Friday, September 14, 2012

Back in Action!

Well well well.. it's been almost a year since I've done anything with this place. Maybe it'll be another year till I try again, but why not, right? After doing my ramblings for years, it somewhat died out for me in becoming motivated to do it all the time. Twitter (@Bird33WV) was part of that reasoning as I always tell my buddies that I'm just throwing out a lot of random stuff that most people don't care about, but it's quick and to the point. I feel like what I'd talk about in my blogs would've already been updated through Twitter, but I'll see how this goes. Will I keep it up? Probably not, but I felt the urge to put something up since I'm nearing the year mark without a thing. And yes, I'm the king of cheap plugs, Mick Foley taught me well. What do we have planned for this edition? Wedding, fantasy sports, Shinnston Turkey Trot, Pittsburgh weekend baseball trip with the wedding gang, fantasy sports, video games and whatever else I can bug everyone with. Time to jump on in!

So what's new? I have a few weeks left until the big wedding day. That'll be on September 29th for those not keeping track at home. I'm excited for it to get here as it's been a lot of work, but we're ready for it. Who would've guessed when I started the blog a while back that I'd ever be talking about a wedding day? Yep, I'm an old man, but still act like a kid. I'm not fat and bald yet, so I guess that's a plus. It's my Larry Bird year in that I turned 33 in January and getting married in the same time period, not too shabby I say, that has to bring along some good times. After three years, Whitney (@wHippY_C) hasn't ran away from being around me as I'm obsessed with wrestling and sports, that counts for a lot. Deep down, she's turned into a bit of a wrestling fan herself, just ask her for yourself. Then again, for as much as my junk as she watches on TV I'll admit I'm not above watching a lot of her shows and end up getting hooked on some reality stuff that is pointless as well.

This past weekend my wedding party guys treated me to a great baseball weekend in Pittsburgh. I'm low key and if a game is involved, I'm in for sure. I didn't need an elaborate bachelor party and got exactly what I wanted with the sports weekend getaway. Spank and I rolled up on Friday while on Saturday we were joined by Cork (@corkzillaWVU), Ozzie and Posey (@dposey111). If you're looking for a place to stay, the Hyatt Place is pimped out and we were right beside PNC Park making things easy. We had great seats both nights. Section 24 on Friday, six rows from the field on the 3rd base line. This was the game where the Bucs got totally embarrassed. They had SEVEN errors, didn't get a hit until the 5th inning and it was rough. It was one of those games that was so bad that it was good type of thing. After the game we had a fun run-in with a player. Around 2:00 we hit up Primanti Brothers as it was one of few things still opened. We took a taxi back and in the ride with us was Blake Parker of the Cubs. He was a great dude and gave us the question we normally get in Pittsburgh, "You guys aren't from around here are you?" when he noticed our accents. He said the same for him since he's an Arkansas boy. We got some college football chat going as well as about the Bucs game the same night. He was the low man on the totem pole, so at 2:00 in the morning he had to pick up eleven sandwiches for some teammates and take it back to their hotel. Good stuff.

Saturday I got to hang out in my favorite parts of Pittsburgh. One being the Strip District and I could hang in the markets all day and never get tired of that. The other was just a bit outside that area in Bloomfield, which is Little Italy. Saturday's game we were in some of my top seats in the stadium, on the outfield wall, front row. You get some of the best rowdy fans in these sections and it's always a good time. We were in section 138 on this night. For all the games I've been to, I've never caught a foul ball, homer or had one thrown to me. This night our crew was on fire. Ozzie was able to snag two, while Cork and Posey each got one as well, crazy. Ozzie went diving for a third and busted up his knee, but it was a valiant effort that our section was cracking up over. My new Jim McMahon jersey was a hit as the Cubs are one of the best traveled teams in the country. We're all into random conversations with bums, so I got to talk to a good handful of Bears/Notre Dame fans through the weekend. I also got to see Jeff Samardzija deal on Saturday night, Notre Dame grad and he had a complete game win, letting him sling it. Bucs are on a free fall and it's gonna be tough for them to gain, but there's still time left. Also, it wouldn't be a trip without a Waffle House stop on the way home for some good dirty grease. Thanks to the wedding crew for hooking me up for the entire weekend, appreciate it fellas!

It's getting closer and it looks to be the biggest crowd yet. Thanksgiving morning, November 22nd, the Shinnston Turkey Trot will be back in action as Stacia and Jason Talkington have done an awesome job of organizing it each year. Who'd ever guess that little ol' Shinnston would have one of the area's biggest 5K races, but it's true. This year, the streets will be closed down and the run will be on Route 19. That should be fun, as it was on the trail in years past. Chip timing will be implemented this year for the first time and of course the DJ will be in attendance. Turkey Joe? Yep, he'll be there with blazing speed and signing autographs. It's all for a good cause, to benefit the Marie Gaston 4-H Scholarship Fund and sponsored by none other than Mary's Hair Care and Fitness. There is a lot more information on the site and registration has already started up. All levels of runners are there, so show up for a great cause. You can even walk if you choose. Shinnston Turkey Trot Website

It's been over for a while, but the summer softball season was a blast as it always is. A lot of us aren't doing fall ball as we have stuff going on and just wanted a break. Hammer's Market was the big sponsor again, as they were in the fall and props goes out to Bones and Lil Bones (@Hambone818) for getting that going. We didn't do the double champion thing like we did in 2011, but still had fun nonetheless. We had a rough regular season and that has been our deal the past few years, then we seem to crank it up towards the end for playoff time. We finished either in 3rd or 4th, so no trophy to have inside Hammer's Market this year as like last, but it happens. In other sports related news, the infamous Shinnston Flag Football League was retired last season. Bart (@Zak_Bart) did an amazing job of keeping up with the area's knuckleheads and having to be there all day every Sunday. Most people have no clue how much work he put into the league and why he decided to close shop this year.

Most won't care, but time to get some fantasy sports chatter going. I'm a football guy, but as far as fantasy goes, it pales in compares in my opinion to basketball and baseball leagues. I like more hands-on leagues where it's not a once a week thing as far as lineups go. Then again, I'm a rare one it seems that puts basketball and baseball interest in general to myself much higher than football. Minus the smaller leagues such as Pick Ems, Survival, etc, I'm in three big leagues that I concentrate on, two for NFL and one for NCAA. I don't like committing to a zillion leagues like some do because I don't want to be that guy that never checks his teams or never making message board posts. To each his own, but I think a league with a message board that rocks makes things twenty times better. Anyways, enough on that, I'm going to post my rosters and a few little things, but not much else to it.

A#FL: American Football League. This is the Lobstah league where it's 18 teams deep. I LOVE deep fantasy leagues. I was champion of the 2011 season and hope I can continue and not embarrass myself this year. Last year in that same group's baseball league I won it all and in 2012 ended up in last place, go figure. First to worst. Props to Commish Wilbur (@blangfrd) for keeping this league up, takes a lot of work. This is a keeper league where we all keep three players each year and I'll note who they are in my roster.

Cincinnati Celts Roster
QB: Tom Brady *keeper* (New England), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)
RB: Matt Forte *keeper* (Chicago), Marshawn Lynch *keeper* (Seattle), Mark Ingram (New Orleans), Bilal Powell (New York Jets)
WR: Dwyane Bowe (Kansas City), Stevie Johnson (Buffalo), Mike Williams (Tampa Bay), Randy Moss (San Francisco), Devin Hester (Chicago), Leonard Hankerson (Washington)
TE: Kellen Davis (Chicago)
K: Matt Prater (Denver)
D: Jacksonville

Shinnston Fantasy Football. This is the local league of our crew, 10-man style. Sweet P does a fantastic job of keeping the machine well oiled and having things organized. Live drafts are always a blast and this one was no different. We ordered the draft board again from my boys at FJ Fantasy Sports, who I've been dealing with since they started up 10 years ago. If you've not done a draft board in person before, I've said it many times, do yourself a favor, it makes a draft tons of fun and more organized. Yep, that's a cheap plug for FJ Fantasy too, but they've treated us well over the years in both basketball and football setups. Last year I was 3rd Place in this league and it's a traditional head-to-head league, non-keeper. Mudcat is the reigning champ from 2011.

E-Town Junkies Roster
QB: Eli Manning (New York Giants), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), Jake Locker (Tennessee)
RB: Ray Rice (Baltimore), Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Doug Martin (Tampa Bay), Toby Gerhart (Minnesota), Mike Goodson (Oakland)
WR: Roddy White (Atlanta), Eric Decker (Denver), Stevie Johnson (Buffalo), Pierre Garcon (Washington), Mario Manningham (New York Giants), David Nelson who is about to get cut since he's mangled (Buffalo)
TE: Coby Fleener (Indianapolis), Kellen Davis (Chicago)
K: Stephen Gostkowski (New England), Robbie Gould (Chicago)
D: Philadelphia, Jacksonville

Heisman Trophy Fantasy. This is our Lobstah NCAA keeper league. I'm really surprised NCAA leagues haven't caught on more, especially in the area I live in. We've been doing them for a long time and they're great. Props to Duce (@MikeTsquared) for being the man in charge of this action. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it and he does it well. I've not won this league since 2005. TheAnswer (@TheAnswer310) is reigning champ.

