Wednesday, October 24, 2007

October 24th, 2007 - Canes vs. Sabres: Random Musings and Observations

- It's taken almost two years, but I think somebody at DirecTV finally, FINALLY heard my cries of "Dual feels like Dish Network has...PLEASE!!!". Tonight (and really, on various nights with various games since the season started), DirecTV provided both teams' broadcasting feeds for this game AND the Lightning/Capitals game. And a better Canes game couldn't have been picked...if I had to put up with Rick "GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!!!" Jeanerette tonight, something would have been destroyed or killed during the game.

- Great, GREAT game from the Canes all-around...a couple of iffy moments in the first and second periods, but overall, I would say there was fifty to fifty-five minutes of damn good hockey played, which is the minimum you need to stick it to those Swords.

- John and Tripp are an absolute comedy team and don't realize it...especially with lines like this:

Tripp: "You sound like you could have been a rock star in a different life!"


I swear, these two could play an American version of Jeeves and Wooster...with John being the crafty butler, and Tripp being the goofy rich bachelor...

- I think Lindy Ruff and that guy in the Ameriprise retirement ads (y'know...the ones abusing the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'"?) were separated at birth.

Current Music: "Neurotica" by King Crimson

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

October 19th and 20th, 2007 - Canes @ Penguins and Flyers: Random Musings and Observations

- The Canes did not play absolutely wonderful in these games, but they did not stink up the ice either. Not bad, considering that there are some injuries plaguing the team right now...

- ...That said, I hope Scott Walker and his tum-tum area is ok. My hopes went up when I heard he was released from the hospital Friday night. Also hope Erik Cole is ok...even if I do think how he supposedly hurt himself (playing soccer, or football as my ancestors would call it, outside of the locker room) was stupid.

- Very, VERY classy of the Penguins to acknowledge Ronnie Francis' becoming Assistant GM for the Canes. And even more classy of the entire Pens faithful in attendance to applaud it. *gives a thumbs up*

- Speaking of the Penguins, being a fan of theirs too, I am glad that they ended up getting the win...they really needed it, and it helped them get back to .500. And before you go jumping on me, as I've noted here a few times, I happen to like both the Canes and Pens, and therefore, games like Friday night's end up being ones where I am happy with whoever wins. ESPECIALLY if the Canes are off to a great start like they are right now, and can get away with sparing a win here and there.

- Games like tonight's do not help my feelings towards the Flyboys.

- I can tell this RBC Centura "Giant" ad campaign is going to get on my doesn't help that that was the same campaign used last year AND the marketing geek in me just does not think "Let's Do Something Giant" is a great slogan.

- Until tonight, I did not know there was such a call as "Backchecking". Learn something new every day/night...

- Overall, this was an outstanding road trip...I'll definitely take the only overall (I.E. no points earned at all) loss being at DC. Getting a point in Pitt and Philly is certainly not shabby with both being quite fun places to play at.

Current Music: "Like A Hurricane" by Neil Young

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 11th, 2007 - Canes @ Senators: Random Musings and Observations

- Holy crap...we DirecTV Center Icers got the John and Tripp Show tonight?! WOOT!!! As someone fully expecting to get TSN or Rogers Sportsnet, this already made my night. Not that TSN and Rogers are horrible, but I do prefer John and Tripp when it comes to Canes game coverage...I just cannot help but be a homer like that.

- As I said over at Canes Country, this game was, IMO, going to be very tell-tale of what's to come this season. Well, apart from the wittle comeback put on by the Sens in the last five or so minutes of the game, me likey what I saw...A LOT. Very, VERY 2005-06esque. And IIRC, the Canes ended up being the first team to defeat a very hot Ottawa team at the beginning of that season...

- The Senators' new clothes are buttugly. And that 'new logo' (it's really an update of the third jersey logo) gives me the creeps in that "I think it's staring at me!!" sort of way...not helped by how gigundo they made him on the ice compared to the old logo. o_O Maybe he can somehow get together with the Burger King king and the guy on the oatmeal box...

