, make the trip with me once, and you'll get it. The end.

Merry Christmas to everyone, and my next post will be #200, so I'm thinking I may save that until the new year (or at least way at the end of this year as a retrospective). I know my blog output this December has pretty much sucked, but you know what? Too bad. I'm over it. You'll get there too. Don't be mad. I'm a good guy. Truth.

Love you guys!

-DL

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Article of the Day - H Town What?!

Prep boys hockey preview: Hermantown has big expectations

Hermantown has a chance to contend for a state boys hockey championship.

By: Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune

Perfection is a tough act to follow.

That’s what Hermantown’s boys hockey team found out the past two years in following up on the school’s undefeated, Class A title-winning season in 2006-07.

This season’s team, however, has a chance at a championship sequel.

Led by high-scoring senior center Adam Krause, a future Minnesota Duluth player, the Hawks hope to contend for a second state title. (more)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Article of the Day - LA Times Fabulous Forum

If anyone wants to know where kickball futbol soccer ranks in this country, look no further than the headline to this headline from the LA Times. What is the first country listed? (This was the lead story on the Times home page at the time of this post's publication.)

Addendum: Love @jennicake and think Jeremy Reed is a baller, but I still hate soccer.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If you don't want my opinion...

...don't ask for it.

If you are a female, and you send a text/e-mail/letter/telegram/smoke signal to a guy and expect something in return, you are testing him. Whether you realize/acknowledge it or not, that is what you are doing. If you really want a guy that is intelligent and in tune with what's going on around him, he will recognize this. It is a leverage play.

Some of those intelligent, nice guys that you claim you want, don't really take kindly to that sort of thing. If you want someone you can just push around and exert your will on, then, by all means. Knock yourself out with the leverage plays (which range from passive aggressive behavior to blatant ultimatums), but at some point, though, any guy of quality will recognize it for what it is and rid himself of it/you.

Truth.

Addendum: If you are a girl I met at a wedding, got your number and then went out with you once the day after my birthday before you dropped off the face of the earth and reappeared today on Thanksgiving...why? Seriously. You're confusing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Article of the Day - People who Deserve Got It: Jimmy Clausen

Source: Clausen punched by irate fan

By Joe Schad
ESPN.com
Archive

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was punched in the face by an irate fan outside a South Bend restaurant early Sunday morning and has a swollen eye, a person briefed on the incident said on Monday.

Read full article...

...although past the first 10 words, it's just speculation and lack of facts. Do you really need to read it? Probably not. Plus it's from ESPN, so it's probably not credible anyway.

Also, the title of the blog is a play on this site's content. See disclaimer below.

DISCLAIMER: I've poked fun at this story because I am not a Jimmy Clausen fan, and the first 10 words of the article are "Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was punched in the face." However, it's pretty bush that this happened if it went down the way this ESPN story is making it sound. If he got into a fight and got drilled, well, then I feel better.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Confessions of a Social Media Junkie

Those of you who read my blog regularly are well aware that I am a social media whore user. Those of you new people who may be followers of @jennicake on Twitter and have stumbled into the blog of @dlegas05, welcome. She makes me sound pretty interesting...hope I can deliver for you. (Also, if you are a blog regular, follow her on Twitter. Do it.)

Since there may be this major influx smattering of new readers coming it, I figured this was a good time to re-introduce myself and publish the bio I wrote for a PRSA-YP profile that never made it to print. It ties directly to the content in this blog and the link I have to USC (and, thus, the folks who brought you here).

--
Dale is a Sr. Account Executive at the David James Agency, a boutique agency focused on cutting-edge high tech. As a former baseball player at USC, Dale brings to his work a tangible competitive streak that greatly benefits his client base of primarily startup and emerging companies.

In his SAE role, Dale has handled media and analyst relations for a number of B2B accounts ranging from semiconductor and enterprise software companies to network systems integrators—all the while being amazed at the number of high tech companies located right here in the greater Los Angeles area.

Even growing up locally in Burbank, Dale shared prevailing perception that high tech was completely dominated by Silicon Valley. However, with only one northern California-based client, it's clear that tech is alive and well all up and down the west coast, and he's confident that the DJA is in a great spot to thrive right along with it.

On weekends in the spring, you can find Dale on high school baseball diamonds sharing his passion and imparting his competitive fire on the freshman team at his alma mater, Crespi Carmelite. He splits the rest of his free time among spending it with friends, trying to learn new songs on one of his four guitars and complaining about the lack of a playoff in college football.

--
For the record, it's weird writing in the third person.

But the major takeaway is that I am a former USC baseball player who is now a tech geek PR guy dealing with all kinds of complicated stuff I never knew existed before. I broke this down in a post when I was added to the PRSA-YP blogroll, but as you peruse, you will see client-inspired tech acronym explanations, general musings about sports-related topics, rants about non-sports related stuff, articles, songs and some actual real-life issues.

I hope you enjoy your stay, and please feel free to leave comments. I love comments. I love them so much I removed the obnoxious "word" verification thing. Even when you're telling me that I'm an idiot.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blogroll Addition of the Day

Discovered this fine gentleman this evening when he retweeted my quip about the basketball team giving up fewer points than the football team:

@uscpsycho I laugh. I cry. RT @dlegas05: and in a bizarre turn of events, USC's basketball team may give up fewer points than the football team :(

That's right, Trojan fans. It's the dude who's been front and center at every USC football game since USC opened Pandora's box hired Paul Hackett as its coach (and probably before). I watched games with pops long before I ever signed and went there, and this guy was there with his signature USC SYCO California license plate.

Well, he has a blog. He's archived his travels and experiences watching the Trojans everywhere all over the country. It's a unique perspective and a pretty entertaining read. Check him out. Leave him some comments. Follow him on Twitter!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's a Celebration! (Kind of)

I had designs on putting together an aggregated history of the DL on this momentous occasion of my angry defection from myspace its first birthday (even though this is a rather nondescript 191st post), but that's just not going to happen. This week has included pitching a story of a multi-vendor latency/features test of a 48-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch that scales to offer data center architects the density necessary to enable cloud computing. Apparently, the pitch went over so well with one pub that it decided to break my embargo. (The full announcement doesn't go until Monday.)

Now, in this gent's defense, this is not exactly his area, and it was a mistake that he pulled quickly. But as my gchat status said, when the morning starts at 6-something with a broken embargo, it does not bode well. Small victories by getting a major analyst firm to agree to stop by the Fulcrum booth next week at SC09, but other than that, the day was rough.