Team Tim Brown
QB: Marqueis Gray (Minnesota), Danny O'Brien (Wisconsin), Ryan Katz (San Diego State), Zac Dysert (Miami Ohio), Corey Robinson (Troy), Casey Pachall (TCU)
RB: Perry Jones (Virginia), Stepfan Taylor (Stanford), James White (Wisconsin), James White (Iowa State), Theo Riddick (Notre Dame), Montel Harris (Temple)
WR: Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin), Dan Buckner (Arizona), Michael Campanaro (Wake Forest), Emory Blake (Auburn), DeVonte Christopher (Utah), Mark Harrison (Rutgers)
K: Michael Hunnicutt (Oklahoma)
D: South Carolina

How's the video game world treating everybody? The past couple of years, I've not gotten either NCAA Football or Madden. I used to rotate with either of those two games each summer, but been slacking. My problem with the football games is that I'll play them hardcore for a few weeks or a month nonstop and then when Call of Duty comes out, they just end up collecting dust. Speaking of that, November 13th it's time to rock for Black Ops 2! I'll probably be one of those dorks again that will be in line for the midnight release, some things never change, but I could be addicted to worse things. Find me online at Bird33WV on 360.

How's the Lobstah Celebrity Deathpool 2012 shaping up? My ten this year are: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Superstar Billy Graham, Scott Hall, Ronnie Biggs, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Scott "Raven" Levy, Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi, Hosni Mubarak, Tariq Aziz, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Matt Hardy and Andy Griffith. Of mine, Andy Griffith is my only one in this sick and demeted game for 2012 so far. ManDingo (@waxdingo) is currently leading with 108 points and has Etta James, Gary Carter and Robin Gibb. Corndog (@corndogtaylor) is second with 98 points and Etta James, Joe Paterno, Dick Clark and Robin Gibb. 

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This comes to us from the one and only Corndog as he wanted to take dibs on sending this out for those who haven't seen it. It's been out for a bit, but this is my first time seeing, maybe I'm out of the loop. Corndog has been adding to the blog for years, so why not right? This is Joe's Wisdom Teeth Experience Aftermath. One of my favorite comments is "This is probably Joe every weekend, his mom just doesn't know." Corndog isn't sure if it's fake or not, but he says for a good laugh, go for it:

3 Quick Thangs:

1.  What went down in sports history on September 14th? In 1994, baseball owners voted to cancel the rest of the season.. 1991 had Magic Johnson getting married to Cookie.. In 1990, Ken Griffey, Sr and Ken Griffey, Jr hit back-to-back homeruns in the 1st inning.. In 1987, Cal Ripken's streak of 8243 consecutive innings (908 games) ends.. 1968 had Denny McClain get his 30th victory of the season, crazy.. In 1958, the Yankees won their 24th pennant and 9th under Casey Stengel.

2. I put this on Twitter yesterday and stole it from Wes' (@WesCarpenter05) Facebook page. "Nas is your favorite rapper's, favorite rapper."- Common. I'm still a big rap guy, but there's not nearly enough lyrical rappers out there that can tell a story nowadays. Common isn't playing around with that quote, high respect.

3.Time to end with some useless and random facts. Plastic lawn flamingos outnumber real flamingos in the US.. The exact center of the US is Lebanon, Kansas.. A giraffe can go longer without water than a camel can.. Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.. Who knew? Now ya know. Until next time, whenever that may be..

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

"I Texted Before Answer Did! Winnar!!"

Blog title today is courtesy of Corndog. For something random, I sent texts out to him and TheAnswer. Whoever wrote back first, got the title. Simple as that. And this is what we got, so props to Corndog for winning that battle, it was close, I know you were all waiting to see the outcome of that.. Onto the blog!

Time to put some gas back into this beast and get another edition up. I'm feeling that I'm getting back into the groove a bit. Fall has hit, it's football weather and you might as well relax by reading some useless words of wisdom that I type up. Well, unless you have better things to do, which honestly, you probably do, but I appreciate you coming to the Madhouse to hang out for a few. What will we breakdown in this post? Fantasy sports (imagine that being a topic in here), movie reviews, my trek to a Mounties game as a Notre Dame fan, Frontier Days in the big town, busting out the FBI 5K, and a whole lot more!

I'll start out with a movie review. I don't want to lose the non-sports fans so quick. I've been slacking on my movies lately and hope to get back on the scene to give reviews. Not that I'm a critic or anything, far from it, it's just something to do. Last weekend's movie of choice was Whitney's turn to hit up Redbox. Her pick? Something Borrowed. I actually liked this one and think it is worthy of a watch. If you don't know this one, it's the latest Kate Hudson movie. No appearances from A-Rod though about their breakup. Kate's second in this movie is Colin Egglesfield who plays the character Dex and does a good job with that. It's not a big name movie as far as huge known talent if that's something that sells you right away. Ginnifer Goodwin is in this. I didn't know much on her before, but the long haired version of Goodwin isn't too shabby at all in my opinion. The movie isn't 100% as predictable as you'd think and there are a few little turns. I'll give this a rank of 7.0 girls that A-Rod has slept with out of 10.

As most know I'm a Notre Dame football fan. I don't go crazy on my stance, but most also know where I stand on not being a WVU football fan. It is what it is and I don't really get into crazy arguments or bash WVU fans, I'm just a ND guy. For the crew not in our area, ND has a decent fan base mainly in Clarksburg/Shinnston/Fairmont due to the Italian/Catholic connections, but you can probably find them anywhere. I've been to a bunch of WVU basketball games, but this past weekend was probably my third or fourth WVU football ever. I know, that's a surprise to some with me being a sports fan and you don't have to twist my arm to watch a game, minus WNBA of course.

This was actually my first WVU football game since 1996 that I attended. Yep, true story. Which game was that? TheAnswer remembers this one like the back of his hand, AKA the Tremain Mack Game. WVU was undefeated during this game and led 7-3 with 30 seconds left. WVU had to punt, Mack blocked it and then hit a lateral to a teammate who scores a touchdown for the win. Tons of controversy on this play as some argue Mack was offsides as well as another violation. I was in the second deck during this and at the end of the game, I see liquor bottles and golf balls flying in the air at the Miami coaches. The WVU fans were fired up while TheAnswer was at home partying. As an added stat, this was my first game up there without The Pit where I've seen cars tipped over and all kinds of wild stuff. The younger crew missed out on that action.

The tailgate setup in Morgantown is legit though and the fans are rabid. It's a tough place for a road team to come into, I've always said that. LSU was just on another level this day, which is understandable since they're one of the top teams in the country and rocked it out. Their fans were classy people too, we had fun chatting it up with them. I do think Geno is the real deal and has a good shot at being a pro quarterback down the line, guess only time will tell. WVU's offense looked good, but I can't say the same about their defense and even worse for special teams. At least they don't make 55 turnovers a game like my Irish do, so it all evens out in the end. Food galore and the Posey Tailgate was the place to be. Corndog's boy Landau Murphy of America's Got Talent fame did the anthem and the poor guy didn't do a great job at all. He sounds great on the show, but when I saw he was holding his ear pieces from the start, I knew it was bad news ahead. They didn't show this on TV apparently which sort of surprised me. I did have a great experience and enjoyed myself and liked where our seats were, not a bad seat in that place. The only negative was getting out of traffic, it was nuts. It took us 90 minutes to go about 2 blocks before we even got onto Patterson Drive to move a bit.

Let's switch it up a bit and get to the running scene. I was due for a 5K, so this was my first attempt at the FBI's version. This is by far the biggest 5K of my area and not sure why I haven't done that one before. First off, there were over 500 people at this and it was serious and very well organized. It was a challenging course and had a few hills, so I was advised to add a few minutes to my normal 5K time on a flat course to this one and in the end, that sounded about right. My time was 26:01 on this course and I was satisfied with that. I ran this one with Clay Riley who was on his game with 24:00 or so and BMO came in with a strong 28:00 range and #3 in the 50-55 age group, he's a beast.You had all levels of runners at this as you'd expect with that many participants, but I highly recommend this race next year if you want one to try. October 15th may be my next one, but haven't committed to anything yet. On that day, there are two in the area. At 9:00 in the morning, Nate Dogg will have the Shinnston trail packed like no other with runners. Then that night, Fairmont is trying a new thing with a Night Glow 5K as they call it. Apparently you run the 5K with glow sticks, rave style. Who knew? I may have to give that one a try just because. Then on Thanksgiving morning, Shinnston's race of all races, the infamous Turkey Trot. If you don't hit that one up, you're straight missing out.

