Monday, July 16, 2007

Jason Kendall - Just in Time.

I've been watching Jason Kendall throughout his career, mostly when he was with Pittsburgh and owned the Cubs. More than once he beat us all by himself, and for some reason he was always out of the Cub's grasp.

Now, this season, on what hopefully is a still rising wave, he has come to the Cubs. Like many Cub fans, I am wary of good signs. Maybe I shouldn't be, they really HAVE made the playoffs, and even advanced a round, but when things are going good, we all look for a shoe to drop. This isn't the shoe dropping, this is us getting a very good catcher, probably past his prime, but with serviceable stats over the last month, much better than what we've been getting. AND, he can catch the damn ball.

Jim Hendry made the announcement during the game this evening, that Jason Kendall had been acquired from the Oakland A's for Rob Bowen, the catcher we got for Barrett, and Jerry Blevins, a relief pitcher that has spent this season putting up decent stats for the Cubs' A and AA teams.

Losing Michael Barrett was a good addition to this team, for whatever reason you want to believe, witness the won-loss record since he left, now filling the hole he left behind with Kendall starts to put this team on the roll that will take them into the post-season.

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Annoying Commercials, Why?

Listen/watch/surf anything, most noticeable for me on the radio, because of my remote and pop-up blockers. I listen to Sports radio in Chicago, usually the Score, because it tends to annoy me the least of what I put on. Apparently, ad execs come up with some template for a commercial, and continue to seel it until everyone is sick of it. Even though they might sell it only a few times, it is amplified by the constant replays. There is some very small amount of time that radio people consider a regular listening cycle, like 30 minutes, and maybe you will only hear the damned commercial one time if you only listen within their tested demographic, but if you sit and listen to the radio throughout the day, or a ball game, well, you find yourself wanting to wring the life out of some disembodied voices.

Which templates am I talking about now? Okay, here's the two commercial types I'm completely csick of:

First, it's the guy calling into the consumer help line. It started out as a beer commercial, where the guy was calling to ask where the taste was, and I got sick of that one quickly and am still often treated to it.ow coke zero has the same setup, you yawn at first, then want to just delete the commercial like a pop-up. But oh no, it's radio, all you can do is switch stations.

Then, it is the couple team, with the doltish husband and the condescending, high pitched wife. If I hear her say, "Tell them about the discount, Herb," , once more, I'll ... I feel like that every time, by the third time she chirps over his voice, and before she does it several more times. They are also everywhere, on several manifestations of that simple, stupid, setup.

I took some media writing classes, and though I don't care to exercise most of what they told me in those classes myself, I also am not spending millions on advertising. One thing I distinctly remember is that you DON'T TRY TO ANNOY THE AUDIENCE. Someone has forgotten that.

Friday, July 06, 2007

American Pie 5 - the Naked Mile - Lowering the Bar

Okay, lets have a show of hands here; Who watches any of the American Pie movies for the plot, writing, or acting? You arean idiot, or liar.

Let's face it, nobody watches them for anything but the gratuitous nudity, if you have any other ideas, you will be disappointed. I luckily missed out on most of the franchise,but rather enjoyedthe first one, thinking that every generation should have it's own version of "Porky's". Sadly,those movies too lost whatever charm they had after only a couple installments.

"The Naked Mile," starring this generation of "B"actors, ranks right down there with Porky's 4 or maybe even that old late night HBO standard, "H.O.T.S." Yes, I am bringing up that movie, one so bad that even eighteen year old boys talked about how bad it sucked, and never missed it when it came around on rotation.Everyone didn't have a DVD playeror even a VCR so you had to count on HBO recycling those old classics. It is one of those movies that follows a theme I've mentioned before, really bad movies that you still end up watching.

Maybe I have finally passed the stage where I can like these movies, but I doubt it. The movie is just lame, contrived, with plotting and jokes backing things up worse than straight to video soft-core porn. Seriously, Ron Jeremy has a better laugh track. If you're just coming to this movie for the obligational nudity, it's also lame,like watching those twilight Girls Gone Wild info-mercials without the little black dots. There's a lot of it, but it's all brief, and scattered.