On the way home I called Ganser, with whom I have been playing phone tag, and found out that there is some crazy all-you-can-eat deal on Thursday nights at Acapulco. So, I met him over there crushed some ridiculous amount of Mexican food, rolled back to see his new place and have a beer. This now brings me to this minute...in which I am trying to write a blog post but have pretty much zero motivation to do so.

So...happy birthday, DL from DL. Congrats on one year and 191 (mostly inane) posts about sports, work, tech, friends, family, fortune cookies, songs, articles, rants, raves and just general stupidity. It's been real, and...let's not kid ourselves. We'll be right back here tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Article of the Day - Dear Cisco...

...Bite me us.

Love,

HP (and 3Com)

--
HP to Acquire 3Com for $2.7 Billion

Will create networking industry powerhouse with a proven, edge-to-data center set of solutions and global reach

HP and 3Com Corporation (NASDAQ: COMS) (“3Com”) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase 3Com, a leading provider of networking switching, routing and security solutions, at a price of $7.90 per share in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $2.7 billion. The terms of the transaction have been approved by the HP and 3Com boards of directors.

Read full release...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Article of the Day - The Dogpile Continues...

Since I'm just dogpiling on conservative media anyway...

NEW YORK POST LAWSUIT: Shocking Allegations Made By Fired Employee Sandra Guzman

The New York Post editor fired after speaking out against a cartoon depicting the author of the president's stimulus package as a dead chimpanzee has sued the paper. And as part of her complaint, Sandra Guzman levels some remarkable, embarrassing, and potentially damaging allegations.

Guzman has filed a complaint against News Corporation, the New York Post and the paper's editor in chief Col Allan in the Southern District Court of New York, alleging harassment as well as "unlawful employment practices and retaliation."

Read full article...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Perspective I Gained Today

I learned something today. There is no constitutional amendment mandating that a news outlet be credible. Truth. It is not against the First Amendment to suck at your job--even if you claim to be a news outlet.

It's been well-documented that the advent of social media and advancement of all forms of other technology have driven a vast change in the way people get their information. How do you filter out the commentary from the news? Frighteningly, most people don't.

Shocking as it may be, at the center of this controversy is Fox conservative propaganda passed off as factual News, which is attempting to block Google from using "news" content from its companies. While part of me is inclined to argue, "Who cares? They're not credible anyway," the fact of the matter is that we all should.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a leftist-leaning, First Amendment as a shield and a sword journalism guy. I love the free exchange of information afforded me by the Constitution. Per the (then) groundbreaking decision in Near v. Minnesota, it is in violation of said First Amendment to stop people from saying something before they've said it. This is known as prior restraint. It's a no no. Has been since 1931.

What am I missing? How does this business about Murdoch trying to block Google spiders from picking up information and disseminating through the same channels as...oh I dunno...everything else on the Internet not violate this Supreme Court decision?

Furthermore, in what context is this even smart? Google has kind of become the ubiquitous search engine, and when people want to find something, it's where they go. Microsoft and Yahoo couldn't compete, so they combined to produce Bing...and got to about 26% market share. (They're still separated out in the graphic as the rollout is still in process, but I combined the numbers.)

As I reread the article, I suppose it never does specify that this is taking place in the US, but it's the Internet. It's ubiquitous and omnipresent. I just fail to see how this works or in what context this is a good idea. Sell ads like everyone else on the Internet. You have a ready-made market segment just by virtue of your content.

Oh, and since you're in Australia, if you get an iPhone and jailbreak it, you may end up with wallpaper that's never gonna give you up and never gonna let you down.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Article of the Day (again) - Cloud Computing in Plain English

A trip into the secret, online 'cloud'

By John D. Sutter, CNN
November 4, 2009 1:00 p.m. EST

San Jose, California (CNN) -- One day, while uploading yet another text file to the Google Docs Web site, I started to wonder: When I save this file online, where does it actually go?

I store tons of information on the Internet instead of just on my laptop or work computer. Often, I do this specifically so I can access information from both places, or from my mobile phone if I need it on-the-go.

Without realizing it, I'd started cloud computing, that nebulous term that refers to the idea that computing power is moving off home PCs and laptops and onto the Web.

Read full article on CNN.com

This is a pretty good overview for non-geeks...solid vid embedded as well.

Article(s) of the Day - PRSA Quality Time

Just noticed that these hit the Interweb in the last couple days/weeks. Good times!

Saturday Shift: PRSA Quality Time Event
What do supporting underprivileged children in Mexico, giving up a year of one’s youth to serve the community, helping others battle through addiction and saving the arts in the face of education budget cuts and stiff competition have in common?

On one sunny Saturday in October, the answer was the Public Relations Society of America—specifically PRSA’s “Quality Time with PR Minds” event.

Read full post on DJA Blog...


What'd you do this weekend?
Guest blog post from PRSA-LA YP member Dale Legaspi:

It’s a common question asked on Mondays in offices everywhere. A few weeks ago, though, my answer was an enthusiastic “work!” The quotes are certainly apropos, though, as I “worked” at PRSA’s Quality Time with PR Minds event, which was certainly nothing that resembled the weekday norm. I could not be happier with my decision to participate, and I wasn’t alone.

Read full post on Next Generation blog...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Photo of the Day

Halloween. Brothers and Barley (even though he looked away from the camera)


And, yes, I did flag Tania for dressing that poor defenseless animal in a costume. Repeatedly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I don't hate the Yankees...

I hate people's excessive fawning over them when it's a product of them not knowing the game. Props to Keown for breaking it down simply by illustrating one example of good, smart baseball being packaged as something superhuman. Derek Jeter is an incredibly smart baseball player, but he's not the only one in this series (let alone the big leagues) who would have made that play. This is an indictment of the coverage of this series and, really, the sports media as a whole.

The people reporting on sports don't know the games on which they are reporting. A first baseman trailing a runner and calling for a backpick is not uncommon. I get on my freshmen if they DON'T do that. I could cite a million different examples of this, but the point is that commentary has actually gotten to the point of detracting from the game and making fans dumber. Stop it. Most fans are dumb enough already.

Debunking the Church of Jeter

By Tim Keown, espn.com

Here's one reason so many people love to hate the Yankees: The lovefest for Derek Jeter knows no bounds. It's natural to attempt to find fault with a guy who is constantly praised to the heavens and beyond, and that's why so many people get so excited in the effort.

And this isn't a criticism, just an observation: If I had watched Bobby Abreu's Game 3 baserunning mistake -- back-picked at second by Jeter and Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the 8th -- with the sound down on the television, I would have considered it a perfect example of the Yankees' ability to execute defensively. They're pros.