You probably don't care, but I'm going to fill the world in on how my fantasy teams are doing. Fantasy golf ended recently and it was quite the battle. I've said before this is one of my favorite leagues. If you've never done golf and I don't even play golf in real life, I say try it out. It's a low key league with not a ton of maintenance so it's not going to consume your time or have your wives threatening to slice your head off. I came 2nd in our league this year as I just missed out on 1st, a crazy close race. Congrats are in order for none other than Kasher who comes away with the big trophy to hold over his head in the annual parade. Football? In the Shinnston Fantasy Football League, I'm currently 1-2-1. Yes, a tie in the mix there against Commish Sweet P and just lost to Pill by 3 points, that's a killer. This is the league that I've already lost Jamaal Charles and Headcase Britt for the season, that's a rough, but we gotta move on. The A#FL, League Lobstah? I'm 3-1 in that one, 2nd Place at the moment behind Blahah and have Tom Brady carrying the way as far as he can get me. Week 1 I was already eliminated in NFL Survival, terrible. I picked Slider's Browns and the Bungals of all teams beat them straight up.

In bigger news on the fantasy scene, the baseball season is over. In our infamous A#BL Lobstah league that features 18 of the internet's finest, it's a crazy competitive and deep league. It went down to the wire, but I was in the championship against Kris3, straight outta Arkansas. Kris3 has been a beast in this league for years and I knew I had my hands full. It literally went down to the final night and I pulled out the victory by the skin of my teeth in WHIP as a deciding factor. Party time in Shinnston! I'll be hoisting the trophy in the annual Lobstah Parade of Champions on a big float, location city yet to be determined, stay tuned.

The big town of Shinnston is always rocking. Quite the metropolis we are. Recently we had our annual Frontier Days, a blast from the past so to speak. You get the carnies and the whole works coming into town and doing their thing.. Nate Dogg has done a good job with organizing it the past few years, so I'll give him credit where it's due. Everyone has a little something different they might like about the setup. The local musicians, just hanging on the streets, greasy eats or taking the kiddies to the carnival rides. For myself? It's an easy answer to what I look forward to. Yep, the Demus crew selling their Italian sausage or steak hoagies is where it's at, yum!

How about another movie review? Sunday morning I woke up before 8:00 for some reason, but somewhat enjoyed that. Getting a big breakfast going, so I decided to pop in a movie. Two movies Whitney wanted to get were both out, so I made the decision to go Jason Statham style and get action in. I ended up getting Blitz out of the trusty Redbox machine. I'm a huge Statham guy anyways and didn't figure this could be bad, even with reviews not so awesome. It was a little slow for Statham's normal movies, but it was worth the watch. The ending was very well done. Not as good as his usual movies, but I'm going to give this one 6.5 bullets to the face from point blank distance out of 10. There wasn't a big name cast to go with this one, but I did like the roles of Aiden Gillen who played Blitz, Paddy Considine who was Porter Nash and Ned Dennehy as Radnor.

New season of Real World started up last week, who's in? It may have been played out years ago for some, but I'm still on this train since the first year back in the day. This version is in San Diego, one of Matty Cakes and Kari's favorite cities to hit up. The first episode was promising and we could have some decent drama going down. Last season's in Vegas I gave a thumbs up to for sure, but the one before that in New Orleans maybe not so much. A quick rundown is that we have Alexandra (lives with boyfriend, graduated high school at 14, genius level), Ashley (the oldest of this crew at 24 and the model type), Frank (bisexual dude who already is in tons of drama and has great anger for TV), Nate (the typical frat boy), Priscilla (the youngest at 19 and lives in San Diego and first time away from home), Sam (the lesbian of this bunch and looks like a 12 year old boy), and last we have Zach (footballer of the gang, listed at 6'3" but next to the rest of them he looks 6'9"). The main drama storyline of the first week is that Frank wants Alex, but she doesn't want him as something more than a friend. He blew up out of nowhere and started beating on stuff and the whole deal. This guy is a loose cannon, can't help but see what's going to happen next.

It's been said all over and this may not be the perfect spot for it, but my prayers go out to the Mills and Larry families for the terrible cancer news on Monday night. I can't even imagine how tough that has to be, especially for someone as young as Matty who always seemed to be in a good mood and everyone enjoyed him. We can always say that the suffering is gone and while that's true, it's still brutal news for a family to go through. We've all been affected by cancer and it's a horrible horrible thing obviously, just keep your thoughts out there for each of these families.

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This comes to us from the great Kasher, straight out of Montreal. It's a short clip, but a goodie. Surfer Talk supreme. This guy is a goofball, but definitely worthy to make the blog:

3 Quick Thangs:

1. How about the local Cougs? 4-1 and beat Grafton on Friday for Homecoming? I've not been to a football game in a few years, but good to see the boys rocking it out. Plus, supposedly there was a streaker at the game who was wearing a wrestling mask. I crashed early that night and people on Twitter were saying it was me, good stuff. I wish I could take credit, but that wasn't my doing.

2. Roughly one month until Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3! November 8th, be there. Bird33WV on 360.

3. Time to end with some quick and random facts. Children apparently grow faster in the springtime.. The elephant is the only animal with four knees.. Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day.. One in 5000 North Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue. There ya go, see you folks next time.

Friday, September 09, 2011

"Before the Game and Had to Wilbur"

Credit for this week's blog title goes to none other than Uncle Wilbur. The_Freak also gets some credit for putting it up on Urban Dictionary and getting Lobstah a lot of internet hits. Curious to what the meaning is? "A Wilbur is when you go into a place of business, a store, or restaurant for the sole purpose of dropping a #2 and then leaving.. I stopped by a sports bar before the game and had to Wilbur." Hey, I'm only reporting the news. What a way to start out the blog. Anyways, before that, let's give a plug to Wilbur's Twitter, doubt he'd mind the shoutout, hit him up for all kinds of randomness and some great sports chatter.

September is here and to the surprise of many, I have yet another blog in the works. We can smell fall in the air, football has started up and I've been ready for hoodie and sweatpants weather for a long time now. What does this edition have in store for everyone? You get fantasy sports updates, jailbirds, podcasts, TV recommendations, 9-11, softball, flag football, Arnie Palmer, Tony Atlas, and some fun facts. Yep, it's about to get crazy and wild in here. Well, maybe not all of that, but we're still going to strap up just in case and see what beholds. Again, suggestions for the blog are always appreciated, I'm always willing to throw in random bits.

One thing that shows I must have nothing better to do but is enjoyable, is to check out the local jail site. I check this stuff out way too much. With how some bums are in my town and former students I've had, I can almost guarantee each day I'm going to know someone on there. Sad, but true. The locals know exactly what I'm talking about, but I guess you'll have that living in a town where everyone knows everyone. I'm not complaining though, something about that setup I've always liked. Anyways, it's a great time killer and you never know who or what you'll see appear on the mugshots. You'd be surprised how many people I know hooked on this stuff, I know I'm one of them. It's one of the first things I check out when I get to work each morning. For those not in the loop of the sites and a lot are, but you may want to check out some of West Virginia's finest, you can thank me later. North Central Regional Jail: And if you want the entire state's jails:

Not that many care, but I always like to amuse myself. I know a lot are big fantasy sports fans, so I'll list some results. For as big as college football is, you'd think that there would be tons of college leagues out there, but nope. They have picked up the last few years, but I know at least locally, it's few and far between. Thanks to Commish Duce for rocking this one out, Heisman Trophy Fantasy League. It's a keeper league that features such legends as Freak, DerekHood, TheAnswer, ManDingo, Walz, Kasher, Duce, Cork, Chester, and myself. We're been doing this particular league since 2004. Kasher has won it a whopping three times, while Freak, Duce, DerekHood and myself each have one title to our credit. And here's my roster for this season, Team Tim Brown. I knew you were waiting at the edge of your seat for me to unveil this. Or maybe I'm talking to myself. Either way, here ya go:

QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan St, Sr
QB Kriss Proctor, Navy, Sr
QB MarQueis Gray, Minnesota, Jr
QB Ryan Katz, Oregon St, Jr
QB Brock Osweiler, Arizona St, Jr
QB Danny O'Brien, Maryland, So
RB Lennon Creer, LA Tech, Sr
RB Montell Harris, Boston College, Sr
RB Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati, Sr
RB Alvester Alexander, Wyoming, Jr
RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, Jr
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame, Sr
WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU, Sr
WR Phil Payne, UNLV, Sr
WR DeVonte Christopher, Utah, Jr
WR Mark Harrison, Rutgers, Jr
K Matt Eller, Illinois, Sr
K Carson Wiggs, Purdue, Sr
DEF Florida State Seminoles
DEF Georgia Bulldogs

What's in the podcast rotation lately you ask? You're probably not asking, but as you know around here, I'm going to tell you just because. If you're not a sports fan, this section won't be for you. I'm busy with my podcasts and listen to a lot on a daily basis. Here's the current list: The BS Report from Bill Simmons, ESPN Fantasy Focus Football, ESPN Fantasy Focus Baseball, Michelle Beadle Show, NBA Today, PWTorch Wrestling Livecast, Grantland that Simmons is behind, and Tim & Sid: Uncut. Jordan Breen's Sherdog MMA Show and The Herd from Colin Cowherd also can make the cut, but there's not enough time to listen to them all, wish there was.

