Thursday, May 3, 2012

Monday, November 28, 2011

You Know Why You Shouldn't Just Abandon Your Blog and Leave it in the Dust?

Maybe someone will come looking for a sports blogger someday, and they'll even want to pay that person. If so, it would really suck if your last blog about baseball was written sometime in 2009.

I've been enjoying the heck out of my Fantasy Football this year. I'm really excited that there will be NBA games before 2011 is over. That said, I'm a baseball guy, start to close. I'm unlikely to blog about how the Texans are so hurt at quarterback that they can't even find a guy named Matt to do it. I won't speculate on what the Rockets' next move is. But I am always happy to talk some baseball with you, even if you don't really exist.

This whole move to the American League thing had me so sick to my stomach for so long, I just preferred not to talk about it. Couple that with the past two seasons we've had around here, and one can understand how it would be hard to get jazzed up about all things in Astrodom. But you know what? We've got a new owner, who seems like he knows a few things about the game, and he's eager to bring in good front office people, and he wants to build through the draft, and those are all good things. I don't care for the DH, but in a few years, both leagues will have it, and Astros fans will have the advantage of having gotten used to it. And best of all, we have a chance of being the last line of defense against a World Series Championship for the Chicago Cubs, which Revelations says will cast the world into a thousand-year period of darkness. So, there's that. I like Mike Soscia, I like the Rangers, and I don't mind beating up on the A's and Mariners once we get out of the suck-hole, so... yeah. Believe it or not, this is the beginning of a new "good time to be an Astros fan." Welcome aboard.

All for now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Blogging World

I have decided to end my stalemate with the written postulance to announce that I am extremely sleepy.

Thank you.

All for now.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It Has Already Been Established That I Watch a Lot of Baseball in October OR Fun With Links!

Last night, Buck Martinez made a comment about Bobby Abreu, currently playing right field for the Angels paying tribute Abreu's early days as a member of our own Houston Astros, and the values he gleaned from the Astros' great players of the 1996 - 1998 heyday: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and... Ricky Gutierrez?

As incomprehensible as it was to me that Martinez would group Gutierrez (career homer total 38! career RBI total 357!) with probable Hall-of-Famers Biggio and Bagwell, I let it slide, because as a rule, MLB color commentators are known for being off-kilter, bad at their jobs, or generally insane. Most of them are former players, and they've sustained enough head injuries in their lives that the actual broadcast journalists who provide play-by-play know enough to blithely ignore the many batshit things the color guys say (see The Exception That Proves the Rule).

However, just moments ago, sideline reporter Mark Fine referenced Buck Martinez's comment, paying specific attention to the Ricky Gutierrez part, and speaking of Gutierrez as though he was one of the true clubhouse leaders of the late 90's Houston Astros.

For those of you who did not follow the team during that time, allow me to state, for the record:

No, he was not. Bags & Bidge were. Ausmus, kinda. Gonzo, maybe. Even crazy-as-all-getout Carl Everett, in his own crazy way (Everett should be an MLB color commentator, now that I think about it). Never Ricky Raccoon.

Now you know the rest of the story you didn't ask for.

All for now.

Be Prepared an 11:30 p.m. Eastern Start Time

Because it's gonna be Dodgers - Angels. I'm calling it.

It was obvious to anyone not wearing Sox GogglesTM.

All for now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No New Information Here

This world is mean, and awful.

It doesn't take much to make me happy. I just want everyone else to be happy, too. But when you are faced with negatives everywhere, it clouds and challenges your ability to be happy.

I've been beaten, and beaten, and beaten some more, and I don't know that I can continue to hold out hope that success is possible for me. And unfortunately, it's a repeating cycle. You'll never win in a situation where they can already tell that you think you'll lose.

Maybe it's because I refused to approach success from a competitive standpoint. I didn't want to believe that it was "me vs. them." I wanted to believe that we all could win.

It's as though nobody else wants you to find real, sustainable happiness, because they're not sure there's enough to go around. They don't realize the greatest maxim of love, that the more you give, the more there is, which, surprisingly, I still believe.

God, I feel worthless.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yeah, I Know I'm a Crappy Blogger. Step Off.