But since the sound was on, it's a different story. We were shown replays of the play and told over and over how brilliant Jeter is because he thought the play was at third but the play ended up being at second and there was nobody there to tell him.

Nobody there? Really? Even though Teixeira was right there to take the throw and apply the tag? I mean, let's get real: Jeter is a great player, but sometimes things happen on the field -- really cool things -- that don't center on him.

Teixeira followed the runner, just like every first baseman is supposed to do but not all do. He was right there. He made the play. Jeter would be the first to admit that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This Just In from...Boston

Got some sweet headlines from Alex and wanted to pass them along. Her blog usually has nothing to do with baseball, but check it out anyway!



Love it!

Article of the Day - SJ Going Home

Stafon Johnson to Head Home

By: Jonathan Lloyd
Updated 8:13 AM PDT, Wed, Oct 14, 2009

Two weeks after a heavily loaded barbell fell on his throat, USC tailback Stafon Johnson plans to leave the hospital

Doctors called Johnson's progress remarkable, considering his throat and larynx were almost completely crushed by the bar. He was expected to go home Wednesday.

In a Twitter post Tuesday, Johnson said, "CANT SWALLOW YET SOO DIDNT GET THE PLEASURE OF EAT THAT GREAT FOOD LOL."

Read full article...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Word of the Day - "Semantics"

A conversation with my guest blogger:

me: semantics
Sarah: HAHAH
Sarah: i love that you and i are the only two that know what that means
me: my status or the word semantics?
Sarah: semantics
me: is it an indictment of my life that i always want to spell that word symantecs?
Sarah: HAHAH

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Article of the Day - Revenge is Sweep

Revenge is sweep for the Angels

They rally in the ninth inning to eliminate the Red Sox and advance to AL Championship Series.

Reporting from Boston - The Angels danced all over their demons Sunday, and when they were done with their little jig on the Fenway Park field, they drowned them in beer and champagne.

In the ancient stadium where their pennant hopes usually go to die, the Angels came to life in dramatic fashion, scoring five runs in the last two innings for a stunning 7-6 American League division series-clinching victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Read full article...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Article of the Day - Stafon Johnson Update

A few more of the scary details of what all went on during surgery, but the biggest news is that the progress and the prognosis are both still very good. Also, the doctor noted he's had an extremely positive attitude...as though we would expect anything less :)

USC football: Surgeons update Stafon Johnson's condition

October 9, 2009 | 3:29 pm

Several USC players visited tailback Stafon Johnson at the hospital today after the Trojans completed their final bye-week practice.

Two surgeons who were part of the team that operated on Johnson after a weightlifting accident on Sept. 28 issued a statement today about his injuries and recovery.

Drs. Jason S. Hamilton and Ryan F. Osborne said:

Read full article from LA Times...

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Need Help!

I need a Halloween costume idea, but not just any Halloween costume idea. I need something legit. The last three years, I've had solid costumes, and with it falling on a Saturday this year, I gotta follow up. One idea I've kicked around was Jimi Hendrix, but I cut my hair, so that won't work.

Possible partners in crime could be Jordt or Gina (depending upon a number of factors like whether or not people are in town, how things go over the course of the month, whether or not ARob actually has a party, etc.). Put your thinking caps on, folks. Movie/TV characters, rock stars, generic things...I'm open to any and all ideas. For reference, here are photographs of my last three costumes:

2008



































2007

























2006 (This pic kinda sucks, but it's all I've got...sorry)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Too Tired...

I wanted to write a post ripping Brett Favre and the way his whole multiple debacles have been covered by the fawning sports media, but I'm too tired. Go Aaron Rodgers! (Hopefully he fares better than his alma mater did yesterday.)

Regardless, the real main event at the dome doesn't happen until Tuesday. I don't care if you like baseball or not. Tune into at least a part of that game and hear how loud it is. Go Twinkies.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Video of the Day - To Jordt...

Because he's a goo guy! Why you have to be mad?!



And because Canadian slappy stick season starts this weekend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

B-Day Present

The padres split the cost of it with me. It's pretty...and it's twice the size/power of the little Fender midget thing I've had for a few years. Keep checking the blog, and I'll post my eviction notice.

Thanks, mom and dad! And all you guitar people, (OK...pretty much just you, Grant), come over and let's make some noise!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Stafon Coverage

The hard work he did ended up being what saved his life. Wow.

Stafon Johnson's fitness saved his life, doctor says

Stafon Johnson's fitness saved his life.

The USC running back was able to survive a weightlifting accident because the muscles around his neck helped him keep open a breathing passage, Dr. Gudata Hinika, trauma director at California Hospital Medical Center, said at a news conference today.

"Had that been any one of us, meaning me, I would not have survived," Hinika said. "His neck was so solid and so muscular, that actually helped maintain his airway."

Johnson was injured Monday during a weightlifting session. He was performing a "bench press" lift when the bar apparently slipped from his hand and landed on his throat. Initially spitting blood from his nose and mouth, he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where he underwent more then seven hours of surgery.

Full article here.

Article of the Day - SJ to Make Full Recovery

USC football: Tailback Stafon Johnson's prognosis for full recovery is good

September 29, 2009 | 6:37 am

Stafon2_300

As The Times reported Monday night, doctors do not expect USC tailback Stafon Johnson to complete the season, but his prognosis for a full recovery is good after undergoing more than seven hours of throat surgery after a weightlifting accident.

Johnson, a senior, was injured while performing a bench-press exercise in USC's weight room below Heritage Hall. The school said an assistant strength and conditioning coach was acting as a spotter for Johnson, but the bar accidentally fell on Johnson's throat.

Full article here.

Far and away the best birthday present I could have gotten!

Monday, September 28, 2009

You Never Know...

Once upon a time, I was an athlete. I played baseball in college at USC and in the summers in Duluth, Minn. While it made sense to me that fans in Duluth (where I actually saw the field) would ask for autographs and high fives and such, I never understood why anyone cared about someone who lived in the virtual anonymity that I did at SC.

Until this happened to one of my favorite players today. Then it made sense.

Fans identify with athletes for different reasons--not always associated directly with on-field performance. Stafon Johnson happens to be an outstanding running back, and I would argue the best of the bunch at SC. I am, however, nowhere near impartial. He's my favorite player, but his on-field performance is only a small part of that story.

When I was in school at SC being the anonymous student-athlete that I was, I spent Friday nights during the fall covering high school football for the Los Angeles Daily News. As a matter of convenience, whenever one of the teams from the DN's coverage area (the valley) would play Dorsey High School, I would take that game since it was right down the street. My junior year at SC, I watched Sylmar get shredded on the ground by a running back tandem that included a polite, otherwise unassuming sophomore running back--Stafon Johnson.