Where was I at 10 years ago on September 11th? Everyone is asking that this week and rightfully so. I won't dig deep into this as everyone else can say it better or show the footage on TV. I was in my final semester of college in one of my history methods classes to prepare me for student teaching. Our professor came in bawling her eyes out and we didn't have a clue what was going on. This was around 9:00 and she talked to us all and let us know what the situation was and cancelled class. As we were leaving class, she hugged each one of us and not even being near New York, it affected tons of people obviously and still does. I couldn't imagine being there during that scene or know what those closer to the happenings have handled things. The servicemen and military always get my respect for the work done immediately and after that.

How's fall softball going? Not too shabby at all, it's been a blast so far. It's a shortened season, but gives us old guys something to do on the regular. It's one night a week and goes into early October so it's not taking up a crazy amount of our time. I'm digging our logo and gear for this league as well, our new shirts came in yesterday and they're fresh to death. My motto as always, even if you're not any good, you want the best gear out there and we always rock quality outfits for sure. As I type this, we're 2-4 on the season. In our summer season we started out 0-8 and turned it around after that, so we'll see what's going on soon after. It's a total blast though, we love it and have a good group of guys rolling with us. Tonight, come see the action at Windmill Park in Fairmont as we take on Health Care, they won't want any.

What's on my TV rotation this time of year? Again, not many probably care, but if you're reading along this far you're either totally bored out of your mind or you actually enjoy reading the writings. Either way, welcome aboard. Of course wrestling is at the top of that. 32 years old and hooked like no other, not ashamed to admit my wrestling side, it's a thing from my childhood that I may never let go. RAW on Monday, Impact Thursday, SmackDown Friday, you know how it goes. Sports are an obvious as I've loved every second of MLB Extra Innings yet again, you can't go wrong getting the baseball package, getting every team's every game essentially. "Regular" TV for the non-sports fans? I'm still on the Jersey Shore train and it's not jumped the shark for me at all. A new season of Real World starts at the end of the month from San Diego and it looks like great drama as usual. I also am not ashamed to admit I watch the mess of a show Teen Mom, yeah I said it, kids having kids. I could do without Farrah though, she's wasting my time on there. The season of Big Brother is about over and it's a show I watch three times a week and am a big fan. We're down to the final three. And one more I'll throw at you. Master Debaters on Fuel TV. I didn't know much of this channel until I saw an ad for this show that started this week and I'm glad of it. Jay Mohr and Eric Byrnes host (who is awesome) and it's a riot. Guys bringing up questions to debate that everyone talks about when shooting the breeze at home. It's only 30 minutes and flies by is the only downfall, I wish it were longer, but check it out.

Shinnston Flag Football League? I'd say this year has the most talent around in league history. It's getting serious indeed. I'm not on a squad this year, but will play spot duty defensive back if needed, should be suiting up for the Dola Dolphins this weekend. Two years ago I ran with the Green Machine and last year the Gypsy Hill Giants. Neither team is around now with players scattered everywhere. Word gets around quick and the college level talent and local legends are coming out of the woodwork this year. Commish Bart has done an awesome job with the website and we always keep the message board on fire. The website? And of course you want to weigh in on the message board. Message boards make the world go 'round. Or maybe I just have too much time on my hands and am easily entertained?, more shameless plugs, I might as well get the Twitter out there for those who aren't following it to begin with: Enjoy.

Eh, why not ramble about another fantasy league. I do way too many of these, but it's one of my favorite things to do. Yes I realize it makes me and all of my buddies into instant dorks, but we've known that for years anyways. This one is the Bad QB Fantasy League. We got this idea from Bill Simmons' Grantland website and it's as it reads. Dave Jacoby wrote the article, but in a nutshell you are picking an entire team and want the worst of the worst. You get that team's QB rotation and the thing I like about it is that aside from the weekly games you have a category of 24/7 points. You can get points for being arrested, suspensions, locker room fights, etc. We have eight guys from Lobstah in this mix, in order of our draft picks: Cork, Walz, DerekHood, myself, Answer, Blahah, Chester, and Trev. The four I have are the Panthers, Bears, Jets, and Eagles . We'll see how "bad" my QB crew turns out this year and hopefully it's so bad that it's good, although I'm sort of against myself by picking my favorite team of the Bears. Here's the Grantland article: I've written enough fantasy this time around, I'll have to touch on the Shinnston Fantasy Football League on the next one possibly. This is the league ran by Sweet P and we drafted at my house, rocked out the draft board and the whole works. As usual, live drafts are an amazing time if you've never done one. If you have, you know what I'm speaking about.

Oh, so it's birthdays you are after for the weekend? You twisted my arm enough, I know it's been holding your suspense. Some people said they couldn't go on with their days until they had the birthday reveals. Now is your chance. Friday, September 8th? We have Mo Cheeks starting the charge, former NBA star, former head coach and now assistant with the Thunder, he's 55. The wrestler Raven, a good dude in person and also on my Celebrity Deathpool, he's 47. Former basketballer and PJ Carlesimo's buddy Latrell Sprewell, 41. Brooke Burke and David Arquette share the same, they hit 40. Footballer Amani Toomer, "it's not a toomahhh" is 37. Actor Larenz Tate, 36. Pink? She's my age at 32. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, better known as Randy on Home Improvement, that kid is now 30, dang. Saturday, September 9th? The infamous Arnie Palmer who gets a lot of money from me for his tea sales, 82 and ages well. Baseballer Randy Johnson, 48. Basketballer Big Ben Wallace, 37. 2010 National League MVP Joey Votto, 28. And lastly, let's hit up Sunday, September 11th just because. Director of Scarface, Brian De Palma, 71. Harry Connick Jr, 44. Ludacris, 34. Footballer Ed Reed, 33. If your favorite celebrity didn't make this weekend list and they do have a birthday in that time, I guess either I missed it or didn't feel they were important. Also happy belated birthday to Clark Riley (, he hit the big 32 on Monday.

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This is an oldie but goodie. Even if you're not a wrestling fan, that doesn't matter. Yeah, I'm obsessed with wrestling, everyone knows that but this one may crack up just about anyone. This was from back in the day of Tony Atlas all jacked up calling out Flair in a promo. Funny stuff!

3 Quick Thangs:

1. I guess the hype I bought into Google+ didn't catch on. I'm not saying it's dead, but it will need a comeback to get back on track again. Maybe we all just got into it early, but at least locally, hardly anyone joined in the madness. I actually like it a good deal as I said in the last blog, but with talking to a wall, not a lot you can do yet.

2. Apparently this is blog #441 that I've done. Obviously not as often as in the past, but 27,178 page views over that span? Who knew?

3. Ok, I know it's facts you want. Random they shall be. A row of corn always has an even number? I'll take their word for it, news to me.. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world.. While men represent 50% of the workforce in the United States, they account for 94% of all on-the-job fatalities.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally... The Bird Has Returned To Blogspot!

Hellooooo? Is there an echo in this place? It sure seems like it, but yep, I'm still alive. Some thought this place has went up in smoke and it somewhat did. Was February really the last time I put up one of these? It went well past the point that people were bugging me to put up a new one. That's when I used to know that the bored readers wanted something new. After a while through the summer, nobody even asked, so we're back in action. I'm not sure how regular this will be, but why not, right? First, thanks to Corndog for the blog title, you'll see him regularly appearing as usual. I got out of the funk for a bit, so it's time to ramble on with nothing but pure randomness which has been my motto in life, the random stuff that most don't care about, I always get a kick out of. Anyways, it's time yet again to strap on the seat belts for this ride, hope you're along and don't jump out too early.

For the newbies and there will probably be a lot since the dry spell between the last blog in February, basically I'm here to ramble with too much time on my hands. You'll see that on how my posts since 2004 have been, a time when some of you were still kiddies. Wanting a quick refresher since the down time? I bought a new house a few blocks from my old stomping grounds in the middle of February (you know me, I don't want to leave E Shinnston), I've been engaged since April 9th, played a bunch of softball over that time, went to the beach, and now back to work. I surprised some that I moved out of the house before I was 50 and actually had time to draw myself away from NBA, wrestling and video games enough to meet a girl to propose to. Shocker, I know! Whitney has been putting up with me for about 2 years now, so she already knows she's stuck with a big dork anyways, but it works out great from my side of things, no complaints at all and definitely happy. September 29, 2012. Just about everyone reading this already knew that info anyways, so I won't preach too much on those subjects.