- Speaking of all things commercial, it took a little while, but I have finally found a couple of regular ads during FSN South Canes broadcasts to hate on...

1. That stupid, STUPID Hardee's ad with the surfer dude ogling the hula bobble-doll. Come to think of it, I don't think there is a Hardee's/Carl's Jr. commercial that I have really liked in the last couple of years. Maybe, MAYBE that one where they said they had milkshakes with that weirdo looking like he was going to tip a cow but ended up shaking it. But I think it was because that was how I found out about Sean Paul's "Get Busy" song.

2. I cannot believe I am getting ready to say this, but an ad for Canes game tickets. Specifically, the one with the two kids talking about being Caniacs. I know I am supposed to find them cute, but I really don't. And one minute is way too long for that ad...not to mention way too much time for my eyes to embrace that pink Canes jersey the girl is wearing. Even if I was her age, I still wouldn't wear that thing...but then again, I am a tomboy and have practically always been.

- Last, but certainly not least, while everyone played GREAT tonight, got to get in a special mention for Chad LaRose...certainly a whole lot outta Rosie tonight. If there is anyone who could be deemed the little engine that could for not only now, but really, the last couple of seasons, it's him.

Current Music: "Fiesta" by The Pogues

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Click here.

THIS is HILARIOUS. Best action photo I have ever seen, not only because of what is going on down on the ice, but also because of the expressions on the spectators' faces. I think my favorite being the dude in the upper right corner who cannot decide whether to applaud the on-ice action or not... :D

Current Music: "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

October 9th, 2007 - Canes @ Leafs: Random Musings and Observations

- Y' much as I hated that gawdawful loss in DC, maybe that very thing was the booster shot in the arm the Canes needed.

- Then again, I can't help but feel that the supplement of vitamin C. Stillman really helped in tonight's, massacre of the Leafs.

- I know I'm probably going to get killed by some Canes fans for this, but I feel sorry for Coach Mo, dagummit. At the rate things are going, I'm going to be amazed if Mo is still around T.O. by the time Christmas rolls around...if not Thanksgiving.

- Speaking of people to feel sorry for, my heart sank when I read about Jason Blake being diagnosed with leukemia yesterday. :( Wish the man nothing but the absolute best in his treatment and getting to play as long as he can...

- At first, I did not understand how San Jose could let go of Toskala after what he did for them in the last season or two...but I think tonight cleared up things on that front. That said, I cannot believe that ol' Vesa was left in like that for the entire much as I like Mo, that was a pretty poor decision on his part.

- I am *really* liking what I've seen of Jeff Hamilton...him and Dennis Seidenberg are proving to be very, VERY pleasant surprises out there.

- While I am glad that a game like this one got to be on national television AND was the only bit of hockey on anywhere tonight, it does not hurt my feelings that a lot of the Canes' games are not on Versus. God, those guys had me clamouring for John and Tripp or TSN...

Current Music: "Superstition" by Beck, Bogart, and Appice

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Friday, October 05, 2007

October 5th, 2007 - Canes vs. the Penguins: Random Musings and Observations

- I'm going to go ahead and say it: The real reason the Canes won tonight? Do I really have to say his name? Ok, for the clueless among you...he became assistant GM of the Canes yesterday. John Forslund interviewed Ronnie Francis during the Hurricanes Live pre-game segment, and the moment the interview concluded, I had an incredibly awesome feeling that the Canes were going to kick Penguin butt (sorry, Michael).

- That said, if I had known that #10 was going to be interviewed before or during the game, I would have made my score prediction at Canes Country much more in favor of the Canes than 6-5, Pitt.

- But, the game was indeed high scoring for the the risk of sounding greedy, I could live with four goals every game, as opposed to only two.

- Boy, the Pens sure made like a Hoover tonight. Other than when they're playing the Canes (wink wink, nudge nudge), I hope they improve quickly...especially Monsieur Andre-Fleury.

- Speaking of 'bout that Cam Ward? Forget Wheaties, somebody's been eating their fruits and veggies...other FSN Southers will know what I mean, Vern...