TBS, what the fuck happened? You've been so good, and then you pull this stunt? The MLB Playoffs are still baseball games, not an episode of Lost. Stop getting fancy with all your camera angles, and zooms, and crooked closeups, and just show us the game.

Also, do the Cardinals have a facial hair police? Because they SHOULD.
Dodgers are going to rock this series.

All for now.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Internet, Approve This!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the introductory number for the partially developed / never produced Batman: The Musical.

Wait, what’s that, you say? Back up? Glad to.

In 2002, a Batman musical was in development to be produced by Warner Brothers on Broadway. Keep in mind this was during the dark, dark ages of Batman when the last we had seen of the Caped Crusader in any real context was Schumacher’s Batman and Robin in 1998, which, according to many people, never actually happened.

This musical was a collaborative effort by Tim Burton, Jim Steinman, and David Ives. To reiterate:

Tim Burton – the maddeningly inconsistent visionary who can be so right (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood), and so wrong (Planet of the Apes, Batman Returns) with considerable aplomb.

Jim Steinman – former songwriter / producer for Meatloaf (Bat Out of Hell, and trust me, you can hear it in the song)

David Ives – genius playwright (All in the Timing, Polish Joke)

Interestingly enough, Steinman and Ives were the team that brought the Michael Crawford vehicle Dance of the Vampires to Broadway, which is the modern musical’s equivalent of, well, Batman and Robin.

How David Ives got mixed up in all this bu11sh1t, I’ll never know. Suffice to say, he did.

Anyway, Batman: The Musical languished in development for years, before finally, and thankfully being abandoned. However, Steinman has a website – Dark Knight of the Soul, where you can find five song demos. I’d love to discuss them all with you, but I’ll whet your appetite with this one, and let you visit the site yourself.

Now, onto the song itself:

0:01 – Meatloaf Piano

0:25 – First lyrics are in latin. Classy move. ClASSy

I don’t know what you people think the citizens of Gotham City sound like when they’re singing, but if this isn’t it, then surely there is no God.

1:12 – On a serious note, this Salvation Army woman makes my pants tight.

2:17 – Looks like it’s gonna be a dark one tonight!

Then the Salvation Army Woman and a streetwalker join forces… now I know this is just a demo, so there’s only one voice singing, but still, this streetwalker and Salvation Army woman have disarmingly similar vocabularies. Could they be related in the play? God, I hope so.

3:47 – First appearance of the boy soprano (insert your own Robin joke here).

This goes on for a few more maddening minutes, plus more Meatloaf piano.

6:34 – the piano heralds the arrival of our hero, musical Batman.

7:01 – at long last, we hear the voice of our hero, and sadly, it could very well be Tom Wopat (

The lyrics become so Meatloafian I become convinced that Batman is wearing a billowy white poet’s shirt and he’s carrying a lacy hankie.

7:47 –“I Work The Graveyard Shift” – har har! So do all the unemployable white people who work at gas stations!

8:20 – Someone fails to finish re-writing his lyrics before he shows it to the Batman / musical crowd (a sizeable number, they can almost all fit in my house) for approval.

9:41 – This song is still going.

10:25 – Now, for some reason, the singing stops and the piano just takes off. Could it… could it be that musical Batman is now dancing? One can only hope. If he is, it’s some sort of lusty folk dance better left to a barn full of Irish immigrants.

11:18 – Now, Batman earns the audience’s approval by whining.

12:30 – Someone drugs Batman just as he is finishing the song, and you can hear him collapse on the piano as the song concludes, an inexplicable 12 and a half minutes after it first began.

I'm Just Gonna Say It

The Rangers were better than the Twins and Tigers this year, and yet one of the latter two will be in the postseason instead.

I think baseball is structured better than just about any professional sport, but this illustrates a glaring weakness in the playoff structure.

All for now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

When It Comes Down To It, Who's Really Signing That Contract Anyway?

A whole crapload of interesting stuff happened on Mad Men last night (and as you can see, it's having an effect on my eloquence), but nothing else that happened (and I mean NOTHING, you Peggy-Duck enthusiasts) beats what went down in the penultimate scene of the episode, when...


... Bert Cooper laid the ever loving *smack* down and played a card he'd been holding onto for three years.

I love TV moments like that. The old coot's not so doddering after all, is he?