Now we'll get to what I'll call rapid fire since it's been a while. I'll touch on different things that some may care about and some may not. I always try to have a little bit of something for everyone and as always in the past, suggestions are definitely encouraged, just let me know. I'm not going to guarantee you will like everything in here and that's not the point, but give it a chance. First, to one of my addictions and it's been ongoing for a while is Twitter. I'm now near 9000 posts, which probably is more of a sad thing to admit than not, but I always say I could be addicted to worse. Time for a cheap plug alert! Twitter has been out for a while, but even as early as a year ago, very few of my crew were on. Now everyone and their brother jumps into the game and it makes it a lot more fun. I know what you're thinking, what's in it for me? I didn't think I'd care for it either, but being a computer junkie, I figured I'd give it a try a while back. Some get tired of me hyping up Twitter and that's fine, but the only way to get word out is to be repetitive. Same with this blog, I'm a shill for making myself look like a goof to promote whatever, not above that.

If you have more of your clan on (think of your Call of Duty clan to the video game addicts) Twitter, it makes it ten times more interesting, just like playing COD is more interesting with your buddies than some average Joes. With Facebook, most are still on, as am I, but to me there's a ton of drama on there and it's stuck in the mud. If not that, someone is whining and crying like a little girl nonstop over and over. Negativity is one thing I've never liked being associated with. Myself personally, Twitter is more blog style and you can just post a bunch of junk that a lot won't care about, but it's quick paced. For sports fans, Twitter is no joke, you get instant news as it happens and you name a famous person of importance and chances are, they are tweeting like machines nowadays.

More on the social networking saga soon, I won't waste all my energy on that early on so I can keep the ones who are still reading along. If you're still with me this far, you get a cookie. What kind you ask? A Double Doozie from the Great American Cookies place. Now that's serious and not your average cookie, we go the extra effort around here for everyone unlike some other blogs. Either that or I'm just talking to be talking, something I'm not ever short of breath if you know me in person.

Softball season? We rocked it out like no other for this year's summer team. We were sponsored by Mi Pueblo of Fairmont Mexican restaurant fame. Props to Walz for setting up that awesome sponsor and our gear as it has been every year now for a while in softball was top notch. If we're going to lose, we're going down losing while looking good. However, despite a start where we lost our first 8 games (yes, pathetic), the Mi Pueblo Pinatas had enough playing around and got down to business. By the end of summer, our fielding specifically was on point. You all want me to get to the end of this story, I know. It's like a movie, you have to have a little build to it to get you on the edge of your seats. The outcome? Mi Pueblo, bum league champs! A trophy the size of Kofi Kingston was presented to us and that will be hanging out at Mi Pueblo for everyone to see. You know you want to get a picture with the trophy, admit it. But seriously, we came a really long way with our crew. We were good last year but had a ton of ups and downs. We did rock it in the playoffs and finished 3rd I do believe in 2010. This year though, we had at one point a 14-game win streak, went into beast mode with that thing. As another update, we're now in fall ball and are sponsored by town landmark, Hammer's Market! A big shout out to Bones and company for being generous enough to do that. More on that as the season gets underway.

I know everyone in West Virginia has been to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a zillion times, but not this guy. Not until this year. When normally for ages I'd hit up Ocean City or Virginia Beach, this year I took the trek to Myrtle. I'd make the trip again, enjoyed myself for sure. The first thing that blew me away was how warm the water is down there compared to farther north. It was like bath water down there which made it easy to get into, almost too warm on the hot days. The waves weren't nearly as big as OC though and I've heard that before from others. Atmosphere, you can probably throw me on any beach and I'm going to like it. As a bonus to the trip, we got to hang out a bunch with the Riley clan, Sidelli, and Wes. As part of the trek down south, Whitney got to experience her first Waffle House journey. As all the blog people know, that's one of my hot spots. A good dirty and greasy Waffle House and I'm in. The dirtier the better which is my theory because usually that means good food. Yeah, I'm weird with that, but I like to roll that way on some food. It took me a while to get used to where everything was at, but a few days into it and I was good to go. I still don't get how some people in our area claim to get there in 8 hours though, it's closer to 10 for me. I usually cruise control about 5 miles above speed limit, maybe I have to go 100 to get down there in 8 hours, who knows. I won't get into drawn out details on this road trip since I'm getting back into the flow and have to get to so many other things, but thumbs up on the trip for sure, it gets a thumbs up from me.

Back to work last week, but no worries. I surprised myself and didn't sleep in till 1:00 all summer long, woke up at reasonable hours for most of the "vacation". I wish I could write stories of my students once they start classes, I'd have some stuff that people wouldn't believe. I'd be able to write a book each week if that wasn't confidential. Either way, I love my job and am not one of these whiny negative teachers who hates life every single second. Sure, I'd rather be home sleeping in and playing video games, but as far as work goes, it's close to home, I like everyone I work with and the whole deal. Plus my schedule is flexible and something different everyday. With me being hyped up with energy too often than not, I can't stay still the way it is, so I like to bounce around and do my thing. Now that I'm back to work, the heat can also stop and it seems like it has for the most part. I'm ready for hoodies and sweats type of weather and call me crazy, but I'm ready for some big snow, gotta love it.

I'll get more into my fantasy leagues in the upcoming blogs, but just a quick rundown of what I'm running with at the moment. For baseball this year, I'm in 3 leagues. One is Chin Music, the 30-team dynasty league with team salary caps and minor leaguers. It keeps you up on the minor league setup and I've even had a few players from the rookie league, it's insanely deep and a ton of fun. The other is the Lobstah version, the infamous A#BL, the 18-team keeper league. The Lobstah gang is about as competitive as it gets, you have to stay involved and it's not for lightweights. The third is another Lobstah league, an auction keeper league ran by Neon. This is only an 8-team league, but the setup is pretty solid.

For football, I'm going with three leagues. One is A#FL. Yes, the Lobstah league, how'd you guess? It's ran by Uncle Wilbur, an 18-team keeper league. The other NFL league I'm in is ran by Sweet P and has 10 members with a live draft to be held in a few weeks at my house, decked out with draft board and some of the area's finest foods (concocted by Chef Whitney with a tiny bit of help from the guys), can't go wrong with that. You also can't go wrong with a live draft either. The third is a NCAA league ran by Duce. It's a keeper league and you would think NCAA fantasy ball would be bigger by now than it is, but not sure why that hasn't caught on, we've been rocking that out for a while now. Then throw in a few quick leagues such as an NCAA Pick Em and Survival NFL and we're set. Also, fantasy golf which I still say is one of the least appreciated fantasy leagues out there.

Back to social networking. See, I bounce you guys all over the place. Not a lot are on the train yet, but how is everyone liking Google+ so far? It's a sweet format in my opinion and I've been along for the ride since it started up not that long ago. Who knows if it'll be an impact player (to the ECW crowd, Lance Storm and Justin Credible style) in the long run or not, but why not give it a try? Need an invite? Let me know or whoever else you know on it can also send invites, either way, I'll be seeing you on there, find me. Plus, what do you have to lose anyways? You just might end up liking it.

Movies lately? We've been out of the loop. There for a while we were either doing the Redbox thing or hitting up the theater. I know, I'm the only person in the country who doesn't have Netflix. I hear once I get it I'd be hooked but I don't think I'd use it enough at the moment especially with as much sports and a ton of other things I already have on the DVR. Smurfs 3D was our latest and we took Whitney's little cousin Alexandria to see it. Maybe it's me being a dork, but usually kid movies deliver as far as the factor that it's quick and worth your time. It's tough to give a grade on a kid's movie though, but I went with 7.5 Papa Smurfs out of 10. Also, Doogie Howser is even with a girl in the movie, crazy, who knew? Speaking of her, Jayma Mays is way underrated if you ask me.

The TV schedule over the summer? Outside of the usual wrestling and sports scene, not that anyone cares, but I might as well mention what I've been watching. Why? Just because. The season is over, but I really liked Franklin & Bash and it was good news for me to hear they are doing a second season next summer. Zack Morris is back in action and the whole cast plays their role well. At the moment I'm locked into Big Brother and have been for several years now. It's on three days a week for an hour at a time, but even with that much, it has you wanting more. I'll even admit to watching the mess of Teen Mom. Yeah, not many guys are going to admit that, but I'll check out just about any MTV show and give it a shot. Kids having kids and their drama, it's a car wreck, but you keep watching. Jersey Shore goes without saying, I could write half a blog on that and it hasn't jumped the shark for me at least. The Challenge on MTV? Even though my boy CT didn't make the final, he was the reason I watched, it makes for quality TV since he's my favorite Real World "character" of all time. I'm sure I could throw a few other odds and ins that I watch minus the obvious of RAW, SmackDown, TNA Impact, and MLB Extra Innings which is worth the money and then some.

