Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


They drained the water. The pool's still there.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ticketmaster should be illegal

I never really enjoyed Pearl Jam. I did however enjoy their stance on Ticketmaster. (Which is a pretty apt name, seeing as how we're all it's slaves.) But I guess they moved on to other causes. Here's the deal:

Tribe's going to the post-season. Yay!
We're trying to buy tickets to game two of the ALDS. Yay!
They (I presume MLB) jacked the prices up for the playoffs - which I can deal with. So the seats in the nosebleed section that cost $7 are now $30.
Then TM screws us for another $6 fee per ticket. (multiply that by the Jake's occupancy of approx. 43,000 and TM makes a quarter mil a game!!! For what? Simply b/c they can.

Then to get the tickets, there's no option for the good 'ol will-call window. You can have them UPSed, mailed or print your own - and each one of those has a fee. The cheapest being print your own at $2. Two freaking dollars to use my ink and paper?! WTF?

Then on top of that there's a handling and convenience fee of $3.35 FOR TICKETS THAT DON'T PHYSICALLY EXIST UNTIL WE PRINT THEM?! It's all computerized no one is even handling and it sure as hell isn't convenient for me. What are they doing with the $6 per ticket fee?

So our 8 tickets to Game 2 of the Division Series cost us $293.35.

Go Tribe.

Go to hell, Ticketmaster.

Support your local venues. Like the Beachland.

Hot, Juicy Burgers!

Greg Bob loves Wendy's.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Go Tribe

The Indians could clinch a playoff spot today with a win and a Tigers loss. I went to the game last Saturday w/ Mariella, Kev, Jill, Vince, Carli and the two honeymooning Italians Patrizio and Marilena. It was Travis Hafner Bobblehead night - saweet. (I've collected quite a few bobbleheads without even trying.)

Also, I've started a new site and movement with Asdrubal's Amigos - in honor of the Tribe's stellar rookie sensation second baseman.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chloe is

still weird.

Kids will be kids

Mariella and Vince leg-wrestling.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Marc Ecko is a smart guy

The guy knows how to make headlines.

Here's his latest publicity stunt.

I vote "asterisk."

Every once in a while it's fun to be a Cleveland fan

Hindsight's 20/20 but it's great fun to see the so-called experts get it wrong. Here are some predictions published before the Browns offense went entirely Andersontastic:

The Expert: Brad Evans
Lowdown: Not even a bionic man composed of Bernie Kosar and Brady Quinn DNA could rescue the Browns from Bengals annihilation. The Bengals tattooed the Ravens on Monday night, forcing six turnovers, including a Landon Johnson 34-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Their sparkling 21-point fantasy output in standard Y! leagues was the third-highest team defense yield in Week 1. This week the Bengals travel northeast on Interstate 71 to face intrastate rival Cleveland. The Browns offense was dreadfully woeful in 60 blunder-filled minutes in their opener against Pittsburgh, posting a pair of sixes in turnovers and sacks. If Cincinnati aggressively blitzes Derek Anderson like they did Steve McNair, the Bengals will again score top-five team defense numbers.
Fearless Forecast: 7 points allowed, 208 total yards allowed, 5 sacks, 3 turnovers

The Experts: Hector & Victor
Yeah, dude ... Cleveland certainly does not rock. Derek Anderson goes up against a Cincy defense that we're thinking should get three fumbles and four sacks.

The Expert: Christopher Harris
Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)The Browns traded their starting quarterback for scrap metal two days after proclaiming him the best guy they had. What happened? Charlie Frye was never going to be Superman, and as my college football partner in crime Stephanie Taylor (a Browns fan) said, "Frye was terrible in college, so I'm not sure why we thought he'd suddenly be a great pro." Still, heads are no doubt spinning in the Cleveland locker room. Derek Anderson gets the start this week, and Brady Quinn is coming. And in redraft leagues, I wouldn't touch either.
Fantasy Up: Not that you wouldn't normally do so, but play your Bengals. Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson are in for big weeks. The Cincy defense, which created six turnovers, two sacks and scored a touchdown last week, might yield a few yards on the ground to Jamal Lewis, but they're eminently startable nonetheless. Heck, for those in insanely deep, two-TE leagues, you could even keep an eye on Daniel Coats, an undrafted rookie out of BYU. He only caught one pass for 9 yards in Week 1, but the Bengals like him. … Kellen Winslow's knee is clearly fine, and he's my No. 2-rated tight end this week. Cincinnati's linebackers aren't their strength anymore, and as a defense they allowed the third-most fantasy points to TEs last season. … You have to start T.J. Houshmandzadeh, because no matter the state of his knee, Palmer's looking his way a lot. But Housh didn't get much separation against the Ravens, as his nine catches for 50 yards indicate.
Fantasy Down: Braylon Edwards is the big loser in this QB derby. Fully healthy almost two years removed from his ACL tear, Edwards would be a fantasy threat on almost any other team in football. You have to worry about how the kid will react to this tough situation (he threw a sideline tantrum last season), and while I'm not going to be surprised if he busts open the occasional huge play, it seems like that'll only happen a few times this season. He's only a flex option right now. … Jamal Lewis looked like a dog against Pittsburgh. He carried it 11 times for 35 yards, and those numbers hardly tell the tail of his badness. All the flowery pieces about how dominant he expected to be are now so much kindling. The offensive line didn't do much against the Steelers, and that was to be expected, but Lewis himself was as tentative as ever, and his first-quarter fumble helped put the Browns in a deeper hole early on. Cincy isn't particularly stout against the run, so I won't be shocked to see Lewis register a moderately successful day, but hear me: You don't want him on your fantasy team. … Shayne Graham's hip prevented him from kicking freely in Week 1, and he didn't practice Wednesday. He might play, but I'd have another option ready, just in case.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How fancy!