- On to ze Capitals, who won over the Thrashers, 3-1, in Hotlanta tonight. Should be an interesting battle of who's more worn-down...

Current Music: "Wide Angle" by Amon Duul II

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Ronnie Franchise Named Assistant GM of the Canes Franchise

*does the Meposian Dance of Joy*

I had a feeling this was coming, especially with the news of Jason Karmanos resigning from the position...but I did not want to say anything yet then.

Many congratulations to Mr. Francis...apart from his friends and family, there is probably nobody more happy at seeing him become second banana GM of his nicknamesake than this crazy Caniac and fan of #10.

Current Music: "Jus' Tonight" by Basement Jaxx and Gwyn Jay Allen

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October 3rd, 2007 - Canes vs. Habs: Random Musings and Observations

- Even though I understand that it had something to do with a VS. contract of sorts, I STILL say that FSN South not covering this game ROYALLY SUCKED. As someone who actually wanted to see the 10th Anniversary banner hanging, I knew darn good and well that the only chance of that happening would be if FSN South covered the game. As I predicted, the RDS (the Quebec/French TSN) feed did not show a lick of the ceremony...and while VS., if they had chosen to cover this particular game instead of Ducks/Wings, would have probably been a little better, I highly doubt they would have given the banner hanging the coverage that FSN South would have given it.

Not to mention that the RDS feed was just horrible tonight anyway...cameras and computer graphics out of focus during the entire game (and we're talking so bad that it got to where I started to worry that I needed a new glasses prescription) and even the sound got rather fuzzy and staticky in parts. Ugh...

Oh, and I have saved the best for last about this...the RDS announcers kept getting the players' names wrong. No, I am not talking about pulling a Gary Thorne and mispronouncing the names out the wazoo...I mean getting the players wrong. Some examples:

John Cullen = Matt Cullen

Ryan Whitney = Ray Whitney

One of the announcers also said that we got Jeff Hamilton from the L.A. Kings for Jack Johnson...certainly would have been a much better trade than it really was if that's how it had panned out.

- The first period was not bad, IMHO. Certainly where we saw the best playing out of the Canes in this particular game.

- But, what happened in the second and third periods?! I lost count of all the stupid penalties the Canes took, the times they were in their own zone, AND when they could have hit someone BUT decided to not do that!! Way, WAY too reminiscent of last season...and it's only the first game!

- Best player of the game was definitely Cam Ward...with Scott Walker and Andrew Ladd following right behind to the point of almost toppling upon the dude.

- Worst player? Definitely Nicky Wallin...two stupid penalties are enough of a no-no by themselves. But when those penalties lead to game-tying AND game-winning goals for the opposition, those penalties become a big fat hairy no-no.

- This Friday, the Canes that take to the ice better be the ones who started with two rather nicely played power plays at the beginning of this hockey game. Be it through power plays or otherwise, they'll going to need some goals against those Penguins and their mighty offense...

Current Music: "Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)" by Metallica

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"He's Got Electric Skates, and A Crimson Suit!"

Wayne Gretzky is spreading the word about, well, electric skates.

I cannot decide if this is proof that sometimes the best news is NOT made up, or if this makes my sometimes playing around in my head with the idea of a "Bennie and the Jets" parody about the Canes and/or hockey that much more hilarious.

B-B-B-Brindy and the Canes!

Current Music: "Grazin' In the Grass" (Vocal Version) by Rick Braun and Boney James

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jason Karmanos Resigns

Did anyone this coming?! I certainly did not... o_O

Even though the younger Mr. Karmanos cited "personal reasons" being behind his resignation, there is no telling what brought this on. But, I get the feeling that the Canes organization themselves may have known about this in advance...just a gut feeling I have.

Wherever Jason ends up, godspeed in all of your endeavors, sir.

Gee, I wonder what's going to happen to Tripp Tracy now that his buddy is no longer a Canes front officer...he and Jason were/are buddies from the days of the Raleigh Icecaps, y'know.