When I was trolling the sidelines before games when teams are warming up and doing their thing, I would talk to players when I was able to do so without being a distraction. Some were rude. This one wasn't. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he was a sophomore on the varsity club. Maybe it was because I was a reporter, and he thought I would give him some good coverage in the paper.

I don't believe either of those for a second.

I believe Stafon Johnson is a good kid.

It's been well-documented that he had some struggles at SC when he wasn't getting many touches as a freshman, and he was discouraged. Who wouldn't be? He went from being the man in high school to being a face in the crowd (and seemingly on the fringes even at that). Oh yeah, the opening day starter that year was a kid from the same Sylmar team he had run wild on in the game I covered in 2003--C.J. Gable. That's tough on a kid trying to transition into life in college and living in the fishbowl that is the USC athletics department.

He didn't pull a Whitney Lewis and fade into obscurity or quit (or whatever the hell happened to Whitney Lewis).

He didn't pull an Emmanuel Moody and transfer.

He worked harder, and he kept at it until he became one of the go-to guys. What a cruel irony it is that he sustains a horrible and life-threatening injury from a freak accident doing exactly what it was he did to achieve his goal of being a top back at USC--working.

I had extremely limited interaction with Stafon Johnson on the field at Dorsey High School in 2003, but he earned himself a fan for life. I realize now that this brief interaction with that anonymous beat reporter on that anonymous fall day was why. I guess even from anonymity can come an enormous impact.

There are a number of elements in this story that hit close to home with me. Obviously there is the USC student-athlete connection, but the story outlined above is one that no one really knows. I am praying that Stafon Johnson is able to fight on and battle through adversity. After all, it's nothing he hasn't done before.

Monday, September 21, 2009

(Lots of) Things that are Underrated

Haven't done this since one of my very first posts, so there are a number of things that I have come up with in addition to my shoe polish, Thermos beverage bottles and cruise control posting. Here they are (in no particular order):
  • Dry erase boards/markers
  • Refrigerator magnets
  • Rice
  • Pears
  • Jet Dry
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Tupperware
  • Funnels
  • Garbage Disposals
  • The state of Minnesota
  • College baseball
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Speed dial
  • Paper clips
  • Post-it notes
  • Midwest girls
  • Sports Illustrated
  • String cheese
  • Thin Lizzy
  • Mark Knopfler
I'm sure there are more...feel free to add.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things that are Overrated

In honor of the upcoming baseball playoffs, I decided that I would mock up my own playoff. I've arranged things that are overrated into the Food League and the Pop Culture League. Each division has five "things" in it. Not all of these things completely suck (although many do), but they are all overrated. A lot.

Food League

Seasonal Division
candy corn
pumpkin pie*
conversation hearts
peeps
fudge

Restaurant Division
Chipotle
In & Out*
Baja Fresh
Panera
Starbucks#

Side Dish Division
potato salad
macaroni salad
sweet potatoes
stuffing*
cranberry sauce


Pop Culture League


Music Division
Coldplay
U2*
The Doors
"American Pie"
Katy Perry

Movie Division
Anchorman
Wedding Crashers*
The Notebook
He's Just Not That Into You
Zoolander

Celebrities
Jessica Simpson
Angelina Jolie#
Megan Fox*
Bono
Jimmy Fallon

*Division Winner
# Wild Card Winner

Per the rules in baseball, a division winner will not face off against the wild card if it comes from the same division. Since there are no records from which to draw on this, it is my opinion on how overrated each item in contention is, and I will power rank them accordingly.

Food Division
1. In & Out
2. Pumpkin pie
3. Stuffing
WC. Starbucks

In & Out sweeps stuffing 3-0
Starbucks upsets pumpkin pie 3-1

In & Out wins the Food Division Pennant 4-2

Pop Culture Division
1. Megan Fox
2. Wedding Crashers
3. U2
WC. Angelina Jolie

Megan Fox beats U2 3-1
Angelina Jolie pulls an upset sweep over Wedding Crashers 3-0

Angelina then turns around and knocks off Megan 4-1 to claim the Pop Culture Division Pennant

That brings us to the World Series of overratedness. While these were all strong candidates, as a kid who grew up in southern California, I am supposed to think In & Out is the greatest thing ever. I am also supposed to worship celebrities. I do neither. However, my disdain for pretty much all things pop culture and entertainment pretty much keeps it off my radar. I love to eat.

Congratulations, to In & Out for being the most overrated thing in the world, according to the DL! (Bring on the hate mail.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Articles of the Day - AirHop Coverage

AirHop Communications got some good press today on their first announcement. They're still stealth mode with respect to product stuff, but there has been some good coverage in key pubs today. Looking forward to building on this momentum this week. Also, as soon as I have a better grasp on exactly what a "self-organizing network" is, I'll be sure to pass it along.

AirHop Adds $1M Investment and Expands Team to Pursue LTE SON Market

Posted September 14, 2009

San Diego, CA – September 14, 2009 – AirHop Communications, a developer of systems software that enables the deployment of high performance and highly differentiated 4G wireless networks, announced the close of a $1 million financing from a syndicate of wireless industry luminaries and the addition of several industry veterans to its management team. The company also announced several additions to its board of directors (see separate release).


Read more: http://www.fiercewireless.com/press-releases/airhop-adds-1m-investment-and-expands-team-pursue-lte-son-market#ixzz0R9Z3to0w

AirHop Nabs $1M


San Diego-based AirHop Communications announced this morning that the firm has raised $1M in a financing round, from unnamed-wireless industry executives. The firm said it is developing systems software that enables the deployment of 4G wireless networks, including the LTE SON Market. As part of the funding, the firm said it named Garrett Choi as its Chief Operating Officer, Jerry Hall as its Vice President of Marketing, and Anand Parikh as Vice President of Business Development. Choi comes from Continuous Computing, Hall from PriveSec, and Parikh from Cartiza Networks.

http://www.socaltech.com/airhop_nabs__m/s-0023971.html

LTE Startup AirHop Debuts, Adds Execs

SAN DIEGO -- AirHop Communications, a developer of systems software that enables the deployment of high performance and highly differentiated 4G wireless networks, announced the close of a $1 million financing from a syndicate of wireless industry luminaries and the addition of several industry veterans to its management team. The company also announced several additions to its board of directors (see separate release).