His eyes did something I've only seen another actor do once. In the God-awful campery that is The Devil's Advocate, Al Pacino looks at Keanu Reeves' mother and asks her if it's her first time in New York. As he does so, his eyes lean down and lick that poor old woman's soul. Robert Morse showed off the same move tonight, but with his littel pointy beard, it's sure to have tickled extra fierce.

All for now.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You Bet Your Bippy

I went to an opera last night without singing.

Oh, it happened.

All for now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It Might Seem Like I'm Not Writing

But I am. Just not here. Writing in other places is well-known (in some places, like my brain or Vancouver) to slow down my blog output enormously.

Hot and cold, hot and cold... get used to it.

All for now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Here's One That Oughta Get'cha Talkin'

If you haven't seen this yet:

Some ingenious entrepenuer has found a way to make a killing by offering to take care of your pet after the rapture. Chances are, if you believe in the rapture, you probably believe your dog can't get into heaven.

I'm not going to pass judgement on that opinion, but I will tell you that I don't believe it can be heaven without them, no matter what my Teachings of the Catholic Church class says about heaven and your memory of life on earth.

All for now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love Among the Ruins

Mad Men's crowning glory is it's innate ability to identify cultural turning points and touchstones and interweave them into the fabric of their story so we can watch their effect on the characters, making their story the story of a generation.

In this week's episode, the series nailed one of the big ones with aplomb - Ann Margaret in Bye, Bye Birdie, and also subtly hinted at things to come. And while most people think of Ann's affect on the boys in 1963, Mad Men directs its focus on Peggy, arguably the show's most interesting character at this point, on the basis of her mystique alone.

The movie version of Bye, Bye Birdie baffles me (compared to the stage show, the movie is an old-fashioned acid trip), but Ann Margaret's appeal is unmistakable, even 46 years later. She can't sing, she's not all that attractive, but as Sal says (to paraphrase), she's got "that." Ann Margaret is the moment, and watching the characters watch her results in the suspension of our disbelief several stories up. It is 1963. In this way, Mad Men is a show about time travel in more ways than a show that's ABOUT time travel.

All for now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August is Slow. What Do You Want?

Yay to Eric Bruntlett for turning in the 15th unassisted triple play in Major League history tonight - and to end the game, no less.

Unassited triple plays are matters of dumb luck, mostly, but I've always had a soft spot for Eric and his beard of bees. Bruntlett is the kind of baseball guy that you want to do well - he did well here, and he's thriving on the Phillies. If they're not extremely glad to have him right now, they're idiots.

So, more blog soon, hopefully. I've been writing a lot, just not here.

All for now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Memo to Good Times: Not So Fast There, Sonny Jim

It's been said that baseball is a game of failure.

The Houston Astros decided to put that theory to the test this week, signing away all of the good feelings in favor of a memorable mini-collapse.

It can't be helped. Everyone knew Chicago and St. Louis were formidable allies. Doesn't take the hurt away, though. Just when I thought I was out...

Sometimes I don't know where I stand with the big Guy, but if he's smiling on me (and he might be, because I'm pretty sure I was funny tonight), then please, please don't let it be the Cubs. Let the NL playoff pool be the Dodgers, the Rockies, the Cardinals, and the Phillies. I can live with that. I cannot abide the baby bears, unless you are planning a wicked rug pull like you did last year, in which case, feel free to surprise me.

All for now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Memo to Good Times: Feel Free to Roll

It's been said Baseball is game of failure. Average three hits out of ten tries, and they might very well put you in the Hall of Fame. You win sixty, you lose sixty, and what you do with the other forty-two is what determines your season.

In a game with all of these cliches in play, sweeping the team leading your division to gain three games on them in the standings is about as good as it gets, especially in the dead of July.

Our Astros have something to play for.

All for now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We Like Roy!

At-bat #1: Manny comes up with two outs, bases empty. Roy Oswalt pitching.

Strike one.

Strike two.

Strike three, on the most devastating, agonizingly slow curve ball I've seen in real time. I couldn't believe I wasn't watching slo-mo.

Adding some shading to this situation, Roy Oswalt has been one of baseball's most outspoken anti-steroids ambassadors, and one of those seemingly above suspicion (that is to say, if his name came up associated with PED's, I would not only be surprised, I would be bitterly disappointed).