While I'm at it, I apologize for the lack of Canes news lately...but apart from the above, there has not been much going on other than the pre-season stuff. And those games are tricky for me to cover without a television presence. Though, all I will say for now is that thank goodness pre-season does not count towards anything...

Also, I have ordered a bottle of TEN from the Duplin Winery. Have not decided if I am going to actually taste the wine or not...I was more drawn to the name and label/bottle than anything. ;) But, if I do end up conducting a taste test, you can bet I will write about it here when I get the chance.

Current Music: "Sway" by the Pussycat Dolls

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Friday, September 07, 2007

New Canes Blog Added

Should have done this sometime ago, but I have finally added Beth. And Hockey. to the Canes portion of ye olde blogroll.

A belated welcome to the aforementioned blog!

Current Music: "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" by D'Angelo

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Tom Barrasso Officially Back With the Canes

As the new Director of Goaltender Development.

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired former Hurricanes netminder Tom Barrasso as its Director of Goaltender Development. In his new role, Barrasso will work with all of the goaltenders in the team’s system who are not currently in the NHL, including players with Albany (American Hockey League), Florida (ECHL) and various junior hockey clubs.

“Tom brings instant credibility to his new position, and is somebody that the goaltenders in our system will be able to respect and learn from,” said Rutherford. “He has re-located his family to Raleigh and we are happy that he has chosen to continue his life in hockey with our organization.”

Wow. First Ronnie Francis becoming Director of Player Development, and now this. Can we say that we are quickly gaining one of the finer front offices AND ESPECIALLY scouting/development squads in the League? I certainly think so.

Speaking of Mr. Franchise...I am way more than willing to bet that he played quite the role in getting Mr. Barrasso to join ze organization. Especially as well know as Ronnie and Tommy's friendship is in various League circles, and has been since their Penguin days.

Current Music: "I Want To Thank You Very Much" by Bob James and Earl Klugh

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Canes Unveil Their New Threads

At long last, that glorious day has arrived...the day that we find out what, exactly, the Canes' new jerseys look like.

My verdict? They're nice. Even the piping that everyone was complaining about when the "preview pictures" via the EA NHL 2008 game came out a month or two ago looks pretty darn nifty. The Canes' jerseys are tied with the Penguins for being the best new threads to be presented thus far. And even if I was not a fan of both teams, I would *still* be saying that...particularly because of one thing: THEY DID NOT CHANGE THEIR LOGOS!! If there is anything that has been getting on my nerves about some of these new sweaters, it's the teams feeling like they have to change their logo for them...

So, a HUGE "Thank you!!" to the Canes and Pens for not losing their sanity and keeping their already great logos.

As an aside...what is up with Erik Cole's hair at the unveiling? Dudeman needs a haircut...stat!

Current Music: "Love Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Frank Kaberle Recovering From Surgery

Could it be? Can it be...actual Canes news?! Woo...oh, crap.

I normally would be very delighted to post Canes news, considering that it has been almost two weeks since I last updated this here blog, lack of Canes news very obviously not helping. But unfortunately, this news pertains to a particular key part of the Canes' already weak Frantisek Kaberle.

"According to Luke's blog, Kaberle had surgery on Saturday to remove torn cartilage from his right knee. He's expected to miss the first week of camp. I was in the "we'll be OK on D with a healthy Kaberle and Hedican" camp. Now, I'm not sure Frank will ever be healthy."

I am not sure, meself. IIRC, he was not all that healthy this past season, which was one part of the Canes' D woes.

I sure as heck hope the season gets off to a better start than this...maybe this will work out to be a reverse mojo thing: Bad news to start the season, GREAT news to end it.

In the meantime, since it is still the off-season and all, 'pop in' to my new webbing/writing project, Epitaph: A Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Network when you get the chance. It's where my writing has gone over the last couple of weeks with it being all quiet on the Canes front, at least until today. Who knows...perhaps I can win at least one or two of you over to the R&H(D) franchise's tiny fanbase.