Read more: http://www.unstrung.com/document.asp?doc_id=181777

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Article of the Day - 9 Ways to Celebrate 9/9/09

And though the date lacks the pizzazz of the lucky sevens (07/07/07), that isn't stopping marketers, mathematicians and the marriage-minded from dressing it to the nines.

Hotels are offering discounts, couples are wedding in droves and "9/9/09" was among the top 100 search terms on the search engine Google on Tuesday.

Lottery users will undoubtedly try their luck by playing 999 Wednesday, and a lucky mother might see herself profiled on the news should she give birth at just the right time: 9:09.

So why not get in on the act?

After all, you're unlikely to experience another single-digit date in your lifetime. The next one won't roll around for 92 years -- until 1/1/2101.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/09/09/999.date/index.html

...or you could not celebrate it because it's a stupid distinction. The choice is yours. Choose wisely. At least they got the baseball thing right.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Article of the Day - AP Poll (Week One)

NEW YORK (AP) -- BYU jumped 11 spots to No. 9 and Alabama received two first-place votes Tuesday in the first regular-season AP Top 25.

The Cougars pulled the biggest upset of the opening weekend of the college football season, beating Oklahoma 14-13 on Saturday. Sooners Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury late in the first half. Oklahoma dropped 10 spots from No. 3 to No. 13.

Florida was still an overwhelming No. 1, receiving 56 of 60 first-place votes. Texas held steady at No. 2, with two first-place votes.

USC will be No. 3 when it visits No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday in one of the biggest nonconference games of the season. The Trojans moved up a spot this week and the Buckeyes fell two after withstanding a strong test from Navy and winning 31-27.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Video of the Day - Happy Football Season!



If this doesn't fire you up, you're either a bruin/irish supporter, you hate football or you are dead. Fight on, y'all!

Addendum: If you listen carefully during "Tusk" you can hear the student section version of the words that includes the "U-C-L-A SUCKS" call. I love it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ahead of the Times

You might be that guy if you're a half a year behind the DL. Nonetheless, it's still a quality post from a quality site. Would have liked to see some guidelines spelled out for the two-man trough, though.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Word of the Day - clarity

Merriam Webster OnLine defines it as:

'kler-ah-tee (noun)
the quality or state of being clear: lucidity

Well, since "the quality or state of being clear" is a sucky definition that leverages the root word to define the derivative, let's go with "lucidity"

lü-'si-dah-tee (noun)
1: clearness of thought or style (there's that damn "clear" word again)
2: : a presumed capacity to perceive the truth directly and instantaneously: clairvoyance

Well since I am definitely not clairvoyant, and I could pretty much give a rat's ass about "style," let's go with the "clearness of thought" definition.

Two words you don't see anywhere in that definition are "smoke" and "stars," but they both factored prominently into the hour I stood outside tonight trying to refocus. Romeo y Julietas are amazing and apparently lead to the kind of serene relaxation that drives contemplation. It seemed strangely apropos that I could stand out on my porch here in Ventura and see stars, and then some things started to make sense.

One of the major problems I have had in the last month plus is that I feel like I haven't stopped. I haven't been home for a weekend. Sometimes it was for factors beyond control, and to be fair, all the time it was with some of the most important people in my life. But the fact of the matter is, that I wasn't home. I was either in locations where I couldn't see the stars or didn't stop to look at them. Both of which are problems but raise a couple important points.

1. I think of this place as home. This is a credit to the laid back environment in both the city and the apartment. My roommate is roommates are baller. After the absolute debacle post-ARob, I have a place to live that is comfortable and a person (and dog) to share it with. Bonus points for the neighbors being cool.

2. I like seeing the stars. I grew up in a place where I couldn't, so I never really thought about it before, but tonight I decided I really like it.

3. Even when I was places I could see them, I didn't stop to do it. This is perhaps the most disconcerting part of the whole thing. Something as simple as taking a minute to myself was something that I let get buried and lost. For a guy fighting burnout, that's pretty stupid.

I love my family and friends, and I am happy to put them before myself. But in the process, I'm realizing that I've lost sight of myself in a way. Happiness is nebulous, fleeting and difficult to pin down without some sort of roadmap. How do you develop that roadmap without some sort of introspective lucidity to give you direction? I don't know how, but I do know that the first step is coming to this realization.

This is the realization I came to...at home...looking at the stars in silent lucidity.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Experimenting with reBlog

A couple days ago, I read a fascinating article in Wired Magazine on Craig Newmark and why his Web site has turned into such a train wreck. Today I found a blog posting from a VC in New York analyzing the article. His insights are highly thought-provoking as well.

I found this fascinating quote today:

The much more interesting conversation is about the appropriate economic model for a social network that depends on the contributions of its participants and increases in value as more people use it. One possibility is that the economic models of these networks will look more like Craigslist than Yahoo. Recent estimates peg Craigslist's revenue at more than $100,000,000. Not much compared to Yahoo's billions, but Craigslist still employs only 28 people. Even allowing for substantial bandwidth, and server costs, it is still hard to imagine how their costs are more than $5,000,000. Since Craigslist collapsed a multibillion dollar classified advertising business into a fabulously profitable $100,000,000 business, perhaps we should be talking about the potential deflationary impact of more "zero billion dollar" businesses. As the radical efficiencies of the web seep into more sectors of the economy, and participants in social networks exchange attention instead of dollars, will governments at all levels need to make do with less tax revenue? That's a scary thought in an era of high deficits unless traditional governments can learn from the efficent governance systems of social networks and provide more for less.avc.com, A VC, Aug 2009

You should read the whole article.

The title of this post refers to a function attached to his blog called reBlog, which is essentially the bloggers' equivalent of retweeting on Twitter. I'll play around with it when I have more time, but it looks fascinating. So, then, Fred Wilson, if you should happen to backtrack to this post, thanks for your insights. I'm definitely adding your blog to my blogroll and RSS readers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Toph's BDay Weekend in the IE

Brief Summaries:

Topher:
  • kegs and eggs
  • bbq
  • drinking games
  • girl on girl action
  • Simpler Times
  • "We Built this City"
  • Journey
  • Cawlfield and Matney outed (DL: twice)
  • blondes
  • vial shots
  • Jager bomb
  • dance mania
  • lap dance
  • brawl
  • Breakfast Jack!
  • strawberry shake
  • papsan down
DL:
  • Yard House
  • trotting out a four starter against staff aces and #2's
  • Datsun is
  • silver bullets
  • Bitch U Ride the MARTA Bus
  • knee to the spine
Yas:
  • regular ID (DL: racial profiling)
  • lemon drop martinis
  • "Shit...they're at my car now."
  • baseball
  • side beef
  • crazy bitches
  • cougars
Jordty:
"Don't forget about our discussion of the importance of diversifying the rotation behind a clear-cut staff ace. Lincecum stuff...backing the hammer with 97+. Then running out a solid Cain-esque #2 and a #3."