I wanted to cram a lot more in here, but I have a novel going the way it is. I'll see what happens coming up and how often I get back into the grind of this place. Plus, as I mentioned, I'll try to work in any good suggestions I get to make it fan friendly. And to end things as only our staff can do, here we go...

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This was sent to us from Corndog. Wrestling fan or not, you might enjoy this internet sensation. Some have maybe seen before, but if not, let's just say Super Dragon gets fired up at a fan for repeatedly chanting his name.

3 Quick Thangs:

1. For old times sake, why not take a visit over to Zombo.

2. I won't get deep into it during this blog, but for those wondering, I'm still optimistic that the NBA season won't be chopped. The talks aren't going in a good direction at the moment and a lot of people have already jumped off the NBA board a long time ago, even when games were going on. Hopefully I won't have to shed any tears for missed games this year, stay tuned because I thought last season brought a lot of casual fans back into the mix.

3. Time to roll out some fast facts to chew on until I appear back in this spot. Hopefully it's not as long as it was before, but we'll see. Apparently ants never sleep in their life? Who knew?! The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.. And to finish up, the highest point in Pennsylvania is the lowest point in Colorado.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Minty Fresh!

Did I disappear? Nope, I just made you wait longer on this latest situation to break down. It's probably my longest break ever, but it's more about quality than quantity or so I hope. It's way past the point of everyone bugging me and telling me to get on my game and make a blog post, which I like hearing that. Time to cure some boredom. We have a lot to talk about during that time, so I shouldn't have to worry about things to ramble about. Sometimes that is good for the reader, other times they probably want to strangle me for going on and on about subjects they could care less about. What will you get here? Twitter (imagine me writing about that), Celebrity Deathpool 2011, Jersey Shore Season 3, Charles Barkley, bloody accidents, Toughman Contest, podcasts, movie review, my boy Dru Down, and tons more! Whew, let's gear up for another piece to soak your eyeballs into, it's time to get your read on!

As we do every year with the Lobstah gang, the 2011 Celebrity Deathpool has been out now for about a month. This is our 7th season at battling and I've had at least one death picked in all years except for 2005. Yes, I realize it's a demented thing to do, but it's competition, so we do our thing. In 2010, George Steinbrenner was my only guy that earned points. Corndog and ManDingo tied to win the title by each having Ronnie James Dio. Commissioner Kasher was the only one of the league to have two deaths, he had Zelda Rubinstein and Ernie Harwell. That gained him 32 points, while Corn and Dingo had 33 to get the win. Steinbrenner brought in 1 point for my team. Now it's time to unveil my 2011 picks since I know you're all on the edge of your seat in anticipation. The moral as usual, you can't ever go wrong by picking wrestlers unfortunately. A new wrinkle to this season is that we have to have a "long shot selection". The rule on that is that you have to pick someone 30 or younger in that spot. The moral, you can't ever go wrong with a handful of wrestlers, they're a mess.

1. Bobby Heenan (wrestling)
2. Superstar Billy Graham (wrestling)
3. Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall (wrestling)
4. Betty White (actress)
5. Harmon Killebrew (baseball)
6. Courtney Love (musician)
7. Zsa Zsa Gabor (actress)
8. Zakk Wylde (musician)
9. Scott "Raven" Levy (wrestler)
10. Phyllis Diller (comedian)
11. Jerry Lewis (comedian?)
12. Amy Winehouse (longshot, although she's on a ton of lists obviously)

Christmas is so far gone that it'd be somewhat pointless to talk about it this far out of the game. People are already starting the countdown to this year's Christmas, so I won't ramble onto that. I did have a great Christmas though, not one complaint at all. During that time, I hit up the movies and I'm due for some new ones again soon. What did Whitney and I watch a while back? It's time to review How Do You Know.

This one featured a big cast of characters. Who did they roll out on us? Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Kathryn Hahn to name a few. If Jack is in the movie, I'm interested if nothing else. He knocked his role out of the park, but that should be no surprise to anyone. Reese doesn't get enough credit, but she got it done in this movie. Ok, I'm mainly speaking on the looks side of things there, she gets a big thumbs up, but she also acted things out well too, as did Wilson and Rudd. It was a bit longer than I'd like, and Whitney fell asleep for part of it, but it was still a good movie. I tweeted about it at the time, but I'm going to lower my ranking after thinking it over. Our final grade? 7.4 out of 10.

Random save the day fact. I tweeted a little about this, but why not make a bigger explanation of it. I had a recent Thursday off from work for a snow day (sweet!) so I took Whitney to work since she didn't have to start till 11:00. That same day, I had a work training that was still scheduled, so I killed a few by getting a milkshake at McD's and hanging in the lot with their free wi-fi. Anyways, out of nowhere, I heard a big scream behind my ride. I didn't know what to expect at first. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw nothing. Then I checked the side mirror and I saw this lady in the 65-70 age range laying flat on her back. She busted herself on the ice and was staring at the sky. I get out of the car and a few other nearby people jump out to assist, along with her husband. We pick her up and blood is coming out of the back of her head. It wasn't crazy gushing, but enough that it was covering her hair a good bit and all on my hands. People were ready to call for an ambulance, but she said she was ok. The husband got her in the car as quickly he could and they took off. Not only did I have one good deed of the day by taking Whitney to work, but I also had a bloody mess of a situation that was averted soon after.

The Big Atlantic Tip-Off in scenic Beckley, West Virginia. To some in the area, this is the former Coal Classic, a basketball tournament they have every year for the high school and younger levels. Some major talent has been through this tourney over the years and each time around, they bring in guest speakers. This is the same place where I got to fulfill a lifetime goal by meeting the Basketball Jesus himself, Larry Bird. This year? Sir Charles Barkley. Ozzie and Mudcat are huge Barkley guys from way back, each Sixer fans. I of course was in for a sports related road trip. We went four deep with Ozzie, Mudcat, Matty Cakes, and myself. With that gang, it was sports trivia up and down, my favorite kind of trip with the guys is when the sports almanac is busted out. Time flies when we do this and it's been a tradition with our crew for a long time.

We made it there early as each of us are people that always like to be on time. And by time, I mean be early. Yes, I'm one of those. Anyways, we were wandering around the halls and were just hanging out looking lost for a bit as we were one of the first few people in the building. This random guy asks us if we're with the news or what we're here for. We told him we were just there for the dinner and to hear Barkley speak. I then went to go in the bathroom beside us and the guy said hold on, it's taken. It took us a while to figure out what was up, but apparently Barkley was in there doing his stuff. A few seconds later, within 5 minutes of being there, out steps Sir Charles and he goes, "minty fresh!" That's a line we're going to beat into the ground for sure. He was a lot bigger dude than I expected, but more on that later.

A good crowd was there, but not nearly as many were there when I did the Bird trip. Others that have been in the past have been my boy Lou Holtz, Dr. J, John Elway, Tim Tebow, and a slew of others. We knew the talking segment that Barkley was going to do for everyone would be a riot and it was awesome. The stories he told were hilarious and we ate it up. He also did a Q&A session after he gave his speech, which he wasn't shy to answer anything of course. One that was asked is how the Original Dream Team of 92 would fare against today's team. He laughed at that comparison and said that today's team doesn't have any true big guys. He said that Ewing and The Admiral would dominate Chris Bosh to where it wouldn't even be funny. And that's without even getting into Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc. The best player he ever went against he said was Kevin McHale, he had high praise for him. And he votes Jordan as the best player of all time.

Ok, I'll wrap this Barkley segment up. Going in, we figured he would only sign things or have time for the VIP tickets. We didn't have that, but he was willing to meet and sign stuff for everyone in attendance, so I have to give props for that. Ozzie said, "This is a top three event in my life. The other two go without saying." To Ozzie, Barkley is his Bird if that comparison makes sense. Now he just needs to meet Bo Jackson and he'll be set. We all got an autograph, picture, and shook his hand. It surprised us how huge his hands were. He also took time to say a few things to people as they met him and legitimately seemed like he wanted to be there. On calling him Mr. Barkley, he told me, "Nah, no mister. Just call me Charles!" Good stuff right there. If you ever get a chance to hear Barkley speak and like his style, it's worth your time and then some, trust me. He's also very big on helping the kids out and stresses everyone to get their education, he spoke a lot on that.