Manny, at the very least, appears to have taken the attention from this matter and endeavored to show remorse for his actions and a desire to change. That does not change the fact that he is guilty, but it is at least the right thing to do. As the senator from NY said to Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show, "I don't think an adult man of your intelligence should be congratulated for simply and at long last telling the truth."

So here comes Roy, on a perfect summer night in Chavez Ravine, to the mound to face the recently returned hometown hero (how fitting for LA is that he's a rent-a-celebrity?), and the Wizard completely overpowers Ramirez with the force of his talent. It was a definitive, emphatic statement, the kind that will fly completely over the talking heads at Baseball Tonight.

At-bat #2: Ramirez comes to the plate, grounds out to third. That's just good baseball.

All for now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Think it's Worth Noting

...that sometimes things aren't my fault.

I don't like being held to a different set of rules that someone else doesn't have to follow. If you get to behave a certain way, then so do I. And if I don't, you shouldn't be able to, either. This basic principle will keep us from having to go to war.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Ryan Reynolds is playing Green Lantern, which would've been fine if he were going to be Kyle Rayner, but making Reynolds Hal Jordan is something with which I will have struggles. If anything, anyway, Reynolds would've been a far more appropriate Wally West version of The Flash. You know this to be true.

All for now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We Could Be Better Than the Rest

Quiet summer night you are
a comforting companion in
those times you have to listen when
there's really nothing there

I wish the stars could see me but
we've hid them all away inside
a blanket made of brightness if
you live close in to town.

Friday, July 3, 2009

For Your Consideration

As we approach tomorrow's July 4th holiday in the United States, I would like to take a moment to write about a man who I think, among the living, most embodies the American ideal: Pete Seeger.

When Pete Seeger passes, I think one of his enduring legacies will be his insistence that we all sing along with him. A tireless environmentalist, civil rights advocate, supporter of peace and first amendment rights, he and his indelibly American banjo will be most remembered singing songs along with his audience - sometimes to the point where you got tired of his effort, but therein lies the core of the man. Playing the standard "This Land is Your Land," written by his personal friend Woody Guthrie (Seeger's 90, after all), Pete Seeger becomes every American - a creature obsessed with wants and infatuated with the promises that America holds. What's rare about him, perhaps unique among prominent public figures (particularly musicians), is that whereas many Americans in his situation want these things for themselves or their progeny, Seeger wants them for you. That's why he wants you to sing along. In Pete Seeger's world, you're the star of the show.

How fantastic is that? While we fret over the United States of America's slow morph from democratic republic to capitalist oligarchy, Seeger frets on the banjo and helps turn the latter into something for the former. And before you say it, I KNOW, I KNOW, it's much easier in music than it is in practical, everyday life, but if art is a representation for our ideals, well, then, it gives me hope.

Happy 4th of July.

All for now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bees Are on the What Now?

BEEKEEPER #1: Kind of quiet today.
BEEKEEPER #2: Yes... a little TOO quiet, if you know what I mean.
BEEKEEPER #1: I'm afraid I don't.
BEEKEEPER #2: You see, bees normally make a lot of noise. NO NOISE means - no bees.
BEEKEEPER #1: Hm, I see what you mean.

A BEE flies by.

Oh, there goes one now.
BEEKEEPER #1: You mean your Chevy?
BEEKEEPER #2: ...yes.

Apparently, the Padres have been storing a mound of sugar they got from a jack-knifed sugar truck they found on the side of the road. Seems they want it all - the the dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, the creamy middles... Oh, sure, they may offend some of the blue-noses with their cocky stride and musky odors... they may not be the darling of the so-called city fathers who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk of what's to be done with Homer Simpson.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bye Bye Backe

Brandon Backe was designated for assignment on Friday evening to make room for Felipe Paulino to come off the disabled list and start Saturday night.

This was the right move, and Paulino emphatically proved that by pitching one of the best games of his career last night, but I can't help but feel bad for Backe, mainly because he provided this franchise with some of it's very best good times.