Friday, August 21, 2009

From Facebook: My Life According to The Offspring

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 10 people you like and include me (presuming I'm someone you like). You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "My life according to (band name)"

Are you a male or female:
Pay the Man

Describe yourself:
Defy You

How do you feel:
Gotta Get Away

Describe where you currently live:
Crossroads

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
Never Gonna Find Me

Your favorite form of transportation:
Nitro

Your best friend? (brother)
Dirty Magic

You and your best friends are:
Worst Hangover Ever

What's the weather like:
Burn it Up

Favorite time of day:
Time to Relax

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Conspiracy of One

What is life to you:
Why Don't You Get a Job?

Your relationship:
Million Miles Away

Your fear:
Feelings

What is the best advice you have to give:
Leave it Behind

Thought for the Day:
Get it Right

How I would like to die:
Total Immortal

My soul's present condition:
Mission from God

My motto:
You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Video of the Day - MARTA Shout-out...sorta

For those of you who are not familiar wiht Atlanta (which, I believe, is all of you), MARTA stands for Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. As I'm sure you can imagine, all sorts of colorful people ride MARTA, as it is definitely viewed as a stepchild. Thus, it is apparently a grave insult to insist that someone take it. That being said, I took it voluntarily to lunch with Loudy on Thursday, and it was an experience but not the awful one that I'd anticipated. We took it again on Friday to the game, and it seemed fairly benign then as well. Perhaps I simply missed out on the REALLY fun people who take it, but in any event, here is a sampling of the locals' thoughts on the MARTA bus.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Video of the Day - Chuckles the Chicken

Just got back from the weight room on campus at Emory University, and unfortunately, there was not a Chuckles sighting. There was however some random, sporadic clucking. Go figure.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Video of the Day - "Welcome to Atlanta"

Self explanatory. I am in the dirty...love it. Looking to bring home one of these. I, too, am puzzled as to why Fernando Viña is in the screen shot of the video.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Letter from a Great Man

12-2-00

To my Grandson Dale:

Thank you for being such a fine man and upholding good standards. It has been such a joy for Grandma and I to have shared so much of your growth.

I thank God that we were able to follow you around on the baseball circuit.

The time is coming in your life that you will have to make big decisions, so make sure that you make good ones. If you're not sure it's right, just slap yourself. (haha)

Just want you to know that Grandma and I love you dearly.

Love,

Grandpa and Grandma

--
As you can tell by the date, this letter came to me a while ago--my senior year in HS. Those of you who went to Catholic high school know all about why and where this comes from, so I will divulge no further details on that.

The important part, though, is the focus on decisions, and this is a topic near and dear to me as I just attended the going away party of one of my former players who leaves for college this week. Another leaves next week, and the rest will be on their way too. Clearly as my knuckleheads take off for college, they will be faced with many decisions, and while I certainly had my share of shortcomings as a coach/mentor for my boys, the overarching point I always tried to drive home was that there are two ways to do things.

The right way and the wrong way.

What do you know? That point extends to more than baseball. I hope and pray that my boys always continue to work to do things the right way. It's not always going to work out perfectly for them, as it certainly hasn't always for me since I received the above letter eight years ago when I was their age. But as I told my grandpa in the response I wrote him, I know that in the big picture I've gotten more right than I've gotten wrong.

To me, it's a testament to the strong principles and family values he helped instill in me. While I could never measure up to the example he set for me with respect to impacting future generations, I hope that someday (maybe in eight years), my boys can look back and think that the lunatic freshman coach from 2006 taught them a thing or two about how to do things.

Live life with a passion for others and see God in them, because you never know when you'll lose them. Play to win, because playing not to lose is for...well...losers. Have each other's back always because you better believe I have all of yours. That's doing things the right way.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Web Site of the Day

For all you grammar and usage snobs out there (yes, I'm talking to you, Sarah, Catherine, Paula, Monica and anyone else who reads this and hates people who can't command the English language). <--Yes, i know that is a fragment. Save it. http://funnytypos.com/

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Couple Weeks Ago

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my college entry essay, verbatim. It was about family and the wisdom and guidance that my parents have given me. It cited a specific example, and you can read the whole thing if you'd like, but the takeaway was that when I was in 3rd grade, my parents hit me with a lesson in priorities and proper behavior that has resonated more than any others and will stick with me for the rest of my life. I mentioned the scorekeeper, but the focus was primarily the coach...aka the guy who benched me.

This one's about the scorekeeper.

I use this blog (and facebook and twitter) to whine and moan and generally just bloviate about anything and everything. You all have a right (and are encouraged, really) to leave me comments to weight in or tell me to shut up and stop my complaining or any of a number of things you may want to sound off about. I love the dialog.

No one has as much room to tell me to shut up as the scorekeeper.

One word that never appears in my college essay is "strength." My parents taught it to me, but were so covert about it that I never really recognized it...until a few years ago when the scorekeeper and i nearly lost the coach. Then it became crystal clear.

In early September '05 (my first year out of school), I had gone back to spend a night with one of my college buddies and some of his friends from his apartment building. It was a prototype evening of college shenanigans and I woke up to a phone call from mom. She then proceeded to tell me that my father had a massive heart attack the night before, and they were at the hospital in Hollywood because that's the venue with the great cardiac team, apparently.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, scrambled to say goodbye to everyone and violated a couple traffic laws to get there, I was greeted by my dad hanging out in his bed drinking some water and my mom hanging out talking to him like we were at home in the living room or something. Outwardly...not fazed. Pretty amazing. It put me at considerable ease and really eliminated any sense of immediate panic I had going in.

So they scheduled pops for surgery for later in the week. Mom worked out a deal with the office where she could work part of her day remotely, so she could spend as much time with dad as possible.

When he went into surgery, she was there, and she told me to just go to work and not worry about it.

While he was in surgery, she waited in the waiting room.

When I called after work, she told me not to worry and to just go home. (I ignored her...I always did have selective hearing.)

When the surgery went past the estimated time, she was glad that I'd ignored her, but if I hadn't, she would have hung in there.

When the doctor came to talk to her once he was out of surgery, she listened to every word and calmly asked questions.

When he was in the hospital for a couple months after surgery in constant danger of taking a turn for the worst, she was right there all day during visiting hours.