Toughman Contest! You can probably go back to my January blogs in the past and get an idea of what I'm about to type here too. Friday is when I hit it up each year, I can't get enough of going to our local Toughman Contest. Why Friday and not championship Saturday? You get more fights first of all. Second, you get to see the bums who have no business being there get punished. Then on top of that is the crowd atmosphere. I've been to other local shows, but Clarksburg's is a completely different animal in my opinion. You see some of the area's finest, both literally and figuratively. Some have asked, how were the ring girls? They had six this year, the most in history. I'm not expecting any major quality, but this was bad times indeed. The dance moves they'd do were a laugh in and of itself and some girls got no reaction. Crowd fights? Of course. There was only one on Friday, which is a surprising. Someone ended up getting tased in that mix ("don't tase me bro") and the announcer kept saying, "The fight is in the ring everybody!" That cracked me up, but maybe it's just me.

As far as the fights, there were 35 this year, which is a lot lower than usual it seemed. A year or two ago, I remember being there when they had 50 total fights. The guy who ended up winning the heavyweight division was the real deal. He's an assistant football coach at West Virginia Wesleyan and 6'0"/280lbs. You wouldn't think at that size, he'd be agile and would tire out fast. Not this guy, he's a beast. He came in with that pissed at the world attitude, stared his opponent down like he killed his dog, and just busted him up for a few rounds. Somehow the guy he fought that night could take a punch like no other, this was on Friday. Another fight I enjoyed was in the light heavyweight class and this guy with a nickname of Deebo, straight from the Friday movies. He was doing Roy Jones Jr stuff in his prime out there, dancing around, doing whatever he wanted. In a first for me, after the fight, the opponent got on his knees and bowed because Deebo put on such a good performance. That's a major sign of respect there. Minus my back getting wrenched by sitting in those bleachers, it was once again a quality experience and one I highly recommend if you've never been.

Ok, the Jersey Shore freaks like myself are locked into this season like no other. I'm sure I lose brain cells watching, but it's pure entertainment times twenty. I always get a kick out of the people that early on bashed it constantly, yet now they're the ones that are watching like the rest of us. The new addition of Deena Nicole seems to be a great find. To me, what makes the show is still Situation's facial expressions and his quotes. So far we've also had the Snooki arrest segment, fake Ronnie (one of my favorite things they've done in a while), Sammy apologizing to the girls and the grenade whistle begins! Now they are going to be having Season 4 in the homeland of Italy? Count me in, although you knew that anyways. That should be an interesting dynamic and I'm glad they're keeping the original crew strong. Ratings wise, it's a no-brainer. Sit back and watch the ride.

Podcast time. Which ones have I been checking out on a regular basis since the last time I updated you? 90% of my iPod usage is strictly for podcast listening, love it. I have a ton of music on there too obviously and will use that for workouts and running, but podcasts get the first priority before I switch over. There are three main ones I'm on a kick of at the moment. What are they you ask? Be patient folks, it's coming. Actually, I can't see anyone sitting on the edge of their seats wondering what podcasts I listen to, but stranger things have happened. The go-to is still of course The BS Report from The Boston Sports Guy Bill Simmons, ESPN style. I've written about him a ton over the years, so not a lot else needs to be said. Another is a more recent addition to my list. That'd be Tim & Sid: Uncut. My boys from Canada hooked me on this. It's about an hour each day and it goes by really fast, that's how you know it's good. Sports, pop culture, and it's all uncensored if that makes you more interested. Check these guys out, you won't be disappointed. Third will pertain to the wrestling fans and I've probably wrote about this one before. This is the Pro Wrestling Torch (PW Torch Livecast) and they also go about an hour a day. I wish I could listen to more, but it's tough to fit them all in. I haven't heard much Tony Kornheiser or Colin Cowherd lately either, regular staples of mine in the past.

I have a lot of CDs to review one day, but today I'll just touch basis with one of my all time favorites. For those who know me, you know I'm a big Dru Down fan. A lot of this knew this from my AIM name when I'd be on there a lot more and didn't have a clue who he was. Then they'd ask and would get the connection. Time to break this one down for the rap fans.

Dru Down: Chronicles of a Pimp. This is Dru's first solo CD in years. Of course I was pumped up when I got word of this through the grapevine of Dom in Germany, one of Twitter's finest (@StripClubPapst) and a longtime blog reader. I'm sure I'm biased towards anything Dru related, but this is very good, one of my favorite recent CDs. For those wondering what songs to get off of this, I could list a lot, but I'll just whet your appetite. Rather Be With Dru, Old School, and Bout Dat Money are top notch worthy. For the people that might not know much on Dru, let me know what you think, bad or good. Check this out from one of Bay Area rap's veterans of the game. And yes, he keeps his same style from what you always have remembered him as, so that deserves a thumbs up.

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: Since the title of this blog is Charles Barkley related, I'll have to go back a few weeks on this video. Tracy Morgan is a character anyways, but his thoughts on TNT during live TV made the rounds and had everyone talking. Barkley even answered questions about this segment in Beckley. Anyways, if you're in the dark and haven't seen, here you go:

3 Quick Thangs:

1. Time for a cheap plug for a game I've been playing a few months now. I'm not sure if it's just for iPhone or what, but download We Doodle. My name on there is Bird33WV. Others of the crew that are in the mix are Corndog (corndogtaylor) and Sims (SiMZiLa), be sure to fire off a request to them and get your battle on.

2. More plugs you want? We'll go Twitter style. This time, here's a list of people you need to add on your list for no other reason than entertainment value, some quality post guys here and I don't say that lightly. Chester (@mchesher03), Uncle Wilbur (@blangfrd), and Josh Oz (@joshoz01). Get on it.

3. It's not too late to get your Valentine's Day presents. Just sending a friendly reminder for those who may forget. Enjoy!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Touchdown Jesus to Ric Flair to Apps and 5K Races... & More!

Only one post in the whole month of November? It happens. Lazy? Busy? A little of both? Yep, but never fear, we're here to get the Christmas spirit going. As you look out your windows, you can see the trees lit, the houses decorated, and a buzz in the air as we all get pumped up. I probably should start the majority of my shopping soon, but it'll be finished quick enough, no worries there. We have a lot to talk about in this edition since I've last left you hanging. What is in this one for you to feast on? Hanging with Ric Flair, a trip to South Bend, another 5K, new apps to get, Call of Duty, and a surprise birthday party just to name a few to get you going.

I don't want to lose everyone right off the bat, so I'll hold off on the wrestling update. I'll start off with a road trip special. It was time for the Notre Dame trip to South Bend, Indiana. Last year was my first trip to the beautiful campus, not quite sure what took me so long to get out there. I hope to be there regularly from here on out. A big group of us had planned to go to the Michigan game earlier in the season, but after dragging our feet and ticket prices going higher and higher as it came closer to game time, we axed that plan. Instead, I rolled out with Whitney as it was just the two of us. It was her first trip out there, even in the state of Indiana if that counts for anyone keeping track at home.

We left town at 5:30 that morning and I like to get my road trips started as quick as possible. I don't want to screw around and ruin an entire day by leaving late. The drive out there isn't bad at all. It takes about 7 hours and 80% of the drive is flat cornfields with nothing else to see. We went up to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, cut off near Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh and then hopped onto the Ohio Turnpike. The drive featured nice scenery and luckily there was never any traffic problems, that part made things go even smoother. Between switching around to stations on Sirius, of course I had to bring along some DVDs for when Whitney would crash out in the passenger seat. On the way up for a bit, when I got closer to Indiana, I had to pop in Rudy just for good time's sake and to get me into the moment. I'm biased, but Rudy is a Top 10 all time movie in my ranks, maybe Top 5. On the way back, it was wrestling time with a shoot interview of Nikolai Volkoff which was good.

We stayed a few miles away from the stadium and had a great hotel setup. Not that we used it, but we had an entire kitchen, dishwasher, stove, full sized fridge, the works, all for a reasonable price. Friday night we hit up the pep rally, a tradition on ND football weekends. Rocket Ismail showed up unannounced and delivered an awesome motivational speech. I thought I had energy, but he was amped up like no other and the crowd responded. It was Senior Week, so that brought along some excitement to everything. 80,000 strong at the stadium and during the first half, it did nothing but pour the rain. Whitney was a trooper during this and sat through it all. I was out there getting my money and time worth, but luckily the 2nd half turned out a little sun for us. It was colder last year during September when I went as compared to November this year, strange. It was the leprechaun mascot's final home game and the fans really like this guy. At one point, he had a handstand contest with the Utah Ute ("Utes are a Native American tribe native to Utah. That is where Utah got its name, and what the University of Utah mascot is - a Ute." Thanks to Wiki Answers for that description) and when he won, the roof about came off the place, if there was a roof. It cracked me up, but guess you had to be there to appreciate how big the response was to something as silly as that.

At the time I got tickets, Utah was undefeated before losing to TCU the week before the Notre Dame game. TCU for those out in the dark, earlier this week decided to jump to the Big East for both football and basketball. The travel times will be interesting there, but I think it helps the football conference. TCU has the chance to bust some serious heads in the Big East, but you never know till games are played. I went into this game, not expecting anything to be close. I figured Utah would just crush my boys, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was shocked at the amount of Utah fans who came to South Bend for the game. That's a haul, but there was a fair bit of a sea of red in the stadium. They were classy fans too when we talked to them around campus, I liked that bunch.