Mariella's back and she's modeling her wedding tiara (available at Jo-Ann Fabrics).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another media hit

The Mark Szczepanik brand is really taking off.

Cranking on the ol' propaganda machine

I appeared in yesterday's Plain Dealer.

Here's the article. I'll try to scan it when I get a chance.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guten Tag!

On Sunday, we went to Oktoberfest with Lisa, Mike, the boys, Grandma, Mom, Mary, Joan and Kristen - a group od Von Trapp proportions. It was pretty fun. They had a sand sculptor working there.

but the highlight of the day had to be the Wiener Dog races.

It was pretty funny. They'd line up a set of wiener dogs dressed in silks and the owners would call them at the other end. Some were really fast but would turn around and race back to the start. So many times, it wasn't the fastest dog who won but the one who got bored enough to cross the finish line.

I don't like them anymore than I used to

I went to the Bangles concert last Thursday with Mary. It was part of an Ad Fed event, so don't judge me. And they sound like they used to. They did there requisite three songs I recognize and a bunch of other stuff that I could've done without.
They did bring out a rabid (not literally) fan base. During their between-song banter, a Bangle mentioned she didn't know the last time they were in Cleveland. And several people in the audience shouted, "November 2, 2003!" I wish I were making that up. U.S. Americans can't find us on the map but we've cornered the market on the Bangles 2003 tour schedule. Huzzah!
One good part of the evening was The Bridges. Before too long I think they'll be on the radio.

Geek Squad

This is a photo from one of my fantasy football draft "parties." We went to BW3s - they give free food to league's drafting there. (I'm not sure why it's called BW3 either it's Buffalo Wild Wings. Which by my calculations should be BW2. But I digress.) They also give you crappy wireless service that makes the draft take about three hours.

This is by far the nerdiest thing I was a part of in August. And we were actually not the biggest dorks in there. There was some guy by himself on his laptop communicating with who we assume was the rest of his league via a wireless headset.


Mariella's dog is weird and weird-looking.

Aunt Leona

My great aunt passed away on Sunday. She was 88. Always quick with a story and laugh, Aunt Leona loved life. She'll be missed.

As if I needed another reason to hate Labor Day.

Dear Dad

It's still surreal. I have to remind myself sometimes that you're not here with us physically. It's been a year since you left us and nothing really feels the same. Everyone misses you terribly.

I try to be there for everyone like you did. But I'm a poor replacement for you. I'm not as knowledgeable or as decisive. You may not have always been right but you made a decision and stuck to it. I could use some of that courage. I'll keep trying.

It's been a true learning experience for Mom and I. Selling houses, maintaining a fleet of cars and finances were always much easier when you were around.

We all still cling to the time we had together. Right after you left, someone told me that at least there was no doubt that you loved us and that you knew that we all loved you. She pointed out that I talked about you more than most people talked about their parents. And I guess I did. You were my best friend. I could always count on you for encouragement, kind words and perspective. You were always there to help me out or just hang out. I really loved it when I moved back from Toledo and we got to spend more time together. As much as I grumbled I truly never minded helping out at BINGO because I got to spend time with you. My favorite was during the second half when the games were winding down and you'd be in the darkened concession stand restocking. That was when we talked. They were never philosophical, weighty conversations - usually, just what was happening in our lives. I enjoyed when you'd call out of the blue and see if I wanted to go to the Indians game.

I appreciated it when you would let Sandy out if I had to work late. I think you and I were the only ones that liked that dog. Mom said you weren't as attached to her as I think. But I could see it when you'd come over and play with her.

I cleaned out the top drawer on your dresser a few weeks ago. Growing up, that drawer was always a source of wonder for me. You kept all the best man treasures in there - class rings, coins, notes from your mother, hankies, cuff links, pictures of us kids. I always liked stealing peeks in there. You always yelled at us to stay out of there but that wasn't much of a deterrent. The cool bric-a-brac always beckoned at me. It was strange going through those items now because they seem more like artifacts than mementos.

Vacations and holidays are particularly strange without you. Summer vacations were always "your thing." You were the travel guide, whether we liked it or not. I'm glad we got to go to Florida last year as a family. The holidays are just kind of confusing. You and Grandpa were such a huge part of them - leaving two enormous holes. I try to focus on the memories we have rather than what we're missing but it's hard.

Mom keeps saying that between you and Grandma & Grandpa there was never a time in her life that she felt unloved. And I think that's true for all of us. Between Mom and you, all the grandparents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and now Mariella I've always felt loved. Which I suppose is something not everyone can claim.

All the girls and grandkids are doing as well as can be expected without you. You'd be proud of them. I am. We're sticking together through this whole thing. I even hug Mike way more than I used to. (Then again, that would only have to be more than once.)

I was and still am very proud to have you as a father and blessed to have you as a friend. I know you're still with us. I just wish you were here with us. We'll never forget you and always love you.