Current Music: Ryu's Theme - Street Fighter Tribute Album

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

eBay Has Everything AND the Kitchen Sink!

Jerry Garcia's kitchen sink, that is...SERIOUSLY!

If you ask me, eBay is *really* missing the boat on a great ad campaign idea, or at least a slogan centering around that particular item.

Current Music: "Milk and Cereal" by G. Love and Special Sauce

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oh, The Things I Have Been Doing Lately...

You know you've really neglected a blog when you can't even remember the last time you did a 'miscellany post'...though, I'm sure in my instance that it was not super long ago. Just a couple of months, worst case.

But, as noted previously, it does not help that the Canes have not had a ton of news during this off-season. AND because of that, I've had one of my busier off-seasons project-wise since...hmmm...probably 2003, when I was constantly working on my now defunct (as in I can't provide a link) Canes fandom website...

- Music geek I am, I have been constantly working on improving the audio quality of my computer/Gigabeat music collection. Originally, I was converting my files from 96 KBPS quality WMAs to 96 KBPS* quality MP3s, because I found out the hard way that RockBox, my semi-new firmware for "Stanley", does not like WMA files. Well, I was nearly halfway through that project, when curiosity got the better of me, and I started to explore the world of Ogg Vorbis files after reading so many other music/audio geeks proclaiming the said format to be the best they've ever worked with AND THE overall format they use for their computer/MP3 player music. So, I went and found a freeware Ogg Vorbis converter (
BonkEnc, to be precise), and started playing around with a couple of tracks from my current most beloved concert albums, King Crimson's Absent Lovers and KISS' Symphony-Alive IV...


I used to think that Ogg Vorbis was so freakin' could I be so, well, deaf? I cannot describe how ecstatically amazing the tracks I tested ("Discipline" and "Heartbeat" from AL, and "Let Me Go, Rock and Roll" and "Sure Know Something" from S-A4) sounded through Ogg Vorbis. And normally, I would be ticked off about having to repeat what I did last year right before I got the Gigabeat/"Stanley" in going through all of my CDs and files to convert them to the preferred format. But in this instance, it's like having presents to open almost every day.

And for the audio/techno/etc. geeks in my audience, I am converting my files to 65 quality Ogg Vorbis...which I find to be perfect in not only quality, but also the space taken up by the files. Any higher, and way too much space would be taken up...something one has to mind, especially with a 40 GB player.

- My other huge project, which I just started late last week, is finally getting pictures up on
my Ron Francis collection site. Completed the Book section this past weekend, and am now working on the Apparel section. I plan to go down the list, with the exceptions of the Card, Multimedia, and Newspaper sections, which I plan to tackle last, as rather extensive as they are.

All of that said, for those of you interested, be sure to check back every day or two or three...I'm trying my best to update as frequently as I can, given that the pictures of my collection have been a long time in coming.

- Last, but certainly not least for now: I cannot stand it anymore. I have GOT TO GET Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) on DVD. Especially after happening upon
this site when I was telling a friend about the series (spawned from our discussion of The Saint and similar shows). Even before I came across the site, I had been looking up various things about R&H on and off, because I absolutely adore the series that was shown on BBC America during the summer of 2004. That particular series was not the 60's original, but instead the 2000-01 remake starring the then infamous British comedy team of Vic (Reeves) and Bob (Mortimer), and I thought it was a damn good the point that it was EASILY the show that I looked the most forward to every week that summer. The acting was not bad, especially considering that R&H was Vic and Bob's first (and probably only) "serious" acting deal. Not to mention that the supernatural aspect was pretty darn unique for a detective show. Even as a remake, I found the R&H idea of a ghost of a detective getting back up with his living partner and helping to solve crimes rather outstanding and just downright cool.

And to think that my happening upon the show was somewhat an accident...usually, on the Monday nights I would have BBC America on for my dinnertime viewing (back when they showed Blackadder, Monty Python, and/or Benny Hill from 7-8:00 in the evening), I would immediately turn away before they would start their big "Mystery Monday" deals. Well, it turned out that one night, I didn't turn away quick enough...and the title that was uttered by the host of MM, particularly the "(Deceased)" part, caught my interest. And that interest only further grew with the opening sequence and its rather haunting, no pun intended, theme...and thus began yet another television addiction.