Win or lose, big-time drama seemed to follow Brandon Backe. He was the only pitcher I've ever seen strike out the side on 9 pitches. Brandon was the starting pitcher for the NL Wildcard Winning game in 2004, as well as the game 3 win in the NLDS that year, and perhaps the greatest game I've ever watched from start to finish live, game 4 of the NLCS that year, wherein Backe pitched eight innings of one-hit ball (would've been two hits if Beltran hadn't made an unbelievable catch in the eighth to rob Tony Womack of what probably would've been a triple had Beltran missed, since Berkman or Biggio would've had to chase it into the visitor's bullpen to retrieve it). That game... there's not much more I can say about it if you've seen it, but if you haven't - well, it was one of the best single nights of baseball EVER.

In 2005, Backe was the starting pitcher for the 18-inning Chris Burke game, and although he didn't do much to help our cause, you couldn't help but feel his presence in the middle of the action, rubbing bats for good luck and shouting at everyone who could hear him, offering encouragement and just being a generally good teammate. Then, in the last game of our World Series, down three games to none, Backe went out and pitched seven shutout innings against a hot-hitting White Sox lineup, essentially saying, "I'm not going to be the one who loses this for us." It's that kind of effort in big moments that endears him to you as a fan.

Since he's from Galveston, you get the feeling that he's closely associated with this town and this team. It's easy for him to root for the Astros because he grew up with them, and we root for him because of that.

Unfortunately, you don't become a good baseball player in only the big moments of your career. If the moment wasn't big for Backe, he did not thrive, and we got used to cringing at his line after a mid-season start - eight earned, too many walks, innopportune homers. More often that not in the last three years, that was the Brandon Backe we knew.

He didn't get any better this season, and truth be told, he was a long-shot to make the team anyway. He lasted as long as he did because enough people out there felt like we owed him for all the good times. I'm as sorry as anyone to see that the good times have apparently come to an end.

Good luck, Brandon.

All for now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No, I'm Not Going to Start Making Crystal Meth. Stop Asking.

I have a Breaking Bad inspired plan for the next few blogs. Stay tuned (but not really, since you can just come back here and check, and staying tuned to this blog would be kind of silly given the erratic nature of my posts).

All for now.

Just Like That Singing Nun

Spending some time with the kids has gotten me to thinking about a few of my favorite things, so I thought I'd share with you a few that maybe you didn't already know about. I know I don't need to tell you much about my television habits or baseball, but I can't promise that some of that stuff won't sneak in there. I also know that in most cases I'm not breaking any new ground, but what the hell, I'm just putting m'self out there.

This list is not by any means comprehensive, and I've taken efforts to keep it somewhat short and eliminate the things that are really obvious, b/c chances are if you read this blog, you already know something about me. Also, these things are either somewhat new, or I just haven't really explained myself about them.

Kate Micucci / Garfunkel & Oates
The Crazy Ivans
Blues Traveler (a joyous rediscovery)
Joshua Radin

Speedy Centerfielders
Slick-Fielding Shortstops
Smart Catchers
Efficient Pitching

Summer Movies
The Hangover
Staaahhhr Trek
The Silverado 19 Tomball IMAX

David McCollough
Rodris Roth
The recently resurrected Seanbaby
The Onion AV Club

Lover of Strife
The Bloggess
Alan Sepinwall

Television / DVD / Internet Viewing
Jim DeShaies
Hank Schrader
Barney Stinson
SlumDunder Mifflinaire
Dr. Horrible

Summer Food
Sabra Classic Hummus
Green Grapes
Whataburger's Honey Butter Chicken Buscuit
Unsweetened Iced Tea
Jimmy John's
Beefsteak Tomatoes & Cottage Cheese
Rocky Road

Charlie Palillo
Music From the Movies
Eric Ladau
Wait...Wait... Don't Tell Me! & Car Talk (back to back!)

Dog Snuggling
Crepe Myrtles

All for now

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Went to Camp!

And now it's over, hoss! Children are not the boss of me no more.

Every now and then, I consider going into teaching as a profession. Then I do camp, and I'm glad I don't do that nine months out of the year.

I'm all achy and creaky and all I want to do this weekend is sleep.