When things started to get a little better, the stoicism turned into a smile.

And when it was time for him to come home, it was like a party.

Since then, through good days and tough ones, she's shown the same kind of selflessness no matter what's been going on around her. Going in early, staying late, working through lunch...whatever she needs to do to finish her paid job as a CPA to get home to her unpaid job as a wife and primary care physician, she does with a faith-driven grace that I don't believe can be replicated.

This is why it didn't surprise me a whole lot that when she called me a few hours ago to tell me that her father (from whom I get my personality...I'm convinced, anyway) had been diagnosed with cancer that is believed to be terminal, she spit out the facts like a doctor without a hint of weakness in her voice.

My grandpa has always been the active type, quick with jokes and stories and all about fixing (and "fixing") things. He's as strong-willed and stubborn as they come, the larger than life personality and the commanding presence that you would expect out of a former Navy guy and head of a household with five kids, but with a heart of gold. Even in the face of the worst news someone could possibly get from a doctor, he wore it to stay strong for his family.

I guess we all know where the scorekeeper gets that from.

Please say a prayer and keep good thoughts for the Power family. As tough as we are, we could really use it, and it's much appreciated. God bless.

Photo credits to my cousin Crissy and her blog and my cousin Courtney and her Facebook page.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Article of the Day - Suffering from 'roid rage'

Haven't watched the video, but anything that beats up the (dirty) crimson laundry, I am all for. So, here you go...Ortiz being the catalyst for them getting worn out in their own home paper--complete with a video (that I haven't watched yet, but I imagine it's more of the same).

There is also, of course, a highly valid counterpoint that is being beaten to death in baseball circles (and I happen to agree with the sentiment). It is completely bush that the results of an anonymous test have been leaked to the press...repeatedly. I don't blame the form of media that is in an inescapable death spiral for running with the story in an attempt to make itself relevant again. At this point, though, I have to side with Ozzie Guillen. Just throw the list open and get it over with, so we can all move on.

"If you're going to divorce me, divorce me," Guillen said. "Don't just keep telling me you're going to leave me." <--AP Style (for all you haters out there)



David Ortiz lied to you.

It seems safe to say that his entire Red Sox career is a lie.

And those life-changing Red Sox championships of 2004 and 2007? Are they forever tainted?

You bet. (more)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sarah's Top 10

I was going to propose that she submit this as a guest blogger again, but I just posted it myself instead. Here are her top 10 quotes, noises or otherwise obnoxious things the DL says/does repeatedly. Brief DL commentary included for each.

10. You gone. <--also, "You can put it on the booooooooooooard, YES."
9. Wastey (especially when followed by "That is all.") <--usually in a text
8. F-ck my couch. <--or anyone else's
7. Zoo/Circus <--put a tent over it
6. Tie between brrrrrdb and there's that. <--brrrrrrdb...no contest, so there's that
5. Wear it. <--tried and true
4. Good for you. <--we appreciate what you're doing
3. Fire drill <--closely tied to zoo/circus
2. Trrrrrrble <--like my blog
1. Jaaayyss<--courtesy of Grant...gotta cite my source

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Link

http://emailsfromcrazypeople.com/

We all have experiences with this. Here is a collection of not just e-mails, but voicemails and all other modes of communication. Here is a direct link to one snippet of the insanity. It's in an e-mail exchange touched off by a letter describing neighbors' complaints about hearing a dog in his apartment.

Money Quote: No. I have a goldfish but due to the air conditioner in my apartment being stuck on a constant two degrees celcius, the water in its bowl is iced over and he has not moved for a while so I do not think he is capable of disturbing the neighbours. The ducks in the bathroom are not mine. The noise which my neighbours possibly mistook for a dog in the apartment is just the looping tape I have of dogs barking which I play at high volume while I am at work to deter potential burglars from breaking in and stealing my tupperware. I need it to keep food fresh. Once I ate leftover chinese that had been kept in an unsealed container and I experienced complete awareness. The next night I tried eating it again but only experienced chest pains and diarrhoea.

http://emailsfromcrazypeople.com/2009/07/28/no-pets-clause/#more-65

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Datsun is...Datsun is...

Holding my car hostage right now. Not only are they violating me for four bills for the two-year service, they are not even being couteous enough to do it quickly.

This blows but is, of course, necessary with the Humboldt trip pending. This is also a test to see if the number of characters mandating this to be sent in multiple texts also means it will be multiple posts on the blog. It's an experiment. If it sucks, sorry and I'll take it down as soon as possible.

ADDENDUM: It worked, so I edited it, and it's staying. Thanks for the comment, Toph. Word.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"And That's the Way it Was"

American journalism lost a legend today. Below is a link to an impressive piece from TV critic Robert Lloyd that not only details what made Walter Cronkite so great but also issues a bitch slap challenge to today's news media.

News in the 24/7 cycle has become commodity. How does one stand out with class and elegance when the whole world is just a constant barrage of information? While we as media professionals struggle to figure that out, we will be doing so under the watchful eye of Walter Cronkite looking down from above. RIP.

The mix of eloquence and authority that the CBS newsman embodied is a far cry from today's anxiety-provoking TV outlets.
By ROBERT LLOYD, Television Critic
5:30 PM PDT, July 17, 2009
For many who grew up in the 1960s and '70s, Walter Cronkite was the voice of unfolding history. On the "CBS Evening News" and on the spot, his eloquent mediation of the great events of an age almost pathologically overflowing with them was essential to the way those events were understood. Even when he was temporarily at a loss for words -- his tears at the death of John F. Kennedy, his inarticulate glee at the moon landing ("Whew, boy!") -- he somehow spoke for the nation he spoke to.

Cronkite was not just a newsman; he was -- like Edward R. Murrow, who brought him to CBS and television -- as close a thing to the idea of a newsman as his age imagined. Except perhaps for Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, his high-powered NBC competition, all TV news anchors, news readers and news reporters, even the most august of them, seemed like variations on his theme, shadows of his Platonic ideal. A decade after his retirement from the anchor's chair, he was still being named the most trusted man in network news. (more)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Nostalgia

Last night as I was searching around on the Internet, I stumbled upon the Web site of one Nick Fera. Now, as you all know, I am a terrible novice guitarist, and what many of you probably don't know, I was in a band once. Don't get excited. It was the 2005-2006 school year when I worked at Crespi, and we were the house band/soundtrack to student life--The Bungalows (named for our practice facility). I played the bass because it was handed to me two days before the first event of the year. (Thanks, Coach Muck.)