Of course I can't do a long road trip without keeping track of the license plate game, I admit. By using the trusty Find Plate app on my phone, it's an easy way to mark off your states you find without having to write things down. This one, I was impressed with the number at the end of the trip. 42 total states out of 50, that was a solid get. We also saw a ton of Canadian plates too. Which eight were we missing? Kentucky, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, South Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming, and Delaware. I was a little surprised that we didn't get Kentucky since it borders West Virginia and I'm sure some people went through that state to get to Indiana. I figured I'd get South Dakota too once I had North Dakota, but nope. All in all, not too shabby.

Now to the more dorky side of things. I'm never above making myself appear as a dork with some of my interests in life, but that makes things fun. Enter Ric Flair. A while back, I had heard he was coming to our local Wal-Mart of all places to do an autograph signing that was sponsored by Coke. Wrestling fan or not, you know who The Nature Boy is without question I'd say. Stay with me, even if you don't like wrestling, I think you'll enjoy a few of these stories. I'm not much of an autograph buff, but Flair, next to my meeting with Larry Bird, was the next guy I wanted to cross off on my "must-meet" list. That list isn't big for anyone keeping track. I've also said it before, autographs aren't really my thing either, although I do have a decent bit, but I'm not the type to track someone down and go after them just to get a signature. Flair's though, I wanted that, but more on that in a second.

He was scheduled that night to sign from 6:00-8:00. The first 300 people were guaranteed a picture and autograph. I figured it'd be a crowd, but I was blown away by the turnout. I showed up at 4:30 and was already over 200+ in line at that point when I got my ticket, which was free. To say there were characters in line would be an understatement, but that goes without saying. Whitney joked that there were 3 teeth in line and I had them all. One of the funniest, yet strangest things we saw in line was this woman who literally locked the Figure Four Leglock on the floor of Wal-Mart on her kid, cranking on it. This was right behind me and people just stared. Another guy had his wife and parents along with their three kids. The kids were about 3, 5, and 8 if I had to guess. They were being impatient, of course you can't blame them for having to stand in line and not move for hours. The guy kept threatening them that he might have to make them leave with his parents and they'd lose out on the chance to see Flair. I'm sure they didn't even know who he was, but I guess he thought that was his sense of parenting skills to get them to behave.

The line was finally moving and I kept my patience, which is sometimes tough to do. To again show my sense of being an inner dork, I brought along my "Flair belt" as some know it as which I have in a bag. This is the big gold belt that replaced the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (which I also want in the collection some day) and is currently used today as one of the two WWE titles. I won't bore you with breaking down the history as much as I'd like to, so I'll spare you those details. I had it in the bag while I was in line and then someone noticed it shining as it was hanging out one end. To the people in line, this thing was a hit and it's one of my favorite memorabilia pieces. That might not say much for me though, but it is what it is. Anyways, people started asking to borrow it and wanted their pictures taken with it, which was cracking us up.

Now I finally waited out the line and made my way to the man's presence. For as many wrestling shows as I've been to over the years, I've never been to a show with Flair on it, so this was my first time seeing him in person. I don't get too starstruck, but I was with him, not afraid to say that. Hey, I'm a wrestling fan, what else do I have to lose by admitting that? I was surprised of how big of a dude he is in person. For 61 years old, his arms are still pretty big. Also, same age as my dad and Jerry "The King" Lawler who last Monday had his first WWE Title Match, another guy I've met this year. Flair seemed genuinely like he wanted to be there and gave people the time of day. Whitney got to talk to him for a few minutes as she waited near him to take the pictures. I brought along the belt to get signed as you saw in my Facebook pics and that's a deal I'll have to frame soon, would you expect anything different? All in all, it was an absolute madhouse up there, it even made the local news. Then again, not a lot happens around here, but still. The news guessed between 1000-1500 people, but that seemed like a bunch. Either way, it was worth the wait for me, dork and all.

A quick Call of Duty update now that we've all had the chance to play it for hours upon hours. I'm still big into Free-For-All as my favorite, mainly what I'm into most of the time. Last weekend, it seemed half of Shinnston was on till 6:00 in the morning doing it up big. We started out with FFA and then moved to Headquarters. I'm pretty good at FFA, no expert, but I do well enough. On the team stuff, which I rarely play, I'll be honest, I'm terrible. It'll take work though as it's a completely different strategy than FFA, but I somewhat liked Headquarters. I've yet to play any of campaign, which is weird to some I'm sure, but I'm strictly multiplayer and that's the reason you buy it in my opinion, simply put. Find me on Xbox Live under Bird33WV.

Last Saturday was another get-together of sorts. We had a surprise 25th birthday party for Southern at Via Veneto. This was our first time there and we came away impressed with the setup. The downstairs section is the banquet hall and it looked that night it was used for a wedding reception. It was funny how a lot of our crew walked in there first and people that were prim and proper looked at us like we were idiots and then directed us upstairs. The upstairs is all decked out, this place is fancy. As an added bonus, I got to watch the Notre Dame/USC game while up there and it turned out into a win somehow. The rain definitely helped in ND's side I think, it was an ugly game, but I'll take the win. Like with Call of Duty, half of Shinnston was at this surprise and party and it was a good time for everyone.

After that, we hit up The Ordinary in Clarksburg. What, hitting up two bars in one night? I know it's a rare happening, but I'll join the crowd and be social, I'm not above that. Plus these places didn't have smoke blowing in my face, thumbs up to that. You all know my thoughts on cigarettes, but I won't preach to the choir. I did my part in slamming down Coke after Coke on the night, but not Doc Gooden style of course. Chester, pint after pint, in your honor. It's always a funny reaction, especially when I'm hanging with people that I'm not around a lot and they see me ordering a Coke. Drinking was never my thing, nothing against it, just not me. At The Ordinary though, we got to jam out to Lincoln Class of 96 member and one of the purest jump shooters of our era, Daniel Jaggie. This was my first time seeing Jags and his crew perform live. Do yourself a favor if you're in the area and if he's doing a show, go see it. I'm not saying that because I've known him forever, but he's legit and does a very good job.

It's that time again to give some new recommendations on some recent apps I've put on the phone. It's not like I don't already have a zillion on there anyways, but I digress. The first is one that comes with high praises from Sims. I saw him trying it out at the surprise party and he's been trying to get me to download it for a while. What is it you ask? We Doodle. If you're a fan of Pictionary, or if you're in the Lobstah crew, Yahoo Graffiti. It's free and a ton of fun, go get this bad boy. I'm Bird33WV on there. The next is a game that is huge in Japan apparently, Mr. AahH!! It's rather addicting, although it doesn't look like much. It's a game if you just have a short time to fire up the phone, this is what you need. It's tough to put down though. Lastly, one that I'm not sure why I didn't a while back, but just heard it was actually an app. Tosh.0 and it's really good. A lot of videos, daily posts, etc. If you're a Tosh fan, this is a definite get.

Another 5K was rocked out on Thanksgiving Day. This was the Turkey Trot 5K that Stacia and Jason Talkington do such a great job of organizing. This is the second year of existing it and it was a really big turnout this time. The weather was actually pretty good for that time of year as to what it is going to be over the next few weeks. It was near 50 and you can't beat that. There was 125 people in this action, that was a ton more than the race not long before that when I was one of two people in. I was happy with my time. I didn't do nearly as well as I did last year, but going in, I wasn't quite training as hard as last year's either. I finished with a time of 24:30 in 24th Place and was glad I did that before tearing up two big turkey dinners later that afternoon that were awesome. It's always a good time at the Turkey Trot just to see people that you haven't talked to in a while, a nice get-together. Plus, I'm always down to ramble on with a good chat to just about anyone.

Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This comes to us from Felisha. The title says it all. Flamboyant Salesman Video. He's getting the crowd interested if nothing else. Dude breaks it down in the last 20-30 seconds, hah. Good entertainment right there.

3 Quick Thangs:

1. This comes to us from Devon McIntyre. In a fact I did not know, but everyone else may? I'm putting it in regardless since I asked for some help to the Twitter gang on some quick facts down here for this section. "in every episode of Seinfeld. There is a superman somewhere.." You can follow Dev at

2. The next fact also came to use straight from Twitter. The one and only ManDingo had this gem about our local weather: "Well, winter's here. Not forecasted over 37 for the next 2 weeks. I guess it's time to get used to it, but I'm really hating it right now." I'm not hating it, but I'm weird when it comes to winter time. Want to follow Dingo?

3. Last thing to end on. Straight from Sims, we have Barron finally in the Twitter mix. Time to get addicted man! "My boy @CooKeeZ11 is on twitter!! Let's go!!" Hit Sims up too at