All of that said, as a lover of the Vic and Bob treatment of the series, it kind of broke my heart at first to read a great chunk of the franchise's fanbase say that the 60's original was so much better. But the more time passes, the more such comments, along with the aforementioned fan site, *really* make me want to see the original, which is available on DVDs playable here in the US of A. And easily the one I will get, most likely sometime this week. Unfortunately, the Vic and Bob remake, along with the final thirteen episodes of the original, is only available on European/Australian DVDs...but if the price is right, I may eventually get those to play on my computer, which is certainly better than not having the entire original series AND remake at all.

As the saying goes, you never get over your first love...and best case, I will end up liking both versions of R&H equally. From the descriptions I have read AND what I know of the remake, it is my observation that the original series seems to have focused on actual mysteries and crimes more than the remake, which took the supernatural element and ran with it in the cases presented on that.

Current Music: "Hockey Night In Canada Jam" (Live) by the Jimmy Swift Band

* - I have found that in terms of minimum size AND sound quality preservation, 96 KBPS is what works best...despite now having found a better format.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bored "Fan" Writes A Letter To the Raleigh News and Observer...Film At Eleven's been over a week already?! Time *really* does fly when there's hardly any Canes news...of course, in my instance, it helps to have a couple of rather ambitious projects to do, which I will touch upon here later.

You know it is *very quiet* on the Canes news front when
this is the biggest thing to have caught my eye lately...

"Canes' inaction over Staal's arrest is sad

So no disciplinary action will be taken by the Carolina Hurricanes in regards to Eric Staal's arrest for disorderly conduct?

That's a great message the Hurricanes are sending to the young people in this community -- if you are popular, young, rich and athletically talented, and you act like a jerk and get arrested, the team you are the public face for doesn't think it matters.

It is obvious that the attitudes of the NBA, NFL and other sporting organizations have carried over to the NHL: "You are better than everyone else because you are a professional athlete. Go on out there, have a good time, drink, party, get arrested, no problem! We'll look the other way!"

Pathetic. I would have expected better from the management of a Stanley Cup-winning team. I'll think twice before going to a Hurricanes game this season."

Definitely one of those types that need to be within five feet of a giant megaphone blaring "Boozefests happen in hockeydom...GET OVER IT!!".

I was not all that approving of what happened to the Staal brothers...BUT, unlike the bozo cited above, I take into account that...

1. It *was* a bachelor party...the only way a bachelor party would NEVER have drinking is if its participants were a bunch of Charles "Chaz" Finster* clones.


2. Something that the N&O and quite a few sources failed to pick up on about the Staals' big bachelor bash gone wrong is that according to at least one or two other sources I read (and posted here...just scroll a little further down), the Staals weren't the ones cutting up. Instead, it was two or three of their friends who did not heed the resort's request to stop partying and go to bed. And therefore, just like 27-29 students in a classroom having to put up with a class clown or two or three, all of the other participants of the party, including the Staals, were punished for the actions of an overwhelming minority.

Apparently, Jim Rutherford and company (along with the Pittsburgh Penguins honchos in regards to Jordan Staal) heard about #2 too...because if they did not hear about AND apparently believe it (along with me), there probably would have been a reprimanding of some kind by now.

In closing, I think someone has a lot of damned gall to call what is quite a minor incident NFL/NBA/etc.-like, when the said big leagues are dealing with far bigger problems than a bunch of bachelors being spoiled by a few rotten apples.

Current Music: "Boom Boom Out Go the Lights" by the Pat Travers Band (Live Version)

* - [TV geek]For those of you who aren't Rugrats (at least before Dil Pickles came along) fans, I am way more than willing to bet that a guy who would rather watch a chess tournament than the Rugrats universe's equivalent of the Super Bowl probably does not imbibe, even just a little bit, too.[/TV geek]

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