What I did in this band was irrelevant. What Dom (keyboard), Tony (rhythm guitar) and Coach Muckey (drums) did in this band was irrelevant. The guy who carried us was our lead guitarist (a senior at the time), the aforementioned Nick Fera. Anyway, young Mr. Fera let me know that he is now in a jazz fusion-ish type group called ChromoSphere. They're legit, and as soon as I get word that they're playing a show locally, I am there.

However, I don't know that they really give you a feel for just how well Nick plays a guitar, so check these sound clips from his site. I'm partial to Little Wing (weird) and Long Hard Ride (because it was part of the Bungalows set list).

"All Along the Watchtower" (I think this is the cover U2 did)
"Little Wing" (Jimi Hendrix)
"4 on 6" (Wes Montgomery)
"Long Hard Ride" (Toy Caldwell)

Nick Fera...great musician, and even better dude. Keep up with him on his sites, and the DL will continue to post and tweet with updates on Nick and ChromoSphere.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

So as you my loyal readers know, Toph and I went to Vegas with mom and dad this past weekend. Mom and dad were headed to see a show that is related to one they saw on their recent Hawaiian cruise, so they offered to take us to Vegas, split the hotel cost and let us do whatever the hell we wanted when we got there.

Mom, dad and I rolled out of Burbank at 8, picked Toph up at 9, and we were on the way. Our first stop, was a common one on the way to Vegas. I unilaterally made the decision that it was time for tall boys.

Next stop was Primm, where mom went to feed the slots a bit while Toph and I wandered off to the smoke shop and met the first of what would turn out to be many fascinating people on this trip. We sought out some cigars, since those are Toph and my newest thing for kickback time. The smoke shop owner was a total cougar, but had this weird and disorienting speech pattern that was part the crazy chick from Misery and part Lurch. Pretty sure this chick had smoked everything possible and some things that others wouldn't think were possible. We got our cigars and got out as quickly as possible. Back to the bar at the casino for a pair of silver bullets and then back onto the road.

Just when we thought we were headed downhill to Vegas, we fell victim benefitted from one of those giant road signs in hell Jean. $1 beer, $1 hot dogs. The good people of Nevada benefited from some more of my mom's money on the slot machines, and Toph and I benefited from multiple $1 hot dogs and multiple $1 Blue Moons. Yes...it was dollar drafts and they had freaking Blue Moon. Amazing!

So then, it came time to carry our buzz on to our destination: Vegas. We got to the hotel, kicked back for a bit and then went to dinner with the folks at Famous Dave's...after we got lost an impromptu tour of Las Vegas. After grabbing a 12-pack (of Blue Moon), we headed back to the hotel. Mom and dad got ready for their show. Toph and I got ready to catch the shuttle to the strip. After a brief pregame session, we hit the shuttle and rolled to the strip. Nothing too notable except talking to a gentleman who was from Atlanta and didn't believe Toph and I were brothers. His bad.

The shuttle dropped us off at the Tropicana, and I said goodbye to my friend Brett from Atlanta and Toph and I began our journey. I figured Margaritaville was the most logical place to start a night of drunken shenanigans--except I didn't realize that it was essentially on the opposite end of the strip. So, we stopped by a Corona vendor and got a little something to tide us over until we got there. You'd think that since it was Vegas and it's effing hot, they might have something to circulate the air in bars there? Not the case, as even at the top bar, there was no airflow, so we took our beers to go and went back down the strip.

After wandering for a while, a handful of "Haaaaaaave you met Gabe?" calls, offering an assist to some young ladies trying to all three cram into a picture and catching the water show at the Bellagio, we rolled into Diablos, where we would post up for the rest of the night. We grabbed a couple empty seats at the bar and then went into observation mode.

Across the bar from us were a blonde and a brunette surrounded by guys. Five of them were talking to the blonde. One was talking to the brunette, who had a very clear "seen it all, done it all, not interested" look on her face that I could see plainly across the bar. The one guy in her ear was not deterred. She went to the phone. Not deterred. She poured herself a drink. Not deterred. Because of the setup, Toph and I were looking straight at this and seeing it all.

It was only a matter of time before this girl looked up and I made eye contact with her, glancing from her to him and then back to her with a quizzical look of, "Really? That guy?" She rolls her eyes, shrugs and then laughs and goes back to the phone. The guy stops for a second because she laughed but then gets right back in her ear after she's on the phone. This time when she looks up and I see her, I give a disapproving head shake. She returns with the sad face. I glanced back in his direction, looked back at her and resumed shaking my head.

Now she's intrigued and we proceed to have a 20 minute "conversation" via facial expressions, breaking down everything within our line of sight. Finally the guy figures it out and bails. She grabs her blonde companion, smiles at me and they make a break for it. I had just rained out some guy's game without saying a word. Win.

Once my brunette friend across the bar had left, Toph and I decided to relocate closer to the dance floor. We'd noticed a tall, striking blond (with a very prominent franchise tag) at the bar earlier, and we spotted her again on the dance floor but this time in a large group of girls. She was very clearly the mother hen of the group trying to organize everyone for a picture, so I offered to take it for her so everyone--including her--could crowd around the girl in the tiara and sash and be in it. This, of course, worked perfectly, and Toph and I spent the rest of our outing with the bachelorette party...of girls who were in town from Minnesota.

After a couple drunk calls, the shuttle back to the hotel finally gets there (greatly improving my night, apparently, right Grant?), and we decide it's time to hit the room for a couple more beers to smuggle into the 24-hour bowling alley in our hotel. Once we smuggle our beers past the security guard (who was awesome and had to know we had them but didn't care), we get our lane, get the beers out and realize that we don't have my keys (which contain the bottle opener).

I nominated myself to go back and get them but was unable to find the elevators in my drunken stupor. As I wandered around the casino (all ends of which look EXACTLY the same), I called Toph from my dying phone and told him to keep bowling. Apparently he did and was legit. I finally found the elevators, grabbed a couple more beers and took them down. We crushed all beer involved and split the first two games. Apparently I won the third one. I don't really remember, but Toph was unhappy. We then went out to the casino to smoke our cigars and hit the slots, where I nearly passed out...and lost my hat. Time to stumble up to the room and crash.

Checkout time was noon, so my parents woke us up about 11:45 and we put our stuff together and left. It was only now that I realized I'd lost my hat. Toph and I hit Jack in the Box for some breakfast while mom fed the slots some more. It was puke and rally time, but I can assure you all, J in the B breakfast had never tasted so good. We rolled back to the casino, backtracked our steps and found my hat. And just like that, it was time to go home. Vegas, baby. What a town.