Anyway, there's nothing like not being able to blog that makes you want to blog, but then you can't remember what it is that you wanted to write about in the first place, so *fart noise.*

Do you think living in the 18th century would be cool? Then come visit me for a week and I'll convince you that it certainly was NOT. Oh, sure, you could find clean water, but the teeth, my friends, the teeth! And jobs and nature were plentiful and there was no need to worry about being blown up by a nuclear nuclear, but there was no asteroid defense system in place! We didn't even know we needed one. And sure there was no urban overcrowding in the American colonies, but then again... bears. And there was no baseball yet, so I don't really know what you're talking about when you tell me you'd like to be a wood turner and live in Philadelphia in 1775. Chances are you'd have a soldier quartered at your house, doing your wife and eating all your food, so *fart noise.*

*Fart noise* on the whole bunch of it!

All for now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The most sublime opening segment to a sitcom episode comes from a late-series episode of Cheers, a perfect bit of character comedy, transcripted here for your pleasure:

A Man enters through the front door.

WOODY: Welcome to Cheers, what can I get you?
MAN: Beer, please.
WOODY pours.
You know, you can't go home again. The old saying's true. Twenty years ago, my job took me to Alaska. This is my first time in Cheers since the 60's, and everything's different.
Points to the stairs leading up to Melville's.
That staircase, you know, it used to go up the other wall... and the floor used to be all ugly green tile. They've even changed the paneling.
WOODY: Where?
MAN: Over there, behind Norm.

All for now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not That This Comes as a Surprise

It's a lot more fun to watch a team win than it is to watch a team lose.

All for now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

One Tug Means Pull Me Up, Two Tugs Means I'm Out of Air

It turns out Bill Brown is off because his mother passed away. These Apples wishes him the best.

I am about to enter the History Camp zone, which means you are very unlikely to be hearing from me between June 8 - 26. Camp eats my lunch for breakfast. I barely have time to do anything other than working with our campers, and that precious extra time is devoted to getting all of my other daily work stuff done.

I haven't exactly been setting a record pace here, so I don't suppose you all will miss me terribly while I'm gone. Nonetheless, an explanation prior to the abscence will keep any surprise kvetchers from kvetching so fraughtfully.

All for now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Whozzah? Wha...?

Where was Bill Brown tonight? Not that I hate Dave Raymond, but...

Bill Brown has been the voice of the Astros since my childhood. When the time comes, and there's no indication that it may be coming soon, I want the opportunity to say goodbye properly.

I'm operating on the assumption that Raymond was filling in for Bill tonight while he took a well-deserved night off.

Word out.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Seven-Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ

Okay, I'm gonna try this, and I'm starting with the season finale because if I decide to abandon this project next year, no one is bound to notice.


No, "ABQ" did not stun me the way the way last week's "Pheonix" did. "Pheonix" had me talking to the couch pillow while my dogs stared at me like I was a crazy person. "Breakage" saw me pacing the room, shouting at my television. "Negro y Azul" kept me from sleeping that night. "4 Days Out" had me sick to my stomach with anxiety.

"ABQ," as far as season finales go, is one of the best I've ever seen, and yet it's not as good as at least four other episodes from its thirteen episode season. How awesome is that?

I should clarify at this point if it isn't abundantly clear that I am now a full-fledged Breaking Bad fanamaniac. I am totally caught up in the world Vince Gilligan has created. The withdrawls I experience until Season Three premieres at some point in 2010 may be on par with anything Walt can cook up in his RV.

Why on earth has NBC (I'm singling them out because of their dismal failure this year) not picked up the AMC model for TV-making? Find a genius, allow him complete creative control of his series, and let him do what he does. Allow him to hire quality writers / directors / actors who are free from trying to please network censors, and the ratings will come. Breaking Bad, while not the same story as The Big Bang Theory's stunning rise to prominence, has made a significant jump in the ratings between this year and last year on the strength of being THAT GOOD. I know that doesn't necessarily work for all shows, particularly comedies, unfortunately, but maybe NBC would benefit from cutting some of the fat and focusing on becoming a critical darling for a few years. It's a better bet that some of their shows will actually get popular. I know this is unfair to The Office and 30 Rock, which are both awesome, but the general truth about NBC is that it is in real trouble as far as scripted programming is concerned.

Now I'm pretty far off of my original topic, which was to again extol the virtues of Breaking Bad's incredible second season, and to let you know that to avoid completely cutting the show out of my life for nine months, I will gladly come and watch it with any of you, and then talk about it. Or just talk about it after you watch it. Please, folks. I need more people in this club so I can geek out about it.

All for now.