Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yes, I realize it's football season

The Chiefs' young defensive players have figured out how to play football. The team is 3-0. The Jayhawks are adjusting to a new coach and new coaching scheme. They are 2-2. Hell, even my fantasy team is 3-0.

But none of those teams have their own music video featuring a rapper who was not paid by the athletic department.

GameON from Kansas Jayhawks on Vimeo.

Hip, hop, dunk.

And that's my sports post for the week... at least until the Chiefs win again.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Never start a land war in Asia...

Not sure if I ever have complained about this, but there is very little high-quality advertising in the Middle East. As Mrs. Blog put it, the industry seems stuck in the 1950s: literal and message-driven.

But today I stumbled upon these:

... and never say no to Panda.

Brilliant. Surreal, memorable, funny. I love the direction--the way the camera subtly tracks The Panda as he zeroes in on his victim and the almost deadpan way The Panda attacks. Good stuff. Now, off to the grocery store... I have a sudden urge to buy some cheese.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homemade boomstick

When I was a kid, I would build stuff. Mostly non-working stuff, like an airplane I kind-of-sort-of assembled out of plywood and washing machine parts, or various ghost-detecting apparatuses.

My most successful projects were various types of launchers--usually just tubes or rails that channeled rubber-band-accelerated projectiles. I did manage to assemble a crossbow once.

But this... this is every child builder's dream (and the ATF's nightmare):

Crucial question: will it kill zombies?

This might be a little bit (OK, a lot) beyond even Adult Gerry's technical expertise, but I love the idea that you can build a functioning energy weapon using ordinary household items. I could even mount it on my flying dishwasher.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Put this on the "Things to Do Before I Die" list

The Reno Air Races are wrapping up today. I'm not a huge fan of car racing (although, to be fair, I have only been to one race in my life)--cars going around in variations on a circle don't do much for me. Airplanes, on the other hand....

Feel the breeze from that second flyby?

Yeah. Awesome, right? Vintage planes, souped-up engines, earth-hugging flight... what's not to love? The only thing better than watching from the ground would be sitting in the cockpit. Here's hoping that someday I'll have enough cash lying around to buy one of those sweet P-51s for myself....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Old Guy Basketball and the Art of Knee Maintenance

It's been a long time. Almost a year, I think. Sometime in late summer 2009, I laced up my sneakers, strapped on my knee brace and hit the court.

I was playing ball regularly back then, once a week, sweating profusely in the 110-degree nighttime heat and polishing my mid-range game--a key part of training for any 6'3" guy who doesn't have the handles to be a guard or the height to be a post player.

Also, I'm 34. Mid-range is a key part of old-guy basketball. As is, I learned on Tuesday, major knee pain.

But first, the good. There were three of us. We arrived on the court at the health and fitness club to find a bunch of teenagers already playing. As they watched us mope onto the court, they started nudging each other.

"Hey, man--wanna play?" they asked. You could hear the predation dripping from their tone of voice. These guys are ancient, it said. Let's humiliate them.

But something strange happened.

Me in Game One.

We smoked them. Annihilated them. Game was to 11 and they scored two. I had five points, kept my guy from scoring, got some rebounds, felt pretty good. We passed a lot and played good D. One of the teens twisted his ankle and sat down.

Oh, and did I mention there were six of them? They subbed in and out several times during the game.

Anyway, they took off after that. And that's when things headed south.

Games Two through Four.

I won't go into the gory details, but I quickly lost my ability to jump... run at more than a jogging pace... hit easy shots... even make layups. And then, to literally add injury to insult, when I woke up the next morning I couldn't (at first) stand up out of bed. On the positive side, the knee I had 'scoped years ago has recovered much faster than the other one--thanks, Dr. Bowen!

So what is the lesson here? There are several.

1) The mid-range game will always pay off.

2) Passing will get better shots.

3) Stretch before playing if you are in your fourth decade of life and have knee problems.

4) There is still no excuse for missing a lay-up.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Four airports, three continents and 25 hours later...

... I'm back in the UAE after three weeks in the United States of Awesome. And what a journey it has been.

Let me illustrate. In Chicago, the Cubs lost.

Taken out to the ballgame.

In Kansas City, bourbon slushies.

Best accompanied by home-smoked ribs.

In the Pacific Northwest, MiG-29s.

The aggressor squadron has landed.

In Orange County, homebrew!

Tastier than it looks.

Then, on the way back, I managed to get an Irish immigration stamp in my passport--odd, because the half-hour I spent in the airport was entirely in security lines. Which is not how I have typically thought of Ireland.

So now I'm back--and just in time for Eid. Here's to cooler weather and food consumption during daylight hours....